emergent diseases

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“Although [the ‘health transitions’ model] describes broad patterns now apparent throughout the world, the concept of national health transitions also masks other realities, including morbidity and mortality differentials within nationalities, which show that health conditions are often more tightly linked to local inequalities than to nationality.”

Paul Farmer, Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues (2001)

Check out my latest effort to raise awareness about an emerging snake disease! It just went live on National Geographic: “Mysterious Disease Attacks Rattlesnakes: Scientists are hunting for the cure as a wave of fungal disease sickens American snakes.” Featuring myself (@MyFrogCroaked) speaking with Dr. Jen Moore (@jenplivey), & research assistants Arin Thacker (@goatqueenarin), and Caleb (@ipedaltothemedal). Filmed in Michigan by the ever talented Katie Garrett (@katieggarrett). Thanks to @natgeo for your help to share this important snake conservation story! Watch the video at the link in my bio, or copy and paste this: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/snake-fungal-disease-treatment-conservation/

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nothing holding me back (connor murphy x reader)

Request: “hii could you please do a Connor x reader based on “there’s nothing holding me back” by Shawn mendes thank u”

Words: 1300

Requests are open!

I was smoking behind the school, cutting class for the third time that week. I had one earbud blasting music that I wasn’t paying attention to, the other one dangled from the wire and settled near my waist. I focused on the familiar feeling of the smoke from my cigarette filling my lungs, leaving my mouth bitter and dry. I had found comfort in the feeling most people despised.

“You know how dangerous that is?” I hear a voice chuckle. I turn my head to the person who had joined me, ready to snap at them to leave. A girl was there, Y/N Y/L/N. I recognized her from around school. She was… something. It seemed like nothing bothered her, she was invincible. Like she could walk through the middle of a battlefield and emerge unscathed.

“Cancer, lung disease, heart disease, death.” She recites, sounding like my middle school health teacher.

“Know it better than anyone.” I retort, taking another puff of my cigarette.

She leans against the wall next to me. What the hell was she doing?

“Connor Murphy, right?”

I nod, focusing on the remains of my cigarette, ash falling gently to the floor like snowflakes.

“Y/N Y/L/N. Nice to meet you, Connor.”

And that’s how I met my best, and only, friend.

It’s been three years and she hasn’t changed. She’s still that invincible, fearless, brave girl who had the guts to talk to the psychotic kid who threw a printer at the teacher in second grade.

Speak of the devil, that very girl is currently sitting right next to me, fiddling with her jacket as we wait at a red light. Her foot bounced at the speed of light, the converse on her feet hitting rhythmically against the floor of the Jeep.

Fun fact about Y/N, she could never keep still. She always felt the need to move, whether it was bouncing her foot or pacing the room, she was up and moving.

We were headed to who knows where, going wherever the wind blew us. She had convinced me to come out with her tonight. I was planning on smoking in my room and listening to crappy music till 3AM but she had dragged me out knowing that I would follow her wherever she went. She basically had the same effect on me than any drug could produce anyways.

I glance over at her, sitting back in the passenger seat and propping her feet up on the dashboard, her messy Y/H/C hair glowing in the fading sunlight. She was gazing out the window, that little smirk she always wore present on her face. She must have felt me staring because she turned away from the window and instead looked right at me.

“Like what you see?” She chuckled.

“God, you are so cocky.” I complain.

Another fun fact, this one more about me, her confidence was one of my favorite things about her. She wasn’t afraid of anyone, a trait of hers I admired.

The light finally changed to green and I take off down the partially empty highway. We had fallen back into a comfortable silence, leaving the other to their thoughts. Mine, of course, had drifted back to Y/N. They always did. The way she always had a witty comeback to whatever you said or the way her eyes got that mischievous glint whenever she had an idea or how she would bite her lip whenever she was deep in thought. She was intoxicating.

“Pull over here.” I hear her voice break through my thoughts.

I do as she says, veering to the right and pulling into a parking lot.

“The library?” I question, staring out the window at the brick building before us.

She nods her head and climbs out of the car without giving me an explanation as to what we were doing here. I lock the car and follow her, jogging to catch up. She turns the corner and heads to the back of the huge building.

“I figured we could both go for something a little less crazy tonight.” She explains.

I follow her gaze to a fire escape ladder clinging to the brick wall. She starts to climb the ladder without a second thought, her converse flying up the metal rungs. I examine the ladder for a second before I follow her, evaluating the situation.

“Come on, Con!” She giggles.

I grab onto the cold, metal rung and start pulling myself up after her. I had never been one to follow rules anyway.

The roof was pretty boring, with only a chimney and a few leaves scattered across it. I wander around the flat surface and watch as Y/N perches on the edge of the roof, swinging her legs back and forth.

I walk up behind her and shove my hands in my pockets.

“You know how dangerous that is?” I say, quoting her first words to me.

“Know it better than anyone.” She retorts, playing along.

I plop down next to her and watch the sun as it slips over the horizon.

“How’ve you been?” She asks.

I shrug, unsure of what to say, “Things at the house have sucked, parents are still fighting, Zoe is still being an ass, nothing new.”

“That didn’t answer my question.”

I stare ahead, refusing to look at her.

“Connor, just talk to me. Tell me what’s wrong.” She begs, reaching for my hand.

I snatch it away, feeling a lump rising in my throat.

“I-I’m fine.” I growl, standing up and heading towards the ladder to leave.

“Why do you keep doing this?” She asks, her brows furrowed in concern.

“Doing what!” I yell.

“Pushing me away!” She exclaims, “Did I do something to make you lose your trust in me? We used to tell each other everything, now you’re closing up on me.”

I freeze in my attempts to escape, eyes widening.

“You’re my closest friend, Con-” She carries on before I interrupt her.

“That’s it! Friends.” I yell back.

Shit.

“What do you mean?”

“That’s all we are, friends. I don’t want that.”

Her eyes well up with tears and I can see the pain of my words strike her like a bullet. Holy shit, Y/N never cried. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you felt that way. I can leave you alone if you want me to.”

She quickly runs towards the ladder, mimicking my movements from before. Before she could leave, I grab her wrist, desperate to fix what I had just broken with a few misunderstood words.

“No, Y/N, that’s not what I meant.” I mumble, searching for words.

“I just.. I really.. I.. Like you, ok? As more than a friend. I love the way your smile always manages to make me feel better after a crappy day. And how you’re always forcing me out of my comfort zone making me do these crazy things. I love the way you would be there for me at the drop of a hat, no matter what time it is or where you are, you’re there. Shit, I love the way you care about me-”

My speech is interrupted by Y/N’s lips on mine, taking be my surprise and leaving me frozen. I quickly grab her waist and pull her flush against my body. She entangles her hands in my hair and I can feel her smile against my lips.

She pulls away first, smirking at me as she walks towards the ladder, “You’re driving, right?”

“Um, y-yeah, sure.” I stutter, running my hands through my hair with wide eyes.

“Okay, meet you down at the car!” She chuckles, winking at me before she descends the ladder.

Holy shit, I was in for quite a ride.

youtube

Human heart in ventricular fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation is a condition in which there is uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the ventricles in the heart, making them quiver rather than contract properly. It is the most commonly identified arrhythmia in cardiac arrest patients.

While there is some activity, the lay person is usually unable to detect it by palpating (feeling) the major pulse points of the carotid and femoral arteries. Such an arrhythmia is only confirmed by electrocardiography.

Ventricular fibrillation is a medical emergency that requires prompt Advanced Life Support interventions. If this arrhythmia continues for more than a few seconds, it will likely degenerate further into asystole (“flatline”). This condition results in cardiogenic shock and cessation of effective blood circulation. As a consequence, sudden cardiac death (SCD) will result in a matter of minutes. If the patient is not revived after a sufficient period (within roughly 5 minutes at room temperature), the patient could sustain irreversible brain damage and possibly become brain-dead, due to the effects of cerebral hypoxia. On the other hand, death often occurs if sinus rhythm is not restored within 90 seconds of the onset of VF, especially if it has degenerated further into asystole.

Causes of ventricular fibrillation are:

  • Abnormal automaticity: In the healthy myocardium, the rhythm of contraction is regulated by sinoatrial node,that acts like a pacemaker and generates the normal sinus rhythm. Automaticity is a measure of the propensity of a fiber to initiate an impulse spontaneously, separated from the sinoatrial node. The product of a hypoxic myocardium can be hyperirritable myocardial cells and these may then act as pacemakers. The ventricles are then being stimulated by more than one pacemaker. Scar and dying tissue is inexcitable, but around these areas usually lies a penumbra of hypoxic tissue that is excitable. Ventricular excitability may generate re-entry ventricular arrhythmia. It is interesting to note that most cardiac myocardial cells with an associated increased propensity to arrhythmia development have an associated loss of membrane potential.
  • Re-entry: The role of re-entry or circus motion was demonstrated separately by Mines and Garrey. Mines created a ring of excitable tissue by cutting the atria out of the ray fish. Garrey cut out a similar ring from the turtle ventricle. They were both able to show that, if a ring of excitable tissue was stimulated at a single point, the subsequent waves of depolarisation would pass around the ring. The waves eventually meet and cancel each other out, but, if an area of transient block occurred with a refractory period that blocked one wavefront and subsequently allowed the other to proceed retrogradely over the other path, then a self-sustaining circus movement phenomenon would result. For this to happen, however, it is necessary that there be some form of non-uniformity. In practice, this may be an area of ischaemic or infarcted myocardium, or underlying scar tissue.
If you work in respiratory care, PLEASE do not wear fragranced products to work

tl;dr You could kill the person you’re trying to help, so just don’t do it.

If you are a Pulmonologist, EMT, or ENT, please do not wear lotions, deodorants, or hair products with fragrances to work. Please wash your work clothes in fragrance free detergent.

If you are a nurse working with pulmonary clients or in the ER, please do not wear lotions, deodorants, or hair products with fragrances to work. Please wash your work clothes in fragrance free detergent.

If you are a respiratory therapist or technician, please do not wear lotions, deodorants, or hair products with fragrances to work. Please wash your work clothes in fragrance free detergent.

If you deliver oxygen or respiratory equipment to people’s houses, please do not wear lotions, deodorants, or hair products with fragrances to work. Please wash your work clothes in fragrance free detergent.

Your job is to keep my lungs safe by providing me with the knowledge and tools I need to take care of my body. This is what I pay you to do.

I can not do my job as a patient if my care team is actively compromising my health.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t smell the fragrance yourself. Fragrance is a well known respiratory irritant that is not compatible with your line of work.

If your product ingredient list says Perfume, parfum, fragrance, or some variation of “natural fragrance”, it is not appropriate to wear to work.

Don’t like it? Deal with it or change careers. Every job has a dress code.

One time I was sent home from work for wearing jeans. JEANS. Why? Because it looked “unprofessional”. Do I agree? No. Do I like it? Hell no. Do I obey the dress code because it’s a requirement of my job and never want to deal with that again? Yep.

If I can lose a day of pay for wearing the wrong pants, why you aren’t sent home for coming to work dressed to kill?

Fragrances will at best make someone nauseous or at worst cause a fatal flare up. Why you would even think of showing up to work like that and putting other people’s lives at risk when you work in respiratory health is completely beyond me.

How to use an epinephrine auto-injector! These are becoming more and more common. They are way better than the classic epi-pen because it will actually tell you what to do and you don’t have to jab it! Still. Please share because it is not widely known that these are actually “epi-pens”. Also in an emergency people panic and won’t listen to the voice. Call 9-1-1 immediately after administering it. If the person isn’t better in 5 minutes give another dose of epi. Usually people with severe allergies will carry two because one dose isn’t enough.

medium.com
The Search for the Next Global Health Chief and the Challenges Ahead
This year the World Health Organization will elect a new director-general, who will be charged with moving past the WHO’s widely criticized…
By Melvin Sanicas

3 candidates from 3 continents for the toughest job in global health! Whoever wins among the candidates will have a consequential impact on the future of the agency and of global public health!

Popular Anti-Vaxx Arguments w/ Rebuttals

Starting with the most popular…

So where did this idea come from? Back in 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield released a study stating that vaccinations cause autism. The claim has since been discredited after multiple scientists were unable to reproduce his results. As anyone who works in science knows, the ability to reproduce research is one of the foundations of the scientific method. Therefore, if your research is not reproducible it is not valid. 

Furthermore, even if vaccines could cause autism, the fact that you would rather expose your child to deadly, preventable illnesses versus them being autistic shows that your priorities are way out of line. 

And the next one is…

How could my unvaccinated child get your vaccinated child sick anyway?

Well, that might be reasonable if I only cared for my own child’s health, but believe it or not, as a future physician, I am concerned for everyone’s health. There are children who cannot get vaccines secondary to allergies or deficient immune systems. The fact that other’s find these children unworthy of protection through herd immunity is outrageous. 

Here is a rough example as to how herd immunity protects those who cannot receive vaccinations:

None of these diseases are really that bad anyway. It’s just a minor rash. 

Really? Is that why an estimated 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die of preventable diseases across the world each year? We live in a country in which vaccines are readily available and relatively inexpensive. We are privileged in that fact, yet there are those who act like vaccines are an atrocity.  

And last of all, my favorite…

What proof is there that vaccines even work anyway?

Yes, maybe you didn’t live through the times of smallpox to realize how devastating of disease it was. It’s hard to realize the efficacy of vaccines when we don’t actually see their direct effects. But lets take Syria for example. Syria was declared free of polio in 1999. But the disease re-emerged approximately two years ago after conflict. Less children were vaccinated resulting in the disease affecting 100’s of children.This disease can leave your child paralyzed for the rest of your life. Would you want to carry that burden when you could have easily vaccinated your child? 

The U.S. has been polio free since 1979. We could potentially see polio re-emerge in the United States if people stopped getting vaccinated. We, as a whole, can eradicate these diseases. We are already experiencing a large outbreak in measles due to people not vaccinating. Let’s use common sense and vaccinate!

medium.com
Top Pathogens To Watch Out For and What They Do
World Health Organization brought together experts to identify emerging diseases with potential to generate a public health emergency.
By Melvin Sanicas

The group of experts represented a range of disciplines, including virology, microbiology, immunology, public health, clinical medicine, mathematical andcomputational modelling, product development, and respiratory and severe emerging infections. The list will be reviewed annually or when new diseases emerge. Do you know which ones made it to the list?

anonymous asked:

You said in your last anon response that you think in a few years, how medicine is practiced will change quite a bit. How do you think it will change? Thank you!

Ohhh a great question! Watch, I’ll look back on this and I’m gonna laugh at myself. BUT these are the things I think will change:

-personalized medicine is going to really take off

-the fight for universal healthcare is not going to stop; I predict it will get more intense. We will be tinkering with and working on universal healthcare in all countries. I think universal healthcare in even 10 years is going to look very different from what it looks like right now. How? I’m not sure

-resource rationing in the face of universal healthcare is going to increase and doing this to with our aging population, people out-living their diagnoses, children with congenital diseases living into adulthood will require creativity and serious discussion. It’s going to be bumpy.

-the ethics of dying. We have amazing technology to prolong life. I believe that the discussion of what is a good life, what is a good death, do people have a right to choose their death, and all the topics around death and dying will have a lot of public attention. We will, as humans, all need to really to begin talking about this. If you folks haven’t watched Extremis on Netflix…that’s what I’m kind of talking about.

-emergence/re-emergence of infectious diseases. I know I’m biased because I love ID. But I really do think so. Global warming is already causing mosquito and animal behavior changes, which brings them closer to us, which brings zoonotic diseases and diseases we thought long gone or controlled back into our lives. Also: antibiotic resistance and the end of the antibiotic era if we don’t pour more money into public health, epidemiology, disease control, antibiotic development. I think the next decade is going to be really special for ID specialists, and I’m excited for it

-the clash vs union of technology and medicine. And to that effect, the medical-industrial complex and the absorption of physicians into the complex. 

-In response to the aforementioned prediction, the reclamation of medicine from business people back to physicians but in the form of physicians with MD/MBAs, QI fellowships (quality improvement), and the industrialization of the way we practice medicine

-public health. Like just public health overall. It’s going to take on new responsibilities, new roles. 

-mass casualty medicine as a discipline is going to really gain traction outside of the military as part of public health 

-an emergent deficit of primary care physicians, if we continue to pay them inadequately and deny them the respect they deserve

-privatizing medicine like concierge medicine but for the middle/middle-upper class


What other predictions do people have?

Zika Outbreak Updates: Puerto Rico Declares State of Emergency

As the Zika virus outbreak continues, including in wide swaths of Central and South America, concerns are growing, especially for pregnant women because the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with a serious birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain.

Here are the latest updates about the outbreak, which the World Health Organization has deemed a “global health emergency.”

Puerto Rico Declares State of Emergency

Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak. The U.S. territory has at least 22 people who have been reported to have been infected with the Zika virus, health officials said.

The State Emergency and Disaster Administration is creating a task force for both federal and state officials to deal with the crisis.

Additionally, a price freeze has been ordered for products needed to prevent the disease, according to government officials.

New Zika Virus Cases Include Pregnant Woman, Man With Paralysis Syndrome

In Puerto Rico, a pregnant woman in her first trimester was diagnosed with the disease, health officials said. In addition, a man has also been diagnosed with Zika and has developed a rare paralysis syndrome sometimes associated with viral or bacterial infection.

Called Guillain-Barre syndrome, it is an immunological reaction that has been associated with influenza, among other illnesses.

At least 22 people who have been reported to have been infected with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico, health officials said.

FDA Signals New Recommendations on Blood Transfusions Likely

In a statement to ABC News, officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they intend to “rapidly implement appropriate donor deferral recommendations” to safeguard the donated blood supply in the U.S.

“Blood donor deferrals serve as an important measure to protect the United States’ blood supply,“ FDA officials said in a statement. "The FDA also intends to put in place recommendations to help maintain a safe blood supply in United States territories where the virus is present. In the meantime, we fully support the blood banking industry’s voluntary recommendations that potential blood donors be deferred for 28 days after returning from travel to areas where Zika is endemic.”

Sexually Transmitted Zika Case Prompts CDC to Issue New Guidelines

After the Zika virus was transmitted through sexual contact in Dallas, Texas, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines today for travelers to and from outbreak regions.

The CDC advises men with a pregnant partner to use condoms if they have traveled to an area with "active Zika virus transmission.”

Additionally, couples where a male partner who has traveled to an area with Zika transmission “may consider using condoms consistently and correctly during sex or abstaining from sexual activity,” if they are concerned about sexual transmission of the Zika virus.

At Least 54 People Infected in the U.S.

There are at least 54 people infected with the Zika virus in the U.S. In all except one case, the infection was acquired while out of the country, according to health officials.

In one case in Dallas, Texas, the virus is believed to have been transmitted through sexual contact from an infected traveler to a partner.

Florida has the highest number of cases in the U.S., with 12 people infected. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in five counties and ordered thousands of tests that will help identify the disease.

What Does the Virus Do?

Common symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately one in five people infected with the virus show symptoms. Severe complications from the virus that require hospitalization are rare, according to the CDC.

The virus has also been associated with a rise of microcephaly birth defect cases.

The CDC is also investigating if a rare paralysis syndrome called Guillain-Barre is related to the virus. The syndrome is an immunological reaction that can also occur after other viral or bacterial infections.

How Is It Transmitted?

The virus is transmitted mainly through the bite of the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. This is the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue fever. The Aedes albopictus species has also been identified as a potential carrier.

Before the current outbreak, the virus had been found mainly in tropical settings in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. An outbreak of the disease in Brazil led to an alert by the Pan American Health Organization last May.

Sporozoites of the parasite Cryptosporidium parvum emerging from their oocyst to infect gastrointestinal epithelial cells.

Cryptosporidium, commonly known by the comic book supervillian name “Crypto,” is transmitted by ingesting water or food contaminated with Crypto oocysts. Once ingested, the oocyte ruptures, and the sporozoites contained within infect the gut of their new host, causing watery diarrhea. 

Though outbreaks occasionally occur in the developed world, few infected in those outbreaks die from Crypto. However, in the developing world, some of those infected with Crypto develop chronic disease and die, particularly small, malnourished children.

For more on Crypto and how scientists are tackling this tricky parasite, check out this article on NPR’s All Things Considered about the work being done by the Striepen lab at the University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.

Image courtesy Boris Striepen and Muthgapatti Kandasamy, University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases

11 questions

1. Always post these rules

2. Answer the questions given by the person who tagged you

3. Write 11 questions of your own

4. Tag 11 people

i was tagged by one of my favs @cancerbiophd​ !! thank you so much !!

1. what do you think are some health issues that science and medicine should prioritize more of right now?

i’m probably biased (because my degree is a lot of this ahaha) but re-emerging diseases like dengue, ebola and sars are something I find really concerning. Most re-emerging diseases are found in MICs (middle-income countries e.g. Brazil) and LICs (low income countries e.g. Sudan) so the health inequality found here certainly doesn’t help in fighting them. 

2. what started your interest in the field/career path you’re in now?

i’ve always had a long standing interest in biology especially disease, but i had a teacher who worked on malaria drugs and she really pushed me to go into the field i’m studying in now. my mum also advised me to check out my current university course so thanks mum !

3. what’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

i’m pretty damn boring so I’m not very daring, but in chem lab we did start a lot of fires *shrugs*

4. what’s something your blog followers may not know about you?

when i was younger and watched high school musical i realised that being smart was actually pretty cool thanks to gabrielle. so I guess I may actually have gabrielle to thank taking school more seriously??? 

5. what are your goals for the remainder of 2017?

make a good start to my second year at university and get some killer summer work placements for 2018

6. if you won $1000 and had to use it to splurge on something for yourself, what would it be?

a really really nice coat and books. if not i’d probably put it towards a trip over summer or using it for accommodation so i could do a super cool placement somewhere. 

7. what’s your “white whale”? aka something you’ve seen/experienced before that now you’re obsessed with finding again but you just! can’t! seem to! find!

hmmmmm… there was this one book i read about 2 years ago about a fashion blogger that was super eccentric but ended up falling in love with the sports guy™. it was set in england and i know for sure it was fiction. all i can really remember is the main character had peachy hair at some point. 

8. you get to say one sentence to past you. what do you say?

love and be kinder to yourself

9. what were you irrationally terrified of as a kid?

barney the purple dinosaur ngl

10. what do you think the world needs more of right now?

TOLERANCE 

11. what harry potter house are in you in?

i’m gonna of the test now !!!

okay i got ravenclaw which sounds about right

I tag @studyfulltime @studylustre @logarlthms @baklavastudies @studie-s @tbhstudying @uglystudies @milkteastudies @jhonstudies @smoinerd @juniorincollege

to answer these questions

1. what film/book/album/artwork has had the biggest influence on your life? 

2. in 11 words, what is your tumblr aesthetic? 

3. who has had the biggest influence on your life?

4. in 10 years, where do you see yourself? 

5. what’s your favourite animal and why? 

6. what’s your dream career? 

7. what was your proudest moment yet? 

8. how would you like to be remembered? 

9. what is your morning routine? 

10. what’s your favourite book and why?

11. what’s one thing that drives you insane for some unknown reason? 

Dogs and the spoonie

Plusses: Cuddles, comfort, unconditional love, kisses, and the absolute confidence that you, their human, will take care of them…invisible illness, visible illness, or whatever. And, hey, you never need an alarm clock again.

Cons: An absolute confidence you will take care of them…and an absolute need that you do so. Even if you’ve only been home from surgery for three days. And, hey, you NEVER get to sleep in again.

Pros: An absolute need for you to get up and take care of them. It limits the extent to which  you can just give up and lie on your couch in misery until the skeleton wars come. Somehow for these faces, you always find more spoons than you could have for your own face.

I guess what I’m saying is this. Yes, sometimes they are hard, but the extra spoons they bring into your life make up for it in more ways than one.

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It is March! I wanted to have some bigass post for you lot for that preveriously referred BTWP announcement, but alas, that is not happening because I am run down with a cold and my plans for this month work-wise have been recently shuffled to accommodate other things. So, I merely have this considerably less exciting offering of WIPs and ugly sketches. Wow!

That announcement however is still going to happen, albeit changed from what I had originally intended. What I wanted to be able to share was “the BTWP blog is LIVE, WOO” with much excitement, BUT. But, the blog isn’t ready yet. The URL has been reserved but due to tackling a lot of unrelated but extremely important work I am far behind where I wanted to be this month. At this point the grand majority of what’s “left” to be done is mostly just writing, which I really don’t want to rush. Anyway, the WIPs above are the arguably final designs for the Koopalings as children. Morton’s a little taller than he actually should be (he’s only 8 at this particular point), but I’ll fix that later. Roy and Wendy have yet to be finalised, so they are not included.

This will probably be the last post regarding BTWP that will appear here before the blog itself goes live, since I would like to save some of the remaining (and currently finished) vis-dev work for the blog itself for some kind of special intermission upload or whatever between Acts (and because insofar as I’m concerned, this break isn’t over yet). However before I leap screaming back into the void of “I’m not here”, I want to share with you fabulously patient people some notes on the background setting under which BTWP is going to be operating. Are you excited? I hope you are because I sure am yeah!

EXPO-ACT1: At this time, the Mushroom Kingdom is at war with the Sarasan Kingdom, contesting over land. The territory is laced with mycelium, the physical reach of the two rulers: Peach and Daisy. Daisy has begun to push for more land, as the Sarasa is no longer suited to her survival due to desertification of an already arid clime, and will eventually kill her and her people, the Goombas. The fungroid people, Goombas and Toads, spread by way of mycelium - primarily from the mycelium spread by Daisy and Peach. The peoples of both Kingdoms are fruiting bodies of the original spore cluster(s), and will lay mycelium in new areas upon settling to reproduce. Daisy’s and her people’s mycelium is no longer able to draw nutrients from the South and Southwest of her Kingdom, forcing a migration. Daisy and her people are basal in instinct and intelligence, they do not grow crops for primary / secondary sustenence, and are considered parasites by their neighbours. The spread of Goombas spoils agricultural plots, spreading premature rot and fungal disease. The Sarasan Kingdom cannot be reasoned with on the issue of political borders [“NO. MORE LAND. LAND.”], resulting in violent conflict between the two fungal groups.

The Toads, Peach’s people, have begun to migrate to the North and Northeast of the Mushroom Kingdom and further outwards to the Koopa Kingdom in fear of conflict and as a result of overpopulation of Goombas, begetting displacement. Many immigrants buy land or become farm hands, introducing new crops to the Koopa Kingdom. The flood of Toads immigrating to the Koopa Kingdom upsets its economy and ecology. Koopa crops are beset with smuts and other infections resulting from the introdution of new crops carrying mold spores from which current crops have no defense. The North / Northeastern border and Northern / Northeastern territories are beset by a food shortage resulting from spoiled crops. The labour market also becomes heavily saturated, creating a food and market crash along the full border. Famine threatens to emerge from the North, sparking retaliation from the Koopa Monarchy. The Monarchy, shrunken in recent years due to the steady transition to democracy, stifles immigration with harsh policies and laws, encouraging political retaliation in kind from the Mushroom Kingdom, still under siege and now experiencing a population and ecological crisis. Peach presses for a granting of Koopa land due to the high population of Toads already present and steadily rising, which is denied. Toads are barred from immigration further into Koopa lands. The Undergrowth especially, the Koopa Kingdom’s most fertile agricultural belt, is closed off to protect it from the spreading fungal diseases emerging from the North.

The Northern Koopa people struggling with approaching famine and a crashing labour market experience hysteria and begin to enact violence upon their neighbours. Acts of cannibalism emerge from rural pockets while urban settlements are beset with burnings and public executions of political representatives. The slaughter is eventually turned upon the immigrant Toads, who are eaten in lieu of failed crops. This becomes a “lesson” for remaining regions. When the west / southwest is beset with hysteria, the “barbarism of the broken North” is cited as an example for the people to remain calm and reaccept the Monarchy in the face of chaos. This is a ploy of the Koopa Court to reinstate the Koopa Monarchy as an autocracy.

The Monarchy offers no compensation for the Toad families affected by the new laws or the atrocities taking place throughout the border and the north, its hands already full with the task of stabilising its native peoples as infant sovereign states begin to show considerable strain from upheaval. The Toad Brigade, a group of extremists acting in the “interest of the Mushroom Kingdom”, has arisen to enact extreme violence upon the Koopa people to force the Monarchy’s hand in granting Peach new land. The current Queen [mother of Bowser] is moving throughout the Kingdom in an effort to calm the people in person.

And that’s that. I will probably see you all again in April!

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New Nanofiber Filter Could Help Residents Breathe Easier on Smoggy Days

A new filter can capture many times its weight in hazardous air pollution while letting air and light pass through easily. The material is made of a polymer called polyacrylonitrile, the same ingredient used to make acrylic yarns for clothing, some boat sails and surgical gloves. Using a fiber-pulling process called electrospinning, the liquid polymer is converted into nanofibers each a thousand times thinner than a human hair. 

The Stanford University engineers who made the filter say its surface chemistry and the positioning of the fibers lets it absorb more than 95 percent of the smallest particulate matter (PM) in air pollution while remaining 90 percent transparent.   

“The fiber just keeps accumulating particles, and can collect 10 times its own weight,” says Chong Liu, a materials science and engineering graduate student and lead author of a paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications. “The lifespan of its effectiveness depends on application, but in its current form, our tests suggest it collects particles for probably a week.”

Keep reading

List Of Some End Time Prophecies That Has Been Fulfilled
  • The current war in Syria. (Isaiah 17)

  • The current civil war in Egypt. (Isaiah 19)

  • The emergence of the mark of the beast/RFID Chip. The RFID chip is a chip implant being promoted that will hold all medical and banking information that people will have to use to buy things in the near future. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • People at war over the control of Jerusalem. (Zachariah 12:3)
  • Israel being surrounded by its enemies. (Zachariah 12:2)
  • Israel at war with Arab states. (Psalms 83)

  • This isn’t something that we hear about a lot but there are people throughout the world falsely claiming to be the second coming of Christ and leading people astray. (Matthew 24:5)

  • We have been having A LOT of earthquakes throughout the world lately, more than ever before and in places that aren’t familiar with earthquakes. Various new diseases are emerging including the new STD superbug and the cases of a new type of Polio. The record drought in California. North Korea threatening South Korea. China threatening to go to war with Japan. Russia readying its forces near Ukraine. Jesus said that these things will be the begging of sorrows so its going to get worse going forward.  (Matthew 24:6-8)

  • There are various sinkholes happening throughout the world. Last week 15 sinkholes happened in 24 hours and it was described by reporters as “Apocalyptic”

  • The mass animal deaths that’s been happening throughout the world. Its happening so much that the news has actually stopped reporting on it. If they do speak on it they will only touch on one or two cases of it but it happens much more than they talk about so research it if your interested. (Zephaniah 1:2-3).

  • The unfair peace treaty that is currently being forced upon Israel that is said to bring peace but the Bible says it won’t bring real peace. There wont be real peace in Israel until the return of Jesus. (Ezekiel 13:10) (Jeremiah 8:11) (Daniel 9:27) *Studying the prophecies of Daniel lets us know a week equals seven years when he describes events.

  • Not trying to toot my own horn here but even me feeling compelled to inform people of this as well as my brothers and sisters who feel compelled to spread the Gospel fulfills Bible prophecy. (Acts 2:17)

  • In Pakistan, Christian girls are being raped and forced to convert to Islam after their family has been murdered in-front of them. Throughout the world Christians are being be-headed, crucified, burned alive, tortured to death and imprisoned for Jesus’s name sake. (Matthew 24:9-10)

The fulfillment of Bible prophecy is a very useful tool for helping non-believers see the truth. We have to realize that people have been saying “Jesus is coming soon” for centuries, so its important to point out the signs of that tell that us he is at the door. The return of the Messiah is close my brothers and sisters. Rejoice and be glad in him, the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

Not a Food Babe. Or any babe. Some realism on my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, my illness, my body, and why I won’t fucking listen to you unless you at least got through medical school...

Lots of debunking of the Food Babe going on... and since I get a lot of unsolicited advice and lectures from other people who have access to the internet and decide that makes them experts… just some random thoughts. Because after all the shit I’ve been through, I am actually now an Ehlers Danlos Syndrome disease expert. I’ve done extensive research and worked with some of the best medical people out there, I’ve built a care pathway that works for me. I’m also a professional policy analyst, so I develop programs for a living. 

And I believe in science.

Warning: This is medical stuff, and this is oversharing, this may have too much bodily function for your liking.

I take propylene glycol - one of the foodbabe “poisons” that she freaks out about - on a regular basis. Sometimes I take mineral oil, which is the stuff that you can’t use in your car, the leftovers. I am a very cautious and well educated user of narcotics for pain control, and one thing those drugs will do to you in an instant is back you up to the point where you get an impacted bowel.

Now, what’s in your bowel? The waste? That is actually noxious and toxic to you. All natural, organic, and deadly.

You know what’s all natural?

Hemlock. Oleander. There’s a zillion things growing in the dirt that will kill you. Botulism is totally organic. Your body pees and shits because it needs to dump the toxins out of you- the organism.

One of the fun things I’ve got with the EDS? Is colitis. It is excruciatingly painful and I’ve had it all my life.
Let me be blunt: I really, really need to shit well, and I need to shit regularly. I need to use mild, reliable laxatives. And sometimes the super high fiber diet I do my best to stick to does not cut it. Sometimes I can go from insanely painful diarrhea to the Hoover Dam of constipation in one swing. That Natural Stuff? Senna? or the seemingly harmless tea? It’s landed me in bed for two days with the most vile abdominal cramping imaginable.

Did I mention I’m already in crippling pain from my dislocating joints?

I’ll take the petroleum byproduct or fertilizer any day, thanks. No cramping, totally predictable, pain free and MOVING.

Further, my “mutation” in my genetic disease isn’t due to some chemical exposure - my genetics are pretty ancient. It gets passed on with high frequency, so whatever made the Celts the super-strong Highland terrors that they were got passed on to me. Problem is, they were usually dead by my age. That’s why this is a sudden “emerging disease” - we’re surviving long enough for it to cause big problems and a lot of disability.

Antibiotics, big pharma, vaccines, all that Scary Stuff that these young women with google rail against, that’s why we live as long as we do. I didn’t get smallpox or polio or measles. Or, thanks to science, die of malnutrition or the plague.

And then when my appendix decided to rupture (again, straight to rupture, because EDS makes your intestinal walls weak), I was saved not so much by surgery but by the enormous doses of IV antibiotics used to clean up the toxic waste (all natural and total fucking poison) that had sprayed from my colon out into my body and my blood.

I used to be polite about this. I sat through an entire 20 minutes of a colleague being absolutely insistent that what I needed were organic cucumbers. On and on about their healing, life altering properties. Just rambling. (My friend was disappointed because I managed to extract myself from the Cucumbers Are Magic lecture before finding out exactly what I was supposed to do with the cucumbers. I presumed ingest - but as she pointed out, it could have been an insertion technique.)

So - save it. I’m a special snowflake - and don’t want to be one - but I’m exhausted from all the noise created by these “experts” talking out of their asses.

My guys? Scientists. Ten years of school, at least. Constantly learning. Top of their fields. Saved my life.

Some telegenic woman with internet access and lots of opinions? Stay the fuck away from me.

And that cucumber had better be for a salad.

And while you’re at it, pass me my “poisonous dose” of sugar. I need the energy. Being in this much pain while trying to write a sentence burns a shitload of calories.