among the living

9

Whimsical hobbit house built by Stuart Grant. Located near Tomich, Scotland, he constructed his own real-life Hobbit house with a magical-looking outside and impressive interior. Built in the 1980s, the exterior of the home is completely covered in moss and has a large rounded door. Low ceilings and cozy furnishings make you feel like you’re living among the underground. Outside you can enjoy a cheery pond and greenhouse.

Tough

I got inspired by humans are weird posts.
The first time it happened, no one took notice. When it reached the hundredth time, everyone took notice.

The newest members of the Galactic Alliance were tough beyond imagination. Stories were spread all over the place.

“I once saw one go for ten klicks without stopping, while their leg was broken.”

“Hey, have you heard about the time one managed to lift half of a ship to get a member of the crew out?”

“They do what???”

“They pierce metal into their flesh and inject ink into their skin.”

“How do they not die?”

“They heal so fast it doesn’t trouble them.”

The species in question: Humans. Rumors spread of their strength. Twenty years after they joined one of the Universe’s most brilliant minds released an article on humans.

She had lived among humans since they joined. Every bit of their culture fascinated her. When her apartment complex went up in flames she saw men and women racing inside to get those trapped out. Her eyes widened when she met veterans. They told her stories that she could hardly believe, but their mental and physical scars told otherwise. Her heart stopped when a child went missing and their parents searched for weeks even when others had given up. Famine struck in small countries, cars crashed, children were born, friends became family, some were lost, others were gained, and these strange creatures always kept going. Humans were people of iron wills, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers.

This brilliant mind read through their lore and felt all their feelings. Danger was not unfamiliar to them. It was a fact of life. Animals nearly gave her a heart attack.

“What creatures are these?”

“Those are cats. They’re a type of pet.”

“You keep flesh-eating clawed animals as pets?”

Not to mention the weather, and the planet itself.

“Why is the ground shaking?”

“It’s an Earthquake. They’re quite common here, because we are on a fault line.”

“Is this planet designed to kill you?”

“In a way, yes.”

The atmosphere was made up of oxygen. Which is used as a type of fuel source. Essentially, humans breathed death.

When the article hit the mainstream humans became the most sought after explorers. Who knew that these people were so tough.

Legolas must be so confused about death

In the screenwriters’ and actor’s commentary/interviews for Lord of the Rings, they say they portrayed Legolas as an immortal elf who’s always lived among immortal elves, who has never encountered death or grief before. 

His “arc” in Lord of the Rings is about confronting death for the first time in his immortal life, and struggling to understand it.

But like…Legolas must be so confused by the idea of death??? Because everyone who “dies” keep coming back???? 

Just imagine: 

Legolas: So when is Boromir coming back?
Aragorn: Legolas…Boromir’s dead.
Legolas: Gandalf was dead. He’s back.
Aragorn: That’s different—
Legolas: You fell off that cliff, and you came back.
Aragorn: But I wasn’t really—
Legolas: Merry and Pippin were dead, but they came back.
Aragorn: But they–
Legolas: *busy looking around for Boromir*

10 girls I keep in my heart

1. Beauty was never your goal. Your eyeliner is sharp, a blade, war paint. Your laugh is deep and unwavering, open mouthed to bear fangs. I remember when you cut your long hair off and streaked it with pink. Not like a fairy but like a fire. Yet water runs through your veins. You love your mother so.

2. Oh girl of the earth, you never liked poetry. I think you were carved from the mountains that you’ve never seen. The strongest winds cannot move you. Your hands never rub raw. Yet your edges are soft for stone.


3. Your house is full of beautiful things but you don’t see any of it. Nothing ever feels like home. Storms blow through you so often I think you gave up on rebuilding. And now you live among the rubble. Your anger broke my windows and cut at my cheeks. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

4. How does your smile always manage to reach your ears? So wide you have to close your eyes to make room. Your hugs nearly suffocate me but I don’t mind at all. You play nirvana on your guitar and you don’t understand the lyrics. I hope you never do.

5. I miss you everyday. The gentlest soul on earth. The world hasn’t given you half as much as you deserve. I can’t believe how many people don’t even know your name. Your heart is full of tulips and an angel sent you my way.

6. My first love. You opened my eyes. We spoke our own language and danced like no one was watching. I kept every drawing you made for me. I wonder if you remember me from time to time.

7. My oldest friend. We are holding hands underwater. We are hiding in bushes. We are spinning elaborate stories and pretending not to notice how they unravel. You used to fall asleep on my shoulder. I hope our paths cross soon.

8. You are so much made from so little. You radiate with the force of the sun your body can barely contain you. How you saw me through your own light I do not know. Your name is from the moon and Jupiter is in the art you make. Oh girl born to live.

9. I’ve seen 7000 sides of you. Multidimensional and deep as an ocean. And what lives under the surface bites. I’ve mastered the art of walking on water. I was never good enough to reach you. But someone will be. Someone is coming. I promise.

10. How is it that every song is about you? I wonder if you realize that I look for you everywhere. Your soul is in splinters they’ve flown up to space. They’re tangled in trees. You’ve sent them my way. Oh I’ve felt you exploding not in anger but in creation. Galaxy after galaxy. Oh nebulas light my way home. You are dandelions spilling over rolling hills. You are grass stained jeans. You are Ferris wheels at sunset

“We’ve been at war in this country for over fifty years. There have been hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of victims. So a lot of people don’t like the work that I do. I manage a reintegration program for ex-combatants. I’m trying to take away the main tool of war– human beings. We can’t punish everyone who fought against us. We can’t jail them all. That will only divide us further. So we must find a way to reconcile with the 60,000 ex-combatants that live among us. We must educate them. We must find them jobs. If we reject and stigmatize them, we will always be at war. Reconciliation is a very hard task. There are a lot of open wounds in this country. People don’t want to forgive. Ex-combatants are often viewed as monsters. My job is to show that their blood is like ours. If we can’t break the idea of ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ we will always be divided. Reconciliation is the only way to change the course of our history.”

(Bogotá, Colombia)

boyfriend!tom moodboard

4

The Swingin’ Harlem Hellfighters Band,

The Harlem Hellfighters have taken to the spotlight in modern times thanks to the popularity of the video game “Battlefield 1″, where the African American soldiers are featured in the very opening of the game. The US 369th Infantry Regiment was a unit of African American soldiers who served with incredible distinction during World War I. During the war many white American soldiers refused to serve with blacks, and as a result the 369th was assigned to the French Army, the French having little qualms with serving with African Americans, nor did they have a policy of segregation such as the US Army. They were even issued French weapons and wore French helmets while in combat. During their service in World War I the 369th was nicknamed by the French “The Harlem Hellfighters” because of their tenacious fighting spirit.  They never gave ground in combat, not one soldier was ever captured, and they served the longest continuous deployment of any other Allied unit during the war (191 days of continuous combat). Due to their bravery, they were also among the most decorated Allied units, with two Medals of Honor, 171 French Croix de Guerre’s, and numerous Distinguished Service Crosses.

One of the most unique features of the Harlem Hellfighter’s was their band, perhaps the only unit in the entire war to have a ragtime band.  Unlike pretty much all other military bands which played traditional marches and martial music, the Harlem Hellfighter Band played the music they loved and could perform best, mostly American ragtime music and early forms of Jazz.  The Harlem Hellfighter Band was directed by Lt. James Reese Europe, a man who was certainly fit for the job as he was the band leader of the Clef Club Orchestra, a band popular in New York for their ragtime and proto-jazz music.

On April 8th, 1918 French soldiers turned their heads in wonder as The Harlem Hellfighters marched toward the front to the tunes of hot ragtime and Jazz beats. 

No one in Europe had ever heard such music, in fact Jazz was barely even heard in the United States outside of a few communities in New Orleans, Chicago, and New York.  The new music became an instant hit among both French and British soldiers, and before long the Harlem Hellfighters Band was being called to perform for French and British units all along the line, as well as villages they passed through. Soon, the Harlem Hellfighters swinging sound took Western Europe by storm, and the band was even invited to perform in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Among the Hellfighters biggest hits was a ragtime tune called “Memphis Blues”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJPztEjzf6s

Another popular hit was “On Patrol in No Man’s Land”, written by Lt. James Europe himself while recuperating after being wounded in a poison gas attack while on patrol.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpFCuZ-B4j0

And then of course the biggest crowd pleaser given the location and audience was a jazzed up version of “Le Marseillaise”  

After the war the band would make a grand tour of Europe, then return home and make a grand tour of the United States. Stories of the Harlem Hellfighters unique sound had spread across American and people were demanding more.  During their American tour, the band cut 24 records. Everywhere they went, whether in Europe or the United States, they drew huge cheering crowds, they had become the superstars of their day. 

Unfortunately the story of the Harlem Hellfighters Band did not end well for James Europe. On the night of May 9th, 1919 Europe confronted one of his drummers over poor and unprofessional behavior.  The drummer, known as a hothead among the band members, attacked Europe and stabbed him in the throat with a penknife. Europe bled out and died while in the hospital later that night.

The legacy of the Harlem Hellfighters Band is as grand and all encompassing for music as the Great War itself.  Essentially, the band is credited with spreading the popularity of Jazz throughout Europe and America. Before World War I, Jazz was a niche genre of music, common only among African Americans living in certain areas of New York, New Orleans, and Chicago.  After the exploits of the Harlem Hellfighters Band Jazz would spread across the world, becoming the dominant form of popular music up to the 1950′s and serving as the predecessor to popular music styles today such as rock, hip hop, pop, and soul.

In Honor of Earth Day 2017: PBS Nature’s Ask Box is now open for the next round of Tumblr’s IssueTime on Conservation and Climate Change!

NATURE  is so excited to work with Tumblr and the wonderful scientists, biologists and filmmakers who’ve agreed to be on our panel so that you can learn more about the environmental issues we’re currently facing.  Dig deeper into the issues with full episodes of NATURE, now streaming!

The Panelists:

Arnaud  Desbiez  is a conservation biologist who has been conducting research in the Brazilian Pantanal since 2002. He has worked on topics ranging from sustainable use of  resources  to  species  ecological  research and community  development  programs. In  the  Brazilian  Pantanal,  his  work  focused  on  the interaction  between  native  and alien  species, the sustainable  use  of  forage  resources  and  the  ecology  of  several mammal species.   In 2010 he started and now coordinates the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project. Arnaud is featured in our most recent episode, Hotel Armadillo.

Patrick Gonzalez is Principal Climate Change Scientist of the U.S. National Park Service and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. A forest ecologist, he conducts applied research on climate change and works with national parks to adapt resource management to climate change. Patrick has conducted and published field research on climate change in Africa, Latin America, and the United States and has served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Watch our recent episode about the challenges facing Yosemite, now streaming!

Chris Morgan is an ecologist, conservationist, educator, TV host/narrator and film producer specializing in international bear research and conservation. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide and environmental educator on every continent where bears exist. Chris  has narrated 13 films for Nature and was host and narrator for Siberian Tiger Quest as well as being the featured character in Nature’s three-part series ‘Bears of the Last Frontier.’ In 2015, he was also host and narrator for Nature’s Three-part ‘Animal Homes’ series and was featured in ‘The Last Orangutan Eden.’ Learn more about Chris’ story with this interview we conducted with him.

Learn More about Chris

Joe Pontecorvo is an award-winning producer, writer, and cinematographer. For the past two decades, he has traveled the globe; tracking Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East, living among grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska, and following orangutans through Indonesia’s peat swamp forest. All told, he has produced 14 broadcast documentaries for multiple networks, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and PBS. For his most recent project before ‘Yosemite,’ PBS Nature’s ‘Snow Monkeys,’ Joe and his wife, Nim Pontecorvo, spent nearly two years filming a troop of Japanese macaques in Japan’s Shiga Highlands. Go behind-the-scenes into the making of that film here.

Learn More about Joe

Happy Earth Day! Check back Saturday for answers! 

Iwaoi as Mermens! for MerMay 

I was creating some story behind it, and theres the thing. Iwa is Ocean Merman, he serches for adventure and discovers new waters. Oiks is Coral Reef Merman and lives among fishes and corals, he barely leave his home. One day when Iwa was traveling he bumps to Oiks reef and thats how they met. Oikawa was reluctant at first to talk with Iwa, but then got interested in his stories and adventures!!! 

2

“ Oh, the hopes and dreams I lived among; when this heart of mine was wise and young. Shine for me again, Little Prince. “ // I know there’s been a new movie in the recent years and that’s g r e a t too, but I will always love that version of Le Petit Prince. Also, the character the Lamplighter has always stood out to me, because of his faithful obedience, and how he brings light to his lonely planet ( though I’ve done his illustration little justice ) ( 1 8 / 0 2 / 2 0 1 7 )