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Modern Era Fiction / Re: FWD: RE: RE: RE: we lost (1998)
« Last post by Myroria on May 17, 2018, 10:51:43 PM »
May 2, 1993
National College at Fellowmoor


Hanan sat at his word processor, doing little but admiring its expense and new-plastic smell. It was now 4:30am, and he had spent the past six hours drafting his final paper - An examination of the House system during the drafting of the Constitution - and had little energy left to write a second draft. It seemed pointless anyway. The government had added four more Houses to its council with the king's blessing. It seemed that would have been a far more monumental event to write a paper about.

Hanan stood up and ran his hand through his brown hair, slightly oily after his all-nighter. He looked out the library window; standing on the fifth floor, he could just barely see the sun's early rays coming over the horizon. He picked up an empty mug on his desk and walked to the elevator, past the night librarian asleep in her chair.

The elevator dinged and Hanan stepped out into the first-floor lounge. Approaching the coffee machine, he saw the stale dregs at the bottom of the pot were all that remained of the coffee he brewed the night before. He emptied it into the sink and as he poured more grounds into the tray he heard soft footsteps on the carpet behind him. Oddly enough, it was Marile, a classmate of his.

It was obvious looking at her frizzy hair and slippers that Marile had also stayed up all night, probably for the same class considering the tedious work their professor typically assigned. He nodded in her general direction and leaned against the counter.

"Dr. Bralith’s final?" he said as she approached the coffee machine. "I just started a pot."

"Ayuh," she said, pouring coffee and creamer into an empty cup. "What's your paper?"

"It's about the drafting of the Constitution. Yours?"

"Republicanism," she replied mid-yawn. Hanan looked unsure for a moment. They were only acquaintances, but Marile was the kind of person to make her political leanings clear to everyone.

"Really? I thought Bralith hated politics?"

"He teaches politics," she said, as if Hanan had two heads.

"I mean he hates controversy."

"Because the status quo is uncontroversial?” she said. Hanan looked like he was about to open his mouth again when she said “That was rhetorical.”

“Well,” Hanan began, trying to avoid an argument, “Making headway?”

“I suppose. You?”

Hanan had to think quick if he wanted to impress her. He couldn’t tell her the truth – that he had been staring at his brand new word processor for an hour and a half - if he planned to ask her to dinner after finals were over.

“Just working on my final draft. I’ve got this brand new word processor that was a gift from my uncle. It’s funny, actually, you might have heard of him – Marsilamat Quarrovth; he works with the Sedera’s daughter.”

The corners of her mouth did not move an inch. “Oh yeah, I saw you across the library staring at it for an hour and a half. Is that a custom among you Quarrovths when you receive gifts?”

Hanan turned red. The coffee machine beeped loudly three times but he didn’t acknowledge it. “Coffee’s done. Can you pour me a cup?” Marile asked with a grin.

The laughter quickly stopped as a third figure entered the room. Coincidentally it was a third classmate of theirs, Rervim Moomintroth, son of a mid-ranking Moomintroth intendant. Professors and students agreed that Rervim was difficult to get along with, to say the least. Religious, deeply conservative, and arrogant, he was, in the best of times, bitterly sardonic and in the worst of times openly belligerent. It was difficult to tell which he mood he would be in depending on the week, day, or hour.

“Hello,” he said. “Is that coffee?”

“Ayuh,” Marile said. “Do you want some?”

“No, thank you. I don’t drink coffee.”

“Ah,” Marile said. There was a moment of awkward silence.

“Hanan Quarrovth, right?” Rervim asked. “And Marile, ah… I’m afraid I don’t remember your family’s name.”

“Vraseth.”

“I’ve never heard of them. Are they some Vrotrith branch?”

“No.”

Rervim scoffed. “Then what are you folks up to?”

“Sending our daughters to the National College on their own merit.” She said, her face displaying no emotion. Rervim looked impressed at the retort for a minute, then brushed it off. He turned to look at Hanan, as if sizing him up.

“She’s got a mouth on her.” he said. Hanan chuckled nervously as Marile shook her head. “You related to the Sedera, Hanan?”

“We’re, ah, distant cousins.”

“Putting those four other families on the Council was the smartest thing you Quarrovths have done Fendrin took the throne, huh?”

“Yes, it was,” Hanan said, never turning down a chance to brag. “His Majesty is a master of political maneuvering.”

“In the end, it will be a boon for my family.” Rervim replied with a crooked smirk. Hanan, as usual, looked puzzled. “Fendrin was expecting the Houses he added to the Council to be like Quarrovth – fat, soft, lazy… instead, he added upstanding patriotic clans. Mershanith and Sershurrith are like us Moomintroths. They respect our ancient traditions. They have to defend their own estates from poachers and bandits instead of relying on the government to supply policemen. And, most importantly, they respect the authority of our religious teachers. Tell me, Hanan, when was the last time you saw a Quarrovth attending a weekly prayer service?”

“We’re not lazy,” Hanan replied, his face turning red. “I hustled every day to get admitted to this college. My Quarrovth birth got me nowhere.”

You could almost hear Marile’s eyes rolling. “You both might as well have been born with an acceptance letter in your hand. You petty nobles don’t know anything about the real world. Have you ever even been inside a public school?”

Rervim did not look in Marile’s direction, instead keeping his ire focused squarely at Hanan. “The last thing you Quarrovths did that required some balls was march on Pelagis after Nelvil II died. It was the only reason Fendrin got on the throne instead of Big Pappa… and now your family denies it ever happened. It might scare their liberal friends in Endirotiromi.

“Let me tell you something,” he continued, “when Fendrin’s smoking catches up with him, and it will soon… the families you added to the Council will back a Moomintroth bid for the Auspicious Throne. They see what we stand for and how we represent what Myroria used to be.”

Hanan scoffed and Marile picked her mug up off the counter. “I’m not going to watch you two compare your dick sizes anymore. One day you prissy aristocrats won’t be able to ignore the common people anymore.”

She left as Hanan’s eyes followed her around the corner. He picked his mug up off the counter so aggressively that coffee spilled on the floor.

“I was just trying to talk about my paper, you know?” he said, exasperated. “You’re such an asshole. But you Moomintroths will just be screaming into the void forever.”

Hanan followed Marile around the corner. Rervim smiled to himself and walked to the coffee pot. He picked it up and dumped it down the sink, then left the library.
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College of Science / This shit ain't kosher! Drugs Harvested From Animals.
« Last post by Letonna on May 03, 2018, 03:31:04 AM »
Animals aren’t just for petting or eating, they also make great little drug makers. What is often the case with human disease is a lack of certain hormones, antibodies and chemicals that make a healthy person thrive. And even though medical technology has come long ways since leeches and bloodletting, we still can’t really come up with efficient ways to manufacture many of these life saving substances.

I will be covering 4 organisms that we culture and manipulate into producing these substances. Part of the hurtle is not just that we lack technology, but rather cost. While we technically can make many of these substances, it doesn’t mean it’s cost effect or easy.

Premarin(conjugated estrogens):

Premarin is a fascinating drug. The condition it treats is interesting in its own accord, but the way we capture the drug is truly something special. Premarin is the brand name for a substance called Conjugated Estrogens. Conjugated estrogens are used in gynecological medicine to treat a number of different ailments, depending on how and where it is used. In IV use, it’s used as an emergency treatment for vaginal hemorrhage (excessive vaginal bleeding). This often happens during violent and rushed childbirth, or during late term in utero fetus death. The sensitive membranes of the female anatomy can easy rip, and the major arteries and veins can become exposed. A rapid application of Premarin can halt a lot of blood flow to the area, potentially saving the mother's life.


The topical application and tablet form is often used in post menopausal women to act as hormone replacement. Unfortunately after menopause, women experience less sensitivity, dryness and lack of desire due to a drastic drop in natural estrogens. These help revitalize the organ system.

Now why we get this drug from animals is unique. You may have noticed I said “estrogens” earlier; as in more than one. That's because unlike men, who have 2-3 testosterone like molecules, women have many estrogens that can be what's called in chemistry ‘conjugated.’ This means on the tetracyclic hormone molecule, there can be a variety of different functional groups. And each of these many molecules has a different potency or may bond to a different enzyme. To get a balance as close to human as we can, we must pick an animal that is naturally as close as possible to a human womans gestational hormone balance.

The Horse is such an animal. In fact Premarin is short for “PREgnant MARe urINE” This drug is harvested from a pregnant horses urine, purified and packaged in a handy once a day pill. Pfizer, always being ones to champion ethical business practices, have a factory where a female horse will become pregnant as much as possible in its life time to create these estrogens.



Remicade (Infliximab):

Remicade is an antibody we harvest from mice for use in patients with overactive immune diseases. Primarily crohn's, arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. It’s often given in a hospital setting, but primarily as an outpatient infusion. Mice are engineered to express this antibody for harvesting. However, to make a standard 100mg vial, many mice need to be harvested and so naturally the cost is exorbitant. Antibodies are giant proteins, and we still struggle as a species in creating complex foldings and disulfide bonds in the right places.


Heparin:

Heparin is a sulfonated polysaccharide that acts on clotting enzymes, primarily in dissolving clots and preventing them. It’s is a macromolecule, in the same size range as proteins (1-15 kilodaltons to those who care). They are very difficult, if not impossible, to manufacture in such a way as to act like natural heparin in all animal cells. Many animals can be harvested for heparin, but again, size is where the money is. Bovine and Porcine sources are primarily used in modern time, with most of the United States coming from pig intestines imported from China. The Intestines are emulsified and chemically separated to yield Heparin.


Insulin(Humalog, Lantus, others):
 Insulin is a protein, and like stated before, we’re not very good at making those. Many diabetic injections today like Victoza and Bydureon are actually peptides and are much easy to grow. However, insulin remains difficult. Normal human insulin, as well as many longer acting artificial insulins are made with bacteria. We have genetically engineered E .Coli to make these insulin proteins by splicing the genes into their own genes.


Desiccated Thyroid Extract (NP Thyroid, Armour Thyroid, Nature-Throid)

For many people who suffer from an underperforming thyroid, there are few options. Most people do well on taking a pill form of natural thyroid hormone T4 called Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl) or Liothyronine, T3. However, many people who are acutely sensitive to thyroid changes and who haven't adjusted well to T3 or T4 are then moved onto a pill that is a mixture of all the thyroid hormones. This is a powdered and concentrated pill made of thyroid tissue. Depending on the brand, it could come from porcine or bovine sources. The thyroid gland is harvested from these animals, dried, ground up, and pressed into pills.

 These medicines are criticized by many people in the medical community as it has been found that per different batches, the amounts of hormones varies, often forcing the patient to go through these hormone fueled shifts.
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Basically.
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Um, what does the founder committee do again? Just keep the Founder alive and active?
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Minecraft / Re: Does anyone still play this?
« Last post by Delfos on April 29, 2018, 09:27:19 PM »
I do single player once and a while

How many games do you play once in a while?
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Taijitu Polls / Re: Taijitu's gimmick
« Last post by Delfos on April 29, 2018, 09:26:07 PM »
In my mind I see three options: admins appoint people, we elect some executive who appoints people, or we have self organized committees like the founder's committee.

3rd, and it be open. If you want a checks and balances thing, any member of the founders committee can "send the proposal" to be voted on the founder's committee who may veto, but any other way a "Citizen's Assembly" is more than enough to deal with any of the decaying digital affairs of Taijitu.
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Minecraft / Re: Does anyone still play this?
« Last post by Letonna on April 29, 2018, 02:29:36 AM »
I do single player once and a while
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Taijitu Polls / Re: Taijitu's gimmick
« Last post by Gulliver on April 28, 2018, 06:38:45 PM »
In my mind I see three options: admins appoint people, we elect some executive who appoints people, or we have self organized committees like the founder's committee.
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Minecraft / Does anyone still play this?
« Last post by Myroria on April 28, 2018, 06:01:08 PM »
see title
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Taijitu Polls / Re: Taijitu's gimmick
« Last post by Myroria on April 28, 2018, 05:46:01 PM »
I do think we need at least an apolitical administration to handle RP and recruitment, possibly gameside interactions. The big question that comes to mind is whether it should continue to remain separate from forum administration, e.g. TNP TO mods are appointed by admins. Another option is pursuing sonething similar to how the founder is handled.

Personally I wonder if anyone here right now really has an interest in all that government stuff. I think we could easily just have an Oztatorship in-game and an informal consensus style decision-making body on the forums, with a mod staff appointed by the admins or voted on by RPers.

As far as the founder goes I think we should have elections and pick from like four or five volunteers. I would prefer to take a step back from all that. I think we should make clear to any volunteers that they should be able to be easily reached if the founder needs reviving or something.
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