Casino Seating Vendors & Manufacturer Branded Casino Chairs

TIL that a manufacturing defect saved a mobster's life. A car bomb detonated under Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal's 1981 Cadillac Eldorado, but GM installed a metal plate under the driver's seat in that model to correct its balance, protecting him from the explosion. ('Casino' (1995) depicts the bombing.)

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WATCH LIVE: Gov Edwards COVID-19 Press Conference at 2:30 PM on 11/24

Louisiana is backed in Phase 2 (modified)

LINKS TO WATCH
This conference was announced last Thursday

Pre-Conference Question - What do you think he'll announce?

Summary

NOTE: The summary of this press conference is transcribed LIVE. The summary may contain spelling and grammatical errors which until it is able to be corrected once the conference concludes.
NOTE: The summary may contain spelling and grammatical errors.
Gov JBE
Dr Kanter

Questions for Dr Kanter about data

Related to Halloween? Seems people are willing to gather for Thanksgiving. Are we going to see a worsening 2 weeks after Thanksgiving
We are already seeing just about as steep of an increase as we can get it really can't get much steeper than that. I don't know, looking back to Halloween, it was part of it. I think increases from other states was bleeding over into our particularly in Northern LA. Plus we are tired, COVID fatigue is real, and it's easy to get complacent. Even without Thanksgiving coming ahead we will continue to get worse. I don't know how much worse it gets with Thanksgiving. I cannot emphasize this more than enough if you need to make a decision for your family talk to someone who has had it, experiencing the disease, or someone who has worked in the affected healthcare facilities during those two surges.
How much is being driven by small gatherings indoors and if so it doesn't seem restrictions matter than much
Small gatherings have been a larger component than months ago, there is no question about that but that is just one slice. We continue to see a lot of cases tied to bars, restaurants, events, and churches as well. Mitigation measures are going to be significant in their effect but not absolute. The other side is that people really need to make responsible decisions when no one is looking. No one will police who parities but I want families to take it seriously and know what the real risks are and make an informed decision. The more families are informed the more they will be likely to say for this year, for my family, it is just not worth it.
Gov. JBE

Questions

Epidemiologists in Louisiana say we may be getting diminishing returns on our introduction of restrictions than what we previously saw. Are you concerned that the impact of the introduction of these restrictions will be more gradual and the implications that may have
I am concerned about an awful lot as it is related to COVID19 and this pandemic. There is not one easy decision I have made nor one that has brought me joy. I am convinced that if the people of Louisiana will embrace these mitigation measures and restrictions, be patient and selfless, and ensure compliance that we will flatten the curve again. That is what I know. There are no magic tricks to be worked here. The only way to stop a surge is with restrictions and mitigation measures. So with the numbers increases here and around the country as they are the sense of urgency that you see coming out of leaders in Washington right now, as seen with Vice President Pence and the Coronavirus Task Force the other day, everyone should understand that this a very very serious situation. We have to do our part in order to slow the spread. It has to be a collective effort. No one should say is 99% of the people do it that's good enough I don't have to personally do it... that doesn't work. We all have to see it as a common effort that we all play our part. If someone would have presented a better option to flatten the curve I would have taken it. I know we have COVID fatigue here and around the country. If there was something other than wearing masks, washing your hands and staying home when you are sick, and so forth I would embrace it. It doesn't exist. That is why you hear this coming out of Washington and all the other healthcare workers how important these are. So let's do it. Let's flatten the curve again. I feel very comfortable that in several months, not sure when we will have enough of our population vaccinated that I believe we can start putting in the rear view mirror. Until now and then we have to do what is necessary. I do not know if there is another surge after this one, I pray not, but we know we are surging now.
Are you trying to change the way enforcement has been handled on these public health issues. Obviously the problem is people aren't following previous guidelines.. so are you making changes to enforcement?
We will continue to work with businesses of all types and venues to ensure that they understand that the restrictions are what rules they have to abide by. Individuals and businesses can get more information at opensafely.la.gov and you will get more information. Will there be enforcement? Yes, there will be, but I am going to say what I've said back in March and every time since then, if the people in Louisiana insist we enforce our way through this we are doomed to failure. There are 4.66 million Louisianas and 10s of thousands of business and quite frankly we cannot enforce our way through this. We are going to be asking people to comply, do compliance visits, respond to complaints, and where people refuse to come int o compliance you can expect enforcement. That will not get us through this surge. That will not protect the health of our fellow Louisianans, it is better than not doing any enforcement. We need to have people doin this because it is the right thing to do. They need to embrace it, not because it is pleasant but at the end of the day this about people's lives are talking about. We are doing our very best to strike the balance between lives on one hand and livelihoods on the other. When it comes to economy, to business, to employers, to livelihoods, the best thing we can do is put this virus behind us.
Are the rules for temporary conditional permits allowing bars to operate as restaurants remain in effect?
Yes and we currently have 372 bars using conditional permits to operate as restaurants. They are not a hybrid, they are not part bar or part bar. They operate as restaurants if they are operating properly and they follow all rules for restaurants. For other establishment that continue to operate as bars they need to follow the way we outlined bars operate today.
What are you doing for your Thanksgiving celebration. You have a son who is coming home from college because LSU is going virtual for Thanksgiving
Yeah I have a son who actually lives here in Baton Rogue and he will likely be coming home to spend some time with us. I will tell you we will stay in baton Rogue at the mansion and have a Thanksgiving meal that consists of the immediate household. We will gives thanks because even during this pandemic which has been so tough on people, even after the 3 hurricanes that hit this year, we have so much to be thankful for. God has truly blessed us. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and that is important to me and my family and we are going to do it, but last year I remember my 84 year old mother came, my 6 siblings all came with their spouses and children and grandchildren. We had 80 or 90 people. You will not be seeing that this year and you will not see it at Christmas either. I hope and pray that if you are with me on Thanksgiving Day of 2021 you will see that. I believe that you will, but between now and then we all have to do our part.
Did you tell Legislative leaders about these new restrictions before you came out here today? What was their response?
Yes, I did. You need to know that I routinely send data and information to the Speaker and to the President. We have complete transparency on the data we are relying on because we update it every day aside for Saturday. We also have sent Legislative leadership, and I believe every member of the Legislature, every White House Coronavirus Task Force report whenever we get them. This morning in a addition to those things we presented all gating criteria slides to the Speaker and the President. We talked about where we were especially in light of our hospital capacity and our need to go back to a modified Phase 2 in order to flatten the curve again. They asked some questions, expressed concerns to makes sure whether the Fire Marshall or ATC will work with proprietors and bar owners to maximum extend possible so they can know hat is expected of them and be given an opportunity, if they are operation in good faith -- of which the overwhelming majority of businesses are -- to come into compliance. That has been our approach throughout the pandemic. We have always bent over backwards to make sure individuals know what the rules give them every opportunity to come into compliance and only after persistent shortcomings/refusal to do any real enforcement actions like citations take place. I assured him our approach would not change.
Does the influx of new vaccines change our prognosis at all
We have a draft plan in Louisiana that we continue to update and revise daily. The reason it is a draft plan is that we still don't know the day that we will get the first vaccines nor the number of doses that will be there. I have every expectation that around mid-December we should receive some doses of the Pfizer vaccines first. We don't know how many it could be as few as 30,000 or might be 60,000 we do not know for sure. We think the first doses of the Moderna vaccines would come weeks later, perhaps with a smaller number available initially. We continue to work with our federal partners. We were on the phone with Azar yesterday and talked about the logistical aspects of Project Warpspeed. Once the vaccine gets the EUA from the FDA we will have the vaccine in route to our location(s) of choice in 24 hours. The first shipment will be prioritized to healthcare workers, then high-risk groups (nursing homes, assisted living centers, congregated shelters), then the list expands from there out. Ultimately we want to get to a place where we put a call out to the general population they can go to their health unit (hospital, doctor's office, or pharmacy) and get the vaccine. This is not a one and one vaccine, it requires a second dose, depending on the manufacturer that could be between 21-28 days later. More vaccines may come only over time and some of these things may change. I do not want talk of the vaccine, it is critically important and no one is more excited than I am, but I do not want the talk of the vaccine to cause people to not pay attention to what is imperative right now. That is why you hear Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, Azar, talking about the term of bridging to the vaccine and needing to double-down on measures until the vaccine is widely available. The vaccine will not be here in the numbers we need soon enough to reverse the trajectory and numbers we went over today.
I do want to mention I have every confidence that when the FDA issues that EUA that that vaccine will be safe and effective. I hope my fellow Louisiana will embrace the vaccine. A vaccine saves 0 lives but vaccination can save a lot of lives. The vaccination requires the vaccines and an individual to receive that vaccine in two injections. So please understand the FDA has not cut out any steps required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. In fact, the trial sizes were 5x-6x more than one would normally see in a trial. They took steps consecutively instead of sequentially to make this vaccine thereby shortening its time for production. They started the mass production while trials were still happening. So if that authorization comes they have the vaccine to distribute and more to be distributed and you don't have to start that manufacturing process up from the beginning. So I really want people to embrace this and understand they will be safe and effective once the call goes out to start vaccination.
Does the state have enough cold storage for the vaccines or does the state have to put in some money for that?
We've identified the cold storage capacity that we need pursuant to our plan to administer the Pfizer vaccine. Its a combination of cold storage capacity and dry ice. We will be in good shape there. This is why you have to have really good hard work going on hard in advance. That way working with hospitals and universities you are able to identify all the cold storage you have, where is available for these vaccines and then you plug that into your plan. That will not be a limiting factor in terms of receiving the vaccine. Logistically it makes it more complicated because you have to receive it at those sites and distribute it from there. They are still evaluating how long the vaccines remain stable once they thaw out. We will be all over that so we will make sure if that vial falls out it will be administered while it is stable and making sure that people come and get the second dose as well.

Closing remarks

submitted by WizardMama to Coronaviruslouisiana [link] [comments]

An Overly Long Fanmade Ace Attorney 7: Echoes of Discord Pitch: Episode 1. Possible spoilers for all main games (AA1-6)

Hey, everyone! Over the past few weeks, I've been making up a plotline that I think would fit for the inevitable Ace Attorney 7, whenever it releases. As of right now, I only have Episode 1 fully plotted out, but I'll put some of my ideas for the other cases at the end of the post as an author's note, of sorts. Considering how much I wrote for the tutorial case alone, I don't know if I'll ever continue this project, because Case 2, a case with 2 investigations and 2 trials, would basically be 4 times the length of this case, and I don't know if I have the talent to write a compelling mystery that would do a case of that length justice.
The overall concept of the game would be to focus mainly on Athena and Phoenix, and it would involve Phoenix attempting to institute the Jurist System while Athena would have to deal with the Phantom's organization and her past at the Cosmos Space Center and in university. The lawyer-case distribution would be as follows: Phoenix gets 7-1 (tutorial) and 7-4 (filler), Athena would get 7-2, 7-3, and 7-5, which would all be plot relevant, and Apollo would get a Rise from the Ashes style case in Khura'in, which would be unlocked after completing the game instead of being offered as a DLC case.
As this is my ideal version of Ace Attorney 7, I've taken some liberties that the writers at Capcom might not do, as I've taken the Payne brothers out of the main story entirely, but they'll still be in the game in the Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney case, which is unlocked after beating the tutorial case. Also, a beloved character from the original trilogy is the victim of the first case of the game, which might be controversial. But I think that the story will be overall more compelling with the changes that I've made, so without further ado, here's the first episode of Ace Attorney: Echoes of Discord!
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Episode 1: Turnabout Terror
Date: Late March 2029
Location: Skye Detective Agency
Defendant: Ema Skye
Attorney: Phoenix Wright
Co-Counsel: Athena Cykes
Synopsis: Nine months have passed since the revolution in Khura’in, and after many deliberations, Phoenix has finally regained the trust of the legal system of LA and instituted the Jurist System, which has now been slightly modified since the events of Apollo Justice, the biggest change being the fact that the jurors are present in the court room, like in DGS.
For the first official case under the Jurist System, Phoenix is defending Ema Skye, who has been accused of murdering her older sister, Lana Skye, at the Skye Detective Agency. Ema had been working a case abroad in Khura’in, and as soon as she returned to the US, she went to visit her sister, who became a private investigator after losing faith in the justice system because of Phoenix’s disbarment and the UR-1 incident. When Ema entered the office however, she found her sister dead from an apparent poisoning. Desperate to find out who did it, she dusted the entire scene for fingerprints, not even thinking about preserving the scene. But while she was in the middle of her forensic investigation, Lana’s co-worker, Elias Coggs (Age ???) walked in on her, and contacted the police. When the officers arrived, it was discovered that Lana ingested some Atroquinine poison from her cup of tea, and since it hadn’t been manufactured in the country for two years, Ema became the prime suspect, since she just came back from Khura’in.
In the defendant lobby, Phoenix and Athena are discussing the case with Ema, and she claims that her own fingerprints were found on the bottle of poison, to which Athena and Phoenix are shocked. But she rationalizes that she must have touched the bottle when she was in a state of panic while investigating the crime scene. In the middle of their discussion, Juniper Woods enters the lobby, and she explains to Athena and Phoenix that she will be the forewoman of the jury today. She is nervous, but she’s also treating this as her first official trial experience for when she becomes a judge herself. She gives Phoenix and Athena a newspaper article that is advertising the current trial, saying that she had a hunch that they’d need it. The bailiffs call for the trial to start, and Ema mutters under her breath that the “glimmerous fop” is going to make a spectacle of her sister’s murder.
The trial begins, and Klavier Gavin is revealed to be the prosecutor in charge of this case. He reveals that he’d decided to take the case due to the recent shortage of prosecutors due to the Paynes and others being fired for their incompetence and corruption by Miles Edgeworth. He displays remorse over being the reason why Phoenix lost his badge seven years ago but says that he’s still fired up for a rematch. The judge introduces the 5 jurors for the trial, who are Juniper Woods (No. 1), a male reporter from the Reality News Network (No. 2), Delicia Scones (No. 3), a female computer programmer from Blue Screens Inc. (No. 4), and a young butler resembling Shelly de Killer (No. 5). The judge then admits that he hasn’t studied up on how the reformed jurist system works, and asks Phoenix if he could give him a refresher on how the trial would work, which would serve as the tutorial for the case.
Klavier calls Ema to the stand as his first witness, and she reluctantly agrees to testify about what happened on that day. She has a press-all testimony, which is pretty much identical to what she told Phoenix and Athena in the lobby, but after the testimony ends, the jury goes into a panic because all of them, minus Juniper, are convinced of Ema’s guilt. Athena becomes overwhelmed from the discord from all the jurors’ hearts, and this is where the new trial gameplay mechanic, Discordant Reasoning, is introduced. This would be similar to the Panic Debate from Danganronpa V3, where you have to pick out the statement out of the 5 jurors that’s causing the discord, based on reading their emotions like in the Mood Matrix. The Mood Matrix has now been relegated to investigations because of reasons pertaining to the main prosecutor of the game, and now works similarly to Logic Chess from Investigations 2. After presenting the article that Juniper gave them to the juror that caused the discord, the reporter from the Reality News Network, Ema resumes her testimony.
She assumes that her sister’s killer had recently fled the scene, since she had recently succumbed to the poison when she arrived at the crime scene, but Phoenix points out that the killer could’ve left way earlier, since Atroquinine is a slow acting poison. Ema then gets emotional, saying that she got so caught up in the moment seeing her sister dead that she couldn’t perform a proper investigation into her death. She is overcome by remorse due to the knowledge that she never would’ve been quick enough to stop her sister’s killer. She outright blames Klavier for what happened, saying that if he hadn’t accused Phoenix of forging evidence nine years ago, then Lana wouldn’t have lost faith in the court system, which wouldn’t have lead to her becoming a P.I. after getting out of prison.
Klavier reassures Ema, asking her if she knows the real reason why he took the trial. It turns out, he was certain of her innocence from the beginning, and intended to use the common sense of the Jurist System to prove her innocence. He says that he understands why she might feel the way she does about him, but the show must go on, and the only way the truth will ever be reached is if the defendant tells everything that they know, even if it’s just a hunch. With newfound courage, Ema posits that there might be a clue in Lana’s files on her computer, as Lana had confided in her that she’d been performing an investigation on a high-profile case the last time they saw each other. Luckily for them, Elias Coggs had already looked through Lana’s files and emails, and was waiting in the lobby to testify.
Klavier excuses Ema from the stand for the time being, and calls Elias Coggs to the stand. He appears to be a middle-aged man with a mechanical prosthetic arm, leg, and eye, giving him the appearance of a cyborg. Klavier asks Coggs to state his name and occupation, and he complies, but when probed about his past, he states that it’s classified information. He was put into the Witness Protection Program a long time ago after an incident involving his accident, and can’t disclose anything about his past that isn’t related to the case.
His testimony begins, and he states that on Lana’s computer, he found that on the day of the incident, she had been exchanging emails with two different people. The first being Connie Scout (Age 29), her most recent client, and the second being Phoebe Coronus (Age 41), an old friend of hers from overseas. After probing into his testimony, he admits that the case that Lana was investigating was an international affair, and that Coronus was helping her in the investigation. He also reveals that it appears that a USB was stolen from Lana’s office, but again, he cannot reveal its contents.
Suspicions are raised immediately on Coggs, but Klavier verifies that he had an alibi, as he had been at his doctor’s office all afternoon. As Coronus is still in Europe, it becomes evident that the prime suspect for the murder has to be Connie Scout, who is a computer science major at Ivy University. The judge calls for a 30 minute recess, but right before it begins, Coggs requests that Phoenix and Athena get to the bottom of Lana’s death, as the case at hand means a lot to him.
During the recess, Ema apologizes for her outburst in court, and explains the case that Lana, Coronus and Coggs were investigating in more detail. Apparently, the organization they were looking into was an international spy ring that had previously mainly been involved in various acts of cyberterrorism, but she reveals that it was actually the very same organization that sent the Phantom over during the UR-1 Incident nine years ago. Athena is shocked, as she recounts how that was the same organization that killed her mother and caused the incident at the Cosmos Space Center two years ago. Ema is surprised to hear this, as Lana hadn’t informed her of the exact details of the case, and she realizes it was probably out of fear that she herself would become a target of the organization.
Suddenly, Trucy Wright appears in the defendant lobby with two important pieces of evidence retrieved from Miles Edgeworth, a report of a supposed smuggling of contraband into the country and a breach of cybersecurity at the Criminal Affairs Department. Trucy questions how these pieces of evidence pertain to the case at hand, but Phoenix and Athena clearly have a suspect in mind. The bailiffs announce that the recess is over, and Trucy says that she’ll be watching the trial from the gallery.
Court reconvenes, and Klavier calls Connie to the stand. She has a visor over her face and has orange dyed hair like Athena, but otherwise she has the appearance of a normal university student. She introduces herself as a foreign exchange student from Borginia, and explains that Connie Scout was the name she chose for herself when she came to study from abroad. Klavier asks her how she knew the defendant, to which she responds that she met her at a Forensics Investigation Seminar that was being held at the University a month ago, along with Ema Skye. While she was there, she was given a luminol bottle from Ema as a gift for attending it. Afterward, she asked Lana Skye to investigate a crime of her own, though she doesn’t reveal what it is.
Throughout her testimony, her lies are exposed, and she becomes the prime suspect for the breach of cybersecurity at Criminal Affairs and the murder of Lana Skye. Phoenix argues that it would’ve been feasible for Scout to have been the one who had the poison smuggled into the country. But the final contradiction in the case is how Ema’s fingerprints managed to get on the bottle of Atroquinine.
The thought route begins, and after deducing that she had likely been a part of the Phantom’s organization, that she was likely the one who hacked into the Criminal Affairs Department, and considering her meeting with Ema and Lana one month ago, it becomes apparent that she could’ve obtained the fingerprints off of the luminol bottle and modified the fingerprints on the bottle of poison to look like Ema’s using the information obtained from her hacking of the Criminal Affairs Department, just like how the Phantom had framed Athena at the Space Center two years prior.
Connie then confesses everything. She had been a member of the Phantom’s organization, and she had been attempting to erase as many traces of her organization’s crimes that she could. Her only reason for attending the seminar one month ago was to get some info on Lana Skye, so that she could trail her and learn everything that she knew about her own organization. She arranged for a meeting to discuss a possible case for Lana to take on, but that was all a farce-what she really wanted was the USB Lana had in her possession. When she wasn’t looking, she slipped the poison into Lana’s tea, and left the scene after stealing what she needed. When probed about the USB, she says that she already passed it on to another member of the organization.
With the suspect having confessed, Klavier calls Ema back to the stand. He and Ema have a conversation, and while Ema is still annoyed by his carefree attitude, she acknowledges that she would’ve been found guilty if Klavier hadn’t given her the opportunity to speak, and thanks him for his help. The judge then pronounces Ema not guilty.
In the defendant lobby, Ema thanks Phoenix and Athena for defending her, and they’re soon joined by Klavier and Trucy. Ema, while thankful that the gang found her innocent, is still understandably traumatized over her sister’s death. She expresses doubts about her career choice, considering she never imagined she’d have to investigate her own sister’s body, and she’s now considering leaving her position permanently.
Phoenix presents her the luminol bottle that she gave to Scout, and asks her to remember when she began to take an interest in forensics. After recounting how her sister had given her a forensics investigations book when she was young, and briefly referencing the events of Rise from the Ashes, Phoenix reminds her of all of the strides she’s made since then, and all of the times she’s helped the Wright Anything Agency solve cases in the past thanks to her impeccable forensics work. He then reminds her that he had to deal with many bumps in the road himself throughout his career as an attorney, and that he had to learn some lessons that changed his outlook on the legal system. He encourages her to follow her own path in life, but reminds her that he and Athena would greatly miss having her around to help solve cases. Ema, moved by Phoenix’s speech, thanks him for the kind words.
Trucy then brings up one last thing that she still doesn’t understand about the trial, those being who Elias Coggs and Phoebe Coronus are. Ema explains that she doesn’t really know who Elias Coggs is, but she does know who Coronus is. She was Ema’s former mentor that took care of her when she first went to Europe to study, and she’s now an international forensics prosecutor. It turns out she intended to be present in the gallery for Ema’s trial, but due to a delay in her flight to LA, she couldn’t make it. Ema then theorizes that working a case with her former mentor might help reinvigorate her love for forensics. Her and Klavier have to attend to some business at the Prosecutor’s Office, and they leave together.
To wrap up the case, Trucy brings up three invitations that Juniper had passed on to her for Phoenix, Athena, and herself to attend a Murder Mystery Party at the Woods Manor out in the mountains as a celebration of Juniper recently graduating from Themis Academy while also serving as a way of thanking Phoenix and Athena for defending her two years prior. Trucy declines her invitation, as she has to practice for her first international gig that she’ll be performing with Klavier and Lamiroir, but she encourages Phoenix and Athena to go. They both agree to go, and the case ends with Phoenix’s internal monologue reminiscing about all of the trials and tribulations he’s had to go through to revamp the legal system, and that he never could’ve gotten there without the help of his colleagues.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Author's notes:
-I know that killing off Lana Skye might be controversial, but I felt that she made the most sense as the first victim, considering her friend from Europe, who I've named Phoebe Coronus, would make a more interesting rival for Athena, as her adherence to the scientific method and traditionalist views on the Jurist System would be a perfect foil to Athena's more psychological driven methods and her desire to revolutionize the court system along with Phoenix. It also gives Ema another character arc of doubting if her childhood dream was really her true calling in life, which I feel would be a natural progression for Ema's character, since she has a different conflict in every game that she appears in. Finally, it just gives more opportunity to expand on Athena's time studying in Europe, since Ema and Coronus could now fit into that timeline organically. Lana's role in the story wouldn't be forgotten after case 1 either, as two of the most important characters in the game have close connections to her, which would have a huge impact on the trajectory of the story as a whole, which I feel is an important aspect that the first case needs to establish.
-The pun names for this case are:
Elias Coggs (Alias and Cogs, which refers to his past under the Witness Protection Program as well as his cyborg like appearance.)
Connie Scout (Con and Scout, because she's conning everybody into thinking she's just an ordinary university student while also being a spy for the Phantom's organization.)
Phoebe Coronus (Her last name refers to her profession as a coroner. Her first and last name actually have a secret meaning as well if one of the letters from her last name is removed, but I'll leave it up to you to see if you can decipher the real meaning behind her name.
-Lastly, here are the basic plotlines for the other cases of the game. These are only going to be a couple sentences each, since this post has gone on long enough already.
Episode 2-Turnabout Judgment: Picking up right where we left off, Phoenix and Athena attend the Murder Mystery Party organized by Juniper's grandmother, Willow Woods, and Juniper notes that the victim in the game bears similarities to how her own grandfather died a year ago. But when one of the guests at the party winds up dead, it's Juniper's grandmother, a former judge, that ends up in the defendant's seat, and Juniper and Athena team up to acquit her of all charges against prosecutor Phoebe Coronus while Phoenix is off helping another guest at the party with a matter of their own. Loosely based on a fancase on Ace Attorney Online: A Game of Turnabout.
Episode 3-The Sponsored Turnabout: During the Summer Olympics, Juniper, Athena, and Simon Blackquill all attend a game together. But when a stray firecracker causes an explosion that causes some debris to crash onto the referee for the game, a former Borginian athlete who had a grudge against the victim and is suspected to be part of the Phantom's organization ends up in the defendant's chair, and Blackquill encourages Athena and Juniper to take on the case due to a previous connection with the defendant, and the trio have to rethink their own biases against the suspect to eventually take down the true culprit of the case, the Executive of the Reality News Network who perpetuated the myth of the Dark Age of the Law after the UR-1 incident. Coronus is still the prosecutor for this case.
Episode 4-Turnabout Roulette: In the filler case of the game, Trucy makes reservations at a fancy bar where she's planning on showing Phoenix part of her upcoming performance, but when the two realize that she accidentally made reservations at the Rivales Casino, and a shooting occurs in the middle of the day, Phoenix is forced into defending Brawly Rivales after his own father was murdered. Coronus is the prosecutor again in this trial, but she's noticably more lenient on Phoenix. The main focus of the case would be on the relationship between Phoenix and Trucy.
Episode 5-Turnabout for Justice: A science expo is being held at the Cosmos Space Center, and the five participants in the showcase are Ema Skye, Phoebe Coronus, Elias Coggs, a C.E.O. of a famous company, who is also sponsoring the event, and surprisingly Aura Blackquill are all participating in the event. But when an accidental explosion occurs in the middle of the event, everyone is evacuated from the scene with two notable exceptions: Phoebe Coronus and Aura Blackquill. After the fire dies down a bit, some officers go in to investigate the scene, and are surprised to find Aura Blackquill leaning over the victim, Phoebe Coronus's body. Aura Blackquill is named the prime suspect for the case, and it's up to Athena and Blackquill to find her innocence, as Phoenix and Trucy don't want anything to do with her after the kidnapping incident two years ago, and Juniper is rooting for her guilt as well, since she remembers how she used to hate Athena all those years ago. Willow Woods would be the judge for this trial, and Miles Edgeworth calls in prosecutor Franziska von Karma to head the case.
Episode Special-Turnabout Reconciliation: It's been one year since Garan has been dethroned, and Khura'in is hosting an international arts festival as an act of goodwill to its new allies. Trucy, Klavier, and Lamiroir are all participating in their own act in the show, and Ema was invited by Prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi as well. But when a murder happens in the middle of the show, Lamiroir is under suspicion of murder, and Apollo and Trucy finally learn their familial secret. Prosecutor Sahdmadhi is the prosecutor for the case, and Rayfa and Amara make some cameo appearances as well.
Sorry for the long post lol. Tell me what you think of these ideas in the comments.
submitted by TheRawk01 to AceAttorney [link] [comments]

The Sequels, Reviewed


The Force Awakens
Not all that horrible as far as the sequels go, at least in the first half, but still severely lacking and bad. It was meant to look and feel at least sort of like Star Wars, but it was the façade, not the substance. A desert planet that's basically Tatooine with fewer buildings and more space junk, two-seated TIE fighters, slightly different stormtroopers, an obtuse reference to the trash compactor in Episode IV, and much more. Even in the midst of this movie's boatloads of manufactured hype, I could tell that Kylo was a weak character, maybe Poe, Finn, and Rey too, not to mention that Starkiller Base was an obvious piece of lazy writing, and Captain Phasma and Maz Kanata turned out to be disappointingly underused characters. I'll admit that it felt a little fun and inspiring how easily Finn and Rey beat Kylo Ren at the end, until we realized that Rey was going to be overpowered like that for the entire series.
Leia was also barely recognizable. The quick-thinking, spunky personality that made her such a great character is gone and she's reduced to nodding and saying "yep" to everything Rey says and sighing about how difficult Poe is. Speaking of the original Skywalkers, I was disappointed that this movie didn't have a lot more Luke, and maybe some of you are, too.
Perhaps the only fair-quality moment is Han Solo's death, but it had been rumored for months, maybe close to a year before the movie came out, so a good %60, arguably more, of that scene's potential effect was out the window. We've seen how powerful unleaked twists can be- just look at Baby Yoda, for example! The creators of The Mandalorian were careful not to leak his existence, even latening merchandising opportunities for it- and, for the next few months, the Internet went crazy for him. They missed a big opportunity to make the film substantially better by simply guarding their secrets better. George Lucas understood this concept. Heck, the biggest spoilers of the Original Trilogy- Luke losing a hand, Darth Vader being Luke's father, and Leia being Luke's sister don't even appear in the original script for The Empire Strikes Back. The then-secret of Luke's father didn't even come out when the scene was filmed! Specifically to keep it from seeping out, Lucasfilm had James Earl Jones instead say "No, Obi-Wan killed your father!" And dubbed over it later. Darth Maul's second blade was similarly concealed in the advertising for The Phantom Menace.
Finally, it irritates me that the scene in which General Hux picks up Kylo Ren and takes him to Snoke wasn't in the theater version, or that it was an after-credits scene, which you can't easily catch in theaters. You shouldn't have had to buy the DVD version to see extra content that you didn't know existed. It was a cheap move both in writing and storytelling, as it deprived a huge portion of the viewers some information that would be vital to the next movie: that Kylo Ren survives, and that Snoke is important.
We were all excited for this movie. Kylo Ren looked so cool and we were finally getting new Star Wars movies! But when you strip away all the idle hype over it existing, there was little in this movie. It was a virtual A New Hope remake with better visuals and some story tweaks, nearly all of them for the worse.
In regards to the ending, putting a main character into a coma was an unbelievably clichéd idea.
As I walked out of the theater where I saw it the first time, I overheard people discussing it, a little confused, and already finding inconsistencies.
The Last Jedi
The snail bombers needed much better defenses to make them make sense, but they were a metaphor for the entire movie; constant, nonsensical run-around action that's not very satisfying nor leads anywhere. It distracts from the barely-existent plot, and it's bad writing in general. Instead of tactically pausing the action when it showed the Resistance fleet in space to give the movie some pacing relief, the directors had something explode every 10 minutes.
And, though this doesn't bother me as much as it does some people, Luke's state of being in this movie was too severe in ways. I'm all for tragic character arcs, but him completely shutting himself off from the Force was a step too much. The rest doesn't seem too irrational to me, (sure, he thought about killing Kylo, but he was a major threat to his small, fragile Jedi school.) But I cannot easily see him having such bad luck that he throws away the superpowerful set of abilities that he had chosen to define him and his life for the past 30 years. He had seen firsthand how powerful a force of good it can be. This was especially interesting considering how acting on emotion is against the Jedi way. But, in all fairness, he had failed a substantial number of important people to him and, though the sequels shouldn't intrude on the originals like this, possibly many high, old hopes of bringing the Force back to the Light Side that had seemed achievable since defeating the Emperor. But instead of trying again and learning from his mistakes, by shutting himself off, he buried the Jedi's last hope.
Returning to the subject of this movie's use of action, the Praetorian guards fight scene was cool to watch the first time, but it seems very rushed and easy looking back, especially weighing that there are piles of weak, frequent action scattered around this movie, in the form of things like the First Order destroying the Resistance's medical frigate and Rose, Finn, and BB-8 dodging Kanto-Bight police. When there are action-packed moments spread all around a movie like this, it loses its effect. You stop caring about the action because you've seen so much of it, and so it gets less exciting, and lots of effect that should have been saved for the really combat-heavy scenes is lost to them.
Speaking of the "casino planet", I have some issues with those scenes, too, though not as much as many people. The first couple shots were actually a preciously rare bit of world-building for the sequels, but the effect drained out quickly. Apparently, everyone being a rich gambler was the whole theme of that town. Rose also apparently put unsaddling a space horse above freeing child slaves, not to mention that they somehow had Earth-design cakes in an extragalactic tea room.
Rey's "conga line" Force vision was bad, and a blatant, obvious attempted remake of the Cave of Evil, but at least this movie did SOMETHING with the Force. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney made the Force non-canon.
The Holdo Maneuver was interesting, but very bad for the villain presence at the end of the film. After Snoke's Super Star Destroyer is run through, (along with several others, but it's unknowable how many because of the darkness in that shot) Kylo orders to gather "all our forces", which turn out to be just a few gorilla walkers, Ren's shuttle, and one big gun. The end of the movie had me thinking less in terms of "oh, the Resistance did some damage to the First Order, but the First Order crippled them back!" And a lot more "Both sides may have decimated each other. Now neither side is very strong."
Majorly, the Matrix reference during Luke and Kylo's 'duel' should never have been in there. Star Wars movies shouldn't follow references. If anything, they should be the movies that are referenced later!
Finally, it was as true in this movie as the last one: the scene aboard the Millennium Falcon should NOT have been DVD (or, in today's case, Disney+), exclusive! Fans deserved to know that Rey had the pieces of Luke's lightsaber and that the Jedi texts survived. Their survival made no sense all the same, but better to get it then and there than to be surprised by yet another plot hole in TROS.
The Rise of Skywalker
In addition to being a weak ending in general, TROS, in my opinion, has the most plot holes of any Star Wars movie, which is saying a lot, and missed a lot of opportunities TLJ tried to give it.
As most of us can attest, the writing in this movie was horribly inconsistent, a result of JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, and some Disney-imposed fan service (and deadlines) fighting to write the script, I suppose. We see Rey struggle a little bit, but not enough to break her out of her status.
The visuals are amazing in the first eighth or so- the Blood Net, that space glacier thing, Exegol- but it was still ruined by the trademark Rian Johnson cheese and JJ Abrams nonsensical banter that was mixed in. Let's see what was written into those few scenes: a gaping hyperspace retcon, TIE fighters that can somehow track through lightspeed, that insufferable line "Win the war!", and a quote repeat by Palpatine that all but ruined the beloved Revenge of The Sith version.
And Kylo Ren's helmet gets fixed. I became disappointed as soon as I saw this in the trailer. Everyone complains about the porgs being a blunt merchandise-grab, but I'd say this is substantially worse. Yes, the red looks cool, but it outright undid one of the most meaningful moments in the entire trilogy. In addition to looking intense, that moment in which Kylo smashes his helmet on the elevator wall showed that the money-hungry makers of this trilogy might have been willing to give up a little iconography for the sake of a richer story. But they proved eager to take that back. Not only did they just reintroduce one of the most overused images of the late 2010s, but they tried to shallowly make it look cooler. Especially pointless given how the helmet was heavily shown in the advertising, but barely seen in the actual movie. And, according to the novelization, the remains of the Supremacy where combed through for the helmet's pieces. That had seemed like promising scavenging ground for one of my own trilogies, but enough about that.
The world building in TROS was okay, but the characters were awful. Exegol and the aforementioned space formations looked epic, Kijimi (the snowy mountain world), was an interesting planet, but, like Anch-To, suffered from a lack of one solid theme. That desert planet had the opposite problem: it was a near-complete clone of Tatooine, Jakuu, and Nevarro (the desert planet from The Mandalorian). And the culture of the festival held on it didn't go as deep as I hoped. The Death Star ruins should have caused apocalyptic damage to the moon they landed on, but at least we finally got to see the plains of Endor... sort of.
Now onto the characters. Rey got a few tiny, tiny tinges of development (when she accepted that girl's necklace at the desert festival and oiled D-0's wheel), but for the most part just remained too powerful. Palpatine is defeated YET AGAIN because he can't wrap his head around the thought that when someone is blasting your own Force lightning back at you and using it to kill or severely weaken you, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T KEEP BLASTING!! Rey just holds up two lightsabers to him and becomes invincible and unchallenged. Kylo Ren is probably at his worst in terms of development. (Last word: "Ow.") Nearly all the new-this-movie characters: Babu Frick, Jannah, and the D-0 droid, were either placeholder characters or merch-generators. Or both. The Knights of Ren and the Sith Troopers were both grievously underused; again, largely merch-bait, and from Rey we got a healing-a-troubled,-dangerous-creature-with-the-Force scene that we've seen at least four times in Star Wars by now. It was supposed to be impactful, but other, better writers had gotten there first.
Finally, I felt that there was something wrong with the final battle. Every ragtag fighter in the galaxy suddenly just decides to come and blow up some ships, and then much the same thing happens again 20 minutes later. (Though we do see the Ghost, captain Rex's starfighter, and a Mandalorian starfighter, which I find very exciting.) And the Final Order had been working on those ships for the past twenty years. I think they'd find something as obvious as a weak spot in the cannon. Sith hubris can't make you that stupid, especially considering that finding weak spots is very much on the lines of how Sith think.
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Although bad on several levels, the sequels can teach us something. They don't show us what good Star Wars is, but at least they show us what bad Star Wars is. They've fallen into pits that it is now up to future Star Wars writers to find and avoid. That's one of the reasons why intelligently criticizing Star Wars is so important.
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Shuttle Bus For Sale | Uses and Benefits of Shuttle Buses over Cars and 15 Passenger Vans

Shuttle Bus For Sale | Uses and Benefits of Shuttle Buses over Cars and 15 Passenger Vans

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A shuttle bus for sale is a vehicle that typically is used to transport people between two fixed points for short and medium distance trips usually spanning less than an hour. These buses are relatively small in size yet able to accommodate groups of people and they are used for picking up and dropping off passengers either from place to place or to destinations or terminals for other modes of transportation. Due to their less turning radius, they can easily maneuver through busy traffic, narrow streets, and locations not accessible by other larger vehicles. There are two types of shuttle buses namely mini and medium-sized. The minibus is usually defined as seating up to 15 passengers and does not require a commercial license in most instances, whereas the medium-sized shuttle is capable of accommodating 16 to 29 passengers or more and requires a commercial driver’s license with a passenger endorsement. Both can be either equipped with diesel or gas engines, but most buyers prefer gasoline since they are easier to maintain, emit fewer pollutants, and are the dominant engine type in North America. Shuttles are commonly used for passenger interconnections in both towns and cities as well as in suburban venues.
There are several ways a shuttle bus for sale can be used:
  1. Jitney Bus Service: The shuttle can be used to transport a small or large number of people directly between urban areas to suburban regions for a fee. Such services are frequently referred to as a Jitney Bus or Dollar Ride service because the riders have to pay a fixed amount to reach their destination. They are also used to transport people directly from suburban areas to the large population and business centers in the city.
  2. Park and Ride Service: These services are generally offered by transportation operators and businesses because they do not have sufficient parking space to accommodate the vehicles of every person or employee. The members or employees are picked up or drive to drive from their homes to the parking lots nearest to their office train, intercity bus, or church. A shuttle bus waiting at the parking lot picks and drops them off to their office location or church and vice versa by the end of the day. These shuttle services provide great relief to churches who have problems managing the number of cars parked outside their premises. In order to keep their membership growing many churches are forced to offer this type of transportation to their congregation.
  3. Feeder Bus Service: These services are offered by private transportation operators to people residing in a particular neighborhood where the shuttle bus picks them up at a predetermined time and drops them off to the nearest railway stations, airport, sea transit or intercity bus station. This service is widely used by people living in suburban regions who have to travel daily to their respective places of employment (POE) in business and population centers across the city OR they are used in places that are far away from other modes of transportation. The same service is repeated in the evening to get people back to their homes from the airport, railway or bus station.
  4. Airport Shuttle Service: This service is similar to Feeder Bus Service and is dedicated to pick up and drop off passengers to and from the airport. Most hotels and motels are located within a distance of 2 miles of the airport and many offer around the clock airport shuttle services to all terminals for their guests every 10 to 15 minutes from the airport terminal to the motel or hotel's lobby and vice versa. The transportation is often complementary and does not require advance reservations. However, other hotels and venues situated at more distant locations may offer shuttle service less frequently and require advance reservations as well. Sometimes these airport shuttles are also used to transport people within the airport from one terminal to another. Since the distance is short, these buses often have less sitting space and more standing space to accommodate the maximum number of passengers along with their luggage positioned on luggage racks.
  5. Shopping Mall Shuttle Service: This service is offered by shopping malls on a daily, weekly, or occasional basis where the bus picks up people at a certain location or locations and drops them at the mall at a predetermined schedule. During holidays and other sale periods, this service helps the mall make more sales and also offers added convenience for the needs of the customers. Similarly, this service is sometimes offered by movie theatres and casinos. Any business that is frequented by customers on a daily, weekly, or occasional basis can offer this service to their customers to make it easier for them to travel to the business, thus easing the burdens of customers and generating more revenue than average.
  6. Rail Replacement Bus Service: This service is offered by railway companies to provide an alternate mode of transportation for railway passengers during pre-planned maintenance of tracks or other planned closures. They even cover unplanned closures such as derailments.
  7. Church Bus Ministry Service: The Bible suggests every church to reach out to people especially those in need whenever possible. Churches do this by offering pickup and drop off services to their congregation with the help of a Church Bus. These are often small buses capable of seating up to 25 passengers and navigating the narrow streets in almost any neighborhood, usually within a distance of one hour from the Church. Their bus service is offered on Sundays but the vehicle is also used for other activities like religious school, retreats, special events, mission trips, youth camps, community kitchens, etc.
Buses v/s Cars: How safe is a shuttle bus for sale?
Recent research and studies have found that traveling by bus is far safer than traveling by car not only for those occupying the vehicle but also for cyclists and pedestrians. This research conducted in Montreal, Canada found that car occupants were 15 times more likely to get injured than bus occupants, and several pedestrians and cyclists (up to 95%) were injured by cars rather than buses. The study also found that buses did not cause the death of any cyclists but were related to 4 pedestrian deaths. On the other hand, motor cars caused the deaths of 3 cyclists and 42 pedestrians in a single year. Considering these facts and figures, it will be safe to say that traveling by bus is safer than traveling by car.
Buses v/s Vans: Is a shuttle bus for sale safer than a 15 passenger van or vice versa?
Passenger vans came into widespread use during the late 1960s when there was a sharp rise in the number of churches that began providing additional services across the United States. With the rise in the number of churches came the demand for transporting both small and large groups for people easily and efficiently. This demand was typically fulfilled by passenger vans and they have been used for transporting church congregations and by schools ever since. Passenger vans however come with known comfort and safety issues.
  1. Their extended length and height make them an inherent safety issue.
  2. Passengers do not have sufficient space to stand up inside a van.
  3. The van usually has bench seats and a very narrow right side aisle.
  4. Vans DO NOT have dual rear wheels, which makes them highly unstable during reflex traffic maneuvers.
  5. NOT having dual rear wheels creates a higher center of gravity which causes rollover and tire blowouts making them highly unstable and unsafe for public transportation.
  6. As a precautionary measure, a van should not seat more than 10 passengers. That means 3 vans will be required to transport 30 passengers.
  7. Vans have a high entry point which is highly uncomfortable for senior passengers.
  8. The Federal law prohibits the sale of large vans to schools.
In 2005, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had found that the rollover risk of a van increases by 35% when it is carrying 10 to 15 passengers, and this risk increases by up to 70% when it's loaded with 16+ passengers. This was their 3rd advisory in the past 4 years and it also claimed that between 1990 and 2003 more than 400 people had lost their lives due to rollover accidents and hundreds of others have been seriously injured. Be sure to visit their website http://www.nhtsa.gov
After the 3rd advisory was released, several insurance companies stepped in and refused to carry insurance on van purchases for the future and simply raised premiums OR canceled them on existing vans. This led to the van owners selling their 15 passenger vans and replacing them with a 15 passenger shuttle bus for sale. The demand for shuttle buses has been on the rise ever since.
Benefits of buying a shuttle bus for sale over 15 passenger vans:
  1. They are built on a cutaway van chassis.
  2. Manufacturers like Ford, Chevrolet, and others take the van chassis and build the shuttle bus on top of it.
  3. Different manufacturers have their own unique style of building the bus but they have to meet quality and safety standards to sell their vehicles to the public.
  4. They have dual rear wheels which make it more stable with a wider base to keep the vehicle steadier and create a lower center of gravity making 15 passenger buses much safer than 15 passenger vans.
  5. Steel cage construction on the sidewalls and lower center of gravity are two important facets of shuttle bus construction.
  6. Riders are more comfortable with standard individual bucket seats, center aisle, and sufficient space to be able to stand up.
  7. Because of their dual rear wheels and better load dynamics, there is less likelihood of rollover or tire blowouts which makes them far safer than vans.
  8. They have wheelchair lifts or lower entry points making them easily accessible to senior and disabled passengers. This low entry is achieved by adding entry steps or lowering the floor of the bus which increases its height thus enabling passengers to stand when inside the bus. This additional height is complemented by the roof hatches, escape windows, rear doors, and the dual rear wheels keeping the vehicle and passengers safer.
Comfort and Fuel Economy in Buses, Cars, and Vans
A medium-sized shuttle bus for sale with 25 passengers will deliver up to 12 miles per gallon. It will typically consume just 10 gallons of fuel to transport the passengers from point A to point B on a 100-mile trip.
Passenger vans cannot offer the same economies or performance because for safety reasons they should not be loaded with more than 10 passengers, thus requiring multiple vehicles to make the trip. That means 3 vans will be required to ferry 25 passengers and even if the vans offer similar fuel economy to that of a mid-sized shuttle bus, the 3 vehicles may consume 30 gallons of fuel to travel the same distance of 100 miles. Moreover, maintaining and managing one vehicle is better than three considering the cost of driver fees, insurance, repairs, parking, fuel, etc.
The same is the story with cars. A car or SUV can carry up to 7 passengers. So, 4-6 cars will be required to transport 25 passengers. Each car will need a dedicated driver. Even if the car delivers 20 miles per gallon they will consume 5 gallons each to travel a distance of 100 miles, the 6 cars will consume 30 gallons of fuel.
Looking at the above numbers a shuttle bus for sale is obviously the best choice to transport 25 passengers at the lowest price. Furthermore, the passengers are able to stand up, move around the bus, spread their legs, or even recline back on their seats (with optional seating), and enjoy the journey by looking out of the large tinted windows. Such comfort is not offered by cars or vans.
Buses with diesel engines will offer better fuel economy than gasoline engines at 12-15 miles per gallon, so to transport 25 passengers over a distance of 100 miles, they may consume roughly about 8 gallons of fuel.
Shuttle Buses equipped with a Wheelchair Lift
When some of the passengers are seniors, physically disabled, or those requiring wheelchairs, then transporting them requires a specially equipped bus that can move them in and out safely. This equipment is very important for wheelchair-bound passengers for obvious reasons. To fulfill this demand, manufacturers have designed their buses with high capacity wheelchair lifts on their buses that typically can handle weights of up to 800 lbs. The senior or disabled passenger attendant has to position their passenger on the lift and get them lifted inside the bus with the press of a button. Once inside, the bus is equipped with automatic wheelchair tie-downs that will secure the wheelchairs in a fixed position and prevent them from rolling around the passenger cabin while taking their ride. A wheelchair lift-equipped bus can normally accommodate up to 2 - 5 wheelchair positions. But what if there are 3+ wheelchair passengers? To overcome this problem manufacturers install double flip seats inside their buses so the number of wheelchairs and regular seats can be adjusted on-demand. Wheelchair buses can now accommodate up to 6 wheelchairs with the additional attendant or passenger seats depending on the overall size of the bus.
Wheelchair buses v/s Wheelchair vans
What if a family wants to buy a wheelchair vehicle for one of its disabled members? They can opt to buy a wheelchair van or wheelchair accessible car rather than an entire bus. These para-transit vans for sale are capable of accommodating up to three wheelchair positions and still have space for up to 4 attendants or passengers. The wheelchair lift is either situated at the side of the van or at the rear end. They have automatic tie-downs and flip seats too. Another person can help the disabled passenger get into the van or the handicapped person can wheel themselves in with the help of the control panels situated at the entry door. The side entry handicap vans are more common than rear entry vans because it lets the disabled passenger get to the front seat easily. Rollover safety is not a concern because as a design feature these disability vans always seat less than 10 people on the same chassis as a 15 seater van. They even have a high top roof and often a low floor to let passengers stand up inside the van.
For more information check out the large stock of fully reconditioned used shuttle buses and wheelchair vans for sale with clean titles and clear CarFax reports on our website and call the CEO, Charles Kaufman at 516-333-7483 today!
https://getanybus.com/Shuttle-Bus-For-Sale/
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An extensive list of features I would like to see implemented into TC2 or any future titles.

This list will consist of the beginnings of an outstanding open-world racing game from many of the features I've conceptualized. I've always had a thought/fantasy in my head of taking some of the best features from many racing games and rolling them into one fantastic game. There have been so many quirks and great things across many racing games and even non-racing games that could be implemented into other racing games to improve upon games. I think some game developers and creative directors owe it to themselves to play many other racing games themselves to draw inspiration from other games and they should directly use polls in social media to see what people want the most, so resources can be allocated in that direction. I will refer to many games throughout this as I feel a lot of racing games (and other games in general) made over the last 15 years or so have features that could contribute to the concepts that would create a great game. Game abbreviations will include MC (Midnight Club), NFS (Need for Speed), TC (The Crew) FH (Forza Horizon), FM (Forza Motorsport), GT (Gran Turismo), GTA (Grand Theft Auto) and TDU (Test Drive Unlimited). This list will not be suggesting any locations, vehicle or part manufacturers directly unless something is used as an example, this is just features that could be incorporated upon a base game. Developers will obtain whatever licenses they can and I don't see this as a thing to extensively cover. An example is that we would all love to see Toyota, but obtaining their license recently has been difficult for many companies. One thing that I can't speak of as I have no personal use, is steering wheels. I'd like to hear some feedback on how to create the optimal steering wheel experience in a racing game.
Physics: Driving physics control the entire driving experience of a racing game so these are ultimately the most important thing to get correct. There have been many games that have gotten so many things right with a mediocre or worse physics system that detracted from the experience so much that the legacy of the games it applies to are tarnished regardless of how many other things are done well, with TDU2 is a great example. Ideally, they would be on par with FH4. Some extent of arcade physics would be nice, but not to the extent of some of the Ghost produced NFS games to where there is some oddly conflicting attempt of two physics systems fighting each other to determine if you are attempting to drift or grip. There would be a difference in the feeling of drivetrains and the AWD wouldn't be dominant over RWD in paved road scenarios, tuning and efficient driving could make RWD better due to the car being lighter.
Controller mappings/settings: I will continue to reiterate the ability to customize things to the user's liking should be the biggest priority in many categories. The ability to enable and disable vibration in the handles and triggers individually would be nice. It's good to have the choice setting of linearity and inner and outer dead zones. I will be using an Xbox controller for my ideal pre mapped settings. I think FH4 has the best control scheme, but could still use some improvement (and features). To maximize the inputs available, the photo mode should be accessed through the start/pause menu, rather than having them mapped to buttons that could be useful for other functions. The standard LT brake, RT accelerate, LS steering and RS camera (with the click of it being a 180 degree look back) are a very simple base scheme. LB to use the clutch, X and B should be downshift and upshift respectable, RB for the handbrake, A for nitrous, Y for rewind, LS click for the horn, the "select" button would be for interact/map when there's nothing to interact with, left d-pad would function the same way GTA5's would regarding the radio (including holding it + RS to select a specific station), down d-pad would function as FH4 does, where you can choose telemetry or a gps assistant, up d-pad could enlarge and extend the mini-map to give an idea of what is ahead. right d pad could pull up a list of mini functions, such as blinkers, headlights, windows, convertible roof, neon lighting, engine off, hydraulics, air bags, cruise control, etc.
Map/Environment: The map can be a real place or a fictional place. Being able to visit a real place from the comfort of your home is nice, but visiting a fantasy land with no creative restrictions would be nice. Some really cool things that were imagined could happen because there is no need to resemble a real place. Day/night cycle with a weather cycle depending on which part of the map you are on, where snow can be on top of mountains. The map needs to be large, no smaller than FH4, ideally larger than the individual TDU2 maps with little to no exploration restrictions. I'd like to see a couple very long straightaways or near straightaways to allow cars to top out on speed. This could be combined with a highway loop system that can wrap around a large portion of the map. Beaches, bumpy terrain areas for intense offroading and of course tunnels for the sound of engines roaring through and echoing. A moderately large mountain would be cool for a hill climb and maybe somewhere to descend from the mountain with multiple consecutive hairpins from the mountain would be nice for drifting. I’d love for the map to have spots to evoke nostalgia for many of us that have played many racing games throughout the year, with an example being when I played TC1 for the first time and I was in LA, it brought back fond memories of MCLA. Even some areas do not have to be specific, but some areas on TC2 reminded me of the speed challenges on NFSPS. Having a/a few tuning shops across the map would be really cool, along with a few NPC cars completely RNG based on model and visual customization so that every time you visit the tuners, you see something new so the tuner feels less stale over time. Barn finds/TDU2 style wrecks. Having racing tracks incorporated into the map that are accessible while in free roam and used for races would be cool, like TC1/TC2, especially an oval track with an optional infield layout. Having a parking garage or two would be nice as you can do many things with them. I liked how there was one incorporated in MCLA and NMFSMW(2012) provided a good experience while in them. We should have a GTA5 style 48 minute irl day/night cycle with about 10 hours in game (20 minutes irl) of nighttime and 14 hours in game (28 minutes irl) of daytime to provide a balance most would find enjoyable. While viewing the full sized map in the menu, we should be able to zoom out a lot or zoom in to nearly street view, like TC2. Roads need to have believable lane width, unlike how the lanes have become wider and wider every FH installment. We should have some back roads that are very slim and have room to accommodate one car width covering both directions. Gas/petrol stations are nice to see as that is something that some games don't include enough. The planes flying in TC2 add to the immersiveness. Having an airport with a long airstrip is something that is seen as important. It was a place for people to frequently congregate in GTA4/FH2 and the lack of a nice, unobstructed airstrip in FH4 is seen as something that's a letdown. Real life traffic cars with several color options each to increase immersiveness, also cars represent surroundings (taxis in the city, utility vehicles in a rural area, etc). Having pedestrians on foot can also add into the immersive feeling, including them reacting to your presence by having dialogue and running away if you're being reckless. Some places will be in various stages of construction (similar to GTA) and over the course of updates they'll come further along and finish construction and some will become interactive spaces. Some places will also become the sights of demolition.
Camera settings: Getting the right view and feel for cameras is important to giving you the most comfortable experience to get the feel for where your car is at and focus on surroundings in the way that is desired. Importantly, having bumper, hood, cockpit (with and without steering wheel) and chase cameras is a great start. There should also be an "action" camera with additional sense of speed, sensitivity towards turns, etc. Although this isn't a racing game, Rocket League inspired me to take a deeper dive into the thoughts of camera perspectives. Adjusting RL camera settings can assist your ability to be aware of surroundings and I'm sure the same would apply to actual racing games. Settings for RL that would be nice to apply to racing games would be the ability to turn on or off camera shake upon collisions, the FOV, distance of the camera away from the car (and distance gain relative to speed, if desired), camera height in relativity to the vehicle (could be important with SUVs/trucks) and angle at which the camera points towards the ground/sky. I'd like to see settings to turn vignetting and motion blur from a 0-100% scale. This effect is often used to create a sense of speed, but is often found to be disruptive towards viewing surroundings and braking zones. As I feel this would pertain to the player's perception/camera adjustment, I think the cockpit views should contain an adjustable seat, such as TDU1. Keeping something like the drift camera for cockpit views, along with the settings they have related to it in FH4 would be nice.
User interface/HUD: I think being consistent to many other racing games would be good in many ways. Ideally, the ability to adjust which corner things are in would be the best, but if the customization wasn't an option, this is how I think it should be. Having the speedometetachometeodometer in the bottom right would be nice, along with the ability to display it in an analog or digital format, such as FH4. The map should be on the bottom left and should have two levels of details for options; one being a minimalist design with no border that gradually fades out (similar to Grid Autosport's track layout minimap, mixed with the off road icon detail of FH4). The second map option should be similar to a mixture of NFS Heat and TDU1 in terms of borders on the mini-map and detail to show side roads/terrains. The ability to adjust the map rotating or not would be nice. We should also be able to see our recent driving path in a thin line on the map, such as TDU2. The race position should be in the top right and all other race details (total time in race and sprint race % or lap count, best and previous lap) should be in the top left. Another thing that could add into the immersion would be changing the opacity of the HUD, from 0-100% so you could make it mostly transparent, but visible enough to be useful if that is what is desired. Having an odometer built into the HUD would be nice as well. Games such as TC2 have the speedometer and mini-map flipped from the standard positions and it is a minor grievance. The speedometers in non-cockpit views should be able to resemble the car's actual speedometer as seen in TDU and NFS Shift. We should be able to filter the map well when in that menu, similar to FH4.
Event Types: Blueprints (FH3), random events where you can taxi or tail someone (TDU2), Drag races with proper street light, track light or an NPC human signaling in the middle of the road making the countdown (also with burnouts like NFSPS), score based drift racing, sprint races, circuit races, speed trap races (NFSMW), pink slip and money wager races (MCLA), unordered races (MC3), rivals (FH3/4), true street races and official sanctioned races (FH3/4 and NFSH) and end the game with a goliath type of race (FH3/4). Off road racing in the form of sprints and circuits would be nice. Bringing over speed traps, speed zones, drift zones and danger signs/long jumps from FH4/NFSH would be nice. Removing the potential disruption of traffic would be nice by ghosting vehicles in these situations, as FH4 has done. A route creator along the lines of MCLA/FH4 would be nice with the ability to add/remove some objects like barriers and ramps. The TDU2 style limited time events would be cool. Maybe a certain event would be worth double money or level progression. Some of the limited time races would utilize the places being constructed and demolished.
Online Play: Free roam such as TC2/FH4 in terms of grouping with friends is ideal, but have the option to have private lobbies (up to as many players as the developers can make work) and the ability to search for public free roam lobbies based on preferences of drifting, car meets, cruising, etc. Free roamers should be able to disable or enable collisions with random players not in their group. Lacking the collisions removes some of the immersiveness and the ghosted appearance ruins things such as drifting tandems and trains with random players. Something similar to Forzathon from FH4 could help players unite and group together and optionally have something to do in the lobby every hour. Ranked and unranked playlist organization like FH4, but make completely separate on and off road playlists for online along with a voting system for the class of racing and location. Online race collision penalties and ghosting similar to FH4. Free roam quick 1v1 wager races against other players in cruises. We should have the option to play through the campaign in a cooperative fashion, similar to FH4/TC2. Cross play would be nice to implement.
Driving Features: Race Driver Grid style rewinds as they're probably the smoothest working rewinds compared to the segmented rewind system in other racing titles. TC2 back on track compared to FH4 weird reset, FRIM (TDU2)/skill chain (FH1-4) in freemode to reward in small XP/money. The ability to enable settings on a 0-100% slider would be nice as well as a detailed damage model. The ability to render in more tire smoke than other games would be nice. I'm aware it requires a lot of system resources, but I would like to see how far it could be pushed on next generation consoles/and always-improving top of the line PCs. Using the car with manual transmission would allow us to put the car in neutral. Some vehicles with visible engines/engine components have a noticeable shake while idle, so seeing that would be nice. Being able to enable/disable fuel management (both for cruising/racing) would be nice, along with gas/petrol stations to refill the fuel and nitrous (just a drive-thru required). Slipstreaming other cars will make your car faster, not give nitrous like NFS. Nitrous should slowly regenerate like NFSMW2005, where there is also a slight delay for it to begin regenerating again, unlike TC2 where it begins regenerating immediately. Difficulty settings to lower driving assistance, if desired. Wipers operating along with rain buildup would clearly add some realism. Reversing your car would add a backup camera in place of the infotainment system displaying the map until you've left the reverse gear. While driving in the cockpit, the wheel needs to be given a 900ish degree rotation from lock to lock to add into the realistic feeling of being in a car.
Non-Driving Features: Players should be able to enter their homes similar to GTA5 and TDU2 and they should be able to have a vast array of customization for their house and a trophy room, which can be earned from high tier sanctioned races/tournaments (inspired by NFL 2K5/Auto Modellista), photos taken in game can be framed and displayed around the house (TDU2) and multiple garages and garage types like TDU/GTA along with the ability to interact with and move cars around different garages and spaces within the garages. The ability to test drive any car at any level of progression and visit themed new dealerships and used dealerships would be cool (TDU/TC). Character customization would be nice to control the appearance of your character, such as a plastic surgeon and clothing stores. The ability to control blinkers, headlights, windows, convertible tops/sunroofs, neon lighting, turning the engine off, operating hydraulics and adjusting air bags. Having a large variety of standard and gimmick horns. Using horns to control police lights to flash rapidly upon the horn being pressed, along with the siren remaining operating upon letting go of the horn. The internal navigation/infotainment screens of cars show the in game map/gps (TDU2). We could see the drone from FH4 return as it’s a good way to view tricky areas and get a live view of other players without obstructing them. Wheelspins (FH4) exist, but guarantee car or money and have the potential of earning clothes as a side bonus. We could maybe have a casino (similar to TDU2/GTA5) with various attractions, such as slots, a daily wheelspin for a rotating car weekly, the ability to bet on real life PvP races that the large room would randomly put you into spectate and other casino based activities. Our character shouldn't be mute throughout the story, we should be given a few voice choices for a little more personality for our character (similar to how Saints Row operates its voices). Car clubs would be cool, similar to FH3, along with leaderboards based on the clubs. Oil changes at the performance shops and car washes would be nice. Garages/dealerships and tuning shops will have various ambient noises (hydraulic lifts, airsaws, torches, metal slamming, etc.) and subtle music.
Photo mode: This deserves its own category and also can help a company market the game by users sharing their photos if the mode allows such great photos people will be prone to sharing them. We should have a filtetime of day/weather system like TC2. The focusing and motion blur of FH4 is well executed. We should be able to zoom in and out (adjust focal length) without it altering our field of view. We should be able to apply different lens effects, such as fisheye, rectilinear, etc. The camera should have the ability to position freely, in terms of raise, lower, tilt, rotate, etc. The maximum height for the camera needs to be much higher than FH4. The camera should have the potential to be on a gimbal, so it can remain even while a car is going up and down a hill to emphasize how drastic the ascent or descent is. All these features on top of standard stuff such as exposure, saturation, etc. Also, the live rewind and fast forward again option in TC2 is amazing. It’s easy to miss that perfect single frame shot on other games, but the ability to do that solves it.
Soundtrack: It needs to be eclectic with hip-hop, rock and electronic (maybe 2 of each) like modern and classic hip-hop and rock and electronic can be split between chill and hype. Maybe we can get pop, country and classical stations? Have a mix of some lesser known songs and also some billboard topping hits. Don't have stations where many of their songs sound very similar. Something great that could be added could be Spotify integration if any company can figure it out/contract Spotify. Groove integration was a good idea on FH, but Groove wasn't successful. Having the ability to fully mute all music sounds would also be nice (unlike FH4).
Vehicles: As I said, I will not be going over brands, but I would like to see a variety of entry level cars, sports cars, super cars, hyper cars and full on race cars. Concept cars would be great, as they are seen in limited fashion on most open world titles. I'd like trucks and SUVs as well for off roading and to maintain a wide variety of vehicles on par with FH4. I’d also like to see a vehicle categorization similar to FH4 (i.e. Hypercars, classic muscle, etc.). While I'd like to see a variety of vehicle types, I'd still prefer to see quality over quantity. Each vehicle needs to be replicated well and many should have extensive customization. We should be able to favorite cars and also choose a random car (totally random or random from favorites for whatever vehicles are applicable to the given event or freeroam. We should be able to tag vehicles as designed for off-road, wet driving, drifting, drag, etc. These will just be two examples, but we should be able to provide donor cars to speciality shops and convert them into improved, rarer editions. Two conversions that I'll reference would be converting a Porsche Carrera GT into a Gemballa Mirage GT or a Mustang GT into a Saleen S302. A growing variety of vehicles over the course of time, similar to FH4 and TC2.
Visual Customization: No visual adjustments will relate to performance gains or losses (i.e. camber, wheel swaps/sizes, bodykits, etc.) other than you will need to equip some form of spoilewing to adjust rear downforce. We should be able to set wheels smaller than stock, as well as larger. Track width should be an option with multiple sliders (like NFS2015). We should be given manufacturer options for paint, wheels and interior choices, etc. (TDU2/TC2). We should be able to save paint colors (MCLA), instead of just having them in recents and eventually disappear (FH). We should be able to adjust trim as chrome, titanium, gold, black, etc. (MC3) The paint options of NFS Heat and MCLA would be nice, such as gloss, metallic flake with size options, carbon fiber varieties, chrome, matte, satin, fading from left to right as well as top to bottom and the ability to add multiple colors in a color shifting paint job (MC3), colored nitrous (MC3/NFSH), colored tire smoke (GTA5/NFSH) and backfire (NFSH), tire design (MCLA/NFSH), wide body kits (both from manufacturers and developer designed), bumpers, spoilers/wings, skirts, mirrors and fenders (non real life brands can autosculpt like NFSC). Neon colors designs and patterns (TC2/NFSH), hydraulics (MCLA) and airbags (MCLA/NFSH) Brake calipers should be able to be from brands (MCLA/NFSH) or painted (TC2). Interior parts such as steering wheels and seats (MCLA), along with materials, alcantara, suede, leather, plastic, carbon fiber, chrome, etc. (TC2). We should be able to chop the roofs of some vehicles (MC3). Cars have individual licence plates and can get multiple states/countries given they fit the spacing allocated on each vehicle for them (MCLA) Tinted headlight and taillight housings are great options along with light bulb temperatures. Although it isn’t the taste of many people, we should be able to do all kinds of unique styles, such as monster truck (or at least an extreme lift), donk, bosozoku and even NHRA style drag body modifications (with optional wheelie bar) for some of the vehicles you would see them on in real life, but modifications this drastic will impact performance and vehicle hit box/collision physics. Vinyls on widows should be a thing with the ability to make vinyls able to utilize different paint materials (NFSH). FH4 has the numerical system to mirror and scale things fairly well. I’d like to keep the placement system of FH4. Also, the FH4 marketplace to download tunes and designs is the best I've seen, so that can be duplicated. As this will blanket all of the above, some customization parts should be recommended by a popular magazine or website. MC3 did this with Dub and created a fantastic game with a lasting legacy and many of the style options were relevant when the game was released and for a while after. We should be able to adjust tire width and profile, similar to MCLA. The ability to paint engine bays and accent parts would be nice, similar to NFS UG2. Custom exhaust tips/mufflers would be something nice that many other games have incorporated.
Performance Customization and Tuning: PI system like Forza with classes (but actively tuned for balance), different turbos for rpm ranges/turbo lag, supercharger. We should have different tire compounds, even being able to set for front/rear separately. As mentioned earlier, a RWD car that is tuned well and driven well should have the potential to beat an AWD vehicle due to it being lighter. Keeping the tuning settings of what you can adjust would be ideal. We should have the ability to combine the live tuning of NFSH, but enhance it while at a test track (with an off road area in the middle) connected to the tuning shop. You can isolate many tuning options and slide them around while hot lapping. I’d like the ability to run fat rear drag tires, unlike FH4 where it’s just a tire compound.
Audio: This is something that will be very important to many, so great sounds like the noise of turbos on NFS2015 and raw engine noises of FH2 and other games held to a high standard will be important to nail. Exhaust tuning from NFSH was nice, but I would like to see a little more of a difference in the sound with this idea further improved. Getting the proper transmission noises can be useful for cars on top of just the engine noise. Tires skidding is nice noise to get correct for realism as well. Having nice ambient sounds will also be important for immersiveness, such as birds chirping, waves washing up on the beach, wind noises and great echo sounds for traveling through tunnels or densely surrounded areas, such as down a row of highrise buildings). Other than making a car sound how it sounds and making realistic sounds for the environment, there is not much more to be said. It's a moderately limited description, but still something that is pivotal.
Story/post launch content: I would like to see a sense of progression built up throughout the game by starting in a low end car as someone who freshly arrived in the are the map takes place in (MCLA), maybe the antagonist could be someone who scammed you in a previous city or dismissed your talent at the beginning of the game. For me, the outright story isn't too important, but can contribute to how much you will enjoy a racing game. Any DLC map expansion needs to be seamless and not require a separate load in, similar to Burnout Paradise Big Surf Island bridge or (MCLA South Central expansion) and unlike FH4 Fortune Island. The 1000 Club was a great thing that occurred on FH1 that would be nice to bring reason to use every car and for the 100%ers to have something else to chase. Police are something that hasn't been done extremely well in a racing only game in a very long time, in my opinion. I would ideally focus on everything else before attempting to add police in. If they were added in, something along the lines of NFSMW (2005) would be nice, but with higher stakes. We should have an end-game hero car, similar to the M3 GTR from NFSMW, but make it a car that isn't already iconic from another game, movie or real life racing, as people wouldn't think of the hero car associated to this hypothetical game, but related to whatever it was previously iconic in, as whatever work that went into making it that car would go to waste as people would want to overwrite that design. Alongside the hero car, we should also have a couple cars that are unique variations of pre-existing cars (Dub Edition cars of MCLA) for other special events (MCLA hard tournaments/FH3 street race bosses). The post-launch support needs to be good, unlike NFSH. Adding cars monthly would be a great start, along with any necessary QoL updates.
Sorry for any formatting or grammatical issues. I’d like to hear any additional features to add into racing games from the feedback of other people or changes that they would prefer. Also, if there are any ideas in here that others would like to emphasize. Any of this content is free for content creators to recycle if that is desired. I’d like to see some of these ideas be passed around and heard to developers on what could be improved upon. Many games have great ideas and I’d like to see them build off of each other’s greatness.
submitted by jxfl to The_Crew [link] [comments]

An extensive list of features I would like to see implemented in the next Forza Horizon or potentially added to FH4 as it is still receiving support.

This list will consist of the beginnings of an outstanding open-world racing game from many of the features I've conceptualized. I've always had a thought/fantasy in my head of taking some of the best features from many racing games and rolling them into one fantastic game. There have been so many quirks and great things across many racing games and even non-racing games that could be implemented into other racing games to improve upon games. I think some game developers and creative directors owe it to themselves to play many other racing games themselves to draw inspiration from other games and they should directly use polls in social media to see what people want the most, so resources can be allocated in that direction. I will refer to many games throughout this as I feel a lot of racing games (and other games in general) made over the last 15 years or so have features that could contribute to the concepts that would create a great game. Game abbreviations will include MC (Midnight Club), NFS (Need for Speed), TC (The Crew) FH (Forza Horizon), FM (Forza Motorsport), GT (Gran Turismo), GTA (Grand Theft Auto) and TDU (Test Drive Unlimited). This list will not be suggesting any locations, vehicle or part manufacturers directly unless something is used as an example, this is just features that could be incorporated upon a base game. Developers will obtain whatever licenses they can and I don't see this as a thing to extensively cover. An example is that we would all love to see Toyota, but obtaining their license recently has been difficult for many companies. One thing that I can't speak of as I have no personal use, is steering wheels. I'd like to hear some feedback on how to create the optimal steering wheel experience in a racing game.
Physics: Driving physics control the entire driving experience of a racing game so these are ultimately the most important thing to get correct. There have been many games that have gotten so many things right with a mediocre or worse physics system that detracted from the experience so much that the legacy of the games it applies to are tarnished regardless of how many other things are done well, with TDU2 is a great example. Ideally, they would be on par with FH4. Some extent of arcade physics would be nice, but not to the extent of some of the Ghost produced NFS games to where there is some oddly conflicting attempt of two physics systems fighting each other to determine if you are attempting to drift or grip. There would be a difference in the feeling of drivetrains and the AWD wouldn't be dominant over RWD in paved road scenarios, tuning and efficient driving could make RWD better due to the car being lighter.
Controller mappings/settings: I will continue to reiterate the ability to customize things to the user's liking should be the biggest priority in many categories. The ability to enable and disable vibration in the handles and triggers individually would be nice. It's good to have the choice setting of linearity and inner and outer dead zones. I will be using an Xbox controller for my ideal pre mapped settings. I think FH4 has the best control scheme, but could still use some improvement (and features). To maximize the inputs available, the photo mode should be accessed through the start/pause menu, rather than having them mapped to buttons that could be useful for other functions. The standard LT brake, RT accelerate, LS steering and RS camera (with the click of it being a 180 degree look back) are a very simple base scheme. LB to use the clutch, X and B should be downshift and upshift respectable, RB for the handbrake, A for nitrous, Y for rewind, LS click for the horn, the "select" button would be for interact/map when there's nothing to interact with, left d-pad would function the same way GTA5's would regarding the radio (including holding it + RS to select a specific station), down d-pad would function as FH4 does, where you can choose telemetry or a gps assistant, up d-pad could enlarge and extend the mini-map to give an idea of what is ahead. right d pad could pull up a list of mini functions, such as blinkers, headlights, windows, convertible roof, neon lighting, engine off, hydraulics, air bags, cruise control, etc.
Map/Environment: The map can be a real place or a fictional place. Being able to visit a real place from the comfort of your home is nice, but visiting a fantasy land with no creative restrictions would be nice. Some really cool things that were imagined could happen because there is no need to resemble a real place. Day/night cycle with a weather cycle depending on which part of the map you are on, where snow can be on top of mountains. The map needs to be large, no smaller than FH4, ideally larger than the individual TDU2 maps with little to no exploration restrictions. I'd like to see a couple very long straightaways or near straightaways to allow cars to top out on speed. This could be combined with a highway loop system that can wrap around a large portion of the map. Beaches, bumpy terrain areas for intense offroading and of course tunnels for the sound of engines roaring through and echoing. A moderately large mountain would be cool for a hill climb and maybe somewhere to descend from the mountain with multiple consecutive hairpins from the mountain would be nice for drifting. I’d love for the map to have spots to evoke nostalgia for many of us that have played many racing games throughout the year, with an example being when I played TC1 for the first time and I was in LA, it brought back fond memories of MCLA. Even some areas do not have to be specific, but some areas on TC2 reminded me of the speed challenges on NFSPS. Having a/a few tuning shops across the map would be really cool, along with a few NPC cars completely RNG based on model and visual customization so that every time you visit the tuners, you see something new so the tuner feels less stale over time. Barn finds/TDU2 style wrecks. Having racing tracks incorporated into the map that are accessible while in free roam and used for races would be cool, like TC1/TC2, especially an oval track with an optional infield layout. Having a parking garage or two would be nice as you can do many things with them. I liked how there was one incorporated in MCLA and NMFSMW(2012) provided a good experience while in them. We should have a GTA5 style 48 minute irl day/night cycle with about 10 hours in game (20 minutes irl) of nighttime and 14 hours in game (28 minutes irl) of daytime to provide a balance most would find enjoyable. While viewing the full sized map in the menu, we should be able to zoom out a lot or zoom in to nearly street view, like TC2. Roads need to have believable lane width, unlike how the lanes have become wider and wider every FH installment. We should have some back roads that are very slim and have room to accommodate one car width covering both directions. Gas/petrol stations are nice to see as that is something that some games don't include enough. The planes flying in TC2 add to the immersiveness. Having an airport with a long airstrip is something that is seen as important. It was a place for people to frequently congregate in GTA4/FH2 and the lack of a nice, unobstructed airstrip in FH4 is seen as something that's a letdown. Real life traffic cars with several color options each to increase immersiveness, also cars represent surroundings (taxis in the city, utility vehicles in a rural area, etc). Having pedestrians on foot can also add into the immersive feeling, including them reacting to your presence by having dialogue and running away if you're being reckless. Some places will be in various stages of construction (similar to GTA) and over the course of updates they'll come further along and finish construction and some will become interactive spaces. Some places will also become the sights of demolition.
Camera settings: Getting the right view and feel for cameras is important to giving you the most comfortable experience to get the feel for where your car is at and focus on surroundings in the way that is desired. Importantly, having bumper, hood, cockpit (with and without steering wheel) and chase cameras is a great start. There should also be an "action" camera with additional sense of speed, sensitivity towards turns, etc. Although this isn't a racing game, Rocket League inspired me to take a deeper dive into the thoughts of camera perspectives. Adjusting RL camera settings can assist your ability to be aware of surroundings and I'm sure the same would apply to actual racing games. Settings for RL that would be nice to apply to racing games would be the ability to turn on or off camera shake upon collisions, the FOV, distance of the camera away from the car (and distance gain relative to speed, if desired), camera height in relativity to the vehicle (could be important with SUVs/trucks) and angle at which the camera points towards the ground/sky. I'd like to see settings to turn vignetting and motion blur from a 0-100% scale. This effect is often used to create a sense of speed, but is often found to be disruptive towards viewing surroundings and braking zones. As I feel this would pertain to the player's perception/camera adjustment, I think the cockpit views should contain an adjustable seat, such as TDU1. Keeping something like the drift camera for cockpit views, along with the settings they have related to it in FH4 would be nice.
User interface/HUD: I think being consistent to many other racing games would be good in many ways. Ideally, the ability to adjust which corner things are in would be the best, but if the customization wasn't an option, this is how I think it should be. Having the speedometetachometeodometer in the bottom right would be nice, along with the ability to display it in an analog or digital format, such as FH4. The map should be on the bottom left and should have two levels of details for options; one being a minimalist design with no border that gradually fades out (similar to Grid Autosport's track layout minimap, mixed with the off road icon detail of FH4). The second map option should be similar to a mixture of NFS Heat and TDU1 in terms of borders on the mini-map and detail to show side roads/terrains. The ability to adjust the map rotating or not would be nice. We should also be able to see our recent driving path in a thin line on the map, such as TDU2. The race position should be in the top right and all other race details (total time in race and sprint race % or lap count, best and previous lap) should be in the top left. Another thing that could add into the immersion would be changing the opacity of the HUD, from 0-100% so you could make it mostly transparent, but visible enough to be useful if that is what is desired. Having an odometer built into the HUD would be nice as well. Games such as TC2 have the speedometer and mini-map flipped from the standard positions and it is a minor grievance. The speedometers in non-cockpit views should be able to resemble the car's actual speedometer as seen in TDU and NFS Shift. We should be able to filter the map well when in that menu, similar to FH4.
Event Types: Blueprints (FH3), random events where you can taxi or tail someone (TDU2), Drag races with proper street light, track light or an NPC human signaling in the middle of the road making the countdown (also with burnouts like NFSPS), score based drift racing, sprint races, circuit races, speed trap races (NFSMW), pink slip and money wager races (MCLA), unordered races (MC3), rivals (FH3/4), true street races and official sanctioned races (FH3/4 and NFSH) and end the game with a goliath type of race (FH3/4). Off road racing in the form of sprints and circuits would be nice. Bringing over speed traps, speed zones, drift zones and danger signs/long jumps from FH4/NFSH would be nice. Removing the potential disruption of traffic would be nice by ghosting vehicles in these situations, as FH4 has done. A route creator along the lines of MCLA/FH4 would be nice with the ability to add/remove some objects like barriers and ramps. The TDU2 style limited time events would be cool. Maybe a certain event would be worth double money or level progression. Some of the limited time races would utilize the places being constructed and demolished.
Online Play: Free roam such as TC2/FH4 in terms of grouping with friends is ideal, but have the option to have private lobbies (up to as many players as the developers can make work) and the ability to search for public free roam lobbies based on preferences of drifting, car meets, cruising, etc. Free roamers should be able to disable or enable collisions with random players not in their group. Lacking the collisions removes some of the immersiveness and the ghosted appearance ruins things such as drifting tandems and trains with random players. Something similar to Forzathon from FH4 could help players unite and group together and optionally have something to do in the lobby every hour. Ranked and unranked playlist organization like FH4, but make completely separate on and off road playlists for online along with a voting system for the class of racing and location. Online race collision penalties and ghosting similar to FH4. Free roam quick 1v1 wager races against other players in cruises. We should have the option to play through the campaign in a cooperative fashion, similar to FH4/TC2. Cross play would be nice to implement.
Driving Features: Race Driver Grid style rewinds as they're probably the smoothest working rewinds compared to the segmented rewind system in other racing titles. TC2 back on track compared to FH4 weird reset, FRIM (TDU2)/skill chain (FH1-4) in freemode to reward in small XP/money. The ability to enable settings on a 0-100% slider would be nice as well as a detailed damage model. The ability to render in more tire smoke than other games would be nice. I'm aware it requires a lot of system resources, but I would like to see how far it could be pushed on next generation consoles/and always-improving top of the line PCs. Using the car with manual transmission would allow us to put the car in neutral. Some vehicles with visible engines/engine components have a noticeable shake while idle, so seeing that would be nice. Being able to enable/disable fuel management (both for cruising/racing) would be nice, along with gas/petrol stations to refill the fuel and nitrous (just a drive-thru required). Slipstreaming other cars will make your car faster, not give nitrous like NFS. Nitrous should slowly regenerate like NFSMW2005, where there is also a slight delay for it to begin regenerating again, unlike TC2 where it begins regenerating immediately. Difficulty settings to lower driving assistance, if desired. Wipers operating along with rain buildup would clearly add some realism. Reversing your car would add a backup camera in place of the infotainment system displaying the map until you've left the reverse gear. While driving in the cockpit, the wheel needs to be given a 900ish degree rotation from lock to lock to add into the realistic feeling of being in a car.
Non-Driving Features: Players should be able to enter their homes similar to GTA5 and TDU2 and they should be able to have a vast array of customization for their house and a trophy room, which can be earned from high tier sanctioned races/tournaments (inspired by NFL 2K5/Auto Modellista), photos taken in game can be framed and displayed around the house (TDU2) and multiple garages and garage types like TDU/GTA along with the ability to interact with and move cars around different garages and spaces within the garages. The ability to test drive any car at any level of progression and visit themed new dealerships and used dealerships would be cool (TDU/TC). Character customization would be nice to control the appearance of your character, such as a plastic surgeon and clothing stores. The ability to control blinkers, headlights, windows, convertible tops/sunroofs, neon lighting, turning the engine off, operating hydraulics and adjusting air bags. Having a large variety of standard and gimmick horns. Using horns to control police lights to flash rapidly upon the horn being pressed, along with the siren remaining operating upon letting go of the horn. The internal navigation/infotainment screens of cars show the in game map/gps (TDU2). We could see the drone from FH4 return as it’s a good way to view tricky areas and get a live view of other players without obstructing them. Wheelspins (FH4) exist, but guarantee car or money and have the potential of earning clothes as a side bonus. We could maybe have a casino (similar to TDU2/GTA5) with various attractions, such as slots, a daily wheelspin for a rotating car weekly, the ability to bet on real life PvP races that the large room would randomly put you into spectate and other casino based activities. Our character shouldn't be mute throughout the story, we should be given a few voice choices for a little more personality for our character (similar to how Saints Row operates its voices). Car clubs would be cool, similar to FH3, along with leaderboards based on the clubs. Oil changes at the performance shops and car washes would be nice. Garages/dealerships and tuning shops will have various ambient noises (hydraulic lifts, airsaws, torches, metal slamming, etc.) and subtle music.
Photo mode: This deserves its own category and also can help a company market the game by users sharing their photos if the mode allows such great photos people will be prone to sharing them. We should have a filtetime of day/weather system like TC2. The focusing and motion blur of FH4 is well executed. We should be able to zoom in and out (adjust focal length) without it altering our field of view. We should be able to apply different lens effects, such as fisheye, rectilinear, etc. The camera should have the ability to position freely, in terms of raise, lower, tilt, rotate, etc. The maximum height for the camera needs to be much higher than FH4. The camera should have the potential to be on a gimbal, so it can remain even while a car is going up and down a hill to emphasize how drastic the ascent or descent is. All these features on top of standard stuff such as exposure, saturation, etc. Also, the live rewind and fast forward again option in TC2 is amazing. It’s easy to miss that perfect single frame shot on other games, but the ability to do that solves it.
Soundtrack: It needs to be eclectic with hip-hop, rock and electronic (maybe 2 of each) like modern and classic hip-hop and rock and electronic can be split between chill and hype. Maybe we can get pop, country and classical stations? Have a mix of some lesser known songs and also some billboard topping hits. Don't have stations where many of their songs sound very similar. Something great that could be added could be Spotify integration if any company can figure it out/contract Spotify. Groove integration was a good idea on FH, but Groove wasn't successful. Having the ability to fully mute all music sounds would also be nice (unlike FH4).
Vehicles: As I said, I will not be going over brands, but I would like to see a variety of entry level cars, sports cars, super cars, hyper cars and full on race cars. Concept cars would be great, as they are seen in limited fashion on most open world titles. I'd like trucks and SUVs as well for off roading and to maintain a wide variety of vehicles on par with FH4. I’d also like to see a vehicle categorization similar to FH4 (i.e. Hypercars, classic muscle, etc.). While I'd like to see a variety of vehicle types, I'd still prefer to see quality over quantity. Each vehicle needs to be replicated well and many should have extensive customization. We should be able to favorite cars and also choose a random car (totally random or random from favorites for whatever vehicles are applicable to the given event or freeroam. We should be able to tag vehicles as designed for off-road, wet driving, drifting, drag, etc. These will just be two examples, but we should be able to provide donor cars to speciality shops and convert them into improved, rarer editions. Two conversions that I'll reference would be converting a Porsche Carrera GT into a Gemballa Mirage GT or a Mustang GT into a Saleen S302. A growing variety of vehicles over the course of time, similar to FH4 and TC2.
Visual Customization: No visual adjustments will relate to performance gains or losses (i.e. camber, wheel swaps/sizes, bodykits, etc.) other than you will need to equip some form of spoilewing to adjust rear downforce. We should be able to set wheels smaller than stock, as well as larger. Track width should be an option with multiple sliders (like NFS2015). We should be given manufacturer options for paint, wheels and interior choices, etc. (TDU2/TC2). We should be able to save paint colors (MCLA), instead of just having them in recents and eventually disappear (FH). We should be able to adjust trim as chrome, titanium, gold, black, etc. (MC3) The paint options of NFS Heat and MCLA would be nice, such as gloss, metallic flake with size options, carbon fiber varieties, chrome, matte, satin, fading from left to right as well as top to bottom and the ability to add multiple colors in a color shifting paint job (MC3), colored nitrous (MC3/NFSH), colored tire smoke (GTA5/NFSH) and backfire (NFSH), tire design (MCLA/NFSH), wide body kits (both from manufacturers and developer designed), bumpers, spoilers/wings, skirts, mirrors and fenders (non real life brands can autosculpt like NFSC). Neon colors designs and patterns (TC2/NFSH), hydraulics (MCLA) and airbags (MCLA/NFSH) Brake calipers should be able to be from brands (MCLA/NFSH) or painted (TC2). Interior parts such as steering wheels and seats (MCLA), along with materials, alcantara, suede, leather, plastic, carbon fiber, chrome, etc. (TC2). We should be able to chop the roofs of some vehicles (MC3). Cars have individual licence plates and can get multiple states/countries given they fit the spacing allocated on each vehicle for them (MCLA) Tinted headlight and taillight housings are great options along with light bulb temperatures. Although it isn’t the taste of many people, we should be able to do all kinds of unique styles, such as monster truck (or at least an extreme lift), donk, bosozoku and even NHRA style drag body modifications (with optional wheelie bar) for some of the vehicles you would see them on in real life, but modifications this drastic will impact performance and vehicle hit box/collision physics. Vinyls on widows should be a thing with the ability to make vinyls able to utilize different paint materials (NFSH). FH4 has the numerical system to mirror and scale things fairly well. I’d like to keep the placement system of FH4. Also, the FH4 marketplace to download tunes and designs is the best I've seen, so that can be duplicated. As this will blanket all of the above, some customization parts should be recommended by a popular magazine or website. MC3 did this with Dub and created a fantastic game with a lasting legacy and many of the style options were relevant when the game was released and for a while after. We should be able to adjust tire width and profile, similar to MCLA. The ability to paint engine bays and accent parts would be nice, similar to NFS UG2. Custom exhaust tips/mufflers would be something nice that many other games have incorporated.
Performance Customization and Tuning: PI system like Forza with classes (but actively tuned for balance), different turbos for rpm ranges/turbo lag, supercharger. We should have different tire compounds, even being able to set for front/rear separately. As mentioned earlier, a RWD car that is tuned well and driven well should have the potential to beat an AWD vehicle due to it being lighter. Keeping the tuning settings of what you can adjust would be ideal. We should have the ability to combine the live tuning of NFSH, but enhance it while at a test track (with an off road area in the middle) connected to the tuning shop. You can isolate many tuning options and slide them around while hot lapping. I’d like the ability to run fat rear drag tires, unlike FH4 where it’s just a tire compound.
Audio: This is something that will be very important to many, so great sounds like the noise of turbos on NFS2015 and raw engine noises of FH2 and other games held to a high standard will be important to nail. Exhaust tuning from NFSH was nice, but I would like to see a little more of a difference in the sound with this idea further improved. Getting the proper transmission noises can be useful for cars on top of just the engine noise. Tires skidding is nice noise to get correct for realism as well. Having nice ambient sounds will also be important for immersiveness, such as birds chirping, waves washing up on the beach, wind noises and great echo sounds for traveling through tunnels or densely surrounded areas, such as down a row of highrise buildings). Other than making a car sound how it sounds and making realistic sounds for the environment, there is not much more to be said. It's a moderately limited description, but still something that is pivotal.
Story/post launch content: I would like to see a sense of progression built up throughout the game by starting in a low end car as someone who freshly arrived in the are the map takes place in (MCLA), maybe the antagonist could be someone who scammed you in a previous city or dismissed your talent at the beginning of the game. For me, the outright story isn't too important, but can contribute to how much you will enjoy a racing game. Any DLC map expansion needs to be seamless and not require a separate load in, similar to Burnout Paradise Big Surf Island bridge or (MCLA South Central expansion) and unlike FH4 Fortune Island. The 1000 Club was a great thing that occurred on FH1 that would be nice to bring reason to use every car and for the 100%ers to have something else to chase. Police are something that hasn't been done extremely well in a racing only game in a very long time, in my opinion. I would ideally focus on everything else before attempting to add police in. If they were added in, something along the lines of NFSMW (2005) would be nice, but with higher stakes. We should have an end-game hero car, similar to the M3 GTR from NFSMW, but make it a car that isn't already iconic from another game, movie or real life racing, as people wouldn't think of the hero car associated to this hypothetical game, but related to whatever it was previously iconic in, as whatever work that went into making it that car would go to waste as people would want to overwrite that design. Alongside the hero car, we should also have a couple cars that are unique variations of pre-existing cars (Dub Edition cars of MCLA) for other special events (MCLA hard tournaments/FH3 street race bosses). The post-launch support needs to be good, unlike NFSH. Adding cars monthly would be a great start, along with any necessary QoL updates.
Sorry for any formatting or grammatical issues. I’d like to hear any additional features to add into racing games from the feedback of other people or changes that they would prefer. Also, if there are any ideas in here that others would like to emphasize. Any of this content is free for content creators to recycle if that is desired. I’d like to see some of these ideas be passed around and heard to developers on what could be improved upon. Many games have great ideas and I’d like to see them build off of each other’s greatness.
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Part 6: Amazing In Depth Essay About Sopranos Symbolism and Subtext (credit: FlyOnMelfisWall source: thechaselounge.net)

Kennedy and Heidi: Vicarious Patricide as Tony’s Decompensation

At the risk of needless redundancy, I think it’s helpful to summarize Tony’s state of mind going into the episode Kennedy and Heidi. His consciousness is teeming with ancient but recently-agitated memories showcasing his father’s violence and toxic influence, like Johnny shooting a hole through Livia’s hairdo and baptizing him in the act of murder. He’s unable to shake stories of parental neglect leading to tragic outcomes for children. He’s painfully aware of Christopher’s hatred of him and desire for murderous revenge, feelings ultimately rooted in the fact that Tony guided him into the same corrupt existence into which he himself had been led by Johnny, Junior, and company, suggesting a reciprocal, if unconscious, rage by Tony towards those men. His subconscious mind is under constant assault from hats and movie posters and coffee mugs bearing the image of a bloody meat cleaver, an emblem of his own lost childhood innocence and inculcation by his father into his brutal, ugly vocation. He is racked with acute but intense guilt over the role he thinks his life’s example has played in shaping his son’s values and poor sense of self-worth. And he is still repressing a mountain of hurt over the fact that his uncle and second father tried not once but twice to kill him, a repression Melfi warned would someday result in a total collapse of his defense mechanisms, that is, a collapse of his paternal hero-worship and related quest for the macho validation that has prevented him from critically examining his father, uncle, and the men upon whom he modeled his life.
Now consider the circumstances immediately before the crash. Tony and Chris are on a routine drive back from business in Christopher’s new black Cadillac SUV (the first Cadillac Chris has ever owned, incidentally.) The conversation turns to life priorities. Chris, conspicuously clad in a Cleaver hat, specifically mentions how Kaitlyn has changed his priorities, and Tony mentions the “shit with Junior”. So the context is immediately pregnant with the fact that Junior shot and nearly killed Tony within the past year and with the fact that Chris is in a new place of responsibility, a position where he is, for the first time, truly the custodian and trustee for another life.
In a perfectly-timed illustration of just how ill-equipped Chris is to live up to those responsibilities, he nervously and repeatedly fiddles with the car stereo, fidgets, and widens his eyes, telegraphing to Tony that he is high as a kite on drugs. “Comfortably Numb” swells on the sound system as Tony stares at him, the lyrics underscoring that, in that moment, he does not see Chris as a youngster, as the “adorable kid” he once road around in the basket of his bicycle, but as a grown man:
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse Out of the corner of my eye I turned to look but it was gone I cannot put my finger on it now The child is grown, the dream is gone
Chris swerves, and the crash happens seconds later.

Tony as the Child in the Carseat

It’s critical to note that Tony initially manifests every intention of helping Chris, even as he’s fighting his own injuries. “I’m comin’,” he says as Chris asks for help. His expression and demeanor only change when he realizes what Chris means by “help”. “I’ll never pass a drug test,” Chris moans. “What?” Tony asks incredulously as Chris is inhaling his own blood. Almost simultaneously, Tony turns towards the back and sees that a tree limb has penetrated the passenger compartment, lodging in Kaitlyn’s car seat like a spear. While Tony would somewhat exaggerate the size of the branch in later narrations of the event, there’s no question that it was large enough to have impaled or seriously injured an infant.
Even after this warning shot over the bow, Tony apparently intends to help Chris, coming over to the driver’s side and breaking the window when he couldn’t get the door open. He draws his cell phone to call for help but stops when Chris again mentions being doped up, which suggests that Chris is more concerned about the legal consequences of his intoxication than about the fact that he is drowning in his own blood, completely belying his claim to a life newly ordered around the lofty priority of fatherhood.
That’s the moment when Tony forms a genuine murderous intent, an intent that has little to do with Christopher’s animosity towards him or the danger that he might flip. Those are conscious, background motives that help Tony rationalize and make sense of his actions later. But the factor impelling him to end Christopher’s life is his own, fundamental identification with the child who might just as easily have been killed or seriously harmed in that carseat.
To objectify this point, there is a slow pan of the limb sticking through the seat as Tony performs the suffocation, clearly not a shot representing Tony’s vision or gaze at that moment but objectively corroborating the earlier angle when Tony glances back and we see the seat from his point of view. The juxtaposition of these shots – subjective and objective – tells me the carseat is not just a convenient excuse for Tony. This is what he’s really feeling. In this moment, he is the phantom child in that carseat, a child whose safety and well-being come second to his father’s corrupt values and reckless self-indulgence, a child whose soul and humanity are metaphorically impaled by riding in and being taught to drive his father’s black Cadillac.
The exclamation point on the symbolism is provided by Christopher’s hat. Incredibly, it remains on his head throughout the crash and suffocation, its bloody cleaver logo pointing towards Tony when the car comes to rest. As Tony acts consciously on behalf of an innocent child, the symbol of his own lost childhood innocence is directly before him. And, for good measure, the cap and logo stare back at him in the hospital from the gurney laden with Christopher’s bloody clothing and the black bag containing his dead body. (The logo antagonizes Tony a final time from his coffee mug the next morning before he angrily tosses the mug into his backyard woods.)
Several points about the suffocation itself are remarkable. First was the look of absolute depravity on Tony’s face as he watched Christopher struggle to breathe. This look was unlike any ever seen on Tony’s face at any other moment in the series. Even when committing other personal and deadly acts of violence, his face and demeanor had always betrayed a commensurate level of animus, an active, passionate intent. In contrast, he reached through the window and pinched Christopher’s nose – and maintained that hold – with remarkable calm. His face and eyes throughout the suffocation were paradoxically both incredibly intense and completely devoid of human emotion, a look far more disturbing than any look of mere rage he’d ever worn before.
Second, although this act was, in my judgment, clearly about the release of Tony’s pent up rage towards his father figures, the method of killing evokes Livia. Besides her conspiracy with Junior to kill Tony (which she rationalized was for his own good) and general obsession with stories of child deaths, she had once threatened to “smother [her children] with a pillow” to save them from a fate she deemed even worse. Tony grabbed a pillow intending to smother her in the season one finale before nursing home personnel intervened. In Members Only, Tony spoke of being smothered with a pillow as a suitable form of euthanasia. Its functional equivalent at the scene of the crash had a definite vibe of putting Chris out of his own – and everyone’s – misery. So, in killing his “father”, Tony was also paradoxically suffocating his “son”, thereby channeling Livia’s filicidal urges and concept of mercy killing.
The most spine-tingling resonance with the scene comes from two season four episodes where Tony’s deep identification with “innocents” – be they children or animals – once again comes to the fore, as does his appreciation for the consequences of Chris continuing to use drugs. In Whoever Did This, Tony warns Christopher that he “can’t be high on heroine and raise kids.” And in The Strong, Silent Type, after learning that a doped-up Chris accidentally smothered and suffocated Adriana’s dog, Tony ominously snaps, “You suffocated little Cossette? I oughta suffocate you, you prick!” It’s such perfect foreshadowing that the earlier episodes seem to have been written with the outcome of Kennedy and Heidi in mind.

Righteous Retribution as the Explanation for Tony’s Lack of Sorrow

As previously noted, the most troubling aspect of the episode from the standpoint of character consistency and plausibility was not the fact that Tony murdered Chris. It was his vacuous expression during the killing and the fact that he never betrayed a moment’s genuine sorrow or regret afterwards. He remained, in fact, defiantly happy and unconflicted about it, especially to Melfi, and was sincerely troubled that neither she nor anyone else could see how Christopher’s death rescued Kaitlyn from a lifetime of risks and harm that she would naturally suffer as the daughter of a drug addict (and mob captain).
In his therapy scenes with Melfi, real and dream, Tony even makes the very contrast I raise, noting that he’s never felt this way after murdering any other person close to him. He alludes to his sorrow over Pussy and specifically allows that murdering Tony B left him “prostate [sic] with grief.” In effect, Tony himself is revealing that this killing feels righteous and justified to him on an instinctive level and is therefore not one about which he can feel guilt or sorrow.
That sentiment makes no sense if his dominant motives were those he talked about in therapy: Christopher’s animosity and resentment towards him after the Adriana hit and his drug-use and consequent risk to flip. Whatever weight those factors carry in justifying murder in the corrupt “ethics” of the mob (which, in any case, is less than the weight of the transgressions by Pussy and Tony B), they carry absolutely no legitimate moral weight outside it and could not sustain in Tony the sense of just triumph that he felt in response to Christopher’s death. What could inspire that sense of triumph is the perceived liberation of a child from a dangerous and toxic father, experienced subconsciously as vicarious retribution for the abuse and harm he himself suffered at the hands of his own father and uncle.

Significance of the Names “Kennedy” and “Heidi”

“Kennedy” and “Heidi” are the names of the young passenger and driver, respectively, in the car that sideswipes Christopher’s SUV before the fateful crash. The girls are barely onscreen a few seconds, just long enough to (somewhat artificially) learn their names in the following exchange:
Kennedy: Maybe we should go back, Heidi! Heidi: Kennedy, I’m on my learner’s permit after dark!
Much forum debate after the first airing of the episode centered around the significance, if any, of these names. I propose a related but even more basic question: why are the girls present in the scene at all?
Tony’s windfall opportunity to murder Chris and pass it off as death from accidental injury was entirely dependent upon being unobserved by others after the crash. Given Christopher’s intoxicated state and inattention to the curvy road while he fiddled with radio controls, a mere swerve and over-correction or swerve to avoid an animal (Tony’s crash with Adriana, anyone?) would have easily sufficed to trigger the accident but without the problematic involvement of another car, the driver of which would have to be made to flee the scene illegally and in contravention of the ethics and instincts of at least 95% of the motorists on the road. So the very fact that another car is involved, complicating both the story and the filming, suggests some symbolic or subtextual design to the involvement related specifically to the momentous event occurring right after the crash.
One aspect of that design is revealed and amplified when a grieving Kelly shows up at Christopher’s wake with dark hair framing her face and large, dark sunglasses covering her eyes. A member of the crew remarks, “Look at her. Like a movie star.” An odd look immediately crosses Tony’s face as he spontaneously responds, “Jackie Kennedy”, noting Kelly’s resemblance to the widow of John F. Kennedy.
In my mind, this striking moment in the episode can have only one purpose, and that’s to evoke Johnny Boy in relation to Christopher via a kind of symbolic math. If Kelly = Jackie Kennedy, then Chris = JFK = Johnny Boy since JFK was the explicit parallel figure for Johnny in In Camelot, the first episode of the series depicting cracks in the foundation of Tony’s paternal hero worship. When that foundation completely crumbles inside Tony’s subconscious a season and a half later, it’s entirely fitting that the JFK/Johnny parallel is renewed.
As for the name “Heidi”, most folks around these parts felt it was meant to evoke the idea of “orphan” because of the famous Swiss orphan tale of the same name and because Kaitlyn (and Paulie) both lost parents in the episode. That’s an entirely plausible analysis that requires no expansion, although I’m inclined to think there’s more to it than that, starting with the analogy of Tony himself to “Heidi”. No, Tony was never technically orphaned, though he arguably suffered more as the son of Johnny and Livia than if he had been. He was certainly deprived of real parental love and guidance, on both sides, and that roughly equates to the definition of “orphan”.
Before discussing this episode for the first time, I never knew that Heidi was the story of an orphan, only that it was some kind of tale for children. And I knew that only because of the epic 1968 football game between Joe Namath’s Jets and the Oakland Raiders, the climactic ending of which (an improbable comeback by the Raiders) was cut off abruptly for television viewers at the end of its scheduled broadcast slot so that a movie version of Heidi could begin airing on time. I was only four at the time of this debacle but recall my parents talking about it – and the considerable chaos it caused at NBC and at telephone switchboards around the country – for years afterwards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Game
It wouldn’t become clear until the end of Made In America, but there’s an obvious parallel to the Heidi phenomenon in the wind-up of The Sopranos. Consider that, like the Heidi Game broadcast, Made in America featured an abrupt, unexpected termination of excruciatingly tense action at a penultimate moment, pre-empting audience experience of what appeared to be an imminent and momentous climax. The Sopranos ending may not have disabled an entire telephone network, but it certainly generated an enormous amount of controversy that, for better or worse, persists to this day.
Beyond that, there were enough other football references in the final Sopranos episodes, and especially Jets references, to warrant further consideration of this football connotation for “Heidi”. In Remember When, Tony’s betting losses on Jets football games prompt his call to Hesh for a bridge loan. Later that same episode, Paulie annoys Tony and company with yet another old tale, this one relating how, after witnessing Joe Namath stagger drunk into a bar the night before a game, he bet a load of cash the following day on the Jets’ opponent. In Chasing It, Tony gets inside information on a Jets football game and is irate when Carmela refuses to bet money on it. The episode features a closeup of a large newspaper headline, “Jets Bomb Chargers”.
In Blue Comet, then-current coach of the Jets, Eric Mangini, makes a cameo appearance in Vesuvio, with Artie informing a suitably-impressed Tony so the two can go over and shake hands. News articles at the time clarified that the cameo wasn’t Mangini’s idea but the idea of Sopranos producers, who contacted him months in advance and made accommodations in the shooting schedule around his availability. So this seemed more than a casual desire to have some generic celebrity show up.
That especially seems true considering Mangini was given no dialog and that his meeting with Tony and Artie was only depicted in the silent background of a conversation between Charmaine and Carmela. Mangini’s only purpose on set was apparently to show his face briefly and to have the fact of his identity (Tony has to tell a bewildered Carm that Mangini is the head coach of the Jets) permeate the minds of the audience and the subtext of the scene, which is ultimately about chickens coming home to roost on Tony and Carmela because of the lives they chose.
As alter egos for Tony and Carmela throughout the series, folks who took the proverbial “other path” in life, Artie and (especially) Charmaine engage in subtle gloating in the scene. Football coaching was firmly established as Tony’s “road not taken” in Test Dream, so having an actual football coach present in the episode where the unsavory and downright deadly consequences of his chosen vocation are crashing in all around him provides dramatic ballast. All the better to have the coach in the scene be the coach of the team involved in the Heidi game in view of the ending planned for the following episode.
And speaking again of that ending, the wall behind Tony in Holsten’s is consumed with four large murals specifically brought in by the production crew for the shoot. The largest and most centered depicts a huge, light-colored building with lots of windows, somewhat reminiscent of the Inn at the Oaks in Tony’s coma dream. It’s apparently a high school, however, as it is flanked on either side by images of football players in full uniform with what appear to be names and year of graduation engraved at the bottom. To the side and extreme left is a mural of a tiger and the caption “Class of 1973” at the bottom. The tiger is presumably the mascot for the team and school represented in the other murals. So there is a strong symbolic presence of “football” in the last scene of the series, particularly of high school football from roughly the era when Tony would have entered high school.
Finally, though it may be completely insignificant, when Tony tells Carm about the accident from his hospital stretcher in Kennedy and Heidi, he mentions that he re-injured his knee, “the one from high school.” That certainly sounds like a reference to an old high school football injury.
If these loose strands from multiple episodes are indeed intended to connote football in relation to the name “Heidi”, what does that actually mean in the context of the episode Kennedy and Heidi? What does football have to do with Tony killing Chris or, more precisely, with him killing his father in the guise of Chris?
The linchpin in that symbolism, it seems to me, is Tony’s old high school football coach, the guy who would have been his coach when he originally injured his knee, the guy Tony dreamt repeatedly of trying to silence or kill, the guy whose puzzling duality in Test Dream suddenly makes sense when he’s viewed as a classic, Freudian composite of opposites, specifically a composite of Tony’s opposing father figures with Johnny dressed in the physiognomy of Coach Molinaro by Tony’s subconscious in order to render acceptable imagery of his latent, patricidal feelings.
If you further allow, as I do, that the Johnny look-alike shooting at Tony with a scoped rifle (ala Oswald/”Kennedy”) in that same dream is yet another Freudian “reversal into the opposite” by Tony’s subconscious to disguise his repressed paternal rage, then the Kennedy/Heidi connection is pretty clear. The names are presented proximate to the crash to connote that, in killing Chris, Tony has finally acted out the Test Dream imagery that haunted him for years: he has (symbolically) killed his father, the “Kennedy” and “Heidi” of his dream.

“He’s Dead”

In my judgment, this explains Tony’s otherwise puzzling, peyote-induced insight when he proclaims, “He’s dead,” after winning at roulette on 3 successive spins, prompting him to fall to the floor in spectacular and uncontrollable laughter. What other, real death could have inspired such a euphoric and epiphanic reaction? What real death could Tony only have appreciated while in a drug-induced, altered state of consciousness?
Many felt the line referred to Christopher because he’d just died, obviously, and because Tony’s gambling luck suddenly changed afterward. That analysis never made sense to me.
First, Tony plays roulette at the casino while sober when he first arrives in Vegas and loses every round. Chris was already dead at that time, as Tony well knew and accepted. Indeed, Tony was never in any state of denial about Christopher’s death (or about having killed him.) He embraced it, both consciously and in his dream therapy session with Melfi after the crash.
The “he’s dead” insight occurs only after Tony takes peyote and notices a sudden and complete about-face in gambling luck. Why would he need psychedelic drugs to suddenly realize what he already knew and accepted about Chris? And why would Christopher’s death be tied in his mind to his own gambling luck anyway? No prior connection between those two things had ever been suggested.
On the other hand, Tony’s sudden escalation in gambling, which coincided with the agitation and intensification of his latent rage towards his father(s), could easily be seen as a subconscious rebellion against the stern, anti-gambling lecture Johnny imparted the night Tony witnessed the cleaver incident. To the extent that the rebellion results in huge financial losses and self destruction, it obviously fails. His father retains ultimate power and authority. To the extent the rebellion results in huge winnings, it succeeds, and Tony vanquishes his father.
That conquest was the ineffable and elusive “high” that Tony was subconsciously pursuing in Chasing It but which he could not articulate to Melfi. Thus the sudden change in gambling fortune on his Vegas trip is easily tied in Tony’s drug-altered psyche to a euphoric realization that he has conquered or symbolically killed his father, none of which Tony could appreciate without a vastly altered state of consciousness.
And that leads to why he went to Vegas in the first place. He asks that question out loud to the Vegas prostitute, Sonia, immediately before admitting that Christopher once mentioned taking peyote with her. Tony then confesses to having always wanted to try the drug.
Clearly, then, he didn’t just happen to pick Vegas and didn’t just happen to make contact with this girl. His subconscious was pushing him to that venue because he craved the enlightenment of a peyote experience. So while Tony’s real motives for the murder, and for his otherwise inexplicable jubilance afterward, were completely closed off to his conscious mind, somehow he sensed their existence and yearned to unlock and understand them. However his peyote revelations didn’t stop with simply understanding why he killed Chris.

“I Get It. I Get It!”

Tony’s desert epiphany is a bookend to his near-death coma experience and, I believe, can only be fully understood in relation to it. Yet exploring that relationship is a journey all unto itself, calling not only for consideration of the coma episodes and Kennedy and Heidi but the meaning of the cut to black that ends the series. While exploring the religious and spiritual underpinnings of those episodes is of even more weight and interest to me personally than the issue of Tony’s motives in killing Christopher, it deserves and demands its own, dedicated discussion. For now, I’d simply like to posit what I strongly believe Tony’s epiphany to have been with only minimal argumentation as to why I hold that belief.
The epiphany is presaged when Tony enters the casino on his peyote trip and notes that the roulette wheel is built on the same principle as the solar system. The ball spins round and round the center or “sun” of the wheel because of two delicately-balanced but largely opposing phenomena: the momentum of the ball (which, without the wheel, would carry the ball away in a straight line) and the centripetal force of the wheel (applied by the rim, which continuously pulls the ball towards the center even as the ball’s momentum continuously pulls it on a path perpendicular to the centripetal force.) The antagonism (or cooperation, if you prefer) of the forces gives rise to a unified system: an orbit.
If this sounds a bit like the Bell Labs scientist’s explanation of how two tornadoes are in fact just facets of one, unified system of wind, it’s likely no mere coincidence. As Hal Holbrook’s character argued, separateness is a mirage. The universe, and everything in it, is one big soup of molecules interacting in cause/effect fashion according to laws, making it one whole, not a bunch of discrete parts. “Everything is everything,” as the black rapper reduced it.
That was the philosophy that really made an impression on Tony in the days and weeks following his coma. The principles of quantum physics articulated by Holbrook’s character are likely as close as you can get to a scientific codification of Bhuddism and therefore reinforced much of what the Bhuddist monks conveyed to Tony in his coma. The monks laughed when Tony claimed he wasn’t Finnerty and explained that there really is no “you” and “me, that death would bring an obliteration of individuality. Separate consciousness – and the consciousness of separateness – is an illusion of the living.
So all this laid the philosophical groundwork for Tony’s Las Vegas trip. In that trip, Tony seeks out a girl with whom Chris had slept, then sleeps with her himself. He mentions having refrained from a longstanding desire to try peyote because he always felt the weight of his responsibilities, an implied contrast to Christopher, who always indulged in drugs despite his responsibilities. The idea that Tony was seeking to almost live life in Christopher’s skin in the Las Vegas portion of the episode was something several posters mentioned in first discussions after Kennedy and Heidi aired. Even the girl, Sonia, remarks how similar Tony and Chris are, a somewhat dubious observation that somehow offends Tony but which also helps define his impending epiphany.
That epiphany is spurred when the rising sun flares at him over the desert mountain vista. This recalls Tony’s earlier comparison of the roulette wheel to the solar system. It also resonates completely with the fact that Kevin Finnerty was a solar heating salesman from Kingman, Arizona, a town which, not coincidentally, lies 95 miles southeast of Las Vegas and shares the same desert landscape. Also not coincidental, IMO, is the fact that in the prior episode, Christopher spoke of the perks of joining witness protection and of “living large” in Arizona.
So I believe that, in that desert sunrise on the cusp of Arizona, in fulfillment of his identity as Kevin Finnerty, solar heating salesman, Tony saw his “son” – Christopher – “rise” and realized that, in murdering him days before, he (Tony) was really “rising” as a “son” against Johnny Boy. And in that linkage, he suddenly realized that “everything is [indeed] everything.” He is both Chris and Johnny Boy, both abused and misguided son and abusing, misguiding father. He is murdering uncle and would-be murdered nephew. He is both the mother that sees suffocation as mercy killing and the son who is suffocated. Christopher is both his son and his father. Johnny Boy is Coach Molinaro. “Kennedy” is “Heidi”. Opposites are really two sides of the same coin. In that fleeting moment of insight, Tony was truly feeling “one” with the universe.

The Second Coming

The episode following Kennedy and Heidi is titled The Second Coming after the Yeats poem that grips AJ in the English lit class he’s auditing. While the poem speaks to the bleakness of his depression and outlook on life at that particular time, there’s little doubt that – like everything of substantial weight in the Sopranos universe – it ultimately relates, first and foremost, to Tony. First referenced in the Cold Cuts therapy session dealing with pent-up rage where Tony’s deep shame from the cleaver incident is finally revealed, the poem seems the veritable inspiration for the storyline (as interpreted in this article) that culminates in Christopher’s murder:
The Second Coming By William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The widening gyre, the orbit that breaks down when the center can no longer hold, is clearly a parallel to the decompensation of which Melfi warned, the point at which Tony’s defenses after Junior’s second murder attempt could no longer hold and the underlying pathological rage at his fathers would take over. True to the poem, a “blood-dimmed tide was loosed”, inspired by a perverse compassion for the “innocent”. While “the best” all mourned Christopher and thought his death a tragedy, Tony, “the worst”, was full of passionate intensity and could not understand why no one else saw the greater good in Christopher’s death.
The “revelation” occurs in a “waste of desert sand”, imagery easily compatible with Tony’s “I get it” moment in the Nevada/Arizona desert. The uniquely depraved look on his face as he suffocated Christopher is evoked by the line describing a “gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun”. “Twenty years of stony sleep” refers to the decades of denial Tony maintained, the defense mechanisms that kept him all his life from confronting and admitting that, in some very real ways, he hated his father. It’s a figurative sleep that was suggested literally in the noted fact that so many episodes in season 6B started with Tony in a deep sleep. Somnolence was suggested even in the choice of the song “Comfortably Numb” as soundtrack in the moments immediately preceding the crash, the moments right before the hour of the “rough beast” finally arrived. Even the incidentals are perfect allusions, as with the image of “stony sleep” being turned into a nightmare by a “rocking cradle”, or, in this case, by a car seat with a branch sticking through it.
I’m intrigued by the line describing the emerging beast as having “lion body”. It may mean absolutely nothing. But among the story points worth considering in relation to it are the tiger on the wall in Holsten’s and the enigmatic cat in Made In America.
More obscure is the fact that in Remember When, the single episode most explicitly dealing with the violent release of stifled paternal rage, Carter Chong described his grandfather as a “lion” and noted that his father owned “Grumman” stock. (Grumman manufactured a number of high-profile fighter military aircraft, most of them named for some kind of cat, e.g., Panther, Jaguar, Tomcat, Tigercat.) Carter was reviewing these facts to himself in the scene immediately preceding his vicious attack on Junior, suggesting that, in acting out on his stifled paternal hatred, he was adopting the predatory, aggressive characteristics of a wild cat. Notably, when Junior, the paternal surrogate who modeled this kind of aggressive behavior to Carter, was seen at the end of that episode bruised and literally defanged, his sunken mouth void of false teeth, he was stroking a harmless little housecat on his lap. Once a lion, the former mob boss was a lion no more.

Asbestos Dumping as a Metaphor for Tony’s Toxic Spill of Rage

Kennedy and Heidi opens with a controversy between Tony and Phil Leotardo over asbestos disposal. One of Tony’s contractors was removing asbestos from old buildings, while following none of the strict (and expensive) asbestos-handling laws regulating worker and public safety, and was seeking to dump completely uncontained truck-fulls at waste stations controlled by Phil. Phil’s guys were denying the trucks the right to dump. As a consequence, huge, openly-smoking asbestos mounds were building up at job sites.
After Christopher’s death, Tony was doing little to find a solution, skipping town to gamble, get laid, and get high and leaving the contractor high and dry. Finally, near the very end of the episode, the contractor dumps heaps of asbestos at dawn in an open marsh area resembling the New Jersey Meadowlands.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that gained widespread use in the 19th and 20th centuries as an ingredient in various building industry materials – including wall compounds, insulation, and roofing materials – primarily because of its extreme insulative properties and resistance to heat and fire. In the last 40 years, it’s become better-known for its cancer-causing and toxic effects on those mining and working with it in manufacturing, demolition/remodeling, or other “raw” environments.
Both the heat resistance and toxicity of asbestos make the shoddy removal/dumping storyline a compelling metaphor for Tony’s equally shoddy “dumping” in Kennedy and Heidi. The smoldering heat and flames from his hatred towards his father and uncle were contained beneath his consciousness by an insulating firewall of denial and repression. In essence, this denial and repression was Tony’s psychological asbestos, and it (more or less) contained the heat and fire within him for 47 years.
But it finally broke down, allowing the flames to rage and do damage and necessitating a messy disposal. Unfortunately the breakdown didn’t happen where it should have, in his therapist’s office as the result of honest introspection and dialog about little things like his uncle trying to kill him twice and his father indoctrinating him to murder at 22. That would have been the equivalent of careful, legally-compliant asbestos removal. Instead the breakdown occurred in a roadside ravine and the resulting “waste [in the] desert sand” was every bit as toxic as the smoking piles illegally dumped in the Meadowlands immediately before the desert epiphany and which we saw reprised in the very first shot of the following episode.
Think about that for a moment. Tony’s “I get it” moment was literally sandwiched between shots of noxious mounds of asbestos blowing in the New Jersey wind, a significant clue that some other kind of perversely cathartic disposal was in the middle of that sandwich.

The Orbit of the ‘Blue Comet’: Long Journey to Nowhere

It’s fair to ask: if the broad strokes of my interpretation are valid, what impact did the epiphany have on Tony going forward? After the drugs wore off, did he actually retain any specific understanding of his subconscious motives for killing Chris? Was he left only with the impression that he had enjoyed a very brief moment of enlightenment but without intellectual distillation of the enlightenment itself?
Because the insight was founded upon the secret that he had murdered Chris, even if Tony had retained it, he couldn’t overtly share it with anyone. Still, I lean toward the interpretation that the specifics (at least the ones I proffered) were lost to him when the altered state of consciousness ceased. When he tried to describe the magic of what he experienced in the desert to his crew, he could only come up with the most mundane, inadequate words: “The sun . . . came up.” They all looked at him like he was half retarded.
He was slightly more specific with Melfi, offering that he saw “for pretty certain” that this reality is not all there is. He couldn’t define the alternative but was still convinced there was “something else”.
He did speak in therapy of appreciating a balance and unity in opposites that he hadn’t appreciated before, a “ying” [sic] and “yang”. And he offered that “mothers are like buses . . . the vehicle that gets us here,” but that, once here, we are all on our own, individual journeys (mothers included.) So, to the extent his epiphany comported with what he revealed in therapy, it seems to have had little to do with fathers and with Christopher’s murder and more to do with letting go (finally) of some of his issues with his mother.
But perhaps the best clue to his residual state of understanding came when he indicated that some of what he thought he had grasped in the desert now eluded him. “You think you know, you think you learn something . . . like when I got shot,” he begins. Then, speaking specifically about the peyote experience, he reports that the insight gained is “kinda hard to describe. . . . You know, you have these thoughts, and you almost grab it . . . and then . . . ftt.” He flicks his fingers away from his chin as if to indicate “nothing”. So, to paraphrase Edna St. Vincent Millay, a fragment of what he knew remains, but, apparently, the best is lost.
It wouldn’t take long for all of it to be lost. By the time Tony sits with AJ’s female therapist in Made In America, “going about in pity” for himself because of who his mother was, he has come full circle, essentially back to where he was to start the series. Like a “blue comet”, his orbit was highly elliptical, if not erratic, and carried with it the potential of veering off into deep space or crashing into the sun. But despite killing his own nephew, having a near-death experience himself, and saving his son from an act of suicide, the orbit held. The sober breakthrough never came. The repudiation of his father and of his way of life never took hold in his consciousness. And so, by series’ end, we, like Tony, were exhausted from a long journey that ultimately took us nowhere.
Part 1
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