You’re looking at a real big deal.

Because in a nanotechnology lab, big deals come in smaller and smaller packages. What you see above is an extreme close-up of a 5 nanometer transistor. In an industry-first, the IBM Research Alliance developed nanosheet transistors that will enable a 5 nm chip. What’s so big about that? Well, by achieving a scale of 30 billion switches on a fingernail sized chip, it can deliver significant enhancements over today’s state-of-the-art 10 nm chips. This not only improves the performance of current technologies but also provides the fuel for the future demands of AI, VR, quantum and mobile technologies to run on. Plus, it could also make things like smartphone batteries last 2-3x longer between charges, so it may also be a real lifesaver too. 

Learn more about it->
Eating Ice Cream For Breakfast May Improve Mental Performance And Alertness, Study Says
Study participants were also found to have increased brain function after drinking cold water immediately after waking up, but levels were much higher for those who had ice cream.

Most parents would consider it a crime to give a child ice cream for breakfast. But they might rethink allowing their kids to have a scoop of the cold, sweet treat first thing in the morning, if they knew it could make them smarter. Although an early morning sugar rush may be parents and teachers worst fears, a new study recently found eating ice cream first thing in the morning can actually be beneficial for the brain. The study, published by Kyorin University professor Yoshihiko Koga, said eating ice cream right after waking up can result in improved instances of alertness and mental performance.

Success in fitness does not necessarily mean getting a six pack. It does not always mean being able to punch through walls or running a 42km marathon. Success in fitness is every little improvement in performance that you achieve along the way. Put your full heart into what it is you chose to do, and you will achieve success.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin
“Yuri on Stage” translated bits from /a/... AGAIN

Disclaimer: don’t know where anons got the below picture, sorry. If anyone knows the source, please let me know!

>They were practicing Boston Crab.
>V: You are stiff. If your body was more flexible, your performance would be improved.
>Y: It hurts! Of course I’m not as flexible as you. But “that one” is more flexible than you…
>V: That one? Who is that?
>Y: Ah? That is Sha…chihoko!
>V: Sha…chihoko?
>Y: No one can be compared to that one when it comes to flexibility.
>V: That Chihoko is that good?
>Y: Once you has seen him, you would never forget. And he’s gold glittering.
>V: Gold glittering…
>Y: He’s always doing back bridging posture(not sure how to translate this) on top of Hasetsu Castle!
>V: …
>Y: Victor, why are you angry?
>V: I’m not angry.
>Y: You are clearly angry…
>Victor wrote “surpass Chihoko” on Yuuri’s back silently.

Boston Crab, by the way, is a wrestling move. Also slight mistake: “aitsu” is a gender-neutral word, since Yuuri is drunkenly describing a giant fish statue on Hasetsu Castle and not an actual person. Victor mistakingly thought Yuuri was referring to a (non-existent) ex. KEK.


: Drawing Chloe Price for appreciation and gratitude.

Sometimes when I choose to post my work,I feel confused and fight begins within myself. Although I’m optimistic, pressure come to my mind somehow. I think I’m not strong enough…
I’m working on art industry, but everything is not inevitable, so I keep improving my performance.I’ll always be grateful to friends here and people who love my work. Thanks for the feedbacks, it means a lot to me~
Even if fall one hundred times, one hundred and one times to stand up.  

[Interview]B.A.P Brings Party Baby Tour Stateside, Talks 'Wake Me Up': 'We Are Part of the Current Generation'

From the first moment of “Hurricane” to the final note of their encore performance of “Bang X2,” Korean boy band B.A.P hyped up the crowd at New York City’s Terminal 5 on Saturday (April 8) night. The second stop during the US leg of their 2017 Party Baby world tour, the set list was built around the group’s most danceable songs to create a club-like environment where the band and their fans, known collectively as BABY, could party it up and revel in the group’s artistry.

Water guns, a costume contest, and a handful of solo sets – beginning with the two youngest, Jongup and Zelo, each of whom showed immense growth as singers since their last visit to New York – helped set a festive, intimate tone for the night, which saw B.A.P radiate with joy throughout as fans cheered and danced along with their high-energy performances. There was certainly a lot to celebrate on this latest tour, which was the group’s fourth throughout their time together: Five years into their career, B.A.P has seen multiple No. 1 albums on the World Albums Chart, including last year’s Noir. More recently, the group returned with their Rose EP and the profound single “Wake Me Up” in March, their first new music since rapper-songwriter Bang Yongguk returned after taking a break last year from B.A.P’s promotions due to mental health-related issues.

Billboard sat down with the K-pop act (Zelo, Bang Yong Guk, Him Chan, Dae Hyun, Young Jae and Jong Up) ahead of their New York show to discuss their latest releases and what makes the Party Baby tour a new experience for B.A.P and their fans.  

Welcome back to New York! How does it feel to be performing here once again?

Him Chan: It was hard getting over from Atlanta to New York as there were some [weather-related] difficulties. But the fact that we’re here in New York right now fills us with positive energy. We’re looking forward to putting on another amazing performance for our fans tonight.

You toured the United States multiple times in the past, but is there anything that you’re looking forward to particularly on this tour?

Young Jae: I’m looking forward to going to Washington D.C., just because I’ve always wanted to visit.
Him Chan: On our first US tour we went to Washington, but because a lot of things have changed since then we’ve wanted to visit again.

This is the Party Baby tour even though in the past you’ve always brought your Live on Earth tours to the US. How are the two different?  

Jong Up: Compared to previous concerts that we’ve put on in the past, we tried to orientate Party Baby more towards interaction between ourselves and fans so that we can have more of a party or a club atmosphere and just be able to have have a good time. I think that, compared to our previous performances, we want to focus on the whole collaborative effort of just all our fans and us working together to create one performance.

To get more involved you provided fans with a dress code, with a different style corresponding to each specific member. How did you come up with that idea?

Young Jae: This dress code idea for the tour was something that us as the artists – along with the tour directors – thought up since we thought it would be a good way to interact with our fans.

The tour’s set list seems to focus a lot on your newer songs and doesn’t really have a lot of your older music on it. What does that choice say about B.A.P’s musical growth as performers?

Him Chan: We’re really not holding back on this tour. We’re just unlocking all of our abilities and our skills, putting them together for this show. This time, we wanted to be able to show our fans everything that we have. There’s no significance of us not performing many older songs. We just want to be able to put on a good performance with all of our recent songs.

B.A.P has had multiple No. 1 albums on the World Albums Chart. How has that made you feel as a group?

Young Jae: We think it’s amazing, and we’re really fascinated that we can continue to find love from across the world from all of our fans. We’re always grateful and we’re always thankful towards our fans, and we want to continue to show them love for their support for us.

There are only three songs on your new EP Rose, but they each are distinct stylistically. How did that come about?

Young Jae: We’ve released happy songs and we’ve released songs with strong, positive messages, but it’s been a while since we released an album so we wanted to show a third side to B.A.P, one that we knew we were capable of doing and really wanted to show to our fans this time.

Him Chan: “Dystopia” was one of those songs where we just wanted to show B.A.P in all our attributes with rock, heavy metal, and just pay homage to that. For “Wake Me Up,” it was one of those songs for our generation, because we are part of the current generation, where we just wanted to show that we’re present and that we are with the fans and how they feel about current events. As for “Diamond 4 Ya,” we wanted to be melodic, we wanted to play with pitches and instrumentals, and that was something we were looking forward to showing as well.

How was approaching your return with the single “Wake Me Up” different from your past releases?

Him Chan: When we were approaching this album in comparison to previous albums we just wanted to have something that’s more lively, more one on one with our fans. We wanted something that would resonate with our fans, through the message that we’re trying to spread.

Dae Hyun: We feel that we’ve grown a lot individually and together as a group and we wanted to show that in our work this time.

The music video for “Wake Me Up” featured one of the most diverse casts that K-pop’s ever seen. How did that come about?  

Dae Hyun: Every time we shoot a music video we have meetings with the producers who help us create them and we put together all of our ideas. Everything from the individual shots of the video to the casting of everyone who will appear. We just come together and put together our ideas, and then we put it all into a final product. But the most important thing is that our ideas have changed, and that helped shape how we felt towards this music video and how we wanted it directed. Initially the plan was to use a Korean cast but after the members got together and we put together our thoughts, we wanted to go with a more diverse cast to show that we have an accurate representation of our society today. Not just of in Korea or America, but all over the world. We wanted to express that through our music video, which is why we decided to go with such a diverse cast.

Him Chan: It was never really something for us that we wanted to do, just stick to a Korean cast because we are Korean. We wanted to represent every part of the world and pay homage to the fans who’ve come out to support us.

The music video’s storyline, which features messages about self-care and mental health, was incredibly progressive, but while making it did you expect that it would resonate with so many fans from around the world?

Him Chan: When we were putting together the music video, we didn’t think that extensively into it, but we did intend to insert multiple meanings into certain aspects of it. We just wanted it to be interpreted by the fans.

B.A.P has been together for five years now, so how do you keep motivated during the rough times?

Dae Hyun: What’s kept us together as a group so strongly was our fans. We really feel that because of the support from our fans we’ve been able to continue stronger and better than ever each time we release a new album as a group. It’s really all thanks to the fans, and we want to pay respect to them.

Young Jae: Before I got on the stage in Atlanta, I really wasn’t feeling well. But as soon as I got on stage and saw the faces of all our fans I felt so much better and became energized and ready to perform.

You guys have shown a lot of different artistic sides over the years. Are there any other sounds or concepts you’d like to try, or musicians you’d like to work with?

Dae Hyun: What I’ve always admired, and what I’ve wanted to do a lot recently, is a duet. That’s something that I’m going to look forward to doing in the future.

Zelo: I don’t really have anything I want to focus on but I want to connect with the fans and show a more amazing, more awesome performance each time and that’ll be reflected in my music.

What’s next for B.A.P? Are you working on anything new?

Dae Hyun: The [Party Baby] concept of this tour is completely new for us and we think that the most important thing for us right now is to finish the rest of this tour successfully, then return to all our fans across the world and back home in Korea. So that’s our priority currently.

Do you have any final words for your American fans?

Zelo: [In English] I love you.

Him Chan: We want to tell our fans in the United States that we’ll continue to work tirelessly and continue to show them a new, better improved performance and better side to B.A.P every time we can visit and perform for them.

All answers have been translated from the original Korean.

source: Billboard

i am so disgusted by betsy devos’ confirmation. she does not understand the socioeconomic and cultural factors that impact public school districts and their students—this is evidenced by the fact that she thinks implementing more charter schools will improve the already-existing school system. improving school and student performance involves more than just building new schools, and i don’t think devos understands the root of poor student performance.

basically, poor schools are trapped in a cycle of poverty while schools in more affluent neighborhoods gain more funding. public schools are funded three ways: state education funds, property taxes, and standardized test scores.

it is well established that schools with less funding do worse than schools with more funding. the more money and resources a school has, the better students perform in school and on state tests. for poor schools, this is where the cycle begins: the school doesn’t have enough money, so students are not getting the same quality education as their wealthier counterparts; because they are not getting a quality education, they perform badly on standardized tests; because they perform badly on standardized tests, the school doesn’t get much funding; repeat cycle. add low property taxes to this equation and you get what is known as a “bad school.”

it is no coincidence that “bad schools” are located in low-income primarily black neighborhoods, and “good schools” are located in upper class primarily white neighborhoods. this casual segregation is not only a result of low funding, it’s a result of racism. many public schools did not fully integrate until the 1980s; while segregation was illegal by this point, many people of color (especially black people) were confined to their neighborhood schools. additionally, the racist housing market disallowed black people from moving into certain neighborhoods (where mostly white people lived), meaning many could not move into a better area.

as a result, poor black schools stayed poor and black, and wealthy white schools stayed wealthy and white.

there is a history to our public school system. it is a history of anti-blackness, racism, classism, and disenfranchisement. we can do better, but defunding public schools is not the answer. further disenfranchising poor people, black people, and people of color will only serve to further advance upper class (white) students while everyone else falls behind. sending these low income students to a charter school will not magically improve their performance. if we want to improve student performance, we must first work on improving our public schools and creating an education system that benefits every student.

My long-winded and long-overdue Hamilton Chicago review

Here’s the thing, I could go on for hours about why I love Hamilton and the impact I think it’s going to have, but that’s a post for another time (that will come, because I have a lot of emotions about this show). For the time being I want to offer my thoughts on the Chicago cast compared to both the original Broadway cast (OBC) and the understudies I had the privilege to see. (A word on some of my comparisons: I’ve seen Hamilton a few times, and at least three different actors in each role, so that’s the basis of my Chicago review.)

Because of my ridiculous obsession with this show, I found myself in Chicago last week to see my favorite show yet again. I had the chance to see the show back in October doing opening weekend, and I was astounded to see how far this cast has come in five months. Don’t get me wrong, they were phenomenal to begin with, but this most recent performance blew me away (pun intended).

(If you want the short and sweet version of my comments, check out the tl;dr before the cut.)

In the room where it happens

Seeing the Chicago cast twice was an interesting experience, because with the exception of the parts of Burr and Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, the cast was the same. The one constant, however, was the pure fire and energy this cast brought to the stage. They had a sort of bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed feeling that made the excitement in their eyes infectious.

Looking at the Playbill, you can see the cast is overwhelmingly younger than their Broadway counterparts. For many of them, this is their first gig, so rather than having credits of former shows and national tours, they had thank you’s to parents, teachers, and God, but that doesn’t mean they looked inexperienced. On the contrary, they were an unbelievably talented bunch, but they took on the show with a sense of awe and appreciation for the chance to be a part of the phenomenon.

The New York show has an energy to be because it’s been rehearsed for almost two years now and works like a well-oiled machine; Chicago has the drive of a group of people who are diving in head first on an adventure into the unknown together, and it’s that ethos that gives you the feeling that you’re seeing the American Revolution unfold before your eyes.

The rest of my review is under the cut, but here’s the TL;DR:

Miguel Cervantes was my favorite Hamilton yet. Hurricane. Was. Incredible.

Wayne Brady somehow managed to combine the best parts of a Tony award winner (Leslie Odom Jr) and my favorite Burr (Sydney Harcourt) for a Burr that was calculated, emotional,

Joshua Henry was a new take on Burr that was very entertaining.

Jonathan Kirkland as Washington was good, but not great and only seemed lackluster because the rest of the cast was so phenomenal.

Ari Afsar gets the “Most Improved” award because her performance in October left much to be desired, but in March she was a fiery woman and a wife who did not take any of Alexander’s crap - basically exactly how I imagine Eliza Hamilton.

Alexander Gemignani is obviously a Broadway vet with plenty of experience. He made King George his own in such a hilarious and captivating way.

Karen Olivo is an actual goddess and gift to this world who slayed the hell out of Angelica.

Samantha Ware was a decent Peggy, but her Maria was insane. Everything about “Say No To This” felt like I was truly watching an affair unfold.

Amber Ardolino gave quite possibly the most provocative and sexy portrayal of Maria Reynolds I’ve seen.

Jose Ramos is such an adorable human being and his Laurens/Philip had such admiration and respect for Hamilton. It was beautiful.

Wallace Smith’s Mulligan/Madison deviated the most from the OBC simply because he is so different from original Mulligan/Madison Oak Onaodowan, but in the most wonderful way. If Javier Munoz is the “sexy Hamilton”, Wallace is the sexy Mulligan.

CHRIS FREAKING LEE. I have no words. With the right actor, Lafayette/Jefferson can really steal the show, and Chris is indeed one of those actors.

Keep reading

♡ 170512 | Produce 101 Episode 6 NU’EST Summary

Today’s episode, the boys had to choose a position to compete in between Vocal, Rap, and Dance. Minhyun, Ren, and Baekho chose Vocal while JR chose rap. Minhyun chose Downpour (I.O.I), Baekho and Ren chose Playing with Fire (Blackpink), and JR chose Fear (Mino). 

During practice, Sewoon and Baekho had some disagreements and struggled to work together. Baekho was chosen as center for the group, while Sewoon was chosen as leader. 

JR helped Guanlin perfect his rapping, placing a pencil in his mouth and making him perform the rap to improve his diction/pronunciation. 

JR rapped about his struggles as a leader of NU’EST, bringing tears to the audience, including ex-labelmate Kahi. 

When the performance was over, the boys went to see their scores. JR was upset, having messed up a portion of his rap. However, he ultimately ended up scoring 1st out of everyone in his group. JR began to cry and apologized. Moonbok wrapped him in a hug to comfort him. 

Another peek into the practice sessions, Sewoon and Baekho seemed to patched things up and were able to work together. Baekho’s signature laugh even made it into the edit. 

Baekho and Ren’s group performed a very vibrant, passionate, and sexy version of Playing with Fire. Ren especially seemed to be “on fire” for the performance, clearly enjoying himself. 

Backstage, the boys discovered that Ren received 4th and Baekho 2nd in their votes. Despite ranking in last, Ren seemed happy for his team; he was all smiles and the boys performed well together. 


I got bored and decided to highlight ten of my favorite weird/eccentric singers in modern music. Maybe they aren’t the greatest singers of all time, but they’re all unique and unmistakable. Each of them have singing voices that make you go “WTF is this?!” upon first listen, but then you slowly grow to appreciate them as you listen to more material.

  1. Yma Sumac - The godmother of all eccentric voices. This Peruvian soprano both confused and bewildered 1950s audiences with her five octave vocal range, animal imitations, and “exotica” style of music, which mainly consisted of mambos and Latin American folk tunes. Most of the other people on this liste have traces of her influence in their vocal deliveries. Check out: Tumpa and Chuncho.
  2. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - Once an aspiring opera singer, this R&B star single-handedly created the “shock rock” genre that performers like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson later adopted. Emerging from coffins, evoking voodoo rituals, and scream-bellowing his way through songs about everything from soul possession to constipation? Yep, he did it. Oh yeah, and he’s rumored to have fathered over 75 children. Check out: I Put a Spell on You and Constipation Blues.
  3. Tiny Tim - While often regarded as a novelty act, this falsetto nostalgist was actually quiet sincere with his performances. His ukulele renditions of squeaky clean 1930s pop tunes led to stardom in the 1960s, although his fame quickly faded. He would later find posthumous recognition through the use of his music in cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants. Check out: Living in the Sunlight and this bizarre cover of Earth Angel.
  4. Kate Bush - The queen of baroque prog-pop (if that’s even a genre) known for singing self-penned (and self-performed and produced) tunes with a breathy, child-like timbre that’s hard to describe. Her live performances and music videos were equally as hard to describe, but nonetheless captivating. While she was a mega-star in the UK and much of Europe, her peculiar style never caught on in the US. Check out: Wuthering Heights and Sat in your Lap.
  5. Klaus Nomi - Occasionally there are singers whose voices are so strange that words fail to describe them, and this German avant-garde performer is one of them. Part soprano, part alien, and part walking pop art, his style was unmistakable, if also a bit too weird for even other weirdos to process. Still, there is a beauty about his style that shines through, especially in live performances. Check out: The Cold Song and The Nomi Song.
  6. Diamanda Galas - Her nickname in the ‘80s was “The wife of the devil”, and it’s not hard to understand why. She too started her career as an opera singer and took a turn into weird and frightening territory beginning with 1982′s nightmarish LP The Litanies of Satan. With a shrieking 5 ½ octave vocal range and infamous live performances that could scare the bejesus out of anybody, there has never been anybody quite like her before or since. Check out: Double Barrel Prayer and her cover of I Put a Spell on You.
  7. Bjork - This Icelandic maverick started her career as part of numerous alt rock bands before embarking on a highly successful solo career. While her self-produced, eclectic music was always a bit off-kilter, she has only continued to get stranger over the years, but her clear, arresting howl has stayed the same. Her influence is insurmountable, ranging from Thom Yorke to FKA Twigs and beyond. Check out: Human Behavior and Crystalline.
  8. Mike Patton - Best known for his work with Faith No More, he could only best be described as a vocal freak of nature. Possessing a monstrous six octave vocal range (the widest of any singer in modern music), he has mastered death metal, Italian pop tunes, experimental jazz, Native American chants and literally everything in-between. His style has no limits, nor do his songs from various projects, which often jump through multiple genres in the span of three minutes. Check out: Smaller and Smaller (with Faith No More) and My Ass is on Fire (with Mr. Bungle).
  9. Tanya Tagaq - Another performer of “exotic” music by Western standards, this Inuk throat singer takes music traditional to her culture and puts a plethora of innovative spins on it. Alternating between hums, buzzes, coos, and clean vocals, she is primarily a storyteller, using her voice as an instrument to paint striking mental images. Recently she won the 2014 Polaris Prize for music and caused controversy by paying homage to thousands of murdered indigenous women as part of her performance at the ceremony. Check out: Improv Performance and Uja.
  10. Julie Christmas - What would Cinderella become if Prince Charming jilted her? One listen to this Julliard-trained maniac’s voice, and you’ll get the hint. Known for her work with Made out of Babies and Battle of Mice, Christmas can go from sweet to psychotic at the snap of a finger, her vocal delivery terrifying yet intriguing to even the most hardened of metal critics. Her recent solo work is further proof of her vocal acrobatics - a fallen Disney princess, indeed. Check Out: Cooker (with Made out of Babies) and Bones in the Water (with Battle of Mice).
Broduce 101: Episode 6 (Quick Livestream Recap)

Contains spoilers.

  • Jihoon leads the trainees’ greeting to BoA, quick recap of rankings and eliminations last ep
  • All of them has started looking a lot more polished, the stylists must have more time with fewer trainees to focus on
  • Voting after the next mission rankings eliminate all trainees after rank 35
  • Position rankings!
  • Four songs for rap, dance, vocal. BoA’s Amazing Kiss is there too. Team picks by rank, of course
  • Ong-ssi doesn’t want Hyunbin on his dance team and Hyunbin says he doesn’t want to dance anyway
  • Samuel’s blond is really not a flattering shade, he looks so much nicer with darker hair. He didn’t want to be on the same team as Jihoon, who is likely to get the highest votes and edge out his teammates but they both picked Jason Derulo’s Get Ugly
  • So did Ahn Hyungseob
  • And Kang Daniel 
  • And Ong ssi 
  • Rekt.
  • They’re all feeling the stacked team burden, but Samuel and Hyungseob specially lol
  • Jisung picks IOI’s Downpour for vocal but isn’t very confident
  • The lower ranking trainees groan as the teams and songs they want get filled up
  • Woodam has to dance, he’s disappointed he can’t sing and cries because he wanted to use his advantage to its fullest :(
  • Everyone is worried about the Playing with Fire team w/ Sewoon, Baekho, Daehwi and Minki, who have the most potential to shake things up
  • Daehwi is made to look a bit scared of sang namja Baekho, specially considering their friction over the Boy in Love doubling
  • Sewoon aka CEO-nim is leader for their team, and Baekho wants to be main vocal. 
  • Daehwi bows out, since everyone tore the teenager down for being a teenager last few episodes. His dark hair is a good look on him.
  • They’re not a team that has a lot in common, they’re a bit hesitant with each other. Even I can see the awkward air, editing aside. 
  • Sewoon gets some screentime with lowkey friction with Baekho because they clash over the direction they want to take the cover. 
  • Daehwi gets even more nervous
  • Im Youngmin picked Boys and Girls with Donghyun but they don’t look pleased. 
  • It’s actually because Kim Dongbin picked the song too.
  • He apologises because he at least is aware of his lack of skills but is apparently a rapper trainee. The BNM kids aren’t sure what to do, since they’ve clearly trained long and well unlike him, but they try to help
  • Vocal kings Joo Jinwoo and Kim Seunglee battle it out for main vocal in their vocal team
  • Kim Seunglee gets centre because his teammates share my opinion about his voice being lovely and yet somehow distinct
  • The team only has Yehyun who knows music theory so he takes the lead arranging the cover
  • Kim Yongguk finally gets his screentime because he misses his fellow trainee, who left early on. No one even knows he’s a singer, they’re never heard his voice but he sings and they’re impressed because it sounds melancholy and sweet
  • Tiptoe Oppa Park Sungwoo picked a dance team
  • All the trainees pull the most meme faces when he enters with Shape of You as his pick. Daniel’s is particularly meme worthy. 
  • Noh Taehyun is worried, he didn’t want to have to coach anyone but he enters with the Shape of You card 
  • Bright eyed Park Sungwoo waits for him with the same song and he sighs, knowing where this is going.
  • He gets picked as leader for their team too, which is a good choice. 
  • The team compete with their expressions to pick centre and they all pick Noh Taehyun for this too
  • He carried the double sticker load well, quickly choreographing and coaching his team. A good edit for this boy after ages.
  • Moonbok, Lai Guanlin, Taemin, Jonghyun (who of course is leader) are doing Mino’s Fear
  • Lai Guanlin wants to be centre and raps in English. His flow is actually better when not in Korean. His team lets him write lyrics in English to up his skills
  • He edges out the good natured Moonbok, who did want the position since his rank’s been dropping but acknowledges Guanlin is cooler. 
  • Blame your hyungs, Hip Hop President
  • Hong Eunki is leader for Right Round dance team, he wants to replicate the Bang Bang effect
  • Haknyeon vs Hwanwoong for centre, but shockingly Hwanwoong gets centre because they’re not sure if they’ve ever seen Haknyeon’s skills
  • It makes him do a Kwon Hyunbin because he’s disappointed, making a lot of mistakes
  • Smiley Eunki pushes through, but this isn’t making Haknyeon look great
  • Cut to performance day!
  • Random audience member: Kang Daniel is TOO sexy!
  • Super Junior Leeteuk is MC because BoA’s busy. The crowd are shook. He’s a seasoned MC but I like my nervous SM queen :(
  • BoA drops in unannounced during rehearsals and summons the boys, who all run to come see her. She tells them in person she won’t be able to be there in person for their second live performances, so asks for a run through of their stages
  • Vocal performances have a live band! That’s really cool, I’m impressed Mnet.
  • If it is You Team has Yongguk played up a lot this episode, maybe because of his off screen popularity despite his screentime? He gets a lot of love and support from his team to boost his confidence awwww
  • The power of friendship makes his voice stronger (or, just, you know, singing a song in his range). Coach Lee Seokhoon compliments his tone, says it’s innocent like a middle schooler, which is exactly what I thought. It’s very pure, for some reason
  • RBW Lee Gunhee cries everytime he sings
  • Everyone is shook by how pretty his voice his, it’s so emotive, and this song helps bring it out.
  • I’ll cover performances at length in their own dedicated post, but let it be known that they were all really good. A mix of strong vocalists, and the song suits them to a T. 
  • Yehyun<Jinwoo<Seunglee<Yongguk for rankings. Arctic Fox powers up!
  • Dance team’s Flo Rida’s Right Round is up
  • They had behind the scenes issues with Haknyeon messing up and forgetting his moves. He really wanted centre because he didn’t get a chance to have many parts last time too, and he thinks Eunki has too many prominent parts despite not being centre
  • Kahi calls them out for letting teamwork issues spoil their performance. 
  • Haknyeon and Eunki have a talk. Jeju boy wants to stand out because he’s worried about his fall in ranks, he cries and Eunki reassures him. They talk and make up and of course, their performance improves instantly
  • Briefly: I didn’t know Namhyung was going to be on this team, Hyunbin does his K-Tigers thing, Yoo Hwiseung does a lip swipe, Haknyeon gets his moment to shine. It starts off okay, gets underwhelming but picks up towards the end. Pretty average.
  • I can’t stop getting distracted by Chungha in the audience
  • Hwiseung looks good with his hair up. He flaps his hands as they wait for the result, just like he did last time. He’s growing on me, this cutie.
  • Namhyung<Hwiseung<Hyunbin<Eunki<Haknyeon
  • Zico’s Boys and Girls is up for Rap evals
  • BNM feel the burden of their label, and do well at practice
  • Dongbin can’t rap even reading the lyrics in front of him. Cheetah can’t take it.
  • His teammates are getting frustrated but want him to just have confidence and try. He cries again, of course, but his teammates support him with more patience than I have even just watching this
  • In brief: BNM hard carry the whole performance, Youngmin forgets a bit of his lyrics and they play it up far too much. Dongbin sounds out of breath the whole time and flat. Donghyun gets no attention for being consistently good. Underwhelming, all in all.
  • Dongbin<Donghyun<Youngmin for rankings. Youngmin cries out of guilt.
  • Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You for Dance evals
  • Dance battle in rehearsals
  • Park Woojin kills it
  • Eunki does some more of his booty popping
  • Samuel and Ong-ssi do their thing
  • Noh Taehyun’s krumping makes all the trainees starry eyed, they think he’s the best dancer
  • His team…is lagging, Kahi says the choreo doesn’t suit the music
  • Noh Taehyun redoes chunks of choreo for sake of the performances
  • In brief: Noh Taehyun did good leading the team. They all look good, and it’s a neat little routine with a few impressive formations to make it look complex. I can’t wait for the fancams. I think this looks to be one of the best performances. 
  • Chungha shows her approval
  • They all get startled by the screen countdown in the waiting room, screaming when it pops up lol
  • Sungwoo<Junwoo<Donghan<Justin<Taedong<Taehyun for rankings.
  • Rise my boy Taehyun! Finally a voting that’s fair
  • Song Mino’s Fear for Rap evals. This was Lai Guanlin’s segment.
  • Oh god. Fire whoever did Moonbok’s hair. Awful. 
  • You’re so cruel, Mnet, really.
  • Lol Don Mills calls Lai Guanlin baby chick rapper.
  • Baby chick rapper is scared of performing in front of the teachers
  • They only critique his pronunciation. I guess he’s better at being a swaggy rapper than he is at dancing or singing
  • Nation’s Leader Jonghyun makes him practice his Korean pronunciation with a pen between his teeth, which is cute but is also a very good elocution trick. It helps him.
  • Angel Jonghyun, of course. 
  • Moonbok dedicates his bit to Hyunwoo, hold me, I’m in tears
  • In brief: Lai Guanlin looks like a real idol, and he’s not terrible. He has some sort of untrained talent there. Jonghyun references his Nu’est days and we get shots of his members and Kahi. Taemin has a nice rapping tone, I wasn’t expecting that. Moonbok’s emotions bleeds into his rap and he gives Hyunwoo a shoutout. 
  • Jonghyun made a tiny mistake that not even Mnet’s editing played up and cries
  • Moonbok<Taemin<Guanlin<Jonghyun. Jonghyun cries again out of guilt.
  • Blackpink’s Playing with Fire for vocal evals.
  • Oh, the boys look fine. The crowd goes wild, obviously agreeing. The voting for this one is going to be close.
  • Behind the scenes, they’re going for a band sound that they explain with too many technical details. Lee Seokhoon isn’t sure. 
  • Sewoon suggests an acoustic route, different from what Baekho said.
  • Much tense editing, and they go for acoustics. I mean, they love Busker Busker in SK, so it’s not a shock
  • Sewoon feels he needs his guitar to stand along his teammates on stage
  • They talk and come to an amiable agreement.
  • Daehwi’s look here is really fire emoji, he looks his age, but also more like an idol.
  • In brief: I’d like the original song if it sounded more like this. I can’t resist a bit of electric guitar and a gentle pop rock sound. Daehwi throws some confetti. Minki pull his idol persona out while Baekho and Sewoon sing their hearts out. They do a nice bit of showmanship. The synth in the back is too loud, but I’ll discuss that in in depth analyses. A good performance, all in all.
  • Minki<Daehwi<Baekho<Sewoon. He doesn’t expect it and feels bad for his groupmates.
  • Preview for stacked team for Jason Derulo’s Get Ugly. Next week is going to be a Mess.
  • Shockingly, rankings changed up. I’ll put this bit under a read more.

Keep reading

Science-backed Herbal Medicine

For any medical remedy, scientific evidence to support medical benefit is invaluable and makes for a very reliable resource when treating an ailment. The herbs listed have significant scientific research backing their efficacy. However, please note that this list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive, which is to say there are probably plenty of other herbs that have significant scientific support.

  • Horse Chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum): anti-inflammatory, astringent, reduces fluid retention
  • Garlic (allium sativum): antibiotic, antifungal, blood-thinning, respiratory health, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol
  • Aloe Vera (aloe vera): anti-inflammatory, skin toning, wound and tissue healing
  • Borage (borage officinalis): anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, emollient
  • Boswellia (boswellia serrata): anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antiseptic, reduces fever
  • Senna (Cassia spp.): stimulant laxative
  • Tea (camellia sinensis): antioxidant, astringent, diuretic, stimulant
  • German Chamomile (chamomilla recutita syn. matricaria recutita): anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, relaxant, heals wounds
  • Hawthorn (crataegus spp.): antioxidant, heart tonic, lowers blood pressure, relaxes blood vessels
  • Tumeric (curcuma longa): anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, liver health
  • Clove (eugenia caryophylatta syn. syzygium aromaticum): analgesic, anti-emetic, antioxidant, antiseptic, astringent, stimulant
  • Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antiseptic, expectorant
  • Gentian (gentiana lutea): bitters, digestive tonic
  • Ginkgo (ginkgo biloba): antioxidant, circulatory stimulant, improves mental performance, protects nerve tissue
  • Licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra): anti-inflammatory, antiviral, demuculent, expectorant, tonic
  • Witch Hazel (hamamelis virginiana): anti-inflammatory, astringent, styptic
  • Devil’s Claw (harpagophytum procumbens): analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, bitter
  • St. John’s Wort (hypericum performatum): antidepressant, antiviral, nerve tonic, heals wounds
  • Flax Linseed (linum usitatissimum): antioxidant, demuculent, estrogenic, laxative, nutritive
  • Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): antifungal, antiseptic
  • Peppermint (mentha x piperita): antiseptic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, mild analgesic, mild sedative, mild bitter
  • Holy Basil (ocimum sanctum): anti-inflammatory, expectorant, lowers blood sugar, tonic
  • Evening Primrose (oenothera biennis): anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, emollient
  • Ginseng (panax ginseng): adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune tonic, tonic
  • Butterbur (petasites hybridus): anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic
  • Rhubarb (rheum officinalis): antibacterial, astringent, bitter, blood cleansing, laxative
  • Golden Root (rhodiola rosea): adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, protects heart
  • Butcher’s Broom (ruscus aculeatus): anti-inflammatory, laxative, venous (circulatory) tonic
  • Saw Palmetto (serenoa repens): anti-inflammatory, prostate health
  • Milk Thistle (silybum marianum syn. carduus marianus): antioxidant, liver health, stimulates breast milk
  • Stevia (stevia rebaudiana): antimicrobial, hypoglycemic, lowers blood pressure
  • Cacao (theobroma cacao): antioxidant, diuretic, mild bitter, nutritive, stimulant
  • Cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon): antioxidant, antiseptic
  • Valerian (valeriana officinalis): antispasmodic, mild analgesic, mild bitter, tranquilizer
  • Chaste Berry (vitex agneus-castus): hormonal balancer, stimulates breast milk
  • Ashwagandha Withania (withania somniferum): adaptogen, sedative, anti-inflammatory, tonic
Best friends - Pittsburgh Penguins (PT Diaries, Episode 8)

Requested by anon: Could you write a PT Diaries chapter that includes Kris Letang’s adorable little boy? Maybe he has his first crush on the PT or the team tries to use his cuteness to get something from her. I’m really open to any ideas you may have to incorporate that adorable kid. Really enjoying this story!!

A/N: I’m not really sure about this, but I hope you like it.

Word count: 1201

Warnings: none.

Episode 1  Episode 2  Episode 3  Episode 4  Episode 5  Episode 6  Episode 7

Master list

Originally posted by bennyandthestars

I lock the door of my office, heading to the rink to keep an eye on the injured players who are skating today. The Penguins are having no luck with injuries this year, having up to six players on the injury report. I’m looking down at my schedule, trying to figure out how I am going to treat everyone when someone runs into my legs. Someone really small.

“Alex, soyez prudent! (Alex, be careful!)” I look down to see a child gripping at my legs, followed by an out of breath Bang-Bang Letang. “S’excuser auprès de (y/n) (Apologize to (y/n)). In English.”

I haven’t understood a word of what he has said, but I can easily tell that the blue eyed kid that is stuck to my leg is Alexander Letang, Kris’ son. I hold the kid by his shoulders and push him away from me slightly so I can kneel in front of him.

“Hello, buddy.” I say, extending my hand to him to shake it. The kid looks at me for a little longer before grabbing my right hand with his left one and squeezing a little.

“Salut (Hello).” He answers me, not letting my hand go.

“Alex, English.” Kris warns him again and I smile, encouraging the little kid to speak in English.

“Hi.” He says shyly and my heart melts.

“ALEEEEEEEX.” I hear from the other side of the hallway and I look up to see small girl running to us.

I look at Kris and he just shakes his head, stopping the little girl before she crushes into me as well.

“Estelle, say hi to (y/n).” Kris instructs and the girl looks at me from head to toes, evaluating me.

“Hi.” She says with a big smile after she decided I am trustworthy.

“Hello, sweetheart.” I say, giving her a smile back.

Estelle is Marc Andre’s oldest daughter and his dad never stops talking about her and her little sister.

“Flower and I brought these two to practice so the wives could get things done today.” Kris explains me and I nod, looking at the children. “We are having a little skate after practice.”

“Do you want me to take care of them until you are done?” I ask.

I’ve always loved children. I had my first niece when I was fifteen, so I guess that I am more than okay with taking care of children.

“You have no idea of what you are getting into.” Kris warns me. “They are worse than Sid and Geno together.”

I laugh, extending my hands to the kids. They take my hand without even thinking about it.

“I think we will be fine.” I say and the two kids nod.

“Se comporter. (Behave)” Kris says in French and the kids nod again.

Kris turns around and walks on his skates back to the rink, leaving me with Alex and Estelle.

“Do you want to go watch daddy play hockey?” I ask them, kneeling so I am on the same height as them.

“Oui!” Alex says, but he realizes his mistake soon. “Yes!”

“Should we get snacks before we go?” I wonder and they both nod frenetically.

The kitchen is the best place of the whole ice rink if you ask me. When you spend hours and hours here working it is nice to have a place packed with snacks and drinks. Because of the Penguins policy, everything on the kitchen is healthy-ish, so I know that Kris and Marc Andre won’t kill me for giving their kids junk food.

“What should we grab, guys?” I ask, opening the fridge for them to see what there is.

The three of us decide that smoothies, grapes and air popped popcorn is good enough to watch the team skate and we venture out to the rink, sitting on the stands. Having kids there is the worst thing ever for Mike Sullivan, who has to scream at least half a dozen times to get the attention of his players, who are too busy waving and pumping against the glass in front of the kids.

“If you don’t do this drill right Estelle and Alex have more chances to be at tomorrow’s game than you two.” He warns Sidney and Conor, who have spent five minutes begging the kids for a handful of popcorn.

I am taking notes on everyone’s performance when Alex and Estelle start screaming next to me, so I pick my head up to see Evgeni walking towards us, supporting himself on crutches. I have to stop grab the kids by their waist so they don’t run him over.

“Hi kids.” He says, sitting on the seat next to mine and putting the metal crutches on the floor. “Zdravstvujte ljubov’ (Hello love).” He says to me, even though I only understand the first word he says.

“Zdravstvujte Geno (Hello Geno).” I answer him.

“I want grape.” He says to Alex, who is holding the zipblock bag with grapes in it.

Both kids get on their feet and walk to Geno, who sits both Alex and Estelle on his healthy lap, giving me a look telling me that he was fine.

“Geno, is she your girlfriend?” I hear Estelle whisper to the big teddy bear Geno is.

“Net (No).” Geno says in Russian, making the kids giggle. “She help recover.”

“She is a doctor?” Alex is the one asking this time, making me smile while I watch Murray’s movements, writing a few notes on my pad.

“Net (No).” Geno says again. “She is therapist.” He looks at me for help and I giggle a little.

“Well, I know a lot of games.” I explain, putting my notepad down. “Games that help them,” I point at Geno and the guys on the ice, “get better when they are injured.”

The kids seem really amazed by my job, but Geno looks at me with a look that screams ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’.

“Right now I am thinking of games to play with each one of them.” I keep talking and Estelle and Alex nod for a second before turning their attention to their snack, giving Geno food when he asks for it.

I concentrate on the practice going on, keeping my eyes on the injured guys but also taking a few notes about how we could improve the performance on the ice of some of the other guys.

“(y/n), (y/n), help.” Alex yells, tugging my shirt.

I look away from the ice and back to the kids and Geno. They are all standing and looking at me.

“Skates. Tie.” Alex says again, not letting my sleeve go.

I stand up, putting my notepad on the seat and following them to the bench, where their skate bags are. Geno sits on the bench and Estelle sits besides him, putting her feet on his lap. I do the same, taking Alex’ shoes off and changing them for a pair of skates.

“Good?” I say, tying up his skates.

“Oui.” He answers and I put him on the floor and holding his hands, helping him to the ice and then doing the exact same thing with Estelle, watching them both skate to their fathers.

“Kris said that they are worse than Sid and you.” I tell Geno, sitting next to him on the bench and looking at the children skate around the players.

“They are best friends too.” He replies.

Wearable AI system can detect a conversation's tone

It’s a fact of nature that a single conversation can be interpreted in very different ways. For people with anxiety or conditions such as Asperger’s, this can make social situations extremely stressful. But what if there was a more objective way to measure and understand our interactions?

Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Institute of Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) say that they’ve gotten closer to a potential solution: an artificially intelligent, wearable system that can predict if a conversation is happy, sad, or neutral based on a person’s speech patterns and vitals.

Keep reading

This chapter only had 24 pages, but as usual, Nakamura-sensei gave us something to worry about. Kyoko now has the role as Momiji in the bag, although they still might go through with the reaction test because a few of the auditionees cannot believe that Kyoko’s performance was improv because it went too smoothly for their liking. Apparently, they thought she read the script beforehand. Talk about being a sore loser. It’s not her fault that they came unprepared. If they really wanted the role they should have put in more effort. Momiji is a ninja for god’s sake!

Moving on, Kimiko, on the other hand, knows that Kyoko did this on her own without additional help. She’s not happy that Kyoko is not as much as an amateur as she thought. I wonder if she will try anything underhanded. As for Erika, we missed her reaction to this. I believe she isn’t so doubtful of Kyoko’s abilities now since she believed Kyoko wasn’t that capable of pulling off a great Momiji compared to hers.

Lastly, there is Ren. I’m panicking on how Lory got those photos. There is no way Ruto (Sebastian) could have taken them because he was driving Ren. Another fan spoke of this, and I totally agree, that Lory is planning to push Ren into pursuing Kyoko. Ren saw signs of Kyoko’s feelings before, but only thought it was his wishful thinking. Now, I think the story is advancing to where Ren is going to realize Kyoko’s feelings for him thanks to Lory’s meddling and the drama. Ren needs to see how Kyoko acts out this part and realize that Sho is not a threat anymore, but someone else could be. Koga may play a part in this, though I won’t say that he’ll be interested in her as a woman but as an actress. Ren knows Kyoko’s true feelings about Sho since she told Corn in Guam, so he just might be angry that he kissed her and won’t lash out or sulk in anger this time. Especially since she was vulnerable after hearing what her mother said on TV. 

Knowing Nakamura-sensei, his reaction will be different from the past. Ren has come a long way since then. Well, we’ll just have to wait for next month’s chapter. Try to keep your minds occupied till then, I know I will with great struggle. ;)

lauwurens  asked:

hamburr, things you said when we were on top of the world

Graduation is a day that Alex has worked towards his entire life, even before he knew it. A day he’s been terrified of. A day that, at times, seemed unreachable. A day that he never thought would come. 

And yet here he is, graduating.

Alex’s four years of college are almost indescribable, a rare occurrence for him. It had been easier than high school, in some ways, and then incredibly worse in others. In a weird way, Alex almost wishes he could do it all again; he has a much be feel for it now that it’s over, is sure that he could improve his performance. 

He’s also ready to move on, that constant, ‘what next, what next, what next’ mindset pushing into his brain like it always does. He’s ready for what’s next, ready for tomorrow and the next day, and the next year, and then next ten years. He’s ready, practically vibrating with the desire to just get up and start whatever is ahead of him.

But Alex, sitting in his chair surrounded by his classmates, suddenly remembers what Aaron had told him the night before, what he murmured into his ear. To stay in the moment for today, to enjoy it, to experience it, something he seems to have trouble doing. Experience it, because he deserves it.

So Alex does his best to focus on what the commencement speaker is saying, to let it sink in that this is it, this is his graduation. He looks around, trying to find Aaron in the crowd, but it’s just a sea of cap and gowns, and he gives up after a few seconds, reminding himself that he’s got a dinner date with Aaron after the ceremony anyway.

Aaron was an unexpected addition to Alex’s college experience, taking him by surprise. The first year they met was rocky, and Alex, if he’s being honest, didn’t care for Aaron, and Aaron’s feelings towards him were mutual. But something shifted, without either of them noticing, and by their second year, they were friends. By their third year, dating. And even now, Alex is contemplating what’s next for them.

But it’s a thought Alex pushes to the back of his mind for now, allowing himself to focus back on the present, on the way everyone around him is beginning to stand. Alex takes a deep breath, feeling unsteady on his feet, but then he catches the slightly pale face of another one of his classmates, and they both give each other nervous smiles.

And then they’re moving.



Alex turns, searching for the source of his name being called out, and then he spots him, Aaron, pushing his way through the crowds of graduates and making his way over.

And Alex runs, his excitement starting to bubble over and spill out of him, and he needs to share this moment with someone. And what better someone than Aaron?

“We did it!” Alex exclaims as he collides with Aaron, wrapping his arms around his neck and laughing breathlessly. “We fucking graduated!”

Aaron chuckles, breath warm against Alex’s forehead. “Yeah, we fucking graduated.” He pulls away, a grin on his lips, and cups Alex’s face. “I’m so proud of you,” he murmurs, sounding so sincere that Alex, embarrassingly so, feels his throat start to tighten. “You worked so hard.”

“Damn straight I did,” Alex says, but he smiles back at Aaron and leans into his touch. “Both of us did, yeah?” He turns his face, presses a kiss to Aaron’s palm, feeling giddy. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Aaron strokes his thumb over Alex’s cheek. “A lie, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

Alex rolls his eyes, opening his mouth to tell Aaron to just accept the compliment, but then there’s a pair of lips on his own, so Alex stays quiet, pressing into the kiss with enthusiasm. 

Aaron’s arms go around him, holding him close and almost pulling Alex off of his feet, but he loves it. Loves kissing Aaron. Loves being here with him, right now, in their caps and gowns, the whole world ahead of them. It’s exhilarating. 

“I love you,” Alex breathes out, angling his head to press a kiss to Aaron’s jaw. “So fucking much. I love you.” He punctuates the declaration with another kiss to Aaron’s neck, feeling overwhelmed by this moment, by how happy he feels.

Aaron pulls him back up, kisses him again, deep and slow, and it sends warmth all the way to Alex’s toes. “I love you, too.” Then he relaxes his grip, lets their foreheads rest against each other, breathing in sync. “So,” Aaron starts, smiling and brushing his nose against Alex’s. “What’s next?” He says it teasingly, knowing that it’s what Alex is always thinking.

Alex pulls back slightly, taking in Aaron’s face, a face that he almost knows better than his own, a face that fills him with so much…so much of something, he doesn’t know what. College and Aaron, those are the two things Alex can’t put words to.  

Aaron probably meant the question of ‘what’s next’ more generally, as in where should they go eat, but Alex’s mind is spinning with other things, making him contemplate his answer.

What is next?

Alex is looking at different internship opportunities, Aaron is choosing between grad schools…he doesn’t know what’s next, not for them. He doesn’t like that feeling. Not at all.

He needs to change that immediately.

Alex grabs the front of Aaron’s gown, pulling him in close and kissing him again, smiling at the surprised sound Aaron makes. This time the kiss is rough, urgent. Alex is determined to feel feel the remnants of the kiss on his lips throughout all of dinner until they can kiss again and again and again. 

Everything about this moment, the laughter and cheers around them, the feeling of being done, of succeeding, the feeling of kissing Aaron…Alex wishes he could just kiss Aaron all the time, never stopping. He wants this, wants this feeling, this euphoria, always.

He jerks back, eyes opening suddenly, staring at Aaron who is staring right back. “Aaron,” Alex says, tightening his grip on the gown’s fabric, heart pounding in his chest. “Aaron…marry me.”

Aaron blinks at him, slowly, silently, and Alex holds his breath and waits, bites back the words on his tongue threatening to spill out. He waits long seconds, watching Aaron, and then Aaron opens his mouth, and Alex panics.

“Just hear me out,” he says, shaking Aaron a little in his nervousness. “I really love you and I don’t want this to be it, it can’t be! I don’t want to do the whole going our own way shit or do long distance cause it freaks me out and I have never felt like this, okay? I love you!”

“Alexander, I-”

“Please just think about it! We can do a long engagement, the wedding doesn’t need to happen right away. We can be engaged for ten years, I don’t care. But there’s no way I’m letting you go.” Alex pauses briefly and takes a quick, deep breath. “I’m never going to admit this again, so cherish it, but I really, really do not think I could have done this without you! You kept me sane, you kept me grounded, and I need that, I need you! Without you, I would not be here, I would not be graduating.”


“Marry me,” Alex repeats, ignoring the way his voice cracks, focusing only on Aaron standing in front of him. “Marry me, Aaron. Please. I know I’m annoying and difficult and that you hate how messy I keep my dorm, but I swear I’ll do better, not even a sock on the ground or anything. I-”

A hand covers Alex’s mouth, and it takes him a second to realize it, still trying to talk for a few seconds. But then Alex stops, eyes wide as he stares at Aaron, who is smiling at him with an exasperated expression.

“Alexander,” Aaron tries again, keeping his hand pressed over Alex’s mouth. “I was going to say yes.”

Alex inhales sharply, trying to move, trying to free his mouth so he can say something, so he can say everything, but Aaron gives him a look, and he relents with a pout Aaron can’t see. 

“Are you sure?” Aaron asks softly, and Alex nods vigorously, never being more sure of anything in his life. Aaron’s smile grows wider. “Well, okay then.” He leans in close, eyes bright and full of excitement. “Let’s get married.” He removes his hand, replacing it with his lips, and Alex clings to him as they kiss.

“I meant it,” Alex says, pulling away. “Anything, I’ll do anything. I’ll be the cleanest husband-” he cuts off momentarily as Aaron kisses him hard, but then continues, “-you’ve ever seen. Aaron, I love you, I mean it, I-”



“Just shut up and kiss me.”

And he does. 

I saw Fifty Shades Darker and I fucking loved it. It’s less uptight and more fun, more light. Jamie smiles a whole lot and he improved his performance. Dakota is perfect. I think that one of the things that didn’t work out on the first movie is that he had to be cold towards her and after seeing Darker, I believe those two are not meant to not being caring and loving and touchy with eachother. They have massive chemistry (the sex scenes are fairly more explicit and even I had some hard time to understand that those intimate scenes were not real) and I am planning to see it again next week.

The Deep Stuff.

So I recently read a couple of thread discussions that popped off of me answering an anon about what happened during Matt’s sit down with the chat.

They talked and argued about how accountable the cast was for creating a LGBTQ character with such a stereotypical backstory that we see so often in media.

Now, while it saddens me to see this kind of discourse among the fans, I have a question to ask all of you because I want to possibly clear the air here on an issue that I’ve been seeing more and more frequently.

Critical Role is a unique show in which it was born out of people gathering around to play D&D. In the beginning, we were fortunate enough to watch this game unfold, just there to be a part of the experience.

But what about now? The CR cast gets paid to play this game. They sell merchandise and appear at cons and run a show with growing success. 

Is this really just a game that we get to sit in on anymore? Or, are the cast now held to a standard because they’ve started to become the producers for an audience of consumers? 

When I play D&D, we don’t broadcast, and lord knows I say offensive things sometimes. But that is in a room full of friends who understand and laugh at it and have a good time because we know one another and we know the humor we all enjoy together. We know it’s a safe place to let loose.

We enjoy Critical Role to a certain degree because the cast does shake loose and get comfortable around friends. We laugh along with their humor. However, we also know that they try their best to not offend anyone because they are aware of the audience. 

So, what is Critical Role now? Can we still consider it a game among friends or has the core of the show been altered to that of an improv performance in front of an audience.