|Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham||
Although the trend was short-lived, the penny-farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era. Its popularity also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport.
These interesting photos that show men with their penny-farthings from the last half of the 19th century.
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I made a comic about every comment thread under any content involving a fat person existing. Ever.
This counts as my inktober #1 because I spent way more time on it than I should have.
Drone wars in Tokyo
The Most Amazing Halloween Costume Ever by Doctor Popular
2 for 1 drinks this week at QWOP tavern.
Buy the book and help the ugly man behind this comic... http://lunarbaboon.bigcartel.com/
"Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water..."
Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always prefer the drugged water and almost always kill itself very quickly, right, within a couple of weeks. So there you go. It’s our theory of addiction.
Bruce comes along in the ’70s and said, “Well, hang on a minute. We’re putting the rat in an empty cage. It’s got nothing to do. Let’s try this a little bit differently.” So Bruce built Rat Park, and Rat Park is like heaven for rats. Everything your rat about town could want, it’s got in Rat Park. It’s got lovely food. It’s got sex. It’s got loads of other rats to be friends with. It’s got loads of colored balls. Everything your rat could want. And they’ve got both the water bottles. They’ve got the drugged water and the normal water. But here’s the fascinating thing. In Rat Park, they don’t like the drugged water. They hardly use any of it. None of them ever overdose. None of them ever use in a way that looks like compulsion or addiction. There’s a really interesting human example I’ll tell you about in a minute, but what Bruce says is that shows that both the right-wing and left-wing theories of addiction are wrong. So the right-wing theory is it’s a moral failing, you’re a hedonist, you party too hard. The left-wing theory is it takes you over, your brain is hijacked. Bruce says it’s not your morality, it’s not your brain; it’s your cage. Addiction is largely an adaptation to your environment.
We’ve created a society where significant numbers of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives without being drugged, right? We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for a lot of people, much more like that first cage than it is like the bonded, connected cages that we need.
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. And our whole society, the engine of our society, is geared towards making us connect with things. If you are not a good consumer capitalist citizen, if you’re spending your time bonding with the people around you and not buying stuff—in fact, we are trained from a very young age to focus our hopes and our dreams and our ambitions on things we can buy and consume. And drug addiction is really a subset of that.”
As a recovering addict this is an interesting read. I’m constantly battling right-wingers telling me it’s my fault and always being told by doctors it’s in my nature. But hearing this about my environment makes a lot of sense, I fell into addiction in a very bad time in my life when I was very isolated, and most of the addicts I know are the same. Addiction is definitely related to depression and this is affected by environment. I like this article.
Bruce Alexander did the Rat Park experiments in the seventies. I am kind of horrified and outraged that I’ve heard about the empty-cage rat experiments but never once about his.
Oh boo hoo.
Vatican agrees first treaty with State of Palestine 'disappointing' Israel
The Vatican is preparing to sign a treaty which will recognise the state of Palestine on paper for the first time ahead of Pope Francis meeting the country's President, Mahmoud Abbas. The treaty, which is being drawn up by a group called the Bilateral ...
Vatican recognises State of Palestine: Does this mean Israel is becoming more ...The Independent
Vatican agrees first treaty with State of Palestine, solidifying relationshipReuters
No solution for Palestinian refugees without justice for Jewish onesi24news
New York Times
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The Pew survey found that those unaffiliated with a faith tradition are now the second-largest religious demographic group after Evangelicals, with about 23 percent of the population. Among these, atheists and agnostics have jumped from 4 percent of the population in 2007 to more than 7 percent of the population in 2014, and most have more liberal political views.
In 2007, more than 78 percent of Americans said they practiced some form of Christianity. Today, in apparently the lowest figure in US history, 70.6 percent identify as Christians, according to a new Pew study.
Worth a little pain? Back in 1990, a school boy got a measles shot in the U.K., and it turns out, he got more than protection against the measles.Photofusion/UIG via Getty Images
Back in the 1960s, the U.S. started vaccinating kids for measles. As expected, children stopped getting measles.
But something else happened.
Childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted. Even deaths from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea were cut by half.
Scientists saw the same phenomenon when the vaccine came to England and parts of Europe. And they see it today when developing countries introduce the vaccine.
"In some developing countries, where infectious diseases are very high, the reduction in mortality has been up to 80 percent," says Michael Mina, a postdoc in biology at Princeton University and a medical student at Emory University.
"So it's really been a mystery — why do children stop dying at such high rates from all these different infections following introduction of the measles vaccine," he says.
Mina and his colleagues think they now might have an explanation. And they published their evidence Thursday in the journal Science.
Now there's an obvious answer to the mystery: Children who get the measles vaccine are probably more likely to get better health care in general — maybe more antibiotics and other vaccines. And it's true, health care in the U.S. has improved since the 1960s.
But Mina and his colleagues have found there's more going on than that simple answer.
The team obtained epidemiological data from the U.S., Denmark, Wales and England dating back to the 1940s. Using computer models, they found that the number of measles cases in these countries predicted the number of deaths from other infections two to three years later.
"We found measles predisposes children to all other infectious diseases for up to a few years," Mina says.
And the virus seems to do it in a sneaky way.
Like many viruses, measles is known to suppress the immune system for a few weeks after an infection. But previous studies in monkeys have suggested that measles takes this suppression to a whole new level: It erases immune protection to other diseases, Mina says.
So what does that mean? Well, say you get the chicken pox when you're 4 years old. Your immune system figures out how to fight it. So you don't get it again. But if you get measles when you're 5 years old, it could wipe out the memory of how to beat back the chicken pox. It's like the immune system has amnesia, Mina says.
"The immune system kind of comes back. The only problem is that it has forgotten what it once knew," he says.
So after an infection, a child's immune system has to almost start over, rebuilding its immune protection against diseases it has already seen before.
This idea of "immune amnesia" is still just a hypothesis and needs more testing, says epidemiologist William Moss, who has studied the measles vaccine for more than a decade at Johns Hopkins University.
But the new study, he says, provides "compelling evidence" that measles affects the immune system for two to three years. That's much longer than previously thought.
"Hence the reduction in overall child mortality that follows measles vaccination is much greater than previously believed," says Moss, who wasn't involved in the study.
That finding should give parents more motivation to vaccinate their kids, he says. "I think this paper will provide additional evidence — if it's needed — of the public health benefits of measles vaccine," Moss says. "That's an important message in the U.S. right now and in countries continuing to see measles outbreaks."
Because if the world can eliminate measles, it will help protect kids from many other infections, too.