nerve cells

Science Fact Friday: Tetrodotoxin, ft. a small gif because I’m avoiding my real obligations.

Why does tetrodotoxin not affect its host? More studies need to be done but at least a few species possess mutated sodium ion channels. The tetrodotoxin can’t interact efficiently with the altered channels.

Another interesting tidbit: Animals with tetrodotoxin can lose their toxicity in captivity. It is suspected that the animals accumulate the toxic bacteria as a side-effect of their diet. After several years of captivity on a tetrodotoxin-bacteria-free diet, the bacterial colonies living in the animals die, residual toxin is cleared from the system, and the animal is safe to handle.

The Dos and Don’ts of Beginning a Novel:  An Illustrated Guide

I’ve had a lot of asks lately for how to begin a book (or how not to), so here’s a post on my general rules of thumb for story openers and first chapters!  

Please note, these are incredibly broad generalizations;  if you think an opener is right for you, and your beta readers like it, there’s a good chance it’s A-OK.  When it comes to writing, one size does not fit all.  (Also note that this is for serious writers who are interested in improving their craft and/or professional publication, so kindly refrain from the obligatory handful of comments saying “umm, screw this, write however you want!!”)

So without further ado, let’s jump into it!

Don’t: 

1.  Open with a dream. 

“Just when Mary Sue was sure she’d disappear down the gullet of the monstrous, winged pig, she woke up bathed in sweat in her own bedroom.”

What?  So that entire winged pig confrontation took place in a dream and amounts to nothing?  I feel so cheated! 

Okay, not too many people open their novels with monstrous swine, but you get the idea:  false openings of any kind tend to make the reader feel as though you’ve wasted their time, and don’t usually jump into more meaty action of the story quickly enough.  It makes your opening feel lethargic and can leave your audience yawning.

Speaking of… 

2.  Open with a character waking up.  

This feels familiar to most of us, but unless your character is waking up to a zombie attack or an alien invasion, it’s generally a pretty easy recipe to get your story to drag.

No one picks a book to hear how your character brushes their teeth in the morning or what they’d like to have for dinner.  As a general rule of thumb, we read to explore things we wouldn’t otherwise get to experience.  And cussing out the alarm clock is not one of them.  

Granted, there are exceptions if your writing is exceptionally engaging, but in most cases it just sets a slow pace that will bore you and your reader to death and probably cause you to lose interest in your book within the first ten pages.  

3.  Bombard with exposition.  

Literary characters aren’t DeviantArt OCs.  And the best way to convey a character is not, in my experience, to devote the first ten pages to describing their physical appearance, personality, and backstory.  Develop your characters, and make sure their fully fleshed out – my tips on how to do so here – but you don’t need to dump all that on the reader before they have any reason to care about them.  Let the reader get to know the character gradually, learn about them, and fall in love with them as they would a person:  a little bit at a time.   

This is iffy when world building is involved, but even then it works best when the delivery feels organic and in tune with the book’s overall tone.  Think the opening of the Hobbit or Good Omens.

4.  Take yourself too seriously.

Your opener (and your novel in general) doesn’t need to be intellectually pretentious, nor is intellectual pretense the hallmark of good literature.  Good literature is, generally speaking, engaging, well-written, and enjoyable.  That’s it.  

So don’t concern yourself with creating a poetic masterpiece of an opening line/first chapter.  Just make one that’s – you guessed it – engaging, well-written, and enjoyable. 

5.  Be unintentionally hilarious.

Utilizing humor in your opening line is awesome, but check yourself to make sure your readers aren’t laughing for all the wrong reasons (this is another reason why betas are important.)  

These examples of the worst opening lines in published literature will show you what I mean – and possibly serve as a pleasant confidence booster as well: 

“As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand – who would take her away from all this – and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.”

– Ali Kawashima

“She sipped her latte gracefully, unaware of the milk foam droplets building on her mustache, which was not the peachy-fine baby fuzz that Nordic girls might have, but a really dense, dark, hirsute lip-lining row of fur common to southern Mediterranean ladies nearing menopause, and winked at the obviously charmed Spaniard at the next table.”

– Jeanne Villa

“As I gardened, gazing towards the autumnal sky, I longed to run my finger through the trail of mucus left by a single speckled slug – innocuously thrusting past my rhododendrons – and in feeling that warm slime, be swept back to planet Alderon, back into the tentacles of the alien who loved me.”

– Mary E. Patrick

“Before they met, his heart was a frozen block of ice, scarred by the skate blades of broken relationships, then she came along and like a beautiful Zamboni flooded his heart with warmth, scraped away the ugly slushy bits, and dumped them in the empty parking lot of his soul.”

– Howie McClennon

If these can get published, so can you.

Do:

1.  You know that one really interesting scene you’re itching to write?  Start with that.

Momentum is an important thing in storytelling.  If you set a fast, infectious beat, you and your reader will be itching to dance along with it.  

Similarly, slow, drowsy openers tend to lead to slow, drowsy stories that will put you both to sleep.

I see a lot of posts joking about “that awkward moment when you sit down to write but don’t know how to get to that one scene you actually wanted to write about.”  Write that scene!  If it’s at all possible, start off with it.  If not, there are still ways you can build your story around the scenes you actually want to write.

Keep in mind:  if you’re bored, your reader will almost certainly be bored as well.  So write what you want to write.  Write what makes you excited.  Don’t hold off until later, when it “really gets good.”  Odds are, the reader will not wait around that long, and you’re way more likely to become disillusioned with your story and quit.  If a scene is dragging, cut it out.  Burn bridges, find a way around.  Live, dammit. 

2.  Engage the reader.

There are several ways to go about this.  You can use wit and levity, you can present a question, and you can immerse the reader into the world you’ve created.  Just remember to do so with subtlety, and don’t try too hard;  believe me, it shows.  

Here are some of my personal favorite examples of engaging opening lines: 

“In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." 

– Douglas Adams, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

"It was the day my grandmother exploded.”

– Iain Banks, Crow Road.

“A white Pomeranian named Fluffy flew out of the a fifth-floor window in Panna, which was a grand-new building with the painter’s scaffolding still around it. Fluffy screamed.”

– Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games.

See what I’m saying?  They pull you in and do not let go.

3.  Introduce us to a main character (but do it right.)

“Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough and looked don’t-fuck-with-me enough that his biggest problem was killing time. So he kept himself in shape, and taught himself coin tricks, and thought a lot about how much he loved his wife.”

– Neil Gaiman, American Gods.

This is one of my favorite literary openings of all time, because right off the bat we know almost everything we need to know about Shadow’s character (i.e. that he’s rugged, pragmatic, and loving.)   

Also note that it doesn’t tell us everything about Shadow:  it presents questions that make us want to read more.  How did Shadow get into prison?  When will he get out?  Will he reunite with his wife?  There’s also more details about Shadow slowly sprinkled in throughout the book, about his past, personality, and physical appearance.  This makes him feel more real and rounded as a character, and doesn’t pull the reader out of the story.

Obviously, I’m not saying you should rip off American Gods.  You don’t even need to include a hooker eating a guy with her cooch if you don’t want to.  

But this, and other successful openers, will give you just enough information about the main character to get the story started;  rarely any good comes from infodumping, and allowing your reader to get to know your character gradually will make them feel more real.   

4.  Learn from the greats.

My list of my favorite opening lines (and why I love them) is right here.

5.  Keep moving.  

The toughest part of being a writer is that it’s a rare and glorious occasion when you’re actually satisfied with something you write.  And to add another layer of complication, what you like best probably won’t be what your readers will like best. 

If you refuse to keep moving until you have the perfect first chapter, you will never write anything beyond your first chapter.  

Set a plan, and stick to it:  having a daily/weekly word or page goal can be extremely helpful, especially when you’re starting out.  Plotting is a lifesaver (some of my favorite posts on how to do so here, here, and here.)

Keep writing, keep moving, and rewrite later.  If you stay in one place for too long, you’ll never keep going. 

Best of luck, and happy writing.  <3

Science of Male Orgasm Denial

In an update to her popular article The Orgasmic Benefits of Habitual - Male Orgasm Denial, Aislin Acquati explores the biological, psychological and evolutionary reality of routine male orgasm and how limiting them can dramatically improve your intimacy in relationships.

Dominate His Brain Chemicals By Controlling (Harnessing) His Orgasms

Male orgasm denial has numerous benefits, but do you know the chemical reasoning behind them? Endorphins, hormones, neurotransmitters, and neurochemicals (neurochemistry) affect how we ALL think and feel. By controlling your mans orgasms, you can control their brain chemicals and condition (train) them. Without any supervision or domination, men will masturbate and have as many orgasms as they please – which creates chemical chaos as well as undesired Un-Attentive behavior.

What are Endorphins?

Endorphins are a group of hormones that influence emotions and minimize the sensation of pain. They attach to opiate receptors, mostly in the brain. Pain and stress most typically influence endorphins to be released. They operate similarly to codeine and morphine.

Scandalous!

Bestseller

Bestseller

Women Can Enjoy Blissful Daily Orgasms – But Men Need To Be Denied

It’s true – Orgasms affect men and women “Differently”.

It is empowering to know that you can relish multiple orgasms on a daily basis while withholding them from your Virile Lover. Knowing there are hormonal reasons behind the science, (making him stronger and healthier), is just icing on the cake!

Endorphins and Other Chemicals That Control The Brain and Motivation

1. Endorphins: Natural painkillers that are extremely more potent than morphine – producing feelings of euphoria.

2.  Oxytocin - The Love , Cuddle and Bonding Hormone: Decreases abstract cravings – diminishes stress  – keeps couples together – provokes passion, devotion, attachment and deep feelings of fondness – strengthens sexual receptivity.

Normal/Raised Levels of Oxytocin: Devotion – a feeling of being connected – feeling protective and responsible – health benefits (reduces blood pressure and speeds up wound healing) – intense feeling of attachment – increases sexual alertness –   less addictions and cravings – positive viewpoint and attentiveness.
Low Levels of Oxytocin: Depression – low sex drive – reduced, indifferent or no feelings of of attachment, connection or devotion – poor or no feelings of protection and responsibility for another person – weakened immune system.

3. Dopamine, The “I have to have it” Neurochemical:

Normal/Slightly Raised Levels of Dopamine: Generates feelings of happiness – healthy sex drive – joy in completing tasks – motivated  – optimistic outlook – postitive feelings toward others – rational decisions – yearning to bond with others.
Low Levels of Dopamine: Ambitionless – despair – displeasure – idleness – impaired judgement – low sex drive – remorseless of own behavior – social anxiety – unable to feel love.

4. Serotonin (a neurotransmitter):

Too Much Serotonin: Anxiety – gastrointestinal disorders – insomnia – sexual malfunction.
Not Enough Serotonin: Decrease or increase in appetite – insomnia – isolation – loss of libid – low self confidence – ongoing saddness – over sensitive –– sore joints and muscles – stoamch pain.

5. Testosterone ( a hormone):

Low Testosterone:  Anger decreased motivation and self esteemdecreased muscle mass and increased body fat – depression – difficulty with concentration and memory – fatigue – low sex drive – irritability .

6. Prolactin (a hormone): After orgasm, it may make one feel sexually satisified and repress dopamine.

Excess Levels of Prolactin: Depression – diminished interest in bonding with others – – lowered testosterone levels – low sex drive – depression – infertility – irritibility – lethargy – pessimistic outlook – weight gain.

This is how it works:

Men experience a rush of dopamine during orgasm that puts them in a state of ecstasy. However – in most men – the blissful feeling disappears after 5-10 seconds. Interestingly, the surge of dopamine triggers an almost simultaneous burst of prolactin that causes dopamine levels to plummet. The result is a dopamine level that is much lower than it was before sexual arousal began. In addition, an above normal level of prolactin continues for up to two weeks.

Woman receive a peak in dopamine during orgasm, but (unlike in males) it doesn’t crash drastically; rather, it subsides in a gradual sequence of steps. Prolactin also increases to a level slightly above normal (upon feminine climax) – staying there briefly while dopamine levels gently return to their normal levels. Another recent discovery is that Women’s dopamine levels vary throughout the month based on their menstrual cycle.

You may be wondering what all this means. It means that…

1. Male Orgasms Are Addicting

Have you heard a song about love or sex being a drug or addictive and wondered if there were any truth to it? Consider the following song lyrics:

“Oh oh catch that buzz
Love is the drug I’m thinking of
Oh oh can’t you see
Love is the drug for me” – Love Is The Drug by Roxy Music

“The perfect drug | the perfect drug | the perfect drug
You make me hard when I’m all soft inside
I see the truth when I’m all stupid-eyed
The arrow goes straight through my heart
Without you everything just falls apart” – The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails

Well – male ejaculations can definitely be addicting due to dopamine, the “I have to have it” neurochemical. When comparing brain scans, Gurt Hoistege, a Dutch Scientist found an astounding resemblance of male orgasm to shooting heroin.

After they researched rats, scientists in Mexico City pointed out that repeated ejaculations can very closely imitate the effects of abusing drugs.

2. Men Experience a Post-Orgasm Hangover

After orgasm, men experience a hormonal hangover similar to an opiate or cocaine withdrawal due to low dopamine and high prolactin. Dopamine levels fall while prolactin levels rise after orgasm and after stopping an opiate or cocaine. It takes two weeks for prolactin levels to normalize after stopping cocaine.

During a post-orgasm “hormonal hangover,” men may look for new highs, such as drinking alcohol – eating sweets – new sex partners – porn – and drugs, to boost their dopamine levels. They may also feel disconnected from their partner – experience depression – or become lethargic.

When dopamine levels are constantly bursting up and plummeting down due to uncontrolled orgasms, it can wreak havoc on relationships. Your relationships could feel like a never-ending roller coaster ride full of highs and lows with no middle ground.

3. Too Many Orgasm Lead Him To Cheat

Once plighted, no men would go whoring.
They’d stay with the one they adore,
If women were half as alluring
After the act as before – Ancient Greek Anthology Poem

Or we could phrase it:

Once married, no men would be cheaters.
They’d be faithful to the one they adore, rather than acting a whore
If women stayed half as enticing After orgasm as before

In any case – long before our time, humans knew that men cheated on their wives because they were not as appealing after sex! Once again, dopamine is the chemical responsible for men choosing to act in a way we ladies don’t like.

Scientists found that after male rats partake in a frenzy of sexual intercourse, they will lose interest in that female. However, if a new female comes along, the male will have sex with her. They linked the phenomon of mate fatigue to dopamine. When a male rat has intercourse repeatedly with the same female, dopamine levels continue to drop. When a fresh potential mate arrives, a surge of dopamine follows.

So – to keep your men feeling you are the most beautiful woman on earth with a World Class “Sacred” Vagina – you must harness and resolutely control their orgasms!

4. Repeated Orgasms Decrease His Sex Desire

Male rats also experience a decrease in testosterone receptor for up to seven days within their reward circuit. Hormones, such as testosterone, and neurochemicals dock on the nerve cells, along with receptors. In this instance, fewer receptors equals less reactivity to circulating testosterone. As a result, the reward system releases less dopamine.

The first problem is that low testosterone, or a reduced sensitivity to it, can cause anger and irritation. No woman wants to give a man an orgasm and then receive annoyance in return!

Not only that – you don’t want to “Allow” your man to Ejaculate if the undesirable psychological result is a lowered sex drive. This brings us to the second problem, which is the fact that endorphin and serotonin levels go up - in the reward system of the sexually satisfied rats. Endorphins and serotonin are both neurochemicals that can produce happiness, but when they are in this part of the limbic system, they bring things to a stop rather than only generating good feelings. Think of it this way: Antidepressants, such as Zoloft – Prozac – and Lexapro, that increase serotonin and narcotics, such as Vicodin – Percocet – and Methadone that imitate endorphins, can cause sexual side effects. When neurochemicals diminish the reward circuit for a period of time, complications in your intimate relationship – both physically and emotionally – can and will occur.

If you want your guy to have a low sex drive for several days to a week, allow them to have orgasms whenever they chooses – or encourage them to take an antidepressant or opiate! If you just thought or yelled – HELL NO – Then we’re on the same page.

5. Uncontrolled Orgasms Make Him Fall Out of Love

In her book “Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships,Marnia Robinson points out the following: As a cure for love, the Roman Poet Ovid cynically recommends pursuing orgasm until it results in disinterest.

cruel Love presses your neck beneath his foot?…
Go, and enjoy your girl, any time, nothing’s forbidden:
let her steal away your nights and days.
Seek loathing for your sickness: and let loathing end it.
Now, too, when you believe you could be free, stay on,
till you’re quite overwhelmed, and abundance destroys love,
and disgusted you’ve no pleasure in her house. – Or Sate Yourself With Her by Ovid

Due to a dopamine drop and prolactin burst after orgasm, “eventually a man can develop feelings of indifference or slight repulsion for his sexual partner,” according to Taoist Secrets of Love by Mantak Chia.

Oxytocin is the chemical that keeps love alive, and Ladies can magically increase this baseline oxytocin level in their lives by cuddling – hugging – holding hands – massaging as well as sexually “Edging” their males.

The Cure is Simple

The cure for the chemical chaos that uncontrolled orgasms produce in males is simple – The Cure is Orgasm Denial. .

Are you ready to dominate and ultimately control your mans brain chemicals – do you want to train him to respond to you with any “Conditioned Response” You Desire ? or have you already learned to do so? Share your experience with femdom relationships and male orgasm denial (Karezza) by visiting the Tumblr Site Below.

To learn more about Male Orgasm Denial, Natural Subjugation and Devotional Male Response – read “The Orgasmic Benefits of Male Orgasm Denial.”

2

Something Just Like This ~Jeff Atkins x Reader~

Requested: Can I request a Jeff Atkins imagine about morning after with him. And like Jeff would be so cute whispering sweet nothings in his gfs ear while also saying some dirty jokes lolol omg I CANT

The human body contains an innumerable amount of nerve cells. The best we can do is estimate that there are some billion. It is incredible how there are billions of nerve cells working in our bodies and something as simple as the touch of one person can send all of those imperceptible cells into a fervor.

It’s 9:05 on a Sunday morning. The window is slightly cracked, letting the fresh autumn air circulate in. Her chest rises and falls rhythmically with shallow breaths as she pretends to still be sleeping. Small circles are being drawn on her back, clockwise, then counter clockwise. Then it switches to a word, or rather, a name. Jeff.

His fingers drag across her skin gently. First he writes it how you would normally write your name. Then in cursive, in all caps, capitalizing every other letter, looping letters, block letters.

“Are you marking me?” she mumbles tiredly. She can feel him laughing as he wraps his arms around her midsection, pulling her flush against his chest. He kisses the top of her head, nuzzling his face into her hair where traces of his cologne are trapped within the tresses. He’s everywhere. In her hair, on her skin, and where he doesn’t leave a physical presence he takes up residence in the place where her mind wanders.

“In more ways than one,” a smug tone drips off his tongue as he brings his one hand up to grasp her throat loosely, his thumb rubbing one of many dark purple splotches.

“Jeffff,” she whines, scrunching her neck up. Those are gonna be a bitch to cover up, but he loves them. He loves the way they whisper I was here. I will be here for as long as you want me. I love you. I love you.

“I didn’t hear you complaining last night,” he whispers into her ear, letting his lips linger. A shiver works its way down her back involuntarily. It’s almost annoying- how easily he gets to her. Just the sound of his voice is enough to set her skin on fire.

“You’re awful,” she tries to sound stern, but there’s a teasing tone in her voice that gives her away. It’s hard to be annoyed when images of the previous night and all the nights before that flood her mind.

“Yeah?” he questions, an impish inflection shaping his voice, “tell me, which part was less than satisfactory?”

He cups the bottom of her jaw with his palm and pushes upward gently, stretching her neck without causing pain. The bed jostles as his weight shifts to lean over her, his lips ghosting over the thin skin of her neck. It starts with soft pecks that progress to biting and sucking until the unblemished skin becomes a dark shade of red and purple. “Was it this?” he asks against her skin.

His hands grip her bare thighs, wrapping them around his waist. His fingers drag down from the top of her thighs down to the bend of her knees and then back up. Instinctively, her arms lock around his neck, bringing his forehead to rest against hers. “Was it this?” he asks against her lips.

“Oh hush. You’re perfect and you know it,” her voice is breathy as she tries to swallow her own desire. He is perfect, in every sense of the word. He has the kindest heart she has ever known.

“Perfect enough to make you happy?” he says earnestly. He lifts his head to be able to see her face clearly and wholly. Her cheeks have developed a pink tint and her eyes are soft and dreamlike, like she’s looking at the gates of heaven.

“Perfect or imperfect, I am happy,” she grabs his face between her hands delicately, “I’m happy and I love you.”

“Say it again,” he begs as his eyes flutter shut.

“I love you, Jeff Atkins.”

And then he’s kissing her. His lips are familiar but the feeling of them on hers makes her heart race like it’s the first time all over again. His body presses down against hers and she can feel every bump of hard muscle under soft skin. The distance between them is virtually nonexistent. Her heart hangs suspended in the space where she ends and he begins.

“You know,” she says in-between kisses, “this is why the morning after always turns into round two.”

“Sorry babe, I’ll work on keeping my hands to myself,” he laughs, burying his face into her neck.

“That was not a complaint, you keep your hands right where they are,” she returns his laugh whilst running her fingers through his hair.

“Yes ma’am,” he kisses her jaw, “I love you. I adore you with all my heart.”

“That makes me pretty lucky.”

“Luck has nothing to do with it,” he assures, “but speaking of being ‘lucky’, how ‘bout that round two?”

“You’re relentless,” she giggles pleasantly, pulling him closer.

“Tell me you don’t want me and I’ll stop.”

“Well that would make me a liar,” this time she kisses him, initiating an evocative situation. He responds immediately, his hands tangling in the thin lacy fabric covering her bottom half.

To be adored by a person with such a pure heart is to be loved absolutely. Few ever meet a person like that, but when they do it is significant. It marks a before and after in their life, and how lucky they are to have been loved by a person who knows what it means to love without limit. How lucky they are to have something just like this.


Masterlist

Gifs (X) (X)

Making Sense of the Senses: ‘Context’ Matters When the Brain Interprets Sounds

The brain’s interpretation of sound is influenced by cues from other senses, explaining more precisely how we interpret what we hear at a particular moment, according to a report published online October 31 in Nature Neuroscience.

In the new study in mice, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center found that nerve cells dedicated to hearing also rely on surrounding context to properly interpret and react to familiar sounds.

“What the brain ‘hears’ depends on what is ‘seen’ in addition to specific sounds, as the brain calculates how to respond,” says study senior investigator and neuroscientist Robert Froemke, PhD, an assistant professor at NYU Langone and its Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine.

Froemke says his team’s latest findings reveal that while mammals recognize sounds in the auditory cortex of their brains, the signaling levels of nerve cells in this brain region are simultaneously being strengthened or weakened in response to surrounding context.

“Our study shows how the same sound can mean different things inside the brain depending on the situation,” says Froemke. “We know, for instance, that people learn to respond without alarm to the honk of a car horn if heard from the safety of their homes, but are startled to hear the same honk while crossing a busy street.”

If further experiments find similar activity in human brains, the researchers say their work may lead to precise explanations of situation-specific behaviors, such as anxiety brought on during math exams; sudden post-traumatic stress among combat veterans hearing a car backfire; and the ability of people with dementia to better remember certain events when they hear a familiar voice or see a friend’s face.

To map how the same sense can be perceived differently in the brain, the NYU Langone team, led by postdoctoral fellow Kishore Kuchibhotla, PhD, monitored nerve circuit activity in mice when the animals expected, and did not expect, to get a water reward through a straw-like tube (that they see) after the ringing of a familiar musical note.

When mice were exposed to specific auditory cues, researchers observed patterns based on a basic divide in the nature of nerve cells. Each nerve cell “decides” whether a message travels onward in a nerve pathway. Nerve cells that emit chemicals which tell the next cell in line to amplify a message are excitatory; those that stop messages are inhibitory. Combinations of the two strike a counterbalance critical to the function of the nervous system, with inhibitory cells sculpting “noise” from excitatory cells into the arrangements behind thought and memory.

Furthermore, the processing of incoming sensory information is achieved in part by adjusting signaling levels through each type of nerve cell. Theories hold that the brain may attach more importance to a given signal by turning up or down excitatory signals, or by doing the same with inhibitory nerve cells.

In the current study, researchers found to their surprise that most of the nerve cells in auditory cortex neurons that stimulate brain activity (excitatory) had signaled less (had “weaker” activity) when the mice expected and got a reward. Meanwhile, and to the contrary, a second set of remaining “excitatory” neurons saw greater signaling activity when mice expected a reward based on exposure to the two sensory cues and got one.

Further tests showed that the activation of specific inhibitory neurons—parvalbumin, somatostatin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide—was responsible for these changes and was in turn controlled by the chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Chemically shutting down acetylcholine activity cut in half the number of times mice successfully went after their water reward when prompted by a ring tone. Some studies in humans have linked acetylcholine depletion to higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease.

Froemke, who is also a faculty scholar at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, says the team next plans to assess how the hormones noradrenaline and dopamine affect auditory cortex neurons under different situations.

“If we can sort out the many interactions between these chemicals and brain activity based on sensory perception and context, then we can possibly target specific excitatory and inhibitory neurological pathways to rebalance and influence behaviors,” says Froemke.

Visualization 101

Within our brains we hold the power to create experiences. Not just daydreaming or fantasizing but manifesting our desires in the real world. Scientists have discovered that our brains activate many of the same neural networks- pathways for nerve cells to control our physical bodies- when we visualize something and when we actually experience it. Mental exercises stimulate our sympathetic nervous system which governs things like breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.

When we are able to control our thoughts in this way amazing things can happen. a 2007 study performed by the North American Journal of Psychology found that athletes who mentally practiced a hip-flexor exercise had strength gains comparable to those who actually performed the exercise! Visualization has been proven to aid in self-confidence, anxiety, depression, social skills, weight control and boosts creativity and problem solving skills.This is the fundamental principle which explains the law of attraction and the law of correspondence.  How do you do it and get good at it? I’m going to tell you…

  • 2D- Start simple. Look at a two dimensional, easily recognizable, geometric shape. You can draw it, look at a picture on your phone or computer, create a paper cutout or whatever is convenient. Study the shape for 30 seconds. Now close your eyes and imagine the shape. Glance back at it if you have to and don’t get down on yourself if this step is challenging. Every skill starts with practice. When you can imagine the shape try maintaining that mental image for longer and longer periods of time. If you can hold that mental picture for 20-30 seconds you are doing GREAT! Move on to the next step.
  •  3D- We’re going to up the ante a little bit. Find a three dimensional object. Could be your favorite crystal, a piece of fruit, your toothbrush etc. Study the object like we did before and begin visualizing it. Fidget with it, look at it from all angles, feel it’s texture, interact with it.
  •  Real World Inclusion- Next we’re going to start allowing our visualizations to become real. Imagine there’s a cup on your desk, pick it up. How heavy is it? What temperature is it? What material is it made of? What color is it? Begin incorporating these mental fabrications whenever you get a chance. This morning i made my coffee cup grow a fish tail and flop around on my banister!
  • Mindscapes- Now you’re ready to start creating mindscapes. These are entire environments in your mind. Start with the familiar (your house or your car) and work your way up. Find yourself in a peaceful forest glen or sitting on the beach or hiking a trail. Try to keep a mental map of your explorations as a way to expand your abilities. 

There is no time limit to this practice and some will be able to do the first few steps more easily than others. The most important part to practice is REALISM. Don’t just fantasize, actually see and feel your visualizations. Remember to use all of your senses and to stomp your feet or wiggle your toes when you’re finished in order to ground yourself back in reality. Good luck and make magic happen!!

Anatomy & Physiology Overview - The Ear

Outer ear 

  • Pinna (auricle) - visible part of the ear outside of the head.  
  • External auditory canal 
  • Ceruminous glands - specialized sudoriferous glands (sweat glands) located subcutaneously in the external auditory canal. They produce cerumen (earwax) by mixing their secretion with sebum and dead epidermal cells.

 Middle ear: air filled 

  • Tympanic membrane -  vibrates in response to sound waves 
  • Malleus, incus and stapes - 3 small bones that transmit vibrations to each other

Inner ear: fluid filled 

  • Mechanoreceptor for hearing and balance 
  • Vesibular apparatus - balance
  • Semicircular canals 
  • Cochlea
  •  • Organ of Cor -  sensory epithelial cell

Cochlea

  • Perilymph = similar in compositon to plasma – Na+ 
  • Endolymph = high in K+ 
  • Organ of Cor: contains hair cells – move due to pressure waves 
  • 50-100 stereocilia on each cell 
  • Longest embedded in tectorial membrane 

In the cochlea that the vibrations transmitted from the eardrum through the tiny bones are converted into electrical impulses sent along the auditory nerve to the brain. 

  • The cochlea is a tapered tube which circles around itself 
  • The basilar membrane divides the tube lengthwise into two fluid-filled canals joined at the tapered end. 
  • ossicles transmit vibration to the cochlea where they attach at the oval window
  • resultant waves travel down the basilar membrane where they are “sensed” by  16-20,000 hair cells (cilia) attached to it which poke up from a third canal called the organ of Corti
  • Organ of Corti transforms the stimulated hair cells into nerve impulses 
  • Waveforms travelling down the basilar membrane peak in amplitude at differing spots along the way according to their frequency 
  • Higher frequencies peak out at a shorter distance down the tube than lower frequencies
  • The hair cells at that peak point give a sense of that particular frequency
  • The distance between pitches follows the same logarithmic distance as our perception of pitch i.e. the placement of octaves are equidistant.
Allergy Season Explained

Happy First Day of Spring, Tumblr! 

What better way to celebrate than to **ACHOO!!**….wait, what were we saying?

Ah, spring! Grass growing, flowers blooming, trees growing new leaves, but if you get allergies, this explosion of new life probably inspires more dread than joy.  

Step outside, and within minutes, you’re sneezing and congested. Your nose is running, your eyes are swollen and watery, your throat is itchy. For you and millions of others, it’s seasonal allergy time. So what’s behind this onslaught of mucus?

The answer lies within you. It’s your immune system. Seasonal allergies, also called hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, are a hypersensitive immune response to something that’s not actually harmful. Pollen from trees and grass, and mold spores from tiny fungi find their way into your mucous membranes and your body attacks these innocuous travelers the same way it would infectious bacteria. 

The immune system has a memory. When a foreign substance gets tagged as threatening, white blood cells produce customized antibodies that will recognize the offender the next time around. They then promptly recruit the body’s defense team. But sometimes, the immune system accidentally discriminates against harmless substances, like pollen. When it wafts in again, antibodies on the surface of white blood cells recognize it and latch on.

This triggers the cell to release inflammatory chemicals, like histamine, which stimulate nerve cells, and cause blood vessels in the mucous membranes to swell and leak fluid. In other words, itchiness, sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. 

Allergies usually, but not always, show up for the first time during childhood. But why do some people get allergies and others don’t? Allergies tend to run in families, so genetics may be one culprit. In fact, errors in a gene that helps regulate the immune system are associated with higher rates of allergies. The environment you grow up in matters, too. Being exposed to an allergen as a baby makes you less likely to actually develop an allergy to it. People who grow up on farms, in big families, and in the developing world also tend to have fewer allergies, although there are plenty of exceptions, partly thanks to genetics. One theory is that as children, they encounter more of the microbes and parasites that co-evolved with traditional hunter-gatherer societies.

Called the hygiene hypothesis, the idea is that when the immune system isn’t exposed to the familiar cast of microbes, it’ll keep itself busy mounting defenses against harmless substances, like pollen. Another theory is that an immune system toughened up by a barrage of pathogens is less likely to overreact to allergens. Pollen is a common offender, just because we encounter so much of it, but there’s a long list of substances: dust, animal dander, insect venom, medications, certain foods, that can send your immune system into overdrive. Some of these reactions can be scary. An allergy can develop into full-blown anaphylaxis, which typically brings on severe swelling, shortness of breath, and very low blood pressure. It can be deadly.

But as we who suffer from seasonal allergies know, even non-life threatening allergy symptoms can make you miserable. So what can you do about it? Medications can help reduce the symptoms. The most common ones keep histamines from binding to your cells. These antihistamines stop the inflammation response. Steroids can help dial down the immune system. Another more permanent option is immunotherapy. Deliberate, controlled exposure to gradually increasing amounts of an allergen can teach the immune system that it isn’t dangerous after all. 

Of course, you can always just wait your seasonal allergies out. The spring pollen onslaught dwindles by mid-summer…just in time for ragweed season!

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why do people have seasonal allergies? - Eleanor Nelsen 

Animation by TED-Ed

Supporting the damaged brain

A new study shows that embryonic nerve cells can functionally integrate into local neural networks when transplanted into damaged areas of the visual cortex of adult mice.

(Image caption: Neuronal transplants (blue) connect with host neurons (yellow) in the adult mouse brain in a highly specific manner, rebuilding neural networks lost upon injury. Credit: Sofia Grade, LMU/Helmholtz Zentrum München)

When it comes to recovering from insult, the adult human brain has very little ability to compensate for nerve-cell loss. Biomedical researchers and clinicians are therefore exploring the possibility of using transplanted nerve cells to replace neurons that have been irreparably damaged as a result of trauma or disease. Previous studies have suggested there is potential to remedy at least some of the clinical symptoms resulting from acquired brain disease through the transplantation of fetal nerve cells into damaged neuronal networks. However, it is not clear whether transplanted intact neurons can be sufficiently integrated to result in restored function of the lesioned network. Now researchers based at LMU Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have demonstrated that, in mice, transplanted embryonic nerve cells can indeed be incorporated into an existing network in such a way that they correctly carry out the tasks performed by the damaged cells originally found in that position. Such work is of importance in the potential treatment of all acquired brain disease including neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer‘s or Parkinson’s disease, as well as strokes and trauma, given each disease state leads to the large-scale, irreversible loss of nerve cells and the acquisition of a what is usually a lifelong neurological deficit for the affected person.

In the study published in Nature, researchers of the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have specifically asked whether transplanted embryonic nerve cells can functionally integrate into the visual cortex of adult mice. “This region of the brain is ideal for such experiments,” says Magdalena Götz, joint leader of the study together with Mark Hübener. Hübener is a specialist in the structure and function of the mouse visual cortex in Professor Tobias Bonhoeffer’s Department (Synapses – Circuits – Plasticity) at the MPI for Neurobiology. As Hübener explains, “we know so much about the functions of the nerve cells in this region and the connections between them that we can readily assess whether the implanted nerve cells actually perform the tasks normally carried out by the network.” In their experiments, the team transplanted embryonic nerve cells from the cerebral cortex into lesioned areas of the visual cortex of adult mice. Over the course of the following weeks and months, they monitored the behavior of the implanted, immature neurons by means of two-photon microscopy to ascertain whether they differentiated into so-called pyramidal cells, a cell type normally found in the area of interest. “The very fact that the cells survived and continued to develop was very encouraging,” Hübener remarks. “But things got really exciting when we took a closer look at the electrical activity of the transplanted cells.” In their joint study, PhD student Susanne Falkner and Postdoc Sofia Grade were able to show that the new cells formed the synaptic connections that neurons in their position in the network would normally make, and that they responded to visual stimuli.

The team then went on to characterize, for the first time, the broader pattern of connections made by the transplanted neurons. Astonishingly, they found that pyramidal cells derived from the transplanted immature neurons formed functional connections with the appropriate nerve cells all over the brain. In other words, they received precisely the same inputs as their predecessors in the network. In addition, they were able to process that information and pass it on to the downstream neurons which had also differentiated in the correct manner. “These findings demonstrate that the implanted nerve cells have integrated with high precision into a neuronal network into which, under normal conditions, new nerve cells would never have been incorporated,” explains Götz, whose work at the Helmholtz Zentrum and at LMU focuses on finding ways to replace lost neurons in the central nervous system. The new study reveals that immature neurons are capable of correctly responding to differentiation signals in the adult mammalian brain and can close functional gaps in an existing neural network.

When somebody says "the man determines the sex of the baby. you can't be trans because it doesn't exist. it's simple science you can't go against biology." this is what I tell them.

“You’re right, and you’re wrong. It’s actually not simple at all. On average, fertilization occurs about two weeks after your last menstrual period. When the sperm penetrates the egg, changes occur in the protein coating around it to prevent other sperm from entering. At the moment of fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its sex.

If a Y sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a boy; if an X sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a girl. In that sense you are technically right, but gender is determined by so much more than that. We all know that a man’s brain is different to that of his female counterpart, right?” By which point the person who I’m talking to agrees. then I go on to say.

“In month 3 of Pregnancy

the baby has grown from embryo to fetus. by now the baby’s arms, hands, fingers, feet, and toes are fully formed. the baby can open and close its fists and mouth. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop and the external ears are formed. The beginnings of teeth are forming, and the baby’s reproductive organs are also developing, but the baby’s gender is difficult to distinguish on ultrasound, because the genitalia start out the same. Differentiation of the male and female reproductive systems does not occur until this crucial fetal period of development.

It is believed by scientists that during the intrauterine period the fetal brain develops in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. According to this concept, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation should be programmed into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the beginning of the third trimester, (The third month of pregnancy) and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no proof that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation. Data on genetic and hormone independent influence on gender identity are presently divergent and do not provide convincing information about the underlying etiology. To what extent fetal programming may determine sexual orientation is also a matter of discussion. A number of studies show patterns of sex atypical cerebral dimorphism in homosexual subjects. Although the crucial question, namely how such complex functions as sexual orientation and identity are processed in the brain remains unanswered, emerging data point at a key role of specific neuronal circuits involving the hypothalamus. So yes you are right, it is biology I’m not fighting anything other than ignorance.”


Irate - 4

(Part 1) | (Part 2) | (Part 3)

Summary:

Y/N’s curious, clumsy, and has a knack for asking the wrong questions at the wrong time. Bucky’s a hot-headed prick with a dark past and communication issues. Both are paired for training, and neither party is all too thrilled.

Word count: 1383


There are three things you’re sure you’re afraid of: heights, needles, and blood. Seeing Bucky surrounded by the two of the three is enough to make your stomach churn.

He’s lying on a bed in the same infirmary where you’d woken up less than a week ago. His eyes are closed, and there’s blood crusted over his face and his chest. There’s an IV in his arm too, attached to a bag of blood. As if that isn’t bad enough already, your eyes drift over to the scarlet stained bandage on his chest. You almost throw up.

“He’s in stable condition now, but he's…” The doctor trails off, looking at Steve and Sam. A look of understanding dawns on Steve’s face, and instantly his features frown in deeper concern. Even Sam has his eyebrows pulled together in worry. In fact, you’re probably the only one in the room, amongst the nurses, doctors, and Sam and Steve, who doesn’t understand what’s so bad. Stable condition is good, right? That means he’ll live?

“He should wake up within the hour.” The doctor hands a list of prescriptions to Steve: some antibiotics to prevent infection and a bunch of painkillers, and then all the medical professionals file out of the room.

“Can we talk, Steve?” Sam’s giving Steve a pointed look, and you have a feeling it’s got something to do with what the doctor had mentioned earlier. Steve nods stiffly, and the two shuffle out of the room, leaving you alone.

You’re not quite sure what compels you to sit beside Bucky, but you take a seat and watch him look like he’s not agitated for once in his life. His eyes are closed, and if you focus hard enough, you can almost ignore the blood and see the lines on his face because of his permanent scowling.

Your gaze moves down to his metal arm. You’d never really paid much notice to it before, and you realize it’s because he’d always had it covered with a glove and long sleeve t-shirt. The metal appendage itself doesn’t shock you – Steve had mentioned that Bucky is a war veteran, and prosthetic limbs aren’t unheard of. What does make your stomach jolt is the jagged, angry scar at his shoulder, where metal meets skin. It looks as if someone had jammed the arm in place and let it heal.

Without realizing you’re holding your breath, you reach out to touch the scar. Your finger brushes over the cool metal, then the raised, angry red line, warm to touch. Seeing him like this adds a layer of vulnerability to Bucky, and you wonder what other secrets he’s hiding. Does he–

“What are you doing! Не трогай меня!”

You jump, then panic, trying to pull back your hand, but his metal hand is wrapped around your wrist so tightly you have to blink back tears. You can feel a bruise forming and Bucky trashing on the bed is, screaming in Russian, so clearly in pain, isn’t making the situation any better.

“Bucky,” you say, putting your other hand on his shoulder, in an attempt to calm him down. “Bucky, you’re okay.” Your throat tightens– what are you supposed to say? You don’t understand why he’s so hysterical and you don’t know what to do and your wrist hurts and your eyes burn and–

The pain starts at your chest, mirroring the location of wound on Bucky’s. It feels like someone’s sticking a knife in your body and then slowly turning it, and it hurts so bad you can barely breathe. Then it spreads through your entire body until even the tips of your fingers are feeling at least a dull throb. You don’t understand what’s happening, but you just barely register Bucky’s grip loosen from your wrist. He slumps back against the bed, eyes wide, breathing heavy, and looks at you.

“What are you doing?” It’s quieter this time, and he means it as a genuine question. He’s looking at you so intensely, eyes boring into you before his breathing begins to calm and his eyes start shutting against his will. “How are you doing that?”

Only when your own vision is hazy and you’re fighting to keep your eyes open do you realize what’s happening, and the last thought before your eyes shut and you feel your body crashing towards the ground is about how pathetic your abilities are.


“Your body absorbed the neurotransmitters.”

You groan, putting your head in your hands. “So I’m basically a giant painkiller?”

Tony Stark, who you’d had the pleasure of being acquainted with ten minutes ago, had managed to increase your already budding headache a two-fold.

“Not quite.” He moves his finger around a tablet on his hand, projecting a holographic image in front of you. “Pain killers work by blocking protein receptors on the nerve cell, so you don’t feel the pain.” He points to what you can only guess is a nerve cell. “You, on the other hand, absorb these things, chemical messengers. That’s why you feel the pain and our old pal, Bucky, doesn’t.”

He keeps talking at you, but you’re not really paying attention. This is your special ability. This? The ability to absorb pain to the point where it leaves you temporarily incapacitated? How useful will that ever be? None of it makes sense anyway. How is it even possible to be able to absorb these– these neurotransmitters?

It’s been a week since the incident in the infirmary, where Steve and Sam had found you knocked out on the floor with a deep purple bruise on your wrist. After a multitude of questions about what happened and why they’d heard Bucky screaming all of a sudden, they’d sent you to rest. Since then, you’ve been in frequent meetings with Director Fury, and Steve even made some time to sit down and talk to you about everything that’s going on.

Wanda, as you’ve learned, can alter reality and move things with her mind. Her brother could move at the speed of sound. Your abilities, well, they pale in comparison. Steve’s told you not to worry too much about it, and subsequently sent you to meet the renowned Tony Stark (who’d almost had a heart attack when he realized you don’t know who he is). And Tony? He isn’t making any of this easier to grasp.

“Can you release them too?”

“I don’t know,” you sigh, bringing your legs up and tucking them under you on the couch.

There’s a prick on your arm and you yelp, and then Tony grabs your hand. You gape at him as your arm stings from the needle prick, but Tony barely acknowledges your pain. “That’s a no. FRIDAY, mark that down.” Then he turns back to you. “Is it voluntary?”

“Is what voluntary?”

“Become a pain magnet. Can you choose when to turn it on?”

You’re about to answer when Bucky saunters into the lab, and you do a double take at the fact that he looks– well – completely fine. His shirt is off, and where you’re expecting an unhealed gunshot wound is just scarred flesh, similar to the scaring on his shoulder, as if he healed at four times the rate of a regular human being.

“Great. Okay, so I’m like, a human ShamWow, and you’re immortal. Cool. Totally normal,” you ramble. How many weirder things can you see in a day?

Bucky looks unamused. “Get up, you’re late for training,” he sounds as annoyed and disinterested as ever,  

You open your mouth, but Tony cuts you off. “Would you look at that, we’re closed for the day! FRIDAY, book Tin Can an appointment between my office hours of never and never.”

You giggle, but the glare Bucky gives you shuts you up immediately. He strides over to you and reaches out to grab your wrist, then stops. You see him swallow and follow his gaze down to your bruised wrist. He hesitates, then looks at you so intensely you have to look away.

“You have five minutes to get up, get changed, and meet me in the training room.” He finishes with one last glare towards you, a look of pure contempt at Tony, then walks out of the room.

Bucky Barnes is an enigma. And also a total drama queen.


Не трогай меня = Don’t touch me 


tags below cut

Keep reading

i am someone you have to wait for,
take a chance on; i am something
that doesn’t come free.
i don’t fall fast. i’m not impressed easily.
i won’t say i miss you after the first date
or use my body to appease you
or feel only the things
you want me to feel. some days

i will be too broken to touch you.
some days i will be too fragile to say hello.
some days i will be all clenched fists
and storm clouds and you will
get sick of the blank stare i give you.
you’ll be tired of the silent tears.
you won’t know how to handle the unknown. neither will i.

that’s how it always goes. i wait
until i explode and can no longer take
the i love yous itching up my throat.
i swallow the way my hands
gravitate towards your chest
when you speak. i cannot ever find
the words to express how
i feel when you look at me.

i know i’m difficult. i know because
i watch the way people try
to pry me open and the way i flee.
i’ve seen it too many times: people don’t
want to wait, so they always leave.
they think love is soft and sweet.
they expect it on a silver platter.
they don’t want to work. they
think i will give it to them for free.

i guess what i’m trying to say is
i know i am a lot to deal with but
i don’t care how many people
leave before i am ready;
don’t ever expect me to apologize
for feeling. for not feeling. for not
saying anything unless i feel it
radiating through every
nerve cell in my body,

because when when i do,
god, when i do,
when i finally let my guard down
and let you in, i will
never, ever kick you out.

—  trust issues
Misconceptions- Chapter 1

Pairings: Bucky x Reader, Natasha x Bucky, Platonic Tony x reader.

 Warnings: ANGST. Pregnancy, violence, insecurity and self-loathing, Mutant reader (powers similar to Jean from X-men with a little immortality thrown in) also swearing. 

Okay so i did a thing. i don’t know how good this is but it will be multi-chapter constructive criticism is appreciated. This is my first time writing anything so please be gentle! also a huge thank you to @denialanderror whose encouragement finally got me to write something. 

Originally posted by mylastlove-mylastsong

Hindsight. You stared at them from your spot on the couch and all that you could think was hindsight. The blinding aching pain that seemed to spread from your chest into every frayed nerve, neuron and cell of your body roared in agreement. Hindsight is always 20/20, you should not have agreed to his proposition, you should not have let his puppy dog eyes reel you in, you should not have listened to your heart. He twirls a lock of her silky red hair around his finger, tugging slightly to get her attention, she all but purrs at him ‘Barnes’ she warns him, ‘Not here big guy, we at least have to pretend to be interested in movie night’. He pouts at her but relents, snuggling into her hair and breathing her in. You can feel the scream clawing at your throat, doing its best to make him realise just how much he hurt you. How badly he broke you. How seeing them together, the man you love and your best friend, rips into your psyche, searing the image into the back of your eye lids. How beautiful dreams of you and Bucky building a life has been replaced by a gasping moaning Natalia under an equally aroused Bucky. Stupid you think, stupid insipid girl, stupid stupid stupid. You watch as Natalia seemingly melts into his embrace, the content sigh that escapes her and the blindingly beautiful smile Bucky graces her with. It’s enough to make you want to hurl. You swallow the lump that’s forming in your throat. ‘I’m a trained assassin, I’ve had worse, seen worse. I can do this’ you tell yourself. Yet you can feel your body revolting, your mind and heart shattering with every word they exchange, bile burning a hot path up your digestive tract and you bolt to the nearest bathroom, purging yourself of everything you’ve seemingly eaten in the last week. Through the haze of tears and dry heaving you hear banging on the door the concerned voice of Bucky filtering through your foggy mind. 'Doll? Doll are ya alrigh’ in there sweetheart?’ You moan into the toilet bowl. of fucking course. Bucky fucking Barnes could not leave you to throw up in peace, oh no he had to be your saviour. ‘I’m fine James’ you reply, spying your birth control at the end of the basin. Shit. Oh oh shit. ‘You’re puking buckets into the toilet, doll face. I don’t think your fine’ he throws back at you ‘For the love of God Barnes, FUCK OFF’ you scream ‘I don’t need you treating me like a goddamn child Bucky, please just leave me alone’. You’re staring at the birth control, trying to quell the mounting panic, counting off the days since your last period, and connecting the late night fridge raids to the devastating realisation that your 2 months late and your last partner was none other than Bucky Fucking Barnes.

Flashback:

 ‘Kitty cat can we talk?’ Bucky asks as he fidgets with his shirt sleeve. You can tell he’s nervous, you can practically feel it rolling off of him in waves. ‘Of course, sugar. Whadda ya need?’ you don’t see him flinch at the nickname or the grimace that takes over his features. You’re giddy. Excited. Its been six months since you and Bucky started sleeping together, a desperate night born from an exceedingly horrible mission and pent up frustration of not being able to do more, to be more for the people you are supposed to protect. ‘I need ta talk ta ya about us, or whatever this is’ he replies. ‘Finally’ you muse. You’re smiling now, a big toothy grin that wraps around your face and scrunches the corner of your eyes. 'You have my undivided attention, Buck’ you sit across from him, feet tucked underneath you, waiting with bated breath for the words you’ve been dying to hear for what feels like forever. 'I met someone’ he blurts out. ‘I really feel for her ya know? And I wanna try with her’. You feel the blood in your veins turn to ice. ‘I’m sorry kitty, but you knew this was temporary. You’re my closest friend next ta Stevie and I really don’ wanna lose you over a mistake’ Mistake? He thinks you’re a mistake? ‘And Nat an’ I just sorta happened’ he adds. And in that moment you can feel your entire life implode. 

One awkward trip to the doctor, an entire tub of chocolate mint ice cream and a night of dreams involving Bucky’s face on the body of a new born baby screaming for Natasha later and your strolling into the kitchen scanning the room for Tony and deliberately avoiding Bucky’s gaze boring into the back of your head. You haven’t spoken to him since the bathroom incident, actively leaving the room when he walks in, ignoring his frantic calls of your name, ignoring the screams that echo through the tower at night. You’re being petty and unfair, you know, but you can’t listen to his declarations of love for the woman you would literally take a bullet for. Your gaze lands on the billionaire, you take a deep breath to calm your ever-rebellious stomach and mentally call out to him ‘Tony I need your help’ his eyes snap to yours ‘Got an itch that needs scratching, sugar tits?’ he replies waggling his eyebrows and leering playfully. ‘No you perv, I’m serious can you meet me in the lab? In like 10 minutes?’ He sobers instantly ‘Sure (y/n) I’ll be right up’ 

10 minutes and a bitten thumbnail later and you’re staring at a fuming Tony Stark trying to explain just exactly how you managed to get yourself knocked up. ‘You have got to be fucking kidding me (y/n), you’re baby bumping around the tower and you didn’t think to tell me?’ He’s screaming now, an interesting shade of puce on his face “you didn’t even have to use words! you can think shit at me, you’re unbelievable’   ’T I’m so sorry, please, no one can know, I need your help. Please T’ you’re pleading, the sound of your own voice grating your pride. ‘Why?’ he splutters ‘Why can no one know kitty I don’t understand!’ 

 ‘It’s Bucky’s T. I’m pregnant with Bucky’s baby’

Tags: I honestly don’t know what i’m doing, i’m so sorry.

@loricameback @lancefuckrr @mellifluous-melodramas @buckyhoneybarnes

@buckyywiththegoodhair @marvel-ash @bucky-plums-barnes @buckyismyaesthetic @marvel-lucy @denialanderror @avasparks @a-tale-of-twocomics @thatawkwardtinyperson @emilyevanston @lomlbarnes @hannahindie @crownedloki @pitubea1910 @papi-chulo-bucky @lowkeybuckytrash

pondering of the day: can robots have mental illnesses?

my personal opinion is yes. from webmd: “Some mental illnesses have been linked to abnormal functioning of nerve cell circuits or pathways that connect particular brain regions.” human brains run on circuits; so would a robot brain, correct? just different, more literal circuits. but theres no reason to think that every robot would be built “perfectly” all the time. abnormalities in the functioning of their brain, just like in humans, could easily lead to conditions that mirror human mental illnesses. especially considering the sheer complexity of a brain, it seems very plausible to me that robots could be manufactured with many unexpected traits, differing uniquely from robot to robot

in short, just like how all humans are unique

and then, of course, some mental illness can be brought about by environmental factors (traumatic events, etc.) that case gets an even more resounding “yes” from me: a sentient robot with human or above human intelligence would naturally react and change according to events happening around them. and assuming they are programmed with emotions, trauma would affect them just like it does anything else that is alive and able to think and feel

thoughts?

crutchie and polio

hi everyone! time for an educational post on crutchie and his leg (and the rest of his body!) and the effect polio had on him. i see so many people writing him w scars or like, i twisted up mangled leg. similarly, i see people acting like hes 100% fine other than his leg. this isnt necessarily true! 

to make all ur lives easier, im gonna give a bit of a rundown on polio as far as ive learnt from the documentaries ive watched and the research ive done, and also how it likely affects crutchie. long read ahead!

Keep reading

i feel it coming pt ii SMUT***

Pairing: Sirius Black x Reader 

Warnings: unprotected sex, underage, language, skinny dipping (?), alcohol, sleep talking, lmao are you actually reading this? bless you, you beautiful human bean ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) 

A/N: alright, this is the third time i’m posting this, and if Tumblr decides to devour it I will dramatically throw myself into the void and never return….. also, shout out to The Weeknd and Daft Punk, as well as JK Rowling, who will forever own my soul. 

When you and the Marauders go camping in the Forbidden Forest, temptation consumes you and you find yourself sneaking off to the Black Lake with Sirius Black for a late night dip. Things get sexy. Don’t read this to your children. 


Strangely enough, kissing your best friend was not as weird as you imagined. Rather, it was like fire whiskey; delicious and intoxicating, and you’d happily get drunk off his lips. His kiss was fire and when his lips danced against yours, the whole world burned. 

You had never kissed James like this. Well, except for that one time when you were both eight and you were sitting in your treehouse and he leaned across and gave you a chaste and innocent peck on the lips. But you both recoiled quickly as though it were taboo and wiped your mouths because it was James and, as far as your eight-year-old-mind was concerned, boys had cooties. But mostly because it was James

Now, you’re sixteen and you’re kissing Sirius Black but you’re not recoiling, even though it’s Sirius. Rather, you’re grinding on his groin and swallowing his moans while your fingers search hungrily beneath his shirt because it’s not weird. 

Perhaps this isn’t weird because the thought of kissing Sirius Black was never weird in the first place. Maybe you just convinced yourself that Sirius was your best friend and nothing more because girls constantly crawled all over him and he invited it. Maybe having to watch as he chased pretty girls was painful in a way you could never describe so you never addressed it in the first place. Maybe you subconsciously dismissed that part of yourself to some corner in your mind to collect dust with everything else you shelved in secret. 

Maybe you were just in love with Sirius Black and it took a drunken kiss in the Forbidden Forest for you to realize.

You can’t help but moan against his lips, because his kiss pours fresh air into your lungs and it is then that you realise you’ve been holding your breath the entire time. He revives something inside you, something greedy and fired with lust, and your arms wrap around him, pulling him closer, and your head feels as though its spinning. You kiss him and it feels like he has reached into your ribcage and plucked every single one of your heart strings so they sing just for him. 

Keep reading