what the flux

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAREST @matchaball !!! This image is based off of her lovely Miraculous Ladybug fic, Inking Indigo  and it’s so, so wonderful. Like a warm cup of tea. 

I hope you have a wonderful day m’dear–you’re always full of enthusiasm and you always know the right things to say (in both friendships and fic!!). I am honored to be your friend!! :’D 

physics doesn’t have to suck: how to enjoy and do well in your required physics classes

As someone who doesn’t intend to take a physics class ever again, I was relieved when I walked out of my second semester physics final. That said, physics doesn’t have to suck or drag your average down. 

(1) How to enjoy physics: Adjust your attitude. Physics is so cool if you actually think about it. Your attitude will dictate your experience. (2) But physics is so hard: Change the way you study and don’t give up. I did better in university physics than in high school. The content was way more difficult but it was my studying methods that made the difference.

This post is split into 3 parts: Introductory physics (very basic physics, that unit of physics you had to do in a lower level science class), high school physics (physics from an algebra-based perspective), and university physics (calculus-based physics and labs). (Obviously these overlap a lot but I needed to organize this somehow)

INFO IS UNDER THE CUT B/C THIS POST IS RIDICULOUSLY LONG

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Tips For Writing Time Travel:  An Illustrated Guide.

@jjpivotz asked:

“What is a good way that I could write time travelling without it being cliche?”

Ooh, I love questions like this!  They’re so much fun, and on a somewhat self-indulgent level, they really get me thinking on the tropes themselves.

So without further ado, here are my personal thoughts on writing about time travel:

1.  Embrace the fact that it’s not gonna make total sense.

This goes for a lot of creative fiction.  When I was writing my urban fantasy novel, for example, I used a lot of traditional mythological figures whose duties and depictions (i.e. one humanoid being reaping the dead despite the fact that over a hundred thousand people die a day, billion-year-old entities who still look and behave like teenagers, figures from religions whose world views wildly conflict interacting with each other, etc.) weren’t compatible with what we currently know about the laws of physics.  

And the sooner I resolved not to even attempt to explain it, the sooner my novel improved.  

The wonderful thing about fiction is that it doesn’t have to imitate reality as we know it;  the laws of the physical universe need not apply.  And as long as the characters in your universe accept that, so will the reader.  

I’ve had around twenty beta readers look at my book, and not one of them has poked holes in my casual disregard for the conventionally accepted rules of physical reality.  The suspension of disbelief is an amazing thing.

As for how to best apply this to time travel, take Back to the Future, for example. This is one of the best time travel series ever made, but if you really look at what’s going on, you’ll come to find that none of it really makes any sense at all.

First of all, Marty McFly is a popular high school student whose best friend is an eccentric nuclear physicist.  Conventional wisdom (and just about every fiction writing book or advice blog I’ve ever read) would dictate that this is a pretty heavy plot-point and warrants some explanation.  But the narrative never questions it, and as such neither does the vast majority of its audience.  

It is in this exact manner that Back to the Future handles its heaviest of all plotpoints, the act of time travel, which is the main driving force behind its entire plot.  

How does it explain Doc Brown’s ability to time travel?  Well, he invented the Flux Capacitor, of course.  What is a Flux Capacitor, you ask?  How does it work, exactly?  Well, fucked if I know.  All I know is that the narrative treats it like it’s a real thing, and by default, so do I.    

The same could be said for the magically changing family portrait, the fact that the characters can’t interact with their past or future selves without universal destruction, flying cars, and the fact that the McFlys’ future children inexplicably look exactly like them.  None of it makes any sense.  And it’s fucking magical.

Another of my favorite examples of this is pre-Moffat Doctor Who.  The science is campy, occasionally straight-up ridiculous, and unabashedly nonsensical, yet paves the way for some truly great and thought provoking storylines and commentary.  

Bottom line is, I don’t know how to time travel.  I’m guessing you don’t either, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be asking me for advice on how to write it.  Accept it.  Embrace it.  Don’t be bashful about it – trust me, time travelers are probably a minority in your readership, so they won’t judge you.

So as to what would be a good means of writing time travel, the short answer is:  any way you want.  For obvious reasons, I’d stay away from old cars, police boxes, and phone booths, but with the power of the suspension of disbelief, virtually nothing is off the table:  a pair of magic sneakers, a refrigerator, a closet, a treehouse -oh, crap, that one’s been done before.  But you get the picture.  You can be as creative as you want to be about it.  Don’t be afraid to step outside the police box, so to speak.  

Trust in the magic of the suspension of disbelief, and don’t overthink things.  Your story and readers will thank you.

As for how to avoid other cliches, that brings me to my next point: 

2.  Look at the tried and true tropes of time traveling.  Now subvert them.

This might just be me and my adoration of irony talking, but since you specifically asked how to avoid cliche I’m going to indulge myself here.

Do the exact opposite of what people expect from narratives about time travel.  You know the old trope:  the protagonist steps on a bug, and comes back to the present to find the world being ruled by gorillas.  

I’m not telling you not to include drastic consequences for time travel, because there would probably be quite a few (at least if you believe in the chaos theory, which states every action has a universal reaction.)  

But you could toy around with the idea that fate isn’t something that can ultimately be altered at all, and that all the protagonist accomplishes is solidifying (or even triggering) a pre-existing outcome.   

My knee-jerk suggestion, as someone who takes fiendish glee in incorporating humor into my writing, would be to make the protagonist have some Forrest Gump-type encounters that unwittingly trigger huge, history-defining event, but it can also be significantly more tragic than that:  maybe the protagonist goes back in time to save his father from a hit-and-run car accident, for example, and then accidentally kills him.  Or perhaps he realizes that his father was a bad man (beat his mother, planned on killing someone, etc.) and makes a moral decision to kill him (which is also a great way to ask philosophical questions.  More on that later.)  

I don’t know what kind of time travel your writing or what your style of writing is, but these are things I’d personally just love to play around with.    

Or maybe time travel does change things, but it’s not even close to what the protagonist expected:  maybe his words of wisdom to his newly married mother about true love and the meaning of life and whatnot unexpectedly lead her to realize that she’s deeply unhappy in her current marriage, and he returns to the present to find her divorced (lesbian stepmom optional.)  

Maybe absolutely nothing at all changes, but he realizes that he’s responsible for some famous Mandela Effect, like the Bearenstein/Bearenstain discrepancy.  

Bottom line is, don’t be afraid to do the unexpected.  But conversely, don’t be afraid to use tried and true tropes, either:  regardless of how overdone they may seem to be, they can almost always be rejuvenated when interjected with a thought-provoking plot.

Which brings me to my final point:

3.  Make sure it has something to say.

Science fiction, especially the speculative variety, tends to be best when it begins by asking a question, for which it will later provide an answer.  Take, for example, Planet of the Apes.  The pervasive question of the movie is whether or not humanity is inherently self-destructive, which it ultimately answers with its famed final plot twist that humanity has long since destroyed itself.  

Rod Serling (who was incidentally responsible for the original Planet of the Apes, by the way) did this remarkably well:  almost every episode of the Twilight Zone packed a massive philosophical punch due to the fact that they followed this simplistic formula.  The episode would begin with the presentation of a question, big or small (frequently by the charismatic Serling himself) and by the end of the episode, that question would be answered. 

I’m not going to go in to detail here, as it would spoil the magic of uncovering the plot twists for the first time, but Serling used his speculation to tackle the narrow-mindedness of beauty standards in Eye of the Beholder, the dangers of fascism in Obsolete Man, the communist paranoia of the time period with the Monsters are Due on Maple Street, and countless more.  

I would recommend watching the original Twilight Zone for almost anyone looking to write speculative fiction such as time travel. 

Even if your work isn’t compatible with this specific formula of Question => Debate => Answer (which some work isn’t) it will still need to have some kind of underlying statement to it, or no matter how clever the science fiction is or how original the time travel is, it will fall flat.  

This is why Twilight Zone, Planet of the Apes, Back to the Future, and (pre-Moffat, as I always feel inclined to stress – he does literally the opposite of almost everything I recommend here) Doctor Who still remain widely enjoyed today, despite the fact that many of their tropes have been used many, many times since they original aired.

So for time travel, remember that it is a means, not an end.  You could write the most cliched type of time travel story imaginable, and your audience will still feel fulfilled by it if your message is heartfelt, thought-provoking, and/or poignant.

Maybe you want to use time travel to make a statement about your belief in the existence of fate, or lack thereof.  In this case, using the Sterling Approach, you would have your story begin with the question of whether or not humans can alter or change destiny, allow the narrative/characters to argue the question back and forth for a while, and then ultimately disclose what you believe the answer to be.

Or maybe you want to use time travel to explore or subvert the treachery of history and how it is taught, and show how the true narrative can be explored, purposefully or otherwise, by the victors.  

Maybe you want to show that there’s no clear answer, or maybe no answer at all, a la the cheerful nihilism of Douglas Adams novels.

Either way, figure out what you want your message to be long before you put pen to paper, and then use time travel, like any other creative trope, as a means to an end to answer it.  Your story will thank you for it.

(I hope this helps!)

a life bundled with episodes of this – swallowing mud, swallowing glass, the smell of blood on the first four knuckles

  1. left and leaving / the weakerthans
  2. with whiskey / tuung
  3. first defeat / noah gundersen
  4. let’s take a ride like we used to / pat the bunny
  5. liability / lorde
  6. the crow / dessa
  7. between the bars / elliott smith 
  8. lakeside view apartments suite / the mountain goats
  9. another love / tom odell
  10. girl with one eye / florence + the machine
  11. my last fight / the hoosiers

[SPOTIFY]

Shout out to arofluxes who get into romantic moods but feel romantically repulsed and confused during them.

Shout out to arofluxes that get into aromantic moods and instead of feeling cool and untouchable, feel like emotionless freaks of nature who can’t love in their romantic states.

Shout out to arofluxes who get in romantic moods and immediately feel overbearing and fake. Who love someone so much it feels suffocating, only to have it go away later.

Shout out to arofluxes who get in aromantic moods and feel shut out from the world, who feel like the love they felt was an illusion and supplement for something else.

You all deserve to be validated and feel valid. Aromantic fluxes can apply to any kind of romantic attraction. You’re worthy of whatever you desire.

4

It’s rat, isn’t it?

3

there was a chainsaw fight
I saw it at the waterpark 
and though the sun is up
it’s still getting dark

AJJ - Deathlessness

AOS Fic - In Darkness, part three

Originally posted by lasheeda

In Darkness, part one

In Darkness, part two

For @gracieminabox

Warnings - less eye squick in this one, but beware the angst.

McKirk, ‘cause it’s always McKirk


Bones pulls him from his thoughts with a heavy hand on his shoulder. “Jim,” he says slowly, pained. Jim feels him kneel on the ground beside him. “I can’t raise the ship.”

Of course you can’t, Jim thinks resentfully. “We’re in the shield perimeter.”

Bones sighs beside him. “I know,” he says. He’s quiet for a moment, as if considering. “I think we should keep moving,” he says, after a long moment. “Move beyond it, if we can. We’ve got to be close to the border.”

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@timepetalsprompts Doomsday free-for-all + @doctorroseprompts Doomsday month other Doctor’s getting involved


Notes: All recognizable dialogue (italicized) taken directly from ‘Doomsday’ as written by Russell T Davies.


But it’s like you said. We’ve all got Void stuff. Me too, because we went to that parallel world. We’re all contaminated. We’ll get pulled in.”  Rose said, her brow furrowed.

That’s why you’ve got to go.”  The Doctor looked at her.  The computer said something, but Rose wasn’t paying it any mind.  “Back to Pete’s world. Hey, we should call it that. Pete’s World. I’m opening the Void, but only on this side. You’ll be safe on that side.”

And then you close it, for good?” Pete.  She’d forgotten that he was there.  Rose briefly wondered when her not-father was going to leave.

The breach itself is soaked in Void stuff. In the end it’ll close itself. And that’s it. Kaput.”  The Doctor explained.

But you stay on this side?”  Always self-sacrificing, always trying to keep her safe.  She’d told him that she was never going to leave, hoping beyond hope that he’d eventually believe her.

But you’ll get pulled in.”  Mickey.  He’d ended up to be friends, of a sort, with the Doctor.  He’d grown so much over the last few years.  Rose knew that she’d miss him desperately, but she also knew that staying with the Doctor was the only thing she could do.

That’s why I got these.  I’ll just have to hold on tight. I’ve been doing it all my life.” For a genius, the Doctor certainly could be thick.

I’m supposed to go.”  Her voice was thick with disbelief.

Yeah.”  His voice was dead.

To another world, and then it gets sealed off.”  He wasn’t going to do this her, not again.

Yeah.”

Forever. That’s not going to happen.”

We haven’t got time to argue. The plan works. We’re going. You too. All of us.”  It was Pete.

“No,” Rose said firmly.  “Mum, you go with Pete to the other universe.  Twenty years without Dad, you have a second chance.  To get it right.  Happily ever after.”

“I’m not leaving without you,” Jackie said, affronted.

“Mum, you’ve got to.  I’ve had a life with you for nineteen years, but then I met the Doctor, and all the things I’ve seen him do for me, for you, for all of us. For the whole stupid planet and every planet out there. He does it alone, mum. But not anymore, because now he’s got me.”  Rose turned sharply to face the Doctor.  “And don’t you dare.  Don’t you dare send me away, not again.  I’ve been remembering things, bits and pieces, from the Game Station. You didn’t sing a song to the Daleks and they just ran away.  You died, and it was all my fault, wasn’t it?”

“Rose,” the Doctor gaped.  “We don’t have time-”

“No, Doctor, we don’t.  Tell me the truth.  I was the Bad Wolf, wasn’t I?  All the times those words appeared, it was me, wasn’t it?”  Rose pressed.

“If I say yes, will you go with Pete and Jackie?”  The Doctor asked carefully, his voice flat.

“No,” Rose said fiercely.  “Tell me the truth.  I killed you, didn’t I?”  Her face fell, her hand flew to her mouth.  “I killed you,” she said faintly.

“No, Rose, but,” he was cut off.

“No, Doctor.  Because I remember, mostly.  Jack’s not rebuilding the Earth, is he?  He’s dead.” Rose’s voice broke.  “Jack’s dead, and I killed you.  That’s why you’re sending me away, isn’t it?  I’m too dangerous to be runnin’ about in space and time.”  She waited for him to deny it.  He didn’t. “That settles it.  Mum, you’ve got to go.  I love you, and we had twenty years together and then I met the Doctor. It’s like what I told you before, the last time he tried to send me away.”

Jackie opened her mouth, as if to protest, then closed it, nodding.  “Of course, sweetheart.”  She pulled her daughter in close.

“I love you, Mum,” Rose choked.

“I love you,” Jackie held her daughter a moment longer, then stepped back to Pete. Before anyone could stop her, she’d looped two hoppers round their necks and they disappeared back to Pete’s World.

Systems rebooted. Open access.

Those coordinates over there, set them all at six. And hurry up.”  The Doctor snipped.  She wasn’t supposed to be here.  Time was in flux, he could see new timelines opening up.

Levers operational.

That’s more like it. Bit of a smile. The old team.”  Rose grinned.

Hope and Glory, Mutt and Jeff, Shiver and Shake.”

Which one’s Shiver?”

Oh, I’m Shake.”  The Doctor produced a pair of Magnaclamps.  “Press the red button.”  He was about to say more when a gust of wind whistled through the corridor, accompanied by a faint wheezing.  There, about two feet behind them, the TARDIS was materializing.

“I thought the TARDIS was parked in that loading area,” Rose said curiously.

“She is.” The Doctor frowned.  “Time’s in flux,” he commented, sounding surprised.

A older man stepped out of the new TARDIS.  “Rose,” his voice was distinctly Scottish, “in the TARDIS.  Pretty Boy, shut up -” (“I didn’t say a word,” the Doctor protested.) “and allow me to fix my timeline.

“You’re me?”  The Doctor said incredulously.  “I regenerate into…that.”

“I’d forgotten how vain I was,” the man commented.  “Rose, please go in the TARDIS.  It’s the safest place you could possibly be.”  His face was lined, but his eyes were ancient.  Looking into them, Rose felt the same sensation as when she’d looked into the Doctor’s eyes just after he’d regenerated.

“Hello,” she said, uncertainly.  “Won’t the Reapers come?”

“Time’s in flux.  What was about to happen, what I’ve averted from happening, was not a fixed point.  Which is how he failed to see it coming. Of course, I’m still changing my personal history, but,” he took Rose’s arms in his hands, “you are worth it. Always.”

“Doctor,” Rose looked into his eyes.  “How long?”

“Too long,” was his only verbal response.  “But,” he clapped his hands together, “that’s what we’re changing isn’t it? Exciting, I know, but Rose, you need to stay in the TARDIS.  You’ll be safe there, even if the Reapers come.  And your safety is paramount.  If anything happens to Sandshoes there, he’ll regenerate.  Not entirely certain what would happen to me after that, but that’s not important.  If anything happens to me without something happening to him, I’ll regenerate.  But you,” he kissed her forehead, “you, Rose, can not regenerate and therefore must stay in the TARDIS.”  The new Doctor made eye contact with his younger self.  “When Rose looked into the Vortex, she became the Bad Wolf.”

“I know that just as well as you do.”  The Doctor said crossly.

“Jack’s immortal.”

“I know that too,” the Doctor hissed.  “Why else did we leave him there?  A fixed point in time held inside the TARDIS?”

“You know, but you don’t understand,” the Doctor said, his voice sharpened by his Scottish accent.

“Understand what?  You’ve clearly had ample time to think this over, Doctor.”

“Bad Wolf left herself a key, hidden in her mind, to let her out of the box we locked her in.  It was burning Rose’s mind, so we took it out of her.  But in her wake, she left the potential to change Rose’s brain chemistry, to create a fixed point in time that was constantly in flux.”  The older Doctor finished dramatically.  The Doctor blinked.  “Right now, if you look at Rose, her timeline is in flux.  Bad Wolf saw this during the events at the Game Station and manifested herself a nice little niche in the back of Rose’s mind so that she could come back.”

“We don’t have time for this, Doctor,” the Doctor snapped.  “Any minute, the Cybermen will be here and we’ve got to be ready to dump them into the Void.  It’s our only chance.”

“Quite right,” the Doctor replied.  “It’s our only chance.  Not Rose’s.  And if Rose waits for us in the TARDIS while we deal with the Cybermen, then we can help her.”  He looked past his younger self to Rose.  “But if you lose her to Pete’s World today, then I can’t help her.”

Rose looked from the older Doctor to her Doctor.  “He’s you.  I trust you absolutely.  I’ll wait in the TARDIS, but you had better come back and explain what’s going on.  Both of you.”  She turned to walk back but stopped when the older Doctor called her name.

“In my timeline, I never had the oppor-, I never took the opportunity.”

“Opportunity?  What opportunity?”

“Any of them.  There were so many times that I wanted to do this,” he broke off, placing his hands on her cheeks.  Rose looked into his eyes, knowing what he wanted to do.

“Doctor,” she whispered, closing her own eyes trustingly.

“I’ve missed you,” he said, kissing her forehead.  “Rose Tyler.  Now, TARDIS, go.”  He smiled reassuringly, before turning back to the younger Doctor.  The Doctor waited until Rose had shut the door to his TARDIS to speak.  “Before you say a word, know that I am taking full responsibility for changing my own timeline.  You know that Time is in flux, a fixed point is being altered.  Yes, it was a fixed point in time, but not any more.”

“How did you change it?”  The Doctor asked.

“Spoilers,” the Doctor replied, after a moment of silence.  “The Cybermen will be – ” he was cut off by a Dalek.

“Magna-clamp and lever NOW!”  The Doctor shouted urgently, his Scottish accent thick.  The younger Doctor followed suit immediately.  “Open the breach and the Void will suck up the Daleks and Cybermen.”  The older Doctor threw something to his younger self.  “Tie yourself to the clamp.  If you get sucked into the Void, it’ll cause a paradox.”

“No thanks to you.”  The Doctor gritted his teeth, tying himself up nonetheless.

“I’m changing my personal timeline, doing what you ought to have done in the first place.”

“If this works, you might fade from existence,” the younger Doctor spat.  “Why would you,” he stopped, realization dawning on his face.

“This was the day I lost her.  Because of my own arrogance and thick-headedness, I didn’t think clearly enough to save Rose.  And even though she had a happy ending, a new beginning even, I am far too old and selfish not to save her if I can.”  The Doctor said quietly.  “And as for what happened after I lost her, well, I’ve no doubt that TARDIS will still take you where you need to go.  Where I needed to go,” he said, clearly briefly reminiscing of a memory.  The Doctor knotted a rope to his own magna-clamp, knowing that his lever would slip.  He’d just gotten a new regeneration cycle after all, and he didn’t fancy spending it entirely in the company of Jackie Tyler without his TARDIS.

“How long?” The younger Doctor asked softly.  “Tell me how long it’s been since today for you.”

“I don’t know.  Twenty-four years on Darillium, two thousand years in the confession dial, nine hundred years on Trenzalore… it’s added up.”

“So why now?”

“Because it was only when I saw my wife for the last time that I realized how much I’d truly loved Rose.”  The Doctor admitted.  “I say wife, only because she said husband and it became a habit. River loved to banter, and who was I to deny her?  Not when I was all she had left, because I lost her parents.”  The Doctor looked up and saw the approaching Cyber-army.  “Levers, now.”

The void opened.  Daleks and Cybermen were flying past the two Doctors.  Dalek Sec once more manages to save himself, but the Genesis Ark speeds into the void.  The Doctor knows that the lever is about to slip and tests his knots.  They hold.  He closes his eyes, then lets go of the clamp.  The lever falls.  It takes all his energy to move it upright once more, but he manages.  His rope is taut, and his arms are longer than Rose’s, and he easily reaches the lever, collapsing over it in a heap.  Just as it did for Rose in his original timeline, as soon as it locks in upright, the suction of the Void becomes much stronger. He holds on as the Void seals, collapsing in a heap on the ground.  It’s over. And Rose is safe.

Sneak peek of how the menu looks in FLUX! Had this gif in my folder for a loong while. 

Would you believe I started and finished implementing this menu almost exactly a year ago? I spent a couple days in class working on this and it took me a couple hours over a couple days to do!

Now you know what the menu options are in @youvebeenchosen​! 

  • Status lets you look at your party member, if you happen to have one. 
  • Item lets you look at items and use them.
  • Equip equips any pertinent, useful tools to help you on your adventure into the unknown.
  • And the journal lets you record any important information you come across when exploring.

(Options lets you toggle diagonal movement, reload a save, change screen resolution, etc. etc.)

What is FLUX?

Download the playable teaser “You’ve Been Chosen” here.