Serious Tip - Don't Go Back to the Moon

Covered in Raptors. Long Story.

the-real-seebs:

ursulavernon:

            Frogs fall out of my mouth when I talk. Toads, too.

            It used to be a problem.

            There was an incident when I was young and cross and fed up parental expectations. My sister, who is the Good One, has gold fall from her lips, and since I could not be her, I had to go a different way.

            So I got frogs. It happens.

            “You’ll grow into it,” the fairy godmother said. “Some curses have cloth-of-gold linings.” She considered this, and her finger drifted to her lower lip, the way it did when she was forgetting things. “Mind you, some curses just grind you down and leave you broken. Some blessings do that too, though. Hmm. What was I saying?”

            I spent a lot of time not talking. I got a slate and wrote things down. It was hard at first, but I hated to drop the frogs in the middle of the road. They got hit by cars, or dried out, miles away from their damp little homes.

            Toads were easier. Toads are tough. After awhile, I learned to feel when a word was a toad and not a frog. I could roll the word around on my tongue and get the flavor before I spoke it. Toad words were drier. Desiccated is a toad word. So is crisp and crisis and obligation. So are elegant and matchstick.

            Frog words were a bit more varied. Murky. Purple. Swinging. Jazz.

I practiced in the field behind the house, speaking words over and over, sending small creatures hopping into the evening.  I learned to speak some words as either toads or frogs. It’s all in the delivery.

            Love is a frog word, if spoken earnestly, and a toad word if spoken sarcastically. Frogs are not good at sarcasm.

            Toads are masters of it.

            I learned one day that the amphibians are going extinct all over the world, that some of them are vanishing. You go to ponds that should be full of frogs and find them silent. There are a hundred things responsible—fungus and pesticides and acid rain.

            When I heard this, I cried “What!?” so loudly that an adult African bullfrog fell from my lips and I had to catch it. It weighed as much as a small cat. I took it to the pet store and spun them a lie in writing about my cousin going off to college and leaving the frog behind.

            I brooded about frogs for weeks after that, and then eventually, I decided to do something about it.

            I cannot fix the things that kill them. It would take an army of fairy godmothers, and mine retired long ago. Now she goes on long cruises and spreads her wings out across the deck chairs.

            But I can make more.

            I had to get a field guide at first. It was a long process. Say a word and catch it, check the field marks. Most words turn to bronze frogs if I am not paying attention.

            Poison arrow frogs make my lips go numb. I can only do a few of those a day. I go through a lot of chapstick.  

            It is a holding action I am fighting, nothing more. I go to vernal pools and whisper sonnets that turn into wood frogs. I say the words squeak and squill and spring peepers skitter away into the trees. They begin singing almost the moment they emerge.

            I read long legal documents to a growing audience of Fowler’s toads, who blink their goggling eyes up at me. (I wish I could do salamanders. I would read Clive Barker novels aloud and seed the streams with efts and hellbenders. I would fly to Mexico and read love poems in another language to restore the axolotl. Alas, it’s frogs and toads and nothing more. We make do.)

            The woods behind my house are full of singing. The neighbors either learn to love it or move away.

            My sister—the one who speaks gold and diamonds—funds my travels. She speaks less than I do, but for me and my amphibian friends, she will vomit rubies and sapphires. I am grateful.

            I am practicing reading modernist revolutionary poetry aloud. My accent is atrocious. Still, a day will come when the Panamanian golden frog will tumble from my lips, and I will catch it and hold it, and whatever word I spoke, I’ll say again and again, until I stand at the center of a sea of yellow skins, and make from my curse at last a cloth of gold.

Terri Windling posted recently about the old fairy tale of frogs falling from a girl’s lips, and I started thinking about what I’d do if that happened to me, and…well…

!.

You know how if you go through years and years of “best science fiction short stories”, every so often you find some short story you’ve never heard of before, but it’s just amazing and brilliant and leaves you wondering why you never read stories with that plot before? This is one of those.

Seriously, wow.

(via theragnarokd)

lalondes:

women who succeed in male-dominated fields are always labeled Female Athletes or Female Rappers or Female Presidents but when landon donovan scores 57 international goals (which is 110 less than abby wambach’s record), nobody feels it necessary to label him the Leading Male Goal Scorer. no, he just gets to be the best goal scorer. even though there are a dozen women who have outclassed him. funny how that works.

(via thefriendlymurderer)

the-average-gatsby:

alright you guys have posted some pretty bad jokes on here but not one comes close to this doozy

brace yourselves

so there’s a far-off place that consists of a perfectly triangular lake surrounded by land, with three kingdoms on the three sides of the lake. the first kingdom is rich and powerful, filled with wealthy, prosperous people. the second kingdom is more humble, but has its fair share of wealth and power, too. the third kingdom is struggling and poor, and barely has an army.

the kingdoms eventually go to war over control of the lake, as it’s a valuable resource to have. the first kingdom sends 100 of their finest knights, clad in the best armor and each with their own personal squire. the second kingdom sends 50 of their knights, with fine leather armor and a few dozen squires of their own. the third kingdom sends their one and only knight, an elderly warrior who has long since passed his prime, with his own personal squire.

the night before the big battle, the knights in the first kingdom drink and make merry, partying into the late hours of the night. the knights in the second kingdom aren’t as well off, but have their own supply of grog and also drink late into the night.

in the third camp, the faithful squire gets a rope and slings it over the branch of a tall tree, making a noose, and hangs a pot from it. he fills the pot with stew and has a humble dinner with the old knight.

the next morning, the knights in the first two kingdoms are hung over and unable to fight, while the knight in the third kingdom is old and weary, unable to get up. in place of the knights, the squires from all three kingdoms go and fight. the battle lasts long into the night, but by the time the dust settled, only one squire was left standing - the squire from the third kingdom.

and it just goes to show you that the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides

(via mhalachai)

ellidfics:

howbucky:

#steve’s sass could power a city (via blackwidov)

I love how he simply knocks politely on the door instead of kicking it open and having Sam spray the room with bullets.  

Cap is the best.

robowolves:

bemusedlybespectacled:

gdfalksen:

Chiune Sugihara. This man saved 6000 Jews. He was a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara risked his life to start issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews. He hand-wrote them 18 hrs a day. The day his consulate closed and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was STILL writing visas and throwing from the train as he pulled away. He saved 6000 lives. The world didn’t know what he’d done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died.

Why can’t we have a movie about him?

He was often called “Sempo”, an alternative reading of the characters of his first name, as that was easier for Westerners to pronounce.
His wife, Yukiko, was also a part of this; she is often credited with suggesting the plan. The Sugihara family was held in a Soviet POW camp for 18 months until the end of the war; within a year of returning home, Sugihara was asked to resign - officially due to downsizing, but most likely because the government disagreed with his actions.
He didn’t simply grant visas - he granted visas against direct orders, after attempting three times to receive permission from the Japanese Foreign Ministry and being turned down each time. He did not “misread” orders; he was in direct violation of them, with the encouragement and support of his wife.
He was honoured as Righteous Among the Nations in 1985, a year before he died in Kamakura; he and his descendants have also been granted permanent Israeli citizenship. He was also posthumously awarded the Life Saving Cross of Lithuania (1993); Commander’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1996); and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2007). Though not canonized, some Eastern Orthodox Christians recognize him as a saint.
Sugihara was born in Gifu on the first day of 1900, January 1. He achieved top marks in his schooling; his father wanted him to become a physician, but Sugihara wished to pursue learning English. He deliberately failed the exam by writing only his name and then entered Waseda, where he majored in English. He joined the Foreign Ministry after graduation and worked in the Manchurian Foreign Office in Harbin (where he learned Russian and German; he also converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church during this time). He resigned his post in protest over how the Japanese government treated the local Chinese citizens. He eventually married Yukiko Kikuchi, who would suggest and encourage his acts in Lithuania; they had four sons together. Chiune Sugihara passed away July 31, 1986, at the age of 86. Until her own passing in 2008, Yukiko continued as an ambassador of his legacy.
It is estimated that the Sugiharas saved between 6,000-10,000 Lithuanian and Polish Jewish people.

robowolves:

bemusedlybespectacled:

gdfalksen:

Chiune Sugihara. This man saved 6000 Jews. He was a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara risked his life to start issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews. He hand-wrote them 18 hrs a day. The day his consulate closed and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was STILL writing visas and throwing from the train as he pulled away. He saved 6000 lives. The world didn’t know what he’d done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died.

Why can’t we have a movie about him?

He was often called “Sempo”, an alternative reading of the characters of his first name, as that was easier for Westerners to pronounce.

His wife, Yukiko, was also a part of this; she is often credited with suggesting the plan. The Sugihara family was held in a Soviet POW camp for 18 months until the end of the war; within a year of returning home, Sugihara was asked to resign - officially due to downsizing, but most likely because the government disagreed with his actions.

He didn’t simply grant visas - he granted visas against direct orders, after attempting three times to receive permission from the Japanese Foreign Ministry and being turned down each time. He did not “misread” orders; he was in direct violation of them, with the encouragement and support of his wife.

He was honoured as Righteous Among the Nations in 1985, a year before he died in Kamakura; he and his descendants have also been granted permanent Israeli citizenship. He was also posthumously awarded the Life Saving Cross of Lithuania (1993); Commander’s Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1996); and the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2007). Though not canonized, some Eastern Orthodox Christians recognize him as a saint.

Sugihara was born in Gifu on the first day of 1900, January 1. He achieved top marks in his schooling; his father wanted him to become a physician, but Sugihara wished to pursue learning English. He deliberately failed the exam by writing only his name and then entered Waseda, where he majored in English. He joined the Foreign Ministry after graduation and worked in the Manchurian Foreign Office in Harbin (where he learned Russian and German; he also converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church during this time). He resigned his post in protest over how the Japanese government treated the local Chinese citizens. He eventually married Yukiko Kikuchi, who would suggest and encourage his acts in Lithuania; they had four sons together. Chiune Sugihara passed away July 31, 1986, at the age of 86. Until her own passing in 2008, Yukiko continued as an ambassador of his legacy.

It is estimated that the Sugiharas saved between 6,000-10,000 Lithuanian and Polish Jewish people.

(via theletteraesc)

2x05 / 4x05

(via jerakeenc)

(via waxjism)

omgbuglen:

Tough day of training

omgbuglen:

Tough day of training

(via lazulisong)