science app

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The Best App For Throwback Thursdays

Latest episode from Nat & Lo looks at the subject of computational photography, the growing importance in the smartphone market of it, and how it relates to a new photo scanning app from Google:

This week Google Photos launched a new app, PhotoScan, that helps you digitize your old printed photos. Want to know how it works? You’ve come to the right video. :) 

More Here

On Science and Craft

I told @ei-lena I would do this post (herein, Rant), so here it is:


I get told, often and repeatedly, that science has nothing to do with Craft. Whenever I point out how a scientific fact correlates with, and indeed even explains some aspects of, a magical property (be it an herb, a stone, or other ingredient), I am gently admonished that, while said fact is “interesting”, it has no place in a Pagan environment. Or sometimes, the admonishment is not so gentle.

I’ve been called stupid, blasphemous, brain-washed. And not by ancient crones, bent cackling over a cauldron! By people ranging from my parents’ age (Fifties), all the way down the age spectrum to children, a decade younger than I am! People who’ll happily take advantage of explainable science to have witchy apps on their smart phones, electric votives in place of candles, a french press or coffee maker to create potions (Things that would have been considered impossible less than a century ago), but refuse to acknowledge certain aspects of magic simply being a science we don’t quite understand yet. As if having a molecular explanation for a power makes it less.

Understanding that a chemical compound comprised of trinitrotoluene being exposed to a sudden electrical charge causes a massive explosion does not lessen the devastation of that explosion!

Understanding that the crystalline structure of certain stones means they transmute energy away from or towards the source of that energy doesn’t lessen the property of that stone!

A perfect example happened to me just a few days ago. I have an antique piece of scrimshaw, and a shard of fossilized dinosaur bone. The scrimshaw was made from the tooth of a sperm whale, the bone shard appears to be from a shattered bone of a large predator (species unknown). I was searching everywhere to find what kind of Craft aspects these two pieces could provide, but I found nothing, so I went to a chat room specifically geared towards pagans etc. to ask for opinions.

Overwhelmingly, the initial reaction was that I was a horrible person for owning scrimshaw, and that by purchasing it, I might as well have killed the whale myself.

First, let me remind everyone: This is an ANTIQUE. Could be a hundred years old for all I know, I bought it in an antique store because it was SCREAMING for me to take it. I have a deep love and respect for whales, and I hate what I know must have been done to this poor creature, but leaving it there was not going to undo what had been done LONG BEFORE I WAS BORN, and the pendant CHOSE me.

I was then told, in no uncertain, bitchy tones, that ivory of any kind had absolutely NO magical properties, except for whatever was left of the animal’s spirit that remained.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m very aware that this tooth still contains something of the animal’s spirit. I feel him looming over me whenever I touch it, at first an angry presence, but then a guarding one. I could write novels of what I experience when touching this tooth, but that would stray too far from the topic. Other than the overwhelming persona that remains very much alive within this tooth though, I feel other properties, within the structure of the ivory itself. I asked if it was possible that, since ivory is mostly calcium, if it could have similar properties to other stones that have a very high calcium structure. Again, I was shot down, in incredibly bitchy tones and words, saying that no product of an animal could have magical properties. I then presented the question regarding my fossil piece, suggesting that, since all the organic materials have been replaced with minerals, perhaps it would have the same properties as the stone around it? I was then told that, “That’s not how magic works”.

If a fossilized bone is now molecularly identical with, say, a piece of granite, why would that fossil not have similar properties to granite that has always been granite?

Take opalized ammonite. Sure, plenty of witches I’ve met agree that opalized ammonite has similar properties to Opal. Because, gee, it’s a fossil created under the same conditions that opal is created. But I have also met plenty of witches who insist ammonite has no mystical aspects, that it’s only use is to look pretty. Where do you get your logic?!

I have asked about using shed Shark’s Teeth as wand tips, and was told that, while it would be aesthetically pleasing, it would have no impact on the wand itself, since bones and teeth have no magical properties.

But again, Shark Ivory. Calcium based substance. Theoretically, it should have similar properties to say, Calcite, Limestone, or Marble. Hell, it seems generally acknowledged that pearls have magical properties.. Pearls are, not only mostly calcium, but they are an animal by-product, as much as teeth and bone! So, scientifically speaking, if calcite and marble have magical properties, then so should teeth and bone!

And sure, one could argue that that was an isolated incident, that a group of people sharing archaic beliefs or moral prejudices ganged up on me because I was an outsider who somehow offended their sensibilities. But that doesn’t explain all the times that I’ve tried becoming active in other pagan communities in three different cities, and at one point, whenever I’ve suggested using scientific fact or theory to enhance the Craft, I was told some variation of, “You’re ruining it”.

Again, ENHANCE the Craft. Not rationalize it, not disprove it, not replace it. ENHANCE.

Understanding how something works will only HELP you use it better! Yes, I know, the science we understand in this day and age still cannot explain many things in the Craft, but the science we DO know doesn’t cancel it out, either!

Witches everywhere I have been have treated me like some kind of pariah because I’ve been interested in the science behind why this stuff works. I suggested magnetic polarity between atmosphere and earth as the ‘fuel’ behind pendulum work and dowsing. Was told by a matronly baby boomer witch that I was overthinking it. I theorized that tarot and rune stones work for divination because of primal genetic memory from a time when our ancestors painted their stories on cave walls, I was told by a superior witch who knew so much more than I did that divination was a gift from the gods and that I shouldn’t question it so much, or it wouldn’t work for me. When I thought out loud that the structure of the soil plants were grown in probably changed the properties of those plants in subtle ways, since plants absorb so much of their nutrients from that soil, I was snapped at that, I wasn’t a Green Witch, so I shouldn’t talk about things I don’t understand.

This isn’t how we should be! We should embrace the sciences we DO understand! Knowing the shapes and strengths of a crystal’s structure will help you utilize the crystal to a fuller potential, AND help you in Cleansing it properly! Because, guess what? If you don’t understand that the structural makeup of that particular crystal is mostly sodium or alkali. you’re not going to know that cleansing it in water will destroy it! BECAUSE SCIENCE.

tl;dr: To understand is not to weaken. Too often, modern witches willfully lose themselves in the dark, screaming “Science is blasphemy!” when knowledge should be embraced.

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So I haven’t seen many CG posts. Here are the ones I have, in order of when I got them. I was going to wait but couldn’t I just love them all so much! I just got Reiji and Souma today. I find that quite coincidental as I unexplainably ship them?

I sent the following to the support account of Calm (the meditation app). I will post again with their response.

Hello,


My name is Holly. I’m writing because I was disturbed by the introductory script of the ninth day of the 21 Days of Calm. The statements about Attention Deficit Disorder implied, not only common misconceptions about ADD/ADHD but even an ableist attitude not founded in medical fact or well-reasoned logic.


An increase in ADHD diagnosis is not necessarily indicative of a more distracted populace rather than increased awareness and understanding within the medical field, as well as better refined diagnostic criteria. This is a common phenomenon with disorders and diseases that are more newly defined. It wasn’t even until 1968 that a disorder which could be described as ADHD was added to the DSM.


ADHD is not a personal failing of individuals which can “cured” by meditation and doing things one step at a time. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder related to genetics, brain structure, and neurotransmitter systems. Children and adults who find a busy, tech-saturated lifestyle to be distracting do not face the same symptoms and challenges as those of us who actually have ADHD. Conflating distracting lifestyle choices with an actual medical condition is insulting and harmful.


While I can understand that whoever wrote the script for this day’s meditation session was not likely ill-intentioned, the fact remains that the message given perpetuates ableist misunderstandings about what ADHD is and what it means to have ADHD and contributes to the stigma that people with ADHD already face.


I look forward to hearing that Day 9’s script and recording will be reevaluated and replaced so that I can spread the word that the Calm team is receptive to criticism and willing to combat ableism and ADHD stigma.


Holly 

2.1.16 // 10:10pm // Milner Library

Well. It’s done.

I signed up and paid for the March sitting of exam MFE. I think I am literally the only person in our prep course that is doing it then instead of July, and I’m slightly freaking out. I have a month and a half to learn all of the material and master every type problem the exam can give me.

But I’m doing it as a test. If I can push myself to do this, I’ll know I can push myself to do anything.

Also, the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil are literally life changing. I’m only carrying around old notebooks for reference from my old notes; I take all of my class notes and do all of my studying through this app called GoodNotes and it’s basically the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.

Anyway, happy studying, and wish me luck as I try not to die from an 18 hour course load, an incredibly difficult exam, and enjoying college a little bit.

❤️Jess

fyi about userboxes

guess these things are the new blog #aesthetic on timbombler dot com

they’re originally from wikipedia (stuff ppl would put on their profiles to show what they like/what they specialize in) so if you’re looking for something you can find a bunch there (also a lot of them are really opinionated and it’s really funny)

to start, here’s the gender/sexuality section, ethnicitythe zodiac signs, dnd alignments, harry potter houses, torrent apps (???), science, blogging, programminghistory, gaming, those cat books etc. have fun w/ that!

Useful app for students

1. Khan Academy for iOS
2. ClearFocus for Android
3. ClearLock for Android
4. Physics Solver for Android
5. Evernote for iOS and Android
6. WordWeb for iOS and Android
7. Wolfram Alpha for iOS and Android
8. RealCalc for Android

I’ll add more apps to this list as and when I discover new ones!

HOPE YOU HAVE A PRODUCTIVE DAY!