the-light-of-a-firefly-forest

reasons to stay alive

1. discovering yourself (you are worth discovering)
2. how silly people get when they’re sleepy
3. sitting in hammocks
4. long hugs
5. going to the zoo
6. carving pumpkins
7. cute baby animals
8. kissing in the rain
9. singing
10. the smell of baking cookies
11. picnics
12. warm blankets when it’s cold
13. you are so loved
14. octobers
15. staying up all night and sleeping in
16. water balloon fights
17. making babies smile
18. movie marathons
19. foreign cities, languages, people & foods
20. those “this never leaves the room” moments
21. rainbows
22. you will be missed
23. drinking hot chocolate/coffee/tea
24. binge-watching a series
25. slow dances
26. you are never alone
27. meeting new people
28. traveling
29. watermelon in the summer
30. sunsets
31. naps
32. road trips
33. finally understanding what something means
34. late night phone calls
35. listening to rainstorms
36. cuddling
37. climbing trees
38. going for walks
39. doing crazy things with your best friends
40. getting married some day
41. kind comments from others
42. tears of joy
43. drawing
44. cartoons
45. laughing really hard
46. making other people happy
47. sleeping in
48. doing things that would make your parents angry if they knew
49. jumping in puddles
50. getting lost
51. flowers
52. you are needed
53. fireflies
54. undiscovered forests
55. art
56. really good books
57. finding love of all kinds
58. jumping really high on a trampoline
59. hugging
60. full moons
61. crunchy leaves
62. see yourself recover
63. concerts
64. stargazing
65. kisses
66. secrets and promises
67. autumn leaves
68. knowing all of the lyrics to a song
69. orgasms
70. the smell after rain
71. getting handwritten letters in the mail
72. halloween
73. clean sheets
74. the first snow of the winter
75. petting puppies
76. city lights
77. late night walks
78. building forts
79. smiling in the middle of a kiss
80. people care about you
81. you are important
82. bonfires
83. thunder storms
84. having kids if you want
85. getting hickies
86. sunrises
87. when a baby holds on to one of your fingers with its whole hand
88. going to comic con
89. kind strangers
90. bowties
91. tree houses
92. music
93. solo dance parties in your room
94. new video games
95. long drives
96. being awake when everyone else is asleep
97. eye sex
98. smiling at strangers
99. onesies
100. you could save someone’s life
101. the sky and it’s pretty colours
102. suspenders
103. walks on the beach
104. sitting on rooftops
105. paint fights
106. there will be a time you’ll see that you’re glad you didn’t do it
107. pillow fights
108. lying on grass and watching clouds
109. you matter
110. watching fireworks
111. graduating
112. snow cones
113. bay windows
114. silence that isn’t awkward
115. messy hair
116. warm showers
117. when you start smiling and can’t stop

3

If you were to walk at night through certain forests around the world, you might notice a mushroom glowing green. There are about 80 species of bioluminescent fungi around the globe. Scientists studying two of those species native to Brazil and Vietnam write in the journal Science Advances that they now know the exact chemical reaction that allows fungi to emit light. Turns out, it’s a lot like fireflies.

The chemical reaction involves an enzyme called luciferase (which, depending on how poetic you want to get, can be interpreted as “devil-maker,” or “maker of the light-bringer” or, most accurately, “enzyme that helps a compound called ‘luciferin’ do stuff”).

The enzyme helps luciferin gain oxygen molecules, which excites it. Once it’s excited, luciferin will release light as it returns to its usual, non-excited state. The green light it releases is called “cold light” because there’s almost no heat involved.

There are a lot of different types of luciferin. The one used by these mushrooms, identified in 2015, is different from the others identified in plants and animals. In the lab, the scientists found that the enzyme used by fungi to produce light can be used to make all sorts of colors, not just green.

Fun fact: It’s thought that reactions like these originally came about to get rid of extra, unattached oxygen molecules – in the same way that blueberries are sold as “antioxidants” to help human bodies get rid of free radicals, aka free-floating oxygen atoms.

- Rae Ellen Bichell

Image source: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil, Science Advances

The Signs as Fairies
  • Aries: a little trickster who likes to mess with humans by moving objects like their keys, sometimes they even mess with other fae, they'll take things sometimes but always leave gifts like stones and flowers in return, they glow like embers
  • Taurus: relishes in beauty, collecting gems and shiny things, surrounding themselves with flowers, lives in solitude and is scared of nothing, often revealing themselves to humans, they shine like gold and have wings like corn-silk
  • Gemini: likes to tease humans and other fae alike, they are social and live in the trees, they especially enjoy technology and may mess with phones or anything particularly shiny, they decorate themselves with feathers and flit about so fast they're hard to see
  • Cancer: quiet, shy and gentle, Cancer fairies take care of animals and do helpful little things for any near humans, they live in small groups near water and you might spot them dancing across rain puddles, their eyes are like opals and their skin glows with the light of the moon
  • Leo: these pretty fairies collect shiny bits and pieces and like to hoard away pretty gems and maybe your jewelry, they are highly social and can't stand to be alone, they are very protective of their loved ones and home, they often reveal themselves to human children, they are like small stars and dance with fireflies
  • Virgo: these fairies will often help humans by cleaning their homes or finishing small projects like sewing, they are healers and take care of the animals of the forest, they make their homes in the trees and take refuge with the birds, they blend into the forest, decorating their skin with the earth and leaves
  • Libra: harmony is important to Libran fae, they live in small groups and build their own societies, they keep the forests and gardens they live in safe and healthy, they often twitter in human's ears, they glimmer like Venus in the night sky, skin like clouds and smiles like the horizon
  • Scorpio: these fairies live alone and are usually found near water, they are very hard to find and will cast spells on humans who dare to come near, they sometimes seek out humans but are very very shy, they have dark eyes that hold all of the world's secrets and their skin is painted in intricate patterns
  • Sagittarius: these little fairies are bold and brave, they often don't live together only because they are so busy exploring and collecting trinkets, Sagittarian fairies are very social and often play with human children, their whole being shines and flickers like a flame
  • Capricorn: Capricorn fae are quiet and reserved, they live in gardens or forests and take care of the plants there, they live in the earth and gather crystals, they also help humans out around the house by cleaning and sneak ingredients into your food to make it better, their skin is constantly stained with earth yet it still glimmers like mica
  • Aquarius: they live to serve other fae, humans, and animals, they live in groups of fairies and like to play games and tease humans but also do little things to assist them, they play with birds and butterflies and decorate themselves with flowers, their skin is marked like a blue jay's wings and they shine like the moon through a layer of clouds
  • Pisces: little Pisces fae are always kind to all beings, they live in or near water, they play with animals of all kinds and help them, they often grant humans bits of preternatural knowledge, their skin is pearlescent and their eyes shine like light on water and their wings are like the night sky
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