Listen, I know I’m not the only one who does social media AUs. I’m not the one who invented them. I don’t mind if you make your own, don’t mind if you get inspired by mine. But if you steal EVERY SINGLE ONE of my edits? That’s where I draw the line. You can repost them, do what you want, but it takes less than ten seconds to credit someone.
I personally don’t like using watermarks because it takes away the genuine feel that I love putting on my edits. But now the gig is up, people. Guess I’ll fucking have to add “TUMBLR: PHANADOX. TWITTER: SOFTAGUSTD” all over for people to learn that stealing and claiming for your own isn’t correct.
I’m fine if you repost them. But at least have the dignity, the sympathy, the common sense to credit someone. Even if you don’t know whose they are: “these edits aren’t mine” goes a long way.
Ps. Sorry if I sound bitchy, plot twist: I’m annoyed.
is it just me or eskild's speech to linn was julie saying goodbye and somehow explaining herself to the fans? (noora=julie, linn=us, eskild= julie's spokesperson) like the whole thing about noora loving them even if she doesnt show it and noora dating william even if they dont like him could be a parallel to julie writing things we dont always like and julie loving us even if she doesnt always listen to us and our requests.. plus the whole "what we gonna do now without noora" (=without skam)1/2
(2/2) and the answer “we’ll be the there for each other”, the fans will be there for each other, it’s us against the world now bc now we know we all have something in common, we all have a “shame”
you both sent these the other day really close to each other and i forgot to answer.
i think (and hope) that you’re right. this season, i really felt that julie was mocking us the anti nopehelm folks and it made me really sad. but i felt that too watching that clip. the fact that eskild and linn don’t think noora should date dickhelm and that they don’t want the show (noora/kollektivet) to end but they’ll be there for each other…made me very emo
i hope this is julie wearing that “no hard feelings” top that sana wears.
what looked like morning was the beginning of an endless night.
I respect my mother. I do. But I don’t know what I was thinking when I asked her to have brunch with me Sunday morning.
Like I told Harry, I’ll likely die before I’m ever able to become half the woman she is. My father is just as accomplished, but men do what he and my mother do all the time. My mother is different because very rarely is there a woman who can walk into a room of highly educated, cocky male surgeons and turn heads because of something other than the way her legs look when she wears heels.
how do the cats know what a cinder is? AFAIK igneous rocks aren't too common in the woodland preserves of england. i could see it being used in human structures but then how would the cats have come up with the name cinder?
I’m pretty sure that Cinder- refers to the aftermath of a fire, not a particular rock. Ashes and cinders and all that.
I feel like all fire-based names are almost mythical to the cats, as they rarely, if ever, see it for themselves. It’s been a long-ass time since any of the Clans had to flee from a fire and then return to the remains. I don’t doubt that they occasionally see bonfires and such, but it’s never too up and close for them.
louisa may alcott, w. h. auden, jane austen, james baldwin, charlotte brontë, lord byron, truman capote, willa cather, emily dickinson, e. m. forster, langston hughes, christopher isherwood, henry james, federico garcía lorca, christopher marlowe, herman melville, edna st. vincent millay, wilfred owen, marcel proust, mary renault, arthur rimbaud, siegfried sassoon, william shakespeare, gertrude stein, alfred lord tennyson, henry david thoreau, walt whitman, oscar wilde, tennessee williams, virginia woolf
what do all these beloved classic authors have in common? that’s right. none of them were straight. not a one. every single author on this list experienced same-gender romantic attraction during their lives. literary tradition is a hundred times more queer than what your high school english class would ever let you know
In “Keystone Motel,” Greg had the following quote:
However, we have NO EVIDENCE in the show that Garnet likes to eat (as of the day I’m posting this in April 2017). In fact, literally every time she’s presented with food, she doesn’t interact with it or eat it, and never acts like she cares about it. Pearl makes a big deal about not eating, but Garnet’s eaten in the show as often as she has: ZERO TIMES.
In “Together Breakfast,” she helps make the Together Breakfast, but seems uninterested in it. (Granted, nobody else eats it either.)
In “So Many Birthdays,” she doesn’t care about the birthday food.
In “Beach Party,” Garnet sits in front of an untouched hot dog and comments that they don’t need to eat.
In “Warp Tour,” she bakes cookies but has no intention of eating them herself. They were intended for Steven, but Amethyst eats them.
In “Bismuth,” Pearl doesn’t bother to get a plate, but everyone else has pizza, and Garnet alone isn’t eating it.
And in “Gem Harvest,” Garnet doesn’t partake at the feast.
The closest we get to Garnet eating something in the show is from a scene in “Secret Team,” when it’s strongly implied that she drinks a sugary soda drink with Steven. When she arrives at Fish Stew Pizza, Steven has ordered drinks for them. You can see Steven has sipped some of his while Garnet’s is full.
Then she picks up the cup like she’s going to drink from it, though you don’t actually see her do it.
And then you see her set it down, with the liquid in it diminished. She probably drank the soda.
Though the sodas are back to the levels they were at before the next time we cut to a side scene of them, so who knows. There was also another time she ALMOST ate, in “Back to the Barn.” She was about to eat popcorn:
And then she literally shook her head and didn’t eat it, like she’s trolling all of us who want to see if she eats.
Garnet canonically eats multiple times … IN THE COMICS.
In “Doppelganger,” a short in the original comic run Steven Universe #4, Garnet eats a double-scoop ice cream cone while hanging out with Steven.
In Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #1, Steven teaches the Gems about roasting marshmallows over a campfire, and Garnet plays along, happy to eat the marshmallows.
And in the 2017 ongoing comic series, Steven Universe #3, Garnet is seen in the background of a crowd scene apparently eating or about to eat a donut. (I assume it is a donut, not a bagel, because Beach City businesses are offering their specialties here and the Big Donut is included.)
What do all these instances of comic-book eating have in common?
THEY’RE ALL SWEETS.
OBVIOUS CONCLUSION: GARNET IS A SUGAR FIEND.
This theory may be further supported by the fact that she was the only Gem able to make an acceptable cake for Steven for his birthday in “Birthday Bake-Off,” a short included in the original Steven Universe comic run, #1. Amethyst and Pearl had failed to make edible cakes, and then Garnet shows up with this:
Aaaand it’s not even really a cake, just solid icing.
I hope that when and if she actually does eat in the show, it will be sweets.
Shame on every one of the 217 Republicans who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, and substitute basically nothing.
Trumpcare isn’t a replacement of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a transfer from the sick and poor to the rich and healthy.
The losers are up to 24 million Americans who under the Affordable Care Act get subsidies to afford health insurance coverage, including millions of people with pre-existing conditions and poor people who had access to Medicaid who may not be able to afford insurance in the future.
The winners are wealthy Americans who will now get a tax cut because they won’t have to pay to fund the Affordable Care Act, and healthy people who won’t have to buy health insurance to subsidize the sick.
House Republicans say they have protected people with pre-existing health problems. Baloney. Sick people could be charged premiums so high as to make insurance unaffordable. Trumpcare would even let states waive the Obamacare ban on charging higher premiums for women who have been raped — which actually occurred before the Affordable Care Act.
America has the only healthcare system in the world designed to avoid sick people. Private for-profit health insurers do whatever they can to insure groups of healthy people, because that’s where the profits are. They also make every effort to avoid sick people, because that’s where the costs are.
The Affordable Care Act puts healthy and sick people into the same insurance pool. But under the Republican bill that passed the House, healthy people will no longer be subsidizing sick people. Healthy people will be in their own insurance pool. Sick people will be grouped with other sick people in their own high-risk pool – which will result in such high premiums, co-payments, and deductibles that many if not most won’t be able to afford.
Republicans say their bill creates a pool of money that will pay insurance companies to cover the higher costs of insuring sick people. Wrong. Insurers will take the money and still charge sick people much higher premiums. Or avoid sick people altogether.
The only better alternative to the Affordable Care Act is a single-payer system, such as Medicare for all, which would put all Americans into the same giant insurance pool. Not only would this be fairer, but it would also be far more efficient, because money wouldn’t be spent marketing and advertising to attract healthy people and avoid sick people.
Paul Ryan says the House vote was about fulfilling a promise the GOP made to American voters. But those voters have been lied to from the start about the Affordable Care Act. For years Republicans told them that the Act couldn’t work, would bankrupt America, and result in millions losing the healthcare they had before. All of these lies have been proven wrong.
Now Republicans say the Act is unsustainable because premiums are rising and insurers are pulling out. Wrong again. Whatever is wrong with the Affordable Care Act could be easily fixed, but Republicans have refused to do the fixing. Insurers have been pulling out because of the uncertainty Republicans have created.
The reason Republicans are so intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act is they want to give a giant tax cut to the rich who’d no longer have to pay the tab.
Here we come to the heart of the matter.
If patriotism means anything, it means sacrificing for the common good, participating in the public good. Childless Americans pay taxes for schools so children are educated. Americans who live close to their work pay taxes for roads and bridges so those who live farther away can get to work. Americans with secure jobs pay into unemployment insurance so those who lose their jobs have some income until they find another.
And under the Affordable Care Act, healthier and wealthier Americans pay a bit more so sicker and poorer Americans don’t die.
Trump and House Republicans aren’t patriots. They don’t believe in sacrificing for the common good. They don’t think we’re citizens with obligations to one another. To them, we’re just individual consumers who deserve the best deal we can get for ourselves. It’s all about the art of the deal.
So what do we do now? We fight.
To become law, Trumpcare has to go through 4 additional steps: First, a version must be enacted in the Senate. It must then go a “conference“ to hammer out differences between the House and Senate. The conference agreement must then pass in the House again, and again in the Senate.
I hope you’ll be there every step of the way, until Trumpcare collapses under the weight of its own cruelty. House Republicans who voted for this travesty will rue the day they did. Any Senate Republican who joins them will regret it as well.
Internal Conflict: Five Conflicting Traits of a Likable Hero.
1. Flaws and Virtues
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but characters without flaws are boring. This does not, as many unfortunate souls take it to mean, imply that good, kind, or benevolent characters are boring: it just means that without any weaknesses for you to poke at, they tend to be bland-faced wish fulfillment on the part of the author, with a tendency to just sit there without contributing much to the plot.
For any character to be successful, they need to have a proportionate amount of flaws and virtues.
Let’s take a look at Stranger Things, for example, which is practically a smorgasbord of flawed, lovable sweethearts.
We have Joyce Byers, who is strung out and unstable, yet tirelessly works to save her son, even when all conventional logic says he’s dead; We have Officer Hopper, who is drunken and occasionally callous, yet ultimately is responsible for saving the boy’s life; We have Jonathan, who is introspective and loving, but occasionally a bit of a creeper, and Nancy, who is outwardly shallow but proves herself to be a strong and determined character. Even Steve, who would conventionally be the popular jerk who gets his comeuppance, isn’t beyond redemption.
And of course, we have my beloved Eleven, who’s possibly the closest thing Stranger Things has to a “quintessential” heroine. She’s the show’s most powerful character, as well as one of the most courageous. However, she is also the show’s largest source of conflict, as it was her powers that released the Demogorgon to begin with.
Would Eleven be a better character if this had never happened? Would Stranger Things be a better show? No, because if this had never happened, Stranger Things wouldn’t even be a show. Or if it was, it would just be about a bunch of cute kids sitting around and playing Dungeons and Dragons in a relatively peaceful town.
A character’s flaws and mistakes are intended to drive the plotline, and if they didn’t have them, there probably wouldn’t even be a plot.
So don’t be a mouth-breather: give your good, kind characters some difficult qualities, and give your villains a few sympathetic ones. Your work will thank you for it.
2. Charisma and Vulnerability
Supernatural has its flaws, but likable leads are not one of them. Fans will go to the grave defending their favorite character, consuming and producing more character-driven, fan-created content than most other TV shows’ followings put together.
So how do we inspire this kind of devotion with our own characters? Well, for starters, let’s take a look at one of Supernatural’s most quintessentially well-liked characters: Dean Winchester.
From the get-go, we see that Dean has charisma: he’s confident, cocky, attractive, and skilled at what he does. But these qualities could just as easily make him annoying and obnoxious if they weren’t counterbalanced with an equal dose of emotional vulnerability.
As the show progresses, we see that Dean cares deeply about the people around him, particularly his younger brother, to the point of sacrificing himself so that he can live. He goes through long periods of physical and psychological anguish for his benefit (though by all means, don’t feel obligated to send your main character to Hell for forty years), and the aftermath is depicted in painful detail.
Moreover, in spite of his outward bravado, we learn he doesn’t particularly like himself, doesn’t consider himself worthy of happiness or a fulfilling life, and of course, we have the Single Man Tear™.
So yeah, make your characters beautiful, cocky, sex gods. Give them swagger. Just, y’know. Hurt them in equal measure. Torture them. Give them insecurities. Make them cry.
Just whatever you do, let them be openly bisexual. Subtext is so last season.
3. Goals For the Future and Regrets From the Past
Let’s take a look at Shadow Moon from American Gods. (For now, I’ll have to be relegate myself to examples from the book, because I haven’t had the chance to watch the amazing looking TV show.)
Right off the bat, we learn that Shadow has done three years in prison for a crime he may or may not have actually committed. (We learn later that he actually did commit the crime, but that it was only in response to being wronged by the true perpetrators.)
He’s still suffering the consequences of his actions when we meet him, and arguably, for the most of the book: because he’s in prison, his wife has an affair (I still maintain that Laura could have resisted the temptation to be adulterous if she felt like it, but that’s not the issue here) and is killed while mid-coital with his best friend.
Shadow is haunted by this for the rest of the book, to the point at which it bothers him more than the supernatural happenings surrounding him.
Even before that, the more we learn about Shadow’s past, the more we learn about the challenges he faced: he was bullied as a child, considered to be “just a big, dumb guy” as an adult, and is still wrongfully pursued for crimes he was only circumstantially involved in.
But these difficulties make the reader empathize with Shadow, and care about what happens to him. We root for Shadow as he tags along with the mysterious and alternatively peckish and charismatic Wednesday, and as he continuously pursues a means to permanently bring Laura back to life.
He has past traumas, present challenges, and at least one goal that propels him towards the future. It also helps that he’s three-dimensional, well-written, and as of now, portrayed by an incredibly attractive actor.
Of course (SPOILER ALERT), Shadow never does succeed in fully resurrecting Laura, ultimately allowing her to rest instead, but that doesn’t make the resolution any less satisfying.
Which leads to my next example…
4. Failure and Success
You remember in Zootopia, when Judy Hopps decides she wants to be cop and her family and town immediately and unanimously endorse her efforts? Or hey, do you remember Harry Potter’s idyllic childhood with his kindhearted, adoptive family? Oh! Or in the X-Files, when Agent Mulder presents overwhelming evidence of extraterrestrial life in the first episode and is immediately given a promotion? No?
Yeah, me neither. And there’s a reason for this: ff your hero gets what they want the entire time, it will be a boring, two-dimensional fantasy that no one will want to read.
A good story is not about the character getting what they want. A good story is about the character’s efforts and their journey. The destination they reach could be something far removed from what they originally thought they wanted, and could be no less (if not more so) satisfying because of it.
Let’s look at Toy Story 3, for example: throughout the entire movie, Woody’s goal is to get his friends back to their longtime owner, Andy, so that they can accompany him to college. He fails miserably. None of his friends believe that Andy was trying to put them in the attic, insisting that his intent was to throw them away. He is briefly separated from them as he is usurped by a cute little girl and his friends are left at a tyrannical daycare center, but with time and effort, they’re reunited, Woody is proven right, and things seem to be back on track.
Do his efforts pay off? Yes – just not in the way he expected them to. At the end of the movie, a college-bound Andy gives the toys away to a new owner who will play with them more than he will, and they say goodbye. Is the payoff bittersweet? Undoubtedly. It made me cry like a little bitch in front of my young siblings. But it’s also undoubtedly satisfying.
So let your characters struggle. Let them fail. And let them not always get what they want, so long as they get what they need.
5. Loving and Being Loved by Others
Take a look back at this list, and all the characters on it: a gaggle of small town kids and flawed adults, demon-busting underwear models, an ex-con and his dead wife, and a bunch of sentient toys. What do they have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re all well-loved heroes of their own stories, not much.
But one common element they all share is they all have people they care about, and in turn, have people who care about them.
This allows readers and viewers to empathize with them possibly more than any of the other qualities I’ve listed thus far, as none of it means anything without the simple demonstration of human connection.
Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite caped crusader, for example: Batman in the cartoons and the comics is an easy to love character, whereas in the most recent movies (excluding the splendid Lego Batman Movie), not so much.
Why is this? In all adaptions, he’s the same mentally unstable, traumatized genius in a bat suit. In all adaptions, he demonstrates all the qualities I listed before this: he has flaws and virtues, charisma and vulnerability, regrets from the past and goals for the future, and usually proportionate amounts of failure and success.
What makes the animated and comic book version so much more attractive than his big screen counterpart is the fact that he does one thing right that all live action adaptions is that he has connections and emotional dependencies on other people.
He’s unabashed in caring for Alfred, Batgirl, and all the Robins, and yes, he extends compassion and sympathy to the villains as well, helping Harley Quinn to ultimately escape a toxic and abusive relationship, consoling Baby Doll, and staying with a child psychic with godlike powers until she died.
Cartoon Batman is not afraid to care about others. He has a support network of people who care about him, and that’s his greatest strength. The DC CU’s ever darker, grittier, and more isolated borderline sociopath is failing because he lacks these things.
And it’s also one of the reasons that the Lego Batman Movie remains so awesome.
God willing, I will be publishing fresh writing tips every week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future advice and observations!
I have had Vision, a dwarf BCI and my youngest snake, for roughly 9 months now. He will be a year old in July, so by snake standards he is still very much a baby. In the past 9 months, he’s gone from, for lack of better words, a bitey defensive asshole to a relatively passive and trusting creature who simply has Rules ™ on how, where, and when he can be touched. I used the same method to produce these results as I do with all of my reptiles, including my young snake of a notoriously aggressive and defensive species (Amazon Tree Boas) and have frequently been asked how I manage to get these animals that instinctively bite first and ask questions never to allow handling and pictures without drawing blood.
On my dog blog I’ve mentioned the concept of body autonomy a few times in relation to training dogs, and how it crosses over into husbandry in other species. In these posts I’ve detailed how I tame the larger birds at my job, how I teach my snakes not to bite me when I take them out, how I can successfully convince a thrashing dog to accept grooming without a fuss, how I teach cats to not turn into screaming demons for nail trims, and more. I also cover this in many of my dog training lectures at work as my students teach their dogs to allow grooming, nail trims, and medically related handling to prevent injuries and incidents when interacting with these animals. All of this relates back to body autonomy, and how we as humans have consistently ignored other species’ instinctive need to be autonomous.
I am no master animal trainer and do not play one on TV. I train pet dogs and service dogs and have begun to venture into competition, at one point I specialized in rehabbing aggressive and reactive dogs. I have trained various common pet animals in occasionally unconventional ways to do things that make life easier for the both of us, but I don’t claim to be anything special, because what I’m doing is not all that special. It is, however, uncommon for people to make these considerations with their pets and then they call in someone like me to fix a problem that didn’t need to start in the first place.
An example being: frequently on this website and others, the solution for convincing a biting snake not to bite you is to hold it still until it stops biting you. The snake will learn that biting you does not produce the desired result (you letting the snake go or putting it back in its cage) and thus will eventually stop biting you when you pick it up.
In the dog training world, we call this flooding and learned helplessness. It “works” because it produces what we wanted it to. The snake no longer bites when you pick it up. But it failed to address the root of the problem, and frequently if regular handling is not maintained the snake will return to biting you every time you touch it. The snake had learned that there was nothing it could do in order to make you stop doing what it didn’t like, and so had learned that it was helpless against the much larger human. The snake in this situation still doesn’t really want to be handled, it is merely tolerating it because it sees no other option.
While snakes have a much more primitive brain than dogs and thus a much more limited scope of emotions, aggression and violence are always expensive measures to use and thus are frequently considered last resort measures to make an unpleasant situation stop. They are costly in body resources- they take large amounts of energy, stress, and time to resolve, and wounds obtained from violence can become deadly with infection or severity. As a result, a bite should always indicate that whatever you are doing is so unpleasant to the animal you’re doing it to that they’re willing to risk their life in order to make you stop. The common pet snake knows it cannot win against an animal as large as a human. It is hoping you have not come to the same realization, and will not call its bluff.
This creates a problem. Like with dogs, backing off from a situation that is required after a bite will teach the snake that all they have to do to get you to leave them alone is to bite you. If I need to trim my dog’s nails, give him a bath, brush him, or have him examined by a vet, sure I could put him in a muzzle and force him to do it anyway, but it is counter-intuitive to teach him that all he has to do is bite me in order to get out of doing those things he may consider unpleasant. I need to be able to handle my snakes. This is not negotiable, just like the above things I do with my dogs are not negotiable. If I cannot handle them, I cannot check them for injury, disease, or distress. Backing off because my snake, or dog, has threatened to bite me is thus not a viable option. I must be able to complete the task, and the animal in question must let me.
Dogs, by comparison, are relatively easy to convince in this problem. I need to be able to do my dog’s nails. If I give him amazing treats on a good reward schedule, shower him with praise, listen to his body language to give him a chance to calm down and destress before pressing on, and remove my own negative emotions from the equation, he will learn to let me do his nails and even offer the position required for the task within a relatively short amount of time. He does not have to like having his nails done, but I can convince him to like he benefits he gets out of it. Cats and birds and small mammal pets like ferrets, rabbits, and rodents may be slower, but follow much the same way.
I can’t give a snake a treat. That’s not really how snake digestive systems work. I can’t give them a toy. I can’t give them praise. The subtleties of snake body language are much harder to read due to a lack of eyelids, ears, and limbs. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, all of these are social creatures that practice social bonding and feel an emotion similar to love (in the dog’s case, actually do feel love). Snakes are not social creatures and their brain is not capable of producing the chemicals involved in the emotion we call love. I cannot convince a snake to love me or to like being handled. That is not something their biology is able to do. Does that mean I have to rely on flooding and learned helplessness in order to get them to let me handle them?
I keep stressy species. While all reptiles are more than capable of stressing themselves to death, my current list of exotic pets includes a special needs ball python with a severe neurological condition, a brazilian rainbow boa specifically purchased from someone who breeds minimally stressy snakes because he got tired of the species’ reputation for being bitey assholes, and a dwarf bci locality (read: like a subspecies, but not different enough to get their own scientific name) known for being defensive bitey assholes. Previously, I had a special needs corn snake that was a defensive bitey asshole, an amazon tree boa that was remarkably handleable despite the species’ reputation for being aggressive and defensive bitey angry assholes, and a few foster ball pythons that came from neglect situations and had never been handled before leading to them being defensive bitey assholes. Stress is common in situations where aggression or violence is utilized, even if it is being utilized by the animal and not the human. If the stress from moving can kill my beloved ATB Hydra, why would I intentionally expose him to situations where he would feel required to use violence again and again until he learned that that was not a way out of the situation?
I did not flood my snakes. I hold them. They do not bite me. It has been a long time since any of them have even struck at me, and the majority of the bites and strikes I have received have been from when I was learning the snake in front of me or from me intentionally ignoring their body language and handling them a way I knew they didn’t like for whatever reason. Snakes do not bite without cause. Whether you, a human, can see that cause or not, snakes do not bite because they are vindictive or mean. As said, their brains are far too primitive to feel such complex emotions. Even wild snakes do not bite without provocation- whether you intentionally provoked them or not does not matter, simply whether they felt provoked enough to need to defend themselves possibly with their lives.
Vision came to me unsure of my intentions and of whether I could be considered safe. He certainly didn’t believe I should be picking him up. At two months old, the world is a scary place to a baby snake where nearly everything is bigger than you and nearly everything wants to kill or eat you. I do not blame him for doubting the warm giant cooing over him with grabby hands. To him, I’m sure I am some baffling mixture of hawk, bear, and wild canine. All of these things readily kill and eat snakes, all of these things may be persuaded to not kill and eat this particular snake if he bites them.
Instead of picking him up and allowing him to spend precious resources stressing himself to the point of repeatedly biting me- which hurts, by the way, so I don’t really want to be bitten any more than I need to be- I allowed him to show me things about him. I let him show me what he does when he’s nervous, when he doesn’t want to be bothered. I let him show me what he does when he’s curious and feels like investigating what’s in front of him. I let him show me how he does and does not like to be touched. Like many snakes, he seems to enjoy being scratched lightly under the chin. Like many snakes, he doesn’t seem to appreciate being tickled on the stomach. He prefers to create a “foot” about 2/3 down his body and use it as an anchored perch when exploring my hands. He does not want his tail to be touched. When he is nervous or unsure of potential danger, he will retract and coil himself into a loose ball. If pressed before he recovers, he will “expand” the “ball” quickly and vocalize. If he continues to be pressured, he will threaten to bite and will begin to try. If he is allowed to relax, he will recreate his “foot” and resume quietly investigating his surroundings.
Today, I took the lid off of his enclosure and lifted him out without a fuss. While this is not a first- we accomplished this task about 4 weeks in- only in the past few weeks has he not immediately retracted into his loose ball and required me to wait a few minutes for him to relax before touching him. Instead, he immediately made his “foot” and began to investigate, leaned against my finger as I scratched his chin, and maintained his confidence throughout the time I handled him. Sure, I could possibly get a similar result through the first method of flooding and teaching him that he is helpless against me, but I don’t need to. I can get a confident content snake that is not only tolerating my handling but also showing curiosity and intelligence without forcing him to accept my hands as things he has to deal with in his life.
The people espousing these methods always ask me how I managed to take such nice, interesting pictures of Hydra without bleeding- or joke about how much blood they think I lost inbetween shots- and are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t get bit because I understand a snake’s need for autonomy and allow the snake to tell me their “rules” for being touched and then follow those rules or understand if I break them I will get bit. As a result, I don’t break their rules unless I have to, and thus I don’t get bit unless I have to. This allows me to handle and investigate my snakes, look in their mouths, check their vents and between their scales, touch their heads, and rescue them from fluke accidents such as Quetzal’s injury with his decor without the snake taking their frustrations out on me. It also allows me to take some pretty pictures of them outside or on props without worrying how I will retrieve them without being bitten when I’m done.
SANA: That’s why I think we should be ambitious, and a clear goal should be to try to win at least one of the bus prizes at Tryvann* in May 2018.
GIRL 1: It’s pretty easy to say you want to win prizes, everyone wants that, but now that you’re bus boss, do you have any plans on how to do that?
SANA: To start, I’ve had a look at your budget, and it needs to be re-allocated. For example, there’s no point in trying to compete in lighting and sound rigging, cause then we’re going to lose. But what we can be competitive in is concept. So the first thing I’m going to do is move a lot of our resources from the lighting and sound category to the concept category.
INGRID: I’m sorry, but it’s pretty hard to win the year’s best concept.
SANA: Yes, but if you do an analysis of the buses that have won the last three years, you can see some obvious commonalities. The League 2014: a boy’s bus from Bærum with Pokeball-bar and Pokemon decorations. Montana 2015: a boy’s bus from Oslo-West that used three versions of Montana - Tony Montana, Hannah Montana and the state Montana. And then we have Landslaget** 2016, inspired by football spirit and nationalism. Do you see what those buses have in common?
GIRL: Boy’s buses…
SANA: All the concepts suck and we can do better. In the first round, I’m going to call in all the bus bosses to a meeting where we plan what we’re going to do the next half year with some clear goals. Any more questions? Yes?
GIRL TWO: Well, so … the russ period is all about partying and drinking, and then I have to ask, since you’re Muslim, what do you think of drinking?
While the truth about Ben Hopkins gains traction, remember that abuse in DIY scenes is ridiculously common for lots of reasons and it’s all of our responsibility to keep our peers and younger people safe out there. Here’s what you can do:
Stop repping pwr bttm. Stop going to their shows and stop recommending them to others.
Build up bands, collectives, and organizations doing the good work and making art that is meaningful to you.
Look out for each other, both in physical spaces and online. Respect and believe everyone who comes forward. This story is gonna grow and as people come forward we have to back them up.
This sucks a LOT and it feels like there’s nothing good left but we can stick together and lift up the voices that most need to be heard right now.
What to do when you’re stuck with a lazy group? I’m with two guys and we still haven’t chosen a topic. We have to present in two weeks. Nobody replies to my messages and both left after class this week. I just wanted to choose a topic and leave!!!! So I booked a study room today and they all made excuses. Ugh. I’m gonna be the one who’s doing all the work. This is worth 40% of our grade. Same as the exam. FML
Hi there, thank you for asking, as this is a super common problem in high school, university and the workplace! I’ve never seen this question answered in depth on studyblr, so I’ll give it a go!
NB. It depends on your personality as to the approach you want to take, so let everyone who’s reading this not pass judgement upon others in such a situation~ Remember in all of this to be polite, understanding and gracious no matter how much you want to flip tables. The following 5 Options go in order of how many bridges you want to burn :’)
Option 0. Wait for a bit longer and try communicating with them again.
I have seen a similar question asked once on tumblr where the studyblr blogger answered “two weeks is plenty of time, you’re probably over-reacting”… Obviously, I’m not going to trivialise your answer by giving you just one option like that - I frankly thought that studyblr was quite rude for answering so shortly to someone who took the time to ask them a question.
How to do it: The way you communicate with them now might not be effective, so make sure that you’re ticking off the following boxes if you choose this option, rather than just letting nothing change: meeting face to face, setting mini-deadlines for each part instead of just allocating once at the beginning, and make sure each member knows what and when they have to complete something.
This option is best suited for people who:
really don’t want to create a commotion and would rather wait a little longer and reduce the time available for them to do the project,
or people who would answer ‘Strongly Disagree’ to “Being organized is more important to you than being adaptable“ and “In a discussion, truth should be more important than people’s sensitivities.” in a personality quiz (a strong prognostic factor for Option 1 tbh),
or people who know they can tackle everything in less than 1 week,
or people who just realised/kind of know they’re actually overreacting,
or have just realised whilst reading this that maybe they didn’t actually try contacting the other group members all that well (i.e. don’t have enough evidence for Option 3).
Nobody gets angry at anyone, and it doesn’t reflect badly on you either (because no one finds out if you don’t say anything - people tend to be judgemental if you pick one of the three options below).
Less stressful for some people than confrontation.
You might get eventual cooperation.
You might not get eventual cooperation, and end up being stuck with all the work anyway (hence resulting in options below).
More stressful for other people as you feel time is ticking away and nothing is changing.
The time you spend waiting for the others will result in less time for you to tackle all the actual work.
Pro-tip: doing as much individual work as possible sometimes will egg those team members to finally start pulling their weight, or can help you with Option 3 if you do end up going for it.
Option 1. You make all the decisions and do all the work.
Best suited for people who: are academically gifted, like doing work independently, have excellent time management skills.
You can ensure the quality of the work will be excellent.
You get to choose what topic to do and direct the overall project turnout.
No one hates you for anything, but NB. your friends and family relationships that suffer as a result of the time you have to sacrifice might not have anything pleasant to say about it all.
You need an extraordinary amount of time.
The other people in the group get a free ride and in nastier words, some would say you get taken advantage of for your goodwill.
Lack of group opinion may make the quality of your work suffer.
Other subjects you’re taking may suffer.
Option 2. Badger the other group members until they do some work.
Best suited for people who: don’t want to be stuck with Option 1, but don’t want to escalate to Option 3. Give them an ultimatum about the work, or just decide the topic by yourself if they don’t step up.
Very similar to Option 0 in that you wait a bit longer before taking drastic action, so you might get eventual cooperation, and you don’t bother your professor.
You stress yourself out badgering other people.
Other group members get annoyed at you, and your classmates that happen to watch you badgering have a not-so-great impression of you.
Option 3. Document a significant amount of evidence that shows your effort to get them to contribute and contact the professor about it.
Best suited for people who:would like to do things independently but just cannot afford the time because of other commitments.
Professor can step in and (hopefully) offer some sort of alternative solution.
Your other subjects won’t suffer.
Sometimes you have a really great professor and they end up taking into account that you’ve done the project by yourself and mark super nicely/give a bonus mark, or even penalise the other students.
Professor may snuff you and say “the purpose of this project is also to learn about team cooperation”. Had a prof before who told us straight up at the beginning of the project that “you work it out, not me”
Professor may help you out, but in a way that doesn’t really end up helping e.g. he just emails the two members of your group to tell them to start working once and that’s it.
Other group members hate you for life (and I know this bothers some people enough not to go through with it, again pls remember no judgement fellow readers)
How to do it:Email should be along the lines of the following:
Dear Professor _______,
I am a current student undertaking [course code]. I am sorry to contact you in unfortunate circumstances, but I have been having severe difficulty convening with the other members for the remainder of the _____ project. While I am aware that group projects have a dual purpose to both educate us on the academic topic as well as to improve our cooperation and communication skills, I have tried [insert whatever means you attempted to contact them by, attaching evidence is up to you]. I have already completed the intro/background research/other individual task, however I cannot complete the ______ by myself/without group input.
I would appreciate any guidance you could offer/I would greatly appreciate your help/If it is possible, could you please [insert action depending on how desperate you are - don’t ask for anything unreasonable!]?
I apologise for having to inconvenience you, and thank you for your understanding on the matter.
[Name and student number]
Option 4. You do all the work and then leave their names off the work.
Best suited for people who: work independently, don’t mind burning a few bridges. I won’t actually recommend this option, but I’ve seen this happen in real life.
Sense of self-satisfaction for some people when the lazy members don’t get a free ride.
Again, you make sure the project quality is exactly what you want.
Similar to Option 1 minus the free ride bit.
Not only do the other group members hate you, but their friends in your cohort will too. At least in Option 3, those guys can’t try and gossip behind your backs because whoever they tell will realise that they didn’t do the right thing either.
Do this at your own risk, as it can backfire depending on the professor - if anyone’s watched Cheese in the Trap - the main character does all the work but the professor managed to suss out that the other group members didn’t do anything, and as a result penalised her with a D grade for failing to make it “group” work despite the fact she would’ve gotten an A. Some profs are really… they just don’t see it your way :/
Hopefully things don’t have to escalate to Option 4, but whatever you choose to take, I’ll wish you the best! I’ve given quite detailed instructions and written comprehensively, but feel free to contact me any time if you need any more help :)
These are Frequently Asked Questions I get about astral. Please check this guide before asking me questions concerning astralling! This will be updated regularly, as I receive more questions.
What is the astral?
Note that this is MY definition: I consider the astral to be absolutely everything; our plane of existence, spirits’ planes of existence, pop culture realms, etc. The astral is everywhere and everything.
How does astral travel work?
When you travel, a small portion of your consciousness leaves your body.
This consciousness manifests as its own body on the astral, or it could “awaken” in an astral body you already have. In travel, you do not see/hear/feel/think as clearly as you do during projection, simply because only a portion of your consciousness has left your body.
What is astral travel versus astral projection versus OBE?
Note, again, these are MY definitions:
In astral travel, a PORTION of your consciousness leaves your body and is able to explore other realms.
In Astral Projection, nearly your entire consciousness leaves your body. Astral projection is much harder to achieve than travel. This is the “gold standard” of astral travel, where you see/hear/feel/think with complete or almost complete clarity.
In an OBE, Out-of-Body-Experience, your consciousness FULLY leave your body. As of right now, I do not believe this is possible without a near-death experience, or actual death.
What are some ways to astral travel?
Have a spirit you know and trust “pull” you into the astral.
(Visualization) Imagine a door. Imagine/focus on what is on the other side of the door. Walk through it.
(Visualization) Imagine an X (pool, mirror, etc). Imagine/focus on what is on the other side of X. Walk through it.
“Splitting”: Imagine a copy of yourself hovering above you. Notice your consciousness in your own body, then “jump” your consciousness into that copy of yourself floating above you. Proceed to go where you want.
What are some ways to astral project?
Just….keep practicing astral travel, maybe try new methods. I highly recommend reading Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce, I have literally NEVER EVER found a more comprehensive, extremely informative, and yet still beginner-friendly and not overly complex guide to astral travel/projection.
Differentiating “true astral” from imagination?
will always have external interactions that are not in your own head; entities talking/living their own lives whether your imagination/consciousness directs them to or not. Entities moving independently of your will.
Spirits (good or bad) being able to follow you back home, to your physical body and interact with you there
Unexpected/Unpredictable occurrences happen
You get injured and it may hurt your astral body and maybe feel it a little physically too. Injury damages your magical abilities/astral abilities
Your astral body can die and you won’t be able to access “true astral” until you regenerate.
You can meet other humans consciously. As in, you can text your friend and meetup on the astral together, and talk about it IRL afterwards.
You are in full control of everything.
What you expect to happen, will happen
Entities are like puppets or dolls; they don’t move around unless you imagine them doing so, and if/when they interact with you, it’s things you expected them to say
You will not tire, or will tire extremely slowly.
You die/get extremely hurt and nothing happens. You can regenerate at will/heal whenever and wherever you want.
You talk to your friend, then you talk to them later IRL and they have no idea what you talked about.
Why do people always imagine common fantasy stuff when astralling? Don’t you think astral and what happens there is just your imagination and happens in your head? I mean strangely all the people who talk about astral experiences describe common fantasy stuff. I’d say if astral was real it would contain a lot of stuff people can’t even imagine, and yet everyone describes dragons, elfs, etc, that which their mind already knows, nothing out of ordinary. Isn’t this suspicious?
One reason people generally imagine common fantasy is stuff is because that’s what most people care about, and thus go to. It’s hard to care about a species that humanity has never even encountered before, isn’t it? Also, how can you visit the realm of something you have never even heard of/can’t imagine before? Astral travel needs knowledge of where you will go to, so it’s pretty hard (and probably super dangerous) to just say “take me somewhere beyond my imagination.”
There’s also the problem of perception: during astralling, the mind usually replaces things you don’t know with things you do know of, to use less energy while astralling. While you can force your brain to show “the truth”, the more the thing you are trying to look at is beyond your imagination, the more energy and effort it will take to see “the truth”.
How do you do astral laundry?
Note: Not limited to this list.
Have a companion you’re comfortable with seeing you nude do your laundry for you.
Astral travel two feet away from your earth self, take your astral clothes off, put them in your washer/dryer (with your astral self or earth self), physically run the washer/dryer (you can wash other clothes with it). Take your clothes out, travel again and put your clothes back on.
Destroy your clothes and remake clean ones.
How do past lives affect current astral shenanigans?
You might appear as one of your past life forms/bodies. Spirits from your past lives could also attempt to find you on the astral (whether malicious or friendly, so always be cautious).
How to meet spirits on the astral?
1. Be able to astral and able to distinguish between astralling/imagination.
2. Go somewhere with spirits.
How to safely meet spirits on the astral?
There is no 100% guarantee of safety when astralling.
Some suggestions are:
Have spirit guides/guardians/protective companions take you somewhere safe
Actually know where you are going and who you want to meet
How do you keep possibly malicious spirits/entities/beings from following you back home?
This is what wards in your living space/where you are when you astral are for. Wards can fuddle your energy signature from being found by spirits you don’t want to find you.
Make sure you “come back” correctly; that you walked back through your imagined door, imagined yourself falling back into your physical body, whatever.
Do a centering exercise, which will help you “pull back in” trace amounts of energy you left where you went when astralling. Do make sure your wards are up first, to make sure nothing follows the “pull” back to your physical body. If you don’t know what centering is/how to do it, check the “energy work” section of my FAQ/my energy work FAQ post.
Manners/social etiquette/social skills in the astral?
Obviously those will vary a LOT based on where you go. I literally can’t write a comprehensive guide as the astral is home to a limitless number of cultures.
But some things to keep in mind are:
Don’t fight every single thing you see ever. Don’t try and provoke fights with every single thing ever. Retribution is a thing and the majority of spirits have the advantage when fighting in the astral.
Just because something looks scary doesn’t mean it’s out to get you.
Observe the culture, maybe talk with some of the nicer (and not trickster) locals who can tell you the Do’s and Don’ts of their culture.
Heeeeeeey people keep talking about different places in the astral and are they alternate locations all on the same plane or are there alternate astral planes with alternate inhabitants?
There are alternate astral planes with their own inhabitants, and alternate locations on the same plane.
Example of the former: We are on earth. Heaven exists on its own plane of the universe.
Example of the latter: We are on Earth. An alternate location on our plane of existence would be Venus.
Is it possible for entities/other people to drag you into the astral (forcefully or not)?
Absolutely, both people and entities can bring you to the astral. And they can do it forcefully or consensually (consensually obviously takes a lot less energy).
This will be updated every once in a while. Again, please check this FAQ before you ask me any questions concerning this, please ^-^
You know what really gets to me? Kara Danvers has such a strong, loving relationship with Lena Luthor, they regularly hang out and have long conversations…all while Kara has only revealed half of herself. They have so much in common just in the context of Earth. Kara even spends more time with Lena and sometimes appears to be closer to her than even some of the people who DO know her secret, which is why a) I can’t believe Kara hasn’t told her yet and b) I refuse to accept that Lena doesn’t at least suspect at this point.
Ok, that’s a lie, I can actually understand Kara’s reluctance. She met Lena as Kara Danvers and that’s who really got to know her. Her decision to keep her identity secret may be out of a desire to maintain a relationship with someone who sees Kara Danvers as a hero before even knowing she’s the girl of steel. Or perhaps out of fear that Lena will distance herself if she knows.
But jeez…if we think Lena Luthor has amazing chemistry with Kara Danvers, just imagine how much she’ll have with Kara Zor-el. Lena finally being able to talk about losing her entire family to their own catastrophic, misguided decisions with someone who knows exactly what that feels like. Kara telling Lena all about life on Krypton, filling her head with all sorts of ideas when she mentions tech they used to have, frustrating her a bit when Kara doesn’t know enough specifics to help her replicate different devices she’s casually mentioned.
Like it blows my mind because even without all of this their relationship is fucking beautiful, yet there’s still SO MUCH POTENTIAL.
…Can Lena please just look directly into the camera and say “yeah I’ve known like the whole time” so we can skip ahead to the scenes I actually want to see?
The Problem with Climaxes: A Meta on Structure and Narrative.
so there we are. at the half-way point of the last season of SKAM. the last clip has resulted in some divisive opinions. i’m not gonna delve into them, but what i do want to discuss is how specifically this last clip shows us some troubles with the structure and narrative of this season in particular, and with a focus on how the climaxes are put in the story.
now, climaxes are moments a story when a certain plot reaches its highest point: it’s an intense moment where the action and tension becomes overwhelming and really changes the story. think of isak’s last moment in s3 ep 5: the tension of what even’s deal suddenly is comes to a heartbreaking climax. what this clip, imagine all the people living life in peace, and this season in particular shows us is that all the plot points, all the stories of the season thus far, needed to have their climax in this clip. it’s understandable, it’s the last clip for the break, so it needs to have some incentive for watchers to tune in after the break. but here’s the problem with having all the climaxes in one clip: SKAM relies on reality. it’s one of its biggest selling points: it feels real, bc the characters, relationships and stories that we see sound and feel real, especially if we include the social media aspect of it all. and let’s be totally honest here: it is highly improbable that SO many things go wrong in one evening.
let’s look at all the plot points that have been risen during ep1-4:
- the russebuss/sara/vilde problem - even’s mysterious past with sana’s brother and his friends (and how isak wants to know about it) - noora’s problematic love life - sana’s mother having trust issues - sana’s love life with yousef
(also important is sana’s relationship with her religion, but that seems more of a theme underlying all these plots.)
so what do these plots have in common? all of these plots points had their climax in this particular clip; frankly all of them in a negative way to boot, except for the storyline with sana’s mother.not only that, the climaxes also were extremely rapid-fire after each other. vilde fucks over sana’s trust and goes behind her back; the boysquad and balloon squad fight each other; noora finds out about william and (suddenly) is seen kissing yousef. this all happens in a 10 minute clip.
personally, this reminded me of one of my less favourite scenes in s1: the christmas tree scene at the very end. in that scene, all the plots throughout the season had a small positive climax (eva hugging one person she had a problem with after the other, suddenly william shows up and apologises, eva closes off her storyline with isak, noora uses isak’s phone and finds some.. interesting sites..). which is all fine, but it all happened really quickly after each other. in one clip. and that makes it, at least for me, just less realistic. it’s clunky storytelling. having resolutions/climaxes so quickly after each other just doesn’t feel like real life, which SKAM purports to be. imagine that isak’s fifth episode ended not only with his heart broken, but also with his forced coming out, a big fight with his parents over his phone and sonja telling isak that “oh well he never loved you anyway, he’s bipolar”. that would just be too much.
climaxes are fine, even needed, but as s3 has shown us: some climaxes should take longer or shorter, and they don’t all need to happen in the same clip for it to cause development in character or story. because another problem of having all the climaxes for this story in this clip is that the stories do not get in depth development before the climax are reached, which is why – for example – the storyline with the russebuss felt so.. long and a bit boring. there could never be a real resolution bc then the climax in this clip wouldn’t work as well.
and because this is feeling unrealistic, it’s doing a disservice to the real lives of poc muslimahs. it’s as if everything is heaped onto sana at the same moment, without her being able to do anything about it bc the story doesn’t allow her to. it’s, to be quite honest, frustrating. and i hope this structure in the narrative gets resolved more spread out rather than all, like in s1, in the same clip or episode. i guess we’ll see in the back half of the season.