Status: fangirl, photographer, artist, editorFavorites: Star Wars, Doctor Who, Disney, Sherlock, FMA, Avatar: the Last Airbender and Klaroline.
I use the tumblr app 95% of the time.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, on being asked what would happen if the Earth suddenly stopped spinning.
Sidenote: This wonderful physics funfact is also why you should keep your car clean. A tissue box flying at 85 MPH after your car has suddenly stopped due to a car accident can kill you.
This man is the best. Glad a great scientist like him has become somewhat pop culture. It’s good for science.
Science Needs Women:
For Women in Science; the L’Oreal Foundation
I’m sharing this video on any platform I can because when I first found it last week it had something like 1,400 views, but it’s the most beautifully produced and succinctly narrated video addressing some of the most complicated issues facing women in STE(A)M fields I’ve found yet.
I’m sharing this for every time I’m called a “feminazi.”
…for every time I’m told that my concerns aren’t valid, our that our issues are imagined.
…for every time I hear “women just don’t like science,” or worse - “women just aren’t good at science.”
…for every time we’re told that we can have a family or a career, but not both - and for every time we feel like we have to decide between the two.
…and because we need more women mentors in these fields to stand up for issues that are not “women’s issues” - these are people issues that affect our collective society as a whole.
The women in this video are my heroes and they should be your heroes, too.
Science needs women.
1. All those people screaming cultural appropriation at her are ignoramuses who are basically saying, “Wow, you don’t look like my ill-informed, narrow-minded stereotype of what people from this region actually look like!” and “I actually subscribe to horrible, reductionist stereotypes that Indian people can only have dark hair, skin and eyes. Light hair? Green eyes? European (origin) only!”
This is gonna be a tad long, because it’s gonna delve into biology and history- and it’s because I hope people realise how artificial the US paradigm of race is. It’s woefully incompetent at understanding the biological diversity of our species because it is a social construct. Modern scientists and historians generally refuse to categorise people on the amount of melanin they have because it’s just reductionist and oversimplistic- what they do is classify people by their geographic origin, linguistic and cultural ties.
2. India is an EXTREMELY diverse continent. It’s so genetically diverse that the only place more genetically diverse is the African continent, aka, the birthplace of humanity. And this is a big deal. I’ll explain why.
Surprise! People inhabiting an extremely large country that has more than 2000 ethnic groups, members of all the world’s religions, been the site of multiple ancient civilisations, been on the major crossroads of human migration and trade for thousands of years come in multiple colours!
- Presently, the most widely-accepted theory of our origins is the Recent African Origin, or Out of Africa Theory. This holds that originally, humans first appeared in Africa, thus all of us have African ancestors. All modern non-Africans are descended from much smaller groups of people who migrated out of Africa, anytime from 65,000 to 125,000 years ago. How do scientists know this? By looking at our DNA, in addition to fossil and archaeological records. They discovered that the differences in the DNA of non-African peoples like say, a German a Japanese and a New Zealand Maori was far less than the genetic differences between people from different African ethnic groups. (Somali, Dinka, Yoruba, San, Kikuyu, Luo etc- I’m BARELY scratching the surface)
- What this meant was that Africa had to be the original, diverse genetic pool where modern humans first appeared. Everybody else outside of Africa today is descended from much smaller groups of people who left Africa at various times- and that ancestral genetic “bottleneck” is why people who appear to have very different heritage (e.g European vs East Asian) actually have far less genetic variation than the various African peoples.
So, India being the second most genetically diverse place on this planet is a big deal- it’s basically second only to THE CRADLE OF HUMANITY. That’s why I’m pretty convinced your friend can have blonde hair and green eyes and still be 100% Made in India.
3. Now, the genetics of India itself.
Genetic studies have shown that if you take a modern Indian from any part of India, no matter how dark or fair they are, his or her lineage will consist of mixing from two main ancestral groups. One is the Ancestral Northern Indians (ANI), and the other the Ancestral Southern Indians (ASI). You may have heard of the ancient Indian caste system which put a lot of social pressure that prohibited marrying outside your caste. Caste discrimination is banned today, but old attitudes do persist. However, even this caste rigidity wasn’t so 4000- 2000 years ago. ANI people married ASI pretty freely, so that’s why every modern Indian has heredity from both groups. So, already to start off, you got quite a fair bit of diversity hidden in people’s genes.
- And the next interesting part to explain why it IS possible for Indians to have features stereotyped as “European” is because while the ASI seemed to be genetically unique to the Indian subcontinent, the ANI people are genetically related to Middle-Easterns, Europeans and Caucasians (and I mean this not in the sense of “white” as often used in the US, but the actual region of Caucasus, which borders Europe and Asia).
- You mentioned she looks “white”- and the American-understanding of “white” being hurled at her by those people screaming cultural appropriation are actually ignorantly treating “white” as synonymous with “European-origin”. In reality, it’s completely useless in the realm of biology. Biologically, there is actually no real dichotomy where “European” suddenly ends and “Asia” begins.
- As I earlier pointed out, well, we’re all kinda related. And it’s not at all earth-shattering that some people from India look like they’re of “European-origin”. Because modern Europeans, Central Asians and the Ancestral Northern Indians are all believed to be descendants of a group of people called the Proto-Indo-Europeans. It’s believed they lived around 6000-7000 years ago. Some modern people that are descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans are French, Germans, Iranians and Pashtuns (a major ethnic group in Afghanistan). It’s even been found that Europeans and Indians shared a gene for fair skin from a common ancestor- which is why there ARE people who look like your friend. Naturally, fair skin is just relatively rarer in India vs Europe because more parts of India are located in hotter regions. Therefore, there’s more selection pressure for darker skin which has more melanin to protect from the sun- making fair skin rarer, but still possible.
(This is a map of the Kurgan Hypothesis, which is currently the most popular theory for how the Proto-Indo-Europeans migrated from their homeland to settle Europe, Central Asia, Iran, India and Turkey etc)
- Saying Indians are descendants of the Proto-Indo-Europeans is NOT the same as saying they’re of “European origin”. For example, think of the Proto-Indo-Europeans as like the “mother” of Europeans, Central Asians and the Ancestral Northern Indians- they’re like “sibling” groups, not descendants. The original Indo-Europeans were not “European” in the modern sense. I am clarifying this because plenty of colonial-era scientific racism tried to attribute ancient India’s achievements to “European who left Europe for India”- you might have heard the phrase “Aryan” thrown around in Nazi Germany, which was used to mean “blonde hair, blue eyes”. Nazi scientists and historians also abused it to explain away the sophistication of non-European civilisations in Ancient Egypt and India. In reality, ”Aryan” is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word “Arya" which means "noble". Sanskrit is an ancient language still used in classical Indian texts, and is of Proto-Indo-European origin. For example, the name of the country “Iran” actually means “land of the Aryans”- it was the names ancient Iranians (another people descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans) gave to what others called the Persian Empire for more than a thousand years before the Third Reich.
- Furthermore, many languages we often separate as “European” and “Asian” like German, English, French, Italian vs. Hindi, Farsi (Persian), Gujarati, Punjabi, Pashto, Sanskrit etc are ALL classified by linguists as belonging to the same Indo-European language family- which all evolved from the original language the Proto-Indo-Europeans spoke. See how artificial the Europe/Asia dichotomy really is, in terms of human genetics and origin of cultures?
4. Finally- there’s plenty of modern proof that the region we call Europe today does NOT have a monopoly on producing people with blonde hair, fair skin and green eyes.
This is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a popular Indian Bollywood actress who is also known for her striking blue-green eyes. She’s 100% Indian- she was born in Mangalore, India to Indian parents.
This is a girl from Darfur, Sudan- an area that has more than 30 ethnic groups.
5. And in the first place, what makes up a person’s identity IS NOT JUST HOW MUCH or HOW LITTLE MELANIN THEY HAVE.
- Tell your friend she is 100% Indian, because what makes up her identity is not just how she looks. Identity is what feels most natural to her, and if that identity is indeed very intertwined with major aspects of Indian culture- then well, she IS Indian and noone can say otherwise.
- Those people had no right to make her feel awful and “not-Indian enough” because it’s clear she identifies as such due to actually being born there and also practising major aspects of Indian culture. The best example I can think of to explain this is how in the US, people sometimes use the term “Latino” as a race category, with the stereotype that all latinos must have tanned skin and dark hair. In reality, it’s more of a cultural identity. The are fair haired-latinos and darker-skinned latinos whose ancestors included the African slaves brought to the Americas four hundred years ago. But what really makes them “Latino” or “Hispanic” is their upbringing- growing up in the environment of Latin America, which is culturally a syncretic fusion of Amerindian, African, Spanish, Portuguese and other European influences.
(This is the Brazilian football team that won the 1970 World Cup- you can see Pelé- second from the bottom right. He is an Afro-Brazilian. If you look at his teammates, you can see how latinos come in ALL COLOURS.)
6. Your friend should not be questioning her identity, but those people attacking her should be questioning their utterly myopic worldview. The history of human genetics and migrations makes it abundantly clear how DIVERSE India is- so it’s perfectly possible for her to be Indian but have blonde hair and green eyes, even if it may be less common.
7. On a more general note, I cannot stress this enough to everyone- DO NOT GO AROUND ATTACKING PEOPLE for “cultural appropriation” when you are NOT even from that culture in question and/or don’t actually know in detail the history and genetics of that region.
- If you suspect cultural appropriation: DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST or ASK SOMEBODY you know who actually belongs to that group. You may be attacking mixed-race people or people like the anon’s friend, who simply has features that are less genetically dominant- blonde hair shows up less easily in countries with a bigger pool of people with dark hair because dark hair is dominant. Even if her parents had dark hair, it’s possible they both carried a recessive gene for blonde hair that was suppressed by their dark-hair gene. Their child would be blonde if she happened to get both copies of the blonde gene instead of the dark hair gene.
- Also, even if you think the person isn’t of that group, please bear in mind they might have been invited to dress in that clothing by a friend, or because they’re at an event. (I.e let’s say, at an Indian wedding)
- I can’t stress how infuriating this “white knight” complex is. Speaking as someone pretty familiar with colonialism, I’ve had people who didn’t grow up in my culture condescendingly insist that if I’m okay with somebody doing something from my culture, it’s “self-internalised oppression”. I’ve studied African colonial literature, and the way people insist on defining what people should be alright with is very reminiscent of 19th century imperialists high-handedly saying, “oh, we have to bring the light of civilisation to save those backwards colonial subjects from themselves!”
This is Reese Witherspoon, wearing a kimono in Japan, where she is being taught by JAPANESE people how to perform the traditional tea ceremony. This is not reducing a culture to a caricature because she’s actually learning stuff respectfully and wearing a bona fide kimono.
- Fighting against cultural appropriation is to prevent cultures from being cheapened, made into jokes, sexual fetishes or ugly caricatures. Part of returning power to people to define themselves is ALSO by allowing them to set the parameters of what they want to share with others- and many cultures are perfectly willing to share aspects that are non-sacred or do not have to be earned. So, for example, do not go around insisting a Japanese person should not be allowed to teach non-Japanese people to wear a kimono- because a kimono, unlike a Navajo war bonnet (akin to veteran’s medals), is something anybody can wear. Recognise this difference.
This is because Fahrenheit is based on a brine scale and the human body. The scale is basically how cold does it have to be to freeze saltwater (zero Fahrenheit) to what temperature is the human body (100-ish Fahrenheit, although now we know that’s not exactly accurate). Fahrenheit was designed around humans.
Celsius and Kelvin are designed around the natural world.
Celsius is a scale based on water. Zero is when water freezes, 100 is when water boils.
Kelvin uses the same scale as Celsius (one degree, as a unit, is the same between the two), but defines zero as absolute zero, which is basically the temperature at which atoms literally stop doing that spinning thing. Nothing can exist below zero Kelvin. It’s the bottom of the scale.
Fahrenheit: what temperatures affect humans
Celsius: what temperatures affect water
Kelvin: what temperatures affect atoms
Why didn’t my science teachers ever see fit to toss off this little fact?
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that psychiatrists cannot reliably tell the difference between people who are mentally stable and those who are mentally unstable.
8 mentally stable people were granted admission into 12 different hospitals. They all told the same story of how they would hear a voice inside their head, it was unclear but often said “empty”, “hollow” and “thud”.
Right after they were admitted, the patients stopped showing any signs of abnormality. They took part in activities and talked to faculty and other patients as they would normally.
None of the psychiatrists ever stopped to say “I think they are getting better” or “they seem absolutely fine now” In fact, nurses and psychiatrists took normal activity such as walking or writing and attempted to represent it as a form of pathological behavior.
For example, staff would point to patients waiting outside the lunchroom as a form of oral-acquisitive syndrome, when really they were just bored and were anticipating their meal.
It’s interesting to note that even though staff didn’t recognize that these people were completely fine, patients recognized that they didn’t seem to have any problems.
This study highlights how powerful labels can be.
Wow…this also potentially bespeaks how the people who are charged with making these patients better are only trying to create terminology and atmosphere that keep them institutionalized.
That’s pretty disturbing.
To anyone saying “well they said they heard voices obviously the doctors are going to look at them with a weary eye”
You missed the point.
They were supposed to detect the patients getting better and instead of being able to tell that, they took any action that the patients performed and totally distorted it and blew it to epic proportions to make them seem completely and utterly abnormal to a point where the patients were institutionalized for months.
Also, sixpenceee, you missed the second part to this experiment - equally chilling, in my opinion. One hospital’s administration was angered by Rosenhan’s experiment, and challenged him to send impostor patients - mentally stable people masquerading as mentally unstable people - to their facilities. Their staff would then turn those pseudopatients away. Long story short, Rosenhan OK’d this part of the experiment. 193 people went to that hospital in that experiment period looking for help. They flagged 41 people as impostors and had doubts about another 42.
Rosenhan sent no one.
The staff of this hospital flagged impostor patients where none had existed.
That’s really worrying…
This is terrifying
I think some of the commentary here is spot on; other parts of it not so much.
The terrifying thing at the heart of this is that institutions exist at all and that it is considered okay to subject anyone to that treatment, not that a person without disabilities could mistakenly be put in an institution.
I think this experiment was important because it shows how psychiatric staff can and will pathologize anything that inmates do (and their treatment of the abled inmates in the experiment will not be written off as deserved), but it is terrible that institutionalization has to happen to an abled person before most people will pay attention.It also shows psychiatric labels and judgments as being based on pretty much nothing, which is important for people to understand. (Yes, there are mental health disabilities, and some of what the psychiatric system says about them is accurate - but the way the system is set up, anything can be called pathological, and “treated”/punished, just because the system says so. Case in point, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Not everything labeled as a psychiatric disorder is actually a disability, and people with the conditions that are actually disabilities do not deserve the treatment that being psychiatrized gets them.)Regardless of setting, disabled people are pathologized.
What if there were no sharks? Joe Hanson keeps it real as part of this science YouTube collaboration. Watch his video here: http://youtu.be/tAzxkDQFPe0
Because of the weight of the ends of the forks, and how they’re distributed behind the penny (closer to the glass), the center of gravity of the whole system is actually shifted quite significantly. If I’m right, it would actually have to be right where the penny meets the glass. This mean, in a sense, all the “weight” of the system of the forks and penny is resting right on that point, rather than out in the air, so if you balance it, it’ll be stable on the glass.
The difference between Science and Engineering.
What is a flotation tank?
500 kg of Epsom salts are added to 1000 litres of water, creating a 30 cm deep solution, which is heated to 35.5 degrees C (skin temperature).
The temperature of the water means that once you are settled in the tank, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between parts of the body that are in contact with the water, and those that aren’t, in effect “fooling” the brain into believing that the person is floating in mid-air.
BOND is a tiny touch module. It can be a pendant or a bracelet but it comes in pairs. You keep one and you give one to a friend. When you touch it, your friend feels it. No matter where they are on the planet. We don’t do tweets, we do tickles.
we need this
gonna put it on my dick
THAT IS NOT THE INTENDED USE SIR
This is actually so cool because some people wear bracelets and necklaces and things as comfort items. I used to wear a necklace from my grandma to remind me of her and I would touch the pendant on it when I was feeling down or stressed. So imagine (if she were still alive), every time I did that she would know I was thinking of her, drawing strength from her.
And then imagine poking it and the other person feels it and pokes back and you end up in a real life facebook poke war.
I would send messages in morse code
magine you and your best friend have one. When the friend dies, he/she is buried with the bracelet. A couple weeks later, you feel someone touch your wrist.
Well this escalated from cool tech to perverted hilarity to something heartfelt then finally something out a creepypasta
The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “we’ve always done it this way.”
"Come on, let’s mix it up!" The heart surgeon says.
"B-but we’ve always done it this way!" The other replies, "this is how you replace a heart valve."
"That’s the most dangerous phrase in the human language!" The first surgeon replies haughtily as he inputs a fruit loop into the patient’s heart. "This will be his valve. He will be a fruit loop in a world of Cheerios."
(taken from this post on the experiments of Harry Harlow)
This is serious business, because this is a large part of how sexism, racism, homophobia, rape culture, ethnocentrism, etc. continue to happen.
by the way did I ever tell y’all about the time I got a blank message from nobody, sent on new year’s eve in 1969, when the internet didn’t exist?
because that happened
What the fuck
Or maybe its from 2069, when we’ve developed the technology to send data to the past. You sent yourself a blank message as a test but as the email address you used to send it doesnt exist yet, it came up as no sender
OKAY KIDS, LET’S LEARN ABOUT THE UNIX EPOCH
So back in the early days of computers, when we were trying to build clocks to keep all our computers in sync, we tried a bunch of different ways to synchronize them in ways that both normal people could use and programmers could utilize.
We just tried saying “The current time is THIS date” and just storing that date as some text, but while that was easy for humans, it was a bunch of different numbers that worked together in funny ways and computers don’t play nice with a bunch of random, arbitrary rules.
Not much worked, until we realized that we needed a BASELINE to compare against, and a way to represent the current time that covers everybody. So we came up with Unix time, because Unix was the style at the time. Essentially, Unix time represents any given time by saying “How many seconds ago was 12:00 AM on January 1, 1970 in Iceland somewhere?”. Recent enough to keep the numbers relatively small, far enough that nothing computer-y would fall before it, and consistent enough that there’d be no discrepancy based on where you are.
So what happens when you see the date “December 31, 1969” on a buggy message like this is that the computer received a bunch of zeroes by mistake and went “Oh, this must be a message!” Then when it tried to interpret it, it got to the date, found a zero, and said “Zero seconds since the Unix Epoch? I’ll round down - this was sent at the last second of New Year’s Eve, 1969! They’ll be so happy to finally get their blank message.”
And then the computer traipsed off on its merry way, because computers are fucking ridiculous.
This tree makes の sense.
Are you fucking kidding me.
tHANK YOU, sCIENCE SIDE,
Actually that’s the language side—Japanese language, to be exact. We’re still waiting to hear from the science side of Tumblr as to how and why a tree would grow in this manner.
Trees grow in the direction of light, so clearly this tree had light in a strange loopy pattern during growth.
Plant follow light, light make loopy loop, plant go loopy loop.
thank u science side