Replaying EarthBound made me realise that retro games have existed pretty much since the moment that “retro games” was a meaningful concept.

No, seriously. Like, look at the soundtrack. EarthBound didn’t have to have music made up largely of synthesised drone and chiptune bleeps - the Super Nintendo was capable of producing naturalistic instrumental sounds. Indeed, EarthBound actually uses them in places - sometimes it even flips from chiptune bleeps to naturalistic instruments mid-track for dramatic effect. (Check out this track for a great example - the transition is around 0:53.)

The deliberately limited colour palettes and low/no-animation sprites get in on the act, too. Heck, even the user interface plays around with retro aesthetics; it’s got one of those old-school CRPG UIs where you have to stand next to whatever you want to interact with, then bring up the menu and select the appropriate action from a list of verbs - except not really, because it also has a context-sensitive “interact” button that just picks the most appropriate action for you, in the mode of modern CRPGs. The whole antiquated interface is purely for effect.

And this was still early in the Super Nintendo’s lifecycle - it went into development at about the same time the console first hit the shelves. Literally the very moment it was possible for ironically retro NES aesthetics to be a thing, somebody went and made a game with ironically retro NES aesthetics.


Charles Sprague Pearce (1851–1914, United States/France)

Rural paintings

Pearce was an American artist, working in the Naturalist style of Academic realism. He is best-known for his depictions of French peasants at work and rest.

going on someones blog and their description is like “lesbian separatist, naturalist, gender skepticist” and youre here like that zach galifianakis algebra gif trying to determine whether theyre talking about actual stances or just dont wanna write “terf” in there

10 characters I would kiss (in no particular order)

Tagged by @darling-bucky ily

1. Obi-Wan Kenobi (he deserves endless kisses)
2. Qui-Gon Jinn (I’d have to climb him like a tree and it would be WORTH IT👌)
3. Steve Rogers (he’d probably blush and I would die)
4. Bucky Barnes (more endless kisses)
5. Cody (so many kisses bc he deserved better)
6. Anakin Skywalker (just one bc he fucked up but it wasnt really his fault)
7. Tahl [Star Wars Jedi Apprentice] (she’s as tall as Qui-Gon so it’d be a Challenge but she deserves kisses for being kick ass)
8. Thor (Lordy 👏)

Tagging: @gwinny3k @the-last-hair-bender @obaewankenope @fighting-naturalist @statichawkins @punsbulletsandpointythings @poplitealqueen @dalishwolfhound (no one is obligated; just curious!)

Starter for @bakingfox

Quinn nodded as he picked up the can of whipped cream, waiting for the pie.  “So, Gid, I got a place down the road, if you’re interested in massages.” He leaned against the counter.

“If you are, I can get you a discount, but fair warning? It’s a naturalist club.” He shrugged.

Opal’s Enclosure

Opal lives in a 3 x 2 x 2 custom enclosure that I designed and built. Her substrate is bioactive. There’s about an inch and a half of Growstones at the bottom for drainage, on top of which sits 5-8 inches of top soil, peat and coir, with a little shredded sphagnum moss and charcoal thrown in the mix. Over that goes dried leaf litter and bits of bark and moss. My cleaner invertebrates are isopods and springtails. They’re still in the process of getting fully established, so I spot clean any waste and will continue to do so until I see evidence that they can deal with it quickly.

For heating I use an 80W radiant heat panel on a Hydrofarm thermostat. Surface temperatures range from 88-90F directly under the panel to 78-80F under the hide on the cool end. Lighting is a 6500K LED bar on a 12h timer. I also have some colour-variable LED strip lighting for night viewing, but I usually leave it off overnight so I don’t disrupt her day/night cycle too much.

Six vents, three up high and three lower down, provide ventilation and keep the air circulating a little bit.

Plants have been a trial-and-error experiment to see what adapts well to the conditions in the vivarium (and Opal’s exploring). A lot of common tropicals don’t actually do very well in constant heat, and others need a lot of air circulation. The plants that are thriving and putting out new growth right now are Dracaena compacta, Maranta leuconeura (prayer plant), Pilea cadieri, Pilea depressa and Gibasis geniculata (bridal veil plant). Plants that are not doing so hot include Wandering Jew (oddly? I might try it again in another location because this one surprised me) and a couple fern species. Species that died almost immediately include Peperomia puteolata, Hypoestes phyllostachya (polka-dot plant) and a patch of golden club moss. Fortunately I have a couple good sources for plants and they were all $2-$3.

Before adding a new plant I bareroot it and wash it well to avoid introducing any pesticides or other unpleasant chemicals.

The enclosure has been up and running now for almost three months and I’m really happy with it. The substrate smells as fresh as it did when I started and it’s been a lot of fun observing and cultivating a dynamic environment for Opal. She gets a lot of great sensory stimulation as well as the opportunity to do plenty of fun snake things like climb around and hide under leaves. I see evidence most mornings that she was out messing with stuff in the night.

She’s always been a flawless eater and continues to be. The bioactive set-up is terrific for humidity, too, so no trouble with sheds. It usually sits somewhere between 70%-85%.

If you have any questions about my set-up feel free to ask! I like talking about it! If you wanna see more about the particulars of construction I put together this build journal a while back.