Join Didga and and her owner on a beautiful bike ride around their beach town of Coolangatta, Australia. This isn't just a boring "cat in a basket" bike ride... This is Didga and she doesn't know the meaning of the word "boring".
Submitted by: (via The Catmantoo)
So I am asking if there are still any graphics makers around here who would like to make a few banners to replace the lost ones. They will be used here on LJ as well as on our mirror community on dreamwidth stevedannoslash
And speaking of the mirror community...I have already imported the entries from here to there. Imports will happen once a week if things become more active again with the start of the new season.
Pairing: Severus Snape/Harry Potter
Summary: Some opportunities are too good to miss, and some aren't.
Word Count: 365
Warnings: Mild angst.
A/N: Written for hogwarts365/hogwarts365's prompt # 201: “Sometimes I wonder if my heart is like a black hole--it's so dense that there's no room for light, but that doesn't mean it can't still suck me in.” ― Jasmine Warga, My Heart and Other Black Holes, Height, Nimbus Racing Broom Company.
Beta(s): sevfan and emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.
( Photo Op )
Catnip- what does it do exactly? Are cats really getting high because of it? And why are some cats completely into it and others aren't? Enjoy a catnip party with Smoothie & Milkshake, and see how they'll react to it.
Did you know that only about 50 % of cats respond to catnip? And they all react in different ways: some cats are getting more mellow, others go hunting & some cats will just roll over the floor (like Smoothie does in this video). Usually the response will last 5 to 10 minutes, after which the cat becomes temporarily immune to catnip's effects for roughly 30 minutes. The chemical that gives the reaction is called "nepetalactone". Catnip is considered to be non-addictive and completely harmless to cats, so don't worry, it's not dangerous! Catnip plants are popular in herb gardens and grows widely as a weed.
Submitted by: (via Smoothie the cat on youtube)
Turkey holds six rights activists on charges of aiding terror group
Amnesty International urged the British government to end its silence over Turkey’s slide into authoritarian rule on Tuesday after its local director and five other activists were remanded in custody on accusations of belonging to a terrorist organisation. It is possible the six will now be held in jail for as long as two years before their full trial comes to court.
Idil Eser, local director of the London-based organisation, was one of a group of activists including a German and a Swedish national detained on 5 July while attending a routine workshop on digital security and information management near Istanbul.
Turkey’s state prosecutor had asked the court on Monday to remand all 10 in custody pending trial on charges of membership of a terrorist organisation. Six were retained in jail to give the prosecution time to assemble full charges. Four others were released.
John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International director of Europe and central Asia, said: “Too many western governments have been locked in a fatal embrace with the Turkish government at the moment it slides into an authoritarian direction. Everyone knows this is happening in Turkey, and it needs to be said. These arrests represent a red line, and must be the moment when the terms of engagement with Turkey are reset.”
Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty UK, said: “We are grateful for the work the British government have done behind the scenes. But a moment of truth has arrived. It should stand up in public to say this is an abuse that will not be tolerated.”
Dalhuisen said the charges, including membership of a terrorist organisation, were absurd since the director was being accused of being a member of three diametrically opposed terrorist organisations. He said the meeting at which the group had been initially arrested concerned the most mundane issues of digital security training and working in an hostile environment. The first day’s course included a yoga session, he said.
Dalhuisen said: “This case is taking place in front of a hounding by the media and an entirely compliant prosecutor and judicial system. These arrests are an attack on Turkish civil society and this is now obvious to all of Turkey’s international partners.”
Privately, Theresa May, leading a country that has strived to remain close to the Turkish regime after the failed coup last year, raised the arrests at a recent meeting with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the G20 meeting in Hamburg a fortnight ago.
The British Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan said he was very concerned by the arrests. “We continue to urge the Turkish authorities to uphold international standards with regard to the rule of law, including the presumption of innocence, and to protect fundamental rights including freedom of expression and assembly,” he said.
But many western countries are heavily dependent on Turkish security cooperation over the return of jihadist foreign fighters from Syria, and do not want to risk jeopardising this priority. The west also recognises the slowdown in mainly Syrian refugees into Europe is dependent on a deal struck with Erdoğan two years ago.
Amnesty indicated that it may now take four to six months for the next phase of the judicial hearing to occur, with a further six to 12 months for the trial itself to be brought to court. The remand can also be challenged once a month, but the charges are so vague, and wide-ranging that it is more likely international political pressure will lead to their release, as opposed to evidence in a court of law.
The detention of 10 activists is part of a wider crackdown following last July’s failed coup attempt. As many as 200,000 public servants have lost their jobs, creating a climate of fear. Erdoğan also retains strong popular support bolstered by an enthusiastic media.
The six human rights defenders remanded in custody detained are İdil Eser (Amnesty International), Günal Kurşun (Human Rights Agenda Association), Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens’ Assembly), Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association), Ali Gharavi (a Swedish IT strategy consultant) and Peter Steudtner (non-violence and wellbeing trainer). Steudtner is a German citizen, and his partner Magdalena Freudenschuss said on Monday: “These charges are totally absurd. They are almost the opposite of what Peter and Ali and the other human rights defenders stand for with their work: for non-violence, for human rights.”
Martin Schulz, the SDP candidate for the chancellorship, said: “The limit of what one could tolerate has been exceeded. You cannot be silent. Even the government of our country is not. What is going on in Turkey is unbearable and crosses all borders. Mr Erdoğan is about to dismantle the rule of law.”
The leader of the German Greens, Cem Özdemir, said Turkey’s arrests were likely to damage its economy. “You have to make it clear to Ankara that they endanger the branch they are sitting on,” he said, pointing out Turkey is dependent on good economic relations with the EU. “I do not see how you can invest safely in this country. There is no legal certainty in Turkey for anyone.”
A total of 22 Germans, including prominent journalists, have been arrested since the coup, possibly reflecting regime anger at the way in which Turkish ministers were not allowed to speak in Germany during the referendum campaign to give Erdoğan new powers.
Deniz Yücel, a dual German-Turkish citizen and journalist for Die Welt, was arrested on 27 February on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting public violence, after first being detained on 14 February. He faces up to 10.5 years in jail if convicted.
Berlin to change policy towards Turkey as German citizen is held
Germany’s foreign minister has announced a significant “reorientation” of its policy towards Turkey after a human rights activist became the latest German citizen to be detained for alleged terrorist activity.
“We need our policies towards Turkey to go in a new direction ... we can’t continue as we have done until now,” Sigmar Gabriel told reporters at a press conference in Berlin on Thursday. “We need to be clearer than we have been until now so those responsible in Ankara understand that such policies are not without consequences.”
Berlin has issued new travel warnings of risks in Turkey for German tourists, and Gabriel said his government could no longer guarantee German corporate investment in Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government accused several companies including Daimler and BASF of ties to the movement of his political enemy Fethullah Gülen.
Gabriel also said he could not envisage talks on expanding the customs union to Turkey and would talk to other EU leaders about reviewing pre-accession funds being offered to Turkey.
The announcement marks a further deterioration of increasingly strained relations between the two countries.
German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner was detained at a human rights workshop on Monday with five others including Amnesty International’s country director, Idil Eser, for allegedly aiding a terror group.
The Turkey correspondent of the German broadsheet Die Welt, Deniz Yücel, has been detained on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation since February. Pre-trial detention in Turkey can last for up to five years.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, views the series of measures announced by Gabriel as “necessary and unavoidable”, her spokesman said in a tweet.
Reacting to the measures, Erdoğan’s spokesman said the two countries had “good relations”.
“It is not possible for us to accept statements aiming to blur the economic environment based on political motivation, we hope they turn back from this,” Ibrahim Kalin told a news conference in Ankara.
Some leading political figures in Germany accuse Erdoğan of gathering “political hostages” in an attempt to force Germany to hand over two high-ranking Turkish generals involved in last year’s failed coup who have applied for asylum in Frankfurt.
“Deniz Yücel and Peter Steudtner are being traded as political hostages,” said German Green party co-chair Cem Özdemir. “The government must no longer be ordered around.” A spokesperson at the German foreign office on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of a swap deal.
The foreign office’s travel warning states that Turkey had breached its international commitments by denying consular access to German citizens on pre-trial arrest. Even people travelling to Turkey for short trips are therefore advised to register themselves with the consulate or embassy ahead of their trip.
Turkey has described Germany’s demand for the release of human rights activist Steudtner as unacceptable and an attempt to interfere with the Turkish judiciary.
In a statement published on Thursday, Turkey’s foreign ministry said it has kept Germany’s chargé d’affaires in Ankara informed of Steudtner’s case, adding, “the independent Turkish judiciary must be trusted”.
The ministry said statements by the spokesmen for the German chancellor and foreign ministry constituted “diplomatic rudeness” and said the judiciary cannot be instructed or counselled by anyone.
The foreign ministry accused Germany of a “double standard”, saying it harbours members of terror groups and prevents their trial.
Also this opinion piece: Turkey’s democracy is dying – but this brutal crackdown can’t last
Having the feelings in the first place is a wondrous and hard-fought thing, and I'm keeping my eye on that as I process.
There's been a lot of left and leaving recently. Three people left their jobs at my place of work and left a vacuum that has still not been filled. Their leaving increased the amount of work on my plate to such a degree that when it's time for the creative part of my job I'm already depleted from the administrivia I'm doing, and my creativity feels forced and lacking. The hard conversations I had with colleagues last week happened while two of my closest local friends were away on vacation, so I felt their absence keenly, too. Then my brother. This all twists up with the bigger narratives of my life about leaving - especially about leaving England - in ways I haven't quite fully pinned down. But at least I see the patterns, or the patterns that my brain finds important, at least.
Leaving things has been my path to freedom. I wonder if, because that leaving was so big and important, I used up my share of goodwill where leaving is concerned, and now I just fear it. Lots to think about.
I left in the wee hours of the morning today and will be away this weekend for a wedding. I'm so sad to miss Dog-A-Thon tomorrow, but I do hope that some of you will be attending and represent the cats for Team IBKC. Details on the event can be found HERE.
We will see you on Monday with more fundraising wrap ups, thank yous, and lots of pics of our Alexanders exploring. See you then!
And enjoy this show ---prepare yourself for lots of super fun crazy kitten action!!!
Producer Peter Chinn used a combination of dimensional ultrasound scans, tiny cameras and computer graphics to create these truly mesmerizing images. But lets face it… They are still a bit creepy.
He did this project for a National Geographic documentary that aired several years ago. Now mind that they are not actual photographs, this is digital images in what the unborn baby relatively accurately looks like.
A song that you would love played at your wedding.
As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. ( wedding reminiscences plus video )
I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.
It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.
I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual
hey we're just doing this as long as we both like itrelationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.
I think it was ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions
our wedding daybut primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you
I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I
would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?