Common Raven - Corvus corax

Brendan. His name was a variant on the old Breton and Manx words for “Raven”. It directly translated to “Prince” in Irish.

The Raven is a trickster and a creator whose flight is unpredictable. In his trickery, he stole the sun from an old man who was keeping it locked away in a box, and put it in the sky for his humans to enjoy.

In real life, ravens are among the smartest of the birds, but live up to their legends. They are playful and ingenious and unpredictable and strong.

The Birds of the British Isles and Their Eggs. T. A. Coward, 1919.
How Raven Brought Light to the World. Haida mythology.

 My little brother, Brendan, was killed in a bike accident on June 24. Without his encouragement, my apathy and depression would have made me stop blogging long ago. He is one of the primary reasons Biomedical Ephemera still exists. 
To honor his memory, a fund to support the Theater Arts in Madison, WI has been set up.
See the benefits for donating here. Additional [physical] benefits coming next week.
If nothing else, have a good drink and a well-made pastry in memory of a life lost too soon.

Alright. Time to do this.

As anyone who follows my personal blog knows, I lost my little brother, John Primm, to a bike accident on Wednesday, July 24. He was never my best friend, but he was my constant friend. He antagonized me in ways that always made me want to be better, just to prove him wrong.

When he was proud of me when I started writing for mental_floss and when I started really going on this blog, it meant more to me than anybody else. He was only 22 years old.

Above all, even though he appreciated science, and loved my work (he gave me the Marie Curie book in the bottom picture), he loved the arts. He was an actor, a set designer, and a member of the tech crew. His passion for life and Theater and learning and fun kept me going so many times when I felt utterly depressed and down. He laughed freely, taught me not to dwell on the tragedies in life (as I had a habit of doing until just a couple years ago), and was instrumental in kicking me in the butt when I felt discouraged.

I know this has nothing to do with science, but if it weren’t for his encouragement, I wouldn’t still be doing this blog, and I hope some of you appreciate that.

  • There is a fund set up in his name, to promote and bolster the Madison, WI Theater Arts societies and organizations. If you have any money to spare, please consider donating even just a dollar or two. Any amount is immensely appreciated - even if you feel like it’s insignificant.

    HOWEVER - I do have a few incentives. I still take regular requests, of course, but those are done on a super-dubious timeline, and I avoid a lot of topics and animals.

  • Anyone who makes any donation will be publicly thanked in a post next week, with links to their blog if they wish to include their screen-name on the donation site.

  • Anyone who donates $25 or more can request any subject for me to post on - even subjects I usually avoid for fear of controversy - and I will do a regular-length post on it. [example] Use your tumblr name in the “from” box and message me on here to make your requests.

  • Anyone who donates $50 or more can request any subject for me to post on, and I will write either a feature-length post with primary sources cited [example] [example] or I will write you two regular posts, on any subject.

  • THESE POSTS WILL BE DONE WITHIN A WEEK OF DONATION - STUNNING, I KNOW. Your tumblr blog will be prominently linked to, as well. This applies to donations made at any point in the next 200 days, not just right now.

If nothing else, have a quality drink, some amazing bakery, and spare a thought for an amazingly full and vibrant life, lost too young.

For those wondering, no laws were broken. He was observing the rules of the road, and the girl that hit him appears to have been doing so, too. It was a groggy Wednesday morning, and everyone was just trying to get to work. She was only 20. She will have to live with this her entire life. Please spare a thought for her sake, too. 

anonymous asked:

I made an anonymous contribution to the theater fund but do not need a post in return. The loss of your brother obviously has left a gaping hole in the world. I will have a good bakery item in his honor, as you suggested. God bless.

Thank you. Every cent is appreciated.

He put literally thousands of hours into sustaining the theater arts scene in Madison. The hard work and dedication he gave to keeping it alive is irreplaceable, but hopefully a few dollars here and there can help maintain his legacy helping even the smallest of troupes keep going.

He was a great baker and a great up-and-coming brewmaster (not to mention a connoisseur of both great food and great drink). He owed me a wedding cake and a keg of wedding brew. They would have been amazing and incredibly unhealthy and the tastiest things you ever consumed.

Appreciate great food. Appreciate great art. Learn to make something new…a croissant, a paella, a bike, a rat cage, a potato cannon…create new things.

Laugh openly and genuinely.

Love what is great in life and fight against that which you see unjust.

Tell someone you haven’t seen in too long that you love them.

roadbones  asked:

Your tattoos are beautiful <3 if you don't mind me asking, what happened to your brother?

Ahh, thanks. :) They’re simple but they make me happy, for now.

My brother was killed in a bike accident back in July. I posted about it back when it happened. We’re getting ready to celebrate our first Thanksgiving without him - he was a chef and a baker and Thanksgiving was *his* holiday - so it’s pretty rough right now, but that’s how it goes. Nothing we can do to change it.

My life is a bit filled with ravens right now because of all this. I don’t mind. They’re annoyingly brilliant birds.

anonymous asked:

Any neat information on corvids?

Surprisingly less than I thought I had - I have a personal connection to corvids so, just like sloths, I try to avoid posting about them too much, because I feel like I post on them all the time and don’t want to overwhelm the blog.

The sloths, though, are also Mariana’s favorite animals (somehow edging out goats *gasp*), so they actually get some posts on here when I want to appease her. :P

I’ll get some more corvids up tomorrow - the Hawaiian crow is really cool and sadly super endangered.

I randomly found a set of photos of my Little Raven from right before his 21st birthday, when he was brewing some beer and reading Calvin & Hobbes, because of course he was.

kelcer  asked:

Please don't push yourself past what you want to do while you are grieving. It hasn't been very long and you had a BIG loss. Let yourself take all the time you need, and your fans out here will be glad when you come back, and glad that you are taking care of yourself.

Thank you, it means a lot. :) The support I have gotten has helped so much. I’m getting through this, slowly, but steadily. I miss him so much, but I am so grateful for the time I had with him. I’m angry at the person who killed him, but feel for her lifelong burden, too.

Getting through things is complicated. But I will, and I’ll be back. He liked that I had success (and enjoyment) in blogging. I can’t abandon it. I won’t abandon it.

Real posts again soon.

Maybe (!) even tonight. :)

Ahha, goodness gracious. All of you guys who gave to my little brother’s memorial fund said you wanted to be anonymous (odd but understandable) and everyone who wanted me to do something either said “birds” or something my brother loved (or that you just wanted to support the arts, which is faboo on its own)…you are lovely, for sure.

He was an oddly huge fan of pelicans, bears, dinosaurs, and, of course, ravens…I shall try to get a few new posts up soon :D