human footprints

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

With only four months left in the mission, Cassini is busy at Saturn. The upcoming cargo launch, anniversaries and more!

As our Cassini spacecraft made its first-ever dive through the gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017, one of its imaging cameras took a series of rapid-fire images that were used to make this movie sequence. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Hampton University

1-3. The Grand Finale

Our Cassini spacecraft has begun its final mission at Saturn. Some dates to note:

  • May 28, 2017: Cassini makes its riskiest ring crossing as it ventures deeper into Saturn’s innermost ring (D ring).
  • June 29, 2017: On this day in 2004, the Cassini orbiter and its travel companion the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe arrived at Saturn.
  • September 15, 2017: In a final, spectacular dive, Cassini will plunge into Saturn - beaming science data about Saturn’s atmosphere back to Earth to the last second. It’s all over at 5:08 a.m. PDT.

4. Cargo Launch to the International Space Station

June 1, 2017: Target date of the cargo launch. The uncrewed Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 39A at our Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The payload includes NICER, an instrument to measure neutron stars, and ROSA, a Roll-Out Solar Array that will test a new solar panel that rolls open in space like a party favor.

5. Sojourner

July 4, 2017: Twenty years ago, a wagon-sized rover named Sojourner blazed the trail for future Mars explorers - both robots and, one day, humans. Take a trip back in time to the vintage Mars Pathfinder websites:

6. Voyager

August 20, 2017: Forty years and still going strong, our twin Voyagers mark 40 years since they left Earth.

7. Total Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017: All of North America will be treated to a rare celestial event: a total solar eclipse. The path of totality runs from Oregon to South Carolina.

8. From Science Fiction to Science Fact

Light a candle for the man who took rocketry from science fiction to science fact. On this day in 1882, Robert H. Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.

9. Looking at the Moon

October 28, 2017: Howl (or look) at the moon with the rest of the world. It’s time for the annual International Observe the Moon Night.

10. Last Human on the Moon

December 13, 2017: Forty-five years ago, Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan left the last human footprint on the moon.

Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

# leave nothing but footprints take nothing but pictures kill nothing but time anti-capitalism green anarchism anti-capitalist time pictures footprints forest jungle ecology green eco environmentalism radical environmentalism

Nocturnal pollinators go dark under street lamps

When the sun goes down, moths, beetles and other nocturnal insects that spread pollen between plants go to work. But the latest research reveals that these creatures might be at risk from artificial lighting.

Scientists working in Switzerland report large drop-offs in pollinator visits as well as reduced fruit production in patches of cabbage thistle (Cirsium oleraceum) under artificial lighting at night, in a study published on 2 August in Nature1. Researchers were largely in the dark about how problems such as light pollution affected pollinators. But the study authors say their work highlights how the human footprint can reverberate throughout an ecosystem — even after people have gone to bed.

The researchers placed mobile street lamps over plots of cabbage thistle that had never before been exposed to artificial light at night. Using night-vision goggles to observe and capture pollinators, the team found that those plots had 62% fewer visitations from insects than plots situated in darkness. The artificially lit plants also saw 29% fewer pollinator species.

youtube

Sasquatch Howls in Sequoia National Park

This footage was captured by a group of campers in Sequoia National Park. They were camping near Hockett Meadow, and first heard the strange sounds coming from the east at 8:00am. The sounds seem similar to other videos captured of supposed Sasquatch vocalizations. In fact the sounds sound very similar to the ones captured in Clipper Mills, California in 2013. Later on in the video the filmed shows a human looking footprint that was imprinted into the ground. Whatever the animal was that left the footprint is still being debated, but it is roughly average human sized. Very interesting video, the howls seem genuine and sound similar to other Sasquatch vocalizations. This film can be added to the collection of authentic Sasquatch evidence, until proven otherwise.

YouTube: BigfootEvidence

"The Vatican itself will commit to slavery-proofing its own supply chains and I hope that today's announcement will serve as encouragement for others to follow suit."

REBLOG to congratulate Pope Francis for taking a stand against slavery in our everyday products.

2

The Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, dwells in forests largely in the North America’s Pacific Northwest area. It is a large, hairy humanoid with a height of 7-11 ft, a weight of 500 pounds, legs ranging from two to six, and hair ranging in dark brown or dark red.

Arguably, the biggest form of evidence we have of the Sasquatch are the “tracks” they leave across North America. They are typically 15 to 17 inches long and about 30% wider than typical human footprints. These footprints are still being found every day.

Kiss by the lake (Josh Washington x Reader)

Requested by anonymous : You meet Josh on the bus up to the cabin (like when they’re 15 or something). Reader’s family’s cabin is at the next stop (they’re also rich). One summer he invites you to his cabin, because you’ve gotten to know eacht other over the years (You’re both 19). Everyone is alive, and you fall in love. But you don’t tell him. One day you all swim by the lake near your cabin. You tell him and you kiss in the water :)

A/N: Dear Anon, I hope you don’t mind that the lake is near Josh’s cabin :) And I also hope you like and enjoy this story!

Please, also check up my last stories “A maid for Ahkmenrah” and “Unexpected”. Love you. Xoxo

Word count: 2,338


Cold air blew into your face and your whole body was freezing while you were waiting for the bus that would drive you to the Blackwood Pines.  You pulled your jacket closer to your body, trying to keep yourself warm. It was your first trip alone; normally you would always drive with your parents. But this time you wanted to drive on your own. You were fifteen years old after all and old enough although your parents didn’t agree. Nevertheless, you could convince them somehow.

You pulled your headphones out of your jacket pocket, trying to occupy yourself with music until the bus arrived. Pop music filled your ears and you slowly began to calm down a bit. While you were listening to your favorite songs, your eyes examined their surroundings. Snow covered the whole area, the whole trees were nothing but white. Also footprints of humans or little animals were recognizable on the ground. 

Some footprints lead exactly to the bus stop where you stood at and your eyes followed their trace, leading to a young man who stood a few meters away from you. You observed him for a little bit. He didn’t even notice it. He was too busy with typing on his very expensive smart phone. You couldn’t help but being a little bit envious. It was exactly the same smart phone that you wanted to have, but your parents refused to buy it for you. Not that you hadn’t enough money; quite the reverse! You were rich, very rich. You parents just thought that you should keep your smart phone as long as it worked.

Suddenly the boy lifted up his head and looked at your direction. You blushed, instantly tearing your gaze away from him. Soft chuckles escaped from his mouth, that you couldn’t hear but you knew that he found it amusing. You wondered when your bus finally arrived, and after five minutes it luckily stopped at the bus stop.

You got in and found a nice place further back. There also were not too much people in the bus. Only a married couple, the driver himself, a young man and you along with the boy. You sat on the window so you could look outside during the whole ride. Then you felt some taking place next to your seat. As you turned to the person, you were greeted with some beautiful green eyes. Your heart stopped for a moment. It was the boy from the bus stop. Why had he had to sit next to you if there were so many seats he could sit on? You took your headphones off.

He offered you a smile. “Hello, I’m Josh. Josh Washington.” He introduced himself.

“(Y/N) (Y/LN).” you said.

Josh made himself comfortable next to you and your journey to the mountains began.

“So, (Y/N), where are you going?” Josh asked.

“Blackwood Pines.” You answered shortly.

“Really? Me too!” You could hear a trace of joy in his voice. You smiled at him.

During the whole ride you talked and got to know each other. You found out that Josh was sixteen years old and had two sisters named Hannah and Beth. His father was also a famous director, so you assumed that he must have been rich as well. Besides, he told you that he came every year to the Blackwood Pines. His family owned a huge lodge up there. You wondered what it looked like. You also told him something about you and the more your ride came to an end the sadder you became. You began to like him and who knew if you’d saw each other again.

The bus arrived at Josh’s stop and Josh needed to get out. He had a disappointed expression on his face. He enjoyed spending time with you. Before he stood up, he ripped off a sheet of paper and noted down his number.

“Call me sometime. I would like to see you again.” He said, handing you the note. Your lips curved into a smile and you nodded your head. “I will.”

As he was about to get out, you added “By the way, my cabin is at the next stop.

****

It wasn’t you last encounter with Josh. Two days after you two met, he and his family paid you a visit. Of course your parents were confused about who the strangers were. You explained that you got to know their son during your ride and so they welcomed them generously. The whole time you were excited to meet Josh sisters and as they stood in front of you couldn’t help but give them a tight hug. It felt like you knew them for your whole life although Josh told a bit about them.

You had a nice day with the Washingtons. After that day, you also became inseparable with Hannah and Beth. You had sleepovers, film evenings in their own cinema and more and more. Poor Josh felt excluded because you did nothing but girly things. He wanted to spend time with you too. It was him who introduced you to his sisters after all and also the one who got to know you first. But how could he if Hannah and Beth were in his way? Luckily, you managed to pay attention to the three at the same time. You noticed that Josh was said about you spending more time with his sisters than him.

Over the next four years, your friendship became stronger. The Washingtons didn’t live that far away from you, so you could visit them almost every day. Nothing really changed, except your relation to Josh. He became more attractive and masculine over these years and you couldn’t help but to fall for him. It was a hard deal to act normal around him because every time you saw him you had the urge to press him against the wall and to kiss him passionately.

Of course, Hannah and Beth noticed your strange behavior when their brother was present. You hesitated at first to tell them, you felt insecure.

“Are you okay?” Hannah asked worriedly, laying her arms around your shoulders. You just shrugged, saying that everything was fine. But they were Hannah and Beth. They knew if something was wrong.

“Aww… Come on! Tell us what’s bothering you. We can see that you’re not okay.” Beth exclaimed.

You closed your eyes, taking a deep breath, before revealing your secret. “I think I’m in love with Josh.”

The twins stared at you with their eyes wide open. Then they began to scream. “Oh my god!” Hannah shouted. “We knew it!”

You tried to calm them down; Josh was also at home and could come in any minute because of his sisters’ cries.  “Psst, girls. Please! Josh is here to…”

“I can’t still believe that you have feelings for Joshy.” Beth commented, making you blush. Suddenly, Josh came into the room with a very confused expression on his face and you instantly acted like nothing happened.

“What’s going on?” He asked.

“Nothing, bro.” Beth claimed. “Just hanging out.” Josh looked at her skeptically, shrugged his shoulders and left. You couldn’t help but admire his beauty.


***

It was summer 2015 as Josh invited you over to his lodge. It was Friday afternoon and he said he wanted to spend some good time with his sisters and some other friends over the weekend. You instantly agreed, telling him that you would join them.

“I will pick you up in an hour!” He said before hanging up. Now you needed to hurry and collect your things together. You put everything that was necessary along with a pair of bikinis in a little suitcase. There was a lake very close to the lodge you could swim in. You also made sure to take a bath and shave your legs. As Josh knocked on your door you were already finished with everything, got dressed and dried your hair.

He took your suitcase and put it on the backseat. You wondered where Hannah and Beth were.

“Josh? Where are your sisters?” You asked.

“Oh, they will drive on their own. We’ll meet them there.”

Of course. I mean, how should it be otherwise? They planned all this. Cursing at them inwardly, you got into the car. You buckled up your seat belt and Josh started the engine, then driving off.

There was an uncomfortable atmosphere during the ride. No one really talked; you could only hear music playing in the background. You didn’t even know how to talk to him anymore since you developed strong feelings for him. That’s why you kept your mouth shut. But Josh noticed the silence. Normally, you would always talk a lot.

“Hey, is everything alright?” He asked concerned, his eyes never leaving the street. You only shrugged your shoulders.

“Just tired. Was a rough day at school.” He nodded with his head, leaving you alone so you could rest until you arrived at the Blackwood Pines. You fell asleep and as Josh shook at your shoulders, you were already there.

Hannah was the first who greeted you guys. You were the last ones that arrived. Everyone was already gathered. You hugged Sam and all the other ones, asking them how they were doing and chatting with them a bit. You had dinner and after that everyone sat at the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate in their hands.

After a while Jess and Mike decided to go to bed, followed by Emily and Matt. Later, everyone left, only you and Sam stayed awake.

“How is your crush on Josh going?” Sam asked. She was the only one who knew about your feelings for Josh besides Hannah and Beth. You knew you could trust her.

“Dunno.” You mumbled, massaging your temples.

Sam gazed at you sympathetically, laying her arm on your shoulder. “(Y/N), why don’t you just talk to him? “

“You think it is easy Sam? We’re good friends and he means so much to me. I don’t want to destroy our friendship.” You answered. You were afraid that his demeanor towards you would change if you told him. What if he ignored you after that?

“(Y/N), we all know how much Josh cares for you. He will understand.” Sam tried to convince you. “And besides, I think he has feelings for you as well.”

Your head shot up as you heard what she said. “Really?” Sam stood up, giving you a tight hug.

“You need to find out on your own.” She said and went upstairs.


***

The next day you decided to go swimming by the lake. The weather was very warm, the sun was shining and no cloud was to be seen. After breakfast, you put your bikini on and your t-shirt and hot pants over it. As everyone was finished, you walked down to the lake. When you arrived, everyone got out of their clothes.

“Are you going to tell him?” Sam asked.

“I don’t know.” You stared at Josh who was taking off his shirt, revealing his toned and muscular body. Your heart skipped a beat and you looked at Sam desperately, who followed your gaze and smirked at you. “Sam, please help.” You whined.

“I say go and talk to him.”

“But it’s not easy!” Sam was about to reply something as someone shouted.

“Hey, are you coming or not?” Josh asked. Everyone was in the water now, splashing each other with water. You took off your clothes and went to the water with Sam. Everyone had a good time. Josh never left your side. Sometimes he would wrap his arms around you, lifting you up and throwing you into the water. He would splash you with until you whined and screamed at him to leave you alone. He was so clingy and you didn’t know why.

After a while, you laid on your back, enjoying the feeling of warm water covering you. You let yourself drifting by tiny waves, not caring about everything else. You closed your eyes, feeling the sunrays on your skin. You sighed contently as your body relaxed.

Suddenly, two hands touched your back and you flinched. As you opened your eyes, you were greeted with some green eyes you used to love so much.

“Don’t worry.” Josh assured. “I’ve got you.”

And then, the urge to tell him that you loved him was too strong. You tried to fight against it but you failed. Why not giving it a try?

“J-Josh?” You murmured, straightened up to your feet. He looked at you questioningly.

“Yes?” You took a deep breath, before you continued speaking.

“There is something I need to tell you.”

“What is it?”

You looked at him right into his eyes, not even blinking once. “I love you.”

Josh’s eyes widened and he was too shocked to say something. You could see it.

“I was too afraid to tell you because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but I can’t take it anymore.” As you still did not get a reaction from him, tears shimmered in your eyes. You knew it was a mistake.

“I’m sorry Josh, I ruined everything.” You said as you were about to leave but and hand grabbed your arm and spun you around. Before you could say something, soft lips were pressed against yours that kissed you passionately. You had plenty of kisses behind you but nothing was as much as good as right now. Your heart punched against your chest and you felt butterflies in your stomach.

When Josh pulled back, he put his hands on your cheeks, stroking them gently. “You didn’t ruin anything, (Y/N). “ He panted softly.

“Have you any idea how much I have been waiting for this moment?” He smiled at you.

“Does that mean that-“

“I love you too, yes.

You laughed happily, never expecting that to happen. Josh loved you back and you were so relieved about that. “Do you know what I always wanted to do?” Josh asked. You looked at him expectantly, suddenly being pushed into the water. A scream escaped your mouth, before your whole body was covered with water, and then you felt his lips capturing with yours. You smiled into the kiss and could hear the muffled cheers and applaud of your friends.

Sixteenth Christmas

the series is as follows so far:

FirstSecond ThirdFourthFifthFifth Christmas, Part 2SixthSeventhEighthNinthTenthEleventhTwelfthThirteenthFourteenthFifteenthSixteenthSeventeenthEighteenthNineteenthTwentiethTwenty-firstTwenty-secondTwenty-third

———————–

“Mulder, it’ll be fine.”

“Can’t we just drive? I mean, we’ll leave early and take in some sights and get there and have Christmas and then drive home. It’ll be like old times.”

Scully looked at him over her spoon, oatmeal piled high, “you want us to drive through both the Smokey and the Rocky Mountains in December? Really?”

“We did a Christmas in northern Minnesota. I think we can handle a nice drive through the mountains.”

Watching him stir his tea, butter his bagel, dart his eyes from her spoon to her face to his plate in repetition, she saw the man she used to sit across from at a Formica diner table at 2am, in the middle of Nashton, Delaware or Tarkington, Colorado, eating greasy hashbrowns slowly while he tried to convince her that the footprint wasn’t human, the lights weren’t a wayward swarm of fireflies, the evidence he has was just slightly more extraterrestrial than he had imagined when they first arrived. He wore a smile that only she would recognize as such, the small muscle on the left side of his upper lip nudging just slightly upwards, fractions of millimeters, twitching more than moving, spasming so minutely that anyone else in the world would think he was sitting stone still.

She felt her muscles give way, her face soften without regret as she simply shook her head, once again, as so many countless times in the past, she gave in to him, knowing they may not get to their destination in a straight line or with relevant speed but eventually, with stories to tell and laughter to share.

“Okay.”

And, as things progressed in the fashion normal from the first day they’d met to this very moment, he grinned in her direction, taking a bite of his bagel and talking around it as he chewed, “when do we leave?”

&&&&&&&&&&&

Maggie, being Maggie and loving her daughter and what she now referred to as her ‘one of these days, eventual son-in-law’, graciously patted Scully’s hand when she told her they’d be driving to San Francisco instead of flying, “he gave you that look, didn’t he?”

Her mother knew them too damn well sometimes and with an eyeroll of someone happily resigned to caving to her Mulder, she then nodded, smiling, “it’ll be a nice trip through the mountains.”

&&&&&&&&&&&

Jeep packed, house locked, food and blankets stowed, flashlights, shovels, emergency flares, tire chains, assorted rescue equipment stashed in a box in the back, they headed off into the early morning light, sky rosy, temperatures below freezing, Mulder smirking, poking Scully in the ribs as she attempted to continue her night’s rest in the passenger seat, pillow jammed up against the window, “I will cut off the tip of your finger if you keep doing that.”

“My God, you are still cranky after all this time knowing I’m going to be poking you. Why aren’t you used to it yet?”

“Why the hell haven’t I cut off your finger yet?”

Feeling his inner sass kick in, “you like what I do with my fingers, Scully. You’d be very sad if one of them disappeared.”

Her chuckle was involuntary and for it, she received another seven pokes, the last one culminating where she liked his fingers best and pushing his hand away in amusement, “would you just drive already? Christmas is in five days and knowing you and your tourist-trap stops, we’ll get there by New Year’s if we’re lucky.”

Removing fingers, he returned to the steering wheel, “you’re bossy in the morning.”

Scully settled into her pillow further, “you’ve never complained before.”

“Usually you’re naked at the time though.”

Her hand shot out, pointing through the windshield, “Go!”

“Yes, ma’am.”

&&&&&&&&&&&&

First day, nothing.

Second day, she began noticing things but argued with herself that she was wrong.

Third day, in the middle of the Rocky Mountains outside Denver, she politely brought up the subject, “Mulder?”

He was sitting in the corner of the room, tugging off his shoes and absently pulling the curtain tighter over the window every few seconds, “yeah?”

“Are you okay?”

Genuine confusion met her gaze, “I think so. Why?”

Biting her lip, she wondering if prodding would bring about an argument she didn’t want to have, “you … you keep checking the curtains. Do you see something outside?”

The barest hint of anger chased its way across his face before settling back into Mulder, “I just want to make sure no one can see in. Not a fan of getting naked with an audience, especially on the first floor.”

Not wanting to ruin their trip, she let go of the fact that he checked several more times, then covered the peep hole in the door with a bandaid, moved the phones to charge in the bathroom covered with a towel, Scully assumed to block the cameras and their conversations from anyone possibly listening. He unplugged the room phone, pushed a doorstop from home under the room door, then came to bed, settling in to read his book while she did her nightly routine.

How had she not noticed his habits? Had she really been spending that much time at the hospital that she neglected signs so obvious to her that she felt utter stupid in having missed them?

When had he taken his paranoia to this next level?

Fourth day, she woke to find him spooned behind her, hand under her shirt, a little something pressing insistently against her pajama bottoms. Seeing the curtains opened to the third story morning glory that was the Rocky Mountains, she decided to let things go until they got home, choosing to keep an observant eye on him for now. Instead, she relished in his fingers, playfully grumbled something about sleeping in before she pressed back into him, his hands moving to slide her flannel down before pushing himself up inside her.

&&&&&&&&&&

Only getting lost once, which was impressive for the pair to say the least, they pulled up to the house Christmas Eve morning. Once to the front door and inside, they found the holidays were in full swing at Bill’s house, Matt and Graham running to them, hugging, making general 12 and 8 year old boy noise. Maggie squeezed them both tight once the boys cleared out and then Tara made her way over, completing the greeting, Bill still at work until the late afternoon.

Festivities happened, dinner occurred, games commenced, sweets consumed, goodnights given, the pair ended up, at midnight, lying cozily on an air mattress in the back room, curtains open to the full moon pouring in the room. “Merry Christmas, Scully.”

Snuggling even further in, she nuzzled under his chin, “Merry Christmas, Mulder.”

“This is our 15th Christmas together, did you know that?”

“I remember.”

Voice soft in her ear, “what if I hadn’t come over that night? You would have put your tree away and never blown on my hot chocolate to cool it down and I never would had fell in love with you that very second and we wouldn’t be lying on an air mattress in your brother’s house on Christmas Eve thinking that we should sneak out of here and go check out the Golden Gate all lit up for the holidays.”

“I don’t like to think about the first part of that and the second part is more comfortable than I thought it would be for an air mattress and the third is a really good idea except for the fact that I’m already falling asleep right here.”

His hands roamed lightly over her back, “thank you for driving out here instead of flying.”

Nearly unconscious as this point, her words were slurred and soft, “if I were afraid of flying, you’d have driven out here without hesitation.”

Mulder’s voice grew hard, “I’m not afraid of flying. I just thought it would be nice to take a little vacation with you. You spend so much time at the damn hospital that I never see you.”

Pulling back immediately, brain slow to react to his sudden harshness, but realizing they were doing this now, “you’ve been covering up the windows and the cell phone cameras and avoiding using anything with your name on it. I’ve been signing everything and you cover the camera at the gas station with your hand even though you think you look casual and leaning when you do it but I notice. It’s okay.” She moved her hand up his chest, stroking his chin, watching his eyes still full of fire, “you would have had to give the airlines your name and then whoever you think is out there would have been able to track where you were going and when you’d be leaving and you were worried about what could happen with us in the air and what could happen to you trapped in a plane full of people you didn’t trust.” All this poured out, Scully herself discovering most of the information as it came to vocal fruition, without more than one breath and with complete calm. Stopping with her last revelation, she felt her heart twist when she realized, in his expression, that it was all true.

Then she watched him morph into Deniability Mulder, the man who could talk himself out of anything involving a head-on collision with his darkest fears and feelings.

She simply closed her eyes, feeling him roll off the mattress and begin pacing, pulling on sweatpants and shoes while she lay there, dreading the prospect of the impending fight, the inevitable closed-off interaction, the silent, polite, pretending Mulder she couldn’t stand. Opening them back up, she found him kneeling on the floor, sliding his arms into his thermal shirt and about to apologize, he held up his hand, then leaned over to kiss her forehead, “I need to get away from you for a little while. I don’t want to fight and I can’t … just …” shaking his head, he stood, “I love you.”

And he was gone, slipping into the dark hallway, moving quietly enough that only Scully could track his movements, given years of midnight bathroom breaks and 2am snack attacks.

She tried not to cry but the moment she heard the front door click shut, she fell apart.

&&&&&&&&&&&

Not sleeping well, she spent 20 minutes in the bathroom with a cool washcloth trying to reduce the size of her puffy eyes to levels that wouldn’t warrant drilling questions about why she looked like she’d been sobbing most of the night. Once she achieved what she thought was a look of polite exhaustion from an uncomfortable mattress in a strange place, she snuck to the makeshift bedroom once again, finding Mulder dressed and lying on the mattress.

Before she could ask where he’d been, he took in her face, knowing it better than his own, and stood, enveloping her in his long arms, “I hate making you cry.”

“I wasn’t crying.”

“I hate … making … you … cry.” Each word punctuated with a kiss to the part in her hair, “I didn’t want to fly because I wanted to be alone with you, trapped in a car like the old days, where the only thing we had was each other and we loved it. Everything else … I’m not thinking about right now … but I’m sorry I made you cry. You have no idea how much it kills me.”

Enjoying his warmth, she stayed there until she heard footsteps upstairs then pulled back, “will you go to mass with us?”

“Will your mother believe in my eternal damnation if I don’t?”

“Probably.”

“Then we’d better get out there.”

&&&&&&&&&&

Church didn’t burst Mulder into flames. The priest didn’t call out the atheist amongst them. The demons weren’t writhing in Mulder’s soul. He knelt, sat, stood, moved politely aside when the rest of the pew moved to take communion. During the Sign of the Peace, he shook Bill’s hand, kissed Maggie’s and Tara’s cheeks, quietly patted the boys on the shoulder, whispered his apologies once again against Scully’s hair while he hugged her.

She held his hand tightly the entire time.

Then Maggie slipped on an icy patch, swore in front of the priest who was outside shaking hands and any tension between the intrepid duo evaporated, nothing like a good swear on Christmas morning to push them back to normal.

Scully broke first, then Mulder, then the priest, followed by Maggie and the rest of the family, the boys laughing so hard they nearly fell over themselves. After that, Christmas spirit returned and they all moved back home, breakfast and Santa awaiting.

In the midst of present opening, Maggie handed Scully an oblong box, tag stating, “for Small from Tall.” Smiling down at her daughter sitting on the floor, Mulder molded behind her, “I can only assume you are ‘Small’?”

Mulder took the box, “yes, she is.”

The room had quieted given it was Scully’s turn and looking at Mulder over her shoulder, “I’m ‘Small’?”

Grinning, “you are very small, indeed.”

Nudging him with her elbow, she opened the box to find her latest Christmas ornament, a glassy, metallic, painted mug of hot chocolate, complete with sprinkles, whipped cream and Mulder’s boxy alphabet announcing across the front, ’15 Years’. Scooting around to face him, she held up her gift, “did you really fall in love with me when I blew on your hot chocolate to cool it down?”

By now, their audience was listening intently, even the boys, “of course. You took my drink right out of my hand and blew germs all over it? How could I not fall in love with you?”

“You’d think that would have been a turn-off in some respect.”

“You kidding? Hottest chick in the room giving two craps about me burning my tongue? I really should have kissed you right then.”

“I was the only chick in the room, Mulder.”

“Still are.” Giving her a grin, he leaned forward, kissing her full and long, not caring about anyone or anything watching them.

Scully, however, remembered they weren’t alone after about 10 seconds and pulled back, pink with embarrassment at her sudden and unusual public display of affection. Gliding her thumb over his chin briefly, she twisted to settle against his chest once again, holding her hot chocolate mug and grinning happily.

Maggie handed Mulder, a few minutes later, his own box, “to You from Me.” Shaking her head down at the pair, “we have to talk about your labeling system, daughter of mine.”

“Thank you, Maggie.” She ruffled his hair as she sat back down and watched as Mulder opened Scully’s gift, a collection of eight glass-blown tropical fish, brightly colored and finely detailed, hanging from thin wire and ready for hooks, prepped for tree trimming the moment they found their back home. Admiring each one in turn, “why eight?”

“There were eight different ones and I couldn’t decide so you got eight.”

“Makes perfect sense to me.”

&&&&&&&&&&

Much later in the day, after an obscene amount of food was inhaled, they were back on the air mattress, Scully on her side, Mulder on his belly, arms over the edge, examining his fish more carefully. Watching him with half-lidded eyes, she reached out, running her finger along the outer shell of his ear, staring peacefully as his lip curled upwards involuntarily, “enjoying your gift?”

“Of course.” Holding up a beautiful sunset colored one with fiery red fins and glittery blue eyes, “this one’s Scully,” then picking up a sword fish type with a long snout and long blue fins, “and this one’s Mulder.”

Scooting closer against him, “are you going to name them all or just those?”

“Just these for now. Maybe later, I’ll do the rest but these are the ones that matter.” Setting them down gently, he turned his head in her direction, resting his mouth on her forehead, whispering into her skin, “I don’t think fish mate for life but I like to think that ours will.”

“You get sappy when you’re sleepy.”

Moving in more, he found her lips, “but I think I can stay awake a few minutes longer.”

anonymous asked:

one of Phenyxsnest 's fics mentioned alcor practicing violin on the moon. What do humans make of the footprints that should not be there, when they are eventually discovered?

Mod O’s first thought was that he wouldn’t have to leave footprints. Her second was that he totally would, and precisely for this reason.

So, in some future visit to the moon some astronaut or rover or the like discovers the prints of a pair of dapper footwear dancing across the moondust. Pictures are taken and sent back. Maybe they’re so weird they get immediately classified and held in secret until they can find some sort of answer. Maybe the public finds out anyway. 

Conspiracy theorists go nuts across the board of course, from “ultimate proof they faked all the moon landings!” to “extra-terrestrials on our moon” to “[insert current space-competition country here] has figured out how to use magic to send people to space without protective gear!”…and probably even more than just these.

Someone might theorize the involvement of some supernatural entity or other. Someone might even suggest Alcor, troublemaker as he is. They probably won’t be able to really prove it, though, and even if they did the chaos would continue. Conspiracies are resilient that way.

Next time, he’ll come up with a cryptic nonsense message, devise a tricky cipher, and draw that in the dust with a stick. They’ll love that.

ingridlake  asked:

an ugly idea: juno's mother found out about him being a werewolf and, in an effort to use it against him, she accidentally put ben in the way

This one’s been sitting half-finished in my drafts for a while. It’s a challenge, partly because I didn’t have a very clear image of what kind of person Juno’s mother was, and partly because it’s a hella dark situation compared to the surprisingly fluffy rest of the series.

Blood and child abuse ahoy, so… yeah.

Juno Steel, Werewolf |Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10


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In the Yin-Yang Mountains

The footprint of human activity is relatively light in the Yandang mountains. Mostly, it consists of Taoist and Buddhist religious structures neatly tucked into topographical recesses or built literally inside cracks and caves. When I realized that these crack-inhabiting Buddhist structures were usually dedicated to a female patron deity—Guanyin to be precise— it suddenly dawned on me that something powerfully “yonic” was going on here.

For the non-literary critics among my readers, “yonic” is the female symbolical counterpart to the imagery called “phallic.” I guess, everybody knows what phallic symbols are—swords, towers, spires, and the like. For some reason, the term “yonic” is far less well known. In any case, it refers to things that call to mind female gender-specific anatomical features, i.e. cracks, tunnels, and caves—you get the idea.

Now, quite a few philosophies are built on the idea that life is structured by the dynamic and fruitful engagement of male and female principles. One of the more well-known applications of this principle originated in China, exemplified by the Taoist theory of yin and yang, with yin standing for the female principle and yang for the male element. The mutually interdependent and complementary natures of these two principles—with none of them dominating the other—is emblematically encapsulated in the iconic yin-yang ball.

I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to see a connection between phallic symbolism and yang and between yonic symbolism and yin. Which brings me back to the Yandang mountains. Indeed, on first sight, the whole Yandang region appeared to be in the thrall of the yang spirit because it looked phallic to boot: wherever one turned, there were all kinds of tower-like rock formations and isolated pillars sticking up.

But on a second look, after one penetrated deeper into the scenery, one soon came across many fissures, cracks, caves, and hollows that constitute textbook illustrations of the yonic element. Here is one.

The Taoist and Buddhist monks who flocked to the Yandang Mountains long ago must have been fascinated by the powerful yin-yang dynamic that puts its stamp on this landscape. Although the two religions should not be easily lumped together, they do share some common traits. In essence, the Chinese form of Buddhism, known as Ch’an (Zen in Japan) has emerged from a blending of Taoism and Buddhism. So, it should not surprise that ideas of non-duality originating in Taoism were taken up and given a Buddhist slant in Ch’an. Specifically, the Buddhist principle of non-attachment can be interpreted as an imperative to move beyond duality. 

Despite the philosophical tendency to overcome dualism, the devotees of both religions in the Yandang mountains express a strong preference for the yin principle. Not one temple, shrine, or monastery was built to sit perched atop one of the soaring rock spires, although this would have been technically possible. Instead, religious dwellings here were built to fit snugly into the cracks and hollows.

Following this preference for yonic locations, the faithful have built structures that were textbook examples of vernacular architecture: using local materials, notably hewn rock and timber, they erected buildings that responded naturally to the forms of the land.These structures seemed to be cradled by the the landscape, adjusting the human need to the lay of the land, rather than the other way around. Here, nature was primary, and human activity a beautiful and respectful afterthought.

Respect for the environment and love of the natural world are inherent elements of Buddhism and Taoism, to the point that one could consider them quintessentially ecological religions. Along the paths in the Yandang mountains, I saw sign-boards that read “Every tree, flower, or bird is pervaded by Buddha nature.” Based on this philosophy, the faithful had build sustainably constructed, “vernacular” dwellings. Trash was sparse along the walkways and gullies surrounding the monasteries, and the streams here flowed crystal clear, quite an achievement given the multitudes of tourists that this place attracts and given the widespread lack of environmental awareness among Chinese in general.

As indicated above, the most frequent object of religious veneration in these parts is Guanyin (or Avalokiteshvara), i.e. the goddess of compassion and mercy. One cavern featured a Guanyin figure that reminded me of the Virgin Mary statue in the grotto at Lourdes. Some ideas do seem to be quite universal, such as the pairing of the benevolent female deity and the cave.

Next to this statue of Guanyin, we found a tunnel that led to an underground cave with a positively “amniotic” pond gently illuminated by greenish backlight, with colorful flower cups–the insignia of Guanyin–floating on its surface. Here was an instance of yonic symbolism raised to the third power: cups floating on a pond inside a cave located at the end of a tunnel!

Guanyin was also on display with hundreds of helping hands at the topmost temple built into the mountainside far back in the valley.

But the most impressive manifestation of Guanyin that we came across was inside the largest cave in the mountains, at the base of “Spiritual Peak.” One first had to climb up a steep set of stairs to reach the base of the crack where the temple to honor Guanyin had been erected. Then, the pathway narrowed to a tunnel-like passage which one followed up another 60 feet or so until one emerged into the womb of the mountain, a vast cave at the center of which sat a regal, golden Guanyin surrounded by countless smaller deities gleaming in the shady nooks and crannies of the cave. The water dripping down from a hidden source deep inside the mountain completed the yonic associations of this place.

This site exerted a magnetic force that attracted not only tourists. Some serious religious activity was going on as well. For instance, in front of Guanyin one woman frantically shook a cylinder with rattling divination blocks inside, agitating the container until one of the blocks fell out; then, she scrambled after it in the semi-darkness, trying to see whether the message from the Goddess of Compassion contained reassuring news or perhaps a warning to avoid a dreaded outcome.

From the topmost terrace of this temple inside the crack, one looked outside toward a blinding mix of sky and rock. After one’s eyes had adjusted to the sharp contrast, one began to see a number of phallic spires that constituted the perfect yang complement to the shady, dripping interior of the yin cave.

Call it yin & yang in action or good feng shui or simply manifestations of dramatic geological activity. In any case, the contrasting landscape sent a powerful symbolical appeal, i.e. that we should consider opposites not necessarily as antagonistic but as complementary aspects of a larger whole, and that observable dichotomies were merely forces interacting in a dynamic system. It is a message that our world today could be heeding more often, especially the leaders who try to exploit opposition, division, and exclusion for their own gain.

Of course, Taoist and Buddhist monks have been drawn to unspoiled, remote natural locations for millennia. It is in such pristine settings that devotees of these religions develop their fullest potential, i.e. in close proximity to nature and away from the distractions and temptations of urban life. As indicated above, Buddhism and Taoism are innately ecological religions, teaching the interconnectedness of all things and emphasizing compassion with all phenomena, both natural and man-made. In that regard, eastern religions have a leg up on the monotheisms which tend to treat ecological considerations as an afterthought. Pope Francis is frequently the object of vituperation by conservative Catholics because of his ecological stance on global warming and his critique of capitalism’s environmental toll…

Anyway, I recently read an article in the New York Times (“What a Buddhist Monk Taught Xi Jinping”) about the relationship that Xi had built with a Buddhist monk during his formative period as a young party functionary. The article speculated that Xi might be a closeted Buddhist. It would be nice if the innate ecological respect of Buddhism had somehow rubbed off on China’s Premier. If that’s the case, then perhaps it is not so surprising that Xi Jinping has started to act as a global leader in the fight against climate change and as a staunch supporter of the Paris accord. At least it is nice to entertain this thought for a moment.

El texto sigue en Español despues del Inglés

The Sixth Lord of the Night is Chalchiuhtlicue, who governs the Ihiyotl of those born on her day. Chalchiuhtlicue is the Teotl of water. Her name means “She of the Jade-Stone Skirt,” which metaphorically signifies the green waters of the lakes and rivers, which are her precious garments spread upon the earth. As the ruler of the Ihiyotl, she signifies a tempestuous nature, like earthly waters, which nurture and purify, but which can also cause death and destruction through flood or drought.

Here, she stands upon the waters of a pond. In the water’s depths appears Xiuhtecuhtli, the Turquoise Lord, Teotl of Fire, wisdom, and time. Beside him is a flaming serpent. The combination of the serpent and the Lord of Fire with the water creates the glyph Atl Tlachinolli, “Fire and Water.” This glyph represents the masculine, “fire” element of the cosmos, intertwining with the female, “water” element. In their meeting is born chaos, conflict, and war, but through this meeting the universe and all things in it are set in motion. This is another element which reinforces the tempestuous and emotional characters of those born on this day. However, the water is further adorned with Chalchihuitl glyphs, symbolizing precious jewels.

Above the Teotl of Water appears a human heart, transfixed with an arrow, symbolic of suffering, from whose open mouth flames emerge. Beside this is a hand holding onto the tail of a coral snake; superimposed over the snake is a human footprint, pointing down. The coral snake symbolizes sex and uncontrollable emotion; the footprint suggests a downward path guided by a desire which is heedless of consequence.

This is a day of ambiguous fate; the symbols and Chalchiuhtlicue herself suggest a personality which is uncontrollable, capricious, and totally open to any passing whim. However, Chalchiuhtlicue purifies, and Xiuhtecuhtli, who also appears here, is the Lord of Wisdom. Furthermore, the precious jewels glyphs suggest that for those who learn to conquer the innately mercurial natures of their Ihiyotl, wisdom can be found.

El Sexto Señor de la Noche es Chalchiuhtlicue, que gobierna el Ihiyotl de los nacidos en su día. Chalchiuhtlicue es el Teotl de agua. Su nombre significa “Ella de la Falda de Piedra de Jade”, que metafóricamente significa las aguas verdes de los lagos y ríos, que son sus prendas preciosas extendidas sobre la tierra. Como regente del Ihiyotl, significa un carácter tempestuoso, como las aguas terrenales, que nutren y purifican, pero que también pueden causar la muerte y la destrucción a través de inundación o sequía.

Aquí, ella se para sobre las aguas de un estanque. En las profundidades del agua aparece Xiuhtecuhtli, el Señor Turquesa, Teotl de Fuego, sabiduría y tiempo. A su lado hay una serpiente en llamas. La combinación de la serpiente y el Señor del Fuego con el agua crea el glifo Atl Tlachinolli, “Fuego y Agua”. Este glifo representa el elemento masculino, “fuego,” del cosmos, que se entrelaza con el elemento femenino “agua”. En su reunión nace el caos, el conflicto y la guerra, pero a través de esta reunión el universo y todas las cosas en él se ponen en movimiento. Este es otro elemento que refuerza los tempestuosos y emotivos personajes de los nacidos en este día. Sin embargo, el agua se adorna además con los glifos de Chalchihuitl, simbolizando joyas preciosas.

Por encima del Teotl de Agua aparece un corazón humano, atravesado por una flecha, simbólica del sufrimiento, de cuya boca abierta brotan las llamas. Al lado de esto hay una mano que sostiene la cola de una serpiente de coral; Superpuesta sobre la serpiente es una huella humana, apuntando hacia abajo. La serpiente de coral simboliza el sexo y la emoción incontrolable; La huella sugiere un camino descendente guiado por un deseo que no se puede controlar.

Este es un día de destino ambiguo; Los símbolos y la propia Chalchiuhtlicue sugieren una personalidad que es incontrolable, caprichosa y totalmente abierta a cualquier capricho pasajero. Sin embargo, Chalchiuhtlicue purifica, y Xiuhtecuhtli, que también aparece aquí, es el Señor de la Sabiduría. Además, los preciosos glifos de joyas sugieren que para aquellos que aprenden a conquistar las naturalezas innatamente mercuriales de su Ihiyotl, la sabiduría puede ser encontrada.

symbio-ratio  asked:

Hey, did you know that after you run away from Bendy at the end of Chapter 2, if you go back, apparently, you hear him pounding on the door, struggling to breathe, and then walking away? Bendy also has human footprints apparently??? Maybe he used to be human, and is now turning into something else?

I’ve been meaning to play through the game again to see all the things I missed, but I did hear about that.

One of the popular theories I’ve been hearing is that Joey and Bendy somehow fused into this horrible Ink demon, and how Joey could have been having a lot of health complications before that point.

Either way, Tall Bendy doesn’t appear to be holding together too well. :/

Shared Enthusiasm

Fandom: Gravity Falls
Characters: Stanford Pines, Stanley Pines, Original Female Character
Words: 2010

Fluffstravaganza comission for @eregyrn-falls, who requested “Ford getting a chance to converse with some sort of interesting/scary cryptid”


Somewhere deep in the Norwegian woods, there was a tree.

It was not, by most standards, a particularly noticeable tree – it wasn’t even the largest one in the forest, though you could still describe it as “bigger than average” if you wanted to. But the three sets of footprints – two human, one hooves – slowly filling with lightly falling snow that lead up to a little hollow in its side spoke to something about it that was exceedingly non-average.

There are certain modifications that the older and wiser creatures of the forest have learned to make to their environments using a classic combination of magical know-how and sheer stubbornness. A layer deeper than the bark, this was evident. The tree formed a decent-sized room, larger on the inside than its humble exterior ought to allow.

And Stanford Pines was loving it.

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