so in case you want to see ratings and notes etc

An Introvert's guide to dealing with extroverted personalities

SUBMITTED by anonymous

ExTJs

- Don’t let them boss you around. Whether it’s literally your boss, a spouse a family member or a friend, ExTJs naturally take control over things and more often than not….people. Especially introverts because they make less “noise” so to speak. It’s not always meant as a bad thing, in many cases they think they’re doing you a service. But let them know that you have your own ideas and thoughts, they can very responsive to that.

- Show confidence. In regards to the last point, they will especially be prone to walking over you if you look lost or doubtful. Again, not necessarily bad in their eyes, they may think they are helping you. But if you show you have quiet confidence and can stand on your own two feet, they will respect that. 

- Respect their lavish lifestyles. Te-doms are often naturally successful at life, mostly in academics and business. And likewise they also LOVE to show off their success, through materialism, appearance, social status etc. (especially ENTJs) It’s not always shallow, it’s really what they like. Realize that in many cases, they actually…..did work really hard to earn that stuff. So check to see if your disdain about this isn’t actually the jealousy bug.

- Listen and appreciate their advice. Te-Doms are just really good at helping you out if you approach with any kind of problem. But yes, they do have a tendency to talk about you as if you were them. Keep that in mind.

ExFJs

- Understand that they have a hard time with “reserved” individuals. This is the bane of all ExFJs. They like to communicate, get you out there, and sometimes force you into uncomfortable situations. Understand that not only do they mean no harm by that, it’s actually because they have an interest in you, otherwise they wouldn’t bother. Be open minded while at the same time reminding them that you like your personal space. 

- They like to talk. If you have to deal with an ExFJ and hope that the two of you will just stay quiet, tough luck. Prepare for at least minimal conversation. 

- Respect everything they openly share. Pictures of kids, food and various events and messages flooding your Facebook wall. This is especially a strain for IxTx types, but understand that yes, ExFJs do indeed like attention, that stuff also means something to them. Either validate it or refrain from criticizing it.

- Be very careful with humor. The raunchy and offensive type of course, especially if it’s about something or someone that really matters to them. Fe usually hates that. I once replied with a joke on an ENFJs’ political status on Facebook. That was the last I ever heard of her. Keep it more PG and light-hearted with ExFJs. Many other types will appreciate your R-rated humor. 

ESxPs

- They are intense! You have been warned. If you like peace, quiet and taking it slow, then by all means stay away from them as even ISxPs may find them overwhelming. If you want a good time however, they are your go-to people. 

- They know what’s “in”. Look no further for fashion advice or what’s trending. Many extroverts are keen on this, but none like ExSPs

- Speak directly. Metaphors, being passive-aggressive and worst of all “you should know…” will drive them absolutely up the wall. Yet at the same time they’re really good at picking up on you so… You got something to say, say it clearly and quickly, that’s their communication style. Don’t mice words, especially with ESTPs.

- Do not lecture them about being impulsive. Chances are they already know that or they don’t care. Either appreciate that aspect of them, offer advice or stay out, but being a disciplinary parent to them will not work.

ENxPs

- They are mentally stimulating as well as exhausting. You INxPs may be able to keep up with them but for you other introverts, be prepared for rapid-fire questioning and topic shifting. But by all means, you can halt them when they open up a topic or debate that interests you. Just be prepared that this said topic, will also be dissected quickly on all fronts.

- Respect their flight of ideas. As an introvert, you need time to process things, they don’t. Do NOT tell an ENxP “Hey…weren’t you supposed to do what you said you would do?” Unless it was a contractual commitment or something of that nature. That irks them. Ideas are fun for them to shoot out, but follow-up can be another issue altogether. When they are serious about something, you’ll know, don’t worry. Actions will speak louder than words.

- Religion and politics are NOT off limits! This is sacred and personal to you? Though luck, ENxPs will put it on the table sooner or later. ENxPs will most likely bust you open and ask all the details of your personal life, sometimes even moreso then Fe-Doms. So either be ready, embracing of that, or let them kindly know what’s off limits. 

- They have a “geek” side. Especially ENFPs. Respect and appreciate that and please don’t knock it. “You’re too old for….” will absolutely bring out their anger. Dom Si and Fi are usually good at respecting that because they know about sentimentality, but other introverts need to thread lightly. 

Note that many of these points are also valid for extrovert on extrovert. But this was written for all introverts’ processing downtime and reservations vs. extroverts’ rapid assessment of their surroundings and better ease with people in mind. 

If one of you extroverts want to do the opposite guide, be my guest.

anonymous asked:

I have an alternate history where, during the AIDS crisis, mandatory quarantines where put in place for all HIV+ people. I know HIV can be passed from mother to child, but can a baby born the virus pass it to their child and so on? It's in a future setting, so medicine has advanced (they might even be more medicaly/sciencey than the non-quarantined because they came up with all of the life saving/extending stuff). How might "genetic HIV" affect their health and everyday lives?

Hey nonny! This is really interesting, and I’d be interested in reading your story when it’s done…. but you have some research to do before you get started.

I hope you’re aware that a lot of the context around HIV is actually homophobia. In fact, HIV wasn’t called HIV at first – it was called Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID) in a time when gay was a dirty word. So understand that what you’re calling “quarantining HIV” would amount to a sequestering of, in large part (though far from exclusively), gay men. (And intravenous drug users.)

….You see where this is going, right? A majority “quarantines” a vulnerable population because they’re a “threat to the society at large”, complete with “scientific justification”. This is also in a time when the disease was soundly ignored and research was underfunded because the victims were gay men.

You’re basically looking at some really strong comparisons to Nazism and concentration camps in America in the 1980s. And unless you’re writing something horrifyingly dystopian – in which case go ahead!! – you need to be prepared for that perception from your readers.

What I am saying is this: spend a lot of time researching the disease and its history. And the social history of gay men in the 70s and 80s through today. And the history of antiretroviral medications. In fact, further down, I’m going to give you a read/watch list. It will be far from complete. But it will be a start.

I have a good news / bad news moment for you as well. The good news is that HIV isn’t genetic. It’s not carried down from mother to child via DNA transmission or even viral load entering the bloodstream of the fetus in utero.

So how do babies get HIV? Well, birth is a messy, bloody, poopy business. Neonates become infected when they’re delivered through a bloody  bloody birth canal and the blood enters their mucus membranes (eyes, mouth, etc). Also, babies drink bodily fluids for the first 6 months of life, which is definitely a transmission vector for the disease.

From a WHO page on mother-to-child transmission:

The transmission of HIV from a HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, labour, delivery or breastfeeding is called mother-to-child transmission. In the absence of any intervention, transmission rates range from 15% to 45%. This rate can be reduced to below 5% with effective interventions during the periods of pregnancy, labour, delivery and breastfeeding. These interventions primarily involve antiretroviral treatment for the mother and a short course of antiretroviral drugs for the baby. They also include measures to prevent HIV acquisition in the pregnant woman and appropriate breastfeeding practices. 

So first off, the chance of any child of an HIV-positive mother getting HIV are less than one in two. Second, again, the virus isn’t “genetic” in its transmission. So if a child of an HIV+ mother was infected, the odds of them transmitting the disease to their child is the same as it was for them. It’s not a guarantee.

Also understand that if medicine is “more advanced” than it is today, and we already have cases of HIV being completely eliminated from people’s bloodstreams with modern medications, your society would likely get to a place where HIV can be, if not eliminated, made far less of a global crisis.

In fact, you mentioned medicine being “more advanced” inside of the “quarantine” than outside of it. But this isn’t likely, because you have to understand that the “quarantined” area is wholly dependent on the outside. They only get what they’re given (or can monkey-wrench from what they have). And separate but equal is inherently unequal. They’re social pariahs, they’re the underheels of society – they won’t be given the tools to advance beyond the society around them. If anything they’ll be the subjects of unwilling experimentation and get gaslighted into horrendous conditions with the vague and distant promise of a cure.

Here’s the thing about HIV (that, admittedly, wasn’t well understood at the beginnings of the disease): Without blood to blood or sexual contact it’s almost impossible to contract. You can’t get it from saliva without (drinking a liter of it). You can’t get it from sweat.

So I’m going to give you some homework to help you understand the background of the story you want to write.

First, films, because they’re easy and fast and will get you up to date as quickly as possible. There’s a list from Verywell (which, admittedly, I don’t love completely) with a list of films portraying HIV in culture.

I would start with #9, a movie called And The Band Played On. (It’s even on YouTube if you don’t mind a little piracy). It’s the story of how HIV came to be understood, told from the scientific side, and dealing with all of the prejudices of the Reagan administration. Philadelphia is also amazing and a must-watch. Angels in America was supposed to be phenomenal (I haven’t had the chance to see it yet).

Also do some searches on HIV and then-president Reagan, and how he dealt with –  or, more accurately, did sweet fuck-all about – HIV. It’s the story of one of the biggest failings in American history (and there have been some whoppers of failures!).

I also reached out to lovely blogger poztatt, who has commented on this blog in multiple instances about the relationship between medicine as a whole and HIV, and here’s what Pozzy had to say:

One : Transmission.  Here in BC vertical transmission has been pretty much eliminated due to good regimens.  We can, if we know about it, prevent it by using pre-existing regimens with mothers so they don’t transmit it.  Clinical guidelines are that mothers have to be on the medication (there are actual legal cases of women being charged for reckless endangerment and/or negligence for not informing doctors of their status.  Also all women in Canada that are pregnant are automatically tested.  It’s less thrilling, human rights wise, than I personally like but that’s Canada.

Second : Well, you’re sort of right about quarantine.  Fun fact : it actually is legally entirely possible to quarantine someone with a public health threat - aka communicable diseases.  Second fun fact in 1987 there was a bill proposed here in BC called Bill C34 that would have sent all people with HIV / AIDS to a leper colony island in the Georgia Straits. 

It got defeated but it had components cannibalized and put into the health care acts that allows quarantining of people with communicable diseases.

Though it’s not been enacted as there are no precidents for it outside Ebola.

So while it’s not presently a thing, it was proposed in multiple jurisdictions across N. America.

Also location is important. Sidenote: In N. America it landed in the gay male community and hit white gay men hard.  They had influence and power, as well as money, so they made noise.  It ALSO hit injection drug users and other sections of the gay community but they had less social cache to fight for care.Outside of N. America it’s predominantly location dependant. Huge swathes of African countries it’s heterosexual.  When writing about it (for the question) it’s important to note the different history depending on WHERE it’s being written about.

Poz also recommends the films When We Rise and How to Survive a Plague, as well as reaching out to your local LGBT centers and seeing if your city has an LGBT archive.

If anyone has additional resources for the Nonny here, leave a comment. I’ll screenshot them in a day or two, or copypaste, and reblog this with additional resources.

Best of luck,

xoxo, Aunt Scripty

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To all the new Reylo shippers (a small little guide)!

Welcome to the Reylo family. We’re a diverse place full of awesome group of people from all around the world. You’ll never find a more creative and smart  bunch anywhere else in fandom. We’re packed full of metas, predictions, fan art, fanfiction, discourse, Kylo Ren thirsting, multishipping fun, gifs, memes, fan vids, podcasts, wacky headcanons and trashy kinky goodness!

Thanks to Star Wars Celebration 2017 being just as about Reylo blatant as you can get without telegraphing the obvious to the general public, we’ve seem to have gained quite a few new mutuals in our snug corner. I don’t know how many of you are completely new, have been hovering around the edges of fandom anonymously, are in fandom already but didn’t ship Reylo till now but for the sake of this post I’m going to treat you like you are new to Reylo and its accompanying subculture. 

For those of us who have been in the Reylo fandom for a long time (and Reylo started right after TFA came out) certain self-governing rules and forms of etiquette have become commonplace and even expected in our space. I feel it important to illuminate these to those who are new to whom it may not be readily obvious. Don’t worry, this isn’t like what kinks are acceptable or anything like that. 

For more, keep reading (or not)

Keep reading

magnolia-monday  asked:

Girlfriend you look amazing!! Would you ever be interested in doing a blog post about your healthy eating and exercise routine?

thank you! 

I’ve talked about my recent healthy eating/exercise routine a few times over the past few months, but here is a more detailed explanation because I have been getting this question quite often. I do want to say though that I am not a nutritionist or health guru by any means- these are just things that have worked for me :) different things work for different people!

I lost about 10 pounds last semester. My main priority for my senior year was to treat my body the best that I could by changing my exercise and eating habits (my intentions were not to necessarily lose weight). My other priority was to be more mindful of how I spend my time in general. Though eating healthy and working out in college can be difficult at times, I have found it to be very rewarding. I think it’s always a great thing to make positive goals for yourself- no matter how small they may seem. 

Here are some things that worked for me over the past semester or so:

Healthy eating

  • At the beginning of last semester, I decided to transition towards a vegan diet. I now eat about a 95% vegan diet. I eat vegan as frequently as I can. However, a few months ago, my friend’s mom cooked only grilled chicken, so in that case, I did eat that. I eat vegan when I can, but if a friend/family friend is only serving meat, I will eat it. For me, eating a vegan diet isn’t necessarily an ethical thing for me. It’s definitely more about the benefits that come with eating a plant based diet (documentaries like Forks Over Knives really touch on this topic).I am very lactose intolerant (and I have been for pretty much my entire life), and I have been strictly dairy free for several months now. I feel my best when I eat a vegan diet, though it isn’t the easiest choice while living in Mississippi. When I do eat dairy, I have an allergic reaction, and I’ve learned it’s just not worth it (even though Mac & Cheese is like my favorite food on the entire planet). 
  • I feel like I mostly eat small meals throughout the day instead of a traditional three large meals. I eat a TON of Lara Bars (the chocolate brownie and mint chocolate ones are my favorites), almonds, raisins, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds (I eat these with a spoon a few times a week, which I think grosses out my roomies/family), coconut milk yogurt, skinny pop, almond milk, blackberries, blueberries, kind bars (which have honey- but most are dairy free), and hummus. We just got a Chipotle in MS, and I went 4-5 times last week with friends, and it’s super easy for me to eat vegan there. I always order 3 soft tacos with black beans, lettuce, and guac. I also recently learned how to make Acai bowls, which I am super proud of! I make them with frozen acai packets + medjool dates + almond milk + bananas + frozen berries + chia seeds (all in my blender). On top, I usually add blackberries, agave granola, and pumpkin seeds. However, some of these ingredients can be hard to find in my tiny college town, so I do drive to Whole Foods in Memphis about once or twice a month (and to also see my high school bestie who lives in Memphis). For meals, I do go to Panera quite often now that they have brought back the black bean soup (yay!). I get that a few times a week, and I love it! If you do eat meat, you should try the Panera turkey chili soup. It’s really healthy & yummy (and dairy free!)!
  • In the future, I would like to eat 100% vegan, but that is not always possible, especially in the deep south. After graduation, I would really like to eat a vegan diet 100% of the time if I can. It’s really helped the way I feel throughout the day and it has definitely cleared up my acne. I also find it has made me appreciate food more and really learn about what it is I am eating & how it affects my body/the way I feel.
  • I do not drink alcohol (I am almost 22, in case anybody was wondering). I have had alcohol maybe twice in the past 6 months or so. Giving up alcohol was a huge decision for me, but it has been such a rewarding, positive experience for me personally. I think it has definitely contributed to my weight lose, and it has cleared up my skin. But most importantly, it has given me more time to focus on the things and people in my life that are important to me. On that note, I mostly drink water & I drink a ton of water every single day. I believe it’s so important to stay hydrated. I do go to starbucks usually once a day, and I almost always get a trenta unsweetened ice green tea (I am a little bit addicted). 
  • For cheat meals, I love getting a bean burrito without cheese from Taco Bell (no shame). I also love Chipotle chips & guac. Oreos are my other guilty pleasure (because they are strangely enough dairy free..). 

Working out

  • I started going to Orange Theory at the beginning of last semester, and that has made a huge difference! OTF is not easy by any means, but it’s incredible. It’s a science based workout class that tracks your heart rate while you work out. I find it really challenging, but fun at the same time. I go 2-3 times a week depending on my school load (school is always my top priority). If you have an Orange Theory Fitness near you, definitely try it out. The first class is free! My mom goes every single day and loves it as well. I couldn’t recommend it enough! 
  • On days I don’t have time to go to Orange Theory, I usually workout at my apartment’s gym (though I definitely don’t work out every single day- especially if I am super busy with school/sick/etc.). I usually workout for about 30-40 minutes, and I walk/run on the treadmill for 1-2 miles and lift weights (I also do a lot of abs/arm work). 
  • On weekends, I love to go hiking/walking with friends out on the trails! I go alone sometimes when I am stressed out to clear my mind. Being in nature is such a great stress reliever, and I really enjoy going on walks.

I hope that could answer your question! Again, I am no health expert by any means. These are just things that have worked for me!

This question’s been sitting in my askbox for WEEKS now, apologies for taking so long to respond to this!

To preface this post it’s important to note: I’m not a professional, and don’t have professional experience.  All thoughts are based on personal opinion, preference, and prior experience designing characters for personal projects!

Click the jump for a big post with me rambling about character designs I do and don’t like, and why I do/don’t like them!

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

What would you say are the most important parts of writing the Master in general?

Depends on the incarnation, since each one is different. I know you said in general but I’m going to focus on Delgado a bit since he was the one I was talking about in my previous post.

Something I find interesting is the shift in the way Delgado is perceived, because we all think of him as the reserved, serious one, but based on interviews with Anthony Ainley that I’ve read, it seems Ainley was considered the serious one back when he was playing the role and Delgado was the fun one. And I can see why, because Delgado’s characterisation was in many ways lighter and more playful than Pratt’s, Beevers’, and Ainley’s. I think Roberts and Simm are probably the ones who changed this perception amongst fans, since Delgado does indeed seem very serious and restrained compared to them. But seeing him as only that misses an important side to his character.

I’ve read too many EU stories where the Master is just… boring. A dull, cliche villain with nothing noteworthy to offer. If that’s who he’d been in the TV show, I wouldn’t care about him at all. I mean, conceptually, the Master has never been that unique a villain, which is why it’s vital he written and acted in a compelling and entertaining way. No one likes the Master because he’s a megalomaniac trying to take over the universe—we like him because he’s fun, or because of his relationship with the Doctor, or because the actor makes it work. That’s what got me invested in him when I watched Terror of the Autons. Roger Delgado could completely sell any line he was given and keep you totally hooked. He could do sinister, he could do funny, he could do charming, and he could chew the scenery in a way that never seemed too over the top.

Unfortunately, many writers only focus on his role as an antagonist and write his whole personality around that. But the thing is… I don’t really care about that. I don’t care what his evil plan of the week is, especially when they don’t even give him entertaining plots like deadly plastic daffodils or disguising as a vicar to summon the devil. I’m not interested in watching him simply strut around gloating, serving as nothing more than an obstacle for the Doctor to overcome. But this is how he’s so often used. For example, what prompted my previous post was the recent DWM comic where he meets Twelve. There are a few good moments there, but ultimately it turned out to be rather a let-down. You could have some amazing fun with Delgado and Twelve—so much wonderful banter, little moments of friendship, a bit of angst depending on how you played it, foreshadowing for the Master’s future interactions with Twelve as Missy, etc.—and all that potential is basically wasted. The story is only interested in using him as a one-note antagonist.

The thing is, villainy isn’t actually the Master’s best/strongest trait. As an antagonist he’s rarely all that threatening. If that’s the primary aspect of him you play up, he’s going to get boring very quickly, and it will make the moments when you should play up his villainy less effective. This is something Moffat got right with Gomez, by establishing her first as a villain, but then using her as an uneasy ally (which was always a fun part of many Master stories in the Third Doctor’s era) and thus adding another layer to her characterisation, but ultimately keeping her darker nature intact with moments like her trying to make the Doctor kill Clara.

That’s what makes the lighter side to Delgado’s personality so important, because it contrasts wonderfully with his terrible actions. Not only does his charm make us like him, but it makes watching him murder people all the more unsettling. Something that bugged me in the comic was a scene where Twelve remarks, “I’m always angry in this body!” while he’s confronting the Master, and the Master replies, “Intoxicating, isn’t it?” which doesn’t really make sense, because Delgado wasn’t prone to anger at all. He has occasional flashes of anger that pass quickly rather than being constantly moody. If you study the way he interacts with his henchmen, you’ll notice he’s frequently very lenient with them when they mess up—usually just a brief “you incompetent fools!” telling off, and then he sends them off on another task. He would probably have more success if he weren’t so congenial towards them.

It’s not that he actually cares about any of them, of course, he just knows that sometimes people are more likely to do what they’re told if you ask nicely, and he does enjoy playing the smooth, dignified, impeccably polite gentleman. If you’re going to work for an incarnation of the Master (which is a bad career move that has a 99% mortality rate, so I wouldn’t advise it), go for Delgado. He’ll still kill you, but at least he’ll treat you well until then.

An important thing about Delgado is that he doesn’t have the same desperation or darkness to him that later Masters have, because at this point he hasn’t been through all the ordeals they have. He hasn’t struggled to stay alive in a decaying body or fought in the Time War or any of that. Life is still mostly a game to him, one he thoroughly enjoys playing (especially with the Doctor), so he’s not all that put out if he loses a few rounds. He’s just having a good time doing what he does. Sometimes he messes up really badly and that shakes him a bit, but as long as the Doctor’s around to fix things it’s all good, right? At this point he still genuinely believes that he can do anything, control any terrible force from the dawn of the universe that he chooses to summon, and make anyone do what he wants and see things his way, just because his will is just that strong and he’s that awesome.

I don’t think he’s even all that malicious/sadistic at this point, though there certainly is a bit of that from time to time. It’s more a case of using any means necessary to achieve his goals rather than actually wanting to hurt people (unless he has some beef with them, in which case he will definitely make them suffer). I think part of him honestly believes that his offer in Colony in Space—a benevolent co-rulership of the universe with the Doctor—is a good, feasible idea and the Doctor is being thick for not getting it. In reality, it would never actually work, and his reign would remain benevolent for maybe five minutes at most, but at this point the Master isn’t quite so set in his role as a villain (at least not in his own mind) and wants power and the Doctor’s approval more than he wants to inflict harm on anyone. Killing people is often a necessary part of his plans and he has fun with it, but he doesn’t see it as a goal in and of itself.

Anyway, I feel like I’m rambling on here, but what I’m trying to say is that when writing for Delgado, you can’t just write the “mwahahaha I’m going to take over the universe because I’m evil” side of him. You can’t write him as purely cold and serious. You need an element of fun and playfulness to his character, and you need a certain level of friendliness between him and the Doctor. You need to understand his point of view and why he actually does the things that he does.

This kind of applies to the Master as a whole. You need to incorporate the specific elements of each one’s personality, you need to keep in mind their motivations (which are more complicated than they appear and are wrapped up in a desire for power, a superiority complex, and the Master’s dynamic with the Doctor which can take on many forms ranging from competitiveness/antagonism, a desire for approval and/or the Doctor to admit they were right, and a simple need to restore their previous friendship), and above all you need to make sure they’re entertaining. They don’t necessarily have to be having fun—I love a good story where the Master suffers, or better yet a nice helping of internal conflict—but whatever they’re doing has to be compelling. If all they do in a story is act as an obstacle they are going to fall flat because, like I said, it’s not the concept of the Master that’s interesting, it’s the presentation. If you want a conceptually interesting villain, go with the Monk or the Rani instead. The Master serves an entirely different purpose.

How-To with Ashley: Volume I

Introduction

One thing I can confidently say I have learned in my program is how to write a strong legal memo in IRAC format, and I want to share that knowledge with you all! This isn’t likely to be the definitive, super-detailed post I would have liked to find when I first started writing these, but it should be either a quick review or a quick how-to, depending on your familiarity with this format! A small disclaimer: this is how I was taught to write as a paralegal, and your professor or supervisor may not want your memo to follow this style. Where the two differ, always defer to the standards your professor or supervisor has set out!

The Goods

First of all, what does IRAC stand for?

  • I: Issue
  • R: Rules
  • A: Analysis
  • C: Conclusion

Remember that “memo” in this sense of the word is not the traditional concept of a memo–it’s not so much an office communication as much as an essay in several separated sections. 

Write as if you are writing for the Court, because this type of memo is sometimes attached to motions and writing as if every memo will be submitted to the Court is a good habit to get into–it will make your life easier when you are writing for the Court! 

More detailed information and examples of each section are below. (The inclusion of examples may be naive of me but I’m trusting that if you’re reading this, you’re smart enough to know that resources, citation manuals and standards of writing vary greatly from state to state and attorney to attorney so my exact words will probably do you very little good. Also, I like to believe academic integrity is strong in this community, so there’s that.) Please note that all clients referenced in said examples are fictional and any resemblance to any real clients or fact patterns is unintentional. Case law cited in these examples, however, is valid and ideally, still binding. 

Research

This will probably be another long and detailed post in the future, but basically, your research is the hard part. Like any other writing project, it is sometimes better to map out your thoughts while you do the necessary readings. At any rate, remember that legal research is just a bit different from research in other subjects and take full advantage of the resources provided to you (law libraries, Lexis Advance, Casemaker, etc.)!

Issue Section

This should be one or two short, concise questions that you are trying to answer in your memo. If you are answering more than one question, your professor/supervising attorney may prefer you use Roman numerals to individuate and keep your issues separate and distinct. If this is the case, be consistent!

I usually start writing with a very vague Issue section and revise my questions to be more specific once the bulk of my research and writing is done. This helps because you are less likely to end up seeming to go on tangents (or miss your stated point entirely) as you may be if you start with a super specific question or set of questions and do not revise those questions.

Here is an example of an introduction section I wrote last term:

Rules Section

This is another section I save until I have finished researching and writing, for reasons that will become obvious momentarily. It is a statement of all the cases, rules, administrative regulations, etc. you have cited in your analysis and conclusion sections. 

Depending on who you’re writing for, this section may sometimes be substituted for a Brief Answer section or a Standard of Review. My professors seem to prefer the alternatives to a formal Rules section, so I’ve included examples of both alternative sections below.

Brief Answer:

Standard of Review:

Remember to use the correct format for citations, especially in this section, where mistakes are more noticeable by virtue of its isolation. LexisAdvance has a very helpful feature that will generate your citation for you in your chosen style, meaning that all you as the writer have to do is check that it’s stylistically correct, and let me tell you, it’s a lifesaver!

Analysis Section

This is the meat and bones of your argument. I find it easiest to pick out similarities between established precedent and the instant case first and then to acknowledge the differences between the same, but some of my professors wanted each case analyzed separately. Again, go with the flow and don’t forget to cite everything. If you used or paraphrased more than three words from any source, you’d better cite it. This is where short citing comes in handy, which will probably also be discussed at a later date, but basically, Id. is my (and your) best friend.

Since this section is so large, my example may be hard to read, but you get the general idea of formatting and such.

If you used Roman numerals to separate issues, your analysis should look something like this:

There’s more to the second analysis but again, you get the idea.

ALSO, not everyone is a fan of block quotes (obviously, I am, but some of my professors limited how many we were allowed to include). Keep this in mind when deciding whether to quote directly or paraphrase a case.

Conclusion Section

Much like the conclusion of an English essay, you’ll want to restate your point succinctly and using slightly different wording in this section. Unlike an English essay, however, you don’t necessarily want to incorporate a new idea here. I tend to use this section as the “short, sweet, and to the point” version of my analysis, because as my professor put it, the Court is busy. There’s a good-to-fair chance that they’ll skim over the bulk of your writing and go to your conclusion section for your argument. As my friend Corinne ( @teetertotterpinata ) put it, this is where you want to drop the mic.

Here’s an example of one of my favorite conclusions:

So there you go! Legal writing doesn’t have to be an intimidating showdown of intellect. In fact, it’s probably better to be as detached from your argument as possible so that you can see and address possible flaws in your own case before the other side has a chance to do so. Stick to the basic as much as you can and you have less chance of going wrong. I hope this helps! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to try to help as much as I can (without violating Academic Honesty or UPL standards, of course).

anonymous asked:

would you ever do a gif tutorial?

of course!!! the main things you need are:

  • photoshop
  • patience
  • access to youtube and a video converter website OR other way you like to download videos 

everything is below the cut!! let’s get started!

Keep reading

officialhannahdahuman  asked:

Thank you for your advice on the replacing "im sorry" with "thank you" it really makes sense and I will start using it soon!!! :) btw- I have a question too if you don't mind answering: my best friend's younger sibling has come out (at least to us) as trans. I want to support them even though their parents aren't and as a trans person, what would you suggest that I do that I wouldn't have even thought of because I'm cisgender. Thank you!!!!!!! ^u^

great question! i’m encouraging any trans people who might read this to reblog with their own thoughts on how to be a good ally & how to support your trans friends. here’s a couple ideas off the top of my head:

  • educate yourself. here’s a list of frequently asked questions about transgender individuals. knowing how to talk to and educate others about trans identities can be really helpful, since it can get exhausting as a trans person to have to constantly defend your own identity and educate others about trans rights & trans issues
  • go to the bathroom with your trans friend. even if your friend identifies as a binary gender (male or female) and passes as that gender, it can still be nerve-wracking and anxiety-producing walking alone into a bathroom full of cis people. 
  • offer moral support and accompany your friends. if your trans friends are in the process of updating their gender marker on documentation or going through a legal name change, that process can be overwhelming and stressful. making phone calls to get information or accompanying your friend to the passport agency/name change location, etc, can be really helpful.
  • buy pads and tampons for them! if your friend has a monthly cycle, there’s a good chance they’ll need products like pads and tampons, and for lots of trans people, the thought of going to the store and having to purchase those products on their own can be terrifying and humiliating. pick up pads and tampons for your trans friends, and keeping some on you is a good idea in general. additionally, a diva cup can be purchased for around $30 and is an investment that will last several years, eliminating the need to make trips to the store for pads and tampons. 
  • pick up prescriptions for them. often at the pharmacy, when a prescription is ready the pharmacist will call out the name to everyone waiting. for trans people, hearing their birth name can cause stress/anxiety/dysphoria, and hearing their birth name announced to a room full of strangers can be even worse. have your friends refill their prescriptions online and you can be the one to go pick it up for them - all you’ll need to know is their date of birth.
  • correct anyone who misgenders your friends. NOTE: only do this if your friends are openly out as trans, otherwise you risk outing them to people who may not know about their gender identity yet. if your friend is out as trans and someone uses the wrong name or pronoun, gently remind or inform them of your friend’s correct name/pronouns, and be ready to educate them on trans identities if necessary. 
  • don’t out anybody or share their personal information with others. just because someone confides in you about their identity, or anything related to their transition doesn’t give you the right to share those details with other people, or to go around telling people that your friend is transitioning/getting surgery/changing their name, whatever the case may be. ask “is it alright if i share this information with so-and-so or would you rather this stay between us?” be respectful.
  • know your terms & be aware of the language you use. a lot of trans people are uncomfortable with certain body parts or certain adjectives used to describe those body parts. as an example, it’s not ok to refer to a trans man’s chest as “boobs” – that’s his chest. as another example, it is better to say that someone was “assigned [male/female] at birth” rather than “born a boy/born a girl”, etc. talk to your trans friends and ask what they’re comfortable with. if you don’t have trans friends you can talk to directly and you have questions about certain words or phrases, feel free to shoot me a message!
  • realize that being trans can be scary. just because you see a news headline about a trans person getting assaulted or murdered/harassed/denied medical coverage, whatever the case may be, does NOT mean you have to share that with your trans friends. we already know how high the murder and violence and suicide rates are. think carefully about the subjects you bring up and the things you share with your trans friends, as chances are most of us are already dealing with way too much negativity. every bit of positivity and reassurance helps :)
  • be available for support, but don’t pry. transitioning, identity, dysphoria, pronouns, bathrooms, surgeries, coming out, etc, is a lot to deal with, and a lot of the time it can feel like a big stressful mess of thoughts up in our minds. don’t press your trans friends for details or try to pry into their minds just to satisfy your own curiosity. make it clear that you are available to listen and to help in any way you can, but let that be on their terms, not yours.
  • don’t say things like “gender doesn’t matter to me”. it may seem like the most political thing to say that you don’t “see” gender, and that whichever way a trans* person identifies in gender terms doesn’t matter to you. but this isn’t helpful. gender is socially constructed, and to live in society means to be exposed to ideas and regulations of gender identity/expression, etc. gender is very much coded into the world that we live in, and in that sense it matters a lot. your friends’ experiences of their own gender is highly personal, and to say that gender is irrelevant to you invalidates the ongoing experiences and difficulties that your trans friends face while grappling with their own concepts of gender. 

thanks for being an ally & thanks for the awesome question <3 

A/N: The most common requested tutorial have been how to make a masterlist. It’s pretty easy, you can’t do anything wrong and this way you can both use it on computer and mobile without having to open Safari automatically. This requires a laptop to create. 

Step 1: 

Masterlists can be done in various ways, some just prefer to have the links while others like to add pictures and rank the stories from new to old along with likes and reblogs. This just shows how to do the linking so you can add names and pictures yourself later if you’d like. 

First you start with opening a text post on your laptop. Text post is the one that has the icon Aa with text below. Press open. 

Step 2:

Now that you have the Tumblr text post open it’s time to give it a title. It’s the first one your readers will see so give it something they will like about. You can simply call it masterlist or be a weird fuck like me that uses capital letters and probably the longest masterlist title to date. Everything is up to you. And with that, you can also give a little description to your masterlist just to make it more personal but this is of course optional. 

Step 3:

Now we’re at the exciting part! This is where you add your stories, one shots, fanfictions, preferences, imagines, scenarios, blurbs smuts etc.. You can categorize it after that but you can also add everything to one large text post. But be aware, you can only have 350 links in one text post, if added more all the links will disappear at once. 

When you have written a boy and also the title of your story, mark the title and a few options will appear. To make sure the title will become a link you need to pick the icon that looks like a crooked 8, the one right after the H. If you want to be even quicker mark the title and press [Ctrl+k] That allows you to insert and copy-paste the link to your story and after you press enter, the title will now be a link. That easy! 

Step 4: 

You continue to do this with all of your writings until you have everything you need. Now you can have fun and add pictures before the boys name, change the fonts and also the sizes of the links in case you don’t want it to fill much. You can add description below or after your links so people can get a summary of what they are about to read, you can add hearts and stars in front of your stories to rate them after notes and you can put them in alphabetic order or after newest to oldest. The rest is up to you. 

When you feel like everything is prepared and ready to go press post! From now on you will continue to add links on this post and when people are asking for your masterlist you can give out the link of the text post! :-) 

For more tutorials request in my inbox  (• ◡•)

Find my Masterlist and use it as inspiration (• ◡•)

What the Blacklist can do to get back on track

(Note: I am a Lizzington shipper, but I’m going to let this whole ‘shipping’/’is he her father? is he not’ thing take a back seat for now.)

Dear Blacklist Powers That Be:

As I’m sure you’re aware, your fourth season of The Blacklist is off to a rocky start, ratings-wise. Your fall finale, which promised your longtime audience BIG ANSWERS, only managed to pull in 5.8 million total viewers and a mere 1.21 million in the 18-49 demo. Hate to say it, but that’s abysmal. The Blacklist now has the lowest ratings “in the demo” among any NBC show. And, on top of that, many of your longtime fans are frustrated for one reason or another.

Bottom line: if something doesn’t improve, and fast, The Blacklist could be looking at either a cancellation or a short fifth season as its send-off.

“Great,” you’re probably thinking. “Thanks for telling us what we already know, but giving us no help on how to fix it.”

Well, PTB, I do have some suggestions on how you can fix it that have NOTHING to do with past plotlines or whatever current ones you’ve got cooking up. (No doubt, they’re all winners!)

1. You need a breath of fresh air.

Do sort of like what you did for the post-Superbowl episode. Have a “procedural-heavy” episode that literally anybody could watch without context, and rope in a top A-lister to guest star. Say, for instance, Hugh Laurie.

Then, MARKET THAT SHIT LIKE CRAZY!!!

Iffy viewers will tune in; Hugh Laurie fans will tune in; and random people who are just curious about what Hugh Laurie is doing on the Blacklist will tune in as well.

This is exactly what happened with me and 30 Rock. I was watching an episode of The Office, when I saw a promo for 30 Rock featuring Condolezza Rice. I was like “WTF? Why would Condy be on 30 Rock? I gotta watch this, if only to find out.” And, thus, my love affair with 30 Rock began. I watched the shit out of that show, via Netflix, syndication, and live broadcasts.

You need some new viewers, and the best way to do that is to bring in the proverbial “big guns,” as it were. As that one guy on Jurassic Park said, “Spare no expense!”

2. Make crossovers with “Redemption” simple.

I’m not excited about Redemption, and I don’t plan to watch it. So, when it comes time for the inevitable crossover(s), don’t make me have to slog through Redemption’s episodes or episode synopses so that I can understand what the hell is going down on “The Mothership.” Same goes for any new viewers of Redemption, who don’t want to slog through 4 seasons of TBL just to understand what the spinoff is all about.

The simpler, the better.

3. Stop acting like your viewers are stupid.

Granted, I say this as a die-hard fan who spends hours of my free time analyzing, critiquing, and enjoying this show. But, even your more casual fans aren’t stupid. True, I called the Lotte Verbeek’s character being Katarina ~twist~ in Cape May, but that’s because I have too much free time on my hands. 

But, when you said that “Twitter would explode” following the S3 finale, it didn’t. Even the most casual of casual fans saw the whole “Liz isn’t really dead, and Mr. Kaplan probably helped her fake her death” thing coming a mile away. Even the whole “Kirk/Darth Vader” moment was predictable as well.

Then this most recent episode, when you said that “nobody would know what Red was up to with holding that doctor hostage.” No, I guarantee you people knew EXACTLY why – to use her and her cure as leverage over Kirk, so that Red could convince Kirk to leave Liz, Agnes, and himself alone.

Please, it’s really insulting when you say, “Nobody will guess it!” Because, trust me, somebody will, and likely already has.

Instead say something like, “It’s got a lot of twists and turns. We’re really excited to share it with you.” It’s much less insulting to your viewers, yourself, and plus it gets people excited that YOU’RE excited about it.

4. (And this is really just a pet peeve of mine) Widen your scope.

Ninety percent of the “Blacklister cases” are set on the Eastern Seaboard (New York, obviously; Washington DC, etc.), which I get. NY is your primary filming location – it’s easy to pass it off as Cuba or Houston or whatever.

But, you do realize that the South, Midwest, and West also have criminals, right? When was the last time The Post Office crew went anywhere west of the Mississippi River? When was the last time they went to a foreign country that wasn’t an industrial site or something?

Your locations are getting to be repetitive. There are only so many warehouses and backwoods locales I can take. Where are the mountains? Where are the prairies? Where are the swamps? Where are the deserts?

Plus, filming in a city like, say, Denver would create buzz. People in Denver would be like, “OMG. They’re filming a TV show here. I better watch it. I wanna see what they do with it.”

Again, I realize this might not be practical. But, even if you can’t film in cities like Denver, Santa Fe, Portland, Nashville, or St. Louis – at least set some of your stories there. Have Liz go home to Nebraska. Have Red drop through Kansas City to enjoy some barbecue. Seriously, in four years, the crew hasn’t been to Las Vegas once? I mean, there’s got to be all sorts of criminal activity going on there, if the Oceans movies have taught me anything.

Honestly, it’s starting to feel like the whole middle and west of the country doesn’t even exist in this fictional world.

In conclusion

Despite my annoyance with this show, I truly am a big fan, and I am eager to see what happens to all these characters I love. There are many like me, who are frustrated with how the team has handled this show recently, but we are willing to keep tuning in and offering our advice, even if it never reaches you.

Thank you and regards,

miss-musings.tumblr.com

Dear Mr. Trump,

Last night during the debate the conversation of vaccinations was brought up, specifically with you and Dr. Carson weighing in on the discussion. Before I go on, I want to sincerely applaud you for seeing the necessity of vaccinations. However, there are a few points I would like to clarify. Now I am no pediatric neurosurgeon like Dr. Carson, but I am on the road to get my PhD in Clinical Psychology. But possibly more important is the fact that I can and do read scientific research when forming opinions on scientific topics, one being the relationship between vaccines and Autism. Last night, you made it very clear that you believe that vaccinations cause Autism; an opinion that appears to be formed by personal experience or things you have seen. Although Dr. Carson tried to explain to you that the research does not show that, I understand he only had 1 minute and 30 seconds to speak, so let me break it down for you:

  • In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a study that claimed there was a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Of note, his sample size for this study was 12. Anyone who conducts research knows that a sample size that small does not have a lot of power and lacks generalizability, unless you are researching an area that is extremely rare.
  • Dr. Wakefield later lost his license to practice due to misconduct related to the “evidence” he gathered. Further, the paper was later completely retracted and Dr. Wakefield was found guilty of ethical violations, due to the fact that the data was made up, the support for the connection was insufficient, and the paper was published due to financial interests, rather than the interest of good research.
  • Since this study was published in 1998, numerous other studies were conducted on a total of over 14 million children and not a single one found the link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
  • Mr. Trump, I am assuming you are an intelligent man and, therefore, you can put two and two together to realize that there has only been one study that has linked Autism to vaccines, and said study was fraud.

Well, what about the personal things you have seen or the fact that Autism has become an “epidemic”, as you called it, and 25-30 years ago we didn’t see Autism at the rates we do now? Let me help you out on that one too:

  • You mentioned that you had a friend whose baby went to get his 2 year old vaccinations. A week later he had a fever and now is Autistic. The irony is, research has indicated a link between fevers and Autism; however, the link is the opposite of what you have seen. Multiple studies are now describing the “fever effect” which means that when a child with Autism has a fever, the symptoms of Autism actually subside or are not as prominent. 
  • Further, one reason this child may have “suddenly become Autistic” is the fact that many pediatricians in the United States screen for Autism and 18 months and 24 month well visits. It is possible that a screener was given at his 24 well month visit and he was identified as high risk, further testing was conducted, and a diagnosis was made. Although the average age of Autism diagnosis in the United States is around 4 years old, symptoms often start to show and diagnoses can be made around 18 months to 2 years. So it is possible that the diagnosis just happen to align with the time he got his vaccinations because that is when symptoms start to occur and children start to be identified. 
  • Well what about the increase in autism; an “epidemic” as you call it? First and foremost, there has been an increase in the diagnosis of these disorders, which is different than an increase in the prevalence of the disorders. Think about it this way, the MMR vaccine became available in 1971. Infantile autism was not even a recognized disorder in the DSM until 1980 (35 years ago), with Autistic Disorder appearing in the DSM in 1987 (28 years ago). Further, autism as most people know it today was not described until 1994 (21 years ago). Looking at those numbers alone, no wonder we didn’t see the current number of cases of Autism 25-30 years ago. Over the past 20 years we have seen a rise in the increase of diagnosis of Autism, but that does not mean it wasn’t present before then, we just didn’t have the research or a name for the disorder.
  • Further, the disorders that the MMR vaccine apparently “cause” weren’t even around until 9 years after the vaccine became available, with the disorders as we know them now, coming along much later. However, if the MMR vaccine really causes neurological disorders, we would have seen a rise in these disorders starting in the 1970s, when the vaccine first came out, even if there was not necessarily a name at the time, not the 1990s and 2000s (around and after the time Dr. Wakefield’s paper was published). 
  • Over the past 20 years, research has advanced dramatically. Instead of blaming vaccines for the increase in diagnosis, how about we consider the fact that we now have a name for these disorders, and more research and information about them, as well as more accurate measurement tools to diagnose the disorders, thus causing the increase in diagnosis.

So Mr. Trump, you may believe that vaccines cause Autism, but scientific research would have to disagree. You say that Autism is an epidemic, but know what else will be? Measles, mumps, and rubella, if children are not vaccinated as they should be. I personally would rather have an epidemic of a neurological disorder, that can improve with therapy and in which many people can go on and graduate high school, college, sustain a job, get married, etc., than have an epidemic of a deadly disease that may take these innocent children’s lives away before they ever have those opportunities.

Sincerely,

A woman who knows how to science.

Are You Sure? : A Dr. Spencer Reid Imagine

A/N: Howdy! So, I got a really nice request from an Anne-Nonny, who asked for where Reid x Y/N are together, but Reid starts to feel as if Y/N is in it for pity etc. I improvised on the names, like “Mark” etc. I’LL ALSO BE MAKING SOME OUTFITS ON POLYVORE AND STARTING IMAGINES WITH OUTFITS INVOLVED :) 

Rating: 14A

 Warnings: Well, sad Reid.. And Y/N brings up some sad stuff from their history to make a point to him. 

Imagine… 

You adored his vests, his dress shirts, his ties. You adored every style of his hair, and believe you, there were quite a few. However, you were partial to his purple or blue outfits, and his short-ish hair with the tussled top. 

This morning, on your way into work, you had looked over at him and smiled brilliantly at just that, and you couldn’t have been more happy than when he caught you peeking, and, with a startled look, asked you rather impatiently to “Keep your eyes on the road for the sake of the world!”. 

You had responded, “Yea, for the sake of MY world” and he had had a rather strange reaction. He had winced, then turned away and resumed looking out the window at the city roads passing by. 

You had wondered if maybe your comeback had been taken in the wrong context, but it bothered you the rest of the way to work, and continued to bother you as you sat on the bench. 

Watching the next person file in through the door, you stretch, and bring yourself to ramble on the same speech that you just had said about 20 minutes ago. 

“Hi, my name is Y/F/N Y/L/N, and I’m here to supervise your testing. Basically, what I want you to do is show me that you can un-holster, load, fire, and holster your weapon with accuracy, precision and speed. The last thing any agent needs in the field is an error with their gun that could end lives. 

If you could please follow me, we’re going to sit down at my desk, and I’m gonna get you to go over your paperwork and then we can officially begin. It should take 30-45 minutes, and the other supervisor, Mark, has another student in the next firing range over, so it may be bothersome, but you’re here to show me that you can focus”. 

The obviously nervous young woman nods her head, and you gesture to your desk. You were a trainer, supervisor and certified special agent of the FBI, but currently you were working as a supervisor with the new batch of students coming in to work their way up to agent status. 

Your job was to make sure their personal information was correct, and to make sure that, with confidence and security, you could advance them on. You needed to make sure that they knew their way around a gun, and could use one properly. 

“What’s your name?” you stare at her, and she starts to clear her throat before every answer, as if there’s a bundle of nerves caught. You knew the feeling, you had that feeling when you did your testing. 

“Vanesia Flox, 24 years old, from Tampa, Florida. I have 16 years of gun experience, as a hunter and target shooter”. She does a room sweep, stands up confidently, and un-holsters her gun. 

Instantly you spot a red flag, she drew it with no idea of where to aim. There was very clearly a large, red target to the back of you and yet she points it at you, yourself. 

You were in this situation more than once over your history as a trainer and supervisor, but you remember the day that that situation was almost deadly.

It was last year, and you had a student who was just passing the bar. You noted some aggression problems in your initial interview, and when he drew his gun, he had pointed it at you. 

When you had calmly said, “You drew it with ease, but you’re pointing it at me, which tells me that you weren’t set on the appropriate target. Doing that could lead to excess time trying to aim it and calibrate your surroundings again, and that could give the unsub time that they need to end your life, or make their move”. 

He had become angry, and fast, and the next thing you remembered was knowing what it was like to be shot. 

He had pulled the trigger at whatever he was aimed at, which happened to be your right shoulder. After months of intense physiotherapy and three operations, you still had trouble. 

Thinking of that, you set down your pen and smile, so does she. “Now Vanesia, you did that with clarity and precision, however you’re currently aimed at me. Can you see why that would be a problem?”. 

Forty minutes later, with an impressive passing result, she exited the room alongside you so that you could get some lunch, and turn in her paperwork.

You hand it to her, signed and sealed, and shake her hand. That’s when you spot Reid at your usual table, buried in a book and his lunch off to the side. You sling your bag around your good shoulder, and join him, kissing him gently on the cheek, as to not disturb him, before sitting down. 

“How was your morning?” you ask, opening your lunch, and he shrugs. “It was okay. JJ and Hotch are trying to decide over our next case”. He’s very to the point, and never looks up from the book. 

Your brow furrows, and you nod. “I was aimed at again this morning, but she recovered beautifully. I’m sure she’ll end up in the BAU as soon as she possibly can”. 

He nods, and you can just see the top of his head over the pages. You start to worry, what if you really upset him this morning? But even if you did, this wasn’t okay. 

When you had been shot, he had been the first on scene, and the last one in the hospital that night. You had talked to one another, and eventually, in physiotherapy one morning, he had stumbled over his words. 

He was spotting you, basically watching your work to assure that you were okay, and that you weren’t pushing yourself too hard. You had been on the rowing machine, trying to get a wider range of movement back in your shoulder, and he had said, 

“You know Ernest Hemingway once said, "You are so brave and quiet, I forget you are suffering”“. You had faltered in your row, and let it go, so that you could rest. 

"Did he? That’s a beautiful quote.. What brought that up?”. His face had flushed a beautiful red, and he had looked at his feet, his hair falling to cover his face. “I relate it to you. You don’t look like you’re in pain, or that you’re hurting.. You just keep going”. 

You had smiled, “Awe, thank you Spence. Wanna know what quote I relate to you?”. He had stayed silent for a few, fleeting moments, before mumbling a “Sure”. 

“It’s another Ernest Hemingway one, he says, "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know”. You want to know why I think that? Because you are the most wondrous person, your mind is incredible, and yet I struggle to find the supreme happiness in you". 

He had looked up, and smirked at you, a genuine smirk. “You know, I see you being happy a lot, but I live for that true, radiant happiness that come every once in a blue moon and takes over your face. Your eyes light up, you cheeks show that amazing smile, and you just glow. I live for that day, because I love it Spencer”. 

By that night, you were a couple. It was quick, but it was real, and yet now, as you sit across from him, he seems to have lost the reality. 

“Please Spence, tell me what’s wrong” you long for the truth, and he’s slow to give it to you. He sets down the novel, and you know that he was done it before you had even walked up and kissed him, but now you can actually see him. 

You see the bags under his eyes, and the slight pale tint that hides in his facial features. 

“Are you with me because of pity?” he says it without flinching, his eyes on your fingers, which were playing an invisible piano moments before but had now stopped dead. 

“Pardon me?” you stutter, and he shakes his head, his hair even more tossed about. “I want to know if you’re only with me because you pity me. You pity the geek who goes through books like food, you pity the lost little boy who has Mum issues, and has trouble finding exactly where he fits in. You pity me, everything about me”. 

You set down your water, and slide your hand closer to his. He pulls back, and you’re stuck, thinking about the moment this morning where he flinched. He thought you had been teasing him. 

“Reid.. How could you think that?” you feel hurt, and yet you know exactly how he feels at the same time. 

“Just tell me the truth” he replies, tentatively touching your outstretched hand. “Of course I don’t pity you” you answer. 

“If I pitied you, I would have told you the moment you said your Hemingway bit. All of those things you said? Your books, your intelligence, your Mum, fitting in.. I love you because of those things. 

Your books? You can show me worlds I would have never known through the books that you read. You can tell me all of those things, because you’ve taken yourself there. When you let me sit on your knee and you play with my hair and talk about the most recent novel you’ve read. I live for those days. 

Your intelligence? You can tell me so many things, and you can help me understand what I can’t. When I’m lost, I look to you to help me, because somewhere in that never-ending amount of brilliance there is something that will bring me back from the edge. When you hold me tight just by what you know. I live for those days

Your Mum? The fact that you had the strength to do what you did is part of the reason I love you so much. I know that you persevere, and yet despite what happened, you still love her and treat her with so much kindness and understanding that it shows me who you really are deep down, and that’s just like you are on the top. When you talk to me about how it all makes you feel, your worries and your strong points. I live for those days. 

Fitting in? Well for the love of all that is holy, I have pride in the fact that the love of my life doesn’t fit in. If you really wanted to, of course you could, but the beautiful thing is that you don’t. The moments when you look at me with such curiosity, and ask me how I make it so easy, is when I look back and tell you that it’s not worth making it easy. I live or those days. 

And you know what, I’ve changed my favourite Hemingway quote that makes me think of you. It’s now "And you’ll always love me, won’t you? Yes. And the rain won’t make any difference? No.” because no matter what happens, I will always love you, and there is not one ounce of pity in that love, except maybe when you struggle to explain a book, or when you struggle to understand your feelings, and if I were to ever pity you more than anything, it would be the day you decided to fit in. I promise you, I love you for the reality of us". 

He looks as if he’s been struck by lightning, and his hand closes around your own, and you slide over to join him. 

“Pity isn’t for the lion, nor is it for the lamb”

Lex Talionis

Summary: Being locked up for almost a third of your life changes you. Your routine changes, the people around you change, your mind changes. But one person has always remained constant in my mind. And now he’s back.

Trigger warnings: non-consensual sex, mention of abuse, mention of abortion, cursing

Author: @maxwellandlovelace

Notes: This is the beginning of a new story that I’m working on. Endless love to @papofglencoe for betaing and for being my rock during this process. Thanks also to @peetaspikelets for your support in this. Rated E. Please heed the trigger warnings.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

can i ask you for travel advice? if it's not too invasive a question, how do you afford doing it so often?

hellooooo of course! this is my favorite topic. as far as how I personally afford it, I’ve been lucky to be able to work in foreign countries and that helps me afford traveling in the area afterwards? like I worked in russia last year and funded my mediterranean trip afterwards that way, and I worked in australia this winter and made enough to travel around Southeast Asia with after. it’s kind of like killing 2 birds with one stone because it saves that one international flight you know? because i’m already in the general area I want to travel in. but I’ve also travelled without working in a place first and it’s totally possible. working and saving a bit at home first is probably necessary though (when I’m working at home I’m literally on perpetual travel mindset, like 2 hours work and I’m like THAT’S ONE LONG DISTANCE BUS RIDE). it just takes some determination. jobs that allow travel are great. bar tending, winemaking (!!), farm work, language teaching. I met a guy who works at golf courses around the world which is hilarious and awesome because they have golf courses everywhere.

workstays are another great option and ive never done it but I’ve met a bunch of people who adore them. I’m not sure if you can look for these ahead of time online but the people I’ve met who’ve done them seem to just operate on word of mouth at the hostel or wherever (“I worked and stayed with Joy in Laos and it was awesome here’s her email” etc). with these you normally get free room and board in exchange for light work.

I’ve answered a question similar to this before so ill c+p and add on some new tips I’ve picked up since then.

ok so fiiiiirst of all asia/south america/africa are as a rule cheaper than australia/north america/europe. but if you wanna still go to europe you can check what currency they’re on, like for example if you’re really budgeting, avoid the northern/scandinavian countries and russia (eta: not anymore! the rouble’s crashed since I answered this ask so now is the time to go to russia!!!) and then to a lesser extent any country on the euro. other european countries with their own currency are generally cheaper, like hungary/czech/poland/turkey etc etc. and ofc you can always check to see how your own currency is doing against the others. and i mean you’ll still probably want to go to places on the euro, but if you mix it up with places NOT on the euro it honestly does make a huge difference.
also, if you’re going with other people, try couch surfing!!! i’m alone so i didn’t want to risk it, but it’s a p cool organization that lets you stay with people for free in different places. i think you’re also supposed to offer your own place in return, wherever you live. i’ve heard it’s a ton of fun, and it’s 100% free. if you’re alone like meeee then it might be better to stay in hostels, which are still great. rooms with more beds/roommates are cheaper, and i recommend them because honestly, you can’t even tell. it’s sort of like one big party anyway and for the most part, people aren’t always in the room bc they’re out exploring the city. and it’s actually awesome to meet people? bc then you have friends to go out with, bc yk wandering foreign cities at night alone can be sketch, especially if you’re drinking. also it’s cool to make foreign friends bc they almost always offer their place if you’re ever traveling through their city haha. so it’s like building a network.

check if your hostel has a kitchen! they usually do. if it does, then you can spend muuuuuch less money buying food at a grocery store and cooking for yourself. (eta: not necessarily outside of Europe/North America/Australia. it’s so cheap to eat street food in Asia that it doesn’t help much if at all cooking for yourself). maybe splurge on one local dish per city (and if you do, get out of the touristy areas where they jack up the prices! - i was told that in budapest if a place charges more than 2.50 usd for a bottle of coke, the meal will be a rip off too), but cooking saves a ton of money. a lot of places have cheaper lunch than dinner menus, so make your local dish a lunch thing. even if you’re wandering around the city, grabbing some fruit and a baguette or something saves a lot. same goes for buying beer in grocery stores vs. restaurants (ALWAYS get domestic beer and the local liquor). also bring your own tea/instant coffee. coffee in europe is SO EXPENSIVE outside of a few places like italy and greece. all hostels should have a kettle.

try not to buy water!!! check to see if it’s safe to drink the tap water in the country you’re going to (asia generally no, western europe and usa/canada/australia generally yes) and fill up water bottles. also ask if they have tap water at restaurants, otherwise they’ll bring you expensive bottled water. in parts of europe they might complain or refuse but it can’t hurt to check yk

if you are/were recently a student, bring your student id!!! you’ll save a lot on museum prices. check with your hostel to see if they have any discounts. bring your own towel in case you wanna go to swimming places, sometimes they charge you (and hostels will sometimes charge you to rent one).

walk instead of taking the metro if it’s not too far bc sometimes subway prices are a little ridic. i think it’s like 2.50 usd in vienna? which isn’t a TON but yk, it’s just another expense~ also I i don’t think you really SEE a city until you walk all over it. i’ve stumbled upon the coolest stuff just wandering around trying to get to other places. …bring good shoes tho aha. in Southeast Asia, motorbikes are amazing and very cheap (around $6 a day), and especially if you split that between two people it’ll save a lot of money if you’re planning on checking out a lot of places. just be careful!!!! they’re dangerous.

always try and take a bus if you’re traveling pretty close (like in between european countries) instead of planes/trains. buses are usually a loooot cheaper and tend to be a lot quicker too. (eta: budget flights are changing this though! if you can I would DEFINITELY recommend packing a carry on sized bag that’s less than 7-10 KGs. trust me when I say you won’t need more than that, especially in the summer. that way you can just fly for really cheap (but ONLY if you’re not paying the outrageous checked baggage fees) it doesn’t have the romance of train travel but it saves a lot of time. some good budget airlines are jetstar and ryanair in europe, jetstar and tigerair in australia, air asia and thai lion air around asia.)

look for bathrooms in like mcdonalds and starbucks. a lot of places in europe charge (which I think is toilet TYRANNY) but these places usually have nice clean free toilets. if you’re gonna spend time in a park especially - pee before you go. it’s frustrating when you could buy a coke with the money you’re spending to go to the bathroom (coke is expensive but it’s my one vice :( it just tastes better when you’re traveling)

some more new stuff: check out local SIM card prices. in places like Asia it’s seriously cheap to get a data plan (I’ve been paying around $10 for 3-5GBs of data) and I think it saves money in the long run because you’re able to research and compare prices on the fly. googlemaps is also a lifesaver and I’m sure I’ve saved hundreds using it to check local bus routes as opposed to taking taxis and expensive metros.

always try and take buses and public transport from the airport as opposed to taxis or paying for a pick up from your hostel. getting to my place from the airport is one of my least favorite things about traveling (don’t know the language or the layout of the city or the character of the people or the currency etc) but it’s always sooo much cheaper getting public transport. what I do is check the next hostel’s website before I leave wifi at my current hostel to see if they’ve listed how to get to it from the airport/bus station/etc and they usually do, and then I’ll screenshot it and just check back later when I’m at the airport or wherever. or you can pick up a data sim at the airport and just look it up while you’re there but that’s a gamble.

what ellllse. if you want to book tours, check the price offered at your hostel (a lot of hostels are really cheap because they hope you’ll book something else through them) and then compare it online or around the city. I’ve found normally hostels offer the best rates because they know the people there are on a budget.

insurance! i know a lot of people (probably most) get comprehensive travel insurance that protects them against thefts, disasters, and medical issues and i’ve heard that works really well. i’ve always gone with this purely medical insurance company geoblue though which isn’t incredibly expensive ($30 for 2 weeks, and i think it was like $150 for 3 months) just because i’ve never really had anything lost or stolen and i’ve had a lot of weird health issues traveling, and geoblue has been amazing at getting me appointments in a nice hospital in a foreign city in like less than a day and then paying for all the expenses, even antibiotics. buying some kind of insurance is definitely worth it i think because most domestic insurances either charge a lot for use abroad or don’t apply at all, and you just never now what’s going to happen. i’ve personally used my international insurance more than my domestic insurance even because i’m not home that often and when i am i don’t tend to get as sick.

that’s all i can think of rn but!!! you can do it. traveling is amazing, and there’s ways to do it without spending a bucketload

Fire Extinguishers Are Pretty Awesome / Exciting Fire Trivia

Since everyone and their cousin is passing around that kitchen oil fire eruption video, I thought I’d comment on one thing I don’t see mentioned in all the bazillion and six re-tumbles, namely, the optimal uses of fire extinguishers. 

Although in my day job I’m your literary torturer, on the side I’ve been a firefighter since 2005 (good god, ten years now). Here’s my standard photo of myself doing so (note that while this was live fire, it was also a staged training exercise in an unoccupied house). WOULD YOU TRUST ME WITH YOUR KITCHEN FIRE? OF COURSE! LOOK HOW GOOD I WAS AT STOPPING THIS ONE!

Caveat: What I’m about to discuss applies to fire extinguisher labeling in the United States, because that is where I live and was trained as a firefighter. I cannot vouch for how labels work around the world. I know there are some slight differences, so do a bit of research.

Second caveat: JESUS CHRIST do not throw flour on a kitchen fire. EVER! Flour and flour dust are immensely flammable. Just Google search for “grain warehouse explosion” and “grain dust explosion” and you’ll never be tempted to do this ever again. I’ve also seen some nice Youtube videos of people (in prepared laboratory environments) throwing handfuls of flour over a Bunsen Burner flame for instant whoosh-flash effects. Very exciting! You do not want this excitement in your kitchen.

Okay, the important part: You should have multiple fire extinguishers in your place of residence, and you should know exactly where they are, AND you should place them in areas that are not especially likely to erupt into flame. For example, if you keep a fire extinguisher in a cabinet above or next to your stove, go watch that water-onto-burning-oil video again. Now, be honest, are you really going to be able to even approach (let alone reach through) that mess to get an extinguisher above or directly beside it? No. Your extinguisher might as well be on the moon in such an instance, so pre-position these things more smartly. 

When you look at a fire extinguisher, you should be able to immediately spot a label that has big clear letters on it, for example AB or ABC. These are both very interesting and very important.

You see, in the fire service it’s absolutely critical to identify, as rapidly as possible, exactly what might be burning in any given fire. This is why businesses are required by law (at least until the maniacs and idiots finish breaking down every last concept of useful government regulation) to disclose types and quantities of hazardous chemicals at a commercial site, and to have that information readily accessible to emergency responders. Some burning substances react horrifyingly to the application of water. Cooking oil, for one instance. Large vats of hydrofluoric acid for another. 

The thing below is often referred to as a “fire diamond” or “hazard diamond.” The technical name for it is “NFPA 704 Placard.” It’s a quick visual guide to relevant qualities of a given chemical substance, and in this instance the big W with a crossbar through it means HOLY SHIT DO NOT APPLY WATER TO THIS STUFF. Since our primary approach to firefighting involves spraying high-pressure water at dozens or hundreds of gallons per minute, this is, as the kids say, relevant to our interests.

But I am digressing. You shouldn’t have an NFPA placard in your kitchen unless you’re some kind of comedian or a hot pepper sociopath. Back to ABC. The fire service classifies all types of possible burning substances into just a few groups, and the interesting part is, this system has absolutely no concern for their proper molecular or scientific relationship or any of that foofarah– this system is based on how stuff generally behaves when it’s on fire, and how it can be extinguished.

Class A materials include wood, plastic, rubber, paper, and most construction materials, etc. and are often referred to as “ordinary combustibles” because they really don’t do anything unpredictable and can be relatively easily extinguished with water. Class B fires involve flammable liquid or gas, and can actually be made worse by the careless application of water. Class C fires involve potentially live electrical equipment, and class C extinguisher chemicals are formulated to be non-conductive for added safety.

So there you have ABC… most readily-available domestic fire extinguishers are going to be rated AB or ABC. I strongly recommend having at least one ABC on hand in case you find yourself having to, say, shoot it into a burning desktop computer (as I did some years ago). Also remember that if you have a burning appliance and you can safely unplug it at a distance from the fire, you can then apply a non-C extinguisher to it without any further worry. 

Although you should still exercise extreme caution, an AB or ABC fire extinguisher is immensely preferable to most other approaches (such as attempting to slam a lid down on a wildly out-of-control grease fire, or attempting to fling handfuls of baking soda at it). These devices will allow you to put the right chemicals on the kitchen fire while keeping a safe distance. Distance is your friend. More distance is always more of a friend. Fire extinguisher goop is not a melee weapon. You want some range on that baby.

I should mention two other, rarer fire classes. Class D fires involve burning metals, like magnesium or zirconium. Like oil fires, these can react unpredictably or even dangerously to water. You shouldn’t need a class D extinguisher in any common domestic situation and you won’t even find them on sale in most places, except as a specialty industrial supply. If you have large quantities of Class D material in your house the cast of Person of Interest is probably going to be kicking your door in fairly soon, so you’re not really my problem.

Lastly, there is a newer classification, Class K for “kitchen.” K extinguishers are specially formulated for higher-risk greases and oils. K extinguishers are mostly intended for commercial or industrial applications, like restaurant-sized deep fryers. The good old ABCs should be more than sufficient for nearly any domestic situation.

Now for the most important thing I am going to write all day: If a kitchen fire is well and truly raging, climbing the wall(s) and spreading to the ceiling, don’t be a hero. Get the fuck out. Get everyone in the house or apartment out and call for emergency help. Don’t put yourself inside a room that is rapidly going up in flames on multiple sides, even if you have an extinguisher. Get the fuck out. Your primary duty in a serious fire is to get yourself and your loved ones away from it, alive and uninjured. Fuck everything else. Run. 

If the situation is less serious than that, and you do manage to extinguish the disaster in progress, here are a few final but crucial tips. First, ventilate the area as soon as you can. Open doors and windows. People with breathing difficulties, such as asthma, really should go outside for a few minutes until you can clear the air. Even a little bit of smoke can be irritating, and fire extinguisher chemicals, while not actively hazardous, can be a little annoying, too. They taste like salty dish soap. Try not to breathe or swallow those particles if you can. Salty dish soap. Really.

Once you’ve used a fire extinguisher, even if the gauge still indicates remaining material inside, don’t keep it on hand for future use. Get a fresh and unused extinguisher to replace it. Weird things can happen to the propellant supply of a used extinguisher, and a fire extinguisher without propellant is only useful for bludgeoning Col. Mustard in the Library. Trust me on this, you want your extinguisher to go “FWOOOOOOSH” and not “fppt.”

Last thing (I promise!): After a small domestic fire is extinguished, closely examine the area around it and the area above it. Make sure that flames have not penetrated nearby walls or ceilings. In the fire service we call this “extension,” and locating/preventing it is a major part of our operations. You don’t want to blithely walk away from an extinguished stovetop fire, only to discover that the interior wall spaces of your home are full of flames ten minutes later. In fact, if you have any worries at all about the issue, call emergency services. We check up on this sort of thing all the time, and we have a lot of cool tools like thermographic imagers to locate hidden trouble. You are always better safe than sorry, and I assure you, no matter how tired we look, we exist to be bothered like this. We would really rather spend ten minutes finding no fire in your house than four hours filling it with water and tearing it apart. I suspect you feel the same way. 

Hey all,

Let’s talk Splashes.

As many have noticed, a lot of changes have been happening in this area over the last two patches, and even more changes further back. We haven’t done the best job of explaining what all these changes were, so let’s back up for a second and go in-depth on our rationale.

To start, let’s clarify a term we’ve thrown around a bunch these days - Parity, the state of being equal. We typically use this term to describe the matching of an in-game model to the splash, though it also matters when referring to the parity between regions. We generally want good parity between a Champion’s assets, with some wiggle room for expression within the medium. Note that this is something we care significantly more about these days.

With that out of the way, I’d like to describe all of the changes that you’re seeing, and why we’re doing them.

(Normal) Splash Update: The updating of a splash (derr). In the past, we didn’t have the required people to update all of the skin splashes as we should when doing a Champion Update - creating situations where the splash would be dramatically different than what it represented (hello, Junkyard Trundle). The team felt this was unacceptable, and recently found a way to prevent this from happening again.

(Backlog) Splash Update: This is us going back and fixing prior splashes that weren’t updated when a champion received an update of their own- a packaged update of skin splashes for previous Champion Updates (Nidalee, Trundle, Karma, Sion, etc.). We currently have Trundle, Nidalee, and Tristana at about ~80-90% finished (so look forward to that soon!).

Global Splash Update/Unification: A one-time change (over two patches) that unifies all regions of League of Legends to have the same splash assets. Until recently, there was a vast number of inconsistencies of splashes between regions, meaning that somebody playing in China (or watching LPL!) might see something drastically different than what another player in EUW might see.

We had two major goals of the Unification:

  • Unify the representation of all characters to achieve global parity between splashes. A League of Legends champion shouldn’t be different solely due to where you are in the world. A consistent high quality splash should represent a character equally for all players.
  • Fix internal development issues. In line with making our work more efficient, we often analyze areas of redundancy to get rid of problem areas. Each time we have a new splash created, it’s typically an unruly amount of work to determine if a region should obtain the new splash, keep their own, get it into their build, etc. This can lead to things such as Tencent getting their patches a week later, which isn’t fair for their players, and has rippling impacts onto the eSports scene.

Let’s be clear - many of these assets are not permanent, and don’t meet our quality bar. We had to make a decision on many splashes to take either one or the other- even when both weren’t great (though there are a few subjective wins that we did decide on- Silverfang Akali HYPE). We made our decisions on a couple different factors, such as…

  • Stylistic quality- how much does the splash match the modern League of Legends style? There are a couple different styles over the various splashes (sup, Warrior Princess Sivir), and we draw a heavy preference towards League’s “rendered to hell and back” splashes. When making choices between art styles that didn’t match on either end (Toxic Mundo is a great example), we erred towards ones that have higher artistic quality.
  • Posing- how engaging is the champion’s pose? We like our splashes to have characters in dynamic poses suiting their narrative, rather than the ‘prom poses’ of the past.
  • Global Appropriateness- A big thing for us is that all players are able to, well, play League of Legends. Increasing the rating in a region could cause a large amount of players to be unable to play. Yes, this does mean removing references to smoking for certain regions (such as Russia, and Turkey). This also means avoiding overly bloody or overly sexual images as well. This is not something done solely for Tencent- all players in all regions are the target here.
  • Representation of the character- how accurately does the splash portray the character’s visuals and personality, both in and out of game?

Once we locked a decision (which involves many different steps, such as talking with representatives in all regions, or getting the illustrators in a room to debate about the objective quality), we either checked in the unified splash, or performed a minor amount of cleanup if necessary.
We will be continuing to update these splashes to meet our quality bar; prioritized by lack of quality, style (lookin’ at you, Vindicator Vayne), or inaccurate they may be.

Bonus Splash Updates!: Special unique projects, usually spurred on by one need or another. In this upcoming case, we had a handful of splashes that were mostly done as passion projects, but weren’t quite finished. We’ll be shipping the first batch of these to PBE tomorrow, a couple of which had situations where we didn’t like any existing version from the Global Splash Unification (which would require an entirely new splash, rather than a paintover). These splashes, unlike the Unification, we are significantly happier with this quality bar, so these splashes are more or less final.

Some previous bonus updates:

  • 4.13: Amidst other splash updates to bases, we saw an opportunity to take the very best of the best of our international splashes. Solved the problem we’re solving with the Unification a slight bit, but there was still a long way to go.
  • End of Season 4 Base Splashes: This was a heavy push to update as many of our out-of-date base splashes for Worlds that year. We made a great deal of progress, but not everything got finished at the time (coughcoughIreliaWarwickAnivia).

Hopefully that clears some of this up. We haven’t been the clearest when it comes to splashes, but we’re hoping to turn that around. Thank you for helping us stay on track - and be sure to keep the feedback coming.

PS. For making it all the way to the end, have another preview, on the house.

anonymous asked:

Why can't you trust Akyuu?

Hello Anon! This is a very interesting question, and I’m actually very glad you asked. 

Now, this is something that is very important to me, and I’ll try to explain why. Although her books are presented as textbooks on youkai and other such individuals in Gensoukyou, Akyuu is not a perfectly reliable source. At least not in regards of pure facts. 

First of all, there’s the Touhou Wiki page on PMiSS which brings up some of the most glaring examples of informational errors in the book and also why you should approach the book with some caution.


Now, there’s no such page on SoPM (yet), but I can list some examples myself:

  • Yoshika is written off very clearly as a mindless predatory zombie, which probably isn’t all wrong, but in TD she can at the very least hold a conversation with the player. Overall the article gives me a feeling Akyuu has had little interaction/experience with Yoshika herself and is only retelling what she has been told by others. As a result, the information is not necessarily all true, especially seeing as it clashes some with her appearance in TD.

  • Tojiko’s entire backstory thing seems to be a lot of speculation to me, and none of it is backed by her official profile. The idea that Futo would set her up appears to be speculation in her wording rather clearly, (“It is likely that”,etc) and why would someone with Tojiko’s personality hold enough a grudge against her own family in order to turn into a vengeful spirit, but let Futo’s actions slide? To boot, Akyuu cannot site any location for Tojiko, which may confirm Akyuu has really not enough info on her to be writing about her.

Now these are examples of where it shows Akyuu has some limited information about some characters. That is one thing, but other than that there’s also this:

  • Some general notes like, the threat levels of some individuals like Mamizou (high) and Byakuren (unknown), which seem quite unwarranted. I mean, we have reports of the Myouren Temple handling the burials of human villagers and yet the head priest, who Akyuu herself has met, cannot have her human threat level evaluated? Mamizou, who has appeared in so many official works and has never ever showed any aggression towards humans? She’s arguably one of the most diplomatic characters in the entire series!

Moving on, I think that in order to understand PMiSS and SoPM, and why these oddities made it into the books, you need to have in mind the context that they were written in.

What kind of place is Gensoukyou, and what kind of person is Akyuu?

You may be familiar with this scene from Forbidden Scrollery, chapter 19;

This is from the PMiSS afterword, by Akyuu;

[…]

In addition, I received a great number of requests from youkai, so what started out as a guide to help humans defend themselves from youkai became, before I knew it, a manual for youkai to help others learn about them.

In fact, a number of the youkai threat levels have been inflated somewhat in this volume.

This probably isn’t cause for too much concern, as humans are almost never kidnapped and eaten by youkai in today’s Gensokyo.

At this rate, I may have to completely rethink the audience of the Gensokyo Chronicles and the purpose of their existence.

If I don’t, the purpose of my continued reincarnation would fade away.

Please note the highlighted parts.

Gensoukyou relies on the power of the youkai inside it in order to exist. If people stop fearing youkai, the youkai’s power will deplete, and Gensoukyou’s existence would be in danger.

However, in today’s Gensoukyou, the rifts between humans and youkai have started to disappear. The Gensoukyou Chronicles, that SoPM and PMiSS are part of, were written to educate people about youkai. It served the purpose of both giving humans a sense of security because they would learn of the youkai, but also help the youkai secure their existence by having people learn of them. The text even appears to imply Akyuu has been asked by certain youkai to write about them specifically.

As Akyuu admits, some of the threat levels are also inflated; most likely to keep humans fearing youkai, even in the modern Gensoukyou. 

Please think back to Mamizou and Byakuren’s threat levels now.

If Akyuu was to say an old-styled and classic youkai like Mamizou was not a threat to humans, that would break the illusion of the supposed threat that youkai need to be.

Byakuren’s case I think is more complicated. Now, I personally don’t know how much of a threat to humans she might pose, but if it was “low”, then again, people may start trusting the temple too much. And that won’t do; it’s a youkai establishment! But if it was “high”, or even “medium” then humans may panic knowing the head priest of the temple near the village may have any sort of out-spoken hostility towards them.

Akyuu as a result, ends up altering and covering up information; all to stick to the purpose of her writings. The purpose is not to be 100% truthful, but to spread information that serves useful for the greater purpose of assuring the stability in Gensoukyou.

And that is, even if indirectly, to assure that people keep fearing youkai.

Not to mention the very last notion. Not only would Akyuu be inclined to alter information for the sake of Gensoukyou as a whole, but also for the sake of her own continued existence. If she fails to continue to produce material that is relevant, she would stop to reincarnate! In that sense Akyuu writes these books, in the way that she does, just as much for herself as she does for Gensoukyou.

The information in PMiSS and SoPM should be taken with a pinch of salt, and it shouldn’t be seen as unbiased.

So, in terms of delivering unbiased, fully correct facts? No, I do not trust Akyuu. Because doing that is not her job, it is not her intention.

Having said that, I still think we can get lots of information out of her books; if we read them in the right way! We can learn a lot about the reality of the current Gensoukyou. We can also still learn about these youkai Akyuu writes about, how they want to be seen, and how Akyuu wants us to see them… Rather than how they actually are.

As for those characters where the information is lacking or speculative, that tells us exactly how remote or hard to approach they are, or that their details may be be best altered in some way. Not mentioning Mokou’s exact origin and putting emphasis on her youkai-extermination skills to make her more human, or exaggerating Yoshika’s zombie-ness to make her more youkai-like, are perhaps examples of this.

Personally, I really love Akyuu as a character, because already early on she allowed this type of in-sight into Gensoukyou. Her very existence is proof of Gensoukyou’s nature, and it’s struggle to retain it’s much needed balance. I also find it interesting how Akyuu herself, has become so much like the youkai she writes about. Now, her existence too, relies on how people observe her and her role, because that will be what decides if she can reincarnate or not.

In the meantime, regular humans in Gensoukyou are strictly advised against trying to prolong their lives, lest they become youkai; and Akyuu herself promotes this.

In result, I’d say Gensoukyou undoubtedly does indeed have a power-imbalance. There are rules, but aren’t the same for everyone, obviously.

It’s all part of Gensoukyou’s self-contradicting nature. Akyuu’s character and the biased information of her works both play perfectly into the general themes of Touhou Project, don’t you think?