March 29, 2007

Try to remember. If only for a moment. Try to remember what it feels like to be completely free.

Do you remember? Can you feel how it feels? Does it ring any bells?

Does it really matter if you can/not remember? In the end, we all just live our lives on constant rewind. We forget what happened before so that we can live it again. Maybe this time it will be different. Maybe this time it will all make so much more sense.

But we take the same false steps. Make all the same wrong moves. And we wind up right in front of the VCR. Again.

Everyone’s just a giant conglomerate of habits and conditioning. That’s all. The difference between you and the street bum? Conditioning. Between you and the billionaire? Conditioning.

Forget all this. You don’t have a choice. You never did.

~ 8 March 2007


First discovered in marine organisms in 2000, scientists recently found that the genes for the proteorhodopsin system–essentially a genetic module that includes the genes that code for both the protein and the enzymes required to produce retinal–are frequently swapped among different microorganisms in the ocean. (While we usually think of genes being passed from parent to offspring, microorganisms can exchange bits of DNA laterally.)

Intrigued by the prospect that a single piece of DNA is really all an organism needs to harvest energy from light, the researchers inserted it into E. coli.

~ From Engineering Bacteria to Harvest Light

Dude, sign me up!

Okay, sure, I know they don’t me this will work in eukaryotes [i.e. you and me]. But wouldn’t that just be wicked cool? I mean, I like food and all. But at times it jsut feels like having to eat gets in the way of, well, living.

That might just be me…

Someday, I’ll have a photosynthetic system in me. And then I’ll be a true veggie. Not just a vegetarian.


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Yes, THAT movie from THAT class.

Nipples. Hehehe.

Aw man. Good times. Enjoy!

(Happy Birthday, Dave!)

Start Where You Are

March 24, 2007

I’m trying to live more and more by the axiom of ‘start where you are.’ I guess this comes as a direct result of my earlier post on the “I could totally be great at that” effect. The antidote to that sort of thinking is to start where you are. Add to that some humility… [more]

I’m a chemistry major. Therefore, I should like all things chemically related, right? Well, I came to find out that at the beginning of this semester, I really didn’t “like” organic chemistry [‘o chem’ for short]. It didn’t help that the semester started off going over stuff I’d already learned so well in high school [I mean, who CAN’T name organics after having Mr. Orlando?]. So, I didn’t really notice when the transition to new material happened. So I made the mistake of assuming I knew everything, and got my ass handed to me on the first test. The funniest part is, the section of the test I did the worst on involved math [relative reactivities, to be more precise]… [more]

If you haven’t been paying attention, Ze Frank ended his amazing run at The Show.

It makes me sad to see him go. But I still have a years worth of memories to catch up on. And I started a few months into the year long adventure in improv, music, user-participation, and current events. That means I have at least 60 or shows that I haven’t seen! How exciting is that!

For a great synopsis of the work that Ze did, check out this article by Michael Agger. If you don’t know who he is [and if you don’t, why not!], this is a great place to start [kind of a “in memoriam” of The Show].

A great man. I bow before his creativity, hilarity, and power movity.

You just have to see this. Wikipedia’s ugly half brother: Conservapedia.

You heard it here first. The [stupid] Conservatives [to distinguish them from the intelligent conservatives such as George Will, Andrew Sullivan, etc.] have made their very own Encyclopedia. And they came up with the ever so witty name ‘Conservapedia’ [how long do you figure it took them to come up with that?].

Here’s a sample of their material. First, an article about the Earth. Yes folks, the Earth is flat. It has to be for the Bible to be true [hm… what does that tell us about the Bible?]

And Ann Coulter is the anti-anti-Christ. All hail Ann Coulter.

Oh yeah, and you have to check out the article on Evolution. Those ‘young earth creationist scientists,’ they’re a fun bunch [I bet you never expected to see those words together in a single noun combination…].

I really couldn’t make this stuff up. But that’s half the fun of development. I can’t make it up, so you let someone else make it up, and then you get to look at it and say, ‘Man, I used to BELIEVE that.’

And then you wonder why it is that we haven’t all blown ourselves up yet.

Hm. I’m don’t really know where all that vehemence came from. I’m actually in a pretty good mood right now. Must be all the endorphins from running. Fuck it or fight it, right? God bless our primitive brain, which, by the way, came from evolution. 1)

March 23, 2007

And each day I learn things that amaze me still
Like how cigarettes won’t kill you, but marijuana will

~ Samuel Bayer, from Do You Believe In Me

March 23, 2007

We must forgive each other our arising, for our existence always torments others. The golden rule in the midst of this mutual misery has always been, not to do no harm, but as little as possible; and not to love one another, but as much as you can.

~ Ken Wilber

A question for you, the Bodyhack readers: Are you aware of any projects that are working on a project to “reboot evolution” in the event of such a catastrophe?

I seem to recall, but cannot find, a reference to one scientist who created RNA from inorganic compounds. Priming a few locations around the planet with ingredients that could form RNA in the event of a disaster that destroys all organic life may help preserve our species.

~ from The Last Great Experiment

What a novel idea. I wouldn’t have thought of that. But it seems like a pretty good call in ensuring that some sort of life will continue on this planet. Though, in all honesty, it probably will anyway.

But you can never be too careful.