Monday, March 13, 2017

The Secret Society of Trees and the Wisdom of its Dynamics

Botany is not sexy. In fact, amongst all sciences — save for entomology: it’s probably the grimiest, the most grotesque of all disciplines. The Martian certainly did not hold back any secrets.

It takes a special kind of dedication and love to willingly dig through dirt for research only for the society to assume you’re one step ahead of a herbalist. Or a woman, depending on which decade you’re currently living in.

But I’ve recently come to realization that trees  and fungi are awesome, and have been withholding paradigm shifting knowledge I had been looking for in astrophysics and cosmology: the sexier and the more appealing sciences.

If we had leaves instead of hair, our lives would be quite different.
Hand-drawn by me.
The idea of observing mechanisms of the natural world and trying to translate or even compare it to the social world of human beings has always fascinated me. The fact that I have Asperger’s, therefore my difficulty in analyzing social behavior straight from the source, might have contributed to my unconventional habit of trying to see the social world through the lens of nature.

I’ll give you an example. When I was a kid, I was unbelievably impatient. Back in 2005, I found it unnerving that my classmates took so long to solve an algebra equation that I could in less than a minute. But I knew my impatience was irrational, so I compared my classmates’ difficulty with algebra to Pluto taking a lot longer to orbit the Sun than the rest of its friends. It clicked at once to me that kids accomplished tasks in different paces, just like the planets.

And so I deduced empathizing with inanimate objects in the universe is enlightening, and not at all insane.

This is why I was ecstatic to read that plants can transfer food to its neighbors before dying. It’s such a simple idea, is it not? It turns out, trees are intimately connected through a network of fungi, whose relationship with trees are awkwardly named Mycorrhiza — a word I cannot pronounce nor would I dare to, at the expense of sounding silly.

Scientific American wrote of this while observing a dying Douglas-fir tree transferring nutrients:

“This amazes me. On the face of it, it appears as if the douglas-fir is acting altruistically (without expectation of return) to help neighbors of a completely different species in light of its own probable demise. Even without the altruism, that trees as widely unrelated as douglas-fir and ponderosa pine can transfer resources to each other for any reason through fungi from a completely different kingdom is a shocker to me.”

In any case, this symbiotic relationship creates a network where food and resources get transferred to another tree when one dies saying, presumably something along the lines of, “avenge me, my fauna overlords!”

I only presume.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if human beings acted the same manner? Plants are altruistic, why aren't we? Perhaps it’s time we learned a thing or two from Douglas-fir and its intimate connection with the fungi, an entirely different kingdom, collectively working to be not just a dick to one another, but have the ultimate form of empathy for one another so they may all survive as species.

I believe ants exhibit the same characteristics of selfless, self-sacrificing habits of collectivism that astounds curious scientists. It’s almost charming how surprised we are to find out ants have two stomachs; one for keeping food for themselves and the other for sharing.

Mother Nature made them amazing creatures and they seem to have life figured out. They are the epitome of a collectivist, communal society. Bernie Sanders would approve.

So I’ve concluded that trees deserve to take over the world. They are organized, intelligent, and far more empathizing than humans. Or does the fungi network pulling the strings of the fauna world deserve all the credit?

I will redeem my ignorance of botany by apologizing to every plant on my way home and watering them with my newly enlightened tears. That sounds rational.

Monday, November 28, 2016

HOW TO Detect Alien Robots Amongst Us

According to the most credible news source, James Dyson held a secret meeting with an alien ambassador just last month to find a new technology for a hand dryer.

I think it's about time we reckon with the fact that extraterrestrial beings walk amongst us now.

We They could be any one of us and we might not even have the slightest clue. In fact, it's believed that alien population has been increasing. Many have called it an epidemic, often blaming the increase on vaccines weak radio detection technology, or mothers being detached from their children before they get abducted and replaced, or even having too much money.

All very scientifically valid reasons of course, but this is nothing but a deflection. A deflection from the truth.

The more accurate reason for a rise in alien tribes among us is obviously because they're winning. Their race has been sending aliens little by little, observing our their assimilation among the human race. And the experiment is clearly yielding positive results since they are sending more and more of their species to take over our planet.

There couldn't possibly be another explanation. 

Here are some of the traits that could help you to detect the alien robots:

Monotonous Voice

Like a calm, flat-ironed sea. Source
Have you ever had to ask someone any of the following phrases?
  • "You ever auditioned for the gold tin droid in Star Wars?" or
  • "Your voice kinda resembles my GPS. Wanna give me some directions?" or
  • "Open the pod bay doors, Hal."
In which case, you have very much likely interacted with an alien robot.

Alien robots rarely have much inflection in their voices. This is how most of them are programmed. This is mainly because their emotions (considering they do have those) are not exactly best friends with their tone of voice.

Keep in mind, though, that some of the alien robots run on softwares that are variable, and are most likely upgraded to resemble a human voice to integrate into our society. They may install this software upgrade by watching our TV shows and movies. They are excellent imitators.

Strange Intolerance To Our Atmosphere

How does one not find this environment normal?
Ever met a fella whose neurology just doesn't sit right with our atmosphere?
  • Maybe they're often too cold or too hot?
  • Or cover their ears because of noises that are really not that loud?
  • Or tend to flinch or reject human touch and textures of some clothing made on Earth?

You've very likely to have encountered an extraterrestrial species.

Their bodies are not designed to tolerate our atmospheric pressures and everything that comes with it. You know why aliens are sensitive to loud noises? Because they were born in space, and space has no noise. I learned that from a Stanley Kubrick movie.

Cannot Recognize Facial Expressions and Human Body Language.

An actual alien robot interpretation of a human face.
Ever met someone who never realizes or takes too much time to realize the subtle signals you're giving out quite profoundly?
  • Or they just cannot tell that you're angry?
  • Or they cannot read your mind? 
  • Or they never realized you were flirting with them even after you married them?

Yup. You have captured an alien robot.

Because they're of another species, interpreting body language and facial expressions do not come intuitively to alien robots. The software installed doesn't prioritize social information as much as it does with exploring the universe or collecting pokemon cards or whatever it is that they do.

There are many other traits of alien robots you can look out for, such as literal thinking processes due to their algorithm designs, repetitive body movement to re-calibrate to our environment, or re-charging their social need away from humans in solitude as they telepathically commune with their alien lords.

But the most important thing to remember is, even if they are different and quirky and silly, we must accept them and appreciate them for their brilliant neurology. Afterall, they are outta this world.

Out of this world delicious.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Anatomically Correct Diagram of an Aspie's Stomach

Have you ever watched an Aspie like myself talk on and on about their special interest and think, "man, I'd like to dissect her brain. Not just for science but just for the hell of it."

I think about this a lot. I wonder if my visual cortex is bigger than my little brother's or if my amygdala is smaller than an average human's because I haven't felt human emotion since 1994.

There is scientific evidence proving that wiring of autistic brains are different. These little breakthroughs explain our sensory processing difficulties, language issues, and why our facial expressions look like we did something unspeakable to your cat.

Scientists too hung up on the autistic brain have failed to show interest in the bizarre fixation of Aspies unwilling to let their food touch each other, which is where I come in (as always).

Below is an anatomically correct diagram of an Aspie's stomach.

Forget diagram, this is an x-ray.

Next time your child, spouse, or friend with Asperger's refuses to let their carrots touch their peas, know that this behavior is strongly linked to our tummies being partitioned into separate compartments. It isn't our fault we prefer the world to be less chaotic, even inside our stomachs.

Especially inside our stomachs.