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On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans had gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River–which they called the Greasy Grass–in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.

In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.

At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.

The Battle of Little Bighorn–also called Custer’s Last Stand–marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.

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[personal profile] sovay
Today I received a five-foot-long shed snakeskin as a present and made myself a lobster roll for dinner. I am exhausted and appear to have misplaced the brain with which I wanted to write about things tonight, but I have had objectively worse days.
shadowsong26: (simon)
[personal profile] shadowsong26 posting in [community profile] rainbowfic
Name: shadowsong26
Story: Discoveries
'Verse: Lux
Colors: Metallic Gold #3. lesson, Moonlight #6. Enigma, Golden Globe #12. My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
Supplies and Materials: graffiti (Red Carpet Day 6), miniature, photography, canvas, novelty beads (food allergy)
Word Count: 100
Rating: PG
Characters: Ruth, Simon
Warnings: References to amnesia.
Notes: Constructive criticism welcome, as always.


Read more... )
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[personal profile] alchemia

So...

strange/interesting how things ferment at the back of one's mind until quite a while later, AHA so that's the answer/meaning/whatever.

This little doodle I did years ago... alchemia.dreamwidth.org/31325.html

Bug and I have been writing, and we are wrapping up a specific scene, and while I was searching for something else, I came across this entry via journal tags and thought, 'holy crap, we just wrote that'.  Not, you know, Snape and Harry naked on a bed, 'cause we and plenty of others have written in many delicious ways.  But specifically, this exact pose, the mood, even Harry appearing 'aged down' (there's a wee spoiler for anyone interested, but I can't imagine that revealing anything of importance at the moment; afterall, he's a shapeshifter, and he's aged himself up in previous books, so why not the other way around?).  The only thing missing in the image is a the ****  lol, ;-)  

Even Bicrim's comment about it looking more parental than romantic is, just... at first I thought, wow, she picked up on that so early, but then realised i didn't say the image was ABP related so it musta just been the image speaking to her, and my unconscious thru the picture (no, don't worry (or hope, if the case may be), ABP does NOT turn into a Severitus fic.)  For those wondering, no HP is not wanking for Snape's entertainment (or potion ingredients, or anything else), but feel free to consider it independant of ABP, or some character's fantasy or something.

The current unfinished book, and the one right after it, might actually get smooshed into one (not positive yet), and this scene is in the one after the current one we left off on, unless they are combined, in which case, it will be in the current book.   I am really eager to get to it.  It had some really horrible stuff to write in it, but totally necissary if they're going to ever heal / move forward. 

Star Island 2017, Days 1-3

Jun. 24th, 2017 10:04 pm
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[personal profile] edenfalling
I got up at 4:00am EST on Thursday, so as to shower, eat breakfast, finish packing, and set up my apartment before heading outside shortly before 5:00am to wait for my cab. In the event, the cab was about ten minutes late, but I still got to the airport and through security in plenty of time. The flight from Ithaca to Detroit went smoothly, and I made my transfer with several minutes to spare even though they were slow to unpack the plane-side checked bags. (These are bags that would be carry-on items in larger planes, but small jets have small overhead compartments so they basically wrap a tag around your suitcase handle, stash it in the cargo compartment with the actual checked bags, and then hand it back to you at the end of the flight.)

cut for length )

As for my reading: I got through the entirety of C. S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain, which was one of my "I am not entirely sure where I picked this book up, but I should probably read it before donating it" books, and another several sections of Religion in the Japanese Experience: Sources and Interpretations, a textbook composed of various themed excerpts from other works and brief explications thereof.

Lewis is, as always, infuriating because I disagree vehemently with a number of his assumptions, with most of his theology, and with a bunch of his implicit politics... and yet he keeps coming to conclusions about human experience and what a good life should look like that are unnervingly close to my own in some respects. So it's a constant swing between, "yes, exactly, that was beautifully put!" and "but HOW can a reasonably intelligent and well-meaning person be so WRONG?!?!" Some other day I should probably quote one of the passages I thought was most apt, and also take a stab at analyzing one point where I think he went most terribly awry.

(Also science has marched on and Lewis's chapter on animal pain and consciousness is consequently even more awful and wrong-headed than when he wrote it, though I think I would have considered it awful and wrong-headed even decades ago because he's arguing from a foundation of theological assumptions which I utterly fail to share. But that is something where I could point to actual science to prove that he is talking through his hat, whereas the other point is more of a philosophical/ethical thing, and thus less subject to hard proof... though one could probably cite various studies on criminal justice and prison reform which I believe tend more toward my side of the argument than toward his. Hmm. *makes note to look into that* But anyway, I'd want to do more research and marshal my arguments in logical order before venturing into that particular alligator swamp.)

And that is what I have been up to for the past three days. :)

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 09:48 pm
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[personal profile] kaffyr
 Alex Is Dying

We're sitting with him on our bed. 

Nominations extended

Jun. 24th, 2017 09:44 pm
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[personal profile] pendrecarc posting in [community profile] hamiathesgiftexchange
I couldn't post a reminder yesterday about nominations closing, so I'm extending them until tomorrow, June 25th at 10 PM EDT. I'm still planning to open signups by June 27th.

If you nominated the character Laela, she's already been approved as Laela (Queen's Thief), so I'm leaving that nomination unapproved for now. Feel free to edit if you'd like a different character!

I still have two questions. If I haven't heard back by the time signups open, I will be adjusting these nominations to Relationship: Eugenides & Sophos and Relationship: Eddis/Sophos:
  1. Relationship: Attolis & Sounis: By Sounis, do you mean Sophos or his uncle? Do you mind if I change Attolis to Eugenides for consistency with the rest of the tag set?
  2. Relationship: Eddis/Sounis: As above, by Sounis, do you mean Sophos or his uncle?
Links of interest:

Exchange on AO3 | Announcements at Tumblr | Exchange on LJ

Trite subject line

Jun. 25th, 2017 04:39 am
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[personal profile] pauamma posting in [community profile] efw
Innocent-sounding question. No context.

Episode 1038: The Spy Who Loved Me

Jun. 25th, 2017 01:45 am
[syndicated profile] darkshadowseveryday_feed

Posted by Danny Horn

“I thought I had removed the life force completely, but apparently not.”

The vampire rises from his crypt, murder on his mind. Someone has intruded on his private sanctum, and she must be destroyed.

“So you’ve found me out!” he growls. “It will be the last thing you’ll ever do.”

She backs away. They always do — the doomed ones, the prey — scuttling towards the wall, squeaking, searching for the magic words that will make this nightmare stop coming true. And then the interloper says the one improbable thing that could flip the script on the oncoming train wreck.

“No, Barnabas, it’s me!” she chirps. “It’s me, Julia! I’m dressed this way for a reason!”

So this is going to take some explaining. We’re deep in the wilds of Parallel Time, a complex audience-gaslighting scheme in which all of the Dark Shadows characters pretend to be different people with the same names. It’s an extended April Fool’s gag that started on March 30th, and it’s still going strong, all the way out here in late June.

In this concurrent band of time, Julia Hoffman is a violent domestic, a Danvers-style devotee of her high-glam employer, the late Angelique Collins. The she-witch has risen from her grave, and is currently doing business as her own twin sister, endangering all who live on the great estate. Parallel Hoffman is Angelique’s confidante, co-conspirator and personal vampire slayer, and she’s recently learned that Barnabas sleeps in a coffin in the secret room behind the bookcase in the Old House, which is where we currently are.

Hoffman comes to the party with a hammer and stake. She’s sworn to protect her twisted mistress at any cost, even if it means getting fatally clocked on the head with a fire iron by a parallel-universe double who steals her clothes and leaves her lying dead on the bare floor, naked and head-smashed. So guess what happens.

Luckily, Barnabas has been living this kind of life for years now, so he’s used to having people from the past pop up in unexpected forms. He listens to Julia’s tale about the room and the premonition and the stake and the fire iron, and then she points down at the blood-curdled corpse on the linoleum, and everything’s fine.

“You did this for me,” he sighs, and approaches her with a smile. “Thank you, Julia. I’m grateful to you again.” She flutters her eyelashes at him, because murder always brings people together. Then they have a terribly urgent conversation for thirty seconds, standing two and a half inches apart and making unbroken eye contact.

He wants to get her back to her own time, but she brushes the idea aside. “Do you think I would leave? No, you need me here! Angelique thinks that I’m her Hoffman. I can find out all about her plans, before she starts them.”

He tries to talk sense to her, but she’s determined to stay right here in the wrong universe, and assume the identity of her evil twin. This kind of thing is probably happening behind bookcases all the time. You should check yours periodically, just in case.

“Barnabas, I will stay here, I will keep to this plan!” she announces, and then turns away with a childish grin. “Perhaps I like being a spy,” she explains. “I always wanted to be. Who hasn’t?”

And then she gives him a smile that she must have got off Jack Nicholson’s Joker when he wasn’t looking. This is clearly mental illness played as heroics. What is she talking about?

But this is Dark Shadows, red in tooth and claw, and if the mythopoetic trickster figure wants to dress in someone else’s skin and steal fire from the gods, then I guess it’s bad news for Br’er Fox, the Sky Father, Elmer Fudd or Parallel Angelique, as applicable.

So here’s Special Agent Julia Hoffman from the Federal Bureau of Instability, reporting for work at someone else’s job. And luckily, Angelique is off on one of her weird hate jags, where the crazy just tumbles effortlessly out of her mouth.

“I know my murderer, Julia,” she declares. She doesn’t, really. She knows that the doctor found evidence of foul play in the autopsy and assumed the murderer was Quentin, but the doctor, as she also knows, had several screws loose, all in mission-critical places. This might be the only example in supernatural fiction where a murdered spirit returns for vengeance and doesn’t have the faintest idea who their murderer actually was. It’s not a widely-used trope, because it makes everyone look foolish, including the writers and the audience.

Superspy Julia asks what she’s going to do about it, and Angelique indulges in a bit of dramatic clarification. “Everything, dear Julia,” she crows. “Everything.” This is not actually an answer to the question.

“Oh, I have so many plans,” she says, “and each one is better than the last!” I hope she waits long enough for a good one to come along; Angelique’s baseline for quality is not high.

Suddenly, Angelique feels faint and drops to the floor, unconscious. Well, I guess that solves that problem. Julia Hoffman is the most successful spy in the history of espionage.

The witch rallies enough to tell Julia to go find her father, who knows how to keep her life force operational. Of course, Julia doesn’t know what to do — this wasn’t covered in the briefing — so she has a rare moment of doubt.

“Her father,” Julia thinks. “What does she mean? I don’t even know where he lives!” Suddenly, there’s a breakthrough — “The phone book!” — and we’re back on track. You can’t keep Julia baffled for long.

When Julia arrives at Parallel Professor Stokes’ place, she finds the chemistry-wizard jamming fluids into the lady in his back parlor. He immediately launches into a conversation about his crackpot mad science experiment, which luckily happens to be within Julia’s area of expertise. She’s certainly more qualified for this conversation than she is for being a housekeeper. Ask Julia to get a stubborn stain out of the carpet and she’s essentially nowhere, but she’s been plugging dead bodies into electrical sockets for years.

“She did tell you about the body, didn’t she?” asks Stokes.

Julia plays for time. “She was so vague,” she says, “I’m afraid I don’t really understand.”

“Neither do I,” Stokes shrugs. “I must check the body, I was trying to calm it when you interrupted me.”

He heads for the back parlor, and Julia follows, unable to believe her luck. They’re giving people sedatives!

In the back room, they arrange themselves around the body on the slab, and Julia deftly extracts the narrative. Observe the technique.

Stokes:  A corpse! That’s what you’d think, wouldn’t you? But we know different. The one thing I overlooked was the strength of the continuing will to survive. Even now, she still struggles to regain her life force. How incredible the human spirit is.

Julia:  What do you mean, struggles to get back?

Stokes:  She wants to be alive, to walk and talk as we do!

Julia:  But you’ve — taken her life force away?

Stokes:  Come, Hoffman, don’t pretend to be surprised! Surely Angelique told you that her existence depends on the life force of another!

Julia:  I — I didn’t understand.

Stokes:  I thought I had removed the life force completely, but apparently not. When she uses her will, poor Angelique becomes as she was when she sent you here.

Julia:  But if anything happens to the body…

Stokes:  Angelique will die.

You see what I mean? Julia Hoffman has been a secret agent for seven minutes, not counting the station break and a commercial for Salvo Detergent Power Tablets. Look how great she is at this!

All she does is stand there and say “I’m afraid I don’t understand,” and presto, she gets the complete schematic for the Death Star, including the unshielded thermal exhaust ports. Barnabas has been battling Angelique for weeks with no measurable results, and here’s Rogue One, who takes down the Empire with a phone book and a smile.

Tomorrow: Barnabas, Julia and the Lady in the Back Parlor.


Dark Shadows bloopers to watch out for:

Barnabas tells Julia, “No, but it — nothing could be more dangerous for you!”

In act 2, Julia has to run from the Collinwood set to Stokes’ house for the next scene. As Stokes goes to open the door, we can hear her running to the set, and then she cries out, “Ooh!”

When Stokes shows Julia into the parlor, a camera gets into position behind the beaded curtain, and we can see and hear the cameraman moving the beads out of the way.

Angelique says to Julia, “Are you sure… You know my father so well, are you sure he was telling you the truth?”

Julia tells Barnabas that Angelique won’t miss the key she stole: “She has it only in her drawer, and keeps it for emergencies.”

Tomorrow: Barnabas, Julia and the Lady in the Back Parlor.

Dark Shadows episode guide

— Danny Horn


[syndicated profile] nytimes_homepage_feed

Posted by IAN JOHNSON

Millions have joined faith organizations like Fo Guang Shan, aiming to fill what they see as a moral vacuum. But to operate in China, groups like Fo Guang Shan must compromise.

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