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(Not me, btw, but I’m passing this along. I deleted my Dropbox account, too.)

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I was just minding my business, being really quiet in the woods, and this happened. I started recording when I heard heavy footsteps coming toward me in the forest.

Not sure what it is about this place I’ve been surveying at, but it’s teeming with wildlife (I EVEN SAW A FOX TODAY)

At about 0:22, the deer finally recognizes me, haha. There’s no telling what all I’d see if I went there and stayed really still for 8 hours.

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arrrrrrrgh:

Faunts- Feel Love Thinking Of

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(Source: tldrwikipedia, via ed-balls)

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autumnmcleod:

I’ve had a low grade fever for over a week, but I finally fought off my crappy illness-induced doldrums and finished the cheetah!

autumnmcleod:

I’ve had a low grade fever for over a week, but I finally fought off my crappy illness-induced doldrums and finished the cheetah!

Tags: art cheetah vivid
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Today is Earth Day. We owe this man a huge debt of gratitude for what he’s done for the planet.
Continuing its highlighting of the unsung heroes of science, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new cosmosontv show last Sunday night was about the age of the Earth, and a dangerous element. It told the story of this guy, Clair Cameron Patterson. Born in 1922. Died in 1995. A true scientist. He worked on the Manhattan Project as a graduate student, and then went on to do the most important work of his life after that: finding out just how old the Earth is, and stopping that dangerous element that was vital to his investigation.
As part of a dissertation project assigned to him in 1948, Patterson was tasked with essentially counting the amount of lead present in certain kinds of rocks. What’s so special about dull lead in rocks? Uranium—or any unstable, radioactive element (isotope)—does a funny thing: being inherently unstable, it will spontaneously change into another element (a ‘decay product’). A stable decay product or stable ‘nuclide’ of uranium is… lead. The rate at which quantities of uranium eventually decay into lead is very consistent and known. Knowing the precise amount of a radioactive element and a particular decay product in a rock will effectively tell you how old that rock is. It’s kind of like a natural, user-unfriendly clock. This methodology is called radiometric dating.
While a colleague of Patterson was having no problems determining the amount of uranium in the rocks, Patterson was always getting wildly fluctuating results with the amount of lead. How was that possible? He eventually determined that, oddly, the ambient lead in the environment (and thus in the rooms they were working in) was contaminating his results. Unable to control the contamination, he eventually had to build his own lab from scratch, as well as one of the first cleanrooms. This pervasiveness of lead no doubt raised many questions within him at the time.
Building from prior scientific knowledge on asteroids and the evolution of the Solar System—that the objects in the asteroid belt were the remnants left over from the formation of the Solar System—one of the smoking guns for the age of the Earth came from a chunk of an asteroid that formed the Barringer/Meteor crater 50,000 years ago in Arizona, USA (image below). Using the principles of radiometric dating, the relative abundance of lead versus uranium pointed to the age of the Earth being about 4.55 billion years, with a margin of error +/- 70 million (subsequently, this figure has been further refined).

Determining the age of the Earth is important in and of itself. But Patterson had some new questions that needed an answer.
Lead, if improperly handled or used, is bad stuff, health-wise. Very bad. The Romans were apparently one of the first people to mine and use it on a large scale, to dig it up from its dark prison beneath the earth and bring it topside. It was cheap, malleable. They lined their aqueducts with it, used it in certain products, among numerous other uses. You probably don’t have to look too hard to find historical accounts—knowing or unknowing—of its neurotoxic effects. This became common knowledge eventually, and was mostly an occupational hazard for some.
Lead has no known physiological function. Instead, it mimics—via its shape/structure—other essential metals like iron that our bodies use legitimately in day-to-day operations. It messes with enzymes in the cell that aid in the synthesis of vitamin D, and those that aid in maintaining the structural integrity of cell membranes. It causes DNA and cell-damaging radicals, and can cause anemia. It does all kinds of insidious damage throughout many of the body’s systems—not least of which being the documented neurological damage. [source]
Suspicious about the pervasive quantities of lead that were contaminating his experiments, and concerned about its mounting industrial/commercial use, Patterson journeyed through tumultuous seas and to frozen wastelands in search of hard data. In a move that is analogous to the current “debate” on climate change (debate in heavy quotes because it’s virtually settled despite claims to the contrary), Patterson had to prove that the ambient and dangerous levels of lead in the environment were not due to unavoidable natural causes or increases, but rather to preventable, increased industrial/commercial use; otherwise, the vested interests and their narrative that the levels of lead were natural and more or less safe—a narrative carried by paid, contrary ‘scientists’ and PR/ad agencies—would win out to the further detriment of humankind. He did this by sampling natural time capsules: deep ocean waters and chunks of ancient layers of ice entombed hundreds of feet by newer ice (in Greenland). He learned that in fact the levels of lead in the environment were not like they were before the Industrial Revolution, and that there was a spike in environmental lead when tetraethyllead began to be widely used as a ubiquitous performance-enhancing additive to gasoline in the 1920s, which eventually and inexorably found its way into the environment.
Thanks to Patterson, we now have ‘unleaded’ gasoline, and the elimination of lead in paint, and generally an overall reduction in the use of lead in products. The amount of lead in the blood of Americans has drastically declined since the 1970s. Not only did this happen in the US, it has been adopted throughout large portions of the world. This is because Patterson not only did the difficult, time-consuming science, but also because he actively advocated against the lead stakeholders via his writing and papers, and testifying before elected officials, despite the consequences he suffered by those with money and power who had a lot to lose.
It’s amazing to think that such a profound environmental realization and change occurred because some guy was doing something lofty by trying to determine an accurate age of planet Earth, using the best science available. This is the promise of science, and it has happened quite often in the course of history, these sort of concrete benefits derived from abstract or ambitious, seemingly unrelated exercises. And, quite frankly, this planet and us could use a lot more people like Clair Patterson, who are unafraid to do the hard work, follow the clues where they lead, and stand principled behind the truth despite the personal costs. Even if it seems impossible these days amongst all the noise and obfuscation out there.
[Here is the full Cosmos episode on Clair Patterson, radiometric dating, lead, and the age of the Earth.]

Today is Earth Day. We owe this man a huge debt of gratitude for what he’s done for the planet.

Continuing its highlighting of the unsung heroes of science, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new cosmosontv show last Sunday night was about the age of the Earth, and a dangerous element. It told the story of this guy, Clair Cameron Patterson. Born in 1922. Died in 1995. A true scientist. He worked on the Manhattan Project as a graduate student, and then went on to do the most important work of his life after that: finding out just how old the Earth is, and stopping that dangerous element that was vital to his investigation.

As part of a dissertation project assigned to him in 1948, Patterson was tasked with essentially counting the amount of lead present in certain kinds of rocks. What’s so special about dull lead in rocks? Uranium—or any unstable, radioactive element (isotope)—does a funny thing: being inherently unstable, it will spontaneously change into another element (a ‘decay product’). A stable decay product or stable ‘nuclide’ of uranium is… lead. The rate at which quantities of uranium eventually decay into lead is very consistent and known. Knowing the precise amount of a radioactive element and a particular decay product in a rock will effectively tell you how old that rock is. It’s kind of like a natural, user-unfriendly clock. This methodology is called radiometric dating.

While a colleague of Patterson was having no problems determining the amount of uranium in the rocks, Patterson was always getting wildly fluctuating results with the amount of lead. How was that possible? He eventually determined that, oddly, the ambient lead in the environment (and thus in the rooms they were working in) was contaminating his results. Unable to control the contamination, he eventually had to build his own lab from scratch, as well as one of the first cleanrooms. This pervasiveness of lead no doubt raised many questions within him at the time.

Building from prior scientific knowledge on asteroids and the evolution of the Solar System—that the objects in the asteroid belt were the remnants left over from the formation of the Solar System—one of the smoking guns for the age of the Earth came from a chunk of an asteroid that formed the Barringer/Meteor crater 50,000 years ago in Arizona, USA (image below). Using the principles of radiometric dating, the relative abundance of lead versus uranium pointed to the age of the Earth being about 4.55 billion years, with a margin of error +/- 70 million (subsequently, this figure has been further refined).

Determining the age of the Earth is important in and of itself. But Patterson had some new questions that needed an answer.

Lead, if improperly handled or used, is bad stuff, health-wise. Very bad. The Romans were apparently one of the first people to mine and use it on a large scale, to dig it up from its dark prison beneath the earth and bring it topside. It was cheap, malleable. They lined their aqueducts with it, used it in certain products, among numerous other uses. You probably don’t have to look too hard to find historical accounts—knowing or unknowing—of its neurotoxic effects. This became common knowledge eventually, and was mostly an occupational hazard for some.

Lead has no known physiological function. Instead, it mimics—via its shape/structure—other essential metals like iron that our bodies use legitimately in day-to-day operations. It messes with enzymes in the cell that aid in the synthesis of vitamin D, and those that aid in maintaining the structural integrity of cell membranes. It causes DNA and cell-damaging radicals, and can cause anemia. It does all kinds of insidious damage throughout many of the body’s systems—not least of which being the documented neurological damage. [source]

Suspicious about the pervasive quantities of lead that were contaminating his experiments, and concerned about its mounting industrial/commercial use, Patterson journeyed through tumultuous seas and to frozen wastelands in search of hard data. In a move that is analogous to the current debate on climate change (debate in heavy quotes because it’s virtually settled despite claims to the contrary), Patterson had to prove that the ambient and dangerous levels of lead in the environment were not due to unavoidable natural causes or increases, but rather to preventable, increased industrial/commercial use; otherwise, the vested interests and their narrative that the levels of lead were natural and more or less safe—a narrative carried by paid, contrary ‘scientists’ and PR/ad agencies—would win out to the further detriment of humankind. He did this by sampling natural time capsules: deep ocean waters and chunks of ancient layers of ice entombed hundreds of feet by newer ice (in Greenland). He learned that in fact the levels of lead in the environment were not like they were before the Industrial Revolution, and that there was a spike in environmental lead when tetraethyllead began to be widely used as a ubiquitous performance-enhancing additive to gasoline in the 1920s, which eventually and inexorably found its way into the environment.

Thanks to Patterson, we now have ‘unleaded’ gasoline, and the elimination of lead in paint, and generally an overall reduction in the use of lead in products. The amount of lead in the blood of Americans has drastically declined since the 1970s. Not only did this happen in the US, it has been adopted throughout large portions of the world. This is because Patterson not only did the difficult, time-consuming science, but also because he actively advocated against the lead stakeholders via his writing and papers, and testifying before elected officials, despite the consequences he suffered by those with money and power who had a lot to lose.

It’s amazing to think that such a profound environmental realization and change occurred because some guy was doing something lofty by trying to determine an accurate age of planet Earth, using the best science available. This is the promise of science, and it has happened quite often in the course of history, these sort of concrete benefits derived from abstract or ambitious, seemingly unrelated exercises. And, quite frankly, this planet and us could use a lot more people like Clair Patterson, who are unafraid to do the hard work, follow the clues where they lead, and stand principled behind the truth despite the personal costs. Even if it seems impossible these days amongst all the noise and obfuscation out there.

[Here is the full Cosmos episode on Clair Patterson, radiometric dating, lead, and the age of the Earth.]

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theatlantic:

Obama Is Still Hiding the Legal Cover He Used to Kill an America

The Obama Administration has fought for years to hide its legal rationale for killing an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, after putting him on a secret kill list. Citizens have an interest in knowing whether the White House follows the law, especially when the stakes are as high as ending a life without due process. President Obama has fought to ensure his legal reasoning would never be revealed, a precedent that would help future presidents to kill without accountability.
His shortsightedness is breathtaking. 
Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon expressed frustration that, according to her legal analysis, the Freedom of Information Act couldn’t force a disclosure. “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws,” she wrote, “while keeping the reasons for their conclusions a secret.”
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

theatlantic:

Obama Is Still Hiding the Legal Cover He Used to Kill an America

The Obama Administration has fought for years to hide its legal rationale for killing an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, after putting him on a secret kill list. Citizens have an interest in knowing whether the White House follows the law, especially when the stakes are as high as ending a life without due process. President Obama has fought to ensure his legal reasoning would never be revealed, a precedent that would help future presidents to kill without accountability.

His shortsightedness is breathtaking. 

Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon expressed frustration that, according to her legal analysis, the Freedom of Information Act couldn’t force a disclosure. “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws,” she wrote, “while keeping the reasons for their conclusions a secret.”

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Photoset

theatlantic:

In Focus: The Easter Rocket War of Vrontados

Every Easter, in the Greek village of Vrontados, members of rival churches sitting across a small valley stage a “rocket war” by firing thousands of homemade rockets towards each other while services are held. The objective for each side is to strike the bell of the opposing church. The festival, called Rouketopolemos, has been celebrated by the churches of Agios Markos and Panagia Erithiani for at least 125 years, its exact origins a mystery. Gathered here are images of this rocket war from the past few years.

Read more.

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Can’t imagine tonight’s episode of Cosmos, on radiometric dating and the age of the Earth, sat too well with creationists… on Easter Sunday, no less.

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If you believe me to be a superfluous term in your equation, or if I’m the cause of inconsistency, I will respectfully martyr my feelings for the sake of your balance and beauty. Divide, multiply, add, subtract me away. But understand the calculus you’re dealing with, love, and be certain: I think you know how hard it would be to integrate me back into the equation with such a derivative heart.

(Source: acalc)

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wuglife:


All languages of Europe are represented on this map. We provide useful and geographical information for each language 

This is a map of European languages, prioritizing minority languages and dialects. The linked site allows you to explore it in a lot more detail!

wuglife:

This is a map of European languages, prioritizing minority languages and dialects. The linked site allows you to explore it in a lot more detail!

(via cochleandus)

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1913 vs 2014

crumblingpages:

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Headlines taken from Chicago’s The Day Book (1913) and an MSNBC article by Ned Resnikoff.

Ahhh… the more things change, the more things stay the same. :)

:\

:(

(via hyyw)

Photoset

missavagardner:

Nobody’s perfect. There was never a perfect person around. You just have half-angel and half-devil in you.
Days of Heaven (1978), Terrence Malick.

(via sasscatball)

Photoset

American Horror Story: Easter

(Source: gingerdeer, via ohsealegs)

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I’ve never really discussed this with anyone, but here’s an interesting fact about me: believe it or not, I’ve never smoked anything or drank alcohol, or done any kind of drugs. Not even once. I’ll tell you why.

I don’t know what it was about me, but I always had this drive to be different, to stand from the crowd, but within a framework that is consistent with a fuzzy, partially understood true/deep self. I have no idea where it came from, but it was just there. Allegiance to that self came before friends/peers, for the most part. It still does to a large degree, though it is tempered by more pragmatism these days. Admittedly, it can be crippling sometimes, and it does me little favors with others (though not much harm either I think).

When I was younger, when the dominant narrative of my peers became  about socializing through the frame of smoking, drinking, and doing drugs, I thought it more radical and rebellious to not do that. I thought they were just trading one pressure for another. I thought they were giving up and surrendering to something, being weak, being dragged along on puppet strings.

Maybe I didn’t give in to peer pressure; but I did give in to the pressure of adhering to my ideal self. There’s always a tradeoff in this world. I paid and am paying a price for not wanting or trying to belong, for playing the game my way, on a lonely field.

During that same time, I was around people in my family that both smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol. I always hated the choking, second-hand smoke. I could never understand why people would ever subject themselves to that. I internalized all the health problems I read about and witnessed and knew I would never start that shit. As for alcohol, my step-dad used to drink all the time. The way it changed his personality, made him aggressive and made things very uncomfortable and sometimes scary, was formative for me. That effect it has on some people always freaked me out. Call me crazy, but I value consistency, and that extends to thought, and I prefer not to do anything to compromise that.

Another thing I should mention is that addiction kind of runs in the family, so there’s that thought in the back of my mind with regards to all of this. I’ve had a few relatives or family friends die of cirrhosis of the liver, for instance. But I don’t know how much stock I should put into that observation, to be honest.

These days, my stance on all that has relaxed. While back then I perceived that people doing drugs was an uncritical caving-in to peer pressure and coolness, it’s now my perception and experience that people are using to mask legitimate physical and psychic pains, some of which cannot so readily and easily be addressed in other ways. I’m fine with all that, so long as you’re not hurting anyone else in the process physically, emotionally, mentally. (Although, you could make an argument that if you’re obtaining and using certain illegal drugs, people somewhere in the history of the transfer of ownership of that product are being exploited, hurt, or killed, in which case you should seriously reconsider. But if we’re talking about pot, and you live in a place where it’s legal (e.g. Colorado, Washington, or country X), or you’re getting it from a medical dispensary, or you’re growing it yourself, then more power to you.)

Even though I’ve been super clean/sober my whole life, I should say I’m not opposed to ever drinking or doing any kind of drug (with a few exceptions, like tobacco). Perhaps it’s not even accurate to say that, because I mean, there are plenty of other kinds of ‘drugs’ and ‘addictions’ out there that can harm yourself or your relationships by being ‘abused’ (food products, mobile phones/Internet, sex, gambling, etc. etc.) Anyway, I reserve the right to do so in the future, but I just don’t really have an urge right now. I don’t even like taking over-the-counter medication, if I can help it (I’ll take ibuprofen occasionally for headaches)! I’ve maybe had to fill one prescription in the last 10 years. I consider myself lucky so long as I don’t have to rely on them and any unavoidable, undesirable side-effects.