but there are so many other factors

a reminder

that theres nothing “neurotypical” about saying that “your mental illnesses are no excuse to be toxic and to abuse/manipulate your friends/partners”

and yes, this applies no matter your circumstances lmao you dont get a free out of jail card because your unhealthy behavior is caused by symptoms - if someone tells you that your behavior is hurting them or you YOURSELF realize that your relationships arent healthy on your part, its on YOU to

1) communicate with the other person to try to work around it, so that you can see whether your needs are compatible with what theyre capable of giving you in terms of friendship/partnership.
sometimes needs are incompatible, and sometimes relationships dont work out despite mutual (platonic or romantic) affection because there are too many factors that make the relationship more harmful than beneficial - even if its harmful only to one party.

in a relationship, it’s the responsibility of both people to make sure that there is enough communication and safety for people to establish boundaries and voice their needs so that theyre heard. voicing needs doesnt mean that they HAVE to fulfill them even at the cost of their own wellbeing; it means compromising and discussing what can be done so that the relationship isnt draining for either party.

2) apologize for hurting them, take accountability and look into resources to change your behavioral patterns (if it’s a persisting thing). google is your friend. talk with a school counselor/therapist/etc if you have one available for you.
go to a library, see if theres any books on mental health and relationships that might help you out. there ARE resources for mentally ill people and for people who need help at unlearning toxic behaviors caused by trauma or other similar factors. Use them.

trying to opt out of responsibility because your hurtful behavioral patterns are caused by trauma/mental illness is you excusing your toxic and/or abusive behavior and is incredibly unhealthy not only to you but people around you.
it should be obvious why that’s not something the ND tumblr should encourage.

we need to be better and STOP protecting abusers and excusing abusive/toxic behavior under the guise of “mental health positivity/acceptance”

DOCTOR DREAMY | PT.1

pt1 | pt2 | (ongoing)

pairing: jimin x reader

genre: fluff, slight angst, eventual smut + expecting parents au

word count: 4,724

request: sperm donor ex-boyfriend jimin 

description: Okay, maybe in hindsight asking your ex-boyfriend, who you never really got over, to be your sperm-donor wasn’t the brightest of ideas.

cr.


“I want to have your baby,” is a particular string of words that is only considered acceptable in a certain number of situations.

Maybe between two lovers getting lost in the moment of their heightened feelings, and somehow the words just slip — that’s probably the most common occurrence of the phrase. Or maybe it’s a night out, alcohol in your system, and the words just sort of spill past your lips to the most ridiculously attractive stranger you’ve ever seen before you can even think to stop them. Even that, can still be considered at least borderline passable usage of the phrase. Hell, even the instance of a teenage girl proclaiming her love for her favorite celebrity with the heavy proclamation is still considered normal for the most part.

These, along with a few far-fetched others, were the only situations you could think of that allowed for the usage of those six words to be passable, yet, here you were, uttering that exact phrase, when you were in absolutely none of them. You weren’t getting caught up in the moment with lust-glazed eyes, you weren’t drunk and spewing nonsense at a bar to some guy, and you most certainly weren’t some star struck teenage girl staring up at her celebrity crush’s poster.

No, you were none of those things.

Instead, you were sitting across from your ex-boyfriend telling him that you wanted to have his baby… Yeah, totally passable usage of the phrase, right?

Keep reading

New Research Heading to Earth’s Orbiting Laboratory

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…dragon? A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is set to launch into orbit atop the Falcon 9 rocket toward the International Space Station for its 12th commercial resupply (CRS-12) mission August 14 from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It won’t breathe fire, but it will carry science that studies cosmic rays, protein crystal growth, bioengineered lung tissue.

Here are some highlights of research that will be delivered:

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ISS-CREAM! 

Cosmic Rays, Energetics and Mass, that is! Cosmic rays reach Earth from far outside the solar system with energies well beyond what man-made accelerators can achieve. The Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass (ISS-CREAM) instrument measures the charges of cosmic rays ranging from hydrogen to iron nuclei. Cosmic rays are pieces of atoms that move through space at nearly the speed of light

The data collected from the instrument will help address fundamental science questions such as:

  • Do supernovae supply the bulk of cosmic rays?
  • What is the history of cosmic rays in the galaxy?
  • Can the energy spectra of cosmic rays result from a single mechanism?

ISS-CREAM’s three-year mission will help the scientific community to build a stronger understanding of the fundamental structure of the universe.

Space-grown crystals aid in understanding of Parkinson’s disease

The microgravity environment of the space station allows protein crystals to grow larger and in more perfect shapes than earth-grown crystals, allowing them to be better analyzed on Earth. 

Developed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Anatrace and Com-Pac International, the Crystallization of Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) under Microgravity Conditions (CASIS PCG 7) investigation will utilize the orbiting laboratory’s microgravity environment to grow larger versions of this important protein, implicated in Parkinson’s disease.

Defining the exact shape and morphology of LRRK2 would help scientists to better understand the pathology of Parkinson’s and could aid in the development of therapies against this target.

Mice Help Us Keep an Eye on Long-term Health Impacts of Spaceflight

Our eyes have a whole network of blood vessels, like the ones in the image below, in the retina—the back part of the eye that transforms light into information for your brain. We are sending mice to the space station (RR-9) to study how the fluids that move through these vessels shift their flow in microgravity, which can lead to impaired vision in astronauts.

By looking at how spaceflight affects not only the eyes, but other parts of the body such as joints, like hips and knees, in mice over a short period of time, we can develop countermeasures to protect astronauts over longer periods of space exploration, and help humans with visual impairments or arthritis on Earth.

Telescope-hosting nanosatellite tests new concept

The Kestrel Eye (NanoRacks-KE IIM) investigation is a microsatellite carrying an optical imaging system payload, including an off-the-shelf telescope. This investigation validates the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations, such as providing lower-cost Earth imagery in time-sensitive situations, such as tracking severe weather and detecting natural disasters.

Sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, the overall mission goal for this investigation is to demonstrate that small satellites are viable platforms for providing critical path support to operations and hosting advanced payloads.

Growth of lung tissue in space could provide information about diseases

The Effect of Microgravity on Stem Cell Mediated Recellularization (Lung Tissue) uses the microgravity environment of space to test strategies for growing new lung tissue. The cells are grown in a specialized framework that supplies them with critical growth factors so that scientists can observe how gravity affects growth and specialization as cells become new lung tissue.

The goal of this investigation is to produce bioengineered human lung tissue that can be used as a predictive model of human responses allowing for the study of lung development, lung physiology or disease pathology.

These crazy-cool investigations and others launching aboard the next SpaceX #Dragon cargo spacecraft on August 14. They will join many other investigations currently happening aboard the space station. Follow @ISS_Research on Twitter for more information about the science happening on 250 miles above Earth on the space station.  

Watch the launch live HERE starting at 12:20 p.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 14!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

anonymous asked:

Do you realize that being fat isn't always good? I mean if you're still healthy it's fine but once it gets to point it starts becoming a health problem. It's not good for that to happen right? Do you want people to slowly waste away and die of heart disease? They're basically killing themselves and it's not a perfect comparison but if you meet a self garner do you want them to stop?

HUZZAH! This is my first psuedo-intellectual anon hate. And my-oh-me, it’s a doozy. I love the condescending “gotchya” tone in this, as if anon is asking ground-breaking, mind-blowing questions and not the same bullshit concern-trolling that has been debunked over and over again. But I’ll indulge anon’s ignorance for the moment, if only so that I have a comprehensive response to link to other fatphobic assholes in the future. 

Put simply, my dear anon, your questions are silly, and you should feel bad about how ignorant, hateful, and fatphobic you come off in this ask.


1. Health is a complex concept that is dependent on many individualized factors. Similarly, weight is complex and depends on many factors completely out of an individual’s control, including genetics, poverty and food insecurity, and trauma history. Neither exercise nor a “healthy” diet result in long term weight loss. 

2. Weight is a really inaccurate, non-evidence based proxy for the concept of health. Hate to break it to you, but the BMI is bullshit, and overweight and obese people actually have lower mortality rates than people in the “normal” category. Yes, you read right, evidence shows that being fat can be good for your health. 

3. Heart disease has links to several risk factors, and “overweightness” by itself does not reliably predict heart disease. In fact, some evidence suggests fat people are better able to survive cardiac events than thin people. Correlation is not causation, yes, even with conditions such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, so it is incorrect to say that having a lot of adipose tissue directly causes illness of any type. Being fat is not per se unhealthy. Additionally, invisible disabilities and illnesses exist, which precludes you from knowing whether ANY given person, whether they are thin or fat, is “healthy”. 

4. Based on 1,2, and 3, it’s clear that you have no idea what someone’s health-status is simply by looking at them. You have no idea whether someone’s weight is “killing them” or causing them to “slowly waste away”, and all the evidence suggests that it’s simply inaccurate to say being fat is enough, by itself, to kill someone. 

5. Linking someone’s health to their moral goodness or worth is inherently ableist. If someone is fat and unhealthy they are still a human being worthy of love and respect. If someone is fat and disabled they are still a human being worthy of love and respect. If someone is fat and eats nothing but “junk food” and never exercises THEY ARE STILL A HUMAN BEING WORTHY OF LOVE AND RESPECT.  

6. Shaming people into the weight loss you deem to be “appropriate” does not work and actually leads to increased weight gain and a myriad of negative outcomes (more discussed in 7 and 8). For example, the “War on Obesity” has been linked to increased disordered eating in pre-pubescent children.  Harm reduction and trauma-informed, client-centered care works better than the shaming, 12-step, crash-diet, “I know more about what’s better for your health than you do” bullshit. 

7. Mental illness kills tens of thousands of people in the United States every year, and shaming someone’s body size under the guise of “health concern” has empirically proven negative outcomes on mental health

8. Fat stigma in the medical establishment and society at large arguably kills more fat people than fat does. Attempts to “correct” fatness such as repeated dieting and “lifestyle changes” have been shown to have negative health outcomes.  

9. Of all the complex health and mortality risk factors that exist, fat seems to be the only one that you care about. Why aren’t you yelling at people you see driving cars or smoking? Probably because your “health concern” for fat people is just thinly veiled fatphobia.

10. THE HEALTH STATUS OF OTHER PEOPLE IS NONE OF YOUR GODDAMN BUSINESS ANYWAY. Right to privacy in personal medical concerns is like, one of those inherent human right things that we have all these laws protecting to the point that it’s a crime to share someone’s private medical information without their consent.  

In conclusion, this fat ass is off to eat some cake, cuddle my cats, kiss my partner, and love my fat body just the way it is. 

tom.hopperhops: 9yrs since Merlin began on your screens. Wow. So, this photo was taken on the day we shot the scene where Arthur knighted us all. It was also one of the first scenes I shot on the show. This was a momentous occasion in my eyes. This was the first time all the knights had come together on set. An instant brotherhood was formed. We bickered from day one. We took the piss out of each other from day one. @eoincmacken napped from day one. @tomiwa.edun imported wisdom from day one. @santiagoc made us all feel less good looking from day one. @rupertfyoung gave me tips on how to drink coffee and chat from day one. @bradleyjames led us from day one. And of course……. I was was sleeveless from day one. Being a part of Merlin was one of the best experiences of my life. And the people in this picture (plus a few others who weren’t there for it) were a huge contributing factor. They remain, and will always remain a part of my offset, real life brotherhood. As this photo was taken, I realised I had just become a member of this bizarre medieval boyband. “Arthur and his Knights”. And it was the first of many to come just like it. Now to you guys, the fans. I was welcomed in to the Merlin fandom with open arms. I owe so much to the fans of this show. You’ve always been incredibly supportive during the show and of all our on going careers since Merlin finished. I personally can’t thank you enough for the love. So here’s me giving you a huge amount of Hopper love back to say thank you for making this such an awesome chapter in my life ❤️ Never change Merlin fans 👊🏼

How do I write?: Dialog

For writers, speaking scenes are either the bane of your existence, or the highlight of your day. On one hand, when characters are talking, it can really help further a scene and help with character development….but on the other hand…writing dialog is such a chore….blugh. So here’s some ways to write better dialog in your stories!

Give Your Characters Voices

Is your character southern? Do they have a lisp? Are they shy? Outspoken? Do they use a lot of big words, or are they an easy talker? Are they more likely to lie with confidence, or do they need to pause a lot to collect their thoughts? These are all factors that help build up a character’s profile, and to add realism to your dialog. Make sure to keep each character consistent – example: if Character A is an angry and resolute character, they wouldn’t stammer or blush when they’re caught off guard – so that your characters keep their individuality.

Embrace the Power of Verbs

Obviously, there’s a huge difference between ‘said’ and ‘yelled’ and ‘screamed’, but there are so many fics where ‘mumbled’ is an overused verb. Unless your character is incredibly shy – or loves to whisper insults under their breath – nobody mumbles every other sentence. ‘Quipped’, ‘snarked,’ ‘said indignantly’, ‘joked’, and ‘laughed’ are some of my favorite verbs.

Moving the Scene Through Dialog 

If you’re ever terrified of having a scene turn into a monotonous he said/she said conversation, then break it up with actions! Have Character A yell at Character B as they angrily slam the car door, or Character C say “huh?” as they try to clear water out of their ears. Here’s a few examples.

  • “You look like crap!” Madison tried to touch the side of her face, but Liz jerked her head back. “Are you like, sick? Your eyes are all red and puffy.”
  • “Yeah, just a second.” Jade watched as the bright orange petals swirled down the drain.
  • Scout visibly recoiled from him. “Uh, no. I’ll pass.”

Talk to Yourself

This is the best trick; it’s what I do when I’m writing dialog. I’ll put on different voices and talk aloud to myself in order to feel what sounds natural and what sounds plastic-y. You may feel ridiculous when you’re up at 2am and repeating the same lines over and over again to yourself, but believe me, it will show in the final drafts when your characters are interacting.

Finally, Have Fun

It’s such a cliche tip that it makes me want to cry from boredom, but having fun with your dialog makes it infinitely easier to write. If your inspiration is just bone dry, have your characters get silly with their dialog – “Sir, that really hella dangerous experiment is going critical” “oh dang, lmao, we should probably leave?” “yes most definitely” – because even then, you’re getting your ideas out and you can come back later. Also, it’s hilarious. In the end, writing is supposed to be a fun hobby, so find what works for you and keep on doing it!

Reasons to ship Camren…

  • They have matching onesies; Lauren’s one is gray whilst Camila’s is pink.
  • They’re both Cuban.
  • They’re both from Miami, Florida.
  • Both are Latinas.
  • Lauren and Camila got the most solos in The X Factor performances.
  • They are both big fans of One Direction.
  • They both auditioned in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • They both have a younger sister.
  • They hung out with each other on December 31st, 2012 to January 1st, 2013. They then tweeted a photo of Camila making a funny face and Lauren looking awkward.
  • Spanish was both their first language.
  • They live 15 minutes away from each other.
  • They often switch places with the other girls so they can sit next to each other.
  • They both love to do accents with each other.
  • They often think the same things at the same time.
  • They both have a weakness: Lauren for beanies and Camila for bows.
  • Lauren is the only one who calls Camila Camz.
  • Camila said if Lauren got arrested for something, she would get arrested for being so sweet.
  • They sat right next to each other at a The 1975 concert.
  • They have the same music taste.
  • Lauren said Camila is her “Pink Princess”.
  • Lauren is the “mom”…and Camila is the “father”.
  • Camila thinks Lauren is a “boss of an intelligent opinion”.
  • Camila thinks Lauren “is real”.
  • Camila would switch her mind with Lauren.
  • Lauren would switch her mind with Camila.
  • Camila wanted Lauren to kiss her under the mistletoe.
  • They wear the same “merch” clothes.
  • The way Lauren looks at Camila after she says “Fall, by Ed Sheeran”.
  • Lauren is Camila’s celebrity crush. (Oh … and Camila wants to marry with her celebrity crush ..even if her family doesn’t support the relationship.)
  • Camila would be "Baby Spice” because she is Lauren’s baby.
  • Lauren is the only person who laughs at Camila’s jokes.
  • Camila loves Lern Jerg.
  • Because Lauren helps her when her banana is dead on the floor.
  • Because Lauren helps her when her microphone breaks.
  • Because Lauren ties her shoes.
  • Camila is the sun and Lauren the moon.
  • Because Lauren doesn’t know what else to say but she thinks Camila is pretty fucking Dope!
  • Because Camila has Lauren “written on her”.
  • Because Camila read Lauren’s favorite book.
  • Because Lauren knows that Camila cried reading “Fault in Our Stars”.
  • Because one day Camila and Lauren went to the bathroom together and … that’s the end of the conversation!
  • Because Camila thinks Lauren can sing and is pretty too.
  • Because they have an audience that calls them crazy! (and they call us delusional!)
  • Because both like “so many hot boys”.
  • Because Camila said: “keep the boat floating”.
  • Because Lauren said “It’s Camren, YOOO!.
  • Because Lauren wants someone to love her insecurities…and Camila do!
  • Because Lauren has “the most beautiful emerald eyes in the world”.
  • Because Camila thinks Lauren is “perfect”.
  • Camila tried salmon because Lauren loves sushi.
  • Because Lauren thinks Camila is goofy, not the bad kind goofy, the cute kind goofy.
  • Because Camila loves people from “planet green eyes”.

Extra:

  • I love you. You’re one of my best friends and I feel like I’ve know you forever. You’re one of the smartest people I know and you’re stuning. I’ve learned a lot from you, just know I’ll always be here for you no matter what!” - Camila on Lauren
  • Happy 16th Birthday little one(: thank you for always being you and being one of the raddest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. You’re an incredible person and I’m extremely lucky to have you in my life. Thanks for being there to vent with and even though we haven’t known each other for even a year yet, I feel like you’re the sister God forgot to give me. I love you Camzi(: have a good one babe! 💙😘🎉🎈🎁💙#camren” - Lauren on Camila


  • Happy 17th Birthday to this little nugget right here. I thought this picture was cute so I decided it would suffice. Just wanted to let you know that you’re an amazing beautiful person and I’m glad that you’ve been alive for 17 years and that 2 of them have been spent with the girls and I because idk you’re pretty rad and an amazing friend and fun to have around. I hope you have an amazing day and feel as special today as you deserve to feel everyday. Thanks for always being there for me when I need you and for being your wonderful self(: I LOVE YOU CAMZ” - Lauren on Camila


  • AWHHHHH YAAAY I LOVE YOU UR CUTE 🐏🐟💗🎷” - Camila on Lauren


  • The word I’d use to describe Camila is hmm I’m gonna say cutesy, like also goofy. It’s like both, like the good kind of goofy not the weird kind. Like the cutesy kinda goofy” - Lauren on Camila


  • LERN JERGI. ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY. YOU ARE 18. THIS IS THE MOMENT YOUVE BEEN WAITING FOR. IF YOU STUCK YOUR TONGUE OUT IN THE AIR RIGHT NOW YOU COULD PROBABLY TASTE THE SWEET AND PUNGENT FREEDOM OF DRAGONFLY TATTOOS, NOSE PIERCINGS, AND VOTING RIGHTS. we’ve been through thick and thin in our friendship, and through those thick and thins I’ve gotten blessed enough to experience you as a person. ive gotten to experience your bomb music taste which I am SO HAPPY YOU INTRODUCED ME TO because we have the best time at concerts bonding over bands and there are so many more to come PRAISE JESUS. i can come to you about anything and expect the pure, honest, rare truth and I’ll always be there tell you it’ll be okay when you cry on my shoulder when you feel lonely or hurt. I’ve gotten to see firsthand your incredible sense of justice, when you see that something unfair or wrong has happened, you’ll raise your voice and fight for that person with a bravery that I, and many other people (although they might not admit it) wish they had. i love how passionately you fight for what you think is right and everyone should remind you today and everyday that it’s a strength and not a weakness. i can’t tell you what a comfort it is to know someone like you will stick up for me and have my back, i hope you know i will too. i love you always” - Camila on Lauren


  • Super cute candids taken by a random stranger always make good birthday post pics. HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY CAMILA CABELLO. YOU’RE LEGAL NOW YAYYY!!!!!! You are such a beautiful person inside and out and I’m so thankful that I get to call you my friend. Thanks for all the laughs, for being my shoulder to cry on whenever I’ve needed a friend, for giving amazing sound advice (even though you’re just now considered an adult by the government you’ve been there mentally for a while which I greatly appreciate) I wish you many more years of amazingness and I hope you had the best day with your family. You deserve all the love and happiness the world has to offer and I wish it all upon you for many many years to come. I LOVE YOU CAMZZZZ❤️❤️❤️” - Lauren on Camila


  • HAPPY 19TH LAUREN!! i remember the day you auditioned for X factor seeing a beautiful green eyed girl belt out an Alicia keys song so perfectly i feared for my life. i remember telling my mom "that girl can sing!! and she’s gorgeous too!!” and then you walked out and i told you i loved your shirt remember? HAHAHA. it’s funny how before we even knew how important we were going to be to each other, something in us knew and something in us will always know. i love how fiercely you defend your opinion, i love your strength, your bold independence, and your desire to live life fully. i love that we crack up at each other’s jokes even when nobody else gets them- and i love those moments where we get caught up in talking about a band or a book and we get lost in the conversation like two normal girls in high school that aren’t about to go do something ridiculous like go to an awards show. i will always be there for you when you need someone to vent to, when you want to talk about the overwhelming underwhelmingness of boys that break our hearts or the overwhelming overwhelmingness of when a kiss leaves your head reeling, when i back you up and you need someone to stick up for you, or when you just need someone to understand- we’ve done that for each other in the last 3 years and we will do that for each other forevermore. i love you so much !!!! happy 19th lern jergi!!!!! camila“ - Camila on Lauren
Simon Cowell and Louis

I just listened to Louis’ interview with Matt Edmonson (x) after reading about Louis’ story about Simon apparently flying him out to Los Angeles to give him a telling off for having a couple of beers before a show. 

Aside from the fact that a story about a grown man flying an eighteen year-old boy across the world to have a one on one meeting is so incomprehensibly disturbing, there are a couple things that lead me to believe that while I don’t doubt that Simon called Louis into a private meeting in this manner, that there were many things about this story that weren’t true. This is purely my speculation based on having worked for a psychopath like Simon Cowell as well as having dated someone who was on the X-Factor with One Direction in 2010 and who told me a very similar story, so I’ll start with that. 

During Bootcamp, immediately prior to One Direction being formed, Louis and another guy from the boys category at Bootcamp bought a bunch of alcohol and threw a party. Because the boys category had multiple boys under 18, when they got caught both Louis and this other guy were in a lot of trouble and the other guy was told that they were both being kicked off of the show. This guy was not only kicked off the show and sent home immediately, but none of the footage of his auditions was included in the final cuts and you can only see him vaguely in the background. Louis, on the other hand, was probably given a very stern talking to, but they kept him for the taping of the end of bootcamp which he was apparently being cut from anyways until Simon Cowell “made a quick decision” and put One Direction together. This is one of the reasons I will never believe that the forming of this band was impromptu. So you’re telling me that Simon Cowell decided to put a boyband together that consisted of four 16-17 year-olds and then thought, “Oh I’ll add that 18 year old kid who gave all of them booze last night as well.” I don’t think so. 

If I were to guess, and this is purely a guess, I would say that Simon Cowell himself probably gave Louis an off-screen and completely unfriendly version of what he did to Zayn on-camera when he refused to dance at the auditions. Simon Cowell is not a nice man. He isn’t empathetic, and he doesn’t give a shit about anyone. So WHY would he put a kid who got busted for getting everyone drunk and another kid with aggressive stage fright into a band if he hadn’t already formed this band prior to bootcamp even starting? 

That being said, this story that Louis told is prefaced with him saying, “I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about it before…just thinking if I can…” which to me sounds like, “Give me a second to figure out a way to tell this horrible story about Simon Cowell in a way that doesn’t break my contract that says I can never in my life say a bad word about him anywhere in this universe.” 

Louis has mentioned that as the oldest member of One Direction he was the one who stood up to the label the most when they were just starting. As previously mentioned, I worked for someone like Simon Cowell and he refused to talk to groups of people about serious issues or problems. If he knew that a few of us were upset he’d corner us individually or take one of us out to dinner so that he could gaslight you into thinking that he wasn’t the problem, that the others were just influencing you because they were jealous or he’d give you a raise or a promotion. Simon Cowell is exactly the type of man to divide and conquer groups of people who are mad at him. Look at his circulating panel of judges. He has a few loyal minions like Cheryl Cole, but it’s not surprising that Nick Grimshaw who takes a couple jabs at Simon here and there didn’t last longer than a season. Simon is not the kind of person who likes strong-minded people and Louis “can’t bite me tongue” Tomlinson was probably as big of a thorn in his side as Dan Wootton made him out to be. I think the only hint of truth that Dan has ever written was that Louis was difficult for Sony to deal with. However, I don’t think this band would have had the success they had if it weren’t for them completely breaking the mould of a typical boyband and eventually demanding that they write their own music. 

What is so unsettling about this story is that it sounds like a classic story from a victim of emotional abuse. Like, “Oh I did something wrong and then I was punished in this kind of weird, but totally okay way.” The man I worked with who was the president of the company and used similar tactics made me believe that I was the problem in every situation to the point that when he eventually got violent the first thing I thought when he hit me in the face was, “Oh my god, I’ve made him so mad. How am I going to apologise?” I was 25. Louis was 18 when this story apparently happened. 18 when Simon Cowell began these little one-on-one meetings that lead to the visible transformation of a loud and flamboyant boy to (relatively) quiet skater boy Louis circa 2014. 

Simon was not One Direction’s manager. There was absolutely no reason for him to be talking to Louis alone like that. Not to mention that, legally speaking, I’m quite sure that a minor would have to have a guardian present for any such kind of meeting (pretty sure, but not positive), but Louis being the only adult would be the only one Simon could manipulate this particular way during the early days of One Direction. 

There is just something inherently sketchy and unsettling about this entire dynamic, and this story seems like a very sugar-coated version of something much darker. 

And that’s what I think about that.

Do you believe you’ll fall in love?” Was something that just echoed in the distance. She couldn’t help but think that a place that was once a site for running, screaming, and brused knees would turn into a home for thinking late at night. “No.” Wasn’t the final answer.
“But… I believe in feelings, and that it is too soon for me to speak for my own feelings when love was never my main function. Love is learned and grown not on the spot like in the movies. You need trust, warmth, understanding, and so many other factors for the heart to feel safe. Love isn’t a kiss in the rain, or a letter sent too late, nor is it the cute guy next to you in geometry; love is a whole nother meaning in its self, if it was so easy to be told then there would be no such thing as a kiss in the rain or that letter that was send too late. I dont believe I’ll ever fall in love, but I do believe I’ll grow in love someday.
—  Excerpt from a book I’ll never write // 4
This one goes out to

This one goes out to all the Asian girls

The darker skinned girls who feel like they don’t conform to beauty standards (you are so much more than a standard)
The light skinned girls who
The girls who may not have the best grades (you don’t deserve this pressure I am sorry)
The girls who do get good grades and enjoy learning
The girls who work hard to revolutionize their respective fields
The girls who choose to stay at home and raise children

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the black girls

The girls with wild hair that won’t be tamed
The girls with skin so dark it reminds you of a night sky (deep and amazing and you can never fully wrap your head around how vastly profound it is)
The albino girls who feel like outsiders in their own community
The girls who have risen from poverty and made a name for themselves
The girls who are still throng to make a name for themselves
The girls who enjoy acting in “ratchet” or “ghetto” ways and aren’t ashamed to be who they are (you shouldn’t be)

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the Indian girls

The girls who wear a bindi and sari and love it
The girls who wear henna like a second skin
The girls who might have a thick accent
The girls who like Bollywood (don’t let anyone tell you it’s silly)
The girls who are told they cannot do what they wish because “how will you get a husband like that?”
The girls who are told it is their fault that a man raped them (it is not and it will never be)

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the Native American girls

The girls who were born and raised on the Reserve
The girls who were ripped from their homes and are trying to learn their culture again
The girls who dress up in traditional costumes and dance
The girls who know the legends by heart and
Could tell you
Every single one of them in the second between the flames dancing
The girls who are from here but still get told to “go back to your own country” as if it was not stolen from them by the ancestors of the person speaking to them

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the Pacific Islander girls

The girls that grew up swimming and know the tides like they know themselves
The big, strong girls who could move a mountain with one look
The women who had their culture erased
The girls that are working hard to fight the stereotypes of poverty by educating themselves and getting excellent jobs
The girls with voyaging in their blood, and ancestors who travelled thousands of miles so that they could be here today

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the mixed race girls

The girls who feel disconnected from their ancestry
The girls who aren’t considered “truly x”
The girls who are tired of being “aren’t” and being overlooked for everything they are
The girls who are a collision of culture, a majestic mixture of their own interests and so much more than you could ever guess
The girls with the ins and outs of two different worlds memorized like the backs of their hands
The girls that know the struggles her people (because they’re her people too) have gone through
And are all the better for it

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the Jewish girls

The girls who get made fun of for their noses
The girls who are told they should “stop being greedy”
The girls that might not eat kosher
The girls that happily observe the Sabbath
The girls who can fluently read and speak Hebrew

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the Muslim girls

The girls who wear hijabs (you can still be a feminist, it’s your body and your choice)
The girls that don’t wear it but still go to prayers
The queer girls who’re worried that Allah doesn’t approve of them
The girls who feel afraid to be themselves because of the environment they’re in (your own safety comes above all else, god knows enough people are being hurt already we don’t want to risk you too)
The girls with bright minds who can see that every religion has some negative aspects, but that normally doesn’t define it

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the disabled girls

The girls with wheelchairs who can’t exactly get everywhere
The girls that need someone to help care for them
The girls who have therapy animals to help them out
The girls with learning difficulties who need tutors (but don’t necessarily have one)
The girls who work hard to have people realize that just because they’re disabled doesn’t mean that they can’t have a good life

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the lesbians

The girls who love girls
(Bottleglass eyes and hopes that reach beyond the stars and smiles and long legs that stride confidently forwards at the parades and good hands that you will never ever want to let go of all of them)
They are a rainbow and
We need more people like them
People who will walk alongside us in the daylight or cuddle with us in the closet
Because before everyone else, we girls should love each other and stick together
Because queer is just another word for weird and aren’t we all a little weird on the inside?

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the bi girls

The ones who are monogamous and love their partner with all their heart but still get dragged into negative stereotypes
The ones who enjoy sex with multiple people (you aren’t a slut)
The ones who aren’t out yet (and aren’t even sure themselves sometimes because “what if I’m just pretending?” even if it isn’t true)
The ones who HAVE a preference (and it isn’t you thank you for the drink but please go away)
The ones who get erased out of events or talked over (because that hasn’t happened often enough ALREADY)

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the pan girls

The girls who love everyone regardless of
Those girls are a ray of sunshine, lighting up anyone’s personality should they be so lucky as to see them
They are wonderful open arms
And you would be so lucky as to receive their affection

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the asexual girls

Not wanting to have sex doesn’t mean you’re any less loveable
The girls who still do aren’t any less valid
But please don’t feel
Pressure to be something you’re not
Because your body doesn’t need to be a sexual object for you to still be confident and pretty and all of those wonderful things I know you are

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the aro girls

You don’t need to have someone
There are many kinds of love
Explore all the facets you want
And don’t
Ever
Apologize for something that isn’t your choice
Because not wanting “baby I love yous” doesn’t make you any less of a woman

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the polyamourous girls

The girls with partners that support them and their decisions
The girls whose wonderful hearts are open to loving
The girls who work hard to find dependable people
The girls that are full of intimate trust for their partners

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are all beautiful, important women and the world needs you to continue being yourselves

This one goes out to all the genderfluid/demigirls/etc.

You may not entirely feel like one,
But we are very happy to have you with us
At the times when you feel like a woman
Gender is complicated so please,
Take your time
We’ll be here if you need us

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman (if you want to be)

This one goes out to all the trans girls

It doesn’t matter what you look like
What your voice sounds like
If you’re on estrogen
If you experience dysphoria
You are still a woman
You are passing simply by being yourself

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the GNC girls

The tall girls who tower over their guy friends
The strong girls who can bench 350 pounds
The tomboys who love sports
The girls with short hair or who don’t like wearing “feminine” clothes (they don’t have a gender but whatever)
You can definitely pull off that suit! You look great!

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all the neurodivergent girls

All the girls with depression who are so tired
The autistic girls with strange stims or who have trouble in social situations
The bipolar girls who can’t help their emotions
The schizophrenic girls who hear things that aren’t there
The girls who are afraid to take medication and get addicted
The girls whose therapists are their best friends (I have listened to so many stories but I will help you if it kills me)
The girls who are trying to care for themselves but finding it so hard

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are still a beautiful woman

This one goes out to all girls

It doesn’t matter what you do with your appearance
Or how you live your daily live
Or if you have a partner
Or if you want to
Or if you have children
Or any other arbitrary factors

No matter your age, economic status or physical appearance
You are all beautiful, important women and the world needs you to continue being yourselves

Some Haircut tips for trans men and/or transmasculine people!

Hello everyone, it’s mod Jay! I thought I’d share some helpful tips I’ve collected for those looking to get a more masculine-styled haircut! I’ve done plenty of trial and error myself, so these are based both on my own experiences and from anecdotes of other trans men and transmasculine people. These apply mostly for short hair. If anyone would like help finding tips for other hairstyles, don’t be afraid to reach out, I’d be glad to help!

  1. Buzzed or very very short (Furiosa-esque) hair can often have the opposite effect that people are looking for—While the cut itself is seen as masculine, it can make a more rounded, feminine face seem even more rounded and feminine. It brings more attention to the shape of your head. Of course the results will vary from person to person (I was gendered correctly (he/him) several times with this cut), but I advise to be prepared for whatever the results may be. Don’t fret, though—It will always grow back!
  2. The most common haircuts tend to be undercuts (short/buzzed on the sides and longer on the top). I find this cut to be very good for framing and squaring out the face. To really discern this style as masculine, here are some things to ask your stylist for:
    • The bottom hairline at the nape of your neck should be squared or faded, not rounded. Rounded hair tends to be more feminine, while a squared or faded hairline tends to be masculine.
    • If you wish to part your hair, ask for a permanent part. This means the stylist will edge in a line with a razor where the part in your hair should be. This part will usually separate the longer top section of your hair from the shorter side section. After I got this myself, I noticed it immediately seemed more masculine than any other hairstyle I had before.
    • Ask to have your sideburns squared off. Tapered sideburns tend to lean more feminine, where as a squared off sideburn gives more of an illusion of the separation between your hair and a beard line like many men have.
  3. As frustrating as it is, unnaturally colored hair (blue, green, purple, etc) tends to be a divisive factor between passing and not passing. Of course, go for colored hair if you so wish, I’ve personally had my fair share of the rainbow, but if passing as a guy is a major priority for you it may not be within your best interest.
These are the few tips I’ve managed to amass! I’ll certainly be looking around for more, and if anyone else has more suggestions don’t hesitate to send them in! I as well as many others would love to hear! ~Mod Jay ✌🏽

anonymous asked:

what placements tend to make one social or popular ?? what can afflict that??

🌙💦✨-
I mainly wrote what came to mind and briefly summarized why I included the placement but enjoy lol.


✨💗✨Social/Popular/Known for:

I’m going to add what I believe often contributes to popularity and social status. So I won’t include every planet just because I put down post of them for a house.

✨This will mainly be planets in the Tenth and Eleventh houses as well as planets in masculine signs.

✨Sun in 10th: Great reputation and respected by many unless other factors interfere. Well known for achievements.

✨Moon in 10th: Much of your life is on display for those to see. Well known because you’re very public with things and often become involved in things that make you notorious. Everyone knows of you one way or another tbh.

✨Venus in 10th: Usually loved by many. Many people see you as attractive or popular or maybe see you for some other Venusian quality. Pretty admirable and often maintain a clean reputation. Socially ambitious, can seek popularity.

✨Mars in 10th: Not the best placement for social popularity. Known for ambition or Martian qualities. May not be the most admirable person. However you’ll make yourself known or acquire a reputation somehow. Maybe noticed for hard work.

✨Jupiter in 10th: Greatly admired and often have great luck with their reputations. Expansive and happy and everyone knows it. You’re likely to be favored by many people for who you are or what you’ve done (doesn’t exactly mean fame but some degree of admiration and recognition) .

✨Saturn in 10th: Start from the bottom and aim for the top. Known for their achievements and hard work.

✨Neptune in 10th: Admired or idealized by people. In love with the idea of you rather than real you.

✨Pluto in 10th: Feared,admired, maybe both. Powerful position for admiration and for your reputation.

✨Sun in 11th: Naturally social and popular folk. Attracts friends with ease and often belongs to more than 1 friend group. You are known to shine and are very well known by the people. Diverse groups of friends including some friends of high status.

✨Moon in 11th: Attracts many friends that come and go. A natural socialite who knows how to bring people together. Friends are an extension to the family. Many friendships with women.

✨Mercury in 11th: Very intellectual and chatty. This brings you many friends as you love to communicate and share your ideas. Many friends are very smart and intellectual.

✨Venus in 11th: Popular and known to attract many friends especially of the opposite sex. You gain pleasure from your social connections and often feel much love from your friend groups. Some friends become lovers and vice verse. Women love you.

✨Mars in 11th: Puts much energy into pursuit of friendships and group activities. May get into trouble with/through friends and can have conflicts with friends however. Always has a move though. Aggressive,masculine friends. Many friendships with men.

✨Jupiter in 11th: An abundance of friends which bring much encouragement and promise you an active social life. Social life can become somewhat overwhelming. Many friends of high social standing.

✨Uranus in 11th: Many friends will be unusual. Could be inconsistent with friends or friend groups jumping from one group to the next maybe. Either way, very social and can make friends fast and easy.

✨Neptune in 11th: Very indiscriminate with who they associate with. This promises many friendships. May have issues knowing who real friends are, your associations with people can confuse others (you may look like you’re friends with this one person or group to everyone else while you could in reality dislike them or they dislike you)

✨Pluto in 11th: Likes to keep their circle tight. However attracts powerful and influential friends either way.

✨Moon in 1st: Emotional involvement with immediate environment. Like to be noticed and recognized by people.

✨Sun/Venus/Jupiter in 1st/3rd/5th/7th house:
Each placement is known to fit well and get along with their surroundings in their own ways. Peaceful interactions with others. Venus and Jupiter in the 7th are often popular and well liked by a lot of people usually.

✨Ascendant/Personal planets/Midheaven and 11th house cusp in masculine signs: Energy is projected outward. This inclines them to be more interactive with others and their environment.

✨🖤✨Socially withdrawn:

✨Ascendant/Midheaven/Planets in Feminine signs: More inclined to be more self-involved. Energy used on self.

✨Ruler of the 12th house in the 1st house and vice versa

✨Saturn in 1st house: Independent and naturally withdrawn. Stiff or somewhat cautious disposition. Can come off as cold and maybe even rude.

✨Uranus in the 1st house: Very independent and while they are social, they still like to do things alone.

✨Pluto in the 1st house: While these people are socially magnetic, there are many parts of themselves that the tend to keep to themselves. They’re loners and tend to isolate themselves.

✨Planets in the 4th house: Much attention is put into private life and home matters. Emphasis on home life.

✨Planets in the 12th house: Need much alone time recharge the planet. Expression of planet is drowned and pulled inwards. Certain qualities related to the planets are kept secret.

No Longer You

Summary: Now a shell of her former self, the reader runs into an old flame. 

Pairing: Dean x Reader

Word Count: 1,761

Warning: implying an abusive relationship

Nichelle’s 4K Angst Challenge - “I hope you find the happiness you’ve been pretending to have.” @nichelle-my-belle


Green cancels out red.

Yellow cancels out purple and brown…no purple and blue.

And lavender cancels out…yellow?

Jesus Christ. This shouldn’t be that difficult, hiding the evidence of your home life is a normal occurrence. The three concussions you’ve acquired over the years must be catching up to you.

You’re squinting harshly at the Revlon concealers on the top shelf before you. Trying and failing to remember which ones work the best, basically whatever hides the fucking truth.

Your exhausted brain is practically mush at this point in time, you used to know this shit. You used to know a lot of shit. You used to be a strong, independent take no bullshit kind of a woman that took care of herself. But things clearly change. People fucking change.

Keep reading

I could not stand the condescending, paternalistic attitudes of some of the white people in [some socialist] groups. Some of the older members thought that because they had been in the struggle for socialism for a long time, they knew all the answers to the problems of Black people and all the aspects of the Black Liberation struggle. I couldn’t relate to the idea of the great white father on earth any more than i could relate to the great white father up in the sky. I was willing and ready to learn everything i could from them, but i damn sure was not ready to accept them as leaders of the Black Liberation struggle. A few thought that they had a monopoly on Marx and acted like the only experts in the world on socialism came from Europe. In many instances they downgraded the theoretical and practical contributions of Third World revolutionaries like Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Augustino Neto, and other leaders of liberation movements in the Third World.

Another thing that went against my grain was the arrogance and dogmatism i encountered in some of these groups. A member of one group told me that if i was really concerned about the liberation of Black people i should quit school and get a job in a factory, that if i wanted to get rid of the system i would have to work at a factory and organize the workers. When i asked him why he wasn’t working in a factory and organizing the workers, he told me that he was staying in school in order to organize the students. I told him i was working to organize the students too and that i felt perfectly certain that the workers could organize them selves without any college students doing it for them. Some of these groups would come up with abstract intellectual theories, totally devoid of practical application, and swear they had the answers to the problems of the world. They attacked the Vietnamese for participating in the Paris peace talks, claiming that by negotiating the Viet Cong were selling out to the u.s. I think they got insulted when i asked them how a group of flabby white boys who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag had the nerve to think they could tell the Vietnamese people how to run their show.

Arrogance was one of the key factors that kept the white left so factionalized. I felt that instead of fighting together against a com mon enemy, they wasted time quarreling with each other about who had the right line. Although i respected the work and political positions of many groups on the left, i felt it was necessary for Black people to come together to organize our own structures and our own revolutionary political party. Friendship is based on respect. As long as much of the white left saw their role as organizing, educating, recruiting, and directing Black revolutionaries, i could not see how any real friendship could occur. I felt, and still feel, that it is necessary for Black revolutionaries to come together, analyze our history, our present condition, and to define ourselves and our struggle. Black self-determination is a basic right, and if we do not have the right to determine our destinies, then who does? I believe that to gain our liberation, we must come from the position of power and unity and that a Black revolutionary party, led by Black revolutionary leaders, is essential. I believe in uniting with white revolutionaries to fight against a common enemy, but i was convinced that it had to be on the basis of power and unity rather than from weakness and unity at any cost.

—  Assata Shakur (who turns 70 today)
Character Analysis: Blue Diamond

I kept trying to make the juxtaposition post between Blue and Yellow Diamond work, but I really needed a foundation before I started comparing their characters. It was turning into a huge section for each character and less like certain aspects of them were being analysed. It never turned out acceptable enough to me, and I was taking longer and longer to write just one post. So I decided to break it down (again) into a character analysis post for each character, and I’ll be following up with their juxtaposition before talking about PD’s shattering.

I want to start with Blue Diamond first, if only because I’ve touched a little on Yellow Diamond before . Blue Diamond is a relatively new character in the show, in that her presence hadn’t been confirmed until Steven’s Dream. Before that, all we had to go on were the Ziggurat and Moon Base murals and Garnet’s story in The Answer.

BD is a very complex character. On the surface, she appears as a victim, a foil to the “harshness” of Yellow Diamond (more on her in the next post). She is a very visible and obvious embodiment of Homeworld’s humanity, that they too have been hurt by the war and the conflict that underlay it. At the same time, though, there is a feeling of guilt about her that reveals she wasn’t totally ignorant of the said conflict going on. Moreover, by her own words, she has not only been dwelling in grief, but also has been searching for answers.

Blue Diamond then, is not a helpless mourner in distress and under duress. She is a capable and intelligent ruler, trying—and failing—to put aside personal pain in order to continue ruling. And that makes her similar to Yellow Diamond in more ways than one. Like their civilisation, she is trying to heal but a focal point of her healing is finding out what really happened the day PD was shattered. The way she deals with her stress and sadness, as well as the way she interacts with the gems around her, reveals a lot about her character. Let’s get to that.

1. BD dances the line between power and helplessness

What is striking about BD is how she looks like the quintessential ruler, a cross between the archetypes of mother goddess and queen. She is altogether very regal and dignified. She speaks deliberately, slowly compared to some of the other dialogue on the show. Combined with her crisp diction, her words always feel weighty. One of my favourite instances is her reply to Yellow Diamond in the Trial. YD almost annoyed asks whether examining Blue’s palanquin is necessary and Blue quietly but firmly says, “Isn’t it?” In that line, it was as if the room collectively held its breath, and even YD paused for a moment.

Blue Diamond possesses all of the attributes that we would normally associate with a leader. Her presence, from her first appearance in The Answer, spoke of someone who literally stood above others. Even while crying or angry she manages to look elegant and composed. Like the classical leader, she is introduced not with her generals but her Sapphire, analogous to leading with wisdom rather than brute force.

This picture of BD reaffirms the concept of a Diamond. In What’s The Use of Feeling (Blue), Yellow Diamond reminds Blue how each gem has a role, and when she gets to BD, she says the needs to be a leader. This is a very telling line, because we begin to understand how the socio-political hierarchy is understood on Homeworld. It isn’t a lie told by the Diamonds to placate lower-ranking gems in society. They themselves fully believe in their role as rulers. They honestly feel that “every gem in her place” is the only way for their civilisation to function properly.

That “truth” becomes a huge limiter of the supposed power that comes from being the unquestioned ruler of an empire. The Diamonds can technically do anything, but they are situated in a particular context, embedded in particular social roles, like any other character in the story. In the rigid social structure of Homeworld, they are expected to lead. So they can do anything, in so much as they do as leaders do. This explains why YD had to drop everything and run after Blue in The Zoo and That Will Be All. Ideally, they can’t just do anything they want because they are fully aware of the huge waves the ripples of their actions will cause around them.

The operative word here “ideal.” One thing to note is that all these rules are enforced by a social structure. That means social roles and expectations do blur and how to act within this structure is largely informal. There probably aren’t written rules that say how far behind a Diamond one should walk, when exactly a Pearl should speak, or how much shoulder-punching is too much shoulder-punching among soldiers.

Much like ours, their society is governed by these informal rules as much as the formal written laws. The Diamonds may have a formal set of responsibilities, but so many other social factors intervene in the way they are perceived. Things like power, class, and even height difference factor into how they are perceived by other gems. This means that a structure in which everyone is supposed to have a place, may not be as easily enforced, especially as gems go higher up the social ladder. Discipline, particularly at the Diamond-level is largely self-enforced.

So it doesn’t mean they don’t break these unspoken rules—we’ve seen them arbitrarily use their power when they’re upset or stressed. It so happens though, that in the show so far, all we’ve seen them feeling is indeed upset and stressed.

The idea that Blue is a powerful, at times unquestioned leader, is countered by how crippled and paralysed she feels in the face of Pink Diamond’s shattering. Blue has so much to offer gem-kind, not only as their leader, but also, as Peridot pointed out in Message Received, someone with abilities that surpass those of any other gem.

Yet she is unable to fulfil her role. In her most vulnerable, while she’s on Earth, she entrusted her safety to only her Pearl. For emphasis, Blue touched down on a Homeworld-hostile planet with no guards, and no Sapphires. The only gem with her was her Pearl. Given my old theory on PD’s shattering, and even the theories floating around now, that whoever shattered PD would’ve had to be close to her, it shows how exposed she is right now.

Blue is a force, but she’s also presented as a character who is flowy, flexible, rounded, and very sad. Were she the same size as the average gem, she would appear weak, not a fighter, and unable to defend herself.

BD seems very much like the archetypal leader, the only Diamond we’ve seen hold court and carry with her the formalities traditionally associated with leaders. But she’s also immobilised by grief. There is a paradox in her looking so willowy and bendable but deeply emphatic and firm about her beliefs, in this case, her search for answers.

In Blue we have a character seemingly transparent, showing everyone her tears and her breakdowns, but at the same time so opaque, as she makes decisions behind closed doors (or closed palanquin, as in The Answer) and has been searching for answers with a resolve YD didn’t even know about.

2. Leadership style

Keep reading

A White Actor Grows Some Bollocks - Quill’s Scribbles

You may recall that movie studio Lionsgate got themselves into a bit of hot water last week when they announced the casting of Ed Skrein as Major Ben Daimio in their upcoming Hellboy reboot. The problem was Major Ben Daimio is a Japanese character in the source material, making Hellboy the latest of numerous sci-fi and/or comic book adaptations to whitewash a prominent Asian character. I and many others made our views heard, voicing our strongest and angriest objections to this blatant bit of racist erasure (for whitewashing is objectively racist and totally inexcusable) just as we did with the likes of Doctor Strange, Death Note and Ghost In The Shell. But unlike those projects I just listed, the most extraordinary thing happened. Somebody listened.

Oh not the studio obviously. No, it was Ed Skrein himself. Realising the hornet’s nest he had kicked, Skrein actually announced via his social media accounts that he was dropping out of the role.

This open letter has received a positive response from fans and readers. Hellboy producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin made a joint statement in support saying:

“Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision. It was not our intent to be insensitive to issues of authenticity and ethnicity, and we will look to recast the part with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material.”

Even Hellboy creator Mike Mignola chipped in to offer his praise for Skrein’s decision to step down.

Now it would be easy to take a very cynical approach to all of this. Perhaps claim that Skrein only stepped down because he realised the damage all of this backlash could do to his career, but for once I’m willing to put aside my cynicism. I do actually believe Ed Skrein’s sincerity here. He seems to be genuinely apologetic, initially not realising the implications of what he was doing and now seems determined to make amends.

However I’m not exactly willing to praise him for his decision. At least not to the same extent others are. I can understand why people are praising him so heavily. This is an almost unprecedented move. Having put up with loads of A list white actors giving the weakest and most pathetic excuses to justify their own racist bullshit, the idea of a white actor growing some bollocks and actually stepping down from a whitewashed role purely on moral grounds is a novelty. He quit a tentpole movie purely because it was the right thing to do, and I am grateful for that. But can we try and keep this in perspective? This decision wasn’t courageous or brave. It’s just an actor turning down a role. A role that should never have been offered to him in the first place. While I’m pleased that Ed Skrein did the decent thing in the end, the fact is this entire situation should never have happened in the first place. Asian characters should be played by Asian actors. That should not be a difficult concept for filmmakers to wrap their heads around, and I feel I should point out I still don’t trust Lionsgate in the fucking slightest. Oh they’re going to cast a Japanese actor as Ben Daimio now if they know what’s good for them, but if Ed Skrein didn’t take the moral high ground, they wouldn’t have learnt a damn thing. Let’s not forget the studio’s initial response to the controversy came from this now deleted tweet from Hellboy executive producer Christa Campbell:

We don’t see colours or race. The slogan for closet racists the world over. 

See this is what so many white people in positions of power and authority within the industry need to understand when it comes to POC presentation. Being colourblind sounds good in theory, but in practice it can be very dangerous. When you make an actor’s performance or marketability the only criteria, you end up making stupid mistakes like this. When you racebend a white character, it’s fine. We already have plenty of representation, plus 9 times out of 10 being white isn’t actually integral to the character. For characters of colour on the other hand, you’ve got to take these other factors into consideration. Usually the culture of said character is integral plus it’s important for non white characters to be portrayed on screen not just for equality, but also for variety.

Recently I finally got to watch the Disney movie Moana, and I’m currently slightly obsessed with it. Not just because it’s a fun, smartly written musical with a great female protagonist, lovable characters, funny jokes and a heartwarming message behind it. It’s also because it explores myths and cultures I’ve never got to experience before.

Moana takes a lot of influence and inspiration from Polynesian culture and mythology, most notably adapting the stories of the demigod Maui (played by Dwayne Johnson). I have no idea how accurate this is, but I still loved it because it was something different. After seeing so many fantasy stuff like Lord Of The Rings and Game Of Thrones, which are essentially variations on Norse mythology, as well as the trillions of Christian inspired fantasy stories, Moana feels incredibly fresh and unique. I found all the stuff about Maui and Te Fiti fascinating, and I would love to see more movies exploring these Polynesian myths and legends. There’s such an incredibly rich vein of creativity you could tap into here.

Something else I loved about Moana was they actually cast Polynesian actors as the characters. I’ve already mentioned Dwayne Johnson as Maui. There’s also Jemaine Clement as Tamatoa the crab, Nicole Scherzinger as Moana’s mum, Jango Fett himself Temuera Morrison as Moana’s dad, Rachel House as Moana’s granny, and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as Moana herself. This is why diversity is so important in films. Not only does it give actors of colour more exposure and allow new talents like Cravalho to emerge and flourish, but it also exposes general movie going audiences to stories and cultures we wouldn’t normally get to see. And that’s why whitewashing is so offensive. It takes job opportunities away from actors of colour and also causes creativity to stagnate. When it’s an Asian character in an Asian inspired story, there’s lots of different directions you can go. When it’s a white character in an Asian inspired story, there’s only one story you can tell. The outsider. The stranger. The foreigner to their ways. That’s not interesting. We’ve seen that done loads of times. Plus if you truly want to immerse the audience in another culture, isn’t it better to have a character that actually represents that culture rather than some white dweeb who knows jackshit about it?

Basically what I’m saying is we need more movies like Moana and less movies like…

No I’m never dropping this. Fuck this movie and all who support it.

So while I’m pleased that Ed Skrein decided to do the right thing in the end, I’m still going to judge this Hellboy reboot with the suspicion and scorn it deserves. Sure they’re probably going to cast a Japanese actor as Ben Daimio, but only because they have to now to save themselves from further embarrassment. It’s not because they want to. If it was someone like Scarlett Johansson or Tilda Swinton, the studio would still be sticking to their guns and trying to justify their racist bullshit. 

I’m glad Skrein managed to fix things and reveal A list white actors like Swinton and Johansson for the selfish, racist, privileged pricks that they are through his own selfless actions, but until the industry properly recognises that whitewashing is NEVER a good idea, nothing has actually changed as far as I’m concerned.

Legit Mini Lesson #1

What is a Chapter? - Understanding the Structure and Use of Chapters in Novels

A chapter is more than a more than a random chunk of story. The best way to think of a chapter is as a mini-story within the overall story that you are telling. A chapter is self-contained and events within a chapter tend to be linked in some way. Even if two completely separate events are shown in different scenes, there will always be an implications of those events being connected, either through time or circumstance. 

It is important to remember this as a writer because your audience certainly will not forget this fact, and may not appreciate scenes being randomly linked together within a chapter if they are not connected.

So to reiterate - a chapter has it’s own beginning, middle and end, complete with a climax. Your protagonist(s) will have a goal within that chapter, conflicts that they will have to deal with, and some sort of resolution that progresses your reader into the next chapter of your novel. 

But of course, it’s not that easy, is it? Not by a long shot. There are a lot of other things to consider, but this is a good starting point for understanding chapters and how to use them in storytelling. 

Now that we’re talking about chapters, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of discussing the structure of chapters. 

Chapter Structure

As we already said, chapters are more than just a chunk of story. Chapters are typically made up of several smaller components - otherwise known as “scenes.” How many scenes does a chapter typically need? That’s up to you,  the story you’re trying to tell, and a number of other factors. 

If you really want a good starting point for chapter structure then 3-5 scenes works well for most writers. 

So let’s craft a chapter based on this sort of “structure.” In this chapter, my protagonist has the goal of hunting down a demon that has been terrorizing the city she protects. The plan is for her to meet the demon and to discover that he is actually a fellow vigilante. 

Okay, so that’s pretty basic. I need to come up with a lot more for that to function as a full chapter. But you can see that it works as a full chapter, as it does tell a full story. So let’s get into the scenes.

Scene 1 - Protagonist meets with her mentor to discuss the problem of the demon. She notices some odd things about the demon’s behaviors when the mentor discusses him that give her doubt.

Scene 2 - Protagonist is out on patrol and manages to catch sight of the demon. She follows him but quickly loses him.

Scene 3 - Protagonist in her daily life. She is thinking about the demon so much that he is becoming almost an obsession. She ends up discussing him with a friend of hers.

Scene 4 - Protagonist is out on patrol again. While trying to find the demon she ends up in a nasty fight with even worse monsters. The demon ends up saving her life and she realizes that he is a vigilante like herself.

In this structure we have a goal - a conflict/complication - a climax - and a story shift at the end of the chapter. This shift is important as it makes for a chapter that will keep your reader wanting to move on to the next part of the story to see what happens next. 

(Any shift in story, whether it’s a change in time, POV, or a dramatic turn of events is a good time to break for a new chapter, FYI.)

Anyway, I have a lot more to say regarding scenes, so I’ll leave this mini lesson off for now. 

College Comparison and Application Checklists

Hi guys! As an obsessive spreadsheet maker, I am constantly using Excel for EVERYTHING, including when preparing to apply for college. I’ve just been told that, for once, the spreadsheets I made for comparing college options and organizing my application checklist are actually helpful, so I’m here to share them!

The first can be used for initially comparing and deciding which colleges you are interested in and the second can be used more as a checklist to see if everything has been submitted or completed.

To make things convenient, I’ve made them available in Google Sheets, from which you can copy to your own Google Drive or download as a Microsoft Excel file! They are also both editable so that you can add or remove categories and compare what’s important to you. Colleges are not one-size-fits-all, so feel free to edit the spreadsheets to cater to you. As a quick example, I’ve used Harvard to demonstrate what each category is for, but you can use it however you see fit. Since I personally have not looked into Harvard, the examples used are not the most thorough, but they should still provide a general idea.

**DISCLAIMER: I am still in high school and have not yet applied or gone to any colleges/universities. I am no expert on college admissions and do not know everything about finding and selecting the perfect college. Please keep this in mind. Any constructive feedback is welcome!

College Comparison Spreadsheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AVSidBtOpGOHafgkHVeKYSL0ceyaSZvx2VNzIG3uZTc/edit?usp=sharing

College Application Checklist:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ncT6dwddihoQOLsW17c6wZuXXqrp5F4hIqPWnop5M7M/edit?usp=sharing

To use, click on the link, go to “file”, then either click “make a copy” and save to your drive or click “download” and then whatever format you want. A guide to using each is below the cut. Happy college hunting and good luck!

Keep reading

It was obvious even back then, to anyone who made the faintest effort to look at the situation honestly, that the invasion was doomed, wrong, and a joke.

Do people not remember this stuff? George Bush got on television on October 7th, 2002 and told the entire country that Saddam Hussein was thinking of using “unmanned aerial vehicles” for “missions targeting the United States.”

Only a handful of news outlets at the time, most of them tiny Internet sites, bothered to point out that such “UAVs” had a range of about 300 miles, while Iraq was 6,000 miles from New York.

What was the plan – Iraqi frogmen swimming poison-filled drones onto Block Island?

This fantasy was silly when the scare story was Red Dawn and our enemy was the technologically advanced Soviet Union. But to have the president of the United States trot that one out about busted-down Iraq in a national address, and not have him immediately pilloried by the entire national press corps, was incredible.

The Iraq invasion was always an insane exercise in brainless jingoism that could only be intellectually justified after accepting a series of ludicrous suppositions.

First you had to accept a fictional implied connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. Then you had to buy that this heavily-sanctioned secular dictator (and confirmed enemy of Islamic radicals) would be a likely sponsor of radical Islamic terror. Then after that you had to accept that Saddam even had the capability of supplying terrorists with weapons that could hurt us (the Bush administration’s analysts famously squinted so hard their faces turned inside out trying to see that one).

And then, after all that, you still had to buy that all of these factors together added up to a threat so imminent that it justified the immediate mass sacrifice of American and Iraqi lives.

It was absurd, a whole bunch of maybes piled on top of a perhaps and a theoretically possible or two.

The bulk of them hid behind the morons in our business, people like Tom Friedman and David Brooks and Jeffrey “I trusted the Germans” Goldberg, frontline pundits who were pushed forward to do the dirty work, the hardcore pom-pom stuff.

Many others, particularly the editors, quietly sat by and let lie after lie spill onto their papers’ pages, telling themselves that this wasn’t wrong or a mistake until years later, when we found out for sure the WMD thing was a canard.

The Best (and worst) Ways to Save on Textbooks!

After I posted my overrated first year advice post, a lot of people were commenting on my advice about buying textbooks. I agreed so much with all of these comments, so I thought I would do a more comprehensive post about how I buy my textbooks and what I recommend for others. 

Disclaimer: Obviously, where you buy your textbooks can be influenced by so many factors (location, income, etc.) so don’t feel obliged to listen to all of this advice! It is just my opinion, and as always, different things work for different people. 

Go Ahead

  • Buy used from upper year students. This is my number one go to way to save money on textbooks. Meeting with an upper year and buying a book is reliable and just makes sense. Also, they aren’t trying to turn a profit, so it is often the best deal. 
  • Bargain with people who are selling. If you do decide to buy from an upper year, try to bargain with them to get the best possible deal. Often times they are just trying to get rid of the books, so if you offer to bundle them, they will give you a better price. 
  • Buy off of Amazon Prime, or another reputable seller. If you can get a better deal and the guarantee that your books will arrive within 2-3 days, why not? 
  • Buy the looseleaf edition and a binder, rather than the hardcover copy. I have seen books at my bookstore that are $300+ and the looseleaf copy is like $100. It is the exact same material in every way, except that it isn’t bound together, so it is definitely worth the money saved. 
  • If there is an electronic copy available, print it yourself. Make sure you have the rights to print it first, but if you do, then this is a great way to save. My politics prof made all of our readings available online to download, and I got them all printed for $9. Much cheaper than an actual textbook. 
  • Rent textbooks. I have to be honest, I don’t know a ton about renting, but there are usually websites and places on/around campus that let you rent a textbook and then return it at the end. Just make sure that it is considerably cheaper than owning the book. 
  • Share the book with a friend. If you know someone on your floor or someone you hang out with often, share the book! Make a schedule of when each of you will get it, and you only have to pay half of the cost. 

Proceed With Caution

  • Buying an electronic copy. This is a great way to save, as long as you are comfortable doing a lot of reading online. I definitely recommend this if you have a tablet, or are just used to reading online. If you like to take notes in a book, or you get a headache from reading online, it might be worth it to find a hard copy. 
  • Buying online from an unreliable site. This might apply more for my fellow Canadians/non-Americans because fewer sites offer good, quick shipping to us! I remember when I was looking for textbooks, I would think I found an amazing deal on a book, then see that it would take 6 weeks to ship. It isn’t worth it to be 6 weeks behind on readings to save a bit of cash. 
  • Buying from a bookstore off campus. I guess it depends on how willing your school is to screw you over, but at my school, the on-campus prices are the same as at Chapters. If they are the same price anyways, you might as well go for the convenience of the on-campus store. 
  • Checking it out from the library. I think this is a great idea if it is a light reading class, especially because textbooks are often on reserve at the library. However, if you have readings every night or a big project based on the textbook, it can be super inconvenient to have to check the book out every day. 
  • Buying an older edition of a textbook. I see this advice all the time, and I just don’t think it is good at all! It is very annoying that publishers do this, but usually a new edition is completely rearranged, and can often have different content and different homework questions. I made this mistake at the beginning of the year and got a book that had literally nothing in common with the class, so I ended up buying the new edition anyways. 

Other Ways to Save 

  • Make sure you actually need the book before purchasing. Look on the syllabus — not just under “required textbooks” but also under the course schedule. If there is only one reading from the textbook, try to borrow it from a friend or use the online version. 
  • If there is a reader, try to find the readings online. Sometimes profs will try to sell you a reader that has a bunch of readings from various sources. Often these are super popular readings like John Rawls or Judith Butler that can be easily accessed online. If you can find copies of them all of JSTOR or your school library, don’t bother with the reader. 
  • Take good care of textbooks that you buy so you can sell them next year. If you write and highlight in the book, it is harder to sell for a good price. If it is pristine condition, you can sell it for a bit less than the cover price rather than super cheap. 
  • It is a lot better to sell books to other students than to sell to the bookstore/online. If a textbook costs $50 new, you can sell it to another student for $40, whereas the bookstore would only pay you like $4.50. They really lowball you, so try to sell directly to other students!