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Will Bears avoid cruel karma and watch rookie QB Fields lead the way?

Some things you suspect, some things you guess and some things you just know.

Ohio State quarterbacks are frauds. The best Bears quarterback is the one who is not playing.

Like dead end streets these truisms meet at young Justin Fields, the latest Bears quarterback in the window.

The team that can’t find a quarterback gets a quarterback from a school that can’t produce one.

It’s a blind date between the careless and the clueless.

Wait, you say. Give the kid a chance. Of course, young Fields will get his chance, likely more chances than he deserves. And the sooner the better. The Bears are nothing if not generous and patient and encouraging.

They can be defiantly inside out as well. Recall that once the Bears had a quarterback from Michigan (alas, not Tom Brady but Jim Harbaugh) and a fullback — Brad Muster — from Stanford when common sense knows it should be the other way around.

Harbaugh, by the way, swapped off and on with an Ohio Stater, Mike Tomczak, parading before us as Thing 1 and Thing 2, a description for which I must take either the credit or the blame.



This is not to pick on Ohio State, no more than it deserves. Being as I am an apathetic alum and a token supporter — I use an old Varsity Club drinking mug as a pencil holder — I wish young Fields all the best. He has my sympathy, because he comes to the Bears with not only his own Buckeye baggage but all the left luggage of Bears quarterbacks before.

While Ohio State has earned its place as Disappointment U, school pedigree matters not to the Bears. Think of retread Notre Damer Rick Mirer and USC draft darling Cade McNown, quarterbacks from genuine Quarterback U’s, so flawed even the Bears had to hide their eyes.

Or the most recent rescue mutt, Mitch Trubisky, schemed out of North Carolina, raw and unpolished, given four years to fail. Trubisky apologists may insist too much was asked too soon, or the rare Jay Cutler defender might point out the revolving door of Cutler’s coordinators and coaches who waved hello and goodbye with the same hand.

At some point maybe the Bears should conclude it is not them, it is us.

Certainly, Fields will get his chance. It is up to him, more or less, as it was up to Trubisky and Rex Grossman and Cutler and the whole long line of lost laundry.



This is a common dilemma for Bears fans, who do not need panels and pundits and paid opinions to tell them what they know; it just never works out.

Success is not a given, it is always a surprise.

To be a Bears fan is to remain a dogged optimist, a relentless romantic. Otherwise, might as well root for the Packers, who seem to have no trouble finding great quarterbacks to toil on the tundra.

To be a Bears fans is to swear never to be suckered again and still, inevitably to be wooed by hope, the cruelest trinket in the wizard’s bag.

Pay no attention to the dude behind the curtain. He just might be able to hit the open man.

Serendipity or cruel karma — I pick the second one — has provided a rare chance for a football twofer, the removal of both lingering defects at once — the Buckeyes’ well-documented quarterback curse and the Bears well-earned reputation (to use Jim McMahon’s bitter verdict) as the place quarterbacks go to die.

All it will take is for young Fields to be an immediate marvel, to match recent instant wonders such as Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson.

At the very least, young Fields must be better than the three quarterbacks chosen before him in the draft, 1-2-3, Trevor Lawrence, Zack Wilson and Trey Lance.

Rookies can win. Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, et al., are enough evidence of that. None of them, of course, played for the Bears.

Young Fields might plausibly become all that he can be, all that Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy imagine him to be, all that Bears fans wish him to be, but chance must, alas, collide with the familiar.

The sooner Fields starts, the sooner the hunt for the next quarterback can begin.

Here’s the truth. The best Bears quarterback may yet be the one who can throw the football with his fingers crossed.


iPad Pro 2020 12.

9: still a powerful tablet, though no longer the best

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020) deals

Two-minute review

The iPad Pro 2020 is still one of the most powerful tablets on the market, with specs and software that enable it to do plenty of laptop-level work. But you’ll have to pay close to laptop-level prices for the privilege of owning one, reducing its appeal to the average user who may be served just fine by a cheaper iPad.

Despite being eclipsed by the M1 silicon-powered iPad Pro 2021, the iPad Pro 2020, with its A12Z Bionic chipset, is still an eminently capable tablet. It has less RAM than the latest model (6GB, compared to 8GB or 16GB) and a lower storage ceiling (1TB, compared to 2TB), and its IPS LCD screen is less advanced than the mini LED-packing Super Retina XDR display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2021, but you may be able to find last year’s top tablet at lower prices now.

  • Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020) at Amazon for $938.94

And you will want to score a sizable discount on the 2020 tablet, given how much more powerful the 2021 iPad Pro M1 is, at least going by benchmarks. That’s always possible, especially during deals events like the upcoming Amazon Prime Day; if not, for many the 2020 iPad Air can provide nearly the same performance at a lower price.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has always been a big tablet, but this model feels especially massive. The squared-off edges and full-front glass cover even the bezels, making it a bit hard to hold without a case, and nigh impossible to manipulate one-handed. At 641g it’s not light, but its 5.9mm thickness makes it thinner than most iPhones, and it’s easy to slip in a backpack or knapsack – though at 215mm x 280mm (roughly the dimensions of 8.5-inch x 11-inch paper), it may be too big for small bags.

(Image credit: Future)

This is a device that’s well-designed for watching movies, playing games and consuming media in general. Its 12.9-inch display (2732 x 2048 resolution) looks great, helped by a 120Hz refresh rate for super-smooth visuals, while the quad speakers produce impressive sound.

The iPad Pro 2020 inherits its camera suite from last year’s model: 12MP wide and 10MP ultra-wide rear cameras, along with a time-of-flight (ToF) LiDAR scanner to evaluate depth, video capture up to 4K at 60fps, and a 7MP front-facing camera for calls and selfies. . It’s a good setup for a tablet, covering you for those increasingly ubiquitous video calls, while also able to capture serviceable photos or video in a pinch.

The iPad Pro runs the latest iPadOS 14.5 software, forking off from iOS to provide tablet-specific features like mouse and keyboard support, app multitasking, and operating as an extra screen with the Sidecar feature. The A12Z Bionic chipset delivers speedy performance and its 6GB of RAM is enough to handle app multitasking, while storage options range from 128GB to 1TB. Its 9,720mAh battery is colossal, although it can drain speedily if you’re pushing the tablet hard at maximum brightness.

All in all, the iPad Pro 2020 offers the ultimate tablet experience – or at least it did, until it was succeeded by the much-hyped iPad Pro 2021. While its successor brings several upgrades, the iPad Pro 2020 is still a powerful slate, serving as a portable productivity-focused middle ground between smartphone and tablet, performing some tasks of both but fully replacing neither, no matter what’s under the hood.  

iPad Pro 2020 price and release date

The iPad Pro 2020 launched in March 2020, and the the 12.9-inch model started at $999 / £969 / AU$1,649 for 128GB of storage, rising up to $1499 / £1,469 / AU$2,499 for 1TB (all models have 6GB of RAM). For the cellular LTE model, that price rose to $1,149 / £1,149 / AU$1,899 for 128GB storage, or $1,649 / £1,619 / AU$2,749 for 1TB.

The iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch starts off even pricier, at $1,099 / £999 / AU$1,649 for the 128GB storage model, although that’s for 8GB RAM, and all models are packing the M1 chipset, as well as the Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display.

Apple no longer sells the iPad Pro 2020, but you can still get it from both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers – and now that the iPad Pro 2021 is on sale, it’s likely we’ll see some worthwhile discounts on the 2020 model appearing. 

(Image credit: Future)


The iPad Pro 2020 is a sleek, well-designed tablet that feels every bit as premium as its price would suggest. The larger 12.9-inch format makes it unwieldy in one hand compared to the smaller 11-inch version, but its big screen makes it an undeniably superior device for watching media.

The iPad Pro 2020 inherits its design from its predecessor, the iPad Pro 2018, keeping that device’s flat edges and metallic finish. The 2018 model brought back the flat-edged look of the iPhone 4, and now the iPhone 12 line has adopted it as well – but it’s much more welcome in a tablet that’s not designed to be used one-handed (the sharp corners don’t dig in nearly as much when held in two hands). 

The front is entirely glass, and with such a big display, the half-inch bezels framing the screen look pretty small – and they’re certainly less obtrusive than the bezels on standard iPads. 

The iPad Pro 2020 is also noticeably thinner (5.9mm thick) than, say, the 10.2-inch iPad 2020 (7.5mm thick), so it feels more sleek than chunky. The metal back and sides, which feel like one seamless piece, have a matte finish that looks and feels premium, but doesn’t have much texture – don’t be surprised if your tablet slides around much like your gadgets with glossy surfaces.

(Image credit: Future)

The back also houses the camera bump, in the top-left corner, and following iPad precedent, the cameras (12MP main and 10MP ultra-wide) look a little like they’ve been imported from the iPhones of the time, with the camera block appearing comically small on the expansive iPad Pro’s rear. Likewise, the lock and volume buttons – located on the right side of the top edge, and at the top of the right edge, respectively – are both the same size as on iPhones. 

The tablet also has quad speakers – two on the top edge, two on the bottom edge – that produce a good sound favoring lower, bass-heavy tones, and can fill a room at maximum volume. There’s also a conspicuous off-color patch in the middle of the right edge where you can magnetically attach (and charge) an Apple Pencil 2, a USB-C port on the bottom edge, and, on the LTE models, a SIM slot at the bottom of the right edge.

One last note here: we used the 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2020 with the compatible Magic Keyboard, which we heartily recommend despite its hefty price tag. The larger model is unwieldy when held, and much tougher to brace than the smaller 11-inch version when typing using the on-screen touch keyboard, so we’d encourage owners to buy a case that props up the iPad Pro to use with an external keyboard – the Magic Keyboard or a cheaper third-party option – whenever possible.

(Image credit: Future)


As we’ve mentioned, the 12.9-inch IPS LCD display is massive, covering almost the entire front of the tablet, save for the half-inch bezel that wraps all the way around it. 

The iPad Pro packs a bright, beautiful screen, and while its IPS LCD tech has been outpaced by the Liquid Retina display of its successor (which packs mini LED technology, with local dimming areas for greater light-and-dark contrast), the display you’re getting here is still impressive.

Its near Quad HD (2732 x 2048) resolution is pretty dense, with greater detail than most phones and competing tablets. The 120Hz screen is another boon, although it’s probably something you’ll only notice while playing a game that supports such a high refresh rate or while browsing your social media feeds – iPadOS is already so fluid that you probably won’t notice it getting a lot smoother elsewhere.

The screen brightness maxes out at 600 nits, which is fine for indoor use and acceptable outside, though it’s not quite bright enough in direct sunlight, where reflections and finger smudges are noticeable enough to be distracting (the display collects fingerprints like it’s a hobby). 

(Image credit: Future)


The iPad Pro 2020 packs a respectable camera setup for a tablet, but that shouldn’t be surprising – as we’ve mentioned, it appears to have inherited lenses and software from its iPhone counterparts.

The 12MP f/1.8 main shooter takes good photos that benefit from the clarity and color correction Apple’s flagship phones are known for, while there’s also a 10MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera for utility, along with a time-of-flight sensor for depth sensing, which is used to blur the background behind portrait photos as well as scan the environment for AR effects in apps. The tablet can also shoot 4K video at 60fps, as well as slow-mo at up to 1080p at 240fps.

The 7MP front-facing camera, which is nestled in the bezel above the screen, is surprisingly adept for selfies. Portrait effects are understandably software-created, which means that ramping up the depth effects may result in some imprecise blurring around the outline of your subject.

All in all, the iPad Pro 2020’s camera suite takes pretty good photos for a tablet, although understandably it’s a little awkward to shoot with such a large device.

(Image credit: Future)

Specs and performance

The iPad Pro 2020 represents the apex of Apple tablets running non-computing silicon. It’s (presumably) the last iPad Pro running designed-for-mobile chipsets that have been customized for tablets, with its A12Z Bionic chip building on the A12 Bionic that launched with the 2017 iPhone X. 

While it isn’t the M1 chipset that powers its successor, the A12Z Bionic is nothing to sneeze at, and teamed with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM it ensures that the iPad Pro 2020 is capable of running apps and switching tasks without slowing down. In our tests, it achieved a Geekbench 5 benchmark score of 4720, which is far above its nearest competitor (and the top ranking on our best Android tablet list), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, which scored 2846 on the same test. 

The iPad Pro 2021, with its M1 chip and extra RAM, scored 7297, but the difference is only noticeable when you’re really pushing the tablet with performance-demanding software like Adobe’s photo- and video-editing apps. 

The 12.9-inch tablet comes in four storage tiers, which raise the price accordingly. Storage options run from 128GB – a new baseline that’s double the 64GB starting option on the iPad Pro 2018 – through 256GB and 512GB, and max out at 1TB (and no, you can’t expand it via microSD). 

The iPad Pro 2020 is compatible with iPadOS 14.5, the latest version of Apple’s tablet operating system, and the biggest update since iPadOS 14 in September 2020.  iPadOS is a version of iOS tailored for tablets, with screen-splitting multi-app modes and more, and new features in the latest version include App Tracking Transparency, which forces apps to ask users for permission before collecting tracking data; new Siri voices; and most importantly for gamers, PS5 and Xbox Series X controller support.

(Image credit: Apple)


There are several neat accessories for the iPad Pro 2020, but a couple in particular stand out: the Apple Pencil 2 and the Magic Keyboard. 

The Apple Pencil 2 is Apple’s stylus of choice for pinpoint control. Obviously useful for visual art apps, the iPad Pro will adapt words written with the Pencil 2 to text, and has gesture controls to allow you to fluidly edit sentences while writing.

It’s a wireless device, which magnetically attaches to the right edge of the iPad Pro to stay in place and charge up – it’s a much neater solution than its predecessor’s physical connector, which needed to be plugged into the iPad Pro’s Lightning port, and which jutted out while the Pencil charged up. The Apple Pencil 2 is pricier than the original though, at $129 / £119 / AU$199 – and it’s not included with the tablet.

If you just want a simple keyboard to use with your iPad, you can pick up Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio ($199 / £199 / AU$299 for the 12. 9-inch iPad Pro 2020), which folds up into a case. However, if you want a more rigid platform to type on, the Magic Keyboard is the ultimate productivity accessory, with backlit keys, a trackpad, and a firm-yet-flexible cover that allows you to tilt the screen to your preferred angle. 

We wrote a good chunk of this review using a Magic Keyboard, and we can’t imagine using the iPad Pro without it – but the accessory is very pricey, at $350 / £329 / AU$549.

And yes, you can use your 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2020 Magic Keyboard with an iPad Pro 2021 should you upgrade at a later date, but since the latter tablet is 0.5mm thicker, the fit won’t be as snug when the cover is folded up.

Battery life

The iPad Pro 2020 12.9-inch has a truly massive 9,720mAh battery, and in our experience it offered respectable endurance, lasting around 10 hours 16 minutes in our battery tests, so expect your tablet to last that long with casual use (browsing the internet, using apps, a bit of YouTube here and there).

The battery can drain a lot faster if you’re performing demanding tasks, like playing games or editing photos and videos, or just watching media. Even keeping the brightness up can burn through the battery faster, as can running accessories dependent on the iPad Pro’s power, like the Magic Keyboard – we sat outside typing away one sunny afternoon with the brightness maxed out, and the battery plummeted 15% in an hour, a rate that would see the runtime reduced from over 10 hours to well under seven. 

That colossal battery takes a while to recharge, especially using the 18W USB-C charger that’s included in the box – it’s not the fastest recharging rate we’ve seen. Using said charger juiced up the tablet to 40% in an hour, which is about right – a smartphone with half the capacity would be fully recharged from zero over the same period.

Should I buy the iPad Pro 12.9 (2020)?

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

You want (almost) the best iPad for less

The iPad Pro 2020 is still a spectacular tablet, even if it’s no longer top-of-the-line, and you can expect this model to be cheaper than the iPad Pro 2021.

You want top mobile productivity

The iPad Pro 2020 is a great tool for on-the-go productivity, with plenty of enterprise iPadOS apps and keyboard accessories to choose from, as well as LTE cellular options, allowing you to get online anywhere.

You want a great mobile media experience

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2020 has a high-quality display with a lot of screen real estate, plus room-filling speakers.

Don’t buy it if…

You want the absolute top-of-the-line tablet

While powerful, the iPad Pro 2020 is no longer the best – the iPad Pro 2021 represents the apex of tablet performance thanks to its desktop-computing-level M1 chipset. Opt for that iPad if you need the best on the market.

You want a small tablet

Everyone wants more screen real estate, but the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is a lot more unwieldy than its 11-inch counterpart. You’ll need two hands to use it at all times, and it fits in fewer bags and pockets. If you need portability, go for the 11-inch model.

You want high performance at a lower price

Thankfully, there’s a middle ground between your basic iPad and the iPad Pro 2020 with its laptop-like price tag: the iPad Air 2020 is a bit less powerful, but it’s more affordable than Apple’s top-of-the-line iPad Pro models.

First reviewed: June 2021

Prices – Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020):▼

A Japanese Novelist’s Tale of Bullying and Nietzsche

In an age of voice-driven fiction, the phrase “novel of ideas” has an unavoidably dusty ring. It summons the drowsy cadence of the philosopher, the tedious rehearsal of concepts on loan from antiquated sources. Knowing this, there is an admirable brazenness to the way that the Japanese novelist Mieko Kawakami describes “Heaven” (Europa), her novel of ideas, newly translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd: “Gaining inspiration from Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the work takes up the theme of bullying in middle school and addresses the ultimate question of good and evil,” she has written on her Web site. It is as if she were determined to alert us to the mismatch between the well-worn preoccupations of young-adult fiction and her grand philosophical objectives; as if she wanted us to question her ability—anyone’s ability—to draw the two together. One wonders if Kawakami, enthralled by Zarathustra’s mountainside howlings about the death of God and the will to power, searched for a timely hook on which to hang these out-of-fashion ideas. And one sees the pitfalls before the possibilities. Certainly, there’s a risk that the novel will deliver puffed-up platitudes about the inherent cruelty and sympathy of children. Or that it will revel in nihilism, allowing sadistic teen-agers to do harm not just with impunity but with their author’s admiration.

Yet Kawakami is interested neither in demonstrating what makes people good nor in delighting in their antisocial perversities. Rather, her project is, like Nietzsche’s, a genealogical one. Her novels trace how terms of moral value evolve—how “good” and “evil,” or “pain” and “pleasure,” get affixed to ordinary interactions: becoming friends or becoming enemies, fighting or refusing to fight, falling in love or falling into indifference. Her plots offer not a moral education according to the precepts of God but an exploration of how our language of morality is grounded in the shifting power among human beings. Kawakami never evangelizes, never wags a finger. She simply sets first-person narrations of suffering alongside stumbling dialogues, attempts to make that suffering intelligible to others.

The fourteen-year-old narrator of “Heaven” has no proper name, but his classmates call him Eyes, on account of his lazy right eye. His world is “flat and lacking depth.” All people and objects come bearing their own “blurry double,” and, for all his anxious squinting and blinking, he can never be sure whether he is “touching the right thing, or touching it the right way.” Descriptions of settings and of physical appearances are willfully, almost comically bland, bereft of the colors and the outlines that give realist fiction its sense of solidity. “My eyes took in the scenery like a postcard, but when I blinked, it slipped from view, replaced by a new scene,” the narrator says. His eye marks him as a target for bullying by other boys, led by Ninomiya—handsome, popular, and at the top of his class—and his quieter sidekick, Momose. They force the narrator to ingest chalk and toilet water; they imprison him in a locker; and, in the novel’s most throat-tightening scene, they devise a game called “human soccer,” with his head stuffed inside a ball, his gaze no longer wall-eyed but utterly blind.

The eye was Nietzsche’s preferred metaphor for the shifting nature of moral truth. “There are many kinds of eyes,” he wrote. “Even the sphinx has eyes—and consequently there are many kinds of ‘truths,’ and consequently there is no truth.” The narrator’s eyes function as an ingenious conceptual device—the novel would not work if the narrator were deaf or paralyzed—giving Kawakami a rationale for refusing to describe period details or local haunts. We know that “Heaven” takes place somewhere in Japan, and that the Japanese word for bullying, ijime, points to a subtle and brutalizing practice of classroom harassment that national legislation sought to address after several student suicides. We know, too, that the year is 1991—hence no cell phones, no e-mail, no cyberbullying. But all this presents itself as ambient knowledge, inessential to the archetypal drama that will unfold between strong and weak children, in a town that could be anywhere or nowhere.

More than any particular place, then, it is the narrator’s body that supplies the setting for the drama of “Heaven.” He is supremely mistrustful of it, attuned to every crick and cramp, forever measuring his pulse or noting the clench in his stomach when his bullies appear. His body marks the limits of all he can describe, and all the reader can know, a world of recesses and cavities mapped in choked little sentences, sharp spasms of the psyche: “I could hear my heart throbbing in my ears”; “It felt like my heart wanted out of my chest”; “I could hear my heart pulsing in my throat.” Imprisoned and helpless, his failures of sight and speech and touch must be overcome so he can extend himself into the world.

“I need companions,” Zarathustra exclaims, on descending from the mountain where he has lived for ten years by himself. “I need living companions, who will follow me because they want to follow themselves—and to the place where I will.” One day, the narrator finds a note in his pencil case that reads, “We should be friends.” The writer is a girl named Kojima, who is bullied by the other girls for having dirty hair and cheap clothes and a dark spot under her nose. The notes that she and the narrator begin to exchange, which structure the first part of the novel, are full of teen-age banality. They address homework and weather and contain none of the coy intimations of epistolary fiction. Yet it is not long before the words traced by Kojima’s hands—the Japanese word for “letter,” tegami, comprises the characters for “hand” and “paper”—start to usher in the benevolent, nearly physical presence of the writer. Reading her letters, which he hides in the slipcase of his dictionary, the narrator sees “a little pair of rectangles casting a warm light at me through the darkness. I almost felt like I could reach out and touch it. Then I started thinking about how I hoped the notes I wrote Kojima brought her comfort when she was hurting.” Writing, the quasi-magical circuit that connects minds to hands to eyes, gathers an extraordinary aesthetic and ethical (and, to a certain degree, erotic) power. It sets the mind free. The childish notes become as momentous as the letters that make up Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” one of Nietzsche’s favorite novels.

“I love only what a person has written with his blood,” Zarathustra instructs his followers. “Write with blood and you will find that blood is spirit.” Kawakami takes the command very seriously, if not literally. The blood spilled furnishes not only the reason for the correspondence between the narrator and Kojima but also the spirit of the novel’s philosophical inquiry, initiating the friends into deep, sustained thinking about the world of middle school, their inferior position in it, and the responsibility they bear for each other. “When they bullied me and beat me up, why couldn’t I do anything but obey them?” the narrator asks. “What does it mean to obey? Why was I scared? Why? What does it mean to be scared?” The rhetorical question, Kawakami’s preferred device for showing thought leaping into action, can court faux profundity. But it also implies an earnest demand that the narrator—and, alongside him, the reader—connect his experience of a mental state (“Why was I scared?”) to an interpretation (“What does it mean to be scared?”). This process of putting pressure on meaning, twisting words this way and that, is how thinking works and how theories are made. During the most optimistic moments in “Heaven,” it is a shared process.

“I couldn’t stop thinking” emerges as a refrain for the narrator and Kojima, who start meeting to discuss what it means to be bullied. They utter it not as a complaint but as the compulsion that draws them to each other—the desire to impart clarity and depth to their suffering, the need to create a world apart from the world in which they cannot see or stand up straight. When Kojima writes to the narrator to say that she wants to show him Heaven, he is surprised to find himself in an art museum. Heaven, Kojima reveals, is her name for “a painting of two lovers eating cake in a room with a red carpet and a table”; two lovers who have survived “something really, really sad” but now perceive the world in perfect harmony. It is a bad omen that the narrator and Kojima never get to see the painting, having grown thirsty and tired of walking and feeling overwhelmed by being in such close proximity. Their failure to secure total understanding of each other will soon push them apart and deeper into themselves.

“I was always quite a philosophical child, asking odd questions and in a hurry to grow up,” Kawakami has said of her upbringing, in Osaka. Her family was working-class and her father largely absent. At fourteen, the same age as the characters in “Heaven,” she got a part-time job at a fan factory, to supplement the family’s income. In her twenties, she worked as a bar hostess and a bookstore clerk while pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter and taking correspondence courses in philosophy. A blog that she started to promote her singing career, “Critique of Pure Sadness,” displays a wry fascination with Kant, and is cut with streetwise Osaka slang and unsparing discussions of sex. She studied Nietzsche’s writings with Hitoshi Nagai, a philosopher at Nihon University who had a particular interest in ressentiment—the persistent hatred that impoverished, powerless people felt toward their noble oppressors. According to Nietzsche, ressentiment motivated the rise of “evil” as a concept, allowing the oppressed to condemn their enemies, and of “good,” as the concept that could valorize their suffering.

Traces of Kawakami’s life and education are scattered throughout her novel “Breasts and Eggs,” which received international acclaim when it was published in English, last year. The book concerns two sisters from a working-class family: the older a bar hostess desperate for breast augmentation, the younger a writer who contemplates whether to have a child with a sperm donor—really, an ethical decision about whether to will another life into existence, thus condemning it to inconceivable pain and death. Here, as in “Heaven,” questions of harm and compassion are anchored in dispossession: the vulnerability of a person’s body to the political, economic, and social demands of others. “Does it hurt to be you?” one character asks. “Does it hurt to be me? What’s it mean to hurt, anyway?” Contemporary dilemmas like plastic surgery and reproductive technology bait us into asking older questions.

The Nietzschean literary tradition has largely retreated in the past half century. It reaches back to the dazzling novels of ideas of Robert Musil, Thomas Mann, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and, on the other side of the world, to the fiction of Yukio Mishima and Natsume Sōseki, who helped an acquaintance translate “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” into Japanese and worked the novel’s themes into his 1906 satirical novel, “I Am a Cat.” Each man (Nietzschean novelists are almost all men) found himself mesmerized by Nietzsche’s vehement rejection of “slave morality”—the “good” values of compassion and selflessness, which Nietzsche believed were merely a way for the dispossessed to rationalize their suffering. The clearing away of such Christian values left the modern world vulnerable to nihilism, “the luxury of destruction, disaggregation, and negation,” Nietzsche acknowledged. But it also summoned artists to a new challenge, daring them to pose scandalous questions about the nature of power and about more just ways to relate to other people. If the challenge was met, art could bring a “disconcerting beauty and affirmation to light”—the beauty perceived by “the tortured person who frees himself from his torture.”

Freeing himself from torture is the narrator’s dearest wish in “Heaven,” and his exchanges with Kojima begin to wrest a beautiful, affirming, and private existence from their public experiences of bullying. The novel’s dreamlike expression of their fledgling ideas has an artistic value that flies in the face of critics like Northrop Frye, who believed that an “interest in ideas and theoretical statements is alien to the genius of the novel proper, where the technical problem is to dissolve all theory into personal relationships.” But “Heaven” also models a rigorous and elegant process of inquiry that can transcend its pared-down fictional world. It agitates against the enduring idea that the best novels concern themselves with the singular minds and manners of people, offering no resources for the political and moral demands of “real life.” The narrator’s persecutor Ninomiya energetically parrots this argument:

I don’t get novels. Reading about other people’s lives or whatever. Who cares? I mean, you have your own life, don’t you? You’d see it if you ever put the book down. Why go out of the way to get caught up in someone else’s made-up life? . . . In reality, nothing’s gonna change. No, maybe reading does change things. It makes them worse. Ruins your day. Anyway, it’s just a load of bull.

“What time of year are you for!”Cartoon by Sophie Lucido Johnson and Sammi Skolmoski

No doubt Kawakami knows that the risk of ruining someone’s day increases when a novel not only imagines other people’s lives but has those people voice other people’s ideas. Perhaps the cleverest feature of “Heaven” is that one could read it—indeed, one could learn from it—without knowing the first thing about Nietzsche’s philosophy. Its ideas are as concrete and as wounding as the blows the narrator cannot deflect. Through his eyes, as Nietzsche writes of learning new ideas, we learn “to see—accustoming the eye to calmness, to patience, to letting things come up to it; postponing judgment, learning to go around and grasp each individual case from all sides.”

Letters in a novel allow for the emergence of ideas, and also for the expression of an ideal self, a “fictitious narrative” about a person who exists only on the “other side of life,” as Céline puts it in “Journey to the End of the Night.” Kawakami borrows Céline’s words for the epigraph of “Heaven,” but, midway through the novel, the letters disappear. They are replaced with dialogues, long exchanges between the narrator, who has grown increasingly talkative, and other characters. The shift from an epistolary narrative to a more dramatic staging of conversation slyly replicates the evolution of the novel as a form. But it also shows us how the idea of Heaven, the possibility of perfect correspondence between people, becomes corrupted when we see people try to live by their ideas.

Among the forms of “moralistic mendaciousness” that Nietzsche attacked, none repulsed him more than the “ascetic ideal,” the pursuit of “poverty, humility, chastity.” Asceticism was “the harmful ideal par excellence,” for it justified suffering, turning it into a ritualized practice. In Nietzsche’s writing, the aristocratic priests with their “quack-cures” preached asceticism to channel the ressentiment of the dispossessed away from revolt. Asceticism enters “Heaven” through Kojima. We learn that the cheap clothes and humble appearance that mark her for suffering—“my signs,” she calls them—are, unlike the narrator’s eye, entirely self-willed. She has a rich stepfather, whom she despises; her poverty is affected, in solidarity with her biological father, who is virtually destitute and incapable of doing anything about it. Desperate to internalize his “beautiful weakness” as her own, she becomes obsessed with purity and self-abnegation. The narrator watches as she adds new “signs”: she stops eating and bathes less and less, turning into an uncanny, priestly figure, half saint, half monster. She is distraught when the narrator considers corrective surgery for his eye, arguing that he must learn to submit to his bullying:

We’re not just obeying, not anymore. We’re letting it happen. We know exactly what’s going on. We see it, and we let it happen. I don’t think that’s weakness at all. It’s more like strength.

Kojima’s preaching is parried by the bully Momose, the raging spirit of Nietzschean nihilism, ready to dismiss everything Kojima says as “total bullshit.” Good and bad, he tells the narrator, are values determined by the powerful. There is “no beautiful world where everyone thinks the same way,” no God or higher authority to redeem suffering as meaningful:

It’s just that some people can do things, and others can’t. There are things that they want to do and things that they don’t. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. It couldn’t be any simpler. People do what they can get away with.

Blunt statements like these may come off as juvenile, but a certain immaturity is latent in Kawakami’s source material. “Altered is Zarathustra; a child has Zarathustra become,” Nietzsche writes approvingly, of the prophet’s manner of thought and speech. Like a child, he can think about ideas with divine frankness and unguarded simplicity. Untutored in self-deception, undisciplined by lifelong coercion and punishment in what Nietzsche calls “the morality of custom,” the child remains open to many different meanings of being good. Like the narrator’s eye, the figure of the child is a brilliant device, allowing Kawakami to get away with dissolving elemental ideas into the confusion of adolescent relationships.

Guest posts wanted, ‘mango’ seed rounds, Expensify’s tech stack – TechCrunch

Prospective contributors regularly ask us about which topics Extra Crunch subscribers would like to hear more about, and the answer is always the same:

  • Actionable advice that is backed up by data and/or experience.
  • Strategic insights that go beyond best practices and offer specific recommendations readers can try out for themselves.
  • Industry analysis that paints a clear picture of the companies, products and services that characterize individual tech sectors.

Our submission guidelines haven’t changed, but Managing Editor Eric Eldon and I wrote a short post that identifies the topics we’re prioritizing at the moment:

  • How-to articles for early-stage founders.
  • Market analysis of different tech sectors.
  • Growth marketing strategies.
  • Alternative fundraising.
  • Quality of life (personal health, sustainability, proptech, transportation).

If you’re a skillful entrepreneur, founder or investor who’s interested in helping someone else build their business, please read our latest guidelines, then send your ideas to [email protected]

Thanks for reading; I hope you have a great weekend.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch

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Opting for a debt round can take you from Series A startup to Series B unicorn

Image Credits: olegkalina (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Debt is a tool, and like any other — be it a hammer or handsaw — it’s extremely valuable when used skillfully but can cause a lot of pain when mismanaged. This is a story about how it can go right.

Mario Ciabarra, the founder and CEO of Quantum Metric, breaks down how his company was on a “tremendous growth curve” — and then the pandemic hit.

“As the weeks following the initial shelter-in-place orders ticked by, the rush toward digital grew exponentially, and opportunities to secure new customers started piling up,” Ciabarra writes. “A solution to our money problems, perhaps? Not so fast — it was a classic case of needing to spend in order to make.”

If companies want to preserve equity, debt can be an advantageous choice. Here’s how Quantum Metric did it.

4 proven approaches to CX strategy that make customers feel loved

Image Credits: mucahiddin / Getty Images

People have been working to optimize customer experiences (CX) since we began selling things to each other.

A famous San Francisco bakery has an exhaust fan at street level; each morning, its neighbors awake to the scent of orange-cinnamon morning buns wafting down the block. Similarly, savvy hairstylists know to greet returning customers by asking if they want a repeat or something new.

Online, CX may encompass anything from recommending the right shoes to AI that knows when to send a frustrated traveler an upgrade for a delayed flight.

In light of Qualtrics’ spinout and IPO and Sprinklr’s recent S-1, Rebecca Liu-Doyle, principal at Insight Partners, describes four key attributes shared by “companies that have upped their CX game.”

Twitter’s acquisition strategy: Eat the public conversation

Image Credits: We Are (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

What is a microblogging service doing buying a social podcasting company and a newsletter tool while also building a live broadcasting sub-app? Is there even a strategy at all?

Yes. Twitter is trying to revitalize itself by adding more contexts for discourse to its repertoire. The result, if everything goes right, will be an influence superapp that hasn’t existed anywhere before. The alternative is nothing less than the destruction of Twitter into a link-forwarding service.

Let’s talk about how Twitter is trying to eat the public conversation.

Reading the IPO market’s tea leaves

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

Although it was a truncated holiday week here in the United States, there was a bushel of IPO news. We sorted through the updates and came up with a series of sentiment calls regarding these public offerings.

Earlier this week, we took a look at:

  • Marqeta‘s first IPO price range (fintech).
  • 1st Dibs‘ first IPO price range (e-commerce).
  • Zeta Global‘s IPO pricing (martech).
  • The start of SoFi trading post-SPAC (fintech).
  • The latest from BarkBox (e-commerce).

How Expensify hacked its way to a robust, scalable tech stack

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

Part 4 of Expensify’s EC-1 digs into the company’s engineering and technology, with Anna Heim noting that the group of P2P pirates/hackers set out to build an expense management app by sticking to their gut and making their own rules.

They asked questions few considered, like: Why have lots of employees when you can find a way to get work done and reach impressive profitability with a few? Why work from an office in San Francisco when the internet lets you work from anywhere, even a sailboat in the Caribbean?

It makes sense in a way: If you’re a pirate, to hell with the rules, right?

With that in mind, one could assume Expensify decided to ask itself: Why not build our own totally custom tech stack?

Indeed, Expensify has made several tech decisions that were met with disbelief, but its belief in its own choices has paid off over the years, and the company is ready to IPO any day now.

How much of a tech advantage Expensify enjoys owing to such choices is an open question, but one thing is clear: These choices are key to understanding Expensify and its roadmap. Let’s take a look.

Etsy asks, ‘How do you do, fellow kids?’ with $1.6B Depop purchase

Image Credits: Getty Images

The news this week that e-commerce marketplace Etsy will buy Depop, a startup that provides a secondhand e-commerce marketplace, for more than $1.6 billion may not have made a large impact on the acquiring company’s share price thus far, but it provides a fascinating look into what brands may be willing to pay for access to the Gen Z market.

Etsy is buying Gen Z love. Think about it — Gen Z is probably not the first demographic that comes to mind when you consider Etsy, so you can see why the deal may pencil out in the larger company’s mind.

But it isn’t cheap. The lesson from the Etsy-Depop deal appears to be that large e-commerce players are willing to splash out for youth-approved marketplaces. That’s good news for yet-private companies that are popular with the budding generation.

Confluent’s IPO brings a high-growth, high-burn SaaS model to the public markets

Image Credits: Andriy Onufriyenko / Getty Images

Confluent became the latest company to announce its intent to take the IPO route, officially filing its S-1 paperwork this week.

The company, which has raised over $455 million since it launched in 2014, was most recently valued at just over $4.5 billion when it raised $250 million last April.

What does Confluent do? It built a streaming data platform on top of the open-source Apache Kafka project. In addition to its open-source roots, Confluent has a free tier of its commercial cloud offering to complement its paid products, helping generate top-of-funnel inflows that it converts to sales.

What we can see in Confluent is nearly an old-school, high-burn SaaS business. It has taken on oodles of capital and used it in an increasingly expensive sales model.

How to win consulting, board and deal roles with PE and VC funds

Image Credits: Orla (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Would you like to work with private equity and venture capital funds?

There are relatively few jobs directly inside private equity and venture capital funds, and those jobs are highly competitive.

However, there are many other ways you can work and earn money within the industry — as a consultant, an interim executive, a board member, a deal executive partnering to buy a company, an executive in residence or as an entrepreneur in residence.

Let’s take a look at the different ways you can work with the investment community.

The existential cost of decelerated growth

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman (opens in a new window)

Even among the most valuable tech shops, shareholder return is concentrated in share price appreciation, and buybacks, which is the same thing to a degree.

Slowly growing tech companies worth single-digit billions can’t play the buyback game to the same degree as the majors. And they are growing more slowly, so even a similar buyback program in relative scale would excite less.

Grow or die, in other words. Or at least grow or come under heavy fire from external investors who want to oust the founder-CEO and “reform” the company. But if you can grow quickly, welcome to the land of milk and honey.

Even among the most valuable tech shops, shareholder return is concentrated in share price appreciation, and buybacks, which is the same thing to a degree.

Slowly growing tech companies worth single-digit billions can’t play the buyback game to the same degree as the majors. And they are growing more slowly, so even a similar buyback program in relative scale would excite less.

Grow or die, in other words. Or at least grow or come under heavy fire from external investors who want to oust the founder-CEO and “reform” the company. But if you can grow quickly, welcome to the land of milk and honey.

Hormonal health is a massive opportunity: Where are the unicorns?

Image Credits: Carol Yepes (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

There is a growing group of entrepreneurs who are betting that hormonal health is the key wedge into the digital health boom.

Hormones are fluctuating, ever-evolving, and diverse — but these founders say they’re also key to solving many health conditions that disproportionately impact women, from diabetes to infertility to mental health challenges.

Many believe it’s that complexity that underscores the opportunity. Hormonal health sits at the center of conversations around personalized medicine and women’s health: By 2025, women’s health could be a $50 billion industry, and by 2026, digital health more broadly is estimated to hit $221 billion.

Still, as funding for women’s health startups drops and stigma continues to impact where venture dollars go, it’s unclear whether the sector will remain in its infancy or hit a true inflection point.

3 lessons we learned after raising $6.3M from 50 investors

Image Credits: sorbetto (opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Two years ago, founders of calendar assistant platform Reclaim were looking for a “mango” seed round — a boodle of cash large enough to help them transition from the prototype phase to staffing up for a public launch.

Although the team received offers, co-founder Henry Shapiro says the few that materialized were poor options, partially because Reclaim was still pre-product.

“So one summer morning, my co-founder and I sat down in his garage — where we’d been prototyping, pitching and iterating for the past year — and realized that as hard as it was, we would have to walk away entirely and do a full reset on our fundraising strategy,” he writes.

Shapiro shares what he learned from embracing failure and offers three conclusions “every founder should consider before they decide to go out and pitch investors.”

For SaaS startups, differentiation is an iterative process

Image Credits: Kevin Schafer / Getty Images

Although software as a service has been thriving as a sector for years, it has gone into overdrive in the past year as businesses responded to the pandemic by speeding up the migration of important functions to the cloud, ActiveCampaign founder and CEO Jason VandeBoom writes in a guest column.

“We’ve all seen the news of SaaS startups raising large funding rounds, with deal sizes and valuations steadily climbing. But as tech industry watchers know only too well, large funding rounds and valuations are not foolproof indicators of sustainable growth and longevity.”

VandeBoom notes that to scale sustainably, SaaS startups need to “stand apart from the herd at every phase of development. Failure to do so means a poor outcome for founders and investors.”

“As a founder who pivoted from on-premise to SaaS back in 2016, I have focused on scaling my company (most recently crossing 145,000 customers) and in the process, learned quite a bit about making a mark,” VandeBoom writes. “Here is some advice on differentiation at the various stages in the life of a SaaS startup.”

Kolsky 2009.1. – My dreams – LiveJournal

There are still many blank spots on the planet, although they are on the Internet. There is almost no information about some regions. So I decided to tell you about the campaign before last.


So, here is our route based on 20 days of travel through the center of the Kola Peninsula.

This route was conceived for a light inflatable kayak, which should be a vehicle on the water, and which had to be easily carried in addition to a 35 kg backpack through swamps and hills.For 500 km of this circular path, it was necessary to overcome more than 30 lakes, check out 10 rivers and walk about 60 km. I bought a lightweight inflatable kayak a year ago and was eager to test it in the real business.

After working out the route, it turned out that the format of future adventures is not entirely standard. It was not suitable for most of the tourists I know. The exception is Sasha R (hereinafter CP). I suspect that he is ready to go for adventures wherever, without delving into the details of the proposed route.With him, we decided to walk along this path. He had exactly the same kayak as mine.

I put my products into one rectangular block, periodically wrapping them with tape. The architectural structure obtained at the end of this operation, I called the catering unit. I also made a small food block for the first 4 days of the hike, so as not to disturb the main one, which fit well at the bottom of the backpack.

I packed the boat in a separate package with an oar, and it looked like a pencil case with fishing rods.By the way, for some time during the preparation period, I was in a big delusion about the weight of my load. Collecting the backpack, I carefully weighed all things and counted their total weight. It turned out 35 kg. Yes, this is a normal, wearable load. I was happy. Calling CP, I found out that he had 10 kg more load. Of course, I am very proud of the fact that I do without a lot of necessary things, without which the SR cannot do. But SR spoke on the phone that he takes things to a minimum. When it turned out that I had not counted the pencil case with a kayak weighing 10 kg, I was very upset! After all, I had to carry this additive in the form of a pencil case in my hands or hang it around my neck.

We had to eat like this: In the morning we prepare boiling water and everyone feeds himself breakfast. It’s comfortable. The fact is that food enters me with great difficulty in the morning.
But for lunch and dinner, I’m ready to eat anything and in large quantities. For lunch and dinner, we prepare a common stew or porridge, use caught fish and harvested mushrooms. We have common crackers, but all the bells and whistles, types of cookies, sausages, and so on – each on its own.

In the first days of the hike, I don’t eat much, but after a week of my camping life, I begin to have a camping hunger that can only be stopped at home.In order not to create inconvenience to our partner, by the way, who also loves to eat well, we decided that we would eat in this way.

On this trip, we did not take a single can of carcass, and it turned out to be completely justified, we did not even remember about it!


We are in Olenegorsk. On the railway platform, besides us, there are also a couple of tourists, judging by the backpacks – pedestrians. Our brother is gone. I feel that we are opening a stream of nature lovers who will pour into these places from day to day.And there is. The taxi driver increased the price, but immediately reduced it, apparently, not being particularly confident in the rate of the new tourist season. An hour later, we were already in Lovozero, on the way after listening to a lot of stories and advice from the local driver. In Lovozero, he drove us to the store and we bought a couple of loaves of bread and a dozen pies with salmon there. The bread was so hot that I, sitting in the cold car, warmed myself with it, pressing the shopping bag to my chest.

The driver took us to the Seven and dropped us off right on the shore of the lake.A good road approaches here from Lovozero, and this place is called Seven because it is seven kilometers from the village of Lovozero. The SR took the driver’s phone, and he promised to come to the same place for us in 20 days. Well, I got to the description of our trip.

July 20. Swamp ….

Right in front of us stretches the bay and the city of Vavnbed towered. The northern slopes of the Lovozero tundra in some places stored snow in their crevices, and it seemed that spring had just come here.

The salmon pies turned out to be so extraordinarily tasty that we dreamed of them the whole trip, dreaming of buying them for the train on the way back. We quickly pumped up our kayaks, cooked breakfast over the fire, and by 11 am we were ready to start our journey.

I must say that the place on the shore of the lake where the driver brought us was clean, tidy, and somehow it was not felt that the tourist routes began here.
But when we returned to this place 20 days later, we did not recognize this place: mountains of rubbish, a lot of campfires, and most importantly, all living bushes were cut down in the area, apparently for firewood.

Our team consists of two people. We do not have the main thing, but since I am responsible for the route, I have to periodically take out the map and ponder over it for a long time, looking at the GPS navigator. Our hike would have been impossible without a GPS navigator. After all, we will return along the tundra lakes, where it is difficult to navigate with a compass. Therefore, we took with us a second GPS, a spare one, which was carried by the CP and which, fortunately, we did not need.

We’re leaving. The nearest strategic goal is EfimOzero.From it flows the Kurga, along which you can go up against the current to reach this lake. But after reading the descriptions of the torment of tourist groups overcoming the Kurga against the current, I decided to try to pass the winter road that leads from Lovozero to EfimOzero. On the map, this event seemed temptingly simple, and I fell for it, although I knew how hard it was to walk with a heavy load in a swamp. So instead of entering the mouth of the Kurga and sailing against a slight current (which in the descriptions I read was nothing more than a roaring stream), SR and I set a course for the beginning of the winter road north of the mouth of the Kurga.

Fig. It’s me.

The first meters of the trail along the winter road turned out to be an excellent solid road. I immediately, as usual with me, rolled my lip, intending to go beyond the plan for another 5

kilometers. But it was not there. The solid soil disappeared after Lake Chernoe and the winter road turned into a water-filled rut passing through the swamp. The trouble was that there were a lot of these tracks, and they were terribly broken by the tracks of all-terrain vehicles.

We had to overcome huge puddles, falling through these very mud.It was saved by the fact that we dragged the inflatable kayaks through the swamp behind us, and in case of diving, we could always lean on them. Without a kayak, it would have been impossible to get our legs out, because 35 kg backpacks pinned us into this swamp with all our giblets. On average, we moved along this winter road at a speed of 1 km per hour, while spending terrible efforts. It was incredibly difficult to walk more than 400 meters in one walk. Sweat poured down. At the end of the walk, we fell into puddles and drank water greedily.

By 10 o’clock in the evening we reached Kirpichny Brook and stood right on the winter road to the parking lot, because there was nowhere else to get up.They made a fire and cooked porridge, but I was not hungry.
I climbed into the shawl, took off my absolutely wet clothes, threw them out of the tent under the awning and plunged into the sleeping bag, which still retained signs of dryness in the apartment.

We held an emergency meeting in the tent. Establishing the fact that the movement along the winter road with our cargo is terribly difficult, we decided to leave the swamp for the Kurga, since the Brick Stream, which flows into the Kurga, raged not far from the tent.

Gifts for the student | Student with experience

Everyone loves holidays, and gifts even more.But only to receive, not to choose. The choice of a gift even for the closest person becomes the cornerstone, and there is nothing to say about ordinary acquaintances.

Image by the author

Image by the author

A student, by and large, is no different from [let’s say] “not a student”. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences.

However, this article has collected gift ideas for students with the expectation that they can brighten up the school day.

1️. Stationery

There are always few of them, you always want something new.And they also have the ability to go to classmates [and even teachers !!!] and not return. Pens, pencils, pencil cases, notebooks, covers, markers, highlighters, paper clips, cups – the choice is yours.

If a student is crazy about a certain color, then you can collect products in one color scheme. I was once given a pen, pencil, eraser, ruler in green. All this was packed in a transparent bag with a green ornament, a green apple [real] was put in and tied with a green ribbon.Honestly, the color is never mine, but it was sooooo nice.

2. Paying for a webinar or online course

There are many courses on Courcera, you can study for free, but to get a certificate you have to pay $ 50. Not much, it seems, but some students simply do not have that kind of money, or it’s a pity. A cool certificate is always a plus for a resume.

The course may not necessarily be online, perhaps the student would like to take offline continuing education courses.It is best to consult with the student himself before purchasing.

3. External battery, it is also a powerbank

When you spend the whole day at lectures, and in the evening you walk with friends, the phone is not able to withstand such loads. Therefore, without additional energy, nowhere. Powerbank quickly charges your phone, you can go anywhere with it, lightweight and easy to use. And the prices for them are now just fabulous, or rather New Year’s.

4. Thermos mug

A student and coffee is love from the first drop.And if coffee can do without a student, then a student cannot do without coffee. How many term papers and abstracts have been written, how many exams have been passed, and all this is thanks to him the one and only thing – coffee. Buying it constantly turns out to be uneconomical, and sometimes not tasty. Therefore, to always have hot coffee at hand, you need a thermos. Compact, small, 0.3-0.5 liters.

5. Multicooker / Pressure Cooker

Just don’t laugh. Everyone who has lived in a hostel knows the smell of well-grilled food on coals.Still, every day and not once. Even while in the kitchen, you can stare at your phone and skip everything. In a slow cooker, nothing burns. It turns itself off and keeps food warm for a long time. Ideal during sessions.

6. Posture Corrector

Recently I found out about such a thing and I already want to. Constant sitting at the computer, over textbooks, and lack of physical activity – all this affects posture. A curved spine leads to a decrease in mental activity and there is no time to study.

7. Money

An ideal gift for all times and peoples. No comments.

8. Laptop

Of course, a gift is not cheap. But suddenly thousands of people read the article. You can read about choosing a laptop here. And if the student already has a laptop, then you can donate a bag for him, a wireless mouse or a rug for her.

9. Phone with large memory

Those students who now have either a push-button phone or only 16 GB will be especially happy with a phone with 64GB or 128GB.The student uses the telephone like no one else: lectures, cheat sheets, presentations, educational programs. Gigobytes are never superfluous. Especially if they go to a good cause – study. Phones are different from budget Xiaomi for 8 tr. up to Iphone for 100 tr.

Choose gifts with love for the person [student]. If you are completely at an impasse, then it is better to ask directly so that the gift will definitely please. You can read why people throw or donate gifts here.

Another selection of gifts for the student.

All good!

# what to present to the student # new year # gifts for the new year # gifts for schoolchildren # university # education

Stories of the finalists of the second season of the competition

Dudko Maria. Keys

So … Tick … So …

The voice of the old grandfather clock from the hallway already met me, but I could not open the door in any way. Well, where are these keys? … Are they lost? Only this was not enough, and so the day did not work out! .. Ah, no, here it is …

The clock struck eight when I stepped onto the creaking parquet floor of the hallway.How I missed the silence of my apartment! I just wanted to lie back on the shabby sofa and lie there until the morning … But instead I trudged to the computer. While the old machine inherited from the dinosaurs was turned on, I made myself some coffee. Today you need more than one mug. An article for the night, and inspiration from a gulkin’s nose. They also threaten redundancies at work. It is impossible to delay, otherwise dismissal cannot be avoided. And it would not be bad to update the blog, otherwise the last subscribers will soon scatter.Eh …

I worked in the editorial office of a magazine that in our area, and in the city in general, was quite in demand. The editor – Fedot Stepanovich – always put only the best in print.

The best. Yes. It doesn’t mean me. For some reason, my writing has not been at all impressive lately. Even myself. Honestly, I’m not surprised. It looks like I lost the spark, as if there was nothing to write. It’s funny somehow: I live in a metropolis, where something happens every day, but I look like into emptiness. Other people’s problems ceased to worry, everyone here is a drop in the ocean.So my news is gray, foreign, distant and unnecessary, in general, to no one.

What did I write about? As I still thought then, about the important. About eternal, to some extent. I noticed that people around were so closed that they seemed to have ceased to see each other, not what to feel and understand. Everyone at some moment withdraws into himself and loses the key to the door he entered. Locks the heart. Puts on a mask. Indifferent. And silently walks along the gray stones of the pavement …

I just wanted to be heard … I thought I would become the key to the world on this side of the mask.I will help those in need with my word, I will teach people to listen and hear, I will save the world … But it seems that something went wrong. And now … Now I don’t even know how to save myself. So in response I get a cry of tearing paper and the famous last warning from Fedot Stepanych. Last chance. Tomorrow I will not come with a sensation – that’s it. Well … It seems that the time has come to forget for a while about your reasoning and plunge into the world of human intrigue. Write what will be read. What is expected of me. No not like this. What is expected from an article in our magazine.

What is the noise of the stone jungle today? What does the wind of change carry along their paved paths? The most discussed topic was a series of strange deaths, however, as it usually happens. For a long time now, one after another, the criminals taken into custody have been killed. The most varied: from simple pickpockets to almost murderers, adults and very still adolescents of fourteen years. Most of them haven’t even been sentenced yet. And everyone has the same diagnosis – poisoning. And what is still a mystery. This happened with some frequency in different districts of the city, but most often in our police department.And, by pure chance, none other than my older brother, officer Yuri Diskarin, worked there.

How useful his help would be to me now … But no. We don’t get along with my brother. And they never got along. It so happened … Probably, we are just too different. Yurik is secretive, distrustful. He never told me anything, he preferred to do everything himself, and I felt that he did not need me at all. I must have been a little jealous of my brother. He is successful, just the pride of the family, and I grab the last chance to stay at work.

… Grabbing my last chance to stay at work. Although … You can try to find out about the high-profile case firsthand, so to speak. Such, for sure, would interest Fedot Stepanich, but you will have to turn to your brother for help. Yeah … And once again become a failure in the eyes of a whole family. Hell no! Even for the sake of work, I will not ask this person for help!

Well, nothing. I prepared myself, collected the materials, now I will write and I am saved! I can handle it myself. Could be in time before the morning …

DRAG !!!

The sound took me by surprise.It was a signal that the plant was over, from the old watch in the corridor. The case is fixable. I got up, went to the clock, opened the lid and with the usual gesture reached for the key. Only here the key was just not there. What a strange thing? In my house, I appreciated order, but such incidents just knocked out of the rut … What should I now, to look for this lost key? We’ll have to, it seems …

Throwing a sad look at the computer, I began to remember where I could have put this old piece of iron. So I have already climbed several shelves, looked into the drawers and …

What is this? There was an envelope in the dresser.And, if I was ready to see the key to the winding mechanism among the socks, with my absent-mindedness, then there was no way of a strange message. Although, maybe I’m too naive? Oh, I don’t like it all …

The envelope, of course, I printed it out and immediately recognized Yurik’s handwriting.

“I’m not sure I was not being followed. Check your mail. I never forgot about your birthday!
Yu. ”

What’s the joke? I knew that it was necessary to take the keys from him when he moved! Wait, something on the back …

“KeyHole4u… “

I once again ran my eyes over the hastily written lines. The text seemed meaningless and didn’t tell me anything.

What is he? For henbane, it seems, is not the season … Just in case, I checked the calendar and made sure that my birthday is not today and not even in the coming days. Only a request to check the mail looked intelligible.

What am I spending my time on? Before my hand could close the text editor, a pop-up window asked if I really wanted to do this.Now, even it scoffs …

One letter really flew into my mail. Well, the question is, why does Yurik need to: invade my house with a strange note and at the same time tweet on the Internet? After all, isn’t it easier to make a call? Of course, I would not jump with delight when something made our star deign to condescend to mere mortals, but why reinvent the wheel?

So I thought, sipping already cooled coffee while waiting for the text to load. Finally, the following lines loomed before my eyes:

“Hello, Yegor.

I know you’ll be surprised at my letter, but I wouldn’t bother you if it wasn’t really serious. I wanted to call, but your number was not on my new phone. My number has remained unchanged, if you are interested …

Getting down to business. We need to talk. But the conversation must go face to face. Come today at nine at the intersection of Pskovskaya and Myasnaya, there, in the courtyard of building 26, I will be waiting for you.

It will be about a series of deaths of prisoners.Amendment, about a series of murders … I thought it might interest you, I will explain everything when we meet, if, of course, you show up …

Egor, brother, I know we have lost touch, and in that I see and your guilt. But I ask you to believe me for the only time. You are my last key to hope. I expect you to read this letter and come.

Your brother Yuri Diskarin “

Hmm …

Everything is weirder and weirder, as the heroine of one famous fairy tale said …

I re-read the message several times to make sure that I really stopped understanding anything.Except, perhaps, the fact that there is some kind of secret in this whole business, and Yurka for me now is the key to all the answers. In addition, since he himself calls me into conversation, I will not hesitate to interview the investigator … If this, of course, is not a stupid attempt to joke … But he would hardly write to me for fun.

And what, now it is raining again, right? .. But I came home! Okay, I’ll figure it out quickly, and I’ll have another six hours per article … I glanced at my watch, belatedly remembering that it was pointless.Another advertising message arrives on the phone, helpfully prompting you to go out if you want to be in time for a meeting. Having extinguished the monitor that had just woken up and abruptly grabbed the raincoat that had not yet dried out after a day’s walk, I jumped out into the entrance.

Only at the car, I hesitated just a little. Isn’t it too easy for me to fit into this? Just a couple of minutes ago, I was sure that for the sake of my brother I would not raise an eyebrow, and for my own sake I would not start messing with him. What did this message do to me?

It filled me with a sense of self-importance.Finally, something depended on me, on me alone! Probably, I was motivated by the desire to prove that I am worth something … But I didn’t want to admit such motives. From this, an incomprehensible annoyance settled in my head, but I stubbornly explained it only by the time spent, taken away from writing the article.

Having stopped at the appointed place, I looked at my watch. Another whole five minutes … It was possible to leave later, although … as if it would give me something. There is no one like Yuri around.

An unpleasant, disgusting fog reigned in the street.I was hiding from him in the car.

The sun has long since set behind the clouds, and the city has lit its fires. Lanterns, not stars. I sometimes thought about how this noisy world of stars was missing. Each of them is unique, although there are billions of them in the darkness of the sky. It’s the same with people, isn’t it? But we almost purposely forget about that, therefore we hide from the blazing condemning glances from the depths of the immense.

And just now the thought flashed in my head: how often do I myself think about others? It would seem, constantly …

I digress from philosophical reflections in order to look at the time.Five minutes. In the field of view of no one, even a humanoid, the yard was empty.

Ten … Checking phone, mail. Not a line about being late.

Twenty! No, well, this is no longer serious! I shouldn’t have come … Nervously dialing the number, preparing a destructive speech. Only long beeps are heard in response. Okay … Let’s wait … You never know what. He also has a job … Trying to calm down seems to work until I remember this damn article that hasn’t been started at all! Where is this foolish devils wearing ?!

“Waiting for another fifteen minutes and leaving” – angrily typing a message and furiously pressing “Send”.

Time is running out, and the message has not even been read! Twenty-five minutes … thirty … Still silence. There is no point in waiting any longer.

I call again to clear my conscience. A melodic female voice comes from the tube:

– The called subscriber’s phone is turned off or out of the network coverage area … – the lady says, slowly repeating the phrase in English.

– Damn you! .. – irritably hissing, I throw the phone on the next seat. – So … Okay … I warned, I waited… waited longer than promised. Now you can go home with a clear conscience.

Looking at the road, I was surprised to find that I was not so much angry as nervous. It infuriated me even more …


There was less and less time left for work, and I continued to pace the apartment. Usually, such a calm creak of floorboards now, with all its might, mocked my poor hearing. It was not at all the article that occupied my thoughts, despite the fact that they would not forgive me if I screw up such material …

The minutes passed slowly.I felt them even without the usual ticking of a clock. Okay. I will be frank with myself, because my strength is no more, and then to work! This is all strange! What exactly? That I couldn’t get through. Yura does not turn off the phone and diligently monitors its charge, he must always be in touch, shouldn’t I, as a brother, know about this. Also this line from that note, it is not by chance that it is the very first …

So … no panic. Why the hell is this fool in general settling in my head so proprietarily ?! Anything can happen.Everything! Article. Article only.

With an effort of will, I managed to sit in front of the monitor and even write a couple of lines before plunging into thought again. And yet … what could have happened? ..


Days rushed like clockwork, but not mine. I never found the key, nor did I try, in fact, since that evening. They froze, showing half past nine, as if that day had not yet passed. I never went to work the next morning. I don’t believe it myself … how could I put everything on the altar for the sake of a person whom I was mortally jealous of, whose disappearance I dreamed of … someone whom I had known all my life and with whom I was nevertheless invisibly connected ?!…

And the apartment! Oh … I should have seen what my temple of comfort has become … however, he would have shot himself at once, leaving behind only the gloomy aesthetics of a broken creator … All the tables were filled with dirty mugs and fast food packages. The entire floor is covered with footprints. Here and there lay my pedantically compiled lists of those with whom my brother could communicate, where he could go, who could wish him harm …

Only all this was no longer important …

“- Yegor Diskarin? – I heard a calm male voice from my phone this morning.

– Yes. – I answered nervously.

– You are disturbed by the police, – my heart threatened to break my chest. It must be from stress and lack of sleep … And in my head, meanwhile: “If only they could find …”.

– Your brother was found today at noon, – a short pause, as if to understand what was said, – He is dead. The circumstances of death are being investigated. – just as calmly, as if nothing had happened, the person at the other end of the line continues.- We offer our condolences. Today you should report to the department … ”

Then there were instructions and rare questions, to which I answered something like“ yes ”,“ no ”and“ understandable ”. Be afraid of your desires. Found …

The next half day I spent in the same department. Some papers, some formalities, a funeral … And a conversation.

From that conversation I learned something that amazed me. Yura was suspected. They said that he was the one who killed the prisoners, slipping poison into their food or something like that.There was not much evidence, so they only planned to arrest him, but now the main version of my brother’s death is suicide during an attempt to escape from justice. What heresy … But at that moment I could not object anything. Exactly how to believe even a single word.

And now I have returned to my home again. Devastated, with only one thought in his head: “he is no more” …

What are words? A set of letters, a set of sounds, nothing more … But some become keys. This key with three heavy teeth will open one of the most terrible doors: the door of despair and pain.Maybe you should have formulated it somehow softer? But as? What would that change? There is only one key, no matter how embellished it is, and there is only one door, and you are standing on the threshold. You can’t go back. And the castle succumbed. It began …

I look around the apartment with a detached look, slowly falling into a rage.

– Damn! – bursts out of the chest. How long have I not said this word – Damn! – I repeat louder, sharply throwing up my hands. My whole army of mugs is flying down to the sound of glass. A blanket of stripped sheets covers them on top.

– Goonies! You bastard! Freak! – I shout, not remembering myself.

– Look … Look what you’ve done, you bastard! Because of you, I lost everything! Inspiration! Work! Dreams! How will you order me to pay the bills now ?! I wasted so much time on you, damn it, even the key to the watch … – silence cut my ears, so I continued to throw empty phrases, trying to throw out everything that had accumulated inside me. The voice broke, growled and wheezed, turned into hysterical laughter, and I didn’t even understand why I was so angry … At myself?

Yes … I was jealous of my brother in black! Family pride, great future, office authority, lofty goals, dream job – everything that I wanted to hear about myself, I heard about Yurashi! I remained his younger brother, always the second, always underestimated.It was an axiom that everything was easy for him. But for some reason it did not occur to me that we were actually brothers. Our conditions were the same. And it was as if I was blind, I did not see what he had to go through. And what did I do when I got tired of being a shadow? Exactly. He erected that very wall, the wall of indifference. I didn’t care. And there was one more drop in the ocean. Not Yura closed from me, but I from him. And what did it lead to? “He is no more,” and I can’t even say with certainty that I am not the murderer’s brother! And all because I don’t know! I don’t know what he lived all these years, I don’t know what was going on in his soul, I don’t know if he called me to nip the rumors in the bud, or to repent of what he did last even a drop to his dear creature, albeit so disgusting, as I … And I will not know, apparently, never, my key to this secret is forever lost… What a fool I am … What are all my discussions about feelings, words, stars, and all about the same keys now worth! How could I change the world when I myself did not know how to find those vices for which I reproached humanity ?! This is why my articles were not read. When changing the world, start with yourself, otherwise everything is just empty words. Gray, alien, distant and unnecessary, in general, no one … Such words will not become keys … Keys … I come back to them over and over again. Oh, this world is really crazy about them! We have the keys to everything, they are even where we do not even think to find them, because they have so deeply entered our life that everything now rests on them alone, and we do not even notice.And life itself is like a constant picking of locks! But even this is not important. The important thing is that there is no key leading from There. This is what gives meaning to all other keys. No matter how hard I try, I won’t start Yurik’s time again like in the old clock. But who knows from what doors, I would have led him away, if only I was near … It’s a pity, I realized it too late …

– I’ll never sit down to write again … – I said to myself almost delirious, barely recognizing my own hoarse vote. After that, I fell asleep and did not think about anything.


I spent the whole next day almost without getting up. Only in the evening I somehow tried to eliminate the consequences of my yesterday’s madness … But the attempt was nipped in the bud, as soon as the very note that I found among the socks caught my eye … Surprisingly, all the time while I was busy looking for my brother, I hardly remembered her as a thing that had no meaning at all. But on the other hand, there were so many questions associated with it! I reread it. As expected, nothing new appeared … And that’s it … Why was she needed?

I plunged into the memories of the day when I lost the key to such a silent watch for the last week … It seems that since that time I have not turned on the computer … How is he, my old man?

The legacy of our ancestors, as expected, was ruined and stirred up during my long absence, but in the end it mercifully and opened my e-mail page for me.Yurik’s letter has not disappeared anywhere. I did not reread it. One thing is a note with an obscure text, and another invitation to a meeting that was not destined to take place …

“Look in the mail …” – echoed in my ears. From a sudden guess, I jumped up. What if … This strange text on the back is nothing more than a login? ..

What nonsense … I’m chasing again for unknown reasons … Stupid guess! But my hands cannot be stopped …

Hastily logging out of my account, I typed the symbols into the appropriate window.But you need a password … Password … Another stupid thought … “I never forgot about your birthday!” I enter.

Only one digit has changed on the monitor, but I did not believe it. This eternity could not last for some miserable minute.

– It worked … – I said, looking in a frenzy at this glowing box. Another account. And only one letter.

The whole apartment fell into absolute silence as I read what was written here.

“Egor, I knew that you would solve my message! Help me out, brother! I need you, we all need you!

For several months now I have been dealing with the death of several criminals taken into custody.These are not just deaths, Yegor, these are murders. I’m sure I’m getting very close to the answer. I have two main suspects. But there’s a problem. They are both my work colleagues. And I don’t know if any of them acted alone or together. In other words, I don’t know which police officer I can trust with regards to this case.

Also, I notice that I am being watched. Apparently, the attacker senses that I have gotten too close and will soon try to eliminate me. Well, this is what I use to pinpoint the culprit.How? I told one about our upcoming meeting. If I guessed right, and he is not a criminal, then you do not have to read this, I will tell you everything myself. But if I was mistaken, and you still read this, then, most likely, I am already dead …

Brother, now only you can solve this case. And only you can I trust him. To this letter I will attach the documents in which my evidence is collected, there you will find the details of the plan, all the names, all the evidence. Publish them in your journal, let everyone know, and then the villains will have nowhere to go! I hope for you.I know you won’t let me down … ”

For some reason, my heart skipped a beat. Brother … I will not let you down!


Never say never. For the next few days, I kept my hands on the keyboard. I know, I promised myself, for the scribbling no, no, but the last, last time! For Yurik’s sake! This will be my best article …

And it really got to be the best. Where did I get it? It’s just that my blog would not be enough for such an important mission. So I had to visit Fedot Stepanovich.I almost on my knees asked him to read my work. But he read it all the same. I read it and put it on the first page!

A few days later I had to come to our police department again. There, of course, again formalities, gratitude, apologies … But they did not interest me. He was arrested. I wanted to talk to him. With a killer. I wanted to look him in the eye. For help in solving the case, I was even allowed to do so.

I was taken to a special room. He sat opposite me and froze with his cold look.But there was nothing in his eyes … He was … Empty. However, the first one spoke.

– Because I saw how souls died, – he answered my question before I had time to ask it, – Every criminal who was brought here, not from a good life, set foot on this path. The world has treated them cruelly. Wildly, but for some, crime is still a way to survive. Not for everyone … But I did not speak to everyone. Do you know why? Because they are not heard, you know? And when I talked with them in this very room, they just wanted to be heard … And I listened to them, watching the eyes go out opposite, and how hopelessness penetrates into the very heart.The verdict had not been delivered to them yet, but they no longer believed that something could be changed. Outcasts of humanity. They could only hide in themselves and wait for the end. Then I gave them the key to freedom. Ampoule with poison, as the end of all torment. You will not understand, it must be …

– And now, being in their place, would you like the same? I asked quietly. My interlocutor was silent. And I continued, – Do you know why? Because there is no key from there. And while you are alive, you can still fix it …

We spoke to him for a short while, and then I went out into the street.Twilight was already deepening and the lanterns were on. The downpour threw shards of stars right under my feet, and they flashed for a moment with earthly human light, breaking on the wet asphalt. I walked in silence along the gray stones of the pavement, finally throwing off my indifferent mask. The raindrops on my cheeks were getting salty from something. His image stood before my eyes. Indifference. The way I saw him once on Bolotnaya Square – not seeing, not hearing, unapproachable. The source of human vices. I wanted to run away from him, and I even ran, as if it could help.God! Who would have known that it hurts so much to open your heart to the world! In my thoughts, dialogue with the killer still sounded, and in my soul, the voice of my brother echoed. But, if he was already hiding from all this behind a wall of indifference, then only after going through this pain can you come back, again learn the truth. Grievances, murders, wars … How many lives will be spilled before each of us overcomes this evil in himself? The hearts of the people are closed and the key is lost. But what can I do? ..

I was thinking about this already at the entrance, slowly climbing the stairs.Perhaps … No, but I promised myself … And yet …

Keys. I could turn words into keys. I could write again. Opening people’s hearts and helping to cope with pain. No, I will never return to the editorial office. No articles. I will write a book. I can’t shut up now. “Resolved!” – I thought, opening the door. But first …

Slowly, slowly I picked up the key from the floor. He opened the glass door. I inserted it into the well. And he turned. The voice of the old grandfather clock in the hallway met me again.He said, fixable …

Tick … So … Tick …

How to live a whole season in the mountains

Most likely, you already have plans for this winter season, apartments are booked, or the local granny is giving you her attic. It’s not a fact that you will be lucky with the weather, but you know for sure that these will be an unforgettable couple of weeks, and you will remember them with a satisfied smile, sitting in your office. But what if you go further, drop everything and move closer to the mountains?

Local guys and the staff of the resort often hear something like: “How I envy you”, “I would dream of living here”, etc.But after all, everything is in your hands, any person can move to the mountains at least temporarily. And why not give it a try?

Just imagine, you wake up and you can go for a drive any day and any time within six months. That sounds good? The only thing that bothers you is you. Not your job, apartment, or girlfriend. Wave goodbye to them and take the plunge, it’s easier than you think.

And here’s your first step:

Where to go?

ANYWHERE, where there is snow.Well, it is desirable that there was a ski resort, and there are thousands of such places, according to this map from Wikipedia.

The most popular destinations are France, Austria and Canada. And Russia, of course, if you refuse to learn the language. And since you are going to travel for the whole season, you don’t have to save on tickets.

It is better to choose a larger resort so as not to get bored there for such a long time. But do not forget – the larger the resort, the more people and queues there are. And do not limit yourself only to the winter months, some glaciers are skated all year round.Compare relief, slope maps, number of parks, read reviews.


If you like to jump and podgibbit, then look for a resort not only with a good progressive park (there are no such ones in Russia yet), but also with an equally good team of shapers who will rebuild and support it throughout the season … There is nothing worse than a park with two handrails and three jumps, which will make you sick in a week.


If you don’t like snow that someone has already driven, then you don’t need to explain that this very snow is different everywhere.It can be light, like fluff, or heavy, it can be constantly blown away somewhere, etc. In general, study this issue carefully too.

Issue price

This is perhaps the most frightening moment. And the bad news is that when you start counting everything that you have to spend money on (housing, ski pass, staff), the figure comes out terrifying. But you should understand that compared to how much you spend for a couple of weeks at a resort, your benefit and profit is greater from the whole season: a seasonal ski pass, not a daily accommodation, dinner at home, not in a restaurant – money spent in one day comes out less.

And if you are planning to find a job, you can even bring home a tidy sum. And by acquiring useful contacts, your spending will significantly decrease. So try to be friends with bartenders, cable cars, ski service workers, you understand. And since You will be skating a lot, do not save on your equipment, otherwise you will very soon notice that your jacket gets wet, your boots do not hold your foot, and the board is flaking. In addition to the usual stuff, there is also backcountry equipment that can drive you unnecessary expensive nonsense (backpack, probe, walkie-talkie, shovel, beeper), but it can really save the life of you or your friend.


Are you ready for work or do you not want something to distract you from skiing and hanging out, and you are perfectly able to save money all summer and live like a rogue?

Most people choose the second option, because all you need is to save up for a ski pass over the summer and rent a house. But work has its advantages: you will make new friends and you will not feel any need in one of the most expensive cities in the country.

If you want to first see and evaluate possible places of work, come before the start of the season (November) and go to all the establishments on your way, ask each and every one yourself.Here are some classic ski vacancies:

Bar work

Pros: Most of the day will be free because work is rather evening and night; free access to drinks; everyone wants to be friends with bartenders, and the opposite sex especially loves them.

Cons: You have to be a very tough person to work long hours on your feet in a noisy and crowded bar; After a night of work it is very difficult to get yourself out of bed to the opening of the lifts, and all these monotonous parties and drunk people will quickly bore you.

Waiter or buffet worker

Pros: Free food; you can ride between breakfast and lunch; tip.

Cons: the job is not the most prestigious and paid; you need to get up very early.


Advantages: Free ski pass and skip-the-line access to the cable cars; all day on the mountain.

Cons: You will spend most of your time on the training slope, sometimes in terrible weather; some students are simply unbearable.


Pros: You get paid for hanging around in the park; everyone respects shapers

Cons: You won’t skate as much as you imagine; small salary; exhausting work; without connections it will be difficult to get on it.

Cable car

Advantages: free ski pass; convenient schedule

Cons: All day you will have to stand in the cold and watch others skate; monotonous work

Do not forget that in some countries you need a work visa to work.


Finding a place to live can be a daunting task. The locals have already removed all the best options, you have no acquaintances yet, and the tenants will try to make money on you. Some employers provide housing, but you shouldn’t count on it.Sometimes hostels also rent out places for a long time, but the cheapest way is to find a couple of neighbors and rent something for several people. In general, get ready for a long and arduous search.

It all sounds complicated and difficult to do, but it’s definitely worth it!

VTECH 80-170700, Kidizoom Action Cam

VTech’s Kidizoom Action Cam lets little photographers capture their adventures on video and photos!


Action Cam is a great first camcorder for kids.The camera is robust enough to be protected from drops and splashes of water. A child can go anywhere and do whatever they want by attaching a camera to their bike, skateboard, etc.

The set also includes a waterproof case with which you can shoot videos and take photos at a depth of 1.5 m!


Kidizoom Action Cam has a 1.4 “color LCD screen and can capture video and stills in stop motion and time-lapse photography.

Your child can also apply funny effects, frames and photo filters to videos and photos.

It can download the photos and videos you have taken to your computer using the supplied micro USB cable and show them to your family and friends.

In addition to photo and video shooting, Kidizoom Action Cam has 3 exciting built-in games.

Camera features:

  • Robust, waterproof camera
  • Resolution: 0.3 MP
  • Bicycle and skate racks
  • Waterproof case for underwater shooting
  • 128 MB of internal memory (for 600 photos) + slot for micro SD / SDHC cards up to 32 GB
  • Video recording up to 2.5 hours on a single charge
  • 3 games
  • Time-lapse animation
  • PC connectivity (cable included)
  • Color display (1.41 in)
  • The ability to apply fun effects to photos and videos
  • Built-in Li-ion battery
  • Cord loop

Package includes:

  • 1 Kidizoom Action Cam (with built-in lithium ion polymer battery)
  • 1 waterproof housing
  • 1 camera holder
  • 1 bike rack
  • 1 nozzle
  • 1 adhesive flat mount
  • 2 double-sided adhesive tapes
  • 1 micro-USB cable
  • 1 wrist strap
  • 1 instruction

The camera is recommended by the manufacturer for children from 4 years of age.

Attention! Lots of small details. The manufacturer does not recommend young children!

The warranty period declared by the manufacturer is 1 year.

Sold in a stylish box and ideal as a gift.

New digital camera for children


Country of origin Hong Kong
Fits as a gift for a girl, for a boy
Package dimensions 20 x 27.9 x 7.8 cm
Feature Sold in a beautiful gift box
Age 4+ years
Material Plastic
Weight 0.6 kg
90,000 Liquid and Fnatic are the kings of esports merch.In the CIS there is only NAVI and emptiness – It’s in the bag – Blogs

Maria Malezich wants more cool drops.

Liquid has released a line of Naruto merch, the club’s official collaboration with Naruto Shippuden. Due to licensing considerations, the apparel is only available in the US, but that hasn’t slowed down the excitement. The drop is incredibly successful: the fans of the club and the title dropped the site and sold out the collection in three hours!

Liquid has opened a pre-order – until February 19, you can snatch a hoodie with characters from the universe or a jounin park.Things will be sent by May – along with small gifts as an apology. The next Naruto drop is currently in development, which “covers one of the club’s favorite Shippuden moments.” Hope it’s a drop with Akatsuki insignia.

Liquid has also been collaborating with Marvel for a long time and produces clothes and accessories in the style of different heroes of the universe – from Captain America to Spider and Iron Man.

There are several collections, and e-sportsmen were happy to beat them at tournaments, just look at Captain Nitro!

On April 1, there was a collection with a funny horse – a changed logo of the club.

In general, Liquid has merch for a wide variety of fans: serious and not so, anime people, comic book lovers and just fashionistas. And that’s not counting T-shirts with a star in honor of the victory at The International (like in football), camouflage jerseys of Kaeser and red T-shirts in support of the donor organization Blood Centers of America.

Who else is good?

Fnatic is another club with incredible attention to merch and fans. There is even a collaboration with Hello Kitty, the most important character in Japanese pop culture.The brands have released a special stylized form, as well as a hoodie in conjunction with Champion.

And there was also a truly adult collaboration with Gucci, within which a special watch was released. The inspiration was the League of Legends club roster.

All of the team members attended the Gucci show at Milan Fashion Week – in matching outfits, of course.

Fnatic and Champion released hoodies for the League of Legends and TI World Championships.

In addition to collabs with serious brands, Fnatic is excellent at rofs and limits.Especially for the Moscow EPICENTER 2019, the club has released a hoodie with the inscription “FNATIK”. The announcement of the drop was accompanied by such a familiar to all players “Bitch #####!” and a note that in Russia it is not you who wear the hoodie, but the hoodie that wears you.

Clubs also release joint merch – for example, Fnatic and Cloud9 made meme hoodies.

By the way, C9 has a great collection with Puma – a sports brand that dresses the club.

Another example of a joint merch is the Bromance T-shirts for February 14 from NiP and Vitality.The clubs will donate all proceeds to the anti-bullying organization Anti-Bullying Pro.

It is also worth noting Faze Clan – but it is still a large organization with streamers and bloggers, and only secondarily an e-sports club. Faze has partnered with G-Shock, Kappa, Bearbrick and even released a collection with the family of the deceased rapper Juice Wrld, and Manchester City players took to the Premier League match wearing the Faze Clan logo.

The best merchandise in the CIS – at NAVI

NAVI collaborates with the Ukrainian brand KSENIASCHNAIDER and designer Lilya Litkovskaya.The collection includes items for everyday life – that rare case when you can go anywhere in clothes with the symbols of your favorite club.

NAVI are preparing for important tournaments – they released stylized (and similar to each other) jerseys for The International 2019 and the Berlin CS: GO Major.

And also T-shirts for the PUBG World Cup and in honor of the victory in the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League.

And, of course, a uniform for the tenth anniversary of the club and a special merch with references to the Kaeser.

Exclusive Iceberg and Club Merch.

And wonderful hoodies for dogs, cats and other pets.

In addition to clothes and accessories, NAVI collects small thematic sets: for schoolchildren (with a pencil case and a lunch bag), New Year’s with cocoa, and by February 14 – with wish coupons and condoms.

Other clubs from the CIS are far behind NAVI in terms of creativity. Virtus.pro had an amazing TI9 kit – with a panda instead of the usual polar bear and the nicknames of the players in Chinese.

New kits for The International 2019.This year there are as many as 8 pieces

Still – the green-purple uniform for the eighth Int, which is not very popular with the fans, was released jointly with MegaFon. And a small drop of hoodies and T-shirts with the Quberten studio, the Yunost clothing brand and the same MegaFon.

While fans of Western clubs happily buy a T-shirt or a hoodie with their favorite characters, fans from the CIS have – with rare exceptions – to be content with their usual uniform. I would like our teams to have more unexpected collaborations and unique drops that fans of foreign orgs could envy.

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Board game FLUXX play by your rules

“FLUXX game according to your rules “game is unpredictable. Each batch will not be the same as the previous one. The players are in constant spontaneity and, so to speak, “combat readiness”. The game is played by playing cards. And to win you need to fulfill the goal game, which has properties to change during the game.

She develops analytical thinking, logic. The player needs decide which card will play more profitable in a given round.In a one-time perception and choosing among several multidirectional maps (goals, topics, actions) combinatorial thinking is trained.

“FLUXX game according to your rules “- a game that has sold in a million copies!

Board Game Rules FLUXX Play by Your Rules

Lay out in the middle of the table, a basic rules card (the only card with an orange turnover). Shuffle the deck well and deal 3 cards to each player. Deck place it face down next to the basic rules card – hence the players will draw cards.

Who wants to go first, let him go.

1.? cards from the deck (as many as required by the current rules).

2.? Play cards from hand (as many as required by the current rules).

3.? Reset extra cards from the hand in order not to exceed the limit of cards on the hand (if any). Additional actions required by cards of new rules, themes, etc., are executed at different moments of the turn.

For example: Having drawn 1 card, Dima plays a new “Pull 4” rule from his hand.Now every player must draw 4 cards on its turn. Since Dima has already drawn 1 card this turn, he must draw 3 more from the deck into his hand. The next player, Oleg, draws 4 cards. He then plays the new Pull 2 ​​rule. The rule of drawing cards again changed, but Oleg has already taken the put 2 cards (and even more), so he does not need to pull more. Since the rule “Pull 2” contradicts the previous one, the card “Pull 4 “is reset.

V the game contains cards “Goal” (a card that brings success), “Theme” (needed to achieve the goal) and “Action” (unpredictably affects game), the rules of the game with which you can read in the original rules.

Game continues until one of the players fulfills the conditions of the current goal. Once the goal is achieved, the player is immediately the winner, even if now is not his turn.

Goal of the FLUXX Board Game Play by Your Rules

Traditionally, no one knows when the game will end, because the goals of the game are constantly change depending on the dropped cards.

Who is this game for

Age of participants: from 8 years.Number of participants: from 2 to 6 people.

Game FLUXX game by your rules develops analytical thinking, logic. The player needs to decide which card will play more profitable in this round. In a one-time perception and choice among several multidirectional maps (goals, topics, actions) trains combinatorial thinking.

It is suitable for players who love to set and achieve goals. This is a companionable game in which is good to play with friends, peers, like-minded people, or with family people.Also this game Compact enough to take with you wherever you go.

The composition of the FLUXX board game play by your rules

100 cards

Game Rules

Buy Board game FLUXX game by your rules in the city of Novosibirsk You you can in the store of board and educational games “Games Whycheck “

Leave your own review about the desktop play FLUXX by your rules (liked / disliked and why) you you can just below in the section Reviews


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