organic matter

happy friday the 13th yall! just some reminders:

  • be sure to mind cracks in the side walk (only organic ones matter, the straight separating lines dont count) 
  • black cats are tremendously lucky, but you should be kind to one just for the hell of it
  • dont look in mirrors today. 
  • if you see ladders obstructing walkways, going underneath it is indeed passing through a portal  but it just leads to a separate dimension where everything is the same except a lot more people have been named Frank. Don’t recommend. just walk around it
  • Don’t make eye contact with the suspiciously normal looking people manning said ladders. theyre Franks. 
  • be sure to make your midday tea and stir counter clockwise with a knife 
  • usually youd have to catch a spider in your home and release it outdoors in order to receive a free answer to any question, but today all spiders will give free answers to questions you didnt know you had, but in obnoxious riddles, and it’s more hassle than its worth. avoid
  • it is perfectly valid to levitate in your room for 10 hours while shouting ancient hymns in an unrecognizable language and then pass out and not remember any of it. you are valid 
  • say hello to any ghost or ghoul you see today! its only polite
  • however, if you see a doppleganger of yourself, you must follow it, but from a distance. dont let it disappear from your sights before youve had a chance to spot the one difference between you and it and please do remember that slight changes in hair length is usually just the wind moving it in a strange way.
  • if your doppleganger approaches you, then you’re the doppleganger this year. run
  •  if you happen to catch a glimpse of your reflection and the movement seems off, dont panic! the system will be lagging a bit, nothing serious 
  • candy will be extra sweet today so if you’re into that then by all means 

ok keep it sexy, keep it classy, and most of all have fun 

February 22 2017 - Local Black Lives Matter organizer Muhiyidin d’Baha leaps across the yellow police tape to snatch the Confederate flag from the hands of a lonely Secessionist demonstrator in Charleston, outside of a lecture being given by Bree Newsome, queen of the Confederate flag snatchers. [video]

The Bestiary: Scaly-Foot Gastropod

These are diamond-tipped indenter heads. They are used to inflict ludicrous pressure upon various shit in order to measure the hardness of said shit. Recently, one of these was used to measure the hardness of a certain animal’s shell, and, instead of crushing the ever-loving fuck out of it, it found serious resistance.

The aforementioned animal is a snail.

Let me spell this out for ya. There is a snail that can resist the onslaught from an industrial-grade diamond applied with the pressure of several metric fucktonnes. A. Snail. That. Can. Resist. A. Diamond. Indenter.

Just imagine stepping on one of these guys. Instead of breaking their shells like those of usual snails, you’d break your own fucking ankle.

Jesus trilobitic Christ.

Today’s Episode: the Scaly-Foot Gastropod

Just look at this little piece of shit. Look at it and say to my face it doesn’t look like a tank.

What we’ve got here is the rather lamely-named scaly-foot gastropod, also known by the considerably more badass-sounding names of iron snail and  Chrysomallon squamiferum. The SFG hails from the deep-sea thermal vents known as black smokers, deep-sea vents from which water gushes constantly. That water, by the way, originates from below the mantle.

The proximities of black smokers are perfectly lightless, unforgiving badlands, with water rich enough in poisonous sulphuric chemicals to perform the chemical equivalent of curbstomping on any “superior” lifeform that dares stick it’s overspecialized, prissy ass down there, heat up to 450 degrees Celsius (one thirteenth of the temperature of the Sun’s surface) and pressures that could turn any land-dwelling scum into a Flatlander within seconds. If creatures want to survive here, they must either be hyper-effective murder-machines, or damn nigh unkillable.

The SFG’s predators, such as venomous, killer cone snails with bionic harpoon guns evolved from their own “teeth”, and car-wrecking carnivorous crabs that kill snails by pressing down on their shells for days with jagged ultra-hard pincers specifically designed to do this belong in the first category.

The SFG itself belongs in the second.

Hoooly shit does it ever.

The unkillability itself is obtained by using the chemosynthetic bacteria lurking in its glands to absorb and mineralize the poisonous iron-sulphides the water is overabundant with, making them non-poisonous for the snail. It then coats its shell with the minerals, constructing an unique three-layer structure no other gastropods possess. None.

To sum it up, the outer layer, used to block the bulk of the attack, is made up of greigite (Fe3S4), a ridiculously hard mineral. Then comes a middle layer of squishy organic matter purposed to absorb the shock of impacts, dents and blows. Finally, an inner layer of aragonite (CaCO3), designed to prevent asshole crabs from sticking their nasty claws into the shell and picking it apart splinter by splinter.

How effective is it? Well, this armor is so much better than what we puny humans possess that the U.S. Army is actively conducting research about it with the hope of developing new armor using the same build. Yes, this shell is so unbreakable that it caused the a military to lose their heads over a goddamn sea snail. Go figure.

Also, according to biologists researching the SFG, if we covered oil pipes with the stuff, they could easily shrug off damage done by such trivial things as fucking icebergs,

Not bad from a snail, I say.

But that’s not all! Look at it again.

There is a reason it’s called Scaly-foot Gastropod.

Those are scales. Made out of iron minerals.

Iron minerals that are poisonous and magnetic.

The scales are there because of the tooth-harpoon-hurling killer snails. Namely, they serve to deflect the harpoons entirely. Deflective iron scales. On a snail.

Holy crap.

So let’s sum it up, shall we? There exists a snail that forges itself a magnetic armor made out of poisonous iron ore to fend off killer crabs and venomous sniper snails that hunt it in its habitat of a vent leading to the Earth’s mantle.

Oh, and they don’t really eat anything, relying on their chemosynthetic bacteria for sustenance instead. In layman’s terms, that means that the snail keeps itself running by oxidating the sulphides in the water, all of which are lethally poisonous to most lifeforms, including the snail itself. The only reason it survives is that the bacteria chemosynthetize the sulphides, enabling the snail to quite literally live off of poison.

This molluscoid tank is ridiculously metal in more ways than one.

Here’s Who Probably Has A Crush On You Based On Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

MBTI enthusiasts were asked which Myers-Briggs personality type they’re most attracted to, based on their own personality type. There was a visible trend in which types are crushing on which other types. Check out the responses below to learn who’s probably sweet on you!

ENFP- Who’s crushing on you: The quiet, nerdy one.
They’re focused, composed and together. You’re scattered, enthusiastic and charming. At a first glance it might not be a match made in heaven but something about your quick wit and fearless charisma keeps drawing them back to you. Try giving this combination a shot – you may be surprised to find that their intensity and firmness balances you out in all the right ways.  

INTJ - Who’s crushing on you: The emotionally intense one.
They’re introspective, analytical and artistic. You’re intense, intellectual and emotionally guarded. You may see them as overly whimsical but they see you as a challenge. This emotionally intelligent type wants to break down your walls and understand what’s beneath your cool, rational exterior. Though the thought of this may send alarm bells screeching through your mind, don’t be so quick to write them off. They may prove themselves imperative to helping you unlock parts of yourself you never knew existed –and you may just grow immeasurably from it.

ENTJ - Who’s crushing on you: The scatterbrained genius.
They’re analytical, entrepreneurial and just a little out of touch with the world that surrounds them. You’re practical, put-together and high achieving. Though you never pictured yourself with someone so scattered, this mismatched prodigy may just be the yin to your yang. They’re enticed by your no-nonsense, put-together attitude. And if you gave them the time of day, you’d quickly learn that they have the brains to fuel it all. Together you could be the perfect team – but you’re going to have to make the first move. They keep forgetting to.

ENTP - Who’s crushing on you: The softhearted brainiac.
They’re sharp, put-together and secretly harbouring a bleeding heart. You’re dynamic, quick-witted and tirelessly analytical. You may not have noticed them watching you, but they’ve been analyzing your every move for months now. This highly introspective type has you figured out in ways that you don’t even have you figured out – and discovering this will be a shock to your system. Something about the fierce precision this type possesses will endlessly compel you. You’ll want to break their walls down to understand exactly how they tick – except their walls don’t come down easily. Both of you love a good puzzle, and figuring each other out may just be one of the most passionate endeavours you ever undertake.

ENFJ - Who’s crushing on you: The artistic one.
They’re creative, individualistic and a little bit head-in-the-clouds. You’re warm, put-together and nurturing. They’re taking their time to approach you, to the point where you may not even have noticed that they’re crushing. But this highly introspective type is drawn to your organized, empathetic nature. Even if you haven’t spoken yet, chances are they have a painting, poem or song that they composed with you in mind. You inspire them and they could do the same for you. Just give them some time to move in closer – their emotional depth will intoxicate and challenge you.  

ESTJ - Who’s crushing on you: The sensible, selfless one.
They’re sensible, selfless and sweet. You’re motivated, driven and dominant. They admire the no-nonsense attitude you bring to the table and suspect that somewhere below your tough exterior, you’re hiding a heart.  This compassionate yet self-motivated type may be exactly what you need – their dedication balances your drive and they bring out the soft side in you. But don’t worry – they won’t tell anyone else that you have one.

INFJ - Who’s crushing on you: The intellectual badass.
They’re intense, unconventional and into pushing boundaries. You’re composed, introspective and guarded. This type is simultaneously your worst nightmare and your dream come true. They won’t be shy in approaching you and trying to get down to the bottom of what makes you tick. They’re natural puzzle-solvers and your eloquent composure is one giant question mark to them. They want to break down your walls and show you a whole new world – one that may just be thrilling in all the right ways, if you let it be.

ISFP - Who’s crushing on you: The nurturing friend. 
They’re kind, collected and community-minded. You’re artistic, adventurous and full of heart. You may only think of them as a friend – the one who’s always happy to pick you up after a long night out or relish your latest piece of art. But they’ve been secretly marveling over your artistic nature and thoughtful presence for a while now. They want to get to know you better – they simply aren’t sure if you feel the same way. Drop them a hint if you do – you two may just balance each other out in all the right ways.

ESTP - Who’s crushing on you: The sweet one.
They’re unassuming, nurturing and selfless. You’re outgoing, adventurous and capable. You may not have noticed them admiring you from the sidelines but once you do, you’ll have no idea how you ever missed them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by their sweetness and genuineness. This nurturing type sincerely wants what’s best for you and in exchange they ask only that you light up their life with your haphazard charm. They’ll be your soft place to fall if you’ll be their superhero – together, the two of you could make a dream team.  

ISTJ - Who’s crushing on you: The party animal.
They’re impulsive, outgoing and excitable. You’re steady, reliable and strong. Nobody would ever put the two of you together, but they’ve been secretly admiring you from the spotlight. This scattered type respects your firm resolve and feels surprisingly balanced out by you. Chances are they’ll be moving in on you any day now – they just aren’t 100% sure if you feel the same way. It’s time to give them something to go on if you do.  

ISFJ - Who’s crushing on you: The superhero.
They’re outgoing, confident and capable. You’re compassionate, reliable and organized. No matter how much of a show they put on in front of others, something about you has them weak in the knees. This straight-shooting type is comfortable with going for what they want, but they’ve been secretly longing for someone to come home to. And you’re the exact type of person they have in mind.

INFP - Who’s crushing on you: The together one.
They’re organized, capable and kind. You’re intense, analytical and a wee bit out of touch with the world that surrounds you. And something about your accidental aloofness is insanely attractive to them. This kind, nurturing type has been admiring you for the depth and authenticity you bring to every task you undertake. They know that with your vision and their practical skills, the two of you could make a dream team. Now if you’d only stop pursuing all those other tortured artists for long enough to notice them…  

ISTP - Who’s crushing on you: The whimsical one.
They’re sensual, spiritual and adventurous. You’re laid-back, logical and grounded. Something about your capable nature is endlessly attractive to their fanciful one – and they want to get to know you better. The good news is, you already run in the same crowds. You’ll notice them getting a little bit closer each time you hang out –and don’t be quick to write them off. If you do eventually get together, they might just provide the exact mix of sensuality and camaraderie that you’ve been looking for.

INTP - Who’s crushing on you: The class clown.
They’re witty, outgoing and goofy. You’re logical, introspective and aloof. Something about your standoffish nature presents itself as a challenge to this gregarious type –they want to find out what’s under your shell. It may not be a match made in heaven, but it’s worth giving a shot. You share a love for the unconventional and that might just include each other.  

ESFJ - Who’s crushing on you: The scattered romantic.
They’re whimsical, artistic and idealistic. You’re warm, generous and together. Your compassionate yet put-together persona is attractive to their bleeding heart. With your practicality and their romanticism, the two of you could make a dream team. But you might have to make the first move – they’re too busy expressing their affection in their artwork to actually let you know they’re interested in you.

ESFP - Who’s crushing on you: The strong, silent one.
They’re resilient, reliable and steadfast. You’re gregarious, excitable and free-spirited. You may not have noticed them admiring you from the sidelines but they’re charmed by your charismatic nature and they want to get to know you much better. You two might just provide the exact balance one another needs – they’re simply waiting for you to finally take notice that they’ve been there all along.

Bioactive Stuff No One Told You About

There are some things about bioactive enclosures that just aren’t talked about. Some things are seen as negatives and no one wants to say anything bad about bioactive, and others people just assume everyone knows. I get many of the same questions over and over again, so I’d like to put some less-discussed aspects of bioactive together in one post.

 
 

1.) Let your enclosure “cycle” and plants grow in before adding your animal.

 
 

When you first set up your enclosure, plant it, and add your clean up crew, you should seal it up (more or less depending on how humid the parameters will be), and let it grow in for at least a month before you add your animal.

For high humidity enclosures, you can cover any mesh or vents loosely with plastic wrap. Low humidity and arid enclosures should be left more open.

There are multiple reasons for this.

First, it allows the plants to establish, recover from any transplant stress, and grow roots. This means they will be far less likely to die from the first time they’re stomped by your pet. 

Second, it allows the clean up crew to establish a strong population, to be able to handle the waste output of your pet, and be less likely to be eaten to extinction.

Third, it allows micro CUC, other organisms of the decay cycle – bacteria and fungus – to establish, to break down the waste further, after your macro CUC have dealt with it.

Finally, it allows the environment to balance out, and go through its first mold bloom, so you are less likely to deal with it once your pet is in the enclosure. You’ll likely have some mold again after the pet moves in, but it will be less extreme.

There are times you will not be able to seal up the enclosure and wait for it to establish before your pet moves in. Although not ideal, it’s quite possible. You may lose more plants, and have more cleaning to do for the first few months.

 
 

2.) You will probably need to remove most of your pet’s feces for a month or two after they move in.


  

It may take time for the CUC and the other organisms in the substrate to populate enough to deal with your pet’s waste, depending on how deep your substrate is, substrate surface area, how many CUC bugs you started out with, and the size of your pet (and your pet’s waste). 

Keep an eye on poop. If you see it one day and it’s still there twenty four hours later, that means you need to be picking it out, and it’s too much for your CUC to deal with. Just picking it out with a tissue and tossing it is plenty; you don’t need to scoop out any substrate with it. Keep doing this until poo disappears within a day.

 
 

3.) You will still have cleaning chores.

 

Although people often switch to bioactive because it involves fewer substrate changes, there are still clean up chores to do. 

CUC will only be effective for waste on the substrate layer. 

Most will not climb, and even those that do (my orange Porcellio isopods think they’re semi-arboreal) will not do so in numbers significant enough to deal with poop and food smears on perches, hides, and enclosure walls. 

In addition, they will not eat urates. Urates break down quickly, but it is best to lightly mix them into the soil. In some cases, urates from certain species can burn your plants if they’re not broken up.

Cleaning and maintenance chores for bioactive enclosures can include lightly stirring urates into the substrate, washing poop and food off walls, perches, and decor, adding fresh biodegradable material like leaf litter, and watering, trimming, and other plant care. Sometimes CUC will need to be augmented or thinned, and in some cases fed or otherwise cared for.

 
 

4.) Bacteria are everywhere.

 
 

You will see people adamant about two schools of thought when it comes to bioactive:

People warning you to never, ever sterilize your leaf litter and substrate before using it, because that will defeat the purpose of bioactive.

or

People warning you to sterilize everything before it goes into your enclosure, because of the potential for parasites, disease and pests.

To be honest, neither is more correct than the other! And partly it depends on what species you’re keeping in your enclosure, and where you’re getting your materials.

The reasoning behind the first school of thought is that in order to be a healthy bioactive enclosure, the substrate needs a thriving population of bacteria and fungus. This is true. However, bacteria and fungal spores are everywhere in the environment. Even if you sterilize your substrate and your leaf litter, bacteria and fungus will colonize your substrate as waste is added.

This is the same concept behind fishless cycling. In fishless cycling, a tank is set up, and ammonia is added as a food source for bacteria. Bacteria from the environment will colonize the filter media. Although you can buy bacterial kick-starters to add to your tank, they aren’t necessary. Bacteria that break down animal waste are everywhere, and will “find” the tank.

In your bioactive enclosure, decaying organic material will provide a food source for microorganisms like fungus and bacteria. Even if you start out with soil you’ve baked, bacteria and fungus will colonize the soil. It may take longer to get started, which might mean a few weeks longer of removing feces by hand, but it will reliably happen, no problem.

Sterilizing your soil, leaf litter, and plants may be a good idea if your tank inhabitants are delicate and susceptible to environmental parasites and diseases, such as some amphibians. 

Keep in mind that even if you are boiling or baking your substrate, leaves, and other materials, there are some infectious organisms that are not destroyed by the heat, and it will not affect contaminants like pesticides and fungicides.


  

5.) You will get mold.


  

One of the things that tends to make keepers panic is when mold shows up in their bioactive enclosure, often in massive quantities. Mold is normal!

Fungus and mold are a natural and important part of the decay cycle, in nature, and in your enclosure. The macro clean up crew (isopods, springtails, insects, annelids) will break down feces, leftover food, and other waste, and bacteria and fungus in the substrate will break it down further.

When the enclosure is first set up, even without your pet, there will be an excess of decaying matter, along with fluctuations in humidity and other parameters, which will cause a mold bloom. Within a month, a properly set up bioactive enclosure will balance out, and there will be less visible mold.

This doesn’t mean there’s no fungus in your enclosure! Healthy bioactive substrate will be full of spores and fungal mycelium, thread-like vegetative structures of the fungus. The mycelium break down waste as part of the decay cycle, and also form a fascinating symbiosis with the plants in your enclosure, helping them to bring up nutrients through their roots.  

This is one reason that it is a bad idea to do heavy stirring in your substrate, as you will disturb and break up the mycelium. If you must do excavations, try to do only a small section of the enclosure at a time, then allow the mycelium to re-establish.

White mold will not harm your inhabitants. Other colors of mold happen as well, such as green and yellow. You may also have mushrooms pop up from time to time! While mycelium is the vegetative part of the fungus, mushrooms are the fleeting fruiting bodies. These are also natural and harmless (and beautiful), and may end up as a quick snack for your CUC.

The only time to worry is if you get black mold. Black mold spores can be dangerous for you and your pets to breathe. If you must clean up black mold, be sure to wear a properly rated particulate filter mask.

 
 

6.) You will get detritivore gnats and detritivore mites.


  

When we set up bioactive enclosures, we’re creating the perfect environment for countless animals. When we design the enclosures, we want them to be hospitable to our CUC, which eat decaying organic matter like feces and mold.

Isopods, springtails, and lesser mealworms are not the only detritivores interested in eating poo and fungus, though, and many other detritivores are ubiquitous in the environment and much more mobile than the CUC we choose for our enclosures. 

When our enclosure attract these less desirable “volunteer CUC” we call them pests.

I would warn anyone who is thinking about doing bioactive that if you can’t handle fungus gnats in your house, you really shouldn’t do bioactive.

Gnats and mites both tend to freak out new bioactive enclosure keepers. However, they’re just doing the same job as our assigned CUC, and we can’t blame them for finding our perfectly maintained environments ideal for their needs. 

The gnats most typically attracted to bioactive enclosures include fungus gnats and phorid flies

The fungus gnats are attracted to the fungus growing in the enclosure’s soil (a necessary part of the decay cycle, remember), while the phorid flies feed on dead insects and CUC. 

Fungus gnats are particularly annoying creatures, as they seem to enjoy flying into people’s noses. They also end up in a lot of mugs of tea.

The methods for eliminating fungus gnats from houseplants are not an option for bioactive enclosures. The things that would poison fungus gnats would also poison the CUC, drying the enclosure out entirely would kill the CUC and make the enclosure uninhabitable for your pet, and top dressings would be dangerous to the CUC and animal inhabitant. Besides that, because bioactive substrates are inherently perfect for them, the fungus gnats would just come back.

To keep fungus flies to a minimum, I suggest yellow sticky traps around the enclosures. Fungus flies are attracted to the color yellow. Make sure no pets – including mammals, birds, or others – have access to the traps! In bioactive enclosures for non-climbing insects, it may be useful to place these traps on the inside of the lid.  

Unlike fruit flies, apple cider vinegar traps are not particularly effective for fungus gnats.

Phorid flies are more likely to be cyclical, and more common in bioactive enclosures with larger insects. When a roach or large beetle dies, they will swoop in and start doing their work on the body. Phorid flies can be kept to a minimum by either having a robust clean up crew that takes care of insect bodies quickly (such as lesser mealworms in a bioactive roach colony), removing all dead insects promptly, or by setting a trap to remove the phorid flies when they show up.

Detritivore (or soil) mites can scare a new bioactive keeper because of their resemblance to parasitic mites which can infest our pet reptiles. However, detritivore mites are harmless to our pets, and eat decaying organic matter and fungus in our enclosures. Mites are everywhere, and occupy all sorts of positions in the ecosystem. Detritivore mites are inevitable in bioactive enclosures, but you may never see them! They are extremely small.

As a general rule, don’t worry about soil mites in your bioactive enclosures; you can’t eliminate them anyway. 

However, it’s a good idea to try to keep them out of CUC cultures. This is because in the worst case scenario mites can overwhelm springtail and isopod cultures, and may at least slow down their reproductive rate. To prevent mites in CUC cultures, placing the enclosures in trays of diatomaceous earth and keeping cultures separated are good husbandry practices.


I hope this helps anyone thinking of going bioactive, or new bioactive keepers. If anyone has anything to add to this, please do!

Tracking a Warming Arctic – From Underground to High in the Sky

The Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of Earth. This warming is creating big and small changes, some of which could ripple beyond the planet’s frozen regions and affect us world-wide – possibly raising sea levels, increasing greenhouse warming and affecting wildlife.

Our Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment, known as ABoVE, just began a 10-year mission in Alaska and western Canada, studying these changes.

Underground: Permafrost is the layer of frozen soil beneath some Arctic forests and tundra. 

Like the name suggests, this icy layer stays solid year-round, so when it does melt, it can create big problems. The soil above the thawing permafrost can collapse, creating this wobbly, unstable surface.

7 feet above sea level: As the permafrost thaws, the soil above it can fall away. 

Along the banks of the Itkillik River in Alaska, thawing permafrost has dripped into the water, eroding the cliff side. Known as the “Stinky Bluffs,” this permafrost contains lots of frozen organic matter from dead plants and animals. As the permafrost thaws, this organic matter doesn’t just smell, it also releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, adding to the warming effect.

446 feet above sea level: Wildfires aren’t unusual in the forests and shrub lands of Alaska, but as the climate continues to warm, they burn longer and do more damage. 

People who live off the land in the region help researchers understand where plant life isn’t growing back after fires.

100-1000 feet above sea level: Researchers set up 100-foot tall towers at strategic locations throughout Alaska to measure carbon dioxide and methane emissions from right above the forest canopy. 

This provides an up-close look at what gases are released or absorbed from the trees, or swirl in from neighboring regions. These data are combined with measurements taken from airplanes and satellites to create a clearer picture of how much carbon is entering the atmosphere.

3,369 feet above sea level: Dall sheep live in several Alaskan mountain ranges, where they’re critical to both the tourism and sports hunting economies. 

Credit: National Park Service

Changes in temperature and vegetation can profoundly affect their behavior, like grazing habits, and so researchers study how changing plant life and snow cover affect the sheep.

100-30,000 feet above sea level: Carbon emissions in the air come from thawing permafrost, fossil fuel burning, decaying vegetation and wildfires burning across the Arctic-boreal regions. 

One experiment in the ABoVE campaign measures these emissions with instruments on a DC-8 plane.

About 30,000 feet about sea level: When wildfires burn through vegetation, the effects extend far beyond what we see on the ground. 

Fires release carbon stored in the plants into the atmosphere, where it affects air quality and contributes to the greenhouse effect.

438 miles: Our ABoVE campaign combines research on the ground and from planes with data collected by a fleet of Earth-observing satellites, orbiting Earth hundreds of miles above the surface. 

Data from these satellites provides information on vegetation, atmospheric particles and gasses, and how humans are impacting our planet. With all these data sets analyzed by computer programs, the result is a comprehensive picture of our warming planet.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

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Cool, cold, speed, and run - Leonard Snart sure likes to pun.

Pokémon Dietary Requirements

(For anonymous. Hope you like!)

  • Many make the mistake of thinking that grimer and muk are capable of gaining nutrition from any kind of matter, whether organic or inorganic. While it is true that the species is willing to consume most materials, they have trouble digesting metals, rubber, and some kinds of plastic. In areas of Alola where refuse is partly disposed of by being fed to muks and grimers, dustbins are labelled according to what the species is able to digest. 
  • While not a matter of dietary requirements, many serious competitive trainers feed their muks exclusively on fluids; the process of digesting solids can make them heavier and more cumbersome, which impacts on their performance in battle.
  • Some fire-type carnivores (such as pyroar, incineroar and houndooms) can grow ill from eating raw meat. As their typical hunting methods would usually see them ‘cook’ their prey, they never evolved to be able to stomach raw flesh in the way that other predators can. Other fire-type meat eaters - like arcanine and flareon - don’t have this problem. 
  • Although many trainers have tried to convince their kadabras and alakazams to eat ice cream with their spoons, this is ill-advised in regards to dietary requirements. The abra line is lactose intolerant and eats very little. Their minimal diet is composed of smaller bugs, fruits, and lots of water.  
  • Steelix are capable of digesting most rocks, but the high sodium and potassium content of alkalic minerals can make them briefly unwell. 
  • It has been found that the different heads of species like doduo, dodrio and zweilous can have different allergens. This problem is most present in the doduo line; sometimes one head will react adversely to certain kinds of grain, causing the throat and tongue to swell. This can be difficult to deal with, as feeding one head separately from the others - which is necessary when one has allergies - often causes squabbling and aggressive behaviour.   
  • While zoruas and zoroarks may be able to present as human, trainers must prevent them from eating human foods such as chocolate, onions and cheese, as much as they might want to. 
  • Sometimes people take bags of fake gems to scatter and feed to the more adventurous sableye in the caves near Dewford. Clear glass gems aren’t harmful (though they aren’t particularly nutritious), but coloured gems can be toxic owing to the dyes used to create the pigments. Plastic gems are an absolute no-no, though most sableye are savvy enough to turn their nose up at them. 
  • Some make the mistake of thinking that munna and musharna can sustain themselves on dreams alone. Rest assured, they also need a diet of fruit, veg and berries in order to thrive. Eggs are to be avoided.
  • Scrafties will frequently attempt to consume fizzy drinks and alcohol, even though both are toxic to them in large doses. It’s easy enough to keep trained ones away from the stuff, but if a wild scrafty pinches your cider, it’s probably best to just…let them be.  

Fish are not cuddly, they do not have soft fur nor do they have cute, sad or otherwise expressive faces. Yet they are living, intelligent and deserve respect as well as proper care: Learn about the Nitrogen Cycle and cycling!

The Nitrogen Cycle

Fish and other aquatic animals as well as rotting organic matter produce deadly ammonia: If allowed to accumulate, they will literally shit themselves to death, quickly. However, beneficial bacteria transform that toxic ammonia into toxic nitrite into mostly harmless nitrate. In aquariums, the accumulated nitrate is removed with water changes. So before you can get any stock, you need to cycle your tank, to grow your colony of beneficial bacteria. However, they do not appear from alone, but you rather need to feed an unstocked and filtered tank ammonia, for example from decaying fishfood, to grow them. After about a month of doing so, you will need to confirm your bacteria colony on your filter media can transform all ammonia without leftovers into nitrate, only then your tank is safe for fish!

Before I start this post, I want to say that everyone’s orientation is different! I’ve seen that a lot of schools have orientation over the summer, weeks before classes start. My school, I guess because only a few of us are from here and the majority of students are out of the state/country, we had orientation week starting on move-in day, the same week classes started. That’s why I will be discussing move-in day and the first day of classes here, though yours might be a completely separate experience. Let’s get started!

Move-In Day

  • Dress for a lot physical activity. You are going to be lugging your shit up and down stairs (elevators get full, if you even have them) all day, walking back and forth to your car, and once you get everything in your room, you will have to unpack and loft your bed, etc. You are going to be sweaty and exhausted by the time it’s all over. I wanted to still be cute so I wore spandex, my Vandy t-shirt and hat, and a full face of makeup lol. I know you might want to make a good first impression on your roommate and new classmates, but everyone will be wearing what looks like workout clothes. Don’t wear jeans or a dress or something. It’s August, it’s hot, you’ll regret it.
  • Be patient. Oh my god, I swear 90% of the memories I have of move-in day are just me waiting. Waiting in the car for the line to move towards the dorms, waiting in line to get my key, waiting for a dolly to free up, waiting to get inside the elevator, waiting for the stairs to clear up. It’s so boring, especially when you’re so excited to just finally be there. Be prepared to wait and try to appreciate your last few moments before college ruins your life (just kidding!).
  • Brace yourself for something to go wrong. No matter how organized your school is, chaos is inevitable on move-in day. You will have planned according to a schedule they gave you, and something will not go the way it’s supposed to. Thousands of freshmen who don’t know anything all in the same place at once is a recipe for disaster. Just don’t stress about it cause it will all work itself out. Honestly, that’s a philosophy to live by for your entire college career, not just move-in day.

Orientation Week

  • I can’t even explain how busy you’ll be. Starting from the first floor meeting we had on move-in day, the entire next seven days were packed full of activities and meetings and ceremonies. I still have my freshmen guide with the itenerary of all the things we had to do, and it was pages long. Everyday we would wake up at like 8, and have things to do until after midnight. I was so busy, I didn’t even have time to be on my phone, and I love social media. You will be so tired, and it will get old really quick. I don’t really have any advice, but through the exhaustion, remember to try and appreciate this chaotic time and stay in the moment. You’ll never again experience the freshness and excitement of your first week at college, soon you’ll get used to it all and you’ll wish for that feeling back.
  • You don’t have to attend everything. Like I said, you will be exhausted. You won’t want to wake up at 6 am for the Freshman Sunrise (i did and i regretted it), or to take the class picture where you have to stand still for an hour and you can’t even see yourself in the photo (again, i should’ve slept in). You might feel obligated to go to everything, but if you just need a break, then take that break. Orientation is overwhelming. 
  • Don’t freak out if you miss a required meeting. We had lots of events that were marked required. It’s inevitable that people miss these, due to sleeping through an alarm, or reading the time wrong, or getting lost on campus since you don’t know where everything is. Lots of the time, they only mark it as required to scare people into going when there’s no real consequence if you don’t. Even if there is a consequence, you won’t get into any major trouble the first week. You’re freshmen, they understand. Do try to make it to them, though. The best way to do this is to find friends or other people who are in that same section and go together.
  • Don’t stress about making friends. It is quite literally impossible to not make friends during orientation week. You will have to attend so many things with the same group(s) of people that you’ll bond over that alone. You don’t even have to try, so if you’re not a social person, don’t worry. As long as you don’t stay silent in a corner, you’ll have plenty of people to hang out with. 
  • Don’t stress about keeping the friends you do make. You will meet a million people, and have a million new numbers in your phone. You will have a hard time matching everyone’s names to their faces. People form connections really quickly, that’s just human nature, but this is especially heightened in university when everyone is away from home and no one knows anyone. Don’t feel like you have to stay attached to the same five people you became best friends with after two days for fear of not finding anyone else to be close to. Lots of people meet their real friends at the beginning of the year, but most people don’t. All of the pictures and videos I have from my entire first semester are with and of people I don’t even speak to anymore, people who, frankly, I can hardly stand to look at now. During orientation, you’ll gravitate towards anyone, but you’ll soon realize you don’t know them at all and they might turn out to be shitty people. I met all the friends I have now second semester through the LGBT group on campus, and they’re great. Point is, don’t feel too attached to your orientation buddies. You will find your people, even if it takes a while.

First Day of Classes

  • Find the buildings where your classes are held beforehand. Yes, I mean physically walk to them and find the exact classroom, don’t just use Google Maps to make sure you can get there in ten minutes. I knew the names of all the buildings and their general location, but then I found out some buildings are attached to each other and numbered in a strange order, then you finally find the right building but can’t find the right floor and hallway. I was late to all of my classes the first day. University buildings are so confusing. You will have trouble, I promise you. Do yourself a favor and figure out how to get to all of your classrooms sometime earlier in the week. You will feel great about not being that embarrassing freshmen asking the upperclassmen for directions (who are happy to help, but will laugh at you just a little bit).
  • Introduce yourself to the professor before or after class. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want, but it can’t hurt. Just shake their hand and make sure they can match your face to the name. Doing this the first day makes it easier to establish contact with them later in the semester, which you’ll probably have to do. Don’t worry, you’ll see lots of the other students in your lecture doing this, too. Just hop on in line.
  • Double check to make sure you don’t have any assignments due/papers to bring. This is unlikely cause you don’t have summer work in college (at least to my knowledge) and it’s never happened to me, but I had friends whose professors had assigned them work for the the first day of class. This is really ugly, I know, but just check your email and Blackboard to make sure there’s nothing to do. 

This is longer than I anticipated, so thanks if you read it all! I hope this helps someone out. Orientation is a chaotic mess but so so fun, cause it’s the only time you’ll ever be able to experience the fun of college without the stress of the work. Up next is advice on living with a roommate (and boy, do I have advice for that). Previous posts:

Application Process

Choosing/Changing Majors

kazefiend replied to your link “Black lives matter activists halt Capital Pride parade | Metro Ottawa”

Blm needs to stay in their lane and stop protesting during pride. I’m so done with them.

‘Their lane’?

LMAO.

Black LGBTQ people do exist. You do know that, right? And you should also know that LGBTQ poc’s concerns are almost always ignored in these Pride festivities, particularly Black LGBTQ people. That’s why they’re protesting.

Also you should also know that the organization Black Lives Matter was founded by LGBTQ Black women. Same goes with Black Lives Matter Toronto and Black Lives Matter Vancouver.