A Livermore Update!

Aug. 22nd, 2017 05:35
[syndicated profile] ittybittykitty_feed

Posted by Laurie Cinotto

DSC_3234

 I'm sorry to say that this update today isn't an entirely happy one.  As Cori will explain in the story, she lost one of her IBKs.   Knowing how much Cori loved her boys, I know this left a big hole in her heart.  And though her boy can never be replaced, her heart  (and home) is full again, thank goodness.

Here's the update.


Hi Laurie,

Happy 10 year anniversary! So very grateful for you and all you do matching kitties with their forever humans. I can't tell you how much my little Livermore twins mean to me. It broke my heart when Elvis (formerly Davy)  passed two years ago. He fought to stick with Us as long as he could, but in the end, Albert and I had to let him go. I get teary still. He was a one and a million cat.


Albert and I spent the next year healing our hearts and in a story too long to tell in this update, ended up with a stray cat giving birth on our bathroom floor. Mama cat stayed with her babies until they were weaned and she could be spayed and released. The babies never left, and now, a year later, Bert is the proud uncle to 4 mischievous kittens and happy participant in their youthful shenanigans. Our house finally feels full again, though I know it all started 9 years ago with my two tabby Livermore boys.

Thank you so much!

Cori


First, here is a picture of beloved Elvis. What a dear, handsome kitty you were. Look at all of that love in your expression.




And here is gorgeous, green-eyed Albert. I used to tell these two apart by their freckles.  I love how prominent they are today!


 Albert,  you have your paws full with this crew!





Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Cori. We're so sorry you had to experience this loss. Elvis was a special boy, and he's one of the reasons I have such a fondness for floofy tabby boys -- Bean, too.  They are a special breed.

Much love to you, Albert,  and his adorable minions.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from several institutions in Australia has developed a model that sheds light on the social factors involved in getting users to cooperate on water conservation efforts. In their paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the group describes the factors they used to build their model and what it revealed.
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Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a high-throughput technique that can determine if a chemical has the potential to activate key genes in seconds rather than the typical 24 hours or more. The technique can be used to prioritize chemicals for in-depth testing to determine their toxicity.

The moving Martian bow shock

Aug. 22nd, 2017 08:31
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
As the energetic particles of the solar wind speed across interplanetary space, their motion is modified by objects in their path. A study, based on data from ESA's Mars Express orbiter, has thrown new light on a surprising interaction between the planet Mars and supersonic particles in the solar wind.
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(Phys.org)—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found that warming in Alaska has sometimes caused the Kodiak bear to switch to eating elderberries during salmon spawning periods instead of eating salmon. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their multi-pronged study of the impact that seasonal changes occurring on the Kodiak Archipelago are having on the bears that live there.
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ETH Zurich researchers have identified all the genes required by a bacterium to use methanol as a food source. The results will help scientists advance the use of this resource in the field of biotechnology.

The 5 things meme

Aug. 22nd, 2017 08:21
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[personal profile] alexcat
The 5 things meme

Nabbed from [personal profile] ysilme


5 things you’ll find in my bag: wallet, keys, eyedrops, coupons, lists


5 things you’ll find in my bedroom: eyedrops, CPAP machine, clothes, photos of Sara, pillows


5 things I’ve always wanted to do: See Stonehenge, write a book, paint like Vah Gogh, live in a cottage at the beach, be a hippie


5 things that make me happy: Larry, books, air conditioning, Jenny’s visits, drinking latte at B&N’s Starbucks with friends.


5 things I’m currently into: Babylon 5 fandomy things, reading mysteries, science and history shows on tv, writing drabbles, enjoying evenings with Larry


5 things on my to-do list: writing my OEAM Big Bang Story, catch up on August drabbles, catch up on Orphan Black, find somewhere to go for a short vacation, make some crafty things for Christmas gifts to my special friends.
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[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Rainbow over the Westward Ho beached on Ynys Echni, aka Flat Holm, in the Bristol Channel.

Rainbow over the Westward Ho beached on Ynys Echni, Flat Holm, Bristol Channel 10-16

Rainbow seen from Ynys Echni, Flat Holm, Bristol Channel 10-16

- Historical reconstructionist Paganism: good to see that the wolf named Hater didn't eat the Sun woman, "the sky's bright bride", in the US yesterday and I'm amused that the small percentage of neo-Pagans who're also neo-nazis were supposed to spend the day acknowledging and celebrating the victory of enlightenment over hate and haters, lol. I hope y'all enjoyed the lightshow!

- Kickass Drag Queen, starring Bob the Drag Queen, seems to be turning into an ongoing comic? The original pilot story about saving Pocket Gay (8pg), and the first episode in which there's a plot to make basic straight girls everywhere feel insecure, pt1 (9pg) and pt2 (9pg), lol especially at the pilot ep.

- Reading, books 2017: 85.

80. Brampton Wick, by Elizabeth Fair, 1952, novel (strictly probably a novella). A lightly observant account of a limited rural social circle of the sort of people who mostly don't have to work to earn their living, think four bedroomed houses are poky, and have hired domestic help even post war. As my faithful readers will have inferred from the title of this book there are lesbians within, although Miss Tiger Garrett is a marginally more subtle stereotype than Angela Thirkell's 1940 debut Miss Hampton. Her partner is Miss Bunty Selbourne and they breed dogs like all good middle class 1950s English lesbians (no reform school for these two, lol) although, disappointingly, the story reveals have separate bedrooms. Unusually well-paced and structured for a first novel imo, which is especially difficult to achieve in a novel relying much more on social observation than plot. Thanks to slemslempike for the rec. (3.5/5, goodreads = 21 ratings / 4 reviews 4/5)

Had a Good 1st Day!

Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:32
amarie24: (doctor claire temple)
[personal profile] amarie24
I be still sleepy this morning (I kinda wanna go back to sleep until 9am-my pharmacology class thankfully only starts at 1pm), but I had a pretty good day yesterday. Wasn't nearly as bad as I thought, teehee! :D

Also, happy post-eclipse day, everyone! Love ya'll!

And how are ya'll doin'? :D


--Amarie
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
An estimated 20,300 genes in the human genome encode proteins. The number of proteins themselves, as intact proteoforms, could be as high as one billion.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Under a microscope, a cell's cytoplasm can resemble a tiny underwater version of New York's Times Square: Thousands of proteins swarm through a cytoplasm's watery environment, coming together and breaking apart like a cytoskeletal flash mob.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Plate tectonics has shaped the Earth's surface for billions of years: Continents and oceanic crust have pushed and pulled on each other, continually rearranging the planet's façade. As two massive plates collide, one can give way and slide under the other in a process called subduction. The subducted slab then slips down through the Earth's viscous mantle, like a flat stone through a pool of honey.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
The Sun shines from the heavens, seemingly calm and unvarying. In fact, it doesn't always shine with uniform brightness, but shows dimmings and brightenings. Two phenomena alone are responsible for these fluctuations: the magnetic fields on the visible surface and gigantic plasma currents, bubbling up from the star's interior. A team headed by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen reports this result in today's issue of Nature Astronomy. For the first time, the scientists have managed to reconstruct fluctuations in brightness on all time scales observed to date – from minutes up to decades. These new insights are not only important for climate research, but can also be applied to distant stars. And they may simplify the future search for exoplanets.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
A new understanding of the physics of conductive materials has been uncovered by scientists observing the unusual movement of electrons in graphene.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
In the quest for fusion energy, scientists have spent decades experimenting with ways to make plasma fuel hot and dense enough to generate significant fusion power. At MIT, researchers have focused their attention on using radio-frequency (RF) heating in magnetic confinement fusion experiments like the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, which completed its final run in September 2016.

A Theory of Fun for Game Design

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:02
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[personal profile] yhlee
Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2nd ed.) has been on my wishlist for something like the past five years. I picked it up recently by ordering it through my local game store (which is technically also a bookstore and is in the process of signing on with distributors or however that goes). It is an absolute delight.

I'm glad I sprung for the hardcopy of this for two reasons: one, I like to mark up my nonfiction, and two, its formatting! The left-hand page in every two-page spread is text; the right-hand page has an illustration related to the material on the left-hand page. While the illustrations are not technically the most accomplished, they are generally extremely effective communicative cartoons or diagrams.

This book comes with a ton of blurbs, and Cory Doctorow's--"Does for games what Understanding Comics [by Scott McCloud] did for sequential art"--pretty much sums up how I feel. I've read other game design books that were insightful, or thorough, but the Koster is accessible and very interesting in its approach to what makes games games, and how to make them fun (in the instances where that's a thing--cf. Brenda Romero's Train).

One of Koster's arguments is that "with games, learning is the drug" (40)--a game that interests us is one that strikes the necessary balance of not too easy (Tic-Tac-Toe, for most adults) and not too hard (multiple failure modes possible, depending on the individual--witness me and chess or go [1]). He suggests that games (and play, which is common in a lot of young animals!) are an artifact of how we try to learn survival skills, and moves forward into making suggestions as to how to move the form forward into values/skills more suitable for the modern era than "kill things" or "jump over things" or "search for all the things."

[1] Joe gave up on teaching me go when I told him I have severe difficulty with visual patterns. In fact, I am starting to wonder if aphantasia just screws me over for this kind of game in general. :p

There's also a particularly interesting chapter on ethics and entertainment where he discusses the difference between the game system and the flavor/dressing:

The bare mechanics of a game may indeed carry semantic freighting, but odds are that it will be fairly abstract. A game about aiming is a game about aiming, and there's no getting around that. It's hard to conceive of a game about aiming that isn't about shooting, but it has been done--there are several gmaes where instead of shooting bullets with a gun, you are instead shooting pictures with a camera. (170)

The bare mechanics of the game do not determine its meaning. Let's try a thought experiment. Let's picture a mass murder game wherein there is a gas chamber shaped like a well. You the player are dropping innocent victims down into the gas chamber, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are old ones and young ones, fat ones and tall ones. As they fall to the bottom, they grab onto each other and try to form human pyramids to get to the top of the well. Should they manage to get out, the game is over and you die. But if you pack them in tightly enough, the ones on the bottom succumb to the gas and die.

I do not want to play this game. Do you? Yet it is Tetris. (172)


In general, Koster has a background in game design AND writing AND music, and he draws on all three in his analysis of games, as well as other disciplines (e.g. psychology). It makes the book a scintillating read. I can't believe I waited so long to read this--but it was exactly what I wanted to read last week, so hey. Highly recommended.

Interesting Links for 22-08-2017

Aug. 22nd, 2017 12:00

Prompt #056 - Song Titles II

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:19
misbegotten: Orange Typewriter (Writing Orange Typewriter)
[personal profile] misbegotten posting in [community profile] 100words
This week's prompt is Beatles song titles. "Across the Universe", "Here Comes the Sun", "When I'm Sixty-Four" -- choose any title from the Beatles' body of work as your inspiration!

Your response should be exactly 100 words long. You do not have to include the prompt in your response -- it is meant as a starting place only. Please use the tag "prompt: #056 - song titles ii" with your prompt response.

Please include all necessary content warnings for potential triggers, mature or explicit content, or spoilers.

Here is a template for posting your work, if you so desire:

Subject: Original - Title (or) Fandom - Title

Post:
Title:
Original
(or) Fandom:
Rating:
Notes:




If you are a member of AO3 there is a 100 Words Collection!
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Photosynthesis provides energy for the vast majority of life on Earth. But chlorophyll, the green pigment that plants use to harvest sunlight, is relatively inefficient. To enable humans to capture more of the sun's energy than natural photosynthesis can, scientists have taught bacteria to cover themselves in tiny, highly efficient solar panels to produce useful compounds.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
"What's in your water?" has become an increasingly fraught question for many people in the U.S. and around the world. Getting the answer isn't always easy or cheap. Today, scientists are reporting that they are using the familiar "coffee-ring effect" to analyze multiple components in a single drop of water easily, quickly and cheaply. And someday, the public could use the method to test their own tap water.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Imagine you're on your way to Mars, and you lose a crucial tool during a spacewalk. Not to worry, you'll simply re-enter your spacecraft and use some microorganisms to convert your urine and exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) into chemicals to make a new one. That's one of the ultimate goals of scientists who are developing ways to make long space trips feasible.
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[personal profile] kyburg
culturenlifestyle:

Whimsical Cosmic Creations Fit For a Mermaid by Martina Gutfreund

Canadian artist Martina Gutfreund’s obsession with creating art lead her design to evil into stunning mystical and cosmic pieces with a life of their own. Gutfreund artistically showcases minerals and crystals through whimsical and quirky jewellery pieces. Inspired by magic, from fairies to mermaids to even witchcraft, her work is a reflection of her creativity and fascination with minerals. Find her collection in her Etsy shop, The Spirit Nectar.

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