[syndicated profile] ciphermysteries_feed

Posted by nickpelling

Vat. Gr. 1291 is a manuscript that has had a fair amount of Voynich-related attention over the years. A beautifully illustrated copy of Ptolemy’s Handy Tables, its fol.9r contains a circular astrological / zodiacal diagram with some oddly-familiar carefully-posed naked nymphs: Though this splendid Greek manuscript was made in the ninth century, it had one Read More →

The post Domenico De’ Domenichi (1416-1478) and Vat. Gr. 1291… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.

What I'm Doing Wednesday

Aug. 23rd, 2017 07:31 pm
sage: close up of a slice of lemon held up against the sky, dripping (season: summer)
[personal profile] sage
books Jemisin, no spoilers) )

food allergy AUGH & HUH! (or, gluten, why do you hate me so?) )

weather geekery
1. Dear Zombie Tropical Blob Harvey, you have wrecked my belated bday plans, which I suppose is better than trying to drive in hurricane-levels of pain. We haven't had a hurricane hit Texas since Ike, back in 2008. Ike knocked me on my ASS, so cancelling this wknd is best for all, but I'm really not looking forward to this. OTOH, the weather geekery is fun?
2. Historically, the week of my birthday is the hottest week of the year in the southern half of Texas, but we have only had ONE DAY that reached 100F in all of August, while half of July reached or exceeded 100F. This is very weird. If this becomes the new trend, it will have effects on all kinds of stuff, to say nothing of hurricane season.

dirt (aka plants log) )

AUGH. Last week I was NEARLY DONE with a thing. Then I had an idea for a gift that needed to be done by this weekend (before the trip was postponed). Now I have an overabundance of WIPs and zero finished works to show. Yet.


Aug. 23rd, 2017 08:26 pm
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[personal profile] kalloway posting in [community profile] onedeadplotbunny
This is a weekly check-in! You do not have to check in, of course, but if you would like to comment on the last week, feel free!

If you have a deadline coming up, you can do it! If you need a deadline, feel free to ask!

2017 Pinch Hit List

Aug. 23rd, 2017 07:30 pm
samuraiter: (Default)
[personal profile] samuraiter posting in [community profile] femslashex
Okay, make that two important things to remember: There are certain to be pinch hits for any exchange, so, if you'd be interested in doing that, make sure you subscribe to the pinch hit list (it's a Google Group) and keep your eyes peeled for anything we send down that pipe.

2017 Beta List

Aug. 23rd, 2017 07:30 pm
samuraiter: (Default)
[personal profile] samuraiter posting in [community profile] femslashex
As we prep for assignments to go out, there is one important thing to remember: More often than not, a writer needs a beta! If you'd like to offer your services as a beta, just copy-paste the stuff in the white box below, then answer the questions it poses in a comment to this post.

[ SECRET POST #3885 ]

Aug. 23rd, 2017 07:09 pm
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[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3885 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 24 secrets from Secret Submission Post #555.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

calling all Latinists

Aug. 23rd, 2017 03:53 pm
swan_tower: The Long Room library at Trinity College, Dublin (Long Room)
[personal profile] swan_tower

I seem to remember, back in high school, translating a poem by Horace where the first word (?) of the poem was a verb . . . but the subject of that verb was buried down in the second stanza. I don’t recall anything about its subject matter; it only stuck with me because it was the most egregious example I had personally encountered of how Latin can make an utter jigsaw of its word order.

But that poem doesn’t appear to be in our little booklet of Catullus and Horace, which means it was one of the ones the teacher gave us in a handout. And although I thought I still had those handouts, I can’t find them. So I turn to you, o Latinists of the internet: does this ring a bell? Can anybody point me at the poem in question?

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Teresa Jusino

One of the most intriguing characters on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (aside from Elizabeth Moss’ June, of course) is June’s best friend Moira, played beautifully by Samira Wiley, who initially stole our hearts as Poussey on Orange Is the New Black. In a recent interview, she discussed why she loves Moira (as created for the show) so much, and what she thinks of the show’s handling of race.

In an interview with Deadline Hollywood, Wiley addresses the handling of race on the show, saying that she appreciates that the focus was squarely on all women, and that all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds were affected equally by the increased sexism of Gilead.

“Margaret Atwood is a consulting producer on the project,” Wiley begins. “[A]nd even in having conversations with her, we were finding that in this retelling of the story, what is paramount for the world of Gilead is children, and that is paramount above and beyond anything else, so whoever can be a handmaid, it is so important for us to have you that everything else goes away.

Also, just in talking to Bruce, we want our show to be able to reflect the time that we’re living in right now. We want to be able to make comments on race sometimes, but not have our show be racist, in terms of not having African American people and people of color involved. I think it’s a great choice, and it’s obviously a very conscious choice. It’s not one made haphazardly.”

She then adds, “Also, selfishly, I’m just so happy they made that decision because now I get to play a great role.”

Wiley also talked about how emotional it was for her to play a lesbian in the world of Gilead, which hit very close to home. “I remember having to call my wife at the end of days and talk through it,” she reveals. “[A]nd remember that we aren’t there. We’re in a different place, and we still can be vigilant about the things that are happening around us, but it wasn’t easy having to step into that world every time I was on set.”

Definitely check out the rest of the interview over at Deadline. Wiley, Moira, and the show as a whole are definitely reminders of the work that needs doing. “We aren’t there” yet, but we also don’t want to get anywhere close.

(image: Hulu)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Vivian Kane

According to a letter obtained by Buzzfeed News, the Boy Scouts are running a “covert campaign” to recruit girls into their organization, and the Girl Scouts are not happy about it. The letter, written by Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, the President of GSUSA, and sent to the BSA President, Randall Stephensen, accuses the group of betraying their 100-year relationship and sneakily trying to recruit girls as part of what sounds like some sort of millennial fad.

The idea of allowing girls to join the Boy Scouts is not a new debate. Many people–including the National Organization for Women–call the group’s exclusion of girls discrimination. However, even if you support making the BSA a co-ed organization, everyone should be able to agree that the way this letter describes them going about it is pretty appalling.

Apparently, the groups have been in talks for a while to open up more Boy Scout programs to girls. (There are already a few available to girls, but they don’t have access to the organization’s full offerings, including the prestigious Eagle Scout title.) And then, according to the letter, the Boy Scouts just went ahead and moved forward alone, “surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents.”

In the letter, Hannan calls the secret move “reckless,” maintaining that single-gender programs benefit everyone far more than co-ed ones, especially when both organizations are not on board. She writes, “the inevitable reality will be that the experience is either co-ed, or one in which one gender is relegated to the sidelines. To be clear this is not a statement on the work that BSA has done and continues to do. Rather, it is a statement on the short-sightedness of thinking that running a program specifically tailored to boys can simply be translated to girls.”

Even worse than dropping out of the conversation and doing all this in secret, is the behavior Hannan describes hearing the BSA exhibit at these co-ed gatherings.

“I am also deeply concerned about reports of aggressive posturing by Boy Scout leaders towards Girl Scout leaders at recent “family meetings” outlining the proposed girls program,” she writes. “This includes everything from disparaging and untrue remarks about Girl Scout programming, to subtle implications about the weakness of Girl Scouts’ long term market strength. Starting off any program when people are feeling bullied is not in keeping with the founding ideals of either Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. I implore you to condemn this behavior within your organization and to create consequences for these actions.”

This is terrible. Girls and grown women alike are told so often, so constantly, that anything designed for them is inferior to its male equivalent. If the Boy Scouts–even individual Boy Scout leaders–are exploiting that ingrained insecurity to lure girls away from the Girl Scouts and into their ranks due to their “declining membership,” that’s horrible.

Leslie Knope wouldn’t stand for this crap.

In her letter, Hannan suggests, “Rather than seeking to fundamentally transform BSA into a co-ed program, we believe strongly that Boy Scouts should instead take steps to ensure that they are expanding the scope of their programming to all boys, including those who BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys.”

The Girl Scouts have certainly been expanding the scope of their own programming lately, with their new wave of STEM field badges, including a space badge journey designed in partnership with NASA and the SETI Institute. As for the question of creating co-ed spaces within the organizations, that debate will continue. But who does it serve to exclude one side from that conversation? Certainly not the children at its center.

(via Buzzfeed, image: Shutterstock)

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ratcreature: RatCreature begs: Please? (please?)
[personal profile] ratcreature posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
It's time for our regular reccer recruiting post, and to look ahead to the next month. So far we have TWO volunteer reccers who signed up for September with these fandoms:

* The Defenders ([personal profile] mific)
* Steven Universe ([personal profile] juniperphoenix)

So while we already have a few recs to look forward to in September, it would of course be awesome if we had some more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.

Looking even further ahead so far only ONE reccer has volunteered for October, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for September, October or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.

Open Rec Posting

The monthly open reccing period for all members starts now and lasts until the end of August. Since the general prompts don't seem to work as inspiration, I've decided to stop adding them, but to keep the open reccing period in case anyone wants to slip a rec in, without having to come up with three others for a fandom. However the recs do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.

(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)

Sign-Ups Closed

Aug. 23rd, 2017 05:27 pm
withinadream: (Default)
[personal profile] withinadream posting in [community profile] femslashex
 Sign ups for Femslashex 2017 are now closed! We'll run matching tonight, and assignments will be out by August 26 at the latest.
[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Sometimes letters just stack up together in a sequence sort of perfectly. Thank you, Letter Writers!

Ahoy, Cap’n!

I am a frequent lurker, sometimes commenter, and I have a question that probably has a pretty easy answer, but as I am super awkward myself sometimes, especially in dating, I am struggling to figure it out on my own. Maybe you and/or readers can help.

Do you have any advice/scripts for what to do/say when someone you’re interested in dating wants to talk on the phone and you have an aversion to phone conversations? Like, I’m fine online, and through text, and I have no problem with face-to-face conversations. But something about sitting on the phone with someone (especially someone I’ve never actually met face to face, but even someone I’ve already met) gives me a serious case of anxiety. I only have long phone conversations with good friends who I’ve known for years, and that’s only once in a great while. I wasn’t like this as a teenager – I liked having long phone calls with boys! It’s just something that, as an adult in the dating world, I’m not comfortable with. Unfortunately, many of the men I try to date get awfully pushy about it, even when I say something like, “I’m not really a phone person.”

Do you have any advice for how to be more direct about this without offending anyone, or maybe how to explain it so that they understand that it’s not them, it’s really me? Also, am I weird for having this phobia at all?

Thanks so much!

Always Hoping For Voicemail

Dear Always Hoping:

Entire businesses exist to let you avoid talking on the phone so, it’s not just you!

“I’m not really a phone person” is pretty darn clear. You could add “I prefer not to” or “Let’s save it for the date” or “No, I’d rather not” but you’re not being exactly mysterious in your demurrals. “I really like you and I’m excited to meet up next week, but I’m super not a phone person and I’d much rather just wait until we’re hanging out” is not mean or rude or weird. Or unclear.

In the most generous interpretation, I can see why someone you’ve only chatted with online wants to talk, even briefly, on the phone before meeting in person. It can be a safety thing, like, are you a real person are you really at this number is the person who is coming to the cafe tomorrow really going to be the same person I’ve been talking to? So, “I’m not really a phone person, but sure, I’ve got 2 minutes” can work if it’s someone you’re just meeting for the first time. If at the end of two minutes you still want to talk to the person more, that’s a good sign.

Of course, it can also be a safety/dominance thing in the other direction, like, when you give a potential date person your phone number for “I am running late to the restaurant, see you in 15” texting purposes and they use it for “Hi, you are my best new texting buddy and I will send you my every waking thought and also call you whenever I’m thinking ’boutcha, which is all the time, Lover!” purposes. There is a safety argument and a boundaries!!! argument for keeping everything inside the world of the dating site or app messenger at first vs. giving a stranger a way to constantly reach you on a device you probably carry with you everywhere at all times. Sadly some people hear “I don’t really like that” and take it as a challenge (see previous letter).

Whether or not your phone anxiety is normal, I think what you have here is can work as a built-in Are We Compatible? detector. When you say “I’m not really a phone person but I’ve got 2 minutes” or “Hey, it’s not personal, but I don’t like to talk on the phone with people I don’t know well, let’s just save it for our date?” and the other person says “Sure, no worries!” or “Listen I know the phone thing is weird but it’s a safety thing for me, can we talk for literally 30 seconds so I know you won’t Catfish me and vice versa?” you can probably work with that.

When, on the other hand, a person says, “Awww, whyyyyyyyyyyy, don’t you liiiiiiiiike me” or otherwise tries to push past your polite “no thank you”, take it as permission to say “I don’t like the phone and I don’t like grownups who think ‘wheedling’ is a good strategy, so this isn’t going to work out, good luck out there, though!” and think no more about them. Like, when they get all pushy with you, what do these men think is going to happen? That you’ll be like “Oh, baby, sorry, you’re right, I love the phone now, thanks for curing my anxiety with your big strong assertive phone-talking powers!” Ugh. No.

Phone anxiety can be part of a social anxiety disorder, and if your anxiety is fucking with your life – you wish you liked talking on the phone, you can’t make phone calls that you need to make, for instance – it’s worth checking into with a mental health pro. But for our purposes, it’s not about whether or not something is normal or usual, it’s about you giving the person you might end up dating information about a preference you have. A good person is going to say “You don’t like the phone, cool, noted” and drop the subject and be glad that they have the information. Someone who treats “no” as the opening to a negotiation is going to bug the shit out of you in all kinds of other ways. They are giving you a gift (an annoying gift, but still, a gift) by manifesting this behavior right at the start, before you’ve invested a lot of time.


It is now time for the summer Captain Awkward Dot Com pledge drive, where I shake the tip jar in the general direction of all of you kind readers. If you like what I do here and are able to support the work, please visit my Patreon page or make a donation via PayPal or Cash.me. Thanks to your support, we’ve made the blog ad-free. My next goal is to take a sabbatical from teaching in 2018 and work on a CaptainAwkward book and other writing projects. Every little bit counts, and I’m grateful for it.



Wednesday Yardening

Aug. 23rd, 2017 04:31 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
It's a lovely cool day outside, at least until I wore myself out.  I took the clippers and cut brush alongside the patio. 

EDIT 8/23/17: I went back out and moved a bit of brush from the savanna, and also trimmed grass around three saplings there.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Charline Jao

The Charlottesville City Council voted to shroud the statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson with a black tarp “to symbolize the mourning for Heather Heyer,” the woman who was killed during the white nationalist rally. While the removal of the Lee statue in Emancipation Park (yeah, I know) is “on hold due to legal challenges,” this symbolic gesture was met with cheers.

The event prompted the removal of 26 Confederate monuments around the United States so far, and we hope that are the first of many. (via Buzzfeed, image: AP)

  • Tig Notaro wants to make it very clear that despite his executive producer credit on One Mississippi, Louis C.K. has “nothing to do with the show” and he needs to “handle” accusations that have been directed at him for sexual harassment. “It’s serious to be assaulted,” Notaro says. The Daily Beast writes more about these accusations, and how the ways One Mississippi approached a plot around sexual assault seems quite telling.
  • Here’s Adam Ruins Everything explaining how student loans became the terrifying and predatory entity they are today. Excuse me as I start cry-laughing at exponentially higher volumes in the corner, it’ll just be a minute.
  • This is not a drill: Laverne Cox and Beyoncé are collaborating on a project. What do you think it could be? (via Jezebel)
  • People have been impersonating Robert Downey Jr. on the internet and it’s really not cool! Don’t do that!
  • If you were a prepared scout and purchased eclipse glasses, don’t throw them away just yet! Huffington Post wrote about how you can donate them to schools outside the U.S.
  • Martin Shkreli is still terrible, in case anyone was in doubt. Dude is buying websites with the names of journalists who criticized him and customizing them with “mocking messages.” You know, like a completely normal and healthy human being. (via Business Insider)
  • Nick Kroll’s new show Big Mouth comes to Netflix soon and released a few short clips that will transport you back to the most shameful, unpleasant, and illogical parts of puberty. Ooof. (via Indiewire)

Finally, I adore this series on WIRED. Here’s dialect coach Erik Singer breaking down roles where actors played famous figures and how well they did or didn’t adopt their speaking habits, in both parodies and serious performances.

What did you see today?

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Teresa Jusino

You may have noticed that I’m a huge fan of The CW’s Supergirl. So, trust me when I tell you that, as a fan, Supergirl Season 2 on Blu-ray, available now, is a totally worthwhile investment.*

For a super-quick recap of what went down this season, here’s the official synopsis from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment:

“Having left the safety of being Cat Grant’s assistant at Catco Worldwide Media in order to figure out what she really wants to do, Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) continues to work with Hank Henshaw aka Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) and her adoptive sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) at the DEO as Supergirl – protecting the citizens of National City and searching for her missing father Jeremiah (Dean Cain) and the secret research lab Cadmus. Along the way, she will team up with her Kryptonian cousin Kal El—aka Superman (Tyler Hoechlin)—to battle new DC Super-Villains both terrestrial and extraterrestrial, as she strives to balance her personal life with friends/allies James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) and more with her busy life as a new Super Hero in SUPERGIRL Season Two.”

Yes, all 22 episodes of Season 2 are finally available for home viewing on Blu-ray, Digital HD, and DVD. So, why should you spring for the Blu-ray? Well, the special features, of course! Here’s the run-down of what’s on the Blu-ray and DVD:

Supergirl: 2016 Comic-Con Panel
Supergirl: “Alien Fight Night”
Supergirl: “Aliens Among Us”
• A Conversation with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith
• “Supergirl Lives” Audio Commentary featuring Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith
Did You Know? facts for fans

By far the most fun things on the Blu-ray are the “Supergirl Lives” commentary from and the bonus conversation between Supergirl EP Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith, who directed two episodes of Supergirl in Season 2 (the other was “Distant Sun”), and will be returning in Season 3. Not only are these two basically besties (so the rapport and the conversation is good), but they each care so much about Supergirl as a character, as well as about telling the larger, IRL stories that matter.

Like Sanvers, for instance. Smith was overwhelmed when talking about Alex and Maggie’s relationship, and as his first episode of the show was also the first episode in which they were really a couple, he was nervous about taking it on, hoping to do it justice. However, he shouts out the immense talents of Chyler Leigh and Floriana Lima, whose acting chops and natural chemistry make that relationship work so well on-screen, for doing the “heavy lifting” for a guy who “directed a movie with a lesbian in it once in the nineties.”

image via Robert Falconer/The CW

They also address the fact that, in Season 2, aliens became the thing that set Supergirl apart from the other CW DC shows, and became a way for the show to get political in addition to its feminism. Being able to use aliens as a metaphor for immigrants and refugees allowed the show’s creative team to speak to things viewers are struggling with in their real lives, and both Kreisberg and Smith love the fact that Supergirl can be a vehicle for that kind of conversation in addition to just being a fun superhero show.

Speaking of aliens, the featurette “Supergirl: Aliens Among Us” goes even deeper into that idea: aliens as metaphors for both the personal (Kara being an outsider in her family/on the planet, Alex feeling like an outsider because of her sexuality, J’onn being an alien who happens to look like a black man in America), and the political. The personal is political, on this show, as it is in life.

Also a lot of fun are the short “Did You Know?” videos, in which cast and creators reveal some Supergirl trivia that you might not have heard anywhere else. For example, what’s annoying about the way Kara eats ice cream? Or, what’s the deal with the baby that played Baby Superman? These questions, and more, are answered in a really fun way.

And for the geeks among us (which is basically all of us, right), you can check out an in-depth look at the alien fight club of the episode “Survivors,” as well as the Supergirl 2016 Comic-Con panel, in case you missed it.

The one drawback? There was a sticker on the outside packaging that advertised a gag reel, but there’s no gag reel (or deleted scenes for that matter) in the special features. Honestly, I don’t mind, as those features in particular are usually hit or miss (usually miss). But I’m giving you the heads-up in case you see that sticker on the packaging you receive. I confirmed with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment that those stickers are an error, but that what you see printed in the liner notes and on the box itself are correct.

As I said, Supergirl is available now on Blu-ray ($54.97 SRP), DVD ($49.99 SRP), and on Digital HD on platforms like Amazon Video, CinemaNow, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, and Xbox. Oh, and by the way, a Digital HD copy of the season is available with the Blu-ray, too!

We still have a little over a month before we get more Supergirl on The CW in the form of Season 3, so the Supergirl S2 Blu-ray could be a great way for you to tide yourself over until then! I definitely got jazzed as I enjoyed the special features, and it reminded me of why I fell in love with Kara Zor-El in the first place.

*Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Dan Van Winkle

Virtual reality has more purposes—and ideally more useful ones—than just fun and games, but if they tend towards KFC’s horrifying vision of employee training, count me out. I’ll be in the woods somewhere, living without electricity, and reassessing whether the benefits of technological advancements are worth the horror they have wrought.

KFC’s virtual reality employee training simulator is the stuff of nightmares, seemingly by design. It’s eerily reminiscent of BioShock, which, if you’ll remember, was a game wherein you played as a brainwashed slave to a megalomaniac. That’s not really the vibe I’d want to give incoming employees, unless this is some undercover commentary by whoever within KFC put the whole thing together. In that case, bravo. You nailed it.

In the KFC version, experienced by employees through an Oculus Rift, you’re taking orders from Colonel Sanders himself, who will guide you through the process of cooking some digital KFC chicken. If you successfully learn all the steps of the cooking process, your reward is that you actually get to leave the virtual room! I know they’re not really jacking anyone in Matrix-style, but I’m still unsettled by the idea of being trapped forever in a KFC-themed virtual prison if I’m unable to satisfactorily cook fast food chicken. We’re edging uncomfortably close to full-blown techno-dystopia in the real world.

I sincerely hope this is all marketing/a joke/something—anything—other than reality.

To top it all off, things take a weird turn when you get to the frying process and have to wait for time to fast forward for it to complete, with Colonel Sanders’ yelling maniacally in the background as this is going on:Overall, I’m sure it’s an effective way to learn the process, mostly because it’s not an experience you’re likely to forget (it’s also supposedly twice as fast as traditional training). I watched the whole thing in video form over on Eater, and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. I just hope they’re planning on improving employee health benefits in anticipation of a serious spike in psychological distress.

(via Eater, image: KFC/Eater)

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