I’m sure everyone has heard about the great Lake Baikal, and if you haven’t,boy, are you missing out.
This ancient lake, which is about 25 million years old, and thought to be the oldest in the world, contains 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. That’s right, it contains just 1% less fresh water than all the Great Lakes combined,while it’s surface area is over 7 times smaller.
Why is that, you ask? It’s because Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world: It’s maximum depth is 1642 meters, which is deep enough for the Eiffel Tower to stand on itself 5 times and not reach the surface.
But it gets better: the Lake Baikal is among the clearest lakes of the world, so you can see the bottom to a depth of nearly 40 meters, and you can drink right from it, no purifying needed. Furthermore, Lake Baikal sustains 2630 different species of animals and plants, 80% of which are unique to it, and can’t be found anywhere else.
Oh, and by the way? Under both the lake and it’s underwater sediment some of Earth’s tallest mountains(plural!) are submerged, their height over 7000 meters.
Lake Baikal is perhaps one of the world’s most amazing, awe-inspiring, and unique locations, and I would seriously recommend everybody who has some free time on their hands to discover more on their own.
Lake Baikal has seals, even though it’s more than a thousand miles from any ocean. No one’s really sure how they got there.
have we fucked this up yet? we’re going to fuck this up
Ah, valar morghulis / valar dohaeris, the two sides of the coin of the Faceless Men. I agree, the concept of “all men must die / all men must serve” is one of the more interesting repeated themes in ASOIAF. “Valar morghulis” was first spoken to Arya by Jaqen H’ghar in ACOK, and though we didn’t get a translation until ASOS (and Arya didn’t until AFFC), she nevertheless subconsciously understood its meaning, adding it to the end of her nightly kill list. At the end of ASOS Arya learned “Valar dohaeris”, the response, though again we didn’t receive a translation until AFFC. (I occasionally wonder about the early days of the ASOIAF fandom, what it was like for them to speculate for five years about the meaning of those words.)
Besides the High Valyrian words themselves, the concept of valar morghulis itself comes up in all kinds of places, such as the song “The Dornishman’s Wife” and Ygritte’s words to Jon Snow. (“And if we die, we die. All men must die, Jon Snow. But first we’ll live.”) In both those cases the idea given is that death is inescapable, no matter what — so it’s best to live while you can, take pleasure in the moment. Missandei expresses a similar sentiment, when Dany warns her that she may die in her service; “valar morghulis”, she replies — since everyone dies, it’s better to live in a dangerous situation as a free woman than live in safety as a slave.
But valar dohaeris is not quite the opposite of “all men must die”. It doesn’t translate to “all men must live”, but rather that they must all serve — must work for others, whether for other humans or as an instrument of the gods. This most likely comes from the origin of the Faceless Men among the slaves of Old Valyria; the first Faceless Man believed he was an instrument of the Many-Faced god of death, and freed the slaves from their bondage with the gift of death. (It may also be a literary reference to the Biblical curse of Adam: that humanity must toil to produce food until the day they die.)
In practice, valar dohaeris is given as a response by a Braavosi to any Faceless Man — and they will do their best to serve, and only beg that the assassin remember their name in return (for a Faceless Man is not allowed to kill someone he knows). As for other references within the books, it’s less obvious than for valar morghulis, but the feudalistic nature of Westerosi society does have everyone serving someone, and the characters are often motivated by their duty. A more subtle reference may be the game of thrones itself, in which everyone is a player or a piece. Even the principle of the game, “you win or you die”, may express the dualistic nature of valar dohaeris / valar morghulis.
Now, many characters exemplify these themes. But in my opinion, one of the best ways to look at it is through the Stark sisters, Sansa and Arya (two sides of the same coin). Both girls, on their paths through the story, encounter people who act as examples, as teachers to them. (Interestingly, some of these are the same people.) Sansa’s teachers show her the ways of valar dohaeris — of service, of duty, and of the game. (Ned Stark, Sandor Clegane, Cersei Lannister, Dontos Hollard, Tyrion Lannister, Margaery and Olenna Tyrell, Petyr Baelish, etc.) Whereas Arya’s teachers demonstrate valar morghulis — that all men must die. (Ned Stark, Syrio Forel, Yoren, Jaqen H’ghar, Beric Dondarrion, Sandor Clegane, the Kindly Man and the Waif, and others.)
Another fascinating aspect of this dualism is that their mother, Catelyn Tully Stark, can be seen as the coin that the girls are the two sides of. (See also.) Catelyn, in life, was the perfect exemplifier of valar dohaeris, of duty and service. But as Lady Stoneheart, she has become valar morghulis incarnate, a dead woman granting death as justice. It should be interesting to see how these aspects of the coin interact if ever they meet each other once again…
omfg you guys this dude did a video of a conversation he had with his two year old daughter but he had an adult male friend play the part of the daughter and it is
CHILDREN ARE SO HILARIOUSLY CREEPY. omg
this is amazing
People that think they are going to be magically independent when they become 18.
Game of Thrones: Mad Men AU | Part One: Casterly Incorporated
The Lannisters have always dominated the advertising game in Manhattan. Head executive Tywin rebuilt the company from scratch after his father’s losses, making Casterly the most trusted name in the business. Now with tour de force Creative Director, Tyrion, at the helm and joint Accounts Heads, Jaime and Cersei, enticing new clients the company is seeing a true Renaissance.
But all is not well in paradise. Seven Kingdoms™ (manufacturers of common iron appliances found in every home) is looking to rebrand themselves, and is courting not only Casterly but their biggest competition: Stark & Sons. Tyrion scrambles for solid material while Jaime and Cersei ply their charms on Seven Kingdoms™ execs. But all could come crashing down with Tywin absent, Tyrion giving up his plans to faithful call girl, Shae (who’d sell them to the highest bidder), and Jaime and Cersei hiding a dark secret—one that could destroy the company and the family name forever.
no words for how much love i have for the fact that margaery has a granny to take care of her
The thing with a “main character”, is that the reader see the story/world from that characters point of view - we can often read the characters thoughts and feelings more than other characters in the story. You can also use the perspective to increase this “effect”.
You can use the eye-level to display the world seen from the main character. Look at the two pictures above, the characters have the same size on both pictures - the only difference I’ve made is to switch eye-level. And by just doing this, we switch between the adult and the kids point of view - even though they both look at the same thing.
So, when you are doing a perspective, FIRST decide the eye-level and after that start placing out all those annoying guidelines.
Game of Thrones S01 EP01//S01 EP02//S03 EP07
Numbers stations are mysterious shortwave radio channels of indiscernible origin that exist in countries all across the world and have been reported since World War 1. They are identifiable by the unusual contents of their broadcasts: seemingly random sequences of numbers, words, letters, tunes, and Morse code, usually spoken by artificially generated voices of women and children.
The most common theory regarding the purpose of these bizarre stations is that they’re used by governments the world over to secretly transmit encrypted commands and messages to spies. That said, even though numbers stations have been discovered all over the globe and in any number of different languages, no government has ever officially acknowledged their existence. While the espionage theory is a logical one, with no official confirmation of their purpose the jury is still out.
One particularly odd station, UVB-76, has existed since the late 1970s and has broadcast a simple, repetitive buzzing tone 24 hours a day ever since. On very rare occasions, however, listeners have reported a Russian voice interrupting the buzz to read out sequences of numbers and words, always in a consistent format — this happened once in 1997, once in 2002, once in 2006, 56 times in 2010, and 14 in 2011. As with all numbers stations, its true purpose is and will probably remain unknown, but the increase in frequency of whatever it’s doing is certainly odd.
You can listen to well over 100 recordings of numbers stations for free on archive.org but be forewarned that they’re all kind of, well, eerie. They feel like something you shouldn’t be listening to, which stands to reason since apparently you’re not supposed to know they exist.