Unreliable narrator is so damn fascinating (I have an obsession w/ perception vs reality), and Yuuri is probably the best example I’ve ever seen in my life. As such, all of our main characters (that being Yuuri, Victor, and Yuri) end up being a bit different than the original assumption, but the biggest change in our perception is probably Victor. And that’s one reason why I love him so much; the way his personality and intentions slowly reveal themselves over the course of the story is fantastically executed.
The banquet reveal is genius, and I’ve probably said that before but I’m saying it again goddammit. I will never stop marveling at the fact that we had literally no context for Victor’s actions for the majority of the show and that one little detail blew away everything we thought we knew about Victor, and suddenly it was so obvious why Victor behaved the way he did.
Why this was his reaction to the video:
I actually got this foreboding feeling in my stomach the first time I saw the episode. I had watched the show for a max of 20 minutes and I was already like “DONT YOU HURT YUURI YOU BASTARD HES BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH” and now I know that the face is more like “you little shit, you keep me hanging for actual months and then you do this??? Playing with my heart??? Not making it to Worlds with that kind of skill??” And then more quietly “I’m still going to Japan tho"
Why he made this face before he got up:
I didn’t pay mind to it at first but after ep10 I was like,, hold up and I realized that poor Vitya looks absolutely terrified. He’s so fucking nervous. Victor’s psyching himself up and I don’t think the crooning of Yuuri’s name in a sec was fully intentional on his part?? Like he’s practically vibrating with excitement and it wouldn’t shock me if, while trying to hold in excited squealing and shouting etc etc, he used that energy to sing this boy’s name.
Why he saw the video and thought ‘coach’:
My actual first thought was "you fuckin presumptuous asshole. Greeting people naked. Assuming you’re good enough to train someone outta the blue. Why u see someone doing you’re routine and ur like 'OBVIOUSLY this person wants to be blessed with my guiding presence’ just like wtf dude” and boy was I Wrong™
The flirtatiousness, of course, and why he was such a prick??
Now I can’t stop laughing at this face HES SO FUCKIN PISSED. This is the “u aint shit” smile. he’s like “BITCH YOU BROUGHT ME HERE. FIRST THING YOU DO IS SCREAM IN MY FACE AND THEN RUN OFF. EXPECT TO BE COACHED AND NOT EVEN IN TOP FORM. WHO ARE YOU besides the love of my life"
Eros, of course, makes sense, and why after Yuuri was like "katsudon=eros” Victor then drank till dawn the next day
Poor thing omg
Oh, and my favorite, why he actually cried when Yuuri rejected sleeping with him:
I thought he was being over dramatic and that it was a joke!!! But no!!! Victor Nikiforov is actually crying alone on his first night in Japan, sleeping on a futon after the boy he’d been dreaming about and given up his whole life and career as he knew it for to be with rejected him unapologetically!!!! I wanna be dead
That’s the fun part tho; there was no way we could be interpreted Victor’s actions as anything different! How drastically differently we’ve come to view Victor really gets me. We needed that final piece of the puzzle to see how romantic, lovesick, sweet, affectionate, caring, and really truly afraid of Yuuri’s rejection Victor actually is. Not to mention his tendency towards depression.
Victor is teasing, silly, affectionate, heart on his sleeve, yet so restrained in what he shows others from years upon years of dealing with the public and press. He relishes in new and surprising experiences but likes to have an overall plan. I don’t think he would randomly change jumps and sequences so naturally while performing as Yuuri does, just to see someone else’s reaction, or at least not as often. And again, we know now that his coming to Japan wasn’t fully spur-of-the-moment–he’s been thinking about it for so long by that point. Victor just needed one last push to go track down Yuuri.
Victor isn’t affectionate with everyone, but only with certain people. Seriously, he only touches 3 people throughout the whole show: Yuuri, Yuri, and Yakov (you can probably guess who he’s the most physical with out of those 3). Poor baby must be so damn touch starved! No wonder he’s all over Yuuri; he’s craving romantic affection. Well, depending on your interpretation of Victor’s past he’s rather starved for genuine affection. My own theory is that he’s had many an odd sexual encounter in the past, but Yuuri is his first serious romantic relationship. He’s clingy and action-oriented and kinda doesn’t know how to act. That’s okay tho, Yuuri doesn’t know how this works either.
Victor started out as being so cold and lonely; the only place he felt he could find any semblance of living or love was on the ice, but he felt he had to work alone to be able to survive. Yuuri and Victor are a lot alike in that way; they both loathe to accept help and turn inward to try and deal with issues. This obviously doesn’t always work, and sometimes you need a little help. They both had to learn through each other that that isn’t shameful or wrong–they can rely on others if need be for assistance.
This is a super nice edition to the show, considering that a major theme of anxiety is shame around one’s own abilities and weaknesses. To see a model of growth like that is really fantastic.
@agmsye and I are at it again. Like what you see? Tell us!
After a deep inhale, Connor tried to explain all that had been happening. The guy at the club, the random transformations, and the fact that this new hunk was the first to really talk to him about it. The hunk seemed a bit confused and skeptical. “So you are saying, that a few minutes I was like half my size. That can’t be true though, I’ve been this big since,” he thought for a moment. “Well I’ve been this big for a while.”
The hesitation of the hunk before him stirred a thought in Connor’s mind. “Where have you been Training? When did you pick up training?”, Connor asked and just like he had expected the hunk tried to remember for a Moment and then shrugged his shoulders as a sign of surrender. It was obvious that he had no real Memory of how he got so big, just the certain thought that he had always been.
The let out a sigh. “Ok. So you think this guy cursed you to turn every man you see into a hunk? And you can’t get with any of them no matter how much you want to?”
Connor nodded, “Yeah like right now, you look really hot, but I’m as soft as can be right now.”
The stud rubbed his head, “Ok, well I do find you really cute, but I can’t get it up either. So let’s say this is true. I’m a history major. I’ll head to the library and see what I can find, if anything on curses like this. Think you can go without changing anyone else?”
“I’ll try, but I guess it will be impossible. The guys just seem to be wherever I look.”, Connor sighed and watched his new hunk friend leaving the room, when a question popped up in his mind. “Please, wait a Minute! You never told me your name. I’m Connor.”
The man turned around and flashed a beautiful smile at the smaller guy. “Name’s Roman.”, he answered and closed the door behind him.
Connor listened to be sure no one else is in the hallway. Once he thought it was empty he stepped out and made his way to the exit. His stomach growled and he felt how hungry he was, the little scone not tiding him over. Keeping his head down, he made his way towards the cafeteria. Unfortunately with his head down, he walked straight into someone who was playing on his phone, knocking both on their butts. “Hey!” He heard a childish voice say. Connor was rubbing his head and only saw the Pikachu shirt the guy was wearing before a flash filled his vision.
The after-Flash-guy still wore a pikachu Shirt, but it was now pulled taut over a pair of monstrous pecs. “Watch where you’re going.”, the guy rumbled and picked up his phone again, Pokemon Go still running. If it hadn’t been so hot it would look comical watching the bulging biceps fight for space as the hunk tried to type on the tiny phone with his meaty calloused fingers. Connor still rubbed his head as he watched the Pokemon fan’ walk away. When the hunk had disappeared around a corner, Connor resumed his way towards the cafeteria.
Connor cursed to himself, his cock readily rock hard again. It was hard to look where he was going and avoid looking at any male walking on campus. Every male student or staff member that fell into focus would suddenly become a manlier, hunkier version of their former self and not even realize it. A few would apologize to him and their suddenly broad shoulders would sometimes bump into him. Even the old janitor could not escape the curse.
The old man had just been mopping a Floor Connor was Walking by and when he peered around the Corner to make sure nobody would cross his way the Flash engulfed the janitor. In his stead stood now an Adonis in a Grey Overall. Huge biceps were revealed by the now short sleeved textile and even his now huge chest was barely Held back by the uniform. Connor could clearly see an enormous bulge swaying from side to side as the janitor mopped the Floor. Another Bonus was that the man had lost about 30 years, which made him an handsome mid-twenties-guy now.
The janitor looked like a stripper version of himself, and judging by the way he moved his hips as he listened to music, he might just have a part-time job stripping now. Connor hurried away and only transformed a few more hunks on the way to the cafeteria. He breathed a sigh of relief as it was a woman working the counter to swipe his card. As most classes were still going on, the cafeteria was relatively empty. He made his way to one of the food lines to grab something to eat.
When it was his turn he looked up and shockingly realized that it was not the normal lunch lady behind the counter but a fat, hairy man. At least he looked like this before Connor could take a second look. After the transformation there didn’t seem to be an ounce of fat left on the lunch man’s body. All he had was pure muscle, coated with dark hair. The gargantuan arms grabbing the ladle bulged and Connor could almost hear the metal scream as it bent under the man’s iron grip. The net on his top was filled to the brim with what looked like a beautiful mane of black hair.
Connor couldn’t tell which was meatier, the sloppy Joe or this man’s arms. He didn’t stay to find out, he could feel his cock straining in his briefs. He hurried over to the fountain drink machine. After filling up, he turned around and knocked a glass of ice water right over some guy’s shirt. Connor continued his turn to see the skinny man looking surprised before a flash overtook him. He now stood with a still drenched shirt, but it was now a white V-neck. The translucent fabric revealing his sculpted pecs and hard nips.
The guy was obviously uncomfortable with the way Connor practically pulled the t-shirt off him with his eyes and hurried away, before anyone could say something. After awaking from the Trance of seeing the perky bubble ass of V-neck walk away he looked around the room in search of a place to sit and saw that he hadn’t been the only eating the guy with his eyes. All the women seemed to come back from a dirty fantasy with the hunk, especially one girl who Connor walked to. She had been his best friend since kindergarten and they had practically done everything together. Well them and the last person Connor wanted to see now. As if on command, Connor felt a hand on his back and heard the familiar voice of his best friend Walking around the table.
Connor kept his eyes on Claire before his best friend, Adrian, began to walk around the table. His best friend wasn’t bad looking already. He was about 6 feet tall, messy light brown hair, blue eyes, and spent time in the gym. He was afraid of what would happen to his friend of he fell victim to his curse too. He deliberately looked away as Adrian tried to get his attention.
“Come on what’s up Con?”, Adrian asked in a worried tone, only getting a mumbled “Nothing.” as answer. The two of them had always been close, but now Connor just ignored him. So when Connor didn’t give any Kind of sign he had even acknowledged Adrian’s presence, the blonde guy just couldn’t take it any longer. He grabbed Connor by the chin and forced him to look at his face. When that happened Connor tried to frantically Close his eyes and deny the curse, but when a blinding light shone threw his eyelids he knew it was too late.
The face that was staring at Connor was now the face of an angel. He could still see some of his best friend’s features, but the good had been magnified and the flaws were erased. “No what’s going on with you?” He heard the silky smooth tenor leave his best friend’s lips. Connor’s cock ached as he looked at his masculine, beauty friend. His clothes fit in all the right places, and in some they were a bit tight. Connor looked down shyly. “Nothing. Just a rough day ok?” Adrian seemed satisfied and sat next to Claire, who was busy on her phone.
Adrian leaned over to Claire loudly whispered into her ear: “You know I don’t like it when you’re too focused on your phone.” He lifted his already tight Shirt, revealing what could only be described as washboard abs and continued “Is this not plaything enough for you?” before pulling Claire in for a sensual kiss. The both of them were so lost in their kiss that they didn’t even notice Connor staring at them open-mouthed. His power had made his best friends a couple.
Claire subtly reached down and groped Adrian’s crotch, getting the hunk to moan a little bit. He could tell his friend had quite the package given how much he had to spread his legs when he sat. Finally the kiss broke and Adrian noticed Connor’s expression. “Oh sorry bud. You know how we can get.”
“Yeah.”, Connor answered with a still shocked expression and started eating. He noticed that Adrian sloppy Joe had been replaced with a big salad bowl and that Claire only had one hand above the table. Judging the motions of her arm it was clear as day what she was doing. She gave her new boyfriend a handjob right in the middle of the Cafeteria. Connor tried to ignore it and asked innocently: “Please remind me. How Long have you been a couple again? I always Forget.” “For a happy 5 years.”, Adrian answered and a pleased smile crossed his face as Claire increased her rhythm.
Connor quickly scarfed down his food and grabbed his tray. “I uh… gotta run to the library. I’ll see you guys later.” Adrian grunted and Claire looked quite pleased with herself, obviously achieving her goal. Adrian waved as Connor walked to put his tray away. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw V-neck guy flirting with the hirsute lunch server. He tossed his tray away and rushed outside, knowing he’d have to cross campus to reach the library. He hoped Roman had found something.
Luckily the way across the Campus was pretty Transformation free, since classes had just restarted. The only Change occurred when a Group of 3 nerds crossed his way, dumbly giggling about some joke. When they had been transformed they were still laughing about the joke, but it was now two octaves deeper and underlined by the constant bouncing of the impressive pec shelf. Connor was glad when he reached the library and found it near empty.
It was quiet, as a library should be. He could hear the clacking of computer keys and the occasional flipping of a page. The problem was the library was huge and was several stories high. “Roman.” He tried to whisper, hoping the hunk would hear him and make his presence know. He went by shelf after shelf, looking for the studious stud.
“Can I help you?” Came a voice from behind. It was their salt-and-pepper haired librarian.
Surprised Connor turned around and was blinded by the following Flash. In front of him stood a totally atypical librarian. He was still wearing his button down Shirt, but it was now stretched to it’s Limits by the meaty brawn concealed behind it. His jeans looked painted on and the cock bulge he sported was so obvious that it verged on indecent exposure. But his most prominent trait was the dense salt and pepper beard Spilling out of his neckline and the thick beard he sported.
The librarian’s beard rested on his thick pecs, waiting for a response. “Oh I’m just uh looking for someone.” The librarian chuckled deeply. “Well then, son, you should text him and not go around making noise. This is a library after all.” He put a thick finger to his lips. “Shhh. Just a warning, but I’m very strict about etiquette in my library. If you need help finding a book, come to the front desk.” He turned and walked back, his shoulders and back taking up most of the space between the shelves.
Connor looked around the library some more and after about 15 minutes he finally found the man he had been looking for. Roman sat crouched over an old looking book and looked highly concentrated when Connor sat down. He took a Moment, taking in the Beauty of Roman before finally breaking the silence and Clearing his throat. Roman finished the Paragraph he had been reading and looked up, breaking in a wide smile and whispering: “I think I’ve found something.”
Connor’s face lit up, even though his cock had gone soft again, he felt elation building inside of him. “Don’t get too excited,” That sultry, hushed voice kept Connor’s heart beating even as his smile faded. “Ok so Romani, or Gypsy, curses are very individualistic. Not one is the same.” He closed the book and sighed, “So if you want to undo your curse, we will have to find the guy that cursed you.”
Is there a person in your life who you can call a mentor? If the answer is ‘yes’ that’s great news. Hold on to them. If the answer is ‘no’, we hope it’s only a matter of time before you meet someone you can connect and grow with.
In the meantime, we’ve teamed up with a group of women who are inspiring, thoughtful and experienced. They’ve answered some of your career-related questions and dilemmas in a new series we’ve launched on Instagram Stories called Share it, solve it: mentoring on the go. Our ambition is to offer women around the world support and solidarity. You can check it out on our Instagram account: @guardian before 5PM BST today (stories expire after 24 hours).
If you have a question you’d like us to tackle next, you can direct message us on Instagram or email email@example.com with ‘Share it, solve it’ in the subject line.
I shaved my head because I am strong and I know that I am beautiful and for once, I don’t need to hide behind my hair to feel that way anymore.
I shaved my head because I am loved by such supportive and encouraging people. I am thankful to have people in my life that help me to see the greatness within myself.
I shaved my head because for the first time since I knew I wanted to at 15 years old, I’m not in an abusive relationship and I have the freedom to do whatever the fuck I want with my appearance. I did it because I know that I still get to come home to someone who absolutely fucking adores me whether my hair is long and messy, well styled, or buzzed short.
So to everyone who asks why I shaved my head, there ya go.
For anyone who tells me I’m not pretty anymore without my hair, go fuck yourself. Your opinion ain’t shit to me.
No matter what you or anyone else has told you, I’m here to
state an important fact today: You are intelligent. Every single one of you.
Before you start to argue with me, let me also state that
some of you are intelligent in ways that the standard metrics don’t see.
In Education, we study Howard Gardner’s Multiple
Intelligence theory, which delineates at least nine distinct forms of
intelligence. While the standard ones of
verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical are often
classified as evidence of smartness by teachers and peers alike, others like musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and interpersonal intelligence go unnoticed
or noted as talents, but not signs of intelligence. Yet they are and harnessing their power can
help even the weakest student learn new things better.
Here’s the deal- you possess all of these intelligences, just
in varying amounts. Some of them are
super high, others in the middle ground, and a few are low. But another plus to Gardner’s theory (which
is also supported by Dweck’s growth mindset model) is that ALL intelligences
can be developed to a higher mastery.
AND nearly every intelligence can be used to support or supplement other
more traditional learning models, if you know what you are doing.
So why am I blabbering on about all of this?
Because over the next nine weeks, I want to dive into each
of these intelligences (with a little help from Brad who will be doing a guest
post for me) and how we can use it in our quest to learn languages. I’ll also try to give tips on how to boost
that particular intelligence, in case you find it to be a weak rather than a
strong point. Hopefully, you’ll find
some new methods that will help you maximize your own unique gifts, or at least
try something new.
For today, I want to just give a brief overview of each
intelligence, as well as some notes on how easily it relates to languages. Let’s dive in, shall we?
(Word) Intelligence: People with high linguistic intelligence are good with
language, both in terms of deduction and creation. Generally people with high verbal-linguistic
intelligence enjoy reading and writing (or oral story-telling). They enjoy plays on words and appreciate the
effort expelled to create a pretty sentence.
Obviously, most people who consider themselves good at languages likely
have high verbal-linguistic intelligence.
In the article on this one, we’ll focus more on how to develop this
intelligence to a higher level, as most of the typical activities we think
about for language learning fall under this intelligence anyhow.
(Logic) Intelligence: People with high logical-mathematical intelligence
are often good with numbers or putting together logical statements. Computer programmers very often have high
levels of this intelligence, as do people who work with numbers such as engineers
or accountants. At first glance this may
not seem to connect to language well, but I’d disagree. I think many people with logical-mathematical
intelligence are good at deconstructing grammar and creating sentence formulas
to help them communicate. They often can
organize information well, especially if they also have strong visual
Intelligence: This can go two directions.
The more obvious one is being able to represent things and ideas
visually. We often think of artists in
this group, but if you know someone who creates incredible mind maps or other
visual representations of their notes, chances are they have high visual intelligence. Another way to manifest this intelligence is
being good with understanding spatial concepts.
You know that person who NEVER seems to get lost, even in brand new
places, even when their GPS doesn’t work?
Or the person like my mother who can eyeball a cup of flour or tell you
exactly which rooms are directly above which in a house she’s walked through
once? Often people with high
visual-spatial intelligence initially struggle with language because the words
feel too abstract, but once they start adding pictures or other visual elements
to their learning programs, they catch up quick.
(Physical) Intelligence: This is
another one with multiple directions, but often simply stated as “learning by
doing.” Athletes and craftspeople often
fall into this category- they demonstrate intelligence through physical action
and creation. Drama can also often fall
in with these two as the physicality of theater is often the most critical
piece (think of those early silent film actors and actresses and how key their
actions and facial expressions were). If
one is learning a sign language, the connection to language is clear. But I find that even for spoken languages,
utilizing physical motions helps solidify vocabulary retention. AND let us not
forget the ever important learning of gestures and of course pronunciation,
which have physical components.
Brad will be writing the guest post for this one, but I’ll go ahead and introduce
it. These are people who are good with
rhythms and melodies, whether by playing an instrument, singing, composing
music, or even quality critics who can distinguish between large numbers of
pieces. Musical intelligence lends
itself nicely to language learning. Many
of us have learned vocabulary in simple songs or enjoyed music in the language
we are studying. Also chants and rhythms
can help us memorize information, as well as make it easier to learn both
prosody and tones of a language.
(Nature/Science) Intelligence: I am less familiar with this one as it was
added after I completed my formal study, but from my reading, I understand it
to be related to being able to classify natural systems as well as recognize
and even derive natural laws. Think
Charles Darwin out there sketching his finches and developing the theory of
evolution, without it already being written in a book for him to study- just
making connections among the physical evidence.
My cousin was the type who with a little bit of science knowledge at 8
could extrapolate how it applied to all sorts of situations, while I needed
much more direct explanation. While this
one has a very low connection to language naturally (pun unintended), I believe
we can make that classification aspect work for us.
(People/Social) Intelligence: This one is fairly self explanatory, but not
as limited as some think. As the name
suggests, this is the ability to interact with people well, often associated
with high emotional intelligence. These
are the great conversationalists, the people who read others well, and who know
how to work a crowd. This does NOT
always mean they are extroverted though.
Many introverts ARE highly intelligent in interpersonal matters, they
just need time to recharge. And many
extroverts are not as good at this as they think- we all know that person who has to be the center of attention, even
in the most inappropriate situations (e.g. the brother of the bride who makes
an arse of himself at her wedding).
Obviously, interpersonal intelligence can be highly useful to an
aspiring polyglot because one needs to talk with people to practice! Also people with high interpersonal intelligence
are likely to pick up on and acclimate to new cultural norms with ease, making
them blend in faster.
Intelligence: This is in many ways the reverse of the former, though that
does not mean one can’t be highly versed in both. Intrapersonal intelligence is all about
understanding yourself, knowing what makes you tick and how to motivate
yourself. It means understanding how you
learn best and what brings you both joy and stress and how to effectively deal
with both. Again, this plays a high role
in what many call emotional intelligence.
Intrapersonal intelligence may not initially seem super connected to
language learning (which after all, often has communication as its focus) BUT
knowing how you learn is critical to the autodidact
(self-taught learner- favorite word of a friend) and knowing how to boost
your own motivation is even more essential.
Therefore intrapersonal intelligence can be a great asset to a language
(Philosophical/Spiritual) Intelligence: Please forgive me, as I may falter
on this explanation. This is another one
that was not included in the list when I was formally studying this
information. But, from the reading, this
seems to be focused on people who ponder and come to interesting conclusions
about the BIG questions: why are we here,
what happens after we die, what does it mean to be “good”. I had to think a long while how this
intelligence would interact with language learning. Ultimately, I think this intelligence helps
one assign purpose (and therefore encourage motivation) to the activity and
also perhaps help one deal with the more abstract aspects of language
learning. We all know those expressions
that you have to feel more than learn in a formal respect- this is the
kind of thing that existential intelligence may help one acquire.
I hope you will find the next few weeks interesting as we
look at each intelligence in depth and give suggestions on how to both develop
this intelligence as well as how to use it to improve your language
learning. I’ll try to include some links
along the way for those interested in knowing more. Until then, peace out my Polyglot Peeps!
Here are four of the most popular child models around and they are all friends with each other and met during the many,many photo shoots they have all done together. There is Leneya Grace, Lilianna Kruk, Jade Weber and of course Russian super child model Kristina Pimenova who has 1.9 million followers on her Instagram account alone!
Besides the fact that each of them are gifted with beauty they also are unique looking in their own ways which also contributes to their overall appeal for fans and fashion designers alike.
I personally find it a joy to see each of their careers growing with every passing year and as they have all started in the modelling world as tiny babies in some cases they have literally grown up in front of the cameras and it has become second nature for each of them and in fact Lilianna Kruk is the daughter of Fashion photographer Alex Kruk and it is Lilianna’s piercing blue eyes that capture her thousands of fans.
I will continue to share their growth as models as well as dear children for as long as possible since I too am a fan of each one of them and it is truly a rare gift to be able to watch them develop into young adults right in front of our eyes…
Forever21 has been a great source of income and acknowledgement for all of them but mostly for Kristina Pimenova who is Russian born and now resides in Los Angeles where she is doing nothing but modelling fashions for children and gaining recognition worldwide as a result!
Congratulations to each one of these hard working and lovely young children!
The only information we have on Elven childhood and maturation comes from Laws and Customs of the Eldar (Histories of Middle-earth Volume X).
For at the end of the third year mortal children began to outstrip the Elves, hastening on to a full stature while the Elves lingered in the first spring of childhood. Children of Men might reach their full height while Eldar of the same age were still in body like to mortals of no more than seven years. Not until the fiftieth year did the Eldar attain the stature and shape in which their lives would after- wards endure, and for some a hundred years would pass before they were full-grown.
In other words, Elves grow almost as quickly as Men until their third birthday and then slow dramatically. They look seven when Men are reaching adulthood. They come of age at fifty but often aren’t fully grown until 100 - so fifty might be the human equivalent of 17 or 18, when adolescents come of age in most societies, while 100 is the equivalent of 25, when the human brain actually finishes maturing. Then, of course, Elves cease to grow altogether. Now it’d be really useful to have a graph showing Elven ages versus the comparable human maturities, so ‘thirty-five-year-old Elf’ actually means something. And if we just connect the dots between our data points, we get a really ugly and uneven growth pattern. We want something that starts fast and then levels out, eventually becoming asymptotic (no matter how long they live, Elves will never reach the physical age of a human 30-year-old).
The obvious solution is a logistic curve, usually used in population growth and resource saturation models. I had to modify it a little bit to manage the fact that Elves grow at the same rate as Men for the first three years of their lives (that’s the ugly little start to the curve there), but from three forward Tolkien’s statements on Elven aging can be perfectly modeling by a logistic function. I set the asymptote at 27: no matter how long an Elf lives, their body will never mature past the physical age of a human 27-year-old. At 18, 19, or 20 years old, an Elf will look 7. At fifty, they’ll be 18. At 100, 26. Just like Tolkien specified, sort of.
So now we can answer all the urgent questions of the legendarium. Maeglin was 12 when Eöl named him; how old is the human equivalent? About five and a half. In the Annals of Aman Fëanor is 16 when his father remarries: what is the equivalent? Six and three-quarters.
Reverse Engineering Taylor Swift’s Startup Business Model
Security Engineer from Canada. Student of improv, entrepreneurship, and Computer Science.
May 17, 2016
It has been said before, but Taylor Swift is a very business-savvy individual. What hasn’t been said is how her early days looked a lot like a startup. And although Swift has been repeatedly praised for her relatable songwriting, her use of social media, and her personal brand, I think it’s important to examine how exactly she does those things so well. In an effort to learn from her successes, I will attempt to reverse engineer the startup that is Taylor Swift.
I Knew You Had Hustle When You Walked In
Taylor Swift’s early hustle.
Swift “worked in a little shed” to record demos of her first songs, not unlike the cliche of startups who began in a garage. She even learned how to play guitar from a computer technician. Her early career featured many failed attempts to convince a record label to invest in her talents before landing a deal. Despite being doubted for her youth, she came to be called “a savvy, no-nonsense careerist” in 2006 when she was only 16. Swift has been, and continues to be, very successful with her entrepreneurial activities. The result? A very successful business model that we stand to learn a lot from. The product? Some incredibly relatable music. But why, exactly, have so many people found it relatable?
Taylor-Made Customer Segments
A trite piece of advice for entrepreneurs and writers is, of course, to know your audience. Country music wasn’t appealing to young girls at the time, so Swift made that demographic her target audience. Swift saw where her competition was failing in the marketplace, and took advantage of a previously untapped customer base.
Now, how does one create relatable music for young girls? Look at what works: chart-topping music tends to be about love, sex, and relationships. What if Swift simply observed the different types of relationships being experienced by her target demographic?
“I started developing this really keen sense of observation — of how to watch people and see what they did. From that sense, I was able to write songs about relationships when I was 13 but not in relationships.” — Taylor Swift
As a highschooler with a keen eye for observation, Swift got to know her audience extremely well. She found inspiration for her music by looking at her own relationships and observing the relationships of others. Swift began writing music in her freshman year of high school, and proceeded to create a stockpile of lyrics that contributed to her first three albums.
Based on those albums, Swift appears to have divided her audience into segments based on their relationship experiences. She then created a compelling value proposition for each of the customer segments she identified. In other words, each song targeted a particular subset of young lovers. Or, should I say, New Romantics?
Let’s attempt to reverse engineer the process of creating customer segments based on high school relationships. If I were to enumerate the different types of relationships experienced within my secondary school, it might look something like this:
The idealistic fairy-tale romance that you might daydream about.
The painful situation where you like someone who does not feel the same way.
Being in a relationship with someone who becomes cold and distant.
Being in an unstable, on-again off-again relationship.
Having to deal with emotional baggage or family issues in a relationship.
Being in a toxic or unhealthy relationship.
Being cheated on.
Reflecting on a past relationship with regret.
Moving on from a past relationship and looking forward to the future.
Swift wrote songs that each hit one or more of these ten nails right on the head. This varied offering of songs allowed Swift to cultivate an emotional connection with a wide variety of people. Let’s take a look at how Swift’s early songwriting related to the ten situations above, respectively:
“You Belong With Me”
“The Story of Us”
“We Are Never Getting Back Together”
“I Knew You Were Trouble”
“Should’ve Said No”
“Picture to Burn”
“Back to December”
So there you have it: Swift was a young entrepreneur, creating products (songs) for different segments of customers within an audience that she knew very well.
A Love Story of Viral Growth
“The best people in life are free.” — Taylor Swift, New Romantics
When Swift sings that the best people in life are free, she is probably relating to the youthfulness of her audience. I prefer to think that she is talking about her viral growth model. Her initial success is often attributed to her early adoption and skillful use of social media for marketing and distributing her content (versus traditional methods of paid advertising). But one does not simply “use social media”. Which platform you invest your time on is key.
“We hang back, it’s all in the timing
It’s poker, he can’t see it in my face
But I’m about to play my Ace”
— Taylor Swift, New Romantics
Swift’s timing in the social media space was spot-on. She focused her efforts on emerging social media platforms in order to earn a following where young people’s eyeballs were flocking. Swift joined Twitter in 2008, back when Twitter had roughly a million registered users (compared to over a billion today).
Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media entrepreneur who credits his own success to predicting which platforms are winning the public’s attention, joined Twitter just one year earlier in 2007. How does Vaynerchuk make his predictions? By observing people, just like Swift. She jumped on that shift in consumer attention at just the right time, built a following, and rode the wave of publicity that followed. If Swift were starting out today, she would probably invest most of her time in Snapchat or Musical.ly instead of Twitter or Tumblr, because that’s where junior high students’ attention appears to be going.
Accidental Tumblr addiction, or calculated hustle?
Swift’s content is also highly authentic and engaging. Her frequent direct engagement with followers on social media resonates with her fans. Swift has hustle — she invests her time in social media in order to make as many authentic connections as possible. Her early use of this strategy foreshadowed current social media marketing trends that focus on customer engagement.
Swift’s tone and behavior on social media is also known for being local to each platform.
Her content on Tumblr, for example, is distinctly Tumblr-ey— its vernacular and sense of humor fit in with the community. Again, Swift likely spent time observing what worked within these communities before joining them. This platform-specific behavior let Swift create consumable content while also adding to the authenticity of her brand. Even now, in 2016, brands are still struggling to create authentic content and engage with customers on emerging platforms.
Swift’s brand, which could be summed up as “human and relatable”, ties together her social media presence and relatable music into something recognizable and marketable. Swift’s brand is also maturing and growing appropriately with her audience so that it stays relatable. Her latest album, 1989, is a more mature offering that resonates with university-aged young adults. These are the same people Swift targeted earlier when they were in high school. I am one of those people — I personally relate to her music now as much as I did back then. I expect future offerings from Swift to continue growing with this millennial audience into their late twenties (which Swift is currently experiencing — you go, girl!). This customer-focused approach allows her brand to remain relatable and authentic to her core audience. To quote Swift’s latest music video, “it’s all about the fans”.
“It’s really important for me, for my fans to trust me.” — Taylor Swift
Perhaps we will see songs about growing older, seeing friends getting married, or maybe even midlife crises. Some prefer to describe Swift’s brand as “nostalgic”, but her nostalgia for her recent past always manages to describe the way my world is today.
As a twenty-something T-Swizzle fan, I certainly feel like Swift is eerily talented at narrating my life experiences so far. Here’s hoping that there’s still more relatable content to come.
So in addition to being an iconic singer and songwriter, Swift’s story is also an entrepreneur’s wildest dream. Swift’s songs were adopted by her target audience like wildfire due to a combination of innovations that in hindsight create an impressive business model.
May 3rd, 2017 || On Wednesday, Crown Prince Frederik, in his role as patron of Denmark Bridge, presented the 2017 Denmark Bridge Award to the company Genmab.
Denmark Bridge aims to ensure Danish companies and entrepreneurs with better access to knowledge, networkings and capital in Silicon Valley, California. Silicon Valley is the epicenter in the development of new technologies and growth oriented business models. Denmark Bridge helps to strengthen the bridge between Danish business and development and Silicon Valley, ultimately shaping development in the IT field.
romance is just a process/mechanism of natural hard-wired consciousness-growth, that has been derailed by capitalism
what if our brains are genetically predisposed to imagine benevolent supportive others as a part of self-growth and survival
the model is not meant for sleuthing out in the real world but for demonstrating what the individual can be to self. for inspiring transformative expression from within.
the imagination then an encouraging mirror - the individual thinks : I wish I had a badass girl to stick up for me in mean company. I wish I knew a woman with a voice like YoLandi’s who would do that for me and then I wish the same girl would invite me to sit for yoga and soham breathing and then we could get high and tell bad jokes over books and coffee afterwards
instead of this idea registering as a feeling of longing, it feels like inspiration — maybe… maybe… I could be that girl
if I imagine her… then she already exists inside me. the notion does not feel like want or desire…
but here is where capitalism derails you - it says : you must find that in someone else - look outward - here is a bunch of shit to help in your search
then by the time capitalism’s scheme fails to work for us, we are so in the habit of looking outward to capitalism for assistance… we think we need capitalism to help us find ourselves !!!!
so healthy romance turns into - ugh - self help
ick ick ick
maybe… the less money I have, with practice, the easier it will get to denounce these exact lies
laboring under the burden of illusion is shit - shedding illusion hurts at least as bad as death (probably the same thing) - what comes after… I sense might be worth it.