altered history

10

“Well, I can say that we are definitely closer than we were back then. And I think a lot of that is due to, you know, time, and growing up a bit more and, um, appreciation for the experience that we had. And um, the connection that we have. We have a connection not just in the fact that we experienced that together, but we have, as two human beings, we have a connection and a camaraderie and a dynamic between the two of us that is also unique to me than in any other relationship that I have in my life. You know, there’s an intimacy there that is, um, it only exists there, in that particular way.” — Gillian Anderson

But now, I think really, it’s like …all that’s just evaporated. I think as you get older, I think if you’re lucky if you’re maturing the stuff that used to bother you, the little things, kinda of evaporate and all that’s left is the heart, and that’s all we have left is just total appreciation of one another. So, I don’t know if that makes us like an old married couple, a successful old married couple maybe, I don’t know.” — David Duchovny

“You could just see it in their faces, how much they truly did love each other. And that wasn’t just Dana and Fox, that was David and Gillian. They truly, truly loved each other. Oh, I never saw anything like it. I’ve been in this business all my life, literally. And I think David and Gillian’s relationship, Scully and Mulder, are one of the greatest male/female in TV history.” - Kim Manners

Would you consider professional flirting a power? Idk

Zen’s the guy you’d go to if you need some help in hand-to-hand, blade-to-blade combat. Replication is his main thing, and it comes in handy when tackling the bigger, badder villains. The clones however, only possess his base proficiency at combat and flirting and none of his other powers. He also has a sporadic Psionic Intuition, which allows the team to see glimpses of the future (psychic dreams anyone?). Albeit fleeting, Zen tends to be extra sensitive to the bigger-scale, future-altering, history-making events. He might not be able to see how well you’d do in a test, but he’d definitely see Godzilla rising out of the water a couple days or weeks before it happens, so don’t worry. :D

Adoptive Muscle Memory is less of a power and more of a skill he developed. Quick perception and hella body-eye coordination allows him to study your moves and learn them with time. Short battles are of no use to him, but if the duel is extended or you come back for a rematch, then watch out bc he’s probably got all ur moves figured out. 

Yes, I did the math and estimated that his sword would be about 0.84m long in proportion to his height, which I think was about 5″9. I’m extra that way.

10

This is about Wyatt’s wife, isn’t it? I knew he was fixated on her murder, but this is just so reckless. Can you blame him?

The signs as anime of summer 2017

Aries: Kakegurui

Hyakkaou Private Academy. An institution for the privileged with a very peculiar curriculum. You see, when you’re the sons and daughters of the wealthiest of the wealthy, it’s not athletic prowess or book smarts that keep you ahead. It’s reading your opponent, the art of the deal. What better way to hone those skills than with a rigorous curriculum of gambling? At Hyakkaou Private Academy, the winners live like kings, and the losers are put through the wringer. But when Yumeko Jabami enrolls, she’s gonna teach these kids what a high roller really looks like!

Taurus: Dive!!

The series revolves around the Mizuki Diving Club (MDC), which is on the verge of closing down after having financial troubles. The club’s new coach persuades the club’s parent company to stay open on one condition: that the club sends one of its members to next year’s olympics as part of Japan’s olympic team.

Gemini: Katsugeki! Touken Ranbu

The year is 1863 as the tumultuous samurai era is coming to an end, Japan is split between the pro-shogunate and anti-shogunate factions. The fate of the world is threatened as an army of historical revisionists are sent from the future to alter the course of history. In order to bring these forces down and protect the real history, two sword warriors, spirits who are swords brought to life by Saniwa (sage), rush to Edo. The polite and thoughtful Horikawa Kunihiro and the short tempered yet skillful Izuminokami Kanesada, who served the same master, confront the invading army along with a lively gang of other warriors including Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki, Yagen Toushirou, Tombokiri, and Tsurumaru Kuninaga.
As the fate of history lies in these hero’s hands, what meets the blade is yet to be uncovered…

Cancer: Hajimete no Gal

Spring. The “season of love” has arrived and it seems that finding himself a girlfriend was harder than Junichi believed. To break the status quo, Junichi’s friends have forced him into confessing to the gal, Yame Yukana. However, things do not go quite as he expected. A series of “firsts” begins!

Leo: Fate/Apocrypha

The setting is a parallel world to Fate/stay night where the Greater Grail mysteriously disappeared from Fuyuki after the Third Holy Grail War. After many years of silence, around the same time as the Fifth Holy Grail War would have happened, the Yggdmillennia, a family of magi, openly declares their secession from the Mage’s Association, and that they are in possession of the Grail. The Association dispatches fifty magi to retrieve it, and all but one are instantly slaughtered by a mysterious Servant. The one remaining manages to activate the reserve system of the Greater Grail, allowing for the summoning of fourteen Servants in total.

In the city of Trifas, two factions will fight for the control of the sacred relic, each of them possessing their own team of seven Servants : the Black Faction whose members are part of Yggdmillennia, protecting the Grail, and the Red Faction whose members were sent by the Mage’s Association, trying to take the Grail back. For an event of this scale, the Grail itself summons its own Servant, the holy Ruler, to oversee the conflict.

This marks the start of the Great Holy Grail War.

Virgo: Jikan no Shihaisha

The story centers on “Chronos Rulers,” those who fight the time-eating demons that appear when people wish they could turn back time. The Chronos Rulers fight a time-manipulation battle against these demons. 

Libra: Knight’s & Magic

A mecha otaku is reincarnated into another world as Ernesti Echevarria, also known as Eru. In this world, huge humanoid weapons known as Silhouette Knights exist. Dreaming of piloting those robots, Eru and his friends, Archid Olter and Adeltrud Olter, aim to become Knight Runners.

Scorpio: NTR: Netsuzou Trap

Yuma and Hotaru have been friends since childhood, so it’s only natural that when Yuma is nervous about her new boyfriend, she asks Hotaru for advice. But when Hotaru starts coming onto Yuma for what feels like more than just ‘practice,’ what does it mean…? With boyfriends in the foreground but a secret, passionate tryst in the background, will Yuma and Hotaru try to forget what happened between them or have they fallen into a trap of true love and betrayal?

Sagittarius: Ballroom e Youkoso

Fujita has drifted through middle school aimlessly, unable to find friends or anything that can hold his attention. Then, one day, he’s attacked by a gang and saved by a mysterious man. But this isn’t a karate master; it’s a ballroom dance instructor! Reluctantly, Fujita takes a few beginner’s classes, only to find his inspiration… an entrancing, teenage dance prodigy named Shizuku. It’s Fujita’s first step into the high-octane world of competitive dance!

Capricorn: Hina Logi ~from Luck & Logic~

Liones Yelistratova, a pure princess from a small country, enters a school in Hokkaido on a spring day. The school is a specialized educational institution operated by ALCA to train Logicalists, who maintain world peace. Liones enters class S, where she meets many classmates with unique personalities, like Nina. A lively and cute everyday life begins now.

Aquarius: The Reflection Wave One

After THE REFLECTION, some of the people in all parts of the world are discovered with super powers.
Some become heroes, and others villains.
How did the Reflection happen? What was the cause of it?
With many unsolved mysteries, the world is lead into turmoil.

Pisces: Gamers!

This is a story that revolves around certain students and one hobby. Amano Keita is our lonely protagonist who has a passion for gaming and is friends with Uehara Tasuku, who is secretly a fellow gamer and is someone who believes his life is perfect. We also have Karen Tendou, the club president of the video games club and Chiaki Hoshinomori, who constantly bickers with Keita. This is a story filled with a non-stop sequence of comedy scenes and misunderstandings. Our chaotic romantic comedy now begins!

Pre-curse Prince Adam headcanons

So I know a lot of people are doing these, but I really wanted to contribute because I have too many feelings about this Trash Prince™. (Also I’m altering history slightly to make this work).

  • Adam’s father is the Duke of Anjou, King Louis XV’s younger brother, while Adam’s mother is an infanta of Spain (who became the Duchess of Anjou). The marriage was political, and there was no love in it at all. The Duke of Anjou kept many, many, mistresses, while the duchess preferred to spend time in the library and reading to her son (this is where Adam gets his love of books).
  • Because of this lineage, Adam is a prince du sang, meaning a “Prince of the Blood” - a title given to direct descendants in a male line of the King. Adam flaunts this title a lot. 
  • Adam’s full baptized name is Charles Alexandre Adam. His father was very controlling and a traditionalist, so he gave his son two traditional noble French names (the former after himself, and the latter after the King’s middle name). Adam’s mother, however, was very religious and had the name Adam put in (despite great protest from her husband). 
  • His mother always called him “Adam” to differentiate him from his father. Also because the couple basically hated each other, and she didn’t want to be reminded of him when he looked at her son. 
  • Whenever Adam attended parties at Versailles (which wasn’t often because the parties weren’t celebrating him), he was the biggest shit disturber. He would fabricate rumours and constantly get all the other courtiers riled up. He would also gamble. A lot. 
  • Adam also hated all the protocol at Versailles, another reason why he rarely visited. He much preferred his own castle, where he was the centre of attention and all the courtiers revolved around him. 
  • On one occasion when Adam was visiting his family at Versailles (he was forced to go), Lumière organized a ball for the servants to take place in the grand ballroom (which was strictly off-limits to the lower-ranking servants) so he and Plumette could share a proper dance. The rest of the servants were thrilled, but Cogsworth very much opposed the idea, and tried to order everyone back to their duties. It didn’t work. Lumière, obviously ignored him, saying the prince would never find out. Cogsworth remained in the ballroom for the entirety of the servants’ ball, and the smallest smile crept up on his face as he watched Lumière and Plumette dance. 
  • Adam commissioned many paintings to be done with his likeness on Greek gods and Roman Emperors (à la Louis XIV). 
  • He would spend so much money on clothes, wigs, makeup, and shoes that the king would write letters chastising him for his outrageous spending. Adam would almost never reply, and when he did he would say something along the lines of “well how much do you spend on your poisson?” (meaning Madame de Pompadour, the King’s mistress whose surname was “Poisson” and was seen as a disgrace at court because she was a commoner). 
  • After balls and parties, Adam would bring a woman (or two) back to his bed, but he would never say a word to them and then would go off to the library before the woman woke up. This would happen so often that it had become a routine wherein Lumière would be there in the morning for the woman to wake up so he could escort her to an awaiting carriage. 
  • Every trinket, every frame, every doorknob in the castle has to be spotless and shining. Adam also hates dust. 
Some Inspirational Quotes
  • “It takes nothing to join the crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.”  
    Hans F Hanson
  • “You are much more than what you’re going through.”  John Tew
  • “My only regrets are the moments when I doubted myself and took the safe route. Life is too short to waste time being unhappy.”  
    Dan Howell
  • “Be yourself. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking of you, because they’re probably feeling the same kind of scared, horrible feelings that everyone does.”  
    Phil Lester
  • “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
    Elbert Hubbard
  • “The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.”
    Anne Frank
  • “Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
    Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “We meet no ordinary people in our lives.”
    C.S. Lewis
  • “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” 
    John Wooden
  • “If we all did the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
    Thomas Edison
  • “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
    Isaac Newton
  • “A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
    Mahatma Gandhi
  • “I am still learning.”
    Michelangelo

crazymisstoast  asked:

Hello! I was stalking your blog a little and I quite like your opinions and the way you express them. Now, I have a kinda difficult thing which I'd like to discuss: What would you think about an kinda AU of the real life: A novel set in the Victorian era where everything is the same except homosexuality is accepted? Like, with all the manners and stiffness and all but - gay. And for example that two men marrying is more okay than 2 women bc of financial reasons. Simply stupid or worth a try?

Hi! Thanks so much for the blog-love. :)

As to the historical AU, of course I have no objections to the theory of it. My chief concern would be how far you would wish to alter social history to justify that one change. Everything is so intertwined and a product of its own past and context that to change one thing is to change many things, particularly with regards to perceptions and presentations of gender and sexuality. If cis gay sexuality is acceptable, then the presentation of traditional masculinity must hold much less sway over social norms. To my understanding, Victorian strict sexual mores grew out of their particular culture and time, encompassing the advancing technologies of the industrial revolution and scientific progress in ways that contributed to people really eagerly getting the wrong end of the stick and running with it. (Example: we can blame microscopes for the Victorian disbelief in the vaginal or clitoral orgasm. A little bit of new science gone very, very wrong.)

If these Victorians have neither cultural nor religious objections to same-sex marriage, the heteronormative family structure and the gender roles within it have little to uphold them as they did in the real-life strictness of Victorian society. Where does misogyny fit into this structure, as patriarchy is still implied to exist? If two women are permitted to marry in this society, then the notion that they have no need of a man would surely push for greater liberties for them as individuals worthy and capable of supporting themselves, with equal rights in wages and votes. Could the social and economic oppression of women continue in a world where they are already not being told that they must require a man to support and speak for them? I feel like the gender binary should rapidly dissolve, in this context.

To suit my mind, a Victorian AU couldn’t really have one thing changed, and all else remain exactly the same, without there being a ripple-effect throughout society, culminating in a variation of a culture which functions rather unlike the history we recognize. So a more liberal ‘Victorian’ society would perhaps turn out more steampunk pseudo-Victorian in aesthetic, with radically different social structures and traditions, in practice.

5

Welcome to this week’s FRIDAY FASHION FACT! Today we’re talking about why the vast majority of historical clothes that survive today seem so small in size.

Most people probably think, that’s obvious! It’s because people used to be much shorter than they are today! Well, that’s not really true. I could write a full essay on this (in fact, several people have), but let’s stick with the basics. Average heights use to be shorter than they are today because many more people use to be malnourished, stunting their growth. However, the wealthy (and therefore properly nourished) members of society had the same variety of heights that we have today. Average heights also varied region, just as they do now, and varied by era based on ever-changing eating habits (meat based diets vs. vegetable or grain based diets, etc.) Additionally, many people have a skewed perspective of what average heights are now. Many of our celebrities are athletes, or actors who are staged to appear taller on screen, leading to the misconception that average people are taller than they really are.

So, if people (and therefore clothes) from past centuries were created in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, why do we see so many petite little dresses in museums? Simple. For one, clothing isn’t always as small as it looks. The proportions of historical gowns are very different than clothing today, often built to trick the eye into seeing a tiny waist. If we cinched in our waists and padded our hips like they did years ago, we might look as small, too. Of course, there are many pieces that actually are quite little. Why? Clothing was extremely expensive in past centuries, and the average person could only afford to buy about one new complete gown or suit a year (or the material to make one complete look.) However, the wealthy upper classes, who could afford several garments a year, were very style conscious and would discard pieces that were not in the latest fashion. They would pass down these pieces to their servants, or other less wealthy members of their communities. They were hand-me-downs, taken in or remade by the next wearer, then the wearer after that, until they were completely worn out, then used as rags or scrap fabric. The very small pieces survive because they were too petite to be passed down, taken in, re-worn, and worn-out.

Luckily for us, there is an exception to every rule, and there are surviving examples of larger pieces, as well as pieces where we can see where they have been taken in, altered, or remade. The above photos show a few of these garments:

Circa 1780 robe a l'anglaise remade from a 1740s sack back gown

Circa 1770s bed gown remade from the 1760s

Circa 1800-05 round gown remade from 1785-95

Circa 1840 evening dress remade from 1760s

Circa 1880 redingote remade from a circa 1810 man’s jacket

Want to learn more about the lifespan of historical garments? Check out these books:

What Clothes Reveals: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America, by Linda Baumgartem

The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England, by John Styles

Have a question about fashion history that you want answered in the next FRIDAY FASHION FACT? Just click the ASK button at the top of the page!

ashscented-revamped  asked:

Hi there, I have a question for you! I was discussing this with my Jane Austen professor today, and I wanted to know what you think: Does it bother you when people accept Jane as simply a "Romance Novelist" like, yes, her novels have romance in them but on what level is the romance circumstantial and satirical?

I think those people like to selectively ignore that Jane Austen herself can be quoted as distancing herself entirely from the “romantic” as it was known in her time, (“I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No - I must keep my own style & go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.”) and also how unfair it is to then also consign her to the realm of “romance novels” in the modern era when she herself would have had no concept like unto our Harlequins and Mills & Boons. So on a genre-level, I do find calling Austen a Romance Novelist to be inaccurate and over-simplifying and downright lazy, because it’s people choosing to look at the fact that the focus of her novels are young women and that the only honourable provision for young women of that class was marriage, and so they end in marriage, but those marriages are funny, human, real, and, (we hope) happy–which was a pretty good ending, and not impossible, in Austen’s time. All her characters and plots could have been her contemporaries–her neighbours, her family, her friends. All the drama is entirely within the scope of normal human beings.

Under such a consideration, Shakespeare’s comedies are ‘comedies’ because they, too, end with marriages, and in the case of plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, they’re full of magic and fairies and extraordinary stuff, and yet they’re not dismissed as frothy romance the way Austen’s entire canon can sometimes be. (Which, if you ever get the chance, please go and see a period-reproduction of one of Shakespeare’s comedies at the Globe theatre, because there will be enough dick-, puke-, and fart-jokes to make you realize that Shakespeare was ALSO the seedy-drugstore-pulp-fiction-novelist of his day and he L O V E D it.) I know that The Tempest and other later plays are sometimes categorized as Shakespeare’s Romances, but that was a term assigned to them by a late-Victorian academic and certainly not due to the mere fact that there was love and marriage in the plays, but more on the basis of the plays’ spectacles and themes of faith and redemption, more in keeping with that particular era’s definition of Romantic and not romantic, but that is a whole ‘nother discussion in itself.

While it does bother me that people will insist upon categorizing Austen’s works as romances (doubtless due to how adaptations have brought general awareness of her work into the mainstream consciousness,) it is not because I have any particular distaste for romances as a form. We’re all pretty aware of the general cultural dismissal of any art that is produced by or for women in particular (”chick” flicks and lit being usually uttered with distaste or at the very least a very broad assumption about the content and character of the piece being just very generally Female and therefore lacking much substance or originality…meanwhile every minute some middle-aged man’s fictionalized sepia-tinted musings on his mid-life crisis is given beard-stroking acclaim for its raw power and fresh perspective.) And I think this is where I have a lot of problems with Austen being shoved into the romance category, because of how the world in general (academia included) treats romance and women’s fiction. There is bad women’s fiction out there, but I’m sure no more than there is bad men’s fiction, and to have a narrative which does encompass stories of finding love and happily-ever-after should not be considered a mark against it, by any means.

Essentially, my view of people calling Austen a Romance Novelist is, firstly, that they are far too lazy and ignorant to even be putting themselves forward to enter into a serious discussion of Austen’s work at all; and secondly, even if by some alteration of history and literature it turned out she WAS a Romance Novelist, after all…well, why on earth should that term be presumed degrading and dismissive? Romance is wonderful.

READER HOROSCOPE FOR FEBRUARY 2017

Turning the celestial pages of love


AQUARIUS

Bust out the champagne and crank up the music - it’s your birthday month, and you are ready to party! You’re full of energy this month after a pretty drab and boring January, and it’s infectious! Have you noticed a recent uptick in the number of brunch and happy hour invitations in your inbox? Get used to it! You’re in the spotlight this month, Aquarius, and you are loving it. While you embrace moment in the sun, just be sure to monitor your calendar so you don’t overbook yourself. Looking for a high-energy read that fits your current mood?  Look no further than your lucky book for this month, a wildly imaginative and deliciously unusual account of the dawn of the modern era. You’ve undoubtedly heard snippets of the circumstances around the death of Anne Boleyn, or memorized some facts about the Aztec people in middle school, but be warned: this is history like you’ve never experienced it before. While you whisk around this month, charming the socks off of everyone you meet, remember the power that a sparkling personality and a tiny twist of fate can yield. Who knows, you may end up altering the course of history yourself.

 LUCKY BOOK: Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue

PISCES

Time to bring out the bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, Pisces. You’re in desperate need of some rest, and this month is your time to finally indulge in the magical art of doing absolutely nothing. Well, okay…doing less. You know how to read your body, and you know when your mind is stretched to the breaking point - this is the time to slow down and use your spare time to just let yourself be. Work is work, and the pressure from deadlines and upcoming projects may trick you into thinking that you need to be on edge all the time, but that is simply not the case! Allow yourself to do what you need to do at the office, and then give yourself the freedom to pursue an activity you want to do - whether that be taking more naps, dusting off your baking pans, or settling down with a good book. And speaking of good books - if you’re looking for a long, juicy read to fill the time you’re gaining this month, your lucky book this month is just the ticket. Take a walk through several decades of history - from Kingston, Jamaica to the streets of New York - and read a fascinating fictional account surrounding the assassination of Bob Marley, and the world-changing events that followed. There’s no better time to sink your teeth into a gripping, spellbinding story than during a self-imposed exile from the noise and clamor of the real world, so get ready to dig in.

 LUCKY BOOK: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

ARIES

One may be the loneliest number, Aries, but that’s not a worry you’ll have this month. People are just clamoring to be in your orbit, from friends to strangers to colleagues, and you’re working on making your exchanges both smooth (always check your teeth after going to town on a kale salad!) and profitable (business cards at the ready!). Collaboration is of the utmost importance right now, as the connections you forge today will only help you become a better team player, listener, and person overall. Having at least one partner to work with in all things academic, corporate, or even romantic can help the both of you become greater than the sum of your parts - and perhaps even create the beginnings of a lifetime bond. The characters in your lucky book can attest to this: two orphans abandoned at birth, who grow up together and eventually fall in love. Follow them on a whirlwind journey through the world of dance and theater, through temporary separation and desperately trying to find their way back to each other to make their childhood dreams come true. It’s a spellbinding paean to the wonders of enduring love, suffering difficult times, and coming out on the other side stronger together - an appreciation that you can truly share this month.

 LUCKY BOOK: The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill

TAURUS

There’s no stopping you from getting what you want this month, Taurus, and it’s inspiring to see. They don’t call you the bull for nothing - you refuse to be deterred from going after your dreams, and you’re willing to do just about anything to achieve the level of success you’ve always wanted. That means, of course, that this is a month in which your social calendar will be pretty bare bones: you only have so much time to spare, and getting your affairs in order to strive toward the next level in your career or passion is of utmost importance right now. When is the last time you spoke to your mentor? That’s one lunch date that should be prioritized - you can have all the ambition in the world, but without a bit of guidance from someone who’s seen more and experienced more, you may merely end up spinning your wheels or even end up suffering from the residual effects of self-sabotage. In your lucky book this month, you’ll learn all about a nation that achieved an incredible feat  way ahead of its time: establishing a modern-day revolutionary theocracy. From the outside, Iran now appears to be dangerous, a threat to our way of life, but within it lies a much deeper and more complex story of the many religious thinkers, political operatives, poets, journalists, and activists that have staked their entire lives and beliefs on what they feel their country should represent and be capable of. For a mover and shaker like yourself, this is the kind of book you won’t know you needed until you’re halfway through. Go get em, Taurus. We’ll be cheering you on.

 LUCKY BOOK: Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran by Laura Secor

GEMINI

This month is focused on personal growth, Gem, and not a moment too soon. If you’ve been feeling bored and listless, then find a class to take or new route to run. If you’ve been feeling hopeless about the state of the world, use this time to push yourself to action - get involved in a way you may have been afraid or hesitant to until now. This is the time to expand your everyday reality, to take small leaps of faith that leave you with some pretty undeniable results. Your inner circle will be crucial during this time of self-discovery and boundary-testing: they’re smart, reliable, and you trust them to have your best interests at heart. That is not a gift to be taken lightly, so be sure to learn from them this month, and let them know how much you appreciate their presence in your life. To assist you in thinking on a larger scale than you normally do, your lucky book this month is a small volume with dizzying scope. Learn the facts around some of our most common yet awe-inspiring realities, like the makeup of space and time, and the elementary ingredients that comprise our world. It’s the perfect reset button, going back to the basics of our physical world and coming to a deeper understanding about how truly miraculous and beautifully fated our very existence is. You’ll walk away from this book with a much richer perspective on life, and less fear around wresting control of your own, and shaping it in the way you’ve always dreamed. You know what they say about shooting for the moon, Gem. Landing among the stars really isn’t such a bad deal.

 Lucky Book: Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli

CANCER

Who says being a recluse is a bad thing? There are times you just need to be alone, to recharge and re-center yourself, and this month, it’s your turn. A lot has happened over the past few months, both in your personal life and on a global scale, and if you want to be able to navigate the many different challenges that have presented themselves, reconnecting with your values and checking in on your state of mind is a must. This doesn’t mean you need to confine yourself to your apartment at all times, just that it would be in your best interest to embark on a journey of some inner exploration, and maybe limit your social engagements to outings with only your closest friends. The clarity that can come from this time spent with yourself or with your most trusted loved ones is invaluable. The main character of your lucky book this month makes that discovery as well - on a trip to Greece to search for her missing husband, there are some questions about his disappearance that are never answered, but by the end of the book, she has plumbed her emotional depths and discovered long-dormant truths about herself that could only be found during a sustained period of solitude. Don’t be afraid to do the tough psychological work of digging through your own impulses, desires, fears, and hopes - self-reflection is a skill that becomes more crucial the more life is lived. Dive in.

 LUCKY BOOK: A Separation by Katie Kitamura

LEO

Once upon a time, there was a Leo who felt like they would scream if they had to answer another benign “How are you?” You know what, Leo? We certainly can’t say we blame you. You’re all about the real talk this month - you say what you mean and mean what you say, and don’t have time for meaningless pleasantries. Life is too short for wasting precious minutes on anything but the conversations and experiences that will help you get where you’re trying to go. January was a bit slow - the first month of the year tends to be a rough one - so now you’re fired up, ready to go. Your mind is buzzing, and your creative energy is flowing - so keep that vibe going! The author of your lucky book this month is the perfect accompaniment to your current mindset: quirky and unusual, a series of traditional fairy tales with stunningly inventive departures from the norm. Is it a love story, a tragedy, or merely a series of strange misadventures? That’s up to you to decide. Go on a journey filled with twists and turns, and surrender yourself to the glorious ambiguity of familiar stories turned on their head. I know you’re a straight shooter this month, but there is value in taking the road less traveled to your intended destination - or, perhaps, to a destination you didn’t even know you wanted to reach. You’re going to make it to your _______ ever after - and filling in that blank is the best part.

LUCKY BOOK: Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

VIRGO

Fire up that blender and start stretching those limbs, Virgo - this month, personal fitness is the name of the game. Chances are, you’ve been following the news cycle obsessively, nearly driven to the edge with worry, and stress-eating is often the only solace to be found after going down a dark social media hole. No more! Banish the Doritos from your room and just say no to the peanut M&Ms. Get rid of the nagging guilt by listening to your body and doing what it’s politely asking you to do - put your health at the forefront of your concerns and allow yourself to shut everything else out, if only for an hour a day. Better yet, put your money where your mouth is, and get outside to volunteer with an organization doing the work you feel passionate about. Aside from it being a small humanitarian act that can go far, you’ll feel better for having spent your energy on an activity that helps put the world to rights, just a little bit, rather than simply complaining about it on your Facebook feed. After all, this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint - better to limber up for the long haul rather than let yourself burn out quickly. For inspiration, your lucky book of the month is a historically accurate account of a slave’s escape right before the Civil War - a reminder that despite even the most inhumane and depraved circumstances, the human will to persist, to survive, is more durable than we often believe. Remember the struggle others have faced before you: grieve their sacrifice, but take strength from it too. You are capable of more than you know.

 LUCKY BOOK: Song Yet Sung by James McBride

LIBRA

Ooh, la la, Libra! Love is in the air this month, and you are just reveling in it! And what a beautiful thing that love is, when it’s free, and shared without guilt or shame. You feel light, unburdened, and that’s not an easy feat. Few can allow themselves to wear their hearts on their sleeve like you do, but that doesn’t make you weak-willed or unable to keep a secret. It means you have courage in an area where others often don’t: the courage to be rejected. The courage to be disappointed. Instead of hiding your affection for whoever has captured it, you’re letting it shine and going after what you want. In a world that increasingly favors mind games and obfuscation in matters of the heart, your approach is a wholly refreshing one - so don’t be surprised when it works! Your lucky book this month is written from the point of few of the outsider - the witness to an extraordinary love story that grows into a personal passion. Such is the power of love - particularly in this case, when it’s between a housemaid and a policeman, two individuals who come from totally different cultural and political backgrounds. As they struggle to legitimize their true feelings in a society that does not want them to be together, the narrator becomes more and more attuned to their private anguish, and is ultimately changed just by having seen their relationship blossom. If that’s not an endorsement of living and loving out loud - especially in a time and place where you are granted that freedom - then what is?

 LUCKY BOOK: A Word for Love by Emily Robbins

SCORPIO

Kick off your shoes and relax your feet, Scorpio - this month is shaping up to be a quiet, introspective one. There’s no place like home right now, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of - everyone needs a chance to just relax in their own abode from time to time. If you’re feeling the sudden urge to paint, or change your curtains, or even do some plumbing - go with it! This is your sanctuary, and it can be incredibly therapeutic and soothing to put the time and care into maintenance that it deserves. Your home is much more than the physical structure, however; be sure to spend some time with the people closest to you as well. They are your anchors - whether it be your girlfriend, roommate, little cousin, or parents - and keeping you grounded can be a pretty taxing job, if we’re being honest here! Don’t neglect those relationships; they need as much maintenance and TLC as your apartment does. Your lucky book this month is a heartwarming, hilariously realistic tale of two families who learn, through a series of misadventures, how vital they are to each other, despite any build-up of resentment, or jealousy, or awkwardness. The people who love you the most know your flaws, and continue to love you in spite of them - and what an incredible reminder when the world just makes you want to lie down for a long time. There truly is no place like home.

 LUCKY BOOK: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

SAGITTARIUS

You’re just the life of the party, aren’t you, Sag? You’re radiating positive energy this month, and it is joy to be around. It’s rare that you run out of things to talk about, because you have opinions to share and refuse to keep them locked away! Good for you - a little bit of honesty is healthy, and breaks down walls that keep potential friends apart. Your forthrightness is attracting all sorts of people to you, and there’s a good chance that it may lead to a brand new friendship - or more! There is little doubt that you will find a kindred spirit in the protagonist of your lucky book for this month: a young woman who charms her way from small-town girl-next-door to mega-popular It Girl. You know the risks of laying yourself bare, inviting commentary and criticism from friends and strangers alike - it can be demoralizing and downright scary, as people will often take your kindness for weakness. This is where your signature optimism and honesty come in handy - sometimes in order to protect yourself, you need to let people know when they’re crossing your boundaries. And if they take offense, well then, that’s their issue. You know who are you, what you want, and you’re not afraid to stand up for yourself when no one else will. Keep doing you, Sagittarius. It suits you well.

 LUCKY BOOK: Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

CAPRICORN

Work, work, work! Cap, I truly admire your commitment to your craft and seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy. You’re firing on all pistons this month, breezing through deadlines and taking on extra projects - and killing it! This is your month of productivity, and so far, it’s a very successful one. Be careful to avoid burnout, though. If you haven’t already, scale back your side-ventures and hobbies, if only for the next few weeks while you’re in work-mode. Balance is vital - either work less and socialize more, or vice versa, but at all costs, avoid burning the candle at both ends. You always want to be economical with your greatest commodity - your time. But guess what, Cap? Being focused on your work actually doesn’t preclude engaging in play - quite the contrary. According to your lucky book this month, some of our most invaluable resources were the result of an innovator having fun. Makes weird sense, doesn’t it? Think about your own daily schedule. How much more productive are you when you actually enjoy what you’re doing? How much more exciting are the ideas you come up with when you’re truly enjoying the brainstorm, or are working towards an enjoyable product? Work doesn’t have to be boring - and, really, it just shouldn’t be. And you can - literally - take that to the bank.

 LUCKY BOOK: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Strap in guys, this is gonna be a long post.

Today is the 313th birthday of this guy

who was born the 28th of February 1704.

Who is this?
It’s Hans Hermann von Katte, a person you have probably heard of if you’ve been following my blog for a while. Mainly because I’m a little bit in love with this idiot.

Why?
Because his death was about as dramatic as it gets.

Why did he die?
Well, because this guy,

Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia, had some problems with his dad.

More under the cut.

Keep reading