Hello Pluto!

I am excited. For the first time in my life – and probably the only time in my life – I will be part of a major planetary breakthrough.

Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with space and the universe beyond us. The moment I first laid my hands on a space encyclopedia, I was mesmerized. My small young eyes bulged as I took in photos after photos of our Solar System and the other heavenly bodies beyond. I know they were just artist renditions and the real photos were less stellar, however, I remain fascinated.

I dreamed to be an astronomer, maybe even an astronaut, and be part of space exploration.

Space was what drew me to science at such a young age. A passion I’ve long since explored and cultivated eventually ending up mastering the science of life by taking a course in Biology. As my scientific knowledge grew, I veered away from space science and no longer followed it as closely as I once had.

I simply knew bits and pieces – major milestones in history. And now, with this major milestone, I am all glued to watch it unfold bit by bit.

Pluto, in my mind, has always been the ninth planet. Even when they re-classified it into a dwarf planet and said it was no longer part of the major planets of the Solar System, in my heart it remained a planet. I guess I was being more emotional than rational, affixing childhood memories to the far-flung planet. But I was hopeful that one day, we will discover more about the planet.

And now that moment has come. Although Pluto might not really become a part of the major planets, the mere fact that is has been explored – and that I am part of the generation who witnessed it for the first time – is enough for me.

It is humbling to be such a tiny speck in this vast universe filled with such wondrous things.

To read more about Pluto and the New Horizons project, here are some really great links:

Hello Pluto by Mashable

NASA New Horizons Twitter Page

Hello Pluto by Space.com

Right vs Left: Something New

I have long learned that the right brain is responsible for creativity and the left brain is responsible for logic. But during a recent talk I attended on innovation, the speaker who had interviewed a notable neuroscientist for his book, revealed something completely new that explained why sometimes I feel I am left-brained but then many times I feel I am right-brained.

The Right Brain

The right brain is responsible for anything new. It is engaged in learning new things, ideas and activities. It is the one responsible for our incessant search for something new that leads to restless behavior. No wonder it is oftentimes associated with creativity because the creative process is something that creates. It is something that seeks to invent. It deals with change.

creating-grit-2

However, the right brain was also found to be where most depressive hormones reside. Hormones that were responsible for negative feelings of depression and anxiety were found in the right brain. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the creative process also brings with it a roller coaster of emotions – mood swings if you will. It also verified how change often leads to anxiety and stress.

The Left Brain

When something starts to become repetitive and routinary, the brain activity related to that shifts to the left brain. It saves a template of the activity to make it stronger. The left brain is then responsible for pattern recognition and matching. No wonder, we all associate logical tasks with the left brain. Tasks such as analysis and math all require the recognition of patterns.

maths

Another thing fascinating is that all the feel good hormones are lodged in the left brain. Hormones responsible for comfort, happiness and familiarity (aka a sense of security) are present in the left brain.

Get the Connection?

So do you see it? Every time you are doing something familiar, or you are in a familiar place or situation, you feel secured, comfortable and happy. That’s where the term comfort zone originates from. But try to add something disruptive to that pattern and feelings of anxiety, unease – and if not handled well, depression may soon creep in.

Yet, it is when we face changes, be open to disruption and tackle the unknown that our creative powers are unleashed and we discover new things, come up with innovative solutions and explore the boundaries of our resourcefulness.

It all boils down to how well we can manage ourselves. Change is necessary. Being creative is the starting point of innovation. Innovating leads to change – more often than not for the better. Patterns are present to keep us grounded, logical and rational. Yet every now and then, we must break out of our comfort zones and explore the creativity in us so we can grow more as persons and fully realize the full potential we have been bestowed with.

At the end of the day, no one is singularly left-brained or right-brained. We all have whole brains and it is up to us to exercise both hemispheres as we explore the vast potentials we are capable of.

D4DR gene mutation. I know I have it.

I don’t really know how to start this blog yet there is something I need to write down. Just to get it off my system. Or to dissect it even further. This won’t be an easy post. It is never easy admitting to the world that you have a character flaw. It is never easy admitting your were mistaken. It is even more difficult discussing your weaknesses. But weaknesses would forever remain such if they are not brought out into the open and discussed. No rational solution can be hoped to be achieved if the problem is never discussed. And such, I, once again, make myself vulnerable in the attempt to solve something or at least throw some light into it.

As I enter the corporate world or the working world and leave the predictable life of a student, I am aghast to note that though I have the skills and personality to survive in any corporate setting, I do not have enough of a willpower to do so. Devoid of any real motivation for working, like sending some siblings to school or helping the family out financially (not that we are well-off (we are not) but I am not obliged to help in any way except voluntarily), I find it very easy to become bored with what I do. When I look at my resume, I find that I have a lot of work experiences but none of them even lasted to a year. Not because I was not performing well, in fact I exceeded expectations, but because I became bored with the job and sought something better. Something more exciting.

I know, and I have been told, that I would never last in a routinary job like an office job. I need something that changes constantly and that puts me into pressures that would thrill me. I crave excitement and adventure all the time that a static job would bore me to death.

I am seriously alarmed and aghast to find the prediction coming true. I lose excitement easily. When I was working in the call center, the novelty was great for me. I had so much fun in the beginning. As days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, and the work became repetitive since I’ve mastered almost all of it, I became despondent. I shifted to medical transcription which was really working out all right but the pay and the company policies were questionable and I was forced to get out. I pursued freelance writing which was taxing deadlines piled one on top of the other. But after those weeks were done, I am left with a void. I can go ahead and accept new job offers and enter the same cycle but I dare not. No one wants to suffer another bout of low blood incidents and skin as pale as the Twilight vampires.

And the more alarming thing to all of these, is that I have no plans as to what I want to do next. Yes, I have thought of several options. I know I could really teach college (there have been hints of offers) and I know I could apply at any company I so desire (I am never at a lack for self-confidence and smooth words) but the drive to really make something happen is missing. There is no push, no internal motivation. I lament and I cry that I am like this. My bestfriend said that I have always been a structured person. Back in our high school days, she has known me to always have a plan – even if the first plan backfired, I have a spare. I have also always been full of goals. Goals to accomplish.

But I guess, the shifting around of those goals has left me somewhat goal-less. The goals all appear to be like shadows of a dream I once had that somehow I’ve lost the will to attain.

I know I have the D4DR mutation (see D4DR article). I need higher levels of dopamine than the rest. I understand that now. So what do I do? Seek out adventures on my own. Create my own thrills? My mom said I shouldn’t waste life sulking around the house, waiting for opportunities to present themselves. Indeed, I musn’t. She urges me to go out there, find some employment, not because I need to earn money badly but because I need the social company. Indeed I cannot lock myself up inside the house, under the pretense of freelance writing and with the internet as my social companion. Freelance writing is good. Writing, as I said countless of times, will always be my passion. Online social communities are nice. It is always great to meet real people virtually, whether they be clients or colleagues. Yet, I know that there is also more to life than just living a seemingly virtual existence.

So what are my plans now? Now that I have finally attained that long worked for diploma, where do I go from here? When I first “technically” graduated – that is when I finished all my subjects and have been free to get a full-time job, there were a lot of doors open for me. There were so many paths I could choose. Now that I have officially graduated – no more snags with the thesis – there are more doors than ever. But the doors are shrouded by a mist, a mist that only internal motivation and drive can lift up.

I know, subconciously, I have been sort of blaming a withering spiritual relationship for all of this. I keep thinking, if I fix this spiritual humdrum I am in, then I am sure the internal drive will return. But even with fixing that relationship, I am lacking motivation. Humbug! What has happened to me?

I must shake myself from this stupor. Get out there and start again. I am young. I am capable. And I know I can do it.

Besides, people with the D4DR mutation are more prone to psychological and psychiatric disorders when the dopamine levels they need are not met properly.

I don’t really know how to start this blog yet there is something I need to write down. Just to get it off my system. Or to dissect it even further. This won’t be an easy post. It is never easy admitting to the world that you have a character flaw. It is never easy admitting your were mistaken. It is even more difficult discussing your weaknesses. But weaknesses would forever remain such if they are not brought out into the open and discussed. No rational solution can be hoped to be achieved if the problem is never discussed. And such, I, once again, make myself vulnerable in the attempt to solve something or at least throw some light into it.

 

As I enter the corporate world or the working world and leave the predictable life of a student, I am aghast to note that though I have the skills and personality to survive in any corporate setting, I do not have enough of a willpower to do so. Devoid of any real motivation for working, like sending some siblings to school or helping the family out financially (not that we are well-off (we are not) but I am not obliged to help in any way except voluntarily), I find it very easy to become bored with what I do. When I look at my resume, I find that I have a lot of work experiences but none of them even lasted to a year. Not because I was not performing well, in fact I exceeded expectations, but because I became bored with the job and sought something better. Something more exciting.

I know, and I have been told, that I would never last in a routinary job like an office job. I need something that changes constantly and that puts me into pressures that would thrill me. I crave excitement and adventure all the time that a static job would bore me to death.

I am seriously alarmed and aghast to find the prediction coming true. I lose excitement easily. When I was working in the call center, the novelty was great for me. I had so much fun in the beginning. As days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, and the work became repetitive since I’ve mastered almost all of it, I became despondent. I shifted to medical transcription which was really working out all right but the pay and the company policies were questionable and I was forced to get out. I pursued freelance writing which was taxing deadlines piled one on top of the other. But after those weeks were done, I am left with a void. I can go ahead and accept new job offers and enter the same cycle but I dare not. No one wants to suffer another bout of low blood incidents and skin as pale as the Twilight vampires.

And the more alarming thing to all of these, is that I have no plans as to what I want to do next. Yes, I have thought of several options. I know I could really teach college (there have been hints of offers) and I know I could apply at any company I so desire (I am never at a lack for self-confidence and smooth words) but the drive to really make something happen is missing. There is no push, no internal motivation. I lament and I cry that I am like this. My bestfriend said that I have always been a structured person. Back in our high school days, she has known me to always have a plan – even if the first plan backfired, I have a spare. I have also always been full of goals. Goals to accomplish.

But I guess, the shifting around of those goals has left me somewhat goal-less. The goals all appear to be like shadows of a dream I once had that somehow I’ve lost the will to attain.

I know I have the D4DR mutation (see previous article). I need higher levels of dopamine than the rest. I understand that now. So what do I do? Seek out adventures on my own. Create my own thrills? My mom said I shouldn’t waste life sulking around the house, waiting for opportunities to present themselves. Indeed, I musn’t. She urges me to go out there, find some employment, not because I need to earn money badly but because I need the social company. Indeed I cannot lock myself up inside the house, under the pretense of freelance writing and with the internet as my social companion. Freelance writing is good. Writing, as I said countless of times, will always be my passion. Online social communities are nice. It is always great to meet real people virtually, whether they be clients or colleagues. Yet, I know that there is also more to life than just living a seemingly virtual existence.

So what are my plans now? Now that I have finally attained that long worked for diploma, where do I go from here? When I first “technically” graduated – that is when I finished all my subjects and have been free to get a full-time job, there were a lot of doors open for me. There were so many paths I could choose. Now that I have officially graduated – no more snags with the thesis – there are more doors than ever. But the doors are shrouded by a mist, a mist that only internal motivation and drive can lift up.

I know, subconciously, I have been sort of blaming a withering spiritual relationship for all of this. I keep thinking, if I fix this spiritual humdrum I am in, then I am sure the internal drive will return. But even with fixing that relationship, I am lacking motivation. Humbug! What has happened to me?

I must shake myself from this stupor. Get out there and start again. I am young. I am capable. And I know I can do it.

Besides, people with the D4DR mutation are more prone to psychological and psychiatric disorders when the dopamine levels they need are not met properly.

something scientific

The recent articles I have been working on were science articles and I can say that I was able to immensely relate to each of the topic covered. I have, after all, been bred and trained to be a scientist. It just so happened that the blood is thicker and writing is what pulses in my veins.

But then again, I cannot help but share the two most interesting scientific articles I’ve written about. Of course, they are on the branch of Biology. A repost would be located in my bio blog, which unfortunately I am unable to update.

Just a note: These are not the original articles I have submitted. I would never infringe copyright laws.

In this article are the following posts reposted from Practical Biology:

Menopausal Women Maybe at a Higher Risk for Obesity

D4DR Gene To Blame For Adventurous Spirit

**

Continue reading “something scientific”

The Evolution of Man

 

evolution

 

I had volunteered myself to write a paper originally focusing on the discourses surrounding the origin of humans. Later I re-organized the idea to focus more on the discourses on the origins of human life. Growing up as a Christian – a devout one at that – and with a scientific background, I cannot dismiss the theory of evolution as lightly as other Christians do. To me, to be able to prove the literal translation of the Genesis account is one which would highly impact my faith. It would not nullify my belief in God, He has done so much to prove to me His existence, but it would have serious implications as to how he did create the world and what he would have wanted or why he did it in such a manner.

To find out the truth would not mean dismissal of who God is or what He did. He would forever remain the Creator to me – the loving Creator who has a special place for me on earth. Rather, finding the truth would concretize my belief on what the Genesis account claims to be. Is it literal or is it a mere metaphor to the reality and complexity of creation? When God said let there be this and that, was he referring to the mutation of this and that gene? God, who is all for order and design, could have also orchestrated creation in such order and design – much more than what the Genesis account can accommodate.

The catalyst for this thinking is the recent National Geographic documentary Human Ape. They presented various scientific studies on the similarities of humans and some ape cousins. Then they ended the documentary with the recently discovered genetic mutations which would account for the survival and proliferation of the human species. There is the mutation in the jaw muscle which created in humans a weaker jaw requiring a much less bone support from the skull thus enabling it to be smoother and less rigid in structure allowing for more expansion of the brain. The expansion of the brain is critical in the development of knowledge and social skills which are essential to human survival. Then as to speech there is the mutatin in a foxB gene which allowed for the coordination of tongue and lips to bring forth speech.

 

Continue reading “The Evolution of Man”

what does a guinea pig or a lab mice feel as its being experimented upon?

today i felt what they feel…everytime their subjected to experiments…being observed for their reactions.

today we had an experiment. on respiration or breathing and the effects of various aspects on it – excercise, coughing or laughing, speech, pain, hyperventilation, deep breathing, etc.

and as always i was the volunteer (?) [disclaimer: i love volunteering my services for the sake of science]. and while they were instructing me to do this and that and do forth i felt like a lab mice. i actually symphatized with them. so this is how its like to be experimented upon.

you shoul try it sometime. design an experiment and you are the variable. hehe. i mean a scientific experiment.

oh well. for the sake of science.