buttonpoetry:

Lacey Roop - “Dear Rick Perry” (WoWPS 2014)

"A woman’s body is not a state’s right. The floor of the senate is not a place to be given a gynecological exam."

Performing at the 2014 Women of the World Poetry Slam.

(Source: jshaath, via nikki-deee)

misskitkatcupcake:

So the last 18 months have been hard. Some of it spectacular, some of it horrible. I have worked hard and slacked off but I keep coming back and I won’t give in. 
Tomorrow I am doing the hardest thing I ever did. I am running a half marathon. Its gonna suck. Its gonna be hard. My only goal is to finish. 
I am running for charity, for Crohns & Colitis research. My friend passed from complications of her Crohns last year and the memory of her spurs me on. If anyone wants to check out my justgiving page and see how my progress is going its here. 
I will be posting a tonne of pictures tomorrow (20th October) during the race as I want to feel you guys are on the journey with me!
Thank you for all the wonderful support by everyone on the community to get me here. 

misskitkatcupcake:

So the last 18 months have been hard. Some of it spectacular, some of it horrible. I have worked hard and slacked off but I keep coming back and I won’t give in. 

Tomorrow I am doing the hardest thing I ever did. I am running a half marathon. Its gonna suck. Its gonna be hard. My only goal is to finish. 

I am running for charity, for Crohns & Colitis research. My friend passed from complications of her Crohns last year and the memory of her spurs me on. If anyone wants to check out my justgiving page and see how my progress is going its here

I will be posting a tonne of pictures tomorrow (20th October) during the race as I want to feel you guys are on the journey with me!

Thank you for all the wonderful support by everyone on the community to get me here. 

(via dontweightforchange)

journeytoenglisheducation:

brains-and-bodies:

fuckyeah-nerdery:

discodick:

mindblowingscience:

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.

This commentary is SO important. Succinct and with proper sourcing; beautiful.

It infuriates me when people blame GMO for everything without actually examining the evidence.

Fucker, did you just compile and post a summarised university research paper in your leisure time? Fuck you. *flips table in frustration of assignment writing inadequacies* 

GODDAMN THEY EVEN PROVIDED REFERENCES.

Providing references should be mandatory. Go Alice!

*Snifs* This… is the most… BEAUTIFUL… post I have… ever… seen on Tumblr! The references! The beautiful references!

(Source: antinwo, via alloftheextremes)

mgann-morzz:

McDonald’s worker arrested after telling company president she can’t afford shoes.

"A woman who has been employed by the McDonald’s Corporation for over 10 years says she was arrested last week after she confronted the company president at a meeting and told him she couldn’t afford to buy shoes or food for her children.

Nancy Salgado, 26, told The Real News that she felt like she had to speak out during McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton’s speech at the Union League Club of Chicago on Friday for the sake of her children.

“It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day,” she shouted as Stratton was speaking. “Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?”

“I’ve been there for forty years,” Stratton replied from the podium.

“The thing is that I need a raise. But you’re not helping your employees. How is this possible?” Salgado asked.

At that point, someone approached Salgado and informed her that she was going to be arrested.

She later recalled the encounter to The Real News’ Jessica Desvarieux.

“The strength was very powerful, like, just remembering the face of my kids, like I say, you know, just simple things like I can’t provide a pair of shoes like everybody else does, sometimes every month, or anything like that,” she said. “And he needs to know we are what all the employees at McDonald’s are going through. We’re struggling day to day to provide our needs in our houses, things for our kids. And it’s just–it gets harder and harder with just the poverty wage they have us living in.”

“They just told me, you know, well, you’re being under arrest because you just interrupted, you trespassed the property. You’re just going to go to jail,” Salgado added. “And what I remember just telling them, ‘well, like, so, because I have to speak out my mind and I had to tell the president the poverty wage I’m living in, that’s just against the law?’ You know, just be able to speak up your mind and say, you know what, I can’t survive with $8.25? It’s just — it’s ridiculous that I’m going to get arrested. You know.”

Salgado, who is still working at McDonald’s, said she had her hours cut following the arrest and feared further retaliation.

“The CEOs make millions and billions a year and why can’t they provide enough for their employees?” she wondered.”

I think that this is beyond awful for many reasons. People can’t afford to live off of the wages that they are given currently, and can’t even speak out against it. I know tumblr is great for spreading important news like this, so please help me get the word out to support this woman.

(via nikki-deee)