Even though I love this idea of Gallifreyans as a species having prosopagnosia, I’m still not sure if it’s actually true, since the Doctor has the habit of commenting his face and it’s distinct features (the chin, the eyebrows, i.e.) relatively often. I don’t know much about prosopagnosia and therefore I’m not sure whether it’s possible for people having/suffering from it to make such remarks. Does anybody know something more about that?

We can totally do that! In fact, things like distinctive eyebrows or sticky-out ears (the focus of Nine’s comments) are a big part of how we tell people apart.


#prosopagnosia #tales from the prosopagnosia tag #reply via reblog #the more you know #(still haven’t watched The Caretaker by the way but have now watched Time Heist)

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The Article That Inspired Steve Jobs: “Secrets of the Little Blue Box”

{{Title link: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/the_spectator/2011/10/the_article_that_inspired_steve_jobs_secrets_of_the_little_blue_.single.html }}

A fascinating longread about the “phone phreaks”, a subculture that sprang up around the hacking of phone networks.

I find that reading material about mid-late 20th-century history is hard to come by: it’s recent enough that a lot of people don’t think of it as “history”, so they don’t talk about it when they talk about history, and it doesn’t really come up in much detail otherwise. Here’s a piece of that history that I thought you deserved to see.

(Hat tip to Mark E., a fellow student in my introductory computer-science course who linked to this in the course’s official forum.)


#oh look an original post #history #recs #(sorry about it being hosted on Slate) #(but you can’t have everything)


This is how a close-up of lightning beneath a cumulonimbus cloud looks like from space. An astronaut on International Space Station (ISS) captured this image while orbiting over Bolivia in 2011.

There’s also a more recent image of lightning’s white flash amidst the yellow city lights of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from 2013:

Hopefully, we are going to see more and more of these amazing images since there is a new instrument on ISS, called the Firestation,  which is specifically designed to study lightning.


#space #weather #pretty things #the power of science

…dammit, I knew I shouldn’t have kept listening to that science podcast once I realised it was about antibiotic-resistant infections in chickens transmitting to humans through meat.

Especially when I am having chicken products for dinner. (It’s eggs, not meat, but still.)

I…will probably be able to eat it anyway? Probably without significant nocebo effect? I definitely don’t feel nearly as bad as I did after that one Night Vale horoscope, so I’m hopeful.


#oh look an original post #in which Brin has a food poisoning phobia #why do I do these things to myself #(well there is the fact that I live in a subculture that considers learning about the horrible things of the world to be a moral imperative) #(except they generally draw the line at things that will aggravate phobias) #(so really the question of why remains) #Brin talks about herself for no particular reason




Aaaaaahhhh no okay sorry I need to reblog it again because I am having Thoughts and Feelings

I mean Time Lords as a whole are awful at the concept of disguise I mean their major spy organisation has a distinctive black-and-white uniform which they never take off for crying out loud

But what we have when conversations like this happen is an unfortunate convergence of two Gallifreyan cultural things coming into play at the same time

#1 is Things Should Be Labelled As What They Are (aka Everyone Is In Uniform At All Times)*

*Romana somehow avoided this. Go you, Romana! You are the only one!

and #2 is Gallifreyans Are Prosopagnosic And Recognise One Another By Telepathy

And like yes if your entire species is faceblind and its primary sense is telepathy (and on the whole its members have a much lower sense of individuality than humans do because of the hivemind) of course the emphasis on clothing is going to be different

Humans use clothing to protect and cover up, yeah, but we also use it to show off and to express ourselves and neither of those things is nearly as important to a hiveminded species with vision as a secondary sense as it is to us

Gallifreyans use clothing as a label because Things Should Be Labelled As What They Are

Is it orange with a single V-stripe and double sleeves and a reasonably heavy weight of fabric well then clearly you are a Prydonian Time Lord

And yes the renegades do this too the lack of a uniform is the Renegade Uniform I would refer you to the fact that the Master is always in black and the Doctor picks a single theme per regeneration and sticks with it unless major trauma happens (looking at you, Eight)

Things Should Be Labelled As What They Are and so when the Doctor picks a new wardrobe at the start of a regeneration all they are really doing is re-applying the Renegade label hello yes I am a renegade this is my new renegade uniform

(It must have taken poor Twelve quite some time to come up with the cunning plan of wearing a different uniform I mean that is some hardcore breakage of Gallifreyan brainwashing there)

So for Gallifreyan Norm #1 we have ‘Nobody ever wears clothing that doesn’t indicate their function in society therefore nobody will ever suspect I am a renegade if I am wearing a Shobogan’s uniform, not even Clara’

And then for #2 there’s this unfortunate thing that Gallifreyans don’t see faces and like yes I’m sure the Doctor is aware that humans do recognise one another by sight (they go through this every time they regenerate after all) and they know their face hasn’t changed since Clara last saw them


What does ‘sight’ mean

Well clearly since everyone is always wearing a uniform it means face + uniform

This face + that coat = Sixth Doctor whereas this face + guard uniform = Commander Maxil

Oh sure my face is the same but Clara won’t recognise me as me because I am not wearing my renegade uniform she’ll just think I’m a Shobogan with a very similar face that’s how humans work right?

No Doctor

No it isn’t

But nice try


#Doctor Who #interesting #meta #meta for an episode I haven’t yet seen #but I feel that my ignorance of the episode neither detracts from the meta #nor does the meta detract from my ignorance of the episode #prosopagnosia




*sets entire english language on fire*

So this is actually a half-cool half-frustrating phenomenon called a cran morpheme.

Cran morphemes are morphemes that don’t have a meaning outside of the thing they designate. The ur-example, of course, is cranberry. Unlike blueberry (blue + berry), where the first morpheme is somewhat descriptive of the actual berry itself (blueberries are, after all, blueish), the cran- in cranberry doesn’t give you any more help than “this designates the type of berry we call cranberries”. The snozz- of snozzberry is similar.

It is true that cran- comes eventually from “crane” and that cranberries might have been named that because cranes ate them or something, but appealing to this invokes the etymological fallacy. That is, no one who uses or learns the word today thinks of cranes when they talk about cranberries. (Etymologists, lexicographers, and linguists don’t count as native speakers, as usual.)

Even so, the etymology doesn’t help us here, because the word that the cuttle- of cuttlefish comes from just means “cuttlefish” anyway. It’s cuttles all the way down.

The most important question to me is, can I call them cudelefish to emphasize their cuddliness?

It’s like that urban legend of Hillhillhill Hill.






Rest stops on highways are liminal spaces where the veil is thin and nobody can tell me differently


The explanation is that liminal spaces are in between places that bridge Here with There, so in fairy tales we often have the Fairy Ring, the Forest Clearing, the Sudden Misty Foggy Forest, the Bridge, the River, graveyards, in some cases

We also have a ton of american urban mythology around famous roadways and sites off the sides of roads

Archetypes like these occur to mark the places in the world where the veil goes thin and humans can have extra-worldly experiences, out of the ordinary way of living

So why wouldn’t transient spaces like rest stops where everyone is just passing through from one place to the next, never stopping for too long, not be a liminal space where spirits frequent, too

Especially since nobody would know if they were real or not


#you know they’ve got a point there #those places never do seem quite real #not even when it’s daytime and you’re wide awake


A discreet Portkey was set up for him once a year.  It was usually an empty bottle brought up from the kitchen, except for the time Fred Weasley managed to enchant all the bottles to hide themselves around the castle and explode into different colored confetti any time a prefect walked by.  That year, he had to make do with a biscuit tin.

Anthony often thought that he’d just skip it.   He was usually only just digging into his classes for the year, and there was always at least three essays he would have to finish when he got back.  He sometimes started to write the letter to his mum telling her he’d be staying at Hogwarts before the guilt would overwhelm him.

The truth was, he wasn’t sure he believed in any of it any more.  He lived in a world where bushes really did catch fire without flame, where water could be made to spurt from a stone.  Those wonderful, terrifying tales he grew up with could really be true- and that made him question his faith.

But he went.  Every year.

Every year, he felt the jerk under his navel, landed dizzily in the field behind his house.  Every year he entered the warm kitchen, smelling of freshly baked challah and sweet apples.  Every year he helped his mother clean up after dinner, licking the honey off the spoon she offered him as a treat.

Every year he recited the same prayers, sung the same melodies, told the same lies to the friends and neighbors he saw at shul.  Every year, he felt the slight dizziness and unreality that came with fasting.  Every year, he watched as tears rolled down his mother’s cheek as she recited the Yizkor for his father.

Every year, he cried too.

And every year, when the kugel had been eaten and the kitchen was in a state of controlled disaster, Anthony Goldstein would kiss his mother on the cheek, gather up the leftovers she had neatly wrapped for him, and walk out to find the empty bottle in the middle of the field.

And returned to the real world.

(Source: thejdc.convio.net)

L’shanah tovah, lovely followers!  May your new year be sweet and full of joy.


#Harry Potter #Judaism #fanfic #storytime #(…you felt a slight dizziness and unreality after a *one-day* fast?) #(I don’t remember that) #(maybe the thirst does that to you?) #(I always skip the part about not drinking anything) #(it seems unfair) #(I need about a gallon of water per day to thrive) #(which I figure means a one-day water fast for me would be like 2 – 4 days for a normal person) #(and that’s going too far) #anyway Happy New Year everybody #(…hey wait a minute!) #(we forgot to put a birthday candle in the apple cake and have the wind blow it out!) #(oh well) #(maybe we can do that tonight) #(we still have cake left) #tag rambles