can we just take a moment to realize that not only did it paint an elephant it painted it to give the illusiaon of depth

I was recently sent an email video which shows an elephant painting a picture of an elephant holding a flower over its head and was asked to comment on it. As you may or may not know, I returned home last night after my 7th trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where the video was shot. I can tell you with absolute certainty that elephant did not create that picture out of a need for a creative outlet. It was trained to follow the mahout’s (trainer) command and was purely following orders out of fear of the abuse it suffered during the training process. 

If you look closely during the wide angle shots you will see other mahouts standing on their elephant’s left side and they too are leading their elephant during the process. The close ups show an elephant’s trunk moving a paint brush across a canvas and it appears to be creating a picture, except it is taking commands from its mahout who is out of the shot. 

The training process is called the ‘pajaan’ or ‘crush’ and is centuries old and is used throughout Asia today. It involves taking a 3-year-old baby from its mother’s side and roping it into a small bamboo cage in which it cannot move except to breathe. Of course the elephant fights for its freedom and is beaten, poked with sharp bamboo, starved, dehydrated, and sleep-deprived until it submits to its captors’ demands. The process may take a week, depending on how long it takes to ‘crush’ the elephant’s spirit. About 50% of the babies die from the process and the survivors are left with physical and emotional scars for the rest of their lives. 

The demand for elephant paintings comes mostly from Japan, Europe, and the US, and the motivation from the Thai people is purely financial since a single painting can fetch several thousand dollars. I honestly hope that if people knew the true process for creating a picture, they would not offer any support at all for it. So PLEASE tell your friends, family, anyone who will listen: DO NOT SUPPORT ELEPHANT PAINTINGS IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM!”



babby’s first cross stitch project, because go big or go home. from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story on SNES, ~40,000 stitches on 18-count Aida, 13x10.5 inches. started in like spring 2013? all i know is that i finished it that october and it was an exercise in patience and purple lolol



Harry disappears from the wizarding world for a little while after the fall of Voldemort and only like Ron Hermione and Ginny know where he’s gone

but he’s traveling. he considered backpacking Europe, but then he realized he’d had enough of camping for at least twenty years, so he teaches himself to drive and pulls enough strings to get himself an American drivers’ license and and then he’s off on a roadtrip in a beat-up car that’s still fast as anything. he doesn’t use magic if he can help it because it feels tainted, feels like it belongs to the war, feels like it marks him out again as someone with power and responsibility and the weight of a world on his shoulders. and for now he wants to find out what it is not to be a world-saving wizard, but just to be Harry.

and he meets a lot of strangers (he figures it’s safe enough picking up hitchhikers when they’re more than likely muggles and he’s got his wand if anything bad happens) and he learns what it’s like to be just another face, another car on the road and he learns all sorts of stuff on the radio, tries every genre out there. and it’s nice to listen to stuff that isn’t specifically designed to remind him of the wizarding world, but he finds so much of it surprisingly relatable and sometimes he just breaks down sobbing at the wheel and has to pull over.

and one of the hitchhikers he picks up is a veteran, and Harry doesn’t tell him much but he does say that he’s been a soldier, too, and it’s hard adjusting to a life that you never thought would exist because things were so hard that you could not imagine yourself after. hard to think about settling down and marrying the girl you thought you’d die loving. hard to think that not everyone around you is an enemy. were you a prisoner of war? the veteran asks. or undercover? both, says Harry. and lost, not knowing whether I was on the run or on a mission that was taking a year. I got back alive in the end but something—something’s definitely dead, you know?

how old are you, says the veteran. I’m eighteen, says Harry. the veteran raises his eyebrows. but they both know that some armies, some wars, don’t care about your age.

I think the dead thing is me, Harry says one day, when he’s going seventy in a fifty-five mile zone and the sun is setting in their eyes. when I killed the enemy, I killed myself.

and the veteran looks at him for a very long moment and Harry slows down and looks back at him and at last the man says, no. no, you lived. and you’re going to keep living, son, and one day you’ll be ready to marry that girl, if you love her, and now that you’ve got out of the war, it’s time to get the war out of you.

(they almost have a wreck when Harry pulls over to the side of the road, gets out, sits in the grass and laughs through his tears. flowers start to spring up around him and he feels the magic in his core, but this time it’s peaceful and pure and fun. unspoiled. and he knows it won’t always feel this way but for now things are leaking out of him, joyful things, because he is the boy who lived again, the boy who lived after the war.)

HBrooke Brooke this is everything I have ever wanted out of this kind of story Harry having time to process and to heal and to learn who he is Because he’s never been just Harry before He’s always been ‘that unwanted freak’ Or ‘The Boy Who Lived’ Always been either reviled or revered with no middle ground Harry has always lived his life according to the boxes others require him to inhabit Go upstairs and make no noise and pretend not to exist Harry  Smile for the cameras Harry Don’t tell your teachers truths they don’t want to hear Harry Save the world Harry But in all of this what does Harry want to do? Does Harry even know? Can he? And so this is exactly what he needs He needs that distance to learn what he wants to do And perhaps he does want to be a hero Perhaps he does want to repay a debt he feels he owes Hogwarts and magic But perhaps he wants to craft broomsticks or repair cars or live in a hut in the woods away from everyone with only Crups for company Perhaps he wants to save people in less flashy ways Perhaps he just wants to be the one to be saved But he needs the time to learn that The time to reflect and to craft his own identity and to come to terms with his life Thank you for giving it to him Thank you so much (via kingedmundsroyalmurder)

As always, your tags are spot on.

Really needed this tonight, Brooke.  Thank you xxx

I don’t know if any of you realise how groundbreaking this is — the monarch is NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THIS. They are supposed to be impartial and not publicly speak out about their personal political views, although this rule has been broken and bent in the past. But this is a REALLY HUGE DEAL.




Journalists at Sochi are live-tweeting their hilarious and gross hotel experiences

Amid continued debate over whether or not Sochi is prepared to host the 2014 Olympics, which begins Thursday, reporters from around the world are starting to check into local hotels — to their apparent grief. Some journalists arriving in Sochi are describing appalling conditions in the housing there, where only six of nine media hotels are ready for guests. Hotels are still under construction. Water, if it’s running, isn’t drinkable. One German photographer told the AP over the weekend that his hotel still had stray dogs and construction workers wandering in and out of rooms.

the ban on flushing toilet paper is a thing in quite a few places, but the rest is glorious Strugglelympics

#are people actually surprised by this?

not in the least, personally, but highly entertained nonetheless

Dadquest 2


























Soooo many people asked for this to continue. SO MANY. Thus, against my better judgment, I am continuing.

Might put it on mspfa…





true story… 

one of those things i’m not supposed to talk about.




"When Cynthia Koenig, a young social entrepreneur from New York, learned that millions of girls and women around the world spend hours each day collecting water from distant sources, she decided to create a new way to help people in poor communities transport water and it’s called the WaterWheel. Koenig’s WaterWheel allows people to roll water in a 50-liter container versus carrying it in 5 gallon (19 liter) jugs. Koenig estimates that the WaterWheel can save women 35 hours per week in water transport time, as well as prevent the physical strain that comes from balancing 40 pounds of water on top of their heads for hours each day. 

Every day around the world, over 200 million hours are spent each day fetching water, often from water sources miles from home, and this task usually falls to women and girls. By freeing up valuable time, the WaterWheel allows women to spend time on income-generating activities that can help pull her family out of poverty. The time savings also means that there is a greater likelihood that girls will be allowed to stay in school, further reducing the rate of intergenerational poverty. 

After receiving a $100,000 Grand Challenges Canada prize to develop the WaterWheel, Koenig founded a social enterprise company, Wello. The company is in an early stage of development and has been piloting the WaterWheel in rural communities in India. Koenig also plans on continuing to make the WaterWheel itself more useful by adding in filtration, drip irrigation kits, even a cell phone charger that uses the rotation of the wheel to charge the battery of the cell phone and give people more access to essentials like communication and education. 

To learn more about this invention and its potential to transform the lives of many girls and women around the world, check out Koenig’s TED talk and you can read a recent article in The Guardian about her venture. To learn more about how to support her work, visit Wello’s website.”

For a wonderful book about more female innovators and inventors throughout history, check out “Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women” for readers 8 to 13.

To help children and teens better understand the challenges many children around the world face in order to go to school, check out the blog post, “Honoring Malala: Mighty Girl Books on Children’s Fight for Education,” showcasing our top books for young readers on children’s educational access issues.

A Mighty Girl also has a section highlighting stories that feature poverty and hardship as a significant theme. Such stories provide opportunities for parents to discuss these topics with their children while also helping to foster children’s empathy for people living in difficult circumstances. Learn more here.”





Conservative government closed environmental libraries containing historic environment records. Scientists protest to no avail. Public silent.

Canadians have also fired thousands of scientists, gutted environmental laws, and replaced science posts with oil executives.

Wow this is truly terrifying. A major western government are actually BURNING BOOKS because they ideologically disagree with the science they can be used to help research.

why doesn’t this have more notes? people really don’t give a shit anymore do they










I have a few copies of “Playboy” from the 1970s stashed away somewhere. One of them has a letter where a guy writes in saying, “I met this really gorgeous, sweet woman, and we were planning to get married, but she sat me down yesterday and told me that she had a sex change before she met me. Mr. Hefner, should I marry someone who used to be a man?” and the response was, “So she had a sex change, big whoop. Would you be asking this question if she’d made any other change in her life before she met you? You love the woman she is now, and that’s all that should matter. If you want kids you can adopt or something.”

I feel so conflicted right now

That awkward moment when Hugh Hefner is more trans-positive than most feminists of the same era. 


The story is “The Brooked Man” by Charles Beaumont. (If anyone wants more stories on that theme, I have a little guide to them.)

You have to admit, whatever problems Playboy magazine might have, Hugh Hefner himself has pretty much always had rather healthy views on sexuality.



Okay, so I’m responding to this garbage like I promised I would, but I’m doing it in an individual post so whoever the OP is doesn’t get all the drama in their notes, and also to keep that super long post from being all over your dash. I’ll tag anuvia so they can see/respond if they wish to. Otherwise it’s kind of like talking shit behind someone’s back hahah

just gonna take it piece by piece for my own sanity.


First of all, I’m not even going to acknowledge the “white voice actor” bullshit, because I don’t see why the ethnicity of the VA matters in comparison to the characters on screen?

It matters on a level outside of a child’s perception. It’s the same thing as Johnny Depp playing Tonto. White people should not be playing POC, even if it’s only voice acting. I guarantee you there are people of every possible ethnicity/race/heritage who are in that line of work. It’s not impossible to cast actors who are of the same race as the characters. And not only on a theoretical level is it wrong, it also takes away opportunities from POC who are often at the bottom of the barrel as it is because Hollywood likes to whitewash everything. It bleeds over into other ventures too. For example: Aladdin is coming to Broadway. But not a SINGLE actor—down to the chorus— is middle eastern.

I’m also not going to argue about “being an animal” because 24 of Disney’s 53 animated movies feature all or mostly animal casts and the connection you are trying to make is irrelevant, especially when White characters in Disney movies have transformed into animals as well. That’s just reaching.

There’s a huge fucking difference between having a movie with a cast of animals and having a movie where the main character (emphasis on main) is turned into an animal for the majority of the film while Disney still pats itself on the back for being inclusive. It’s not inclusive when the only black princess in disney canon only spends 19 minutes of her film as a human. Emperor’s New Groove is more of an ensemble cast so the impact is not as great as it is for Brother Bear and Princess and the Frog, but Kuzco is still the titular character and he spends nearly the entire movie as an animal. And whereas there are a couple of examples of white supporting characters turning into animals, there has only been one main character who turned into an animal (that I can remember but as always correct me if I’m wrong): Pinocchio. And he spends all of five minutes as a donkey. 

Also, you need to take into account that since there are so few leading POC protagonists (Kida and Esmeralda are not protagonists. They are love interests to the protagonists) that even just three turning into animals erases a huge chunk of that visibility. It’s called Invisible Diversity and it’s when you try and say you had a black princess without forcing people to look at the black princess. 

Read More



Merry Christmas!





Johto Mega Starters by Tomycase