the great crime

independent.co.uk
'Two explosions' heard at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester
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what's a fire and how does it - what's the word? - burn

so i have this disney playlist i listen to usually when i’m driving and i was blasting poor unfortunate souls this morning and i was thinking

what if ariel didn’t sign the scroll?

because she’s about to, okay, and she looks at the paper. the parchment made of seaweed, the ones that’s specially treated to survive underwater. and she thinks of her cave of treasures, her books that remain perfectly preserved underwater. “no thank you,” she says slowly, becoming keenly aware of air of this place, of the not-people she’d seen who hadn’t been able to pay the price for sea witch’s bargain. “i – no. thank you. but no.”

ursula tries to convince her otherwise, but ariel runs. she goes back to her cave, destroyed as it was by her father’s anger, and thinks.

she’s the daughter of triton. her books never got wet, though she lives in the ocean. she feels a pull inside her, to the land, to somewhere else, but what if – what if –

what if she doesn’t need the sea witch or her father to perform magic for her? what if she has her own?

ursula had wanted her voice because that’s how she performed her magic. singing in this cave had given it powers and protection, and when she saved her prince from the sea – she sang then too, to keep him safe, to guide him back to life and away from death.

so she has magic. she only needs to figure out how to use it.

so that’s what ariel does now. she’s quiet and keeps to herself, and her father and sisters think that it’s because she’s upset with her father, that she’s busy licking her wounds. she’s moved on from that. she has no trident, and is uninterested with fueling her magic with the souls of the damned like ursula has. so she needs to figure something else out.

she does what she’s not supposed to do, and goes where she’s not supposed to go, slipping past the guards and patrols to the one place in the sea that is forbidden to all of them.

the crevice in the earth where what remains of her grandmother lives.

ariel goes to amphitrite, and the sea goddess is so much bigger than ariel, the size of great whale as she curls at the bottom of the sea floor, too old and too tired to do anything more than sleep. “granddaughter,” the great being croaks, opening an eye as blue and as unfathomable as the sea, “you look like me.”

“they say i look like my mother,” she says, and to herself adds: that’s why father can barely stand to look at me.

“you have more of me in you than your mother,” she says, and she shifts and pulls her mass of red hair over her shoulder. “more of me in you than your father does, even.”

“i have magic,” she says, pulling her bravery to the fore as she swims closer to her grandmother, “i want you to teach me how to use it.” amphitrite pushes herself up, and it’s the first time she’s moved in a millennia, and ariel notices for the first time that her grandmother isn’t a mermaid – she has legs.

she has legs.

“you have power,” amphitrite corrects fiercely, “and i will teach you to wield it.”

and so she does. ariel spends her nights by her grandmother, learning to harness the power of the sea that runs in her veins, and sleeps her days away while her sisters and flounder and sebastian grow more and more concerned, but she refuses to tell them why. she refuses to be stopped.

but her heart still aches. she fell in love with her prince, and she wants him still. so she swims to the edge, goes to the beach where his castle resides in the dead of night when her lessons with her grandmother are complete, and sings

. she’s careful not to let any magic leak through, only her voice. she does not want to enchant him. she wants him to love her as she is. so she sings, her voice clear and powerful and cutting through the air. she hopes he can hear it.

then one day a figure walks to the beach, and it’s him, her prince. “hello?” he calls out, “are you out there? are you – please, it was you that saved me, wasn’t it? won’t you come out and let me see you?”

so she does, waves her tail at him until he catches sight of her and takes hesitant, disbelieving steps closer.

“you’re a mermaid,” he says, eyes wide, “i thought i saw – but it couldn’t be.”

“i am, and it can,” she says, heart beating wildly in her chest. he’s just as handsome as she remembered, and she wants him just as much. “my name is ariel.”

“ariel,” he repeats, and pulls off his boots and goes wading into the water, watching her to see if she flinches away from him. she doesn’t, and his strides grow bolder. “my name is eric.”

“eric,” she whispers, and when he’s close enough he touches her, trailing fingers across the bare skin of her shoulder and tangling them in her hair.

when he kisses her, she feels powerful enough to undo the world.

so there’s that now, spending her nights with her grandmother and her prince, and she knows how to make her own legs now, could walk onto land and be made a queen among the two legged men.

but she’s a princess here first, and before she can do that she needs to take care of something.

ursula.

the rotten sea witch with her rotten sea magic won’t be allowed to torment her people any longer.

she tells her grandmother, and amphitrite smiles and says, “an excellent decision, child. i’ve enjoyed our time together, but i think it’s time for me to sleep once more. i’ve taught you everything i can.”

and tears prick ariel’s eyes, but she holds them back. she knew that it couldn’t be forever, that her grandmother can’t die but no longer desires to live and this is the in-between.

“you’ll be an amazing queen,” amphitrite murmurs, and closes her eyes for a millennia more.

this isn’t something to be done in the dead of night, although it would be easier to do it then.

she will make a spectacle of it, she will remind the sea that her people are not to be trifled with.

once upon a time they feared a blue eyed, red haired sea queen with the power to destroy them all. it’s time for them to do so again.

so she drives ursula to the center of the city. her sisters cower and people hide, and her father comes rushing forward to save her.

“you’ve committed great crimes against my people,” she says, not flinching as lightning gathers in the sea witch’s hands, “so now shall a great crime be committed against you.”

“foolish girl,” the sea witch snarls.

triton is yelling. he won’t get there in time.

he doesn’t have to.

she doesn’t need to sing anymore. instead she lifts her hands and pulls ursula apart without ever touching her, not only renders flesh from bone but also sets free the souls she’s been hoarding, reverses the magic done to those who’d fallen into the sea witch’s trap.

they all stare at her, her people, her father, and her sisters. she looks to triton and says, “i’m not a little girl anymore.”

he opens his mouth, closes it again, then says, “i can see that.”

all at once everyone’s perceptions are turned sideways about their youngest princess. she commands a power that even her father doesn’t have access to, she’s not depressed and dreamy – she’s powerful young woman who knows exactly what she’s doing.

so she does what she wanted to do, she gives herself legs and steps onto the sand and launches herself into eric’s arms. she becomes his bride, and the rumors run rampant of what she is, of where she came from, but they can’t prove anything and so they rule.

they live long, happy lives. ariel is his consort, his advisor, his wife, his tactician, and his best friend. all those years reading drowned books have certainly paid off. she ages herself along with her husband, bears his children and then teaches them they ways of her – their – people.

her husband dies, and she disappears, like the stories of selkie women that everyone whispers around her. their children give their father a sea burial, and vow to see him again one day. what they know and none of their subjects do is this – their father’s body isn’t in that casket.

she returns to her ocean, her legs form into her glittering green tail, and she goes home. she uses her terribly powerful magic, and brings her husband with her. she went from princess ariel of the sea to queen ariel of the land, and now she’s back again.

she’s not quite a teenager, but neither is she the old woman she pretended to be on land. she’s returned her and her husband to the prime of their life, and as she gained legs to be with him, he now gives his up to be with her.

eric becomes a merman, and a prince by virtue of being ariel’s husband.

she returns to her family and her world without missing a beat, and they all welcome her as if she never left, treat her husband with kindness and respect.

because they all know.

it doesn’t matter that she’s the youngest. when, far in the future, triton’s reign ends –

ariel’s reign will begin.

2

Jeff Sessions finally admits crime rates are low, contradicting one of Trump’s major lies

  • United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to law enforcement leaders in St. Louis on Friday and, remarkably, set the record straight on one of President Donald Trump’s most glaring lies.
  • “We should remember some context,” Sessions said. “In the past four decades, our nation has won great victories against crime. Overall, crime rates remain near historic lows. Murder rates are half of what they were in 1980. We have driven the violent crime rate down to almost half of what it was at its peak.” Read more. (3/31/17, 2:02 PM)
Thoughts on WWSRD Ep. 10

Okay…HOLY FRAK.

1. MARY IS ALL OF US. SHE IS SO LOST ON HOW HER CHARACTER GOT TO THIS POINT. BLESS YOU, MARY. 

2. She didn’t see the engagement coming because SHE HASN’T PLAYED THE ROMANTIC SCENES. She wasn’t prepared to be engaged yet because SHE HASN’T GONE THROUGH THE PROPER STEPS TO GET ENGAGED. She doesn’t think Sharon is in a hurry to get married again & if she did it would be for spiritual reasons because SHE WANTS THAT LONG ENGAGEMENT. GIVE HER ALL THE “TRYING ON WEDDING DRESSES, LOOKING AT FLOWERS, LET’S TRY SOME CAKE, GAVIN WILL YOU BE MY MAID OF HONOR” SCENES SHE CAN GET.

3. The writing pisses her off & she feels that Duff writes “easy outs,” especially for Andy, that make it so characters don’t have to “deal with issues” that they greatly should to further that character’s arc. She was annoyed by the boy’s taking over & handling Sharon’s & Andy’s exes. She felt Andy needed to go through the process of annulling his marriage & the boys stole that from him. Because DUFF IS INCAPABLE OF GIVING THIS RELATIONSHIP DRAMA. THAT WOULD REQUIRE COMPLETE SCENES WITHOUT RUSTY. THAT DOESN’T EXIST IN DUFFLAND.

4. Mary doesn’t understand why the boys railroaded this & want it to happen so quickly, as she feels it’s more interesting to explore the fine print rather than the conventional romance - such as what if Sharon said no to marrying Andy? BECAUSE MARY DOESN’T WANT THIS MARRIAGE TO HAPPEN EITHER. NOT THIS SEASON. SHE WANTS TO EXPLORE THIS RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE THEIR HASN’T BEEN ONE YET.

5. She thinks Sharon needs to see Andy in action before she intuitively will feel that it is time. MARY WANTS CONTROVERSY & FIGHTS & SOMETHING REAL TO HAPPEN. DUFF HAS BEEN LIVING IN DUFFLAND FOR TWO YEARS PERTAINING TO THIS RELATIONSHIP. WHAT OTHER SHOW HAS A COUPLE WHO NEVER FIGHTS, KISSES, SLEEPS TOGETHER, SAYS I LOVE YOU, OR HAS ANY PROBLEMS WITH EACH OTHER? NONE.

5. Really listen to Mary’s words - “Winnie Davis could use Sharon’s engagement against her, hurting her chances for the promotion. This could lead to ambivalence about the engagement. If Stroh comes back, it will take center stage & EVERYTHING else will go to the back burner. If all this comes at Sharon at once, Sharon will crack and we will see a different side of her” I’M CALLING IT NOW - EVERYTHING MARY SAID WAS CODE. I PREDICT SHARON WILL TELL ANDY SHE CAN’T MARRY HIM RIGHT NOW, LEADING TO A MARRIAGE AT THE END OF SEASON 6, WHICH IS WHEN IT SHOULD HAPPEN ANYWAYS. DUH.

Special Moments

Mary saying that Bill was heavy and Andy is light. For Laura that heaviness is comforting & Andy’s lightness is fun for Sharon. But she stressed the two relationships are not near each other as Andy doesn’t have to share leadership with Sharon like Bill & Laura had too. She thinks Shandy is a more “lighter love” & Spaceparents was a more “deeper love.” When she said she wonders what happened to Bill after Laura died? Pfffffpppttttt.

Mary talking about Richard Hatch. Just all of it. Mentioning that she will be attending her first convention in May & it will be the first one he won’t be at & how sad that was to realize that. FRAK OFF ABOUT ALL OF THAT.

Mary loves Frank & Gracie…SQQUUUEEE. THAT’S IT’S NAME NOW.

Mary talking about sons wanting to thank their moms at some point & realizing how awesome their moms are & being in awe of their accomplishments? DON’T LIE. YOU WERE THINKING OF MARY & MIKE RIGHT THEN.

have you ever wanted to kick a rich old victorian man right in the teeth?? NOW’S YOUR CHANCE!! for just a like or reblog, you can drag an arrogant asshole through the mud as much as you want. presenting dr. henry jekyll — hedonist, sinner, and two-faced hypocrite. and if you order now, we’ll throw in mr. hyde, free of charge!! victorian era not your thing? no worries: he’s just as much of a prime target for punching in various aus, including the walking dead, hannibal, dragon age, outlast, and general modern verse. so, what are you waiting for? seize the opportunity to skelp a rich hypocritical white guy, like you’ve always dreamed of. 

4

The Great Stink - Victorian Plague

By the mid-1800s, the River Thames had been used as a dumping ground for human excrement for centuries. 

The crisis came to a peak in the ‘Great Stink’ of London in 1858. Such was the overpowering smell from the Thames, that the curtains of the Commons were soaked in chloride of lime. For centuries, the “royal river” of pomp and pageantry, the city’s main thoroughfare, had doubled as a dumping ground for human, animal and industrial waste. As London’s population grew – and it more than doubled between 1800 and 1850, making it by far the largest in the world – the build-up of waste itself became a spectacle no one wanted to see, or smell.

The apparent progress of flushing toilets (marketed to the masses at the Great Exhibition in 1851) only made things worse, overwhelming old cesspools and forcing ever more effluent into the river, which belched it back into the city at each high water. The result was successive waves of waterborne diseases such as dysentery, typhoid and, most feared of all by mid-century, cholera. For this “Victorian plague” there was no known cure. 

London had lacked a unified authority with the money required to address such an extensive problem of sanitation on an effective scale. Now the recently formed Metropolitan Board of Works was empowered to raise £3m and instructed to start work without further delay. The board’s chief engineer, Joseph Bazalgette, who had already spent several exasperating years drawing up plans for an ambitious new sanitation system, only for each one to be swiftly shelved, at last got the go-ahead to begin construction. 

“What was extraordinary about Bazalgette’s scheme was both its simplicity and level of foresight,” writes Paul Dobraszczyk in London’s Sewers. A classic piece of Victorian over-engineering, the infrastructure was planned to accommodate a population growth of 50%, from 3 million to 4.5 million. Within 30 years of its completion, the city’s population had in fact doubled again, reaching 6 million. It is testament to the quality of design and construction that, with improvements and additions, the 19th-century system remains the backbone of London’s sewers in the 21st century.

painting above: The hard work of thousands of labourers overseen by Bazalgette inspired the artist Ford Madox Brown as he painted Work, a large canvas completed in 1865, the same year that the main drainage works were opened at Crossness by the Prince of Wales 

Book cover illustration from Le indagini di Hercule Poirot (2016), an Italian childrens edition of Poirot’s cases
Artist: F. Visintin