community-programs

The Spectrum of Humanity

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

The sheer scope of humanity’s variety necessitated the creation of an entirely new field of study.  Never before in the history of galactic civilization has any one race been so uniquely bizarre that they could not be encompassed in standard xenobiology and xenopsychology courses.  Even before the body modifications that they are so fond of, it can often be different to tell that two humans belong to the same race, as they can differ in every plausible physical and psychological way.

Their skins’ pigmentation ranges from a deep brown that approaches true black, to rare individuals that possess no pigments whatsoever, leaving them entirely white.  They can have hair covering most of their body, or have none at all.  They can range in height at adulthood from four feet tall to eight feet tall, with some notable exceptions on both ends of the spectrum.  

The psychological differences are just as pronounced.  Several humans have agreed to extended observation as part of my ongoing research into their nuances, and the findings have been striking.  One volunteer shunned physical contact at nearly any cost, and avoided social interaction whenever plausible.  He would sometimes sit as his computer in silence for long periods of time, once going nearly three days without moving, without even eating.  I did not interrupt, as I wished the observation to be impartial, but once I felt I had collected enough data, I asked him about it.  Was it difficult to go that long without nourishment or rest?  His response:

“Not really?  I guess I just lost track of time.”

This has been observed in other humans as well, to lesser degrees, with them being able to “lose track of time” as they focus on a single task, be it something as trivial as assembling a model or reading a book, for hours.  Inversely, I have also observed humans who would be, simultaneously, working on a report, listening to music, watching video, and participating in one or more conversations through voice communications or text programs.  When denied one or more of these stimulants, they would become noticeably on-edge, and their productivity would, somehow, suffer.

There is no known correlation between mental and physical attributes, either.  Every few months I see some naïve young researcher publish a paper that “proves” a link between human appearances and behavior patterns, only for humans to “come out of the woodwork” and present themselves as living evidence of the falsity of their claim. 

In short, no matter how much we study humans, only the most basic of understandings can be applied to them as a species.  To understand a given human, one must study that specific human.

Aquarius - Devoting from a Distance 

Aquarius can be the most elusive sign in love. Collective romance sweeps through intellectual Aquarius. Their humanitarian qualities are impossible to ignore. And they flood with love, but they are a diamond in the rough, and their love is not reserved for you. It is reserved for mother earth, for sea life and tree life, for experience, learning, culture, and progression. Aquarians typically resist drama or soaking emotion in love. The born explorer retains heavy guard over independence and the freedom of thought and expression. They will rarely let another human influence their decisions, morale, or values. The crystal, airy glass wall can be erected before Aquarius. Detachment gives them a cool and casual approach to love and social processes in general. Aquarius is certainly romantic. Unusual gestures, sharp minds, freedom fighters, these personalities shock jolt the electric Aquarius heart. And this heart is so often repressed by constant, chaotic thoughts, embarrassment, and the fear of vulnerability. They have subtle ways of expressing their feelings, and its of the Aquarian nature to be paradoxical in everything they do. Love with Aquarius is stimulating, playful, enlightening and above all, confusing. One of the zodiac’s biggest hearts is constantly combating dissociation, indifference and a fear of sentimentality. The heavier the emotion, the more increasingly uncomfortable or agitated Aquarius becomes.

Saturn is the ruler of Aquarius and the cold, dry planet is renowned for stifling innocence, vulnerability, creativity, and sensitivity. Aquarians are highly responsive to pain and cruelty, but they rarely let emotionality take over. Often they consciously decide to keep a safe distance from their own feelings, banishing them so they can be directed into something more meaningful, so they are not so messy or invasive. Love can be displayed through wisdom and guidance, through sharing their most outstanding ideas, through giving you freedom to be yourself, and wander, and love in your own lyric. It’s true Aquarius can be overcome with emotion. So many Aquarians have Pisces influence in the chart. Aquarius is the sign of rain so crying provides an excellent cleanse. But its rare to see an Aquarius indulge in emotional displays, they can feel shame or insufficiency. The humanitarian directs love on behalf of the greater collective, ensuring survival of the most innocent and assaulted. And yet, the Aquarius rarely self-soothes, often comparing and diminishing their trauma to others and forcing themselves to survive in isolation. When Aquarius fails to reveal their feelings of sadness or hopelessness to lovers, their distance and silence can cut like a knife.

The Aquarius has an unconscious fear that desire for one person will extinguish their flame. The sign of tribes, groups, and community are programmed to scatter their love amongst humanity rather than direct it one on one. This is why so many Aquarians become teachers, medical researchers, volunteers, and public health advocates - they feel inherent responsibility and love for people, especially children and animals. The Aquarius can deeply desire love, but their nature makes it more elusive than it need be. Aquarians are not suspicious, but any form of betrayal will rip them into pieces, because opening their heart was such an ordeal. They had to detangle bubblewrap and squeeze so many feelings into one person. Absence makes the Uranus heart grow fonder, and they are rarely lonely when they are alone. What they really seek is somebody they can ‘be alone with’, that is, retain their normal routine with somebody to bounce energy off. The Aquarius will probe and provoke your deepest and darkest realms, but don’t expect access to theirs. Like an internal roller coaster, the complexities of Aquarius are confusing and exhilarating, each gesture of love navigated by intellect and thought. Something traditionally romantic could make them giggle and disengage. Something stimulating, exciting, a place, a person, somebody just vibrating to their own frequency, is what melts the Aquarian heart. Light, breezy, and sanguine individuals, Aquarians rarely notice when someone is flirting or taking an interest, and they must be free to roam uninhibited in love. Someone as unique as Aquarius needs to wait for someone equally as special. And finding another diamond in the rough can take a lot of digging.

-C.

My Life as a Cartoon Network Intern (and how I think you can Intern in Animation too!)

Over this past summer, I was given the amazing opportunity to be a Production Intern at Cartoon Network (I worked on Clarence; woo!)

Every once in a while I get people who either come up to me in person, or who message me on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram etc. and ask me how I got the opportunity, and how they can intern in animation as well. Recently (Over the course of the last week or so) I’ve been asked a bunch, so I decided to create this massive master post in an attempt to get the information out to as many artists (and non-artists) as possible! 

I know a lot of people who feel like getting into the animation industry is completely impossible, (I should know, I felt the exact same way not too long ago) and I also know just how LITTLE references there actually are on finding an internship, and beyond that, the type of experiences that people who gotten the chance to intern have had. I told myself that if I got the internship, I would try to change that, and here we are! (A little late, but I really want to make this as helpful as possible)

If you all could please Reblog this to your followers I would love it! You never know who’s looking and hopefully, I can help people with my experiences! 

So to make it easier for people who don’t have the time to read all of my ramblings, AND for the sake of ease/reference; I’m going to break this post up into different sections: My Internship search My initial excitement/rejections - How I got the internship - My experience as an Intern and How Interning has helped me as an artist

My Internship search: 

Halfway through last year (My Sophomore year of college) I had decided that I would take a leap of faith and apply for some internships. I didn’t expect much of it, but my hopes were high because I thought I had at least a halfway decent portfolio, and my resume had some pretty okay animation experience on it (I’m the head of the only Animation organization on campus) and I’m majoring in animation so I had some 3D experience and 2D experience (which I’ve worked on on my own time, since it’s what I want to do) 

One of my biggest worries was the fact that I go to a state school: Southern Illinois University. The school is great, and I love it there, but I couldn’t afford art school, so I was very worried about how many opportunities there would be for me in Southern Illinois. Especially with the amount of amazing art that I see coming from people who go to schools like CalArs, Sheridan and the like. I was frustrated because I wasn’t there and felt like I would never get the opportunity to work in animation, which has been my dream since I could hold a pencil. Cartoons have changed my life, and they still do; but I was genuinely afraid that because I couldn’t afford a more art-related education, that I wouldn’t get the opportunity to tell stories like I’ve always dreamed. (But I digress) 

As I was saying: I was doing all of your standard (I want/need a job) searches to try to find something in animation: Glassdoor, Internships.com, JOBS.com; stuff like that. FUN FACT: I’ve read every single Glassdoor review for both Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Every Job. All of them.

Some internships are a lot easier to find: Nickelodeon, Disney, Titmouse

While some are WAAAAAY more elusive: Cartoon Network… 

This narrowed my search down from a bunch of animation studios.. to a handful. My candidates were: Nickelodeon, Dreamworks and Titmouse. (All wonderful animation studios!) Now here’s where it gets interesting:

 My initial excitement/Rejections:

I didn’t hear back from any of them! NOT ONE. Which I learned after a very long, VERY stressful waiting period. (At this time it was early to mid April) Now; I knew that I was really too young to be applying for the internships, (I’m young for my grade so I was 19 at the time) And I knew that all of these internships specified that they wanted a Junior or above, but I figured since the year was almost over and I had good grades that MAYBE, they would let me slide. But I had no real experience working in animation, and although my hopes were high, they were also reeeeeeeal low. 

After waiting for the few weeks that I did, and not hearing a peep, I was dejected, frustrated, and I felt like there was no hope for me… Which leads us to…

HOW I GOT THE INTERNSHIP: 

When it comes to how I actually GOT the job: The answer I want to give you guys is that it was complete luck, and that by a series of random occurrences, somehow I was offered the position…. BUT, that’s only half true. Honestly, I worked really hard on making sure that I had as good a résumé as I possibly could: 

By that, I mean that I’ve worked really hard in school to get good grades/dean’s list/honors program, etc.; and I also started an animation organization on campus. (There’s a major, but there was a huge lack of enthusiasm and community within the program at SIU so I wanted to help to bring other artists and myself closer, and make great art while we’re at it) 

On top of that, I wrote (what I think was) a really good cover letter. But… Even with all three of those things, I don’t know if I would have gotten the position if it wasn’t for the internship coordinator at my school. I go to Southern Illinois University, and she pointed me in the direction of the Cartoon Network internship. (The Turner website isn’t like Nickelodeon, they only post internships when there’s a position to be filled)

LUCKILY for me, the Producer of Clarence (The wonderful Keith Mack) is an alum from SIU, so he connected with the internship coordinator (bless her heart) and I learned exactly when the position opened up. My resume and things got sent straight to him. I got a Skype interview a couple of weeks later, and I got accepted the day of the interview!

So I mean… Looking back, it was half luck, half hard work. 

It’s not like the grades and stuff really matter outside of college; Grades are just arbitrary letters, after all. But, I say that to say that I’ve tried to work hard in college even though I’m not at an art school, and that if you’re focused, it doesn’t really matter WHAT you’re good at; but how hard you work and the type of person you are. You can never go to college but be an amazing artist and an amazing person, and if you meet that ONE right person, or if you’re at that ONE correct place at the correct time; amazing things can happen; and I FIRMLY believe that. 

While I was at CN I was talking to someone (I don’t know if it’s best to call her out by name?..) But anyway she was telling me about how some of the artists are found at CN and she told me that Tumblr, YES TUMBLR. Is a HUUUUUUUUGE factor in the hiring of some people! So if you can… POST POST POST! Putting your art out there is the absolute best way to get seen. You NEVER know who’s looking at your artwork, and this website is an amazing platform for sharing, and learning about art. (And as a shameless plug: The blog Artists-Everyday is actually meant for just that ;) check it ouuuuut)

But moving forward; let’s talk about: 

THE INTERVIEW:

The interview to be an intern at CN was both really intimidating, and really comfortable at the same time. I love animation pretty much more than anything, so the idea that a single interview could determine whether or not I got a life-changing opportunity was pretty much one of the most daunting things that I could think of. The fact that I was in southern Illinois RIGHT at the time that I would have had to interview really didn’t help either… It was really scary to me, because it meant that I wasn’t going to be able to interview in person. It was a Skype interview, (a group one at that) and it was my first time ever interviewing for a position online. 

Once I got past all of the initial fear, the interview was smooth sailing. They had already seen my resume and cover letter; so we really just spent a lot of time talking about casual things: my favorite animated movie, what my favorite episode of Clarence was, etc. It wasn’t like your usual interview where they ask “why would we hire you” or “what is your greatest weakness” and I really appreciated that. They weren’t robots, they weren’t the ANIMATION GODS like I was imagining in my head – they were actual people, who happen to love animation, and the interview reflected that. 

I learned that I had gotten the position the day that I interviewed, and I’m SO GLAD I didn’t have to wait any more days, because at that point I was on fire on the inside. II don’t know what the hiring process was like for interns on different shows, so don’t take my word for how long it’ll take if you make it this far) 


MY EXPERIENCE AS AN INTERN/HOW IT’S HELPED ME AS AN ARTIST:

There is no one word to describe how amazing it is to work at Cartoon Network. A lot of CN stuff is “hush hush” high security, and they don’t allow you to take pictures of the inside of the buildings - So I’m not going to say much, other than: It’s magic. Pure magic. But I will say one thing: Free food. AT ALL TIMES. EVERY DAY. 

Working there is one of the most creatively satisfying things I’ve ever done in my life. The people, the atmosphere… it was all so inspiring. I’ve learned more in those past three months than I have in the last two years, and It’s all because I was surrounded by so many people who are better than me. People, who I might add, are some of the greatest, nicest, and most helpful people I’ve met in a long time. Plus, Cartoon Network really goes out on a limb to take care of their employees. 

I got to sit in on voice actors doing their recordings, I got to see storyboard pitches, I got to see animatics and assets for episodes that were unaired, and it was all being created right in front of me by such PASSIONATE people. 

I EVEN GOT TO MEET TOM KENNY. He remembered my name… 

As a production intern you get to see the logistic side of things: and you really grow to appreciate Production and that side of the industry, because without the production team, there would be no show! Even though I want to be a storyboard artist, I now know more about the industry and Cartoon Network as a whole, and it makes me feel much more connected to the shows that I watch on television.

One of the other biggest things about the program is the fact that I got to take storyboard/character design tests for practice, and I got the chance to pitch a show to the studio, in front of the Clarence Crew and even some really important executives! which was an AMAZING opportunity that I learned a TON from. I got amazing feedback, and I had to push myself harder than I’ve ever pushed myself before. Mentally, artistically, and personally. 


IN CONCLUSION

It’s possible. Being an intern at an animation studio is possible. Getting a job in animation is possible. Making friends in animation, and actually feeling like you belong to something you’ve dreamed about since you were a child is POSSIBLE. It doesn’t matter where you go to school, it doesn’t matter if you’re afraid, and it doesn’t matter what you look like. People are drawn to people who are genuine; and if you love animation, or production, or storyboarding or character design, and you work hard and try to really open yourself up artistically; you CAN do it. Take it from the 20 year old black guy who loves anime, video games and cartoons. You can do it. 


I don’t know how many people will see this or how helpful it actually is; but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE feel free to share this info with your followers, and on top of that if you guys EVER have any questions about my experiences or need me to clarify anything for ANY reason you’re absolutely welcome to contact me! 

I know how many people would love to intern, and I know (from experience) how DREADFUL It is to find conducive information about how the process works and how YOU can get an internship. 

Hope you guys stuck with this post till the end, and like I said if you ever have any more questions, (hell, or if you even want to share YOUR art with me… I’m always open!) 

TL;DR:                  This Gif Sums it Up 

-Sean 

In Honor of Earth Day 2017: PBS Nature’s Ask Box is now open for the next round of Tumblr’s IssueTime on Conservation and Climate Change!

NATURE  is so excited to work with Tumblr and the wonderful scientists, biologists and filmmakers who’ve agreed to be on our panel so that you can learn more about the environmental issues we’re currently facing.  Dig deeper into the issues with full episodes of NATURE, now streaming!

The Panelists:

Arnaud  Desbiez  is a conservation biologist who has been conducting research in the Brazilian Pantanal since 2002. He has worked on topics ranging from sustainable use of  resources  to  species  ecological  research and community  development  programs. In  the  Brazilian  Pantanal,  his  work  focused  on  the interaction  between  native  and alien  species, the sustainable  use  of  forage  resources  and  the  ecology  of  several mammal species.   In 2010 he started and now coordinates the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project. Arnaud is featured in our most recent episode, Hotel Armadillo.

Patrick Gonzalez is Principal Climate Change Scientist of the U.S. National Park Service and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. A forest ecologist, he conducts applied research on climate change and works with national parks to adapt resource management to climate change. Patrick has conducted and published field research on climate change in Africa, Latin America, and the United States and has served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Watch our recent episode about the challenges facing Yosemite, now streaming!

Chris Morgan is an ecologist, conservationist, educator, TV host/narrator and film producer specializing in international bear research and conservation. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide and environmental educator on every continent where bears exist. Chris  has narrated 13 films for Nature and was host and narrator for Siberian Tiger Quest as well as being the featured character in Nature’s three-part series ‘Bears of the Last Frontier.’ In 2015, he was also host and narrator for Nature’s Three-part ‘Animal Homes’ series and was featured in ‘The Last Orangutan Eden.’ Learn more about Chris’ story with this interview we conducted with him.

Learn More about Chris

Joe Pontecorvo is an award-winning producer, writer, and cinematographer. For the past two decades, he has traveled the globe; tracking Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East, living among grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska, and following orangutans through Indonesia’s peat swamp forest. All told, he has produced 14 broadcast documentaries for multiple networks, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and PBS. For his most recent project before ‘Yosemite,’ PBS Nature’s ‘Snow Monkeys,’ Joe and his wife, Nim Pontecorvo, spent nearly two years filming a troop of Japanese macaques in Japan’s Shiga Highlands. Go behind-the-scenes into the making of that film here.

Learn More about Joe

Happy Earth Day! Check back Saturday for answers! 

THIRTEEN’s The Talk – Race in America Tackles the Issue of Young People of Color and Their Uneasy Encounters With Law Enforcement. It premieres Monday, February 20, 9 p.m. on PBS. In anticipation of that premiere Tumblr and THIRTEEN  have convened officers, advocates and policy experts to discuss the state of community policing in the United States. 

Dr. Bryant T. Marks is a National Trainer on Implicit Bias and Community Policing. He has trained over 1,000 police chiefs via a series of White House briefings, and several thousand patrol officers through small group workshops in police departments across the country. He is a professor of psychology at Morehouse College and also serves as a Senior Research Fellow with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

John Matthews is the Executive Director of the Community Safety Institute (CSI) and a former Chief of Police. John developed and implemented community policing for the Dallas Police Department in the 1990’s and has worked nationally on scores of COPS Office initiatives over the past twenty years developing over 100 community policing training programs. John also serves as the Director of Federal Partnerships for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and was a member of the White House 21st Century Policing team.

Bakari Kitwana is the executive director of Rap Sessions, which is currently touring the nation leading town hall discussions on the theme “Run Toward Fear: Millennial Activists and Social Justice in the Trump Era” He is the author of The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture the forthcoming Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era.

Trevena Garel is a retired New York City Police Sergeant. During her 21-year career Trevena served as both an undercover and an investigator in the NYPD’s Chief of Patrol’s Investigation and Evaluation Section, investigating allegations of misconduct involving both uniformed and/or civilian members of the NYPD. Trevena has had “The Talk” with her three children and her two oldest grandchildren.

Chief Michael Koval began his career with the Madison Police Department in 1983. Before becoming the Chief in 2014 he was the Sergeant of Recruitment and Training for 17 years. He has a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

The Ask Box is now open.  Ask our panelists a question!

Our panelists will start responding on Saturday, February 18. 

“ Most people think witches are a coven of lesbians dancing naked in the forest celebrating the semen stolen from imprisoned hypnotized males, which they then use to inseminate one another using turkey basters in order to create a legion of demon babies. Well, that’s only part of it. We are also active in community outreach programs.” - Amy Sedaris

kent “fuck the gender binary” parson

  • he’s a hockey player and hockey culture can be a cesspool of toxic masculinity bullshit and he’s absorbed a lot of it, he’s working on it
  • but he does and says a lot of things that get bros side-eyeing him
  • he’s captain of the vegas team and he’s got a calder and led a team to the stanley cup in his first few years in the NHL, so people let a lot slide.  they laugh it all off as ~antics~ from that one hockey guy, but no.  
  • kent “fuck the gender binary” parson is dead serious
  • the photo of lardo and kent saying that kent got beat in flip cup circulates around the locker room, and everyone tries to laugh at kent for being beat by a college girl.  kent says fuck yeah he did, that college girls are badasses.  he says lardo could drink them all under the table, too.  
  • kent thinks it’s the weirdest fucking thing that people seem to think that liking things that smell nice is inherently feminine.  are boys supposed to want their lockers to smell like toxic waste?  fuck that.  kent likes candles that make his place smell good.  kent likes lush products a little too much for an ordinary person’s budget.  kent spends enough of his time smelling like sweaty hockey boy out on the ice.  he’s gonna buy some fucking shampoo that’s good for his hair and smells like fucking flowers.
  • kent definitely claims picking playlists for practice days out on the ice as captain’s privilege.  and he does not have any tolerance for people complaining about his bubblegum pop, calling it girly shit.  he’s chill with people not liking the music out of personal preference (though he thinks they’re wrong), but the second they act like that pop music has any less value than hipster music or dad rock because it’s ~girly shit~, he’ll throw down.  he unabashedly loves britney spears.  they’re in vegas and she’s a fucking legend, how should toxic not be on the practice playlist?
  • kent loves doing charity work with kids, and he makes a concerted effort to work with and donate to community programs for youth girl’s hockey teams and youth co-ed hockey teams.  he knows that women in hockey face a lot of bullshit that the dudes don’t, and he takes every opportunity he can to support women’s programs and to call shit out on twitter.
  • kent is the captain, and he knows everyone expects him to be stoic and tough, but that’s just not his style.  kent knows he’s fighting a losing battle, and that he’s not even always so great at it himself, but he tries to make his locker room a place where dudes can have emotions and express them in a healthy way.  he doesn’t buy that ‘dudes are supposed to be tough and never cry’ bullshit.  he cries a fucking lot, and he doesn’t hide that.  as someone who has experienced how much not dealing with emotions can fuck a person up, he isn’t gonna promote that shit in his locker room.  and he definitely is gonna call it out when someone tries to act like being a human being with emotions that aren’t just ‘chill’ and ‘hockey-induced rage’ is somehow not masculine.

kent parson does not subscribe to gender binary bullshit, and he is not fucking around

Affirmative action is just one particularly resonant part of this puzzle, in which white people are told that any effort to address historical and current discrimination must necessarily involve taking something from white people and giving it to black people, a zero-sum contest in which, if racism is being ameliorated, it must mean whites are being victimized.
 

This idea goes back a long way, but it’s important to understand that it needs to be constantly maintained, which is where the conservative media come in. If you’re not a regular viewer of Fox News, reader of Breitbart or listener to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, you may not understand what a central role white racial grievance plays in the media presentations that shape how conservatives today see the world. There are constant reminders in those forums that government is an entity that swoops into your life to steal things from you so that it can give them to undeserving black people.
 

Sometimes it requires wholesale invention of crimes and outrages, but much of the time the conservative media do it by taking something real and jamming it through a racial extruder to come out on the other end as evidence of the cushy life minorities are being granted. For instance, a Federal Communications Commission program that has existed for decades to help low-income people afford telephone service gets turned by the conservative media into “Obamaphones” supposedly given only to black people, once there’s an African American in the White House.

This is a very quick transcription of a basic spirit gratitude ritual that we do here for our companions at MM. Note that this may not work for every entity (some of our darker counterparts have said something along the lines of “Come on, what am I? An Overlord of Cake?” though most get the gesture and that is what matters.)

This is a small dedication ceremony, so the purpose is to give thanks, and to assert (for the first time, or again on an anniversary/birthday, etc) your intentions with them and what you hope the friendship blossoms into.

You can absolutely do your own variation of this, make it into a party, or really make it yours!

What you will need:

Three Plates/Bowls/Platters

A Coin

Two tealights or small multipurpose candles

Incense or Singular Purpose (Not used elsewhere) Candle

Cinnamon

Tea or Wine (Water if you have neither, or milk if you prefer)

Offerings such as Cake, Candy, Crystals, Seeds, Flowers, etc.

A hand-drawn sigil or heart that has been cut out of the original paper or is on a smaller piece of paper.


Steps:

1. Lay the three vessels out. Two of them are for any food items you may have or wish to share, so if you aren’t sharing, you will not need them both. We usually share, as it feels more communal that way, which is an energy many entities like. This is up to you and your friend!  Arrange them in a triangle with one at the top and two diagonally out from either side. 

2. Place and arrange any food items or personal offerings on the two plates, serving them first, and then yourself. If you are using gems, or something inedible, you may still do this symbolically if you wish.

3. Place the two candles on either side of the top plate. Welcome your entities forth as you cleanse the space and consecrate it. Take this time to ground and shield so that you are interacting only with the energies you are welcoming into the space.

4. The Dedication - Have the coin, incense or single use candle, cinnamon, and wine/beverage handy. You may change the phrasing if you wish! State “This is my dedication to you, ____. These are the promises I wish to keep to you, as a friend, as a companion, and as a human counterpart. I thank you so much for choosing to stay here with me, and to help me on my Earthly journey. I value you and look forward to growing alongside you. – Insert any personal dedications here-

5. Place the coin on the top plate. Say something along the lines of “Let this coin symbolize the wealth of our friendship, and the richness that comes from having you in my life.

6. Light the candle or incense and place it on the plate. [Dorm folks can use battery candles!] Say something along the lines of “As this flame alights, I thank you for providing a guiding light and inspiration in my life. Let it symbolize the enlightenment that comes from our friendship.

7. Place the cinnamon on the plate. Say something along the lines of “Let this cinnamon represent the grounded, sturdy nature of our friendship, and the sweetness that comes from working with one another.”

8. Place the beverage on the plate. Say something along the lines of “As the river nourishes the earth and allows for growth, so do we inspire growth and enlightenment in one another. Take this libation as my thanks for being a teacher and a friend.”

9. Lastly, place the hand-drawn figure or sigil on the plate. Say something like “Let this sigil represent the time and effort I dedicate to you as you have dedicated to me. This friendship involves work and passion on both parts, and this is my dedication to you that I will do what it takes to show you the love and respect you have shown to me

10. Say any further prayers or dedications, and feel free to bring out tarot cards at this point and allow them to communicate through that or other mediums of scrying or divination. Leave out the offerings as long as you like, bury them in the earth, or consume them if the entity is understanding and if you cannot afford to waste. Know that portions of offerings do not need to be huge, it truly is the thought that counts. 

Note that you can also use apps such as Ghost Radar or Echovox if you use those types of programs, as communication seems to pick up at this time. 

We like to do this on saturdays and follow it with divination, wine/beer, and treats. You can also do it with other spirit companion friends of yours and bring different entity families together! This may not be the perfect schematic for all spirit families, depending on cultures, needs, and preferences, but hopefully it will give you a good outline!

We wish you much love, light, and laughter!

-MM

Originally posted by hppybday2u

OH MY GOD THIS IS REALLY NOSTALGIC.

HEY EVERYONE who love 19 days and recognize my existence

I change the way I colored this little comic a little bit, especially on the lighting effect. Hope it gives a pleasant feeling while reading it. I drew this on Krita, and the text tool is shitty so I ended up writing the dialog with pen tab :(

I usually included some rant along the fanart I made, and this one is going to be a reaaaaally long rant (okay, maybe not, but still) so I’m putting a tab below to help you skip the rant lol

PS: I hope you’re not scared seeing He Tian’s body *sobs I had hard time configuring the body without references :’(

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please read this if you describe autistic people with functioning labels (high/low functioning, mildly/severely autistic)

i will describe 4 scenarios. the person in each scenario is a (fictional) autistic adult.

scenario 1:

this person is completely nonverbal. they cannot take a bath by themselves. they need continuous assistance from a caretaker to go about their day to day life. they require a very specific diet to cater to their sensory sensitivities.

is this person high or low functioning?

scenario 2:

this person is a manager at a large store. they have not been diagnosed with autism, and none of the people they work with suspect they are autistic. some people notice they are very fidgety, but no one particularly thinks of them as being abnormal.

is this person high or low functioning?

scenario 3:

this person is constantly battling with anxiety, to the point that it regularly makes them physically ill. they spend most of the time suffering from sensory overload, to some degree. making any eye contact gives then the urge to start screaming.

is this person high or low functioning?

scenario 4:

this person loves conversation, and is good at communicating their thoughts and feelings. they have learned how to manipulate and control their environment to regulate sensory input. they are an excellent pianist, and enjoy composing their own works.

is this person high or low functioning?

now that you’ve read these four scenarios, what would you think if i said they described only two people? person A is described in scenarios 1 and 4, and person B is described in scenarios 2 and 3. although many people would say that scenarios 1 and 3 describe low functioning people while scenarios 2 and 4 describe high functioning people, there is nothing contradictory in having 1 and 4 and 2 and 3 describe the same people. the traits and behaviors described are entirely compatible with each other.

let me tell you a little more about them.

person A was diagnosed with autism very early in life. their parents were initially shocked by the diagnosis. when they were two years old and had not spoken, they were terrified by the idea that they would never talk. however, with the help of their live-in caretaker, A learned to communicate using an AAC program.

they grew older, and learned how to type, although they never had the ability to handwrite. A’s parents homeschooled them, and their performance in most subjects was about as good as the average student’s. from a young age they expressed an interest in music, which led their parents to have them enrolled in piano lessons. they excelled at piano, and made friends with the other students. despite their skill, they struggled to gain respect from the musical community in the area, who deemed them to be “too severely autistic” for their ability to matter.

in communities of autism family and friends, too, they were called “too low functioning” for their contributions to be of any significance. although they tried to share their experiences as an autistic person, they were told that they didn’t have the capacity to understand what they were talking about.

person B’s parents never liked them. they talked too loud, they wouldn’t meet their eyes, they hid in their room all the time. their parents struggled to get them to “behave” and “act like a normal child”. slowly, B learned how to do just that. they learned to endure the noise, the lights, the smells. they forced themselves to meet the eyes of others. they made themselves talk, even when they had to drag the words from their throat.

as they got older, they got better and better at pretending. they were able to fake neurotypicality well enough that they even fooled all the people they worked with. however, in secret, B’s condition was deteriorating. the sensory overload was so frequent that they carried a bag of advil to ward off worsening headaches. eventually, they came across a description of autistic traits and recognized their own symptoms. they visited a doctor and told them about their concerns. however, when B told the doctor about their work, they said that since they were able to work so well that if they were autistic, it was too mild to be of any consequence.

after doing more independent research, B came to the conclusion that they must be autistic, regardless of what the doctor had said. however, when going to autism friends and family communities for help and advice, they were met with scorn. they were told that they were “too high functioning” to be considered truly autistic, and that they were just trying to make themselves seem special.

at best, functioning labels are wildly inaccurate. at worst, they are actively harmful and used to silence autistic people.

still not very secretly obsessed with “Mace Windu unfucks the timeline and takes Anakin Skywalker as his padawan while running bitter, bitter deadpan gallows-humor commentary” as a fic concept, really. 

  • “I HAD A VISION AND EVERYONE IS GOING TO LISTEN TO THE VISION. Also I will not be explaining the vision. Also-also, dibs. Sorry, Jinn, too slow. You can get the next Chosen One.”
  • “RANDOMLY, ISN’T IT INTERESTING HOW A ZABRAK CAN SURVIVE BEING CUT ENTIRELY IN HALF? BETTER NOT DO THAT IF YOU EVER RUN INTO A HOSTILE ONE. THE GALAXY IS A FASCINATING PLACE.” 
  • “Use the fucking buddy system, Qui-Gon. WE HAVE THE BUDDY SYSTEM FOR A REASON, QUI-GON.” 
  • “Alright, kid, when the rest of the Council asks your ship ‘accidentally’ took off with the rest of the fleet, got it? Good. Get up there.” 
  • “Today’s padawan homework: going to visit the creche and not coming back until you have a varied friend group of peers your own age who you can vent to/be influenced by throughout your impending teen years/apprenticeship, I do not care HOW LONG it takes or how old ‘your age’ is by the time you’re done, get going.” 
  • “Politicians are the devil, padawan. Stay the hell away from politicians.” 
  • “Good luck bodyguarding Senator Amidala, Master Jinn, why don’t you take Knight Kenobi with you. Anakin and I will be on Tattooine for the next several months for no particular reason.” 
  • “Did I mention that politicians are the devil, padawan?” 
  • “Hello, Mr. Lars, the Jedi Council has elected us to erect a very tall fence around your property as part of a community outreach program on behalf of the Order. Yes, it IS electric, very observant, Mrs. Lars. Oh excuse us please it looks like you might be under attack by raiders, let us take care of that for you.” 
  • “Sorry, Supreme Chancellor, don’t know WHERE my padawan is today. I swear, I’ll lose my own hand next.” 

Assata Shakur once said: if ever there was a decision between armed struggle and social programs (like free grocery programs, free health and education programs, free communal/local crime prevention programs etc), a revolutionary movement should always choose the social program approach.

Social programs represent an experimental view of the world we all strive for whereas an armed insurrection in the immediate present wouldn’t.

This isn’t to say that violence is completely barred – especially in terms of action and self defense against fascists, criminals, injustice, oppression, etc – in the mean time; only that a revolutionary movement shouldn’t put all of its efforts being armed to the teeth, ready to mobilize, and start destroying the state and capitalism at the drop of a hat when they can spend their time investing in social projects for the people’s immediate benefit while spreading ideals, goals, and principles for now and the future.

Armed struggle is an inescapable consequence for any revolutionary movement, however the result would be always be failure if the people don’t know what they’re fighting for and if they solely rely on the well-read militants for deciding what’s right and wrong.

A small movement that can’t defend itself but can understand itself is a seed that can grow; but a movement that can defend itself with no self understanding is a hollow shell.

A Letter To The Joe

Thank you for making this Michigan kid’s dreams come true
by Zach Werenski

Dear Joe Louis Arena,

It’s hard to believe that this will be the last game I ever play on your ice surface.

And to think, when I was a kid growing up in Grosse Pointe Woods, all I ever wanted was to play a game at The Joe and to be a Detroit Red Wing. Let’s make one thing clear: it’s the honor of a lifetime to be a Columbus Blue Jacket and to wear this sweater, but six-year-old Zach saw your sheet of ice as the ultimate goal. It meant everything to lace up my skates and twirl on the same ice as all the greats to wear the winged wheel.

I’m only 19 years old now, and it feels so weird to be saying goodbye to you.

When we played hockey in the street or practiced in one of our local rinks, I wanted to be Nick Lidstrom. He’s one of the biggest reasons why I chose to become a defenseman (I wasn’t the best at the other positions, but still) and I wore No. 13 for most of my life and through college because I idolized Pavel Datsyuk. The allure and prestige of Joe Louis Arena is what motivated me as a kid, and I would’ve done anything to fulfill the dream of “one day, you could play at The Joe.”

Luckily, I’m able to say that I did. I’ve played over 50 games at The Joe in my young life, both as a little guy and then in college and now in the NHL. My parents raised us 13 miles from downtown Detroit, and I was so fortunate to be part of youth programs and community organizations that helped bring our dreams to life.

I first played at The Joe when I was young. Like, really young. The Grosse Pointe Bulldogs were my squirt team when I was maybe nine years old, and we got the chance to play a game on the ice a few hours before the Red Wings played. There was nothing like it, and looking back on it now, it was so much better as a kid because I feel like I appreciated it more. I soaked up every second. I don’t think I actually believed it was happening. When I got older and played there in college, I was so worried about preparing for the game and staying focused that I lost sight of those feelings and emotions from when I was a kid.

Make no mistake: we’re coming to The Joe for two points on Tuesday night, but there’s zero chance I won’t be taking a few extra looks around the place. I mean, how could I not? I started playing hockey because I wanted to play at The Joe.

Everyone says it, and they’re right: all you have to do is look up in the rafters or walk around the concourses to see how special the building is: decades of tradition, dozens of the game’s all-time greatest players, and a large handful of Stanley Cup championships. The Red Wings and Joe Louis Arena embody what every kid who aspires to be a National Hockey League player wants or wanted. I know because I was one of those kids.

I’m not really a kid anymore, but for one night, I plan on being one in the building that gave me something to dream about.

So I wanted to make sure I said “thank you,” Joe Louis Arena. Thank you for the memories and for housing the tradition, for representing a historic franchise and for helping a wide-eyed kid from suburban Detroit fall in love with hockey.

And if you can put in a word for me…I’d *really* like one of the chairs.

Zach

Trump's voters still don't regret their vote.

Alec Baldwin was back as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live last night and the cold open poked fun at rural Republicans who blindly support Donald Trump even as he is clearly making their lives more difficult.

It’s just comedy, but it immediately made me think some of the writers had read Nicholas Kristof’s piece in the New York Times earlier this month where he interviewed Trump supporters who were upset about his policies and actions since taking office, but would still vote for him.  It’s almost beyond comprehension to be honest.  Some of these people would rather die than admit they voted the wrong way.  Literally die.  A few examples so you can see what I’m talking about:

Ezekiel Moreno took advantage of a job training program that Trump is cutting.  He was able to move his family out of a small apartment and into a house, and his daughter now has a math tutor and violin lessons.  He would still vote for Trump again.  I guess since he got his training, it doesn’t really matter if the next guy can’t.

Elizabeth Hayes was gangraped in college and credits her survival and healing to the Domestic Violence Intervention Center.  Trump wants to do away with that, but Hayes says “I will stand behind my president.”

Judy Banks is a 70-year-old Trump Voter who depends on funds from the Senior Community Service Employment Program to get by.  She literally said, “If I lose this job, I’ll sit home and die,” but she would still vote for Trump in 2020 because “of those illegals.”

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Shae-lynn Bourne Interview at Y.H. 2017-18 Media Day

(Shae-lynn and Yuzuru’s ema at Seimei Shrine. Photo cr. misayuzulove@twi)

…I get goosebumps. He has a connection with the music and moves freely. He does everything, believing in what I say. He makes the process of choreography a really beautiful thing for me. ––– S.L.B.

Told from Shae-lynn Bourne’s perspective, a glimpse into Yuzuru the skater and Yuzuru the person. She also talks about choreographing for him and with him, and the bond they’ve forged. With her instinct to connect with both music and people, it’s clear how she and Yuzuru make a killer team. Alternatively––SLB is such a romantic (in the best way possible). She made the jump landings in SEIMEI 2 really hard. She confirms he grew taller. - Gladi :P

SLB spoke with the press on Day 1 of the 2017-18 Season Media Day. The 15-minute interview in its almost-entirety was edited by Figure Skate Magazine (B.B.Mook 1383). Repeated QA’s were omitted. 

Translated by gladi. Please do not repost without permission.  Photos below were taken by Ryosuke Menjyu and belong to B.B.Mook.



A new SEIMEI with increased charm
The year of reaching new heights

Although SEIMEI isn’t a completely new program, we’ve made modifications and added new appeal. It’s an improved, new SEIMEI. Of course the order of the elements has changed, so have the entries and difficulty of the elements, as well as the level of the content. It is Version 2, so to speak. I think this will become the final version.

I believe it was about a month after the World Championships. I wrote a message suggesting, “How about skating to SEIMEI?” I thought it was such a perfect fit for the Olympics. Afterwards, I was very glad when I learned of his choice.  I think it is the right plan.

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