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To discover the essence of things. (via my purplehoneyjar)

"It is a perennial philosophical reflection that if one looks deeply into oneself, one will discover not only one's own essence but also the essence of the universe. For as one is a part of the universe as is everything else, the basic energies of the universe flow through oneself, as they flow through everything else. So it is thought that one can come into contact with the nature of the universe if one comes into contact with one's own nature." … Read More

via my purplehoneyjar

Navigating Space in Writing (via Writing Under Pressure)

There’s only so many words you can say “Romeo loves Juliette” in.

Navigating Space in Writing I have space issues. I'm a confessed claustrophobic, yet I sometimes dream of living in a tiny home, having everything within reach. I like the minimalist philosophy and the idea of using space efficiently. I'm a sucker for pockets upon pockets in a bag, secret drawers in a closet, or hidden compartments in jewelry boxes. There's so m … Read More

via Writing Under Pressure

Tamara, Literally Out Loud (via Tamara Out Loud)

Don’t you just hate it when people mispronounce your name?

Tamara, Literally Out Loud This post was Freshly Pressed on Wed., June 8, 2011. I'm delighted by all the comments but cannot possibly respond to them all. Please know I'm reading and enjoying each one. Thanks for visiting the blog! ________________________________________________________ People have been getting my name wrong my whole life. Hell, my own parents got my name wrong before I was born. I didn't stand a chance. As my mother tells it, she and my birthfather were … Read More

via Tamara Out Loud

Ending the Beginning (via Sky Lanterns)

I couldn’t help but be moved by this writer’s thoughts and attitude to the possibility that today could be the end of the world

Ending the Beginning Today, May 21, 2011, the whole world laughed or sighed out of relief that the world did not come to an end. It did not make any sense anyway as Revelation 16:15 says that it would come like a thief. Obviously, now one in this world knows when or where he would be thieved. In talks about end of the world just let go and let God. Only He knows when our time would come and nobody, not even the angels, knows about it. But whatever happens, always be … Read More

via Sky Lanterns

It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it

Yesterday, I suggested that snow is God’s way of telling us that we are not all powerful beings. Well, it seems today that we can’t even claim to have all the knowledge in the world.

Scientists have found a lifeform on earth that does not appear to be based on carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorous or sulphur. There is a bacteria in a lake in California whose DNA contains arsenic of all metals, which clearly has implications for the search of extraterrestrial life and the careers of science fiction writers everywhere.

“What we’ve found is a microbe doing something new — building parts of itself out of arsenic,” said scientist Felisa Wolfe-Simon, a fellow in NASA’s astrobiology program who made the groundbreaking discovery at Mono Lake in eastern California.

“There’s an organism on Earth doing something different,” said Wolfe-Simon. “We’ve cracked open the door to what’s possible for life elsewhere in the universe. And that’s profound.”

So you found a bacteria that eats arsenic. My mum once told me of a girl who tried to kill herself by eating pins. What’s so special about about bacteria and arsenic? Caleb Scharf, an astrobiologist at Columbia University, told the New York Times:

“It’s like if you or I morphed into fully functioning cyborgs after being thrown into a room of electronic scrap with nothing to eat.”

But it’s not just about a microbe-sized version of the Borg (a la Star Trek). Apparently,  the unusually salty eastern California’s Mono Lake is rich in arsenic and other minerals and is thought to reflect conditions under which early life evolved on Earth or Mars.

But ultimately, according to Ariel Anbar, a co-author of the study, it’s all about those ‘unknown unknowns':

“Sometimes you think something is not going to work, but then you go looking for it and sometimes you may find it.

“And then you realize, oh, I didn’t understand things quite as well as I thought I did before. And that happens all the time in science. That’s part of what makes it fun.”

This is the best thing about doing research, whatever field you’re in. It’s the joy of having your prior knowlegde and preconceived notions irrevocably altered by some new realisation.


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