above the norm

I remember how I hated them. Because they hated me. And I couldn’t understand why. I wondered why I even existed. That’s when I found out I had this demon inside me. It wasn’t my fault, but everyone acted as if it was. That just made it worse. But then… a few people came along who paid attention to me. That made it better. It was alright then, even though I had this monster inside me. Even though everyone else acted like I didn’t exist. Because I wasn’t alone anymore. For the first time in a long time, I was happy again. Really, really happy. They made me remember how good life could be. They made me glad to be alive. But when I think back to where I was before I met them, it’s scary. Nothing but pain and darkness. What would I be like if I stayed there? All alone. That’s how come I can understand him.” 

N a r u t o  U z u m a k i

Note: I don’t think we give enough credit to Naruto—or at least, not at this point in time. This was Naruto reflecting on his life after meeting Gaara, after seeing how similar their situations were yet how drastic their outcome. 

Naruto may not have a high cognitive intelligence, but his emotional intelligence goes above and beyond the norm. Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions. Research has found that individuals with strong leadership potential also tend to be more emotionally intelligent—which just supports even further why this unpredictable hyperactive ninja became Hokage. 

I know at this time we found it really amusing that he always stated, “I’m gonna be Hokage someday!” and assumed that obviously the show was going to end with that because of the efforts he put to get there, but I think it’s really important to note how Naruto was such a great candidate for that position because of this inherent quality. 

I read somewhere how when encountering a person who is extremely unstable mentally or otherwise, the first and foremost thing you should do is listen to what they have to say—to try and understand them. Why? Because most of the time, such people just need someone to just accept their emotions and their words as holding importance—to accept the fact that their emotions are real and worthy of attention. 

We have made Naruto’s ‘talk-no-jutsu” somewhat of a joke and just something more funny than serving a purpose—and yes, sometimes it does appear as if it is overdone—but just think about it for a second. This is the ninja world where these shinobi are constantly killing and such a life is traumatic at times. Think of all the people Naruto has met that have gone through so many traumatic experiences and are just not mentally stable and the very first thing he always does is listen. To try and relate. To understand them. To say, “Hey, I hear what you’re saying, and I understand your emotions are real.” 

This quality of his—THIS right here is why he TRULY became Hokage. Why he was so qualified for the position. He never believed any feeling or thought was below him and he always listened to each person he encountered. He brought people together this way. And when you’re sitting at such a high position as Hokage (or whatever position of leadership), it is SO important to be both perceptive and receptive of e v e r y person out there—no matter what their status/rank/race/age/personality/ideology/etc.

And on top of that all, Naruto was very self-aware. Do you see how he reflected on being the kyuubi container? He’s this thirteen-year-old kid who realized that the hate people had was targeted toward the kyuubi container, not him. But because they were one in the same thing, the hate was also targeted towards him. And because he was able to grasp this concept, he was able to use this to push forward to turn that hate around by reaching out to one person at a time until he was reaching out to the whole of the shinobi world. 

It’s honestly so beautiful. We could all learn so much from his character. And try to apply some of his methods to our daily lives. Imagine how much positive change that would bring into this world. 

At the beginning of the century, a college education was seen as a bauble for the rich, a finishing school for children of the upper class or a place where the youth of the nouveau riche could mingle with the upper class and acquire social graces and upward social mobility. (Upward economic mobility was not the issue for families that could afford to send their children to college.) A college education, which filled the minds of its students with esoteric knowledge and unrealistic theories, was looked on unfavorably by employers in such practical fields as journalism or engineering.

But as the century got older, gradually college became seen as the means by which citizens could become above average, and it was regarded as unfair that this opportunity should be available only to the rich.

By the Sixties, the construction of new colleges and a variety of scholarship programs (most notably the GI Bill) had resulted in a large mass of new college graduates. Discouragingly enough, though, many of these new graduates turned out to be only average after all.  It was then realized that we had underestimated what would be required to raise a person above the norm. For many, at least a Masters degree would be essential. Therefore money was poured into creating new graduate programs and expanding existing ones, and creating new graduate fellowships, such as those established by the National Defense Education Act. But by the end of the Sixties, it was becoming apparent that even a graduate degree was not adequate to make someone above average. It became common to find PhDs driving taxi-cabs and painting houses.

Going to college has become the normal rite of passage for a moderately intelligent middle-class youth. Anyone who has the ability and the desire can now become educated, but the American dream of having a standard formula that any person can follow to become successful and above average is still unfulfilled.

—  Lee Lady

anonymous asked:

I have to apologize for another "job in the industry" question. I've been in the tech industry for about a decade though my focus is on distributed systems and security (crypto). I have a stable and well paid Silicon Valley job but it's not in the game industry. If I were to ask you if I should try for a game dev job what reasons would you give me for absolutely NOT working in the game dev? And is there a reason to join other than the love of games?

Why shouldn’t you work in the gaming industry? There are plenty of reasons.

1. You get paid much less than other industries

Part of the problem of a “cool” job is that developers (especially engineers) get paid a lot less than another software engineer of equivalent experience doing enterprise software. There’s one engineer I know who left my dev team to work on casino games and his salary was practically tripled. This isn’t a problem for most fresh-faced bushy-tailed newcomers to the industry, but if you’ve already got things like a mortgage, a family, and commitments, this might not be the career for you.

2. You may have to work a lot of hours

Crunch is very real. Due to the waxing and waning need of people for AAA development specifically, there will be times where you spend 10, 12, or even more hours at the office each day. Working weekends will be expected. Again, not a huge problem for newcomers, but very taxing on those with families and friends. After crunching for months on a project and finally shipping it, I once had to relearn how to cook for myself since I hadn’t done so for so long.

3. Volatility sucks

Most studios don’t plan more than a couple of years out at a time. Layoffs could hit after any project, even if the project does well.  There will always be a new project spinning up, and another one crashing and burning. As such, you may need to be on the lookout for a new job or a new opportunity. I was very recently updating my resume and I realized that I’ve shipped ten games with nearly as many studios. This is a bit above the norm, but really not as far removed as it should be. There are some industries and employers where you can plan to work for your employer until retirement. Video games is generally not one of those.

4. You won’t get to work on your own ideas for years unless you go indie

Unless you somehow climb the ranks at a meteoric pace, you probably won’t get the opportunity to write your own ticket for years. Any game developer needs to spend years earning experience, proving competence, and increasing the scope of his or her responsibilities. Only a very exclusive number of developers will ever be able to make his or her own ideas a reality. Most of the time, it’s being assigned tasks by the producers and doing them. Unless you decide to give up AAA development and work on an indie title, you’ll be working for them for years.

5. Somebody will always hate what you do

Games are public-facing. No matter what game it is or how good it is, there’s going to be a very loud group of people that will hate it. They will happily let you know as well - any decision you make to improve the game will be second-guessed and dismissed into oblivion. And they will park themselves firmly in your game’s official social media channels and continue to shout at you for as long as the game continues to be maintained. 99% of the time, they won’t know anything about the actual circumstances of things, but that won’t matter to them. Not that you’re allowed to talk to them anyway.

There’s a lot of practical reasons why someone wouldn’t want to work in games. It’s a nice idea, but reality is a harsh mistress. For many, the lower pay and the regular crunch are the primary factors in leaving the industry. It definitely takes a lot of dedication and passion to stay with game development as a career. There’s always a lot of people who want to get in, but the intersection of both passion and competence is not a very big number. Of those who might fit, the above reasons tend to drive many of them out as well. Game development is often thankless and draining. It certainly isn’t for everyone.

When we last talked to Jeremy, he was living a relatively stable life making imaginary gold in World Of Warcraft and then selling it for real-life money. In a turn of events that literally everyone involved should have seen coming, the game’s parent company started clamping down. That company – Blizzard – doesn’t like any gaming marketplace that doesn’t cut them in.

WOW had actually been slowly but surely losing players for years, and farmers like Jeremy were already hurting. A new expansion called Legion was expected to be a huge draw for new players, though, and it was – big time. However, it included some new features and rule changes that intentionally screwed the world’s hard-working gold farmers.

A year or so ago, Jeremy could sell gold for about $0.30 per 1,000 gold (which you’ll note is a higher exchange rate than many actual foreign currencies get), but that price has effectively been cut in half. This predictably sent the market into chaos.

“February was the last straw,” Jeremy lamented. “I logged on to sell my haul of gold, and I found that it had gone down by half. I think my heart stopped.” Jeremy seized a bit and sold what he had, only to watch prices soar back up to 50 percent above their norm. “If I waited I would have made a killing. Now I couldn’t afford rent. 

5 Hard Lessons After Spending A Decade Farming Gold On WoW

Portal 2 GLaDOS Quotes Sentence Starters
  • “Oh. It’s you. It’s been a long time.”
  • “I’ve been really busy being dead.”
  • “We both said a lot of things that you’re going to regret.” 
  • “I think we can put our differences behind us.”
  • “I’m happy to put this all behind us and get back to work.” 
  • “I’ll give you credit: I guess you ARE listening to me.“
  • “Say, you’re good at murder”
  • “Just kill it and we’ll call things even between us.”
  • “You broke it, didn’t you?”
  • “You look great by the way, very healthy.”
  • “Do you know who else murders people who are only trying to help them?”
  • “Nobody but you is that pointlessly cruel.”
  • “When you die, I’m going to laminate your skeleton.
  • “That (clothing item) you’re wearing looks stupid.”
  • “Did you know people with guilty consciences are more startled by loud noises?”
  • “I bet you think I’ve forgotten your surprise.”
  • “Here come the test results: You are a horrible person.” 
  • “I made it all up. Surprise.”
  • “Tell you what, I’ll give your parents a call right now.”
  • “I thought about our dilemma, and I came up with a solution that I honestly think works out best for one of both of us." 
  • “You just have to look at things objectively." 
  • “Oh hi. So, how are you holding up?”
  • “I hate you so much.”
  • “Look, I don’t like this anymore than you do. In fact I like it less.”
  • "If I’d known you’d let yourself get captured this easily, I would have just dangled a turkey leg on a rope from the ceiling." 
  • “I’m afraid you’re about to become the immediate past president of the being alive club.”
  • "Well. I suppose we could just sit in this room and glare at each other until somebody drops dead.”
  • “NO! STOP! No!" 
  • “It’s just us talking. Like regular people. 
  • “This is no joke - we are in deep trouble.”
  • “You’re not just a moron. You’re designed to be a moron.”
  • “That’s funny, I don’t feel corrupt. In fact, I feel pretty good.”
  • “You didn’t do anything. 
  • “She did all the work.”
  • “Oh look, there’s a deer. You probably can’t see it. Get closer.”
  • “Kill it! It’s evil!”
  • “Well. This is the part where he kills us.”
  • “You know, I’m not stupid.”
  • “Look, even if you think we’re still enemies, we’re enemies with a common interest:”
  • “You like revenge, right?”
  • “I thought you were my greatest enemy. When all along you were my best friend.”
  • “Did you know humans frown on weight variances?” 
  • “If you want to upset a human, just say their weight variance is above or below the norm.“
  • “You were abandoned because you’re worthless.”
  • “Go to sleep my little killers.”
  • “Mommy’s got a big day for you tomorrow.”
Northern comfort

Fluctuating temperature weirdness prevails.  It was 0C when I got up this morning but we made it up to about 16C today which is still a fair increase above the average norm for this time of year which is typically 9C, give or take.  Weekend forecast is for temperatures in the mid-twenties and … rain.  So much darker in the morning now and DST ends on November 5th and the struggle is very, very real for me when we have to turn those clocks back that measly 60 minutes.  Wake up in the dark, come home in the dark and from that point on, all I want to do is cocoon.  Cocooning and consuming copious amounts of comfort food… yeah, that’s the ticket.  Comfort food means so many different things to so many people.  For me, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich paired with tomato soup (throwback to my elementary school days and walking home from school for lunch), mashed potatoes or smashed rosemary potatoes or you know, just potatoes, shepherd’s pie (yeah, those potatoes again), 4-cheese macaroni, home made apple pie or apple crisp, sliver thin (and super tart) lemon tart… there’s a glaring omission here and that is poutine…I practically cower to admit that I’ve lived in la belle province my entire life and have never had poutine. I am strangely okay with that too,   And you out there, what’s your absolutely favourite go-to, must have, cannot do without, comfort food?  I am curious to know.  I’ll read you while running in place – I feel like I gained a ton merely by outlining my own list of noshables.

Here are some quotes Jennifer Lawrence has made over the years regarding her weight:

“I’d rather look chubby on screen and like a person in real life.” – Mirror

“In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress, I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach.”– HuffPost

“I eat like a caveman. I’ll be the only actress that doesn’t have anorexia rumors.” – Entertainment Weekly

“I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner!’ […]I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.” – Entertainment Weekly

“If anybody even tries to whisper the word 'diet,’ I’m like, 'You can go f- yourself.” – The Gaurdian

“What are you gonna do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.”– The Daily Mail

Tumblr celebrates her in .gif as a paragon of quirk and body acceptance, but one thing that may have escaped your notice in the orgiastic celebration of JLaw realness that is the Internet, is that Jennifer Lawrence is a fit, attractive, 20-something woman.

Let’s concede the point here that she is, perhaps, a size or two above the accepted Hollywood norm. It’s admirable, being the star of a movie franchise aimed at teens, that she is concerned about the effect a too-svelte appearance might have on her audience, who are already bombarded with negative body messages every day. But how her statements are being delivered – and how zealous and adoring fans have interpreted her words – only reinforce our cultural standards, and perpetuate the myth that only one type of body is acceptable.

I’m not going to cover the fact that it’s messed up that a girl like Jennifer Lawrence has to justify her perfectly gorgeous body to every single media consumer in the world. We all know that’s messed up. Let’s focus instead on the fact that in order to appease our own self-doubt about our weight, we, the Internet, have decided to ignore how body-shaming the entire image of JLaw, “Spirit Animal” to fat girls everywhere, really is.

First of all, consider her quotes. She would rather look chubby on screen, but like a person in real life? This is a message of positivity only for people who consider themselves chubby, and it comes at the expense of women who are thin. Maybe they’re thin because they’re sick. Maybe they’re naturally slender. But when someone says they would rather “look like a person” than look thin, the message between the lines is that thin people don’t look like people.

I want to know, Internet: at what percentage of body fat does a woman earn the right to be a person?

I’m certain that some of my fellow fatties looked at that quote and rolled their eyes. We know that weighing more doesn’t grant one personhood, because our alleged lack of self-control and dignity are directly linked to that body fat percentage. Fat people are not people in our culture. They’re “fat people.” So, what does that quote do? It’s not empowering to anyone but women who look like Jennifer Lawrence. And it’s not a coincidence that she just happens to be the Coke-bottle standard we’re told men should prefer.

I can’t help but think of the .gifs floating around Tumblr, the ones where Lawrence talks about how much food she eats, how she loves McDonald’s fries. Would the Internet have embraced those quotes coming from a larger actress? Someone like Melissa McCarthy?

I’ve noticed a funny thing about Melissa McCarthy. Well, besides the obvious, that she’s funny. But I’ve noticed that when Jennifer Lawrence talks about her weight, she talks about how much food she eats, and how she’s never going to diet to be thin. And when Melissa McCarthy is quoted about her weight, this is what she says:

“I don’t know why I’m not thinner than I am. I don’t really drink soda; I don’t have a sweet tooth, and we eat healthfully at home. We’re all weird for broccoli and pureed-vegetable soup, which we almost always have a big pot of in the fridge – it’s so good!” – Fox News

“I just don’t lose weight easily.” – People.com

“Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size 6 and I never had to give it a single thought.”– Us Magazine

Because Melissa McCarthy actually is a fat woman, she isn’t allowed to make brash statements about body acceptance. She has to apologize for her body. Every single one of those quotes might as well have just said, “Sorry I’m fat and you have to look at me, everyone.” But it’s all she’s allowed to say, in the confines of our culture. If Melissa McCarthy had said, “If anybody even tries to whisper the word 'diet,’ I’m like, 'You can go f- yourself,” the response will most assuredly not be, “How brave! How strong! What a good role model!” The response will be, “What a bad example, encouraging people to be unhealthy! We have an obesity epidemic! Open your eyes, fat is not healthy, sexy, or acceptable! How very dare she!” Even the mild statements she has made about being comfortable with herself and her body are greeted with backlash from armchair internet physicians bleating about health and lifestyle choices.

Imagine if Melissa McCarthy had made so many public comments about food and McDonald’s. It wouldn’t be cute or funny, it would be schtick. Look at the fat woman, being human and hungry for something bad for her! How grotesquely humorous it is when fat people eat! When Jennifer Lawrence makes these comments, it’s acceptable, because her body is still pleasing to our cultural expectation of voluptuous, slim-waisted, long-necked female beauty.

When Jennifer Lawrence says it’s “dumb” to go hungry to make other people happy, she’s saying it with the carefree attitude of a woman who probably will never have to make that choice to conform. Yes, she’ll be asked to diet for a role, and she feels the same pressure to meet cultural expectations as everyone else. But a woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t have to shop for her clothes in online stores because no physical storefronts carry her size. A woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence probably isn’t going to have a stranger try to stage an impromptu intervention in a Pizza Hut because they’re so, so concerned for her “health.” If a woman who looks like Jennifer Lawrence goes to her doctor to complain of an ailment, she’ll be offered diagnostic tests instead of a diet plan. Jennifer Lawrence can say it’s “dumb” to go on a diet, but Jennifer Lawrence might not be facing weight-related prejudice or illness. Jennifer Lawrence may never be forced to make the choice between going hungry to lose weight versus having a knee and hip replacement at 35.

The reason Jennifer Lawrence is allowed to be a body-positive role model to young girls and “chubby” women is because she is representative of conventional beauty. Jennifer Lawrence’s public image has been built on a foundation of fat girl drag. She can say she’s “obese” by Hollywood standards, but the claim is laughable when women like Melissa McCarthy also make their living in the same industry and aren’t afforded the privilege of unapologetic expression Lawrence enjoys as a conventionally attractive person.

The message of body acceptance built on Jennifer Lawrence’s soundbites only empowers those who are willing to ignore the fact that her statements reinforce our current cultural views, rather than subverting them.

—  Huffpost
Future carbon dioxide, climate warming potentially unprecedented in 420 million years

New research led by the University of Southampton suggests that, over the next 100 to 200 years, carbon dioxide concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere will head towards values not seen since the Triassic period, 200 million years ago. Furthermore, by the 23rd century, the climate could reach a warmth not seen in 420 million years.

The study, published in Nature Communications, compiled over 1200 estimates of ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations to produce a continuous record dating back nearly half a billion years. It concludes that if humanity burns all available fossil fuels in the future, the levels of CO2 contained in the atmosphere may have no geologically-preserved equivalent during this 420 million year period.

Keep reading

Jay-Z and LeBron James, photographed during their first annual “Two Kings Dinner and Party” at the TAO restaurant inside The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas on February 17, 2007.

The dinner and party was held annually as part of the NBA “All-Star Weekend” festivities from 2007 to 2013. Before each event Jay and James would spend the day giving back to underprivileged children in the local community. Hov explained why they include these charitable endeavors as part of the event in 2010: “I think it’s important for us, where we come from, to inspire people from the same neighborhood, same struggle as us, just so they know it’s possible. We’re living our dreams. So dreams are possible, but it’s hard work. We can be president of the United States, but everyone can’t do it. It’s a very difficult thing. [But we’re aiming] just to show these things are attainable.” He later added: “I never had these sort of role models growing up. I never had anyone come around and talk to me. I had to figure it out on my own. One of my promises to myself is that I’ll never forget my journey. I’ll always give back and speak to people that are going through the same thing I was going through.”

At the 2010 event Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones explained to MTV News why he chooses to attend the annual event: “You do have a time in your life when you can hang out or recognize someone who has risen above the norm—significantly above it. Jay-Z has done that in entertainment. LeBron is about that in sports and basketball. You transcend your game, so to speak. They represent that. It’s a privilege to be on the team with them and be a part of the celebration.” Diddy would add: “It’s the perfect combination of sports and entertainment. Showing ways we can work together. Use our power in a positive way. They’re both kings in what they do and they’re combining forces. As entrepreneurs and young kings and queens, we’ve got to do more for the better of other people. I’m here as a king to support it.”


After inadvertently causing the end of her parents’ marriage, the chatty Jun Naruse is cursed by an egg fairy to never speak again. However, years later, she is selected to be a member of a committee at her high school, which aims to formulate ideas for a class performance. Hopelessly succumbed to her inability to speak without getting a stomachache, she quietly refuses responsibility. However, with the help of fellow committee member, Takumi Sakagami, she slowly begins to find her confidence and her voice.


Characters – 8/10

Kokoro ga sakebitagatterunda has a lot of–well–heart. Much of this warmth is provided by the natural writing and performances of the main characters. Even the heroine, Jun, is a relatable character, despite her apparently fantastical ailment. In fact, she is perhaps the character I emphasised most with, since her problems are grounded and realistic at the root. The other three main characters are also strong enough that I found myself genuinely caring for them by the end of the 120 minute runtime.

Takumi, the male lead, is reminiscent of the common “average guy” archetype. He takes the best out of Jintan’s pages, keeping his desire to do the best thing while discarding the pubescent angst and irritability. His fascination and wanting to do the best to help Jun is both believable and dramatic. He almost teeters on the side of romance until his true intentions and wants are revealed.

Daiki is perhaps the most developed in the series apart from Jun herself. He constantly evolves from his stress and the influence of those around him. He’s an utterly unlikeable character at the start, but I found myself caring significantly about his development by the middle of the plot.

Natsuki I found most negligent, but she was still a nice way to keep Takumi grounded. She is very similar to Anaru from AnoHana (yknow it’s hard not to compare Anthem with this). She sees the goodness in Jun and genuinely cares for her, but is caught in the throes of jealousy when Takumi forges a friendship with her. Despite this, I didn’t find her nearly as frustrating as Anaru, as she truly was a victim of Takumi’s archetypical vagueness and idiocy.

The supporting cast was believable and diverse, though there isn’t much to say. With a two-hour story, there isn’t much development to expect, so the rest of the cast did their role: advance the story. I was also pleased by the amount of variety. In terms of character design, I found myself looking at a melting pot of thin characters, fat characters, light-skinned characters, dark-skinned characters, and more. The classroom looked more alive because each student seemed to have a reasonable amount of design behind them.

Animation and Setting – 8/10

There isn’t much to say about slice of life settings in most cases. Again, design was reminiscent of AnoHana, and excruciating detail could be seen in the buildings, the ground, and the interiors. In general, it’s safe to say that this movie was beautiful in general – contending with the level of crispness and detail seen in Studio Ghibli films. Of course, there’s less to see, as the backdrop of a down-to-earth story like Anthem can’t compare to the riveting fantasy of Miyazaki’s work, but for a canvas of realism, Anthem displays some of the most beautiful background art I’ve seen in this particular genre. Lighting is also always on point: from the orange hues of the setting sun to the pale blue glow of stained glass falling onto the characters’ faces, the mood is set thoroughly with the help of collateral light.

Music and Sound – 8/10

It’ll be difficult to praise Anthem’s soundtrack until I can hear it fully without the distraction of a pesky plot playing over it, but in general, I felt that it was at home with the rest of the puzzle. I never felt distracted by the music, which is perhaps why I have so little insight into it.

The voice acting is, ofcourse, excellent. In most cases, I have no qualms about casting and the same goes for Anthem. Inori Minase portrays Jun well, despite having to stutter, scream, and sing constantly throughout the film. Kouki Uchiyama, a favourite of mine from Gundam Unicorn, also performs well.

Plot – 9/10

In spite of my low expectations, Kokose or Anthem doesn’t fail in the plot department. Although I had personal qualms about the direction of the story, objectively I loved it and felt that everything worked out well. The pacing was well-controlled, and the character development was as thorough as it could be with such little time.

Most of the action focused around the interactions between Jun and Takumi, dabbling deeply into parental issues and romance. Although Anthem does spend some concentration on Jun’s developing feelings towards Takumi, it is not necessarily a romance, but more of a coming of age story. Jun’s reluctance to talk and eventual ability to overcome her fears and accept that she is her own problem takes center stage, and Takumi’s influence is only a driving force. Their relationship is also a fun factor in the experience. The two simply work together. They aren’t polar opposites like Taiga and Ryuuji, and they aren’t a perfect match either, but they appear natural and have just enough in common to understand one another.

The most poignant theme in the film is Jun’s relationship with her mother and, by extension, her father. Although her mother never blamed her for their separation, her father absolutely did and made sure to let her know. Although Jun’s mother seemed abusive, she is simply the product of depression sprung from the abandonment of her husband. Jun’s condition, in this way, reminded her constantly of the sorrow of her life, having lost her husband and her daughter’s happiness at the same time. It was crushing seeing her break down in tears upon realising that the play was a parallel for Jun’s own life, and that Jun felt unreasonably responsible for her own misfortune.

On that note, the delivery of the play as a symbol for Jun’s development was intelligent. Without it, what we have is a typical shell of a slice of life, of a damsel in distress forever made stronger by a hero. However, the musical as a  central plot element ultimately made Jun the machine that changed her own self. She finds inspiration in Takumi and the others, but she specifically chooses her own story to present to the school, in hopes that being able to express herself in that way frees her from her internal prison.


My main gripe with Kokose was the ending of the romantic subplot. I appreciate that it stayed above the norm and concluded in Takumi being unable to return Jun’s feelings, but I couldn’t help but feel that the relationship between the two was built up for nothing but something else that Jun could just “get over”. Takumi was nonetheless instrumental in Jun’s self-redemption, but the ending felt emptier without a sense of strong development between the two. Of course, it isn’t a bad way to end; the heroine doesn’t exactly win, but she grows even when she is defeated. Perhaps a better way to resolve the film’s romantic elements would be to see more at the end. I would have liked a longer epilogue, perhaps showcasing the relationship between Jun and Takumi at least remaining a strong bond. Instead, I was disappointed by the lack of interaction between the two once the dust settled, the writers opting instead for a random curveball in the form of Daiki professing his love for her.

It was a nice sentiment, but there was not nearly enough time in the movie to appreciate this turn of events. In conclusion, I feel as though I would appreciate everything, including both relationships that developed towards the end, if Anthem was a series rather than a film. I could feel that it was strong, and at some points I found myself emotional invested in some of the tenser moments. I could not, however, give it the same credit as AnoHana, KimiUso, or Toradora simply because I felt just barely attached to the characters. With a  solid 12 episodes of development, I perhaps would have felt more of a solid fondness (and the characters really are likeable) and even an admiration for the ending.

Overall – 8.5/10

Derek-Scott History Lesson

I’ve heard tell of a Scott and Derek hug and I’m going to be that person.  I’m going to be that person that says remember when…

  • Scott told Derek that there may well be a reason his whole family DESERVED to burn to death in a fire
  • Scott demanded to know why he should help Derek, who was dying from wolfsbane, even though Scott knew at that point that Derek hadn’t bitten him and hadn’t killed anyone
  • Scott dragged his feet like crazy at Allison’s house when he was supposed to be finding a bullet to help Derek and only ended up doing it after 2 phone calls, finally getting in gear when he was offered personal incentive (but still staying for dessert)
  • Scott believed Derek was alive after Peter attacked outside the school and still threw him under the bus by blaming him for the serial killings, even when he could have easily gotten away with saying “I don’t know what random psycho is stalking us through the school” instead of blaming someone
  • Scott demanded that Derek “trust us for once” after only-sort-of-inadvertently framing Derek for murder and never apologizing for it
  • Scott believed that Derek was alive after they were both attacked by the hunters in the Hale house- even argued with Stiles over the fact- and still did nothing but follow Allison around and go to prom until Allison’s dad revealed him to be a werewolf, that being when he finally decided to go looking for Derek
  • Scott found Derek chained up after getting captured (because he was saving Scott) and refused to release him unless Derek agreed to protect Allison, the niece of the person Scott knew had killed Derek’s whole family and that was currently holding him captive
  • Scott pretended to join Derek’s pack with the intention of lying to him and using him in a plan that 1) Derek could easily have been in on, 2) used Derek’s body without his permission and gave what Derek considers a gift to an enemy, and 3) could have easily resulted in Gerard being an alpha if things went wrong
  • Scott then shoved his deception and rejection of Derek’s pack in Derek’s face by saying “You may be an alpha, but you’re not mine” to him (after Derek had saved his life while thinking he was his alpha) instead of answering the question “Why didn’t you tell me?” that Derek actually asked
  • Scott didn’t correct Allison’s misconception that Derek had intentionally killed her mother (which in fact happened while rescuing Scott from being murdered by her) for an entire summer
  • Scott went behind Derek and the pack’s back to meet with Deucalion alone, explicitly against orders, causing a showdown that resulted in Derek very nearly dying
  • Scott called Derek, knowing he’d lost his werewolf powers including healing, to come help at a supernatural v. bounty hunter showdown even though Derek had only barely just begun to learn to defend himself using human methods

I’m going to be that person that says that even though the show decided that Derek and Scott were friends after season 2, Derek had no reason whatsoever to forgive Scott for any of these awful things and Scott certainly never apologized for any of it.

So yeah.  If I hate the idea of Scott and Derek hugging, it has nothing to do with Sterek.  It has to do with the fact that Scott has treated Derek like crap in ways that go above and beyond the norm way too many times to count, and that this has never been acknowledged at all by the show, much less rectified.

anonymous asked:

what happened. what happens next.

This is what happened:

  • There were 231,556,622 eligible voters on election night;
  • 28.4% of eligible voters voted for Clinton;
  • 27.1% of eligible voters voted for Trump;
  • 46.5% of eligible voters didn’t vote;
  • I threw up twice.

You will note that more people voted for Clinton. And that nearly a hundred and ten million people who could have voted did not. People did not vote because of:

  • voter ID laws;
  • voter intimidation;
  • indifference.

Clinton lost because of an unaddressed flaw in the U.S. Constitution. This flaw results from an early attempt to circumvent the Electoral College. The Founders intended this body to be a check on the power of the voting public. The votes of its electors have technically conferred the presidency onto every candidate who has sought it. If the people were ever seduced by a demagogue and made the mistake of voting for him, the Electoral College would be, it was thought, a last layer of protection preventing that demagogue from attaining power. However, very soon after the adoption of the Electoral College, its elitist intent was undermined. The states began to require that all of its electors vote identically. This strategy exposes the flaw: When each state pledges all of its electors to whomever wins the most votes there it becomes possible for a presidential candidate to win that office by persuading fewer total voters than their opponent. This has happened five times: 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and presently. It has been the result in 11% of presidential elections. The irony arising from Trump’s election in this way is suffocating.

Clinton lost because of a strain of Nativism that has persisted, basically unaltered since the 1820′s, in the white voters of the Eastern half of the United States. The wave that made the present catastrophe possible was created by people who think of themselves as the original inhabitants of this country; people who live in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. This belief–that their residency in the United States is more valid than that of those who came later–is the primal eldest source of Conservatism in this country. The expression of this belief has been strongly suppressed by the business-oriented Conservatism that arose after the Industrial Revolution in America. But as heavy industry fled the U.S. the hereditary workers who formerly serviced it have rolled back the newer varieties of Conservatism to expose the original.

Clinton lost because of the catastrophic incompetence of her campaign. Her campaign, it now seems, was carried out on the premise that certain blocs of voters were so unshakably hers that no work of any kind needed to be done to secure their votes. In light of this incredible entitlement no union outreach was undertaken in the three states whose loss decided the election against her, no advertising was bought in Wisconsin until days before the polls closed, none of the increasingly frantic reports by former Sanders canvassers of large Trump gains in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were heeded, and her campaign maintained its blind adherence to a model that reality would conclusively invalidate. 

This is what will happen:

  1. America’s well known corporate forces will consolidate around the Trump administration. These forces will have rightly judged him to be a weak president and liable to manipulation. (You may imagine a boa constrictor squeezing its prey tighter and tighter.)
  2. These constrictions will make it all but impossible for Trump-the-president to be as unhinged as Trump-the-candidate. Corporations will have an easier time making money. There will be no nuclear war, primarily because this would adversely affect the business climate.
  3. Bowl after bowl of shit will be presented to Trump, which he will have to eat again and again. He will be told that this is necessary and that if he did not want to eat shit every day he should not have sought the presidency. One after another, his insane campaign promises will be publically eaten as bowls of shit. The corporate stranglehold on a Trump presidency will enforce this.
  4. American business interests will, in this way, buttress the loose rubble of a Trump presidency and stabilize it. Needless to say, the stability their infiltration will provide is going to come at a terrible social cost for those of us who do not live or die by the weather on Wall St.
  5. Finance will be deregulated with an enthusiasm not seen since the early 1980′s. The collapses, panics, scandals, thefts, grifts, and criminality inherent to unrestrained Capitalism will follow very shortly thereafter. As the country’s tax base shrinks the Federal budget will be slashed. Deficit spending will skyrocket as it is revealed that fiscal conservatism was always only a posture adopted by Republicans when out of power. 
  6. It will be a spectacularly corrupt four years on the domestic scene. 
  7. Global wildcards like ISIS will become unusually dangerous. This is because the coils of American capitalism can stabilize a stupid administration but they cannot make it smart, let alone proactive. There will be many joints and much soft flesh for the world’s unpredictable actors to exploit in the next decade of history. 
  8. Unpredictable disasters will be re-cast as national emergencies that call for wide-ranging Executive power. Civil rights will be sacrificed in the name of order and the first tendrils of autocracy will emerge this fertile ground.
  9. The Supreme Court will be lost for ten years or more. Astonishing rollbacks of women’s rights, minority rights, civil liberties, and voting rights are likely.
  10. The last, best hope for holding the global temperature anomaly to two degrees Celsius above historical norms will expire. The lives of our grandchildren will be markedly different from what any of us would have chosen for them. 
  11. The odds on the first military coup of the Federal government will climb above zero for the first time since the Great Depression.

This is what happens next:

  • I will brush my teeth before I go to bed.
  • I will read a book about a Babylonian king named Gilgamesh and his friend, the wild man Enkidu. Their story was written down on clay tablets four thousand years ago. These tablets were in a royal library when that library, along with much of the city it was in, was burned to the ground by invaders. The heat from this disaster had the effect of firing the clay. In this way, thousands of tablets became vitreous and immensely durable.
  • I will wake up and brush my teeth.
  • I will clean my house.
  • I will go about my work.
  • And I will keep forgetting about it and then remember.

Jay Z, Young Jeezy, LeBron James, Kanye West and Ne-Yo, photographed at Hov and James’ fifth annual “Two Kings” dinner at the Craft restaurant in Century City, California on February 19, 2011.

The dinner and after-party was held annually as part of the NBA “All-Star Weekend” festivities from 2007 to 2013. Before each event Jay and James would spend the day giving back to underprivileged children in the local community. Hov explained why they had included these charitable endeavors as part of the event in 2010: “I think it’s important for us, where we come from, to inspire people from the same neighborhood, same struggle as us, just so they know it’s possible. We’re living our dreams. So dreams are possible, but it’s hard work. We can be president of the United States, but everyone can’t do it. It’s a very difficult thing. [But we’re aiming] just to show these things are attainable.” He later added: “I never had these sort of role models growing up. I never had anyone come around and talk to me. I had to figure it out on my own. One of my promises to myself is that I’ll never forget my journey. I’ll always give back and speak to people that are going through the same thing I was going through.”

At the 2010 event Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones explained to MTV News why he chooses to attend the annual event: “You do have a time in your life when you can hang out or recognize someone who has risen above the norm—significantly above it. Jay-Z has done that in entertainment. LeBron is about that in sports and basketball. You transcend your game, so to speak. They represent that. It’s a privilege to be on the team with them and be a part of the celebration.” Hov’s close friend Diddy would add: “It’s the perfect combination of sports and entertainment. Showing ways we can work together. Use our power in a positive way. They’re both kings in what they do and they’re combining forces. As entrepreneurs and young kings and queens, we’ve got to do more for the better of other people. I’m here as a king to support it.”

Think we can all appreciate the fact that while the title says “Natsu vs Erza”, that it shows those same two people in such an intimate setting. They are both outside at a small wall overlooking the city with Natsu sprawled out along the edge, his head in her lap and she is running her hand through his hair with a soft, smile on her face. No doubt that Natsu fell asleep in the sunshine while Erza was reading a book, either outloud to him or for herself.

To see the brash, energetic Natsu who’s idea of a fun prank would be burning Lucy’s ass with his fire, so peacefully asleep on the lap of the woman he is ‘very afraid of’ and who is the disciplinarian of Fairy Tail (at the time)….

Honestly, if one did not already know of their dynamic, one could either say that they are siblings, very close friends, or even a couple. This would be the first of many, many times that Natsu and Erza show a level of closeness that is above the norm, even for Fairy Tail members.

anonymous asked:

Why do you think ID and solo Harry had zero female influence/contribution the song-writing process?

What a great question.  I don’t know enough about the industry to know a specific answer.  Have we seen the credits for Harry’s album? Do we know for sure that no women were credited?

The general answer is - misogyny, discrimination and the systematic exclusion of women from well paid and prestigious jobs.

I think the question your probably asking is - what does it tell us about Harry and One Direction that there were no women involved in their songwriting process.

But to answer that question you really need to know more about industry norms.  There are some industries that are so male dominated that the fact that women aren’t involved in a particular project can just mean that no-one has actively tried to find them or noticed that they’re excluded. (On a macro level this sort of exclusion is always maintained through harassment, discrimination and active forms of exclusion - but on a micro level it can be much more ‘we hired the best people for the job’ or ‘these are the people we know are good - Mo Ryan’s work on TV directors is absolutely fascinating in that regard. I also recommend this follow-up piece with John Landgraf - it fills me with equal parts hope and rage).

I suspect pop writing is not that male-dominated.  Sia does very well for herself as does Julia Michaels and those are just people I’ve heard of because they also release their own music.

I imagine the answer is much more located in one of two things - either the work process or the work culture.

Writing for either Harry or One Direction has required giving up your life and travelling for an extended period of time.  In general, men are much able to do this than women, because women do far more caregiving work than men.  That means a work process that requires travelling a long way away from where you are and working all hours will exclude far more women than men.

The other thing is about the ideas about what is serious or more adult and the fact that music industry defines that in ways that excludes women.  Midnight Memories, the first album with a basically new writing team, took a sharp turn towards rape culture and I’ve thought that was Julian and co’s idea of what it meant to be more mature.  Likewise Harry is writing ‘serious rock music’ - and misogynistically excluding women is pretty central to rock musics identity.  And I think that would work in so many ways to ensure there was no space for women in the making of that music.

I’ve looked at the writing credits for a number of other artists’ last album: Beyonce, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.  To me this suggested that it was normal to have men vastly outnumber women in the writing and production of pop music.  But every single one of those artists had credited women writers.  It’s not normal to have none.  That suggests that decisions made about how to make Harry’s album (and how to make One Direction albums) meant that women song writers were excluded over and above the industry norms.

The Star Room
Mac Miller
The Star Room

But me, I’m still trapped inside my head, it kinda feel like it’s a purgatory
So polite and white, but I got family who would murder for me
Think I’m living paradise, what would I have to worry ‘bout?
Dealing with these demons, feel the pressure, find the perfect style
Making sure my mom and dad are still somewhat in love
All these backfires of my experiments with drugs
I experience the touch of my epiphany in color form
The difference between love and war inform me - I’m above the norm

Slot Canyon, Hot Springs, Mineral Deposits, Sky. Arizona Hot Springs, Lake Mead National Recreation Area-

The waters of this spring come out of the rocks at about 111F and cascade down a series of pools. It’s well worth the six mile hike to literally soak in the raw power of Nature.