Towards the City

I remember siting in a dimly lit carriage, the smell of beer and rank body odor slithering throughout. Teenagers must be aboard, I whisper. As the clime appreciably improves, droves of mindless party-goers litter the trains stumbling to and fro in alcohol-induced stupefaction. The silence with which the youths embark the train belies their capacity for the rambunctious. Each one carefully glides down the aisle with an obvious sense of self-consciousness. Always towards the back.

Everyone can see your bag of tall boys, I’d mumble.

“Excuse me.”

“Sorry.”

“My bad.”

A rough tug of the train’s departure is swiftly followed by the crack and hiss of light beer. Slurps and gulps soon resonate throughout the metal tube. Some cheers and a few howls pass before the feeling of exasperation overtakes me. It’s not long before exasperation is overtaken by rage as I hear the brief acknowledgements of rambunctious beer culture

Aluminum crashing. Beer splashing. 

Sigh. “Amateurs,” I lament. 

I stroke my beard with a firm hand and then reach toward my leather satchel. Along the exterior, my hand follows the impressions of two cold twenty-four ounce cylinders. 

“Only 45 minutes more,” I whisper to myself. “And then… I’m in the city.”

Stop the Mandela Effect (Take 2) 

So, excuse my last post. I didn’t write anything. That was intentional.

It was meant to highlight the fallibility of human minds. I made the title for the post and then had told myself I should write something about it later. I scheduled the post and forgot about it. It was all part of the plan.

I have recently been inundated with questions about the Mandela Effect. I had never heard of such a phenomenon, hence my surprise when several friends independently brought the topic to my attention. Any perceptive reader will perhaps be able to guess what my stance is on this ‘effect’.

It’s bullshit. Sorry folks.

Continue reading “Stop the Mandela Effect (Take 2) “

Stop the Mandela Effect

Scientific Literacy

Science, bitch!

Everyone should be scientifically literate. QED.

In a perfect world, the post would end there.

Unfortunately, when one thinks of science, I fear that people think about packed lecture halls with professors spouting outrageous chemical formulae and jargon that is typically lost and forgotten by the binge-drinking student. Perhaps one thinks about monstrously heavy textbooks and endless lab reports with poor calculations and fabricated data, obscure charts, and incomprehensible words. Worse still are the countless hours lost memorizing lecture notes and textbook passages only to disappear within a network of overloaded neurons the following semester.

A significant portion of the terminology used in the sciences is not understood by the average person. Even individuals with a background in the sciences can seldom navigate the dense thicket of specialized research. Regrettably, this broad topic can seem daunting to most for the aforesaid reasons, and still more daunting for those trying to make educated choices based on the latest research.

Today, science truly makes the world go round. Human civilization heavily depends on the contributions gifted us by rigorous scientific inquiry. As the products and services of these endeavors encompass all aspects of our lives, it behooves us to ask one very important question:

Should we be scientifically literate?

This question is very close to my area of undergraduate study and my truest interests in life, biology, and my latest interest in public health. And yes, I had the idea to write this article since August of 2014… before Bill Nye decided to comment on the dangers of a scientifically illiterate population. The bulk of this was drafted and sat in limbo, mostly because I was still contemplating the route my blog would take. I dusted this off and finally finished it after more than two years. So, here’s the answer to the question; it won’t be brief, and it certainly shan’t be terse.

Continue reading “Scientific Literacy”

Post-Summer Lamentations

Summertime Sadness

Is it too early speak about Christmas?

I’m sure that opening line will deter readers from the contents of this post. It is, after all, only the beginning of October and I reckon that it’s much too early to wreath ourselves in Christmas lights and talks about snowfall. It may also be too soon to think on the banal tradition of preposterous consumer purchases with all its concomitant debts and stresses.

Nah, we shan’t speak about Christmas. I wish to know where my summer went.

Don’t get me wrong… I love cold weather. My car windows are always open no matter the temperature. This is especially true in the winter. I generate quite a few BTUs and require substantial ventilation and cooling to avoid overheating (and rage). Many have commented on how little protective gear I wear during the colder months and seem to avoid illness.

I also enjoy snow. The sight of crystalline fields and the sweet sound of crunching underfoot is the stuff of dreams. My very own winter wonderland.

But…

Where did the season go? Summer was actually fun this year.

I went for refreshing walks and enjoyable dates at the beach. I drank and danced with friends, dined with loved ones, explored new cuisines, purchased new books, and just enjoyed all the merriment summer had to offer. I even went to the gym more frequently; my injured knee did nothing to slow me down.

I even made some new friends, adding a few more numbers to my contact list. Who knew one could make friends after almost three decades of life? Unfortunately, a few friends have made themselves scarce and difficult to spend time with. The summer was nonetheless wonderful.

I love the cold weather, but… Fuck Christmas. Give me back my summer.

 

What is a Superfund Site?

Why care?

What is a Superfund site?

It is self-evident that safe drinking water is vital for the survival and good health of all populations. Regrettably, poor management of hazardous materials endangers the health of humans everywhere. I have hitherto made a small commotion about these tragic and dangerous sites. Alas, I know I could do more to raise awareness about Superfund sites and the potential dangers they pose to human health. I have chosen to do so for three reasons:

  1. the media seldom reports anything related to Superfund sites
  2. few know what Superfund sites are and where they are found
  3. public health officials have done little to assuage my concerns about potential health risks associated with Superfund sites

I have provided a brief overview of the topic and why I think this issue deserves more attention.
Continue reading “What is a Superfund Site?”

Reflections on the Subtitle of My Blog

I am amazed at how far I’ve come with this blog.

No, I truly am amazed.

The journey may not be obvious to the reader now, especially when one considers that I haven’t written that many blog posts, but it has proven to be a journey of personal growth. I’ve only started to get my bearings on this whole blogging business. Better late than never, isn’t that the old feel-good bromide? Two years ago, I wasn’t sure what I wanted this blog to be. A journal. A rant outlet. A platform for intelligent discourse.

My Gravatar profile no longer reads:

I am curious about what people (including myself) are willing to accept; what are we willing to put up with? What are we willing to accept about ourselves and about others? Should we accept that which is given to us or should we strive for something better?

My new About Me better encompasses who I am and what I wish this blog to be. It changed because it was more about the blog itself rather than about me. Obvious though that may seem, it signifies my continual transformation, my quest to discover who I wish to be and what I wish to do. I still aim to tickle a brain and to combat fear in all its guises.

My contrarian spirit will guide me as I write more about public health topics and challenge the verdicts brought down on us by public health officials. I will strive to elucidate convoluted scientific topics and bring to light some underappreciated issues. At other times, I’ll be silly by posting rubber ducks and my lamentations. And still, at others, I shall post random streams of consciousness, poems, and short stories. The blog will be my creative outlet as well as my way of disseminating vital information.

I don’t know where this blog will go, nor who I shall be in future reflections. I shall just aim to be me, I suppose.