creating humans

Hi all. Admittedly, I’m not sure what to say to describe my need for top surgery. It has always felt unattainable for me and it feels like there are so many more important things in this world to be worried about/focusing on, especially now. But, its often emotionally and mentally crippling to be trapped in a body that doesn’t feel like mine. A wonderful human created one of the most thoughtful Christmas gifts I have ever received. I am genuinely blown away by the amount of people who have been willing to help support my gender affirmation. To say I am thankful feels like a gross understatement. I am feeling a sense of hope I haven’t experienced before. Truly any tiny bit helps, and if financial support is not viable; I promise I also deeply appreciate well wishes:)
Thank you so much, everyone.🖤

gf.me/u/d325p7

I do feel bad for plants in general.
Like, I know they are often as vicious as animals in many ways, just slower.
But, I mean, they just show up and they’re like, “I Think I Will Evolve To Eat The Sun And Also Make Oxygen And How Now Is All This.”
And, like, everything fucking dies at first (totally not plants fault, btw. okay maybe it was but they didn’t mean to) but then new things evolve.
And they’re like, “Fuck it, eating each other suuuucks. Let’s eat the plants which give us life.”
And so we start doing that.
And plants are all, “Oh Dear No, I Do Not Care At All For Being Eaten. I Will Make Myself Into Poison Sometimes.”
But, y'know, stuff kept eating plants anyway so plants, ever the bro, came up with a new idea. “I Have Made A Decision About Being Eaten And You May Eat Me Friends And Here Is An Especially Tasty Bit Packed All Full of Delicious Sugars Which I Have Produced At Great Cost (What They Do Not Know Is That My Seeds Are Within And Shall Be Propagated Near And Far By Their Dung)“
But that’s not good enough for animals, no, not at all.
We love the fuck out of some pomegranates but also alliums which are like, "I Have Not Decided To Go In For This Being Eaten Business. I Shall Be Very Foul Tasting And Also A Poison.”
But no, sorry, onions, you fucked up.
You accidentally wound up with a species that just doesn’t give up or fully comprehend the idea of things tasting “”‘bad’“’ or other concepts like not eating poison. (Sorry, plants, later we turn some of you who are not poison into a poison we consume recreationally. We really enjoy eating poison.) 
Legit, alliums are deadly to, like, every other species.
And we call them aromatics and throw them in everything.
Peppers are the best, though.
They completely got on the being eaten train.
BUT ONLY BIRDS
Peppers are like, "You May Eat Me, Fair Avian, For You Are Sure To Spread Me A Great Distance. But, Mammal, Take HEED. Should You Eat Me Then I Will Burn You Most Terribly.”
And we were all about that.
“The FUCK, burning? I love pain,” said humans, presumably.
“You know, peppers, you and evolution have done a good job at burning us but I am pretty sure we could make your chemical agony even more potent. Come hang with us,” humans added to a very confused pepper just before creating the ghost chili.

Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin - find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.
—  Maya Angelou
we were not born into this world to do extraordinary things. but rather, to do human things. to cherish beauty and love people. to run through the woods and drink from sweet cool lakes. to bite into ripe strawberries and count the sparkling stars. to give comfort to those who hurt and need. to laugh loudly, cry deeply. to fill notebooks and canvases– to dream and tell stories and create wondrous life. to live. and in living, we will have done something completely human, something completely unique and beautiful.
—  thedustdancestoo

I’ve heard a few people say the Tay character that crashes the Maserati and is at the end “getting receipts” is throwing shade at a certain someone (we all know who and that’s not the point)… I think it’s actually playing on the rumour that Taylor  does everything for attention. Like, the paparazzi are there at the crash because she called them, everything she does is for attention. None of the Taylor Swift characters in the video are meant to represent other people; they all represent the false or incomplete images people have of Swift herself. 

Language Rant

The thing that really gets me about monolinguals/people uninterested in linguistics is the strange need to label languages as objectively/inherently difficult.

Any linguistic feature that may seem, at the surface level, to be a challenge, is often that much of a challenge to not have. When learners complain that German/Russian/Greek cases are superfluously complicated, they seem to forget that for those who speak using cases natively, it seems like such a limitation to not have them. Suddenly the precision of who is doing what to whom is murky, and word order is now strictly confined to the chains of SVO.

Many are quick to label the tones of east Asian languages as a nonsensical or a confusing system. For those who use tones natively, it would seem absurd not to have them. To avoid them, many languages are required to make use of an extremely vast phonology, and words become quite lengthy to compensate for this diversity. Imagine having this skill for intonation and having to power it down until the occasional tone used for a question arises.

People are quick to label the verbs of romance languages as pesky and convoluted. It is these seemingly daunting conjugations that allow listeners to know precise specifics about who is doing what, in addition to the time and manner, all in a single word. For speakers of other languages, this would require additional mentioning of subject pronouns, grammatical particles, and time/location words, in order to achieve the same clarity.

In the end, it is the absence of features that can be just as irksome, complicated, or intimidating. Language has been created for humans by humans.

If there were a language so inherently difficult that a native speaker couldn’t easily tackle it before puberty, it would probably be quickly replaced, as soon as a language more suitable for humans came into play.

The takeaway here is that these man-made tools are just that. The only meaningful comparison to judge innate difficultly is a comparison to one’s native tongue. Hard for you? Perhaps. So intrinsically difficult that a native-speaking toddler still couldn’t babble in it? Doubtful.

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-American Horror Story


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M O R E   H E R E

Happy National Techies Day!

October 3 is National Techies Day…and here at NASA we have quite a few people who get REALLY excited about technology. Without techies and the technology they develop, we wouldn’t be able to do the amazing things we do at NASA, or on Earth and in space.

Our Techies

We love our techies! The passionate engineers, researchers and scientists who work on our technology efforts enable us to make a difference in the world around us. They are responsible for developing the pioneering, new technologies and capabilities needed to achieve our current and future missions.

Research and technology development take place within our centers, in academia and industry, and leverage partnerships with other government agencies and international partners. We work to engage and inspire thousands of technologists and innovators creating a community of our best and brightest working on the nation’s toughest challenges.

Technology Drives Exploration

Our investments in technology development enable and advance space exploration. We are continually seeking to improve our ability to access and travel through space, land more mass in more locations, enable humans to live and explore in space and accelerate the pace of discovery.

Techie Technology

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

When traveling to other planetary bodies, each and every pound of cargo matters. If we can reduce the weight by building tools once we arrive, that’s less weight we need to launch from Earth and carry through space.

Additive manufacturing is a way of printing three-dimensional (3-D) components from a digital model. If you think of a common office printer, it uses a 2-D file to print images and text on a sheet of paper. A 3-D printer uses a 3D file to deposit thin layers of material on top of each other, creating a 3-D product.

Thanks to techies, we’re already using this technology on the International Space Station to print wrenches and other tools. Our Additive Construction for Mobile Emplacement (ACME) project is investigating ways to build structures on planetary surfaces using resources available at a given site.

Discover more about how our techies are working with advanced manufacturing HERE.

Technology Demonstrations

Our techies are always innovating and developing new cutting-edge ideas. We test these ideas in extreme environments both here on Earth and in space.  

Science missions in space require spacecraft propulsion systems that are high-performance, lightweight, compact and have a short development time. The Deep Space Engine project is looking to meet those needs. Our techies are currently testing a 100lbf (pound-force) thruster to see if this compact, lightweight, low-cost chemical propulsion system can operate at very low temperatures, which allows long duration storage capabilities.

Another technology in development is PUFFER, or the Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot…and it was inspired by origami! This robot’s lightweight design is capable of flattening itself, tucking in its wheels and crawling into places rovers can’t fit. PUFFER has been tested in a range of rugged terrains to explore areas that might be too risky for a full-fledged rover to go.

With our partners at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., we’ve also collaborated on the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM), which will flight test a “green” alternative to the toxic propellant, hydrazine, in 2018. GPIM is the nation’s premier spacecraft demonstration of a new high-performance power and propulsion system — a more environmentally friendly fuel. This technology promises improved performance for future satellites and other space missions by providing for longer mission durations, increased payload mass and simplified pre-launch spacecraft processing, including safer handling and transfer of propellants.  

Find out more about our technology demonstrations HERE.

Aircraft Technology

What if you could travel from London to New York in less than 3.5 hours? Our techies’ research into supersonic flight could make that a reality! 

Currently, supersonic flight creates a disruptive, loud BOOM, but our goal is to instead create a soft “thump” so that flying at supersonic speeds could be permitted over land in the United States.

We’re conducting a series of flight tests to validate tools and models that will be used for the development of future quiet supersonic aircraft.

Did you know that with the ability to observe the location of an aircraft’s sonic booms, pilots can better keep the loud percussive sounds from disturbing communities on the ground? This display allows research pilots the ability to physically see their sonic footprint on a map as the boom occurs.

Learn more about our aircraft technology HERE.

Technology Spinoffs 

Did you know that some of the technology used in the commercial world was originally developed for NASA? For example, when we were testing parachutes for our Orion spacecraft (which will carry humans into deep space), we needed to capture every millisecond in extreme detail. This would ensure engineers saw and could fix any issues. The problem was,there didn’t exist a camera in the world that could shoot at a high enough frame rate – and store it in the camera’s memory – all while adjusting instantly from complete darkness to full daylight and withstanding the space vacuum, space radiation and water immersion after landing.

Oh…and it had to be small, lightweight, and run on low power. Luckily, techies built exactly what we needed. All these improvements have now been incorporated into the camera which is being used in a variety of non-space industries…including car crash tests, where high resolution camera memory help engineers get the most out of testing to make the cars we drive safer.

Learn about more of our spinoff technologies HERE.

Join Our Techie Team

We’re always looking for passionate and innovative techies to join the NASA team. From student opportunities to open technology competitions, see below for a list of ways to get involved:

NASA Solve is a gateway for everyone to participate in our mission through challenges, prize competition, citizen science and more! Here are a few opportunities:

Vascular Tissue Challenge 

The Vascular Tissue Challenge, a NASA Centennial Challenges competition, offers a $500,000 prize to be divided among the first three teams that successfully create thick, metabolically-functional human vascularized organ tissue in a controlled laboratory environment. More information HERE.

For open job opportunities at NASA, visit: https://nasajobs.nasa.gov

For open internship opportunities at NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/stu-intern-current-opps.html

Stay tuned in to the latest NASA techie news, by following  @NASA_Technology on Twitter, NASA Technology on Facebook and visiting nasa.gov/technology.

Happy National Techies Day!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

CASTIEL AND HIS SACRED OATH - 12x10, 12x12, 12x23

This scene here. This split second glance is so so important. I don’t know why people aren’t talking about it (I couldn’t even find any gifs of it and had to take pictures coz I’m computerly incompitent). But I wanted to give my own analytical response to this millisecond glance, because I think it demonstrates properly why Cas has never done anything about his feelings for Dean. 

First, some context from my behalf: I always assumed Cas had never admitted his love for Dean for one of two reasons, 1) he was an angel, therefore not quite understanding his feelings himself - perhaps confusing them with familial love, Dean style. Or 2) he was afraid his love may not be reciprocated. But after watching 12x10, 12x12 and 12x23, I can thoroughly rule out reason 1. 

Now, I’ll be talking a lot about 12x10 as that ENTIRE EPISODE and THIS LOOK are so closely correlated. 

Keep reading

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Armie on the difference between formulating sexual chemistry on screen with a man versus a woman…
“I don’t really feel that there’s much of a difference. Trying to create chemistry with a human is trying to create chemistry with a human. It’s about taking it off of yourself and reading them and taking what they’re giving you and allowing it to affect you. It’s about being so close and intimate with someone that you can detect those subtle changes that allow you to go on this sort of subtle dance.”

Timotheé on filming the infamous peach scene…
“I remember eating a peach maybe a week after that scene and thinking, ‘Oh, we did a scene with this fruit.’ I didn’t have it to the degree I do now but just from flicking around online, that’s the scene that’s consistently highlighted itself. It’s funny because now I’m about as aware of that as I could be. When we were shooting that scene, you know, sometimes I really would forget that the camera was there. By the time we did that scene it was almost like an out of body experience.”

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet for GQ Style Magazine (September 2017)

An adult gerbil spends up to 30% of its “active time” doing stereotypic digging in the corner of its cage. That would never happen in nature, and many researchers have hypothesized that the reason captive gerbils develop stereotypic digging is that they have a biological need to dig that they can’t express inside a cage.

On the other hand, in nature gerbils don’t dig just to be digging. They dig to create underground tunnels and nests. Once they’ve hollowed out their underground home, they stop digging. Maybe what the gerbil needs is the result of the digging, not the behavior itself. A Swiss psychologist named Christoph Wiedenmayer set up an experiment to find out. He put one set of baby gerbils in a cage with dry sand they could dig in, and another set in a cage with a predug burrow system but nothing soft to dig in. The gerbils in the sand filled box developed digging stereotypies right away, whereas none of the gerbils in the cage with burrows did.

— 

Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson, “Animals Make Us Human: Creating The Best Life For Animals”

Something interesting I thought gerbil and similar animal owners might want to read! Definitely a thing to consider.