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  1. What's new in this club
  2. Cool, I'm just playing around with the Zortrax M200 at work, they're Polish 3D Printer company. It's a little older now, but still usable
  3. 3d printing is fun I have my own now. Prusa Mk3S shipped straight from the Czech Republic. other than an initial hiccup, it's run like a champ.
  4. Thorn Wilde

    Foxy & cool

    I saw a TV programme about it years ago. Always found it very fascinating. The domestication syndrome that he mentions at the end there is really interesting. In the north of Norway you'll see it in domesticated reindeer, herded by the indigenous population, the Sámi. Wild reindeer are uniformly brown and grey. The domesticated ones range from completely white to nearly black. It's all very cool.
  5. ancientrichard

    Foxy & cool

    Thank you for posting that. I'd heard references to that breeding programme, but had never before seen any details.
  6. That's amazing, I wonder how he's able to control the other arm? I love robotics and prosthetic limbs are an important application, using legos as your base material is a cool idea with a few adaptive applications.
  7. Thorn Wilde

    Prosthetic limb made from Lego

    That is the coolest thing I have ever seen. But also, what a fantastic human being, wanting to help people, and maybe for free, even! He could release blueprints under creative commons if he really wanted to do that. So awesome. Also, I appreciate the pun in the name of his YouTube channel. Hand Solo. Lol!
  8. Wow! Very cool! I sent the link to my BFF so she could show it to her son. He's obsessed with Legos.
  9. Prosthetic limb made from Lego by man missing an arm. If nothing else, you have to give him marks for coolness, but that latest arm looks fantastic!
  10. 3D-printing is really cool tech. My former school has a maker space with 3D-printers and other cool stuff that I sadly didn't use enough while I went there... I'd really love to design and print my own minis for my tabletop gaming, but being able to print them isn't really enough; I'd need to learn some kind of 3D modelling software, too. So in the meantime I just use Hero Forge and they do it for me and send me the result in the mail.
  11. I haven't seen 'Bird Box', but I'm going to try this experiment using blacked out safety goggles, which should block out all light. I suspect it will be a lot more difficult and frustrating than it sounds, but I will take this seriously and let you know how I get on.
  12. You and I are probably the 2 most active blind members of GA Another very cool system that has been developed, with me as a guinea pig along with other low vision/blind volunteers, is a 3D Camera for blind navigation https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/visually-impaired-3d-camera-haptic-feedback/ MIT has been working for years now on several projects geared at helping the blind by using tactile interface and 3D imaging advancements found in driver-less cars currently in testing. It's like having a different set of eyes, giving you feedback and telling you what's walk-able or not, simple object identification, and figuring depth. You should try walking in your own home with a blindfold, (make sure you put away anything sharp or dangerous of course), it would help you understand how people with low vision or completely blind navigate. I know sighted friends, who get new appreciations for their surroundings by trying it. Plus, I also think Netflix basically stole some of the concept with their movie "Bird Box"
  13. We bought 2 3D printers back in 2017 and 2018 at my work respectively, along with several metal/pastic mold attachments. Like you @Myr, my context is an industrial use 3D printer, but it's more for engineering pieces than mass production. An issue with mechanical parts is that you won't know how specs would operate in live environments for small runs, like say a key or piece for electronic devices. A few micons could make the difference between years of use or a few weeks of frustration. I am a finance guy, but I also respect engineers for what they do. In the old days, these pieces would go out to machine shops and be tested, but in New England and many parts of US, we no longer have active machine shops with technicians, who know how to do small sample testing. Yes, it is true, you can mass manufacture with a prototype piece, but getting the right specs out is much more difficult. A holy grail I think in 3D printing to make it an alternative to automated assembly line production is going to be concurrent process management, if you can have a 3D printer work on many pieces at the same time, assemble at different points of completion into subassemblies, then configure sub-assemblies to be put together into assemblies, and the shell mold is seamlessly integrated, then the idea of Star Trek like "Replicators" would be possible. (I glossed over the deeper concepts in my 1st book of 0's and 1's, but basically that's what you need for more advanced items)
  14. Thorn Wilde

    Why is it so?

    Have you watched the new one on Netflix? Bill Nye Saves the World? It is amazing. He did a whole episode in season one on gender and sexuality that I seriously loved.
  15. W_L

    Why is it so?

    @Graeme In the US we had Bill Nye the science guy, when I was a kid It's funny absurd and makes you love science
  16. Why Is It So? was an Australian TV show that ran for over 20 years. It was one of my favourites when I was a kid. It was hosted by Professor Julius Sumner Miller and demonstrated physics in a a fun way. The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has collated a number of the funniest and entertaining segments. https://www.abc.net.au/science/features/whyisitso/ Enjoy!
  17. Thorn Wilde

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    I do understand that desire and that need. It's just that the scientific method doesn't work like that. You have to go into it as unbiased as humanly possible, and so far studies either attempt to prove that homosexuality is definitely genetic, or that it definitely isn't. Why does that have to be the answer? Wouldn't evidence that sexuality is fluid and that heterosexuality is no more natural or normal than homosexuality because both form part of a sexual continuum also serve the same purpose? And can't people's sexualities be hardwired without it necessarily being genetic? We're stuck in this loop where everyone is looking in the same place. They're all standing around the same box going, 'I'm sure the house keys are in here,' instead of spreading out and looking all over the house. Maybe the keys are on the table in the corner, hiding in plain sight, and nobody ever bothered looking. And, unfortunately, regardless of where the keys are, somebody will just sit down and say, 'There are no keys.' Even with empirical evidence right in front of their noses, people will ignore it if it suits their agenda (see climate change and vaccines, and then let's not get further into those in case it gets political). There will always be people who want to make gay people straight. And the idea that people are born either gay or straight is harmful to already marginalised groups. Not to mention that all of this research focuses more or less exclusively on gay cis men and doesn't take into account gay women (some of it being actively misogynistic by suggesting that female sexuality isn't on par with male sexuality, which, have you met any cis women?) or the existence of bi- and pansexuality (with some, as we see here, actively trying to prove that these sexualities don't actually exist), and nor does it bother to include the existence transgender or intersex people. And don't ask me to count the number of times I've been asked to just pick a team or been told, 'But you're gay/straight now cause you're dating someone of the same/opposite sex/gender.' Much the same way as I've been asked to pick a gender and been told that there are only two of them, which is also scientifically speaking demonstrably false (and much easier to disprove). This from members of the LGBTQ community as well as from straight people, by the way. We're all human. We all have to live on this planet and try to get along. And the far more important battle here is to impress that upon people, the fact that in the grand scheme of things none of this matters, and can't people just be allowed to be with who they want and be who they are? Something that both straight and LGTBQ folks would do well to consider. Isn't that more important than rooting around that same old box looking for keys you may never find?
  18. Rigby Taylor

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. It is important for same-sex-oriented people to know their sexual preference is not a choice, when society, laws, family and schools condemn them for 'choosing' to be gay, and try [sometimes violently] to change them back to heterosexuality. If there is irrefutable proof that our sexual identities are hard-wired in the womb, then such abuse will eventually cease. As you suggest, human sexual identity is a continuum from 100% same sex oriented to 100% opposite sex oriented, with every possible combination in between. When studying bisexuality, it seems the researchers did not take into account different environments that trigger sexual desire. In a mixed-sex environment, a guy might choose a female, whereas in a male-only environment [of which there used to be plenty until a few years ago] ...travelers, hunters, soldiers, sailors, deep sea fishing, prisons, work gangs, schools... men frequently formed sexual attachments to other males, that were also loving and long-term. Societies such as those of pre-European-invasion Papua New guinea, were examples where men married and bred with females, but lived and loved with males. It is an especially English disease to insist that everyone be to conform to a common behavioural norm, which is why the ex English colonies were the last western nations to decriminalise homosexual activity.
  19. Thorn Wilde

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    Ah, the book is as old as from 2005. This could explain why their views on bisexuality are so outdated. The second review you shared is interesting because it's so overwhelmingly negative towards the book. There are a couple of points in that review that are worth looking at: This paragraph suggests that both heterosexuality and homosexuality develop at some point during childhood. That is to say, that we are all born bisexual, or perhaps rather asexual, with preferences developing as we grow. This explains why heterosexuality is more common, because we all grow up in heteronormative environments, but in no way suggests that heterosexuality is in any way more natural or normal than homosexuality. Not saying this statement is true, but it's an interesting thought. Why are we so against the idea that social factors can, in fact, influence sexual orientation, in either direction? Sexuality can demonstrably be fluid. Many people change their sexual identities over the course of their lives. Many start out thinking of themselves as straight and later considering themselves gay, this is extremely normal. The opposite can also be true. Some then say, 'Oh, I was really gay/straight all along, I just thought I wasn't,' while others are perfectly comfortable with the idea that they were straight and then became gay, or vice versa. And people who consider themselves gay can fall in love with and be sexually attracted to a person of the opposite sex without changing their sexual identity. The problem is social pressure to change one's identity, not the fact that it happens. So there were studies at the time that concluded that people can in fact be attracted to both sexes, even if it did not conclude that this attraction can be equal. I believe there are many more recent surveys and studies that refute this and show that equal attraction is beyond possible and even common. A point that is not made here is that research geared towards bisexuality receives almost no funding whatsoever, so there are in fact very few studies at all. I can't recall the actual numbers, but I saw a statistic someone shared last Bisexual Day of Visibility, which showed that research geared towards male homosexuality receives many times as much funding as female homosexuality, and that both of those receive an outlandishly large amount of funding compared to bisexuality. This is puzzling since the B in LGBT is, in fact, the largest group under that umbrella. When a book like this then uses the lack of evidence that comes from the fact that hardly any studies are being performed as proof that bisexuality doesn't exist, I think vexation is a natural and appropriate reaction for those of us who identify as such. Of course, the problem with this review is that it too dogmatically presents a definitive answer to a complex question. I don't believe there is any such thing. And, as I've already stated earlier in the thread, I don't think it matters. Why is this so important? Why are we dying to know? Can't it just be a thing that is?
  20. Rigby Taylor

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    Apologies for omitting a link and for making you a tad wild; I have no desire to be a thorn in your side, I just thought the article interesting from the point of view of the causes of homosexuality. Here's the link to their book with a few reviews And another review of it. I'm very pleased you're a contented Bi, and agree with your contention that some people are equally turned on by both sexes.
  21. Thorn Wilde

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    Not necessarily, though. Many conclude that it's not genetic, but based on hormonal exposure in the womb. That makes it no less biological or innate, but it also doesn't make it genetic. I'm sorry, but hell no. 'Either one or the other but not both?' Guess I and every other bi person I know is a huge outlier, then! As if bisexual erasure isn't a big enough problem in our society already, now they're gonna try and come up with 'scientific proof' that we don't exist? Hell no. And where do trans people fit in here? What's their definition of straight and gay? Is it penis and vagina? Guessing they're going by primary sex characteristics here, like everyone else does. Poor gay man who falls for a trans dude, I guess. According to these people his boyfriend will never be able to turn him on. Since you didn't share a link I have no idea where the article you quoted came from or who the academics in question are, but I call bollocks. Guess what? My libido is not through the roof and I'm still bisexual! I still find both men and women and variations thereupon attractive! I still enjoy sex with each of these subsets of humans! I still fall in love with people regardless of which part of the gender spectrum they appear on and it has nothing to do with my libido. I can go months without craving sex with other people at all. This text so much simplifies the entire issue of sexuality that I can't understand where the scientific method has even been applied. Unless we're down to its most basic components, science never deals in absolutes. Ideology does. So I will respectfully request that those 'scientists' take their 'results' and go take a long walk off a short pier.
  22. Graeme

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    Twin studies are useful when analysing if something is genetic. If it's genetic, there should be a difference reported when comparing identitical twins with non-identical (fraternal) twins. Many years ago I read of one such study on homosexuality. While identical twins didn't always share the same sexual orientation (as @Thorn Wilde mentioned above), the percentage of identicial twins that did was much, much higher than for fraternal twins. From memory, the figures were something like 60% vs 10%. The obvious conclusion is that there is a genetic component to homosexuality, but there is something else involved, too. Since it's known that some genes are only active when triggered, the most likely answer is that homosexuality has a genetic component that only manifests when triggered. Some speculation is that the trigger occurs in the mother's womb, but that's still largely speculation. I think this one is the study I remember (with the percentages being 65% and 30% for identical vs fraternal twins). However, Wikipedia lists other studies with wildly different results. I'm still of the opinion that the twin studies show a genetic component to homosexuality, but there's no 'gay gene' per se that makes a person gay. It's much more complex than that.
  23. Rigby Taylor

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    Genetic plays in being gay, say authors Science has so far trodden carefully in the controversial debate about whether gays are born or made. Disparate pieces of evidence – such as homosexuality running in families, and identical twins having more similar sexual preferences than ordinary siblings – have long suggested that biology rather than upbringing shapes sexual preference. Now two researchers are throwing out the caveats in an attempt to "out" the bald scientific truth: we are born either straight or gay and nothing will makes us otherwise. In their book Born Gay: the Psychobiology of Sex Orientation , Glenn Wilson, reader in personality at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, and Qazi Rahman, a psychobiologist at the University of East London, declare that "the accumulation of evidence from independent laboratories across the world has shown that the biological differences between gay and straight people cannot be ignored . . . our sexual preference is a fundamental and immutable component of our human nature". Wilson and Rahman's account goes beyond whether there is a gay gene – there is no single gay gene, but genes do contribute – and considers the effect of sex hormones to which foetuses are exposed in the womb. The boldly titled book says the research leaves absolutely no room for parental or societal influence on this intimate trait. Children cannot be seduced or otherwise led into homosexuality and, however overbearing the mother or absent the father, no amount of poor parenting can waylay a child born to walk the path of heterosexuality. No serious, evidence-based scientist, they charge, would deny that sexual orientation is fixed at birth. The authors also speculate that we face an evolutionary future in which homosexuals become more prevalent. The genes that are implicated in gayness do not just influence sexual orientation – in low doses they might confer personality advantages to heterosexual men (such as making them loyal, empathic and considerate), turning them into attractive mates and thus propagating those genes further. Rahman says that his view of corrective therapies designed to turn gay men straight is simple – they will never work: "You just can't do it. If people suggest they can, I ask them, 'Can you turn someone from straight to gay? Show me the evidence'. But it's never going to happen, is it?" Andy Forrest, communications officer for Britain's Stonewall, a charity that campaigns for gay equality, says the book's central message rings true for most gays. "Most people I've come across say they've always been gay and that their upbringing has played no part in whether they are gay or not. They would say it's an innate part of who they are, not something they need to be 'cured' of." According to Wilson and Rahman the biological origin of sexual orientation means that discriminating against gays and lesbians is as justifiable as discriminating on the basis of eye colour or ethnicity. They have declined to reveal their own sexual orientations. So, why are some men born gay? Homosexuality tends to run in families, prompting a search for the so-called gay gene. In June biologists in Austria discovered fruit flies can be turned gay by altering a single gene. It is almost impossible that a single gene determining human sexual orientation exists: identical twins, who have identical genes, do not always have the same sexual preferences. But it points to genetic influence. "Gay men tend to have more gay brothers than straight men," Rahman says. "Heritability is thought to be around 30 to 40 per cent, which means that around 30 to 40 per cent of the variation in homosexuality is down to genes. Strictly speaking, it's better than zero (which would imply no role for genes) but that shows there's significant environmental variance." And this, Rahman says, is where a "massive misunderstanding of the concept of environment" comes into play. Studies have shown that the popular idea of environment – parental upbringing, peer norms, the family home, schooling – have no effect whatsoever. For example, the psychoanalytical idea that distant fathers or overbearing mothers sabotage their sons' sexual development is not borne out by evidence. Wilson and Rahman dismiss such theories as "beyond the pale of science". In conversation, Rahman is more brutal, dismissing "95 per cent of psychology as rubbish". Initial sexual experiences do not appear influential – one study showed boys educated at single-sex boarding schools, where early same-sex experiences are relatively commonplace, are no more likely to become gay than other boys. What about the seduction hypothesis? Men who, as boys, had gay encounters with men have reported that they already knew they were gay before the encounter. Adopted children of gay and lesbian parents are predominantly heterosexual. The missing environmental link, the authors argue, is the womb. This would fit with findings in the early '90 that the brains of gay and straight men differ slightly. Rahman explains: "We argue that genes produce differences in the brains of pre-straight and pre-gay foetuses and those differences might affect certain receptors in the brain that influence the activity of male sex hormones." Put simply, Wilson and Rahman suspect that some male foetuses absorb low amounts of testosterone in certain parts of the brain: full absorption is needed for full masculinisation. "In a foetus which has a genetic predisposition to be gay, these receptors are not as effective at soaking up testosterone. The result is that this slightly insensitive part of the brain follows the default development route, which is female." orientation – in low doses they might confer personality advantages to heterosexual men (such as making them loyal, empathic and considerate), turning them into attractive mates and thus propagating those genes further. Rahman says that his view of corrective therapies designed to turn gay men straight is simple – they will never work: "You just can't do it. If people suggest they can, I ask them, 'Can you turn someone from straight to gay? Show me the evidence'. But it's never going to happen, is it?" Andy Forrest, communications officer for Britain's Stonewall, a charity that campaigns for gay equality, says the book's central message rings true for most gays. "Most people I've come across say they've always been gay and that their upbringing has played no part in whether they are gay or not. They would say it's an innate part of who they are, not something they need to be 'cured' of." According to Wilson and Rahman the biological origin of sexual orientation means that discriminating against gays and lesbians is as justifiable as discriminating on the basis of eye colour or ethnicity. They have declined to reveal their own sexual orientations. So, why are some men born gay? Homosexuality tends to run in families, prompting a search for the so-called gay gene. In June biologists in Austria discovered fruit flies can be turned gay by altering a single gene. It is almost impossible that a single gene determining human sexual orientation exists: identical twins, who have identical genes, do not always have the same sexual preferences. But it points to genetic influence. "Gay men tend to have more gay brothers than straight men," Rahman says. "Heritability is thought to be around 30 to 40 per cent, which means that around 30 to 40 per cent of the variation in homosexuality is down to genes. Strictly speaking, it's better than zero (which would imply no role for genes) but that shows there's significant environmental variance." And this, Rahman says, is where a "massive misunderstanding of the concept of environment" comes into play. Studies have shown that the popular idea of environment – parental upbringing, peer norms, the family home, schooling – have no effect whatsoever. For example, the psychoanalytical idea that distant fathers or overbearing mothers sabotage their sons' sexual development is not borne out by evidence. Wilson and Rahman dismiss such theories as "beyond the pale of science". In conversation, Rahman is more brutal, dismissing "95 per cent of psychology as rubbish". Initial sexual experiences do not appear influential – one study showed boys educated at single-sex boarding schools, where early same-sex experiences are relatively commonplace, are no more likely to become gay than other boys. What about the seduction hypothesis? Men who, as boys, had gay encounters with men have reported that they already knew they were gay before the encounter. Adopted children of gay and lesbian parents are predominantly heterosexual. The missing environmental link, the authors argue, is the womb. This would fit with findings in the early '90 that the brains of gay and straight men differ slightly. Rahman explains: "We argue that genes produce differences in the brains of pre-straight and pre-gay foetuses and those differences might affect certain receptors in the brain that influence the activity of male sex hormones." Put simply, Wilson and Rahman suspect that some male foetuses absorb low amounts of testosterone in certain parts of the brain: full absorption is needed for full masculinisation. "In a foetus which has a genetic predisposition to be gay, these receptors are not as effective at soaking up testosterone. The result is that this slightly insensitive part of the brain follows the default development route, which is female." In other words, the neural circuit that promotes sexual desire towards women is never laid down; the result is a male who is attracted to other men. This also explains, the authors claim, why gay men show a "mosaic" of female-like and male-like cognitive traits. In their handling of language and in their spatial awareness, for example, gay men are more similar to women than to heterosexual men. As Rahman puts it, this makes gayness just one item in a package of traits hewn in the womb. In 2003 he showed that the startle response – how people respond to sudden noises – was different in gay and straight men. As this response is instinctive and cannot be learnt, it was viewed as further evidence that gay and straight men are neurologically different. Why should some male foetuses absorb less testosterone than others? It is possible, the researchers say, that there is a chemical battle between the mother and her foetus, much like the clash of blood types that can cause a mother to develop antibodies to her unborn child. The antibodies can stay in the blood and threaten future pregnancies. The idea that the womb environment may have consequences for future siblings is interesting because researchers have noted a sibling pattern among gay men called the "big brother effect". The more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. It is possible that maternal antibodies developed in early pregnancies may cross the placenta in later pregnancies to disrupt testosterone absorption. Lesbianism may also be due to hormonal conditions in the womb (although scientists stress that lesbianism cannot always be examined as a direct parallel of male homosexuality – there is no "big sister effect", for example). "There's a protein in the womb that protects female foetuses from excessive exposure to male sex hormones," Rahman says. "Perhaps this protein doesn't kick in early enough in lesbians." Some brain circuits then follow the male development; a sexual preference for women may be a consequence. Lesbians show more male-like language production, which strengthens the theory of "neural sexual mosaicism". As for bisexuality, there is no biological evidence that some people are turned on equally by both sexes. Physiological studies show that self-declared bisexuals exposed to straight and gay erotica are aroused by either one or the other but not both. Academics suggest that bisexuals may be omnisexuals with libidos so high that the gender of the target doesn't matter.
  24. The Slow Mo Guys on YouTube show off the destruction of lots of things. It is a great big time suck... https://www.youtube.com/user/theslowmoguys How Fast Does Glass Crack?
  25. Thorn Wilde

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    Exactly. Seeing as records of lesbianism go back literally as far as written records go, it seems odd that there's so little scientific focus on female homosexuality compared to male homosexuality. Why aren't people interested? I read an interesting thing today about gay women in the military during WW2. Turns out that like more than half the women who served then were gay. Which makes sense, as straight women with husbands and children would have been less likely to enlist. It also turns out that this was an open secret, and that a lot of people wanted to root it out. But if they had they would have lost crucial combat personnel, including some of the most decorated members of the WAC, and so they left it be. An interesting piece of history, I think.
  26. Timothy M.

    Being Gay is Genetic.

    If it did mention daughters it was only the straight ones, ie the future mothers of (gay) men.
  27.  
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