region seven

The Dead Ladies Club

“Ladies die in childbed. No one sings songs about them.”

The Dead Ladies Club is a term I invented** circa 2012 to describe the pantheon of undeveloped female characters in ASOIAF from the generation or so before the story began

It is a term that carries with it inherent criticisms of ASOIAF, which this post will address, in an essay in nine parts. The first, second, and third parts of this essay define the term in detail. Subsequent sections examine how these women were written and why this aspect of ASOIAF merits criticism, exploring the pervasiveness of the dead mothers trope in fiction, the excessive use of sexual violence in writing these women, and the differences in GRRM’s portrayals of male sacrifice versus female sacrifice in the narrative. 

To conclude, I assert that the manner in which these women were written undermines GRRM’s thesis, and ASOIAF – a series I consider to be one of the greatest works of modern fantasy – is poorer because of it. 

Keep reading

Happy World Lion Day!

Considered the most social of cats, lions live in prides that consist of one or more males, several females, and cubs. While a male lion consumes an average of 5,500 pounds of meat a year—mostly wildebeest, zebra, and antelope—females do most of the hunting. Lions can leap as far as 36 ft, run short distances up to 50 mph, and their roars can be heard from 5 miles away. African lions breed at 3½ years old, and the cubs are born spotted at birth. Male lions weigh about 375 pounds, while females average 265 pounds. In captivity, lions have lived up to 25 years, but in the wild they usually survive only half as long.

Lions were declared vulnerable in 1996. Between 1993 and 2014, their population suffered a decline of approximately 43%, and today lions are considered regionally extinct in seven African countries. Due to habitat loss, lions are being forced to live closer to human communities. Humans pose the greatest threat to lions, destroying their habitats and killing them for sport, retaliation, and preemptive protection of livestock. Lion reduction has prompted conservation efforts that aim to mitigate human-lion conflict, protect people and livestock, educate communities, and collect data about lion populations.

Learn about Museum scientists’ efforts to help protect big cats here: https://goo.gl/4MTnx5. Photo: Clément Bardot.

Rose Creek Gothic
  • The bell has been silent for so long. 
  • No one goes past the pin-wheels. No one dares. They spin silently, red flecks in the fields. 
  • One field is always red, unharvested. No one knows why. The red harvest will always be there. 
  • No one asks the price. They know the answer. “Everything we have.” 
  • TATTA-TATTA-TATTA-RATTA. It echoes in their dreams, reverberates in their whispers. 
  • No one looks at it, but it’s hard to ignore. The church is silent, except when the wind whistles through the holes in the walls. The ash sometimes makes the children sneeze. But it is never discussed, never addressed. 
  • There is one table no one sits at. No one could sit there anyways; it’s split in half. 
  • A man set down his cards and grinned. “A one-eyed Jack. I think I won.” Everyone gasped. No one would look at him after that. 
  • No one has shot a rifle in years. They don’t dare. The Owl is following them. 


I only just discovered this meme and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. It’s so creative and weirdly beautiful. So I unironically love it. I just had to do one for Rose Creek. 

flickr

57 Ford Fairlane 500 by Greg Gjerdingen
Via Flickr:
Willmar Car Club Annual Picnic, Lake Koronis Regional Park

Mermaid AU

It’s finally here, everyone! I stayed up late to finish this, but I hope you enjoy. I really enjoy writing for any kind of Mystical Creature AUs so it was only natural that I decided to write about mermaids. Enjoy yourselves everyone! <3


The Seven Seas

As you may know there are seven main regions that the world’s oceans are split into: Arctic, Antarctic, North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and the Indian ocean. Depending on where a mermaid was born, they have different physical attributes including tails, scales, and body markings. They can also acquire powers, but not all mermaids have them. 

General Rules for Mermaids

  1. Mermaids are unable to walk on land unless they possess an enchanted pendant that can only be acquired by Sea Witches. It’s quite difficult to obtain them, and nothing comes without a price. You have to give in order to get something in return. Most Sea Witches will accept payment in the form of rare items or gems, but some are crueler, and will even ask you o give up your voice in return.
  2. If a mermaid were to take a human lover, they would have to undergo the rights of passage to become a mer-person themselves. That being said, it’s possible to change into a mermaid, but can only be done using an intricate spell that can only be accessed by the King/Queen of the Sea or a specific Sea Witch that goes by the name of Lana. (I kind of had to do this since Sea Witches play a big part in this AU. ;))
  3. For committing crimes, a mermaid can be banished to the human realm (as a human themselves) for all eternity without having memory of who they were before. This rarely happens, but it is possible.
  4. Mermaids are not immortal creatures, but their lifespan lasts for an extensive amount of time. They are able to be killed or mortally wounded.
  5. Mermaids ‘mate’ when it comes to terms of marriage. They choose to have a partner for a life time and undergo the “Rite of Souls”, an ancient ceremony performed by the mer-people to bind two people together, human or mermaid.This allows their life forces to intertwine.

Social Classes for Mermaids

Like a highly-functioning society, there are social classes to keep balance within the population.

Royalty

  • They can be distinguished by the intricate markings across their bodies as well as the appearance of their tail. While colour depends on the region you were born in, a royal’s tail is much larger and extravagant than a normal mermaid’s tail. Usually embedded with jewels and other things to determine status. 

Sea Witches

  • Unlike how you would think, high witches are highly regarded in mermaid culture, the good ones at least. Since they are able to perform a multitude of spells and services, they are highly sought after. They usually have a small crescent moon engraved into a visible area of their body to display their status.  However, there are few (one at the moment) who happens to be both a Sea Witch as well as a Royal. This has only occurred once so far with the Sea Witch and Princess, Lana. (I had to add this i because Sea Witches play a big part, and if you wanted to request something, it’d all come together with Lana in here.)

The “Gifted”

  • This is a class of mermaids who were bestowed powers from birth. Not all mermaids are gifted with powers, but a large amount of them have them. Their powers vary, but aren’t strictly limited to where they were born.

Commoners

  • Regular mermaids that are simply citizens. They perform regular jobs such as being veterinarians, chefs, teachers, etc.

Arctic Ocean 

Mermaids of this region are born in extremely cold temperatures and are able to withstand the coldest weather. Their tails are slender and dip into a sharp ‘V’ shape at the end. Tail colours are usually pale in comparison, ranging from snow white to icy blues. In the light, they appear to look like glittering diamonds. It’s safe to say that many mer-people were jealous of their beauty. This place is known for their adorable seals and guppies.

Who was born in this region?

  • Tsukishima Kei
  • Lev Haiba
  • Semi Eita
  • Aone Takanobu
  • Matsukawa Issei

Antarctic Ocean

Another cold region with mermaids able to withstand freezing temperatures. Similar to those in the Arctic Ocean, their tails are also of blue and lavender hues, but have flecks of pinks and purples embedded in them. The tails are slender, but branch out into wispy fins near the end to give them flair. Known for the penguins and orcas.

Who was born in this region?

  • Kenma Kozume
  • Kageyama Tobio
  • Kiyoko Shimizu
  • Ennoshita Chikara
  • Akaashi Keiji
  • Oikawa Tooru
  • Sugawara Koushi

North and South Atlantic

Depending on where you live in this ocean, it can be warm or cool. This is area is home to hundreds of northern mermaids. Their tails are hues of greens and turquoise mixed together to represent the undertones pf the ocean themselves. The mer-people that reside here are usually friendly people and welcome others to their home. That’s generally speaking however.

Who was born in this region?

  • Yachi Hitoka
  • Asahi Azumane
  • Bokuto Koutaro
  • Nishinoya Yu
  • Tanaka Ryuunosuke
  • Hanamaki Takahiro

North and South Pacific

This ocean is quite warm and a local tourist attraction for traveling mermaids due to the many historical sights. Mermaids who were born of in this region usually have bronze tails decorated with hints of pinks, greens, and even blues. 

Who was born in this region?

  • Daichi Sawamura
  • Futakuchi Kenji
  • Iwaizumi Hajime
  • Kyoutani Kentarou

Indian Ocean

One of the more exotic and warmer areas of the seven seas. This place is home to an exotic type of mermaid and the infamous Royal Sea Witch, Lana. Many are attracted here for the supposedly hidden power that lies here. Mermaids born here have unique tails that tend to vary in size, but each are layered with different sets of fins. The colours usually range from golds to silvery hues dotted with reds and purplish tones.

Who was born in this region?

  • Ukai Keishin
  • Yamaguchi Tadashi

  • Hinata Shoyou

  • Kuroo Tetsurou

  • Ushijima Wakatoshi

Pearl: You stand in the presence of Platinum Dawn of house Berlitz, rightful heir to the iron fortune, rightful queen of Sinnoh and the lands beyond, protector of the seven regions, the mother of Giratina, the understander of pokémon, the undefeated, the breaker of evil.

Black: …

White: …this is Black.

Platinum: …?

White: …he’s a good lad.

8

Houses & Places- Game of Thrones (2/?)

The Reach, Westeros

“The Reach is aptly named. We’re the ones who give your hands something to do at the table. As the most fertile region in the Seven Kingdoms, we grow the lion’s share of the grains and fruit that feed this country.”

anonymous asked:

One day, a new assignment appears on the Job List: "Please help my companion: ne's all I have left." The job leads the PSMD Partner and Player to an unknown dungeon called Dimensional Convergence, which has very powerful Pokémon from all seven regions at max HP. (It's like Zero Isle South, except that you can bring your partner.) As you get deeper, you see echoes of all of the past dungeons in all of the other games, as well as parts of Pokémon regions from the main-series games. (Contd.)

Finally, at the depths of the dungeon is a lone Magnemite. Once leaving the dungeon with nem, odd things start to happen. The air darkens, with odd crackles here and there. An unearthly static fills the air. The sixth item in the bag gets duplicated until there’s 999 of it. The appearance of surrounding Pokémon start to warp, their cries distorting as well into something alien. And finally, with a blaze of glitchiness, MissingNo fades into existence. (Contd.)
MissingNo is OVERJOYED to see Magnemite alive. Magnemite apologizes for the mess, explaining that MissingNo is a creature called an “Ultra Beast” who was attacked while going through a wormhole and ending up in the RB Universe, completely scrambled. Magnemite found em on Cinnabar and listened, deciding that MissingNo didn’t need to be alone. Together, they’re trying to get to the Sun/Moon Universe while also trying to find ’M, MissingNo’s former companion before they’d gotten separated. (Contd.)
As a reward for saving Magnemite, MissingNo gives the Player and Partner Ultra Scarves, an item that lets them use Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions simultaneously, while also ensuing that they will never be separated. MissingNo and Magnemite then thank the two, the former taking on the form of a large glitchy bird, and both fly off into the blue. “Do you think they’ll find M and reach that dimension?” “Yes, I do. As ling as they have hope and stay together, they can do anything.”

A Song of Ice and Fire Real World Equivalents

This is my attempt at linking the fictional world with ours. Note: there are two versions of this list here, as one can imagine Westeros as just Britain itself or as Europe.

Westeros: Britain/Europe. Like Westoros, England has nine regions (Westeros has seven kingdoms and two other regions.) The shape is very similar too. However, it’s a large enough continent that it’s comparable to Europe too.

Essos: Asia. A much larger landmass with a large number of empires, some of which are virtually unknown to people in the west.

Sothoros: Africa. Wild and said to have mythic beasts. Only the coasts are well-explored.

Ulthos: Australia. A small landmass to the southeast of Sothoros.

Land of Always Winter: Greenland. Virtually inhospitable to humans with legends and myths surrounding it, and it’s always winter.

North of the Wall: Scotland. Wild, rugged, independent, and full of fierce warriors. Gripped by the cold.

Wildlings: Picts. Ethnically they were likely Celtic, like many of their brethren to the south, they became distance due to their isolation and their independence. Known as warriors and raiders.

First men: Celtics. Even though the Celts were not the first group of people in England, they were the first highly influential group, and their influence stands today even though the preceding invading groups to follow took over much of the land a few strands on the mainland today remains Celtic. Celts are related ethnically with a shared (ancient) core language and a set of beliefs that transformed over time.

The North: Northeast and Yorkshire/Russia. One of the least populated and educated areas of England, it also contains Yorkshire, as the Yorks are the real-world equivalent to the Starks (e.g. war of the roses.) During the medieval age, the area was often opposed to the primary ruling class, like the Normans. Note that Northumberland is mostly beyond Hadrian’s Wall and would therefore not be part of this “north.” Russia is pretty simple: it’s huge, untameable, and the people had pagan beliefs for a long time into the middle ages.

The Riverlands: East of England/Rhinelands. Much of East Anglia is flat, low-laying and (was) covered by marshes and crossed by rivers. Often the site of many battles in the middle ages and changed hands frequently. Then there are the Rhinelands, which are dominated by the great Rhine river, and while it’s a fertile land the area has been marked by warfare and has changed hands often. There was also a long period during the middle ages where the region was largely divided.

Iron Islands: Scandinavia. Notorious raiders and skilled naval navigators who had little fertile land of their own but still managed to subjugate much of England and other lands.

Westerlands: Northwest England (Lancashire)/England. To clear up the confusion, the Westerlands are Lancashire in the version where Westeros is Britain, while it’s England in the version that Westeros is Europe as a whole. Lancashire was ruled by the family that inspired the Lannisters of A Song of Ice and Fire, while England is a good analogue for the Westerlands, as the Romans had several gold mines in the area and there are lots of rolling hillsides.

The Reach southwest and southeast England/France. Both areas are known for their farmlands and their traditions of chivalry, from the tales of King Arthur to the French knights of the middle ages. Both can hold large populations and wield a lot of power.

The Vale: West midlands and the black country/Switzerland. The black country has the highest mountains in Britain outside of Scotland, while the midlands are hilly too. Switzerland has the mountainous terrain too, as well as a history of a tough army while simultaneously staying out of major conflicts.

Crownlands and King’s Landing: greater London area. This one is obvious, as London is a major city and capital of a powerful empire. England even designates the area in and around London as its own region.

Stormlands: East midlands/Italy. The stormiest part of England covered with forests and a few small mountains. Famous for some of its battles and its rebels, such as Robin Hood. Italy is stormy too, and it’s surrounded by mountains and waters like the Stormlands.

Dorne: Wales/Spain. Wales is famously distinct from the west of Britain with its own culture and customs. Spain is often chosen to represent Dorne, due to its climate and how its Moorish influence separates it from the rest of Europe.

Braavos: Amsterdam/Venice. Both were powerful merchant cities during the middle ages. Amsterdam’s climate makes sense for Braavos, while Venice was founded by a group of people seeking shelter in marshes from a powerful enemy. 

Other free cities: Italian city-states of the middle ages such as Genoa, Milan, and Florence. These cities were usually rich due to their ports, and some participated in slave trades just like some Essos cities did.

Valyria: Ancient Greece. A powerful and advanced civilization that conquered much of the known world. Its influence lasted centuries after its demise, and the people of the middle ages were still catching up to their innovations. The geography makes sense too, as Greece juts out from the whole of Europe and has a number of islands and there were a number of volcanoes, some of which destroyed entire cities. And Greece was partly consumed by infighting between powerful city-states, much like how Valyria was often damaged by powerful families fighting. Rome, by the way, makes less sense for Valyria, as it was a relatively recent empire at the time of the middle ages and some parts of the old republic were still active.

Summer isles: Canary islands. An archipelago off of Africa known for their beauty and relative isolation; also close to Europe.

Slaver’s Bay: North African cities with powerful slave trades.

Ghis: Carthaginian civilization. An ancient civilization wiped out by a competing one, whose capital, Carthage, was completely destroyed. Ancient Egypt is also an analogue, as they used slaves and were one of the few empires older than Greece.

Old Ghis: Carthage. Both cities had their lands razed and salted, and don’t exist to this day.

Dothraki: Asian steppe peoples, like the Huns, who were notoriously proficient in warfare using horses. These peoples were almost always weak in naval warfare. The Mongols, by the way, aren’t perfect analogues because of how advanced their warfare was, using powerful siege engines. 

Qarth: Constantinople. The gateway to the west and the east, and a large, rich city.

Yi-Ti: China. An ancient and powerful civilization that has lasted continuously for thousands of years. Built a strong line of defense to defend mysterious invaders from the north.

Asshai: Tibet. A mysterious and near-mythical place in a desolate land surrounded by high mountains in the far east of the word.

npr.org
The Monumental Task Of Reopening Puerto Rico's Schools
Puerto Rico's education secretary, Julia Keleher, says the few schools that are open are providing basic services. But there's still so much work to be done.

The schools in Puerto Rico are facing massive challenges.

All the public schools are without electricity, and more than half don’t have water.  More than 100 are still functioning as shelters.

But Puerto Rico’s secretary of education, Julia Keleher, tells us that the schools that are open are serving as connection points for communities.  They’ve become a place where children and their families can eat a hot meal and get some emotional support, too.

On Wednesday, we reported on two schools that have reopened — one public and one private.

And this week we spoke with Keleher by phone about the challenges students and educators are facing.  Our interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Interview Highlights

Broadly, can you give us an update on the state of public schools in Puerto Rico?

We have 345,000 students and 1,113 schools.  Last week, we opened 22.  This week we’re opening another 145.

And then, I’ve identified 227 that, when we remove the debris, we can open.

So we’ve been making small gains, heading in the right direction, I think, trying to give an opportunity for things to kind of look and feel like they’re getting back to normal so kids and families have a place to go.

So I think the goal is, we’re looking at Oct. 23 as the date to have school come back online.  We’re going to be making that a regional decision-making process.

So before, it was a unitary system and that means that all 1,113 schools follow the same set of rules, but now we’re going to have seven regions which would function more like districts.  The idea is that part of the problem with this system previously is that it was all centralized.  There’s too much bureaucracy.

So what we’re trying to do is push the decision-making back down closer to the level where people are actually working.

And was that a decision taken after the hurricane, as a result of the hurricane?

Before. And it’s interesting that you ask that question, because what we’re finding is that the reforms that we wanted to implement are even more relevant now.  And we have more of an opportunity to move quicker with their implementation.

Are there any areas of the island where you think it’s going to take longer to open up?

There are places where the storm entered and exited that were just significantly impacted.  The move toward regional decision-making helps us better isolate those problems and figure out where they are and develop a localized response to it.  San Juan is not representative of the rest of the island.  So it is very important that the people who are in those other regions are able to make decisions and ask for resources based on what they’re seeing.  They have to have that autonomy, they have to have that responsibility, that they have that authority because I can’t see from here what it is that they need.

What’s the biggest obstacle to getting schools back up and running?

Electricity.

And what are you doing to deal with the trauma of the hurricane for kids and for teachers?

We brought in an [expert] from Miami-Dade and he came here for a week.  We had a shared conversation with the Association of Private Schools.

We brought in the union leadership, we brought in senators, we brought in thought leaders in the community to make a public and an explicit statement that the department understands the amount of loss that people, that are, you know our family — our extended family — have experienced.

Teachers lost their homes and students saw their families lose their homes.  So we wanted to give that its deserved space and respect people’s experience.

Folks reached out and said, “Puerto Rico’s going through this, can we help?"  So now what we’re working on is a way of scaling it.

So the important thing is that the message is there, and there will be continued support for it throughout the remaining part of the school year.  One idea that [the Miami-Dade expert] mentioned was having an activity as part of a school day where you’re doing breathing or you’re focusing on wellness or there’s yoga or some kind of sort of settling mindfulness experience.  And so we’re going to move forward with that.

I know it’s difficult to speak generally, but do you have a sense of how the kids are doing in terms of trauma following the hurricane?

The fact that we’ve opened up 20 schools last week and the 145 this past week — it’s been a great experience.  The middle school kids were cutting out and making traces of their hands and then putting on there things that they would do to help in their community.  And the seniors made like a wishing tree but they had values and sort of made a promise of what they would do to help rebuild.

I think it’s cathartic in a way.  And I think it’s a safe space.  And I think the school being open even though it’s not instructional time, it’s not our calendar, we’re not back online — it provides a safe space to be able to process.  And we can also take lists of names, and an inventory of supplies or resources or clothes — things that people may need and try to figure out how to channel those quicker for them.

And are most of the schools that are open providing food and other support?

Breakfast and lunch, and we have social workers that are doing visits.  See if people need medicine.  You know it’s functioning as a connection point, where if it’s open and it’s predictable and it’s in the community and we can feed people and try to get a sense of what the needs are in a community, but then also have a way of coordinating that.

There were cases where there were no communications, the telecoms went completely down.  It was very hard to find out what people needed.  So having the school as a sort of hub is proving to be something that’s having a positive effect.

It’s hard to ask for resources if you can’t even communicate.  Have you been able to make contact with all the schools?

We’re working through all of the regional directors, which would be the equivalent of a superintendent in the unitary system, and that has helped.  So I have data on about 73 percent of [the schools].  The hardest areas to collect information on the status of schools and damages has been Caguas and Humacao, and they were both regions that were more significantly impacted.

Do you feel like you’re getting enough resources from the government?

Our budget, our state budget was reduced 10 percent because of the fiscal crisis.  And you know, we’ve had a reduction in the number of teachers, but I also have a teacher shortage.  There’s a reduction in the number that I can hire.  And there’s a reduction in the number of teachers that are here to hire, especially in hard-to-fill areas.

Do you anticipate getting any further resources from the federal government?

We need an aid package.  I’ve made that request informally.  If you look at a situation like Katrina, they got a huge amount of federal relief.  And so not only are we looking forward to the federal funds that we’ll receive as a result of damage reported to our buildings through FEMA.  We’re also looking forward to support with federal funds to impact the quality of schools and the number of options that we actually have here.

And what are you planning to do to make sure that kids don’t fall behind as a result of lost school time?

We have a couple of options.  It’s hard to build consensus when you have 31,000 teachers.  [And] we’re not paying them well.  A lot of them have second jobs and they have things to do after work.  And traditionally the day has been 8 [a.m.] to 3 [p.m.].  So, I’m advocating for it being 8 to 5 and they use those two hours at the end to focus more on these wellness activities and project-based learning.

It’s about 40 instructional days [lost], between 35 and 40. It’s about 270 plus instructional hours that we have to put back.  We’re also going to need to work a couple of weeks in June.

Typically, working in the summer months here has been sort of off-limits.  But at this school I was out this morning, they were telling me that they didn’t want to do the extended day because they had things to do after school and they would prefer to work in the summer.

It’s interesting, the event has created conditions where I’m able to move faster with the kinds of reforms that I want to, because it’s displaced so many things and it’s broken the paradigm.  And so things that were never on the table are now on the table.

2

Margaery is the only daughter of Lord Mace Tyrell the Lord Paramount of the Reach, and Lady Alerie hightower. The reach is one of the constituent regions of the seven kingdoms and house tyrell is one of the great house of the realm. Margaery was raised in privilege in the family seat and regional capital of Highgarden. She is close to her brother, ser Loras Tyrell.                                                                                                                                                                                                      She is said to be as beautiful as she is clever.