Black history month day 22: Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson.
Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson Sr. was born in Detroit, Michigan on September 18, 1951. When he was eight, his parents separated and he moved with his mother and brother to his mother’s sister’s home. Carson’s mother struggled with severe depression, resulting in several psychiatric hospitalizations and an attempted suicide. She was however very involved with her sons’ education, limiting their time watching television and requiring them to read and write book reports on two library books per week.
Carson had dreams of being a doctor since he was eight. He did well in school and scored very highly on the SAT for the Detroit school district. When it came time to choose a college, he narrowed the choice between Harvard or Yale, but could only for the $10 application fee for one school. He chose Yale after seeing them win a televised G.E. college bowl against Harvard. He received a full scholarship. Later he attended medical school at the university of Michigan and was excepted into the neurosurgery program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Carson was the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland from 1984 until his retirement in 2013. He was indisputably a pioneer in neurosurgery, his achievements including performing the only successful separation of conjoined twins joined at the back of the head, the first successful neurosurgical procedure on a fetus inside the womb, and the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins. He also developed new methods to treat brain-stem tumors and improved techniques for controlling seizures. At age 33 he became the youngest head of pediatric neurosurgery in the country. He has written over 100 neurosurgical publications and received numerous accolades, including over 60 honorary doctorate degrees, dozens of national merit citations, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
Summary: In which a friendship drastically changes due to an all-campus text alert about a strange man wandering the campus.
A/N: Another one from draft-purgatory. It feels weird releasing it into the wild.
“I hate you. So. Much,” Bucky deadpans, looking up from a stapled packet of papers. “It takes me two weeks to write something of this quality, yet you pulled it off in two hours.”
"We’ll know if it’s really ‘quality’ when Professor Coulson gives it back,” you yawn, snatching the 18-page research paper from him.
“How do I obtain your kind of focus? What’s your secret?”
“The startling realization that a deadline is actually 8am and not 8pm.”
The brunette stares at you as if you just grew a third eye on your forehead. “You’re either completely insane or a brilliant genius,” Bucky sighs with either admiration or exasperation.
“Well, all this insane genius wants to do right now is sleep,” you sleepily murmur as you slide your paper back into your bag.
“Too bad Coulson docks points if you’re absent.” Bucky swings his messenger bag around and swiftly zips it open and pulls out a bottled iced coffee. “Take this,” he nudges.
“No, for the unicorn behind you,” Bucky sarcastically says, pushing the iced coffee towards you. “I can tell by your dark circles that you didn’t sleep much. Take it, you have class until 8pm today,” he insists.
Touched, you take the iced coffee and scrunch up your face in a cute way, but you don’t know that, of course. “You’re one of a kind, James Barnes,” you grin.
Bucky crosses his arms against his chest, a slightly peeved look crossing his face. “How many times did I ask you not to call me 'James’?“ he defeatedly sighs.
"A little less than a million times.” You laugh as Bucky looks like he can’t decide on laughing with you or strangling you, but both of you know that you’re absolutely right.
You’ve all heard of “Full Boyle,” but have you considered… Full Thorin?
Dwalin having to hold Thorin back as he plans to make the most wild, over-the-top declarations of love to Bilbo inappropriately soon.
Balin explaining why it’s not practical, not at all, to propose marriage (two weeks into their courtship, mind you) in front of a full court, or to have a gold statue of Bilbo in full armour erected in the middle of the throne room.
Russian photographer Katerina Plotnikova (born 1987), with the help of professional trainers and their animals, has completed a series of brilliant photographs with the participation of ‘princesses’ and wild creatures, proving that you don’t need to be a master of Photoshop to achieve the images present only in fairy tales and dreams.
What she says: I’m fine. Really. What she means: San Junipero was literally the savior of queer television this year. A stand out episode from the rest of the dystopian show, giving a happy ending to characters that throughout the past year have not received happy endings, breaking through 2016s dismal television landscape. I will personally create my own award show in order to give Charlie Brooker the award he deserves for shattering stereotypes and creating this wonderful, lovely, completely brilliant show that he has created. I seriously cannot find anymore words.
If you let go of what you think should happen, and just allow yourself to see what is actually happening, then it is very easy to find that this devastating episode was completely brilliant, and definitely worth the wait. Seriously, I feel like a lot of people have blinded themselves with a lot of prejudgments.
Thorin the rock the stone the foundation and Kili thrown up against the stars but even in main story even as dwarves of erebor it’s so sad and beautiful because only Thorin is actually made of stone only he really aches for Erebor in his bones. Fili is a creature of the forest ,of the trees and mist and to walk the world. He could perhaps become a creature of stone but he is not. He is a creature of the earth, of growing things and life and protection. And Kili, dear Kili, is a creature of the stars, of the night sky, of always reaching up and perhaps that is why he and Tauriel could become friends. Because they both love the night sky most and recongize that in each other.
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. Let’s talk about Norma Bates.
I was trying to figure out how many times I have written the name “Norma” in a script in the last five years. I think it’s somewhere around 12,000 to 15,000 times. All those times were attached to an instinct of how she would behave, react, act out, be a smartass, be crushed, be scared, be protective, be in love, be angry, be worried, be evasive, be invasive, be bitchy, be comforting, be hopeful.
Carlton Cuse and I knew we wanted, from the beginning, to tell a story about a real woman, not a shrew, as she is presented (with complete and brilliant success) in Psycho. We wanted her to be a flesh and blood woman, with a real problem of raising a son who had a problem. And we went about creating her, piece by piece, instinct by instinct, collaborating with the insanely brilliant Vera Farmiga as she stoked the fires of inspiration with her fearless performance. Norma, in my mind, was a fully living, breathing, red blooded woman. We fought through her fights with her, tried to bury old wounds with her, hoped for the best for her, and always, always, loved the hell out of her.
And then we had to kill her.
If anyone thinks living with a character all those years and then doing them in is easy, they would be wrong. I have spent more time with Norma in the last five years than I have spent with any of my friends and possibly more than I have spent with my children. There’s a lot of hours logged into writing “Norma” 12 to 15 thousand times. I’ve travelled a lot of road with Norma. And I love her as much as it is possible to love a fictional character that you kind of secretly think is actually real. And that’s a lot of love.
I know many people who watch the show and love Norma are really hurting. All I can say is so am I. However, the mythology of Robert Bloch loomed large and there was no escaping it, even though I had fantasies of putting Norma and Norman and Alex in a car and driving away to Mexico, far away from Psycho. I had the same fantasies of my mother when she was in the hospital and dying. I just wanted to get her the hell out tof there. But I couldn’t do that either. I don’t think it’s a surprise that Bates came into my life about a year after I lost my mother. I think Bates is a love letter to my mother, and to mothers in general. To the real women out there who struggle against the odds in a world that is not always kind to women, who go above and beyond every day to selflessly take care of the people they love. Women who tirelessly care for their families, fight the dragons, are flawed, get disappointed, cry by themselves in the car when no one is looking. Women who valiantly pick up the pieces and start over and over and over and over again no matter how many times they have been knocked down. Mothers are that voice that cuts through all the craziness and tells us it’s all going to be okay. They are all the softness and strength and beauty in the world.
I was grieving the loss of my mother when Bates came my way. And it became a sort of personal mission to write a mother in all her technicolor dimensions. Norman’s devotion to his mother was a weird sort of channeling of my own devotion to my mother, albeit without the serial killer part. (I know, I am skilled at denial! This is a nuanced family drama — not a tale of horror. Right?) And Norma’s love for her child at all costs was what I missed from my own mother and found a way to express through writing Bates.
Then a year ago, in the writers’ room, we were discussing just the concept of when specifically and how we would have to do the deed. I felt tears starting to roll out of my eyes. It was really embarrassing because this was my job. I was a writer, I needed to think about it. There’s no tears in executive producing! But I’d done such a good job of hiding from the fact of Norma’s eventual demise that the reality of it looming ahead hit me like a truck. I can honestly say I have spent the last year dreading this. Not like 24/7, but quietly, deeply, it has whispered to me for the last year. And still I was not ready.
When it came time to do it, It was important to for us to honor the character and how much Norman loved her, in spite of his insanity, and let her death be as gentle as possible. We wanted it to have a Romeo and Juliet quality; a convergence of potentially avoidable incidents that fell together in exactly the right order so as to render them unavoidable. We set out to write a tragedy.
The tragedy was that we actually had to go through with it.
Norma Bates will continue to be the heart and center and engine of the show. Norman and Alex’s love for her will motivate them forever. It will always be the emotional drive of the storytelling. And the fabulous Vera Farmiga will unfold in fantastical new ways that will be breathtaking to watch.
I couldn’t say goodbye to Norma Bates without spending some time loving on Vera Farmiga. Talk about a f–king muse. Talk about an artist that breathed blood and soul into this character. Vera is all mixed up in my head with this fictional character, which made it all the more heartbreaking to have to kill her on paper. Vera is, quite simply, the most ridiculously talented, brilliantly instinctual, large-hearted, hardworking, passionate, selfless, fearless, bad-assed, queen of an actress that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. The load she has carried for the show and the craft she has put into this role are extraordinary. She has brought her guts and spirit and brain to work every day and thrown them out on the table in the conjuring up of Norma Louise Bates. Bates Motel doesn’t have an innate, given story engine. It has no procedural element. It is a structure scaffolded by writing and sculpted by performance. And Vera has sculpted the f–king Pieta for us.
So thank you from the bottom of my heart, Vera, for Norma Bates. I can’t say goodbye to her. I love her too much. So I will just have to jump on to Norman’s train of denial. In my own brain, Norma and Norman and I will live in Oahu and run a resort, take walks on the beach, live on macadamia nuts, and be very, very happy, .
“It’s all going to be good,” you know.
Because Norma told me it would be. And I believe her.”
Summary: Stood down from duty on convalescent’s leave, secret agent Arthur Pendragon wonders if sheer boredom might just do him in. But when his handler saddles him with a caretaker who is by turns completely inept and strangely brilliant, and invites trouble wherever he goes, Arthur has to concede that death by boredom looks less and less likely. Death by goon squad, high-speed car chase, poison, or fiery explosion, however…
Do you have history podcast recommendations? Especially Classics related? Thanks!
Must-Listen Classics(ish) Podcasts:
- The Ancient World
- The History of Ancient Greece
- The History of Rome
- Ancient Rome Refocused
- The History of Byzantium
- A Brief History of Carthage
- Hannibal and the Punic Wars
- Ancient Warfare Podcast
- Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean
- Quomodo Dicitur? (this is completely in Latin)
Other brilliant historical podcasts:
- Archaeology Channel
- Archaeological Fantasies
- Eric’s Guide to Ancient Egypt
- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
- The History of England
- Irish History Podcast
- Revisionist History
- Stuff You Missed in History Class
- Lore (which combines history with folklore and myth, and it is fun and very well done)
- The Memory Palace (which takes historical events and portrays them in Victorianesque storytelling fashion, and it is enchanting)
- Twilight Histories
- The Lesser Bonapartes (it’s fucking hilarious)
- History of Pirates
- The Maritime History Podcast
Of course a lot of these are tailored to my specific interests, but they’re a good start.
question for anyone who’s seen the broadway version of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812..
From video I’ve seen it looks like the new section of Sunday Morning shows Sonya and Natasha lighting the candle in the mirror, and Pierre (in his salon) is positioned directly behind them… so that he’d be the “future” that Natasha sees in the mirror.
So is this just a figment of my imagination, or is it actually completely brilliant staging that makes me want to tear out my hair out?
Highly requested so here it is, my opinion on all the cusps.
Capricorn/Aquarius- Cusp of Mystery & Imagination- Always very sophisticated people with lots of power. Can be very stubborn but are usually very loving and loyal. Studious and hard-working but also realises studies aren’t everything and don’t determine self worth. Rebels. Leaders. Can become jealous easily, conceals emotions to everyone around them. Aquarius/Pisces- Cusp of Sensitivity- Ed Sheeran’s one of these!!!! I think they’re great, super emotional sometimes and completely dismissive other times. Brilliant imagination and great ability to express themselves. Very independent but when they love, they love with a tremendous force. They don’t let go of things easily and have lots of pride. Pisces/Aries- Cusp of Rebirth- idk why but I am always attracted to yall, very good looking and mysterious too. Can be chill and go with the flow, very exiting to be around, they also seek alone time and a close group of personal friends as well. They feel misunderstood and are always looking to be understood. Seeks loyalty and devotion from a partner, would give the same in return. Can appear shy at first but opens up easily and is very charming. Aries/Taurus- Cusp of Power- Very influential, dynamic people who achieve a lot in life- they get a lot of experience in short amounts of time and seek to meet new people and ways of living. They are excellent speakers, also loving, loyal and open with the people close to them. They trust easily. They take longer to get back on their feet after a downfall than an Aries but less time than a Taurus. They are empathetic and generous. Taurus/Gemini- Cusp of Energy- VERY charming people with a lot of intellectual things to say. Suave and irresistible. Always up for a challenge, LOTS of fun to be around, they can be problematic and say stupid things though, they also tend to be notorious flirts. Can be stubborn as well. Gemini/Cancer- Cusp of Magic- Very, well, magical people. They are adorable, very individualistic, amazing writers/painters/poets and very artsy in general. They love intensely and fully but recover from heartbreak a lot better than Cancers. They are intellectual but love being at home more than Geminis. Cancer/Leo- Cusp of Oscillation- Selena Gomez is one of these, they are powerful people, they get angry quite a bit, they hold authority in everything they say and are responsible folk. They tend to lash out though. They are very sensitive to criticism but are loyal and love intensely. Leo/Virgo- Cusp of Exposure- Enjoy both the extroverted and introverted life. Love to sit at home with a cup of coffee and read and adventure the world with friends, they look for partners they can show off to the world and are devoted to them. Seek to pleasure themselves primarily. Dramatic. Loving but trouble expressing that, authoritative tone, love fun and being complimented, HATE criticism. Virgo/Libra- Cusp of Beauty- Very laid back people, worry a lot on the inside but doesn’t show it to other people, really good looking/excellent fashion taste. Hates drama and loves to maintain peace. Studious and hardworking, they are dream achievers. Very hard on themselves. Love to explore and travel, also like being by themselves. Very romantic and flirtatious. Libra/Scorpio- Cusp of Drama & Criticism- Ok so I met one of these and he was literally the most good looking guy I had ever met. That being said, these people are very mysterious and to themselves, they share Libra’s love for art and romance. They are not as brooding as a Scorpio but not as talkative as a Libra either. They are excellent artists, can be very dark and sinister sometimes but aims to lead a love-filled adventurous life. Scorpio/Sagittarius- Cusp of Revolution- I’ve mentioned this cusp before lol because they scare me. They are very alluring people- really mysterious and arty- in less of a ‘dark’ way but more of a lighthearted ‘indie’ way. You know those instagram famous people that are always on beaches enjoying life? Yeah probably a sag/scorp cusp. They love to live life freely and tend to party a lot or go to social gatherings. They are very possessive of their lover and can be vengeful towards others if wronged. They do not trust easily, they are quick to anger but also quick to calm down. Sagittarius/Capricorn- Cusp of Prophecy- This cusp has the best sense of humour. They are always light-hearted and down to do anything. These people worry a lot in their own head and are studious. They never let other people see their negative emotions. They are also very money-conscious. They have a way with words- making people laugh and being the life of the party. Usually very popular due to their ability to interact freely and need for a high status. Drama queens and potential gossips but are very loving and appreciative.
‘Rocks That Bleed’, Bertie’s newest short was, honestly, exceptional. There was something about it that had me engrossed to the final scene, and I was genuinely emotional when it ended. Jack Howard was completely brilliant too, and when the two actors were paired with all the other things that make Bertie’s films so wonderful it was really beautiful to watch. Definitely my favourite so far!
(Shameless plug) You can get my Bertie’s Short Films prints here, and this one will be going up there too if you’d like!