I am the Queen of Awesome. My words do not represent my employer, but I bet you already knew that.
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What was the Venus de Milo doing with her arms?

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The Venus de Milo's arms are lost to history but that hasn't stopped historians and scholars wondering what exactly she was doing with them when the statue was carved. In order to test out a theory that Venus was spinning thread, Virginia Postrel hired designer and artist Cosmo Wenman to construct a 3D model of Venus de Milo.

Venus De Milo with arms

Tags: 3D printing   art   sculpture
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3 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
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Jim Carrey if you are so concerned about toxins I suggest you champion food safety or diarrhea

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Dear Mr. Carrey,
I read your recent twirade about California’s new law removing personal exemptions for vaccines for school children. I would like to address your misperceptions about toxins as incorrect information leads to false conclusions.

Vaccines do not contain toxins. You mention your need to have “toxins” removed in several tweets so I can only assume you believe this fallacy to be true and that this fear is a source of great worry. Fortunately, you can put concerns about toxins to rest! This is because a toxin is a substance elaborated by an organism, like bacteria. Botulinum toxin (Botox). for example, is a toxin made by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. E. Colican make a toxin that can cause severe food poisoning and a catastrophic sequence of events that can cause death. Clostridium difficile makes a toxin that can cause a terrible and potentially deadlydiarrhea (this is typically a hospital acquired infection).

Vaccines against tetanus and diphtheria contain toxoids, which are deactivated toxins. This isn’t because they are part of secret mass assault on the brains of children children’s brains or a clandestine attempt to sterilize women in Africa, but rather tetanus and diphtheria cause illness and death by toxin so the vaccine needs to protect against the toxin not the bacteria.  Since you are in the movies I suggest you watch Balto so you can get an idea of how bad diphtheria can be. The scene with the child-sized coffins always gets my kids. My son Oliver always asks, “I’m vaccinated against that, right?”

Considering their remarkable ability to save lives and prevent devastating illness, vaccines actually have a relatively short list in ingredients. They have the following:

  • A dead or deactivated bit of the targeted bacteria, virus, or toxin. The immune system needs to see this to make antibodies. We call this the antigen.
  • An adjuvant, which helps stimulate the immune system to make antibodies. There is aluminum everywhere, even the food we eat, because it is in the soil (this is why vegetables have more than meat). In the United States adjuvants are usually aluminum or monophosphoryl lipid A. Aluminum has been used since the 1930s, which is plenty of time to accumulate a wealth of safety data. Not all vaccines contain adjuvants. Aluminum is present in U.S. childhood vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP, Tdap) Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), human papillomavirus (HPV) .and pneumococcus infection.
  • Stabilizers, like sugar and gelatin (you probably consume one or the other on a regular basis).
  • Residual egg or other cell proteins. This  proteins(this is what the antigen was grown in so a bit can be left behind. 
  • Preservatives, now only in multi-dose flu vials. This is to prevent bacterial contamination each time a needle is inserted to withdraw a dose. It used to be the preservative thimerosal that many feared because of the falsified paper written by Andrew Wakefield (who by the way hoped to profit off of his vaccine scare). Removing thimerosal from every vaccine that contained it (it was never in the MMR) has not affected the rate of autism.
  • Residual inactivating material (what was used to kill or weaken the virus/bacteria/toxin). These substances sound scary, but the are present in trace amounts if detectable at all. Doses matter. A child can die from eating a prepackaged pod of laundry detergent, but the trace amounts left on the clothes they will wear are harmless.

Adjuvants and inactivating material can be aluminum or formaldehyde or other substances that sound scary, but if you told me I was going to be by flung through the air at 800 miles an hour at 33,000 feet in a pressurized tube I’d think that sounded dangerous and crazy. However, an airplane with an extensive safety history doesn’t sound too bad at all, does it? Facts and presentation matter. When talking about things we ingest or inject dose also matters. The amount of aluminum in our food or a vaccine or breast milk is safe. The negligible amounts of formaldehyde in vaccines is safe. I would worry about the formaldehyde in the hair straightening products that seem so popular in Los Angeles or the chemicals in nail products.

The CDC isn’t corrupt. I’ve met many people who work there and they are highly dedicated to public health and science. How many have you met? These dedicated men and women would all likely make more money working for Pharma, but they stay in public health because they care about what they do. I for one am glad they do. It’s offensive to besmirch people with innuendo and false accusations. The thing is information about who has ties to whom isn’t very hard to find. Look up the scientists who study vaccine safety on ProPublica for gifts of industry money and read their articles which all contain conflicts of interest disclosures. If you read the articles it might also help you understand how well-studied vaccines actually are and how much of the safety data comes from non pharmaceutical industry sources. Ad hominem attacks mean your argument is weak.

Your words are seen by many and when you vomit misinformation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram it reaches hundreds of thousands. You stoke those with radical beliefs reinforcing false beliefs, but worse someone who is a little bit scared because of the amount of fear mongering on social media and false balance in the press might just get a little more afraid. Maybe it will be their kid who gets tetanus or whooping-cough or their aunt getting chemotherapy for cancer who catches measles. The people at the CDC fret about those consequences, do you?

Anyone who told you that vaccines contain toxins is wrong. Perhaps you should ask yourself what else they are wrong about?

I will leave you with this one thought. If you are this concerned about toxins why don’t you use your celebrity to champion causes that really do involve toxins, like food safety or hospital acquired infections? People get very sick and some die from these toxins regularly and these causes could sure use a signal boost.

Jennifer Gunter MD, FRCS(C), FACOG, DABPM, ABPMR (pain subspecialty)

P.S. I take no money from Pharma



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6 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
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I Turn Random Coffee Stains Into Monsters

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Hey there, you little bored pandas,

Once upon a time there was a little copywriter (that is me, Stefan), who spilled a cup of coffee. What emerged from the depth of the darkest espresso available was a small monster. It looked at me and said: “Draw me, draw me, draw meeee!”

And then I drew. The next day I thought “Well, I could do it daily, just to be creative every day.” So I took a spoon and spilled some coffee on paper. My colleagues looked at me the way people look at people who go completely nuts. Well, they didn’t know.

Since then, after more than 480 coffee-monsters, I use better paper, some of the best coffee and some cool tools to make the monsters more perfect. Also, I write little stories for every single one which makes them a little more worthwhile. And the best part is: It makes people happy!

My favorite moment up until now was, when someone wrote me, that the monsters make her happy everyday. This is so cheerful and because of messages like that I do it again and again. It never gets old for me, because a spill is never the same. The coffeemonsters are my way of expressing my love for comics, coffee and randomness. So here they are, feel free to tell me what you think. :)

More info: thecoffeemonsters.com

Monster #468

For monster Jim there was only one thing going to be the peak of the week. The search for some cattle and eating it as a small snack.

Monster #432

Fiiiiiiiiiireeeeeee! This monster is clearly on fire. It has a burning arm and a flame as legs. It will roast it’s prey right away. Muhahaha!

Monster #480

This monster is so sweet, it would just eat you right away. And it really could because its friggin 30ft high and its preferred munchie are “humans”.

Monster #275

One morning coffee-frog Paul had to cross a road. And because the cars were fast that morning, he had to dance like he never did before to avoid them. Schubidu, like germans would say.

Monster #219

While Bobby was spectating what was going on behind his back, he decided to take a look on what was lying in front of him.

Monster #282

It’s like men watching beautiful women. Sometimes the eyes just pop out. Luckily people are no monsters and it doesn’t happen to them for real like it happens to this monster here.

Monster #447

The official @btconf monster!

Monster #479

Jumping around with Leo! Whoooo.

Monster #403


It tried to get up early but was late anyways. Argh!

Monster #19

Monster #346

Jumping on one finger. I wanna see you pull that off!

Monster #456

The sleep embraced him for too long. Almost four hours passed since he took the one-hour-sleeping-as-deep-as-a-crocodile-pills. But little did he know that the effect on coffeemonster-crocodiles was even more heavy.

Monster #466

The coffee went gone too fast and then it just happened out of nowhere. Fishorman lost his heart and tried to hold it in his chest. But he lost and the coffee went on without him but with his heart.

Monsters #477

Here is a piggy monster, ready to fetch a to be thrown ball. Go, piggie. Go!

Monster #343

4 eyes are better than two – because hunting humans is hard. Even for monsters like this one!

Monster #223

A little four-eyed coffeemonster playing with it’s small dog-monster. I bet it’s got an eye on everything.

Monster #435

This monster clearly has got a message for you: Fu!

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6 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
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A Museum Let Street Artists Do Whatever They Want On Its Walls. Here’s The Result

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Street artists began painting on the walls of the Long Beach Museum of Art on June 26th of this year. The project, titled “Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape,” will feature a select group of artists that are either exploring urban art outside of the studio, or are thinking about taking up the studio instead of the street.

“Most of the works in this exhibition will be created on our gallery walls using both traditional and non-traditional art media ,” explains Ron Nelson, Executive Director of the Long Beach Museum of Art. “Once the exhibition ends, the walls will be repainted and prepared for the next exhibition. Therefore, it is important for art enthusiasts to see this amazing exhibition before it closes.”

The exhibit will run through September 27, 2015.

More info: lbma.org (h/t: twistedsifter, thinkspacegallery)

1. Artwork by Audrey Kawasaki


2. Artwork by James Bullough



3. Artwork by Esao Andrews



4. Artwork by Alex Yanes


5. Artwork by Brendan Monroe



6. Artwork by SABER


7. Artwork by Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins



8. Artwork by Cryptik


9. Artwork by Jeff Soto



10. Artwork by Andrew Schoultz




11. Artwork by David ‘Meggs’ Hooke


12. Artwork by NoseGo


13. Artwork by Aaron Horkey


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6 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
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THIS JUST IN: UK Duckling ResQte Of The Week!

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Maintenance worker Gary Bartoszewski was going about his day when what did he see but BIG TROUBLE! Some bebeh ducksters had taken a dive down a sewer grate in Doncaster, South Yorkshire UK. (This happens far too often! Don’t they read the signs? Whoops, one more.)

Naturally, Gary sprang into action, and was able to haul the little guys up and out, to be reunited with Mom!


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: ducklings, Hoomin Interaction, ResQte Of The Week, This Just In!
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22 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
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Yay Marriage! What’s Next?

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Now that Notorious RBG and her crew used some jiggery-pokery, marriage equality is the law of the land. Everybody seems to be asking, what is next?

Well, over here at Alyson’s research central, I have put together some ideas on what we can do to help the TBLG community.

Healthcare access for all, especially trans people.

Why this is important:
Many trans people have difficulties obtaining simple medical help. Making it regulation that all trans peoples’ treatments are covered will force the healthcare profession to at least become more aware of trans issues. We can’t just have medically competent doctors in trans-centric places like Seattle or New York.

How do we obtain this:

  • Pass legislation requiring private insurance to cover GCS (gender confirmation surgery) and other medically necessary surgeries including breast implants for trans women and top surgery for trans men.
  • Enact federal regulations making public insurance cover GCS and other medically necessary surgeries.
  • Enact state regulations making public insurance cover GCS and other medically necessary surgeries.

Protecting queer people from being fired just simply for existing.

Why this is important:

In 32 states, it is legal to fire someone simply for being trans and in 28 states, it’s legal to fire someone for being gay. Even though your marriage is legal in a state like Mississippi, this won’t protect you from losing your job. If your boss doesn’t like queer people, they can fire you for it. This is especially important for trans people, given how vulnerable our population is. It is hard enough to afford transition related things with a job. Without a job, it makes it almost unobtainable, yet people still wonder why do we have such a high rate of suicide.

How do we solve this:

  • Ideally, get protections under the Civil Rights Act so that gender identity and sexual orientation are included as protected classes. This makes it more than just employment.
  • ENDA (The Employee Non-Discrimination Act) has been floated for many years, but could never make it out of any GOP controlled chamber. Even when it was just sexual orientation, enough Republicans and Democrats still didn’t want to protect gay people. Riding waves on the marriage win, we could convince Congress finally to pass regulations.

Public accommodations and housing

I’ve spoken in the past about bathroom bills. These are not going away. In fact, they have increased over the last year. Trans people have settled in to becoming the major target of anti-queerness since it’s harder to target cis gays. The amount of homeless queer people, especially youth, means we need to solve our queer housing crises.

How do we solve this:

  • Continue to fight bathroom bills at any turn; instead, offering legislative pieces protecting trans people, especially children, like has happened in California.
  • Work on federal housing regulations to make sure trans people are protected in their living situation. Plenty of trans people have lost their apartment/home/etc. during or right after transition, simply due to their landlord being a bigot.
  • Work to end queer youth homelessness.

Overall, what these movements need more than anything is inclusivity. Gay Inc. has mostly been white middle class cis men running things. We need more PoC, especially trans women of color, representing the movement. We need to support the most vulnerable. We need to end the targeting and imprisionment of sex workers. We need to end the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants. Jennicet Gutiérrez was right to interrupt the President and bring the plight of our queer siblings in detention. Sexual assault is too prevalent in ICE. I hope Gay Inc., like the HRC, will in turn focus on these issues now that marriage has been obtained.

Let’s celebrate the awesome win and still recognize where the movement needs to go now!

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1 day ago
Overland Park, KS
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