Feb. 6th, 2017

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profeminist:

profeminist:

ACTUALLY, FOUR ASTRONAUTS AND A FIGHTER PILOT! 

“From left to right; astronauts Stephanie Wilson, Joan Higginbotham, Mae Jemison, Yvonne Cagle and fighter pilot Shawna Kimbrell”

Source

Learn more about these great women:

1.

Stephanie Wilson

2. Joan Higginbotham

3. Mae Jemison

4. Yvonne Cagle

5. Shawna Kimbrell

Reblogging for Black History Month 2017!
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rdjlock:

Little SpiderMan “ My father and my daddy…
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copperbadge:

sexybadassdowney:

NewYears2017 24,25/365

“Chris, there is nothing like weaponized high fashion.”

“Well, you’re not wrong.”

“Am I going to beat you with the cane? Am I going to throw it aside and make passionate love? Am I going to set the dogs to hunt? Who can say? Delicious ambiguity.”

“I’m more worried about the rifle.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not loaded….OR IS IT?”

[RDJ Advises Chris Evans on his Life Choices]
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aro-ace-wonderwoman:

farewellpercy:

aro-ace-wonderwoman:

Reblog if you, ace spectrum or not, would rather have a dragon than sex.

Is it a trained dragon?

Yes. And friendly and will protect you.
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This sounds horrifying, and I kind of want to try it? 
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onemuseleft:

flange5:

lightshadowverisimilitude:

This sounds horrifying, and I kind of want to try it? 

I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Foremost however, is do I inflict this on my students?

@flange5 the answer is obviously “yes”

I’m gonna do the thing.

Edit: I’m gonna do the thing tomorrow, because the only mayo I have atm is peppercorn. Although, who knows? That might be amazing.

Normal

Feb. 6th, 2017 03:26 am
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For my 52 short stories in 52 weeks, number 5 is “A story set in London.” 

This is a crossover (kind of?) with The Imitation Game. Steve and Peggy go on a date! And meet Alan Turing, because why not?

About 3800 words, so watch for the cut.

Most of Steve’s missions were out in the wilds – trooping through trees, sprinting through open land to the safety of an abandoned farmhouse, hiding under piles of rotting vegetation while Nazis ambled past in the daylight, and then creeping up behind them in the night. Still, in all the darkness and the dirt, there were days that were strangely beautiful, quiet, warm and full of sunlight. Steve could sit on a rock in the sunlight and close his eyes as he if was alone in the wilderness, or could stare across the horizon and imagine that just over the hill life was normal.

It was hard to remember what ‘normal’ meant, especially on foreign soil he’d never seen in anything but turmoil. It was beautiful country, and Steve wished he had seen it under peaceful times.

He hadn’t seen a lot of big cities in Europe. He’d passed through Paris in the dark of night on the way to the USO show that changed his life again, but London was something else. Steve stood on the sidewalk and craned his neck to look around. The sun was out, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue, and across the street was a pile of rubble between two untouched houses. A group of men were shoveling out the rubble, talking as they loaded a wheelbarrow with chunks of someone’s life. A pair of women walked through the crosswalk in calf-length dresses and long coats, with little hats perched on their hair. One of them was carrying a briefcase, and the other had a tiny purse slung over her shoulder that matched her hat.

The ladies smiled at him, and Steve tipped his head in their direction. Life went on.

He crossed the street, following the directions Peggy had scribbled out for him on a scrap of paper. He turned the next corner and found a cart of bright wildflowers cattycorner to a cleared lot with fences lined in advertisements. He stopped and smiled down at the flowers – white and yellow daises, some orange flowers that he couldn’t name, pink tulips, and forget-me-nots. The old man sitting next to the boxes had a tulip pinned to his jacket lapel, and wore a faded gray flat cap.

“I’m meeting a girl,” Steve explained, gesturing to the boxes of flowers.

The old man smiled and stood up. He remained a little hunched over, but he reached confidently for the boxes and came up with a bundle of white daisies. He rolled them into a piece of newspaper and tied the bunch with piece of twine. “Daisies are the thing for young love,” he explained with a wink.

Steve laughed and dug a handful of coins out of his pocket. It was a mishmash of American, French, and English currency.

“Three pence,” the man said, and then leaned over Steve’s hand to poke through the jumble of coins. He selected a coin, showed it to Steve briefly, and then slid it into his pocket and gave Steve a friendly pat on the shoulder. “Good luck, son.”

Steve nodded, smiled, and dropped the rest of the coins in his pocket. “Thank you, sir.”

The man gave him another nod and a wave, and Steve turned to follow the rest of Peggy’s terse instructions to the restaurant. He found her already seated at a tiny round table in what looked more like someone’s living room than that Steve usually thought of as a restaurant. There were five tables crammed into the space, each one dressed with lace tablecloths, everything perfectly neat and clean, pale blue cups turned upside down on matching saucers. There was a pair of women at the table by the window, and two soldiers in British uniforms in one corner.

Peggy looked radiant in a white button-up shirt with a little blue hat perched on her curled hair. She always looked radiant, but Steve had never seen her like this, away from the drab uniforms. She had already ordered tea, and idly looked over menu as she stirred her tea with one hand. Steve just stood in the doorway and watched her with his heart in his throat.

“Would you like to take a seat, young man?” the waitress asked him, making him jump.

Peggy looked up and gave him a bright smile. Her teeth were pearly white against her lipstick, and the smile lit up her face. She tapped the spoon against the lip of the cup and set it on the saucer, little tinktinktink noises in the neat room. Her eyes glittered in the sunlight, and she was perfect. Steve opened his mouth, made a noise that sounded embarrassingly like a squeak, and blushed bright red.

“Get over here, Captain, you’re blocking the door,” Peggy ordered.

Steve’s knees unstuck, he gave the waitress an apologetic nod, and slunk into the room. He felt big and clumsy in the small room with the tiny tables and their delicate cloths. He pulled the chair out and sat with his legs opened wide so he could scoot closer to the table and not be in the way.

“You look amazing, Peggy,” he said in a rush and then remembered the flowers, and held them out over the table. “I just saw them on the way over here, and I thought that maybe you would like them, or I don’t know. Silly.”

Peggy laughed under her breath, but she reached out to take the flowers, holding them gently in both hands. “They’re lovely, Steve, thank you.”

Steve let his breath out with a whoosh and smoothed down the back of his hair. “You’re welcome.”

“What can I get for you two?” the waitress asked, easing around Steve’s chair.

“I’ll take the air raid breakfast,” Peggy said, tapping the card set up in the middle of the table.

“Uh. Same?” Steve fumbled.

“Our train leaves in two hours,” Peggy said briskly, setting the daisies down and pulling her tea over. “Just enough time for breakfast, and the walk to the station.”

Steve cleared his throat and tried to shuffle closer to the table as woman with a small child took the table next to them. “Why are we going to this place again?”

“There are some important people that I want you to meet,” Peggy answered over the rim of her cup. She hadn’t been very forthcoming with details, just that their brief diversion to London presented a good opportunity for Steve see the other side of the coin. He’d given the Commandos two days of liberty, and they were probably still sleeping off the collective hangover from the previous night’s drinking.

Steve knew that it wasn’t really a date. It was just convenience – food on the way to an important meeting for the war effort. Steve wanted it to be a date, and it was nice to pretend that maybe things were normal, and he was in Europe for art school, and Peggy was a girl he’d met in the city, and he was taking his girl out for breakfast.

Peggy smiled at him from across the table, and let the illusion stand through breakfast, and the walk to the train station. He didn’t put his arm around her, although he wanted to, and she didn’t put her arm through his, although she walked close to his side. They walked past bombed-out buildings and once had to divert a whole block to get around a crater that stretched from one sidewalk to the opposite store front. It was surreal, and yet the people they passed walked with their heads held up, laughed, talked, and stepped over the rubble in the streets.

*~*

The train ride was short, just barely over an hour, and a sleek black car met them at the station. They sat side-by-side in the back, and Steve smiled despite himself. The last time he’d sat in a street car shoulder-to-shoulder with Peggy, his shoulders sat half way up her biceps. Peggy ducked her head and smiled, maybe remembering the same car ride now that her shoulder brushed against his bicep. She still had her flowers in her lap. They shook whenever the car bounced like they were waving up Peggy, and she would occasionally reach out and brush her fingers across the petals.

Steve hid his smile behind his hand and turned away from her so she wouldn’t realize what she was doing. He watched the scenery go by the window, frowning when they drove past a sign reading Blechley Radio Manufacturing in red block letters. He twisted to look at Peggy with one eyebrow hiked, but she ignored him, staring straight ahead as pulled up to a gate with armed guards.

“Lots of security,” Steve commented once the gates were opened and they were waved through. Peggy made a vague humming noise, looking more pleased with herself by the second. Steve shook his head, but lifted his hands from his thighs in a gesture of surrender and sat back. “Okay, alright. I’ll stop prodding.”

“We’re almost there,” Peggy said. She patted his knee consolingly.

They pulled around a gravel drive lined with leafy trees to a pretty brick building that looked like a school. Steve slid out of the car as soon as it came to a stop and took a deep breath. This was what normal looked like. There was no sign of the war in this isolated place, no bombed out buildings contrasted to their untouched neighbors.

He filled his lungs with the sweet, fresh air and closed his eyes against the sunlight. It was still amazing to him, sucking in a deep breath without it catching on anything. When he opened his eyes, Peggy was watching him with a soft look on her face, holding her jacket draped over one arm. She cleared her throat and schooled her expression as soon as she realized she’d been caught.

“Coming?” she asked, but she turned on her heel and walked toward the building before he could answer.

Steve jogged a few steps to catch up to her, and she led him unerringly through the main entrance and into the building. They stopped at a desk and the secretary smiled up at them. She was dressed in a burgundy jacket with a matching pillbox hat perched at an angle on her head.

“Peggy! It’s been a long time.”

“A few years,” Peggy agreed with a smile. “How are you, June?”

“Just the same,” June said with a dismissive wave of her hand. She tilted her head and put a finger under her chin. “You going to introduce us?”

“Of course. Steve, this is June Majors. June, this is Steve Rogers.”

June’s eyes widen fractionally and she gave Steve a wide smile. “Charmed,” she said, offering her hand.

Steve took it, being careful not to squeeze too tightly. “Nice to meet you, ma’am.”

“We’re looking for Alan,” Peggy broke in once the pleasantries were done. Steve stepped back from the desk and shifted slightly behind Peggy. She straightened her shoulders and stood up a little straighter.

“I think he’s running,” June said, gesturing toward the door. “He runs everywhere. No wonder he’s so skinny. He usually runs the pasture path. You remember it?”

Peggy nodded and turned again, holding a hand out to herding Steve away from the desk and back toward the door.  She looked back over her shoulder to say, “Thank you, June.”

“Nice to meet you Mr. Rogers!” June called back.

“You too, Miss June,” Steve said just to be polite, but he was happy to be away from her. He used to think that he would give anything for the girls to look at him the way they looked Bucky, but he mostly found it uncomfortable.

Peggy passed him as soon as they got out the door. Steve followed her around the building, across a stretch of lawn, and to a gap in the fence with a well-worn track leading into the forest. Peggy gestured to it. “Go on, then.”

“How do I even know who I’m looking for?” Steve asked.

“He will be running faster than anyone you’ve ever seen outside of a mirror, and will be alone. Meet me back here – I’ll go get some sandwiches.”

Steve shrugged and shook his head. At least he was still wearing his boots. He set off down the path at a jog. It passed through only about ten meters of old trees, and then let out into a field. Steve could just barely see a dark speck in the distance of another figure and opened his stride. After a few pace, he realized that he was smiling – he wasn’t running from anyone, he wasn’t chasing down Nazis or Hydra agents, he was just running, and it felt good.

The speck resolved into the figure of a person, and then clarified to dark hair, long legs, and a build that was almost painfully skinny. Steve slowed from ground chewing sprint he’d fallen into, to a comfortable run. He didn’t want to give the guy a heart attack, after all.

It turned out that it wasn’t necessary. Turing was so off in his own world, that he didn’t even turn his head when Steve called his name from ten paces back. Steve pulled up beside him, and they ran together without a word. He was fast. His legs churned at a pace that was impressive even to Steve. He would have liked to have a man with Turing’s legs in his unit.

Turing led him along the pasture and back through the trees, and then onto a paved street. After a moment, Steve realized that it was the street he and Peggy had driven in on. Turing gradually slowed to a jog, and then down to a walk as they approached the gate. The guards seemed to be expecting them, and opened the gates to let them through. Turing passed the front building without slowing down, but finally glanced at Steve.

“I run alone,” he said.

“Sorry,” Steve said, “Peggy Carter sent me to get you.”

Turing frowned. “No. No, I don’t think I know her.”

“Margaret Carter?” Steve tried, but he looked around just to make sure Peggy wasn’t in earshot. She didn’t like to be called Margaret, and Steve wasn’t brave enough to cross that particular line.

“Ah,” Turing said distractedly, “Oh, Margaret. Why?”

“I’m not sure. She said for us to meet her back at the lawn,” Steve explained pointing around the building. Turing followed the line of his fingers, but didn’t divert from his path. “She said she would have sandwiches.”

“I don’t like sandwiches,” Turing said dismissively. “I have to get back to work. I need to change.” He took out his ID to show a pair of guards standing behind a set of roadblocks, and passed through it.

Steve tried to follow, but the guards stepped in his way, and Steve watched, bemused, as Turing walked away without so much as glancing behind him. He put his fists on his hips and exchanged a look with the guards, who were watching him carefully.

“Okay,” Steve said finally, and then turned around and went to find Peggy.

He found her seated on a brown and green plaid blanket with another woman. They leaned subtly toward each other in a posture of secrecy, the other woman was laughing with one hand hiding her mouth. They had a plate piled with sandwiches between them, and they were barefoot. For some reason that Steve couldn’t quite pinpoint, the sight of Peggy’s feet made him blush. She was wearing stockings, and the seam of one was twisted so it sat asymmetrically on her foot. He found it strangely endearing.

Steve stomped on a twig as he approached so it made noise. The other woman looked up sharply, but Peggy was not startled. She just hiked an eyebrow at him.

“Bumbling around, Captain?”

“You know me,” Steve said. He crouched down beside the blanket. “I found Mr. Turing. He said he doesn’t like –”

“Sandwiches,” the stranger said.

“Sandwiches,” Steve confirmed.

She held her hand out. “Joan Clarke. He doesn’t like sandwiches, but he’ll come eventually anyway. If he just got back from his run, I estimate that he will be out here…” she turned her wrist over to look at her watch. “Four minutes and twenty-five seconds.”

Steve hiked both eyebrows. “That’s precise.”

“Alan Turing is a very precise man,” she said, taking one of the sandwiches. It looked like it was just sliced cucumbers and mayonnaise, and the crust had been cut off. She took a bite and looked expectantly at Peggy.

“This is Steve Rogers,” Peggy provided, though by the complete lack of reaction, Joan obviously knew who he was. “Joan and I worked together a few years ago.”

“Are you and Mr. Turing friends?” Steve asked.

Joan’s smile dimmed. “We were,” she said finally, and then forced her smile back into place. “We used to be engaged.” She looked at her watch again, finished her sandwich and then leaned over to give Peggy a one-armed hug. “I’ve got to get back to work. It was so good to see you again, Pegs. Pleasure to meet you, Captain Rogers. Don’t let our Peggy get you into trouble.”

“Joan,” Peggy hissed, but both women were smiling and Steve couldn’t help a smile of his own. It occurred to him that it was the first time he’d really seen Peggy interacting with any female friends. There weren’t many women on the front lines, and Peggy worked hard to make sure she was not relegated to the sidelines. He’d never thought about how lonely it must be for her – she had to stay separated from the men to avoid getting any more of a reputation than she already had, and she had to stay away from the women to keep from being sidelined with them.

“Have a nice day, Miss Clarke.”

“You, too,” Joan said, standing and brushing her skirt off. She slid back into her shoes. “Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.” She looked over her shoulder and then smiled down at them. “Right on time,” she said, tapping her watch.

She waved at Peggy, and left just as Alan Turing stepped around the corner. Turing’s eyes followed her as she walked away, his expression intensely sad and lonely. He didn’t even seem to notice Steve and Peggy, just turned toward a bench with a brown paper bag in hand.

“Mr. Turing!” Peggy called. She lifted a hand to get his attention and then looked at Steve. “Sit down, Steve, honestly, crouching there like an overgrown toad.”

Steve snorted, but shifted to sit on one hip. He carefully kept his feet on the grass, and his eyes away from Peggy’s painted toenails. Turing crossed the lawn and approached them awkwardly.

“Miss Carter,” he acknowledged. He looked at Steve and then quickly looked away. “I haven’t seen you in…”

“Years,” Peggy provided. She patted the blanket. “Join us, I want to introduce you to my friend.”

Turing looked back at his bench, and then at the blanket. He hesitated, but finally nodded and sat down. He ended up with one shoe on the blanket and the paper bag in his lap.

“Alan, this is Captain Steve Rogers. Steve, this is Alan Turing. The man who is responsible for a lot of the intel we receive on Hydra movements.”

Steve sat up a little straighter. He held out a hand. “It’s an honor. I can’t tell you how important that intel is in the field.”

Turing looked faintly scandalized. He gaped at Peggy. “That is not common knowledge.”

“Captain Rogers has clearance,” Peggy explained.

Turing reluctantly shook Steve’s hand, but didn’t meet his eyes. He pulled his hand away and opened the carefully folded paper bag. He pulled out a sandwich wrapped in paper, and didn’t seem the least bit aware of the confused look on Steve’s face. He took a bite, chewed, and swallowed with a single change in expression. Steve knew that look well, and the confusion vanished – it was the same look of a man sitting down with a K-ration, just fuel.

“Alan, I just wanted you to meet one of the men who benefits from your work here.”

“Ah,” Turing said without further reaction. He took another bite of his sandwich, chewed, and swallowed. His eyes flickered over to Steve, and then away.

“How is your machine?” Peggy asked, and Turing lit up. He transformed before Steve’s eyes into a man of passion and obvious genius, and even though Steve only understood about three words out of every ten, it was nice to sit and listen to him.

~*~

Years – decades – later, Steve sat in another genius’ workshop and listened to him excitedly discussing JARVIS. He smiled at Tony and remembered another afternoon on a blanket in the sun, with Peggy’s almost-bare foot an inch away from his hand, and Alan Turing excitedly explaining Christopher. He tried to imagine a world where Alan Turing and Tony Stark could have been in the same room, and his smile just got wider.

“You have no idea what I’m talking about,” Tony said.

“Nope,” Steve agreed, although he did know. After the mind blowing experience of sitting across a plate of sandwiches from Alan Turing, Steve had done his best to learn what he could about machines. The Internet was very helpful, and there was a professor of computer engineering at MIT who was happy to answer his questions when he had them.

“Why are you smiling so hard?”

“No reason. I just like hearing you talk.” He made a gesture toward the door. “Want to go get a sandwich.”

Tony shrugged. “Sure.”
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via http://ift.tt/2jRvrj1:World War II Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake:

onemuseleft:

lightshadowverisimilitude:

onemuseleft:

flange5:

lightshadowverisimilitude:

This sounds horrifying, and I kind of want to try it? 

I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Foremost however, is do I inflict this on my students?

@flange5 the answer is obviously “yes”

I’m gonna do the thing.

Edit: I’m gonna do the thing tomorrow, because the only mayo I have atm is peppercorn. Although, who knows? That might be amazing.

Do it! I’m curious how it turns out. It actually sounds like it would make a really nice, thick cake based on the recipe?

A few commenters have said that it is amazing and yummy, so I am hopeful. 
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via http://ift.tt/2kc37nr:Donald Trump wants to 'close up' the Internet:

winterlive:

dr-archeville:

Donald Trump has called for a shutdown of the Internet in certain areas to stop the spread of terror.

In a speech at the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Monday, Trump referenced the use by ISIS of social media as a recruitment tool.  He recommended a discussion with Bill Gates to shut off parts of the Internet.

“We’re losing a lot of people because of the Internet,” Trump said.  “We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening.  We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way.  Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.‘  These are foolish people.  We have a lot of foolish people.”

Some totalitarian governments do it

The notion that the Internet could be shut off is not completely off base.  North Korea does it.  Some countries have been known to shut off Internet service to their citizens in times of crisis.  Egypt restricted the Internet during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Other countries block certain Internet services and sites.  China is the most famous example, forbidding most social networking sites as well as websites that deal with subjects the government doesn’t want its citizens to know about.

Most Western countries, including the United States, regulate the Internet very loosely.  There are few restrictions about what American citizens can do and say on the Internet.  Child pornography is one example of forbidden Internet activity in the United States – Google is barred from linking to it, and websites cannot display images of it.

Why the United States can’t do it

But a full-on “closing up” of the Internet “in certain areas” would be an impossible task.  There are so many players with so much redundancy built into the system, that the Internet is not just something that can be turned off with a wave of a magic wand.

Virtually every part in the United States has multiple Internet service provider options.

Comcast, (CMCSA) Time Warner Cable (TWC) and the other major broadband companies don’t overlap much.  But Verizon (VZ, Tech30), AT&T (T, Tech30), Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) all provide the same service to roughly the same areas.  Satellite companies also provide Internet to most parts of the country.

Removing Internet service in certain areas of the U.S. would require those companies to turn off their cell towers and fiber networks, and to restrict satellite access to people living in those regions.

America can’t shut off the Internet overseas either

Shutting down Internet service in foreign countries could be even more difficult.

Despite a common belief to the contrary, the United States does not control the global Internet.  Servers on foreign soil serve up the Web and other Internet services to people living abroad.

So foreign Internet infrastructure would need to be disrupted or shut down to turn off service in certain areas – already a tricky task made even harder if the countries and companies controlling those servers and cell towers abroad don’t cooperate.

Whatever, Donald Trump wouldn’t want the Internet shut off anyway.  Then he couldn’t tweet.

While Trump clearly doesn’t know the first thing about how the internet works (outside of his Twitter account), don’t let “it couldn’t happen in America” blind us to some very real ways in which the internet can be made less free, less accessible, and less useful for things other than government propaganda and surveillance.  And don’t doubt that President Trump (and his party) would be happy to implement them.

the time honored tool of every dictator, censorship is one of the first things out of trump’s mouth. this is real censorship, as opposed to when someone tells you you’re wrong on twitter.

it should come as no surprise whatsoever that 45′s pick for FCC commissioner, ajit pai, is SUPER excited to strip net neutrality from american citizens.  if you didn’t know, net neutrality is the principle that currently allows you to access whatever internet site you want, at the same speed as all the other sites, without your ISP spying on you TOO much. the US regulations that protect you in this way are an annoying speed bump for ISPs in their quest to wring you like a wet dishrag until all your money falls out, and of course Team Spraytan works for them, not you.  

and hey, if they do want to enact the fuckin lunatic censorship proposed in the article above, getting rid of these protections will be their first stop.  what’s the most likely target of this anti-internet offensive?  obviously, it’ll be american activists, scientists, and anybody who’s ever used the phrase “tiny hands” – or, as all those folks will be called in newspeak, terrorists.

just one more thing you should keep on your list of Horrible Things To Yell At Representatives About.
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echosiriusrumme:

spaceliondad:

The other day I was thinking about how Tony’s 80% Saint Sebastian at all times so here’s a visual:

From Nicolas Régnier’s Saint Sebastian Tended by the Holy Irene

#tony stark swooning and dying sensually (via spaceliondad)
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Journey into Mystery #85

Transformed into what, now?
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Journey into Mystery #85

Thor, can I give you a list of people to spin your hammer at?
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deleted-scenes:

wordsnquotes:

culturenlifestyle:

To protect rescued elephants from a cold front in India, activists are knitting sweaters for the large land mammals.

Keep reading

THIS IS NOT A DRILL IT’S AN ELEPHANT IN A SWEATER
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maxofs2d:

Sorry about this being in Twitter format but it was too good not to share. (x)
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lightshadowverisimilitude:

This is technically the second half of chapter 3, but for tumblr reasons, I’ll label it 4. 

Part 3, 2, 1

About 3800 words, so watch for the cut.

Steve crossed his arms over his chest and shivered. He’d been alone in Tony’s workshop for hours, a fact that had stunned Bruce into silence for several long seconds when they’d realized that Tony had left. At first Steve hadn’t noticed the tension creeping back into his shoulders, but sitting alone in front of the blank screen, he somehow felt worse than he had the night before. He ached like he had the flu, his head was stuffed with wet wool, and he could barely swallow around the tightness in his throat.

Steve took in a slow breath and let it go. He’d been off the line with Bruce for almost ten minutes, but he couldn’t quite make himself get out of the chair. The longer he sat in the silence, the more he seemed to sink into the chair, the more his joints started to ache, the more pointless it seemed to get up and go look for Tony. It would just be more energy expended than he would be able to get back. He looked at the elevator – he could take it back to his bike, find a parking spot and the nearest subway entrance, and just ride the line back and forth until his next shift.

He slumped forward to press his hands to his face. The subways were even worse than the clubs. Rather than being filled with desperate strangers oozing sexual tension, they were crowded with desperate strangers oozing stress and depression and exhaustion. What little energy he picked up from proximity felt dry and hot and left an oily taste in the back of his throat.

Even the oily aftertaste might be better than another failed attempt at a full Feed, and the nausea and emptiness that came afterward. He remembered the tug of accidentally trying to enthrall Tony the night before and squeezed his arms hard over his stomach.

Just relax, Bruce had told him, He’s safe, you can’t enthrall him. If there’s anything in the universe you can trust, it’s that Tony Stark knows how to build a ward.

I can’t enthrall him, Steve repeated to himself. The workshop was quiet and dark, and a very loud part of Steve wanted to just stay there. The louder part was strangling him with hunger, reminding him of the lines of Tony’s thighs, the curve of his spine, the way he’d looked on his knees across from the breakfast table.

Steve’s hand drifted to his stomach, and then trailed up his chest to rest two fingers over his pulse point. It was sluggish, and he could count the beats by the throb of his headache. He swallowed nervously, counted to five, and pushed himself off the tall stool. He couldn’t go back to subway, or the club, or spend another day watching customers mill around the shop, content with their muffins and coffee. He couldn’t go home to Bucky and his perpetual state of undress, or the women he brought home.

Squaring his shoulders, he started off across the workshop. He chose the stairs, not sure that he wouldn’t run back to his bike if he had the elevator buttons under his fingers. The door to the penthouse opened when he was still four stairs away. Steve didn’t question it, just used the doorframe to slingshot into the hallway and tried to remember the layout of the apartment. They’d taken the stairs down, but Steve had hardly been paying attention to how they’d gotten to the stairs in the first place. He opened half a dozen doors before he stumbled into living room by accident and found Tony on the couch. He’d changed into a three-piece suit and sat with one ankle crossed over the opposite knee, his jacket open to show off the burnished copper of his tie against the saturated red of his shirt.

Steve had grown up Catholic, and the picture of Tony reclined on the couch with a glass of scotch resting on his knee and one hand draped over the back would have looked right at home next to any number of pictures of demons, fae, gods, and angels he’d grown up with. He stopped to just stare, barely even registering that the TV was on and Tony was talking to it.

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(Gun use, alcohol mention, amazingly- no animal death)

So you may remember Uncle Popeye from A Holiday Story, when he and grandpa tried to shoot a pheasant and fucked it up real bad.  I called the Ohio Relatives.  They have no idea how the family knew Popeye either, but that his given name was Richard, but got tired of being called “Dick” and after losing an eye in WW2, went by Popeye.

Look man, Ohio DOES things to people.

Popeye fancied himself the Great Outdoors-man, despite a long list of evidence to the contrary- besides the shooting incident, there was the time he got lost in the woods behind his house for a week despite being less than a mile from his house and six major roads, the time he almost poisoned the whole family after mushrooming in the hills only to be stopped by GG, and the time he got in a fight with a Woodcock and Lost.

The worst though, was Snowflake.

Near where my Ohio relatives lived, and continue to live, there is a Military Armory. (You know that joke about “If all your relatives all live in the same postcode, you might be a redneck?”  Yeah, check that.  Mom was the first to leave the state, and keeps urging the others that they are free to leave, they can’t keep you there. But I digress).  The armory is actually kind of a large campus, several hundred acres in size, where they take lots of old munitions and aircraft and whatnot, and figure out how to take apart and dispose of them without blowing everything up to fuck. The whole area is fenced off to keep the locals from helping themselves to the munitions (A serious issue in redneck country), which trapped the deer in the forest inside.  

The deer, no longer having to worry about hunters, but cut off from the outside population, basically went full Deliverance, and the resulting mutants are… rather pretty.  

The mutation is Luecistism, not albinism, but it makes for pretty, pretty very stupid deer.  Like, even dumber than white-tail already are, and whitetail are DUMB.  But the deer on the armory could afford to be easy to spot and have no natural fear of anything, because there were no predators or hunters, and the soldiers stationed there had better things to do

The prettiest of them all was Snowflake, the large white buck named Snowflake, because soldiers are great at naming things.  He was, by all accounts, a truly splendid creature- snow-white and shapely, with a well-developed rack.  Not unlike a porn star, apparently.  And many a man Lusted after snowflake, desperate for his head.

Or other things.  Ohio’s a pretty fucked up place.

But unlike other men, who would only stare wistfully from afar, Popeye was absolutely determined to have Snowflake.  The issue was, the military, having a few moments of sense, had decreed that having people wandering around a munitions decommissioning plant with firearms was likely to result in fire and death, declared that there was to be no hunting on their grounds.  The only way Popeye could feasibly shoot Snowflake would be if he were somehow able to get him on the other side of the fence.  But he couldn’t just cut a hole in the fence- it was fairly regularly checked, and he’d be caught.  Nope.  Somehow, Popeye had to get Snowflake on the other side of the fence without damaging it or the Military noticing.

It was during an afternoon of boozing and watching western documentaries, Popeye hit upon a solution.  He was watching a tourism promotion for all the great outdoor activities in Colorado, when he saw the solution to his problem.

He could FISH for deer.

Specifically, he fly-fish.  In his mind, he could clearly see how it would play out.  he’d simply find a heavy-duty line, cast it over the fence, tangling it in Snowflake’s antlers, and then reel him over the fence, where it would be perfectly legal to shoot him and then he’d be the envy of all the men down at the elks lodge.  Hah!  Genius!So that spring, Popeye began tossing corn over the fence to lure deer to that particular secluded corner, and was immensely pleased when Snowflake started turning up regularly.  He’d get his trophy AND some fat venison!  All summer and into fall, he continued this, with the deer getting entirely too casual about his presence.  he also got his hands on some deep-sea fishing line and practiced ensnaring the antlers of his dummy deer in the backyard.  Just to make sure he had the leverage to haul Snowflake in, he got the harness that attaches the pole to your hip.  All was going according to plan.

So the first day of hunting season, Popeye goes to his corner where he’s been feeding the deer, and Snowflake is there, waiting for breakfast.  Great.  Popeye backs his pickup truck up to the fence, and stands on the bed so he can cast over the fence.  The deer, being imbeciles, fail to notice anything amiss.  He casts, and miracle of miracles, he gets the loop over Snowflake’s antlers on the first try!  Popeye whips the line around some more, making sure Snowflake is good and tangled, before reeling him in.

Apparently snowflake just stood there for this part, presumably looking confused.  Then the line began to pull on him.

As Popeye would later recount from the hospital:  “That’s when I realized.  Deer ain’t Mackinaw.”

Popeye had, in all his planning,  not taken into consideration that a 200-pound buck at the height of his testosterone-riddled rut might be somewhat disinclined to be pulled over a fence.  Furthermore, Popeye had failed to account that at 5′5″, he was of similar size to the deer, and in nowhere near as good of shape.

He recalled ALMOST flying over the fence as Snowlfake turned and ran for the safety of the base.  He did not quite make it, and cracked both knees as they slammed into the fence, jeans and harness shredding on the barbed wire.  it was not enough to separate him from the harness, only enough to slide it down his legs and tangle around his ankles, so that once he hit the ground, Popeye was dragged for half a goddamn mile by his feet as Snowflake frantically tried to get away.

Once at the base, and all manner of bruised, cut up and abused, Popeye was relieved when they finally came to a halt.  he regretted it half a second later when he realized that Snowflake had only turned around, and was now bearing down on his sorry ass full-tilt.  Several puncture and kick wounds later, Popeye managed to kick off the harness, freeing himself from Snowflake, and had to run back to where he thought he’d left the truck.  In the middle of the night, in the woods, with cracked patellas and without pants.

It took him all night to find the fence and truck, but managed to get back over the fence and to the hospital without being spotted. In a fit of paranoia that almost pased for good sense, he drove to three counties away to be treated, so the police wouldn’t find him, bleeding all the way.  He neglected beforehand, to tell any of his friends or family where he was going, except that he was deer-hunting.

He was very disappointed when he turned up a week later and found out nobody had gone looking for him.

 Snowflake was found tangled up in a tree, and was cut loose by the soldiers, apparently upset but unharmed.  Concerned that the poachers were getting too creative for their own good, the base petitioned the state legislature to maybe make a law that you aren’t allowed to fish for deer, Christ, we only found the poor man’s pants.The state legislature, in a fit of rabid libertarianism, declared that such a law would be too restrictive upon the freedom of Ohioans, so the Army tried the country.  The county, which had to actually deal with this kind of bullshit on a semi-regular basis, agreed, and it is now illegal to Hunt any bird, fish or quadruped with devices and equipment not intended for such purpose.

Popeye never went deer-hunting after that, and Snowflake went on to sire many many more pretty inbred deer.

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