The Story of “Er”


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Once upon a time Western Europe was a land of clear consonants and pure vowels. People would fill their lungs and shout to each other over great distances—across rivers and valleys—and understand every word. But then, just as one Western European nation after another was embarking on an empire-building campaign, something very strange happened. You see, they had to distinguish themselves somehow, to confuse and frighten each other, but the European Parliament hadn’t been invented yet, and so they couldn’t exercise their precious ethnic differences simply by talking a great deal of nonsense. They had to achieve the same effect through more traditional means: by distinguishing themselves in manners, attire and speech. In the case of manners and attire their approach was quite traditional as well: they cultivated a pompous and arrogant demeanor, and they sported crazy hats and lots of frills and embroidery. But in the matter of speech the way they chose to distinguish themselves was decidedly strange. I call it the Battle of Speech Impediments.

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DONNE IN RINASCITA

Più dei tramonti, più del volo di un uccello, 
la cosa meravigliosa in assoluto è una donna in rinascita.
Quando si rimette in piedi dopo la catastrofe, dopo la caduta.
Che uno dice: “è finita”.
No, finita mai per una donna.
Una donna si rialza sempre, anche quando non ci crede, anche se non vuole.

Non parlo solo dei dolori immensi, di quelle ferite da mina anti-uomo che ti fa la morte o la malattia.

Parlo di te, che questo periodo non finisce più, che ti stai giocando l’esistenza in un lavoro difficile, che ogni mattina è un esame, peggio che a scuola. Te, implacabile arbitro di te stessa, che da come il tuo capo ti guarderà deciderai se sei all’altezza o se ti devi condannare.

Così ogni giorno, e questo noviziato non finisce mai.
E sei tu che lo fai durare.

Oppure parlo di te, che hai paura anche solo di dormirci, con un uomo; che sei terrorizzata che una storia ti tolga l’aria, che non flirti con nessuno perché hai il terrore che qualcuno s’infiltri nella tua vita. Peggio: se ci rimani presa in mezzo tu, poi soffri come un cane.
 
Sei stanca: c’è sempre qualcuno con cui ti devi giustificare, che ti vuole cambiare, o che devi cambiare tu per tenertelo stretto. Così ti stai coltivando la solitudine dentro casa. Eppure te la racconti, te lo dici anche quando parli con le altre: “Io sto bene così. Sto bene così, sto meglio così”.
E il cielo si abbassa di un altro palmo.

Oppure con quel ragazzo ci sei andata a vivere, ci hai abitato Natali e Pasque.
In quell’uomo ci hai buttato dentro l’anima ed è passato tanto tempo, e ce ne hai buttata talmente tanta di anima, che un giorno cominci a cercarti dentro lo specchio perché non sai più chi sei diventata.

Comunque sia andata, ora sei qui e so che c’è stato un momento che hai guardato giù e avevi i piedi nel cemento. Dovunque fossi, ci stavi stretta: nella tua storia, nel tuo lavoro, nella tua solitudine.
 
Ed è stata crisi, e hai pianto.. Dio quanto piangete! 
Avete una sorgente d’acqua nello stomaco! Hai pianto mentre camminavi in una strada affollata, alla fermata della metro, sul motorino.
Così, improvvisamente. Non potevi trattenerlo.
E quella notte che hai preso la macchina e hai guidato per ore, perché l’aria buia ti asciugasse le guance?

E poi hai scavato, hai parlato.. Quanto parlate, ragazze!
Lacrime e parole. Per capire, per tirare fuori una radice lunga sei metri che dia un senso al tuo dolore: “Perché faccio così? Com’è che ripeto sempre lo stesso schema? Sono forse pazza?”
Se lo sono chiesto tutte.
 

E allora vai giù con la ruspa dentro alla tua storia, a due, a quattro mani, e saltano fuori migliaia di tasselli. Un puzzle inestricabile. 
Ecco, è qui che inizia tutto. Non lo sapevi? E’ da quel grande fegato che ti ci vuole per guardarti così, scomposta in mille coriandoli, che ricomincerai.
 

Perché una donna ricomincia comunque, ha dentro un istinto che la trascinerà sempre avanti.
Ti servirà una strategia, dovrai inventarti una nuova forma per la tua nuova te.
Perché ti è toccato di conoscerti di nuovo, di presentarti a te stessa.
Non puoi più essere quella di prima. Prima della ruspa.

Non ti entusiasma? Ti avvincerà lentamente.
Innamorarsi di nuovo di se stessi, o farlo per la prima volta, è come un diesel.
Parte piano, bisogna insistere. Ma quando va, va in corsa. 
E’ un’avventura, ricostruire se stesse. La più grande.
Non importa da dove cominci, se dalla casa, dal colore delle tende o dal taglio di capelli.

Vi ho sempre adorato, donne in rinascita, per questo meraviglioso modo di gridare al mondo “Sono nuova!”, con una gonna a fiori o con un fresco ricciolo biondo.

Perché tutti devono vedere e capire: “Attenti: il cantiere è aperto, stiamo lavorando anche per voi. Ma soprattutto per noi stesse”.

Più delle albe, più del sole, una donna in rinascita è la più grande meraviglia. Per chi la incontra e per se stessa.
 
È la primavera a novembre,
quando meno te l’aspetti.

Jack Folla

Weheartit

 
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Extra Special Cranberry Sauce

I started cooking for Thanksgiving today. A little early, but this cranberry sauce is worth it! I actually made a triple batch, because I’m giving a jar to my Visiting Teaching ladies. This sauce is really delicious but it’s not as wild as some of the … Continua a leggere

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The MiniZinc Challenge

Posted by Jon Orwant, Engineering Manager

Constraint Programming is a style of problem solving where the properties of a solution are first identified, and a large space of solutions is searched through to find the best. Good constraint programming depends on modeling the problem well, and on searching effectively. Poor representations or slow search techniques can make the difference between finding a good solution and finding no solution at all.

One example of constraint programming is scheduling: for instance, determining a schedule for a conference where there are 30 talks (that’s one constraint), only eight rooms to hold them in (that’s another constraint), and some talks can’t overlap (more constraints).

Every year, some of the world’s top constraint programming researchers compete for medals in the MiniZinc challenge. Problems range from scheduling to vehicle routing to program verification and frequency allocation.

Google’s open source solver, or-tools, took two gold medals and two silver medals. The gold medals were in parallel and portfolio search, and the silver medals were in fixed and free search. Google’s success was due in part to integrating a SAT solver to handle boolean constraints, and a new presolve phase inherited from integer programming.

Laurent Perron, a member of Google’s Optimization team and a lead contributor to or-tools, noted that every year brings fresh techniques to the competition: “One of the big surprises this year was the success of lazy-clause generation, which combines techniques from the SAT and constraint programming communities.”

If you’re interested in learning more about constraint programming, you can start at the wikipedia page, or have a look at or-tools.

The full list of winners is available here.


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Preview Phicen Limited 1:6 Scale Female Agent 12-inch Deluxe Collector Figure – Tanya Adams?

Tanya Adams is a recurring hero character in the Command & Conquer: Red Alert universe. She was a German civilian who volunteered into the allied forces during the Great World War II. The Command & Conquer franchise has become famous for its inclusion of cutscenes featuring live actors. Through the years, many of it’s characters have been recast, for one reason or another, and Tanya is no exception. In Red Alert 3, Tanya is played by Jenny McCarthy.

Phicen Limited Item NO: PL2013-24 1:6 Scale Female Agent 12-inch Deluxe Collector Figure will be 29.5cm tall and have the following features: 12-inch Seamless body in large bust size, 1/6 scale Head sculpt, Interchangeable eyes 3 pcs, Replaceable hands 6 pcs / 3 pairs, Short vest, Long vest, Gloves 2 pcs / 1 pair, pants, Belt, Boots, Pistol 2 pcs, Holster 2 pcs, Clips 2 pcs, Bullet bag 2 pcs, Dagger 1 pc, Dagger sheath, walkie-talkie radio, Waist Bag, Clips Bag, Dog Tag, Figure Stand

If you’re going to do a Phicen figure at all, she needs to show lots of skin which accounts for the ridiculous tops.

When it comes to seamless bodies, they are bale to do it with female figures but not for male bodies. I guess the reason is that female bodies are not so defined and muscular as male bodies so there’s no worry about muscle definition and cuts to the shoulders and arms. For female figures, just make them slim and slender.

And don’t forget to show some boobs – that’s their assets after all ;p

She will do well starring opposite Black Widow.

Scroll down to see the rest of the pictures of Phicen Limited 1:6 Scale Female Agent 12-inch Deluxe Collector Figure, inspired by the Tanya Adams character in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Related posts:
February 13, 2013 – Review Phicen Limited 1/6 scale Female Seam-less Body Tan skin large bust size 12-inch figure HERE
February 14, 2013 – Review Flirty Girl Collectibles 1/6th scale Female Character Set – 12-inch Lara Croft Tomb Raider posted HERE, HERE and HERE
August 26, 2013 – Original Effect Army Attractive series 1/6 scale Viola 13.5-inch female action figure Reviews HERE and HERE
September 25, 2013 – Comparison pictures of Hot Toys Catwoman with Batman Returns Catwoman, Black Widow & Bats posted HERE

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Updated pictures of Kotobukiya DC Comics Supergirl New 52 ARTFX+ 7.5-inch tall Statue

These are Production Updates of Kotobukiya Supergirl New 52 ARTFX+ Statue (4 photos) – With a newly refined body sculpt Supergirl is looking better than ever!

A Kotobukiya Japanese import! Kotobukiya’s line of DC Comics “New 52” ARTFX+ Statues continues after the mighty Shazam and Black Adam with one of the most popular female characters in all of comics, Supergirl! Another Kryptonian crash landed on Earth, Kara Zor-El wakes up in Siberia not realizing that she’s on a different planet or that her homeworld has been destroyed. Initially distrustful of humanity and of her cousin Kal-El, Supergirl nevertheless learned to embrace her new home and its residents, becoming a hero and using her incredible Kryptonian abilities against Worldkillers, Black Banshee, and more!

A youthful and innocent heroine, Supergirl is constantly learning about the new world around her as well as her own new powers under the Earth’s yellow sun. In this fantastic new presentation she’s ready to take on anyone who tries to control her, standing proud and defiant in the face of any danger! Her strength is matched with her femininity as she poses with one leg slightly bent at the knee and one hand at her waist while the other is balled into a fist and held at the ready. Turned slightly, Supergirl regards you with all the focus of her attention, her perfectly sculpted face framed by her beautiful blonde hair. The Kryptonian’s distinctive New 52 costume is recreated with extreme attention to detail and includes the unique thigh high boots with exposed knees, half-body suit in gleaming metallic colors, and calf-length cape. The statue’s paint highlights all of the great details with bright, vivid colors exemplified by the “S” shield on her chest.

Supergirl stands just over 7.5 inches tall (in the ARTFX+ 1/10th scale) atop her included display base with magnets in her feet for added stability. The powerful young hero looks great displayed all by herself, and she’s a perfect addition to the previous New 52 Justice League series!

What was wrong with the earlier previewed Kotobukiya Supergirl New 52 ARTFX+ Statue?

The design of the costume and body sculpt made her look like she had a tummy and worse, appear pregnant. There was a lot of negative feedback on facebook so Kotobukiya went back to the drawing board and redesigned and refined the body sculpt.

Does she look better now? Sure but I’m not really a big fan of the new costume. I just don’t understand the triangular patch at her crotch region. Looks like a maxi pad :(

Related posts:
March 27, 2012 – W is also for Wonder Woman: Kotobukiya DC Comics Bishoujo Wonder Woman Review HERE and HERE
June 2, 2013 – Kotobukiya Batman Arkham City Collectors Edition 14 cm (5.5″) Statue posted HERE

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