Dance through the Universe

fly-in-the-scrim:

adonutwithamapleglaze:

Musicals are magical. When I’m watching musicals nothing matters. I don’t care about my failures. I don’t worry about my grades or my future. I’m not lonely, I’m not sad. I’m just completely content. They’re perfect. 

Unless you’re the stage manager

fauxcyborg:

justhuey:

fauxcyborg:

street harassment stems from the view that the public still belongs to men and women are enroaching on their territory when we exist outside of the home

Surely you would have empirical evidence to back such a claim?

Engaging with an anti-feminist is like, always futile but would the Harvard Law Review suffice as an acceptable source? The journal article has a few other sources as footnotes.

nentindo:

like seriously, people with disabilities and people on the autism spectrum have uncommon fears because of said disability and/or autism, and you people are just like “LOL HOW DO YOU GO OUTSIDE NO ONE WHO’S NOOOORMAL GETS SCARED OF THAT STUFF”

so before you make any posts making fun of trigger warnings, consider the following:

  1. realize people who aren’t neurotypical or able-bodied aren’t exactly “perfect and normal” like you are
  2. eat shit

kimisbaked:

I wanna be that one girl who looks really cute but also gives off the vibe that she could snap your neck if you disrespect her like is that possible for me

astroayla:

Let go up to pro lifers standing outside of abortion clinics and try to get them to sponsor a child. There is so many of these programs too. And if they say no because they cant afford it or they dont have the time etc, then I guess they arent truly pro life.
Because those are two if the exact reasons why people get abortions.

sidnugget:

ugh-p3asants:

iphone420:

Yesterday was my grandparents 45th anniversary and my grandma was like “if I had killed him 20 years ago I would be out of jail by now” and that basically sums them up

Your grandma is 45?!

yeah she got married the day she was born 

synergyfox:

capproblems:

Multishippers… Have you considered polyamory???

THAT’S MY FAVORITE WAY TO MULTISHIP!

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.

I find it interesting. Most of what I see on my Tumblr is posts coming from a civilian Palestinian view point. Most of the posts I see on Facebook are pro-Israel, with a few people trying to draw attention to the Palestinian casualties. I have seen posts about not using anti-Semitic language on both sites. What I haven’t seen are posts about using generalizing and rude terms for Palestinians. I have also not seen (although that is testament to how amazing my friends are, not testament to this not happening) is wide spread anti-Semitic language. I have however seen some troubling trends by my pro-Israel friends, and their friends, in their rhetoric about Palestinians.

This is not a moral war. Neither side has a moral right, and by taking a morally absolute stance I have seen the beginnings of dismissing the horrifying casualties of this war. Claiming that no Israeli could commit atrocities is wrong. History has proven it wrong. People commit atrocities and there is no race or nation that is exempt from that.

I support Israel’s right to defend itself from a terrorist organization. I do not support its colonization movement or the way its treats its own Arab citizens, nor do I think its response to Hamas has been completely proper. I do not support Hamas. It is not a legitimate government and it commits war crimes at a very high frequency.

ereditaa:

If you are vocal about the situation in Israel/Palestine and you participate in pro-Palestine rallies and are trying to be as educated as you can, I am also going to expect you to call out any instances of antisemitism that you see/hear of, regardless of where in the world they are happening.

Watch your language. Do not make comparisons to other historical tragedies (i.e. Nazi Germany). There are still living survivors. Respect that, and respect them.

Just because you don’t agree with Zionism does not give you a free pass to think/say what you want of Jewish communities across the world. It does not mean that you are free from examining yourself on a daily basis. We are seeing a rise in global antisemitism as a direct result of pro-Palestine rallies and protests and unless you denounce these actions, you are just as complicit.

It’s 2014 and there are people at rallies chanting “Jews to the gas”.

I understand, very much so, that you are upset and horrified at the actions of the state, but for the love of G-d, look at yourselves.