natasha romanoff & melinda may + (temporarily) tied to chairs
I’ve tried writing this meta about five times and wound up just melting into a puddle of emotions each time, but this is as coherent as I can be about the two of them (and allofthefeelings, thebrightgeist, etc, feel free to jump in here…)
I lovelovelove parallel gifsets like these because they show how similar and yet distinct the two of them are as agents and as people. Just in their fighting styles: Natasha fights like it is a dance, May like it is a competition to be won, and no wonder, given what we know about their respective backgrounds and upbringings. In the promo materials for the show May was described as having more black belts than Natasha, and I don’t think that that is meant to discredit either character nor pit them against each other - simply to say that May probably grew up collecting black belts while other kids collected whatever normal kids usually do. And it shows in how she fights: she fights in technical, precise, carefully calculated bursts of power, where Nat is more fluidity and grace, matter-of-fact destruction.
SHIELD must have had a running betting pool on a Romanoff vs May fight, but I don’t think that was how it was between them at all. They wouldn’t have been in competition with one another, much less wanted to. Natasha’s job was to extract secrets, May’s to extract people. Years ago, in the beginning, Fury used Nat to turn the tide in SHIELD’s favor, and used May as a Hail Mary in desperate situations; by the time we meet them the roles have flipped and Nat is sent in with the Avengers as one last desperate Hail Mary, while May tries to turn the tide as SHIELD falls.
The world’s most lethal women, and Melinda May calls the Black Widow Nat. Koenig boasts of a lie machine even Romanoff couldn’t beat, and Melinda May smirks a that’s my girl smirk - the same one she uses for Simmons, and for Skye - at the very mention of Romanoff as the standard. Maybe May didn’t know how to be a friend, not after Bahrain, and maybe Nat wasn’t looking to make friends, but May became a mentor, someone Natasha looked up to and respected.
And it makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, a long time ago Agent Melinda May flew in to extract a newly turned agent who was backed into a corner, who other people had left, who other people had thought unworthy of trust, of rescue. And if after an eight hour flight spent in silence, that newly turned agent sensed something in the pilot that made her confess that she didn’t think SHIELD would come for her.
SHIELD didn’t, Melinda said, after a long time. I did.
And maybe, just maybe, in the years that pass they train together - in private, in the dead of the night, for May doesn’t perform and Nat has no need to - and learn from each other. Melinda teaches Nat wushu, Nat teaches May to improvise. Years later, May reaches for the nail gun, reaches for the electrical wire, saves her own life.
And Bahrain happens, and Natasha watches May make the choice of the good man, make the choice to leave behind all she’s ever known and train for, to do no more harm, to destroy herself before she can rebuild.
Natasha tries to wipe out the red. May tries to let the girl go. Neither of them really can.
Five years pass. New York happens and SHIELD falls, and Natasha makes the same choice May did, to blow all the covers she’s built and start all over again.
Regimes fall everyday, but Melinda May and Natasha Romanoff don’t. They fight on.
The phone rings, and Natasha picks up. “Nat,” Melinda says, and her voice cracks.
Natasha sits in silence and listens to Melinda fall apart without making a sound.
"Thank you," May says at the end, and she understands.
This photo was taken over 20 years ago by Todd Robertson during a KKK rally in northeast Georgia. One of the boys approached a black state trooper, who was holding his riot shield on the ground. Seeing his reflection, the boy reached for the shield, and Robertson snapped the photo.
I think the officer’s expression says it all. This child standing before him is being taught how to hate even though he doesn’t understand it. He probably doesn’t understand the difference between this and Halloween.
If any post on my blog gets really big, I hope it’s this one.
this is really fucking sad
i think of everything we learn without even noticing
Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman-Hughes, 1972 and 2014
(Photo credit: Dan Bagan)
and you can choose what kind of tree you want to become
just imagine cemeteries looking like this
life after death
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT
this is the first thing that’s made me feel ok about death
Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that stretch 4 billion light-years from end to end. The structure is a light quasar group (LQG), a collection of extremely luminous Galactic Nulcei powered by supermassive central black holes.
So that’s cool and everything, but maybe some of you would be interested to know why this is a significant find? Beyond just its record-setting bigness.
Since Einstein, physicists have accepted something called the Cosmological Principle, which states that the universe looks the same everywhere if you view it on a large enough scale. You might find some weird shit over here, and some other freaky shit over there, but if you pull back the camera far enough, you’ll find that same weird and/or freaky shit cropping up over and over again in a fairly regular distribution. This is because the universe is (probably) infinite in size and (we are pretty darn sure) has, and has always had, the same forces acting on it everywhere.
So why is this new LQG so radical? (It stands for ‘Large Quasar Group,’ btw, not ‘Light Quasar Group.’)
Well, let’s try to comprehend the scale we’re dealing with. A ‘megaparsec,’ written Mpc, is about 3.2 million light years long. The Milky Way is about 0.03 Mpc across (or 100,000 light years). The distance between our galaxy and Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbor, is 0.75 Mpc, or 2.5 million light years. LQGs are usually about 200 Mpc across. Assuming a logarithmic distribution of weird shit outliers (if you don’t know how logarithmic distribution curves work, don’t worry about it), cosmologists predicted that nothing in the universe should be more than 370 Mpc across.
This new LQG is 1200 Mpc long. That’s four billion light years. Four BILLION LIGHT YEARS. Just to travel from one side to the other of this one thing. I mean for fuck’s sake, the universe is only about 14 billion years old! How many of these things could there be?
Right now it looks like the Cosmological Principle might be out the window, unless physicists can find some way to make the existence of this new LQG work with the math (and boy, are they trying). And that’s totally baffling. It would mean—well, we don’t have any idea what it would mean. That the universe isn’t essentially uniform? That some ‘special’ physics apply/applied in some places but not in others? That Something Happened that is totally outside our current ability to understand or quantify stuff happening?
By the way, no one lives there. The radiation from so many quasars would sterilize rock.
Prompt: Mitchsen- becas POV, moments when beca is shocked/pleased when Aubrey introduces her as her girlfriend bc Aubrey is still struggling with being “out.” Maybe she does it first to a stranger like a cashier or waitress and then the Bella’s and then her family. Or you could just choose one idc :)-Via Anonymous. I liked this prompt a lot. <3
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