integrated programs

Satori Reader ~ A new project by the team that brought us Human Japanese (°◡°♡)

Morning fam! Because I am a huge throbbing nerd for the Human Japanese series and use it every other day for routine study, their latest project - Satori Reader - was brought to my immediate attention.

Screenshots have been taken of the website’s free content to give you a peek into what is on offer. I’m giving it a trial run for the moment, but my fingers are itching to subscribe - something I can do at any point with relative ease.

For anyone who is floundering in the grey waters of intermediate study, and especially for those whose study is self perpetuated, there’s a good chance you’re looking for some sort of landmark in that churning mess to orient yourself by. A metaphorical island, with sparkling shoreline, verdant forest, and plentiful resources to help you grow and flourish.

I’m talking content. As many bloggers have mentioned, there is a plethora of material out there to help us learn the framework and mechanics of 日本語. It’s not at all difficult to source grammar lessons, vocabulary lists, kanji writing schematics, charts and even entire textbooks - and for that we are eternally thankful. However, the intermediate learner sitting at their own dining room table with an open laptop, a cup of tea, the latest anime OST on repeat and a Japanese novel in their quivering hands is leafing through the pages and quietly mouthing how in the everliving f**k…

This is where SR gently takes your hand and says, here’s how, you foulmouthed otaku.

This is an excerpt from a level 3 difficulty article about Kona the cat (可愛いね)

Like every other article available on the website, it is voiced over by a native speaker, clearly and naturally - with all the intonation you would expect to hear in conversation *heavy breathing* Not only that, but as the audio plays, the corresponding Japanese text is underlined in blue to show where in the text they are reading from. This means that if you are proficient enough, you can follow along at pace.

Too slow? They got you fam! Individual lines of text are divided into sound bytes, meaning you can take this task one sentence at a time.

Individual kanji, jukugo (several kanji that make up one word) and particles within the text can also be clicked to reveal a Human Japanese style dictionary entry. Words you’d like to revisit can be added to your studylist.

The symbol marking the end of each sentence, when clicked, offers you an english transliteration, which I advise you utilise with a degree of self control. Try to hold off clicking it until you’ve really given the sentence a go - clicking on kanji you don’t recognise and piecing all the information together in order to get an idea of what’s being said. Then, when you finally check the translation, your hard work might be rewarded with a confirmation that you indeed read correctly. Which, by psychology standards, is a healthy and affirming process. We are hardwired for rewards my dudes!

I could go into detail about the many little features that make this web project so well thought out and considerate of our individual study methods and goals, but I’ll leave that to you to explore and find out. For me at least, the true worth of SR lies mainly in the reading content and the empathetic format it’s presented in.

The way it Aladdin style reaches out, offering us a whole new world.

Give the free subscription a whirl! If you like it, consider a paid subscription. This directly funds future content which directly benefits you!

~ Thanks Human Japanese team ~

Update (╯✧▽✧)╯

After giving SR a good go and fully testing its arsenal of functions, I realised my initial review bordered on plain lazy. This update is going to give you warm prickles because it turns out that one of the features included in the Review section of SR is an integrated flash card program with full Anki support *prayer hands emoji*

This means that whatever vocabulary you add to your studylist automatically generates a flashcard that you can either review within the SR website, or via your Anki software. Here’s an example:

Straight away, SR gives you an edge in your revision by implementing context. In fact, as well as offering you the sentence you saved the word from, it offers you a link to the entire article it was taken from (see: REVEAL IN FULL ORIGINAL CONTEXT)

This is incredibly helpful, as dictionary entries for any word or phrase you select often include a specific explanation about how that word is being used within the context of the sentence or how it is being used by the narrator to portray his or her story.  

I hope that this extra glimpse into the Review section of Satori Reader gives you an idea of how incredible a resource this is.

Go ahead and enjoy the unique pleasurable pain that is reading and comprehending 日本語!!

anonymous asked:

Sooo it's pretty common to see Steve demand tony attend combat training, right? But what if at some point Nat decides everyone needs some spy training too. How to go undercover. How to break out of restraints. How to make weapons out of everyday things. How to get info out of someone. Etc. And I feel like tony would basically excel at all of these and the other avengers would have mixed reactions.

So, I kinda forgot to put any focus on the others reactions.. I just enjoyed writing skilled Tony who just wants to go back to the lab. 

Can I go Back to the Lab Now?

“I don’t want to spar with you Steve.” Natasha says, and Steve hesitates. He’s used to dragging Tony into practice, but Natasha, this is new. 

“Any particular reason?” Steve asks, she looks up from painting her nails, and waves them at him. “If Tony can’t use work as an excuse you can’t use your nails.” Steve says, Tony makes a soft oohing sound, but immediately quiets when she glares at him.

“Why do we always practice sparring, what about other skills?” She asks, and Steve blinks at her. “Escaping restraints, going unnoticed in public, using your environment to your advantage.” Tony raises his hand.

“I’m in, we should do that.” He says. Steve raises an eyebrow at him. “What? Sparring is boring Steve.” 

“Fine. We’ll practice spy things.” Steve agrees, crossing his arms over his chest. 

“After my nails dry.” Natasha says, waving her fingers at him again. Tony is running for the elevator before she finishes her sentence.

“Lab time! JARVIS fire up the fabricator, daddy’s got shit to do.” Tony calls. Natasha smiles fondly after him. 


“Okay, Madame Spy lady, what are we doing first?” Tony asks, tipping an imaginary hat to her. She smiles at him, and it’s sharp. Tony suppresses a grin. 

“Restraints.” She says, and Clint grins. This will be easy for him. Tony tosses her admantium strengthened rope. 

“Cap shouldn’t be able to break that.” He offers. Steve glares at him. “What? I had to make it fair.” Tony says with a shrug. Clint laughs. 

“Let’s get started. Everyone take a seat.” Natasha orders. Tony sits down, crossing his legs casually, and holding his arms out to her, palms pressed together. “Behind your back, Stark.” She orders, and then quickly threads the rope between the back of the chair. before wrapping it around his arms, and then uncrossing his legs to tie them to the chair legs. 

“Can I escape yet?” Tony asks. Natasha rolls her eyes. 

“Sure, you can try.” She says, and Tony dislocates his left thumb, pulling his hand out of the rope, and grabbing the knife off Natasha’s belt slashing the rest of the ropes off in a few quick movements. 

“I tried.” He says mildly. 

“What the fuck?” Clint whispers, and Steve nods. 

“I’m going back to my lab now, JARVIS stream Cap’s attempt to me, I wanna see him struggle.” Tony says, popping his thumb back into place as he heads back to the lab. 


“Unusual weapons training.” Natasha declares, flipping Clint to the floor, and holding a sharpened bobby pin against his carotid artery. 

“Can I go?” Tony asks, glancing at the fondue fork that must have been left on the floor after dinner last night.

“No.” Natasha says. “Fight me.” Tony rolls his eyes, and lunges for the table, before shifting right and grabbing the fondue fork. 

“I took out a robot with a fondue fork, I know what I’m doing.” He points out, and Natasha lunges for him a pillow slamming into his face to distract him, he jumps to avoid the attempt to knock him off balance, and jabs the fondue fork downwards. “Careful Tasha.” He teases, She makes a grab for the fork, and he let’s her, shoving the metal tip into an outlet just as she grabs on. 

“Fuck!” She shakes out her hand, dragging him to the ground with her thighs. He taps out before he asphyxiates. “Ow.” 

“I can’t beat you at sparring, but I do know how to use things as weapons Tasha.” He intones, “I’m going back to the lab now.” 

“Fine.” Natasha grumbles, grabbing a bag of flower and launching herself at Steve.


“New challenge.” Natasha decides. “We’re going to SHIELD, everyone your goal is to figure out the code to Fury’s office.” Tony pulls out his phone, ignoring the rest of her speech.

“Peach17? Why? What does that even mean?” He asks, and Natasha groans. “What? I finished your task. Seriously, what does that mean?” 

“Nobody knows.” She says, waving off the question. “We need to come up with a new task, the goal is to talk to people to get answers.” She grumbles.

“Oh, that’s what it means?” Tony mumbles, not looking up from his phone. “Who would have guessed.” Natasha attempts to glare him into submission, so he passes his phone over.

“Find out the name of the circus Clint was in.” She challenges.

“Carson’s.” Tony says easily. Clint glares at him. “What, it was in your file. I let you move into my house, of course I read your file. 

“What don’t you know?” She asks. Tony considers the question for a minute. 

“I still don’t know what TAHITI actually stands for.” He offers. She nods mildly. 

“Fine, you have to figure that out, by talking to people.” She specifies. “No hacking, just persuasion.” 

“I get it, sheesh.” He says, “See you guys in an hour.” He heads straight for R&
D TAHITI is a science based program, at the very least someone there will know someone connected to the project. Also, R&D people generally like him so there’s no reason to pretend he isn’t Tony Stark. 

Despite his expectations it only takes fifteen minutes. 

“Fury asked me to consult on that project named after a beach?” He says, after looking over someones stasis gun. “Um, TAHITI or something, I can’t remember. Gosh, who was the lead scientist on that? Simmons? Simon? Sam? Or was it Fitz?” 

“Stark.” Someone barks, and he’s dragged out of the room. 

“What do you know about,  Terrestrialized Alien Host Integrative Tissue program?” The stranger growls, she’s attractive.

“I know that’s a mouthful.” He offers, and she scowls at him. “Not much, really. Fury asked me to consult.” He shrugs.

“That’s my project.” The woman says. “It’s wrong. They keep ignoring me though, they won’t shut it down. After Coulson, I though they’d stop.” It’s only now that he notes the fear in her eyes. 

“I lied, Fury doesn’t know I’m here.” He admits. “Don’t tell him, I’ll figure out how to stop TAHITI, okay?” 

“Thank you.” She says. He heads back to the team, it appears there’s a new challenge.


“This one should actually cause problems for you Stark, undercover work.” She smirks at him, he smirks right back. 

“You would think so.” He says. “What’s the goal?” 

“Purchase three items from three different stores without being recognized.” She says, handing each of them a list. First person back here wins. Tony nods, and heads down to R&D. 

“Dr. Jones!” He calls, and she turns to him. 

“Dr. Stark, how can I help you?” She asks, smiling warmly at him. 

“I need someone to accompany me to the mall, for an Avengers training exercise.” He explains, and she blinks at him. “I’m supposed to go unnoticed, and you haven’t accepted any of the sports cars I’ve offered you. Nobody expects Tony Stark to ride in a Prius.”

“What do I get out of it?” She asks, crossing her arms. Tony laughs.

“I’ll increase your funding, and build you a better car.” He offers, and she follows him out to the garage.

“Still don’t want a new car.” She says, but she drives him to the mall and lets him drag her from store to store. Nobody expects to see Tony Stark in sweatpants running around the mall with a random women. (Leading expert in her field, but people are dumb)

“Are you sure you don’t want a new car?” He asks, as he watches Steve get swarmed by a group of Veterans. 

“I’m sure.” She says, shoving him away. “I’m glad you won your dumb competition, but I have work to do.” 

“Good, an excuse to get back to the lab.” He says, smiling at her. He taps his ear piece. “J, tell Natasha I’m done.” 

Ranting About Tarvek

@jewishdragon wanted to see the ranting I was restraining myself from doing, so here it is.

I get why people don’t want Martellus to be King, but I don’t get why people think Tarvek’s more worthy. He hasn’t really done anything and most of his supporters seem to like it that way. Having him frozen in time made almost no difference to them.

Martellus does bad things and sometimes good things and usually self-serving things. Tarvek does very little. He’s better than the rest of his family mostly by virtue of having stood by and watched them do terrible things instead of doing it himself.

It’s hard to see him as caring about “bodily integrity” when he programmed his sister to obey him, then unscrewed her head and handed her literal body over to Lucrezia. There were mitigating circumstances, of course, because it’s Tarvek so there are always mitigating circumstances. When he overrides other people’s will because they were trying to kill him it’s necessary.

Not to mention the fact that THIS GUY WAS OKAY WITH USING WASPS UNTIL YESTERDAY. What Martellus did to Agatha was gross, but he does to one person a lite version of what Tarvek would have done to everybody and he’s terrible while Tarvek would have been a great king.

And the standing by and watching multiple teenage girls be subject to mind rape. I mean, he didn’t do it himself, and he’s sorry, so I guess that’s okay?

Plus, the Muses have not really recognised Tarvek. Otilia was loopholed into it. Moxana never said anything either way. Prende is explicitly still with Andy and thinks her sisters would be too. The only one to recognise Tarvek is Tinka, and that seems like Stockholm Syndrome as much as anything – he’d both brought her into a dangerous situation and been her only ally in that situation.

I don’t see why Tarvek’s “not as terrible of a person as you could have been” reward should be a continent.

Born on Earth in 2129, Alec Ryder says his love of new fronteirs was fostered by a childhood in the Sierra Nevadas. According to his service record, he joined the Alliance military and was eventually assigned to Jon Grissom’s historic expedition through the Charon relay.

His experience mad him a candidate for what would later be known as N7 training. Back on Earth, Alec continued military service, most notably on Shanxi in the First Contact War against the Turians.

Assigned as a military attache to the Citadel in the late 2160′s, Alec became interested in artificial intelligence as a means of human advancement.


Liam Kosta is a human security and crisis response specialist with civilian and tactical training.

Liam entered university for engineering but left to train for law enforcement and later transitioned to the multi-species effect of Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Response.

His multidisciplinary skills set him apart, and Liam was handpicked by Alec Ryder to support the Pathfinder team.


Born on the Citadel space station in 2163, with informal training aided by Alec Ryder’s N7 background.

Scott joined the System Alliance military and was assigned to an outpst near Arcturus Station overseeing Relay 202.

A primary route to Arcturus,, the mass relay leads into contested space and has an unsavoury reputation. Scott was needed to protect Arcturus, but also has a “front row seat to everyone else going off to fortune and glory.”


Born on the Citadel space station in 2163, with informal training aided by Alec Ryder’s N7 background. Sara joined the Systems Alliance military, which was continuing its search for Prothean technology after successful discoveries on Mar. Initially assigned to peace-keeping duties.

Sara was approached to serve a support role for these Prothean researchers. She often describes the thrill of serving with scientists like Mateus Silva on the brink of the next great discovery.


Lieutenant Cora Harper is a human biotic and formerly an officer of the Systems Alliance military. She was transferred via the Citadel Council’s Valkyrie Program (an integration plan) and place with the asari commando unit Talen’s Daughters.

Cora’s huntress training and biotic capability made her a candidate ofr Alec Ryder’s second-in-command and if warranted, his successor as Pathfinder.


The first Pathfinder neural implants were operated by Dr. Ellen (?) Ryder, a pioneer in human biotic implant designs. While biotic implants bolster an focus electrical signals along the nervous system, Pathfinder implants go a step further by connecting to not only the nervous system but circulation, endocrine function, and exteroceptive senses.

Synced with an artificial intelligence, the implants reveal their full potential. The implant is a two way connection, giving full insight into the host’s physical and mental state, while allowing it to generate and altar electrical signals among my host’s neural pathways that the body processes on its own.

Horrible Finn Headcanon

Parents whose children are selected for service in the First Order receive notification 7 weeks, or one 1 month [using the Galactic Standard Calendar] prior to their next fertility cycle. They then have 3 months (21 weeks or 105 days) to submit proof of conception. From that point forward the First Order monitors their pregnancy while assuming all costs incurred during the prenatal period. It is considered an honour to be chosen.

Or so the First Order would have you believe.

In reality most people dread receiving the crimson communication, but the economic and social situation being what it is very few people have any choice in the matter. A few people are fortunate enough to have funds to buy their way out of conscription, or at the very least to ensure their child will be filtered through the command stream.

Finn’s parents are not so lucky.

They are also young, newly married and without children, so when they receive the communication, their hopes for starting a family are dashed. The First Order has claimed their first born and given their status there is nothing they can do about it. When Finn’s mother becomes pregnant, she resigns herself (and her child) to their fate. Something inside her dies.

Finn’s father is more pragmatic, though only because he’s seen what happens to people who refuse the First Order. Still, when Finn is born, both he and his wife fall instantly in love. They cannot bear to lose their only son.

So they run.

They’re not the first, though very few make it past the med centre’s front doors. Finn’s mother goes into labour prematurely at home, and so without informing the First Order, they know they have a 3 day window before their next prenatal appointment in which to disappear.

They avoid detection for 282 days, the better part of a Galactic Standard Year. During that time Finn’s mother sings to him, and cradles him, and teaches him the joy of human touch. At night, hidden under the stars, she tells him she loves him, and that everything will be okay.

It isn’t.

When the First Order finds them, both of Finn’s parents are gunned down, killed. Finn is taken, assessed, and deemed suitable. He is integrated into the Stormtrooper program.

First page/teaser of my upcoming Voltron Victorian Era AU.

Shiro is the ambassador of Altea and the most revered professor of the all boy’s school, Arus Royal Academy. This year, some exemplary Galra students are being allowed into the school as a part of an integration program. Every year there is a ball to welcome the new students. This is where Shiro comes face to face with the Galra Ambassador - Sendak.

Meanwhile, Coran is chatting up a storm with old pals, Allura is trying and failing to restrain herself at the buffet, Keith is laying low, Lance is flirting with every girl in sight as Hunk handles damage control, and Katie Holt is sneaking into the castle to put forged medical records into Coran’s office to avoid a medical exam that would reveal her identity upon her first day at the Academy.

This is where our story begins.

in most modern non-powers au, when bucky has left the army minus a left arm.   he spends a number of years moping around while being a part of a state of the art program for integrated prosthetic, enlisted to the program through the connections that he had made while working in the elite howling commando unit. 

after a number of years, with his arm more or less working properly by now and even a number of silicone sleeves for the prosthetic to make it look more normal, bucky starts living again.     he becomes a self defense instructor in a gym in new york, stumbles into the work rather than actually going out with that in mind as a job but finds out that he rather likes it.   that he’s doing something good with his military training, teaching otherwise defenseless people how to defend themselves in the world that is not always kind

The Racist Housing Policies That Built Ferguson

[A 1916 leaflet proposes to segregate St. Louis. The measure passed. (Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center)]

The geography of America would be unrecognizable today without the race-based social engineering of the mid-20th century.

The Economic Policy Institute has just released a report by Richard Rothstein that gives some sense of how the world of Michael Brown came to be. It turns out that that world was born from the exact same forces that forged cities and suburbs across the country—racist housing policy at the local, state, and national levels. Rothstein’s report eschews talk of mindless white flight, and black-hearted individual racists, and puts the onus exactly where it belongs:

    That governmental actions, not mere private prejudice, were responsible for segregating greater St. Louis was once conventional informed opinion. In 1974, a three-judge panel of the federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that “segregated housing in the St. Louis metropolitan area was … in large measure the result of deliberate racial discrimination in the housing market by the real estate industry and by agencies of the federal, state, and local governments.”

    Similar observations accurately describe every other large metropolitan area; in St. Louis, the Department of Justice stipulated to this truth but took no action in response. In 1980, a federal court order included an instruction for the state, county, and city governments to devise plans to integrate schools by integrating housing. Public officials ignored this aspect of the order, devising only a voluntary busing plan to integrate schools, but no programs to combat housing segregation.

A lot of what’s here—redlining, housing covenants, blockbusting, etc.—will be well-known to those with a good handle on 20th-century American history. I focused on this particular era in my case for reparations. But it bears constant repeating: The geography of America would be unrecognizable today without the racist social engineering of the mid-20th century. The policy included—but was not limited to—mortgage loans backed by the Federal Housing Authority and the Veteran’s Administration:

    At its peak in 1943 when civilian construction was limited, the FHA financed 80 percent of all private home construction nationwide. During the postwar period, it dropped to one-third. But even when subdivisions were not built with advance FHA commitments, individual homebuyers needed access to FHA or VA insured mortgages, so similar standards for new construction pertained. Subdivisions throughout St. Louis County were developed in this way, with FHA advance commitments for the builders and a resulting whites-only sale policy.

    The FHA’s suburban whites-only policy continued through the postwar housing boom that lasted through the mid-1960s. In 1947, the FHA sanitized its manual, removing literal race references but still demanding “compatibility among neighborhood occupants” for mortgage guarantees. “Neighborhoods constituted of families that are congenial,” the FHA manual explained, “… generally exhibit strong appeal and stability.” This very slightly sanitized language suggested no change in policy, and the FHA continued to finance builders with open policies of racial exclusion for another 15 years.

In 1959, the United States Commission on Civil Rights concluded that only 2 percent of all FHA-backed loans had gone to blacks. “Most of this housing,” concluded the report, “has been in all-Negro developments in the South.”

As it relates to black America, segregation must always be understood, as a system of plunder. Once the big game has been fenced off, then comes the hunt:

    According to a study by the St. Louis nonprofit Better Together, Ferguson receives nearly one-quarter of its revenue from court fees; for some surrounding towns it approaches 50 percent. Municipal reliance on revenue generated from traffic stops adds pressure to make more of them. One town, Sycamore Hills, has stationed a radar-gun-wielding police officer on its 250-foot northbound stretch of Interstate.

    With primarily white police forces that rely disproportionately on traffic citation revenue, blacks are pulled over, cited and arrested in numbers far exceeding their population share, according to a recent report from Missouri’s attorney general. In Ferguson last year, 86 percent of stops, 92 percent of searches and 93 percent of arrests were of black people—despite the fact that police officers were far less likely to find contraband on black drivers (22 percent versus 34 percent of whites). This worsens inequality, as struggling blacks do more to fund local government than relatively affluent whites.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/the-racist-housing-policies-that-built-ferguson/381595/

Where No Gem Has Gone Before || CLOSED || Star Trek AU || smugxscientific

@smugxscientific


It had been a few years since the entirety of mankind had pledged peace, cooperation, and alliance to the alien race. She had been at the forefront of relations since day one, and she was still the top ambassadors of her race, as well as an accomplished starship captain. Her name was Yvonne Diamond. Captain Yvonne Diamond, to be exact.

Her ship was the USS Astraea, a Constitution-class heavy cruiser made for long voyages for both exploration and diplomatic purposes. She loved her ship, as well as her crew.

In fact, she was receiving a new crew member. One of the gem leaders, known as Pink Diamond, was sending a gem to work on the ship not only as a symbol of good faith between races, but also to further the human-gem integration in Starfleet.

Once they had reached the designated rendezvous point, the communications channel opened to Pink Diamond. A brief exchange of formalities, and the newcomer was beamed onto the Astraea, and was escorted to the bridge. Upon hearing the doors open, Yvonne swiveled around in her captain’s chair, eyeing the new crew member. “Welcome. I am Captain Diamond of the USS Astraea. I thank you for participating in the integration program between our species.”

Why I’m in the gray area between vegan and vegetarian?

In the community I reside in we talk a lot about what we call ascension; the elevation of our vibration to meet Source.

Overtime as I have walked the spiritual path, I have cleared many beliefs as well as habits that kept me small, and the journey is ongoing when it comes to new conscious programming integration. The first time I had ever felt an ascension symptom, I was 11, of course at that time I had no idea what that meant but after a lovely 6th grade teacher had described in all the ways which we slaughter the Earth’s creatures I began to question why I ate meat.

I tell a lot of people, that was the year I stopped eating meat, and while that is pretty true, I was still dabbling in that “area.” My mom and I had a come to an agreement that chicken would remain in my diet until I became a little older. We would have it once a week, then turned into once every two weeks, and then a couple of years later turned too no chicken at all. Why? Because my body had naturally stopped needing land animal flesh.

My being was vibrating in a way, that the lower vibration of suffering and dense meat could no longer work with my body.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well one of my teachers a few months ago had written that we were having influxes of light, which meant we would be feeling the next level of awakening symptoms, a lot of which would be related to our physical diet… and my goodness was she right..

If you know me personally, you would know I’ve been vegan for almost a little over a year, well, I was struggling being vegan. I was struggling because I was forcing my body something it really did not want to do. It wanted cheese, it wanted fish and the more I told myself I wasn’t allowed to have it, the likelier I ended up binging that thing.

So I had to come to terms with a reality; did I want to appear a good Samaritan on the outside but who really beat themselves up every time they gave into a craving OR, did I want to really be loving of my body, and actually listen to my physical vessel?

Well you know the answer to that one don’t you!

One of the shadow things I had to face was the fear that I was not “spiritual” or “evolved” enough if I wasn’t vegan. Which may be true, maybe I’m not as evolved as I want, but that’s okay. I will get there when I get there. The more I let it come naturally, the more I will effortlessly flow to the goal I have set for myself.

I will still stand by the vegan standards. I still believe most of us don’t need to eat animal products. For our health, for the environment and out of respect for the creatures who live on this planet, but what I value even more, is the people who have begun questioning what they put in their body. Where does our food come from? How does it make me feel? Sluggish, or energized? Can I feel another animal’s suffering inside of myself? Whatever it is, this is what it’s about. When some friends came up to me telling me they had cut down meat to once a week, this is what made me happiest. Especially after they had told me that they felt extremely energized compared how they once felt.

It inspired me. It reminded me, why we are not here to preach, we are not here speak words of right or wrong, we are here to EMBODY our truth, and when people are ready, in their right time, they will begin to embody theirs.

So right now my truth is, my body is not willing to give up eggs, cheese and even on some occasion’s fish. That’s okay. I still take responsibility and accountability for my diet, and I will always consciously ask – “Where did this come from?” and, “Will this serve my body?”

May you find your way back to vitality through your own food lifestyle!


Endless love,
Nina

 x

Life update: I was selected for cycle 3 of the women on submarines integration program. I’ll be re rating, school in Connecticut and stationed in Washington state. This is a dream come true for me.
I’m number one in my current C school class and all of my instructors have told me I’ve got great instincts with the gear. My goal is to make FT1 by the end of my first contract. Hooyah

Brains biological clock stimulates thirst before sleep

The brain’s biological clock stimulates thirst in the hours before sleep, according to a study published in the journal Nature by researchers from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC).

The finding – along with the discovery of the molecular process behind it – provides the first insight into how the clock regulates a physiological function. And while the research was conducted in mice, “the findings could point the way toward drugs that target receptors implicated in problems that people experience from shift work or jet lag,” says the study’s senior author, Charles Bourque, a professor in McGill’s Department of Neurology and scientist at the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program at the (RI-MUHC).

Scientists knew that rodents show a surge in water intake during the last two hours before sleep. The study by Bourque’s group revealed that this behavior is not motivated by any physiological reason, such as dehydration. So if they don’t need to drink water, why do they?

The team of researchers, which included lead author and Ph.D. student Claire Gizowski, found that restricting the access of mice to water during the surge period resulted in significant dehydration towards the end of the sleep cycle. So the increase in water intake before sleep is a preemptive strike that guards against dehydration and serves to keep the animal healthy and properly hydrated.

Then the researchers looked for the mechanism that sets this thirst response in motion. It’s well established that the brain harbors a hydration sensor with thirst neurons in that sensor organ. So they wondered if the SCN (suprachiasmatic nuclei), the brain region that regulates circadian cycles – a.k.a. the biological clock – could be communicating with the thirst neurons.

The team suspected that vasopressin, a neuropeptide produced by the SCN, might play a critical role. To confirm that, they used so-called “sniffer cells” designed to fluoresce in the presence of vasopressin. When they applied these cells to rodent brain tissue and then electrically stimulated the SCN, Bourque says, “We saw a big increase in the output of the sniffer cells, indicating that vasopressin is being released in that area as a result of stimulating the clock.”

To explore if vasopressin was stimulating thirst neurons, the researchers employed optogenetics, a cutting-edge technique that uses laser light to turn neurons on or off. Using genetically engineered mice whose vasopressin neurons contain a light activated molecule, the researchers were able to show that vasopressin does, indeed, turn on thirst neurons.

“Although this study was performed in rodents, it points toward an explanation as to why we often experience thirst and ingest liquids such as water or milk before bedtime,” Bourque says. “More importantly, this advance in our understanding of how the clock executes a circadian rhythm has applications in situations such as jet lag and shift work. All our organs follow a circadian rhythm, which helps optimize how they function. Shift work forces people out of their natural rhythms, which can have repercussions on health. Knowing how the clock works gives us more potential to actually do something about it.”

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What are these you ask?? Tiny snippets of the script for episode 2 in the middle of the formatting process. 

It’s also me, Miriam taking a break to inform all our patient patient tumblr followers that we are actually in the home stretch. 

Here is what is done:

Script - 100%
Art - 90%
Integration - 70%
Programming - 80%

That’s pretty rad, and we do have a build floating around that has new art in it so expect to see screenshots very soon!

Yoga Relieves Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Paula Meltzer was only 38 when out of nowhere everything she looked at was blurry. For the single mother, who had a lucrative career as a gemologist and spent hours examining valuable pieces of jewelry, it seemed as if – in a split second – her life changed.

At first doctors thought Meltzer had a brain tumor. What they determined after further tests, however, was that she had multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and central nervous system and was causing optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve that can cause a partial or complete loss of vision.

“I was living independently, doing my job, taking care of my child – and then I had to look to my parents to take care of me,” Meltzer said.

Almost two decades later, Meltzer, out of a wheelchair and walking without a cane, was one of 14 women with moderate disability due to MS who participated in a pilot trial conducted by the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions. A specially-designed yoga program for these MS patients not only improved their physical and mental well-being but also enhanced their overall quality of life.

“I felt like I became steadier and stronger in my core,” Meltzer said. Prior to yoga, she described herself as a “wall walker,”  someone who felt safer holding onto the wall in order to get around. “To be able to stand on one leg and feel balanced is amazing.”

Susan Gould Fogerite, director of research for the Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the School of Health Related Professions, said that although there is widespread evidence that yoga is being used as a form of exercise by those with MS, much of the feedback has been anecdotal and there isn’t much empirical data regarding its safety and efficacy.

This is why she and her colleagues, Evan Cohen and David Kietrys, physical therapists and associate professors in the School of Health Related Professions at Stratford, decided to undertake the small pilot study, believing that a specialized yoga program for MS patients – which incorporates mind, body and spirit – would be beneficial to everyday living.

What they discovered at the end of the eight-week trial was that those who participated were better able to walk for short distances and longer periods of time, had better balance while reaching backwards, fine motor coordination, and were better able to go from sitting to standing. Their quality of life also improved in perceived mental health, concentration, bladder control, walking, and vision, with a decrease in pain and fatigue.

 “Yoga is not just exercise, it is a whole system of living,” said Fogerite, an associate professor, who, along with Kietrys, will present the results on September 26 at the Symposium on Yoga Research at the Kripalu Institute in Massachusetts. “The panel of experts who advised us on the trial wanted to make sure that we provided a fully integrated program that included philosophy, breathing practices, postures, relaxation and meditation.”

The yoga pilot trial was held at Still Point Yoga Center in Laurel Springs, a southern New Jersey town close to Philadelphia. Of the 72 individuals who were interested in participating, only 16 were eligible based on medical and other criteria and availability. Of those, 15 were enrolled and 14 completed the program after one person had to withdraw because of an unrelated health problem.

Meltzer and the other women who participated in the trial ranged in age from 34 to 64. Some had been diagnosed with MS within the last two years while others had been living with the illness for up to 26 years. For 90 minutes, twice a week for two months, they practiced techniques and exercises that would improve their posture, help to increase stamina, and teach them how to relax and focus.

“This study, I hope, is one of many that will give us the clinical information we need,” said Fogerite. “Yoga is not currently being widely prescribed for people with MS, although it might turn out to be a very helpful treatment.”

The yoga practices were done by the women in the study sitting, standing, or lying on yoga mats, and using metal folding chairs situated close to the wall to provide them with more support.

“What was so nice about this experience was that although everyone was at a different level of the disease, we felt like we were all together, so I think the camaraderie helped,” said Meltzer. “And it wasn’t just about gaining more mobility and balance in our legs but our arms and necks felt stronger as well.”

Fogerite said a larger randomized controlled trial would be needed to determine whether yoga could be used as a prescribed treatment for individuals with moderate disability due to MS. More than 2.3 million people – two to three times more women than men –  throughout the world are diagnosed with this disease which can cause poor coordination, loss of balance, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue and problems with memory and concentration.

“When I was first diagnosed I no longer felt safe in my own body,” Meltzer said. “I didn’t trust my body at all.  What the program did was really bring that trust back.”

The series premiere of Star-Crossed on the CW is tonight at 8/7 Central! Watch it live, then also DVR it, and watch your DVR’d recording within 24 hours of the premiere! To go with the premiere, I thought I’d introduce a little bit about the language I created for the show, Sondiv. You’ll hear a couple of lines in tonight’s episode, and even more in the episodes to come.

Star-Crossed is about a group of aliens called Atrians (in Sondiv, Itrejivil) that come to Earth seeking refuge. After an initial conflict, the refugee Atrian population is interned in a small section of Louisiana called the Sector. A decade or so later, the US government decides to pilot an integration program at an American high school, allowing seven Atrian students to attend classes with local Louisiana teenagers. Those students and the school become the center of national and international attention, as intrigue ensues.

The Atrians themselves speak a language called Sondiv which I was hired to create for the show. After the end of the conflict, most Atrians agree that if they want to thrive in their new home, they’ll have to learn English, and try their best to assimilate into American culture. Consequently, you won’t hear a ton of Sondiv in the show, but it still has its place.

I had a lot of fun with the language. It’s kind of different. Ordinarily a language uses case marking, word order or both to signal who does what to whom. In the case of Sondiv, the number of participants and what they do are determined by the semantics of the verb itself, and, secondarily, what aspect the verb is in. Consequently, the “case” prefixes don’t actually have any meaning, and the set of roles assigned to each participant is purely lexical. I’ll give you a couple examples, but to start with, here are some nouns: len "girl"; dob “boy”; yos “flower”. Now for the examples:

  • Ilen iktir. “The girl is sleeping.”
  • Alen aktar. “The girl slept.”
  • Ilen idiya adob. “The girl holds the boy.”
  • Alen adayu udob. “The girl held the boy.”
  • Ilen isima ayos udob. “The girl gives the boy a flower.”
  • Alen asamu uyos idob. “The girl gave the boy a flower.”

That should give you a basic idea about how the system works. Most of the time, though, new information (usually the object) gets dragged out to the front. The most usual order for something like the last sentence, then, would be this:

  • Uyos asamu alen idob. "The girl gave the boy a flower.“

Regarding pronunciation, stress tends to be on the last syllable, and there are three nasal vowels. Nasal vowels are found in French, Portuguese and Hindi, amongst others, and they’re found frequently in Sondiv. The three nasal vowels are spelled either with a following n or m in coda position, and they are: onan and en. (If you speak french, they sound like onan/en and in, respectively.)

The writing system you see above is called Kwandon. You won’t see it in the pilot (or you might? It may have been added in post, but the creation of the script post-dated the filming of the pilot), but it does feature prominently throughout the rest of the series. The script is an abjad, which means that you (usually) only write the consonants (though vowels are written when they occur in initial position). In order to spell different words related to the same root, one or more modifications is added to the root consonants, with prefixes and suffixes added as needed. Here are some examples (with a couple plurals thrown in for comparison):

Ksen "sun”

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Ksayan “suns”

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Ksemis “lamp”

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Ksemil “lamps”

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Keson “bright”

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Sokson “flash”

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Soksumiv “light”

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Ikson “to glow, to shine”

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Though the script is abjadic, there is actually an alphabetic variant you can use to spell things out (it had specialized uses on the Atrian homeworld, but, for obvious reasons, enjoys greater use in America, where everyone is used to using an alphabet). You’ll often see that used by the local Americans in the series.

Aside from that, here are some useful Sondiv phrases:

  • Alyakson “hello” (yakson for short)
  • Aldovos “goodbye”
  • Leglas atezi “please”
  • Asoluviv “thank you”
  • Enden igel? “What’s up?”

Again, Star-Crossed premieres tonight on the CW at 8/7 Central. It starts off good, and gets better. I had a wonderful time working on the show, as did the rest of the cast and crew. I hope you enjoy watching it.

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