Dear D&Diary,

Today I had the revelation that my half orc has 30ft speed, but because she’s a monk, her unarmored movement is +10ft at Level 3. Using the ki feature Breath of the Wind, she can dash as a bonus action meaning she can go 80ft in a turn.

If anyone cast Haste on my dear sweet Marfu, she would go 160 in six seconds. 

At her most perfect Level 20 self’s unarmored movement of +30, she could go a max 120ft in a turn, or 240ft hasted. With 20 ki points to spend that could mean a solid two minutes of going almost 30 miles per hour and I think that’s beautiful.

Environmental Hazards

(same group as this post)

In a Dragon Age campaign based during the first blight, we had been in a very large city for quite a while. The Blight caught up with us, and the dark spawn began to assault the city. We met the force head on in the outer sector of the city, only to come face to face with a horde of Hurlocks and the Archdemon itself.

Me, the Qunari Barbarian: (surveying the map our DM had drawn out) Ok, we cant win this - but if we run now we’ll die anyways. We need a diversion. How about this cow? 

Our DM had drawn a small enclosure with a cow inside it.

Human Barbarian: What if you throw the cow.

Me: I attempt to pick up the cow and throw it at the Archdemon.

Me: (Rolls nat 20)

DM: … You somehow lift the cow above your head, and throw it directly at the Archdemon… 80ft away from you.


Everyone pauses to stare at our mage. After a quick check, the spell has a 120ft range. The spell succeeds.

Our DM begins to roll a saving throw for the Archdemon.

DM: (Rolls nat 1)

DM: … Roll for damage.

Necromancer: (Rolls crit, max damage)

DM: (Holding face in hands) The cow explodes, and transfers the spell onto the Archdemon and the nearby Hurlocks, who also explode. The explosions continue and damage the Archdemon until the entire group you were facing are dead, and the Archdemon is a pile of steaming goo. 

DM: This was the main battle I planned for this session. 

DM: I hate you all.

DM: I am never drawing a cow on the map again. 

Okay so there is a Glitch Pokemon in Yellow Version (which is in the corner up there) and its name is “♀ . ” or Female Symbol Period. She sings an endless song when you encounter her and it’s beautiful. You can listen to it here —> (QUICK WARNING IT HAS HIGH PITCHED SOUNDS DON’T LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES OR EARBUDS) https://youtu.be/EVbMfRGQ534 .

I honestly love how I made her and might make her into a character and maybe make an RP blog with her.

P.S.: She is 80ft tall.

Wands: The Basics

Okay so I promised a post on wands right? Here are some basic tips and tricks I’ve gathered over about 5 years of wand making. ( I guess as a semi-pro? I don’t really know the qualifications here but I make them and sell/give them to people…) I have learned a lot over the years about wandlore and even more about the art of wand making itself. In this post we will be examining the latter.

  • First and foremost in this creative process is wood selection! though it usually takes the least amount of physical work the energy expended hunting the info for the perfect wood can be exhausting. To make it easier on yourself check out what wood you can source locally then once you know that study those woods first. 
  • Gathering the wood that will be your wand is a bit of an adventure sometimes. Personally I have ninja’d my way through willow branches next to a highway on the side of a building (with the owner’s permission) for that perfect piece, and I have even seen someone climb 80ft. into a tree to recover a branch that had been struck by lightning! Best practice dictates that we use primarily ‘’deadfall’’ for our art, but its not always the will of the universe that we find a pre-fallen branch. Also occasionally a tree may even invite you to take its branch for your tool. In these cases its always important that we thank the tree for its offering and give something to it in return, such as a nice organic fertilizer or a decorative offering. I always like to use cut sealer where I take the branch as well to ensure the best healing.
  • It is the most common tradition that the wand match the length from your fingertip to the crook of your elbow. Personally I don’t hold with an exact form of measurement and prefer to let the wood show me its base and its tip. 
  • Many people hold that the energy flows through the wand more efficiently if it follows the direction of growth. While this may not always be the case I have found it to be correct more often than not. 
  • There is a large debate on whether or not the use of stains and sealers affect the wand in a negative way. Rather than dig up that debate now I will say that it is entirely possible to achieve all of the aesthetic results that you get from those products in a natural way. To me that says quite simply: Why do it any other way? But to each their own. :)
  • Bark removal is easiest while the branch is still fresh so that is the time to decide if you are going to want to leave some on for handle material. Once the decision is made and executed I like to let the branch sit for about a month to dry out. You can speed this up to a few hours with a baking sheet and and oven set to 350(Fahrenheit). 
  • To achieve a silky smooth finish without the use of sealers gradual sanding can be used. Start at a medium grade sandpaper and work your way down to a very fine grit. Finish with a ‘wet or dry’ sandpaper (very fine) and use your preferred oil while sanding. You might wear gloves because you want to achieve a decent level of heat from the friction. 

That concludes a rather lengthy tips and tricks post on wands. I will post some photos of wands I have in waiting for context sometime in the next day or so. I will be sure to label each with pertinent info for your viewing pleasure. As always if you have any questions shoot em my way I will expand further upon request. 

Walk strong!

Proposed Debate Reform Rules

Many voters have expressed disappointment with the current U.S. political debate format. With the media ignoring some candidates and disallowing others completely, and questions being asked that nobody cared to hear while the important issues are left unsaid, we at FIJMU have designed new foolproof rules for a good political debate:

  1. Any candidate for President can debate, no matter how small their party.
  2. Any audience member present can ask a question.
  3. Moderators must be politically inactive and not allowed to vote themselves.
  4. Candidates must all wear the same outfit for fairness sake, a chartreuse jumpsuit with no markings and a hood to cover their hairstyles.
  5. Candidates must adhere to a strict diet of raw eggs and borscht for three weeks up to the debate, and may only drink avocado juice unless given a letter from their doctor.
  6. Each candidate must state their full qualifications before answering each question, including their voting record, tax status, economic policy and whether of not they have successfully ridden the Arrakeen Sandworm and/or David Hasselhoff.
  7. In the event a candidate does not wish to answer a question, they may request debate-by-combat. If they do so, they may choose a warrior to fight for them. Their opponent as the party challenged may also choose a surrogate warrior, and reserves the right to choose the weapon with which the duel will be fought, which may be either a Lirpa or a rabid badger on a stick.
  8. The debate will take place on a platform hanging from a crane 80ft over a field of spinning blades each greased with the saliva of a Komodo Dragon while Ritter Fans blow in random directions across the field of combat which shall also be spun at 60mph between loudspeakers playing the Mortal Kombat theme as acid rains down upon them from pipes overhead that extend from the mouth of an 80ft statue of Antonin Scalia decorated with the sigils of the demons Malphas, Stolas and Gremory whose summoning incantations will be sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir exactly one octave higher than their usual singing voices while their feet are tickled by feathers plucked from a blue chicken on a Tuesday.
  9. A llama will be present.

today a man climbed a huge 80ft tree downtown and threw stuff at ppl and shut down a ton of streets and its a whole lot but to add another layer to the chaos there are literal masked vigilantes in seattle and phoenix jones is the ringleader and he brought the spd beer and food and cigarettes because thats literally all the man up in the tree wants

The telescope big enough to spot signs of alien life on other planets

Engineers are about to blast away the top of a Chilean mountain to create a site for the European Extremely Large Telescope. It will allow us, for the first time, to directly observe planets outside the solar system.

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An artist’s impression of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

Cerro Armazones is a crumbling dome of rock that dominates the parched peaks of the Chilean Coast Range north of Santiago. A couple of old concrete platforms and some rusty pipes, parts of the mountain’s old weather station, are the only hints that humans have ever taken an interest in this forbidding, arid place. Even the views look alien, with the surrounding boulder-strewn desert bearing a remarkable resemblance to the landscape of Mars.

Dramatic change is coming to Cerro Armazones, however – for in a few weeks, the 10,000ft mountain is going to have its top knocked off. “We are going to blast it with dynamite and then carry off the rubble,” says engineer Gird Hudepohl. “We will take about 80ft off the top of the mountain to create a plateau – and when we have done that, we will build the world’s biggest telescope there.”

Given the peak’s remote, inhospitable location that might sound an improbable claim – except for the fact that Hudepohl has done this sort of thing before. He is one of the European Southern Observatory’s most experienced engineers and was involved in the decapitation of another nearby mountain, Cerro Paranal, on which his team then erected one of the planet’s most sophisticated observatories.

The Paranal complex has been in operation for more than a decade and includes four giant instruments with eight-metre-wide mirrors – known as the Very Large Telescopes or VLTs – as well as control rooms and a labyrinth of underground tunnels linking its instruments. More than 100 astronomers, engineers and support staff work and live there. A few dozen metres below the telescopes, they have a sports complex with a squash court, an indoor football pitch, and a luxurious 110-room residence that has a central swimming pool and a restaurant serving meals and drinks around the clock. Built overlooking one of the world’s driest deserts, the place is an amazing oasis. (See box.)

Now the European Southern Observatory, of which Britain is a key member state, wants Hudepohl and his team to repeat this remarkable trick and take the top off Cerro Armazones, which is 20km distant. Though this time they will construct an instrument so huge it will dwarf all the telescopes on Paranal put together, and any other telescope on the planet. When completed, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and its 39-metre mirror will allow astronomers to peer further intospace and look further back into the history of the universe than any other astronomical device in existence. Its construction will push telescope-making to its limit, however. Its primary mirror will be made of almost 800 segments – each 1.4 metres in diameter but only a few centimetres thick – which will have to be aligned with microscopic precision.

It is a remarkable juxtaposition: in the midst of utter desolation, scientists have built giant machines engineered to operate with smooth perfection and are now planning to top this achievement by building an even more vast device. The question is: for what purpose? Why go to a remote wilderness in northern Chile and chop down peaks to make homes for some of the planet’s most complex scientific hardware?

The answer is straightforward, says Cambridge University astronomer Professor Gerry Gilmore. It is all about water. “The atmosphere here is as dry as you can get and that is critically important. Water molecules obscure the view from telescopes on the ground. It is like trying to peer through mist – for mist is essentially a suspension of water molecules in the air, after all, and they obscure your vision. For a telescope based at sea level that is a major drawback.

"However, if you build your telescope where the atmosphere above you is completely dry, you will get the best possible views of the stars – and there is nowhere on Earth that has air drier than this place. For good measure, the high-altitude winds blow in a smooth, laminar manner above Paranal – like slabs of glass – so images of stars remain remarkably steady as well.”

The view of the heavens here is close to perfect, in other words – as an evening stroll around the viewing platform on Paranal demonstrates vividly. During my visit, the Milky Way hung over the observatory like a single white sheet. I could see the four main stars of the Southern Cross; Alpha Centauri, whose unseen companion Proxima Centauri is the closest star to our solar system; the two Magellanic Clouds, satellite galaxies of our own Milky Way; and the Coalsack, an interstellar dust cloud that forms a striking silhouette against the starry Milky Way. None are visible in northern skies and none appear with such brilliance anywhere else on the planet.

Hence the decision to build this extraordinary complex of VLTs. At sunset, each one’s housing is opened and the four great telescopes are brought slowly into operation. Each machine is made to rotate and swivel, like football players stretching muscles before a match. Each housing is the size of a block of flats. Yet they move in complete silence, so precise is their engineering.

Building the four VLTs, which have been named Antu (Sun), Kueyen (Moon), Melipal (Southern Cross) and Yepun (Venus) in the language of Mapuche people of Chile, was a formidable challenge, needless to say. Each has a giant mirror that is 8.2 metres in diameter but only 17cm thick: any thicker, and the mirror would be too heavy to move and point. Such thinness leaves the mirrors liable to deform as temperatures and air pressure fluctuate, however, and so each has 150 actuators fitted to its unpolished side. These push the mirrors to keep them within a few billionths of a centimetre of their proper shape. In addition, ESO astronomers use a laser-based system known as adaptive optics to measure turbulence in the upper atmosphere and to change each telescope’s internal mirror configuration to compensate for any disturbance they can measure.

The result is a cluster of astronomical devices of incredible power and flexibility, one that has been involved in an astonishing number of critically important discoveries and observations over the past decade, as ESO astronomer Olivier Hainaut explains. “Perhaps the VLT’s most spectacular achievement was its tracking of stars at the centre of the Milky Way. Astronomers followed them as they revolved around… nothing. Eventually they were able to show that something incredibly small and dark and massive lay at the centre of this interstellar waltz. This was the first time, we now know, that scientists had directly observed the effect of the supermassive black hole that lies at the heart of our galaxy.”

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The Milky Way seen from the Paranal Observatory in Chile. Photograph: National Geographic Image Collec/Alamy

The VLTs also played a key role in providing observations which showed, from the behaviour of distant supernovae, that the expansion of the universe was actually accelerating thanks to the action of a force now known as dark energy. This discovery later won Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess the 2011 Nobel prize for physics. And in 2004 the telescopes were used to make a direct observation of an exoplanet – a planet that orbits around a star other than our Sun. It was another astronomical first. Until then scientists had only been able to infer the existence of exoplanets from the way they affected the movement of their parent star or its light output. “This was history-book material, a discovery of the same quality as Galileo’s drawings of the mountains on the moon or the satellites of Jupiter,” says Hainaut.

These discoveries have only whetted astronomers’ appetites for more, however. Hence the decision to build the £800m E-ELT – whose British funding will come through a £88m investment from the UK Science & Technology Facilities Council. Engineers have now completed a road to the mountain from Paranal and on 16 June are set to begin blasting to remove the top from Cerro Armazones. Then they will start to build the E-ELT using 798 hexagonal pieces of mirror to create a mammoth device that will be able to collect a hundred million times more light than the human eye. When completed in around 2025, the 2,700-tonne telescope will be housed in a 74 metre high dome and operated by astronomers working 20kms away in Paranal. It will be the world’s biggest eye on the sky.

An indication of the E-ELT’s potential is provided by ESO astronomer Linda Schmidtobreick. “There are fundamental issues that only a telescope the size of the E-ELT can resolve,” she says. “Its mirror will have a surface area 10 times bigger than any other telescope, which means it will take a 10th of the time to collect the same amount of light – ie the same number of photons – from an object compared with these other instruments.”

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The astronomers’ residence: ‘As accommodation goes, it’s as exotic as you can get.

For Schmidtobreick, this ability to collect light quickly is crucial to her research. She studies stars known as cataclysmic variables: pairs of stars in which one is pulling vast amounts of gas, mainly hydrogen, from its companion, a process that can trigger gigantic thermonuclear eruptions, sometimes within 30 seconds or so. “With current instruments, it can take minutes or hours to collect light from these objects, which is too long to resolve what is happening,” says Schmidtobreick. “But with the E-ELT, we will be able to study many, many more cataclysmic variables because we will be able to collect significant amounts of light from them in seconds rather than minutes or hours and so will be to resolve their behaviour.”

Simone Zaggia, of the Inaf Observatory of Padua, is another frequent visitor to Paranal and has a very different reason for backing the E-ELT. He believes it will play a vital role in the hunt for exoplanets – in particular, exoplanets that are Earth-like and which could support life. “At present, our biggest telescopes can only spot really big exoplanets, giants that are as big as Jupiter and Saturn,” he says.

“But we really want to know about the smaller worlds that make up the solar systems in our galaxy. In other words, we want to find out if there are many Earth-like planets in our part of the universe. More importantly we want to find out if their atmospheres contain levels of oxygen or carbon dioxide or methane or other substances that suggest there is life there. To do that, we need a giant telescope like the E-ELT.”

This point is backed by Gilmore. “We can see exoplanets but we cannot study them in detail because – from our distant perspective – they appear so close to their parent stars. However, the magnification which the E-ELT will provide will mean we will be able to look at them directly and clearly. In 15 years, we should have a picture of a planet around another star and that picture could show its surface changing colour just as Earth does as the seasons change – indicating that vegetation exists on that world. We will then have found alien life.”

Astronomers’ amazing home

A walk down the alleyway that leads from Paranal observatory’s entrance gate into its astronomers’ residence produces one of the most striking changes in surroundings you can experience in a few footsteps. Outside the air is parched and the ground bleached by sunlight from a sky that is hardly ever troubled by clouds. Push through the double swing doors and you enter a rainforest – and a path that leads down through towering ferns and tropical plants until you reach a swimming pool in the residence’s lowest level. As accommodation goes, it’s as exotic as you can get - though hedonism was far from the minds of the architects when they designed it.

To battle the arid conditions of the air at 8,600ft-high Paranal, they wanted a way to keep it moist and fresh for the scientists staying there. The answer was a swimming pool and an indoor tropical garden that is constantly watered with supplies imported by trucks from the coast every day. Moist air from the pool and garden then circulates around the rest of the residence. The result is a building that is remarkably airy and light – until 7pm when, every night, all openings and windows, including the vast glass dome over the pool, are closed and shuttered automatically to prevent any chink of light from affecting observations made on the mountain top.

The scale and style of Paranal and its residence is extraordinary and movie producers have fallen over themselves in their attempts to film it. Most have been turned down – with the exception of the 2008 Bond film,Quantum of Solace, whose final scenes were filmed here. (In contrast the last X-Men film was turned down flat because its producers wanted to fly helicopters near the observatory’s precious telescope complex.) Given the vast cost of building and running Paranal, filming was not allowed to disturb its tight observing schedule. “I was woken up by the sound of someone repeatedly jumping on to the balcony in the room next to mine,” one astronomer recalls. “It turned out to be the actress Olga Kurylenko - who plays the film’s heroine Camille. It was quite a shock. I mean you don’t get that sort thing happening at other observatories.”


Sarah and I head skyward on her second tree climb. While in the canopy we decided upon the name ‘Roo’ for this sycamore which has an appendage coming out of its base. Hook stayed below to snap this photo and monitor our progress. The name was later refined to 'Marcy’ which goes along with the marsupial theme but also fits the marshy location of the tree. The name 'Roo’ now goes to the tree’s appendage.



You regret your abortion therefore every single pregnant person should have their bodily rights taken away?

Get the fuck out. - Leigh

I regret starting out in college as a marine biology major so I guess according to this girl’s logic we should just ban the oceanic sciences.

people who had abortions and then did not suffer any negative side affects shouldn’t hold up posters, because not everybody may feel that way.

people who developed lung cancer or emphysema after smoking cigarettes for several years shouldn’t think cigarettes are bad, because not everybody who smokes will get cancer.

people who suffered an allergic reaction to a drug shouldn’t report it, because not everybody will have that allergic reaction.

people who were texting while driving then got into a car accident shouldn’t be chastised, because not everybody who texts and drives gets into car accidents.

people who got struck by lightning while holding an 80ft metal beam shouldn’t discourage that action, because not everybody who holds a gigantic electrical conductor will get electrocuted.

these people are speaking about the very real risks of a life changing (and life ending) procedure and your insisting that they be silenced because their experience isn’t the same as everyone else’s is really silly. keeping your heads in the sand will do nothing.