pre exposure

Several weeks ago a pet skunk came in to see me because it just wasn’t acting right. The skunk had been purchased from a breeder and had lived with the owner for five years. Although normally an indoor pet the owner had built an enclosed area in the back yard so that the skunk could be safely outdoors. When the owner first purchased the skunk it had gotten a rabies vaccine and a clean bill of health from a veterinarian but had not been in to see a vet since then.

I walked into the room and saw the owner with several blood soaked paper towels wrapped around his hand. The skunk was in a carrier on the table growling and biting at the bars. I asked him if he was ok and he said yes, the bite was very minor and it happened all the time. Slowly I approached the carrier and the skunk began screaming and biting the sides of the cage.

“Has anyone else been bitten?” I asked.

“Oh, probably my whole family. He’s never been very nice.”

Slowly I bent down to look into the carrier again and the skunk rammed the front snarling and snapping. I felt drops of saliva hitting me in the face. Gently I explained to the owner that I was extremely concerned this skunk was rabid and his entire family and anyone else that had been in contact with the skunk needed to get to a hospital immediately and get rabies post-exposure treatment. The owner was understandably upset and asked me to please look at the skunk close. Politely I refused and told him there was no way I was going to open that carrier nor expose my staff to a possibly rabid animal. After several more minutes of discussion he agreed to allow me to euthanize the skunk and have it tested for rabies but he wasn’t going to go to the hospital.

“What could happen if it is rabies?” the owner asked.

Very sternly I told him, “You’ll die. There is absolutely no treatment for rabies and the only possible outcome is death. You will die. Your family will die. Anyone who has been bitten or exposed to the saliva will die.”

“Is it expensive?”

“If you have insurance it should cover it. If you don’t, yes it can be expensive. But this is literally a matter of life or death. I understand being concerned about medical bills but the alternative is death.”

The owner said he would think about it. I sent the head off for testing and didn’t think anything more about it.

A few days later I got a phone call from the health department telling me that the skunk was positive for rabies. The phone numbers and information the client had given me, which I included on the submission form to the lab, were wrong and the department could not get in touch with the family to tell them they absolutely needed to get to the hospital. I got a little sick to my stomach thinking about the saliva that had gotten on my face and likely into my eyes as well. Luckily I had already had the pre-exposure vaccinations so would just need to get two booster vaccines and would be fine. If the family did not get medical help soon they would die of rabies. I gave the health department all of the information we had on the clients.

A few days later I got word that a man had gone to the hospital saying he had been exposed to a friend’s skunk that was diagnosed with rabies. Luckily that man was able to give the correct information to the hospital and the health department was able to get in touch with the family and they came in and were all treated for rabies exposure. I don’t think they ever really realized how close they came to dying.

There are a few lessons to take home here:

Skunks don’t make good pets. Leave them in the wild where they belong.

Rabies is not an old timey disease that people used to die from. It’s still here and vaccinating against it is still very important.

Give the proper information when you go to the vet! These people probably gave false information because owning a skunk is illegal where they live but vets aren’t interested in turning people in. We desperately needed to contact them to save their lives.

Finally, rabies is nothing to mess with. There is no treatment; there is nothing that can be done when symptoms begin. It is far better to pay for vaccines than it is a funeral.


Let’s stop HIV in New York City

  • If you are HIV-negative, PEP and PrEP can help you stay that way.
  • If you are HIV-positive, PEP and PrEP can help protect your partners.


Daily PrEP

PrEP is a daily pill that can help keep you HIV-negative as long as you take it every day.


Emergency PEP

If you are HIV-negative and think you were exposed to HIV, immediately go to a clinic or emergency room and ask for PEP (Post-exposure  Prophylaxis).

  • PEP can stop HIV if started within 36 hours of exposure.
  • You continue taking PEP for 28 days.

Many insurance plans including Medicaid cover PEP and PrEP. Assistance may be available if you are uninsured. Visit NYC Health’s website to find out where to get PrEP or PEP in New York City.


Colour Before Sunrise by David Burn
Via Flickr:
Headed out Local this morning! I must have thousands of photos from this spot! I’m sure i’ll be back to take thousands more.

Social poster assignment 💊✨ ~ PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and it’s the use of anti-HIV medication to keep HIV negative people from becoming infected. A single pill taken once daily is highly effective against HIV when taken every day. Today more than ever we need to show support for our poz brothers, sisters and non-binary peeps. I love you all my dudes 🌸

dirt-goddess  asked:

Can you just... get a rabies vaccine? Just walk into a doctor's office and ask for one? Or do they only give them to people who have a high risk of being exposed? (Vets, animal control people, wildlife rehabilitators, etc)

Pre-exposure vaccines are only given to people with a high risk of exposure so not just anyone can get them. Post-exposure vaccines are given to anyone that needs them but usually this is done at an emergency clinic.

Money Powder Cross Spell

People’s understanding and perception of particular spells may have little to do with the original intent. For instance, the shape of the cross used in the following spell has little to do with Christianity; however, if that added association lends power and comfort for you, incorporate it as you will, as many people have. It is a Conjure spell from the American South and actually relies heavily upon Congolese symbolism. Congolese use of the cross pre-dates exposure to Christianity and describes the successful life cycle, with profound metaphysical implications as well.

Nickels are the traditional coin of choice for this spell, perhaps because five is considered a strong number of protection and generation. However, any coin may be substituted, provided all seven are of equal value.

  1. Spread a layer of raw white rice within a baking pan.
  2. Cover the rice with a layer of powdered sugar.
  3. Sprinkle Money Drawing Powder on top or substitute shredded fresh basil leaves.
  4. Lay seven coins on top of the power in the form of a cross.
  5. Dress two red and two green candles with a Money Drawing Oil.
  6. Place one candle at each arm of the cross.
  7. Burn the candles completely while visualizing your desired goals.
  8. Gather up the nickels, some of the powder, sugar and rice, plus any wax remnants that may have formed vaguely lucky shapes, and place them in a mojo bag, to be worn or kept in your place of business.

(from The Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes)

if-blogs-were-real  asked:

Ok so like Kossith, right? It's been bothering me we keep getting these hints about thier origins without real answers (among several other things but hear me out i'm trying to stay consice) they came from elves most likely mixed with dragon blood (as hinted by cassandra & bull), the pyramids of par vollen entry: returning after having found the Qun. Painting in the lost temple of dirthamen: scaled, horned, tails(before the Qun??) They went north?? (battleground state & freed are slaves) hold on

By the way i’m sorry if that made no sense i’m working on a story & started thinking too hard & went down SEVERAL rabbit trails & youre the first person that came to mind who enjoys headcanon discussion stuff (you really inspire me with your awesomeness. I love your blog/art/writing/all that other sentimental jazz)

I am pleased to hear it. I really do enjoy trying to formulate theories and extrapolate based on what tiny clues the canon gives us. (And thank you for the kind words. <3)

As far as I’m concerned, we really don’t know enough about the Kossith to completely narrow their origins down to a single theory. There are a lot of possibilities. Some things we do know about the Kossith/Qunari and their connection to dragons:

  • Corypheus says that the Qunari race isn’t a race but “a mistake” suggesting that they were created rather than simply being the result of evolutionary forces. Whether this magical/genetic manipulation happened before or after the existence of the Kossith is unknown. The Kossith could have already existed and merely been the subjects of experimentation OR the Kossith may have been created from something else. 
  • Considering the source of that information, it would not be unreasonable to assume that this process was happening sometime within Corypheus’s lifetime - but given that the orb granted him information about ancient Elvhenan that he couldn’t have otherwise known, it’s also possible that whatever happened to “make” the Qunari what they are occurred well before his time.
  • Bull’s talk of dragon’s blood as part of their breeding: “A few of the Ben-Hassrath have a crazy old theory. See, the Tamassrans control who we mate with. They breed us for jobs like you’d breed dogs or horses. What if they mixed in some dragon a long time ago? Maybe drinking the blood, maybe magic, I don’t know.”
  • Ogres are the descendants of Kossith/Qunari broodmothers. We know that many (if not the majority) of them came from a colony of Kossith that settled in what is now Ferelden. They were wiped out ages ago, before the arrival of the Qun.
  • They say that we can’t be certain what the Kossith looked like before the Qunari started enforcing selective breeding. While this is largely true, I think that ogres give us a definite clue as they pre-date Qunari exposure to the Blight. The fact that they have horns does at least suggest that it was a typical trait among the Kossith. Their stature is another thing to consider. If the Blight did not alter their height, then the Kossith could have been huge compared to modern Qunari. For the majority of darkspawn, they appear to have roughly the same proportions as their non-corrupted counterparts (with the exception of the genlock redesigns where Alphas are slightly taller than humans despite being dwarven in origin). So there is a possibility that the Kossith were significantly taller than other races, but the jury is still out. 
  • While the ruins in Par Vollen are believed to be human in origin (humans are depicted as the majority race in their artwork and Par Vollen is theorized to be the original home of the human race before they migrated further south), they do feature images of horned figures placed in positions of power and authority. I think it is very likely that these were Kossith - but what they were doing there, why they left, and what their relationship was to the native humans is unknown.

You’re not the first person I’ve heard make a connection between the Scaled Ones and the Kossith. Personally, I think they are two different races. But just to clear some things up:

The scaled ones do not have horns, but are described as having scales and incredibly sharp teeth and talons. They are an intelligent race, communicating in their own language, having their own ritualized religious practices, etc. From the limited eyewitness information we have, it appears that they could have a religious belief tied around the blood of dwarves… which considering the suggested dwarf/titan connection and the extreme power in Titan blood (ie lyrium) could mean that the Scaled Ones are a very ancient race who remember when the Titans thrived. 

Another possibility is that the Scaled Ones were another failed experiment by the same people responsible for creating the Kossith/Qunari. The similarities between them and dragons are very noticeable, though they seem to have traits that the Kossith/Qunari lack. It is quite possible that whoever is responsible for the creation of the Qunari and the Scaled Ones was looking for some specific feature that dragons possess and made more than one attempt to isolate and breed it. 

As for right now, there are tons of possibilities out there and many theories that could be developed to try and explain the clues we’ve got. I do like the idea that the elves were the ones behind this experiment. Even if that’s not how the canon plays out, it makes for an interesting idea. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the wars between Elgar’nan and the Forgotten Ones encouraged one side or the other to try and develop their own form of super soldier, so to speak.
Why a Drug to Prevent HIV Infection Is in Low Demand
Even as public-health officials push wider use of PrEP to prevent HIV infection, some AIDS organizations lobby against the medication.
By Sumathi Reddy

Public-health officials are pushing for much wider use of a drug that has proved effective at preventing HIV infection.

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a daily medication that people at high risk for HIV can take to protect against acquiring the virus, which causes AIDS. The drug Truvada was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 for use as PrEP.  About 50,000 people a year in the U.S. become infected with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Still, fewer than 22,000 people are estimated to have taken PrEP for prevention, according to an analysis this year in the journal Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS. AIDS remains a significant cause of death in certain populations although treatments have made living with the syndrome a reality for many.

World Health Organization "strongly recommends" PrEP in addition to condoms for MSM HIV prevention

The World Health Organization stated last week that for the first time, it “strongly recommends” that men who have sex with men prevent HIV infection using antiretroviral drugs, in addition to condoms. 

Pre-exposure prophylaxis, a daily pill marketed as Truvada in the United States, has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in high-risk individuals by up to 92% if taken consistently. So far Truvada is the only PrEP drug approved by the FDA. Health care providers emphasize that condoms should still be used to prevent the spread of other STDs. 

The health agency said that new prevention options such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) — currently in the form of a daily pill containing two drugs — are needed alongside condom use to reduce HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men, a key population in which infection rates remain high. The agency clarified the recommendation Monday, however, stating that it was not recommending that all men who have sex with men must or should begin PrEP treatment as incorrectly reported by some media outlets.

“The recommendation states that PrEP should be considered as an additional choice for preventing HIV infection alongside and together with the use of condoms and other prevention options,” WHO said in a statement to BuzzFeed explaining the recommendation. “Essentially, this is about choice — in the same way that WHO recommends different contraception options for women WHO wants to support offering gay men the full range of prevention options to suit their circumstances and not exclude any options that are evidenced based.”

Basically, it’s a really big deal for the WHO to make a widespread suggestion advocating this medication. I haven’t talked about it much here, but it’s clear that PrEP is going to mean something huge for HIV/AIDS in our communities, and this is one telling piece of evidence. 


PartyBottom will tell you about two experiences she had with HIV health providers today: Last night, PB was sent this highly filtered Facebook post:

——- —– feeling drained 11 mins · Unbelievable that my program, which serves transwomen and men who have sex with men, is being threatened with boycott because one if my referral sources found out I go to fest. Deeply hurt and disappointed. Not sure how to process this. Tired of being in the closet about going to fest just to protect my damn job.

To clarify, PartyBottom is on professional & casual conversational terms with this guy. His deal is that he is some kind of trans guy (?) – let’s just say he very much “passes” as male, “performs” male in his daily life and work, has a visible tattoo that says “BOY,” and (I would venture to say) generally is perceived as male probably 98.8% of the time. He works at a center which, in their branding, and on their website, serves many HIV+ clients, including “trans women and men who have sex with men,” in one breath, populations that have historically been blurred together, often to the detriment of trans women’s ability to access services.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: the deal with this guy is that for two weeks a year, he goes by “she,” in order to go to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. And works with trans women and gay dudes the rest of the year.

Now, PartyBottom has gone on record as Officially Done With Caring About Michfest, but when it starts FUXXING WITH MY AIDS SERVICES, THAT’S WHEN I GET MAD, OK?

AND, TO CONTINUE: just the other day, I was in a meeting at the New York City Department of Health with this guy, a “community outreach session” designed to develop a public health campaign in New York around PrEP, the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, which has had much media coverage as of late (Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

There are a million reasons why this “community outreach session” was not in fact a “community outreach session,” but instead just a dog-and-pony show so the DoH could say it did its due diligence by being in touch with the people or whatever, but those reasons are boring and typical: it was at 9am on a Monday morning, in some faceless office building in the financial district, with high security where you had to show ID (hello excluding many trans and undocumented people) and THERE WAS NO DAMN COFFEE – but that brings us to the meat of the thing: it really kind of went downhill from there, if you can believe it.

PS: PartyBottom, always the intrepid journalist, was one of two people in the room who were not affiliated with some kind of heavyweight professionalized organization, or historicized activist group.

(This is wrapping back around, trust me, stay with me here.)

The first panel of the morning was on “Populations That Have Traditionally Received HIV Outreach: Men Who Have Sex With Men, Men of Color, and Trans Women.

Okay, this is all well and good, but when it comes to the specificity of trans women’s needs and their inclusion on this particular panel (or, as you’re about to discover, non-inclusion)… See first paragraph, insert frowny face. Even one cisgender women in the room who admitted she’d learned everything she knew about the transgender community from RuPaul’s Drag Race was like, Wait. I don’t get it. Why are we talking about trans women on this panel? They’re women. Moreover, PB would vehemently contest the claim that it is easy for trans women to find trans-specific information about HIV, especially around PrEP. In the initial research presented at the meeting, we learned that of all the PrEP campaigns designed so far in North America (about 50, if PB is not mistaken), two – TWO – are aimed at trans women.

As far as the discussion on men who have sex with men went, it was an extremely sophisticated and nuanced conversation. Many concrete suggestions were made: why not, for example, instead of translating pre-designed campaigns for English-speakers into Spanish, hire people whose primary language is Spanish to design campaigns? Why not start thinking of HIV less as a binary (positive-versus-negative) and more of a continuum? (HIV undiagnosed, HIV diagnosed, HIV on meds, HIV undetectable, HIV negative, HIV negative and on PrEP, HIV status unknown, etc etc etc) which absolutely reflects more the reality HIV/AIDS in the US today? Why not, instead of talking about "safe” sex only in terms of condoms and seropositivity, we start talking about harm reduction sex, including the myriad mindful and careful ways people explore their sexuality in a world where HIV still exists, both with and without condoms and PrEP? What are the intersections of social justice and HIV – you know what really causes HIV? Not lack of condoms, not lack of access to PrEP: racism, sexism, poverty and homophobia, that’s what.

These are some serious thinkers, here in this room. People who are extremely careful with language.

And then, (sad trombone), it was tokenization time. “Well, we were going to invite this awesome trans woman to talk about PrEP, but she couldn’t make it, and then we tried to invite this other awesome trans woman to talk about HIV, but she couldn’t make it.” Since PB had been the only person to identify herself as both transgender and HIV+ in the room (THE MICHFEST DUDE HAD NOT IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS TRANSGENDER IN THE INITIAL GO-AROUND) she was called upon to, were she so inclined, speak on behalf of ALL TRANS WOMEN’S CONCERNS RE: PrEP.

Fortunately, PB had been taking notes the whole time and is pretty good at public speaking ex tempore. I went up to the mic and gave a little speech on the fly, which, to be honest, could make up an entire other post (and probably will.) Unfortunately, THIS WHOLE DEBAUCLE WAS UNFORTUNATE, AND WENT ON TO BECOME MORE UNFORTUNATE.

Because the next panel, “Under-Represented Populations: Women and Undocumented People” started out with a big ole slap in the face. As the panel was introduced, it was made clear by the moderator that in this case we were talking about cisgender women. Then, a brief discussion ensued on the meaning of cisgender, since about half the people in this highly educated room had not heard of it. (Like, you know the guys from that Academy Award nominated documentary, How To Survive a Plague? One of those guys was there.) It was that kind of crowd.

Then, the panel starts with a (white) woman, who started out her speech: “Yeah, well I guess I’m here to represent ALL WOMEN on this panel. I don’t know about all this cisgender stuff. I will tell you right now, I think that word is stupid. I don’t work with cisgender women, I just work with women. Period.”

Now, look. It is the opinion of PartyBottom, Inc., that language wars around contemporary trans discourse in the last six months have probably done more to alienate intergenerational communities and individual people from each other than to unite them, which is probably a bad thing; moreover, go ahead, call PartyBottom a tranny, a shemale, a he-she, a shim – whatever slur you can think of: it will probably hurt my feelings and I will be annoyed with you, but at the end of the day I know who and what I am and no one can take that away from me. That said, whom I allow to call me any particular slur/term-of-endearment (and yes, they can be the same, but often are not ) depends largely on my personal level of intimacy with the speaker. Also, I think “cisgender” is a very useful word, though I don’t always use it when I’m talking to people who are, ah, a little naive about current trans issues – it all depends on context.

BUT (and this is a big “but,” since context is what we’re talking about here) we were in a room full of people who were there to design communication, and thus had up until that point been extremely careful and nuanced about language. And I mean, in that atmosphere, where everyone is going as far out of their way as possible to not step on each others’ toes, it felt like a slap in the face to be told that naming a hegemonic group that has historically oppressed trans people is just “stupid.”

I raised my hand. I politely objected. I asked for the mic. She kept talking, and steamrolled over me. So I left.

I got up, and walked out of the room.

A couple of nice people came chasing after me, including a nice gay dude who said, (verbatim quote) “Don’t let her get you down, please come back in, girl, you just got hit with the stigma stick!” and another woman who was there on behalf of an organization of people of color living with HIV and was equally annoyed with this woman’s tone, said to me, “Look, for one thing, that woman up there does not represent all women, and for another, you need to be in that room. Your voice needs to be in that room.”

You know who did not come out in a gesture of solidarity? MICHFEST TRANS DUDE, THAT’S WHO.

But I just couldn’t take it. I was hungry, I was tired, I was emotionally and intellectually exhausted. I went to the bathroom. I cried.

Then, I snuck out of the building, via the service elevator.

I guess this is why PartyBottom makes a better writer than an activist, huh?

I felt terrible afterward. Just another hysterical trans woman, storming out of the meeting in tears after one off-hand remark. Like I had not just let down myself, but all trans women with HIV.

As I understand it, later in the meeting there was some resolution around this stuff, and I was contacted later by the DoH and someone from TAG (the Treatment Action Group, historically a very very big deal in HIV research and treatment) so this story is still ongoing. More as it develops.

But the reason I tell it is to illustrate how trans women are systematically shut out of the process of decision-making around HIV prevention and education, and how, sometimes, trans men are complicit in this. ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY GO TO MICHFEST.

I don’t want this guy to lose his job. I don’t want his organization to suffer – they do good work. I want him to take some accountability, and to clean up his act, and to maybe stop supporting an ancient bastion of transmisogyny on his summer vacation. I mean, whatever.

BUT, REMEMBER: I told you this was the story of two HIV social worker stories. Remember, PartyBottom is about BYOPMA: Bring Your Own Positive Mental Attitude.

Today I went for some benefits counseling at the granddaddy of ‘em all, the most stately and centurion and (perhaps ill-managed, if you read the papers) HIV service org in New York. And, I waited two hours to see a counselor there. But it was SO WORTH IT.

First off, when the receptionist told me who I was going to be seeing, I was shocked. She’s still here??, I asked incredulously. After dealing with constant, unending turnover in HIV service nonprofits, it was so refreshing to walk into an org that has changed locations, and, five years later, retained the same awesome staff member.

And she was just so awesome. She has always been so awesome. Organizations can sometimes be fucked, but at the end of the day, organizations are just made up of people, and this particular worker is very, very good people. (She has an autographed photo of Mae West by her desk, given to her by a client. When your clients like you that much, that’s usually a pretty good sign.)

I have a feeling – I don’t know this for sure, but I get the sense that she has been working there for well over 20 years. She knows her shit. I was asking about some health insurance questions (specifically, some creative ways to perhaps get around the Medicaid exclusion for trans surgery in New York – she didn’t blink an eye or skip a beat about this), and she had all the information I needed (and then some), and was charming, witty and funny, all at exactly the right times and maintaining the exact right tone throughout the entire interaction.

I noticed she happened to have a copy of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves on her desk. As we left, I mentioned I needed to use the bathroom and she was like, Okay, the women’s room is kind of schlep – it’s way down the hall past the stairs to the right. We really are working on getting gender neutral facilities. I was like, oh, don’t worry, it’s no big deal – like, I don’t mind finding the bathroom on my own – but she was like, look, to some people it is a very big deal, with this tone in her voice that to me indicated 1) it sucks that women who come there often have mobility or breathing difficulties due to illnesses associated with HIV, and having to make a long walk to find the bathroom, and 2) that she realizes that gender neutral restrooms are essential to serve a variety of transgender clients, not to mention families and all the other people that single-stall restrooms serve.

By-the-by, it came up very naturally in the conversation that she had been married to a man for a very long time, so, I’m guessing – and of course I could be off the mark here – she identifies as a straight, cisgender woman. POINT: solidarity is an act, a series of acts, a lifetime of choices and self-education, a deeply felt human compassion, NOT a button on your goddamn denim vest. Or, even really a matter of identity, when it comes right down to it.

The point is, She knows not only the theory of how the VAST, ENORMOUS HIV bureaucracy operates in New York, but how it plays out in practice. She knows all the ins and outs of everything, because this is work she has dedicated her life to. She was, frankly, the picture of competence.

When I am her age, she is who I want to be. God bless her.

WAAAAAAY TL;DR – When it comes to trans women and HIV, there are lots of young trans dudes out there who Totally Don’t Get It, and there are lots of people (straight people even!) who have been around since this virus caught fire who do, and I am grateful to them every single day.

fromcainwithlove  asked:

ok I just finished boot camp p2 and wow lady I wanna yell at you so much hdy BUT! re: louis and lack of footage, CRAZY CONSPIRACY THEORY: what if he was a truly last minute decision? it's obvious from way downtown that the other four are gonna be important, and that can't all be editing. but what if simon et al originally planned a group of four? Louis's voice was by all objective standards the weakest and he thought we was going home from the start. maybe something v close to the end (tbc)

(cont) made them decide his presence would be good. OR, maybe simon had him in mind the whole time but thought he wouldn’t take the deal and it would end up a foursome. like the camera man saying it sounded like louis didn’t want it - for whatever reason I feel like they didn’t film him bc he wasn’t part of the plan, rather than him doing something to ruin the shots.


B) Quick disclaimer (NAH IT’S NOT QUICK I’M SORRY, but it’s honestly more about tag commentary I’ve seen on reblogs than it is about what you’re saying) because my wording on that part of the post never 100% sat well with me but it was SO LATE and I was SO TIRED and at some point you just have to let things stand as they are. Baaaaaasically I don’t think he would have ACTIVELY SABOTAGED any shots by pulling a face or whatever (although that one time he might have inadvertently done so by gesturing to Jay or even just by whatever look was on his face when she was encouraging him from the audience) so much as I think he kept himself in check enough that he might plausibly have shown ZERO outward indications of giving any fucks at all, which could be the reason he’s so much less visible than Niall - the others all had at least one segment devoted to them, but nearly all of Niall’s pre-group exposure comes from the fact that he’s REALLY open and expressive. When it came down to it, “people in reaction shots NEED TO ACTUALLY BE REACTING” was probably a higher editing priority than “make sure you foreshadow every single member of the Frankenstein groups” was.

C) BUT. BUT BUT BUT. BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT. I’M SO INTO THE IDEA OF THERE BEING NO FOOTAGE OF LOUIS BECAUSE HE WAS A LAST MINUTE ADDITION, because really, honestly, AND I SAY THIS WITH ALL THE LOVE IN MY HEART, why include him? Belle Amie were only a group of four, so it really could just as easily have been Niall, Zayn, Liam, and Harry. Except at judges’ houses you end up seeing EXACTLY THAT GROUP trying to function under pressure while Louis is getting his foot checked out, and it’s a total gibbering nightmare of stress and nerves.

Is it THAT FAR outside the realm of possibility that Louis was on Simon’s radar, if not as a personality or as a serious contender, then as someone who was putting the work in even though it might have seemed like he didn’t care? And if that was the case, it’s possible that the judges did decide on a four-person lineup before Simon went OKAY, BUT: ALL FOUR OF THESE BOYS CONSTANTLY LOOK LIKE THEY’RE ABOUT TO CRY AND/OR PASS OUT. Was there someone else they could add to balance it out and add some fucking chill? Someone maybe a little older but still around their age, someone who had shown over the course of bootcamp that they adjusted quickly and got along well with people, someone who was focused but didn’t seem to let the pressure get to them so easily? DID THEY HAVE ANYONE LIKE THAT AVAILABLE?

anonymous asked:

my parents are against bone collecting and always think that something died from rabies. I found a rabbit head at school I felt really connected with it? I don't know. I brought it home and my dad yelled at me and said that I would get rabies and threw it away in the trash. How do you know if a bone is safe to collect? Also, I heard you can talk to spirits by meditating but I'm not sure how it works. Sorry if this is long, you have a great blog!!

Oh goodness…

While rabies is definitely a concern when handling dead animals, the virus is nowhere near as dangerous or…prevalent as your parents are making it out to be. 

I don’t mean that in the sense that a rabies infection is minor. It isn’t; it will kill you in the worst, most drawn-out of ways and there is no cure and not even any kind of treatment (unless you count the Milwaukee protocol, which I wouldn’t). Rather, what I mean is that… getting an actual rabies infection from a carcass is a little harder than they seem to think it is.

Let’s talk about rabies first, though. Like what is it, actually? 

Rabies is a zoonotic disease associated with violent, unpredictable behavior, foaming at the mouth, and frenzied biting. It attacks the central nervous system and causes, among other things, massive swelling on the brain. I could go on and on about the different stages of infection (for example, did you know that the “bite everything” phase only starts up in the middle of the infection’s course and the animal was infectious waaaay before that?) and how the virus changes its hosts’ behavior in eerily intelligent ways that could help it spread further, but that’s a topic for another day. One main point I will get to is this: When an organism is infected with rabies, the virus takes up residence in two main places: the salivary glands and the brain tissue.

Now, as insidious as it is, the rabies virus itself is… shockingly weak.

The virus itself is only truly infectious if it enters the bloodstream. You could have a rabid raccoon lick your arm for a day and a half–so long as you had no cuts or areas of broken skin, you wouldn’t get rabies. This is why rabid animals are driven to bite. It’s one of the only reliable ways for the virus to be transmitted to a new host, as a bite introduces infectious saliva into the bloodstream.

Now, rabies can technically be an airborne virus, but only under certain conditions–namely, if infected saliva or brain matter becomes aerosolized. (Your nostrils and lung tissue are mucous membranes, which is basically a direct link to the bloodstream.) This is why they tell people not to shoot a rabid animal in the head–that sends blood, saliva, and brain matter spraying into the air, where it can potentially be breathed in. No bueno.

The virus cells also have to be kept in a liquid solution (say, saliva) for them to be infectious. Once the saliva or infected brain matter dries, the virus deactivates, and getting wet again will not re-activate it. The virus is “dead”, insofar as something that was never technically alive can be dead. If you find a mummified raccoon, it won’t give you rabies, even if that’s what caused its death.

Also, the rabies virus is only viable within a very narrow range of temperatures. Much below… I think around 96 F, and the virus doesn’t function, and 110 F will outright destroy it. So it has to be kept somewhere between those two, which is a range of… fourteen degrees. This is one of the reason why the virus primarily affects placental mammals, as our body temperatures fall well within its preferred range; marsupials are just a liiiiittle too cool for it, reptiles are way too cold, and birds are too hot.

In North America, the most common rabies vector species (the species most likely to be infected with the virus) are bats, followed by raccoons, foxes, skunks, and–oddly enough–groundhogs. But the first four are hands-down the most common vectors among wildlife. Stray dogs and cats are also pretty high on the list. So if there is any fresh carcass you want to be careful about, it’d be from any of those species. 

Of course, if you live anywhere that is green on this map, congratulations, your rabies risk is 0% thanks to stringent customs regulations and, in most cases, the fact that you are in the middle of the ocean and rabid animals fear water. (No, really.)

The main thing to keep in mind with rabies is that it’s transmitted primarily through biting, and the bitten animal has to be able to survive the attack and live with the wound long enough to successfully incubate the virus. Small prey animals–mice, rats, rabbits–can certainly be infected with rabies, but it is much more likely that they will die (either by bleeding out or from the shock of the attack) before they can become vectors of it themselves. 

Also, if you want to show this information to your parents, and they want to know how credible I am… I worked in a wildlife rehabilitation clinic this past summer. We would take in rabies vector species in need of treatment, and as such, everyone working there had to have an understanding of the virus and the danger it posed, because it was directly related to how we did our job. We emphasized things like hot-water hand-washing, wearing heavy leather gloves if you absolutely had to deal with the animal, wearing disposable gloves whenever you handled its linens or washed its dishes, and never putting your bare hand near the cage–not even to pop in a grape for the raccoon as a treat. Even those who had been vaccinated weren’t supposed to touch RVS animals or anything they touched without gloves on. A simple scratch from the claws of an RVS animal was treated like a bite, because it was always possible the animal had licked its paws previously and there might be infectious material there now–any scratches had to be washed immediately with hot water and soap. I would often follow it up with a wipe with alcohol, to ensure the skin was dry.

We had to know the mechanisms of the virus and how to protect ourselves from it, because even those who were unvaccinated and not allowed to work directly with RVS animals were still at-risk for exposure. It wasn’t a terribly high risk, but it was still there. If it were truly that high, we would have required every single volunteer and staff member to have the pre-exposure rabies vaccine–but we don’t. 

The rabies virus is a very dangerous pathogen, but it’s incredibly easy to reduce your risk of contracting the virus, even if you have exposure to it.

Now, to answer your actual questions.

How do you know if a bone is safe to collect? That depends on you, really. Are you wearing gloves and do you have a bag to “quarantine” it in until you can clean it up? Do you plan to practice good hand-washing afterwards? If so, pretty much any bone is safe to collect!

I used to be a huge stickler about gloves, but I’ve become somewhat more lax about it these days. If the bone is completely cleaned of flesh and totally dry, I’ll pick it up bare-handed. Now, of course, I don’t touch my eyes, nose, or mouth again until I’ve washed my hands thoroughly, but I’m probably going to pay for this someday, so don’t be like me. Wear disposable gloves.

Once you’ve transported the bones home, give them a thorough scrub with some hot water. Soap, too, if you feel the need. (I don’t.) Get some bottles of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution from the drug store and pop them in overnight. DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH, UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR BONES TO FALL APART AFTER LIKE SIX MONTHS BECAUSE BLEACH DOES NOT WASH OUT AND IT GRADUALLY DESTROYS THE BONE TISSUE. Ta-dah! Your bones are now safe to handle!

How do you contact spirits through meditation? My method has always been to “set up” a meeting place. This can work if you’re one of those people who does well envisioning themselves going places when they meditate.

For example, I used to have this whole long “journey” I would take. I would start off in a dark sea-cave, then follow it back through a series of long tunnels lit by glowing crystals, which opened up to this beautiful… place, sort of like a big, brightly-lit underground cavern. But there was a field of tall grass that I would have to walk through, which eventually opened up to a clearing with two large, smooth stones on it. This was normally the spot where I would meet with my guide–it was our agreed meeting place.

So you might try something like that. Envision a cave or tunnel of your liking, follow it until you come out on the other side, and see what you “find.” There’s all kinds of guided meditations you can find online that can help you with this!

Hope this was helpful!

For everyone freaking out about Oliver from HTGAWM

I understand the anger and outrage that yet another show has gone down the “sad sick gay” route. However I also see this as a great opportunity for a show with a high number of viewers to speak about an important subject.

HTGAWM has the opportunity to address the issue of living with HIV and of having an HIV positive partner. This is an opportunity for a show with high visibility to help remove some of the stigma related to being HIV positive, as well as debunk some of the misconceptions about individuals who cobtract HIV.

Recently, researchers have discovered that Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (commonly known as PrEP or Truvada) could help prevent the contraction of the HIV virus. The show can also help debunk some myths about Truvada and the people who choose to take it.

Oliver’s results give the show a chance to address these issues and help educate their viewers a little bit. While I still wish Peter Nowalk hadn’t gone with this plot, I will withhold judgement until I see how he handles Oliver and Connor.