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Recreational education for those who seek it.

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boston:

FDA approves pill to prevent HIV infections 
The drug, Truvada, is the first medication intended to prevent HIV infections in people having sex with infected individuals.
(JEFF CHIU/AP) 

This is a huge step forward in fighting one of the worst diseases in the world, but to be very clear it is not a pill that simply prevents the infection of HIV. The meaning of the article title is “The FDA has approved a pill which is intended to prevent HIV infections,” and Truvada is intended to do just that, but the non-placebo participants in a 2-year study only showed around a 50% lower risk than the placebo group. This is probably because in their 2-year study only about 30% of participants stuck to the daily schedule, so their gathered data was less than ideal because we just don’t know if the risk was lowered way less than what was expected because people weren’t taking the pills as often as they should, or if the drug simply wasn’t as effective as they had thought it would be.
Also, at a whopping $13,900 a year without insurance, Truvada runs you about $40 per pill
tl;dr: Big step forward, but not nearly on the level of a vaccine in terms of convenience, cost, and effectiveness

boston:

FDA approves pill to prevent HIV infections

The drug, Truvada, is the first medication intended to prevent HIV infections in people having sex with infected individuals.

(JEFF CHIU/AP)

This is a huge step forward in fighting one of the worst diseases in the world, but to be very clear it is not a pill that simply prevents the infection of HIV. The meaning of the article title is “The FDA has approved a pill which is intended to prevent HIV infections,” and Truvada is intended to do just that, but the non-placebo participants in a 2-year study only showed around a 50% lower risk than the placebo group. This is probably because in their 2-year study only about 30% of participants stuck to the daily schedule, so their gathered data was less than ideal because we just don’t know if the risk was lowered way less than what was expected because people weren’t taking the pills as often as they should, or if the drug simply wasn’t as effective as they had thought it would be.

Also, at a whopping $13,900 a year without insurance, Truvada runs you about $40 per pill

tl;dr: Big step forward, but not nearly on the level of a vaccine in terms of convenience, cost, and effectiveness

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malformalady:

A young assassin bug with a backpack made of dead ants. There are 7,000 species of assassin bugs the world over, and while not all engage in this  behavior, each is equipped with a mouthpart called a rostrum. With this, the assassin bug stabs through the exoskeleton of its prey. An outer sheath peels back once inside to expose the maxillae and mandibles.They then inject a toxin that paralyzes the victim in a fraction and begins liquefying its innards. Then, utilizing a sticky secretion on their exoskeletons, some species will pop the corpse up onto their back. 
Photo credit: Getty Images

malformalady:

A young assassin bug with a backpack made of dead ants. There are 7,000 species of assassin bugs the world over, and while not all engage in this  behavior, each is equipped with a mouthpart called a rostrum. With this, the assassin bug stabs through the exoskeleton of its prey. An outer sheath peels back once inside to expose the maxillae and mandibles.They then inject a toxin that paralyzes the victim in a fraction and begins liquefying its innards. Then, utilizing a sticky secretion on their exoskeletons, some species will pop the corpse up onto their back.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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angelclark:

ENDLESS ELECTRICITY: Here’s A Way Of Turning America’s Roads Into Gigantic Solar Panels

There are about 31,251 square miles of roads, parking lots, driveways, playgrounds, bike paths, and sidewalks in the lower 48 states. If Julie and Scott Brusaw have their way, they will all someday be replaced with solar panels.

For the better part of a decade, the Idaho couple has been working on prototyping an industrial-strength panel that could withstand the weight of even the largest trucks. They now appear to have cracked the formula, developing a specially textured glass coating for the panels that can not only bear tremendous loads but also support standard tire traction.

By their reckoning, at peak installation their panelized roads could produce more than three times the electricity consumed in the U.S.

The material could power electric vehicles through a receiver plate mounted beneath the vehicle and a transmitter plate is installed in the road.

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unhistorical:

April 30, 1945: Adolf Hitler commits suicide.

As the Soviet Red Army descended upon Berlin, mowing down what meager dregs  of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS Germany had left to offer, Hitler received the news that his fellow despot Benito Mussolini had been executed - not to mention beaten, stoned, spat on, hung up, and put on display - by his own countrymen. The already-unstable Führer, having already declared his intention to remain in Berlin and commit suicide, was now even more determined not to be made “a spectacle of” once the end came.

The day before his suicide, he married Eva Braun, his longtime mistress, and dictated his last will and testament, which named Joseph Goebbels the Reich’s new Chancellor (this position Goebbels held for one day, before he and his family also committed suicide). To the end, Hitler was adamant about the “threat” he believed the Jews posed to humanity, and he ended his final political testament with this statement:

Above all I charge the leaders of the nation and those under them to scrupulous observance of the laws of race and to merciless opposition to the universal poisoner of all peoples, international Jewry.

Less than 24 hours later, Hitler shot himself, and his wife poisoned herself. As requested by his private will and testament, both of their bodies were burned and buried in the garden of the Reich Chancellery - the building where, in Hitler’s own words, he had “carried out the greatest part of [his] daily work in the course of twelve years’ service to [his] people.” 

(via moira-the-piemaker)

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jtotheizzoe:

Tripedal to the Metal
That’s some loco motion, huh? Found this neat little GIF showing how an ant’s legs move at a full gallop. While calmly strolling though the picnic grounds, ants have five of their six legs at a time in contact with the ground. But when it’s time to put the (tiny) pedal to the metal, they change their gait to this alternating tripod motion.
This pattern isn’t controlled by the insect’s brain, but rather by bundles of neurons in the leg called central pattern generators. While moving at such a clip, it just so happens that three legs is the minimum number it needs on the ground at a time to balance its rigid exoskeleton without toppling over.
Is that part of the reason that insects have six legs and not another number like four or eight? Or did the gait evolve to match the hardware? My guess is the latter, but I am not sure. What say you, insect folks? 
(GIF via NC State University)

jtotheizzoe:

Tripedal to the Metal

That’s some loco motion, huh? Found this neat little GIF showing how an ant’s legs move at a full gallop. While calmly strolling though the picnic grounds, ants have five of their six legs at a time in contact with the ground. But when it’s time to put the (tiny) pedal to the metal, they change their gait to this alternating tripod motion.

This pattern isn’t controlled by the insect’s brain, but rather by bundles of neurons in the leg called central pattern generators. While moving at such a clip, it just so happens that three legs is the minimum number it needs on the ground at a time to balance its rigid exoskeleton without toppling over.

Is that part of the reason that insects have six legs and not another number like four or eight? Or did the gait evolve to match the hardware? My guess is the latter, but I am not sure. What say you, insect folks? 

(GIF via NC State University)

(via biologicallyred)

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egg-rolls:

when u stand up 2 fast n suddenly ur floatin thru space n time

Fun fact time:

This is called Orthostatic hypotension, it’s caused by a sudden fall of at least 20 Torrs (2,666Pa) in systolic blood pressure, or 10 Torrs (1,333Pa) in diastolic blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or reclining position

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(via thismakessense)

Q&A

Anonymous asked: This is a more blog related question, but, would you consider doing current events and "History in the Making"? I think it would be interesting for someone to explore the background of the things going on today, things like why the Higgs boson is a big deal, why does the rest of the world care about what country Crimea is part of and why is it so easy to lose planes? I don't know, it's just a suggestion.

Hey, this is a really thoughtful suggestion, so thanks for that. We do post about current events, even though we don’t have a section for it on the blog. I’m pretty sure we’ve done, or at least reblogged a post on the Higgs boson (or rather the Higgs Field), and we’ve done at least some other current event posts.

But the main reasons we don’t (currently) have a separate “Current Events” tag are…

  1. Things in that tag would slowly become unfit for the tag as time progressed, so it would be a difficult tag to accurately maintain.
  2. Both of us are at college right now and it gets pretty hectic. We do have some free time, but when we do we’re usually too exhausted to put a lot of energy into this blog, which is why most of the posts are reblogs right now.
  3. Since most of our post volume is consisting of reblogs, the tag would be heavily composed of other blogs’ posts for a while, and tumblr is notorious for spreading semi-accurate, or twisted information, especially with current events. So it would be impractical to start that tag until we can make more of the posts for it ourselves because the amount of research that vetting other posts requires is comparable to the research we need to write them ourselves.

—Forrest & Emmett

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In a world rights deal, the Tolkien Estate has signed with HarperCollins to publish for the first time Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien. This new book has been edited by Christopher Tolkien, who comments:
‘The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.
From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.
But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf “snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup”; but he rebuts the notion that this is “a mere treasure story”, “just another dragon tale”. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is “the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history” that raises it to another level. “The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ‘treasure’ is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.”
Sellic spell, a “marvellous tale”, is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the “historical legends” of the Northern kingdoms.’
This is the first book by J.R.R. Tolkien since the internationally bestselling The Fall of Arthur. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary will be published by HarperCollins on 22nd May 2014 and in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In a world rights deal, the Tolkien Estate has signed with HarperCollins to publish for the first time Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien. This new book has been edited by Christopher Tolkien, who comments:

‘The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.

From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.

But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf “snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup”; but he rebuts the notion that this is “a mere treasure story”, “just another dragon tale”. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is “the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history” that raises it to another level. “The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ‘treasure’ is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.”

Sellic spell, a “marvellous tale”, is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the “historical legends” of the Northern kingdoms.’

This is the first book by J.R.R. Tolkien since the internationally bestselling The Fall of ArthurBeowulf: A Translation and Commentary will be published by HarperCollins on 22nd May 2014 and in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

(via iloveyouletmejumpinyourgame)

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stevencrewniverse:

What is a “Distance Model”?

When a character is seen in the distance, too much line complexity will create an over-complicated image. We drop detail to simulate the effect of seeing a character far away. If you’ve managed to notice this already, you’re not just seeing things- it’s quite intentional.

Because the show is animated by hand, we prefer not to scale down a complicated drawing- it becomes unclear and messy. Instead we use a distance model, which is a simplified version of that character.

Also they’re really cute.

Lead Character Designer: Danny Hynes

Character Designer: Colin Howard

Color: Tiffany Ford

Color Assist: Jasmin Lai

Distance Guide: Ian Jones-Quartey

(via moonpiefsn)