Everything works out in the end.

Everything works out in the end.

The only thing that makes our lives feel truly substantive is the pain and suffering we feel from loss or longing. I've spent a great deal of time feeling those things; many would say I've felt them for too long. Earlier in my life I could feel nothing else, and it was a common fight to convince myself that such a life was worth the trouble of waking up for.

But then, I've felt happiness as well. And like a man stranded in a desert, I drank up as much as I could hold. I loved so hard that I went blind, and forgot what pain felt like. And I lost the ability to deal with that pain as well, because to someone that has spent so much time thinking, just thinking endlessly about what it means to be alive and to suffer, ignorance is nothing but blissful.

And, you know, I thought it meant everything had finally worked out. I thought it meant I could finally relax and coast through life, never again having to worry about the problems that plagued me years before. But I was wrong. Like a storm, it all came back to me, as if I'd flown too high and burnt my wings.

Everything works out in the end.

So many nights in the past couple months, I've walked or driven through the night, unable to sleep, telling myself that. Sometimes it makes me feel better, but sometimes I feel myself lying. Sometimes I feel like things will only work out for me when my life is over, an end that is overbearingly feasible. I know the difference between one year ago and today, and things have only gotten worse. My best friends are far away, I'm leaving my homes, I'm ridden with anxiety and sadness, I can't sleep at night and can barely eat during the day, and there's no one anymore who can make me feel loved or wanted or important or real. I thought everything had worked out?

If you can't love yourself then no one else can. That's the lesson, that's it. It's what I need to do. But it's hard. And I don't know where to start. I have plenty of positive qualities, and actually my only big negative one is my own negativity. But knowing you're a good person is very, very different from feeling it. And no matter how many good things I've done, it's hard to get past the few bad things without being wracked with guilt and shame.

Everything works out in the end.

There was a point in my life where I wanted nothing more than to be done with this life and this world. And I told this to myself every day, every time I had a momentary daydream of walking in front of a car or being shot by a psychopath in a mall. I told myself, "That's not what I want. That would stop my pain but it would prevent me from all the good things that have yet to happen in my life. And those things will happen, because everything works out in the end." And it got me through it. It got me through it. It got me through everything. There was a point in my life where I could see nothing but pain and it's over, I finished it, why is it coming back? Haven't I learned anything? What the fuck am I supposed to do this time?

Tell myself the exact same goddamn thing, that's what, because it's fucking right.

Everything works out in the end. I'm a good person, whether I feel like it every day or once a week, it's true. I am worthy of someone's appreciation, someone's admiration, someone's love. There will be days when  I feel that my life isn't what I want, there may even be days when I feel that my life is hopeless, or worthless, or some foolish masochistic journey that I'm putting myself through for God knows why. But that's wrong. No life is hopeless or worthless. Every life is worth living, if one can appreciate it. And that includes mine. Every minute I spend appreciating myself, what I've done, and what I'm going to do, is a minute worth having lived. And we make those experiences ourselves. And so I tell myself:

Everything works out in the end. It might not be done working out right now, but any good moment is one worth waiting for. If I just wait and work toward it, I'll come by those good moments again. Because everything works out in the end.

Haha, oh wow.

So much for being back out of retirement, I've been gone for forever. No more promises I guess. I'm just gonna post a song today that I've been kind of addicted to.

I got accepted into medical school, hence some of my sudden busy-ness, and I've also been mucking around getting my summer job set up. That all being right after I graduated from college and my girlfriend and I broke up. Overall it's been pretty crazy lately.

This song is by Every Time I Die. Now, that's gotta be one of my least favorite band names in the world, but ETID's last two albums were insanely amazing, delivering the hard kind of metal that will rock you without containing useless screams and vapid lyrics. I'm posting the lyrics to this song too, so if you'd like, read them and you might find that they're pretty fucking deep. Their best album, in my humble opinion, is their latest: New Junk Aesthetic. This song is, however, from the preceding The Big Dirty. Enjoy.

Oh lord, I am saved
Judge says I am fit to swing
'bout time I have prayed
My woman just might wear my ring

Oh you know I'm no good
You know I'm no good at court-ordered goodbyes
But when I'm gone, you'll see;
I'll be a better man yet
For the dispossessed get taken back into your arms
Better keep me close to your heart
You'd better keep me close to your heart

The divine had me cornered in a storm
And he let me walk out the front door at the scene of the crime

Hang 'em high; keep your vows brief
Let 'em swing
Make his swindle an art
And if you still believe that men guilty of love can survive,
Then hang 'em high or not at all

Oh you know it gets hard
It just gets so hard going limp in your arms
I am clutching a smoking gun
There is no chance of me walking out of here alive
This is all very literal (Okay, this lyric should not be here, it's stupid)
I can't bring myself around to write an excuse this time

We're liberated by the hearts that imprison us
We're taken hostage by the ones that we break
Throw the book, throw the book

You had me strung up by the tail and you put me back
Hang 'em high; keep your vows brief
Let 'em swing
Make his swindle an art.
And if you still believe that men guilty of love can survive,
Then hang 'em high or not at all

Where did you get the privilege to pardon me?

Bad Year for a Focus

Lab report, research presentation, and an oral exam all in the next two days, I'm posting again anyway. Aren't you all special. :)

I thought I'd share a random little story:

So I have a Ford Focus. Not exactly a sports car, but it certainly gets the job done, and not too shabbily if I may say so myself. But apparently Madison has its own reservations about Foci.

About two months ago, I went out to my car to go... drive it somewhere I guess, and as I got closer to it I noticed that the driver side mirror had been broken. As in, broken the fuck off, hanging by a wire. After staring dumbly at it for a minute, I ended up repairing it with half a roll of duct tape and some tears. Not so bad, and it hung on for highway drives. So I figured, well, at least I got some bad karma out of the way and good luck should be on the horizon.

About two weeks ago, I went out to my car to change parking spots (goddamn 48-hr parking limit). This time, I noticed something else. My windshield was fucked. FUCKED. Like FUCK fucked. Spiderweb cracks made the passenger half nearly opaque. I called up a policeman whom had apparently already noticed the damage and begun filing a report. The theoretical story, according to him, went something like this: some drunk people got drunker, jumped on my car, danced on the hood (what a good cop, he even noted the pattern of one of the shoeprints), and kicked my windshield to death. Also, my tire was flat. Coincidence probably, because why not.

Holy shit, why is that picture so big?

I'm not sure whether my car is having a bad luck streak or is secretly suicidal, but hopefully this shit stops. I can't complain too much, really-- at least all the damage has happened while I was outside the car. I'd rather drunk people kick my windshield than a drunk driver fuck my whole car, and me inside of it.

Still though, come on. I better have a titload of good karma saved up.

Out of Retirement

Okay guys, I've been gone for forever now, but I'm going to get back to making some posts.

Pic unrelated, but a cool tattoo from  crazy-tattoo-designs.com

I've been waitlisted at University of Minnesota Medical School, and hopefully I get in because that's the last application I have that I really care about...

Little bit of venting: I can barely begin to explain how frustrated I am with medical school applications. So many applicants are very qualified people, but the system is so flawed it's ridiculous. Applying to medical school has become much more about self-marketing than real preparation; depending on the med school, an application reviewer will care only about 1) volunteer experience, 2) clinical volunteer experience, or 3) diversity (and I don't just mean personal ethnicity, but moreso work with diverse communities). These are all important things... but are they as important as they seem? Volunteer experience is rarely beneficial to the applicant as far as professional preparation goes (case in point: I spent a while shoveling goat shit for a self-sustaining farm in Milwaukee, which got me nothing but sore shoulders and application points). A "good" applicant spends hundreds of hours doing these useless tasks for free generally not because s/he cares about helping the needy, but rather because they have time on their hands and reply to the countless college emails offering these "opportunities". Clinical volunteer experience? Typically, the only thing a hospital will let you do is deliver packages to patients or man a desk somewhere. Although I'd love to get REAL clinic experience, I have little interest in being free labor for an institution that knows it's taking advantage of pre-med students looking to decorate a CV. Diversity? The most legitimate one for sure, but as a white male, I always have a lot of ground to catch up on here. And it's kind of difficult to convince a reviewer or interviewer that I'm not afraid of minorities.

A brief summary of my application: I've spent over two years doing clinical hepatitis research for patient studies of liver transplantation and immunosuppressive treatment. The summer before last I worked in a biochemical genetics lab to help diagnose metabolic disorders. Last summer I worked 50-60 hrs/week at the university of Cambridge studying parasitology and post-transcriptional gene regulation. For the past year and a half I've been working to design and organize a customized clinic to be built in an underserved sector of Rwanda (being underserved in Rwanda means you've got problems). As per the medical or scientific details of all these projects... I was asked nothing by any of my interviewers.

During one of the interviews, I was asked to present an ethical dilemma that I'd dealt with recently. I drew kind of a blank at first; ethical dilemmas don't exactly occur everyday. But I thought of something. I told her that there was a large rush of encouragement-- through AMSA, Kaplan, word of mouth-- that a competitive medical school applicant showed community service above all else to prove they were worthy of becoming doctors. I told her that I took a risk: I denied this pseudo-educational pre-med path and pursued one that would actually benefit me. I studied, took difficult and extra classes, completed two entirely separate majors, and focused on a few important and effective extracurricular groups rather than passing through one major, doing a bunch of educationally unrelated community service activities and joining every group on campus only to attend monthly meetings and pay dues. I abandoned the traditional "look, I'm going to be a good doctor, see?" idea and went through experiences that would prepare me for my future in medicine and in research.

She gave me a pretty strange look, and was admittedly surprised. She said the admissions board often wondered about the honesty of some applicants when they took the path I didn't. That leap of faith got me waitlisted. Otherwise maybe I would've been rejected... or, hell, maybe accepted. We'll see if they find me to be "good enough" yet.

I should say that I don't blame anyone who took the path I didn't; it's kind of what we're supposed to do. And besides that, there are plenty who took rigorously educational paths while still putting tons of time into community service. I am by no means an unbelievably amazing person compared to the pool of those accepted into good medical schools like this. But I hope my honesty and adhesion to principle is worth enough.

Boy, a whole post without any music videos or anything? Fuck that. Every Time I Die released a new album not to long ago and it's the tits. Take a look at this video, and another song posted below this. If you like some thrashing vocals with solid metal, you'll enjoy ETID.

Okay, one strike against them, I can't embed the first video. You can find it here.

"Morals are simply a matter of time,
And where you lay your head's a question of pride.
But when it's said and done you'll find in the light,
That privilege and wit make me misfortune's child.

And for the other song I like:

Three more songs for you

So I've interviewed for medical school and hopefully I get in... Until then I'm applying for countless research positions in medical science... sigh. And I've got three papers and one midterm... all by Tuesday.

I've already posted a little of these two bands, but you guys could use some more...

A nice little Pink Floyd cover:

Intense, catchy:

Also really catchy, and lighter than the last song::

Quick post.

I just found this band and it's pretty cool. The name is I:Scintilla. Check them out a bit.

I haven't actually watched these videos yet, and I'm currently in a library so I hope the audio isn't bad. If so then woops.


I'm not dead, guys. I have a med school interview on Friday and about twelve million other things to do before next week, so I won't be posting much until this hill is over. Wish me luck, and once I return I'll bring some interesting stuff with me and finally have time to see how all of your blogs are doing.

Just for the hell of it, here is a funny video I found this weekend... I guarantee you'll enjoy it if you're a fellow Minecraft fiend...

The Birthday Massacre

Not much to say, so I'll post some videos from a band I recently discovered: The Birthday Massacre.

TBM is a synth-rock band, with a tinge of gothiness. But in a good way (imo), not the shitty way that everyone hates (or should). Maybe not for you, but maybe yes?

... By the way, if you are not so into emo imagery stuff, you might just want to not watch the video. They're definitely not my taste...

... like, Jesus. But it sounds good, that's what matters.

Sit 'round the fihre, y'all, an' lissen...

I'd like to introduce you all to a band called Rabbit Junk.

Okay, well, they're much better than that picture might indicate.

To quote Wikipedia, "Rabbit Junk is a Seattle based digital hardcore band, that formed in 2004 by former Shizit frontman JP Anderson. Taking influences from such diverse music genres such as hip hop, black metal and new wave, JP has called this sound 'Hardclash.' "(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_Junk) Though JP has reportedly claimed RJ NOT to be an industrial band, they sure sound quite a bit like it to me-- and personally, I think that's a good thing.

Rabbit Junk has so far come out with three albums;

First was the aptly-named "Rabbit Junk" which introduced them on the scene. The album was rather simple, combining electronic sounds with heavily-distorted guitar and vocals. Though the production quality was noticeably imperfect, RJ has released a remastered version that sounds quite a bit nicer than the original.

Next came "REframe", perhaps my personal favorite. The expertise was stepped-up pretty strongly in this album, bringing out a variety of new sounds, effects and moods behind the music. The album was much heavier than the last, and more metal-y sounding.

Lastly we have "This Life is Where You Get Fucked" which, though it has an unfortunately emo-sounding name, is amazing. RJ has really demonstrated an incredible range with this album, so much so that it's impossible to give you the right idea about the album from any one song. The album is split primarily into three parts...

The Struggle: "Post-Hardcore, and Drum & Bass. Powerlessness and ineffectual rage put to music. Struggle without victory or redemption. Without end. Our shared fate. As we go down, we may as well make some noise."

Ghetto Blasphemer: "Chaos, temptation, and irreverence. Black Metal and Hip Hop. Total blasphemy. A heresy against the petty gods of sub-culture. It must be crushed. Suffocated. The corruption must not be allowed to take hold. It feeds on fear. Kill it. Kill it dead."

This Death: "Hills, homicide and bicycles. Punk fucking rock and hardcore techno, with a dash of death metal for good measure. And bikes. And death. And fate tailing ,mere inches from the back of your head. Are you fast enough? Is fate a cunning enemy? Or an inanimate obstacle? When life tells you to stop, run the red. Your death could be art."

(couldn't find a video... check out the link at the bottom of the post)

Then there's Project Nonagon, which is technically a continuation of This Life, also in three sections. I'll just post one of those songs, because it's one of my favorites...

Aight, I'm out. ENJOY THIS SHIT, GODDAMNIT. Also, check out their website http://rabbitjunk.com/ if you want to learn some more.

If you REALLY like them, check out some of JP's other projects, which include The Shizit, The Named, Wolves Under Sail, and a few others...

Hiatus over... well, kind of

Sorry guys, it's been a little while. I'm visiting friends this weekend, so you might have to wait until Monday for another post. I'm feeling like something a little deeper and more meaningful.

... For then, at least. For now, here is a game I've played recently, that you might like to check out....

This is a nice little puzzle game that follows the story of a mysterious hermit through his history and travels. Playing it really piqued my curiosity as a Psychology major. I hope you like it!...

Common Misconceptions

This comic from xkcd gave me an idea for a good post...

I had never known there was such an article on wikipedia-- so, I compiled a list of some of the most interesting misconceptions.

In ancient Rome, Romans did not build rooms called vomitoria in which to purge themselves after a meal.Vomitoria were the entranceways through which crowds entered and exited a stadium. 

There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets.

There is no evidence that iron maidens were invented in the Middle Ages or even used for torture, despite being shown so in some media, but instead were pieced together in the 18th century from several artifacts found in museums in order to create spectacular objects intended for (commercial) exhibition.

Christopher Columbus's efforts to obtain support for his voyages were not hampered by a European belief in a flat Earth. Sailors and navigators of the time knew that the Earth was spherical, but (correctly) disagreed with Columbus' estimate of the distance to India, which was approximately 1⁄6th of the actual distance. If the Americas did not exist, and had Columbus continued to India, he would have run out of supplies before reaching it at the rate he was traveling. Without the ability to determine longitude at sea, he could not have corrected his error. This problem remained unsolved until the 18th century, when the lunar distance method emerged in parallel with efforts by inventor John Harrison to create the first marine chronometers. The intellectual class had known that the Earth was spherical since the works of the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle. Eratosthenes made a very good estimate of the Earth's diameter in the third century BC.

Contrary to the popular image of the Pilgrim Fathers, the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, did not dress in black, wear buckles, or wear black steeple hats. According to Plimoth Plantation historian James W. Baker, this image was formed in the 19th century when buckles were a kind of emblem of quaintness. This is also the reason illustrators gave Santa Claus buckles. But not the meaning behind the clothing store Buckle, in which it is a symbol for rhinestones and MMA.

Marie Antoinette did not actually use the phrase "let them eat cake" when she heard that the French peasantry was starving due to a dearth of bread. The phrase was first published in Rousseau's Confessions when Marie was only 10 years old and most scholars believe that Rousseau coined it himself, or that it was said by Maria-Theresa, the wife of Louis XIV. Even Rousseau (or Maria-Theresa) did not use the exact words but actually "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" ("Let them eat brioche [a rich type of bread]"). Marie Antoinette was a very unpopular ruler and many people therefore attribute the phrase "let them eat cake" to her, in keeping with her reputation as being hard-hearted and disconnected from her subjects. I wonder if they discuss this in the recent movie. 

George Washington did not have wooden teeth. According to a study of Washington's four known dentures by a forensic anthropologist from the University of Pittsburgh (in collaboration with the National Museum of Dentistry, itself associated with the Smithsonian Museum), the dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and human and animal teeth (including horse and donkey teeth). Just as awesome in my opinion.

It is a common misconception that the signing of the Declaration of Independence occurred on July 4, 1776. The final language of the document was approved by the Second Continental Congress on that date, it was printed and distributed on July 4 and 5, but the actual signing occurred on August 2, 1776.

Napoleon Bonaparte (pictured) was not particularly short, and did not have a Napoleon complex. After his death in 1821, the French emperor’s height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet. This corresponds to 5 feet 6.5 inches in modern international feet, or 1.686 metres. There are competing explanations for why he was nicknamed le Petit Caporal (The Little Corporal), but few modern scholars believe it referred to his physical stature. Another explanation is that Napoleon was often seen with his Imperial Guard, which contributed to the perception of him being short because the Imperial Guards were above average height. Still doesn't sound quite so tall to me, though I guess average height has increased since then.

John F. Kennedy's words "Ich bin ein Berliner" are standard German for "I am a Berliner".An urban legend has it that due to his use of the indefinite article ein, Berliner is translated as jam doughnut, and that the population of Berlin was amused by the supposed mistake. The word Berliner is not commonly used in Berlin to refer to the Berliner Pfannkuchen; they are simply called Pfannkuchen. In other parts of Germany, though, the term "Berliner" actually also is used for the product in question, so there is a grain of truth in the myth, but of course no Berliner assumed a mistake in the quote.

Entrapment law in the United States does not require police officers to identify themselves as police in the case of a sting or other undercover work. The law is specifically concerned with enticing people to commit crimes they would not have considered in the normal course of events. So undercover hooker police CAN exist...

Some cooks believe that food items cooked with wine or liquor will be non-alcoholic, because alcohol's low boiling point causes it to evaporate quickly when heated. However, a study found that much of the alcohol remains: 25% after 1 hour of baking or simmering, and 10% after 2 hours. Which is why everyone in Wisconsin loves beer cheese soup.

Sushi does not mean "raw fish", and not all sushi includes raw fish.The name sushi refers to the vinegared rice used in it. Sushi is made with sumeshi, rice which has been gently folded with rice vinegar, salt, and sugar dressing. The rice is traditionally topped by raw fish, cooked seafood, fish roe, egg, and/or vegetables such as cucumber, daikon radish, and avocado. The related Japanese term, sashimi, is closer in definition to "raw fish", but still not quite accurate: Sashimi can also refer to any uncooked meat or vegetable, and usually refers more to the dish's presentation than to its ingredients. The dish consisted of sushi rice and other fillings wrapped in seaweed is called makizushi, and includes both "long rolls" and "hand rolls".

Microwave ovens do not cook food from the inside out. Microwave radiation penetrates food and causes direct heating only a short distance from the surface. This distance is called the skin depth. As an example, lean muscle tissue (meat), has a skin depth of only about 1 cm at microwave oven frequencies.

Placing metal inside a microwave oven does not damage the oven's electronics. There are, however, other safety-related issues: Electrical arcing may occur on pieces of metal not designed for use in a microwave oven, and metal objects may become hot enough to damage food, skin, or the interior of the microwave oven. Metallic objects that are designed for microwave use can be used in a microwave with no danger; examples include the metalized surfaces used in browning sleeves and pizza-cooking platforms. Look up some videos of CDs in microwaves; that gets intense.

Swallowed chewing gum does not take seven years to digest. In fact, chewing gum is mostly indigestible, but passes through the digestive system at the same rate as other matter.

It is commonly claimed that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the Moon. This is false. None of the Apollo astronauts reported seeing any specific man-made object from the Moon, and even earth-orbiting astronauts can barely see it, but city lights are easily visible on the night side of Earth from orbit. The misconception is believed to have been popularized by Richard Halliburton decades before the first moon landing. Shuttle astronaut Jay Apt has been quoted as saying "…the Great Wall is almost invisible from only 180 miles up."

Black holes, unlike their common image, do not act as "cosmic vacuum cleaners" any more than other stars.The collapse of a star into a black hole is an explosive process, which means, according to Mass–energy equivalence, that the resulting black hole would be of lower mass than its parent object, and actually have a weaker gravitational pull. The source of the confusion comes from the fact that a black hole exists in a space much smaller but orders of magnitude more dense than a star, causing its gravitational pull to be much stronger closer to its surface. But, as an example, were the Sun to be replaced by a black hole of the same mass, the orbits of all the planets surrounding it would be unaffected. This one blew my mind a bit.

The claim that a duck's quack does not echo is false, although the echo may be difficult to hear for humans under some circumstances.

The notion that goldfish have a memory of only three seconds is false.

Lemmings do not engage in mass suicidal dives off cliffs when migrating. They will, however, occasionally, and unintentionally fall off cliffs when venturing into unknown territory, with no knowledge of the boundaries of the environment. The misconception is due largely to the Disney film White Wilderness, which shot many of the migration scenes (also staged by using multiple shots of different groups of lemmings) on a large, snow-covered turntable in a studio. Photographers later pushed the lemmings off a cliff. The misconception itself is much older, dating back to at least the late nineteenth century.

Bats are not blind. While most bat species do use echolocation to augment their vision, all bat species have eyes and are capable of sight.  Maybe I should do a post on echolocation sometime. I learned some in-depth neuro in echolocation and it's intensely awesome.

It's a common myth that an earthworm becomes two worms when cut in half. However, only a limited number of earthworm species are capable of anterior regeneration. When most earthworms are bisected, only the front half of the worm (where the mouth is located) can survive, while the other half dies. Also, species of the planaria family of flatworms actuallydo become two new planaria when bisected or split down the middle.

According to urban myth, the daddy longlegs spider (Pholcus phalangioides) is the most venomous spider in the world, but the shape of their mandibles leaves them unable to bite humans, rendering them harmless to our species. In reality, they can indeed pierce human skin, though the tiny amount of venom they carry causes only a mild burning sensation for a few seconds. In addition, there is also confusion regarding the use of the name daddy longlegs, because harvestmen (order Opiliones, which are not spiders) and crane flies (which are insects) are also known as daddy longlegs, and share (also incorrectly) the myth of being venomous. I just heard this a year ago and... did anyone ever really believe this?

Ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. This tale originates from the fact that the male ostrich will dig a large hole (up to 6 to 8 feet wide and 2 to 3 feet deep) in the sand for the eggs. Predators cannot see the eggs across the countryside which gives the nest some measure of protection. The female and male take turns sitting on the eggs and, because of the indention in the ground, usually just blend into the horizon. All birds turn their eggs (with their beak) several times a day during the incubation period. From a distance it may appear as though the bird has its head in the sand.

Sharks can actually suffer from cancer. The myth that sharks do not get cancer was spread by the 1992 book Sharks Don't Get Cancer by I. William Lane and used to sell extracts of shark cartilage as cancer prevention treatments. Reports of carcinomas in sharks exist, and current data do not allow any speculation about the incidence of tumors in sharks. It makes me sad that this asshole made money off such a ridiculous idea.

It is not harmful to baby birds to pick them up and return them to their nests, despite the common belief that doing so will cause the mother to reject it.

Bulls are not enraged by the color red, used in capes by professional matadors. Cattle are color-blind. It is not the color of the cape that angers the bull, but rather the movement of the fabric that irritates the bull and incites it to charge.

The word theory in the theory of evolution does not imply doubt from mainstream science regarding its validity; the concepts of theory andhypothesis have specific meanings in a scientific context. While theory in colloquial usage may denote a hunch or conjecture, a scientific theory is a set of principles that explains observable phenomena in natural terms.Evolution is a theory in the same sense as germ theory, gravitation, or plate tectonics. If you have ever used the "it's just a theory" argument against an evolutionist, shame on you.

Evolution does not claim humans evolved from monkeys, chimpanzees or any other modern-day primates. Instead, humans and monkeys share a common ancestor that lived about 40 million years ago. This common ancestor diverged into separate lineages, one evolving into so-called New World monkeys and the other into Old World monkeys and apes. Humans are included in the Hominidae family, which also includes chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. Similarly, the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, which lived between 5 and 8 million years ago, evolved into two lineages, one eventually becoming modern humans and the two extant species of chimpanzee.

Evolution is not a progression from inferior to superior organisms, and it also does not necessarily result in an increase in complexity.

Evolution does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. A common argument against evolution is that entropy, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, increases over time, and thus evolution could not produce increased complexity. However, the law only applies to closed systems, which the Earth is not as it absorbs and radiates the Sun's energy.

Glass is not a high-viscosity liquid at room temperature: it is an amorphous solid, although it does have some chemical properties normally associated with liquids. Panes of stained glass windows often have thicker glass at the bottom than at the top, and this has been cited as an example of the slow flow of glass over centuries. However, this unevenness is due to the window manufacturing processes used in earlier eras, which produced glass panes that were unevenly thick at the time of their installation. Normally the thick end of glass would be installed at the bottom of the frame, but it is also common to find old windows where the thicker end has been installed to the sides or the top. In fact, the lead frames of the windows are less viscous than the panes, and if glass was indeed a slow moving liquid, the panes would warp at a higher degree.

I think that's enough for one post-- I'll post the rest later. If you want to check out the list for yourself, here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_misconceptions.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science

I cam across a really interesting article last night, which raises the concern of how prominent ethical issues are in medicine, even in modern society.

"In 2001, rumors were circulating in Greek hospitals that surgery residents, eager to rack up scalpel time, were falsely diagnosing hapless Albanian immigrants with appendicitis. At the University of Ioannina medical school’s teaching hospital, a newly minted doctor named Athina Tatsioni was discussing the rumors with colleagues when a professor who had overheard asked her if she’d like to try to prove whether they were true—he seemed to be almost daring her. She accepted the challenge and, with the professor’s and other colleagues’ help, eventually produced a formal study showing that, for whatever reason, the appendices removed from patients with Albanian names in six Greek hospitals were more than three times as likely to be perfectly healthy as those removed from patients with Greek names. “It was hard to find a journal willing to publish it, but we did,” recalls Tatsioni. “I also discovered that I really liked research.”
We all know that any healthcare conclusion sounds more convincing if there is data behind it; "9 out of 10 dentists recommend" or "Bayer reduces risk of heart attack by 50%"... But how legitimate are numbers like this? Primary biochemical research, like the articles slowly churned out of universities, tend to be accurate or at least modest and trustworthy, but this is because this research is generally only for the sake of knowledge. Drug companies can be a little different, because data collection just isn't quite held to the same standards as it is when there's no significant profit to be gained. This article highlights some of the inadequacies prevalent in the modern research world and how troubling they can be.

You can find the article here.

My Favorite Wallpapers

Here are some of the wallpapers I've been using through the years-- don't be afraid to copy me and take one!
(Yeah, half of them are NIN wallpapers, go ahead and call me a fanboy but I really do like the way they look)

I've also been following another blog, which has a pretty huge collection of nice wallpapers. If mine aren't good enough for you, check his blog out:

Wallpapering Everything

Nine Inch Nails... Video Anthology

Happy New Year err'body... I hope you're all working on your resolutions, because I'm not. At least so far.

Once again, I don't really have the time to invest in a full post, so I just thought I'd post some more videos. This time, instead of a random video I like, I'll post a few of my idol: Trent Reznor.

If you don't like his videos, feel free to tell him. I'm sure he'd like to hear why.

First, let me say something: his videos tend to be a little unconventional. At least, his best ones do, in my opinion. Let's start off with early Trent.

Look at this. Look back at the first picture. Then look at this again.

Trent Reznor started off as a musician in the strange band Exotic Birds. After he left, he began to produce music that I'm a bit more fond of (Thank God). 

Enter "Sin", one of NIN's earliest and most controversial videos. The full video can't be found easily; rather, the incomplete version is the only one publicly available. It is very much NSFW, so I won't embed it here; but if you search for it, it isn't hard to find.
If you didn't watch that one, this characterizes the transition pretty well too: NIN's "Wish", from the album Broken. I like the song quite a bit, though the video looks like a BDSM party. This video is more SFW but I still wouldn't draw attention to yourself watching it if you're sitting next to your boss/grandma/whatever.

Next album, The Downward Spiral. As TR himself said:
"The idea behind the album is of someone who sheds everything around them to a potential nothingness, but through career, religion, relationship, belief and so on. It's less muscle-flexing, though when I started it I didn't know what I wanted it to sound like. I knew I didn't want to be a full metal album, so I tried to address the issue of restraint. It was a long process."
Here's the live video of "Hurt" one of the songs most responsible for NIN's respect...

Another song from the album, "Closer" became infamously popular at the time, due it's being pretty fucked up. I'd say the video is probably NSFW, since there's a naked lady that appears quite a few times. A great song, though some people take it to represent NIN's entire repertoire much more than they should.

One more video; live, kind of: "March of the Pigs". 

He MUST be on something. Or somethings.

Next comes The Fragile, my personal favorite and also the largest of NIN's albums. TR stated:
"The Fragile was an album based a lot in fear, because I was afraid as fuck about what was happening to me. That's why there aren't a lot of lyrics on that record. I couldn't fucking think. An unimaginable amount of effort went into that record in a very unfocused way."
The album doesn't have very many music videos... The video for "We're In This Together" can be found here (embedding was disabled). In addition we have "Into the Void" here... the video is essentially just a long extreme closeup of Trent, but the song is badass so I'll include it anyway:

One of the songs even went onto the soundtrack of a movie you may have heard of:

After a six year hiatus, NIN finally came out with  With_Teeth. The album lacked some of the hard, angry sound that NIN fans had appreciated, so a lot of fans I know were somewhat disappointed; I would say this album marked a change in TR's artistic direction, for sure. The video for my favorite song from the album, "Only":

Not much later, NIN released Year Zero, a concept album focused on a predicted dystopic society plagued by government and religious domination. The album was promoted through a conspiracy-theory-y string of websites, guiding the user through a futuristic mystery that slowly (and not without difficulty) painted the full picture to the user. The wikipedia page on the deal can be found here, and I encourage you to look through some of the sites if you're into that kind of thing... I found it pretty fun at the time, since everything was new and connected with little more than rumors, but it might not have the same appeal now.
The video for "Survivalism":

Later, NIN released the albums Ghosts and The Slip... these albums weren't received too well, by the public or by me. Ghosts was basically an inexpensive, quickly made set of background music... but nothing that contained any real sort of flair or emotion. The Slip was okay, but just seemed tired and uninteresting for the most part. I found a video made for the song "Lights in the Sky", my favorite song from the album; the video is not official, but works nicely with the song anyway, and everybody likes glaciers.

Oh, also a fan-made video for "Discipline" that recognized by NIN and even posted on their website for a while... (lol)

So, there you have it. If you liked what you saw, then you should check out some more of NIN's work, and some of the other videos out there. NIN had a sound full of true emotions and experience, things rare in a business full of charlatans and posers tooling around, pretending to be artists. The music has had a profound effect on my life. I hope you enjoyed the post.

In closing, another little video I found, summarizing TR's career:


I fixed all the videos... You can probably tell, I put the embed codes in "compose" rather than the HTML format, so my bad. I know from now on to check my shit before I publish! I hope you guys can enjoy the videos now.

I should probably also add that the last video doesn't reflect my opinion of NIN or TR at all... I just thought it was pretty funny. And to be honest, I think the song is kind of catchy...
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