gas bubbles

A “matryoshka” in the interstellar medium

As if it were one of the known Russian dolls, a group of astronomers, led by researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, (IAC) has found the first known case of three supernova remnants one inside the other. Using the programme BUBBLY, a method developed within the group for detecting huge expanding bubbles of gas in interstellar space, they were observing the galaxy M33 in our Local Group of galaxies and found example of a triple-bubble.

Credit: Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)

shakespeare aesthetics

romeo and juliet: suburban july. scraped knees, bruised knuckles, blood in your teeth. bare feet on hot concrete. restlessness. your high school’s empty parking lot. love poems in your diary. a window open to coax in a breeze. burning inside. an ill-fitting party dress, a t-shirt you cut up yourself, the time you tried to give yourself bangs. biking to your friend’s house. bubble gum. gas station ice. the feeling that you’ve met before. rebellion. a car radio playing down the street. cheap fireworks. a heart drawn on the inside of your wrist with sharpie. switchblades. red solo cups. dancing in your bedroom. screaming yourself hoarse. running out of options. the forlorn-looking basketball hoop at the end of the cul-de-sac. climbing onto your roof at night while your parents are asleep. flip-flops. a eulogy written on looseleaf. the merciless noontime sun.

hamlet: speaking in a whisper. holding your breath. a browning garden. a half-remembered story. furniture covered with sheets. fog at dawn, mist at twilight. losing touch. the ethereal space between winter and spring. the soft skin at your temple. the crack in the hallway mirror. things you’d say if you knew the words. uncombed hair. books with writing in the margins, books with cracked spines, books with lines scratched out. prayers on all souls’ day. a chipped ceramic bathtub. a cold stone floor. uncomfortable awareness of your own heartbeat. the sparrow that got in your house. shadows. the creek you played in as a child. a dirty night gown. a big black t-shirt. a collection of your favorite words. soil under your nails. ghost stories. the strangeness of your own name in your mouth. deep silence. exhaustion. a cliff with a long, long drop down.

twelfth night: wicker deck furniture. new england summer. big dark sunglasses and a blonde bob. a storm over the ocean, patio umbrellas flapping in the wind. chlorine smell. muffled laughter. sarcasm. starched cuffs. day drinking. bay windows. the idea of love, love for the idea of love, love for love’s sake. hangovers. wandering over the sand dunes. a vagabond with a guitar, a crab fisherman with tattoos, a pretty boy with a slackened tie. a light house. growing too close. boat shoes. feeling yourself change. finger guns. big floppy sun hats. double-speak. a song you keep listening to. turning red under their gaze. margaritas drunk on an inflatable pool lounger. string lights on a balmy night. sleepy june days. fights you’re unprepared for, hope you weren’t expecting, pranks that go too far. bad poetry. pining. pool noodles. becoming less of a stranger.

macbeth: the space where your grief used to be. a bird that’s lost an eye. old blood stains. heavy blinds. the smell of sweat, the stillness after battle. a fake smile. a curse. the taste of metal at the back of your tongue. your house, unfamiliar in the dark. a dusty crib. a sulfur smell. an orange pill bottle. streaks in the sink. a black cocktail dress. your hand on the doorknob, shaking. chilly breeze. crunching from the gravel driveway on a moonless night. clenched hands. a rusty swing set. a flashing digital clock stuck on 12:00. a snake that crosses your path, an owl that watches you, a dog that runs when you approach. red smoke. dark clouds. cool steel. tile floors. footsteps in the hallway late at night. a baggy suit that used to fit before. visions. insomnia headaches. nursery rhymes. being too far in to go back now. 

much ado about nothing: the high drama of small towns. a pickup truck, military supply duffel bags in the hall, hugs all around. tulip bulbs. a wraparound porch, a pitcher of iced tea. barbecue. a rubber halloween mask. someone on your level. indian summer. ill-timed proclamations. stomach-clutching laughter. rushing in. not minding your business. crepe paper. white lies. secrets written down and thrown away. southern hospitality. homemade curtains in the kitchen, a sink full of roses. hiding in the bushes. old friends. the wedding dress your grandma wore, and her mama before her. a dog-eared rhyming dictionary. camomile with honey. the intimacy of big parties. lawn flamingos. gossip. a crowded church. friendly rivalries. unfriendly rivalries. shit getting real. love at five hundredth sight. not realizing you have a home until you’re there. 

king lear: cement block buildings. power lines that birds never perch on. the end of the world. useless words. rainless thunder, heat lightning, a too-big sky. arthritic knuckles. broken glass. chalk cliffs. the pulsing red-black behind closed eyes. something you learned too late. wet mud that sucks up your shoes while you walk. a cold stare. empty picture frames. empty prayers. the obscenity of seeing your parents cry. a treeless landscape. bloody rags. grappling in the dark with reaching hands. the sharpness at the tips of your teeth. the blown-out windows of skeletal houses. decay. jokes that aren’t jokes, shutting up, holding your tongue. prophecies. aching muscles, tired feet. stinging rain. invoking the gods, wondering if the gods are listening, wondering if the gods are dead. white noise. shivers. numbness. the unequivocal feeling of ending.

a midsummer night’s dream: wet soil/dead leaves smell. listening to music on headphones with your eyes closed. wildflowers. the distant sparkle of lightning bugs. a pill somebody slipped you. fear that turns to excitement, excitement that turns to frenzy. mossy tree trunks. a pair of yellow eyes in the darkness. night swimming. moonlight through the leaves. a bass beat in your chest. a butterfly landing on your nose. a kiss from a stranger. a dark hollow in an old tree. glow-in-the-dark paint. drinking on an empty stomach. a twig breaking behind you. spinning until you’re dizzy. finding glitter on your body and not remembering where it came from. an overgrown path through the woods. cool dew on your skin. a dream that fades with waking. moths drawn to the light. giving yourself over, completely. afterglow. the long, loving, velvety night.

Cosmic ‘Winter’ Wonderland

Although there are no seasons in space, this cosmic vista invokes thoughts of a frosty winter landscape. It is, in fact, a region called NGC 6357 where radiation from hot, young stars is energizing the cooler gas in the cloud that surrounds them. 

Located in our galaxy about 5,500 light years from Earth, NGC 6357 is actually a “cluster of clusters,” containing at least three clusters of young stars, including many hot, massive, luminous stars. The X-rays from Chandra and ROSAT reveal hundreds of point sources, which are the young stars in NGC 6357, as well as diffuse X-ray emission from hot gas. There are bubbles, or cavities, that have been created by radiation and material blowing away from the surfaces of massive stars, plus supernova explosions.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/L. Townsley et al; Optical: UKIRT; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Slow motion strombolian eruption at night on the island of Vanuatu

The first days are an emotional blur, joyful and exhausting. You cry because you’re your baby’s only food source and she’d starve without you, so helpless and small. You cry because you love her so much. You cry because you haven’t slept more than 5 hours in the past 3 days combined. You cry because you hurt. You cry because you are, thankfully, finally a mother with a baby in your arms.

People will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, and I’m sure it’s wonderful advice, but it is hard during the day. You’ll want to watch her and hold her and possibly spend a few moments interacting with your partner.

You might find it hard to believe that the baby in front of you is the same baby that was in your belly, that you’re finally getting to know the little being that you carried so long. It’s so surreal to finally put the name to the little face. It will seem more and more fitting as the days go on.

You realize that getting up to pee a million times a night while pregnant is infinitely easier than getting up to feed and change a crying newborn.

You buy a crib for the nursery, a Pack ‘n Play with a bassinet level and newborn napper feature for your bedroom, and then an Auto Rock ‘n Play. You even briefly try co-sleeping. Nothing works as easily as you hoped because your baby likes to sleep while being held, so you keep hoping and praying as you try, try again.

You won’t believe it when your little baby outgrows her newborn clothes and diapers so fast that she only gets to wear them once (or possibly not at all) and you have a stack of diapers you have to pack away. Then you race to get your 1 month old through all her 3 month clothes and size 1 diapers before those are rendered useless as well.

You will feel worse following delivery than you did while pregnant. Lighter, yes, but more unsteady, sore, and uncomfortable. You’ll get tired of smelling like Tucks witch hazel pads and Dermoplast numbing spray, but they help so you continue to use them. Along with huge pads and the hospital underwear because they fit and you don’t have to worry about staining them. Don’t be afraid to take the ibuprofen and Tylenol. Around 5 days PP you might be hit with a contraction that brings you to your knees. It lasts for more than 30 minutes and you wonder if something’s terribly wrong, if you need to call an ambulance. Most likely it’s normal. Things are all moving back into place and your uterus has to shrink somehow. Take some Advil and get in the shower. Try to breathe through the pain and use some of those labor techniques. You’ll wonder if you’ll ever feel better again. But you will, around two weeks out you will start to feel more normal. (After you’ve gotten over that sneezing cold at one week PP - ouch!)

You fear you’ll miss the teeny tiny newborn who’s just a few days old, but as she grows you’ll only love her more and more.

Towards the end of pregnancy you were probably so DONE being pregnant, but some weeks or months after delivery, you might find yourself missing your belly and looking back at pictures longingly. So try to enjoy it while you have it, and after, remember that the most beautiful part of it all is in your arms.

You’ll wonder how ANYONE does it. How has the human race even survived? It all seems so hard. But you’ll survive too. One day at a time.

You’ll look forward to the day she actually smiles at you rather than blank-staring. And when you get them, her first smiles will be the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and you’ll forever be trying to elicit them.

You’ll learn that everything takes so much longer with a newborn, especially getting ready in the morning and getting to the store. There’s usually multiple diapers and feedings and outfits involved. And that’s ok. You’ll learn to plan accordingly.

Breastfeeding, at first, is scary, especially when you find out your little babe has lost almost 9% of her body weight in 3 days, and painful, even if you’ve met with 3 lactation consultants and bought every nipple cream and shield available.. but this is normal. She will gain the weight back and it will get better. You’re both learning something new.. You’ll be so proud of every ounce she gains because your body did that.

When you’re nursing and she’s fussy or downright mad, you’ll worry and wonder: Does she have an allergy or an intolerance? Painful gas or a bubble? Is the milk coming too fast? Is she exhausted? Does she hate the taste of something you ate? Onions? Chocolate? Milk? You’d do anything if only you knew so you’ll try your best to figure it out.

The Moro/startle reflex. SO. CUTE.

She makes a lot of noise. You might be expecting sweet little coos, but usually a lot of grunts, wheezes, and snorts are involved. And mostly at night.

Sometimes Dad/S.O. will be the only one who can calm and soothe her. Try not to take it personally. Be thankful instead.

When you finally get her to sleep and go to lay her down she’ll stay still and quiet just long enough for you to think she’s soundly asleep and get back to bed. But as soon as your head hits the pillow she’ll start to fuss. It’s uncanny.

You’ll say over and over how she’s getting so big, but at the end of the day she still seems so small.

Your postpartum body will present a conundrum: on the one hand, you’ll be so proud of the beautiful life you grew but on the other hand, you might feel self conscious about the stretch marks and saggy tummy. Keep trying to convince yourself of the former.

You will want to go bra-less so bad, but won’t feel able to due to your new leakiness. Showers become twice as nice.

It will be much harder to eat. Or do anything for that matter. Food will get cold. Dishes and laundry will pile up. It will have been a couple days since you showered. Don’t worry, someone will get to it at some point. Get help when you can.

You may think you didn’t have much of a lifestyle before baby, especially if you stayed in a lot and enjoyed watching tv, but you will soon realize that even something as simple as tv-watching is difficult with a newborn. But she’s so cute that you (mostly) won’t mind.

You will love all her features: her chubby cheeks, sweet mouth and silly tongue, button nose, curious eyes, her tiny fingers and toes, round belly, and soft head. You wouldn’t trade her for the world and, already, you can’t imagine life without her.

You’ll fill up your phone’s memory with hundreds and hundreds of pictures. And will have a hard time deleting any.

The nursery that you worked so lovingly on while pregnant won’t exactly look like a nursery anymore when you realize at 1 month that she should probably be learning to sleep where she will eventually be sleeping, so you move the crib into your bedroom only to have her spend half the night back in the newborn napper in the Pack ‘n Play anyways. You’ll get a bedtime routine figured out soon enough (at least that’s what I’m telling myself, we’re still working on this one!)

Clean baby is the Best. Smell. Ever.

You’ll worry if you’ll be a good enough mother/parent to her and if you’ll be able to grow and nurture her the way she needs and deserves. Try to remind yourself that worrying about this is probably a good sign that you’re going to do just fine.

You’ll dream about your future together. Cuddles and smiles and giggles and story time and bath time and bedtime and trips to the zoo and vacations and first days of school. You know you’ll be loving her deeply for the rest of your life ❤️

—  Some things I’ve learned in the first 5 weeks with my daughter and encouragement to new moms/soon-to-be moms

anonymous asked:

what do u think about shrek

I generally try not to. the feelings of adoration and adulation that rise up within me when I consider his emerald visage are almost too powerful to withstand. they rend my physicality asunder. at one point in my life, it became so bad that I felt I had to go…. away…. I had to seek answers, in the spiritual places of the world…. I went to my local supermarket. there was a man there with no eyebrows. I knew at once he was a soothsayer, because when I asked him where the milk was, he pointed me to aisle 5 - which is where the milk would be housed, indeed. in the future. it was, at that time, in aisle 7. the eyebrowless man was a genius, and I knew it. I asked him; I said, “I have travelled for many moons and many suns, and then I also popped to the shops and here you are. tell me, wise one, for I sense your almighty power: how do I move on from my deep and profound attachment to that verdant creature of gritty and fertile beauty??” the soothsayer looked at me in the eye, and he said, “listen… listen… to the sound of the fridges. hear how they hum. is it not alike to a mosquito’s hum, in a swamp?” I nodded, though I was sorely confused. then he said, “listen… listen… to the sound of the wind through the pasta noodles in aisle 18. is it not alike to the sound of the wind through the grasses of a swamp?” once again, I nodded. the pasta noodles were, at that time, in aisle 7. I respected his genius. “listen…” he said, once more. “listen… to the sound of swirling, gelatinous desserts being shaken in aisle 3. is it not alike to the sound of gas bubbles rising from the fetid waters of a swamp?” I nodded, though my mind was yet clouded by uncertainty. the desserts were, at that time, in aisle 7. aisle 7 was a mess. “I don’t understand,” I said aloud. the eyebrowless man raised his above-eye-skin. “He is with us,” he said. “He is all around. He is in the fridges and the desserts and the pasta noodles. His swamp sounds live with us, always.” I fell to my knees. “where,” I said. “where did you get such wisdom? how did you corrode away the foolishness in your soul so completely that it seems as though it has been done with bleach or some shit? what happened, to make you… thus?” The eyebrowless man shook his head. “I must know,” I begged. He turned to me, with eyes like the gooseberries spilling out over the floor in aisle 7. “well,” he said. “some-”

Hubble dates black hole's last big meal

For the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it’s been a long time between dinners. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has found that the black hole ate its last big meal about 6 million years ago, when it consumed a large clump of infalling gas. After the meal, the engorged black hole burped out a colossal bubble of gas weighing the equivalent of millions of suns, which now billows above and below our galaxy’s center.

The immense structures, dubbed the Fermi Bubbles, were first discovered in 2010 by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. But recent Hubble observations of the northern bubble have helped astronomers determine a more accurate age for the bubbles and how they came to be.

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Bathing in a volcanic mud bath in Colombia

Mac Ruaidh - Part Three

Part One, Part Two


It was too hot for Jamie to sleep. It had been years since Jamie slept in a proper bed in a proper room and it would take some time to get used to being close enough to a fire to keep properly warm. But he didn’t dare cross to open the window. Much as he would appreciate the relief of a bit of the January chill creeping in the room to counteract the effects of a hearth larger than the dimensions of the room required it to be, Jamie was terrified of what it might do to William sleeping nestled wrapped in blankets in the basket he’d arrived in earlier.

As his mind spiraled from William developing a cold to taking fever because of the open window, Jamie could feel the memory of Claire rolling her eyes before launching into a lecture about her germs and how it wasn’t cold temperatures that caused colds before finally conceding that yes, it would still probably be safer for him to keep the window shut.

There was another person who might object to such measures––the wet nurse Lady Dunsany had summoned, a young widow named Sabrina who had lost first her husband and then her three-month-old child to fever between Christmas and the New Year. The quiet woman had a cot of her own in an adjoining room she was sharing with one of the housemaids.

Lying awake and unmoving on the bed so as not to generate further heat, Jamie listened to the once familiar sounds of a house in the night. The logs in the hearth crackled quietly with occasional louder pops; the glass panes in the small window rattled whenever the wind picked up; the creaking floorboards in the hall and the cramped servants’ quarters beyond signaled other household staff moving about as they finally came to bed for the night or waking, made use of the chamber pot before resuming their unconscious states.

But the most prominent sound and the one that kept Jamie awake even as it calmed his nerves was the steady breathing and occasional groans of William beside him. Jamie would find some way to fashion a proper cradle for the baby before long but until then he refused to leave William’s basket on the floor while they both slept and instead had nestled the basket among the blankets on the bed. There was just enough space for the basket when Jamie lay on his back with one arm draped around the woven curve but he felt most reassured when he curled his body protectively around it; the fear of knocking the basket and its bairn out of the bed lessened significantly. But lying on his back was the easiest way to feel that it wasn’t just the bairn in the bed beside him. The sounds of the house weren’t dissimilar to those of Lallybroch and Sabrina’s snoring in the next room brought a smile to his lips and memories of Claire––and her insistence that it was he who snored and not her––to his tired mind.

There was a hitch in the baby’s breathing and Jamie snapped up to peer inside. William’s fist was in his mouth but he needed something that offered sustenance rather than succor. Jamie reached in and swept him up and cradled him to his chest before he could begin to truly fuss. The warmth of his father against his cheek lulled William long enough for Jamie to slip out of bed, ease open the door between his room and the women’s, and gently rouse Sabrina for William’s feeding.

He tended the fire while she sat in a stupor, William latched to her breast but her arms holding him stiffly and she wouldn’t look at him.

“Did you wake him to feed?” she asked as the need to switch William from one breast to the other temporarily roused her from her stupor.

Jamie glanced over, his gaze falling on the back of his son’s head as it turned in search of the rest of his meal. Grinning when the boy found it, Jamie suddenly realized he’d been essentially gawking at the poor woman’s exposed breast and looked away again, grateful that the resultant flush could be blamed on the heat of the fire before him.

“No,” he muttered, finally answering her question. “No, I didna wake him. I was restless myself and heard him rouse. I’m… I’m no used to sleepin’ in the house,” he confessed.

“Me either. Not a house this grand. Thank you, by the way, for catching him before he could cry.” Surprised, Jamie looked over to see her eyes fastened unblinking on the flames in the hearth, shining with sorrow. “If he’d cried… If I’d heard him cry like that I wouldn’t have realized it wasn’t…”

“What was yer bairn’s name? The one ye lost,” Jamie asked quietly, gently.

The reply came in a whisper. “Carina… her name was Carina.”

Jamie nodded and swallowed before telling her, “Faith. My wife and I lost a lass at birth… years ago now. She was called Faith.”

“When did you lose your wife?”

There were times Jamie could feel the shape and weight of every minute he’d spent without Claire; that he could stack them in piles reaching the ceiling and group them into the days, weeks, months, and years they’d been apart. And other times it was a distinctly unquantifiable mass that he couldn’t escape––would never escape… not until death.

“Years ago now,” he repeated knowing this young widow still enveloped in her own grief would be able to understand the struggle to find a way to carry on and live within grief’s muffling embrace.

“Thank ye,” he added a moment later. “For helpin’ wi’ my wee lad.”

Sabrina nodded and finally looked down at the infant suckling her breast. “He seems to be a strong one.” Her voice was hollow but she shifted her arms and her hold of William softened.

Whether the movement unsettled him or he had simply consumed his fill, William disengaged from Sabrina and promptly began to writhe and fuss.

Jamie was there in an instant and had him away from the wet nurse.

“He ate too fast,” she suggested, readjusting her shift and rising from the chair to return to bed. “Rub his back a bit and walk him about the room. He should settle back down.” The door between the rooms closed quietly and Jamie was left to calm his son on his own.

It still amazed him just how small and light the lad was, how fragile. And yet there was growing strength and coordination as Jamie felt William’s tiny arms pushing back against his collarbone and fighting to raise his head. The efforts exhausted him, however, and had failed to alleviate his discomfort. The stiff fingers of Jamie’s right hand held William’s small torso in place while his thumb swept back and forth across the back in a steady rhythm that reduced William’s cries to a weak whimper. Jamie felt the tension leak out of William as the bubble of gas worked its way up and out of his belly. Though the smell was faintly sour, there was no dampness on his shoulder so William’s meal had successfully stayed put.

Jamie grinned and rested his cheek lightly against the small head.

An eruption from his own stomach startled him and made him laugh.

“Now yer belly’s full, mine seems to want a bite too,” he murmured. In the confusion of arranging the room and bringing his things in from the loft, Jamie had only had a few quick bites of supper in passing and hadn’t been able to take an extra bit of bread or cheese to have later as was his habit. “What say we take a short walk down to the kitchens, eh?” he told William, laying the baby on the bed long enough to pull on a pair of breeks.

William stretched, his body arching briefly and the blanket that had wrapped him slid off his legs so that his feet were exposed to the cold. The toes curled and he reflexively drew the limbs back closer to his body and the warmth of his core. Jamie pounced at the opportunity and quickly swaddled the baby as tightly as he dared, grateful to escape having to pin William’s arms and legs in place himself.

“Now, ye must be quiet as a wee mouse looking for scraps left by the kitchen maids,” Jamie whispered as he eased his way into the corridor with William tucked into the crook of one arm. William squirmed and emitted a small mouse-like squeak that made Jamie smile broadly.

The fires in the kitchen were never allowed to go out for the sake of practicality so the large room was invitingly warm even as Jamie’s bare feet slipped from the wooden steps of the servants’ back stair to the cool flat stones that lined the kitchen floor’s outer edges; as he moved closer to the main preparations table and the fire, they grew warmer to the touch.

“Is everything all right?” a voice inquired from a seat near the window.

Jamie spun to see Lord John with a fork in one hand and a plate in the other, a half-finished piece of mincemeat pie resting neatly upon it.

Jamie rolled his eyes as he closed them before looking down to check William hadn’t been disturbed by the abrupt movement. “Aye,” he said in a low even tone. “We’re fine.” The calm that had been on him as he made his way down to the kitchen––the peace of a household at rest––had fallen away. The surprise of Grey’s presence and the anticipation of a conversation he did not wish to have had sent a jolt through his system so that the pangs of his hunger were forgotten as a rush of other information flooded his senses. There were three ways out of the kitchen, the nearest being the stairs at his back, but those would only lead him deeper into the house as would the door in the far left corner; the door to the far right corner would lead to the yard and open air but Grey was still closer to both than he was and Lord John held nothing more dear than stale pie left from an elaborate dinner; it being a kitchen though, there were plenty of implements that could be used as weapons. None of which should matter because there was no real threat to either himself or the baby and yet as he stepped closer to the table––Grey having risen and carried his plate back with a gesture inviting Jamie to join him in his midnight snack––Jamie was able to do so with the steady sureness of someone prepared for anything.

Grey cut a second piece of pie from the leftovers and set the plate near the fire for a few moments to heat up. Jamie busied himself by tending to William, readjusting his blankets and settling him more firmly in the crook of his right arm.

Grey set the plate and a fork in front of Jamie. “Do you need me to hold him while you eat?”

Jamie took the fork up easily in his left hand and shook his head. “I’ll be fine.” He took care not to smile as Grey blinked with amazement at Jamie’s ability to eat left-handed.

They ate in a silence that grew increasingly tense as each waited the other out to see who would broach the subject first.

“Why in God’s name did you agree to this arrangement?” Grey finally asked, setting his own fork down forcefully. “Did you hope to buy favor with Lord Dunsany and his wife by volunteering a solution that would allow them to see their grandson? Because if you hoped this would win their support in petitioning on your behalf for being released from your parole, I’m afraid you’ll find it will actually have the opposite effect. They’ll want you here indefinitely if your leaving means you’ll take that boy with you. And if you simply wanted better treatment you need only have brought any mistreatment to my attention and I would have had a word with Lord Dunsany on the matter.”

“Are ye through?” Jamie asked when it appeared Grey was losing steam.

Grey let out a frustrated huff and picked up his fork again but only poked at the cooling piece of mince meat pie, the crust flaking off and making a mess in the pooling grease on the plate.

“I dinna expect ye to understand why I did it,” Jamie told him. “It doesna matter to me if ye do or no.”

“What do you expect you can offer this boy in your circumstances? It’s noble to offer to be a father to an orphaned child but––”

“I was a father long before this wee lad here,” Jamie interrupted firmly. “I became a father the day my wife told me she was with child. I didna stop being a father simply because the child was lost… no more than I stopped bein’ my father’s son the day he died. Ye dinna stop bein’ what ye were when circumstances change––ye can become more than what ye were before but ye dinna become less except by choice… except by how ye choose to see yerself.”

“That’s a noble philosophy but it doesn’t address the question of how you’ll provide for the boy––and I don’t just mean physically or monetarily,” Grey added. “The Dunsanys will see to both your needs as much as they can for the boy’s sake––with plenty of strings involved, I’m sure––but what do you plan to tell him? About his mother? About yourself? Christ, Jamie, I’m the only one here who even knows your true name.”

“I’ll tell him as much of the truth as I can but I’ll no lie to him,” Jamie informed Grey. “When he’s older and I’m able to take him far enough from Helwater for it to make no difference, I’ll tell him everything.”

Grey was shaking his head, still unconvinced.

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” Grey finally said, rising from the table and dumping the last few bites of his pie into the fire. It flared up as the flames ignited the grease.

Jamie chuckled and Grey’s head spun to watch him in confusion. “Of course I dinna ken what I’m doing––no father does. It’s something ye learn as ye go, same as most things. But this lad is mine and I’ll do what it takes to keep him safe and raise him well… even askin’ for help if and when I need it.” Grey’s eyes narrowed. “I ken that Lord and Lady Dunsany will no want to see the lad go from them and it willna matter what his age or what rumors follow him. But I also ken it wasna their influence that saw me paroled here rather than transported.”

Jamie let the weight of his observation and the as yet unasked favor underlying it to settle.

Grey’s mouth dropped slightly open for a moment before he shut it again. He nodded his understanding and reminded Jamie, “You will let me know of any concerns that arise during my quarterly visits.”

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lupine_travel The bubbling Gobustan Mud Volcanoes in Azerbaijan on our September tour today

Up-too-late thoughts.

It’s really really hard to break away from fundamentalism and brainwashing. My own fundamentalist exposure wasn’t nearly as intense as the Duggars’ and it was still hard.

I would not be surprised if those who have pulled away a tiny bit have a relapse.

Jinger specifically – I imagine her happily wearing pants, sure that God doesn’t mind, until the point in (eventual) pregnancy where baby moves and that thing clicks in the brain where he *feels* like a person, an individual, instead of gas bubbles and a hypothetical.

At that moment, I see her lying awake worrying about baby frolicking in heaven while she burns (I did, not about pants but other stuff) and frantically begging God for forgiveness, and not wearing pants or skirts above mid-calf again until her second kid is between two and four.

That’s when I see her remembering that time they went to the creation museum and she told the camera guy that sometimes the evolution stuff sounded reasonable but God said it wasn’t true so she knew it must not be. (I didn’t dream that, right? It happened?)

At this point I see her googling, trying to find the clip. She wants to see if she embarrassed herself in front of an audience, acting like evolution could exist. Maybe she finds it, maybe she doesn’t, but either way she finds comments – and realizes evolution isn’t what she was taught it was.

In fact she notices some folks believe in it *and* God.

She talks to Jeremy about this at the table. He is smugly self-assured. By now this annoys her a little. Jeremy indicates that evolution is dumb because it’s dumb because he thinks it’s dumb. Jinger wants to talk about the ideas, not his smirking assurance that the Bible says it didn’t happen.

One of the kids spills his milk and the conversation is over but Jinger is still thinking about it the next day, and at naptime, she googles and reads more.

She probably doesn’t become an atheist or nonChristian or liberal Christian, but she opens her mind a little and starts giving consideration to just how many things daddy might have been wrong about – and that’s when Jinger is free.

So I’m…pretty sure I just felt the baby.

The average is supposed to be between 17 - 20 weeks to start feeling movement, but from what I’ve read a lot of people started feeling it as early as 13 weeks. I’m 14 weeks and a few days.

I thought I had to be imagining it so I just had to do a frantic Google search. It doesn’t feel like gas, I’m very familiar with the feeling of gas bubbles right now - it was like three small bits of pressure in a row, and then some fluttering. Went on for a few minutes and then left.

I feel like no one will believe me, but I’m so certain that’s what it was. Probably because I have a very small frame and have always been super in tune with my body.

Fluid inclusion.

This jagged edged hollow in a blue topaz magnified 18x is filled with liquid and a bubble of gas. The compositions of such inclusions, which often preserve traces of the mother ichor from which the crystal grew, can tell us alot about the geological conditions in which they were formed. They are common in many minerals, including quartz and emeralds.


Loz


Image credit: David A. Smith.

come home safe | john shelby

anon wanted calming john down after a murder

The sound of the door shutting downstairs was enough to pull you from your sleep, your eyes flitting back and forth behind your lids as the steps came up the stairs. You waited for John to open your bedroom door but after a long time of waiting with no movement your skin starting prickling. The tell-tale creak of the floorboard outside your kids’ room was enough to throw you from the bed, hand gripping at the gun under the pillow, trailing it behind you.

You slipped the door open slowly, trying not to catch their attention, and poked your head around the frame just enough to try and get eyes on the intruder. There was no-one visible, but the door to the kids’ room was open and a chill ran through your blood as you rushed down the hallway.

The gun was up in front of you as you entered but you dropped it quickly once you were in.

“Fucking hell, John. I could have shot you”

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