One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

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.

—Terry Pratchett, Jingo (via captainofalltheships)

(via dduane)

jtotheizzoe:

NEW VIDEO!

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 :)

ursulavernon:

the-darkest-of-lights:

Have you heard of the wonderful goddess The Morragan?

The Morrigan loves you!
…Sort of. For a value of love. TOUGH LOVE.
I’ll just leave these pamphlets here, ‘kay?

ursulavernon:

the-darkest-of-lights:

Have you heard of the wonderful goddess The Morragan?

The Morrigan loves you!

…Sort of. For a value of love. TOUGH LOVE.

I’ll just leave these pamphlets here, ‘kay?

(Source: crowstudy)

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
is burn.

biruskis:

If the Winter Soldier was responsible for the Kennedy assassination and Magneto tried to STOP the Kennedy assassination then that must mean somehow Magneto lost a fight to a guy wITH AN ENTirE ARm MADE OF METAL

(via i-was-so-alone-i-owe-you-so-much)

saveplanetearth:

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

saveplanetearth:

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

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

this-too-too-sullied-flesh:

art-is-art-is-art:

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.

this-too-too-sullied-flesh:

art-is-art-is-art:

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.

raaawrbin:

stirringwind:

raaawrbin:

I feel like very few, or at least not many of the people of tumblr are aware of what is going on in my home country Hong Kong right now.

You guys gave alot of coverage and support when Scotland was voting for its independance, so I’m hoping you’ll all support the people of Hong Kong as well.

Right now, many of us are in a mass demonstration of pro-democracy against China. But wait a sec, isn’t Hong Kong China? This is a big misconception amongst foreigners, but please, we are far from being similar to China at all.

A little history class: Hong Kong used to be colonized by the British, and before you white-knights begin going all “them damn white racist ppl taking over another asian country” please don’t. We are thankful Britain took us under its wing and instilled in us values that I feel made us what we are today; that is, a democratic people with respect for free speech, amongst many things.

On the other hand, China is communist, with government controlled media and news. Google, instagram, facebook and many tv shows are blocked in China. It really is just a few steps from North Korea imo.

So what’s the problem here? Britain unfortunately had to hand back Hong Kong to China, but one of the requirements is that Hong Kong be allowed to operate as ‘one country two systems’, meaning Hong Kong should be able to have its own democratic government. But China has broken its promise. A while back, China tried to put a mandatory ‘national education’ curriculum in all our primary schools. We all know what that is; a communist brainwashing regime. And now, they have announced that in 2017 Hong Kong will be able to vote for its president; BUT only from 3 candidates hand picked by its PRO-BEIJING legislation.

As you can see, China is trying to takeover completely and turn us into another communist state.

Of course, we have taken to the streets. In a mirror if the Tiananmen protests, students have also stepped up to fight for our rights and our future, albeit in a peaceful protest of course. But the police force who have always been a friend of the people, are now responding with force, something that had never been done before in Hong Kong.

First it was pepperspray, then teargas. Then, armed forces came in qith rubber bullets. They warn they will come out with live ammunition soon if we do not get off the streets but the people continue to sit tight, disrupting businesses China so strive to takeover and make use of. It’s been 2 days now, but the people plan to continue at least till 1st October or even beyond. The significance is that October 1st is China’s National day, not ours, Hong Kong has not been granted it’s own National day.

Please spread the news. This is a country we’re talking about. These are my people.

You can join this event to wear yellow in support of my people on October 1st.

You can also read a more detailed explanation of what’s going down here and watch a live feed here.

Just to add on- Hong Kong is one of the rare examples where it did kind of end up being better off under colonial rule. And before I get jumped on for being a neo-colonialist- I’m saying that as a person with Chinese ancestry whose great grandparents left China because of the accumulated poor situation caused by the Opium Wars and political strife in the early 1900s. Do not dichotomise conflicts outside the world as “White people oppressing POC”. Yes Chinese people have been victims at the hands of the British, then the Japanese- but today the Chinese government is culpable in corruption and human rights abuses- even against its own citizens in the mainland. There were thousands of disturbances last year in China over various issues like land grabs, corruption and pollution. The government has also been oppressing ethnic minorities like the Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs. What you see happening here in Hong Kong is another pattern in the behaviour of an authoritarian government that really needs to be held more accountable.  

Yes, the Opium Wars fucked China up, but the Communists really ruined the country during the 1950s onwards with the disastrous Great Leap Forward. There was a horrible famine caused by state mismanagement- and by the end of it all, it’s estimated anywhere from 18 million to 45 million Chinese died. Far more than died in WW2. And then of course, the infamous Cultural Revolution where there were basically witch-hunts which just caused enormous upheaval and strife, where people were “outed” as “bourgeois” or capitalists or whatever and imprisoned, tortured and publicly humiliated. University students and professors were accused of being traitors. Even the Communist Party today acknowledges it was a complete disaster. While all of this was going on, by comparison, Hong Kong flourished under British rule.

The China you see today that is the world’s second largest economy is a product of Deng Xiaoping’s reform in the 1970s- which involved throwing out huge parts of the Communist economic policies to embrace capitalism- and putting a stop to the blind and rigid adherence to Communist ideology. Economically, China is in many ways very open to capitalism BUT politically, the government is pretty authoritarian still. And quite capable of oppression.

Do not lionise the Chinese government as this heroic “POC” country standing up to “white supremacy”, give them a free pass, or somehow think whatever they do cannot be as bad as Western imperialism. People with my skin colour are perfectly capable of oppression when they have institutional power. And they darned well better be called out for it. 

^^^^ YES

(via zenodotus5)

fer1972:

Today’s Classic: Unicorns

1. By George Plank (c. 1920)

2. By Kay Nielsen (1912)

3. By Albrecht Durer  (1516)

4. By Milo (1916)

5. By Gustave Moreau (1885)

(Source: unicorn-classicart.blogspot.fr)

copperbadge:

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.]

copperbadge:

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.]