Why is femslash the smallest genre in the world of fanfiction? Why is femslash the most underrepresented relationship type by a sizeable margin? More importantly, why is it that almost all femslash writers are queer women? Male slash pairings are written by straight women, queer women, and even some men (I say “even” because men are rarer than a two dollar bill in the world of fanfiction) and they’re read by a mostly female audience. Femslash has a completely different ideology, because it’s almost exclusively written and consumed by the community it portrays. Unlike a straight girl writing about two boys having sex (and I guarantee that they’re two conventionally attractive white boys whose female love interests have been deemed either worthy of death or asexual by the fandom), femslash is written by those whose identities and personal narratives are reflected in the stories themselves. Maybe the writer of that erotic scene hasn’t had sex with a girl yet, but damn, she has thought about it a lot. That queer author writes two girls falling in love even if they’re straight in the original work because two girls falling in love means something to her and to so many people like her, and it’s important that she sees herself in a piece of media whose canon forgets she exists. One of the great frustrations of LGBTQ media is the fact that so little of our representations end up coming from LGBTQ-identified creators, and thus we see inaccurate portrayals with limited diversity. Femslash exists because we were sick of being told we didn’t exist, so we wrote ourselves into their stories.
—  excerpt from a very long piece I’ve been working on for autostraddle about femslash and why there’s so little of it (and why we need to make more of it NOW)

Um. I am appalled. I never seem to manage to catch the bad parts of what’s going on in this fandom (or I just follow the right people) but trust me, I am protect natasha (or anyone from the carmilla crew) at all costs squad.

Along the Brahmaputra with @aratikumarrao’s River Diaries

To see more of Arati’s journey along the Brahmaputra River, follow @aratikumarrao on Instagram.

In her long-term project The River Diaries, Arati Kumar-Rao (@aratikumarrao) traces the path of the Brahmaputra River across South Asia. As a student of business, biophysics, and design, Arati earned three masters degrees and worked for a US technology company before returning to her native India. She now identifies herself as an environmental biographer, who tells the stories of impacted river ecosystems.

“They sustain hundreds of millions of people around the world and are home to a hundred thousand creatures,” she says. “What we do to a river, however, changes this. We dam it, divert it, squeeze it, pollute it, restrain it, mine its bed, gouge out its banks, pluck trees, dyke it, siphon it, dredge it, and sometimes suck these veins of a land dry.”

“Sometimes, the river is not what devastates areas,” she explains, “It is what we do to a river that does.”

People who rail on the quality of Disney’s visual design vs. the quality of its concept art just… don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s so easy to cherry-pick pieces of concept art you think are “prettier,” point at the finished product, and say “THIS IS LAZY AND DISNEY SUCKS”

Like by all means Disney sucks in many ways but don’t use those valid criticisms to dredge up petty complaints that show nothing but complete ignorance of how animated movies are made and blatant disregard for the amount of work that goes into the process

Concept art is supposed to be rougher, looser, and more grandiose than the finished product. It is the product of several artists putting all of their time and energy into creating visual ideas that, after months and months of reworking, are decided on and put into the film. If a concept artist has an idea it is their job to turn it into an image. Keep in mind that concept artists are (usually) not animators. They can pour all of their talents and energy into creating one concept piece. The job of the animator is to make that come to life, and sometimes that’s simply not possible for them to with certain concept designs do given time and budget restraints. What a concept artist spends hours on, the animator has to spend MONTHS on. So the concept work needs to be easy ENOUGH to turn into a moving image. Not easy. Easy ENOUGH

To use a specific example of concept art vs. the finished product, let’s look at the often-lambasted Tangled. Claire Keane is an amazing painter, greatly influenced by renaissance styles, and that shows in her concept work for Tangled. The results are gorgeous. But they’re commonly juxtaposed to images from the finished film and presented as superior visuals that, for no reason other than sucking, Disney chose not to put in the film

That’s simply not the case though. There are so many factors that prevent concept pieces from being fully recreated in a film, from the nitpicking of executives deciding what a film needs to be profitable (remember that corporate Disney and Disney Animation Studios are not entirely the same beast), to the technical limitations of computer animation. Everything you see in a finished product was created by someone who spent countless hours creating it. Nothing and I mean NOTHING in animation is simple. Even if something looks simplistic, it’s not. Which is why complex concept designs have to be watered down. The filmmakers need to decide on the best elements of the concept art and streamline them BEFORE animation even begins. The final product being a simplified version of the concept art is NOT laziness

Also, as with almost all issues the studio is blamed for, Disney is not the only guilty party. Y’all could dredge up concept art for aaaany other studio’s films and the differences between finished product and concept art would be just as vast in most cases. If you’re gonna criticize this aspect of animation, stop pretending Disney is the only studio that does this JUST because you feel like railing on it

Disney has some serious problems and I’m not here to excuse or defend that. And sometimes you just see something in concept art that you think would have been cool. There’s nothing wrong with that. But this is such a pointedly-petty argument that demeans the work of so many artists and shows a wide lack of understanding of the complications of making animated films

Alexander White: One of the natural wonders of the world is about to have 3 million cubic metres of seabed dumped on top of it.

The site where the dredging will take place is “just around the corner” of a beach that is used as the nesting grounds for endangered green and flat back sea turtles. Something that I didn’t know was that the flat back turtles nest solely in northern Australia and “have the smallest migratory range of any marine turtle”. This is crazy.

I don’t usually support Greenpeace, but they have created a petition against the plan. Please sign.


ALSO, updates and ways to help can be found on this website:

SYDNEY, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Australia will abandon plans to dump 3 million cubic meters of dredged sand into the Great Barrier Reef area in its effort to create the world’s biggest coal port, the Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday. …

BREAKING NEWS - TAKE ACTION NOW! Link will also be on blog under petitions

Australian authorities have approved a project to dump dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef marine park as part of a project to create one of the world’s biggest coal ports.

About 3 million cubic meters (106 million cubic feet) of dredged mud will be dumped within the marine park under the plan.

The already fragile reef will be gravely threatened by the dredging, which will occur over a 184-hectare (455-acre) area. Apart from the risk that the sediment will smother coral and seagrass, the increased shipping traffic will boost the risk of accidents, such as oil spills and collisions with delicate coral beds, environment groups argue.

(scroll to the right for more information)

Read more: http://bit.ly/1decyqK