this was very experimental

Unsolved Paleo Mysteries Month #20 – Dubious Diskagma

Only around 0.3-1.8mm long (0.01-0.7″), Diskagma buttoni is known from the Paleoproterozoic of South Africa, dating to a whopping 2.2 billion years ago. These tiny urn-shaped structures were connected into bunches, and were found in rocks that were once ancient soils – hinting that there may have been some form of (relatively) complex life present on dry land much earlier than previously thought, as far back as the early stages of the Great Oxygenation Event.

But what these things actually were is a mystery. Their size and complexity resemble some sort of eukaryote, which would make them one of the oldest known representatives. They also have some similarities to the older fossil Thucomyces lichenoides, the younger fossil Horodyskia, and a modern fungus with internal symbiotic cyanobacteria.

Or they could be a very early “experimental” branch of life with no close living relatives. For now, we just don’t know.

Romantic Poet movies that haven’t happened yet but should.
  • A trippy Coleridge visual album scored completely in acid rock, in the style of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
  • A beautiful Wordsworth movie in the style of a Rogers and Hammerstein musical + the 1994 version of The Secret Garden.
  • A weird Blake movie that’s half animated in a very experimental but disquieting style and has a good message but makes little kids cry.
  • An indie, anachronistic Shelley movie that’s got a lot of interesting visual effects and shaggy hair and is scored in 1960s protest songs.
  • A ridiculous, huge-budget Lord Byron movie directed by Baz Luhrmann and featuring an almost exclusively hip hop soundtrack. (It’s the only way to do it.)
  • A Keats musical with lots of Amelie-style reality-bending effects and an entire soundtrack by Hozier and/or Sufjan Stevens.
Lilith: Your dark femininity
  • Lilith in Aries: sexual competitiveness and immodesty
  • Lilith in Taurus: gold digging and lust
  • Lilith in Gemini: promiscuity and lying
  • Lilith in Cancer: faux innocence and emotional manipulation
  • Lilith in Leo: overly dramatic and animalistic sexuality
  • Lilith in Virgo: ultra serving and degrading
  • Lilith in Libra: deadly charming and controlling
  • Lilith in Scorpio: seductive and obsessive
  • Lilith in Sagittarius: no inhibitions and self-righteous
  • Lilith in Capricorn: uses sex to gain success and distant
  • Lilith in Aquarius: sexually experimental and detached
  • Lilith in Pisces: very secretive and sexually submissive
PHP 7 at Tumblr

At Tumblr, we’re always looking for new ways to improve the performance of the site. This means things like adding caching to heavily used codepaths, testing out new CDN configurations, or upgrading underlying software.

Recently, in a cross-team effort, we upgraded our full web server fleet from PHP 5 to PHP 7. The whole upgrade was a fun project with some very cool results, so we wanted to share it with you.


It all started as a hackday project in the fall of 2015. @oli and @trav got Tumblr running on one of the PHP 7 release candidates. At this point in time, quite a few PHP extensions did not have support for version 7 yet, but there were unofficial forks floating around with (very) experimental support. Nevertheless, it actually ran!

This spring, things were starting to get more stable and we decided it was time to start looking in to upgrading more closely. One of the first things we did was package the new version up so that installation would be easy and consistent. In parallel, we ported our in-house PHP extensions to the new version so everything would be ready and available from the get-go.

A small script was written that would upgrade (or downgrade) a developer’s server. Then, during the late spring and the summer, tests were run (more on this below), PHP package builds iterated on and performance measured and evaluated. As things stabilized we started roping in more developers to do their day-to-day work on PHP 7-enabled machines.

Finally, in the end of August we felt confident in our testing and rolled PHP 7 out to a small percentage of our production servers. Two weeks later, after incrementally ramping up, every server responding to user requests was updated!


When doing upgrades like this it’s of course very important to test everything to make sure that the code behaves in the same way, and we had a couple of approaches to this.

Phan. In this project, we used it to find code in our codebase that would be incompatible with PHP 7. It made it very easy to find the low-hanging fruit and fix those issues.

We also have a suite of unit and integration tests that helped a lot in identifying what wasn’t working the way it used to. And since normal development continued alongside this project, we needed to make sure no new code was added that wasn’t PHP 7-proof, so we set up our CI tasks to run all tests on both PHP 5 and PHP 7.


So at the end of this rollout, what were the final results? Well, two things stand out as big improvements for us; performance and language features.


When we rolled PHP 7 out to the first batch of servers we obviously kept a very close eye at the various graphs we have to make sure things are running smoothly. As we mentioned above, we were looking for performance improvements, but the real-world result was striking. Almost immediately saw the latency drop by half, and the CPU load on the servers decrease at least 50%, often more. Not only were our servers serving pages twice as fast, they were doing it using half the amount of CPU resources.

These are graphs from one of the servers that handle our API. As you can see, the latency dropped to less than half, and the load average at peak is now lower than it’s previous lowest point!

Language features

PHP 7 also brings a lot of fun new features that can make the life of the developers at Tumblr a bit easier. Some highlights are:

  • Scalar type hints: PHP has historically been fairly poor for type safety, PHP 7 introduces scalar type hints which ensures values passed around conform to specific types (string, bool, int, float, etc).
  • Return type declarations: Now, with PHP 7, functions can have explicit return types that the language will enforce. This reduces the need for some boilerplate code and manually checking the return values from functions.
  • Anonymous classes: Much like anonymous functions (closures), anonymous classes are constructed at runtime and can simulate a class, conforming to interfaces and even extending other classes. These are great for utility objects like logging classes and useful in unit tests.
  • Various security & performance enhancements across the board.


PHP 7 is pretty rad!

i was very, very, very hesitant to post this. I don’t usually draw this kind of AU, because it’s a very sensitive subject. if you’ve paid attention, you’ll know I have in the past, but i never made it quite as obvious. so, yeah, don’t expect to see much of this in the future.

On another note, I used new brushes and to make this!! it was a very experimental piece but I like how it turned out. it’s inspired very loosely by an AU @elvendoll and I came up with, involving an exasperated singer and a newbie bartender who may or may not have fallen head over heels for said exasperated singer. 


Pairing: Castiel x Reader (very vanilla)

Summary: You get a bad stomach ache and Castiel helps make it better. Fluffy.

Words: 1200~

A/N: I got this idea because I am a glutton for spicy food even though it is not a glutton for me. Also this is the first fic I’ve ever posted on here! I’m kinda shy to post this because I know people in real life on here, but screw it. Fanfiction makes me happy and I appreciate all the people who write it, so I thought I’d share mine. Feedback is very much so appreciated.

I’m gonna tag a few people if that’s okay? @castielohcastiel @my–supernatural-romance @thran-duils I’m sorry if you didn’t wanna be tagged I just wanted to share this with you guys, this is very experimental for me haha


The smell of onions and spice woke you from your daydream. You got up and started walking over to the bunker’s kitchen. “Is that dinner I smell?” You peeked your head in.

“Sure is!” Dean looked back at you and winked.

You walked closer and looked into the frying pan, “Ooooh, fajitas! Spicy!” You wiggled your eyebrows at Dean.

“You got that right sweetheart,” he turned his attention back to the sizzling vegetables, “I added my own secret ingredient. You can bet your ass it’s gonna be spicy.”

“Is that a threat, Winchester?” You raised your eyebrow.

“Like I said, you bet your ass it is.”

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