sometimes i think there may actually be a more productive use of my time

Dysphoria Tips

To start this post off, not all of these tips will work for everyone! Everyone’s dysphoria is different and everyone has different things that help! 

Also, I am not a doctor or anything like that! And I am a trans guy, so that’s what this is all coming from, I can try to look up how other genders deal with dysphoria, but I think a lot of these ones will also help other genders


- Showering (I know this doesn’t help everyone)
Okay, so I know it may seem like confronting your physical form may not be the right thing to do, and it might not be, but for me taking a shower/bath really helps because I focus more on the routine and what I’m washing than my actual body
Also! Using products that match your gender might really help!! I use the more “masculine” smelling products for my body and it’s super nice ^^ They also have products that are more “gender neutral” if that’s more your thing

- Do something distracting that you enjoy
For example, I love going on walks, drawing, writing, and gaming and any of things things could be distractions from things that you don’t want to think about! You of course don’t need to pick one of the things I enjoy doing, there are lots of things you could do like sports, blogging, listening to music, hanging out with your pets (they aren’t going to judge you!), etc.

- Find someone who won’t judge you!
I know this might be hard for some of you, but I know that I have at least one person to talk to every time I get upset about this sort of thing! My friends will not misgender me, and they will reassure me that I am a guy and I do pass, and all that good stuff! If someone is hurting you and misgendering you and not respecting you, you can cut them out of your life! You are not obligated to keep these people around because of their feelings
Pets can be used for this too! Your animals will never judge you :3 Hell, they probably don’t even know what gender is :D

- Find things about yourself that you like
This doesn’t have to be about your body, but it can be! If you take the time to think about positive aspects of yourself, you might feel a little better. And if you can think about the positive things about your body, like the color of your eyes or the shade of your skin, or how great your smile is, or how cool your hair was in that one selfie, it might make you feel a little better about how you’re feeling about yourself right now c:
If you don’t want to or can’t think about positive things about your body, try thinking about things you’re good at or things you like about your personality! Like how great of a person you are, how nice you can be, how cool you are, or how dedicated you are! Something like that!

- Treat yourself
I know not everyone can go buy themselves their favorite dinner or anything like that due to money, but you can do simple things like watch your favorite movie! Or just let yourself eat that expensive ice cream you bought last week :3 Curl up in your favorite blanket with that one pillow that’s just right, or put on that makeup/outfit that you love! It’s in the little things

- Try not to think about “passing”
I know this is extremely hard, but “passing” is just a social construct. Nobody “looks like a boy” because boys can look like anyone, and the same goes for other genders as well! This is definitely a hard thing to tell yourself, especially since a lot of people don’t get it, but it might help some of you!

- Find inspiration!
Find someone who you look up to, or who is transitioning/has transitioned. Some people (like me) might feel resentment at them for being further into their transition than them, but other might (and should try to) be filled with hope and positivity by seeing that things get better and that it is possible to change yourself into how you want to (or do) see yourself

- Look back
If you’ve already started your transition, look back to months, or years ago! You will be surprised at how far you’ve come
You might even feel more hopeful about the future after having seen how much you’ve changed since before

- Find people to talk to
Find people who are, or have been, in the same or a similar scenario; they know what it’s like and they may be able to help you! They can share what it was like for them and what helped them

- Just. Stop.
Seriously, if you can, don’t do anything that day. Sometimes, people just need a break or some time alone. So, if you’ve been saving up those hours at work, take the day off if you can! If you know there’s nothing important at school the next day, try to stay home and not put yourself through more stuff
Keep yourself safe and comfortable during your break! Maybe use this time to use one of the other techniques at the same time ^^

- Keep a diary
This might seem silly, but I keep a diary off and on and it really helps me! Sometimes people just need to open up, but not to a person 
I named my diary Tina, so it kind of felt like I was talking to a person, though haha
Also, just getting all of this down on paper (or on the screen) might help

- Wear your favorite outfit!!
Find that outfit that makes you feel like a hundred bucks and wear it! It doesn’t matter if you’re staying in your house or going somewhere, wear that outfit and own it! Take a lot of pictures if you like the way it looks c:

- Selfies
Take selfies when you look hella good and how you want to look, so that when you’re feeling down and dysphoric, you can look back at your selfies and be like “damnnn I look hot”

- Workout
This might seem like a horrible idea, but I’ve heard that it works wonders! Just go get beefy or run into your legs feel like jelly
This might also help you sleep, which might help by getting rid of your thoughts

- Sleep
If you can take a nap, or just crash out, do it! You don’t have anything planned and these thoughts won’t stop? Go to sleep. You won’t be thinking of anything if you’re unconscious

- Avoid negativity
If you know someone is going to bring you down, avoid them
Same goes with places! If you know that a certain place is going to be negative or bring negative thoughts on, it’s probably best to avoid that place

- Drink ice water
I find that the painfully cold liquid can really wipe the mind with it’s shocking temperature

- Meditate
If you’re into meditation, or want to try it, I hear it does wonders to find that inner peace and just forget you have a body or end up thinking more positively about that body

- Watch your favorite show
Focusing on something you love, like a series filled with interested characters who aren’t you and find themselves in lots of situations can really take your mind off of things

- Burn incense or candles
Burn it right next to your bed (carefully tho) and make sure it’s a scent that you love! This way, if you don’t get out of bed, you can still have something to enjoy

- Read
Read a book, or a fanfiction, or anything that will capture your full attention, so that you have something better to focus on

- Modify your body!!
Like piercings, and hair dye, and stuff! Hell, even those temporary tattoos are pretty cool :3 This way, you can feel like you’re doing stuff to your body on your own terms
You can even just draw on yourself with a sharpie or something!

- Clean
Maybe just do some laundry or put things in neat little piles! Any amount of stress taken off will feel super good and also you might find that one outfit you lost months ago! (if you’re anything like me haha)

- Name and pronouns
Write down your name and pronouns on things to make you feel a little better seeing that that’s what you want to be called, and it can just be written down like that!
You could also ask some supportive friends to read them or just call you by them for no reason at the moment haha

-  Take up a new hobby
You could spend the time you spend being dysphoric, doing something you enjoy! Learn a new language, or learn how to do arts and crafts, or buy some gardening supplies!

- Save up money
Just stick some coins from the dryer in a jar and start saving up for your transition! It’ll make you feel like things are going faster than they are

And remember: You are valid! No matter what anyone tells you, or how you feel, you are valid! <3

Learning Graphic Design On Your Own

A Quick Note…

Everyone learns differently. Some people like to ask questions in class, others like to watch videos that they can pause and replay, and even more people could prefer to just tinker and see what happens (I’m personally a tinkerer). The first thing you should do when learning on your own (so probably online or through books) is to do some research and know how you like to learn.

So, let’s start with… what even is “Graphic Design”?

Let’s get this straight… graphic designers aren’t fine artists. They are problem solvers, visual communicators, and sometimes curators of information in an aesthetically pleasing way. We organize information and try to make the world an easier-to-understand and more beautiful place. Of course, there are other fields like advertising where we communicate to customers why they should buy certain products. Or there are User Interface/Experience designers that will develop websites and video game interfaces and design how you interact with it. Look into graphic design and see what field you want to be in. What do you want to do with graphic design?

Fun fact, the google definition says: “the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.” and to that, I’d like to say we do SO MUCH MORE.

Now that you know what you’re doing…Here’s the VERY BRIEF process!
(I may make individual posts for each step later on)

  1. Learn the basics
    1. Typography, how to use the basic principles of line, shape, color, and so on is usually for everyone no matter your field.
    2. Basics like composition are also very important. If you’re into editorial then typographic spreads will be more of your focus. If you’re in web design then seeing how websites are typically laid out will be a thing to look into. Basic typography, color theory, and principles still apply!
    3. Basics and principles are a google search (or a book) away! Everyone talks about these things ALL the time.
  2. Look up inspiration and develop an “eye” for design
    1. Follow design blogs! Follow other designers! On all of your social media! (There are so many Tumblr blogs and Instagram accounts solely dedicated to graphic design curation).
  3. Look into the big names of the industry
    1. Why were they remembered? Everyone else in the field probably remembers them for that, too.
    2. What was so great about them? Apply what you learn to your own work!
    3. If they’re well known, they probably have at least decent work to get inspired from!
  4. Research is done… time to do some work!
    1. If you’re just starting out, there are some things you’re probably not used to. Doing things by hand with sharpie markers on paper will definitely help train your eye and mind to think more about communication, not pretty things. 
    2. Abstract things down into simple shapes. Then try communicating that same object with fewer shapes. Maybe only lines? Geometric style? Play around with communication! This is key when you get into icons, logos, and other visuals that require a more minimal look. 
    3. Remember, you make information more easily accessible. The best logos are easy to remember because they are simple and effective. Your work may one day need that kind of punch!
  5. The jump from traditional to digital
    1. It’s time to learn about your program(s) of choice… my biggest piece of advice would be to just mess with it. Learning on your own by trying to make something is one of the best ways to train your mind and body on how to use the programs.
    2. Try every tool. Try making basic shapes. Then make basic objects with those shapes. Then try making a person or something more complicated. Try to test every tool to see what you’d use it for!
    3. Don’t know anything or how to do something? Google it! If you’re asking there’s probably 5+ different YouTube videos, 3+ articles, and 100+ tutorials on how to do it.
  6. Let’s work on projects!
    1. Now that you’re familiar with the history, principles, other designers, and the programs… just keep on making stuff!
    2. Making your own projects (make your own website, business cards, a flyer for a club, a T-Shirt, and so on…) is my biggest recommendation on how to learn graphic design. Actually applying everything you’ve learned will make you think in a problem-solving way! Also sharing things that you’ve made that actually matter is way more fun than sharing a fancy circle you made with no context. (You can say “look at this T-Shirt I made!” instead of “look at this weird circle I made!”)
  7. Get feedback from designers and non-designers
    1. Once you’ve made stuff… ask everyone! Non-designers will give you a client’s perspective of your work. A designer’s perspective will help you grow as a designer and they may see things that you and your average person wouldn’t have noticed. (you’re always free to ask me if you’d like!)
    2. Please remember to not take feedback personally (unless they’re being rude, then just ignore them). You’re learning and growing and there’s always room for improvement. A lot of feedback is not a bad thing!
  8. Stay determined!
    1. Being a designer isn’t easy. That T-Shirt you made that took you a couple days? Someone could say they don’t get it. Other designers could say there was a better way to execute your idea. Another person may even say it looks like something else!
    2. When you design you have to expect to make revisions, rethinking, and making more revisions until it’s at a good enough place to publish. But no matter what, you have to remember that it’s not about PERFECTION. It’s about getting it DONE and learning to grow. No one is perfect, and it’s mostly subjective, so just take the criticism you agree with and don’t apply what you disagree with. As a designer, you should know what’s right, wrong, or what you should consider bringing up to other designers.
    3. KEEP MAKING MORE STUFF! You can even remake older stuff as you go on! Just keep going!

That’s my super brief process!

Now honestly, I could’ve gotten down into the nitty gritty details of each step, but this is basically how I’d suggest going about it if you want to get a head start before getting into college, or you want to just learn on your own.

If you guys have any additional questions or want me to go more in-depth about anything, feel free to let me know! :)

3

“NIKOLA TESLA FOR THE FIRST TIME DESCRIBES HIS NEW SYSTEM FOR SUPPLYING WIRELESS POWER TO RUN ALL THE EARTH’S INDUSTRIES.”

By a series of discoveries and inventions just perfected, Nikola Tesla, the electrical scientist, has upset what has hitherto been regarded as one of the fixed laws of nature. “Every effect diminishes with distance,” is the way the textbooks have expressed it. Tesla now says that instead of decreasing like other forces, electricity may be made to increase in intensity with the distance traveled.

The full significance of this discovery may not be at once apparent. It is obvious, however, that it annihilates space. There can be no limit to the power of the electric wave which increases in intensity the further it travels.

For nearly 20 years Tesla has been working on his plan, he calls it his wireless “World System.” If it is put into successful execution it will convert the earth into a gigantic conduit, which will pass power for all earthly activities, and make possible communication with other planets.

From time to time Tesla has made partial announcements as his work progressed. This, however, is the first comprehensive account of his system as a whole that the inventor has consented to give to the world.

“Through ages past man has anyways attempted to project in some way or other energy into space. In all his attempts, no matter what agent he employed, he was hampered by the inexorable law of nature which says every effect diminishes with distance, generally as the square of the same, sometimes more rapidly.

“I saw at once that space was annihilated in all the three aspects; in the transport of our bodies and materials and in the earth, transmission of the energies necessary for our existence. You can imagine how profoundly I was affected by this revelation. Technically, it meant that the earth, as a whole, had certain periods of vibrations, and that by by impressing electrical vibrations of the same periods upon it, it could be thrown into oscillations of such nature that innumerable benefits could be derived.

“It is difficult to convey an idea of these inventions without resorting to technical terms. The first and best known of these is my transformer, which enables the production of electrical vibrations of transcending intensities. I have already attained activities of many millions of horse power; but this is nothing compared to those which I am expecting to get with my improved apparatus.

“The second is what I have termed my magnifying transmitter, which I look upon as my best electrical invention, and with which any distance can be bridged. I have already passed of this wonderful instrument and am confident that a message can be flashed to such a distance as the planet Mars.

“Some technical men would be disposed to look upon such statements as those of a dreamer, but it is only because they have not had opportunities to see experiments which I have actually performed. The third invention I have designated as the “Art of individualization,” which enables the transmission of an unlimited number of messages through a wire or wireless, without the slightest interference. Not before this improvement is universally adopted will the world fully realise the benefits of telegraphy and telephony. The fourth invention is my receiver, which concentrates the energy transmitted over a wide area into the operating device.”

What would the voltage in your transmitter be?

“In the transmission of telegraphic and telephonic messages I shall employ from five to ten million volts, but in transmitting power in great quantities, as much as one hundred million volts will be used.“

How will your “World System” compare with those now in use as regards to cost?

“We could easily afford to offer a transmission of telegraphic and telephonic messages to any terrestrial distance for five cents a word. In a short while no one will think it anything out of the way to dictate or to write a long letter across the Pacific.”

How long does it take for the transmission of a message, by your system, around the world?

“The exact time is, according to my measurements, 43-1000 of a second, which is a speed about 50 per cent greater than that of light.

“The impulse starts from my magnifying transmitter with infinite speed, slows first rapidly and then at a lesser rate until, when it has penetrated to a distance of 6000 miles from the transmitter, it proceeds with approximately the speed of light. From there on it accelerates, first slowly and then more rapidly, and reaches the opposite point of the globe again with infinite speed only to rebound and pass through the same phases on its way back to the transmitter.

“This movement of electricity through the Earth, which takes place strictly in accordance with a mathematical law, and enables a great number of accurate measurements and determinations to be made, which are of immense practical and scientific value.”

Is your universal marine service based upon this principle?

“Largely so. In setting up and maintaining stationary waves in the earth its entire surface is subdivided in perfectly definite zones of electric activity, so that any observer of all those data which are of importance to navigators as the latitude and longitude, the position with reference to a given point, the speed of travel, and the course followed. This method is quite exact and reliable, and once introduced will be instrumental in a great saving of time, life and property.”

When your system of time distribution is introduced what kind of devices will be used for indicating the hour?

“They will be ever so much simpler than the ordinary clocks or watches, being entirely devoid of wheel work. For personal use a small case will be provided resembling that of a watch which would indicate precisely the time and require no more attention than a compass for instance. The large clocks on towers and public edifices in general will be replaced by extremely simple devices operated on the same principle.

“All these will be ‘tuned’ to a wireless wave sent out at a certain time. This will automatically set the hands of every ‘tuned’ time piece.”

In operating stock tickers, will the present instruments have to be replaced by others?

“Not at all, they will remain intact. A great financier told me that this should be one of the most valuable and practical applications of my system, inasmuch as the instantaneous operation of such instruments all the world over will go far toward allaying panics and failures which are at present mostly due to the inadequacy and stagnation of channels of information.”

“A business man will be able to dictate in his office a letter which will appear in type at any other place he wishes without loss of time in the transmission. It will be exactly as though he had his stenographer close by. In the same manner it will be practicable to send a handwritten letter or even a check, and what is more important, it will not be possible to falsify the signature.”

Will the transmission of complex musical productions require complicated apparatuses?

Not at all. The apparatus at any of the master plants, transmitting a great number of musical compositions, will be of necessity complicated, but the subscriber will need only a telephone receiver, and, if he desires exclusiveness, and individualizing device in connection, which, however, will be rarely required. He will be none the less able to listen to the most complex opera played in some remote party of the world. What is more, he can carry the entire outfit with him on his walks and travels, and whenever he desires to listen to the music he can do so.

The wireless system which I have developed does not contemplate competition with established lighting systems in densely populated districts, but it offers an ideal solution for the illumination of isolated places. The light will be furnished by exhausted glass tubes, bent in all sorts of ornamental shapes, and is of surpassing beauty, resembling closely the daylight. The lamps will last forever. The entire apparatus for lighting the average country dwelling will contain no moving part whatever, and could be readily carried about in a small valise. It will be quite immaterial in which region of the earth the house to be lighted is located. Distance will not affect the charge.“

How far from the Earth’s surface can power be transmitted by this wireless system?

“To any distance; in fact, the greater the elevation above the ground that easier it is to supply the power to the vehicle, such as an airship crossing the ocean.”

What do you consider the most important application of your system?

The transmission of power, of course. The operation of aerial machines alone will be of a revolutionizing influence, in as much as it will afford a perfect solution of this important problem. Another great field will be the irrigation and fertilization of the soil by wireless power. The time is not distance when a farmer will have installed on his place an apparatus for continuously manufacturing, from the gases of the atmosphere, nitric compounds which will be used to fertilize, while a motor will pump the water and perform other duties; all the energy being supplied from a plant perhaps thousands of miles away. This system can be extended so as to make productive vast tracts of now barren lands located in various countries. I believe that the export of wireless power will be one of the chief resources of the United States and other fortunately situated countries in times to come.“

By Marcel Roland. New York American, September 3, 1911.

His || Jungkook || 0.19

Member: Jungkook x Reader

Type: Angst, Fluff, Smut.

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i. write a to-do list and prioritize it.

whether it be in an agenda book/planner, bullet journal, or your phone, you’ll need to write tasks down so you don’t forget and not have to backtrack! then, find a way to prioritize your tasks, typically i organize it by subject and then by urgency using stars to indicate how important it is. however, find a priority system that works for you the best and stick with it! once you do that, reorganize your to-do list in order of priority and you can start going down the list.

ii. know your constants.

constants are things that usually happen every day. constants include sleeping, eating, classes, extracurriculars, jobs, etc. write down all the times you have to do these things/want to do these things, so you can take it into account when scheduling other tasks. for instance, if you know that an extracurricular will keep you an extra hour away from home, organize ways to do your homework in school (i.e. at lunch) or know that you might have to sacrifice a task or two to keep yourself on schedule.

iii. be mindful of limits and events.

it’s okay to say “yes” to hang out with your friends and opportunities. but if you know it’ll feel more like a burden, if you have something important to study for, and ultimately if you’ll be more stressed out if you go — then say no. make sure that you can handle taking some time out if you say yes! when you add events that you say yes to, incorporate it into planning and treat it as a constant, because most likely that plan won’t change much in terms of time. appointments with doctors or dentists should also be treated like constants as well! (don’t let school consume you entirely but also hold yourself back if you know you need to study/prepare.)

iv. set specific times for each task & learn to adapt!

if you don’t tell yourself when to begin and when to end, you’ll never get to either place, and you won’t be as organized or as motivated to finish on time. think about how much time it will take you to complete a task, and give yourself at most a half hour extra–just in case something unforeseen comes into play, it won’t shift your entire schedule. write these times down next to the things on your list. set alarms if you want to! keep in mind that you’ll probably need to move tasks to the next day, so you’ll need to adapt accordingly.

make sure to check off tasks as you go so you know that you completed it. it’ll make you more productive seeing your progress too!

v. create study times.

try your best to organize regular studying time into your schedule. even if it’s just for an hour or two to brush up on one or two subjects, studying regularly will keep the information in your head. make sure to find room for extra time to study the subject you have the hardest time on. add more study time as you get closer to the date of a quiz/test/exam, too!

vi. use deadlines to your advantage.

always set deadlines two days early (or earlier). getting ahead of deadlines will help you relax in the end and procrastination won’t be as harsh. plus, it gives you more time to tweak an essay, practice a presentation, etc. if you have it done earlier — not to say that you shouldn’t have already done this prior to your created deadline! especially for projects or essays, try and break up tasks into even smaller tasks so you know the exact steps you need to take. for instance, instead of saying “Work on English essay,” split it into “Research for essay,” “Outline essay,” “Write intro paragraph,” etc., and make sure you have specific deadlines for those too so you don’t leave all those small tasks to the last minute.

vii. take a break!

if you don’t take breaks, you’ll end up burning out. even though school may seem in priority, you are always the number one priority. if you don’t feel well physically or mentally, then give yourself some time to relax. read a book, take a bath–whatever helps you destress. i always try and take a break for a half-hour in between long work sessions, and shorter breaks in between a couple of shorter tasks. sometimes, i use the pomodoro method! insert breaks into your schedule so you have some time to yourself. during one of these breaks, you can do something as simple as organizing your desk if it’s a mess to keep yourself productive and relieve some stress if a clean study space is required for you to be motivated and focused. you can also exercise, drink water, or get up and walk around a bit during these breaks too!

viii. get some sleep.

Sleep is important. The average teenager needs about nine hours of sleep, and in general, adults need seven to nine hours. Figure out when you want to wake up in the morning, and count back the hours. Try and start to unwind (stop doing work, get ready for bed) about a half an hour before you sleep. Read a book, check social media briefly–just something that lets you relax and eases you into sleep. Waking up, set a few sets of alarms to go off anywhere in 10-20 minute intervals, just in case you don’t wake up or to start waking you up sooner so you’re actually awake by the time you want to and your body is less drowsy.

ix. focus on the task.

- put a clock in front of you so you are aware of the time you’re spending! a calendar would also be useful to help visualize your deadlines.

- put your phone on airplane mode, do not disturb, turn it off, etc. and put it on the other side of the room so you can focus on the tasks at hand. personally, i use bluetooth headphones so i can listen to music from my phone while it’s away and so i don’t have to break out my laptop which is full of distractions.

- take note of how much time is lost due to deviating from a task so you realize what distracts you and how to remove yourself from those distractions.

- sit down with all the materials you’ll need for studying before beginning so you won’t interrupt your focus looking for a notebook.

good luck and get to work!

+ more resources

anonymous asked:

Hello, I'm the anon who's freaking out about being thrown into adulthood, and thank you for your previous help. 1.) How do I mamage/budget a minimum wage salary? 2.) I've never been great with any sort of organization, but would you mind teaching me about home organization and important paper organization?

Okay, so this post will be about budgeting on minimum wage, and later in the day I will also post about paper organization. Enjoy!

Budgeting on Minimum Wage

Overview

The average minimum wage in the US is $7.25/hr. Even working full time at 40 hours a week, that’s only a profit of $290 before taxes. This is not a fair living wage! You are worth way more than this amount! I strongly encourage you to start looking for another job that pays better, look for something around the $10-$15 range. 

While $7.25 is atrocious, thousands of people around the world support families on much less. If they can do it while supporting children, so can you! To live off a minimum wage budget you need to declare yourself independent. If your parents are still claiming you as a dependent YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DO THIS. I also recommend that you have the highest amount possible taken out of your taxes so that you get money back from your state at the end of the year, instead of being in debt to them.

What I’ve done is come up with a budgeting plan based off some made up factors and my own personal experience.

Housing

1. City life. Forget about the city! Apartments located in cities can be three times as expensive as apartments in small towns or villages. On top of the extra expense, they’re much smaller and have less amenities included. I’d much rather live in a one bedroom apartment with a dishwasher and a conveniently located Laundromat, than a literal closet with no windows on a fifth floor walkup. Look for apartments twenty minutes to a half hour outside of your closest city. Now you have the close conveniences of a city, with none of those pesky city prices that your budget can’t handle.

2. College towns. Shop around and look at apartments by local colleges. Large colleges with have apartment complexes within walking distance of the school grounds. Landlords know that college students have less money (you might even be a college student yourself) and adjust their prices accordingly. Even apartments next to ivy league schools are priced this way, so don’t be discouraged by the institution’s “prestige”.

3. Locale. Your safety is more important than your bank account. It doesn’t matter if you live in Section 8 housing or in an affluent suburb. Some apartment complexes and neighborhoods are just safer than others. I live in a heavily populated and upper middle class suburb, and the first year I moved in, a drunk woman tried to throw a beer bottle at my car. Thankfully this is the only time this happened to me, but it made me feel unsafe in my environment. Before signing a lease, walk or drive around your prospective home’s neighborhood at night. Take in the atmosphere, and make sure it’s one where you could comfortably run to the local supermarket at 10:30pm and pick up toilet paper.

4. Roommates. Living on minimum wage requires that you find one or two roommates to help split the rent. The more the better! Get together with your more responsible friends, so at least you’re living with people whose company you enjoy. There are lots of “roommate wanted” forums and message boards for you to browse on the internet, but always bring a responsible adult with you before meeting a stranger. Please. Bring your mom if you have too.

Food

1. Low-spoon food. I created this post a few months ago which offers lots of suggestions about cooking and shopping on a budget.

2. Online recipes. Here are some of my favorite online Tumblr cookbook resources. 

3. I also regularly update my cooking on a budget tag. 

Misc Expenses

1. Gas. Shop around and find the cheapest gas in your area. Avoid gas stations next to colleges, highways, and in touristy areas. Look into getting as gas rewards card from your favorite supermarket. I get 10 cents off a gallon with Stop & Shop every time I do a big shop. 

2. Dollar store. Get to know your local dollar and bargain stores. You can buy everything from pots and pans to bed sheets there. These stores often sell bulk ramen for $1 and large cans of crushed tomatoes for 75 cents. That’s enough food for you to live off of for several days. When shopping, I make three grocery store stops to ensure that I spend the least amount possible on my pantry needs. I go Dollar Store, Stop and Shop, and then to my local organic grocery store. I’m going to make a list of things that I buy at Dollar Stores and things that I don’t buy at Dollar Stores soon!

3. Cable. We are living in the digital age- you don’t need cable television. Use Netflix or Hulu or whatever. It will save you tons of $$. 

4. Internet. As far as internet speed goes, if you’re living with roommates you will probably need a higher speed. Living by yourself, choose a lower one. Most internet companies offer large discounts to new subscribers. These typically only last a year, but will save you serious money. Make sure to take note of when this discount expires, and contact the company before it does. If you don’t, they’ll begin charging you the full amount without notice.

5. Verizon. I just want to take a moment to talk about how much I love Verizon because they have literally saved me so much money in the three years I’ve been with them. After you sign a contract with a new internet company, they charge you a bunch of ridiculous fees like “activation fees” and “installation fees”. I called Verizon and was like “I’m a poor college student, I can’t afford this” and they were like “don’t worry, we’ll waive the fee”. I signed a two year contract with them that saved me $80 on a high-speed internet bill per month (my price being only 50.99 a month). After the contract expired I call them and they put me on a month to month, keeping the price absolutely the same. TLDR- get Verizon if you can.

6. Utility. Get on a monthly budget with whatever utility company services your new apartment. Although it may seem like the cheaper option, paying the actual amount of electricity you spend per month is the more expensive. It’s also unpredictable, and a minimum wage budget won’t allow for it. See this for more info.

7. Amazon. I buy a lot of my beauty, cleaning, and cat products online. Amazon offers Prime shipping free for a year with a student email address, and then offers it at a greatly reduced price after the year. If you are a student, snap up that free deal ASAP. If it’s in your budget, I’d greatly recommend investing in Amazon Prime.

8. Saving money. It’s so important to attempt to break way from the “paycheck to paycheck” vicious cycle. Living this way does not allow for emergency expense money, and trust me, sometime soon you will need emergency expense money. Your cat might get sick or your car may die, whatever it is, it’s always smart to have at least $500 squirreled away. I’m gonna level with you, things have been tight for my budget and I haven’t been able to save anything for the past three months. But this month I will!

Example Budgets

Full Time

Working with the $7.25/hr and 40hr/week model, here’s an example budget for living on minimum wage. That’s $1,160 a month without taxes.

Housing: Let’s say you’re sharing an apartment with two close friends, the rent being $1,500 without any amenities. That rent split three ways is $500 each.

Gas I commute twenty minutes every day, and I drop about $20-$25 a week on gas. That’s $100 on gas a month.

Food: I do one big shopping a month with my boyfriend. We drop around $180 and that’s including toiletries and soap and stuff. So maybe you’ll spend about $100 a month on all your shopping needs.

Cable/internet:  Hopefully you took my advice and skipped cable. Let’s say you’re paying around $50 per month for internet. Split three ways that’s $17 each.

Laundry: Hopefully you’re not like me and are only spending around $20 on laundry per month.

Random expenses: Because there always are some. Let’s just tack on another $100.

With everything added up, you still have around $290 left before taxes! That money can go into a savings account, and after several months, you’ll have that $500 worth of emergency money saved.

Part Time

Working with the $7.25/hr and 25hr/week model, here’s an example budget for living on minimum wage. That’s $725 without taxes.

Housing: In this case, you need to look for apartments in the $800-900 range. In my area, one bedroom apartments go for around $1000, so you may need to get creative with your roommate (I don’t think you could have more than one roommate in this situation). Buy dividers to split the bedroom or studio in half! Let’s say your rent is $850 with nothing included, that’s $425 each.

Gas You’re still looking at a large gas bill per month, so it may be more inexpensive to ride a bike or use public transportation. Let’s say you use public transportation, and spend around $50 a month on that. Or maybe you and your roommate can split gas expenses and share a car?

Food: Pinch those pennies! Use some of those budget cookbooks I linked above to help you cook healthy and delicious meals for under $4 each. See if you can only spend $80 a month on groceries.

Cable/internet:  Hopefully you took my advice and skipped cable. Let’s say you’re paying around $50 per month for internet. Split two ways is $25 each.

Laundry: Hopefully you’re not like me and are only spending around $20 on laundry per month.

Random expenses: Because there always are some. Let’s just tack on another $100.

That leaves you $25 to put in your bank account, if that. This is a paycheck to paycheck situation, and you will probably need to get another source of income to feel secure. But you can still do it!

Unshared Experiences

((People had asked @what-are-even-humans about “aliens reacting to humans getting their period”. I decided to write it instead. I don’t get into much detail here, so hopefully it won’t squick anyone out.))

Ineke knew that Ch'iehqry wasn’t female. Xir species had two biological sexes, but neither of them corresponded directly to “male” or “female”. Ch'iehqry likewise knew that Ineke wasn’t kholdreis, humans were neither kholdreis nor uelprain. Still, Ch'iehqry’s voice and facial features resembled that of a human female, and Ineke’s voice and personal scent made her seem kholdreis.

They were more-or-less coworkers, and then friends, and then recently flatmates, but sometimes it was difficult to remember what experiences they wouldn’t have shared.


When Ineke came through the door, she groaned and flopped down into the nearest chair. “Bring me one of those blue capsules and some water, that’d be awesome,” she mumbled.

Ch'iehqry was familiar with the ‘blue capsules’; they were Ineke’s ingestible analgesic compounds, the equivalent of xir orange pastes. “Rough shift?” xe sympathetically asked.

“It’s that time of the month again,” Ineke said, and sighed. “Thanks.”

“Oh, is this when your sector starts invoicing?”

“What? No, it’s – right, you wouldn’t know. No, it’s just that my period started again.”

Ch'iehqry frowned. “I have a feeling I won’t like what I hear, but what exactly is that? All I remember of that word, in a human-specific context, is a half-heard joke that got its teller reprimanded and assigned anti-harassment education.”

Ineke grinned weakly. “That was Leendert. He’s learned since then. And yeah, you probably won’t like what you hear, most humans don’t either. It’s a female-specific thing, and it’s annoying.”

“What do I need to know?”

Ineke idly tapped her fingers; her face was no longer tense, so presumably the analgesics had been quickly effective. “I’m not a doctor, but this is what I learned. It might be wrong. For a bit each month, roughly, my body is fertile, and if I don’t get pregnant – reproducing with a new child growing inside – in that time, then my body removes its… preparation stuff. I don’t know, the health teacher was stuttering and blushing at that bit. It can get messy, but I have my products to deal with it, so that won’t be a problem. It also hurts, somewhat. Some women are really lucky and only experience mild discomfort that’s soon over, for some the pain is crippling while it lasts. I’m somewhere in the middle. As long as we haven’t run out of anything unexpectedly, I should be fine, just a bit grumpier.”

“How long will this last?” Ch'iehqry asked, starting to run calculations in xir mind. Xe might have to make adjustments to their shared budget, depending.

“How long will I be grumpy? I’m generally feeling okay after the second day of it, and the sanitary routines aren’t much extra. How long will I keep getting my period for? Barring pregnancy or medical problems, a few days every month-ish until menopause. When a female is no longer fertile. Which I think would happen in my fifties, maybe forties, I haven’t looked it up,” Ineke said.

“For the amount of facts which you are unsure on, you seem remarkably confident about others,” Ch'iehqry noted.

Ineke shrugged. “It’s my body, I live with it. I may not know why something happens, but I know what it does. Like, you can move your hand and grab something, but do you actually understand all the muscle and tendon action involved in that?”

Ch'iehqry raised xir forehead ridge, in a gesture xe had borrowed from xir human coworkers. It was so incredibly expressive and perfectly communicated so many emotions. “Yes, I do understand the muscles and tendons and ligaments and nerves involved in hand motions. I have studied them intently, and you know it.”

“Right, robot limb engineer, that’s just the expression I use most often.”

Xe considered the issue. “I suppose a more accurate comparison would be olfactory senses, or perhaps the digestive system. I am aware of what is sufficient, insufficient, pleasurable, and painful, yet not familiar with the mechanics behind them. Still, it seems quite unpleasant that your body would have such a focus on reproduction, when you are not desirous of such at the moment.”

Ineke made an expansive gesture. “Bodies. They’re annoying like that.”

Ch'iehqry remembered xir last fasting cycle. Even though nourishment had been readily available, xir body still had involuntarily gone into a decreased metabolic state to preserve energy. “I agree.”

Some Tips On Organic Chemistry
  1. When you’re looking at two compounds and wondering how they may react, pay attention to the carbons - if they are bonded to a halogen or something more electronegative than them, then they have a partial positive charge and they’re going to want anything that will give them more electrons (a.k.a. a nucleophillic attack). If they’re bonded to hydrogen, they have a partial negative charge and they become your nucleophile, which will want to give those electrons to something that’s lacking them. Once you get these basics down, mechanisms become much easier to memorize because you can see the logic in them and sometimes predict them.

  2. Get the basic mechanisms ingrained in your brain. Think of SN1, SN2, E1 and E2 as your new multiplication table. Make flashcards about them and take them to class. Or put them at the back or front of your notebook. Just have them handy at all times.

  3. Draw the final steps in 3D. ALWAYS. You can draw the mechanisms and the first steps in 2D because it will make it easier to understand, but never forget that you’re working with a 3D structure that can flipped (and attacked by nucleophiles) every which way. Also, if you don’t know the basic perspectives used in orgo (Fischer, Newmans, sawhorse, wedge-dash) please take half an hour to learn them. Mainly wedge-dash and Fischer, but Newman is very useful when deciding which position you should put your atoms in if you’re dealing with sin and anti.

  4. Colors. If you’re one of those people who ONLY writes in black pen, awesome, keep using it for WRITING. For reactions though, you’re going to want options. you’ll need to differentiate between:

    • The molecules (same color for atoms and bonds, unless you want to finish your notes on your deathbed).
    • Your three types of arrows: electron flow, actual steps in the reaction (think intermediates) and steps you may take to make it clearer for you but that happen at the same time.
    • Formal charges
    • The electrons that stay with its original atom and the ones that are given/shared, if you’re like me and you like your mechanisms to be spelled out.
    • This is not an excuse to go nuts with the coloring, 3 colors are enough. Personally, I use purple for molecules, electrons and reaction arrows, black for electron flow arrows and charges and light blue for clarification step arrows. Also optional but to denote a homolytic fission I usually write a blue line perpendicular to the bond. Similarly, if two atoms share one electron each, instead of just one them donating both electrons, I link said electrons with blue.
    • Remember to be consistent, otherwise you’ll end up like me, looking at your notes from the beginning of the semester and wondering if that dash is a bond or a -1 formal charge (to avoid this, preferably circle formal charges. Lol I never do this but I should).
  5. Flashcards are so helpful! Write the reactants on one side and the mecanism and products on the other. Test yourself until you are one with the electrons.

  6. If it’s a concerted mechanism, number the arrows. You’ll thank yourself a month from now.

  7. Khanacademy. Khanacademy will save your butt when it comes to mechanisms. Chemwiki is likely to have anything that Khanacademy doesn’t. If it isn’t in either of those, Google images just became your new best friend. Books also tend to explain those nicely but I personally find them to be poorly structured and they usually include much more info than what you’ll actually be requiered to know. If you have the time to read two pages on a reaction though, by all means go for it.

  8. Study in advance. Good luck studying for your final two days before if you don’t understand the mechanisms and you don’t have your material organized. Seriously, don’t do it. A week before the exam you could make those flashcards mentioned above. They’re a great way to review but it will be impossible if you are learning these things from scratch.

  9. Get your hands on past tests. This goes for any subject but especially for orgo. Try to get a past test or at least ask an upper-classman who’s taken orgo with that professor. Does his/her tests focus on mechanisms? Retrosynthesis? Or does he/she give you the reactants and ask what the product is or what environment they should be in to obtain x? Ideally, you should be able to answer any of these if you know the material. However, if they focus on retrosynthesis, it may be a little tricky, so make sure to cater your study techniques to that.

  10. You should also check out @colllegeruled’s Surviving Organic Chemistry, it’s super helpful and it has lots of resources (seriously, you introduced me to Khanacademy, I OWE YOU MY LIFE).

So, this is what I can offer so far. I hope it shines at least a faint light into the dark path that is organic chemistry.

Other masterposts

anonymous asked:

What kinds of scenes could I include in my story that would involve developing character relationships? I have this problem of having characters seemingly pop into the plot when the scene calls for it, but then they disappear for long periods of time, and these characters SHOULD be seen more often than they are. What can I do to involve my characters more?

Involving Minor Characters More

I will apologize in advance because this post is a bit metaphor heavy, but I think the metaphors really help in explaining the involvement of “minor” characters. So the question here is: How do I develop character relationships when one character only appears sporadically?

DON’T use the characters merely as “coffee breaks” from the main plot. 

If these characters are popping up routinely following major action sequences or plot movements, you might be guilty of doing this. Scenes like this are often seen as “filler” because they act as a reprieve from the intensity of the plot. These scenes are often stretches of dialogue that have no bearing on the main conflict of the story, and may even include bantering and humor. Scenes like this are often forgiven in stories because they serve to develop relationships between characters or even explore subplots or character backstories, but if your character is only popping up in these instances, then their presence starts to become awkward. 

Imagine you worked in an office, and all morning everyone is milling about, working hard, making deadlines. One worker finishes up a task and decides to take a coffee break and hits up the staff lounge. And regardless of when they take this break, every time they go in there, there’s some joker just sitting in a comfy chair, chilling out and waiting for the actual workers to come by and see them. 

This person engages the workers in mindless chatter to give them a break from the mental and sometimes physical strain of their jobs, and then when everyone goes back to work, they’re still just sitting there, waiting. Until someone else finishes up a rough assignment and comes by for a break. This whole setup is a bit odd.

These characters can still be part of the “coffee breaks” of your story, especially if the conversations they have help to define their relationships with others and explore their pasts. But for them to be important characters to your story, they should accompany the main characters back to the office, or at the very least head up to their own floor to do some productive work of their own. Otherwise they shouldn’t even be in the workplace (the story) to begin with.  

DO increase their involvement in the plot

What is the main conflict of your story? If you’re not sure how to answer this question, then work on figuring that out before you worry about how you’ll develop their relationships. They need to have reasons to interact, and if you feel as though you don’t have very many of those reasons as of now, then it’s possible that this disappearing character doesn’t have much stake in your story’s conflict. 

Think about all possible outcomes of your conflict - both the potential happy endings or sad endings, and then ask yourself how these outcomes affect this disappearing character. What is at stake for them? If they have no personal interest in what is going on with the main character, then you’ll want to give them a reason to care. Give them something to lose (or something to win, assuming a positive outcome). 

Think of it this way. If your story’s conflict were a sporting event, your main cast of characters should all be players on at least one of the teams. Your secondary, or minor, characters can be spectators, but they should have something at stake in the game, such as a bet on the outcome, or even just a strong allegiance to one of the teams. If they have a stake, they’re not going to just Google the score later. They’ll want to be there to see what happens, to yell their outrage or cheer their joy. To show their support, or possibly heckle the opposing side in hopes that they’ll screw up. 

Give them a motivation that’s related to all the stuff you’ve got going on in your scenes. If these disappearing characters are absent from many of the scenes, you have to ask why? If they’re not involved, then make them involved. Give them a role, or remove them from the story entirely. 

DO imagine their lives apart from the protagonist.

If you’re struggling to find a role for the character in the conflict, then try thinking about what they’re doing in all that time off screen. Brainstorm their own personal journeys. What are they working towards? What are their obstacles? Thinking about these questions in the context of the world or story universe you’ve created may trigger something that ultimately ties back to the main conflict. 

Thinking about this also creates some depth for your character. Going back to my very first example (our joker in the staff lounge), it’s possible that this joker is actually working while everyone is coming in and out. Maybe they’re tidying up, preparing snacks for everyone, working on projects in a notepad, making phone calls, or fixing a broken microwave or refrigerator. Maybe there’s more to this character, but we never know because they drop everything the moment a worker (or main character) stops by. 

And let’s keep going: imagine that this habit causes their work to suffer, because they’re sacrificing their own needs for the needs of the staff that come by seeking their company. How does that affect them, and can you think of ways to bring it to the forefront? Could the workers notice? Could the disappearing character disappear at a moment the MC relies on them to be there the most? What happens as a result? 

If you consider the character important enough that developing their relationship with an MC is of concern to you, then they should be important enough to work into the main plot in some form or another. 

I hope my lengthy metaphors were helpful! Good luck and happy writing :)

-Rebekah

Dating Bruce Wayne Would Include (Pt. II)

Because apparently more people love Bat Daddy than they’re willing to admit

  • Dates – or rather, the process of planning them – are a little weird for the two of you
    • Despite him being wealthy and having had a reputation as a philanderer, Bruce is still a very devoted businessman with an entire enterprise to run. This may or may not clash with your own schedule, depending on what you do, but it is more likely Bruce’s schedule that needs the most consideration when plotting out a date
    • Then, of course, there’s your lover’s obvious nighttime job. It’s not even necessarily that he can’t take the night off; it’s just that those nights are few and far in between. Though now that he’s getting older and has a significant other to appreciate in his life, he does attempt to make more of an effort to take at several nights or so per month off.
    • This may not seem like much, but considering what he does…

Keep reading

An Alternative Look at Exaltations and Falls in Astrology

Sun is exalted in Aries, but these people tend to not understand that other people are not as full of energy and motivation as they are. They push other people forward, which is great in its own right, but they don’t nurture the tenderness within themselves and others.

Sun is in its fall in Libra, in fact, since the season of fall begins when the Sun is in Libra could very well be the reason why we speak of planetary falls. October 5th is the most common birthday in the United States, and September 23rd is the most abundant birth day in Britain; all around the world, there are more Virgos and Libras than any other sun sign!The universe planned it to be this way because there needs to be plenty of people who just go along with others, harmonizing, not causing conflict. They might or might not think for themselves depending on other placements in their natal chart.

Moon is exalted in Taurus but is it really a superior placement? When the bull is expressed by one’s emotions, they get irrationally angry when other people do not do as they say. They might not know how to take a step back from the heat of the moment and consider that the other person has a valid stance. Grinding their hooves into the ground, they lash out if someone challenges them. When their progressed moon is in an air sign, they have the chance to learn to outgrow this behavior. (See my post about Secondary Progressed Moon Signs)

Moon falls in Scorpio, but these people are very perceptive. They can be vengeful towards those who have hurt them, unless if they have evolved past that. Astounding psychic abilities are their gift. Heartbreak cuts them down to their soul, other factors in their chart reveal how they process it.

Mercury is exalted in Aquarius, but many of us get annoyed by a know-it-all who has an opinion on everything! They can get too fixated on an idea.

Mercury falls in Leo, but their ego drives them to be productive. They may not view life objectively as an air Mercury would.

Venus is exalted in Pisces, but is it truly wise to put on those rose colored glasses to overlook problems and be “la dee da”? Virgo may be the “fall” of Venus but they value solutions and being discerning in how they give out their love! Venus in Virgo spends their energy on people who matter, rather than allowing compassion to spread themselves too thin as a Venus in Pisces would. Venus in Pisces experiences pleasure thru escapism, people with this placement often love to get drunk and ignore their life circumstance for a few hours. Venus in Pisces gets swept away when a loved one appeals to their wishes, they need to remind themselves of reality.

Mars is exalted in Capricorn, which can be sensibly handling their anger, IF this person has done deep emotional reflection to work thru their wounds. This is how the entire chart comes into play when understand just one planet, we’d also look at Chiron and the Moon to know exactly what kind of wounds they are processing in their soul. You can’t have a healthy Mars without a well-developed Chiron and a Moon that has looked at their own emotions in an honest way. Many with Mars in Capricorn are mature about getting to work but less mature about handling their feelings, or vice versa. They grind their hooves into the ground, holding onto facts about human nature and the world that they are angry about.

Mars falls in Cancer, as Cancer as known as the most womanly, motherly sign, but many men I know with this placement have no trouble expressing their masculinity! They are considerate about women’s sexual needs. In touch with their softer side, their psyche seesaws between masculine and feminine.

Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, but is it always a good idea to bask in the abundance of comfort? People with this placement might be generous and caring, but they might not have that “get up and put your nose to the grindstone” motivation unless other placements in their chart indicate that.

Jupiter has its “fall” in Capricorn, but people with this do not spend money on frivolous things. They have trouble giving out their love.

Saturn is exalted in Libra, but if a boss catered to their employees all the time, would that be most profitable for the company? Probably not. Sometimes authority figures need to be stern and not harmonizing. The most evolved manifestation of Saturn in Libra would be a fair minded boss. In Jungian psychology, or Myer’s Briggs, Libra can come out as Perceiving or Judging. The Libras who love justice and structure are Judging, whereas the Libras that are always pleasing everyone are more Perceiving. Point is, there are a variety of ways that Saturn in Libra could be. Cooperation between everyone gets things done! Saturn in Libra brings people and projects together by being the diplomat!

Saturn falls in Aries, but sometimes we need a pushy boss. This placement can be expressed as mean and demanding, or driven to succeed. Many people who have Saturn in Aries are very persistent.

Some astrologers claim that Uranus is exalted in Scorpio as she has a love for chaos! If someone has this placement, and Uranus makes hard aspects to other planets, it would express itself in a dangerous way. If I were giving a reading and someone had Uranus in Scorpio square sun in Aquarius, I’d be concerned that their detached nature would cause them to be hurtful to others without realizing. This is how Astrology can aid us in personal development!

Uranus is inhibited by Taurus because Uranus would feel confined from its erratic brilliance, thus it would fall. Look to other factors in the chart to see if this person is truly stable. Uranus in Taurus could be a generation of rebels that take logical steps to overrule unjust ways of this world!

Some astrologers say that Neptune is exalted in Leo as mysticism would be expressed as confident, steady creativity.

Neptune would fall in Aquarius because too much skepticism can blind us from inspiration just as much as rationality could be blinded by faith! Just let that nugget of wisdom sink in… One of my friends, Owen Burns said, “Science is just another religion unless you can actually explain it” Not everything in this world needs to or has to be proved by science, as we can find inspiration and hope in non-scientific practices like Astrology.

In my opinion, Pluto would fall in Gemini because it clings to what is light and breezy, not daring to face the depths. I see Pluto as exalted in Sagittarius, as it is still a soul searcher, but not as bogged down as Scorpio.

Please Note: October 5th may or may not be the most popular birth date, it’s just a fun fact I heard. I’ve checked out a few different sources, some say Scorpio is the most common sun sign, some say it’s Libra or Virgo. I’ve even found information showing that June and July birthdays are very common. One of my astrologer friends said that Capricorn is statistically the least common sun sign, other sources say Aquarius is the rarest. It probably varies year by year, I would guess.

I truly have a passion for giving in depth readings! Message me if you want a thought provoking report on your natal chart, or your progressed chart, or synastry, or a forecast about how the planets will treat YOU throughout upcoming months! I can write 10+ pages all about you!

check out AcaiPsycheLife.tumblr.com/trybeforeyoubuy   and    AcaiPsycheLife.tumblr.com/readings

Sometimes things are great! Sometimes… they’re really, really not. This is my personal plan for fixing everything when I don’t know what to do, and I thought other people might find it helpful. If you identify with this sentiment, but don’t think this is the right way for you to work on the problems you’re facing, that’s totally fine, and sometimes these aren’t things to work through by yourself.

This is what works for me, but really consider what your goals are and consider this as less of a how-to and more of possible framework to figure out where you want to go. A lot of this also refers to managing things within my apartment that aren’t super applicable if you aren’t the one responsible for your own groceries say. Use what’s useful and skip what’s not. You’ve got this.

Step One: Breathe, baby. This probably feels awful, whatever’s going on. Icky maybe. And that’s something that should change, but before the visible problems can shift, take a look at how you’re taking care of yourself right now. This step is the reset button - just a beginner’s step in areas that are central and maybe stressing you out. Stop the cycle of whatever was throwing you off.

I like to start with the executive function stuff. There might be a lot you feel like you have a lot to do - it’s been a while since things have been good about notes on all those readings, right? But unless there’s something absolutely 100% immediate and pressing, this first:

  • Drink some water. Wash your water bottle or a cup you like to drink from. Just one dish. The rest of them can wait just a little bit longer. Keep remembering to drink water. You’ll feel better.
  • How’s your room? Can you do some laundry? Get some things in the trash? Make your bed? Start with a single task that will get some things off the floor, but doesn’t feel scary. Leave the rest of it. You can fix it later.
  • When was the last time you ate something? Has it been a while? If there’s something at home, good. Eat that. If there isn’t, go pick something up from somewhere you feel safe. Worry about vegetables later. Eat anything right now.
  • Find somewhere you feel comfortable. Pick something acheivable. Do that thing. Whatever you’re ready for. Nothing scary. Nothing heavy. Spend some doing enough work that you feel like you’re being productive again; like you’ve finished something because you have! Then come back. Do you feel better?

In the interest of space, the rest is under the cut. :)

Keep reading

A-Level Advice From A Newbie

So I’m (almost) done with my final AS exams, and having at last completed my first year of college, I feel like I’ve picked up on a lot. I know that there are a LOT of GCSE students on here - particularly in Years 10/11 - who are planning to start their AS Levels in September, so I thought I’d make a post of things I’ve learned (both through success and a lot of failure) that might be helpful!

1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SIGNING UP FOR

This definitely sounds pretty basic, but you would not believe the amount of people who either switch their subjects around or drop A Levels entirely within the first month or so. As much as the change is definitely okay and it’s great to switch to what works for you, if you make these changes after a week or two, you’re going to have a LOT of work to catch up on regardless of what course or subject you move to. In regards to A Levels as a whole, here are some aspects that could be helpful to consider based on how you work:

  • AS moves fast; content is covered extremely quickly and although you’ll be eased in gently, you’re expected to keep up.
  • There’s a lot of content. I struggled more revising three AS subjects than 11 GCSEs.
  • They’re very academic; although some subjects have coursework, a lot of this is written (essays, investigations, etc), and there’s a big reliance on exams.
  • It’s much stricter on homework. In my college, if we don’t keep up with work, there’s a pretty high chance we can be kicked off the course.

In terms of individual subjects, I feel like there’s a big misconception that all of your subjects should relate to one another, which isn’t true at all! If you have a specific career plan in mind, sometimes similar subjects can be helpful (for example I know people taking chemsitry/physics/biology or drama/media/film), but having a backup plan is always nice! A couple of things to consider with subject choice are:

  • How will you be assessed? This is a pretty important one; if you don’t like writing, but take three subjects which evaluate you on your essay writing ability, you’re going to struggle.
  • What’s the content of the course? You may think a subject sounds great, but not the actual curriculum and topics!
  • Do you like the teacher? This is an iffy one, but if you meet the teacher and absolutely 1000% can’t get along with them, it’s going to damage your motivation. Just make sure you can tolerate their class.

2. USE  A L L  OF YOUR INDEPENDENT STUDY TIME

I am telling you now that you will be told this by every single adult you meet in college. every. single. one. And you’ll probably argue that you don’t have enough work to fill all of the time, or that you’re too tired, or, you know, something that seems reasonable at the time but regrettable three months later.

At my college, we’re expected to put in five hours of study per subject per week, not including homework or in-class time. For most people, this’ll mean around 15 hours a week, which doesn’t seem much, but whEN YOU DON’T USE IT, IT IS SO MUCH TIME LOST. I don’t know anybody who puts in 15hrs/week, but now that it’s exam season we’re all regretting it real hard.

Get your homework done, and find a way to revise your work. Flashcards. Posters. Past papers. If you don’t have any new content to learn, put in the time every week to study the stuff you do have, and I promise you it will pay off.

3. BE NICE TO YOUR TEACHERS

Honestly this shouldn’t even have to be something that I have to remind people, but here we are.

In sixth form and particularly college, there’s much less of a power imbalance between students and teachers than there is in school; we’re on the same grounds, we’re both pretty independent, and we’re both there doing what we’re doing because we want to be. So have some respect.

A lot of the time at colleges, teachers have actually had experience in the field that they’re teaching and they’re so genuinely excited about the topics; one of the best things I’ve found at my college is how enthusiastic the teachers are, and how much interest they have in anything you have to say, especially if it’s relevant to the subject.

Also, when you show respect to teachers, they show respect to you. Many a time I’ve been given a short but extended deadline on a piece of work just because I’ve dropped a teacher an email or spoken to them before/after class, and in the words of one teacher, ‘the fact that you’re concerned enough to ask is enough proof that you’re putting effort in’.

But yeah. Talk to your teachers. Let them know if you’re missing a class. They’re human beings; don’t be a dick.

4. GO TO ALL VISITS / EVENTS / WORK EXPERIENCE

Not all places do a lot of these, but I know my college has done a few bits. What I mean by this is things such as higher education/career fairs, work exploration,  and visits from people in specific careers. Even if you think that it isn’t relevant to you at all, you could learn or come across something that could be beneficial or helpful to your future, a qualification, or even just enjoy an hour or so.

I did an afternoon at the StonePillow Homeless Shelter in my town; I didn’t change my mind about my career, I didn’t gain any qualifications from it, but I definitely found it interesting and it certainly had an impact on my worldview.

On the same note, join a club. Not only is this something which can be later used on CVs and personal statements, but you can learn a lot of skills which can help you in your actual subjects.

5. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE NOT SUPERIOR

Not exactly a tip, but something that I really think A Level students need to keep in mind.

There’s a big thing that I keep seeing of A Level students joking about being better than people doing other courses (BTEC, apprenticeships, vocational, etc), and it’s not true at all. Everybody is working equally hard to get the qualifications that THEY need to get to where THEY want to go.

If you’re thinking like this, just stop.



I really hope this was helpful to anybody considering A Levels - best of luck to anybody currently sitting exams!

anonymous asked:

So Meg, what did you think of Lauren's tweet saying 'FUCK YOU' to the media? I love her, but come on. She did a photoshoot w/a professional photographer w/another girl, her bff & apparently ex, & the photographer talked about L & LV's personal relationship in an interview. Of course the media is going to pick up on it & talk about it. This is something completely different than the leak of the kiss pics, which were taken at a private family event. I sometimes wonder what is going on in her mind.

Ok I’m about to go off on a rant lol. All I am seeing on my feed is stuff about how Lauren is a “hypocrite” and “she put this out there so how can she not expect a reaction”. But people need to understand that the reason why the whole things SEEMS contradictory is because THESE ARE NOT ALL LAUREN’S ACTIONS. You can call someone a hypocrite if they are individually in control of all the contradictory actions, but she’s clearly not! On the one hand we have what Lauren wants - how she wants to be seen, what she values, how she wants her image to be used, her will to keep her private life private. BUT on the other hand we have what her PR team wants - they want headlines and money, and they are paid to know how to create a buzz out of something

So what does this leave us with? - Two different images of Lauren which sometimes line up with each other, but also sometimes contradict each other. Lauren may not always like the tactics her publicists use, but she can’t do anything about it! Please read the last post i wrote on this blog - It’s so relevant to this debate! When Lauren signed her contract she legally granted her Label the exclusive right to use her image, likeness, name and biography for publicity. This is just a fact. It means that her publicists can feed whatever they want to the media and it’s not in Lauren’s control. It means that Lauren is not allowed to publicise stuff about herself without doing it through her label.

I think part of the reason why people see this as all within Lauren’s control is because the shoot itself was very Lauren. It was done with people she trusted in a quiet location, it was very tumblr pretty and the way she showed her body was classy and elegant. Lauren has to do a certain amount of publicity appearances, photoshoots, interviews etc… She contractually has to co-operate with her PR team, and my feeling is that she’s been able to negotiate and make a lot of compromises recently. By playing along and cooperating, she’s been able to do things her way a little bit. BUT this does not mean she is in total control! 

This shoot was clearly not something totally ‘organic’. 1) Billboard didn’t just report on it - they literally released one of the pictures on their instagram. So (once again) they were they were obviously a part of the whole thing. 2) This indie photographer who publishes their stuff online obviously has no reason whatsoever to release their photos MONTHS after they were taken and do an interview with bloody MTV to go along with it!! The timing and the way it was done means that it was obviously co-ordinated by 5H’s team. 3) Do you really think that that Lauren would choose to give the media specific information about the exact state of her love life???!!!!! Come on people! As if Lauren would explicitly tell a media outlet who she is/isn’t in a relationship with! It’s so fucking obvious that her team fed the media ‘info’ on her relationship/breakup. These journalists don’t know who Lucy is or that the fanbase was starting to feel that she didn’t seem to be spending time with Lauren any more. I repeat - the media was FED this information by Lauren’s PR people. 4) Lauren tried to make this hers by using her body for art and to make a statement, but her team of course knows what the media wants and they KNEW that this shoot would end up being about objectifying Lauren in a trashy way. They KNOW how to get clicks. This is what it was about in PR terms for them. Again, we have two different images/stories - the way Lauren see’s things and the way her team uses her to gain publicity for the product they are trying to sell.

^^^ So Lauren is not a hypocrite. She’s an incredibly strong person who is trying to assert her values in a situation, where she has very little legal control over how her image and personal life is used to sell records. THAT’S  why we see two contradicting sides to the story. If she was submissive and went along with everything without complaining through indirects, then she wouldn’t look like a hypocrite because we would only see one side of the story - the PR side, not Lauren’s side. 

This applies to soooooooo many things, especially the ‘break-up’. Fans are always calling out the girls for being hypocritical and self-contradictory when their actions don’t add up. “How can Dinah say that she loves Mila no matter what two days before she posts something accusing her of being a selfish diva?”. “How can Lauren say she’s a feminist who supports other women but then shades Mila?”. “How can the girls not support Camila in her solo stuff but now support each other whole-heartedly?”. 

BUT IF SOMETHING DOESN’T SEEM TO MAKE SENSE, IT’S BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY DOESN’T MAKE SENSE !!!

ALL OF THIS STUFF SEEMS CONTRADICTORY AND DOESN’T ADD UP BECAUSE IT IS NOT ALL IN THEIR CONTROL !!!!!!!!!!!! They are not hypocrites, they are just people are not contractually able to control the narratives that are presented to the public about them. The small opportunities they have to express their real selves contradict the images of them that their team sells to the media and the public for publicity purposes. That’s why they ‘seem’ like hypocrites. It’s that simple.

Sorry I used this ask to go on a long rant (it’s general - not aimed at you anon), but please please please people read my last post about how the artists grant the label the right to control their public image. This is so important to understand. 

people.com
Did Dan Stevens Really Sing? What Worried Emma Watson While Waltzing? Beauty and the Beast’s Secrets Revealed!
Ten burning Beauty and the Beast questions asked and answered — with important insider facts about the hit new film

How many people, animals and props were involved in making the opening musical number, “Belle?”

According to Disney, there were more than 150 cast members and extras involved, along with 28 wagons and carts, hundreds of live animals (horses, cows, mules, ducks, geese and hens) and countless props and set decorations. The set itself was also the production’s largest, measuring 28,787 square feet.

Bonus fact: The town is named Villeneuve, a fictional French village that was built on the backlot at Shepperton Studios outside London.  The town’s name is an homage to Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, the author of the original Beauty and the Beast story.

How many horses played Belle and Maurice (Kevin Kline)’s trusty steed, Philippe?

Three.

“Belle and Maurice’s horse Philippe was played by three different horses, two of which had to be painted on a daily basis,” says a rep for the studio.

How did they pull off the waltz scene between Belle (Emma Watson) and the Beast?

Carefully! Watson and Stevens first had to learn the choreography, and then Stevens had to master it on stilts. The British star tells PEOPLE practice makes perfect when it came time to learn how to walk and dance in the steel contraptions.

“You’ve just got to get in ’em, start moving around!” Stevens says with a laugh. “Fortunately we had about three months of pre-production for rehearsals, learning the songs, the dances. Initially with the waltz I learned the steps on the ground and graduated to the stilts, which was slightly terrifying for me but probably more for Emma. I think she was very worried that I was going to tread on her toes in steel stilts, which could’ve ruined the movie, but I didn’t, so I’m very proud of that.”

Is that Dan Stevens’ real singing voice?

Yes! And it was a welcome challenge for the actor.

“Singing was a relatively new thing to me,” Stevens, 34, says of re-training his singing voice. “I’d sung at school and when I was younger, but in my 20s I [hadn’t] sung as extensively so reengaging my voice, retraining the voice was a big challenge.”

Did they use Dan Stevens’ actual face for the Beast?

Yes, although the finished product is a computer-animated and significantly hairier version.

Stevens wore a 40-lb. “muscle suit” and performed the role on stilts — first so that the size and movements of the character were captured on set during filming, and then again for the visual-effects teams so that his face was captured and later computer-animated with the Beast’s hair and fangs.

“Every couple of weeks I would go into a special booth and my face would be sprayed with about 10,000 UV dots and I would sit in what I used to call the Tron cage,” Stevens says. “Anything I’d been doing in the previous two weeks in the scenes, whether it was eating, sleeping, roaring, waltzing, I did it again with my face, with Emma [Watson] sitting on the other side of the cage, and we would capture the Beast’s face.”

What’s with Dan Stevens’ hair in that Prince reveal?

It’s a wig. A stringy, scraggly one.

“The hair at the end, was it extensions? I think it was a wig,” Stevens says, trying hard to remember the hair accessory he wore two years ago during filming. “It was quite awhile ago. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was a wig,” he adds with a smile. “And what a wig!”

Which costume was the most challenging to create?

Belle’s red “montage” outfit, aka the one she wears outdoors for her snowball fight with Beast. Why? Because costume designer Jacqueline Durran used all eco-friendly materials in its design.

“Because Emma is so interested in sustainability and fair trade, eco fabrics and eco fashion, we applied those criteria to making a costume from head to toe,” Durran tells PEOPLE. “That [red] costume was made entirely from sustainable fabrics. We dyed it in vegetable dyes in our workroom, we had shoes made with eco leather, and we did the whole thing from top to bottom to be as thorough as we could. People learned different skills in the work rooms to be able to do it, so the dyers learned to dye with strange vegetable dye. Sometimes it took two weeks to dye something because you’d have to leave it in there for that long to get a rich color. It really was a learning curve for all of us, I’d certainly never done that before.”

How did the filmmakers decide on which songs to feature from the animated film and Broadway musical?

The answer is by hiring and deferring to the animated film’s composer, Alan Menken, who also co-wrote the music for the new film.

“It was challenging,” Menken told EW. “[The] Broadway show had songs that I would have loved to use for the movie, but the form for a film and the form for a Broadway show are different, so the song we wrote for the Broadway show was not going to work. Consequently, we wrote a brand-new song. The challenge is just to maintain the balance of what we originally had for the score and what we had for the show, and at the same time allow this film to have its own character.”

How many new songs are in the film?

Three.

Menken and lyricist Tim Rice (The Lion King) wrote three new ballads for the film. They are: “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” performed by Belle and her father (and sung by Celine Dion over the end credits), “Evermore,” which Beast sings for Belle when he releases her (and is sung by Josh Groban over the end credits), and “Days in the Sun,” which is sung by the objects in the castle and Belle when they are going to sleep.

What was left on the cutting room floor?

A lot — including a clever Frozen reference. Please allow LeFou (Josh Gad) and Gaston (Luke Evans) to explain:

“I mean, Gaston dies. Is that a spoiler?” Gad says with a laugh, when PEOPLE asked him and Evans during a recent sit-down if there are any Easter eggs fans should look out for. “The Easter egg I fought for [director] Bill Condon to put in but we never did, there’s a moment in the original where a bunch of snow falls on LeFou and he becomes a snowman and I thought, this could kill. It’s a little meta but it could be great [For those who may have forgotten, Gad played Olaf, the snowman in Frozen].”

Evans says his favorite scene that didn’t make the movie is one filmed during the castle battle, in which Gad’s LeFou has a fight with a bathroom appliance.

“What I miss, which we shot and is not in the film, is you having a fight with the toilet,” Evans says to Gad.

Adds Gad: “Played by Stephen Merchant (from Hello Ladies and the original Office)!”

“Yeah, it didn’t make the final cut,” Evans says with mock sadness.

Both actors joke that they have no idea what might end up on the DVD/Blu-ray because no one tells them anything.

“Nobody guarantees us anything,” says Gad. “We’re not even guaranteed that we’re going to be in the movie. It’s all based on our interview performances.

Adds Evans: “Which so far have been terrible.”

Interrogation as Torture

Interrogation is probably the scenario that comes to most Western people’s minds when torture is mentioned. The belief that torture can be used during interrogation is heavily ingrained in Western pop culture whether the story believes it ‘works’ or not.

I’m going to go over some of the most common misconceptions about what bringing torture to the interrogation table does and does not do.

Tell the Truth

‘Care must be exercised when making use of rebukes, invectives or torture as it will result in his telling falsehoods and making a fool of you.’ Japanese Kempeitai manual found in Burman 1943

The use of force often has the consequence that the person being interrogated under duress confesses falsely because he is afraid and as a consequence agrees to everything the interrogator wishes.’ Indonesian interrogation manual, East Timor, 1983

Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions concocted as a means of escaping from distress.’ CIA Kubark Counterintelligence Manual 1963

I can’t prove conclusively that in the history of the world torture has never ever once produced accurate information. Overwhelmingly often it does not. There are several reasons why.

Torture produces a lot of lies. Both people with information and people without information have a good reason to lie under torture. And they both do. The person with information does not want to give it up. The person without information needs to say something to make the torture stop.

Humans are bad at telling when someone is lying. When tested even people who think they’re good at spotting lies can’t do it consistently. It can be almost impossible to tell who is hiding something and who genuinely doesn’t know what’s going on. A person under torture might have already told the truth and started lying when the interrogator didn’t believe them. Which is exactly what happened to Shelia Cassidy when she was tortured in Chile in the 70s.

Pain and stress destroy the human memory. Experiments with willing volunteers have repeatedly shown that stress, pain and lack of sleep make it difficult for people to remember. A 2004 paper using US military survival school as the ‘high stress situation’ which simulated capture and interment as a POW (C A Morgan et al, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 27, 265-279) found that between 51-68% of soldiers identified the wrong person as their interrogator. Interrogations had lasted four hours with the interrogator shouting at and manhandling the volunteers. The low stress group identified the wrong person 12-38% of the time.


Torture results in loss of public trust. Most police and intelligence investigations live or die on public support. People coming forward voluntarily with accurate information. People reporting on suspects. In the long term torture actively recruits for the opposing ‘side’. According to the IRA this is exactly what happened in Northern Ireland when the British used torture. It also happened in Aden and to a lesser extent Cyprus.

Torture in short produces more lies than truth and in such a mixture that it can be hard to tell which is which. Because of the pain it causes torture can make it impossible for victims who want to tell the truth to actually do so accurately. And because of the effect it has on communities it often makes it harder to gather accurate information through more reliable sources.

Accuracy in torture is so poor it is ‘in some cases less accurate than flipping a coin’. (No that isn’t exaggeration, that’s a quote from D Rejali who literally wrote the book)

The Ticking Bomb

The famous ‘ticking-bomb’ scenario is a fictional situation (it literally came from a novel, written by a suspected torturer) where a disaster (such as a bomb attack) is known to be approaching and in order to save innocent lives the characters need more intel fast.

So they start debating whether to use torture.

Depending on the story and the characters they sometimes do torture. Usually if they do it gives them information they then use to save lives.

There’s another problem, aside from the total lack of accuracy for information that comes from torture. Torture takes as long or longer than other interrogation techniques.

According to the CIA’s own records detainees were put through several days of sleep deprivation before interrogation. The Senate Torture Report (testimony from Ali Soufan) estimated that their torture techniques took 30 days.

According to British records and accounts from the IRA during the Troubles a single torture session by ‘walling’ (sleep deprivation, white noise and stress positions combined) could last between nine and forty three hours.

I’ve selected the following quotes to give an idea of the time frame for short tortures used in interrogation. Both are from Northern Ireland by Irish men detained by the British. Emphasis is mine.

‘One powerfully built RUC detective would keep me pinned in a position while the other one would hold my elbow then press back on my wrist. And that could last for an hour or possibly two hours. And it’s excruciatingly painful, to the extent that I remember after three or four days I would simply go unconscious-’ Tommy McKearney

When I was taken away from Girdwood to be interned, I thought I had been there for about eight days, but it was only three. I later realised I was only being allowed to sleep for ten minutes at a time.’ Joe Docherty

Interrogation always takes time. And that time is measured in days not minutes.

Sanitised Portrayals

‘NO useful information so far….He did vomit a couple of times during the water board with some beans and rice. It’s been 10 hours since he ate so this is surprising and disturbing.’ Senate Torture Report, from quoted emails SSCI 2014, 41-42

For me this is one of the most noticeable differences between torture in pop culture and torture in reality. Torture in films and books is always sanitised.

I don’t mean that it isn’t gory or isn’t gory ‘enough’. Blood seems to be a cinematic staple and seeing the hero beaten and bloodied in a dingy lit room has become standard in a certain sort of action story.

What I’m talking about are the body fluids and products we’re trained to think are less acceptable. Vomit. Urine. Mucus. Faeces.

I can think of several movies where a ‘good-guy’ gets beaten to a bloody pulp on screen. I can’t think of any where they piss themselves. But losing control of bladder and bowel function seem to be pretty common in real life. A lot of the eyewitness accounts I’ve read about systematic torture mention the smell of urine and shit.

Vomiting is something I don’t see mentioned as often in survivor accounts but I think it’s very likely to occur frequently because a lot of common methods of torture produce nausea.


The ‘Tough’ Interrogator

 

It may be only later, outside of that specific environment, that the torturer may question his or her behaviour, and begin to experience psychological damage resulting from involvement in torture and trauma. In these cases, the resulting psychological symptoms are very similar to those of victims, including anxiety, intrusive traumatic memories and impaired cognitive and social functioning.’ Psychologists Mark Costanzo and Ellen Gerrity.

Those techniques [CIA ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques] are so harsh it’s emotionally distressing to the people who are administering them.’ Dr James Mitchell, psychologist involved in the CIA’s EIT program.

We are where we are- and we’re left popping our Prozac and taking our pills at night.’ Anonymous torturer quoted in Cruel Britannia

There’s a growing body of evidence that torture has a negative psychological effect on the torturer.

The evidence is for the most part anecdotal, based on patterns emerging across interviews. Torturers, funnily enough, don’t show up in droves for psychological studies. But there is a pattern. One of substance abuse, addiction, PTSD and suicide.

The cause of these symptoms in torturers is the same thing that causes trauma in people who witness horrific things. It is well known that seeing violent attacks on others can cause trauma in witnesses.

Humans are empathic creatures.

There is a measurable, automatic response in the brain to seeing others in pain. We can not control it and we can not stop it. Even when we are told that the other person is anaesthetized our brains still respond to their perceived pain.

This, combined with the destruction of normal social interaction and dehumanisation, appears in a very real sense to harm torturers.

If you’re planning to use torture as part of an interrogation scene it’s worth noting that some torturers do believe torture is a useful way to get information, despite the evidence. Some of them cling to the idea that they had to torture, that what they did was useful and saved lives. Some of them seem to overplay the value of torture in order to justify their own actions and jobs.

None of that makes them immune to the effect of torturing another human being.

Disclaimer

[Additional Sources-

‘Torture and Democracy’, Princeton, D Rejali (Only order this if you’ll be at home to pick it up, at over 850 pages it’s a monster)

‘Accuracy of eyewitness memory for person encountered during exposure to highly intense stress’, The International Journal of Law and Psychiatry C A Morgan, G Hazlett, A Doran, S Garrett, G Hoyt, P Thomas, M Baranoksi, S M Southwick, 2004 (This team have actually done a series on high stress situations and the effects on memory. Charles Morgan is the first author on this set of papers.)

‘Audacity to Believe’ Cleveland, S Cassidy

‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation.’ Harvard University Press, S O’Mara (Highly recommended, reasonably accessible for a layman)

‘Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture.’ Portobello Books, I Cobain (Very good history, although the author doesn’t seem to understand many of the techniques he writes about)

‘What are you feeling? Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Assess the Modulation of Sensory and Affective Responses during Empathy for Pain’, PLoS ONE, C Lamm, H C Nusbaum, A N Meltzoff, J Decety 2007 (The experiments in this paper include brain scans of people seeing photos of a needle and a hand in various different positions, some of which would be painful. There wasn’t much change in brain response if the volunteers were told the hand couldn’t feel pain.)]

Advice for New Voice Actors: A Guide from Codot

I’ve been getting quite a few messages asking for advice in the Voice Acting field, so I’ve written a bit of a guide! I hope it’s helpful.

First off, I would have never considered myself to be an expert on something like this, but then I realised I’ve been doing it for about twenty years now, so I guess I have SOME advice I can pass along.


PLOSIVES ARE YOUR ENEMY (AND SIBILANCE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND)!

Nothing pulls a listener out of the world you’re trying to create like those pesky pops in your recordings (Tuhs, Kuhs, and Puhs), or those sharp “Ssssss” noises that slice through the mic. Luckily, they’re fairly easy to prevent. BUT HOW?!? I’M TELLING YOU HOW! SIT DOWN! The best advice? Get yourself a pop filter. They’re relatively cheap and very effective (however, if you are BROKE AF like I was when I started recording, get an embroidery hoop and some dollar-store panty hose and you are SET. No joke – that was my first pop filter. I held it between me and the mic and it WORKED). Now sometimes a filter isn’t enough – if you’re really yelling it out, a filter will not save you. In these cases, you wanna make sure you know where your plosives are, and tilt your head accordingly. You only have to move a few degrees to avoid it – just put your hand in front of your mouth when you rehearse and you can feel where your air is coming from. Just don’t do the whole performance pointed away from the mic – it will hollow your sound out.


FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN! LEND ME YOUR GEAR!

You do NOT need top of the line gear to sound good; your performance is what makes or breaks you. That said, you can’t use a headset microphone and expect studio quality. For the best quality (without breaking the bank), I recommend microphones from the Blue line – Snowballs and Yetis specifically. They’re both designed for podcasting, plug DIRECTLY into your computer, and sound incredible! I still use my Yeti every once in a while – it’s a great piece of tech!

WARNING: These microphones, although amazing, rest on your table. That means you will have to pay attention to a few things – not touching the table while recording, not moving around in your chair while recording, and (most importantly) watching your computer placement! If you’re using a laptop, it will undoubtedly be sitting beside your mic and your mic will HATE IT. You may not hear the fan on your computer, but your microphone will. Vibrations will ruin your recordings, BUT there’s a solution! Well, two actually: You can fold a towel up, place it on the table, stack a few books on top of the towel and sit your mic on top of that, OR you can move your computer to another surface. It really depends on your space set up. Just make sure you have a USB long enough to reach the mic to the computer and you’re set.

Now, there’s the issue of reverb in your chosen room of recording. Almost every room will have an echo in it, and you will pick it up. You can prevent this a few different ways - you can spend hundreds on soundproof foam (took me a while to save up for that, totes worth it), you can record inside a closet (brilliant idea, enclosed, clothes absorb echo), or you can drape a blanket over you and your mic (gets warm fast, but it works!). Whichever way you choose, you will notice a boost in quality - the less ambient noise you have going on behind you, the better. All ambient noise in my recordings is put in AFTER I’ve finished editing my clips. It’s the same for any production - if you rely on your actual background noise for ambience, you will not be able to edit yourself properly as the cuts become too noticeable, ESPECIALLY if you’re recording a dialogue.

A quick note about SOFTWARE: I always use Adobe Audition – I enjoy the look and feel of it, and have never really used anything different. However, it’s not free! If you want a great, FREE program for audio recording, I wholly recommend Audacity! It’s a brilliant, powerful, and free program that will give you great results!


TIME FOR THE MAIN EVENT!

There has always been one thing I love about Voice Acting over Acting – No one has to LOOK AT ME. I’m not insulting myself here, I’m just saying sometimes you have to make some STUPID faces to get a voice you want. Voice Acting is incredibly freeing in this regard – you can be ANYONE or ANYTHING, and that is very exciting!

I can’t make this point enough times – in most cases, you’re doing this solo, so DON’T BE MODEST. It will hold up your performance – if you hold back in any way when voicing, you’re only hurting yourself. Sure you may feel silly doing certain things, but no one listening will think that. Some voices give me fifty chins, some cross my eyes, but if I didn’t do it, every character would sound the same.

Now let’s talk about PACING! My Friend and Mentor (may she fight well in Valhalla) gave me the best advice in this regard; she said, “If it feels like you’re going too slow, go slower.” Too often we feel we’re keeping a proper pace when recording, but the truth is we are rushing it. In an actual conversation, you haven’t rehearsed – you rarely know EXACTLY what you’re going to say to someone else, so your dialogue should be no different. Your character needs time to think, to react. If you ever want a moment of high tension, you CANNOT rush it. You need the pauses and the breaths, or else it just becomes unrealistic.

TAKE. YOUR. TIME.


CLEAN THAT FILTHY, FILTHY AUDIO!

Having clean audio has become a relatively new addition to my work – I used to simply use the Noise Reduction effect on my recording and call it a day, but it doesn’t get rid of the new bane of my existence: MOUTH NOISE.

We do it. Everyone does it. I did it five minutes ago and I’m gonna do it again. We smack our lips, we flick our tongue, we click our teeth, we make stupid noises when we’re not talking, and the MIC WILL HEAR IT. My best advice is, after reducing the noise in your audio (all programs have a basic preset to kill the dead air noises in your recordings – google it to find how to your respective noise reduction), highlight the sections between your audio and reduce the volume to ZERO. Just kill the noise between your speech (the whole sentence, not silencing between every word, that would be crazy) – you can leave the sound of your inhales in if you want, but even they can be taken away for a cleaner sound. Just make sure you don’t chop your words off – especially the ends of your words.

Make sure you clean your audio BEFORE you add ANY form of reverb or echo! Otherwise cleaning is impossible.


FINAL THOUGHTS FROM A MADMAN!

Voice Acting isn’t easy. Nothing infuriates me more than actors talking about how they like Voice Acting because it’s “EASY”. If it’s easy, you’re not trying hard enough. You have to convey thoughts, feelings, and ideas ALL WITH JUST YOUR VOICE. Anyone who says it’s easy is a fool.

Always try your best to create something you feel proud of. You take as many takes as you need, but never compromise your quality for the sake of just getting it done.

If you can’t get a voice down right today? Do it tomorrow.

Above all else: HAVE FUN WITH IT


I hope this has been helpful to you – if you have any questions about specific things/things I may have missed, shoot me a message!

Love,
Codot xx

Sourdough Bread Starter

Since a lot of people were interested in my sourdough bread shenanigans, I thought I would teach you guys how to make your own starter. It’s going to take a few days to get going, and I still need more in the works pictures before the actual post, so I’m giving you this info now.

Why do I need a starter? I have powdered yeast at home.

Because that is the difference that makes sourdough bread unique! The yeast granules you get at the store were developed more military use in WWII, for rations for the soldiers, then sometime in the 1970s is when instant yeast was discovered. These yeasts work very, very quickly in comparison to wild yeast, which is why so many people prefer them now. The downside to this is, the yeast doesn’t get a chance to break down the grains as well, which means you aren’t getting all of the nutrients, and if you’re like me you can have a hard time digesting wheat. If you think you might be gluten intolerant because bread and wheat products are tough on your digestive system, it may be the wheat itself and sourdough might work for you. Just another possibility for you to look into. :)

Wild yeast takes several hours to rise, so making bread is an all day event. That being said, it’s more like, you do something, then leave it alone for 3 hours. Flip it a few times every 30 minutes for 3 hours, then let it sit for 4 more hours. That sort of stuff. This also means no hard kneading, since the gluten has time to develop on its own during the rise. (As a spoonie I cried of joy.) The fermentation from the yeast’s waste is what gives the bread the sour taste, and lets the grain develop all sorts of deep flavors.

Now that you know why, let’s get to how!

You’ll need

-a glass jar,
-some flour (I use unbleached all purpose and whole wheat, there’s others you can use, but all purpose is the least finicky) 
-distilled water (you can use your tap, but if it’s having trouble switch, sometimes there’s minerals in water that mess with the yeast).

Do not use any metal utensils on the yeast until it’s started up. Wood or plastic only. After it’s strong the metal won’t be a problem.

Day 1

In your jar, mix together 4 ounces in weight of both water and flour. This comes out to about ¾ cup all purpose flour, and ½ cup of water. It doesn’t have to be exact. What you are going for is like a thickish pancake batter. If you’re using a whole grain you’ll need to use a closer ration of flour/water since it absorbs more. Depending on the humidity of your kitchen, you could need to adjust as well. My advice is you add a little bit of flour at a time, instead of dumping it all in at once. Cover loosely, enough to keep dust & bugs out but open enough for it to breathe. A flour sack towel is good, or you can use one of those sandwich bags over the top of the jar. Store somewhere with a consistent temp between 60-78 ish Fahrenheit. 70-75 is ideal, but my house is always colder. Don’t let it get put by the oven when it’s on, or you risk the chance of killing it 

Day 2

Pull down your jar. You might already start to see some bubbles, and this is good! That’s the yeast eating. It’s fine if you don’t see any activity yet though. I suppose now is the time is to tell you that not to be concerned about any icky bacteria - the yeast keeps the mix too acidic for anything nasty to grow. You’ll want to vigorously mix in the same amounts of flour and water as you did yesterday, then recover it, and put it back in the spot you found for it.

Day 3

Check you starter, it should have bubbles all along the surface by now, and it should seem bigger than what it was when you put it up yesterday. It’s going to smell sour and musty as well (Mine was almost like a weird fruity smell for awhile!). Add in the same proportions of flour to water as you have before, you’ll probably hear little bubbles popping and smacking while you vigorously stir. Cover it, put it back in it’s place.

Day 4

The starter should be very bubbly, and will have doubled in volume (or, you’ll evidence on the sides of the jar that it grew and then deflated). If you stir it, it’s going to feel loose, and it’ll smell yeasty. Add the same proportions of flour and water as before. Stir until smooth, it’ll look silky. It honestly reminds me so much of the fake slime some people use for stimming? Cover it, put it up until tomorrow.

Day 5

Check the starter - if it’s entirely webbed with bubbles, smells acidy, yeasty, and “fresh”. It’s safe to taste - which it should be sour. If it all looks good, congratulations! Your starter is ripe and ready to make a leaven with. Those instructions will come in a further post. If you see activity, but it doesn’t seem done yet, continue with the maintenance instructions that will follow daily. If there is no activity at all something is wrong and you will need to troubleshoot and start over entirely.

Maintenance Instructions:

At this point the starter is too large too effectively feed anymore, so you’ll need to use or throw away half of the batter. Save half, then feed with the proportions you established when you started it. Do this daily for as long as the starter is on the counter.

If the starter is established, but it’s going to be awhile before you bake, place in the refrigerator and feed weekly. You’ll want to remove it 2-3 days before baking and follow daily maintenance directions.

Note: If at any point your start develops a dark liquid on top, don’t freak out! This is called hooch, and it is alcohol waste leftover from the yeast feeding. It just means your starter is hungry and needs to be fed more often, or you need to reduce the batter more before feeding. Poor off the liquid if there’s a ton, then feed.

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Obviously this makes a lot of starter, and with you only needing about ¼ cup for two loaves of bread, it can seem wasteful. The good thing, is that you can use the starter batter mixed into any pancake or muffin dough, you just won’t need leavener (baking soda/powder). I also plan to write posts with alternative recipe ideas. Last night I prepped cinnamon rolls with extra starter and let them rise overnight. Baked them in the morning and they’re amazzzzzing. I’m going to have plenty for other experiments. Also, if a friend or family member wants a starter, just give them your extra starter in a jar with some feeding directions. :)

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As far as the magick side of it, there’s a whole lot you can do as a kitchen witch during all steps of these processes. As someone who talks to her houseplants I found myself treating the starter like a little pet and being affectionate towards it. My first loaf was picture perfect, and I’d like to think this might have been why. ;)

When we get to the bread, I’ll explain how to enchant the bread with a specific purpose when you make it. As far as the starter is concerned, I would do something generic if anything since you’ll be (theoretically) growing this one specimen your whole life. I focused on strength and health of the starter itself, to make sure that it could make wonderful bread.

thebaehood  asked:

Okay okay BUT- Yura wearing makeup

YES YES YES I feel so much about my beautiful boy in makeup so let’s go

Yuri started messing around with makeup when he was 14. He was following this one guy on Instagram with great style and a gorgeous pair of dark brown eyes for a few months, constantly refreshing the page to see if he put up anything new. 

One morning, still half asleep and lazing around in bed, a new picture popped up on his newsfeed. The guy was in a grey beanie, his dark curly hair falling over his face slightly, and he had the softest aloof smile on his lips. The caption was something about a code promoting some clothes website or whatever, but Yuri was too busy staring. Those fucking eyes. They seemed more striking, more captivating than usual, but Yuri couldn’t quite figure out what it was about them on that particular day.

Yuri didn’t get it until he read the comments; they had almost all been heart-eye emojis and screams about the boy’s eyeliner.

Yuri was mildly confused, scrolling back up to the picture and squinting to take a look. He only now noticed the subtle smudges of black framing the guy’s eyes, and Yuri rested his cheek on his pillow. He looked nice. It was a small change but it made a huge difference. Maybe he could pull it off too.

So that morning Yuri took a bus to the shops and found himself in the makeup section of a store, hoodie thrown over his head, music blasting through the headphones around his neck, and looking mildly embarrassed to be there. It wasn’t because wearing makeup was a stereotypically ‘feminine’ thing to do, but it was more so the fact that he had no idea what the fuck he was meant to be looking for. There were pencils and tubes and pots of shit he didn’t understand. He thought it was going to be quick and easy - run in, buy something cheap, try it on, snap a few selfies. He didn’t expect there to be so many things from so many different brands. What the fuck was powder supposed to do for your eyebrows anyway?

Reluctant to accept help from overly friendly sales assistants, he grabbed a simple black pencil liner and marched his way to the self-service checkout.

Things weren’t any better at home. The stupid little thing had cost him about 1000 rubles and was currently getting black shit all over his hands.

Yuri was sat on his bedroom floor, staring into his full-length mirror with the makeup in his right hand, and his face in his left. He had tried almost everything, but he looked nothing like the guy on Instagram. Each attempt had resulted in Yuri looking something like a panda or someone who had probably been crying for two days straight, and each time Yuri had cursed and rubbed the black off of his face. The soft pencil kept breaking with the force he used, and his eyes were watering from the constant rubbing and removal - and shit this stuff was hard to get off. 

He was just about ready to give up and throw the stupid waste of money away, when he looked up to look at his reflection in the mirror with a scowl on his face. When he caught a glimpse of himself, his features softened immediately.

He looked cool.

The sleeve of his jumper may have been covered in smudges and smears of charcoal black from the constant impatient wiping, but the result was almost worth it. Turning his head and brushing some blonde hair from his face, Yuri sat and admired his work. Sure, it was slightly messy and it didn’t look quite like the picture, but damn. Who knew that two black lines would make such a difference?

His bright green eyes looked intense - dangerous, he liked to think - and absolutely piercing. He didn’t expect to actually like it. He was just curious. But looking at the image in front of him, Yuri was proud to say that that guy on Instagram had nothing on him.

Yuri found himself making his way to the makeup section of stores more often. He was passionate about fashion, and wasn’t makeup just another way to express your sense of style? And so his collection grew.

It started off with different eyeliner at first. Yuri found that the black pencils worked for his more intense and badass looks, but brown was a more subtle alternative that he liked to wear at the rink sometimes. Mila had once complimented him on his look, and despite being embarrassed at his little secret being found out, he took her advice and bought a purple eyeliner. His eyes watered an insane amount and Yuri wondered if Mila was just trying to make him look like an idiot, but the results were nice. The splash of purple in his waterline really made the shades of green in his eyes pop.

The first time he strayed away from pencil eyeliner was at the age of 15 when he found himself drawn to the lipgloss section. Tentative, he started with clear glosses to accentuate the natural pink and plumpness to his lips, but his confidence soon grew. He often wore pale pinks and holographic glosses during his routines, even if the stickiness bothered him a bit.

Yuri’s favourite makeup product had to be highlighter. He had been complimented on his high cheekbones all of his life, but had never done anything with them until the age of 16. What a waste, he had thought.

After watching various makeup tutorials - his new favourite pastime - Yuri decided to amend that. Subtle frosted highlight graced his features both on and off of the ice, and Yuri loved the look of the subtle glitter that caught the light when he turned his head.

Yuri eventually did find out what exactly powder did for brows by the time he was 18, loving to create fierce looks with cat eyes sharper than his skates.

anonymous asked:

Tampon help? I'm new to tampons and periods in general!

A Beginner’s Guide to Periods

General Information

The most important thing to remember is that everybody’s body is different. Don’t be alarmed if your first few periods aren’t what you thought they would be, just go with the flow and give your body what it needs.

Duration: Periods vary greatly in length. Normally they last about a week, but I once met a woman whose period was only 4 days! Mine is 8 days.

Occurrence: Periods are monthly events for most people, and will typically happen during the same timeframe each month. If you have your period on the 14th of this April, odds are that you will have it again around the 14th of May, and so on.

Irregular periods: Some women do not experience a monthly period, or even a bi-monthly period. My period came every two months before I started birth control, which is not ideal. If you have an irregular period you may want to talk to your doctor about regulating it with birth control.

Colors: You will notice a myriad of different colors during your period! Darker blood (almost brown colored) is older uteral lining that was shed several hours previously, while redder blood is freshly shed. You will probably start your period with brown blood, move through your heaviest days with red, and end again on brown. 

Flow: Flow is what we ladies call the rate at which we bleed during our periods. You will need to use different types of pads/tampons to help accommodate the flow changes throughout your period (see tampons/pads/cups).

  • Females typically start and end their periods with very light flow and/or spotting.
  • Every single female I have ever spoken to has told me that her period is heaviest during its second day. I can’t state that this is a scientific fact, but expect that this will be the case for you.
  • Many women experience “false ends” during the last day or two of their periods. You may experience a large amount of time with no bleeding (I actually go an entire day), and may think that your period has ended and that it’s safe to wear nice panties again. WRONG. Your period will return!

Spotting: Spotting is any light vaginal bleeding which occurs at any time other than when a period is due. There are so many reasons why it may happen, most of them hormone related. If you are spotting on a regular basis, call your OBGYN.

Cramps: Cramps are typically experienced in the early stages of your period. You can get them before your period starts (a harbinger of times to come) or even during the first few days of your period. They vary from imperceptible to cripplingly painful. You can’t really do much to temper them, so this is a time for you to focus on yourself being comfortable (see below).

Pregnancy: No you cannot get pregnant while on your period! 

Sex: Yes you can absolutely have sex on your period, and I recommend that you do. Vaginas are at their most stimulated and sensitive during menstruation (not to mention lubed up and ready to go) and period sex is AMAZING. That said, always talk to your significant other about what they’re comfortable with, and remember to use a towel!

Pads/Tampons/Cups

There are so many options when it comes to caring for yourself while on your period! Try out different brands and types of feminine hygiene products to find what works best for you.

Pads

  • Pads are the perfect product for a period beginner, or else someone who is uneasy touching “down there”.
  • They vary in thickness and size, and Always is my favorite brand. You’ll want to use thicker pads for your heavy flow days, lighter pads for your lighter days. The product bag will tell you how many hours each pad is good for, and they’re very accurate representations of when you will need to change your pad.
  • It’s a good idea to buy at least two different thicknesses of pads so that you’ll be able to transition through your period with ease. 
  • You do not need to remove your pad whenever you use the restroom.
  • Pads do not expire, and how many you use depends on what your body needs. If you don’t use an entire pack, save the rest for next month!
  • How to use pads.
  • NEVER BUY SCENTED PADS. 

Tampons

  • Tampons are my go-to feminine hygiene product! I prefer them to pads because pads make me feel like I have two tons of cotton stuffed down my undies. Tampons are virtually undetectable when used properly, I sometimes forget I have them in!
  • You may choose to use a light pad in addition to a tampon. This ensures that the tampon is placed properly and that nothing leaks out. 
  • Like pads, tampons vary in thickness. As they get thicker they get bigger in length. Light tampons are very small, while heavy tampons can be as long and thick as your ring finger. Tampax sells an assortment of tampons that is ideal for transitioning through your flow patterns.
  • I typically go through about half a box of tampons per period.
  • In my experience, store brand tampons are less comfortable than name brand ones like Tampax. Do what works for you!
  • You do not need to remove tampons when using the restroom, but some women opt to. If you choose not to remove your tampon, make sure that the tampon’s string is tucked out of the way when you do your business. I like to hold the string aloft while I pee, to ensure that it doesn’t get wet.
  • How to use tampons. This video is a little silly, but does a good job at thoroughly explaining inserting tampons.
  • NEVER BUY SCENTED TAMPONS.

Cups

  • I have personally never used cups, but I didn’t want to leave them out because they’re becoming increasingly popular.
  • Unlike tampons and pads that have to be discarded after being used, cups can be washed and reused for many years. 
  • This makes them environmentally friendly and 100% cost efficient, because you don’t have to keep going out and buying more every other month. Note that cups will cost significantly more than tampons or pads for this very reason.
  • How to use a cup.

Dealing With Cramps

The rumors are true! Cramps are painful, frustrating, and tiring to deal with. Your ovaries take turns releasing eggs, so you will notice that your cramps will alternate on left and right sides of your body. One side always hurts more than the other!

I highly recommend taking some time off when your cramps first hit. I understand that we all have busy lives and cannot just opt out of obligations. In that case, you absolutely need to tell your female coworkers or fellow students what is going on. 

  • Take aspirin. Cramps don’t all come at once, so make sure to take an aspirin ASAP after experiencing your first wave. You’re not called on to deal with that much pain without light medication.
  • Hot water. This can be in the form of a shower, hot water bottle, even a bath if you can stand it. This helps relax your muscles and therefore relieves the cramps. Btw, women don’t bleed while in water, for whatever weird reason. Take a shower and see what I mean.
  • Chocolate: Get those endorphins flowing! I find that I crave fatty, salty, and sugary foods during my period, and I allow myself to follow those cravings.
  • Tea: Brew yourself a cup of your favorite herbal tea to help relieve some of those cramps. Coffee not so much.
  • Back rub: Ask your significant other (or a good friend) for a back rub to help relieve pain. Have them focus on the lower part of your back, taking special care to massage around your abdominal area.  
  • R&R: Lay on your couch or bed and watch some Netflix. Or else, do something that doesn’t require a lot of cognitive thought. Let your body relax while not doing any physical exertion. 
  • Sleep: If all else fails and you’re feeling miserable, allow yourself a two hour nap. 
  • Birth control: If you have severe/crippling cramps please please please talk to your OBGYN about birth control. Birth control can help reduce the painfulness and length of your menstrual cramps.