And then [Vimes] realized why he was thinking like this.
It was because he wanted there to be conspirators.
It was much better to imagine men in some smoky room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over the brandy.
You had to cling to this sort of image, because if you didn’t then you might have to face the fact that bad things happened because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told their children bedtime stories, were capable of then going out and doing horrible things to other ordinary people.
It was so much easier to blame it on Them.
It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No-one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them.
We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.
Bats: Wonders of the Night
In this week’s It’s Okay To Be Smart you’ll learn all about some BAT-ass flying mammals.
I live in Austin, TX, a city known for breakfast tacos, cowboy hipsters, live music, and BATS. Lots of bats. Yet, even after living in this city for years, I had no idea just how many bats called Central Texas home. That is, until I shot this video.
Our backdrop for this episode, Bracken Cave near San Antonio, TX, is a very special place. That cave is home the largest congregation of mammals on Earth, 20+ million Mexican free-tailed bats. In some areas of the cave, 200+ are hanging in a single square foot! At sunset, when they journey out to find dinner… well, it’s one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen (and heard). Their emergence lasts hours, flowing overhead like a river of wings, rushing by with the sound of a fluttering waterfall.
The bats that live here can eat as many as 100 tons of insects in a single night! Exactly how they hunt is even cooler, but you’ll have to watch the video to find out more.
You’ll also learn what bats eat, why they might be the most advanced flying hunters in nature, the incredible impact they have on ecosystems, and how we are threatening their future with disease and habitat loss. Oh, and poop. You’ll learn about bat poop.
Special thanks to Bat Conservation International for their help making this video. They own the land around Bracken Cave, in order to protect this natural treasure for the future. Check out their website to learn how you can help protect these amazing animals.
If you like the videos we’re making, please consider subscribing on YouTube, and share this one with your bat-loving friends :)
When you are 13 years old,
the heat will be turned up too high
and the stars will not be in your favor.
You will hide behind a bookcase
with your family and everything left behind.
You will pour an ocean into a diary.
When they find you, you will be nothing
but a spark above a burning bush,
still, tell them
Despite everything, I really believe people are good at heart.
When you are 14,
a voice will call you to greatness.
When the doubters call you crazy, do not listen.
They don’t know the sound
of their own God’s whisper. Use your armor,
use your sword, use your two good hands.
Do not let their doubting
drown out the sound of your own heartbeat.
You are the Maid of Untamed Patriotism.
Born to lead armies into victory and unite a nation
like a broken heart.
When you are 15, you will be punished
for learning too proudly. A man
will climb onto your school bus and insist
your sisters name you enemy.
When you do not hide,
he will point his gun at your temple
and fire three times. Three years later,
in an ocean of words, with no apologies,
you will stand before the leaders of the world
and tell them your country is burning.
When you are 16 years old,
you will invent science fiction.
The story of a man named Frankenstein
and his creation. Soon after you will learn
that little girls with big ideas are more terrifying
than monsters, but don’t worry.
You will be remembered long after
they have put down their torches.
When you are 17 years old,
you will strike out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
one right after the other.
Men will be afraid of the lightening
in your fingertips. A few days later
you will be fired from the major leagues
because “Girls are too delicate to play baseball”
You will turn 18 with a baby on your back
leading Lewis and Clark
across North America.
You will turn 18
and become queen of the Nile.
You will turn 18
and bring justice to journalism.
You are now 18, standing on the precipice,
trembling before your own greatness.
This is your call to leap.
There will always being those
who say you are too young and delicate
to make anything happen for yourself.
They don’t see the part of you that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out the sound
of your own heartbeat.
You are the first drop of a hurricane.
Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed
by all the little girls still living in secret,
writing oceans made of monsters and
throwing like lightening.
You don’t need to grow up to find greatness.
You are stronger than the world has ever believed you to be.
The world laid out before you to set on fire.
All you have to do
EVEN THE PLAYING FIELD: One of the reasons why the U.S has such a hard time weaning itself off fossil fuels is because coal, oil & gas often appear cheaper than solar and wind. But that’s because the fossil fuel industry gets a whopping SIX TIMES more government subsidies than clean energy! @ Earth Justice
Stitching the Standard, Edmund Blair Leighton
helga didn’t like the banner hanging in the great hall, so she happily, uncomplainingly stitched her own. it felt good to do it without the use of magic, and when she cheerfully tore the old one down, she zipped it out one of the windows where it sailed into the lake. hoping an obliging creature would have more use for the ugly thing, she turned back to the task at hand, hanging up the new hufflepuff standard and regarding it with satisfaction.
when rowena made an unintentionally rude comment about its asymmetry later that evening, she merely smiled serenely and added a mustache to the ravenclaw banner with a slight quirk of her eyebrow and a surreptitious flick of her wand under the table.
no one noticed for three weeks.
I deeply appreciate that we did not get the stereotypical Older Religious Figure Who Doesn’t Get It and instead got this actualfacts good advice. I mean, I didn’t expect any less from G. Willow Wilson but it’s still so refreshing to watch Ms. Marvel invert all kinds of tropes.
[From Ms. Marvel #6, 2014.]