Everything is not awesome. [kevlarbuns]
Everything is not awesome. [kevlarbuns]
your sheep looks concerned
They just want you to dance after all ^^
(My version of Fnaf, after so many requests, because you’re so cool I had to reply and make something ^^)
I’m so bad at this game :x !
Il fait peur mais ça peut aller ^^
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
You and your best friend have a lot in common: your favorite food, your taste in music, maybe your hometown. But a new study finds that your similarities may even extend to a genetic level.
The researchers, James Fowler of University of California San Diego and Nicholas Christakis of Yale University, used data collected during the famous Framingham Heart Study, running since 1948 in the small town in Massachusetts. When participants shared their DNA with researchers for the study, they shared lots of other information, too, including who they hang out with. "Because the study started in a small community, many people that were named as friends, also happened to be involved in the study," Fowler explained to the BBC. He and Christakis looked at almost 2,000 participants and identified about 1,400 pairs of friends.
The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that people share 0.1 percent more DNA with their friends than with perfect strangers. That’s about the same genetic similarity you share with your fourth cousin.
So why might this be the case? The study authors had a few theories. Maybe people with similar genes seek out similar environments and then meet others like them. Or, people who share DNA could have comparable skill sets, so they work together better over long periods of evolutionary time.
The study has a few limitations. For one, Fowler's team didn't look across the entire human genome--they compared only about 500,000 of each person's three billion DNA base-pairs. Even though the researchers excluded anyone who was related in any way, Framingham’s population is made up mostly of descendants of Italian and Irish immigrants, so the genetic variation may not be large enough to make a broader conclusion. Evan Charney, a professor of public policy at Duke University, said that, to maintain the study’s integrity, the researchers could only study a population in which individuals are completely unrelated to one another, which is admittedly very difficult to find. Rory Bowden, a statistician at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford, also had reservations about how countries of origin could affect the communities that people seek out, such as church groups and cultural associations, which would align people with similar genetics.
But others, including the researchers, stand by the conclusions. Findings such as this, Fowler notes, could influence theories about how altruism has developed over evolutionary time.
Of course, Fowler and Christakis don’t have all the information yet. Interestingly, they found that the biggest genetic similarities were found in friends’ sense of smell. They’re not quite sure why that would be the case, but future studies may help them sniff out the answers.
And the lab rat!
On warm evenings in late summer, some of us may recall quaint memories of catching lightning bugs, rushing to put them in hole-riddled jars. What our childhood selves may not have known is that fireflies glow at night because they are bioluminescent, meaning they are able to produce and emit light on their own.
Even though fireflies may present the most famous example of bioluminescence, the biological ability to light up is shared across different kingdoms. An enormous diversity of organisms luminesce using various biological tactics. For example, glowing sucker octopi twinkle a blue-green color due to special structures called photophores, or light-up suckers. And minuscule sea snails glow a faint green, because they contain the enzyme luciferase (as does the firefly).
Seattle-based biologist-turned-artist Eleanor Lutz created a chart of select bioluminescent species, detailing the different compounds that make them glow. Even if the chart isn't exhaustive, you can get a pretty good sense of the huge range of organisms that are bioluminescent just by taking a peek.
Solar energy that doesn’t block the view
A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface. And, according to Richard Lunt of MSU’s College of Engineering, the key word is “transparent.”
Praise be! In July we lost our collective shit over the announcement that Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal), Michael Green (Kings, Heroes) and Neil Gaiman (weird, perfect) would be executive producing a TV adaptation of Gaiman’s beloved 2001 book American Gods for Starz. And it just keeps getting better: For Gods fans who might have been worried that the spirit and enormous scope of the novel would be lost in its transition to the small screen, Fuller made some statements today that should reassure even the most intense of Gaiman purists.
In an interview with CraveOnline, the showrunner said the series is on-track to shoot in 2015 with an air date in 2016, adding:
It’s basically the following the events of the books, but expanding those events, and expanding the point of view to go above and beyond Shadow and Wednesday. In that way, as with Game of Thrones, there are dozens of characters that you’re tracking through the events and that’s probably the biggest similarities between the worlds, in that there’s a wide variety of characters at play.
(Interestingly, HBO actually passed on American Gods in 2011. Eat your heart out, Home Box Office!) In the interview Fuller also hints that elements from Gaiman’s 2005 book Anansi Boys will make an appearance in the show, and says the author himself “god damn well better” script some of the episodes. Speaking on Gaiman’s executive producer role and involvement in the series, Fuller said:
He’s given birth to the baby, raised to the baby, and now Michael Green and I are marrying the baby. [...] So the relationship is similar [to George R.R. Martin and Game of Thrones] in that way, where he is absolutely integral to the process and also very excited just to see it coming together in the fashion that it is.
And, unlike A Song of Ice and Fire readers, American Gods fans probably don’t need to worry that the show will distract its creator from his work–Gaiman announced the completion of a new book just yesterday, so we should be set for awhile.
(via Coming Soon)
New Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple is a name you might recognize from his intimate look inside Iran that we shared just over a year ago. Today, he’s back on PetaPixel with a series of stunning images from Meghalaya, India — a village known as ‘the wettest place on Earth.’
In case you’re wondering, that statement is no exaggeration: on average, Meghalaya receives 467 inches of rain per year. And while this makes it a miserable photography location for many reasons, it also makes it one of the most unique places you could possibly shoot.
In order to combat the constant downpours, the laborers of the village wear knups, which are umbrella-type hats made from bamboo and banana leaves that keep the rain from drenching them as they go about their daily routines:
Another intriguing characteristic of the Meghalaya community is the use of natural bridges. By ‘training’ the roots and branches of trees, villagers have created a vast infrastructure of living bridges that span rivers and more.
As time goes on, these roots continue to develop and grow stronger, making the bridge itself even sturdier… no maintenance required.
Chapple captures the essence of Meghalaya in an almost cinematic manner, portraying the rain-soaked day-to-day life of the village’s inhabitants in a truly enchanting set of photographs:
(via The Atlantic)
Image credits: Photographs by Amos Chapple and used with permission
Being good to each other is so important, guys.
One minute, 13 seconds. That’s the length of the video on YouTube showing fifth grader Jonathan Carollo playing his family’s Super Queen, super-capacity, 14 cycle washer.
Everything about his performance is super. You have to see it to believe, what this 11-year-old does with his hands, and the sound that’s created with an empty washing machine.
“The very front of it, when you kick it makes a base drum sound,” says Jonathan.
I knew the video had gone viral. It had 1.5 million views and counting as of Sunday afternoon.
When photojournalist Matt Mrozinski and I arrived at the Carollo home in Sammamish the number of views, to be exact, was 1,524,534. By the time we left three hours later, there were nearly 4,000 more views. The numbers had grown to 1,528,150.
Is all this fame going to Jonathan’s head?
Both Susan and Dan Carollo responded in unison. “Not at all. Not at all,” even though his washing machine playing skills have attracted the interests of the Today Show, Good Morning America, and the Ellen DeGeneres show.
Nothing has been booked yet.
All of this because “He discovered the different sounds that the machine makes,” says Dan. “I’m quite proud of him that he has a bit of talent here. I think it’s something that’s different.”
You’re telling me.
“He doesn’t keep track of how many views he’s had,” says Susan. “We’re the ones telling him. He think it’s neat. He thinks it’s really cool.”
Brazilian cities seldom have square grids... they are more like unstructured meshes.
Cities often celebrate the anniversaries of major pieces of transformative infrastructure, like bridges or buildings or dams. It's much more rare to celebrate the birthday of a design template. The bicentennial of Manhattan's street grid, which fell in 2011, was an exception. There was an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York to mark the milestone. Countless articles from planners, architecture critics, and urbanists lauded the foresight of the city's street commissioners, who in 1811 laid down the plan that defines the island's development to this day.
On the occasion, the New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, wrote this about the "oddly beautiful" grid:
It's true that Manhattan lacks the elegant squares, axial boulevards and civic monuments around which other cities designed their public spaces. But it has evolved a public realm of streets and sidewalks that creates urban theater on the grandest level. No two blocks are ever precisely the same because the grid indulges variety, building to building, street to street.
New York, of course, is not the only city built on a grid. Similar schemes could be found as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. But Manhattan's design was the exemplar for what became the default pattern of American cities.
Still, not all grids are created equal. Some shape a walking-friendly streetscape. Others, not so much. Over at the Strong Towns blog, Andrew Price, a software developer by day who blogs about urbanism, has been writing about the math of the grid and what it reveals about a city's economic productivity and walkability.
Price has created a "street area calculator," that allows you to plug in a street width and block size. Using this tool, you can come up with some basic figures to compare different grids and how they apportion a city's land. To take two of the extreme examples calculated by Price using rough figures gleaned from Google maps, Portland, Oregon, has streets that are 60 feet wide (building face to building face, including the sidewalk) and blocks that are 200 by 200. Compare that to Salt Lake City, where the streets are 130 feet wide and the block are 660 by 660.
Portland, Oregon (left) and Salt Lake City, Utah.
These configurations mean that Salt Lake is using its space more efficiently by one measure, with only 30.2 percent of area devoted to streets, which must be maintained and are not "productive" in terms of tax revenue. Portland, in contrast devotes nearly 41 percent of its area to streets. Most street space goes to cars, with sidewalks taking up a relatively small fraction.
But when you look at how much street frontage a city’s grid creates within a half-mile walk of a certain point – one potential measure of walkability – Portland has nearly 160,000 feet, while Salt Lake has just under 60,000.
Price points out that if you create smaller blocks, more space goes to streets (and usually, in this country, that means it goes to cars), and the width of the street must be adjusted in order to create a pedestrian-friendly environment:
If we are to downscale our blocks to make our grid more walkable, we also need to downscale our streets, in order to keep the ratio of Street Area:Block Area down. We can have 150 ft blocks and keep our street area down to 22.15%, if we also build 20 ft streets (which would result in 284,800 ft of street frontage being within a half a mile walk - far greater than that of Portland!)
However, when we start talking about 150 ft blocks and 20 ft streets, we begin to get into the realm of traditional cities.
Traditional cities are naturally highly walkable, human-scale environments.
Price’s work is inspired in part by the disorientation he felt upon moving to the southern United States from a more "human-scale" community. "I was born and raised in Australia, in a middle-class inner-city neighborhood," he wrote in an email. "I grew up around walking, transit, and street life. Two years ago, I relocated ... From dealing with the culture shock (most towns are simply a road with a couple of strip malls and drive through, very few actual 'urban' places where you can make a day of walking around), I've turned to blogging as a way to study and cope with the lifestyle change."
In most cities with wide streets and big blocks, Price says, precious little space is allotted to pedestrians. According to his calculations, 30 percent of a city’s area is typically dedicated to moving cars – "not counting the parking lots that push some southern cities over 50 percent."
Price hopes that by examining the proportions of the grid from a mathematical perspective, we can better understand what makes some grids a better place for humans to live than others.
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February 5th, 2014: Hey you know what happened on Saturday? Saturday was February 1st 2014 ALSO KNOWN AS the eleven-year anniversary of Dinosaur Comics! Is that not nuts? It is ENTIRELY NUTS. When I started Dinosaur Comics on February 1st, 2003 I thought the comic would last a month, and at the end of that month I'd change the template to something involving astronauts. But then I ended up liking T-Rex and Dromiciomimus and Utahraptor and thought, "okay, maybe I'll change templates every two months instead of every month". And now here we are 11 years later! The moral is: changing templates is a lot of work that can be easily postponed, THE END.
Thank you guys for letting me have the best job(s) in the world! Dinosaur Comics has been great, and it's let me do things like write the Adventure Time comics and do projects like The Midas Flesh and To Be or Not To Be and Machine of Death - two of those have their direct origins in Dinosaur Comics, actually. Nuts!
Anyway this is awesome, and you are awesome, and I thank you.
Skyrim is a huge world, full of strange little secrets and places to explore. It's so huge though, that you may have missed a number of the tragic, sad stories that hide themselves across the game. Stories of lost love, doomed friendships, and all kinds of depressing little stories that you may not have noticed, but deserve to be heard.
Not far from Riften is a small mine called 'Lost Prospect Mine' (which is already a pretty sad name). It seems pretty unremarkable - it's not very large, there's not much loot, and the only real resource there seems to be a bunch of mushroom ingredients. Then you'll find the journal of a man named Hadrir.
Hadrir had been approached by an old friend, Bern, to help him with a gold mine he'd purchased for practically nothing. Hadrir finally arrived at the mine to discover there was no gold to be found - and after he and his friend had tried mining for three weeks with nothing to show for it, Hadrir decided to take a break and go to Riften for supplies. When he returned, his pal Bern was gone - and there was no sign of a struggle. He picked up stakes and left, assuming his friend had shamefully abandoned him after it became clear Bern made a mistake in purchasing this worthless mine.
But, unbeknownst to Hadrir, this wasn't the case at all. If you dig a little deeper, you can discover the cave's secret - there's a hidden passage behind a waterfall, somewhat difficult to get to. In there lies a secret cavern, with three gold ore veins...and a skeleton, holding a pickaxe, crushed beneath some fallen rocks.
Poor Bern had been right after all - but will be remembered as a coward who betrayed his friend.
Things are grim north of the College of Winterhold - it's so cold and icy, no towns or major gathering places exist up there. But there are dangers beyond the ice - as two people discovered when one got their leg caught in a bear trap. Little is initially known about them, other than two people clearly died here, with one trapped. But that's the key - only one was trapped. The other - a friend, a relative, a lover, who knows - knew they would be unable to get their companion to safety, so stayed with them in the freezing cold. Unwilling to abandon their friend, both died - but at least they died together.
Giants are terrifyingly powerful creatures, which will almost universally try to murder you and knock you into the stratosphere if given the opportunity. Which is exactly what makes this lone, quiet Giant such a sad sight - his mammoth has keeled over, dead, and he stands above it, mourning in silence - he has no interest in murdering you, not at a time when he's mourning the loss of someone he loved. Even these enormous beast-men have hearts (and toes. Definitely toes).
Near Dawnstar there's a tent that doesn't seem particularly notable - some sleeping mats, empty wine bottles, some shoes, etc. But although there's no journal to confirm what happened here, there are a few clues - there are flowers strewn everywhere and an Amulet of Mara - the symbol of love in Skyrim, and about the closest thing to a wedding ring you can find. So what happened to the (at least presumably) in-love couple here?
If you follow the coast, you'll find two skeletons. What tragedy befell them is unknown - all that can be gleaned from their campsite is that one probably presented the Amulet of Mara to the other, they got totally wasted on wine, took of their shoes, and decided to take a stroll. It may have been the nearby Horkers, it may have been something completely different - all we know is that two lovers wanted to camp and share their love...and they didn't wake up the next morning.
The Khajit have it rough - they're constantly being called racial slurs (although usually adorable ones like "milk-drinker"), most are regarded as thieves, and lots have crippling Skooma addictions - one of whom was named J'darr. His brother J'zhar was desperately trying to help J'darr break his habit, and had signed the two up for an expedition - the goal was to get J'Darr active and busy to help him get clean. Knowing going cold turkey would be too much for him, J'zhar brought along a small supply of Skooma.
His attempts to ween his brother off the stuff hit a roadblock - the group they were traveling with got trapped atop a glacier during a particlarly bad snowstorm, and J'zhar quickly ran out of the small amount of Skooma he brought along. J'darr did not deal with the withdrawal symptoms well, hallucinating and shaking constantly. When one member of the group went missing, most assumed it was J'darr who killed her.
When you run across J'darr in the game, he's the only member of the party still alive - and he's still mad from Skooma withdrawal. J'zhar's wounded corpse lies near him - although there's no way to know for sure if J'darr killed his own brother. There are a group of Falmer in the ruins as well, who are revealed to be the ones behind the rest of the group's disappearance and probably helped contribute to what the J'zhar was chalking up as J'darr's hallucinations.
Poor J'zhar just wanted to help his brother get clean - and ended up losing his life while his brother went insane.
Meeko is essentially the Dogmeat of Skyrim, except with a much sadder story.
You find Meeko in the vicinity of Morthal - where he'll lead you back to his owner's shack. However, his owner is dead. Luckily, instead of simply leaving the poor ownerless dog to his fate, you can recruit him as a companion...but not before Meeko spends some time whining over his poor, deceased owner, as though he still expected him to wake up.
There's a journal that sheds some light on the situation - Meeko's owner died of rockjoint, and left behind the only loved one he had in the world: Meeko. The happy ending to this is that you can bring Meeko along with you. The sad ending is that your life is nothing but fighting dragons and Falmer for the rest of eternity.
In the sewers of Riften, there sits a former Imperial who's clearly dealing with some stress - he references being a veteran of the Great War, even witnessing (and likely participating in) the slaughter in the Imperial City against the Thalmor. His experiences in battle have seemingly left him with PTSD, haunted by the memories of the people he killed and the bloodshed he saw.
As if this weren't a sad enough situation, the reason you run into him is because you're searching for Esbern - someone wanted dead by Thalmor agents. When they burst in, Salvianus is convinced he's going mad, screaming "No, you can't be here! I've already killed you over and over again!"
Trius set up camp near the entrance to the ship Pilgrim's Trench, waiting for his beloved Shelly to arrive on ship. She never did - it's unknown what happened to her ship, although given the Trius is waiting near the Pilgrim's Trench entrance, it would seem likely she was returning on that ship - which now sits at the bottom of the sea, having sunk long ago. Trius waited and waited still - eventually dying himself, sitting there and waiting for his love to arrive.
Trius left a note behind, should Shelly arrive with him not there:
Your ship should have arrived weeks ago and I fear the worst has happened. I've set up camp on this rock as your ship should pass by here and hopefully one of these days we'll be together again. If you're reading this I'm probably out hunting or bringing in some supplies. I'll be waiting here until I see your face again.
During the Dark Brotherhood questline, you are given the task of killing Alain Dufont, and the option of killing Nilsine Shatter-Shield as well. Nilsine's twin sister, Friga, had died years ago by a serial killer in Windhelm known as The Butcher - which sent Nilsine and her mother Tova into depression.
If you don't kill Nilsine (which is optional), nothing sadder happens to Tova. But if you kill her, you leave Tova childless, and she commits suicide - leaving behind this note:
First Friga, now Nilsine? How can I bare the loss of a second daughter, when I'm barely over the death of a first?
I simply cannot find any reason to continue living. My two little girls are gone. The lights of my life have been extinguished. My only hope now is to be reunited with them in the halls of Sovngarde - if the eternals can suffer the company of one who has taken her own life. If not, then wherever my soul may end up - in Oblivion, or elsewhere - has to be better than this terrible existence.
Farewell. Remember me fondly, and often.
Not far from Old Hroldan, you may come across a small camp, with two corpses strewn about, and a bear or sabre cat still in the prowl. The two people were a couple - star-crossed lovers, a Dunmer and a Breton. The Breton woman, named Karan, had fallen in love with the Dunmer (named Talvur) - but her wealthy father would not allow her to marry a commoner, let alone a poor miner like Talvur. So the two plotted to run away together - Talvur saving up his wages for a few months so that they could make it on their own in Riften.
But while camping on their first night together and free, they were killed by a wild animal in the night. You can still find Talvur's saved earnings in the tree stump near the camp.
And, if you leave the camp and return later, the bodies will be gone, and a Shrine of Mara (the goddess of love) will be left in their place.
Ranmir's one of the many drunks you come across in Skyrim - but his story is sadder than most. Ranmir used to be in love with a woman named Isabelle - but one night the local inn ran out of his favorite mead, and he went into a rage over it. Soon after, Isabelle ran off to Riften with a thief named Vex, according to a merchant, and Ranmir became a drunken mess.
If you track down Vex, she'll reveal that Isabelle came with her in order to make a little extra money. Vex sent her to Hob's Fall Cave and hadn't heard back from her since.
If you reach Hob's Fall Cave, you'll find that Isabelle died there. You'll also find a letter, which reveals that Isabelle didn't just run away from Ranmir because she was sick of him and his temper. She ran off because she wanted...well, just read the letter.
My dearest Ranmir,
By the time you receive this, I will be gone. I know that it's wrong to mislead you, but I didn't want you to prevent me from going.
I know it's been hard on you, on both of us, struggling to survive. I hate to see the look in your eyes every time you think about how little the two of us have, and I know you're too proud to ever say anything. So I'm going to make it all better.
I've talked to my friend Vex, and she's given me some advice. I know how to get something that will allow us to live happily, without ever worrying about money ever again.
I love you so much, Ranmir. You mean the world to me, and I only want to see you happy.
Worry not. I'll be home soon.
Ugh. Isabelle only ran off to try to provide a better life for her and Ranmir, so they could live comfortably and happily ever after. Thankfully, you can show the letter to Ranmir, giving him closure on his relationship and putting an end to his alcoholism.
When you first walk into Frostflow Lighthouse, you're met with an absolute horror show - there's blood, a corpse, and a dead Chaurus (hinting at the lighthouse's Chaurus infestation). Through reading the diaries, you find that a Redguard couple, Habd and Ramati, had long dreamed of moving from Hammerfell to Skyrim and living in the lighthouse, along with their kids Sudi and Mani. They finally saved up enough money to purchase the place and move their family - but soon after, it all went to hell.
Habd had been hearing strange noises coming from the cellar, so he went to town to buy some traps. When he returned, he found Ramati dead. It turned out the noises he'd been hearing in the cellar were from a growing Chaurus population and a den of Falmer. He tried locking himself in the cellar to stop any of them from making it out of the lighthouse, but he and Sudi were captured, and his son Mani already killed. When he was taken away to be fed to the Chaurus Reaper, he left a dagger with Sudi - which she used to take her own life, before a worse fate could befall her.
Unfortunately, this all happens long before you arrive - the family is already dead. All you can do is place Habd's remains in the lighthouse fire, granting him his final wish of being able to look upon the sea.
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?
Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.
Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do — the actual act of writing — turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.