Tiny Life & Tiny House Movement
Have you ever looked around and thought, "I don't need all of this stuff", or that you could manage to live, even thrive, without all of the excess baggage weighing you down? When you whittle down what you really need, you'll see that all the crap you really wanted and had to have looks a little meaningless.
When you've finished whittling and you have a pile of wood shavings all around you, look at what you're left with. A bed, a laptop, a few clothes, something to make food with, something to clean yourself in, etc. I've lived pretty minimally all my life. One of my favorite activities growing up was going through all my stuff and getting rid of or donating what I didn't want. I know, I was a boring little kid.
Too much stuff makes me antsy, and to me, there's no excuse for clutter. I don't understand people who want to keep stuff like thousands of old newspapers in piles around their house. What good are they doing? What do you realistically intend to do with them? If they've been sitting there for years, and you haven't had the inclination to read, sell, or donate them, why are they there? People feel comforted by stuff for some reason, and it baffles me.
The reason I brought this up is because one of my favorite blogs, Twisted Sifter, posted a link to a project where an architecture student converted an old school bus into a mobile home. As I got to thinking, I realized I could totally do that. I could live in a bus. If you're someone who turns their nose up at the notion, really ask yourself why. What are you afraid to part with? Would you die without it? Probably not. Entertain the thought for awhile and imagine what you'd get rid of and how much lighter your life would be. Not to mention how much money you'd be saving in the future. Make a list: start out with the things you've been meaning to donate or throw away. Life doesn't have to be complicated, we just make it complicated.
Purchase or download the book.
> Read an excerpt and purchase or download the book from Amazon.
> Learn more about "The Immortal Life..." and author Rebecca Skloot.
> Read "The Sequel" article in the New York Times from March.
You know Henrietta Lacks. What do you mean you don't know her? Do you have polio? No? That's because of Henrietta Lacks. Do you have tuberculosis? No? Again, it's because of Henrietta Lacks. All of the advances made in genome mapping, cancer and AIDS research are all thanks to Henrietta.
Henrietta Lacks went to Johns Hopkins Hospital because something that felt like a "knot" in her womb was giving her trouble. She was wrongly given a clean bill of health several times before the doctors found a tumor right where she said it would be--where she felt the knot in her womb. Dr. George Gey (pronounded "GUY") took samples of the tumor, not only to form a diagnosis, but for his research as well. Henrietta was not informed of the research, nor did she give permission for such research to be done with anything that had come from her body. In the early part of the twentieth century, much less attention was paid to the rights of a patient and their rights regarding tissue taken from them. All Henrietta knew was that samples were being taken for diagnostic purposes. She had no idea what would come of the tumor sample.
Dr. George Gey discovered that Henrietta's cancer cells, labeled "HeLa" for obvious reasons, were virulent, both in regard to the way they grew in culture and how invasive they were in terms of patient prognosis. Henrietta was diagnosed with cervical cancer and immediately underwent radium treatment, a standard treatment for cancer, that turned her belly as black as coal. The radium didn't work. After a grueling battle, Henrietta Lacks passed away leaving behind too many children for her husband to reasonably care for on his own. Her story is tragic...but the cells...
"Now It's Happening"
I just finished watching "Ayn Rand & The Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged", and am truly frightened, and truly angry. Have you read "Atlas Shrugged"? If not, you should. Every thinking man or woman should read the book. After you have, watch this documentary. There's not much to review here, it's just a handful of Ayn Rand proponents essentially outlining her philosophy, and the how the predictions of "Atlas Shrugged" have come true in the present day economy and society as a whole. If you know what's going on in the world, you'll know that it's alarmingly similar to the plot of "Atlas Shrugged", and that's the crux of the film.
Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism states: "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." How could you disagree with that? Everywhere I hear that capitalism is failing, or capitalism has failed, but it's not the fault of capitalism that we're hovering on the edge of economic disaster. It's the fault of every politician who makes a new policy to augment or repair the damage done by the policy set in place before it. It's like a snowball rolling down a mountain, collecting size and speed as it rolls. Government better quit while it's ahead, because the next policy it creates may do us all in.
You can call me paranoid, but it's so odd that everything Ayn Rand wrote about in Atlas Shrugged is coming true today with astonishing similarity and speed. The first book of Ayn Rand's that I read was "Anthem" in my freshman year of high school. I'll never forget the impact that book had on me. The importance of the individual, the power of the word ego, and the proud use of the tiny word "I". Individualism is the code by which I've lived since then, and I have Ayn Rand to thank for it. Our government needs to take the same cue I did 16 years ago and loosen the hold it has on the productive individual. I pray they do, because I don't want to be around to see the mess politicians will make of America if they don't heed the warning in "Atlas Shrugged". A strike like that will be the end of a nation that was once the greatest in the world.
TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading
> View my TED profile
> View Jill's TED profile and video
While everyone else was watching the MTV Video Music Awards, I was watching TED Talks online. (Incidentally, the New York Times shares my view on the award show.) I've always found TED Talks to be fascinating, but as my life took a hectic turn, I watched these talks less and less until I eventually stopped altogether. My boyfriend Corey has gotten me back into watching them by recommending a fascinating one: "Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight" about one woman's struggle to survive a stroke. The description on the website is more accurate: "Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions -- motion, speech, self-awareness -- shut down one by one. An astonishing story." Truly astonishing.
I have a personal tie to this story, a tragic tie. My mother passed away from a brain aneurysm. I don't say she lived with, or suffered with, because she didn't know she had it and died suddenly when a blood vessel ruptured in the frontal cortex of her brain. I was the one who found her, and I've been working with a wonderful therapist since 2012 to try and cope with the trauma.
I wish I could've been inside my mother's brain when the aneurysm occurred, much like Jill was observing the deterioration of her mental faculties and motor function. Sometimes, I wish it would've been me having an aneurysm, not my mom. I wonder if she knew it was coming, or that something was going to happen. I wonder if she felt pain, or sadness, or fear. I hope not. I hope she experienced it like Jill did. A beautiful adventure. I'd be a lot less sleep deprived if I had a definite answer.
To switch back to a positive note, I'm now obsessively downloading and watching all of these amazing TED Talks. Some on mental illness, sleep, bacteria. My boyfriend Corey tells me that they're also available on Netflix, which is awesome. (I'm a late bloomer just discovering Netflix for the first time.) I'm always craving brain food, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how much of it I've gotten from my boyfriend Corey. I'm really happy and lucky to have him. Thanks, Corey.
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My name is Nicholas Emeigh, but everyone calls me Nick, and I prefer it. I'm usually called Nicholas when I'm in trouble. I'm from the Philadelphia area, work in business, and fancy myself as a freelance graphic designer, writer, and artist. I have a passion for art in all its forms including music, but I restrict my singing to the shower and the car for the good of society. If you'd like to know more, just send me an e-mail. I really appreciate you stopping by.