Ok, I’ll admit that something has been happening to me. One minute I know where I am, who you are, what I’m doing, and then, all of a sudden, what I know… changes. It gets jumbled. Have you told Dr. Culber about this?
Many chameleons, and panther chameleons in particular, have the remarkable ability to exhibit complex and rapid colour changes during social interactions such as male contests or courtship. It is generally interpreted that these changes are due to dispersion/aggregation of pigment-containing organelles within dermal chromatophores.
But, combining microscopy, photometric videography and photonic band-gap modelling, we show that chameleons shift colour through active tuning of a lattice of guanine nanocrystals within a superficial thick layer of dermal iridophores. In addition, we show that a deeper population of iridophores with larger crystals reflects a substantial proportion of sunlight especially in the near-infrared range.
The organization of iridophores into two superposed layers constitutes an evolutionary novelty for chameleons, which allows some species to combine efficient camouflage with spectacular display, while potentially providing passive thermal protection. -src
Hc that Virgil collects fish, he has a huge 60 gallon fish tank full of angel fish and sharks and anenomes and stuff and he likes sitting infront of it at night and watching the colours shift and form, furthermore his first fish was a gift from Logan "because watching fish swim releases endorphins and relaxes you, i thought you might like to try it out,"
i love harry potter (as do we all) and like most im incredibly disappointed with the lack of multiculturalism in it and i havent been able to stop thinking about how wizarding communities in different cultures might evolve. some cultures are much more in touch with spirituality and magic, so the wizarding community doesnt have to be as repressed everywhere as it is in england. so… think about it?
spell casting in different languages!! tonal languages like chinese. if i know anything from 5 years learning mandarin its that intonation can change your meaning completely… a transfer student attending the beijing wizarding school. theyre doing charms and accidentally get the tones wrong. the only thing you hear is their chinese classmates yelling “nO NO NONONO-” before they all get turned into frogs
big wizarding families with ancient lineage having had generations living in hidden hutongs across chinese cities!
what about all those stories of old emperors sending envoys out to search for the key to immortality - and this brings up the interesting possibilities of intersections between magic and traditional medicine!
you know how bats are a symbol of good luck in china? and black cats are symbols of good luck in japan? yeah
also screw the gross western conflation of blackness with evil, with corruption. screw the death eaters with their “dark marks”. many cultures see white as death, as emptiness, and black as richness, as life. wizarding communities finding power in the darkness of the night
what about indian wizards and witches? theyre big on scientific magic (unlike the incredibly scientifically backward communities in england) bc for centuries india and the middle east had the greatest scientific developments in the world
indian wizards/witches making breakthroughs in astronomy through their charmed instruments and maps that rotate with their view of the skies!
hindu wizards using mehndi to form magical symbols on their skin
and what about tattoos and piercings across cultures! so many communities across africa and south america and the pacific that have long histories with tattoos. imagine tattoos glowing while they spellcast.
young witches and wizards earning tattoos as they grow… the tattoos grow organically and shift and change
and its incredible bc all different cultures would have completely different approaches to spellcasting at all!! what if wizards across the world dont generally use wands? some use staffs or their bare hands or scrolls or even their eyes!
inuit magical communities!! conjuring fire for warmth. keeping seals and wolves as familiars. using ice and water in their magic and hunting in the icy waters by transforming into animagi
wizards and witches in the amazon who are hidden from the rest of the world. they use plants to their advantage by merging into foliage or slipping into shadows, leaving no trace behind at all. they nurse their ecosystems back to life
east asian wizards using martial arts to strengthen their magical abilities or to duel
and what about the possibilities in art across different cultures!! old japanese woodblock prints that oscillate and move around. wall carvings in hindu temples dancing and walking around
kashmiri and pakistani wizards with eye colours that subtly shift and change depending on what magic theyre performing
hieroglyphics in ancient egyptian wizarding communities!! they often have cat familiars too
nomadic communities living in scorching deserts… wearing shimmering fabrics, almost appearing to be mirages themselves bc they can bend and twist light
viking wizards exploring the world on ships!! powered by wind they harness themselves by performing incredibly powerful coordinated spells. especially strong norse wizards could harness lightning
maori magical communities and southeast asian communities and pacific islanders taking care of reefs. they can manipulate air and water to travel deep below the surface of the ocean
magical communities atop the himalayas in monasteries. they protect muggle climbers from avalanches and heal climbers who have been wounded
wizards/witches in the swiss alps who are animagi. they transform into saint bernards and form strong bonds with explorers
im just in love with wizarding communities across the globe evolving separately and having different relationships to spirituality because!! nothing is ever black and white but the world is vast and diverse and there are ten thousand sights that could blow you away and how tiring that the only glimpse into wizarding communities we receive is the drab and repressed one in the UK
Sending this to all of you, to see what happens: minific prompt: grass.
The planet was awash with tall stalks of swaying green grass; with each ripple of wind, the colour shifted, a delicate sage swirling into a forest green. The Paladins hovered at the edge of the castle walk way, perplexed.
“It’s like a cornfield,” Lance said, crouched down as he brushed a hand over the stalks of grass. “We’re gonna lose Pidge the moment we walk inside.”
“I resent that,” Pidge snapped back, crossing her arms. Keith shuffled his way over to Pidge, shared a quick glance with Hunk, and the two of them lifted her up seamlessly between them. Her squawk of outrage turned to a yelp when they dropped her off the other side of the Castle’s platform. Immediately, the grass swallowed her up.
“I hate all of you!” Pidge called from within as she poked a hand out of the grass. Hunk, snickering, helped her back up onto the walk way.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a theory or analysis post and I just wanted to kinda jot this down while I was thinking about it because I’ve been amused at the amount of surprise there is with the current arc and how it’s played out so far.
It is my hope that this will finally disprove the popular theory that humans are ‘just filler’ and not important to the plot, because as we’ve been seeing lately, they are more involved in what’s going on. It’s been a bit disheartening to see so many people assuming that the gems are the only characters who matter on Steven Universe, even after all the emphasis from the crew - and from the actual in-episode content - that the humans are important in Steven’s story.
So, why are they important? Well, I have a huge long potential theory write up for how the humans will ultimately lead to the salvation of not only earth but gems as well (granted as a joint effort), but this is not the time or place for that. Instead I’m going to talk a bit about Lars.
Rose talked about how important and special being human is, and many other gems - including Peridot - have made note of how unusual the earth is compared to the other planets/colonies they have. The fact that things grow and change is baffling to gems. Not to mention that humans are impervious to a lot of the technology specifically meant to deal with other gems, so it seems like humans would have an advantage in that respect (as shown with Lars in the recent episodes)
Another thing I’m hoping this brings up to people is that a lot of the blatant plant symbolism has been in the show for a long time - not surprising given that Rose’s magic was related to plants - and I don’t see a lot of discussion about.
Take Lars for example. When his full name was revealed, a lot of people fixated on the “tears of love” meaning, which is valid, but I remember also being fascinated that it’s also a french surname/placename that means “canopy of leafy boughs”, specifically because of the inherent plant symbolism with Lars.
Going back all the way to “Lars and the Cool Kids”, they have drawn comparisons between Lars and plants. In that episode, it was specifically comparing him to Rose’s moss. I feel this episode was also the strongest foreshadowing for the events of the most recent set of episodes.
To recap, they encounter a type of moss that Rose created that was aggressively growing over/consuming things. The moss is characterized as ugly and rather pointless, but as we see, it actually has a lot of potential that just needs the right circumstances to be seen.
Steven himself compares Lars to the moss in his angry rant about his mother “I know she saw beauty in everything. Even in stuff like this (the moss) and even in jerks like you”. Direct comparison between Lars and the plant in question. Also note that in this episode, Lars is wearing green, which is frequent in his colour scheme. There is an entire green/pink shift (or in a general sense a cool colour/warm colour shift) going on with Lars at various points in the show that seemed to implicate something deliberate.
At the end of this episode, Lars chooses to help Steven rescue the cool kids and yet he is ‘consumed’ by the moss. This is analogous to dying, as the rest of the scene has ‘rebirth’ tones, with the moss not just changing slightly… but turning from GREEN MOSS into PINK FLOWERS as it reaches the true potential that it’s been struggling toward since the beginning of the episode.
It’s hard to not see the comparisons between the moss and Lars in these latest episodes, right down to the change in colour scheme.
There have been several other instances of the colour/tone shift with Lars, specifically when he’s in ‘neutral’ position/presentation, he tends to be wearing purple(as with the Big Donut uniform), while when he’s displaying ‘negative’ behaviours he tends to be wearing darks or cools (blacks, greens and sometimes dark blues). After Steven takes over his body in “The New Lars” and he makes an effort to change his behaviour, he is more often seen in the warmer tones (like the pink shirt)
As a note: Ronaldo also has a similar colour/tone shift with various circumstances going on, something I wish to address again in more detail in another post as I feel both that and the plant (and general) symbolism with Ronaldo are also strong.
To sum it up: I really think the entire thing with Lars has been telegraphed for some time and that several of the other humans have also had telegraphed arcs moving forward. I think we’re going to see a lot more of that coming into play in the future.
Hopefully this will also lead to a greater respect and understanding of the human characters on the show.
(A short piece, inspired by Elsewhere University, based on the Ballad of Minepit Shaw)
The bellow of a brass hunting horn broke the chilly night air, echoed by the baying of hounds as Suzie and Kath sprinted across the building site waste ground in front of Pelham house. Suzie held her high heels in one hand, and a bottle of vodka which was not hers in the other, while Kath had dropped her shoes a few metres back, and clutched two bottles of what she had assumed were fancy coloured spirits. They shifted in their bottles against rhythm of Kath’s run.
“Fucking Pelham house!” Kath panted. “Party flats my arse!”
“Of course he’s a fucking Gent!” Suzie groaned in exasperation. “Of course he is!”
Neither of them risked a look behind them, but they both swore they heard thundering hooves and slobbering hounds. In their panic, they had made a bee-line for the muddy expanse where builders were already sinking the piles for the new Shaw House accomodation. Kath spotted a large bulldozer and grabbed Suzie’s shoulder, pulling her towards it. They ducked under it’s backhoe and pressed themselves against the shadows behind it.
They stood there holding their breath, hearing pad of paws against soft earth drawing closer. Suzie muttered and mumbled what sounded like prayers, fiddling in her purse for a packet of salt, or a bolt, or some little iron trinket. Kath leaned towards the edge of the bulldozer, about to risk a glance around, when a hand clamped on to her shoulder.
She was too startled to scream, but Suzie wasn’t, letting out a short, sharp squeak of terror. A man stood before them, dressed exactly like a campus security guard, except for the fact that every inch of clothing on his body was green. He wore a green cap, green shirt, green slacks, green boots, forest green hi-vis, even his maglite cast a pale green light over the two girls.
“Goodness, you’re in a mess aren’t you?” he said, almost off-hand, as though commenting on the weather.
Suzie looked fit to scream again, but Kath spoke first.
“Please, you have to help us. There’s a guy out there hunting us!” she said, her voice almost cracking with fear, both real and exaggerated.
“Sounds like Lord Pelham,” the green guard said with a little grimace. “A powerful lad and no mistake. Getting suspended would be the least of your troubles. You must’ve done something pretty bad to rile him like this.”
Kath frowned, shifting the bottles awkwardly in her hands.
“Well, okay. We did something pretty stupid. But please, we’ll do anything.”
Suzie shot Kath an appalled look, and Kath sighed.
“Alright, I’ll do anything.”
The green guard smiled without showing his teeth.
“Lucky for you I’m no friend of Lord Pelham. Although, it would certainly be nice to have some kind of recompense for my magnanimity….”
Suzie (a Biomed student) frowned, but Kath did Literature. She laid her bottles on the ground, and nodded for Suzie to do the same.
“Well, I’d say that’s an ample gift. Step this way.”
Kath and Suzie stepped forward, and plunged into absolute darkness. Kath felt her hip bump into something hard, like a metal table edge.
“Just my little home. You’ll pardon me keeping it dark, but power bills are atrocious for my thousand crystal chandeliers,” came the voice of the green guard.
Suzie felt along the table edge and hopped up on to it, sitting on the edge.
“Not much in the way of furniture,” she said, shifting uncomfortably.
“I apologise,” came the guard’s voice. “I’ll admit that solid gold furniture inlaid with precious stones tends to be a little hard on the backside. I’ve only arrived recently, and haven’t had time to unload my thousand silk cushions.”
Suzie and Kath were silent for a moment. Kath ran her hand over the tabletop, feeling little lumps and bumps across its surface.
“It can’t really be gold, can it?” came Suzie’s voice.
“Even if it isn’t,” said the guard, “you’re a long way away from Lord Pelham, aren’t you?”
Kath didn’t respond. She supposed she owed him that much. She lay down on the table and closed her eyes, for all the difference it made in the dark.
When light came, it was harsh and hard. A bright autumnal morning dawned across the campus, bringing a cold breeze that blew across Kath’s sleeveless arms. She leaned up and looked around, and saw where she was. Then she let out a laugh.
She and Suzie had tumbled in the night and fallen into one of the pilings for Shaw House. She’d spent the night lying at the bottom of a muddy hole on a half-buried I-beam, and she could already feel the bruises where its rivets had dug into her. Suzie roused herself beside her, mumbling darkly about a headache.
At the top of the piling pit, a human head in a hard hat shouted down to them.
“Oh thank God!” it said. “I thought you were dead!”
“No!” Kath shouted up, smiling. “Although my friend may wish she was.”
* * *
It wasn’t until later that Kath got back to her room. On her desk was a note dotted with rhinestones and written in glittery green gel-pen.
It simply read, “Whether he was a security guard or a Gentleman, remember: ‘there’s more things told than are true, and more things true than are told’.”
At the bottom it had been signed by a ‘Lord Shaw’, in long looping handwriting.
I did not want to think about people. I wanted the trees, the scents and colours, the shifting shadows of the wood, which spoke a language I understood. I wished I could simply disappear in it, live like a bird or a fox through the winter, and leave the things I had glimpsed to resolve themselves without me.
Aveline’s hands are not special at a glance. Average, but perhaps broader than you would assume a woman’s to be. At a closer look they are lined, dry, discolored by bruises and calluses that are years old. Her nails are broken, ragged and one is an off colour. The veins show in the back of her hands and when she makes a fist you can see the muscles flex. When the hand is brought up for an arm wrestle you can sense the history and training in the palm stretched challengingly towards you.
Aveline’s hands twist in her lap worriedly, tap against the table impatiently, they soothe over the back of a guard recruit who has just experienced his first loss. They smell of affordable lotions made from elfroot, used to ease the sore skin and muscles, and they smell of armour polish and fresh baked bread. Her hands are generous and loving but shy and awkward, all at once. And yet, her hands seem just as comfortable embraced with her lover’s as they do holding a blade.
Merrill’s hands are small, her fingers thin and long. Bird-like somehow especially when she folds them to her chest or lips, fans her fingers in the air as mana whisps around them. They are soft, touches fluttering and short-lived, her palm closes before you can see the scar that no magic will lift from her skin. She won’t open her hand while you are looking, not ashamed, but unwilling to have misunderstanding looks cast upon it.
There is dirt under her finger nails, her hands smell of earth no matter how long she lives in the alienage. They are marked with ink, with a droplet of dried jam, a finger cut from when she pricked it against something sharp and only sucked on the wound mindlessly as she continued. She touches everything, her own skin, her clothes, her staff, she fidgets with a coin in her hand and folds a piece of found paper over and over again until its soft as cotton. Her fingers transform, rendering things into something new, they never mend. She shies from touching others, worried she will break them too.
Isabella’s hands are generous, friendly, they touch at your shoulder, your back, your arm before you notice her moving. She caresses and squeezes as she talks, her hands expressive in their pressure and how they slip away from you easily. They are not too small or too big, nothing particularly remarkable at a glance, forgettable if it wasn’t for the touching. Her nails are long, clean, suspiciously so, formed into soft points that occasionally tear from her prying at things.
She will give you her hand, palm up with curling fingers inviting. The skin on her palms is rough, callused, even though you can tell from their scent that they are treated with softening creams often, the flowery smell only just covering the copper and sea salt beneath. Dried brown blood is collected in the lines on her hand, caught against the raised scar on the back of her hand and when asked she tilts her gaze at it and wonders aloud who exactly it came from.
Anders’ hands are healers hands, mages hands, but they do not match the descriptions and expectations attached to those labels. His fingers are long, knuckles knobbed awkwardly, his skin is dry, the veins in the back of his hands dark once they are close and bunching under his pale skin. A finger on his left hand seems out of place, out of line somehow, and when asked he explains how it was broken and set wrong. His hands are warm until healing magic glows from his palms, cool and soothing as the mana collects and heals.
His finger nails are chewed, the back of his hand marked with small scratches and small bruises. They fidget and rest on surfaces, walls, objects, as if their touch tells Anders something that you do not know. He stretches his fingers and cracks knuckles and you can see the colour in them shift as the air around Anders changes, static over his skin as the fair hair on the back of his hands stand and they change. Somehow his hands are no longer his, void of the softness and history they held only a moment ago.
Fenris’ hands are long and narrow, as most elves are, but like Fenris they are completely unique. Few people see his hands, and those that do may only have a glimpse before they vanish under a tavern table, fall to his sides, or are tucked back into the gauntlets that armour and hide them. His hands feel vulnerable, too soft and thin for a strong warrior, but when held they reveal their history all too quickly. The lyrium lines running along his fingers are raised, sensitive, they bulge slightly when Fenris closes his hand. The bones underneath the lyrium have slight ridges in places, tell tale signs of magic healing bones that broke and strained.
Fenris’ hands smell like leather, sweat and blood on a bad day. On the better days they smell of fireplaces, red wine and the citrus soaps he prefers. Fenris’ hands are tensed and prepared when outside, slack and unfeeling when he feels safe. They stay on his lap, at his sides, the gestures say I cannot touch.When he speaks they move freely, easier to express with them than with words. When he finally touches he hesitates, then lingers, soft, his hands were once only weapons and now he tries to reclaim them.
Varric’s hands are broad, his palms lined deeply with an untold history, the back of his hands tanned and scarred just enough to catch in low tavern lights. They are never dirty, not really, although they almost always smell of wood polish and iron. His right index finger is calloused from nights of writing and Bianca’s trigger, ink catches in the cracks no matter how much he washes. His nails are blunt, one or two are torn and catch on the silky texture of his shirts.
He is always expressive and affectionate with them, all his friends are familiar with its weight upon their backs or shoulders. Varric drums his fingers on table tops, rubs condensation on his tankard mindlessly, runs them along the familiar planes of Bianca’s frame. He crushes his fingers when he clasps his hands together thoughtfully, makes himself jump when he accidentally cracks a knuckle.
Summary/Request: Merman Bucky AU: You find yourself stranded on a desert island no thanks to a stupid group of pirates…you happen to make a friend, however, who’s determined to show you how to survive.
India’s Academy of Sorcery boasts an impressive display of flashy colours, from enchanted saris that shift colours sporadically throughout the day, to the lavishly painted exterior of the academy which is situated in a nondescript location along Ganges River. Due to the frightening rate at which the school’s ancient mango tree (jokingly nicknamed “Mammoth Mango Machine”) produces mangoes, students have to endure the perpetually evolving art of mango cuisine at least five days a week. Every year, to the students’ great enjoyment, classes are halted for Diwali to make time for various competitions that take place: firework flourishes and charms for upper-year students (bonus points if it doesn’t set any part of the school on fire), and lantern designing for lower-year students (use of animals, alive or dead, is forbidden).