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June 28 2017

Warm-bloodedness possibly much older than previously thought: Characteristic may have developed 20 million years earlier, study shows


This is really huge. The reason isn’t just that Ophiacodon may have been warm blooded. It’s that it puts warm bloodedness that much closer to the origin of Reptiles. It may have been a common trait in the early Reptiles from which Ophiacodon arose. The Reptiles we see now may have later lost the ability to generate their own heat. 

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The instant cure for summer heat. Chilly Elixir, Link and other Breath of the Wild elements property of Nintendo. Check it out in action here.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp blue drink mix powder
  1. Place pineapple juice and ½ cup sugar in a small saucepan. Add lime zest and ginger and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover, allowing the syrup to steep for 30 minutes.
  2. Add a little drink mix and stir it in. Strain. Pour into a fairy pot or mason jar and keep in the fridge.
  3. To make a Chili Elixr beverage, pour a few tablespoons into a the bottom of a glass. Add a little club soda and stir. Add ice and top with more soda, stirring all the while. Garnish with mint if desired.
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Castle in the Wind (or maybe Castle in the Air, presumably the cover layout artist wasn’t too sure), AD&D scenario from White Dwarf 76, April 1986.

Venetia Lee and Paul Stamforth. Related cover art by Peter Andrew Jones.

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Notice how each actor down the line is shorter? Its on purpose. Part of the forced perspective trickery to make a 20-30 foot long set look much longer. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Complementing Baggage - Chapter 16


We’ve finally reached the end of this story - but not the series! Stay tuned for more in this ‘verse!

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EMH is photobombing.

when scifi is written by women versus men


You can tell that the Vorkosigan Saga was created by a woman; because, it takes Lois McMaster Bujold a total of like two sentences to eliminate all real life pregnancy/childbirth problems in her world building. 

On the other hand, according to Star Trek, in their utopian world where medical miracles are routine, nothing about that process/burden/suffering has apparently changed or improved significantly.


“Are any of the levers marked?” said Ponder, scrabbling through Leonard’s sketches.
“Yes, but I don’t understand them! Here’s one marked ‘Troba’!”
Ponder scanned the pages, covered in Leonard’s backwards writing. “Er… er…” he muttered.
“Do not pull the lever marked ‘Troba’!” snapped Lord Vetinari, leaning forward.
“My lord!” said Ponder, and went red as Lord Vetinari’s gaze fell upon him. “I’m sorry, my lord, but this is rather technical, it is about machinery, and it would perhaps be better if those whose education had been more in the field of the arts did not…”
His voice faded under the Patrician’s stare.
“This one’s got a normal label! It’s called ‘Prince Haran’s Tiller’!” said a desperate voice from the omniscope.
Lord Vetinari patted Ponder Stibbons on the shoulder.
“I quite understand,” he said. “The last thing a trained machinery person wants at a time like this is well-meant advice from ignorant people. I do apologize. And what is it that you intend to do?”
“Well, I, er, I…”
“As the Kite and all our hopes plunge towards the ground, I mean,” Lord Vetinari went on.
“I, er, I, let’s see, we’ve tried…”
Ponder stared at the omniscope, and at his notes. His mind had become a huge, white, sticky field of hot fluff.
“I imagine we have at least a minute left,” said Lord Vetinari. “No rush.”
“I, er, perhaps we, er…”
The Patrician leaned down towards the omniscope. “Rincewind, pull Prince Haran’s Tiller,” he said.
“We don’t know what it does–” Ponder began.
“Do tell me if you have a better idea,” said Lord Vetinari. “In the meantime, I suggest that the lever is pulled.”
On the Kite, Rincewind decided to respond to the voice of authority.
“Er… there’s a lot of clicking and whirring…” he reported. “And… some of the levers are moving by themselves… now the wings are unfolding… we’re sort of flying in a straight line, at least… quite gently, really…”
“Good. I suggest you apply yourself to waking up Leonard,” said the Patrician. He turned and nodded at Ponder. “You yourself have not studied the classics, young man? I know Leonard has.”
“Well… no, sir.”
“Prince Haran was a legendary Klatchian hero who sailed around the world on a ship with a magical tiller,” said Lord Vetinari. “It steered the ship while he slept. If I can be of any further help, don’t hesitate to ask.”

– never let the imminent destruction of the world stop you from being dramatic: the Havelock Vetinari story | Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero

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Somewhere a rocket scientist brain surgeon physicist with a knack for economics who wears Velcro shoes is having a stress breakdown.

When I was a professional ballroom dance instructor, one of my coworkers was having a tough time teaching a step to her student. As he gets more frustrated she tells him “it’s ok- you’ll get it- this isn’t rocket science.”

There is an awkward pause as her student stares back at her.
“No” he agrees, “this isn’t rocket science. That I can do. This is some sadistic step designed specifically to torture rocket scientists.”

And that’s how we found out he worked for NASA.

Reblogged for that story

Your daily reminder that no, seriously: “difficult” is a matter of context.

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High Priestess. Drawing that enterprise halo was killer. 


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Polished Malachite Stalactite - Copper Crescent, Congo

*looks around*


Is anyone gonna say it

malachite is a poisonous mineral. please do not fuck the malachite stalactite

@lizaleigh do you know any rock people that can confirm/deny because I am very curious and really don’t feel like getting into a conversation with my geophysicist brother that MAY somehow get back to the fact I saw a malachite that looked like a weird dildo.

…sadly, I am not on good enough terms with any of our partner geologists to just attach this to an email with the subject line: “EXPLAIN.”

Although I think @mollisaurus is a mineral person. Thoughts?

oh geeze, i’m kinda rusty on minerals but malachite is just copper carbonate and is really common in both antique and modern jewelry so i think like if you were really gun-ho about it you could go ahead and put it wherever you want?

It’s really only a problem if you’re polishing or cutting it. The particles would be bad to breathe. It’s rather porous too, so I would worry about bacteria growing. Well, being literal anyway… Better to leave the poor thing alone. ._.

I mean it kinda depends on where you stick it because malachite does not like acidic environments very much and the malachite will degrade and also might dye your bits blue-green as the copper dissolves out.

So use a condom when fucking rocks is the takeaway here.

Oh my god guys it’s poisonous

It is super poisonous

There is a reason we do not use it in make up any more

Not even with a condom, do not fuck the rock

Try this one instead. 

malachite literally explodes in water does it not?

I… no… I think you’re thinking of pure sodium?

Malachite is however water soluble, which really just means it will poison you quicker

This is both hilarious and cool as fuck because you’re getting all this information on minerals and rocks. You’re also watching people argue over wether or not you can fuck this rock

I go on hiatus for a week and come back to find tumblr molesting my post, but hey, at least we all learned something so yay tumblr, you just keep on  being you.

I’m still not sure if I can fuck this rock.

I’m looking into it.




Today in “I’m so sorry, coworkers, it’s for Tumblr,” I brought this post to the attention the science reporters at BuzzFeed. Dan Vergano did a some research and weighed in on the question “Can you use malachite as a dildo or is it toxic?”

The answer is “It’s probably fine, just wash it first and maybe use a bunch of lube.”

Oh man this got so much better than the last time I saw this post

This is my favourite. Science side of tumblr: asking the REAL questions

*biologist crashes through the underbrush*

Ok so here’s the thing though

Malachite is not poisonous to YOU. BUT fucking this stalactite will probably wreck your vaginal flora and leave you with a gruesome infection within a couple days.


• Malachite is not copper oxide. It’s Cu2CO3(OH)2. Like most carbonates it’s water soluble– that’s how it became a stalactite in the first place! And technically any given chunk of “malachite” isn’t just malachite– it’s a mix of various copper carbonates & oxides. This will become important later. 

• When malachite dissolves it makes a bunch of copper (Cu++) ions. Cu++ is GREAT at killing bacteria and fungi– so good at it that sprays with Cu++ get used a lot as a spray in agriculture to stop plant disease. It takes such a large dose to harm larger organisms that copper sprays are used a lot in organic agriculture (like Bordeaux mixture). 

So bottom line, yes malachite is technically nontoxic to humans. But it kills bacteria when it dissolves and releases Cu++.

• Malachite dissolves somewhat slowly in water– but vaginal secretions aren’t just any water. A healthy human vagina has a pH of 3.8-4.5 and a salinity of about 0.9%. It’s also warmer than your average underground cave at 37°C (or 98.5°F in American meat units). As luck would have it, acidity, salinity, and warmth all make malachite dissolve faster. 

• In other words, the human vagina dissolves malachite. 

• I have no deeper explanation for why human females can dissolve rocks with our genitals. It simply is

• Gonna to take a quick moment to point out that sex toys that dissolve when you use them are maybe not the best investment. 

• Anyway the key question now is “how fast does the human vagina dissolve malachite?” Are we talking geological timescale, a Nazis-in-Indiana-Jones situation, or something in between? If the reaction kinetics of dissolution are very slow, then there’s nothing to worry about. An encounter with a stalactite would have to last years for enough Cu++ to leach out to cause problems. If it’s quick then we’re in trouble. 

• Unfortunately it looks like nobody really knows. One of the best sources on how malachite dissolves & precipitates in water– an EPA document on how to avoid too much Cu++ in municipal drinking water systems– helpfully says “The kinetic constraints on the formation of these solids in water systems are largely unexplored” (p. 42) because end equilibrium points is all you need to run a city water system safely. In other words, the experiments that would tell us how fast malachite dissolves in various types of water just don’t exist because nobody’s ever needed to know before. So we’d better assume it’s going to happen reasonably quickly, #for safety.

• So in best scientific fashion, we’re just going to bullshit our way ahead using what facts we DO have on hand: endpoint equlibria. 

• Is there any info out there telling us what equilibrium concentration of Cu++ we get in salty acidic water at body temperature? Almost! One J.F. Scaife published some great data on this back in 1957. TAKE IT AWAY, SCAIFE. 


That orange box is how many moles of dissolved Cu++ Scaife got from sticking malachite in some water that had 0.171 moles NaCl/L (body salinity is about 0.154 moles NaCl/L so this is slightly less salty than people) at 30°C. He’s got no acidity in there, and again the salinity and temperature are slightly lower than people. But this is probably the closest we’re going to get to data on how malachite behaves in vaginas anytime soon, folks. From this we can take away that if you leave malachite alone in a vagina you’ll get AT LEAST 9.12 x 10^-4 moles/L, or 5.8 ppm, of Cu++ at equilibrium. 

• Recall from above that most “malachite” isn’t actually pure malachite, it’s a mix of various copper carbonates & oxides. The EPA document elaborates: “[T]raditional ‘eyeball’ identification of malachite by its blue-green color is extremely unreliable, because almost all cupric hydroxysulfates, hydroxycarbonates, hydroxychlorides, and even fresh cupric hydroxide can be some shade of blue-green. … Thus, the uncertainty in the computed copper concentration in equilibrium with malachite is at least about a factor of 2 … until further experimental data focusing on this problem is generated.”

In other words, “do your math and then double how much Cu++ you think is going to be in the water, just in case.” So that gives us 11.6ppm Cu++, at equilibrium, with malachite in a (til now!) healthy vagina. 

• Next step: do we have any idea what happens to bacteria in acid conditions with copper? OH MY GOD WE TOTALLY DO. Gyawali et al 2011 checked this out in the context of “so what if we rinsed tomatoes with a solution of lactic acid and copper, because that would be a safe & organic way to get rid of E. coli?” So now this post has officially ruined stalactites, vaginas, and tomatoes.


^This would happen. These are the counts of 4 E. coli strains exposed to various levels of lactic acid & Cu++ for 8 hours. This table only shows the end counts but it represents the death of 99.7% of bacteria*.

• Losing 99.7% of your vaginal flora is seriously bad news. You’re looking at really good odds of a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, and/or other infection issues. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to not be in the 4% of the population or so that’s sensitive to skin contact with copper

• The good news? Biochemically speaking, you’re probably ok to put it in your butt. It’s not as acidic or salty in there, plus there’s a huuuuuge stockpile of gut microbes right upstream that can quickly repopulate the colon after spelunking is complete. However this stalactite is not flared at the base so it is the wrong shape for putting in your butt. Do not put this stalactite in your butt. 

• This all looks like fun and games, but I think it’s really interesting that the internet’s mistake in concluding that this stalactite is fuckable is very similar to the mistake made by the Flint water management system. Hear me out. 

• Central to the Flint lead poisoning crisis is that authorities only looked at & tested Flint’s water in its central treatment plant before it went out through the pipes. Not after it went through the pipes. They did not consider what would happen biochemically as it went through the pipes and metals started dissolving. 

• Similarly, in concluding that the stalactite is fuckable, the internet only considered the stalactite itself. Not the biochemical processes that would happen to it as it, welp, went through the pipes. 

• Media frequently reports that the Flint River’s water is “corrosive,” leading many to believe the river is full of industrial waste. This ain’t the case. You’d need industry to fill a river with industrial waste, and industry left decades ago. That’s why Flint’s so poor. So what IS in the water? Road salt. Plain old stupid road salt. The old Detroit-based source didn’t have salt because it came from Lake Huron which has a large, mostly rural watershed. Meanwhile the Flint River runs through a lot of towns, making it slightly salty as everything melts down in spring. And as we recall from the stalactite experience, a little salt is all it takes to get metals to dissolve. 

• Information on this engineering problem was not coming through clearly from the engineering or chemistry sides. It took a biologist, pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, to document the real-time results and provide the data to kick-start a high-level investigation. 

• Morals of the story: when dealing with a biological system pls consider asking a biologist, your vagina and/or city could depend on this

• Pls use a condom when fucking any water-soluble material

• Still don’t put the stalactite in your butt -3/10 do not recommend

OK, I haven’t reblogged this before now but the final post takes it to a whole new level and I can no longer resist. 

Has @elodieunderglass weighed in on this? Also, @hannahbananadepp? @jeraldine-mercenarysith? @jacquelinebsm? Science side of Krew??

I respect the passion and conviction of this conversation, and I am a big fan of geology and mineralogy, but I strongly believe that sex and sexual activity should always involve an element of consent. And I believe Nature is indicating here that she does not wish you to fuck the malachite.

Nature has provided you with a dazzling universe of things to fuck, as well as the very reasons in your brain for doing so. Nature has, in fact, made fucking a PLEASURABLE activity for humans, so much so that humans can invent new ways of fucking Nature. Evolutionarily, we are of a noble and ancient lineage of Fuckers; I guess this is only to be expected.

But I just don’t see that Nature intends for you to fuck this piece of malachite. It is, as we see from the excellent bullet points, dubcon at best. It’s like trying to live on lichen, or putting a saddle on a tiger, or changing the climate with fossil fuel consumption. Nature is like “I guess you COULD if you really HAD to, but I think I’d prefer if you didn’t. Like, if you force me to do this, I will find a way to make it happen, but please don’t.”

And, you know, most things would probably be better if we listened to Nature? When she’s like “hey, maybe don’t build your house there” then there’s usually a good reason for it. When she’s like “hey, I think you should fuck people of your same assigned gender,” then she usually means it.

Until we see evidence that fucking the malachite is a fabulous idea, that it will clear up your skin and provide you with vitamins and improve your test scores by 10%… why don’t we just NOT fuck the malachite to begin with? And then, when we do, we can take full responsibility for our actions, because at every single point of this conversation, WE KNEW BETTER.




A while ago I was lurking on Twitter and saw some film critics having a conversation about the eye lighting in giallo films (which are basically Italian horror and noir films from the ‘60s and ‘70s). Someone pointed out it was the same weird eye lighting they have in TOS. They speculated that it may have come from American noir but no one seemed to know for sure.

I did some research of my own and found out that:

a) It was probably made popular by the 1931 Dracula

b) It is now commonly known as a “Shatner light”

c) A lot of people also associate it with Morticia Addams

For me the real question is: Why on Earh was TOS using the same lighting techniques as horror and noir films?

for the Drama™

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Deep Space Nine | 3.15 Destiny

The "Home" Series - by mrs260 - Star Trek DS9


Here’s a tale neatly told by @mrs260​. Beginning with a “missing scene” from “By Inferno’s Light,” in which Julian sets out to help relieve Garak of his claustrophobia and discomfort, the story follows through beautifully for a few weeks, through smaller scenes between the two of them as well a few with Odo and some others. The series is in three parts – “In the Dark,” “Home,” and “Secrets,” – and each one has a different focus. The first is hurt-comfort turning into something else, the second is slash, and third is an interesting Garak POV piece that examines the nature of Cardassian memory and even their perception of truth. 


The smug little smile appeared in his mind’s eye as the self-satisfied voice caressed his ear. “You like this, don’t you?”


“I suppose you’d like me to keep doing it.”

Was he actually planning to do this properly?! “Please,” Garak gasped.

The hands withdrew and Garak nearly exploded. “We should get back to bed before the patrol goes through,” Julian said smoothly.

Garak hissed, trying to gain control of the situation. “You infernal tease! Get back here!”

“I’m tired.” He didn’t sound the least bit tired. He sounded delighted at his position of power. Then, reasonably, “Come on, Garak, we both need sleep. We can’t do this here anyway. Wait until we’re back home.”

“Of course.” Garak smiled, finding the doctor’s mouth in the dark for one more kiss. “You really have mastered the art of conflict, doctor. When I teach you the finer nuances that allow us to distinguish between antagonism and passion you will be a most stimulating and challenging mate.”

Julian chuckled as they made their way back to the prisoners barracks. “Do you know my first name?”

“Of course.”

“Nobody would ever know,” Julian said archly.


Title: Home Series – “In the Dark”“Home”“Secrets” 
Author: mrs260 
Year Posted: 2009 
Approx. Word Count: 8,900
Chapters: 3 (stories)
GB - Slash or Platonic: slash
My Rating (1-5): 4
Keywords: “By Inferno’s Light,” Camp 371, hurt/comfort, friends-to-lovers, first time, Dr. Bashir, I Presume, genetic revelation, Cardassian memory, literature discussion

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OC’s + Garak and Bashir from ‘Collisions’ Series part II, ‘Impact’ by Sfumatosoup

(I’m amused by the unintentional, slightly Brady Bunch thing going on here…)

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This cat is comfortably vocal.

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A 1928 expletive infix from Dorothy Sayers, via Dennis Baron on twitter.

This is also called dystmesis.

When you drop an infix into a word to amplify emotion, it’s tmesis. The example Dennis gives of “abso-bloody-lutely” is tmesis. “Whole nother story” is another common example of tmesis.

Dystmesis happens when you infix, but you do it in an unlikely place or with unexpected words.

“Un-fuckin-believable” is tmesis but “unbe-fucking-lievable” is dystmesis.

June 27 2017

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that’s why we don’t ask for your opinions, Bones

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Watching this (and fearing broken ankles with each loop) I can’t helping thinking about that old quote Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.

But no, if you watch closely you’ll see she doesn’t even step on the last chair. That means she had to trust that fucker to lift her gently to the ground while he was spinning down onto that chair. That takes major guts. I’d be pissing myself and fearing a broken neck if I were in her place. Kudos to her. 

I can’t stop watching this. 


Okay so this is true, but a tiny part of a wider truth. 

Ginger Rogers was a FUCKING BADASS. Ignore for a sec the rampant sexism in Hollywood (they once bleached  her hair blonde in wardrobe without telling her beforehand), the fact that she fought her whole career against typecasting and stereotyping from fellow actors (Katharine Hepburn famously said of the Astaire/Rogers partnership “she gave him sex. He gave her class” ) for starting out in musicals, and went on to have a career lasting over fifty years, winning a Best Actress Oscar (Kitty Foyle, 1940). But… JUST focusing on the Astaire movies…

Not only did she dance “backwards” in high heels, the dances were a task in themselves. Astaire was an absolute perfectionist and choreographed for himself, so as a younger, less experienced dancer Rogers came in at a disadvantage and worked her ass off to match him. 

Then there’s the filming complications… these numbers were filmed in ONE TAKE. So one thing goes wrong and you have to start over. Maybe you make a mistake or maybe your dress flies up because…

Ginger had to contend with her wardrobe. Dancing in heels is the norm at this time, but dancing in a dress designed for cinema cameras… not so much. They were heavy, embellished, uncomfortable, restrictive and cumbersome and essentially a third member of the dance, strapped to the body of one partner.Not only did she have to dance and look good, she had to control the dress too!

Take this routine from Swing Time… (it gets going proper at 1:30ish)

This dress has weights, YES WEIGHTS, sewn in to the hem to make it fly out and create a visual effect. So it’s heavy, it hurts if it hits you, and your partner gets mad if it hits him. So you gotta control it. 

Well it turns out all these factors on this set, this particular day aren’t going so well. So you’re doing take after take, here’s no labour laws, so at 4am after 18 hours you’re still going, even though part of the routine requires you to spin up those curved stairs with no rail at high speed….

Okay so now back to those high heels. In Ginger’s autobiography she vividly remembers this night as the night she bled though her shoes. They did so many takes, her feet blistered, bled, and the white satin high heels she was wearing finished he night pink because they were literally full of blood. And still they keep shooting. She keeps dancing.

The take they use in the film is the last. Early hours. Bloody feet. And she spins, acts and bosses out until that last second. Because she was that professional, talented and bloody minded. This is the last set of spins… 

So I say once again. Ginger Rogers was a badass.

She did everything Fred Astaire did backwards, in high heels, wearing a 20 pound dress, exhausted, injured and standing in a pool of her own blood. And watching her perform, you would never know.

Backwards and in heels <3

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She May Be The Most Unstoppable Scientist In The World

Dauqan is a woman scientist in what’s possibly the hardest place on Earth to be just a woman: Yemen.

The World Economic Forum ranks Yemen as the worst country for women’s rights. In Yemen, it’s illegal for women to just leave the house without permission from a male relative.

Even as a young girl, she was rebel. “I was a little naughty,” she says with a snicker.

Read her incredible story here

She liked breaking rules. And proving people wrong. So when her parents told her she might not have the smarts to go into science and engineering — like her dad — Eqbal thought: Watch me.

“I told my father, ‘I’ve heard a lot about scientists in chemistry. What is the difference between me and them? So I want to try,” she says.

And she did more than try. She crushed it.

She was the first among her friends to finish college. Then she got a scholarship to do her Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Universiti Kebansaan Malaysia, where she studied the nutritional properties of palm oil.

Read the full story here

When little girls in the Middle East see photos of Eqbal as a chemist — wearing a head scarf, measuring pH — they don’t need to use their imagination to think: “I could be just like her. I could be a scientist.”

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