tactical life

Poison Gas

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.

Among the great advancements of the 19th century was the development of the chemical industry. As the Industrial Revolution ticked on, Europeans learned how to produce and commercialize chemicals. Artificial fertilizers, soaps, dyes, petrochemical materials and more became cheap and commonplace as the chemical industry expanded first in Britain, and then in Germany and the United States. Chemistry had made life easier.

Of course, the military also pondered the use of chemicals in weaponry. Some junior soldiers and scientists suggested the utility of poison gas during the Crimean War and the American Civil War, but the trend did not catch on. It was “as bad a mode of warfare as poisoning the wells of the enemy,” announced the British Ordinance Department. The scientist who proposed the notion grumbled. “It is considered a legitimate mode of warfare to fill shells with molten metal which scatters among the enemy, and produced the most frightful modes of death. Why a poisonous vapor which would kill men without suffering is to be considered illegitimate warfare is incomprehensible.” Nevertheless, the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907 banned the use of chemical weapons, one of the councils’ few achievements.

But military thinkers did not give up the idea, especially in the German army. By the spring of 1915 the Germans’ rampage across France had been checked, and a frustrating stalemate had developed. The soldiers turned back to the chemical industry. Germany had the largest chemical production in the world - and if it weaponized it, planners believed, the Entente would not be able to retaliate in kind.

Germans release gas from canister, 1915. This was a dangerous and unreliable method of using gas, and a change of wind could easily hurt the attackers as much as the enemy.

The Germans released poison gas for the first time on April 22, 1915, at Ypres. They released chlorine gas out of canisters, relying on the wind to carry it the Allied positions. The noxious clouds sent several French and Algerian divisions reeling in panic. Two days later the Germans tried it against Canadian soldiers who had plugged the hole in the line. The Canadians choked and gasped, but fought on, stemming the German wave. They had discovered that urinating on a handkerchief and tying it over their mouth and nose created a primitive gas mask. Three days later the British began rushing to the front cotton pads dipped in bicarbonate of soda, which neutralized the gas agent. 

French soldiers wear primitive gas masks.

The Entente loudly attacked the “Hun” for his barbarous use of gas, and then set to work creating their own gas weapons. Chlorine gas, and then phosgene gas, became common weapons. They were horrific weapons. Phosgene had no immediate effects, but within 24 hours soldiers would begin gasping as their lungs filled with fluid. The worst was mustard gas, which the Germans began using in 1917. It rotted the body from the inside and out, blistering skin, blinding, and stripping the mucous membrane off the bronchial tubes. The pain was unendurable.

Aerial photo of a large gas attack on the Western Front.

Using canisters to disperse gas with the wind was common at first, but a very unreliable and potentially dangerous method, so armies began using artillery shells filled with gas. It became normal to fire gas barrages before an attack, because it forced enemy soldiers and artillerymen to don their gas masks, which made fighting or loading guns hard. More sophisticated gas masks were created to protect soldiers, although the filters had to be changed every thirty minutes.

British troops with box respirators. The respirator had to be changed every thirty minutes but it was an effective mode of protection.

The shouts of “Gas! Gas!” and the rattle of gas alarms warned troops to put their gas masks on immediately. The thought of being incapacitated by gas terrified everyone. Yet it did not take long for men in all armies to get used to these drills, and gas actually did not cause a very high amount of casualties during the war, and relatively few deaths. On July 17, for example, the British fired 100,000 gas shells at the German lines at Ypres, but only killed seventy-five of the enemy. Still, gas caused around one million casualties during the war. Gas may have been more terrifying than effective, but the image of men choking and suffocating during World War One had been so horrific that European armies declined to use gas against each other during World War Two.

Types of German gas shells. Used by both sides from 1916, these contained liquid gas which evaporated on impact. This was a much more effective way of releasing gas agents on the enemy.

Idk what Chicago Tinder is really like but I found me a doctor, who is real nice. Went for our first date at a nice sushi bar and he dropped me off near my street. (Don’t want nobody knowing my house) lol. Idk if I should just go straight to the point with him or play Ho tactics with him. One thing I do know for sure is he is getting me something nice for our day trip to Lake Geneva. I think that first gift will be the test to know if hes a trick, a treat or a sponsor. Then and only then, will I know if I should unleash the dragon Ho! Or just drop him like a toilet seat tommy!😂

exactly how much of a dickhead would you have to be to decide that the best way to boost white ethnic pride in the public sphere is to tie it to Nazis, the one group that every non-dickhead agrees were total fuckups.

can there be anything more antithetical to the supposed virtues of western civilization than this ignorant mishmash of the worst traditionalist buffoonery combined with the stupidest excesses of modernity into a giant shit sandwich of tedious fuckery that shoots its own dick off every time as a warning to others?

the punishment for this vile mediocrity should involve being tied to a chair in front of a simulated Samuel L. Jackson screaming “you dense motherfucker!” on loop for 19 hours until you internalise it and rethink your life.

to be a Nazi in 2k17 is to be so far up your own arse that your internal topology begins to resemble a klein bottle.

it is to be a failure in every possible way: morally, intellectually, strategically, tactically, aesthetically, historically.

if life was a video game then you fucked up on the first level, the tutorial that no one ever fucks up on, because no one else is dumb enough to be a Nazi; you’re the speedrun of failures.

the shitheads and the fucksticks of the world can look at your stupid face and say hey at least I’m not a fuckin’ Nazi, like this stupid wanker, and they’ll be right.

The Power Sphere Meditation

We empaths do not have it easy. We see world tragedies, see our friends and relatives getting sick or enduring loss, and sometimes even struggle watching certain movies and programmes.

This is something that we have pretty much self-assigned as destiny. We are doomed to live our lives enduring the pain of a lovelorn vampire in a novel (those feelings were invented somewhere!), suffering through back pain when we see a car wreck, and feeling lonely when our best friend goes through an earth-shattering break-up!


Now this tactic is a spiritual life-hack that I learned through working with angelics (I will eventually post my dark arts approach) and it really does work in a solid 90% of these situations. Now note, your empathy is a very important tool, and is there to draw you towards people and situations you can heal. In this day and age, there are a lot of physical and metaphysical factors making us hypersensitive, and that is what this approach is set to deal with.

The goal is to feel what is important instead of feeling everything, not to go numb.

When you are feeling a tortuous tornado of emotion, try this simple meditation.

Stand up with your legs shoulder width apart.

Hold your arms out in front of you like a mummy, and then have your palms face each other at about 6 inches apart.

Envision your astral body being white light that has been infiltrated by a black or red ‘fluid’. Feel it, embrace it for a moment, feel how it is heavy and forceful on your vibration. Wiggle your fingers and feel it starting to move through your aural field to your arms and into your palms, creating a sphere between.

Keep going until you feel as if the sphere has taken all of the empathic energy, and has grown to the final size, say the following Latin incantation three times:

Archangel Raphael: By your power am I healed. By your power am I strengthened. By your power am I safe. By your power am I righteous.

Envision the beautiful, luminous form of a tall angel floating down in front of you. Hold your arms out further and feel the gentle, buzzy sensation of his hands grasping yours as he takes the orb from you. He may speak to you, he may not, depending on your needs and requests of the moment.

He will take the unnecessary pain from you, and will help you move on with your day without enduring unnecessary suffering.

This is a skill you can use rather often, but keep in mind, as stated before, there are many times as empaths we are SUPPOSED to feel things, to bring peace to transitioning spirits and to understand some greater themes in our lives.

If you feel you are being overwhelmed by empathic energies, this ritual is a quick way to help, and is also a great way to work on your spiritual practice and visualization.

Hope this helps some of you guys!

With love, light, and laughter,

Carmen of Team MM

Dear grad students

As a recently graduated PhD, I completely understand your stress, your worry, your anxiety, your exhaustion, your endless sense of uncertainty, your feeling that even though you do all you can, it’ll never be good enough. Before I graduated, I heard lots of scary things from my mentors- that it would never end, that things get even more stressful after graduation, that in order to be successful you have to work nights and weekends for the rest of your life, that I’d have to pick between research and clinical work. 

 I want you to know those are scare tactics, not reality. 

 Life gets better post-PhD. I sleep better, my skin is clearer, I’m more mindful, my immune system is better, I can focus on TV enough to watch an entire episode of Sherlock, I’m more motivated and able to do fun social things in my free time- and I actually have free time! 

 And it’s still possible to be successful at work. I spent college and grad school learning how to work well. How to work efficiently and effectively. How to prioritize my responsibilities. How to learn new things. How to set my own deadlines. How to work with other people, who may have completely different working styles. How to receive critical feedback. How to live in an uncertain world and be confident in myself anyway. 

Now I use all those skills, and my mentors and colleagues take me seriously. They trust my skills and my work. I don’t have to prove myself constantly anymore. Work is better. It’s easier, and I’m more effective. 

Best of all, getting out of grad school has ended the tunnel vision grad school creates. I can see my whole life now, and prioritize what I want, rather than only seeing grad school stretching into the endless future. My whole identity doesn’t have to be centered around grad school. My goals don’t have to be solely academic. 

Which is amazing because I get to be a complete person, and because it means I have more options for my life. The further I get away from grad school, the more I realize I don’t have to get that tenure track job at some super prestigious university to be happy or successful. I have options. And I can pick what’s important to me- the perfect job, the perfect institution, the perfect financial package, the perfect location. I don’t have to put academic success first in order to be a good scientist or to prove myself. I can pursue the right life for me.  

You can, too. You can make it to the other side. You can pursue happiness and success. Keep going. 

Many Faces, All of them Yours
An identity porn soap opera

This is Steve Rogers’ first secret. He sits at the back of the press conference, watching Mr. Stark field questions from reporters, telling them about the Avengers’ latest mission and how brave the team was. Steve sighs and props his chin up on his fist, thinking how lucky they are to have such a swell guy as Tony Stark looking out for them. He’s kind and he’s generous - he put the team up in his home, and he makes sure they have everything they need. And he’s handsome as well. So handsome. Dreamy, really.

Steve wishes Iron Man were here too, so he could see how well Mr. Stark is doing. He knows that it can’t be easy for Iron Man, working as Mr. Stark’s bodyguard, but Steve privately thinks that Iron Man is a bit harsh on his employer sometimes. But Iron Man had to leave right before the speech - urgent maintenance on the suit, he had said - so now it’s just Steve and the rest of the team, and Tony.

Steve is idly wondering what Tony likes to do in his free time - he probably doesn’t get much free time, in between running a successful company and coming up with incredible new designs and looking after the Avengers and all their gear. But he must eat some time, right? Maybe if Steve found the right way to ask, he might eat dinner with him one day? That sure would be nice.

Jan elbows him in the ribs, harder than strictly necessary. “Ask him out!” she whispers.

Steve goes red. “I… Uhh… I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Jan rolls her eyes. “I can practically see the hearts in your eyes when you look at him. I’ve known Tony a long time, and he’s a good guy. He’s dated both men and women, if that’s what you’re worried about. You should ask him out.”

“He has?” Steve feels a flutter of hope. “I mean. Uhh. I’ll think about it. Thanks, Jan.”

This is Steve Rogers’ second secret. He swings down from the roof, drop kicking one guy immediately. The guy goes down, and his partner whips his head round in panic. The partner is holding a large bag marked SWAG which he clutches protectively to his chest.

“Drop the bag!” Steve orders, and the guy visibly pales. “Those jewels belong in a museum, for everyone to enjoy. Not to be stolen and sold off by some villain!”

The guy looks around the alley, sees no backup and no way out. He drops the bag and holds his hands up. “Okay,” he pants. “Take the jewels. Just please don’t hurt me… NOMAD.”

Steve smiles triumphantly beneath his mask.

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I don’t care if Hillary Clinton is corrupt. I don’t care if she lies, if she cheats, if she eats bowls of newborn chipmunks for breakfast.

She is literally the only thing standing in the way of a fascist dictator becoming President of the United States with a Republican majority congress that guarantees he can do anything he wants and nothing will be able to stop him.

I was and still am a Bernie supporter, and I hate a lot of things about Clinton, but none of that matters anymore. If Trump is elected, people are going to die. Women are going to die when Roe v Wade is overturned and Planned Parenthood is defunded. LGBTQ people are going to die when conversion therapy is further legalized and more bathroom bills are passed. POC are going to die as Trump rounds up Mexican immigrants, gives more power to the police, and fuels the fires of Islamaphobia. Poor people are going to die as Obamacare gets overturned and further cuts are made to welfare programs. And that’s just in this country. That’s not even taking account the all-too-likely outcomes of Trump starting new wars in the Middle East and having control of nuclear bombs that he’s said he ‘would not rule out’ using.

This is no longer even about ‘the lesser of two evils’. This is not ‘scare tactics’. This is literally life and death. Don’t fuck around and tell me you’re voting third-party or not voting at all, because you don’t have that luxury. 

like my main problem isn’t even that cat is rude to kara sometimes? we get it. she’s the bitchy powerful woman, and her methods are supposed to be a dose of “tough love”, but in the end, they help kara. i think it’d be cooler to use cat’s past of “i was treated like shit for being a woman” to maybe uplift kara instead of continue the cycle, but, whatever, why would i expect a show like supergirl to think that deeply? cat cares about kara (i don’t think she’d let kara babysit carter if cat didn’t trust her), albeit she shows it weirdly, and she wants kara to succeed. i’m okay with that.

i’m NOT okay with their relationship being put in a romantic dynamic.

cat’s relationship with kara is not equal. she is kara’s boss. it’s one thing for your boss to be constantly criticizing what you do, acting like they’re more important, and to not be nice to you. work is a professional environment. your boss is your boss. they’re in a higher position than you. it sucks, yeah, but it’s not like your boss is the most important person in your life, so you learn to live with it.

but dating someone is different. you don’t get to ignore their problems because yours are more important. you don’t get to give them “tough love” and hope they know you do it out of compassion, you don’t get to act like every day is a lesson to be learned. you don’t teach them; you work with them. it’s a two way street.

cat using her tactics of “life is hard, i’m not going to be easy on you” when she’s kara’s boss and metaphorical mentor is one thing. doing so to a significant other is manipulative and borderline abusive.

(also, cat literally tried to set up kara with her oldest son… so like. there’s that. and don’t think the age gap doesn’t have to do with how unequal cat and kara’s dynamic is; that’s a very ignorant outlook.)

youtube.com/jadedculture / facebook.com/jadedculture /@Jaded_Culture 

Forever at Odds: Part 2~Forever out of Place

So after some encouragement from @wherethereissmoak and @tdgal1 I’ve chosen to take the weekly Olicity Hiatus Fic-a-thon prompts and, use them to continue this fic. It should be fun challenge so thanks again to @thebookjumper for organizing this weekly event! 

So here’s my entry for this week’s prompt Out of place! 

Read it here or on AO3

Part 2~ Forever out of place

“I can’t believe you sold me like a common whore,” Felicity roared as the doors behind her slammed darkly.

Her mother’s ice cold eyes sneered at her daughter’s chosen defiance. She crossed the room and, reached for the only book Felicity had ever bothered to read more than once from cover to cover. The aged leather binding cracked beneath her mother’s skillful hands. “We have a job to do or have you forgotten the vow you took when you turned eighteen?” her mother warned almost somberly as she threw the book towards the center of the oval shaped room. The red and, black curtains whipped about the walls while the elder witch used the still air of the stale room to create a funnel at the base of the dome shaped ceiling. 

Felicity watched unimpressed while her mother swept her hands wildly until the funnel cloud began to take it’s cylindrical shape. The book remained frozen at the center of the cyclone hovering innocently while a foolish woman used her gifts to throw a tantrum.

“If you think I’m going to be scared into agreeing you’ve forgotten I’m next in line,” Felicity snarled as her own fingers flew towards the raging storm.

Her mother’s eyes darkened, “Yes next…” she growled before she forced the invented storm to rage outwards towards her daughter’s waiting form.

Felicity blocked the deadly lightning strike with a flick of her beautiful blue eyes. Donna’s lips fell in shock when Felicity then raised her outstretched palms and cried darkly towards the turbulence above their hands, “ENOUGH!” The roaring thunder and drizzling rain vanished. The dark hardwood boards of the ceiling returned to view as the elder blonde stood before her daughter flummoxed.

“How?” she mouthed a bit proudly.

Felicity tilted her head towards her outstretched hand, the hovering book flew towards her waiting fingers. Her satisfied smile grew when she innocently replied, “Some books I didn’t need to read more than once…”

Donna’s frozen eyes began beaming with un-caged pride. “You do understand what we have to gain don’t you? You’ll be apart of history if I succeed.”

Felicity shrugged while she calmly flipped through the aged pages of a book that had been around since the first union between a vampire and, a witch was ever used as a tactic to protect human life. “You and I are the last of the original bloodline mother. We’re the only ones who remember the original pact that the Queen’s made when they first ventured towards our sleepy little hamlet. I’m also the only one that knows you’ve secretly been killing off the other clans for hundreds of years.”

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