After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises …
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
Licia Ronzulli, member of the European Parliament, has been taking her daughter Vittoria to the Parliament sessions for two years now.
I’m sorry but women get shit done. In fact, not sorry.
The Roman gynecologist Soranus is quoted “A contraceptive differs from an abortive, for the first does not let contraception take place while the latter destroys what has been conceived. Let us therefore call the one abortive and the other contraceptive.”
That was the 100s CE, which means we’ve known this for nearly 2000 years. So when referring to the Morning After Pill or to contraception (like condoms, birth control, etc.) let’s not be idiots.
More thoughts on my “anxiety” writing
I just discovered that I actually tune out recordings of this kind of writing, which is strange because I can not tune out cafeteria noise, hall way noise (even when I’m not in the hall way), the sound of the air vents, or basically everything accept music and it’s not just the tf2 fic, like I went back and played my memoir and a few minutes latter I was like, “no wait, I’m listening to something? What am I listening to? And I actually couldn’t pull the words out with out looking at the page. Like this as never happened to me, this is so strange.
This week struck me as a particularly exhausting one when it came to that certain brand of provocatively-headlined-but-probably-not-what-you-think-it-is science news that we know and
As usual, it’s the science media click-machine that’s to blame, which is a polite way of saying that there exists a gaping void of careful, cautious, skeptical, dare I say scientific science writing out there amidst the great internet knowledge machine. It’s desperately hard to get people to read your articles or watch your videos, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to disengage the gravity of reason and drift off into the aether of just-so stories.
PHD Comics has summed up this vicious form of the science news cycle very well:
It’s not all bad, of course. There’s some real diamonds that we can regularly depend on to shine through amid the soiled throngs of pseudointellectual beggars out there, and I, along with others, try to highlight their work regularly. I shall do so again here.
Here, I present two cases of “science things that were badly reported” and some links to better explanations. As usual, the defendants come from that tenuous intersection of neuroscience and behavior, because studying the brain is hard stuff, folks.
1) Mice Can Inherit Memories: No they can’t. Well, maybe they can (although I doubt it), but that’s not at all what this widely-reported paper in Nature Neuroscience says. The poor authors of that study are probably at home, drinking, wondering how, after years of hard work, their paper about how mice may pass on sensitivity to smells got so twisted. Headlines ranged from declaring this the source of human phobias to saying that Assassin’s Creed is based in real science.
What the researchers did was to condition some male mice to associate a smell (cherry blossoms) with a mild electric shock, which is mean, because that’s a nice smell! Naturally, the mice began to avoid the odor. The weird part is that their offspring, even two generations down the line, also seemed to avoid that specific cherry blossom odor, without ever encountering it before (and without their dads showing them). The dads’ noses all had more of the cells that smell that odor, as did the noses of their offspring. This did not happen with female mice and their offspring.
These kind of things aren’t supposed to be possible in a single generation. A mouse dad shouldn’t smell something, become afraid of it, and then be able to pass on a change to his kids. That’s precisely the kind of thing that got Lamarck and his giraffe necks laughed at more than a century ago. But it is possible that these mice were transmitting some sort of epigenetic change.
It’s possible that there was an epigenetic change passed down. But it’s not for sure. Beyond that, the way that statistics are applied to mouse behavior studies make it possible that the differences they see are just due to sample sizes, or not including certain controls, or some other random factor like that the humidity on a particular day happened to make the mice very jumpy. There’s also the fact that there is no known way for nerve cell changes or chemical responses within the olfactory bulb to be communicated to the testes, where sperm are made (there’s literally a blood-testis barrier to prevent that kind of thing).
Read this instead: At National Geographic, Virginia Hughes goes through the research in great detail, including comments from several people in the field who remain, shall we say, less than convinced. Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary evidence, and that’s lacking, at least in part. “More work needed” as they say!
2) Men and women’s brains are wired differently, therefore men are better at reading maps. That’s almost a verbatim headline from this news outlet. It speaks of “hardwired differences” (our brains are not hardwired) and is loaded with brainsplaining and neurosexism. This story is frustrating notsomuch because of the science, which is so-so, but because it is being misapplied by the media to reinforce cutsie-pie stories about what men are good at and what women are good at and never the twain shall meet and boy is it funny how men and women argue over getting lost?! GUFFAW!
Read this instead: At Discover, Neuroskeptic explains why the spatial resolution of the techniques used are like making a road atlas, while on the moon, using a pair of binoculars, and how the only real difference here may be that men’s brains are just slightly bigger than women’s (which doesn’t account for any noticeable difference in abilities, but can mess with scans a lot). And if you’d like a nice introduction to the idea of neurosexism and pigeonholing gender-based brain research into outdated social molds, might I suggest you read this article at The Conversation?
The fact is that men and women are mostly the same when it comes to their brains, but “Everyone can probably become pretty good at reading maps whether or not they are male or female, suggests common sense, not needing to be backed up by neuroscience” doesn’t make a very catchy headline.
None of this is to say that any of the results presented in the scientific papers are patently or provably false. But as we communicate the vagaries of Science In Progress, we must include the Don’t Knows and the Possiblys and all the other fine (and frustrating) forms of cautious optimism. It doesn’t kill the excitement. It just comes with the territory. I read it on a map somewhere.
THIS IS REALLY MESSING ME UP
WHAT THE EVER LOVING BOLLOCKING FUCK
MAKE IT STOP IM CRYING
THERE IS NO STOPPING THE INFINITE
one guacamole is equal to 6.0221415×10²³ guacas
I’m disgusted by my ability to get this joke
one might even call it
- Q: Why do people feel the need to label themselves?
- Speaker: Things that exist have words so we can talk about them.
Can we just appreciate that in a first person shooter where people are decapitated, explode, and get burt to ashes this is a hat that you can get and put on your character??? Then let’s appreciate all the color names. Then the one a circled. And people wonder why I love this game.
AN: I have so many plans for this but I don’t think I should keep writing because I’ve dissolved into my “anxiety” writing style and it’s really hard for me to edit that because I like the way it sounds in my head because my head always sounds like that but I’ve been told it’s not a good writing style so here. Also, I would love feed back on my writing even if it’s just, “yeah that’s cool and that thing you did there, there, was really, uh, neat” is good.
Summary?: Commands from above dictate a rearrangement of the near by teams which means that everyone but the Sniper, Heavy, and Medic are setting off for what is hopefully warmer weather.
Guys, let me tell you about orcas.
Orca whales are mean motherfuckers. They cruise the oceans with only two things in mind: one, having sex, and two, eating every poor fuck they find out there that’s smaller than them. They are such badass motherfuckers that even great white motherfucking sharks don’t dare fuck with them, which in my books, places them above the sperm whale as Biggest Badass of the Ocean. And why don’t sharks bother them, you may wonder? Because orcas fucking learned that if you flip a shark over they go into a sort of coma, so now they do it intentionally so they can eat the motherfucking sharks. Not only that, but orcas have also learned how to hunt sperm whales and motherfucking sea birds.
The orca whale lives in a matriarchal pod. Every pod has unique hunting methods and whatnot, which is passed down from parent to offspring- these scary fuckers have formed civilizations. And what do they do for fun, apart from hopping around on the water’s surface and grinning like crazy mofos? They hunt for fun, going so far as to tip over ice floes and beach themselves just for the thrill of killing.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Orca whales are too damn cute and smiley looking to be heartless predators of the sea. Well, let me counter-argue with this photo:
THOSE ARE NOT THE TEETH OF A CREATURE THAT WANTS TO BE YOUR FRIEND.
Reblogging for excellent commentary.
Why has nobody mentioned what’s happening in the original gif?
This is how orcas hunt - or, it’s one of the ways they do. They have a ton of tricks and techniques they use to fuck up everything below them on the food chain, and that gif portrays my personal favorite.
Orcas will literally BEACH THEMSELVES to grab unsuspecting seals (or whatever else happens to be splashing around in the surf) and snarf them down like hot dogs. Yeah, that’s right. This is a 6-ton apex predator, crashing right out of the fucking water to snatch their prey right off the beach. Any other animal that size would get stuck there and die, but do you see that fucker? He fucking wriggles right back into the surf. An orca can get all the way up onto dry land and still manage to wiggle their way back into the water to fuck up more shit on another day. There is literally no other sea-dwelling creature of comparative size with that ability - most sea animals lack the muscular strength to move without enough water supporting their weight.
Orcas have also been known to eat moose. Yeah, that’s right. Fucking MOOSE.
You don’t fuck with orcas.
Remember that orcas also eat white sharks and baby whales. They basically eat anything available, like humans.
(They also speak different languages depending the area where they live - for example New Zealand orcas have a twist in their language, while Canada orcas spoke with more musical and longer tone. Family pods also have different dialects. And every orca has a unique voice of its own!)
I wonder if I have an audio book of the hunger games. I don’t think so, I think I barrowed it from the library when I first listened to it. Oh well.