Thursday, 6 January 2011

Physiology Revision and Super-Rabbits

OK so it's been a while since I posted. Sorry i've got a big Physiology exam coming up on Monday and I've basically gone into frantic cramming hibernation because I was only at about three of the lectures....and there's a hell of a lot to learn.

One of the things that struck me while I was making out notes on lectures was something in relation to brain formation and function. I'm sure a lot of people believe that what sets us apart from our fellow animals is our ability to feel empathy and emotions, or certainly that our emotions were a lot more developed than an animals. What I found during the lecture was actually that most animals brains are made up mostly of the limbic system (the parts of the brain that control emotion and memory) and not much else. Instead the evolutionary path that was taken with humans was that initially they had the same sort of brain i.e. it was mostly made up of a limbic system, and then we evolved to have a cerebral cortex which allowed us greater intellect and understanding than the animals around us.

I personally found this quite interesting as it suggests that some animals may have as complex emotions as humans do, and they also have the ability to retain and remember these emotions the way humans do.....and can animals therefore experience love? Love is induced by the dopamine reflex, i.e dopamine is released when you're with the object of your affections, causes an addiction blah blah.....surely it's possible that this process happens with animals aswell?

It then made me wonder; What if we're just the first in a line of "super animals"? If we take the point of view that we are basically "Super-apes" i.e apes who developed a cerebral cortex and higher brain functions (A horrible over-simplification, I do apologise), isn't it then possible that other animals could do the same thing. Is it possible that in millions of years time there will be "super-rabbits" or "super-snakes" prowling the earth, because they're experienced a similar gene mutation by pure chance?

Furthermore, what would the social implications of this be? Would there be interspecies war? Would these intellectual animals be used as slaves? Bought and sold like animals because , in the human's eyes, perhaps they see them as animals? Would there be eventual revolt and many social upheavals or would everyone learn to co-exist peacefully? Perhaps the trouble in Israel would go from being Jew vs Muslim to Human vs Supercamel?!?!

And let's be honest....if there's a superlion we're all fucked.

Well this has been a relatively short post cos I need to go to bed to get up early in the morning and do some more work...but if you stuck it through to the end (if you did, I pity you lol) then congratulations.....You've received more insight into the barren wasteland that is my brain.

P.S...Watched Derren Brown earlier that man is a genius...may discuss in next post lol

Thursday, 30 December 2010

My thoughts on Patients, Illness and Death. Not a cheery read but the mind can't always be a cheery place.

Random topic today. I was thinking it was about time that I wrote about something medical seeing as one of the first things I mentioned about myself was that I'm a medical student, and the first thing I always think about is the patients.

Well, perhaps I shouldn't call them patients, because obviously I've never actually treated anyone, however we have examined and taken histories from real people in real hospitals, so, for all intents and purposes, they are patients.

I have great respect for patients, especially those who have been diagnosed with a long term or terminal illness. These people just smile, make jokes and get on with their lives, I remember one woman in particular, who was on oxygen that she had to wheel around with her everywhere, and had done for about the last fifteen years, yet she was as cheery as anyone else and made jokes about her condition. One man had severe complications from a stroke and could barely speak, yet he still let us come into his house and made every effort he could to communicate with us. To me it shows how resilient people can be, and this is why I have so much respect for patients and I hope that throughout my career this never changes.

I often wonder how I would personally react if I was diagnosed with a long term illness such as motor degenerative disease or Huntingtons. If I was told that inside me there was a ticking time bomb that was going to slowly get worse and worse until it eventually went off and I died. Would I continue with my life and try and live as normally as possible or would I break off and try to accomplish something big before I prematurely passed away? I don't think I can even tell what I'd do unless I was in that position, but I really hope that I'm not.

And if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness what would I do? Woul I regress into myself just waiting for the moment when it all stopped? Would I go out into the world determined to do some good before I die? Would I tell that special girl that I love her and hope for the best? Or would I just try and get on with my life? It's such a massive bombshell that I don't know how anyone ever deals with it; I suppose some people turn to their faith but some of us don't have that luxury....who do we turn to for comfort? I don't fear death as I believe that after death I won't feel anything anyway, but for that reason I want to try and stay on this earth for as long as possible....which is why I find it hard to think how I would react in that situation as how do you react to the idea that you're going to soon be cast into oblivion, just suddenly ceasing to exist?

Death. Death surrounds every single one of us. It's funny how people always come up with Euphamisms about death, and avoid talking about it directly, yet it is the only thing that is inevitably going to happen to all of us. I always found it odd that, despite a lot of people believing in an afterlife and a heaven, these people still fear death. Is this a show of doubt in extreme circumstances or is it just simply human nature?

I already have my burial plans (I'm well aware this is morbid lol)....I want to be buried in my own back yard and a sapling planted over me....or maybe even a whole garden. That way my wife (?) and kids (?) and family can go and know the are close to me. Also I like the idea of being recycled into something that is life instead of being thrown in the ground in a wooden box and pushing up daisies or burnt to a crisp and scattered somewhere. I want to be made vital in my own death.

Recently I lost two friends (one suddenly and one to a long term struggle against an illness) and I was greatly saddened by these deaths. There's nothing worse than a young person having their life taken away from them...there's something unjust about it. It's odd the emotions that death brings about in people: Sadness obviously, greed, Happiness in some cases and , in my case, anger. I just felt completely pissed off about these deaths yet I had no-one to be angry with. It was emotion directed at no-one....but it was my way of dealing with it. I'm sure I'm not the only one either.

Well, I'd like to say that that post was really just everything flowing straight from my brain to my typing fingers, so it's not exactly structured or probably in any way enjoyale to read....but fair play for sticking through it if you got to this point lol. These are my thoughts in their purest form...and I think in this post you've seen the more humanitarian side of my psyche because, whether you believe it or not from my other posts I do have one.

Thanks for taking the time to read this if you did, and I hope you got something out of it.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Post number two for today......a little more targeted.

This time I truly have something to write (read: rant) about.

Before I posted my first two entries I hadn't had very much experience with blogging, and hadn't seen many real blogs. My understanding was that it was your own personal slice of the internet to use in whatever way you talk about YOUR day, talk about YOUR thoughts and YOUR experiences.

Then today, while curious to see what other bloggers were doing and writing about, I decided to take the first few tentative clicks of the ">next blog" hyperlink.

The first thing that popped up was the picture of a laughing child. I thought ok, fair enough, someone here has a nice little cutesie page I'll just let them get on with it if that's their thing. Then I kept clicking. Click; Laughing Baby. Click; Professional portrait of an all-smiling family with kids. Click; Two more laughing children. Click; More children and a story about a mom trying to balance raising children with her professional career.

Almost all of these types of Blogs (which seem to be almost all of the blogs) are prefaced with a title of "The (insert generic surname here) Family".......or some of them trying to be individual and saying "The bland family chronicles" or some similar individual that I saw the word "Chronicles" about 10 times....and I only clicked next blog about twenty times.

The point I'm trying to make is why do these people feel the need to parade their family like this in front of the internet. The ones with the professionally taken photos of their immaculate middle class american family while out in a field of golden leaves during the autumn while everyone in the family wears a smile and halos spread out of their heads (edit: may have made that bit up lol) especially pissed me off. It was clearly just people presenting their families and saying "hey, we're perfect! up yours!" thinly veiled by the excuse that they were providing real "insight" and light into people's lives, or trying to show people "Hey, you're not alone in your struggles raising a family....even though we never had any troubles of our own cos we're all absolutely perfect ya know?". In reality these are the families who probably have the most problems but long as the family blog still looks immaculate who cares if 14-year-old Susie is up the duff and doesn't know who the father is? Who cares if 8 year old Jimmy beat up 12 consecutive children at break time...who cares if 4 year old annie is saying that uncle robert, the one with the wooden leg, the glass eye and the "sneaky look" touched her in a special long as the blog looks like there's nothing wrong in our family we can brush everything else under the carpet in that thing called reality. Give me a fucking break.

The whole blog of the "Professional Matriarch" is another cliché.....If you're finding it so hard to cope then haul your ass away from the computer and spend the time actually doing something productive. Don't complain about never having time to do anything if you're gonna sit for hours in front of a computer obssessing over your blog, as you have clearly done due to the sheer number of posts and all the design work that has gone in. Also I seem to remember reading about similar things somewhere around the mid-90s (when I was about 5) and even then I was bored with it. We recognise the fact there are professional mothers who deserve recognition for being able to juggle the two effectively. There are also professional Father counterparts who do the same thing and don't mindlessly blog about it on the internet cos hey guess what- It's called Life.

For me, I just wanted this whole thing to be my personal slice of the internet. It's a forum to present my thoughts, experiences and feelings on things in a way that doesn't really bother the people around me, due to the fact that I haven't identified them. If you want to have a family blog, that's fine. But be real. Remember people don't want to read about how your life is always bliss....write about the hard stuff aswell. And, for the love of fuck, if you're gonna write about being a harrassed and professional Mother, stop, power off your laptop and go feed your screaming, hungry baby.

The Dark Innards of My Brain.

It's hard to know what to write here at the minute because I'm still on uni holidays and am pretty much deprived of all human contact apart from my family, so I thought that in this entry I'd just start writing and see what came out....hence this post should be an awful collection of the inner scrapings of my thoughts lol.

The other day a thought suddenly struck me. From an evolutionary point of view, how did genders evolve and why are there only two? I know that the reason for having more than one set of genes come together to create an organism means that there is greater genetic variance and therefore less vulnerability to genetic conditions and diseases but surely if more than one gender had evolved, and all genders were necessary to create offspring this would make a more genetically varied individual, which would surely be better for all. I also started to wonder how the whole idea of two genders evolved in the first place, because the earliest organisms would have reproduced by simply dividing and cloning themselves, so where upon the line did this deviate to become two people coming together to make offspring?

Then the immature part of me started wondering if there were evolutionary stages that came with creating the genitals.....though realistically it is an interesting thought. Was there a point were the women with deeper vajayjays had an evolutionary advantage? The men with the bigger penises? Does this mean that as we evolve they're getting bigger? Furthermore, if it was an attractive thing, does this mean women are evolved to have bigger breasts? More symmetric Faces? Why did men evolve beards? Are beards intrinsically and instinctually more attractive to women.....hmm perhaps I'll grow a beard.

Then my mind moved on to the more social implications of what it would be like if it only took one person to make a child, or if it took four or five genders. It's hard to imagine how different a society we'd be in either of these situations.

If it only took one person to make a child then the child would most likely be a genetic clone of its parent. There would be no such thing as romance, marraige, divorce, sex and anything that involves interaction with the opposite sex. There would only be platonic love and companionship. It would also take out one of the biggest motivating factors for crime which is sex.....because there's no point in performing a crime in order to do something that you're not even capable of...but there would be no feelings of lust leading to this crime anyway. What would happen if someone had multiple offspring? They would all be completely identical.....there would be generation upon generation fo the exact same people over and over again...and if a disease came along that one person was particularly prone to, their whole family could catch the disease and die. In some ways it could be argued that this is an accelerated form of Darwinism, and I suppose essentially eventually one particular set of chromosomes would arise the victor, and the world would be completely populated by what is essentially (genetically) the same person over and over again. Then if the disease came that wiped out this particular gene pool then it's bye bye humans. Food for thought.

Then the flipside; What if it took (for the sake of argument) four genders to come together to make a child. Would this mean that all the options and priveleges extendable to couples nowadays would have to be made available to fours? Four-way Marriages.........could be an interesting concept. The concept of sexuality would be completely revolutionised. "Tri-sexual" would have to become the norm, as one individual would have to be attracted to the other three in order to make a child, and it would therefore be abnormal to be attracted to just one gender...which is a bit ironic because in this world it's considered "normal" to be attracted to one sex, yet "freakish" if attracted to more than one. Would there be organised religion, and would it condemn this sort of monosexuality, telling people that they must be involved in 4-way relationships? Would people try to cure this monosexuality? It would certainly be a very different sexual landscape. This also applies to sex.....what if one of the four wasn't in the mood, would they feel pressure because of the other three? Would it be possible for only two of them to have sex? Would they all do it at once or would the sex cells pass between the genders?....the possibilities are endless... take a second to amuse yourself thinking of how it would work.....

And then take another second to amuse yourself wondering what the other gender's genitals would look like lol. You were thinking it.....


Well I hope this has provided an even greater insight to my very warped mind and I hope it's at least invoked some form of reflection in you wondering about whether or not the current system is the best, or indeed where (socially and evolutionarily) the current system arose from.

And if not, I hope you had a laugh thinking of strange sex between strange genders and strange genitals.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bit of an intro.......

Well, to whomever may be unfortunate enough to be reading this.......

Basically recently a friend of mine started blogging recently so I wanted to see what it felt like to be publicising me and my life on the internet so here I am. I've named it "The One in the Background"....I guess that's pretty resonant because sometimes it just feels like I'm the one in the background. I don't mean this in a negative self pitying way/emo way as in "I'm so unnoticed.....I'm so sad.....I'll do stuff so people will notice me cos I'm an attention whore etc...."...I basically mean that I feel I'm the one who sits and isn't necessarily the centre of attention but who takes it all in and can see things that perhaps the more extroverted than me miss. I'm also in the situation where, even though I'm not maybe the first in line for people to talk to about mundane things, people always come to me with their I'm essentially the one in the background till they need me. I'm sure there's other people like this......hopefully I'm not going crazy haha.

Well a bit about me. I'm a med student from the UK. The course is pretty good, and I'm enjoying it but you get to see/hear some funny things round and about the wards.....and also the nights out! I also sing, play the guitar, bass, bit of piano, bit of drums, harmonica, violin, recorder so I enjoy a bit of music aswell.....I also read a lot, write music and some poetry.....and I enjoy the odd drink Yeo! If you ever meet me in person I'll have a JD on the rocks....actually make it a double.

Currently I'm living in a uni house with 5 of my mates....some of the blogging might include them so I'll give them names.....fake names by their courses.....There's "Architect"; a workaholic who has a bit of a narcissistic streak but is overall a pretty nice guy and also a bit of a ladies man...the only one of the house lol, "Teacher"; A grumpy sarcastic guy who's normally pretty quiet but has some scorching one-liners when he does speak, "Mechengineer"; A socially awkward (except when drunk when he makes business deals in the toilet lol) sort-of nerd who may/may not be asexual and is a pretty funny guy in terms of our house's warped sense of humour, "Civengineer"; A genuinely nice guy who unfortunately ends up bein a lot of the jokes of the house and the verbal abuse....also not very lucky with the ladies lol.

Then there's "Business"......who shall henceforth be known as "Princess". This is the guy in the house who's a spoilt little shit from who's mouth we had to forcibly remove the silver spoon when he moved in. He gets a torrent of deservéd abuse due to being a lay about who never goes to class. You may think I'm being harsh...but believe me if you met him you'd hate him too.

I have some other close friends and medics aswell who I'll introduce as I go along.....

So I didn't want this first entry to be completely about me and my life. I also wanted it to have a bit of a purpose to share my thoughts on something. So I guess I forgot to mention up there that I'm an atheist. This is a much blogged about topic so I'm not taking the traditional atheist viewpoint of "FUCK all you STUPID theist're wrong and I know this as fact.  You MUST believe what I do.". These people piss me off and give atheism an absolutely awful reputation, and are as bad as the evangelicals who I also detest.

To me religion is like this. A certain amount of evidence is presented in support of the claims made by religions. We are the jury. Some of us view the evidence to be enough to support our faith, and some of us don't. The point is that no-one knows for sure, therefore people trying to preach and convert other people is just ridiculous. If everyone believed the same thing the world would be a very very dull place. Embrace the fact that other people believe other things. Explore and challenge their beliefs in a respectful way, and let them explore and challenge your non-beliefs. No bad can come from this as it is a very good way of exploring your own reasons for/against faith.

In summary....Atheism is a small part of who I am, so I don't use it to be an arsehole to people....and neither should anyone.

So I think it's probably time for me to climb off soapbox I just needed something to rant about as part of my first post. This is the first time I've ever tried anything like this so if you took the time to read it don't judge me too harshly, and I hope the voyeuristic part of you at least got something out of it!

P.s GCVA89GDRDV6 <-- ignore this lol

ping site  <-- this too lol