elephant stand

A Guide to Discworld

So you have decided to read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Congratulations, you are about to enter a wonderful fictional world with some of the most hilarious and endearing characters I have ever read. However it is a daunting task with 41 books in the main series and 6 sub-series within it. Maybe you have seen a useful diagram on the reading order or something similar. Just to help even more, here is my guide to Discworld:

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PROBOSCIDEANS

Whilst we all know that modern elephants are beautiful and remarkable creatures, few may be familiar with the order of which they are from, Proboscidea. Proboscidea not only contains the elephantids, but a whole range of diverse mammals, some reaching magnificent sizes and each one more intriguing than the last.

Deinotherium 

Deinotherium quite literally means “terrible beast” and they trawled the savannah-like Miocene landscape. Deinotheriums most striking feature is certainly its menacing downward facing tusks, a complete skull found in the nineteenth century measured at just under a metre in length, the skull also showed very deep nasal bones suggesting it had a much wider and shorter trunk than modern elephants. The reason for the unusual orientation of the tusks has been debated, perhaps they were purely for attracting mates or maybe they had a vital role in stripping tree bark to eat. Deinotherium was quite a bit larger than modern elephants standing a whopping 4 metres tall (almost as tall as a double decker bus) and weighing in at an estimate 11-14 tonnes.

Palaeoxodon namadicus 

Palaeoxodon namadicus, otherwise known as the Asian straight-tusked elephant lived during the pleistocene. Little is known about these species and whether it is a species on its own rather than a subspecies within Palaeoxodon antiquus, yet is is known from a thigh bone over 5 foot in length which indicates a possible height of over 4.5 metres which would make Palaeoxodon namadicus the largest land mammal to have ever existed surpassing Deinotherium and Paraceratherium.

Gompotherium 

Gompotherium is another highly unusual member of the proboscidea. Gompotherium stood around 3 metres high and had 4 tusks extending straight from its jaw, the two bottom tusks are flattened and shovel-shaped leading to suggesting that they were used in digging and finding food. Gompotherium is believed to be the first of the proboscideans to escape its homeland and migrate towards north america, mammoths would eventually evolve from the shovel-tusked creature. Although they are unfamiliar to most, they were very successful and flourished in north america for over 10 million years (during the miocene and pliocene). Their demise coincides with the rise of todays modern elephants, perhaps they were outcompeted to extinction.

Stegodon

Stegodon stood at around 3.5 metres tall and weighing in a 12 tonnes, however it is not this beasts size that is hard to comprehend, but its enormous tusks which could reach a whopping 3 metres in length. Stegodons thrived in the golden age of elephants 11 million years ago, exactly when they died out is a mystery, some believe they contained to roam across north america as little as a few thousand years ago.

Mammoths

Mammoths are amongst the most recognisable prehistoric creatures, they were extremely successful and thrived during the ice age thanks to their masses of fur, migration patterns and small ears. They died out around 4500 years ago when the ice age came to an end, although it is widely thought that humans contributed to their reduction in numbers as we fed on their meat, wore their fur and used their immense tusks and skin for shelter. The largest known species of mammoths could reach 4 metres in height and weigh up to 7 or 8 tonnes and they travelled in herds much like modern elephants. Incredibly well preserved specimens have been found across the world in peat bogs and permafrost preserving skin, hair and some organs in immaculate condition, this has led to multiple projects hoping to bring back the mammoth, although this is still highly controversial.

Elephants

All modern elephants are the only relic from the glorious evolutionary history of the proboscideans that we have left. They can reach 4 metres in height and weigh up 7 tonnes. Their tusks are used in competing for mates as well as for feeding and the trunks, perhaps the most recognisable feature of any animal, are analogous to human hands, they are used to grab things, communicate and sense their environment. Elephants travel in close herds led by a matriarch and have been shown to display emotions of grief when a valued member dies, their social structure is incredibly sophisticated and complex, when a matriarchs reign is over, their is a specific order of individuals to take her place, usually the eldest daughter. Separate families of elephants have even been known to form bonds with each other and socialise in passing.
Elephants have long been attractive to humans, their skin has been sold, their tusks highly valued for decoration and medicine. Elephants have been relentlessly hunted by humans, so much so that in in the twentieth century their numbers declined by 74% in ten years. Over the last few decades multiple conservation efforts have been put in place to save these magnificent creatures from extinction, their population numbers have shown slight increases since the efforts began.

The proboscideans have been, and are still, one of the most remarkable groups in the animal kingdom. They have been incredibly successful since their first appearance over 40 million years ago, with only the elephants remaining we must save these wonderful animals from extinction for future generations to see and to continue the reign of one of the most spectacular dynasties in the animal kingdom.

“You’re going to be bad for business, I can tell.”

@lesetoilesfous requested Moulin Rouge!Kuroken and I died a thousand deaths of happiness. 

I’m Not Leaving // Kim Seokjin

Originally posted by taestylips

Pairing: Jin x Reader

Genre: Angst // Sad // A little Fluff

Summary//Request: Anonymous said: Can you do a Jin (Bts) fic. He just started to film a romantic drama where he is the male lead. His gf hasnt visited him on set so far, she wants to avoid the actres who is the female lead an who has a crush on Jin. Whn she goes, they film a kiss.


“You have nothing to worry about (Y/N). Listen to me, okay? I love YOU. Soonyi is just an actress who I have to work with. I don’t feel the same way for her as I do for you, and I could never feel like this towards anyone else. Trust me, okay? Nothing could ever change that…so just believe me…” you remembered your sweet boyfriend’s words to you last night as you both sat and watched the first episode of his drama. You couldn’t help but feel intense jealousy whenever they had a cute, loving scene together – nothing more than just holding hands or looking at each other, but it ate you up inside. Jin, of course, sensed your uneasiness as he pulled you into him, coming face to face with you and completely ignoring the television as he gave you his full and undivided attention – showering you with kisses and making you feel a little better; something he was always so good at, no matter the situation.

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“Trying not to think about you is like trying not to think about an elephant that’s standing on my chest.”

“I can’t decide if that is a compliment.”

“Me neither.” -Carry On.

*finds corner, sobs in said corner* I love these dorks!

Art reference by cloven.

Number One

Dear @hamabee: You’re the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen. Happy (belated) birthday! You are one of the most nicest, sweetest and amazing person I have ever met in my life, and I want to tell you how lucky I’m of calling your friend. Thank you so much for giving me your friendship, and for being there for me all the time, our facetime talks are absolutely the best, thank you so much for listening to me. I know you had a wonderful day yesterday, and here is a little present to keep celebrating. Feliz Cumpleaños, you huge nerd. (Big shout to @somethingmorecreative1 for being the best beta ever.)


In all honesty, she had no idea when she started to develop feelings for her roommate. Percy had moved in almost a year ago, and to be honest, she wasn’t fond of the idea, at first. She didn’t feel comfortable living with a boy (a boy she only knew as the Too Talkative Coffee Barista) but they had a spare bedroom, and she and Piper needed help with the rent so Percy became their roommate.

Honestly, it was Piper’s fault. She was chatty when Annabeth was serious, and while Annabeth only ordered her coffee and walked away, Piper usually started a conversation with him. That’s how she learned he went to Ithaca, just like Piper. He was majoring in marine biology, he was the cousin of Piper’s boyfriend and, most importantly, that he was looking to move out of the dorms.

“He’s perfect,” Piper had said that night. They were taking a break from studying for finals, and they were relaxing on the couch watching some lame TV show about pirates.

“He’s a boy.”

“Jason says Percy is trustworthy, and he is his favorite cousin.”

“He is still a stranger, Pipes, a male stranger who you want to live with us.”

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The Greatest Showman

It was the most Disney of movies. It’s every Christmas Special, High School Musical and a little bit of It’s a Wonderful Life rolled into a glittering, shiny package.

The songs are stupidly catchy, and every development is telegraphed well in advance, but that’s really the charm. It’s shiny! It’s fun! It’s uplifting! Be yourself! Here’s an elephant! Stand by your friends! Glitter! Haters gonna hate, hate, hate! Shake it off! Shake it off! Elephant one more time!

it feels like there is a weighted silence where your name belongs, where I don’t speak it

it feels like I am skirting around the topic of you, but I still feel the presence of the name I dare not speak, 

it’s as if I am carefully stepping around a hole in the earth

something that I’ll fall into too easily and may not find a way to crawl out of

and when I finally breathe the syllables of you out,

I feel cut open, like I am a live wire unprotected, 

like my heart is beating in open air

like I am exposed and vulnerable and I am not ready to see the change in others

I am not ready to face the conversation of you

because the truth is I am still sensitive to your existence

to the thought of you and the feeling of your name on my tongue

I am carefully avoiding the elephant in the room

the elephant that stands to remind me that I will probably always love you

- your name; it holds more weight than it should

2

So, here’s the translation of the interview! Hopefully everything’s comprehensible :)

Mads Mikkelsen sits in a room of his production company of his current movie in Copenhagen. On the table are bowls with wine gum, on the window board many movie awards – also including two Oscar’s.

Are the Oscar’s real?

MM: Yes. The production company got them for two short films. Careful, don’t touch them!

Too late…

MM: Do you know that you won’t win an Oscar anymore when you touched one before?

No.

MM: Unfortunately I already touched them as well. The only good thing about it: Now the pressure is gone.

Mr. Mikkelsen, you grew up in Nørrebro, a harsh working class neighborhood. What of this neighborhood is still part of you?

MM: Much. I often have to call to my mind that it’s courtesy to hold the door open for others. I think I am polite but I don’t have good manners.

How were you as a little boy?

MM: Super-energetic. Maybe I would get the diagnosis of “hyperactive” today, but back then this didn’t exist. I couldn’t sit still, I did everything twice as fast as others. And I was curious: When there was a wall somewhere, I needed to climb it and see what’s on the other side.

You once said that you were a small and slimly built child. How did you assert yourself on the schoolyard?

MM: I only grew at the age of seventeen, before then I was small. But I was a gymnast, I exercised a lot and I had a sharp mind, a loose tongue and fast legs. Physically I was chanceless against the others but I still provoked one or two fights.

Which movies did you watch?

MM: The ones from Buster Keaton. And Martial-Arts-Movies, my worthy hero Bruce Lee.

Did you have a poster of him on the wall?

MM: I still have it today!

Really?

MM: Yes. I love Bruce Lee. I even dressed myself like him when I was a child: I wore these Chinese shoes and loose trousers, the socks then had to be pulled over the seam.

What do you admire about him?

MM: He simply was a charismatic person. He could allow himself to do only little as an actor. One could see in his face what was going on in the mind of his role. I think that’s great. And his movies were a rare mixture of Bollywood and Buster Keaton.

Sounds like you would like to do a Martial-Arts-Movie yourself.

MM: I’d love to! Sadly I probably would be the annoying idiot in the movie who always gets a proper ticking-off. But preferably I’d simply like to be Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee was a master of martial arts. Did you emulate him?

MM: At the age of nine or ten I practiced kung fu movements with nunchaku’s, Bruce Lee also used them in his movies. So I rose every morning at 6.30am and exercised for one hour. Absolutely crazy. I don’t know what I wanted to achieve with it, maybe I wanted to be Bruce Lee. Anyway I knew back then: When you want to be as good as him, you better get up early.

And? Were you as good as him?

MM: Not particularly, the things hurtled through the air and constantly hit me somewhere. But I tried it after all. Sports were my whole life as a child. During the breaks we played soccer, after school I did athletics, gymnastics, handball or basketball.

Before your career as an actor you studied Modern Dance and worked as a dancer for eight years, including musicals. Dance training is really tough. Are you good in torturing yourself?

MM: Very good. Back then we all constantly had pains, 24 hours a day. Sprained ankles, bruises, bloody feet… Injuries with which football pros intermit for two weeks but we still went onstage, nonstop, without rest periods. Our bodies could never rest. For us it was off the cards. Okay, it wasn’t as tough as the Tour de France but the cyclists there have an adrenaline rush which transforms them into beasts. They possibly might ride with a broken collarbone and wouldn’t notice it. It wasn’t so bad with us. But almost.

How can one block out the pain?

MM: The show must go on. There’s only rarely a substitute for you. There’s a stage and you have to go up. Otherwise the show will be cancelled. So you put ice on your ankle and then dance. Some  even gain energy from this, they get high.

You too?

MM: I don’t enjoy pain but it’s part of it.

You said once “I always fight, when I do sports.” Do you fight against your opponent or yourself?

MM: I’d love to say: Against myself – but that’s not true. I always want to defeat the other guy. It’s that simple and banal. There’s just nothing better than winning. Immediately afterwards follows the second best: To talk about how superior one has won. Certainly I expect the same from the opponent when I lose.

Are you a good loser?

MM: I am a terrible loser. And I am an even worse winner. I call people in the middle of the night and remind them that I’ve defeated them. 

And by the time you played ping-pong with your children when they were young?

MM: I’ve let them win. But now and then I showed them what I’m really capable of and restored the order. However those days are gone. My son doesn’t even let me score once.

But it can be really humiliating when one realize that the other let one win.

MM: Exactly. I also don’t want that my son does this. And if he does, then he should do it in a way I won’t notice. But he wouldn’t do that anyway. He is just so much better than me. And I don’t understand why!

So in your opinion sports aren’t there for defeating oneself or in order to cross physical limits?

MM: On the contrary, I always could do sports just for myself as well: Running, running, running, only in order to see how far I can come.

This can be like a drug.

MM: Yes. I never wanted to become a professional athlete. I was just curious to figure out what’s possible, whether I can do more, whether I can climb the whole tree.

Do you feel sympathetic towards sportsman who dope in order to break through their own confines?

MM: Yes, absolutely. I don’t have a problem with it at all. Everybody always act like they are totally shocked when it’s discovered that someone had doped: “O no, he was my hero!” What a bullshit. From the very first day, since hundred years, nobody rode clean the Tour de France. Nobody. In the past the cyclists even showed openly what they used, they had cocaine and the journalists have filmed how they set the injections. Certainly it’s quite another matter when you encourage a sixteen year old to dope. But to ask the sheer moral question is odd: We surely want these guys to do mad performances for three weeks and that’s what actually nobody’s capable of. But the cyclists still preserve till the end. So you only need to put one and one together.

Nevertheless you have fun to watch?

MM: Certainly it would be fantastic when doping would just disappear and everybody would compete on the same level. But doping exists and still everybody competes on the same level. I think every athlete actually would like to accomplish it by his/her own efforts because cheating leaves no good feeling. I don’t cheat when I play cards or do sports or I confess it immediately because the victory don’t feel good when you wasn’t honest. But it’s different with professional athletes, they don’t feel like they’re cheating because everybody else does it all the same. I would find it terrible when it would be discovered that Usain Bolt dopes. But he would still be a hero for me.

Why did you actually shift from dance to drama?

MM: For me the most interesting about dancing always was something that wasn’t only aesthetic, but also dramatic. When I felt: There is a strong aggression, emotion or beauty in our dance. But sometimes we only stood there and did rather gymnastic exercises. I was more in love with drama. And then I thought: Maybe it’s better when I do drama full time!

Did your dance training help you with acting?

MM: I’m not sure whether it’s due to dancing – but I have a sort of awareness for my physicality and always a precise idea how my characters move, whether they go fast or slow for example.

Your current movie is called “Men and Chicken”. When you watch it, one ask oneself: Do Danes love to break taboos?

MM: We Danes have a lot in common with the Scottish and the Irish: We have a knife-sharp, rough humor. When nobody addresses the elephant who stands in the room, we do it. This can lead to conflicts of course, but sometimes it also eases the atmosphere.

In the movie you play one of five brothers, your character has a permanent erection, another brother constantly has to throw up, the brothers fight against each other with stuffed animals and search for sex partners in the nursing home…

MM: Do not say too much!

Then how would you describe the movie?

MM: One of the five brothers has a mission, he wants to search for his origins. The others do whatever they want to, they’re like children who are caught in an adult body. They indeed can express themselves in a well-chosen way but emotional they’re like five-year-old. Therefore they constantly have conflicts with each other which are crazy, interesting and funny.

And it’s about taboos: Like the question whether it’s legit to mix human and animal genes.

MM: Breaking taboos is an important instrument in the movies of Anders Thomas Jensen. In his personal life too. He grew up in Denmark, surrounded by people like me who don’t fit into the drawer of “politically correct people”. If there is something you’re not allowed to talk about, he addresses it. And hopefully in a way that makes one laugh. Jokes are only funny when they’re full of taboos.

Should it be the job of jokes and art to break taboos? Or should we also do it in our personal life?

MM: I think that’s different from society to society. For example there’s a huge difference between Denmark and Sweden.

Which is?

MM: Well, I think, there’s a reason that we in Denmark only have three neo-Nazis while Sweden has thousands. You can’t talk straightforwardly in Sweden and as a result one makes a problem into a monster. I think that you should address everything. And when this doesn’t work, you should address it again!

This can be very painful.

MM: But also funny. And eventually this is how the freedom of speech works: You have the right to say something horrible, then somebody can argue against it and maybe it evolves into an intelligent conversation from which you can learn.

Anders Thomas Jensen’s movies are known for their black humor. You were part of all of his films. Is your humor as black as his?

MM: We share the talent to say something in the right or completely wrong moment so that you think: O no, please not this now! He is also notorious for quickly realizing when something’s up  and addressing it. In a western he would be the one who always draws his gun first. Sometimes this can be incredibly provoking and sometimes incredibly funny.

So a conversation between the two of you is more a sort of a duel?

MM: We can also talk seriously about life. But often, how shall I put this… often we search for the limit.

In Germany one is slightly jealous of the radical movies from Denmark. Here, they say, it’s not possible to film such movies.

MM: But it would be possible, wouldn’t it? It’s not forbidden at the end.

Only difficult to finance.

MM: Good point. We also have not the slightest idea why our movie was financed this time…! Seriously, I think we have a tradition for such movies in Denmark. But certainly here is also a good deal of conventional stuff.

It’s really conspicuous how many good movies and series are from your little country.

MM: But many things who were praised abroad are really so politically correct that you can hardly stand it! Especially the television series. “Borgen” for example…

… the series about a Danish prime minister …

MM: … or the crime series “Kommissarin Lund” are both full of politically correct clishès. The strong lonely woman who walks through the darkness with a gun, the gay politician, the prime minister who goes to work on a bike, the nice foreigner who helps her. And the people love the imagination that’s it’s really like this and think: Oh, look, in Denmark the prime minister goes to work on a bike! The quality is good, the actors as well but I could take the script and say: This is going to happen on the next page, this on the next and I would always be a hundred percent right. This is not radical. Luckily it’s different with movies. In Denmark movies are always the movies of the director. Nobody else has a say in this matter. If the movie is shit, it’s alone his fault but if it’s good, then it’s his fault too.

You like to choose radical roles: You play the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter in the series “Hannibal”, you were a human slaughtering butcher in “De grønne slagtere” and you tortured James Bond in “Casino Royale”…

MM: Radical projects attract me. Because I think that there’s the drama. Not simply: Man meets woman, man can’t get the woman and then he still gets the woman – that’s not dramatic. And also not interesting.

As a lover of the radical you actually should have filmed with Lars von Trier by now, the most famous Danish director. There’s a rumour: That you would only shoot with him when he bested you in tennis before.

MM: For my part: I am ready, the bet’s on! But I haven’t heard from Lars in a long time.

Maybe he still must practice before he starts a fight with you?

MM: I am certain of it, he practices for it. Everyday! 

A Guide to Dubai’s Shopping Malls

Where in the world does a shopping trip take you from Ancient Egypt to ancient Chinese courts, ski slopes and Vegas-styled dancing fountains? It’s got to be Dubai. In this city the malls have become attractions all their own. If you’re looking for a lot more than just a spot of shopping, then you have to check out these mall metropolises in Dubai.

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what i think of when i hear my favorite songs. i just tried to think of some of my favorite songs and i’m going to listen to them and type what i’m thinking at the moment. ♡

electric love by børns: neon pink lights. midnight in a enchanting city. dancing until my feet hurt. little pink heels. city thunderstorms. sickly sweet. polaroid pictures. having no care in the whole entire world. 

17 by youth lagoon: a field of flowers on a cliff by the sea. a long white dress dancing in the wind. the smell of salt and sun. gold glitter. light pink sunburns on my cheeks. cold water and hot sunbeams. running as fast as i can. that dizzy feeling when you stare out at the endless ocean

skinny love by bon iver: falling snow. cold fingertips. dancing in a big room. sad love letters. roses with lots of thorns. the color of the sky on a snowy night. smiling even when you feel sad. 

cigarette daydreams by cage the elephant: young love. standing on an ocean dock. water sparkling with sunlight. long car rides into the morning. dusky deserts. taking lots of pictures on a little film camera. leaning my head against a car window, watching the world pass by. being sleepy. feeling a little lost but knowing that it’s okay. 

temporary love by the brinks: wanderlust. wandering through parisian streets. lost in love. a little dress with a big coat. wind in my hair. 11pm on the metro. little postcards. airport terminals. flowery perfume. 

beach baby by bon iver: misty mornings. bare feet. the sound of crashing waves. cute lattes. pink nail polish. bare face, no makeup. smiling and giggling. freckles. dreamy evenings. a dainty gold necklace. 

This is the bright candlelit room where the life-timers are stored – shelf upon shelf of them, squat hourglasses, one for every living person, pouring their fine sand from the future into the past. The accumulated hiss of the falling grains makes the room roar like the sea.

This is the owner of the room, stalking through it with a preoccupied air. His name is Death.

But not any Death. This is the Death whose particular sphere of operations is, well, not a sphere at all, but the Discworld, which is flat and rides on the back of four giant elephants who stand on the shell of the enormous star turtle Great A'Tuin, and which is bounded by a waterfall that cascades endlessly into space.

Scientists have calculated that the chance of anything so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one.

But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.
—  mort, terry pratchett