Filmmaker Jason Silva’s inspiring video montage on life’s transience

A close friend of mine shared this in the most popular social networking site in the world and I thought it was worth sharing!

I haven’t posted in months and this hasty post will hardly make up for it but I will write more soon and post more things. Life has caught up with me and some things need to be dealt with outside the realm of the internet.

I reacted to this video because I believe it is life’s very impermanence that makes it more meaningful. Struggle and beauty are not two things, but one!

I agree art is how we assert our humanity, both our transience and desire to overcome that temporary state.

As Eleanor Roosevelt wonderfully said, “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

What if art is not limited to the dance floor, the paper, the canvas, or the musical staff? What if it is also something as mundane as forgiveness and hugs?

I like the way this filmmaker thinks. I think I shall soon become a fan. If you like this stuff, watch his other videos in his channel. You will not be disappointed.

The Only Proof He Needed For The Existence Of God Was Music

Check out the original entry in Zen Pencils here: http://zenpencils.com/comic/28-plato-on-music/

If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC
― Kurt Vonnegut

You’ll notice by now that I’m kind of in love with music. Aside from chocolates, bacon, cabbage and rice (not all of them together–YUCH!!!, but perhaps, in the same meal!), you can say my other addiction is music, which gave birth to my addiction to dancing.

Perhaps the reason I love quotes so much is the same with the reason, as Ray Bradbury said, we read: to find people like ourselves. To find someone who thinks like us. And the painter Agnes Martin said something that rang true with me about music.

Art is responded to with emotion … and the best art is music — that’s the highest form of art. It’s completely abstract, and we make about eight times as much response to music than any of the other arts.

My addiction has also been beautifully explained in this YouTube video by AsapScience. Apparently, music does work like drugs since it releases dopamine in our brains.

If you want to read more about music, Diane Ackerman wrote a whole section about the scientific wonder of hearing in her book, A Natural History of The Senses, which I have mentioned before in my latest Dessert For Your Ears volume.

For more musical drugs, check out the singer Bobby McFerrin’s beautiful art of James Brown’s song, I Got The Feelin’

Credits go to Maria Popova of brainpickings.org again! Check out her complete post on Agnes Martin and The Science of How Music Enchants The Brain. Also, one of my newest internet haunts has been zenpencils.com! Check it out for amazing art and inspiring words. But don’t worry ’cause I’ll probably posting more of the artist/owner Gavin’s stuff here as well.

The Whole vs. Its Parts

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” (Aristotle)

Flipped

A still from the 2010 film adaptation of Flipped

I first read this quote in Wendelin Van Draanen‘s Young Adult fiction, “Flipped” when I was in elementary school. Flipped has garnered the honor of being one of my favorite books because of the complete innocence, purity and magic it possessed. It’s about childhood friends who go through the pits and hurdles of growing up but end up all the better for it. Covered in the glitter of good storytelling, based on the solid foundation of almost naive love and sprinkled with the spice of family, school, little chicks and hors d’oeuvres, it has remained a book I continue to recommend to friends.

One of the deciding factors in my declaration of love for this book had been the wisdom it contained along with its quirky and inspiring set of characters. My favorite part had been the conversation Juli had with her father (if I remember correctly. I confess I do not have the book, but I’ve been promised to be given a copy of it by a dear friend. We just both forgot about it, I guess.) about the “whole being greater than the sum of its parts”, which, I learned from Goodreads, was originally said by Aristotle.

In the book it went like this:

A painting is more than the sum of its parts,’ he would tell me, and then go on to explain how the cow by itself is just a cow, and the meadow by itself is just grass and flowers, and the sun peeking through the trees is just a beam of light, but put them all together and you’ve got magic.”  ― Wendelin Van DraanenFlipped

This little lesson has stayed with me ever since and I never really fully understood what it meant when I first read it but I felt that unmistakable chill on my skin that told me it would change my life. I’m still in the process of absorbing its full meaning! But I must say, the fragments I understand of it are intensely beautiful.

And that meaning was also shared wonderfully in this video of the filmmaker Ken Burns about how stories should be told.

“You know the common story is one plus one equals two, we get it. But all stories are really, the real genuine stories, are about one and one equaling three. That’s what I’m interested in.

We live in a rational world where absolutely we’re certain that one and one equals two, and it does. But the things that matter most to us, some people call it love, some people call it God, some people call it reason, is that other thing where the whole is greater than the some of its parts, and that’s the three.” – Ken Burns

Ken Burns: On Story from Redglass Pictures on Vimeo.

You can read Brainpicker Maria Popova’s take on this video here.

Flipped has been adapted into a beautiful film by Rob Reiner on the year 2010. I recommend it as well.

Credits go to three of my cyberspace haunts

YouTube, Brain Pickings and Goodreads

Photosynthetic Humans

I was sitting my Biology 11, Basic Botany and Zoology, class and listening like the perfect little student I am. We were discussing things about the plant and animal cells. Mitochondria, chlorophyll, stroma, golgi apparatus, ribosomes and all those little things we have inside our bodies. Then a funny thought alighted on my mind. It asked me, “What if animal cells had chloroplasts?”. In other words, what if humans could photosynthesize and produce their own food?

Behold! The Plant Cell!

Behold! The Plant Cell!

Then I just ran away with this idea for a while and I ended up writing this.

What if human cells could steal chloroplasts? Apparently, a certain water creature is capable of this. When it eats some kind of fungus or plant, I forgot the specifics, it steals the chloroplasts of plants so it’s a photosynthetic animal.

If humans had chloroplasts, we would be green. Or we would have patches of green that would cover our skin where the sunlight hits us most: the ridges of our noses, the planes of our foreheads, the top of our arms and our shoulders. Would people walk around naked so they could photosynthesize more when they’re really hungry? Green people working out naked. Sounds like something different.

If we were all green, would racial discrimination still exist? Or would our prominent greenness something we would all overlook given the distinctiveness our different facial structures have?

If we were all green and don’t need to eat, would we miss the tantalizing curse of food? The succulent flavors of fruit juices and the fire of spices that we could once savor in our mouths? Or would we carry on eating just to satisfy the selfish cravings of our palates?

If we were all green and could produce our own food, would world hunger end? Would wars cease? Or would humans find another cause for war aside from resource scarcity? Would people stop working just to get money for food? Stop stealing to feed their families? Would jobs become less like work and instead, more closely reflect the passion every human being has since we could risk much more without the overbearing shadow of needing money for sustenance? Would photosynthesis make happiness and peace more easily grasped?

If we could all photosynthesize, would our excess starch mean we could produce enlarged body organs and parts that we could pluck off and give to a starving animal? Roots from our toes we could share, stems from our fingers we can give away. Literally pieces of ourselves we offer up to give sustenance to those who need it, or, maybe, just wants to taste a bit of it. Perhaps, we could grow our hearts and pluck it or portions of it from inside our chest so someone else can literally have our heart? Would that mean we could also give pieces of our brains away, so people can taste our thoughts or have pieces of our minds?

If our cells become totipotent, which is to have the ability to become any specialized cell that is demanded of it, like plant cells, would we have the ability to grow back the parts of ourselves we have given away and therefore, become as selfless as trees?

Would that mean we could be immortal or at least grow so old that we would get bored with the world and eventually offer ourselves up to be eaten away into oblivion by other creatures who cannot photosynthesize?

The Photosynthetic Slug

The Photosynthetic Slug