Subreddit dedicated to WWE/NXT Superstar Mandy Rose (real name Amanda Saccomanno). Pics, articles, and videos are all welcome.
My wifi signal has been half as strong as it used to be due to one of my pods flashing green all day, there isn't a light on my other pod and the app tells me it is working perfectly. Earlier I wasn't getting any wifi at all for a few hours. It's been flashing green since 10AM, and it is now 6pm. What should I do?
When I started playing bass, I remember getting really frustrated about struggling to play "easy" basslines and not being able to use even my ring finger. I mostly taught myself off of youtube videos and tabs, so I didn't really know what I was doing wrong until I started taking lessons. I wanted to make this post because I know that new players browse this sub for advice, and I want to share some wisdom from my years of playing bass. Btw, I've been playing for almost 5 years now and I studied bass at college.
Firstly, never trust those "top 10 beginner basslines" videos. Anyone who thinks that Schism by Tool is a good beginner bassline is a pothead (although Tool fan and pothead are interchangeable terms). That particular bassline switches time signatures every bar, and neither time signatures are likely ever going to be useful to you unless your into that kind of music. As fun as it is to play those recognisable basslines, you need to walk before you can crawl. I recommend "Roxette" by Dr. Feelgood as a great beginner bassline. Catchy, easy to hear in the mix, straightforward, repetitive but makes the song work. Swallow your pride and learn "With or Without You" by U2. You can learn more about being a bass player from that song than any youtube video.
Secondly, it is not your fault that you're getting stuff wrong. You are asking your hands to do something that they are not made to do, on one of the most unwieldy instruments in pop music. A standard 34" scale bass with even standard gauge strings is a lot to handle, especially if you have no previous experience on a string instrument. Don't feel stupid if your getting the basics wrong, it's part of the learning experience. You are going to get better with practice, it is a slow process, but it is inevitable. 5 years ago, I couldn't even play Another One Bites the Dust properly, but these days I can play Primus stuff in its entirety! You will eventually gain the finger strength and flexibility, and your musical literacy and understanding of theory will improve, whether you realise it or not. One more thing; your goal should be to play as relaxed as you possibly can. Tension=stress, stress=pain. Don't worry so much about hand placement, if you're relaxed and relatively pain free then you're doing it right.
Thirdly, NEVER EVER EVER EVER PLAY THROUGH PAIN! If your hands or forearms hurt too much, take a damn break. Learn some exercises you can do to prevent RSI, Tendonitis, etc. It is no laughing matter, and your wellbeing should always be the priority. Also keep in mind that these conditions are accumulative, and you need to listen to when your body has had enough. Take a break, do some stretches, come back in a few hours. You'll be surprised just how beneficial taking breaks can be. And on a relate note, WEAR EAR PROTECTION! Tinnitus is merciless and accumulative, it's best to take precautions while you can.
Fourthly, you will never stop making mistakes. Everyone makes them, a lot. I once played a gig where I did not play a single song perfectly, I missed notes, overestimated my fills, forgot bridges etc, and you know what? No one noticed. My bass was ramped up to seismic volumes and everyone had a fantastic time, and I had loads of people come up to me and compliment my playing. Ultimately, you're a human and as long as the music is good then people will vibe. Obviously, do your best and play the correct notes in tune and on time, but don't get hung up on those little errors. I still make frequent, glaring mistakes in practice, but that's okay because learning is an active process that requires failure. Strive for excellence, not perfection. You cannot be perfect, but excellence is completely attainable for everyone.
Fifthly, your bass should be built around you. Everyone wants their perfect bass, and while most of us don't have the dough for a custom one, we can seek out basses that have helpful features. If you have small hands, don't force yourself to a play bass that's to big for you, find a short scale. If thick strings are chewing your fingers up too much, try a lighter gauge. There is no such thing as cheating in music, and you will perform your best at your most comfortable. I would also recommend moseying down to your nearest guitar store and playing a few basses to see what works for you. Don't be self conscious about your playing, these stores want people like you because the beginner demographic buys the most gear. I personally like a thin neck, so I try to seek out basses with thinner necks like Jazz basses (although I love a good p-bass). As long as you like your bass and the sound that comes out of it, you're golden.
Sixthly, enjoy what you're playing. You will learn nothing if you don't like the songs your practicing. Prioritise your taste over "good" basslines. Simple and repetitive stuff is a lot more fun when you enjoy the song, because you can just vibe with the rest of the song while your playing. Bass Face is an essential part of the experience, so don't be afraid to let loose. As for playing more complicated stuff, don't learn the hard stuff just because some nerd on youtube told you to, learn it cause you enjoy the music. I can't play Victor Wooten stuff, and I probably never will because it's just not my thing. Embrace your tastes and learn your favourite songs (within reason for your ability).
I know this is a long post, but I hope you learned something anyway. Just try to have fun and don't overdo it. If you have a question, I'll try my best to answer it. Thanks for reading, have a nice day.
I’m 18 and I live at home. I’ve been expected to clean the house since I was about 10 and it’s not a ton of work really. I just find it to be very overwhelming.
My mom has a severe mood disorder and when I was a kid, I’d often get yelled at for either not having done my chores or that my twin brother hadn’t done his chores. Even when I’d explain that I did what I was supposed to, I’d get yelled at because she ‘doesn’t know who’s supposed to do what’ and I’m right here. Sometimes I’d have panic attacks and cry because my brother hadn’t cleaned and I was scared of her.
I find that I just feel on edge when I have to clean this house. And I’m really struggling with my depression, especially since my work load with college has gotten much bigger (6 hard science courses a semester). I can barely convince myself to shower or do my work, or even go to class sometimes. I spend at least an hour a day just staring at the wall in my bed feeling too low to really move.
I’m not looking for people to say that I shouldn’t have to clean, but I need some validation that I’m not lazy or a failure because it’s difficult to keep up on my chores. Or if I am, for someone to tell me that.
I've been drawing my whole life, but I've always only drawn with normal paper, canvases, etc. I love to draw with anything from simple pencils to gouache colors, but it's been moreso of a hobby so far. (But hopefully not forever, I'd love to do it professionally.)
Now I do love the options that come with digital art - layers, easier to restore mistakes, everything - and I wanted to switch to it for quite a while. My laptop is pretty good, so I thought something like XP pen would be perfect.
I also draw mainly from home, so the screen being small is absolutely not a must for me, but it probably shouldn't be intensely large either.
I'd also like to have a couple of buttons to customize, as it seems to make the progress significantly easier. I've seen a lot of reviews and stuff already, but I'm just so unsure in the direct comparison, so I thought you guys could help me.
That all being said, those are the options in my budget:
XP Pen Artist Innovator 16 XP Pen Artist 15.6 Pro XP Pen Artist Pro 16 XP Pen Artist 24 Pro
Are any of those great? Too much, too little? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
So a few hours ago (3 at the moment of posting this), a video snipped was posted on Skillet's instagram about a live performance of "Psycho In My Head". And one of the hashtags was "coming soon" followed by "live music". Makes me wonder (and a lot others on the comments section on instagram)... Is a live album in the works?
I (24f) have never had any luck with dating. Social anxiety always fucks me over and in combination with RBF I just apparently look unapproachable. I'm honestly sick of being single and I'm in a place where I'm ready to start dating. Been talking to a few guys on Bumble just to dip my feet in the water. But I never got the hang of flirting.
But wouldn't you know it, when I came back into my office after lunch, there was an electrician working on the lights. And I noticed he was hella cute. But I wasn't going to really say much to him other than "hi! Let me get out of your way" because well, the man has a job to do. I'm not going to distract him! He's on a ladder and could fall for God's sake.
Well one of my coworkers stops by and we have a pretty good friendship where we kinda act goofy together. She had said something that reminded me that I had to check the office mailbox before a certain time and I went "oh shoot! Hang on, I gotta check the mail! Be right back!". Well my coworker in a sarcastic tone says , "hey why don't you go check the mail?" And I replied "well, I think maybe I should just go check the mail instead" dumb shit like that back and forth. And I grab the mail box key and my coworker walks away. But Mr Electrician Hottie kinda just smirks and looks over at me and says "hey, maybe you should check the mail" AND WINKS AT ME. I died a little bit inside but played it cool and said "heh, you know, THAT is a great idea! I think I'll do that" and I walk off to do it, because I seriously needed to get it by a specific time to get a package to my boss before she left for the day. But that WINK. I had a little pep in my step going to that mailbox. That was possibly the most attractive wink I've ever seen. And somehow, I just wanted to flirt with this man. All shyness just disappeared. I'm determined. I'm gonna flirt a little and maybe get this man's number.
Anyways, 2 minutes later, I'm back at my desk, he's still up on the ladder, get gets the light working again and I said something about him now being in the spotlight.
He gets down, gathers up some of the trash from the pieces he swapped out, and said "hey I'm almost done, but I forgot something out in the truck. I'll be right back"
So I smile and replied "Is that a threat?" Ya know, kinda coy. And he just laughed and said "well it can be." And walked out with his work partner.
I'm thinking I'm doing well here. The vibes are good so far. Haven't really gotten to talk to him a lot since I really just got back from lunch and he was already mostly done. But progress! I've got him laughing and winking at me!
I can see him walking to the truck from the lobby windows and it's only been like 2 seconds since I just made him chuckle and he has a huge ass grin on his face. He grabs the last part from the truck, his partner says something and gets in the truck, and he gets a big ol smile again as he's walking back inside. I'm thinking"THIS IS IT. I'VE GOT THIS". He does his thing to finish up and he starts to leave. As he walks passed me, I smile and suddenly have NO idea what to say. Like COME ON SAY SOMETHING. He just smiles and says goodbye and I smile back and just tell him to have a good day.
WHAT THE FUCK. WHY DID I FREEZE UP THEN? I COULD HAVE BEEN LIKE "it was nice talking to you" batted my eyes or some shit and then asked for his number. BUT NO. I FUCKED IT UP.
I text my best friend like "oh fuck my life I finally flirted and still fucked up." She tells me to go back outside to the work truck and talk to him since I mentioned that it had been 10 minutes and he was still out there. But I couldn't. All my social anxiety came back and I doubted myself and whether or not he wasn't actually flirting with me. Looking back on it now a few hours like, of course he was! The wink goddammit! And by the time I thought, yeah I should go out there, my boss came around and I couldn't just up and go to the parking lot. I feel like that would be unprofessional of me and also, what am I going to say to explain why I went out? "Oh I wanted to flirt?" Nah. Thats not gonna fly.
So I know the company he works for, but not his name. I don't have the work invoice so I can't check that. And what the fuck am I gonna do? Call his work and ask for his name? What kinda creepy stalker shit would that be?
Anyways, now I'm kicking myself and stalking this company's FB page to see if they have ever posted employee pictures with names. And again, what would I even do with that info that wouldn'take me seem totally crazy? He didn't tell me his name, so how would I even explain how I got it?
I know it's stupid. It was very light flirting. But I felt some type of way about it. There was some chemistry there. I kinda was hoping the whole time that he was parked out there that he would come back in and just be like "hey wanna go out sometime?" But that did not happen. So now I'm going to go lay in bed, watch YouTube videos, and come to terms with the fact that I fucked up my chance.
Fuck my life. Would should I do? Anything at this point? Or cut my losses and try again 10 years from now when I get another chance? Because seriously, this never happens to me. I never get to flirt.
Hi all, I’ve been crying for 2 hours straight because I got in trouble at work. I am teaching a Lego summer camp and my assistant complained about me to my boss… without even bringing it up with me first! Apparently the kids we care for were harassing him behind my back and he felt “unsupported”. I am struggling to get out of this nightmare sensation that I’m better off dead and I’m no help to anyone and I certainly can’t continue my shift. I’m aware that I am being unfairly blamed (I was doing everything I could to keep the kids in line but I can’t be everywhere at once!) but that doesn’t help me feel better at all. What do you all do to fight off dark thoughts and feelings?
(Hope this is okay to post here. If I post it in any other sex related subreddit i’ll get bombarded with judgment and innapropriate messages.)
I’ve done it only twice before and when I later on asked him why it worked he’s said it’s because I had this confidence in me, I trully felt like i was in control, I knew that if I’d demand obedience I’d get it.
Now, it’s easier said than done to recreate that so I am in the search for any good books/podcasts/articles about how to be a good switch (or a dom in this case) as a woman. How to genuinely submit a man (I don’t want us to be pretending, I want us to feel is).
I have made other men beg (on their knees) for me before but that was different … easier. I knew I wasn’t nearly as into them as they were in me. I was in control. But with my boyfriend I obviously feel like we’re equals so there isn’t this power imbalance. How do I go about achieving one in the bedroom?
Has anyone had this issue before? It's actually kind of insane. I took delivery of my M3P on Tuesday morning and signed all the paperwork and stuff on site and when I went to finish the process on the app the blue START button is greyed out and unclickable. Delivery folks made it seem like it wasn't too much of an issue and they just needed to push for it to be cleared out on the backend and shouldn't take more than an hour. I stayed around for a while before I had some place to be so they let me drive the car off the lot without finishing the app process.
It is now a full 50+ hours later and I still am unable to register my car with the app which means I still have to use the keycard to enter the vehicle, I can't set up my supercharger account to charge, I don't have access to features I paid for and my car has an alert on it that it's in "PICKUP_DELIVERY_STATUS". Doesn't feel like my car really.
The individuals at my service center have been helpful and friendly when I talk to them but there is definitely some lag in being contacted and getting updated and it seems like there is no sense of urgency to get this resolved. I don't want to drive 40 minutes to the service center for a tech error that should be able to be fixed over the internet but I feel like I'm not getting the attention I need over the phone. Even calls to non-local tesla support just have them contacting the local service center.
Anyone experienced this before? Is there a better way to escalate this issue? This is honestly very frustrating and will likely mean I need to delay my wrap/tint appointments cause I don't want to wrap and tint a car that's potentially defective.
(California) My benefits were skimmed on April 10 and they took $3800 in benefits. A good portion of this was pandemic emergency benefits that I was saving in case I don't get recertified. I found out about the theft a week later and filed a report at my local office immediately. I was told the funds would be replaced within 25 days and that an investigator would call to get more information. No one has called me. It has been nearly two months and I have no idea when this will be resolved. I called twice to inquire and they finally sent me a letter saying they needed time to investigate since the amount was over $1000. How long does it take for this sort of investigation to conclude?
Feeling frustrated here. Have been on 3 interviews in the past 6 months and have been rejected from each one. I am trying to move to another state to be closer to family so I have been applying to fed jobs over there. I am wondering if me being in another state is hindering me from getting the job. I have asked for feedback from the hiring manager and they basically said you interviewed great but we went with another candidate, blah blah blah. I know everything is basically a crapshoot but did not get nearly as much pushback when I applied for jobs in the same state. I am already working for the ferderal government. Any insight appreciated.
I have an allergy to most adhesives. I can only wear one specific brand and type of Bandaid, and I can't have any sort of medical tape on me. Has anyone with adhesive allergies gotten lash extensions and been ok? I'm getting married in September and would love to try lash extensions for my wedding, but the last place I want an allergic reaction right before my wedding is near my eyes!
This drama is mainly about the events of Season 7/World Championship 7 (WC7), the season of Battlebots that aired in 2023. Big spoilers for the season inbound, including the overall winner, along with spoilers of the outcomes and winners of previous seasons.
I will try my hardest to be unbiased which is hard because I am extremely biased and any attempt to be unbiased could only come across as enlightened centrism. I will simply try to keep the bias to a manageable level.
In case you don't know, Battlebots (well, combat robotics, but Battlebots is the most well-known and publicized event by an order of magnitude) is a... sport? Game? Hobby? Lifestyle? Where the goal is to throw two robots of a comparable weight against each other, with the goal to destroy each other. Battlebots itself is in the heavyweight category, with a 250 lb weight limit per robot. Other popular weight classes (relatively popular - heavyweight is the only televised one) are antweight (1 lb), beetleweight (3 lb), hobbyweight (12 lb), and lightweight (30 lb.) Battlebots itself airs on Discovery, generally with a main season and a spinoff season each year.
If you watched Battlebots back in the late 90s when it was on Comedy Central, you might remember robots that were basically big wedges pushing each other around a square and maybe occasionally taking a bit of armor off. That's not how it is anymore
. Bots are destructive, powerful, and great spectacles to watch fight. Seriously, you should watch Battlebots. It's on Discovery+ and
Max. If you don't want to spend the money,
Norwalk National Havoc Robotics League (NHRL)
has competitions every few months that are livestreamed for free on Youtube in the smaller weight classes.
In case it's not clear from the write-up, Battlebots is filmed usually in the fall, and the season airs spring the next year. So all of the events in this write-up occurred over a 2-week period in OctobeNovember 2022, but only were public drama as the episodes aired January-May 2023. Much like any reality/game show, all the builders, production, etc. knew the outcome of the season before anything aired, there's just millions of dollars of NDAs.
Something interesting about Battlebots that might surprise those unfamiliar with it is the culture. While teams work as hard as they can to reduce the other robot to splintered scrap in the box, back in the pits everyone is super awesome and nice and kind and helpful - a frequent occurrence is going to the pit of the bot you just took apart and seeing if there is any way you can help with the rebuild.
The classic example
is in the 2021 season, when the iconic Witch Doctor
's weapon disk kept breaking due to poor quality steel. They were scrambling to find material and resources to machine a new disk, when a ton of teams came together to save their season.
(yes, that's a trans Battlebot) lent them their pickup truck, to go pick up steel from a nearby supplier who was found by the captain of Team Blacksmith
They needed to recreate the failure to figure out was wrong, so Team Shatter
(the biggest, strongest hammer-bot in the competition) took their robot to the test box to try and break a disk.
They took the steel to the nearby build space of Team Chomp
, who stayed up all night on their waterjet to cut new disks (the new disks worked well, by the way.)
After the season, they still didn't know for sure what the cause was, so they worked with Team Hypershock
to create a dummy test robot, modeled after the very durable robot (and future 2022 champs) Tantrum
, they could test the old disks on. They then sent the broken disks to a materials science lab run by a friend of the captain of Team Tantrum to perform materials analysis.
Many of these teams had fought Witch Doctor in the past, others would fight them in the future. But that doesn't matter - in robot combat, everyone is friends outside the box.
Every year there are of course rookie bots competing for the first time. Sometimes from veteran teams and builders, such as last year's Blip
(from the creators of Tantrum), or this year's RIPperoni
, from former members of the teams behind Uppercut
, but just as often from new builders, at least new to heavyweight (almost nobody starts out with with the robots that can cost as much as a new car.)
One of these 'new-to-heavyweight' rookies last year was Riptide
, captained by Ethan Kurtz (the guy with the "you know I had to do it to em" pose.) Ethan had found a good amount of success previously with the beetleweight Rival
, and Riptide was basically Rival writ 80 times bigger. Riptide had a pretty good first season, winning 2 out of their 3 qualifying fights and making it to the quarterfinals before losing to the extremely good SawBlaze
No real controversy, aside from a false start and early hit on HUGE
in their first fight - written off as "I'm fighting a heavyweight on Battlebots for the first time" nerves, no hard feelings from anyone, not even HUGE. They also gave fan-favorite (formerly) indestructible brick Duck!
such a bad thrashing that Duck! permanently retired after that fight (Duck! was having a bad year anyway, that fight was just the icing on the cake.)
Their success led to them co-winning Rookie of the Year alongside Glitch
, who won an amazing 7 fights in a row, a feat only done before by 3-time championship winner and undisputed GOAT Bite Force
(Glitch had to bow out of the tournament because their bot had taken irreparable damage despite the victories, but it's possible they could have extended it even further.) Riptide became well known for Ethan screaming "LET'S GO!" (or sometimes, "LET'S F------ GO"!", giving the censors a bit of a workout and annoying production) after big wins.
So coming into season 8, their sophomore year, hopes are high for Riptide and people want to see this breakout star do well, right? After all, there's no big controversy in their funding or anything, is there?
Stan is the bald dude next to Ethan in the team picture. He's Ethan's dad, and also one of the main sponsors for the team through his company BeCourageous. Where did Stan Kurtz get his money to sponsor a big team? Well, he once had a company named RevitaPOP. RevitaPOP made vitamin B12 lollipops. If you know anything about 'alternative medicine,' this is where you say "oh no."
Stan Kurtz was once upon a time the president of Generation Rescue. Yes, that Generation Rescue
, the Jenny McCarthy 'vaccines-cause-autism' one. He was instrumental in getting the 'movement' off the ground in the first place - I even seem to recall seeing a link to a talk he did where he said he was backstage for McCarthy's interview with Larry King, but I'm not about to sift through hours of his horrid talks and speeches to find it.
Stan Kurtz sold lollipops that he claimed cured autism, autism that he and his organization claimed was caused by vaccines. In fact, he claimed they even cured his son Ethan's autism! Remember this when you read about Ethan's behavior - it's not an excuse, but "autistic but prevented from going to any kind of therapy or anything because it would make his dad look like a liar" is certainly an explanation.
Let me divest into opinion for a sec. Stan Kurtz is evil. There is a direct line between the actions of Stan Kurtz promoting vaccine denalism and snake oil cures, and dead children. Fuck Stan Kurtz. Every other problem with Team Riptide could be overlooked if they did not have this dude as their primary sponsor (which necessarily would require replacing Ethan as captain, because you can't separate him from his dad financially.) Okay, back to the writeup.
But put a pin in "Riptide's captain and his dad are antivaxxers" - it's a surprise tool that will help us later.
Riptide in WC7
Fight 1: Glitch
Aside from that, people didn't have that much of an opinion on Riptide going in to WC7 (and even that wasn't too widely known until partway through the season.) Generally, there was a feeling of "let's see if they can keep it up" - often a lot of very promising rookie bots have weak second seasons. They started the season fighting Glitch, to see who was truly better. One hit, weapon-on-weapon, and Glitch fucking died. Upside down, weapon not spinning, no way to self-right.
Team Glitch asked Riptide to hit them again try to flip them back over, maybe knock some life back into the bot. Not an uncommon thing, but sometimes it backfires. Riptide did, launched Glitch across the box, and now Glitch was super
-dead. Instant, extremely decisive knockout for Riptide. No drama yet.
Fight 2: MaD CatTer
Now on to the second fight. This one was against MaD CatTer
, consisting of community college professor Martin Mason (goatee in the middle) and his students. Martin Mason is known for his intentionally cheesebally and over-the-top Macho Man imitation/homage, with lots of pointing at the camera and saying "Oh yeah!" Also by all regards the nicest man on planet Earth and one of the most beloved figures in combat robotics.
Of note is MaD CatTer's driver, Calvin Iba (guy beneath Martin's pointing hand.) Calvin Iba is one of the few builders better known for his smaller robot - his robot Lynx
is the winningest beetleweight of all time, with an incredible 11
tournament wins, 8 undefeated, and an overall record of 86-11 as of December 2022 (and several events since then, but I can't find overall fight records of those events.) Now, Lynx is a very similar design to Rival (and therefore Riptide) - Lynx predates Rival by a few months, but the design is relatively generic and common at lower weight classes so it's not exactly plagarism.
This is relevant because Battlebots production tried to stir up drama, painting Calvin as angry that Ethan copied his bot and scaled it up to 250lb before Calvin could himself. For what it's worth Calvin did play into it a bit (he brought Lynx to the fight), but by all regards there aren't really any serious hard feelings about that. "Beater bars" (the weapon style of Riptide/Lynx/Rival) predate all three bots. Worth noting that Rival lost to Lynx
in a brutal slugfest in the semifinals match of NHRL a few years ago, so maybe Ethan had a bit of a revenge arc more than anything.
On to the fight. MaD CatTer is a pretty serious bot - not most people's favorite to win it all, but a 'serious contender for semifinals' kind of bot - so nobody knew how this would go. It was back and forth for... about 10 seconds, then Riptide got one good hit and did not let up. MaD CatTer got taken apart like they never had before, left a smoking mess, stuck sideways against the arena wall
, knocked out within a minute. Riptide then drove around a bit and punted pieces of MaD CatTer around the box, which got them a warning from the ref for being unsafe and for doing unnecessary damage to perfectly salvageable components of MaD CatTer. The team apologized later for that, saying they wouldn't do it again. Remember that.
Okay, two rapid knockouts against serious bots. Riptide is definitely not suffering from the sophomore curse. But in the post-fight interview, we did get a little taste of Ethan being a bit of a jerk - basically dismissed Calvin/Lynx as worse Riptide, and put his hand over Martin's mouth
(without Martin's permission) as a way of saying "shut up wrestler man!" Could have been funny, but it came across as somewhat mean-spirited and Martin clearly was not cool with it (and Martin Mason is not a sore loser - he spends almost every post-fight interview gushing about how good the other robot is, even if MaD CatTer loses.) Production asked Calvin what he thought, and he said (while holding Lynx) "well, I designed this robot to be unbeatable, it's a great robot to base it off of. Good job." Good comeback.
Fight 3: Captain Shrederator Captain Shrederator
is a longtime veteran, being one of the few robots (alongside Witch Doctor, Hypershock, and Lock-Jaw
) who has competed in all 7 seasons of the reboot. And they've competed for even longer - under various names and throughout various small tweaks, Captain Shrederator is basically the same robot as Phrizbee
, from original Battlebots Season 3.0 in 2001. They're not exactly good
by any modern standard, to be honest, but they're fun and an institution of the show. Worth noting that leading up to this fight, Nick Nave (son of Shrederator captain Brian Nave and a member of the team) had been hinting at possible controversy around this fight for a few weeks beforehand on the subreddit, so people were ready for some shit.
So going in, everyone expects Riptide to win. Here's a bot that made MaD CatTer look like a middleweight, versus a team with, at the time, a 6-18 career record. Riptide can't be complacent because even Shrederator can do some damage if you let it (by some metrics, Shrederator may have the most powerful weapon in the competition), but it's their fight to lose. Ethan Kurtz explains his strategy in an interview before the fight - get some big hits that flip Shrederator over. Once they're upside-down, they can't self-right and they'll be counted out. Makes sense, a solid, quick, safe, easy way to win. Well, watch the fight here if you can
If you can't, I will summarize: It starts off with Shrederator dodging Riptide and spinning up, until eventually Riptide gets a solid hit that breaks a piece of Shrederator's shell off and destabilizes them. One more big hit from Riptide and Shrederator lands upside-down - it's over. Well, no. Riptide then goes in and hits them again before they can be counted out. And again. And again. And again. At this point Shrederator is basically completely dead, but it's still able to spin. Shrederator's team calls over to Riptide "yo, stop it we're dead already." Riptide hits Shrederator again. Riptide's weapon operator tells Ethan to hit him again. And so he does. And one more time, as sparks fly out of Shrederator's pulverized electronics. Riptide leaves Shrederator dead on the floor, as they go and, you guessed it, punt shrapnel around the box. At this point the referee has to physically take the controller from Ethan (while the rest of team Riptide tries to stop the ref.)
Of course this is a KO for Riptide, but in doing so they did around $10,000 worth of extra, unnecessary damage to Shrederator, and almost the entire bot had to be thrown out and rebuilt from spares. Riptide was not apologetic (and in fact later Ethan would gloat to the camera over how Team Shrederator hadn't even tried to rebuild their bot.) No members of Team Riptide helped Shrederator rebuild either, though one did offer. (It wasn't Ethan, Stan, or the weapon operator Sid.)
To say this was controversial to the community would be lying. Controversy requires some argument or debate. There was none - everyone
thought Riptide went way too far. Riptide later tried to say "we interpreted their spinning as intent to keep fighting, and we couldn't hear them asking us to stop." Which was seen by most of the community as a load of crap, since Ethan had said to the camera that he didn't need to do those late hits just before the fight, and teams are bantering with each other in fights all the time. Riptide was formally warned by the ref again for this fight.
At this point, the editors I guess realized that controversy sells. In almost every remaining episode of the season, even ones where Riptide didn't fight, they had some clip of Riptide, or Ethan, or something else to rub in "these guys are really mean and have a good bot, wHaT iF tHeY wIn???" Very much a 'whenver Riptide's not on screen, all the other robots should be asking "Where's Riptide?"
' situation. It got old very fast (read: instantly.)
Fight 4: Black Dragon
You want to talk about beloved teams, you have to mention Black Dragon
. This Brazilian team is known for two things - their plush duck, which they won in a claw machine the first time they came to the US for a competition and have kept as a good luck charm ever since, and their durability - they had gone a near-record 24 matches without ever getting knocked out, winning all of those fights or losing by judge's decision. Leading up to this fight, Battlebots kept having segments showing how Black Dragon had almost surpassed Bite Force for the "most fights without a KO" streak (Bite Force was never KO'd in its entire 4-season career, going 26-1 with 1 lost JD.) Of course, then they had to fight Riptide.
This fight was probably the least controversial Riptide fight of the season - you can watch it here
. Riptide went in and did not let up, unrelenting, leading to the Brazilian bot suffering their first ever KO in under a minute. Riptide was actually pretty chill in the post-fight interview, very respectful towards Black Dragon - I guess that ref warning stuck. For now. With that, Riptide advanced to 4-0 in the qualifiers, and ended up securing themselves the #2 overall seed (behind the undefeated Brazilian monster Minotaur
, a favorite to win it all every season and the season 3 runner-up.)
Round of 32: Shatter
For those who don't know, Battlebots has a series of qualifying fights (this year, 4 fights per bot) to determine, out of the contenders (50 this year), which 32 get to compete in the tournament for the Giant Nut, and where they will be seeded. As the #2 seed, Riptide got to fight the #31 seed - hammer-bot Shatter, who you saw earlier helping Witch Doctor. Now, let me not mince words - Shatter was fucked. To paraphrase a comment I saw, "If Shatter drives like a god, gets the most perfect hammer shots ever, and in general is the best a hammer has ever looked in the history of hammers... they will still lose." There was no way Shatter could ever, ever
win, barring some kind of catastrophic self-induced failure from Riptide. But damn it, Shatter captain Adam Wrigley was sure as hell going to try.
Now, for more info, the bots have rules that govern what you can do. There's a lot, but 2 are relevant - strict 250 lb weight limit, and the tip speed of a spinning weapon cannot exceed 250 mph. Bots are weighed before each fight to confirm the weight limit, and all bots with spinners have to do tip speed tests in the test box. After the weigh-in, you cannot modify or work on your bot in any way without the approval of production and safety. Not for anything. Maybe a sticker if you want.
So when a Shatter team member found Riptide working on their bot
in the tunnel leading from the pits just before the fight, questions were had, and team Shatter demanded Riptide be reweighed and tip speed retested (there were rumors in the pits that they were spinning faster than 250mph.) The team later explained they were attaching a plastic hammer to the robot to mimic Shatter (teams doing funny decorative mods to their bot to mimic the other bot is a longstanding tradition.) All evidence seemed to point to that being the case, so nobody thinks they were lying about it, but it still warranted a reweigh. My opinion - that's fine, but tell production. If people think you're going to do something illegal, and you do something legal but in a way that looks illegal, don't be surprised when people think you're doing something illegal.
I will note that the show made a big deal out of how when Riptide was weighed before they were 'caught,' they weighed in at 250 lb, and the re-weighing said they were 248. There was some concern from Shatter about that, not helped by Stan Kurtz being kind of smug back to them. In response to one Shatter member asking "Why is it 248 now and 250 before?", Stan responded "You're right, there's something wrong. We made it lighter." Now, the thing with this is that there are multiple scales, they're not extremely precise, and if anyone has ever worked with industrial scales before you know how easily they come out of calibration. Some builders have said that whether or not the AC was on could add a pound of weight from the airflow. The "250lb" scale was not the same as the "248lb" scale as well. Generally, nobody really
thinks there is something up with the weight, but working on the bot post-weigh-in absolutely warrants a reweigh, no matter who it is.
Riptide complained a lot about it, to the point where the word "whiney" comes to mind. You messed up, teams are meant to tell production before they add decorative stuff and you didn't, so you need to be reweighed. You've already pissed people off in the past so don't be surprised when they give you a bit more scrutiny. Take your lumps, apologize, act like adults, and maybe people will give you the benefit of the doubt next time. Instead, there was a lot of "oh boo is me, we're being discriminated against" - a direct quote from Ethan is "their paranoia is affecting our performance, I think it's really uncool that they did this." Granted, if the scale drifted the other way and they had to lose 2lb of armor to satisfy the arbitrary scale drift, I would get it more, but as it is they just look, well, whiney.
At this time, unbeknownst to anyone until they revealed it on a livestream, Team Whyachi (the team behind the powerful flipper Hydra
, engine of (self-)destruction Fusion
, and Comedy Central-era legend Son of Whyachi
, who had the pit next to Riptide, was asked by production to put a spy camera up to make sure everything was above board. Allegedly they also began doing analysis of the audio and video of the actual fights, to make sure teams (read: one team) weren't cheating and spinning faster than the "maximum speed" they did in the test box.
However, aside from the (explainable, acceptable) scale drift, Riptide was not found to be cheating with tip speed or anything else. Shatter accepted this without complaint - they just wanted to be sure. So, that's out of the way. Ethan basically said "they are paranoid and are trying to ruin us so we will crush them" - fair enough, I suppose. Here's the fight
(note: this video includes the entire 'weigh-in' drama before the fight if you want to watch it instead of just reading about it.) For what it's worth, Shatter lasted longer than anyone yet against Riptide - almost 2 minutes - but it went the way everyone expected. The most unexpected thing was in the post-fight, where Ethan basically said "Adam is a paranoid loser" (alongside, allegedly, some more personal insults that got cut), then went in for a "sporting" handshake. Unsurprisingly, Adam refused it.
Now, Adam is basically the "union rep" for the builders - he's the guy chosen (by the builders) to represent them when Battlebots is thinking about changing the rules. He is a very widely respected guy and is by all accounts very sporting and nice. So when you've pissed him off enough that he refuses the handshake (only the second refused handshake in modern Battlebots history, as far as I am aware), you know you fucked up. But either way, Riptide is on to the round of 16.
Round of 16: Hypershock
You saw Hypershock earlier. They're quite good - definitely a contender, though generally not going to be anyone's main pick to win it all. This year, they were the #18 seed after a rough set of qualifiers, fighting 2021 champs End Game
, 2021 runner-up Whiplash
, perennial contender SawBlaze, and the confusingly fast Claw Viper
(seriously watch this
, look how fast that boy is.) But after a solid win over #15 seed Lucky
, they were on to the round of 16.
When I say Hypershock is a fan favorite, I mean they are the
fan favorite - between their iconic style, aggressive driving, and captain Will Bales's humor and charisma, it's probably not wrong to say Hypershock is the most popular bot and team around. People love Hypershock, and people don't love Riptide, so this fight had a lot of "save us, O-Will Bales Kenobi, you're our only hope" energy with the community. Leading up to this, Will said in an interview that Riptide was good, but every team can't be good forever, and that someday Ethan will experience, in Will's words, a "humbling event."
But Hypershock wasn't the odds-on favorite here - Will Bales's flashy driving tends to lead to errors, and against something as nasty as Riptide, any error is death. The full fight isn't uploaded, but here's a clip
of the post-fight highlight reel. Will started out doing a 'box rush' (charging straight at the other bot as soon as the fight starts), only to attempt to dodge to the side. Unfortunately, this led to him powersliding directly into Riptide's weapon, losing a wheel, and getting flipped over.
Now, the thing with vertical spinners in Battlebots is they spin 'up' - this means that the outer side goes up and the inner side goes down, so you can brace your own bot against the floor and send the other one flying. Now Hypershock is upside down, effectively spinning 'down,' so the energy from hits pushes the other bot down and themselves up. Riptide is spinning 'up' as normal. Both of these are extremely powerful weapons. Both want to send Hypershock into the air. So what happens when they collide? The energy of both weapons goes into sending Hypershock flying
up over 25 feet and slamming into the ceiling of the Battlebox. Remember that that thing weighs 250 pounds. To quote Will in the post-fight interview, "nobody has ever been hit like that before." Much to the chagrin of Hydra captain Jake Ewert, who had the goal of being the first-ever bot to send another bot into the ceiling (and came within inches in their fight against Deathroll
), Riptide made Battlebots history here.
The rest of the fight goes as expected at this point and Hypershock is KO'd, with Riptide moving into the quarterfinals. Sorry Will, you aren't the humbling event this time.
It's the final episode of the season - the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals are all in one episode. People are spooked because Riptide is a incredible, powerful bot built and driven by shitty people, and nobody wants them to win but they might. But to go any further, they have to beat Copperhead.
. This snake-themed bot is probably best known for getting a new captain almost every year, and this year it's Luke Quintal in charge for his first time. They just came off of an insanely dominant upset
over 2021 champs End Game.
Luke has said that he was too focused on Copperhead to pay attention to the controversy, so he became aware of it when, leading up to this fight, builders kept coming up to him and whispering in his hear "dude, you have to beat Riptide. You have
to beat them. You might be our last hope." He's just a first-year captain/driver, with the oldest bot in the competition (Copperhead has had the same two frames for its entire 4-year career - this is the longest any frame has competed in the history of modern Battlebots without replacement), who's had to have back-to-back fights against rookie of the year Ripperoni, 2018 Most Destructive winner ROTATOЯ
, and End Game. No pressure.
Now, people have tried ways to beat Riptide. You can't just tank their hits with a durable bot (Black Dragon.) You can't outdrive them with fancy footwork (Hypershock.) But something nobody has been
insane enough to try is to go weapon-to-weapon on purpose
to break Riptide's weapon. Copperhead just went weapon-to-weapon with End Game and broke theirs. Copperhead is durable enough to take those huge hits Riptide deals out. So their strategy is to just go berserk until something breaks. But there's one major plot twist left.
Remember how I said the Kurtzes are anti-vaxxers? Well, the pandemic is still going on. In order to get into the pits, you either had to be double-vaxxed or
test negative every day. Well, there's no confirmation that Ethan was or was not vaxxed (but let's be real), but guess what? In the greatest Chekhov's gun in Battlebots history, he tested positive for COVID the day of the Copperhead fight. Riptide is out their driver for their biggest fight ever.
Other builders have confirmed that this was not the first or only time that team members had to miss days due to testing positive, but previous times either 1) did not involve the drivers, or 2) were in the qualifying rounds where fights could be postponed to following days. But neither was the case this time. Now, this is really a shitty situation for Riptide, and I do feel some degree of pity for them - what a thing to happen. But at the same time, lmao.
Riptide has to spend most of the day deciding who would drive the robot in the fight. The first person they ask? Jack Barker, driver of End Game and 2021 world champion. Jack agreed - can you blame him? Riptide is a hell of a bot, probably super fun to drive, and who knows, maybe he could win another Giant Nut. This got as far as Jack driving Riptide around the test box, before Luke found out and was like "hang on, no. He's not on your team. It's not fair that you can just go to the best driver in the pits and ask them to drive for you." Production agreed and hastily made a new rule where the driver has to be a member of the team. This all was not in the episode, and was only revealed by Luke Quintal after the season aired.
Team Riptide then deliberated between the several members of the team who might stand a chance. They eventually decide on team member Felix Jing, who's an award-winning Vex Robotics driver but has never driven a heavyweight before. Felix seemed to be a nice enough guy, and pretty humble. However, in the deliberations over who would drive, they lose time and are unable to replace their damaged weapon from the Hypershock fight.
So the fight. Riptide box rushes Copperhead, and the first weapon-to-weapon sends Copperhead flying. Luke's bot is still going, though, and goes in for another clash. This goes on for a few hits, until a massive hit sends Copperhead flying up and Riptide flying back - but when they come to, Copperhead's weapon is spinning... and Riptide's weapon is cracked down the middle
, exactly what Copperhead was aiming for.
Copperhead does not let up and keeps hitting, eventually ripping about a quarter of Riptide's weapon off completely
. However, the damage from the last 4 years of fighting added up. Those big hits from Riptide were the final straw - one of Copperhead's two wheels just falls off
. Copperhead can still move, just about, on just one wheel, but suddenly this fight got a lot closer. They keep hitting Riptide, but it goes to the judges after the full 3 minutes.
It's a split decision. Battlebots is scored on an 11-point system - 5 points for damage, and 3 each for aggression and control.
All three judges gave Copperhead three damage points to Riptide's two and Riptide two control points to Copperhead's one.
The first judge scored aggression 2-1 for Copperhead. 6-5 Copperhead.
The second judge scored aggression 2-1 for Riptide. 6-5 Riptide.
The third judge scored aggression 2-1 for the winner... Copperhead!
They did it, they saved the goddamn universe. We will not have to live in a world where the ur-anti-vaxxer and his dickhead kid win Battlebots. Everyone is fucking ecstatic. I cheered. The audience cheered. God probably cheered. And boy, did the pits cheer
- some builders have said this was the biggest celebration in the pits they had ever seen. Tim Rackley of Monsoon
(big lad with the flag) apparently was picking Luke up and carrying him around the pits cheering. Riptide is out
It's a pity Ethan wasn't there to experience his 'humbling event' in person, but it happened. He was there on a video call on a tablet - apparently, production did ask him how he felt and he went on a 5-minute rant about how the team was being forced to face jealousy and adversity because they had to get reweighed. The entire rant was cut from the episode that aired. I've seen conflicting reports if he said "if I was there we would have won," but it would be in character if he did.
Team Riptide used their appeal (each team gets one) to ask the judges to re-review the fight - they did (absolutely fair - you have nothing to lose, anyone should appeal in this situation), and as though to rub it in even more, the sole judge who ruled for Riptide changed his mind
about Riptide's aggression, giving Copperhead a unanimous JD. The saga of Riptide in WC7 ends here.
There was zero drama of any kind for the rest of the season (all 3 fights of it.) All the fights were great, clean fights between respected and respectful teams and robots. Copperhead ended up losing to HUGE in the semi-finals - no surprise or shame there, HUGE is designed to be invincible to bots like Copperhead. HUGE ended up facing the mighty SawBlaze in the finals, and in probably the best finals match in combat robotics history, SawBlaze managed to win a unanimous JD, giving SawBlaze captain Jamison Go
the Giant Nut.
Literally zero people were unhappy with this - both Jamison and HUGE captain Jonathan Schultz are some of the nicest, most genuine, humble builders in the sport, and going into the finals it was very much a "no matter who wins we all win" kind of thing. Both bots are also "non-meta" - "meta" being the general form of bot that Hypershock, Riptide, Witch Doctor, Copperhead, etc. are, a compact vertical spinner - seasons 3-6 saw meta bots win both first place and runner-up, so people were excited to see a finals match with something new on both sides.
This was very recent, so no news if Riptide will be invited back next year. I would be shocked if they weren't, though - controversy sells, and regardless of how bad the team is, the robot is a killing machine that makes for incredible spectacles. There is allegedly a "sportsmanship rule" being added next year - it's a pity that something that has gone unspoken for decades has to codified in rules because of the actions of one team, but hopefully it will help. Between unethical sponsors, destroying fan favorite bots, being rude both inside and outside the box, cheating allegations, and a stunning lack of humility, Riptide really checked all the boxes in the 'bad guys' field this year.
I could say "the viewing community is willing to give Riptide one more chance to apologize and redeem themselves" but that would be a lie. For the most part, the subreddit, main Discord, etc. are all sick and tired of ever seeing the team again, and would love nothing more than for some cool, nice builder to hijack the bot so we can have cool robots and
cool people. I don't know how the builders feel - I imagine that they're probably not quite as vehemently opposed to the team on average, but there's probably no love lost.
I enjoyed writing this up quite a lot, because it really was a classic "villain defeats the main good guys, but then the underdog comes out of nowhere and saves the day" story. Also Battlebots rules. Feel free to ask me anything about the show, or any bots, or if you want to see some cool bots that I didn't include. And seriously, watch Battlebots, it's so good. Check out /battlebots
- it's the off-season, so the shitposts are about to get real good. I'm running out of characters so the collection of miscellaneous facts I originally had stuck on the end of this writeup is going to be in the comments.
I’m curious on if this has anything to do with my OCD or if I’m just strict when it comes to my appearance, but I tend to get stressed out and fixated on my appearance a lot. Whether it’s my hair, my outfit, my shoes, or jewelry, if I don’t think it’s too my standard I’ll get stressed and have a mental breakdown. This doesn’t happen that often because I’m good with planning how I look and I know what looks good on me, but ever so often I would I have something about my outfit or look that throws me off. Often times this thing is just a really tiny detail that no one else pays attention to or notice, but it feels like the biggest decision of my life and like if I don’t fix the outfit then my life will be ruined and everyone will look at me like I’m the most unattractive person ever. For an example, one time I was debating on whether I should keep filling in my cupids bow with lip liner or just emphasize it naturally, I ended spending about an hour or two feverishly texting multiple friends, looking at pics, and apply and reapplying my lip liner that I eventually just broke down into tears and had to stop. Even if I do go out and I don’t think I look my best, I’ll end up looking in my mirror 20+ times and asking for reassurance. I tried to look online to see if anyone related to this, but when I try to search OCD about appearance, all I see is body dysmorphia, so what do you guys think, I’m honestly not not sure if it has to do with OCD.
This has been a hard update to write. I've attempted to finish it many times. I will write about myself, and not my client. It may read like a journal.
We all know how this story ends. No conviction. Another rapist walks free. We live with a justice system that protects abusers– its flaws are innumerable, and I witnessed them firsthand. The absence of a guilty verdict left many people gutted, myself included, to say the least. I slept for a total of 21 hours in 2 days, and spent likely 28 hours in bed total, drifting, mostly oscillating through unconsciousness and not. I cried as hard as I did when I buried my grandmother. I cried myself to sleep more than once.
Facing my client this past week was awful– I felt as though I was to blame for their suffering. I buttoned up my anguish under a guise of unwavering pride, and although I am deeply, to my bones, proud of them, I have been awash in my own shame. I know that I did not fail. I know that I did my best. I know that this trial did not rest on me, nor was I my client's abuser, nor was I the person to push them to press charges. Nonetheless, shame orbits about me. It creeps in like a shadow in my periphery, and as days pass, it fades in pieces, only to roar alive again– and fade again too.
The narrative of not being enough cannot always be dismissed outright. Sometimes we must wade through its murky waters, and gaze downward at its surface to understand why we are afraid.
What came up was the realization that I had less courage than my client. Many moons ago, I never told anyone. I never did a forensic interview. I never faced my abuser in a court of law. My client did what I could not– did that make me fraud? Did that make me a coward?
It did not, and it does not. I know this– but I wish now I could do what I couldn't do then. I wish I could face them as my client did. I wish for my younger self to have had someone like me. I grieve much like my clients do–those who are parents, those who are giving their children the childhood they wished they had. I hold my adolescent body in my empty arms, attempting endlessly to assuage her of her felt failure. I just want her to know that I love her. That I know she did her best too.
The injury from this experience is both a learning opportunity–educational wealth abound– and it is also a heavy weight upon my chest. I carry these with both pride and sorrow, with despair and hope. This week and every week moving forward, I will be better at my job for this. I will be a better person too.
What's in an update? Ambiguity.