The Hamster Wheel

The Eurovision Crash Course.

Made by an American for other Americans.

So if you have European internet friend or follow blogs run by Europeans, chances are you’ll be come across a lot posts about Eurovision

But what exactly is Eurovision?

I’m sure you’ve already gotten a lot of sarcastic answers, so here’s a quick free crash course in this crazy cultural phenomenon.

It’s a super hardcore song contest that began in 1956 as a way to unite Europe. It began with about seven countries back when TV was just starting to become a thing. It has since expanded to included most of Europe and a number neighboring countries.

Oh, and as of 2015, Australia is one of the contestants too. And it’s one of the most widely watched non-sporting events ever. But never ask a European why America hasn’t been invited. There’s a fairly high chance they’d rather die than have us there to ruin it.

Okay, that’s cool and all, but how exactly does it work?

So each country sends a representative, and people vote for the best. But you can’t vote for your own country. But I’m really not sure if people-voting even matters because each country has a jury that awards points to other countries, and it’s those points that determine who wins Eurovision. Most points wins.

That’s why things can get political, even though it’s not supposed to and Eurovision was founded on the idea of unity. And why it’s possible for song to win the public televote but not the actual contest.

Now! For video examples!

The 10 most recent winners of the Eurovision Song Contest (2007 - 2016)

  • Pretty self-explanatory. Gives an adequate beginner’s taste of Eurovision performances in general. Showcases genre variety, goofiness, and a poop ton of confetti.

The Story of ESC

  • Again, pretty self-explanatory. It’s literally just learning about Eurovision: theatrical music-number style!

How to create the perfect Eurovision Performance | Tutorial

  • A bit of a satirical piece. Fun fact: every goofy thing you see on stage is a reference to an actual performance
  • And yes, the main people singing are the same singers as the other video.
  • Important references that the song makes are linked below for your convenience.

The main guy singing won for Sweden in 2015. His performance also includes dancing with cartoons!

The violin guy won for Norway in 2009. He has one of the highest final scores in Eurovision history. He’s also super talented and I love him.

The people in demon costumes won for Finland in 2006. Their song was literally called “Hard Rock Hallelujah.”

Austria set a piano on fire in 2015. And then just left it there. (It starts burning about two minutes into the song.)

Grandmas baking bread. Believe it or not, they got second!

Russia had an famous gold-medalist ice skater onstage in 2008.

And yes, that is a hamster wheel.

…you get the point. If I keep going, this list would carry on forever.

Also! Some of my personal favorites:

Again, I could go on forever, but…you know. Although, if you want more song recommendations, feel free to message me!

(Also, if you’re European and reading this, please don’t kill me. Instead, tell me how I did? And feel free to link your favorite entries too!)

the holidays are coming up, and as someone who works in a pet store there are some things i want everyone who plans on getting animals as gifts to remember:

  • fish tanks need to be set up and running for at least one week before fish can be put it. all fish need treated water and bacteria supplements.
  • fish can only survive in a plastic bag for about an hour.
  • THE ONLY fish that can go in a bowl is a BETTA. all other fish, especially goldfish, will die/be very unhealthy in bowls.
  • goldfish are supposed to live for up to 20 years. don’t get all high and mighty for keeping one alive for a few months. they have long life spans when taken proper care of.
  • hamsters cannot live together. when they grow up, they become incredibly territorial and aggressive. they are asocial creatures that do not get along with each other.
  • guinea pigs can’t go in hamster wheels or balls. they get spinal injuries from being in a curved position and sometimes die.
  • rats and guinea pigs do better in groups/pairs.
  • hamsters, mice, rats, guinea pigs, cats, and pretty much every single animal can’t live inside a sealed box. they will die. don’t do it.
  • puppies get destructive. they break things and make messes and are loud. they need to be trained. don’t get a puppy if you don’t want to deal with training a large animal.
  • don’t fucking take kittens and puppies away from their mothers prematurely just because they’re cute. it can affect them forever.
  • cats will scratch your furniture and knock things over. declawing cats is a physically harmful and scarring process that literally permanently mutilates their paws. don’t get a cat if you aren’t willing to be patient with them.
  • birds are LOUD. SO LOUD. and incredibly messy. and they bite.
  • most lizards can get up to two feet long. some can live for 20 years. don’t get a baby bearded dragon and expect it to stay that small forever. they reach their full size within a year.
  • pets are real and they have needs. their needs are not luxuries. don’t treat them like they don’t matter.

Something about Danny Phantom that bothers me is how the show deals with bullying in regards to Danny himself, particularly in episodes like ‘Splitting Images’ and ‘Reign Storm’.

In both those episodes, Danny finally gets sick of how Dash pushes him around and uses his powers to exact revenge. He then gets taught a lesson about abusing his powers and that doing so makes him no better than any other bully. And while I can appreciate the message, the writers seem to miss one important thing: That Danny has no other way to deal with being bullied.

He can’t fight back against Dash as a human because he’ll either get beat up or punished by the teachers, or both. He can’t go to the teachers because they have blind spots for the A-listers and constantly let them get away with this shit.

He can’t go to his parents because their only choices would be to go to the teachers (which, again, doesn’t work) or transfer Danny to another school, which they would never do because Plot. So the only option left to him is using his powers against Dash, which we’re repeatedly told is wrong.

Now I’m not saying that Danny using his powers to torment Dash is right, what I’m saying is that when it comes to defending himself he’s left with no better options. And while Danny does ultimately take the high road, Dash never does, he just continues on bullying Danny until it gets to be too much and Danny snaps again and takes revenge.

The whole thing turns into a vicious cycle because the writers only deal with a symptom of the problem in Danny’s “ghostly get-backs” rather than the source, Dash’s abuse. It doesn’t matter if Danny decides not to use his powers against Dash if Dash is going to keep coming after him anyway. So the only way to break the cycle would be for Dash to get some character development and realize he was being a creep, or for Danny to settle things as a human outside of school where he couldn’t be punished for fighting Dash (although he could still get the shit beat out of him).

But for whatever reason, most likely the good ol’ Status Quo, that never happens. We just end up on the same rickety hamster wheel where Danny is the only one being held accountable for his violent relationship with Dash. And while this certainly isn’t as bad as some botched bullying stories I’ve seen (like the entirety of Severus Snape’s character in Harry Potter, where Harry is apparently supposed to be the mature one and let a grownass man in his thirties take his issues out on him), it’s still incredibly flawed.

The thing about Marvel Comics…

(—speaking as someone who recently drew two issues for Marvel and yes, one of those issues is tangentially tied into the “Secret Empire” events, sigh sigh, so interpret my biases as you will but I want to make clear that I AM NOT DEFENDING NICK SPENCER IN ANY WAY—)

This is what I hope people keep in mind when they call for boycotts:

For all of the crap that Marvel and DC and mainstream comics pull, in all of my time trying to live as a freelance illustrator (and specifically trying to live as a comics artist), drawing for Marvel is the only job I’ve ever gotten that’s given me what could be considered a living wage.

Kickstarted comics anthology gigs — which come sporadically & usually pay meager crumbs, if they’re successfully funded —  are not viable alternatives to well-paying mainstream gigs.  Patreons (which have no safety net & depend entirely on how well an artist can commodify & sell themselves) are not viable alternatives to steady paying jobs.  Taking on commissions to pay your bills is like being a hamster in a wheel that just keeps spinning, spinning, spinning.  Crowdsourcing funds might be fine to realize a hobby-project, but it doesn’t work as a replacement for a living wage.  There is no financial stability in crowdsourcing.

And please please please keep in mind that the individual comic series & issues do not represent the work of Ike Perlmutter (the CEO of Marvel).  They represent the work of the editors and the writers and the artists involved in making those specific issues.

I can only speak for myself and from my very limited experience, but my editor and my writer were insanely lovely & gentle with me.  Whatever else is there (and yes, there’s a lot of bad, too), Marvel is full of good, kind (and diverse) people.  There’s G. Willow Wilson, Mariko Tamaki, Kevin Wada, Kris Anka, Myisha Haynes, Becky Cloonan, Jordie Bellaire, Natacha Bustos, etc. — to name a few.

So:  Look, this whole situation is an ethical tangle (because that’s what corporate America does), and everybody has to make their own call as to what they think is right.  But please don’t forget that Marvel is not a symbol and no single person is its figurehead.  Marvel is a comics company that pays artists and writers to create art.  It might be the shittiest art out there, but it’s still art.  If you hate it, don’t buy it (and tell the company why you’re not buying it).  If you like it, though, then your money is your vote for what direction you’d like comics to move in (and who — writer, artist — you want to support).

Anyway, that’s all I have to say.  Make your choices, whatever they may be, and do your best in the world. ♡

~ Aud

[170430] Moonbyul’s Fancafe Reply to a Student MooMoo Who is Struggling with School & Dreams

The MooMoo’s Letter:

“I am just a Stu-Moo (Student MooMoo)”

“A student’s worry is always related to studying, isn’t it? School, cram school, home, study, sleep, school, cram school, home, study, sleep…… every day, like a running machine, I live like a hamster running on its wheel.”

“Honestly, I focus only on the results than the process. Even though the process is important, if the result turns out to be bad, it just ends up being bad anyways. In our country, people only evaluate based on your results.”

“I have a dream - to be an entertainment program host. But honestly, becoming an MC is a very unstable dream, right? It is a gambling-kind-of job in which you face a lot of failures, go through slumps easily, and will flip your life around just because of one mistake. So it is very tough for me to tell my parents that I want to become an MC.”

“I think all I need right now is some heartfelt words that can cheer me up.”

Moonbyul’s Reply:

Consolation..

Although I am not that great of a person to be able to comfort you, please receive my consolation and cheer up!

This is how I think. I believe it is most important for you to have a dream. If you have a dream, you become more positive, and because of the dream, you will be able to get back up even if you fail.

We evaluate a lot just based on the results, but in order for the results to be good, the process has to be solid too. That way, you will not fall apart.

Whenever I am struggling, it is difficult for me to think positively as well. However, I tell myself that I must think this way. Although I am having a very hard time now, I remind myself that there are people out there who are having a much harder time than I am. Run towards your dream for as far as you can, as it is something amazing and something you are capable of doing.

Cheer up!!

MB

Trans by tgc. (@tgcnim)

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since everyone’s hopping on karl stefanovic’s dick for wearing the same suit every day here’s just a taste of how he really feels about women (and gay people). he’s featured twice in the first 50 seconds.

Introducing… Araminta 🐹❤️

She’s very friendly and happy to climb into my hand already. Right now she’s very boisterous and full of energy and is already enjoying her wheel and the exercise ball we got her. She spent quite a lot of time exploring the inside of my jumper, padding about across my chest and up and down my arms with her cute little hamster feet! 😍

For now she is making do with the house we have already, which is described as ‘large’ by the sellers but in our opinion is about half the size we’re looking for- especially for a Syrian. ***Any recommendations gratefully received!***

We also need a larger wheel as she’s just a baby and this is already too small for her. We’ll have her new accommodation within a week or so, and in the meantime we’ll make sure to handle her loads and let her run in her ball as much as she wants.

Electra is fascinated by her new little sister- the Lovely Husband describes the hamster house as 'Cat TV’ 📺!