Kirk and Spock's inevitable transporter accident lovechild.
OMG NEW TAPIR!
I have been jazzed about this all day. A new species of tapir from Brazil (Tapirus kabomani, if you please) has been described for the first time, proving it to be quite different from known weird trunkbeasts. This is amazing to me for two reasons:
First, even though this thing is being called the “small” tapir, it’s actually about 220 lbs of agile-nosed quadruped. We live in a world where we can still discover critters the size of a goddamned fridge! I find it hopeful, even inspiring, to consider that we don’t know everything yet.
Second, although this tapir is new to Science, it’s not new to the locals in Brazil. The skin and skull of some weird tapir have been languishing in the American Museum of Natural History since Teddy Roosevelt bagged it in 1912, but nobody really knew what it was; turns out, any hunter in the Amazon could have told you about this darker, daintier tapir. 100 years and 5,000 miles away, the puzzle is solved. It is my belief that everyone in the world knows something that they think is common knowledge, but that is actually an amazing and long-sought piece of information, the final clue to some great mystery happening halfway across the world.
Although extremely rare, ice disks, also known as ice circles, do indeed appear naturally from time to time when conditions are perfect. Above are a few examples of people who have been lucky enough to stumble onto one while holding a camera.
Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a force called ‘rotational shear’, which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around. As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice — smoothing into a circle. A relatively uncommon phenomenon, one of the earliest recordings is of a slowly revolving disc was spotted on the Mianus River and reported in a 1895 edition of Scientific American.
Cytokines are the chemical messengers in the body released by the immune system. It suggests that inflammation, which produces cytokines, may be the contributor of psychological disorders such as depression. Cytokines can cross the blood-brain barrier and produce psychological effects. A strong piece of evidence for this theory is that research studies treating patients with depression by giving them aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medication has reduced their depressive symptoms.
This explains why Will Graham’s symptoms alleviate whenever he takes aspirin, especially because we know he has inflammation in his brain (although his condition is probably far more severe because the brain itself is inflamed). However, this theory refers to inflammation anywhere in the body, as it will produce cytokines.
Edit: if anyone would like journal articles about this, I have access to medical and psychological journals and I’d be happy to send, just drop me an ask.
This is fascinating stuff, and offers an interesting mechanism for the connection between my depression and my auto-immune allergy.
[Psychologist] Wismeijer isn’t exactly sure why BDSM practitioners might be psychologically healthier than the general public. They tend to be more aware of their sexual needs and desires than vanilla people, he said, which could translate to less frustration in bed and in relationships. Coming to terms with their unusual sexual predilections and choosing to live the BDSM lifestyle may also take hard psychological work that translates to positive mental health, he said.
NASA is funding research into 3D-printed food. Mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor received a $125,000 grant from the agency to build a prototype 3D printer with the aim of automating food creation. It’s hoped the system could provide astronauts food during long-distance space travel, but its creator has the loftier aim of solving the increasing food shortages around the world by cutting down on waste. The software for the printer will be open-source, while the hardware is based on the open-source RepRap Mendel 3D printer.
Apparently today is my columnar basalt day. This is a picture of Nan Madol, a city built out of basalt columns, ruined capital of a lost empire. The buildings extend down into the sea, each one forming its own artificial island. The islands are connected by a network of canals, and protected by an artificial reef/wall, also made of columnar basalt. This is by way of being wicked awesome.
Picture is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. More info here.
Oh sweet! I’ve seen these Devil’s Tower formations before, but never considered that they might have entire nifty ecosystems on or in them. These remarkable huge columns form when magma cools very, very slowly inside the chimney of a volcano.
I really am wondering why the flying fuck humans are so attracted to colorful shit.
Poisonous insects and frogs etc. are like gang members, flashing their colours to show that they are dangerous. However, our monkey-ape-thing ancestors were not predators, and mainly ate fruit, which are more like streetwalkers, with attractive colours. Fruit are all saying “check out how ripe and luscious I am, my seeds are mature and ready for you to consume and fertilise in your poop.”
Okay, so the metaphor falls apart around there. We like bright colours because they remind us of delicious fruit.
Rep. Paul Broun publically and vocally has stated that he does not agree with the most basic tenets of scientific process and critical thought. He is incompetent scientifically and damages the Committee and its purpose with his presence.
We the undersigned respectfully request Rep. Broun’s removal from the committee immediately.
“All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell… And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
-Paul Broun, Republican Member of the House Science Committee
(summary of an online lecture on Pharyngitis, by Dr. Robert Dachs MD)
One of my favorite examples of how the US Healthcare system + the US general public is addicted to antibiotics…
40 million doctor visits for “Sore Throat” every year in US, and 25% (10 million) of those visits end in a diagnosis of pharyngitis.
Among adults, 70% of pharyngitis diagnoses get treated with antibiotics…
BUT: in adults with pharyngitis, only 10% are actually caused by Group A beta-hemolytic Strep (GABHS).
Antibiotics overkill? Absolutely! But why are we Americans so freaked out about getting antibiotics for strep throat? Read on for common medical reasons for treating strep throat with antibiotics — and statistical evidence that most of these reasons are pretty unreasonable…
All right, this is like a “go forth and sin no more” for me. I’ve gotten strep throat at least once a year since I was a little kid- not pharyngitis, proper strep- and I’ve always been afraid that it would give me a fever and leave me blind, like Mary in the Little House on the Prairie books. However, medicine HAS come on a bit since then. Next time I get a sore throat, I will try to tough it out.
Raining animals is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which flightless animals “rain” from the sky. Such occurrences have been reported in many countries throughout history. One hypothesis offered to explain this phenomenon is that strong winds traveling over water sometimes pick up creatures such as fish or frogs, and carry them for up to several miles. However, this primary aspect of the phenomenon has never been witnessed or scientifically tested.
Sometimes the animals survive the fall, suggesting the animals are dropped shortly after extraction. Several witnesses of raining frogs describe the animals as startled, though healthy, and exhibiting relatively normal behavior shortly after the event. In some incidents, however, the animals are frozen to death or even completely encased in ice. There are examples where the product of the rain is not intact animals, but shredded body parts.
Some cases occur just after storms having strong winds, especially during tornadoes. However, there have been many unconfirmed cases in which rainfalls of animals have occurred in fair weather and in the absence of strong winds or waterspouts.