How is Autism Classified in our Society?

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April is Autism Awareness Month as written in a post by WordPress.com News. This disease is avoided by most of the population since people who have this disease have problems with the processing of information in the brain. Nerve cells and their synapses are affected in the way they are connected and organized. This means that their behavior is different especially for social interactions.

Even experienced scientists still have a hard time to understand this disease which affects the nervous system. Not everything is known about this system of the human body and more research must still be made so that we can discover more about the human body. This will enable us to know more about autistic patients and help them even more!

Where I work during the summer, there is a family who comes every year and they have a child who is autistic. I am impressed every time I see him with his mother because the mother must remain at his side constantly. She barely has any time left for herself but she remains patient with her son because she knows that becoming enraged won’t improve the situation. Her son cannot change who he is because it is simply how he was created. Every time I see this woman with her child, I feel a great respect for her especially for her patience, her devotion and her love for her child. 

No one could revert this disease because it would be like trying to remove a central beam under a bridge who is in the way of a boat. If we were to remove this support, the bridge would come crashing down; therefore, an autistic child wouldn’t survive if we tried to alter his nervous system. But the fact that I thought about such an idea demonstrates how all of us are always pushed to what is “right”. What I mean by this is that we always assume that we should do what everyone else is doing.    

We have always been taught, although not always directly, what we should want and get in our future. We may think that our decisions are always our own but actually, they are always influenced by many things. Social pressures are a big influence for children as well as adults. For instance, the mother who gave birth to an autistic child probably didn’t expect her child to be like this. She was expecting a “normal” child as everyone ultimately views many things in the world. But what defines normal?

I think what we consider as normal is what most people are classified as. For example, if 85% of the Quebec population had brown hair, then people would start to expect their child to have brown hair and be included in the majority. But should it be considered as bad to be different from the rest of society? 

The answer to this questions, in my opinion, is that it shouldn’t be bad to diverge from the normal path that is laid out for you even before you are born. We must stay open to any new possibilities and not always have preconceived ideas about everything. This connects to a blog I posted on March 20 entitled “Humans’ Preconceived Ideas” (https://wubboltseliane.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/humans-preconceived-ideas/ ).

Lastly, I believe it is important to highlight the importance of this month for the sake of all people who must take care of their loved ones who are autistic. We must show respect for these people but also demonstrate patience if ever we have to interact with an autistic person. The only thing we have to do is be patient for a few moment and then return to what we were doing which is not very hard compared to what a mother must go through if her child is autistic.

The Creation of Internet: Good and Bad

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It is quite interesting to think about how consumerism has evolved through time. This is due to technology and the creation of social networks which would never have been possible without science.

At the time, no one was aware of the big movement that they would be creating by releasing such a powerful technology. But scientists are always curious to know more about everything; therefore, I don’t think that anything would have stopped them.

There are multiple advantages that come with the creation of internet. Firstly, analyzing search engines can be one of the many ways that organizations can deduce what consumers want. Internet will have proven to be more useful than scientists had originally thought. It was during the 1950’s that electronic computers started to make their first appearance although; it was only at the end of 1980 that the internet became commercialized.

Predictions could now be made about many things such as which brand would be more popular, how many movie tickets would be sold for a show or even flu tendencies for each region. I am sure everyone would be unable to imagine a world without internet these days. How would we stay connected to the world?

All of our ancestors were able to manage without it, but today, no one dares to mention the idea since some people even live off of the internet.

Some might argue that the internet has become too open. What I mean is that every event, incident or information is posted on the network; therefore, it is hard to keep information private. I can relate to this since it has happened to me before and I know how frustrating and embarrassing it can be. The other person who posted the picture was playing the innocent and pretending that it was actually a great one. But I did not agree. This was when I decided that I would always stay in control of what image is portrayed about me on the internet.  

Although this is a disadvantage, there are ways around it so that people can stay safe both on the internet and in their daily lives. Laws have been created that forbid certain information’s to be used against other people such as cases of cyberbullying. The only thing left for a person to do is to inform themselves of their possibilities concerning their privacy on internet.

In our society, internet now has many advantages and disadvantages which make it a debatable topic among scientists. Although, since it has grown in popularity, the internet is a tool that still wants to be used by many consumers and producers. An interesting article which explores the subjects of computers, the web and how humans could make their computers understand them can be read at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20827821.100-50-ideas-to-change-science-forever-computing.html#.U0XEd_ldV8E.

 

The Time Traveling Experience

I’m sure many of you have thought of the idea of time traveling. I know that it has come to my mind multiple times and I have thought about where I would like to go. Some of the places were: traveling to the future to be in Cuba on a nice summer day, traveling in the past back when I was an innocent child who had no worries about life, and also going in the past to see what my parents and grandparents looked like when they were young. This blog will describe where I would go if I could time travel right now. I was inspired by The Daily Post’s blog called “Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine”.

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After opening my eyes, I looked around and saw that I was outside moving along on a dirt road. There was a wagon in front of me pulled by two black horses carrying wooden barrels as well as two men sitting in the front seat. I realized as I looked down that I was sitting in a saddle on a walking horse. I hadn’t felt this rhythmical movement in so long and it felt wonderful.

“Leslie,” called the man wearing a hat, “Ride up to the house and go tell your mother that we will be arriving soon.”

At first I was bewildered. This man wasn’t my father and why was he calling me Leslie?

I started to accelerate on the path and it dawned on me. I was now in the mind of a young women living in the past and I could actually feel her presence inside of my head. I had the feeling that the real Leslie was actually unconscious. I remember feeling how weird it was but at the same how amazing it was that I was actually in the past!

Since I didn’t know where the house was, I just started to explore the land which looked like a typical Quebec landscape. I passed by a small house and realized that it was made out of bricks. That was when I started to wonder what year I was in.

I came across a trash can which contained a newspaper. I jumped off my horse and saw that the date was July 5th 1710. I couldn’t believe what I was reading! I found myself wondering what I knew about this era. This is when there was the Port Royal and Quebec was occupied by the French who were loyal to the British Crown. This was also when Isaac Newton was still living and he had discovered many scientific principles that hadn’t been thought of before him. Although, as all scientists know, proving your theories takes a lot of time which is why Newton had no life outside of his scientific research career.

I ended up staying there for a whole day and saw how people were living and what food they were eating. I compared this to how we are living today and realized how easy our lives actually are. For food, we can use the microwave which heats our food up in no time. We have machines who wash our clothes. We have cars who enable us to travel wherever we want. And the list goes on and on.

This experienced has lead me to understand better how society was living at the time and how much humans have evolved both in the scientific field and on the social level. Time traveling is an experience that I would want to relive any day if I had the opportunity to.

 

To read the blog about the Time traveling challenge, visit: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/writing-challenge-time-machine/

 

The Mysteries of Our Universe

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It is hard to believe that our universe is actually expending considering how immense it already is. We still ask ourselves many questions that have remained unanswered by the famous scientists that have marked our cosmological history such as Einstein and Aristotle. For instance, how do black holes grow? Where does the universe take all of its energy to expand the way it does?

I therefore consider cosmology as a great mystery that humans have not yet discovered all about and maybe never will in the future. In a way, I feel afraid of space especially since we do not know enough about it to do what we want.

This may be beneficial for the universe since humans are unable to control it, which means that they cannot damage it unlike what they did to our planet Earth. The mistakes that were made on this planet in the past are irreversible and will forever remain a part of our eventful history. Many people today are still troubled by what has happened in their past such as the soldiers in World War II. This means that we must be careful with the universe so that we do not commit severe mistakes.

I will always remain impressed by astronauts who have devoted their lives to exploring space and testing new equipment to go into space without knowing exactly how it would react.

What humans know is that our galaxy called the Milky Way is located in stars and gas and is part of tens of thousands of galaxies. These galaxies remain unexplored by humans, which makes us question about whether there could be other life out there. Furthermore, since 1998, there is the idea that dark energy could be the source that is controlling our universe and also contributing to its growth.

I think the next big step for humans in space, even though many other achievements could be performed, is developing a way to be able to travel out of our galaxy to visit others. This idea is very interesting for me but it brings me to question whether we would ever know if our experiment worked or not. We must remember that the astronauts would be “traveling through time” because of the light years…

To watch the video this blog was based on, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUpWCRadIIA

Forcing the Environment to Accommodate Us

The environment is always a big topic of discussion especially since we are seeing more and more news about disasters, flooding, epidemics, and more.

We do not realize how much we are affecting the environment simply because we have become used to the idea that the environment should accommodate us and not the other way around. We are shaping the environment so that we can live comfortably, but we are starting to assume that the environment is strong enough to handle all change. This assumption should not be made because, as we can see with recent news, some of the biosphere is deteriorating which is causing damage to many species on Earth.

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One of the things that have recently been seen in the news is the fact that 61 trees must be cut down in Verdun because of an infestation of Emerald ash borers (http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/montreal/archives/2014/03/20140324-175858.html). These green beetles are starting to infect more and more regions and they are hard to stop due to the fact that they do not have many predators. We also greatly contribute to their rate of dispersion because we import and export wood that could contain these killers.

Another problem that I read about in the news, concerning how the environment cannot meet all of our extensive needs, is about our waste (http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/estduquebec/archives/2014/03/20140324-204328.html). A couple living in Saint-Gabriel-Lalement is having problems with their plumbing system, which has caused their waste to go directly in nature. When they realized how much their house stank, they took off a piece of floor, and found more than 4 inches thick of crap!

            This indicates how much we are forcing the environment to obey us. What I mean by this is that humans are only thinking about themselves but they should be thinking about the poor biosphere that might not last an eternity.

The following picture makes you think not only about the environment, but also the animals that are cohabiting wit us in it.

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Leonardo da Vinci: A Legend

After watching this short documentary about Leonardo da Vinci, I believe that one of his big desires was to learn how to fly. He had designed different kinds of machines to do this such as his glider or his famous parachute with no hole in the center.

Since Leonardo da Vinci was so ahead of his time, not many people believed in his theories because they were so extravagant. Not only this but Leonardo didn’t have all of the resources necessary to perform all of his experiments, for example, his plans of building the biggest horse statue.

Today, we now realize how he was actually a genius! I think it is too bad that such a great man never got the opportunity to see how his brilliant ideas and discoveries increased the evolution of our society. More than that, it made us ask questions about our world and opened our mind to new comcepts.

If Leonardo da Vinci were to come back and live another day in our world, what would be his opinion? And what would he do?

Firstly, I think that he would be impressed at how much we have come to treat all of his works as divine. What I mean by this is that we now consider Leonardo as someone who was very intelligent and we have a lot of respect for him. He would be fascinated by all of the things we have created such as cameras, televisions, motors, hydroelectric dams, and the list goes on.

Moreover, I think he would probably want to take a flight on a plane and be in the cockpit just to see what it feels like. He would probably also ask if he could take a look at the plans of the plane and ask questions to the engineer.
After learning who Leonardo da Vinci was, we can see how curious he was about the world around him. Also, how perseverant he was to perform his experiments his way.

This man will never be forgotten even though he was alive more than 600 years ago. He has marked our past and allowed us to grow as a society because of his many discoveries. We will forever remain in his debt.

Cat Vision for Humans!

An interesting idea was published in POPULAR SCIENCE about a new kind of contact lenses that would allow humans to see in the dark. These lenses would be made with graphene which is a type of carbon crystal that is light and thin and that detects infrared light. 

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This means we would be closer to becoming like felines who can see in the dark, although it wouldn’t be in exactly the same way. We would then be a step closer to improving the human capacity of observation!

Have you never questioned yourself about how these animals see the world? This is an interesting question since it leads us to new ideas and concepts that haven’t been explored yet. Imagine spending a whole day seeing what a cat sees. This would be quite an experience indeed!  

If we compare our vision with cats (who are in the feline family), we can see that cats can see better in the dark due to the big number of rods they have in their retina ( http://www.livescience.com/40459-what-do-cats-see.html ). On the other hand, we see better in bright light because of the cones in our retina.  Therefore, if we start using this new idea of contact lenses, we would have a better vision than cats altogether.

Furthermore, these new lenses would bring multiple advantages for our society. A simple advantage would be not worrying about bringing a flashlight when going for a walk at dusk. Also, when entering a dark room, we would be able to instantly recognize if someone is hiding in it or if it is completely empty. Another advantage that we might not think about is when there is a power failure. We would then be able to get candles without hurting ourselves in the process.

Finally, I encourage scientists to work on this project because it would allow us to see the world differently in darkness. This could also help scientists when they must do their observations for their experiments. With all of these benefits, it would be nice to know when these scientists predict to put this new product on the market.

To read the article about these lenses got to: http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/new-material-night-vision-contact-lenses?src=SOC&dom=tw

Humans’ Preconceived Ideas

We often have an idea of what something is based on what we have seen about it before. What I mean by this is that sometimes, we assume that we know what something is all about before we really take the initiative of learning the truth about it. These assumptions are done every day for simple things such as eggs or even assuming you know how a coach is treating her players.

A specie that humans assume they know all about is the worm. You might be thinking that there is nothing more to learn about worms and that they are boring anyways. But if you take a look at the project posted by Alexander Demenov (https://www.behance.net/gallery/Worms-Renaissance/15109599) you will probably change your mind.

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After observing these interesting worms, you may have noticed how complex they actually are. There are different types of worms such as earthworms, marine worms and flatworms only to name a few. Most of us probably thought that all worms looked like the worms we can observe in a garden. This is because we have a preconceived idea of what worms are.

In the future, we can now be able to say that we know worms are more than just ordinary. This thought leads me to think about other species that we have been having a fixed idea about. One of these species is the ant.

We often diminish the value of ants simply because we feel superior to them. This is mainly because of their size but also because they are not aggressive towards us. Humans should always keep in mind that every species in an ecosystem are essential for it to function properly.

Also, we must try, even if it may be hard, to reduce our amount of preconceived ideas so that we can remain open for all sorts of things that can happen, especially in our scientific world.

 

For further information about ants visit:  http://www.antsremoval.com/about-ants/types-of-ants/

How Far Can Anatomy take us?

When people think about scientific discoveries, most people would think that this refers to new concepts and ideas that could enhance our future. But these are not the only discoveries that are made. Some scientists are working on discovering more about our past and how we evolved as a society but also how animals have evolved to become who they are today.

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It was discovered a long time ago that Homo sapiens are a specie that has evolved from apes, also known as Hominidae. This was discovered by observing the anatomy of both apes and humans which are quite similar even today. It should also be noted that both humans and animals have evolved in the past even though it is more noticeable in some species compared to others.

Similarly, Jonathan Geisler (an anatomist) compared the new whale species called Cotylocara macei to dolphins and porpoises. He found that all three species have air pockets in their skulls which enable them to perform echolocation. This is when an animal sends sound waves towards an object (usually a prey or a predator) and listens to when they bounce back which will allow them to identify how far this object is relative to them. This is a very powerful defense mechanism since these animals can always be aware of who is surrounding them, which is a very impressive technology.

The new whale specie that was identified was actually an old one since anatomists were analyzing its fossil that was 28 million years old. It helped scientists educate themselves even more about the history of how our world has evolved.

Visit http://www.livescience.com/44056-whale-evolved-echolocation-early.html to read the article about Cotylocara macei.

Bill Nye’s Contribution to Science

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Recently, I watched a video by Bill Nye, the Science Guy, who was discussing his opinion about what is happening in space at the moment. He is the executive director of The Planetary Society which is a non-profit organization that promotes the exploration in space. 

Their recent project is sending a spacecraft into space, no later than August 2014, which contains folded solar panels. When the craft will reach outer space, these panels (which are thin and pliable) will unfold. This is a brilliant idea since we could get energy from the sun without having to build huge solar panels that are very costly!

Also, this will allow us to maximize our space on earth because as we all know, our population is continuously growing. Consequently, we need more and more territory to live on. Therefore, getting our energy from space would be a good advantage for us.   

It fascinates me how humans have the capability of progressing so fast in the scientific field. In our society, this is a very complicated branch which requires lots of thinking and analyzing.

Furthermore, I would say that space is one of the most difficult aspects of science since the amount of experiments that can be performed in space are limited. This means that scientists must rely on a minimum number of experiments to test their theories which is hard because the more data that is collected, the better a theory can be tested.

Lastly, it would be very interesting to follow up on Bill Nye’s organization in August to know whether or not this prototype will actually work or not. If it does, we can only hope to gain large amounts of energy from it.

 

To watch the interview with Bill Nye go to: http://www.billnye.com/bill-nye-discusses-space-and-the-solar-sail-november-2010/