scientific image

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Phineas Gage is one of the most famous patients in the history of neuroscience. He was 25 years old when he experienced a serious accident at his work place, where a tamping iron was shot through his head - entering under his eye socket at exiting through the top of his head - after an explosive charge went off. The tamping iron was over a metre long, and after exiting Gage’s head landed 25m away. 

Initially Gage collapsed and went into minor convlusions, but recovered quickly and was able to speak after a few minutes. He walked with little assistance to an ox-cart and was brought to a nearby physician. Initially the physician did not believe his story because he was in such good condition, but was convinced when: 

Mr. G. got up and vomited; the effort of vomiting pressed out about half a teacupful of the brain, which fell upon the floor.

Gage exhibited a number of dramatic behavioural changes following the accident. Harlow, the physician who initially treated Gage, described this change “He is fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not pre­vi­ous­ly his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows, impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts with his desires”. However the surgeon Henry Jacob Bigelow described his condition as improving over the course of recovery, stated he was “quite recovered in faculties of body and mind”. This may have been early evidence of neural plasticity. This recovery was also reported by a physician who knew Gage while he lived in Chile, who described his ability to hold on a full time job as a Concord coach driver, a job that required exceptional social skills.

Gage’s neurological deficits following his traumatic brain injury is thought to have been exaggerated and distorted over the course of history, to the point that he is often portrayed as a ‘psychopath’. Scientific analysis of the historical accounts of Gage’s life following his accident, namely by the psychologist Malcolm Macmillan, find that these distorted accounts are most likely untrue, and that Gage made a very good recovery.

Post-mortem analysis of the Gage case concluded that it was the left frontal lobe that was damaged in the accident, although further neurological damage may have resulted from infection. Combined examination of the Phineas Gage case with the other famous cases of Tan and H.M. have concluded that social behaviour, memory, and language are dependent on the co-ordination of a number of different brain areas rather than a single region.

This is a scientific Illustration of my scorpion that I ordered online! The process consisted of rehydrating the specimen as well as pinning it into place on a piece of foam board. The end product was completed using carbon dust as well as carbon pencil to achieve the rich dark values within the subject! hope you guys enjoy!

Pachamama- Divine Feminine 

Pachamama is a goddess of the ancient indigenous people of the Andes. Pachamama is usually translated as Mother Earth, but a more literal translation would be “Mother World”. She was a fertility goddess who presided over planting and harvesting but who also caused earthquakes.

Dr. P. P. Flambas, - Caribbean Atlantis: A Scientific Analysis 

Image Credit - Pacha Mama by Jose Garcia Chibarro

i’ve seen SO many edits and fanart of neko atsume/pokemon mashups, but how come i’ve never seen anything combining abyssrium and pokemon??

A photo of the green alga Volvox globator from the Dodel-Port Atlas, circa 1880. 

Volvox globator exists as a spherical colony of individual single-celled organisms, each with two whip-like appendages called flagella that V. globator uses to propel itself around. The cells are stuck together by thin strands of cytoplasm, allowing them to move in concert to direct the colony’s motions.

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Images of Hubble Ultra Deep Field (the farthest we’ve ever seen into the universe) and it’s close-ups.

Astronomers, in 1996, attempted something extraordinary. They pointed the Hubble Space Telescope into a part of the sky that seemed utterly empty, a patch devoid of any planets, stars and galaxies. This area was close to the Big Dipper, a very familiar constellation. The patch of sky was no bigger than a grain of sand held out at arms length. There was a real risk that the images returned would be as black as the space at which it was being pointed. Nevertheless, they opened the telescope and slowly, over the course of 10 full days, photons that had been travelling for over 13 billion years finally ended their journey on the detector of humanity’s most powerful telescope. When the telescope was finally closed, the light from over 3,000 galaxies had covered the detector, producing one of the most profound and humbling images in all of human history - every single spot, smear, and dot was an entire galaxy, each one containing hundreds of billions of stars. 

Later, in 2004, they did it again, this time pointing the telescope toward an area near the constellation Orion. They opened the shutter for over 11 days and 400 complete orbits around the Earth. Detectors with increased sensitivity and filters that allowed more light through than ever before allowed over 10,000 galaxies to appear in what became known as the Ultra Deep Field, an image that represented the farthest we’ve ever seen into the universe.The photons from these galaxies left when the universe was only 500 million years old, and 13 billion years later, they end their long journey as a small blip on a telescope’s CCD. 

There are over 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Simply saying that number doesn’t really mean much to us because it doesn’t provide any context. Our brains have no way to accurately put that in any meaningful perspective. When we look at this image, however, and think about the context of how it was made, and really understand what it means, we instantly gain the perspective and cannot help but be forever changed by it. We pointed the most powerful telescope ever built by human beings at absolutely nothing, for no other reason than because we were curious, and discovered that we occupy a very tiny place in the heavens.

What dark structures arise from the Pelican Nebula? Visible as a bird-shaped nebula toward the constellation of a bird (Cygnus, the Swan), the Pelican Nebula is a place dotted with newly formed stars but fouled with dark dust. These smoke-sized dust grains formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars and were dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by a star on the right that is helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of ionized nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur in the nebula made predominantly of hydrogen and helium. The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067 and IC 5070) is about 2,000 light-years away and can be found with a small telescope to the northeast of the bright star Deneb.

Object Names: Pelican Nebula, IC 5067, IC 5070

Imagte Type: Astronomical

Credit: Larry Van Vleet (LVVASTRO)

Time And Space

Pillars and Jets in the Pelican Nebula : What dark structures arise from the Pelican Nebula? Visible as a bird-shaped nebula toward the constellation of a bird (Cygnus, the Swan), the Pelican Nebula is a place dotted with newly formed stars but fouled with dark dust. These smoke-sized dust grains formed in the cool atmospheres of young stars and were dispersed by stellar winds and explosions. Impressive Herbig-Haro jets are seen emitted by a star on the right that is helping to destroy the light year-long dust pillar that contains it. The featured image was scientifically-colored to emphasize light emitted by small amounts of ionized nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur in the nebula made predominantly of hydrogen and helium. The Pelican Nebula (IC 5067 and IC 5070) is about 2,000 light-years away and can be found with a small telescope to the northeast of the bright star Deneb. via NASA

The image of Galileo Galilei has been inflated like a dirigible airship that floats above the early modern period obscuring the efforts and achievements of all the other scientists, his shadow only being broken by the light of that other g-d of science Isaac Newton. Unfortunately this image is total bullsh__ and its propagation leads to a major distortion in our understanding of the historical development of science. […]

Central to this image of Galileo is his supposed uniqueness; through his ‘once in human existence genius’ he single-handedly created modern science, the scientific method, observational astronomy and physics. This view is … only possible if one totally ignores his contemporaries. Of these Johannes Kepler, Thomas Harriot, Christoph Scheiner, William Gilbert, Christoph Clavius, Francoise Vieta, Isaac Beeckman and Simon Stevin are all scientists who are on a level with Galileo both from their abilities and also from their scientific achievements and contributions.

…David Fabricius, Harriot, Simon Marius, Christoph Scheiner and another boat load of so called minor figures [do not get the credit they deserve.] […]

Galileo … is supposed to have been the first to note that bodies of unequal weight fall at the same speed in a vacuum when in fact this was first noted by Simon Stevin. […]

In truth Galileo was canonised by the Catholic Church! The inflation of his image was a result of Galileo being declared the main scientific martyr in the greatest myth of the history of science, the totally fictitious ‘War Against Science’. Galileo’s inflated image is largely a product of the 19th century and the perception that he had been sacrificed on the altar of religion.

—  Thony Christie

The North America and Pelican Nebulas : Here lie familiar shapes in unfamiliar locations. On the left is an emission nebula cataloged as NGC 7000, famous partly because it resembles our fair planet’s continent of North America. The emission region to the right of the North America Nebula is IC 5070, also known for its suggestive outlines as the Pelican Nebula. Separated by a dark cloud of obscuring dust, the two bright nebulae are about 1,500 light-years away. At that distance, the 4 degree wide field of view spans 100 light-years. This spectacular cosmic portrait combines narrow band images to highlight bright ionization fronts with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Emission from atomic hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen is captured in the narrow band image in scientifically assigned colors. These nebulae can be seen with binoculars from a dark location. via NASA

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Ghostbusters Character Bios

So I purchased the Ghostbusters Handbook (amongst other things) and the information inside was both entertaining and delightful. (and legit helpful for fic writing purposes). Thought I’d share some of the highlights.

First up, whomever authored this book knew nothing about scientific publications.

[image of book page with no title; relevant sentence: Dr. Erin Gilbert specializes in theoretical particle physics and has been published in journals such as Nature and Scientific American.]

LOL Scientific American is a popular science magazine not a scientific journal. That is most definitely not where Erin would have published her work. Trust me I went to an engineering school. I had to read scientific journals all the time. (Nature technically is, but its sketchy if she would have published there. That journal covers a broad range of topics, including physics. However it is not tagged with particle physics or other ghostbusters related physics studies (energy, magnetism, nuclear, etc) according to my alma mater’s library search. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, just means it’s not the most likely journal for Erin to publish her work in.) (Fic Writing Tip: if you need to provide a title of a scientific journal, go to a university library’s website and search their journals by categories.)

Here we have a glimpse at the fallout between Erin and Abby:

[image of book pages with the partial title Lifelong Friends; relevant section: When their book was released, the friends were invited to appear on a University of Michigan public television show. But having been taunted and teased as “ghost girl” for most of her life, Erin was worried about going public with her research. She wanted to be taken seriously as a scientist. Erin failed to appear for the television show, causing a massive rift in her and Abby’s friendship that lasted years.]

Confirmed by the novelization: Erin is from Michigan! Which pleases me on a personal level. Specifically she is from the Battle Creek area, which is not as pleasing to me on a personal level, but at least it’s not all the way over by the Detroit/Ann Arbor area (why do they always get all the fun). The novelization further confirms that Abby moved to Michigan from Indiana during high school, and both Erin and Abby attended the University of Michigan for their undergrad degree. Their paths began to diverge after that when they attended different graduate schools and Erin grew more and more worried about her career reputation. When Abby arranged for the television appearance at their alma mater, Erin’s grad advisor told her not to go and to bury the book where no one would ever hear about it. It was the permission Erin needed to stand Abby up and run away from her past.

Not pictured: the information that their high school science fair project, the one that later grew into Ghosts From Our Past, was originally presented as a rap. Because Erin and Abby are nerdy white girls trying to be cool white girls and I’m dying. (but legit, the novelization confirms this; they thought they were the effin’ coolest with that rap) (tbh they still do)

Holtzmann’s turn:

[image of book page titled Founding Member: Jillian Holtzmann; relevant sections: Jillian Holtzmann (she prefers to be addressed as Holtzmann) is an engineer who, like Erin and Abby, specializes in theoretical particle physics. … Holtzmann met Abby shortly after a lab accident that lost her a job offer with a top nuclear research organization. ‘lab accident’ is circled with an arrow drawn to it and a note that says “It wasn’t that bad… They said he moved a finger yesterday!” presumably written by Holtzmann herself.]

First of all, she prefers to be addressed as Holtzmann, something I interpreted from the movie, but is nice to see confirmed. (And as someone who’s getting into reading/writing fic for this fandom, I feel so vindicated :P)

Second, and confirmed by the novelization, Holtz definitely did something to send a guy into a coma. Likely blew something up. At CERN. Yikes :S (and not at all surprising). Somehow this led to her meeting Abby, and obviously Abby was much more forgiving of Holtzmann’s penchant for creating not-so-medium-sized poofs and booms.

Extra note: the novelization mentioned Holtz buying a get well soon card and writing “Happy anniversary!” on it to send to coma guy on the same day they moved in above the Chinese restaurant. No further details given.

PATTY:

[image of book page, no title. Relevant section: Raised with a fierce love of reading, Patty quickly became an indispensable member of the team for her extensive knowledge on a variety of topics, including the history of New York.]

There’s a lot here on Patty’s accomplishments from the movie (which is great because she kicked ass), but virtually nothing here on her backstory. This suggests the script-writers didn’t give her one which is disappointing :/ (though I guess Abby doesn’t have one that doesn’t revolve around Erin). But there was that one little phrase that got me hyped: raised with a fierce love of reading.

:D She got her love of reading from her family, you guys! Her parents might have been teachers! or just giant-ass nerds. They probably taught her to read before she even entered school. Patty was the not-so-quiet bookworm who always checked out the max number of books from the library and read them cover to cover before returning them. As shown in that one heartbreaking fanart (link) (A+ op A+), she was also the excited nerd who wanted to share every interesting oddball thing she found. I just cannot guys, AAAAHHHHHHHH

Please continue with this train of thought. Give me all the Patty headcanons. She’s amazing.

And finally:

[image of book page titled Kevin: The Ghostbusters’ Loyal Receptionist; relevant section: Kevin lives at the Ghostbusters’ headquarters, but that doesn’t mean he’s always on call. He doesn’t work Wednesdays, and he doesn’t answer the phone before 10 a.m. Occasionally, he’ll need to dash out for auditions, improv rehearsal, or saxophone lessons, so please be sure to answer the Ghostbusters’ hotline if Kevin isn’t at his post.]

Oh Kevin. Sweet, sweet Kevin. I don’t know if they all live at headquarters, now that they’re moved into the firehouse, but Kevin definitely does (but does he actually???). He doesn’t work Wednesdays (official hide-and-seek day? or for some other reason?), and he doesn’t answer the phone before 10 a.m (novelization says he doesn’t come in before 10 a.m.). Those saxophone lessons are his uncle’s; he just listens. He’s apparently trying to be an actor which I guess we got from those headshots in the movie (“Which one makes me look more like a doctor?”). I find this hilarious because according to the novelization, Garret the tour-guide also wanted to be an actor. (and now I guess that Kevin/Garret fic on AO3 makes a tiny bit of sense)

Later I’ll post some tips for being a Ghostbuster and more fun character stuff. Cause there is a lot in this book.

What happens if this faith erodes?

From the June 2016 issue, Stephen Cave’s essay “There’s No Such Thing as Free Will” revisits one of the most essential questions of our humanity: are we free to choose? 

The 20th-century nature-nurture debate prepared us to think of ourselves as shaped by influences beyond our control. But it left some room, at least in the popular imagination, for the possibility that we could overcome our circumstances or our genes to become the author of our own destiny. The challenge posed by neuroscience is more radical: It describes the brain as a physical system like any other, and suggests that we no more will it to operate in a particular way than we will our heart to beat. The contemporary scientific image of human behavior is one of neurons firing, causing other neurons to fire, causing our thoughts and deeds, in an unbroken chain that stretches back to our birth and beyond. In principle, we are therefore completely predictable. If we could understand any individual’s brain architecture and chemistry well enough, we could, in theory, predict that individual’s response to any given stimulus with 100 percent accuracy.

This research and its implications are not new. What is new, though, is the spread of free-will skepticism beyond the laboratories and into the mainstream. The number of court cases, for example, that use evidence from neuroscience has more than doubled in the past decade—mostly in the context of defendants arguing that their brain made them do it. And many people are absorbing this message in other contexts, too, at least judging by the number of books and articles purporting to explain “your brain on” everything from music to magic. Determinism, to one degree or another, is gaining popular currency. The skeptics are in ascendance.

Read the entire story here.