declanlunch said: i know this is bisexual-books and not like, a general queer go-to for book recs but do you happen to know of any books preferably fantasy or young adult or really anything that feature poly-amorous characters in happy relationships and/or anything really i just finished yet another book that could have ended that way but never did and i am just disappointed and feeling completely lost??
I’ve read and reviewed some erotica here that features happy polyamorous relationships. I’ve been struggling, and failing, to think of any in the fantasy or YA genres. It’s definitely an area that could use more exploration. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.
Readers have any suggestions?
Check out the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. There are two polyamorous relationships, and while I wouldn’t exactly call them happy, that’s mostly because no one in the series is really happy. So like…it’s not the relationship that makes them unhappy. Yanno? The whole series features them as minor to major characters, but the two where they feature most prominently are Ink Exchange and Radiant Shadows. The poly relationship in RS is much happier than the one in INK.
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson is a sci-fi/dystopia that is poly-friendly, although there is some angst around the MC’s mother having more than one partner, if I recall correctly. But one of the characters is in relationships with multiple people at once and it’s tots cool.
Good luck on your search!
Adaptation and Inheritance by Malinda Lo has a poly-friendly ambiguous ending though it is more of a V poly model where Reese loves David and Amber but they barely even seem to like each other. It’s the only positive poly ending in YA that I know of.
- SarahI haven’t read these yet, but I believe there’s a prominent poly relationship in Jim C. Hines’s Magic Ex Libris series?There’s also a throwaway mention of three classmates in a poly relationship in Nalo Hopkinson’s The Chaos, but IIRC it’s just one line, so probably not what you’re looking for.
Knowledgeable followers and people who want to read about poly characters, this one’s for you. :)
"I find many adults are put off when young children pose scientific questions. Why is the Moon round? the children ask. Why is grass green? What is a dream? How deep can you dig a hole? When is the world’s birthday? Why do we have toes? Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else: ‘What did you expect the Moon to be, square?’ Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys the grown-ups. A few more experiences like it, and another child has been lost to science. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before 6-year-olds, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that we don’t know something? Is our self-esteem so fragile?"
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (via thedragoninmygarage)
In case you also don’t know the answers to these questions, I’m going to take a stab at answering them. Because there are some really good questions in there!
Why is the moon round?
OK, so first of all, we need to make sure this child knows what the moon is, roughly! Like, make sure they understand that the Earth and the Moon are big balls in space, and the moon flies around the Earth in a circle.
So when we look in the sky and see the moon, the reason that it is round is because it’s a big ball and we’re looking at it from the side.
Now, as to why the Earth and Moon are big balls, we need to talk about gravity. The next bit supposes the kid doesn’t know about gravity.
I might point out the planets in the sky, explain that these bright dots move past all the rest of the stars in the sky, and how for many thousands of years we humans have been trying to figure out how that works.
Then I’d explain that the answer we’ve discovered is that there’s an effect called ‘gravity’ which makes things move towards each other depending on how heavy they are. So, the planets follow the orbits they do because the sun is pulling them towards it, but they fly sideways so fast that they constantly miss the sun and go around in a circle.
To show how that happens, I’d show things like swinging a heavy object on a rope, and point out that the rope is always pulling the object towards me, but it’s flying sideways so it goes around me in a circle.
I’d tell them about how this ‘gravity’ is what makes things fall down when we let go of them. Because the Earth is underneath us, and it’s so heavy and we’re comparatively very light, everything moves towards the Earth. So gravity affects small things like us, as well as big ones like planets, and it does this in exactly the same way. We also attract the Earth, but because we’re so small, it’s impossible to notice the effect we have on it.
I’d try and answer more questions about gravity, maybe show them parabolic trajectories and so on, because gravity is really cool and interesting.
Coming back to the question of why the moon is round, then…
So to begin with the Earth and the moon were just huge clouds of rock and liquid in space, and all these bits of rock were attracted to each other, so they moved closer together and stuck together.
Now, gravity ‘wants’ everything to be as close together as possible. What would happen if it didn’t, and you got some kind of potato-shaped lump?
Suppose there’s a big nobbly bit on the potato-shaped proto-Moon. And imagine we cut it off and move the material down into a hollow. It’s now closer to all the rest of the bits of Earth, so gravity likes this arrangement more. (I might try to explain that there’s a number we calculate called the gravitational potential energy, and it’s smaller when we put the nobbly bit in the hollow). (I might get some plasticine out)
Well, when it gets this big, rock doesn’t really act like a solid any more, and it breaks up so bits of it can flow like plasticine. So the rock will start to flow, moving towards the centre of the proto-Moon. It turns out (and I can show you the maths, though quite a bit of calculus is involved) that the best possible shape as far as gravity is concerned is a ball.
So the reason the moon is round is that gravity tries to make everything go closer together, and the closest together you can get is a big ball, and rock just isn’t strong enough to resist gravity tearing it apart until it is in a big ball.
The rock is strong enough to show really tiny bumps and wrinkles, which is how we get hills and valleys and mountains and seas, but I’d show how tiny these things are compared to the enormous size of the Earth and Moon.
If the kid has managed to follow this far, I might talk about how the Earth is spinning, which causes it to flatten a bit so it’s not quite a sphere.
Why is grass green?
This is less my field, but let’s have a go anyway.
The reason grass and other plants are green is because inside the plant are these little green blobs called chloroplasts. These have a very important job.
I would talk about how every part of life needs something called ‘energy’ to keep it working (and this could turn into a longer discussion on thermodynamics), and show them that physical structures can hold themselves in a state of higher energy (things like a ball at the top of a hill, or a battery in an electric circuit) until something happens to let it out. We use this to store energy where there’s a lot of it and move it to places where it’s needed.
In the same way, living things need to store energy until they need it to do things like growing or moving. The way they accomplish this is tiny tiny pieces of sugar (the smallest possible pieces, if they know about molecules I’d explain it’s individual molecules) that move between the different parts of our body.
Nearly all the energy we living things use is put together by plants, who get their energy from the sun. There is an extremely complicated process called ‘photosynthesis’ that takes place in these chloroplasts, which takes some gases from the air (carbon dioxide and water), and makes glucose (sugar) and oxygen (which goes back to the air).
When a living thing needs to use the energy stored in a piece of glucose, the reaction happens pretty much in reverse: oxygen combines with the glucose to make carbon dioxide and water along with the energy. Inside our bodies, special processes capture this energy immediately for use in the cell. (I might talk about how we’re eukaryotes so we have mitochondria but probably not relevant here).
We can get the same energy, water and carbon dioxide out of sugar another way by setting it on fire. The bright flame shows us how much energy is stored in the sugar. In this case the energy isn’t being captured, it’s just released as light and heat.
The green colour of the leaves comes from a very important and very complicated chemical called chlorophyll. The reason chlorophyll looks green is that it exists to absorb light: it’s captured the light of every colour except green in order to take away its energy, so only green light is left! (I’d need to explain that white light is light that is made of many different colours).
As for why it is green, that is to say why it lets the green light escape, there’s a lot of speculation about this. (I’d have to give a really long talk on evolution if they didn’t know about evolution…) Photosynthesis seems to be a process that’s very hard to improve on, because it hasn’t changed even to remove its major limitations for a very long time - so when it evolved, the chemical process that happened to evolve was one that didn’t work very well at green light. It might be because the Earth had a different atmosphere which blocked the green light, so there wasn’t any use evolving a process that could capture green light.
What is a dream?
If the last question was not my field, this question is not even my county.
Dreams are an experience we have when our brain is resting and repairing itself while you are asleep. I believe it is thought that they’re related to the brain processing the experiences you have had during the day, but honestly I’m not really sure. So I guess I’d look it up and try and show the kid how I find things out when I don’t know the answer…
How deep can you dig a hole?
To dig a really really deep hole, you need to use a special drill.
After a while of digging, all the crumbly dust and sand and soil you can dig with a shovel goes away, and you start hitting harder rock. To get through this rock, you could use a pickaxe or something, but it won’t take you very far! But we have create machines which cut up the rock and take it out of the way (let’s google some pictures of drills).
People have tried to dig very very deep holes a few different times, but they run into some problems. There is a huge amount of heat inside the Earth, coming from the heat of the gas and rock that first formed the Earth and from radioactive material deep inside. Additionally, each layer of rock is being crushed by all the layers above it, so the pressure goes up as you go down.
Now, rocks when they’re deep underground can behave in some strange ways. When they’re hot enough, rocks can actually flow over millions and millions of years (like honey but even stickier!). The rocks get hotter and hotter as you go down into the Earth, and about 100km below our feet, the rocks are hot enough to start flowing. We call the strong, colder rocks above that point the ‘lithosphere’, and the flowing rocks below that the ‘asthenosphere’. But remember these flowing rocks are still solid, they’re just a kind of solid that very very slowly creeps into a new shape.
You are more likely to have heard of the mantle and the crust instead of the lithosphere and the asthenosphere, and somebody might have even told you the mantle is liquid. This is wrong. There’s a change in the type of rock - the kinds of minerals that make up the inside of the Earth - about five to ten kilometres beneath our feet, called the ‘Moho’. The rocks above this level are chemically different, and called the crust; the rocks below are called the mantle. But they’re all solid.
Much, much deeper inside the Earth, at the centre of the mantle, is another layer, called the Core. There are two parts of this core (which was discovered by a woman called Inge Lehmann in 1936). The outer core is a sea of liquid iron about 2,300 km thick, thousands of times deeper than the sea. The top of that vast pool of iron is about 2,900km beneath our feet. Inside the sea of iron is a smaller solid ball of iron, with a radius of about 1,200km. (I might make them a picture of the inner core standing next to some buildings to convey how huge that is).
OK, so how deep can we dig a hole? A hole needs to go through solid things, because otherwise it will collapse: you can’t dig in water. So you might think we could dig all the way down to the edge of the outer core.
Sadly, we’re not so lucky. A few people have tried drilling incredibly deep holes already. The deepest ever hole was drilled by a group of Russians about 40 years ago. It’s called the Kola Superdeep Borehole. The Russians wanted to know about the structure of the rocks under that area of Russia, and they wanted to drill 15km.
However, by the time they reached around 12km the hole was much hotter than they expected. The rock was already starting to distort and flow to fill up the hole whenever they pulled their drill bit out, and the temperature was too high to continue drilling.
The thickness of the crust varies, so where the Russians were drilling it got about a third of the way through to the mantle before they had to stop.
It might be possible, with a better drill, to dig even deeper than the Russians did. An oil drilling company drilled an even longer hole, but it went sideways instead of down so it didn’t go as deep as the Kola borehole. But it looks like the best we can hope to drill is about 12km down.
When is the world’s birthday?
So we celebrate our birthdays every year after the day we came into existence.
For us, it doesn’t take very long to be born - at least, it certainly doesn’t take an entire day. So it’s usually clear which day we were born on.
For the Earth, things are a bit more complicated. Before there was an Earth or Sun or any of the other planets, there would have been a cloud of gas and dust somewhere in space. Some of this gas was left over from the beginning of the universe, some of it was created in the centre of other stars that no longer exist, some of it created when the very largest stars dramatically explode.
Going back to what I was saying above, gravity caused part of this big cloud of gas and dust to shrink and gather itself together.
Remember what I was saying about ‘energy’ earlier? How some arrangements of matter, like a ball on top of a hill, store energy? The same thing is true of a big cloud of dust. There is a lot of energy ‘stored’ in the gravity of a big cloud of dust, and as it shrinks, that energy is released, causing the cloud to heat up. (Every arrangement of a physical system has ‘potential energy’, and it will generally change itself towards a state of minimum potential energy - but because everything is already moving, that might not be possible, just as when a satellite is orbiting a star.)
The funny thing is that the total amount of energy never really changes. When a ball rolls down the hill, the ‘potential energy’ of the ball at the top of the hill turns into the ‘kinetic energy’ of the ball is moving. But sometimes, energy can go into a form that’s not very useful.
Imagine a load of little balls - BB gun pellets or something - flying around. If they’re all flying in the same direction, and they hit something, they’ll move it - they have kinetic energy in a very accessible form. But if they are bouncing around the room in every different direction, they still have kinetic energy, but it’s very hard to get that energy out (but not impossible!). ‘Heat’ refers to this kind of chaotic, difficult-to-use energy.
So as the cloud of dust collapses on itself, all the molecules of gas and bits of dust move much quicker - and crash into each other, until they’re bouncing every which way. In other words, the cloud gains this kind of chaotic kinetic energy, so we say it gets hotter. (I might need to go over this from some other angles because I’m not sure I’d get that if I was a kid).
Eventually the heat of the cloud is enough to stop it shrinking any more. Meanwhile, any little rotation the cloud starts with gets exaggerated, so the cloud has started to spin, and flatten out. (It’s kind of hard to show how these effects happen.)
Most of the stuff in the cloud ends up at the centre of the solar system, where it gets even hotter and closer together, until a process called nuclear fusion starts at the very centre which puts out so much heat that the cloud doesn’t shrink any more.
But some of the material is in the cloud surrounding the sun at the centre, and it’s travelling so fast it orbits in circles round the sun (just like the moon around the Earth). All these bits of dust are being pulled towards each other, so they stick together and form larger clumps, and crash into each other and smash each other to pieces again - but overy a very long time, they stick together into larger and larger clumps. Once some of the clumps get big, they start drawing all the other nearby clumps towards themselves, and gets bigger and bigger even faster, sweeping up everything nearby.
For the reasons I talked about regarding the moon being round, some of the biggest clumps end up ball-shaped. The rest of the clumps remain in space, forming all the asteroids and meteoroids.
OK, so, the Earth is one of these very big clumps, so big that it forms a sphere. But it’s not exactly clear when we say ‘this big clump here is the Earth’. It’s like if you have a table covered in wet sand, and you shake it so all the sand starts to stick together until you have a big ball of sand - you can’t name the exact second it went from little clumps of sand to a ball of sand, there’s no clear dividing line.
So we can’t really say the Earth has a day when it formed, like we do. Actually we’re more like the Earth: it takes us nine months to get put together inside our mother’s or father’s or non-binary parent’s womb before we get born, our birthday is really the day in which we get released from inside there.
But unlike a human or a building or a machine, there’s never a point where the Earth is ‘finished’. Indeed, it’s still growing. Meteors are constantly falling on the Earth from space, and while most of them burn up in the atmosphere, the material is still there in the atmosphere (and of course, some of them do reach the ground and add a few extra rocks to the pile). And there are still big clumps of rock in space. We call them ‘asteroids’, and sometimes really big ones hit Earth, adding more material to Earth. The surface of the Earth, too, is constantly changing: continents are changing shape, life and soil and dirt is moving around, water flows from place to place.
So, all in all, we can’t really point to a point in time and say ‘this is when the Earth was born’.
Why do we have toes?
This comes from the fact that our species evolved from other species.
Over very long periods of time, the forms of animals, plants, all forms of life change.
So suppose we have a big collection of organisms, which we call a population, let’s say the organisms are Foops. Each Foop is born and dies, but before it dies, it might make some more small Foops with another Foops.
A baby Foop is very similar to both of its parents, but not exactly the same. And not every Foop gets to make the same number of baby Foops: some of them die, some of them don’t manage to find another interested Foop, all kinds of things can happen.
If you look at the whole population of Foops, then, and track different aspects of a Foop (say the colour of its tail), over time you see different aspects grow or dwindle to cover more of the population.
You can even see a population split in two - perhaps some of the Foops get trapped in a valley somewhere so they can’t share their traits with the other Foops, so they change in a different way, eventually changing so much that the two kinds of Foop can’t even breed with each other even if they can come back into contact. This is how new species come into existence. Sometimes entire species will die out and no longer exist in the population.
There are a number of effects that drive these changes in the populations and lead to organisms generally becoming adapted to their environment and position in an ‘ecosystem’ of other organisms.
For example, say there is a predator of the Foops that’s particularly attuned to blue tails. Then, the Foops with blue tails will be much less likely to survive long enough to create new foops with the ‘blue tail’ trait. So overall, a smaller proportion of the Foop population has blue tails. This can lead to some very drastic changes over time.
OK, let’s stop talking about imaginary Foops and talk about the real evolution that lead to us. Briefly, all the mammals and reptiles, ourselves included, evolved from creatures with four limbs and digits on the end of each one, but if you want to see how we got there, we can look at articles like Evolution of fish and Evolution of Tetrapods.
Very broadly, what happened is that four-legged creatures evolved from the bony fish that existed in the sea at the time. These fish had already gained organs that would become lungs, which they might have used for buoyancy or breathing oxygen from the air. One population of fish started to live in the shallows near the shore. There, successive generations had fins turn into feet, which eventually would allow them to leave the water. It happened that the way these fish evolved left them with four feet in two pairs.
At the same time, plants had started to evolve forms which could live on land, making environments where these new ‘amphibians’ could live with little competition from all the life at sea.
Once they got onto land, the populations of these fish split and split again into the incredible variety of forms we see today. Every single one of these creatures inherited its four limbs and hence toes from its ancestors. This basic skeletal plan is shared by all these animals, although the actual shapes get distorted into all kinds of different forms: for example, some animals walk on what is essentially their fingers, but fused into hooves; whales evolved from land animals which have gone back into the water, and they have almost entirely lost their legs except for a tiny bit of bone hidden inside their bodies; in birds and bats, the fingers have been stretched out and skin and feathers stretched between them to make wings.
OK, so every land animal has descended from creatures with four limbs and little noodly bits at the end of each one, but why are our feet shaped the way they are? Other animals essentially stand on their toes, but our toes lie flat on the ground.
My understanding is that this is because humans have evolved, unlike many other apes, to walk and particularly run on two legs, and our skeletons have changed to accomodate that. A lot of our skeleton, not just our feet, changed - our knees, our pelvis, the length of our arms, the position of our big toe (which in our ancestors was on the side of our feet, just like a thumb).
I guess there is another question: the bones in our feet split into five far back at the heel, but flesh covers them all the way up to near the front. Why doesn’t it cover the toes too? Possibly this kind of adaptation was too far to be possible given the way we were evolving, but also I think being able to move our toes separately a bit helps us maintain our balance and occasionally hold on to things.
As is probably really obvious, I’m a physicist and I am much more at home talking about physics than evolutionary biology. So expansions/corrections would be very welcome!
This ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ shit needs to be -BACKED-.
I am all for the encouragement of urban gardening, but pretty pictures and platitudes aren’t enough. You need to be out there handing out dirt and seeds and containers, you need to be getting out there and building wheelchair-accessible raised community gardens and building seed libraries and showing people how to hang tomato plants off fire escapes and commandeer city land - and even THEN you don’t say ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ you say ‘Hey, this is how to do it, if you want in.’
Telling people they can do it isn’t doing shit if you’re not actually showing them how and helping to make it possible.
Growing food instead of lawns is good, but can we PLEASE work on doing things to make it possible?
Maybe give people instructions on how to work with an/or fight their home owner’s association, how to appeal to a landlord, how to address local ordinances, and how to grow stealth food crops as ornamental plants in areas where food gardening is banned. Seriously, they will come bulldoze your shit and then bill you for it.
(Also we need to remember that some people will never be able to invest the money, time, and effort both physical and mental that it takes to have a garden, because they have personal care needs/care of others responsibilities/jobs/illnesses/physical disabilities/other shit to do/do not give a dull fuck about gardening and are perfectly happy with a patch of grass or even astroturf AND THAT IS OK TOO.)
and also!!! if you don’t have the time/ability to garden, replacing your yard with a stone “garden” or bark chip helps re: watering (but this is costly, obviously, unless you end up being a random luck attracter like my old neighbor who had gravel given to him for free hahaha lucky lucky) so it’s not an option for everyone but an option none the less since i know people who don’t like the idea of wasting water on lawns but want a beautiful outdoor area still can have that, even if gardening is an impossibility for them.
attention non-english speakers who have struggled to find gender neutral pronouns
there is a very good compilation of gender neutral pronouns in a variety of different languages that can be found here! it’s really helpful and a lot of thought and help has gone into it from people who speak these as their native language! i definitely recommend you go check it out
- Endless Fantasy - Anamanaguchi
- Electric Surfin’ Go Go - Polysics
- The Time Is Now - CAPSULE
- D.A.N.C.E - Justice
- The Shallow End - Sam Sparro
- Move Your Feet - Junior Senior
- Good Feeling - Flo-Rida
- You You You - Polysics
I don’t know about you guys but I am psyched to get an education, woo. This year is a hella important year for me because if I don’t finish this school year with five As then I am a dead man walking, you get me? So this started off as a collection to help me get those fabulous As but I thought, what the hell? I’ll share this perfection with everyone else because sharing is caring. Anyways, down to the nitty gritty
001. CALEDONIA’S DECLASSIFIED SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE
- advice for college
- how to survive in college
- how to survive freshmen year of high school
- college packing list
- alternative to buying expensive textbooks
- dorm room survival
- free online college courses
002. WRITE LIKE A FUCKING ANGEL
- the ultimate guide to writing
- how to write good
- how to write an essay
- how to write a good essay
- the five paragraph essay
- deadly sins checklist
- formatting your paper
- tips on getting started
- seven tips to become a better writer (stephen king)
- four ways to have confidence in your writing
- seven ways to speed up your writing
- five ways to add sparkle to your writing
- how to finish what you started: a five step plan for writers
- thirty-one ways to find inspiration for your writing
- tips for dealing with writer’s block
003. READING ISN’T ONLY FOR NERDS AND FANGIRLS
- how to take care of your books
- how to read shakespeare
- no fear shakespeare (i found this incredibly useful when studying macbeth!)
- one hundred most read books
- how to read difficult books
- how to read faster
- books made into movies
- books made into tv shows
- 350+ free ebooks
004. STUDY MOTHER FUCKER
- studying tips
- studying techniques
- how to pull an all-night and still have a successful exam result
- how to get motivated to study
- tips to help you concentrate
- time management tips
- chrome site blocker
005. LEARNING SHIT
- solve any maths equations: 1, 2.
- when your teacher says not to use wikipedia (an alternative)
- square root calculator, cube root calculator
- for when you can’t do your homework
- chemical equation balancer (what got me through chemistry last year)
- cliffnotes, sparknotes
- college courses
- how to: multiply big numbers
- crash courses (youtube)
- teaches you everything
006. PRESENTING YOUR BEAUTIFUL SCHOOL WORK AY
007. USEFUL WEBSITES BECAUSE THE INTERNET IS A WONDERFUL PLACE /SOMETIMES/
- TED (basically gods gift)
- challenge your brain
- feed the hungry and up your vocabulary game
- free online textbooks
- final grade calculator
- a whole page dedicated to studying and organising
008. MUSIC TO CALM DOWN UR SCHOOL DAY BLUES YO
- a really chill playist
- coffee shop blues
- coffee shop sounds
- calm nature sounds
- concentration/focus playlist
- relaxation is key
- four hours of classical music
- playlists to listen to: xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx.
009. ALL THIS STUDYING??? YOU NEED A BREAK, MY FRIEND.
- watch a cute ass dog lick your screen
- one hundred thousand stars
- movies masterpost
- foreign movies
- gay movies
- lesbian movies you should definitely watch
- broadway musicals
- LGBT+ books
- download free books
- read any book
- the best masterpost ever if you’re bored
010. TIPS FOR SCHOOL N STUFF BCUS I WANTED TEN BITS
- try your best. not everyone can get all As, and getting all As does not make you better than everyone else. just do the best you can and be the best person you can be.
- don’t sleep in class! i know it seems so so tempting but slept my way through geography last year and i got a C in my exam instead of the expected A so…
- Don’t tick off your teacher, follow the rules to an extent, get to class on time, respect your classmates and teachers. you know, just be a decent person.
- be positive!!! and not just for the first week or so, keep the positivity going throughout the whole school year. if you don’t believe in yourself then why should anyone else?
- "you can do it, wildcat, i believe in u" — something troy bolton said one time probably definitely
DIY Sensory Substances (My social skills groups for young Autistic children love these activities)
- Slime (Glue/liquid starch)
- Glow in the Dark Slime (Borax/glue/glow paint)
- Cloud Dough (Flour/oil)
- Silly Putty (Clear glue/liquid starch)
- Moon Sand (Sand/corn starch)
- Goop (Cornstarch/water)
- Flubber (White glue/borax)
- GAK (Clear glue/borax)
- Floam (Borax/Glue/styrofoam)
Click here for more DIY sensory substances