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Physics and Astronomy/Thayer Plasma Seminar - Kristina Lynch, Dartmouth College

58465 thumb Tue, Oct 08 04:15 PM until 05:15 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Title: "ARCS: Auroral Reconstruction CubeSwarm, a NASA Heliophysics Mission Concept"
Location: Wilder 202


ePrint Report: Encrypted Distributed Hash Tables


ePrint Report: Encrypted Distributed Hash Tables
Archita Agarwal, Seny Kamara

Distributed hash tables (DHT) are a fundamental building block in the design of distributed systems with applications ranging from content distribution networks to off-chain storage networks for blockchains and smart contracts. When DHTs are used to store sensitive information, system designers use end-to-end encryption in order to guarantee the confidentiality of their data. A prominent example is Ethereum's off-chain network Swarm.

In this work, we initiate the study of end-to-end encryption in DHTs and the many systems they support. We introduce the notion of an encrypted DHT and provide simulation-based security definitions that capture the security properties one would desire from such a system. Using our definitions, we then analyze the security of a standard approach to storing encrypted data in DHTs. Interestingly, we show that this "standard scheme" leaks information probabilistically, where the probability is a function of how well the underlying DHT load balances its data. We also show that, in order to be securely used with the standard scheme, a DHT needs to satisfy a form of equivocation with respect to its overlay. To show that these properties are indeed achievable in practice, we study the balancing properties of the Chord DHT---arguably the most influential DHT---and show that it is equivocable with respect to its overlay in the random oracle model. Finally, we consider the problem of encrypted DHTs in the context of transient networks, where nodes are allowed to leave and join.

Scientists Take a Look at Wasps' Learning Behavior to Build Better Traps for Them


My first encounter with wasps was a bit scary. I saw one coming in through the window and thinking that it was a bee, I swatted it away. Eventually, it signaled to its friends to come to its aid. Before long, I was faced with a swarm coming in. It was a terrifying experience.

In parts of southern United States, they experience even worse encounters. So in response to this, scientists at Washington State University are conducting research in collaboration with the US Department of Defense to learn more about the ways wasps learn in order for them to create better traps for them.

(Image credit: Capri23auto/Pixabay)


Costs of natural disasters are increasing at the high end

While the economic cost of natural disasters has not increased much on average, averages can be deceptive. The costs of major disasters like hurricanes Katrina, Maria and Dorian or the massive tornado swarms in the Midwest have increased to a disproportionately larger extent than those of lesser events, and these major disasters have become far more expensive, according to an international team of researchers.

Friday Night Lights was Friday Night Bugs

A weak cool front that didn't do half of what weathercritters had predicted in advance left North Texas semi-muggy and plenty of weather unsettled as late summer still refused to give way to fall for this week's Friday Night Lights?


Massive amounts of moths swarming stadium lights, and even more big black crickets on the ground, on people's backs, in people's hair and under people's shirts.

Yours truly was covering Era vs. Tom Bean.

Halftime fun had more entertainment from a kid about 4 years old, a young girl, trying to kill crickets with pom-poms than anything on the field. (Note to Tom Bean's band: No, you're not worth 7 minutes plus of airtime at an away game. Band teacher, train your drum majors to do a shorter program. Seriously. I'm not a sports editor geek guy; this is just common courtesy.

Era itself is an interesting place.

A few years ago, whether via a bond or cash in pocket, the school district sprang to replace grass on baseball and softball fields with turf.

Football field? Still grass.

The mouthpiece at left attests to that. Was it bug-free? Given the amount of crickets on the field, not for much longer than when I took this photo, I'm sure.

And, in an even bigger oddity in general in 2019, still no play clock behind the two end zones.

Anyway, the game was a small-school run-heavy event. Even with the time greed by Tom Bean's band, game was over before 9:45.

Small-school football also means small-school reffing.

I don't expect these refs to be close to perfect, unlike the first-year coach of S and S, who fancies himself a junior Mike Leach.

I do expect them to be reasonably OK, at least.

How this tackle at right wasn't flagged as a horsecollar, when UIL has had them verboten for several years and toughened its rules two years ago, I have no idea. But, it wasn't.

Anyway, it's before midnight, I've got photos edited, and we're off to another week.

And the weathercritters are saying the high for next Friday's tilts will only be in the 80s, err, 60s! We'll see. And, no, I do NOT need it to hit a flat 40 next Friday night.


[آموزش] دانلود Udemy Learn and Master Git & Github from zero to Hero - آموزش مقدماتی تا پیشرفته تسلط بر گیت و گیت هاب


دانلود Udemy Learn and Master Git & Github from zero to Hero - آموزش مقدماتی تا پیشرفته تسلط بر گیت و گیت هاب

 گیت (Git) یک نرم‌افزار آزاد و متن‌باز برای بازنگری کد منبع توزیع شده و مدیریت منبع کد است که برروی سرعت تاکید می‌کند. گیت ابتدا برای توسعهٔ لینوکس توسط لینوس تروالدز به وجود آمد و اکنون پروژه‌های فراوانی از آن الهام گرفته‌اند. هر دایرکتوری کاری در گیت یک مخزن کامل با تاریخچهٔ کامل تغییرات و قابلیت بازنگری تغییرات است و برای کار با آن نیازی به دسترسی به شبکه یا سرور مرکزی وجود ندارد. گیت یک نرم‌افزار آزاد است که تحت عنوان جی‌پی‌ال نسخه ۲ توزیع شده است. گیت‌هاب (GitHub) یک سرویس میزبانی وب برای پروژه‌های است که از ...

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Eileen Pollack asks: Would you know a terrorist if you met one?

HALLIE EPHRON: If your neighbor were a home-grown terrorist, how could you not know? Eileen Pollack thrilling new novel, "The Professor of Immortality," sets up precisely this situation. It's inspired by the true story of American terrorist, the Unabomber.

Today we're delighted to welcome Eileen to Jungle Red, and looking forward to hearing the story behind her remarkable new book.

EILEEN POLLACK: My friends in Manhattan can’t understand how people can say they knew that the guy who went on a shooting spree was stockpiling weapons and spouting racist or anti-Semitic diatribes. Given that I spent 27 years living in the Midwest, they turn to me for an explanation. Is everyone out there a white supremacist?

No. To think so is its own kind of bigotry. The vast majority of people in this country are kind, tolerant, open-hearted. But plenty of right-wing extremists live between the coasts (and on the coasts) and predicting which ones might show up at the mall with an AK-47 isn’t always easy.

I moved to Michigan eight months before Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. McVeigh had attended at least one meeting of something called the Michigan Militia. He practiced building bombs on a farm two hours’ north of my new home. A locksmith at the university where I taught was suspected of being McVeigh’s accomplice.

Alarmed, I spent the next decade researching the militias. This turned out to be surprisingly easy: the militias met as openly as the Rotarians. Not only was I welcome to hang out with the local branch to celebrate “Tax Blast” by nailing a 1040 to a tree and using it as a target, the group had set out a pan of kosher hot dogs for any Jews who might be attending. The moms and dads openly carried guns, but they would have welcomed anyone who helped them defend our state from an invasion by foreign terrorists, a round-up by agents of our own government, or a horde of starving black and brown people and white urban wusses who might, if the grid went down, swarm the countryside in search of food.

Puzzled as to how the lefties I knew in Ann Arbor could coexist with neighbors who saw the world through such a radically different lens, I wrote a novel in which a liberal California couple move to a cute Michigan town, only to find that most of their neighbors belong to the militia

The manuscript collected nothing but rejections. After all, the editors in New York thought white supremacists had gone extinct with the Ku Klux Klan in the 1950s. Not until years later did Breaking and Entering find a publisher. A group of “Christian warriors” called the Hutaree were arrested near Ann Arbor for conspiring to wage war on the police. None of my buddies from the Tax Blast belonged to the Hutaree, but my son attended high school with a member’s son.

Even at the university where I taught, I might have found a terrorist among my students. The Unabomber, as it turned out, had earned a math degree at the University of Michigan in the 1960s. The more I read about his life, the more Ted Kaczynski reminded me of dozens of my brilliant but disaffected white male students. Some wrote violent, misogynistic narratives because that was what they had grown up seeing in the movies, on TV, in video games and online porn. Some had been abused. Some were showing signs of mental illness. Should I have turned them in to the authorities? Urged them to seek counseling? 

I wrote The Professor of Immortality to explore such questions. Who are the terrorists among us? How can we distinguish them from our neighbors, students, and friends with whom we merely disagree?

HALLIE: If that isn't a question for our times, I don't know what is.   As someone who tries to be accepting of differences, what would it take for me to raise an alarm? How about you?

I, for one, am hoping Eileen tell us more about the research she did for writing the book. Did she talk to his neighbors??

Eileen Pollack is a writer whose novel Breaking and Entering, about the deep divisions between blue and red America, was named a 2012 New York Times Editor’s Choice selection.

She also is the author of Paradise, New York, a novel, and two collections of short fiction, In the Mouth and The Rabbi in the Attic, as well as a work of creative nonfiction called Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull (made into a major motion picture starring Jessica Chastain) and two innovative textbooks, Creative Nonfiction and Creative Composition.

Quake swarm nothing unusual

A series of mainly unnoticeable earthquakes continuing off the Northern Hawke's Bay coast since a significant 5.4 magnitude shake a week ago is not unusual, according to a leading seismologist.John Ristau, of national research institute...

Earthquake swarm in Northern Hawke's Bay

More than 60 earthquakes have been recorded in the Wairoa District in an ongoing but mainly unnoticeable swarm since the 5.4 shake last week.Most of them are regarded by national agency GNS as unnoticeable, but almost all have been...

Escaped Prisoner on the Loose in Brooklyn; Cops Swarm Scene - NBC New York

Escaped Prisoner on the Loose in Brooklyn; Cops Swarm Scene  NBC New York


Russia-Iran special forces conduct first ever joint exercise in E. Syria Russian, Iranian and Syrian government forces launched their first joint exercise in Syria's Deir ez-Zour region - or, for that matter, their first combined drill anywhere else in the Mid-East.

Could Israel's Missile Defenses Withstand a Swarm or Missile Attack from Iran? In the aftermath of Iran's alleged drone strikes against Saudi Arabia and military support for Houthi insurgents in Yemen, Prominent figures in Israel's security establishment are growing increasingly convinced that a direct military confrontation with Tehran is not only likely, but inevitable.

Putin, Rouhani meet in Armenia to discuss regional issues Iran's president called on the international community to stand against America's 'hostile approach'.

Pompeo, Pope Francis urge religious freedom in Mideast, elsewhere Pope Francis and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed on Thursday on the need to protect the rights of Christian minorities in the Middle East during a meeting at the Vatican, the U.S. State Department said.

Netanyahu, Liberman fail to reach 'breakthrough' after coalition talks Liberman pressed the PM to form a government with Blue & White party leader Benny Gantz.

'No precedent in human experience': Study finds nuclear war between India and Pakistan could leave 125 million dead A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could kill up to 125 million people in just a few days - surpassing the death count of the entire Second World War - and kick off a worldwide environmental meltdown, a new study found.

France: President Macron Must Stop Appeasing Iran's Mullahs Has French President Emmanuel Macron forgotten that he is helping and appeasing a state leading in human rights violations?

Boris Johnson: Brexit plan 'genuine attempt to bridge chasm' Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he has made a "genuine attempt to bridge the chasm" in order to get a fresh Brexit deal with the EU.

Yom Kippur: Can the Nations Also Repent? With Yom Kippur (Day of atonement) around the corner, Jews worldwide are preparing to fast in an effort to be angel-like as they repent and have their final judgment decided for all the sins committed in the year 5779.

Rivlin: Israel is in crisis, needs government now 22nd Knesset sworn in amid political uncertainty.


Massive swarm of asteroids including a space rock larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza is soaring past Earth - The Sun

  1. Massive swarm of asteroids including a space rock larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza is soaring past Earth  The Sun
  2. Asteroid swarm: Nasa detects 16 space rocks hurtling towards Earth this week
  3. Nasa: A swarm of asteroids is headed in the direction of Earth'
  4. Space Week 2019: Asteroids, exploration, moon landings and more make this the year of space; Part I  Firstpost
  5. Nasa admits it almost missed asteroid twice the size of a double-decker bus due to skim past Earth tomorrow  The Sun
  6. View full coverage on Google News


Reader Question: Protesting Dutch Farmers?


Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! Mark asks: I don’t know if you heard, but Dutch farmers are protesting en masse about the new green policies that’ll make their lives difficult, if not impossible. They’ve taken to their tractors, jammed the highways, and are swarming the capital of Holland. I have a […]

The post Reader Question: Protesting Dutch Farmers? appeared first on EPautos - Libertarian Car Talk.




I was eight years old when I first shot a gun. I killed a pheasant. I shot it twice: first in its leg and then again in its chest. It was the day after Thanksgiving, 2007.

My dad woke me up at 4:30 in the morning to drive two-and-a-half hours from our house in Charlotte, N.C. to a fancy pheasant-shooting farm in South Carolina. He and his brother always went hunting the day after Thanksgiving, but my Uncle Matt was with his wife’s family that year, so my dad brought me instead. He called it a father-daughter outing. He hoped it would be the beginning of an annual tradition.

I remember I wore a white and green striped Abercrombie & Fitch shirt that morning. It was tight and smelled overpoweringly of the teenage-boy cologne the store sells. When I wore it, I felt old and hot, and I considered it an appropriately fashionable interpretation of the oversized camouflage vest my dad was trying to get me to wear. He surrendered, and I won. I did wear his big neon orange baseball hat, though. “You have to wear it so that everyone can see you in the field. So that nobody shoots you by accident,” he said.

I rode to the farm in a booster seat in the back of my dad’s Suburban. The truck was a metallic forest green. He kept his screwdrivers in the cupholders in the backseat. He kept his rifles in a pile in the trunk. My dad drives fast always and he drove fast that morning. The cops pulled us over and gave him a ticket for speeding. I was scared. I thought they might check the trunk and see all his guns and think that he was lying about being my dad, and suspect that actually he was kidnapping me. They didn’t check the trunk for guns. We drove on, safe.

Illustration by Paige Davis

Last week, my best friend from high school, Mebane, went to a fundraiser for Ducks Unlimited in Charlottesville, Va. . There was an all-you-can-eat buffet and an open bar and fraternity boys in button-down shirts and silver cufflinks and plain white Vans. All the girls wore cocktail dresses. After dessert, they auctioned off a semi-automatic rifle. The winner was a fourteen-year-old girl. She went up to the stage to accept the weapon, and people clapped. Later that night, she decided she didn’t want it. Maybe she’d been drilled enough times on the lock-down protocol to know better. Or maybe it was too heavy for her to carry home by herself. She gave it back to the showrunners and an old man took it instead. Probably, it made another addition to an extensive collection.

When I was eight and shot the pheasant, it wasn’t flying. It was on the ground. You’re not supposed to shoot birds when they’re on the ground because it takes the challenge out of the sport. It makes it too easy. You’re supposed to shoot birds when they’re flying, when they’re so far away that they don’t even look like birds, but just black specks moving through the sky in swarms or V-shapes or sometimes, if you’re unlucky, alone. It’s hard to shoot a bird when it’s flying alone but not in a way that makes it a sport. The target is smaller, and the pay-off is smaller too. You’re supposed to shoot birds in packs, when they’re far enough away that you forget that they’re alive and can’t tell that they’re dead until your dog is at your feet holding the the limp feathered bodies between its jaws.

When my brothers and I watched Kill Bill with my mother one Sunday night last summer, she shouted every time a gun sounded.

“Shush, Mom. I can’t hear what they’re saying,” my younger brother said.

“Oh! She screamed again, and covered her mouth. “Sorry, sorry.” When it finished, she said, “You can tell that movie was made by a man.”

When my mom was thirty, her younger cousin used a gun to shoot himself by the pond in his mother’s backyard. Since then she hasn’t gone to a shooting range with my dad. When he asks her to go with her, she tells him that she has sensitive ears, and the kick-back leaves an ugly bruise between her breast and armpit.

I’m not a good shot anymore. Maybe I would be if the father-daughter hunting outing had become a tradition, but my uncle started spending Thanksgivings in Charlotte and Christmases with his wife’s family, and my little brothers got old enough to shoot soon after I did. Together, we used to prop old soup cans and empty milk jugs on tree stumps in our backyard and shoot them with our BB guns. It was fun until the BB guns lost their novelty and my brothers moved on to real guns, the ones my dad keeps locked in a metal safe next to his bookshelf. Shooting became a boys’ thing again.

My dad still talks about the day I shot that pheasant at dinner parties and on my birthday and during most Thanksgivings. Like my mother, I’ve learned to hate the bruise a gun leaves between my armpit and breast. A gun is too heavy and too loud for me to hold anymore. I can’t see killing as a sport. But when my dad tells the story, I still smile.

Shooting was originally published in The Yale Herald on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


NASA detects asteroid swarm hurtling near Earth

Unfortunately, none are predicted to hit Africa, maybe their calculations are in error, one can only hope: NASA news: Space agency warns of a swarm of asteroids hurtling towards Earth | Science |...

Emergent naming of resources in a foraging robot swarm. (arXiv:1910.02274v1 [cs.RO])


Authors: Roman Miletitch, Andreagiovanni Reina, Marco Dorigo, Vito Trianni

We investigate the emergence of language convention within a swarm of robots foraging in an open environment from two identical resources. While foraging, the swarm needs to explore and decide which resource to exploit, moving through complex transitory dynamics towards different possible equilibria, such as, selection of a single resource or spread across the two. Our point of interest is the understanding of possible correlations between the emergent, evolving, task-induced interaction network and the language dynamics. In particular, our goal is to determine whether the dynamics of the interaction network are sufficient to determine emergent naming conventions that represent features of the task execution (e.g., choice of one or the other resource) and of the environment, In other words, we look for an emergent vocabulary that is both complete (a word for each resource) and correct (no misnomer) for as long as each resource is relevant to the swarm. In this study, robots are playing two variants of the minimal language game. The classic one, where words are created when needed, and a new variant we introduce in this article: the spatial minimal naming game, where the creation of words is linked with the discovery of resources by exploring robots. We end the article by proposing a proof of concept extension of the spatial minimal naming game that assures the completeness and correctness of the swarms vocabulary.


S09E06: You See We Need More Daylight

itunes pic
Like a teardrop that slowly runs off from the winter, it’s the sound that has been petrified in the skin. We have said unrelated things to talk about a memory without mentioning the last summer. The mansion that the swallows weave is a swarm of hands that numb us and lead us to the smallest corner of the world; where a gesture means everything. ------ Tracklist 00 Mary Oliver- Wild Geese 01 Goldmund- The Malady of Elegance 02 Brigid Mae Power- The Two Worlds 03 Jerry David DeCicca- Time the Teacher 04 Jessica Lee Mayfield- Safe 2 Connect 2 05 Johanna Warren- Cleansed by Fire 06 Irene Diaz- Crazy Love 07 John Tams- Biiter Withy 08 Mark Olson- More Hours 09 Rivulets- Everything Goes 10 Iron & Wine- Taling to Fog 11 Arthur Russell- Oh Fernanda Why 12 Antonia Font- Carreteres que no van enlloc 13 The Marzipan Man- Everything Goes 14 Okkervil River- The Dream and the Light ----- Photo by: Cristina Garcia Rodero

Mosquitoes mild, despite precipitation and perception

The Galveston County Daily News, October 2, 2019

Locally, this year’s mosquito season has been relatively mild compared to previous years but the recent rains have them swarming. UTMB’s Scott Weaver is a story contributor, discussing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses. Weaver notes that a lot of mosquitoes doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of illnesses. [See the attached file for the full text of the story.] 




Tunes By the Tracks is building up steam, for a highball run to the Clifton Springs library, on Wednesday, July 10.

Your happily handy hosts, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath, and Allen Hopkins are pleased and excited to present our Double Feature:



Taylor Pie, https/ is a much loved Tracker favorite. She has done so many are even we'll just say that we love our Pie.


The Brothers Blue, http/ endeared themselves to us Trackers with their inaugural visit last year, and we hear through the grapevine, that they're even better guacamole.

We're thrilled that these splendid artists will be combining their talents and spirits right on our stage...Pie might even organize a Song Swarm...


Oh to saved room for the musical daredevils to strut their guess, is that they might get some extry help from our Features.



Thread: Aeon's End:: General:: Carapace Queen (now we’re sharing the same dream, and our heart will beat as one)


by mmalinsk8

I went 1-1 against rageborne, defeating him handily on my second try. But with Carapace Queen I’m now 0-7. She seems unstoppable once it gets to those level 3 cards because of how quickly the unleashes and swarms lead to immediate defeat. Each game I think “ok NOW I know what I need to focus on” but then I get beaten in a different way. I don’t know if I need strategy advice as much as wondering if many people have had such difficulty with her or maybe I am majorly misplaying a rule or something? I’m sure it’s possible that my playing is simply insufficient but I’m curious

Slog AM: State Department Blocks Trump-Ukraine Witness, China Wars with NBA, Southwest Pilots Sue Boeing

by Nathalie Graham
The ire of China: The Houston Rockets. Also South Park. And Hong Kong. Its a whole thing.
The ire of China: The Houston Rockets. Also South Park. And Hong Kong. It's a whole thing. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Seattle City Council limits environmental reviews: Wait! Don't sharpen those pitchforks just yet. This is a good thing. The council has curbed State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) appeals because they are a hindrance to progress and used as a speed bump by critics of projects. SEPA has been weaponized to slow down controversial construction. The council will ban SEPA appeals on all up-zoning projects around transit stations, allowing multifamily units on single-family zoned parcels, and more. There will also be a 120-day limit for appeals unless both sides agree to more. Maybe this will speed up the ol' Seattle process?

State Department orders Trump-Ukraine witness not to speak: Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, has been ordered by the Trump administration to not appear for his scheduled hearings in front of three House committees on Tuesday. He has no choice but to comply, according to his attorneys. The House Democrats have warned the Trump administration not to interfere in the investigation. This could be used as evidence of obstruction, something on par with impeachment, in the House's opinion. Trump and his team are attempting to quell further cooperation.

Representative Adam Schiff speaks up: Mike Pompeo also missed a Friday deadline to produce documents. The House has now subpoenaed those. One witness has failed to show and another has been pressured not to. Other witness testimonies this week are shakier now.

Sondland's testimony and his evidence are held hostage: According to Schiff, the State Department is holding onto Sondland's texts and e-mails that are on his personal device:

Cause of Ballard fire still unknown: Crews had yet to determine the cause of a three-alarm fire in Ballard on Monday that caused the total destruction of five beloved small businesses. The first 911 call came when a Supercuts employee smelled smoke. A GoFundMe was established by the Ballard Alliance and has, of Tuesday morning, raised a little over $9,000.

Everyone should have naloxone: Listen, the opioid crisis isn't going anywhere and it's even deadlier since fentanyl, the synthetic opioid stronger than heroin, is so prolific. It's safe to assume that any given drug could be tainted with fentanyl. While health officials have tests that can determine whether fentanyl is in a drug, there's no way to tell how much. Everyone should have naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug. There's a statewide prescription.

It's nippy out today: How did we ever get anything done in the winter? It's too cold to even leave my bed right now. I think I might have to be buried here. Or maybe it's time to turn the heat on in our house.

Don't drink and e-scoot: Oktoberfest attendees in Germany found that out the hard way. There were 414 people who were caught driving e-scooters while intoxicated during the Munich beer festival. They lost their licenses.

And now a dispatch from Lester Black: Dave Segal promised that Tinariwen's trance-like blues rock would "flow like medicine for the heart," and Monday night's show at Benaroya Hall proved the prescience of those words. Tinariwen wove a dazzling mix of chants, guitar riffs, and Taureg percussion into an epic tour de force while the crowd danced in the aisles of the symphonic venue, providing demonstrable proof that Seattleites have no rhythm. Although maybe it was just a weird crowd; I saw one goateed man burst into tears during one of opener Lonnie Holley's rambling psychedelic masterpieces.

Southwest Airlines is suing Boeing: Because of the grounding of the 737 MAX 8 planes, the aircraft responsible for two fatal plane crashes. Southwest Airlines had more than 30,000 flights canceled, which cost pilots more than $100 million in lost wages.

China dumps South Park: The most recent episode of the animated series has offended the Chinese government and the show is now banned in China. It took aim at China's censorship practices and how media companies (cough Disney cough) must capitulate to Chinese standards in order to do business there. Anyway, it's a whole hubbub. This is the apology that Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park's creators, issued:

Wait, what was that about the NBA and China? The general manager of the Houston Rockets tweeted a message over the weekend in support of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. China is not happy. The NBA quickly groveled, apologizing for the comments and trying to separate them from the league itself. This week, the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets will play two exhibition games in China. The most recent development is that the Taiwanese owner of the Brooklyn Nets called the Hong Kong protests a "separatist movement," echoing the language Beijing has used.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended the pro-Hong Kong tweets: And now China is reevaluating their entire relationship with the NBA. They have suspended the current broadcast arrangement for preseason games in China.

California will allow HIV prevention pills without a prescription: It's the first state to do so.

Happy Tuesday: I hope it can be at least a little bit like this video.

Today's EverOut picks are: A talk on US transit systems with Christof Spieler, the quasi-adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Austen's Pride, and a show with much-loved '70s-era punks Stiff Little Fingers. See more on our EverOut Things To Do calendar.

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SUSPIRIA Day 7: sweet girl


Suspiria is a film full of tragedies both great and small, the personal and the expansive alike. Its love stories–and there are several–are no less heartbreaking than the violence. Whether it's Josef and Anke, Susie and Blanc, or Markos and her sunglasses, death and the Holocaust are specters haunting all of them and the globe from Ohio to Berlin and back again. Nothing good can remain in this world for long so long as we keep destroying ourselves. We can only hope that Mother Suspiriorum will bring about a new way, that the small wave of her hand in the post-end credits stinger will absolve us of our sins.

But the love story I return to time and time again, the one that wrecks me and breaks my heart into pieces, the one I keep hoping will turn out differently on every viewing, is the one between Susie and Sara.

And make no mistake, this is a love story from the very start to its sad, beautiful end.

Glances from afar are de rigueur in queer cinema, particularly in lesbian cinema. Historically, gays have not been allowed the freedom of the rom-com meet-cute on-screen. The closest to the 'two souls meet' of straight romance is the momentary, meaningful gaze, the one that communicates so much in only a second or two. The one that says, unspoken, I see you. Do you see me? It's a private moment in a crowd of people, undeniably romantic. Often, it's also a necessity, forced by society's mores and laws. No one can know, but I know.

This is how Sara and Susie meet before they meet. Susie stands in the lobby after her audition. She overhears some dancers in another room talking about Patricia's absence. And then:

No one else looks in Susie's direction or notices her. Only Sara does. Their eyes meet, Sara slows her gait just a bit, and the moment lingers for a second. Tanner calls for Susie. She turns away to go to her, to the judgment that first she turns back for one more look.

Susie has not even been accepted to the Company yet, but her life has already changed.

That night, Sara goes to Susie's hotel to help her move into the Tanz building. There are many ways her arrival could have been filmed–from inside the taxi, from the street outside–but we stay inside with Susie, who gazes out the window, waiting for (or perhaps sensing) Sara's imminent appearance.

The matrons were very deliberate in their choice to have Sara be Susie's guide. Surely Susie could have brought herself and her very meager belongings to the Tanz building. But Sara, more than anyone else in this film, is kind. A sweet girl. She will make Susie feel welcome, at home, and at ease as the coven assesses the new dancer's abilities. None of them could have predicted, however, that their bond would be so instant and would become so deep. On this first, the first face-to-face where they actually speak, Susie pulls Sara into her room as she confides in her about her happiness and nervousness now that she is someone in Berlin. This emphasizes their immediate connection, but it also makes me wonder about Susie's life in Ohio, what it was like for her. Did she have anyone to confide in, to talk to–to really talk to, to share everything with? Maybe Naomi. Probably no one.

They become inseparable and often separate from everyone else, sharing their own private moments in rooms full of people. At the start of Susie's first rehearsal, the dancers swarm around Madame Blanc, each receiving her kisses and good mornings in turn. Sara is undoubtedly accustomed to this daily ritual by now, but she doesn't partake. She stays with Susie, lingering apart from the group.

When Blanc calls upon Susie to introduce herself to everyone, Susie looks to Sara, who is basically shooting giant hearts out of her eyes at her and could you just die?

These handshakes and Hi, I'm Susies she gives out to everyone mark the only time we see Susie speak to or interact with any of her fellow dancers besides Sara, who is the only one who matters. For a long while, they are the only ones who matter. They're repeatedly shown stealing moments, off by themselves, and constantly in physical contact as the relationship grows.

Sara becomes increasingly worried about Patricia's disappearance, that perhaps the matrons are not telling the truth and her friend did not leave voluntarily. She talks about it one night in Susie's room and it's here you can see just how smitten Susie is, how much she's fallen for Sara. She is in deep, no matter what. A caress of the hair, all their hands intertwined, a pinky swear. "If I asked you for a favor tomorrow, would you do it?"

"Yes," Susie agrees, almost before Sara finishes asking. It is a whisper, a promise, barely a breath, but it is so heavy with everything she doesn't say. Yes, I will do this, whatever it is. Whatever you ask of me. Anything.

We cut to the next day as they sneak into the matrons' offices in search of answers, and it's as if they still haven't let go of one another.

Later, it's not the first time Susie has had a night of disturbing dreams, but it's the one that has her screaming "I know who I am!" A few of the dancers come down the hall to see if she's okay, but they're not particularly alarmed. Nightmares are the Markos Company special, after all. But Sara stays with Susie, calms her down, talks to her and soothes her. Then she turns off the light and gets into bed with her.

As they face one another, Susie says "I've only ever slept in bed with my sister." It's all but an explicit invitation, for this to be the time, their time. Susie is not as forthright with Sara as she is with Madame Blanc; One gets the feeling–or, at least, I do–that if she were, this night would have gone differently for them.

But Sara only says, "We're sisters now." Susie doesn't verbally respond. Instead, she rolls over–perhaps disappointed–and Sara puts an arm around her. Susie doesn't immediately settle into sleep, though. She lies there, eyes open, and if you can't imagine some of the thoughts going through her head, well, then you've never been unsure about someone even as you're in bed with them. Susie's look and all the questioning that goes with it, all the wondering about what to do, about what you're feeling, about what the other person is feeling, is, I'd wager, very very familiar to anyone in the queer community.

But hey, it's entirely possible that that night did end up going differently for them. After all, this isn't the first time horror fans have seen the word "sisters" tossed around by someone with ulterior motives and feelings. Isn't that right, Theo?

At rehearsal the day after their night together, they're all but giddy as they dance. A stolen kiss.

That rehearsal is the last time Sara and Susie will share any kind of intimacy. After, Sara finds the Mutterhäus and confides in Klemperer. Susie becomes increasingly emboldened by the power she's given and taken. She is falling deeper under Madame Blanc's spell (who, in turn, is falling deeper under Susie's) and at the next rehearsal, Sara is out. She dances alone now, watching Blanc and Susie share the kind of moment that she and Susie used to share. And now, out of nowhere, Susie speaks fluent French? Sara is (rightfully) wary of the supernatural fuckery afoot, but this scene is also like watching someone realize they've lost their girl to someone they can't possibly hope to compete with. Blanc is older, more worldly, more sophisticated, more everything. She's been Susie's everything since she was a child in a farmhouse in Ohio. And now they're acting like that, right there in front of everyone, and Sara is alone. Susie has suddenly outgrown her first love, who has to watch her flaunt her new, better love. You can almost hear Sara's heart breaking with the realization that it's all different now.

The rift between them is emphasized right after, as Sara confronts and warns Susie about her dealings with the matrons. At first, it looks as if the two of them are as close as they've ever been, sharing another one of their private moments:

But then the angle changes and we see how much space there is between them now, so much that it seems insurmountable. Their image is reflected in a metal surface and it's distorted beyond recognition, vastly unlike the reflection in the mirror in Susie's hotel room the night they met.

Susie could have fixed this right here, but instead she denies everything and essentially gaslights Sara. There's nothing to worry about. You're wrong about everything. She's cold to her, and Sara physically recoils from Susie's attempted touch. It's all gone now: the hand-holding, the kisses, the pinky swears and late nights and breathless, ready yeses. Susie offers only a condescending smirk before walking away.

Even so, on the night of the Volk performance Susie is focused solely on Sara's absence. She asks Vendegast about her and then crushes my soul by leaving a space for Sara in line until they all walk on stage.

You know where it goes from here, what happens to Sara in that hallway. What is done to her, what she must endure. What Susie does to all of them.

And so we get to their ending, their sad sad ending. Susie has mercifully released Olga and Patricia from their tortured lives with a kiss on the cheek. Then she comes to Sara.

"Sweet do you ask?"

Sweet girl.

There is no going back. We don't know how much of "Susie Bannion" remains in Mother Suspiriorum, but even if there's nothing left, she knows what Sara meant to her, what Sara still means to her somehow, somewhere.

Sweet girl.

Like the others, Sara asks to die, for an end to this unlife. Like the others, she is granted release.

Unlike the others, Susie cradles Sara as she dies, comforting her as they have comforted each other throughout terrible nights. It's reminiscent of Michelangelo's Pietà, a lamentation.

As I mentioned, it's one of many tragedies in the film, but I find it's the one that truly stings. Susie and Sara are not meant to be, not in this timeline, not in this lifetime, not with Susie's destiny waiting. But there, amongst the blood and destruction in the Sabbath chamber, as dancers spin around them, they have one final quiet moment together, separate from the others, as if they're the only people in the world.

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