pre colombian

tell why the fuck I went to this little hipster coffee shop and asked for a vanilla latte and they said they don’t offer vanilla and I was like ???? Is this the fuckin 14th century, pre colombian exchange why the fuck you don’t carry vanilla so I was like ok a mocha and they said THEY DONT OFFER MOCHA IM LIKE AM I IN A COFFEE SHOP OR HELL?

The Latest: Shakira calls for more early childhood education

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) – The latest on the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos (all times local):

12:15 a.m.

Shakira is suggesting an antidote for violent conflict and divisive populism: Get more kids in pre-school.

The Colombian singer is using her distinctive voice to lobby the world’s rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum in Davos for more spending on early childhood education.

Asked if she had a message for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, she urged solid education policies that instill “inclusiveness and tolerance” for future generations.

Recalling a childhood in Colombia marred by war, she said: “If we really want peace, we need to invest in education.”

Shakira and actor Forest Whitaker were given special awards at Davos on Wednesday for their humanitarian work.

Whitaker noted that his charity work in societies emerging from conflict requires coordination with governments of different stripes, and he stressed the importance of grassroots activity.

___

7:45 p.m.

There’s no chance that Klaus Schwab, the founder of the elite political and business gathering in Davos, will undersell the importance of the World Economic Forum.

Addressing delegates Monday in the Swiss ski resort, Schwab said this year’s 47th WEF is taking place at an “extraordinary moment of history,” when a “sometimes-disruptive transformation” partly related to technological advances is hitting businesses and societies.

Acknowledging a growing pessimism around the world, Schwab urged delegates to look to the future in a “self-confident way,” to repair deficiencies in the capitalist system and to think in the long term.

Schwab also noted that one-third of those at this year’s meeting are from the emerging world, including the largest-ever delegations from China and India.

The forum officially starts Tuesday. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Monday by train to a red carpet welcome.

___

7:15 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says his “prayer” is that the incoming Trump administration will continue to support the fight against cancer, which kept Biden from running for president after it took the life of his son, Beau.

Biden was speaking Monday before the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos to promote his “Cancer Moonshot” initiative. He hailed bipartisan support in Congress for a bill that brought in $1.8 billion for additional research at the National Cancer Institute.

Biden said he had spoken with Vice President-elect Mike Pence about his willingness to work with the new Trump administration to help it be as “committed and enthusiastic as we are in the goal of ending cancer.”

He urged other countries to also invest in the fight against cancer and called for greater collaboration among researchers, health care providers and drug firms.

___

6:30 p.m.

CEOs are increasingly confident about the near-term prospects of their companies despite an array of worries that includes mounting concerns over a lurch toward trade protectionism.

That’s the finding from an annual survey of CEOs by global accounting and consulting firm PwC ahead of the World Economic Forum.

The survey found that 38 percent of CEOs are very confident about their company’s growth prospects in the next 12 months, against 35 percent last year. Meanwhile, 29 percent of respondents believe global economic growth will pick up in 2017, up from 27 percent last year.

Bob Moritz, PwC’s chairman, says one worry that has swelled over the past few months is protectionism. Fears that the era of globalization may go into reverse have been stoked by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

PwC’s survey was based on 1,379 interviews across 79 countries between Sept. 26 and Dec. 5, with the majority conducted online.

___

5:45 p.m.

The chairman of global accounting and consulting firm PwC doubts that many companies will leave Britain after the country exits the European Union.

Speaking to The Associated Press in the Swiss ski resort of Davos ahead of Tuesday’s official start to the World Economic Forum, Bob Moritz said he hadn’t seen any institutions leave and that he doesn’t expect them to do so “anytime soon.”

However, Moritz says his firm is advising its many clients to be “thoughtful” and to engage in “scenario planning.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to outline her vision of Britain’s post-EU future on Tuesday.

The British pound fell around 1 percent Monday on worries that May will make it clear that her government is prepared to leave the EU’s single market, which guarantees no tariffs on goods and services, during the upcoming Brexit discussions. That’s prompted speculation that firms will ditch Britain in favor of a base within the single market.

___

5:15 p.m.

For 51 weeks of the year, the Swiss village of Davos is much like other Alpine ski resorts - fairly low profile. But around the annual World Economic Forum, it turns into something more akin to a fortress.

Checkpoints, roadblocks, airspace restrictions and armed forces are put in place to provide security to the visiting business and political leaders.

Swiss authorities say the extra security cost for this year’s gathering, which officially begins Tuesday, is around 9 million Swiss francs ($9 million) as of late November. That’s split between various parties, including the central government and the WEF itself.

The cost of deploying troops at this event is said to be similar to that of a regular training for battalions. In previous years, it has cost an average of 28 million Swiss francs per meeting.

The Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive branch, considers the WEF “an exceptional event,” providing “a unique opportunity” to bolster relations with leading figures.

___

1:30 p.m.

The World Economic Forum, which organizes the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, says the focus on economic growth, which has guided policymaking for decades, is no longer fit for purpose.

In a report published Monday, the WEF proposed a shift in policymaking to “respond more effectively to the insecurity and inequality accompanying technological change and globalization.”

The WEF’s main recommendation is that governments make improving living standards one of their key goals.

It says most countries are “missing important opportunities to raise economic growth and reduce inequality at the same time,” adding that measurements such as life expectancy, productivity and poverty rates should be priorities.

Under a new ranking system that incorporates so-called “inclusive development,” the WEF rated Norway top, followed by Luxembourg and Switzerland.

The issue of inequalities both within countries and across the world is a key focus of this year’s WEF, which officially opens Tuesday.

I, as a former humanities major, should really not be trying to puzzle out ghoul evolution, but here goes -

Realistically, we are looking at a subspecies of homo sapiens here. If there is argument as to whether to classify Neanderthal as a subspecies or not, there is no question that ghouls are, or at least should be, Homo sapiens [ghoul]. 

At some point, they diverged as a separate species. Might still be diverging, from an evolutionary point of view. 

Ishida doesn’t really give us much in terms of history outside of Japan, or even the international ghoul scene, but one of the big clues on when ghouls developed would have been whether or not they existed in pre-Colombian America or not.

It’s fun to speculate, given all the cannibalism-taboo based creatures in Native American myth, but lets be fair, those exist in our ghoul-free world. But assuming the pre-Colombian Americans had ghouls, and the ghouls native to the Americas are biologically similar to the ghouls we know - i.e. breed true with other ghouls, produce half-humans or rarely one-eyes with humans, and have similar species markers - then we at least have a time frame for probable species divergence, as it is possible but unlikely that two groups of isolated proto-ghouls would diverge from humans in the exact same way - i.e. the group in the America and the group elsewhere.

So assuming we are looking at species divergence finishing by around 20,000 years ago, what is the earliest possible date.

Now, again, we’ve only seen Japan here, but in Japan at least, we know ghouls are visibly indistinguishable from the general population. Weird manga-world hair colors aside, Japanese people still look Japanese in this world. Meaning Japanese ghouls look Japanese. Russian ghouls, like Donato, probably don’t look Japanese. Meaning that Ghouls around the world seem to have the racial characteristics of the native population.

Meaning that during the evolutionary period when such characteristics were forming, Ghouls and humans could likely still interbreed, but were still more or less distinct species. I say this, with my very limited knowledge of biology and speciation, because ghouls around the world seem to all be the same species while all looking like the local human population. Humans achieve this because they all came from one location - from Africa around 50,000 years ago. 

Were their already ghouls in their group at the time? There must have been, unless there are parts of the world which did not natively have ghouls and ghouls only traveled to later. Given our lack of information, this is certainly possible. It’s possible that ghouls first evolved during a human migration out of Africa in the Middle East and that there weren’t any ghouls in Africa until later when people started moving around. 

But what I’m proposing is that in that group of humans that left Africa were the Adam and Eve of what are the ghouls of today, so to speak. And the ghouls that travelled with this migration must have been sufficiently distinct from humans that even if they could still interbreed, maybe only successfully on occasion, they maintained enough of a separate species distinction that their ghoulish offspring were the same species no matter if they were part of the group that headed up to Scandinavia or out towards the Indian subcontinent.

I would posit that the species divergence must have happened all the way back there, but interbreeding has gotten harder over time, somehow. And this is where my lack of science education fails me. If, back 50,000 years ago, every hundred or so times a human and a ghoul produced a viable, fertile ghoul child, then perhaps it would be enough to keep the ghoul population. I don’t know how it would work.

But somehow they would have had to both maintain their species and evolve racial characteristics in parallel with the humans around them.

I suppose it could have just been parallel selective pressures plus the fact that there was the additional selective pressure of being hunted down if you didn’t blend in. But I don’t know if that would be enough, given that evolution is so undirected. I think crossbreeding would be necessary.

Which is all not even to get into the numbers of it. How many ghouls would there have to be per human population to sustain both populations and allow sufficient genetic diversity of the ghoul population? And allow for ghouls to have remained the oppressed and subjugated monsters throughout history? 

Ecologically speaking, prey animals outnumber predator animals, but humans like to upset and mess with that rule wherever they go, what with domestication and farming and stuff. Ghouls don’t seem to do that, despite the intelligence. What would the numbers even look like. I guess I’m pushing this into sociology or anthropology, huh?

I dunno. I majored in humanities. I’m supposed to be writing about existentialism and literary foils, not evolution.

It’s possible that ghouls evolved a lot later and just spread around the world, and all ghouls look vaguely Japanese, for all we know.

I cede the floor to someone who knows more about this than I do. @silverbulletsama? anyone? wanna take this post away from me? Touka? Nishiki?

AU where werewolves and vampires switch places. 

Werewolves are commonly portrayed as aristocratic immortal beings with a dark secret, often portrayed as noble and refined despite their inherently violent nature, and must kill/harm in order to continue living. The myth began with tales of corpses that would rise from their graves on full moons, suddenly wolflike in appearance, preying on humans through the night. They have a wide number of off quirks and weaknesses that an aspiring werewolf hunter can use to their advantage. Modern stories have heavily romanticized them as the definitive icon of “goth” fashion.

Vampires are human beings with odd, vaguely bat-like qualities, who carry a curse that forces them to transform into terrifying monsters with an overwhelming urge to hunt, and must thereby always keep away from civilization, or risk being discovered as a monster. Modern interpretations are both diverse and horribly confused, as the myth borrows from innumerable sources, including the tales of viking berserkers, a greek tragic hero, and even a few pre-colombian civilizations that adopted the guise of sacred animals in order to seek enlightenment. 

Fortunately the Milk: Gaiman's kid-novel is a tribute to fatherly trolling

Neil Gaiman’s illustrated children’s novel Fortunately the Milk is a magnificent tribute to the fatherly art of trolling kids with straightfaced, outlandish tales. It’s narrated by a boy whose mother is away on a business trip, and whose father had to go out to the corner store for a pint of milk for the cereal and his tea. Dad takes an unconscionably long time getting the milk, and when he returns, the narrator and his little sister accuse Dad of having stopped to gossip at the store. Not so, insists Dad, who proceeds to explain exactly what happened while he was out getting the milk.

It’s an astounding tale, starting with an alien abduction, moving swiftly onto a space-time journey to the ship of a vicious pirate queen and a near-death plank-walking, a daring rescue by a time-travelling dinosaur scientist in a hot-air-balloon time machine, and thence through interference with a pre-Colombian human sacrifice, and many, many other adventures, including several involving temporal paradoxes.

It’s an absolute delight to read aloud – I’ve read it to my five-year-old daughter twice since the weekend – and the interludes in which the kids break in to question the dad’s story sparked great conversations, especially when it came to the temporal paradoxes. The fact that the kids clearly suspect that Dad is making it all up, but would rather try to disprove it by picking holes in his continuity than by denying it outright perfectly captures the spirit of an excellent round of dad-trolling.

And for all the mad-cappery, there’s a fair bit of attention here to an internally consistent time-travel story, with all the fun that implies. By the end, we’re in a kid-safe place that’s one part Douglas Adams, one part Doctor Who, and one part The Usual Suspects. It’s quite a mix!

There are two editions of the book: the UK edition is illustrated with Chris Riddell, whose art is more Al Jaffee, less Ralph Steadman – madcap rather than grotesque. The US edition is illustrated by Skottie Young, whose work is more grown-up. Both artists complement the text well, but I favor the UK version. You can see some art samples below.

Fortunately the Milk [UK edition, illustrated by Chris Riddell]

Fortunately the Milk [US edition, illustrated by Skottie Young]