“Ey, vertrau mir! Ich hab ne vier in Physik!”
— (via testitnigga)
“Ein Blick in die Sterne, ist ein Blick in die Vergangenheit.”
— Mein Physiklehrer (via areyousomebodytolove)

skunkbear:

Where do plastic bottle caps go? A lot of them end up in the ocean. 75% of ocean debris is made of plastic. And it doesn’t just float around. A lot of it ends up killing marine life, like this young albatross.

We talked with marine biology professor Richard Thompson yesterday, and he said:

It’s not about banning plastics. It’s about thinking about the ways that we deal with plastics at the end of their lifetime to make sure that we capture the resource.

On Midway Island, where this photo was taken, 1/3 of albatross chicks die from ingesting plastic. This image comes from photographer Chris Jordan, who says:

For me kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth.

Jordan directed a film about Midway Island and you can explore more of his pictures here.

Q

Anonymous asked:

I wanted to ask this to you because you seem wise and an un judgmental. I ship Johnlock I love it. But I was raised Christian and I respect whatever sexual identity or gender someone prefers if I don't agree with it myself. In real life I'm not a supporter of same sex marriage at all but I believe the LGBTQ+ should have basic human rights. Being in that mindset, does it make me a bad/hypocritical person?

A

wsswatson:

Why do you not support same sex marriage? Even if you don’t believe in it being affiliated with the church, what do you have against secular same sex marriage?

The idea that marriage is an environment for reproduction is absolutely obsolete - infertile people can marry, elderly people can marry and people who don’t want or are financially or emotionally unable to have children can marry.

Marriage, in contemporary society, has many other benefits. Someone’s spouse becomes their next of kin, meaning that they receive their possessions in the event of their death. Spouses have increased hospital visitation rights, meaning that they are allowed to stay with their partner if they are hospitalised for a long period of time. Spouses receive financial benefits such as shared taxes, which is so important for poor queer couples. It’s so much more than spending a day celebrating your love for one another.

What you must also remember is that, while I know that Biblical texts are believed to be the word of God, they were drawn up by human hands, and are very much influenced by the customs and beliefs of the period.

For instance:

  • Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.’ - Deuteronomy 22:11
  • 'If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.’ - Deuteronomy 21:18-21
  • [if] ‘the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.’ - Deuteronomy 22:20-21

I’m sure that you wear clothes made from mixed fabrics, and hope that you would be horrified at the concept of stoning to death a child for being disobedient or a woman having sex before marriage (particularly seeing as ‘the tokens of virginity’ refer to the woman bleeding, which is typically indicative of her partner being too rough or her not being sufficiently aroused).

The Bible is full of contradictions, but the overarching message, I believe, is love. If you believe that God is omnibenevolent and created and loves all of humanity, then why believe that this excludes queer people? Queerness is not, after all, a choice (believe me, I struggled with mine for years, and people have killed themselves because they felt that death was a preferable alternative to being queer in the society in which we live).

I’ll also refer you to two external sources:

A basic human right is not to be judged for something that you cannot control and that is in no way harmful to anyone else - on the contrary, it’s love. It makes people feel happy and fulfilled.

If you ship Johnlock, I hope that you understand that love is love, and that the genders of the people involved does not make it any more or less so.

I urge you to reconsider the values that you grew up with (and I know that that’s difficult, but it’s also important), and consider the Bible and marriage in a social and historical context, as well as considering why marriage is so important to people regardless of their orientation and the gender of themselves and their partner. I also urge you to remember that real people are always, always more important than fictional characters.

neurosciencestuff:

Neural sweet talk: Taste metaphors emotionally engage the brain
So accustomed are we to metaphors related to taste that when we hear a kind smile described as “sweet,” or a resentful comment as “bitter,” we most likely don’t even think of those words as metaphors. But while it may seem to our ears that “sweet” by any other name means the same thing, new research shows that taste-related words actually engage the emotional centers of the brain more than literal words with the same meaning.
Researchers from Princeton University and the Free University of Berlin report in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience the first study to experimentally show that the brain processes these everyday metaphors differently than literal language. In the study, participants read 37 sentences that included common metaphors based on taste while the researchers recorded their brain activity. Each taste-related word was then swapped with a literal counterpart so that, for instance, “She looked at him sweetly” became “She looked at him kindly.”
The researchers found that the sentences containing words that invoked taste activated areas known to be associated with emotional processing, such as the amygdala, as well as the areas known as the gustatory cortices that allow for the physical act of tasting. Interestingly, the metaphorical and literal words only resulted in brain activity related to emotion when part of a sentence, but stimulated the gustatory cortices both in sentences and as stand-alone words.
Metaphorical sentences may spark increased brain activity in emotion-related regions because they allude to physical experiences, said co-author Adele Goldberg, a Princeton professor of linguistics in the Council of the Humanities. Human language frequently uses physical sensations or objects to refer to abstract domains such as time, understanding or emotion, Goldberg said. For instance, people liken love to a number of afflictions including being “sick” or shot through the heart with an arrow. Similarly, “sweet” has a much clearer physical component than “kind.” The new research suggests that these associations go beyond just being descriptive to engage our brains on an emotional level and potentially amplify the impact of the sentence, Goldberg said.
"You begin to realize when you look at metaphors how common they are in helping us understand abstract domains," Goldberg said. "It could be that we are more engaged with abstract concepts when we use metaphorical language that ties into physical experiences."
If metaphors in general elicit an emotional response from the brain that is similar to that caused by taste-related metaphors, then that could mean that figurative language presents a “rhetorical advantage” when communicating with others, explained co-author Francesca Citron, a postdoctoral researcher of psycholinguistics at the Free University’s Languages of Emotion research center.
"Figurative language may be more effective in communication and may facilitate processes such as affiliation, persuasion and support," Citron said. "Further, as a reader or listener, one should be wary of being overly influenced by metaphorical language."
Colloquially, metaphors seem to be employed precisely to evoke an emotional reaction, yet the actual emotional effect of figurative phrases on the person hearing them has not before been deeply explored, said Benjamin Bergen, an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of California-San Diego who studies language comprehension, and metaphorical language and thought.
"There’s a lot of research on the conceptual effects of metaphors, such as how they allow people to think about new or abstract concepts in terms of concrete things they’re familiar with. But there’s very little work on the emotional impact of metaphor," said Bergen, who had no role in the research but is familiar with it.
"Emotional impact seems to be one of the main reasons people use metaphors to begin with. For instance, a senator might describe a bill as ‘job-killing’ to evoke an emotional reaction," he said. "These results suggest that using certain metaphorical expressions induces more of an emotional reaction than saying the same thing literally. Those expressions that have this property are likely to have the effects on reasoning, inference, judgment and decision-making that emotion is known to have."
The brain areas that taste-related words did not stimulate are also an important outcome of the study, Citron said. Existing research on metaphors and neural processing has shown that figurative language generally requires more brainpower than literal language, Citron and Goldberg wrote. But these bursts of neural activity have been related to higher-order processing from thinking through an unfamiliar metaphor.
The brain activity Citron and Goldberg observed did not correlate with this process. In order to create the metaphorical- and literal-sentence stimuli, they had a group of people separate from the study participants rate sentences for familiarity, apparent arousal, imageability — which is how easily a phrase can be imagined in the reader’s mind — and how positive or negative each sentence was interpreted as being. The metaphorical and literal sentences were equal on all of these factors. In addition, each metaphorical phrase and its literal counterpart were rated as being highly similar in meaning.

These steps helped to ensure that the metaphorical and literal sentences were equally as easy to comprehend. Thus, the brain activity the researchers recorded was not likely to be in response to any additional difficulty study participants had in understanding the metaphors.
"It is important to rule out possible effects of familiarity, since less familiar items may require more processing resources to be understood and elicit enhanced brain responses in several brain regions," Citron said.
Citron and Goldberg plan to follow up on their results by examining if figurative language is remembered more accurately than literal language, if metaphors are more physically stimulating, and if metaphors related to other senses also provoke an emotional response from the brain. neurosciencestuff:

Neural sweet talk: Taste metaphors emotionally engage the brain
So accustomed are we to metaphors related to taste that when we hear a kind smile described as “sweet,” or a resentful comment as “bitter,” we most likely don’t even think of those words as metaphors. But while it may seem to our ears that “sweet” by any other name means the same thing, new research shows that taste-related words actually engage the emotional centers of the brain more than literal words with the same meaning.
Researchers from Princeton University and the Free University of Berlin report in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience the first study to experimentally show that the brain processes these everyday metaphors differently than literal language. In the study, participants read 37 sentences that included common metaphors based on taste while the researchers recorded their brain activity. Each taste-related word was then swapped with a literal counterpart so that, for instance, “She looked at him sweetly” became “She looked at him kindly.”
The researchers found that the sentences containing words that invoked taste activated areas known to be associated with emotional processing, such as the amygdala, as well as the areas known as the gustatory cortices that allow for the physical act of tasting. Interestingly, the metaphorical and literal words only resulted in brain activity related to emotion when part of a sentence, but stimulated the gustatory cortices both in sentences and as stand-alone words.
Metaphorical sentences may spark increased brain activity in emotion-related regions because they allude to physical experiences, said co-author Adele Goldberg, a Princeton professor of linguistics in the Council of the Humanities. Human language frequently uses physical sensations or objects to refer to abstract domains such as time, understanding or emotion, Goldberg said. For instance, people liken love to a number of afflictions including being “sick” or shot through the heart with an arrow. Similarly, “sweet” has a much clearer physical component than “kind.” The new research suggests that these associations go beyond just being descriptive to engage our brains on an emotional level and potentially amplify the impact of the sentence, Goldberg said.
"You begin to realize when you look at metaphors how common they are in helping us understand abstract domains," Goldberg said. "It could be that we are more engaged with abstract concepts when we use metaphorical language that ties into physical experiences."
If metaphors in general elicit an emotional response from the brain that is similar to that caused by taste-related metaphors, then that could mean that figurative language presents a “rhetorical advantage” when communicating with others, explained co-author Francesca Citron, a postdoctoral researcher of psycholinguistics at the Free University’s Languages of Emotion research center.
"Figurative language may be more effective in communication and may facilitate processes such as affiliation, persuasion and support," Citron said. "Further, as a reader or listener, one should be wary of being overly influenced by metaphorical language."
Colloquially, metaphors seem to be employed precisely to evoke an emotional reaction, yet the actual emotional effect of figurative phrases on the person hearing them has not before been deeply explored, said Benjamin Bergen, an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of California-San Diego who studies language comprehension, and metaphorical language and thought.
"There’s a lot of research on the conceptual effects of metaphors, such as how they allow people to think about new or abstract concepts in terms of concrete things they’re familiar with. But there’s very little work on the emotional impact of metaphor," said Bergen, who had no role in the research but is familiar with it.
"Emotional impact seems to be one of the main reasons people use metaphors to begin with. For instance, a senator might describe a bill as ‘job-killing’ to evoke an emotional reaction," he said. "These results suggest that using certain metaphorical expressions induces more of an emotional reaction than saying the same thing literally. Those expressions that have this property are likely to have the effects on reasoning, inference, judgment and decision-making that emotion is known to have."
The brain areas that taste-related words did not stimulate are also an important outcome of the study, Citron said. Existing research on metaphors and neural processing has shown that figurative language generally requires more brainpower than literal language, Citron and Goldberg wrote. But these bursts of neural activity have been related to higher-order processing from thinking through an unfamiliar metaphor.
The brain activity Citron and Goldberg observed did not correlate with this process. In order to create the metaphorical- and literal-sentence stimuli, they had a group of people separate from the study participants rate sentences for familiarity, apparent arousal, imageability — which is how easily a phrase can be imagined in the reader’s mind — and how positive or negative each sentence was interpreted as being. The metaphorical and literal sentences were equal on all of these factors. In addition, each metaphorical phrase and its literal counterpart were rated as being highly similar in meaning.

These steps helped to ensure that the metaphorical and literal sentences were equally as easy to comprehend. Thus, the brain activity the researchers recorded was not likely to be in response to any additional difficulty study participants had in understanding the metaphors.
"It is important to rule out possible effects of familiarity, since less familiar items may require more processing resources to be understood and elicit enhanced brain responses in several brain regions," Citron said.
Citron and Goldberg plan to follow up on their results by examining if figurative language is remembered more accurately than literal language, if metaphors are more physically stimulating, and if metaphors related to other senses also provoke an emotional response from the brain.

neurosciencestuff:

Neural sweet talk: Taste metaphors emotionally engage the brain

So accustomed are we to metaphors related to taste that when we hear a kind smile described as “sweet,” or a resentful comment as “bitter,” we most likely don’t even think of those words as metaphors. But while it may seem to our ears that “sweet” by any other name means the same thing, new research shows that taste-related words actually engage the emotional centers of the brain more than literal words with the same meaning.

Researchers from Princeton University and the Free University of Berlin report in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience the first study to experimentally show that the brain processes these everyday metaphors differently than literal language. In the study, participants read 37 sentences that included common metaphors based on taste while the researchers recorded their brain activity. Each taste-related word was then swapped with a literal counterpart so that, for instance, “She looked at him sweetly” became “She looked at him kindly.”

The researchers found that the sentences containing words that invoked taste activated areas known to be associated with emotional processing, such as the amygdala, as well as the areas known as the gustatory cortices that allow for the physical act of tasting. Interestingly, the metaphorical and literal words only resulted in brain activity related to emotion when part of a sentence, but stimulated the gustatory cortices both in sentences and as stand-alone words.

Metaphorical sentences may spark increased brain activity in emotion-related regions because they allude to physical experiences, said co-author Adele Goldberg, a Princeton professor of linguistics in the Council of the Humanities. Human language frequently uses physical sensations or objects to refer to abstract domains such as time, understanding or emotion, Goldberg said. For instance, people liken love to a number of afflictions including being “sick” or shot through the heart with an arrow. Similarly, “sweet” has a much clearer physical component than “kind.” The new research suggests that these associations go beyond just being descriptive to engage our brains on an emotional level and potentially amplify the impact of the sentence, Goldberg said.

"You begin to realize when you look at metaphors how common they are in helping us understand abstract domains," Goldberg said. "It could be that we are more engaged with abstract concepts when we use metaphorical language that ties into physical experiences."

If metaphors in general elicit an emotional response from the brain that is similar to that caused by taste-related metaphors, then that could mean that figurative language presents a “rhetorical advantage” when communicating with others, explained co-author Francesca Citron, a postdoctoral researcher of psycholinguistics at the Free University’s Languages of Emotion research center.

"Figurative language may be more effective in communication and may facilitate processes such as affiliation, persuasion and support," Citron said. "Further, as a reader or listener, one should be wary of being overly influenced by metaphorical language."

Colloquially, metaphors seem to be employed precisely to evoke an emotional reaction, yet the actual emotional effect of figurative phrases on the person hearing them has not before been deeply explored, said Benjamin Bergen, an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of California-San Diego who studies language comprehension, and metaphorical language and thought.

"There’s a lot of research on the conceptual effects of metaphors, such as how they allow people to think about new or abstract concepts in terms of concrete things they’re familiar with. But there’s very little work on the emotional impact of metaphor," said Bergen, who had no role in the research but is familiar with it.

"Emotional impact seems to be one of the main reasons people use metaphors to begin with. For instance, a senator might describe a bill as ‘job-killing’ to evoke an emotional reaction," he said. "These results suggest that using certain metaphorical expressions induces more of an emotional reaction than saying the same thing literally. Those expressions that have this property are likely to have the effects on reasoning, inference, judgment and decision-making that emotion is known to have."

The brain areas that taste-related words did not stimulate are also an important outcome of the study, Citron said. Existing research on metaphors and neural processing has shown that figurative language generally requires more brainpower than literal language, Citron and Goldberg wrote. But these bursts of neural activity have been related to higher-order processing from thinking through an unfamiliar metaphor.

The brain activity Citron and Goldberg observed did not correlate with this process. In order to create the metaphorical- and literal-sentence stimuli, they had a group of people separate from the study participants rate sentences for familiarity, apparent arousal, imageability — which is how easily a phrase can be imagined in the reader’s mind — and how positive or negative each sentence was interpreted as being. The metaphorical and literal sentences were equal on all of these factors. In addition, each metaphorical phrase and its literal counterpart were rated as being highly similar in meaning.

These steps helped to ensure that the metaphorical and literal sentences were equally as easy to comprehend. Thus, the brain activity the researchers recorded was not likely to be in response to any additional difficulty study participants had in understanding the metaphors.

"It is important to rule out possible effects of familiarity, since less familiar items may require more processing resources to be understood and elicit enhanced brain responses in several brain regions," Citron said.

Citron and Goldberg plan to follow up on their results by examining if figurative language is remembered more accurately than literal language, if metaphors are more physically stimulating, and if metaphors related to other senses also provoke an emotional response from the brain.