Updated Futility


And then you went, when everything was virtually done, and deliberately wrecked the soup.

Does anybody understand that when you’re supposed to be the sane people in the room, this kind of behavior really stands out?

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Futility


I don’t know; it’s just heartbreaking in its moment. I mean, fuck, somebody wants you to cook something you’re known for cooking, and guess what: No, don’t do what you always do! You need to do it my way or else it isn’t right!

Then fucking cook it, yourself.

Seriously, I’ve just been overridden in my own goddamn kitchen!

Fucking bullshit. You don’t want it, then don’t fucking ask. You want something else, then say so. But don’t fucking go out of your way to make me miserable in my own kitchen.

Question Time


With many thanks to Sean, a friend who pointed out this particular iteration of the morbid spectacle otherwise known as ¡Jesus’ fucking tits! Westboro Baptist Church―see Anna Merlan’s report for Jezebel about the latest Westboro wannabe Christianishesque clodhopping―a certain question arises, a reiteration that occasionally demands address:The Gumbys.

• Is it wrong that I only pay attention to WBC at all anymore because they’re like a comedy troupe performing a Christian version of The Aristocrats? I mean, it’s true: It was cruel of kids in my junior high to encourage the overweight, developmentally impaired kid to do stupid and humiliating things just so people could have a laugh. The Westboro heritage is similar; there is a tinge of guilt about paying attention to anything they do, as if we’re denigrating them just by watching.

But can they mope and write bad poetry? (Thinking plants)


via BBC News OnlineI once put a passage from Aldous Huxley’s Jesting Pilate in front of an associate who suffers a bizarre malady afflicting his objectivity. Now, obectivity, while important, isn’t the biggest deal in the world; people are subject to all manner of quirks about their outlooks. But it’s a particular object of pride for him. To wit, he doesn’t like religion because faith isn’t objective.

But when it comes to vegetarianism, he is completely bent. People who eat meat are akin to those who rape and kill children, by his “objective” logic, and when one dangles the excerpt from Huxley, or a passage from Douglas Adams in front of him, he goes into this long explanation of how plants don’t have a central nervous system, don’t feel pain, and are thus exempt from the moral considerations of the torture involved in killing and eating an animal.

So, yes, I think of him every time I come across one of these stories in the news. The latest comes from the BBC, and is no surprise to me insofar as I expected something along these lines. Not being a botanist, however, I could only guess at what the data would look like:

Plants are able to “remember” and “react” to information contained in light, according to researchers.

Plants, scientists say, transmit information about light intensity and quality from leaf to leaf in a very similar way to our own nervous systems.

These “electro-chemical signals” are carried by cells that act as “nerves” of the plants.

In their experiment, the scientists showed that light shone on to one leaf caused the whole plant to respond.

And the response, which took the form of light-induced chemical reactions in the leaves, continued in the dark.

This showed, they said, that the plant “remembered” the information encoded in light.

“We shone the light only on the bottom of the plant and we observed changes in the upper part,” explained Professor Stanislaw Karpinski from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland, who led this research.

He presented the findings at the Society for Experimental Biology’s annual meeting in Prague, Czech Republic.

“And the changes proceeded when the light was off… This was a complete surprise.”

In previous work, Professor Karpinski found that chemical signals could be passed throughout whole plants – allowing them to respond to and survive changes and stresses in their environment.

But in this new study, he and his colleagues discovered that when light stimulated a chemical reaction in one leaf cell, this caused a “cascade” of events and that this was immediately signalled to the rest of the plant by via specific type of cell called a “bundle sheath cell”.

The scientists measured the electrical signals from these cells, which are present in every leaf. They likened the discovery to finding the plants’ “nervous system”.

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