Victor Nikiforov believed in fitness like it’s a religion. As a former model and owner of his modelling agency VTA by Victor Nikiforov, he had to keep up his image and his body was the best advertisement for his company. The morning run was his way of unwinding, the only the day when was truly alone with Makkachin. Across the way, he usually took a detour to the dog park that was on the way. Makkachin was a very sociable dog, he liked to visit his dog friends every day and that was their routine every morning.
Hi, my name is Millie and I’m an #actuallivingscientist studying how dopamine neurons in the brain respond to different types of stressors, and how these responses may differ between sexes. Upper right: hand- pulled glass recording electrode Lower right: Plate of brain area (VTA) where I find dopamine neurons to record from. #neuroscience #outreach #scicomm #femalescientist #womeninscience #academia #electrophysiology #researcher #STEM
Main armament: 100 mm gun/launcher 2A70 (able to fire shells or the 9M117 Bastion ATGM), 30 mm autocannon 2A72
Secondary armament: 3×7.62 mm PKT machine guns
Engine: UTD-29M diesel 500 hp with a power/weight 27 hp/tonne
Suspension: torsion bar
Operational range: 600 km
Speed: 72 km/h on road, 45 km/h off-road 10 km/h in water.
M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicle
Weight: 23–28 metric tonnes
Length: 6.5 meters
Width: 3.2 meters
Height: 3 meters
(commander, gunner, driver) and 2 passengers/troops
Armor: Steel and aluminum
Main armament: 25 mm M242 Chain Gun,dual TOW Anti-Tank Missile Launcher
Secondary armament: 7.62 mm M240C machine gun
Engine Cummins VTA-903
600 hp with a power/weight 19.74 hp/tonne
Suspension: torsion bar
Operational range: 480 km
Speed: 66 km/h on road, 7.2 km/h on water
In everything but armor the BMP beats the Bradley, as she has much better weaponry, in the form of her 100mm gun, capable of both launching missiles (which are easy to reload from inside the vehicle) and conventional AT rounds, coupled with a powerful 30mm cannon, vs the Bradley’s 25mm chaingun, and her couple of TOW missiles, which have to be reloaded from the outside manually once expended.
But the Bradley has much better armor, capable of withstanding 30mm rounds all-around, and reactive armor capable of stopping RPG’s, BUT the BMP can also equip reactive armor, and thanks to her ability to mount the Shtora electro-optical active protection system, she’s effectively inmune to the TOW once equipped, contrary to the Bradley, which has to rely on her armor to defeat any AT missile.
So, the BMP-3 wins, a much more modern design born from the ashes of the Afghan war, VS a committee-designed vehicle plagued with problems from her inception, that still, nevertheless proved her worth against Iraqi second-generation tanks and armor.
Hi! So I have a character who has done heroin, smoked pot, drank a lot of booze, and is now smoking cigarettes because he lost his boyfriend in a gang war. He only used heroin and pot for about 6 months before a friend intervened. What kind of effects would that short use of drugs cause? Or is that time frame of use unrealistic?
This is in the disclaimer page, but I’ll reiterate this here: The information provided here is purely for scientific and intellectual interests and we do not condone the use of psychoactive drugs for recreational purposes. This post is also not an admission of use of illegal/controlled substances- this is purely informative.
This question doesn’t require too technical of an answer for the effect of heroine on the brain, but I’ll very briefly explain how heroin addiction works in the central nervous system- I may make a post later talking more in depth about what is happening on a molecular scale, but I don’t think it’s necessary for this more general post.
Addiction, for our purposes, requires physical dependence on a drug, which includes craving, drug seeking behavior, and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped, which is the result of the brain having come to need the drug to function “normally”. Heroin, an opioid, acts by disinhibiting the ventral tegemental area (VTA), which is part of the brain’s reward circuitry. Among other things, the VTA projects to cortical and “limbic” structures, including the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala, and the hippocampus, and releases dopamine when faced with rewards, things that predict rewards, and unexpected stimuli; in the case of addiction, the VTA mediates the feel-good and motor aspects of drug use. Heroin decreases the release of GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter) and makes neurons in the the VTA fire more easily than normal- this disinhibition, then, makes it so that the VTA “relaxes” when heroin reaches the brain, and that it more readily releases dopamine. This tells the brain, basically, “this is good, remember this”. The cortex, meanwhile, is taking in sensory information and associating the place you’re in, your emotions, the tools you’re using, the people you’re with, etc, and ties these to this VTA signal. Over time and with regular use, internal molecular adaptation can lead to hyperactive signalling and a further disinhibited VTA compared to before you started using drugs; while using drugs, however, this balances out and people feel more “normal”. When you stop using them, however, and you go back to a chemical state that was previously “normal”, you’re actually below the needs of your brain, which leads to withdrawal symptoms that are the opposite of the drug effect. Where heroin use makes you dull, sleep, and insensitive to many things, heroin withdrawal is often characterized as hyperactive, hypersensitive, and hyper-aroused.
But these changes take some time and regular usage to take effect.
Thus, the physical symptoms your character would experience would depend on how often he used, I think. If he’s using less than, say, twice a week (recreational use), doesn’t experience withdrawal symptoms between uses, doesn’t use while drinking, uses clean needles (if he uses needles at all), uses decent quality heroin that isn’t cut with anything toxic, and doesn’t overdose at any point, I’d wager to say it’s unlikely there will be significant physical effects after he stops using.
That said, I think it’s highly unlikely that he would be using heroin in a safe and responsible way if he’s doing it out of grief. I’m not a psychologist (you can ask @scriptshrink for some help on this part, possibly), but in my own experiences with grieving, it’s very easy to neglect yourself and do things of higher risks without paying attention much to the consequences. I’d find it realistic for him to not care too much about being responsible and following safer drug use guidelines to a T. In that case, if he shares needles, he can easily find himself with HIV, Hep B, or various blood borne diseases. If he’s injecting, he may also end up with scarred skin, abscesses, infection, collapsed veins, etc, depending on his technique and again, how often he used. Given regular use, after stopping heroin use, some people have permanent tremors, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, depression, “foggy” thinking, etc. as part of post-acute withdrawal syndrome. After all, it’s very difficult for your brain and body to get back to the chemical and physical state it was in before you started using, since the changes made to it were so massive. If your character has had an overdose, he will have the worst effects- during an overdose, the amount of oxygen in the blood is so low that brain damage can happen, leading to general cognitive decline (trouble thinking, etc). Finally, even if he stops using, if he became an addict, he’ll be an addict for life- a lot of recovering opiate addicts don’t use pain medications even if they need them, just so they don’t fall back into the habit.
I would also consider perhaps having him use something other than heroin? Most people don’t jump from pot to IV heroin from one moment to the other- maybe consider having a sort of “descent” from other narcotics, like prescription meds, to harder drugs and eventually to heroin. Of course, this varies, but it’s pretty common for people to go from things like oxycodone, morphine, or hydrocodone, start smoking heroin because it’s cheaper, then eventually start needing more and more and start injecting.
As for alcohol, I’d go so far as to say that alcohol addiction is even more dangerous than heroin addiction. Alcohol is legal, thus easier to get, and withdrawal from it can actually kill you (whereas heroin withdrawal is miserable but rarely fatal). Alcohol addiction is similar to heroin addiction in that it acts on the VTA, but actually increases the amount of GABA receptors instead of reducing the amount of GABA (which effectively also disinhibits the VTA), and can lead to subtly different effects in terms of reward. Alcohol also inhibits the release of glutamate in the brain, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter, and this in combination with more GABA action leads to some of the slow, sluggish effects of alcohol. Long term alcohol abuse, of course, tends to lead to brain damage that affects attention, memory, and judgement, and physically can lead to liver problems and pancreatitis. In conjunction with heroin use (especially if he’s doing both at the same time), I would be very concerned for your character’s well-being. If he’s just drinking heavily in binges and occasionally doing heroin recreationally, I’d still be concerned, but I would guess he’s not as much of a ticking time bomb?
Finally, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the pot. He really shouldn’t combine things (I don’t think he’d want to), and there are dangers if he’s, for example, eating a lot of edibles at once just because he might do something really dumb and/or dangerous, but in and of itself, it doesn’t seem to be all that bad in terms of the brain? There are some suggestions that there are effects on memory and learning, especially verbal memory, but nothing conclusive about “this will destroy your brain” as far as I know. It’s hard to gauge the effects with pot too, since again, it depends on how often and how much is used (there are sensitization effects!). But if he’s around or older than 24/25, he should be mostly okay- at least in terms of the effects of pot specifically. Most of the dangers come from younger people using it, since the brain is still in a very plastic state and it may interfere with the connections being made at the time.
Non-neuro, but I’ve written characters before that use drugs and I highly recommend looking through drugs and addiction forums where you can find personal experiences and answers to questions about the emotional, social, and personal aspects of addiction. These are more useful for writing a character than knowing how the drug acts on the brain specifically (though that can certainly be useful!).
Hope this has helped, but let me know if you need more info.
Gert Holstege ha studiato mediante tomografia ad emissione di positroni (PET) 11 uomini sottoposti a stimolazione del pene, da parte delle loro partners, fino all’eiaculazione. Durante la fase di fuoriuscita dello sperma, l’area tegmentale ventrale (VTA) andava incontro ad un’attivazione così intensa e massiccia da non avere uguali
La VTA, come è noto, è la principale stazione del sistema neuronico che media il piacere. Le sue intense attivazioni osservate da Holstege durante l'orgasmo maschile, sono accostabili a quelle che si hanno per effetto di dosi cospicue di eroina
E questa è la prova provata dei benefici di un pompino ben fatto
Impara a scrivere prima di parlare, io vedo questi versi che s’imprimono sulle pareti degradate della mia stanza; qui è l'inferno. Quando scrivo non c'è luce e se le miei parole ti illuminano significa che ho rubato il sole ad Apollo. Non m'importa essere qualcuno, rimarrò fedele ai miei ideali e leggerai il mio libro solo dopo che mi ritroveranno impiccato in una stanza recondita. Tu non dormi? Io gratto i miei sogni dal fondo di quest’autocommiserazione. Credi in me? Credi male, sono stracolmo di odio verso una società che mi guarda male, e che preme il grilletto. Tutto è così greve se il cielo sprofonda; affogo mentre cerco boccate d'aria pura fra queste rime.
Some very rare photos of the infamous Penske/Donohue 1969 Sonoco Camaro prepped for the Trans Am Series at Mid-Ohio. Note the holes in the wheel wells which were part of a duct system to relieve front end lift at 170 mph. Going to have to do a bit of research on those! I can’t imagine driving on bias plys that fast. Serious balls! Note the Vinyl roof to cover up the acid dipped roofs to reduce weight. These cars had some serious research and development in them. I am so fascinated by the vintage trans am series. If NASCAR ran these cars I might actually watch! I love these cars so much I have been in the processing of building my own Z-28 into a VTA ‘street’ car for 7 years now. Just with a bit more displacement ;)
Possono essere un problema, i ricordi.
Anche se sono belli, a volte rendono malinconici. Fa piacere ripensare a certi momenti, sono il tesoro più grande che abbiamo, ma è triste sapere che qualcosa è finito per sempre e non tornerà più.