renly » king

(fic) a tin of plastic dinosaurs

Title: a tin of plastic dinosaurs
Fandom: Pacific Rim
Author: cattiechaos/stormingthecastle on tumblr/omnia-sol on ao3 (phew, that's a lot!)
Summary: kid!fic with Newt and Hermann as precocious first graders who argue over plastic dinosaurs and the merits of mathematics.
Notes: Written for the Jaegercon gift exchange on tumblr for eggwish! Please enjoy! * g *

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hannibal » silhouette

First friends-cut

I just did my first friends-cut, removing just about 35 people who I haven't talked to or really "connected" with. If you're still on my friends' list, it means I am genuinely invested in a friendship with you; it means I automatically connect your lj name to your actual name/face and that I'm here for you, not just as an online friend but an actual friend. If you think you've been removed by accident, please send me a PM.

Best wishes, and may the road rise up to meet you! ♥
hannibal » silhouette

Anders Breivik trial

I remember when news of the car bomb in Oslo last July first appeared in the news. Like others I was unaware of the gravity of the situation even as Anders Breivik went on his rampage against youth participants of the Labour Party on the island of Utoeya, Norway. His trial (currently on-going) will determine whether he is insane and committed to a mental institution, or sane and sentenced to prison (Norway does not have a death penalty).

Personally, I believe he is sane. His thought process and ability to present information in a logical manner is chilling, although he also mentioned "100 voices" in his head telling him not to shoot his first victims. He continues to describe how he shot people who were "begging for their lives" and "paralysed in fear" adding that he was "under normal circumstances a very nice person, very caring about those around me" and able to understand how his actions were "horrifying" to others. He also mentions that he is capable of feeling sadness, and his "saddest day" was the funeral of his best friend's brother.

This ability to feel empathy, if not remorse, as well as the ability to objectively understand why others do not support his actions, seems to me the thought process of a sane man. Obviously I am not certified to give a psychological evaluation but this is a place to assert my opinions, after all.

What I found interesting is that he claimed S. Korea and Japan were the ideal states, as they had "taken a stand against multiculturalism and Marxism in the 1970s". Although he denies he is a neo-Nazi, he has begun each trial proceeding with a right-wing salute against the wishes of his lawyers.

Reading the live tweets of the trial from Paul Brennan (who is reporting from the court room) is bizarre. To quote Breivik's testimony: "And I thought, do I really want to survive this? I will be the most hated man in Norway". If he really is sane, I think it would somehow make his crimes more atrocious, more horrifying. How could anyone delude themselves into thinking that the cold-blooded murder of youths could ever contribute to the glory of their countries? But do I even have to ask this question? We all know what kind of world we live in, a world that is good and kind but all too often unspeakably cruel beyond what the average person could imagine.

These are my thoughts.

Source: BBC News
The Guardian
Paul Brennan @ Twitter
hannibal » silhouette

Kony 2012 (and repercussions)

By now I'm certain that many of you have caught notice of Invisible Children's video/campaign against Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony and his child army. He is the head of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) which seeks to overthrow the current Ugandan government and replace it with a theocratic government based on the 10 Commandments (Kony claims that he is under instruction from God.) 66,000 children have been abducted and enslaved by Kony in an attempt to raise forces for his army; he has been charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court in 2005 but has managed to evade capture. He is on the list of most wanted criminals in the world.

I'm not here to encourage you to watch Invisible Children's video on Joseph Kony (which has gone viral over most social networking sites); I'm only here to spread the word a little more. If you're going to donate to this cause I encourage you to donate through Unicef or another charitable institution considering Invisible Children does not have a good reputation as to the amount of money that makes it to the actual victims.

I'm just pleased (if surprised) that this issue has suddenly gone viral. It is not "recent" by any means but I am glad that people are rallying around this issue even if they are not usually aware of social justice. To the people that decry "bandwaggoners" of this issue, I can only say that you are missing the point, which is to make people realize that the world is bigger than what directly affects us. We have failed as a global community as we have consistently failed in the past, and we will never rectify this unless we become aware of the issues that surround us. It's not only Joseph Kony's child army in Uganda; an issue that is dear to my heart is the independence movement in Chechnya, which has been a war zone since it declared independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. (The whole reason I fell under a brief spell of senioritis was because I became aware of this issue, and studying just seemed pointless to me.)

I know that not all of you pay attention to politics or concern yourselves with the goings on in the world (my best friend is one of them) and even if I don't agree, I can't judge you for that. Social justice is very pertinent to my lifestyle values and something I wish to dedicate the rest of my life to. Be aware of what's going on around you, because one day if there is no one left to fight for your rights, you will have to fight for them yourself.

Edit: Jason Russel, co-founder of the organization Invisible Children and director of the Kony 2012 video was hospitalized due to "extreme dehydration and stress" and was detained for public masturbation and public nudity. The Ugandan government has released a video on Youtube decrying the Kony 2012 for misleading information, claiming that Joseph Kony is no longer in Uganda and that the video aggravated the issue by supporting the use of military force. Read more about that on the Huffington Post's article here.
hannibal » silhouette

Class warfare

Just wanted to spread awareness about the latest clash between the 1% and the 99%, involving a wealthy banker leaving a 1% tip on a $133 bill; worse, he scrawled "GET A REAL JOB" on the receipt. Read more about it here.

Class warfare has risen to the forefront of American politics after the Occupy protests rose to prominence across major cities around the world. I suppose we can thank this banker for bringing it back into the news again amidst the crisis in Syria and Eurozone bailout of Greece. Doesn't the banker know, Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus? (Never tickle a sleeping dragon, motto of Hogwarts.)

What is your opinion about the Occupy movements? Do you think they should stop protesting and go get jobs? Would you join them? I'm somewhere in between - I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative and I always have international consequences in mind. All I believe is that there is most definitely a storm brooding on the horizon.
hannibal » silhouette

Iowa caucus and 2012 Presidential race

Good-bye, Michele Bachmann. You may join Herman Cain by the refreshments booth. I will let you finish, Herman Cain, but if you're going to quote Pokemon you should at least quote the theme song.

(I haven't posted anything political in a while. Time to rectify that.)

My Iowa caucus wish came true: "Anyone but Rick Santorum." I am not a fan of the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google "Santorum" - it's the first thing that comes up. And for those of you who think I'm being cruel for taking a cheap shot like that, I'll just say I take a dim view of those who compare gay marriage to 9/11, his relationship with his mother-in-law ("I love my mother-in-law, should we call that relationship marriage?") and the true gem: "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery."

Thankfully (and it's a sad world where I have to be thankful for this), Mitt Romney beat Rick Santorum by a measly 8 votes. I'm still sadly raging over the lack of love for Jon Huntsman, by the way. God forbid we have a moderate on the Presidency. The lovely former ambassador to China probably spelled his doom when he tweeted "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy". That probably wasn't a good idea, seeing as the Republican party is generally known for supporting climate change or creationist theory over global warming. (Not saying this about all Republicans; it's just what the party is generally known for, just like they are generally pro-life and supportive of small government.)

The really fun part is that I'll actually be able to vote for the 2012 Presidential Election. I don't know where I'm going to end up for college - if it's one of the schools in D.C., I'll be right in the heat of action; if I go to Scotland or England, I'll just have to mail in my vote. It's a little...pathetic? but I think the upcoming presidential election is going to impact where I decide to go to college XD Helping out on a campaign would be fuuun!

^ Those are my friends' reactions when I go on and on about politics XD
hannibal » silhouette

US to offer more flights to Cuba

In AP Economics (which doubles as our current events class, like it or not) we discussed the implications of nine US airlines offering charter flight to Cuba, bringing the number from three to twelve. The reason for this is that Americans who have family in Cuba would like to go back to visit their relatives, friends, homeland, etc. Now, Cuba and the United States have never had good relations with each other. I'm not talking about the US and the former USSR with that little spat over communism. Forget the communism, it's not even about that - go back to the 1898 Spanish America War and that's where the problems started (if not before) over the explosion of the USS Maine. Of course, the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis really didn't help matters much.

I'm really surprised that Cuba is working so closely with the American government and the US airlines to get this figured out. It's for the welfare of their citizens, of course, and I am surprised but pleased that we are working together to bring this about safely and efficiently. After a century's worth of bad blood, is it possible for two nations to get along with each other, even if they never have before?

On a somewhat unrelated note, I hear Cuban cigars are fabulous.