the pledge drive


What Aleppo, Syria looked like before the civil war

Before Syria’s ruinous civil war struck Aleppo, the country’s largest city was a busy commercial powerhouse and a proud historic center – its long heritage on display in ancient landmarks still used by modern day traders, travelers or worshippers.

But the war that erupted across Syria in 2011 exploded into Aleppo in the summer of 2012, when rebel fighters took over the east of the city.

The rebels hoped their march into Aleppo marked the beginning of the end for President Bashar al-Assad, while the government in Damascus pledged to swiftly drive them out.

Neither side achieved those goals, and the war in Aleppo dragged on more than four years. As the fighting ground on, Aleppo became the biggest prize of the civil war, even as the city itself crumbled under air strikes from government forces and bombardment by both sides.

Sections of the medieval souq, or market, have been ruined or burnt down, and the 11th century minaret at the Umayyad mosque was destroyed three years ago.

Modern structures have also suffered. The Shahba shopping mall on the outskirts of the city has closed – taken over by various insurgent groups during different phases of the fighting around Aleppo.

The Baron Hotel, whose guest list included Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey; British colonial officer T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia; and King Faisal of Syria and Iraq, found itself abandoned on the front line.

Now the Syrian army, backed by Assad’s Russian and Iranian allies, has recaptured the city. But Aleppo is changed. Much is in ruins, and much has been lost – surviving only in pictures and memories. (Dominic Evans/Reuters)

(Photos: Ihlow/ullstein bild via Getty Images, Eric Laffourge/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images, DEA / C. SAPPA/De Agostini/Getty Images, AFP/GettyImages, DEA / C. SAPPA/De Agostini/Getty Images)

See more images from before the war on Yahoo News.


See slideshows from Aleppo now:

Syria regime troops celebrate Aleppo victory; executions reported >>>
Death toll rises in Aleppo - 50,000 flee in four days >>>
Warplanes pound Aleppo – Dozens dead >>>

Unwilling and unable to face everyone on her own when it comes time to attend Auggie and Ava’s wedding, Riley Matthews hires a solution in Lucas Friar. Loosely based on The Wedding Date.

Part One II Part Two 

Rating: Around a PG 13/14

Notes: Hey everyone, thanks for reading Part One, sending in your comments, liking, reblogging, whatever you did! It really means a lot to me that you enjoyed what I have so far, and I’m looking forward to writing more and sharing with you. 

I’m going to be on vacation from Wednesday through the end of the week, so Part Three may be a little slower in coming. I’ll try to write when/where I can, but I just might not have much of a chance for a few days. 

In this installment, Riley opens up to Lucas a bit, they arrive in Cape Cod, and Lucas meets Auggie.

“So tell me,” Lucas says, pushing his laptop shut and angling towards Riley in the confines of their airline seats, “what sort of lion’s den am I going to be walking into when we get to the Cape?”

Riley closes her magazine and looks at her companion. They’re well into the flight, somewhere over the Midwest and having already spent a fair amount of time chatting and deciding on some more relevant pieces of the story they’re going to tell people they’ve been doing their own thing. She’s been pretending to read while her mind is preoccupied with thoughts of the coming week and he’s been doing something on a laptop that she hasn’t tried to look too closely at, not wanting to be seen as nosy.

For all the ‘getting to know you’ chatting they’ve done so far, the topics have been centered around her; Riley’s not sure if it’s a matter of professionalism or just who Lucas is as a person, but he hasn’t shared much about himself, even something as minor as his favorite color. He insists that if anyone at the wedding asks about him, she can improvise and he’ll go along with it. No matter the reasoning, Riley figures he clearly values his privacy and doesn’t want to violate his trust.

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This is inspired by James reading children’s stories on television and murdering us all with his beautiful voice. It’s also for ikeracity who has a big test today and who is going to do GREAT, DON’T ARGUE WITH ME.

Featuring Dadneto, baby Lorna and the struggles of single fatherhood, and Charles as the host of a late night show about genetics on PBS.


Erik reaches one end of the room and turns, treading a well-worn path back to the opposite wall. He lost track of how many times he’s circled the living room, but it’s enough that PBS has faded out of cartoons and into some kind of pledge drive.

He shifts Lorna to his shoulder to give his aching arms a break, and she wails louder, rubbing her wet cheek against his throat. He sighs. Of course his heart breaks a little every time his daughter cries, but after hours of it he feels a numb kind of despair. It’s times like this, when things seem hopeless and impossible, that he wonders if he’s cut out to be a single father. When he’s sure he should have let Magda’s parents take the baby when they requested custody.

“You’re alright,” he murmurs, rubbing her back. She hiccups and cries louder, her little hands clutching tightly into the collar of his shirt.

His eyes slide shut and, wearily, he turns another circuit around the room.

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Y’all I think we should do an accountability pledge drive

Like, okay, I want to get some writing done. I’ll pledge 100 words for each person who participates*. If you want to do it, pledge a task for each person who participates (write 100 words, clean for 20 minutes, grade 1 paper, whatever you’re trying to churn through).

So like if six people pledge things, I owe 600 words. We each do six people worth of our pledge (two hours of cleaning, grade 6 papers, etc)

*Probably up to a max of 10 for now


I know this couldn’t have happened in Duscae since they’ve been hanging out for I don’t know how many years, but still, a similar thing might have occurred sometime in the past.
EPISODE DUSCAE have turned me on big time, and it has taken my sleep time away. ….Could this be a conspiracy of the Lucis? Last time I checked, the capital of it was called Insomnia.


English errors corrected on 5/4/2015.

I beg to differ with the claim that we should eat burgers without using any utensils. I eat small burgers like McDonald’s hamburger, cheeseburger, or double cheese burger with my hands alone, but there are burgers that require the bigger mouth.
How do you guys eat huge burgers without using a knife and fork?! Do you eat piece by piece? Like, top bread -> pieces of onions -> a slice of cheese -> a slice of tomato -> a slice of pickles -> baked ground meat -> bottom bread?
The same goes for eating hot dogs. I totally support the way how the British prime minister ate it. I, of course, eat a hot dog with my hands if it’s small enough; however, I truly need, at least, a fork to eat a hot dog with a huge amount of chunks.


By the way, you can find SNICKERS bars in Japan, too. But I’ve never seen anyone who eat the bars with chopsticks.

Reference: Seinfeld Season 6 Episode 3 “The Pledge Drive”

INDEX of my arts

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this a million times over already, but the very first time I heard Southern California singer songwriter Meiko was during the Hotel Cafe Tour (the last one ever) back in 2008, and she immediately bewitched me with her easily recognizable, fantastic vocals, as well as her sassy tunes. You could say, I’ve been a Meiko fan for many years now, even contributing to the Pledge Music drive for her prior album a couple years ago. Come October 14, Meiko’s releasing a new one, titled Dear You, and Be Mine is a spunky new track off of it. I’ve always felt that Meiko shines the most in some of her darker tunes, and this one certainly channels more moodiness and sexiness. If the beats were heavier, it would probably be reminding more of her collaboration with The Crystal Method, Falling Hard, still my favorite tune she’s worked on so far.

Made with SoundCloud

Birds No. 48 (sponsored by @evanclayton) Raven w skull.

Part of my 72-HOUR PLEDGE DRIVE TO REVIVE THE 119 EAST CORDOVA STREET ART WALL! For every $10, I’m drawing a bird! Pledge drive ends in 50 minutes. Huge thank you to all the pledgers!

Info on the blog

#streetart #wheatpaste #drawing #chinamarker #newsprint #birds #raven #skull #birdskull #deadbirds


Newly finished fursuit! This sweet foxy guy was the highest tier reward from my Kickstarter pledge drive that ran earlier this year.

He features a dozen different types and lengths of realistic faux furs, professionally painted glass eyes, super sensitive jaw motion (moves when you talk), and a brand new style of feral feetpaws with durable realistic pawpads. Plus a waggable, articulated tail.

Look for this bro at Midwest Furfest this weekend!

anonymous asked:

I would drop 1000 for charity to see a 2 min video of M and S telling us they are happy and in love and knowing it ENDS like that.

Right? I mean, who among us would not? (Well, maybe not $1000, but I think a lot of us would be MORE than willing to pledge SOMETHING.)

If it does indeed turn out that XF is done (assuming we even get the favor of that much closure…we may not), I think honestly that this is a cool idea. I have no idea whether they would actually do it, but I don’t think it would be an unreasonable thing for fans to put together a polite, good-natured, charity-oriented campaign to ask them. Framed something like: 

The X-Files is over, and we’re going to miss it. All things must come to an end, and we’re happy to have had so many wonderful years with Mulder and Scully. 

We’re sad, though, that what turned out to be the last season ended with Mulder and Scully still estranged, and Mulder in dire condition on the bridge. For so many of us, our fondest hope for the revival was that we would see Mulder and Scully together and happy, and that we would be able to leave it knowing that these characters were out there somewhere, side by side and ready for more adventures. Unfortunately, it was not to be. 

We, the X-Files fandom, are wondering if we could combine David’s and Gillian’s admirable histories of charitable work and the fans’ longstanding enthusiasm and love for the show, and ask them to bring Mulder and Scully to us one last time.

We would love to see a SHORT video with David and Gillian, in character as Mulder and Scully, in which we’re able to see that they’re OK, and together, and content. Detailed set design and costuming is not necessary, and we’re not concerned with the resolution of plot details. We would love to see a few last sweet moments of our Mulder and Scully, not in a state of emergency, not in a state of estrangement, exchanging some affectionate words and allowing us to let out our breaths and know that they’re where they belong – with each other. (And yes, seeing them kiss would be the icing on the cake.)

We would organize a pledge drive for this video, with proceeds going to the charitable causes of Gillian and David’s choice. [To be fleshed out, obviously, by someone with a better head for these kinds of details than I have.]

It is the human story, the story of Mulder and Scully, that has always been the center of The X-Files. For many of us who have journeyed so very long with these characters, a satisfying resolution for this story at long last would mean more than we can say. 

Regardless of whether this is something that can happen, we want you to know how grateful we are to you, and to all of the cast and crew over the years, for bringing these characters to life and for the ongoing act of creation that has made them so real and so endeared to us. We will always love Mulder and Scully, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making us believe. 

That’s my stab at it. Maybe less wordy. 

It would be premature right now, but if we do learn that the show is over, something to think about? Maybe. 

(Also, I didn’t include the Vince part because that seemed like another level of ask, but maybe. I guess I’m assuming here that we would just let them improvise.) 

(Or we could try to write a script ourselves, but I feel like that would turn into a de facto fanfic popularity contest, and to be honest with you I’d rather leave out that aspect. We all have our preferences and our favorites as far as fics/authors, and I wouldn’t want the focus of this to become “who gets crowned as eternal canon-blessed fic queen.” We will have lots and lots and lots of time to write our versions of things, and I for one look forward to reading all of them, but my preference would be to keep those worlds separate here.)

Pokemon Go is a lot of fun but please, people, no throwing poke balls and driving. It is extremely dangerous and is just as bad as texting and driving. Please remember to be safe every one. We all have lives to come home to. Looks before you cross streets as well. Pledge to not only be the very best, but be safe trainers as well.
Stay alert, stay alive, don’t throw and drive.