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The local motto: “A little science. A little magic. A little chicken soup.”
Updated: 2 hours 50 min ago

(sigh) Tom would have liked this.

Sat, 06/02/2018 - 20:37

(sigh) Tom would have liked this.

"This bright, new day, complete with 24 hours of opportunities, choices and attitudes … a..."

Fri, 06/01/2018 - 14:04
“This bright, new day, complete with 24 hours of opportunities, choices and attitudes … a perfectly matched set of 1440 minutes. This unique gift, this one day, cannot be exchanged, replaced or refunded. Handle with care. Make the most of it. There is only one to a customer.”

- Thomas Benjamin Swale, 1947-2018

your-friendly-neighbohood-black: a-dull-glow: apostatively: systlin: voidspacer: My roomba is...

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 20:01






My roomba is scared of thunderstorms

I was sitting at my desk just a few minutes ago, drawing, and a really loud crack of thunder went off–no power surges or anything, just thunder–and my roomba fled from its dock and started spinning in circles

I currently now have an active roomba sitting quietly on my lap

Humans will pack bond with anything. 

I had a teenage girl come into my tea shop with her mother the other night. She purposely grabbed a teamaker in the most crunched-up looking box on the shelf (got banged around in shipment) and carried it protectively over to the counter. “If something’s in a damaged box I have to get it because I’m afraid no one else will love it,” she laughed nervously.

Not only will humans pack bond with anything, the empathy level of adolescent girls in particular likely has puppy-saving, world hunger-solving, war-ending powers.

I once saw a really bumpy lime at the grocery store, just a real ugly fruit. Later that night my boyfriend & I were driving home from rehearsal at like 11:30pm & passed the grocery store & I stared crying & he said “is it that lime? Do you want to go back and get it?” And I nodded and pulled the car around and bought the lime.

I saw this post once but IT GOT EVEN BETTER

9r7g5h: fineillsignup: modoru-mono: jangojips: teressabee: darthmelyanna: ekjohnston: ironych...

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 20:00









Thousands of years ago, somebody looked at a flock of sheep and went, “well, they aren’t cold.”

Guys. Guys.

It’s so much better than that.

So once upon a time, goats and sheep were essentially the same animal, and all of them had hair. Now, you can do some stuff with hair, but you can’t do a lot, so mostly sheep/goats were kept for meat and milk.

Except then a mutation showed up, and some of the sheep/goats had WOOL instead. And someone realized that 1. you could spin that shit, and 2. then you could WEAVE that shit, and 3. IT GREW BACK.

Generations of selective breeding ensued. Two visibly discrete species emerged, one primarily for meat and milk, and the other primarily for wool. They also have different behavioural characteristics, because independence was not helpful in a sheep, so it was bred out of them. Sheep remain one of the few non-draft animals that we farm even though they are not delicious.

The most similar part of sheep and goats that remains today is their skeleton. On an archaeological dig, you find THOUSANDS of bones and bone fragments that can only be identified as “sheep/goat”. It’s incredibly frustrating, but also kind of hilarious after you’ve spent enough time in the sun.

ANYWAY, human beings have always been smart and surprisingly good at changing nature because they want a sweater.

The entire knitting community needs to hear this.

Oh man I’m so glad I can add this to my arsenal of responses to people who say all GMOs are made of poison.

In zooarchaeology, sheep/goat is a valid category and no one will press you further on the issue.


Huh, I wonder if this is part of why Chinese only has one word for sheep/goat (羊). You can distinguish as 绵羊 “wool-sheepgoat” for sheep vs 山羊 “mountain-sheepgoat” for goat.

What the fuck do you mean sheep aren’t delicious?

grumbling about research

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 19:58







i have been researching arctic and northern-european shamanism and related topics for roughly six months for this writing project, with a special focus on death rites, bog burials, human sacrifice, psychopomps and ancestor spirits, and everything pertaining to the line between life and death being really malleable in shamanic traditions, and i STILL haven’t found the answer to the question i started out with:

what was actually realtime going on with the actual people who put bodies in bogs?

i don’t need a full explanation that covers all of them. that would be impossible. i just want some kind of narrative thread i can pull. a surviving tradition much-mutated by time, maybe. a folktale. a poem. SOMETHING. but it’s all a big blank. just… here’s a dead guy. he got double murdered. then he got pickled. now he looks like a leather backpack with a face. good luck!

the thing is, one of my story’s protagonists almost ends up being a bog body when he’s fourteen years old. the reason he survives is going to depend on things like: was his father supposed to hit him over the head and them strangle him, but couldn’t go through with it, so he woke up before he could drown? or was he drugged and the old shaman helped him undertake his dream quest and then they put him in the bog when he was on his magical journey? was he staked down? did they think he was dead? was any of this optional? at that age he was still a team player, he would’ve gone voluntarily to save his tribe from the horrors of a hungry winter, but he was also scary smart and too big for his britches, so he would’ve been looking for a way to game the system right up until the water closed over his head. what was it LIKE for him? what was it like for his family, for his village? how dire did shit have to be before they’d resort to human sacrifice?

nobody knows how any of this went down in the real world. all we’ve got is bodies, some with tattoos, some with nooses, some women whose hair proteins indicate they were on a pilgrimmage… mostly we don’t even know if the deaths were ritual, or just the burials. we don’t know if they were volunteers, or forced sacrifices, or war captives, or even mystics who chose to go into the afterlife to meet the gods and become spiritual powers themselves.

which, you know, is what my guy does. because ‘smartest guy in the room’ and ‘mesolithic morality’ and ‘the only queer in my tribe’ and ‘kill the spare’ are a really dangerous combination. like. do you want evil overlords? because that’s how you get evil overlords.

anyway. i’m just frustrated. and really tired of all my search terms turning up nothing but wikipedia, encyclopedia britannica, and crystal healing sites. why are the crystal healing people on this. y’all don’t even eat reindeer. go home.

Much like that person who was researching rare crocodiles, this probably means you’re now one of the world’s experts on the topic. Your guess is as good as, and probably better than, anyone else’s. Make it up! Just pick whichever story seems to be supported by evidence and human nature, and works best for your plot - whatever you think would be the most fun to write. If new evidence comes to light supporting your theory, you’ll be lauded as a genius ahead of your time!

that would be hilarious. :D

Yeah. Been reading about that too. And I know some archaeologists and historians who work with ancient religion, customs and culture in the Nordic area.
There are many suggestions. Many ideas. Many theories. But nothing clear.

There are no conclusions. Your guess is a good as anyone else.

Btw, one of may favourite researchers, were also a comic book artist. 
He muses that many of the bog-people were well fed one were even found with a good meal in his stomach. Most bog-people don’t seem to have any status symbols. Only one girl look special, with a half shaved head. But nobody know why her head is shaved.
So it could just be punishment for misbehaviour.

oh wow! what’s the artist’s name? i want to look them up!

I think at this point you’ve done enough due diligence in research that, depending on a number of factors, you can definitely make stuff up! As in, this is a second world right? Not historical fantasy? Your guess is as good as anyone’s, if you can’t find anything.

(I am not just saying this because the sooner you figure it out and write it, the sooner I get to read it. Honest.)

Re: why newagers have shamanism stuff: Lynn V. Andrews (writer of a series of new age shamanism crapola) and probably also  Carlos Castaneda. There are also a few other New Age Shaman writers, but I don’t remember them off the top of my head.

moonblossom: silentstephi: derdoktorsschnabel: chocolatequeennk...

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 19:56







12 Times Han Solo Used The Force Without Knowing It

I need Han to accidentally be force strong, mostly because HE WOULD HATE THAT SO MUCH “Wow so you’re basically a self-taught Jedi” “WHAT–ARE YOU–I’M THE BEST PILOT IN–” “That’s force shit” “I’M AN EXCELLENT SHOT” “Yeah, because of the force” “I’M INCREDIBLY PERSUASIVE” “That’s the force making people believe your terrible lies against all reason ” “I’LL SEE YOU IN HELL

I can picture his reaction now…

No, but this is:

Oh heck

George Lucas can pry Force Sensitive Han from my cold dead hands.

I love everything about this theory, but my favourite part of it by far is now utterly offended he’d be by the suggestion.

This week’s attempt at the Shortest Fanfic Ever

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 19:50
This week’s attempt at the Shortest Fanfic Ever

Status: on the road

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 11:07
PM: ...
DD: ...?
PM: I nearly brushed my teeth with your cortisone cream.
DD: ...Don't.
PM: No?
DD: For one thing, its whitening and breath-freshening effects are greatly overstated...

advertisingpics:Also great for armed robberies, 1964

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 07:48


Also great for armed robberies, 1964

the-paintrist: jeza-red: This is a painting of Jacek Malczewski called simply ‘Death’ and it’s my...

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 07:47



This is a painting of Jacek Malczewski called simply ‘Death’ and it’s my favourite personification of death in any medium. 

She’s not creepy or scary, or sexy, or abstract. She is this thick woman with worn hands, dressed as normal, with a non-stylised scythe and pins in her hair: like a farmer’s wife that just came form the field and rests against the wall, catching some sun. She is not creeping about the dying one holding her scythe over their head, she is just there, calmly waiting her turn. 

This painting always fills me with peace and optimism when I think about death. She is just there, outside the window, in no hurry at all, sensible and down to earth. I can live with that.

Jacek Malczewski  (15 July 1854 – 8 October 1929) is one of the most revered painters of Poland, associated with the patriotic Young Poland movement following the century of Partitions. He is regarded as the father of Polish Symbolism. In his creative output, Malczewski combined the predominant style of his times, with historical motifs of Polish martyrdom, the Romantic ideals of independence, Christian and Greek traditions, folk mythology, as well as his love of the natural environment.

It’s my birthday and I’ll have a sale if I want to. :)

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 09:46

I’ve always kind of liked the Hobbit concept of the birthday, where you give everybody else presents. So as a nod in this direction, while I’m off gorging myself on cake of some kind or another (because Peter is taking me away for the weekend and has promised me that THERE WILL BE CAKE), here’s the scoop: since I am 66 today,* everything of mine at Ebooks Direct is on sale at 66% off until 23:59 PM Hawaiian time on May 18th.

Yes, even the 9-volume Young Wizards New Millennium Editions box sets. Today they’re available at a really crazy price, so if you’ve been thinking about acquiring these, now’s your chance to grab yourself a bargain. (Just a note to remind you that all these books are in the process of being republished with new covers and interior formatting, so if you pick up a set now, expect free updates in the coming weeks. The store will email you with new download links when this happens.)

Click on this link to go to the Birthday Sale page with the full inventory.

Meanwhile, everybody have a really good day, because I’m now off to get packed and see about that cake. :)

*AND NOW ELIGIBLE FOR MY IRISH “SENIOR” BUS PASS, HURRAY!!! (heh heh) They have NO idea what they’re turning loose on this poor unsuspecting island…

Do you read Neil Gaiman? I just started reading American Gods a few days ago, and something about the way he writes about the US and its landscape and culture echoes my memories of So You Want to be a Wizard and the way you talk about New York. Both...

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 09:37

I definitely read Neil. I’m a fan of his from way back. :) And being compared to him in any old way is high praise around here, believe me. So thanks for that!

killerzebras: cutiemancer: archiemcphee: The Department of...

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 21:09




The Department of Unexpected Interspecies Friendship is celebrating Caturday by enjoying these photos of a floofy grey cat and a teeny-tiny chipmunk hanging out together on a lovely day.

Redditor _GoldGuy_ watched and took photos as his impressively laid-back cat befriended a chipmunk. The two were tentative at first, but eventually the tiny, stripy rodent was lounging on the cat’s fluffy back and later nestling under his even floofier belly.

[via Bored Panda]

When you roll a 23 and charm the dragon.


we-are-rogue: Adalia de Volador by Julien Fenoglio This is...

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 20:30


Adalia de Volador by Julien Fenoglio

This is what En Garde’s main character looks like, at the end of pre-production


facts-i-just-made-up:You have been visited by the Public Domain...

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 20:29


You have been visited by the Public Domain Etrog Photo of Double Friendship. Reblog today and you will have two new good friends by Sukkot.

mirrorfalls: Fundamentalist fearmongering video: This dungeon “master” is given complete control and...

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 20:28


Fundamentalist fearmongering video: This dungeon “master” is given complete control and “players” must do whatever dark things are demanded of them.

Real DM: Please, just cross the river. You’ve all tried to seduce the catfish and it didn’t work. I’m begging you.

(chuckle) From this month’s French edition of FLOW Magazine: the...

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 23:26

(chuckle) From this month’s French edition of FLOW Magazine: the French translation of that quote from So You Want To Be A Wizard. (via @makiwi at Twitter)

thedreadpiratejames: knight: rides into battle without helmet...

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 14:53


knight: rides into battle without helmet everyone: gives him strange looks
knight: “kitty was sleeping in it”
everyone: nods in agreement


Mon, 05/14/2018 - 14:52

pervocracy: allthingslinguistic: The International Phonetic...

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 14:50



The International Phonetic Alphabet consonants found in English, with keywords and relevant parts of the mouth highlighted and colour-coded. (Source.) 

Pronouncing each of these in sequence is a very strange and amusing physical sensation, and I highly recommend it.