Jul. 8th, 2017

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@RobertDowneyJr: Guess what I’ll be watching in theaters this weekend… Get your tix here! http://bit.ly/SMHTickets
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the president of nigeria is about to fuck boko haram up and cut his own salary in half and criminalized female genital mutilation

the president of guinea built/is building infrastructure and school and wells all over the country and is decreasing youth unemployment exponentially

the president of cote d’ivoire made school mandatory of children ages 6-16 and banned plastic bags while also building ultra modern trasportation infrastructure

the future is for real in africa 

I think this should have a hell of a lot more notes on it than it does. This is what good news looks like folk, and the continent of Africa surely deserves a shed load of it.

Today (April 7th) is Remembrance Day for the Rwandan genocide. While Rwanda still faces challenges, their recovery has been incredible. They now have the highest percentage of women in parliament around the world (one of only two countries to have over 50% women), their gross national income has risen each year, and life expectancy has risen from  48 in 1990 to 65 in 2013.
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ok so a quick lesson on the weird physiology of this species:

this is Amorphophallus titanum. it’s not the largest flower in the world, but actually the largest unbranched flower structure. this is because this isn’t actually one flower, but hundreds; the actual flowers are super tiny and simple male and female structures nested deep in the “flower” you see here! (x)(x)

closeup of the flowers (male on top, female on bottom):

the fruits will look like this when its all done blooming! (x) (x)

full life cycle from the botany department at the university of Wisconsin Madison (i got to see a couple of their plants in their non-flowering phases when i visited; they have their largest and oldest one named Bucky, and a few younger plants that they grew from his fruits):

Usually, the fruits are given to conservatories and colleges for study and endless admiration, but they’ve become more advanced hobbyists in recent years! All in all, it’s most important for those growing it to help make sure as many of its fruits as possible make it into the ground, so the species will be with us for many years to come. 

some more facts:

-on average, the tuber weighs about 110 pounds. the one blooming at CC right now is actually kind of small, at around 40 pounds (it’s kind of a young plant at only 10 years old, and its only her first bloom!)

-the largest tuber is currently being grown by a surgeon in New Hampshire. it’s 305 pounds. this plant also has the record for the largest bloom so far; when it last bloomed in 2010, it was 10 feet, 2 inches tall. for scale, Audrey is a 5 foot, 5 inch bloom. i know ur dying to see the 10 foot tall one so here:

-after the first bloom, its kind of up to the plant as to when it’ll bloom again. some bloom after another 7-10 years, some bloom every 3, and a few individuals pulled back-to-back blooms a few years ago and it was a big deal. 

-at this point, the population of this species in captivity has increased so there’s an average of five or so blooms in the entire world each year. 

-did i mention that they reek like rotting flesh when they bloom to attract their pollinators, which are flies and beetles? bc they do that btw

-there have been cases of a single tuber sending up a couple blooms at once, and one case so far of a tuber having multiple blooms at once:

-i’ve talked on here about how weird petioles are. well, the vegetative phase of the titan arum actually is one single leaf with many leaflets, like so:

-self-pollination is rare, but it can be done with the proper procedures:

-Audrey is tied for the fourth one to bloom this year, after Java and Sumatra at the Chicago Botanical Gardens in May, Terra at the San Fransisco Conservatory of Flowers earlier this month, and Titus at Cambridge University, who bloomed at the same time as Audrey yesterday! they are all good babies and i am proud of all of them

-also yes most of these plants in captivity have have names and i should make a masterpost of them so you guys know what to name ur first born child after

-i’ve mentioned this on this blog before but i’m doing it again. they heat up to 90 degrees during bloom

tl;dr: these are good big stinky jungle babies and i love them and want to see one bloom in person one day

also, Audrey is on a live stream here if you want to see her!


Why does no one ever mention that their scientific name essentially translates to “giant malformed phallus”? Because I feel that is a fun fact worth mentioning.

The Pacific Science Center has a much smaller relative currently growing in the butterfly house! http://ift.tt/2tSNtFx
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A late multiverse steves birthday celebration…. fell asleep waitin for attention from his boo get wrekt mcu
(ok not rlly tho)
(ok just a lil) 😅😅
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when you sitting there staring at a fic wondering what happens next and then you’re like oh shit i’m the writer
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I can’t help but feel this is one of those things where we had actual documents saying “it was done with this and this”, and some old rich white guys looked at it and went “oh mirth, the ancients were so silly. They probably wrote this basic stuff down and the actual builders had Secret Techniques we need to Discover”

For a long time, archeologists didn’t know how greek women did their high-piled braids and hair. There was a word that translated to “needle” in the descriptions. They went, “seems like we’ll never know.” Then a hairdresser took a fucking needle (big needle) and did the fucking thing you do with needles, which is sew - and by sewing the braids into place, she replicated ancient styles.

The Egyptians had diagrams of construction steps for their pyramids. Archeologists went “oooh, ancient primitive people, how they do this?” LITERALLY MYTHBUSTERS OR THE OLD DISCOVERY CHANNEL or someone went “what if we did the thing the pictures said they did” AND GUESS FUCKING WHAT. GUESS FUCKING WHAT.

Also that thing with native Americans saying squirrels taught them how to get sap for maple syrup, and colonizers going “that’s a myth sweaty”

Sincerely, if the scientists had to do actual analysis like spectroscopy or whatever, kudos, and no flame. But swear to god, if all these years, we’ve had the recipes and there was just this fuckin institutional bias against just TRYING THE THING THEY SAID WOULD WORK, HELLFIRE AND DEMENTIA.

In this case, it was more they had roman writings saying what went into it but figured there was some secret because when they followed roman recipes it never turned out quite right. 

Because the sources left by Romans always just said to mix with water. Because, if you were a Roman??? Obviously you knew that you used seawater for cement. Duh. That’s so obvious that they never really bothered specifying that you use seawater to mix it, because it wasn’t necessary, everyone knew that. 

But then the empire fell, other empires rose and fell, time passed, and by the time we were trying to reconstruct the formula the ‘mix the dry ingredients with seawater’ trick had been forgotten, until chemical analysis finally figured it out again. 

It’s sort of like the land of Punt, a ally of Egypt that’s mentioned all the time, but we don’t actually know where it was located. Because it isn’t written down anywhere. Why would they write it down? It’s Punt. Everyone knew where Punt was back then. It’d be ridiculous to waste the ink and space to specify where it was, every child knows about Punt. 

3000 years later and we have no damned clue where it was, simply because at the time it was so blindingly obvious that it was never written down. 

This is amazing! I need to remember to tell Ms Jess and Duchess; they’re both architects, and the loss of the formula for Riman concrete is like the fire at the library of Alexandria for them.
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Suffer with me (Comic funded by my patrons on patreon! Thank you for your support 😭)
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Progress on the tiny tsum tsum house, complete with roombas (and Mr Fantastic, of course)
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$2,950,000/4 br

5100 sq ft

Seattle, WA


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