[syndicated profile] textsfromsuperheroes_feed

Diana: Here’s a pet peeve I have about immortals in media. I hate how every immortal is like, I knew every historical figure ever. And it bothers me because they couldn’t have been in every single country throughout all of time. So in the Defenders, Alexandra’s like, I knew Bach and Beethoven, and I’m like, sure you did. And what celebrities do you know today? You hanging out with Drake at Raptors games Alexandra? I don’t think so! If you’re not hanging out with celebrities and famous people in modern day, why would I believe you knew any of these historical figures?

Andrew: This is especially true because they’re not time travellers, they’re just immortal. They don’t know who’s about to blow up as they live their lives.

Diana: Yeah, they don’t know who’s going to get big. They probably never even met Einstein. They poured all their attention into some inventor named Bleinstein who ended up doing fuck all and then they lied and said they totally knew Einstein.

Andrew: And the chances of them even being in the same city are ridiculous. An immortal will be like, “Yes, I remember hanging around in Rome with twelve year old Leo. Leonardo da Vinci that is!” How the fuck did you know da Vinci was gonna pop off?! You’re not a time traveler! Why are you hanging around with twelve year olds? That’s weird. Stop lying, immortals!

- The Hosts of Talk From Superheroes On Why Immortals Are Liars

Listen to more episodes here or on iTunes.

sunnymodffa: picture of a stern looking seal (Seal of Judgement)
[personal profile] sunnymodffa posting in [community profile] fail_fandomanon

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[ SECRET POST #3883 ]

21 Aug 2017 18:50
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[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3883 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 44 secrets from Secret Submission Post #555.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
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[syndicated profile] little_details_lj_feed

Posted by sailorhathor

How long does surgery take for internal bleeding of the abdomen? Patient is male, 45, in pretty good shape (exercises regularly), had to stab himself in the left side of his abdomen (bellybutton level) with a butcher knife. Went in about half way. How many hours would the surgery take in general?

Search terms: combinations of "internal bleeding abdominal surgery time"
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Whether growing in a puddle of dirty water or inside the human body, large groups of bacteria must coordinate their behavior to perform essential tasks that they would not be able to carry out individually. Bacteria achieve this coordination through a process called quorum sensing in which the microorganisms produce and secrete small molecules called autoinducers that can be detected by neighboring bacterial cells. Only when a large number of bacteria are present can the levels of secreted autoinducer build up to the point where the community can detect them and respond as a coordinated group.
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

It went well! We had intermittent clouds in the run-up, but for the first half (closing up to the maximum) we had very good views much of the time, and the clouds weren’t so heavy we couldn’t see. I made a box, but then Krissy’s work handed out eclipse glasses, so we used those instead, and I also used a makeshift filter on my camera to get some pretty good shots. This particular shot came just after maximum, when all of a sudden a lot of clouds rolled in and I could snap a naked shot of the sun without frying my camera. We got 88% of coverage, which is enough for a show. In all, a very fine eclipse, from the deck of my house.

The next eclipse for North America is in 2024, and as it happens, that one will have totality directly over my house. Which is convenient! And before you ask, we’re already booked up. Sorry.

Updated to add: Also, I think I may never get a better eclipse shot than this one. Thank you and good night.

[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
A virus which infects ocean plankton can reprogramme cells and change the way they absorb nutrients - potentially changing how carbon is stored in the ocean, new research shows.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Tremendous amounts of soot, lofted into the air from global wildfires following a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago, would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, new research finds. This would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet, and contributed to the mass extinction that marked the end of the age of dinosaurs.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
The moon is likely very dry in its interior according to a new study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, published August 21, 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
A commonly proposed solution to help diffuse the political and religious polarization surrounding controversial scientific issues like evolution or climate change is education.

Evolutionary arms 'chase'

21 Aug 2017 15:00
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
In nature, plants engage in a never-ending battle to avoid being eaten. Unable to run away, plant species have evolved defenses to deter herbivores; they have spines, produce nasty chemicals, or grow tough leaves that are difficult to chew. For years, scientists have assumed that herbivores and plants are locked into evolutionary competition in which a plant evolves a defense, the herbivore evolves a workaround, and so on.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Tropical forests contain more than one-half of all plant and animal species on Earth. Unfortunately, they are disappearing at the highest rate of any forests worldwide. Furthermore, many of the most threatened tropical species are restricted to 20 or so biodiversity hotspots, which are sites that have lost more than 70 percent of their original habitat.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
A class of chemicals made by intestinal bacteria, known as indoles, help worms, flies and mice maintain mobility and resilience for more of their lifespans, scientists have discovered.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Mars is buffeted by turbulent snowstorms that occur only at night, according to a study released Monday that revises our understanding of Red Planet weather.

8 - 21 - 2017 Eclipse

21 Aug 2017 15:17
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[personal profile] alexcat
We made a viewer from a sheet of paper and it worked great!

[syndicated profile] theatlantic_global_feed

Posted by Krishnadev Calamur

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

What a difference four years and a presidential election victory make. In 2013, Donald Trump offered this prescription for what the U.S. should do in Afghanistan:

On Monday night, he is expected to offer a new plan for Afghanistan, one that news reports say will include sending 4,000 additional U.S. troops to the country to join the 8,500 personnel already there. It’s not entirely clear Trump is doing this willingly. As I noted last week, he reportedly told his top advisers he thinks the U.S. is “losing” the war in Afghanistan, and that he wanted “to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years, how it’s going, and what we should do in terms of additional ideas.” (The U.S. has been at war in Afghanistan for 16 years.) Those are all valid questions about the U.S. strategy in the country where the conflict between the Afghan government and the Taliban is at a stalemate, where corruption continues to hamstring governance, and where regional and ethnic loyalties often trump loyalties to the central government.

“We seem to be at risk of kicking the can around the circle,” Christopher Kolenda, who served as the senior adviser on Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Department of Defense from 2009 to 2014, told me in an email Monday. He previously told me in an interview that the Afghan government’s inability to retake territory that’s contested or under Taliban control is “unlikely to change appreciably as long as both sides have international support.”

Laurel Miller, who until recently served as the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), told me in an email that there’s unlikely to be much that’s new in Trump’s strategy.

“A U.S. troops increase has been tried before ; aid conditionality and other forms of pressure have been applies to Pakistan to try to get more cooperation in depriving Afghan insurgents of sanctuary; and various inducements have long been used to try to get the Afghan government to bring down corruption and address other popular grievances.  

“Reformulations of these same measures are not likely to produce greatly improved results. If the president were to launch as serious initiative to achieve a negotiated settlement of the conflict, prioritize on a par with the military efforts, that would be something new and potentially promising.”

Trump’s announcement Monday comes after a months-long strategic review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, which culminated last Friday with a meeting between the president and his national-security team at Camp David, Maryland. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who attended the meeting, said Sunday he was “very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous.” Options presented to Trump included a total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a move many experts say would result in chaos with Afghanistan’s neighbors stepping in to fill the security vacuum; the use of private contractors, a strategy supported by Erik Prince, the former Blackwater CEO, and Steve Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist; as well as the continued presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in a training-and-advising capacity while working with Pakistan to bring about a longer-lasting security and political solution.

Any strategy for Afghanistan that involves more than the U.S. military will likely need the kind of position that Trump reportedly eliminated in June at the U.S. State Department, while he was considering strategy for Afghanistan. The SRAP position, which was established during the Obama administration to coordinate policy, is expected to be folded into the department’s South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau (though there’s confusion over the fate of the office). Miller, who served as SRAP until June, said “the end game in Afghanistan—if it is to have a reasonable chance of producing durable stability—will have to involve negotiations of a political settlement.”   

She said a battlefield victory wasn’t plausible in the foreseeable future—especially given the number of troops being discussed under Trump’s plan.

“A political end game will also have attack the support of key regional players, including Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and China,” she said. “The U.S. will be in a better position to advance its counterterrorism interests in the region over the long term if it seriously pursues a political settlement of Afghanistan’s internal conflict.”

James Cunningham, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, told me in an interview last week that the U.S. must give Afghan security forces the support they needed to effectively provide security for the Afghan people, and then “move onto a strategy that involves heavy political and diplomatic focus on trying to find a way to bring the conflict ultimately to an end.”

Any road to a political settlement in Afghanistan—whatever that looks like—would have to go through Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The country has long been accused of supporting the Taliban and of providing a safe haven and safe passage for militants across the porous border between the two countries. (Pakistan was also where Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader, had taken refuge before he was killed by Navy SEALs in Rawalpindi.) Trump is expected Monday to increase pressure on Pakistan to stop providing safe havens to the militants, reportedly threatening it with a withdrawal of non-NATO ally status, and to label it a state sponsor of terrorism.

But Pakistan’s view of the situation in Afghanistan is markedly different from that of the U.S. Any political solution in Afghanistan that does not involve power-sharing with Pakistan’s allies in the Taliban will not be palatable to Pakistan’s powerful military, which fears being sandwiched between India and Afghanistan, two allies that have poor relations with it. Pakistan also has poor relations with Iran, another neighbor. Any expectation that Pakistan stops providing safe havens to the militants is likely to be met only if there is a concomitant agreement on power-sharing with the Taliban.

“We have tried to persuade Pakistan over the last several years ... that their interests are better served by a real effort to deal with all the aspects of Islamic militancy and terrorism in that area,” Cunningham told me. “They have changed their rhetoric at various times over the years, but haven’t substantially changed their approach … and that needs to be  done somehow.”

Ultimately, experts agree, there is likely no military solution in Afghanistan. The conflict’s end is not likely to be marked by the Taliban signing a surrender document. And prospects of a political solution will remain slim as along as the Afghan central government remains weak.

“There’s some basic things that one has to decide about Afghanistan: Is there actually a potential for serious threat and destabilization if Afghanistan is abandoned? That question needs to be debated and not just thrown aside with a soundbite answer,” Ronald Neumann, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007 and supports an extended U.S. presence, told me last week.

He added: “You should not walk away from the question of threat because that needs an answer: Then you can decide whether we can accept the threat—or not. … Then the second question is if you think it’s a threat, is a longer-term presence in Afghanistan sustainable? I would say it is. There’s no enormous political pressure on the president. Even if a lot of people say it’s not working … they don’t vote on that basis. So the president has got a lot of flexibility to go pretty much any way he wants.”

Trump undoubtedly has these and other considerations in mind as he addresses his vision for Afghanistan at 9 p.m. ET.

This story will be updated with the president’s remarks.

penaltywaltz: (Sherlock: Molly - Grin)
[personal profile] penaltywaltz posting in [community profile] wipbigbang
Story Title: Led About On A (Not So) Merry Chase
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Link(s): AO3
Summary: John enlists Molly’s help to cheer Sherlock up when Sherlock is down in the dumps about getting bad marks before the end of term, which means going home and facing his parents. Molly has the idea of a scavenger hunt to put Sherlock’s big, beautiful brain to use, but nothing goes right when what is supposed to be a private thing amongst a few friends becomes a campus-wide event. Will it all end happily ever after or will everything be worse off than they were before
Warnings: Mild language
Characters: Molly Hooper, John Watson, Mary Morstan, Sherlock Holmes, Greg Lestrade, James Moriarty & Sally Donovan
Pairings: Sherlock Holmes/Molly Hooper & John Watson/Mary Morstan
When I Started: July 13th, 2016
How I Lost My Shit: For some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to write this particular college AU and ended up writing a bunch of other ones instead.
How I Finished My Shit: After falling asleep for almost an entire 48 hours because of chronic illness, I woke up the evening of the day before my first finished fic in this new batch went up and was all “What else can I finish to post on the 21st?” Five chapters and six hours later, I was done with this story. It’s shorter than I had planned, but I rather like it anyway.
sineala: (Avengers: Steve with cowl)
[personal profile] sineala
Wish Fulfillment (1427 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Ultimates, Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers (Ultimates), Tony Stark (Ultimates)
Additional Tags: Multiverse, Fix-It of Sorts, Hydra Steve Rogers, Secret Empire (Marvel), Cosmic Cube, Angst, Avengers Vol. 7 (2017), Community: cap_ironman, Cap-Ironman Bingo
Summary: When Steve hears that Tony is alive again, he does what any Supreme Hydra would do: he captures Tony. Unfortunately for him, it's not the right Tony.

For my Cap-IM Bingo card, the square of Tony breaking free from chains. Spoilers for Secret Empire #8 and Ultimates 2 #100. My goal here is clearly to write all the Hydra Cap while he's still canon.

This one's a fix-it. If you enjoy the thought of Hydra Steve being punched in the face, this may be your kind of story.
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

Alas, once we inspect this statement a bit we find that it's not quite so clear. There are layers of ambiguity here which can make such an apparently forceful statement confused and confusing. Rather than providing moral clarity, this ambiguity can wind up leading us morally astray.
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