cities for living

This is an empty, unused lot with no sign of construction not half a mile from Facebook’s HQ.

It could be filled with engineers in small apartments happily paying enough in taxes to house dozens or hundreds of homeless people, but it’s being used for… absolutely nothing.

Those engineers are living cities away, using up limited road capacity and wearing down pavement at Menlo Park’s expense, slowing everyone’s commute as they burn fossil fuels and happiness, increasing housing prices in San Jose and Palo Alto and making it harder for everyone else to afford rent.

(If not apartments, then a playground or a park or a grocery or literally anything other than an empty lot in an area where real estate prices are exploding. )

This is an absurd level of incentive alignment failure. I’m not sure what’s going on here (guess: regulations making it really-hard-to-impossible to build), but it’s causing a lot of pointless pain.

9

Cities & Moods: Tübingen, Germany 

Es blüht das fernste, tiefste Tal:  Nun, armes Herz, vergiß der Qual!
Even the deepest, most distant valley is in flower. Now, poor heart, forget your torment. (Ludwig Uhland, Frühlingsglaube) 

inspired by the wonderful moodboards by lovely @expatesque:) 

“Lesbian invisibility does have some advantages. In the big cities of Egypt, two women living together as ‘flatmates’ would not arouse much curiosity, Laila said - though that would depend to some extent on their choice of district.

Neighbours would first of all want to establish whether they were prostitutes and would probably quiz the bawwab, the doorman who watches all comings and goings in Egyptian blocks of flats. If satisfied on that count, they might then imagine other explanations for the girls’ presence – quarrels with parents, etc.

‘They would think of anything else but lesbianism,’ Laila said. She recalled how much one lesbian couple had been adored by their landlady. ‘I wish all my tenants were like you,’ the landlady told them, suspecting nothing.”

Brian WhitakerUnspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East” (University of California Press, 2006)

Twenty-One Questions - Peter Parker

Words: 6,320 (sorry its super long, I got carried away)

Warnings: Unedited, very mild makeout session (;

Paring: Tony Stark’s Daughter x Peter Parker


The Avengers compound was quieter than normal Saturday night. The television flickered in the corner as the men switched flipped back and forth between NFL games. Natasha and Wanda chatted amongst themselves ignoring the sporting event like it was their job. Shouting resulted to a bare minimum much to the surprise of the young teenager propped on the kitchen bar stool. Peter Parker had been apart of the Avengers for a little over three months and never in his time apart of the team had he witnessed them so lifeless. The Avengers slumped around like deflated balloons lacking interest in all activities.

A soft sigh fell from Peter’s soft lips while he pushed himself off the metal seat. His warm brown eyes fell to the watch fasten around his wrist. 10:06, Aunt May would expect him home by midnight but with the lack of activity, calling it a night didn’t seem like such a horrible option. Peter was use to hating the time that rolled around when he was forced to take the long haul back to his apartment. The train rides were sketchy, the walk in the cold was gruesome, and the local New York civilians had a tendency to be the most bitter people in the world. But out of all the things Peter hated about having to leaving the tower, Y/n was by far the most.

Keep reading

4

The angara are the only known sentient species local to the Heleus cluster. Oral histories describe how ancient angara were tribal and nomadic before settling in cities. Many of them still live in large, tight-knit families and workplaces have a guild-like organizational structure. Spirituality has a role in angaran daily life, with their calendar making space for the religious holidays of many different faiths.

10

Ben: In my time working for the State Government, my job sent me to 46 cities in 11 years. I lived in villages with eight people, rural farming communities, college towns. I was sent to every corner in Indiana. And then I came here. And I realised that, this whole time, I was just wondering around, everywhere, just looking for you.

Leslie: The things that you have done for me, to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.

Ben: I love you and I like you.

anonymous asked:

"When girls and women are taught self defence (and I mean literally taught. Most women have had at least one class in school on it) we are taught that hitting is the absolute LAST resort. Realistically? If a man has actually punched us? 90%+ of women are fucked already. There is no defence against someone stronger than you hitting you." So can a woman who gets punched can actually defend herself or not?

Women aren’t made of porcelain.

We’re not some separate species, or utterly different physically from men. The concept of “woman” is a societal one. It changes based on socialization, and changes based on the society’s belief on what a woman is. It’s a nebulous concept, with no solid value when hitching one’s identity to it and the same is true for men. Societal constructs like masculinity and femininity are linked heavily to societal expectations and how we’re raised. When someone says, “a woman can’t” when a “man can” most of the time they’re referring to societal expectations taken as fact. These beliefs often have nothing to do with reality, and you only have to look at the vast differences in the United States when it comes to stereotyping women of different ethnicity, various cultures, or income levels just to see how shallow those ideas are.

There are female soldiers, female police officers, female martial artists of every stripe, and the warriors are countless going back generations. You can, in fact, find them if you look. This is before we get to athletes and all the other non-combat positions women occupy today that society said, “impossible!” just a few decades ago.

This is why understanding the effects of socialization is so important. When it comes to learning, what you believe will decide what you are.

Here’s the truth: no one takes a punch well when they’re mentally unprepared for it.

Here’s the other: most people (men included) aren’t trained to take hits.

Notice that you’re instructor told you, “Don’t piss off men. You’re helpless if they decide to physically assault you.”

They did not teach you what it looks like when a punch is incoming, or what the change over looks like. Good self-defense teaches you to be aware of your surroundings and learn to determine when danger is potentially incoming. You can’t respond when you don’t know its coming, and you can’t prepare for it, physically or mentally, when taken by surprise. The first moments of a real fight are crucial. Those seconds it takes to recognize danger and react to it when you’re already in the middle of being hit is too late. You’ve lost the initiative, you’re playing catch up, and that’s a terrible position to be in when you’re trained. It’s pretty much almost always unrecoverable if you’re not.

It has nothing to do with being a man, and its disingenuous from a self-defense perspective to focus entirely on them. While far more likely, men are not the only ones who can or will hit you. Women aren’t any safer, and can be just as predatory.

The problem with these self-defense classes is if you’re really serious about learning to defend yourself then you need to train for it. Good professionals worth their salt will always tell you that you need to be training in some martial art, and practicing the techniques you learned in your self-defense course constantly so that they become embedded in your muscle memory.

When I was forced into one these high school self-defense courses, my seventeen year old martial artist self thought they were stupid and overall pretty pointless, and they didn’t come at us with any of the above bullshit about getting punched. Girls who’ve done an hour of self-defense five years ago aren’t going to be able to perform jiujutsu throws, they’ll be lucky if they remember the bear hug escapes or how to roll the wrist against the thumb and tug if someone tries to take you were you don’t want to go (and then not know what to do once they’ve gotten free because they never practice running). Forget punching, they won’t remember how to do that.

If you aren’t practicing to the point where it becomes second nature, with the added benefit of learning self-defense techniques that are exceedingly easy to memorize (believe it or not, not all self-defense programs will teach these), and doesn’t come with the caveat that if you’re serious you need more education then they’re pretty worthless.

All your class seems to have taught you is how to be a willing victim, and that’s the worst kind of self defense.

“If someone attacks you, you can do nothing so just give up.”

That’s tantamount to admitting that they didn’t really teach you anything, and don’t want you to think they did. You’re not even in exactly the same place you were before you took that class. Mentally, you’re worse off.

If you don’t believe you can, then you won’t and it’s simple as that.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that when it comes to self-defense, you get what you pay for.

Taught is not not taught, the vast majority of high schools don’t have classes. They have one hour a year (maybe) devoted to it (usually P.E.), and sometimes its not even required. If you’re lucky, it’s a seminar of a few days. If you’re really lucky, they’ll bring in one of the female (or male) police officers from a local precinct who specializes in the police’s self-defense training they give the public. However, you are not guaranteed to have a professional, or even just a local officer. Often, it’s just the PE teacher who took a three month course. What girls get in high school depends heavily on what waivers the school is willing to sign and how much liability they’re willing to take on. It also depends on who is doing the hiring, who they are hiring, and whether they actually care.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who think women don’t need to learn self-defense and don’t want to waste the school’s already limited resources on hiring someone for a few hours. Especially when you can’t learn much self-defense in a few hours, and almost none of it is lasting.

If you’re from a country other than America, it might be different, but if you’re referring American education then its important to remember you’re experiences (whatever they were) aren’t universal. No, really. Education varies heavily from district to district, and can be vastly different within single cities depending on where you live, this is before we get to county versus county, and that’s before we get to the differences between the states. In America, public education heavily dependent on money and property values. The higher the house value, the richer the district, then the better the education. Its important to know, that when it comes to education, segregation is economic. America and Americans have no real true standard for education or education value. What you get depends on where you live, and often on parental involvement.

You can’t learn self-defense in an hour or two. You will be fucked up by shitty instructors, sexist instructors, and negligent instructors. If you are not doing your own research and taking control of learning to defend yourself then you are likely to get one of the above. If you look at self-defense as all being the same, that combat is an innate skill set possessed by only one side of the human species, if you honestly believe on some level you are inferior to men (and if you’re young, white, female, and WASP, you better believe you’ve been conditioned by society at large to see yourself that way) and that there’s no point in even trying, you will be fucked.

Combat is a learned skill.

It is not innate. You have to learn it. It is not inherently masculine. If you are a woman learning to fight, you’re not actually all that special or standout. There are plenty of women out there learning to fight. However, you’ve got to go looking for it. It won’t be handed to you.

One of the most empowering aspects in learning to fight is taking control of your own safety. You are no longer reliant on the charity or uncertainty of those around you, and that certainty will drive off most predators. Predators don’t want a real fight, they aren’t looking. 9/10, they want victims who are vulnerable and go down easy. So, whether you’re male or female, and you’re worried about your safety then head to your local police precinct, find a seminar, and that’ll point you toward freedom.

So, TLDR:

Women can take punches but not if they’re not prepared for it and whoever was teaching you is a shithead.

Don’t let their idiocy turn you into a willing victim.

This post is a public service announcement, not martial arts training.

Go get some.

-Michi

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  World of Warcraft is a wonderful game, full of undead elves & dragons, mages that shoot fire from their fingers and can blink entire cities, talking bear men who live on a giant turtle and train in martial arts, gnomes that have build helicopters & subways, a guy that literally resurrected himself, plus many MANY other crazy ridiculous characters & lore and people still will shit their pants if you RP anything other than a town guard, or pally-grandpa from lordaeron™.

  And GOD FORBID you have any differing eye colors because of magic or whatever.

Just imagine

Cliché alien abduction where they kidnap a human to get info so they can invade, right? And once the aliens get around the language barrier, they question the human. And as they ask questions, they get more and more terrified.
Humans can live in -20-100 degrees Fahrenheit no probs
Sometimes the ground SHAKES for no reason, and we usually go on with our daily lives
We have oceans, pools of water literally miles deep
Not to mention the humans themselves
We will literally die for each other, for the good of the group
We have technology that will show us the stars
We can do extraordinary physical feats when under duress
When we lose limbs, we make metal to do the same job
And of course, the human who is telling the aliens this MIGHT exaggerate a bit
“I once saw a guy whose entire body was made of metal. First he lost an arm, then a leg…”
“Oh yeah, humans have huge underground cities, they can live down their for centuries!”

9

“There’ll be a time,” Nita said softly, “when any time someone’s elected to a public office—before they let them start work—they’ll bring whoever was elected up here and just make them look at that until they get what it means…”

Kit nodded. “You wanted to know where the power came from,” he said to Nita’s mother and father. “The grownups who’re wizards tell us that whatever made that made the power too. It’s all of a piece.”

“The grownups who’re wizards?”

“And as for ‘why,’ ” Kit said, “that’s why.” There was no need for him to point to “that.” “Not just for the—for what you felt on the way in. That’s part of it. But because somebody’s got to take care of that. Not just part of it—not just one country, or one set of rules, or one species, at the expense of the others. But everything that lives, all the kinds of ‘people.’ All of it, with nothing left out. One whole planet. Somebody’s got to make sure it grows as well as it can. Or just survives. That’s what wizards do.”

- diane duane

So we are going to be moving this summer. It kind of sucks but is also really exciting (it’s going to be our 4th move in 5 years) But it’s necessary to keep the business growing. Since my mom and sisters moved in with us and the shop has grown so much, we are desperately in need of more space. (Seriously, I need like at least two rooms just for the shop LOL) This is going to be an amazing and probably stressful move hahah! 

Today we’re visiting a small mountain town that I’ve been looking at and hopefully talking to some brokers/realtors (we’re renting, not buying so I’m not sure what to call the people..) that can help us find the perfect place for us! 

It would be awesome if you guys could send a little luck our way! :)