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The local motto: “A little science. A little magic. A little chicken soup.”
Updated: 58 min 23 sec ago

professorfangirl: bassfanimation: comedownstairsandsayhello: fr...

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 21:21






Jellyfish Lake in Palau. Apparently the jellies have lost their ability to sting because of lack of predators in the lake and you can swim with them!


WAIT BUT THAT’S NOT EVEN THE COOLEST PART: These jellyfish carry small populations of algae inside their bodies and derive much of their nutrition from the sugars that the algae produce. The jellyfish follow the sun across the lake each day and rotate continuously, so that the algae are always getting maximum sunlight exposure for photosynthesis. Then at night they dive to deeper parts of the lake so the algae can absorb nitrogen. It’s one of the best examples of endosymbiosis in action and it’s KICKASS.


buoyant cabbages o’luv


Sun, 09/03/2017 - 21:19

From @Beatonna at Twitter.

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 20:45

From @Beatonna at Twitter.

Venn diagram of shared/unshared letters between Latin, Greek,...

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 20:25

Venn diagram of shared/unshared letters between Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic alphabets: via @juliagalef at Twitter

If you have original xkit, you need to get new xkit for it, xkit classic has been unsupported for a year or so

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 21:18

Is this the XKit version for the iPad that we’re discussing? I was using the iOS app, not a browser.

I'm writing a fantasy story of my own, and I'm trying to figure out a code of ethics for my characters. Problem is, I just want to steal the Wizard's Oath wholesale. So 1) damn you for writing something so succinct and perfect, and 2) any advice on how...

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 14:33

Well, first of all: damnation accepted in the spirit intended. :) Thank you.

In sorting this problem out, you want to look around at other codes you admire, as well. The Wizard’s Oath is loosely based on the Hippocratic – very loosely – as when I started considering this issue, the concept of wizardry as a helping profession, like medicine or nursing, was on my mind.

More generally speaking: the thing that has to be considered, I guess, is (a) who your characters are, (b) what their world is like, and © what their cultural background is and how it affects their worldview. It’s from assessing these issues that you’ll be able to start assembling an ethical code.

But it shouldn’t be easy. And from where I’m standing, one sign that the world you’re building is “big enough” to sustain the burden of a decent story is that there should not be just one ideal code of ethics. There should be a number of them, each one with aspects that are positive (or seem so to the characters), and where these moral/ethical worldviews rub up against one another, there should be friction. Without this kind of stress-testing, you (and your characters) have no way to tell which one seems to work best. (And whether the “seeming” is actually anywhere near either workability or truth.)

Also: Ethics is (and should be, from at least the point of view of story construction) liable to be situational for positive reasons as well as negative ones. Don’t be afraid to flip things in the opposite direction of the way they usually go and see what happens. For example: when I was working on Mamvish’s part of Interim Errantry 2, I was clear that – since she’s an incredibly powerful wizard, probably one of the most powerful we’ve met yet – I wanted her to have gone through formative experiences that were (by human standards) incredibly trying. (And also something at least moderately alien.) So the Lone Power causes her home planet to become so desperately damaged that its people have very nearly nothing to eat but each other… and her people, because they are ethically committed to the way the Powers that Be look at things, manage to turn cannibalism into (potentially) a choice for good.

Now naturally not all members of her species handle it that way – we meet some who don’t: beings more interested in their own needs and desires than in the needs of others. But we also meet quite a few who devour one another, consensually, as a good deed – a way to survive. If this makes the reader stop and query their own ethics, well, that’s a happy coincidence. (As reading about any code of ethics perhaps ought to do.)

Your business, as someone constructing a world, is to work out what made it and its people the way they are, and then derive their (usually multiple and often seriously opposed) codes of ethics from their reality: what seems wrong about it to them, and what seems right about it. Don’t impose from on top: help it grow from the bottom up. You’ll wind up with something a lot more solid. (And ideally all the more positive because of the solid construction.)

Hope this helps!

Just for those who might be interested: Ebooks Direct is having...

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 12:53

Just for those who might be interested: Ebooks Direct is having a Labor Day sale, and everything’s 50% off except for the newest releases. Info here: 


As a former nurse, how do you feel about the arrest in Utah?

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 12:50

I feel sick to my stomach about it, and furious. But it’s not like it’s never happened before – that a nurse has been attacked or arrested for defending her/his patients. This time, at least, it’s getting some attention. …But nonetheless: FURIOUS.

something's garbaging your reblogs and duplicating the post in your reply

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 12:48

Huh. You know, I did those through XKit on the iPad. Maybe something’s screwy with the app. Thanks for the heads-up!

kittykat8311: gregmelander: expositionfairy: 6 Martian sunrises, as seen by the HiRISE...

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:49




6 Martian sunrises, as seen by the HiRISE orbiter.  Once again, not artist’s renditions.


Oh my


Morning on Mars

6 Martian sunrises, as seen by the HiRISE orbiter.  Once again, not artist’s renditions.




Oh my


What’s terrific about these fir me (in a sideways kind of way) is how much they look like renders in Terragen. I feel better about some of mine now. :)

cannibalcoalition: writerlyn: Like.  She has an Editor. And an Agent. I know some people are all...

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:48



Like.  She has an Editor. And an Agent.

I know some people are all upset that the author of the WORST fanfic in existence has success in writing now, but think.

She was what, 12? 14? when My Immortal was written? Everyone is awful then.

But she kept at it and improved. And that’s what should happen.

So now, whenever anyone says that you suck, or you’re a horrible writer, remember.


She did, so you can.



I am viciously happy that the writer of My Immortal is still writing

Like.  She has an Editor. And an Agent.

I know some people are all upset that the author of the WORST fanfic in existence has success in writing now, but think.

She was what, 12? 14? when My Immortal was written? Everyone is awful then.

But she kept at it and improved. And that’s what should happen.

So now, whenever anyone says that you suck, or you’re a horrible writer, remember.


She did, so you can.




Why would anyone be angry that she’s a professional writer now? Seriously. If her writing was wobbly once, she’s worked through it.

Honestly, people, you should have seen my first writing. It’s a good thing I burned it long ago. But I didn’t let being bad or clumsy stop me. I did what I loved to do, and fuck the doubters. (Chief among whom were my family except for my mom.) Persistence will take you places.

…So GO HER, is what I say.

scotchtapeofficial: science-sexual: sonatagreen: jumpingjacktra...

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:38






In 2010, the RIKEN institute in Japan created mutant cherry blossom trees by firing ion beams at them in a particle accelerator. The mutated trees now bloom four times a year and produce more flowers.

a wise use of science powers

ok so i’m not saying this is the most japanese thing ever, but I’m not saying it’s not

“we have a ray gun that creates mutants” anime level 8/10

“we used it to make super cherry blossoms” japan level 10/10

“so are they like firebreathing carnivorous flowers or” “no they just make more flowers, more often” aesthetic level 11/10

“well done, this is exactly what we hoped would happen when we paid a zillion dollars to build a particle accelerator” —the project backers

Particle physics is fucking magic Some wizards took a magic box into the woods and fucked up some trees. I love this shit

“ok so should we mutate like a super army or-” “no. this sakura tree.” “but why” “hanami four times a year instead of once. imagine”

elodieunderglass: bemusedlybespectacled: center-for-chthonic-st...

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:36





The Magic Roundabout: Swindon, England.

This is hell

why am i reminded of that bit in good omens where crowley deliberately makes a road into a satanic sigil to generate more sin

It’s honestly not that bad. It’s a traffic circle, but instead of having traffic lights or stop signs to separate the chunks, it has roundabouts - the big difference is that you YIELD at each chunk rather than STOPPING. You approach it knowing that you want to go straight across, left, right or back the way you came. If you want to go straight, then you just treat it like a series of stop signs. Everyone goes really slowly, and you do one crossing at a time. If you have to, you can kind of find a little island and huddle in it, dithering, while you have a Moment. You will probably fuck it up on the way back, and a mildly surprised man in a Mini will yield right of way, and he will gesture at you to go ahead in a sarcastic way. You will survive this.

Like, if you want to know that Hell is empty and all the devils are here, specifically in order to make your life worse, then try driving to Boston Logan Airport from the North. At one point, you will go under the Charles, right? And so you’re trapped in this horrible dark tunnel under a river, full of people who absolutely hate you - Massachusetts drivers, aka Massholes, are extremely violent, which is odd because people from Mass are lovely - and are trying to force you into the wall, especially if you don’t have Mass plates. There are two lanes, in each direction, there’s someone up your ass and you can’t change lanes for most of it and you have to go about 40 mph for some reason. The cars are packed bumper-to-bumper, nose to tail, and if you try to change lanes, they simply won’t let you in. They loathe you with every fiber of their being. You can put your blinker on and nudge hopefully, and the other cars will literally close ranks against you - they’ll speed up to close any gaps. You will have to muscle your way over with sheer brute strength, like a lioness trying to save herself while being trampled by wildebeests in the belly of a sinking submarine. Wild-eyed and wet, clawing across the backs of a dozen malicious shifting forms.

And the exit for the airport is suddenly, irrevocably in the other lane. There is no warning, and the ramp is about 6 inches long. The tunnel just goes AIRPORT!!!! WHOOSH and separates at a 90 degree angle. If you miss the exit, you are trapped under the river with no recourse, until you are abruptly spat out in the middle of Boston, where everyone hates you even more, and there is NO WAY TO GET BACK and they are still. Doing. The Big Dig. They say they finished it in 2007 but they didn’t. It is still under construction, and it hates you, and then a black Hummer with Mass plates puts on its left blinker and casually swings to the right and crushes you into paste. 

Don’t even think about trying to use a GPS or a google maps app on your phone to help with the Anxiety - the device won’t work under the river, and the roads are nebulous and ever-changing and under construction. If you’ve been relying on it, it will suddenly go silent - there is also a malicious force field that kills it, and makes your icon look like you are driving your car into the Atlantic - and you will definitely miss the exit. And then when you get out of the tunnel on the wrong side, the device will suddenly start yelling at you in the middle of the city, barking useless orders like “MAKE A U-TURN”, or suggesting that you take a left onto an ENTIRELY fictional road, and you’re like “are you LITERALLY shitting me right now.” 

So, as someone who is utterly sick to the back teeth of that airport: go in with your Murder Eyes already blazing, and claw your way to that exit, regardless of the wildebeests. If you destroy another car, then you win that car, and you can strip its accessories and add them to your own. If it has Mass plates, take them off and use them. If you get enough you can declare yourself the Transient Queen of Hell and wear shoulder armor with spikes.

The only reason that people pick on the Swindon Magic Roundabout is because British people make fun of Swindon because they don’t have a New Jersey.

The M25, which Crowley designed, is just the big orbital road that goes around London. It’s mildly hellish, but only because of the density of traffic. The true Power of the M25 is that it keeps London contained. Dark Powers are constantly conspiring to break the seal, and release London on the surrounding countryside like a cancer, but everyone knows that if you do this, we will all be devoured. 

If we had done the same thing to Boston earlier, the seaboard could have been saved.

Calling all fic sleuths

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 21:21


I’m hunting for a few fics I loved last summer, before I knew how to properly bookmark in AO3. Can you help??

These are multi-chapter johnlock with some mature/explicit content:

1. After the “gas explosion” across the street from 221B, Sherlock is captured by Moriarty and kept in a carefully-constructed prison apartment right across the street, but John doesn’t know. Sherlock can see him through the window. Moriarty torments him mentally. John is eventually captured as well, with many relieved cuddles, and together they escape. I can’t recall the buildup of the story - I think in the beginning Sherlock falls from a drydocked boat onto the ground while on a case, sparking John’s realization of his feelings.

2. Coping with PTSD after being tortured during his 2 years away, Sherlock stays in a monastery as an artist-in-residence composing music and John visits him, bringing cake from Mrs. Hudson and gradually evolving their relationship. A somber one as John very carefully, patiently helps Sherlock heal.

3. Alternate first meeting - Sherlock first encounters John while bolting after a suspect on a case across a park. John jumps onto the criminal, ensuring his capture, and the two go out on a proper date shortly after, become a couple with a lot of sweet and saucy sexual revelation. I think they have a romp at the Diogenes club while chasing Moriarty. This may or may not have been part of fic #1.

Any ideas?? If they’re one of yours, I LOVED them and I want to read them again! My AO3 search skills are lacking. Thanks in advance!!

@alexxphoenix42  Tagging you in case these sound like one of the bazillions on your excellent lists.

Numbers 1 and 3 are indeed the same fic, which is All The Best And Brightest Creatures by wordstrings.

And #2 is Chryse’s The Ground Beneath Your Feet.

nis-otps: lilsparrow72: glitterpen1s: you know that feeling when you’re on your period and you...

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 20:45




you know that feeling when you’re on your period and you take a shower and you feel so clean and relieved and nice but then as soon as you turn the water off it’s a race against you, gravity and time

I swear the last line made it feel like the plotline of an action film

It is a period drama

mechanicalcurator: Image from ‘Gleanings from popular authors,...

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 20:31


Image from ‘Gleanings from popular authors, etc’, 001437859

  • Author:
  • Page: 622
  • Year: 1885
  • Place: London
  • Publisher: Cassell & Co.
View this image on Flickr View all the images from this book

Following the link above will take you to the British Library’s integrated catalogue. You will be able to download a PDF of the book this image is taken from, as well as view the pages up close with the ‘itemViewer’. Click on the 'related items’ to search for the electronic version of this work.

advertisingpics: Lego - Build the future [650 x 922] Source:...

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 12:42


Lego - Build the future [650 x 922]

Source: https://openpics.aerobatic.io/

Via GeekGirlAuthority: spotted in a Hungarian “Star Wars:...

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 21:33

Via GeekGirlAuthority: spotted in a Hungarian “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” magazine. http://www.geekgirlauthority.com/star-wars-the-last-jedi-luke-skywalker-haunting/

orientallyyours: USB memory sticks from the design studio, THEN...

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:51


USB memory sticks from the design studio, THEN Creative, made out of the surplus hardwood from Chinese classical furniture factories. The designs are taken from traditional Chinese window patterns, and range from rain, weaving, and waves. Wood used is purple sandalwood.

Source: 素铺

thexturtle: lesbianchrispine: voidbat: ouyangdan: squeeful: shaelit: shaelit: some-stars: act...

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 09:27











 rnoachi replied to your link “Handbook for Mortals’ Pulled From ‘New York Times’ YA Best-seller…”

What’s going on omfg

LMAOOO. All right Ima try and explain this succinctly as possible. Basically this random-ass ‘young adult’ book, ‘Handbook for Mortals,’ hit the NYT Bestseller List on the #1 Spot for the Hardcover Young Adult Category this morning. Only problem is that literally NO ONE had ever heard of this book before, like nada marketing, publicity, etc. Zilch. It was supposedly published by a company, GeekNation who only announced their publishing arm back in July. 

To hit the Bestseller list, the book would have had to sold at least 5,000~ copies within the first week, but a few people were quick to point out a major discrepancy where the book was literally out of stock everywhere in all major retailers, like legit you couldn’t find it on B&N, Amazon, and so on.  

YA Twitter basically crowd-sourced an investigation where a few anonymous booksellers revealed that they had gotten calls first asking if they were NYT-reporting bookstores, and then received bulk orders of the book but not caring when the books arrived. Soooo essentially what happened was that this book scammed it’s way on to the top of the NYT Bestseller List by figuring out which bookstores reported sales to the NYT (to determine what hits the bestsellers list, the NYT’s methodology takes a sample from various bookstores, and this supposedly changes every week). They then ordered thousands of copies of the book from those stores and only those stores - and by doing so, this was all a scheme in the hopes of driving the book to the top of the bestseller list. 

The main impetus for hitting the bestseller list was for getting a better chance to have a movie adaptation of the book made with a label like ‘#1 NYT Bestselling Book!’ which would have made it more appealing to potential investors. Butttt all of this was discovered and the NYT sent out a revision where they removed the book on the list a few hours ago. 

Someone also compared an excerpt of the book to an excerpt from ‘My Immortal,’ so now there’s a conspiracy theory that the author, Lani Sarem, is actually the author behind that fanfic. She’s also a former music manager who worked with bands like Blues Traveler, and the official Blues Traveler account weighed in and claimed that she was fired for ‘pulling these kind of stunts.’ 

And IN ADDITION to all this craziness, you had the bizarre emergence of random early-2000s celebrities linked to all of this - Lani is apparently JC Chasez’s (from N Sync) cousin who promoted the book on his twitter, and the co-founder of GeekNation (the publishing company behind this book) is Clare Kramer, who portrayed Glory on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and actor Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie, Rookie of the Year) was allegedly involved and planning to star in an eventual movie adaptation.

So, yeah that’s what happened in the last 12 hours of YA Twitter lol. 

This is the wildest thing and I love every minute of it.

#also let me be super fuckin real with you here #if we discover that ‘my immortal’ was written by jc chasez’s cousin #i will immediately expire and ASCEND TO A HIGHER PLANE OF EXISTENCE (via @actualvampireang)

This doesn’t even cover half the craziness. Some of my other favorite parts:

- The cover wasn’t even revealed until the beginning of August

- The ONLY chatter on Twitter before this was a little blog tour they’d put together, but nothing else

- The distribution company behind this is the same people who distributed Milo Yadablahblah

- Whoever was behind this knew August was the best time to push a book onto the list (as opposed to September, which is bananas)

- Whoever was behind this knew the EXACTLY how many books to order form each store (the number that alerts NYT to start giving you a hard time is like 80 books at indies, so they went around and ordered 79 each.)

- But they were dumb enough to wildly over-order (they ordered over 18,000, over double what it would’ve taken)

- Also dumb enough to straight-up tell the booksellers “This is for an event but it’s okay if it doesn’t arrive”

- The book only has ONE blurb. One. 

- No trade reviews. No blurbs from other authors within the community

- The ONE blurb is from an “international bestselling author”

- No. She’s a self-pub romance author who’s besties with LS

- You find all that out in the foreword (who puts a foreword on a YA novel???)

- Also the main character is 25 and there isn’t a single teen in this supposed YA novel

- Also also the cover may have been plagiarized

- Also also also the book knocked The Hate U Give to #2 and Everything, Everything off the list entirely, so people were maaaaaaaad

- And finally, when confronted with all this, the author tried to pull a “#KeepYAKind uwu” in her response to PW.


I’m getting a lot of this new stuff from Kayleigh Donaldson over at Punjabi.com, which was the first site to really pay attention to what was going down, and she’s kept at it even after the list was fixed.

- The cover was almost definitely plagiarized

- Carrot Top has weighed in. Yes, that Carrot Top.

- As has Jasper from Twilight (y’all idek anymore)

- The various song lyrics quoted in the book were likely used without proper clearance as well (she’s cousin to an N*SYNC member, girl you should know better)

- Even TIME has started covering this, you guys

this shit just keeps giving, y’all.

i have been waiting for this drama to cross my dash, i knew that the tumblr posts on it would be an amazing curated digest of information with source links and fantastic commentary. this did not disappoint.

milo yaddablahblah

This turned into a wild goddamn ride.

Truly, it’s been fascinating watching this unfold. It’s like a caper movie gone wrong.