differential systems

coolclaytony  asked:

What exactly IS wrong with the naming conventions of Kamigawa?

A name basically does three things:

1) It creates flavor

2) It conveys mechanical information (usually letting you know what card type it is)

3) It allows players to have a shared language to talk about the card.

The naming conventions of Kamigawa get in the way of all three goals.

1) The names were trying to have a unique feel and thus are parsed to have a lyrical quality. The problem was while they feel different from normal names, they feel too similar from one another. The names feel like Kamigawa names, but often lack a clear sense of how one stands apart from the others.

2) This leads into a functional problem. Normally when you hear a name you have clues as to what kind of a card it is. Counsel of the Soratami. Is that a creature? An enchantment? An instant or sorcery? Who knows? They all sound so similar.

3) This construction then creates another big problem. Because the names are different and don’t have an internal system to differentiate them, the brain has a hard time locking onto them. This makes them “unsticky” meaning players have a hard time recalling names. This criticism came up again and again. It’s hard to have a shared language when people can’t remember it.

That is what’s wrong with the naming conventions of Kamigawa.

How to: structure your notes! Requested by @ekil-language​ (thank you!)

So essentially, this is a masterpost on different ways to structure notes. It was originally going to be a post on how I personally structure my notes, but since I realise that there’s different advantages and disadvantages, I decided to consider other methods, and list what I think each method is best suited to!

Also, please feel free to send me requests for posts or masterposts!

I suppose this makes part 4 of my note taking series, as well!

Part 1 is how to take notes

Part 2 is how to colour code notes

Part 3 is how to make notes pretty

My method - for taking notes from textbooks or websites

I’ve written about my method for note taking before, which is a method based on taking initial notes, then rewriting them to include more information, and eventually summarising. The following is more specific to the structure, but if you’re interested in exactly how I take notes, see the link!

Note: I write my notes on (preferably narrow) lined paper with margins. So I will reference writing in the margin, occasionally.

  • Headers. The header should include the subject and topic, or topic and subtopic (for example, for notes on, say, the definite article, I’ll write, “Nouns and Articles: The Definite Article”.) You can be as elaborate as you like, however I like to keep it fairly simple in terms of the header itself.
  • Subheaders. Subheaders are essential for finding specific information - if you know what you don’t know, it’s incredibly useful to flick through pages until you find the subheader you’re looking for. I use a new subheader every time I come across information that isn’t directly relevant to whatever I’ve just taken notes about. So, for example, “Usage of definite articles” would be one subheader, and “Differences to English”, would be another. 
  • Symbols, or notes in the margins. I’ll write in the margins “see x” if I already have notes on something mentioned, and I also make notes to say “research y”, if I feel I don’t fully understand something, I want some elaboration, or I want a different perspective. If something is particularly important, then I’ll write “important” in the margin.
  • Numbering systems. I find it incredibly helpful to maintain a numbering system. It differentiates information, so I’m not just writing a wall of text, and I find it’s easier to find a particular point. I use “1.0″ next to a header, “1.1, 1.2 etc.” for subheaders, “1.1a, 1.1b” for distinct points that come under that subheader, and “1.1ai, 1.1aii” for any minor points that come under a distinct point. In the margin next to each subheader, distinct point or minor point, I write the corresponding number or symbol. For example, I would write “1.0″ next to “Nouns and Articles: The Definite Article”, “1.1″ next to “Usage of definite articles”, “1.1a” next to “referencing specific people or things” (a minor point that falls under “usage”, and “1.1ai” next to “referencing people” (a smaller but distinct point that comes under “referencing”, but may be different to other items in that category.
  • Spacing. I leave a line underneath headers and subheaders before I start writing, but I don’t leave lines between anything numbered 1.1a or 1.1ai onwards, as I feel it takes up too much space. However, leaving a line under headers and subheaders makes it easier to find what I’m looking for. When I’m writing out an example, I will take a new line and move further along the line, so it’s easy to differentiate. My examples generally have one line in a different language, and the second line as a translation, so I use little arrows next to the translation as well.
  • Other than that, my notes tend to pretty much be a block of text, as they’re notes taken from a textbook. So I don’t generally use diagrams, although occasionally I have verb conjugations or something similar, which I write out in table form and give it as many lines as it needs. 

The Cornell Method - for taking notes during lectures or classes

I’ve seen the Cornell Method talked about fairly often here on Studyblr, and whilst I don’t use it (my studying right now is entirely self-studying, and when I start Uni, it’ll primarily be from textbooks), it does look like an amazing method for notetaking during classes or lectures. The Cornell Method has three sections, so I’ll talk about each individually.

Main section:

  • The largest section, for writing down all notes during class. About 9 1/2″ high by 6″ wide. 
  • This is also where you’ll write down examples, diagrams, tables, etc. 
  • These are essentially your main notes.

Side section:

  • Written after class. About 9 1/2″ high by 2 1/2″ wide.
  • Used for noting anything your teacher says is “important”, anything that’s likely to be on a test or exam, any key points.
  • This is essentially a quick review. 

Bottom section:

  • Written after class. About 2″ high by 8 1/2″ wide. 
  • Used to highlight main points you covered in class. 
  • This is essentially a summary. 


  • Remember to include the date, topic, relevant textbook chapters, etc. 

Mind maps - for research, planning, reviewing, or summarising

Mindmaps are something I find especially useful for reviewing. I don’t really use them for initial studying, but I use them more around exam time. (Sidenote: the only reason I passed Higher Music Theory, after not revising it for two years, is by making like 50 mindmaps the week before the exam.) 

  • A main theme (or topic) should go in the middle of the page, with branches outlining sub-themes or points within that theme or topic. I generally start with a branch from the main topic to a header in the corner of the page with branches to points within that header.
  • Headers are great to help you find what you’re looking for - alternatively, you could colour-code, just make sure you include a key. 
  • To create links, I like using different colours, but you can also use a symbol system. 

I hope this helps, and please feel free to send requests or let me know if there’s anything you want me to write about!

Check out my other study-related posts, or check out my navigation for more posts.


What a difference 24 years makes Alternating views of Subaru Impreza WRX STi, 1994 and Subaru WRX STI, 2018MY. The  Subaru Technica International version of the WRX was first introduced for the Japanese market in February 1994, this week the latest version (the 5th generation model with minor styling tweaks and an all-electronic Driver Controlled Centre Differential all-wheel drive system) was revealed

anonymous asked:

Is there a way to have a unique magic system for a fantasy series. Or successful ones?

Magic is a tale as old as time, so therefore there is no such thing as a truly unique magic system. It’s one of those funny little things that can be customized to the greatest of extents but still has the same basic functions. Magic systems can depend on culture, region, or type. It is imporant to realize that it all stems from the same concept. Some of the most famous books series (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) use a magical system that is derived from basic English lore. Because magic is (unfortunately) mythical, you can make it work however you want as long as you keep the rules consistent and rational.

What do I mean by rational?

A rational magic system is a system where every spell obeys the same (metaphysical) laws. The reader does not need to know how or why things happen at any given point, but they should feel like everything fits together. While the magic is mysterious, every move seems to be a logical extrapolation of previously observed rules. 

You don’t have to make a fully understood and outlined system of magic in order to have a fatasy series. That’s what differentiates hard and soft systems. A hard magic system is one where the magic is fully outlined and ruled, and people may or may not follow these rules, and there are consequences to breaking them. In these cases, magic is actively used by the main characters to solve problems (Dresden Files, Harry Potter). Soft magic, on the other hand, is a system where magic exists in the universe but is more ethereal. It is there to enrich the environment and lore. Magic is not actively used by the main characters, usually is the cause rather than the solution to problems (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones). 

Here’s a list of questions that might be useful in fleshing out the type of system you desire:

  1. Who can use magic in your world?
    1. Are people born with innate magical ability? 
    2. When do magical abilities being to appear?
    3. Non-human objects (e.g., animals, vegetables, minerals)?
  2. Is the existance of magic common knowledge in society?
  3. Where does the source of magic stem?
  4. How is magic performed?
    1. If the practitioners use tools, what type of tools are typically used?
    2. If the practitioners use rituals, what do the rituals look like?
    3. If the practitioners use emotions, how do different mental states and types change the effect of their magic?
  5. What type of defense is there against magic?
    1. If your world has non-magical folk, how are they affected by dark magic?
  6. What are the limiting factors to people performing magic (e.g., physical limitations, intellectual limitations)?

xx Sarah

To brontes anon from a while ago idk their URL rn: bronte asked if I could provide sources breaking down why reverse racism is bs and I don’t have sources but here are my thoughts. reverse racism isn’t real because if you understand racism as a system of differential death then it becomes very clear that claims of reverse racism are used to police and restrict the ways in which racially oppressed people can critique the dominant race and all their various racist shit. Racism is a formation in which the human species is divided and some are subjected to mass systems of violence death and exploitation, to name racism is to name a complex web of historical and present violence and this is why reverse racism will never be real, if it is racism it does not need to be thought of in the reverse.

If whatever racism is happens in the reverse, what does that mean? What does it mean to say that violence is happening in the reverse? When we stick up for ourselves, when we refuse to let someone exploit us… that sounds like justice. And so often what’s called reverse racism is anti-racist justice. Not letting white ppl be racist, not letting them in an Afro feminist festival in France, which was punished by the state.

Unfortunately white supremacy is incredibly tricky on the mental level and we need to be aware of why the argument of reverse racism is being deployed, what it’s being used to silence and de-legitimize. All the formations of racism in our world are vicious and about systematic murder and exploitation on enormous scales, and this is why the claims of reverse racism are always hollow. Violence in the reverse looks like justice.

My April Fools' Day Confession

I have a confession to make. It’s something which has been weighing on my mind for a long, long time - since late 2000, actually.

I did not invent timeless decision theory.

I did not invent the rationality techniques I’ve claimed as my own.

I’m not any kind of genius. I wasn’t slated for a technical job. If only I had learned the math and the background theory instead of reading popularizations, I’ve wished that I don’t know how many times, all too late. Everything I’ve tried to do here would have gone much faster, if I’d learned the math before. I had to try to reconstruct the math behind timeless decision theory from scratch, knowing only in vague terms what results I was supposed to get, and what popular accounts described in intuitive terms as the reason. I remember seeing the equations written down, but I didn’t know the definitions of the terms, and was at a loss to remember them later. If I had studied the theory behind the training I received as a child, the art of rationality I’ve tried to teach would be far more advanced. All I have left are scraps and shadows and the stuff that everyone learns before they’re 23.

Keep reading

Tackling Neurosexism

The neurosexism present in modern medicine, particularly cognitive neuroscience, is pervasive and culturally accepted as an immutable fact - generally because most people feel too intimidated by the medical terminology and theory to ever attempt to dispute it. Take this excerpt I was linked to after posting a status regarding the theory of the “sexed brain” [i.e. male and female brains]:

Most of the anatomical, physiological and neurochemical gender-related differences in the brain occur prenatally. The sexual differences in the brain are affected by sex steroid hormones, which play important roles in the differentiation of neuroendocrine system and behavior. Testosterone, estrogen and dihydrotestosterone are the main steroid hormones responsible for the organization and sexual differentiation of brain structures during early development. The structural and behavioral differences in the female and male brains are observed in many animal species; however, these differences are variable between species. Animal and human (in vivo imaging and postmortem) studies on sex differences in the brain have shown many differences in the local distribution of the cortex, the gray-white matter ratio, corpus callosum, anterior commissure, hypothalamus, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, limbic system and neurotransmitter systems. This review aims to evaluate the anatomical, physiological and neurochemical differences in the female and male brains and to assess the effect of prenatal exposure to sex steroid hormones on the developing brain.

At first glance, it seems innocuous enough. An excerpt regarding the physiological and neurochemical differences of the “male and female brain”, nothing ground-breaking nor earth-shattering, but reading it again and again I discovered the unmistakable mark of medical literature tainted by sexism (neurosexism).  

First, let’s look at the tone of the entire piece. It is undeniably authoritative and definite (one might expect this with medical literature, but medicine is rather unsurprisingly fluid and ever-changing!), considering the vastness of neurological structures and networks, neurological processes, neurotransmitter systems and synaptic functions, it’s daringly ambitious to declare the physiological structural differences between individual brains is due to sex - and more so, that these physiological structural differences have any baring on our cognitive abilities and psychological states. 

“The sexual differences in the brain”, already there is a declaration of the sexed differences between male and female brains. Not only is this wholly presumptuous, it’s also unfounded - there is no exact way to quantifiably define what a ‘male and female brain’ looks like, nor how it functions, nor how to measure it. The parameters are too expansive and the variables are so great that, even taking these into account, it is near impossible to pin-point what a female or male brain may be [variables can include age, physical size, background, physical condition, etc.] Once the foundation for the sexed brain has been laid down, it’s fairly easy to pick apart the seemingly definite physiological neurological differences between males and females - basically, when we have this pre-emptive assumption and formed idea that males and females do have different brains, we can support these theories fairly seamlessly with evidence that favours that hypothesis. In fact, even once evidence contradicts a researcher’s hypothesis, you’d be amazed at how quickly they formulate a way to justify the discrepancies! In fact, it’s not unusual (given the expansiveness of cognitive neuroscience) for researchers to apply several contradicting hypotheses and contradictory evidence as a basis for the claim that there are sexed brains. It’s amazing how malleable science can be when attempting to adhere to archaic and outdated ideas of gendered brains!

“…which play important roles in the differentiation of neuroendocrine system and behavior." Not only has there already been a explicit claim as to the existence of male and female brains, but there is now a direct link being made between how these physiological differences affect our behaviour. There are infinite factors that go into forming who we are, and how we behave and interact with one another, that it is completely ridiculous to rule it a result of hormone levels in our brains (prenatally or otherwise). In fact, there is evidence directly to the contrary. Studies done on Rhesus monkeys found that male foetuses have higher neuroendocrine levels of testosterone relative to their female counterparts. However, male fetuses whose mothers were (prenatally) given androgen-receptor blockers displayed no more behavioural differences than the control group, particularly in regards to the treatment and interest in child-rearing and interest in infants. Both groups were equally as interested in interacting with infants. Conversely, female fetuses whose mothers were injected with testosterone, were no less interested in the infants and child-care than the control group of female youngsters. What this (and many other studies regarding the affects of prenatal sex hormones on the brain) suggests is that the idea of hormones causing a drastic change in the chemistry, and function of our brains, is bogus. 

”Animal and human (in vivo imaging and postmortem) studies on sex differences in the brain have shown many differences in the local distribution of the cortex, the gray-white matter ratio, corpus callosum, anterior commissure, hypothalamus, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, limbic system and neurotransmitter systems.“ This sentence in particular piqued my interest, as I’d come across this sentiment a few times before, and it never sat right with me. These physiological differences, firstly, cannot be definitively correlated with behavioural differences between each sex. Secondly, these physiological differences are actually indicative of the differences between brain size and not simply between male and female brains. It was widely accepted that "female brains” generally have a greater amount of grey-matter relative to brain volume, but this is an inaccurate portrayal of information. Small brains have a greater amount of grey-matter relative to brain volume, and most crucially, this is not sex-related. Males with smaller brains exhibited the exact same physiological qualities of the “typical female brain”. So what does this all suggest? There is no quantifiable “male and female brain”, and there is no sexed difference between brains, but there is a size difference and subsequently, a difference in neurological structures, but this is not indicative of a lack of capacity nor capability whatsoever. It is far wiser to look into our socialisation, and how that affects our neuroplasticity, than relying on outdated and archaic ideas of hard-wired sex differences of our brains. 

Entitled to What?  Thoughts on the Royalty of Jupiter Ascending

We only get three examples of the Entitled in the movie: Balem, Titus, Kalique, and Jupiter herself.  Other than that, we’ve got nothing but Caine and Stinger’s hushed whispers of the status of the Entitled.


Here is what I remember (feel free to add to this list):

  1. Entitled are among the highest-ranking in the Jupiter Ascending universe, if not THE highest – definitely above splices
  2. Being Entitled doesn’t just mean “pure human,” otherwise all the Regenex fodder humans would be Entitled as well
  3. Entitled can be royalty, and all the royalty we see in the movie seem to be Entitled.  Canon remains silent on which category encompasses the other.  
  4. Entitled status comes with certain legal rights.  When Caine attacked an Entitled, this was grounds for automatic death sentence/life exile in the Deadlands (whatever those are)
  5. You can legally become Entitled

It was that last one that caught my attention.  Caine congratulates Jupiter on “officially” becoming an Entitled – after she legally gained ownership over all of Seraphi’s property left to her as a Recurrence.  Why then, and not before?  Was “Entitled” an inherent quality, or a legal status?


This is my theory: “Entitled,” means “owner of Regenex-fodder planet.”  It doesn’t mean you’re entitled to something, it works in the more ancient sense of OWNING A TITLE.  You hold the title to this planet; you are literally referred to by a royal title.  It explains why the Abrasax family go by “My Lord,” and “Your Highness,” even though (from our point of view) they are simply very powerful business people.  

It could also explain why Balem remains “My Lord,” and not “Your Majesty” after Seraphi’s death.  There are ranks even among the Entitled.  I imagine it as a very medieval, Game of Thrones-esque type setup; you can become a lord/Entitled, but your itty-bitty planet and five tubes of low-grade Regenex aren’t going to compare to the vast, inter-planetary empire of House Abrasax.  Seraphi Abrasax was the Queen because she built this gigantic Regenex empire and maintained the sole head of all of it; even if each sibling received enough planets to make them wealthy, they couldn’t touch what their mother held in her glory. 

As far as the legal aspects of being Entitled goes: obviously, the Entitled enjoy more legal rights and privileges than anyone.  It’s like a very extreme version of the perks of ancient Roman citizenship.  Attacking an Entitled is a life sentence or the death penalty.  The Entitled can be called by royal pronouns.  The Entitled maintain the right to have any of their living property converted into Regenex at their leisure (Balem tossed one of his sargons into the stream, remember?).  I think it’s also safe to say that being turned into Regenex is legally prohibited for the Entitled (Roman citizens couldn’t be crucified).  Also, the Entitled can legally recall people from lifetime imprisonment or death row…provided that they subsequently take on the contracts of the person they released?  Did Titus own Caine after their deal?  

I don’t think the legal system technically differentiates between richer and poorer Entitled, except in that universal way that all legal systems have of favoring the rich.  Also not sure about how many planets you have to own before people go from calling you “My Lady,” to “Your Majesty;” it probably has something to do with how many millennia you’ve held onto the planets, and how much fear and awe you can instill in the people you own.   Man, the more I think about this the more I want a historical drama-style movie about Seraphi Abrasax.  

My other Jupiter Ascending posts: 

On the Utility of Space Bees: why honeybee splices make sense in space

Caine Wise Headcanons and Thoughts Part 1/?

Space Angel Werewolves and Food Issues: Caine Wise Headcanons Pt. 2/?


i am desperate for fanfic so i hope this helped all you lovely writers out there

anonymous asked:

I'm developing guns for a secondary world and I'm not sure how to go about naming them. I'd like them to sound 'authentic' although companies like Smith & Wesson don't exist in this setting. Do you know of any resources to get a comprehensive sense of how firearms are names? Companies, models, brands (and what do all the letters and numbers mean?)

The real answer is, they don’t mean anything.

Company names tend to be like any other. You have companies that were named after the founder (or founders). For example, S&W was named after it’s founders, Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson. Glock, Winchester, H&K, and Colt are also examples.

There are companies that were named very descriptively. The best explanation would probably be through exact examples. IMI is simply an abbreviation of Israeli Military Industries. FN Herstal (usually referred to as FN) is Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal (or National Factory of Herstal).

SIG Sauer is an interesting combination of both. It’s actually two separate companies. SIG is Schweizerrische Industriegesellschaft, or Swiss Industrial Company. Sauer is actually J. P. Sauer und Sohn GmbH, which (I’m assuming) was named for the company’s original founders, though given it was founded in 1751, I can’t verify that off hand.

Companies that were named because someone liked the way it sounded, but don’t actually mean anything. Microtech, Freedom Arms, and Taurus come to mind.

The weapon names are created by the company. So in a lot of cases you’re looking at the result of market research guys deciding what to name something. Again, these names can be descriptive, H&K’s USP is derived from Universelle Selbstladepistole. Or, universal self-loading pistol. Or they can be entirely designed to the consumer, like the Colt Python, or the S&W Sigma.

As with the company, it’s not unheard of for a pistol to be named after the designer. FN’s Browning Hi-Power for example.

It’s also not unheard of for firearms to be named after their year of implementation. The 1911 pattern pistol is a classic example. It’s not always safe to assume this is the case.

For a partial trifecta, you can look at the AK-47 AK is short for Avtomat Kalashnikova. Avtomat is just Russian for Automatic. Kalashnikova is a female patronymic based on the designer’s name (Mikhail Kalashnikov). And, the gun was intended to enter service in 1947, though, that didn’t quite happen, it does reflect the general time the weapon entered service.

That said, the numbers don’t automatically mean anything. They can refer to general product iterations, Glock and SIG both do this. They can be picked to sound cool, Colt’s been guilty of this a few times. Or, they can actually have a fairly complex internal meaning, like many of the S&W automatics.

Numbers and letters can be combined to identify iterations in a firearm’s design. This happens by amending an “a” to the number. Further minor iterations can be indicated by adding a number after the letter. More substantial iterations can be indicated by increment the letter, and resetting the number progression. So an “a” then an “a1″, an “a2″, then on a major iteration, a “b”, followed by a “b1.″

Functionally, this works fairly similarly to software patch numbers, though those are delineated with decimal points.

Also, sometimes a letter will be appended to a firearm to indicate that it’s a specific variant. The H&K MP5K isn’t the 10th iteration of an MP5, it’s the “kurz” or “short” version. Though, the MP5 does have a series of A# variants, that are iterative. For the MP5K, the A gets applied after the K, so an MP5KA1.

Ammunition is almost as random, and it gets wedged comfortably in a weird state between Imperial and Metric measurements, sometimes with the same round existing in both.

Caliber is a decimal of an inch. So, .50 would be half an inch, .45 is 9/20ths, and so on.

A millimeter value is just the diameter of the bullet, so, that’s what 9mm means. Technically, you also often have to identify the length of the bullet under the metric system, to differentiate between something like 9x19mm Parabellum (the NATO version of 9mm you’re probably familiar with) and 9x18mm Makarov (the Warsaw Pact version.)

There are metric equivalent values for Calibers, it’s the same bullet, just under a different name. So, a 12.7mm round is going to be a .50. A .40 is a 10mm round, though it’s actually a 10x22mm, in comparison the “normal” 10mm round, which is 10x25mm. Which is why they use different names, even though they came out of the same R&D project. The .40 is a lower power version, developed after the 10x25mm proved too difficult to use.

Shotgun gauges are calculated through an incredibly archaic system. It’s the barrel diameter to fit a single lead ball of that fraction of a pound (dating back to non-scattershot, unrifled barrels). So a 12 gauge is chambered to take a musket ball that weighs 1/12th of a pound. A 20 gauge, 1/20th, and so on. 12 gauge works out to be roughly 18.5mm, if I remember correctly, but that’s a statistic basically no one uses.

If you’re wanting a useful takeaway from that, I’d say, settle on a round for the role you want, and don’t worry too much about making the ammunition match to real world cartridges, because the ones in the real world are an incredibly diverse arrangement.

I’m hesitant to even start a discussion about firearms types, in this context, because of how much history gets dragged in. The rise of automatic weapons in the 20th century is intertwined with the world’s wars. The submachine gun was something that, specifically, had a very hard time wining over entrenched military bureaucracies before the Germans started making heavy use of it in WWII. In turn that lead to the evolution of assault rifles in the final days of, and after WWII. Well, battle rifles, modern assault rifles were a further result of trying to take the 7.62mm automatic rifles and bringing them down into something more manageable, based on the ranges that combat was actually occurring at, rather than what military thinking thought they should be fought at.

When you start building your own setting, you have to decide how much of that is getting jettisoned, and how much needs to be brought over.


anonymous asked:

I just noticed that of roses army (Garnet Amethyst Pearl) they all have some sort of major fault, amethyst was a kindergarten gem made for war, garnet is a fusion, which homeworld hates, and pearl is probably a servant gem made to obey

yes, I’ve noticed that too! I actually talked about it quite a bit shortly after “Jail Break” (here’s one post where I’d talked about it), its definitely the case for the main Crystal Gems and most likely others in the past during the rebellion. Aside from protecting Earth, I’d wager part of the reason the rebellion happened was because they were pursuing  a different way of life. Which is why they changed it to refer to themselves as the “Crystal Gems”, after the fact that Earth is located in what Peridot called the Crystal System, to differentiate themselves from Homeworld Gems. I could easily see many of the Gems who chose to be Crystal Gems were rejected or looked down upon by Homeworld for whatever reason (either because of what they were or how they chose to act)

There’s an interview that came out a few months back where Rebecca says that it’s “very unusual” for the Crystal Gems to live and work together the way they do, “almost as unusual as it is for Steven to exist”. And I mean, think about that. Steven is the hybrid of a human and a nonbiological alien that doesn’t naturally reproduce. He should be impossible and yet he exists and the Crystal Gems interacting the way they do is described as almost as unusual as an impossible hybrid, which gives us an idea of just how different and rigid Homeworld must be.

The Crystal Gems have shown such pride in being Crystal Gems. It’s a name that means something to them (and originally meant absolutely nothing to Peridot, having never even heard of them), they describe it with such reverence, they (largely) take the job pretty seriously, and they get angry when the concept is insulted (in “Ocean Gem” when Lapis says “you’re one of the Crystal Gems” with all this contempt, Amethyst and Pearl tense up and start getting ready to fight until Garnet holds them back. In “When It Rains”, Pearl loses her patience and is about ready to get into a brawl with Peridot after she calls them “Crystal Clods”). They’ve put a lot of their identity into being Crystal Gems and I believe a lot of that is because being a Crystal Gem has allowed them the freedom to be who they are, at least moreso than Homeworld did, so its an identity that’s extremely important and meaningful to them and something they’re driven to defend.


So, this happened on Saturday. The car drives pretty awesome, it just needs my bucket seat in it (badly) and some sorting of the cooling system and differential. I was getting a bit of power cut as well once the car got warm, I’m thinking it was the knock sensor tripping, or fuel slosh? Either way, once I get cooling a bit more sorted, and run 91 (stupid me had 87 in it) and maybe a 86 GTS tank, it should be dope! I can’t wait to get back out on the track with it again!

Sorry, It's A Cultural Analysis of Slash.

So I started this after reading a New Yorker article on BBC’s Sherlock, which was short, but went into some detail about fandom. And I’m continuing it in the face of some ugly TW wank. And you know what, I actually have read a lot of articles about fandom and fanfiction coming from the mainstream press - there’s been an awful lot since they figured out how to monetize fic in the past few years. Our shining ambassadors in the world of publishing are E.L. James and Cassandra Clare, of course, so maybe I can’t blame them for missing the point. But I really do wonder why they seem to completely miss the two most obvious reasons why slashfic (their favorite bit to tittilate readers with) exists, particularly with a large female audience. Frankly, I would think a revolution in female porn consumers would be infinitely interesting to write about, but what do I know. Pretty much everything I’ve read writes about this with the most patronizing and indulgent tone possible.

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anonymous asked:

This is something I've never seen ANYONE tackle as a question, and I'd love your best answer. Why are some reptiles on a temperature determined sex differentiation system, and others on a chromosomal one? Any idea on how that came about?

Answering ‘why’ questions in evolutionary biology (and biology as a whole) is extremely difficult. Who knows? is the honest answer for the vast majority of questions; speculation - informed speculation - is often the best we can do.

Typically, chromosomal or genetic sex determination (GSD) results in a ~1:1 ratio of male to female offspring. This can be advantageous when the temperature of incubation does not differentially influence the fitness of sexes; that is to say, if males and females are both equally aided or abetted by temperature differences during incubation.

However, where temperature has differential influence on the fitness of individuals of different sexes, an environmental sex determination (ESD) system should be evolutionarily favourable; if males have superior fitness to females at low temperature, then selection will favour males over females at these temperatures, and it is easy to imagine the evolutionary potential of that relationship. This mechanism is called the 'Charnov-Bull’ model[1].

The dynamics of the Charnov-Bull model might differ between lineages; for instance in some cases, hot and cold temperatures might favour one sex, while intermediate temperatures favour the other; a parabolic relationship between sex and temperature might then exist[2,3].

The Charnov-Bull model was empirically shown to be true of Amphibolurus muricatus, a short-lived agamid lizard, by Warner and Shine in 2008[2]. In their experiment, they exposed eggs to different temperatures, while manipulating the sex of the lizards directly by hormone injection, and were thus able to demonstrate differential fitness effects on sexes at different temperatures.

It has been suggested that reptiles are particularly prone to transitioning from GSD to ESD, because their incubation environment is so variable[4,5], which might explain the prevalence of ESD in reptiles, relative to other vertebrates.

Differential fitness of sexes is not the only evolutionary explanation for the prevalence of ESD; a further three have been proposed: (1) ESD is ancestral and selectively almost neutral, and is thus perpetuated; (2) ESD promotes group fitness by permitting adaptive control of sex ratio; and (3) ESD permits inbreeding avoidance by producing single-sex clutches[3]. These, however, have little empirical support, and are probably less important than Charnov-Bull dynamics[3].

A whole lot more research is needed in this field, because the real answer to your second question is no, not really. Nobody really knows, but a lot of people are speculating. And that is intriguing. Novel approaches provide great potential for future research[3], and perhaps we may be able to answer the why and and the hows. But for now, real answers just don’t exist.


[1]Charnov, E.L. & J. Bull (1977) When is sex environmentally determined? Nature, 266(5605):828-830 [Read here]

[2]Warner, D.A. & R. Shine (2008) The adaptive significance of temperature-dependent sex determination in a reptile. Nature, 451:566-569

[3]Janzen, F.J. & P.C. Philips (2006) Exploring the evolution of environmental sex determination, especially in reptiles. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 19:1775-1784

[4]Georges, A., T. Ezaz, A.E. Quinn & S.D. Sarre (2010) Are reptiles predisposed to temperature-dependent sex determination? Sexual Development, 4:7-15 [Read here]

[5]Sarre, S.D., T. Ezaz & A. Georges (2011) Transitions between sex-determining systems in reptiles and amphibians. Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, 12_391-406

bane-of-giygas  asked:

honestly saying that words are "made up" like it's a bad thing is just the silliest thing ever, like? all words ever are made up?? there's no such thing as a word that the human race didn't make up???

didn’t u know the only real form of communication is slapping your gut really hard and staring another human in the eye until you both evolve telepathy and are able to impart your will unto them instantaneously.

words are fake and meaningless and useless, a vestigial remnant of primal man. join me in our true role as silent solitary beings that are totally identical and don’t require any form of noun and verb system to differentiate what things are like. all that matters is that i think and therefore am. nothing ever changes. time does not exist. thoughts are vague and formless. nothing you’re reading is of any consequence. there is nothing to be read. there was never an i to write anything. the universe is a construct.

dreamlandprincess  asked:

Hi!! I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the german school system and I was wondering if you could help explain it? What exactly is a gesamtschule? I'm really sorry to bother you. Thanks in advance!

This is a really difficult question because there is no general German school system. And don’t worry about bothering me; at least I finally get to write a post about the school system, which I have been planning since ages but shelved it over and over again because I was dreading it. Brace yourself for a long post.

The sixteen federal states are responsible themselves for their educational policy, so there are sixteen different school systems in Germany, having some features in common. As this is one of the few areas where the states have full authority, it is also an area of fierce debate between conservative and progressive / experimental educational politicians, and educational policies within a state may change within a few years, depending on the ruling party. Students who have to move from one state to another frequently have difficulties to accomodate themselves in the new learning environment. I will try to explain some common features.

First of all, all kids must attend a school. Homeschooling is illegal. Attending a public school, which is the norm in Germany, is free except for extra costs for class excursions. In some states the books can be borrowed for free from the school’s library, which has sufficient books for all students. In other states, the parents have to buy the books. Traditionally, students attend school in the morning until about lunchtime and are out of school during the afternoon. Some periods may be in the afternoon in the higher grades, while younger kids leave as early as around 12 o’clock. Free periods are common in the higher grades. In case a teacher is sick, a substitute will only be appointed if the kids are under 16 years old. Homework is common and can be quite extensive. Due to the increasing percentage of families with both parents being employed on a full-time basis, full-time schooling with homework supervision during the afternoon becomes more widespread, but is still not common in many areas of Germany.

Private schools exist, but they are not very common. Despite all the problems that I will list further down, the quality of public education is very high, so most parents don’t see the need to pay high fees to private schools unless they are extremely convinced by a particular educational philosophy practiced in one of the private schools (e.g. Waldorf Schools, Montessori Schools, etc.). Another motif may be to know the childern safe in a boarding school if the parents have to travel or move a lot. Apart from schools for children with severe behavioral problems or a criminal history, there are only very few public boarding schools in Germany, and most of them are Gymnasiums.

Pre-school education, by the way, is usually not free. The fees may be waived or reduced depending on the income of the parents. They can be as high as 2600 € per year. Pre-school education is regarded as the task of the parents, but this paradigm is beginning to change in the light of the growing number of families where both parents have a job. Since 1996, parents are legally entitled to demand day care for children over three years for six hours a day, and since 2013 for childran over one year until they reach the school age. Day care for the entire day becomes more and more widespread.

School starts between the age of 5 to 7 with the Grundschule. Depending on the state, it lasts until the fourths or sixths grade. Also depending on the state, the class teacher gives a recommendation or a mandatory decision which type of secondary school the kid will attend, which is not necessarily based on the marks / grades, but on the overall impression of the teacher regarding the potential of the student. In some states, the period between fourths and sixths grade is called Orientierungsstufe or Förderstufe, and the marks / grades achieved during this period determine the type of secondary school the student will attend. This puts an extreme pressure to get high marks / grades on the students at a very early age.

Traditionally, there were three types of secondary schools:

  1. The Hauptschule (main school) lasts until the 9th grade and provides basic training preparing the kids for an apprenticeship to become a craftsman.
  2. The Realschule or Oberschule (upper school) lasts until the 10th grade and provides more advanced training preparing the kids for vocational training in more demanding jobs in administration etc.
  3. The Gymnasium traditionally lasts until the 13th grade and provides the most sophisticated education preparing the kids to study at a university. Recent reforms aim to reduce the time spent at the Gymnasium by one year. Students finishing the Gymnasium receive a high school certificate called Abitur, granting access to all forms of higher education.

The original intention of this differentiated system was to optimally promote each student according to his natural talent. However, the system has gradually declined into a kind of prejudice-laden pre-sorting machinery leaving attendants of the original main school type, the Hauptschule, only litte chances on the job market instead of making them as fit as possible. In fact, some states have abolished the Hauptschule and pooled it together with the Realschule after it had degraded into a collecting tank for hopeless cases and immigrant’s children barely capable of speaking German. On the other hand, the Gymasiums are overcrowded with students only barely capable of handling the topics. Theoretically, it is possible and intended to continue on the next higher school type if you have passed the previous one with excellent marks / grades, but unfortunately, a downhill career is much more common. Repeating a year also happens quite frequently.

For this reason, the Gesamtschule (integrated school or comprehensive school) has been established in three forms.

  • One form is just a school with the three traditional tiers on the same campus, developing the same problems as the original system, although a higher mobility between the tiers was promised.
  • The second form classifies the students based on their abilities in the different subject. That means that you may have Gymnasium level in one subject and Realschul-level in another. This makes it possible to receive a high school certificate limited for certain subject on a Fachhochschule.
  • In the third form, all kids are taught together but leave after the 9th grade with a Hauptschul-certificate, after the 10th grade with a Realschul-certificate, or after the 12th or 13th grade with an Abitur to start apprenticeships, vocational training, or studies at a university, respectively.

Studies show that students coming from the latter type of school are less fit to study than those coming from the first type or a Gymnasium.

The original plan to replace the three-tier school system with the Gesamtschule was never fully realized based on the parent’s fear that the abolishment of the Gymnasium leads to a declining quality of top-level education. Nowadays, Gesamtschulen exist in parallel to the three classical school types.

Education after school can be vocational or academic.

For vocational training, the students (or young adults) usually apply for an apprenticeship at a company, but are not only trained on the job, but also attend a vocational school teaching them the theory necessary to develop a successful career. This usually lasts three years and produced highly qualified specialists tailored to the needs of the training employers, which oftentimes take over the apprentice as a regular employee. The great advantage of this system is that the industry trains their specialists according to their demands and requirements instead of having a great number of academically educated people who to not really fit the needs. However, companies are less and less willing to invest money in education and training, calling for the state to install more lower-level academic training. People having finished their training in a craftman’s trade are called Geselle. They may upgrade their qualification to lead an own business and become a Meister.

The academic field is subdivided into universities of applied science (Fachhochschule) and full universities (Universität). Universities are heavily subsidized by the state and charge only a small fee per semester covering the administrative costs and usually include a social contribution for the local student union, a fee for the self-administration of the body representing the students in the democratic administration of the university, and in many cities a ticket for the public transport covering also the surrounding area. Semester fees at Freie Universität Berlin, for example, are just under 300 €. Some states charged semester fees of about 500 € for a couple of years, but abolished this practice at least for the first studies in 2014.

Fachhochschulen were meant to offer high-level education for people aiming for a highly qualified job in the industry leading to a career in the middle management or in R&D. They can be attended having a specialized high school certificate e.g. from a Gesamtschule limited to a certain subject (Fachabitur).

Full universities require an Abitur and provide full academic education in many subjects, leading to bachelor, master, or doctoral degrees. The newly established bachelor, however, has problems to be accepted as it is regarded lower than the former Diplom or Magister degrees. The highest qualification is the Habilitation, which was required to become a professor, but is being replaced or supplemented by a system of junior professorships.

Besides the primary educational path, there are also evening schools for employed people who want to increase their level of education, offering courses to upgrade from Hauptschul-certificate to Realschul-certificate, Fachabitur or Abitur degrees. There are also plans to open Fachhochschulen to people who have obtained a Meister degree.

Finally, there are schools for children with special needs. Originally intended to provide tailored support for children with various kinds of disabilities, the Sonderschule or Förderschule has in many cases gone into the same kind of degeneration as the Hauptschule. For this reason, the trend goes towards including these children into regular schools and providing them individual support.

These schemes from Wikipedia give a summary of the complicated educational system that has evolved in Germany.

Everyone who may wish to contribute to this post, please feel free to leave a reply. I am sure I did not get everything covered.