polite biology


Senator Elizabeth Warren: Floor speech on 21st Century Cures Act

Get BIG PHARMA out of government! Support independent funding of scientific research, research without conflicts of interest.

Yes, our representatives work for the pharmaceutical industry.

Ameenah Gurib (b. 1959) is currently the President of the island nation of Mauritius, the first woman to ever hold this position. She is also a biodiversity scientist and recipient of numerous international awards in the field.

Her scientific research focused mainly on the medicinal and nutritive properties of plants indigenous to Mauritius. She was a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the national university, and received awards such as the African Union Award for Women in Science. She is also a Fellow of the African Institute of Science and Technology.

Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.
—  Albert Einstein

being a radical feminist is already hard, but being 17 and having all your peers condemn radical feminism and make twitter accounts for trans activism while you keep your mouth shut because you could potentially be denied a job, or a scholarship, or university acceptance for talking about politics & biology makes it almost impossible to believe we’re ever going to progress

How I organise myself:

I don’t know if I will change this next year or not. It worked very well for wordy subjects like Biology and Politics but less so for Chemistry and Maths.

In Lessons:

  • I have several scrappy notebooks where I take rough notes
  • This is because I type slower on a laptop than when I handwrite and trying to take neat notes is way too time consuming
  • All of my subjects are in the same notebook
  • At the start of each lesson I write the subject in a little box and highlight it so I can find it later
  • This means I can find it easier later when I rewrite my notes

With Handouts

  • I get a lot of sheets of paper, usually A4, to use later
  • I have an A4 folder for each subject (This is what I think I will change, it’s a lot to carry, I will use one next year)
  • I put all my sheets, handouts and exams in there for that period of time.
  • I keep my tests in a separate area in the back (I may change this as well as it separates the test from its topic)

With Final Notes

  • I rewrite my notes in my free periods and after college. 
  • This can take up a lot of time but it really helps with memorising
  • I also take this time to use the internet and a textbook to help me improve on my class notes- rather than taking separate notes for class and textbook

Final Folders/ Revision:

  • Obviously taking so many notes means my notes have outgrown my folders several times
  • I have a few larger ring binder folders which I put all my work in at the end of the year
  • These are also great to revise through, as you don’t have to look through several notebooks, it is all in one place

I’d strongly advocate using folders rather than any books for most studying because there is so much flexibility. You can remove notes, keep all sorts of sheets and move things around.

I hope this may be helpful to some people, especially AS students who may have had no choice in how they take notes until this year,

Good luck on your studies :)

how is it that abortion isn’t considered the death of a child, but when a woman has a miscarriage she still mourns for the lost life?

I’m legitimately kind of curious. Honestly, everything about a developing fetus matches the biological definition of life.

To be considered living, an organism must have…
1. cells ✔
2. DNA ✔
3. the ability to maintain homeostasis ✔
4. the abilitity to grow ✔
5. the ability to (eventually) reproduce ✔
6. the ability to (eventually) adapt to evolutionary changes ✔
7. the ability to metabolize (obtain energy, whether by eating or by absorption of nutrients) ✔
8. the ability to respond to stimuli, or anything that relates to the sensory experience ✔

I really don’t understand. It is a living thing. I’m not damning anyone who is pro-choice or anyone else for that matter. I’m pro-life, in case you were unsure. Originally it was for religious reasons, but as I grew up and went to college, I started learning so much more about politics and religion and ethics and science and it’s sO FUCKING EXCITING OKAY I REALLY LOVE LEARNING.

anyway, I’m just saying a fetus is a living being and I don’t think we should underestimate that

i occasionally see the sentiment that “trans activists & radical feminists want the same thing, they’re just using different vocabulary!” and it’s just not true.

  1. many trans activists do not want to abolish gender (the social roles assigned to sex), only to expand gender to accommodate them.
  2. many trans activists believe gender is not a cultural construction at all. they see gender as an innate quasi-spiritual character that manifests in a certain social role: behaviour, emotion, dress, labour, etc.
  3. it’s not just different vocabulary, it’s misrepresentative vocabulary.  if trans activists wished to replace the term “male” with “bluergh” and “female” with “blech”, that would be one thing.  but the vocabulary they use (assigned/designated [sex] at birth) obfuscates biological & political reality, making it impossible to name sex-based oppression and discrimination.

i don’t say this out of anger or bitterness; i don’t think feminists have a monopoly on insight.  but we have to be honest.  GNC male people do not have a vested interest in abolishing male supremacy (and with it, the cultural system of gender). mainstream trans activism erodes the ability to name male supremacy.

Why is it that if you take advantage of a tax break and you’re a corporation, you’re a smart business man. But if you take advantage of something you need to not be hungry, you’re a moocher!
—  Jon Stewart, O’Reilly vs. Stewart

26.5.16, 17:09 // day 13 out of 100 days of productivity

I had my biology exam today and it didn’t actually go as badly as I would have imagined!!! the questions were definitely a lot nicer than the specimen papers.

tomorrow I just have general studies (which is a go w the flow one anyway) so I’m just chilling tonight!!! and then half term!!!!!!!!! and then after that I just have 2 politics exams, one biology and a general studies one, so not long to go! (too many exclamation marks for exam time tbh)

• gone through biology (sort of????? not really)
• gone through past papers and the spec paper
• I didn’t actually do a lot today
• it was more just talking stuff through w my friends n getting it in my head
• don’t let these bullet points fool you
• ha if you’re not reading them n thinking I did so much
• I just sat an exam

here is my bullet journal that I’m actually behind in because I’ve been so busy revising I haven’t had time to write in it. if you noticed as well, I forgot to do my 30 days of positivity yesterday so I’m gonna do it today.

also I think I’m gonna do a masterpost in a bit (it won’t be up today) and so I’m gonna have a go w them n yeah!!

so happy I only have 5 (3 that really count) exams left!!! can’t believe I’ve not even done half though (I’ve done 4/9 so… n I guess some ppl have like 11 so I got lucky. n also some ppl had 5 exams this week when I had 3)

happy studying and productive days! XXX

Hi! My name is Kira, and I’m a new studyblr. Here are some facts about me:

  • IB diploma candidate studying english, history, math, biology, psychology, and french.
  • All-girls school attendee and advocate
  • Proud mom of two cats
  • Constantly searching for queer fiction that isn’t overwhelmingly sad or cliched
  • Assistant Director for school musicals and plays

My current goal is to compile a great list of colleges to apply to and to fill out those applications on time. :) I want to double major in biology and political science and work to promote better health education globally, especially for women in impoverished areas. 

I will be posting about my IB courses as well as updates on my college search and selection process. 

I follow and am constantly inspired by: @elkstudies, @genspen, @studypetals, @obsidianstudy, @clemstudies, @tougher-than-a-textbook, @notedooks, and @grangergrades.

Thanks for reading! Follow me at @atomicstudies and message me or post in #atomicstudies so we can be friends. :)

The living being resolves its problems not only by adapting itself - which is to say, by modifying its relation ship to its milieu (something a machine is equally able to do) - but by modifying itself through the invention of new internal structures and its complete self-insertion in to the axiomatic of organic problems. The living individual is a system of individuation, an individuatinq system and also a system that individuates itself. The internal resonance and the translation of its relation to itself into information are all contained in the living being’s system. In the physical domain, internal resonance characterizes the limit of the individual in the process of individuating itself. In the domain of the living being, it becomes the criterion of any individual qua individual. It exists in the system of the individual and not only in that which is formed by the individual vis-a-vis its milieu. The intern al structure of the organism is brought to completion not only as a result of the activity that takes place and the modulation that occurs at the frontier between the interior domain and the exterior – as is the case with a crystal; rather, the physical individual - perpetually ex-centric, perpetually peripheral in relation to itself, active at the limit of its own terrain – cannot be said to possess any genuine interiority. But the living individual does possess a genuine interiority, because individuation does indeed take place within it. In the living individual, moreover, the interior plays a constitutive role, whereas only the frontier plays this role in the physical individual; and in the latter case, whatever is located on the inside in topological terms must also be thought of as genetically prior. The living individual is its own contemporary with regard to each one of its elements; this is not the case with the physical individual, which contains a past that is radically “past,” even when it is in the throes of growth. The living being can be considered to be a node of information that is being transmitted inside itself - it is a system within a system, containing within itself a mediation between two different orders of magnitude.
—  Simondon, G. (1967). The Genesis of the Individual. In Incorporations. p.305-306

Day 62 of 100 Days of Productivity: The truth behind the tidy studyblr desk…. There`s just so much to do!! I feel like I`m going crazy with the politics exam tomorrow and the tons of homework for next week. Whatevs, biology is fun so I`ll just stick to that for now.

There are hard choices to be made. Conservationists often suggest that protecting each last individual native species is somehow essential to maintaining the “ecological services” that nature provides for us—services such as carbon storage and maintaining the chemistry of the oceans; protecting watersheds and maintaining river flows; pollinating plants and dispersing seeds; maintaining soils and preventing runaway erosion. But that argument is a romantic illusion. Those services are best done by the species on hand that do it best. In much of the world that increasingly means nature’s pesky, pushy invaders.

Conservationists have “grossly overstated the fragility of nature, arguing that once an ecosystem is altered, it is gone forever,” Kareiva says. The trouble is that the data simply do not support the idea. Conservation scientists spend too little time investigating how ecosystems change when invaders come in or humans disrupt their operation. A narrow pursuit of evidence of “harm,” driven by invasion biologists, has blinkered researchers. And so has their pervasive belief that stability is the norm and change somehow abnormal. Neither is true. Nature is rarely in a steady state. It is the dynamics that matter, and for too long researchers have denied this.

By its own measures, conservation is failing, Kareiva says. Many protected areas, in which conservationists have invested so much, are about as true to nature as Disneyland. From the Serengeti to Yellowstone, and from the Amazon jungle to Siberia’s Pleistocene Park, these are managed ecosystems. Conservation cannot promise a return to pristine, pre-human landscapes. It needs to “jettison idealised notions of nature, parks and wilderness— ideas that have never been supported by good conservation science—and forge a more optimistic, human-friendly vision.


The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation by Fred Pearce

Since I started this site, I’ve had a lot of flak come my way for seed-swapping, even though I am careful of exchanging established invasive species, and follow disease quarantines.

I’ve never really wanted to say it out loud, but this article provides an opportunity: I’ve always thought the logic behind invasive species was conservative, and anti-evolutionary. Our very existence is predicated on a number of mass-extinction events, and since global contact and movement is inevitable, there will be some shifts and heaves in the species make up of this world.

As a lover of nature, and as someone who spends 40+ hours a week working in it, I feel a pull to create systems that defy that artificial nature/culture divide, and recognise that humans are animals, and we too require habitat. We just have to do a better job of sharing that habitat. I happily work with both ‘native species,’ (a.k.a. “things that arrived in this ecosystem before we started keeping tabs”) and non-native species (a.k.a. “most food crops”).


7.6.16, 00:16 // days 20, 21 and 22 out of 100 days of productivity

sorry I haven’t posted for the last couple of days, I’ve been a bit busy with my training on Sunday and then I just didn’t do any work to take photos of on Saturday. didn’t help that I left my phone in my friend’s car after coming back from training on Sunday and then I didn’t get it back until about 4 hours ago hahah.

tried a new layout in my bullet journal n I’m actually rly enjoying this. I kinda adapted it from another layout is seen before just with splitting the day sections into two for the date and then the bullets. it’s much more minimalistic than what I had before with all the colours n the timescale and the different headers n stuff. though granted, this isn’t /that/ minimalistic in comparison to like idk the original bullet journal.

the top left page I have “goals” but then I realised that it’s more tasks so for this week, I have put tasks instead which you may see if I post a picture of the next spread another time.

I also decided to do my “productivity” of each day and my productivity of the whole week, which I kinda like (I actually only put it in because the header bits were looking a bit bare hahah). also, as you can see last week was not productive at all because it was half term and I just had no motivation.

then I added a little reflections at the bottom just because I had extra space since I only did 5 days on this spread as opposed to the usual 7. for the next weeks I think I’m doing the 7 days on a spread thing but I kinda like the reflections bit so I may add a spread to put reflections n allocate each week a space, idk I’ll let you guys know when I figure it out.

(you can see how many things I’ve watched last week, including finally the second season of haikyuu which is so so soooo beautiful I can’t)

I did do some politics work on pressure groups, political participation and the core executive, as well as looking over a few (not many) biology topics.

I have 4 exams this week, 2 of which were today: politics and general studies. I thought both papers were quite good n they were nice questions (or nicer than some of the ones in the past papers for politics). now just hope that biology tomorrow (well today really) is quite good w nice questions n stuff n politics has nice qs too. n then I’m DONE with exams until next year (besides mocks for A2)!!!!!

also, in attempts to improve my studying, I have asked my teacher for an A2 textbook for politics (US government n stuff) n I will be reading through that before we start school again next Tuesday. I will be doing the same for the thing in history and see if I can get a second year textbook for biology. onwards and upwards!

happy studying and productive days! XXX


Marxism 101: How Capitalism is Killing Itself with Dr. Richard Wolff

In a country that declared the end of socialism, a major poll released in January 2016 revealed something unexpected. 43% of people under 30 in the US view socialism favorably compared to only 32% who view capitalism favorably. This shows that despite a concerted effort to smother the ideas of a man who died 133 years ago, the analysis put forward by Karl Marx remains extremely relevant today.

Marx is considered the most influential philosopher to ever live. With his co-thinker Friedrich Engels, he developed a way of understanding the world that has not only greatly contributed to the understanding of philosophy and economics but also history, anthropology, political science, biology and many other fields.

As a young man in the mid-19th century Marx embedded himself in the workers’ movement in his home country of Germany and in France from where he was exiled to London for his political activity. In addition to dedicating himself to the scientific study of capitalism and social change, Marx was also an organizer and he convened the very first international organization of socialists with the goal of overthrowing capitalism, known as the Communist League whose slogan was “Working men of all countries, unite.”

His work Capital is regarded as the premier dissection of the economic system we live under. His discovery of dialectical materialism redefined the world of philosophy and his rallying call the Communist Manifesto is considered the most influential political document in the world.

As the US Empire thrashes to survive the current global capitalist crisis, and with rejection of capitalism clearly growing among young people, I wanted to find out what it was about Marx’s work that has had such a profound impact, from peasants in Asia to miners in Africa, to workers in the US alike, so I talked to someone who has been teaching students and the public about Marxism for years, Dr. Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

ABBY MARTIN: You’re a Marxist economist. Let’s start with the basics. What is Marxism? And what does it mean to have a Marxist lens with which to view the world?

RICHARD WOLFF: I think the best way to understand it is that the difference between Marxism and other things is that it wants to go to the root. It is radical in that sense. It wants to see these problems: homelessness, inequality, an economy that bounces around having a recession or depression every 3 to 7 years, a society that concentrates political power in the tiny number. These recurring problems of capitalism, Marxism says, are built into the system, and if you want to solve them you can’t do that within the framework of the system. You have to face the fact that this system itself is the problem, which is why Marxists tend to be people who abide by the idea that we can and we should do better than capitalism. We should reorganize society because that will be a better way to deal with all those problems than dealing with them individually as if you could solve homelessness or solve inequality by a quick fix, by a marginal adjustment. No, the problems are systemic, so you have to understand how capitalism as a system works in order to begin to work your way to a solution.

AM: Can you give a brief explanation of dialectical materialism?

RW: Marx was a philosopher, so being a rigorous and systematic thinker, he didn’t want to jump into economics, which is what he focused on, without grounding it in philosophy, so he begins as a student of Hagel, the great philosopher. When he begins his academic life—Marx began as a professor—he taught philosophy. His doctoral dissertation was on ancient Greek philosophy. He wasn’t an economist when he began. He ended up thinking he had to study economics because of how philosophy got him there. And to be quick in a way of an answer to your question, he comes out of a school of thought that believed that ideas were the supreme achievement of human beings. Ideas are what you get from the most refined reflection that the human brain can do. If you’re religiously oriented, ideas are what you get from God, from the spiritual realm, and so the world is really shaped by something prior to the world, namely ideas, so the notion is, sometimes called idealism, that the real world is the product of ideas, and if you want to really understand the real world, go to the ideas that make it what it is.

Religiously, in the beginning there was nothing. Then there was first God which is a non-material idea and that creates the world. In Genesis, in seven days God, a spirituality, creates the materiality of the world. Marx rejected that. For him the material is just as important as the ideal. If you want to see where the material comes from, it is shaped by ideas. But here comes his radicalism. It runs the other way too. The ideas don’t come from nowhere. They come out of the real world. The ideas we have as people have to do with the real material problems we have as human beings, and how we solve them. Where do we get our food? Where do we get our shelter? How do we get protection as little children from the elements from our parents?……

Continued at:- mediaroots.org/marxism-101-how-capitalism-is-killing-itself-with-dr-richard-wolff/