Scientists engineer stable half-synthetic form of life…This is only the beginning

A Happy Separation What was once thought to be possible only through nature is now being created in the lab. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) announced today that they have successfully created the first-ever, fully stable semi-synthetic living organism. In 2014, TSRI professor Floyd Romesberg and his colleagues led a study which…

via First-Ever Semi-Synthetic Organism Opens The Door to New Forms of Life — Futurism


Why We Suffer: Asceticism and The Search For Inner Harmony

Job 1:12—

“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord…”

I am not exactly a fanatic of the Bible, but I still find myself captivated by many of its stories, and the meanings they have passed down (I mean, it’s been around for God knows how long, constantly changing and re-interpreted).

For example, the story of Job, who may well be one of the most unluckiest saps to ever keep his faith in an inherently benevolent God. For some reason, during a bet between Satan and God, the former claimed no one would worship or obey him if they weren’t granted his divine grace. The result? Put your most devout follower to the test (taking Jehovah’s protection away from him), even if that means destroying everything and everyone that he had, and driving the subject himself to near death.

Because, y’know, nothing bad ever happens when we mortals lose everything we are attached to.

Above: Divine Agony

Despite this overwhelming cruelty and the spiteful comments of his friends, Job stayed strong and true to his faith (claiming it was just “God’s will”), with Satan finally backing down and God giving Job replacements—plus interest—for everything he had lost. Now while I think this was sadistic, as God rarely ever ‘steps in’ as is, it shows how far evil must go to crush an integrous man, able to shrug off his suffering as God’s will, and I can’t help but relating to Job in moments when our principals and core beliefs are jeopardized by forces beyond our control.

In an age of rapid information and ubiquitous technologies, it is easy to feel trapped and be distracted from our true selves. To embrace simple living, that is, living on the bare necessities and constitutes of mankind —so that I may better myself as a person with moral obligations—is what I strive towards every day. This kind of thinking, whether if your a Bohemian refusing to use a cell phone or in extreme athletics or a starving monk, is known as Asceticism… However, it does come with limits.

Let’s start first by defining what that word. Asceticism is from the Greek word áskesis, which means training, or exercise. There are many differing views and types of this lifestyle choice (for example the Stoics versus the Hindus), but its main principles remain the same: pleasure is ultimately unfulfilling, and the only way to live with true purpose is to self-discipline the mind and body via abstinence from worldly pleasures, such as sex, drugs, or rock n’ roll. Of course, this may do the same thing as Hedonism, leaving one exhausted and empty, and I am a firm believer of the Buddha’s middle-way: everything must come with moderation to prevent suffering. And moderation must come with changes of behavior, awareness, and communication.

This year, I vow to minimalize all toxic substances (and people) from my life, and increase my levels of endurance in productive activities such as running, surfing, meditation, and especially writing.

So, let me know guys and gals: what ways do you search for balance in your life?



Inspired by:

a sixty-pack box of Swiss Miss™ from Costco®.

  1. You can add more toppings to hot chocolate than any other beverage (e.g. tea, coffee, juice).
  2. You can mix it in with your coffee for an added caffeine boost.
  3. You can drink it during morning for breakfast, and during night for dessert.
  4. Traditional cocoa is made with milk, but water is a worthy substitute and there’s little difference in deliciousness (albeit less creamier).
  5. It helps with digestion: It’s not so acidic as coffee, and easier on the stomach.
  6. You can use chocolate bar base or any other form of chocolate really to make your own from scratch.
  7. It brings back distinctly fond memories from childhood for me; going to a little family restaurant after preschool with my mom, and always ordering hot, hot cocoa (yeah, of course it’s personal).
  8. Studies have shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than wine or tea, and thereby reduces the risks of heart disease.
  9. A cup of cocoa per day can help improve blood flow, and the inner surface of blood vessels (Source: Here).
  10. It comes in many different styles all around the world, from thick like pudding and served with Churros for breakfast (Spain) to instantly made from a packet of mixed powders (United States). Mexico even has its own traditional version called Champurrado, made with corn dough.

I am forever grateful for this small item of comfort and warmth..