Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual letter, styled as a report
to Warren Buffett on his investment of over $30 billion in their work. Bill and
Melinda emphasize the value of global development and stress the importance of
vaccines — which they call one of the best deals in global health.
here’s your friendly reminder that google, modern physics, hollywood, the new star wars, comics, marxism, the US labor movement, captain kirk, spock, chekov, han solo, buffy, ben and jerry’s, the guy who created the polio vaccine, and the woman who imaged dna were/created by/acted by jews
Though she died of cervical cancer in 1951, her cells were discovered to have unique properties. These immortal “HeLa” cells were instrumental in developing the polio vaccine as well as other key scientific landmarks including cloning, gene mapping, and in vitro fertilization. Yet, her story has raised controversial questions about the ethics surrounding privacy & patient consent. Who was this unrecognized woman?
Health care is a trillion-dollar industry in America, but are we getting what we pay for? Journalist Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal warns that the existing system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science.
“We’ve trusted a lot of our health care to for-profit businesses and it’s their job, frankly, to make profit,” Rosenthal says. “You can’ t expect them to act like Mother Teresas.”
Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments instead of a cure.
“One expert in the book joked to me … that if we relied on the current medical market to deal with polio, we would never have a polio vaccine,” Rosenthal says. “Instead we would have iron lungs in seven colors with iPhone apps."
How would you describe solarpunk to someone who's only heard of things like steampunk or cyberpunk?
Well. Like steampunk and cyberpunk, solarpunk is a sub genre born of the fears and desires of the time of its creation. Cyberpunk came about in the 80’s, as people began to fear the coming of system that would overtake freedom in the name of profit, and that the world itself would become a grimmer place. But with that came the dreams of heroes that could suborn that system, the original cyberpunks who called out that corruption and could fight against it.
In the time we live in, solarpunk was born of the desires for a better future, as many feel that the future is lost, that people do profit at the expense of others, and in a world where we have more food and space than we could ever need, people still starve and are left in the cold. From that, desires of technology that benefits from the sun and other forms of power that are freely available and prosperous. The solarpunks fight to bring the world back into harmony, to make a future where people can have hope in the light of the sun.
One of my heroes, Jonas Salk, was the creator of the original polio vaccine. Had he patented it, that patent would be worth billions today. When asked if he would, he answered “No. Can you patent the sun?”
That’s the core of what solarpunk is to me. Technology, science, human ingenuity, and spirit as freely available to encourage the growth of light and life without expectation of profit. Those are what the solarpunks want to fight for.
Ok, in the past few years, more and more parents have made the decision to NOT vaccinate their children. Some people inevitably develop an allergic reaction to the vaccines, and that’s a shame because it leaves them more vulnerable to deadly diseases. But together we can help them. Group immunity is a kind of immunity provided to those people. How? If everyone is vaccinated, they don’t contract the disease and, therefore, they dont pass it along. Its so important that people understand and get some facts straight. Your child WILL NOT become autistic for being vaccinated. The internet in not the most reliable factual information source, so just go to the nearest hospital or medical clinic and GET SOME INFORMATION. The vaccine is not gonna harm your child (there are some exceptions of course, but that’s the kind of information you should look for). There are some cruel and horrific diseases out there. Don’t play arm wrestle with them, don’t compromise your kids health, don’t make irrational assumpions, don’t test their immune sistem and most important, help those that actualy cant be vaccinated. If we work together to become a more informed society, we will be able to erradicate diseases like polio, measles, TB and many more! Stay informed, stay safe, are remember to vaccinate your kids!
Hey remember when we thought we could end polio in Australia so we had all kids get vaccinated and half of them ended up deformed and the other half got polio anyway? No? Shut the fuck up and get your kid vaccinated.
Henrietta Lacks (HeLa), inspired by the biography The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
An illustration concerning Henrietta Lacks and her HeLa cells (cancer cells taken from her cervix and found to be ‘immortal’ cells that could live in a lab setting and be used to conduct research using human cells). I wanted to have the cells surrounding her, brightly colored, while she was more monochromatic so as to portray how we have thousands of pictures of her cells, but only two battered, black and white pictures of her.
Despite how much her cells have done for humans (helped vaccinations against polio, HPV, etc., as well as help further understand DNA, chromosomes, genetics, cancer cells, etc.), barely anyone knows who she was and how her family members have been treated over the past fifty years.
The book itself is great and there were a lot of really great women mentioned. Anyone interested in feminism, civil rights, ethical issues in medical research, cancer biology and genetics, or all of the above will get a lot from this biography of an awesome woman and her family, as well as the doctors and scientists involved in HeLa.
The Hamilton Lams angsty Doctor AU that no one asked for
Warnings for: vomit, swearing, mentions of abuse
God, Laurens thought, there’s more people than I thought.
The young man was sitting on a stool under a tent in country in Africa, the specific one lost in the buzz of his mind. He was handing out sugar cubes laced with the polio vaccine to children, along with his co-workers, Hercules Mulligan and the Marquis de Lafayette.
There was Thomas Jefferson and James Madison too, but they didn’t count.
All the men were from the Kings Hospital, which was in America and owned by a man who handled their money very loosely. George the III. The manager, who was also named George, took care of most of the actual medical care.
Laurens was humming a catchy tune that Lafayette had taught them on the car ride here, them all sitting in the back of a creaky pick up truck. Thomas had grumbled, but Laurens heard him whisper the lyrics once or twice under his breath.
“Petite John, you are getting lost in your thoughts.”
“Ah, sorry Laf.”
“‘Tis fine.” Lafayette turned back to the children lining up at his desk. “Alright, little ones, grab one sugar cube, just one, and pop it in your mouth- there you go! Tastes yummy, doesn’t it?” A bunch of heads nodded.
Laurens laughed, then turned back to his kids. “Ok, did you see what they did?” He asked them, pointing to the other children. Most of them shook their heads. Laurens smiled. “Well, you take one of these sugar cubes, and,” he pretended to put one in his mouth, “eat it!” The children giggled, and they all did exactly what John did, all tossing the sugar into their mouths.
They walked away from Johns stand with many 'thank you’s from the parents. John turned in his seat to see a soft smirk on Jeffersons lips. No matter what the Virginian said, he had a soft spot for children. They all did.
Three hours later, on one of John’s breaks, he walked up to Jefferson, who had his back turned to him. He tapped his shoulder, and when he turned around, he smiled politely.
“Jefferson, can you go find Alex for me?”
“No. I’m not finding that prick. Find him yourself.”
“But I’ll get lost.”
“No you won’t.”
“Yeah- huh.” Thomas let out an irritated sigh.
“Fine. I’ll go find him. But only once.” John bounced on his heels.
“Thanks! He’s probably in his tent, or Washington’s.”
“Yeah, whatever.” Jefferson walked away, grumbling under his breath. James started to go with him, but Thomas shook his head. James slowly sank back down into his seat.
After finding nothing in Washington’s tent, Thomas walked briskly to Alex’s tent. The African sun beat unrelentlessly down on him, his water canteen hitting his thigh repeatedly.
He finally arrived at Alex’s tent, and he stood outside, leaning on the side of the tent.
“Hey, Hamilton, John wants you.” No reply. “Hamilton.” The tent remained silent.
Suspicious, Thomas pushed the heavy tent material back, opening the flap. He peeked in.
“Hamilton-” His heart jumped in his throat.
The younger was lying on his side on the ground, his dark hair matted and covering his face. His doctors coat was half on, as if he was trying to take it off.
Thomas hesitantly walked toward the still figure, debating whether or not he should touch him with his toe. His angel won.
He instead knelt down behind Hamilton, placing a hand on his shoulder and turning him so he lay partially in his lap. His tan face was sweaty, and his forehead was hot. Too hot.
“Kid, Hamilton, you gotta wake up.” He shook his shoulder. “Kid,”
Hamilton’s eyes shot open, and he lurched to get off of Jefferson. At first, Thomas was insulted, but he became grateful when he learned that Hamilton had flown off him so that he wouldn’t throw up on him.
Hamilton was gagging, clear vomit coming up. It was clear he hadn’t eaten in a while. He was on his knees, a few feet away from Jefferson, his hands bracing himself as he kept lurching forward as his body spasmed.
“Kid, what’s wrong?” Thomas was a bit worried now. Just a tiny bit. But it still ate away at him, that small reminder that he might care for the tiny spitfire.
Hamilton was trembling, his arms threatening to give out. If they did, he’d end up face first in his mess. Thomas crawled toward Hamilton, landing a gentle hand on his shoulder. He flinched, but didn’t shy away.
“Alexander, listen to me.” Thomas said, trying to sound soothing. Alexander turned toward him, his eyes horribly dilated. There was barely any brown, only black. He was panting.
“No, Alexander, I’m Thomas. I’m going to bring you to a medical tent, okay?”
“No-” Alexander’s head rolled away from Jefferson. “I’m- I’m okay.”
“Kid, you haven’t eaten in God knows how long, you just threw up probably all you’ve been running on, and I walked in on you passed out on the floor. You’re not fine. At all.”
“I’ll be- a waste of medicine.”
“Eh, not really, kid. You probably have heatstroke.” Thomas tried to joke around. Alexander opened his mouth to say something, but ended up puking instead. He then pitched backwards into a -more than unwilling-Thomas.
“Alexander!” He yelled. Panic washed over him in waves now. “Alex, can you hear me? Alex, Alex!”
He scooped up the Latino boy, his small form ever smaller in Thomas’s muscular arms. He started running, Alex’s head bouncing on his arm.
Alex started coughing. Afraid that he was going to vomit again, Thomas nearly stopped, but he kept running faster and faster as Alex’s coughs quieted. His eyes were barely open, but he could see, in his heat-addled mind, that Thomas Jefferson, his enemy, a man he loathed ever since they met, was carrying him.
Thomas’s dark skin shone in the sun, his hair bouncing as he ran. Alex found this extremely silly, so he started laughing.
“Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy Thomas!” He sang, giggling hysterically to himself. “Thomas’s hair goes boing!”
“Quiet, kid.” Thomas growled, changing his direction. Fearing that Thomas was going to leave him, Alex started pouting.
“Please don’t leave me alone, Bouncy Thomas…” He begged quietly. “I’ll be a good boy, I promise.” Thomas sighed above him.
“I’m not leaving you, Alex.”
“Yay~” the delirious Alexander sang. “Bouncy Thomas is so nice, he’s not leaving naughty, little Alex~”
Thomas was very scared now. He needed to get Alex to a hospital, or, better yet, the Schuyler Sisters.
“Alex?” A dizzy sounding hum answered his question. “Can you sing the ABC’s please?”
“Good job, Alex.” They were at the Schuyler’s tent.
“I’m not done, silly-”
“Yes, you are, Alex. Angelica and Eliza are going to take care of you now.”
“Mm, okay~ pretty, pretty siblings, Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy!”
An Latina opened the flap of the tent. “I heard my name.” Their eyes then landed on Alex. “Oh, shit. Eliza! Alex looks like complete crap.”
A young, half-Chinese woman stood from where she was kneeling and walked over to the small congregation. One look at Alexander, and her usual gentle face hardened.
“Oh, crap. Here, I’ll take him.” She said, holding her arms out to take in her former boyfriend. Once Thomas placed Alex in her arms, she carried him over to a cot and placed him on it, starting to take vital checks.
“Damn, Eliza, you’re strong!” Peggy admired. Eliza rolled her eyes.
“Pegs, you’re my sibling. You’ve seen me pick up heavier things. Besides, Alex is really light.” Her eyes filled with pain as she looked at him, like a mother to a sick child. “I don’t want to know when he’s last eaten…”
Thomas had been standing awkwardly in the tent entrance, his eyes darting around the medical tent. He started to scoot out, meaning to search out John. A small clearing of a throat followed him on the way out.
Maria Reynolds, a girl who was a patient after dealing with an abusive boyfriend and was now Eliza’s girlfriend, sat in the back, her thick, curly brown hair pulled into a low bun. She was typing on a computer rapidly. Her bottom lip was pulled in between her teeth, her red lipstick being nibbled off.
Eliza looked at her Latina girlfriend. “Maria?” The girl in question jumped, her computer screen bouncing on her lap. She looked up at Eliza.
“Yes, babe?” Her voice was smooth and throaty. It was nice to listen to.
“Can you hand me the stethoscope and thermometer, please?” Maria nodded, starting to stand up. She wore long sleeves, to cover the effects of abuse. She grabbed the two medical tools and handed them to Eliza, sneaking in a kiss to the top of Eliza’s black hair, which was in a ponytail.
Eliza smiled in thanks, placed the earbuds from the stethoscope in her ears, and continued with Alex’s check up. At some point, he had gone back to sleep. Eliza knew she should wake him up, but she hadn’t found anything relating to a deadly disease yet, so she let him sleep.
Ten minutes later, Eliza sighed in relief. Peggy and Maria looked at her, their similar brown eyes sharing a question.
“Alex is fine.” Other sighs of relief. A quiet 'thank god’ from Angelica, who had walked in about three minutes after Jefferson left. Eliza continued talking. “But, by 'fine’ I mean not dying of malaria. He’s sleep deprived and malnourished, along with being dehydrated. He’s going to be spending a few days in here.” The tent door flew open.
“Alexander?!” John shrieked, looking wildly at the four people in the tent. “Is he okay?” Eliza stood and walked toward him, placing a gentle hand on his bicep.
“Alex isn’t dying, I can tell you that much.” She said, Maria crawling over to sit by Alex’s bedside. John felt protectiveness swell up in his chest, but squashed it down as he reminded himself of Maria’s story.
Alex was the one she grew closest too, other than Eliza. Alex was the one who actually went and punched James Reynolds before they called the police on him.
“What do you mean, 'he’s not dying, I can tell you that much?’” John repeated slowly, swallowing a lump in his throat. Eliza let out a huff of air, her almond shaped eyes closing. She opened them again as she answered.
“John, he’s dehydrated, malnourished, and sleep deprived. We’re going to have to keep a close eye on him.” John let out a shaky breath, his eyes filling with tears.
The freckled faced man slowly headed his way toward the bed where his Puerto-Rican boyfriend lay, kneeling by Maria and taking Alexander’s hand.
He started rubbing circles on the back of Alex’s hand, his fingers shaking despite his tries to make them still. Maria placed her hand on his shoulder, rubbing soothingly. John smiled, his eyes watery.
“Please be okay, Alex,” he whispered. “Please.”
“Good job Alex, you ate a full meal!” Angelica cheered, three weeks after Alex had first collapsed.
“And got a full nights rest!”
Peggy added, giving him a thumbs up as Alexander’s phone ping'ed.
He opened the text message Peggy had sent him, smiling at the old meme they had sent him. It was a running joke that, whenever someone reached a goal, they would send the person a meme that was so outdated it was funny.
“Thanks, Pegs.” He giggled. They smiled.
“Alexander, son, I’m glad you’re better.” George. After he had learned that Alex had collapsed, he had run to the medical tent in a tizzy, completely abandoning his usual calm and collected aura.
Maria was in the background again, smiling at the excitement permeating the room. Eliza was sitting beside her, looking over her shoulder at what Maria was working on.
“Guys, really, you’re kinda making a big deal about this.”
“It is a big deal, petit lion.” Lafayette’s smooth French accent filled the tent.
“Yeah, Alex, we were worried.” Hercules muttered, his hand enlaced with Lafayette’s. John, who was sitting by Alexander, nodded.
Angelica started to walk outside, calling over her shoulder, “Well, I’m going back to the kids. Let’s hope all of our sugar isn’t gone.” Several people laughed, and others stood to follow her out. Thomas, who was sitting beside Madison, waved to Alex before he walked outside. James smiled politely at them before following suite.
It was a new day.
SHITTY ENDING I K NO W
I don’t know why, but Peggy having them/they pronouns really makes me happy
Please tell me if I messed up on the they/them pronouns, I don’t want to offend anyone!
I was thinking of making this Jamilton but then I was like nah
No Aaron I’m sorry
I honestly love Maria I think she is a cinnamon roll and pairing her up with Eliza is honestly the sweetest thing I love Marliza so much