not fitting in that size in a million years!

anonymous asked:

I was really struck by something I read in one of your earlier replies to an ask, which was "we’ll never know what Rachel would have done after the war ended", and I wondered if perhaps you may actually have some thought about what might have happened if she did? How WOULD Rachel, who thrived in war, adapt to the mundane life after?

Jake

After a while Rachel’s aunt and uncle get so used to her stopping by that they just make her a copy of their house key; it’s easier than answering the door all the time or leaving a window open for her, besides which they’re grateful because she’s there almost every day to bully Jake out of bed and into the world to go do something.  Most days it’s just attending Habitat for Humanity builds in the devastated areas downtown or visiting kids from the local hospital who idolize them both.  Rachel doesn’t mind dragging Jake out of his room at all, because while Tobias is good for taking random college classes or exploring new parts of the country with her, there are still plenty of stupid things that she can only talk Jake into doing.  Together they surf during hurricanes, skydive without parachutes, swim to the bottom of the ocean as orcas and throw themselves off cliffs as birds of prey.  

Rachel doesn’t pretend to understand what he’s going through, because she quite simply can’t—if she even tries to think about what it would be like if it was Jordan or Sarah she’d had to kill during that last battle, she tends to lose the ability to breathe.  But while she can’t give him empathy she can give him this: the scream of wind rushing past their bodies as they hurl toward the ground at nearly a hundred miles an hour, the incomparable thrill of the ground approaching them faster than an oncoming train, the moment of simple euphoria during that millisecond decision to once again open one’s wings and tell death not today.  He doesn’t smile much, and never laughs, but that’s always been true to some extent.  She doesn’t concern herself with making him smile, but with forcing him to gasp for air in his refusal to give up on life, to morph when not doing so would mean drowning in the cold Pacific, to swerve a second away from spattering on the ground.  Because she’s the only one who understands the power of those moments to make them forget everything in the world except the heady rush of being so goddamn alive they can barely even stand it.

Marco

It’s strange, really, how tough and showy they can be around each other most of the time… and how vulnerable they can become when no one else is around.  Rachel’s pretty sure she’s the only one who ever saw Marco cry after they all watched Eva’s body tumble hundreds of yards to its apparent death, and she knows for certain that she’s the only one to whom he says “it’s like we never really got her back at all,” the day his parents announce their divorce.  In public Rachel and Marco become even more themselves, one-upping each other to see who can come out with the most embarrassing story in round after round of interviews and bantering at lightning speed as live studio audiences laugh and cheer.  Rachel gives a hysterical, exaggerated account of Marco’s failed attempt at gatecrashing William Roger Tennant’s award banquet; Marco comes back with a heroic narrative of how his llama-self saved an entire television studio from the crocodile Rachel conveniently forgot to mention she had puked out backstage.  When talking about the time Helmacrons invaded Marco’s nose, they each manage to make the whole mess entirely into the other one’s fault.  

In private, they sit on the back porch of Marco’s primary house once a week and work their way through a bottle of triple sec they’re definitely too young to own.  It’s during those long evenings as the sun sets over the Newport Beach mansions that they air the things to each other they’ve never told a living soul before.  Marco talks about the hard bright-edged joy of watching 17,000 yeerks sucked into space and only being able to imagine their screams.  Rachel confesses to having cried herself to sleep after she and Ax dropped David on that island.  They air their sickest thoughts, lance their most pus-rotted wounds, spew poison at each other because they know that they are both strong enough (hard enough, cold enough, ruthless enough) to take it and give back in turn.

Cassie

Rachel’s honestly not sure how far Cassie would have gotten, politically, if not for her help.  Because that girl might have passion and conscience and common sense to spare, but Rachel’s not sure she’s met a more appearance-clueless person in her life.  The world of politics runs on fashion and makeup, though, especially if one happens to be a woman, and any time Cassie’s about to go tell the United Nations why they need to update the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today to include the hork-bajir and taxxons, or to scold Congress into giving the ex-hosts war reparations and not murder charges, Rachel is there in the background helping.  She shows Cassie the power of stalking into a room in a pair of towering heels, the ways to make a string of pearls or a Chanel handbag into a weapon of power.  Cassie laughs incredulously every time Rachel shows up at her house with a literal truckload of perfectly-tailored business suits and evening gowns, but over time she starts to understand just how much her reputation for being as elegant as she is fierce can work in her favor.  

Rachel, in turn, starts to put out patents for the kind of clothes Cassie would love: comfortable and practical items that can be worn for years without needing replacement.  Rachel figures that if she’s an international trendsetter already (and she is: her line of perfume makes millions every year, while black leotards are debuting on Paris runways) then she might as well have her best friend and the world of high fashion meet in the middle.  Of course Rachel doesn’t explicitly mention that her patent-leather pumps with arch support and heel padding are inspired by the experience of trying on Cassie’s Timberlands, or that her choice of size-16 models for all her advertisements comes from making dresses that would fit Cassie and sizing up or down from there.  But what’s most amazing to her is that the other dressmakers and shoe lines start to emulate her choices, emphasizing the comfort and sturdiness of everything they make even as they tout it as “cutting edge.”  If Rachel has dragged Cassie into being a fashion icon, then it turns out Cassie might just have dragged Rachel into being a social justice warrior along the way.

Ax

Ax seems somewhat dumbfounded when Rachel explains that there’s an Earth tradition that any ship’s captain can perform a marriage ceremony, and that even if there’s no law on the books about this particular power she wants him to do it anyway.  She’s not sure herself how her and Tobias’s small private ceremony (at least, that was the intention) has grown so much, but even she has to admit that somewhere between the 230-person guest list, the custom chuppah to be hand-embroidered by a team of local artists, the five-tier cake imported from a German bakery, and the dress which is personally designed by Alexander McQueen, things might have gotten slightly out of hand.  Ax takes the duties very seriously, practicing the strange mouth sounds he has to recite more than once in advance and promising solemnly that he will not eat any of the cake until Rachel and Tobias have had the chance to cut it.  

He serves as their best man as well (probably breaking with tradition, not that they care) and the speech he makes afterward is surprisingly heartfelt.  «There has been no greater honor in my life than to fight by your side,» he tells them, «and I owe you both my life many times over.  I owe you more than that, of course, for you have made this strange planet my home when I came to you lost and alone.  I am not sure what humans traditionally wish for each other with a bond such as this, so I will wish you this much: may your lives be long, may your battles be easily won, may you be loved and feared in equal measure, and may your chili always be perfectly seasoned.» 

Tobias

It’s not like they get jobs, or hold down formal obligations, or do anything more structured than attend occasional classes at UCSB or consult with the fashion agency that sends Rachel freelance checks.  So there’s really no reason they can’t continue their odd lifestyle, only in the same form at the same time for two hours at most.  At least, that’s how it is for the first several years… and then one day Rachel comes out of the bathroom, a tiny white stick in her hand, and they both realize their lives are never going to be the same again.  Tobias is terrified, of course: he’s been abandoned (voluntarily or not) by two parents, four guardians, and countless authority figures, and he’s got no reason to believe he’ll be any different.  But he knows what the first step will be in committing to raising this baby for real.  And so he morphs human for the very last time.  

In the years that follow, after their daughter eventually gets a little brother as well, Rachel and Tobias become more boring than they ever could have hoped for.  Rachel starts working full-time as a fashion designer, while Tobias finishes an advanced degree in graphic design and gets a job with the marketing branch of the same company.  They go to PTA meetings and teach their daughter softball, buy a sedan with good gas mileage and a two-story house in Mendocino County where the reporters can’t find them.  They still get restless sometimes, leaving the kids with Loren or Sarah for a week or two at a time to go white-water rafting on the Colorado River or to climb mountains in Tanzania, but they always miss the kids enough to come home before long.  They donate thousands of dollars to end world hunger every year, and they fundraise millions more.  Someday they’ll retire.  Someday after that they’ll die.  For now, however, they’re alive, and that’s enough.  

Sparkling green

Harry Styles - 1636 words (Requested)

I nervously rub my sweat coated hands on the side of my jeans, eyes darting over all of the different colors of lingerie this store has to offer for my special night, tonight. I had no idea what all these things were, I only owned the standard bra’s in a few colors and never in a million years I thought I would cave and enter a lingerie store with an excited but nervous skip in my step. I’m too awkward to ask one of the salespeople for help, because seriously who in her right mind would want another woman helping them squeeze into a bra and comment on if their boobs fit or not?

“Can I help you?” I know I took too long to decide on a color, a size or anything. A friendly, blonde haired woman smiles at me from my right and I give her a stupid, awkward grin back, shrugging my shoulders before I let my gaze fall back onto the red skimpy thing right in front of me.
“I don’t know,” I sigh, caving into the pressure and deciding to let her help me, “It’s for a special occasion and honestly have no idea.” The girl lets a chuckle past her lips and crosses her arms over her chest. I raise an eyebrow as I gaze at her through the corner of my eyes, waiting what she is about to propose.

“Would you like a push up or something that makes them look bigger or?” She states, her fingers skimming through the rack, momentarily stopping to let her gaze fall onto my breast area before she starts skimming again. “More natural, I suppose?”
She grabs a few different colors and guides me to a secluded booth, winking at me as she hands me the different sets.

——

“I liked the green the best, to be honest.” I sway from side to side as I look at the emerald blue bra, giving myself a once over in the mirror. “I like this one too. Why the green?”
“It reminds me of my boyfriend’s eyes.” I sigh out, dreamily thinking of the sparkling green eyes I fell in love with the first time I laid eyes on him. The girl sighs out as well, a soft smile on her lips. “Then the choice is made, no?” I nod my head, a stupid grin once more gracing my lips as my fingers curl around the curtain to pull it closed. I’m glad it’s over. But somehow I understand why girls like picking nice stuff like this out for their boyfriends.

I walk back out, fully dressed, thick coat covered with a large black and white scarf, the blonde lady still waiting for me. She grabs the set I’m about to buy as she walks me to the register. “Can I be nosy and ask what the special occasion is? Anniversary?” I feel the blush of shame already raise to my cheeks, awkwardly fumbling with a thread on my coat as I look around the store.
“Uh well – “ The girl stops behind the register and takes off the tags before her eyes widen. “Oh.”
“Yeah” I awkwardly chuckle and she winks again. “A pretty lady like you, you’ll string him in no time!”

I giggle and thank her whole heartedly, handing her the cash for the bra and matching knickers before she bags it. “I’m sure he’ll love it. The best of luck, miss.”
“Thank you.” I smile again as I take the bag from her hands and swiftly walk out of the store before someone sees the girlfriend of Harry Styles in a lingerie shop.

——

Underneath my regular clothes is the bright green that seemed to match Harry’s eyes perfectly. It doesn’t make me less nervous, if all I think these nervous butterflies became worse and worse when I gazed at myself through the mirror – isn’t it too much?

“What’s up with you today? You’re totally out of it.” Harry grins as he presses his lips to my cheek forcefully, a loud smack resonating through the air and pulling me out of my trance. “Huh?”
“See, that’s what I meant. Are you alright?” Harry comes back, his hand cupping my cheek as his eyes dart between my own, trying to see if there is something wrong.
“I had a weird day, that’s all. And I’m tired.” I smile, pressing my lips to his shortly to diminish his wandering thoughts, wrapping my arms around him to hug him close to me.

“Then we should head to bed, no?” Harry smiles as his arms wrap around my shoulders, lips gently pressing to my forehead and I can feel those same butterflies erupt again. Although these are mixed with adoration and not only nervousness. “Yeah, maybe we should.” I let a tiny, weird looking smile grace my lips and Harry furrows his eyebrows but shrugs it off as me being tired. “Come on then.”

“I – uhm – have a, a present for you.” I stutter out, my fingers fiddling with the hem of my shirt as I try to avoid Harry’s wandering gaze. “Oh? What is it?” I can hear the smile on Harry’s lips through his words and I lift my shirt over my head before turning towards my boyfriend who by now is already shirtless before he turns his head towards me. His mouth falls open as I merely stares at me. “Y/n, what – I mean – “ Harry stumbles over his words himself. Of course he had seen me in my undergarments already, I’ve spent the night here multiple times, but never this provoking and with this feeling lingering in the air.

My fingers are still fiddling with one another, Harry hadn’t said anything about him appreciating me will to do that, and I am getting more nervous by every passing second on the clock. “If you want, I’m ready for it.” Harry walks over towards me without saying a word still, his fingers threading through my hair before he presses his lips forcefully to mine. I almost believe it is out of relief and longing, and it makes my heart flutter. “Are you sure?” I hum out, a smile on my lips as Harry grins and presses our lips back together.

Slowly, ever so slowly, Harry begins to undress me, leaving me bare to his watchful eye before he rids himself of his jeans and boxer shorts. We crawl into bed, just lying there, kissing and feeling one another before Harry makes a move to hover above me, lips still pressed together to ease the nerves I am feeling and the tension that has settled in my muscles.

“Don’t be nervous, please.” Harry sighs out, lips pressing once more to my forehead as I let my eyelids flutter closed. I don’t know why I am this nervous, I mean, it is Harry and I know he loves me to bits, and wouldn’t never in a million years intentionally hurt me. So I nod my head as I let my eyelids slowly open again, catching Harry’s warm gaze as I bite my lip. Harry grins as he lowers himself, his member brushing between my legs and I let out a low moan at the contact, I never knew it could feel like this. “Like that already?” Harry chuckles drily and I slap his biceps, a loud smack resonating through the otherwise silent bedroom as I groan. “Don’t make fun of me.” I breathe, keeping my eyes closed as I feel the tip press against my folds.

“I love it that you like it, so not really laughing at you.” Harry sighs. “Ready?” I hum in response and I feel a bit of pressure down there, the tip slowly sliding in and stretching me as I huff, a low buzzing pain coursing through my lower half. “Okay?” I nod my head, biting the inside of my cheek as I squeeze my eyes closed. I know it might hurt in the beginning, but it will subside after a while so pleasure can take its place and I am very willing to go straight to that place and not stalling this pain any longer. “Please move.” I huff out, throwing my head back as I let my fingers thread through Harry’s curly locks.

Harry picks up his movements again and slowly rocks in and out of me, his breath fanning against my forehead before he presses his lips against the smooth skin. “I don’t think I might last long.”
I let a weird, gargling noise leave my lips, hopefully he takes it as a ‘I don’t mind’ and I let my hands roam over his bare back, his arms and back over his back to his bum. Harry moans against my skin, picking up his pace slightly as I feel the pain reside and pleasure take over my body, tingles searing throughout my whole body as I moan out at Harry’s movements.

I can already feel Harry’s hips start to shudder as he tries his best to keep going, but with a simple squeeze of his biceps I let him know that it is okay. Never would I even thought it could feel this good, feeling even more loved by the man that I think about every free second of the day. Harry stills and groans into my neck, dropping his whole body weight onto my fragile body as he hugs me close to him. I never thought either that he would be this loving and caring, not only because I made him wait for quite some time before giving myself to him. “I love you.” I whisper against his shoulder while I soothingly stroke his back, feeling his breathing go back to normal while he peppers my neck with kisses before catching his lips with mine.

Lots of love,
L. xox

EVOLUTION OF THE WHALES

Christmas is almost here, so what better topic to post on than the evolution of the whales!?!?

65 million years ago the earth was devastated by a catastrophic meteor impact that resulted in the death of the dinosaurs. Mammals back then had been slowly evolving but remained small and mostly nocturnal, yet when the dinosaurs perished they quickly took over abandoned niches in the skies, land and water becoming one of the most incredible dynasties the world has ever seen.
Some of the most beautiful of this diverse group are the marine mammals, the cetaceans (whales, dolphins etc). The ancestor of the whales left life on land to make the oceans their home. With over 86 species existing today of whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, they make up the order Cetacea which include the magnificent blue whale reaching a whopping 30 metres in length to the little known porpoise species, Vaquita reaching only 4.5 metres long.
The evolution of the whales is documented in an incredibly rich fossil record dating back to over 50 million years ago…

Pakicetus, 50 million years ago
Pakicetus is regarded as the most basal (earliest) whale. Although Pakicetus primarily lived on land, it is the first of the land mammals to show significant developments towards a future in ruling the oceans. Pakicetus is known from only a few incomplete specimens found in Pakistan but it is predicted to have been about a metre in length. Interestingly, Pakicetus was an artiodactyl (or even-toed ungulate, an order which includes the giraffes, camels, pigs and cows), however, Pakicetus shows some defining characteristics of evolving for life in the water such as elongation of the skull and body and the teeth begin to lose the heterodontus nature. The eyes of Pakicetus were also high on its head suggesting a capability to hunt not only on land but in water too.

Ambulocetus, 49 million years ago
Ambulocetus literally means “walking whale” and shows more extreme divergence towards an aquatic lifestyle. Ambulocetus shows even greater elongation of the skull and simplification of its dental morphology. Unlike the marine reptiles of a bygone era, Ambulocetus would have swam through the water with vertical motion. The morphology of Ambulocetus’ inner ear is also similar to that of modern cetaceans meaning it could probably hear well underwater. Ambulocetus also shares some similarities with modern crocodiles such as high nostrils, pointed teeth and a long skull, making it likely that Ambulocetus was a deadly ambush predator, a far cry from its gentle giant descendants.

Rodhocetus, 46 million years ago

Rodhocetus fossils are also restricted to Pakistan and beautifully depict a familiar whale like skeleton with much shorter limbs and elongated hands and feet (that were most likely webbed). The nasal openings of Rodhocetus has also moved higher up the skull and closer to the eyes. Again, Rodhocetus shows specific morphologies that are characteristic of artiodactyls, they have a double-pulley astralagus (heel bone) found in all modern even toed ungulates.  

Basilosaurus, 37 million years ago
Basilosaurus is probably the earliest skeleton that very closely resembles modern whales, the name means “king lizard” which is highly inaccurate but fits well when considering that Basilosaurus had a long and slender body that could reach an almighty 18 metres in length. Basilosaurus also shows an extraordinary reduction in limb size compared to its ancestors meaning it is in no way adapted to live on the land any longer. At the time of Basilosaurus’ existence it was one of the largest marine animals to have existed since the days of marine reptiles (such as Liopleurodon and Mosasaurs). The teeth of Basilosaurus had similar morphology to modern killer whales indicating they were highly active hunters.

The whales of today are some of the most remarkable creatures to have ever existed. We often stand and stare in awe at the immense sizes of prehistoric marine animals in museums and it is easy to forget that we are living at the same time of the largest animals to have ever existed, past of present, the whales. We then often neglect to appreciate how magnificent these creatures are. Sadly this has led to a massive depletion in their numbers and diversity due to pollution, fishing and hunting. The whales and all other cetaceans have some of the most wonderful social structures known in the animal kingdom as well as incredible intelligence. In the last 50 million years this order has conquered oceans across the world and delighted humans all over. Cetaceans are fast becoming more endangered and if we do not act, in years to come our descendants will wonder how their ancestors let these wonderful creatures slip through their fingers.

I love pissing off people in the FA community. It’s like they know deep down that everything they say is completely unsupported by any reliable evidence, scientific or otherwise, and they know all they’re really doing is harming themselves while making excuses- so naturally they get butt hurt over the smallest comments that criticize their movement.

I don’t hate fat people. I hate the glorification of an epidemic that not only costs the health and lives of innocents everywhere but also costs the American taxpayers millions of dollars every year. An epidemic that spits in the face of starving, impoverished children with the idea that any sort of extreme excess could lead to more oppression than not being able to fucking eat.

Your doctor weighing you and telling you to lose weight for your own well being is not oppression. Not being fucked by attractive and fit men is not oppression. Not being able to find size XXXXXXXL is not oppression, because no one should be that size.

Stop making fatness a part of your identity. It isn’t race, it isn’t sexual orientation or gender identity- it is a health condition that is completely changeable. I literally saw a FA advocate on TV say the words, “It’s not like you can just change your lifestyle and then maintain that”. Guess what? People do it all the time. New parents do it. Recovering drug users and alcoholics do it. It’s completely possible. Stop using bullshit excuses like, “mah genetics” or “mah thyroid” to justify killing yourself with food. Thyroid conditions can account for at most thirty extra pounds, and genetics is something that while you can’t change, you can certainly influence the expression of. You aren’t attractive, and there’s a reason the world views you in that light. It’s because obesity isn’t healthy, and the VAST majority of people don’t want a partner that is likely infertile for no reason other than they can’t stop stuffing their faces. 

Please stop insisting that I must be this angry, hateful person just because I disagree with the fat acceptance movement (along with the majority of Americans). I don’t comment on the personal pictures of people who accept this movement, no matter how disgusting they are. I stick to making logical comments on the irrationality of this entire movement.

You can keep sending me hate, I don’t actually give a fuck since I know I can see my feet when I look down and love what I find in the mirror every morning- I know you all aren’t so lucky even though you try to convince yourself your physical appearance doesn’t need to be changed. 

A really big and important part of self-love is loving yourself enough to change when your lifestyle is costing you your health. Just blindly loving everything about yourself just so you don’t have to confront the fact that you have a problem is not self-love. It’s self-abuse with excuses.

We don’t tell heroin addicts that nothing is wrong with them and they should continue using, so why should we tell people addicted to food that what they’re doing is okay, or that’s impossible to change? Guess what? It’s not, and everyday you spend on this FA tag is another day that you’re fat as fuck, unattractive, and worst of all- unhealthy. 

I changed my lifestyle in a very dramatic way to stay off heroin. And if I can stay off the most addictive substance known to man, then you can stop stuffing your fucking face. 

blaming the baby boomers: another Finwean politics post

Valinor had a baby boom that lasted two generations - or, roughly, from 1169-1380. During that time the average family size was four or five children.

Then, suddenly, the average family size became one child, and it stayed that way for the rest of Elven history. 

This is weird.

It also explains a lot about Noldor expansionism and the ways Melkor managed to feed the desire to leave Valinor.

First, lemme justify my numbers here.

Keep reading

Ah this first photo. Wow. Haha.

Stats:
First photo: 2012?? (I think) -110kgs (242lbs)
*just a guess as I didn’t weigh myself until I was about 106kgs a fair while after that photo was taken and I started my journey.
Second photo: Today (4/10/15) -74kgs (163lbs)

Almost the same outfit. The pants are just a different colour of the same style but I owned them both at the same time.
In the first photo I remember literally always wearing tank tops and those pants, never wore shorts, I was too big by that stage, which was depressing as I had always worn shorts in the past. But yeah now most of my wardrobe is too big which is cool to experience as I never thought it would happen to me in a million years that something would be too loose. I can’t describe the feeling I get when I try on something in a clothing store and have to go get it in a size smaller because it’s too big. I remember trying on a size 18 jumper in Kmart once when I was big and I cried because it didn’t fit, not even close. Now I’m a comfortable size 12 (Australian sizing)

They say that losing weight doesn’t make you happier, but I disagree. I’m so much more comfortable and healthy in my new body than I ever was when I was big. I still have a way to go. I have loose skin and extra belly fat that I don’t want and I would like to tone up a little bit, so I’m not stopping here. I’m going to keep going until I reach my goal!! :)

Eocypselus vincenti, E. rowei

By Fraizer on @saint-nevermore

Name: Eocypselus vincenti, E. rowei

Name Meaning: New Swift

First Described: 1984

Described By: Harrison

Classification: Dinosauria, Saurischia, Eusaurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Pennaraptora, Paraves, Eumaniraptora, Averaptora, Avialae, Euavialae, Avebrevicauda, Pygostylia, Ornithothoraces, Euornithes, Ornithuromorpha, Ornithurae, Neornithes, Neognathae, Neoaves, Cypselomorphae

Why am I doing a very long ago described bird randomly and out of order? Because art was donated of it of course! Eocypselus is an interesting little bird that looks a lot like what you’d expect the common ancestor of Swifts and Hummingbirds to look like. A small bird, less than 13 centimeters in length, it also probably had black feathers. It was found in the Fur Formation in Denmark and the Green River Formation in Wyoming, and though right now it has two species ascribed to it, it’s entirely possible that more will be in the future (because bird paleontology does a lot more with species than nonavian dinosaur paleo). It lived in the Ypresian age of the Early Eocene, with Y. vincenti living between 55 and 53 million years ago, and E. rowei living between 53 and 48 million years ago. Though it shares many features with swifts and hummingbirds, it is not thought to be in Apodiformes (the group containing the two) proper; instead, it shows that that group evolved their small size first, and then went on to evolve the specialized flight capabilities (speed and hovering) later. It probably was black in coloration, at least E. rowei was, and its feathers made up half the size of its wingspan. It also would have fit in the palm of your hand, and probably was an insectivore. 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocypselus_rowei

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypselomorphae

Harrison, C. J. O. 1984. A revision of the fossil swifts (Vertebrata, Aves, Suborder Apodi) with descriptions of three new genera and two new species. Mededelingen van de Werkgroep voor Tertiaire en Kwartaire Geologie 4(21): 157-177. 

Ksepka, D. T., J. A. Clarke, S. J. Nesbitt, F. B. Kulp, L. Grande. 2013. Fossil evidence of wing shape in a stem relative of swifts and hummingbirds (Aves, Pan-Apodiformes). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280: 20130580. 

Mayr, G. 2005. A new Cypselomorph bird from the Middle Eocene of Germany and the Early Diversification of Avian Aerial Insectivores. The Condor 107:342-352. 

Shout out goes to @justthatguyme!

Searching For Storybrooke

(or, if Once Upon a Time’s Storybrooke, Maine was a real place, where the f*ck would it be?)

OK, so, this topic is my personal baby because I am a weirdo and I find the theoretical location of Storybrooke in Maine an intriguing question. Maine is culturally a relatively unusual – let’s actually say quirky, because I like that more - place compared to everywhere else in the US. Even the other New England states (as well as the Canadian Maritime Provinces) only have some common overlap with the unique cultural flavor of Maine. Add to that the fact that the evidence on the show itself as to Storybrooke’s location is very mixed and self-contradictory, and you have a bit of a puzzle. I’ve explored canon evidence for the town’s location in this post, and suggested a possible locale for a “real Storybrooke” equivalent.

Please note that this is a very image-heavy post so brace yourselves if you click that Read More.

Keep reading

YELLOW FLICKER BEAT, AND AN ANNIVERSARY

i’m sitting up in bed, moving through desert halfway between utah and las vegas. yesterday was our ninth show in eleven days. every night, after i play, and say hi, and take pictures, and i walk up the stairs and we go on our way, i set up in this little bed office. i work from midnight until late on the soundtrack, singing into my computer, listening to demos and final mixes. my bus sleeps. we are almost at the end, the point where this soundtrack gets taken away from me and becomes something real. i’m reminded of this day last year, when pure heroine came out in this country. the feeling of something very solitary that i had worked on spinning around and around further away from me, becoming someone else’s, everyone’s. the past year of my life has seen everything around me multiply in size and number - the stamps on my passport, the number of people i have to ask before i ride on the ferris wheel after my set at a festival, the decibels that follow me when i walk around in public. the other thing that’s grown is me - my fitness, my mental stamina, my ability to think clearly and make decisions - but most of all, my capacity for love. the thousands upon thousands (wait, millions(?!!)) of you who bought pure heroine truly feel like friends to me - it’s no coincidence i’m posting this note here, where i feel the most happy and safe online, the place where i laugh the most and where every day, i feel like people get me. i never knew i could feel such a warm heart for this many people at once. thankyou for hearing about me all those months ago, and sticking around. thankyou for being here.

now, about this song - yellow flicker beat. it’s my first offering from what i hope will be a soundtrack you love. it’s my attempt at getting inside her head, katniss’. i hope you like it. 

http://vevo.ly/ELjkPo

SSMonth 2014, Day 29: Ink Blossoms

Title: Ink Blossoms
Summary: Sasuke makes an inebriated decision in the midst of missing Sakura.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.
Prompt: Tattoo
Rating: T
Warning(s): Suggestiveness.
Comments: This came about pretty randomly, but it was pretty quick and fun to write. Writing from Naruto’s pov is something I would do again, I think.. Anyway, hope you like it!

Naruto watched with a confused frown as the Uchiha sulked into the shot glass that inexplicably always seemed to be empty.

“She was supposed to be back by now,” Sasuke slurred with a deep grimace etching into his pristine features. “Oi!” he called to the barman, tapping his glass against the counter, “more.”

Naruto waved the scared barman away with a nervous smile before turning to his friend, “I’m sure it won’t be much longer. But are you sure you want more to dri- ”

“It’s been four days,” Sasuke dragged to blonde to his face, their noses nearly touching as angry, drunken onyx suddenly bled into sharingan. Naruto gagged at the mixture of closeness and overbearing alcohol on the man’s breath. “She said it would only be three.”

Sighing at the melodrama, Naruto narrowed his eyes out of boredom, “Teme, I think you’re overthinking this.”

Sasuke threw the blonde away, and in all his drunken power, tilted his head back, hollering a, “BUT I MISS HERRRRRR!” before slamming his head dejectedly into the bar.

Eyebrows knitting together in slight concern, Naruto examined the Uchiha. Oh hell no, he thought, I am not going to have Sakura-chan think he died on my watch. Reluctantly, he reached forward, about to poke into Sasuke’s apparently unconscious side as the man suddenly shot up out of the bar stool.

“I have something I need to do,” Sasuke grumbled, mostly to himself, before wobbling out of the bar and out into the street.

“Oi, Sasuke!” Naruto called after him before following suit, begrudgingly leaving enough to cover both their drink tabs.

Hurriedly, Naruto searched the road for his friend before his eyes came to settle on a steadily swaying figure in the distance. Judging from the sound of the absolute nonsense the figure was singing, Naruto would have assumed there was no way in hell that it could be Sasuke- but the nonsense being sung (and badly at that) was in fact Sakura’s favorite song.

“Where are you going?” Naruto inquired, though to no avail. Sasuke continued down the road, singing the song in his heart at the height of his lungs’ capacity. People stuck their heads out, verbally wishing that he would shut a certain orifice before they went down and snatched a certain muscular organ out of his mouth. Of course, in turn, Sasuke only loudly demanded that they suck on another certain muscular organ.

Naruto only found himself surprised as they reached their presumed destination. Sasuke stared at the illuminated sign, eyes glazed over with a childlike glow of sheer inebriation. Slim, blond, brow raised, Naruto turned to his friend, who paid him no mind.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Sasuke just walked straight in.

*

*

*

“Oi, Teme,” Naruto said, “you can’t fall asleep in the middle of this. That’s cheating.”

“Oh suck my,” Sasuke trailed off, taking a swig of the beer he got from Kami-knew-where.

A silence ensued before a smirk came to the raven haired man’s features.

“How’s it look, dobe?”

Frowning at the name, Naruto did him the courtesy of taking a peek, a smile coming to his face as well. “Pretty damn sweet.”

*

*

Sakura dragged herself into town some time not long before dawn. Her feet ached and her mind withered. All she wanted was her bed, and if she was lucky, a nice long bath. Lugging her legs up the stairs and up to her apartment door, Sakura inserted her key before ripping the door open. The stench hit her medic senses like a brick wall. She averted her face from its direction, frowning deeply. Annoyed, Sakura threw her supplies to the ground and trekked furiously into the bedroom. Scoffing at the sight of Sasuke splayed out, butt naked, over the bed, she took a seat beside him. Emerald eyes grazed carefully over his sleeping form. From the looks, and the smell, of it- he was piss drunk. Why? She wasn’t sure.

A slim brow raised, she found the source of the bloody scent as it lingered on his back. A deep rosy color filled the area beneath what looked to be plastic wrapped carefully over his skin. Skeptical, she ripped the plastic wrap from his skin and felt the frown drop her face immediately.

A Sakura blossom, the size of her palm, sat brightly below the nape of his neck. It was simple, yet beautiful; subliminal. Never in a million years had she seen Sasuke as the type for tattoos, but somehow, this one really seemed to fit him. Smiling, amused, to herself, she ran a hand through his sweaty scalp. He’d definitely had a long, hard night without her.

Something about being permanently etched into his skin felt all too perfect.

Why Bennu?

Our OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will travel to a near-Earth asteroid, called Bennu, where it will collect a sample to bring back to Earth for study. 

But why was Bennu chosen as the target destination asteroid for OSIRIS-REx? The science team took into account three criteria: accessibility, size and composition.

Accessibility: We need an asteroid that we can easily travel to, retrieve a sample from and return to Earth, all within a few years time. The closest asteroids are called near-Earth objects and they travel within 1.3 Astronomical Units (AU) of the sun. For those of you who don’t think in astronomical units…one Astronomical Unit is approximately equal to the distance between the sun and the Earth: ~93 million miles.

For a mission like OSIRIS-REx, the most accessible asteroids are somewhere between 0.08 – 1.6 AU. But we also needed to make sure that those asteroids have a similar orbit to Earth. Bennu fit this criteria! Check!

Size: We need an asteroid the right size to perform two critical portions of the mission: operations close to the asteroid and the actual sample collection from the surface of the asteroid. Bennu is roughly spherical and has a rotation period of 4.3 hours, which is in our size criteria. Check!

Composition: Asteroids are categorized by their spectral properties. In the visible and infrared light minerals have unique signatures or colors, much like fingerprints. Scientists use these fingerprints to identify molecules, like organics. For primitive, carbon-rich asteroids like Bennu, materials are preserved from over 4.5 billion years ago! We’re talking about the start of the formation of our solar system here! These primitive materials could contain organic molecules that may be the precursors to life here on Earth, or elsewhere in our solar system.

Thanks to telescopic observations in the visible and the infrared, as well as in radar, Bennu is currently the best understood asteroid not yet visited by a spacecraft.

All of these things make Bennu a fascinating and accessible asteroid for the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

A brief recap:

1. The Homestuck fandom pays Hussie 2.5 million dollars to make a point-and-click adventure game.

2. The Odd Gentlemen talk Hussie into making an adventure game in fully-rendered 3D.

3. The Odd Gentlemen take the money Hussie gave them to do this and make King’s Quest, an adventure game in fully-rendered 3D.

4. Hussie realizes he’s been bilked and sues the Odd Gentlemen, reclaiming an unknown percentage of the 2.5 million dollars.

5. Hussie decides to take the remainder of the money and use it to set up a new game studio, which will make an adventure game in fully-rendered 3D.  He decides to locate this game studio in the financial district of New York City, where an office the size of a one-bedroom apartment rents for about $2750 a month.

6. Hussie announces that the new game studio is too large to fit in its NYC offices and production is being put on hold while they look for a new space.

7. [radio silence]

8. Hussie announces that he is shutting down his NYC game studio, and is not retaining any of its employees.  All previous programming work is scrapped.  The new plan: use the unknown percentage of the 2.5 million dollars remaining to make a point-and-click adventure game.

Elapsed time between step 1 and step 8: just over three years.

Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game ch 3

Chapter 1- http://fourtris-four-lifee.tumblr.com/post/91356459534/dont-hate-the-player-hate-the-game

Chapter 2- http://fourtris-four-lifee.tumblr.com/post/91451163314/dont-hate-the-player-hate-the-game-ch-2

After agreeing to what may be the best -but riskiest- plan in history, I meet up with Megan and Carlena to go to Carlena’s place. “How far’s your house?” I ask, my feet getting tired with walking, and my shoulders screaming from the excessive weight of my bookbag.

“Not that far”, she says and waves me off. “It’s just around this corner”. We trudge our way around the corner, praying that we can stop soon. From the looks of it, this is my house street too.

“Hey Carlena?” I ask warily.

“Yeah?” she asks, typing on her phone.

“Can I go to my house to drop off my bag?” I ask as we reach the front steps of her house.

“How far away is your house?” she asks. “We have no time to waste!” I laugh. Clearly, she hasn’t caught on as fast as I did. We’re literally right next to each other.

“Like thirty seconds,” I joke. She stops what she’s doing, her keys still in the keyhole.

“You mean,” she starts. “You’re the family next door?!” I nod. “Hell yes! I’m so tired of being next to old people”. She takes the keys out of the door and opens it. “Alright. Thirty seconds. Don’t waste it”. I sprint to my house and swing open the door.

“Hi mom!” I yell to wherever she is in the house. “Gonna be next door! I’ll be back before curfew!” I slam the door and race over to Carlena’s. Following the strong smell of her perfume, I race up the stairs to her room. Seeing her pink  zebra bed, I plop down in exhaustion.

“Tsk tsk tsk”, Carlena says, shaking her head. “Forty-five seconds. Fifteen minutes late missy”. I groan, rolling over on her pillows.

“I’m here aren’t I?” I say Megan slaps me playfully. “Hey! What was that for?”

“That’s for the sass you just gave us”, she says. “And to think! We were going to help you take him down and do this crazy plan!”

“Excuse me?” I ask with more sass than before. “I believe I was peer-pressured into this whole tabacle!” She laughs, knowing I got her there.

“Hey!” Carlena interrupts. “Are we gonna get started or what?” We nod and turn to face her. “Okay. Now that I have your attention, I believe someone in this room has a makeover to go through right now”. Megan nods eagerly, pulling out beauty products from Carlena’s vanity.

“Um, what do you mean ‘makeover’?” I ask, unsure of whether or not to trust Megan with hot things. I have her as a science partner. Let’s just say that she turned on the bunsen burner so high, our solution bubbled over and hardened on it. Didn’t know it was possible, but it is.

“Makeover?” Megan repeats slowly. “When a girl gets made over. Hence the term ‘makeover’”. She tosses her hair. “And you’re in AP English. Even I know that”. I roll my eyes.

“I know what it means! I just don’t know why I need one”. The shake their heads and chuckle lightly.

“No offense Sweetie”, Carlena says. “But you can’t go to a party dressed like that”. I look down. What I had on now was fine. Converse sneakers, black short (but not slutty) shorts, and my pink Infinity crop top with a white tank underneath.

“What’s wrong with this?” I ask, slightly offended.

“Nothing”, Megan says. “It’s just that it’s not the right outfit for a party. Especially a Sam Wilkinson party”.

“Then what does one wear to a Sam Wilkinson party?” I say, giving up on the fight about my clothes. Carlena runs into her closet and back out with an outfit I would never wear in a million years. Hanging on the hanger in her hands was a higher-than-mid-thigh skin tight black dress. Dangling from her other hand, five inch fire engine red heels. “Oh Hell to the no!” I say, putting my hands up. “There’s no way that I’m going to wear that, let alone fit that! I’m pretty sure that’s a child size dress!” Carlena rolls her eyes and throws the dress at me.

“Oh calm down, Drama Queen!” she says. “It stretches, and I’ll have you know, it’s a size 6 in teens!”

“You sure about that?” I ask, testing the ‘stretchiness’ of the fabric. What is this? Latex?

“Yes. Now, stop your complaining and put the damn dress on!” Against my will, I get up from her bed and trudge to her bathroom. Looking at my reflection in her mirror, I sigh. This is last time (Y/N) will look normal until tomorrow. I remove my clothes, leaving me in my strapless black bra and panties. I shimmy into the dress with a struggle, almost falling to the floor. How does Carlena do this? And for a dress so sleek looking, it’s a workout to get in. This better be worth it. “You done?” Carlena asks through the door. I open the door to see Meg and Car wide eyed. “Am I magician? Cause abraca-dayyuum I’m magic!” I roll my eyes and sit down at the vanity while Meg claps at the sudden change. She walks over to me and squeezes my shoulders.

“You ready for this?” she asks, curling iron in her hands. I take a deep breath and swallow down my fear.

“As ready as I’ll ever be”.

“That’s the spirit!” she cheers and spis me away from the mirror.

 

***LOTS OF CURLING AND MAKEUP LATER***

 

“And ta da!” she says, clapping her hands in excitement. “The master is finished!” Carlena walks out of the bathroom in a new outfit. Booty shorts and black, fitted tank top under a purple studded leather jacket. Looking at me, her mouth hangs open a bit, then smirks.

“Well damn!”she says, high fiving Megan. “We make some awesome fairy god mothers!”

“Yeah yeah yeah”, I say, becoming anxious with suspense of my new look. “You guys can be fairies later. Just let me see what you did to me”.

“Well gosh”, Meg says. “No need for that tude of yours”. She spins me around to face my reflection. My mouth hangs open a little.

“Damn”, I say softly. It’s like I took a complete 360 degree change. My hair falls just like the girls you see on tumblr. Perfect ringlets frame my face, bouncing as a shake my head lightly. My eyes become more hazel than they were before with the amazing ‘movie star’ smokey eye Meg did. Who knew she was a whiz at this? My lips were a deep cherry red, glossy in the lights around the mirror. I looked different. A good different. And I liked it that way.

“Well?” Meg asks, nervous of my reaction.

“I love it! Meg, you’re amazing!” I slide on the heels and stand up, fixing the latex that is my dress.

“I know,” she says, flipping her hair.

“Okay!” Carlena says, clapping to get our attention. “Now that we look like foxy bitches, let’s go!” For once since this plan has been hatched, I actually feel confident in this working.

“Yeah!” I say, flipping my hair like a model. “Let’s snap some heart strings!”

Birthday Boy

“Darcy.”

“Woah, what the-“ Darcy had opened her eyes at the sound of her name, and found Bucky’s earnest face staring back at her. Not always the most surprising thing for her to find, but somewhat more surprising given she was still in bed at the time. She snatched the bed covers up to her chin and re-focused on him, trying to calm her racing heart. For his part, Bucky seemed unperturbed.

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