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Almost there If nothing breaks Dongfeng is going to win Leg 3,…

Monday, January 26th, 2015





Almost there

If nothing breaks Dongfeng is going to win Leg 3, finishing around midnight UTC tonight and taking sole possession of the overall lead in the race. So proud of those guys.

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Seven Stars in Middle Earth

Monday, January 26th, 2015

askmiddlearth:

image

Seven stars is a symbol that shows up all the time in Middle Earth, and is important to all three of the major races. Gondor’s flag has seven stars above the White Tree, Durin saw seven stars form a crown over his reflection in the Mirrormere, and the most important constellation in elvish culture is formed by seven stars.

Let’s start with the elves, because depending on your own point of view on Middle Earth’s history, you might end up believing that all of these symbols are ultimately referring to this very constellation: the Valacirca. According to the elves, Varda created many of the brightest stars just before the elves awoke. Many constellations are part of this legend, but the most important was the Valacirca:

And high in the north as a challenge to Melkor she set the crown of seven mighty stars to swing, Valacirca, the Sickle of the Valar and sign of doom. 

This constellation, more than the others, was a message and a warning to Morgoth that the Valar were watching him (it’s worth noting that, after the elves awoke, the Valar did actually go to war with Morgoth and capture him, so it wasn’t an empty threat.) Ultimately, the Valacirca is a symbol of the Free People’s stance against evil, and (theoretically, at least), the support they have in this fight from Greater Powers.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you can see the Valacirca on pretty much any clear night – many people in the “real world” call it the Big Dipper, Ursa Major, or the Plough. The people of Middle Earth had different names for it as well – while the elves called it the Valacirca (which means “Sickle of the Valar”), Bilbo once called it “the Wain”, and Frodo once referred to it simply as “the Sickle.”

Now, the men of Numenor and Gondor would no doubt have known the elvish story of the Valacirca, and the seven stars on Gondor’s flag may very well be a reference to Gondor’s triumph over evil. But for them it had an added significance – when the Faithful escaped Numenor (and then went on to establish Arnor and Gondor), they brought with them the seven palantiri seeing-stones. So the seven stars over the White Tree are a reference to this as well.

Finally, the dwarves. According to dwarvish legend, when Durin the Deathless awoke he looked at his reflection in the Mirrormere (a lake outside the eastern entrance to Moria) and saw seven stars forming a crown over his head. He saw this as a good omen, and started building Moria. During their quest Gimli, Frodo, and Sam stopped to look in the Mirrormere, and the description of the event is pretty mysterious:

There like jewels sunk in the deep shone glinting stars, though sunlight was in the sky above. Of their own stooping forms no shadow could be seen.

‘O Kheled-zâram fair and wonderful! ‘ said Gimli. `There lies the Crown of Durin till he wakes. Farewell! ‘

Gimli’s reference to the crown lying in the water is unexplained, so it seems like there’s more to the dwarvish legend than we know. It could be that Durin’s Crown was another constellation that looked like a crown, or it could have been the Valacirca, or it could have been something completely different (and not actual stars at all.)

Anyway, I know this went a bit beyond your question, but I’ve always been fascinated by the seven stars symbol in Tolkien’s writing, so I took the excuse to ramble about it. :) (Also, for more Middle Earth star-gazing, take a look at this post, or this gorgeous photoset version by areddhels.)

SOURCES: The Silmarillion, LotR, The Hobbit

It’s only a personal headcanon, but I’ve always thought the Crown of Durin was referring to Corona Borealis:

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“I hate the damn savages. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.”

Monday, January 26th, 2015

“I hate the damn savages. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.”

Chris Kyle, US Navy Seal from Texas who bragged about killing 255 Iraqis in his memoir.

(AKA the “hero” of the movie American Sniper)

#is this real?????

Chris Kyle, a US navy Seal from Texas, was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and claimed to have killed more than 255 people during his six-year military career. In his memoir, Kyle reportedly described killing as “fun”, something he “loved”; he was unwavering in his belief that everyone he shot was a “bad guy”. “I hate the damn savages,” he wrote. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” He bragged about murdering looters during Hurricane Katrina, though that was never substantiated.

-The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero? The Guardian

What tends to happen when you’re good at your job is that you also come to enjoy it. In Kyle’s book, he admitted, “I love war.” He described killing as “fun.” He noted that “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis,” going on to explain that “I hate the damn savages.” But are the sacrifices of war still sacrifices when you enjoy them? Is heroism still heroism when you’re motivated by hatred?

The moral element of war’s theater—in Kyle’s book, and again as Cooper portrays Kyle in the film—is populated in his mind by good guys and bad guys, by superheroes and villains, by, essentially, cowboys and Indians. (At the Washington, D.C. premiere of the film this week, Bradley Cooper described the film not just as a character study, but also as a classic Western.) Just as foxholes have no atheists, battlefields are not places that tend to afford moral ambiguity. 

-American Sniper Makes a Case Against ‘Support Our Troops’ The Atlantic

“I don’t shoot people with Korans,” Kyle retorted to an Army investigator when he was accused of killing an Iraqi civilian. “I’d like to, but I don’t.”

-Death of an American SniperSalon

(via cundtcake)

The thing I noticed in watching the movie was how hard it works to make movie!Kyle worthy of redemption. It opens with him faced with the decision of whether or not to shoot the (clearly murderous) child and mother, stops short of showing him make the decision, then cuts to an extended flashback to show him growing up, an innocent child pushed to be a protector of others by a harsh father. Kyle enlists in the armed forces and endures Navy SEAL training in order to protect his country. He’s a gentleman who holds a drunk woman’s hair back while she vomits, never thinking to take advantage. When the movie returns to the opening sniper scene, he kills the evil enemies at the last possible instant, but then is harshly dismissive of the less-trained Marine who is excited by what he’s done, and afterwards confides to being deeply troubled by it to a fellow SEAL. Toward the end of the movie he faces a similar situation, in which he agonizes over whether or not to shoot a young boy who has picked up the RPG of a combatant Kyle has just killed. Movie!Kyle hesitates, visibly racked by indecision, ultimately failing to shoot the boy even when he (the boy) seems clearly to be in the act of firing the weapon. So movie!Kyle is revealed as the sort of person who would go to extreme lengths not to shoot a child, even a child in the act of attempting to kill Americans. And finally, the movie depicts Kyle killing the supremely awful enemy sniper who’s been set up throughout the movie as the arch villain, doing so even though the shot Kyle makes is portrayed as being both impossibly hard and suicidal, because shooting the enemy sniper brings down overwhelmingly superior enemy forces on Kyle and his companions. Ultimately the movie mythologizes both Kyle and the US involvement in Iraq in a way that is really quite mind-boggling: He can be viewed as a sympathetic hero not only in the eyes of the half of the country that supported the war, but even in the eyes of those who opposed it. In that sense the fake-baby scene that’s received so much attention is actually just a metaphor for the movie’s most unrealistic prop: Its depiction of the war and Kyle’s role in it. Societies always mythologize war. They always employ propaganda to frame their actions in the best light. What’s fascinating about American Sniper is how sophisticated it is at doing so. It isn’t just a one-sided depiction of the pro-war position. It’s more insidious than that. It’s a meticulously crafted framing that turns Kyle into a human rorschach, allowing the widest possible spectrum of moviegoers to sympathize with him. That’s the only way a movie makes $200 million in 10 days, which I suspect was at least as important in the filmmakers’ eyes as any particular ideological agenda.

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dduane: Door, Bregenz, Austria (I can never get enough…

Monday, January 26th, 2015



dduane:

Door, Bregenz, Austria

(I can never get enough doors…)

Note:

  • Knob in the middle
  • Elvish metalwork

I’m just saying…

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speak friend, and enter.

Monday, January 26th, 2015




speak friend, and enter.

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sylvia-morris: Yulin Kuang’s As I Walked Out One Evening fading…

Monday, January 26th, 2015



sylvia-morris:

Yulin Kuang’s As I Walked Out One Evening fading into my fanart.

Inspired by lies version, I really wanted to make a fading version for myself so I could see where my art lined up well, and where it was vastly different. It seems the main things I changed were the horizon and the value of the path vs trees. Also I gave MK and Sean a bigger height difference than they actually have. (And we used a different canvas ratio so I cropped the still.)

Neat! This works much better in gif form than the version I tried to make. Thank you for sharing it!

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Sources: yulinkuang’s I Didn’t Write This – Ep. 2: As I…

Monday, January 26th, 2015




Sources: yulinkuang‘s I Didn’t Write This – Ep. 2: As I Walked Out One Evening and sylvia-morris‘s love has no ending.

Because I really love both of these, and wanted to put them together.

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sylvia-morris replied to your photoset:As I Walked Out One Evening aww, thank you! my faves are the…

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

aww, thank you! my faves are the top one (obvs) and the middle left one :) but mostly i like how it all fits together

I’m so glad you liked it. I tried to make a gif that dissolved from that first shot into your painting, and it was sort of interesting, but the transition came out goofy-looking in my inept hands, so I chucked that and went with a more conventional approach.

Thank you for the opportunity to become weepy-eyed all over again at Sean’s beautiful voiceover, and just the way the whole thing works.

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As I Walked Out One Evening

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

















As I Walked Out One Evening

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Lupita Nyong’o attends the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild…

Sunday, January 25th, 2015






Lupita Nyong’o attends the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California

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Photo

Sunday, January 25th, 2015









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seanpersaud: I Ship It!! Sundance 2015!! #ishipitfilm

Sunday, January 25th, 2015



seanpersaud:

I Ship It!! Sundance 2015!! #ishipitfilm

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anthony-samaniego: nightshade INSTAGRAM

Sunday, January 25th, 2015



anthony-samaniego:

nightshade 
INSTAGRAM

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“It was Gina Bythewood who told me, ‘If someone is just a pig to you on set, don’t deal with it…”

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

“It was Gina Bythewood who told me, ‘If someone is just a pig to you on set, don’t deal with it behind closed doors, because you have to show the whole crew that you will deal with it and you will not have it.’”

Ava DuVernay, from http://ift.tt/1BFubkK

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Photo

Sunday, January 25th, 2015





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pixalry: Lord of the Rings Handcut Silhouette Scenes – Created…

Sunday, January 25th, 2015





















pixalry:

Lord of the Rings Handcut Silhouette Scenes – Created by Jack Tuckwell

Each of these beautiful pieces of artwork is individually handmade from pages from the Lord of the Rings. Available for sale only on Etsy, customer scenes are available.

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Lord Frederick Leighton, Pavonia (detail)

Sunday, January 25th, 2015




Lord Frederick Leighton, Pavonia (detail)

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muchtoofullofsand replied to your post:sylvia-morris replied to your post:flightofthelbd… so…

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

so close…

You totally deserve a prize, since you basically guessed correctly within a very few seconds of my posting the contest. And since sylvia-morris chose things I already love, I feel like I still owe someone an actual prize. So feel free to name your choice of movie or video, and I’d be happy to create a gif of that as well.

Thanks again for playing!

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sylvia-morris replied to your post:sylvia-morris replied to your post:flightofthelbd… as for…

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

as for gifsets – it’s gotta be IDWT. you know i have a soft spot for As I Walked Out One Evening but Ode would also be acceptable. OR BERTHA’S SONG OMG I CHOOSE BERTHA’S SONG WE ALL NEED MORE SINEAD GIFS!!! (but if you would rather idwt that’s cool).

Ooh. These are all great. Technically they don’t feel like they should be prizes, because they’re all things I’d love to do anyway (especially As I Walked Out One Evening, which I’ve gushed to you about before, of course, based on your beautiful fan art).

I’ll get right on it. Thanks again, and congratulations to you the skillful winner! :-)

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sylvia-morris replied to your post:flightofthelbd replied to your post:flightofthelbd… this…

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

this makes me think it must be some form of sailing. competitive sailing??? (as i see my hackeysack is incorrect)

Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winner!

Yes, I went sailboat racing. It was very fun. My sister set it up; I raced on her and my brother-in-law’s boat in Los Angeles Yacht Club’s Opening Day Race. Our dad (who is visiting from Florida) skippered the boat, and his wife, my wife, and my son rounded out the crew. (My brother-in-law and their adult son were each sailing on different boats in the same race.)

We raced in the “cruising class”, which was a good call, because most of us have not done much racing ever (in some cases) or in a long time (in mine). There were five boats in the class, and we were able to take second place, which was a lot better than I was expecting!

Anyway, it was super fun. And it’s been super fun playing trivia with all of you; thanks! And sylvia-morris, please let me know what movie or video you’d like me to gif on your behalf, assuming that’s something you’d like.

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