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
THESE are real friends. Absolutely amazing.
Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani
Hassani, a product designer from Afganistan, build (by hand) a wind-powered device that trips land mines as it rolls across the ground. It is made using bamboo and biodegradable products.
Many of these mines are active and near populated areas in countries like Afganistan and are hard to remove. The UN says that one mine clearance specialist is killed, and two injured, for every 5,000 mines cleared.
Hassani’s cheap and easy to make method has been achieving great results.
In a world of overcomplicated solutions, we need more people who think “Wait, why don’t we just roll a giant freaking ball over it?”
this guy made a katamari for landmines
Whenever I write posts about autism, someone will reblog with a comment along the lines of “you have to remember that autism is a spectrum, ranging from extreme cases to mild Aspergers.” Here is a recent example.
It’s true that autism is a spectrum, but it’s not a spectrum of severity from low functioning to very mild. Autism is much more complicated than that.
There are a number of things that go into autism. It’s a combination of impairments in cognition, communication, sensory perception, and movement. These impairments combine in different ways. And “high functioning” and “low functioning” don’t accurately describe any of them.
All autistic people are disabled in significant ways, and it’s not always obvious how. There are a lot of stereotypes, and they’re misleading.
When Aspergers syndrome and autistic disorder where separate diagnoses, the primary difference was whether someone developed expressive language before or after the age of three. That doesn’t tell you anything important about their abilities. (Which is one reason they’ve been combined into Autism Spectrum Disorder into the DSM-V.)
One way stereotypes can be misleading: some nonspeaking autistic people have significantly better language comprehension than some autistic people who speak. (And you can’t tell from affect either: A student who spends all day rocking in a corner might be understanding significantly more than a student who spends all day sitting still at a desk.)
Autistic impairments can also change over time, or in times of stress.
Someone you think has “very mild Aspergers” may well have no ability to understand language when they’re upset. They may have severe auditory processing problems and be unable to watch TV without captions. They may be physically incapable of walking across a crowded room. They may have very little voluntary motion and be dependent on prompts in their environment. They might not be able to initiate interactions or independently tell you that they are injured or sick.
Not all autistic people do the thing I described in my post on noticing when repetition is communication. (And not all autistic repetition is for this reason). But it has nothing to do with severity. When an autistic person repeats the same thing over and over in a conversation with you, it’s very important to consider the possibility that they’re trying to communicate something but don’t currently have the words to get you to understand. This is true even if they live alone and five minutes ago they gave a complicated lecture on physics.
tl;dr Autism is a spectrum, but it’s not a simple severity spectrum.
I remember reading something Russell T Davies wrote (possibly in that book of e-mails?) in which he talked about the fact that when audiences see a picture of a man and a woman together, they automatically begin reading a love story into it. The screenwriter doesn’t have to do very much work to make the audience accept that story, because the narrative is already in place. Whereas— Davies said— with a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or other combinations, that narrative is not automatically present in the audience’s minds, and more work has to be done to make the story happen. And that’s interesting; that’s interesting to write, presumably because (I think) one is then forced into explaining why these two (or however many) people would be in a love story, rather than being able to elide that explanation by saying, “It’s a man and a woman, and they love one another because that’s what men and women do.”
But fandom as a population (as a broad population, where it has leaked into the mainstream) has different normative expectations, doesn’t it? When fandom sees a picture of a man and a woman, its automatic position is resistance; that is, not not seeing the story, but refusing the story. But when fandom sees a picture of a man and a man, the love story is automatic. It no longer needs explanation. “It’s two men, and they love one another because that’s what men do.”
The “queer love story,” which demands that its participants be seen as people rather than as [restrictively] gendered bodies, gives way to a normative love story that is in some ways even more exclusive than the previous one. Previously, women could love, though they could only love men; now, only men are seen as subjects who love.
i keep having to resist this knee jerk guilt for writing m/f pairs, even when the relationship is not normative in ways, even when the characters involved are queer (bisexual, asexual, gender-nonconforming, however you feel like writing them) in ways. And that totally comes out of these norms, the way the weight of their tropes seem to/are assumed to restrict each other.