Recent research about the mental benefits of playing music has many applications, such as music therapy for people with emotional problems, or helping to treat the symptoms of stroke survivors and Alzheimer’s patients. But it is perhaps even more significant in how much it advances our understanding of mental function, revealing the inner rhythms and complex interplay that make up the amazing orchestra of our brain.Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain? On the outside they may look calm and focused, reading the music and making the precise and practiced movements required. But inside their brains, there’s a party going on.
From the TED-Ed lesson How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins
Animation by Sharon Colman Graham
if you’re interested, this person is trying to organize a food/meal drive for elementery school kids in Ferguson.
schools in Ferguson have been closed since Monday and that’s where a LOT of the kids in Ferguson get their food from, to explain how important this is.
Anonymous asked: I feel so useless sitting here. What can I do to help Ferguson??
national moment of silence 2014 (for victims of police brutality)
share the following:
I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.
Malaysian artist Lim Zhi Wei adorns her watercolors entitled “ Flowergirls” with real flowers, to a stunning effect.
How are people so creative and artsy, and how can I be them
faithfire asked: I feel like I'm a bad person for not writing more POCs. Should I write more, or just ignore the feeling?
Short answer: yes, you should write more characters of color. But let me tell you why, really why.
I have said it before and I will say it again: The reason to include diversity in your work (and this goes for race, sexuality, gender, ability status, everything) should not be because you are afraid people will complain if you don’t. The reason to write POC is because we deserve stories, too. Please do not join the ranks of people who ignore us. You have recognized a problem in your writing—call it whitewashing, lack of diversity, what have you. But what I want you to do is recognize that it is a problem, and take the initiative to learn how to fix it.
- Troubleshooting: But my story isn’t about race. Why do I need POC in a story about [not race]?
There is a misconception out there that characters of color need a reason to be characters of color. White characters never face this kind of criticism, as if “white stories” are “normal stories” and “POC stories” are “race stories.” Race does not need an explanation.
"By saying that a character’s skin color needs to be essential to the plot to be described, you are saying that only white characters are worthy of having stories that don’t have anything to do with racism, racial identity, and other issues related to race and colorism. It’s not that hard to say your character isn’t white. Their ethnic and/or racial background does not need to tie into the plot for them to exist."
- Troubleshooting: I can just add in a few more characters and it’ll be fine.
The answer isn’t to toss in a few extras just to have characters of color. This is tokenism, and is not at all going to solve the problem. People of color deserve more than to be relegated to the background. We deserve to be represented as more than set pieces and one-off characters that revolve around a white cast and their problems.
- Troubleshooting: I’ve never done it before. / People will be mad if I do it wrong.
I get that it can be daunting to write POC if you have little or no experience doing so, if you have written them poorly in the past, or if you aren’t used to it. These are not valid reasons to avoid characters of color. These are flimsy excuses that writers hide behind to explain why they don’t write characters of color.
If you find yourself thinking this, it means that you need to do your research and get to writing. At some point, you need to buckle down and commit to writing what you learn about. This is not a task for next time, this is not a task for later, this is a problem now and there are answers now.
And it’s true—if you do it poorly, people will get on your case. This does not mean the only characters you are good at are white characters, but it does mean you had a misstep somewhere in your writing and research. That’s why we edit and have beta readers: to catch and identify these things before they go to print. Do not be afraid of criticism, it’s how we learn. There are plenty of kind people in the world who can help you, but they cannot help you if you refuse to start.
- Troubleshooting: I don’t know where to start.
We have plenty of resources here on the blog, and there are plenty of others out there that can help you get started writing characters of color:
- writingwithcolor. PLEASE FOLLOW IMMEDIATELY.
- Is It OK for a White Writer to have POC Main Characters?
- Racist writing is a craft issue
- Visibility Matters: Why POC Must Be Described As POC
- Tokenism vs. Representation vs. Inclusion
- NK Jemisin’s Guest of Honor Speech
- Why Representation Is Important: a bunch of links on the matter
- Diversity tag
- Race tag
So here is the thing: Maybe you wrote exclusively (or at least mostly) white in the past. Maybe this is the first you are learning of the whitewashing phenomenon in fiction and you want to learn more about diversity and representation. That’s great, and I am glad you want to learn more. What is going to cause problems between you and I is if you take all this information and decide that none of it applies to you. It does. It applies to everyone.
Now you know better. So—do better.
Thank you :]
Sometimes I think about how many little things we probably do every day that would totally mess up the reasoning of a Sherlock-Holmes-style detective.
Like the other day we went to the cinema and I was wearing a shirt with no pockets so I put the ticket in my trouser pocket. The next day I was wearing the same trousers and I put my hand in my pocket and found the ticket there.
Now, I have a certain selection of things I always have in my trouser pockets and I don’t really like having anything else in there because it confuses my hands when I want to get something, so I took the ticket out. And I wasn’t near a rubbish bin, but I was wearing a shirt with a breast pocket. So I put the ticket in the shirt pocket.
And I thought: if I get interestingly murdered, the Sherlock-Holmes-style detective is going to deduce that I’m wearing the same shirt that I wore yesterday. Because it’s got a cinema ticket in the pocket with yesterday’s date on, and why on earth would anyone put a cinema ticket in the pocket of a shirt unless they were wearing the shirt when they went to the cinema?
Which is a bit of reasoning we would all find totally convincing if it came from a Sherlock-Holmes-style detective. But it would be wrong. Because actually there are so many other explanations for things once you take account of the fact that people are often slightly eccentric in completely trivial and unguessable ways.
“Samuel Vimes dreamed about Clues. He had a jaundiced view of Clues. He instinctively distrusted them. They got in the way. And he distrusted the kind of person who’d take one look at another man and say in a lordly voice to his companion, “Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years in the merchant navy and has recently fallen on hard times,” and then unroll a lot of supercilious commentary about calluses and stance and the state of a man’s boots, when exactly the same comments could apply to a man who was wearing his old clothes because he’d been doing a spot of home bricklaying for a new barbecue pit, and had been tattooed once when he was drunk and seventeen* and in fact got seasick on a wet pavement. What arrogance! What an insult to the rich and chaotic variety of the human experience!”
—Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay
smoo told me to draw zutara week stuff so instead i drew some modern au gaang. sorry for my shitty handwriting.
What’s cuter than a baby sloth?
We were told by theater people that we wouldn’t find any blind actors. We attended all three days of Theater Bay Area general audition, and there was indeed not one blind actress. We decided to knock on every door of every blind service organization in the Bay Area. It took three months, but we found six blind actresses. We decided that if we were going to confidently promote our show as starring a blind actress, we should cast two and make sure we had a built in understudy at all times. We also want to show that there’s more than one blind actress in the Bay Area.
A Bay Area theatre company has done what Hollywood so often claims is impossible: casting not one, but two disabled actresses to play a disabled character.
Sorry I can’t hear you over my THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE
YOU CAN GET THEM REPAIRED THOUGH. There’s a place in NYC called Denim Therapy; I’ve had my favorite jeans fixed by them, where it was almost as big a hole as this one. They use some kind of really tough lattice-type cotton and so far (it’s been 6 months) the jeans are still perfect.
You just mail them in with a note explaining what you want fixed and they mail them back in like two weeks. It was like $15 too - SO WORTH IT since jeans are a bitch and a half to shop for.
I am so wishing I hadn’t gotten rid of my favorite jeans right now.
Um, YES THANK YOU
I CAN SAVE MY SEVEN JEANS
omg!!!? thingSS? this is tihng?? i cand use thing???
butr n o really this sounds awesome my thighs cannot be contained by half the jeans i buy
God is real
OH MY GOD THANK YOUI fucking cried the last time I ripped through the thigh on my jeans, it’s such a shitty place to try and patch.