Some cool things you can do with Python: pyThOn – fastEst Growing LaNgUage

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Python is an easy to learn, powerful programming language. It has efficient high-level data structures and a simple but effective approach to object-oriented programming. Python’s elegant syntax and dynamic typing, together with its interpreted nature, make it an ideal language for scripting and rapid application development in many areas on most platforms.

Python interpreters are available for many operating systems, allowing Python code to run on a wide variety of systems.
So what are some of the cool things you can do with Python?

1. Python Web Development

python web development


Web development is the umbrella term for conceptualizing, creating, deploying and operating web applications and application programming interfaces for the Web.
Python is object oriented programming language. It can be used to build server-side web applications. Python is not used in a web browser. The language executed in browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer is JavaScript.
However, most web applications build using a combination of Python and JavaScript. Python is executed on the server side while JavaScript is downloaded to the client and run by the web browser.

So you can build a cool website from scratch without feeling overwhelmed. You can also take advantage of micro-frameworks like Flask and Bottle.

Advanced content management is also possible with systems like Django CMS and Plone. Further, Python’s standard library supports several internet protocols like HTML, XML, and JSON.

2. Scientific and Numeric Computing
Python is an increasingly popular tool for Data Analysis. Data analytics falls under scientific and numeric computing. So we can take advantage of many libraries which python provides for scientific and Numeric computing. Such as SciPy library which includes modules for linear algebra, optimization, integration, special functions, signal and image processing, statistics, genetic algorithms, ODE solvers, and others. Numba which is specifically suited for scientific codes and Pandas is a data analysis and modeling library, so there’s a lot going on with Python within data science.

3. Function Decorators Allow Enhanced Functionality
Function decorators allow you to enhance the functionality of existing functions. In context of design patterns, decorators dynamically alter the functionality of a function, method or class without having to directly use subclasses. You can implement the decorator pattern anywhere, but Python facilitates the implementation by providing much more expressive features and syntax for that.

4.Machine Learning

machine-learning-python


Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can change when exposed to new data. 
Python has a great library called scikit-learn that is specialized in machine learning. The availability of scikit-learn makes it easy to implement machine learning algorithms in python.

5.Browser Automation

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You can also use Python to do cool things like automating your browser to do social media posts,download files and web pages. This can be done by using Selenium with Python. Selenium is able to fill in forms and simulate mouse clicks in this browser.

6.Robotics

robotics-python

Python is a core language of ROS (Robot Operating System), meaning the full power of a distributed robotics system and all its libraries/tools are available to you via Python. Python can be used to code a Raspberry Pi to function as the brain of a robot. By doing this you can get the robot to react to its environment and perform multiple actions.

These six cool things made possible by this programming language is just a fraction of what you can do with it. Python’s recent 3.6 release has new features in the asyncio module (which is no longer provisional with a surprisingly stable API), formatted string literals, and the addition of a file system path protocol.
The language is also evolving fast within the data science space. The Python ecosystem is now full of data science tools, so a lot of the data science work that’s currently taking place is being done with open-source tools like Python.

Learn Python with Django

pRoDuct oR SerVice – sell it on “AmaZon marketpLace”

amazon

Amazon, the E-commerce giant, is one of the oldest merchants on the web and has over 200 million customers worldwide. Amazon is the unrivalled marketplace to sell products online. It provides an excellent platform for conducting online business and has proved beneficial for both buyers and sellers. Amazon is an extremely popular e-commerce site that can help expand your reach in the market and improve the visibility of your product in a unique way.

There are various reasons why you should consider selling at Amazon Marketplace

  • Increase Sales: The best reason of selling on Amazon is the scale of their online visitors.
  • Acquire Potential Customers from across the Globe: Amazon has millions of varied customers across the globe who visit on a frequent basis.
  • Quick and Stress Free Shipping: Amazon can ship your product, through Amazon’s FBA service, Fulfillment by Amazon, to the customer faster and at cheaper rates than you can do it yourself.
  • Effortless, Trusted Shopping Experience for Customers
  • Secure and Timely Payments: Amazon offers hassle-free and timely payments. Payment for your product is deposited into your bank account and you are notified via email that your payment has been made. Also, Amazon deducts its fees only after you make a sale.

Amazon Marketplace – Account Types

Before start selling products you should first choose the type of account, then decide what product to sell and finally decide how to manage shipment and returns.

Amazon offers two types of Account

1) Individual Account
2) Professional Account

Differences between Individual and Professional selling plans

Individual sellers are on a pay-as-you-go system and use a basic set of tools for listing and order management. While Professional sellers pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99, they also receive a waiver of the $0.99 fixed closing fee for each order and can access additional tools for listing inventory and managing orders.

Amazon Marketplace – Listing a New Product

If you want to list a new product in the Amazon catalog, then you need to follow the steps given below:
1) Log-in to your account
2) Click on sell button
3) Select your account type
4) Fill the following form

It may take a few days for the product to begin appearing in the search list.

Listing Products in Masses
What if you want to sell thousands of products? Entering the details of each item would be very tedious. In such a case, uploading lists of products into Amazon Seller Central comes to your rescue. It does not mean that you do not need to input the product data. You obviously need to enter all the data, the product cost, its condition, quantity, etc. but you will be entering it into a spreadsheet and upload the spreadsheet on Amazon. The entire procedure of uploading is the same as discussed earlier.

Amazon Marketplace – Pricing Tools

Amazon has a repricing tool that could be quite useful. Merchants need to use such pricing tools because prices change very quickly with upcoming new merchants and new inventories. So, one needs to keep a check and keep the prices reasonable without making any changes manually. These tools use Amazon Web Service’s Application Programming Interface (API). They track information about your pricing and your opponent’s pricing and modify your pricing to appear more competitive, thereby escalating your sales and drawing you closer to the Buy Box.

Amazon has no objection to merchants using these tools. In fact, they understand that managing large number of products isn’t possible without automation and they like tools with a tendency to push the pricing down, because it provides lower prices to their customers.

Amazon Marketplace – Price Calculator

It is quite an effort to know how much revenue you can generate by selling a product on Amazon. Being one of the most popular marketplaces for online merchants, Amazon has a wide array of fees – marketplace account fees, variable cost fees, referral fees, shipping costs, etc. The fee depends upon whether you are an individual seller or a pro merchant, shipping your product yourself or using FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon).

One cannot estimate how much profit can be earned by selling a product. Here, the readymade Price Calculators come to the rescue and helps you calculate how much profit are you going to make on the sale. Amazon Price Calculators are well equipped to help the sellers in determining their total profit on items after shipment and all monetary transactions.

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The latest Samsung foldable smartphone patent makes it look like a sleek Nintendo 3DS

With the Galaxy S9 rumor mill continuing to pick up steam, one smartphone that continues to be shrouded in mystery is Samsung‘s foldable smartphone, believed to be called the Galaxy X. That mystery has been peeled back little by little, but a recent Samsung patent continues to show us what the device looks like and what it can do.

Originally uncovered by Dutch site LetsGoDigital, the patent, which was registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), shows a device that looks like a significantly thinner Axon M. Similar to ZTE’s offering, Samsung’s smartphone features a hinge that connects the two screens, though the hinge also allows the phone to be closed.

Unlike the Axon M, which keeps the screens exposed, Samsung’s attempt protects the screens when closed. Interestingly, the smartphone looks to include a sensor that calculates the angle between the first and second screen. This allows the phone to know when the second screen is not in use, with the display turning off to save battery life.

Elsewhere, the patent shows the phone’s two displays each featuring a camera and speaker, though it’s possible that there is a third camera and speaker on the rear. Also possible is the inclusion of a stylus, which would make sense for those keen on drawing on a larger canvas than what is afforded on the Galaxy Note 8.

Finally, the patent shows off gaming controls on one screen while gameplay runs on the other screen, à la a no-button take on the Nintendo 3DS. The implementation of such a feature will depend on how developers take to it, and there is reason to be skeptical about that — it’s not like they flocked to the Axon M, did they? I doubt this phone will sell like gangbusters, which will turn away the bigger developers, though I’m sure a handful might still give it a try.

Editor’s Pick

Much like the last time we caught wind of the supposedly-called Galaxy X, today’s news did not reveal when it might be announced. The earliest Samsung might mention the phone is during CES 2018, which is right around the corner. Whenever it is announced, we expect it to live alongside the Galaxy S9.

Would you be interested in picking up the Galaxy X? Let us know in the comments below.

Elemental Evil: Sessions 15

In the previous session the group had cleared out the keep of elemental evil earth, leaving fire as the last keep to attack and get the fourth magical key from. A previous encounter with a druid had given them the information that an unknown druidic circle called the Circle of the Scarlet Moon had sent word throughout the Dessarin Valley was performing the Rite of the Wicker Giant, a ritual that was said to restore nature’s balance in the troubled region. As the location was at the same place as their ancient dwarven map showed for the fourth keep, they knew that this must be the elemental evil fire cult.

At the location they found a tower with a crumbled wall around it on top of a hill. Before stood the Wicker Giant, a huge giant-shaped bonfire that seemed to burn without being consumed. On the slopes of the hill were various camp sites, with smaller bonfires. All those fires caused a certain haze, lightly obscuring vision. The group visited the first camp site and met the druid they had previously saved. He told them the ritual would take place tomorrow, and nobody was allowed to go up the hill until then. The druids with him were celebrating in anticipation.

The group used the haze to sneak past the other camps and up the hill. The scouted that besides the tower and the Wicker Giant there was a pit with 3 hell hounds and a guard. Two figures danced around the Wicker Giant, and two guards were patrolling the scaffolding around the tower. At this point a very long discussion about what to do ensued. Finally the group went over the crumbled wall to approach the tower from the side away from the Wicker Giant and pit. They killed the guards coming under a silence spell without alerting the cultists on the other side of the tower. Then they entered the tower, and found room with a big hole in the floor and a staircase going up. Two more guards were in that room, which they killed, but this time without the silence. So we ended the session when they heard more guards being alerted a floor up.

I must say this session depressed me a bit. We got so little done, just compare this to the other post today of the other group I am playing with. People weren’t focused on the game, and had a hard time to make decisions. I think I need to do something to increase motivation, making the story a bit clearer, in spite of the group not making much effort to gather information. I was also slightly annoyed by the Princes of the Apocalypse chapter on this place: One discussed option was to wait for the Rite of the Wicker Giant. Fortunately they didn’t do that, because I found out that this option wasn’t foreseen in the book, and there was zero information what exactly the fire cult had planned to achieve with that ritual, and why they had invited the druids to it. There are some vague hints that the cult wants to recruit some, and sacrifice the others, but the sequence of events would have to be improvised by me if the group had chosen to wait.

Evangelical Leader Who Criticized Trump Is Swamped with Death Threats from the ‘Christian Machine’

They turned on her when she went public with her views.

A popular evangelical speaker with a string of best-selling books and a home renovation show on HGTV revealed that she has been flooded with death threats because she has been critical of President Donald Trump and supported same-sex marriage.

In an interview with Politico, Jen Hatmaker said the “Christian Machine” has turned on her since she went public with her views, with retailing giant LifeWay Christian Stores pulling her books from the shelves and former fans burning them

According to Hatmaker, she was part of the “never Trump” faction of conservatives who were appalled by the rise of Trump during the 2016 campaign, telling her followers he made her “sad and horrified and despondent.” Following the release of the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape, she went after male Evangelical leaders who defended Trump’s actions, tweeting: “We will not forget. Nor will we forget the Christian leaders that betrayed their sisters in Christ for power.”

Adding to her problems was an interview with Religion News Service where she came out and stated that she supports same-sex marriage.

That was the final straw for what she called the “Christian Machine,” saying her children were accosted in the tiny Texas town where she lives, the death threats started pouring in and her fans turned on her.

“The way people spoke about us, it was as if I had never loved Jesus a day in my life,” she said in a recent speech.

Writing on her blog, she stated: “This year I became painfully aware of the machine, the Christian Machine. I saw with clear eyes the systems and alliances and coded language and brand protection that poison the simple, beautiful body of Christ. I saw how it all works, not as an insider where I’ve enjoyed protection and favor for two decades, but from the outside where I was no longer welcome. The burn of mob mentality scorched my heart into ashes, and it is still struggling to function, no matter how darling and funny I ever appear; the internet makes that charade easy.”

“Simultaneously, other things died during the election season. Much ink has been spilled here and I won’t belabor the point, but I know I’m not the only one holding a pile of tattered threads in her hands, wondering what on earth just happened to our supposed holy common ground,” she added. “The Christian Machine malfunctioned, and we are all still staring at each other, trying our damnedest to figure out how we understand the gospel so differently, unsure if we will ever find our way back to each other.”

According to the evangelist, she is refusing to back down and still delivers sermons pushing non-conservative views such as supporting gun control, Black Lives Matter and immigrant refugees.

“For me,” Hatmaker explained, “it’s not as base as, ‘I’m just going to keep being political for the sake of it,’ so much as it is that all of this policy, all of this rhetoric, all of this leadership, it affects real live human people. That, for me, is where I am no longer comfortable remaining silent.”

You can read her whole story here.

 

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How College Campuses Can Uphold Free Speech AND Shut Down Racists

Give marginalized communities the space to address white nationalists on campus.

At the Center for Human and Civil Rights museum in Atlanta, Georgia, there’s an exhibit with headphones where you can sit and experience the verbal abuse that many civil rights activists lived through during the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins. They could not verbally respond to the racists, lest they suffer violent consequences. Instead, they used nonviolent protest to challenge the abusive provocation and impact the national public discourse.

I thought of that exhibit recently, as I read about the spread of racist speech seeking to incite a response on college campuses. Should we disrupt white nationalists, Nazis and other far right views? Or should we, like the civil rights pioneers, find other ways to shut down racist speech? And what role should college administrators and other decision-makers play?

A predictable pattern

We’re seeing a predictable pattern: The far right funds white nationalist speeches on university campuses seeking to provoke students, faculty and communities. When students and communities push back, the Nazis and other racists gleefully tweet and give media interviews about the chaos that ensued because of the “violent left.” Afterward, university administrators are “embarrassed” that their institution hosted a melee.

Our constitution demands that we fully support nonviolent, non-disruptive protests by students at white supremacist events. The text of the Constitution’s First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “a group’s request to engage in a parade or demonstration involving public display of the Nazi swastika is a symbolic form of free speech that is at least presumptively entitled to First Amendment protections.” However, as University administrators and others should be well aware, in Brandenburg v. Ohio the court also held that “government can punish inflammatory speech” if it is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” Considering the incited violence involving campus speeches at Berkeley, University of California Davis, and others, administrators should carefully consider the implications of Skokie and Brandenburg.

Despite the death of roughly 60,000,000 people in World War II, the U.S. Supreme Court has not allowed a government ban on Nazi hate speech and symbols. So how do we responsibly exercise free speech in higher education and more broadly while holding racists accountable for their history of violence, incitement, and hate?

A productive approach

One productive approach is for university administrators to slate white nationalists (if they insist on hosting them) on debates or panels, with multiple views represented, in place of from-the-podium speeches. This arrangement allows white nationalists to air their racially biased views with direct and immediate debunking that’s put on an equal footing.

Our nation’s colleges and universities are the place where the violent and hateful views of Nazis and other white supremacists should be vigorously challenged. I suspect that many disruptions on campus would be quelled if the views of marginalized communities were formally given the space to address white nationalists, Nazis and other radical right views in campus settings. These events would become productive democratic dialogues, not dangerous monologues.

And why not replicate this in the classroom to address the ongoing outcry from conservatives that their perspectives are sidelined in higher education? I recently lectured in a sophomore seminar course using free speech on campus as the foundation for the class. I asked the students to take a public position and provide evidence to support their arguments. But they were somewhat surprised when I pushed back on their evidence.

Protecting tenure

As faculty, we have the duty to prepare our students to be critical thinkers and ready to engage in serious discourse. I am a believer in the power of evidence and the exchange of ideas—but this concept must be buttressed by our nation’s faculty and students.

For either of these suggestions to be carried out with any consistency, we must protect academic tenure, which has been a recent target of conservatives. The sacred responsibility of academia, and the power of tenure, is the ability to wrestle with our nation’s toughest debates without fear of political reprisal.

For generations, my ancestors had to endure racist abuse from white supremacists in silence. They eventually adopted ingenious nonviolent tactics. Today, we can still resist those who would deny us our rights, but college administrators, faculty and others who invite them to speak must take practical steps to make space for our voices, too.

Anthony Scaramucci Publicly Blasts ‘Loser’ Steve Bannon During Hannukah Party Remarks

The speech was supposed to be about his pilgrimage to Israel.

On Tuesday, short-lived White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci took a jab at fellow ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon at a New York Hannukah party.

As the New York Post‘s Page Six reports, The Mooch blasted Bannon as a “messianic loser” at Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s annual Hannukah party on the second-to-last night of Jewish holiday.

As Page Six notes, Scaramucci was at Rabbi Boteach’s party to discuss his recent trip to Israel — and was also the subject of a recent controversy after his “Scaramucci Post” Twitter account published a controversial tweet poll asking how many people died in the Holocaust.

“He’s a loser,” Scaramucci reportedly said. “He’ll be a stalwart defender of Israel until he’s not. That’s how this guy operates. I’ve seen this guy operate.”

“The problem with Bannon is he’s a messianic figure,” he added. “It’s his way or the highway.”

Scaramucci also once again brought up “leakers,” the ostensible subject of his rant to a New Yorker writer over the summer that likely led to his ouster a mere 10 days after taking his press secretary job. At the Hannukah party, The Mooch accused Bannon of “leaking on everybody” in the White House.

“I’m not Steve Bannon,” Scaramucci told The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza in July. “I’m not trying to suck my own c*ck.”

 

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Trump Diehards Take Over Taylor Swift’s New App, Instantly Start Spewing Hate

The pop star has come under fire for her refusal to condemn the so-called alt right.

Taylor Swift launched a new app for her loyal fans last week and within just two days, it was overrun by President Donald Trump’s fans to spread homophobia.

In a Tuesday report from the Daily Beast, screen captures of the app reveal the newly launched app, “The Swift Life,” was taken over by dogged Trump supporters.

Swift’s followers rushed to the app stores and by Monday it was among the top trending apps. It gave Swift fans a place on social media to see exclusive videos, use “Tay-mojis” and have their own Swift-centric newsfeed. But the most popular feature, which allows supporters to meet each other and chat, was possessed by right-wing trolls. Many Swift fans already know each other and have met on Facebook and Twitter. They’ve formed a collective of fans ready to respond to any criticism of their favorite star.

While the singer’s fans all had something in common with Swift, their political ideologies don’t mesh well. When conversation turned to politics, the fans started in on Trump and hate aimed at Hillary Clinton.

“Republicans and Trump supporters have just as much right to be here as everyone. There are people who voted for him or may vote Republican but didn’t vote for him. They may not agree with his beliefs but at least he supports our troops,” on fan wrote.

The comment spawned an argument in the comments section which quickly devolved into other Swift fans saying things like, “I just don’t accept gays lesbians and bisexuals,” Britt said.

Another comment from Britt claimed that her husband serving in the military was safer with Trump in office. Hillary has “done some things I don’t agree with when it comes to the safety of our troops… at the end of the day it came down to what I felt was best. There are people who voted for reasons other than Trump being a bigoted, sexist, homophobe,” she wrote in another post. The backlash was swift.

Those who love Swift and Trump quickly flocked to the defense of their kin on social media. They demanded their freedom of speech be recognized.

“I downloaded Tay’s app and before you start criticising me I’m a trump supporter (sic),” one fan tweeted. “I don’t see why people talk politics in there???? Like helloooooo let’s talk about our fav. We should support Taylor and I’m so disappointed she didn’t have one million downloads a minute.”

Britt ultimately deleted all of her posts about the president before writing, “Speak now and forever hold your peace. Not on TSL. Speak now here and everyone jumps down your throat.”

“You don’t get to use ‘free speech’ as an excuse to be rude and hateful,” another fan responded.

Rumors spread of political posts being deleted by moderators while international Swift fans blasted Americans for “ruining the app” and “distracting from Taylor.”

 

 

When a user logs into the app it demands users “help make this a safe and inclusive place for everyone to enjoy.” They’re encouraged to report content, saying, “see anything inappropriate, including instances of bullying or harassment, please report it.”

Swift made news when she refused to speak out against neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the so-called “alt-right.” She ultimately became the darling of the far-right movement, although Swift has tried to remain non-political. However, in 2016 Swift drew attacks from feminist supporters, who alleged that she was using feminist ideals to sell records while secretly supporting the anti-feminist candidate.

In a Yahoo interview with Swift friend Todrick Hall, Swift’s politics came up and he shut down the speculation she was a closet Trump supporter.

“Yeah, many people have been tweeting me, ‘She supports Trump! She probably voted for Trump!’” he said. “They’re making this huge assumption, when Taylor has never to my knowledge come out and said anything about her being pro-Trump.”

While he wouldn’t confess any inside information on whether Swift was a closet white supremacist, he said she has been “nothing but a great person to me,” as an gay African-American man.

“Her family has welcomed me into their home and treated me like I was a member of the family,” he said. “They’ve welcomed every single person I’ve ever brought around them. I’ve never felt like there was ever a moment that I couldn’t be myself, and talk about the fact that I’m gay or whatever.”

“Maybe one day, Taylor will start being super-political, and using her voice to do the things that people think that she should be doing,” he added. “But even then, she will probably be ridiculed for not being vocal enough, or not being on the right side.”

Left-leaning Swift fans attacked the pop star just last week after she claimed she “couldn’t have asked for a better year.” They allege the comment was “tone deaf” to the horrors many people of color faced in wake of the Trump presidency.

“I mean, yeah there were Nazi’s and white supremacy marches, and families are being torn apart, and there were mass shootings, and people are losing health care, but none of that affects me, so 2017 was great!” one person said on Twitter.

 

 

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Retraction

For weeks I have been having problems with my XYZ Da Vinci Jr. 1.0w 3D printer. Some prints work just fine, while other fail. Even worse, some prints which work fine if I try to print a single figurine then fail if I try to print multiple copies at the same time. It was driving me crazy, until with a lot of testing and observing I finally found out what the problem is: Retraction.

So what is retraction in 3D printing? Imagine printing a model of the Eiffel Tower. There is a lot of empty space in such a model. Because the print is done layer by layer, from the bottom up, the print head has to print a small thickness where a girder is, then move without printing to the next girder. In order to prevent PLA from coming out of the print head and causing strings to appear between the girders, the stepper motor is pulling the filament back a little bit before moving. That pulling back is called retraction.

Now what is happening with my printer, and I am not 100% sure how or why, is that the stepper motor is more efficient during retraction than during moving the filament forward. It basically retracts too much, and then after the movement pushes forward the filament by too little. So if I print a piece with lots of empty spaces and lots of retraction happening, while the solid sections are relatively thin, I end up retracting more and more, until the end of the filament has completely left the hot part of the extruder head. While the print head is still moving, there is no more plastic coming out of the nozzle at all, and the print fails.

Now there is a lot of 3D printing software with millions of settings where you can change the setting for retraction. Unfortunately the XYZ Printers don’t work with any of those 3D printing programs. They only work with their proprietary XYZWare. Which is deliberately simplified to make “plug and play” printing for the average customer possible. Somewhere in the depths of the code there must be a retraction setting (you can observe the filament moving backwards), but there is no way to access or change that setting. And I don’t want to “jailbreak” my 3D printer with some modified firmware, because that has the potential to completely break it.

Right now my solution is simply to avoid printing models with too much empty space in them. That means printing miniatures one by one instead of in batches, which would be more practical for prints during the night. But the long-term solution will be buying a better 3D printer which isn’t so limited with what software I can use, and what settings I can change. Right now I am thinking of still waiting a bit with that, as I haven’t found the printer of my dreams yet. One important feature for me is being able to print via WiFi, and surprisingly few printers have that. I want a pre-assembled 3D printer with a sturdy frame, not a wobbly self-assembly kit. But of course I don’t want to spend a fortune on it either. My $500 printer is maybe not high enough quality, but I wouldn’t want to spend more than $2,000 even on a good printer. As the market is developing, I might find the printer I want next year.

Elemental Evil: Session 10

In the previous session the group had attacked Feathergale Spire, the first stronghold of the elemental evil cult of air. There they had killed the lord of the tower, his guest Glasstaff (a mage they had been chasing since several sessions before) and three knights, before escaping from the top of the tower with magical para-glider suits. While having escaped unseen, the attack hadn’t gone unnoticed. So while they were at breakfast the next morning in the tavern in Red Larch, a local poultry merchant came in telling the news: “Bandits” had attacked Featherscale Spire, and the survivors of the Feathergale Society had decided to quit the tower, leaving only a single guardian behind. The merchant was quite distraught over the news, as he had had a nice business selling provisions to the tower, which now needed much less of them.

Feigning concern the group then went to the tower, this time ringing the bell at the front door. As chance would have it, the sole guardian of the tower was Savra, a young noble, who knew Theren from Waterdeep. Being a novice of the cult and a bit naive and trusting towards somebody she knew, Savra told the group that “the prophetess” aka Aerisi Kalinoth (the lady on the cover of the Princes of the Apocalypse book) had come and taken the rest of the Feathergale Society with her through the magical portal into the temple below. Asking about the door the group learned that the cults knew there were 4 keys to open the portal, but as nobody had all 4 keys that was not the usual way to open it; instead the prophetess opens the door with the help of her magical spear. Savra has no means to contact the prophetess or the rest of the Feathergale Society, and was told to wait in the tower. While Theren was chatting with Savra, other group members searched the tower, but of course everything of value or incriminating had been removed.

From there the group moved towards the Dessarin River, with the idea to move north from there and find Rivergard Keep, the suspected stronghold of the elemental evil cult of water. Near the river they came upon a scene where a group of water cultists was harassing a bear, with the bear curiously shouting for help in common. A fight ensued in which the group slew the cultists and rescued the druid/bear. The rescued druid, Varigo, was very grateful and gave them his most prized possession, the Talking Bear Statuette, a magical item allowing a druid in wild shape to talk and even cast 1 spell per transformation. [DM’s note: Our druid needed a boost due to the weird power curve of the moon druid compared to other classes, which results him being powerful at level 2, but not growing in power much until level 6, while everybody else surpasses him at level 5. It also solves the stupid problem that moon druids sometimes would like to remain in animal shape between fights, but would then be excluded from discussing plans with the rest of the group.] Varigo also told the group that he was on the way to Scarlet Moon Hall to witness the Rite of the Wicker Giant, a ritual that is supposed to restore nature’s balance in the troubled region.

The next day the group reached Rivergard Keep. The keep was well guarded, with patrols on the walls. So after some discussion on how to approach the group decided to climb the wall during the night under cover of a silence spell. They killed the wall guard, and then entered through a door into the second floor of the keep. There they managed to kill 6 crushing wave reavers (the elite soldiers of the keep) without raising an alarm. Having thus successfully infiltrated the keep, we stopped the session there, to continue in the new year.

On a personal note, the player of the paladin was absent, so my wife played her character. That was the first time my wife played a real role-playing game. I don’t think she will play frequently, but it is nice that she now knows a bit better what we are doing when we play.