Would these be easier to peel?!
With snowstorms being so frequent recently, this winter might seem rather dark and cold. Well why not light up your life with some new Pop Culture “religious” style candles?
From Etsy seller DMAGIC, this line of candles can be the key to brightening things up while also bringing a little joy to your life. Using the likenesses of famous stars and characters like Walter White, Ron Swanson, Spock, and many more, these candles feature them dressed as religious figures and are much more fun than your normal boring candles. In no way, are these to be confused with religious candles or blasphemy; they just happen to be dressed in garb similar to figures from a similar era. These pop culture icons are featured on 8” tall white wax candles and could be the highlight of whatever scene you place them in. They’re so much fun, you might not even light them, but just use them as display art.
So are you interested in bringing a more pop culture inspired lighting experience into your life? Let us know in the comments.
Seeing a smart cat walk on a treadmill to its plate of food tickles me more than it should. I scream out aww under my constant laughter. I must be a bad person. But let's be honest. Metaphorically, we've all been this cat before. We've seen our goal but we kept walking in place not knowing how to get there. Literally though, we should put a treadmill before every fast food restaurant so it'd motivate us all to be a little more healthy like this cat.
A hurricane, a car accident, a roadside bomb, a rape — extreme stress is more common than you might think, with an estimated 50 to 60 percent of Americans experiencing it at some point in their lives. About 8 percent of that group will be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. They will have flashbacks and nightmares. They will feel amped up, with nerves on a permanent state of high alert. They won’t be able to forget.
One of the only effective treatments for PTSD is ‘exposure therapy,’ in which people are repeatedly exposed to their fear — such as a painful memory — in a safe context. This treatment works partly because of how our brain encodes memories. Whenever we actively recall a memory, it transforms into a pliable molecular state and becomes vulnerable to modification.
About half of people who get exposure therapy for PTSD get better. But that still leaves a lot of people who don’t. A mouse study published last week in Cell throws the spotlight on a drug that acts in concert with exposure therapy to help extinguish fear memories. The drug works by changing the epigenome, the chemical markers that attach to DNA and can turn genes on and off.
“It’s remarkable,” says Li-Huei Tsai, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who led the work. “If we inject a single dose of this drug it actually is sufficient to reactivate neuroplasticity.”
The drug works by changing the way DNA is expressed in the brain.
DNA wraps around proteins called histones. Image via Wikipedia
In order to fit into the nucleus of each cell, DNA wraps tightly around spherical proteins called histones. (You can see how in this animation.) Histones are littered with chemical groups, such as methyl and acetyl, that influence how nearby genes get turned on and off.
For many years, Tsai has been studying enzymes called histone deacetylases, or HDACs, which switch off genes by removing acetyl groups from histones. In 2012, she showed that one such enzyme, dubbed HDAC2, is overactive in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease and shuts down genes related to learning. In that study she also showed that blocking HDAC2 led to dramatic gains in the animals’ memory.
“HDAC2 is a master regulator of the expression of neuroplasticity genes,” Tsai says. “And HDAC inhibitors seem to be very beneficial for memory formation.”
In the new study, Tsai’s team investigated whether this enzyme is also involved in the way that fear memories cement themselves into brain circuits.
Mice don’t get PTSD, but they can acquire fear memories. Using so-called Pavlovian fear conditioning, researchers train the animals to fear a particular cue, such as a sound or smell, by pairing it with a mild shock to the foot. After a few trials, the animal freezes at the cue alone.
There’s also a mouse version of exposure therapy. After a mouse learns to fear, say, a certain tone, researchers can extinguish that fear by repeatedly playing the tone without a shock. Gradually the animal learns to associate the tone with the safer context.
But in mice (and, importantly, in some people with severe PTSD), this extinction therapy only works for recently acquired fear memories. If a fear memory is old, then no amount of retraining will erase the animal’s fear. “One of the major challenges in developing treatments for PTSD is that traumatic memories can persist for a lifetime,” notes Matt Lattal, a neuroscientist at Oregon Health and Science University who was not involved in the new study. “It is therefore critical that laboratory models of PTSD include this long interval between traumatic experience and testing.”
Tsai and her colleagues trained mice to fear a tone and then gave them extinction therapy either a day later or 30 days later. When extinction training happened a day later, the HDAC2 enzyme was inactivated in brain cells, the study found. With HDAC2 quiet, acetyl groups stayed latched on to histones and various memory genes stayed on. Presumably, this window of plasticity allowed the mice to un-learn the fear memory. In contrast, when extinction training happened 30 days later, the HDAC2 enzyme was active. It removed those acetyl groups, effectively shutting off neuroplasticity genes.
But here’s the exciting part. The animals were able to un-learn the fear memory 30 days after it was formed when the researchers paired extinction therapy with a drug that inhibits HDAC2, dubbed “CI-994.” It only took one dose, and the researchers saw no side effects, Tsai says. “We did a lot of control experiments to show that this mechanism doesn’t wipe out other memories. It really is very specific to the training condition.”
HDAC inhibitors are becoming a hot class of drugs. In 2012, Yossef Itzhak and his colleagues at the University of Miami reported that giving a different HDAC inhibitor to mice before they acquire the fear memory accelerates the extinction of the memory weeks later. “Hypothetically speaking, HDAC inhibitors may be useful prophylactics against the persistence of fear memory,” says Itzhak, who was not involved in the new study.
Researchers are investigating HDAC inhibitors for all sorts of other conditions, too, including heart disease, HIV, and cancer. Because HDAC enzymes are expressed all over the body, though, some experts are worried about their translation into the clinic.
“HDAC inhibitors have a wide spectrum of biological effects, and only when they will be targeted for the treatment of a specific malady [will] their therapeutic value be of great importance,” Itzhak says. ”The goal is to identify specific HDAC inhibitors which target specific brain circuits and genes.”
In welcome news for urban arachnophobes everywhere, it turns out that certain types of spiders just aren't cut out for city life. Apparently, spinning webs on concrete and steel kills the vibrations spiders need to sense prey—meaning dinner ain't coming easy.
You may think it might be the common mint flavor of toothpaste clashing with other flavors, but in the case of orange juice and many other things, this isn't actually what's going on. The culprit here is thought to be two compounds almost universally added to toothpastes -sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl ether sulfate, which are anionic surfactants, meaning they lower the surface tension of water.
Finnish designer Jalmari Laihinen, aka byJalmari, explores the beauty of wood with all of its cracks, breaks, and defects, in a series of furniture called Broken. By allowing the true natural properties of wood to show through, wood becomes more than just the material that the pieces are made from.
Wood with defects is often discarded and not used in the furniture making process, but Laihinen embraces them and treats these unique features as accents.
Making the Fletcher Capstan Table (by Morph Studio)
Okay, I want one of these.
In studying the parasitic protozoan Plasmodium ovale in 1954, English parasitologist William Cooper volunteered to receive the bites of about a thousand mosquitos, and nine days later underwent a laparotomy in which a piece of his liver was removed. On recovering, he stained the sections himself, located the malaria parasite stages in his own tissue, and painted these in watercolors to accompany the resulting article.
His coauthor, University of London protozoologist Cyril Garnham, wrote that Cooper “attained everlasting fame by this episode.”
(P.C.C. Garnham et al., “The Pre-Erythrocytic Stage of Plasmodium Ovale,” Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 49:2 [March 1955], 158-167)
Mirrors typically represent a way of facing reality, but depending on where they’re placed, they can bend it to the point of surreality instead. Take, for example, this invisible fence, a striking illusion installed at the Storm King Arts Center by artist Alyson Shotz. Driving past it, you likely wouldn’t even notice it was there, though your eye might be caught by unusual glimmers – tricks of the light.
‘Mirror Fence’ is exactly as the title suggests; a reflective barrier in the shape of a picket fence that’s almost perfectly camouflaged in its environment. The illusion is so effective that you could probably walk right up to it, only realizing that the barrier exists when the reflection of your own legs comes into view.
Though her portfolio reflects a diverse range of shapes and media, Shotz unifies her work with a common aim to “give form to the invisible forces of nature.” Many focus on light itself, such as a sculptural examination of the dual nature of light (as it bears characteristics of both a particle and a wave) entitled Geometry of Light, and a digital animation called ‘Fluid State’ that captures an ocean of reflective spheres over a dawn-to-dusk cycle.
The installation calls to mind another recent project, ‘Lucid Stead’ by Phillip K Smith III, wherein an abandoned home in the desert was fitted with mirrors that make up doors, windows and long horizontal siding to create the illusion of ghostly floating wood.
This is why facebook is the devil.
I had banana bread.
I wanted chocolate.
A day doesn’t go by where I don’t desire cheese.
Frankly, my banana bread was a bit stale. Which is a feat in itself because that means we didn’t eat an entire loaf in 34 seconds.
Why aren’t loaf pans made much larger? Like, instead of 9×5 inches, it should probably be 2×4 feet. THEN no one would have the problem of eating the entire loaf of banana bread the same day it’s made.
I know it isn’t just me.
I relish in the fact that you are weird too. We SO like all the same things.
Um, also, how cute are my metallic rose goldy mugs? My friend Laura sent me one of them and I, of course, had to buy one from Starbucks during the holiday season and they pretty much make my day. Pretty things.
Life is so much better when things are pretty.
If you love sweets and cheeses, you’ll die. Melty brie, dark chocolate. I used a banana bread recipe that you can find in my cookbook later this year, but I have lots of others here. Perhaps we should try the bacon one…
Since banana bread is soft yet dense, the entire slice doesn’t crisp up like regular crusty bread. You need a thick slice, after all, for this to work. You can make the sandwich like a regular old grilled cheese OR you can butter both sides, fry both sides, then stick the cheese and chocolate in the middle and keep it over low heat until the insides melt.
The insides melt. Now that sounds delicious. Hmmpf.
Except it so is.
Yield: serves 2 appropriately, 1 obnoxiously
Total Time: 20 minutes
4 slices banana bread (if it's slightly stale, even better!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened for spreading
6 ounces brie cheese
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Butter the outsides of the banana bread, and place one slice butter-side down in the skillet. Immediately top the slice with some cheese, a bit of chocolate, and a little more cheese. I like to always have cheese on both sides to act like "glue" - it helps hold the sandwich together when flipping. Cook until both sides are golden and the cheese and chocolate is barely melted, about 4 minutes per side. If the cheese is melting slowly, I like to reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet - just make sure to watch the sandwich because the sides cook more quickly.
Yep. I did that.
This one does exactly what it says on the tin, folks. And yes, it is the best thing.
Qiandao Lake est un lac artificiel localisé à Chun’an County, en Chine, dans lequel des archéologues ont découvert en 2001 les ruines d’une ville enfouie sous l’eau. La ville, nommée « Lion City », se situe entre 26 et 40 mètres de profondeur. Il y aurait eu 290 000 habitants pendant plus de 1300 ans.
Lonely male architects star in The Lake House (Keanu Reeves), The Last Kiss (Zach Braff), Three To Tango (Matthew Perry), Sleepless In Seattle (Tom Hanks), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (Luke Wilson), Love Actually (Liam Neeson), Just Like Heaven (Mark Ruffalo), and It’s Complicated (Steve Martin)—apparently, architecture is a good cipher for “sensitive, but not girly.” Few of those men ever worry about the job market...
I was studying in my room, turned around to grab something and saw this…
So, basically, this is not my cat.
But she’s all like chillin’ in my bed like she pays rent.
How the did she even got into the freaking house. WHO ARE YOU CAT?
In composing a state map of New York in the 1930s, the General Drafting Company wanted to be sure that competing mapmakers would not simply copy its work. So the company’s founder, Otto G. Lindberg, and his assistant, Ernest Alpers, scrambled their initials and placed the fictional town of Agloe at the intersection of two dirt roads in the Catskills north of Roscoe.
Several years later, they discovered Agloe on a Rand McNally map and confronted their competitor. But Rand was innocent: It had got the name from the county government, which had taken it from the Agloe General Store, which now occupied the intersection. The store had taken the name from a map by Esso, which had (apparently) copied it from Lindberg’s map. Agloe had somehow clambered from imagination into reality.
Similarly, in 2001 editors placed a fake word in the New Oxford American Dictionary as a trap for other lexicographers who might steal their material. Fittingly, the word was esquivalience, “the willful avoidance of one’s official responsibilities; the shirking of duties.”
Sure enough, the word turned up at Dictionary.com (it’s since been taken down), citing Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary.
And as with Agloe, the invention has taken on a life of its own. NOAD editor Christine Lindberg, who coined esquivalience, told the Chicago Tribune that she finds herself using it regularly. “I especially like the critical, judgmental tone I can get out of it: ‘Those esquivalient little wretches.’ Sounds literate and nasty all in one breath. I like that.”
This may be the last thing you'd want to bump into on a walk home from the campus library.
A sculpture of an underwear-clad sleepwalking man was recently installed at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and has left students seriously creeped out with its lifelike appearance. Sculptor Tony Matelli created the nearly-nude statue, titled "Sleepwalker," as part of an ongoing exhibition at the school's Davis Museum, according to The Boston Globe.Art, Wtf, Weird, Us, and Watercooler
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Mixing elements of Gothic horror and Film Noir with a healthy dose of face-melting psychedelics, Conduit will have you questioning your faith in a higher power and your own ability to sleep tonight.
(Photos: Rajani Kurup et al.)
Many carnivorous plants use tasty nectars, appealing scents and bright colors to attract insects into their traps. Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute in India have discovered another method: tantalizing ultraviolet light.
Rajani Kurup, Anil John Johnson, Sreethu Sankar and Sabulal Baby discovered that the mouth of the Nepenthes khasiana plant glows under UV light. Ants find this color, which is almost invisible to humans under normal conditions, very attractive.
The researchers exposed these pitcher plants to ants in a field. Some of the plant mouths were painted with an acetone coating that blocks UV light. These painted plants attracted few ants, indicating that the UV emissions are essential to luring prey.
This is one of the most arresting compilations of landscape and astrovideography we've seen in ages. Titled "Huelux," created by photographer Randy Halverson, the video plays like a greatest-hits reel of natural phenomena in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah.
Green roofs offer a lot of environmental benefits – they provide additional insulation, reduce rainwater runoff, and can lower your electricity bill. However a new study suggests that roofs painted white might actually be more effective at fighting climate change. A study published in the Energy and Buildings Journal compared three types of roofs – green, black and white – and came to the conclusion that white roofs have great economic benefits, and they are also three times more effective than the other two at fighting climate change.
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Post tags: Climate Change, eco-friendly roofs, environmental study, green roofs, heat island effect, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, reflective roofs, roof gardens, scientific study, Stanford University study, sustainable white roofs, white roofs, white roofs climate change