well this is really abstract

The other day, I was thinking about neutrality and value and I was explaining my thoughts to my boyfriend since we like to have philosophical discussions. I was talking about how neutrality is truly an illusion because we can’t reach it with all of our different perceptions. I was thinking about Libra when I said this because Libra is known for its neutrality, and the concept of neutrality being an illusion really goes well with my thought that Venus represents an abstract ideal, which is tied to Neptune being a higher octave of Venus.

Then my boyfriend goes, “Equality has no value.” I got intrigued and I asked him why. I am then told that if there are two objects of equal value, there really is no value because there is no impact from either side. The impact from each side is equal so therefore, nothing happens. It’s like having a tie between two people… Nothing really happens.

He proved this mathematically by showing the graph of the absolute value of 1/x because he’s a math nerd.

The graph looked like this:

Now, if you look at this graph, you are looking at two extreme ends, trying to reach a balanced middle. A balanced conclusion. But the two lines will never meet in the middle because there is no value possible to meet in the middle.

Libra is the only inanimate object in the zodiac. There is no life represented in Libra because it is an unreachable ideal that people strive to reach. Meanwhile, Aries, its sister sign, is often represented as the birth of a new baby, the birth of new life.

Libra doesn’t just represent neutrality. It represents balance, beauty, justice, love, and fairness. All of the following things that Libra represents are not tangible because it is subjective. We all have different ideas of what balance, beauty, justice, love, and fairness is. Ironically, what drives us to try to to unite to a conclusion is the arguments and conflicts we have to understand where we’re coming from. Of course, we will never really and truly understand each other due to the fact that we are all completely new beings, but the fact that conflict, something that is strongly represented in Aries, is needed to seek a better understanding of items such as balance, beauty, and other things Libra represents.

Aries needs Libra and Libra needs Aries.

Maybe The World's Flat And I'm An Asshole

Everyone’s asleep
The marble’s shattered
The style something
No one can know I was here
Not even the ghosts

How long can I keep this up?
Are the details specific enough?
Am I having a nervous breakdown
Am I using enough adjectives?
blah blah blah
I’m a stupid baby
blah blah blah

Do you remember that one time when we literally chased the sunset drunk in Nebraska?
Do you remember that one time when we drove all night just to see the ocean for twenty minutes?
Take a deep breath
In and out
God dammit
In and out

No one wants to read long poems
Ain’t got no time
They want it short
Get to the point
What’s in it for me?
Are you done talking about fucking trees and wind and shit?
Don’t tell my mom
Or go for it
Who fucking cares?

Maybe I should try to find someone to be in a relationship with
Stop acting like a child
Register for wedding gifts
Be home when I say I will
Lift the toilet seat when I piss
Do I feel like smoking right now or am I just trying to fill my time with memory foam?

I should get some sleep
I should stop thinking so much
Don’t worry dad
I feel like my poetry blog’s on the verge of something big
Don’t worry big sis
I know I’m not the best at saving money but I really just expressed myself well in poetic abstract

I close my eyes
I imagine myself in an open field
Laying on my back
And it helps
As much as it ever could
My eyes feel heavy
My feet are cold
1,000 memories
1,000 images
1,000 sleeping pills
1,000 ways to say the same thing
Over and over

dokidokishit  asked:

Hello! I am wondering about what the difference between Si, Ti & Ni. They're all thinking based types, so what makes them different from each other?

They are thinking based types in the sense that all happen inside your mind; but a ‘thinking-based’ type in MBTI means a LOGIC-based judging type, which is Introverted Thinking (Ti) or Extroverted Thinking (Te).

Si and Ni are perception functions, not judging functions. All they do is collect personal impressions and information; they do not decide what to do with it.

Si collects the unseen sensory perceptions and tries to match it with a sense of internal sensory wellness.

Ni collects the unseen symbols or abstract perceptions (what is really going on here?) and tries to fit it into its broader worldview.

These functions then work directly with Te (what do I make of this information and how can I use it to accomplish something tangible?) or Fe (what are the moral implications of this information and how can I use emotional expression to make my Ni vision real or adhere to my Si attentiveness to detail?).

Ti is a judging function; so it analyzes information, categorizes it, and tries to fit it into a inner framework of what seems logically sound and precise. It then expresses its emotions through Fe-openness, or uses Fe to persuade others of the soundness of its logic. And it explores its logic through a perception function, such as Se (awareness of the possible actions of the environment) or Ne (awareness of the possible ideas of the environment).

Fi is a judging function; so it surveys information, determines its emotional truth or the state of its morality (is this right or wrong?) and then articulates its beliefs or moral judgments through Te (frank assessments and/or action driven to accomplish a set purpose). And it explores its moral beliefs through a perception function, such as Se (awareness of the possible actions of the environment) or Ne (awareness of the possible ideas of the environment).

- ENFP Mod


2017.06.17 sukekiyo at Kyoto Gekijo

00 visualization intro
01 疑似ネクロマンサー
02 leather field
03 襞謳
04 マニエリスムな冷たい葬列者
05 focus
06 艶
07 hemimetabolism
08 されど道連れ
09 死霊のアリアナ
10 vandal
11 グニャ結論。そして血眼。
12 耳ゾゾ
13 黝いヒステリア
14 anima
15 aftermath
16 嬲り

Screen was down across the stage as the video intro started. In the beginning it was hard to see actual band members, but we could see them filmed live by cameras, each member had their own. Kyo started facing his new equipment stand with cameras, microphones and synthesizers.

Necromancer is an incredible piece, they chose it as an opening for the album and for the show for a reason. It’s a medium tempo song, very melodic, with many different pieces inviting us to this new world. Piano and guitars, electronic beats, soft and hard parts are all dancing around each other here.

Uta was wearing all black, long sleeve shirt and loose type pants, Mika had sukekiyo’s t-shirt. For Takumi I wasn’t able to see that clearly besides the obvious black. Yuchi you probably already saw: tanktop, shorts and high white socks. Kyo’s outfit was very similar to the first Kyoto’s one, he just wore black shirt instead of white (but he had boots from the PV instead of those in the photo).

Comparing the first show of this tour in Tokyo and the last in Kyoto I felt like they, especially Kyo, felt much more comfortable with the new material, Kyo definitely experimented more with the style and sounds. But for all 3 shows I had this feeling of a jamming session being back, partly because of the closeness of all of them and them facing each other a lot. Especially when they checked in with Mika, the little smiles they shared.

The screen went up at the end of leather field. During that song it focused on Kyo. But also I remember the images of flowers, cherry blossoms and lilies, but perhaps it was during the first song. When Kyo stayed in front of his new stand they used cameras for him and projected the image on 5 small screens above the stage (manierism - if you’re a mobile member photo from 6/16 is from that song). Some songs got all band members projected on each one. Song that got new PVs had parts of them on the curved screen surrounding the stage.

Kyo was so active today, be it dancing, walking to the sides of the stage or pointing at fans. The curved screen behind the members made stage much smaller, but Kyo still had a lot of space.

en is a lovely ballad with Takumi on piano, Kyo’s melody changing speed a lot. There’s a part when it gets quiet, and as anticipation grows ot hits you right back. And with a slow piano with Kyo’s soft singing it morphed into a soft session. I wish they released those somewhere as well…

Saredo is so sensual, with a ‘lazy melody’, but quite heavy at the same time. You just want to start dancing as Kyo did.

Ariana is a faster electronic song where Kyo uses voice synthesizer. Yuchi is playing on a kind of 'electronic drum’ (I was totally meant to check what’s it actually called in February…). It’s another song that makes you wish you could move move. I feel it finishes quite abruptly, but vandal following was a nice flow.

At some point, when Kyo was taking a mic from his stand in the front of the stage he knocked it down, but he kept singing and after getting it up he dancingly walked around with it, in the end 'riding it’ (was it during vandal???).

Second session was much darker… Kyo kept repeating something and while I have some guesses about one part I’m not sure enough… sessions are in a way improvised parts so I don’t we will ever know.

After session there was another part packed with energy and it felt like a torture to be just sitting. On the second day my seat was farther down from the stage so I could actually see a bit of the audience and I feel that compared to the previous seated shows people were even more still than before… I could be because of new songs? Well, torture doesn’t really sound like something abstract here ;)

After anima the screen came back down and aftermath was very quiet. Stage was lit by cold blue light. Just seeing the screen coming down was heart breaking as they kept the same setlist for all nights we knew that it means the end is approaching… aftermath is so beautiful and the flow with it as the second from last was very good.

Then came 'screams and sounds of the darkness’ that prelude Naburi. That ending really stays with you. Naburi starts with Uta’s accoustic guitar as a main part, it’s very gentle first. The screen was used to hide the stage with blue lights directed at it, that made the stage behind it totally hidden. They also projected lyrics.
Soft melody slowly keeps building and building the anticipation, until the harder part starts. While Yuchi and Uta join in the chorus, end roll comes up and we could see band members as the the light changed to red. Kyo was using a small synthesizer, standing with his back to the audience.

I just find it so incredible how they used cameras and lights, we could see the real members, but also their multiple shadows on the front screen and the view kept changing with the melody. Towards the end Kyo started his mad dance. The rythm here was more violent.

But at the end lights changed back to hiding blue ones and there was only one spotlight on Uta as he played the last part on accoustic guitar.

This ending. We couldn’t see the band leaving really. But after this song, song with so much energy and this delicate guitar ending, there’s so much light.


So hey, who remembers back when I did Weird!Gems, that fun AU where everything else is the same but the Gems all look really, well, weird?

Say hi to the Abstract Gems AU, which is basically the same thing except better and weirder than ever. Look forwards to the Diamonds and Crystal Gems, coming… aaaat some point!

Some specific little fun tidbits about each of these three under the cut:

Keep reading

Book review — Stranger Than Fanfiction

After loving Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series, I picked up his latest book without a second thought. What a fool I was.

You know how “don’t write a self-insert” is such a common writing advice that it has people arguing against it, and not unreasonably so, on the grounds that any character one writes has an element of oneself, and desperately trying to avoid that only results in trite, flat characters because you have no real experience to ground them in?

Yeah, well this book reminds you why it’s a common advice in the first place. Oh, but don’t worry, it also does so much more wrong! It’s like a massive clusterfuck of “why do you waste my time so?” Really, this could have had its own snark. You’ve been warned.

Also, I’ll be spoiling stuff, because a huge amount of what makes the book infuriating rather than mediocre is in its ending. Beware.

Keep reading

swampertgirl  asked:

😈 - Incubus (Fantasy Art Meme)

//Well , this was an interesting process , the image of an incubus is something really abstract for a lot of people so I just did what came in mind at the moment , hope you like this awkward demon! 


Video of a green and brown pour. Dried really well! Love these colors. ❤❤
#art #artvideo #artwork #painting #acrylicpour #fluidacrylic #abstract #greenabstract #fluidartwork #gallery #contemporaryart #artfideo #artist #modernart #homedecor #fluidpour

Made with Instagram

Fun fact about me: I think I don’t have a mind’s eye. I struggle to imagine any object that isn’t a basic shape. I can recognize faces but can’t describe them without looking at an image. So like, if I see my mother’s face, I can instantly tell it’s her, but I couldn’t describe it to a sketch artist. I can’t rotate 3D objects in my head, either; whenever I took those aptitude tests in high school, I’d score really well (like, 99th percentile well) across mathematical/abstract/mechanical reasoning, but like, literally in the 40th percentile for spatial reasoning.

This makes reading and writing very…interesting. I tend to enjoy work that is more maximalist and descriptive because it allows me to picture scenes more clearly given my limited capabilities. But I’ve also realized that my brain usually just registers that a descriptive sentence “sounds nice” before it registers the actual content of the sentence. This is especially true for porn; there are certain turns of phrase that sound hot to me, even before I’ve been able to imagine what the characters are actually doing.

But as a writer, I tend towards minimalism by default because there is no image in my brain for me to describe. Usually, if I do want to describe something, I have to actually get up and do the thing in front of a mirror, or look up a clip or picture of someone doing something that looks approximately like what I’m trying to describe. And I only do that when it occurs to me to, so most of the time physical descriptions are very sparse or missing entirely. Oops?

Supernatrual AU

Percy Jackson: Selkie

‘Merman’ just doesn’t work for me. Besides, I feel as if this goes better with Percy’s personality. 

Male selkie’s seek out those unhappy with their lives. Also, selkie stories are mainly tragedies and they either can’t go back to someone they met and fell in love with (year away from Annabeth) or were forced into staying with others (thrown to the Roman camp)

Percy wouldn’t look any different from in this AU, but he wold have a small, leather sac bag hanging from his neck (that’s be his ‘seal skin’). 

In his original form he’d, well … he’d be a seal … So … just imagine someone barking then throwing a beach ball at him… 

Now imagine them getting punched in the face…

Annabeth Chase: Vampire 

Hear me out! 

Vampires are said to be wise and are able to easily blend in with humans. Have you ever noticed how Annabeth never really seems affected by ADHD or Dyslexia and is able to hide away from monsters? I feel like this would transfer over to this AU with people not knowing she was a supernatural.

Her eyes would shift more silver when she turned, and her hair would go whiter. 

I think Annabeth would look really, really cool with fangs, though, I have to admit, I never really see pointed incisors whenever I imagine vampires. Instead, I think of, like, shark teeth. 

Imagine an even more badass Annabeth with shark teeth… 

“… Do you sparkle?”

“I don’t know, do you bleed?”

Hazel Levesque: Half-Golem

She’s not supposed to be alive in the first place, right? Golems are stone creatures animated and controlled by others are in no place alive. 

Hazel would be able to harden her skin, control specific stones (aka metals) and is considered an anomaly by most of the supernatural community.

Hazel’s skin would get a grey tint to it, almost like she got ashy all over, and her hair would straighten out of its usual mess of curls. Her eyes would change from gold to white and, if she opened her mouth, you’d see her teeth went grey/turned to stone.

“Does anything get through that rock head of yours, huh?”

“Quite a lot, actually; it’s almost as if some idiot sitting behind me took all the stone out of me to build their brain.”

Frank Zhang: Fey

Fey are fairies, don’t say it to their faces, and are known for their glamour - the ability to change how others perceive them … does this ring a bell with the shape shifting shit or do I have to climb up the tower and ring it for you all?

Frank wouldn’t look very different, but if one stares at him for a long, long time then they’ll notice how his silhouette seems to kind of fade out and squiggle around, almost like a heat wave effect. 

When Frank shift’s … he’d change pretty much completely. His skin would go to either a forest-y color or a pastel color (depending on what kind of fey he is, I’m going with more of a light turquoise in my mind) and his hair would be in the same spectrum, just another hue (*cough* navy *cough*). The whites of his eyes would tint a shade lighter than his skin and his irises would be black with a white pupil. 

“Looking nice and pastel there, Zhang!” 

“… Really, dude, really?”

Jason Grace: Werewolf

Jason’s loyalty and his connections to Lupa seem to fit best in this scenario. I know it might be overused, but I can’t think of anything else for someone as protective and family/friend centered as Jason.

In his hybrid stage, Jason’s hair would grow ‘till it brushed his ears and his teeth would get bigger. His nails would sharpen and start to grow. He’s able to actually growl and howl like a wolf in this stage and has some hair growing out from the nape of his neck.

Jason and Percy constantly tease each other with dog jokes, even though their both ‘canines’ themselves. It leads to a lot of fistfights and laughing fits.

Piper Mclean: Siren 

Her voice, duh! Sirens are able to lure men to the depths with only their songs and their beauty, which Piper has both of. She can throw off an aura that’ll attract men towards her and she can make them do whatever she wants with her words. It doesn’t work on women as well, but she can still make them do stuff.

Piper would have bat-like wings that started from her lower back and curved up and outwards. The edges would be tipped with pointed talons, also like a bats, and the thin layer of skin would shift color with her eyes. Along with this, she would have horns that started behind her ears and curled inwards, almost like a lambs.

“Wait, so, like, Rey in the Force Awakens with that scene with the storm trooper and the force: that’s you.”

“… That’s an … interesting way of putting it, but, yeah, kind of.”

Leo Valdez: Imp

Imps are literally Leo

They’re said to be funny, flirty creatures that are normally bound to a witch as their familiar (*cough* Calypso *cough*). They are mischievous and have often been portrayed as lonely beings that search for attention. They try and play tricks to make people like them, but it kind of backfires. They’re also associated with Hell and fire.

….So, deprived of attention, likes to play pranks, wants to be loved, stuck with a witch/sorceress, the Doors of Death, and fire… Leo, anyone?

Anyways, Leo’s ears would be a little more pointed than normal, and outside of his human form his cheeks would gradually cover with scales starting with a thick line near his hairline and thinning out towards the middle of his cheekbones.

“You’re just that slut’s bitch! What you gonna do to me?”

“Release my bitchy powers on you, duh!”

Calypso: Witch

I know, stereotypical, but I feel like this would work out amazingly for Calypso. In my head, witch’s are always tied to objects of power and can never truly work without them. 

I kind of like Calypso with a crystal ball so lets go with that! The ball would have vein like things running through it and would be connected to her life: if the ball breaks, she breaks (a.k.a dies, for all the unimaginative fucks out there). Therefore, it’s shrunken down to a gem most of the time and is set in a necklace she always wears. 

Her hair would be translucent and would reflect light, like a diamonds, so it’d look like her locks were always sparkling. She’d have a seal over her heart for a familiar (*cough* Leo *cough*) and her eyes would go completely when when she’s casting. 

“Are you sure you can’t turn them into toads?”

“Trust me, I’ve tried.”

Nico di Angelo: Angel

I feel like this could just be ironic enough to work, not to mention that fact that angels in the bible aren’t exactly nice, to put things kindly. He’d kind of be immortal, he can die from a fight but he can’t die from old age and/or disease. 

I always imagined angels as dark creatures, though, with wings that’re really light and thin, like a butterflies, and I think that would fit Nico really well. 

I mean, just imagine him with abstract wings tattooed on his back that unfurl and peel off to form his real wings. 

Aside from that, he’d be pretty normal, but when his wings are drawn his eyes change a bit. The pupil expands to cover the entirety of the iris and reflects so little light that it looks like a galaxy, with only scarce scatterings of reflections. 

“Are there such things as guardian angels?”

“… Yeah, and it looks like yours slacked a bit.”

Will Solace: Phoenix

Phoenix are legendary birds of fire. They have tears that heal and they come back to life when they die. 

Will fits this awesomely because a) healing powers b) he’s practically the sun and c) imagine the angst if/when he dies and Nico’s stuck around for pretty much forever watching Will live life over and over again. 

Will would have a gold teardrop tattoo thing under his left eye that he can pull ‘healing power,’ so to speak, from. When he changes his hair has more of an orange tint than yellow and he gets a gold ring around his irises and his neck.

“So you go all ‘whooshy fire-y’ and pop up as a baby in, like, China or something?”

“It’s more like ‘screamy hell-y’ and wait around in purgatory for a few years, but okay.”

OC time!

So, from all the members of the team, Mariko has the biggest, most memorable tattoo. It’s a Mondrian-esque abstract backpiece. She calls it ‘a tribute to being a lesbian’.

And, well, she really does like abstract art, and it fits her general Aesthetic ™ pretty well, so people generally accept this origin story and don’t push for any further explanation.

Now, Mariko. She’s know to be very rational, as someone who makes no move without thinking through all the possible courses of action and all their theoretical consequences.

What they don’t know, is that this is a concentrated effort on her part, this is her actively going against her instincts, beacause deep down she’s very impulsive, and has made some really embarrassing mistakes in the past because of it.

One of these mistakes was getting a boyfriend’s name tattoed on her. In bold, black font.

Two months later she broke up with him and came out as a lesbian - and had the name covered up with a solid black ractangle.

It was pretty damn ugly and, as she only had a couple of quote tattoos at the time, was very obvious as a coverup. As it was healing - and as the anger both at the ex and herself faded - the solution came to her: turn the thing into a part of an abstract piece.

Now the finished picture is both a tribute to being true to herself, and a reminder not to do anything rash.

anonymous asked:

But... You don't like fluff? :o at all? Or just sometimes you don't like it?

Well, I mean, “fluff” is really abstract, so some level or kind of fluff might be okay but others just annoy me. As long as they’re not just cuddling all the time and calling each other “loves” and doing all those cliche things like flowers restaurants and candy, then it should be fine. I just really don’t like that idealized traditional cliche version of romance, it’s just not for me… :) When I’m choosing some fanfiction to read, I’ll most likely go with angst + smut :) I’d say I don’t like domestic fics either, although I did enjoy Drarry Turn by Sara’s Girl SO. MUCH. and it’s sort of simple and domestic I suppose, but it’s kept realistic and not exaggerated so it wasn’t bad at all :)

inside a room inside a heart
inside a castle of ribs
there waits a sadness,
vast like blue-black night.
you know it
like the back of your hand–no,
better. your hand, at least,
is only as old as you are.


inside a bed inside a house
inside a forest of homes,
there waits a girl. if you squint,
she looks just like you.
i am on my knees,
she says. i have nowhere
to hide. i just want to be
forgiven. she points at the sky.
and the sky points back,
grows cold and deaf,
shakes in its seat
far above her head,
and says no.


inside a neighborhood inside a city
inside a far haunted country,
there waits a lake. you’ve sailed it
before, in this life, in another,
in every single one of them.
you’re looking for a light on the shore
but all you see is gray. all you hear
is voices, every one but yours. they all
say something different and
they’re all blind in this dark,
but as the hours wear on
all the whispers start to sound like help.


inside a room inside a heart
inside a castle of ribs,
there waits a sadness,
vast as blue-black night.
you face it like you’d face
a mirror. you journey into it,
deeper. you don’t know
if you’ll ever return.
(you’re not even sure
if you want to.)
this shadow remembers you,
lives in you, threatens
to swallow you whole.
there are no absolutes
but the sound of your steps
and your fading breaths.


along the way
you light a candle,
fingers quaking, and
the little flame burns till morning.
you make a pillow of the ashes.

—  inside: a series of sketches | marginalia [15] | c.i.

anonymous asked:

I loved your garnet head cannons! do you have any pearl ones?

aw, thanks! Yea, I have a few. Letsee…

Pearl is very tactile and sensitive to touch, when its someone she’s comfortable with its nice and grounding but when its from someone she’s not its extremely distressing (hence her reaction to Greg’s hug in “House Guest”). 

Following up on that, she likes the feel of some material and hates the feel of others and can be distracted by both. Similarly, her deal with food is largely texture-based, she doesn’t like how it feels (her description of why she doesn’t like eating was focused mostly on how it felt). If she had to eat for some reason, it would be something with a pleasing texture.

Pearl can draw diagrams and blueprints and really technical stuff very well, but can’t really draw anything dynamic or abstract unless she’s not actively thinking about it

Pearl’s projections are essentially just a ‘window’ into her thoughts and so when she’s caught off guard they can switch from what she’s trying to demonstrate to what she’s privately thinking (like in “Serious Steven” and “Rose’s Scabbard”). This was something she had to get used to/adapt to when she first got the freedom to be an individual and more comfortable expressing herself, as she was used to sustaining specs via projections and would frequently forget to turn off her projection when her mind would wander. Way back when, Rose would have to remind her to turn it off on occasion, which Pearl would be very embarrassed about but Rose thought it was cute.

Pearl has a tendency to stress-bake, if she gets stressed and anxious without some other outlet. Sometimes Steven will come home to a kitchen full of pies. She’s also prone to stress-cleaning

On Homeworld, Pearls had the most varied forms (compared to, say, Rubies, who were all identical), due to being made to be visually pleasing to specific Gems. Their forms were never what they wanted or were comfortable with, just whatever the Gem who owned them wanted. This is why Pearl’s outfits change so dramatically between regenerations, and also why she tends to take a long time to regenerate, because she focuses on finding a form that is the most comfortable and most ‘her’ at that moment. She has to actively fight against her base ‘programming’ that pushes her to make a form to please others. 

Follow up - I picture it as kind of like having a huge wardrobe (a Gem’s wardrobe basically being infinite), but for years she could never choose what she wanted or was comfortable with (this might be why she always wears shorts, since the other Pearl’s we’ve seen don’t have any and I could see that making her feel uncomfortably exposed). As a result, now that she can choose she always wants to try something very different from before, changing up the colors too. This process can take a while, slowing up her regeneration rate

You can sometimes distract Pearl by asking her to explain something, this works better if you incorrectly explain it first, since she’ll have a hard time just letting that go.

Pearl needs a lot of time to get used to something and has trouble adapting to sudden changes (generally responding very negatively), so she does much better if told ahead of time what to expect. For example, she didn’t want to hold baby Steven because she didn’t plan to deal with a baby that day, and in fact thought she’d never have to deal with babies again once Steven grew up. It was Too Much all of a sudden and she hadn’t mentally prepared

Follow up - the only exception is in battle, since she’s been in battle mode for over 5000 years. So she adapts well to changes in a battle setting

Greg taught Pearl how to drive his van and it was essentially how the two bonded after the initial contentiousness of their relationship. Working on the van is still when the two get along the best and open up more (mostly Pearl, since Greg is pretty open all the time in general)

briel  asked:

Do you have any advice for how not to get overwhelmed when reading scientific literature, mainly primary research articles? I have to present one at the end of this month for in order to graduate from University and I'm trying to read through and understand it, but every couple of lines I start having a miniature panic attack because I feel as if I don't understand ANYTHING that I am reading


  • Don’t read the abstract first thing. I know a lot of people do, but that’s a big mistake if you’re not a super duper level 100 science genius. If you read the abstract without knowing the science really well, it’s going to sound like gibberish soon. Read the abstract last, because it serves as a good summary. 
  • Instead, start with the introduction. This will give you the background information you need, and it always starts out very broad. 
  • Skip the methods part for now. Read the Results after you read the intro, and refer back to the Methods section if you don’t know what some assay is, how the mice were fed, etc. But sometimes the methods section isn’t very helpful since they go into too much detail. That leads me to..
  • Don’t know something? Look it up! So you come across something like “aneuploidy”, and you have no idea what it means. Don’t try to gather information from context clues; just straight up Google it, or ask someone who knows. This is the most important thing. No one is ever going to understand everything in a paper (unless they wrote it, of course). Even the top scientists have to Google stuff all the time when reading other papers. Sometimes, you can even refer back to the references in the back of the paper for answers. 
  • Jot down notes. Once you find out what aneuploidy is, write it down on the margin of the paper so you can refer back to it. Maybe even draw a small diagram too as an example. 
  • Annotate the figures. The figures are very very very important. They’re what tells the story. If you understand everything in the figure–the question asked, the method used, what the x- and y-axes mean, etc, what the result was–then you will understand the entire paper. So scribble away. Draw arrows. Write notes. Circle things. Define acronyms. Color code stuff. This is what all the primary papers I read look like when it comes to figures: 
  •  (Also pay attention to the Figure legends. Sometimes they’ll tell you extra information)
  • Explain the figures out loud. If you can explain it in your own words, you’ve got it down! You’re going to have to do this for your presentation anyway. 
  • If it helps, write down important observations/figure summaries on a separate piece of paper so you have something you can quickly reference when putting together your presentation. 
  • As far as the presentation goes, I like to create my slides in this order: Title, Background, Hypothesis, Questions Asked (basically a summary of what they wanted to find), Question #1 (which is essentially what Figure 1 should be about), (Additional background if necessary), Method(s) used to answer Question #1, Figures that answer Question #1, Question #1 conclusion, Question #2, etc, etc, until finally, Conclusion, Future Goals. You may have a different format, but just throwing out the one I use. 

You can do it! The trick to reading scientific literature is really… Google/ask questions for things you don’t know, and really understand the figures. And with anything that’s hard at first, practice will soon make it easier :) Good luck! If you need help with the specific paper, you can send me the first author’s name, title, and year published and I can see if I can help you with anything :)