26. Shiro. Angst, if you want. It feels like it could work well with super hurt/out of it angst. And I clearly hate happiness.
It’s the 1000 Followers Special! Based on these prompts. Don’t want to see all 35 of these? Block ‘1000 Followers Special’. Can’t read on mobile? These will slowly be posted to AO3 starting in a few days as ‘Hold Up Half the Sky’. A huge thank you to Xagrok for the beta’ing!
As time went on, it became more and more common for Shiro to let his guard down. It took weeks for him to even doze with the door open, much less with another living being in the room. Even the mice moving around could wake him on a bad day. Or he’d let the responsible leader thing drop for a few seconds, cracking a dark joke or goofing off with the rest of them.
Those were the times Pidge liked best. She understood and respected the need to be their commander some of the time, especially during missions or training. There was the big picture they needed to be focused on, and Shiro seemed to make it his personal goal to make sure they were always moving toward that.
But Pidge didn’t really want to be a military unit. Yes, it had its uses, and she couldn’t deny the effectiveness of the hierarchy in the field. It had its place, but it wasn’t what made Pidge stick around. Some days, the urge to give it all up and go searching for her family was still strong. It wasn’t Voltron or the universe that made her stay. It was the times they were a different kind of family that kept her around.
The scariest thing about the sea is how little we know of it. As the saying goes, we know less about the oceans than the surface of the moon. And that’s the scientists. The laymen know even less, and even most of that is skewed and laden with misinformation, no little thanks to the media’s sensationalistic fuckery that proposes that the entire ocean is out to fillet your ass. (As a reminder, my continous insistence that the sea is a writhing Lovecraftian hellscape full of man-eating terror is a conscious exaggeration for the sake of comedy. Please do not take my writing style seriously.)
The worst case of this is obviously sharks. The poor things have been so much vilified for no reason. Ever since Jaws and its massive cultural impact, sharks became the go-to bad guy of the animal world, with real-life effects too. (Can I say widespread shark hunting after the movie came out? I’m sure I can.) It also caused various memetic bullshit spreading about sharks that means we ended up with films like this.
Pictured: what the fresh hell
A trend I noticed in this killer shark shittery is that the “killer shark” is always a Great White. Always, always a Great White, which is also the first thing that pops into people’s minds when someone says “shark”. It’s like other sharks don’t exist, which is sad because sharks are a group as diverse as, say, carnivore mammals. Can you imagine if people wrote off carnivores as just wolves and nothing else? Because this is exactly like that.
Sharks are crazy diverse, but we never manage to peel our eyes away from the Great White for a long enough time to notice how insane they are. We have stuff like sawfish,
and the utterly ridiculous thing called the wobbegong. (Yes, that is a shark.)
What I’m basically saying is that sharks have as many forms as any other order of animals do, and people are so preoccupied with tacking as many CGI teeth on the Great White as it is humanly possible that we don’t notice how interesting, and weird, and fucking stupid sharks can be.
Seriously, I dare you to go to a shark horror movie and take the shark danger seriously after acquainting yourself with today’s specimen, the swellshark. Because this guy is just so ridiculous, I swear to Cthulhu.
This right here is today’s specimen, Cephaloscyllium ventriosum. It’s a pretty run-of-the-mill shark, small, brown and pointy-nosed, but its entire life goal is to methodically fuck up the fearsome reputation its Great White cousin has worked so hard for, and be absolutely laughable.
It spends all day being a lazy ass and sleeping in rocky crevices, hunting at night by being even more of a lazy ass and lying in wait until the prey is mere centimeters away, or even more of a lazy ass by laying on the rock bottom with its mouth open and literally waiting for the prey to swim into it. However, sometimes it can be a surpisingly daft little shit and raid human lobster traps without getting caught.
The stupid part is its self defense strategy.
So we’ve established that this little fuck lives in rock crevices. Naturally, this means that anything sufficiently determined and hungry can easily pull it out, right?
Wrong. Because if threatened, the swellshark lives up to its name by pulling the most ludicrous defense stunt this side of self destruction.
It sucks up water, and does this.
IT INFLATES. IT FUCKING INFLATES. THIS IS AN INFLATABLE SHARK. I QUIT.
Furthermore, it bites into its own tail and thus turns into a swollen little donut that’s completely impossible to dislodge from the crevice it’s in. I mean it works, but it’s so dumb.
To take away even more from the fearsome reputation of sharks, it is bioluminescent, and it has a tendency of sleeping in heaps of fellow little sharks.
So the next time someone puts out an Ultra Mutant Killer Shark movie, remember that there is a shark that glows in the dark, sleeps in cuddle piles and inflates to defend itself, and have a merry day laughing at the film’s stupidity.
my mother is the queen of impulse purchases. Seriously. Its the worst thing. When we went to pick up my 40 gallon tank last month and I had to spend 45 minutes talking her out of buying a parakeet for my grandma. (yes, mom, grandma DOES like birds but shouldn’t you ask her first? no, mom, it needs a bigger cage. PLEASE MOM dont get her that bird)
In the past she has impulse purchased glofish, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, and ALMOST sugar gliders (until i told her they will pee on you).
Needless to say I’ve been working her over for YEARS. She is definitely getting better about it. It’s been a couple years since her last purchase (the glofish that i now “rescued” from my fam). She also has this horrible habit of listening to the petsmart/co/land employees and believing what they say is correct (how we ended up with hamsters and ferrets).
she comes home with a familiar plastic cup filled with water. and as soon as i recognized it my heart sunk to depths deeper than i knew were possible.
“look honey!! i knew youve been wanting a betta fish and your coworker never got back to you, so i got you one!! its black because i know you like black and white… they didnt have black and white bettas but they had this black one. he does have a bit of red on himn is that ok? those stupid petsmart people tried to tell me they can live in the cup forever, but i knew better and i told them you had a 20 gallon and they said it was too big…” she went on and on… she is quite proud of herself.
meanwhile im thinking: i knew i shouldve gone with her to petsmart this morning. she cant be trusted by herself.
she means well but jesus my new tank isnt even cycled yet since i restarted it and i dont have food either and she just GOT ME THIS BEAUTIFUL BLACK AND RED BABY THAT I LOVE SO MUCH
i cant ask her to take it back. i love my mommy and it was really nice of her to think about me but i will feel guilty beyond measure if i ask her to take it back. and she will be sad. i knoowww she shouldn’t do this and ive talked to her about it again… for the second time this year… but thats all long term concerns… as for now…
WHAT THE HECK DO I DO?! many water changes daily while my tank is still cycling?! will that be okay? i know all the rest of the care stuff- food, temps, etc. but what do i do about the tank?!
DAMMIT AND IVE BEEN FIGHTING PURCHASING ONE FOR WEEKS AND SHE DONE WENT AND DID IT FOR ME.
also hes very pretty. ill post pictures when i have a moment.
It’s one thing to say you like S12, that you enjoy the eps, that you like the arcs, that you think it’s good. Those ar opinions & of course you’re entitled to them.
However, you can’t seriously say S12 is well written or well thought out. S12 is a clusterfuck. It has been inconsistent at best & completely disregards canon at its worst. The individual eps are lazily written & the overall story arc is sloppy & rushed. This isn’t my “bitter!Dean girl” opinion coming out…this is an objective opinion from someone who reads & writes.
Hello everyone and welcome to another install of Magic Design History, my series devoted to taking you back through Magic’s history to examining the good and bad of card design. Today I want to talk about a cycle of cards from Alpha nicknamed “the boons,” those being Healing Salve, Ancestral Recall, Dark Ritual, Lightning Bolt and Giant Growth. I imagine you may have heard of some if not all of these. These one mana instants - of varying power level - formed an identity for each of their respective colors, either in the early years or permanently.
For the structure of this article, I would like to address each card one at a time and talk about a alternate world where it had a different design, the impact and/or what should be costed under current design philosophy. I do want to stress, I think these cards - especially the powerful ones - were the kind of thing the game needed at its birth to inspire the love it got, but some of the changes or commentary come with 20/20 vision.
Easily the worst of the cycle - seriously, these cards should not have been commons - Healing Salve exists in an area of White that doesn’t really happen anymore. Since New World Order in 2009, Wizards has moved away from cards preventing damage like this, especially on creatures. On top of that, life gain being the sole purpose of a card is not viewed as being worth the mana or card slot in a deck. So this card really fails on all levels in its printed form.
So what do we do differently? Well, if I were to fill the slot this took up in Alpha - once again, with 20/20 vision - I would have a one mana instant that did one of two things; a) “Destroy target attacking or blocking creature with power 3 or less” or b) “Destroy target enchantment with converted mana cost 3 or less”.
You may have noticed the awkward inclusion of “3 or less” there, this is to keep it tied to the rest of the cycle and to keep the power level contained. I feel without the use of the number 3, the cycle falls apart.
Now, because it’s the worst card in the cycle, I feel pretty safe in saying that this effect in costed correctly, maybe even too expensive. In the current world of Magic this effect is just stapled onto 1/3 creatures as an enter the battlefield effect for 1W.
Oh boy. So here we have the commonly considered best card in the cycle, by a mile. This is the best example of something that would have been considered a mistake in 1998, but was exactly what the game needed in 1993. This is easily a rare in its printed form and an uncommon once it’s “fixed” version, aka Jace’s Ingenuity.
So what would I do differently? Well, without the cycle restriction of the number 3, I would have this draw two cards and chalk it up to Alpha being Alpha. In a world where I am changing the text to lower the power level? I would make this a Mana Leak for only U (see my write-up on Lightning Bolt). This would stick to the theme of including “3” and still make for a card that may be incorrectly costed, but not by much with 20/20 vision.
Unlike Healing Salve, this effect still happens frequently enough in Standard-legal sets, it’s just costed at 2UU for a sorcery or 3UU for an instant. Open and shut case.
So. I think this is an example of a really fun card that shouldn’t be allowed in tournament decks. Luckily, Wizards agrees with that now. Dark Ritual is an insane card that got printed more times than it had any business being printed. If this was still a regular effect in Black, I would expect this to be an uncommon now. Though, I would expect a color-shifted High Tide before another ritual effect in Black.
So how would I change this? One, I would make it Red. But if it had to be a Black effect, I think I would replace this with “Target creature gets -3/-3” even though that might be stepping too much on Lightning Bolt’s space. I will admit that B on an instant is really only worth -2/-2, but this Alpha!
If this effect saw printing today in Black, I think it would cost 1B for BBB or require you to sacrifice a creature.
This one is pretty cut and dry in my eyes, Lightning Bolt is a very strong card that has been safe enough to print in Standard in the last decade. It warps the format around it due to the gravity it has, but it seems like the kind of card that is really needed in a format like Modern. All that said, I don’t see Wizards injecting this into Standard any time soon, certainly Modern Masters.
Would I change anything? Probably not, at the price of R, I don’t know that anything was more evocative in Red for Alpha and I don’t think anything about it is a mistake. Besides, maybe setting a toughness threshold for a creature to be good in Standard healthy. I think it’s a good tool to keep Planeswalkers in check and the card is iconic.
This effect is a constant in Magic, so it’s really easy to gauge where this should be costed: 1R. And I feel saying “should” might give the wrong idea, what I mean to say is that 1R is the safe version of Lightning Bolt and like my cheaper Mana Leak example earlier, the differences in cost can be chalked up to learning lessons. It still sets a bar without being format warping. And the extra generic mana opens design up to adding an exile effect or set specific keyword.
Finally we have the best design of all five, not the most powerful, but the closest to perfect. Giant Growth has been printed more times than any other card in the cycle and is the starting block for many Green pump spells being designed for Standard. It is as reliable as Naturalize and Cancel are in most current sets.
So then the question what would I do differently? And anti-climatically, nothing. I think Giant Growth is a great design, in direct contrast to Healing Salve, which I think is safe but very weak. There doesn’t need to be any costs changing, in fact the converted mana cost is usually bumped up to just make combat tricks weaker in a Limited format.
I would like to thank all people that tagged along this journey of 1000+ words as I examined one of Magic’s oldest cycles. I honestly didn’t know that the content was going to have that level of depth. Until next time, thanks!
The “the person whoo took the sdcc video forced the writers to give them the ages!!” Is the worst argument because,
1. Its clear they had to put thought into ages when creating the characters.
2. They were all smiling and laughing in the video and no one seemed awkward.
3. That was the SECOND time they asked the writers that question and the reason they took it on video is because they had tweeted out a day before what the ages were for the paladins. But they were getting sent hate so the next day at the con they took video of the creators with permission. (Seriously, ask anyone that has been in this fandom since day one, i’m not the only witness) also the person who took video shipped she/ith so its not like they were some anti wanting to spite people.
5. This argument is literally just a reach shaladins made because they’re in denial
[It’s the evening after Valentine’s Day. Luke, Thalia and Annabeth, having discovered that stores always buy more Valentine’s candy then they actually sell, have spent the day fishing several hundred dollars worth of merchandise out of dumpsters and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor in a safehouse.]
Thalia(Making a face): Bleah. If I ever see another pink thing again, I think I’ll barf.
Luke(Halfheartedly picking at a box of heart shaped cookies): Agreed.
[Thalia glances at Luke. He doesn’t notice, staring distractedly into space.]
Thalia(Quietly): Hey, are you okay?
Thalia: You’ve been acting off since yesterday. I didn’t want to say anything in front of ‘Beth, but if you’re feeling sick-
Luke(Waving a hand dismissively): Nah, I’m fine, don’t worry. Really. I’m-
[He catches Thalia’s eye and wilts slightly]
Luke(Sighing): Its just… I guess it’s Valentine’s Day. Everywhere you look, all this pink and red crap, hearts and flowers and garbage about undying love, and… well, it’s hard to take all that seriously when you know that best case scenario, it eventually turns into divorce. Worst case scenario…
[He and Thalia look at each other, then at Annabeth who is building a small house from empty chocolate boxes between yawns.]
Luke(Softly): We’ve all seen worst case scenario.
Thalia(Chewing her lip meditatively): …I get that. I mean, we LIVED worst case scenario. I never want to end up putting a kid through that just because somebody and I… just because of my bad decisions. But Luke, you have to remember that our parents are freaks.
[There is a rumble of thunder outside. Thalia ignores it.]
Thalia: What happened to me happened because my mother didn’t know how take care of herself, let alone another human being. And in a way, it also happened because my dad didn’t know how to take responsibility for anything- let alone another human being. Neither of them should have ever had kids, and they should never have had them with each other. But when and if I decide to get married, if I decide to have kids, that isn’t going to happen to them, because I am nothing like my parents, Luke. And I promise you, you are nothing like yours.
Luke(After a moment of silence): I don’t think you know how badly I needed to hear that.
Thalia(Shrugging, with a wry smile): Don’t mention it.
[Annabeth has given up on her house and is asleep on the floor. Thalia picks her up, wiping chocolate from her face]
Thalia(Lightly): Besides, I’m sure there are plenty of people who manage to get married and stay happy. You can’t even get married for years, anyway. Why worry about it now?
Luke(Glancing at her): I guess so. You ever wonder if we’ll get married?
Thalia(With a startled laugh, flushing slightly): What, to each other? Good grief. What’s with you? Has all the Valentine’s candy poisoned you with love?
Luke(Waggling his eyebrows and grinning as she laughs again): Maybe.
[Thalia rolls her eyes and walks away, still smiling, to put Annabeth to bed. Luke watches them go]
tbh I was hoping to get a serious response to that atomic bomb question as I genuinely consider you to be a very interesting and thought provoking individual. How would you argue against someone who considered it necessary or the least worst option as many seem to believe? I can tell by all the fragile commenters that many of them have never bothered to seriously challenge their own views, which ofc does them a great disservice.
Bombing hospitals is murder,
Murder is wrong.
The firebombing was also a war crime. Both Robert McNamara and Curtis Lemay
acknowledged after the fact that the firebombing of civilian targets in
Japan would have (rightfully) been considered a war crime had the US
not achieved its total victory. You don’t stop being guilty of
sanctioning one murder just because people aren’t actively condemning
your other previous murders. This would be akin to Joseph Stalin
claiming that he cannot be condemned for his blockade of West Berlin
because nobody was complaining about the Holodomor.
I am fully aware of the details of Operation
Downfall. No, I do not think we should have accepted any ceasefire with
Japan that would have allowed them to maintain their presence in
We should have invaded. Soldier’s lives are worth less than those of civilians.
… is a sad perspective indeed. Yesterday when I read the spoilers they just my bad day horrible. But the chapter gave me some hope.
When Pudding announces that Sanji proposed to her - more like “please or marry me or everybody dies”, but anyways -, Luffy is surprised alright. But Nami is more … sad. Baffled, to say the least. Anyway, more shocked than Luffy. Much more.
On a side note: seeing their faces here, we know now they didn’t believe for a sec Cook. Worst actor ever.
Second, Nami has been shown thinking like that A LOT in this arc. The first significative moment was, curiously, when she was listening Pudding daydreaming Sanji. Who’s read some other of my posts on the matter will know I’ve brought up this scene on every single occasion possible - sorry guys.
AND here goes something I hadn’t noticed before! The “tension sweat drop”. How could I fail noticing it before? she’s tense! Yes!
Seriously though, if this ship sinks put this scene on its grave.
Last but not least: Sanji is not really mad about Pudding as the spoilers suggested - curse you Sandman, you had me so worried. He’s more like: let’s like her so that I don’t start hating her over the fact that she’s both the key to my life-lasting unhappiness and to the salvation of the people I love. Mixed feelings, you know. But we all know it at this point - even Pudding said it:
Sanji’s just too much of a gentleman to make a woman suffer because of him, even if the fault is not his. He knows Pudding loves him and doesn’t want her to worry about him.
So, according to my reliable resources, this ship hasn’t sunken yet.
NGL, your blog has gotten me out of this terrible headspace I've been in since I've been job hunting. So thanks for that. It got me thinking, teachers in BH, this place is like a last resort job. They heard some teachers actually disappear from the HS. They're always told not to stay after sun down, take your work home. DONT STAY. What? We always arm our teachers with ecto-knives. Don't touch the tip its coated... no we're not nuts. Its for your own protection. Psshhh. SERIOUSLY DONT STAY AFTER
Job hunting is the worst. There’s no other activity on the planet that can make you feel so worthless so quickly. Hang in there!
I love the idea that nobody wants to teach in BH. Because they have a lot of teachers go missing, either never to be found again, or to have their bloody remains turn up weeks later.
And the stuff about don’t stay after dark, and carry this weapons… hell yes!
Because when the sun goes down in Beacon Hills, all bets are off!
I’m glad we don’t have to think about moving for another year, although it’s looking like that could be the worst because we’d be on the cusp of being here for just a few more months or a few more years depending on MD’s next assignment and it’s going to be so stressful if we have to get out of this house but have no idea if our next lodging in this town needs to be temporary or long-term.
I’m a little sad we asked for an 18 month extension instead of 6 now though because as much as moving SUUUUCKS there’s a house on the corner in our neighborhood that just came up for rent. It’s 300 sq ft more than our current house, one of the rare 2 story homes available here, and 5 bedrooms for only $100/month more than we pay now. I know I’m just partly getting the antsy wanderlust that I’ve been trained to after 8 years as a mil spouse. And after the novelty of a home wears off all the little things you compromised on or didn’t seem like big deals now seem extra annoying.