A handy list of poisons for writing reference, provided to you by me, Bella

Poisoning is one of the oldest murder tactics in the books. It was the old equalizer, and while it’s often associated with women, historically men are no less likely to poison you. This is not a guide on how to poison people, you banana bunches, it’s a guide on writing about poisons in fiction so you don’t end up on a watch list while researching them. I’ve taken that hit for you. You’re welcome. These are just a few of the more classic ones.

  • Hemlock: Hemlock (conium maculatum) is one of the more famous ones, used in ancient times most notably in Socrates’ forced suicide execution. So it goes. The plant has bunches of small, white flowers, and can grow up to ten feet tall. It’s a rather panicky way to die, although it wouldn’t show: hemlock is a paralytic, so the cause of death is most often asphyxiation due to respiratory paralysis, although the mind remains unaffected and aware.
  • Belladonna: Atropa belladonna is also called deadly nightshade. It has pretty, trumpet-shaped purple flowers and dark, shiny berries that actually look really delicious which is ironic since it’s the most toxic part of the plant. The entire plant is poisonous, mind you, but the berries are the most. One of the most potent poisons in its hemisphere, it was used as a beauty treatment, so the story says, and rubbed into the eyes to make the eyes dilate and the cheeks flush. Hench the name beautiful lady. The death is more lethargic than hemlock, although its symptoms are worse: dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and convulsions. It’s toxic to animals, but cattle and rabbits can eat it just fine, for some reason. 
  • Arsenic: Arsenic comes from a metalloid and not a plant, unlike the others here, but it’s easily the most famous and is still used today. Instead of being distilled from a plant, chunks of arsenic are dug up or mined. It was once used as a treatment for STDs, and also for pest control and blacksmithing, which was how many poisoners got access to it. It was popular in the middle ages because it looked like a cholera death, due to acute symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhea, confusion, convulsions, vomiting, and death. Slow poisoning looked more like a heart attack. The Italians famously claimed that a little arsenic improved the taste of wine.
  • Strychnine: Strychnine (strick-nine) is made from the seed of strychnos nux vomica and causes poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia. Convulsions appear after inhalation or injection—very quickly, within minutes—and take somewhat longer to manifest after ingestion, around approximately 15 minutes. With a very high dose, brain death can occur in 15 to 30 minutes. If a lower dose is ingested, other symptoms begin to develop, including seizures, cramping, stiffness, hypervigilance, and agitation. Seizures caused by strychnine poisoning can start as early as 15 minutes after exposure and last 12 – 24 hours. They are often triggered by sights, sounds, or touch and can cause other adverse symptoms, including overheating, kidney failure, metabolic and respiratory acidosis. During seizures, abnormal dilation, protrusion of the eyes, and involuntary eye movements may occur. It is also slightly hallucinogenic and is sometimes used to cut narcotics. It also notably has no antidote. In low doses, some use it as a performance enhancer.
  • Curare: Chondrodendron tomentosum is lesser known than its famous cousins, but kills in a very similar way to hemlock. It is slow and terrible, as the victim is aware and the heart may beat for many minutes after the rest of the body is paralyzed. If artificial respiration is given until the poison subsides, the victim will survive.
  • WolfsbaneAconitum has several names; Monkshood, aconite, Queen of Poisons, women’s bane, devil’s helmet) and is a pretty, purple plant with gourd-shaped flowers. The root is the most potent for distillation. Marked symptoms may appear almost immediately, usually not later than one hour, and with large doses death is near instantaneous. Death usually occurs within two to six hours in fatal poisoning. The initial signs are gastrointestinal including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is followed by a sensation of burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth and face, and of burning in the abdomen. In severe poisonings pronounced motor weakness occurs and sensations of tingling and numbness spread to the limbs. The plant should be handled with gloves, as the poison can seep into the skin.
  • FoxgloveDigitalis is large with trumpet-shaped flowers that can be many colors, but usually a pinkish shade. It may have from the term foxes-glew, which translated to fairy music. Intoxication causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as sometimes resulting in xanthopsia (jaundiced or yellow vision) and the appearance of blurred outlines (halos), drooling, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, and even death. Slowed heartbeat also occurs. Because a frequent side effect of digitalis is reduction of appetite and the mortality rate is low, some individuals have used the drug as a weight-loss aid. It looks a bit like comfrey, which is an aid for inflammation. Make sure not to confuse the two.

I put far too much effort into this show…the year 198X is set in is 1986, because that was the only year in the 80′s that had a friday on Halloween. Also, Metallica’s ‘Ride The Lightning’ came out 2 years prior, and ‘The Breakfast Club’ in 1985; which makes sense for both Hannah and Amanda to reference them. 

Friendly reminder that “selfish asshole” Jaune Arc has...

-Offered Ruby a helping hand when they first met and became her first friend at Beacon.

-Didn’t put Pyrrha on a pedestal and treated her like a person and a friend instead of a celebrity.

-Despite getting blackmailed into throwing sap at his friends (if he didn’t, he would be forced to give up his dream) by an asshole, still didn’t throw the sap at his friends and stood up to Cardin.

-Saves said asshole from getting mauled by a Ursa.

-Realized how selfishly he was acting during Jaundice and owned up to it and apologized to Pyrrha.

-Despite being jealous of Neptune, encourages him to be himself and to ask Weiss to dance.

-Wears a dress (keep in mind that he said he would do so if Pyrrha didn’t get a date to the dance as a JOKE) to cheer up Pyrrha and dances with her.

-When Pyrrha was feeling down about the Maiden affair, tries his best to understand what is going on and to be encouraging and comforting to her (granted, he didn’t know what was going on and Pyrrha accidentally slams him into a wall, but still).

-Despite Pyrrha slamming him into a wall, still shows up to her and Penny’s tournament round to support her.

-After Pyrrha breaks down after accidentally killing Penny and as a result, doesn’t notice a Nevermore about to attack, rushes into the battlefield in order to get her out of the way, with no thought or worry for himself.

-After Cinder’s speech and watching Pyrrha being incredibly torn up over her accidental murder of Penny, he and Ruby immediately assure her that it wasn’t her fault and that Cinder was to blame for this.

-Realizing that he won’t be able to make it to Pyrrha in time, he immediately calls Ruby and Weiss to go to her and help.

-Still keeps a recording of Pyrrha helping him train so all the work and effort she put into believing in him doesn’t go to waste.

-Despite not liking Qrow, still helps Ruby carry him around when he was poisoned and brings him to safety out of the Nuckalevee’s way.

-After seeing Ruby beat herself up over everything that has happened, gives her an uplifting speech about how despite Ruby witnessing Pyrrha’s death along with losing Penny, Team RWBY, and to a certain extent, Yang, she keeps pressing forward, and that gave them the courage to keep pressing forward, while playing down his own loss.

God, what a fucking asshole, amirite?

GIF Pack: Jessica Parker Kennedy (TSC)

Below the cut, you’ll find 100 gifs of Jessica Parker Kennedy as Melissa Glaser in The Secret Circle.  All GIFs were made by me - do not claim them as your own.  Please do not include these GIFs in GIF hunts or other GIF packs, but feel free to like or reblog this post and use the gifs for roleplaying purposes.  GIFs are 245x160.

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Molecule of the Day: Chloroform

Chloroform (CHCl3) is a colourless, dense liquid that is immiscible with water at room temperature and pressure. Popularised by movies and dramas, it is often cited as an incapacitating agent in popular culture.

Chloroform was used as a general anaesthetic due to its ability to depress the central nervous system, a property that was discovered in 1842. This produced a medically-induced coma, allowing surgeons to operate on patients without them feeling any pain.

However, chloroform was found to be associated with many side effects, such as vomiting, nausea, jaundice, depression of the respiratory system, liver necrosis and tumour formation, and its use was gradually superseded in the early 20th century by other anaesthetics and sedatives such as diethyl ether and hexobarbital respectively.

While chloroform has been implicated in several criminal cases, its use as an incapacitating agent is largely restricted to fiction; the usage of a chloroform-soaked fabric to knock a person out would take at least 5 minutes.

Chloroform is metabolised in the liver to form phosgene, which can react with DNA and proteins. Additionally, phosgene is hydrolysed to produced hydrochloric acid. These are believed to cause chloroform’s nephrotoxicity.

Chloroform is often used as a reagent to produce dichlorocarbene in situ via its reaction with a base like sodium tert-butoxide. This is a useful precursor to many derivatives. For example, the dichlorocarbene can be reacted with alkenes to form cyclopropanes, which can be difficult to synthesise otherwise.

Chloroform is industrially synthesised by the free radical chlorination of methane:

CH4 + 3 Cl2 –> CHCl3 + 3 HCl

It can also be synthesised by the reaction of acetone with sodium hypochlorite in bleach by successive aldol-like reactions:

to all of my poc rpers:

stand strong. do not let your community snuff you out.

remember that this is the first step to your first novel. remember that they didn’t want us to read. remember that they didn’t want us to write.

stand strong.

pay attention to people who trivialize your emotions. cut them out and keep going.

because our voices our important. we provide a perspective that no one else can offer. our words are unique. our images are beautiful. our experiences are valid

stand strong.

when you don’t feel safe i will hold your hand. even if i didn’t like you yesterday, i will love you tomorrow. because i need you here. i will need you on the screen, i will need your novel, i will need your comic: we need you.

when you don’t feel loved i will kiss your cheek. i will remind you that your skin, your lips, your nose, your blotches, your thick thighs, your crooked smile, your jaundiced eyes, are beautiful. and i will encourage you to put them all in your characters. so i can see them on screen someday. so a little kid can look up to them and feel beautiful too.

stand strong. please. do not let them snuff us out. they need us more than they realize. but more importantly:

WE need us. 

so face your fear. face your pain. face the injustice and keep writing.

i love you.

Fanfiction - Happier

I wrote this short thing for the needle wizard, pencil sorceress and all around magnificent friend, the lovely @outlanderedandoverhere. Master Seamstress shares with me the love for Ed Sheeran and I couldn’t resist the urge to have her doing a happy dance over this. Enjoy! X


I entered the small coffee shop, unfolding my scarf as soon as I felt the merciful warmth of the heating system, aiming towards a quiet table at the corner, as I shook off snowflakes from my curls.

As I waited for the small waitress to bring me my cranberry scone and a large cup of steaming tea, I opened my notebook and started reading the notes I had taken. It was a very hard case, a young patient with a rare tumor compressing his bile duct – presenting with jaundice, looking like the most recent character of The Simpsons. The previous surgeon in charge of the case had announced it to be unresectable, which gave him about three months of life expectancy. At the age of thirty, you are seldom ready for your life to end – least of all without throwing a good fight.

And that was what I was planning to offer him – a risky procedure, only done in the past by a handful of surgeons in the country. If it worked, he would be cancer free – and it was my job to guarantee it worked. I had barely slept the last couple of nights, immersed in planning the surgery to the finest detail.

I loved my job, fiercely – even in the moments I hated it. I never lost the tingling on my palms when I held the scalpel or the sudden feel of a jump inside my belly, like I had missed a step, whenever I finished a hazardous procedure. Besides, it was a very welcome distraction from the wreckage of my personal life.

I sipped my tea, delighted with the smoky taste of the Highland blend, strong and homely on the back of my tongue. It reminded me of the taste of his skin against my lips and I swallowed hard, slightly shaking my head to disperse unwelcome memories.

The bell above the door rang, a small tornado of snow allowed in as new customers entered the cosy place. I bit the back of my pencil, tilting my head to better discern an approach, as I mobilized the invisible pancreas before me. I smiled, seeing the vessels and ducts so well exposed in the eye of my mind, ready to be conquered, and raised my eyes to ask for a second congratulatory scone.

I saw his back but recognized him immediately – I had kissed that spot just behind his ear, where his hair curled at the nape, countless times.

He was wearing his pilot uniform underneath his overcoat, the flight captain’s hat placed next to his elbow on the table. I had a sudden flash of his hands placing that hat on my head, a playful smile on his full lips, his slightly callused hands roaming my otherwise naked body. No.

Without thinking, I was already making myself small on my table, shrinking to the point where I could almost hide under the tasteful tablecloth – wishing I had gone to another place, in another time, in another world.

Only then I noticed he had company - a cute blonde girl wearing stewardess clothes, her lips painted red to match the satin scarf prettily tied around her neck in a bow. She sat in front of him on the table, a complicit smile plastered on her face, as he talked – probably sharing something about a recent trip.

He was always coming and going, flying around the world – I remembered all too well setting my alarm to the middle of the night, just so I could listen to his voice in Tokyo. Kissing him goodbye – there had been so many goodbyes, not enough hellos – before he left to New York. Texting him, unsure where in the world he was exactly – but painfully aware it wasn’t by my side.

The nights became so long, always craving, always wondering. I felt split in two, half of myself scattered in the wind, travelling on the air - while the other half was forced to anchor it, bearing down, struggling with heaviness. There weren’t enough kisses to ease the constant ache, as much as he tried – and he had tried.

“Do ye not want me anymore?” He had asked me on the final night, broken – Oh, so broken.

I hadn’t answered him and in my silence he took his leave, shoulders hunched in pain. In truth, I couldn’t fathom a time when I wouldn’t want him – and that was the problem, wasn’t it? I kept wanting and wanting and wanting, wanting so much everything hurt, wanting so much I feared I would physically break.

The flight attendant touched his hand – to my horror he didn’t shy away from it. It lingered there, natural and possessive, and I felt the scone doing cartwheels inside my stomach like a flour acrobat.

She leaned over and told him something, slightly sticking her tongue out in mischief and he laughed. Throat and lungs and vocal chords, clapping and singing, an orchestra on a perfect rendition of amusement. Standing ovation from the crowd. Claire Beauchamp dead in the audience.

He used to laugh like that with me. Jamie always laughed with his entire body. He was that kind of man – whole in everything he did. I recalled the sensation of his laugh as I laid my cheek on his chest, a scientist studying the mechanisms of happiness. For a moment I closed my eyes and covered them with my hand, foolishly disturbed by the realization I didn’t hold his laughter in exclusiveness.

Jamie looked happy. I could see the outline of his smile, the corners of his mouth turned up in contentment. Had he been that happy with me, once? Before I filled our lives with insecurities, demands and frailties?

She squeezed his hand – fingers touching, skin meeting, hearts melting? - and got up, putting on her elegant coat. With a swish of blonde hair, she kissed his cheek – clearly no amiable kiss demanded such duration, in my opinion – and with a light caress on his forehead, left him finally alone.

He looked around, searching for the waitress to ask for a refill and – of course – spotted me. It was like standing on stage, two spotlights beaming on us, everything else left in darkness. Jamie glanced at me and I proudly endured his gaze, asserting that I saw his happiness and wasn’t shaken at all by it. Liar.

Slowly I made my way to his table, a slug crawling on a lettuce leaf, ugly but brave. I seemed to be ken on eating every crumb of my cake of sorrow and then smile, pretending it was sweet.

“Hello, Jamie.” I greeted him, bracing myself on the notebook I carried. His hair was somewhat shorter than the last time I had seen him, a couple of months ago, his uniform impeccable, the tie on his neck just a bit loose. I used to make his knots and suddenly panicked, fearing that the blonde girl was a master of turns and twists, able of fixing his heart as well as his tie.

“Hello, Claire.” Jamie replied, his voice cautious. “How are ye?”

“Good.” I smiled nervously. “Are you back from work?”

“Aye.” He fidgeted with the mug in front of him, a soft hesitant smile on his lips. “Just got back from Brazil. It was a wee furnace there.”

“Ah.” I swallowed hard, struggling to come up with other pleasantries I could share with him. Do you smile in your sleep when she touches you? “You look good. Happy.”

“What are ye asking me, Claire?” He avoided my gaze, his face abruptly serious.

“Nothing.” I replied in a hoarse voice, well aware that he could spot the tears forming on the corners of my eyes, in the fountains of my soul. “Just that. You looked happy with her.”

“She’s a good lass.” He glared at me, his eyes outrageously blue and intent. “She understands what life is for me. I feel that I can talk to her.”

“As you couldn’t talk to me?” I tried to smile again and failed miserably, the glass of my face polished and glistening, reflecting the thousands of small sorrows hidden in the corners of my eyes.

“I told ye all my soul and heart.” Jamie lowered his eyes, grabbing his hat. “In the end it wasna enough. That is my utmost regret, Claire - that it wasna enough.”

I stood there, speechless, as he gathered his things and left. I thought of the bleeders that elude the most capable surgeon, the cardiac arrest that lasts forever, the hands inside where we are most private, touching the core of what we are, unable to reach what had been lost. I slammed my heart at him as he closed the door behind him – “Jamie!” – knowing all too well I had no one to blame but myself. I had traded all for nothing, convinced it was a worthy bargain – blind, blind, fool.

I crawled home, shaken to the very marrow of my bones, oozing love and loss – sticky and queasy with it. In medical school they had told me how the brain works to protect itself – the clever barrier surrounding it, the plasticity, the temperature regulation – and yet my brain seemed decided to finish me, incessantly playing memories of Jamie, smacking me with my own recklessness. I had no self-preservation left, for I loved him to the atoms of me.

I had seen him happy without me – there was joy there to be sure, in knowing him well. But the pain was almost unbearable, no last redoubt of magical thinking left, where I could hide and pretend we would find our way back to each other. He was gone. Pushed away by my own two hands.

I collapsed on the couch, curling into fetal position, making myself small and smaller. My ears were filled with the sounds of my own heart and I willed him to stop, to let go of beating, to be still and let me be.

He kissed my cheek on our first date. I kissed his lips on the second. Loved all of himself by the tenth. My heart leapt when I saw him, tall and gallant in his uniform, almost running to hold me in his arms at the hospital. When he told me flying was his second favourite thing. When he told me I was first. Red Jamie, my Jamie.

A knock on the door, fast and rhythmed. A secret code for the lover coming.

I padded to the door, afraid and wanting. Hopeful.

I opened the door and he was standing there, snowflakes turning into rivers on the brim of his hat. He reached out with his hand and I took it, already knowing I’d never let go again.

“I was happier with ye.” He whispered in a husky voice. And I remembered it all, the happiness and love I’d known, waiting in him as kisses on his lips.

The Silk Road Spread Sickness?

There is new evidence of something that researchers have long suspected: along with people, goods, and ideas, the Silk Road also transported infectious diseases. Studying preserved poop in a latrine at a Silk Road waystation, which was in use from 111 BCE to 109 CE, researchers discovered four species of parasitic worm. One particularly interesting find is the Chinese liver fluke. It is a parasitic worm which causes diarrhea, jaundice, and liver cancer. It’s life cycle requires time in well-watered, marshy areas. The way station is in the eastern end of the Taklamakan Desert. Therefore Chinese liver fluke could not have been picked up at the way station. In fact, the fluke’s closest habitat today is around 1,500 kilometers from the way station where the fluke was found.

Put together, the evidence suggests the unfortunate infected traveler must have come from quite a distance, carrying the parasite with them. Other infectious diseases might have been carried along the Silk Road in a similar way.

anonymous asked:

How true to reality is stannis claim that "kings have no friends, only subjects and enemies"?

I don’t think Stannis is making a factual statement as much as a philosophical statement. 

The first thing he’s getting at is that, in their own realm, the king has no equals, and everyone around them is a subject connected to the king by chains of reciprocal obligation. As much as a king might want to just be pals with their old buddies, there’s both a basic power imbalance and an inescapable tinge of self-interest to their relationships with everyone around them. This is especially the case since proximity to the body of the King is the main route to power in feudal politics - everyone around the king, from the attendant who assists the king with the evacuation of his bowels and the cleaning thereof, to the person who refills the king’s drink, is looking to get something out of it, whether it’s royal favor or a chance to get bribed

So a wise king has to look at the people around him with something of a jaundiced eye, constantly assessing them as to what they want out of him, what he’s getting out of them, and whether their political accounts are in balance, as opposed to trusting anyone. Because someone like Davos Seaworth who is so unconditionally loyal to the king that they would speak to the king’s best interest even when it goes against their own, is one in a million. 

The second thing he’s getting at has to do with Stannis’ ideal of justice. Stannis believes very much that one of the highest duties of the king is to provide justice to all of his subjects:

“I shall bring justice to Westeros … Every man shall reap what he has sown, from the highest lord to the lowest gutter rat. And some will lose more than the tips off their fingers, I promise you. They have made my kingdom bleed, and I do not forget that.”

Thus, the king can’t have friends who get special treatment (privilege originally meant “private law”) but must treat all equally. And in order to achieve that state of impartiality, someone with Stannis’ beliefs would hold that there needs to be something of a remove, a distancing so that the law is predictable, consistent, and transparent. 

i sneak out of my shell at the same time my mother sneaks out of hers. she’s told me i mustn’t give in to temptation, that purity is too precious to waste. she is fortunate: she insults me, but i never tell on her.

i retreat into the blue of my bedroom. i flutter in front of the mirror. i put on some pretty underwear. i tell myself that you will never see my underwear. i change back.

i wait until my mother has flown from the window before i make my escape. i shake with disgust. she looks terrible, flushed with love & secrets. pink makes her look jaundiced.

i pretend that holding hands with you isn’t awkward. i pretend not to notice that your palms are as dewy as my eyes. i pretend that these are tears of joy & not embarrassment. you trip over your own feet, sometimes.

i let you lead although i am smarter than you. your tag sticks out constantly & you stammer when you’re excited, but i follow you anyway. you build things from the sky, & i so desperately need a sky.

your words weave a blanket in the darkness. it is softer than french perfume & thicker than security. your words are heavy over us. i should have worn the good underwear, but you say you can’t tell the difference.

–should i follow someone who can’t tell the difference?

i have read more books than you ever will, but you still call me a child. look, you say, at these delicate fingers. these sweet hollows. these innocent lips. s-s-say, dear child: have you never told a lie?

i have, i lie.

in my bedroom i slick blue shadow over my lids & ignore the fact that i look like old photographs of my mother. i swipe lipstick over my deflowered mouth. at least— i tell myself— at least i look good in pink.


blue shadow baby

Snape Appreciation Month - Appearance - Submitted by plutoplex

In my mind, Snape cares about how he is perceived, but doesn’t give a damn about what he looks like.

Or, to put it another way, he cares about how people think of him, but not about his physical appearance.

Sometimes, I think of him as tall (6 feet or so).  He is an inch or two shorter than Sirius, who uses that extra height as part of his attempts to intimidate Snape.  Sometimes, though, I think that Snape is only average height, but that he seems taller due to his presence.

Always, I imagine him being thin.  As a child, he was scrawny and undernourished.  As a Hogwarts student, he grew to fear eating in the Great Hall due to pranks from the Mauraders, and never managed to gain much weight.  During the first war, when he was still a loyal Death Eater, he was ironically healthier, becoming merely thin.  Once he became a spy, he lost weight from the stress, becoming more and more gaunt as the war went on.  Lily’s death sunk him further into depression, and he continued to lose weight.

Intervention from Dumbledore eventually got him eating again, but he never managed to fully regain the healthy weight from his early Death Eater days.  When Sirius escaped from Azkaban and Lupin came to teach, the stress caused Snape to lose most of his appetite.  Lupin leaving at the end of the year didn’t help, since his Dark Mark began returning shortly thereafter.  When Voldemort returned, some of the Death Eaters had to expand their old uniforms.  Snape was the only one who had to shrink his.  Voldemort noticed, and punished anyone who had to modify their robes for not keeping in fighting shape during his absence.  Even so, Snape kept losing weight.  By the time he died, he was emaciated.

Snape’s hair is lank and shoulder-length, and it is greasy.  As much as I like the “potions fumes” explanation, I have difficulty believing that – in however many centuries potions masters have been at work – not one of them has managed to create a working shampoo or fume-protector.  I therefore lean more towards the “can’t be bothered to clean it” explanation.  It takes more time and effort than he feels it’s worth, and he has more important things to deal with.

Similarly, his teeth are crooked and yellow.  He could fix them (again, the “working shampoo” issue works for toothpaste as well).  He doesn’t bother.  A cleaning charm takes less time.  So long as his teeth are reasonably healthy, he doesn’t care what they look like.

His skin is sallow.  Sometimes, I read this as a reference to some non-European heritage (along with his nose).  Sometimes, I read this as “extreme Vitamin D deficiency.”  Sometimes, I read this as jaundice.  Perhaps he, like Tobias, drowned too many of his troubles in alcohol.  Perhaps he suffers from liver damage from some other cause (a curse? potions side effect?).

He has scars.  Some are from Tobias, some are from the Marauders, some are from Voldemort and the Death Eaters.  Some are from himself.  He wears robes that cover as much skin as possible to hide them.

His eyes are black.  Not dark brown, but a true black.

His nose appears too large for his face.  It is hooked.  Usually, I imagine that this is hereditary (Tobias also has a hooked nose).  More rarely, I imagine he once had a straight nose that was broken too many times before Hogwarts and never healed properly.

He cares more about the state of his clothing than the state of his person.  Immaculate, well-tailored clothing makes him feel like he escaped from Spinner’s End, at least somewhat.

Maybe Snape knows that he would look better if he took more care with his appearance (washing his hair, whitening his teeth, etc.), but he feels the time spent is too extreme for everyday care (like Hermione’s comments on sleakeazy after the Yule Ball).  Maybe he tried once, but the best he managed was to appear homely.  He decided that if he couldn’t be at least average-looking, there was no point in trying.  Maybe he is simply too afraid to try.  Maybe he just doesn’t care at all.  Maybe he thinks that anyone who bothers seeing past his exterior is worthwhile, as so few do.

Regardless, to me at least, the most important point of his appearance is this: Snape is ugly.  As fans, it’s too easy to make him “not conventionally handsome, but still compelling” or “attractive in his own way.”  We like him, therefore he is not ugly.  But I think it’s important that, no, he is unattractive.  It’s too easy to fall into the trap of “heroes are attractive, therefore Snape must be, too.”

But let this hero be ugly.  Let there be little to recommend about his appearance.  Let that not matter.


A TRAITS MASTERLIST !  (o*・ω・)ノ☆ミ *:・゚✧

( &&. * ⇄ under the cut you will find 55 underused traits i’ve stumbled upon or some that i just changed around and used bigger words ! each trait will have a description and synonyms so you can have a better understanding of the traits ! i’m hoping that these come off as helpful, and if it does, it’d mean a lot if you liked or reblogged this - thank you ! )

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Herb: Larrea tridentata, sometimes called Larrea mexicana

Common names: Chaparral, creosote bush, la gobernadora, hedionillo, medicine chest

Called creosote because it smells like the tar derivative also called creosote.

Family: Zygophyllaceae, also called caltrops. It is related to Guaiacum and Tribulus terrestris (also called puncturevine)

Warnings and Cautions: Rare reports of serious liver disease have been associated with internal use and ingestion of creosote. Seek advice from a professional health care practitioner before use and, in doing so, inform them if you have had or are at risk for liver disease, kidney disease, or if you frequently imbibe alcoholic beverages, or are using any medications. Discontinue use and seek a physician if vomiting, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, or jaundice (e.g. dark urine, pale stools, yellow discoloration of the eyes) occur. This is herb is NOT safe to be used during pregnancy.

Interesting facts: There is a creosote colony in the Mojave Desert called the “King Clone” that is 11,700 years old. Creosote is one of the oldest living organisms on Earth (as far as measuring this type of thing goes).

Creosote grows in colonies – rings of plants that sprout up from an underground root system that are genetically identical clones of the original plants.

Botanical Description: Larrea tridentata is a variably sized shrub with tiny evergreen dark green leaves. The resinous leaves are compound and opposite, with two leaflets attached to each other at the base. The flowers are shiny yellow with five petals, many to a branch. The fruit is a capsule densely covered in white hairs, which look like fluffy puff balls.

Wildcrafting Tips: Creosote is often one of the dominant plant where it grows. There are often huge colonies of it scattered through an area. Look for plants that have more young growth, which is a brighter green color and has a strong resinous smell. Cut areas of the plant where the stem is flexible, not hard and woody, and where the leaves are waxy or oily to the touch, preferably those which leave a faint residue on your fingertips if you rub the small leaves between the pads of your fingers. The best creosote to harvest is found in washes between the mesas of the desert, where water runs down into stream beds which quickly dry up. Do not pick plants alongside roads, as these are not safe for use.

Collect the bundles by either snapping off the flexible stems where they join the woody branches or using pruning shears. Creosote is not so woody as to require heavy duty loppers. Gather onto a laid out flat breathable cloth, such as cotton broadcloth or burlap or muslin, and roll up to transport. You will lose some leaves, but these can be gathered from the cloth.

Once to your bundling location, unroll and leave the plant flat on the breathable cloth for a day or so, flipping over occasionally, then bundle.

Creosote can mold, so please dry a little before bundling, to prevent the inner part of the bundle from moldering and the entire bundle from becoming unusable.

Caution: the smell of creosote as is it drying or being bundled is intense and will easily fill a small room. Some persons I have wildcrafted with have reported feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseated from the aromatic oils in the air, so please keep that in mind.

Parts Used: The fresh green leaves or the green leaves once dried, the waxy yellow flowers, and the greener stems are all used for magickal and medicinal purposes. The woody stems are used for ceremonial fires, but caution, as creosote is mildly psychoactive and the fires may cause reactions varying from dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, a feeling of floating, or even mild hallucinations. Of course, allergic reactions may also occur from breathing in the smoke, so start with small amounts and watch for difficulty breathing and itching of the skin, mouth, nose, and throat.

Medicinal Uses: Larrea tridentata is poisonous in larger doses. Please be cautious. There are multiple reports of serious poisoning, acute hepatitis, kidney and liver damage, up to kidney and liver failure, many of which were the result of using creosote preparations that were not properly diluted or which were taken too often. Do not take at the same time as hepatotoxic drugs or alongside large amounts of pain killers such as aspirin.

Creosote can cause severe stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, and fever. Putting creosote on the skin can cause skin reactions, including photo-sensitivity, rash, and itching.

An important consideration with creosote is that the plant is very bitter and the taste and smell are quite potent. So when deciding whether to use this as an herbal remedy, make sure the person it is being prepared for can tolerate the smell and taste. I do not recommend you attempt to improve the taste with large amounts of honey, agave, or sugar, as this just makes the strong taste saccharine with an intensely bitter aftertaste.

First Nations peoples of the Southwestern deserts of the United States have used this plant in teas, tinctures, and salves, as a poultice to retard bacterial growth, as an emetic, expectorant, and diuretic to treat venereal disease, tuberculosis, bowel cramps, and rheumatism (Kearney and others 1951, Mabry and others 1977)

It has been used as a herbal treatment for stiff limbs, open sores, snakebites, menstrual cramps, and poxes (Bowers and Wignall 1993, Mabry and others 1977)

The Breast Cancer Research and Treatment study in 2005 showed that the antioxidant compound, nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) inhibits the IGF-1 and c-erbB2/HER2/neu receptors and suppresses growth in breast cancer cells. (Youngren, J.F., Gable, K., Penaranda, C. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2005) 94: 37.) Of course, this would be in a professional medicinal environment with controlled injections of an extracted compound – no amount of ingesting creosote will cure cancer, though it may kill you with liver or kidney failure.

Creosote is antimicrobial and anti-fungal, it has through time been used to prevent infections due to cuts, burns, and bites, and also those internal caused by pathogens and parasites entering the body.

Creosote is used internally to inhibit the growth of fibroids.

Creosote contains lignans that are very similar to estrogen, giving it an effect on the skin similar to that of soy taken internally.

According to an ethno-botanist of field studies for the herbal program at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, the Pima people of central Arizona would use just an inch or so of fresh creosote dropped in water as a cleansing drink, to flush a variety of fungal or parasitic microbials from the body, as well as for its antioxidant properties.

It is a very strong liver stimulant, and so should not be used by individuals with liver disease such as cirrhosis or hepatitis.

The main way I use creosote is to help prevent and kill a number of infectious organisms. These include bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. I mix creosote with myrrh and dragon’s blood resin, for I find it is not strong enough many times on its own. I do not recommend creosote for staphylococcus aureus.  It often works okay for fungal skin infections such as athlete’s foot.

For athlete’s food and similar, if the infection is on an area you can put into wash basin (i.e., hands and feet), simply soak the infected area in a very strong hot water infusion of creosote. If it cannot be soaked, use a hot compress. Afterward, I would recommend that you alternate between remedies (see Recommended Combinations below). Apply the Larrea tincture directly on the wound and/or put it on a gauze pad which is then held in place. With these types of infections, please also consider community protection and telling the infected person that they are contagious. And you and they both need to cleanse yourselves thoroughly after handling the infected area.

Creosote can also be used to treat infectious gut organisms. I recommend seeking a medical opinion on whether it is a gut infection or a non-infectious disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Also, it can be difficult to know which type of infectious organism. Giardia, for example, can infect a person who drank contaminated water, and can be treated with a combination of creosote, parsley, wormwood, and black walnut.

Aching muscles can also be treated with creosote, specifically those associated with stress and stress related nervous pain.

The dried plant when powdered has been used by many First Nation people of the Southwest as an effective deodorant. A tincture of creosote combined with a tincture of witch hazel makes a wonderful deodorant that smells like rain, but do not wear it with white clothing – it turns everything greenish yellow.

Creosote is also used to relieve itching, though obviously not in those who find it causes itching, and it provides a protective moisture barrier even after it dries.

Medicinal Preparations: The part of this plant used medicinally is the leaves, though if you have some of the flexible green branches, the yellow waxy flowers, or the fluffy seed capsules in with them it will not hurt the medicine. The leaf can be used either fresh or dried, as there is not that much water in them to begin with, but you should not use leaves that were brown and desiccated on the plant.

Due to the antioxidant properties of this plant, most of these preparations will have a longer shelf life than medicines made from other plants, but beware that for tinctures or other infusions that keep the plant in the substance being infused, too strong of an infusion is dangerous, so remove the plant matter before storing.

My favorite delivery mechanism of the medicine of creosote is also one of the easiest to prepare. A sprig in cold water, used all day, as a cleansing tonic drink is my favorite. Just refill the same bottle throughout the day.

I also like making salves with the infused oil. For this either fresh or dried plant can be used, but if you have access to the fresh, it is much preferable. It relieves stinging and itching of cuts and seals them with a protective barrier. It is also quite useful topically as a treatment for the herpes viruses, including cold sores, herpes simplex, and chicken pox.

Tincture: Prepare the tincture with 180 proof food grade clear alcohol at about 1:2, or as close to this as you can get while still having the leaves covered by the menstruum and ideally to a few inches above it. Infuse in the cool alcohol in a dark, cool place for one week, then strain the plant matter and discard it or compost it.

Dosage with Tincture: When treating an acute infection or parasitic infestation, as with something brought on by ‘bad’ food or water (such as drinking water in the mountains) use a large loading dose, then taper down. A 110 pound person can start with about 4 ml in their first dosage, then taper down to about 2.5 ml every four to six hours for approximately 48 hours, then to about 1.25 ml for the next 48 hours. I recommend combining this with activated charcoal, and for serious infectious gut parasites (like giardia) with wormwood, parsley, and black walnut as well.

Infused oil: Add the green, fresh leaves or lightly dried leaves to good extra virgin olive oil (I recommend the stuff coming out of California right now). Cover the leaves with the oil, ideally to a few inches above them. Lett this sit in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks.  Since they resist mold, you can let the leaves stay in the oil for a longer period of time than most plants. The oil alone, or combined with other plants, can be applied directly to wounds as an antiseptic. Creosote is also naturally antioxidant, so the constituents stabilize the infused oil, so by adding the creosote oil into other oils or salves, it will slow down their rate of rancidity and give them a longer shelf life. It will be strongly scented, however, so if you don’t want the damp rain and earth smell of creosote in your other oils, you may wish to refrain and find another method of giving them added longevity.

Salves: Solidify the infused oil by adding beeswax or cocoa butter, or your preferred combination of the two, in a double boiler, then decant into a sterile salve container.

Tea: For creosote, I recommend a hot water infusion (hot water poured over the plant) rather than a decoction (plant matter cooked in the hot water). Remember that if this is for drinking, an inch long section of the plant is plenty for an entire day, and may be too much, as it is very strong tasting.

Honey: I recommend using raw honey, as non-raw honey is less helpful for anti-microbial uses. To get the honey to extract the volatile constituents from the creosote, warm the honey til it is liquid enough to allow movement, but do not simmer it, as then it is no longer raw. Cover the plant matter with warm honey to the point where the honey is a few inches above the plant matter. Allow to sit for one week, then strain the plant matter out and discard or compost it. This is better as a burn or skin infection medicine for external use than it is for internal use, for which I would not recommend it.

Compress: A compress comes from dipping a clean cloth (preferably cotton or silk) in a water infusion of the plant matter – the infusion in this case is a slightly stronger hot water infusion than the one described above for internal use tea. I would recommend the compresses for athletes foot and other minor skin infections. Creosote compresses are especially helpful when you cannot directly soak the affected area. You can also soak a bandage with the tea (or tincture), though I do not recommend keeping an open wound damp for very long. I do not use creosote as a poultice, where the plant matter is macerated and then applied directly to a wound, as it is so very strong and can cause skin irritation.

Soak: Simply add creosote to hot water. For something the size of a foot or hand, you can add a few inches of the plant. Do not scale up past a five inch by one inch bundle for the entire body, especially as it can be absorbed through mucous membranes and cause irritation.

Common Combinations:


Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

Willow (Salix spp.) (good for pain as well)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Dragon’s Blood (Daemonorops draco or Dracaena cinnabari or Croton lechleri)

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza spp.)


Arnica (Arnica spp.)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Willow (Salix spp.)

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza spp.)


Anemopsis californica (Yerba mansa)

Oak (Quercus spp.)

Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

Geranium root (Geranium maculatum)

Black Horehound (Ballota nigra)


Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)

Extracting the Essential Oil: I recommend the enfleurage method to get the oils out of the leaves without destroying them.

You will need:

Only the freshest, newest leaves, from a period in the harvest season where the leaves are green and have an oily sheen that coats the fingers

Organic vegetable fat

A sterilized glass plate

Plastic wrap

A spoon

Sterilized mason jars

Strong, clear alcohol of 180 proof or higher (everclear, moonshine, etc)


Spread a thin coat of new, organic vegetable fat on the sterilized glass plate and lay the leaves on the fat. Cover the combination with plastic wrap to make the plate air tight. Then store this in a cool, dark location for 48 to 72 hours. The oils will infuse the fat.

Strain the leaves from the fat and discard or compost. Spoon the infused fat into the sterilized mason jars and spread it out on the inside, exposing as much surface area of the fat as possible.

Pour the clear, strong alcohol into the jars, covering the fat. Cover and seal the jars.

Let the jars stand in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours - this extracts the oil from the fat (pouring vodka directly on the leaves will destroy them and will not extract the oils)

move the liquid to another steralized jar

allow that to rest for 24 hours, refrigerated - this will allow the oil to separate from the alcohol

siphon the separated oil from the alcohol

bottle in sterilized, air-tight, dark glass bottles - the oil should last you at least five years, unless, of course, you use it all first or it turns sour due to some contaminant

Other Uses:


The waxy sap from the bush can be released by simmering the stalks, including the woody ones, in water. The resin is then applied to wooden tools, like arrows or bowls, for water-proofing. Do not waterproof using creosote anything intended for food storage or ingestion, as ingestion of the oils is toxic in large enough amounts.


Creosote branches were stored by First Nations persons in grain bins and other food storage areas to keep the moisture out and preserving the food. Sometimes, the leaves from the bush were mixed in with the grains to further the process.

Magickal Uses: Creosote has traditionally been used for cleansing ritual fires that have a psychotropic affect, including dizziness, lightheadedness, mild euphoria, and loss of consciousness. Do not burn the leaves or branches unless you are outdoors or in a very well ventilated area, as too much of the fumes being inhaled can be toxic and deadly.

It can be used for pre-ritual or post-ritual cleansing and grounding baths.

It is excellent for spells of survival, permanence, and stability, as it is one of the oldest known plant forms – ancient beyond even the redwood. It survives in some of the harshest environmental conditions on the planet: below freezing temperatures in the winter, temperatures about 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, and less than 10 inches of rain per year in extremely nutrient deficient sandy soil.

It is also an excellent warding plant. Note that not much else grows around it in the desert, even when it grows where water flows. It defends its territory well, in colonies that are self-supporting.

Creosote can also be used in spells to connect people who live far away from each other. As the colonies grow in cloning rings, distant but still connected, so bundles can be used as a connecting force.

Please note that Haven Craft teaches the traditional uses of herbs. Statements made by Haven Craft regarding the benefits of an herb have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration, as the FDA does not evaluate or test herbs. This information has not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration, nor has it gone through the rigorous double-blind studies required before a particular product can be deemed truly beneficial or potentially dangerous and prescribed in the treatment of any condition or disease.

The information presented by Haven Craft is provided for informational purposes only, it is not meant to substitute for medical advice or diagnosis provided by your physician or other medical professional. Do not use this information to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or health condition. If you have, or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your physician or health care provider.


We got storked when I was seven […] It was early in the morning, and my parents figured no one saw the baby left at the door, right? So the next morning, before the rest of us got up, my dad put the baby on a doorstep across the street. That’s illegal, once you get storked, that baby’s yours. Yeah, but my parents figured, who’s gonna know? My parents swore us to secrecy, and we waited to hear the news from across the street about their new, unexpected arrival … but it never came. They never talked about getting storked and we couldn’t ask them about it, because it would be a dead giveaway that we’d dumped the baby on them.

Things go on like it never happened. Everything was quiet for a while, and then two weeks later, I open the door, and there on that stupid welcome mat, is another baby in a basket … and I remember … I remember I almost laughed. Can you believe it? I thought it was funny, and I turned back to my mother, and I say ’Mom, we got storked again‘—Just like that little kid this morning said. My Mom, all frustrated, brought the baby in … and that’s when she realizes—

Oh, no! 

It’s the same baby! It turns out that the baby had been passed around the neighborhood for two whole weeks—each morning, left on someone else’s doorstep … only now it’s not looking too good. So, what happened to the baby? By the time it landed on our doorstep again, it was sick. It was coughing like a seal and its skin and eyes were yellow. Jaundice. A lot of babies show up at StaHo that way.

My parents brought it to the hospital, but there was nothing they could do. I was there when it died. I saw it die. I remember thinking, if a baby was going to be so unloved, why would God want it brought into the world?I didn’t know you believed in God. Anyway, since it was legally ours, we paid for the funeral. It didn’t even have a name, and my parents couldn’t bear to give it one. It was just ‘Baby Lassiter’ and even though no one had wanted it, the entire neighborhood came to the funeral. People were crying like it was their baby that had died… . And that’s when I realized that the people who were crying—they were the ones who had passed that baby around. They were the ones, just like my own parents, who had a hand in killing it.

U n w i n d : chapter 14 : connor


“Huh, we’d have given anything to get practically nothing when I was a lad,” said Albert.


“That’s about the size of it, master. A good god line, that. Don’t give ‘em too much and tell ‘em to be happy with it. Jam tomorrow, see?”


Albert felt a bit out of his depth with this new tide of philosophy. “Dunno,” he said. “I suppose people’d say they’ve got the moon and the stars and suchlike.”


“All I know is, if Dad’d caught us with a big bag of pricey toys we’d have just got a ding round the ear hole for nicking ‘em.”


“That’s life, master.”


“I meant, this is how it’s supposed to go, master,” said Albert.


““Well, of course, that’s the big issue-” Albert began.


“Yeah, but if you gave it all to the peasant then in a year or two, he’d be just as snooty as the king-” began Albert, jaundiced observer of human nature.


 - ‘Hogfather’ by Sir Terry Pratchett.  Not the most oft-repeated part of the book, but one worth rereading.