- 4 weeks ago
- 2 months ago
Lauren Arrington just wanted to top the other kids’ science fair projects.
But she ended up making a breakthrough that surprised even seasoned, Ph.D.-holding scientists.
Her research showing that venomous, highly invasive lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water was ultimately replicated and expanded upon by ecologists, who cited her in their published, peer-reviewed study on the topic.
Not bad for a 12-year-old.
Craig Layman, an ecology professor at North Carolina State University, called Lauren’s work “one of the most influential sixth-grade science projects ever conducted.” He said it demonstrated something scientists should have done years before.
"Her project was the impetus for us to follow up on the finding and do a more in-depth study," said Layman, who with graduate students from Florida International University had been researching lionfish in the Loxahatchee River. "We were the first paper that published the salinity of the lionfish, and it was all because of what she had done with her science project."
The daughter of two scientists who love the water, Lauren has grown up fishing, snorkeling and loving science. As a little girl, she went to the classes her dad used to teach at the University of Alabama, piping in with questions that impressed him with their insight.
She got the idea for her project after constantly seeing the red and white, garishly decorated lionfish inPalm Beach County waters. She found out from her dad, an ecologist, that they were taking over Florida’s reefs and gobbling up native fish.
"I wanted to do something about them," said Lauren, who is now 13 and lives in Jupiter. "So I was kind of throwing ideas at my dad."
She thought about testing whether a dead lionfish can still hurt people with its venom. That meant finding someone willing to be spined by one, though, and dad wasn’t exactly eager to sign up. So Lauren kept brainstorming and ultimately settled on figuring out the lowest salinity level they could stand.
For two weeks in late 2012, Lauren slowly lowered the salinity in five aquariums occupied by lionfish she and her dad caught in the Indian River Lagoon. They kept another at the regular ocean salinity level as a control.
Ocean water has a salinity of 35 parts per 1,000. Lauren and her dad, who has a doctorate in fish ecology, thought the lionfish would withstand a salinity of 13, no less. But when the water got down to that level, the fish acted like nothing had changed. So Lauren added more fresh water, taking it down to six parts per 1,000.
And the fish were still fine.
"We were completely dumbfounded," said Lauren’s dad, Albrey Arrington, director of the Loxahatchee River District. "We did not expect that at all."
Because the science fair guidelines specified that students would be excluded if animals in their experiments died, they stopped the experiment there and released the lionfish.
Lauren wound up being one of 20 students from The King’s Academy selected to take her project to thePalm Beach County regional science and engineering fair. There, she got third place in the zoology category.
What her project showed is important because it revealed that lionfish are not just a threat to marine ecosystems. They can also move into estuaries, which often act as nurseries for fish. That’s good to know, because they’re more accessible there and easier to get rid of, Lauren’s dad said.
The extension of Lauren’s study, conducted by Layman and his students, was published this year in the Environmental Biology of Fishes. They were able to bring the salinity all the way to zero, finding that lionfish can tolerate a minimum salinity of 5 parts per 1,000 and even withstand pulses of freshwater.
Lauren’s name is mentioned in the acknowledgments section of the research paper.
"Sometimes it takes someone outside of science – or a student – to look at something in a different way," Layman said.
The whole thing made Lauren, who hopes to one day find a job involving marine science and engineering, feel important.
"It was pretty cool," she said.
Not to mention a complete surprise.
"It certainly was not what we expected, not the results and not the outcome," her dad said. "It was true science — we got the unexpected."
(via womenrockscience)Source: scigrrrl
- 2 months ago
What a sexist douche. I mean, I already thought Brad Paisley was a douche, but seriously? Why would he think that was in any way an acceptable thing to say? She gives a coy little answer when Josh Groban asked if she’d ever hung out with a president - “not yet” - and then he make a totally asshole comment where he basically insinuated that she was a slut or something. What an asshole.
- 2 months ago
Imagine Steve coming out as bi and over the next three weeks he gets hundreds and hundreds of letters from kids, and adults, telling him that they’ve given them the courage to come out, and some of them tell him that they saved their lives.
Steve decides without telling the others that he’s going to come out. he’s disappointed at how little progress there’s been for people like him in the seventy years he’s been sleeping, but he knows that if he tells the others that he’s going to out himself on national television that they’ll talk him out of it. For good reason, probably. It’s going to be a nightmare for at least a few weeks after, but Steve’s prepared. He’s tired of the media acting like he’s some sort of bigot, like he stands for “traditional values” and “All-American” folks, whatever that means.
So, the next time he does an interview, he tells the reporter who asks him about Peggy that he doesn’t want to talk about Peggy. He wants to talk about Bucky, to talk about the handsome man he met in Paris once or twice, to talk about what it was like to live in the 40s and love men and women both and how terrible it is to wake up in a new millennia and have the world be just as blind.
The interview is live, and video of it goes viral rapidly. Clips of Steve saying that people’s insistence on the entire world being just like them reminds him of the Nazis, and he’s damned tired of seeing it in his own country. That he loved Peggy, wanted to marry her one day, but that he loved Bucky too- just quieter. That he doesn’t want to hide any more. “I’m Captain America,” he tells the camera. “I love this country, and I’m happy to fight for it. But I don’t owe it to you to pretend to be something I’m not just so that you’re a little more comfortable- a bit of discomfort goes a long way, sometimes.”
The interviewer tries a few times to get things back on track but Steve is relentless, and soon enough it is utterly undeniable. Captain America is bisexual and proud of it, unashamed to be who he is in the public eye. He’s not afraid to stand up for the rights of people like him and not like him, people of sexualities of all kinds, because he doesn’t believe in bigotry and he does believe in love.
The internet explodes. There’s a lot of fury in the news, a lot of angry protestors in the streets outside Avengers Tower, a lot of politicians talking about how Steve isn’t what Americans expected and maybe he’s not such an icon after all. Steve doesn’t much care about that. He cares about Natasha’s long-suffering sigh and Tony’s laughter, about Clint clapping him on the back, Thor lauding his courage while being utterly confused as to why someone would hate another person for loving one of their own sex. (Asgard has curious notions about sex and sexuality, Steve has learned. He’s not judging. They’re just strange.) He cares about Fury’s lecture about good PR, Maria Hill standing silent and very amused at his shoulder, and afterwards she pats Steve’s shoulder and tells him that he did good.
He did do good. Steve knows. He knows because he gets close to a thousand letters in the first five days from people all over the country. Some of the are angry, and he can usually tell which ones those are in the first few sentences. The rest though are heartbreaking, and amazing. He’s lucky that no supervillains decide to attack, because he spends almost three full weeks reading letters, though the stream slows a little after the first week. He gets a letter from a seventeen year old girl that is tear-stained and sloppily written, about how she had been thinking about killing herself because no one accepted her, but Steve coming out had changed everything. He gets a letter from a man in Arkansas who is bisexual and has been living with his partner for forty years, and everyone assumes he’s gay, but he’s not. He gets a letter from a woman who has been married to a man for eight years and finally had to courage to admit to him that she had loved mostly women before she met him. He gets a letter from a fifteen year old boy who thanks Steve for helping him come to accept that it’s okay to think about boys and girls both.
It’s not all bisexual people- he gets letters from gay people, from straight people with bisexual partners, from people of all kinds. He reads every letter that he possibly can. It’s astounding, the response. The Avengers eventually start pitching in to help, reading through the letters for a few hours each night, passing off the really good ones to Steve to read for himself, or reading parts of them out loud.
Six weeks after Steve comes out to the world, the team is gathered around with the day’s mail, and Tony sits back and says, “This is ridiculous.”
"Maybe," says Steve, "but you can’t say it isn’t important."
Tony looks at him for a long moment, and then says. “No, I guess not.” And then he goes back to reading the letter, and Steve just smiles and goes back to his. He feels free.
Yes. It is raining on my face.
- 2 months ago
the true american experience is wondering if you just heard firecrackers or gunshots
PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A JOKE?!
This sounds far more like my Mexican experience than my American experience….but I think in the end it’s a lot more like what kind of town/city you live in than about the country you live in.
(via carolinecrane)Source: katiaobinger
- 2 months ago
Sara Gilbert opens up about the emotional roller coaster she went through when discovering her sexuality while dating Johnny Galecki [x]
Look, you can talk shit about Big Bang Theory, but if you ever talk shit about Johnny Galecki I will come for you.
For reals, he is an awesome guy. I love the talk show where they asked why he never really responded to people saying they thought he was gay and he said that why should he defend himself against something that’s not offensive?
- 2 months ago
Now i just want fic where Stiles, on a whim, goes to see if Derek has a Facebook. Not only does Derek have a Facebook, it turns out, but he’s got a shitload of friends from New York and even some from Argentina and a whole buttload of random states. His profile picture is of himself leaning against his camaro and you can tell he set the camera up on something to do it and it’s kind of cute in a dorky way and Stiles can’ help but send him a friend request.
Derek accepts and suddenly Stiles is spending an hour going through status updates that are vague as hell.
Monday, April 19th
Maybe alone is my default setting
and there’s a TON of comments on some of them. Friends asking if he’s okay, telling him to keep his head up, others telling him it will get better, the whole shebang.
and then there’s the ones that make Stiles wish he knew Derek better
Wednesday April 14th
The hyper-sexualization of women in the media is sickening.
Sunday April 11th
I found a long black hair in my carne asada. Sources say it isn’t mine.
Friday April 9th
I used self checkout today. The clerk kept staring at me like I was going to take my chicken breasts and run. I should have shaved this morning.
The best part is that they don’t even acknowledge their Facebook friendship in real life. They keep going on, with Stiles commenting on Derek’s posts here and there, and Derek even doing the same on a couple of his. Suddenly they’re having semi-intense conversations in the comment boxes about anything and everything (from the damage wrought by victim blaming to the modification of food in society and how it’s affected the average weight of the population), and Stiles finds himself doing the same with Derek in person.
It’s not until they get into an argument on the pronunciation of gif in the grocery store after Stiles bumps into him that they realize they’ve accidentally become pretty good friends.
It just spirals downhill from there, especially when Stiles finds himself searching through Derek’s pictures to find any of him with other people because he has to know if Derek is single or not, since Derek’s relationship status is empty.
He starts taking pictures of the pack and of Derek to post. He tags Derek in them so the girls and guys in all of these other states—the ones who call him hottie and sexy—can see that Stiles is the one who gets to be around him all the time, not them.
He’s screening every picture he posts—he can’t have too many selfies because that’ll make him look conceited, and he has to be cool and witty in all of his stuff so Derek sees that he’s a catch.
Stiles doesn’t know Derek’s always kind of thought of him as a catch.
OH SO OF COUUURSE, it turns out Derek has been doing the same to Stiles, and the thing is that Stiles has relatives in other states and stuff. His dad was an only child but he’s kept in contact with some of his mom’s relations, so he has a lot of first and second cousins on his Facebook. It’s one of the only things that grounds him when he really misses her—because he can hear stories from them that sometimes it’s too painful for his dad to talk about.
He’s got one cousin that’s in Kentucky who he’s really close with. The thing is that she knows about all the supernatural shit, she’s gone through it herself. Stiles posts a lot about werewolves and most people think he has some kind of weird nerdy obsession but his cousin totally gets him.
She just happens to call him sweetie and honey in a lot of her comments because that’s how she is (Stiles thinks it’s a southern thing).
So it throws Stiles for a hot minute when his cousin comments on a status post saying ‘just wondering how you’re doing, honey. love you so much! :* ' and Derek replies under it with 'he’s doing fine, he’s just busy’
and Stiles stares at it for a long while before everything clicks into place. He goes to ‘view interaction’ with Derek and yeah. Most of Derek’s benign comments on his pictures and stuff sound a teensy bit like something a boyfriend might say.
Stiles shirtless at the beach with Scott back in sophomore year? The one with lots of comments from his relatives calling him a cutie?
Derek, “you just haven’t seen him try to build a sandcastle”
Stiles had assumed it was meant as a ‘he’s not cute then’ type of thing but now that he thinks about it, yeah. That’s not what Derek meant.
Derek has been trying to flirt with him on Facebook for a month and a half, according to his timeline.
Stiles is just really oblivious and wow he needs to step up and start flirting back obvs.
But he’s stiles, so it’s go big or go home.
Which is why he goes to Derek’s profile and comments, 'hey hot stuff, you down for some company with me and pizza today? ;)'
because obviously winky smiley faces are the way to go.
derek’s ‘yes. get over here now’ is only amplified when Stiles shows up with a pizza and Derek grabs him in the doorway with a muttered ‘finally’ and kisses him stupid.
(via derekandstilesdotcom)Source: tylerfucklin