cargo ship,

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  • According to the U.S. Navy, seven U.S. sailors are missing — and one commanding officer is missing — after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan, CNN reported.
  • The collision caused severe damage to the ship’s starboard side above and below the water line and caused flooding in several parts of the ship, according to a statement obtained by CNN.
  • The missing sailors, according to the statement, could be trapped in the damaged area of the ship. Read more. (6/17/17, 12:00 PM)
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The Most Dangerous Island on Earth - North Sentinel Island

Throughout human history a typical theme has been the domination of more technologically advanced societies over “simpler” or “more primitive” ones. In fact in the past 500 years, European societies would come to dominate the world, spreading their culture, often through force of arms or outright genocide.  More often than not, the meeting of Old World peoples with New World natives tended to end very badly for the natives. Many cultures were wiped out, many more assimilated or adapted their cultures with European culture. Today there are few places where people living have not in some way been touched by the modern world. One notable exception is North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal.

Officially North Sentinel Island is territory of India, part of the Andaman Islands. In reality the people of North Sentinel Island are their own people, free from any known government or modern organization.  Apparently, the Sentinelese are very much happy to keep it that way. Throughout their entire known history, the Sentinelese have been known to viciously fight against any trespass or incursion on their small island. Going back to ancient times the Indians called the island “Cannibal Island”, and told many tales of the dangerous and ruthless natives who inhabited it. Those tales were passed on to the ancient Greeks after the invasion of northern India by Alexander the Great, and thus the infamous legends of the island were mention by Ptolemy. Marco Polo recieved word of the island during his travels to China, writing about the islanders, “They are a most violent and cruel generation who seem to eat everybody they catch.” 

Since then, every expedition to island has been met with extreme hostility, and as a result the island has been left untouched to this day. Throughout the 16th-18th centuries many an explorer or shipwrecked sailor met their end on the island at the hands of the Sentinelese. In 1867 a British merchant ship shipwrecked on the island, and its surviivg 110 man crew spent several days fighting off the islanders with guns and swords. Many were killed and wounded in the battle before rescue. This prompted an expedition of reprisal by the Royal Navy who landed marines on the island a short time later. Most of the Sentinelese had disappeared into hiding, knowing that they couldn’t fight a battle against such overwhelming force. In the end the British left in frustration with two elderly Sentinelese and four children.

Today the idea of angry natives attacking shipwrecked sailors or explorers might be something you’d only see in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, however Sentinelese resistance to the outside world continued so that even in the 20th century people tended to steer clear of the island. In 1974 a film crew from National Geographic landed on the island in modern boats in an attempt to make contact with the islanders with peace offerings of a box of coconuts, a baby doll, and a live pig. The Sentinelese met the crew fully armed and ready for war. As a result, a the National Geographic director took an arrow to the knee, the pig was mutilated alive, and the crew was forced to bug out under a hail of arrows and spears. 

In 1981 the cargo ship Primrose shipwrecked on the island, and the Sentinelese immediately surrounded the ship, shooting at the crew with bows and several times attempting to board the ship. The crew not only radioed for help, but asked for an urgent airdrop of firearms so they could defend themselves. The drop was delayed by weather but the crew were able to fend off the attacks with a pistol, firefighting axes, and flare guns. They were rescued after a week long siege. The Sentinelese dismantled much of the ship and used the scrap iron for arrow and spearheads. It’s remaining hull can still be seen from google earth.

The only known man to peacefully visit the island was an anthropologist named Trilokinath Prandit in 1991, who several times landed on the island with gifts which he left upon the beach.  When he did meet the natives they shot arrows at him and waved their genitals at him. However at one point he was able to make peaceful contact with some of the natives. However as as he left the island, the natives had a change of heart and began shooting arrows at him once more, he hasn’t been back since.

Today North Sentinelese Island is protected by the Indian Government and it is illegal to land there. The reasons for this are to keep the Sentinelese culture intact, and prevent the spread of disease from the island. Note that in history native peoples often suffered deadly diseases after making contact with newcomers. Another reason for creating a 3 mile exclusionary zone around the island is because in 2006 two drunk fisherman landed on the island and were murdered. Thus the Indian Government set up the contact ban to protect outsiders from the Sentinelese as much as protecting the Sentinelese from the outside world. In 2004 an Indian Coast Guard helicopter flew over the island to see if the Setinelese were OK after the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, and to offer help if needed. The helicopter found that the Sentinelese were not only OK after the tsunami, but didn’t want anything any aid at all as they fired arrows at the helicopter.

 Today we still no nothing about the language, culture, and ethnicity of the Sentinelese Islanders. The only pictures we have of them are from the occasional illegal drone which buzzes over the island, and is typically met with a hail of arrows. It seems that despite seeing things such as ships, helicopters, and robotic drones, the Sentinelese don’t want fuck all to do with the modern world.

You just have to Look

The gods haven’t left us, but some say they are forgotten

Zeus roars his battle cry as lightning strikes skyscrapers and thunder rolls over corn fields and grassy plains.

Hera sings a lullaby to the crying newborn babies every night and hold the hand of those born early, those fighting to survive.

Artemis screams her protest in the voices of every woman, young and old, as they raise their fists for equality.

Demeter whistles through the streets of cities, rustling the leaves of scarce trees, reminding the concrete jungle of the jungles around them.

Poseidon bellows through the foghorns of steam ships, cruise liners and cargo ships as they dock into the harbour.

Hephaestus hammers his forge’s red fires with the punch of a time-clock and in the muscles strains of the working man.

Apollo blasts his voice through every headphone, earbud and speaker turned way too loud.

Ares’ battle cry echoes through a stadium as the crowd cheers after a national anthem is played.

Aphrodite whispers in the giggles and “I love you"s said between lovers intimating.

Hermes laughs in the roar of every engine and the gurgle of gasoline through the pump.

Dionysus cheers in the spirit of every young person celebrating themselves and making their lives enjoyable.

Athena hums in the silence of a late night library visit, in the turn of a page and the scratch of a pen.

Hestia smiles in every host saying “come in”, in every oven’s beeping, and the sigh of relaxation in ones home.

Hades beams in every dark humoured joke, in every Halloween night, and in every morning after.

They say the gods are gone, forgotten and a world away.
But they are here, if you look for them.

google.com
115th Anniversary of the Antikythera Mechanism's Discovery
Today's Google Doodle

On this date in 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais sifted through some artifacts from a shipwreck at Antikythera. The wrecked Roman cargo ship was discovered two years earlier, but Stais was the first to notice an intriguing bit of bronze among the treasures. It looked like it might be a gear or wheel. That corroded chunk of metal turned out to be part of the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient analog astronomical computer.

The Antikythera Mechanism tracked planetary positions, predicted lunar and solar eclipses, and even signaled the next Olympic Games. It was probably also used for mapping and navigation. A dial on the front combines zodiacal and solar calendars, while dials on the back capture celestial cycles. Computer models based on 3-D tomography have revealed more than 30 sophisticated gears, housed in a wooden and bronze case the size of a shoebox.  

So I like to think about what would happen if an alien sees, first hand, what a human filled with survival instincts and rage looks like. Mostly I just wanted to write this lol
***

Th'wed never thought the peaceful cargo ship would have crashed, attacked by smugglers for the rare jewels they had been assigned to watch over once it exchanged hands between them and the Humans. A gift of peace. He remembers sneering when he saw the group in ornamental armor and wondering why such a brutish race had survived so long without destroying itself. He cringed when one of them, a blonde female in the robes of a scribe, bared her teeth. All of them are savages.

When the ship went down on a hostile moon orbiting the gas giant he didn’t expect to survive. But he did, all because the humans covered him and the unshielded female. Waking up covered in the viscera of the crew and surrounded by the twisted perversion of the ship he immediately turned and vomited, uncaring for the tube like filaments on his head being coated in the green slime, the scales on them and his face turning a sickly yellow of fear and pain. The cover did not save him completely from harm, leg snapped all three toes curled in pain like a fist.

That’s when he heard it. The mournful wail that sounded more like a vengeful scream. The scribe was not worse for wear but her companions has no such luck, ornamental armor unable to save them from being pierced by the gutted ship. She kneeled beside another warrior, male perhaps, with a neck twisted in a strange way. She sniffed and to his amazement began gathering the group and the crew members, laying them side by side and crossing their arms, closing the eyes of the ones that still had faces. It was a long process and more than once she had to toss away a limb. He leaned over to vomit again.

When he leaned straight again the unnerving creature was staring at him, eyes wide and glossy. She bared her teeth again and made a strange barking sound that he tried to lean away from.

“Of all the fucking people to survive it’s the chick without a gun and the racist torrin.”

She pointed to the near by body of the male she wept over, his dark skin charred black from the flames.

“His name was Christofer and if he didn’t order them to protect you, you’d be dead. Thank him, if you think you can handle thanking a ‘brutish savage’.

The scales tinged pink with embarrassment. So she had heard him complaining to the captain. He never expected her to help him up, short stature surprisingly sturdy as she helped him limp away into the foliage. He was always amazed that such tiny creatures command such fear. She was patient with the shell shocked male, saving her own tears for when they had found water. She used her outer robe to set his leg and left him to go back and scavenger for supplies. Th'wed doesn’t worry much, taking the moment to mourn as quietly as possible, scales turning a dreary grey. Help will come soon. It has to.
***

Help did not come. In the passing of the gas giant and the sun, night and day both equal to three earthling days according to his guid, Morgan, she healed the hollow bones of his leg best to her ability but he suspects he will limp for the rest of his life. Her eyes grew colder everyday although she smiles more. He remembers almost fondly the hysterical laughter she had when she explained that her species barred their teeth in joy and politeness. She hunted for them while he used his own knowledge of those sector to find edible plants and fish. Their dynamic grew into a fondness, perhaps even friendship, the smaller alien often touching him. Petting his "hair” or examining his pink hued skin or his clawless limbs. She was fascinated with his eyes, large and round and completely black. Equated him to something she calls an owl.

He often looks back at the day he asked her how she knows to survive and hunt, the smile he is now able to differentiate from becoming cold and predatory.

“I grew up on a ship colony with my brother. When we landed for supplies we had to hunt for our food, too poor to use what credits we had for nutrient blocks. They caught us one day, chopped off my brothers hand when he took the wrap. When I joined the military to provide for them they gave me survival training. Never know when a ship crashes and you have to make it until a ship comes for you.”

His respect grew as he sat in the small lodging they built together. From the craftsmanship of the things she lovingly carved he suspected she wanted to be something else and not a military lackey. The short alien from then on began using familiar nick names and hugging often. Pack instincts. He would have sneered months ago at the notion. She was a peaceful woman who laughed more often than she cried and went against every stereotype he knew. It lulled him in security with her, forgetting the predator she was.

An animal, one he never saw before but was monstrous in size and shape attached him while he gathered one day, snapping his makeshift cane and almost crushing his ribs in one swipe of its spotted paw. It’s long snout split the wrong way, vertical mouth filled with slavering teeth. Knowing he was going to die he lied limp on the forest floor and awaited the golden afterlife. He heard a great roar from behind him and felt the sweeping air of a spear over his body.

The creature backed off while his human crouched over his body, eyes wild, pupils so blown they almost dominate her eyes. Her chest heaves and fists tighten. Looking at her face he felt both of his hearts almost stop in pure fear. He wonders how he could have ever mistaken her smiling for a show of aggression. He can clearly see the artificially sharpened teeth, something he dutifully ignored before, glistening in the reflective shine of the bright red gas giant hanging in the sky.

Opening her jaw in a way he almost couldn’t comprehend he let out a strangled roar and charged the thing. With every swipe it bleed. With every indigent scream it made at her she answered in kind only angrier. It was insistent, probably not used to its food fighting back, and made as to clamp its jaws around her. Screaming for her to run did nothing. She stood there face twisted in rage as she grabbed the closing jaws and. Tore. Them. Off.

She separated the jaws until a wet cracking sound echoed but didn’t stop until she tore it completely free, fingers dripping in blood. Green for the creature and red from her own ripped palms. She tossed back her head and screamed to the sky, red planet outlining her body like a bloody halo. She looked like a god of war her people so love to worship. Rescue came weeks later from a human ship honing onto the beacon from the crash. He was roomed in the med bay while she was escorted away on the large military colony and he didn’t see her for days while he messaged his queen. When she came back she was groomed and wearing the royal blue of a generals uniform, chest glittering with the metals of valor. She grinned and stood at attention.

“We have not been formally introduced. I am general Morgan Regina of sector Terra. I was sent to ensure the first official contact with a new species went well.”

He took the offered hand which he now knows is filled with nanotechnology, turning her bones to metal and her muscles into inexhaustible strength. Even turning off her pain receptors so she will not be hindered with her own pain. Swallowing thickly he wills his face into the unfamiliar stretch of a smile and her eyes glitter at the effort. He fears her. Respects her. And will probably die fighting his people for the alliance her people offer. He is indebted, it seems, to a savage brute.
****

9

The Edmund Fitzgerald Remembered

40 years ago, on November 10, 1975, the cargo ship Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm in Lake Superior near Whitefish Point off the coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There are several theories as to what may have caused the ship to sink in a flash, but the actual reason will likely never be known. The remains of the 29 crew members were never recovered.

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I split my time between Northwest, Washington and Los Angeles. While I’m shooting on SPN, I live in Washington and my kids are in school here in Washington now so we are trying to make this more of our home base, but we still spend about three months out of the year in LA. Which, yknow, is still great. I like this setup that we have right now. I’m not gonna pick a favorite because that’s not nice, but I like Washington better. I like this balance of having something that’s not in the big city be the home base, but being able to spend  a reasonably significant amount of time in the big city and culture-factory that Los Angeles is. I really like this town of - we’re in a place called Bellingham, which got a population of 82 thousand and it’s really accessible and beautiful, it’s right on the water. I’m looking out the window right now at islands and a cargo ship going by. It’s just really- I can show it to you. That’s the view up here. It’s pretty awesome, so that’s great. But it’s nice to be able to go back into LA and be with some real heavy hitters that are making the culture that the rest of the world consumes. So I like to have my toes in both ponds. [x]

Derek creeping checking in on Stiles because he just happened to be in the neighborhood when he heard Stiles mumble his name. So it’s completely understandable he runs towards the noise just to make sure no monster of the week is hiding underneath his bed.

Or so Derek tells himself every single morning as he laces up his running shoes before heading out for his routine morning run along the path he and his wolf agreed upon, just to make sure his mate is safe and sound.

The king is fed up with losing cargo ships. He decides to hire several boats to figure out why no boats are returning.

  • Another realm.
  • Horrible monsters.
  • Pirates
  • A perfect island that slowly drains your life force.
  • The ocean just stops. Several boats are crashed at the bottom, or stuck in the current before the edge.
Successful Negotiations

My players were trying to convince a stingy Harbourmaster to help them pay for a Scroll of Banishment worth 1,200 Gold Pieces that they needed to dispose of a Water Weird that was blocking trade. He had, at this point, begrudgingly offered 500 Gold.

RANGER: Reginn(druid), why don’t you check our ledger to see how are finances are?

DRUID: Oh, sure! Let me just pull out our ledger…

RANGER(ooc): So, I’m gonna start small talking with the Harbourmaster to distract him…

DRUID(ooc): And I’m gonna pull out a scroll and I’m just sorta looking at it and moving my hand like im going down the list and muttering to myself.

DM(me): Okay, cool *cue small talk with the Ranger*

DRUID(ooc): Okay, so the scroll I pulled out was actually my Scroll of Charm Person and I’m casting it on him.

DM: Omg, okay, you’re gonna have to roll Sleight of Hand vs. his Perception.

*14 vs 12*

DM: Yeah, he’s wrapped up in the small talk, he totally doesn’t notice. Aaaaand….that’s a Nat 1 on his save…

The negotiations ended with the Harbourmaster offering 750G for the Scroll as well as preferential treatment for one of the party’s NPC friends (she runs a cargo ship).