Category Archives: Biology

Nature versus nurture

I have been studying genetic abnormalities in depth recently and the fear of such destructive preventable diseases instigated my curiosity to find the ideal age range to have a child. This is kind of deviating from my usual rant but something I have been thinking about a lot recently. Obviously there is no perfect age for everyone but I figured I’d at least try to quantify the balance between nature and nurture.

Interstellar travel

I was rereading the Wikipedia page “Interstellar Travel” earlier today and was very frustrated about their discussion of impossibility. I guess this could be a recurring theme in my life. The only thing that is impossible is that something could be impossible. Everything instead can be discussed in the range of probabilities. It is possible for me to walk through a wall. Seriously I can do it, it just is highly improbable. But the writers of this article talk about interstellar travel as if it should be relegated to science fiction. Why then are hundreds if not thousands of physicists and engineers around the world searching for better methods to accomplish such travel? Someone has hope and at the expense of increasing my rank of nerd, I am one of them. I almost wish Wikipedia was not ever changing so that we could reflect like a textbook on the progression from impossible to reality. Impossible has become a word that is illogical to use. Everything is a theory. At one point in time there was a theory that it was impossible for a human to pass the sound barrier. Since that belief we have created a commercial airliner that could travel faster than that. And now there are physicists (who may truly be insane) that believe that the “light barrier” is only fictional.

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Abandonment of a metaphor

Last night I watched a documentary on the 2004 Tsunami that killed 250,000 people. The whole scene was absolutely horrifying. I watched as tourists obliviously videoed the receding waters from the shoreline. The beaches became exposed for hundreds of yards, luring people out onto the alien landscape. It was a sight no one had ever seen before and no one was aware of what was happening. To them it was a tide and the landscape was beautiful in its barren rockiness. But soon after, they saw the wall of water heading towards them. Some still stood on the beach watching the wall approach from a mile away, seemingly slow and graceful, but picking up force as it reached shallower water.

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Fitness as a consequence, not a goal

I don’t believe in working out. This may seem shocking to many of you, especially those who believe I am a working out fanatic. Some people think, “Wow he exercises a lot for someone who doesn’t believe in working out.” But working out is done for the purpose of health. Training is similar to a basketball player practicing free throws or a tennis player working on serves. I don’t work out. I train.

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Summer research

“Imagine aliens came down to our planet,” I said, proposing a scenario to one of the researchers who is working on a project that I am assisting in this summer. “And they look at this. They see all this, all these racks. They see us with our gowns and bonnets and face masks, every inch of skin covered. Then they look into the cages and see all these animals locked in there, squirming around in these tiny spaces, trying to make some semblance of a home out of pieces of bedding shoved up against the plastic sides of the cages. They looked back and see us holding one of the mice, poking it and prodding it, shoving into tubes. Then they look to see another researcher sticking a needle into the heart of one of the animals to drain it of all its blood. What do you think these aliens would think?”

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A week of starvation

I have always been extremely harsh on people. I have high standards for humanity and myself. However, one thing I have always been able to empathize with is unintended weight gain and the difficulty of losing it. Three years ago I topped out the scales at 160 pounds. That might not seem like a drastic change but currently weighing in at 130 pounds, that weight put me into the portion of the population of overweight that I never thought I would be. I know what it feels like and I know how hard it is to lose weight.

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