ethical debate

anonymous asked:

How much did the US govt know about torture not working in the early 60's? Information isn't the point here - convincing/coercing a rebellious superhuman raised since he was 3 to be a super-soldier to do as he's told is the goal. Military upbringing kept him cheerfully obedient for 20-odd years, but now the plot has hit the fan and he's killed several people in a bid to gtfo. So the brass is obviously freaking out. Would they have known torture was a Bad Plan? Or were we still figuring that out?

That’s a genuinely interesting question.

I think it isn’t just about the information that was available at the time but who would have access to it and who would read it. It also depends on whether we’re talking about scientific data or anecdotal accounts. People have been saying torture doesn’t work for literally hundreds of years. But it’s only within the last 100 years or so that we’ve had systematic scientific experimentation back that up.

There’s also the significant issue of whether anyone would listen to information they didn’t want to hear. There have been several scientific studies which strongly suggest we as a species are very bad at listening to data that contradicts our strongly held beliefs.

Which means that if these characters strongly believe torture is effective they will probably argue for torture whether they’ve seen evidence to refute their belief or not.

And conversely characters who strongly believe that torture doesn’t work will argue against torture whether they have evidence or not.

Some of the experiments on sensory deprivation would have already been conducted by this time, but I’m not sure how widely available the results were within the military. I’m not sure how much effective communication there was between high ranking individuals across departments.

There had been analysis of Soviet ‘brainwashing’ techniques by that time, with the conclusion that the tortures used were not unusual and indeed had been used by the Chicago police force for decades. I’m not sure how many people in the military will have had access to that report though.

And the report itself is not exactly ‘anti-torture’ or even really saying that torture doesn’t work. Just that Russian torture at the time was neither unique nor unusual.

What keeps coming to mind for me is actually medical ethics.

One of the experiments that comes up in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was doctors injecting live cancer cells from Henrietta into patients without telling them what the injections were or why they were doing it. Doctors administering the injections were instructed not to tell patients and most of them went along with it.

Until the head researcher Southam made an arrangement with the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in Brooklyn in 1963 to use some of their patients in his experiments. Three Jewish doctors refused to inject anything in the patients if they couldn’t tell the patients what it was.

They cited Nuremberg.

When the hospital carried on with the experiments the doctors sent a resignation letter to their boss. And the papers.

Now both Southam and the hospital director claimed they’d never heard of Nuremberg.

In 1963 two people at the top of their field in the US who were both heavily involved in experimental research on humans said they had not heard of the only ethical guidelines for experimentation on human beings. And other doctors backed them up.

What I’m driving at here is that I’m not sure it matters for your story whether the research existed or not. Because there is a lot of precedent for people in positions of authority being unaware of or ignoring things they thought might be detrimental to them.

Which means that I think this question basically comes back to making a decision based on what’s right for the story.

Do you want this character to be tortured? And if so why? How would it affect the story you want to tell? Not just the character or the plot or even the relationships between the characters but the mood and atmosphere of the story?

How comfortable are you with writing it?

I don’t mean the gore. Gore is easy. How comfortable are you getting inside your character’s head when they are suffering? How comfortable are you getting inside a torturer’s head when they hurting someone? Because believe me that is not a very pleasant thing to have floating around your brain for the days/weeks/months it takes to write something.

How comfortable are you with introducing something that would leave a mark over the rest of the book? Because done well, this isn’t just a one-off incident that the character can then walk away from; it’s something that will affect them for the rest of the time you write about them.

Keeping in mind that referencing and having a conversation within the story about torture is very different to using torture.

It sounds like whatever you pick that conversation is going to come up in your story. I’d suggest making it a debate and giving the audience some insight into who wants what to happen and why. Whichever side ‘wins’ having the discussion in your story will probably help the story.

Going back to specific experiments: Shalev references the isolation prison systems of the 19th century as providing clear evidence of the damaging effects of solitary confinement. I get the impression that the information was either not well known or ignored in the US because solitary became a large and integral part of the US prison system. This is despite the fact some of these historical prisons were in the US.

Donald Hebb’s ethical experiments on sensory deprivation took place in the early 50s. Baldwin was discussing sensory deprivation with the CIA in 1955 and Lilly quit his work on sensory deprivation in 1958 in part because of how CIA officials wanted to use his research.

So the CIA knew about the damaging effects of sensory deprivation in particular in the early 50s but were still pursuing unethical experiments on the subject in 1958. Which does not, in my opinion, show a great ability to pay attention to results.

The report on Soviet ‘brainwashing’ by doctors H Wolff and L Hinkle began in 1953. It was handed in to the CIA in 1956.

The Wickersham commission, a report on torture by US police, was conducted in the 1920s.

I do not know how widely available the CIA reports would have been to the US military. They don’t seem to have been public knowledge in the 60s but high ranking military officials might have been able to read them, since I know very little about the way the US military works I don’t know.

The Wickersham commission however was public knowledge as were the reports by individual isolation prisons.

So there were a good number of reports that your characters could potentially reference and draw on for information.

My suggestion? Have the debate in the story. Have the military characters discuss whether they think ‘tougher’ tactics would work, whether they’re ethical and whether it’s worth the risk. (Because it is a risk, they risk losing their supersoldier)

Have the characters draw on the reports I’ve mentioned and have them draw on their own experience as well. Because the men you’re talking about will probably remember the Second World War. Some of them will have been in Europe and seen the liberation of the camps.

Use that. You can get one helluva an emotional scene out of this, whether it leads to torture or not.

I hope that helps. :)

Disclaimer

I know this might be a little out there, but uh…

What if we all just strove to keep our fish as ethically as possible?

Shit I Pulled In High School

So my friend and I got talking about the good old days and it hit me that I’ve probably got some mildly entertaining tales from my teenage years ( which only ended four years ago I can’t believe I made it to 23 )

So here’s a few of the shenanigans Hot Mess High School Me got into ~

( I went to a weird school that threw grades 7 -12 together in the same buildings so this is at the same school the whole time just not divided into middle school and high school )


7th Grade

- Made the art teacher gasp because I knew a surprising amount about Medieval art styles ( I’m obsessed with history and the Medieval era is just such a hot mess of a time)

- Got scolded in Math class for reading , learned to read more stealthily

- Memorized the coded language from ’ Vladimir Todd ’ , a popular teen book series about a sarcastic teenage vampire who just wants to be normal, and used it to write notes in class


Eventually this resulted in my getting sent to the counselor because the teacher suspected me of being a cult leader

I ran with that assumption and to this day the school still thinks I founded the cult of Vladimirism , a cult devoted to the protection and support of rebellious teen outcasts , queer kids , and unfairly treated main characters ( we’re a small cult but we are very nice and membership is free , we spread love and rebellion , our mascot is a baby bat )

- Started a week long debate on sexism in history class with my teacher , which resulted in him actually awarding the most fervent arguers a free soda

Turned out it was just a scam of his to see how many of us were actually morally upstanding , and which ones were rooted deep in the patriarchal bullshit .

I got a soda AND a candy bar because I kicked off the debate by asking

“ We talk a lot about oppressed groups but we haven’t talked about women yet, do you think women aren’t oppressed?”

Which got a sexist boy in back to go “ Women don’t count ”

And I snapped back “ Women can count higher than YOU”


8th Grade

- Caused an ethical , moral, and spiritual debate in my Seminary class over abortion that ended with three girls declaring themselves Athiests


- Accused my Seminary Teacher of racism and sexism for his assumption that God is white and male

- Got kicked out of Seminary for arguing with the teacher about God hating gay people , and instead of going back in after ten minutes I just left and went to my friend’s house

- Called out my chemistry teacher for overlooking the accomplishments of women in the scientific fields


- Accidentally became a student librarian because I spent so much time there and I memorized the book keeping system

- Was officially the most well-read student and got an award for checking out over thirty books in a month

9th Grade

- Got suspended because a teacher heard me singing P!nk’s “ Fun House ” and thought the lyric ’ burn this sucker down’ was a threat of arson so I got to meet the Sheriff ( who incidentally was the father of one of my classmates and who still invited me to his daughter’s birthday party the next week ) and even though Sheriff Brooks was intimidating I cry REALLY easily so I got off with a warning despite me never remotely intending to burn my school down

I got suspended for a week but it was actually fine , and the Sheriff was super chill to me after that


- Was extra enough to get voted Most Dramatic in the yearbook

Was it because I frequently flopped down on the floor to nap if I was tired?

Or was it my complete overreaction to anything unexpected?

Maybe it was my scathing remarks to everything

’ Do you want to be study buddies’

’ Brittany, why would I want to study with someone with can’t spell their name right ’


Or my dramatic reactions to anything even slightly inconvient

’ THE HEAVENS ARE DISPLEASED WITH YOU MERE MORTALS, THEY WEEP AT YOUR FAILURES “

’ It’s just raining calm down ’

’ dude I’m more concerned about the fact she referred to US as mortals but not her? ’


’ Aw man , the cafeteria is out of pudding cups ’

” THE FIRST PLAGUE BEGINS , WE WERE WARNED OF THIS IN THE PROPHECY “

” What? What prophecy? “

10th Grade

- Got caught writing fan fiction in class but didn’t get in trouble because my teacher was a hardcore Harry Potter fan and he just wanted to read the story
( it was a Weasley Twins Deathly Hallows AU and I’ll post it on ao3 if you wantttt)

- Skipped school like six times to watch Inuyasha with my friend Melanie ( I faked being sick and just went to her house instead of going home)


- Became the school’s top badass because I stealthily orchestrated the expulsion of every kid who bullied me or my siblings and never got caught

( hey Ashley Bassett if you’re reading this I snitched on you , and I don’t regret it )

11th Grade
- Planned a prank that scared my U.S.Marine drama coach so much he almost called in reinforcements

I got my whole Drama class to fake a murder scene in the auditorium because Tony ( our coach) said we didn’t act dead convincingly .

So we faked a Sweeney Todd worthy slaughter fest , making it appear as though thirty teens were brutally murdered .

It was GLORIOUS. My friend Indi runs out into the hall , knowing Tony is just entering the building , and he first thing Tony sees is an apparently mortally wounded kid running toward him, gasping out last words.

’ They…got …us …They got all of us….run….SAVE YOURSELF ”

And then Indi collapses right there , looking for all the world like he’s dead , and poor Tony just panics and burst into the auditorium , flips the lights on, and screams

We listen to him freak out for a minute, but as he pulls out his phone to call the cops , Indi sneaks up behind him and taps his shoulder and goes “ Was that convincing enough, Tony? ”

Tony about fainted

12th Grade

- Snuck the name Sasuke Uchiha into every assignment


- Turned Naruto Running into a thing at my school


- Caused an existential crisis for my English teacher by suggesting that everything we experience could be fictional and we could be fictional characters unaware we don’t exist , and that death is simply someone finishing our book , but there’s no way to probe or disprove this theory because this reality (?) is all we know


- secretly wrote cryptic riddles in my school books for the next student to find


- The words ’ Bankai’, ’ Hollow’ and ’ soul reaper’ got banned in class because teachers thought it was a cult thing and none of us discouraged that thought

So, I always see that, when it comes to mixed asari families, there seems to be an assumption that the asari side holds all the power. That the way asari age gives them an unfair advantage, that there’s a power imbalance. After all, twenty years in a relationship is nothing for an asari right? Drop in the bucket. And while I don’t agree, because asari seem to think and feel at the same speed we do, that’s not the part that really bothers me. It’s the kids and the fathers. That asari culture emphasizes motherhood and that mother raise children alone by choice, deliberately closing the door on the fathers’ faces. It’s implied.

So, give me asari who like their non-asari relatives. Give asari who protect their in-laws fiercely because family is more than blood. Give me asari who cling to their family no matter their race.

Give me a turian whose brother married an asari and when he dies, it’s his wife who takes care of his family. Give me asari grand-aunts-in-law who keep track of their in-laws through generations and knows everybody’s birthdays and always has to send gifts to the four corners of the galaxy. Give me asari who served 80 years in the hierarchy like their dads and cousins. Give me a turian who cut ties with her own asari half-grand-aunt some generations removed because she doesn’t think she has the right, but when her kid is a biotic, that asari is there to help, because “you may not like me young lady but your father did and your grandmother did and like hell I’m going to let their great-grandson and so learn from turian ‘biotics’” matriarch wisdom.

Give me “Blue” salarian clans, dynasties intertwined with asari lines since first contact. Where there isn’t a distinction between asari family members and salarian family members because they’ve been taking care of each other for 2700 years. Give me salarians whose research started with their great-great-great-grandfather and his asari daughter, who was there every step of the way for every generation, and is their research partner now. Give me asari who go to every funeral, and there’s one every two years but there’s also new eggs to fawn over every three.

Give me an asari who goes with their volus half-sibling to Irune when they grow old, and doesn’t mind the environmental suit, because they’re just walking in their shoes for some years when they spent a lifetime trapped in the same suits just to be able to live alongside the other races.

Give me batarian orphans taken in by asari relatives who don’t care about their caste or what the rest of the republics think about their culture. Give asari who still haven’t given up on their estranged half-sibling’s descendants, even when they face threats and every family meeting ends on a debate about ethics and morals.

Give me asari who buy ships and give it to their quarian relatives, because maybe they can’t convince them to settle down planetside, but they can support them nonetheless. Give me more asari who died on Rannoch.

Give me asari who fuss all over their elcor nephews when they take a fall even though it’s completely unnecessary in conventional gravity and get all fussed over when they take a fall because asari are so tiny and fragile.

Give me generations of drell who all have the same asari face in their memories because it’s always the same asari who comes to Khaje to visit, and gets to know their new family members, and is there when sickness takes their breath away.

Give me asari who help their krogan siblings get into thessian universities. Give me asari who live on Tuchanka and keep on trying when the rest of the galaxy call the krogan a lost cause.

Give me half-feral vorcha clans who worship the blue goddess who visits sometimes with gifts from the stars, and the asari cares about them, but still encourages that because some people are just a special kind of crazy (and lactose intolerant) (and totally a space pirate).

Give me a bullied hanar whose parents make a mysterious vid-call, and a week later there’s a squad of Eclipse commandos ready to beat some bullies up in the living room, and a rough matriarch in the kitchen who calls their grand-parent kiddo and has the best stories ever.

amazonqueendianaprince  asked:

...or, you know, some of us think Cap is and was right about the whole thing because we're also opposed to the real-world implementation of similar fascist legislation such as The Patriot Act and it has nothing to do with liking him more?

That quote basically says, yes oversight is the right ethical and logical choice, but Cap is a good person, and that puts us in a quandary and I am saying that that is bad math.

It’s also a similar bad math that comes up in A LOT of 616 CW discussions, where Captain America himself (and the anti-reg side) essentially takes the position to non-metas that they should accept that metas occupy a position above the law/beyond equal prosecution by the law, because, you know, they’re different, and their circumstances are different, but you trust CAPTAIN AMERICA, riiiiight? Let the metas judge their own and police their own, what do you need the Constitutional right of equality under the law for? Obviously, this base position is immediately complicated by the clusterfuck of everything else in CW, but I’d argue that that’s deliberate. It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of the event, because I really like Cap, and I hate the things it makes him argue and I find them antithetical to him as a character.

I also don’t exactly get why so many people find a difference of opinion on a comics event, or, apparently, an actor’s opinion on an upcoming film none of us have seen as a personal challenge? I mean?? Yes I hate fascism? And the Patriot Act? And I think Cap’s political position is largely wrong in CW though I understand why, as the plot is manipulated, he fights? These things are not incompatible?

I get what you’re saying, but I’m responding to the quote as written and many, *many* other posts and comics CW itself, which initially sets up the problem as a constitutional legal problem of supers as American citizens whose identities allow them to avoid legal repercussions and prosecution and that’s constitutionally unacceptable under the law. Once that actually gets stated, there’s a problem.  

I’m not talking about the Patriot Act here, which I abhor, because it wasn’t part of the quote or what I was responding to, and I think the CW treatment of post-9/11 politics was really terrible, tone-deaf, and inconsistent in its understanding of xenophobia** and power dynamics. 

behind the cut

 for long rambly stuff about comics CW that’s more for future reference to point anyone to should they ask.

Keep reading

Stare [M]

Pairing: Yoongi x Reader x Hoseok

Genre: smut, poly!yoonseok

Word Count: 2,627

Summary: Hoseok comes home late, but that doesn’t mean he gets to miss out on all the fun. This is a companion piece to Sweat [M

Originally posted by lariz0rd


“Do you want to watch a movie or something?” you asked, plopping down on the couch next to Yoongi.

Your boyfriend nodded, throwing his arm around your shoulder and guiding you to his lap. “What do you want to watch?” he asked as he pulled you into his arms.

“Something mindless” you quipped as you settled back into his chest.

He ran his hands through your hair, causing you to let out a soft purr. “Alright, calm down” he teased as he removed his hand from the tangles of your hair and started to flip through the movie options.

You pointed at the screen, “That one!” your voice coming out a little too excited.

Yoongi groaned, “You’re really going to make me watch this again? Haven’t you seen this like 500 times?”

“505,” you corrected as you stole the remote out of his hands and pressed play. “Kiki’s Delivery Service is the only thing that’s going to make me feel better right now.”

You felt a pinch in your back, “Or you could actually talk to your boss about what’s been going on”

“Shh, you’re talking over my favorite part” you nudge your elbow into his stomach.

“It’s the credits, Y/N” Yoongi retorted.

Keep reading

  • Kaladin: This is Syl, she helps pull me out of depressive spirals and debates ethics with me
  • Shallan: This is Pattern, he likes math and forces me to confront the stuff I've been repressing
  • Jasnah: This is Ivory, he helps me with my research
  • Dalinar: You're all familiar with the Stormfather, right? He gives me visions and tells me about history
  • Renarin: Glys helps me protect people and keeps me company
  • Lift: Wyndle tells me what I can do and makes a really good foothold when I'm climbing
  • Venli: Timbre reminds me of my sister and serves as my conscience
  • Adolin: This is Maya. She screams a lot and she tackled somebody for me once and you have to hold her hand to keep her from wandering off and I love her
So I sparked an ethical debate in my classroom today. I’m wondering what tumblr will make of it.

Imagine a scenario: A driverless car is faced with a situation where it will definitely crash (it’s moving too fast to break in time). It can either continue straight, which will cause it to hit another car and endanger passengers of both vehicles; swerve to the right, which will hit a person on the sidewalk, either hurting or killing them, but the passenger inside the car will be ok; OR it can serve to the left, which will hit a wall, hurting or even killing the passenger. Which should the car do? Why?

anonymous asked:

I'm the same anon who asked you about the flair with the tattoos - I did have mysterymuttbutts in mind when I asked, but only because I was curious about your opinion NOT because I thought that made me capable of judging her for her decision regarding Scarlett's tattoo. I did not send any rude anonymous message to her, and I consider her someone that I admire and trust explicitly. No need to respond - I just wanted you to know that that wasn't me, as that's not who I am. Thanks for your wisdom.

I hope you don’t mind that I respond anyway, because I think it’s important to do so. This is not directed at you, but something I feel needs to be said.

The internet in general, and especially Tumblr, has a strong outrage culture. The most attention generated is for things that either generate outrage, or are about outrage. It’s easy to think that perhaps that’s the normal way things should work, but it’s not.

Anon hate is cowardly. If anyone sends anon hate then they’ve already lost whatever debate you thought you were trying to have.

Ethics is a minefield. There is usually not black and white decisions, everything is grey. There are some things that are much worse than others, and some which are not so bad but still not ideal. There is very rarely a pure and simple ‘correct’. Different people draw the line in different places.

I know a lot of my readers are Vetlings of one sort or another, with all the life experience and maturity that implies. But there are also a bunch of you that are still in high school and simply don’t have the same level of experience, especially when it comes to ethics and complex issues. I learned more about ethics in my first 18 months of being a vet than I had at any other point in my life. Please don’t assume it’s simple.

I would urge my readers not to be hasty when jumping to conclusions, over anything.

I have said before, I don’t want to tell you what to think. I only offer suggestions of things that should be thought about. My opinions are opinions, not some sort of bible.

Charge a small "adoption fee" to prevent snake owners from using your free puppies or kittens as food.

I have a coworker who routinely looks at online advertisements for free puppies, kittens, or bunnies. She will pretend to be getting the animal for her children, but will really take it home and feed it to her reticulated python. She admitted that she won’t pay over 10$ to feed the snake. Charging a small adoption fee of $15 or $20 will deter her and other like minded individuals from dishonestly taking the animals for a food source.

Note: I understand that snakes are animals too, and need to eat. I’m not bashing on snakes or snake owners. I merely take issue with the dishonest means by which this is happening. In some examples that she shared with me, the previous owners are calling and texting to check in on the animals, so she lies to them. If these people care enough to check up on the animal, they most likely would not have given the animals away if the true intent were known. Sketchy.

Edit: Wow, this ended up being a really controversial topic. For the record, this is a true story. This woman is emotionally unstable, and quite frankly, doesn’t have the mental agility to pull off a prank on this level as some have suggested. I do agree with many of you who have pointed out the possible warning signs of a sociopath, and I will definitely be reporting her. Thank you to all those who PM’d me resources and contact information.

Also, I had never considered the concept of the bait dogs/fighting dogs and I found that to be enlightening as well.  As some have mentioned, the dog fighting rings may be the bigger more prominent threat. There were many comments that mentioned the fee really doesn’t solve the problem, and that solid interviewing and vetting of new owners is a better strategy. I do not disagree. The argument of spaying/neutering pets was also made, and again, I do not disagree. The purpose of this post was not to spark ethical debate about the food chain, or which type of animals should be labeled “food” vs. “pets”. Nor was the purpose of this post to vilify snakes or their responsible owners. This story would have read the same, even if the animal she owned was a Saltwater Crocodile.

My goal in sharing this post was to raise awareness that there are sketchy people out there who are dishonest in their dealings, and who may not have your pet’s best interest at heart. So, whether charging a fee, or conducting more extensive interviews, or spaying/neutering, we can all be a little more responsible with the animals we value, to make sure that they do not needlessly suffer. Hence the LPT.

the-noble-banana  asked:

I did a search on your blog but couldn't find anything. Have you made a post about French bulldogs?

Haven’t yet, but that’s about to change.

French Bulldogs, or Frenchies as they’re often called, are becoming increasingly popular here, which I personally find frustrating. People, especially young families with children, are purchasing these dogs often for around $3000 without any idea about their likely health complications or the preventatives that would benefit them, so often end up spending double that to protect the health of their new family member.

Please note the disclaimer. These posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what your animal is going to encounter in their life.

Originally posted by buckythefrenchy

First on the list is that French Bulldogs can be very, very brachycephalic. They are equally as problematic as pugs in this regard, however they haven’t endured as much bad press about this unfortunate and unnecessary trait.

French Bulldogs have been breeding towards flatter and flatter faces for aesthetics, with no regard for the welfare of the animal. Individuals with a nose were considered ‘incorrect’ and as a result we have dogs that have stenotic nares, elongated soft palates and protruding nasal turbinates. These dogs routinely benefit from brachycephalic airway surgery, which might set the owner back another $2k or so.

We can, and should, be breeding these dogs to have longer noses and more open nostrils. It’s entirely possible to do without the ‘extermination’ of the breed, but it needs public pressure to happen. As long as people keep paying big bucks for these flat faced critters, they will continue to be bred. When the public prioritizes the health of the individual dog and demands dogs with a nose, they will become more common.

Consider these two examples.

They’re both french bulldogs, but the second has a longer nose, wider nostrils and is less welfare compromised than the first. Still not perfect, but better. (Image source 1, Image source 2)

Now, let’s look at skulls of this breed.

(Skull source 1, Skull source 2) You can see how abnormal and un-dog-like these skulls and their airways really are, but the second skull which at least has a small nose is distinctly less mangled-looking.

That’s not to say that dogs that currently exist don’t deserve affection, but it’s not what we as responsible humans should be looking to encourage going forward into the future.

Their bulldog shape, with boxy head and narrow hips, means that the majority of these dogs are brought into the world with a combination of AI and caesareans, which leads into another ethical debate.

This breed will occasionally throw pups with cleft lips or cleft palates, though they’re not seen often outside of breeding practices because they’re generally not adopted out in that state.

Structurally these dogs are prone to hemivertebrae, a spinal malformation which may be associated with the 'screw tail’ trait, and intervertebral disk disease, which can result in anything from pain through to complete paralysis and can cause owners to spend around $7000 on surgery to fix.

Medial luxating patellas, a condition where the kneecap pops or stays out of joint, is also fairly common, though less life threatening and less than half an expensive to treat surgically, but these dogs are often affected in both knees so it’s not much of a saving.

Like many brachycephalic breeds, French Bulldogs can suffer from Entropion, where the eyelid rolls inwards to rub furred skin against the eyeball. This is irritating, painful and can lead to eye ulcers, and is best treated, again, surgically.

They are also prone to cherry eye, where the tear gland of the third eyelid prolapses, which yet again is treated surgically.

(You might, at this point, be thinking ’Gee that’s an awful lot of surgery that might be required for an expensive purebred dog!’ and you would be correct.)

While this breed has a host of other things that can go wrong with their eyes, corneal ulcers are the most common. These eye ulcers can result from irritation, such as foreign objects or hairy eyelids rubbing against the eyeball, or from exposure keratopathy where sometimes thee eyelids don’t completely close properly over the eyeball, leaving a strip in the middle that dries out.

They are also reported to be prone to hypothyroidism, though I haven’t yet seen this clinically, I suspect it’s because most of the Frenchies I treat are too young to have developed it yet.

Presenting the increasingly popular French Bulldog everyone!

Unfortunate Truths About Popular Fish

No one likes to admit when a fish they love might have been bred in ways that are a detriment to their health. But with “man-made” fish varieties, this usually seems to be the case. If we think critically, its not difficult to see the problems with them.

Some examples:

  • Excessive or modified finnage inhibits swimming ability, keeping a fish from being able to move properly and exhibit its natural behaviors. Imagine wearing a ball and chain around that you can’t remove because someone else thinks you look pretty that way.
  • Shortened, disfigured body shapes keep a fish’s internal anatomy from being oriented properly, causing their organs to bulge unnaturally out in what is essentially a distended abdomen. This can impede their form and function, causing health complications for the fish.
  • Some varieties might have modifications to the structure of their eyes, to make them look more “cute” or interesting, that effect the fish’s sight and leave them more open to damage.
  • Excessive modifications overall can alter the function of the fish’s body in ways that leave it more prone to disease and less fit to survive on its own, requiring more attention and care from the hobbyist to ensure their pet’s survival.

We tend to get blinded by the things we like about a fish, and pretend to ignore their faults. They have a charming personality, and these modifications make them better suited to smaller and smaller tanks so you’re more likely to be able to keep a fish you might otherwise not have been able to. The modifications make them look more like cartoons, so we think they’re “cuter”. We like the novelty of them. We see what we like and look past the problems.


Have you been imagining a single fish this whole time? In these examples, I’ve been describing fancy goldfish - a much beloved man-made strain of fish whose popularity almost makes it beyond reproach. Its easy to turn a blind eye to their flaws, especially when they’re so widely accepted, and have been around as a part of our cultural consciousness for so long. But if we look at them objectively, we see that all of these modifications were for human reasons, and not at all in the best interests of the fish. Yet we continue to breed and buy them anyways.

Fancy goldfish are the example I used here, but they are just ONE example. There are even more issues with man-made fish varieties than those I mentioned above, because I was limiting myself to this one strain. I honestly cannot think of one example of modifications bred into fish that aren’t in some way detrimental to their health and/or quality of life. This applies to domestic bettas, balloon fish of all kinds, long fined varieties, albino fishes…pretty much any man-made strain you can think of.

It is a much debated ethical issue in the fish keeping hobby, whether or not it is acceptable to breed these kinds of modifications into fish. There are strong, vocal views expressed by both sides. Next time you purchase a new fish, perhaps think critically of where you stand on the issue and how the fish’s form affects its ability to feed, express natural behaviors, and live a long and healthy life. If you find yourself questioning the ethics of the fish you were considering, perhaps look for alternatives that can be found in the natural world instead.

TAZ snippet first written in the comments of my fic Die Another Day here

After a fight on a hostile world during Stolen Century (the Hunger hasn’t arrived yet, it’s the locals they’ve been fighting with while looking for the Light), Barry and Lup have both been in a bad mood. It’s stretching on for days and across a couple of skirmishes. They’ve irritable, moody, driving everyone up the wall.

After a particularly vile argument between the two of them (although pretty much the whole crew was dragged into it), Taako has had enough. 

“Hey,” he says, tipped back in his chair. “Hey guys? Eat me.”

“Yeah, fuck you too bro!” Lup shoots back, giving him a skeletal middle finger.

“No, doofus. I’m serious. You two have been hangry as hell since that big fight. Come on, Lulu, you know what you’re like when you don’t eat. Obviously you overdid things. So, come try a taste of Taako.”

Lup’s “No way!” overlapped with Barry’s “What? No.”

“I’m serious. You’re driving everyone mad and we aren’t getting enough time between attacks to get our strength back. We’re all feeling it. But you guys, a little snack and you’re back to full speed. We need that. You don’t even need to rest really.” He made an expansive gesture. “So, come on. Eat me.”

There is a long discussion about whether it was ok or not and debating the ethics of it and Lup being way to overeprotective, but in the end, the drain off some of Taako’s irritation. By the end of the cycle, the whole crew have given Barry and Lup permission to taste their emotions when necessary. They don’t do it often, because they don’t want to lose themselves, and most of the time their own emotions are enough, but sometimes when they are fighting the Hunger, they’ll use up all their energy and grab some frustration from Merle, some excitement from Magnus, some concern from Davenport and then the two Litches would dive back into the fray, energised.

(Barry drained some emotions from the boys during Suffering Game to form the door, and my headcanon is he had prior permission).

36. new balance

prompt: the night we shared when we couldn’t sleep → robin!jimin

pairing: park jimin | reader
genre: teen titans au / light fluff
word count: 1,900


Jimin finds you on the bridge—your head poised upward toward the clear skies and your eyes shut chasing the specks of sleep that has always alluded you. He feels the cold breeze nipping against his skin, the slight rise of gooseflesh decorating his flesh, and from the looks of your own exposed flesh, you were no exception to the cold either.

For him, he has always relished in the lack of sleep that has come with being a helping figure to the public. To be considered a hero still hasn’t sunken in, but being able to provide a semblance of peace to the world has always been better than sitting still and letting the expanse of his thoughts drag him back into the abyss. To feel human has been even harder than coming to terms with his newfound status as a leader of a team he never thought he was ready for either, and yet lacking that and wanting to feel came hand-in-hand. But, to know that he wasn’t alone in his own battle for what made someone human and what made someone more than just a servant to this city comforted him.

You, well, comforted him. And you knew that better than anyone, even the ones he considered his teammates.

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The number of people who cannot tell the difference between a hypothetical situation brought up for an ethics debate and a statement of intent is staggering.

Not only are many of you hypocrites, but you have terrible reading comprehension, and you are far too quick to take something you’ve seen in a de-contextualised state as the basis for a snap judgement.

I’m tempted to delete this blog, but I won’t let your foolishness dictate my behaviour. I have managed to have interesting and meaningful conversations with fascinating people on here.

There are simply a lot of Jack@sses amongst the stallions.

anonymous asked:

Pumpkin Reaper and Oni Genji having a one on one conversation where Reyes berates him for having an immoral with Mercy?

I’m not 100% sure what you mean by ‘an immoral’ but Reaper giving Genji shit in regards to his relationship with Mercy is something I can do.

Reaper: *staring at Genji*
Genji: *glancing up from sharpening his sword* See anything you like?
Reaper: …what do you get out of this?
Genji: Her fir–
Reaper: Don’t say ‘her first-born’ again because we both know that’s bullshit. If you really cared about that you would have pulled the strings so she would actually have a first-born by this point.
Genji: I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Your efforts made moving through mortal society far more difficult than they had to be, you know.
Reaper: I was doing my job. Eradicating evil from the world.
Genji: Who decides what’s evil?
Reaper: *huff* I’m not debating ethics with a demon. I’m just wondering what it is you get out of all this. All that talk and pomp of storms and shapeshifting, yet you fritter your time away on a witch.
Genji: *resuming sharpening his blade* It’s a partnership. I always wanted a friend in the mortal realms. I’ve had a handful before but usually those mortals would just want wealth or power and that would inevitably backfire on them because, well, that’s Yōkai for you.
Reaper: And she wants….?
Genji: She just wants to move through this world, to understand it, to help it, heal it even, and she just happens to need my blade to protect her while she does so because men like you, *points at Reaper with his sword* or I suppose men like who you used to be, exist, as do demons like my brother. *resumes sharpening sword* Would be a shame to see such fire be snuffed out from this world.
Reaper: …You’re in love with her.
Genji: *stops sharpening sword*
Genji: I took your head once and I can take it again.
Reaper: That wasn’t a denial.
Genji: No, it was a threat.
Reaper: So you won’t admit it?
Genji: *angrily resumes sharpening the sword*
Reaper: I suppose it would be terrible for both of you if other demons were to find out you’re weak for a mortal.
Genji: I wonder what vegetable we’ll make your next head out of…Eggplant? Butternut squash?
Reaper: Still not hearing a denial.
Genji: No, you’re hearing more threats.

vrabia reblogged your post “Cassini’s own discoveries were its demise.”

#i’ve been thinking about this a lot
#we send out spacecraft and probes knowing they will eventually break down and die
#mars is littered with the remains of robots
#mars is a story of prematurely lost communications and orbiters that failed to orbit
#just as much as it is the story of curiosity and opportunity and spirit
#cassini is not the first one we knowingly guided to its death while squeezing every last bit of data out of it in the process
#rosetta was set to crash into the comet it orbited and pre-programmed to shut down the moment it registered any impact
#but rosetta was destroyed because it would have lost power eventually
#cassini was destroyed to protect the possibility of life
#tiny bacterial life that may not even exist
#and like. i know these are cold calculations and we can build new and better ones
#but it’s times like these i remember the original meaning of the word ‘robot’ is 'forced laborer’
#and i’m not okay
#space

One day we might build robots that are conscious beings who we have no right to ask to die for us, but we’re not there yet. And we’re looking out for that moment. Hell, Very Serious People are already debating the ethics of our potential relationships with true AI.

I think that the fact we anthropomorphize our robots - imagine that they have their own agency, and feel gratitude for their accomplishments, and consider them friends - is a nice thing about humans. But it’s 'cause of a psychological blind spot that leads to stuff like this:

It’s sad to say goodbye to the idea of another plucky metal explorer. Cassini or Rosetta or the failed, silent probes. But that idea was never real. Cassini was a 4 billion dollar selfie stick.

Say you have an apple picker: you can make one yourself out of a rake and a stick and a plastic shopping bag. It’s not alive. It’s nothing.

But while you’re actually using it, something interesting happens in the human brain. As far as it’s concerned, our tools are a part of ourselves; the brain’s body “map” actually changes to include them. While you’re picking apples, you aren’t a separate body using a tool, you are a singular being who can reach out and touch the tree tops. When you put it down, you lose a piece of your self; the internal map readjusts, and you become something smaller.

Space probes and robots are tools for extending the reach of our dreams.

It hurts when they are made defunct because, in a surprisingly non-metaphorical sense, they have become a part of us. We love them because they are the embodiment of a shared dream that humanity is exploring together. And it’s beautiful. Everything I’ve seen of space is beautiful.

But we can’t carry the apple picker forever. When it has done its work, we have to let it go in order to use the apples it gathered for us. It would be a disrespect to its purpose to do otherwise.

Cassini wasn’t “forced” to die. Cassini was a dream that we allowed to end in the service of a greater one.

NASA’s scientists and engineers didn’t view the decision as a cold calculation; it was a struggle for them to talk about their plans without choking up, every time. They were adamant that Cassini’s end be seen as noble; the probe’s purpose was to collect brand new data, and squeezing out every last bit about Saturn’s atmosphere as it fell was an honour to that.

If the loss feels personal, that’s probably because it is. A tiny, stretched out part of our internal selves has been amputated, and we are no longer beings who can reach out and touch Saturn’s rings.

It’s right to mourn it, I think. But mourning Cassini’s destruction is not mourning only for the space probe itself, but for the closing of a chapter in a grand human project, and for the end of a dream, and for ourselves.

Recently just finished the audiobook of A Crack in Creation by Jennifer A. Doudna and Samuel H. Sternberg. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s a great read (or listen, in my case) for anyone interested in the history and function of CRISPR and related gene-editing technologies, and their potential impacts on society. Doudna has a strong clear voice and a sound conscience that’s most apparent when she weighs both the pros and cons, hopes and fears, of the new technology. It’s an especially good read for anyone who has any trepidation on gene-editing, and may be getting info from over-zealous and sometimes inaccurate sources. For example, did you know there’s a clear distinction between GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and gene-editing? (GMOs take DNA from existing organisms to put into other organisms, while gene-editing uses technology like CRISPR to edit the original organisms DNA with more specificity.) 

It’s also a great book for anyone undergoing a research career, like my fellow grad students. Doudna recounts how she came about discovering CRISPR through working with collaborators, then how hard her lab worked to hone in on its function, and also how she reacted and worked through the unforeseen consequences of her work with society. In the beginning she just wanted to understand a simple molecular process in bacteria; how did she end up getting caught up in ushering in one of the biggest ethical debates of all time? Her story and lessons can help us all on our own path through our research. Additionally, one of the clear messages that’s evident throughout the book is the need for scientists to become better communicators with the general public. Our current political and societal state of “anti-science” of sorts is due in part to the breakdown of healthy communication. And that’s something that we–the current and future generation of scientists–need to improve upon. 

You don’t need to be an expert in genetics to understand this book; Doudna does a great job of explaining everything in bite-size pieces. Though, sometimes it got to the point where she would explain a biological process or enzyme in metaphors but fail to give the actual scientific name, which was a bit frustrating for someone who wanted to actually know what it was.