Friday, 26 October 2012

It's Friday afternoon: you can relax with some interesting items

Every Harry Potter Chapter Illustration Collected in One Lovely Poster
via FlavorWire by Emily Temple

We don’t know about you, but when we read the Harry Potter series for the first time, we always paused over those delicate pencil illustrations that headed every chapter, peering into them, little clues as to what our favourite characters would be forced to deal with next – be it three headed dogs or first kisses. Still, we were surprised by how much we loved this chronological collection of Mary GrandPré’s illustrations, which tell the whole Harry Potter saga, from bassinet to epilogue, in gentle strokes. It’s like watching our own childhoods as well as Harry’s.
Now if only someone would make this into a real poster that we could buy. [via Vulture]

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
The creator of The Norton Anthology of English Literature spoke only Yiddish until he was 5. Now about to turn 100, M.H. Abrams still has plenty to say... more

Why one mutation can protect people from HIV
by Maggie Koerth-Baker via Boing Boing

We’ve talked here before about the importance of the protein CCR5 in HIV/AIDS treatment research. CCR5 is a protein on the surface of immune cells. Some people have a genetic mutation, called Delta-32, which alters how that protein works, how often it appears, or changes its structure. People with the mutation have immunity to some strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
CCR5 is the key to the Berlin Patient — Timothy Ray Brown — who, until recently, was the only person to ever be cured of AIDS. Brown received bone marrow transplants from people who had the Delta-32 mutation. His body has been HIV-free for five years. And, last week, researchers announced that two other people successfully received the same treatment.
But here’s the thing, until today, I didn’t totally understand how the connection between CCR5, Delta-32, and HIV worked. There’s a story (and some great digital illustrations) on NPR’s Shots blog that makes the situation much more clear. HIV, apparently, have little spikes all over its surface. These spikes are how the virus injects itself into cells.

When it bumps into a T cell, a finger-like projection on the cell’s surface, called CCR5, pushes down on the spike. This interaction pops open the HIV and releases the infectious genes into the cell. A gene therapy could protect T cells by inactivating the CCR5 gene.
Great “A-ha!” moment for me. Read the rest of the story and look at the illustrations. It’ll make some thing make a lot more sense.
Read the rest at NPR's Shots blog

Looking Down: 1905
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive - Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Looking Down: 1905
Dutchess County, New York, circa 1905
“Mount Beacon Incline Railway, looking down, Fishkill-on-the-Hudson”
8x10 inch glass negative
View original post

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Computers are dumb. Of course, they’re also necessary. But as we increasingly shape our lives to accommodate computers, their dumbness will become ours... more

The graffiti of Pompeii
via Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker

Image: Pompeii, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from editor’s photostream
Pompeii is the city frozen in time. Which means that nobody ever came through and cleaned up all the (often incredibly dirty) ancient Roman graffiti (or added their own, more modern, stuff).
So, what you find is a really cool time capsule of the way random, average puellae et pueri talked, at least in certain situations. This is colloquial Latin, and that’s not something we get many chances to see.
It’s also hilarious. I’ve seen some of these examples of Pompeiian graffiti over the years, but, as far as I’m concerned, it never gets old.
Check them out at the Pompeiana website [possibly not safe for work]
For more about average Roman life, I really recommend Terry Jones’ documentary The Hidden History of Rome. You can watch it streaming on Netflix. It’s a great overview of the little bits that we know about how non-elites lived thousands of years ago.
Via The Nation

Before she was Lauren, c.1944
via Retronaut by Chris

Would she have done as well if she'd kept her original first name?

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
What made George Orwell tick? Being an amateur anthropologist, understanding things – poverty and squalor, politics, himself – at the level of basic experience... more

A video of Rudyard Kipling speaking on truth & writing in 1933
via Pages & Proofs by Richard Davies

Rudyard Kipling had substantial eyebrows. See the great man speaking in 1933 on how the “educated classes” should behave.

Elizabeth Taylor as a ballerina, 1951

via Retronaut by Amanda
You can see Amanda's other choices here

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