Fine, detailed and subtle animated artwork created by New York illustrator Rebecca Mock. Apparently the animated gif back to stay, gradually more and more people are exploring this old format and customers asking for shouting. Several of these illustrations were created for the New York Times or The Warlus magazine.
Women are not aliens. Take away men, and we do not automatically lose our fire and intelligence and sex drive; we do not form hierarchical, static, insectlike societies that are dreadfully inefficient. We do not turn into a homogenous Thought Police culture where meat-eating is banned and men are burned in effigy every full moon. Women are not inherently passive or dominant, maternal, or vicious. We are all different. We are people.
A women-only world, it seems to me, would shine with the entire spectrum of human behavior: there would be capitalists and collectivists, hermits and clan members, sailors and cooks, idealists and tyrants; they would be generous and mean, smart and stupid, strong and weak; they would approach life bravely, fearfully and thoughtlessly. Some might still engage in fights, wars, and territorial squabbles; individuals and cultures would still display insanity and greed and indifference. And they would change and grow, just like anyone else. Because women are anyone else. We are more than half of humanity. We are not imitation people, or chameleons taking on protective male coloration, longing for the day when men go away and we can return to being our true, insectlike, static, vacuous selves. We are here, now. We are just like you.
Nicola Griffith, talking about writing Ammonite (via limousine-eyelash)
Twenty years ago, as she pointed out on Twitter, and still something we need to hear.
What do you mean, vet’s office? YOU SAID WE WERE GOING TO THE PHILHARMONIC!
The Muggle Studies classroom is always locked. In fact, there are few rooms in the castle with as much magical protection. There’s a special password needed to enter that’s distributed carefully to the year’s students on the first day of classes. They are sworn to secrecy and, to date, no one has broken that trust.
There’s more to this security than just fear of vandalism, though there has been that. Charity Burbage spent more than her fair share of time scrubbing nasty messages off her office door when she first started teaching. For a while it was a point of pride that she used her own effort to remove the hateful words. Then came the morning when she fell asleep next to a bucket of soapy water and was nearly late for her first lesson of the day. After that, she cast a Repelling Charm on her office and tried not to feel guilty about it.
The real reason for the layers of charms wrapped around the classroom is what goes on after hours. If you were to stroll by on any given night. you may see a tearful first year or a stressed out fifth year or even a cool and confident prefect strolling up to the door. You’d see them execute a complex set of wand patterns, whisper a word, and look around furtively before they enter.
If you were to follow them in (and I would not suggest this, for the room has its own way of dealing with intruders), you’d see students of all Houses and years, talking and studying and reading. But you may miss what they have in common: they’re all Muggle born. This classroom is the after-hours refuge of those who feel as if they don’t belong, those who find themselves trapped between the magical and the mundane, their parents and their classmates. Here there are shelves of magazines whose covers don’t move; there are stacks of textbooks on science and math, heavy tomes of Shakespeare and thin volumes of poetry.
In the corner you may see Justin Finch-Fletchley studying for his A-levels. He had promised his mum that he would at least try for them, even if he wasn’t sure he would ever leave the magical world. Sometimes Hermione Granger joins him, and they teach each other calculus and world history and pore over the periodic table.
By the fireplace you could find that tearful first year sitting with the calm prefect, their heads bent close. You might hear the first year pour out his heart, outline his fears, confess his insecurities. The prefect could respond in kind, admitting to the knot of confusion that lies underneath her placid exterior. They might then take out their wands and practice a spell, or pull out a child’s fairy tale collection and read aloud.
If you were a Muggle-born, this might be your sanctuary. It might be the place you miss most when you go home for the summer and try to fit your square peg into a world of round holes. It might be what you defend at the Battle of Hogwarts, fighting for your right to be confused and not fit in. It might be why you come back as the new Muggle Studies professor, why you create an after-hours class to help others get their A-levels and apply to university.
But then again, it might be just another classroom.
(written and submitted by the lovely ppyajunebug. There’s a tremendous sweetness to this that I find very appealing, something comforting about knowing that the Muggle-borns have their own space. This blog often explores the horrifying and strange, but sometimes it’s nice to consider good things, as well.)
If the moon were only 1 pixel on your screen, how big would the rest of the solar system be?
Just click this link, I beg you, and prepare to have your mind blown.
Absolutely amazing. Fantastic work by designer Josh Worth.
For a a different look at the problem of cosmic distance, check out my video “How Big is the Solar System?”:
And for lots more fun ways to look at the scale of the universe maybe watch this one called (naturally) "The Scale of the Universe":
The Order of Merlin, First Class, was awarded posthumously to Regulus Arcturus Black by order of the Minister, Kingsley Shacklebolt, despite hearty opposition from the Wizengamot, whose counters included, “He’s a Death Eater,” and “He committed atrocities unaccounted for,” to “Others more deserving will be passed over!” And so on.
Kingsley ignored it. In truth, the Order of Merlin was only in part meant for the memory of young, tragic Regulus Black. At least half of it belonged to a house elf named Kreacher, a foul being made foul by his masters, who nevertheless was instrumental in the defeat of the self-styled Lord Voldemort.
Of course, the Minister knew that no matter how much opposition he received, no matter how many bridges he was burning, no matter the dissent sowed, it would be infinitely worse should he attempt to award a house-elf the Order of Merlin, First Class.
Never mind a house-elf brainwashed into being a vehicle of pureblood propaganda in its least subtle form.
Kingsley, however, attempted to rectify the animosity the Council were throwing his way like particularly quiet curses.
"Regulus Arcturus Black—" said Kingsley Shacklebolt, newly elected Minister of the British Wizarding World, "—was a scion of the Most Noble and Ancient House of Black. In truth, through his self-sacrifice, he has salvaged the perception of his blood and his house. I ask you, most noble Council of the Wizengamot, what the effect of an Order of Merlin, First Class, on such a martyred descendent, would have on the views of the populace which we govern."
Annalise Wilding stood, tall and stern, the silver scars on her face shining in the gloom. “It would, I believe, have a stabilizing effect on the populace, and the press, that we sorely need. A pureblood, a Slytherin, to be awarded the Order of Merlin, would reassure other purebloods, other Slytherins that they will be judged by merit by the Ministry. It would, in fact, encourage meritorious action that will be received most welcomingly by all, despite intentions that might indicate those actions are not altogether altruistic.”
"And what of the effect such an award would have on the victims of the Dark Lord’s terrorizing?" asked elderly Llewelyn Mell. "Would they not think the Ministry weak, think that our establishment has reverted to the old ways of bribery and corruption?"
Kingsley smiled to himself, but hid it behind a veneer of tranquil attention. The ‘old ways’, indeed. He cleared his throat, and regained the attention of the Wizengamot. “We must not forget the numerous other upstanding wizards and witches who will also be awarded. This should serve to counter any dissent. As it is, I feel as though it will be worth it.”
No less than seven hours of debate later, the Wizengamot came to the same conclusion.
In a dark house slowly being reclaimed by light, a house elf held a golden medallion on a purple ribbon with tearful awe. “My master has been recognized,” he croaked to himself, utterly unaware that such a matter had been debated by the greats, nor, in fact, that it had been done on his behalf.
Harry smiled to himself from behind the door and turned away as the aged house-elf named Kreacher reverently hung the Order of Merlin, First Class, on the centre of the wall of his cupboard, where it was surrounded by glum photos of a dark-haired boy all in black and green.
(written and submitted by petrichorlore. This is all I want for Kreacher, one of my most favorite minor characters ever, so please excuse me if I gush a little. petrichorlore creates a wonderful reward for him here, a reward on his own terms, and imbues her story with a beautiful understanding and a kindness that he could never receive in canon. On top of that, we get a competent & clever Kingsley, playing the powers that be and moving politics forward even as he does a good turn. Wonderful, just wonderful.)