The narwhal(Monodon monoceros), is a medium-sized toothed whale that, along with the beluga whale is one of two living species of whale in the Monodontidae family. It lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The most conspicuous characteristic of the male narwhal is a single long tusk, a canine tooth that projects from the left side of the upper jaw, through the lip, and forms a left-handed helix spiral. A tusk grows throughout life, reaching a length of about 5-10 feet in length. It is hollow and weighs around 22 pounds. About one in 500 males has two tusks, occurring when the right canine also grows out through the lip. Only about 15 percent of females grow a tusk, which typically is smaller than a male tusk, with a less noticeable spiral. Collected in 1684, there is only one known case of a female growing a second tusk.
#who meets the grim reaper #like 'no thanks' - this is killing me what the fuck
ok but listen, magnus who becomes immortal through simple refusal to die. Death is not sure what to do about this, but every time he kind of pokes his head around the corner like, really there are rules – ? magnus is just goes, rules are boring and bounces. one day Death throws his hands in the air all i swear the two of you and magnus gets that gleam in his eye, like, two…? and Death is like, oh no.
anyway, my point is, magnus and alec are the two most stubborn souls in the universe who just won’t die, and once they’re inadvertently introduced to one another they’re unstoppable. a couple years down the road, Death gets a wedding invitation in his mailbox.
Summary: Jungkook has a huge crush on you, but is too shy to confess. Luckily for him, his friends make him drink some liquid luck potion that may have been that extra push he needed.
A/N: While I was planning my Slytherin Jimin au instead of doing my dreaded psychology essay lol, this idea came to mind. I couldn’t help but write it out and I hope you like it. This is dedicated to @floriaas b/c we’ve been so soft for bts hogwart AUs and Kookie is her bias <3
Word Count: 4,633
“That is a terrible, horrible, incredibly foolish idea.”
“Let’s do it and see what happens!”
And that’s exactly how Jungkook and Taehyung went against
Professor Slughorn’s back in an attempt to make their own liquid luck potion—also
known as felix felicitis—for their personal use.
Archaeologists discover ruined remains of Henry VIII’s birthplace
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of Greenwich Palace, the birthplace of Henry VIII and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth I.
A team working on a development underneath the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, southeast London, discovered two rooms belonging to the old Tudor palace.
The rooms are believed to have been used as kitchens, a brewhouse or laundry areas.
One of the rooms featured a lead-glazed tiled floor and the other contained what experts believe are “bee boles” - wall cavities which housed beehive baskets or “skeps” during the winter months, when bee colonies hibernate.
The cavities may also have been used to store food and drink to keep it cool, when the hive baskets were kept outside in the summer. Read more.
Me: *blinking too fast* Isn’t that,like a Disney show? Like, for kids? Ha! I… don’t watch that!
*10 minutes later*
Me: *sobbing furiously* IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO END LIKE THAT! IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE FIRST DISNEY SHOW TO HAVE A MAIN CHARACTER CANON LESBIAN RELATIONSHIP! IT WAS GOING TO BE GROUNDBREAKING! WHYyyyyy? My dreams… shattered… *falls to floor*
Okay, so I was reading that headcanon you contributed to the whole 'what do the guards think and do about Jumin and MC's wild sex life', and then I read the cheating MC headcanon right after. So I was thinking (this isn't a request but more like something for you to think about) how would the guards react hearing/seeing their boss and his wife going through problems?
OH THOSE POOR BABIES. THEY’D BE ABSOLUTELY MORTIFIED.
Like children who knew what was happening but had to stay quiet and pretend everything was ok when the parents came out.
They were at it again.
For the last three nights Mr and Mrs Han had been fighting over- God knows what- but it was like living in the dead of winter in that house. Icy and frozen, dead on the inside as well as out.
They never really screamed or shouted but that made it worse as they would ‘talk’ argue as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. The biting comments, the snide remarks, the cold and unyielding glances at each other- if the staff hadn’t seen them get married and live together for the last year they would have sworn they were nothing but enemies.
But, as always, they kept quiet. They watched on blankly at opposite walls or at their shoes or at each other from the corners of their eyes. They would do their job around them in a heavy silence filled with their bitter words and awkward pauses. It was horrible. Where was the softly smiling Mr Han who used to stoke his wife’s hair as she lay in his lap? Where were the adoring gazes Mrs Han used to send her husband whenever there was a lull in their dinner conversation? Where did their love go?
At times they truly felt like conflicted children, some siding with her and others siding with him. Well she should have never said it to begin withI one would say, And he should have never brought it up at all! another would rebut. Over and over in the guardhouse they would talk about their employers as if they themselves were embroiled in their daily drama. Like they had a choice as to who would win the fight.
One night as they sat on the balcony in stony silence, Mr Han had said something so shocking, so hurtful that Mrs Han simply put down her wine glass and sat there dumb, numb and angry. And hurt. The guard stationed in the house could see the woman as she straightened her clothes, her face tilting down towards her lap to hide the emotion splashed all over her face. Min Ho had to physically stop himself from walking forward and cracking his employer over his fat, stupid head- he was completely out of line. He wanted to wrap his strong muscled arms around her and take her to the guard house and make her a cup of tea and tell her that her husband was an idiot and soon he’d see what he was jeopardising by acting like such a fool.
But he didn’t. He stayed still. His mouth shut. His eyes forward.
Mrs Han cleared her throat before standing up and leaving, flashing an embarrassed and apologetic smile to Min Ho.
“I’m sorry you had to hear that.”
He really wanted to punch Mr Han on the back of his head.
“Guardsman Choi, please come here,” the ebony haired dictator ordered, before taking a sip of his favourite wine (though by the sour look on his face it may as well have been piss he were drinking).
“Please… please look after my wife when I’m at work tomorrow. Take her anywhere she wants, let her do whatever she wants… I … if she wants to leave… help her. Don’t stop her… she…” he trailed off as he downed the rest of the alcohol in his glass. “She… I went too far. She deserves better.”
He couldn’t hold back anymore. He’d known Jumin since he was 20 years old, when he was fresh out of training and ready to work for the mighty Han family. More than 10 years of knowing the brat and he had never seen him more distraught or in pain than at that very moment.
“Mr Han, you can fire me if you want- but I’m going to say my piece…” A voice perked up in his ear, his captain, the head of security telling him to shut up and know his place. He took out his ear piece. “Mr Han… you look after your wife. You take her wherever she wants. You let her do whatever she wants… but don’t let her leave. You went too far- so backtrack and find your wife and give her the better she deserves…” he said resolutely, hands balled at his sides. “I… I realise this is all out of line and way above my pay grade but- you’re a good man. She’s a good woman. You’re going through a rough patch and I, I would never forgive myself if I just let you guys destroy yourselves over something so insignificant… we all think so-”
“Oh- so all my paid staff think they have the right to discuss my private, personal life in amongst yourselves? Like you’re all watching some soap opera unfurl before your eyes- is that what we are to you?”
“I… we’re just concerned Sir. If we talk… we just want to find a way to help.”
Mr Han huffed and stood up as he walked over to the phone and pressed the pound button, waiting until the guardsman on duty picked up, his steel grey eyes burning a hole straight though his skull. He was fired. He was doomed. He’d never work again as a Guardsman in the country and would have to try to pick up a job on the docks as s fisherman or something.
“Yes- Jun Seo… Guardsman Choi… he has decided to interfere with matters that have absolutely no bearing to his roles as a guardsman… Promote him.”
Say… what? Who?
Mr Han hung up the phone and patted the older man on the upper arm, a soft but gracious smile upon his lips, “You’re right. I will. Now get back to work Choi.”
Min Ho released a shaky breath as the Heir left the room and entered his bedroom, ready to confront and console his wife.
He wanted to kiss Mr Han. A promotion! To think-
“Hey, dumbass… you got lucky this time- make sure you never do anything like that again-
“Hahaha why is that Boss Jun? You afraid that he’ll butt into another argument and take your job?” a new voice chimed through the ear piece.
“No but just for that jibe you can go guard the outside of Mr and Mrs Han’s doors as they ahaha… make up.”
“No.. please, I take it back, come on- that’s Min Ho’s job-”
“Uh UH! But he’s been promoted!”
“Come on guys! The last time i had to guard the inside of the house I couldn’t sleep for a week! ! All I could hear were them and the head board clanging and the whips.. my god the whips…”
Min Ho shuddered and walked out of the house. He suddenly couldn’t choose which he preferred- loved up Han’s or angry Han’s…
… though in the morning, at the sight of Mrs Han on Mr Han’s lap as he fed her breakfast, smiling and laughing and making a ridiculous mess for the housekeeper to clean up…
A Bit of A Sillier Editorial
(A.K.A I wanna laugh at 40K people trying to fit inside a sedan.)
So, you’re a good, law abiding, non heretical member of the Holy Imperium of Man, and you want to take a drive, but you may have been drinking too much, the question is
WHO DO YOU LET DRIVE?
I’ll be covering a few races, the primarchs, and maybe a god or two
Sanguinius: You fucking let that fabulous angel boy drive you. He won’t even allow you to waste your own gas money, he’ll summon some gorgeous solid gold chariot pulled by giant eagles, and while your flying to your destination he’s nursing your drunkeness back to a state of normalcy. Let him drive you always.
Guilliman: If you let him drive your car, you’re radio will be either set to a military frequency or classics, either way, do not touch that dial. Every traffic law will be obeyed to the T, and anyone caught not doing the same will be pulled over by Guilliman and punished exactly the way they should be according to Imperium laws. It’ll probably be boring, but you’ll live. Plus he might share war stories, so that’s always fun. Wouldn’t be my first choice, but sure, let him drive you.
Horus: Pre heresy Horus will be waiting outside with a car that isn’t yours with dimmed glass so the sun doesn’t bother your eyes you drunk. He’ll allow you to pick the radio station no matter what you like, you can even bring your CDs. The car itself is super nice, and he knows when you want to talk and when you want to sing along to the music. Its a nice, if short trip. Let him drive you but don’t get too attached to him. Post heresy Horus is a pile of dust, and therefore cannot drive.
Mortarion: For the love of all that is holy do not let him drive. If he shows up in his 99% rust pickup truck, do not get in, you will get tetanus. If he gets in your car, there is a good chance it will disintegrate before you reach your destination. However, if it does make it, and you do find yourself enjoying his company, he will actually be a fairly pleasant driver. He doesn’t follow all of the laws, but you will endure. The radio has either a plethora of various death and black metal CDs in it, or he’s using an MP3 player. Either way, if you don’t like your music loud, angry, and fast, you won’t enjoy the music. Conversations will either be fucking depressing as all hell, or some sort of fascinating rambling about chemical reactions and how to improve your endurance. Don’t let him rive you, but if forced, hope for the best.
Lorgar: Lorgar shows up at your house ready to use your own car. Once in he makes sure your comfortable, then puts the radio to some sort of religious station. He’ll talk your ear off about the emperor, and you probably won’t get to say much. The ride itself is pretty relaxing, but nothing to exciting. Yeah sure, let him drive you.
Angron: NO. DO NOT. IF YOU ASK ANGRON TO DRIVE YOU ONE OF THREE THINGS HAPPENS. Either he shows up to your house, breaks your car in half and beats you to death with the two halves, shows up, gets in your car, loses his shit half way through and tears the engine block through the dashboard and beats you to death with it, or he shows up in some giant ass monster truck that is blaring thrash metal at a sound so loud your house’ windows shatter. You will die no matter what. Do not even try to call Angron about getting a ride.
Jaghatai Khan: Do you like breaking every speed limit, running red lights, stop signs, and making it to your destination in two minutes even if its 500 miles away? If yes, Let The Khan drive. If not, do not, under any circumstances, tell him you even THINK you want to go for a drive. If he shows up with his bike, you will literally see the universe move slower than you are, you will probably be vaporized by the wind blowing past you. If you take your car, he has somehow already modified it so that its top speed is 5000 miles per second. You will go around the planet 50 times, listening to thrash and speed metal while screaming that you’re going to crash. Unless you are crazy, never mention ANYTHING to do with driving in his general vicinity.
Magnus: Pre heresy Magnus doesn’t have his own car, but he happily drives yours for you. You CAN listen to your own music, but Magnus reaaally wants to show off this new band he just found that has Psykers using the warp for instruments instead of traditional instruments. Let him play that band. Do it. Don’t you make him feel any worse than he already does. I don’t care if you hate how it sounds you tell him its amazing god damnit. If you guys talk, it will be the most amazing conversation you’ve ever had. You will be able to chat about literally anything, and he can talk about it just as passionately. Let that big red boy drive you forever. Post Heresy Magnus tries to fit in your car, only barely manages, and half way through fucks up your shocks. He offers to fix them at some point and in the meantime teleport the both of you via the warp. Don’t let him drive, you will be eaten by a daemon.
Fulgrim: N O. Fulgrim is going to be high on something no matter what. He will drive you both into a tree and he’ll somehow survive while your dead. There is no good outcome, do not call him for a ride.
Lion El’Jonson: If you manage to get a hold if him, he’ll simply either say yes or no, nothing more. He’ll arrive exactly five minutes later, and will use his own car. The radio has been removed. He says nothing. He takes the quickest route possible and drops you off saying nothing. Let him drive you, it’ll just be overly silent.
Leman Russ: For all that is holy, do NOT. Either you have to ride on a giant fucking wolf, and are in constant fear it will eat you, a fucking tank that will eventually lead you both into battle, or he will get in your car, stink it up to high fucking hell, leave blood and hair everywhere and OH GOD IS THAT FENRISIAN ALE ON HIS BREATH?! If you do somehow manage to survive, the radio station will have viking metal. Because of fucking course it will.
Rogal Dorn: If you call Rogal Dorn for a ride, one of two things will happen. He will show up at your doorstep with an entire military escort, your ride is that giant fucking armored tank.You will make it, but you won’t enjoy it. OR he will show up, silently modify your car into a Fucking APC, and then drive you. If you take your car, no, if he uses his own, go ahead, you’ll be safe no matter what happens along the ride.
Konrad Curze: When you call Konrad for a ride, there will be no sound on the other side of the phone except for breathing. When you hang up and turn around he will be right behind you. He doesn’t have a key. You never gave him a key. You also never gave him your address. He points to your car, he walked there that quick. He never speaks a single word. The radio is utterly silent. If you speak, you die. If anyone even so much as goes a fraction over the speed limit, or breaks any traffic laws, they will be mercilessly pursued, drug out of their cars, and torn apart and strung up on their hood. You will witness at least 5 deaths, need immediate therapy, and will likely have to change addresses, and names. Do not ask for a ride.
Perturabo: Will scream at you the entire time, tell you why his car is much better than both yours AND Dorn’s and will eventually drive to Dorn to rub that in. You will be forgotten, and never arrive at your destination. If the radio plays anything, it will be the edgiest, most emo “crying linkin park lyrics into my pillow” music you have ever heard. Don’t associate with Perturabo to begin with.
Alpharius Omegon: You don’t actually have his phone number. You thought you did, but you don’t. Weird.
Ferrus Manus: If you ask for a ride, you will be told to wait. If you listen, you can hear him working on your car. When he calls back to say he’s ready, you’ll come outside to find your car perfected. It may not be pretty, but this car is the pinnacle of efficiency. The radio is your choice, he doesn’t mind. Go ahead, ask him for a ride, you’ll get a kickass car out of it.
Corvus Corax: When you ask for a ride, he’ll show up, not in a car, not ready to drive your own, but with a jetpack. You’re going flying. If you hate heights, no, if you don’t mind, go ahead, you’ll get where you need to be fast.
Vulkan: You didn’t even call Vulkan, he just knew you’d need a ride. So he showed up in the nicest car he could find, has the temperature set perfectly, the windows are tinted just right, your favorite band is playing at the exact right volume and he drives the path you like the most. You never asked for any of this, he just did it. The one downside is that the engine may spontaneously combust. Vulkan swears he has no idea why that happened. Let him drive you, he will be amazing.
Da Orkz: When you call the ork, he tells you he’ll be there by half past nug. You don’t know what nug is, but okay. When you finally go outside, you’ll find your car completely disassembled and reassembled into a Trukk. When you start driving you’ll think you’re going to die, and in fairness you probably will. The radio is set to either speed, thrash, or heavy metal, most likely the latter. If you survive, he’ll want teef as payment, and will happily punch your face for them. Do not ask for a ride.
Tau: The Tau show up exactly when they say they will, in a hybrid. They take the most practical route, obey every law, and don’t really speak much. It won’t be a fun ride, but it won’t be bad. Let the blue vagina face drive you.
Khorne: Khorne reaches through the phone line, strangles you and then beats you with the phone. Why would you ever think that was a good idea.
Tzeentch: When you call Tzeentch you somehow end up agreeing to drive him. Just as planned. Don’t bother trying to fight it, it will happen no matter what you try.
Slaanesh: Slaanesh doesn’t even answer the phone. They can’t hear it over the orgy currently happening. Either way, they’d be too high to drive, and you’d probably end up having sex in the back seat anyways.
Nurgle: Nurgle gives you a roguh time of when he will be over. Shows up a bit later, but that’s alright, he’s got that lovable grin plastered on his face and he’s wearing that ridiculous Hawaiian shirt. He picks you up in his old as all fuck sedan that barely works. Your drive will be a bit smelly, but that’s alright, Papa is great company either way. It’s a slow drive, but that’s what you wanted anyways. The radio is set to something relaxing. You may contract super cancer, but its a small price to pay to hang out with that swell guy. Let Nurgle drive you around no matter what.
BONUS ABBADON: Abbadon agrees to drive you, in fact he hypes it up as the greatest car ride ever. It will never fail, it will be the single best few minutes of your life. When he shows up he has no arms. He says he has no idea how this could have happened. Why are you even talking to Failbaddon in the first place?
Summary:Nesta has finally gotten the chance to get away from her small hometown of Prythian, and move to the big city of New York. She knows it won’t be easy to adjust to this new, independent life of hers, especially with an overprotective boyfriend constantly stressing her out. Cassian has lived in the city for a little less than a year, along with the rest of his Inner Circle of friends, and life couldn’t be better. When Nesta moves into the apartment next door though, many things change.
Nesta let out a loud grunt as she dropped the last three boxes out of her arms and onto the spotless wood floors of her new apartment. Feyre and Elain walked through the door and both collapsed on the couch set up by the large windows overlooking the city. Both sisters looked exhausted, and Nesta wiped the sweat from her forehead as she collapsed in between them on the soft cushions.
“Well…” Nesta started, looking around at the open space of the room. It was so much bigger than their small house in Prythian, one in which they all had to share a room. “It will take some getting used to, but I like it.”
Elain smiled and turned behind her to look out the window.
“You have an amazing view,” she murmured, lost in thought as she gazed out over the city.
Nesta had to admit, this apartment truly was incredible. The living room—which they were currently in—had an entire wall covered with floor to ceiling windows, giving the perfect view of New York City. Central park was only 5 blocks away, and having the corner apartment meant that she didn’t have to deal with neighbors on both sides of her.
WARNINGS: SMUT, UNPROTECTED SEX (keep it wrapped guys) and Swearing (are you surprised by now through?)
Request from Anon -Can I request a Bucky Barnes imagine? The reader & Natasha having to go undercover? & the reader has to wear something revealing making Bucky overprotective? Smut or dirty talk? ❤️ (Reader & Bucky date)
So I went in with the intention of writing only light smut (just oral) but then somewhere along there it turned into full on Smut, soooooo what can ya do *shrugs* but its my first Bucky Smut yay! Enjoy x
GIF NOT MINE
“Ok what about this one?”
You stepped out of your walk in wardrobe pulling at the dress until it was sitting comfortable on your body. Natasha was sitting on your bed an array of dresses sat around her as she looked up from the magazine she was flicking through. She tilted her head as you walked over barefoot to your full-length mirror.
I'm always weak for Scott and Reyes so you successfully baited me congrats. What about Scott doing something incredibly stupid on Kadara and coming back to the slums with a pissed off and worried Reyes? Cue Scott being super endeared yet annoyed since he's usually the one stressed out over the others stupid ideas.
This was cute. It’s about 1200 words so I’ll put most of it under a read more. Thanks for the prompt!
Reyes hunched forward, his elbows on his knees and his brow creased in concentration. He touched a finger to his earpiece, “I repeat: Aguila 1, do you have eyes on the objective?”
Again, only static answered, punctuated by the stutter of distant gunfire. Reyes willed himself to remain calm but before he could broadcast again, there was crackle of distortion, “Copy, Charlatan. I have eyes on the prize but it’s getting pretty hairy out here. We’re about a click, click and a half east of the base, it’s– it’s an ambush set up but–”
“Aquila, I’m losing you,” Reyes said. More shots. His hands curled into fists as he tried to stuff down the rising swell of panic in his throat. He couldn’t let his scout hear it, “What’s the Pathfinder’s status? Aguila, can you read me?”
“Ryder looks like he’s– and there’s another drop ship arriving, I can see it coming over the–Roekaar, definitely—” the connection was getting worse, Aguila’s voice was barely audible over the static. The Roekaar must have been using jammers, or they were on the other side of the spiny ridge of mountains near the base and the signal was blocked. Either way, Reyes was struggling to get the full picture. What he did know, sounded bad.
He swore under his breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. His mind raced as he tried to pull enough threads together formulate a plan, but there was nothing he could grasp for; he didn’t know exactly where they were, couldn’t pin down Aguila’s transponder location, and didn’t have any patrols in the area east of the rebel base that could immediately assist.
“The turian– down, it looks like– going after her, that dumb son of a bitch is going to–visual confirmation has been lost, I repeat–”
“Stay with him, Aguila. I need eyes on the Pathfinder, don’t let me down,” Reyes urged. His pulse was jumping, his heart hammering at his ribs.
“Negative, Charlatan–too hot, I’m pulling back to point–” the line crackled for a final time, “–see you back in port. Try not to hate me too much.”
1. Get out- When it comes to the best movies of first half of 2017, consider this situation… Fucking Handled! Yo, Jordan Peele made the best movie of 2017 so far and it’s going to take a hell of a movie to knock it off. I had my reservations about this movie because movies that get this kind of hype on Facebook and social media never pan out but this one did! This movies comes correct from the first scene of my beloved Lakeith Stanfield walking through a, “superb,” in a situation that every person of color has feared would happened to them. A lot of praise should also go to the leading man Daniel Kaluuya too, his physical acting is incredible and as he’s required to change demeanors so many times during the movie and he never wavers for one moment. There’s so much to talk about with Get Out. All the white people come correct and are genuinely horrifying. I guess Lena Dunham isn’t the biggest villain on Girls. A true hallmark of an important movie is how it can change or shape your perception of a certain person, group or situation. While it sheds an incredible light on how most minorities and especially african american minorities feel about living in this country the most image altering part of this movie is that Jordan Peele made the fucking TSA cool. There has to be an award for just that alone.
2. It Comes at Night -This film is a “horror” movie that isn’t interested at all of scaring but instead it wants to horrify you. This movie relies on tone and atmosphere than actual jump scares to create the his dark (literally because most of the movie is in the dark) tense canvas for their characters to live in and instead of a big bad monster waiting at the end of the hall the true horrors are the people themselves, well intentioned individuals who because of circumstances are forced become the most desperate version of themselves. Those circumstances are left incredibly vague throughout the movie with only just subtle nods and hints to what’s actually going in the outside world and that allows us to not worry about the world but more so on the character themselves. Nothing is ever really explained in this movie but it relies on the viewers basic understanding of a humans connection to family, a teenagers connection to sexuality to a mothers connection to a son and so on and so forth. If you come to this movie to be scared you will be disappointed. But if you come for a gorgeously shot, tense and dark character study of human survival instincts you will be blown away.
3. Lost City of Z - Lost City of Z is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen in a long time. All the shots in the Amazon are breathtaking. James Grey has so much respect for all the beauty that the world has to offer and lets his camera linger on shots that a lesser director would have just blown through and moved onto the next one to service the plot. The way scenes fade in and out of each other is also masterful and makes me wish for nothing more but to leave my life behind and go exploring the amazon. Lost City of Z is also an incredible piece of period filmmaking. From the opening shots to the courthouse drama you’re submerged into 19th century Britain and that comes with it’s own baggage. Especially when it comes to Sienna Millers character who gets treated like an afterthought half through the movie. But the first half of the movie she’s terrific and her character is given a lot to do and deserves to be respected.
4. Win it All - As a person who enjoys people meeting and interacting with each other I can’t say enough about Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson and their collaborations. Everything about this movie feels so real from the people, the relationships to the stakes. And by stakes I don’t mean just the gambling stakes, I mean the stakes of what it means to have a job, a girlfriend and have your life figured out. Shouts to my man Jakey J for now and forever. It may not have been as good as Drinking Buddies but for what it lacks in substance it makes up for with it’s absolute delightfulness. I never thought in a million years I would be saying a Joe Swanberg movie was, “delightful.”
5. Wonder Woman - I don’t really care for Super Hero movies that much anymore but Wonder Woman blew me away. Yeah the third act has issues and falls for the same old comic book tropes but everything leading up to it is amazing. From watching Princess Diana discovering what ice cream is to her walking across No Mans Land and unleashing hell on those machine guns all the way back to seeing baby Wonder Womans face on the big screen knowing she was going to be the hero of her very own story! It does justice to not just the woman part of it’s title but the wonder as well. It’s a wonderful movie.
6. John Wick: Chapter 2 - Spoiler alert: the dog live in this movie. Which is about the only real criticism that the first John Wick had and now that they fixed that they take this surprisingly successful franchise to new heights. Keanu Reeves is absolutely terrifying in this role especially considering I see about 5 Keanu Reeve’s look a likes walking the treadmill at the gym everyday and they’re all more likely to be doing someone’s taxes than they do gouging peoples fucking eyes out. But to each his own!
7. Logan - When all the fanboy dickriding and Johnny Cash settles you’re left with a really good superhero movie. All the action is terrific and is a very emotional movie.Jackman and Stewart play their f bomb dropping and eye gouging versions of their iconic characters perfectly and this movie is honestly a very nice course correction after visual garbage that was X men Apocalypse.
8. Split - M Knight back? Possibly. This a very good movie with no discernible twist. Unless you count Jame McAvoy getting buff a twist, which I knew he had that in him the whole time (apparently he did too). But this a very good movie for the uneasy and tense thriller genre even though the most uneasiness to this movie comes from the real world horror and not the big bad swoll James McAvoy himself.
9. Kong - This movie is like going into a test and expecting a D and getting a B- and sitting there and realizing you could have had an A if you really tried a bit harder. This movie has so many moments of pure joy and pleasure but the over saturated World War 2 soundtrack and some over the top Unle Sam-ification of Samuel L. Jackson bogs this down from being a truly special movie.
10. Free Fire - Although I would have much rather this movie have more shoot em up scenes than, “hey are you still alive?” scenes I enjoyed the hell out of Free Fire. As much as I’d like to say queen Brie Larson was the best part of this movie and she’s terrific but it has to be Sharlto Copley and his A+ suit.
Do you remember anything from your stay in your mother’s womb? All of us spent about nine months there. That’s quite a long time. I believe that all of us had a chance to smile during that time. But who were we smiling at? When we’re happy, there’s a natural tendency to smile. I have seen people, especially children, smiling during their sleep.
Our time in our mothers’ wombs was a wonderful time. We did not have to worry about food or drink. We were protected from heat and cold. We didn’t have to do homework or housework. Protected in our mothers’ wombs, we felt quite safe. We didn’t have to worry about anything at all. No worry is wonderful. I believe many of us still remember that time spent in our mothers’ wombs. Many people have the impression that they were once in a safe and wonderful paradise and now they have lost that paradise. We think somewhere out there is a beautiful place without worry or fear, and we long to get back there. In the Vietnamese language the word for uterus is “the palace of the child.” Paradise was inside of our mothers.
In the womb, your mother took care of you. She ate and drank for you. She breathed air for you, in and out. And I guess that she dreamed for you as well. I imagine you dreamed your mother’s dreams. And if your mother smiled, I think you smiled too. If your mother dreamed about something difficult, and she cried in her dream, I guess that you probably cried with her. You shared her dreams and her nightmares, because you and your mother weren’t two separate people. You were physically attached to your mother through the umbilical cord. And your mother channeled to you through that umbilical cord food and drink, oxygen, everything, including her love. You mother probably took care of her body differently when you were in it. She may have been more careful while walking. She may have stopped drinking or quit smoking. These are very concrete expressions of love and care. You were there, you had not been born, and yet you were the object of love.
Your mother nourished you before you were born, but if you look deeply you will see that you also nourished your parents. Because of your presence in her body, they may have smiled more and loved life even more. You hadn’t done anything to your parents yet, and yet they were nourished by your presence. And their life changed from the moment of your conception in your mother’s womb. Perhaps your mother talked to you before you were born. And I believe, I am convinced, that you heard her talking with you and you responded. Perhaps it happened that occasionally she forgot you were there. So perhaps you gave her a kick to remind her. Your kick was a bell of mindfulness, and when she felt that she may have said, “Darling, I know you are there and I am very happy.” This is the first mantra.
When you were first born, someone cut your umbilical cord. And quite likely you cried aloud for the first time. Now you had to breathe for yourself. Now, you had to get used to all the light surrounding you. Now, you had to experience hunger for the first time. You were outside of your mother, but still somehow inside her. She embraced you with her love. And you embraced her at the same time. You were still dependent on her. You may have nursed at her breast. She took care of you day and night. And although the cord was no longer whole between you, you were linked to your mother in a very concrete, intimate way.
As an adult, you may fight very hard to convince yourself that you and your mother are two different people. But it’s not really so. You are a continuation of both your parents. When I meditate, I can still see the cord connecting me to my mother. When I look deeply, I see there are umbilical cords linking me to phenomena as well. The sun rises every morning. And thanks to the sun, we have heat and light. Without these things, we can’t survive.
So an umbilical cord links you to the sun. Another umbilical cord links you to the clouds in the sky. If the clouds were not there, there would be no rain and no water to drink. Without clouds, there is no milk, no tea, no coffee, no ice cream, nothing. There is an umbilical cord linking you to the river; there is one linking you to the forest. If you continue meditating like this, you can see that you are linked to everything and everyone in the cosmos. Your life depends on everything else that exists — on other living beings, but also on plants, minerals, air, water, and earth.
Suppose you plant a kernel of corn and seven days later it sprouts and begins to take the form of a corn stalk. When the stalk grows high, you may not recognise it as the kernel you planted. But it wouldn’t be true to say the kernel had died. With Buddha’s eyes, you can still see the corn seed in the corn stalk. The stalk is the continuation of the kernel in the direction of the future, and the kernel is the continuation of the stalk in the direction of the past. They are not the same thing, but they are not completely separate, either. You and your mother are not exactly the same person, but you aren’t two different people either. This is the truth of interdependence. No one can be one’s self alone. We have to inter-be to be.
When we are inside our mothers, there is no tension in our bodies. We are soft and flexible. But once we are out in the world, tension creeps in, sometimes from our first breath. Before we can release the tension in our bodies, though, we have to release the tension in our breath. If our bodies are not peaceful, then our breath is not peaceful. When we generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace our breath, the quality of our in-breath and out-breath will improve. As we breathe in mindfulness, our breathing becomes calmer and more profound. The tension in our breathing dissipates. And when our breathing is relaxed, we can embrace our bodies and we can relax. The exact word that the Buddha used translates as “calm.”
There is a Pali text called the Kayagatasati Sutta, the Sutra on the Contemplation of the Body in the Body. In it, the Buddha proposed an exercise for releasing the tension in each particular part of the body, and in the body as a whole. He used the image of a farmer who went up to the attic and brought down a bag of beans. The farmer opened one end of the bag and he allowed all the beans to flow out. With his good eyesight, he was able to distinguish the particular kind of beans and see which were kidney beans, which were mung beans, and so forth. The Buddha recommended that, like this farmer, we learn to pay attention.
To begin, you can lie in a comfortable position and scan your whole body, and then focus on different parts of the body. Begin with the head, or the hair on the head, and finish with the toes. You can say: “Breathing in, I am aware of my brain. Breathing out, I smile to my brain.” Continue with the rest of your body. Like the farmer with his seeds, scan the body — not with x-rays but with the ray of mindfulness. Even fifteen minutes is enough time to scan your body slowly with the energy of mindfulness.
When the fully conscious mind recognises a part of the body and embraces it with the energy of mindfulness, that part of the body is finally allowed to relax and release its tension. This is why smiling is such a good way to help your body relax. Your first smiles in the womb were completely relaxed smiles. There are hundreds of muscles in your face, and when you get angry or fearful they get very tense. But if you know to breathe in and to be aware of them and to breathe out and smile to them, you can help these muscles release the tension. With one in-breath and out-breath, your face can transform. One smile can bring a miracle.
If, during your scan, you come to a part of your body that is sore or ill, stay focused on that part longer. We tend to hurry past pain. But this hurrying causes more tension instead of healing. If we spend more time with what hurts, using the energy of mindfulness, we can smile at our pain and release some of the tension. If we know how to help release the tension in that part of the body, the healing will take place much more quickly.
You may be in real physical pain. Mindfulness will tell you that it is only a physical pain. The Buddha spoke about the second arrow. He tells the story of a person struck by an arrow who is in a lot of pain. Suppose a second arrow hit the man in exactly at the same spot. The pain would be a hundred times more intense because he was already wounded. Worry, fear, exaggeration, and anger about an injury act as a second arrow, aggravating a part of the body that is already wounded. So if you are struck by one arrow, you can practice mindfulness so that another arrow of fear or worry doesn’t hit you in that same spot.
In the Sutra on the Contemplation of the Body in the Body, the Buddha advises us to become aware of the four natural elements within the body. In the womb, these elements of water, fire, air, and earth are completely balanced. The mother balances the womb for the baby, sending in oxygen and nutrients as the baby rests in water. Once we are born, if we have a balance within the four elements, then we are in good health. But often these elements are out of balance; we can not get warm or we find it difficult to take a full breath. Often, our mindful breath can naturally bring these elements into balance.
The Buddha also recommended that we become aware of our body’s positions and actions. In sitting meditation, the first thing is to be aware that you are in a sitting position. Then you can sit in a way that brings you calm, solidity, and well-being. In each moment we can notice the position of our body, whether we are sitting, walking, standing, or lying down. We can be aware of our actions, whether we are getting up, bending down, or putting on a jacket. Awareness brings us back to ourselves, and when we are fully mindful of our body, and living in the here and now, we are in our true home.
Did you know you had a true home? This question touches everybody. Even if you have the feeling that you don’t belong to any land, to any country, to any geographical spot, to any cultural heritage, or to any particular ethnic group, you have a true home. When you were in your mother’s body, you felt at home. Perhaps you long for a return to that place of peace and safety. But now, inside of your own body, you can come home.
Your true home is in the here and the now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea. It is something you can touch and live in every moment. With mindfulness and concentration, the energies of the Buddha, you can find your true home in the full relaxation of your mind and body in the present moment. No one can take it away from you. Other people can occupy your country, they can even put you in prison, but they cannot take away your true home and your freedom.
When we stop speaking and thinking and enjoy deeply our in- and out-breath, we are enjoying being in our true home and we can touch deeply the wonders of life. This is the path shown to us by the Buddha. When you breathe in, you bring all yourself together, body and mind; you become one. And equipped with that energy of mindfulness and concentration, you may take a step. You have the insight that this is your true home — you are alive, you are fully present, you are touching life as a reality. Your true home is a solid reality that you can touch with your feet, with your hands, and with your mind.
It is fundamental that you touch your true home and realise your true home in the here and the now. All of us have the seed of mindfulness and concentration in us. By taking a mindful breath or making a mindful step, you can bring your mind back to your body. In your daily life, your body and mind often go in two different directions. You are in a state of distraction; mind in one place, body in another. Your body is putting on a coat but your mind is preoccupied, caught in the past or the future. But between your mind and your body there is something: your breath. And as soon as you go home to your breath and you breathe with awareness, your body and mind come together, very quickly. While breathing in, you don’t think of anything; you just focus your attention on your in-breath. You focus, you invest one hundred percent of yourself in your in-breath. You become your in-breath. There is a concentration on your in-breath that will make body and mind come together in just one moment. And suddenly you find yourself fully present, fully alive. There is no more longing to return to the womb, to your perfect paradise. You are already there, already home.