The famous image of Einstein’s desk, exactly how he left it, mere hours after his death
Before his passing Einstein had refused the surgery for the internal bleeding that subsequently took his life; saying: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly”.
As can be seen here with the mountains of shuffled paper and scribbles on the blackboard, Einstein certainly did do his part and worked until the very end.
Back in 2014 I made some juice box parody fanart of Avatar the Last Airbender, and Sokka’s famous delusional experience with cactus juice. Now I’ve finally made a mockup of what the real juicebox would look like in 3 dimensions.
2. It makes you a more empathetic person. Its really easy to look at people in the past and make a snap judgement about them, that they are so stupid, bad, sexist, uncultured. ect ect… But as historians we have to walk a mile in their shoes and not judge them by the standards we have today. For instance important idea that we take today like umm. universal individual rights or personally property or not having to work everyday for our physical survival hadn’t even been invented till pretty recently. History forces you to understand why people make certain decision and why they held certain views without judging them, a skill I am happy to carry into my day to day life.
4. You get to touch the old things. You stand around in museum. See some boring rocks and some ugly paintings but when you are a history major, all the sudden its “HOLY S#&%* THESE WEIRD LITTLE BONES CHUNKS WAS TOUCHED MOTHERF@#$*$@# SHANG DYNASTY EMPEROR!!!” All the sudden the world is a magically place where everything even mundane, ugly, old things become special and amazing because there is history there!
5. You become very ok with change. History is the study of change over time and over all history has made me a much more chill person. Its like you see that bad stuff happens and life moves on and its ok. Empires fall, major world views shift, rulers come and go but everything turns out ok in the end and life goes on. Nothing is the end of the world.
Here’s a bunch of my favorite movies that are on netflix, I’ll try to update it whenever but please feel free to send me suggestions :)
Would You Rather (2013)
Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
Dead Silence (2007)
Remember Me (2010)
Before We Go (2014)
6 Years (2015)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
One Day (2011)
Waiting for Forever (2010)
The Perfect Host (2010)
The Road Within (2014)
The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)
13 Cameras (2015)
Sing Street (2016)
Slow Learners (2015)
The idiocy of Dr. Besithia and the Little Albert Experiment
According to Episode Prompto, Starscourge is a plasmodium. One (of the unbelievably many) questions this raises is “how the fuck did Besithia whatever his name is become a scientist because FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAN PLASMODIA NEED TWO HOSTS”
Read More for length. I’m back with more science meta!
I don’t think Besithia’s a biologist. It seems more likely that he’s an engineer that mass produces the MT robot suits, considering the projects we see he has a hand in is actually mechanical in nature. The main worm-machine thing at the end of episode prompto is not a biological feat. It’s an engineering one.
Seriously. This man is seemingly uneducated about his life’s work. For starters, Plasmodium is a genus, not an species. Genera are the step above the classification of species in the taxonomic rank. All plasmodia are parasitic, and therefore has to have a host in order to survive. Besithia’s biggest and most obvious downfall is the lack of a the definitive host for the plasmodium.
In layman’s terms, Starscouge needs two type of hosts to survive. One, a vertebrate which is seen in the MT hosts (think Prompto) or the mammal creatures that roam around Eos. The second is an insect, usually a mosquito. This insect host is called the definitive host because this is where the sexual reproduction takes place. The short version: Starscourge parasites mate in the mosquito, mosquito gives parasite to human, parasite splits into many baby parasites in the human’s body, mosquito takes up the parasite and begins again.
No insect? No complete life cycle on the parasite. A major oversight in the development.
So lets assume there are mosquitos off screen somewhere. Maybe some smart little scientist lady comes in and tells Besithia he’s an idiot and sends him capturing mosquitoes with a bug net. Idk. Either way. Lets imagine there are bugs in the lab where the incubating clones are being kept. Do you see where I’m going with this? The clones are hearing these bugs buzz and hum as they are being transformed into daemons. (another question. Why use incubation tubes? Why not biobags? It’s actually science…Judging you Besithia)
Even if you want to argue that these clones are more akin to fetuses rather than fully grown humans, fetuses are thought to be able to hear at 24 weeks gestation. A paper from cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen of the University of Helsinki reports that newborns react to words and sounds that had been heard inside the womb. Made Up words, rhythms and pitches are identifiable, to that point that some researches find that babies recognize, and cry in, their parent’s most spoken language. ACcording to the journal Current Biology, French newborns in the study ended their cries with a lilt at the end typically heard in French. German babies, however, started their cries intensely and dropped off at the end – much like the emphasis their German parents put in a sentence. So either way, these clones heard the mosquitoes kept in the laboratory.
Humans – even spliced weird pig-virus ones like Prompto – are nothing if not adaptive. Is how a bunch of apes with sticks managed to become the dominate mammals despite our low birth rate and general squish. Enter the famous Little Albert experiment. Scientists Watson and Rayner set out to condition a phobia in a health nine month old infant child, known as Albert. Going into the experiment, Albert showed no fear towards a variety of stimuli. Rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, and various findings like newspapers.
During the actual experiment, they let the baby play with and touch the rat. After the baby and the rat became acquainted, one of the men stood behind the baby and hit a steel rod with a hammer. The baby began to cry. This happened enough soon Little Albert related the loud sound with the white rat.
Like all old psychology, the experiment wasn’t complete until someone was traumatized. Little Albert was crying and crawling away from the rat. This happened for three months, until the baby was roughly a year old. The problem was… they never “fixed” the baby. There was no desensitization done, and the baby left the experiment with a generalized fear of all white fuzzy things. He showed fear towards the rat, a rabbit, a furry dog, and even a fuzzy Santa Beard.
Is Dr. Besithia, who 1) sucks at his job, and 2) considers MTs to be worthless foot soldiers, actually going to take the time to de-sensitize an infant from the sound of mosquitos? Of course not. He probably doesn’t even know that’s a thing that can happen.
Fast forward 20 years later and you have Prompto tramping through the wetlands with the chosen king. “
Oh man, you’re gonna make me open this can of worms?
For Old World species (or Psalmopoeus or Tapinauchenius species) the answer is no, no, no, absolutely not, why would you even want to do that? That’s a great way to needlessly land yourself in a lot of pain (or the hospital) and the hobby in a lot of legal trouble. For quick, flighty, jumping-prone species (probably most arboreals) the answer is also mostly no, simply because you could so easily drop or lose your tarantula.
If you want to even consider handling your tarantula get a species that is good for handling (a slow, calm, terrestrial New World species). Even then you should take precautions, such as carefully observing the tarantula’s mood, gradually getting it used to handling/human contact, not handling too often, and only holding it over a solid surface.
Now, there are people that think even this kind of handling is needlessly risky and without benefits. Those people are absolutely welcome to their opinion (I think this is a decision each keeper must make for themselves), but I would like to address some misinformation that often gets thrown around in this debate.
1) “Tarantulas cannot learn or become accustomed to handling”
As someone with a degree in both psychology and biology this is simply not true. Pretty much any organism that is capable of registering pleasant/unpleasant stimuli and remembering it can learn. There are even studies suggesting that plants can remember and become desensitized to recurring stimuli. Scientists repeated the famous “Pavlov’s dog” experiment with cockroaches and the results were pretty much identical. Although they have very different nervous systems from ours invertebrates can absolutely learn.
Firing up the body’s flight/flight systems takes a lot of energy so if something frightening occurs repeatedly without anything actually bad happening it is in an organism’s best interest to stop reacting fearfully to that stimulus (or at least to dampen the reaction).
When socializing future education tarantulas I’ve watched them go from standing on as few legs as possible the first time they walk on your hand (what I call “tiptoes”) because they don’t like the texture of human skin to crawling over a hand as if it were just another familiar part of their environment. Some tarantulas also seem to show a marked preference for familiar human hands over unfamiliar ones; it’s been proven that hissing roaches can recognize individual humans and will not hiss when someone familiar picks them up (I would love to see a study like this done with tarantulas).
2) “A tarantula always perceives being picked up the same way it perceives being attacked/grabbed by a predator”
If you handle your tarantula correctly (using what I call the “be the ground” technique) then picking it up should not resemble a predator’s attack. There is no tarantula predator on earth that gently scoops the spider up from below. Spiders hate being breathed on and generally dislike being grabbed from above because those stimuli resemble something they would experience when being attacked by a predator (and so trigger their fight/flight alarm systems very strongly).
However scooping from below does not resemble a predator attack (assuming you’re not looming over the tarantula and breathing on them) and once they are in your hands most tarantulas will treat the hand as an inanimate surface not as a predator or even part of a larger animal. They don’t really have the senses or cognitive abilities to think “a giant animal is holding me”. More like “the ground moved and now I am standing on a weird new surface in a different place”.
The reality is that the handling of appropriate species is an enormously useful tool in educating people about tarantulas and dispelling fear. Can you educate people about tarantulas without handling them? Yes. But as someone whose full time job is to care for and educate people about arthropods I can tell you with 100% certainty that it does not have even close to the same effect.
Where I work we have dozens of beautiful, naturalistic enclosures displaying gorgeous rare tarantulas from all over the world. But the thing that gets people excited, wide-eyed, and asking questions is the highly-trained docent handling one of our well-socialized education tarantulas. There is something about seeing a person interact with the tarantula outside of a cage that makes it real for people. They ooh and aww and adults that were shrieking about how much they hate spiders while walking through the facility will say things like “I never realized how pretty they are up close” or “her feet look so dainty and gentle”.
So, while I respect every keeper’s right to decide what their comfort level and policies are when managing their own animals, I work at a facility where we handle some calm, well-socialized tarantulas and I (gently, occasionally, and with lots of precautions) handle one of mine. But it is certainly not something that people should do willy-nilly with any tarantula and without putting a lot of thought into doing it properly.
The Contextualists say we’re supposed to have this intuition, and then the IRI people come along and say ‘you know what, we don’t have that intuition. You guys are just making this stuff up.’ Think about the Twin Earth thought experiment. It’s a cognitive bias. You read this thing from some Harvard professor and you’re like, ‘yeah, I guess that’s right,’ because the guy’s not dumb, he’s a Harvard professor! But what if philosophers are just making up all these intuitions that we’re supposed to have just so they can publish and get rich and famous?