Rich Diver

Klaus van der Kroft's page

Goblin Squad Member. 1,680 posts (1,755 including aliases). 2 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 17 aliases.


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More milkshakes than I should have.

Send help.


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Shrimp shawarmas.


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Damn, military coup in Turkey happening right now.

Hopefully it won't explode into something bigger, but apparently the military itself is divided and the Prime Minister asked people to go out to the streets and fight, so it might devolve into a bloody conflict.


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Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.

Thank you very much for taking the time and consideration to write a review.

Much appreciated!


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Hopefully Chinese at the usual place, if schedule allows.


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I'm not from the US, but the reality is the same everywhere: Candidates in campaigns will always portray their opponents (even their political relatives during a primary) in a bad light, because that's sort of required if you are telling the voters they need to vote for you. We can be as rational as we want in deciding how we weigh the different options, but there's a lot of gut and heart in presidential elections.

Doesn't mean I like it (I have a lot of respect for candidates who decide to stick to a clean discourse and fight on the idea level), but societies don't really work that way. Many times, what we internally perceive as very different political options can actually be surprisingly similar, and demonizing the opponent can be politically profitable in situations like these as a way of differentiating the options.

It's ugly, it's nasty, but it's also very easy to sit on a high throne and critizice it from the outside when it's not us who are trying to manoeuvre the turbulent waters of politics. There's a reason idealistic candidates very rarely make it to the top, and usually "lesser evil" really is the best option available; for a serious politician to ignore that would be irresponsible and potentially suicidal.

In that light, I've never been truly able to condemn a candidate who loses a primary and then makes a pragmatic choice to support the remaining one, even after a vicious campaign. Many times, the alternative could spell leaving your party's candidate out in the rain and segmenting the voters. After all, knowing what we know, it would be tremendouslly naive to assume that two candidates from the same political party/coalition who agree to participate in a primary together truly, 100% mean what they say when they paint the other guy as a monster, so lambasting them for sleeping with the aforementioned monster afterward seems kind of frivolous at times.


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Though often confused -even by some medical institutions and universities-, the Caduceus Staff (the one with two snakes twisting around a stick) and the Rod of Asclepius (the one with a single snake) are different symbols with different meanings.

The former represents Hermes, Greek god of trade, messages, and a bunch of other things, and is properly used in economic-related institutions, while the second represents Asclepius, Greek god of medicine, which is the one doctors ought to employ.


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For today, mushroom risotto.

Krensky wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Spaghetti bolognese.
What are two things that do not go together, Alex? ;)
Pff, they go together pretty well, regardless what Italian purists say. Sure, tagliolini instead of spaghetti goes the extra mile, but it's still a very tasty dish.
If you're not going to use tagliolini, you could at least use fettuccine or rigatoni so the ragu has something to stick to.

The sauce still sticks to the spaghetti; less than the egg-based pastas, certainly, but it's not like the thing comes out clean. And it tastes and feels pretty good, which is really the argument I'm making when I disagree that they don't go together. Imperfect is not the same as bad.

My point is, at the risk of an ad hominem, even if spaghetti bolognese is not a real Italian dish, there has to be a reason why it's so popular everywhere else, which I'd be willing to say wouldn't happen if the ingredients really didn't go together.

After all, it's not like one is trying to recreate an authentic peninsular meal every time pasta is for lunch (this doesn't mean an authentic meal is often a rewarding experience, of course).


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Krensky wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Spaghetti bolognese.
What are two things that do not go together, Alex? ;)

Pff, they go together pretty well, regardless what Italian purists say. Sure, tagliolini instead of spaghetti goes the extra mile, but it's still a very tasty dish.


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We use family records all the time as a cheap and somewhat effective starting point to judge a person's medical risks. And checking for a person's ethnic group is basically like using their very, very extended family record.

It's not always possible to identify a person's ethnic background, but when it is, it seems counterproductive to me to purposely ignore it on the basis that some other people use those concepts to act like garbage.


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Pepper grilled chicken breast with mashed potatoes.


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Here's a link to a real-time update on the voting status


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Once a month, I take my father's life-long secretary (she's been working with him for more than 40 years) to get her favourite junkfood: KFC. You'd be amazed how much crispy chicken a 71 year-old woman can eat.

And today is that day.

So KFC.

Lots and lots of KFC.


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As a Chilean I'd say come here, but it seems the idea is to enjoy warmer climates and we're driving straight into a cold winter over here. So Chile and most of Argentina might not be a good idea!

But I've had the blessing of visiting most of the continent, so maybe I can be of help. Going by some of the places you mention (if you need input on others, I'd be happy to help!):

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: It's a good choice; been to Dominican Republic thrice, two for straight beach and one for more in-depth tourism. Close enough to you that the flight will be fast, and it has a lot of really cool historical sights to visit, like the Necropolis, the Tomb of Columbus (that thing's huge), etc. Depending on how fast you want to move, you should be able to check the main areas in 2 days, 3 if you take your time. Rest of the time could be spent at the beach in places like Punta de Canas.

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: has a lot of options for all ranges of budget. Been there for work and vacation several times and it's a city you can never completely experience; there's just so much stuff to do and see. And the food is fantastic. It also has some spectacular beaches both right next to it and within close proximity (the archipelago of Angra Dos Reis is just a few hours southward and is a very nice place to see and rest at). Sao Paulo I would avoid; it's a stunning city in its own and has great places to visit and eat at (plus it's home to the most diverse set of cultures I've seen in a single place), but it's a nightmare to navigate.

Lima, Peru: Probably the best place to eat in America. Peruvian cuisine has this fantastical amalgamation of cultures, from the Spanish to the Japanese, that resulted in one of the most unique food selections anywhere. Lima itself also has a lot of really cool historical stuff accumulated during the centuries it stood as the head of the Viceroyalty of Peru, so you won't get bored. The weather is a bit boring, though, due to a particular micro-climate that keeps the city perpetually cloudy.

Mancora and Cuzco, Peru: If you're visiting Lima, you can complement the trip with the tropical beaches of Mancora to the north and the amazing historical sites of Cuzco. The latter has both fantastic sites (the Jesuit temple there has one of the biggest, if not the biggest, golden altarpiece in the continent. It's huge and so shiny) and great food (though I'd advice skipping the place called "Calle de los Chicharrones", where they fry so much stuff that the cobblestone itself is coated in oil). Plus you can take a 4-hour train to Aguascalientes and visit Machu Picchu.

Quito, Ecuador: Though smaller than other cities, Quito has one of the best preserved colonial heritage sites in America, and Ecuatorians really take pride in keeping it that way. You can really immerse yourself in historical landmarks.

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia: Another excellent city for historical sight-seeing. It's right on the Caribbean shores, so it's as tropical as it gets, with fantastic beaches. But the really cool stuff here are the remains of the once mighty forts that centuries ago saw the fiercest battle among colonial powers in this hemisphere, the Battle of Cartagena. You'll see references to it all over the city and the man who won it, "El Mediohombre" (The Halfman, as during his years as a Spanish navy officer he lost an eye, a leg, and an arm), which is almost a patron of the city. Bogota is nice, but if you're going to Colombia, I'd go to Cartagenas and then to the nearby Barranquilla.

Caracas, Venezuela: I'd avoid it. Situation there is spiralling out of control and it's going to get worse before it gets better. Last time I was there was 2013 and, though Venezuela is a beautiful country, Caracas is rather depressing due to how tense the situation is. It feels devoid of life at times (plus it is extremely, extremely dangerous right now). I do admit seeing that you can fill a car with less money than it costs to buy a bottle of water was amazing.

Haiti: This is one I haven't visited, but a friend of mine has gone there several times as volunteer medic. Though the situation is better than it was right after the earthquake, it is by no means positive. It's the kind of tourism you do to immerse in the social hardships of the people, but not really to enjoy a pleasant vacation; you'll either feel too sad or too guilty half the time.

Guatemala City, Guatemala: Great place to visit, and much closer to Mayan ruins than places like Cancun! One thing of note that many people don't know is that the city is kind of new (founded in the last few decades of the 1700's), as the previous capitals kept crumbling down due to earthquakes. So while there is some historical stuff to see, it's less than in places like Santo Domingo, Havana or Cuzco, where you can still see stuff from the 1500's and 1600's (and older in the case of Cuzco).

Havana, Cuba: I'm not sure what's the current standing for US people visiting Cuba, but Havana is actually a very nice place to visit, particularly the Old City. This place was once the richest city in the Western Hemisphere, and though decades of Castros have taken their toll, you can still see some spectacular sites. You have to check carefully what you're photographing, though; I almost got my camera confiscated in 2007 because what I thought was a fancy colonial fort was in fact a political prison. But other than that (and the amazingly well-preserved cars), it's a very nice place to visit, plus only 2-3 hours from the great beaches of Varadero.

Rivera Maya, Mexico: This is mostly for straight-up beach time, though you can take trips to places like Chichen Itza if you are willing to sit on a bus for 3-4 hours (closer sites like Xcaret are mostly tourist traps I'd would advise against). The Rivera considers the whole north-eastern coast of Yucatan, and the main options are Cancun (bigger city, very tourist-oriented with a broad range of budget options), Playa del Carmen (small town that entirely survives on tourism and resorts. Though there are cheap options, it's not worth it unless you want to stay in a resort), and Cosumel (a small island off the coast of Yucatan. Has a more natural feel to it and is great to relax, but there's very little to see).


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One would hope the people in charge of spreading news and information would excessive some degree of self-restraint, but while as a business owner myself I cannot in good conscience celebrate another being brought down due to legal costs (there's always people, families, years of work and sweat, and dreams involved), I do think the result should be positive overall; at the very least, it should scare "journalists" away from destroying people's private lives over petty things (I mean, it not like the Hulkster was revealing secret nuclear codes in his videos).


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Kord_Avatar wrote:
Buenos Aires, Argentina. Hola Pathfinders!

¡Che, saludos desde el otro lado de la cordillera!


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Hey there, FaWtLers! It's been a while. How have you been?

I should also note that the Topic Regarding the Discussion of the Forums are Way too Long is Way too Long.


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Found out two days ago that the only Pope not buried in Europe, Pope Saint Clement I (Pontiff between 88 and 97 A.D.) rests about two hundred miles south from where I'm currently standing, in the small chilean town of Linares.

Apparently, the nineteen-hundred year old relic was donated by Pope Pious XI in the late 1930's in celebration of the reconstruction of Linare's cathedral, which had been destroyed by an earthquake.

Interestingly enough, save for some of the locals, this has gone completely unnoticed by most of the population, unaware that the Fourth Pope's entire body is on display inside a crystal coffin in an otherwise quiet rural town. I had to call the bishop's office to confirm this wasn't just an urban myth.


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Hailing from the place where the only available direction is north, because if you go any further south you fall off the edge of the world while being devoured/cuddled by penguins.

Representing Lo Barnechea, Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura, Chile!


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Considering the date (national holiday), food schedule for me is:

Today: Meat
Tomorrow: Meat
Day After Tomorrow: More meat
The Day After the Day After Tomorrow: All the remaining meat

Afterwards, will gradually transition to a less meaty diet. Very gradually.


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Drejk wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Celestial Healer wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


A Ravenloft book fell from the shelves right on top of me during the quake; wasn't sure if I was supposed to interpret that as a sign of impending doom, or that I have to run a game there.

Why not both?

Seriously, though, glad you are okay. I know Chile takes it's earthquake preparation seriously - an earthquake of that intensity would be devastating in most places.

Our main Planescape campaign is currently taking place within Vecna's Citdel Cavitius (the version that's floating between the Negative Energy Plane and the Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum). Perhaps events could be changed a bit so that they end up taking a trip to the Demiplane of Dread right after.

Can't let Azalin Rex get out with it!

Have you considered making Azalin Rex and Vecna one and the same to avoid having two powerful necromancer dark lords in Ravenloft? Maybe Azalin Rex is sort of shadow/clone/simulacrum of the original Vecna... Simulacrum would explain why he can't learn and advance anymore...

That's actually a very interesting idea. My original plan was not to involve Vecna yet (the Citadel is abandoned), but I have a couple of Ravenloft fans in the game who might really appreciate such a twist.


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Celestial Healer wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


A Ravenloft book fell from the shelves right on top of me during the quake; wasn't sure if I was supposed to interpret that as a sign of impending doom, or that I have to run a game there.

Why not both?

Seriously, though, glad you are okay. I know Chile takes it's earthquake preparation seriously - an earthquake of that intensity would be devastating in most places.

Our main Planescape campaign is currently taking place within Vecna's Citdel Cavitius (the version that's floating between the Negative Energy Plane and the Quasielemental Plane of Vacuum). Perhaps events could be changed a bit so that they end up taking a trip to the Demiplane of Dread right after.

Can't let Azalin Rex get out with it!


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Mike Welham wrote:

I just found out my brother-in-law died. My wife seems to be holding up pretty well.

I'm sorry for your loss. Best of wishes for you and your family.


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Drejk wrote:
Earthquake in Chile, I hope Klaus is ok.

Thank you, man. Appreciated.

Other than a few broken cups and a cat so scared I still can't get him to move from under the bed, I'm in perfect condition. A Ravenloft book fell from the shelves right on top of me during the quake; wasn't sure if I was supposed to interpret that as a sign of impending doom, or that I have to run a game there.

The shake was 8.4 on the Richter scale and lasted for about 2 minutes; there were some six or seven aftershocks above 6.0 (3 above 7.0). The ground should keep moving for the rest of the week.

Though sadly there have been 8 confirmed deaths nationwide, damage was minimal.


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A hearty (perhaps too hearty) BBQ with the workers at the farm. Had some of the best chunchules (intestines, lamb intestines in this case) I remember, though my own chunchules are seemingly in disagreement.

We'll sort it out at the ivory throne.


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Parallel timelines, man.


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I will make sure to start using "abusively sharp" as a cheese descriptor from now on.


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Took my father to watch it (he had been lobbying my mother to go, but she wouldn't have it). That'd be my 3rd watch.

I'm seeing chrome everywhere now.

Also, I found out my dad is extremely well versed in Mad Max lore for some reason.


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Icecream.

Yes. For lunch.

ARE WE GONNA HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?


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You're missing the soothing sound of 15 Yamato Cannons firing in unison.

It's what I play every night to help me sleep.

The "Splorch" that follows when done so above a Zerg base is also nice.


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John Kretzer wrote:

All right I liked the movie a lot...but something really confused me...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
When they speak to the Vuvalini (the old ladies with guns), they mention they had to leave the wetlands after the waters became toxic. Perhaps they became so dangerous that those who remained behind had to retort to stilts to avoid touching the water.

Or they are just wanderers who hide in the swamps and use stilts to remain dry. The way the walked on four stilts did seem rather bestial, though, as if they were hunting. Cannibals, perhaps?


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Had so much fun watching it the first time I've already watched it twice. The Boom Truck with the flaming guitar guy really stole the movie.

As for the controversy: I didn't feel the movie was a feminist manifesto. It was just a tough one-armed woman saving female slaves from a mutant warlord who's desperate to get a healthy heir.

Not every female character (deuteragonist in this case, I think) or plot involving women has to be a political construct.


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Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
A giraffes coffee would be cold by the time it reached the bottom of its throat. Ever think of that? No. You only think about yourself.

Well maybe it would arrive faster if certain tiny golems would assist the process.

Din'n think 'bout that, did 'cha?


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A treat yo'self lunch of aji de gallina, a traditional Peruvian dish that's among my favourite things ever in the world of favourite things ever.


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Just went to see Mad Max; dayum wasn't it a mighty fun movie.

Would watch again several times.


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When the telephone was first introduced to homes in the late XIX century, people were unsure what should be appropriate to do while talking. For a while, gentlemen would dress up in order to make a call, as it was considered rude to be improperly attired when speaking to someone else.


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I've been consolidating all the data I've collected for the family tree (genealogy is one of my hobbies) and found out some interesting things, such as my parents being 7th cousins once removed and being able to trace an uninterrupted line of ancestry back to the year 30 AD.


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A deceptively simple salad that tasted a lot better than it looked.


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More of that delicious yesterday pasta (I love how pasta tastes after a day mixed up with the sauce. I guess the flavour sort of seeps in or something).

But not too much, as tonight's my dad's 63rd birthday, and he's already asked me to free up a lung in order to store all the food incomming.


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My favourite icecream shop now has a delivery service and my home is within service range.

This will be the death of me.


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Kajehase wrote:
The Dutch admiral and pirate Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol (1597 - 1641) was also known as "kapitein Houtebeen" (captain Pegleg).

Spanish captain Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta (1689-1741) was also known as Patapalo ("Pegleg"), though later he got upgraded to Mediohombre ("Half-Man"): He lost his left leg due to a Dutch cannonball in the Battle of Velez-Malaga; then his left eye from an Austrian bayonet during the Defense of Toulon; and his right arm during the Siege of Barcelona.

Even though completely maimed, he still managed to become one of the most succesful naval tacticians to ever live, capturing dozens of Britsh and Dutch vessels, fighting off -and even invading- the Berber Pirates, securing the South American coastline, and forcing Genoa to pay its debts to Spain.

His biggest accomplishment, however, was the Battle of Cartagena de Indias, where through sheer wits he managed to win against a British invasion force that outnumbered him 9-to-1 (the British commander was so confident he actually had medals already cast commemorating the victory, showing a one-legged, one-armed, one-eyed man kneeling before him, and distributed them to the men).

Although he won, since apparently he wasn't maimed enough, he lost his remaining arm due to the infection caused by the bullet he got during the battle. He died a few weeks later, being burien in a location that, to this day, remains unknown.


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A far too generous serving of pasta that's been haunting me the whole afternoon and might put me to sleep in any moment.

It was very good pasta.


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Watched Galavant last night. Loved it.


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In 1883, Spanish King Afonso II visited Strassbourg, where he was honoured by the Prussian army. On his way back home, he passed through Paris, where the locals (including government officials) booed at him, insulted him, and even threw him stones, as they were still furious over the losses incurred during the Franco-Prussian War.

News of this treatment reached Spain, where the public became deeply offended, but none as angry as the inhabitants of the tiny village of Líjar, in the south.

Calling for the village council, the mayor proposed declaring unilateral war to France over vexations incurred upon the Crown, which was passed with 100% approval; a formal letter of commencement of hostilities was then sent to Paris, though the French didn't pay much attention to it.

The council's ledger for that day reads that they expected each able-bodied man in Líjar (600) to handle about 10,000 frenchmen.

Though not a single shot was fired, the war officially lasted for a whole century. King Juan Carlos I visited Paris in 1983 and sent notice to the mayor of Líjar that he had been treated with the utmost respect. This pleased the locals, who then signed a formal peace treaty with the French consul and viceconsul, thus ending 100 years of blodless conflict.


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Thanks man. So far the volcanoes have caused no fatalities (a climber who had been lost was found yesterday) and the police managed to evacuate everyone quickly.

A friend who lives nearby told us last night the ashes were already piled up to almost 2 metres (about 6 and a half feet) in some areas, and vulcanologists have said the belching could last for several weeks. The last time that volcano exploded with noticeable strentgh, in the 1860s, it belched smoke and ash for 6 straight months, lowering Earth's temperature by about 1-2 degrees C°.

A couple of hours ago the ash plume started to be seen over here at the capital (about 1,000kms to the north), so we're likely to see ash rain on Sunday. Agentina is getting the worst part of the cloud, though, due to prevailing winds from the west.

The main concern right now is the incomming acid rain in the south and the fact that agriculture in the area will be devastated. Milk prices are skyrocketting (the affected area is our main milk and beef producting region).


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Knowing our luck, this will be a Blacker Plague, released by an earthquake from its million-year slumber underneath Earth's crust. And they will be explosive bacteria, of course.


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2015 so far here in Chile:

Eartquake in the far north
Flash floods in the north-centre
Rouge storms in the centre
Extreme drough in the south-centre
Volcano in the south-centre
Wildfires in the far south

And as of two days ago, add another volcano to the south-centre, with likely chances of the previous volcano pumping action back up and a third, unrelated volcano also blowing up. Massive rainstorms in the centre and severe blizzards in the south expected for late May as well, just in case the volcanoes weren't enough.

Seems the titans were buried over here after all, and someone decided to wake them up.

Stay tuned for asteroid impact, the Black Plague comming back, and the release of a previously unknown Ed Wood drama.


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Piracy has reached such massive levels in Somalia that there's a Pirate Exchange in the city of Harardhere. The Exchange has an index calculated from the performance of over 70 "pirate entities" and, although no official data is known, its director Mohammed Hassan Abdi has said it has been "showing continous growth rates".

Both individuals and public or private organizations can purchase shares in the Exchange, which are used to finance piracy operations and then pay based on the profitability of the scurvy venture.

Piracy has become Harardhere's main economic activity; the city has the highest ratio of luxury cars per capita in the country. Though officially against it, it's said the local government charges a special fee over profits earned from the Pirate Exchange, which is used, at least in theory, for funding public infrastructure.


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The small town of Peor es Nada ("Better Than Nothing"), in central Chile, got its unusual name from the estate that used to be there. In the late XIX century, Enrique Oettinger used to own a large piece of land in the area, and in his testament he split it among his many children, leaving the smallest one to his youngest daughter. Upon hearing of her inheritance, she exclaimed "Oh well, better than nothing", which subsequently became the name of her estate and the village that grew around it. The locals are officially called Peoresnadiences ("Betterthannothingians").

Further south, the ominously named Salsipuedes ("Leave if You Can") got its name due to the moody Claro river which surrounds it. In the late XVIII century, the town would often spend most of the winter completely cutoff due to how massive the river could get (new bridges had to be built regularly). Problem is, due to a severe lack of foresight, the cemetery was on the other side of the river, so when people died during the periods of isolation the dead had to be buried within the town itself, leading to the usual saying in that locale that, upon entombment, "He didn't get out while alive; he'll never get out now that he's dead". In a similar fashion as the previous case, locals are formally listed as Salsipuedenses ("Leaveifyoucanians").

Not far from the last one, the coastal village of Matanzas ("Killing Sprees"), although peaceful today, was once entirely wiped out by English pirates. When officials showed up to assess the damage, they were confronted with the gruesome scene of a groom and bride with their stomachs sliced open right in front of a church, the priest and guests also dead nearby. The place came to be known just as "La Matanza" ("The Killing Spree"), and with time the town that formed nearby took it.


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Mass transit is pretty expansive. You have bus, trains, trams, metros, and ferries, with route customization and overlays showing the types of passengers.

That way, instead if just plopping, say, bus stops all over town, you build a bus station that services vehicles and then draw different lines, determining where the stops will be. Then the station starts pumping out buses to meet the line's requeriments (basen on how long it is). This way, you can have multiple lines serving different areas or purposes, such as one meant to drive tourist across landmark sites, students to school, or workers to the mines. These vehicles still have to move, so a gridlock will affect buses just as much, while trains require careful planning to avoid collapses.

Coupled with all the road/track building freedom, it's the deepest mass transit system of any citybuilder. Which makes sense, considering the game was built on Cities in Motion 2's engine (a transit simulator).

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