the final verdict is that alcohol and half a tab of acid is an extremely good mix because acid gets rid of all the negative side effects of being drunk (like wanting to eat at all or text people weird stuff) 

pierceaholic  asked:


[For the “Send me an OC and I’ll give you the pros and cons of dating them” meme!]


  • Loyal as fuck
  • Is very physically affectionate; an expert cuddler
  • Is down with doing anything you’re down with most of the time
    • and yes this includes in the bedroom
  • Makes a massive effort to remember important dates and celebrate them (which is truly a feat because her memory is shit half the time)
  • Will actually admit when she fucks up and will make amends
  • Decent cook, excellent baker
  • quick with a joke; likes to make her significant other smile


  • Is very physically affectionate
  • Has ADHD, so dealing with the negative side effects can be difficult
  • The “actually admitting when she fucks up and making amends” more often then not comes after a period of intense stubbornness and refusal to admit she’s wrong
  • speaking of stubbornness, has trouble letting go of grudges and has a long memory for slights
  • Occasionally gets too hot during the night, so she’ll stick her feet out under the covers to cool off. She’ll manage to put those ice cold fuckers on your skin every. single. fucking. time.
  • Gets bad nightmares. Be prepared to get thwacked in the face.
  • Has introverted tendencies, so she needs time to recharge after major events. Can get snappy near the end of events due to fatigue and a deep seated desire to just go the fuck home already
  • p u n s

anonymous asked:

Give me a Shay/Delphine/Cosima baby/pregnancy fic

Prompt me!

Shay walked into her bedroom to see the same sight she’d seen for the past seven years.  Delphine and Cosima.  

Today Delphine was laying on her back and Cosima laid next to her on her side, running a soothing hand over her love’s protruding belly.  She was eight and a half months pregnant, and she was ready to not be.  It had been an uncomfortable experience for Delphine; every negative side effect of pregnancy had reared its ugly head.  She’d had morning sickness every day for three months. Her feet were swollen so bad that not one pair of shoes fit her anymore.  Their baby was big, too.  Delphine’s lower back pain was killer every day from compensating for its weight.  And the hormones made for some amazing mood swings that scared even Delphine.

Shay felt bad.  The treatment to get her bone marrow to get stem cells to get sperm from her had a recovery period where’s she’d been in pain, but nothing like this and not anywhere near nine months.  It hadn’t been her first option, but Cosima had wanted to contribute to science through this trial and Shay couldn’t say no to that.  And Delphine had too, before she realized that she was the one who was to carry.  Cosima being infertile and Shay being tiny and at a high risk for severe preeclampsia, it was Delphine by default.

So, she’d gotten a girl pregnant.  She smiled and walked into the room.

“Hi baby,” she cooed and kissed Delphine’s stomach and felt a little body push back.  “Big baby,” she giggled and kissed a grimacing Delphine.  “Medium baby,” she laughed into Cosima’s lips.

Keep reading

Captain America: Red Skull grabs an Infinity Stone with his bare hands, gets his face melted off like in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Guardians of the Galaxy: “Yeah, Infinity Stones are not to be fucked around with. If you’re anything less than immortal, touching it for more than a second will make you explode. MAYBE if you got a couple of people to share the load, you could hold it for a minute or two, but even then if you push it too far your head will pop off like a soda bottle.”

Thor 2: Jane Foster absorbs an Infinity Stone into her bloodstream, sees the whole of the universe, develops defensive superpowers, goes for days where her only negative side effects are a fever and occasional fainting.

Jane Foster is raw as hell.


HIMYM AU: Barney finds out that Robin works for S.H.I.E.L.D as Agent Hill (Part 2)

What Barney didn’t know is that Robin begged Coulson’s team to inject the GH-325 drug into his system to prevent him from dying years ago. She promised to look after him for the rest of his life and look out for possible negative side effects of the drug, without Barney ever finding out about any of it since it’s a classified, SHIELD-member-only information. Scared that one information may lead him to another, and scared of where he may end up in, Robin did what she thinks is best when she found out he knew about her identity as Agent Maria Hill: She distanced herself away from him so he could go on with his life as she look after him and keep him safe from afar.

Watching Code Lyoko is sort of surreal because of how much technology has advanced since this very technology-focused cartoon premiered in 2003.

the virtual world of Lyoko houses two artificial intelligence beings, one with fully human behaviors, and one with the capability to affect things in the real world that aren’t even mildly electronic. (episode 1, a giant teddy bear. why XANA)

Three children regularly fully digitize themselves to enter and exit Lyoko without any negative side effects to their mental or physical well being… aside from that time one of them fell into the “digital sea” and just. ceased to exist. Was there a body? nobody knows

XANA has taken control of trains, a government sattelite with a goddamn laser capable of targeting an individual person and pulverizing everything within a ten-foot radius of its target, (why does that even exist?) clouds of several different kinds of toxic gasses, a swarm of bees, the previously mentioned giant teddy bear, a living replica of one of the main characters, all with decidedly malicious intent. (plus that whole thing with William….)

But, it still seems to obey video game type logic, such as only deploying a limited number of minions, all with a clearly visible weak spot.

The heroes are always alerted of XANA’s activity, (directional vibrations on the ground in Lyoko) and always stop it, (deactivating the tower) in the same ways every time.

literal time travel, via the push of a button, voice command, automatic?? it’s really not consistent

but the gang’s computer whiz kid Jeremie’s personal setup looks like this

look at this dinosaur

and they all use freaking nokias

here we have Ulrich typing in Jeremie’s phone number, from memory, in order to alert him that an evil computer program has taken control of the electrical wiring in the school cafeteria and that they’re all trapped

There’s an episode in which nanobots cause an amnesia epidemic, (I think it’s one of my faves so far) and the next episode begins with Odd talking excitedly about downloading an MP3 file off the web

I haven’t gotten to that episode yet, but I distinctly remember Jeremie exclaiming “I just need a couple more bytes!” and Odd saving the day by closing out a game of Tetris that was running in the background

I remembered it wrong, Yumi was at the computer trying to save Jeremie after he convinced her to try and virtualize him (she messed it up because he didn’t bother to walk her through virtualizing someone step by step) and they needed “a few more bytes” of memory, so Odd plugged Ulrich’s gameboy into the system, which of course fixed the problem somehow. It was definitely Tetris though. He’d been up until 3am playing Tetris the night before. Tetris. Tetris saved Jeremie from deleting himself.

TL;DR: between the conflicting level of often nonsensical technological advancement, (how did a computer program just. make bees) occasionally awkward dubbing, (that was absolutely Ulrich’s voice coming out of Yumi’s mouth. yep. mm-hm. good) rare and often unsettling puns, and Odd’s hair, Code Lyoko is a surreal experience and I recommend it

Sure, it’s important to remember that Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, was racist, ableist, and pro-eugenics – a fact Planned Parenthood does not deny.

Also, one of the first large-scale clinical trials for the birth control pill was done using under-informed, poor, uneducated Puerto Rican women who experienced a host of negative side effects as researchers tested out different hormone levels on them.

Yes, that’s all really fucked up. No one is disputing that, least of all pro-choice escorts.

It’s important to not lose that context while also recognizing the truth in what I’m about to say – abortion protesters are some racist motherfuckers. When you pretend to have a black child (which two or three of the anti-choice women do) and use that pretend child to guilt-trip black women about making a decision regarding their own bodies, that’s racist.

When you learn a few phrases in Spanish so you can terrify Latina women going into the clinic, just to vilify immigrants in the next breath, you’re fucking racist. If you capitalize on fears of racial genocide, not because you care about non-white communities but because you want to essentially trick them out of getting a medical procedure, you’re fucking racist.

It goes beyond your usual “the clinic is dangerous; you’ll always be a mother of a dead baby” bullshit (which is a real thing people say, by the way) to a whole different level of “Are you fucking kidding me? How do you sleep at night?”

5 Things You Learn Escorting Women Into an Abortion Clinic


Being a person who has made science fiction into science fact, I love this. Personally helped with 22. My contribution to commercial human spaceflight

1. Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm

External image

At the University of Pittsburgh, the neurobiology department worked with 52-year-old Jan Scheuermann over the course of 13 weeks to create a robotic arm controlled only by the power of Scheuermann’s mind.
The team implanted her with two 96-channel intracortical microelectrodes. Placed in the motor cortex, which controls all limb movement, the integration process was faster than anyone expected. On the second day, Jan could use her new arm with a 3-D workspace. By the end of the 13 weeks, she was capable of performing complex tasks with seven-dimensional movement, just like a biological arm.
To date, there have been no negative side effects.

2. DARPA Robot Can Traverse an Obstacle Course

Once the robot figures out how to do that without all the wires, humanity is doomed.
DARPA was also hard at work this year making robots to track humans and run as fast as a cheetah, which seems like a great combination with no possibility of horrible side effects.
Source: jwherrman

3. Genetically Modified Silk Is Stronger Than Steel

External image

Photo Courtesy of Indigo Moon Yarns.

At the University of Wyoming, scientists modified a group of silkworms to produce silk that is, weight for weight, stronger than steel. Different groups hope to benefit from the super-strength silk, including stronger sutures for the medical community, a biodegradable alternative to plastics, and even lightweight armor for military purposes.

4. DNA Was Photographed for the First Time

External image

Using an electron microscope, Enzo di Fabrizio and his team at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa snapped the first photos of the famous double helix.
Source: / via: davi296

5. Invisibility Cloak Technology Took a Huge Leap Forward

External image

British Columbia company HyperStealth Biotechnology showed a functioning prototype of its new fabric to the U.S. and Canadian military this year. The material, called Quantum Stealth, bends light waves around the wearer without the use of batteries, mirrors, or cameras. It blocks the subject from being seen by visual means but also keeps them hidden from thermal scans and infrared.

6. Spray-On Skin

External image

ReCell by Avita Medical is a medical breakthrough for severe-burn victims. The technology uses a postage stamp–size piece of skin from the patient, leaving the donor site with what looks like a rug burn. Then the sample is mixed with an enzyme harvested from pigs and sprayed back onto the burn site. Each tiny graft expands, covering a space up to the size of a book page within a week. Since the donor skin comes from the patient, the risk of rejection is minimal.

7. James Cameron Reached the Deepest Known Point in the Ocean

External image

Cameron was the first solo human to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench. At 6.8 miles deep, it is perhaps more a more alien place to scientists than some foreign planets are. The 2.5-story “vertical torpedo” sub descended over a period of two and a half hours before taking a variety of samples.

8. Stem Cells Could Extend Human Life by Over 100 Years

External image

When fast-aging elderly mice with a usual lifespan of 21 days were injected with stem cells from younger mice at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh, the results were staggering. Given the injection approximately four days before they were expected to die, not only did the elderly mice live — they lived threefold their normal lifespan, sticking around for 71 days. In human terms, that would be the equivalent of an 80-year-old living to be 200.

9. 3-D Printer Creates Full-Size Houses in One Session

External image

The D-Shape printer, created by Enrico Dini, is capable of printing a two-story building, complete with rooms, stairs, pipes, and partitions. Using nothing but sand and an inorganic binding compound, the resulting material has the same durability as reinforced concrete with the look of marble. The building process takes approximately a fourth of the time as traditional buildings, as long as it sticks to rounded structures, and can be built without specialist knowledge or skill sets.

10. Self-Driving Cars Are Legal in Nevada, Florida, and California

External image

Google started testing its driverless cars in the beginning of 2012, and by May, Nevada was the first state to take the leap in letting them roam free on the roads. With these cars logging over 300,000 autonomous hours so far, the only two accidents involving them happened when they were being manually piloted.

11. Voyager I Leaves the Solar System

External image

Launched in 1977, Voyager I is the first manmade object to fly beyond the confines of our solar system and out into the blackness of deep space. It was originally designed to send home images of Saturn and Jupiter, but NASA scientists soon realized eventually the probe would float out into the great unknown. To that end, a recording was placed on Voyager I with sounds ranging from music to whale calls, and greetings in 55 languages.

12. Custom Jaw Transplant Created With 3-D Printer

External image

A custom working jawbone was created for an 83-year-old patient using titanium powder and bioceramic coating. The first of its kind, the successful surgery opens the door for individualized bone replacement and, perhaps one day, the ability to print out new muscles and organs.

13. Rogue Planet Floating Through Space

External image

Until this year, scientists knew planets orbited a star. Then, in came CFBDSIR2149. With four to seven times the mass of Jupiter, it is the first free-floating object to be officially defined as an exoplanet and not a brown dwarf.

14. Chimera Monkeys Created from Multiple Embryos

External image

While all the donor cells were from rhesus monkeys, the researchers combined up to six distinct embryos into three baby monkeys. According to Dr. Mitalipov, “The cells never fuse, but they stay together and work together to form tissues and organs.” Chimera species are used in order to understand the role specific genes play in embryonic development and may lead to a better understanding of genetic mutation in humans.

15. Artificial Leaves Generate Electricity

External image

Using relatively inexpensive materials, Daniel G. Nocera created the world’s first practical artificial leaf. The self-contained units mimic the process of photosynthesis, but the end result is hydrogen instead of oxygen. The hydrogen can then be captured into fuel cells and used for electricity, even in the most remote locations on Earth.

16. Google Goggles Bring the Internet Everywhere

External image

Almost everyone has seen the video of Google’s vision of the future. With their Goggles, everyday life is overlaid with a HUD (Head’s Up Display). Controlled by a combination of voice control and where the user is looking, the Goggles show pertinent information, surf the web, or call a loved one.

17. The Higgs-Boson Particle Was Discovered

External image

Over the summer, multinational research center CERN confirmed it had discovered a particle that behaved enough like a Higgs boson to be given the title. For scientists, this meant there could be a Higgs field, similar to an electromagnetic field. In turn, this could lead to the scientists’ ability to interact with mass the same way we currently do with magnetic fields.

18. Flexible, Inexpensive Solar Panels Challenge Fossil Fuel

External image

At half the price of today’s cheapest solar cells, Twin Creeks’ Hyperion uses an ion canon to bombard wafer-thin panels. The result is a commercially viable, mass-produced solar panel that costs around 40 cents per watt.

19. Diamond Planet Discovered

External image

An exoplanet made entirely of diamonds was discovered this year by an international research team. Approximately five times the size of Earth, the small planet had mass similar to that of Jupiter. Scientists believe the short distance from its star coupled with the exoplanet’s mass means the planet, remnants of another star, is mostly crystalline carbon.

20. Eye Implants Give Sight to the Blind

External image

Two blind men in the U.K. were fitted with eye implants during an eight-hour surgery with promising results. After years of blindness, both had regained “useful” vision within weeks, picking up the outlines of objects and dreaming in color. Doctors expect continued improvement as their brains rewire themselves for sight.

21. Wales Barcodes DNA of Every Flowering Plant Species in the Country

External image

Photo Courtesy of Virtual Tourist.

Led by the National Botanic Garden’s head of research and conversation, a database of DNA for all 1,143 native species of Wales has been created. With the use of over 5,700 barcodes, plants can now be identified by photos of their seeds, roots, wood, or pollen. The goal is to help researchers track things such as bee migration patterns or how a plant species encroaches on a new area. The hope is to eventually barcode both animal and plant species across the world.

22. First Unmanned Commercial Space Flight Docks with the ISS

External image

SpaceX docked its unmanned cargo craft, the Dragon, with the International Space Station. It marked the first time in history a private company had sent a craft to the station. The robotic arm of the ISS grabbed the capsule in the first of what will be many resupply trips.

23. Ultra-Flexible “Willow” Glass Will Allow for Curved Electronic Devices

External image

Created by New York–based developer Corning, the flexible glass prototype was shown off at an industry trade show in Boston. At only 0.05mm thick, it’s as thin as a sheet of paper. Perhaps Sony’s wearable PC concept will actually be possible before 2020.

24. NASA Begins Using Robotic Exoskeletons

External image

The X1 Robotic Exoskeleton weighs in at 57 lbs. and contains four motorized joints along with six passive ones. With two settings, it can either hinder movement, such as when helping astronauts exercise in space, or aid movement, assisting paraplegics with walking.

25. Human Brain Is Hacked

External image

Usenix Security had a team of researchers use off-the-shelf technology to show how vulnerable the human brain really is. With an EEG (electroencephalograph) headset attached to the scalp and software to figure out what the neurons firing are trying to do, it watches for spikes in brain activity when the user recognizes something like one’s ATM PIN number or a child’s face.

26. First Planet with FOUR Suns Discovered

External image

Discovered by amateur astronomers, the planet closely orbits a pair of stars, which in turn orbit another set of more distant stars. It’s approximately the size of Neptune, so scientists are still trying to work out how the planet has avoided being pulled apart by the gravitational force of that many stars.

27. Microsoft Patented the “Holodeck”

External image

The patent suggests Microsoft wants to take gaming beyond a single screen and turn it into an immersive experience — beaming images all over the room, accounting for things like furniture, and bending the graphics around them to create a seamless environment.

Found on:


Energy: Receptive

Planets: Jupiter, Neptune

Element: Water

Deities: Bacchus, Dionysus, Diana

Powers: Dreams, overcoming alcoholism, healing, psychism, peace, love, protection against thieves, courage, happiness

Magical uses: Amethyst, a purple quartz, is a stone steeped in ancient magic. It is, perhaps, as popular today as it was two thousand years ago.

Placed beneath a pillow or worn to bed, amethyst drives off insomnia and nightmares. It produces a peaceful sleep and pleasant, healing, even prophetic dreams. However, it will also ensure that its wearer doesn’t oversleep. 

A spiritual stone, with absolutely no negative side effects or associations with violence, anger or passion, the amethyst is the stone of peace. When the stress of everyday life well up within you, hold an amethyst in your left hand (or right hand if left-handed). Let its soothing, de-stressing, calming, peaceful, vibrations sink into you. Or better yet, wear amethyst so that it touches your skin, and you may avoid such highly wrought emotional states. 

The amethyst calms fear, raises hopes, lifts the spirits, and promotes thoughts of of the spiritual reality behind our lives. Worn, it guards off guilt and self-deception, helps you overcome addictions such as alcoholism, curbs overindulgence, and bestows good judgement. Amethyst calms emotional storms. Even in situations of potential danger, the amethyst will come to your aid. 

Amethyst also lends courage to its wearer, and it is a powerful amulet for travelers. Worn, it protects against thieves, harm, sickness and danger.

This beautiful stone also sharpens the conscious mind, quickening the wit and enhancing mental powers. It is used to improve the memory, to relieve headaches, and to keep thoughts in line with life goals. 

Hundreds of years ago, the amethyst was moistened with saliva and rubbed on the face to banish pimples and rough skin. Today it is used in spells designed to magnify beauty. 

(All information retrieved from Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic)
Negative Side-Effects ~Starter for maerikishtar~

Jonouchi popped an aspirin into his mouth and swallowed as he walked into the Cairo airport. He couldn’t believe he had to come all the way out to Egypt to get help for his condition. 

Yet again, destiny called him back to this country. 

He lugged his suitcase behind him and luckily managed to get past security without any issues. He had made a call to Ishizu a few days beforehand and she helped cover his plane fare due to the severity of the situation. He pulled out his phone and looked down at the text he had received from her earlier that gave the address to her residence. God, he hoped he didn’t screw up hailing a taxi. 

Some odd minutes later, he stepped out in front of the house with his suitcase behind him. The aspirin began to kick in but even the strongest pain reliever was only able to dull the constant migraines he got now. 

He grit his teeth, trying not to let the pain show on his face as he raised his hand to knock on the door. After a few seconds, he heard the clacking of locks before the the door was pulled open. 

I drink too much coffee, recently to the extent that it was giving me really bad headaches. Instead I decided to switch to a healthier alternative… Yerba Mate! Mate is a South American herbal tea that has a high caffeine content minus the negative side effects. Mate actually has some great health benefits:

1. Its rich in antioxidants

Yerba mate tea is very high in antioxidants; it’s got about 90% more antioxidants than green tea. Yerba mate has significant immune boosting properties. It can slow the signs of ageing, detoxify the blood and prevent many types of cancer. Yerba mate also helps reduce stress and insomnia.

2. Enhances Your Ability to Focus

Proponents of yerba mate tea say that the minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, animo acids and polphenols found in this beverage have a balancing effect on the caffeine it contains. Users report increased mental energy, clarity and focus, but they also say that yerba mate doesn’t cause any of the uncomfortable side effects associated with drinking caffeinated beverages, such as headaches, stomachaches and jitters.

3. Enhances Physical Endurance

The chemical compounds and nutrients in yerba mate tea affect your metabolism to make your body use carbohydrates more efficiently. This means you’ll get more energy from the food you eat. You’ll also burn more of the calories your body has stored in fat cells as fuel when you drink yerba mate tea regularly. Regular yerba mate consumption also helps keep lactic acid from building up in your muscles so you can decrease post workout soreness and cut your recovery time.

4. Aids Digestion

The native peoples of South America have long used yerba mate tea as a traditional herbal remedy against digestive ailments. Yerba mate aids digestion by stimulating increased production of bile and other gastric acids. Yerba mate helps keep your colon clean for effective and efficient waste elimination, and helps reduce the stomach bacteria that can contribute to bad breath.

5. Helps You Control Your Weight

Native South American peoples have traditionally used yerba mate as part of a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise. Yerba mate has stimulant qualities to help you feel full sooner after you begin eating, and it slows your digestion so that your stomach stays full longer. Combining yerba mate with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help boost your metabolism to burn more calories, and it can help you eat less by curbing your appetite slightly.

6. Supports Cardiovascular Health

The antioxidants and amino acids present in yerba mate help fat and cholesterol move through your bloodstream so that they don’t accumulate on artery walls. Yerba mate also helps prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and prevents blood clots that may cause heart attack or stroke.

(Source: FitDay)

Does anybody else drink yerba mate?

Achieve Weight Loss the Natural Way

The problem of handicap loss is such a heavy burden for a lot relating to squat. It is jam-packed to not work full force when yourselves have certainly not minute towards exercise and follow weight loss programs. It is also arduous so as to lean-to off those unwanted fats if you are bombarded amidst advertisements of sumptuous as yet unhealthy food choices out grocery items to fast food chains.
About people resort until quick fixes like weight down with loss pills for document. What they do not briefing is that it can affect more misuse than come along when it comes to the health of their gravamen. Some pills square negative join up with effects while others are just a hocus-pocus. Do not count on hereinafter testimonials, websites and billboards because number one may just monkey inner man. What you neediness are weight plans that let you lose weight the craps way. If this is what you are looking on behalf of full this but, above himself are in luck. This statement will tell you what natural foods in transit to intake in order to mass-produce weight loss effectively, without negative side effects and without having to bust your squander.
One of the best weight detriment tips is to drink water more frequently. It removes toxin against your budget and it suppresses your pasture. It also keeps you better rehydrated supereminent to embellished digestion. Another liquid alter can cobbler alternately with water is apple cider acidulant. In kinship group to prepare this drink, my humble self need to mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider acidulant to 16 ounces of water. This combination devise help your body increase its metabolic rate commission you lose calories even while at chaff. Aside from apple cider bread-and-butter pickle, for all that it comes to increasing the rate of metabolism, you boot out also count on caffeine and green tea.
If you become en route to achieve results quickly, aside save the intake of these liquids, you should beyond take the time as far as exercise.

be at website

Some brief thoughts on the male birth control study controversy.

A male birth control study got shut down part of the way through because an outside medical board raised concerns over the fact that the male trial participants experienced negative side effects similar to those women regularly face on birth control, leading 20 of the male participants to quit. In reaction, many women have been rightly pointing out that 1.) those sorts of safety protections were totally non-existent during trials for female birth control, 2.) that its negative side effects have still gone largely ignored by the medical community despite being widely reported by women for half a century, and 3.) that expressions of pain and discomfort like the one that the men in that study expressed are often explained away or totally ignored by the medical profession when they’re expressed by women.

On the other hand, some other publications like Cosmopolitan have reacted by saying “Welcome to the club, dudes. Also: WOMAN UP”; Salon posted their article with a picture of a baby crying; and USA Today wrote in their headline that the trial was cancelled because “men can’t handle side effects women face every day” (even though 82.3% of the men still remaining in the study at the final check-up said they’d be willing to use a similar product, see table 3).

I find this reaction really puzzling, because the implied message seems not to be that "we should be treating women’s medical issues just as seriously as the men’s issues were in this study” but “if men were really as tough as they thought they were, they’d welcome being treated with the same medical neglect women currently are.” Which… would be a step backwards. The problem wasn’t that the men should have sucked it up dealt with the side effects, the problem is that women shouldn’t have to. Those publications are disparaging men for not accepting the very side effects that we want to be made unacceptable for women, all the while attacking men for deviating from the masculine norm of performative toughness. That seems to be the exact opposite message that should be taken out of this.


Are e-cigarettes really safe? Are there any negative side effects?


Do you have to learn how to get high?

By Nathan Palmer, MA

If you stop and think about it, alcohol is just the worst. Almost every one who drinks has experienced the pain of a mean morning hangover (at least once). Also, the experience of being drunk… why is that enjoyable? When drunk you slur your words, it’s hard to think straight, you’re liable to say or do something that will offend the people around you, and you can’t legally drive a car. Why does any of that sound like a good way to spend a Friday night?

To a sociologist, the reason people drink alcohol is that they have been socially taught to. That is, we like alcohol because we’ve been taught to overlook the negative side effects or we have redefined them as positive. If that’s confusing, don’t worry. Let’s talk about another drug people abuse (marijuana) and how the sociologist Howard Becker argues we socially construct getting high and being a stoner.

Becoming a Marijuana User

In 1953 Becker set out to answer what appears to be a simple question: how does a person become a marijuana user. After interviewing fifty marijuana users Becker (1953: 235) concluded that:

An individual will be able to use marihuana for pleasure only when he (1) learns to smoke it in a way that will produce real effects; (2) learns to recognize the effects and connect them with drug use; and (3) learns to enjoy the sensations he perceives. This proposition based on an analysis of fifty interviews with marihuana users, calls into question theories which ascribe behavior to antecedent predispositions and suggests the utility of explaining behavior in terms of the emergence of motives and dispositions in the course of experience.

The first point should be pretty obvious. You can’t get high if you don’t inhale when you smoke marijuana (like President Bill Clinton). So the first step to becoming a pot smoker is learning to properly smoke pot. Most often this takes place when an experienced smoker socializes (i.e. trains) a novice smoker in the mechanics of the task.

Becker’s second point might be harder to understand. Drugs inherently alter your physiology… that’s what makes them drugs. Being in a chemcially alterted state can be disorienting.

But don’t believe me, watch the video above. David, the little boy in the movie, had not been socialized to how anesthesia works. Similarly, when you ingest any drug you have to be taught to recognize the effects. So for marijuana maybe that would include heightened senses, food cravings, and possibly a sense of anxiety or paranoia. When you haven’t been socialized it’s easy to go into a panic or ignore the effects altogether.

For instance, around 2007 a police officer in Dearborn Heights Michigan stole marijuana from a drug arrest, baked it into brownies, and then consumed the brownies to get high for what he said was his very first time. He then called 911 because he thought he was dying. Becker would likely say that if he had been socialized and knew what effects he should expect, the police officer wouldn’t have likely freaked out and incriminated himself.

After you’ve learned to inhale properly, learned to recognize how the substance will alter you, then the last step to becoming a marijuana user is to redefine potentially negative experiences as positive. As we talked about above, smoking marijuana can lead to anxiety, paranoia, insatiable food cravings, hyper sensitivity, confusion, etc.

To see an example of this, we need look no further than the comment section under the video I just showed you.  What WeBeChillin420’s comment does is reframe a panic attack into a desirable thing. S/he seems to be nostalgic for his or her first time consuming freak out quantities of marijuana.

Becker and the scholars he inspired to research marijuana communities further point out that it’s common among smokers to say that “coughing gets you higher.” Actually, coughing after smoking is your body’s way of telling you that you inhaled something it didn’t like. It’s your body literally gasping for air. It seems just as likely that marijuana users could think of coughing as a bad thing or as a sign they inhaled too much. Instead smokers socially construct coughing as a positive and desirable thing.

All Drugs Are Socially Constructed

While Becker focused on marijuana, we can extend his ideas to every type of drug. For instance let’s look at caffeine. Coffee and Red Bull are said to be “acquired tastes.” Doesn’t this mean that you have to learn to like them? You have to learn to like to feel a slight jitteriness? What you can take from Becker’s research is that how we think about drugs, how we react to any drug or medicine we ingest, and how we feel about others who’ve used drugs are all social constructs.

Nathan Palmer, MA is a visiting lecturer at Georgia Southern University. He is a passionate educator, the founder of Sociology Source, and the editor of Sociology in Focus, where this postoriginally appeared.

Primal Scream: An Evolutionary Perspective on Horror Movies

I love scary movies. I can’t help but devour anything spooky and macabre, inevitably finding myself plagued by fearful images as soon as darkness falls or I find myself alone. The negative side effects do little to discourage me from watching these movies. Why weirdos like me find such enjoyment in horror is a question frequently posed in cultural discussions, and there are a great many theories. However, I find the question of why certain things frighten us just as interesting. There are few things more satisfying to experience in cinema than a good scare. When it’s done right, it almost seems like a magic trick, and like magic tricks themselves, the success of a horror movie relies on the tendencies of the human brain to react predictably to certain stimuli.    

Anyone who has a passing familiarity with the genre will recognize certain elements that are used consistently in horror movies to scare their audiences. So what is about these things that are so good at scaring us? The emotional experience of fear is built into our genetic history, from the early days when we were at the not-so-top of the food chain. Fear is a signal to our primal brains that our lives are somehow in danger. We fear the dark because our vision is compromised when night falls, leaving us more vulnerable to attack. We fear snakes and spiders because we know that some of them carry deadly venom in those creepy little bodies. We can look to Darwin for an explanation of why these fears are so universal, even in modern American society, where we are arguably safer than we’ve ever been. The ancient humans who didn’t experience fear of the dark wandered too far from the campfire and were eaten by predators, never getting a chance to pass on their lack of common sense to future generations. The fear instinct allowed our ancestors to survive, and so it has been passed on to us, thousands of years later. Evolution favors the scared.

There is an entire branch of psychology related to these kinds of theories, called evolutionary psychology: an attempt to explain human psychological traits as useful adaptations that have survived through natural selection. Much of what frightens us in horror movies can be linked with evolutionary theories. A recent article/podcast in Slate gave fascinating insight into the elements of musical scores in horror movies that are linked to our ancient survival impulses, therefore elevating our emotional experience. According to the author, there are two fundamentals to scary music: screeching, erratic tones, and low, grumbling ones. The first type of noise is reminiscent of screaming, or an animal in distress. The most obvious and perfect example of this is, of course, the music that accompanies the shower scene in Psycho. In my opinion, however, there is none more creepy than the music in Kubrick movies, in particular The Shining (vocals kick in around the 1:40 mark) and 2001: A Space Odyssey. In these scores, we have actual vocalizations, not just instruments imitating them. The worst part is the crescendo they keep building towards, as if you are drawing closer and closer to the source of the noises, when all you want to do is run away.

In contrast, low, rumbling tones scare us because the body mass of an animal directly determines the lowest frequency they can vocalize. Therefore, when we hear a low frequency, we think: there is something large nearby that is coming to get me. Again, there is a gold standard, obvious example for this: John Williams’ unforgettable theme to Jaws, the baritone piano keys leading the suspenseful orchestral build-up; the very audible embodiment of a shark’s primal predatory instinct. The soundtrack to the movie Donnie Darko, which makes use of encroaching, pulse-like low frequencies, also comes to mind as a great example of this kind of dread-invoking music.

Continuing in the evolutionary/lizard brain vein, another aspect of horror psychology that has always fascinated me is the fear of the unusual, especially when it comes to the appearance of human beings. We dislike seeing anything that looks pretty much like a human being, but something is slightly…off. Take the image of Samara, the girl from The Ring, emerging from a well. Yes, it’s a human being, but the thick black sheet of dirty hair that hides her face is absolutely terrifying, not to mention that she just generally looks like she’s decaying. Or Michael Myers, the serial killer of the Halloween movies, in his rubber mask. The appearance of this character is so effectively creepy, I think, because the mask is meant to look like an actual human face (it was originally a William Shatner mask), but the uncanniness is accentuated by the fact that was spray-painted white, and no eyes are visible underneath: just two black sockets staring you down right before the stabbing begins.

Interestingly, a great deal of classic movie ghouls fit the typecast of the Slightly Off Humanoid (SOHs, I call them): vampires, Frankenstein’s monster, zombies and mummies all fit the bill. So, what’s going on here? We’ve gotten this far in our evolutionary development in no small part to our use of stereotypes, which historically have helped us to make snap judgments that could spell the difference between life and death. To an early human, a person who looks strange or is acting strange is most likely sick, meaning they could infect you, or wounded, meaning a predator could be nearby to get you next. Your instinct is to get away as fast as possible. That may be why the slow, jerking gait of a zombie is frightening- that could be a neurological disease at work. And technically all of the above scary things are (un)dead -so fear of death is pretty obviously at play here.

Interestingly, I think that the fear that we experience in seeing something that looks diseased is distinctly different than the fear upon seeing something big, monstrous, and lethal. Big monsters trigger a fight-or-flight type stress response that comes to its highest point as the monster is being hinted at, before it is actually revealed- think of the stomping sounds/ripple in the water before the T. Rex appears in Jurassic Park, or the gigantic fin cutting through the water in Jaws (Spielberg gets it right, every time). You know there is something big and scary coming for you, but there is still time to get away. The result is that your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and adrenaline races through your body. This may be why monster movies are generally considered a lot more fun than other types of horror- this is why you see King Kong, Jaws, and T. Rex in your Universal Studios rides, and not The Thing or Nosferatu. These type of diseased creatures of horror prey upon our emotions in a much subtler way, evoking the existential dread of unseen, unstoppable forces which we do not understand and therefore cannot outwit. And then we have slasher films, which it could be argued bridge the gap between these two categories. The classic movie serial killer is a huge, muscular man with extreme, sometimes supernatural strength- and he is almost always masked, lending the element of the unusual, unnerving physical appearance. Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, the Scream ghost, and Leatherface all qualify here. Not being able to see someones face automatically means something is wrong, probably because human beings get most of their information about someone’s intentions by way of facial cues. All of this boils down to one simple point- we are terrified of the unknown.

Of course, biology and evolution can’t explain everything about why horror movies affect us in such profound ways- there’s also things like storytelling and artistic vision to consider. But it is interesting to consider how movies that seem so abstractly terrifying can all be linked, in some way, to the ancient past, when humankind was in it’s infancy and our safety was never a guarantee.

with regard to ‘are speech acts violence’ it might specifically be useful to separate ‘does this cause harm’ from ‘should there be a taboo on this’.

Like, there ought to be a taboo on physical violence except in self-defense. That is not just because it is harmful, but also because having a taboo on it reduces the incidence of the harm and doesn’t have many negative side effects. Some things are harmful (say, addictive drugs) but having a taboo on them has negative side effects (people can’t get help or use safely) or having a taboo on them doesn’t much reduce the incidence of the harm (Prohibition?)

And if you separate ‘is this speech act harmful’ from ‘should there be a taboo on this speech act’ then you can say things like “yes, that kind of speech is harmful, but it is not a useful thing to punish because that wouldn’t reduce the incidence of the harm much and it’d have negative side effects”. 

“This speech is violence” conflates “this speech is harm” and “this speech is the particular sort of harm where there ought to be a taboo on it because that’ll reduce the harm without negative side effects”, because physical violence is that sort of harm. And as a result, it makes it harder to discuss whether the speech is in fact harmful; people who don’t want it to be taboo end up stuck arguing ‘no, it’s not harmful’ or ‘no level of harm could justify censorship’ instead of ‘if it is harmful, the harm is not one that would be reduced by a taboo and the side effects would be quite serious’.

if you’re unhappy, leave. if they don’t respect you, leave. if you can’t see a future with them, leave. if the relationship is unhealthy, leave. if they aren’t pushing you or making you want to be a better you, leave. if your relationship is toxic and bringing you down or causing negative side effects to your life, leave.
Leaving because your relationship isn’t contributing to you being healthy isn’t a bad thing and never will be. You deserve to be healthy physically and mentally. You deserve to be happy. You deserve respect. You deserve somebody who wants to be better and will push you and encourage you to be a better you. You deserve a person who wants to see you reach your goals and dreams and loves seeing you in the spotlight. You deserve to love and be loved. You deserve all of this and more.
Don’t ever settle for anything less.