been thinking a lot lately about how (for lack of a better word) ugly men are allowed to be, and still be seen as natural and human, versus the forced maintenance of femininity required of women to be seen simply as human and worthy of respect. we live in a society that celebrates male mediocrity and demands constant performance from women, and idk it just really makes me wanna scream


I just did it on my own. I’ve never worked with an acting coach, but my parents had acting classes and I grew up around them my whole life just because I didn’t have a babysitter. I’m actually a very shy person - that’s a big secret, so don’t tell - but being in those classes pushed me to break out of that a little bit. It’s like nature versus nurture: I’m naturally very shy, but I was brought up in a way where I had to get up and get out of that.

“At some point in 2003, this one took place: ‘Wouldn't it be cool if … you got off a train, and standing on the platform, you looked across the tracks and saw yourself. Then, in that moment, yourself committed suicide.’

Yes, that would be cool. But what’s the story? We didn’t know, but that opening was so pregnant with possibility we couldn’t put it down. Who was that other suicidal self? The question led us to our main character Sarah, and then to her clones, rather than the concept of clones leading us to a premise. But clones were rich, made for complex storytelling, covering all the bases for a genre loving writer/director team. Clones offer great visuals, tricky switcheroos, and technical production challenges. Psychologically, clones are a thematic gold mine, where identity crises are exponential and the nature versus nurture debate is writ large. Who am I? Where did I come from? Who is the original? A character facing these kinds of existential dilemmas works great in a paranoid thriller mystery. I think the genre basically demands it.

For a couple years we tried to make Orphan Black work as a feature, but I don’t think we ever got through a draft. We couldn’t contain Sarah’s story in two hours. It was network shows like X Files and Alias that got us thinking about genre TV, then cable shows like True Blood, Dexter, and Breaking Bad convinced us where Orphan Black belonged was in the TV landscape.

'Wouldn’t it be cool if… we actually got to make a crazy-ass clone show with a bunch of our sketchy friends and colleagues, starring super talented Tatiana Maslany?’

10 years later, the answer is: 'Hells, ya!’”

- Graeme Manson (Writer, Co-Creator) [x]


Artist Jeremy Miranda Examines Memory with Oil Landscapes that Bleed into Interiors

Artist Jeremy Miranda is fascinated with how the mind creates memories and the juxtaposition of experiences both real and perceived. His oil paintings overlap interior and exterior environments to create unexpected relationships between disparate subjects, usually natural versus man-made. The interior of an artist’s studio dissolves into a bucolic river landscape, a bookshelf leads into the ocean, or a glowing furnace is concealed below quiet pond. Miranda most recently had an exhibit at Nahcotta Gallery in New Hampshire where several of his original works are currently available. Some of his most popular images are also available as prints. (via My Darkened Eyes)


If you watch the film The Martian, you’ll see Hollywood explosions and special effects galore, but you’ll also see some serious science.

“The Martian has almost all of its technical details correct,” says Robert Zubrin, the head of The Mars Society, which advocates sending people to explore the planet. Zubrin, who has written nonfiction and fiction books about going to Mars, points out there have been many other accurate books written about missions to Mars. What makes The Martian special he says, is its simple man-versus-nature plot. “It’s about one person, one human mind, one human heart,” he says.

How ‘The Martian’ Became A Science Love Story

Photo: Giles Keyte/EPKTV


Artist Sara Landeta creates beautiful ornithological drawings inspired by the work of 19th-century artist John James Audubon. Landeta produces artworks that explore the idea of exterior versus interior, natural versus synthetic and the notion that the very survival of mankind depends on nature and not on man-made pharmaceuticals. 

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Dynamic Paintings by Aaron Li-Hill

Li-Hill is a Canadian visual artist currently based out of Brooklyn, who employs painting, illustration, stenciling, and sculptural elements within his works.  With a background in graffiti and mural painting and a degree in Fine Arts, his works range from smaller multiples to enormous murals that explore industrialization, scientific breakthrough, man versus nature and information saturation.  

He incorporates found objects and unconventional materials to structure complex multi-layered pieces that are as aesthetic as they are thought provoking. Li-Hill possesses a BFA from OCAD and has travelled and shown in countries such as Australia, Thailand, Myanmar, Mexico and China.  He has had works shown in such national institutions as the National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of Ontario and the Portsmouth Museum of Art in New Hampshire. His Facebook.

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posted by Margaret


The Butterfly Forest at Bristol Zoo makes my heart skip a beat. Not because it’s a manufactured tropical rainforest in suburbia. But because it contains some of the globes truly wonderful butterflies. I adore these unique & delicate creatures. This was my favourite, with its striking patchwork of orange tones, yellow strokes and white specks.  

Shortly after I had taken this photograph, we were reprimanded for handling the wildlife. Ooops! Great shot though!

Conflict: Man Versus Nature

There are many types of conflicts that can arise within your story, but man versus nature is a fairly common one. Think of movies like Armageddon, Twister, or Volcano. There are usually more antagonists in these stories, but the MAIN antagonist happens to be Mother Nature or a natural disaster.

The most basic type of conflict is usually man vs. man. Other types include—man vs. fate, man vs. self, man vs. machine, man vs. god, man vs. society, and man vs. supernatural. Sometimes just looking at this list can help give you inspiration. Figuring out what your conflict will be within your story is important because it will put you in the right direction and help you understand what your own characters are fighting against. Sometimes stories involve a conflict of many different kinds.

Famous author Ayn Rand once argued that man versus nature conflict doesn’t exist because nature doesn’t have any free will. When you think about it, a story is rarely just man versus nature. Usually the characters are fighting against each other in order to survive. A lot of television shows these days are about the aftermath of some sort of man versus nature scenario and the conflict because more about man versus man. In a man versus nature scenario, it becomes hard to separate the two.

Man versus nature conflict, however, doesn’t have to be a hurricane, a twister, or some sort of apocalyptic event. The conflict can be between a man and an animal, like in The Grey or The Edge. Even most parts of White Fang show man versus nature conflict. These sorts of conflicts can be terrifying because there seems to be less control, especially in stories involving storms or end of the world scenarios. There can be nothing the main character can do to stop it besides run away. These stories can become mostly about survival. I think they also show how weak and powerless human beings are against nature and they often have bleak outcomes.

Man versus nature stories often lead into bigger issues and the conflict can change, as I said before. Man versus nature can become a story about man versus self or man versus man. Obviously, a story can become boring if nature is the ONLY conflict. Take some time to think about where you want your story to go.

-Kris Noel

Space Whisky & “Natural Foods”

A vial of unmatured malt whisky was sent into space three years ago, and has recently returned to Earth for a taste test. This space whisky was compared to the same whisky that was matured (on Earth) in charred oak barrels. Guess which whisky contains aromas of antiseptic smoke and rubber. While we’re comparing two things, AsapSCIENCE discusses the chemicals and ingredients in processed foods versus natural foods to explain why “chemical-free” is not a realistic food label. What we’re reading…