Hey Simon. I have a friend who is sometimes suicidal and I feel like I say all the wrong things to help them. They’re pretty good about getting into a clinic when that happens, but I have no idea what to say in the meantime. I’ve read resources but all they usually say is ‘what NOT to say’. Do you have any advice or resources?

If they have this as a constant problem, it is likely clinical, meaning chemical, which means their mind is not capable of doing what it needs to. When dealing with someone like this, I tend to use a kind of logic that asks them to build the argument for why they shouldn’t commit suicide, but this can only be done if they trust you and you know the right questions to ask.

I sometimes also discuss why Ive never committed to self-annihilation.

What’s your favourite Alexander the Great story?






Probably how he tamed his horse, because that is some straight up Mary Sue level bullshit that no one would ever believe except the people who saw it wrote it down going “Yeah son of a bitch the kid did it what the hell.”

… I am intrigued. Elaboration?

When he was still a young teenager, his dad, King Philip of Macedon, went to look at a super awesome horse that a horse breeder was showing off trying to get the king to buy. Philip took his son along because horse shopping was the sort of father/son bonding ritual you did back in the day. 

Well, turns out this horse is beautiful and strong and fiery and wonderful and no one can ride it. Philip and his advisers agree that it is a gorgeous example of a horse, but regretfully they don’t want a half-wild and unmanageable stallion and they’re gonna turn the deal down.

At this point Alexander, who’s been watching very carefully, says “It would be a shame to lose such a wonderful horse” and just fuckin goes over to the half-wild stallion, catches hold of the bridle, and hops up on the 1500 pound half-wild horse. 

(This is a good way to get super dead, if anyone is wondering, but Alex never, once in his life, gave even a single fuck.)

Phillip and all his advisers are slightly freaking out now, visions of tragically dead and trampled prince and heir flashing before their eyes. And Alex, the little shit, proceeds to ride that horse around the paddock as calmly as a lamb. The horse quiets down and behaves beautifully. Everyone goes “What the actual fuck.” Philip is crying tears of manly pride, and according to legend says here “My son, you must find a kingdom big enough for you.”

(What happened, see, is that Alexander, being an observant sort, noticed that the stallion was shying from his own shadow. And so he turned the horse towards the sun, where Bucephalus did not see his shadow and therefore calmed down.)

Bucephalus would go on to carry Alexander through battle after battle, to an empire that reached from Greece to Africa to India. When the stallion died, Alexander gave him a hero’s funeral. 

Oh my god Alexander what the hell most people would just LEAD the horse away from its shadow not ride it!

But considering everything else I know about Alexander the Great… I’m not really surprised.

Alexander the Great had absolutely Zero Fucking Chill and a highly developed sense of Drama. 

I think my favorite story is the Gordian knot.



Sara Jacobsen, 19, grew up eating family dinners beneath a stunning Native American robe.            

that she gave it much thought. Until, that is, her senior year of high
school, when she saw a picture of a strikingly similar robe in an art
history class.

The teacher told the class about how the robe was
used in spiritual ceremonies, Sara Jacobsen said. “I started to wonder
why we have it in our house when we’re not Native American.”

She said she asked her dad a few questions about this robe. Her dad, Bruce Jacobsen, called that an understatement.

felt like I was on the wrong side of a protest rally, with terms like
‘cultural appropriation’ and ‘sacred ceremonial robes’ and ‘completely
inappropriate,’ and terms like that,” he said.

“I got defensive
at first, of course,” he said. “I was like, ‘C’mon, Sara! This is more
of the political stuff you all say these days.’”

But Sara didn’t
back down. “I feel like in our country there are so many things that
white people have taken that are not theirs, and I didn’t want to
continue that pattern in our family,” she said.

The robe had been
a centerpiece in the Jacobsen home. Bruce Jacobsen bought it from a
gallery in Pioneer Square in 1986, when he first moved to Seattle. He
had wanted to find a piece of Native art to express his appreciation of
the region.

       The Chilkat robe that hung over the Jacobsen dining room table for years.   Credit Courtesy of the Jacobsens      

“I just thought it was so beautiful, and it was like nothing I had seen before,” Jacobsen said.

robe was a Chilkat robe, or blanket, as it’s also known. They are woven
by the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples of Alaska and British
Columbia and are traditionally made from mountain goat wool. The tribal
or clan origin of this particular 6-foot-long piece was unclear, but it
dated back to around 1900 and was beautifully preserved down to its long

“It’s a completely symmetric pattern of geometric
shapes, and also shapes that come from the culture,” like birds,
Jacobsen said. “And then it’s just perfectly made — you can see no seams
in it at all.”

Jacobsen hung the robe on his dining room wall.

more needling from Sara, Jacobsen decided to investigate her claims. He
emailed experts at the Burke Museum, which has a huge collection of
Native American art and artifacts.

“I got this eloquent email
back that said, ‘We’re not gonna tell you what to go do,’ but then they
confirmed what Sara said: It was an important ceremonial piece, that it
was usually owned by an entire clan, that it would be passed down
generation to generation, and that it had a ton of cultural significance
to them.“  

says he was a bit disappointed to learn that his daughter was right
about his beloved Chilkat robe. But he and his wife Gretchen now no
longer thought of the robe as theirs. Bruce Jacobsen asked the curators
at the Burke Museum for suggestions of institutions that would do the
Chilkat robe justice. They told him about the Sealaska Heritage
Institute in Juneau.

When Jacobsen emailed, SHI Executive
Director Rosita Worl couldn’t believe the offer. “I was stunned. I was
shocked. I was in awe. And I was so grateful to the Jacobsen family.”

Worl said the robe has a huge monetary value. But that’s not why it’s precious to local tribes.

what we call ‘atoow’: a sacred clan object,” she said. “Our beliefs are
that it is imbued with the spirit of not only the craft itself, but
also of our ancestors. We use [Chilkat robes] in our ceremonies when we
are paying respect to our elders. And also it unites us as a people.”

the Jacobsens returned the robe to the institute, Worl said, master
weavers have been examining it and marveling at the handiwork. Chilkat
robes can take a year to make – and hardly anyone still weaves them.

master artist, Delores Churchill, said it was absolutely a spectacular
robe. The circles were absolutely perfect. So it does have that
importance to us that it could also be used by our younger weavers to
study the art form itself.”

Worl said private collectors hardly ever return anything to her organization. The federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act requires
museums and other institutions that receive federal funding to
repatriate significant cultural relics to Native tribes. But no such law
exists for private collectors.

and Gretchen Jacobsen hold the Chilkat robe they donated to the
Sealaska Heritage Institute as Joe Zuboff, Deisheetaan, sings and drums
and Brian Katzeek (behind robe) dances during the robe’s homecoming
ceremony Saturday, August 26, 2017.   Credit NOBU KOCH / SEALASKA HERITAGE INSTITUTE  

says the institute is lobbying Congress to improve the chances of
getting more artifacts repatriated. “We are working on a better tax
credit system that would benefit collectors so that they could be
compensated,” she said.

Worl hopes stories like this will encourage people to look differently at the Native art and artifacts they possess.

The Sealaska Heritage Institute welcomed home the Chilkat robe in a two-hour ceremony over the weekend. Bruce and Gretchen Jacobsen traveled to Juneau to celebrate the robe’s homecoming.

Really glad that this is treated as hard hitting news, no really, I am

Seattle teen calls out her dad’s Native American art. He learns she’s right




In Astrakhan, a bronze statue of Putin, with a bear’s body and angel wings, holding a sturgeon, appeared overnight

Don’t blink.

Actual monster Simon knows Doctor who

Yes. Why wouldn’t I? I’ve been watching it since the beginning, practically.

One of the few human fictions that approaches the true feeling of what it means to be Old

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