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Megathread: President Donald Trump announces he has tested positive for Coronavirus | Part II

President Donald Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus and will begin their quarantine and recovery process immediately. The news comes after it was announced that close presidential aide Hope Hicks tested positive Wednesday evening.
Megathread Part I

Submissions that may interest you

SUBMISSION DOMAIN
Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus thehill.com
Trump flew to New Jersey for a fundraiser, reportedly after learning Hope Hicks had COVID-19 symptoms theweek.com
Putin says Trump's 'inherent vitality' will see him through COVID-19 reuters.com
Trump in 'quarantine process' after top aide gets COVID-19 sfgate.com
Trump in ‘Quarantine Process' After Top Aide Gets COVID-19 nbcwashington.com
President Donald Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for COVID-19 upi.com
Trump in ‘quarantine process’ after top aide gets COVID-19 bostonherald.com
Trump's positive Covid-19 test throws country into fresh upheaval amp.cnn.com
Putin offers Trump wishes of 'sincere support' after positive coronavirus test thehill.com
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: What happens if the president cannot perform his duties? wftv.com
President Trump and first lady Melania test positive for COVID-19 cbsnews.com
Fears for Joe Biden after Trump tests positive for Covid theguardian.com
Trump's positive Covid test was a surprise that many saw coming theguardian.com
Biden Will Get Urgent COVID-19 Test After Trump’s Diagnosis, Says Report thedailybeast.com
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady test negative for coronavirus following Trump's positive diagnosis cnbc.com
VP Mike Pence tests negative and 'remains in good heath,' after Trump tests positive for COVID-19 timesunion.com
The Finance 202: Stock futures dive on the news that Trump has coronavirus washingtonpost.com
Putin wished Trump a speedy recovery after his COVID-19 diagnosis, and said his 'innate vitality' will see him through businessinsider.com
Mike Pence and wife Karen test negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
China’s state media outlet mocks Trump for contracting coronavirus nypost.com
Inb4 trump has now "contracted" coronavirus cos his team knew he f****d up the first debate that bad that any further appearance would be detrimental to his campaign. sbs.com.au
Putin says Trump's 'inherent vitality' will see him through COVID-19 reuters.com
Mike Pence and wife Karen test negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: Pence tests negative, Biden reportedly getting test usatoday.com
Timeline: How Trump Has Downplayed The Coronavirus Pandemic npr.org
Trump's coronavirus diagnosis presents America with new clear, present dangers axios.com
Biden to get tested Friday morning following Trump COVID-19 positive test: report thehill.com
The virus spares no one’: World reacts to Trump’s positive coronavirus test washingtonpost.com
Shock, sympathy, mockery: World reacts to Trump infection - CBC News cbc.ca
Trump’s Covid diagnosis renews testing debate on Capitol Hill politico.com
Mike Pence, who will assume the presidency if Trump is incapacitated, has tested negative for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Biden wishes Trump, first lady 'swift recovery' after positive COVID-19 tests thehill.com
MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell Shouts Out Unproven COVID-19 'Cure' To Trump huffpost.com
Age, obesity put Trump at high risk for severe coronavirus infection axios.com
Chinese state media mocks Trump's positive virus test: 'Paid the price for his gamble to play down' pandemic thehill.com
Older, overweight and male: Trump's COVID risk factors make him vulnerable reuters.com
President Trump’s positive Covid-19 test throws country into fresh upheaval mercurynews.com
Trump’s Covid-19 Diagnosis Reshapes Election a Month From Vote bloomberg.com
MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell Shouts Out Unproven COVID-19 ‘Cure’ To Trump m.huffpost.com
Trump’s positive coronavirus test will keep him out of swing states he hasn't visited yet independent.co.uk
QAnon Believers Think Trump Got COVID On Purpose Because of Course They Do - QAnon followers believe the virus is fake, but also that Trump has it. And they're "dangerously hype" about it. vice.com
Biden says he's 'praying for the health and safety" of Trump after the president's COVID-19 diagnosis businessinsider.com
Keller: Will Voters Punish Trump For Deriding Coronavirus Precautions? boston.cbslocal.com
‘Wear A God Damn Mask,’ Joe Kennedy Tweets While Wishing Trump Fast Covid Recovery boston.cbslocal.com
New York Times slammed for suggesting Trump might not remain on ballot after coronavirus diagnosis foxnews.com
Trump joked while people suffered with Covid. Well, is now the time to stop? theguardian.com
Pence, second lady test negative for coronavirus after Trump's positive result thehill.com
Coronavirus: Pelosi says Trump’s failure to wear masks at rallies was ‘brazen invitation’ independent.co.uk
Fox's Kilmeade: Trump could serve as positive example if he beats COVID while in 'danger age' of 74 thehill.com
White House wanted to keep Hope Hicks's positive COVID-19 test private: report thehill.com
Trump experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after coronavirus diagnosis cnbc.com
Trump experiencing 'mild symptoms' after coronavirus diagnosis cnbc.com
Trump’s strange pre-spin on his coronavirus diagnosis: It came from military, police who want to ‘hug’ and ‘kiss’ you washingtonpost.com
Minnesota congressmen traveled with Trump before, after Duluth rally and positive COVID-19 test duluthnewstribune.com
White House official: Trump experiencing ‘mild’ symptoms of coronavirus after positive test apnews.com
Putin sends Trump a telegram offering ‘sincere support’ after positive coronavirus test marketwatch.com
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel has tested positive for coronavirus following Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
Trump’s Behavior Was ‘Brazen Invitation’ for the Coronavirus, Pelosi Says thedailybeast.com
Trump, first lady positive for virus; he has 'mild symptoms' apnews.com
Trump, first lady positive for virus; he has ‘mild symptoms’ apnews.com
Donald Trump has 'mild symptoms' after contracting coronavirus news.sky.com
President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection draws international sympathy and a degree of schadenfreude eu.usatoday.com
Gretchen Whitmer: Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis 'wakeup call to every single American' freep.com
Kushner, Ivanka Trump test negative for COVID-19 thehill.com
Tracking Trump: Where the president was and who he came in contact with before announcing his positive coronavirus test marketwatch.com
Of Course Donald Trump Got Covid newrepublic.com
Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for COVID-19 wkow.com
Trump and Melania test positive for Covid. foxnews.com
Leftists Cheer News Trump, Hope Hicks Infected With COVID-19: ‘I Hope They Both Die’ dailywire.com
White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas reacts to Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, says 'zero reason to panic' foxnews.com
Piers Morgan rips mockery of Trump after contracting COVID-19: 'No better than the man they loathe' thehill.com
Trump Has ‘Mild Symptoms’ After He and First Lady Test Positive for COVID-19 nbcnewyork.com
US stocks slump after Trump tests positive for virus bostonglobe.com
Trump’s test shows how Covid-19 might threaten Barrett confirmation rollcall.com
UK bookmakers stop taking bets on US election after Trump gets Covid-19 edition.cnn.com
WATCH: Trump ignored the science and his own experts on coronavirus — now he's tested positive for COVID-19, while more than 200,000 Americans have died businessinsider.com
Pelosi: Trump Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines Was 'A Brazen Invitation For This To Happen' - The president, who said he tested positive early Friday, has downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic, even as more than 200,000 Americans have died. huffpost.com
Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tests negative for coronavirus thehill.com
Trump’s pre-spin seems to blame military, police interactions for coronavirus diagnosis washingtonpost.com
How Many People Has Donald Trump Already Infected With COVID-19? vanityfair.com
Concern over Biden's possible exposure to COVID-19 after Trump tests positive abcnews.go.com
RNC chairwoman tests positive for coronavirus after she was with President Trump, who has COVID nydailynews.com
Donald Trump's Positive COVID-19 Announcement Becomes His Most Liked Tweet Ever newsweek.com
Hicks, hubris and not a lot of masks: the week Trump caught Covid theguardian.com
'We continue to pray': Joe Biden offers thoughts, prayers to President Trump for speedy recovery after coronavirus test usatoday.com
Nancy Pelosi says Trump’s behavior was ‘brazen invitation’ after COVID-19 infection nypost.com
Pelosi says Trump's actions were a 'brazen invitation' for a positive COVID-19 test, calls his diagnosis 'very sad' and 'tragic' businessinsider.com
Conspiracy theorists believe Trump is using COVID results to postpone the election — Many online are calling b.s. amid the shocking news. dailydot.com
A Steelworker Who Sat In The Debate Hall On Trump’s Positive Coronavirus Test: “It’s Frustrating” buzzfeednews.com
President Trump showing mild symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19: officials nydailynews.com
Mitch McConnell says the next presidential debate could be held remotely via videoconference after Trump tests positive for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Trump experiencing mild Covid symptoms: Why the first week matters nbcnews.com
Trump had close contact with "dozens" on trip after White House learned he was exposed to COVID-19. Trump traveled to a fundraiser after Hope Hicks already tested positive and he was "feeling poorly" salon.com
Trump Kept Regular Schedule After Learning Close Aide Had Covid bloomberg.com
Map: President Trump’s travels the week he tested positive for Covid-19 nbcnews.com
QAnon, the far-right, and some left-wingers are all spreading conspiracies about Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis businessinsider.com
GOP donors panic after coming close to Trump at fundraiser hours before his positive Covid-19 test cnbc.com
Trump experiencing "mild symptoms" of the Coronavirus newsday.com
Biden, Harris express wishes for speedy 'recovery' after Trump's positive coronavirus test foxnews.com
Trump and Melania 'paid the price': Chinese propaganda mocks president after COVID-19 diagnosis - The editor-in-chief of one of China's state-run media outlets suggested that President Donald Trump and the US first lady, Melania Trump, "paid the price" by contracting the coronavirus. businessinsider.com
Putin sends Trump a telegram to wish him speedy recovery from COVID-19: agencies cite Kremlin (Reuters) reuters.com
Trump coronavirus: Pence ‘praying for full recovery’ of president and first Lady Melania after positive test independent.co.uk
After Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, Trump, Biden appearances in Arizona next week unclear azcentral.com
Trump’s coronavirus infection is an indictment of his approach to the pandemic - The diagnosis is another reminder of his administration’s failure on Covid-19. vox.com
“No one knows where this is going to go”: Pandemonium inside the White House as Trump contracts COVID-19 vanityfair.com
Trump experiencing mild symptoms from COVID-19 telegraph.co.uk
Judge Amy Coney Barrett tests negative for COVID-19 after Trump contracts virus nydailynews.com
President Trump apparently has COVID-19 thebulletin.org
Stocks Fall After Trump Tests Positive for Covid-19 nytimes.com
Twitter users predicted Trump's October COVID-19 diagnosis dailydot.com
White House learned of Hicks's positive test before Trump left for fundraiser: Meadows thehill.com
[GOP donors 'freaking out' after coming close to Trump at fundraiser hours before his positive Covid-19 test](https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/02/gop-donors-panic-after-coming-close-to-trump-at-fundraiser-hours-before-positive-covid-19-test.html?__source=sharebar twitter&par=sharebar)
Chris Wallace Says He's Getting Tested for Coronavirus After Being Exposed to Trump During Debate — "I don't think there's any question it's going to raise questions again about how seriously the president has taken the coronavirus," Wallace said Friday. people.com
Trump's Covid diagnosis upends campaign, presents challenge for Biden — "This election isn't about Trump getting Covid, it's about America getting Covid," one Democratic strategist said. nbcnews.com
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: Trump 'feeling mild symptoms,' but 'energetic'; Bidens praying for Trumps - live updates usatoday.com
At 74 and obese, Covid-19 could be very serious for Donald Trump telegraph.co.uk
John Cleese Revels in Donald Trump's COVID-19 Diagnosis — The 'Monty Python' icon has made it clear in the past he is not a fan of the president's and often criticizes him via social media. hollywoodreporter.com
What Trump’s Positive Coronavirus Test Means for the Presidential Campaign newyorker.com
Pelosi: Trump Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines Was ‘A Brazen Invitation For This To Happen’ m.huffpost.com
The Surprising Leftists Who Actually Wished Trump Well After COVID Diagnosis townhall.com
How Will Trump’s Positive COVID-19 Test Affect The Election? fivethirtyeight.com
Trump campaign did not notify Biden of positive coronavirus test thehill.com
President Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for the coronavirus opb.org
Trump downplayed Hope Hicks' Covid diagnosis on Fox hours before announcing he also tested positive cnn.com
Mary Trump Slams President After Coronavirus Diagnosis: ‘Wear a F*cking Mask’ thedailybeast.com
Trump's age and weight could put him at higher risk for severe coronavirus infection cbsnews.com
Will Trump’s COVID-19 Infection Change the Way He Manages the Pandemic? It Didn’t for the Leaders of Brazil and the U.K. time.com
Trump's busy week before his positive Covid-19 test – in pictures - US news theguardian.com
Timeline of Donald Trump’s activities in week coronavirus hit home mlive.com
Global stocks fall, dollar gains after Trump gets coronavirus uk.reuters.com
The latest coronavirus test results for Trump’s advisers and allies washingtonpost.com
Sen Rob Portman, Rep Jim Jordan, Jon Husted will get COVID tests after being around Donald Trump beaconjournal.com
Trump’s coronavirus infection is the result of his deadly, foolish recklessness latimes.com
Positive! Trump’s Covid Bungling Now Takes a Personal Toll thenation.com
Boris Johnson, who almost died of covid-19, wishes Trump a ‘speedy recovery’ washingtonpost.com
Did President Trump Refer to the Coronavirus as a 'Hoax'? snopes.com
The world was already in chaos before Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, and now there is more uncertainty than ever businessinsider.com
Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus after Trump tests positive vox.com
Trump says he and first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus washingtonpost.com
Trump has coronavirus: Biden tests negative for COVID-19 after sharing debate stage with president - WATCH LIVE abc7ny.com
'Not a Tragic Accident—A Crime Scene': Critics Say Trump Covid Diagnosis a 'Culmination' of His Deadly Pandemic Response commondreams.org
After Trump's Positive Test, Here's The Status Of The Line Of Succession npr.org
Trump suggested US troops or police were to blame for infecting White House staff just before he tested positive for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Democratic nominee Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus after potential exposure, Trump's diagnosis cnbc.com
Schumer demands Senate coronavirus testing program after Trump diagnosis thehill.com
Flights for Donald Trump's Wisconsin rallies canceled after president tests positive for COVID-19 madison.com
Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus after Trump tests positive businessinsider.com
Trump's coronavirus diagnosis guarantees this election will be about everything he has tried to avoid cnn.com
The stock market's fear gauge surges 12% after President Trump tests positive for COVID-19 news.sky.com
Trump Team Knew of Hicks’ Positive Test—but Went Ahead With Golf Club Fundraiser thedailybeast.com
InfoWars’ DeAnna Lorraine Claims ‘the Left’ May Have Given Trump COVID-19 Through His Debate Mic rightwingwatch.org
Getting COVID-19 Is Probably Not a Brilliant Ploy for Sympathy That Will Boost Trump’s Reelection Chances slate.com
House Probe Into Trump's Failed Covid-19 Response Shows "Unprecedented, Coordinated" Political Interference commondreams.org
This Republican senator is the early leader for worst take on Trump's coronavirus diagnosis cnn.com
Chris McDonald ‘Wouldn’t Put it Past’ Democrats to Infect Trump With COVID-19 to Stop the Presidential Debates rightwingwatch.org
Trump supporter potentially exposed to COVID-19 from RNC chair's visit cincinnati.com
GOP senator on Judiciary panel tests positive for Covid-19 days after meeting with Trump's nominee cnn.com
Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario sets new record with 732 reported cases; Trump, first lady test positive for virus; Biden tests negative thestar.com
[Politico] Trump coronavirus diagnosis leaves lawmakers exposed politico.com
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel says she has COVID-19, hours after Trump 6abc.com
Nancy Pelosi Says Donald Trump's Actions Were 'Brazen Invitation' to Catch COVID newsweek.com
Trump Has Repeatedly Downplayed COVID-19. What Will He Do Now That He Has It? buzzfeednews.com
No, Trump Isn’t Faking COVID In A Master Scheme To Vanquish Biden talkingpointsmemo.com
Trump Could Only Ignore the Reality of Coronavirus for So Long jacobinmag.com
Trump’s ‘positive for COVID-19’ tweet is his most ‘liked’ post ever marketwatch.com
Trump’s refusal to wear a face mask is a catastrophe A face mask might have protected Trump — and the people around him — from the coronavirus. vox.com
Schumer says Trump coronavirus diagnosis shows what happens 'when you ignore science' foxnews.com
Sen. Mike Lee, who met with Trump Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett, tests positive for COVID-19 usatoday.com
Nancy Pelosi says continuity of government is ‘always in place’ after Trump tests positive for Covid-19 cnbc.com
Naomi Klein: I Fear Trump Will Exploit His COVID Infection to Further Destabilize the Election democracynow.org
PolitiFact - Trump’s health and COVID-19: Here’s what we know politifact.com
Confusion, concern infiltrate White House after Trump’s positive test politico.com
Putin, Who Has Spent Almost Six Months In Isolation To Avoid The Coronavirus, Sent Trump A Get Well Note buzzfeednews.com
Trumpworld delighted in cruelty. Now that Trump has COVID, it demands empathy. businessinsider.com
Where Trump went (and who he was with) leading up to his coronavirus diagnosis politico.com
Biden tests negative for COVID-19, reminds folks to 'wear a mask' after being mocked by Trump for mask at debate usatoday.com
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Rolan Garros Men's Singles Round 1 Matchup featuring jaguars & potatos

Another tournament another app to download. Goot-bye US Open app. Another week of typing F into google chrome before realizing the site starts with an R. The French are classy. But who was Roland Garros? Was he, a fictitious dragon who ruled over the Alps and the Bay of Biscay and all that lay in between? Or was he a French aviator and pilot during World War I? Over the next two weeks, we’ll get to the bottom of this. I know which way I’m leaning.
PS that is Querrey in the photo if you're on mobile, not me
Djokovic Ymer : Novak’s biggest win at the French Open is having Thiem and Nadal on the opposite side of the draw. A healthy reward for the #1 player in the world, and one that will mean a very wide open draw and a very enjoyable snackathon while he watches the other semifinal. Novak, or Snack Attack as he’s known to his close friends and family, will be hungies for this one after a very odd day of frustration against Carreño Busta at the US Open led to a disqualification. Novak won the Rome event with relative ease and is as close to a frontrunner as someone other than Nadal can be at this event.
Ymer has been steadily improving but is still at the top of the challenger level when it comes to clay. This won’t be close, but it’s good to see Ymer stringing together a few seasons of appearances in the majors. Djokovic in 3.
Berankas Dellien : Ricardas Berankas may be closer than he appears. After a good hardcourt mini-swing, Berankas has been absent from the clay warmups. He’s never really been the best on clay although he plays a solid baseline game, and this mostly because while he’s consistent, he struggles to hit through the court on slower surfaces. Dellien on the other hand, does his best work on clay. He’s been losing matches you’d expect him to have a better chance in and hasn’t had many bright points leading up to the break. With Djokovic in the next round and Berankis on his worst surface with minimal warmup, this is a must-win for Dellien. He’s struggled to find the finish line but he’ll have ample chances here, and his defending is similar to Munar’s in terms of lockdown baselining Dellien in 4 or he is likely headed off the tour.
Galan Norrie : This is a brilliant opportunity for Daniel. He’s been hinting at a big run on clay and overcoming a lot of the gatekeepers of the challenger tour, but a lot of third set losses have plagued him, and while it’s considered a short stretch of tour, the clay events are deep with talent. Norrie has ventured to the South American swing once or twice, with relatively poor results. He can be a frustrating opponents at his peak, but his backhand doesn’t get through the court well and he’s just a bit inconsistent with results. He’ll still be a favorite here because playing in the spotlight in a major is something that takes time to adjust to, but Galan will make it close and could eke out a win since he’s still a developing player. Galan in 5.
Sandgren Hurkacz : Sandgren hasn’t had a terrible time on the dirt this year, qualifying for events the last two weeks and unfortunately running into guys who are simply better than him. Almost beating Caruso is a great step, and a year ago that would make him a bit of a favorite to beat Hurkacz. Those of us who watched his matches with Rublev and Schwartzman saw a different Hurkacz from the inconsistent but promising server that’s been exhausting bettors while losing after winning the first set time and time again. Hurkacz was hitting very clean and generating winners relatively easily, and while his serve left him late against Diego, playing a returner like that in a long match will do that to you.
Sandgren and Hurkacz will both be hitting a heavy ball here and looking to hold behind big serves, but one of them has had higher level success in the past few weeks, and I think Hubert, or “Hubert”, as he’s known down at the ‘ol library, has the better serve and bigger groundstrokes. Hurkacz in 3-4, and please when you look at Hurkacz picture him wearing glasses and looking up from his wooden table anytime someone coughs across the room.
Garin Kohlschreiber : This is a good start for Garin, whose physical state is somewhat dependent on Tsitspas. A finals appearance on Saturday will make for a tough turnaround, but I don’t think he’ll withdraw from a major, and given Kohl’s loss to a super-hampered Fognini last week a little bit of fatigue won’t be too much of an issue. That being said, Garin’s game is largely dependent on physical effort and being a ball machine. I would say it’s split 95% that, and 5% having elegant hair. Kohlschreiber won’t just disappear and if Garin is a ghost of himself, he’ll lose, but that’ll be a big dip in level in a short period of time, and the fatigue I expect to hurt Garin’s run at the French is more of a 3rd-4th round type of struggle. Garin in 4.
Humbert Polmans : Polmans name backwards is Snamlop, and that’s important because it’s now the second thing you know about his clay game. Polmans wears a hunting cap and plays a very energetic and consistent game. In normal circumstances he’d have a puncher’s chance, and the lucky losers in tour events are classic for pulling a number of upsets (like Bublik this week) but this is not the spot. Humbert played great in Hamburg and lost early enough that he’ll have a few days to travel and get ready for RG. Humbert in 3.
Vesely Broady : These two will be very happy to play each other first round. Vesely has only just started to eke out wins on this clay swing and Broady has just qualified for the first time, beating Polmans and Kuhn along the way. These aren’t the type of wins that suggest he’ll beat Vesely, but Vesely’s struggles are the kind of thing that could see lower-tier players reel him in. I expect Broady’s timing to be a bit better than Vesely’s to start as he’s had a few matches on these courts, but Vesely really is a tour level player at the end of the day, so I believe both players will have some difficulty pulling away here. Someone in 5. The Vesely that lost to Vukic in a challenger loses. The Vesely that played a decent match against Humbert wins.
Majchrzak Khachanov : If you got into a car accident with a basket full of the alphabet, you miiiiiiiiight get this combination of letters. Kamil just won a challenger in Prostejov, beating some quality players and Andujar in the finals. Everyone who knows Andujar knows he was raised with jaguars, and wins two titles in a row every year then disappears. Majchrzak interrupting this is a very brave feat, but also one that means this isn’t the one-way traffic that a Khachanov Majchrzak match normal would be. The problem for Kamil has been distancing himself against mid-tier opponents, and that is exactly what Khachanov big hitting and aggressive serving have done. Karen struggled against Lajovic last week, but that’s a puzzle he hasn’t solved yet, and likely won’t impact his performance here. He’s got a better shot at excelling in the big moments, and outlasting Kamil’s steady play. Khachanov in 4-5.
Baustista Agut Gasquet : This is a sleeper of a great match. The way Gasquet moves around the court in between points is deceptive given how well he covers the court, and his game looks a bit more devoted to flair than it is to hitting winners. Still, his results over the past decade have been brilliant and his serving is sneaky good at times. Zero warmup matches leading into this is the polar opposite of RBA’s commitment to getting in hard yards on the surface, and that’ll be a big edge for RBA. Not his best surface (I’ll stop harping on this eventually), but RBA is playing some good ball and Gasquet is half a question mark heading into this week. Playing at home and not sporting any visual injury means Gasquet won’t just disappear, but I think rust will be a factor. RBA in 4-5.
Uchiyama Balasz : Uchiyama is most famous for being the inspiration for that Nas song, but his second claim to fame is being a helluva tennis player. Many bettors had genuine panic attacks in his first round loss to PCB in last month’s US Open, and having that fresh in their minds could lead them astray here. Attila Balasz is one of the pure clay specialists on tour, and plays a very unique style of tennis. Tons of dropshots, a strangely effective but flailing backhand, and an affinity for hitting forehand winners from 10 feet behind the baseline are on display from him, as well as one of the best kick serves you’ll see. Given Uchiyama got the business from Duckworth last week, this should be a W for Balasz, who can trouble the winner of RBA/Gasquet but likely can’t win. Balasz in 3.
Pella Caruso : Pella has allegedly been diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma, which is an inflamed nerve in the metatarsal region of the foot. I’ve dealt with nerve issues in the metatarsals after breaking a toe recently, and it is the strangest thing. It’s nonstop pain, even when you’re sitting down, but you can still train. Your foot feels like it’s on fire, but you can still walk and you know nothing is wrong. I’m not sure what treatment he’s getting for it, but the stop and start aspect of tennis is going to really preclude him from doing much on tour while this is an issue, and I believe that’s what is leading to his subpar results since the restart.
Caruso on the other hand has become a household name lately, and although he’s done better on hardcourt than clay in the restart, this is a winnable match for him. I’m just not sold on Pella’s physical ability, and Caruso has the power to break down what is normally a rock-solid defense. Caruso in 3. Disclaimer : There’s a big tendency amongst gamblers to jump on lines because they think they have some injury info. Just keep in mind, the information the general public has is always less than what the books have. If anything, a question mark about an injury is a good reason to avoid betting on a match at all.
Millman Carreño Busta : For a while I thought Millman had a knack for drawing guys he’d have a real war with, but it’s just his style. He doesn’t serve aces but he has a decent serve. He doesn’t hit winners but he swings for the fences on the forehand. He doesn’t have much of a backhand but he puts it in play in decent spots. It’s just very difficult for Millman to overwhelm anyone, and very difficult for players to create offense against what he offers. PCB didn’t look great against Nadal, but two weeks of rest will have him in good shape to compete here. I do expect him to make a decent run at this event, and this is a good test to see where his game is at after a huge payday in the USO. PCB is a professional, but I don’t put it past him to struggle to find form/motivation for a while. PCB in 4-5.
Struff Tiafoe : This is the first line I’ll mention. Tiafoe comes in at +170 for this match, which is much closer than I’d set it. Tiafoe isn’t really a productive player on clay, and lost to local hero Musetti in a challenger last week. Struff blew up with a big lead in the third against Khachanov, and lost quickly in Rome as well, but he’s had some great clay results, and I expect him to come through very well here. The Tiafoe we saw at the USO may be a repeat appearance, but this would be the best win of his career on the dirt, so the line (especially after his loss to Musetti) makes me wary. Struff in 4.
Altmaier Lopez : Altmeir is a challenger level player with a big claycourt game. He plays pretty exclusively on the dirt, and while Lopez is a great server, he may take an L here. Altmaier came through qualifying fairly easily, and Lopez is a wildcard for his effort level and service efficiency, but I’d rather back a qualifier in-form than a maybe of an offensive veteran on a slow surface. Altmaier in 4.
Harris Popyrin : This is a nice matchup, as both of these guys wouldn’t be expect to make the 2nd round at RG very often. I’ve been big on Popyrin’s game in the past, but Harris has had the better win in recent times on clay, beating Caruso in two straight. This will largely be decided by serves, and in the interest of honesty, I haven’t watched many of their recent matches. Popyrin was better for a time, but that seems to have flipped. Someone with their hat backwards in 4.
Pospisil Berretini : Oddsmakers have set the games total for this at 32, which given Pospisil’s serve is a bit low. Vasek is by no means a great clay player, and Berretini is going to make quick work of this, but I do think Pospisil will keep him on court for at least two hours. Berretini in 3.
Medvedev Fucsovics : Spooky line for this one, with Medvedev (who regularly comes in at -1000 against solid opponents) only a 4 to 1 favorite here. Fucsovics hasn’t played any clay warmups and although Med lost to Humbert it was a side event and Humbert played lights out tennis. I guess the premise we’re going with here is that Medvedev’s style isn’t great on clay, but I think he’ll have a good event here as he was a bit more impatient than usual against Humbert. Medvedev in 4.
Mannarino Ramos-Vinolas : If you like lefties who’ve been on tour forever and never change their game, this is the match for you. Local robot ARV has had a disappointing start to his clay season, courtesy of an unexplainably good Bublik. He’s the type of player who generally needs a bit more time to work the point, and doesn’t go for clean winners very often. A bit like a more defensive version of Delbonis, ARV will have a good chance here to get a win. Mannarino has potential to make this close because ARV hasn’t been winning and that mental state is sometimes a difficult hurdle. He’ll also be playing at home which has historically been a huge boost for French players. It’ll depend largely on the condition of ARV’s game, but it will be difficult given Mannarino’s controlled game and ARV’s defense for either player to pull away. ARV in 5.
Halys Giron : These guys just aren’t that good, but they’re in a great section of the draw. Halys has been hanging around the challenger tour, but hasn’t made a great deal of impact. Giron has had a more impressive stretch of wins on tour, but none of them have come on clay. The crowd will help Halys, and I think he’s a bit more comfortable on clay, but Giron is the better player at the end of the day. Not a lot to separate these two. Giron in 5.
Querrey Rublev : I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about Querrey. It’s easy to say he’s washed up or he doesn’t care or he’s only good on grass and fast hardcourt. What’s difficult to do though is to remember that he did this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ICHm96chw&ab_channel=TennisWizard
That is all. Rublev might be coming off a title win, and the courts will be slower, but Querrey’s work on this planet is already complete. Rublev in 4. PS an anonymous source has recently informed me that Rublev’s house in Russia is actually structured like a hamster emporium and he wears a cape and refers to himself only as Tubelev. Vetting my source now.
Monteiro Basilashvili : Monteiro is somewhere fancy winning a challenger as we speak. I love this guy’s work ethic and he plays like he’s Nadal’s wild cousin who mountain climbs and just plays tennis when he’s in town. The forehand is big and he’s going against a guy who hasn’t notched a win since he came back to the tour. Commenting on legal issues isn’t great, but Basilashvili is facing some domestic assault charges back in his home country and there’s some notion that this is not great for his mental state. If they were both at their peak Nikoloz wins, but he’s in the doldrums and Monteiro is winning tons of matches. Monteiro in 3.
Lajovic Mager : Another tough draw for Mager. After getting a motivated Dimitrov he goes up against Lajovic who found his chops last week in a major way in Hamburg. Mager can absolutely crush the ball but he needs some times to find these shots, and Lajovic moves his opponents exceptionally well. A few missed opportunities against Tsitsipas have afforded Lajovic a few days of rest, and he should be good to roll through this one. Lajovic in 3-4.
Djere Anderson : This one of my favorite matchups in the first round. Djere is a great claycourter and plays harder than most when he gets in a rhythm, but he’s been struggling to win matches lately. Anderson’s return from injury has been similar to Nishikori’s as far as results, but not style. Nishikori has struggled to keep the ball in the court. Anderson seems to be able to play his normal game in stretches, but is hesitant to do so. It’s like watching a baby deer test it’s legs out. In a 2/3 format I think Anderson might sprint away, but here I like Djere to make this match physical and beat Anderson, who’ll be happy to go into the indoor season where things are a bit easier on the ol deer bits. Djere in 4-5.
Mayot Davidovich Fokina : Mayot is not the worst, but he’s not the best. Rublev vs Fokina is probably the best 2nd round we’re going to see in this event, and barring injury we’ll get a look at it. Fokina’s loss against Lajovic looked bad since Dusan was slumping, but looking at his form the next few rounds it makes sense. It’s like playing Paire on a day where he makes no errors and serves 16 aces. You come off the court like wait, where’s christmas? ADF in 3.
Shapovalov Simon : Shap had some clay wins that he hasn’t in the past. It’s nice to see the slower surface giving him time to really craft some winners. There aren’t many holes in his game, and he seems to only struggle once opponents settle onto his patterns since he tries to hit through the court on so many shots. When you see the guy shifting to where you’re going there’s a tendency to try to add some juice. Simon’s physical struggles aren’t public, but there’s something off about him. Age/fatigue/injury. I don’t know. The backhand is still beautiful and he’s still a great player, but he just can’t win lately, and this is the wrong opponent to be moving poorly against. Shap in 3. PS if you haven’t seen Shap’s rap video yet don’t see it. It’s not to be seen, like a rare butterfly or a peanut butter jelly sandwich your child hid in their closet for some reason 4 years ago.
Johnson Carballes Baena : Another match I feel good about. RCB is the RBA of ARV. His ability to push the pace without really hitting for winners is a quality the best claycourters all possess. Johnson can play some clay, but usually only in the USA event that consists of hardcourt players playing each other. This will be somewhat close as Johnson is decent on serve and RCB retired from his last match. The appeal of a big check at a major is such that people will make the trip even if they’re not at their best, and this one is RCB’s if he’s healthy, but Johnson’s if he isn’t. No way to pick, but I’m pulling for RCB, as he’ll be the better round 2 against Shap.
Martin Sousa : The hits keep coming. Sousa simply can’t win a match. He doesn’t seem to be playing terribly, just dealing with a huge slump. Martin will know how that feels, as he’s been taking first round losses when he finally makes his way into main tour events for a while. That changed at the start of this year though, and Martin has been a difficult out on clay in recent months. That likely will give him an edge here, and the confidence being based in results rather than in coaches puffery is likely to keep him pushing where Sousa will have doubts creeping in. Martin in 5.
Barrere Dimitrov : Barrere looked like he’d be making a big impact on tour this year before the break. There are some winners and some losers in any sporting revolution, and halting his progress seems to put him in the loser category. Draws are important, and while the solid hitter could have a chance against the new Kanye, this seems to be the old Kanye. Dimitrov tried exceptionally hard to beat Shapovalov in their Rome test, and it was good to see him playing well against even if the overarching idea is that the pinnacle of the tour has kinda passed him by. Dimitrov in 4-5.
Krajinovic Milojevic : Tough pull for Milojevic, who plays excellent dirt and worked very hard to qualify, notching wins against Leo Mayer and Yannick Maden. Kraj is pretty solid on clay and playing his best tennis the past few weeks. He’ll have to work hard to put Milojevic away, but he should do so. Krajinovic in 4.
Bedene Rinderknech : Strasbourg is in France, and Rinderknech is French. I like it. The 25 year old has been doing excellent recently on clay, and it’s nice to see him get a wildcard. Bedene isn’t the type of player who’s unbeatable, and Rinder’s win against Marc-Andrea Huesler (who should be in this event) shows he’s able to compete at tour level. The “home crowd” issue is probably getting annoying to read about now, but there’s some real comfort zone issues with the French players that lets them play comfortably there. Bedene is still a step above, but this could be close. Bedene in 5.
Laaksonen Cuevas : Henri never blinked in the qualifying, and this is a guy who does way more with way less. He trains his fitness at least as hard as anyone on tour, and while his game is pretty one-dimensional, he gets a lot out of it. He reminds me a bit of a local club champion who plays a tour pro and doesn’t just fold up and hope for their adulation. The serve is big and that’s the main weapon, and he’ll need it against Cuevas. Cuevas doesn’t give up much in the way of rallies and uses his variety to expose his opponents. Laaksonen won’t get tired, but he will have difficult ending baseline rallies, and his somewhat predictable approach is something that Cuevas is well suited to defend against. Cuevas in 4.
Munar Tsitsipas : This is a sleeper for an upset, especially with Tsitsipas playing for a title tomorrow. Munar hasn’t shown the type of world-beating dominance I expected him to on clay, because frankly he is a bit small for the tour, but he has a Nadal-level (RIP my inbox) effort on the court. He is rock-solid from the baseline and has a great attitude. Some injuries have hampered his development but even with Tsitsipas playing his best tennis this won’t be a walkover. The huge edge in serving for Tsitsipas means it’ll be tough for Munar to really apply pressure, but I think it’ll be a similar affair as his match with Garin where he seems in control until he begins making errors. Tsitsipas is still prone to shanking random rally balls and returning poorly. After talking up Munar’s chances I still think Tsitsipas may win in straight sets, but it’s one of those matches where I’d never give the spread. Tsitsipas in 3 difficult sets. PS Munar, or Lil Buttons as he’s known in the tennis rap community, buttons all the buttons on his shirt and that’s cute.
Monfils Bublik : Tough draw for both. Monfils has looked half motivated, as if he wants to play but can’t bring himself to until the pressure’s off or it would be an amazing comeback. It’s time to stop looking at these moments as a slump as this is pretty much how he has spent his whole career. When conditions are perfect, he thrives. These are outliers though, not his real level. Bublik won a bunch of sets of tennis this past week and had his chances against Garin. My initial thought looking at this match was that the games total of 35 seemed low. Bublik is likely to hold serve moderately well, and Monfils is likely to get drawn into the skill contest that Bublik represents with his dropshots/serve and volleys/underhand serves. I think this has potential to be the most entertaining match, and while Bublik is looking very good, Monfils has a lot of time here to play himself into a mental state where he can fight. Monfils in 5.
Gomez Sonego : Gomez and Sonego will both like their chances here. Sonego’s been losing, but to quality opponents like FAA and Ruud. Gomez qualified and got a nice article written about him, but his game has been legit and he’s been right around tour level for 2-3 seasons now. Gomez actually beat Seyboth Wild in the qualifiers, which is a huge win. Sonego really hasn’t won many matches, and that’ll be in his head a bit against a qualifier who is hungry to prove himself. Gomez in 5.
Thompson Albot : Our boy Radu hasn’t really been winning much since the tour’s return, which I think puts an asterisk next to the entire sport. It’s bad form for Radu not to get wins, and I believe that’s what Pospisil’s union is mainly focused on. Thompson was awfully disappointing against Coric in the USO, and is pretty bad on clay, but this again is a nice section of the draw with Fritz waiting in round two (I say that now but by the next paragraph I’ll convince myself he’s going to lose). Thompson in 4.
Machac Fritz : Is it legal to cheer? Machac’s recent results don’t say he can beat a player like Fritz, but he has beaten some players who can beat some players who can beat a player like Fritz. Fritz did well against Travaglia, and likely has the edge here. Some home-cooking for the 19 year old will be a factor if he manages to grab a set, but he’ll have to get there on his own and Fritz’ hitting may be a big factor in this one. Fritz in 3-4 but I’ll be crossin my fingas.
Coric Gombos : I see some people on twitter disrespecting my man Gombos. I’m lying, I don’t go near twitter, and only made an account so I can post a portrait of myself. You can view it here :
https://twitter.com/blurryturtle/header_photo
Gombos probably can’t win this, but he is the Gombosiest. Coric in fouric.
Rodionov Chardy : Is Chardy really tryna play tennis anymore? It seems like he’d have been making a retirement announcement this year but the pandemic ruined it. Rodionov did great in the qualifiers and winning is a habit. Chardy has the skill and serving to outclass Rodionov but he just hasn’t been doing the work lately. The upset is somewhat likely in my mind. Rodionov in 4-5.
Moutet Giustino : Local rapgod Corentin Moutet is a tiny little nugget of a player, who plays a big big game. Both have been winning matches lately, and this will be a tight contest. If this gets deep, I like Moutet as his experience winning 5-set matches is a big factor and his game is better after some miles are on both opponents since he thrives on his speed but plays a bit too far behind the baseline. Giustino in 4 or Moutet in 5.
Kecmanovic Schwartzman : We all know Kecmanovic is a great baseliner. He’s one of the tours more competent pushers, but Diego is just a better version of him. Diego was at his best in Rome, and I expect a good run here. Schwartzman in fourtzman.
I feel like there are more matches than usual. Also always nice when they don’t release the qualifier matchups until the day before the tournament. Thus ends my gripes.
Wawrinka Murray : Is it okay if I think they’ll both lose? Wawrinka played one of the funnier challenger events, losing the first set in almost every single round then winning the match and the title. Murray has hinted at the old Murray at times, but fans have grown a bit sadpants when watching him struggle with mid-level tour players. Murray hasn’t played, and Wawrinka looks like he hasn’t wanted to. The edge here goes to Wawrinka, but I expect a great contest as Murray has no quit in him and Stan has shown a prolific ability to find struggle where there is none. Wawrinka in 5.
Koepfer Hoang : Tough wildcard draw for Hoang, though a year ago he’d have been ecstatic. Hoang’s been winning locally, and I wouldn’t sleep on him here. He has a great serve, a big backhand, and is still developing. Home court advantage adds another wrinkle, but Koepfer will likely be physically recovered from his runs in Rome/Hamburg, and he really showed he can elevate his game and cover the court remarkably during that period. Koepfer in 4, and hopefully he’ll be the wakeup call Wawrinka needs in round 2.
Gaston Janvier : Two wildcards playing each other. Good for them. Probably Gaston in 4 (he has the much cooler name/hits a bit bigger)
Nishioka Auger-Alliassime : This one is interesting given FAA’s struggle to find his serving last week. Squishioka can be very frustrating in rallies, but he just hasn’t been able to win matches on clay. Clay is more of a big hitters surface, even though it’s slow. The work ethic is there, but not the offense. A disaster of a day for FAA if he loses this one; I don’t rule it out but it’s unlikely, and Bublik was in great form which explains half the loss. FAA in 3-4.
Ruud Sugita : Ruud has been excellent for years, and now he is looking like a real threat against anyone outside the top ten, and a big hurdle for those inside it. Sugita is a nice guy, but Ruud in 3.
Paul Duckworth : Tommy Paul’s best surface is clay? He really has shown an ability to perform and Duckworth just enjoyed a zipping in his last outing. One way trafffic, and Paul/Ruud in the second round is a great matchup. Paul in 3.
Opelka Sock : Say no to Jack Sock. It is addictive when this half boy/half potato starts winning matches. I think it continues here. Opelka has played no warmups, and moving on clay for such a tall fellow is really tough. He’ll have a tough time hanging with Sock’s pace, and the easier opponent (defensively) is likely to make Sock really focus on hitting to the open court. Sock in 4.
Honestly you’d tell me if there’s extra matches right? I feel like some guys are playing twice.
Cilic Thiem : Cilic is going to be sick of Thiem by the end of this one, but as a fan this is the perfect early round for Thiem. After playing no warmup matches the concern is rust, and so I’m excited to see Thiem have a match where he has to work right away. Typing that makes me a bit scared, as Cilic has played some ok tennis in the warmup, beating Goffin 2, 2. Still, this sub’s affinity for Thiem’s tumbly bum won’t let him lose in the first round, and as he gets going I think we’ll see him kinda shape into a threat for the title. Thiem in 4.
Zverev Novak : Novak isn’t great on clay. Trouble is, neither is Zverev. After a major finals, I don’t picture a guy like Zverev coming in with a smaller ego. I think there will be some harrowing moments in this, and if Herbert plays well in round one I like him to take at least two sets off Zverev. Zverev in 4-5, and I’m interested to see if he’s on the “slow start gradual turnup” path again, as that’s a terrible plan on clay for a guy who’s prone to frustration.
Mmoh Herbert : Mmoh did well to qualify, besting Renzo Olivo. Add in that Hyeon Chung was in their draw, and you really have a lack of offense in that section. Herbert has been bad recently, losing to a number of players he’d normally beat. His game depends largely on his serving, and while he’s one of the best players at net outside the big 3 (I’d put him first/Sock second) he needs to get there to be effective. Mmoh is a defensive test, but Herbert likely won’t want to get dragged into extended rallies, so this will look a bit like a low-rent version of Garin vs Bublik. I think Herbert at home gets the job done, but it may take some patches of trial and error to crack Mmoh’s defense. Herbert in 4-5.
Delbonis Londero : I was initially excited to back Londero a bunch after his USO run, as I know his best surface is clay. This is his second match against his countryman though, and it is a poor matchup for him as Delbonis has been playing decent. Delbonis his big and segments the game nicely, so the pace of the ball is fast, but the progression of rallies is slow. I don’t expect Londero to lose in straight sets, but it’s hard to back him after losing to Delbonis a few weeks ago. Delbonis in 4-5, but for betting porpoises I’d recommend avoiding this altogether.
Cecchinato De Minaur : Hehe. Finally stringing wins together, Cecchinato’s reward is a maindraw against a guy who is a nightmare matchup. Cecchinato plays a classic claycourt game. Big power and deft dropshots. He needs time to produce the first of those, and De Minaur takes that away. The dropshots are cute, but De Minaur covers the net better than most on tour. He lost to Koepfer in his only warmup on clay, and Cecchinato has won a bunch of matches recently, but this is a fairly even matchup. Both are excellent frontrunners, and I think the first few sets will be very competitive. Hard to pick against De Minaur in a long contest early in the event, and Cecchinato’s defense will likely be an issue if ADM is serving well. De Minaur in 4.
Paire Kwon : Paire still avoiding multiple matches, which is an excellent strategy for his longevity as a pro athlete. He basically could lose to anyone at this point, and his retirement in Hamburg appeared to be “I’m tired”. This is a bad sign, and worse still, Kwon is not a player who’ll beat him quick or represent a dominant opponent he can just tank against. This is one I’d advise listening to rather than watching, as Paire’s outbursts will be better than his play. I’m somewhat expecting Kwon to win, although this is similar to Nishioka/FAA where the more stable player lacks the weapons to just win in dominant fashion. Kwon via retirement.
Coria Jung : Coria is a wall. Jung is not a wall. Why not be a wall? Coria in 4.
Bonzi Ruusuvuori : Bonzi beat Karlovic which makes me sad, but I’m happy to see the challenger journeyman get a shot in a grandslam. Ruusuvuori is slowly becoming a household name, and his clay game isn’t adept but it’s a notch better than Bonzi. Fatigue may be a factor here not in hampering Bonzi’s game, but in Ruusuuvuori’s being more crisp. Ruu-uuu-u—- in 4.
Sinner Goffin : One of the sketchier first round matchups, what with wildcards playing each other and Coria and Jung going at it. This happens though, and it’s our gift to watch it. Sinner is one of the more promising prospects on the tour in a long time, and with the next gen guys finally starting to come through with big results and solid play, seeing a guy who seems more mentally stable than they were early on in their career is even better. Goffin losing quickly to Cilic isn’t a great sign, and he’s always a threat to go elfmode and stifle his opponents ability to play offense, but I think Jannik’s serving will give him a small edge here. Sinner in 4.
Fognini Kukushkin : Fognini had ankle surgeries, or else his recent string of poor performances and losses would be his normal string of poor performances and losses. He doesn’t seem willing to press himself yet, and this is another Paire/Kwon style matchup. Kukushkin will take any victory he gets a look at, but isn’t going to overwhelm his opponent. Fognini’s impatiance against Ruud did include a number of shots that missed by very little, and on the slower courts in Paris he may land a greater percentage of these. I expect Fognini to play a bit better, and this will be about optics. If Fognini feels like he looks bad or is in a spot where him trying would risk his ego, he’ll fold, and Kukushkin will win. This is sad to say about a professional athlete, but Fognini has the ankle situation to fall back on, so if he can’t win,he’ll just swing for the fences and inspect his racquet until it’s over. He’s very pretty tho. Kukushkin in 4, hopefully.
Martinez Vukic : Martinez was the best in the qualifying, and Vukic was in the qualifying. Martinez in 3.
Korda Seppi : Korda is becoming a sleeper pick on tour, and Seppi is notoriously at his worst on clay since he hits such a flat ball. I think this will stretch deep, and I am tempted to give the edge to Korda given Seppi’s recent loss to Klahn and Musetti and Korda’s win against Karatsev, who has been one of the best players in the past month on clay on the challenger tour. Korda in 4.
Benchetrit Isner : Benchetrit can make this close since it’s on clay, but Isner should be able to get into tiebreakers, which makes predicting this almost as annoying as Isner bouncing the ball between his legs. The dude’s a muppet. Someone in 4 tiebreakers.
Evans Nishikori : Evans hasn’t been great, and Nishikori has been worse. Nishikori has looked like he was gaining control of rallies and immediately making errors for a few weeks now, and it’s frustrating to predict his matches because there’s that sense that he will find form at some point. Evans likely gets the W here but it will take a lot of work. Evans in 4-5.
Andujar Travaglia : “BEGONE,” commanded Andujar. I stood there speechless. “YOU ARE AN ILLUSION!” he bellowed, waking several colorful parrots who sat atop his head. I was not there. What he saw was only his vision of me, which had come to him in a dream commanded by the vines and souls of tropical frogs. Confident that I had gone, he hopped off his perch on the mountain peak, and began descending. Not in the usual way via legs and feet, but on the breeze of a thousand moths, while nearby shamans began making a thousand broths. Andujar is back, and I hate this matchup. Travaglia was brilliant on serve leading up to RG, and Andujar was a breath of fresh air on the challenger tour, notching win after win after win and rarely dropping a set. This is one I expect to go deep, as both players are at their best. Who will win? A man does not summon the future, lest it become the present. Shamans in 3.
Diez McDonald : idc
Gerasimov Nadal : So we all know what will happen if I suggest Nadal will struggle in a match. Luckily, I won’t have to here. Gerasimov’s movement isn’t good enough to trouble many players on clay, and Nadal is probably the most dominant single-surface player that tennis has ever seen. He looked pretty human last week against Diego, and his muscles were muscley, but not as muscley as usual. Where is his massive crab-arm? The winner of Travaglia/Andujar will be his first real test. Nadal in 2 somehow.
PS User Kuklachert runs a very fun picking contest if you're interested in discord ... check it out here https://www.reddit.com/tennis/comments/izhabroland_garros_tipping_competition/
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The case for #FlattentheCurve – summarising the contrarian position to elimination and lockdowns

Preface
As one of the regular ‘lockdown skeptics’ here, I thought it would be worthwhile more carefully laying out rationale on the essential points of the contrary position to the strategy of elimination (and lockdowns – note: plural). I would like to be able to start with laying out the position and then move into more detailed conversations and data-points in subsequent comments or posts. I do not imagine it is possible to address every nuance in a single discussion.
In being a skeptic of the current strategy, I tend to occupy a similar or adjacent position to several other regulars. However, I do not pretend to represent their position, nor am I necessarily adopting their positions either. As with all topics there is a spectrum of views.
So, the reasons for this post are three-fold:
  1. Articulate the position as clearly as possible.
  2. Engage with productive and considered critique; and
  3. Discover where common ground might be.
For the purposes of framing any discussion moving forward, it is worth calling out a couple of things :
So, in the words of our Premier… You right to go?
The premise – three essential assertions of an alternative strategy
Australia’s current strategy is being called “aggressive suppression” by the national cabinet and federal government. This is a bullshit term invented for political expediency and to avoid admission that the strategy changed because of our “early success”. I doubt anyone will vehemently disagree on that point, but for the purposes of clarity I am taking the goal of “zero community transmission” as broadly equivalent to elimination.
You will no doubt notice the adoption of the #FlattentheCurve moniker. This is both a jibe at the fact that the strategy changed and, more importantly, that “the curve” (community transmission) is inevitable and we will need to accept that fact (which I get into below).
The three essential assertions of the contrary position are as follows:
  1. Elimination is not a sustainable strategy.
  2. Avoiding SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 is an unrealistic and imagined goal. Instead, we should be evaluating our strategies with reference to mitigation of excess mortality against background mortality. The costs of those mitigations (including adverse impacts on lives and livelihoods) need to be balanced realistically against the potential benefits of those mitigations.
  3. Repeated and continued use of lockdowns (which is the currently preferred tool for attempting elimination) is inherently wasteful and deleterious to the public good.
It is important to recognise that the first and second assertions are more important than simply “opposing lockdowns”. Opposition to lockdowns is largely a product of holding the first two positions.
So, to understand why an alternative strategy might be better, we need first need unpack why elimination will not be sustainable. This alone is not fully sufficient because we must also weigh and observe the impacts of COVID-19 within the context of our established understanding of mortality. We also need to consider lockdowns and overall public policy (including border closures), and whether there are not better options available to us to address the virus moving forward.
A contrary strategy says that we must accept a level community transmission in those parts of our community that are not at significant mortality risk from the virus. Our failure to do so will mean our outcomes are no better than other countries and could well be much worse overall.
Sidebar: I predict that we will not see another lockdown in Australia like we have in Melbourne and Victoria even if there is another outbreak. There may be localised lockdowns or potentially lockdowns of a less populous cities. But, if the virus gets away again in Sydney or Melbourne, I cannot see the nation bearing another lockdown near this scale. Obviously, this prediction could be wrong, but if it eventuated then I expect it would be a trigger to change back to #FlattentheCurve.
Unpacking elimination and isolation
The first assertion is simple. We live in a globalised and interconnected world, and that is quite fundamental to how the country operates normally and how we remain a prosperous nation. To remain part of that world (and not become a hermit nation) we will need to open ourselves up at some point in the relatively near future. Ipso facto, the virus is going to get back into Australia at some point in the near future.
We are currently attempting to lockdown our borders just hard enough so that the virus cannot get through the quarantine layer until we have and deploy a vaccine. Although this is obviously very difficult and subject to failure (as shown by both Victoria and New Zealand) it is most certainly what we are trying to do right now. Aside from New Zealand, we are a real outlier on the world stage in this regard. We are the guinea pig countries for an experiment in lockdowns and eliminations.
Why is that important to recognise? In the normal course of life (i.e. absent the virus), we absolutely know that those countries which isolate themselves and their populations (or are isolated by others) tend to generate much poorer outcomes over time.
This brings us to some key assumptions. A successful strategy of elimination and temporary isolation relies on two critical things eventuating:
  1. A safe vaccine arriving and being deployed relatively quickly so that our condition for re-opening is met. The acceptable timeframes have not actually been stated by the government (which is a massive gap in the current strategy), but we can roughly guess that we have a general expectation for no later than mid-2021.
  2. That the vaccine is sufficiently effective to either prevent transmission of the virus or to largely attenuate the level of mortality that we are observing from COVID-19 in other countries. Again, we have a significant gap in the strategy, what are our expectations for attenuating mortality with a vaccine? This is absent too.
We could say the second point is far more important than the first (because avoidance of mortality is the implied goal), but both are necessary for the strategy to be successful. So, what sounds as simple as “eliminate and wait” is actually very difficult, an outlier compared to most of the world, and not without substantial risk of its own. We will come back to the hopes of the vaccine at a later stage.
SARS-CoV-2 transmission and COVID-19 mortality
It should be uncontroversial to say that the original models made assumptions regarding SARS-CoV-2 transmission and COVID-19 mortality which were significantly overstated. The trend of meta-analysis has consistently shown two things:
  1. Mortality is both much lower than originally feared (2%+) and is clearly stratified in the elderly and older populations with comorbidities. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.23.20160895v4.full.pdf
  2. Natural herd immunity benefits (note: not complete herd immunity) are accruing at lower transmission levels than originally assumed. Likely due to population heterogeneity, as well as climate factors https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6505/846
Recognising this is important, but why?
The data has changed, but our strategy has only become more rigid. We are less tolerant of the virus within the general community despite a lower actual risk. Preliminary observations are supporting a view that the virus becomes significantly less deadly to the population once a level of natural immunity is established, but this is not discussed by our government or health leaders. They have not come back to the public to explain what is being observed overseas and how this deviates from initial fears.
Regardless, let us all agree that COVID-19 is too serious a threat to simply let it run wild without any mitigation whatsoever. In other words, the contrary position is not a “let it rip” proposition. In fact, that is a lazy strawman thrown around by people who simply want to maintain the narrative they have already established rather than engaging in the fact there are multiple options open to us (more on this soon).
Perspective on mortality and tolerance of mortality
To properly engage in a conversation around whether our current strategy is the right one, you would need to recognise that background mortality, and acceptance of that mortality, is a feature of life, every year, in every country.
As a developed nation and reasonably educated populace, we know a few truths I hope:
This is the point where someone yells that I am happy to “sacrifice the old” and there is “no cost too high to save a life”. This is nonsense thinking. Have these people been asleep in every single year prior to this one?
Our society works by balancing a range of factors associated with health outcomes, economics (wealth and prosperity), personal rights, cultural norms, etc. etc... Public policy weighs all these factors (not just one factor) and by extension attributes a value to the various factors. In the real world, where resources are limited and trade-offs are real, sensible policy will attribute a value to life and a quality life year:
“Based on international and Australian research a credible estimate of the value of statistical life is $4.9m and the value of statistical life year is $213,000 in 2019 dollars.”
https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/value-of-statistical-life-guidance-note_0_0.pdf
What is particularly interesting about COVID-19 is how unmoored the political and public narrative seems to be as compared to established public policy on mortality risk and risk aversion. From the Abelson paper ‘Establishing a Monetary Value for Lives Saved: Issues and Controversies’:
“Not surprisingly, willingness to pay to reduce the risk of death varies significantly with the type of death.”
https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/Working_paper_2_Peter_Abelson.pdf
COVID-19 currently holds a very special place in this regard. Governments, at least in Australasia, have had a sudden and massively increased willingness to incur unprecedented costs (not just financial expense) to reduce the risk of death. The appetite to do “whatever it takes” is not being applied simply to those who are truly at risk, but also to prevent any transmission to those who are not at much risk at all.
The estimated IFR is close to zero for children and younger adults but rises exponentially with age, reaching 0.4% at age 55, 1.3% at age 65, 4.5% at age 75, and 15% at age 85. We find that differences in the age structure of the population and the age-specific prevalence of COVID-19 explain 90% of the geographical variation in population IFR. Consequently, protecting vulnerable age groups could substantially reduce the incidence of mortality
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.23.20160895v4.full.pdf
When you stand back from it, the reaction by many western governments’ approaches towards COVID-19 has the strong appearance of moral hazard. Australia and New Zealand’s leaders stand out in this regard, with a “safety at any cost” attitude and an attachment to our early “success”.
These are very hard narratives to escape from. However, we must recognise that these leaders will not need to pay the actual cost – the people will and are. They will be able to say, “we defeated the virus” and “we kept you safe”, even if that supposed safety is only temporary, illusory and at enormous cost.
Are we being successful; by what standard?
People will generally preference what they see around them as being right and normal, looking towards the data that fits that picture and selecting data from examples of worse outcomes as the supposed alternative (everyone does this, so this isn't a claim against proponents of the current strategy). Australian’s undoubtedly have a narrative of success that is quite different to other countries around the world, but is it the best one? Could it be better?
It is very hard for one individual to attempt to process these questions and there is scant government information or resources being put into answering the question or exploring possible alternative approaches (there currently appears to be no political incentive to do so). To try and break outside of normal mode of thinking, let us keep it simple and start a discussion using a couple of overseas observations to guide us. Assume the following:
What are a couple of experiences we could draw on?
Both countries have ongoing community transmission and will need to “live with the virus”.
If Australia did “as poorly’ as the USA in our thought experiment, we would have approximately 14,000 deaths to-date. Much higher than our current deaths and about 9% of the deaths we would expect in a typical calendar year. Would mortality double over the subsequent six months? Likely not given current trends.
If we did “as well as” Japan, then we would have only 258 deaths.
So clearly, we already know there are alternative strategies, and we can have reasonable expectations of what the outcomes might be under a community transmission scenario. Of course, there is no reason that Australia would need to go down the USA path. Why not learn from the Japanese path? Why are they able to the protect aged-care, and yet we assume that we cannot? Why are they able to accept community transmission, and yet we cannot?
These are the questions we (and the media) should be asking of our leaders to answer. Instead, to date, many have largely bought into a narrative which essentially says ours is the best strategy and we must wait for a vaccine.
You have just got to have faith…
So, back to the vaccine. The narrative we are all working towards says that it will be “all good” once the vaccine arrives. Let us assume it is going to be here and ready to deploy in the first half of next year (I have a charity bet going with u/smileedude on this). All good right?
Except, it is not particularly likely that a vaccine, including our leading candidate vaccine (the Oxford vaccine), will confer sterilising immunity or full protective immunity for the population. It is more likely we see something like the following:
So, then reflect. By that point been locked down and isolated for 12 months+. What happens when we re-open and COVID-19, influenza, and other communicable diseases, reach the elderly and at-risk populations? What level of mortality is acceptable in that scenario? Surely, we will need to take protective measures to maintain our goal on minimal excess mortality knowing that communicable disease will continue to circulate?
So, why aren’t we taking those steps now instead of putting all our hopes into a silver bullet? It seems that the political calculation is that we will not care about the consequences by that point.
Next time; cost versus benefit
I would like to continue this post with another that explores the costs of our strategy and how this compares to potential benefits.
… but I will have to leave that to next time.
submitted by HomerQuotingHomer to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]

Ride Along as I Build a Profitable Business From Scratch Part 2: Viral Facebook Community Growth

Hey All,
This is a continuation and update of my previous post. If you haven’t seen that yet you can check it out here: https://www.reddit.com/EntrepreneurRideAlong/comments/ice022/ride_along_as_i_build_a_profitable_business_from/
The TL;DR of it, I’m documenting creating a profitable business from scratch so others can learn along with my journey. I did a basic S.W.O.T analysis and picked the niche of “unicorn” along with creating an MVP blog.
Let’s start with a big win! My metrics massively improved:
https://imgur.com/piCW5nE

Week 1 Goals

I received some amazing feedback from the last post I made and I wanted to incorporate some of that feedback into this next week's goals. Moving forward on week 1 I have set these goals:

Creating My Digital Foundation

With a base of blog content completed and feeling like I can actually create a profitable niche, I’ve decided next to move into creating a strong foundation. The first thing I did was use Trademarkengine.com to get my brand name protected.The last thing I need is to be talking about this online and have someone swoop in and grab my trademark. That would be a dick move. Therefore I took the precaution of going through that process. (actually, I did that before I even posted my first post)
I’ve also been recording my day to day operation using Gary Vaynerchuk's method of documenting over creating. I decided to do this because I know what tasks need to be completed at the moment. But looking back a week later at what I’ve accomplished and my thought process, I lose a lot of data points that help me make micro-decisions. As I record the day today, it will allow others to follow along a bit more closely.Once I had that process going, I started building my social media foundation.

Social Media

My background is in social media consulting. I’ve learned that focusing on a single platform or two and doing it well is better than spreading yourself thin. So for this market, which my initial guess is going to be prodementaly millennial females, I’ve decided the two social media I'll be working on are Pinterest + Facebook.
I’m picking Pinterest since their entire user base is millennial females and Facebook since Facebook advertising is so powerful (and the platform I know the best.)

First Day Results:

Watch the loom walkthrough here: https://www.loom.com/share/7b1da8c9d9d5406ca313236e2d91c41aI created the Facebook business profile, put up a simple banner that grabs attention, and shared my blog articles. I also went onto Pinterest and found the top “unicorn memes” and shareable content.I posted the first one and boosted the post with $10 over 4 days. I put the targeting as USA only, Age 23-39 male & female, interest in unicorns. Giving me a rather huge target demographic but that is 100% okay by me.
https://imgur.com/B2DROYr
One of the top techniques I use on new Facebook pages is to invite people who react to your posts to like your page. This trick works up to 100k likes and will give me a nice base of users to promote to.
I’ve consistently found this to generate cheaper results then a Facebook likes campaign.I also ran a “Facebook Likes” ad for $5 to show you all the difference between the two for results.
At the end of the first day, I had 70+ Facebook likes from these two marketing campaigns.
The lesson learned from this test is that sharable meme-able content is a much better way of building your audience then running Facebook ads for likes.

Day 2: Creating Share-Worthy Content

Watch the loom walkthrough here: https://www.loom.com/share/c9fa89218e2c4f87b6c378b47a8b6eceI created more meme-able content and boosted the results. I also downloaded a chrome plug-in that will automatically run through the posts and invite people to like my page. I’m a huge fan of using tools and automation to take over repetitive tasks on social media.I signed up for a free account with Mailchimp to start building my email marketing list. Adding a simple newsletter sign up to the website.Typically a newsletter signs up form with no opt-in isn’t going to collect a lot of emails. I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to offer in exchange for the email address. I was debating creating an ebook around unicorns but there are two downsides to this method.
  1. Creating an ebook is a lot of work due to having to either pay my writer or write the whole thing myself
  2. It may not be ideal for collecting emails as it may not convert.
I left the sidebar sign up for now and decided to come back to it later.

Day 3: Email List Building

Watch the loom walkthrough here: https://www.loom.com/share/f5f8fe404169432c9b25e974d0135afc
I got a great idea for what to do with email marketing. I decided to build a quiz that will collect email addresses for me. Quizzes and interactive content is a great way to build an email list as it is more “fun” then just signing up for an ebook. Think about all those Buzzfeed quizzes that are “what type of vegetable are you?”This quiz will be “what type of Unicorn are you?” Luckily I have a lifetime subscription to tryinteract.com that I got for reviewing it a few years ago. It’s a great tool and free is the best price for me!The quiz only has a few questions, but I’ve outlined 12 different unicorns as answers based on the zodiac signs. I can use this information (zodiac sign) to run unique Facebook ad campaigns for birthday offers.
From there it was simply writing up a quick little ditty about each of the unicorns. Then hooking up my email marketing service (Mailchimp) to this tool.
There was an option to make it mandatory to give an email address before seeing the results of the quiz. I choose not to do this because there will be a high unsubscribe rate after the first email if I do that. This means that those who do subscribe are much more engaged.Interact allows the quiz to be a pop up on the website, which I absolutely love. Allowing me to potentially capture all website traffic But I wanted to test if cold traffic from social media will convert better.I copied the quiz and promoted the copy on social media. After 60+ people and 0 leads, I got my answer.
https://imgur.com/hegU4jn
Compare this to the pop-up on the website which ended up generating me around 10-15 email subscribers a day!
https://imgur.com/uvrAKSM
So by the end of day 3, I have my Facebook page growing nicely, my email list growing by ~15 new emails a day.
I also launched a blog article that was generating around 1800 impressions with a 10th page ranking in Google webmasters tools. “What is a Unicorn With Wings Called”Promoting it on social media and in some Facebook groups lead to very interesting results.I bet people didn’t know the name, and when they got it wrong, they got very angry and wanted to argue. Who would have thought people like to argue over the internet about meaningless fictional details.
Turns out this is really great for generating engagement and the algorithm was very happy.

Day 4: Making the Internet Angry For Traffic

Today I saw a huge spike in traffic appear in my Google analytics dashboard due to launching the article yesterday on Facebook. People angrily arguing about Unicorns is great for jacking engagement and traffic.
https://imgur.com/6A6Ea7R
This is really great for sure but the traffic spike did showcase a few problems that I need to address.
https://imgur.com/plbgUNt
While I’m capturing attention, that attention isn’t staying on the site very long.
I mentioned in my previous post these same insights and my thoughts behind why this might be the case. As a recap
  1. The website isn’t thin in content. There isn’t that much content (10 articles)
  2. The website isn’t optimized well. Design is sub-par and the website doesn’t load fast
  3. SEO traffic is looking for specific information and they have no reason to explore further.
Therefore I wanted to address one of the problems I was seeing. The website design is sub-par and not optimized for mobile. Here is what I did:
My rationale being that site speed and load time will be the main cause of high bounce rate and low time on site. Also, these two factors are pivotal to long term success of ranking in Google so it doesn’t hurt to fix early on.
Additionally as u/T0Bii “Make your page have SSL/TSL aka HTTPS with the little small green lock. This helps your SEO, takes 5mins to set up (or less) and tbh makes it more credible.
Because a page that looks like this https://i.imgur.com/SwqQyjU.png is just not credible for me.”
Which I fully agree with.
Between the content promotion and the fixes to the site, my 4 main metrics have massively increased on my site.https://imgur.com/piCW5nE

Day 5, 6 &7: Day's Blurring Together

Since this is a side project I haven’t been able to dedicate much time each of these days to the project. So I’ll roll all of them together into one section.I’ve been testing more memable sharable content and inviting reactions to like. My end of the week results is great. My total likes on the new Facebook page is over 1k in the first week and pushing towards 2k already.
https://imgur.com/asx7G7t
Bonus points u/Gallowboob found out about what I’m doing and threw me alike. Love him or hate him, it’s always good when a massive influencer sees what you are doing. Here is hope he shitposts my content.
I’ve worked on generating backlinks to the site using H.A.R.O. H.A.R.O stand for help a reporter out and is one of the best ways to get organic links to your site by answering requests of reporters. Best of all it’s free.
I’ve started building out my first few products and market testing various copy based on what sharable content is performing the best.

TL;DR & Final Thoughts:

This post is getting really long so I’ll keep this brief.
I have no experience selling e-commerce merchandise so any insights or experience is welcome.Thanks, and hope you guys enjoyed this post.
submitted by Austiniuliano to EntrepreneurRideAlong [link] [comments]

Bears Like Garbage So Have Some TWTR Puts

Here's a current snapshot of an old fav chew-toy of mine... the enduring piece of shit that is Twitter...
-Same 'ole toxic culture of shit-flinging monkeys, 5th column politics and subs bolstered by bots and spam. The social media platform voted most likely to disappear and almost no one would notice or care.
-A decade of piss-poor user growth while other social media platforms exploded. TWTR began hiding stagnant engagement early last year when they stopped reporting DAU's. MAU's are still flat-lined and USA subs are notably pitiful.
-Couldn't monetize Vine and gave that space away to other ventures for free. Couldn't monetize any major network streaming and lost bids to blue chip media for anything worth acquiring. Their market space is constantly encroached upon from below and above.
-Inexplicably climbing back to a 1 year high as it rides the DJI while its more economy attached EPS has been going down-down-down since 2019. They'll likely miss any Q2 earnings conservatively estimated above 0.06-0.08 EPS and if consensus reaches over 0.10, I'd be dancing with my pants off. Fewer analysts are even attempting to guess in these uncharted waters but some are anticipating a negative EPS.
-All social media ad revs should take a hit in Q2 and TWTR is one of the first platforms that companies will drop their ads from when business goes south. TWTR hasn't diversified their revs beyond ads and wallets were simply closed in Q2. Summer is also typically a slower time for online use and those still sheltering are burnt out on bad news.
-TWTR withheld Q2 guidance... which is bad in itself... but still implied bleak ad revs based on their taste of Covid at the end of Q1. They know. We know. They know we know. We know they know. Everyone knows the pandemic made Q2 ad revs horrible for TWTR.
-In typical fashion, TWTR just blasted some Icarus level "paid sub" hype to bolster their PPS before tragic earnings. No evidence of a single line of code written, a deployment anytime soon or any reason to think anyone will pay to zing each other. I think they oopsied and dropped it too early this time to prop the share price up all the way to Q2 reporting on 7/23.
-We should see the full blunt force trauma that the pandemic has had on similar companies this earnings season. Some added misery in the form of evictions, foreclosures, bankruptcies, re-closings, re-increase in unemployment and continued civil unrest may help cool the market. Probably not. The thing to watch for is if the other ad driven social media stocks missing their targets. TWTR breaking the bad news a full week before GOOG and FB makes me wonder if they'll try another pump 7/27-7/29. Conversely, I'm also wondering if they get a deserved downgrade next week.
-Cons are retail stock sentiment, duped bag holders, plenty of gas in the tank, creative accounting and blatant manipulation. MM's made me lmao when TWTR's worthless news drop on 7/8 pushed the share price up $4+ by 1pm without leaving a gap... so that volume was loaded and ready to fire IMHO... and still think they fired too early... but that's why I'm buying puts in the near $30's instead of the teens where TWTR's stock price should be based on their dog-shit fundamentals and guidance.
Now I'm not gehaaay enough to go full hard-on bear against this wholly un-Keynesian freak show of a market. I am however very Bear-Curious in betting that TWTR is currently over-bought AF and it's the best near forward looking play I got right now. So I hopped onboard with [email protected] and then spread it out to [email protected] because the algos were dishing out contracts at less than average decay for another few weeks to cover at only 20% premium. My best guess made, I felt last Friday was about the closest to earnings I could safely get on the boat before missing it.
If TWTR earnings reality starts to bake in next week like I think it will, then that's an ez 2x-3x banger. If a little luck and logic puts me in the money before earnings, then I hit the bullseye and should cash out. I might risk some cream past reporting if the EPS is over-estimated. If there's a decent drop and pay day, I'll honestly probably convert some gains into TWTR shares when they settle for a ride back up as we go into vaccine season. If it's not panning out then it hits my stop limit sell order before I get skunked and on to the next play. I won't pet a burning dog. I'm feeling pretty good this is a good play though. Unless it's not. Do your own DD and good luck.
Update: Quick FYI that I accepted the gift that was the TWTR account hacks on 7/16. Will evaluate re-entering on Friday. Sometimes all you need is chips on the table to win.
submitted by KryptikDD to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

The pitiful state of leftists.

Ever since Chetan Bhagat wrote a supposedly "brilliant" article on the economy, my left-liberal friends have gone into overdrive mode, messaging me about this wonderful article and its amazing points. Since leftists consider absolutely anything written against Modi wonderful, so it doesn't really count for much. Let's dissect this article in an impassioned way instead of, "Mudi Fascist! Dissent!!!"
If you write an article criticizing the Narendra Modi government, it is natural and obvious that people like Shashi Tharoor will like the article, tweet about it and write some nice words about it. It was therefore amusing that someone like Chetan Bhagat was over the moon that “the great Shashi Tharoor” liked his article!
It has been a long time since I read any article of Chetan Bhagat, so I thought maybe this is overdue and proceeded to read his article that was pompously and arrogantly titledThe youth need to shut their phones and ask about the economy”.
It’s actually difficult to take any article seriously that starts with saying that demonetization has “derailed India’s economic growth momentum for years.” For a man of Chetan Bhagat’s repute, one would expect that some statistics are presented to explain this (or any) case, but he doesn’t. The entire article follows this path – make patronizing and hefty statements without the backing of a single statistic. It is therefore no wonder that the likes of Shashi Tharoor loved this article.
For example, by the end of 2017, One year after demonetization, India’s quarterly GDP growth rate was at 8.2%, nearly close to what it was the quarter before demonetization. How then would intellectuals like Chetan Bhagat and Rahul Gandhi continue to blame demonetization for reduction in growth in late 2018?
It’s further difficult to take any article seriously if it proudly mentions the economic stimulus package of the USA but doesn’t even squeak about the massive 21 lakh crore package announced by the Prime Minister of India. Because it is in this same article that the author derides Indians by telling us that “We, the Indians, are desperate to feel validated that we are good enough.” I don’t know about the “desperation” of fellow Indians, but it sure looks like the author is desperate enough to feel so good about what the USA did and ignore what our country has done.
Chetan Bhagat sermonizes that “The first step is to acknowledge the problem.” Oh, where would we have been without such a massive piece of advice? A package of INR 21-lakh crore to revive the economy was announced without acknowledging the problem? Nearly INR 70,000 crore was given to 42 crore citizens of our country as part of the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package” – this was planned and distributed without acknowledging that there was a problem? I can cite more statistics that shows the acknowledgement of the problem but there are more points from the original article that I wish to discuss further!
The latest fad on social media is to deride the lockdown. Chetan Bhagat merely follows this trend, yet again without the backing of a single statistic. While citizens have understood the need for a lockdown early, intellectuals still don’t seem to get a handle around why an early lockdown actually helped India. Citing today’s high number of cases, without a proper context, is the specialty of these intellectuals. If we didn’t have a lockdown, our doubling rate would have been worse. Doomsday predictions in March indicated that we will have 3 crore cases by July. I am willing to bet that this same Chetan Bhagat and Shashi Tharoor would have been on the forefront writing articles about how Modi was not brave enough to impose a lockdown in our country to prevent the COVID impact!
I continued to read the article to see if it gets any serious. And then I read this suggestion – “Open the economy up. Like really.” What does this even mean? Why couldn’t he give one, just one concrete example of what he thinks the government should do to “open the economy up”? Who writes like this? Like really!
And then it comes to the killer paragraph – “At an immediate level, the government needs to give a real fiscal stimulus. As a poor nation, we can’t have a big stimulus. But whatever it is, it has to be a real one, not just numbers that grab headlines.”
Real fiscal stimulus”, “has to be a real one” – I am now trying to understand Chetan Bhagat’s obsession with the word “real”! What does he mean by all these sentences? He couldn’t find time to give a single useful concrete suggestion on what a “real one” should look like? Does he want money into the pockets of the poor? Because that is being done already. Does he want loans to be given at low or no interests for small vendors to setup/revive business? Because that is being done already. You can read the article 100 times, but you will not get a clue on what the “real one” is!
So, what exactly does he want? He wants this – “The youth needs to shut that phone and rise.” Is your head spinning? It will spin further when you read the “real one” – “They need to keep asking questions — why isn’t there more growth?
Chetan Bhagat tells us that the youth doesn’t care and are stuck doing silly things on their phone and for our economy to rise, the youth have to focus on their dreams and make money and shut down their phone! After reading the article, I am stupefied as to who he is criticizing – the government of India or the youth of India?
No one is saying that a -23% drastic fall is something to ignore. But one needs to be really myopic not to see the acknowledgement of the problem all around – by the youth and by the government. Follow the right people to know the real demands of the various industries that are still suffering and how the package can be enhanced. Read the right publications to understand the nature of demands being made and how they are being fulfilled. And then perhaps you will see how your article falls short of logic and reason.
Chetan Bhagat may deride the belief of Hindus in his article (yep, he managed to write about Hindus, youth, economy and phones in the same article!), but you aren’t seeing straight if you cannot see the plain simple fact that Corona virus is not the act of this government and a tough decision had to be taken to arrest the spread of a dangerous virus, at the cost of temporary hit to the economy.
I have one final observation. If the youth shut their phones down, many youths associated with the phone and telecommunications industry will lose their jobs. Does Chetan Bhagat want to revive economy by losing jobs? Dear Chetan Bhagat, if you find this logic laughable, then that’s exactly how I found your article to be!
submitted by Kafir-Lives-Matter to IndiaSpeaks [link] [comments]

Today's Conspiracy Theory!! 2030!!

So you know how the next "significant" milestone the SGI has to look forward to is May 3, 2030.
May 3 - because Toda and Ikeda
2030 - because of Ikeda's deciding when the Soka Gakkai's forerunner organization, Soka Kyoiku Gakkai, an educators' group formed by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, was founded in order to make his "Seven Bells" numbers end on the right year (1979). The Soka Kyoiku Gakkai held its initial meeting in 1937 so shouldn't that be the founding date?
So "2030" is a meaningless, manufactured "anniversary" to get the culty sheeple ginned up toward. What are their assigned goals going to be? My guesses:
Anything else?
Oh, wait - almost forgot about the Conspiracy Theory! There's one for the year 2030 - not lying!
Where's it coming from? Another ultraconservative, fascist secret society. The infamous and notorious Club of Rome that Ikeda bought his way into.
Here's your background:
Ikeda is an honorary member of the Club of Rome, right from their website The founding of the Club of Rome by Rockefeller in Bellagio, Italy Some more unraveling of the Club of Rome - take a look at the line up The Club of Rome has indicated that genocide should be used to eliminate people who they refer to as "useless eaters." The War Against Population - NSA and Club of Rome Yes, we live in a dirty world with the dirty elites running it - more on The Club of Rome
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message to the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Club of Rome held Oct. 17–18, 2018, read at the annual general assembly on October 16, 2018.
This year marks the 110th birth anniversary of Dr. [Aurelio] Peccei, the Club’s co-founder. The memory of our encounters is indelibly etched in my heart and mind. Like a warm and trusting father, he shared with me—frankly and passionately—his most deeply held beliefs and insights. The impression that he made, and my sense of gratitude, will remain with me always.
blah blah blah
blah blah blah
I would like to close this message of felicitation voicing my vow to continue to support the work of the Club of Rome by working with the world’s youth based on a sense of shared responsibility for the human future. - Message to the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Club of Rome
Before It Is Too Late (hardcover) by Aurelio Peccei and Daisaku Ikeda..........Price: $32.50 M/O#: 1104
Aurelio Peccei is the late Westernewartime resistance fighter, industrialist, and founder of the first think tanks to severely assess humanity's chances for survival. SGI President Ikeda and Mr. Peccei present their views alternately as individual statements and dialogues on the complex web of natural and human-made problems threatening the habitability of the planet Earth. Source
When I was a member I read "Before Its Too Late," written by both Ikeda and Aurelio Peccei, founder and first president of Club of Rome. I used to think the CoR was a great organization because Ikeda was in it and praised it! That's what goes on in members' minds, if the SGI or Ikeda is associated with something, it must be good, instead of investigating a person or organization based on its own merits.
What is unfortunate about SGI members is their lack critical thinking, as I lacked. Over the years being away from SGI I have made conscious efforts to apply logic to any situation, ask questions: who, what, where, when, and why. Those under mind control (as I was) do not ask these questions -- blind faith, denial, even where there is evidence that proves otherwise. When I discovered what a rotten organization the CoR is, I was horrified to think I indirectly supported it because of my involvement with the SGI.
The hypocrisy of Ikeda and the SGI is stunning -- they use the good principles of Buddhism for evil purpose. What happened to the "sanctity of life"? How does that fit in with the belief depopulation is good for the planet? We know the SGI is a cult, but I question: is the SGI a death cult? Or perhaps all cults are death cults? Just look to the cults of Jim Jones and Heavens Gate, for example; the members involved in those cults ended up dead.
You hit the target that mind-control blinds all of them. So true. Source
Now here's Club of Rome's position - the sanitized version:
Four decades ago, the Club of Rome predicted looming economic collapse in its iconic report The Limits to Growth. An update of the analysis sees much the same picture.
On the eve of one of the twentieth century’s most notable economic shocks — the 1973 oil crisis — an influential group of researchers released a now-iconic report entitled The Limits to Growth.
The work, which received wide attention and proved controversial, painted a bleak picture of humanity’s future. Left unchecked, it said, economic and population growth would deplete the planet’s resources and cause economic collapse around 2070.
More than four decades later, the report’s main conclusions are still valid, according to a group of independent researchers who have updated the work using more-sophisticated analytical tools. Like the 1972 report, the latest work was commissioned by the Club of Rome, a group of liberal scientists, economists and industrialists that was founded in 1968.
Whoever's paying gets to dictate the conclusion.
The update, released on 17 October in Rome for the club’s 50th anniversary, makes for a sobering read. Although its conclusions are not quite as drastic as those of the original report, it says that humanity finds itself in something of a catch-22.
Business-as-usual or accelerated economic growth will mean that the world will not be able to meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) — a suite of social, environmental and prosperity targets for 2030 — the authors conclude. And even if governments were to substantially strengthen what the authors call “conventional” policies to meet social goals such as the eradication of poverty and hunger, and achieving quality education for all, they would be in danger of missing environmental goals.
“It is quite disturbing to see that we’re still facing the same dilemma the Club of Rome described almost 50 years ago,” says Julia Steinberger, an ecological economist at the University of Leeds, UK.
Conventional policies won’t do
"Everybody's just gotta CHANT!"
The original report was a quantitative analysis based on a computer model that calculated likely future outcomes for the world’s economy. Criticism focused mainly on the authors’ assumptions about how long natural resources would last.
Some economists called the book’s pessimistic conclusions “irresponsible nonsense
Did someone say "SGI"??
while others criticized the validity of the model — World3, a dynamic economic model developed by US economist Dennis Meadow, co-author of the book — that the authors had used to predict energy consumption, pollution and population growth.
The latest version of the report was compiled by researchers with the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo. They used an Earth-system model that combines socio-economic and biophysical variables, alongside a wealth of historical and new socio-economic data, to draw up their conclusions.
This model’s elements interact with the passage of time, and it is much more robust than World3, says Steinberger.
The researchers found that the world is currently on track to meet only 10 of the 17 SDGs by 2030. Efforts to satisfy social SDGs with conventional policy tools will come at the price of unsustainable or wasteful use of natural resources such as water, land and energy. Hence, environmental goals, including stabilizing climate, reducing pollution and maintaining biodiversity, could fall by the wayside, they say.
To prevent human civilization from more environmental damage than it might be able to endure, the authors call on world leaders to consider policies that they deem unconventional.
Novel: Scientists FORCED to chant NMRK...FOR SCIENCE!!! Or "Why faith-based books should be BANNED!"
Only more extreme economic and behavioural changes will allow the world to achieve all 17 SDGs together, the authors say.
These policies might include rapid phase-out of fossil fuels , greater use of family planning to stabilize populations, and actively encouraging the reduction of wealth inequality so that the richest 10% of people take no more than 40% or so of income.
The report is a vindication of the Club of Rome’s initial world view and a welcome alternative to mainstream economics’ focus on growth and equilibrium, says Steinberger.
“Most of The Limits to Growth’s original conclusions still hold true,” said Johan Rockström, a sustainability researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and a co-author of the report, at its release. “This is scientifically satisfactory, but for societies it’s not.”
Club of Rome has a skeptical take on the future
Forty years ago, the Club of Rome released "The limits of growth." Now, it has released another look into the future. But how accurate are such predictions?
This points to an old dilemma: Is a prognosis a neutral scientific statement or is it a call to action? Ossip Flechtheim, one of the fathers of modern future studies already in the 1950s described his field as a synthesis of ideology and utopia not in line with a traditional concept of science.
"A synthesis of ideology and utopia not in line with a traditional concept of science"?? How better to describe Ikeda's "grand vision"??
What do they want to do? Depopulate the world!
What's SGI's vision of its utopia? When 1/3 of the population is converted. That number will do nicely as a target population for the whole world! The rest can just be erased!
Where does THIS fit into the Club of Rome 2030 conspiracy theory? For such an important question, we of course must consult the ConspiracyWiki!
In the August, 1980 edition of Fusion magazine, Howard Odum, a marine biologist at the University of Florida, who was a member of the Club of Rome, was quoted, saying: “It’s necessary that the U.S. cut its population by 2/3 within the next 50 years.” He did not mention how this should be accomplished. Source
"Within the next 50 years" - given a start date of 1980, what's the end date? 2030!
And if the US cuts its population by 2/3, what's left? 1/3!
Throughout the world, the Club of Rome has said that genocide should be used to eliminate people who they refer to as “useless eaters.“
Oh dear!
U.S. Association of the Club of Rome
In 1976, the U.S. Association of the Club of Rome (USACOR) was created, its purpose is to shut down the U.S. economy gradually. Henry Kissinger was then, and still is, an high ranked member in the service of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, a member of the Club of Rome and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Kissinger met with Ikeda, you know O_O. In 1975 - well after the Club of Rome had been created. The US Association of the Club of Rome did not emerge fully formed from Zeus' forehead as Athena, Goddess of War, supposedly did; by 1975, everybody involved was fully informed about what was going on.
Backtracking a bit:
The Club of Rome was created in 1968 by the Morgenthau Group, its original purpose was to create a New World Order by the year 2000.
Welp, missed that target!
The Club of Rome has an hidden agenda to divide the entire world into ten regions or kingdoms.
This gets interesting - bear with me. Here's the map. Notice something peculiar? JAPAN, which is all of about 10 square miles and 100 million people out of the world's >7 billion, gets to be its OWN "kingdom"! Not even the world power USA gets to be its OWN "kingdom"! So what's up with Japan's obviously "special" status?
Here's the list of the "Ten Kingdoms":
Imagine, the all-powerful USA having to share a "kingdom" with Canada and Mexico!. Notice how the "Kingdom" of "Western Europe" pretty much fits the outlines of the EU.
Can't talk about the European Union without talking about Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi:
Ikeda not only linked to Club of Rome, but met up with and praised the starter of the EU, Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi
We've been talking about Kalergi a bit - notice that he's got his OWN conspiracy theory, the Kalergi Plan aka "the Coudenhove-Kalergi Conspiracy" - far right, anti-semitic, white nationalist, etc. It's the kind of ethnically-superior, nationalistic rhetoric Ikeda would definitely get behind.
Richard von Coudenhove-Kalerghad his own idea for how the world's nations should be grouped - into five "superstates" (map from the 1920s). It pretty much keeps the British Empire intact; lumps Mexico, Central America, and South America in with the USA; sticks Japan in with China (serves them right); keeps the borders of the Soviet Union; and divvies up Africa among the continental Western European colonial powers (France, Belgium, Portugal, Amsterdam, whoever else), which are all lumped together. Can't we all just get along??
Coudenhove-Kalergi cuts quite an intriguing figure. Not only is he the one who proposed Beethoven's Ode to Joy as Europe's anthem, he also served as inspiration for Victor Laszlo, the fictional resistance hero in Casablanca. Source
Et tu, "Dr. Beethoven"??
Kalergi's mother came from a wealthy Japanese family, you know.
In 1922, Coudenhove-Kalergi co-founded the Pan-European Union, together with Austrian Archduke Otto von Habsburg. A year later, he published the manifesto Pan-Europa, and in 1924 he founded an eponymous journal, which ran until 1938. In 1926, the first Congress of the Pan-European Union elected Coudenhove-Kalergi as its president, which he would remain until his death.
Notice how, as soon as he seized the presidency of the Soka Gakkai, Ikeda changed all the rules to make himself dictator for life as well. Perhaps Toda wasn't Ikeda's most influential role model...
Ikeda intended to take over Japan, elevate Japan to World Power status alongside the USA and the Soviet Union, export his own minions throughout the world and use them to take over entire countries on a grassroots basis. BOY that didn't work O_O
"Some day 20 or 30 per cent of the people in the United States will become members of Nichirens Shoshu and disciples of President Ikeda." World Tribune
I'll take the world. Japan is too small. The world is waiting for me. Firmly protect the future of Japan for me! Ikeda
"...while I daydream plot scheme make plans to rule the werld! Muahahahahahahaha!!
And the best way to take over the world would be to take ovecolonialize the world's top superpower, the United States! I've described how (and why) this was such an Ikeda kind of goal here. He'd install his firstborn son Hiromasa as viceroy President of the United States (see "remaking the rules", above), which was the consolation prize for the firstborn being passed over for Daddy's inheritance rights - those were to go to the second son who resembled Daddy more strongly (again here). Hurts to be the ugly sister... Source
Just an aside - a company in Rome (since we're on the subject) claims to be on the forefront of human cloning...
So NOW - finally - on to the rest of the "1/3 of the world's population" bit.
Under the “business as usual scenario,” world society proceeds in a traditional manner without major deviation from the policies pursued during most of the 20th century. In this scenario, society proceeds as long as possible without major policy change. Population rises to more than seven billion by 2030.
And humanity gets an "exceeded expectations" review on its 2011 performance review!
But a few decades into the 21st century, growth of the economy stops and reverses abruptly.
Hmmm...how could anyone cause that to happen?? O_o
blah blah industrial decline, which forces declines in the service and agricultural sectors. About the year 2030, population peaks and begins to decrease as the death rate is driven upward by lack of food and health services.
Today we review a study from Australia that compares the business as usual scenario to 2100 presented by the Club of Rome in its Limits to Growth book to the observed trends in population, resource depletion and pollution for the last 40 years.Results indicate a very close match and leads to a fear that the collapse that was indicated in the BAU scenario around 2030 may still take place, given the reluctance of many of the world’s largest resource consumers and polluters (China, USA, Russia, Brazil, Canada, etc) to replace carbon fuel with alternative fuels. Added to that is the very real concern that the transition to renewable energy, along with decreased population rates recommended by the Club of Rome may not be possible before the impending collapse.
I'm afraid that there are too many very rich and powerful people who have way too much invested in fossil fuels and the status quo to embrace and promote a change to renewable energy.
“As pollution mounts and industrial input into agriculture falls, food production per capita falls. Health and education services are cut back, and that combines to bring about a rise in the death rate from about 2020. Global population begins to fall from about 2030, by about half a billion people per decade. Living conditions fall to levels similar to the early 1900s.” Source
The population of the US will likely peak at about 300 million by 2030, before declining (UN 1998 Revision).
And the US population earns an "exceeded expectations" review on its 2006%20%2D%2D%20The%20United%20States,the%20U.S.%20Census%20Bureau%20estimates.) performance review!
And no shortage of related crazy!
It appears that this plan has been green-lighted by the elite, as recent MIT research validates the conclusions drawn by Limits to Growth at this crucial time when we see the world economy imploding, and a jack-booted green police ready to hit the streets. According to MIT, we are headed toward a guaranteed planet-wide economic collapse and "precipitous population decline" if we do not heed the words of The Club of Rome. Source
The sky is always falling - somewhere...
This worldview was encapsulated in a follow-up book to Limits to Growth, called The First Global Revolution, which 21 years later laments and chastises the failure of wider humanity to aggressively implement the Club's previous suggestions, while openly touting manipulation as a way toward global unity.
There are many key passages in this book that give a clear indication of the mindset leading us through the present into the future, but a particularly striking section comes when they discuss the "limits of democracy:"
Democracy is not a panacea. It cannot organize everything, and is unaware of its own limits.
In its present form democracy is not well suited for the tasks ahead.
We overlook (psychologically speaking, we deny) our ignorance and say we lack the political will. The crucial need is to revitalize democracy and give it a breadth of perspective that will enable it to cope with the evolving global situation. In other words, is this new world we find ourselves in governable? The answer is probably not with the existing structures and attitudes. Source
Notice how neatly these points line up with Ikeda's disdain for democracy?
"When democracy is put into practice by the unthinking masses, liberty will be misinterpreted as license; rights will be claimed while duties remain unfulfilled; and the loss of order will allow evil to become rampant." - Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda, page 176
Rather than having a great number of irresponsible men gather and noisily criticize, there are times when a single leader who thinks about the people from his heart, taking responsibility and acting decisively, saves the nation from danger and brings happiness to the people. Moreover, if the leader is trusted and supported by all the people, one may call this an excellent democracy. - Ikeda, quoted in The Sokagakkai and the Mass Model, p. 238.
Don't like democracy? Just make up some other governing structure and call that "democracy"! Or maybe "Buddhist democracy"!
But within Ikeda's worldview, the 1/3 of the world population that will consist of his followers will be the ones calling all the shots, running the whole show - the only ones who count:
Dear Leaders, We received a call from Sensei's secretariat informing that Sensei and Mrs. Ikeda are very concerned about the Chennai floods. Sensei has further asked that the following message be conveyed to the members in Chennai: "Please convey my heartfelt sympathy to the members in Chennai who are affected by the recent flood. Along with my wife, I am sending daimoku." With best regards, BSG Administration
Notice how Ikeda's sole concern is for his OWN cult faithful. Everybody else can go rot.
The purpose of shakubuku is actually to DOMINATE others - FOREVER! So they'll be your servants in future lifetimes! It's PURE SELFISHNESS!!
"ALL of us in the SGI are "old friends of life", "old friends across eternity", precious beyond measure and linked by bonds from the `beginningless' past. We have treasured this world of trust, friendship and fellowship. How sad and pitiful it is to betray and leave this beautiful realm! Those who abandon their faith travel on a course to tragic defeat in life. ... IN our organisation, there is no need to listen to the criticism of people who do not do gongyo and participate in activities for kosen-rufu. It is very foolish to be swayed at all by their words, which are nothing more then abuse, and do not deserve the slightest heed." - Daisaku Ikeda
"IGNORE everyone who isn't in OUR group."
SGI does NOT want dialogue
If you aren't going to talk with anyone outside of your group, what's the use of having them around at all?? It's YOUR fellow members who are going to be running everything, making all the important decisions, after all:
"If you stick with me, if you devote your life to following this teaching and helping to spread it, you'll experience things you never believed possible. Think of your friends, the ones who are giving you such a hard time about practicing. I bet you that ten years from now they'll be married, working at gas stations or in offices, raising a couple of kids, going to the movies on weekends. Stick with me, and in ten years you'll be the leader of five thousand people, perhaps ten thousand. In ten years you'll have abilities that will change the destiny of this planet. Ten years from now the organization will be unrecognizable, compared to what you see today. Right now we're in a phase of developing leaders for the future. Once that phase is completed, those leaders will be ready to take charge of important areas of society. We'll have senators, doctors, lawyers, and yes, writers, developed through the [SGI]. Of course I cant tell you exactly how long that will take; it won't be a sudden transformation, either. But within ten years, I think it's safe to say you won't see anything remotely resembling what you see today. ...you will be growing up into one of the leaders of this country." SGI leader from 1970
"When Kosenrufu is accomplished, (Kosenrufu is a Buddhist term. According to Ikeda's interpretation, it is a situation where most people have become faithful Soka Gakkai members), some of us will have gained influential positions in Japanese politics such as in the House of Councilors or the House of Representatives. They will usually have at least 100,000 yen to 200,000 yen in their wallet. They will wear nice clothes which will not be purchased in monthly installments but will be paid for in cash. Let's meet in the Diet Building or the Prince Hotel. We must place the Soka Gakkai members in all the key positions of Japanese government and society. Otherwise Kosenrufu will not be accomplished." - Ikeda, September 6th 1957, Seikyo Shimbun (SG's daily organ newspaper)
Clearly, "kosen-rufu" depends on seizing political power FIRST. THEN they can impose whatever they want on everybody else.
And notice how SGI intends to destroy all culture and replace it with SGI's OWN Ikeda-centered "culture".
submitted by BlancheFromage to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]

CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY

CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY

Cineplex (TSX: $CGX)
CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY
Another great medium risk but high potential return stock. The stock has taken a beating because of Covid19 & movie theater closures.
Investors think Cineworld's C$34/share buyout offer will be cancelled, yet Reuter's reported, "Cineworld Says No Change In Co's Position On Cineplex Takeover Since March" on April 7. That's double your money at C$11.69 (at post) if it goes through.
Investors also think Cineplex will cancel their monthly $0.15 per share dividend in their next ER that they delayed until June 29, 2020.
Investors are discounting Cineplex's possible rise of online movie rentals to offset their onsite losses.
The odds don't get better than this but do your Due Diligence before investing.
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The Motley Fool described Cineplex as having a "virtual monopoly" over the cinema market in Canada.
#StockPick $CGX -- #ShakingTheTree with #Shorts hitting all the #Bulls #StopLoss down. Easy double or triple opportunity here. Do your #DueDiligence. Good luck to all.
#StockPick #CGX $CGX $CGX.TO
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MY DUE DILIGENCE:

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52 Week Range:
Low: C$6.30 (Coronavirus Crash)
High: C$34.39 (Buyout Offer)
CGX Stock Performance
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Cineplex Inc., formerly known as Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund and Galaxy Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian entertainment company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Through its operating subsidiary Cineplex Entertainment LP, Cineplex operates 165 theatres across Canada. The company operates theatres under numerous brands, including Cineplex Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon, SilverCity, Galaxy Cinemas, Cinema City, Famous Players, Scotiabank Theatres and Cineplex VIP Cinemas.
Divisions:
  • Cineplex Odeon
  • Galaxy
  • Famous Players
  • SilverCity
  • Colossus
  • Coliseum
  • Cinema City
  • Scotiabank Theatre
  • Cineplex Cinemas
  • Cineplex VIP Cinemas
Subsidiaries:
  • Cineplex Entertainment LP
  • Player One Amusement Group Inc.
  • Famous Players LP
  • Galaxy Entertainment Inc.
  • Cineplex Media
  • Cineplex Digital Media Inc.
  • Canadian Digital Cinema Partnership (78.2%)
  • Topgolf-Cineplex Canada LP (75%)
  • SCENE LP (50%)
  • Cineplex Entertainment Corporation
  • World Gaming Network Inc. (80%)
  • Alliance Cinemas
2019-present: Proposed acquisition by Cineworld
On December 16, 2019, Cineplex announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by the British cinema operator Cineworld Group, the second-largest film exhibitor worldwide, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. Cineworld would be paying $34 per-share—a 42% premium over Cineplex's share price prior to the announcement, valuing the company at CDN$2.8 billion. Cineworld planned to pay US$1.65 billion, and to fund the remainder by taking on debt.
The sale was approved by Cineplex shareholders in February 2020. Activist shareholder Bluebell Capital Partners called for the Canadian government to block the sale, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. which in turn led to the temporary closure(s) of all Cineplex movie theatres across Canada since March 16, 2020, and up until further notice.
https://www.cineplex.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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Cineplex Store
Browse from over 8500 HD movies including the latest releases and earn SCENE points every time you rent or buy. Watch online or look for the Cineplex Store.
https://store.cineplex.com
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ESPORTS: WorldGaming Network (WGN), formerly Virgin Gaming (now owned by Cineplex), is an online video gaming platform that hosts head to head matches, tournaments and ladders for consoles and PC gamers. WorldGaming has had over 3 million gamers register for its platform worldwide which makes it one of the most robust and dynamic global eSports communities. There have been over 6.7 million matches played over 20,000 tournaments held on WorldGaming.com since 2010.
Newzoo: Global esports will top $1 billion in 2020, with China as the top market (Feb 25, 2020):
Global esports revenues will surpass $1 billion in 2020 for the first time — without counting broadcasting platform revenues, according to market researcher Newzoo.
Globally, the total esports audience will grow to 495.0 million people in 2020, Newzoo said. Esports Enthusiasts (people who watch more than once a month) make up 222.9 million of this number.
In 2020, $822.4 million in revenues—or three-quarters of the total market—will come from media rights and sponsorship.
“As the esports market matures, new monetization methods will be implemented and improved upon,” said Remer Rietkerk, head of esports at Newzoo, in the report. “Likewise, the number of local events, leagues, and media rights deals will increase; therefore, we anticipate the average revenue per fan to grow to $5.27 by 2023.”
https://venturebeat.com/2020/02/25/newzoo-global-esports-will-top-1-billion-in-2020-with-china-as-the-top-market
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VIRTUAL REALITY
On September 13, 2018, Cineplex announced that it would acquire a stake in VRStudios—a Seattle-based provider of virtual reality installations, and utilize its equipment for as many as 40 VR centers across the country.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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PLAYDIUM
Playdium is a family entertainment centre chain owned by Cineplex Entertainment through its subsidiary Player One Amusement Group. The flagship location in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada launched as Sega City @ Playdium near Square One Shopping Centre on September 7, 1996. The 11 acres (480,000 sq ft) centre cost CA$17 million to build and included an arcade, batting cages, go-karts and mini-golf. A partnership with Sega GameWorks, it featured many arcade games from that company such as Daytona USA, and eight-player racing setups for Indy 500 (as Virtua Indy) and Manx TT Super Bike. Indy 500 remains available today. In 1999, the centre was renamed to Playdium. The company opened up two more locations in Brampton and Whitby in late 2019.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_One_Amusement_Group#Playdium
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The Rec Room
The Rec Room is a Canadian chain of entertainment restaurants owned by Cineplex Entertainment. First opening in Edmonton in 2016, its locations feature entertainment and recreational attractions such as an arcade, driving simulators, recreational games, and virtual reality, as well as restaurants and bars, and an auditorium with a cinema-style screen, which can be used for concerts and other live events.
The Toronto location features The Void virtual reality attraction. In July 2018, Cineplex announced that it would become the exclusive Canadian franchisee of The Void and add additional locations (such as the Mississauga and West Edmonton Mall locations).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rec_Room
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SCENE (loyalty program)
SCENE is a Canadian loyalty program established in 2007 by Cineplex Entertainment and Scotiabank.
The main reward is a free movie ticket, starting at 1,250 points for a regular or 3D ticket. Over the years, the program has expanded to include a greater variety of rewards, including restaurants and sporting goods.
https://www.scene.ca
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FOOD & BEVERAGES
Cineplex has an Outtakes (French: Restoplex) restaurant in 94 theatres, some which replace previous restaurant partners (Burger King, KFC and New York Fries) and others which introduce restaurants at locations which did not previously feature one. VIP Cinemas and some Xscape locations feature a licensed lounge with more premium offerings compared to Outtakes. Poptopia is a flavoured popcorn restaurant offered in a full-service format at 22 locations. Other Cineplex theatres may feature Poptopia at the concession stand, but only in the caramel corn and/or kettle corn flavours.
Ice cream at Cineplex locations debuted with Baskin-Robbins and TCBY. Beginning in December 2007, Yogen Früz became the preferred partner. On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café. As of January 2017, 77 Cineplex theatres feature Yoyo's restaurants, while Yogen Fruz is still available in 23 Cineplex theatres while TCBY is available in 16 locations. Cineplex also manages Melt Sweet Creations, an in-house dessert bouqtiue brand targeted at women ages 19-35 debuted in December 2017 at Cineplex Cinemas Queensway and VIP. Melt is available at 13 locations.
Beverages are available in both cold and hot formats. Cold beverages include the Coca-Cola lineup, which replaced the Pepsi lineup used at locations formerly owned by Famous Players. 12 locations feature Coca-Cola Freestyle. Hot beverages include Starbucks as the incumbent provider with 105 locations, all which offer Pike Place Roast coffee (regular or decaf) and Tazo tea. Select locations also offer premium drinks such as caffè mocha or caramel macchiato. Tim Hortons is available as a full-service restaurant in five locations,[75] with Brossard being the only location to offer both Tim Hortons and Starbucks.
In most theatres, Cineplex offers sale of alcohol to 19+ guests in Ontario (18+ in Alberta) similar to the VIP theatres albeit from a selection of beer or cider beverages.
If Aurora Cannabis (ACB) & Cineplex (CGX) partnered up to offer CBD & THC infused Cannabis 2.0 edibles in movie theaters, especially the IMAX & 3D ones, it should do very well. Canadian Cannabis Industry stocks should also do well as I posted earlier Cannabis Stocks Opportunity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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RECENT NEWS:

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Cineworld to buy Canada's largest movie theatre chain in $2.8B deal (Dec 16, 2019):
Cineplex’s stock had been trading close to the Cineworld offer price of C$34 per share through early 2020, but has since plunged 40% following the virus outbreak.
Cineplex could lose a potential lifeline if its outstanding debt exceeds more than $725 million. As of December 31, 2019, the debt level was $625 million. The debt might balloon past the threshold with a further lockdown extension.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cineworld-to-buy-canada-s-largest-movie-theatre-chain-in-2-8b-deal-1.4731547
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Cineplex shares fall after short seller raises concerns about Cineworld deal (March 5, 2020):
https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cineplex-shares-fall-after-short-seller-raises-concerns-about-cineworld-deal-1.4840173
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Cineworld Dives After Cineplex Activist Urges Rejection of Deal (March 16, 2020):
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/cineworld-dives-as-cineplex-activist-urges-canada-to-block-deal
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Cineplex closes locations, provides Cineworld acquisition update (March 17, 2020):
https://mediaincanada.com/2020/03/17/cineplex-to-close-all-canadian-locations
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Cineplex Inc. cuts salaries of full-time employees after part-time layoffs (Mar 23, 2020):
P/T employees laid off in Canada & USA. F/T employees take reduced base salaries & senior executive team takes 80% reduction in pay.
https://www.cp24.com/news/cineplex-inc-cuts-salaries-of-full-time-employees-after-part-time-layoffs-1.4864434
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Cineworld halts dividend and says will 'monitor progress' of its buyout of Cineplex (April 7, 2020):
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cineworld-halts-dividend-and-says-will-monitor-progress-of-its-buyout-of-cineplex-2020-04-07
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Staggered seating, nostalgic films: Cinemark offers a look at movie going post-coronavirus (Apr 15, 2020):
Cinemark, the third-largest movie theater chain in the U.S., hopes to reopen at least some of its doors to the public in July.
With no major movie release until mid-July, theaters could play “library” movies, which are movies that have already previously been released in cinemas, for several weeks.
If social distancing restrictions are still in place the company said it would either sell every other reserved seat in the theater or suspend reservations and just sell 50% of the tickets per theater.
“Even at peak periods of time in a normal environment, our occupancy levels range from 20% to 30% and we can operate profitably during those scenarios...” - CEO Mark Zoradi
He added that Cinemark has seen attendance as low as 10% and still was able to turn a profit.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/cinemark-offers-a-look-at-movie-going-post-coronavirus.html
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North Vancouver's Park & Tilford Cineplex permanently closed (May 20, 2020)
The company closed all 165 theatres across Canada in March due to COVID-19, but the 1,382-seat Brookesbank Avenue location won’t be among those reopening, Cineplex has confirmed.
With Cineplex closing its Lower Lonsdale theatre in 2019, it leaves Park Royal as the only place to catch a big screen flick on the North Shore.
“We thank the community for their patronage over the years, and look forward to welcoming them at neighbouring Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal and VIP,” said Sarah Van Lange, executive director of communications. “I’ll note that our intent is to repurpose the Park & Tilford theatre space, which we’ll have more details on at a later date.”
https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/vancouver-news/park-tilford-cineplex-movie-theatre-permanently-closed-north-vancouver-bc-2365365
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OTHER NEWS & RUMORS:

Why Amazon’s Rumored Buyout of AMC Entertainment Makes Sense (May 12, 2020):
If Amazon can buy AMC, they can most certainly by CGX & dominate & control most of North America's movie theaters. Amazon would then control Hollywood! Why stop there, they should buy Cineworld too.
https://investorplace.com/2020/05/why-amazons-rumored-buyout-of-amc-entertainment-makes-sense
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AMC Entertainment Surges 56% on Report of Talks With Amazon (May 11, 2020):
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amc-entertainment-surges-56-report-133822697.html
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Alert: Cineplex (TSX:CGX) Could Be Acquired by This Incredibly Unlikely Source (May 12, 2020):
Despite Cineworld maintaining its commitment to buy Cineplex, the market has a different opinion. Remember, Cineplex agreed to be acquired at $34 per share. As I type this, the stock trades at $14.44. There’s no way the spread would be that wide, unless investors were writing off the acquisition completely.
Fortunately for beleaguered Cineplex shareholders, a new suitor could very well come along — one virtually nobody sees coming.
Although I think there’s potential for a private equity group or some other deep-pocketed investor taking a run at Cineplex’s cheap assets, there’s a much more interesting suitor on the horizon.
That acquirer is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN).
https://www.fool.ca/2020/05/12/alert-cineplex-tsxcgx-could-be-acquired-by-this-incredibly-unlikely-source
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AMC says it will no longer play Universal Studios films (Apr 28, 2020):
“AMC believes that with this proposed action to go to the home and theaters simultaneously, Universal is breaking the business model and dealings between our two companies,” AMC Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron said in a letter addressed to Universal Studios Chairman Donna Langley.
Universal added that the company looked forward to having “additional private conversations” with AMC but was “disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt ... to confuse our position and our actions.”
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/28/amc-says-it-will-no-longer-play-universal-studios-films.html
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Cineworld joins AMC in banning films from Universal Studios (April 29, 2020):
Cineworld, the world’s second largest cinema chain, has followed its rival AMC in banning Universal Studios films from its cinemas when they reopen, after the Hollywood film-maker released Trolls On Tour direct to streaming platforms.
“There is a certain system of windows which are a custom in the market and this sets the time difference between the theatrical market and other ancillary markets, among them streaming. Any movie that will not respect this window will not be shown in Cineworld group,” Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld’s chief executive, said on Wednesday.
https://www.ft.com/content/3cc70161-e157-4ff1-bfbd-a886dd6d9af5
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Odeon bans all Universal Pictures films as studio skips cinema releases (Apr 29, 2020):
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/ap29/odeon-bans-all-universal-pictures-films-as-studio-skips-cinema-releases
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AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
AMC Theatres (originally an abbreviation for American Multi-Cinema; often referred to simply as AMC and known in some countries as AMC Cinemas or AMC Multi-Cinemas) is an American movie theater chain headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, and is the largest movie theater chain in the world. Founded in 1920, AMC has the largest share of the U.S. theater market ahead of Cineworld and Cinemark Theatres.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_Theatres
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Cineworld Group PLC
Cineworld is the world’s second largest cinema chain, with 9,518 screens across 790 sites in 11 countries: the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Israel, Hungary, Czechia, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The group’s primary brands are Regal (in the US), Cineworld and Picturehouse (in the UK & Ireland), Cinema City (throughout Europe) and Yes Planet (in Israel).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineworld
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And Action! All the Movies We Can't Wait to See in Summer 2020 and Beyond (May 22, 2020):
Fingers crossed that it’ll be safe to step into a theater this summer. If they open, there will be plenty to watch. “Summer hits are the popcorn movies,” says film historian, author and podcast host Leonard Maltin. “They can be the biggest box-office hits of the whole year.”
Rest of 2020:
  • To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar - VIP (Jun 1)
  • Unhinged (Jul 1)
  • Tenet (Jul 17)
  • Mulan (Jul 24)
  • Summerland (Jul 31)
  • Random Acts Of Violence (Jul 31)
  • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (Aug 7)
  • Sound of Metal (Aug 14)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (Aug 14)
  • Fatima (Aug 14)
  • The One And Only Ivan (Aug 14)
  • The New Mutants (Aug 20)
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music (Aug 21)
  • Antebellum (Aug 21)
  • Monster Hunter (Sep 4)
  • A Quiet Place Part II (Sep 4)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Sep 11)
  • The King's Man (Sep 18)
  • Candyman (Sep 25)
  • Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (Oct 2)
  • BIOS (Oct 2)
  • Death On The Nile (Oct 9)
  • The Witches (Oct 9)
  • The French Dispatch (Oct 16)
  • Halloween Kills (Oct 16)
  • Snake Eyes (Oct 23)
  • Lord And Miller Connected (Oct 23)
  • Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Oct 23)
  • Come Play (Oct 30)
  • Black Widow (Nov 6)
  • Clifford The Big Red Dog (Nov 13)
  • Deep Water (Nov 13)
  • Godzilla Vs. Kong (Nov 20)
  • Soul (Nov 20)
  • Happiest Season (Nov 20)
  • James Bond ‘No Time To Die’ (Nov 25)
  • Free Guy (Dec 11)
  • Dune (Dec 18)
  • Untitled Coming To America Sequel (Dec 18)
  • West Side Story (Dec 18)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Dec 23)
  • Untitled Tom & Jerry Film (Dec 23)
  • The Croods 2 (Dec 23)
  • News Of The World (Dec 25)
  • Escape Room 2 (Dec 30)
2021:
  • Mortal Kombat (Jan 15)
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Jan 15)
  • 355 (Jan 15)
  • Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Jan 22)
  • Rumble (Jan 29)
  • Cinderella (Feb 5)
  • Nobody (Feb 26)
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Mar 5)
  • Raya And The Last Dragon (Mar 12)
  • Sony/Marvel Morbius (Mar 19)
  • The Boss Baby 2 (Mar 26)
  • Reminiscence (Apr 16)
  • Ron's Gone Wrong (Apr 23)
  • Shang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (May 7)
  • Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (May 21)
  • Cruella (May 28)
  • F9 Fast & Furious (Apr 2)
  • Bob's Burgers (Apr 9)
  • Infinite (May 28)
  • Space Jam 2 (Jul 16)
  • Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Jul 16)
  • In the Heights (Jun 18)
  • Minions: The Rise Of Gru (Jul 2)
  • All This Victory (Aug 7)
  • The Woman in the Window (TBD 2021)
  • Blithe Spirit (TBD 2021)
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield (TBD 2021)
  • Greyhound (TBD)
& MUCH, MUCH MORE MOVIES than listed coming to the big screens.
THE 65 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2020 (May 20, 2020):
https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/most-anticipated-movies-of-2020
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CONCLUSION:
Nothing beats watching a great movie on the big screen in premium format:
  • Prime Seats
  • IMAX
  • UltraAVX
  • D-Box
  • VIP Cinemas
  • 4DX
I'm sick of the congested internet & buffering of online movies & services during Covid19. They need to upgrade the internet infrastructure to 5G & Fiber Optics before it can really grow in my opinion -- especially buffering 4K & 8K movies & future tech that will only require more bandwidth going forward.
Younger people are not afraid of Covid19 like the older crowd. When theaters open, they will rush in to see their favourite movies.
Betting that people won't want to go to movie theaters when they re-open, is like betting the same against live sporting events or music concerts.
No home movie theater can match a real movie theater, even the smaller discount ones, unless you're Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos etc.
With Cineplex's Canadian Monopoly & diversification into other entertainment arenas like eSports & Virtual Reality, as long as they don't go bankrupt & social distancing restrictions are loosened, the stock should increase 2 to 3 times by end of 2021 in my opinion -- especially if the Cineworld Buyout goes as planned or another company like Amazon buys them out for a strong presence & control in Canada.
If a Coronavirus Vaccine is discovered sooner than later, then this stock will rebound accordingly & rapidly -- especially if they don't cancel or even if they do, resume Dividend payments in the future. At current prices, Dividend yield is about 13% per year.
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Social distance cinema: drive-in theatres boom – in pictures (May 5, 2020):
We are all social creatures & want to go to movie theater as a social activity, to see & be seen; otherwise, why would Drive In Movie theaters boom during Covid19?
If no one goes out to be seen anymore, then all the Vanity Goods & Services will go under too & we will all dress in sweat pants & T-Shirt -- no need for designer suits & dresses working & staying at home. LOL ;p
https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/may/05/social-distance-cinema-drive-in-theatres-boom-coronavirus-in-pictures
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Internet Bandwidth Requirements:
Online streaming remains the biggest source of 4K content, led by Netflix and Amazon’s growing selection of original series. But many consumer broadband connections aren’t fast enough to allow reliable 4K streaming.
Home Theater Movie Resolutions:
  • 4K (UHD): 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
  • 1080p (Full HD): 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  • 720p (HD): 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • 480p (SD): 640 x 480 pixels
  • 8K: 7,680 x 4,320 pixels
For comparison purposes, 70mm film - still considered by many to be the gold standard - is roughly equivalent to a 12K resolution in digital terms, so digital's still got some catching up to do on that score.
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