29 December 2013

Angry Woman Stabs Man With Ceramic Squirrrel

South Carolina authorities say a 44-year-old woman angry at a man for returning home without beer on Christmas beat and stabbed him with a ceramic squirrel. 

The Charleston County Sheriff's office says in a report that deputies found a man covered with blood when they arrived at Helen Williams' North Charleston home early Wednesday. She told investigators the man fell and cut himself, but couldn't explain why her hands and clothes were also bloody. Deputies say the man said Williams was so angry when he returned without beer because stores were closed on Christmas Eve that she grabbed a ceramic squirrel, beat him in the head, then stabbed him in the shoulder and chest. 

Williams was in jail Friday and charged with criminal domestic violence. It wasn't known if she had a lawyer.


25 December 2013

David Sedaris | SantaLand Diaries


Merry Christmas from Ms. Lanny-yap with many thanks to Mr. Sedaris and This American Life

See Who Shares Your Birthday

Click image to enlarge

Via FB

24 December 2013

SNL | [Do It On My] Twin Bed


From the Saturday 21 December 2013 show.

23 December 2013

Sarah Schoenfeld | All You Can Feel





Whether you’ve tried mind-altering substances or not one thing remains true: we all have an idea of what a drug feels like, be it imagined, anecdotal, or from direct exposure. So what might the effect of a drug look like? That was the question asked by artist Sarah Schoenfeld who had ample exposure to the realities of drugs while working in a Berlin nightclub. To answer the question she converted her photography studio into a laboratory and exposed legal and illegal liquid drug mixtures to film negatives. The resulting chemical reactions were then greatly magnified into large prints to form a body of work titled All You Can Feel.
These final, otherworldly images of heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and other substances explore a relationship between photography, alchemy, pharmacy and psychology. One can’t help but draw parallels between Schoenfeld’s photos and the perceived effects of various narcotics ...
All You Can Feel | Colossal

An Engineer's Guide To Cats 2.0

Two professional engineers update an earlier video tutorial about cats. This is a sequel to the original video "An Engineer's Guide to Cats" released in 2008.
Paul Klusman's Channel

Arson Is A Christmas Tradition In Gavle, Sweden


Each year, a towering Yule Goat is constructed for the holidays in Gävle, Sweden. But more often than not, the Gävle Goat — or Gävlebocken as it is called in Sweden — doesn't make it to Christmas. Since it was first built in 1966, it's almost annually been burned, although arson isn't its only misfortune.
Here's a timeline of the rise and fall of the Gävle Goat by Atlas Obscura's graphic designer Michelle Enemark

Follow the destruction by clicking on the image or click on the link for an interactive graphic

Atlas Obscura

Thanks to Mr. Lanny-yap

22 December 2013

Merry Anti-Christmas | Rare Exports


The Santa Claus/Krampus origin story crossed with "The Thing." My new anti-Christmas favorite.

18 December 2013

14 December 2013

Anti-Barbie | Feral Cheryl

Here she is, the anti-Barbie, fresh from the rainforests of Northern New South Wales, Australia. This 34 cm vinyl doll runs barefoot, dreadlocks her hair with coloured braids and beads, wears simple rainbow clothes, has piercings and a range of tattoos, and even a bit of natural body hair.
Feral Cheryl is modelled on the green extremists, known as ‘ferals’ from Australia. In contrast to the ‘fashion doll’ mentality, Feral Cheryl does not have an extensive wardrobe, or high heels, or swimsuit, or gym gear, or wedding dress or cheerleader outfit. She needs no sports car or hairdressing salon, no disco stage or shopping mall. Her motto is "Live Simply, Run Wild". Her only accessories: a bag of home grown herbs*, a sense of humour and a social conscience.
Each Feral Cheryl doll is individually crafted with a variety of coloured beads, bindis and a range of tattoos, so there are no two exactly the same.
More at Meet Feral Cheryl

Mr. Carson Has A Christmas Message For You

YouTube | Gawker
A dirty, bedraggled and beaten down Santa Claus — played by everyone’s favorite butler, Jim Carter of Downton Abbey fame — announces the end of Christmas due to global warming and oil drilling in the Arctic.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

Silverstein | The Thinker Of Tender Thoughts

Click image to enlarge | Source

New Model Uses "Effective Distance" To Show How Contagions Spread

YouTube | Laughing Squid
[This video] shows how a hypothetical epidemic spreads from Atlanta to the rest of the world via the global air transportation network. It is based on the research of Dirk Brockmann and his fellow researchers at Humboldt University in Berlin, who have developed a new model for understanding the spread of contagions that is based on “effective distance.” In the simulation, the disease spreads rapidly to airports connected to Atlanta. So from an effective distance standpoint, Paris might be closer than a remote town in Montana (when geographically the opposite is true.)

03 December 2013

30 November 2013

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh | Stop Telling Women To Smile

For many women, just walking down the street can mean being subject to harassment by men—from subtle comments to overtly hostile remarks. Back in 2012, fed up with such treatment, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, an oil painter by trade, decided to speak out: She produced an illustrated self-portrait with a caption—"Stop Telling Women To Smile"—and plastered copies all around her Brooklyn neighborhood. Since then, Fazlalizadeh has created countless posters, literally taking to the street to combat sexist harassment. Each piece features a different woman, with a caption that reflects her own experiences with public harassment. With $35,000 raised on Kickstarter, Fazlalizadeh has now taken her project, named after that first caption, on the road. In January, after traveling to Chicago and Boston to interview women there about how they experience public space, she'll be heading to the West Coast.
Read more at Mother Jones

Thanks, Ellen

24 November 2013

Must-Read For Therapists | Positivity Is Bullshit When You Have Cancer

My eyelashes are mascara-less stumps and I’ve been commando in the same stained, hot pink sweats for 36 hours, but I don’t care. It’s 2011, and my mom and I are at my grandmother’s house in Michigan hoping for some rest after a hellish year spent cycling through chemo, radiation, and surgeries. 

Set on a quarter mile cul-de-sac, the condos are built into a gentle slope where the elated cries of grandchildren echo as they race across the shared backyard. Beyond the lawn, families and fishermen float down the shallow river in inner tubes or boats beneath the canopy of ancient oaks and elms that line the riverbed. This year, the river is so shallow that the children step into the centers of their inner tubes to carry their portable yachts to avoid rocky butt scrapes, the water lapping around their ankles. I want to puke.  

At gramma’s, I don’t try to keep up appearances. I forgo foundation, scarves to hide my bald head, and the pretense that undergoing chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant was some kind of backwards blessing. I think I’m safe from the usual painful judgments about how a cancer survivor should behave. I’m not. 

In my boyfriend’s dreary basement apartment, I’d spent weeks wrapped in a blanket in front of the television, only moving when I needed to go to the bathroom to vomit. I haven’t mustered the energy to visit with even my best friends, because the effort to choose a non-itchy outfit and then follow conversation is too exhausting. 

At a lunch date with several other cancer survivors, now close friends and confidantes, I sobbed into my Thai chicken pizza as I tried to explain my frustration that I wasn’t feeling better—Carina was back to normal three months after her transplant—and the insistence of ‘healthy people’ that, to survive, I need to be more positive. 

The vehemence with which people insist that “positivity is the best medicine” when they catch wind of my misery—not difficult to sniff out since I’ve got one major silent-but-deadly depression cloud following me—makes me want to explode. “Chemo is the best medicine, motherfuckers!” I should shout but I don’t have the energy. The haters are making me doubt the data that says high stress-levels, chronic depression, PTSD, and other traumatic life events are statistically unrelated to developing cancer. 

I am relieved for the distance from D.C., but disappointed that even my grandmother’s home, a place that usually elicits an internal sigh of relief and quiet joy as I gorge on peanut-butter-slathered English muffins while watching the birds breakfast on the feeders beyond the breakfast nook windows, is shrouded with the same gloom that has crept over everything like a moldy film. The thoughts—that I am undeserving of the outpouring of love and support from friends and family, the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, or even the surviving this cellular cluster fuck—won’t stop. 

My relatives are obviously disappointed too. I think that they expected me to exude the upbeat attitude of the survivors on television commercials, donning pink ribbons and walking marathons, declaring a new lease on life. Cancer patients are expected to be poster children of a movement, meant to reassure the masses that this plague, and even imminent death, can be overcome with positive affirmations and attitude adjustments. We are a society that believes in control, to the point of delusion. We are a nation founded on the idea that any obstacles can be surmounted and dreams reached through hard work and self-control. I am the unpleasant face of cancer. I am not accepting pain and loss gracefully. I am a disappointment. 

Our family friend, who I call Uncle Ron, arrives unannounced to gawk at cancer’s wreckage and to gather intel he assures me he’ll keep secret from the little old biddies at assisted living. I trust him as much as I’d trust Edward Snowden. He’s hoping for a glimpse of a gray-skinned and starving husk of a twenty-nine year old but besides that my scalp and face look Brazilian bikini waxed, I appear the same. 

How are you?” he asks. 

“Good.” I shrug. I’ve decided to try not to give him what he wants. 

“How are you feeling?” 

“Not great,” I say. 

He takes the opening to lecture me on the importance of optimism, encouraging me to be grateful for the life God gave me. 

I start crying. 

His eyes well up too. He smiles and keeps repeating, “Choose positivity. Choose happiness,” before pulling me in for a hug. Did everyone really believe the depression was choice? Did they believe I’d given myself cancer too? Did I give it to myself? 

Of course, one of my worst fears was that the positivity pushers were right. I was sick because I couldn’t keep a shit-eating grin on my face throughout an adolescence fraught with familial drama and long depressive episodes, or because, while I lived in New Zealand, I secretly sobbed for six weeks when I should have been hitchhiking to the ski slopes or hiking fern-lined trails, or because of the many mornings when my heart raced, dreading my looming day ahead teaching at Brooklyn high school. Maybe these numerous blue periods all added up to cancer. 

Uncle Ron didn’t seem to consider the year-plus of chemotherapy—so dangerous that the oncologists administered it through plastic tubing surgically forced through my veins; a treatment that filled my mouth, labia, and anus with sores that bled and left me barren—might also have affected my hormones and brain chemistry, not to mention destroyed my faith that somehow I would live forever. He thought I was depressed by choice. 

In his memoir about a depressive episode he suffered, William Styron writes of others’ attitudes towards depression, “[S]uch incomprehension has usually been due not to a failure of sympathy but to the basic inability of healthy people to imagine a form of torment so alien to everyday experience.” My Uncle Ron could not imagine the depth of my suffering. He saw my depression, so deep that I could barely bring myself to engage in small talk or string words into coherent sentences, as a sort of adolescent foot stomping, an excuse to feel sorry for myself. He was sure that with a little cajoling, I could pull myself up by the boot straps and become the vivacious niece who relayed stories about hopping on the back of an English ex-pat’s motorbike in a Thai island jungle without hesitation. 

Ron was also motivated by fear. Many people want to believe that cancer can be overcome with enough willpower and exuberant positive affirmations. The notion that we can control cancer by dieting—cutting gluten, dairy, GMOs, and alcohol from our diets or binging on kale juice, green tea, and soy—has trickled into Facebook feeds and taken over targeted ad space. We feel more in control of our lives if we believe sick people got that way by making bad choices. This hopeful but woefully misguided belief that if the cancer patient eats like a Paleolithic person or ignores her fears, she will ‘beat the odds,’ denies patients the freedom to mourn the loss of her old self—because cancer almost always kills a more fearless version of ourselves. 

The truth is we don’t know why this shit happens. In an interview with The Guardian, Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the ‘cancer memoir’ The Emperor of All Maladies, says, “In a spiritual sense, a positive attitude may help you get through chemotherapy and surgery and radiation and what have you. But a positive mental attitude does not cure cancer—any more than a negative mental attitude causes cancer.” We need to stop blaming cancer patients and start supporting their emotional needs. We can’t stop time. We can’t control most of life’s plot twists. We can embrace the unexpected, and give a patient a shoulder to cry on so that she can face her disease with genuine hope and realistic expectations.

Follow Lauren Szcudlo at crayzcricket

Via Gawker

09 November 2013

Earth Porn

Dragon's Skulls (seeds)

Monkey Flower

Naked Hanging Man (flower)

Link via FB

Dance Your PhD Finalists 2013

Females of the red jungle fowl mate with multiple males, which can create competition between sperm of different males in order to fertilize the egg. In my PhD thesis, I explored the effect of brotherhood on sperm competition and female choice. Interestingly, the brother of the first male that the female has mated with invests more sperm in the female than the non-brother of the first male mate. However, the female ejects a higher proportion of sperm from the brother of the first mate and favours the sperm of the non-brother, facilitating a higher fertility by the non-brother’s sperm ... Inspired by various sports, the dance movements in this video reflect the competitive nature in the sperm world.
Every year, Science's Dance Your PhD competition challenges grad students past and present to convey their dissertations with interpretive dance.
Link to the finalists' videos via io9

08 November 2013

Gerard O'Neill's Vision Of Space Colonization

Click images to enlarge
In the 1970s NASA pursued serious plans to create space colonies at a “far-out address”—L4 and L5, two of the five “libration points” between two large celestial bodies (in this case the Earth and the Moon) in which a floating object will remain in a stable point relative to those two bodies.
NASA hired Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill to develop the concept. O’Neill testified before Congress on the subject, and as a part of the work his team at the Ames Research Center, in collaboration with Stanford University, generated these wonderful images of human settlements in outer space. They come in three types—a cylindrical space colony; a “Bernal sphere” space colony, in which the people would live on the inside surface of a sphere; and a toroidal space colony (a toroid is essentially a donut shape).
Go to Dangerous Minds for more images and to see a 70s era NASA video about O'Neill's concepts.

05 November 2013

National Geographic | If All The Ice Melted

Click HERE to access the interactive map.
... you're not going to see this happen. What you'll see will be more subtle: wetter storms, hotter and drier summers, more flooding as we saw from Hurricane Sandy. But somewhere down the line, assuming our use of fossil fuels isn't checked, we could very well see ocean levels that are 216 feet higher than today. And that may just be a way station before even higher increases to come.
The Atlantic

03 November 2013

Shixie | Why I Study Physics

Xiangjun Shi, otherwise known as Shixie, studied animation at RISD and physics at Brown. Then, she harnessed her training in both disciplines to create an animation explaining the virtue of studying physics.
Open Culture

Roland Deschane's 'War On Kinkade' | Making Bad Paintings Delightful

I despise Thomas Kinkade's work, but these make me happy. I'd love to see a series with Lovecraft's monsters, or Cylons, or an Alien/Predator battle.

Roland Deschane via Dangerous Minds

02 November 2013

Greetings From Penis Gun Freakyland

Click image to enlarge

America, as labeled by an Australian who's never been here.

Imgur via FB

16 October 2013

15 October 2013

Science Class Rap Battle | Rosalind Franklin vs Watson & Crick

Rosalind Franklin was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. Her DNA work achieved the most fame because DNA plays an essential role in cell metabolism and genetics, and the discovery of its structure helped her co-workers understand how genetic information is passed from parents to their offspring.
Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix. According to Francis Crick, her data was key to determining the structureto formulate Crick and Watson's 1953 model regarding the structure of DNA. Franklin's images of X-ray diffraction confirming the helical structure of DNA were shown to Watson without her approval or knowledge. This image and her accurate interpretation of the data provided valuable insight into the DNA structure, but Franklin's scientific contributions to the discovery of the double helix are often overlooked.
Unpublished drafts of her papers (written just as she was arranging to leave King's College London) show that she had independently determined the overall B-form of the DNA helix and the location of the phosphate groups on the outside of the structure. Moreover, it was a report of Franklin's that convinced Crick and Watson that the backbones had to be on the outside, which was crucial since before this both they and Linus Pauling had independently generated non-illuminating models with the chains inside and the bases pointing outwards. However, her work was published third, in the series of three DNA Nature articles, led by the paper of Watson and Crick which only hinted at her contribution to their hypothesis.
In other words, Franklin should have shared the Nobel Prize but was shafted by Watson and Crick.

Source, source

Science Says | Oreos Are As Addictive As Cocaine

Researchers at Connecticut College have found evidence that proves that Oreo cookies—at least for lab rats—are as addictive as cocaine. Neuroscience senior Jamie Honohan devised the study in order to research the impact of high-fat and high-sugar foods in low-income neighborhoods ... 

To carry out the study, Honohan and two other students devised a maze. On one side of the maze, hungry rats would find an Oreo. On the other side, hungry rats would find (groan) rice cakes. 

Unsurprisingly, all the rats gravitated toward the Oreo, and like all cultured creatures, they would “
break it open and eat the middle first.” 

The researchers compared the results of their study to a similar study in which rats were either given a shot of cocaine or morphine on one side of the maze or a shot of saline on the other. It turns out that the rats conditioned with Oreos spent as much time on the “drug” side of the maze as those who were conditioned with actual drugs. Even more worrisome, the researchers found that the Oreos “activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine.”

Link via Gawker

13 October 2013

What Does The Fox Say?


Catchy. Makes me miss Flight of the Conchords.

Cheating Really Does Feel Wonderful

New research suggests that the feeling of guilt associated with cheating on an exam or lying on tax returns is actually just a figment of our imagination; a feeling our memories conjure up after the fact to make us feel better about being unethical. Because in actuality — according to a new study, "The Cheater's High," conducted by researchers from the University of Washington, Harvard, London Business School, and Penn — cheating feels pretty damn good.
The researchers conducted six different experiments offering participants a multitude of opportunities to cheat (both directly and indirectly, sometimes with the lure of financial gain and sometimes not). They found that the cheaters generally felt thrilled, satisfied, and superior about their dishonesty. “We were a little appalled,” University of Washington postdoctoral research associate Nicole E. Ruedy — the lead author of the study — told the New York Times. “The fact that people feel happier after cheating is disturbing, because there is emotional reinforcement of the behavior, meaning they could be more likely to do it again,” Ruedy said.
Journal of Personal and Social Psychology via Gawker

12 October 2013

iSideWith | How Liberal Or Conservative Are You?

From the website:
iSideWith.com was started in March 2012 by two friends with two very different views of politics. Our goal is to save users time by providing an accurate and updated breakdown of which candidates they side with on the issues. We aim to educate voters and to boost voter turnout this election season.
Taylor Peck runs the editorial, research, and promotional aspects of the site. He is a marketing consultant and self described politics "crackhead" who needs political news to sustain daily life. Nick Boutelier is the web designer and programmer. A lifelong undecided voter, he was searching for an easier way to stay updated on the issues and candidates he sides with.
That’s it! We are not affiliated with any investors, shareholders, advertisers, political party or interest group. If you share our passion for this project and would like to support it, please help us out with a PayPal donation so we can educate more voters about your local and state representatives by Election Day (November 4th, 2014).
Via Dangerous Minds

Brain 'Stethoscope' Turns Seizures Into Music

Stanford professors Chris Chafe and Josef Parvizi have transformed brain activity from seizure patients into music. This composition details the three main phases of a seizure. Calmness turns into chaos during the actual seizure, before trailing off into a recovery phase. The work could lead to a powerful biofeedback tool for identifying brain patterns associated with seizures.

YouTube | Stanford

10 October 2013

The Noun Project

Fresh Collection
Click image to enlarge
The Noun Project is an ambitious effort to create a global visual language with open source symbols and icons. Anyone can contribute icons to the project’s online library, or download and use the icons, all free of charge. Icon users can pay a small fee to use icons without attribution (commercially or otherwise). The Noun Project periodically holds public icon creation workshops, or “iconathons.” The most recent iconathon was at the 2013 XOXO festival in Portland
Via Laughing Squid

09 October 2013