Best discovery - idea about deadstuff?

Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from Magic
- Arthur C Clark. ('invented' the satelite)

It’s 2010, I’m in a car, 120 years ago invented, about to go onto a computer invented much earlier – driving through streets w/houses & streetlamps with electricity everywhere surrounding. Out of all this – what has been the greatest discovery since Africa till Now?
That the Suns up there are made up of the things down here”, quipped Richard Feynman.
This means that those crazy pictures you see from Nasa’s photo of the day are an example of the possibilities of atoms when they rearrange according to a fixed set of rules.

I would agree with Feynman’s suggestion, but since a few thousand dollars are going into a gosh damn summer class, I better have another answer. My answer to the greatest discovery is this – it’s the idea that the atoms in the air, in the concrete, and in ourselves are intimately related.
“Yes easy enough” – No, not easy enough. That idea ran absolutely positively counter to the dogma in Chemistry to the men of the 1850s. They suggested that what allows photosynthesis and the ability for us to turn our food into poop was a special force – a life force (they called it vital force). It’s a fair idea. Look around you at life – look at breast milk – how’d that get in there? Some force must’ve allowed the female to turn her foodstuff into life nourishment. Interestingly, the very class I’m enrolled in involves this topic – those vital, majestic, vital force created molecules were deemed “organic”, the others “inorganic”.

So I’m effectively saying out of the airplane (a boring name, because at first people didn’t know what to call it so they just went with ‘a flying machine), the car (prior known as the ‘horseless carriage’) and the steam engine, the greatest invention/discovery is an idea about how life is created from once dead inanimate matter. This is trivial until you consider this; the drugs that people take for Alzeimers (or Parkinsons) are precursors to another molecule, which an enzyme will react with in the body changing it into the desired product. So basically molecules we mess around with and alter, are taken up in the body as its own. Without this ability to create ‘life molecules’, drugs for the brain, disease, whatever, are blocked. People forget that the drug active in Cannabis led to a whole new line of receptors, called cannabinoid receptors. Only after the discovery was it found that these are actually intended for other molecules, endogenous opiods – or endorphins (the drug target discovery came before the body’s own!)

Anyway, next time you consider the specialness of life matter, consider Viagra, drugs, the ability to replace vital organs by growing stem cells from that organ region – this is the golden road opened up after the life force idea was shunned, and that was only 150 years ago.
Imagine what’s hiding.


Guest columnist to join stuff:

Wicker has declined to post fearing academic reprisals

Jordan Phillip Wicker is a 24 year old dillante. Known as 'Wicker' to his friends, he attends the University of Depaul, works for free at a nearbye lawfirm, and is a growing & accomplished chef. Wicker's future topics will include: affirmative action and intellectual legacy, finding the self in modernity, and ties betwen law and folklore.
Comment for votes.

1852 to us all - ' The Energies of Nature which are still to be revealed '

" [To the 1852 public] The probable progress of improvement and discovery ought not to be overlooked.We are on the eve of mechanical discoveries still greater than any which have yet appeared; ..
The steam engine itself, with its gigantic powers, will dwindle into insignificance in comparison with the energies of nature which are still to be revealed; and that day will come when that machine, which is extending the blessings of civilization to the most remote skirts of the globe, will cease to have existence, expect in the page of history.
- July 15th, 1852, Front page "Other Scientific Discoveries may supersede Steam:

I think I've only seen a steam engine a few times. Basically water is boiled, the vapor turns a shaft, and those turn the train's wheels - this was lauded as incredible. The problem is the energy from the boiling is in the form of atomic bonds, and energy in the form of heat is lost when it's boiled - only the vapor's speed ('mechanical energy') and pressure turn the shaft. It's fun to hink there's still 'Gold' there, if we can dig into it.

For fun, California just became a state when this was written - it's now 'the most populus in the US. (there were 31 at the time) Ten years after the article is written, Lincoln becomes president. Notables: Henry ford wasn't even born, nor the Wright brothers. It would be another 50 years until the wright brothers invented 'the flying machine'.
PS - That picture is scary as shit


'The endless changes of reality..'

The atoms are infinite in number... they are all alike in quality but differ in shape, order, and position. Every substance, every single object, is made up of those atoms, the possible combinations of which are infinite in an infinity of ways. The objects exist as long as the atoms constituting them remain together; they cease to exist when their atoms move away from one another. The endless changes of reality are due to the continual aggregation and disaggregation of atoms.
- Demokritus, 5th century BC

Do you believe him? (all things are lil balls of charge?)
Consider a table, a massive peice of wood, supposedly the last breath, the last remnaint of some dead tree chopped long ago. Or the computer holding this monitor, its 2 feet of plastic, infinite balls of charge compose these?
What about DJ Pauly D and J Woww? Snooki, the Situation? Or the wisest of them all Vinny? How does this relate to any of it?

Easy. Check it


What your looking at was deemed illegal by the government for 10 years.

There are actually stores who specialize in selling this, and even more oddly, only 5% of the stuff in the damn bottles they sell have this molecule in it! Benjamin Franklin said this molecule's existence is proof "God loves us and wants us to be happy!" This molecule has also ruined peoples lives - and right now, somewhere, a group of people are talking together about how they can change themselves due to this molecule's influence. (It's existence is also why the new Single Ronni had fun on episode one, and made him curse out Sam)

Two carbons, an oxygen, and a few hydrogens, a few lil things - crazy! How can that have such an affect! A few atoms! Blended in water - and you can drink it - and it does crazy stuff ! It's a simple ethanol (alcohol) molecule. Democritus from the grave! It goes into the blood, is taken up into the forest of the brain, and eeks its way into balls and holes of nerve cell receptors and transporters, landing whereever it may - it's just so happens that the nerve cells responsible for 'human will power' and human 'reward' are wooed by this little guy.

How powerful are the atoms!


And I didn't mention the yeast! The simple invisible beasts whose existence was doubted by the common in the 1800s when discovered by Pasteur. They are atom rearranger machines, taking oxygen from the air and sugar, consuming them, their body doing a rearrangement dance, and out in the form of poop comes the elixir of happiness for humans - alcohol!
Democritus baby!