perfect systems

Storm In The Room certainly was an emotional roller coaster, but not in the way most of us were expecting. You have to know whenever you see one of the rooms of the temple appear, we’re going to be in for emotional whiplash.

Doubly so for Rose Quart’s room.

The one thing we have a tendency to forget is that the room seems to have one purpose: to show whoever possesses the Rose Quartz gem (aka Steven at this point) whatever it thinks they want. 

The room can only work with the information Steven already knows. Steven knows this. He says it several times. But given the circumstances, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and forget that. And the room? Just keeps on doing what it was designed to do. Steven wants to meet his mom?

Steven gets to meet his mom. 

Steven wants to play games with his mom? Steven gets to play games with his mom.

Steven needs reassurance? He’s told he’s wonderful the way he is and that his mother has been with him the whole time.

And it’s beautiful.

But it’s empty. 

Rose’s room holds no answers for him. It can’t tell him anything he doesn’t already know. The sudden reminder that his mother isn’t actually there is jarring. 

And the room, struggling to keep up with the sudden shift in Steven’s thoughts makes Rose dark, threatening and distant. She doesn’t answer any of Steven questions about Bismuth, Pink Diamond, the rebellion or her plans because the room simply doesn’t have the information to do so with.

Maybe they didn’t matter to you as much as hiding from the mess you made. And that’s why I’m here, isn’t it? Did you make me just so you wouldn’t have to deal with all your mistakes?

Steven is smart. Steven is perceptive. He was born into a situation that no one, let alone a child, should have to deal with. He’s strong, he’s capable, but in so many ways he has no one who truly understands what he’s going through. He’s human and gem, and while this gives him the strengths of both, it also makes him totally unique and new. He has an amazing support system, people who would do anything in this universe to help him. But in some ways he will always be alone. 

He’s never met Rose Quartz, the one individual that was the catalyst for the rebellion and its aftermath. Steven is going from the bedtime story/ fairy tale Rose Quartz presented to him from Greg and the gems to the reality behind the legend- something decisively less fairy tale like. That’s something that happens to a lot of us growing up, but in Steven’s situation it’s so much worse.

He never knew the Rose Quartz everyone idolized, but grew up knowing that everyone expected him to be just like her.  But as he learns more about her, he finds that there was so much more to her. She wasn’t necessarily the kind, generous, wise, strategic genius warrior she was painted as. She lied. She didn’t think things through. She made mistakes. She ran from those mistakes.

Everyone around him expects him to grow up to be just like Rose, and he’s not even sure he likes her. Turning into her is both his dream and his worst nightmare. 

We don’t know all the reasoning behind why Rose decided to become/create Steven. I have no doubt that it was definitely a strategic move on her part. She knew that Steven would be capable of doing things she never could, that in whatever was coming from Homeworld, she herself would not be able to do what was needed to save both Earth and whatever gems would come their way.

But I also have no doubt that it was a labor of love, that she absolutely would want Steven to exist without having to deal with her problems, IF that was possible. Steven had watched the tape his mom made for him, so the room? It knew what Steven needed to be reminded of.

I get it. I know you didn’t want me to deal with your problems. But you’re a part of me now. I have to deal with what you left behind. 

Whether Steven’s creation was a strategic move on Rose’s part or not is a moot point. He’s here and he has to handle the problems she left in her wake. He’s growing up and he needs answers. And as he’s coming to find, those answers aren’t necessarily easy to deal with. 

But, when it comes down it, Steven isn’t alone. Maybe his support system isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. They love him, they love each other, and they’ll get through this together.

Sometimes what’s let behind isn’t so bad after all. 

How high can you count on your fingers?

How high can you count on your fingers? It seems like a question with an obvious answer. After all, most of us have ten fingers, or to be more precise, eight fingers and two thumbs. This gives us a total of ten digits on our two hands, which we use to count to ten. 

It’s no coincidence that the ten symbols we use in our modern numbering system are called digits as well. But that’s not the only way to count. In some places, it’s customary to go up to twelve on just one hand. How? Well, each finger is divided into three sections, and we have a natural pointer to indicate each one, the thumb. That gives us an easy to way to count to twelve on one hand. 

And if we want to count higher, we can use the digits on our other hand to keep track of each time we get to twelve, up to five groups of twelve, or 60.

Better yet, let’s use the sections on the second hand to count twelve groups of twelve, up to 144.

That’s a pretty big improvement, but we can go higher by finding more countable parts on each hand. For example, each finger has three sections and three creases for a total of six things to count. Now we’re up to 24 on each hand. 

And using our other hand to mark groups of 24 gets us all the way to 576. Can we go any higher? It looks like we’ve reached the limit of how many different finger parts we can count with any precision. So let’s think of something different.

One of our greatest mathematical inventions is the system of positional notation, where the placement of symbols allows for different magnitudes of value, as in the number 999. Even though the same symbol is used three times, each position indicates a different order of magnitude. So we can use positional value on our fingers to beat our previous record. Let’s forget about finger sections for a moment and look at the simplest case of having just two options per finger, up and down. This won’t allow us to represent powers of ten, but it’s perfect for the counting system that uses powers of two, otherwise known as ‘binary’. 

In binary, each position has double the value of the previous one, so we can assign our fingers values of 1, 2, 4, 8…all the way up to 512. And any positive integer, up to a certain limit, can be expressed as a sum of these numbers. For example, the number seven is 4+2+1. So we can represent it by having just these three fingers raised. How high an we go now? That would be the number with all ten fingers raised, or 1,023. Is it possible to go even higher? It depends on how dexterous you feel! If you can bend each finger just halfway, that gives us three different states -down, half bent, and raised. Now, we can count using a base-three positional system, up to 59,048. And if you can bend your fingers into four different states or more, you can get even higher. That limit is up to you, and your own flexibility and ingenuity.

Even with our fingers in just two possible states, we’re already working pretty efficiently. In fact, our computers are based on the same principle. Each microchip consists of tiny electrical switches that can be either on or off, meaning that base-two is the default way they represent numbers. And just as we can use this system to count past 1,000 using only our fingers, computers can perform billions of operations just by counting off 1’s and 0’s.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How high can you count on your fingers? (Spoiler: much higher than 10) - James Tanton

Animation by TED-Ed

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mar 23 2017 // ap chemistry

we finally finished learning all the necessary material for the ap chemistry test… so I can finally present my flashcards system!

this is how I have been studying for all of my second semester chemistry tests, and it’s how I will study for the ap exam.

read more about this flashcards system below the cut!

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Azriel + Elain. I ship it. Hear me out (ACOWAR spoilers).

I have a theory that Azriel and Elain are ultimately going to end up together. I hated myself for it at first because I was kind of pulling for Lucien (poor Lucien), but now that I’ve put together the below evidence, I am 100% on board. 

We all know that SJM is the queen of foreshadowing. She plants hints books in advance, and we don’t realize it was foreshadowing until after the truth has been revealed and you’re like duh this was SO OBVIOUS BECAUSE SHE BASICALLY TOLD US WITHOUT TELLING US (a few examples: Feyre being Rhys’ mate, Rowan being Aelin’s).

So, Azriel and Elain. Yes, I know Elain has a mate. Yes, I know that at the end of ACOWAR, all signs were pointing towards Elain giving him a chance. But I think that’s all it’s going to be. A chance. 

Now let’s dig into the evidence. After finishing ACOWAR, I (obviously) had to re-read the whole series, now that I knew how it all turned out. 

In ACOMAF, I came across the following passage on p. 487:

Nesta. I painted flames for her. She was always angry, always burning. I think that she and Amren would be fast friends. I think she would like Velaris, despite herself. And I think Elain - Elain would like it, too. Though she’d probably cling to Azriel, just to have some peace and quiet. I smiled at the thought - at how handsome they would be together. If the warrior ever stopped quietly loving Mor.

After having read ACOWAR, we know that Nesta and Amren became fast friends. We know that despite herself, she definitely likes Velaris. And we know that Elain clings to Azriel - that he was gentle with her, and kind. All of that passage came true. What struck me weirdly about it was that next sentence - I smiled at the thought - at how handsome they would be together. If the warrior ever stopped quietly loving Mor. Knowing what we know now about Mor, I think it’s safe to assume that in the near future, Mor will tell Azriel the truth. And when that happens…he’ll (hopefully) eventually open up his heart to someone else.

Once those sentences had grabbed my attention, when I was re-reading ACOWAR, all of the Azriel/Elain scenes just…made sense. He’s kind to her. Gentle. He sits with her when she’s in the garden. He walks with her arm wrapped around his. He carries her when she’s too weak to walk herself. There’s a fair amount of evidence that I could pull together, but to spare you from this post being absurdly long, I’m just asking you to trust me on the little moments.

Two more scenes that I do want to dissect, however. The first one being when Rhys explains how you can reject a mating bond - it’s a long passage, so I’m only going to include the highlights (p.257):

“You said your mother and father were wrong for each other; Tamlin said his own parents were wrong for each other….so it can’t be a perfect system of matching. What if -” I jerked my chin toward the window, to my sister and the shadowsinger in the garden - “that is what she needs? Is there no free will? What if Lucien wishes the union but she doesn’t?”

….

“Sometimes, the bond is nothing more than some…preordained guesswork at who will provide the strongest offspring. At its basest level, it’s perhaps only that….Only years later will they realize that perhaps the pairing was not ideal in spirit.”

Rhys goes on to explain how you can reject the bond but it can drive the male mad. At this point, my brain was screaming !!!!!!!!! at me. 1) because SJM is the queen of foreshadowing and if she included this discussion, she included it for a reason and 2) Feyre literally is like ummmm hi, I think Azriel could be a better match.

Finally, the last piece of evidence I will include, is the scene where Azriel hands Elain truth-teller. This scene is so important, so pivotal, that is even included in the A Court of Thorns and Roses coloring book. If you own the coloring book, you know that the scenes in there have huge significance to the story. Again this scene is a bit long to include, but highlights below, after he gently presses her hand into the hilt of the legendary blade (p.610):

“Cassian gawked at Azriel, and I wondered how often Azriel had lent out that blade - 

Never, Rhys said from where he finished buckling on his own weapons against the side of the wagon. I have never once seen Azriel let another person touch that knife

Elain looked up at Azriel, their eyes meeting, his hand still lingering on the hilt of the blade. I saw the painting in the mind: the lovely fawn, blooming spring vibrant behind her. Standing before Death, shadows and terrors lurking over his shoulder. Light and dark, the space between their bodies a blend of the two. The only bridge of connection…that knife.”

I don’t think there’s much to say other than OH MY GOD THAT PASSAGE I SHIP IT.

IN CONCLUSION (I’m sorry this post was so long but I needed to include evidence to back up this kind of crazy theory), I think that Elain and/or Lucien will end up rejecting the bond. If I had to make a really crazy guess, I’m going to predict that Lucien ends up being Helion’s heir (and therefore moving to his court), and because he is decent, he realizes that Elain will want to stay with her sister’s in the Night Court. Because he recognizes that maybe they aren’t a true match in spirit, he will let her go. And then boom, that leaves the door open for Azriel + Elain. The end.

Let me know your thoughts!!

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You work here, don’t you want good insurance? Don’t need it. Never been sick, perfect immune system. Okay, well, if you’ve never been sick then you don’t have any antibodies. I don’t need them. Superior genes. I’m a Schrute… And superior brain power.

[translation] German☆Jet

[AUDIO LINK] from @hetalia-music
sung by Yasumoto Hiroki

JAPANESE

「予定の出発時刻まであと1分だ!
ここからの私語は一切認めん!気を引き締めろ!行くぞ!」

せいいっぱいの声で グーテンターク!ドイツだ!
地球(ほし)を飛び越え ジャーマン☆ジェット
せいいっぱい進め ロス ゲーツ!ロス ゲーツ!
覚悟を決めて立ち向かうのさ ヘタリア

輝いた星屑を
慎重に通り抜け
余裕ができたら
ヴルスト食べるぞ

新しい任務は ゼーア グート!ゼーア グート!
セカイはひとつ ザ ワールド ティンクル ヘタリア

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