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

Fluxy ideas/headcanons

A person infected by flux would typically just die from it within a few days, or become an empty zombie-like shell temporarily used to produce more flux in a quick burst, they’d be able to move around aimlessly for a while but will crumble into a pile of goo eventually. 

There are exceptions, some people are able to sustain flux infections and become a host, the flux allows the person to continue living as long as it can live with/on it, using the host to produce more flux and feed off of their energy, but not enough that it’ll kill them. A host has to be strong, mostly in aspects of soul, mind, and mana. Problem is the flux is somewhat greedy and will continue to spread and infect a person more and more over time before they are fully covered, but they will still not die, and their mind might be numbed but they still allow the host to live (or else the whole turning into goop thing happens). A host will not die, the flux can replace every cell and organ the body needs to live, so they will not die, not from time in any case.

How a person gets infected can take more than just “touched something flux related once.” That may cause a temporary sickness if the item was heavily flux-infused, but not create a flux infection. Infection can be caused either by being somewhere with extremely high flux concentrations (nano) or being in a flux infected area for prolonged amounts of time (lalna).

In exchange for being a host, the flux will provide stronger defenses for the host to protect itself, thus protecting the flux. These defenses vary based on 1. where the flux infection is located and 2. what the flux believes is the best thing for its host.

By defenses this can be a wide range of things but most commonly would be, if fluxed along the arms claws (sometimes retractable like a feline) and “scales/spikes” (that resemble large crystal formations sprouting from the host, they can form anywhere along arms and back) created from hardened crystallized flux. Teeth can also be affect, the flux creates a combination of itself and dentin, making them sharper, stronger, and slightly purple. Skin will rarely take on another form (perhaps scales) but will constantly secrete flux goop.

Fluxed eyes won’t do shit for the host beyond lower vision or possibly go blind, with the exception of showing visions that mother has seen, but the host has no need for sight anyways, mother will protect you.

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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