thoracic vertebrae

He said we weren’t supposed to have met;
I said no two people ever are.

He said he’s annoying because he sleeps with his whole body wrapped around me;
I said I just can’t sleep without spreading my limbs out in every direction.

He said he didn’t believe in the idea of a soul;
I said that when the universe draws him back out of his body
To return him to the stars,

His mind will flow like mercury from the base of his neck;
But beneath that his soul will rise slowly
From every thoracic vertebra.

He wrote me a love poem eleven days after we first spoke;
I tattooed the word “reckoner” on his arm.

He said in his poem that he wanted to be the ship and the sea and the wind all at once;
I said he was a very good writer.

He said I asked people questions because I really wanted to know the answers;
And I said no one had ever known me this well.

Requested by @keeganwj

Bewear the Ides of March!

Julius Caesar was stabbed by the Roman Senators, not hugged. Yet, if the ancient senators were actually Bewears, hugging Caesar would have been equally effective as a method of assassination. According to the Pokédex, Bewear has a habit of hugging its trainers…to death. So today, let’s figure out how this might happen.

The human spine, also known as the vertebral column, is a vital part of our skeleton and nervous system. It is made up of 33 different bones called vertebrae, separated from each other with intervertebral discs. The first seven (colored in red) are called cervical vertebrae and are located in your neck. The middle twelve bones in your back (in blue) are called the thoracic vertebrae. The lower back (in yellow) consists of the lumbar vertebrae. The last 9 vertebrae (5 in green / 4 in pink) are fused together and form the sacrum and the coccyx, or your tailbone.

It’s not easy to break a spine; the discs between each vertebrae are made of squishy cartilage that is specifically designed to absorb shock and prevent your back from breaking. The segmented nature of the vertebrae allows the back to bend in several directions, also to avoid breaking by being flexible. Not to mention the walls of muscle that surround it. 

For death to occur, the individual vertebrae need to shift dramatically so they damage the nerve that runs through the middle of them. Typically, spinal-injury deaths are related to the phrenic nerve, which connects your brain to your lungs and allows breathing to happen. Several arteries also run through the vertebral column, and if they are pinched or crushed it can result in a stroke.

Of course, how much force needed to break a spine depends on whose spine you are crushing: children have more delicate spines than adults, and so on. However, it also depends on where on the spine you are crushing. The neck (cervical spine), for example, requires a force of 3,000 Newtons (roughly 700 pounds) to fracture. But Bewear doesn’t strangle its victims, it hugs them – so Bewear is attacking the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Various studies find the absolute limit for lumbar vertebrae to be about 1600 Newtons (360 pounds) of force.

This is surprisingly reasonable. Boxers and professional martial artists’ punches have been documented over 4,000 Newtons (900 pounds), and kicks can exceed 9,000 Newtons (2,000 pounds). Squeezing is a little different, since it is pure muscle work instead of a forward thrust, and human grip strength at its strongest is about 150 pounds. So you might not be able to crush a spine with your bare hands, but can Bewear crush a spine with its bear hands?

Probably. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but most animals are stronger than humans in terms of muscle exertion. Some chimpanzees have been shown to be eight times stronger than humans. This is mostly because of the way we use our muscles: humans have developed a lot of control. We can finely tune our muscles, precisely control our finger movements, only using certain muscle fibers at one time. This saves us energy in many ways: you don’t have to use your entire bicep to lift up a pencil, like you might when you’re lifting weights. Other animals don’t have this control: It’s all or nothing for them. Physically, the way their muscles activate prevents them from having the fine control that we have. In other words, Bewear is incapable of giving a small hug. It can only give big, spine crushing squeezes.

Bewear’s hugs must deliver a force of 1600 Newtons (360 pounds) in order to break a trainer’s vertebral column.

The Best of Destiel Fanfiction

For @mylovelyasylum, in no particular order, here are my very favorite Destiel Fanfics, compiled after doing basically nothing but read Destiel fic for two solid years. Enjoy.

Named by RC McLachlan

Jesus Christ is dead. Somehow, that isn’t the worst part of Dean’s week.

This is, in my not so humble opinion, the best canon fic that was ever written in this fandom.

Ad Astra by Nhixxie

One day Cas says, “Stars died for you, Dean Winchester”, against ruffled hair perched atop sun kissed skin and sleepy eyes.

Dean stirs, moving to spread his palms against the contour of Cas’ back, tips of fingers languidly strumming the indentations of his spine. One, two, three, four, he counts, the closest he could get to scientifically studying the anatomy of the human body.

“Is this some physics crap again?” He frowns with eyes closed.

Cas smiles softly. “Far from it.”

Dean’s fingers play at the base of his back, ninth thoracic vertebrae, Cas notes.

“Then tell me all about it.”

If I had to pick a single absolute favorite Destiel fic, this would be it. It is absolute poetry. Everything Nhixxie writes is perfect. 

March Stalkers Mighty by Whit Merule

When Dean was a kid, before he figured out that you didn’t talk to things that didn’t look human, he used to escape during the summers down to this old orchard down by the great Wall, where nobody else went. And there was another boy he’d meet there, a boy with wings who never said a word. 

Absolutely amazing, epic-length story based on Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Theodicy by manic_intent

As before, as now, as it will be again, the first significant Act of Creation by God shall be to forge l'hosif-or, his best-beloved, the Morning’s Star, the one who shall bring the seeds of light into dark places and fan them to flame.

This will fuck you up.

Vena Amoris and Other Old-Fashioned Bullshit by pyrebi

In which angelic marriage bonds are apparently stupidly easy to trigger, Cas wages multidimensional war in Heaven, Dean can’t catch a break like ever, Sam rather enjoys being a dick, love saves the day, and nobody consummates anything.

If you want something short and hilarious, this is it.

The (Mostly Accidental) Courtship of Dean Winchester by tuesday

Angelic marriage rites were never intended to go quite like this.

Hilarious and beautiful, from the s4-6 era of fic writing, which were particularly excellent in my opinion. Grouped with the previous, as they’re similar concepts. 

A Beginner’s Guide to Communing With The Dead by suspiciousflashlight

Dean is pretty sure he’s going completely, certifiably insane. Sure, he hasn’t started wearing all his clothes inside out, and he still showers on a regular basis (anyways, that’s not crazy, just a little eccentric); but there’s no getting around the fact that he just threw away his life, his career, and his reputation by dragging out his mom’s old necromancy book and summoning a Class AForbidden Entity to his attic. A cranky one, too. With horrendous bed-head.

Absolutely fantastic urban fantasy.

An Exercise in ‘Worthless’ by beastofthesky

Wherein Dean makes a hefty living as a tattoo artist who owns the space next to Gabriel’s cafe. Sam attends the local university. When Gabe’s cousin comes to live with him while starting grad school at Sam’s university, Dean thinks for sure that all his negative karma’s coming to bite him in the ass because Cas clearly has a thing for Sam. No one would ever choose him over Sam. That’s just logic.

Punk!Dean is my lifeblood okay.

All The Way by Cadignan

Castiel spends the first two weeks of college in much the same way he spent the previous years: alone with his books. He’s fine with it—he enrolled in college to learn, after all. Then in his first chemistry lab, he has the bad luck of being paired with snide, good-for-nothing Ruby, and the further misfortune of sitting behind Dean Winchester, the world’s most beautiful distraction. Ruby catches Castiel staring at Dean and makes him an offer.

I have reread this so many times. Excellent college au, and it’s really made by Cas’ friendship with Ruby and the other side characters. 

Equinox by Luchia

In which Castiel is the weird time-traveling freak who just might be the love of Dean Winchester’s life.

This is another one I have reread so many times. 

Okay, Cupid by orange_crushed

“The dating thing?” Dean frowns. “Online dating is for weirdos. Robots. Dudes hanging out in their basements.”

“You hang out in your basement.”

“I have an air hockey table down there,” Dean says, icily.

Honestly I have reread this more than any other. And that is saying a lot. The best friends-to-lovers oneshot basically ever.

Gran Fury by orange_crushed

They sit in silence and Castiel passes him the bottle. There’s not much left to say. Sam takes a gulp and it burns going down, like the cheap shit it is. He holds the bottle up against the light. He can see the Fury through it, distorted like a funhouse mirror. She’s a tomb but Sam loves her. Loves everything that’s left.

"To the end of the world,” he says.

“To the end of the world,” says Castiel.

If you ever feel like reading 5k and bawling your eyes out, this fic is for you. It’s a Pacific Rim AU, and it is the saddest and most beautiful oneshot I’ve ever read. Note the tags and warnings. 

Shut Up (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is) by kototyph

Dean’s done some pretty stupid things, but getting drunk-hitched in Vegas to a colleague he barely knows might just take the cake. His surprise husband, Castiel, is a little weird but likable despite that, and Dean figures they’ll go back to Boston, get a quiet annulment, and go their separate ways. Six weeks later, he’s still married to one of the strangest, most genuine and definitely most dangerously lov– likable guys he’s ever known. Dean doesn’t know why or really even how it’s happening, but it’s getting harder and harder to remember that he has divorce papers to file.

The plot is literally strangers wake up married…and just kinda stay married. It is adorable as all hell and I’ve reread it loads of times. 

Rvr Ro11435 by Ferritin4

In which Castiel is a operations analyst, Dean is a grease monkey, and even though it’s set at NASA no one goes to space.

This is possibly my favorite AU characterization of Castiel, and it’s my favorite style of borderline dark humor.

Broadway Musical by Griftings

This is the day that marked the Holy and Blessed Union of Dean Winchester and Jo Harvelle.

The merging of prominent bloodlines is always a grand occurrence, but breeding pedigree hunter families like Winchester and Harvelle is something to be rejoiced. It is also something to be meticulously planned, which thankfully the Host is very good at. 

Cas isn’t a terribly good matchmaker. And this is fucking hilarious.

What Fun It All Would Be by 8sword

Nothing dies in Purgatory, but they are forever finding corpses.

-Dean and Castiel find Emma in Purgatory

Heed the warnings. This is not a happy fic. But it is amazing, and it will destroy you. And this author does what no other writer has ever really done, which is fix the canon bullshit that was the Emma plot. Check out their other stories, which also feature a lot of Emma (and Claire, before Claire was even reintroduced into the show).

ETA: I missed one! For some reason I had it tagged wrong on ao3.

This Thing Called Free Will by tracy_loo_who

Time is fluid, and Castiel can see how it will go because he can bend it on occasion.

‘In the year 2009 Anno Dean, Castiel will have existed for 63 billion, 241 million, 430 thousand, and 400 seconds on Earth without Dean. He will be cold and alone, and he will ache for his Dean.

It will not end.’

This is one of the fics that fucked me up the most. It is absolutely devastating and beautiful. And the author is one of the greatest early Destiel writers.

Ad Astra - latin ; “to the stars” by nhixxie

Rating: Teen

Word Count: 17,390

Summary:  One day Cas says, “Stars died for you, Dean Winchester”, against ruffled hair perched atop sun kissed skin and sleepy eyes.

Dean stirs, moving to spread his palms against the contour of Cas’ back, tips of fingers languidly strumming the indentations of his spine. One, two, three, four, he counts, the closest he could get to scientifically studying the anatomy of the human body.

“Is this some physics crap again?” He frowns with eyes closed.

Cas smiles softly. “Far from it.”

Dean’s fingers play at the base of his back, ninth thoracic vertebrae, Cas notes.

“Then tell me all about it.”

[DISCLAIMER:

I’ve never seen Orphan Black before so I don’t have an opinion about the characters/plot, but it comes across my dash frequently because I follow a bunch of X Company blogs. I have seen the GIF’s of Delphine being shot and many posts about the controversy so I was curious to see if I could figure out what is going on medically. Note: I am just an undergraduate student with a background in Anatomy and Physiology and not a medical professional. I am not associated with the show in anyway either.]

It looks like Delphine was likely shot around the level of the 8th rib/T10 (the 10th thoracic vertebrae) which means the bullet would have missed the heart and likely only hit the inferior lobe (bottom) of the lung as well as the diaphragm. Since its on her right side, it would have gone right through the liver. It isn’t likely that the aorta was hit because the wound is a bit more lateral; I can’t say for sure since we didn’t see the exit wound. BUT it very well could have punctured the the inferior vena cava which brings blood from the lower body to the heart and that’s a big deal, but won’t haemorrhage as fast as a lacerated aorta since it’s a vein not an artery.

Additionally she is likely to have a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) because the air that comes in from the wound would increase the pressure in the pleural space to be greater than the air pressure in her lung.

So there’s *some* hope of survival since it’s not necessarily ~immediately~ fatal, but without efficient and effective medical care it could definitely be fatal.

Again this is all *speculation*, and I could be wrong but this is my opinion based on my knowledge of Anatomy & Physiology. TV shows obviously have a creative licence and may not be medically accurate anyway lol. I wish all the best to the Orphan Black fandom in the upcoming season, it seems like Delphine is a very popular and well liked character!

Heather Davis, “Bone Poem“

Tell me again about the slick bones
of the skull:  occipital, frontal, temporal, parietal,

and the forgiving groove of fontanels grown
stone-hard and stubborn.  Tell me about

cervical and thoracic vertebrae rising
from the lover’s lumbar curve, about clavicles

and sternum, and floating ribs falling south.
Tell me about the humerus, twisting dance of radius

and ulna, how all twenty-eight phalanges
swing open on the hand’s silent hinges.

Tell me about cane-shaped femurs, the fluted
pipe of tibia, and slender, clasping fibula,

tarsals wide and sure, and calcaneum, the calculus
of our unending path.  Tell me about the smooth bowl

of the pelvis with its high and wide iliac crests,
the sacrifice of sacrum, and coccyx, memory of tail.

Tell me again about the bony tools of the ear,
how hammer, stirrup, and anvil return to us

the sounds of our small, miraculous lives.

If I were a crystal gem I’d be chalcopyrite.

My weapon would be a greatsword drawn from my back at the first thoracic vertebra.  I was gonna draw this but I didn’t get far.