Thursday, November 4, 2010


We are but a speck.
In this universe, there is an infinite amount of information at our disposal, and we can begin to gather said information and use it for our own benefit. The possibilities of what we can do with that information are endless! Oh, what wonderful new ideas can be created from the massive ether up above? Limitless amounts of knowledge abounds, it's all around us.
Yes, this grand power is at our disposal. Imagine what can be done! Take any small morsel of knowledge and you can do something with it! It's incredible! What can you create with this? What can be done?! Oh, wonderful new pieces of architecture you can make! You can solve the most complicated algebra problems, learn how an engine works, unlock the secrets of DNA, discover what brings us to the ground, change the world! We have this power at our disposal! We've all had the opportunity to change the world!
I know I've had the opportunity to do something.
Just today, I saw a chemistry text book in my room. I had yet to use it, so I told myself,
"I'm going to learn something new! I'll be able to do something with my new found knowledge! I will change the world."
I picked up the book, opened it and said,

"Fuck that, I'm gonna go watch television."

Learning is a good thing. In my psychology class, we learned about these fancy little things called neurons, also known as brain cells. They make us do things like run, think, punch, fly (a plane, of course), kowtow, speak, spell, everything.
A neuron is a special cell. The cell body has a bunch of tiny little branches that resemble roots protruding from it. These tiny little roots are called dendrites. They're helpful!
The neuron also has a long tail-like structure looking thing protruding from the cell body as well. This is the axon. The axon is pretty long and slender and ends with some other root resembling structures called the axon terminals. The axon is also very helpful!
There are a bunch of other stuff on and in the neurons, but you can look that up for yourself. We're just going to focus on those two structures and get on with whatever it is this blog is about.
Axons and dendrites are like best friends. The neuron will create an impulse of sorts and the impulse will travel down the axon and eventually the impulse reaches the axon terminals. Near the axon terminals are dendrites of another neuron! The impulse jumps from the terminals to the dendrites. The dendrites carry the impulse to the cell and the cycle goes on, through the new cell's axon, and onto more dendrites and such. Different impulses and types of neurons do different things, like allow us to move, think, feel good, lots of stuff.
Basically, axons carry impulses away from the cell body, and dendrites bring them to the cell.

Now then, in my psychology class, we were learning about learning. I thought it was kind of weird. I was learning about what I was doing. It's like, a never ending chain, or ouroboros, or something messed up like that. Anyway our professor told us that learning and trying new things helps your neuron's dendrites stay healthy and such! Making new cell connections by learning helps dendrites stay alive! Unfortunately, not stimulating your mind can cause your dendrites to break down, which isn't good at all. It's sad. Healthy dendrites are important for good cell communication, you guys.

So there's that. Apart from the fact that your brain cells will start sucking if you don't learn new stuff, there are other detrimental effects that can occur from not stimulating your sane mind with new things.
I probably could have come up with a neat pun using "detrimental effects" in the previous sentence. Dendrimental effects... If you get that, I will love you.

As I wrote about in a previous article, learning helps break the monotonous curse that can be inflicted upon us all. There may also be something you don't understand, like why some people suck so much, or how politics are all messed up and stuff. You may feel helpless about it all. But you can change that by learning about it and attempting to change it. Or if you don't get how something works, like gravity, you can read and learn!
You guys, becoming educated and learning is really important. Keep your mind stimulated and happy. It won't get bored, and you'll stay sane. Learning doesn't have to just occur in institutions of mandatory learning. There are these cool places called libraries with books. Or meet someone new. Walk a home a new way. Try selling your illegal drugs in a new alley, learn how to make frittata. Like I said earlier, there's a crapload of knowledge out there. Go make the effort to learn something new. You won't regret it. Hopefully...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


From the moment we are pulled and separated from our loving mother's womb and brought out into the cold, harsh reality that is the world by the cruel hand of some doctor, we unknowingly agree to be a part of some rather unfortunate events, activities, feelings and more. Shame, pain, break-ups, mathematics, the SAT, rejection, illness and much, much more make us miserable. There is one, though, that rises above all of these and makes us want to curl up and die. This event is experienced by everyone, mostly by awkward teenagers and pre-teens and can only be described as a gut-wrenching, bone crushing, tear inducing nightmare. We've come to know this experience as embarrassment. And as you know, it sucks. A lot.

Out of the many things Canada produced, sociologist Erving Goffman was probably one of the best. Mr. Goffman made many contributions to the field of sociology, including his study of symbolic interaction in the form of a dramaturgical perspective. When taking a dramaturgical perspective, we see people as actors presenting a "front stage self." But, like all actors in a theatrical production, before heading out on stage to perform their role, they must prepare themselves backstage.
Before you head out with all your friends and people you associate yourself with, you probably, you know, get ready and make yourself appear presentable. Heaven forbid you walk out with your grimy, smelly pajamas. No, instead, you bathe and change clothes in order to look not gross. In this example, your front stage self, the self you decide to show your friends, is clean and not gross. Your backstage self, the self you hide from the world, is gross and grimy. Get it? If not, do some research. I don't know if I did an adequate job explaining it, but if I didn't, get over it. I'm not a teacher or whatever.

There's a reason why I'm telling you this, you guys. Trust me.

But what happens when your backstage self is revealed to the world? Or when our "performance" goes all wrong?
Embarrassment happens.
And we want to die.

This unpleasant feeling is dreaded among us all. Many of us live in fear from it, avoiding all situations that can embarrass us such as reading out loud in class, dancing, singing, swimming in a pool, etc.
But, like everything else in life, if you worry too much about it, you're pretty much fucked. You will lose your sanity and people won't want to hang out with you anymore. You'll be boring, and boring people are not fun to be around. Those who will attempt to hide their backstage self from the world will constantly be cautious of what they do, say or wear. Every fleeting moment will be spent in constant fear. It won't end well. So, instead of avoiding it, embrace embarrassment.

Embarrassment is next to impossible to avoid. Fortunately, we have methods of lessening the impact of embarrassment. Your fellow "stage actors" (friends, family, etc.) will employ the use of tact when you become embarrassed. If something goes wrong, your fellow actors will support you and lessen the blow. You'll be fine.
Wise words were spoken to me once. I was told that embarrassing yourself at least once every day would prevent you from becoming a robot. That's probably true, too.

So, dear reader, wear your pants and shirts backwards, burp in the library, lose control of your bodily movements, have your stomach growl loudly at a funeral, and smile proudly, for the cilantro lodged deep within your gums are a sure sign that you are indeed not a robot. For the sake of your sanity, go forth and screw up.