human endeavor

Imagine aliens reacting to human eating habits.

For instance, taste. Like, one day an alien notices the human crew member dumping something bright orange on their midday ration.

Alien: Does your supplement not have the right nutrients/?
Human: No, it just tastes bad.
Alien: ????
Human: Well, not precisely bad, but bland. It’s boring. So I thought I’d spice it up a bit. *waves bottle of bright orange substance*
Alien: You add items to your food that provide no necessary sustenance???
Human: Oh, just wait ‘til you hear about junk food.

‘Cause humans eat stuff that is not good just for the sensation. Like really spicy foods, chewing gum, and all these spices. And the aliens don’t get it. You put that in your body? Doesn’t that mess up your digestive system? What purpose does it serve?

Or human eating rituals. If you eat with one group of humans there are all of these utensils, some of which look extremely similar, but each with it’s own unique purpose. And if you don’t use the right one at the right time it’s a social faux pas. Then another group mostly uses their hands and lick their fingers. Does this not introduce pathogens? And you’ll see the same human doing both behaviors.

And there’s the whole concept of a meal as a social endeavor. Humans will have a meal with those they are close with as a sign of affection. Humans don’t even spend the entire meal eating, no they use it to talk. Business is done, friends catch up, families share news. All over a meal.

Aliens considering food a necessity not to be discussed in public. Yet here are these humans, who post pictures of their food to social media, share recipes, use food as a social catalyst, and as comfort. Hell, comfort food as a completely human idea that aliens don’t understand.

Anyway, humans are weird.

As I leave this earth and sail into the infinite cosmos of the universe, the wars, the triumphs, the beauty, and the bloodshed, the ocean of human endeavor, it all grows quiet, insignificant. I’m nothing more than recycled stardust and borrowed energy, born from a rock, spinning in the ether. I watch my life backwards and forwards and I feel free. Nothing is real, love is everything, and I know nothing.
—  Kesha’s outro for her new album, Rainbow. She’s a Pisces sun and moon. 

swedebeast  asked:

You wanna talk dead fandoms? Let's talk about War of the Worlds.

You’re from another country so I can’t speak to your experience, but in mine growing up in the Anglosphere, H.G. Wells is extraordinarily evergreen, like the Oz books. He’s one of the few old scifi guys people actually still read instead of pretend to read (I don’t even think Heinlein is in that category anymore). To this day, he’s the intro into scifi for tons of Advanced Placement kids who get bored in class in 3rd grade free period and see “War of the Worlds” on the shelf. He’s in that impossibly tiny sliver in the Venn Diagram of “books you are made to read for class” and “books you actually like.” His books are less like a fandom and more like a near-universal childhood rite of passage for geeky kids. He has a permanent centrality in the scifi canon. Describing his role in scifi culture is like being asked to describe how I feel about air.

I think part of the reason H.G. Wells is still so towering when other authors from his era are totally forgotten is that Wells was a man who is very modern, he had something to say apart from the boyish obsession with gadgetry and inventors that defined the Edisonades. He was a socialist, he believed in free love (at the turn of the century!), he despised war as the worst of human endeavors, he despised colonialism, and he was always ambivalent about technology at a time when progress was seen as positive and inevitable…and he wrote his stories about all of the above instead of the dozens on dozens of turn of the century boy inventors who built their own helicopters.

The reason H.G. Wells is still read is that he has something to say to us today that the “boy with a helicopter” turn of the century writers didn’t. It’s interesting to contrast H.G. Wells with another writer from his era, H. Rider Haggard, who once was the most widely read adventure author in the English speaking world (and I like him, so don’t interpret this as a diss). Haggard was a fascinating man but he was “of his time.” I actually could believe that Wells was a time traveler, like he was in Nicholas Meyer’s amazing movie Time After Time. Haggard on the other hand, his concerns were of his time and were not universal or applicable to us today. He wrote about colonial Africa, and his concerns were of the colonial state. 

Haggard absolutely and totally deserves his reputation as a reactionary, but what makes him fascinating is that despite the fact he’s a reactionary, he always feels like he’s edging at the cusp of some great revelation and enlightenment, like that portion where one of his arch colonial characters in King Solomon’s Mines said it was wrong to call black Africans the n-word, to debase their humanity that way. The guy spoke fluent Zulu and wrote a history of them in their own language. You feel there’s a decent person in there somewhere, much more than in other shriveled souled 19th century writers who cheered on the Irish famine, something Haggard never did. Haggard was basically one hippie girlfriend away from being H.G. Wells. 

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There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at.                                                                                                                                 While there’s life, there is hope.

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TSOCG presents day two of Black History Month 2014: “The Divine Nine”

These are the nine historically Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) that together comprise the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). The NPHC was created in an era when racial segregation and disenfranchisement plagued African Americans. The establishment of each of these organizations bore witness to the fact that despite hardships African Americans refused to accept a status of inferiority.

The organization’s stated purpose and mission in 1930:

“Unanimity of thought and action as far as possible in the conduct of Greek letter collegiate fraternities and sororities, and to consider problems of mutual interest to its member organizations.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.: Founded December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Its founders are known as the “Seven Jewels” and its principles are “manly deeds, scholarship, and love for all mankind.” Its motto is First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All.

Alpha Phi Alpha evolved into a primarily service-oriented organization and provided leadership and service during the Great Depression, both World Wars, and during the Civil Rights Movement. The organization addressed (and still addresses) social issues such as apartheid, AIDS, urban housing, and other economic, cultural, and political issues of interest to people of color. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and World Policy Council are programs of Alpha Phi Alpha. It also conducts philanthropic programming initiatives with March of Dimes, Head Start, Boy Scouts of America, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Notable members of Alpha Phi Alpha: Jamaican Prime Minister Norman Manley, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Olympian Jesse Owens, Justice Thurgood Marshall, United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, singer Lionel Richie and Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.:Founded January 15, 1908 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by a group of twenty students, led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle.  Alpha Kappa Alpha was incorporated on January 29, 1913.

After the organization’s establishment over a century ago, Alpha Kappa Alpha has helped to improve social and economic conditions through community service programs. Members have improved education through independent initiatives, contributed to community-building by creating programs and associations, such as the Mississippi Health Clinic, and influenced federal legislation by Congressional lobbying through the National Non-Partisan Lobby on Civil and Democratic Rights. The sorority works with communities through service initiatives and progressive programs relating to education, family, health, and business.

Notable members of Alpha Kappa Alpha: actress Loretta Devine, actress Phylicia Rashad, author Toni Morrison,  and vocalist Cassandra Wilson.

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.: Founded as Kappa Alpha Nu on the night of January 5, 1911 by ten African-American college students at Indiana University Bloomington.

The motto of the fraternity is, “Achievement in every field of human endeavor”. During this time there were very few African-American students at the majority white campus at Bloomington, Indiana and they were a small minority due to the era of the Jim Crow laws. Many African-American students rarely saw each other on campus and were discouraged or prohibited from attending student functions and extracurricular activities by white college administrators and fellow students. African-American students were denied membership on athletic teams with the exception of track and field. The racial prejudice and discrimination encountered by the founders strengthened their bond of friendship and growing interest in starting a social group.

Some believe the Greek letters Kappa Alpha Nu were chosen as a tribute to Alpha Kappa Nu, but the name became an ethnic slur among racist factions. Founder Elder Watson Diggs, while observing a young initiate compete in a track meet, overheard fans referring to the member as a “kappa alpha nig”, and a campaign to rename the fraternity ensued. The resolution to rename the group was adopted in December 1914, and the fraternity states, “the name acquired a distinctive Greek letter symbol and KAPPA ALPHA PSI thereby became a Greek letter fraternity in every sense of the designation.” Kappa Alpha Psi has been the official name since April 15, 1915.

Notable Members of Kappa Alpha Psi: Gospel musician Byron Cage, comedian Cedric “The Entertainer” Kyles, and Civil Rights leader Ralph D. Abernathy.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.:  Founded on November 17, 1911 by three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Omega Psi Phi is the first predominantly African-American fraternity to be founded at a historically black university.

Since its founding, Omega Psi Phi’s stated purpose has been to attract and build a strong and effective force of men dedicated to its Cardinal Principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance, and uplift.

In 1924, at the urging of fraternity member Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity launched Negro History and Literature Week in an effort to publicize the growing body of scholarship on African-American history. Encouraged by public interest, the event was renamed “Negro Achievement Week” in 1925 and given an expanded national presence in 1926 by Woodson’s Association for the Study of Negro Life as “Negro History Week.” Expanded to the full month of February from 1976, this event continues today as Black History Month.

Since 1945, the fraternity has undertaken a National Social Action Program to meet the needs of African Americans in the areas of health, housing, civil rights, and education. Omega Psi Phi has been a patron of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) since 1955, providing an annual gift of $350,000 to the program.

Notable members of Omega Psi Phi: poet Langston Hughes, comedians Rickey Smiley, Steve Harvey, and Bill Cosby.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Founded on January 13, 1913, by 22 collegiate women at Howard University. These women wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need. The first public act of Delta Sigma Theta was the Women’s Suffrage March in Washington D.C., March 3, 1913. Delta Sigma Theta was incorporated as a perpetual body in 1930. Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is the largest African-American Greek-lettered organization.

Since its founding, Delta Sigma Theta has been at the forefront of creating programming to improve political, education, and social and economic conditions. Delta Sigma Theta has been pivotal in assisting the African American and International communities through education, lobbying, and economic initiatives, including Delta Days at the State and Nation’s Capitol, Delta Days at the United Nations, Summits and various conferences which focus on pertinent issues of the day. In addition to establishing independent programming, The Sorority consistently collaborates with community and corporate organizations Such as Chase (bank), Habitat for Humanity, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Lawry’s, and General Electric to further its programming goals.

Notable members of Delta Sigma Theta: actress Keshia Knight Pulliam, singers Natalie Cole and Roberta Flack, and athlete Wilma Rudolph.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students with nine other Howard students as charter members. The fraternity’s founders (A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown) wanted to organize a Greek letter fraternity that would exemplify the ideals of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service while taking an inclusive perspective to serving the community as opposed to having an exclusive purpose.

The fraternity exceeded the prevailing models of Black Greek-Letter fraternal organizations by being the first to establish alumni chapters, youth mentoring clubs, a federal credit union, chapters in Africa, and a collegiate chapter outside of the United States, and is the only fraternity to hold a constitutional bond with a predominantly African-American sorority, Zeta Phi Beta (ΖΦΒ), which was founded on January 16, 1920, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., through the efforts of members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

Notable members of Phi Beta Sigma: George Washington Carver, James Weldon Johnson, Kwame Nkrumah, and activist Hosea Williams.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.:  Founded on January 16, 1920 by five collegiate women (Arizona Cleaver Stemmons, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings, Fannie Pettie Watts, and Pearl Anna Neal) at Howard University. The organization was founded “on the simple belief that sorority elitism and socializing should not overshadow the real mission for progressive organizations – to address societal mores, ills, prejudices, poverty, and health concerns of the day.”

In 1948, Zeta Phi Beta became the first Greek-letter organization to charter a chapter in Africa (in Monrovia, Liberia). It was also the first organization to establish adult and youth auxiliary groups and centralize its operations in a national headquarters. Today, there are also chapters in U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bahamas, Japan, Korea, Barbados, and Haiti.

Zeta Phi Beta is the only NPHC sorority that is constitutionally bound to a fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma. The sorority also maintains connections to several organizations including the NPHC, American Diabetes Association, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, National Council of Negro Women, and the United Negro College Fund.

The sorority also holdsZeta Day on the Hill, which provides an opportunity for Zetas to exercise another level of civic responsibility by learning the protocols for interacting with and the knowledge needed to maximize engagement with congressional representatives. As members of a “Community Conscious-Action Oriented” organization, Zetas schedule meetings with their representative or their representative’s designee to discuss, during brief sessions, issues of interest to the local, state and national Zeta membership.

On January 25, 2001, Zeta Phi Beta was granted Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status with the United Nations.

Notable members of Zeta Phi Beta: author Zora Neale Hurston, singer Sarah Vaughan, comedienne Sheryl Underwood, singers Minnie Riperton and Towanda Braxton.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.:  Founded on November 12, 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven young educators. It was incorporated within the state of Indiana in December 1922 and became a national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted and the Alpha chapter was established.

The sorority is a non-profit whose aim is to enhance the quality of life within the community. Public service, leadership development and the education of youth are the hallmark of the organization’s programs and activities.

Founded in the midst of segregation, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. is the only sorority of the four historically African-American sororities in the NPHC that was established on a predominantly white campus.

Notable members of Sigma Gamma Rho: singer Kelly Price, rapper MC Lyte, and actress Victoria Rowell.

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.: Founded on September 19, 1963 at Morgan State University (then Morgan State College) in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The fraternity was founded in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement even though there were already four other prominent historically Black fraternities at the time. Influences included organizations such as the Black Panthers, SNCC, and figures such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. The Iota founders were distinguished from their peers as they were all non-traditional students. Being anywhere from three to five years older than their peers, many had served in the military, worked full-time while attending classes full-time, and had families with small children. These elements gave the Founders a different perspective than the typical fraternity member.

A key appeal of Iota Phi Theta is that, as an organization, it refuses to have its members bind themselves to a defined fraternal image but celebrates the individuality of its members.

Notable members of Iota Phi Theta: actor T.C. Carson and athlete Calvin Murphy.

The importance of the “Divine Nine”: During the time in which the first BGLO was established, African Americans across the country were faced with the harsh realities of race-related discrimination. As a result of the various situations that stemmed from these discriminatory practices, various organizations established by the African American community began to surface and some of them were Black Greek Letter Organizations. Since 1906—the founding year of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.—nine fraternities and sororities (affectionately known as the Divine Nine) have had the privilege of developing and establishing chapters throughout the United States and the world. The establishment of these brotherhoods and sisterhoods brought together men and women who were passionate about the goals and ideals of their organization and made a commitment to work together to make a difference in the world in which they lived.

More than this, they gave networking opportunities and all of the other benefits of being a member of a Greek-Letter Organization to people who were barred entry from the historically White Greek-Letter Organizations. The NPHC organizations stand apart from all others in that at their core stand scholarship and service to the community.

I am a proud and active member of an NPHC sorority myself, the lovely, alluring, remarkable, and oh SOOOOOO SWEET Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. I love my organization, and I love my fellow black greeks…the history of all of our organizations shine brightly in all of our missions.

laugh.grow.change.[serendipity]

Trap Streets

On maps and atlases, a “trap street” is either a fake, misnamed, or misrepresented street — the passage may be curved and shown as straight or vice versa. The intention is to “trap” cartography copycats, enabling the original artist to pin them down with unanswerable questions about the duplicates origins in a court of law (or field of battle depending on the region and seriousness of the crime).

Like so many human endeavors, mortal truth unintentionally parallels the Netherworld.

From tiny villages to immense cities, communities of all sizes gain sentience over time. Their movements and actions are typically too slow or subtle for human perception, creating the illusion of a space to be controlled and changed. In reality, communities adjust their features and layouts over time, much in the same way you or I adjust a garment to fit better.

For witches and other magic users, the street changes can be a source of communication. 

Ghosts and non-corporeal undead will notice but rarely take into account the changes. The ability to pass through walls means having to pay little attention to shifting landscapes and architecture beyond a passing curiosity.

Monsters notice significantly more. With the innate ability to travel in plain sight without being perceived, they are masters of adaption. Most monsters are so in tune with their home that following, even aiding, the shifting of streets is as natural as breathing.

For witches and other magic users, the street changes can be a source of communication. After living with an area for a while, they can read and be warned of danger simply by wandering about and taking stock in movements of pathways and light sources.

Travelers and adventurers must beware, for while all of this may seem enjoyable and light hearted, it should be noted that some cities actively use trap streets to corner and destroy those that displease them. In these instances, they are quite literally trap streets.

As I leave this earth and sail into the infinite cosmos of the universe, the wars, the triumphs, the beauty, and the bloodshed, the ocean of human endeavor, it all grows quiet, insignificant. I’m nothing more than recycled stardust and borrowed energy, born from a rock, spinning in the ether. I watch my life backwards and forwards and I feel free. Nothing is real, love is everything, and I know nothing.

Originally posted by nikkiiklebold

The Case of Endeavor: Finding Humanity in the Abusive Parent

I really like Horikoshi’s attempt to add a more human side to the abusive parental figure.

There’s no question that Endeavor is among the list of Worst Fathers in History. He neglects the emotional needs of his youngest son in favor of pursuing his own ambition and in the process, abuses his wife when she gets in his way, not to mention he sees his own family as merely tools to achieve his goals. He definitely falls short of the image of a loving, devoted father but when he finally sees All Might’s true form, we get this:

This is the first time we get a glimpse into Endeavor’s mind. It is interesting to note that when he reflects on his ambition to surpass All Might all these years, he remembers his son and wife, and this thought is accompanied by the lines “The despair of it drove me to…” The eclipses suggests hesitation, that there are things he would rather not acknowledge, and it is not difficult to fill in the gaps as to what he is implying. With the image of Shoto and his mom in the background, we can assume that Endeavor is saying how the despair of being second place to All Might pushes him to marry his wife and have Shoto, and we all know how that plan turned out. These thoughts are left unspoken and instead, we get a drawing of his eye, widening in terror. It is as if the reality of what he has done all these years has finally dawn him: his selfish ambition to become the strongest hero has caused pain for others and not just anybody, his own family, and seeing All Might weakened right in front of him, he realizes he caused them pain for nothing. He didn’t have to make Shoto his successor. All Might’s strength is already deteriorating and Endeavor naturally becomes number one without much of a fight. He finally achieves his dream, but all that is left is a wife in a mental hospital and a broken son who wouldn’t acknowledge him (and also several other kids he obviously neglected).

That is why he cannot accept his “victory”. Just as Bakugo (bless his angry soul) refuses to accept the result of the sports festival because his prize doesn’t prove his strength, Endeavor refuses to accept his position as Number One Hero because he didn’t even beat All Might to earn it. His plan, a plan he had used years to cultivate, is now useless and meaningless. Instead of triumph, he is now facing a sense of loss. This loss, I believe is not simply from the dissatisfaction Endeavor feels about this turn of events. There is another reason. Judging from the panel I analyzed above, Endeavor now, for the first time, comes face to face with the mess of a family that is his own doing. Without his goal, he now has to admit his responsibility for his dysfunctional family, and as a man of action, he resorts to rage and violence to release all the emotions bottling inside him (goodbye training room):

It is easy to create straight-up “bad guys” when writing abusive parents, and it’s understandable. Adult douchebags who hurt innocent children are the definition of pure evil. So writing an abusive parent from a vulnerable perspective is not something you see everyday and I’m glad Horikoshi added that in the manga. I’m not saying I like Endeavor, nor am I justifying his actions. Todoroki Shoto, his mother and the rest of the Todoroki family deserve so much more than this angry, prideful “hero” as their husband/father. But it is also nice to see the other side of the story (and one that doesn’t need more than 3 pages to illustrate). 

Sometimes, I guess, it is easy to forget that evil parents are human as well, and characters like Endeavor helps remind us of that.


Photos taken from Ch.93 & 95 of the My Hero Academia manga.
All credits to Kōhei Horikoshi

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Six: A Creature Who Is Also A Character

If you’ve read The Horse and His Boy from the Chronicles of Narnia series, you doubtless remember Breehy-hinny-brinny-hoohy-hah (or Bree for short, a lovely call-out from Lewis to Tolkien and The Prancing Pony in Bree). In fact, I don’t think you can read the book without remembering good ol’ Bree with his pride and his snarky comments and growing friendship with Hwin. Both the talking horses of the book are distinct. They have personalities that are easily identified and easily attributed to their experiences growing up. Bree became self-confident from years of captivity as a war horse among non-talking horses that seemed witless to him; by comparison, he was a genius, able to understand what his human riders commanded easier and faster than the other non-talking horses. Hwin, on the other hand, while also captured and raised among non-talking horses, is shy and more logical and reasonable as one of the stable horses for a noble house. These two are fantastic foils to each other throughout the story. But it’s easy to take two talking creatures and build them into full characters–they can tell you about their background and their experiences; they can throw out jokes and win hearts through glorious conversations. Think about other creature companions, though, ones like Hedwig who reveled in flying free and had an attitude sometimes, or the trusting, loving relationship that builds between Jakkin and Heart’s Blood the dragon in Jane Yolen’s The Pit Dragon series.

Each one of the most beloved, best remembered creature companions become favorites because of one thing: They are memorable characters. They have personalities and they are a part of who the main character is. Making sure your creature companions have personalities is an important step toward making your creature worth having. Just with extraneous characters who don’t fill any gap in the plot, creature companions must be put to work, too. To build that relationship both with the plot, the characters, and the audience, start with the small stuff: Who is this creature?

Who are they?

Starting at the very basics of personality, begin by asking yourself who this creature is. Where do they come from? Do they have family? What makes them happy or sad? Even if your creatures are regular animals or are mythical creatures that don’t have the power of speech, I still recommend knowing what makes the creature laugh. Maybe they don’t laugh like we do, but what makes them happy? How do they express that feeling?

Personality is as much expressed by behavior as it is by speech. Be sure you’re taking corresponding animal behaviors into account, including the bits combined to create your mythical creature. There’s a character in an old, old set of children’s books, Gink from Patricia Coombs’ Dorrie the Little Witch series. Gink is a black cat who follows the main character about, and while he has no lines, the cat appears in every picture of every book in the 20-book series. (Though Gink has no specified gender, my own cat Gink was male, so forgive me if I’m mildly biased.) Despite his silent role and few actions that are directly related in the plot (some! He does help from time to time!), Gink becomes an entire character of his own through his behind-the-scenes, background participation in the story with the audience. His curiosity, playfulness, and warnings–in short, his reactions–to Dorrie’s plights give the audience a distinct impression of who Gink is.

Think about when your creature will show affection and how, versus showing annoyance, anger, caution, hunger, and interest. What makes them curious? What will help them become more trusting and how does that trust manifest? What will always draw them in and what will they stay away from? 

What do they want?

It’s said every character, no matter how little screen-time they receive, should have a goal. Whether that’s getting a coffee or rescuing their family, everyone wants something. If you have a pet at home, you know it’s true even with them. Bruce Coville’s Into the Land of the Unicorns introduces Lightfoot, young unicorn prince whose ideals change as he accompanies the human Cara in her endeavors to save the world of Luster. He begins the tale wanting nothing more than to defy the fate his family has left him. He’s willing to leave every single one of them behind to do it, too, but by the end of the series, that desire has changed. As a character, he evolves, as all good characters should.

Be aware of why your creature is out there and why they’re willing to accompany your characters on whatever it is they’re up to. How does agreeing to do this help them get further toward their want? Maybe it’s just the security of knowing there are others to protect against dangers, or the promise of food at a regular pace, but it could also be their own quest to find something or someone, or even to save their homeland from certain destruction. Wants are small or large, but they must be present if you hope to build off of them and create real, natural, and effective actions for this creature to take.

What’s the worst thing they could face?

You’re going to put your characters through some Things™, and we all know it. Reactions cover a wide spectrum for all characters and your creatures will be no different, because, after all, we want them to be characters, too. So why not treat them that way when making them? You can’t know how broad their reactions will span until you’ve put some thought into the worst thing that could happen. This is more than just their worst fear. It branches into the idea of who they become when faced with difficult situations, as well. What could turn them not only into a cowering creature but also the worst version of themselves? What kinds of tactics would they be willing to engage in if things go horribly wrong? It helps you touch on morals when dealing with these creatures to whom you may not immediately ascribe the idea of having morals. Make them just as round as your real-life humanoid characters by making sure you know what they’re willing to do, how far they’ll go, and where the line is drawn in the metaphorical sand.

Long story short, your creatures are characters too! I can’t be alone in watching a couple of fish in a tank, pointing at one and saying, “That one’s got an attitude!” In a similar way, you should be paying attention to your creatures’ personalities–mainly that they have one. Remember that you don’t want them to be stock characters, so treat them like your other humanoid creatures when creating them. Without distinct personality, they cease to be companions and simply remain cardboard space fillers. They should be important! You want them to be memorable! Work on them like people and help to round them out.

Next up: Speech!

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Ripples In Spacetime: From Einstein To LIGO And Beyond

“As you take a journey through the discoveries that have confirmed the existence and properties of gravitational waves, you wind up at the present day, where the future possibilities are clearly laid out at your feet. Pulsar timing arrays are opening up the ability to explore the long-wavelength gravitational waves that no interferometer can measure, and may in fact see the types of waves BICEP2 was seeking. Future observatories on the ground will complement the LIGO array, and are already under construction and coming online. LISA is on its way and will open up gravitational waves in space, and the ripples from supermassive black holes. And in the future, the holy grail of correlating optical and other light-based astronomy with gravitational wave astronomy will be achieved with our planned technology.”

In 2015, for the very first time, gravitational waves were directly detected from the merger of two massive black holes. These ripples in space traveled over a billion light years before they were finally detected. When they were, it validated Einstein’s theory of General Relativity in an entirely new fashion, and proved the physical existence of a phenomenon that was doubted even by Einstein himself. In a stunningly well-researched and well-written book, Ripples In Spacetime, award-winning science writer Govert Schilling takes us on a journey that not only details how these waves came to be detected, but it puts the entire story in historical and scientific context. The past, present, and future of gravitational wave astronomy, plus what it means for humanity and the scientific endeavor, is brilliantly discussed.

Come take an in-depth dive into what wonders this book holds – particularly if you’re a LIGO skeptic – and if you like what you’re reading, pick yourself up a copy and get the full story!

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There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.

The Theory of Everything (2014)

dir. James Marsh

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I tell you this not as aimless revelation but because I want you to know, as you read me, precisely who I am and where I am and what is on my mind. I want you to understand exactly what you are getting: you are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest people. You are getting a woman who somewhere along the line misplaced whatever slight faith she ever had in the social contract, in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor. - Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017)

Todomomo Fairy AU Part 3 ~

READ PART 1 HERE

READ PART 2 HERE

just to clarify, in this AU, people know that fairies exist and so do witches, warlocks and what have you. It’s just extremely rare to meet a fairy and their realms don’t intertwine in any way (or more like the fairies and the humans don’t want trouble so they try to stay away from each other as much as possible; however, there are curious ones who want to know more about each other’s lives). I also mentioned fuyumi and tensei which is from blamedorange, and thanks to gingersducksandbubbles for the horse names HAHA

warning: its another longgggg one! Again, this is somewhat between a fanfic and a hc. This one is more lighthearted…..I think? 

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More Single Parents of Janus headcanons. 

  • Strickler’s kid and little Enrique grow up into the best of friends. It just kind of… happens. Claire and Jim are together a lot, and Strickler is always finding reasons to be around and the babies just sort of get thrown together. 
  • Otto does all the Parent/Child matching clothes photoshoots, and will cheerfully refer to the little familiars as Mini Mes. 
  • The babies spent the last few centuries in stasis, being cared for by goblins. They aren’t afraid when their new parent’s face changes to something more inhuman, and they giggle at magic. The Darklands changed them, just a little. 
  • On the plus side, all these kids end up with guardians who can predict their growth spurts down to a tee because they lived them. Puberty holds no surprises. On the downside… everyone knows exactly how the kids are going to turn out. 
  • Looks wise, at least, because personality ends up being a lot more all over the place. Cheerful Otto’s baby self is a sleepless little hellion who runs him ragged. (And then grows into the grumpiest little guy.) Nomura has a bonafide ball of sunshine on her hands, she won’t stop giggling, why won’t she stop giggling? Tiny Strickler is always bouncing off the walls and hates reading. It’s a valuable reminder that they are different people. 
  • Most of them are stay at home parents by necessity. They don’t want to entrust their lifeline to daycare, or risk some supernatural danger coming to their magic touched kids. Even Strickler takes a break, cashes in some of his savings, and focuses on full time parenting and part time changeling organization management. (They schedule Skype calls around naps.) He’ll go back to work when the baby is old enough to be in school. A few of the changelings who are married to humans (a complicated enough endeavor on it’s own, since most of those relationships have some, uh, fundamental issues) and have a little bit more backup negotiate part-time positions. 
  • Nomura loves her museum and refuses to give it up, so she gets a baby carrier and does archival work with an infant tugging on her hair. Baby Nomura accidentally swallows a few roman coins when she gets old enough to toddle, but otherwise the arrangement works. 
  • It helps that Draal comes over a lot at night and is excellent at baby soothing. In between apologies and life saving and mid-battle confessions, Nomura is willing to tolerate his presence, especially if he helps her move around heavy exhibits. They’re both going to live for centuries, they have time to work things out. 
  • Barbara is actually the official head of the Order of Janus now. She took over in the middle of a bad situation, and since she can successfully negotiate with Trollmarket and flat out boss around the Trollhunter, everyone agreed to keep her. Strickler does a lot of the day to day stuff though. Barbara still has a job, and is a very busy woman. 
  • Their relationship is complicated, but definitely there, and Jim has silently resigned himself to a step-sibling in the next few years. He doesn’t count on the surprise half-sibling, but he loves them both. 
  • There is a strict “no children in Trollmarket” rule, instituted by Barbara, for the sake of safety. That rule gets broken during the rare crisis, when danger threatens Arcadia Oaks and it’s best to have everyone close to the Trollhunter in a secure place. Faye Lake is born during at Trollmarket during once such incident. Little Enrique and toddler Strickler are enchanted by their visit, and spend most of their childhood trying to sneak back into the place they can still dimly remember. 
  • Jim, Claire, and Toby grow up and “go to college” (ie: get a cave in Trollmarket together and take online classes) but they visit regularly and are the cool older siblings most kids dream of having.