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  Unnamed Fantasy Serial Pilot
Posted by: Grey Star - 8 hours ago - Forum: Modern INKers - No Replies

Wanted to get this thread posted and out of the way so I would have something to come back to tomorrow to work on. While I haven't had time to write it yet, this is where I'll be uploading the test pilot for an initial plan of a bi-weekly in media res fantasy serials. I have a few different pilots in mind, but this is the one that I like the most and so if it gets good reception I might write out the others but not fulfill them. Particular other concepts include: a teenage super hero dealing with being half eldritch horror, a werewolf monster hunter seeking to carve out a bloody peace for himself, and the tales of a wandering alien soldier fighting for honor and justice on a galactic scale.

"Unnamed Pilot"

Preface Blurb:
For some, death is not an absolute, final destination. It is merely a temporary inconvenience whose bypass is facilitated by evil energies and intense dark emotions. Those who are lucky enough to benefit from both getting around dying and being around these energies find themselves in a one and a half stage of life, they are the undead. Some of the most powerful, notable undead are fallen warriors whose quests ended with their death, who had either lost their grace, never had any grace, or lost it in their final moments, and return as the infamous Death Knights. For a small sect of Death Knights however, their mission is not to facilitate undeath, but instead to bring peace to death. For our hero, solving murders is just training for bringing peace to the dead. But when your magical powers are all about death and your side job is being a homicide detective, it certainly gets a lot easier.

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  Designer Pets breeding to be 'outlawed' in Scotland under new regulations
Posted by: ShineCero - 09-13-2018, 01:28 AM - Forum: Boogaloo Donut - No Replies

Quote:The breeding of designer pets is to be effectively outlawed in Scotland under new licensing regulations

The Scottish Government plans to tighten the licensing of dog, cat and rabbit breeding activities in Scotland to stop people breeding these animals in poor conditions and then selling them on. A consultation has also been launched to help stakeholders shape the new regulations.

Part of the new approach would involve prohibiting harmful breeding practices by discouraging the breeding of pets with a predisposition for genetic conditions, which can lead to health problems in later life. As a condition of licensing, breeding practices likely to cause the offspring suffering in later life will be prohibited.

In recent years, there has been a growth in demand for pets with particular physical features such as short noses, protruding eyes and long ears. This has incentivised breeding for extreme characteristics in some breeds, but it heightens the risk of harmful genetic conditions and can seriously affect the future health and wellbeing of the animal. It can also place unexpected financial strain on the owner as many of those pets will need on-going and costly veterinary care.

Some of the breeds that will be affected;

The Scottish fold cat, which has a genetic defect preventing it from forming cartilage, the absence of which causes long term arthritis.

The munchkin cat, which has disproportionately short legs

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which can be bred to have an unnaturally small skull that compresses the brain, affecting its spinal chord.

French/English Bulldogs and pugs. They have significant breathing problems caused by narrow, constricted airways, pinched nostrils and shortened, squat necks, exacerbated by obesity which is common in all breeds.

Celebrity craze

The owl-like appearance of the Scottish fold cat has attracted high-profile owners such as singers Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

Swift frequently posts photos on Instagram of her Scottish folds, Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey, and has spoken of Sheeran’s matching pet. Other famous owners include the actress Kirsten Dunst and Patrick Dempsey, the Grey’s Anatomy star.

Reaction to the clampdown on breeding practices

A spokeswoman for animal welfare charity, Dogs Trust, said one particularly welcome inclusion in the new regulations is how to protect offspring from inherited defects, including disease and other health problems. She added: "This includes brachycephalic issues, the result of a shortened skull that impacts certain breeds of dogs. With the explosion in demand for breeds such as Pugs, French and English Bulldogs, we are seeing more dogs with physical characteristics such as narrower nostrils, which impact their ability to breathe and subsequently their quality of life."

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “The Scottish SPCA believes that all animals should be bred to enjoy a normal life and be able to freely express normal behaviours, which includes being free from pain.”

While giving evidence to the the Public Petitions committee of the Scottish Parliament in May last year, Mark Rafferty, chief inspector in the special investigations unit of the SSPCA, referred to an: "...unquenchable appetite among the public for some particular breeds of dog, that are defined as either new breeds or designer breeds."

Other features of the new regulations

A lower threshold for license requirements... Existing dog breeding legislation allows five or more litters a year before a licence is required, meaning potentially 40 puppies could be produced without any legal obligations or licensing inspections before any inspections. But the government proposes to lower the threshold so that a licence requirement will apply to either a) anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs, cats or rabbits in a 12 month period b) anyone producing three or more litters from their dogs, cats or rabbits in a 12 month period.

Other changes include a reduced frequency of inspections for dog, cat and rabbit breeders who are assured by a UK credited body.

Why is the system being updated?

The overall aim is to enhance protection of animals whose welfare is at risk, while creating a system that does not add to the burden of animal welfare organisations and those breeders who are already working to a high standard.

The welfare of domestic animals, especially pups, can be endangered as a result of the conditions they experience from birth, and how they are cared for in the early formative weeks of their lives. Specific issues previously identified by the RSPCA include: puppies being separated from their mothers too early, resulting in poor physical and mental health; puppies not being socialised at the right age, leading to chronic behavioural problems; dogs being kept in unsanitary and unsafe conditions, resulting in spread of disease.

The bill will also aim to ensure a more responsible and informed approach to acquiring and owning a puppy or dog. Responsible dog owners need to consider whether they will be able to look after puppies by providing for its daily needs in terms of food, water, drink, shelter and exercise.

Source

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  Donald Trump: Puerto Rico Response an 'unsung success'
Posted by: ShineCero - 09-13-2018, 01:02 AM - Forum: Boogaloo Donut - No Replies

Quote:President Donald Trump on Tuesday deemed the federal government's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago “incredibly successful” even though a recent federal report found that nearly 3,000 people died. (Sept. 11) AP

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump called the federal government's response last year to hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico an "incredible unsung success" despite a study released last month that put the death toll at nearly 3,000 people.

"I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful," Trump told reporters, adding: "I actually think it was one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about."

Trump spoke about the response to Hurricane Maria as he discussed preparations for Hurricane Florence, a massive storm that is heading toward the U.S. East Coast, threatening record rains and historic flooding.

From September 2017 to February 2018, 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, according to a study by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health, which was commissioned by the Puerto Rican government. The study, released last month, showed a much higher death toll than the initial estimate of 64 people.

Trump said the recovery effort for Puerto Rico was complicated by the fact that it is an island and that its energy grid was in poor condition when the storm hit. "The problem with Puerto Rico is their electric grid and their electric generating plant was dead before the storms ever hit," Trump told reporters.

The president spoke before meeting with aides about preparations for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the Carolinas and Virginia later this week.

While praising the Puerto Rico response, Trump did allude to the lack of power that plagued the island after its hurricane. He said there would not be a repeat in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

"Unlike Puerto Rico, you have very strong power companies," Trump said. "They’re very powerful, very well managed in the sense that they have tremendous overcapacity."

Critics blasted Trump's praise of the Puerto Rico response.

"Nearly 3,000 people died," tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. "That is not a 'success.' That is a tragedy and a disgrace."

Source

Over 3,000 people were killed in Puerto Ricio, nearly the same level of death toll during the 9/11 incident, and the situation is still relatively awful, an success is an disgrace, disrespectful and lost all sense of human dignity.

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  (9/6/2018) Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake engulfs Hokkaido, Japan in landslides
Posted by: LoopyPanda - 09-06-2018, 09:09 AM - Forum: Boogaloo Donut - Replies (2)

CNN article
Japan Times

Quote:A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the northern island of Hokkaido early Thursday, causing landslides which buried a large number of homes at the foot of a bridge. The powerful quake lasted almost a minute, jolting residents from their beds and collapsing roads. Near the epicenter, landslides wiped out houses in the tiny town of Atsuma, home to 40 residents. Officials said multiple people were still missing hours after the initial quake.

At least 150 people were injured by the earthquake, mainly in Sapporo, said Kazuya Isaki, an official with the Crisis Management Office of Hokkaido Prefecture Government. Dozens of people are missing in Atsuma, near the epicenter of the quake, where four of the deaths occurred.

Public broadcaster NHK reported that flights and public transport across the region had been brought to a standstill.

Nearly 3 million households lost power, according to the Hokkaido Electric Power Company. Officials said a main power station lost operations, affecting other sites. Independently owned power generators were assisting. "The electric supply was stopped to Tomari nuclear plant, but it can operate without external electric supply for one week," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
More than 4,000 defense force soldiers have been deployed to help with rescue operations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, and that number could rise to 25,000 if needed. Helicopter rescue crews were also dispatched and have airlifted around a dozen people to safety. Evacuation shelters have been set up in many towns and cities around the region. Aftershocks were continuing Thursday morning, and could pose a risk for the next week, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which warned residents of the increased risk that buildings could collapse near the epicenter of the original quake.

Thursday's earthquake comes as much of Japan is still dealing with the effects of Typhoon Jebi, the strongest such storm to hit the Japanese mainland in 25 years. High winds smashed a tanker into a bridge, forced one of the country's largest airports to close and left at least 10 people dead. On Japan's main island of Honshu, nine cities and towns issued compulsory evacuation orders. A further 53 issued non-compulsory evacuation orders. Before it made landfall, the storm had sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (87 mph) and gusts of 165 kmh (102 mph), the equivalent of a Category 1 Atlantic hurricane.


A few hours ago, it was reported only 8 died with dozens missing, but the number has risen to 9. Expect the death toll to possibly rise as the searches continue.

For those who are unsure, magnitudes of 6.0-6.9 are earthquakes in which "Damage to a moderate number of well-built structures in populated areas. Earthquake-resistant structures survive with slight to moderate damage. Poorly designed structures receive moderate to severe damage. Felt in wider areas; up to hundreds of miles/kilometers from the epicenter. Strong to violent shaking in epicentral area."

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  Kylian Mbappe Donates Every Penny of World Cup Earnings to Charity
Posted by: ShineCero - 07-17-2018, 09:18 AM - Forum: Boogaloo Donut - No Replies

Quote:The French soccer team claimed a 4-2 victory against Croatia during yesterday’s World Cup final, but one of their “wonderkid” players is winning hearts for showing his true character off the field.

19-year-old Kylian Mbappe, who is a forward player for the team, made roughly $22,500 for each of the seven games that France played in the World Cup. On top of that, he was given a $350,000 bonus for winning the tournament, which totals up to half a million in earnings.

But instead of relishing his winnings, he is donating 100% of the money to charity.

The Premiers de Cordee charity helps disabled and hospitalized children into sports. Mbappe has been supporting the charity since June 2017.

“Kylian, he’s a great person,” Sebastien Ruffin, general manager of the charity, told Le Parisien.

“When his schedule allows it, he intervenes for us with pleasure,” he added. “He has a very good [relationship] with children, he always finds the right [words] to encourage them. I sometimes even feel that [he] takes more pleasure to play with the kids than the kids themselves.”

Mbappe also showed his true colors by paying respect to his predecessors. Upon becoming the second youngest soccer player to score in a World Cup final, Brazilian soccer legend Pelé posted to Twitter saying: “If Kylian keeps equalling my records like this I may have to dust my boots off again…”

Mbappe’s humble response? “The king will always be the king.”

https://twitter.com/KMbappe/status/10186...charity%2F
[/url]
[url=https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/19-year-old-french-superstar-donates-every-penny-of-world-cup-earnings-to-charity/]Source

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  You just become the President of the United States, what would you do?
Posted by: ShineCero - 07-05-2018, 02:27 PM - Forum: Discussion Table - Replies (1)

As the title suggests, if you become president, what would you do? How would you accomplished such goals?

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  EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid scandals
Posted by: ShineCero - 07-05-2018, 02:27 PM - Forum: Boogaloo Donut - No Replies

Quote:Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of ethics controversies, citing "the unrelenting attacks" on himself and his family, which "have taken a sizable toll on all of us."

President Donald Trump first tweeted the news Thursday that Pruitt had resigned.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency," Trump tweeted. "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this."

Pruitt's resignation follows months during which the EPA administrator has been embroiled in one ethics controversy after the next.
It also comes two days after an exclusive CNN investigation revealed a former top aide alleged Pruitt and his staffers held regular meetings to "scrub," alter or remove controversial events from his calendar. That investigation sparked two Democratic congressman to call Thursday for the EPA inspector general to investigate whether Pruitt committed a federal crime.

Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt's recently-Senate confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler will on Monday assume the duties of acting administrator of the EPA.

"I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" Trump tweeted.

An ethics cloud hung over Pruitt for months, as lawmakers from both parties, environmental groups and government watchdogs raised questions about his spending, housing arrangements, security team and raises for political appointees.
Pruitt's resignation letter to Trump offered regret about leaving the role, but said "unrelenting attacks" had taken a toll.

"It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring," Pruitt wrote. "However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us."

He added, "My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God's providence. I believe that same providence brought me into your service. I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people."

Two EPA officials told CNN they found out about Pruitt's resignation from Trump's tweet and had no idea the news was coming.
Pruitt had lost the confidence of many career and political EPA appointees, but many of those eager to see him go had begun to lose hope that he would resign or be pushed out by the President.

"Still in shock to be honest," one EPA official told CNN. "Incredible that he lasted as long as he did."

All told, Pruitt left EPA having faced more than a dozen inquiries or reviews into his practices at the agency, including his first-class plane travel, a room that he rented from a lobbyist at $50 per night and the installation of a soundproof booth in his office.

A spokesman for the EPA's Office of Inspector General told CNN that ongoing or pending reviews of Pruitt will continue, even though he has resigned.

"Any ongoing or pending OIG reviews related to the Administrator and/or his team will continue—regardless of the Administrator's resignation," the spokesman said.

But at the same time, Pruitt was one of the most effective implementers of the President's agenda. Coming into office as a critic of EPA and a climate skeptic, Pruitt moved aggressively to scale back Obama-era moves on climate change, automobile pollution standards and other industrial pollutants.

As recently as June 8, Trump praised Pruitt, telling reporters on the South Lawn of the White House that the EPA administrator was "doing a great job within the walls of the EPA," and that "we're setting records."

"Outside, he's being attacked very viciously by the press. I'm not saying that he's blameless, but we'll see what happens," Trump said then, and didn't answer a reporter who asked if Trump was "tired' of Pruitt.

Pruitt was also involved in some intra-administration maneuvering this spring when he urged Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and install Pruitt as the head of the Department of Justice, according to three sources.

But as summer unfolded, the amount of pressure on Pruitt began to near its breaking point as former staffers came forward to air their concerns and accusations about the EPA chief. Former aide Kevin Chmielewski told CNN that Pruitt and his staff kept "secret" calendars and schedules to hide controversial contacts with industry representatives and The Washington Post and The New York Times revealed aspects of testimony Pruitt aides gave to Congress about the EPA administrator enlisted them for personal errands.

Turn to the right

Pruitt, an Oklahoma Republican, came to the job as one of the EPA's chief critics and was seen as someone philosophically at odds with the agency Trump tapped him to run.

While serving as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt was one of the chief architects of the legal battle against Obama's climate change policies and repeatedly sued the agency. He described himself in his biography for that job as "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda."

Critics of Pruitt's nomination drew on his past statements to label him as a "climate skeptic," a term for someone who denies the scientific link between human activity, climate change and associated impacts.

Along with Trump, who once said that "global warming was created by and for the Chinese," Pruitt oversaw the efforts to dismantle major climate regulations. Trump announced at the beginning of June last year that he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accords.
Pruitt announced in October he would withdraw the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era regulatory structure to limit greenhouse gas emissions on a state-by-state basis.

Inquiries and reviews into Pruitt's practices at EPA

Pruitt incurred a sizable number of investigations into his spending and practices at EPA, including inquiries by the House, Senate, the EPA itself and the White House. Among them were inquiries into Pruitt's travel practices, spending within the agency and use of email.

The EPA inspector general is reviewing all of Pruitt's 2017 travel, which is expected to include multiple taxpayer-funded weekend trips that Pruitt took to Oklahoma, as well as official travel to Italy and Morocco. The inspector general told Congress in a May 2018 letter that he expects the review will be completed by the end of September.

A different EPA inspector general review involves Pruitt's travel practices, suggesting that it will review Pruitt's use of his round-the-clock security detail, which travels with him even when off-duty on family vacations.

Separately, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican who chairs the House Oversight Committee, has asked EPA to justify Pruitt's use of first or business class seats on flights.

This spring, Gowdy said Pruitt was not forthcoming with records.

There are also multiple inquiries into Pruitt's lease of a $50-a-night Capitol Hill condo in 2017 from lobbyist Vicki Hart. Hart's husband, J. Steven Hart, who is also a lobbyist, met with Pruitt at the same time that he was leasing that room.

A review of EPA emails showed deeper ties between Pruitt and lobbyists, including that a family friend of those lobbyists was considered for a position at EPA.

Both the EPA inspector general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) are reviewing an April 2017 meeting that Pruitt had with the National Mining Association regarding the Paris climate agreement, which critics said may have violated anti-lobbying laws.

GAO found in April that Pruitt's installation of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth violated federal spending laws because EPA didn't notify lawmakers that it exceeded the $5,000 limit for agency heads to improve their offices. Pruitt and other EPA officials said Pruitt used the booth to receive classified information and to talk with White House and other administration officials.

Several reviews have to do with Pruitt's use of email. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, began looking into reports that Pruitt had four EPA email addresses, at least one of which was not disclosed. EPA's inspector general said in May that it would review Pruitt's use of multiple email accounts, at the request of Senate Democrats.

Compounding all of these bruising headlines have been semi-frequent accounts of Pruitt's personal conduct and use of official resources. Reports included Pruitt wanting to use sirens to get to an upscale French restaurant in Washington, having security and aides help him find a preferred lotion and pick up a used mattress from the Trump hotel in Washington. The anecdotes offered ammunition for critics of the now-outgoing EPA chief as a creature of the swamp Trump promised to drain.

Source

The fact that he lasted longer than he should have is astounding, yet scary. Regardless of any "political views", this is incredibly unacceptable of all levels within politics.

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