Being able to admit when you’re wrong is such an important life skill. You have to always have some distance between yourself and your beliefs and ideologies, you have to have space for doubt, for learning, for new perspectives. When we get so close to something that we fail to see the things around it, behind it, after it, before it, that’s when ignorance and stubbornness creeps in, that’s when we start bringing pain to ourselves and those around us.
A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.
The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.
The strange planetary system is quite compact, with all of these worlds orbiting their star closer than Mercury orbits the sun, according to a newly published report in Nature.
“If you were on the surface of one of these planets, you would see the other ones as we see the moon, or a bit smaller,” says Michaël Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium. “The view would be very impressive.”
To better understand how to respond to someone who has dissociated, it is helpful to know what dissociation looks like and how to assist someone in that state. The following responses are examples of dissociation:
Staring vacantly into the distance,
Spacing out or being uninvolved with the present,
Being unable to focus, concentrate, and respond to instructions, and/or
Being unable to speak.
After being triggered into a dissociative state, an individual may seem confused or vague and ask questions such as: “Where was I?” “What did I say?” or “What just happened?” Some survivors only discover as adults that they dissociate under stressful circumstances.
To support survivors who have been triggered and ensure that they do not leave when they are feeling disoriented or embarrassed, it is best to:
Orient survivors to the present by reminding them where they are and what was happening when they began to have trouble staying present.
Encourage slow breathing (inhale to the count of four and exhale to the count of six), and if possible, do this sitting up with their feet flat on the floor.
Remind survivors to keep their eyes open and to look around the room.
Encourage survivors to notice physical sensations (e.g., the feeling of their back on the chair and their feet touching the floor, or sensation of air on their face).
As survivors become more oriented and responsive:
Do not touch them.
Offer verbal reassurance in a calm voice.
Avoid asking complicated questions or giving complex instructions. Instead, ask simple questions to try to connect with the person (e.g., “Are you with me?” “Are you following me?” “Can you stay present with me?”)
Allow them the necessary time and space to regain their equilibrium (a quiet room may be helpful).
Normalize the experience. If the survivor has disclosed abuse prior to this incident, let him/her know that some settings may trigger flashbacks or emotional responses, but it is best not to ask for details of past abuse that may have contributed to being triggered. If prior abuse has not been disclosed, frame the normalizing comments in terms of anxiety that many people feel when in stressful situations.
Ask if someone else can help such a friend whom you can call.
The more we can de-mystify the manifestations of abuse and understand the mind and body’s response to trauma, the more we can assist survivors in their recovery.
Gather around my children and you shall hear of the most terrible, most implacable, most improbable friends ever met by our people. They came from the third planet of a tiny system, surrounded by desolate space. Not one sentient species for hundreds of lightyears, and they managed to propel themselves into space.
We watched from afar as they developed slowly. We watched as they warred among themselves, brutal and savage. We watched as they rendered regions of their planet uninhabitable to themselves, a hardy species able to adapt to even the most hostile of environments. We watched as suddenly and without warning they united under four banners, the rest falling by the wayside. We watched as they expanded into what we had begun to use as a buffer zone, to allow these humans to burn themselves out in.
But they did not burn themselves out. Despite their warring among themselves. Harsh people. Humankind is a race of warriors, do not be fooled by the eloquence of their diplomats. In their own words, “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means”. Their greatest artists and philosophers were born from blood and conflict. I had the privilege once to view a painting by one Pablo Picasso, entitled Guernica. It was a savage piece, with not a drop of color. It showed the horrors of war, and the irony of it all was that the painting hung in the office of one of humankind’s generals.
It was sudden, when they burst from the containment zone. When they realized they were not alone. And we, with heavy hearts, prepared to fight them bitterly and to the last. Imagine then, our surprise when humanity embraced us among the stars as long lost brothers. They were overjoyed to discover they were not alone in the darkness. Despite their brutal and warlike culture, despite their glorification of death and violence, their people do not seek out combat. An ancient general of theirs once put it thusly “Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace”.
For centuries humanity worked to better itself. They unified under a single Interstellar Empire, the Empire of Man, the Human Empire, however you called it. They enjoyed art and music. They became leisurely at home, exploratory in the field. Their weapons of war were long gone, beaten into plowshares as they say. Humanity was finally at peace. There was no conflict among them, a few border skirmishes for certain, and they kept a small standing military, but nothing more than that. We considered them domesticated.
At first we were surprised at their transformation, then overjoyed. We welcomed them into the fold of the cosmos, embraced them as they would embrace us. We thought we knew humanity then, that we had seen them at their best and their worst. We were wrong, so very wrong. We did not truly understand humanity until the Texar-Hakara came into the void between the stars.
Seemingly more brutal, more bloodthirsty than even the humans, they swept into our region of space like conquerors. They smashed whatever feeble resistance the Yungling managed to put up, took their planets, enslaved the survivors, and pressed on. The Junti were next, utterly destroyed. The four great races left, ourselves, the Itaxa, the Kukrama, and the Illnaa, banded together to try and stop them. In our arrogance, we did not include the humans in our pact. Too few in number, too weak in frame, too backwards in technology we thought.
The Texar-Hakara hit our borders like the great wave that sweeps life from the beach. We hardened our hearts and prepared for the worst. Seeming without pause they crushed our border defenses. They obliterated the first fleets we sent to them. The Itaxa fell to the Texar-Hakara, enslaved, killed, scattered to the corners of the galaxy. Then the humans sent us an offer, a request really. They asked to fight alongside us.
Bemused, we accepted. What else could we do? Deny them the right to fight with us for their very survival? We thought to assign them as rearguards, to ferry our people to safety after our fleets fell. We thought wrong.
Humanity swept into the stars with a fury unmatched by any other. Their fleets were not the heaviest. Their guns not the most accurate. Their soldiers however. Their sailors. Their warriors were unmatched by any others in the cosmos. I remember the first battle in which the humans fought the Texar-Hakara like it was but a single solar cycle ago. Our forces were on the brink of breaking and fleeing. Our ships were gutted ruins. Our fighters exhausted and out of missiles. Then humanity fell upon the flank of the enemy, and the full force of the Human Empire was unleashed in a single moment of utter fury. Landing craft spat across the distance in an instant, slamming into enemy hulls and disgorging humanity’s greatest weapon, their Marines. In close combat humanity is unstoppable, and so they took the vast distances of space combat out of the equation.
Their ships belched fire and plasma. Lasers crossed the vast distances in the blink of an eye. Half the Texar-Hakaran fleet was obliterated in minutes. The other half turned to face this new enemy, only to be wracked by internal explosions as the Marines did their work. Their greatest ships turned on the rest of the fleet, a handful of humans holding the bridge against waves of enemy attackers to turn the tide of battle.
The Interstellar War came to a screeching turnaround. The advance of the Texar-Hakara halted, like it had hit an immovable wall. In many ways that is what humanity is, an immovable, implacable wall. Then, with the ferocity humanity is alone capable of, they routed the Texar-Hakara. Not from that lone battle. They pushed them out of Itaxa space, liberating the slaves. The space of the Junti and the Yungling was swept clear of invaders. Then the Texar-Hakara committed the gravest of sins in humanity’s eyes. They warped a fleet to Earth, jewel of humanity’s empire. They burned that blue and green world. They destroyed it, and the trillion people it housed.
Humanity is a forgiving race my children. Even their most terrible of wars have resulted in lasting friendships between nations. When they left millions dead and broken on the muddly fields of their world, they rebuilt the aggressors. They raised them from the mud, dusted them off, and welcomed them back into the fold. But there is one thing that humanity cannot, will not, tolerate. It is abhorrent to them my children. To strike at their home, to strike where they raise their young ones. Where they leave their mates and non combatants. To strike there is to raise the ire of the human race, truly.
Humanity raged. Their attempts at obtaining the surrender of the Texar-Hakara halted. The war turned from a righteous war of liberation to a furious and hateful war of retribution. We begged the humans to stop, to leave what few planets the Texar-Hakara had alone. Our pleas went unanswered for months, until a single human ambassador came to us. His face was cold and emotionless. He told us, in no uncertain terms, that the Texar-Hakara had doomed themselves and that any trying to aid them would suffer the same fate. Quietly we watched then, as humanity wiped the Texar-Hakara from the stars. The Texar-Hakara pleaded for mercy. They offered their unconditional surrender. They came to us and begged on bent knee for us to reign in the mad dogs we had unwittingly unleashed into the universe. Humanity had for so long repressed their warrior culture. Tried to become better. Then we had given them back into the fires of war, and humanity had awakened it’s warrior past.
The Texar-Hakara ambassadors were taken from our halls by grim human Marines and thrust out airlocks. Finally there was but one planet left, and we came to the humans, we pointed to our own losses, our own dead friends some of whom had lived for longer than humanity had been among the stars, and we begged the humans not to take the last of the Texar-Hakara’s lives.
I watched, children, I watched as the Texar-Hakara’s world burned. As humanity left but one of their planets alive, a simple backwater colony of no more than ten million. Ten million, out of the trillions. Then the leader of the human military turned to me, and with no emotion in his voice, told me that humanity accepted the unconditional surrender of the Texar-Hakara, and walked off the bridge of my ship.
My children, the lesson here is that a warrior past is never truly gone. Only buried, mayhaps even wiped from living memory. But gone? Never. Humanity showed us that.
Requested: Can I request a Jeff Atkins imagine about morning after with him. And like Jeff would be so cute whispering sweet nothings in his gfs ear while also saying some dirty jokes lolol omg I CANT
The human body contains an innumerable amount of nerve cells. The best we can do is estimate that there are some billion. It is incredible how there are billions of nerve cells working in our bodies and something as simple as the touch of one person can send all of those imperceptible cells into a fervor.
It’s 9:05 on a Sunday morning. The window is slightly cracked, letting the fresh autumn air circulate in. Her chest rises and falls rhythmically with shallow breaths as she pretends to still be sleeping. Small circles are being drawn on her back, clockwise, then counter clockwise. Then it switches to a word, or rather, a name. Jeff.
His fingers drag across her skin gently. First he writes it how you would normally write your name. Then in cursive, in all caps, capitalizing every other letter, looping letters, block letters.
“Are you marking me?” she mumbles tiredly. She can feel him laughing as he wraps his arms around her midsection, pulling her flush against his chest. He kisses the top of her head, nuzzling his face into her hair where traces of his cologne are trapped within the tresses. He’s everywhere. In her hair, on her skin, and where he doesn’t leave a physical presence he takes up residence in the place where her mind wanders.
“In more ways than one,” a smug tone drips off his tongue as he brings his one hand up to grasp her throat loosely, his thumb rubbing one of many dark purple splotches.
“Jeffff,” she whines, scrunching her neck up. Those are gonna be a bitch to cover up, but he loves them. He loves the way they whisper I was here. I will be here for as long as you want me. I love you. I love you.
“I didn’t hear you complaining last night,” he whispers into her ear, letting his lips linger. A shiver works its way down her back involuntarily. It’s almost annoying- how easily he gets to her. Just the sound of his voice is enough to set her skin on fire.
“You’re awful,” she tries to sound stern, but there’s a teasing tone in her voice that gives her away. It’s hard to be annoyed when images of the previous night and all the nights before that flood her mind.
“Yeah?” he questions, an impish inflection shaping his voice, “tell me, which part was less than satisfactory?”
He cups the bottom of her jaw with his palm and pushes upward gently, stretching her neck without causing pain. The bed jostles as his weight shifts to lean over her, his lips ghosting over the thin skin of her neck. It starts with soft pecks that progress to biting and sucking until the unblemished skin becomes a dark shade of red and purple. “Was it this?” he asks against her skin.
His hands grip her bare thighs, wrapping them around his waist. His fingers drag down from the top of her thighs down to the bend of her knees and then back up. Instinctively, her arms lock around his neck, bringing his forehead to rest against hers. “Was it this?” he asks against her lips.
“Oh hush. You’re perfect and you know it,” her voice is breathy as she tries to swallow her own desire. He is perfect, in every sense of the word. He has the kindest heart she has ever known.
“Perfect enough to make you happy?” he says earnestly. He lifts his head to be able to see her face clearly and wholly. Her cheeks have developed a pink tint and her eyes are soft and dreamlike, like she’s looking at the gates of heaven.
“Perfect or imperfect, I am happy,” she grabs his face between her hands delicately, “I’m happy and I love you.”
“Say it again,” he begs as his eyes flutter shut.
“I love you, Jeff Atkins.”
And then he’s kissing her. His lips are familiar but the feeling of them on hers makes her heart race like it’s the first time all over again. His body presses down against hers and she can feel every bump of hard muscle under soft skin. The distance between them is virtually nonexistent. Her heart hangs suspended in the space where she ends and he begins.
“You know,” she says in-between kisses, “this is why the morning after always turns into round two.”
“Sorry babe, I’ll work on keeping my hands to myself,” he laughs, burying his face into her neck.
“That was not a complaint, you keep your hands right where they are,” she returns his laugh whilst running her fingers through his hair.
“Yes ma’am,” he kisses her jaw, “I love you. I adore you with all my heart.”
“That makes me pretty lucky.”
“Luck has nothing to do with it,” he assures, “but speaking of being ‘lucky’, how ‘bout that round two?”
“You’re relentless,” she giggles pleasantly, pulling him closer.
“Tell me you don’t want me and I’ll stop.”
“Well that would make me a liar,” this time she kisses him, initiating an evocative situation. He responds immediately, his hands tangling in the thin lacy fabric covering her bottom half.
To be adored by a person with such a pure heart is to be loved absolutely. Few ever meet a person like that, but when they do it is significant. It marks a before and after in their life, and how lucky they are to have been loved by a person who knows what it means to love without limit. How lucky they are to have something just like this.
Leo Trio : This group is popular in the northern spring. Famous as the Leo Triplet, the three magnificent galaxies gather in one field of view. Crowd pleasers when imaged with even modest telescopes, they can be introduced individually as NGC 3628 on the sky. The field covers over 500 thousand light-years at the trios estimated distance of 30 million light-years. via NASA