western line

anonymous asked:

Could you point out the differences between a kangal, malakli and anatolian shepherd?

ah yes, the subtleties of the fawn-with-mask-turkish-livestock-dog-things!  ill use turkish line dogs so you can see really what the breed differences are traditionally, instead of western/euro examples of the breed which are different than middle eastern “true” shepherds

so, its like a dog thermometer but with aggression and size

turkish-line anatolian shepherd! not huge, on the lankier side of the spectrum while still being strong and sturdy. pretty much exclusively used as livestock dogs and dont do anything in fighting, although they can also be companions.


getting bigger now! kangals are a little more aggressive, a little wilder, per say. very territorial, suspicious, blah blah blah. used in fighting, but still also used as livestock dogs!


now we’ve got the big guns! malakli are the largest of the turkish shepherds, very aggressive animals and were actually bred from kangals (most say they were mixed with big mastiffs and other fighting dogs, though the exact origin to my understanding is unknown). they are pretty exclusively used for dog fights, dont do any livestock work, and tend to be the most mastiffy in appearance and often have the wrinkly faces.

now ill be totally honest, malakli and kangals often look very similar, and less “typey” examples of each breed are hard to tell apart, particularly since malakli have kangal roots anyway. likewise, a lot of kangals, especially the thinner ones, look a lot like anatolians because those breeds are also related. so really what im trying to say is that all the turkish breeds are kind of a hot mess of within themselves and they all sort of look similar and have very mixed purposes and are, quite honestly, probably still interbred with one another. the line where one ends is vague and malleable; landraces are not distinct “breeds” the way modern kennel club dogs are, and while the differences do definitely exist they are subtle and alien comparatively to how clubs view dogs. 

Little Star Son

I wrote a thing for this post, below. It’s fluffy and self-indulgent, but I hope you like it.

For @powerovernothing as tribute to our lovely conversations, as well as for the title Star Son, because that’s absolutely yours! (It’s pretty unedited, so I’m awful sorry for all of the errors but I was excited to finish it and post. Also, this is an AU where Yondu and Meredith knew each other before Peter was born so, yes, there’s Spacelily):

_

          It’s a brand, a brand that sticks. There’s no going back.

_

          The Terran child, one of Ego’s brats (and the last one to be uprooted from their home by Yondu), had clung to his leg the moment he’d been let up from the makeshift surgery table. They’d been running low on sedative, thus Peter had been awake for much of the last half of his operation. It wasn’t a surprise that, after sobbing for the last twenty minutes or so, Peter immediately twisted himself within Yondu’s long coat. It did take a good minute for Yondu to relax, though, once he felt Peter’s small, shaking hands clutch at his pantleg.

          Had the boy been anyone else, he’d have lost that hand in an instant.

Instead, Yondu indulged him and pulled open his coat to look at the kid concealed there, making eye contact with Peter’s wide, fearful eyes.

“You understand me now, huh kid?” Yondu grunted.

Peter gained enough nerve to nod vigorously, then added, “Yes.”

“That’s ‘yes, sir’ or ‘yes, Captain’, son.” Yondu retorted.

He felt ridiculous standing there, talking to newly acquired cargo in his jacket, but their onboard doctor was busy sterilizing where he’d just performed a hasty operation on Peter and there was no one else around to pay them any mind. If it helped the kid to hide close to Yondu like he was being hunted for sport, then so be it, for now.

Peter’s frightened gaze transformed into one of confusion, then awe, and if Yondu didn’t know any better, there was a good deal of hope sparkling in those big greenish-blue eyes. All the pain that had continued to overwhelm the little boy was still there, but seemed muted in the face of a bigger, more pressing question.

“Are…” Peter’s voice lacked strength. He sounded hoarse and all-too quiet.

          “Whassat? Speak up. I can’ hear ya kid.” Yondu made a show of leaning down and curling a hand around his ear to hear the boy better.

“Are you…” He swallowed, “Are you my Dad?”

          Yondu’s mind went blank.

He slowly pulled the boy from out of his coat and planted the kid in front of him. Peter Quill stood, still shaking like a leaf and now nervous to boot. His head was lowered like expected divine judgement for daring to think he might have family among the stars that would come get him.

          “Mom said that my Dad would come to get me when she was…” It hurt to say it out loud, what became of Meredith Quill. It hurt to even think about when the events were still fresh in Peter’s mind. “She said he was made of light. Called ‘im an… an angel.”  

Yondu snorted. Peter’s father was the farthest thing from an angel.  

          He could connect the dots well enough. The boy was still just that, a boy. He’d become eight standard years of age not long ago, being born right when the leaves on Terran trees changed from green to reds, oranges, and yellows. Following childish logic, Yondu supposed he met enough of the vague description that Meredith had given her son.  

“Yesiree, that I am, Mister Quill.” Yondu replied in a patronizing tone but kept a straight face. He watched as the child’s head whipped up, eyes growing impossibly wider as he looked at Yondu.  

          Peter whispered, breathlessly, hopefully, “Really?”

Yondu was two seconds from laughing in the kid’s face. His dumb, round, adorable and ever-so-hopeful little face…

“Really.” Yondu answered before his brain caught up with his mouth.

_

          It wasn’t hard convincing most of the crew that the kid was his. Recruiting a horde of bloodthirsty, hyperactive men to join up in the ranks of Ravager-dom didn’t require much more than a willingness for thievin’, for killin’, and obedience where the Captain was concerned. Average intelligence wasn’t a necessity.

          Of course, there’d been minimal griping since they’d had to make a good few jumps to reach Terra and once the rest of his horde figured out that this was a child that wasn’t cargo.

But, one whistle was all it took to stop the loudest protestors from getting too big for their britches.

_

Peter was sat in one of the co-pilot seats, strapped in extra tight while Yondu piloted his own personal M-Ship from out of one of Xandar’s seedier ports.

“Why aren’t I blue?”

The Terran was coming out of his shell, gaining more and more courage the longer he spent time among Ravagers – which had to be around a standard six months at this point. It was hard to be a meek and scared child amid a throng of bawdy crooks, especially around those that liked to try and kick him to the floor and pour cheap alien alcohol on his head as a “joke”. Not that that was much of a problem anymore, after Peter had learned to come straight to the Captain. You had to be downright shameless to try picking on the Captain’s son.

          Thankfully, being timid just wasn’t who Peter was, either.

“Ya take more after yer mama than me, boy.” Yondu replied without hesitation. He was a practiced liar, needed to be in his line of work.

“A lot more.” Peter blurted out. The child’s eyes grew comically wide after he realized what he’d just said, but Yondu only laughed.

                      “Yer right there, son. Don’t know that much about Terran biology – guess the genes and whatnot are pretty dominant from yer mama’s species.”      

Peter frowned, mulling over the new information. He sat back and was silent for long enough to where Yondu assumed that that had been enough questions for the trip back to the Eclector.

“But I’m still yer boy, right?” Peter proved him wrong, leaning as far over the edge of his seat as he could. “For sure?”

          An expert at lying his ass off or not, Yondu figured that Peter didn’t need much in the way of convincing that Yondu was his daddy, not when he was so anxious to believe in it. “Sure as the day is long.”

Peter giggled; for the first time since he’d entered space, Yondu realized. The sound was light, almost musical – familiar too, but Yondu ignored the pang in his heart over making that connection.

          “Mom always said that.” Peter giggled.

_

At one point, even those closest to Yondu were begging for a leash to clip around the kid’s waist.

“He’s wearin’ everybody out, Cap’n.” Kraglin all but whined. He, Tullk, and Vorker were lined up on the bridge and Vorker had one arm wrapped around Peter’s knees while the kid swung upside down gleefully. Little shit seemed to think it was a game being ten feet from having his head split open by the metal floor below him.

          Yondu spat. “Ya tellin’ me my men can’t keep up wit’ a Terran brat?”

“It’s not that, it’s jus’ –”

“You all call yerselves Ravagers.” Yondu shook his head in disgust, keeping his harried glances at Peter still dangling precariously to as much of a minimum as possible. “Tch. Sound more like wusses ta me.”

“Take it easy, Cap’n.” Tullk cut in, stepping forward. “It’s not tha’ we cannae keep up with little Peter here, we jus’ thought it’d make sense to make watchin’ him a full time job. He’s always lookin’ for trouble.”

          “Found him in one of the vents this morning, took all day to get him out.” Vorker said. He was a soft-spoken man with a shifty cybernetic eye and a scrawny frame that made him appear fragile for all intents and purposes. He wasn’t.

Kraglin wrung his hands together. “We got more important shit to do than spend all day to get Peter outta the vents, Cap’n. With all due respect.”

“Kraglin’s jus’ mad cus he got stuck tryin’ ta get me out!” Peter finally chimed in. He tried to cross his arms, but all the blood rushing to his head was surely disorientating. “I wasn’t stuck neither! I got out when I wanted ta, without no help.”

          Yondu had had it by the time Kraglin leveled a truly childish glare at Peter and ordered the boy be let down.

“Yer wastin’ my time and yers, boys. If ya’ll can’t hack it and look out fer yer own, might as well throw ya out the airlock for not obeyin’ the Code.”

The captain eyed them all, one by one, as if daring them each to say another word.

Vorker cracked first. “Captain -”

          Yondu whistled, and like a lightning bolt the arrow struck out and headed straight for Vorker’s eye. The good one.

          Tullk, Kraglin, and Vorker (though slightly unsteady) raised their hands simultaneously to concede. It was a smart move, not only for Vorker whom would’ve potentially lost his last organic eye, but for all of them, even Yondu. He wasn’t dense. Peter was a full time job, and this was blatant favoritism. But then the three of them should’ve minded that in the first place and not put their captain up to taking sides.

                      They retreated just as they came, only Kraglin sparing a pitiful look back as if he were hurt, before the bridge was cleared.

“Dad!”

Peter was upright, scampering toward Yondu with a big grin. “Can I try an’ use the arrow too?”

          His demeanor toward Yondu’s weapon of choice had seemingly changed overnight. Yondu could remember the first time he’d aimed his arrow directly at Horuz’s eye in front of Peter, and how he’d nearly lost the damn thing when Peter had snagged not long after that confrontation. It’d been a struggle to get it back from the child, but Peter had been adamant about Yondu, whom he’d been shy about referring to as his father in the earlier days aboard, not killing anybody.

Horuz had been one of the worst, most spiteful pricks toward Peter since he’d been catapulted from cargo to a secure place as Yondu’s spawn – yet Peter hadn’t wanted him to die.

Yondu had managed to wrestle it away from Peter, not by force but by getting down to the child’s level and reasoning with him, of all things. And that’d eventually done the trick, with Peter surrendering the arrow with only minor reluctance.

Now, not long since he’d first come to wreak havoc on their lives, he was damn near foaming at the mouth to try and use it himself.

          “Why?” Yondu asked. “You got someone you need ta ‘take care of’?”

“No, not exactly.” Peter scuffed his toe. “It’s just cool when you make ‘em do what’cha want when you whistle and it just goes –”

          Peter mimed the motion of the arrow zipping through the air and stopped in front of his own face with a whoosh-ing noise.

                      “I see. You just wanna be like yer ol’ man an’ scare everybody shitless.” Yondu chortled.

“Yeah!” Peter cheered back. Lord only knew he was stuck on being like Yondu and not too attentive to the idea of scaring others.

Yondu ruffled Peter’s already tousled hair with a grin of his own. There was no denying the genuine pride that Yondu felt over being thought of as cool by Meredith’s kid, even when Yondu was supposed to stay mad at Peter and particularly if it was inspiring Peter to want the impossible.

He should’ve told the kid as much, quashed his hopes before they got too high.

He didn’t. “You keep practicin’ that whistle o’ yours, son. Maybe we get you a little some’in of yer own when you’re a proper Ravager.”

_

In between the heists and hustles that made-up Ravager livelihood, Peter developed a knack for asking as many questions as he could before the day was out. If anything, Yondu believed that all Peter did aside from running up and down the Eclector and tricking Kraglin into the ventilation shafts and sassin’ Horuz and makin’ a mess of the Captain’s quarters with drawings on makeshift sketch paper and driving Yondu to threaten him with cannibalism if he didn’t quit stealin’ those stupid ass stickers and putting them on Yondu’s coattails was ask a million and one questions.

          “Can I have flames and arrows on mah coat?” Peter practically squeaked, trying to grab at the Ravager flames pinned trustily to his breast pocket.

          Most were irritating.

Peter pouted. “Why don’t the rest of the crew got their own beds?”

“Are my teeth gonna look like yours when the baby ones fall out?” Peter gulped.

Some were downright frivolous.

          “Are there movies in space?” Peter rambled.

He pondered aloud. “How come some Xandarians are peachy-colored like Kraglin but others are pink?”

Few were just met with frustration.

          “Am I still yer boy?”

But some were… some questions cut too deep. Sometimes Peter’s questions, innocently spoken, were about as piercingly felt as an arrow into one’s heart.

“Why weren’t you there? When Mom died?”

          The boy fidgeted with his Walkman. He’d come up to sit on the floor next to Yondu after spending the better half of the day scrubbing down the floor of the loading dock. Yondu would never get used to Peter’s incessant need to always find where he was and stick to him after a job was done, regardless of whether Yondu had another task for the kid or not.

          It was like Peter wanted to be around him, without any kind of ulterior motive, or any good, sensible reason at all.

Yondu stopped in his tracks to observe Peter sitting near where he could best look out at the sea of stars around them. He looked oh-so-small just sitting there, waiting for an answer. The tune of ooh-child wasn’t as cranked up as usual, but it was noticeable in the restless silence between them.  

          “Couldn’t be there.” Yondu said finally. “Where yer from there ain’t people like me… like us, Petey. You was lucky not to be born wit’ the worst of yer daddy. ‘Sides, I was away takin’ care of the ship when yer mama got sick.”

“And a Ravager ship ain’t no place for a lady and her baby.” Yondu finished quietly and left it at that.

                      Or he meant to leave it at that. It would be better to let Peter live with the hard, if not slightly altered, truth and learn from it. He genuinely couldn’t have taken care of Meredith and Peter before the woman had fallen ill, he’d been out of the loop shortly after Peter’s birth. The only reason Yondu had gotten to Peter at the right time and place had been attributed to coincidental circumstances too numerous to trace back and perfect timing that paved way for what could only be considered a tragedy.

He meant to leave it at that.

“Come ‘ere, son.”

          There was no one of the bridge but them two, so Yondu sat down in the pilot’s seat and motioned for Peter to come to him. When he was within arm’s reach, Yondu scooped him up and sat Peter on his lap before pulling an unlikely little keepsake from out of his pocket.

It wasn’t a goofy trinket or bobble, or a shiny bit of cheap plastic. It was a picture.

Yondu lifted a polaroid up to the boy’s face. “Here.”

Meredith Quill had always been proud of what Yondu, and any respectable lifeform beyond the middle of nowhere where Terra was located, considered primitive technology. He wouldn’t ever forget her stupid, heavy stereo and its finicky antennae that blared music throughout that dingy country house of hers. Or of what she proudly referred to as the garbage disposal which was apparently ‘top-notch’ and had nearly ground his fingers up a time or two.

Or of what she called a polaroid camera, a flashing, obnoxious device that you clicked so it would spit square images into your hand that took time just to formulate. He’d complained about it being obsolete and useless for the most part, only to surprise Mere one day by jumping out from behind the door and snapping dozens of pictures of her. She’d come from a double shift as a waitress, feet aching, hair frazzled, and bone tired – but she’d laughed and laughed at his uncharacteristic moment of playfulness as if it were the funniest thing in the world.

          “Took this of yer mama before you was born. Nearly made herself sick, laughin’ at your poor daddy.” Yondu said. His explanation did little to lighten the atmosphere, but it didn’t matter in the end. Peter took the picture from Yondu and held it reverently in both hands.

          “Oh.” He looked awed at seeing the image of his mother (happy, healthy, whole) before his gaze turned longing. Small fingers came up to graze at Meredith’s frozen face as Yondu looked on over Peter’s shoulder.

“Hi, Mom.”

_

          “It ain’t like you, bein’ so quiet boy.” Yondu said. He sat on his haunches, barely noticing the pain that crept into his leg muscles from having to crouch at such an awkward angle.  

          One of Peter’s hands moved to clutch at the lapel of Yondu’s coat, and the boy twisted and toyed with the cloth absentmindedly. It wasn’t a unique gesture on the child’s part, as Yondu had come to recognize Peter’s odd little quirks and motions that signified what he wanted without him saying as much. The child wouldn’t look him in the eye, but he was communicating a need to be coddled nonetheless.

          It’d been a relatively lazy expedition for the Ravagers. They were technically in the middle of a mission, but it was slow goin’ just getting to where they needed to be, and Yondu had spent most of his time inspecting the ship. He and his little shadow had certainly gotten a good deal of exercise touring the quadrants before Peter had begun to move at a snail’s pace and Yondu was forced to double back and find where his dumb kid was lost at.

“Tired.” Peter mumbled.

His head dipped forward slightly as though it’d grown too heavy to keep upright. He was about to slump into Yondu’s chest haphazardly if Yondu didn’t reach out first and pull him forward.

                      Yondu sighed, already knowing the answer to his own question. “I’m guessin’ you can’t make it to bed on your own two legs?”

Peter, instinctively, wrapped his skinny arms around Yondu’s neck and buried his face in the hollow of Yondu’s shoulder, while Yondu adjusted his grip on the boy and stood up. He grunted, ignoring the pain in his calves as his legs stretched, and then strode off from the hangar bay.

          If any of the rest of the team had something to say about seeing their gruff captain with a small child swaddled in his arms, it went unsaid.

The time it took to reach Captain’s quarters was minimal, and Peter had been jarred enough to break out of his stupor so that Yondu could set him down. Peter fumbled to get his coat off, tugging at the sleeves like a tiger cub until he was finally released. He left his coat on the floor in his pursuit to make it to the bed, trying to crawl up onto the mattress by way of grabbing onto various pelts and ratty quilts as leverage.

Yondu grunted. “Boots, kid.”

He shrugged off his own Ravagers’ coat and tossed it over a low-hanging pipe. Reaching down, he picked Peter’s jacket from off the ground to hang it up with his own without much grumbling. He began to unbuckle a few of the less-than comfortable parts of his uniform and watched out of the corner of his eye as Peter sluggishly pull at his shoes. The kid was practically in a nose-dive while he leaned down to concentrate on how to pry his boots off with the little energy he still had. Yondu couldn’t help but grin, chuckling quietly at the sight; the boy was hopeless.

Not even a sour-faced Kree fanatic could deny that Peter was damn adorable.  

“Here, Petey, I gotcha.”

Yondu moved to help him, fitting large hands over the tongue of one boot and then the other to pull them off effortlessly. He got a face full of wiggly toes within holey socks before Peter scooted back while muttering what sounded like a ‘thank you’, and dove into the bed sheets.

Scrubbing a hand over his face, Yondu walked to the other side of the bed and lay down without ceremony, having shorn off his own boots moments prior, and lie down on his side. The man didn’t have to wait long for Peter to scoot over and all but throw himself into Yondu’s body. He sought out Yondu’s warmth without hesitation, and hooked his hands wherever he could into Yondu’s tunic to keep them warm, or more accurately to make sure he had a good grip in case Yondu began to disappear into thin air while Peter slept.  

          Yondu let the child be, although he couldn’t find it in himself to feel comfortable enough to fall asleep effortlessly. He was exhausted, there was no doubt about that, but privately his mind whirled like a cesspool. Yondu was an awful lot of awful things, but had he been on par with his crew in terms of intelligence, he wouldn’t be able to claim his saving grace of Captain of the Ravagers at all.

           But then, if you asked Stakar and his former friends, there would be little tolerance to even mention Yondu’s name and the title in the same sentence. Especially not now, while Yondu claimed Ego’s son as his own, while Yondu paraded around with the boy tucked close to his side and gave his own crew a hell of a time in accommodating said boy above nearly everything and everyone else.

“Dad?” Peter was barely audible above the thrum of the ship surrounding them.

“Hn?”  

“’m I… still…” Peter yawned softly. “… yer boy?”

          Yondu sighed and stared off at the far wall. He patted the kid’s back vaguely, gently, while the images of Stakar’s disappointed scowl faded away from his mind.

Rather than feel frustrated with that infernal question this time, Yondu felt a deep ache in his chest. It was too difficult to face at times, the desperation and the crave for love that Peter had. What was even more harrowing to think about was how, unlike most, Peter wanted nothing more than to return that love. The kid was soft-hearted and stubborn when it came to making others feel worthwhile, especially those that gave him the time of day. And at the top of Petey’s list, just below the memory of Meredith Quill, was Yondu.

He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t deserve Peter’s trust, his confidence, the pride that Peter bestowed on Yondu like he didn’t have to earn it. He didn’t deserve for Peter to love him like a father.

In his brooding, Yondu imagined Meredith Quill smiling, Meredith with her head thrown back in a laugh, teasing him over his unsuccessful and nigh-on painful attempt at singing one of those fool love songs from her bulky stereo. He saw Peter, tiny and new to the galaxy, begin to whimper in the crook of his arm before Yondu smoothed a thumb over the child’s forehead. Peter, still small, reaching out to point at a particularly bright star beyond the ship window, and looking back at the Centaurian to make sure he saw Peter’s find.

“Course you are, Pete.”

To hell with Stakar, and all the rest of them and their judgement. To hell with what the crew thought, with what was good or should be. He was a goddamn captain: he made the rules around here and the whole goddamn galaxy was gonna live with it.

“You sure?” Peter asked.

          Yondu looked down. Peter stared at him from the crook of the man’s arm, face squished together in an exaggerated pout and eyes barely able to stay open, just to hear what he wanted to hear.

          “Sure as the day is long, kiddo.” Yondu replied dutifully.

Peter smiled sleepily. “M’kay… Night… Night, Dad…”

          Yondu reached up to card his fingers through Peter’s hair, thumb smoothing over his forehead like he’d done when Peter was just a babe.

“Night, son.” Yondu said, to a little boy whom was already fast asleep.

_

          You go home to your mother and father and grow up to be strong and straight. And, Joey… take care of them, both of them.

_          

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From her twenties until the end of her life, O’Keeffe studied and admired various aspects of Asian culture. Many of her abstracted landscapes, such as this bird’s eye view of a river, show her interest in the calligraphic line and flattened perspective of Japanese and Chinese painting. // Posing for the photographer Bruce Weber in 1984, O’Keeffe fused Eastern and Western influences by pairing a kimono with a vaquero hat. The swirl of her “GOK” brooch, designed by her friend Alexander Calder, echoes the larger form of her own sculpture behind her. // This kimono, a padded men’s garment in striped gray silk with a black collar, suited her lifelong taste for clothing that was practical, androgynous, and monochromatic, while also reflecting her fascination with Asian culture.

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In Russian history only 3 monarchs earned title “The Great”:

Ivan the Great (Ivan III of Russia) (1440-1505)  of the House of Rurik, (years of reign: 1462-1505),  a Grand Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of all Rus’.
Referred to as the “gatherer of the Rus’ lands”, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde over the Rus’, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of what later became called the Russian state.  
His second marriage to  Sophia Palaiologina, a Byzantine princess and niece of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI,  brought  Byzantine ceremonial and traditions to the Russian court.  Moscow came to be referred to as the Third Rome with Moscow being seen as the true successor to Byzantium and, hence, to Rome.
Grandfather of the infamous Ivan IV of Russia (Ivan the Terrible), first Tsar of All Russias.

Peter the Great (Peter I of Russia) (1672-1725) of the House of Romanov, (years of reign: 1682-1725), first Emperor of  Russia. 
 One of Russia’s greatest statesmen.  Through a number of successful wars he expanded the country into a much larger empire that became a major European power. He led a cultural revolution based on The Enlightenment,  created a strong navy, reorganized his army according to Western standards, secularized schools,  introduced new administrative and territorial divisions of the country. He established the city of St. Petersburg on the Neva River and moved the capital there from its former location in Moscow.  Shortly after, St. Petersburg was deemed Russia’s “window to Europe.”
After Peter’s death his  second wife, Catherine, became the first female ruler in Russian history as Catherine I,  Empress of Russia,  though her reign lasted only 2 years.  Their daughter, Elizabeth,  also would ascend the throne as  Empress and rule for 20 years.
Peter’s reforms made a lasting impact on Russia and many institutions of Russian government trace their origins to his reign.

Catherine the Great (Catherine II of Russia) (1729-1796) of the House of Romanov, (years of reign:1762-1796), Empress of Russia, the most renowned and the longest-ruling female monarch of Russia. 
 The country was revitalised under her reign,  expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy, larger and stronger than ever as one of the great powers of Europe. Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, and many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. She built new hospitals and schools, introduced a new legal code, and supported religious tolerance. Empress requested the construction of many academic buildings, for example, the first public library was made by her command.  An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine saw herself as his political heiress and continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines while pursuing her country’s interests.
She enthusiastically supported the ideals of The Enlightenment, and was an enthusiastic patron of literature, arts and education. She presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, a period when the Smolny Institute, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Russia, was established. 
The period of Catherine the Great’s rule, the Catherinian Era, is often considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire.

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HISTORY MEME → [6/9] Figures: Catherine the Great

Catherine II (Russian: Екатерина Алексеевна Yekaterina Alekseyevna; 2 May [O.S. 21 April] 1729 – 17 November [O.S. 6 November] 1796), also known as Catherine the Great (Екатери́на Вели́кая, Yekaterina Velikaya), was Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country’s longest-ruling female leader and arguably the most renowned (although Peter the Great was the only Tsar officially designated as “The Great”). She came to power following a coup d'état when her husband, Peter III, was assassinated. Russia was revitalised under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever and becoming recognised as one of the great powers of Europe.

In both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov and Pyotr Rumyantsev, and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars, and Russia colonised the vast territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas. In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine’s former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America.

Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, and many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and the economy continued to depend on serfdom, and the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs. This was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev’s Rebellion of cossacks and peasants.

The period of Catherine the Great’s rule, the Catherinian Era, is often considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire and the Russian nobility. The Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the short reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine, freed Russian nobles from compulsory military or state service. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress, changed the face of the country. She enthusiastically supported the ideals of The Enlightenment, thus earning the status of an enlightened despot. As a patron of the arts she presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, a period when the Smolny Institute, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe, was established.

sounds of thedas: NEVARRA

honour the dead; they are passed but they are not gone. glory to the living; the thrill of the hunt is worth more than gold. tradition, dynasty, magic – and the strength to drive dragons extinct.

featuring tracks from the legend of korra, marco polo, mulan, two steps from hell, jia peng fang, and the yoshida brothers

(listen)

it’s really interesting seeing people who grew up in poverty and later became successful in life become the poster children of capitalism. because they have not just fully bought into but have personally lived that myth of: ‘if you can do it, anyone can do it’. those who don’t see themselves as exceptional and lucky people who succeeded against the odds, they see themselves as perfectly ordinary individuals who just ‘worked hard’ - unlike those other people begging for government handouts

and it’s a certain kind of tragedy seeing these people who have grown up in poverty end up with so little empathy and compassion for those who are still struggling. and to see this arrogant need to feel superior to others which lies underneath it all. because it’s easier to feel better about your own ‘accomplishments’ when you have the suffering of others to measure yourself against. ‘at least i’m not on welfare’ ‘at least i’m not homeless’ ‘at least i am a hard working person’ ‘at least i didn’t take the easy way out’

and there’s a certain truth to victims who fought their way to success under a certain system becoming the biggest proponents of that system. because the existence of that system makes them feel special about themselves for being the standout. because they have internalised enough of the lies to be accepted by their original oppressors as ‘one of them’ and become ‘worthy’ of succeeding. because they don’t think of questioning the myth when they themselves are living proofs that hard work = success.

because if you can blame the individual, that means it’s not the system that’s at fault, now is it?

Once Upon a Time in the West RP Starters

❝ [name] sent us. ❞

❝ Not bad. Congratulations. ❞

❝ Tell me, was it necessary that you kill all of them? I only told you to scare them. ❞

❝ People scare better when they’re dying. ❞

❝ How can you trust a man that wears both a belt and suspenders? Man can’t even trust his own pants. ❞

❝ Well, you know music and you can count – all the way up to two. ❞

❝ You know, [name], you remind me of my mother. ❞

❝ The reward for this man is 5000 dollars, is that right? ❞

❝ You make good coffee, at least? ❞

❝ [name] once told me I could never be like [pronoun]. Now I understand why. ❞

❝ So, you found out you’re not a businessman after all. ❞

❝ He not only plays, he can shoot, too. ❞

❝ You ought to [remember], [name], better than anyone. You killed ‘em. ❞

❝ You don’t understand, [name]. People like that have something inside…something to do with death, ❞ 

❝ What are we going to do with this one, [name]? ❞ 

❝ Your friends have a high mortality rate, [name]. ❞ 

❝ So YOU’RE the one who makes appointments. ❞

❝ Hey, [name], when they do you in, pray it’s somebody who knows WHERE to shoot. ❞

❝ Go away. Go away. Go away, I don’t want you to see me die. ❞ 

❝ Now I gotta go. ❞ 

❝ I hope you’ll come back someday. ❞

❝ Keep your lovin’ brother happy. ❞

❝ And YOU! You saved his life! ❞ 

❝ I didn’t let them kill him, and that’s not the same thing. ❞ 

❝ You’ll never succeed in becoming like me. ❞ 

❝ There are many things you’ll never understand. ❞

❝ Now, shall we get back to our little problem? ❞

❝ When you hear a strange sound, drop to the ground. ❞

❝ Hey, you’re sort of a handsome man. ❞

❝ But I’m not the right man. ❞

❝ Time sure flies. It’s already past twelve. ❞

❝ You deserve better. ❞

❝ The last man who told me that…is buried out there. ❞

❝ Make believe it’s nothing. ❞

❝ Surprised to see me here? ❞

❝ You should learn to live as if you didn’t exist. ❞                           

Dreams

November 2005

He woke to Sam’s startled, strangled cry, and he was on his feet with his Colt cool in his hand before he realized that his brother had been dreaming.

‘Sammy, Jesus Christ,’ he muttered, thumbing the safety back on before he put a bullet through the goddamned lampshade. Sam looked up at him from the other bed, sweaty-faced, wet-eyed, and then kicked free from the tangle he’d made of his sheets and ran for the bathroom; the light went on and the door slammed shut and a heartbeat later Dean heard him throwing up the little he’d eaten at supper—a shitty apple and half an egg-salad sandwich from the Kwik Stop on the highway, and a candy bar Dean had practically forced down his gullet, ‘cause his kid clearly needed protein, and Snickers had, y’know, peanuts. 

Damn it.

He tucked the gun back beneath his pillow, scrubbed a hand across his hair and stood irresolute for a moment in the center of their room, then padded quietly over to the bathroom door.  Rested his forehead and one hand against the thin cheap wood, didn’t open it. ‘Sam,’ he said. ‘You all right, man?’

One breath, two. ‘M fine,’ his brother managed, which Dean would have believed, sure, no problem, if only the kid hadn’t sounded like he’d been flayed open and left for dead on the side of the fucking road. 

***

They worked a few cases, saved a few people, hunted a few things. Sam lost ten pounds and stopped sleeping anywhere save for the cradle of the front seat, with the road humming beneath Baby’s tires and his head tipped against the window, a pained furrow between his brows. 

He still woke, always, from a nightmare.

He was, always, fine.

***

They were in western Indiana, one state line and 250 miles from a room full of shattered mirrors, when Dean opened his eyes, a little after midnight, to find Sam sitting on the edge of the other bed, head in his hands, sheets and blankets a messy tumble at his back. 

‘Hey,’ he said, rubbing sleep from his eyes. ‘You all right?’

I’m fine, he expected, but Sam said nothing, and he came all the way awake.

‘Sammy?’

In nothing but his boxers, shoulders hunched, feet bare, his little brother looked small, somehow, and painfully vulnerable. ‘ … I can’t sleep,’ he admitted, soft and young and lost. ‘I just … ‘ His fingers tightened in his hair. ‘Dean, I’m so tired, and I can’t—I can’t sleep.’

Dean’s heart clenched up, hard, behind his ribs, because he knew that voice, even though he hadn’t heard it in a dozen years: Dean, help, his baby brother had said, at seven, bringing him a dying bird with a broken wing; and But Dean I want to stay, he’d cried, at ten in West Virginia; and Dean and Dean and Dean, Sammy always so certain that he could fix it, that he could help, no matter how many times he failed him.

‘… I know,’ he said, quietly, because there wasn’t anything the fuck else to say, no matter how much he wished otherwise. ‘Sammy, man, the nightmares about Jess, they’re—they’re gonna get better, okay?’ he said. ‘They always do; it’s—’

Sam was shaking his head, slow and weary. ‘I’m not dreaming about Jess,’ he said, and Dean blinked at him, because what the hell? ‘I mean, I am, but not … not all the time.’ He pushed a hand back through his hair. ‘It’s always the fire,’ he said, softly. ‘But sometimes it’s … it’s Dad, on the ceiling, dying.’ A shuddery breath. ‘Most of the time it’s you.’

Dean’s throat closed up, hard. ‘Sammy,’ he managed, but the kid just shook his head again, looked up at him with desperate, pleading eyes. 

‘I can’t—I can’t keep watching you die, man; not after … you’re all I got, and I can’t …’ His voice cracked, took something in Dean’s chest with it. They were quiet for a moment, the only sound the rumble of a semi passing by outside on the highway, and the low murmur of the TV from the manager’s office on the other side of the wall.

‘C’mere,’ Dean finally said. He scooted over in the narrow double bed. ‘Just … grab your pillow, all right? You ain’t gonna get any sleep over there.’

He could have sworn he saw his little brother flushing in the dark. ‘D-Dean, I … I don’t–’

He smacked the mattress, once. ‘Shut up and lie your bony ass down, Sasquatch. I ain’t gonna tell you again.’

It took a minute, but four years’ distance apparently hadn’t sapped all of his Big Brother mojo, because Sam finally crawled in beside him, hesitantly, mattress lurching briefly beneath his weight.

They lay quietly for awhile, both of them on their backs, shoulders close but not touching in the dark.

‘Hey, you remember that awesome diner in Georgia from when you were a kid?’ Dean asked. ‘With the waffles and the peanut butter pie?’

He didn’t think it was going to work for a moment, but then, softly: ‘The one with the big peach on the sign? Outside Savannah?’

‘Yeah. Dad and I ended up back there about four months ago, after we cleaned up a haunting in the city. They still got the pie. I was worried, you know? That they’d be sellin’, like, tofu cheesecake or somethin’ by now, but they still got it. Same dumb curtains, same dumb tablecloths, same awesome pie. Sweet potato fries are still good, too.’ He shifted a little, settling himself more comfortably. ‘What were you, twelve, when you polished off that basket of ‘em? The owner came out to take a picture.’ He didn’t mention that he’d found it in August, a Polaroid tacked up on the wall with three hundred others, Sammy sweet-faced and floppy-haired and shyly smiling, or that it was tucked safely now in the glove box, with the few other precious things Dean owned.

He could hear Sam’s smile, even if he couldn’t see it; could feel the tension starting to drain a little from his brother’s long body. ‘Yeah,’ he said. And then: ‘You got the recipe from the cook, remember? Tried to make them for me the next time we were at Bobby’s.’

‘Yeah, well. Not all of my plans are genius, Sammy,’ he said, and his brother snorted out a soft little laugh in the dark. 

Dean talked on, softly, about nothing important: a diner he and Dad had found in Nebraska one Christmas Eve; a ski cabin in Maine they’d slept warm and safe in for a week; the massive, moss-covered oak he’d spend a night under on Jekyll Island, waiting for the ghosts of a slaver and his son. After awhile Sam rolled onto his side, curling up bit by bit in the space between them until his forehead was touching Dean’s arm and one bony knee bumping against Dean’s leg; a little while longer and there were long, hesitant fingertips settling soft against his ribs, like his little brother just wanted to make sure he was real, that he was there. Dean was reminiscing fondly about a burger called the Mac Attack he’d found in Boston when he heard the kid’s breath finally settle into the slow, easy rhythm of sleep.

He lay quietly for a long while beside his brother in the dark, and never knew when he tumbled headlong into dreaming.

***

He woke a little after 7:00, their room still dark, December rain coming down steady and cold outside. Sam was still sound asleep, sprawled across Dean’s chest the same way he’d slept as a kid, tucked in under Dean’s arm with his face hidden in the crook of Dean’s neck and one arm and leg thrown over him in a haphazard tangle of limbs. Warm to his bones, Dean shifted just a little to ease the cramping in his lower back; Sam snuffled and kicked and wound himself more tightly around him in reply. ‘D’n,’ he mumbled.

Dean settled a hand in his brother’s hair, and closed his eyes against the coming day.

flickr

Passenger Stop by Jeff Terry
Via Flickr:
Photos taken during the 60th annual Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion, Rollag, Minnesota. The star attraction is former Soo Line Railroad 0-6-0 steam locomotive No. 353, built by the American Locomotive Company’s Brooks Works in 1920. According to the WMSTR website, “It all started in 1940 with a little idea sparked from the soul of some local thresherman over supper. The Nelson boys fired up the old Garr-Scott engine to thresh with steam again for old time sake with family & friends. The event continued once a year until 1954, when Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion met formally for the first time and invited the public. Today the show has grown to include hundreds of demonstrations and exhibits spread over 210 beautiful acres. The show attracts thousands of spectators and volunteers every Labor Day weekend.”

flickr

6029 6026 and 6021 lead a late running PM1 service out of Horsham by bukk05

4

In the 1920s, Dr. Greigperformed a very successful surgery on a patient in India, and to show their gratitude Dr. Greig was gifted a Tibetan Terrier puppy. At the time Tibetan Terriers were never sold, only gifted to people who truly deserved them.
Dr. Greig, coming from a dog breeding background, gained a lot of interest in the breed and wanted to show the puppy she had been gifted in India. Judges had never seen a dog like Bunti, the puppy, before and suggested she bred 3 generations to see if they bred true. She did exactly that and later showed a Tibetan Terrier to his championship in India.

In the 1930s Dr. Greig was back in England and would show one of her Tibetan imports, Thoombay of Ladkok, to his English championship at the age of 10, making him the first Tibetan Terrier champion in Europe.
Dr. Greig would then continue breeding the breed with her mother under the still famous affix Lamleh, but also under the affix Ladkok. Dr. Greig did not want this breed to become “glamorous” and showed her Tibetan Terriers with a rugged coat well into her 80s, or until she passed away in 1972.

If it wasn’t for dr. Greig and the patient who gifted her Bunti, the breed might not yet exist in western countries. The Lamleh line is the base of most of the lines in the breed today, and while the Lamleh affix is no longer in use, breeders who still hold Dr. Greig beliefs and can easily trace their lines back to Lamleh will still use Lamleh as a part of their dogs registered names.

It’s fascinating how really a coincidence had so much saying in the future of the breed in western countries. If Dr. Greig hadn’t been in India, performing surgery on exactly this patient who happened to have Tibetan Terriers, things could be so different.

Why hasn’t the Russian establishment been hit by a right-wing populist opposition? 

There are enough war dead that Russia’s establishment should be having real problems. The Russian establishment has put the country under enough strain that Russian voters should be looking for an alternative.

Russians might be conservative nationalists, but they, more than anyone, should be weary of military adventurism, diplomatic confrontation, corruption, and the cynicism and casual brutality of their political class.

Now, it’d be easy to paint liberal cosmopolitans as foreign puppets. That’s fine. The Russian opposition doesn’t have to be liberal or cosmopolitan. It can be conservative and nationalist. It just needs to be anti-establishment, anti-corruption, and anti-militarist. 

So why hasn’t that happened?

I don’t know much about Russian politics, but I think that Vladimir Zhirinovsky is the problem. Zhirinovsky occupies the right-wing populist space, where a better politician could effectively challenge Putin. Unfortunately, the man himself is … a bit much.

There’s some of that muchness below the jump. It’s worth reading. But consider this your content warning.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

“i shouldn’t have left you.” stARCO

(I may flesh this one out into a full fic for the Monarchs series, but for now enjoy)


“Your Majesty.”

“Jacques?” Star opened her eyes, keeping her arms up so the magical barrier surrounding the exterior of the castle would remain in tact. The general who stood before her in the main hall with his head bowed looked like he’d been through hell and back. His face was sliced up by a sword in several places, his body bruised and covered in sweat, panting heavily as if he’d run a great distance to get to her.

Keep reading