local nationals

Since it aired, I’ve felt uncomfortable with Harry’s statements about equality in the Quotidien interview and the resulting posts/articles about it, but I needed to step back and figure out WHY it made me feel that way.  There was something about his language that immediately rubbed me the wrong way and to see how his statements have been used as some kind of great moment of activism has only added to my discomfort.

As a human rights worker, I spend every day trying to raise awareness and understanding of rights, to ensure that they are implemented properly in my country, and to establish effective forms of redress when there are rights violations.  At the core of my value base is a belief in social justice, equality and non-discrimination, human dignity and human rights.  In my ideal world, these would be fundamental truths for all people, but I recognise that, despite living in a relatively wealthy, developed nation, these are simply not realities for a large section of the population.  The children and families I work with are facing poverty, mental health issues, family breakdown, discrimination, immigration difficulties, violence, trauma and neglect.  For them, the idea of equality is directly connected to politics.  The decisions made at local and national levels impact directly on their day-to-day experiences and their ability to ensure that their basic needs are met.

By stating that equality is something removed from politics, Harry demonstrated his privilege.  As a wealthy and influential white man, he has privilege that allows him to remove himself from the political discourse of inequality and discrimination that define the lives of many others.  That is not to say that Harry has not faced issues like those I mentioned above, but he has resources and connections that others can only dream of so that he doesn’t need to make his ‘fundamental’ beliefs about politics.  

To me, his statement was not inspirational or demonstrative of a greater passion for and awareness of the issues that are impacting on our society today.  It came across as a vague, ill-informed platitude, and when it is being used to generate headlines, it demonstrates just how low the bar is set for him.  Celebrities often use their status as a platform to raise awareness of causes or issues that are important to them.  They are able to speak in specifics, demonstrating a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the topic.  This is not what happened at Quotidien.  In between a series of ‘ums’ and ‘I don’t knows’, Harry cobbled together a sentence to avoid a question he wasn’t comfortable answering. 

This was not an example of activism.  It was an example of not being aware of one’s own privilege.  I would call out my friends and colleagues for making similar vague, ignorant statements, so I won’t hesitate to do so when a celebrity does it, especially when the fandom is holding it up as something to be applauded.  I felt Harry’s statement was dismissive of the reality of people’s lived experience.  Equality is directly connected to politics (and Politics).  Ignoring that only makes the issues we face more difficult to overcome.

Legally a house can be haunted and failure to disclose that the property is haunted can constitute fraudulent misrepresentation and is grounds for recession of contract. Meaning poltergeists are legally treated the same as termites or other pests.

This sounds like a cryptid post but this is actual U.S. case law

The issue came up in a case where a family bought a house and later discovered it was on a ghost tour. The buyer had no way of knowing the house was haunted since that’s no something buyer’s usually ask, but the previous owner knew and should have disclosed it. Since the owner had reported paranormal activity in both local and national publications describing at length how  haunted the house was court decided they couldn’t very well say there’s no such thing as ghosts now.

This resulted in legal president that recognizes the existence of haunted houses. Also the court’s opinion is probably the most entertaining legal opinion you will ever read.

This post does not constitute legal advice 

The Goiânia accident

The Goiânia accident was a radioactive contamination accident that occurred on September 13, 1987, at Goiânia, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, after an old radiotherapy source was stolen from an abandoned hospital site in the city. It was subsequently handled by many people, resulting in four deaths. About 112,000 people were examined for radioactive contamination and 249 were found to have significant levels of radioactive material in or on their bodies.

In the cleanup operation, topsoil had to be removed from several sites, and several houses were demolished. All the objects from within those houses were removed and examined. Time magazine has identified the accident as one of the world’s “worst nuclear disasters” and the International Atomic Energy Agency called it “one of the world’s worst radiological incidents”.

What follows in a incredible series of events motivated purely out of ignorance, childish wonder and greed, and the dire consequences this brought to the people involved and the city as a whole:

The accident began when two thieves, Roberto dos Santos Alves and Wagner Mota Pereira, broke into the abandoned and partially demolished Instituto Goiano de Radioterapia (IGR), where they came across a caesium-137-based teletherapy unit.

 They partially disassembled the unit, and placed the source assembly – which they thought might have some scrap value – in a wheelbarrow, taking it to Alves’s home, and once there, they began dismantling the equipment. That same evening, they both began to vomit. Nevertheless, they continued in their efforts. The following day, Pereira began to experience diarrhea and dizziness and his left hand began to swell. He soon developed a burn on this hand in the same size and shape as the aperture – he eventually had partial amputation of several fingers. 

On September 15, Pereira visited a local clinic where his symptoms were diagnosed as the result of something he had eaten, and he was told to return home and rest. Alves, however, continued with his efforts to dismantle the equipment. In the course of this effort, he eventually freed the caesium capsule from its protective rotating head. His prolonged exposure to the radioactive material led to his right forearm becoming ulcerated, requiring amputation.

On September 16, Alves succeeded in puncturing the capsule’s aperture window with a screwdriver, allowing him to see a deep blue light coming from the tiny opening he had created. He inserted the screwdriver and successfully scooped out some of the glowing substance. Thinking it was perhaps a type of gunpowder, he tried to light it, but the powder would not ignite.

On September 18, Alves sold the items to a nearby scrapyard. That night, Devair Alves Ferreira, the owner of the scrapyard, noticed the blue glow from the punctured capsule. Thinking the capsule’s contents were valuable or even supernatural, he immediately brought it into his house. Over the next three days, he invited friends and family to view the strange glowing substance.

On September 21 at the scrapyard, one of Ferreira’s friends succeeded in freeing several rice-sized grains of the glowing material from the capsule using a screwdriver; Alves Ferreira began to share some of them with various friends and family members. That same day, his wife, 37-year-old Gabriela Maria Ferreira, began to fall ill. On September 25, 1987, Devair Alves Ferreira sold the scrap metal to a second scrapyard.

The day before the sale to the second scrapyard, on September 24, Ivo, Devair’s brother, successfully scraped some additional dust out of the source and took it to his house a short distance away. There he spread some of it on the cement floor. His six-year-old daughter, Leide das Neves Ferreira, later ate a sandwich while sitting on this floor. She was also fascinated by the blue glow of the powder, applying it to her body and showing it off to her mother. Dust from the powder fell on the sandwich she was consuming; she eventually absorbed 1.0 GBq, total dose 6.0 Gy, more than a fatal dose even with treatment.

Gabriela Maria Ferreira had been the first to notice that many people around her had become severely ill at the same time.

On September 28, 1987 — 15 days after the item was found — she reclaimed the materials from the rival scrapyard and transported them to a hospital. Because the remains of the source were kept in a plastic bag, the level of contamination at the hospital was low.

In the morning of September 29, 1987 a visiting medical physicist used a scintillation counter to confirm the presence of radioactivity and persuaded the authorities to take immediate action. The city, state, and national governments were all aware of the incident by the end of the day.

News of the radiation incident was broadcast on local, national, and international media. Within days, nearly 130,000 people swarmed local hospitals concerned that they might have been exposed. Of those, 250 were indeed found to be contaminated— some with radioactive residue still on their skin— through the use of Geiger counters. Eventually, 20 people showed signs of radiation sickness and required treatment.

Ages in years are given, with dosages listed in grays (Gy).

Fatalities:

  • Leide das Neves Ferreira, age 6 (6.0 Gy), was the daughter of Ivo Ferreira. When an international team arrived to treat her, she was discovered confined to an isolated room in the hospital because the hospital staff were afraid to go near her. She gradually experienced swelling in the upper body, hair loss, kidney and lung damage, and internal bleeding. She died on October 23, 1987, of “septicemia and generalized infection” at the Marcilio Dias Navy Hospital, in Rio de Janeiro. She was buried in a common cemetery in Goiânia, in a special fiberglass coffin lined with lead to prevent the spread of radiation. Despite these measures, news of her impending burial caused a riot of more than 2,000 people in the cemetery on the day of her burial, all fearing that her corpse would poison the surrounding land. Rioters tried to prevent her burial by using stones and bricks to block the cemetery roadway. She was buried despite this interference.
  • Gabriela Maria Ferreira, aged 37 (5.7 Gy), wife of junkyard owner Devair Ferreira, became sick about three days after coming into contact with the substance. Her condition worsened, and she developed internal bleeding, especially in the limbs, eyes, and digestive tract, and suffered from hair loss. She died October 23, 1987, about a month after exposure.
  • Israel Baptista dos Santos, aged 22 (4.5 Gy), was an employee of Devair Ferreira who worked on the radioactive source primarily to extract the lead. He developed serious respiratory and lymphatic complications, was eventually admitted to hospital, and died six days later on October 27, 1987.
  • Admilson Alves de Souza, aged 18 (5.3 Gy), was also an employee of Devair Ferreira who worked on the radioactive source. He developed lung damage, internal bleeding, and heart damage, and died October 18, 1987.


Devair Ferreira himself survived despite receiving 7 Gy of radiation. He died in 1994 of cirrhosis aggravated by depression and binge drinking.

Source 

  • Supreme Court of Canada: "Rules that obtaining consent is part of the consultation spectrum the Crown faces when dealing with First Nations on issues that impact rights, title and territory."
  • Justin Trudeau: (2015): "While governments had the right to grant permits, only local communities — including First Nations — are able to “grant permission.”.
  • Justin Trudeau: (early 2016): Adopts the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People (which states the right of Aboriginal groups to “free, prior and informed consent” on economic projects in their territories.
  • Justin Trudeau: (late 2016): “No [First Nations], they don’t have a veto (on industrial projects in their territories).”
  • Justin Trudeau: \_(ツ)_/¯
calling gentile allies

I’ve seen multiple posts on my dash just today about the JCC bomb threats and how they’re affecting the Jewish community, and I thought of an idea that gentile allies can help to alleviate some of the heightened anxiety and isolation that a lot of people are feeling right now. Raising awareness is great, but you know what’s also great? Getting to know your neighbors.

So here’s an idea: if you aren’t Jewish, look up whether there is a JCC or synagogue near you. Then keep an eye out for it in local and national news. If you see that it has received threats recently, take a few minutes out of your day and fill out a postcard or a card, and send it to the main office.

I want to emphasize that it’s best if you focus on local institutions rather than ones that are in another state, because it makes it much more personal. The anonymity of the recent threats is one of the reasons they cause so much fear; no one knows if it’s from someone across the street or across the country. Know that there’s someone nearby who is on your side can help balance out that anxiety. I also think cards are better than, say, phone calls, because it strikes me as potentially nerve-wracking if synagogues and JCCs end up with a rash of unexpected calls after getting a phoned-in bomb threat. And cards are very tangible; you can keep them in the office, put them on a bulletin board, point to them when people are having doubts about whether their community cares.

As for what to include in your message, you can really say anything you want in support and solidarity, but here are some things that might be especially nice for them to hear:

  • “Shabbat Shalom!” (if you think the letter will arrive on a Thursday or Friday; this is the Hebrew for “a peaceful Sabbath,” the traditional greeting in many communities)
  • “Happy Purim” or “Chag sameach!” (Purim is a holiday, happening Saturday March 11 and Sunday March 12 this year–in general, look up a Hebrew calendar and see if there’s a holiday around the time you’re sending the letter. Tisha B’Av and Yom Kippur are “the ones you can’t say Happy [holiday] on.”)
  • some communities are holding rallies after receiving threats–I know there was one in Springfield, MA–so if your community did, and you attended, definitely mention that!
  • “I am a member of [faith organization], and I think it is important for us to stand with you in these times. My organization has participated/hopes to participate in multifaith activities with the Jewish community.”
  • “I have a friend who went to school at her JCC and she always spoke about how much it meant to her, so I want to show my support.”/“My child has a classmate who attends your programs, and they were very concerned about making sure their friend felt safe.”
  • “I read an article your president wrote in the paper, or I heard about a community-wide event that you lead recently. It sounded great and in the future I hope to engage more with my Jewish friends and neighbors.”
  • ***nothing proselytize-y and nothing political beyond the immediate issue. there’s no need to bring Jesus or Israel into this conversation.***

Obviously there’s more to do beyond this. Educate yourself about antisemitism. Combat it in YOUR OWN SPACES, not just when it comes from your enemies. Show up to events organized by Jewish activists. Show up to multifaith events even if they’re not activist spaces–if your local synagogue is pairing up with a church or a mosque/masjid to run a toy drive, watch a movie, eat pancakes, whatever, grab a friend, find someone new, and introduce yourself.

But still, these things can be difficult. They can require spoons, time, transportation, etc. Writing a postcard only requires a writing surface, a writing utensil, a stamp, and two minutes of your time,  and it, too, helps build your community. Even if you don’t have a local Jewish org to support, please reblog and share the ahavah.

anonymous asked:

my gf and I are makin a list of date ideas for the summer do u have any suggestions?? 💓

this is adorable and i would love to see your completed list!

my first suggestion: make a summer scrapbook to document all your adventures! have a page for each bucket list item with photos, funny things that happened, ticket stubs, etc.  

  • try (and fail) several pinterest DIY crafts
  • bring a blanket and attend to a local outdoor concert
  • start a book club between yourselves (i.e. read independently, or out loud to each other, with discussion questions)
  • hide and seek in ikea
  • start a mini herb garden or terrarium
  • beach bonfire with volleyball competition
  • host a dinner party
  • twister with paint (wear white shirts for keepsake)
  • hangout with animals at local shelter
  • make homemade ice cream (i know the salt+shaking method) or popsicles! get creative
  • couples massages
  • build/paint a bird house
  • stay up all night and attend a dawn yoga class
  • kayaking/canoeing/paddleboarding
  • spin art?
  • complete a coloring book together
  • stargaze - download an app or find an online guide
  • draw with sidewalk chalk
  • drive in movie theater!
  • make smores!
  • fly kites
  • hike and picnic at a local national park
  • trip to the beach or lake! bonus: skinny dipping?
  • fruit/berry picking!
  • if you have young siblings/family members: help set up a lemonade stand
  • win each other something at a fair or carnival
  • kiss on top of a ferris wheel
  • scavenger hunt in mall/zoo (could potentially be a group date idea, with couples as teams)
  • water gun or water balloon fight
  • sleep outdoors (real camping, backyard camping, rv camping, trampoline camping)
  • body paint each other
  • buy local produce at farmers market, then bake/cook together
  • tie dye!

“Ran around in the desert last March, catching the last few rays of the sun fading behind the mountains with the most incredible people. This crazy beautiful creative community never ceases to amaze me, and continues to inspire myself and others with life, breadth, and soul — to never forget to keep dreaming. Thankful for creative friendships, new, old, and all to come.” - Allegra Rose Berger
-
Photo by Gabriella Cullyne Gonzalez.

huffingtonpost.com
Doctors want to learn about trans healthcare but lack the training, study shows
Transgender patients, meanwhile, have serious complaints with the care they receive.

A groundbreaking survey was released last week. Developed by the Mayo Clinic and Endocrine Society, it’s the first-ever report measuring American doctors’ “confidence levels and willingness to treat transgender patients.”

It’s a well-known fact that transgender people face huge disparities in healthcare access, from being mistreated or misgendered to not having access to any health services at all. Not surprisingly, the survey of more than 400 clinicians and program directors found that most hormone doctors – 81% – had never received any kind of training on treating trans patients. 

Among program directors, 72 percent said they provide some kind of education on transgender health topics, and 94 percent said this training is important. However, the program directors said they struggled to educate their fellows on these issues because they don’t have enough experienced faculty to teach the subject. […]

Of the minority of doctors who said they did receive training, only 4 percent said they got it during medical school, while only 7 percent said they were trained during their residency. The majority of teachers who received specialization got it during their endocrinology fellowship (58 percent), while 53 percent learned more at local, national or international meetings.

Obviously, a lack of training is no excuse for treating a transgender patient with disrespect (or worse). As more and more trans people come out and seek medically necessary, sometimes life-saving healthcare, it is a doctor’s responsibility to know what steps to take to help, and to take those steps with compassion. It’s time for med schools, residency programs, and doctors who don’t think before they speak to get with the picture. 

I told this story about refugees a couple years ago on Veteran’s Day with a humorous slant. I’m going to tell it again today, unfiltered.

Years ago, on my first deployment to Iraq, I befriended a local boy, Brahim, who would quickly become one of our interpreters. He was able to do so, because the turnover rate for local nationals work with us was enormous. And not because they quit, because they were killed.

Besides the money, we were able to get them to volunteer with us by promising them refugee status in the U.S. if they completed a tour. (But really, I think the chain of command knew that most interpreters wouldn’t make it through their contracts alive.)

Anyway, Brahmin would tell me about all the family members he lost in the conflict–brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, all of em. He told me how he lived in a one bedroom house with 7 people. No clean, power every other week because of the rolling blackouts, etc.

He told me how they did have the basic necessities most days and that him volunteering with us was one of their sole sources of income. One day, I went down to the PX and bought him $20, maybe $30 worth of toiletries. Nbd really. Just didn’t want dude to smell like shit.

When I presented it to him, he cried. Literally bawled his eyes out and said he give his life for me. OVER SOAP. Completely sobering. He spent the next year acting as our liaison, providing us with valuable intel, essentially saving our lives on a daily basis. At 16.

At the end of my tour in Iraq, I knew I was leaving him to die. I knew I’d never see him again. Was just kinda like “take care kid.”

Fast forward 5 years. And I’m flying home to Phoenix to bury my little brother who was brutally murdered. (Gun violence is another subject.)

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I cried my eyes out all the way from Hawaii to Arizona. Fucking brutal. Spend 6 years fighting wars and you don’t expect to get a phone call that your kid brother was randomly murdered in a carjacking. 

Anyway, I land in Arizona and it’s pouring. Hop off and walk down to the taxi stand. (Uber’s weren’t really a thing in 2013.)

I get in the first taxi that pulls up and we’re off. Driver starts to make the standard small talk. Where you from, what do you do, etc. I tell him I just got out of the military and blah blah. He says “oh great. I love the military. You ever travel anywhere?” Tell him, “Sure. Been to every corner of the globe. Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.” He says “Oh! I’m from Iraq! What part?”

I say “Kirkuk, mostly.” And he says “I’m from Kirkuk.” And then gets really fucking quiet. Like awkwardly quiet. Making me nervous quiet.  My first thought is I killed one of his family members and he recognizes me. And now I’m literally getting ready to bail out of the cab.

I see him staring at me in the rear view. I can see the anguish in his eyes. And then he starts to PULL THE CAB TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.

He stops, turns around and says, “Dylan, you remember me? It’s me, Brahim.” And I’m like wtffffff. And just start sobbing. We got out of that taxi off the I10 and Rural and hugged it out on a bridge in the rain on some Notebook shit. I didn’t ever care, man.

So I’m like WTF ARE YOU DOING IN FUCKING ARIZONA?! HOW? MAN WHAT? And he’s like I did my 4 years and they gave me a visa. They gave him some cash and a one-way ticket to the States. Asked him where he wanted to go, and he said where the weather is like Iraq.

So they sent him to Arizona.

5 years after I left him in Iraq and a few days after my younger brother was violently murdered, the universe linked us up again.

Brahim literally saved my life, twice.

Lost one brother, and got another one back. 

(had to share this amazing story here. link to the original twitter thread)

Modern Animorphs AU (part 2)

@jollysunflora : The second half of my complete list of modern AU Animorphs headcanons, approximately one per book.  

28. “Ax,” Marco says, “How come you can roll out ‘venti dulce de leche dark-chocolate frappuchino extra whip’ without batting an eye, but you giggle every time you have to say the word ‘soy’?”

  • “It has so many vowel—owl?—sounds, in so little space,” Ax says.  “That long sssssssssss, so pleasant on the tongue, but then that odd oooyyy ooy-yah?  All in the back of the mouth.  Very strange.  Sssoooy.  Ssususs-oooyaaa.”
  • “Also, he’s moved on from the frappuchinos,” Tobias adds.  “Now he keeps spending all our hard-stolen bitcoins on espresso mack… mach…”
  • “Espresso macchiato con panna,” Ax explains.  “Doppio.”

29. Cassie feels herself sweating as she props the laptop across the room from her, tools laid out and Ax unconscious on the table.  She never expected to find a YouTube video on how to perform brain surgery—and to be honest, it’s actually about “how neurosurgeons perform an orbitozygomatic craniotomy,” not intended to be a how-to manual—but it’s the best she can do under the circumstances, and so she’ll follow along for now.  

MM3.  “That’s the kind of strong leadership we need.”  Jake gestures to the full-color television (this year’s latest model) where a program of their current leader plays on a loop.  “Keeping the wrong kind of people out of this country, saving America for the right kind of Americans.”

  • “Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Rachel says.  She and Tobias and Jake are the only three Animorphs, except when Melissa joins them sometimes, and listening to their “Supreme Leader” blather on gets old sometimes.  “All I want to know is whether it’s true that within a few years people will really have phones that plug into their cars.  That’d be cool.”
  • Tobias rubs his eyes against the silk of his wing feathers.  They itch constantly, since he doesn’t have a gas mask to wear every time he goes out into the pollution-opaque air outside the way that his human friends do.  Jake and Rachel take bets sometimes, idly, brutally, about whether he’s the last raptor left on the face of the planet.
  • “Magnificent!”  Drode appears in their midst, and both the Berensons immediately point guns at his head.

30. Marco is lying on his bed the day after watching Eva fall, staring at a patch of wall above his dresser, when he registers that his phone has been buzzing for a while now.  It goes off so many times he assumes he has to be getting a call, but when he checks his notifications he just discovers he’s gotten seventeen text messages in the last hour.  

  • The first is from “Smurfette,” and says “Did you know that there is a type of food that involves baking a cinnamon bun inside of a donut?  We must secure as many of these as it is possible for a human to consume, as soon as possible!”
  • The next one, from “Hawkgirl,” reads: “found out recently that apparently ax still thinks you invented flea powder.  i told him that if youd invented flea powder wed all be a lot richer right now.”
  • “Team Dad” (not to be confused with “Real Dad,” which is how Marco lists Peter) sent along several invitations to team missions on League of Legends this afternoon, along with a threat to have Cassie play Marco’s avatar if Marco doesn’t join in.  “we both know that by the time you get back you’ll have only healing attacks and she’ll have trained it to apologize automatically for stabbing people,” Jake adds.
  • One of the many texts from “Julia Butterfly Hill” suggests that Jake has underestimated Cassie’s diabolical streak, because it’s a screenshot of a clone of his account which has had its name changed to HarambeWasFramed.
  • The real surprise, however, is the single text from “Xena: Warrior Princess.”  It’s a link to an article about a disaster in the local national park and the efforts to clean up the wreckage of an as-yet-unidentified craft which went down in the canyon.  Marco has to read it a few times to understand the point she’s making, because it’s all about what’s not there: the article makes no mention of any human bodies being found among the wreckage.  
  • Marco gets halfway through typing a reply to them all which informs them in no uncertain terms that he sees through their transparent attempts to cheer him up and doesn’t appreciate it, but he deletes without sending.  He can practically hear his mom’s voice saying it: he can focus on the fact that he’s still surrounded by people who love him, or he can focus on the negative side of everything.  And being constantly negative is no way to live.  

31. “Sharing this again, because its been 3 months,” Jake’s cousin Brooke posts on Facebook.  “Anyone who has any news at all about Saddler, no matter what it is, PLEASE contact my family.  Big brother, I dont know if youre still out there, but I miss you.  I miss you like crazy.”

  • Jake turns up his Spotify’s Offspring channel a little louder to drown out the sounds of Tom and his dad shouting at each other downstairs.  His eyes flinch past Brooke’s post, but they can’t move fast enough to prevent the thought that flashes across the surface of his mind: Is this going to be me a year from now?

32. Tobias texts Rachel and Jake an article from Audubon.Org, where several birdwatchers are going into ecstasies of scientific fascination at the bald eagle and peregrine falcon seen flying in close formation in a cell-phone video taken near a highway overpass downtown.  His only comment is, “Told you so.”

33.  In the aftermath, Rachel does a Google search: “PTSD treatment symptoms outcomes.”  She reads through the WebMD site, the NIMH page, the Wikipedia link to a DSM-5 entry.  She thinks of Tobias’s withdrawn silences, his antipathy toward so much they used to enjoy, but she thinks of other things as well.  How exhausted Jake seems any time they’re not on-mission.  How badly Cassie flinches when the school bell rings and doors slam.  How Ax seems to be gradually losing interest in the things—cooking shows, new condiments, human history trivia, These Messages—that once drew his fascination.  How last week Marco flicked an ant off the back of his hand and then went white like he’d just kicked a puppy.  How good it had felt when she’d hurt David, spreading the pain around, giving it back.

  • She catches an Uber to the clinic downtown, filling out forms in the waiting room based on the checklist written on her phone for “how to get tobias an ssri”: Yes, she often feels tense and worried.  Yes, her heart often races for no reason.  No, she hasn’t thought of ending her life.  No, she doesn’t feel out of control when she eats.  
  • She gets as far as developing a cover story—it’s about how she’s never felt the same since her parents’ divorce—but in the hallway to the office she panics and calls Cassie.  “Am I doing the right thing?” she asks, after she’s explained.
  • Cassie is silent for a long time, never a good sign.  “I’m not sure an SSRI would work on a bird,” she says at last, “and that’s even if we could figure out a dose that would work without killing him.  I know you want to help, and I think you should, but…”
  • Rachel hears what she’s not saying: but what if her mom asks too many questions?  But is this risk really worth it?  But what if the psychiatrist (the receptionist, the pharmacist) is a controller?  But isn’t it them, and only them, against the world, and isn’t that just how it has to be?
  • “The war won’t last forever,” Cassie says weakly, and Rachel hates her a little for it.  “When it’s over, when we get to tell everyone what’s happening…”
  • Rachel hangs up.  She goes home, morphs, and flies out to the woods.  
  • «You know I love you, right?» she asks Tobias later that evening.
  • «Of course I do.»  He sounds exhausted.  She’s never felt more helpless in her life.

34. The Yeerk Peace Movement, as it comes out, has a Twitter feed.  It is rather painfully obvious that it has been set up and run entirely by aliens who are doing their very best to communicate with humans, and not quite succeeding. Most of the posts are couplets, for some reason that none of the Animorphs can fathom.  

  • “Want to be On Fleek? When you see someone’s rights threatened, speak!”
  • “Don’t be a Belieber anymore - end slavery and even the score.”
  • “#tbt: Remember when we were symbiotes?  Give taxxon freedom your sympathy votes!”
  • “Nickelback is super lame, and keeping involuntary hosts is just the same.”
  • “Respect your host’s rights today, and make your human into your bae!”

35. It’s Marco who comes up with the idea for how to take down William Roger Tennant.  This is a guy, after all, whose cockatiels have their own Instagram account: he runs his fame on the internet.  

  • “It’s simple,” Marco explains. “We start a hashtag—#notsonicetennant—and we make it go viral.  All we have to do is film this guy everywhere he goes, and eventually the yeerk will slip up.”
  • It proves not to be simple after all.  Their gif of Tennant twitching madly mid-EPA speech gets overshadowed by the news story about One Direction nearly getting poisoned with spiders at the same banquet. Ax does not understand the concept of hashtag, and keeps adding #notsonicetennant to his retweets of what Marco calls “food porn.” They train one of Tobias’s repurposed GoPros to follow poodle-Marco, but that becomes a meme mocking the world’s most obnoxious stray dog rather than Tennant himself.
  • The plan finally, finally comes off when they pull out all the stops and just confront him in morph.  The smartphones that Rachel rigged up in the surrounding buildings don’t pick up the thought speak, but the audio of Tennant screaming at the aliens to leave him alone comes through just fine.
  • When the scandal breaks, the internet (in truly predictable fashion) drops #notsonicetennant and starts using #tennantgate instead.  
  • Ax reposts an old photo of Tennant eating a quinoa salad—zoomed in on the salad—and tags it #tennantgate.  All of his teammates assure him they appreciate the attempt.

36. “All right, that’s just weird,” Marco says, looking at the final entry in the underwater creepshow they’ve been walking through for the past hour.  “All the other ships have been getting more modern as we’ve gone, but this one?  Looks like it was made in the sixties, at the latest.”

  • «The world’s creepiest museum curators are getting sloppy with the placement of bodies as well,» Tobias points out.  «There’s no way that many people could fit on a boat that small.  They’re practically falling over the sides.»
  • Jake and Cassie look at each other, seeing the same realization reflected in each other’s eyes.  Neither one of them wants to say it out loud.
  • Jake becomes the one to bite the bullet.  “Don’t you get it?”  He points to the ragged clothes, the emaciated bodies, the modern smartphone tucked in among the antiquated radio equipment.  “They were refugees.”

37. Rachel shuts the window on the library computer as soon as she hears someone walk into the room, but she can tell she was too late by the look on Jake’s face when she turns around.  

  • “Roy Ludvig, huh?” Jake says.  “Heck of a name.”
  • “He was at the T.V. studio when we attacked.”  Rachel looks down, picking at her nail polish.  “No civilians were supposed to be in danger.”
  • Jake’s expression softens, as much as it ever does.  “And now you’re scrolling through his Facebook, looking for something that’ll let you sleep at night.”  
  • “He’s got a grandson,” Rachel blurts.  “Jordan’s age.  He…”  She shrugs.  He’s dead, and it’s more or less her fault.
  • “Shouldn’t be looking on Facebook.”  Jake sets his phone on the library table next to her, taps the screen to bring up an official-looking report.  “You should be, say, borrowing my dad’s computer.  Sending an email from his account to ask for the guy’s medical records.  If you had, you’d know that Mr. Roy Ludvig had a heart condition.  That he had maybe a year to live, at most, and doctors said he might die at any old time.”
  • Rachel looks down at the report for a long time, and eventually looks up at Jake.  “Doesn’t make it okay, what I did,” she says.  “He’s still dead.”
  • Jake shrugs.  “You don’t have to forget it ever happened, but you do have to live with it.  Live, and fight another day.”

38. In the aftermath of Estrid’s visit, Tobias is flying over the boardwalk when he sees a henna artist who clearly smokes way too much pot to be a Yeerk. He gets Ax, they morph human, and both get henna tattoos of Elfangor’s name. (Ax had previously expressed an admiration for the human tradition of commemorating a lost loved one by making markings on one’s body.) They know the tats will disappear when they demorph, but they’re both glad they did it. The artist asks how long they’ve been together, and Tobias says in a scandalized voice, “he’s my UNCLE!” Thus, Tobias succeeds in both of his goals: making Ax laugh, and reminding him he has family here on Earth. Honestly, the reminder doesn’t hurt Tobias either.

39. “You know, not all squirrels are like that,” Marco is fond of saying after a morph goes wrong.  “Not all termites are horrifying worker drones.”  Sometimes it’s, “You know, some of my best friends are fleas.”

  • It’s Cassie, however, who gets the last laugh out of that one.  «You know, Marco,» she says as they swim away from the wreckage of the helicopter, «Not all ants are like that, right?  I shouldn’t say that all ants are killers, right?»
  • Marco stares at her in silence while the others snicker, watching him war between the two impulses: to keep the joke going forever, and to express his honest hatred of ants.  
  • «Come on.»  And now Rachel has joined in on the teasing.  «You’re just going to let that kind of besmirching of the ant community stand?»  
  • «Okay, okay!»  Marco gives in.  «Ants suck.  Yes, all ants!»

40. “Our experts have examined the video extensively, and near as we can conclude, this footage is genuine and unedited,” the newscaster says.  “Given how viral this video has proven to be, with over two million views since it was posted to YouTube on Wednesday, everyone wants to know: is this footage proof that aliens exist?  Is this a publicity stunt for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel?  Or, as one YouTube commenter asks, did a Smurf just have sex with a centaur?”

  • «Potential new ally?» Tobias suggests.  He’s already tapping out a search for the original video in his modified tablet.
  • Ax laughs.  «Of course not.  He’s crippled.  A vecol.  Useless.  We must respect the privacy of his isolation.»
  • “You know what?  Fuck that,” Marco snaps.  He shoves to his feet, posture tight with anger.  “Just… Fuck that,” he tells Ax.  “I have ADHD.  Attention Deficit whateverthefuck.  I take a pill every morning to help me function because my brain isn’t good enough to filter stimuli all by itself.  I got a fucking 135 on the world’s most boring IQ test and I’m still failing half my classes.  I’m a vecol.  You think I’m useless, huh?  You gonna start refusing to talk to me because of some bullshit about ‘respecting’ my ‘privacy’?  Huh?”
  • «That’s different,» Ax says.  «You’re not…»  He doesn’t seem to know how to finish that sentence.  
  • «If he’s an exception, I hope I am too,» Tobias says more gently.  «I got screened for anxiety disorders as a kid, and I guess we’ll never know if I qualify or not, ‘cause my aunt decided that doctors cost money and if the test said I needed one then she didn’t want to know about it.»
  • Ax doesn’t answer for a long time.  He doesn’t seem to know where to look.  
  • «Let’s go tell the others what we found.»  Tobias taps a button to send the video to himself.  «We can talk more about this later.»

MM4. Tobias flinches when his phone makes the small ping sound that means he has an alert.  The new kid is the easy target in every school on the planet.  He wonders what it’ll be this time: another Facebook post where the semi-anonymous account Toby IsALoser tags him in another meme about how he has to pay people for sex because the sight of his body would make any normal girl run away screaming, another unnamed Instagram ping telling him he should kill himself so that no one has to look at his stupid fat face anymore, another Snapchat image of a puddle of vomit with the caption “me when I think of you,” an email with the most disgusting gif anyone could find after a quick search…

  • It’s not, though.  It’s an invite to join a private Facebook group, called The Sharing, with several hundred local members.  Most of the names Tobias recognizes are cool older kids from the high school.  Intrigued, willing to trust for the moment that this isn’t some ridiculously elaborate prank, Tobias clicks “join.”  

41. Jake looks around at the enormous open field, concrete pitted with openings and low hovels of corrugated steel and rebar.  He can see for nearly half a mile in every direction before the smog makes it impossible, and the tallest things around are the hunched hork-bajir.  “Where are we?” he asks.

  • Cassie frowns.  “This?  Jake, this is downtown Manhattan.”
  • He gapes at her.  “What happened to it?”
  • “Tall buildings are targets for drone strikes,” she says casually, turning away.  “The only way to be safe was to go underground.”

42. Marco doesn’t bother going to the house of the guy who photographed them, nor does he try to catch the kid before he uploads the video anywhere.  Instead he waits for the image to appear on YouTube, then becomes the first commenter.  “Sweet manip!” he says.  “Is that Photoshop, or can you do that in free programs like Gimp?”

43.  “EarthIsOurs-dot-tumblr-dot-com?” Marco says incredulously.  “What does Taylor do there, post pictures of her pet taxxon?  Reblog plans for planetary domination?”

  • «Judging from her archive history, she’s had this blog for many years,» Ax says.  «She recently changed the domain name, but some of the content on here is from as early as 2008.»
  • Jake and Marco get caught up in debating with Cassie about what exactly to send to her, but Tobias just scrolls quietly through Taylor’s old posts.  She didn’t lie about being beautiful, he realizes, or about being popular.  There’s a long blank period in her tumblr account in mid-2014.  And then she posted one selfie—just one—after the fire.  
  • He can’t bring himself to read the names that the trolls call her, or the discussions about how much money they’d have to be paid to have sex with her.  But there’s no overlooking the suggestions that she kill herself.  The posts are too numerous, too vitriolic.  
  • “Every chick ever to wander onto the internet has gotten that crap,” Rachel says; clearly she’s been reading over his shoulder.  “She should’ve developed thick skin, not joined the Sharing.”
  • Tobias thinks of the Facebook page made at his old school just to discuss the fact that he’s a chubby zit-face, of the posts which eventually overwhelmed his Instagram with death threats.  «Yeah, I guess,» he says.

44.  It takes a long time for Cassie to get home from Australia, but at least they’re not too worried for most of that time; she texts them her location and a brief description of the insanity that landed her in the Outback as soon as she gets in contact with Yami’s family.

45.  “None of this makes any sense,” Peter says.  “I’m hallucinating, or you’re delusional, or else—”

  • Marco sets his phone in Peter’s lap. “Check the timestamp, Dad.  I took that six months ago.”
  • Peter stares at the phone for a long minute, and then slowly looks up at Marco.  At a clear loss for words, he tilts his head back toward the screen.
  • “I know.”  Marco laughs, the sound wet with tears.  “That blond wig looks terrible on her.  But it’s really her, Dad.  I swear.”

46. “So they’re going to get the U.S. embroiled in another war,” Marco says.  “And this one with a country that can actually fight back.”

  • «Seems like,» Tobias says.  «Only why bother with all the secrecy and political wrangling?  Why not just send a couple mean tweets to Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un?  That’d probably do the job just as well.»
  • “No, it wouldn’t.”  Jake runs a hand through his hair, looking around at them all.  “The yeerks need a total war.  Everything the U.S. and its allies can pull out, against everything China and its allies can muster.  Our military has gotten too used to sending drones to fight its wars, to ‘tactical strikes’ against insurgents.  If the yeerks want half the species annihilated, they have to do a lot more than poke a couple of egos.”

47. “News flash,” Marco says.  “Your average suburbanite ain’t gonna accept a seven-foot-tall alien for a neighbor.  You know the number of times my mom’s been asked for proof of citizenship before she was allowed to vote or cash a paycheck or buy a car?  How many times she’s been pulled over by cops while driving the speed limit with her seatbelt on?  And she’s a regular old human being.  Toby’s right—the hork-bajir have a whole other fight coming if we ever win the war.”  

48. Rachel feels the blood drain from her face when she opens the Facebook message and sees the name attached.  David’s Facebook account has been defunct for almost two years now; there’s no one left who would want or even be able to access it from the outside.  Should be no one.

  • Miss me? the message from David’s account says.
  • Who are you? she types with shaking fingers.  What do you want?
  • I know what you did.  I’m coming for you.  I’ve got friends all over the place and they’ll find you.  They’ll kill you.  Amazing the allies you can get, when you know where the bodies are kept.  On the internet, no one knows you’re a—
  • Rachel hits “block.”  She tells herself that the screaming nightmares she has all that night and into the next are the product of having a stressful life, she’s an Animorph for pete’s sake.
  • She doesn’t stop shuddering every time she gets a message for the next two weeks, but she never hears from whoever (It wasn’t David. It couldn’t have been.) it was ever again.

49.  They stagger away from yet another hopeless fight, all of them injured, half of them missing limbs or bleeding to death.  Dragging their damaged bodies behind the first dumpster they find, they demorph, remorph, and force their minds to focus long enough for the long flight home.  It’s only when Rachel is in owl morph, staring around the dimly lit alleyway, that she sees the security camera pointed directly at their location.  

  • «They must not check it that often,» Marco says without much hope.  «Or else they’d be out here already to come looking for us.»
  • «Doesn’t matter,» Tobias says harshly.  «It had a perfectly clear view of all your human faces.  And that building is owned by the yeerks.»
  • They all stare at each other in dull shock as the realization sinks in.  They always knew this moment was coming—they could only be so careful for so long—and yet, on some level each of them hoped it never would.  
  • «Take one more night to be with your families,» Jake says at last.  «We evacuate everyone in the morning.»
  • Jake loses his phone, again, somewhere amidst all the chaos.  This time around he doesn’t bother to replace it.  It’s not like his mom is going to be wondering where he is, not anymore.  

50.  “So,” Jake says, “this is going to sound crazy, but—”

  • “Aliens are invading the planet, and you’re the only kid terrorist who can stop them?” James suggests.  “We do have wifi up here, you know.  You’re Jake Berenson, right?  You’re all over the conspiracy theorists’ forums right now.”
  • “Um.”  Jake runs a hand through his hair, starts again.  “Yeah, pretty much.”
  • James nods.  “In that case, you’ve got thirty seconds to convince me your story’s not a load of crap before I call security.”  

51. Ax secures their wifi in something a billion times better-hidden than Tor.  With that reassurance, they all end up starting blogs.

  • Marco’s is a rambling string of wry comments about everything from the invasion to his parents’ science projects.  Sample post: “Insider source (aka my mom): Visser Three has morphed human and eaten AN ENTIRE BAG OF MARSHMALLOWS in one sitting, ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION.  Pass it on!”
  • Jake’s is the place that people go to find out how they can help, and to get his reassurance that the help means something.  Sample post: “As Barack Obama says, ‘We the people recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom without a commitment to others is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.’  This fight will never be over just as long as we keep supporting each other.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you all for the KickStarter donations.”
  • Rachel’s has beauty tips for the American girl on the run, light and self-deprecating enough that you often don’t notice the undercurrent of desperation.  Sample post: “If you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, try fixing your hair using reflective surfaces such as pots, ponds, or pieces of Bug fighter wreckage.  Alternately, just say ‘fuck it’ and never look at yourself again.”
  • Cassie’s tells people how to stay safe, and how to keep their environments safe as well.  Sample post: “Everyone please remember, it’s important to stock enough food and water for family pets as well as humans when retreating to an apocalypse bunker!”
  • Tobias’s has a lot of good-natured grumbling about everyday life in the valley.  Sample post: “In other news, my girlfriend’s mom is currently arguing with the smartest being on the face of the planet about where to put the new latrine facilities.  Sorry Naomi, but my money’s on Toby.”
  • Ax’s has a lot of food reviews, of course, but again there’s that undercurrent of desperation, almost like he’s trying to convince someone else (or maybe even himself) that humans are worth saving.  Sample post: “Marco assures me that there are no less than 23 distinct flavors contained within every sip of Dr. Pepper.  Just think of the years of experimentation and innovation it must have required to produce a drink which can inspire 23 different reactions from human taste buds, all at the same time.  Truly inspired genius.”

52. They run drills upon drills for what to do in case of a drone strike.  Using any morphs they have that can dig or build—mole, taxxon, elephant, beaver—the Animorphs create an extensive network of tunnels and shelters, posting guards at all times to keep their eyes on the sky.  The hork-bajir valley doesn’t show up on satellite imagery, which they only know thanks to Peter’s definitely-illegal fact-gathering missions on the darkweb, but they don’t know for sure whether an overhead camera would be subject to the same strange perceptual distortions they all experience when flying there as birds.  They nearly lose their precious secrecy when Naomi sends several emails from her work account, claiming she’s being held hostage and asking anyone who will listen to come rescue her.  Eva generates a hasty follow-up from the same account asking people to ignore “the prank that I now realize was in poor taste,” but none of them are sure it worked for the next several days.  

53. Rachel makes one last post on her nearly-extinct Instagram account.  This time the scrap of paper she uses appears to be torn from the back of a food label, but the penciled script is as intricate as ever.  It reads “Who wants to live forever? —Freddie Mercury, 1986”  

54. After it’s all over, Tobias retreats, he hides, but he keeps a thread of communication open.  Cassie shoots him an email with the subject line “Hawk patient with intermittent aggression and lethargy—any idea what could be causing it?”  Marco sends him idiotic memes that now feature the Animorphs’ names and faces.  Ax asks for constant updates on the new wing of Taco Bell being built downtown, and repays the favor by leaking confidential information about the search for the Blade ship.

  • And then he gets one of the stranger emails he’s ever received.  It’s an offer of a full legacy scholarship to Harvard University (which has just found the means to explain some inconsistencies in the records of one “Alan Fangor,” who graduated in the ‘80s) in exchange for Tobias teaching one class per semester on any subject of his choice.  He agrees, with the stipulation that all his classes be online.
  • The resultant course (Ornithology 442: An Insider’s Perspective) is like nothing the students who participate have ever seen before.  Tobias will write out rambling treatises on Why Blue Jays Suck or All the Ways Hawks Are Superior to Eagles with a thought-speak-to-text recorder.  He’ll deliver online lectures from a shaky webcam pointed into a nonspecific tree, occasionally wandering off for hours at a time to go hunting.  Students who ask him personal questions about Rachel get regurgitated mouse skeletons Fed-Exed to their campus mailboxes.  Essays that don’t demonstrate much effort get feedback such as “even I can tell this sucks and I have a seventh-grade education” or “my grandmother could make better sentences than this AND SHE’S AN ANDALITE WHO DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH.”  Assignments include “find one bird fact in a textbook and explain why it’s a load of crap” or “go film a Boston pigeon until it does something interesting, I dare you.”
  • Nevertheless, enrollment is so popular that Harvard has a three-year waiting list and charges students an extra $500 just to sign up.  When Tobias finds out about the extra fee, he promptly video-calls the Intrepid, gives Ax remote access to his computer, and explains why he needs Ax to convert the course illegally to a MOOC.  Harvard University fires him for breach of contract; Yale hires him on that very same afternoon.  

part 1 here 

instagram

This is apparently in the brand new Bears Ears national monument, which some local and national politicians in Utah are trying to have stripped of its monument status.

Rock art fascinates me. The images last thousands, sometimes tens of thousand of years. And even though we don’t share the culture or even the language of the artist, the images still have power.
This panel is carved into the sandstone of Comb Ridge in Southern Utah. It’s part of the new Bears Ears National Monument. The Bears Ears contain over 100,000 archaeological sites. Th e landscape is central to the Dine, Hopi, Ute and Mountain Ute tribes. To see more of my work documentation the deep artistic history of the Bears Ears follow @salvarezphoto (Stephen Alvarez) as I work on a massive project documenting the deep history of art.

Holidays and Cultural Celebrations

Religious Holidays: the original holidays. These are consecrated days or part of a religious festival. These may or may not be celebrated by people not of the origin religion, though when they are it is often in a much different form. Some things a religious holiday may celebrate:
>In honor of the birth or death of prophets
>In honor of the birth or death of divine entities or demi-gods
>In memory or honor of miracles performed
>Days declared holy by the holy scripture; days with special requirements as declared by the holy scripture

National Holidays: holidays legally recognized by the government; often non-working days for government employees, national holidays may also be a day in which non-government businesses also close. Some things a national holiday may celebrate:
>Anniversary of the founding of the kingdom/country/state/town/etc
>Anniversary of important battles, whether local or national
>Anniversary of the birth or death of leaders, previous leaders, or other important figures
>Days to honor living veterans, deceased veterans, and those currently serving the country
>Depending on the government of the land, some religious holidays may recognized as national holidays as well.

Cultural Celebrations: due to the lack of religious or national recognition, these are generally only considered celebrations rather than holidays.
>These may have started out as a religious or national holiday that lost its original intent and transformed into something completely unrelated from its source.
>These may have started out as a random idea by someone who thought it would be fun, and who convinced others to join.
>These may be celebrated in a small area, or among certain individuals in a wider area.
>>A couple of examples: an annual neighborhood barbecue could count as a holiday in that neighborhood; pi day could count as a holiday to math and pie fanatics across the world, while not being a holiday to anyone else.

carpe omnia

pairing: reader x min yoongi

genre/components: very light angst & fluff // yoongi has photographs of everyone and everything he loved, except you weren’t in any of them

count: 3360 words

a/n: because i love photographer!yoongi and cheesy yoongi in general; carpe omnia means to seize it all // © image

Min Yoongi, everyone knew, could find the beauty in all the ordinary.

His hands produced magic within every photograph, with every click and shutter of his lens. He could be found standing in the glow of the afternoon sun, scarf wrapped around his neck, beanie on his head, his camera raised to his face as he attempted to seize the little moments. The short, flitting moments in time that went by unnoticed to most but Yoongi saw otherwise.

“There’s always something in all the nothing.”

That was his philosophy. Photography was the reason you managed to find him. When you saw his photographs displayed in an exhibit, your breath had been knocked straight out of your lungs. There was the depth to his compositions, shadows positioned perfectly to highlight his subjects. They were unedited, you had been reminded by the brochure. All of these photos were untouched. Pure. There was beauty in that fact. Too often you’d find photographs altered to enhance the tiny potential. But Yoongi, instead of relying on human-produced tools, had drawn out the potential of ethereal reality through his lens. This was the reason why you’ve been trailing after his work for so long, trying to pick up the puzzles of every piece he made.

“Do you like it?” A man had stood by your side, headphones hanging loosely around his neck. He looked a little young, fresh-faced.

“I love it,” you smiled honestly.

“Why?” He asked, curiosity in his tone.

You had laughed, biting down on your lip, “I honestly can’t say much about technique since my strength isn’t in photography. But there’s something raw in all of these that just gets to you. Something so incredibly normal about it that makes it a little abnormal. In a good way. Does that make sense?” Turning to face him, you had been taken aback by the look of sheer surprise in his face.

“Good to know someone understands,” he murmured under his breath. Before you could respond, he was already walking away, headphones over his ears. You hadn’t known then that the mysterious, enigma of a man, Min Yoongi had been standing right next to you.

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