Beauty

I opened a book, and I saw a scar
I learned something new, I found a new friend:
Beauty came to me when I simply opened my eyes to the world.
Arise, awake, observe even the flaws,
For even diamonds are found in coal.

*****

Today’s One Word Challenge was issued by Palash. The challenge was originally started by Apeksha (https://bubblesofwar.wordpress.com) and Rucha (https://wordcravingssite.wordpress.com). My word was ‘Beauty’. Hope you liked it!

Pokemon Go

Pokémon GO, everywhere!

Life as a Millennial

Pokémon Go was just very recently released and already has topped the charts, breaking new records on the Apple store for number of downloads.

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Even I have downloaded it and have been actively catching Pokémon, evolving them, and hatching little babies with the eggs I have collected. (I have five now and I am very excited about this).

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I have joined Team Mystic or The Blue Team at the suggestion of all of my friends (Penn State students. We always have to be blue. There is no choice. Blue or nothing).

However Pokémon Go has done something that has not happened in a very long time, at least not where games are concerned.

Pokémon Go has forced people to be active in order to play. To find Pokémon you literally have to get up out of your bed or house and walk around. They don’t come to you (unless you have…

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GoT Season 6 Finale – Prediction

I’m sure everyone enjoyed the action-packed Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones’s bloodiest episode yet. After that, we are all gearing up for the Season Finale: The Winds of Winter.

While a lot is to happen in the episode (as we see in the preview), the big reveal that everyone has been waiting for (some, for almost 10 years!) is R+L=J.

[Possible Spoilers]

Popular Redditor jamieandclaire has a theory concerning the exact nature of the reveal: He thinks R+L=J is going to be unveiled in the crypts of Winterfell.

STORY SO FAR

Rickon was murdered by Ramsay Bolton in S06E09 (why didn’t he just run zigzag?). After breaking into Winterfell, Jon fights Ramsay and almost kills him.

Rickon’s body is then brought in. Jon promises, “I’m going to bury my brother in the crypt, next to my father.”

WHY THE CRYPTS

Here are excerpts from the Reddit post: The Forbidden Tomb in the Winterfell Crypts

Jon has dreamt recurring dreams of the crypts beneath Winterfell since he left home. Many people assume that there is something hidden there, and I believe rightfully so.

We know that Ned has his empty tomb already prepared before his death. Bran and Rickon go down to see it just before receiving the news of his beheading. In fact, we are told that there are numerous empty, unsealed tombs prepared for not only for Ned, but also for his children.

We are led to believe that the crypts are somewhat selective: Kings of Winter and Lords of Winterfell receive statues of their likeness, though an exception was made for Lyanna and Brandon. It’s possible that Jon Snow, being a bastard, would sadly not have a place reserved for him in the Stark crypts, but would be buried rather in the lichyard with the servants.

It’s also suggested that Jon’s dreams have him going very deep into the crypt, down the spiraling stairs with no torch to light the way, perhaps into places he had never been before. I believe that his dreams are leading him to some truth hidden in the lower collapsed levels of the Winterfell crypt.

Quick recap of the reasons why Jon’s prepared tomb is the secret in the Crypts, before I get into how it will play out:

  • Jon’s nightmares are leading him into the depths of the crypts, into the closed off area beyond the collapse
  • Ned also has nightmares of the crypts, leading us to believe he has angered the Old Kings of Winter somehow, and that this is likely related to Jon
  • We know that there are tombs reserved in the crypt for the Stark children, of which Bastard Jon probably wouldn’t and shouldn’t have a place
  • Jon’s recurring dreams telling him “There is no place for you here” leads me to believe that they are angry that a place has already been allotted for him

THE REVEAL

Jon, upon retaking Winterfell, decides to go down into the crypts to visit Eddard’s grave, but finds that Ned’s bones haven’t come to Winterfell yet. He instead passes by the future resting places of his siblings.

He stops for a moment, sad with the new knowledge that there is no life everlasting for him or his siblings. Then, remembering his nightmares (or perhaps finding some clue in Ned’s empty grave), he continues down to the lower levels of the crypt in the growing darkness.

His finds his way is blocked by rocks and rubble from the collapse. He considers going back, but something catches his eye beyond the obstruction. He begins pulling at stones, and sees another tomb, prepared and empty.

Clambering over the debris, he walks to the tomb and holds out the torch in the darkness, wiping away the dust from the slab.

And this is what he reads:

Jon Snow

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Son of

Rhaegar Targaryen

of Dragonstone

And

Lyanna Stark

of Winterfell”

(Cut to the continuation of the Tower of Joy vision)

Even if R+L=J is not true (which it is), I do hope that they reveal Jon’s true parentage in this episode, leaving a cliffhanger for its implications in the next season.

Footnote: Link to original answer on Quora – What are your predictions for Game of Thrones season 6 episode 10 finale? by Tanmay Pereira Naik

Rorscharch

Walter Kovacs (March 21, 1940 – November 2, 1985), a.k.a. Rorschach was one of the central protagonists of Watchmen.

Rorschach wears a piece of cloth which has moving and shifting inkblots that resemble an actual Rorshach test as a mask.

Rorschach is blatantly ruthless and overwhelmingly fast, known to be tactically proficient with the use of his surroundings, and also an impressive self-declared investigator. He possesses great strength as well as brutal skill, and he tends to use otherwise harmless objects as improvised weapons, such as hair spray, pepper, cooking fat, electric wiring, clothing fabric and even a toilet to give himself an advantage in combat.

Unlike most characters in the series, Rorschach is not portrayed as having truly superhuman strength and fighting abilities, as his are far lesser than others in the series who are portrayed as superhuman. Despite this his fighting abilities are far above average, even though they do not entirely appear to be superhuman.

Source: Walter Kovacs – Watchmen Wiki

Cable

Cable (Nathan Christopher Charles Summers) is a fictional character, appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most commonly in association with X-Force and the X-Men. He is the adult son of the X-Man Cyclops (Scott Summers) and Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey’s clone), and the half brother of Rachel Summers, from a possible future timeline, having been transported as an infant to the future, where he grew into a warrior, before returning to the present.

Cable and Deadpool, one of the most notable partnerships of all time

The character first appeared as a newborn infant in Uncanny X-Men #201 (Jan. 1986), created by writer Chris Claremont, while Cable’s adult identity was created by writer Louise Simonson and artist/co-writer Rob Liefeld, and first appeared in The New Mutants #87 (March 1990).
Origins-

Nathan Summers’ birth was carefully orchestrated by the geneticist Mister Sinister, who had created his mother Madelyne Pryor as a clone of the mutant telepath Jean Grey. Soon after, Pryor was corrupted by demonic influences into using baby Nate as a sacrifice to open a portal between Earth and the demon-infested dimension Limbo, but was opposed by her husband and Nate’s father Cyclops, his teammates in X-Factor, and his former team the X-Men. Sinister planned to use Nate as a weapon against his former master, Apocalypse, but Apocalypse learned of this and had Nate captured and infected with a deadly techno-organic virus. After Apocalypse was defeated by X-Factor, a member of the Clan Askani – a sisterhood dedicated to opposing Apocalypse in the alternate future of Earth-4935- offered to save Nate’s life by taking him to her own era. Desperate, Cyclops agreed, and Nate was taken 2,000 years into the future of Earth-4935, where the Mother Askani (actually his time-displaced half-sister Rachel) had him cloned in case the virus could not be cured. Minions of Apocalypse attacked and stole the clone, taking it to their master, who raised the child as his heir, Stryfe.

Rachel pulled the psyches of Scott and Jean into the future of Earth-4935 to help keep Nate safe, and, as Slym and Redd Dayspring, they raised him for the next 12 years, teaching him how to use his mutant powers to keep the virus at bay. After the teenage Nate defeated Apocalypse, he traveled to the last Askani enclave and was welcomed as the Askani’Son, “the Chosen One.” After the enclave was attacked, Nate regrouped the surviving Askani into the rebel Clan Chosen.

Nate later fell in love with young novitiate Aliya Jenskot, and soon they were married and had a son named Tyler. Following one clash with Stryfe, Aliya was killed and Tyler was captured. Stryfe brainwashed Tyler, and in a subsequent encounter, Nate was forced to shoot Tyler to save his Clanmate Dawnsilk.

After Stryfe used a time travel device to flee into the past, arriving in the late 20th century, Nate followed. He arrived in Scotland, years before his birth, and was taken in by geneticist Moira MacTaggert, who taught him how to speak English. He adopted the codename Cable, as a metaphor for being a link between the present in the future. Moira sent him to visit her friend Professor Xavier in the U.S. Meeting Xavier, Cable helped design the security systems for his mansion in exchange for lessons on how to live in the 20th century.
Powers and abilities-

Cable was born with telepathic and telekinetic abilities. However, the extent to which he has been able to utilize these powers has varied dramatically throughout his appearances. Originally, both were limited by his need to restrain his techno-organic infection , and his powers were negligible compared to his more traditional fighting skills. However, following the subsidence of the infection, they gradually increased to the point where they were similar in magnitude to those of Nate Grey, to whom he is genetically identical. At their height, he demonstrated the ability to simultaneously levitate the floating city of Providence and combat the Silver Surfer. Following that story, his powers were burnt out and he replaced both with technological substitutes. He later states that both his telepathy and telekinesis have faded to nothing.

In the “Legion Quest” storyline, Beast notes that Cable possesses “latent time-travel abilities”.

Cable, as seen in the online game, Marvel: Avengers Alliance

Cable as seen in the online game, Marvel: Avengers Alliance

His techno-organic body parts possess enhanced strength and durability, and his techno-organic left eye gives him enhanced eyesight, allowing him to see farther than a normal human and in the infrared spectrum. He is also able to interface his techno-organic body parts with machinery, using them to hack into computers, open electronic locks, and travel through time.
Sources:

  1. Wikipedia – Cable (comics)
  2. Marvel Universe Wiki: The definitive online source for Marvel super hero bios.

Groot

Groot is an extraterrestrial, sentient tree-like creature, and the monarch of Planet X. He is a founding member of Star-Lord’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and is known for his longtime friendship with Rocket Raccoon.

He was created by Dick Ayers, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Tales To Astonish 13 (1960).

 

ORIGINS-

Groot is a Flora colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. The Flora colossi are tree-like beings, whose language is almost impossible to understand due to the stiffness of their larynxes, causing their speech to sound like they are repeating the phrase “I am Groot”. Other beings try to be friendly but become angry with the Flora colossi for not being able to speak.

The Flora colossus sapling that would come to be known as “Groot” came from an “Ennobled Sap-line” and gifted with a tremendous grasp of quasi-dimensional super-positional engineering.

POWERS AND ABILITIES-

Groot can absorb wood and other plant parts as food, and has the ability to regenerate. Groot can control trees, he can form plants, using them to attack others, and appears to be resistant to fire. Groot is able to sprout, dramatically increasing mass but also severely inhibiting movement.

Groot has been seemingly killed on multiple occasions, each time regrowing from a sprig.

 

“I AM GROOT”-

Whenever Groot is saying the trademark “I am Groot!” he is actually saying any number of things, and his varying inflections of the sentence are the equivalent of words and sentences. People who have interacted with Groot are gradually able to decipher the meaning of the inflections and can carry on full conversations with Groot as time goes on (as Rocket can, in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy).

The mature form of Groot’s species is robust and heavyweight, which causes the organs of acoustic generation to become stiff and inflexible. It is this hardened nature of Groot’s larynx that causes people, who are oblivious to the subtle nuances of Flora Colossi speech, to misinterpret Groot as merely repeating his name.

Source: Groot – Wikipedia

How Nick Fury lost his eye

(This post is very dear to me, as it was my first answer on Quora to cross 10k views. Read on!)

Colonel Nicholas “Nick” Joseph Fury was an officer of the US Army and an espionage veteran of the CIA during the Cold War. He joined S.H.I.E.L.D., a covert international peacekeeping organization which operates as humanity’s first line of defense against Earth’s most dangerous enemies. He quickly impressed S.H.I.E.L.D.’s higher-ups, and was promoted to the position of Director, becoming the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. He led S.H.I.E.L.D. for years, spearheading the Avengers Initiative, Project T.A.H.I.T.I., Project Insight, and other operations.

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU):

Not much of his background is revealed yet, except for a few tidbits of irrelevant information here and there.

However, a bit about his eye patch is revealed in the movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We finally get a peek underneath his iconic eye patch. And oh, there are some secrets hiding there.

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“The last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye” – Nick Fury to Captain America

What we do know: he has three scars over the covered eye, which seems to imply the involvement of Wolverine and his three claws. But as Marvel Studios likely won’t be getting the “X-Men” rights back from Fox anytime this century, the mystery lingers.

In the Comics:

Here, we have a lot of explanations.

Fury’s injured left eye, though initially minimally affected by a grenade blast during World War II, has over the decades resulted in a 95% loss of vision in this eye.

On Feb. 10, 1966, Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos #27 was released, revealing the true story of Nick’s infamous eyewear.

Here’s the entire comic (only 10 pages):

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Here come the interesting bits. The next two pages detail the incident:

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Fury shows his BAMF side and catches the grenade, and then hurls it away.

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However, he’s not fast enough and hurts himself in the left eye.
Here’s the rest of the comic.

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This is one of 3 different versions of Nick Fury in the comics.

This particular one, the original Colonel Nick J Fury, as created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1963, was a cigar-chomping tough guy from Hell’s Kitchen, a World War II veteran who headed up the elite army unit called the Howling Commandos.

Then came the Ultimate Comics initiative out of Marvel Comics back in 2001, which included an African American version of Nick Fury who served in the first Gulf War, where he was transporting a deadly mutant through Kuwait, only to be ambushed. Wounded, Fury would have bled right out if that mutant hadn’t been Wolverine, who was able to carry Fury on his shoulders across the desert to save his life. He couldn’t, however, save Fury’s eye. This version of Nick Fury was straight-up drawn to look like Jackson, which was apparently part of their plan to recruit Jackson to play Nick Fury in the first place.

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The success of Ultimate Nick Fury, and subsequently Jackson’s cinematic Nick Fury, prompted the creation of Nick Fury Jr. in the mainstream Marvel Universe, giving the original white Nick Fury an illegitimate black son he never knew about. He was introduced in a 2012 series called “Battle Scars,” wherein a longtime enemy of Fury Sr. named Orion captured Fury Jr. and cut out his eye, for symmetry with his father.

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Sources:

  1. 3 Backstories That Could Explain How Nick Fury Lost His Eye
  2. Little-known sci-fi fact: How Nick Fury (all 3 of him) got that eyepatch

Footnote: Link to original answer on Quora – How did Nick Fury lose his eye? by Tanmay Pereira Naik