‘Rat Park’ –Stuart McMillen

You’ll never think about drug addiction the same way again after reading this comic.

What I found absolutely impressive and stunning about this comic is the way the artist explained the identification and elimination of the confounding factors in the Rat Park study. This is one of the hardest parts of experiments to explain to the public, and I think it was just brilliantly done.

This is so important!  And a good comic!

But one thing that worries me – I really hope the Rat Park rats weren’t kept on cedar shavings because that can be very toxic to rats and harm their breathing. 😦  I almost lost 2 rats that way before I knew better.  So please do not keep rats on any sort of conifer or softwood shavings (cedar, pine, etc.)!  Get paper bedding or look into alternatives like cloth, corncob, etc!

Other small animals too, including hamsters and guinea pigs. The researchers may not have known better, especially decades ago. But, cedar shavings in particular really are not recommended now. Keeping inhaling the aromatic compounds wouldn’t be particularly good for humans, either. (Besides it probably being really unpleasant just to live in an overwhelming cedar smell all the time…)

There are also paper-based beddings available. Kiln-dried pine may be much safer since the heat treatment process drives off most of the phenol, etc. Hardwoods like aspen are probably the safest choice if you want to use a wood shaving bedding, though.


HERE’S THE THING islam is not a monolith. it’s not reducible to scripture or a single institution, it has myriad histories & geographies, it includes thousands of everyday beliefs & experiences & practices

& half the people who usually end up talking about ‘islam’ or ‘islamic’ have no fucking clue about any of those terms

& a particular favorite thing people loving discussing in terms of something called ‘islam’ is gender, sex, & sexuality as key topics where the civilizational value & credentials of islam & muslims can be measured

which is utter nonsense, & an insidious discursive move to (i) create islam as a monolith, (ii) use modernity defined according to hypocritical, contingent standards, (iii) create institutional modes of power in the name of islam as a symbol, (iv) excise histories, peoples, & practices which do not fit modern agendas of power, nation, & state 

so without futher ado, pls see the following list as a beginning guide! & pls add to it if you know of excellent resources; i’ll keep adding to this list as i come across more resources

– shahab ahmed, what is islam? the importance of being islamic

– afsaneh najmabadi, women with moustaches, men without beards

– afsaneh najmabadi & kathryn bayaban, islamicate sexualities

– omid safi, progressive muslims

– scott kugle, homosexuality in islam: critical reflections on gay, lesbian, & transgender muslims

– gul ozyegin, gender and sexuality in muslim cultures






That moment when you grew up in rural Canada and you see someone on a US show claiming that Alaska is “the last real wilderness in North America” and end up contemplating how he just literally doesn’t know that 60% of the area of your country exists. 

@scoutdoesstuff‘s tags: #holy shit#where are all the people in canada?#do they all just live in toronto?

You laugh, but sorta. A more precise map: 


The usual vague stat is that 75% of us live within 100 miles of the US border. 

There are about 35 million Canadians. 6 million (approx) live in Toronto; 4 million (approx) live in Montreal; 2.5 million (approx) live here in Vancouver (if you properly count our whole metro area, rather than being kind of weird and actually just counting the south-side Vancouvers which a different set of numbers on wiki does, because they’re weird, so don’t be misled if you look there); and 1.3 million (approx) live in Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau and Edmonton each. 

Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are The Big Cities (yes I know, stop laughing) of Canada, and we make up 12.5 million out of 35 million total – something over a third. When you’re generous and add Calgary, Ottawa and Edmonton, the top six cities contain approaching 17 million, which is half of our population. 

Of the next six largest cities, however? Four of them are in Ontario. (Kitchener, Hamilton-Waterloo, St Catharines-Niagra, and London; the other two are Winnipeg and Quebec City). So that puts Toronto, Ottawa, and these four in Ontario. They are all within relatively short distance, compared to the rest of the country, of Toronto. So in some senses, yeah, most of us live SOMEWHERE around Toronto, which is why Toronto gets convinced it’s the centre of the universe and gets so annoying the rest of us want to burn it down. (Especially the other Ontarians.) 

While I’m at it, exactly half of the population of Manitoba lives in Winnipeg. Not even in all the towns and cities AROUND Winnipeg, not in the southernmost fifth of Manitoba: in Winnipeg. 

So yeah. For anyone wondering, I grew up up in the second-most northerly cluster of pale yellow in BC. I now live in Vancouver. 

In closing I will share my favourite population of Canada fact: the population density of the NWT is officially zero. Now, slightly more than 40K people live in the NWT? But that means that compared to the territory involved, there are fewer than 0.1 of them per square km. Their population density is officially zero. XDXD 

My home province, Saskatchewan (the big rectangle in the middle of the map), has an average population density of just under 2 people per square km, and about 1.1 million people total. About half of those people live in either Regina or Saskatoon.

We get unreasonably excited every time the census shows our population has grown. I’m pretty sure there was a party when we passed a million people about a decade ago.

@corvuscorona’s tags: #what the fuck is canada

Canada’s really big! 



If people could stop saying that Ashkenazi Jews = ethnically European that’d be great. 🙂

If you can accept that “American” is a nationality, rather than an ethnicity, you can understand that “X European Country” serves the same function for Jews with history in Europe.

I really don’t like being called identical to the same people that killed/kicked out my family for NOT being like them, destroying much of our distinct culture in the process.

And please don’t use the fact that Europeans forced goyische last names on us as part of your argument. :)))

If you’re interested in genetics, you can even look at this cool study on Levantine populations. Jews, including Ashkenazim, have significant overlap with the populations studied. If one study isn’t enough for you, have a link to a bunch more that say basically the same thing! 

Almost all Jewish groups are more closely related to each other than our neighbors, indicating common ancestry regardless of how far apart we’ve lived in the past, and we’ve never forgotten where we come from. We’re still a diasporic people with origins in the Middle East. Not Europe. History and science agree. Please stop trying to argue otherwise.

This is especially important with the renewed ramping up antisemitism.