keys to the player

Hebe, the Goddess of Youth


Now, here’s what happened today:

I was trying to find a BP seller to buy a Hebe Key. A guy, claiming to be a seller, told me to send the gold first (which is kind of a common procedure when buying keys), and to wait 1-2 minutes as he was spedning his APs. After 5 minutes, I tried to message him, just to found out I had been scammed. *smh*

BUT then, when I was saying what happened in world chat, this super nice player sent me a Hebe Key for free! He said it was because he hates seeing people get scammed. :’) Thanks again!

As for the scammer: he was reported and the GM just said they were banning him. :*
washingtonpost.com
U.S. women’s soccer wins higher pay, improved support with five-year labor deal
The U.S. women’s soccer players’ union and the sport’s governing body have agreed to a five-year collective bargaining agreement, improving standards for the national team and pro league and ensuring labor harmony through the next World Cup and Olympics.
By https://www.facebook.com/SoccerInsider

“In a joint statement, the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association and U.S. Soccer Federation said they have “ratified a new collective bargaining agreement which will continue to build the women’s program in the U.S., grow the game of soccer worldwide and improve the professional lives of players on and off the field. We are proud of the hard work and commitment to thoughtful dialogue reflected through this process, and look forward to strengthening our partnership moving forward.”

In recent years, the players have raised issues about compensation and working conditions compared to their male counterparts, casting a shadow over the efforts of the most successful women’s team in soccer history and pitting the federation against wildly popular athletes, such as Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.

In March 2016, the players  filed a federal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charging the USSF with wage discrimination. The case remains active.

Financial specifics were not immediately available, but people with knowledge of the pact said it includes:

  • Increase in direct compensation
  • Increase in bonus compensation
  • Enhanced benefits related to travel and hotels
  • Per diem equal to the U.S. men’s team
  • Greater financial support for players who are pregnant
  • Financial support for players adopting a child

Also, in a key gain, the players’ association will now control group likeness rights for licensing and nonexclusive rights in sponsorship categories where USSF does not have an agreement.”  

Read the full piece here

GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!

See the full gifset here

More posts on women’s soccer

Solo: A Memoir of Hope, by Hope Solo

When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World by Carli LLoyd

The audiobooks for Solo: A Memoir of Hope and When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World are both available as free downloads via an Audible.com promotion! More info on the promotion, plus a huge list of available feminist books here.

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I like how the implication of this is that kageyama doesn’t even bother to tell tsukishima that he’s gonna do this anymore. He just sets the ball sky high out of nowhere and trusts that tsukishima will accomodate accordingly. He wouldn’t be able to pull that shit with anyone, maybe not even hinata, but he knows his teammates and he knows tsukishima will be able to pick up on what’s happening and quickly make up the difference.

boyf riends ok

ive been thinking about this all day so what if michael can only take so much sugar before he gets a crazy sugar high

so when he and jeremy are having a sleepover (“it’s not gay!”) and all they are eating/drinking is sugar,,, well michael is bouncing off the walls by one am (jeremy thinks it’s kinda cute but at the same time “sit the fuck down michael!”)

except he’s bound to crash from his high. and he crashes hard.

by like two thirty, three am, michael is totally useless. he can barely keep his eyes open to play any more video games. but when he crashes, he gets dopey and affectionate

so he’ll be having the time of his life, laying across jeremys lap, trying to play with his hands, trying to get him to (“spill some juicy gossip”). he eventually tries to kiss jeremys fingers, hold his hand, etc

he just keeps pushing his boundaries,,, and jeremy is letting him (with a burning red fave, but he’s letting him)

they fall asleep (aka michael passes out and jeremy turns in for the night) practically holding each other, mostly because michael would not let jeremy move once he got ahold of him

as jeremy falls asleep, he’s thinking about telling michael. ya know, telling him. about his feelings

he wakes up, confident and ready to go, except michael embarrassedly detangles from jeremy when he wakes, mumbling a quick “whoa, gay man” (sigh, boys ) and jeremys heart shatters just a little. michael remembers next to nothing from last night, let alone all of his affections

I realized one more amazing thing about last night's episode of Supergirl

That episode was incredibly female centric but more so than that, 4 key players in the episode (Lillian, Cat, Rhea and the President) were women over 50 years old.

It’s rare enough to get a woman over 50 on TV at all, more rare it is to have that woman be a key player in the plot line.

Having 4 female characters, all completely different and amazingly complex in a show and have them all be incredibly important to the story is unheard of.

What Your Favorite Lackadaisy Character Says About You

Atlas May: You watched Twin Peaks to find out who killed Laura Palmer and were severely disappointed that it became a show about surrealism and coffee slurping FBI sweethearts.

Mitzi May: You have had it up to the rafters with all the men in your life and spend your evenings drinking alone listen to Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, and/or Halsey.

Viktor Vasko: You had a sexual awakening when you saw the buff tigers from Zootopia and weep every night that you will never be held in the rippling arms of a feline lumberjack.

Mordecai Heller: You’re holding out for a Kylo Ren redemption arc and have reblogged a picture of Peridot and tagged it “me”.

Wick Sable: You are the most boring person in your friend group and have yet to accept that your only role is to sigh and pull your hair at the sight of their wacky antics.

Ivy Pepper: You are subscribed to at least one makeup tutorial YouTube channel, and your friends are always complimenting the clothes you either made yourself or bought at a thrift store.

Rocky Rickaby: You are a current or former theater kid who is still reeling with embarrassment over the the times you ruined your chances at romantic love by being an overbearing fuckup. 

Calvin “Freckle” Murray: Your blog is full of memes about living with mental illness and using abstract gallows humor as a coping mechanism. 

Edmund Church: You’ve eaten monopoly money before. 

Lacy Hardt: You’re working in retail and hating every hellish moment of it.

Dorian “Zib” Zibowski: You either have an unyielding fetish for musicians, or are a musician with an unyielding fetish for yourself.

Nina McMurray: You reblog sexual posts telling people to love Jesus and to go to church.

Horatio Bruno: You have the comic where Alfred beats up Superman framed on your wall.

Dr. Quackenbrush: You have a McElroy level obsession with horses.

Captain Kehoe: You listen to nothing but Jimmy Buffet.

Dominic Drago: You romanced Nick Valentine in Fallout 4.

Mrs. Babka: You, without a hint of irony, cried when nobody came to eat PawPaw’s burgers.

Virgil: You know how the comic will end, and you know he’s a key player in the events to come.

Nicodeme Savoy: You fantasize about dating a country boy but are painfully aware that real country boys are belligerent idiots at best and racist homophobes at worst.

The Pig Farmers: You are a real country boy.

Serafine Savoy: You are part of witch tumblr and channel all your magical energies into destroying the gender binary and cursing Donald Trump.

The Arbogasts: When playing RPGs, you give up on the main quest and decide to raise a family and grow crops, only picking up a weapon to defend against bandits.

Asa Sweet: You are a contrarian that everybody dreads being around.

4

Black History Day 3: Cab Calloway.

Cab Calloway was groundbreaking as one of the first African-American musicians to be prominently featured on film. His work with the “Betty Boop” cartoons (as seen above) was legendary because it was basically the grandfather of what we know now as motion capture animation. They recorded Cab singing and dancing (dancing which included an early version of the moonwalk so take that Michael Jackson) and they TRACED HIS MOVEMENTS FRAME BY FRAME to translate them into the character he was playing. None of that unitard covered in ping-pong balls mess. Painstaking frame by frame tracing to capture his motions. You can watch full length versions of the Betty Boop cartoons featuring Cab Calloway pretty easily. I think they’re all on YouTube and they’re in the public domain so they’re easy to find and download. The names of the cartoon shorts are “Minnie the Moocher”, “Snow White ”, and “The Old Man of the Mountain”.
So go watch them now and appreciate a hard-working black musician who pioneered the jazz genre and was a key player in animation advancement.

me yesterday: still love the x files but i think i might be getting over my obsession

me right now: i’m the key figure in an ongoing government charade, a plot to conceal the truth about the existence of extraterrestrials. it’s a global conspiracy, actually, with key players in the highest levels of power and it reaches down into the lives of every man, woman, and child on this planet. so, of course, no one believes me. i’m an annoyance to my superiors, a joke to my peers. they call me “spooky.” spooky mulder, whose sister was abducted by aliens when he was just a kid and now he chases after little green men with a badge and a gun shouting to the heavens or to anyone who will listen that the fix is in, that the sky is falling. and when it hits, it’s gonna be the shit storm of all time.

Dungeon Crafting: Puzzle Dungeons

image source: Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

Now, I don’t know if you people have seen Mark Brown’s miniseries on YouTube known as Boss Keys, but it’s pretty great. It picks apart and analyzes some of my favorite dungeons from the Legend of Zelda games and finds out what makes a dungeon a Zelda dungeon. I have always loved these dungeons because they have a lot of density and force you to explore the space slowly and think your way through its puzzles. Definitely check out Boss Keys. From what I learned from those videos plus my own experiences as a DM, I’m going to try and detail how to create a Zelda-like puzzle dungeon. There are a few hallmarks that you should hit on:

Dungeon Density

Each area in the dungeon should be complex. It should have several things to interact with in each room other than the monsters or guardians. Everything doesn’t have to be immediately useful or usable, but it should provide context for the dungeon. For ideas, think what the dungeon was used for and research what sorts of things might be in an ancient tomb, lost temple, or forgotten keep. Have certain puzzle elements stand out. A good example from the Legend of Zelda is the eyeball above a closed door. I would stray away from that type of “puzzle” as it’s very well-known, I assume, that you have to hit the eye to open the door. On the other hand, a well-known puzzle like that could signal to the players that this is going to be one of “those” dungeons.

Making a dungeon complex and dense will mean that you have less rooms to populate, and will make it feel robust and well-used. It will also give a feeling of slight confusion for the players as they try to organize all of the information you’re giving them, but as the dungeon progresses, they can pick and choose which parts of the dense dungeon are integral to solving the dungeon!

Hub Areas

With all of that dungeon density I’ve been talking about, it’s good to have some sort of hub area. It could be a large room, a safe sanctuary, or have some overbearing landmark for players to imprint on. This will be the main part of the dungeon that they remember and can rely on. They will pay the most attention to this hub. So if this hub is a main part of solving your dungeon puzzle, they will notice changes made to the room very easily. For instance, a hub room could be a gaping chasm with bridges that seem to be mechanical. When certain levers in other parts of the dungeon are pulled, some pathways in the hub open up and some close off as the bridges ascend, descend, or turn. Back in my post about dungeon tempo, this creates a nice rhythm for players to always come back to a room that they’ve cleared and notice progress.

Branching Paths

Branching paths are a key part of puzzle dungeons. Don’t have a dungeon that is all one path that railroads players to the end of the dungeon with a puzzle for each room. Players need to be able to explore and discover the available paths in the dungeon and find the path for themselves. In the Boss Keys miniseries I mentioned, Mark constantly differs Legend of Zelda dungeons by whether they make you find a path versus making you follow a path. I personally enjoy finding the path and I think most players do too. It is key in creating what are known as…

A-Ha Moments

An a-ha moment is not that feeling you get when listening to Take On Me, but it’s pretty close. It’s that feeling a player gets when they figure out a puzzle by suddenly putting two and two together. There are a few aspects to create this in dungeon and level design:

  • Foreshadowing: implying that one part of the dungeon must be revisited later or implying something further in the dungeon exists. Laying this groundwork puts thoughts in players’ heads to help them markedly acknowledge that it’s okay to leave this area, because something lies ahead.
  • State Changes: the environment of the dungeon or its parts changes based on the actions of the players. This is the “puzzle” part of the a-ha moment. Pressing a button to change gravity, move a pylon, or change water levels can would count as a state change. Even acquiring a key item that can affect the dungeon or the players’ movement would count (see Link’s Pegasus Boots, Hover Boots, Silver Gauntlets, etc.)
  • Backtracking: After the state change, the dungeon has shifted. Some areas that were once inaccessible can now be accessed, and areas that were once open have closed off. This forces the players to backtrack. Where do they backtrack to? The place that foreshadowed the backtracking.

How does this look in practice? Let’s make an example:

The players enter a dungeon and quickly make it to a hub area with four doors. three of the doors have a bridge extending from it to a central platform. The platform and bridges are 100 ft. above a pit of spikes, which are very satisfying to kick the kobolds in this room onto. Once players tire themselves of punting kobolds, they notice that the central platform has a large plinth with a stationary mirror set into it. The mirror is facing one of the directions of the bridges. The mirror can’t be easily moved without tools, and it has no apparent use yet. The players move on to one of the doors connected by the bridge.

The players go through several chambers, fighting monsters and avoiding traps, when they find a room with a lever in it. When pulled, they hear a low rumbling and grinding of stone elsewhere in the dungeon. When they return to the hub room, the central platform and bridges have rotated, allowing passage to the door that didn’t have a bridge leading to it before.

Down this new route, the players find a stone button with an angel relief on it. After pushing a huge rock onto it, they hear another rumbling. On returning to the hub room, an angel relief is now visible on the wall as a stone slab has moved away to reveal it.

The yet unexplored room is still accessible by the bridge, and after exploring down that path, the players find a crank near a gilded relief of a sun. The crank opens up a sunroof in the hub area. The sun (if daytime) shines light onto the central mirror in that room, which then reflects it out in one direction. The only problem is, the beam of light from the mirror isn’t facing the way the PCs want (towards the revealed angel relief in the hub area).

Realizing that they need to point the mirror so the light shines on the angel relief, they must backtrack to the room with the lever that rotates the bridges and mirror until the mirror is oriented the way they want.


This example has density. It’s essentially four rooms with all the things they need to solve a puzzle in the hub area (the central room with the bridges). It could use more density though with more puzzle intertwined throughout some filler rooms or with more things to do in each room; I was light on description for the purpose of the example. It has three branching paths (four if you include where they entered from). The mirror foreshadows a light puzzle, and the sun icon foreshadows the opening of the sunroof. The bridges, angel relief, and sunroof all exist in the hub area and change states based on the players’ actions in the rest of the dungeon. Players have to backtrack to the room that changes the bridge orientation so they can rotate the mirror to face the right direction. This is a fairly simple puzzle, but in the context of a session of D&D where the story less shown and more told, it can prove more difficult. Keep all of these factors in mind when making a puzzle dungeon, and don’t forget to watch Boss Keys!

The "cursed" Die

So we have a dragonborn barbarian, elven rune mage, elven rogue (me), and a tiefling sorceress. We’ve decided to help the lord of the city reclaim it after a series of events caused him to lose and and came to make a report.

Bieri (dragonborn): *attempts to open locked door, decided to break it down*

Nok (rogue): No Bieri just open it. *rolls 16+9 lockpicking, goes inside* See it’s open.

Fia (mage): I thought it was locked.

Nok: it’s open.

DM: It’s a cluttered hovel, there are papers strewn everywhere and a desk shoved along a wall to the side near a bed.

Nok (ooc): I can loot the place right? *perception 17+5*

DM: you find a bottle of Dragon’s Blood Ale with gold leaf on it in the desk. As it turns out, that’s actually a thing, not a scam.

Alcohol is still illegal in this town.

Nok: Here Nell (sorceress) hold on to this for me.

Fia: I don’t think Sunama is here right now.

We leave

Nok (ooc): I can lock the door again using the lock picks right? *Nat 20*

DM: OH COME ON, I SWEAR THAT DIE IS CURSED! IT ONLY HAS TWO SIDES, YES AND TWENTY!

It should be noted that this has become a common occurrence for my rolls in this campaign.

Nok (ooc): So I lock it right?

DM: YOU DON’T JUST LOCK IT, YOU CHANGED ALL THE TUMBLERS WHILE YOU WERE AT IT!

Nok (ooc): not my problem *sneaks off, 19+9*

Later we would return to find that Susama broke his own door down when the key stopped working.

3

John Oliver: Trump’s Russia scandal has the intrigue of Watergate, except everyone is incompetent

John Oliver has a new shorthand for President Donald Trump’s ongoing, multilayered Russia scandal: “Stupid Watergate.”

“It is not clear what is really going on here yet, although one possibility is that this all amounts to what I’m going to call ‘Stupid Watergate,’” Oliver said on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight. “A potential scandal with all the intrigue of Watergate, except everyone involved is really bad at everything. And the relevant question isn’t so much, ‘What did the president know and when did he know it?’ as it is, ‘Is the president physically capable of knowing things at all?’”

By Oliver’s telling, every single phase of the Trump-Russia scandal has been brought on by a dumb mistake. He walked through some of the key players of the scandal, all of whom have been the target of questions about whether Trump’s team worked with — — and covered up working with — Russian officials to support Russian interests and manipulate the 2016 election with hacked Democratic emails.

Take Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Most recently, he was brought into the Russia scandal when it was revealed that he misled Congress under oath, telling senators he had no communications with Russian officials when he had in fact talked with Russia’s ambassador twice last year.

But here’s the thing: Sessions wasn’t even asked during the confirmation hearing if he had spoken with Russians. During his hearing, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) asked, “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?” Sessions replied, “I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

“That was an unforced error,” Oliver said. “He wasn’t even asked whether he’d met with the Russians. He just implicated himself out of the blue, which should have been immediately suspicious. If you ask someone how their weekend was, and they say, ‘Well, I definitely wasn’t masturbating into the Slurpee machine at the 7-Eleven,’ you check the fucking security cameras at the 7-Eleven, and you don’t act surprised.”

Other Trump surrogates have also come under fire, including former Trump campaign operative Carter Page. When asked whether he had met with the Russian ambassador in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention, Page responded, “I’m not going to deny that I talked with him. I will say that I never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland. … I may have met him. Possibly. And it might have been in Cleveland.”

Or consider former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. When asked if Trump had financial relationships with Russian oligarchs, Manafort said, “That’s … that’s what he said. I … that’s … what I said. That’s … obviously what our position is.”

“Holy shit,” Oliver said. “That was so unconvincing it probably set off an unplugged polygraph machine just hidden in a closet somewhere.”

To top it all off, Trump’s apparent tactic to distract everyone over the weekend was to claimwith absolutely zero evidence that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign — an idea that may have come from an article published by the conspiracy-laden website Breitbart News.

“I think we can now officially declare that Trump has a worse media diet than the Son of Sam killer,” Oliver said. “And he got all his news from a talking dog who told him to murder.”

What all of this amounts to, Oliver argued, is one of the most incompetent cover-ups — if there is really a cover-up — in the history of presidential scandals. It is, in other words, “Stupid Watergate.”

On the Brits...

I agree with a lot of the sentiment that last night was WeirdTM as realistically imaginable. From start to finish, we got a rare peak behind the curtain in real time. 

But I just want to say that I don’t think this is the end of whatever is going on behind the scenes. I think this was a power play, a strategically brilliant move to embarrass and fluster Simon on TV and in the press, while simultaneously speaking to fans. It was a coordinated effort by the boys and key players around them. 

I still think we’ve got a March-July window to wind things down slowly. And that will include some uncomfortable pieces for us (and for them).

But last night, the message was heard loud and clear, by Simon and by us. 

Now, what’s next?

The accusations of white-washing being leveled at The Great Wall are almost funny because there are only 2 white actors in the movie (both playing European characters) (plus Pedro Pascal), and the rest are Chinese. As the director has stated there five key players in the final victory and four of those characters are Chinese. The movie has a Chinese director. Half the movie’s dialogue is in Chinese. Most of the crew is Chinese. The movie is filmed in China. It’s a Chinese film company partnered with an American film company. The title flashes on the screen in both English and Chinese. The fantasy elements are the movies own but are rooted in Chinese culture. The film is made in a style that incorporates elements of Chinese film making. It’s essentially a Chinese movie that is using Matt Damon to gain access to an American audience. 

People got mad and called this movie racist but it’s easily one of the most Chinese movies to ever get a wide theatrical release in the US. 

Why DaveKat is Narratively Important

Let’s talk about DaveKat because I have nothing better to do!!
So, whether or not you personally ship or agree with davekat, this is just going to be about how, from a narrative standpoint, it is 100% vital to both Dave’s and Karkat’s storylines and personal character arcs, let’s start with:

Knight Class- So, bit of class/aspect analysis because the fact they both Dave and Karkat are both Knights is absolutely VITAL to their character development and their connection to each other. Something Kanaya said, that classpects are not necessarily chosen to suit the strengths of each player but rather to challenge them in a way that is most beneficial to their personal growth? That is completely correct, Dave and Karkat being some of the best examples in the comic. The aspects are the elements which the game, and therefore the universe(s) are made of - literally. Like, these are the constructs out of which the world exists, the building blocks so to speak. However, they also represent more metaphorical concepts, Life=Optimism, Hope=Belief, Heart=Soul, so on and so forth etc. So paired with the Knight class, the active pairing of Maid class, we have to examine how exactly the aspect *applies*. Obviously, being active, the Knight class is self serving (more on active vs passive or knight vs maid specifically if y'all hmu with some asks I’d be happy to explain more in depth), there’s also a metric shitload of symbolism involved in the name. I’ve been reading this comic for almost five years and the sheer amount of symbolism never ceases to amaze me, but the absolutely loaded amount of metaphorical value behind this class has to be in my top 5. The classic “knight” iteration, sword and shield type of deal, is instrumental in the interpretation of how Dave and Karkat wield their abilities and grow as characters. The weapon is obviously the way in which they wield their aspects, but the shield is so much more interesting: it’s their PERSONA. Part of the blatant parallels between Dave and Karkat’s story arcs is how they allow others to perceive them in regard to their own internal struggles, they both put up a persona to protect themselves. For Dave it’s his “coolkid” facade, he doesn’t let others see his emotions, feelings, or motivations because he’s so wrapped up in this delusion of irony and toxic masculinity that he feels it would be a weakness to show himself for what he is, one that could very possibly (at the hands of Bro) get him severely injured at best, dead at worst if he fears for his life which is a distinct possibility. Karkat suffers in a similar way, his persona is this image of the overly aggressive, “shouty/angry” guy, he’s loud and obnoxious because he’s trying to keep people at arms length, similar to how Dave doesn’t let anyone in. Karkat also has similar motivations behind this persona, because of his blood color he knows he will be in immediate danger if people get too close, look to closely, care too much, so if he can shout and seem just as bloodthirsty and aggressive as other trolls, he can both keep them away and keep himself free of suspicion. So, they have their shields, their personas, this is how they protect themselves from the world. Let’s talk about their weapons.

Aspects- As I mentioned above, aspects are the literal elements that make up the world, but also have a more metaphorical meaning. In the same way that Heart=Soul, Dave’s aspect Time is not only literally representative of time, but metaphorically representative of PROGRESSION. Karkat’s aspect of blood is therefore, while literally blood (possibly a reference to his mutation), also more symbolically representative of UNITY. Now, let’s see how those apply to each players personal struggle, because remember that’s the key here, how their classpects tie in to their character arcs. Dave is troubled by his aspect at multiple points throughout the storyline, severely disturbed by dead Dave’s and essentially haunted by the multiple loops he has running, in what is a single day to his fellow beta players likely feels like *weeks* for him, he’s not progressing in the game, he’s running all these loops and doing so much and yet he’s not really going anywhere. He’s like a broken record, if you will. Dave doesn’t see himself as a hero, broken sword symbolism aside because I cannot get into that rn lmao that’s way too loaded and this is long enough, Dave *can’t* see himself as a hero because in his mind, Bro was a hero, and he will never live up to it, so why bother. Easier to just run his loops and do whatever Terezi says because she’s probably right and anyways it’s just easier to do something menial and meaningless that doesn’t move anything forward because he would probably fuck it up anyways, right? Dave is so stuck in the past, haunted by his loops, haunted by the legacy of his Bro, haunted by dead Daves, he is terrified (whether consciously or subconsciously) of moving forward, of Progression. Alternatively, Karkat’s aspect of Blood, or UNITY trips him up in similar ways. Karkat’s relationships are…complicated. It’s been *headcanoned* that he comes across as pale towards most of his friends, because despite how hard he tries to act loud and aggressive, he’s a big softie who cares way too goddamn much about everything. Terezi also represents his biggest struggle with Unity and relationships, he “wanted her in every quadrant like a desperate fool”, and she played along for a while to see if he would settle in any one quadrant, but when he never did she moved on. This is a huge blow to Karkat’s self-esteem, he thought he was being so suave and smooth just like his romance novels and movies, but really he was pushing her away either knowingly or unknowingly. On the topic of his romance novels, his obsession with relationships also shows him trying to compensate (more on this in a sec) for his lack of capability in the area, as if he’s studying them to get a better understanding of how relationships should work because he really has no idea. In his very first conversation with Sollux that we see, he ends by affirming that he hasn’t gone too far right? They’re still friends? Because underneath his loud, obnoxious persona, he’s just acting the way he thinks he’s supposed to in this hyper-aggressive society. Sound familiar? It’s because Dave is doing the same thing. They’re both using their personas to survive, to appear the way they think they should to other people, because when it comes to their aspects, they’re fucking terrified and don’t have a clue as to what they’re really doing.

Storyline Parallels- So, I’ve seen a lot of good analysis of this and I doubt any of what I’m saying will be news to any of you, but I’m gonna put it in my own words as best I can bc this shit is imperative to understanding why DaveKat works so perfectly in the narrative. Dave is obviously working an uphill battle the entire story to overcome the hyper-masculinity (see also: toxic) that his Bro has ingrained in his psyche for 13 years. Not the least of which is some deeply rooted homophobia. Dave fronts constantly, accusing others of being gay, accusing *Karkat* of being gay pretty amusingly. Obviously he pokes at this in other people because he’s so insecure about it in himself, he struggles heavily with his sexuality the way so many pre-teens do, only he’s fighting against a decades worth of anti-gay propaganda basically so there’s no room for him to search within himself too deeply without feeling deeply uncomfortable because obviously that’s Wrong and Bad and that’s not how society works in his world. Similarly, Karkat struggles with the quadrants which is practically unheard of on Alternia. It’s such a clear parallel to human homophobia that like. I’m left speechless when I think about it honestly. Their struggles are so overwhelmingly similar and parallel to each other sometimes I just have to stop and appreciate it. But back on topic, his whole life, Karkat has grown up with this over idealized concept of romance, the quadrants, and he obviously knows something is wrong with himself from an early age. Karkat’s obsession with romance novels is no coincidence, he’s clearly always felt off when it comes to that and so he most likely reached out to these novels and movies to get a better grasp of the quadrants, consuming what was essentially romantic propaganda to overcompensate. The problem is, in studying these works, he latched onto the wrong thing which is so funny to me. He’s reading these trying to understand, to make himself fit into this system because that’s what society is like *cough* heteronormativity *cough* and yet he latched onto quadrant vacillation like it’s the holy fucking grail of romance. Like oh, okay, this is normal? Obviously people do this, as long as they switch within the bounds of the system it’s Okay™ and even romantic in some occasions. Only, this is fiction he’s reading and if you try to apply the logic of romance novels to real life…well, we all know what happened with Terezi. He was constantly pushing the boundaries of vacillation, he was red for her, he wanted to act black on occasion, he cares so much about everyone it’s impossible for him not to be pale, and we see him (though I doubt he realizes he’s doing it) trying to auspistice for her and Gamzee in the pre-retcon timeline by staging a sort of intervention. He “wanted her in every quadrant like a desperate fool” and I don’t understand how people put Karkat into the quadrant system!!! That line is so IMPORTANT, not even taking into account that we know his dancestor, who shared his blood mutation which may have had something to do with his irregularities, loved the Disciple “beyond the quadrants”. It’s. So. Obvious. Karkat is overcoming the stigma of wanting to love beyond the quadrants in the same way that Dave is struggling to overcome the loaded idea behind being Not Straight. They’re both overcoming these extremely similar prospects and it’s an absolutely stunning feat of narrative that as an English major it makes me fucking weak in the goddamn knees like Hussie is a lot of things but this? This is fucking genius. I’ve never seen two characters written together in such an in depth and parallel way before.

Opposites Attract- So we’ve talked about their similarities, let’s talk about their differences and how those differences are also actually poorly disguised similarities. Karkat is obviously a Loud Boy, thats his coping mechanism. He keeps people out and away by being loud and aggressive. Dave needs to cope for similar reasons, to protect himself he needs to keep people out and away but he does it in just the opposite way, he gets quiet. He doesn’t talk about his shit. Sure, he’ll go on the rambling metaphor when the occasion calls, but although he’s always talking he’s never really saying anything. Karkat is an almost compulsive over sharer, like, the boy (bless his heart) has zero filter. Dave will talk your ear off just as well, but I’ll be fuckin damned if he says anything worthwhile outright (his many, many Freudian slips aside). It’s also interesting to note that while I’ve seen people talk about how part of the reason Karkat doesn’t fit into Alternian society is that he’s so human, as its stated in the narrative that after seeing this soft species, that shares his blood color and stupid, stupid compassion, even *Vriska* admits that Karkat seems to fit in better with them than he ever did with trolls, we don’t see the same for Dave? I’ve rarely, if ever, seen the situation flipped, in that Dave was more suited for Alternian society the same way Karkat was more human than troll or at least had severely human aspects. Obviously Dave’s romance is still very human in that he’s a big ol’ fan of monogamy (he and Karkat both faced problems in their relationships with Terezi romantically when she became involved in other quadrants, these boys love monogamy I’ll fight), but his upbringing? Yikes. Lusii are supposed to, while still protecting their trolls, prepare them for the harsh and violent world. Whether they had to kill other trolls and Lusii to feed them, or learn how to fight to fend off other trolls on their own, there was a shit ton of fighting in their pre-pubescent years. Trolls are a hyper aggressive, violent species that learn to fight basically as soon as they can walk, which is exactly what Bro did to Dave. Dave could fight practically from the second he crawled off the meteor, I doubt a day went by without a sword in his hand for some reason and god knows he suffered through enough strifes. Both boys were brought up just thoroughly *wrong* for their societies in a way that ensured they would never feel like they truly fit in.

Finally, Romance- In the final culmination of all this, let’s actually talk about how they work together as a couple. So, they have this overwhelmingly similar upbringing and life experience, what happens when they finally meet up? Dave thinks it’s hilarious that Karkat is always yelling, “get a load of this guy I was telling you about, Rose”, and while I have no doubt he thought Karkat’s shitfits were the funniest thing since Colonel Sassacre, there had to be a part of him that was just in awe of how someone could be so free with their emotions. Like, he’s angry? And you know it the second he walks into a room?? This is an entirely new concept to Dave, my son, who grew up with an insanely passive-aggressive psychopath who would sneak up on him and fight him with a crazy fucking puppet like what the fuck?? Dave has always had to be on edge at home, Bro was quiet so you never knew when he was upset and you never knew when he was coming for you. With Karkat, that’s such a non-issue it’s like the issue dined and dashed, no bill and no tip, vanished into the wind. You can hear Karkat stomping down the hall five minutes before he even gets into the room, and once he gets there oh boy he will Let You Know What The Problem Is. Why is Dave always provoking Karkat? Literally just to hear him yell because it’s so goddamn refreshing to know exactly with 100% certainty what someone is thinking, no irony, no bullshit, just genuine fucking refreshing annoyance. And for Karkat, well here’s the guy he’s always wanted to be, right? Cool and suave, the romcom hero who could smooth talk the paint off a wall. Only, Dave isn’t actually cool in the way he pretends to be, he’s not this smooth suave hero, he’s not even just a hero. He can’t be. He’s just…a kid. A kid like Karkat who has issues like Karkat and talks just as much when he’s nervous as Karkat and he’s relatable even though he’s trying not to be. He’s trying so hard to be what society wants from him he wants to be the tough guy with the sword but he’s just so not and that’s so refreshing! Karkat realizes he’s not the only one who’s trying to live up to some buttfuck impossiblestandards and he realizes…that’s okay. He doesn’t have to be anything he’s not. And they figure that out together.

So pardon me if I don’t understand how you can put Dave with John, or Jade, because they don’t fit. The narrative literally doesn’t benefit in any way for them to fit, and if it’s your personal preference then by all means go for it who am I to stop you, but there is no benefit to them being together. They will not grow from it, John is explicitly someone who doesn’t seem to focus or care much about romance even? And Jade has no concept of anything Dave has gone through, she couldn’t even begin to understand. Same with Terezi and Karkat, or Gamzee and Karkat or John and Karkat or whatever, Terezi likes quadrants. They make sense to her and she enjoys them, Karkat cannot bring himself to deal with with that and they’re so much happier as just friends. I’m not even getting into Gamzee, I’m not even gonna dip my toe into that discourse because everyone likes different characters for different reasons and I won’t begrudge you of that so I’m just gonna stay away. So again, if you ship those then that’s fine! Go for it! This is just an analysis of why the narrative, in my personal perspective, supports DaveKat and why I personally think they are good and healthy for each other and help each other grow as people.

The Golden Ratio and Secret Geometry in Nature

These wonderfully symmetrical plants show the fractal nature of math, physics and the universe. Could this be evidence of sacred geometry? “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” -Albert Einstein

The Golden Ratio, or Fibonacci sequence, is everywhere. It can be found in ancient architecture, in some of the world’s most beloved artwork (such as the Mona Lisa), and most definitely in nature. It’s for this reason that the intriguing sequence, which begins as 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on forever, has fascinated mathematicians, scientists, designers, and artists for centuries. 

Leonardo DaVinci, for instance, was known to use the Fibonacci sequence in his masterpieces because the pattern is aesthetically pleasing. Is it a coincidence that the ratio can be seen from a micro to macro scale in all biological systems, and even in inanimate objects? Clearly, there’s much to learn about sacred geometry and inherent order in the universe. 

 Some theorize that the phi ratio (phi = 1.61803…) is evidence that nature is inherently perfect, and that when mankind strays away from the natural law, sickness and imbalance occur. While the Golden Ratio doesn’t account for every structure or pattern in this world and others, it most certainly is a key player.

7

the year is 1952. seventeen year old waylon park lives in colorado with his parents, is an only child. his parents are working as medical researchers in the murkoff hospital at mount massive, only for a freak accident to kill them. waylon’s only other living relative is his uncle residing in the sleepy town of black creek close to the same hospital. and so, against his better wishes, in february waylon officially makes the move to black creek and starts his new quiet life. or at least it seems as such. but nothing about black creek is quiet.

6

“Watching someone genuinely say I’m going to change the world to better suit my needs as opposed to change myself to fit in with society is something that’s quite compelling. […] That place is safe in a theatre, in a book, its safe in fantasy and safe in the symbolic playing field of the mind. Soon as it becomes a real thing and the consequences are genuine, then it no longer has the same compulsion, no matter how charismatic that world is, these players are, or these key figures…”