There's yet another iOS bug that causes Apple devices to crash when they receive text messages containing a string of special characters. With further finessing, the same exploit may be able to attack Macs, since OS X is also unable to process the same combination of characters, which are technically known as glyphs.
According to people investigating the bug on reddit, the text causes iPhones running multiple versions of iOS to promptly crash. A flurry of Twitter users, angry that their devices fell victim to text messages, indicates that the bug is causing problems. Apple will almost certainly issue a fix. In the meantime, users can protect themselves against the nuisance text by going to system settings, navigating to Notifications>Messages>Show Previews, and turning it to off.
No doubt you’ve already heard about the Del Maguey Ibérico. It’s a collaboration between Del Maguey and star chef José Andrés to make a pechuga out of jamon iberico. It received ample coverage, if ever something screamed marketing stunt, this was it.
That and its price tag of $200 per bottle are the reasons it took Susan and me so long to give it a taste. A normal two ounce pour makes it quite an investment, but recently Susan and I descended on ABV, Ryan Fitzgerald’s tautly run agave bar and bistro kitchen right as they opened at 2PM on a Monday. I admit that I was the first through the door but I was closely followed by a cluster of people. Fortunately San Franciscan drinking culture is alive and well.
ABV is far more than just an agave outlet. The whole place is run with great sensibility with a trio of wines on tap including the amazing Scholium Project red and a bunch of Moonlight brews on tap. Dive into their menu, especially the Pimento Cheese Burger which is a real highlight and the extraordinary kimchee fritter.
And ABV is one of the ideal places to sample something like this because they don’t only offer that big two ounce pour, they also offer the perfectly reasonable (indeed it should be standard) one ounce pour which at $15 for the Ibérico is entirely doable. Our great Peruvian bartender Enrique gave us a pour in a clay copita and away we went.
Suffice to say that it’s a huge surprise.
Del Maguey Iberico Pechuga
Lot SCM 135
Santa Catarina Minas
A copita full of the Del Maguey Ibérico.
It has a very sweet nose, neither of us got any smoke.
The body is extraordinarily light, some sweetness but completely unexpected, none of that typical agave sweetness nor the oil that I associate with pechugas. The cured meat obviously changes the pechuga equation dramatically. You’d be hard pressed to call this out as 49% alcohol, because the flavor, body, and every other indicator don’t point in that direction. The lean body make it a great pick for sipping alone.
The finish is dusty, leathery and endures long past your last taste.
Yet another argument for experimentation in mezcal.
Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election on Wednesday, bringing the runner-up from the 2012 Republican primaries officially into the race. Here’s what you need to know about Santorum:
Age: 23 years younger than average supporter
Birthplace: America he barely recognizes anymore
Campaign Goals: Keep the rampant liberalism in the Republican party in check
Economic Platform: More of a social issues guy
Trademark Look: Suit, tie
Debate Strategy: Hoping to be permitted to watch from green room
Hobbies: Searching for intelligently designed life on other planets
Views On Hardcore Pornography: Included in presidential platform
Motivation For Running: Kill some time before going to Heaven
“I am making a special request to all of you today in light of an ugly instagram thread that is really bothering me. Simply, if you are someone who perceives homosexuality as ‘disgusting’ or 'fucked up’ or 'unnatural’, will you do me a kindness and please unfollow me on all social media platforms. And then block me.
“If I was someone who wanted to devote her life to fighting this fight to expand people’s minds on the definition of marriage and to break down people’s prejudices towards homosexuality I would probably encourage this constant antagonistic debate and I would invite the radicals to do verbal morality battles with me.
But this is not my life’s purpose, it’s just life as I see it, something I endorse and the nasty, scathing and downright cruel remarks just Wear. Me. Out.
“I believe in always promoting a positive message and I don’t want your poison all over my carefully curated wall of light and positivity. And let me be very clear and say people’s 'beliefs’ have nothing to do with this. It is your attitude and the way you choose to react. Please don’t for a second pin the intolerance and hatred you spread on 'religion’ for no religion endorses the darkness you’re spreading. It is possible to not like the idea of homosexuality, to find it a wholly alien, uncomfortable concept and to NOT impose this view on the people it affects and above all to NOT shame people for the way they are.
“Coming from Ireland, I am friends with a lot of people who handle their oppressive views on other people this way. I admire the grace with which they struggle to reconcile their beliefs with this changing society, and their respect for other humans. I have so much respect for these people, even though I will always consider their views misguided. If you can’t handle this concept then kindly LEAVE my page. There are other fiercer, more articulate, more outspoken and more controversial figures who lead the LQBTQ+ community and will gladly engage in fiery debate with you, will be fueled and energised by your anger and vitriol even and I ask that you go to them to wrestle verbally with your conflicting beliefs. I cannot deal with this kind of venom, and more to the point it is wasted energy on your part to put it here.
“And on a not-unrelated note, why are you following me? I think it’s safe to assume that the majority of you on here clicked 'like’ on account of my portrayal of the character 'Luna Lovegood’ in the Harry Potter films (Mackenzie Price fans…gosh, I am sorry but you’re a bit off track here). The clue is in the name, people! Luna Lovegood’s love is a GOOD kind of love. It is not conditional or possessive or needy or demanding. It doesn’t fall apart the moment you expose a piece of yourself that is unconventional or even unbecoming. Luna is a character who accepts all people and creatures in all forms, loves them for exactly what they are and who is constantly in awe at the diversity, strangeness and newness of each being she encounters…”
Today, Apple released a new beta build of the OS X 10.10.4 update, and it turns out that Apple's fix for the problem was the same as ours: 9to5Mac reports that the discoveryd service is gone, and it's been replaced by the mDNSResponder service that handled DNS in Mavericks and older versions. That doesn't mean discoveryd is gone for good—Apple could try to fix its bugs and reinstate it in a future update, or it could even be reintroduced in a future OS X 10.10.4 build—but it does appear to be gone for now.
Apple has never really articulated why the mDNSResponder process was replaced in the first place. Some have guessed that AirDrop and Handoff might rely on certain discoveryd functionality, but those features kept working if you manually replaced discoveryd with mDNSResponder, and they're apparently still working in this 10.10.4 build. We'll continue to track this as Apple puts out new versions of OS X.
'Rape acts in Game of Thrones the TV series (to date): 50
Rape victims in Game of Thrones (to date): 29
Rape acts in ASOIAF the book series (to date): 214
Rape victims in ASOIAF (to date): 117
The books contain over 4 times as much rape as the show (and probably even more; the method of analysis likely underestimates the rape in the books - see below).
George R. R. Martin uses nameless women’s bodies as character development for male antagonists in A Song of Ice and Fire. Rape victims serve as props and set decoration to illustrate a man’s depravity. Social class does not protect them. The only raped women who tell us their tales, either directly through inner monologue or by telling their story to another character, are villains. Despite numerous claims, Martin’s portrayal of rape is not supported by history....
There are also many people that argue that George R.R. Martin is only showing us what history was really like. However, the story is not directly reflective of history. While it is true that most of the horrific events took place in history at one time or another, Martin is using horrific events from over the course of a thousand years – but squeezing them into a story with about a 2-year span (so far). In addition to cherry-picking his horrors, he’s also cherry-picking the social elements of society in a way that doesn’t stand up to a historical analysis.'
point being not to excuse the show, but to defuse the excuse that "it's worse than the books," because nothing's worse than the books
We’ve been debating sexual violence on Game of Thrones since the show began, but the discussion has gotten more heated in the past couple weeks, with The Mary Sue essentially ending its coverage. But is the show just being true to George R.R. Martin’s books, or is it adding more violation? One fan decided to find out.
An anonymous reader writes: After struggling for the past several years, Mandriva has finally gone out of business, and is in the process of being liquidated. The company was responsible for Mandriva Linux, itself a combination of Mandrake Linux and Conectiva Linux. When Mandriva fell upon hard times, many of the distro's developers migrated to Mageia Linux, which is still going strong and just putting the final touches on its next major version (5).
Jonathan Blow: I have more money than I know what to do with. I'm recognized as a leader in my field. And yet my days are still filled with emptiness. What should I do?
Shigeru Miyamoto: Have you thought about gardening?
Jeff Minter: Or getting a dog?
Jane McGonigal: Or learning a new hobby?
Jonathan Blow: *not listening* I guess I'll seek spiritual enlightenment through performing martial arts in the most public venue as I can find.
Hey, before he did tai chi in the park next to GDC he used to get in brawlers at night and show up with huge bruises the next day of the conference...I'll take the meditative practice, honestly.
(I'm not even kidding. Ask around among the guys in his cohort, the depth jammers etc.)
Portland police are planning their most intensive crackdown on homeless camping in years, saying complaints over “entrenched” homelessness have reached a tipping point. Beginning Tuesday and extending into June, officers will target encampments throughout the city’s Central Eastside—demanding campers take down their tents, and pushing social services on them.
“For a couple of weeks there’s gonna be sort of an ongoing effort to address the entrenched camps,” Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Simpson told the Mercury Friday afternoon, adding cops would be looking to “get people into services that are not connected now, or avoiding them. Clean up some of the garbage.”
Yes but the problem is THERE IS ACTUALLY NO PLACE TO GO BECAUSE GREEDY DEVELOPERS + GENTRIFICATION + GREEDY CITY COUNCIL TYPES + THE COLD INDIFFERENCE OF PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE = NOT ENOUGH SHELTER SPACE, SOCIAL SERVICES, OR ANYTHING.
not to mention rising rent and housing prices without corresponding rises in funding mean more people are going to become homeless with nowhere to go.
“Clean up some of the garbage” …what a way to talk about human beings
Speaking at a press conference outside the Capitol Tuesday morning, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, unveiled a new bill intended to provide free tuition at public colleges and universities and pull American students out of the rapidly sinking morass of debt. Here’s how he would do it.
'A crisis, the saying goes, is a terrible thing to waste. But as disaster research becomes more common — every day, a disaster strikes somewhere on earth — the field is raising ethical questions about how tragedy turns into tenure-track papers. How vulnerable are disaster survivors? How soon can their experience be surveyed and catalogued? It’s an area in which the academic community, divided among disciplines, has few hard rules.
“It’s expected that people are interested and come here and do research,” says Regardt Ferreira, an assistant professor of social work at Tulane. “But from an insider view, people are fed up. It’s like, ‘You’ve had your chance, move on. Thanks, but no thanks.’”
This spring, Ferreira, who says he receives several emails a month from researchers who want to do field research on the effects of Katrina in New Orleans, proposed that researchers implement a “universal code of ethics” for conducting work with vulnerable populations.'
'For one thing, timing is critical. With the passing of months, symptoms of PTSD can disappear. Populations change, dispersing survivors. Memories fade. A researcher who waits too long might find that no one wants to talk about the subject at all.
On the other hand, how can you assess the agency of survivors after a moment of crisis? When does the presence of a team of researchers in a recovery zone become a bother or a burden to vulnerable populations? In the aftermath of the Southeast Asia tsunami, for example, participants weren’t always informed about why they were participating in a study.'
As disaster research becomes more common — every day, a disaster strikes somewhere on earth — the field is raising ethical questions about how tragedy turns into tenure-track papers. How vulnerable are disaster survivors? How soon can their experience be surveyed and catalogued?
If you’re sick of reading about millennials, this extension for Google’s Chrome browser will make your life so much better. Just download Millennials to Snake People and turn any mention of “millennials” into the the far more evocative term “snake people.”
schwit1 writes: A video that recently went viral shows a demonstration of a Volvo XC60's self-parking feature. It reverses itself, waits, and then confidently drives into a group of people at a non-negligible speed. (Two were hit, and while both were bruised, they were otherwise OK.) The situation was presumed to have resulted from a malfunction with the car — but the car might not have had the ability to recognize a human at all. A Volvo representative said the car was not equipped with the "Pedestrian detection" feature. That feature is sold as a separate package.
Before Vox Media struck a deal to buy Recode, the two digital publishers already had something in common: Comcast, which has invested in both companies and could end up owning them outright.
Comcast has been engaged in halting negotiations to acquire Vox Media, according to several people close to the talks. The sticking point, as always, is price, with Vox Media seeking a valuation close to $1 billion. Negotiations fell apart when it became clear Comcast didn’t want to pay that much, but the two sides have talked again recently.
Gauging the likelihood of a deal this size is always difficult, and sources who spoke to Quartz on the condition of anonymity differed in their assessments of how serious the talks are. Representatives for Comcast and Vox Media declined to comment or didn’t respond to inquiries.
One reason for the renewed discussions may be Comcast’s role in encouraging Vox Media’s acquisition of Recode, the technology news site with a small audience but growing events business. Sources say Comcast, which owns minority stakes in both companies, gave its blessing to the deal several months ago. David Zilberman, a managing director of Comcast Ventures, its venture capital arm, sits on Vox Media’s board. He didn’t reply to a message seeking comment.
With a stable of websites covering a range of topics from sports to technology to fashion, Vox Media has fashioned itself as the digital equivalent of glossy magazine publishers such as Condé Nast and Time Inc. It is positioned as a higher-end competitor to some rivals, like BuzzFeed, that are also well-funded by venture capital.
Comcast Ventures invested in Vox Media in 2009 and 2012.
Vox Media has raised about $110 million over the last six years. Comcast Ventures invested in 2009 and 2012, helping fund Vox Media’s expansion from a network of popular sports blogs called SB Nation to launch The Verge (tech), Polygon (gaming), and Vox (news), and acquire Eater (food), Curbed (real estate), and Racked (fashion). Collectively, the sites claim an audience of more than 150 million readers a month.
Its latest funding round valued the startup at about $380 million, meaning an acquisition would be too expensive for all but the largest media and technology companies. An IPO might be a more likely way for Vox Media’s investors to realize their profit.
Recode’s parent company, Revere Digital, is much smaller and hasn’t had the same trajectory. Its founders, tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, split from Dow Jones to launch Recode at the beginning of 2014, with Comcast’s NBCUniversal News Group as a major investor. But the site’s audience and revenue growth trailed internal targets, sources say, and it quickly became clear that Recode would have a hard time succeeding on its own.
Investors, including Comcast, urged the company to seek a buyer rather than try to raise additional funding. The business was attractive to Vox Media primarily because of Recode’s events, including its signature Code Conference, being held this week in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. In a memo to staff, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff said the company will “explore ways to apply” Recode’s events business to other brands.
Bankoff is an experienced dealmaker, having previously served as AOL’s executive in charge of media properties. He assumed his current role in 2008. Bankoff has previously said he intends to create a “really damn big” media company before seeking an exit, contrasting his ambition with the sale of the Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million in 2011 or Bleacher Report to Time Warner for about $200 million in 2012.
Since its second investment in the company, Comcast has viewed Vox Media as something like a digital laboratory from which its other media properties, largely part of NBCUniversal, could learn. Executives and editors from Vox Media paid visits to the staff of many of NBC’s websites. Owning the company outright could give Comcast better access to Vox Media’s strategy and technology, and provide a hedge against NBC’s heavy reliance on television advertising, which is expected to shift more quickly toward web advertising in coming years.
Comcast didn’t set up the deal between Vox Media and Recode, and considers it separate from any potential acquisition of its own, sources say. Comcast’s interest in Vox Media was first reported in April by Fortune, which said then that talks had “fizzled out.”
Any deal between the two companies would be a little ironic because some of Vox Media’s websites have been harsh critics of Comcast. The Verge called Comcast “the worst company in America” and launched a critical investigative series. Nilay Patel, the site’s editor-in-chief, has likened Comcast CEO Brian Roberts to a modern-day robber baron.
“I have always known my career ends with Brian Roberts firing me,” Patel joked on Twitter last month.
The creatives at MorphCostumes have recently made “Marvel Murderers“, an infographic that ranks some of Marvel‘s deadliest characters by the number of people they have killed.
We’ve had furious debates over this in the MorphCostumes office, pitting characters against one another in imaginary fights to the death.
This month, we decided to settle the argument once and for all. We combed our comic archives and ranked the deadliest Marvel characters, based on the number of people they’ve killed. From dangerous and deadly to downright lethal, here are the biggest killers in the main Marvel universe! (read more)
The Justice Department is weighing in on the hot-button intellectual property dispute between Google and Oracle, telling the Supreme Court that APIs are protected by copyright.
The Obama administration's position means it is siding with Oracle and a federal appeals court that said application programming interfaces are subject to copyright protections. The high court in January asked for the government's views on the closely watched case.
Amy remains on point with a segment I’m convinced she made just for us here at The Mary Sue. Also making appearances are the Broad City gals and Amber Tamblyn, which is, like, totally a sign from the universe that we should be watching more Joan of Arcadia.
It’s not often you get to meet royalty in this day and age. Certainly, it doesn’t usually happen in Jacksonville, Fla.
Despite her age (97), and her walker (thanks to a recently broken hip), the word that comes to mind when encountering Raymonde Veber Jones is regal. Raymonde has lived in America for just under seven decades now, but she’s French by birth, and something of Marie Antoinette and Josephine Bonaparte has drifted down through the years into her bearing. Her throne is a simple easy chair, in which she sits straight and proud on the April afternoon she has chosen to grant me an audience. Her empire has been reduced to a couple of rooms in an assisted living complex down the street from the local chapter of the Mayo Clinic. But one glance and there is no doubt — you are in the presence of nobility.
I begin to sweat. It might be the lack of air conditioning, but it’s also nerves. Commoners are not meant to be this close, even if the eminence is wearing tennis shoes and a friendly smile, as Raymonde does.
And then she starts to talk about her past, in a French accent that remains heavy enough to require frequent interpretation from her children, Ray and Maryse (there is a third, Phil, in Virginia). The years melt away, and despite all the smartphones and other modern amenities lying around, we are soon transported back to occupied France. It might have been the heat, but as Raymonde spoke, I swore the walls began to blur, like an effect from a time-travel movie.
She remembers the days when her rule was nearly absolute, when she was lord of all she surveyed on the fabled clay courts of Roland Garros Stadium, home of the French Open tennis tournament since 1928. She thinks back, with a memory diminished but hardly ruined by time, to when her country was riven by war, foreign invasion, suspicion and collaboration with the enemy. She thinks back to the best of times and the worst of times, as that auteur from across the Channel would put it, when Raymonde Veber became the best female tennis player in a nation that didn’t belong to her anymore.
And she thinks back to the parts of her story that are so much more important than tennis.
Raymonde was born into war. The last of six children, she came into world on the first day of the last month of 1917, while horrifying trench warfare ground away an entire generation of Europeans. Shortly before her birth, the French suffered more than 250,000 casualties in an offensive at Chamin des Dames that earned them just 500 yards of territory. Half a million men mutinied, screaming “enough” at generals who mindlessly threw them into German machine guns without changing tactics. Fortunately, the American Expeditionary Force had arrived in France that summer, and the extra bodies ensured eventual Allied victory.
Raymonde grew up in a nation rallying back but terribly wounded by the devastation of the Great War. She lived in the commune, or what we would call a township, of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Technically a suburb of Paris, practically it is just a western extension of the City of Light, often lumped in with neighborhoods in the 16th arrondissement. The entire area is comparable to New York’s Upper East Side, or the Chelsea section of London — upscale, its homes and avenues suffused with the aroma of wealth.
As it happens, the 16th is also the sporting heart of Paris, home to Roland Garros as well as the Parc de Princes, home of soccer giant Paris St. Germain, and the Bois de Boulogne, one of the capital’s two largest parks. In Raymonde’s time, the most important facility was the Racing Club de France (RCF), a multi-sport venue where the local elite played tennis on finely kept clay courts.
The Vebers were a wealthy, bookish family. Money came in thanks to their factory, a rubber plant that specialized in making tires. Her father and elder brothers ran the business. Raymonde mostly stuck to her studies, and played with the family menagerie that included “two dogs, two cats and three turtles.”
When she was 12 years old, however, the family doctor told Raymonde and her siblings that they were underdeveloped, and needed more exercise. He recommended tennis as an ideal way to get outside and compete in a vigorous way, and soon the Vebers thought more about groundstrokes than Flaubert and Balzac. Raymonde was particularly keen on the sport, and her talent showed right away. A pro at the Racing Club spotted her and told Raymonde that with coaching, she could be a top player. “I was very competitive, even then, and that appealed to me,” she says.
Raymonde was a petite dynamo who could cover the whole court but excelled in the classic clay court style of bashing away from the baseline until her opponent surrendered. “The one-handed backhand was my secret weapon,” she recalls. By the late-‘30s, as the potential for another war darkened the European horizon, Raymonde had ascended to the upper ranks of French players. The studious girl had also developed into a dark-haired beauty, her curls framing an open, friendly smile that belied her killer instincts on the court.
French tennis was in the midst of a boom, one spurred by a singular event. In September 1927, the United States, winners of seven straight Davis Cup championships behind the legendary “Big Bill” Tilden, took on the French squad at the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia. These Frenchmen had been winning what we now refer to as Grand Slam events, but in “international play,” which mattered more in those days (the Davis Cup finals were roughly equivalent to soccer’s World Cup finals today) the U.S. was considered unbeatable. The Yanks took a 2-1 lead through the doubles round, but then Rene Lacoste (he of the eponymous alligator shirts) bested Tilden in four sets. Henri Cochet broke the tie with a four-set whipping of Bill Johnston, and the upset was complete.
Lacoste and Cochet were already popular in the native country, but the defeat of the Americans catapulted them, along with teammates Jean Borotra and Jacques Brugnon, into the sporting stratosphere. The four became immortals in France, approximating Babe Ruth’s impact and stature in baseball. Dubbed “Les Quatre Mosquetaires” (the “Four Musketeers”) and sometimes the “Philadelphia Four,” the quartet was directly responsible for millions of Frenchmen and women picking up rackets and becoming invested in the game. Interest was so high in the return encounter the following fall that a new venue, Le Stade Roland Garros, named after Roland Garros, an aviation pioneer and World War I flying ace was built to host the 1928 Davis Cup (and all subsequent French Opens). This time, the Four Musketeers pummeled the U.S. 4-1, and their deification in France was complete (the Musketeers would go on to win six straight Davis Cup titles).
Raymonde’s sterling play got her noticed by the sport’s elite, and she became friendly with all of the Musketeers, in particular Cochet. “We all hit together at various times,” Raymonde remembers, and Cochet, a small man with a powerful baseline game, was a good match for Raymonde’s style. However, while the likes of Lacoste and Cochet made nice money for their efforts, Raymonde never earned a franc playing tennis. “It was all amateur stuff,” she recalls. Unlike the men, there wasn’t much spectator demand for the women’s game outside of the majors, which were strictly amateur until 1968. Only rare exceptions such as French legend Suzanne Lenglen, who won 31 championships between 1914 and 1926 and commanded large audiences even for exhibition matches, received paydays from tennis.
Raymonde didn’t get much familial support, either. When she was 17, her father suffered a stroke one night at dinner and passed away. Her brothers were mostly older, one 17 years her senior, and the family business occupied them thoroughly. “Father was dead, and mother knew nothing about tennis,” she says today without any apparent bitterness. She played occasionally with one brother, Roger. “We were close, but he was not very good,” she says with a smile, but her other brothers seldom saw her play. Plenty of other people did see her, however. In 1938 and ‘39 she was on her way to challenging Simonne Mathieu, French Open champion and a neighbor of Raymonde’s in Neuilly, for national supremacy.
The early months of 1940 were a pleasant time for her. Raymonde was 22 years old, an attractive young woman in the social whirl of moneyed Paris. Even the war, which had begun in September of 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland, was in an interregnum, the “Sitzkrieg,” (also called the “Phoney War” or the “Bore War”) when the winter weather ground operations almost to a halt. Optimistic French citizens believed the country would be spared a repeat of the horrors of World War I.
Then, as though timed to interrupt the upcoming French Open, the Germans invaded France on May 10, 1940. And everything changed overnight.
Using their newly developed doctrine of blitzkreig, or lightning war, the Nazis overwhelmed the French, outflanking the series of fortified defenses known as the Maginot Line and arriving in Paris mere weeks after the campaign began. The government fell, and in mid-June, barely a month after the invasion began, the capital belonged to the Germans.
By then, Raymonde had already received an indoctrination into what was in store for her and her country. “During the invasion,” she says, “the Luftwaffe really bombed Paris very heavily. Our beautiful apartment [complex] was hit very hard, though our actual rooms were luckily spared. Unfortunately, my mother and sister Suzanne were so scared that they refused to stay anywhere near Paris. So I had to drive them south, away from the advancing Germans.” The Vebers evacuated to Cantal, a sparsely populated mountainous department (roughly equivalent to a state), where many refugees fled from the fighting.
“I was on my way back to Neuilly when it got too dark to continue. I stopped for the night in a hotel. During the night, a German (airplane) dropped some bombs that hit the front of the hotel. There was a great deal of damage, and all the lights went out. My room wasn’t hit, but I thought it would be safer to find the basement. As I started to try and find my way around in the dark, I saw a tiny cat. I picked him up, and together, we tried to find our way underground to safety. The whole building was shaking. Rubble was falling all around. Soon enough I discovered that there wasn’t any cellar, at least nothing where we could hide. So we went back to my room, and huddled in bed, the kitty in my arms. Somehow we survived the night, and I went back home. The cat stayed behind.”
Raymonde made a similar trip shortly afterwards that resulted in another narrow escape. “With the area around our apartment hit by bombs, I stayed with my friend Odette at her house nearby. The Germans were very close to Paris by this point, and like my mother, Odette’s mother got very nervous, naturally. We drove her out to the country as well. On the way back, we never made it to Paris. The Germans were already marching our way. We had to turn around. Our car was almost out of gas, so we stopped to plan our next move.
“We happened to stop near a shelter for women. There were women who were wounded [from the bombing and artillery fire] and also some who were pregnant. We were asked to help carry these women to a hospital that was close. In exchange, we would be given some petrol. We made a couple of trips carrying stretchers. We had just picked up another load when some Italian soldiers [allied to the Germans] machine-gunned us. Incredibly, no one was hurt. But we were pinned down for nearly three days. We tried several times to get the women to the hospital, but we were turned back by gunfire each time. We starved the entire time. At last, the fighting moved on, and we were free to move — and to eat! We could only manage a small meal, and there was wine. It was much too strong for us, probably because our bellies were so empty.”
Raymonde’s life quickly changed from one of tennis and leisure to one of hard work and fear. Her brothers had joined the fight. Roger enlisted in the French Army and left to battle the Germans. “He was captured quickly, and was held as a prisoner for seven long years,” she recalls. “We knew he was alive, but we had no contact with him the whole time.” Another brother, Robert, took to the countryside and fought with the armed resistance, the Maquis, which engaged in guerilla raids on occupation forces.
In the meantime, it fell to Raymonde to run the family tire factory, which remained in operation during the war. “I worked from 7 in the morning until well into the evening. It was very tough, of course, but everybody was in the same boat, you just had to get on with it.” She stayed fit by bicycling to and from the factory. “It was four years on a bicycle,” she says, pointing out that hardly anyone except German officers were driving, mainly due to lack of fuel.
The invaders set up what was, by their brutal standards, a benevolent occupation force in Paris, while a new French government formed in the southern city of Vichy. The French WWI hero Marshal Philippe Petain, then 84 years old and heretofore revered throughout France, was put in charge. The Vichy rulers espoused hard-core right-wing values and served as a puppet regime, cooperating with their occupiers, happily rounding up Jews and crushing free expression at the behest of their Nazi masters in Paris.
Contrary to the clouds of revisionist propaganda post-war French leaders propagated in order to bring the nation together, during the war France was hardly a nation of unified resistance. Yes, there were those who fought against the Nazis, both passively, like Raymonde, and actively, like her brother. But there were as many who lustily bought in to the Third Reich’s buffoonery about Aryan supremacy. Most grappled with mixed emotions and embraced realpolitik — you did what you had to do to get along.
In the case of many French women, that meant turning their wiles upon the new men in town.
The Germans surprised the French, acting not as the Mongol hordes they were portrayed as being, but by handing out food and sweets and by preserving the city’s culture and architecture. Hitler ordered his army to take nothing from Paris except photographs. Handsome in their starched uniforms and brave and proficient in war, the occupiers stood in stark contrast to the French rabble they had so easily brushed aside in battle.
French women began sleeping with the Nazis in earnest, a practice referred to as “horizontal collaboration.” Some did it for practical reasons, as a means to ensure better food, lodging, or security. Others did it out of genuine affection. Few seemed to have regrets over the arrangement. As Arletty, the famous French actress who conducted a very public affair with a German Luftwaffe officer, put it, “My heart is French but my ass is international.”
Raymonde, for her part, would have none of it. “I heard about that sort of thing going on, but I hated the Germans too much to do it myself.” After all, these were the same people imprisoning her brother. Another incident early in the occupation hardened her outrage.
“One day I was on my way to work, riding my bicycle to the factory as usual. The Germans were stopping people and herding them aside. I managed to ride past, and I didn’t know what was happening. All I knew was that I shouldn’t stop and ask questions. Later, on my way back, I got the answer. About 30 young people lay dead on the grass. Someone, most likely a member of the resistance, had shot and killed a German soldier. As revenge, they killed 30 Frenchmen and women. And they were all very young, no more than 20 years old.”
“I was already not very fond of Germans, but that cemented the feeling.”
In sympathy with her brothers, Raymonde wore armbands under her clothes, ones bearing the Cross of Lorraine or the letters “FFI” standing for “Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur,” associated with the armed resistance, despite the obvious danger should a German soldier discover the fact. Her mother frantically pleaded with her to play it safer than that, but Raymonde refused.
After roughly a year, her brother Robert left the forests for the factory, leaving Raymonde with time to return to her tennis. This dovetailed with a new Vichy directive that embraced sports and fitness, in order to make their country hard and tough once again, as it had been in the glorious past of Napoleon — and as the Germans were now.
Throughout occupied France, plans were announced for the construction of a grand sporting infrastructure. One of the main voices at the head of this Vichy movement was a member of the Four Musketeers and friend of Raymonde’s — Jean Borotra.
Naively, he initially bought into the propaganda and became the First General Commissioner to Sports. Later, when the promises went mostly undelivered and he saw in more detail the horrors being perpetrated by his “friends” in Vichy and the Germans in Paris, Borotra had a change of heart. In the fall of 1942, in an insane moment of honesty, he told his bosses he planned to join the fight against them. Naturally, he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to a prison camp outside Berlin, where he was held in solitary confinement and forced to read Mein Kampf.
After more than two years in captivity, in 1945 Borotra escaped. He crossed the front lines, made contact with American forces, and led them back to the prison, where they captured the SS guards who had held him.
One good thing did come from the Vichy sporting initiative. The French Open had been canceled due to the German invasion in 1940, but in 1941, a national tournament was once again held at Roland Garros. It wasn’t exactly the same as the peacetime Open, as it was only for French competitors (with a few local club players born in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium tossed in), but the new Tournoi de France was fiercely fought over just the same. Musketeer Henri Cochet appeared in all five wartime tournaments, but was never able to win. The men’s titles from 1943-45 were won by 6’5 Yvon Petra, freshly released from a German prisoner of war camp where he had been held after being captured in battle while fighting in the French Army (Petra went on to win Wimbledon in 1946, becoming the last champ to take Centre Court in long trousers).
Now that Raymonde had a reason to return to the courts, she began training once more, at night after work in the factory, on courts with few lights (the Germans had forced France to run on Daylight Savings Time). There were still no winnings at stake — the Vichy government banned professional athletics, citing money’s ruinous effect on sport. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that Raymonde remembers little of the 1941-43 tournaments, save for one particular detail. The winner of the initial two women’s French championships was Alice Weiwers of Luxembourg. When I ask Raymonde her impressions of Alice, she puffs out her cheeks, spreads her arms, and sneers, “Fat.”
“We were not especially friendly,” she adds, unnecessarily.
Part of the reason the Tournois have faded from Raymonde’s memory is that she was busy playing in other matches that were far more important from a survival standpoint. She joined a traveling team that competed against other squads in various cities. “If we won,” she recalls, “we got to eat.” There was no cash prize, but the winners were awarded chickens, eggs, fruit and other edibles. “If we lost, we went hungry.” Raymonde’s high-caliber play usually meant her team ate well.
Still, wartime terror intruded in her life in another way. The Vichy government, like their Nazi overseers, rounded up and deported Jews by the thousands. One place Jews and other “undesirables” were interned before being sent east to concentration camps was Le Stade Roland Garros. According to author and journalist Arthur Koestler, a Jew who was held at the Grand Slam venue and wrote about his experiences in “Scum of the Earth,” his memoir, “At Roland Garros, we called ourselves the cave dwellers. About 600 of us … lived beneath the stairways of the stadium. We slept on straw — wet straw, because the place leaked. We were so crammed in, we felt like sardines … It smelled of filth and excrement, and only slits of light (could) find their way inside. Few of us knew anything about tennis, but when we were allowed to take our walk in the stadium, we could see the names Borotra and Brugnon on the scoreboard.” Borotra, remember, was at the time tacitly endorsing these evils by his association with the Vichy government.
According to one study, more than 75,000 Jews were deported from France. Thanks to Raymonde, one escaped the terror of the camps.
“One night there was a frantic knocking on our apartment door,” she remembers. “I opened it to find a woman I knew from tennis, one of my hitting partners, named Jacqueline Foy. She was crying hysterically. Her father had been taken away, she said. She feared she was next — no Jews were safe. I didn’t know her very well, but she was shaking and so afraid, so I let her in.”
Foy was about 26 or 27 at this time, several years older than Raymonde, a talented player who competed internationally. They became unexpected roommates. “She didn’t leave,” Raymonde says. “Jacqueline lived in our apartment for the next six months. She was terrified. She never went outside the entire time, just hid in our apartment. She had no fresh air. I don’t know how she could stand it, but of course she feared what would happen if she left. We fed her and never breathed a word about where she was.”
“Finally, after six months, Jacqueline’s mother sent word that she was safe in the countryside, and that Jacqueline should come and join her. So she slipped out of our apartment. I never saw her again.”
Raymonde hasn’t returned often to France over the years, but on one trip back to her native country she was told that Jacqueline had survived and had returned to Paris after the war. Raymonde headed straight for Jacqueline’s last known address and knocked on the door. Alas, the family member who answered told Raymonde that Jacqueline had recently passed away. Raymonde asked if Jacqueline’s father had survived.
“He was never seen again,” she was told.
Alice Weiwers was beaten by Simone Lafargue in the 1943 final. Then in 1944, it was Raymonde’s turn. At 27 years old, she was in her athletic prime, and despite the hardships of living under occupation, she played her best tennis.
There was a festive air at Roland Garros that summer, with large crowds and “not so many Germans,” according to Raymonde. This may have something to do with the fact that the Tournoi took place in late-July, after the Allies had landed at Normandy, and were relentlessly driving toward Paris.
Raymonde made a similar march through the women’s competition, getting to the finals, where she met a younger opponent named Jacqueline Portoni. “She was good-looking,” Raymonde remembers. “An all-rounder, with a solid game in all areas, although no one specific specialty.” Precise details of the match itself elude Raymonde’s otherwise strong memory. But the big picture sticks with her, if not the play by play.
“I wasn’t especially nervous,” she says. “It was a good, even match, but we all had perspective. I wanted to win, of course, but in the end, it was just a tennis match. It wasn’t very important compared to the war.”
Raymonde did indeed win, 6-4 in the first set and 9-7 in what must have been an epic second set. With the win, Raymonde became the final female champion crowned while the Germans ruled France.
The Racing Club was overjoyed that one of their own had become French National Champion, and threw a gala reception to honor Raymonde’s victory, replete with a dinner and dancing. There was no prize money, of course, so the Club honored her in classic Gallic style — they bought her a new dress. “Hermes!” she recalls with delight, clearly envisioning the designer model all these years later.
When I ask if winning the tournament made her a celebrity, Raymonde nods modestly. Exactly how well known she was is difficult to determine according to today’s standards — she was no mega-star, certainly, but she would likely have been recognized around Paris for her athletic achievements.
There was one person who knew about her — General Dietrich von Choltitz, the commanding German officer in Paris. One day an official from the Racing Club approached Raymonde while she was training. He had a request — the Nazi commander liked to play tennis and had heard Raymonde was a worthy opponent. He asked for a match.
Raymonde flatly refused. “There were always Germans around on the courts,” she says, “and I would be asked to play from time to time. But I never did. Sometimes they would be on the court right next to mine, and I never spoke a single word to any of them.”
After the war, most French claimed to have adopted this attitude toward their occupiers, but everyone knew who was a collaborateur and who was not. After liberation, women who had given themselves so freely to the Germans had their heads shaved in public. Arletty, the aforementioned actress who took a Nazi lover, was thrown in jail for 18 months. A wave of executions swept the country before the new government under Charles de Gaulle, a genuine resistance hero, restored order. Marshall Petain was sentenced to death by firing squad, but de Gaulle commuted that to life imprisonment.
“I, for one, never blamed any French person for anything (they did during the occupation),” Raymonde says. Fortunately, she never had to worry about such backlash, for she was solidly anti-German from the start. Even decades later, that still counted in her home country. Her son Ray clearly remembers accompanying his mother to Paris and having people stop and admiringly talk to her. “We were treated very well,” he recalls. “Mom was honored so much because she never entertained any notions of dating or otherwise befriending any Germans.”
On Aug. 25, 1944, just weeks after Raymonde won the Tournoi de France, Paris was liberated. Von Choltitz, the German Raymonde refused to play, allegedly ignored Hitler’s order to destroy the city on his way out of town. One thing is certain — Paris wasn’t burned to the ground. So the City of Light remained glorious when the Allies marched into the city. “I travelled from Neuilly,” Raymonde says, “to the Place de L’Etoile [now called the Place Charles de Gaulle, a central Parisian hub where several avenues meet] to see the French Forces march … I don’t think I ever felt so moved as at this moment. My tears were running down my face. What a moment!”
But perils remained, and a most unfortunate, ironic fate almost claimed Raymonde. “The Americans had arrived, but there was still danger,” she says. “German snipers were still around. One opened fire near where my mother and I were standing. We hid under a truck. We thought we were safe until we saw it was a gasoline truck! Luckily, it was not hit.”
The last of the Germans were soon flushed out, and life slowly returned to something approaching normalcy. In 1945, Raymonde tried and failed to defend her title at Roland Garros. The last female champ of the Tournoi de France was Lolette Payot of Switzerland. That September, Raymonde traveled south for a tournament in Cannes, famous for its beach resort and film festival (which began in 1946). “There came the shape of my destiny,” she recalls.
A tall, handsome American officer approached Raymonde while she was practicing. His name, coincidentally enough, was Raymond — Ray Geyer Jones (fortunately, he went by “Guy”). A 26-year old major in the artillery of Gen. George Patton’s Third Army, Jones had seen action in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, and the Battle of the Bulge, obtaining a Silver Star and several other medals along the way. Guy was a good athlete, too — he played wingback on the same Harvard football team as John F. Kennedy. His tennis game wasn’t quite as good, but he figured he could beat the girl with the curls. He challenged her to a match, and this time, Raymonde accepted.
“I beat him 6-0, 6-0, 6-0,” she says with a laugh. “He was a hacker! I beat him to pieces, but hooked him for good.” Guy was stunned, but had enough sense to ask the woman who had just demolished him on the court for a date. Raymonde accepted this challenge, too, though she made one thing very clear — no “coucher avec moi,” as she says. In other words, Major Jones was shut out for the second time that day.
But that sentiment didn’t last long. Guy got a three-day pass in order to visit Raymonde in Paris, and after those 72 hours, the American and the Frenchwoman had reached an entente. Ten days later, Guy asked Raymonde to marry him. “I said no at first, because we all knew Americans were not serious,” she says, but soon relented. They wed in a church in Neuilly on Nov. 5, 1945. Another American officer served as best man, and gave the bride away. Guy had to get back to his unit, which was by now in Germany, “or what was left of it,” as Raymonde says, so they honeymooned amid the ruins.
Before the year was out, Guy had been transferred back to the States. Raymonde went too, but by herself, a scary journey across an ocean and into the unknown. The ever-adaptable French women were busy marrying Americans by the score, but Raymonde believes she was the first war bride to travel to the States. She bribed her way onto a cargo steamer, the Cap Elizabeth, by handing over her fur coat. Upon arrival in New York harbor, the boat was quarantined for a short spell while the passengers were checked for disease. Guy took a speedboat out to the steamship to reunite with his new wife. The couple had a more traditional honeymoon at Niagara Falls, then drove across the country, eventually winding up at their new home, Fort Riley, Kan.
Paris it was not.
“It was very hard,” Raymonde recalls. “I was very homesick, and though I had learned English in school, I struggled. There were no other French people there. Worse, there were only hard courts!” But after the tribulations she had faced during the war, central Kansas wasn’t going to get the best of her, no matter how bleak. “I didn’t want to leave. Many French women did divorce their American husbands soon after the war and returned to France, only to do worse.”
Raymonde stuck it out through that billeting, and one in Oklahoma, before landing in Northern Virginia. Guy had switched venues from land to air, and was becoming an important visionary in the concept of close air support. He went on to serve three tours in Vietnam, and, according to his son Ray flew more air hours (in both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft) than any pilot in any service.
He passed away in 2010 and is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery. He never did best Raymonde at tennis. “I once offered to buy mom a mink coat if she let Dad beat her,” Ray recalls. “She just said, ‘No way.’”
While her husband was fighting for his country, tennis sustained Raymonde. “I was mad sometimes because I was all alone, raising three children myself, but the game filled the void.” Raymonde didn’t lose her skills after emigrating. She rose as high as 13th in the USTA National Rankings and from 1961-71 she won the regional Mid-Atlantic Women’s championship nine times, never dropping a set. She was also highly ranked in doubles, teaming with Carol Herrick, a fellow tennis obsessive who also played with Raymonde at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va.
“Her group played every single day, in snow, rain, sleet, you name it,” Herrick remembers. “Raymonde used to wear a sock with a hole cut out over her hand instead of gloves on really cold days. And you were obligated to play many sets, not just one or two. I vividly remember a big snowstorm coming through as we played, and I started to pack up my gear. ‘No, we finish,’ Raymonde insisted, and we did.”
When I ask Raymonde about Carol, her reply is simple — “I used to beat her.”
That competitive zeal (“Mom taught me how to trash talk,” Ray says) extended into her dotage. Raymonde played in senior tournaments well into her 80s, and only stopped hitting a few years ago. Yet in all that time, despite her accomplishments on the court and in service to her country, she has never been invited back to Roland Garros to smack a few ceremonial one-hand backhands, or even to wave to the crowd and accept long overdue plaudits for her wartime actions on and off the court. And when the 2015 French Open finals take place at Roland Garros at the end of next week, and the stories of past champions are told, Raymonde Veber, perhaps the most truly heroic champion of them all, is unlikely to be mentioned.
Neither the International Tennis Federation nor the Federation Francaise de Tennis (French Tennis Federation, or FTF) recognize the wartime tournaments as official French Opens, even though the entry requirements weren’t any different than they had been prior to 1924, when only French club members were allowed to compete. Those winners, including Cochet, Borotra and Lenglen, are recognized as French Open champions. But Raymonde, Alice Weiwers, Yvon Petra and the other wartime champions are not.
A major reason for this intransigence may be the complicated relationship France still has with the war and the occupation. The scars of humiliation and collaboration have yet to fade, even after all this time. Raymonde and the other winners from 1941-45 have been written off as collateral damage. Numerous recent emails to the FTF asking for a comment of any kind about the wartime tournois were utterly ignored.
Meanwhile, a living link to this extraordinary slice of forgotten history sits in her easy chair in Jacksonville. She’ll be watching the Open, as always, but adds, “They never bothered to ask me to come back, or even to contact me in any way.” Raymonde says she is not upset by it, though how can she not bristle just a bit at such shabby treatment?
'Instead, the game trailer revolves around dudes, dudes, and more dudes, all driving cars and getting into fights—with the exception of a single woman who appears to be both an unwilling captive of a bad guy and Max's romantic interest. Given its ties to a film packed with combat-ready women, a careful portrayal of sexualization, and a major consultant best known for penning plays like The Vagina Monologues, the game's approach may raise eyebrows among some players.'
'To understand how this happened, it helps to understand the game's long development cycle.'
ha ha, nah
to understand, it'd help to understand the game industry
Hot damn, was the new Mad Max movie a blast to watch. Cars! Guns! Giant desert races! That guitar! It's the kind of flick that an Ars staffer can't see without imagining a muscle car's cockpit and saying, "I can't wait for someone to make a video game like that."
Sure enough, a new Mad Max game is on its way. What's more, it's from the developers of the nutso open-world series Just Cause and from the publishing team at Warner Bros. Interactive, which was behind movie-inspired games like the Batman Arkham series and Shadows Of Mordor.
The game comes out in September, and we've laid out our impressions of a recent preview build shown to the press. But for now, I'd like to focus on something not seen in the game: the best female characters from the film.
When Verizon Wireless unveiled its "Verizon Edge" early-upgrade plan in July 2013, the company allowed customers to switch to a new smartphone once they paid 50 off percent of the cost of their original device.
But the amount that Verizon Edge customers had to pay to be eligible for an early upgrade kept creeping up, to 60 percent in June 2014 and then 75 percent in October 2014. Today, it's come to the logical conclusion: you can only upgrade to a new device once you've paid off the entire cost of the existing one.
Verizon spun the news as a positive step in a press release titled "Verizon Edge Making it Easier to Upgrade and Experience Verizon’s 4G LTE Network."
On Tuesday, an eight-engine remotely piloted helicopter circled over a park in Grand Rapids, Michigan—and then started dropping cash. A cloud of dollar bills was released from compartments in the drone and floated down on a lunchtime crowd in Rosa Parks Circle, causing a scramble for the cash—an estimated $100.
"It was hovering over the center of the circle, and after a couple of minutes it dropped what appeared to be money," Melvin Blohm, a creative consultant for the Michigan newspaper website MLive, told Grand Rapids Press' Todd Chance. "Once people realized the cash was real, they swarmed to pick it up.”
Blohm said he saw people atop the nearby JW Marriott hotel roof who appeared to be controlling the drone. The drone appeared to drop about $50 cash from one of four compartments; another compartment was already empty when Blohm spotted it.
We here at Gilbert Media are excited to announce our merger with Vox Media
And that Vox Media has merged with Vice Media!
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This is a very exciting merging of mergers to form a mega-merged merger of emerging media!
This new umbrella company—which will operate under the name VoxViceDailyBuzz (for Bros)—will leverage each company’s particular editorial strengths and distribution strategies! Content will be delivered in the form of Web articles, Facebook videos, promoted tweets, push notifications, holiday cards, a $14,000-per-person ideas conference in Bratislava, Snapchat pornography, paid advertisements above the urinals at football stadiums, a print magazine distributed exclusively via T-shirt cannon, and more!
But the mergers don’t end there: We’re also excited to announce our merger with Charter Cable! And we’re even more excited to announce that Charter Cable has merged with Time Warner Cable! And that Charter-Time Warner has merged with Comcast, which merged with Cox Communications, which merged with AT&T and Cricket and Cingular and Foxconn and Boost Mobile and Joost Mobile and the International Space Station and Sprint-Vtel-C-Spire-Vonage!
This new umbrella company–which will operate under the name Voxcast ViceWarner Cable Co. Incorporated (for Bros)—will allow us to utilize key technologies, networks, platforms, data sets, SaaS apps, softwares, and USB thumb drives. We are especially excited to see the synergies between Uproxx, Vox.com, Cox Comm, and Foxconn!
But we are even more excited to announce our imminent merger with Verizon, who recently merged with AOL, who subsequently announced a series of strategic mergers with T-Mobile and Teespring and LinkedIn and Clinkle and Axel Springer and Axl Rose and Rose McGowan and Hot Topic and Hot Pockets and Johnny Rockets and SalesForacle and Ticketmaster-LiveNation-Craigslist-SkyMall!
This new umbrella company—which will operate under a name whose syllables are unutterable by human tongue—will allow us to offer services that competing corporations in the digital media-Internet-television-wireless-mobile-goth-clothing-sphere just can’t muster. For just $247 per month, over the life of a 37-year contract, you can get our Octuple Play deal, which gets you a bundle of phone service, WiFi, cable, The News You Care About, our T-shirt cannon magazine, a subscription to Ashley Madison, thirty-five Hot Pockets (cheesesteak-filling), and a customized Hot Topic dog collar of your choosing on the 15th day of each month. And great news: That personal dog collar will always arrive on time, thanks to our recent merger with the United States Postal Service and its newly installed CEO, Lucas from the Venmo subway ads!
We hope you’ll agree that this new umbrella company—which will operate under a name that is just a blood-curdling scream emerging suddenly from out of a dense thicket—really shows the value of merging talent, ideas, products, and services together into one enormous, unregulatable mushroom cloud of Business.
Thank you for being a reader, and we look forward to many more great years, and thousands of unexpected mergers, in the future!