Paintings by Kelly McKernan

Kelly McKernan  is a fine artist and illustrator from Atlanta, Georgia, currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. Kelly obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kennesaw State University, with a concentration in drawing and painting. Her artwork is created mainly with watercolor and she has exhibited with numerous major galleries. She offers limited and open edition prints of her artwork as well as original paintings in her store. Her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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The San Antonio Railway Ghost Children - Texas’ most famous ghost story, arguably, is that of the ghost children that supposedly haunt a San Antonio railway track. An intersection of roadway and rail road track, which is located near the San Juan Mission, is the scene of this mysterious tale. As the tale goes, in the 1930′s, a school bus filled with children stalled on the rail road track. Tragedy struck, when an oncoming train crashed into the bus, killing all of the children and bus driver. Legend says that any car that stops in the same area, will be pushed by unseen hands over the train track until they reach safety. People believe the ghosts of the children haunt the area to protect people from another misfortune like the one that cost them their lives. Many curious people have driven to the area in an attempt to see if the famous legend is true; there have even been numerous reports of tiny fingerprints being left imprinted on the car and claims of ghostly children’s voices and laughter being heard in the area.

LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves from Merging Black Holes

Illustration Credit: LIGONSFAurore Simonnet (Sonoma State U.)

Explanation: Gravitational radiation has been directly detected. The first-ever detection was made by both facilities of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Washington and Louisiana simultaneously last September. After numerous consistency checks, the resulting 5-sigma discovery was published today. The measured gravitational waves match those expected from two large black holes merging after a death spiral in a distant galaxy, with the resulting new black hole momentarily vibrating in a rapid ringdown. A phenomenon predicted byEinstein, the historic discovery confirms a cornerstone of humanity’s understanding of gravity and basic physics. It is also the most direct detection of black holes ever. The featured illustration depicts the two merging black holes with the signal strength of the two detectors over 0.3 seconds superimposed across the bottom. Expected future detections by Advanced LIGO and other gravitational wave detectors may not only confirm the spectacular nature of this measurement but hold tremendous promise of giving humanity a new way to see and explore our universe.


i just realized i haven’t posted my tattoos so here they are.
november 19, 1928 - november 10, 2014; for the best grandmother i could have ever asked for.
i am not afraid to walk this world alone; the most important quote to me through all the rape, abuse, depression, anxiety, overdosing, alcoholism, etc.
an arrow up my spine with the moon phases; because an arrow gets pulled back before it shoots forward, and no matter how many times i fall down i will get back up; and i always thought the night was more alive and richly coloured than the day.

A Star’s Moment in the Spotlight
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ESO - European Southern Observatory logo.

10 February 2016

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Young star lights up reflection nebula IC 2631
A newly formed star lights up the surrounding cosmic clouds in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Dust particles in the vast clouds that surround the star HD 97300 diffuse its light, like a car headlight in enveloping fog, and create the reflection nebula IC 2631. Although HD 97300 is in the spotlight for now, the very dust that makes it so hard to miss heralds the birth of additional, potentially scene-stealing, future stars.

The glowing region in this new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope is a reflection nebula known as IC 2631. These objects are clouds of cosmic dust that reflect light from a nearby star into space, creating a stunning light show like the one captured here. IC 2631 is the brightest nebula in the Chamaeleon Complex, a large region of gas and dust clouds that harbours numerous newborn and still-forming stars. The complex lies about 500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Chamaeleon.

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The location of the reflection nebula IC 2631 in the constellation of Chameleon
IC 2631 is illuminated by the star HD 97300, one of the youngest — as well as most massive and brightest — stars in its neighbourhood. This region is full of star-making material, which is made evident by the presence of dark nebulae noticeable above and below IC 2631 in this picture. Dark nebulae are so dense with gas and dust that they prevent the passage of background starlight.

Despite its dominating presence, the heft of HD 97300 should be kept in perspective. It is a T Tauri star, the youngest visible stage for relatively small stars. As these stars mature and reach adulthood they will lose mass and shrink. But during the T Tauri phase these stars have not yet contracted to the more modest size that they will maintain for billions of years as main sequence stars.

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The sky around reflection nebula IC 2631
These fledging stars already have surface temperatures similar to their main sequence phase and accordingly, because T Tauri-phase objects are essentially jumbo versions of their later selves, they look brighter in their oversized youth than in maturity. They have not yet started to fuse hydrogen into helium in their cores, like normal main sequence stars, but are just starting to flex their thermal muscles by generating heat from contraction.

Zooming in on the young star in the reflection nebula IC 2631
Reflection nebula, like the one spawned by HD 97300, merely scatter starlight back out into space. Starlight that is more energetic, such as the ultraviolet radiation pouring forth from very hot new stars, can ionise nearby gas, making it emit light of its own. These emission nebulae indicate the presence of hotter and more powerful stars, which in their maturity can be observed across thousands of light-years. HD 97300 is not so powerful, and its moment in the spotlight is destined not to last.

Close-up of the reflection nebula IC 2631
More information:

ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

Related link:

MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope:


Images of the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla:

Photos taken with the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at La Silla:

Images, Text, Credits: ESO/IAU and Sky & Telescope/Digitized Sky Survey 2/Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin/Richard Hook/Videos: ESO/N. Risinger ( Sky Survey 2. Music: Johan B Monell.

Best regards,
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Searching for the Secret to Athenian Genius
How did a tiny, dirty Greek city-state produce more brilliant minds than anywhere in the world before or since?
By Eric Weiner

If you’ve ever voted, served on a jury, watched a movie, read a novel, spoken English, had a rational thought, or gazed at the night sky in silent wonder, then you can thank the Ancient Greeks. They brought us democracy, science, philosophy, written contracts, taxes, writing, and schools. But the apex of their civilization, sandwiched between two wars, lasted just 24 years—in human history, a lightning flash across the summer sky.

For much of its history, Athens was either preparing for war, at war, or recovering from war. But in the window between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, from 454 to 430 B.C., the city was at peace, and it flourished. The Athenians were “not very numerous, not very powerful, not very organized,” as the classicist Humphrey Kito noted, but they nevertheless “had a totally new conception of what human life was for, and showed for the first time what the human mind was for.”

Like Silicon Valley today, ancient Athens during this brief period became a talent magnet, attracting smart, ambitious people. A city with a population equivalent to that of Wichita, Kansas, it was an unlikely candidate for greatness: Other Greek city-states were larger (Syracuse) or wealthier (Corinth) or mightier (Sparta). Yet Athens produced more brilliant minds—from Socrates to Aristotle—than any other place the world has seen before or since. Only Renaissance Florence came close.

#8 Lost

Word Count: 1708 Words

You were sitting on a railing overlooking the sandy area beyond. Poe Dameron and Snap Wexley circled each other, both covered in sweat and dirt, small cuts and numerous bruises covered their bodies, but the two were still grinning from ear to ear.

Beside you, the other Resistance pilots and several of the medical staff were cheering and shouting for their favourite, Poe’s name being called louder than Snap’s. And you, with Poe’s jacket on, were calling Snap’s name as loud as you possibly could.

“Come on, Snap, give it to him!” Those around you laughed, seeing you waving your arms and whistling for your partner to get beaten up.

Poe gave you a sidelong glance, shaking his head. “I’m never letting you wear my jacket again!”

Snap saw this as an opportunity and launched himself at Poe, tackling him to the ground and the two began rolling around in the dirt. The shouts from the audience grew in size and you watched with your mouth agape as the two pilots went at it.

Then Poe was walking towards you, and Snap was talking with his friends, and you were looking at your partner with laughter in your eyes. “Did I teach you nothing about close combat?”

Poe leant against the railing, breathing deeply and using his t-shirt to wipe away the sweat. “I didn’t think I did too badly.” He commented, as you stood beside him to look him in the face while he caught his breath.

“You were slow. Unbearably slow. Your movements were sloppy and there was no accuracy to your punches at all, you let Snap use his size to his advantage. You’re quick Dam, it should have been easy for you.” You took out a rag you had in your pocket and wiped away at a long cut on Poe’s head.

He was looking at you, analysing your face as you dabbed at the blood. “I love it when you talk combat to me.”

All of a sudden you were aware of how close the two of you were, you could feel his breath against your lips and see the varied shades of brown in his eyes.

“[F/N]!” It was Poe’s voice, but he sounded so scared and afraid and too far away. You tried calling back but there was no sound, and you quickly noticed how cold you were.

“That’s it, [N/N]!” Poe shouted, standing on the side of the pool. “You’re almost there, come on!”

The pool water had been almost cold when you got in, but now your body was warm and tiring. Your stroke had been strong, just the way Poe had taught you, but it was waning and barely resembled its original form. You could run upwards of 5 miles everyday, but when swimming you had became increasingly aware of how far even just 1 mile was.

“Just one more length!”

You touched the side of the pool and swung around, ready to finish this test. It was just you and Poe, but he had insisted that you swim 1 whole mile as proof that you could do it. Plus it would mean he would no longer drag you away from your ship for more swimming lessons, not that you minded too much. Seeing him in his just his trunks was kind of a nice bonus.

Finally, the other end of the pool was in reach and you grabbed a hold of it, pulling your head out of the water. A loud splash came from your side and a pair of strong arms were quickly around you to support you.

“You did it!” It was Poe, using his knee for support he balanced you against the wall. “See I told you you could do it, and a mile isn’t so bad.”

Between your attempts to calm your breathing you gave him a long, hard look. All he did was grin at you and hug you tight to his chest.

“Think you can manage one more lap down to the shallow end?” He asked, nudging you back away from the side.

You groaned but let go, floating on your back. Poe just laughed and hooked your arm around him as he swam confidently through the water. The aches in your body weren't as bad as you thought they would be and your high fitness level meant you were already significantly calmer than before.

Soon, Poe was walking on the floor of the pool and you set yourself straight to walk alongside him. He kept telling you how excited he was, how amazed he was, how proud he was of you. The two of you sat side by side in the shallow end until two Republic officers came and kicked you out.

“Just stay with me, [N/N]! Try to keep your eyes open!” Poe was shouting at you, why was he shouting at you? You felt things move and shift beneath you, but your body didn’t respond. Your vision was blurred and you could only just make out the shape of the pilot in front of you.

“Ready to move on your count, Poe!” It was Snap. But what was Snap doing here? You and Poe always had the pool to yourselves.

There was the vague shout of a count and then nothing but pain. You tried to cry out, but it came as only a small grunt and groan. Next second you were being lifted, carried in someone’s arms like a child and even though your eyes were closed you could recognise that unmistakable cologne anywhere.

It was gone midnight as you exited your room and strode aimlessly down the corridor. You’d just had your first mission for the Resistance, and as was custom for you, you couldn’t sleep. Back with the New Republic you knew where you could go and where you could go and be alone until morning came, but the Resistance base was still too new for you. The only place you knew you were allowed was outside, so you headed towards your X-Wing.

You climbed on to the top of your T-65B and sat with your legs dangling over the edge. It was a quiet night, and so you just lay back and stared at the sky, mentally noting which planets and stars you could name.

“Hey.” Poe pulled himself up and slid down into a position next to you. “What are you doing up at this hour?”

“Just not feeling that tired, still kinda pumped after the mission.” You felt him shift down so his head was level with yours but your eyes stay locked on the stars. “And just lying in my room doesn’t help, so thought I’d come out here and look at the stars for a bit.”

Even though it was cold, the constant heat that Poe seemed to generate was enough to stop you from shivering. He was close enough that your sides were touching and you could hear his steady breathing.

“You had this problem when we were with the Republic.” You peered over at him and he met your eyes. “Yeah, I knew you always had trouble sleeping after a mission. Thought that maybe you’d get over it, but apparently not.”

You continued to look at him, confidently holding his gaze. “Maybe it’s just the adrenaline, the excitement of it all that keeps getting to me. I don’t know.”

“So you’re not worrying about anything?” There was concern to his voice, genuine concern, and as he asked you could even see it in his eyes. 

You tried to give him a reassuring smile and rolled on your side to face him. “No, not that I’m aware of at least.” He copied your movements so you were lying almost nose to nose.

“Good.” He held his arm out to you then and you lifted yourself up so he could wrap it around you. You huddled against his chest and felt a warmth spread through you.

You opened your eyes. At first your mind was still filled with the memory of sparring, swimming and late night moments, but soon you recognised the medical bay. It was dark, and your throat was dry and sore.

Looking to one side you saw the sleeping form of Poe, head resting on your bed, hand loosely holding yours. You were going to leave him, to let him rest, but he must have felt you stir because his head shot up.

“[N/N]?” He asked, a groggy slur in his voice.

“Yeah.” You coughed out a reply and he was quick to hand you a glass of water, rising to help you gulp it down.

“You really scared me for a moment back there.” He said, sinking back down into his seat.

“What happened?” You were vaguely aware that you had been flying on a mission. Both your squadron and Blue Squadron had been there, all of you led by Poe, but your memory was a little foggy after that.

“Your wing was shot.” His voice became quiet. “You went silent over the radio and there was nothing we could do but watch you crash. Snap and the others continued returning fire and I landed to try and get to you. Tootles had got out and he and BB-8 helped me lift some of the wreck off you. You were still unconscious when the others landed and everyone helped get you out of there. I carried you to safety.” You listened intently, his hand still holding tightly onto your own. “I thought I’d lost you.”

At that moment he sounded so small and you gave his hand a reassuring squeeze to remind him you were there. “I’m okay.” You croaked, forcing a smile onto your face, but as you did a wave of tiredness crept over you and your eyes became heavy as you let out a yawn.

Poe smiled, standing and leaning over you. “I know you are, now just try to get some rest. I’ll be here.” He gave you a soft kiss on your forehead and you fell into a deep slumber.
Why Bernie Sanders’ Judaism is so important
Sanders considers himself secular, yet his overwhelming sense of empathy for the downtrodden is profoundly Jewish
By Matthew Rozsa

When Sanders uttered those words, he placed himself squarely in one of American Jewry’s oldest and proudest traditions — namely, disproportionately supporting left-wing causes. “In their voting behavior, political identity and attitudes, American Jews are disproportionately clustered on the liberal/Democratic side of the political spectrum,” explained political scientist Kenneth Wald in an interview with the Washington Post. “The pattern has held more or less steady since the late 1920s. But we expect most affluent people to favor the party of the right. As a group, even allowing for individual differences, American Jews rank at or near the top on most measures of social class — education, income, occupational prestige and such. That makes their commitment to the Democratic party and liberal values puzzling.

As a result of these left-wing tendencies, Jews have been numerically conspicuous in forming and supporting labor unions, championing civil rights for racial minorities and other marginalized groups, and backing not only liberal Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson but also leftist third-party candidates like Socialist Eugene V. Debs (1920), Progressive Henry Wallace (1948), and Independent John Anderson (1980). As a long-oppressed minority with a strong sense of historical continuity, Jews have maintained their sympathy for the underdog even in a nation like America, where they have flourished.

A star's moment in the spotlight
Munich, Germany (SPX) Feb 11, 2016
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The glowing region in this new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope is a reflection nebula known as IC 2631. These objects are clouds of cosmic dust that reflect light from a nearby star into space, creating a stunning light show like the one captured here. IC 2631 is the brightest nebula in the Chamaeleon Complex, a large region of gas and dust clouds that harbours numerous newborn and st
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What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across theUSA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.

anonymous asked:

It's so funny to me how CLEARLY uncomfortable Luhan is around women. He goes completely stiff, rigid, and becomes close to speechless. Now, this could be seen as he's totally nervous bc he is really attracted to them, but honestly, that doesn't make much sense since as a celeb he could date anyone/fuck anyone he is attracted to really, and he is uncomfortable in the way where it's obvious he's not enjoying it. So honestly, it's so easy to read him as gay and loving it up the butt LOLOL

he’s so cute - too fucking cute for a crowd of girls :’)) and yeah, luhan has always read gay to me for numerous reasons, but it’s true. when he is around other girls his age, or when he’s confronted with the topic of what kind of girl he likes, there is always this air of awkwardness about him. lol god he’s so cute i can’t

Let’s play a game called, “Pick the Thug.”

-One of these men started a non-profit organization to improve the lives of children by mentoring them on the importance of education, literacy and self-esteem in Oakland

-One of these men literally gave a fan in a wheel chair the shoes off his feet, and regularly gives children Touchdown footballs.

-One of these men Graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA, and is currently working on his Masters degree.

-One of these men has been arrested numerous times for disorderly conduct, racial profiling, under age drinking, and recently was implicated in a domestic violence case that led to his ex-girlfriend suffering a ruptured eardrum…#marshawnlynch #camnewton #richardsherman #johnnymanziel #thug

The relationship between glucocerebrosidase mutations and Parkinson disease.

IoN UCL PubMed: The relationship between glucocerebrosidase mutations and Parkinson disease.

J Neurochem. 2016 Feb 10;

Authors: Migdalska-Richards A, Schapira AH

Parkinson disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer disease, whereas Gaucher disease (GD) is the most frequent lysosomal storage disorder caused by homozygous mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA1) gene. Increased risk of developing PD has been observed in both GD patients and carriers. It has been estimated that GBA1 mutations confer a 20- to 30-fold increased risk for the development of PD, and that at least 7-10% of PD patients have a GBA1 mutation. To date, mutations in the GBA1 gene constitute numerically the most important risk factor for PD. The type of PD associated with GBA1 mutations (PD-GBA1) is almost identical to idiopathic PD, except for a slightly younger age of onset and a tendency to more cognitive impairment. Importantly, the pathology of PD-GBA1 is identical to idiopathic PD, with nigral dopamine cell loss, Lewy bodies, and neurites containing alpha-synuclein. The mechanism by which GBA1 mutations increase the risk for PD is still unknown. However, given that clinical manifestation and pathological findings in PD-GBA1 patients are almost identical to those in idiopathic PD individuals, it is likely that, as in idiopathic PD, alpha-synuclein accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, autophagic impairment, oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress may contribute to the development and progression of PD-GBA1. Here, we review the GBA1 gene, its role in GD, and its link with PD. The impact of glucocerebrosidase 1 (GBA1) mutations on functioning of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), lysosomes, and mitochondria. GBA1 mutations resulting in production of misfolded glucocerebrosidase (GCase) significantly affect the ER functioning. Misfolded GCase trapped in the ER leads to both an increase in the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and the ER stress. The presence of ER stress triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR) and/or endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). The prolonged activation of UPR and ERAD subsequently leads to increased apoptosis. The presence of misfolded GCase in the lysosomes together with a reduction in wild-type GCase levels lead to a retardation of alpha-synuclein degradation via chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA), which subsequently results in alpha-synuclein accumulation and aggregation. Impaired lysosomal functioning also causes a decrease in the clearance of autophagosomes, and so their accumulation. GBA1 mutations perturb normal mitochondria functioning by increasing generation of free radical species (ROS) and decreasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, oxygen consumption, and membrane potential. GBA1 mutations also lead to accumulation of dysfunctional and fragmented mitochondria. This article is part of a special issue on Parkinson disease.

PMID: 26860875 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Things about H.I.V.E. Academy that I’m still not over:
  • The fact that there are implied to be established theories of villainy. Is this a scholarly field? Do they publish journals and have academic conferences?
  • Jinx, Mammoth and Gizmo’s friendship. How did that happen? In fact, how do social groups in general form in a school like that? Is it based on personality, like at a normal school, by evil villain plans, or some combination of the two?
  • They have dances.
  • It is, in fact, a higher level school of villainy, with lower-level schools like Doomway Prep that teach small children how to be villains.
  • Just the whole concept in general.

When do the H.I.V.E. Academy students get a spinoff??