polar party

DM: You encounter a very angry polar bear.

Me: Polar bears aren’t supposed to be this far south, are they?

DM: No. No they are not.

Bard (half jokingly): I use my speak-to-animals ability to try to convince it to join our party.

DM (dead-serious face): Roll diplomacy.

Bard: Oh. Uh. Okay. *rolls nat 20*

DM: … The polar bear joins your party. That wasn’t supposed to be that easy.


♔ Welcome to the Vortex Club  ♔

Idk the dichotomy between the two The Wild Party musicals is interesting to me because neither is perfect, but they seem to have the opposite problems?

  • LaChiusa’s struggles to adequately flesh out and give arcs to too many characters while Lippa’s fails to adequately integrate or characterize the other party guests
  • LaChiusa’s score can be unpalatable to untrained ears while Lippa’s score can be boring to savvy listeners
  • LaChiusa’s score was “too period” while Lippa’s score was “too modern”
  • LaChiusa’s is a lot (too much?) to take in in a single viewing while in LIppa’s there’s not much action, all of which is unnecessarily dragged out
  • LaChiusa’s characters are flawed and unpleasant while Lippa’s overly sanitized for the story
  • LaChiusa’s is cold and dark while Lippa’s is overly sentimental

Green-Eyed Monster

Prompt by the dazzling sillyeverydays

“You going to slow down on those drinks?” Tori asked you as she handed you two more shots.

“Nope not any time soon.” You replied taking a shot. Dauntless’s favorite tattoo polar was throwing a party and with the new initiates arrival recently things have been nonstop at the headquarters so it was nice to relax for a change and you were going to take full advantage of the opportunity.

“How many have you had?” you heard Eric ask from behind you as he put his hand on the small of your back. Heat rushed to your face. He had that effect on you just from a mere touch.  You were still spinning from making love just before you both came to the party. Eric was a beast in bed and you did not know if you would ever get use to his appetite. There were times when he left you so sore you had to call out sick from training your initiates. You thought you were limber but Eric always seem to prove you wrong.

“I only had three.” You lied. You were actually on your fifth one. Eric pinched your side.

“I can’t have you sloppy drunk. You won’t be able to keep up with me later tonight.” He told you eyeing you. He probably knew you were lying.

“I won’t be.” You assured him.

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So that’s the story of the Polar Party – as if anyone following this blog didn’t know it already.  Still, it’s good to go back to the sources.  The documents of the last days of Scott & Co. have been pored over, dissected, strained, sifted, and micro-analysed since they were found in November of 1912, and it seems sometimes as though the final act of the tragedy sucks up all available attention like a black hole.  But just as a black hole sits at the centre of a vast glimmering galaxy, there’s so much more to the story than the ending!  And that’s what I want to bring you – the good times as well as the bad; the practical jokes, the culinary experiments, stumbling through hymns on the pianola – but most of all, the wonderful and varied cast of characters, beyond their role as cogs in the tragedy machine; as living, breathing, thinking, feeling, fully human beings, who actually lived on this planet, as real as you or me.

I wonder sometimes if the obsession with picking apart the fate of the Polar Party – whose fault, or what’s; where, when, etc – is, deep down, a rational and analytical person’s way of channeling a desire to save them.  It’s a compassionate instinct and not one to be condemned, though until we discover the secret of time travel there’s not much we can do about it.  A little mischievous part of me, though, squeaks from under the bed: why hypothetically save them, when you can bring them back to life?

(For the record, no, I am not making an animated film – but that doesn’t stop me mucking about, and boy was that ever satisfying to do.)

Random RWBY Thoughts: Number Fifteen

- Velvet is a vegetarian. (Submitted by @eren-without-powers )

- Team STRQ are responsible for starting the largest and most epic food fight in Beacon’s history. Anywhere between four and six teams were involved… even Ozpin and Oobleck joined in.

- Whenever Weiss is pissed about something (which is all the time), Yang warns everyone she can. “It’s very un-Weiss to talk to her right now… Schnee-ds a little alone time.”

- Yang also has a pun for Blake whenever she’s sad. “Things are looking very Blake…” (she says Blake in a way that makes it sound like ‘bleak’.)

- One of Nora’s favourite past-times is getting hammered at the pub. (Yeah I know she’s 17. Yang ordered a drink at the nightclub, so there.)

- Qrow frequently quotes ‘Frozen’ around Winter just to piss her off.

- Various RWBY characters when drunk:

- Ruby = The most chill person ever, plus lots of burping.

- Weiss = Party girl. Polar opposite of her normal self.

- Blake = Less emo. Actually very pleasant to be around.

- Yang = Extreme party girl.

- Jaune = Slurred speech, stumbling around and vomitting everywhere.

- Nora = *incomprehensible gibberish*

- Pyrrha = Like Ruby, she’s so chill. And she literally throws herself at Jaune in an attempt to get lucky.

- Lie Ren = Would never get drunk. However, if it did happen he would become extremely talkative.

- Professor Ozpin = Suave, swag and class overload. #2boss4u

- Glynda = Tries to remain formal and composed, but everyone knows she’s wasted as fuck.

- Professor Oobleck = Slows way the fuck down. He moves and talks almost literally in slo-mo.

- Ironwood = Constantly hitting on Glynda… and occasionally Ozpin.

- Qrow = No difference.

- Penny = *innocently keeps drinking straight whiskey while everyone is either passed out or hungover*

I hope you have enjoyed yourself. Feel free to submit headcanons for the next edition!

Good Enough (2)

prologue; part one; part two; part three; part four; part five; part six; part seven; part eight; part nine; part ten; part eleven; part twelve; part thirteen; part fourteen; part fifteen; part sixteen; part seventeen; part eighteen; part nineteen; part twenty; part twenty one; part twenty two; part twenty three; part twenty four; epilogue.

bonus scenes: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

“Are you ok?” someone asked, shaking your shoulder roughly.

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The anti-Trump resistance will fail if we don't ditch establishment Democrats | Bhaskar Sunkara
We can’t succeed if we are tied to generations of unpopular Democratic party leaders
By Bhaskar Sunkara

If the last week has shown us anything, it’s that Donald Trump has power, but he doesn’t have much of a mandate yet.

We need to keep it that way — and be wary of the bad political leadership and strategy that can help him build one. November’s election is a powerful reminder that the Clinton establishment’s mix of socially inclusive rhetoric and neoliberal economics is a weak response to xenophobic populism.

An anti-Trump resistance movement must be broad, but it must direct its anger and energy not just at the enemy in the White House, but the failed leadership that let him get there. The Tea Party movement couldn’t have emerged with Bob Dole and George W Bush among their leaders. We can’t build our anti-Trump resistance, settled with generations of unpopular Democratic party leaders either.

The alternative must come from below — and certainly protests like the Women’s March are inspiring starts. Millions marched, many of whom had never attended a political protest before. It was hopefully a sign of things to come. Yet it is crucial that we know what this broad movement is for, as well as what it is against. 

For years, myself and others posed a divide in the Democratic party that seemingly existed only notionally: a gap between social-democratic demands at the base of the party and technocratic neoliberalism at the top of it. The Sanders campaign made that divide more real and tangible — it stirred a rabid opposition to Clintonism within millions of people, many of them politicized for the first time, and more importantly presented an alternative politics.

Now a whole generation of Sanders Democrats are engaged in a process that at its best creatively produces divisions and polarizations within the party that complements the organizing that is going on outside of it.

The broad sketches of an alternative left politics in the Trump era are emerging. Socialists and others are doing their part building social movements organized around real, uncompromising demands for things like free public higher education and a dignified health care system to expand the base for progressive politics, while using local elections (both within Democratic primaries and as independents) to spread their message far and wide.

But though he’s seemingly in disarray now we must be wary of the ways in which Trump’s support can easily be bolstered.

We should be very afraid when the president of the Building Trades Unions umbrella group, Sean McGarvey, calls the meeting he had with Trump last week the best of his life. Our response in the labor movement must be to support rank-and-file struggles against leaders prone to conciliation for even the most meager of concessions. We must demand the same accountability from liberal organizations and the Democratic party, as well.

There is no doubt that this stance will put like-minded leftists and liberals in direct confrontation with establishment Democrats and their assorted lackies.

(Continue Reading)

March 29th, 1912

March 29th

Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W. and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th. Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for any better things now. We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.

It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more.


Last Entry

For God’s sake look after our people.

Message to Public

The causes of the disaster are not due to faulty organisation, but to misfortune in all risks which had to be undertaken.

1. The loss of pony transport in March 1911 obliged me to start later than I had intended, and obliged the limits of stuff transported to be narrowed.

2. The weather throughout the outward journey, and especially the long gale in 83º S., stopped us.

3. The soft snow in lower reaches of glacier again reduced pace.

We fought these untoward events with a will and conquered, but it cut into our provision reserve.

Every detail of our food supplies, clothing and depôts made on the interior ice-sheet and over that long stretch of 700 miles to the Pole and back, worked out to perfection. The advance party would have returned to the glacier in fine form and with surplus of food, but for the astonishing failure of the man whom we had least expected to fail. Edgar Evans was thought the strongest man of the party.

The Beardmore Glacier is not difficult in fine weather, but on our return we did not get a single completely fine day; this with a sick companion enormously increased our anxieties.
As I have said elsewhere we got into frightfully rough ice and Edgar Evans received a concussion of the brain – he died a natural death, but left us a shaken party with the season unduly advanced.

But all the facts above enumerated were as nothing to the surprise which awaited us on the Barrier. I maintain that our arrangements for returning were quite adequate, and that no one in the world would have expected the temperatures and surfaces which we encountered at this time of the year. On the summit in lat. 85º 86º we had -20º, -30º. On the Barrier in lat. 82º, 10,000 feet lower, we had -30º in the day, -47º at night pretty regularly, with continuous head wind during our day marches. It is clear that these circumstances come on very suddenly, and our wreck is certainly due to this sudden advent of severe weather, which does not seem to have any satisfactory cause. I do not think human beings ever came through such a month as we have come through, and we should have got through in spite of the weather but for the sickening of a second companion, Captain Oates, and a shortage of fuel in our depôts for which I cannot account, and finally, but for the storm which has fallen on us within 11 miles of the depôt at which we hoped to secure our final supplies. Surely misfortune could scarcely have exceeded this last blow. We arrived within 11 miles of our old One Ton Camp with fuel for one last meal and food for two days. For four days we have been unable to leave the tent – the gale howling about us. We are weak, writing is difficult, but for my own sake I do not regret this journey, which has shown that Englishmen can endure hardships, help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past. We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last. But if we have been willing to give our lives to this enterprise, which is for the honour of our country, I appeal to our countrymen to see that those who depend on us are properly cared for.

Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for.



Well now that that’s out of the way…

guess I’ll go see if they’re still showing the Simpsons on Fxx, night everyone!



Originally posted by mooseleys

Pairing: Luciferxsister!reader
Word count: 734

Part 3 of Lucifer’s Baby Sister

Lucifer was in the kitchen packing your lunch for your first day of school, which he wasn’t looking forward to. Even if he wouldn’t admit it. It worried him. The first time you’d shown any kind of powers was a few days after you’d turned on. You were in your crib, sleeping, and when you’d woken up, you didn’t yell like usual. You’d simply found yourself on Lucifer’s lap. He had been reading, and not expecting a toddler to randomly appear.

When you were three, he was playing with you in the back yard and you’d gotten hurt. You were climbing up the little steps on your play set and slipped. You hit your head and got a small gash. Before he could reach up to heal you, it was gone.

Being the daughter of God, even half human, meant powers- but Lucifer had no way of knowing what they would be. Or when they would show themselves. Pushing it from  his mind, he put your rocket ship lunch box in the fridge.

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This voting reform solves 2 of America’s biggest political problems
“Proportional” voting would reduce party polarization and the number of wasted votes. Back in October, Alec MacGillis penned a provocative New York Times opinion piece titled “Go Midwest, Young Hipster.” The argument was straightforward. Young educated progressives were fleeing their hometowns in places like Iowa and Ohio for thriving cities like San Francisco and New York City — but those moves had profound political consequences. Read more
more random AU's

•'Fell asleep on each other’s shoulders during a long trip’ au
•"I’m just showing off I’m not trying to impress you" au
•Costume party au
•Polar opposite couple au
•"We’re both so fucked up that we’re the only ones that can stand the sight of the other" au
•"You came with me to see how much the tickets were even though you told me not be so self conscious" au
•"I still can’t comprehend that you want to be with me and I can’t help but be awkward and praise you too much" au
•'Staring competition with lots of suggestive flirting that ends up making them hot and bothered instead of put off’ au
•'Declares love so often that they’re not taken seriously but can’t say it when they actually do fall for them’ au
•'Falls asleep in random places around the college campus and somebody always puts a blanket around them’ au
•'Awkwardly tries to pretend that they have to give in to the pressure of kissing underneath the mistletoe but the other person plain rejects the idea’ au

Through a feminist lens: Disney Channel's "K.C. Undercover"

In case you were wondering, the reason why you probably haven’t heard of K.C. Undercover is because it’s the newest show on…Disney Channel. Why, you may ask, am I reviewing a show on Disney Channel? Do I - dare I say it - watch Disney Channel?! In one word, yes. It’s a problem. But that’s a conversation for another day.

I’ve taken a particular interest in K.C. due to it being not only a show with a female lead who (literally) kicks butt, but also the only Disney show centered on a family of color since Wizards of Waverly Place and the only Disney show centered on a black family since That’s So Raven. Though the pilot hasn’t officially aired, I was able to watch it early on the Watch Disney app (yep, I have that on my iPhone; no shame). So, without further ado, here are some of my thoughts on the K.C. pilot.

Yes, that’s Zendaya. If you haven’t listened to her debut album, DO IT.

Black representation

To my surprise, K.C. isn’t riddled with stereotypes about black families (unlike every Tyler Perry comedy). The family is upper-middle-class, made up of two employed parents, a mother and father, both accountants; an older daughter; and a younger son - in other words, pretty much like every other (cough cough white) family on Disney Channel. Well, except that they’re secretly spies. NBD. Most of all, I’m happy that the predominantly privileged, white producers over at Disney Channel didn’t try to incorporate their strange interpretation of “urban slang” into the script.

K.C., the daughter, attends a predominantly white high school, but that hasn’t been dealt with explicitly yet. In the first episode, the only POC outside of her family with whom she has prolonged interaction is a rival black male teen spy. They find themselves instantly attracted to each other, which makes me wonder if Disney decided to choose a black character for K.C.’s first love interest in order to further diversify the cast, or if they assumed that of course a black girl would be attracted to a black guy. In any case, black women on TV are often romantically paired with white men (Annalise and Sam in How to Get Away with Murder, Olivia and Fitz in Scandal, etc.), and it’s great to see Disney creating black characters outside of K.C.’s immediate family.

This is the rival spy. Sadly, we probably won’t see too much more of him.

Feminism & gender stereotypes

K.C.’s parents invite her to join their spy missions because she’s a frickin’ genius. Actually, though. She’s a perfect student, does robotics for fun, and apparently fitted her family’s house with solar panels. The fact that Disney made K.C. a girl in STEM is the coolest thing ever, IMO; if anyone needs an extra push into math and science, it’s the preteen girls watching Disney Channel.

Oh, and did I mention that K.C. is a black belt in karate? The show opens with an epic showdown between her and an adult spy dude, and obviously she kicks his ass…in a sexy evening gown and heels, no less.

Basically, K.C. is Disney Channel’s best female role model: brave, super good at math, physically tough, and hella assertive.

Whoops, time to run - gotta go be a supermodelsuperspy. 

On the other hand, K.C.’s best friend Marisa is her polar opposite: a super party girl who does badly in school and cares only about boys and clothes. (This isn’t a surprise; Disney Channel is riddled with girls like this.) The show’s heteronormativity issues start with Marisa, who tries desperately to get K.C. to act more like a stereotypical girl. When K.C. finally decides to attend a school dance (secretly because she needs to spy on the hot teen spy dude), Marisa grabs a bunch of dresses and cries, “It’s a girl!”, as if a) girls need to be interested in feminine pursuits like fashion, and b) ONLY girls can get excited for dressing up. However, K.C. basically rolls her eyes at this reaction, encouraging the audience to do the same.

Nerdy vs. popular

Traditionally, Disney Channel has treated academically-motivated kids with disdain. If a character studies hard and gets stellar grades, they’re usually ridiculed by their peers (see Farkle and his nerd buddies in Girl Meets World, Ravi in Jessie, and Kevin Covais’ character on Good Luck Charlie, just to name a few examples). Fortunately, Disney flips the script in K.C. - even though K.C. can be socially awkward like most Disney nerds, she gains confidence in herself and learns how to embrace her inner goddess, attracting her crush, making the “popular” girls jealous with her beauty, and breaking into an impressive tango routine at the school dance.

Yep, this what Disney Channel nerds usually look like. Nice sweater, bro.

Marisa, the kind of character who we’re supposed to look up to on Disney Channel shows, instead comes across as pretty silly. (Disney REALLY wants make this idea blatantly clear for viewers, even giving Marisa the line, “Studying: bad. Partying: good!”) The one issue I have with the show’s portrayal of Marisa is what I call “slut-shaming lite”: even though you never see her even kissing a guy, and nobody directly calls her out for her boy obsession, it’s obvious that we’re not supposed to take her too seriously. In one scene, she comes into a room with a guy for some “alone time,” and once she sees K.C. and the other teen spy in the room, she leaves to give them privacy, prompting the spy dude to joke that Marisa must not be very good at school. Why, spy dude? Are girls not allowed to party and be smart, huh?!

Weight & disability

When K.C. is in the school cafeteria, she sits next to a fat girl in a wheelchair who’s sitting alone, assuming that the girl is probably lonely. Suddenly, a bunch of the “popular” girls storm in and sit with the girl, who had been reserving their seats, and the girl starts bitching out K.C. for stereotyping people with disabilities. In one fell swoop, Disney Channel tackles the pervasive assumptions that kids who are fat and/or have a disability are outcasts and that all people with disabilities are “nice.” Even though typecasting the overweight girl as the brassy/sassy fat chick - popularized in contemporary film by Rebel Wilson & Melissa McCarthy - was a little disappointing, the show’s representation (and humanization!) of people with disabilities made my heart swell three sizes (too late for a Christmas reference?).


Aaaaaand that’s it. Usually I wouldn’t recommend Disney Channel shows to anyone (seriously), but so far, K.C. Undercover is pretty entertaining, and it’s exactly what the current white-washed Disney Channel needs. I’m not sure if the show will have staying power, since the writing and plot aren’t spectacular, but honestly, as long as it outlasts goddamn Dog with a Blog, I’ll be happy.

P.S. The (awesome) theme song for the show should drop on January 15. You can check out a preview of it in the show’s promo.

Ship found in Arctic 168 years after doomed Northwest Passage attempt

The long-lost ship of British polar explorer Sir John Franklin, HMS Terror, has been found in pristine condition at the bottom of an Arctic bay, researchers have said, in a discovery that challenges the accepted history behind one of polar exploration’s deepest mysteries.

HMS Terror and Franklin’s flagship, HMS Erebus, were abandoned in heavy sea ice far to the north of the eventual wreck site in 1848, during the Royal Navy explorer’s doomed attempt to complete the Northwest Passage.

All 129 men on the Franklin expedition died, in the worst disaster to hit Britain’s Royal Navy in its long history of polar exploration. Search parties continued to look for the ships for 11 years after they disappeared, but found no trace, and the fate of the missing men remained an enigma that tantalised generations of historians, archaeologists and adventurers. Read more.

The Worst Journey in the World
In the austerely beautiful icescapes of Antarctica, Apsley Cherry-Garrard is on the adventure of a lifetime. But things are about to go disastrously wrong.

After seven years, BBC Radio is rerunning the drama that got me hooked on the Scott Expedition.  I can’t put into words how much it means to me, though I can say without a hint of exaggeration that it changed my life.


You’ll be introduced to some of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet, in an amazing story that you’ll think has to have had major dramatic licence taken, but it didn’t!*

And as it’s radio you can listen while doing boring responsible grownup things, so you don’t even have to feel guilty about it.

(I first heard it while sewing my Halloween costume, so you are not obligated to be doing something boring or grownup or responsible.)

Need to escape the family for a bit on Thanksgiving weekend?  Want to put Black Friday in perspective?  To take the edge off those early nights? To make you swear you will never again complain about the cold?

*There are small changes to timeline and locations that help streamline it into two hours, but the big stuff, and the stuff you can’t believe actually happened, actually happened.


Kate McAll

The search party from Cape Evans found the last camp of the Polar Party on November 12, 1912.

… to say it is a ghastly day cannot express it … (A.C.-G.)