tropic center

Found at Sea

Originally posted by zarb

@Ibelieveincurses asked:

“Okay, I feel like I have read each of your fics a hundred times and I had this idea swirling around for some time and you seem to be the perfect person to write it (only if you want of course!). What about an Antiope x reader fanfic in which the reader is someone from our time, who had a surfing accident and kind of was washed ashore in Themyscira? Antiope finds her and so on… thank you for even considering!”

((Thank you all for the kind words, they truly do fuel any endeavors published here.))      

Today was meant to be a good day.  Visiting several locations in the Peloponnese, your surfing excursion was relatively mild until this point.  It was a spur of the moment trip, at the behest of a close friend.  In truth, you had hoped to escape the existential dread swirling around your recent birthday. But it seemed that no matter where you went it resurfaced.

You rarely surfed alone, especially during a dark and cloudy morning as this had been.  Yet your mind needed physical distraction and misplaced confidence in your experience with the sport dispelled any trepidation.  However, a riptide pulled you out to sea, dragging your frame precariously on the ocean floor against multiple ragged rocks, tearing a sizable gash in your leg.  Struggling helplessly the water swirled around, pulling you under.   Inevitably, darkness pricks the edges of your vision and the vibrant blue swallows you up.

.

.

.

.


A high noon sun shines brightly, coaxing you back from the brink of oblivion.  The familiar sensation of sand prickled your exposed flesh. Slowly, you sit up prompting a ring of agony to thunder from the base of your spine to the top of your skull.  The dizzying sensation dulls as you notice the blue sky.  Peering around it became clear that you certainly weren’t on the same beach anymore.  

Hell, you weren’t positive this was even the same island.

So here you are.  

Miles from anywhere discernible.

Without hope of rescue.  

“Could things get any better?”

Despite the alarm ringing in your head panic refused to set in as the amount of blood you undoubtedly lost prevented any frantic rushes of adrenaline.   A massive throbbing in your brain beats behind your eyes forcing you to lay down.  

 The sun is soon eclipsed by a figure, briefly blinded by the sun’s rays you shield your sight.  As they kneel closer they adjust and drink in the sight of an armored woman.  Her gaze was cautious, but not without tenderness.  Strong features framed by a tiara, accentuating the curve of her jaw and shape of her lips.

Even with consciousness threatening to slip she was obviously formidability and beauty personified.  

“Okay, maybe things have gotten a bit better…”

“What?”

“N-nothing,” Instantly you try to sit up only to have your breath hitch.  A ripple of pain slithers through your body like a bolt of lightning, terminating the halfhearted attempt.  In an instant, the woman is at your side, steadying your battered frame with capable hands.

“Stop.  You are in no danger.”  

“What?  Who are you?”

“Never mind that now. Here,” gently she reached around your waist and gathered you in her arms, effortlessly lifting you to your feet. The distinct aroma of warm leather and eucalyptus fills your lungs.  Turning your eyes to her neck the culprit found you sigh despondently.

So, she’s strong and smells amazing that hardly seems fair.

Properly on your own two legs the woman lets you go.  “It appears your wounds are minor, but numerous…can you walk?”  Nodding slightly, she turns while signaling you to follow.   Shaking off the remaining delirium you step in time with her own gait.  Even within the liminal space between sleep and dream playing with your senses, the armor-clad woman before you radiated warmth.  Upon closer inspection, a scar carved into her shoulder stands out. Without much thought, you lean out and gingerly touch it.  Taking note of your hand she pauses.

“I’m sorry it feels…awkward not saying thank you.  For helping me, that is.”

With a slight nod in your direction she echoes your faint smile and continues on her march.

.

.

.

.

A blur of unfamiliar sights, sounds and one dip in a bio-luminescent pond later bled into days, weeks, and  eventually months until a year passes with barely your acknowledgement.  Themyscira ticks off just about every box in the quality utopia checklist: Cascading waterfalls. A lush, tropical landscape.  But what centered you was Antiope.  Her scar ever visible when you slept at night or remembered the world now left to time.  Adjusting to life here was a challenge, but felt less so with her near.

To say it had all been a lot to absorb would tarnish the experience.  But it all paled when compared to her.  The dread that bloomed in your heart swiftly mutated, and soon any sharp point was replaced with her steadfast manner and commanding bearing.  Antiope was your guide in this new place, and while it felt one sided it was all you could do but foster tender feelings towards her.  

The anniversary of your arrival came, and it only felt befitting to re-visit the ocean that brought you here, the life now seemingly gone left a bitter taste. The faint crunch of sand tread underneath boot draws near.   Turning slightly Antiope comes into view.  

“Evening.”

Nodding she exhales and turns to face the sea while mouthing the words, “Beautiful.”

The splattering of blue and gold held suddenly little interest.  Eyes still transfixed on her form, bathed in the dying light the scene was as if painted and framed on some museum’s wall. At times looking at her gave the impression of seeing a masterpiece with glass blocking any interaction.  It would not come as a surprise if you were standing in the middle of crowd, writing to be stirred from the revere of this place.  

Of this moment.  

Of her.

 Antiope catches your faraway look.  A flutter jumps in your stomach as you forcefully pull your gaze away.

“Does something trouble you?”

“Just my old life…I don’t miss it, but feel as if I should.”

“It’s not impossible to take you back.  But, doing so would be quite sorrowful.”

“…Why?”

“When I stumbled upon you at this beach…your spirit seemed to be lost.  Which was a pity.  Once I met your gaze there was a passion there, refusing to die.  I think the day you came was after reckless behavior.”

Several moments pass before Antiope looks at you.  To her shock silent tears were streaming down your cheeks, tainting the grin playing at your lips.  Concerned she cups your face with each hand, allowing her thumbs to wipe away the pain bubbling forth.

“Apologies, I did not mean to-”

No, no.”  Sniffling you grab her wrists and inhale an unsteady breath.  “You are right.”

Attempting to look down Antiope’s grasp wouldn’t let you.  Opening your, eyes her expression is worried, bothered by the trepidation you were in. But you smile and continue.

“You are right about me. I was so numb and…tired of pretending. I wanted a reason to…to keep going. That accident—you helped me.  I don’t know how to begin thanking you for it.”

“My dear,” her breath is perceptible on your skin, the salt soaked tears enhancing the sensation.  Heart pounding in your chest you close the gap, pressing your lips to hers in one desperate moment.  Any worry dissolves in her embrace, as she tentatively returns the action, pulling you impossibly close to her frame.  You did not want to hear it.  How your own strength, passion, ebbed the sea of grief that once circled your psyche.  No matter the interpretation Antiope was your catalyst, whether she believed this or not was inconsequential.

  But you would not have her voice it, ever.  

How could you express that the love you experienced until her felt like paper notes, precious but temporary, fragile? What she offered was tangible, concrete, real.  

You were beyond the glass.  

She was here, with you.

As the kiss breaks the sky glows with the faintness of starlight.  You both gaze at the sight, paying no mind to anything but each other.

Sporozoites of the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum emerging from their oocyst to infect gastrointestinal epithelial cells.

Cryptosporidium, commonly known by the comic book supervillian name “Crypto,” is transmitted by ingesting water or food contaminated with Crypto oocysts. Once ingested, the oocyte ruptures, and the sporozoites contained within infect the gut of their new host, causing watery diarrhea. 

Though outbreaks occasionally occur in the developed world, few infected in those outbreaks die from Crypto. However, in the developing world, some of those infected with Crypto develop chronic disease and die, particularly small, malnourished children.

For more on Crypto and how scientists are tackling this tricky parasite, check out this article on NPR’s All Things Considered about the work being done by the Striepen lab at the University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.

Image courtesy Boris Striepen and Muthgapatti Kandasamy, University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases

reuters.com
Better soil could trap as much planet-warming carbon as transport produces: study

Excerpt:

Improving soil health in farmlands could capture extra carbon equivalent to the planet-warming emissions generated by the transport sector, one of the world’s most polluting industries, experts said Tuesday.

Soil naturally absorbs carbon from the atmosphere through a process known as sequestration which not only reduce harmful greenhouse gases but also creates more fertile soil.

Better soil management could boost carbon stored in the top layer of the soil by up to 1.85 gigatonnes each year, about the same as the carbon emissions of transport globally, according to a study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal.

“Healthier soils store more carbon and produce more food,” Louis Verchot of the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture, and one of the study’s authors, said in a statement.

Using compost, keeping soil disturbance to a minimum and rotating crops to include plants such as legumes can help restore organic matter in the soil, Verchot told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The extra carbon that could be stored from rejuvenated soil is equivalent to 3 to 7 billion tonnes of planet-warming carbon dioxide, he said.

“The U.S. emits around 5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. So (emissions) equivalent of a major economy could be sequestered in soils each year with changes in farming practices,” he added.

The study found the United States has the highest total annual potential to store carbon in the soil, followed by India, China, Russia and Australia, if soil management is improved.

7

Guerlain Météorites Aquarella for Summer 2014

This year, Guerlain is launching 3 key pieces for Summer. A gorgeous pink-tinned Meteorite powder called Aquarella, which contains regular rose, beige, and ivory pearls, a long with metallic gold and sparkly silver ones to jazz up the skin.

I’m completely in love with it; it’s gorgeous. But unlike the regular Meteorites, it’s definitely slightly more shimmery and sparkly (see concentrated swatch above) so it would work better as a highlighter than an allover powder for most people except the ultra fair.

The second is a Terracotta Sun Celebration bronzer compact. It’s beautiful to look at for sure, but before you rush out to buy it, take note the gold overspray is ruined from the first use and I personally find the mix of tan, orange and terracotta-red shades a bit unflattering for fairer complexions. It would probably be lovely on those with tan to darker skins though. 

The last is Thierry Wasser’s latest masterpiece, Terracotta Le Parfum Edition Limitée 30 Ans. Centered on tropical white flowers like Tiare, Jasmine and Orange Blossom, but has the undeniable sunblock-like notes of coconut. A whisper of musk and vanilla sweeten the background and give the perfume a bit of structure and solidity. Thierry Wasser describes it as “the allure of the sun in a bottle.”

Before you get happy, make sure you give your nearest Guerlain counter a call first. The stocks are extremely limited globally, as far as I can tell. In Singapore, only 12 - yes, you read it right - 12 pieces of each item were brought in for the entire country. By noon of the first day of launch, when I tried my luck at the 2nd of 2 counters where these were available, there were only 2-3 pieces of each left. The other was completely out.

Ah, Guerlain… WHY?!

P.S. A quick note on Meteorites jars; mine look super full because I put the powder puff at the bottom instead of on-top. I don’t use the puff, so this way I can reach them easily with my brush, AND it looks a heck of a lot better than a “half-empty” tin!

2

Misool Eco Resort

Misool Eco Resort is built on the private island of Batbitim, located in remote southern Raja Ampat, nestled deep in an archipelago of uninhabited islands in Indonesia. An exclusive dive resort and conservation center, this tropical hideaway is fringed with powder-white beaches and pristine coral reefs. With a maximum capacity of just 32 guests and a staff-to-guest ratio of 3 to 1, the resort offers exclusive luxury diving holidays, surrounded by the world’s richest reefs. The resort island is leased from the local community, along with 1,120 square meters of surrounding reefs.

‘Fewer crops’ now feeding the world http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26382067

“ Fewer crop species are feeding the world than 50 years ago - raising concerns about the resilience of the global food system, a study has shown. The authors warned a loss of diversity meant more people were dependent on key crops, leaving them more exposed to harvest failures. Higher consumption of energy-dense crops could also contribute to a global rise in heart disease and diabetes, they added. The study appears in the journal PNAS. "Over the past 50 years, we are seeing that diets around the world are changing and they are becoming more similar - what we call the 'globalised diet’,” co-author Colin Khoury, a scientist from the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture, explained. “This diet is composed of big, major cops such as wheat, rice, potatoes and sugar. "It also includes crops that were not important 50 years ago but have become very important now, particularly oil crops like soybean,” he told BBC News. While wheat has long been a staple crop, it is now a key food in more than 97% of countries listed in UN data, the study showed. And from relative obscurity, soybean had become “significant” in the diets of almost three-quarters of nations. He added that while these food crops played a major role in tackling global hunger, the decline in crop diversity in the globalised diet limited the ability to supplement the energy-dense part of the diet with nutrient-rich foods. “

and neoliberal capitalism found a new way to kill us all too.

Just In: Hurricane Patricia weakens to a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds over Mexico
BULLETIN
HURRICANE PATRICIA ADVISORY NUMBER  17
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       EP202015
1000 PM CDT FRI OCT 23 2015

...PATRICIA WEAKENING BUT REMAINS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS
MAJOR HURRICANE OVER SOUTHWESTERN MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...20.2N 104.6W
ABOUT 85 MI...135 KM NNW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 50 MI...75 KM SE OF PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...130 MPH...215 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 20 DEGREES AT 20 MPH...31 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...946 MB...27.94 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of Mexico has discontinued the Hurricane Watch for
Mexico from east of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* San Blas to Punta San Telmo

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* East of Punta San Telmo to Lazaro Cardenas
* North of San Blas to El Roblito

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor
products issued by your national meteorological service.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
At 1000 PM CDT (0300 UTC), the center of Hurricane Patricia was
located near latitude 20.2 North, longitude 104.6 West. Patricia is
moving toward the north-northeast near 20 mph (31 km/h). Patricia
should continue to move farther inland over southwestern Mexico, and
move quickly north-northeastward across western and northern Mexico
through Saturday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 130 mph (215 km/h)
with higher gusts.  Patricia is a category 4 hurricane on the
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Rapid weakening is forecast,
with Patricia expected to become a tropical storm tomorrow morning,
and a tropical depression tomorrow afternoon.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles
(220 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 946 mb (27.94 inches).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND:  Hurricane conditions are occurring across the hurricane
warning area.  Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue
across portions of the warning area and in inland areas near the
center through early Saturday.

RAINFALL:  Patricia is expected to produce total rainfall
accumulations of 8 to 12 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of
20 inches, over the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima,
Michoacan, and Guerrero through Saturday.  These rains are likely
to produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

STORM SURGE:  Water levels are expected to gradually subside
overnight but remain above normal through late Saturday.  Near the
coast, large and destructive waves are forecast to continue
overnight.

SURF:  Swells generated by Patricia are likely to affect the
southwest coast of Mexico for the next day or so. These swells are
likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Please consult products from your local weather office.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
Next intermediate advisory at 100 AM CDT.
Next complete advisory at 400 AM CDT.

$$
Forecaster Blake/Stewart