process ensures that

google.com
Using technology to address gender bias in film | Google
Machine learning helps identify gender in movies and reveals new information about gender inequality in highest grossing films and Oscar winning films.

This is FASCINATING and important - made in conjunction with The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media - CHECK IT OUT!  

The GD-IQ and how it works

“Dubbed the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ), the tool not only can identify a character’s gender, but it knew to a fraction of a second how long each actor spoke, and were on-screen. “This was revolutionary,” says Davis. “No one’s been able to do that before with any accuracy.” And GD-IQ works fast; what once took months to measure can now be quantified in real time.

GD-IQ uses machine learning to recognize patterns the casual movie viewer might overlook. To do this, the engineers didn’t provide the computer with a template or a set of hand crafted rules; Instead the machines were programmed to “learn” from examples that were annotated with the correct answer. This automated process ensures that the technology improves its own understanding over time. The tool learned to detect different characters on-screen, determine their gender, and calculate how often and for how long they spoke in relation to one another.”

How can this technology change things?

“The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media unveiled preliminary GD-IQ findings to producers, executives, screenwriters, and actors last year. The numbers were sobering reminders of the power of unconscious bias. “Over the past decade, we’ve developed meaningful relationships with many motion picture studios who genuinely want to improve gender balance in their movies,” says Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute. “Many of them are very interested in using the GD-IQ to analyze other content, like television.”

For those filmmakers dedicated to putting women at the heart of the story, there is good news.””

Read the full piece and check out the infographics here


GOOGLE, you’re still on my list in terms of your anti-feminist search results for feminist searches, your racist results for, uh, everything - the list goes on, and I’ll see you later on those points - but this is a solid.

8

As of 6/21/17, these are my updated commission prices!

Hey everyone! I know it hasn’t been long since my last commission post, but everything went so well with the last commission wave that I am able to support myself better than ever before. Because of this, I’ve been able to work on speedpaints, patreon, anatomy study, original content, and do what I love more than anything in this world: draw. So much. Like, more than I have in a very long time.

However, I ended up taking a ton of commissions last time and am still trying to catch up, which has led me to raise my prices and have set slots for real this time.

There are 10 available slots as of right now. once they’re closed, they’re closed until I’m able to complete all 10, so hurry and get one while you can!

WHAT I WILL DRAW:

  • Armor/weapons
  • OCs
  • Animals/anthro/furries
  • Light gore/blood

WHAT I WONT DRAW

  • NSFW
  • Detailed mechanics
  • Anything more than a basic background
  • Heavy gore/blood

PLACING YOUR COMMISSION:

Hit me an e-mail at boomsheika.art@gmail.com containing the information below. If you have any additional questions regarding whether or not I’ll be willing to draw something for you, attach that to the bottom of your email!

Please include: Full name, the type of order you’re interested in, (ex: Bust, Flat color) a brief description of what you want, (no longer than a paragraph or so, please!) and any reference pictures you might have, with “commission, (first name)” as the subject.

Before you submit, know that I reserve the right to deny any commission I might feel uncomfortable with for any reason. I will let you know if I can’t take your commission.

HOW I DO MY COMMISSIONS:

Once I’ve let you know that you’re on the commission list, it may take a few days to get started on depending on how many commissions are in front of you or what kind of commission you’ve ordered. I will do my best to get to them as fast as I can without sacrificing the quality of my work.

I like to send sketches and progress pictures to my commissioners during the process to ensure that what I’m making lines up with what you want, and then I accept payment via paypal in full (with an invoice) after the final product is complete.

THAT BEING SAID, REBLOG THIS POST! EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT INTERESTED IN BUYING A COMMISSION, I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE (AND KINDA NEED) THE SUPPORT! THANK YOU!

4

The Paper Musket Cartridge,

Today when one thinks of ammunition one probably imagines modern cartridges made of brass which contain smokeless gunpowder, a bullet, and a primer.  Many firearms today even have magazines that can hold 20, 30, perhaps even 100 cartridges at a time.  However before the end of the American Civil War, when soldiers fought with flintlock or percussion muskets, most firearms were limited to one.  Cartridges of the time were also much different from the metallic self contained cartridges of today.  From the 17th century until around 1865, most cartridges were actually paper.

Before the invention of the cartridge, a soldier or hunter would typically load a musket by pouring loose powder from a flask, then loading a patch followed by the bullet, or maybe just the bullet.  Using a flask was often slow and if it lacked a tap, the amount of powder poured could vary from shot to shot, effecting performance. Eventually by the late 15th century soldiers in both Europe and Asia had the idea to place pre-measured powder charges in containers, typically worn on a bandoleer, thus speeding the loading process and ensuring better consistency.

 In the late 16th century soldiers in Denmark and Naples had the idea to wrap a pre-measured amount of gunpowder as well as a bullet inside a piece of paper.  Doing so ensured consistency of powder and sped up the process of loading.  By the 17th century the use of paper cartridges became widespread in Europe and the America’s.

To load a musket with a paper cartridge, the user would first bite off an end of the cartridge.  The user would first pour a little bit of powder in the flashpan, unless the musket was a percussion lock which became common around the mid 19th century. Then the user would drop the cartridge, powder and all into the barrel. The ramrod would be used to push the entire cartridge down the barrel, thus properly seating it and ensuring there was no air gaps between the bullet, gunpowder, and chamber (which could cause an explosion).  

Typically the paper was also pre-lubricated with wax, tallow, or lard to protect it from moisture, allow it to travel the down the bore easier, and lubricate or clean the muzzle.  Using this method a well trained soldier could expect to fire around 3-4 shots a minute. Some of the most battle hardened soldiers could achieve even more. This was the case when in April of 1866 seven hundred soldiers of the Fennian Brotherhood invaded Canada.  Composed entirely of battle hardened Irish Union Army veterans who served in the American Civil War, the Fennians were able to maintain such an intense rate of fire that initial Canadian Militia reports stated that the invaders were armed with repeating rifles.

 A seat of your pants, loading on the run method called the “tap method”, made famous by the Sharpe’s Rifle’s book and TV series, could speed up the loading process further. In this method the user pours primes the pan, drops the cartridge down the muzzle, then taps the rifle butt against the ground to seat the cartridge. The tap method made the process faster since the user didn’t have to withdraw and replace the ramrod.  This method was certainly not officially used in any army, and I myself am unsure how often it was used in history, if at all. One thing to note, as a flintlock smoothbore musket shooter myself, I would never recommend doing this, as an improperly seated cartridge could turn your musket into a pipe bomb. Below is the famous scene from Sharpe’s Eagle, and a vid of murphysmuskets using the same technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQnHHD9lMfY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9hrB-eaajI

The paper musket cartridge would be most popular in the 18th up to the mid 19th century.  By the mid 1800’s gun makers began designing others types of cartridges, eventually inventing the self-contained metallic cartridge, which allowed for conventional loading and practical multi-shot repeating firearms.  The last conflict which saw the widespread use of paper cartridges and muzzleloading firearms was the American Civil War.  By 1870 the reign of the paper cartridge ended with the production of rimfire and centerfire metallic cartridges and repeating firearms technology.  

A musket cartridge wrapped from newspaper, late 18th century.

anonymous asked:

BELLARKE + MEMORY LOSS

this could go in a number of angsty directions but I think we all need a little healing from the last episode. hope you like, anon!


Clarke is running as fast as she can. Through the dinner lines, past the bewildered workers. They do not understand her haste, but all that matters to Clarke is that Bellamy Blake is laying all the way across camp, drugged and injured, and she is not there with him.

She had waited all evening for him to wake up, and just as he was coming to consciousness, she’d been called away. An attack on the Eastern Front, they’d said. It looked as if armies were moving in. The moment she found out it was a false alarm, she’d turned around and booked it back.

Clarke feels the radio dig into her waist as she runs. She’d used it to speak to her mother just minutes ago, who had instructed her to keep Bellamy awake at all costs. Despite the heavy painkillers he’d been given for his concussion – potential concussion, Clarke reminds herself – it’s crucial to keep Bellamy conscious.

At last, Clarke bounds into the medbay. Miller catches her eye as she approaches. He’s standing next to the head of the bed, and Monty is perched at Bellamy’s feet.

“Is he awake?” Clarke asks, out of breath. The question is needless, she realizes. Bellamy’s eyes – though heavily lidded – are open.

Miller says, “He’s only responding to Monty’s voice.”

Bellamy does, in fact, appear to be blinking sluggishly at Monty. “Keep talking to him,” Clarke directs. “We have to keep him conscious.”

Monty gives a curt nod. To Bellamy, he says, “Can you hear me, Bellamy?” There is no response. “Bellamy, can you understand me?”

This time, Bellamy lets out a groan. Clarke bites her lips. God, she hopes he’s not in any pain. Please let him be okay.

Monty keeps his voice steady.  "Bellamy,” he says, “I need you to answer me. Can you hear me?“

One slow blink, then another. Then Bellamy opens his mouth. “Yes,” he croaks. 

All this time, Clarke realizes she’s been holding her breath. 

She’s not the only one relieved. She hears Miller sigh, sees Monty’s shoulders drop. He says, “Do you know who I am, Bellamy?”

Bellamy blinks again. “No.“ 

If Monty is surprised, he does not show it. In fact, he catches Clarke’s eyes, mouthing, “It’s the drugs. Don’t freak out.”

“I’m not,” Clarke mutters.

Monty asks Bellamy, "Do you know where you are?”

Bellamy squints his eyes. After a beat, they roll up to the ceiling, lids slowly beginning to droop. Clarke’s stomach clenches, because is he passing out again, oh God—but then he says, “Ship.”

Clarke looks at Miller. “Ship?” Miller mouths, eyebrows lifted.

“He is right,” Clarke mouths back, unsure why she feels so defensive.  

Monty continues, “Can you tell me your full name?”

“Bellamy Blake,” he answers.

"Good. How old are you, Bellamy?”

“Twenty-four.”

“Do you remembered what happened?”

Bellamy blinks. He once again looks up to the ceiling, his lids relaxing. With a start, Clarke realizes now he is losing consciousness. “He’s passing out!” she yells.

At her voice, however, Bellamy’s eyes open and snap to Clarke’s. She freezes at their scrutiny.

“Bellamy,” Monty’s voice is quiet, “Do you know who that is?”

His gaze lingers on her face, hard and unyielding. After what feels like a lifetime, his examination softens. “Yeah,” he murmurs.

"Can you tell me her name?”

“Clarke Griffin.”

“What do you know about her?”

Bellamy says, “Princess.”

Clarke is unable to stop the grin that forms on her face. Bellamy, too, is looking at her, a soft smile tugging at his lips. 

Clarke tests her voice on him. She asks, “Can you hear me?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you in pain?”

“No.”

Clarke looks at the slight strain in his eyes, the way he holds his right arm. She crosses her arms. “Are you lying?”

A pause. “Yeah.”

She shakes her head. “You’re an idiot,” she informs him. Because he is. How stupid he was to go after that damn moose – falling off a tree in the process – just to ensure that their people would not starve this winter. Stupid, stupid hero.

Clarke knows she’ll have time to yell at him properly later. For now, she says, “Where does it hurt?”

“Shoulder,” he says.

A distant part of Clarke thanks the universe that it’s not his head. She peels back the blanket to peek at the joint. It’s bruised, but not deformed or swollen. “You’ll live,” she says. “I can’t give you more medication.”

“Okay,” he says.

She looks at this boy, hurt and battered and lying about his pain, and the relief that floods her is unreal. “Glad you’re safe,” she murmurs.

The radio suddenly begins to beep. A crackle, then, “Clarke, we’ve got a situation on the Eastern Front. Confirmed movement towards the Ark, over.”

And just like that, her relief dissipates. She looks at Miller and Monty, seeing her own fear reflected in their eyes. 

“Go,” Monty says, “We got it here.”

Clarke nods. She knows she needs to leave, as much as her heart wants to stay. She says into the radio, “I’ll be right there, over.”

Clarke leans down beside Bellamy, locating his good hand to give it a squeeze. “I’ll be back soon, okay? Don’t do more stupid things.”

To her surprise, Bellamy squeezes her hand back. “Okay,” he murmurs. His eyes are heavy, but he still holds the soft smile. “Love you.”

Clarke doesn’t know how long she stares at the boy. She only realizes his eyes have closed when her radio screeches, “We need you here ASAP, Clarke. Over.”

It’s Miller who speaks. “Clarke, we’ll get him awake. You need to go.”

Clarke thinks she nods, she thinks she replies to the radio, but her body is on autopilot. Her feet take her out of the medbay without much of her own input, her heart thrashing in her chest. In the cool night, despite the threat of attack impending just outside their borders, all Clarke can feel are her fingers, still warm from Bellamy’s grasp.

One legitimately weird thing about Tumblr is that when you reblog a post, you have full editing power over the original caption. Sometimes thats funny, sometimes it’s not—but in any case it’s something that’s concerned a lot of you for a while now. We’re finally fixing it.

Starting today, people will be able to reblog your posts with all of its captions intact, or with all of them removed, but they won’t be able to edit your words. Phew.

Questions?

How do I reblog now?

Same as you’ve always done: Hit the reblog button, type your comment in the caption box (or not!), and click “Reblog.”

Can I still remove the comments?

Yup! We just said that. Go for it. Hit the reblog button and click on the X that appears when you hover over the comments.

Aren’t the mobile apps already like this?

Exactly. We’re trying to keep the Tumblr experience consistent across platforms. Consistently good, we hope.

Okay, how do I reblog starting with a caption that’s in the middle of a reblog chain?

If you want to reblog from a certain point in the thread, you can do that the same way you always have. Just click on the username of the last comment you want to appear in your post, and reblog directly from their post (there’s a reblog button in the top right-hand corner of the page).

This all brings added integrity to the reblog process and ensures that your comment remains as-typed in the reblog chain, forever and ever amen. Nobody should be able to put words in your mouth! You can think for yourself. And I mean, you have plenty of words in there already. PLENTY.

Tiny dog goodness via laughterkey, dogjpeg, and meilute02.

2

March 14th 1794: Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin

On this day in 1794, American inventor Eli Whitney recieved a patent for his cotton gin. Whitney, who was born in New England, moved to Georgia in 1792 to work as a tutor on a plantation. Whitney witnessed the system of Southern slavery firsthand, and noted that the growing of cotton - a staple crop on slave plantations - was becoming unprofitable. The one strain of cotton which grew inland had sticky green seeds which were time consuming to pick out of the fluffy cotton balls. Whitney sought to build a machine which would speed up this process, therefore ensuring the continued viability of the Southern cotton-based slave economy. The result of his efforts was the cotton gin, which could separate the seeds from the cotton at speed. Whitney patented his invention in 1794, and with his business partner installed them throughout the South and charged planters for their use. Planters, who resented paying the high price for using the gin, exploited a loophole in the patent law and made their own versions of the machine. The invention of the cotton gin made a significant impact upon the Southern economy and, indeed, the course of American history. After the invention, the yield of raw cotton doubled each decade after 1800, ensuring the continued profitability of slavery in the United States and leading to the growth of American slavery. Using machines of the Industrial Revolution to refine and spin cotton, grown by enslaved people who were not paid for their labour, the United States soon became the world’s leading supplier of cotton. Historians sometimes claim the invention of the cotton gin as a pivotal moment in the coming of the American Civil War. The invention ensured that the evil of slavery continued in the American South, setting the nation on the course to war over the ‘pecular institution’.

The reactions from the two a major parties to Manchester is pretty telling, I think.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party switched focus on the campaign to shed more light on what any common sense would tell you is a contributing factor in the continuation of terrorism and to try and have actual dialogue about long-term solutions to not only the problem itself but the way we as a society re-inforce the problem in how we think about it to begin with.

Theresa May’s Conservative party decided to instead make it all about how terrible Corbyn is for the aforementioned and try to repeatedly slander him as some evil Britain-hating terrorist sympathiser just because his response to terrorism is more logical and nuanced than “recklessly bomb the areas we think they are hiding and inevitably murder more innocent bystanders in the process thus ensuring the cycle of bloody retribution never ends.”

Jeremy Corbyn treated it as an actual issue.

Theresa May used it as an attack opportunity.

And I think that says everything anyone needs to know about which of the two actually cares about this beyond their own personal ambition.

snaphound  asked:

The Ellimist Chronicles!

Short opinion: Other books in the series make the point that war is not a chess game.  This book emphasizes that idea—through showing us what it takes to view war as a chess game.

Long opinion:

The Ellimist Chronicles might be the novel with the single largest scope of any book I’ve ever read: it tells the story of how a god becomes a god.  Part of what makes this book so cool and also so creepy is the sense of fatalism and foreboding that pervades it throughout.  Between the Ketrans, the Pangabans, the Jallians, and the Capasins, not to mention all the species casually sacrificed in the Ellimist’s games, we see like 8 different sentient species go extinct over the course of this book.  Add to that the fact that it opens and closes on the death of an Animorph—no telling which one at that point in the series—and this book almost appears to be setting up for the fall of humanity to the yeerk empire.  And our narrator is not the most reassuring one: he expresses empathy for Rachel, yes, but he also plays the yeerk-human war like a game, and we know for a fact that he wouldn’t be unduly inconvenienced if the humans were to lose.  Which is pretty goshdarn uncomfortable to read about, because in this particular game we’re the pawns. 

It’s a huge theme in the Animorphs series that war is NOT a chess game, or even comparable to a chess game (or any other game for that matter) in any meaningful way, not if you’re even a halfway-decent person.  War is about deciding which people from your own side should die horribly in the process of attempting to ensure which people from the other side die horribly, a course of action that should only be undertaken as an absolute last resort after all other choices have been exhausted.  The idea that it’s not even appropriate or good to make that comparison comes up again and again (MM3, #11, #16, Andalite Chronicles). In #53 Jake sums it up: “At the beginning of the American Civil War, both sides thought the war was about taking or holding cities and ports. They thought it was a chess game. By the end of the war, they’d figured out that they weren’t playing chess… The real game was destruction…They burned enemy homes and farms. They burned crops in the field and slaughtered farm animals and wrapped railroad tracks around trees. They starved the enemy. They realized that warfare was no longer about chivalry and honor, but about killing the enemy. Do whatever it takes… Dress it up however you want, that’s what war is about. If there’s glory in there somewhere, I must have missed it.”  

Jake is right, of course, that he’s not playing a chess game.  At that point in the series, he’s deciding whether he’s willing to kill his brother and sacrifice his cousin in order to protect his species.  He’s already made the decision to give up on saving his parents in order to blow up the yeerk pool.  These are his family members and friends on the line, not rooks or bishops… and no matter what he does, some of them are going to die.  Jake’s also a decent human being, enough to realize that the taxxons have families too, that many of them are not there by choice, but that’s the only way he has out of this situation: kill the enemy.  

Anyway, back to the Ellimist.  Who can experience the devastation of losing his own species for decades after the death of the ketrans, but doesn’t spare more than a moment of annoyance for the annihilation of the pangabans. Who exists so far above the lives and concerns of ordinary beings that he can see their entire existence playing out in a matter of seconds.  Who is so far removed from those ordinary lives that he is largely incapable of understanding them at all.  He doesn’t have family members on the line, he doesn’t see the world through the taxxons’ eyes—and he’s therefore just ruthless enough to destroy six children in order to save a species that he considers worth saving.  Jake might be horrified that Crayak uses child-soldiers as his ultimate weapon (#26) but also seems to overlook the fact that the Ellimist uses EXACTLY THE SAME TACTIC when he recruits the Animorphs.  

It’s obvious right from the very first book that the Animorphs universe isn’t run by a benevolent or all-powerful god.  What makes this book so mind-blowing is that it shows that the god of this universe is powerful, he’s well-intentioned… and he’s still not only very limited, but also kind of a jerk a lot of the time.  Toomin does his best to encourage species to thrive and grow as they naturally would, he shows enormous fondness for the infinite variations of life in the universe, and he does what he can to protect life in the universe.  

He also just happens to be condescending as fuck.  

The narration of The Ellimist Chronicles does a really good job of showing why, exactly, Toomin tends to think of ordinary beings as “small” or “helpless,” since he watches the rise and fall of entire civilizations in about one subjective afternoon most of the time—but he also spends a hell of a lot of time describing the hardworking autonomous people whose lives he casually manipulates as “tiny” or some synonym thereof.  There’s no obligation or external stricture which says that he has to care about ordinary beings—and indeed Crayak seems much more comfortable not caring at all—so one can appreciate how much he works at it.  However, he also doesn’t quite get to the level of thinking of humans as (for lack of a better term) fully human: they’re chess pieces, he moves them around, and if he has to sacrifice a few then oh well.  He doesn’t ask whether they’d like to be moved in advance, he doesn’t incessantly turn over possibilities until he finds the one with the least bloodshed, and he certainly doesn’t have a long conversation with Rachel about whether she’s willing to die before it happens.  He sees possibilities and acts on them.  Because he’s a gamer, and they are game pieces.  Who cares what a knight thinks, as long as it’s not in the trajectory of the opposing bishop?  

Toomin tries, to be sure, but he doesn’t think like a human leader and he doesn’t treat his “pieces” like equals or even underlings.  He might even know Cassie’s favorite bands or Jake’s scoring record in basketball (who knows?) but he probably doesn’t consider that information to be particularly important.  Because he’s a gamer, to his core, and he thinks like a gamer.  And Jake and Cassie are just NPCs to him.  

Video games (and to a lesser extent tabletop games) represent this odd nebulous space whose meaning tends to defy interpretation.  The questions that everyone from social psychologists to communication researchers to philosophers to television shows to gamers themselves have asked (What, if anything, does one’s in-game behavior say about one’s true personality?  Does performing certain behaviors in-game influence one’s habits in the real world?  How much does shooting a person during a game have to do with one’s actual willingness to shoot a person if put in that situation in real life?) reflect the sheer bizarre extremity of in-game behavior.  Because the fact of the matter is, the vast majority of people engage in utterly reprehensible actions while playing games that they would never engage in during real interactions.  I myself have crashed spaceships into planets, driven cars off the road using my own vehicle, stabbed people in the gut, and shot unarmed prisoners in the head—because it’s all part of the game.  And it’s just a game, right?  Who cares how I win?

If those were real people, they’d sure as hell care.  If I was a general who only thought of a war as like a game, I’d be no better than Visser Three.  (One of the better moments of dark humor in Visser: the Council of Thirteen considers sympathy for humans a crime punishable by death and execution of several thousand underlings a crime punishable by temporary exile.)  In a lot of ways, Toomin’s perspective on humans has more in common with the yeerks’ or even Crayak’s.  He needs people like Jake and Rachel and Elfangor and Arbron to win this war for him.  

So, yeah, Toomin is a gamer—and it’s almost a natural consequence that he throws lives away any time it’s convenient for him.  He’s not human, he’s not an andalite, and he doesn’t appreciate individuals the way he does entire species.  K.A. Applegate achieves a masterwork by not only giving us the realistic-feeling origin story of a god, but doing so in a way that creates rules which genuinely fit with the Animorphs world as we know it.  

The Stages of Editing

I’m in the middle of editing my current novel, so I wanted to do a post about my own editing process. Keep in mind that there are many ways to edit a novel and this is just my approach. Do some research and figure out what works best for you!

Check for Plot/Story Inconsistencies

My first run-through usually consists of checking for anything that’s not right with the plot or story. This includes locating gaping plot holes, confusing locations, inconsistent character development, etc. Does your story make sense? Is there something you wrote in the beginning that contradicts something later? Do your locations/settings match? Did you mention something about a character that is contradicted later? This is just a small and simple list, but you need to make sure your story is consistent. An outline usually helps this, so if you’ve written one try to go off that. If not, jot down some notes about important scenes, characters, locations, plotlines, etc., and go through your story again. Try to make sure it all matches up and tighten up anything that is confusing.

Flesh Out/Cut Down

Once you get your plot in order, try to focus on whether or not you need to flesh out your story or cut down your word count. I usually always have to flesh out my story, so if that’s the case for you, go through your WIP and find areas that could use more information. For example, if something doesn’t flow well or the scene needs to be longer to make sense. Try to pinpoint where you can flesh your story out to make it stronger. If your word count is too low, chances are your story is going too quickly. If you need to cut down your word count, focus on finding scenes that contain “info dumps” or see if there are any unnecessary subplots/characters, drawn out dialogue, or chunky paragraphs you can cut. If it doesn’t pertain to the overall story or help the plot move forward, it might not make sense to include it.

Analyze Sentence Structure and Pacing

It really helps to take a look at sentence structure. For example, fluctuating between simple and compound sentence. You don’t want your novel to read like this:

Amy walked to the store. She saw Sam. She walked up to him and said hi.

If there’s a better way to say something, consider switching it up. If you’re having trouble with this, please study up on sentence structure and reread your favorite books.

After focusing on sentence structure, consider spending time on improving pacing. If the story feels too quick at some points and too drawn out during other scenes, you might have a problem with pacing. Again, creating an outline can tremendously help with pacing, even after you’ve finished your first draft. Take some time to draw out a timeline and go from there.

Check for Grammar Mistakes

This is one of the last things I do when editing, but it’s an important step. A lot of agents/publishers won’t even look at your novel if they see a lot of mistakes right from the beginning. Use spell check, read over it several times, get a fresh set of eyes (beta readers), etc. No one’s perfect, but you should do your best to catch as many grammar mistakes as possible. Carve out time during the editing process to ensure this gets done to the best of your ability!

-Kris Noel

anonymous asked:

The Death penalty is a deterrent!? At least it's supposed to be! It used to be, before people spent 40 yrs on death row. Firing squad? Couple bullets, no biggie smalls! 🚹🔫 💨 pew pew

Even death row advocates know that it’s not a deterrent and admit to that. Statistics show that. Moreover, it isn’t the act of execution that makes the death penalty expensive - in fact, that’s the cheapest aspect in the death penalty. Additionally, the reason inmates languish on death row for so long is because of the appeal process which is to ensure that innocent people are not executed. Countless death row inmates have been exonerated before their execution date. Immediate execution would see them dead.

What’s preferable:

1. A guilty man being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and an innocent man being sentenced to life imprisonment and later being found not-guilty and released?

2. A guilty man being executed and an innocent man being executed?

I know what I prefer and therefore I do not support capital punishment.
Meet S the Sunbeam Fairy! (Mod Atha) 6/17/17

This spirit was given to me by a special friend of mine name @witchling-guidence and she will be involved with the choosing a companion process to ensure this spirit finds a good home!

Name and Species of The Spirit:
S is a sunbeam fairy. 

What Does the Spirit Look Like:
S is a light skinned, more olive looking fairy with amber eyes. She has soft blonde hair with orange streaks through it that curls down her back to the top of her little butt. Her wings have a soft blue tint to them like sky. She wears a light red skirt that goes down to her knees and a red shirt that reveals her tummy. She wears little white shoes and walks on her tippy toes mostly. 

How Old Are They:
She is 23 years old.

What Type of Magic Do They Do:
She knows fire magic, nature magic, and wants to learn more types.

Preferred Types of Communication:
Speaking or telepathy.

What Experience Level Are They Best For:
She’s okay for any experience level!

What Are They Like, Any Hobbies or Activities They Like To Do:
She is talkative and likes to learn, as well as teach. She enjoys life to the fullest.

Any Likes or Dislikes They Have:
She likes being out in the sun, going on hikes, watching movies, talking and reading. She enjoys playing with butterflies, watching her companion play video games, coloring and drawing. On the other hand she dislikes rain, cold weather, inactive people and really busy people. 

Somethings They Wish to Share:
She is looking for is no more than 7 spirits including herself in a family.

Originally posted by butteryplanet

2

Saint of the Day – 1 February -Blessed Benedict Daswa (1946-1990 aged 43) Layman/MARTYR/Teacher – Patron of against the occult, against witchcraft, persecuted Christians, teachers, School principals, fathers

Born Tshimangadzo Samuel Daswa, was a South African school teacher and principal.   He was given the name of “Samuel” by his parents when he started to attend school and assumed the name “Benedict” upon his conversion.   A local mob murdered him when he refused to fund their anti-Catholic witchcraft superstitions.   He had been viewed as a martyr after his death and his martyrdom was confirmed in 2015, paving the way for his beatification.  He was beatified in Limpopo on 13 September 2015. Cardinal Angelo Amato – on behalf of Pope Francis – presided over the beatification Mass.

Benedict was a member of the Lemba tribe. He the first child born to Tshililo Petrus Daswa (Bakali) and Thidziambi Ida Daswa (Gundula). This tribe followed Jewish rituals and laws. Daswa had three younger brothers and one sister: Thanyani Mackson, Muvhulawa Calson, Thinavhuyo Mavis and Humbulani Innocent. Daswa worked as a herd boy before he attended school which started at Vondwe Primary School in 1957 which was followed by secondary school at Mphaphuli High School. After his father’s accidental death, it fell to him to provide for his siblings and did this by paying for their education while in the workforce. In the workforce, he helped pay for his siblings’ education and constantly encouraged them to take pride in their studies.

Daswa was exposed to Roman Catholicism through a friend he met while in Johannesburg while living with an uncle there. He learnt about the Catholic faith and learnt catechism every Sunday from Benedict Risimati. After two years of instruction, Daswa was baptized on 21 April 1963 by Father Augustine O’Brien. He took the name of “Benedict” due to the fact that he was inspired by Saint Benedict of Nursia, also selecting as his life motto “Ora et labora” (pray and work). He was confirmed by Abbot Bishop F. Clemens van Hoek, O.S.B. three months later on 21 July 1963.

He became an active member of the church in South Africa.   Daswa went to Venda Teacher Training College to do a primary teacher’s certificate and later obtained his matriculation through correspondence in 1973.   He served as a teacher and catechist as he worked with adolescents and he assisted families that endured economic hardship.   He was a highly respected individual in his local community and became known for his honesty, truthfulness and integrity, even known to fetch students who decided to skip schools. Daswa later helped to build the first church in his area and later became the principal of the school that he taught at on 1 January 1979 at Nweli Primary School.

Daswa married Shadi Eveline Monyai (d. 2008) in 1974 and the pair had a total of eight children, including Lufuno (b. 1977) who was the eldest, Benedicta (b. 1990), Helen and Faith.   He would help his wife with household chores, unheard of at that time in his area, and he valued his family to the point of hosting Daswa Family Days each 16 December where gifts would be exchanged and a meal held.   For his family, he personally built his brick house.   Daswa also established a soccer team called the Mbahe Eleven Computers and left this team when members wanted to use “muti” (medicine) in order to win games. He started a new team, Mbahe Freedom Rebels.

In November 1989, heavy rains and lightning strikes plagued the area. When his village suffered strong storms again in January 1990, the elders decided that the lightning occurred due to magic and thus demanded a tax from all their residents to pay for a sangoma to “sniff out” the witch who caused the storms.   Refusing to believe this, Daswa said they were just a natural phenomenon and declined to pay the tax.

On 2 February 1990, Daswa drove his sister-in-law and her sick child to a doctor in Thohoyandou and en route, picked up a man who asked for his help to take a bag of mealie meal to his home in a town next to Mbahe.   At around 7:30pm, he returned to Mbahe where he left his sister-in-law and child near their home.   He told his daughter that he would soon return after taking the passenger to the next village.

Returning home, found his path blocked by fallen trees an as he attempted to clear the road he was ambushed by a mob of young men.   Bleeding as a result of stoning, he left his damaged car and ran for assistance at a woman’s hut.   However, the woman revealed where he was when the mob threatened to kill her if she did not comply.   As a result of this, he was beaten and clubbed over the head.   Boiling water was poured over him in his ears and nostrils after he was attacked to ensure that he was dead.   His final words were, “God, into Your hands receive my spirit”.    The woman of the hut informed Daswa’s brother what had happened and the latter remained with his dead brother for the night.

The funeral took place on Saturday, 10 February 1990. The funeral procession commenced at Daswa’s home and then proceeded to Nweli Church.   Celebrants wore red vestments to indicate their belief that Daswa died at the hands of his attackers in hatred of his faith.

The cause of beatification commenced on 10 June 2008 on a diocesan level in Tzaneen which concluded in 2009 with the commencement of the “Roman Phase”. The cause had to be ratified to ensure the process was valid and performed its duties as required and this occurred in Rome on 5 November 2010.   The opening of the cause granted him the title Servant of God.   The postulator assigned was Father Jean-Louis Chassem, MSC.   The Positio – documenting his life and evidence to suggest he was killed for his faith – was submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2013.

Pope Francis approved a decree that recognized his martyrdom on 22 January 2015 which allowed for his beatification.  A possible date for the beatification, as stated by the Archbishop of Pretoria William M. Slattery, was October 2015 and as late as 1 November.

The beatification was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato in Limpopo on 13 September 2015; the beatification date was confirmed in March 2015.   Present at the celebration was Daswa’s mother and children as well as Father Augustine O’Brien who baptized him. Approximately 35,000 people attended the beatification.

Daswa’s remains were exhumed from his grave on 24 August 2015 in the presence of the police, a nurse and a doctor.  he exhumation took more than four hours due to the secure burial with several layers of thick cement between layers of soil; the steel coffin was reported to be in good condition.  At the behest of the family, his remains were taken to the grave of his wife and the coffin opened to reveal Daswa’s skeletal remains intact.   The family desired the remains to be left undisturbed in the original coffin for reinterment, which was cleaned and covered in white material and colored traditional Venda cloth.   A document to testify to the exhumation was placed in the coffin.   His remains were relocated to a grave in a church in Mbahe and a toe and a piece of the garment he was wearing was removed and was sent away to be used as relics.

anonymous asked:

Any complete obsessed Draco fics that end on a happy note?? I read sold and it kind of scarred me.. but I like kinda liked it. Thanks!!!!

Hi, try these:

Utterly Despicable by camnz - M, 24 Chapters - The death of both Voldemort and Harry Potter let the pureblood elite build the world they wanted.  One that leaves Hermione in a vulnerable state, which Draco Malfoy is prepared to take full advantage of.

Out of the Silent Planet by ianthe_waiting - NC-17, 39 chapters - Hermione Granger fulfills Severus Snape’s final wish, to journey to Japan to ‘retrieve’ something of importance.

The Slow Thaw by camnz - M, 21 Chapters - Hermione is serving at Malfoy Mansion after the war was lost. In her bleak existance, she manages to find ways to cope. Contains nonconsentual. COMPLETE.

His Beautiful, Haunting Eyes by thecellarfloor - M, 14 Chapters - Draco pushed her to the wall, kissed her roughly on the lips, then punched the glass window beside her head. It smashed into pieces and the crowd who had parted for him seconds ago gasped. Hermione couldn’t. She couldn’t even breathe. What have you done?

And its sequel:

Her Sweet, Decadent Smile by thecellarfloor - M, 14 Chapters - “Princess,” Draco’s voice sliced through the silence, dangerously close to where she was hiding, “I know you’re here somewhere.” Hermione muffled her ragged breaths. He was clearly enjoying this. “Come out, come out, wherever you are…” A sequel to HBHE

Almost Perfect, Almost Yours By: BelleOfSummer - M, 50 Chapters - A pureblood family abducted Hermione when she was born due to their desperation for a daughter. In a world of beauty & wealth, she has become Draco Malfoy’s dream girl.What will happen if he finally knows that her blood is not as pure as he thinks it is? *COMPLETE!*

One Way Or Another - NC-17, one shot - Ron would do anything to ensure that he and Hermione end up together, it’s only what everyone expects, right? But in the process of ensuring their love for one another, something goes horribly wrong.

Obsessed by slytherinprincess19 - M, 20 chapters - Draco Malfoy is the King, and he has chosen Hermione Granger as his Queen. She loves him. He craves her. He is consumed by her, she is possessed by him. They are obsessed with one another. And they have no idea how dangerous their game is to their lives.

Silver Eyes by YoungNotUseless - T, 29 chapters - “I’m so sorry.” The familiar voice spoke again. This was enough to wake Hermione’s brain from her trance. Enough to open her eyes, and see two magnificently silver eyes dissaparate in the dark. D/HG Veela. T for violence,language, & some sexual themes

- AgnMag

anonymous asked:

hi do u have any headcanons for a lance & allura friendship??

Ye boi

  • Sometimes they just hang out and drink water cause it’s good for your skin
    • If I’m being honest Allura and Coran are probably the only two people in the Castle who put any effort into their looks so Lance just goes, “We’re gonna hang out. Likem right now. You two are the only ones I can trust.”
  • Whenever they do anything together Lance always goes “Is this a date? ;)” as a #callback to when he got out of the cryopod
    • At first Allura was like -_- but then she realized that Lance is mostly teasing and they become more comfortable around each other
  • Lance and Coran are Allura’s hypemen
    • Allura: (finishes an impassioned speech where she renounces the ways of the Villain of the Week)
    • Lance: (behind Allura) SHE 👏 DID 👏 THAT
    • Coran: (quietly slaps a low highfive with Lance)
  • Lance once taught Allura the concept of the brofist and she nearly broke his hand
  • They’re each other’s wingman.. Wingwoman.. Wingperson.
    • Lance: Allura, you beautiful spinster. I will find you love.
    • Allura: Thank you Lance, you beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox.
  • Whenever Allura goes along w one of Lance’s shenanigans he’s always like “omg!!!!!!!!!!! :D”
  • Shiro suggests the team plays Assassins to bond and Allura immediately rigs the selection process to ensure she gets Lance
  • Allura: (rushes into the infirmary carrying an injured Lance bridal style)
    • Lance: (barely conscious) hey Princess, you just stepped over the threshold… give a guy a little warning before you marry him (winks with the eye now swollen shut)
    • Allura: If you weren’t so grieviously injured, I would drop you (carefully brushes some hair out of Lance’s eyes as she and Coran place him into the healing chamber)
  • Coran and Lance hang out a lot and exchange stories. Eventually, Lance realizes that while Coran knew the previous Paladins, Allura knew the previous Paladins. As in, Alfor made sure the previous Voltron squad spent plenty of time with his daughter.
    • In a way, talking to Lance about the former Paladins helps Allura cope. Because Coran knew them too, so he saw them at their highest, and at their final lowest.
    • But Lance is just… A guy looking for stories, or inspiration, or something a little less demanding. So Allura can tell him what the last Blue Paladin was like; she can paint a picture of a strong warrior, someone who never gave up and never gave in. Someone who protected the galaxy but always made time for a little princess. Someone Lance can admire and someone Allura can finally grieve for.

anonymous asked:

Look i don't want to sound like a Trump supporter because im not, but a travel ban is not something new. Many countries implement travel bans for troubled regions, hell even Obama has implemented travel bans to these exact countries multiple times. Im not particularly in favor of a travel ban but its not right to act like hes Hitler 2.0 for doing something that's common practice across the world.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think currently I’ve only reblogged stories that surround the situation. I’ve not actually reblogged or posted anything that said “Trumpet’s executive order is totally completely new and incredibly different and 400% badder.” Because no one is stating this. 

You are right about a few things!

Firstly, travel slowdowns or re-view of travel regulations and visa regulations is not exactly new. Many past administrations have done this. This isn’t what’s new.

For example, Obama has implemented travel regulations. In 2011 the State Department’s issuance of SIVs to Iraqi applicants slowed after two individuals in Kentucky were identified as having possibly been improperly screened; multiple national news outlets reported on the State Department visa processing slowdown while it was occurring and in subsequent years. In 2011, yes, the Visa Waiver Program was suspended in several regions. Iraqi refugees were also not accepted for a 6 month period. What does this mean? Getting into America was more difficult for people of those regions.

I’m not sure if you’ve caught on, but I’m not one of the people clinging to Obama’s ankles screaming ‘don’t go’! He had many issues, many things I blatantly disagree with. I was not posting so much political shit about it before, true, but it doesn’t mean I have to withhold my opinion now. 

Now, let’s talk about Trump’s order in January.

(Full text of the execute order for those who want to read it.)

Section 1. Purpose.  …Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.”

Here’s something I want to compare it to - what does the ratio of terroristic acts actually look like when compared to immigrants issues visas and what TYPES of visas they are?

The greatest amount of terroristic acts committed by visa-holders were done by Fiance Visa holders. Trumptet doesn’t mention it at once. 

Another interesting thing? The largest terrorist group in America are actually lawful, permanent residents. 

If focusing on terroristic attacks, why not target the group which has been, historically, the most prone to them? (Keep in mind, LPRs aren’t separated into religious or racial groups here. )

However, none of the 7 countries listed under the ban have actually carried out terroristic acts in America between the years of 1975 and 2015. (source) Are they areas of unrest? Unquestionably. 

That’s WHY people are fleeing those places. 

“Beginning in January 2016, travelers from Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria were blocked from entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, which allows foreign citizens to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa…” (source)

Why? Previously, the VWP has not been proven to be a potential threat-carrying program. Well, fine, let’s overlook that. 

“Libya, Somalia and Yemen were added soon after due to “the growing threat from foreign terrorist fighters.“  (source)

Why? None of those countries have previously registered as a threat.

The countries which HAVE been? They’re not on Trumpet’s list. Why? Presumably because he still has business ties with them.

‘Drain the swamp’ my ass. He’s not doing this to protect America. It’s racially motivated, and probably not even planned by him - he’s a puppet for the alligators he has dumped into the rich, shit-filled fertilized bog.

Despite the restrictions under Obama’s policy, people were still able to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process, a right not afforded by Trump’s executive order, which bans travel from the countries for 90 days, among other restrictions. Neither President Obama nor the State Department banned or stopped those applications entirely; the slowdown affected a single type of visa from a single country (and not all entry from several countries); the slowdown occurred in order to implement enhanced screening procedures, which remained in place in January 2017.  (source)

The order bars all people hailing from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Those countries were named in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as "countries of concern.” The executive order also bans entry of those fleeing from war-torn Syria indefinitely.

Obama has NOT been the greatest person in terms of accepting refugees. I’m not saying he was. That doesn’t give reason to not complain about NEW shit. 

People who have worked YEARS to jump through the Syrian refugee program hoops (a program which is TIGHTLY regulated, if you think they can just buy a ticket and hop on a plane you’re wildly misinformed) were forced to turn back AFTER arrival, or stopped at the border. They were scared by security into thinking this was the end. They weren’t offered any options. In many cases, they were separated from children. Among them were people suffering from diabetes, elderly, etc. 

Slowing down visa processing? Fine. Passing an executive order to TRASH the years of hard work of refugees WHILE they were in the air? I have issues with that.

4

ASSISTED FEEDING - FEEDING TUBES

There are four types of feeding tubes used in veterinary practice, these are:

  1. Nasogastric Tubes
  2. Oesophageal Tubes
  3. Gastrostomy Tubes
  4. Jejunostomy Tubes 

NASOGASTRIC TUBES

These tubes runs from the nasal passage down through the larynx, oesophagus and final enter the stomach.They are often used in young anorexic patients who need nutritional support for a short period of time, are well tolerated and simple to place, with only local anaesthetic drops needed to ensure the process is comfortable for the patient. Prior to placing the tube the length needed should be measured, working from the opening of the nares to the last rib; where the stomach is situated. A 5FG tube is the recommended size to use in adult dogs and cats weighing under 8kg. To ensure the tube is in the correct position and not sitting in the trachea, a small amount of sterile saline can be placed down the tube, if the patient coughs repositioning is recommend.Radiographs can also be taken of the neck and thorax to confirm a tube position. The main disadvantages of using the tubes is that the lumen of the tube is small meaning only liquid diets can be administered and large quantities are time consuming to  administered. They can also be easily removed by the patient. 

OESOPHAGEAL TUBES 

A Oesophageal tube delivers food direct to the stomach bypassing the mouth and pharynx; making it an excellent choice for patients suffering from severe ulceration of the mouth. The tube used is wider than a nasogastric tube allowing thicker, more calorific food to be administered in large quantities over a shorter space of time. Patients must be anaesthetised prior to tube placement, placed in right lateral recumbency and the site between the lateral cervical area from the mandible to thoracic inlet surgically prepared. Tube size used depends on the size of patient however anything from 12Fr to 16Fr is usually sufficient. Once the tube is in place a Stoma is formed and will develop a gunky discharge which needs to be cleaned daily to prevent infection and cellulitis. These tubes are contraindicated in patients suffering from recurring emesis as they may vomit up the tube however are advantageous in most cases as medication can be given down them easily and cats can be discharged with the tube still in place.

GASTROSTOMY TUBES

These tubes are best used in patients thats require weeks to months of assisted feeding and deliver food directly to the stomach, bypassing the mouth, pharynx and oesophagus. In most cases they require an anaesthetic and invasive surgery to place however skilled veterinary surgeons with knowledge on endoscopy can place the tubes this way if specialised equipment is available. Again these tubes are often well tolerated and easily managed at home meaning cats can be discharged with them in place. In addition they are also have a wider lumen so vicious food can be administered. Unlike the other tubes these come with more serious disadvantages, such as peritonitis if the tube become dislodged and organ damage during placement. 

JEJUNOSTOMY TUBE

These tubes are more specialised and are not commonly used in general practice. When using these food is delivered as a constant rate infusion straight into the jejunum (the middle section of the small intestine) avoiding the stomach, duodenum and pancreas. This makes it indicated for use in cases of Gastric, Pancreas and Biliary tract disease. Anaesthesia is needed and surgical placement is required, disadvantages include risk of peritonitis and that it can only be used in a hospital setting. 

4

Here are photos of the Star Guardian (from League of Legends) charms I debuted at PMX! 

The keychain attachments are beaded by hand with hand-picked materials, including glass crystal beads.

The charms themselves have artwork on both sides of the clear acrylic, with one side printed semi-transparent. The acrylic is 6mm thick.

Huge thank you to @acornpress for being incredibly informative and helpful through the whole process and for ensuring that the charms arrived in time for the convention! 

annaisaweirdo  asked:

I'm an ENFP female in a relationship with an INTJ male how would these pairings work and what would the relationship be like??

Hi there,

So, the ENFP and INTJ is noted to be extremely psychologically compatible—which is awesome! Just keep in mind that types alone don’t determine the outcome of a relationship. Here’s a few notes on an ENFP-INTJ relationship:

- ENFPs and INTJs balance each other out extremely well. The analytical, logical INTJ and the individualistic, quirky ENFP make an great pair. 

- The ENFP can encourage the INTJ to open their mind to new possibilities and provide different perspectives, as well as help them channel their tertiary Fi, which they may have trouble getting in touch with. In turn, the INTJ can help the ENFP flesh out ideas thoroughly and likewise channel their tertiary Te, giving their life structure. 

- Respect each other in your decision making process. Ensure the INTJ understands that you primarily use Fi,  and respect that he will primarily use his Te to make decisions (ethics and morals vs. facts and logic).

- Understand that INTJs are, at heart, long-term planners, and ensure he understands when you feel the need to act on impulse.

These are just a few tips, but if anyone has any more, feel free to share!

camd18  asked:

Hey guys, I found your blog and love what you're doing!!! I'm super interested in challenging your gym leaders but I've never played Pokemon for the IVs and such I think I need to level some more before I challenge you guys but if you could give me some more information about what exactly I have to do that'd be awesome. Thanks guys

Hi! Thank you for showing interest in the Poke-League~ We’re happy to offer you, and anyone else, the information needed to begin understanding and battling on a competitive level. Below is some streamlined information with links to more in-depth explanations on the various points of competitive battling. We hope this information helps you and others to better understand what it means to raise competitive Pokemon and we look forward to your future challenger applications!

What is competitive Pokemon battling, and how does it differ from what I’ve been doing all this time?

Competitive Pokemon battling refers to the combined knowledge of Base Stats, IV Breeding, Natures, Abilities, EV Training, Competitive Movesets, and Synergy that are applied when battling against other players in official tournaments, or leagues such as this.

It’s different from what is known as “metagame” battling (Metagame referring to challenges faced by the player through the game’s AI, not Player vs Player interaction) in the way that, unlike competitive battling, you only really need high-level Pokemon and a bunch of powerful moves to win.

Leveling does not matter in a competitive battle setting UNLESS you are playing Flat-Rules or No Restrictions. The game automatically bumps up your Pokemon to Lv.50 or scales them back to Lv.50 when battling against another player in a setting that is not Flat-Rules (Which allows Pokemon under, but not above, Lv.50) or No Restrictions (Which uses whatever levels your Pokemon are at). Flat Rules can be used by Gym Leaders and Elite Four of the Poke-League, but No Restrictions is never used. As such, it is recommended that all of your Pokemon are at or above Lv.50.

What are Base Stats?

Base Stats are what tell you a Pokemon’s most useful function in battle. Their values can range from 1 to 255 and give you a strong idea of how that Pokemon should be utilized. Base stats cannot be changed and are the same across all Pokemon of the same species. That means that no matter how many Umbreon you have, they will all inevitably have higher Defense and Sp. Defense than Attack and Sp. Attack.

Base stats are not, however, the end-all for a Pokemon’s potential. IVs, EVs, and Nature all also have a role to play.

Serebii offers a full breakdown of each individual Pokemon’s Base Stats on their PokeDex pages.

What is IV Breeding, and why is it important?

IV Breeding is a process to ensure your Pokemon hatch from their Eggs with the perfect IVs. What are IVs? Well, IV stands for Individual Value, and it refers to a randomly generated number between 0 and 31 that is applied to all your Pokemon’s stats when you either A) Receive an Egg from the Daycare Man/Lad, B) catch a wild Pokemon, or C) Receive a Pokemon as a gift (Via NPC or other means, like the Beldum at Steven’s House).

IVs are important because those random values are precious points that are added to your Pokemon’s stats as they level up. You won’t notice a big difference in-game unless your Pokemon is at Lv.50 or Lv.100, which is why they matter for competitive battling. Those 31 points can make or break a Pokemon and, in turn, make or break your chances of winning.

Example: You and your opponent both send out Salamence. Your Salamence moves first and uses Dragon Claw on the opposing Salamence, reducing it to half health. Your opponent’s Salamence also uses Dragon Claw, but KO’s your Salamence. Now, the reason for this is likely that your own Salamence had lower Defense and HP IVs while the opposing Salamence likely had higher Defense, HP, and Attack IVs.

To determine a Pokemon’s IVs, you can check with the Ace Trainer NPC in the Pokemon Center at the Battle Resort in ORAS or, alternatively, the Ace Trainer NPC in Kiloude City’s Pokemon Center in XY. Here is a link to help decipher the NPC’s messages about your Pokemon’s stats.

Breeding IVs can be a rather lengthy process without the right tools. IVs are passed on to the child Pokemon from their parent Pokemon at random. Normally, only 3 IVs are passed on from the parents while the others are randomly generated. Having one of the parent Pokemon hold a Destiny Knot ensures that 5 IVs are passed down instead of three. Having one of the parent Pokemon hold a “Power” item (Power Anklet/Bracer/Lens/etc) will ensure that that specific stat’s IV is passed down from the parent to the child, but is still only one of 5 IVs passed down if used in tandem with the Destiny Knot.

Here is a link to a comprehensive IV breeding guide to help you get started.

What are Natures and why do they matter?

Natures have been in Pokemon since Gen 3 and are an indicator of how your Pokemon’s stats will grow. There are 25 different Natures with five (Hardy, Quirky, Serious, Bashful, and Docile) that have no effect on your Pokemon’s stats. The other 20 increase one stat by 10% while decreasing another by 10%. One may think that neutral natures are the way to go, as they don’t lower your stats, but they also don’t raise them - and a lot of Pokemon have one stat that can do with a bit of loss.

Example: You’re wanting to breed a Scyther that will specializes in physical attacks when it evolves into Scizor, since its Sp. Attack is terrible. With that in mind, it’s logical to allow its Sp. Attack stat, which it won’t be using anyway, to be decreased even further by trying to breed an Adamant (Atk+, Sp.Atk-) or Jolly (Speed+, Sp.Atk-) natured Scyther.

There are no natures that influence HP. HP is determined purely by IVs and the amount of EVs invested into it.

Breeding natures is easy as long as you have an Everstone. Simply give the stone to the parent Pokemon whose nature you wish to pass on to the child and the child will have that nature, 100% guaranteed.

Here is a link with a table detailing all 25 natures and their respective buffs/debuffs.

Are Abilities really worth looking into?

The answer is yes. A Pokemon’s Ability can make it an integral part of your Pokemon team, or dead weight. A lot of Pokemon have abilities that don’t particularly shine, but even then it’s still best to be pragmatic and choose the one which will benefit your team the most.

Hidden Abilities were introduced in Gen 5 and provide a lot of Pokemon with much more useful abilities than they can get naturally. Hidden Abilities are fairly easy to come by in ORAS and XY through use of the Friend Safari, Hordes, and DexNav chaining.

It’s even possible to breed Pokemon with their Hidden Abilities! In ORAS and XY, if the mother Pokemon has her Hidden Ability, there is an 80% chance it will be passed on to the child. If the father has it, you can still luck out and get a child with its Hidden Ability 20% of the time.

Here is list of all Pokemon whose Hidden Abilities are legitimately obtainable in ORAS/XY.

What are EVs and how do I EV Train my Pokemon?

EV stands for Effort Value. EVs are what have the biggest impact on a Pokemon’s stats. You’ve been unknowingly raising your Pokemon’s EVs as you played through the main story of the game without even knowing it! That’s because, every Pokemon you defeat or capture gives a certain amount of EVs to your own Pokemon.

A Pokemon can have a total of 510 EVs across all six stats with each individual stat capping at 252. The reason is that EVs are divided by 4 before being calculated into stat points. That means that a Pokemon with 252 Attack EVs will be 63 points higher in Attack than a Pokemon with 0 Attack EVs, at Lv.100.

All Pokemon can yield 1, 2, or 3 EVs upon defeat/capture. Now, that may seem like a very meager amount (And it is) but there are various methods to speed up the EV training process.

Vitamins can be used to increase a Pokemon’s EVs by 10 in any one stat. However, Vitamins can no longer be used when a stat has reached 100 EVs or higher. The amount of EVs given by Vitamins cannot be manipulated.

PokeRus, the elusive “virus” that infects Pokemon, doubles the amount of EVs the Pokemon receives from defeating/capturing Pokemon and continues to work even after the condition has passed. This means the Pokemon would receive 2, 4, or 6 EVs rather than 1, 2, or 3.

The Macho Brace also doubles a Pokemon’s EVs and stacks with the PokeRus. By itself, the Macho Brace helps yield the same EVs as the PokeRus, but together, you can get 4, 8, or 12 EVs per Pokemon.

The Power items also effect EVs. Each one promotes the growth of a certain stat at the cost of the Pokemon being slower in battle while the item is equipped. These items add +4 to their respective stats regardless of the EVs the Pokemon received in battle. These items also stack with PokeRus, meaning you would gain +8 EVs rather than +4.

Example: Your Pokemon defeats a wild Zigzagoon (Which yields 1 Speed EV) while equipped with the Power Bracer (Which gives +4 Attack EVs), This means your Pokemon gained not only 1 Speed EV, but also 4 Attack EVs!

Horde Battles are a way of gathering EVs faster by defeating 5 Pokemon at a time rather than 1. Having a Pokemon with Sweet Scent helps as the move always results in a Horde Battle in ORAS and XY when used in the field.

Super-Training is also an option and provides you with a visible guide to your Pokemon’s EVs. It’s fairly self-explanatory so I won’t go in-depth here. However, do know that regardless of whether you use the Super Training function, it will still show you whatever EVs the Pokemon in your party have accrued.

The Exp. Share also shares EVs. Keep this in mind when EV Training as it could ruin other Pokemon in your party. Or, it can be utilized to speed up the process with Pokemon who you want to have similar EV distributions.

If you make a mistake or simply have a beloved Pokemon whose EVs need to be redone, you have three options: A) Berries. There are six berries (Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa, and Tamato) that lower your Pokemon’s EVs by 10 when consumed. Each affects a different stat and will stop working if your Pokemon is at max Happiness (As they also increase Happiness) B) Reset Bags. These are obtained randomly via Super Training and, when used, completely reset your Pokemon’s EVs. C) This option is only available in XY. If you have a Kee Berry and a Maranga Berry, you can take them to the Juice Shoppe in Lumiose City to create the Perilous Soup, which functions like a Reset Bag and completely resets your Pokemon’s EVs.

The way your Pokemon’s EVs are distributed are called EV Spreads and you should put a lot of thought into this when raising your Pokemon. Smogon is a decent resource for determining how a Pokemon’s EVs should be distributed for a particular set. Do not consider their spreads to be concrete by any means. Instead, use them as guidelines for building your own spreads.

Here is a comprehensive guide on EVs with information on optimum Hordes and how to best utilize PokeRus, the Macho Brace and Power Items.

What is considered a “competitive” moveset? Why can’t I use attacks I like?

Well, you can. But chances are, you’ll lose. A competitive moveset is four moves chosen for a Pokemon that will ensure it is as versatile as possible and benefit your team.

Running Fire Blast, Flamethrower, Strength and Fly on a Charizard is not going to get you very far at all. However, Dragon Dance, Dragon Claw, Fire Punch and Roost (For a Charizard whose purpose is to Mega Evolve into CharizardX) allows for much more versatility.

Generally, you want your Pokemon to be able to hit as many different types as it can for at least neutral damage. For that reason, having two damaging moves of the same type is pretty redundant (There are some exceptions).

However, you also need to look at non-damaging moves that can improve your Pokemon’s effectiveness in battle. Take that CharizardX set-up, for example. Dragon Dance increases CharizardX’s already great Attack even further and bumps up its Speed to allow it to outspeed your opponent and possibly KO before they can get a move in. Roost provides it with the ability to heal and therefore last much longer in battle.

Things like Base Power and Accuracy also need to be considered when building a moveset. Zap Cannon, though powerful, is a terrible competitive move since it only hits 50% of the time, and who wants to rely on that when they’re down to their last Pokemon? Moves with less than Base 60 Attack Power aren’t even worth considering in most cases (The exception being Abilities that enhance their power like Technician, Aerialate, Refrigerate and Pixelate).

What is Synergy?

Synergy is your team’s ability to mesh and function as a unit in battle rather than as individuals. Now, this is important in building a competitive team because just throwing a team consisting solely of Pokemon that all function the same (Physical attacks, tanks, healers, etc.) isn’t going to get you any wins.

This page gets really in-depth into what it means to build a competitive team and I highly recommend reading through all of its Table of Contents as it covers all the previous topics I’ve explained and then some.

Closing

I hope this has helped you and whoever else has read this answer to better understand the components of competitive battling~ Feel free to leave us any further questions and we’ll be sure to answer as soon as possible!

- Elite Four Hiram

One thing I really really like about Harry Potter: Neville didn’t need to get married and have kids in order to have a happy ending. His happiness wasn’t based on other people; it was based on his own personal development. 

When we first see Neville, he’s frightful, he’s bad at everything, he’s terrified of teachers. Then, over the space of a few books, we start to see his potential. He has a talent for herbology. He fights with Harry in Dumbledore’s Army, and in his 7th year, he protects students from all the other houses, even when it means torture.

Neville’s happy ending isn’t about getting married. For him, it’s about ensuring that students won’t get bullied by their teachers. It’s about making sure no child thinks they’re too stupid to learn, or that they’re not magical enough, or that they’re not smart enough, brave enough, diligent enough, ambitious enough for their Houses. 

His happy ending is noticing which students come back from summer break with bruises; it’s talking to kids who tell disturbing stories of abuse as though it’s normal, something to be laughed at. It’s pulling kids aside and asking them what’s wrong – “it’s not like you to say things like that, Scorpius” – because he knows their parents were kids during the war, and traumatized children don’t always become the best adults.

Neville’s happy ending is teaching Teddy Lupin how to fight a boggart after class, and when that boggart turns into a fellow student, a bully who things the offspring of a werewolf doesn’t belong in school, Neville tells Teddy to imagine Grandma Weasley’s robes, close his eyes and say “Riddikulus.”

At 17, Neville helped end a war and in the process, he ensured that an entire generation of kids would be spared from visiting their parents in a hospital ward, from learning self-defense in secret after school, from teachers who torture them physically (villains) and teachers who allow them to be tortured (heroes). From watching their friends betray them. From watching their friends die.

Neville’s happy ending isn’t rooted in romantic love. 

His happy ending is making sure that the next generation doesn’t suffer like the last one.