Thursday, March 27, 2008


You know, as human beings, we are selfish. the plain truth. Call it survival of the fittest, our need to evolve as independent beings, arrogance, ignorance...whatever. It all boils down to the adjective selfish. And I suppose it's not just us. It's inherent in all living things. It's like "selfish" was written all over our genomes - in every protein's genetic code, in every molecular cycle that pumps out a product, in every movement of the cell. Replicate, replicate, replicate...for the sake of replication. Grow, grow, grow...for the sake of replication. Die, die, die...for the sake of replication.

I often forget that is our overall purpose here on earth. But ofcourse, there is more to the puzzle than just that. In order to successfully replicate, we must use tactics. That's why we have a brain. Wait...why do we have a brain? Because we need something to analyze all the signals that are out there. What signals? The ones that chemical messengers carry to the brain. Where do the messengers come from? That's where FEELING comes into play.

Tactics is all about feeling. An amoeba "feels" or more appropriately described "senses" it's way through a water droplet. A virus, no matter how un-lively it is, has those complementary proteins - the very same ones that, through the wonder that is thermodynamics, permits it to encounter a potential docking site (think about this one, how amazing is it that one virus particle can infiltrate our comparably massive bodies by interaction with just one cell?). A herd of lions feels its way through the tall brush towards their target. It's no different with humans. We feel just as much as all the other organisms in the world.

So does that mean that just as other critters and beings use feeling to survive, thrive, and conquer, so do we? ABSO-FREAKIN'-LUTELY! Our feelings are just that...tactics.

We've fortunately (or unfortunately) distanced ourselves from natural mammalian predators....except for the greatest. Which is ourselves! I happened to watch the movie Fitna, which is about how Islam is OOH so horrendous. And it got me thinking about all the feeling in this world, and what purpose it serves. Feeling is exactly like our Kryptonite. Except humans have multiple Kryptonites. Love and hate are just tactics that permit our survival/demise. When we love, when we's our feelings that protect the prospect of surviving. We have viruses that annhilate vast populations. Why? Because they too use tactics, "feelings," and determine our survival/demise. Then there's global warming. How could we forget? Be it our own cause, or just the environment making a racket - global warming IS real and IS a determining factor in our survival/demise. Call it the Earth using self-preservation tactics! And last, but not least, the greatest ...GREATEST human feeling = Religion.

Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, you name it!.....I'm fortunate to have learned to respect all of them. And maybe it's just a natural selection pressure. That we use "feeling" as a tactic to root everyone but "ourselves" out. The problem with that is though, religion = rifts. Religion = separation. Religion = divides. Need I say this any clearer?

Maybe this will do the trick:
All We Are, Fischerspooner

The breaking light
Sparks the human strain
And it is the dawn
Relentless again

With endless arms
Hot, holy light
Radiates and then it all begins

We are as one and one is all we are
We are as one and one is all we are

Inhaling quick
When I see your being
Can’t define
The divine
And I’m born again
The limitless is within my reach
Particles passing through a microcosm
That is all we are (chorus 2x)

I can’t define
It is divine (chorus 2x)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

seva = to give

This is my city! GO AHMEDABAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D I've already told all my friends there to go and check it out! And I can't wait to hear from them! :)

I think that giving, when brought hand-in-hand with the concept of spiritual oneness is the most uniting phenomenon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the things AIR makes me wanna do...

Latest drawing: :P *COPYRIGHTED YO!*
Homan..the hands took FOREVUH! I usually suck at whole human body drawings (psst..which is why half of her body is covered by her hair *haha*), so I'm slightly relieved that she didn't turn out to be a green blob. :P (p.s. click image for larger view)

This week's been AWESOME! :) My bff came over to visit me..and HO BOY...was that fun! We furiously chomped down salsa chips, and mehican foodstuffs while discussing how marvelous fishing was! See? Girls talk about other stuff too! Then we hit the mall like the villians that we be, and we were so good that this weird-ass woman came up hoping to sell her nail-betterment crap to us...I was pretty much hosed and sucked into her monstrous plan from the beginning, but the Panda had it under control. We walked away unscathed, well, maybe my nail was ONE LAYER OF KERATIN THINNER! *questionable looks* And then we actually saw a book called "What's your Poo telling You?" ...FO REAL! :O *gross* And the ice cream...OH THE ICE CREAM! (I'll leave it at that) :P

Und then...Emil called. :D He had the wonderful honor of hearing me squeal over the phone. *haha* And my mom viciously mutilated me at Checkers...and as IF that weren't bad beat the crap out of me at Chess too. *feels flogged*

Proof: Game 1, Mom = Black, Loser = Red: O.o
EDIT: Just got back from watching Jumper, they could have made it SOOO much better! *ugh*

Saturday, March 15, 2008

nightmare ..again *.*

There's a white car, and me and a friend get in it (I don't know who, it's a young male with dark hair). We drive out of a parking space in a dark street ...somehow end up in a large building-type garage. The garage is almost isolated from any surrounding buildings, and open sky is visible. There are 4 tornadoes......I can see them through the openings on one side of the garage, and feel the wind, and there's an entire school-worth of kids in the garage who the two of us try to rescue and send to the basement (all the kids are dressed in white and looking at them makes me feel a little peaceful...and it even makes me help them calmly). We're on our way down...

Then I wake up.

What the hell is up with this whole disaster thing? It's not the first time tornado's have appeared in my dreams either. Remember when there's that firework sign, and then some bomb hits the building I'm in? Well, before it HAS occasionally been tornadoes instead of the MANY MANY HUNDREDS of tornadoes!

I did a bit of research on all of this MADNESS (that is not Sparta, but Shruts!), and I read this somewhere:

"Many times, these dreams will accompany a time in the dreamer's life when he or she feels that the entire world is against them and only their association with something larger than themselves can provide a resolution."

"To rescue others, foretells that you will be esteemed for your good deeds."


Dreams confuse me to eternity and back! Apart from interpretations of dreams as described above, there are SO many theories as to why dreams exist. They can indicate your deepest desires, fears, emotional tantrums etc., they could just be a bunch of neuronal circuitry doing a number on you, and last, but most fascinatingly dreams could be a window into parallel Universes (source for last statement: The Holographic Universe). As if our conscious mind cannot handle the parallel Universes, it rather gives the unconscious mind to deal with the complexities of other realms? I would HATE for my Armageddon dreams to occur in parallel Universes, although I haven't exactly died in any ..yet *touches wood* they are pretty intense feelings. But wouldn't it be oh so awesome if my space dreams (which are waaay out of this Universe) were to actually occur to a parallel Shruts in some beautifully enlightened Universe?!

To that...I say *WEEEEEEEE* :D *bring eet* *snaps fingers stylishly*

Wouldn't that be the kewlest?! I'm starting a hand-written Dream Journal. ..Just because the rate at which these amazing dreams have been occurring lately is quite phenomenal! O.o

Thursday, March 13, 2008

i seek...

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
~William Blake

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

to infinity and beyond

Fractals fascinate me. They are a form of art that capture both the logical and emotional artifacts of my mind. Logical, in that the simplest mathematics can generate patterns that are infinitely collapsible or expansive (as in the Mandelbrot fractal on the right), and emotional in the beauty of infinity being tangibly but ironically intangibly described simultaneously.

You see, the Mandelbrot fractal specifically refers to the equation:

Z <=> X^2 + C

(Where C is a constant)

Therefore, substituting any possible number for X, yields a value for Z, which in turn is used as the subsequent value of X to lead to an infinitely expansive (as in the case of numbers larger than 1) or infinitely collapsible (for numbers smaller than 1, which would lead to Z values approaching 0) set of numbers. When graphed, BenoƮt Mandelbrot assigned the collapsible values to black colors, while numbers that extended to infinity were assigned different colors based on the rate at which they expanded towards infinity.

Thus, the famous Mandelbrot fractal was created. The coolest part however, is that no matter how infinitely far you zoom in, the pattern that any given value for X defines as the Mandelbrot graph is ever-present.

:) *ends randomness*

I bring all of that up because I sort of went through a very significant emotional whirlwind during the past two hours, and it made me think of infinity. I was watching this video my friend Dan sent me about know, those ridiculous conspiracy "world is ending run for your freakin' life and make a space ship before earth goes to hell" kind of videos. And I had stopped right before the conclusion to it began, so OBVIOUSLY I was really distraught and almost crying when I told my dad that the entire powerful populace of the world has been planning to eradicate 93% of our population by 2012. (I fall for these like chocolate - *to panda: eg. "come closer, i will give you BOTH FOR THE PRICE OF ONE"*)

And then came the conclusion. *aaah* *BASKS*

*basks some more*

*still basking*

..Ok. I'll share now. :P

Remember a looong time ago I stated:

"Suddenly, you realize that what you are made of, is in so many ways connected to everything else that exists. That even our small solar system is composed of our Universe, that even our small hearts and minds are components of its energy! Some call it God, others just respect it as what holds everything together or makes everything fall apart." (is nothing something? October, '07)
That was their conclusion as well. Apart from all the fear and love (the two dominant emotions) that we feel in our lives, we are ULTIMATELY a part of the big picture, and that, in and of itself is worth living and dying for.


(I know, I know...some of it about the DNA sounds puhrrty quirky) :P
But hearing it from someone else saying it rather than my doubtful mind reiterating it to myself made it seem more concrete and hit home at light speed than turtle pace.

Oh! and I'm going to be coauthoring Dan's blog (link in links list also) in regards to nerdy techy sciency news that I might not mention here. I'm officially the "Science/Philosophy Beat." :D *ASTEROID*

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Sooo...I watched some surgeriez todee w/ Johnny boy. :) Laproscopic bowel resectomy and appendectomy, and placement of a metal nail for a tibial fracture. *hmm* Innerestins ay? ;)

Basically, we stood for 5 hours. O.o

Me: *converses during surgery* "Yeah, when I was in India...*blah blah*"
John: "Oh yea, and how many cows were around? Were they like roaming the OR?"
Me: "Absolutely, I think there were like 4 or 5. And a few stray dogs. I think one was under the operating table."

John: *looking at tibial replacement w/ nail*
Me: "I've seen a TKR"
John: "OH yea? I bet they just went 'namaste - all done'" *does namaste w/ hands & bows*
Me: "Ofcourse! And *indian accent* 'thangu forrr tha monee'" ;)

*while cutting dude open*
John: "OH BOY!"
Me: "Yeah, if anybody wants to go on a diet, they should definitely watch a surgery first."

Needless to say, it was standing for 5 hours, plus a WHOLE LOT OF FUN! :D

<3'in life.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

la comida

What keeps us alive? Food. It isn't surprising then, that apart from gas prices our biggest commodity - food - is becoming more expensive as well:


"Q&A: Rising world food prices

Wheat prices have risen 83% in a year. The price of wheat has doubled in the past year - and it is not the only foodstuff trading at a high price on the international commodity market. Things have got so bad that aid agencies are having to rethink their programmes. In the UK, pig farmers are protesting at Downing Street over the price of feed. BBC science correspondent Tom Feilden looks at the reasons why the era of cheap food may be coming to an end.

What is going on?
Prices are increasing sharply for some of the most basic foodstuffs traded on international commodity markets. The price of wheat has doubled in less than a year, while other staples such as corn and soya are trading at well above their 1990s averages. Rice and coffee prices are running at 10-year highs, and in some countries, prices for milk and meat have more than doubled.

Why are we seeing these increases now?
It could be the breakdown of the "Goldilocks era" for global commodities - a period stretching back more than 30 years, during which the price of basic foodstuffs has been neither too high nor too low, but remained relatively constant. For most of this period, the cost of staples such as wheat, corn and soya has actually fallen in real terms. But it seems this long period of stability is coming to an end. Most commentators believe we are on the cusp of a new era of volatility and rising prices.

What are the main causes?
The first reason why prices are rising is growth in the world's population, which is expected to top nine billion by the middle of the century. That is an incredible number of mouths to feed and will put pressure on a range of resources, including land, water and oil, as well as food supply.
But lurking behind the headline figures for population is an even more significant factor pushing up prices, and that's the economic miracle driving emerging economies such China and India. To put it bluntly, rich people eat more than poor people, and all this economic growth is generating a whole new tier of middle-class consumers.

What other factors are involved?
There is also the added environmental pressure all these extra people are loading onto the planet, as well as the impact of climate change.
Desertification is accelerating in China and sub-Saharan Africa, while more frequent flooding and changing patterns of rainfall are already beginning to have a significant impact on agricultural production. And global warming has played a significant role in another driver of rising prices: the shift in agricultural production from food to biofuels. Ethanol production is on course to account for some 30% of the US corn crop by 2010, dramatically curtailing the amount of land available for food crops and pushing up the price of corn flour on international commodity markets. "

So...not only have we got to think of our Earth and what we've done to it...but we have to become less and less selfish as more and more of everything that keeps us alive seems to keep vanishing because of our greed.

I just have one there still hope for us?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Nerdy McLovin'


I remember once upon a long long LOOOONG time ago I took Virology. And I remember being absolutely fascinated and astounded by the diversity with which viruses function. Essentially, DNA/RNA (nucleic acids) inherently program the most simplistic protection mechanisms that are seemingly "taken for granted" by host organisms (like multicellular organisms). For example, our body utilizes antigen-antibody recognition for a vast majority of cellular interactions. The complementary domains of proteins that interact and make love to each other produces an offspring of responses of which we have just a basic understanding. In the immune system, such binding elicits an ocean of responses ranging from increased cytokine production to production of bradykinin (responsive for pain) and even increases in body temperature caused by such "feverish" activity!

Yeah, we know how these proteins interact - how they bind, and thereby change structural motifs, and how such changes effect downstream responses. But most of us only get the chance to study one little pixel of the image that is a cell. In all that is complex and great, in everything that we as scientists attempt to study and understand what it all means, we often forget the beauty of complementary domains.

It is this immensely awe-inspiring event that is taken to full advantage by a virus in invading a host. Simply this. If anything, we as humans may attribute (as we so often do) "cleverness" in the form that is the virus. The nucleic acid encodes for what is perhaps THE prime example of the phrase survival of the fittest...the only things an organism needs to propagate are:

1) a host in which it can replicate
2) a way to get in.

This is essentially everything a virus is equipped with. Although all the classes of viruses that exist are fairly complex in structure, each part serves one of the above mentioned core purposes. A virus carries inside it nucleic acid, encoding a few essential proteins for replication in a host, surrounded by a barrier, which serves to not only protect but at same time is the mode of entry for just about every virus known to date. The very same nucleic acid encodes certain proteins which "MIRACULOUSLY" happen to display complementary domains to proteins in host organisms.

All that some McLovin'. ...


Ok that went too far...but *HAHA* :P

I say ALLL OF THE ABOVE in reference to this article that I've been instinctively waiting to come to light (in some respect or another it already has over the years):

"In its experiment, the team transplanted glioblastoma--the most common and aggressive form of human brain cancer--into the brains of mice. Prior to transplantation, researchers genetically engineered the tumor cells to express a red marker, which, once inside the brain, would show up in laser microscopy scans. Similarly, Van den Pol inserted a green marker in VSV cells and injected the virus intravenously through the tail. Within a few days, researchers observed that the green virus found its way to the brain and selectively infiltrated red tumor masses and individual tumor cells, while avoiding normal cells. Van den Pol says that as the virus infects tumors, cancerous cells start to turn green, swelling up until they eventually burst."

The scientists claim that the mechanism of action may be the compromised immune status of tumorigenic tissue. But I am quite certain a specific "proteinaceous" marker permits VSV to specifically target the tumor cells. After all...if the experiment was done in immunocompromised rats, wouldn't you expect some other weakened tissues to be subjected to viral attack as well? (perhaps this team didn't study this?) Anyway, the article also concludes that the trial will be carried out with rats with normal immune responses (not immunosuppressed). (btw...the only reason the rats did not have an efficient immune system was b/c the researchers wanted to decrease rejection of the tumor transplant by the host)

Aaaanywho. *shifty eyes*

Quote of the day: "I'm a humanoid too. If you kewl with me, then I look past the void in you."