Though they pack one of the deadliest stings in the ocean, if you can get close enough, you’ll find that the Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish is also one of the most beautiful creatures alive.
For the past two years, retired U.S. Navy photographer Aaron Ansarov has been capturing stunning photos of man-of-wars along a local Florida beach.
Many students across the country went back to school this week, or are going back in the very near future.
While returning to the classroom is an exciting time, it can also be challenging for some— not because of homework, but because of bullying. The devastating effects of bullying can last into adulthood, but luckily there are resources to help you recognize when your child is being bullied, or is a bully himself.
For more information, see stopbullying.gov.
Nothing says “summer” quite like a big, juicy slice of watermelon. Even if you prefer it charred on the grill or blended into an icy agua fresca, watermelon is one of the best ways to beat the late-summer heat.
So what gives watermelon its refreshingly delicate flavor?
Turns out the answer is pretty complicated. Over the last few decades, scientists have identified dozens of flavor and aroma molecules that contribute to watermelon’s unique taste.
And here’s an interesting twist: a watermelon’s flavor has a lot to do with its color. Chow down on a yellow ‘Early Moonbeam,’ a pale ‘Cream of Saskatchewan,’ or a deep red ‘Crimson Sweet’ and you’ll likely notice different flavor profiles for each melon. Read more…
Photo credit: David MacTavish/Hutchinson Farm
On this week’s podcast we finally get to talk to…
… owner of the Spotted Pig in New York, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. Before teaming up with Chef April Bloomfield to open The Pig, John Dory Oyster Bar, The Breslin, and more, Ken was in the music industry. He booked U2’s very first show in San Francisco, working underneath Clive Davis, and worked with artists like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. We talk about all of that, as well as Mario Batali, Rachael Ray, and the similarities between working in the music and food industries.
Hursey’s Bar-B-Q in Burlington has a tale like this to tell. In the mid-’40s, patriarch Sylvester Hursey and a good friend were engaged in a night of bacchanalian revelry…
Today on her birthday, we remember African-American journalist and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells. Wells trumpeted the injustice of lynching in the southern United States despite threats on her life and livelihood.
Wells was born to slaves in the south and was freed by the Emancipation…
Thank you for a wonderful week, Pittsburgh.
Neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin have generated mutant worms that do not get intoxicated by alcohol, a result that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal.
The scientists accomplished this feat by inserting a modified human alcohol target into the worms, as reported this week in The Journal of Neuroscience.
"This is the first example of altering a human alcohol target to prevent intoxication in an animal," says corresponding author, Jon Pierce-Shimomura, assistant professor in the university’s College of Natural Sciences and Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research.
An alcohol target is any neuronal molecule that binds alcohol, of which there are many.
One important aspect of this modified alcohol target, a neuronal channel called the BK channel, is that the mutation only affects its response to alcohol. The BK channel typically regulates many important functions including activity of neurons, blood vessels, the respiratory tract and bladder. The alcohol-insensitive mutation does not disrupt these functions at all.
"We got pretty lucky and found a way to make the channel insensitive to alcohol without affecting its normal function," says Pierce-Shimomura.
The scientists believe the research has potential application for treating people addicted to alcohol.
"Our findings provide exciting evidence that future pharmaceuticals might aim at this portion of the alcohol target to prevent problems in alcohol abuse disorders," says Pierce-Shimomura. "However, it remains to be seen which aspects of these disorders would benefit."
Unlike drugs such as cocaine, which have a specific target in the nervous system, the effects of alcohol on the body are complex and have many targets across the brain. The various other aspects of alcohol addiction, such as tolerance, craving and the symptoms of withdrawal, may be influenced by different alcohol targets.
The worms used in the study, Caenorhabditis elegans, model intoxication well. Alcohol causes the worms to slow their crawling with less wriggling from side to side. The intoxicated worms also stop laying eggs, which build up in their bodies and can be easily counted.
Unfortunately, C. elegans are not as ideal for studying the other areas of alcohol addiction, but mice make an excellent model. The modified human BK channel used in the study, which is based on a mutation discovered by lead author and graduate student Scott Davis, could be inserted into mice. These modified mice would allow scientists to investigate whether this particular alcohol target also affects tolerance, craving and other symptoms relevant to humans.
Pierce-Shimomura speculated that their research could even be used to develop a ‘James Bond’ drug someday, which would enable a spy to drink his opponent under the table, without getting drunk himself. Such a drug could potentially be used to treat alcoholics, since it would counteract the intoxicating and potentially addicting effects of the alcohol.
July 16, 1951: The Catcher in the Rye is Published
On this day in 1951, J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published. The novel tells the story of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, a troubled character who challenged 1950s conformity, much like Salinger himself.
Due to its somewhat rebellious tone, Salinger’s work has been linked to issues of controversy and censorship. Even so, over 60 years later, The Catcher in the Rye has sold over 65 million copies and continues to sell an additional 500,000 each year.
Photo: A 1951 copy of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress).
Grumpy cat is kind of bummed she isn’t on our Lana Del Rey cover.
Do you miss watching Saturday morning cartoons? Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) opens their “What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones” exhibit at the Museum of Moving Image in New York City this Saturday, July 19. Learn more about the exhibit and Jones’ legacy on the exhibit’s website.
© Eva Kolenko
Travel Tuesday: The Sugar Cube in Portland, Oregon offers incredible retro-inspired desserts like carrot cake with brown-butter cream cheese and coffee mallow pie. Here, 12 hot new places to eat and drink in Portland.
During the Civil War, the Union army constructed a series of earthen defenses in and around Washington to protect the nation’s capital from attack. The defeat of Confederate forces at one of these―Fort Stevens―helped keep Washington in Union control.
Dr. B. Franklin Cooling, historian, author, and Professor of History, National Defense University, Loretta Neumann, Vice President, Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington, and Kym Elder, Program Manager, Civil War Defenses of Washington, National Park Service, discussed the development of Washington’s Civil War forts, their role in the war, and their ensuing transformation into the public parks and cultural resources known as the Fort Circle Parks.
This program was presented in partnership with the National Capital Planning Commission and functioned as the informal kick-off for the official commemoration of the 150th anniversary of The Battle of Fort Stevens.