as a general rule in life

I hate to be the one to break this to you, dude, but as a general rule, women don’t pretend to virulently hate men they’re secretly in love with as some sort of elaborate courtship ritual. That’s a trope we made up to justify why the male protagonist always gets the girl in the end even when it’s starkly at odds with prior characterisation. In real life, if she acts like she thinks you’re a creep, it’s because she thinks you’re a creep!


Hey guys! Sorry I kinda vanished for the last two month or something, I was pretty busy with, like, life in general, also with really cool comic stuff. But I’m back now, and want to try to be more active again!

I drew two Taako design ideas, pre- and post y’know-the-thing-that-happened-in-wonderland. it’s based on a neat idea my sister had, design-wise. not sure if I’ll switch over to this tho, I like my old Taako a lot, too!

also, it’s taz lady week and that rules, but I’m too tired to finish the drawing I started for today - so, I guess I’ll have to do two pieces tomorrow. welp

Top Misconceptions People Have about Pulp-Era Science Fiction

A lot of people I run into have all kinds of misconceptions about what pulp-era scifi, from the 1920s-1950s, was actually like. 

“Pulp-Era Science Fiction was about optimistic futures.”

Optimistic futures were always, always vastly outnumbered by end of the world stories with mutants, Frankenstein creations that turn against us, murderous robot rebellions, terrifying alien invasions, and atomic horror. People don’t change. Then as now, we were more interested in hearing about how it could all go wrong. 

To quote H.L. Gold, editor of Galaxy Science Fiction, in 1952: 

“Over 90% of stories submitted to Galaxy Science Fiction still nag away at atomic, hydrogen and bacteriological war, the post atomic world, reversion to barbarism, mutant children killed because they have only ten toes and fingers instead of twelve….the temptation is strong to write, ‘look, fellers, the end isn’t here yet.’”

The movie Tomorrowland is a particulary egregious example of this tremendous misconception (and I can’t believe Brad Bird passed on making Force Awakens to make a movie that was 90 minutes of driving through the Florida swamps). In reality, pre-1960s scifi novels trafficked in dread, dystopian futures, and fear. There was simply never a time when optimistic scifi was overrepresented, even the boyish Jules Verne became skeptical of the possibilities of technology all the way at the turn of the century. One of the most famous pulp scifi yarns was Jack Williamson’s The Humanoids, about a race of Borg-like robots who so totally micromanage humans “for our own protection” that they leave us with nothing to do but wait “with folded hands.”

“Pulp scifi often featured muscular, large-chinned, womanizing main characters.”

Here’s the image often used in parodies of pulp scifi: the main character is a big-chinned, ultra-muscular dope in tights who is a compulsive womanizer and talks like Adam West in Batman. Whenever I see this, I think to myself…what exactly is it they’re making fun of?

It’s more normal than you think to find parodies of things that never actually existed. Mystery buffs and historians, for example, can’t find a single straight example of “the Butler did it.” It’s a thing people think is a thing that was never a thing, and another example would be the idea of the “silent film villain” in a mustache and top hat (which there are no straight examples of, either). There are no non-parody examples of Superman changing in a phone booth; he just never did this.

In reality, my favorite description of pulp mag era science fiction heroes is that they are “wisecracking Anglo-Saxon engineers addicted to alcohol and tobacco who like nothing better than to explain things to others that they already know.” The average pulp scifi hero had speech patterns best described as “Mid-Century American Wiseass” than like Adam West or the Lone Ranger. 

The nearest the Spaceman Spiff stereotype came to hitting the mark was with the magazine heroes of the Lensmen and Captain Future, and they’re both nowhere near close. Captain Future was a muscular hero with a chin, but he also had a Captain Picard level desire to use diplomacy first, and believed that most encounters with aliens were only hostile due to misunderstandings and lack of communication (and the story makes him right). He also didn’t seem interested in women, mostly because he had better things to do for the solar system and didn’t have the time for love. The Lensmen, on the other hand, had a ruthless, bloodthirsty streak, and were very much like the “murder machine” Brock Sampson (an attitude somewhat justified by the stakes in their struggle). 

“Pulp Era Scifi were mainly action/adventure stories with good vs. evil.” 

This is a half-truth, since, like so much other genre fiction, scifi has always been sugared up with fight scenes and chases. And there was a period, early in the century, when most scifi followed the Edgar Rice Burroughs model and were basically just Westerns or swashbucklers with different props, ray guns instead of six-shooters. But the key thing to remember is how weird so much of this scifi was, and that science fiction, starting in the mid-1930s, eventually became something other than just adventure stories with different trappings. 

One of my favorite examples of this is A. Bertram Chandler’s story, “Giant-Killer.” The story is about rats on a starship who acquire intelligence due to proximity to the star drive’s radiation, and who set about killing the human crew one by one. Another great example is Eando Binder’s Adam Link stories, told from the point of view of a robot who is held responsible for the death of his creator.

What’s more, one of the best writers to come out of this era is best known for never having truly evil bad guys: Isaac Asimov. His “Caves of Steel,” published in 1953, had no true villains. The Spacers, who we assumed were snobs, only isolated themselves because they had no immunities to the germs of earth.

“Racism was endemic to the pulps.”

It is absolutely true that the pulps reflected the unconscious views of society as a whole at the time, but as typical of history, the reality was usually much more complex than our mental image of the era. For instance, overt racism was usually shown as villainous: in most exploration magazines like Adventure, you can typically play “spot the evil asshole we’re not supposed to like” by seeing who calls the people of India “dirty monkeys” (as in Harold Lamb). 

Street & Smith, the largest of all of the pulp publishers, had a standing rule in the 1920s-1930s to never to use villains who were ethnic minorities because of the fear of spreading race hate by negative portrayals. In fact, in one known case, the villain of Resurrection Day was going to be a Japanese General, but the publisher demanded a revision and he was changed to an American criminal. Try to imagine if a modern-day TV network made a rule that minority groups were not to be depicted as gang bangers or drug dealers, for fear that this would create prejudice when people interact with minority groups in everyday life, and you can see how revolutionary this policy was. It’s a mistake to call this era very enlightened, but it’s also a mistake to say everyone born before 1970 was evil.

“Pulp scifi writers in the early days were indifferent to scientific reality and played fast and loose with science.”


 This is, by an order of magnitude, the most false item on this list.

In fact, you might say that early science fiction fandom were obsessed with scientific accuracy to the point it was borderline anal retentive. Nearly every single one of the lettercols in Astounding Science Fiction were nitpickers fussing about scientific details. In fact, modern scifi fandom’s grudging tolerance for storytelling necessities like sound in space at the movies, or novels that use “hyperspace” are actually something of a step down from what the culture around scifi was in the 1920s-1950s. Part of it was due to the fact that organized scifi fandom came out of science clubs; Hugo Gernsback created the first scifi pulp magazine as a way to sell electronics and radio equipment to hobbyists, and the “First Fandom” of the 1930s were science enthusiasts who talked science first and the fiction that speculated about it second.

In retrospect, a lot of it was just plain obvious insecurity: in a new medium considered “kid’s stuff,” they wanted to show scifi was plausible, relevant, and something different from “fairy tales.” It’s the same insecure mentality that leads video gamers to repeatedly ask if games are art. You’ve got nothing to prove there, guys, calm down (and take it from a pulp scifi aficionado, the most interesting things are always done in the period when a medium is considered disposable trash). 

One of the best examples was the famous Howard P. Lovecraft, who published “The Shadow out of Time” in the 1936 issue of Astounding. Even though it might be the only thing from that issue that is even remotely reprinted today, the letters page from this issue practically rose up in revolt against this story as not being based on accurate science. Lovecraft was never published in Astounding ever again.

If you ever wanted to find out what Star Wars would be like if they were bigger hardasses about scientific plausibility, check out E.E. Smith’s Lensman series. People expect a big, bold, brassy space opera series with heroes and villains to play fast and loose, but it was shockingly scientifically grounded.

To be fair, science fiction was not a monolith on this. One of the earliest division in science fiction was between the Astounding Science Fiction writers based in New York, who often had engineering and scientific backgrounds and had left-wing (in some cases, literally Communist) politics, and the Amazing Stories writers based in the Midwest, who were usually self taught, and had right-wing, heartland politics. Because the Midwestern writers in Amazing Stories were often self-taught, they had a huge authority problem with science and played as fast and loose as you could get. While this is true, it’s worth noting science fiction fandom absolutely turned on Amazing Stories for this, especially when the writers started dabbling with spiritualism and other weirdness like the Shaver Mystery. And to this day, it’s impossible to find many Amazing Stories tales published elsewhere.

Just as a general note
You should eliminate any thought that there is an expectation that you do anything by any age
You don’t have to be married with kids by 25
It’s ok to be 16 and never been kissed
There’s nothing wrong with you if you haven’t graduated from college by 22
You’re not a failure because you don’t have your dream job at 30
There are no rules to life. You don’t get special points for achieving certain things by a deadline. Just go at your own speed. It’s not a race.

Adulting 105

This week I’m giving a shoutout to my fav person ever @poorpersonsgiude. You go girl! Also @stormfallss for lighting up my phone for over two hours the other night. Thanks for the love.

1. Keep paper bills. Bills such as internet, rent, and utility for up to five months. These help prove residency, which will be useful when applying for Medicaid, in-state tuition, and for some jobs. If you’re not receiving any sort of paper bills, keep pay stubs with your address on them instead.

2. Cheap salt. Never spend more than a dollar on salt. Seriously. Chain supermarkets and dollar stores will sell large quantities of it to you for 99 cents. You’re not the Queen of Sheba- you don’t need $5 salt.

3. Wooden floors. If any part of you apartment/dorm room has a wooden floor, consider buying Bona Hardwood Cleaner. It’s a little pricey, but my last squeeze bottle lasted me just short of a year. It’s the best wood cleaner around.

4. Postage stamps. You don’t have to go to your local post office to buy stamps (which is great because sometimes it’s not “local” at all). You can purchase them at pharmacy centers like CVS or Rite Aid, as well as large chain supermarkets such as Stop & Shop and Walmart. 

5. Moisturizers. Pick up at least one moisturizer to save your hands during these long winter months. If you’re a newbie just buy Gold Bond, it’s cheap and good for everything except your face. 

6. Shower heads. If you have a terrible apartment shower head with no water pressure buy yourself a better one. There a color changing shower heads on Amazon that I personally swear by. Just be sure to keep the original shower head and to replace it when you move out.

7. Keep your student ID card. Even after you stop attending school. You’ll still be able to receive student discounts at places like museums and cinemas. They have no way of knowing if you’re still a student. What are they gonna do- call your school? I do this all the time! 

8. Yankee Candle. Is so expensive, but it’s the only candle really worth buying. I’ve tried all sorts of discount candles from dollar stores and even from Target, but none of them smell even half as good as Yankee Candle.

9. Reminders. Forgetting important things such as bill payments, birthdays, or contraceptives? Set alarms and reminders on your Iphone to help you stay on top. I personally hate the Iphone calendar app so I downloaded Cozi (it’s free) and I use that instead.

10. Clean that fridge. Try to purge your fridge out at least once a month. There’s nothing more disgusting than food so decomposed that you can’t discern what it once was. The general rule of thumb about leftovers is if you don’t eat it within the next two days you won’t ever eat it. Try to give your fridge a sponge bath every three months, the shelves are easy to remove and I just wash them in my sink.


I’m gonna give some unsolicited advice that they don’t teach in school (and that’s because they couldn’t find a decent curriculum if it sat on their face).

Get a blank note book. I like the journal ones that vanish into the frey of my bookcases unnoticed.
In this note book keep track of:

1. Every job you’ve held, your start and end dates, bosses name, wage paid, address of business, any new skills you’ve learned while there, etc.. You will always need this list.

2.Every bill. Write the phone number or website of every company you owe money to, your sign in information, your account numbers. It makes paying bills super easy and stress free. I even jotted down my credit card number (in INTP language) on the same page so I don’t have to hunt down my wallet every time. Keep track of your spending. Bills before thrills, always!

3. Anyone who owes you money, and I’m just gonna toss in, buy a receipt book! If you loan out over $100 get paper documentation, the persons signature and a dead line to have it paid back. Only crappy friends out to take advantage are gonna think its “ uncool” and on that note, draft your own room mate lease, lay out the rules, protect yourself. Its not rocket science and I’m pretty sure notes in crayon are still legally binding.

4. A general Will or last wishes, where and to whom you want your crap to go. Kids die everyday, life is fragile. Your parents are not gonna know that you want your silver *bff* bracelet to go to Stacy’s mom (its a song) if you don’t tell someone. Its not creepy to think about, its not going to seal your fate, it will just make things easier if the worst does happen.

5. And this is just a personal thing…I know that I protect my notebook and no one else would ever see it so I don’t mind adding details about relationships. If your mate fucks up it needs to go in the book, if they break your stuff, if they hurt you physically or verbally, write down the red flags. We can be great forgivers sometimes and we let the past slide but when you keep a tally those red flags really pop out on paper and you could save yourself a ton of time, effort, and heartbreak.

I add random quotes and doodles. Just make it your own and keep it safe. Idc if you’re 500 years old, you’ll want or need all these lists for most of your life.

Mark the dates on your calendars folks! Soukoku Week will run again this year, from June 26-July 2, 2017!

The Prompts

  • Day 1 – Sartorialism / 「Ah, heart, that believes in others more than itself」 – Sheep Song
  • Day 2 – Spring / 「That’s what being a partner means, right?」 – Dazai Osamu, Chapter 11
  • Day 3 – Historical AU / 「Your goody two-shoes act also puts me off.」 – Nakahara Chuuya, Chapter 31
  • Day 4 – Memento Mori / 「Once again, I chase my wish that slips through」 – Eien Misui Ni Good Bye
  • Day 5 – Horror AU / 「I’ll push myself to the limit and dye everything jet-black」 – DARKNESS MY SORROW
  • Day 6 – Inspirations from Real Life Authors / 「In my case, such an expression as ‘to be fallen for’ or even ‘to be loved’ is not in the least appropriate; perhaps it describes the situation more accurately to say that I was 'looked after’.」 – No Longer Human
  • Day 7 – Free Day

We would like to thank @malchikelf and @txintedsorrow for giving suggestions for Days 1 and 3.

General Rules & Guidelines

  • All submissions must be tagged with #soukokuweek. Please include what day and theme(s) your work is about within the post.
  • Other characters/pairings may be included, but soukoku must be the focus.
  • Any form of media is acceptable as long as it’s your own creation. This includes but is not limited to: fanart, fanfiction, graphics, metas, cosplay, AMVs, etc. Any reposted or edited work that is not yours (sourced or unsourced) will not be published.
  • Triggering and/or suggestive material is acceptable. However, please be aware that: 1.) NSFW art/graphics will need appropriate tags and warnings; and 2.) In addition to tags and warnings about the nature of the post, fanfictions/metas must also be put under a READ MORE.
  • Feel free to be as liberal with the given prompts as you wish; there are no wrong interpretations!
  • We will reblog all works tagged in #soukokuweek until one week after the conclusion of the event. You can also tag us with your posts or submit through the blog!

Still feeling lost? Don’t be shy to shoot an ask for any questions you may have! In the meantime, you can help spread the word by liking and/or reblogging this post and following this blog if you haven’t yet.

See you soon!

roteli  asked:

You mentioned in a post that fiction ≠ reality, but to kids it's not, fiction shapes how they see the world. Fiction is supposed to show them what's right and what's wrong. Adults who support adult/minor relationships make it had for children to distinguish that line if they haven't dealt with discourse (in the actual sense of the word) on serious subjects before. I can't make you stop shipping adult/minor ships, but I hope you consider what you're posting and the consequences that they have.

Is it fiction that shapes their perception or context?

I will agree that what we see in the media can influence us to some extent; a tragic movie can bring us to tears, just like a drama can educate us on matters across the globe, and propaganda has been used - even in modern day - to try and change the opinions of the masses to suit a greater power.

That being said, those things all rely on context: our tears spring from empathy, the education relies on a desire to be educated, and propaganda usually is on the back of a society willing to believe or being fed specific information from other sources. It’s like in children’s shows. We see Bart Simpson being strangled by his father, or Keith name-calling Lance, but children usually know these things are completely wrong.

They know not to imitate ‘Tom and Jerry’, because they have parents and teachers there to say: “it is wrong to hurt someone else”. They get time-outs on the naughty step, or a spanking in certain cultures, or just a long lecture … they usually have some trusted figure there to discipline and/or explain, so that everything they watch is through that same filter of understanding.

It’s why we need to supervise the media our children consume.

I think you are right: if this is the only discourse a child sees, it can have detrimental affects, but - massive ‘but’ here - where are the parents/guardians? Why are strangers on the Internet meant to parent the children of other people, whom they have not agreed to legally raise?

See, when we grew up, this was a constant discussion. We were taught basics of reproduction as soon as we asked questions. We were taught about ‘naughty places’ and ‘private places’. We were taught never to let an adult touch there. These discussions evolved over time, so - as a young teenager - we were taught about statutory rape, that even if we ‘want’ it that it’s still wrong, and so forth and so forth … 

We need to put the responsibility for raising a child on the parents.

Tumblr is 18+ on the app, 13+ on the website, I believe? While AO3 allows all content and explicitly states this, while having a tagging and rating system for you to make an informed choice about what you see. This means we have to lay responsibility upon the parents for not supervising or limiting the Internet activity of the child, instead of trying to infringe upon the rights of adults and remove their safe spaces to produce/consume art as they wish.

It’s basically a case of there being safe spaces for children, too, where they can discuss/consume art freely without coming across such materials, but that falls upon the parent to make sure that they are on the right websites … example, if I do not like porn then I avoid porn sites. If I don’t want to see shipping, I don’t go onto Tumblr or AO3.

What I’m advocating is personal responsibility. 

We need parents/guardians to stop the children from seeing these things, or for them (and schools) to provide a context to what they see … if a child knows that it’s fiction, just like child abuse in ‘The Simpsons’ or glorified violence in ‘Tom and Jerry’ is just fiction, they won’t normalise it and seek to emulate it. The answer isn’t to ban or censor such cartoons; no one would ever say ‘ban cartoons’, because they’re a part of life, but I think providing context to cartoons is absolutely key to these things.

One last example … 

I was around eight when “South Park” first came out; we watched it religiously as children, even with videos cassettes of it, because parents assumed that it was safe as all cartoons were for kids (that was their mistake and their fault as parents, because - like with shipping - the content isn’t the problem, but that it’s made accessible by parents unwilling to supervise their own children). 

In our case, we had massive context for what we saw (luckily, our parents were good on that score, which is part of why I always advocate teaching children, especially if you aren’t willing to supervise them). We never copied the bad language (some people I know today never swear; even I say ‘shoot’ or ‘darn’ as a general rule). No one I know copied the violence (I don’t have a single friend from that group who ever tried to kick a baby, for example). 

It was just entertainment. We laughed and enjoyed it, but we never copied it or held it up to a standard of normality … it was just a cartoon; we knew that, because our parents taught us that, as well as teaching us the behaviour in such cartoons was inappropriate in real life. This is why education is key.

If a child has parents that accidentally let them see Keith/Shiro, they should at least have the education and context to know that behaviour is inappropriate and should not be copied … it’s not up to shippers to stop creating such works, because the places we’re in are designed for adults or for all age-groups with explicit rules allowing such art. Now, if I went onto a children’s forum and posted such things -? Bad. On Tumblr -? Not so bad.

Sorry for the long essay back. 

We just need to realise that art/fanfiction isn’t the problem; the problem comes from parents/guardians not contextualising what children see, or preventing them from seeing it in the first place. We also need more safe spaces just for children, both moderated and supervised by responsible adults, so they have places to go that - well - aren’t Tumblr or AO3.  

anonymous asked:

How well does hitting someone in the throat work and how long will they be affected by it?

Like everything, the answer is it depends. There are many different ways to attack the throat, depending on what your goal is. There are a lot of different ways it can go, and the effect can last anywhere from a few disorienting, terrifying seconds of panic to choking and, eventually, death.

Think about the throat, the front of your neck.  What primary bodily function resides there that is absolutely necessary to your survival?

Your ability to breathe.

The throat acts as a conduit for air from your lungs and your mouth. If you can’t breathe, you can’t fight. If you can’t breathe, you can’t scream. If you don’t breathe, you don’t live. A crushed windpipe is neither a fun nor quick injury to die from.

There are certain parts of your body that you have a biological imperative to defend (these usually only kick in after you’ve received damage). This is your natural instincts respond with a panicked, “OH GOD! NO! I NEED THIS!” and, for most people, that’s how they’ll respond.

You hit them in the throat and their hands will immediately rise there, they’ll stumble back coughing, and their number one priority their brain has focused on is protecting their throat.

So, much like a sucker punch, striking the throat will result in giving you open access to their whole body as it is now defenseless. You, the attacker, moves on to other, better strikes while they’re caught up trying to breathe.

When someone punches someone else in the throat (as opposed to another kind of strike), this is the hoped for response. They want to open up their opponent. “Open up” is one of the terms for “lowering defenses”, because when your opponent’s defenses are up you cannot reach the nice soft spots on their body where you’ll do the most damage.

The throat is one of those nice soft spots difficult to hit if your opponent is mentally prepared to fight. You’ve got to be within arm’s reach, and within the grappling sphere, to land the hit. So, if you’re not close enough to reach out and grab hold of their neck, you’re not close enough to land the strike. If the hit doesn’t come as a surprise attack, then you’ll have to fight for it.

Learning to measure distance between fighters in a fictional context when you’ve no experience judging it with real people is a difficult one. Most people never realize there are different spheres of distance around the body which define what attacks you can make before moving inward. For them, two people fighting is often a one hit exercise and not a strategic contemplation involving multiple attacks, breaking past defenses, and taking advantage of your opponent’s mental faculties/body’s instincts/physiology to hit your goal. Then, consider that most fights are finished in under 30 seconds.

These are not “safe” combat techniques by any stretch of the imagination and some are far more dangerous than others. Some will also break your fingers if you try them without having a fucking clue what you’re doing.

So, how can you attack the throat?

I’ll give you three of the common attacks on the trachea, there are more.

1) You can punch them in the throat.

This is more of a stunner, and not as likely to crush the windpipe or the larynx. The reason is that the fist actually spreads the delivered force over a wider area. So, you punch them and it’s likely to hurt and scare the hell out of them, Punches, while effective, are a great deal safer than a knife hand or a palm strike to the opponent because of that dispersal of force.

The more pointed the force, the deeper it penetrates.

2) The spear hand to the throat.

You take your fingers, brace them together, and drive them forward, palm down. (You can also strike palm up, which is done if you’re striking on an upward diagonal from the hip. This can also be a referred to as a palm strike, knife hand, etc.) This is windpipe crushing territory. The force is confined to the first two fingertips, a much narrower vector, and will penetrate into the neck. Doubly more likely if you grab their head/throat first with your other hand so they can’t run/stumble back at the moment of impact.

A good general rule in martial arts is the smaller the tool, the more dangerous the strike, and the deeper into your body it goes.

This may break your fingers if you’ve never been taught to perform it properly or how to lock your fingers/wrist/arm together. So, don’t expect an untrained fighter to pull it off. Or even know it exists unless they’ve been watching a lot of Japanese/Chinese language films.

3) Half-Palm to the throat.

Instead of your fingers, you use your knuckles. Bend your fingers, so your fingertips touch the top of your palm. Brace. Then strike the same way as you would with #2.

This will, more than likely, break your fingers if you’re not careful.

This, of course, assumes that a denial of breath is your end goal. You can always knife hand (blade of the hand, opposite the thumb) the side of their neck, which has the added bonus of potentially closing off the arterial blood flow between your head and the rest of your body. Most likely not, though.

None of these are “guaranteed kills” (not that you’re guaranteed anything), the possibility of death is there and they are dangerous. They are very effective if they can be landed. However, your character should not be doing these unless their life is in danger, their willing to accept the consequences of killing their opponent, and the situation calls for it.

Fiction often struggles with this, but proper application of force to the circumstances is one of the hallmarks of a responsible martial combatant. Being able to adjust according to the situation (and knowing what techniques are warranted) is one of the signs we use to judge in real life whether or not the person in question knows what they’re doing. A person who doesn’t self-moderate is a danger to themselves and others.

You can, in fact, blend Rule of Cool with the knowledgeable, responsible combatant that sells themselves as awesome and skilled without coming off as a reckless fuckhead.

If your character is using these just in general, then they just don’t care. They’re also a reckless fuckhead. Have others treat them accordingly.


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Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (1868 - 1918)

“What am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia?“

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov was born on May 6, 1868, in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, south of St. Petersburg. He was the eldest son of his parents, Alexander Alexandrovich, the heir to the Russian throne, and Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Nicolas’s grandfather was the Tsar, Alexander II, known as the Liberator for emancipating Russia’s serfs in 1863. Their family, the Romanov dynasty, had ruled Russia for three hundred years. Nicholas would be the last emperor.

Unlike his soft-hearted, liberal grandfather, Nicholas’s father was a reactionary, whose conservative and religious values strongly influenced Nicholas’s beliefs. In 1891, Nicholas’s father acceded to the throne when Alexander II was murdered by an anarchist revolutionary. This murder convinced both Alexander III, and his son, against offering further reforms. Yet Nicholas’s education did not prepare him at all for his future role as Russian emperor.

Although he had a close relationship with his mother, Nicholas’s father believed his son to be silly and weak. Tsar Alexander III was a very strong ruler and saw no need to share a job with his uninterested heir. He refused to let him participate in any affairs of state; once, when Nicholas was twenty-five, a minister suggested that he be allowed to head a committee to supervise the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alexander III was incredulous. “Have you ever tried to discuss anything of consequence with him?” asked the Tsar about his son and heir. “He is still absolutely a child; he has only infantile judgements. How would he be able to become president of a committee?”

The Romanov family in 1893. From left to right: Tsarevich Nicholas, Grand Duke George, Empress Maria Feodorovna (Princess Dagmar of Denmark), Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Xenia, Grand Duke Michael, Tsar Alexander III seated.

In neither his education nor his temperament did Nicholas show much aptitude to be emperor. He enjoyed foreign languages and history, but struggled with economics and politics. In general he preferred sport to books, when older he delighted in the military and served for a year when he was nine-teen. In 1894 he married Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt, a German noble, with whom he had four daughters and a son, Alexei. Alexandra was an assertive woman whose personality dominated the weaker Nicholas, and she strongly reinforced his belief in autocratic rule and his resistance to democratic reforms. In contrast to his political life, Nicholas’s home life was serene. He was a wonderful family man, a devout Orthodox Christian, and devoted to his wife and children.

The same year that he married, Nicholas became the Tsar when his father died of kidney disease. The newly-crowned emperor had not expected to be thrust into the role so soon, and he panicked about running the vast Russian empire all by himself. It was the moment, he wrote, that he “had dreaded all his life.” He confessed his fears to a cousin: “Sandro, what am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia? I am not prepared to be Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling. I have no idea of even how to talk to ministers.”

Nicholas determined to uphold the status quo as Tsar, but unfortunately evens abroad and at home forced his hand. Hoping not to be left out of the imperial scramble, Russia grew its industry in the Far East, and forced concessions from China in Manchuria. Yet Russian’s expansion provoked the Japanese, who attacked Russia’s eastern border in 1904, beginning the Russo-Japanese War. Europeans were convinced that the white Russians would easily triumph over the “yellow” Japanese, but the Japanese embarked on a series of victories ending in the total destruction of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tshushima in 1905.

Nicholas and Alix’s engagement photo, 1894.

The defeat was a stunning humiliation for Russian prestige. At home it sparked outrage and crisis that turned to strikes and riots. In January 1905, Russian troops opened fire on demonstrators in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, killing many. Outrage turned to outright revolution, and eventually the Tsar was forced to grant concessions in a constitution, as well as establish an elected parliament, the Duma.

Despite some elements of democratic reform, Nicholas tightened his autocratic rule. Secret police crushed revolutionary elements in the cities, and voting laws prevented the election of radicals. A travel guide for foreigners published in 1914 warned against taking photos in rail stations - offenders would be arrested.

The Tsar’s most pressing crisis, however, was at home. His son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei, had hemophilia, the scourge of interbred European royal families. Nicholas and Alexandra despaired for their child and sought any means to help him. They turned to an unlikely source, a disheveled mysticfrom Siberia named Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin’s monasticism belied his true character, that of a debauched womanizer and con-man. Russian noble society despised him, but Alexandra especially confided in him, and Rasputin strengthened her belief in Nicholas’s divine right to rule. His influence steadily eroded the trust Russian people felt for their Tsar.

Nicholas (left) with his cousin King George V of England. They are wearing German military uniforms while on a visit to Berlin. Despite their likeness, George refused to help Nicholas or offer him asylum during the Russian Revolution, fearing that he might be toppled as well.

Nicholas’s failing popularity received a boost in 1914, when Russia went to war against Germany and Austria. Although Nicholas was close to his cousin, the Kaiser (they wrote to each other as “Nicky” and “Willy”), Russians enlisted en masse and displayed loyalty and love for their royal family. Yet endless failures at the front burst newfound support for the Tsar, especially when Nicholas took over from his cousin as supreme commander in 1915, a position in which he demonstrated no talent. The unending string of military disaster was now firmly pinned on him. Worse, economic deprivations at home soon turned into crisis. Russia was deeply in debt and many were starving. Approval of the royal family soured; they were thought to be living in luxury while ordinary Russians died at the front or starved at home.

In March 1917 (February of the old Russian calendar), demonstrations in St. Petersburg (now Petrograd) again turned to revolution. This time, Nicholas had no army to turn to - the military was in a state of collapse, with many soldiers deserting to go back home and take part in the revolution. Helpless, Nicholas abdicated on March 15, 1917. He hoped to go to England for asylum, but the British government (fearing he might provoke the British left) refused his request. Five hundred years of Russian Tsardom ended with NIcholas.

A shaky liberal-socialist Provisional Government was set up to replace the monarchy, but the war continued to go badly. Nicholas went into house arrest in the Urals with his family. His situation worsened in the fall of 1917, when a radical communist party, the Bolsheviks, ousted the Provisional Government. Civil war began in Russia between the Bolshevik “Reds” and the “Whites”, a complex mix of warlords and political parties who opposed the Bolsheviks.

The Russian royals played no role in the Civil War, but the Bolsheviks feared that the Tsar and his family could become a symbol for the White armies to rally around. Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children were transported to a house in Yekaterinburg for safe-keeping, but in the summer of 1918 the war was going poorly for the Reds and the Czech Legion, a unit of the White army, was rapidly advancing towards Yekaterinburg.

Nicholas in captivity at Tsarskoye Selo. This is one of the last photos taken in his life.

On the night of July 16-17, as the Czechs neared, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin ordered the execution of the royal family. What actually happened is still shrouded in some state secrecy, but what is known is that a truckload of local Bolsheviks and foreign soldiers entered the house and ordered the ex-Tsar and his family to the basement. The Empress asked for chairs for her and thirteen-year-old Alexei to sit upon. The Red commander brought in two chairs, and then informed the stunned Tsar that he had been condemned to death. “What? What?” asked the Tsar. The executioners brought out revolvers and began shooting the family. The four daughters, between twenty-two and seven-teen years old, had been hiding some of their jewels in their clothes which deflected the bullets. The Bolshevik shooters stabbed them with bayonets and shot them in their heads, and stabbed to death their maid, who had shielded herself with a pillow full of jewels.

The executioners burnt, dismembered, and buried the bodies. In 1976 a team of investigators found their grave, but did not release the information until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rumors had long abounded that one of the daughters, seven-teen year-old Anastasia, had survived and escaped the massacre, which were put to rest. In 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the family as saints; today the place where they were buried is the site of a church.

anonymous asked:

I'm intending to move out of my mom's by fall, but I have two cats, and idk much about how to care for them on my own. I want to do it right, but I'm not very good with figuring out vet info or other care stuff for them.

Okay, so I’ve just spent the last two hours writing this post for you, in the hopes that you will change your mind. It’s way longer than I intended, but I tried to be thorough and comprehensive. Know that I have strong opinions about how to raise cats because they’re a huge part of my life. You might not agree with what I have to say, but this is what’s worked for me. I urge you to try different things and find out what works best for you! Before I get into it, let me talk about my cats…

I have a four year old orange tabby (Mason) and a sixteen year old tortoiseshell cat (Gretel) pictured in Appendix D. They have completely opposite personalities (Mason is super confident and talkative, Gretel is more standoffish) and they did NOT get along for the longest time. I’ve been with Gretel since she was three years old, so we’re very close and she’s very protective of me. After we moved into our current apartment, my boyfriend and I bought Mason to keep Gretel company. He was a rescue cat that had been previously returned after being adopted once, because he was “fresh”. He gave me the runaround when he first moved in, so I understand what it’s like to have a difficult cat.

It’s taken two years for them to both be comfortable with each other, but last week they fell asleep on the bed together (see Appendix D) and it was so beautiful. These cats have brought so much joy into my life, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. All these experiences, good and bad, have taught me that I never want to live without cats in my life.

Please feel free to direct message me if you want to talk about what taking care of cats on your own will mean for you. I am here for all your cat needs!

The Complete Guide to Living on Your Own (With Cats)

Phase 1: Your New Apartment

Before moving into your new home, follow these steps to make the process as comfortable as possible for your cats. You need to understand that they will be upset and act strange for the first few days, and this is absolutely normal and expected. Give them time- they’ll adjust.

1. Move the cats last. Move everything else you own into your new apartment, and get it set up as much as you can before moving your cats. Make sure there are plenty of places for them to hide that are easily accessible, like under your bed or in the back of a closet. Initially your cats will be very shell-shocked, and it will be easier for them to adjust if they smell familiar furniture and are able to find a secure place to hide.

2. Feliway. Buy yourself Feliway and spray it on walls and around doorways at your kitty’s eye level. I can’t tell you what it is or why it works (Science Side of Tumblr please explain), but your cats smell it and will feel much calmer. Feliway also helps when your cat starts peeing on everything, see Phase 2: Tantrums.

3. Moving your cats. If you have two cats, make sure that you move both cats at the same time. Even if they’re not the best of pals, a familiar face in a time of stress will soothe them. In the car ride they will cry, drool, pee, and sound like they’re dying. This is horrible to hear, but no that it’s only temporary. If you were in their situation you would act the same way! 

Hyperventilating. If you hear your cat start to hyperventilate, move them out of the carrier and comfort them immediately. I was transporting a cat with a high fever to the vet once and he started to do this, so I literally pulled over and drove with the cat in my lap the rest of the way. Once in my lap, he relaxed and started to breathe normally. The vet told me that I was lucky I did this, because the cat could’ve had a heart-attack. 

4. In the new apartment. Open your cat carrier and allow your cats to explore their new home at their own pace. Depending on your cat’s confidence, they might make a beeline for your bed and hide under it for the next two days. This is absolutely fine. Your cats may not want to eat or use the bathroom during these first few days, and this is normal. You often won’t eat if you’re stressed out, so understand that when they’re hungry, they’ll eat. If one of your cats is very upset, place their food and water bowl in the room they’re hiding in, so that they won’t feel threatened while they eat. 

5. Give it time. This could be less than a day or over a week, but your cat will come out from their hiding space of their own accord. They will walk around their new home and take everything in, and they’ll make themselves comfortable. Be there for your cat during this time, offering encouragement and love as they need it. It’s okay if they come out and retreat back to their safe hiding space, tell yourself that they will come out again.

Phase 2: Tantrums

Cats are mostly independent animals, but they do require lots of love and attention. Expect at least one or all of these tantrums to be thrown when you move them into your new home. Your cats are in a new environment that they are not wholly comfortable with, so it’s important to be patient and help them through this difficult time. 

1. Pooping. Your cat has an excellent sense of smell- they know where their litter box is. If they’re choosing to poop outside of the box, they are most likely looking for attention. Make sure that the poop has no blood in it (see Phase 4: Veterinarians + Common Diseases) and spend time making your cat feel special. This includes treats, playtime, combing, whatever they like best. 

2. Peeing A. Peeing is a form of scenting, which is essentially your cat being like “this is mine”. Your cats will probably do this a lot when you first move in, so make sure you have the proper cleaners ready (see Appendix A). Clean the spot thoroughly, and spray Feliway all over it. Your cat will smell the Feliway and think “Okay, I peed there already” and walk on. I’m not kidding. 

3. Peeing B. Peeing can also be an cry for attention, slightly different from scenting. Here’s how to tell the difference- does your cat only pee when you’re around? Typically this will only be done in areas that you frequent, like your bed or your couch. If so, then this is a cry for attention- see “Pooping”.

4. Peeing C. Is your cat declawed? I sure hope not, because that’s inhumane. But anyways, if it is… declawed cats require a different type of litter than the normal Tidy Cats brand. Call your local vet and consult with them about the best types of litter to use. 

5. Attacking. Is your cat attacking people/places/things? Get toys and play with them. Cats are evolved from fearsome predators, they need to be stimulated or they’ll get bored and start hunting whatever they can find. Here are some great toys to buy your cats so that they can “hunt” on their own, there’s something in there for every cat type.

Phase 3: A Place For Everyone

Jackson Galaxy is the Cat Guru, and you can find episodes of his show “My Cat From Hell” on Netflix. Whenever Jackson enters a home of a troublesome cat, he always looks at the environment in terms of how “cat-proof” it is. Your cat needs to have their own stuff, and whether this is a cardboard box or a $150 piece of cat furniture, it needs to be there. 

1. Bush vs. Tree dweller. I have a bush dweller and a tree dweller! Bush dwellers are the cats that like to hang out under tables and under beds, and they’re thought to be cats with less self-confidence. Tree dwellers like to climb and look down on their surroundings, reconnecting with their ancestors in the jungle. Cater your apartment based off of your cat’s needs. See Phase 6: Miscellaneous to learn more about different cat personalities. 

A word on bush dwellers. I was initially very upset to learn that Gretel is considered a low self-esteem cat. I kept trying to think of ways to make her more comfortable her surroundings, in the hopes that she would one day want to climb things and perch up high. Since getting Mason, she has slowly become a bush/tree dweller. She now climbs to the top rung of her cat furniture, and asks me to help her up on the kitchen table (it’s tall so she can’t jump). What I’m trying to say is that cats will gain confidence as they get more comfortable with their surroundings, and having a second and way more confident cat has helped her come into herself, even in her old age. So proud of my baby.

2. Cat furniture. I’m not going to lie to you, cat furniture is hella expensive. But it’s life-changing. Your cats recognize that its a piece of furniture for them, and they will run right over to it and begin exploring. If your cat is wary about climbing to the higher platforms or levels of the furniture, entice them with treats or a toy. The general rule is one piece of furniture per cat, because they will fight over them. If you have a very active cat, I’d recommend getting a multi-leveled piece. 

3. Cardboard boxes. The rumors are true- cats love cardboard boxes. Just open it up and leave it in the middle of the floor, and allow your cats to explore. If you’re not ready to drop $$$, place a warm blanket in the box and allow your cats to curl up. 

4. Windows. If you leave for work, leave your blinds open for your cats to peer out. If you don’t, they’ll peer out anyway and wreck your blinds. In the summer time it might seem like a nice idea to leave your windows partially open, but always make sure that your window screens are secure. If they’re not, add masking tape around the sides of the window until you can press on the screen and it doesn’t collapse.

5. Food and water. I like to keep a bowl of water in each room for the cats, and I refresh this daily. I like to add ice cubes in the summer so that the water isn’t that awful room temperature. If you feed your cats dry food, make sure that they’re drinking lots of water after eating. 

6. Litter box. Yeah, I know- it’s the worst part of being a cat owner. I keep mine in my hallway closet, and I leave the door partially open so that the cats can get in and out as they please. I’ve seen people with litter boxes in their bathrooms, their hallways, behind chairs in their living room, etc. The general rule is to have one more litter box than there is cat. I’m sorry, that’s crazy talk. I have a one bedroom apartment and I’m not having three litter boxes. One has worked fine for my babies, I just have to be vigilant about cleaning it. 

As far as choosing a cat litter brand, most cats are not picky. Some, however, are. Tidy Cats is expensive so I use whatever is on sale at CVS. I prefer scented because I have the litter box right by my front door. Find what works for you, but listen to your cat’s needs. 

Be wary of any brand of “lightweight” cat litter other than Tidy Cats. One time I bought Stop & Shop’s “Companion” lightweight litter and it hardened and stuck to the bottom of my litter box and I literally had to rehydrate it to remove it. DISGUSTING. 

7. Wall furniture. If you don’t have a lot of room on the floor of your apartment, consider putting up wall furniture for your cat. This can be anything from an expensive piece like this, or a simple wooden board for your cats to walk on. 

8. The floor is lava. Confident cats like to be up high on tables, window sills, cat furniture, etc. This is because back in their ancestral days, they had to peer down from the treetops to hunt their prey. Allow your cat this luxury, and try not to freak out if they walk on your kitchen counters or sit on your dining room table. Your cat is programmed to do this, the fact that your cat wants to be up high is a sign of confidence, a sign that your cat is comfortable with their surroundings. 

Phase 4: Veterinarians + Common Diseases

Your cat’s health is so important! There are lots of things you can do to maintain your cat’s health on your own (see Appendix B), but know that you will need to take one or both of your cats to the vet sometime this year. Remember to consult medical professionals if your cat is visibly ill. I am not a medical professional, but here are some of the things I’ve dealt with as a cat owner.

1. Hospitals vs. Doctors. My biggest expense as a cat owner is taking my babies to the vet. I have a Veterinary Hospital literally two minutes from my home, and Gretel hates the car so much that I always just take her there to get her to calm down. In general, hospitals are WAY more expensive than regular vet’s offices. Like, I’m talking over $100 difference. The expense is worth it for me, but it might not be for you. Find your closest vet office and put their number into your phone ASAP.

2. Making an appointment. If your cat is having a crisis, you can call during normal business hours and bring your cat in right then and there, but it’s going to cost you extra money. If your cat is not in imminent danger, call and make an appointment for the next day.

Theoretically, you’re supposed to bring your cat(s) or yearly check-ups and make sure they get all their vet shots. I’m gonna level with you- I don’t do this. I wish I could afford to do it, but I live paycheck to paycheck and can’t. You need to be able to take care of yourself, so if you’re poor like me, I’d advise saving vet visits for emergencies only. 

3. Vet insurance. Obviously- I do not have vet insurance. This means that I pay for all my vet visits out of pocket, and vet offices do not allow you to pay in installments, you have to pay all at once. My downstairs neighbor once had her cat held by a vet’s office because she didn’t have the money to pay for the vet bills. She had to get an emergency loan from her bank to be able to pay and get her cat released. Yikes. The one person I do know with pet insurance says that it saves her about 75% of her vet bill, but she’s a grown ass woman with a house. It’s okay if you don’t have vet insurance, there are still things you can do to improve your cat’s quality of life for reasonably cheap (See Appendix B).

3. Flea medication. Flea medication can be expensive, especially if you have two cats. Unfortunately, Advantage is the only medication that I have found effective. I’ve tried several different knock off brands, and while they worked, they didn’t last nearly as long as Advantage. I don’t worry about fleas that much in the winter, but I put it on my cats during the summer because there are lots of stray cats where I live.

4. Vomit. An occasional puke pile is nothing to be concerned about. There are lots of reasons why cats throw up, but 99% of them are digestion related. The worst part of puke is having to clean it up. As disgusting as it may be, the best way to clean up puke is to allow it to dry and to then clean it (see Appendix A). Lots of cats have food allergies (Mason, for example), so if your cat is throwing up multiple times in a week, change their diet (see Phase 5: Cat food).  If your cat throws up blood, take them to the vet immediately. 

5. Feline Respiratory Virus. Cats do not get colds like humans do, so be very wary if your cat has a runny nose, watery eye discharge, is sneezing or acting lethargic. These infections can kill cats if left untreated. If your cat is showing these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately. The vet will prescribe antibiotics that you will have to give your cat, and your cat should be feeling better within 24 hours. Once a cat gets an FRV, they are more susceptible to it. Cats can infect other cats, so keep your cats separated and give them separate food and water until your infected cat is visibly better. 

6. Bloody poop. Bloody poop (while disgusting) does not always signify illness. Sometimes it means that your cat is having trouble digesting, but other times it means that your cat has worms. Keep an eye on your cat’s poop, and if it’s still bloody after two additional days, take them to the vet and bring a sample of the poop with you. This stool sample will be tested by your vet, and if you don’t have one they will send you home and wait for you acquire one before testing anything.

7. Lumps. My cat Gretel currently has a lump on her face. I noticed it a couple months ago and took her to the vet. If your cat gets a lump suddenly, see if you can move the lump around with your fingers. If the lump feels solid and causes your cat pain, make an appointment ASAP. Gretel’s lump moves around freely and doesn’t cause her pain at all, so my vet told me not to worry about it. Cats grow non-cancerous tumors on their faces and bodies, as well as excesses of fatty tissue that cause bumps. Feeling a bump does not guarantee that your cat’s life is in danger.

8. Bottom line. Wondering if something is wrong with your cat? Ask yourself this simple question- Is your cat eating and drinking water? If your cat is not eating or drinking water, then something is wrong. Make an appointment and take them to the vet.

Phase 5: Cat Food

Spend some time researching different brands before deciding what to feed your cat. Here are some guidelines to help you.

1. Wet food vs. Dry food. It’s a scientifically acknowledged fact that wet food is much better for your cats than dry food. Unfortunately canned food can be up to three times as expensive per pound as dry food, and I can’t afford that on my budget. If you feed dry food, make sure that your cat is properly hydrated and drinking lots of water after they eat.

2. Junk food vs. Health food. Some cats are finicky eaters, mine are not. They do not care what type of food it is, they’re just happy to eat it. Meow Mix is super inexpensive and filling for cats, but it’s not healthy. It’s essentially like eating McDonalds every day. As a young adult, you probably can’t afford to spend large quantities of money on cat food. So compromise. Buy a bag of high quality “healthy” cat food, and a bag of cheap cat food, and give your cats a mixture of this.

3. Grain intolerance. Allergies are a real thing with cats. If your cat is having a hard time keeping food down, switch them to a grain free diet. I buy Rachel Ray cat food off of Amazon because Mason has a delicate stomach.

4. Proteins. Switch up the proteins in the food you’re feeding your cats. Spend a few months with salmon, then switch to chicken, then back to salmon, etc. I don’t remember why, but studies were done and this proved to be more healthy for cats.

5. How much food? Current studies say that cats should be feed about a half a cup of cat food per day. PER DAY. Cats also should have definitive feeding times, and should not be allowed to “graze” or eat all day. I feed my cats a cup of food in the morning (2 cats, half a cup each) and that’s all they get. One of the most common problems that cat owners have is over-feeding. 

6. Fast eaters. Mason has this problem where he gobbles down food super fast (he doesn’t even chew it half the time) and then throws up a few minutes later. You can buy special plates online that force cats to eat slowly like this one

7. What not to feed them. Check out this link. Also if your cat accidentally drinks antifreeze give them alcohol

8. Changing food. Remember that you can’t just feed your cat one food one day and a different food the next day. If you do, they’ll throw up. If you need to switch your cat’s food, do it gradually. Here’s how:

  • First day of switch: 95% old food, 5% new food
  • Second day: 75% old food, 25% new food
  • Third day: 75% old food, 25% new food
  • Fourth day: 50% of both foods
  • Fifth day: 50% of both foods
  • Sixth day: 25% old food, 75% new food
  • Seventh day: 25% old food, 75% new food
  • Eighth day: 5% old food, 95% new food
  • Ninth day: 5% old food, 95% new food 
  • 10th day: 100% new food!

Phase 6: Miscellaneous 

1. Cat types. I’m a big believer in the ASPCA feline-alities. ASPCA employees essentially give cats a personality test to see how they perform under stress. They have something wonderful to say about even the shyest of cats, it really puts everything in perspective. Check it out here. Points if you can guess my cat’s personality types based off what I’ve written here.

2. Bathing. Generally speaking, cats and water do not mix. I don’t bathe my cats because they don’t really get gross enough to require bathing. The one time I did try to bathe Gretel was an absolute disaster, so barring her overcoming her fear of water, I’m never going to do it again. She’s old and sleeps next to my head every night, so sometimes I have to help her clean up a bit. If your cat steps in poop or dirt or whatever, use baby wipes. 

3. “My Cat Doesn’t Like to Play”. Bullshit. All cats like to play, you just haven’t found the right toy. Mason responds to strings that are waved in circles above his head, squeaky toys, and things that are thrown so that he can run and “catch” his prey. Gretel likes crinkly things like candy wrappers, and will only chase a string if it’s dragged on the ground. Mess around and figure out what makes your cat tick. After playing your cat will:

  • Have a snack
  • Clean themselves
  • Take a nap

4. Reprimanding cats. I found a great post on Tumblr a year ago explaining this phenomenon, but I currently can’t find it, so I’m going to paraphrase. Essentially, cats don’t have great short-term memory, so you have to be careful when yelling at them. If your cat pees on your couch, and you don’t discover it until three hours later, yelling at your cat will accomplish absolutely nothing. They won’t understand why you’re upset, and they won’t understand what they did was wrong. You have to reprimand your cat’s either while they’re in the act of being naughty (i.e, peeing on the couch) or directly afterwards. 


Appendix A. Cleaners

  • Carpet cleaner (I recommend Resolve)
  • Hardwood floor cleaner (I recommend Bona)
  • Plastic gloves (I recommend whatever is cheapest)
  • Bleach (or a tile cleaner you feel more comfortable with)

 Appendix B. Caring for your cat.

  • Feliway
  • Cat lax (for those with hairballs)
  • Flea medication (you can buy Advantage in bulk on Amazon)
  • Brush (brushing decreases the risk of hairballs, fleas, and your clothes looking like shit. It can also be a way to bond with your cat)
  • Toys (get an assortment like this one)
  • Supplements (if you have an old cat, check out elder cat supplements on Amazon)
  • Ear cleansers like Epiklean (Did you know that you’re supposed to clean your cat’s ears every month? I didn’t! Gretel had an ear infection because her ears hadn’t been cleaned in 15 years)
  • Baby wipes (Gretel is very old, and sometimes she has a poopy butt. I recommend baby wipes for elder cats)
  • Multi-purpose treats (buy treats that are beneficial for your cat’s health, like treats with calcium or treats that help with hairballs)

Appendix C. Cat behavior.

Appendix D. Mason and Gretel

April 2017

This is a compilation of fics that I’ve read/re-read over the past month. Faves get a star ( ★ ). There is also a separate fic rec page for my favorites here and a fic rec sorter here, if you’d like to check those out. :)

MONTH: April, 2017 | (older lists)

▶▶ A Neutrino Walks Through a Bar by Moku
Teen And Up | 45,261w
Stiles had become the most popular matchmaker of Beacon Hills in less than a year. And he really didn’t know how that had happened.

▶▶ A Not So Easy Arrangement by hazelandglasz
Explicit | 5,314w
AU where Derek’s still the Alpha, and Erica and Boyd aren’t dead. Stiles and Derek have to fake-date because of werewolf reasons, but it shouldn’t be too hard because they’re already having sex together? And they’re great friends? Shouldn’t be too hard, Stile thinks, but he’s been pining away, and he was actually gonna ask out Derek for real, because he kinda loves him, but now he just feels weird. And he’s still finding ways to fall in love with Derek.

▶▶ accidentally? by bibliosexual
Mature | 3,683w
BOSS: “know why I called you in here?”
ME: “because I accidentally sent you a dick pic”
BOSS [stops pouring 2 glasses of wine]: “accidentally?”


Or, in which Derek receives a surprising email one morning.

▶▶ all stories deserve an end by bleep0bleep
Teen And Up | 2,351w
No one hardly ever comes up to this area of the forest, especially with the rumors of the “mad wizard.” Stiles encourages the rumor, because it means people leave him alone. It’s a good, solitary existence as long as Stiles pretends the aching loneliness in his heart isn’t there.

▶▶ anything, anything by drunktuesdays
Explicit | 5,242w
Prompt: Stiles wakes up in Derek’s bed in a world where they’re married now, and Derek keeps leaving the room every time he tries to have a conversation about how this happened, since they weren’t even dating.

▶▶ Bones Straining Under the Weight by weathervaanes ★
Explicit | 15,645w
One of Stiles’ favorite things about life is Derek Hale’s food blog. He never expects to meet the man in person.

▶▶ But, Doctor! by stilinskisparkles ★
Mature | 30,269w
“We had to splint a girl’s leg in a ditch,” Scott says excitedly.

“Bro, you sound way too happy about that,” Stiles complains, opening up his bag and pulling out a Twinkie.

Derek removes it from his hand silently and replaces it with an apple. Stiles scowls at him for a second then bites into it, regardless. Derek sits back and lets the group discuss the merits of dramatic lifesaving feats for winning over the ladies. Scott is convinced it’ll help impress Allison; Isaac thinks Scott’s a loser. Stiles—

Stiles is falling asleep on Derek’s shoulder.

▶▶ First Impressions Are Overrated by Leslie_Knope
Teen And Up | 14,634w
In Stiles’ defense, he didn’t deliberately ram his grocery cart into the (evidently precarious) pyramid of oranges.

▶▶ I Call You Names Because I Love You by tylerfucklin (Deshonanana)
Mature | 13,025w
Years of touring with Stiles would never have prepared Derek for the day his beloved techie fell in love with someone else.

▶▶ I Do Do You? by Captain_Loki ★
Explicit | 6,540w
Stiles and Derek wake up hung over and married in a hotel room in Las Vegas. It wouldn’t be so bad if the year before their relationship hadn’t fallen apart.

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How the 8th House shows an interest toward Astrology, the Metaphysics and Hidden Tantric Sciences of the world

The 8th House in astrology rules the Hidden Tantric Sciences of the world like Astrology, Metaphysics and the Occult.  The sign on the cusp of the 8th house can show details of our tendency toward including these means into our life and core personality.  If there is interest in the Hidden Sciences the sign on the 8th house show how we use these Hidden Tantric Sciences in life.  Planets in the 8th house as well give details of how Hidden Tantric Sciences impact our lives.  A combination of a Sign and Planets can also give a more profound draw towards the depths of how the metaphysical nature of the 8th house works through someone.

When Aries rules the 8th House (Virgo Ascendant) / Mars is in the 8th House

Aries in the 8th house tends to be a person that may have a limited interest in the hidden tantric side of life unless a planet occupies the 8th house.  If the interest does manifest itself during the life this can be someone who likes to explore and put a lot of energy into discovering the hidden tantric sciences of the world.  Astrology, the occult, metaphysics and learning about life and death matters tend to come second nature.  

Since Aries is an independent and youthful energy we can see a person who likes to investigate these sciences on their own.  This can be especially true of the cases where the more introverted Virgo is rising at the time of Birth.  The person may like to read books or material on these subjects in private or their interest in this area may be kept rather personal and low key.  

Since Mars energy in either case (planet or rising) is influencing the 8th house there can be periods of ups and downs with interest in the hidden sciences of life.  There may also be a tendency to get impatient or bored if the person doesn’t seek the answers to what they seek through astrology.  If this occurs they may take a break from it or switch to another science to seek what they find.  Mars energy does burn out and go through ups and down periods but more than likely this ensures the person will eventually return interest to what they depart from.

The main use of astrology or tantric sciences can be to learn about the world; after all Aries is a youthful energy that likes to explore.   They may be interested in using Astrology to find ways to grow themselves and their influences in the world.  So it’s not too uncommon they can want to find out about career or anything pertaining to ways to grow their presence in the world.  This is especially pronounced in Virgo Rising because they work oriented and care about the services they offer.  

Astrology may be used to find out about their sexuality, potential sex partners or their life sex life in general.  Astrology or hidden tantric sciences may be used to discover the qualities of their enemies and how to overcome adversaries they face in their life as well for examples.  Alas since Aries is a restless energy the main use of tantric sciences can be generally summed up as “what to do next.”

When Taurus rules the 8th House (Libra Ascendant) / Venus is in the 8th House

Often a Libra Rising or someone with Taurus in the 8th house will not be much into the realms of the underworld the 8th house presents.  This is because Taurus being on the 8th house cusp is blanketed by the down to earth nature of Taurus itself.  However this of course can be modified if Libra Ascendants ruler specially, Venus, is placed in the 8th house.  Any other personal planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn) may trigger an interest in the underworld and 8th house matters as well.  The outer planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto can as well, but perhaps to a lesser degree.

If the conditions in the chart make someone with Taurus on the 8th house cusp interested in astrology one main focal point can be financial security.  They may use arts like astrology or hidden Tantric Sciences to fulfill their survival means.  This can manifest in several ways.  They may use something like predictive astrology to see when financial stability can come to them.  There can also be an interest in using astrology charts to find out where they can make money.  

Since Taurus is also a very possession oriented sign since it’s ruled by Venus the person may be interested in using the Hidden sciences of the world to uncover potential assets.  For instance Astrology or Tarot can be done in a way to see what items they may be interested in owning, the possibility of increasing their possessions and assets, and foresee what periods of life can bring with it gains or windfalls.  Finding stability tends to be very important for Taurus energy so anywhere they can find comfort can tend to be a place of interest with hidden Tantric Sciences.

Taurus also rules the comfortable and sensual side of sexuality so it would not be a stretch to see someone use Hidden Tantric sciences to discover the working of their sex life.  They may use an interest in this area to find a good lover or a partner for themselves.  Especially for the Libra ascendant that is socially oriented the person may use Astrology in general to find social contacts (also ruled by Venus.)  An interest in 8th house matters may show this person may like to own possessions showcasing an interest in astrology or hidden Tantric Sciences.  They may like to own Astrology Jewelry, Tarot Cards or themed Fashion items.

Taurus is also the sign of personal self-worth in its own merit. So this individual can perhaps turn to astrology to help fortify their values or even understand where they come from.  Taurus is ruled by Venus so sensuality and art tend to come naturally to the 8th house.  Astrology and hidden Tantric Sciences may be used to uncover the personal artistic talent a person may be possessive.  There may be interest in finding out if artistic talent can be applied to matters of career as well.

When Gemini rules the 8th House (Scorpio Ascendant) / Mercury is in the 8th House

With Gemini ruling the 8th house cusp tends to show a person becomes a natural fit for pursing 8th house matters.  This is quite frankly because Scorpio is rising in almost all cases (unless the house system used has interceptions.)  Scorpio Rising has a natural affinity and need to discover the underworld and this may very well be tied into the curious nature of Gemini Energy.  Even having Mercury in the 8th house brings these conditions since it brings the lower mind into the 8th house.  This will produce someone who loves to learn, talk about and meet people interested in the hidden tantric sciences.

Gemini in the 8th brings mutable energy into the 8th house which shows this person is naturally open to accepting more below the surface.  Reading, learning and diving into the occult, astrology, metaphysics and Tantric sciences is a burning need.  Since Gemini is restless there can be a need to keep finding the mind and seeing below the surface.  

This is often seen as a position of someone who is a deep investigator due to Scorpio Rising.  They can use astrology or Hidden Sciences to understand almost anything and everything.  One very important area it can be used for is understanding people.  Scorpio rising and the 8th house love psychology; and placing Gemini in 8 show someone who can astrology to understand people.  This can be friends, a potential lover and even themselves.  Thy may use Tarot or Astrology to understand events, where to move, learn about their parents; the possibility are really endless.  

Gemini itself is a very sexual sign, especially in the case of Scorpio rising.  So the energy in the 8th house can be used to satisfy their sexual needs through investigation with the hidden Tantric Sciences of the world.  If Mercury is in the 8th (as well as Gemini in 8) you can bet this person probably loves to communicate about these matters.  This can be a position of a whistleblower and someone who loves to or write about truths they uncover through the hidden sciences of the world.  They may also love to bring to light and teach everything they come to know about metaphysical matters.

When Cancer rules the 8th House (Sagittarius Ascendant) / Moon is in the 8th House

Cancer or the moon being placed in the 8th house is a very auspicious placement for an interest in the occult sciences.  The reason is simple, you are bringing a water sign into a house naturally ruled by water (Scorpio.)  As with all that is water in life things go deeper than that. Cancer in 8 in is placement for a Sagittarius Ascendant.  Sagittarius Ascendant loves to expand their horizons and Cancer (or the moon) brings instinct, higher mind thinking and emotional attachment towards 8th house matters.

An interest in the Hidden Tantric sciences may actually come from the early life, family and perhaps even from the person’s moon or more nurturing parent.  These is an inclination here the 8th house matters may of been a part of the persons upbringing.  This of course from the very start can make the person exposed and interested in the hidden sciences of the world.  This can even produce a person whose natural instinct (Moon rules instinct) is to turn to astrology or metaphysics as a means to get whatever they want out of life.

Using the hidden sciences of the world can be for anything that really interests the person on an inner level.  They may astrology to understand themselves on an emotional level.  It could possibly be used to discover their lineage, things about their mother, about their family traditions or even their early life or home.  Anything that really strikes a chord emotionally in the person can draw them to use any of the hidden sciences; especially when it comes to starting a family of their own.  

This can be a person who uses astrology to find out what can bring them emotional security.  They may use it also to discover details about a family of their own, or even maybe their own home life.  Since moon also shows private life any kind of occult science may be used to satisfy their interest in this area.  They may even use mediums, astrologers, tarot readers or occult practices to actually connect with the past.  For instance they may use a medium to connect with a passed on loved ones.  

If it is Moon in the 8th house a big difference can be that the individual uses the hidden tantric sciences to find more intimacy in their life.  They may also seek out their transformative side and use the metaphysics to understand more about the cycle of life and death.  The connection with the 8th house is stronger with Moon because it part of the person’s consciousness placed here.  This can cause a person’s moods to possibly fluctuate and draw them towards astrology to understand what makes them have ups and downs in life.

When Leo rules the 8th House (Capricorn Ascendant) / Sun is in the 8th House

Leo ruling the 8th house does not promise by any mean someone interested in the occult matters.  This is especially true because Capricorn is usually rising and is a down to earth sign. Usually it will take someone with planets in the 8th house or an aspected ascendant, sun or moon to Pluto to bring the 8th house interests to them. One primary way the 8th house can come out is through having Leo risings chart ruler placed in the 8th house itself.  This brings with an ego interest in 8th house matters and a strong flavor of Scorpio to the person.

When the Occult and Hidden Sciences of the world are sparked in this person it can manifest numerous ways.  Essentially you can see a person who uses these sciences as a way to make themselves shine.  This individual can take an interest in using astrology as a way to become an authority or be king-like in some area of life.  Leo itself is “king” but since Capricorn is rising with Leo in 8 this person can be heavily interested in using the hidden Tantric Sciences in bolstering their authoritative nature in life.  In summary they usually want to find a way to lead, and this can be done in numerous ways through the 8th house.

Astrology may be used to find out how to creatively express themselves and draw attention to themselves.  It’s not uncommon to use astrology to find out their talents or ways they use a career as a means to bolster a need for authoritative status in the world.  Leo energy is about more than just authority though.  There can be an interest in finding out ways to have fun and uncover their hobbies.  Maybe they even use Astrology to find out how to make their hobbies work best for them.

The occult Hidden Science interest can even be used in the area of children. Leo is a childlike energy so you’re bringing an interest in children to the 8th house with Sun or Leo’s presence in this area.  The results tend to be very broad.  This person may use astrology or Occult Sciences to find out about their own children.  When they will have children, if they will have children or the nature of their children can be examples of this in application.  One really distinct possibly is these sciences are used how to uncover the persons own “hidden child.”  Especially if Capricorn is rising as interest in astrology may be used to find out simply how to perhaps be the child they were never allowed to be.

Since Leo energy is so dynamic about self it can an interest in the persons own romantic life.  Occult sciences can be used to find out when the romantic partner they long for comes into their life.  When they do meet romantic partners they may be interested in doing romantic synastry through astrology to see how compatible they are with their partner.  Leo also rules over risk taking and speculating so the 8th house matters of occult sciences can aid them greatly here.  They may use Tarot to ask questions about risks they can take.  Since Capricorn rising is status minded this person may use astrology as a means to find out where to invest money and what risks may be worth taking or avoiding.

When Virgo rules the 8th House (Aquarius Ascendant) / Mercury is in the 8th House

Virgo on the 8th house cusp can be a bit of a conundrum on it’s own.  At initial glance it would seem like an earth sign that is practical should not draw attention to 8th house matters.  This is hardly the case however due to two unique circumstances.  The first is Virgo is ruled by Mercury drawing an intellectual interest toward matters of the 8th house.  The other major contributor is Virgo in the 8th is an Aquarius Ascendant.  Aquarius energy is influencing the person giving them a strong interest in esoteric sciences.

Virgo itself is analytical energy so a person with Virgo in 8 can take a strong interest in the analytical side of Astrology.  Wanting to learn about, read about and understand astrology can be a strong part of their nature easy.  They may like to learn about and detail peoples natal charts.   Virgo loves to perform service so this can be a position to show an astrologer due to the knowledge they will gain of the subjects.  Another manifestation is simply using astrology as a means to find out about their work.  Maybe they want to find out what work is right for them so they use hidden Tantric Sciences of the 8th house to uncover this.

Virgo is also an energy that likes routine so incorporating metaphysics into the daily life can be a no-brainer.  This might be someone who likes to check transit charts every day in astrology.  At a lower level of interest maybe they may even like to casually read their horoscope every day, month or even year to see how esoteric interests impact their life.  Virgo itself loves organization so anyway the person can help organize their life better may have its place in using occult sciences.

Virgo is also the sign of Health matters.  Occult sciences can be instinctually used to find out about their own health.  They may use medical astrology to discover why they have chronic diseases.  This is especially possibly if Mercury is in 8.  Virgo is a restless and worrisome energy so Astrology can be used to find what disease or condition may bring harm to the individual.  Not all is negative though because the person may find out what diseases and chronic conditions they can be susceptible too.  With that information they can have a leg up in the future and use preventive medicine.

Another area to consider with Virgo in 8 is animals and small pets.  While a bit outside the box (probably normal for an Aquarius Ascending) this person may be drawn towards pet metaphysics.  They may use astrology to help understand their own pets.   Small animals and pets have influences of the sun they were born under and this person may like to find a pet born under a sign compatible with them.

When Libra rules the 8th House (Pisces Ascendant) / Venus is in the 8th House

With Libra ruling the 8th house cusp a person can either naturally have an interest in Hidden Tantric sciences or altogether by pass it. This can be attributed to the effect of Pisces Rising when Libra is in the 8th house.  Pisces is a mutable sign and it tends either go two directions.  On one hand Pisces Ascendants can be very spiritual people and look toward esoteric sciences and the greater collective.  This can include metaphysics, astrology, dream study and things of that nature that can tie into 8th house matters.  

The other side of Pisces however can lead them away from the metaphysics. If the influences around the person are poor the person may be more interested in escaping reality through entertainment of self-detrimental behavior.  A Pisces Ascendant is a tricky Phenom; It tends to go with the flow of what is presented around it.  Since the sign of Pisces is so mutable it all comes down to the nature of the environment and relationships the person has around them.  That said other factors can play in whether this person can take involvement in the occult.

The Libra in 8 person’s natural inclination to have an interest in metaphysics can be seen from Neptune (and classical ruler Jupiter) in their own birth chart. The location of those two planets in signs or houses in the birth chart can point towards a higher individual interest in metaphysical matters.  If Venus in the 8th house interest in the Hidden Tantric sciences is pronounced.  However other planets in the 8th house, 9th house, 11th or 12th house may be needed to draw Libra in the 8th towards occult interests.  Aspects of the Sun, Moon or Ascendant to Pluto may be considered as well to bring Libra and focus towards 8th house sciences.  

If the person on their own merit does have an individual interest in the hidden Tantric sciences of the world they may use it in an effort to bring balance to their lives.  They may practice meditation or things like reiki healing as a way to restore order in their well-being.  There may also be an interest in astrology for them to seek partnerships as Libra rules this area of life.  A person may use astrology seeking the perfect marriage partner.  The same may be said for being on the prowl for business partners.  

Libra also rules contracts and negotiations so astrology may be used to look at transits to find out if negotiations may be more favorable at a certain time in their life.  Another possibility may lie in the Venusian side of Libra; the person may like to seek out their artistic talents through astrology or other metaphysical arts.  Since Libra energy is sensual in nature the person may also be interest in the aesthetic side of astrology through the 8th house.  This may include an interest in astrology influencing the person’s appearance or how they decide to dress themselves.

Libra is the sign of partnerships a person’s interest in the metaphysics may be heightened due to their significant partnerships.  For instance if they marry someone who is into the occult or astrology the person will be likely to tag along and engage in it with them.  This can be true as well if they make any kind of significant partnership where the partner displays an open interest in the hidden tantric sciences.  Pisces ascendants are mutable and like to go with the flow; so if the partners are into it the person will be into it too.

When Scorpio rules the 8th House (Aries Ascendant)/ Pluto is in the 8th House

Scorpio ruling the 8th house cusp is the home placement for Scorpio as it naturally rules the 8th house.  In many cases having Scorpio on the 8th house shows someone who has a natural strong draw to 8th house occult and Tantric Sciences.  This is also true of having Pluto in the 8th house as Pluto is in the house it naturally rules over.  Pluto and Scorpio in the 8th makes someone a truth seeker and someone who wants to uncover hidden motivations.  This tends to be done through looking into metaphysics, occult and the hidden side of life.  

This can be a person who likes to investigate secrets, sex, death, taxes and psychology as topics of interest.  That said when Aries is rising in the chart with Scorpio in the 8th this person can be independent and private about their interest in metaphysical matters.  This is because Scorpio is a private sign and does not like to reveal its true motivations openly; so more times than not the interest in the hidden Tantric sciences may be kept under wraps.

When it comes to what this person may use astrology and the Hidden sciences for are quite broad.  Astrology or the occult may be used to understand the process of life or death.  There may be an interest in using metaphysics to understand their place in the world in general.  Sexuality is big part of Aries and Scorpio energy, so When Aries rises and Scorpio is in the 8th the person may use astrology to discover their sexuality or learn about how sex works in life.  This may mean they use astrology to find a sex partner or maybe this use to find out how to be a better sex partner for example.

Often Scorpio in the 8th can also include someone who uses the hidden sciences to understand psychology.  For an Aries ascendant who likes to overcome adversaries and prove their worth in the world astrology can be used through the 8th house to understand their enemies.  They may also plot their moves in like by consulting Tarot Cards.  The 8th house areas of life and death may influence the person to consult a medium perhaps to talk they cared about who passed on.  The person may find in general the hidden Tantric Sciences are a way to cope with the process of death and Rebirth and transforming themselves as they move forward in life.

When Sagittarius rules the 8th House (Taurus Ascendant) / Jupiter is in the 8th House

Sagittarius ruling the 8th house cusp brings the energy of higher abstract thinking into the 8th house of metaphysics and hidden Tantric Sciences.  This tends to make someone who finds adventure in life when they look below the surface and seek what is hidden in the shadows.  Jupiter occupying the 8th house tends to bring the same results perhaps in higher quantities.  When the planet of expansion or Sagittarius occupies the 8th house a person’s philosophy’s and beliefs tend to be shaped or built around metaphysics or hidden Tantric Sciences.

Sagittarius and Jupiter rule the area of higher education and learning in life. Bringing them into the 8th house makes a person who can persistently look into to the hidden Tantric Sciences of the world.  This is especially true if Taurus is rising as the behavior tends to be persistent and stubborn.  Once this person forms a belief about occult or metaphysical matters they may be unwavering.  In some cases there interest in these matters may be shared with a dogmatic fire as their beliefs are deeply entwined in the deeper and hidden side of life.

With Sagittarius energy occupying the 8th house we can see a person who uses the hidden Tantric Sciences to understand the greater meaning of life. For instance Astrology may be used to find a soul mission or tarot readings can find a similar link to the meaning of life through a spread.  An interest in the occult may help the person understand matters of religion which is seen through Sagittarius.  Astrology or tarot may also be used to help the person understand what or when to publish articles if they so like to write.  Sagittarius also rules teaching so as this person learns about matters of Occult sciences they may like to teach about them naturally.  Astrology may also be used to find out when the best time to marry is since Jupiter and Sagittarius rule Religious ceremony.  

Sagittarius rules a natural inclination towards all things foreign like foreign travel and foreign people as well as cultures.  Astrology or Tarot may be used to discover the details or possible timing of a long distance trip.  Having Sagittarius in the 8th may also show a person who finds interest in 8th house matters come through their long distance travels.  They may travel to a foreign land and in their journey stumble across meeting people who bring an interest in occult sciences into their life.  It can certainly be probable that this person takes serious interest in other forms of metaphysics or tantric sciences that are not native to their home land. For instance this may be someone who finds interest in Vedic Astrology if they are born outside India.

When Capricorn rules the 8th House (Gemini Ascendant) / Saturn is in the 8th House

Capricorn ruling the 8th house cusp can produce a person who may lack the natural pull towards metaphysics and 8th house matters.  This can be born from the practical and down to Earth nature of Capricorn energy.  However this is not to be said the person may not find an interest in their life from learning about 8th house matters and sciences.  There are several ways the person can be introduced to the hidden tantric side of life.

The first can be seen in the case of Capricorn occupying the 8th often Gemini is rising.  Gemini is naturally mutable and can be influenced based on their social interactions.  If they meet the rite person Gemini’s natural desire to learn can be motivated to take interest in the hidden Tantric sciences of the world. Planets in the 8th house, and especially Saturn in the 8th, can show the pull someone towards hidden Tantric Sciences as well.  Sometimes Capricorn or Saturn in 8 can even show a father or authority figure influences an interest in 8th house matters for the person.

It is to be said however that Capricorn and Saturn represents limitations and delays in life.  If this is the case the person may be delayed the first 30 years in life from having deep or fulfilling access to the Tantric sciences of the world. Often if the person tries to dive into these areas of their own accord things tend to restrict them from pursuing the interest further.  However once Saturn lifts its restrictions later in life (after Saturn return) often these 8th house matters integrate into the structure of the person’s life.  The person can at that point can pursue the hidden Tantric Sciences of the world and incorporate them as they see fit.  

When this person is able or takes interest in the hidden Sciences it may very well be used for many things.  Since Capricorn is the energy that represents status in the world sciences like Astrology or Tarot can be sought for ways to boost personal status.  Astrology may be a key tool as the person can see ways in which to increase their reputation and find ways to bolster their standing in their communities they participate in.  Capricorn is also a very serious and career oriented sign so the hidden Tantric Sciences can be used to bolster their career.  If the person struggles in life Astrology may be used to find possible career paths for themselves for example.

Other possibilities lie in Capricorn seeking recognition where it lies.  Capricorn itself loves to become authority so seeking out the hidden Sciences can be used for the person to bring power to themselves.  Astrology, Tarot or metaphysics can be sought to help the person seek recognition for their efforts.  Sciences like Tarot can be sought so the person can find out whether they are do a promotion.  Vedic astrology can be another way the person looks to find out if they are due recognition in certain areas through researching maha dasha periods.  Capricorn also represents the father so the person may use the Hidden Sciences to find out things about their father.  It may not be far-fetched either they like to use these sciences to find out when they become a father themselves.

When Aquarius rules the 8th House (Cancer Ascendant) / Uranus is in the 8th House

Aquarius ruling the 8th house cusp can be an auspicious placement for an interest in matters of metaphysic and Tantric sciences.  The reason is simple as Aquarius energy itself rules over esoteric sciences and occupying the 8th house brings the person a natural interest in these areas usually.  Having Uranus in the 8th house is a natural fit as well as it is planet that rules astrology in the modern version of astrology.  Any planets in the 8th house or contacts of Pluto to the persons ascendant, sun or moon only bolster the draw to the Hidden Sciences of the world; but usually more times than not Astrology is the main draw of their interest.

An interest in astrology can be used to allow the person to understand the greater elements of mankind.  They may like to use astrology understand their friends, groups they belong to, teams they are interested in, corporations around them or society in general.  The person may like to use astrology to help find friends, groups or ways that they can reach out and be a part of something greater then themselves.  An interest in the metaphysical sciences can also lead them to either understand or in some cases as a humanitarian effort to aid the underprivileged in society.

Uranus and Aquarius on their own merit rule over technology.  So an interest in astrology may find that this person uses technology like computers to further their interest in this area.  They may read online articles, use social networking websites or even buy e-books as a means to investigate the hidden Tantric sciences of the world.  Astrology tarot or metaphysics may also be used as a way for a person to discover or bolster their innovative nature.

An interest in these sciences may even be used to help them pursue their own hopes and wishes in life as these areas of life are ruled by Aquarius energy. Astrology may in general also be used to help them look toward their future. Them may be interested in things like transits and chart progressions as a means to forecast what’s ahead.  It’s not too uncommon to see that Tarot spreads may be used to “ask about what’s to come.”  

Once the person comes to understand and get engrossed in the hidden Tantric sciences this person may like to talk about the hidden Tantric sciences with their friends, or join groups that share their common interests.  There is a possibility that the sudden upheaval and reversal nature of Uranus or Aquarius may cause the person to have an inconsistent relationship with the Hidden Tantric sciences of the world.

When Pisces rules the 8th House (Leo Ascendant) / Neptune is in the 8th House

Pisces ruling over the 8th house is a natural fit to bring the interest of metaphysics into a person’s life.  Pisces energy is intuitive and here intuition can inspire someone to seek something greater at work in the universe. Metaphysical interest tends to come natural here especially if it has a spiritual flavor to it.  An interest in the hidden Tantric Sciences of the world can be specially garnered to help understand the spiritual side of themselves.

Since Leo is usually rising in the case of Pisces in the 8th the person can have a distinct interest in finding where they fit in the greater whole of the universe. The person may find themselves naturally pulled to wanting to learn about the hidden tantric sciences to support their personal ambitions in life but also to understand all of life and how things fit together.  A major general want here can be to use metaphysics, astrology, tarot or the occult to help the greater good of mankind.  There may be interest in holistic healing specially as a means to help themselves or others.

Astrology can be an interest with Pisces on the 8th that comes quite natural to them.  The person can use astrology to help improve their life as well as others.  An interest in astrology can help the person understand the greater collective that makes up the universe.  They may specifically be interested in using astrology as a means to see that everything is connected and influences each other.  

In a sense Pisces is about letting go and merging into something greater then self.  Astrology can be a means to an end as this person may enjoy learning about the soul and the greater workings of the universe at large.  A sense of where the physical incarnation ends on Earth and where the soul and spirit differ can be understood through an interest in astrology.  There can be a strong pull toward merging the idea of reincarnation along with astrology. Pisces in 8 can take a strong interest in how the soul is seen through astrology charts and really like to search the moon nodes as a means to learn about the greater workings of the universe.

Dream interpretation can be another metaphysical area of life that draws interest from Pisces in 8.  The person may also like learning about energy and how the universal energies available to a person can influence their physical everyday life.  They may like to take a an interest in reiki healing, Chakra cleansing or any metaphysical science that influences energy levels.  Learning how to work with energy can be something Pisces in 8 can be motivated to do as a means to heal others who suffer in life.

All hidden Tantric sciences of the world can be used by Pisces in the 8th to help them through chaotic times.  Pisces rules over grief, sorrow and loss.  The hidden sciences like astrology or tarot may be used to help the person come to term with personal suffering and pain.  The person may be interest in using spiritual mediums as a way to talk to departed loved ones that caused them heartache as an example.

In some instances having Neptune or Pisces in the 8th can show a malefic nature.  Since Leo is often rising the person may be self-absorbed and turn away from the “higher spiritual calling” of Pisces energy.  In this case it is not to uncommon the hidden Tantric Sciences of the world are of no interest to the person.  This can be especially possible if Neptune itself is in the 8th house. Neptune can very well dissolve what it touches in the most malefic of cases and in this case dissolve a person’s interest in 8th house matters.



I have approximately 0$ to my name thanks to bills and general life costs, so its commission time again!

RULES: (please read the third photo when sending your email!)


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Thankyou so much for reading/rebloging/ect! Every little bit helps!!!

Status: CLOSED(10/10)

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Yeah, Pass The Salt, Stiles

Here’s my latest entry for @sterek-bingo! I’ve never tried writing a soulmate AU before, so this was a ton of fun. Enjoy!

This story was written for the Soulmates square on my BINGO card. (AO3 link here).

Yeah, Pass The Salt, Stiles

Stiles has always maintained that if Scott weren’t quite so slow on the uptake, they could totally be soulmates.

When they were kids, this thought depressed him; now, he has to admit, he’s more relieved than anything else. He loves Scotty to pieces, but jeez, does Allison have to put up with a lot. Besides, although platonic soulmates do exist, very occasionally, Stiles is a romantic at heart, and he definitely, definitely doesn’t see Scott that way.

It happened when they were four years old, and they met at the playgroup both their moms sent them to. They’d been doing that thing kids do when they play alongside each other but not actually together, and as a consequence they’d spent the entire morning together without actually talking. That was enough for Stiles to decide that he wanted Scott as his soulmate.

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so i’ve had these jasper asks in my inbox for a while… and it’s about time i address them. i’ll be combining these asks, focusing especially on that last one and the idea of “deserving” redemption, + some of my own general thoughts to talk about the su narrative, jasper, her relationship with peridot, trauma, steven, and where we go from here. 

it’s time for another long post about jasper under the cut. 

Originally posted by rock-moms

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Ravenclaw Prefects see themselves as something akin to a tutor - for classwork, sure, but also for student life in general. They are the older students around to pass down their knowledge. 

Gryffindor Prefects feel their purpose is to keep their classmates safe, sometimes from their own ideas. They are the protectors, and the police force, sometimes breaking rules in order to enforce other, more important ones. 

Slytherin Prefects are, in their minds, the best of the best - and there to show everyone how to achieve the things they have. They are the shining examples, the thing first years will do anything to emulate. 

Hufflepuff Prefects have the job of being a friend to everyone - an extra support system and a helping hand for any task. They remind you to work hard, but not by driving a whip - instead by reminding you that you don’t have to do alone. 

I asked Blizzard support about whether or not Genji has genitalia.

It was a joke but I decided to actually ask Blizzard support if they know! :P

Here’s their answer. It was SO cute. Thank you Blizzard for such great customer support, even if my question was dumb. Maybe this will bring some light into Genji’s lore. Who knows. 

“ Hello there! (^_^)/)

Happy to meet you! Picture for a moment the thrill of overcoming a difficult boss with your friends at your side. That is the feeling I wish to get you back to today. :)

Hmm I am not sure about this one. He is definitely cyborg and has to be able to sense injury so it stands to reason that in all the machinery are still nerves and there are bodily changes that would occur if he didnt. From my understanding of the lore it was his torso that was damaged which makes zero sense to me if his legs are completely robotic, which makes me think that maybe they arent. The machinery might help him walk and feel again, but everything is likely intact. My guess is his legs are under the leg armor and that it was really his spinal cord being severed that caused him to need robotics from the waste down at all, so that he can feel and walk again. These are all just deductions I can make based on what I know. I hope this helps!

As a general life rule, I believe in treating everyone as a friend or family member and I hope that came through in my work. If I can grant your request, I always will. d=( ^‿^ )z

To review your ticket, please follow the link above. If your issue has been addressed, you’ll be able to resolve the ticket. If the issue is not yet resolved, you can file a response with additional information.”

Babies Are Weird

An excerpt from an essay published by Arak'Antos, professor of Humanology at a renowned university.

As bizarre and fearsome as humans are, their children are yet stranger.  Unlike nearly all other known species, human newborns are incapable of locomotion.  Most other Earth life adheres to this general rule of nature; the foals of their horses can walk within minutes, and the chicks of their birds can hop about.  Human newborns, however, cannot move on their own, and must be carried for the first several months of their life, at minimum.

Despite this, and despite their inability to communicate, babies seem to be able to manipulate any nearby human adults into serving them.  With minor differentiations in their wordless cries, they can communicate hunger, discomfort, uncleanliness, even simple boredom, and have their whims tended to by their caretakers in moments.

Further, this seems to cross the barriers of species.  The humans have tales, too numerous to be discounted as rumor, of newborns abandoned in the wilderness being raised by other animals.  Nearly any mammal is susceptible to the manipulations of these infants, as documented reports include felines, canines, and primates.

Somehow, these “wild” children grow up to be physically superior to more “civilized” counterparts, yet without any accompanying loss of mental function.  One of Earth’s greatest ancient civilizations, the Roman Empire, was said to be founded by two children, Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a wolf.  It is theorized that the influence of these “wild” children throughout Earth’s history is connected to the reckless and frightening nature of humans today.

Starfleet General Orders and Regulations
  • GENERAL ORDER 1 ("PRIME DIRECTIVE"): As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Starfleet personnel, Federation citizen and/or representative may interfere with the normal and healthy development of alien life and culture. Such interference includes introducing superior knowledge, strength, or technology to a world whose society is incapable of handling such advantages wisely. Starfleet personnel may not violate this Prime Directive, even to save their lives and/or their ship/installation, unless they are acting to right an earlier violation or an accidental contamination of said culture. This directive takes precedence over any and all other considerations, and carries with it the highest moral obligation.
  • GENERAL ORDER 1A (“OMEGA DIRECTIVE”) TOP SECRET — CAPTAIN'S RANK AND ABOVE ONLY: Due to its destructive nature upon subspace & its inherent dangers towards all starfaring civilizations, the omega particle has been determined to be the greatest natural threat to the Federation and the entire galaxy. For that reason, any and all omega particles found to be in existence are to be destroyed at any cost. During the duration of said mission, the Prime Directive is suspended. Notification of the crew of a vessel or installation as to the true nature of this directive is an offense punishable by general court-martial, dishonorable discharge from Starfleet, and a prison term no less than 30 years and no greater than the offender's natural life.
  • GENERAL ORDER 2: No Starfleet personnel shall unnecessarily use force, either collectively or individually, against members of the United Federation of Planets, their duly authorized representatives, spokespersons, or designated leaders, or members of any sentient non-member race, for any reason whatsoever.
  • GENERAL ORDER 3: The sovereignty of each Federation member being respected in all things, Starfleet personnel shall observe any and all statutes, laws, ordinances, and rules of governance currently in effect within the jurisdiction of a member planet. Violators of such ordinances will be subject to such punishments or corrections as shall be determined by local governmental bodies.
  • GENERAL ORDER 4: If contact is made with hitherto undiscovered intelligent lifeforms, under no circumstance shall Starfleet personnel, either by word or deed, inform said lifeforms that worlds other than their own or intelligent life-forms other than their own exist outside the confines of their own space or answer questions by said lifeforms pertaining to the existence of other species outside said space.
  • GENERAL ORDER 5: In cases of extreme emergency, Federation special representatives are empowered to assume emergency powers to deal with a condition or circumstance that is deemed hazardous to the welfare of Federation citizenry. Within the scope of these emergency powers, duly authorized civilian personnel may assume temporary command of Starfleet vessels, installations, and/or personnel to deal with the emergency. Starfleet personnel must submit to their authority for the duration of the crisis.
  • GENERAL ORDER 6: The request for emergency assistance from Federation citizenry or non-aligned persons demands unconditional priority from Starfleet personnel. Such personnel shall immediately respond to said request, postponing all other activities. This responsibility extends to current governments at odds, actively or passively, with the Federation.
  • GENERAL ORDER 7: No Starfleet vessel shall visit the planet Talos IV under any circumstances, emergency or otherwise. This order supersedes GENERAL ORDER 6. Any transgression of this general order shall be punishable by death.
  • GENERAL ORDER 8: Upon sighting a warship within Federation space and identifying it as belonging to a foreign power, the commander of the Starfleet vessel/installation shall determine the reason(s) for that craft's presence in the vicinity. If there is conclusive evidence that the vessel has hostile intentions, the Federation vessel may take appropriate action to safeguard the lives and property of Federation members or other non-aligned persons under current Federation protection. In such cases, the commander may use their discretion in deciding whether to use force to disable the hostile vessel. However, care should be taken to avoid unnecessary loss of sentient life.
  • GENERAL ORDER 9: A commander of a Starfleet vessel or installation, military or auxiliary, may grant political asylum to any individual without first being given express permission to do so by a representative of the Federation government. However, said decision may and can be overturned by a superior officer or representative of the Federation government pending a reviewal of circumstances.
  • GENERAL ORDER 10: If there exists eyewitness testimony by senior officers or similar verifiable evidence that an individual, military or civilian, has violated the Prime Directive, said individual may be relieved of duty by a duly sworn representative of the Federation government and placed under immediate arrest. The governmental representative shall then take such action as he deems necessary to minimize the results of the violation.
  • GENERAL ORDER 11: Starfleet officers with command-level rank or higher are granted full authority to negotiate conditions of agreement and/or treaties with legal representatives of non-Federation planets. In such circumstances, the acting officer carries de facto powers of a Federation Special Ambassador. Any and all agreements arranged in this manner are subject to approval by the Chief of Starfleet Operations, the Secretary of Starfleet, and the Federation Council.
  • GENERAL ORDER 12: When approaching a vessel with which communication has not been established, all Starfleet vessels are to maintain maximum safety precautions, regardless of the origin of said vessel, be it a foreign power, an hitherto unknown ship, or a Starfleet vessel.
  • GENERAL ORDER 13: Except when orders state to the contrary or in accordance with GENERAL ORDER 6, Starfleet personnel will respect the territorial integrity of independent planetary systems and governments within and without the confines of the Federation's borders, and will not violate territorial space belonging to such worlds.
  • GENERAL ORDER 14: Starfleet personnel may intervene in local planetary affairs to restore general order and to secure the lives and property of Federation citizens only upon receiving a direct order to do so from a civilian official with the effective title of governor or higher.
  • GENERAL ORDER 15: No officer of command or flag rank shall travel into a potentially hazardous area without suitable armed escort.
  • GENERAL ORDER 16: Starfleet personnel may extend technological, medical, or other scientific assistance to members of foreign powers or previously unrecognized sentient species only if such assistance in no way compromises the Prime Directive or the security of the Federation or Starfleet.
  • GENERAL ORDER 17: The commanding officers of Starfleet vessel and installations are to consider the lives of their crew members and/or civilian population as sacred. In any potentially hostile situation, the captain will place the lives of his crew above the fate of his ship.
  • GENERAL ORDER 18: Upon being accused of treason against the Federation, Starfleet personnel may demand a trial conducted by the Federation judiciary or representative Judge Advocate General for that sector. If the individual is acquitted, Starfleet Command shall have no further legal recourse against the accused in said matter.
  • GENERAL ORDER 19: Except in times of declared emergency, Starfleet personnel may under no circumstances convey personnel or material between planets or planetary systems when there is reason to believe that said personnel or material may be used to conduct aggression, whether against Federation members or other non-aligned worlds. This order applies to independent worlds within the Federation as well as to Federation members.
  • GENERAL ORDER 20: Officers and personnel of Starfleet Command may employ whatever means necessary to prevent the possession, transportation, sale, or commercial exchange of sentient beings held against their wishes within the boundaries of Federation space. This includes temporary violations of GENERAL ORDER 13, but not of the Prime Directive.
  • GENERAL ORDER 21: No Starfleet personnel, either officer or enlisted, may offer his services to an independent foreign government without the express authorization of the Federation Council.
  • GENERAL ORDER 22: As the rights of individual expression and free discourse are considered sacred, Starfleet personnel may debate the policies, decisions, and actions of their governmental representatives privately at any time, to the extent that such discussions do not violate their command oath or specific duties to the Federation per these GENERAL ORDERs or Starfleet regulations.
  • GENERAL ORDER 23: When verifiable proof is presented to the senior commanding officer of a Starfleet vessel or post that a Federation representative may currently be acting or have acted in the past to violate the Prime Directive, the officer may relieve said representative of office, then assume the full powers of that office pending a full investigation by governmental officials.
  • GENERAL ORDER 24: If a commanding officer deems that a planet has been culturally contaminated to a point where correction is no longer viable and said culture now poses a direct threat to Starfleet personnel or Federation civilians, he may order the destruction of a planet's surface to occur within a time limit set upon invocation.
  • GENERAL ORDER 25: Civilian and military personnelϷhether a citizen of the Federation, a non-aligned world, or a foreign powerϴaken into custody by Starfleet personnel during times of extreme emergency shall be accorded proper treatment consistent with their rank or station, insofar as such treatment does not compromise the security of the Federation or Starfleet.
  • GENERAL ORDER 26: No member of a ship's complement or other ground-based installation can be held directly accountable for the actions of their superiors. Similarly, no member of a ship's company or other Starfleet personnel will share in disciplinary measures taken against the Commanding Officer(s) if said individuals were not directly involved in the actions leading to disciplinary measures. This order extends to conditions involving proven violations of the Prime Directive, where proof of such violations exist. However, failure to attempt to halt the actions of said superiors is a violation of the order and as such is punishable by general court-martial.
  • GENERAL ORDER 27: No member of Starfleet shall be required by the assignment of standard duties and responsibilities to undergo extended separation from his family if family members can be reasonably provided for aboard ship or as a part of an existing Starfleet installation.
  • GENERAL ORDER 28: No officer of command rank shall be removed from command status unless such action has the complete and unqualified agreement of at least three senior officers present per Starfleet Procedural Order 104, sections B and C.. Whenever possible, such officers shall include the ship's First Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Counselor, and one junior officer of command station.
  • GENERAL ORDER 29: The primary responsibility of the commander of any Starfleet vessel or installation is the welfare and safety of his crew, including any civilian members. No action may be taken that creates an unwarranted threat to the safety of those individuals under the officer's charge, except in the line of duty and when otherwise unavoidable. This is a concurrent order with GENERAL ORDER 17.
  • GENERAL ORDER 30: Starfleet Command recognizes the right of each ship commander to interpret the specifications of the Prime Directive as he sees fit, consistent with the conditions of other existing general orders in effect, and based upon circumstances that may arise in dealing with newly discovered sentient races. However, said decision may and can be overturned by a superior officer or representative of the Federation government pending a reviewal of circumstances.
  • GENERAL ORDER 31: The conditions and specifications of the Prime Directive shall henceforth apply to all sentient lifeforms discovered, whether they are of natural or artificial origin.
  • GENERAL ORDER 32: Federation officers may violate Neutral Zone areas as designated by treaty only if such action is required to save the lives of Federation citizens under conditions of extreme emergency as required by GENERAL ORDER 6.
  • GENERAL ORDER 33: If a commanding officer deems that an individual or group of individuals pose a direct threat to the safety of Starfleet personnel, Federation citizens, or those under current Federation protection, they may take any actions necessary to safeguard the lives of those threatened. In such cases, the commander may use their discretion in deciding whether to use force. However, care should be taken to avoid unnecessary loss of sentient life.
  • GENERAL ORDER 34: All Starfleet personnel and/or Federation civilian contractors shall follow a superior's order to the best of their ability, unless said orders should conflict with the regulation laid out in these orders. Special dispensations are granted in emergency situations as per specific orders, with the exceptions of GENERAL ORDERs 1, 2, 3, or 7.
  • GENERAL ORDER 35: Should the entire personnel of a Starfleet vessel or installation become severely incapacitated or deceased due to an environmental or medical contaminant, said vessel is to be destroyed within a 24-hour period from initial discovery of cause to prevent spread of the epidemic agent.
  • GENERAL ORDER 36: No Federation vessel, whether civilian or Starfleet, is allowed to visit a planet or star system placed under quarantine by Starfleet or the Federation Council unless the visitation falls under the jurisdictional actions accredited by GENERAL ORDERs 1, 5, and 6.
  • GENERAL ORDER 37: Starfleet personnel shall respect binding contracts, agreements, and bondings made by the Federation government and/or Starfleet itself and shall operate within the boundaries & governances of said treaties, especially in matters dealing with the co-signatories of said treatise.
  • GENERAL ORDER 38: In the event of the death, absence, or incapacitation of the commanding officer of record, command of a ship or installation falls to the next highest-ranking crewmember, regardless of position in the command structure. When two officers in the line of succession are of comparable rank, command first falls upon the officer with command experience; barring that requirement, command will fall upon the officer with seniority.
  • GENERAL ORDER 39: An officer or crewmember may be removed from active duty status if they are judged to be incapable of fulfilling their obligations as a member of Starfleet, whether for medical or psychological reasons, by either the Chief Medical Officer or by the two ranking command staff officers.