The 2020 Census Is in Trouble

NewImage‘From cybersecurity issues to administrative problems to a legal drama over a possible citizenship question, there are plenty of reasons to worry about the decennial head count….’

Via The Atlantic

Register with Donate Life. Please.

Jason Weinberger on Boing Boing:

‘A quick registration at Donate Life can turn hunks of your soulless cadaver into the greatest gift you’ll ever give.

In 2006 a heart donor gave my Uncle, Lee Krinsky, 12 more years of life. I can not tell you how much those 12 years meant to Lee, his wife Karen, our entire family, and a large community of people who loved him.

My Uncle Lee was the kind of Uncle who was always full of shit. As a kid it was great fun to listen to him tell stories. As an adult it was great fun to smoke a joint with him, and listen to him tell wild stories. One of the best was the story of his transplanted heart. Nothing about being a transplant recipient is easy, but Lee was always grateful, and knew he was living on gifted time. He had worn his old heart out.

You can line up to give that gift to someone else. Be it restoring vision, kidneys, liver or a beating heart — any parts you aren’t using any more are spare. As my Uncle Lee would say “Be a mensch” and sign up….’

No, you probably don’t have a book in you

A literary agent on why your good story isn’t likely to be a bestseller.

‘Has anyone ever said you should write a book? Maybe extraordinary things have happened to you, and they say you should write a memoir. Or you have an extremely vivid imagination, and they say you should write a novel. Maybe your kids are endlessly entertained at bedtime, and they say you should write a children’s book. Perhaps you just know how everything should be and imagine your essay collection will set the world straight. Everyone has a book in them, right? I hate to break it to you but everyone does not, in fact, have a book in them….’

Via The Outline

Scutoid: Scientists discover a strange new shape

NewImage‘Scientists have identified a new shape called the scutoid, a discovery that helps explain how cells arrange themselves in tightly packed three-dimensional structures that serve as protective barriers in the body.

The shape was discovered while a team of researchers was studying epithelial cells, which are the safety shields of the body that make up the cell walls lining our blood vessels and organs. As tissues and organs develop, epithelial cells squish together, twisting and turning into highly efficient and complex three-dimensional structures that help block microbes from entering our skin or organs.

But the shape of these cell structures has long been a mystery to scientists. Some have proposed they were shaped like prisms or cylinders, but a new paper published in Nature shows how scientists used computer modeling and imaging to settle the question once and for all….’

Via Big Think

Frozen earthworm revived after 42,000 years in the permafrost

NewImageFrozen earthworm revived after 42,000 years in the permafrost / Boing Boing

‘Siberian roundworms frozen for millennia were thawed and are happily going about their business again, reports The Siberian Times.

One worm came from an ancient squirrel burrow in a permafrost wall of the Duvanny Yar outcrop in the lower reaches of the Kolyma River – close to the site of Pleistocene Park which is seeking to recreate the Arctic habitat of the extinct woolly mammoth, according to the scientific article published in Doklady Biological Sciences this week.

This is around 32,000 years old.

Another was found in permafrost near Alazeya River in 2015, and is around 41,700 years old….’

Via Boing Boing