I am an easily obsessed, soon to be engineer from Germany currently spooking in Shanghai. This blog is uncharted territory for now and I am exited to see how it will turn out. On the way lay countless fandoms, history geekery, art, hopefully some DIY and funny science.
This picture adorns a t-shirt I brought at the Propaganda Poster Art Museum in Shanghai (one of the rare places that treat Chinese history with honesty). It is easily my favorite motive in the collection. The original poster headline celebrates the never ending friendship between the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China. So it dates back to the 50s before the ugly breakup of diplomatic relations in 1960.
Any fangirl can guess my first though upon seeing it: I ship it!. I mean, look at them they are gorgeous. The next thing I realised was that the headline and the picture itself send two very different messages. Judging by the nervous giggles of the guys that accompanied me, I wasn’t the only one who doubted the whole “just friends” part. However the differences go further than the accidental homoerotic subtext, while the headline uses the typical communistic propaganda speech there are no flags or uniforms and no demonized or defeated enemies shown, instead the picture speaks about cross-racial understanding, peace (the doves) and prosperity (the fruits - an important part since the people of both countries knew starvation and hunger only too well).
This poster shows a message the world could use a lot more of. Why is nobody making advertisements that manipulates people into peaceful coexistence instead of buying cigarettes?
Sidenote: The museums shop offered this motive only on guy-shirts so it’s far to big for me but thanks to my loyal sewing machine, it will fit soon and then I can irritate my guy-friends to no end. :D
There is a very interesting exchange on the Odin-Loki dynamic going on in this post:
I think it is important for this discussion to separate the different incarnations (namely the movie-, comic- and legendary personifications) of Loki and Odin since they differ significantly in motivation and experience. I find it problematic to support an argument for movie!Loki with stories of myth!Loki because they act based on very different motives.
Let me explain what I mean:
The traditional perception of the Scandinavian lore sees Loki as some kind of devil-equivalent, the antagonist to Odin. However applying the “good vs. bad”-concept that is routed in the monotheistic religions on a polytheistic believe is like trying to measure weight with a clock. There are no dark or bright goods in these kind of religions they are all gray. Their characterization in the stories we can still read today is bend to fit with the “good vs. bad”-scenario because these books were written by christian priests who were the first people to come in contact with the Scandinavian culture that left us written sources which survived. But to make sense of this mess of goods, legends and war stories they applied the concepts and structures they knew, the christian ones.
To make a long story short, the Loki of the ancient myth is not an evil person not like the devil is defined as evil. If one looks at the tales surrounding him there are some reoccurring tropes that give us hints on what myth!Loki was described by the vikings themselves.
The first one is commonly presented in the storybooks as “pranks gone wrong”. Loki plays a bad trick on someone by exploiting a gods weakness but the “good”-god overcomes his weakness and therefore Loki looses. The legend about Sifs hair is the most prominent example. Of course this kind of tale could also be told very differently without changing the plot. Also important is the fact that these old stories all operate on a very psychological level and teach lessons on basic human behavior.
Loki forces the gods to confront their weaknesses by sticking his finger in the wound. He sets a painful but necessary process of self-realization into motion in order to let the other grow. Sif has fallen into the trap of vanity by clinging so strongly to her hair. Most likely she is afraid of loosing her femininity if she would follow the warriors path completely and that holds her back. When she woke up after Loki had cut her hair she must have been shocked and hurt but soon after she realized that she is still a woman and that it is a lot easier to fight without constantly thinking what the blood and the mud will do to her hair. The tale does not tells us about the next encounter of Sif and Loki when Sifs development into a warrior-goddess is complete but considering her characterization it’s not unlikely she thanked him.
But not all gods are as noble as Sif which leads to the second trope of stories about myth!Loki: his violation by the other goods. The high and mighty never like to be criticized or be rubbed their mistakes into their faces. They take bloody revenge for it. These numerous punishments and tortures shape Loki into the murderer of Baldur. This chain of tales gives a very instructive example on how people change because of how they are treated by others. (Another impressive work on this is “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë) Basically the gods are digging their own grave here. By constantly hurting Loki (and just to clarify this, the punishments stand in no reasonable proportion to Lokis pranks/crimes) they forge the very weapon that would be their downfall. When Loki kills Baldur, and with that starting Ragnarök, he rips the community of gods of their only truly noble member just like the goods robbed him of all that was good and kind in him.
The most tragic part of this is that Odin knew what was going to happen all along and he could do absolutely nothing about it. (Once he exchanged one of his eyes to learn about the fate of the world and Ragnarök.) The Vikings had a very fatalistic approach on life that is hard to understand for people of our time. To them fate could not be altered and the end of the world was an unchangeable fact a necessity even considering that the world-tree Yggdrasil has to die in order to let a new tree take root instead (which is a symbol for the circle of life that is driven by death and rebirth = winter followed by spring). In this light it is also possible to interpret Odins actions as totally appropriate. Yggdrasil and every living being in it had to die but there are few things that can kill a god. To fulfill fate Loki had to become the destroyer of worlds and killer of gods, therefore Odin made him just that.
However this situation is completely different in the comics. There Odin gave his eye for knowledge of the future too but fate is not fixed. The end of the world has come and gone several times and most of them are still around. Odin knew what the constant violation of his sons would turn them into (in contrary to the myth it’s not just a far relative who is doing this to Loki, it’s his father!). He had a choice to change the future he saw and he didn’t give a damn.
This is not an attempt of excusing comic!Lokis actions just an explanation why he became a villain. Kid!Loki shows clearly that he hasn’t been a evil person from the beginning. That’s why I consider comic!Odin a villain. If you build a bomb (even if it’s one that can decide for itself weather it want to explode or not) you are jointly responsible for the damage it does.
Finally, in the movie-verse Odin has no magical foresight. He lost his eye in the battle on Jotunheim most likely in a fight against Laufey. He is just as clueless as a parent as any human father. On the other hand we got no hint whatsoever that he could have been violent against his sons. As far as we know movie!Lokis killing-spree is not rooted in an abusive childhood. As Tom Hiddelston said himself, it is caused by self-hatred. The question is, were does it came from?
My personal presumption on what was going on in movie!Odins head while his sons were growing up is this: he took the child as a chance for peace, to raise him into an Asgard-friendly king of Jotunheim. That’s why he could tell both of his young sons that they would be kings. Of course when the time came to start Lokis training for this task (and taking over Jotunheim as an Asgardian prince would require some preparation, rightful heir or not) movie!Odin knew the boy well enough to see that the revelation of his heritage would devastate him. So he took the path of least resistance and did not tell him, did not train him to become a king and stopped telling him he would be ruling some day. He couldn’t know that this would make matters worse. But this lie would only be the trigger to movie!Lokis mental breakdown not its reason. That would be the Asgardian hate for the Jotuns which turned against movie!Loki himself when he learned about his heritage. This hate is so deeply imparted in the minds of Thor, Loki and everyone else that it looks like racism to me. And here lies movie!Odins real mistake, how could he allow people to tell his child his ancestors are monsters, how could he not step in and contradict this demagoguery when the quite and friendly boy himself is every proof one needs to see Jotuns are not evil by default?
Still this does not make movie!Odin responsible for movie!Lokis actions. Unlike comic!Odin he didn’t cause Lokis psychopathy he just wasn’t able to pervent it.
… well this was long … if anyone actually reads it through I grant her or him a free tumblr-wish!
so..i never hate on people for their ships and i think any type of ship is fine
there are some i just don’t understand
This is quite a funny collection you made there.
Still, as a ScienceBro working for the shipbuilding department (look for answers here (x)) I just can not restrain myself from adding a few points to this.
So, first picture: What the hell is this? It’s called a Special Transport Vessel and despite the alien shape it’s made of crazy high-tech. These ships can load enormous amounts of water in order to sink themselves so deeply that only the white top buildings will still be above the water-surface. (Which is a highly complicated process, most ships would simply capsize.) But why? Because then the gaping hole in the middle will be under water, making it possible for small ships or the submarine you see here to “hop on” and being elevated out of the water with the carrier ship as it drains it ballast water tanks. Therefore giving a shipowner or the navy the opportunity to maintain/repair/rescue them in the middle of the pacific ocean. Ships like this also come in incredibly handy if you want to transport a gigantic oil-platform to its destination and install it in open waters, especially since platforms come in sizes nowadays that can not be handled with floating cranes anymore. A bunch of awesome pictures can be found here (x) and here (x).
On to the second one: This is one of the stranger incarnations of an Offshore Supply Vessel. It is rather short and has a huge heli-deck on top of its bow. Quite a challenging design, since the heli-deck works like a fat kid on one side of a seesaw. To balance the whole thing out (and keep the ship from capsizing) you need another fat kid on the opposite side. In this case the second kid is most likely the main engine which must be small but incredibly strong at the same time. These tiny ships can drag oil-platform-anchors around and are irreplaceable for high sea rescue missions. During such an event the helicopter would drop of people on the ships platform and fly back imediatly to save more humans instead of wasting time by flying to the shore. The heli-deck is not located on back of the ship because this space is needed as transportation space for supplies and equipment.
Number three suffers a lot from the perspective, it actually looks like this x. Everyone who screams STAR WARS now is right! But this is also real. There are two technologies adding to its science fiction design. For one it’s a trimaran (x) which means it has three very narrow hulls that make the ship faster, more energy efficient and more stable than a mono-hull ship of comparable size. The military assets of this nasty little friend are listed here x. The second prominent design feature is called stealth technology (x). In order to minimize the radar signature of planes, ships and vehicles, they are equipped with a prism like surface which will redirect the radar signal away from its source. (Normally it would be reflected to and then tracked by the radar, giving away its position as a little green pulsing spot on the screen.)
And the last one. Why are ships even painted? In most cases ships wear the colors of its company (all Maersk ships come in baby-blue and all AIDAs with a painted face) but the stuff they plaster on the steel hull of a ship is more than just color. It’s called coating and it works as a Jack of all trades device to protect the ships skin. Coating prevents the steel from rusting (the sea salt-water is so aggressive even the normal stainless steal would rust from it) and keeps algae and shells from overgrowing it. Without it a ship would look like your average wreck in five years. There is even coating that imitates the skin of certain fish like sharks (x). Therefore it is able to reduce the friction between water and ship which makes the ship either faster or saves millions of dollars for fuel. And of course coating comes in every color the shipowner could possibly wish for. So why do they use this awful 60s color-palette? My personal theory is this, if a ship is painted in sandy yellow, muddy brown or mold green, dirt and rust and algae don’t show themselves as much and therefor it will cover up that the ship is maintained badly. So year, I am fully with you on this point, these colors are terrible!
oh … my poor babies!
Favorite ladies from history ⇨ Émilie du Châtelet
Claim to fame: The love of Voltaire’s life and a brilliant mathematician in her own right
Why she’s on the list: Emilie is the list, let’s be honest. This woman was so incredibly brilliant that it makes my head hurt. Not only could she write and speak in fluent German, Greek, and Latin by the age of twelve, but in an era when women were supposed to sit still and look pretty, Emilie was busy translating Issac Newton’s Principia Mathematica into what ultimately became the standard French edition. Furthermore, although she was married by the time she took up with Voltaire, she openly flaunted her love affair with Monsieur Candide, and when she held court at their rustic chateau, she did so from a giant bathtub where she would discuss philosophy while gorging herself on pastries and sloshing around in the tub. How do you say “baddest bitch” en français?
Appearance: Tall, black hair, sea-green eyes
Personality traits: You mean other than INTIMIDATING AS HELL?
Required reading: Emilie Du Chatelet: Daring Genius of the Enlightenment by Judith Zinsser
Notable quotable: As her father once said, “My youngest flaunts her mind and frightens away the suitors.”
Well, if we want interstellar travel we have to leave her with them:
And why not add some more? They can throw a Science-Party!
You have no idea how much I love MARVEL for making “smart” so sexy and heroic! Kids need smart heroes!