This is Batman's Tumbler inspired golfcart for sale on eBay. I actually posted about it back in 2010 too (I have a memory like an elephant -- penis too), but now it's for sale. Will you and I be going halvsies? NOPE. It's $17,500, which is a little bit out of my price range, even for halvsies. If enough of us got together to make it $17.50 apiece I could probably do that provided I don't eat for the rest of the week. What's food anyways? "Are you seriously asking?" What if I swallowed a bunch of marbles to trick my stomach into thinking it's full until I have money to eat again? "I say go for it." Cool, I don't have any marbles though so I'm gonna have to use Hot Wheels.
Keep going for several more shots.
This is Santa the Hutt, a sculpture created for clothing retailer Betabrand by artist Cianna Valley and on display at their San Francisco store. You can go get your picture taken with him. Bring the kids! Make them cry. It's the perfect opportunity to give them the diabetes talk. "What's the diabetes talk?" No clue. What I do know is Santa needs to lay off the cookies. *eying picture* And elves.
Keep going for a closeup of the importance of brushing and flossing and a couple getting their picture taken with the monster.
To keep my leg moving, I ventured down to the South Bank for a stroll, complete with Village Idiot Hat. I'm glad I wore it, as the wind was pretty intense. The rather glum Christmas stalls are up. Lots of tempting food, at completely absurd prices, but nothing else you'd actually want to buy. I don't know how these little businesses survive. Has anybody ever bought a wooden necktie? I sniffed around the Oxo Tower as well. They have lots of little bou-tiques, jewellry shops and galleries, with some quite attractive things, but, again, who has the kind of money they're asking? And nice as it is, what would you do with that stuff?
- Current Mood:OK
- Current Music:ANY TIME
We're on a mission from God. This is the iconic through-the-mall car chase scene from the original Blues Brothers faithfully recreated in LEGO by the folks of BrickTease. Oh we've got both kinds, we've got country AND western. I hate Illinois Nazis. Who wants to take the rest of the day off and come over and watch Blues Brothers and drink beer? We don't even have to drink beer. Well, you don't. Terrorists planted a bomb in my neck and if I don't chug a beer every so often to keep my blood-alcohol levels up I'll explode. "Sure they did." Look! "You glued a calculator to your neck?" Is it that obvious?
Hit the jump for the worthwhile video, along with a side-by-side (technically top-over-bottom) comparison of the two scenes.
And then lying about it.
A poetic intersection between life and science, art and photography.
Twitter is a wonderful medium. For example, a couple days ago, I met University of Washington Biology Professor Adam Summers on twitter. It turns out that he is Associate Director of Friday Harbor Labs, where I spent a summer taking an intensive molecular neurobiology course during my graduate training in zoology. After chatting further in email, I learned that my time at Friday Harbor Labs may have overlapped with his early years there.
Professor Summers was answering questions and sharing some of his data images of fish on twitter. He had prepared these fish using a variety of histology techniques so he could specifically examine the microscopic structure and development of particular tissues.
Typically, histological specimens are cut into thin sections, stained and then examined with either a light microscope or an electron microscope. The stains are selective, and thus, this is where the magic of this technique lies: they react chemically or physically with particular tissues. For this reason, alterations in either the stains or the staining methods can accentuate certain tissue types and structures.
The process is simple, writes Professor Summers: "[S]tain the skeleton, bleach away the other colors, digest [destroy] all tissue except skeleton and collagen, put into glycerin and it will magically clear."
"Actually it is not magic so much as glycerin and collagen having the same [refractive index as light], so light merrily passes through each in the same way."
In the histological preparation above, a newly hatched little skate, Leucoraja erinacea, was specially stained: blue specifically stains cartilage whilst red stains minerals. This fish was stained as part of a scientific investigation into how the wings and jaws develop.
But some of Professor Summers' colleagues saw art in his data images, and encouraged him to explore this avenue further.
"The project started as an artistic interpretation of images I was already shooting for data purposes", Professor Summers writes in email.
"These often ended up on the covers of journals, so I knew they were good looking, but I did not think of them as art. A good friend worked with me to do things that really were against my nature -- like tilt the specimen or only show part of the animal."
But why study skates?
"Skates are fabulous animals", Professor Summers writes in email.
"They make up a quarter of the diversity of cartilaginous fishes and every darn one of the 250 species looks pretty much exactly like every other one."
Thus, studies into the anatomy and development of one species may provide insight into these processes for other, rarer, species.
"The little skate, also called the hedgehog skate, was one of my go-to organisms for many years", writes Professor Summers in email.
These studies provide the basis for a physical or a mathematical model that may help understand function. This model is of course tested both against its inspiration and as a predictive tool. For example, the skate's tail is very important, even for the developing embryo.
"I figured out that it can't survive on the oxygen that diffuses through the capsule. Instead it has to pump water through by vibrating its tail."
Perhaps this is the reason that the tail muscles differ from what's considered normal.
"A wonderful muscle physiologist showed that the muscle in the tail is cardiac muscle rather than the striated muscle it should be", Professor Summers writes.
Little skates are common; they are frequently found buried in gravelly and sandy seabeds in shallow waters along the northeastern seaboard of North America, from Nova Scotia to Cape Hatteras. Little skates are, as their name implies, small for skates; roughly a foot or so wide and perhaps two feet long with the tail. Their small size makes them good study subjects.
Sharks, rays and skates also have special electric organs -- the ampullae of Lorenzini -- that generate a weak electric field. They also detect electrical impulses, such as those generated by a beating heart or by muscular contractions in other animals.
"Skates are egg layers. Those mermaids' purses from the seashore are the egg capsules of skates, and with the right eye you can tell front from back, top from bottom and even whether it came from the left or right uterus. The embryo lives in that capsule for a long time -- anywhere from 6 to 30 months."
Skate egg-cases are preyed on by sea urchins and whelk (sea snails). But developing embryonic skates, still locked inside their mermaid's purses, are not completely helpless.
"Another colleague showed that when these embryos sense a predator (with electroreception) they shut down entirely", writes Professor Summers.
"No tail beating, no breathing, they even stop their heart. They just wait for the predator to move on before starting things up again."
Professor Summers' images also inspired a poet.
"I got chatting with a friend who teaches a poetry class up here [at Friday Harbor]. Sierra Nelson and I had several long conversations about the similarity of the lens that poets and scientists bring to the world."
"I think the poem does a much better job of engaging the viewer than my dry prose on the critter."
Littlest of little skates, just barely hatched!
You can still see the remnants
of my yellow egg sac.
And my tail's a little longer
than my whole body
(I'll grow into it more eventually).
And the tiny whiplash at my very tail-tip
(that inside my egg case I used to thrash)
I'll keep for just a few days more.
In warmer days, I'll move toward shore:
Summer Skate you might call me.
Check me out! Already sensing
with ampullae of Lorenzini!
~ Sierra Nelson.
Here's what a live little skate looks like:
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December 5th, 2013: TODAY IS A SHIPPING DEADLINE, YO! So treat this as an excuse to click this link and pick out products that you think best encapsulate "hey I think you're pretty cool and I got you this thing, nbd".
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One year ago today: i wrote a frosty the snowman comic and - something happened