If you don't mind me asking, Pearl (cause it's kind of personal), what does it feel like knowing you've messed up? How bad does it feel? And does it compare to anything else in the past?
The question wasn’t one Pearl was prepared for.
Of course, that lack of preparation wasn’t for lack of having thought about it. Even with things relatively back to normal, guilt and self-loathing threatened to consume her at all times, especially when she was alone with her thoughts. Pearl’s memory was all too clear, too vivid at all the wrong times; she could name every particle documented on Earth, its Homeworld counterpart, and some combinations of atoms that humans ought to never discover. And yet there were great marks of human civilization, grand accomplishments she had been on Earth for, that completely escaped her notice. But every misstep was fresh in her mind as if it had been mere moments ago, from the disastrous aftermath of her impossibly stupid stunt repairing the Hub to every time she had ever stumbled while learning sword fighting from Rose Quartz before journeying to Earth to begin with. Failure was absolutely unacceptable on Homeworld, and Pearl—and the others like her—had essentially been hardwired to remember every mistake, big or small.
Talking about those feelings aloud, though, was an entirely different thing than wallowing in them in private. It was a perfectly fitted mask that allowed Pearl to smile and blithely sweep things under the rug for Steven’s sake, one where the beginnings of cracks were creeping in under the polished surface. But with the others out once again, this time on a mission that Garnet had specifically benched her from—the fusion had been kind enough to assure her that it had everything to do with the location and nature of the monster they were likely to face—there weren’t many tasks remaining at the temple to occupy herself with. Steven’s kitchen could only be so clean.
For a long while, Pearl stared at the screen, then licked her too-dry lips. The polite tone of the inquiry did make it harder to ignore, though, and she had promised herself that she wouldn’t just go around deleting questions. No matter how uncomfortable the subject matter was.
“I’m not perfect,” she started slowly, eyes downcast. It hurt to admit aloud, even alone. “I don’t think I can count the sheer number of mistakes I’ve made, not even since Rose… since Steven was born,“ she corrected herself, frowning so deeply that her cheeks hurt.
“I suppose regret must be the same for everyone. Even humans experience it. Their mistakes are so small, so microcosmic compared to what we Gems are capable of. Intergalactic war is so grand–imagine battles spanning multiple galaxies, in different planetary systems, with skirmishes on other worlds, on terrain Earth’s atmosphere can’t even sustain! And I… primarily, I fought on Earth, with Rose Quartz. But there were calls I made that lost both soldiers and battles. But…” Pearl heaved a sigh, twisting her long fingers into a guilty knot in her lap. “I think it’s… a completely different kind of mistake. Betraying a person you lov–”
Pearl caught herself at the last possible second, jaw snapping shut with the strength of a bear trap. Love was a word she generally tried to reserve for Rose or Steven. Not that it didn’t also apply to Garnet, or even Amethyst, trying though the purple Gem was. After thousands of years of companionship, it was hard not to love the both of them. It wasn’t the same, of course; Rose was her raison d'être, and Steven was her child in every sense that she thought was possible for a Gem to understand, but…
Then again, loving Garnet was a little different, too. But Ruby and Sapphire had long been dear to her heart. Even before the war, the pair’s willingness to see beyond her societal ranking had left an impact that was only second to Rose’s. That they had been the only other survivors of the war had intensified the feeling, the horrors Amethyst had been fortunate enough not to see for herself made her different–kept her at length, in a way. Garnet was different. Garnet was special.
Her throat was tight, and Pearl gulped for air, increasingly aware that she had been silent too long. But her mind swam with new questions that probed at feelings too raw to examine, about what she sought when she fused to become Sardonyx–and what fusing to become Rainbow Quartz had lacked by comparison. She scrunched her eyes shut, determined to finish answering. “Betraying someone you trust. It’s different. You hurt with them, and for them. And you have no one to blame but yourself. I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two, it–it cheapens both. Objectively, loss of life is worse, much worse, but I don’t think… I can’t even begin to describe how it felt, how she must’ve felt. And everything I did to make up for it made things worse.”
Sugilite’s raw power at the Hub had burned the air; left Pearl’s skin tingling with an electric buzz that lasted several hours after they had all returned to the temple. Garnet’s stony silence, her refusal to so little as look at her for days after, had spoken volumes about her catastrophic mistake–even if her stupid, defective mind had come to the wrong conclusion on how to fix it.
Pearl could feel tears in her eyes; a stinging that had become so familiar in recent weeks that it seemed strange to go a day without it. She pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes, fighting the urge to cry. “I’m not sure I’ll be able to make this right. And that’s worse. That’s worse than knowing there’s nothing you can do at all.”
“Elon Musk says he’ll be landing on Mars by 2030. The premise of the Institute and New Worlds Conference is that while these bright minds work to build new space ships to carry people out into space, someone needs to focus on what we will do when we get there — how we will live, prosper and create the next level of human civilization.”
The small village of Alert lies on the tip of the Nunavut territory in Canada a mere five hundred miles below the North Pole. With a year-round population of five people, Alert is one of the most treacherous and remote locations in the world. Surrounded by the Arctic Ocean, the temperatures in the region can reach as low as 40 degrees below zero. Because of it’s proximity to the North Pole, Alert is also susceptible to 24-hour darkness during winter and 24-hour sunlight during summer.
Tristan da Cunha
Located in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Tristan de Cunha is an archipelago of small islands considered the most remote place in the world. Surrounded by rocky terrain and choppy waters, the island is only accessible by boat with its closest neighbors, South Africa and South America, 1,700 and 2,000 miles away respectively. A total of 271 people are scattered across the islands’ working as farmers and craft makers, though they do have television stations and Internet access via satellite.
Motuo County, China
Hidden in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Motuo County is one of the most isolated regions in the world, cut off entirely from its neighboring towns. Attempts at creating a road into the county have been unsuccessful due to the volatile landscape, which is constantly plagued by mudslides and avalanches. The only way to access the area is by trekking a frozen overland route through the Himalayas and crossing a suspension bridge. But it’s well worth the risk with dense, lush forests enclosing the untouched Tibetan landscape.
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Located quite literally at the bottom of the world, Antarctica is naturally one of the most remote locations on Earth. Though there are no permanent residents in the frozen region, the continent does house seasonal researchers and scientist. The McMurdo Station, located on the northern tip of Antarctica, is the most populated research centers, with close to 1,200 scientists working in the area. Though extremely isolated from neighboring countries, there are three airstrips in McMurdo, which means the inhabitants can easily access the region, as well as many modern amenities.
If you think the name is hard to pronounce, try being one of the 500 people living in this desolate area. The village is located on the eastern shore of Greenland and is just north of Iceland. Greenland’s the one with all the ice, so the water surrounding the town are frozen almost year-round, making access to the region via boat near impossible. Furthermore, the small airport on the island rarely hosts flights. The majority of the population lives off hunting and fishing, with polar bears and whales the most commonly hunted animals.
Angle Inlet, USA
Located in Minnesota, Angle Inlet is home to 150 people and is only accessible through Canada. The area is most popular for fishing trips, with just a small handful of local stores and resources to its name. Students access their one-room school through snowmobiles in winter and boats in summer.
Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.
Out of This World! Jewelry in the Space Age is on display through January 4, 2016 at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and it looks AMAZING. If you are anywhere near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the rest of this year, it’s your startorial duty to go see this exhibition.
Hilary-Morgan Watt alerted me to its existence just after it opened (and took the in-person pics above). I think this calls for a Startorialist road trip ASAP.
From the museum’s website:
Out of This World! Jewelry in the Space Age brings together scientific fact and pop culture in a showcase of wearable and decorative arts related to outer space, space travel, the space age, and the powerful influence these topics have had on human civilization.
Beginning with jewelry and artifacts memorializing the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835, Out of this World! travels forward through time to explore nearly 200 objects from landmark moments in space-related history. Pieces in the exhibition include ephemera, jewelry, and objets d’art inspired by events that captured our imagination, such as the 1865 publication of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, the 1957 Sputnik launch that kicked off the space race of the Cold War, and milestone NASA missions.
ETA: The museum asked us to remove the last three photos for security reasons (eep!). If you reblogged this post, please remove the last three photos (CC: the-actual-universe). -E
Julian Bond, one of the greatest civil rights icons of the 20th century, has passed away at the age of 75. According to a statement made by the Southern Poverty Law Center, he died after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He was known for being a loud voice in the anti-Vietnam War campaign and for being devoted in the fight on equal rights for minorities, most notably as chairman of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
As LGBT rights gained momentum and took center stage in 21st century politics, Bond along with Coretta Scott King became one of the first civil rights leaders from the classic era to advocate same-sex marriage, workplace protections and hate crime legislation. With Morris Dees, he eventually co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization in Montgomery, Ala. He would serve as the organization’s president from 1971 to 1979 and remained on its board until his passing.
Bond also boycotted Coretta King’s 2006 funeral services after members of her family decided to have her funeral services held at New Birth Cathedral, pastored by rabid, anti-gay pastor Eddie L. Long. Long was later accused for practicing sexual misconduct and coercion by four young men and sued, eventually settling with the alleged victims.
A year before King’s passing, Bond expressed his powerful views on LGBT rights and provided the perfect bridge from African-Americans’ struggles to the equality struggles of the LGBT community. “African Americans…were the only Americans who were enslaved for two centuries, but we were far from the only Americans suffering discrimination then and now,” Bond said. “Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn’t change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.” He later added a powerful punch to his salvo, one that has been chanted by marriage equality advocates: "If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.“
In 2009, Bond appeared at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C.and stood with gay and lesbian Americans advocating for equal rights.
Even in the twilight of his life, Bond remained loud, passionate and vocal about LGBT rights. His stance proved to be influential, helping members in the Christian community come to grips with the evolution of human rights. Former NAACP president Ben Jealous later announced his endorsement on marriage equality for LGBT Americans during a critical period in the 2012 election cycle. Though the Southern Christian Leadership Conference has been a little slow to evolve on the issue of echoing Bond’s sentiments on LGBT rights, Rev. Joseph Lowery — former SCLC president and friend of Bond — stood on Bond’s beliefs. “I don’t think you can say we believe in equal rights for some people but not for others,” Lowery told Al Sharpton on his MSNBC PoliticsNation program in 2012. “I think that’s what we call an oxymoron. I think if you believe in equal rights, you have to grant them to all the people.”
In his passing, many are reflecting on his legacy. “With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” SPLC co-founder Morris Dees said in a press statement. “He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.”
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, also added his words to the growing chorus of respects to the championed activist. “Very few throughout human history have embodied the ideals of honor, dignity, courage, and friendship like Julian Bond,” he wrote. “Quite simply, this nation and this world are far better because of his life and commitment to equality for all people. Future generations will look back on his life and legacy and see a warrior for good who helped conquer hate in the name of love. I will greatly miss my friend and my hero, Julian Bond.”
BEAT ME WITH A GODDAMN SPOON, JUST LEAVE ME HERE TO die, I CANT WAIT ANOTHER 19 YEARS FOR THIS MOVIE, I CANT KEEP WATCHING CATws THINKING IT CAN SAVE MY SOUL. I LAY AWAKE AT NIGHT THINKING ABOUT THE ANT MAN POST CREDITS SCENE. IM A GOOD PERSON I DO MY CHORES I HAVENT HURT ANYONE, I DESERVE SOME HUMANITY. CIVIL WAR IS GOING TO WRECK ME AND THE TRAILER HASNT EVEN BEEN RELEASED YET.
Julian Bond, the former chairman of the NAACP and a longtime advocate for the rights of Black people, LGBT people, and other marginalized groups, died last night in Florida after a short illness. He was 75.
The Nashville native was considered a symbol and icon of the 1960s civil rights movement. As a Morehouse College student, Bond helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and as its communications director, he was on the front lines of protests that led to the nation’s landmark civil rights laws.
Bond later served as board chairman of the 500,000-member NAACP for 10 years but declined to run again for another one-year term in 2010.
The SPLC said Bond was a “visionary” and “tireless champion” for civil and human rights.
“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” SPLC co-founder Morris Dees said in a statement. “He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.”
In announcing his passing, the NAACP referred to Bond as a “civil rights titan.” There is no truer descriptor. Rest peacefully, sir, and thank you for everything.
Moral codes that seek to regulate human behavior have been with us not only since the dawn of civilizations but also among our precivilized, and highly social, hunter-gatherer ancestors. And even earlier.
-Carl Sagan, Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium (pg 181)
Do you ever stop to think about the fact that there are cities all over the world that are hundreds, even thousands of years old?
That many of them were founded by emperors and kings long since turned to dust, that some are even older than that? That cities like Paris and London and New York City started out as villages and grew into these grand, monstrously large metropolises? Do you ever think about the millions of people who lived and died in all these ancient cities before the current inhabitants were even born? Or about how many people have lived and died in your city before you were?