If you cross a buffalo with Corporal Klinger...

princess-peachie:

Bunny massage | [X] - SpicaSirius

It is a puddle of bunny.

(via wallacewellsbian)

gordman2:

Humorous Movie Marquee Mash-Ups

40 year old virgin penguins is definitely my favorite.

(via wallacewellsbian)

roguesquirrel:

The Great Gatsby 2
… they thought he was dead…
……..but they rebuilt him…
…faster … stronger … smarter…
old sports die hard
In
The Great Gatling-Gunsby
West Egg is about to be Scrambled

(via wallacewellsbian)

hisnamewasbeanni:

hug-a-mermaid:

Favorite Muggleborns headcanons (1/?)

God I love these.

journeytoenglisheducation:

brains-and-bodies:

fuckyeah-nerdery:

discodick:

mindblowingscience:

pickledpennies:

m00nchaser:

If bees become extinct we will have exactly 4 YEARS to live on this planet. I don’t understand how “not giving a fuck” is more important than your life…

okay, I have a thing to say about this. I’m no expert on bees, but I am a biologist (and entomologist) so I think there is something I can contribute that’ll be of worth.

I agree entirely with the sentiment that we must protect honeybees. Obviously they are massively important for biodiversity, as well as pollinating food crops for humans. There is no doubt that if all the honeybees in the world were to vanish in a day that the consequences would be dire.

However, I disagree that the main cause for concern regarding honeybee death is the use of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. I’d be very interested to read a research paper that says ‘GM crops have killed millions of honeybees’, if indeed such a paper exists because in all honesty I find it highly unlikely that this is a true statement.

Let’s start with some facts about GM crops:

1. The development of GM crops is a highly regulated process, bound by strict country-specific legislature. A great number of trials are carried out long before commercial planting of a GM crop is even considered. It is these trials, and accompanying laboratory studies, that ensure a GM crop is safe to non-target organisms (such as honeybees) by investigating direct and indirect effects (Nap et al. 2003).

2. Crops that are genetically modified to express insecticidal proteins (for crop pest control) have a high level of specificity. This means that the insecticidal proteins being produced by the GM plant will only affect a narrow range of insect groups because of the chemical properties of the protein. For example, GM crops expressing insecticidal proteins sourced from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) will only target some Lepidopteran pests (caterpillars; Romeis et al. 2006). Furthermore, a recent meta-analysis of the literature found that GM Bt crops do not negatively affect the survival of adult honeybees or their larvae (Duan et al. 2008).

3. GM crops can be tailored such that the novel gene is expressed only in particular parts of the plant. For example, GM Bt rice plants express the toxin in the stems but not the grains (Datta et al. 1998). This technique means that gene expression can be excluded from the flowers/pollen of the crop plant, so that bees and other pollinators would not be affected. Neat, huh?

So those are a token few reasons why GM crops are safer than perhaps many people believe (as the result of a lot of questionable, non-scientific articles). To come back to our main point about honeybee death, I would like to briefly mention a few alternative explanations for the recent decline in honeybee populations. These are as follows:

1. Many bees have died as the result of broad-spectrum insecticide use. These are pesticides that lack specificity, and can be harmful to non-target organisms. Neonicotinoids are a well-studied example of this (Decourtye & Devillers, 2010). Not to worry, though, because many broad-spectrum pesticides including neonics are well on their way out. Indeed, the EU recently banned a large cohort of neonic pesticides. This is still a topic of controversy, mind (Goulson, 2013).

2. Many bees have died as the result of Varroa mite infestation. Imagine you’ve been bitten by several ticks, except those ticks are the size of dinner plates. That gives you an idea of the severity of a Varroa mite infestation on a single developing bee. The parasitisation of bees by Varroa mites and other parasites is often accompanied by disease transmission. This can result in colonies dying within two years after infestation (Johnson, 2011).

3. Many bees have died as the result of ‘colony collapse disorder’.  This is a phrase that has popped up a lot recently, and is basically an umbrella term for the various causes of bee death including parasite infestation, disease transmission, environmental stresses, and management stresses such as poor nutrition (Johnson, 2011). Colony collapse has been attributed to broad-spectrum pesticide use in some instances. However, it is has still been observed in countries where broad-spectrum pesticides have been withdrawn (in the EU, like I mentioned earlier; Johnson, 2011).

So those are my main points. Please excuse the bullet-point nature of this; I was trying to keep it fairly short. Not sure I managed that haha. But anyway, my take-home message is that GM crops are not the enemy when it comes to honeybee decline. If anything, bees are at much greater danger from the use of broad-spectrum pesticides and from parasites and diseases. Using GM can even help to alleviate some of the problems associated with broad-spectrum pesticides, as they greatly reduce the need to apply such chemicals (Romeis et al. 2006).

A finishing note: Do your homework. Go on google scholar and read some of the literature, making sure it is recent (within the past 10-15 years). Literature reviews are a great way to find out what the consensus is on any given topic. Don’t use popular media as your main source of information where science is concerned; they tend to favour scandal and exaggeration. You want to know what’s really going on? Check out some research articles and see for yourself.

Thanks for sticking it through to the end of this impromptu mini-essay! —Alice

References:

Datta, K., Vasquez, A., Tu, J., Torrizo, L., Alam, M. F., Oliva, N., Abrigo, E., Khush, G. S., & Datta, S. K. (1998). Constitutive and tissue-specific differential expression of the cryIA (b) gene in transgenic rice plants conferring resistance to rice insect pest. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 97(1-2), 20-30.

Decourtye, A., & Devillers, J. (2010). Ecotoxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees. In Insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (pp. 85-95). Springer New York.

Duan, J. J., Marvier, M., Huesing, J., Dively, G., & Huang, Z. Y. (2008). A meta-analysis of effects of Bt crops on honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). PLoS One, 3(1), e1415.

Goulson, D. (2013). Neonicotinoids and bees: What’s all the buzz?. Significance, 10(3), 6-11.

Johnson, R. (2011). Honey bee colony collapse disorder. DIANE Publishing.

Nap, J. P., Metz, P. L., Escaler, M., & Conner, A. J. (2003). The release of genetically modified crops into the environment. The Plant Journal, 33(1), 1-18.

Romeis, J., Meissle, M., & Bigler, F. (2006). Transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis toxins and biological control. Nature biotechnology, 24(1), 63-71.

This commentary is SO important. Succinct and with proper sourcing; beautiful.

It infuriates me when people blame GMO for everything without actually examining the evidence.

Fucker, did you just compile and post a summarised university research paper in your leisure time? Fuck you. *flips table in frustration of assignment writing inadequacies* 

GODDAMN THEY EVEN PROVIDED REFERENCES.

Providing references should be mandatory. Go Alice!

*Snifs* This… is the most… BEAUTIFUL… post I have… ever… seen on Tumblr! The references! The beautiful references!

(Source: antinwo, via hisnamewasbeanni)

hisnamewasbeanni:

wocinsolidarity:

fuckallies:

On average, you have a 1 in 18,989 chance of being murdered

A trans person has a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered

The average life span of a cis person is about 75-90 

The average life expectancy of a trans person is 23-30 years old

75% of people killed in anti LGBT hate crimes are poc

Think about this the next time you go crying over “cisphobia” and “reverse racism”

MESSAGE 

Fuck.

(Source: fuckoffallies)

pleatedjeans:

via


Oh my gosh. I would actually play Tetris with these. I’d draw them randomly out of a bowl, place them, and cut out and eat completed rows! All listening to the Tetris theme, of course.

pleatedjeans:

via

Oh my gosh. I would actually play Tetris with these. I’d draw them randomly out of a bowl, place them, and cut out and eat completed rows! All listening to the Tetris theme, of course.

(via wallacewellsbian)

wilsontoyourhouse:

thepostmodernpottercompendium:

Children. They were teaching children. 
Rowena, Godric, Salazar; they tended to forget that. They saw young minds, young acolytes - eyes that would look up to them. Not innocence. Not childish wonder.
Toughen them, said Godric.
Make them smart, said Rowena.
And ambitious, above all, said Salazar.
But war and the real world; that was not where children belonged. Aye, they would belong one day, but it was not their part to turn them cruel, make them hard, make their eyes dart sideways always looking for ways to twist the world to further their own ends. They were to protect them. Shield them from the worst so that some good, some kindness would find its way into an ever darkening world. To give them weapons and teach them how to use them, but never tell them that those weapons were their only hope.
She’d seen in all the battles she’d rode out to just how dark the world could be. Was it not their duty to bring light into this world? To fight darkness with light; not with more darkness - with divisiveness and strife and hatred?
I will take them all, she said. 
I will protect the ones you will not. I will save them. I will give them a home. They will be the last rays of all that is good in this world. I will teach them kindness. I will teach them loyalty. I will teach them selflessness. 
I will teach them how to be the backbone, the heart of this world. I will teach them how to stand steadfast, when all hope is lost. 
I will teach them how to be human, to be more than just one single word.
No, she knew, theirs would not be an easy path, or a glorious one. They would have no songs. No great tales in books. No laurels. No consolation, no thanks.
But they would be the reason why, when the darkness finally came, all of them in all their different colours would stand shoulder to shoulder and draw their wands as brothers in arms.
Not for achievements. Not for trophies. Not for power. 
For goodness. For hope.
And when the time came for them to choose the words that would forever guide the children that would come to them, Helga smiled and engraved, upon a bronze plaque, these words:
Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.
(But her students remembered a very different set of words. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.)
(Helga Hufflepuff requested by boney-eyes-jefferson)

#and this my friends is why no one is quite sure what a hufflepuff really is#the answer is: everyone #they come in a million different shapes and sizes#they could be braver than gryffindors #and more cunning and more ambitious than slytherins #even smarter than ravenclaws #but they all come to hufflepuff #and there learn to be loyal and fair and goodhearted #and that quite possibly #is why hufflepuff has hardly any dark witches and wizards #because they have learnt how to be the very last line of defence #before chaos takes over the world #and thisTHIS is the sleeping dragon you do not tickle #because if they can’t protect the earth you can be damned well sure they’ll avenge it #look i gave myself hufflepuff feels

wilsontoyourhouse:

thepostmodernpottercompendium:

Children. They were teaching children

Rowena, Godric, Salazar; they tended to forget that. They saw young minds, young acolytes - eyes that would look up to them. Not innocence. Not childish wonder.

Toughen them, said Godric.

Make them smart, said Rowena.

And ambitious, above all, said Salazar.

But war and the real world; that was not where children belonged. Aye, they would belong one day, but it was not their part to turn them cruel, make them hard, make their eyes dart sideways always looking for ways to twist the world to further their own ends. They were to protect them. Shield them from the worst so that some good, some kindness would find its way into an ever darkening world. To give them weapons and teach them how to use them, but never tell them that those weapons were their only hope.

She’d seen in all the battles she’d rode out to just how dark the world could be. Was it not their duty to bring light into this world? To fight darkness with light; not with more darkness - with divisiveness and strife and hatred?

I will take them all, she said. 

I will protect the ones you will not. I will save them. I will give them a home. They will be the last rays of all that is good in this world. I will teach them kindness. I will teach them loyalty. I will teach them selflessness.

I will teach them how to be the backbone, the heart of this world. I will teach them how to stand steadfast, when all hope is lost. 

I will teach them how to be human, to be more than just one single word.

No, she knew, theirs would not be an easy path, or a glorious one. They would have no songs. No great tales in books. No laurels. No consolation, no thanks.

But they would be the reason why, when the darkness finally came, all of them in all their different colours would stand shoulder to shoulder and draw their wands as brothers in arms.

Not for achievements. Not for trophies. Not for power.

For goodness. For hope.

And when the time came for them to choose the words that would forever guide the children that would come to them, Helga smiled and engraved, upon a bronze plaque, these words:

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

(But her students remembered a very different set of words. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.)

(Helga Hufflepuff requested by boney-eyes-jefferson)

#and this my friends is why no one is quite sure what a hufflepuff really is#the answer is: everyone #they come in a million different shapes and sizes#they could be braver than gryffindors #and more cunning and more ambitious than slytherins #even smarter than ravenclaws #but they all come to hufflepuff #and there learn to be loyal and fair and goodhearted #and that quite possibly #is why hufflepuff has hardly any dark witches and wizards #because they have learnt how to be the very last line of defence #before chaos takes over the world #and thisTHIS is the sleeping dragon you do not tickle #because if they can’t protect the earth you can be damned well sure they’ll avenge it #look i gave myself hufflepuff feels

(via startrekrenegades)