Omnium Gatherum: February 24, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for February 24, 2019

  • Tweet by Josh

  • Dichroic 3D-printing material changes color with point of view” — Ben Coxworth, New Atlas

    Coxworth New Atlas dichronic 3d printing material

    “In use since at least the 4th century AD, dichroic glass displays different colors depending on how it’s being viewed. Now, Dutch scientists have produced the effect in a material that can be used to create 3D-printed objects – and it’s not just a novelty, as it could have practical applications.”

  • Wollstonecraft The Role-Playing Game by Jordan Stratford; based on The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency series, about “an alternate 1826, where Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet as girls and form a secret detective agency!”

    Stratford Wollstonecraft The Role-Playing Game

    “Based on the best-selling The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency adventure series, Wollstonecraft The Roleplaying Game empowers detectives as young as 8 to create their own characters and solve mysteries in 1820s London.

    With a simple d6 system and only 3 dice pools (one each for Plot & Events, Sets & Props, and Other Characters), the game is designed so that young players can organize and run the game without adult assistance. The game is set up rather like a tea party, with Guests who play an individual detective, and a Host who plays all the other characters in the world: a mysterious innkeeper, a scullery maid who may be an important witness, or an angry duck.

    Included is everything you need to know to run a game session, including a starter scene so players can try out their new characters – with Regency names, jobs, quirks, talents, and equipment. There are also tips on writing new mysteries and creating compelling scenes for your Guest’s characters.”

  • Our Twisted DNA” — Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books; about She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer

    Zimmer She Has Her Mother's Laugh

    “As long as chimeras and mosaics were detected on the basis of physical manifestations or blood type, they were considered to be phenomenally rare—indeed freakish. By 1983, only seventy-five cases of human chimeras, as detected from blood type, were known, while mosaicism was mostly known from medical cases. Joseph Merrick, the “Elephant Man,” suffered from a form of mosaicism known as Proteus syndrome, which left parts of his body deformed by monstrous growths, while other parts remained completely normal. For decades, his sad example defined the condition for many.

    Recent advances in genetic analysis have revealed that chimerism is common. In fact, chimeric individuals may be the rule, rather than the exception, among mammals. One Danish study of the blood of 154 girls aged ten to fifteen discovered that around 13 percent of them had blood cells with Y-chromosomes. These cells probably originated from an older brother and had crossed into the mother, where they survived before crossing into, and taking root in, the daughter. A Seattle study of fifty-nine women who died, on average, in their seventies found that 63 percent had cells with Y-chromosomes in their brains.

    As bizarre as chimeras might seem, they represent only the surface waters of Zimmer’s deep dive into the nature of inheritance.”

  • Tweet by Adam J Calhoun