111

Overhead, our flaming arrows blocked out the sun, but one soot-black raven picked up slivers of bone, and forced the tower door’s lock open.

In the past, human exceptionalism has driven scientists to conclude that all animals are driven by immediate needs – hunger, survival in the face of danger. Yet, as more and more studies show that this is not the case, this human exceptionalism has crumbled. Take, for one example, the raven (the best bird).  Mathias Osvath from Lund University, who has 16 ravens on his farm, has proven that ravens have foresight and will select tools that can help them solve a puzzle in the future. Inspired by this discovery, Carrie Cuinn casts the raven as the ultimate companion on a fantasy journey and, potentially, your ideal RPG character. 

//Carrie Cuinn is a writer, editor, historian, and geek. Find her online at @CarrieCuinn or at http://carriecuinn.com.//

110

Staff stripped by austerity, the last great telescope closed its eye to the heavens, and was gutted for scrap. No one saw the comet coming.

In a recent analysis of disaster movies by scientists at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, it was found that humanity would rather blame human greed or ego than simple ignorance for disasters. This finding could extend far beyond environmental disasters. Globally, austerity measures cause potentially irreparable damage to vulnerable communities, public health systems, and scientific research, with even the ISS endangered by funding losses. Inspired by the news that Brazil’s science funding would be cut by another 40% in 2018 endangering observatories, Carrie Cuinn looks to the stars and imagines a threat unseen – not because of human ego, but because we were simply ignorant.

//Carrie Cuinn is a writer, editor, historian, and geek. Find her online at @CarrieCuinn or at http://carriecuinn.com.//