I have some new favorite things.
a decellularized “ghost” heart
aaaaaaaay extracellular matrix
How cool is it that when you take all the cells out of an organ it still looks like an organ?
I remember when I was in high school and still very confused about how tissues worked, because all anyone taught me was that we’re made up of piles of cells hung on bones. But that’s not how it is! Cells build themselves little hammocks of polymer and densely branched glycoproteins; we’re like onions, layers of membrane over tough rubbery collagen, huge protein scaffolds cradling slippery organs.
Bodies are not made of cells — bodies are made by cells.
Shit, major kudos to OP for making me aware of this, and isozyme for explaining — I had no idea the extracellular matrix was so substantial.
This is doubly cool because a heart that has been “washed” of cells like this is an incredible leap forward for donor organs. It’s much harder to reject something that doesn’t have non-host cells. As I understand it, they would use something like this with stem cells from the recipient to basically custom-make a new heart for themselves.
This raises so many questions about the state and advancement of neurology as a science in Middle-Earth.
Although, to be fair, if anyone was going to discover the nervous system in Middle Earth, it would be dwarves fucking around with axes they’ve embedded in their enemy’s skulls.
Actually in real life we’ve known of nerves for at least the last 2600 years; Aristotle talked about them in the 6th century. And the Roman physician Galen discovered the general nervous system and its structure around the second century AD. So this isn’t anachronistic at all given the general perceived level of Middle-Earth.
Stuff is often older than you expect :D
“For thousands of years, Judean date palm trees were one of the most recognizable and welcome sights for people living in the Middle East — widely cultivated throughout the region for their sweet fruit, and for the cool shade they offered from the blazing desert sun.
From its founding some 3,000 years ago, to the dawn of the Common Era, the trees became a staple crop in the Kingdom of Judea, even garnering several shout-outs in the Old Testament. Judean palm trees would come to serve as one of the kingdom’s chief symbols of good fortune; King David named his daughter, Tamar, after the plant’s name in Hebrew.
By the time the Roman Empire sought to usurp control of the kingdom in 70 AD, broad forests of these trees flourished as a staple crop to the Judean economy — a fact that made them a prime resource for the invading army to destroy. Sadly, around the year 500 AD, the once plentiful palm had been completely wiped out, driven to extinction for the sake of conquest.
In the centuries that followed, first-hand knowledge of the tree slipped from memory to legend. Up until recently, that is.
During excavations at the site of Herod the Great's palace in Israel in the early 1960's, archeologists unearthed a small stockpile of seeds stowed in a clay jar dating back 2,000 years. For the next four decades, the ancient seeds were kept in a drawer at Tel Aviv's Bar-Ilan University. But then, in 2005, botanical researcher Elaine Solowey decided to plant one and see what, if anything, would sprout.
"I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. How could it be?" said Solowey. She was soon proven wrong.
Amazingly, the multi-millennial seed did indeed sprout — producing a sapling no one had seen in centuries, becoming the oldest known tree seed to germinate.
Today, the living archeological treasure continues to grow and thrive; In 2011, it even produced its first flower — a heartening sign that the ancient survivor was eager to reproduce. It has been proposed that the tree be cross-bred with closely related palm types, but it would likely take years for it to begin producing any of its famed fruits. Meanwhile, Solowey is working to revive other age-old trees from their long dormancy.”
***Does anyone in the know have any comments?
(Source: Tree Hugger)
A circle of dots, but every dot alone is just moving in a straight line.
this is making me uncomfortable
Astronomers have discovered the largest known structure in the universe, a clump of active galactic cores that stretch 4 billion light-years from end to end. The structure is a light quasar group (LQG), a collection of extremely luminous Galactic Nulcei powered by supermassive central black holes.
So that’s cool and everything, but maybe some of you would be interested to know why this is a significant find? Beyond just its record-setting bigness.
Since Einstein, physicists have accepted something called the Cosmological Principle, which states that the universe looks the same everywhere if you view it on a large enough scale. You might find some weird shit over here, and some other freaky shit over there, but if you pull back the camera far enough, you’ll find that same weird and/or freaky shit cropping up over and over again in a fairly regular distribution. This is because the universe is (probably) infinite in size and (we are pretty darn sure) has, and has always had, the same forces acting on it everywhere.
So why is this new LQG so radical? (It stands for ‘Large Quasar Group,’ btw, not ‘Light Quasar Group.’)
Well, let’s try to comprehend the scale we’re dealing with. A ‘megaparsec,’ written Mpc, is about 3.2 million light years long. The Milky Way is about 0.03 Mpc across (or 100,000 light years). The distance between our galaxy and Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbor, is 0.75 Mpc, or 2.5 million light years. LQGs are usually about 200 Mpc across. Assuming a logarithmic distribution of weird shit outliers (if you don’t know how logarithmic distribution curves work, don’t worry about it), cosmologists predicted that nothing in the universe should be more than 370 Mpc across.
This new LQG is 1200 Mpc long. That’s four billion light years. Four BILLION LIGHT YEARS. Just to travel from one side to the other of this one thing. I mean for fuck’s sake, the universe is only about 14 billion years old! How many of these things could there be?
Right now it looks like the Cosmological Principle might be out the window, unless physicists can find some way to make the existence of this new LQG work with the math (and boy, are they trying). And that’s totally baffling. It would mean—well, we don’t have any idea what it would mean. That the universe isn’t essentially uniform? That some ‘special’ physics apply/applied in some places but not in others? That Something Happened that is totally outside our current ability to understand or quantify stuff happening?
By the way, no one lives there. The radiation from so many quasars would sterilize rock.
in case you don’t want to die the solution is to die
Actually it’s honestly really cool. See, high temperatures kill off syphilis. Malaria causes extremely high fever. And malaria was actually fairly treatable by quinine at the time. So it meant trading a disease that was certain to kill you for a disease that you were very likely to survive under medical care. It made syphilis far less certain of a death sentence, turning it into a disease that was actually survivable. Of course, once penicillin was discovered, it was used instead since it was a lot more reliable, but it was still a pretty amazing piece of medicine :D
holy shit fuck everything.
i don’t read comics. (i do watch comic book movies.)
i’m a straight white guy. the thing about is that time and time again, no matter what media i consume, the lesson i’m taught is that i can get the girl - and if i don’t get her by the end of the story, it’s because i chose not to. everywhere, from movies to books to tv to whatever, the story is that in the end, if it’s what i want, i can end up with the girl of my dreams and things will work out around that.
i mean, something like that doesn’t even automatically stretch to just being a guy. jet li didn’t get to kiss aaliyah at the end of romeo must die because that didn’t test well. han and giselle hook up in fast five and boom, they both die in fast six. if you’re an asian guy, i mean, what message does that send to you? exactly how does that make you feel about your sexual desirability and your romantic potential? you don’t get to get the girl at the end of a film because “mainstream america gets uncomfortable with seeing an asian man portrayed in a sexual light”.
even when you move away from regular media and into porn, what do you get? white guys everywhere. i am the pizza guy and the guy at home, i am the teacher and the student, i am the boss, i am the husband, i am the neighbour. nearly every step of the way, when you’re watching mainstream porn, the surrogate dick is a white one.
i am the guy that gets the girl at the end of the movie, and then i am the guy that goes home and bangs her on the couch.
and then shit like this happens, and it’s like… what are you trying to do to people?
i have been raised in this environment where romantically and sexually i am the status quo. like, if you want to talk about privilege, that is right up there - i have been taught, day in and day out, that i not only have a right to be happy with the girl i love, but that it’s how things are always going to work out, even if she ends up doing a complete fucking one eighty on how she feels about me to get there.
i cannot even imagine how much it hurts to not only be just some Other in that system, but to hear that people are actively trying to avoid you getting a happy ending. to read that there are people out there fighting their editors to say “hey, maybe we should show queer female couples that they exist in our world, too” and their editors are saying “fuck off, in this universe where we get to dictate the strict social parameters, we don’t want them”.
they literally control a universe and this is how they want to shape it. they are sitting there and weighing it up and eventually they say nope, in this universe we control, we’d like to keep a lid on too much happiness for THAT sort of person, thank you very much.
and then you have to think about the fact that they exist out here, too; that they get a say in the real world where real people are actually fighting for these same rights.
and i mean… it’s soul-destroying.
YES. YES IT IS.
#and like#i don’t want to equate marriage with happiness#but if the people WRITING THESE CHARACTERS believe it’s a realistic progression#if it WOULD make these two women happy#then for god’s sake why can’t they be#i don’t agree with marriage as the final step or the ultimate validation#but that’s how it’s often seen in our culture#and dc is saying no#two women aren’t allowed to have that#fuck you dc#fuck you right in the ear
so just to clarify, for people who don’t necessarily read Batwoman, in the comic, Kate asked Maggie to marry her. But DC is like “you know what?? nah”
To clarify more, though, this wasn’t a “DC is homophobic” issue. This is a “DC is currently filled with morons” issue. They haven’t just blocked Kate and Maggie’s marriage: it’s only been noticed recently, but they’ve been systematically removing literally every single marriage of starring characters in the DCU in Nu52.
- Clark and Lois aren’t even dating in this continuity
- Mera is somehow not married to Arthur despite being his Queen; this is direct from a DC representative. They haven’t bothered to explain how yet, they just wanted to make sure we knew.
- Buddy Baker went through a horrible separation from his wife.
- Scott Free and Big Barda aren’t even married anymore; again, this is direct from DC as they have barely been shown in the comics at this point. And again, though, DC still went out of their way to make sure that people knew they weren’t married.
DC isn’t anti-gay marriage. DC is anti-marriage at all. It’s basically One More Day (and likely for the same ridiculous reasons as Quesada gave for OMD: “fewer story ideas”, “ages the characters”, all that nonsense), but for the entire universe. There is literally not a single headlining character in the entire line that’s currently married, even among those that were married in the pre-New 52 line, and apparently the rule from above is no one is allowed to get married either. Editorial just doesn’t bother to tell writers until the 11th hour, which is also something they’ve done over and over again that has driven away writers in the past.
Now, I’m not defending DC by any means. I’m just trying to demonstrate the exact ways in which DC Editorial is awful.
Idk. I have difficulty with full gallons of milk and orange juice. This could be really great for people with dyspraxia or other disabilities that cause weak motor skills.
Don’t you love it when people see assistive technology like this and then assume it’s just for super lazy people instead of maybe, you know, folks who find everyday tasks difficult or impossible otherwise? There are SO many people for whom this could be really helpful: people with motor issues, vision issues - I mean, fuck, this would be really helpful for children and the elderly, too, because a whole gallon of milk or juice is heavy as fuck for a little kid or for someone with poor muscle tone. But nooooope, let’s just make it into a joke about stereotypes of Americans! hurr hurr!
when I see this, I see people bitching about how you should do things the difficult, hard and inefficient way because that’s how they did it when they were taught, and since there’s nothing wrong with them, you should be doing it too. You goddamn lazy assholes who create tools to aid you, what sort of lazy idiot are you?
Like, I can guarantee you, when ball point pens were invented, people who dipped quills bitched because it just wasn’t the same. God, now these stupid fucks have their pens already ready to write, now they’ll just get lazier and stupider and the tradition and art of calligraphy will vanish and die out because of these lazy assholes!
Remember when your teacher said that they never used calculators as kids? No, you didn’t- you used slide rules, and then you used a fucking abacus.
It’d great because then these are the same sort of people who turn around and start bashing hipsters because hipsters are elitist about doing things the old fashioned way. Like… really?
I want one of those things, they’re brilliant. I can’t wait for 3D printing patents to expire in a year or so and then inventors will return to the world, because prototyping cheap objects to invent things like this will be free. Imagine selling the blueprints to the above for like, 50 cents off of some internet store and then the consumer just prints it at home. It’ll be revolutionary.
Literally thousands of years old, this sort of reaction. Socrates on writing:
The story goes that Thamus said much to Theuth, both for and against each art, which it would take too long to repeat. But when they came to writing, Theuth said: “O King, here is something that, once learned, will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memory; I have discovered a potion for memory and for wisdom.” Thamus, however, replied: “O most expert Theuth, one man can give birth to the elements of an art, but only another can judge how they can benefit or harm those who will use them. And now, since you are the father of writing, your affection for it has made you describe its effects as the opposite of what they really are. In fact, it will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practice using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others, instead of trying to remember from the inside, completely on their own. You have not discovered a potion for remembering, but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not with its reality. Your invention will enable them to hear many things without being properly taught, and they will imagine that they have come to know much while for the most part they will know nothing. And they will be difficult to get along with, since they will merely appear to be wise instead of really being so.”
why celsius/centigrade is better than fahrenehenheit
- easier to spell
- all water below 0 is ice. easy and logical
- all water above 100 is steam. easy and logical
- if it’s 1 degree outside one day and 10 degrees the next you can literally say it’s 10x warmer and you aren’t even exaggerating
why farhenininheniehenhet is better than centigrate/celsius
- it isn’t
Except when you’re deep underwater or in a mountain.
Also it wouldn’t be 10 times warmer from 1°C to 10°C because 0°C isn’t the least amount of heat possible; same reason you aren’t 10 times as far away from the center of the earth when you go from 1 foot above sea level to 10 feet above sea level. 10°C isn’t ten times as much warmth as 1°C, it’s about 1.04 times as much warmth. (It is 10 times as far above 0°C, but you could say exactly the same thing about 1°F vs. 10°F then.)
the beauty of the universe, part I - fire rainbows
brief explanation of their formation here
Police Hand Out Bags of Doritos at Seattle HempFest
Police officers descended on this past weekend’s 3-day marijuana festival, Seattle HempFest, not with handcuffs or citations, but one thousand bags of Doritos. A sticker with a brief guide to Washington’s new marijuana law was affixed to each bag, as well as a link to Marijwhatnow, the department’s guide to legal marijuana use in Seattle. Shockingly, “Operation Orange Fingers” was over in ten minutes, as festival-goers tore through the police’s entire supply of chips.
This is how all police forces should handle weed.
let’s talk about housecats and how fucking weird they are evolutionarily/anthropologically
like who thought it was a good idea to have tiny malicious predators in our homes anyways????? (not us actually)
are they even domesticated????!!!?? (yes) do they even feel LOVE???????!!? (yes)
LET’S LEARN ABOUT CATS
“you ready 2 learn punk”
A loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius. The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud. (via Ridiculously Interesting)
(sigh) I’ve seen these before, but this one’s particularly beautiful.
I feel like I’m supposed to be marveling over the fact that this is a loaf of bread that’s been preserved for thousands of years, and don’t get me wrong, that’s hella cool. But honestly, I’m mostly struck by the unexpected news that “bread fraud” was apparently once a serious concern.
Bread Fraud was a huge thing, Bread was provided to the Roman people by the government - bakers were given grain to make the free bread, but some of them stole the government grain to use in other baked goods and would add various substitutes, like sawdust or even worse things, to the bread instead. So if people complained that their free bread was not proper bread, the stamp told them exactly whose bakery they ought to burn down.
Bread stamps continued to be used at least until the Medieval period in Europe. Any commercially sold bread had to be stamped with an official seal to identify the baker to show that it complied with all rules and regulations about size, price, and quality. This way, rotten or undersized loaves could be traced back to the baker. Bakers could be pilloried, sent down the streets in a hurdle cart with the offending loaf tied around their neck, fined, or forbidden to engage in baking commercially ever again in that city. There are records of a baker in London being sent on a hurdle cart because he used an iron rod to increase the weight of his loaves, and another who wrapped rotten dough with fresh who was pilloried. Any baker hurdled three times had to move to a new city if they wanted to continue baking.
If you have made bread, you are probably familiar with a molding board. It’s a flat board used to shape the bread. Clever fraudsters came up with a molding board that had a little hole drilled into it that wasn’t easily noticed. A customer would buy his dough by weight, and then the baker would force some of that dough through the hole, so they could sell and underweight loaf and use the stolen dough to bake new loafs to sell. Molding boards ended up being banned in London after nine different bakers were caught doing this. There were also instances of grain sellers withholding grain to create an artificial scarcity drive up the price of that, and things like bread.
Bread, being one of the main things that literally everyone ate in many parts of the world, ended up with a plethora of rules and regulations. Bakers were probably no more likely to commit fraud than anyone else, but there were so many of them, that we ended up with lots and lots of rules and records of people being shifty.
Check out Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony by Madeleine Pelner Cosman for a whole chapter on food laws as they existed in about 1400. Plus the color plates are fantastic.
Bread is serious fucking business.
bread is STILL serious fucking business
I recently had to deal with a sack of flour that had been half replaced with soap powder. No jokes.
Another really good and informative book about bread’s significance and place in history is 6000 Years Of Bread! It’s fairly academic, but a fascinating topic and an engaging read.
you guys found out the history of bread
FOOD HISTORY IS THE FUCKING BEST SHUT UP DON’T EVEN LOOK AT ME