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Recreational education for those who seek it.

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dynastylnoire:

ananicola:

securelyinsecure:

Meet Jedidah Isler

She is the first black woman to earn a PhD in astronomy from Yale University.

As much as she loves astrophysics, Isler is very aware of the barriers that still remain for young women of color going into science. “It’s unfortunately an as-yet-unresolved part of the experience,” she says. She works to lower those barriers, and also to improve the atmosphere for women of color once they become scientists, noting that “they often face unique barriers as a result of their position at the intersection of race and gender, not to mention class, socioeconomic status and potentially a number of other identities.”

While Isler recounts instances of overt racial and gender discrimination that are jaw-dropping, she says more subtle things happen more often. Isler works with the American Astronomical Society’s commission on the status of minorities in astronomy.

She also believes that while things will improve as more women of color enter the sciences, institutions must lead the way toward creating positive environments for diverse student populations. That is why she is active in directly engaging young women of color: for example participating in a career exploration panel on behalf of the Women’s Commission out of the City of Syracuse Mayor’s Office, meeting with high-achieving middle-school girls. She is also on the board of trustees at the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST).

“Whether I like it or not, I’m one of only a few women of color in this position,” she says. “Addressing these larger issues of access to education and career exploration are just as important as the astrophysical work that I do.”

Learn more:

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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOST YES DAMMIT!

(via thewaywardqueen)

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somuchscience:

10 Reasons Why EarthShips Are Fucking Awesome

Earthships are 100% sustainable homes that are both cheap to build and awesome to live in. They offer amenities like no other sustainable building style you have come across. For the reasons that follow, I believe Earthships can actually change the world. See for yourself!

1) Sustainable does not mean primitive

When people hear about sustainable, off-the-grid living, they usually picture primitive homes divorced from the comforts of the 21st century. And rightfully so, as most sustainable solutions proposed until now have fit that description. Earthships, however, offer all of the comforts of modern homes and more. I’ll let these pictures do the talking…

2) Free Food

Each Earthship is outfitted with one or two greenhouses that grow crops year-round, no matter the climate. This means you can feed yourself with only the plants growing inside of your house. You can also choose to build a fish pond and/or chicken coop into your Earthship for a constant source of meat and eggs.

3) Brilliant Water Recycling

Even the most arid of climates can provide enough water for daily use through only a rain-harvesting system. The entire roof of the Earthship funnels rain water to a cistern, which then pumps it to sinks and showers when required. That used ‘grey water’ is then pumped into the greenhouse to water the plants. After being cleaned by the plants, the water is pumped up into the bathrooms for use in the toilets. After being flushed, the now ‘black water’ is pumped to the exterior garden to give nutrients to non-edible plants.

4) Warmth & Shelter

The most brilliant piece of engineering in the Earthship is their ability to sustain comfortable temperatures year round. Even in freezing cold or blistering hot climates, Earthships constantly hover around 70° Fahrenheight (22° Celsius).

This phenomenon results from the solar heat being absorbed and stored by ‘thermal mass’ — or tires filled with dirt, which make up the structure of the Earthship. The thermal mass acts as a heat sink, releasing or absorbing heat it when the interior cools and heats up, respectively.

The large greenhouse windows at the front of the house always face south to allow the sun to heat up the thermal mass throughout the daytime.

5) Energy

Solar panels on the roof and optional wind turbines provide the Earthship with all of the power it needs. As long as you’re not greedily chewing through electricity like a typical first-world human, you’ll never be short of power.

6) Freedom

With all of your basic needs provided for and NO bills each month, you’re free! You don’t have to work a job you hate just to survive. So you can focus your time on doing what you love, and bettering the world around you.

Imagine if the entire world was able to focus on doing extraordinary things instead of just making enough to get by. Imagine if even 10% of the world could do this. What would change?

7) Easy to build

At a recent Earthship conference in Toronto, Canada, a married couple in their forties shared about how they built a 3-story Earthship by themselves in 3 months. They had never built anything before in their lives and were able to build an Earthship with only the printed plans. They did not hire any help, nor did they use expensive equipment to make the job easier.

If one man and one woman can do this in 3 months, anyone can do it.

8) Cheap

Earthships are exorbitantly cheaper than conventional houses. The most basic Earthships cost as little as $7000 (The Simple Survival model) with the most glamorous models costing $70,000 and up, depending on how flashy you want to be with your decorating.

With these cost options, Earthships can fit the needs of everyone — from the least privileged to the most worldly.

9) Made of recycled materials

Much of the materials used to build Earthships are recycled. For starters, the structure is built with used tires filled with dirt.

If there’s one thing we’re not short of on Earth, it’s used tires! There are tire dumps like the one pictured here in every country in the world. There are even places that will pay you by the tire to take them away.

The walls (above the tires) are created by placing plastic and glass bottles in concrete. When the Earthship team was in Haiti after the earthquake, they employed local kids to both clean up the streets and provide all of the bottles required for building their Earthship. Plus, they look pretty sexy.

10) Think Different

The most powerful thing Earthships do is force people to think differently about how we live. If housing can be this awesome, and be beneficial to the environment, then what else can we change? What else can become more simple, cheaper and better at the same time?

It’s time for us to re-think much of what we consider normal.

——————–

Think Earthships are cool? Me too. That’s why I’ve joined up with some people to create a community of Earthships and to make sustainable communities go mainstream! It’s something we call the Valhalla Movement.

Want to know more? Read more about it on ValhallaMovement.com, and like us on Facebook.

This originally appeared on: HighExistence

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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 mitra-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)