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no but like in this scene is Bart is literally three feet away from the person destined to betray the human race, the person he’s spent his entire life fearing and hating. He has to keep up the pretense of simply being a cheerful, energetic tourist from the future, while in actuality he’s here to find out all he can about his buddy Blue to prevent the Reach apocalypse. That’s why he was in Jaime’s locker in the first place. Not to steal a bag of chips, but because he needed to find out anything and everything he could about him.  


And here, where he’s listening to Jaime talk about his insecurities of being Blue Beetle, his expression actually betrays his emotions for a few seconds. It’s in this moment that he realizes Blue Beetle isn’t as bad as he thought, that there’s something in him possibly worth saving.

Help the Homeless (to Help Yourself)

So, I’m in a bit of a sticky situation.

Some quick, basic background information to help you along and then we’ll get started with the problem - Four months ago I moved to the west from the northeast, mainly because I hate the cold, but also because the city happened to house the college of my dreams. This means that my family currently lives literally across the country from my tiny, underfurnished apartment. My roommate Kate likes to stay out all night and drink. She pays half the rent and respects the tradition of pajama/movie night Thursday, though, so I keep her around.

Anyway, about two weeks into my new life, I finally found a decent coffee shop to invest my time in. Seriously. Perfect. Not a big business, not over-busy in the morning, not so hot that it scalds my tongue every goddamn sip… It’s the perfect cup of joe, alright?

Not kidding - the next day, while I am still riding the high of this glorious discovery, I find out a homeless tramp lives in the adjacent alleyway.

And he takes a liking to me.

It’s not terrible at first. I’m not usually one to strike up a conversation with strangers. I mean, I’m a thin, seriously lanky, pale dude, with about as much muscle as you would expect a small kitten to have. And I respect the whole “teach people not to attack instead of teaching someone to defend themself” ideology but there was still no way I wasn’t considering self defense.

Turns out I didn’t need it. Although he looked off-putting, the vagrant who introduces himself to me and asks what my favorite book is (The Once and Future King, T.H. White) seems like a totally harmless, if not mildly touched, old man.

I don’t remember much about our first meeting, but something sticks about him telling me I looked lost, an awkward laugh on my part, and him then going on to proclaim that my hair was “too light” (I’m a natural blond) and “styled weird” (meaning messy). Despite this, he miraculously grew on me pretty quickly. In fact, more often than not, I would buy him a coffee in the morning too, and he would walk with me to my bus stop. The first few times I was slightly worried about him taking note of this crucial location to my life, but he never once made a fuss when it was time for him to leave. We had some pretty great conversations on our block-walks.

We’ll call him Al, because even though I’ve tried, no matter what, I still can’t bear to leave him nameless.

Al and I talked about a lot of things. We had a lot of similar views about the world. He said that he liked to go to the center of town and listen to the music young people played there. He said he liked to go to bookstores with the change he saved up. The only time I ever asked him why, he said, “This world, well- it’s a shitty one, son. No two ways about it. But in a bookstore, there’s millions of worlds that are slightly less shitty, or where it’s equally shitty, but the characters get better hands that I never got. So I like to share that time with them.”  Hearing him talk about the things he loved was one of the greatest pleasures of my life. His playful eyes lit up and he got a small smile on his partially-hidden-by-beard lips. He looked away to the left as he spoke slightly softer.

"What’s your all-time favorite book, Al?" I asked him after that.

He looked at me from the side of his eyes and smiled beneath that long, mangy beard of his. “It hasn’t been written yet,” he confessed. “But I’ll know when I find it.”

"Okay, well then, what’s your favorite, er, experience you’ve ever shared so far?"

He turned to face me full on, then. He looked me dead in the eyes and said softly, “This one.” It was the first moment I was sure beyond a doubt that I liked Al. I don’t know why I never invited him back to my house for a shower and a sandwich or something. I know Kate wouldn’t have minded. I think, at the time, I convinced myself that it was because of all my schoolwork, or that my budget was too low to care for him the way he needed it. I was selfish, but Al was nice. He never asked or imposed or even insinuated that he would like to see where I lived or use my phone.

And then, a month and a half later, out of the blue he stops showing up. I ventured as far into his alleyway as I dared the day it happened, but his treasured sleeping mat and plastic bag of books were nowhere to be found. I bought him a coffee and left it at the mouth of the alley just in case I had missed him, and I took my walk to the bus stop. It felt pretty weird to be alone. The bus regulars whom I had never spoken to actually asked me where Al was.

The next day the coffee was still there. I checked - the cup was full and cold. So, being a college kid in America and battling serious budget issues already, I couldn’t buy a coffee to waste again. I did check around the city’s homeless shelters, food pantries, and even the local emergency room as soon as I got a chance, though. Nobody had ever heard of anybody remotely like Al.

So, eventually, I let it go.

Keep reading

every time I wind up bringing up Invasion: America I want to punch something.

today I had to explain to someone on a forum why the US is still stuck in the animation age ghetto and hasn’t quite done so yet, using Invasion: America as an example of an attempt to start bringing Western animation out of it.

seriously, I would have loved to have seen that done at least well enough to have gotten released on video at least, or better yet go on to book 2 or at least continue in book or comic form.

Australian Spotted Jellyfish - Phyllorhiza punctata - A beautiful but annoying invader

Phyllorhiza punctata (Rhizostomae - Mastigiidae) is a large jellyfish with a rounded and somewhat flattened gelatinous bell that is clear or possibly tinted brown with many small white crystalline refractive spots close to the surface. 

P. punctata is a coastal and estuarine jellyfish whose wide native distribution includes Australia and much of the Indo-Pacific including the Philippine archipelago. 

This species was recorded only from Indo-Pacific waters prior to the 1950s.  Since 1995 there are several reports of populations of the Australian Spotted Jellyfish in the Atlantic (Brazil), Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the East Pacific (California), where the species is considered introduced, invasive and nuisance, impacting fisheries, injuring swimmers, and clogging the intakes of power plants, among other effects. 

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Ray Froend | Locality: Swan River, Western Australia (2007)

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Orange pore fungus: an invasive species 

When speaking of invasive organisms is common to think of plants and animals, but not in fungus, perhaps because there are few studies that address the issue of geographic dispersal in this group of organisms. 

The fact is that fungi can also be dispersed, as they have a medium, their spores, through which the genetic material of the fungus can be taken to new places and successfully establish, whether be it transported by natural elements (water, wind, birds) or accidentally by man.

The beautiful Orange pore fungus, Favolaschia calocera (Mycenaceae), is one of those fungi that has spread beyond its native range distribution. This saprotrophic fungus occurs naturally in Madagascar and parts of southern Asia. It was first reported as an exotic New Zealand in the 1950s, and is now common throughout the North Island and the north western regions of the South Island.

Genetic studies also revealed that it may have also been introduced to Kenya, Norfolk Island and Réunion Island. In 2002 it was also reported from Italy. In 2005 it was recorded for the first time in south eastern Australia, and currently it has been reported also in North America (Brazil) and the Hawaiian islands.

Because it is spreading, it needs to be monitored due to the potential ecological impacts of its introduction, since it is a saprotrophic fungi. Whether it may displace native fungi is still uncertain, as in both New Zealand and Italy it appears to be more abundant in remnant or disturbed habitats.

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Bernard Spragg | Locality: Ruakaka, Northland, New Zealand]  -  [Bottom: ©Marco Bertolini | Locality: unknown]

This is what happens when someone who doesn’t understand science tries to put a positive spin on global warming. 

(above image from a Daily Caller article.) 

The study’s lead author responds: 

No, our study shows nothing of the kind! It is a complete distortion of what we say, and I had no idea this story was running.

[…]

What we do show is that despite indisputable loss of biodiversity at the scale of the planet, in most places we detect a change in the species that live there, rather than loss of species everywhere. We suggest that part of this is caused by species migrating towards the poles in response to climate change, and part to invasive species replacing local species.

[…]

There is nothing in our paper to even suggest that climate change is beneficial for biodiversity.

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