Chemical Change Quotes

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Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us. Like a chemical mixture, if one of us is changed, both of us will be. Will we grow in self-actualization, or will it destroy us? The one thing we can be certain of is that if we let ourselves fully into the relationship for good or evil, we will not come out unaffected.
Rollo May (The Courage to Create)
I thought if we made an album that tried to change the world, or give it hope, it would really happen. But all people found was death and destruction and misery and self-hate. I learned that the world doesn't want to be saved, and it will f**king punch you in the face if you try.
Gerard Way
But though I knew just how lucky I was, still it was impossible to feel happy or even grateful for my good fortune. It was as if I’d suffered a chemical change of the spirit: as if the acid balance of my psyche had shifted and leached the life out of me in aspects impossible to repair, or reverse, like a frond of living coral hardened to bone.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
We can change so many times in our lives. We're born into a family, and it's the only life we can imagine, but it changes. Buildings collapse. Fires burn. And the next second we're someplace else entirely, going through different motions and trying to keep up with this new person we've become.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
Whenever you feel afraid, just remember. Courage is the root of change - and change is what we're chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others' opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion. Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies. Design your own future. When you go home today, ask yourself what YOU will change. And then get started.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought.
Lin Yutang
Being blessed has tremendous psychological consequences for us. There are even studies that show that our bodies actually change chemically when we feel valued, praised, and blessed.
Robert L. Moore (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine)
What if the water that came out of the shower was treated with a chemical that responded to a combination of things, like your heartbeat and your body temperature and your brainwaves, so that your skin changed color according to mood? If you were extremely excited your skin would turn green, and if you we're angry you'd turn red, obviously, and if you felt like shiitake you'd turn brown and if you we're blue you'd turn blue. Everyone could know what everyone else felt and we could be more careful with each other, because you'd never want to tell someone who skin was purple that you're angry at her for being late, just like you'd want to pat a pink person on the back and say, "Congratulations!
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
How he could be a good user of LSD," I asked, "And know about the spiritual dimension - all that sort of thing - and still be a crook? I don't understand." "Then it's time you did. Psychedelic drugs don't change you - they don't change you character - unless you want to be changed. They enable change; they can't impose it...
Alexander Shulgin (Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story)
Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
The point is, the brain talks to itself, and by talking to itself changes its perceptions. To make a new version of the not-entirely-false model, imagine the first interpreter as a foreign correspondent, reporting from the world. The world in this case means everything out- or inside our bodies, including serotonin levels in the brain. The second interpreter is a news analyst, who writes op-ed pieces. They read each other's work. One needs data, the other needs an overview; they influence each other. They get dialogues going. INTERPRETER ONE: Pain in the left foot, back of heel. INTERPRETER TWO: I believe that's because the shoe is too tight. INTERPRETER ONE: Checked that. Took off the shoe. Foot still hurts. INTERPRETER TWO: Did you look at it? INTERPRETER ONE: Looking. It's red. INTERPRETER TWO: No blood? INTERPRETER ONE: Nope. INTERPRETER TWO: Forget about it. INTERPRETER ONE: Okay. Mental illness seems to be a communication problem between interpreters one and two. An exemplary piece of confusion. INTERPRETER ONE: There's a tiger in the corner. INTERPRETER TWO: No, that's not a tiger- that's a bureau. INTERPRETER ONE: It's a tiger, it's a tiger! INTERPRETER TWO: Don't be ridiculous. Let's go look at it. Then all the dendrites and neurons and serotonin levels and interpreters collect themselves and trot over to the corner. If you are not crazy, the second interpreter's assertion, that this is a bureau, will be acceptable to the first interpreter. If you are crazy, the first interpreter's viewpoint, the tiger theory, will prevail. The trouble here is that the first interpreter actually sees a tiger. The messages sent between neurons are incorrect somehow. The chemicals triggered are the wrong chemicals, or the impulses are going to the wrong connections. Apparently, this happens often, but the second interpreter jumps in to straighten things out.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
I believe that mycelium is the neurological network of nature. Interlacing mosaics of mycelium infuse habitats with information-sharing membranes. These membranes are aware, react to change, and collectively have the long-term health of the host environment in mind. The mycelium stays in constant molecular communication with its environment, devising diverse enzymatic and chemical responses to complex challenges.
Paul Stamets (Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World)
There's good sex, and then there's sex where the memory takes up permanent residence in your brain, changes the fucking chemical balance or something so that you crave it like a damn fix.  It makes you jones for it, gets under your skin like an itch.  That's the kind of sex this is.
Sabrina Paige (Prick (Step Brother Romance, #1))
Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it is not cured by medication. Depression may not even be an illness at all. Often, it can be a normal reaction to abnormal situations. Poverty, unemployment, and the loss of loved ones can make people depressed, and these social and situational causes of depression cannot be changed by drugs.
Irving Kirsch (The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth)
There are many ways to understand this. One simple way to know this is: today, if you lose your mental peace totally, you will go to a doctor. He will give you a pill. If you take this pill, your system will become peaceful. Maybe this will last just for a few hours, but you become peaceful. This pill is just a little bit of chemicals. These chemicals enter your system and make you peaceful. Or in other words, what you call peace is a certain kind of chemistry within you. Similarly, what you call joy, what you call love, what you call suffering, what you call misery, what you call fear, every human experience that you go through, has a chemical basis within you. Now the spiritual process is just to create the right kind of chemistry, where you are naturally peaceful, naturally joyous. When you are joyous by your own nature, when you don’t have to do anything to be happy, then the very dimension of your life, the very way you perceive and express yourself in the world will change. The very way you experience your life will change.
Sadhguru (Encounter the Enlightened: Sadhguru, A Profound Mystic Of Our Times)
Michael Pollan likens consumer choices to pulling single threads out of a garment. We pull a thread from the garment when we refuse to purchase eggs or meat from birds who were raised in confinement, whose beaks were clipped so they could never once taste their natural diet of worms and insects. We pull out a thread when we refuse to bring home a hormone-fattened turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. We pull a thread when we refuse to buy meat or dairy products from cows who were never allowed to chew grass, or breathe fresh air, or feel the warm sun on their backs. The more threads we pull, the more difficult it is for the industry to stay intact. You demand eggs and meat without hormones, and the industry will have to figure out how it can raise farm animals without them. Let the animals graze outside and it slows production. Eventually the whole thing will have to unravel. If the factory farm does indeed unravel - and it must - then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused. Once the animal feed operations have gone and livestock are once again able to graze, there will be a massive reduction in the agricultural chemicals currently used to grow grain for animals. And eventually, the horrendous contamination caused by animal waste can be cleaned up. None of this will be easy. The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world. But we must try. We must make a start, one by one.
Jane Goodall (Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating)
He felt greedy for something. He’d wanted to kiss Wylan since he’d first seen him stirring chemicals in that gruesome tannery—ruddy curls damp with the heat, skin so delicate it looked like it would bruise if you breathed on it too hard. He looked like he’d fallen into the wrong story, a prince turned pauper. From then on, Jesper had been stuck somewhere between the desire to taunt the pampered little merchling into another blush and the urge to flirt him into a quiet corner just to see what might happen. But sometime during their hours at the Ice Court, that curiosity had changed. He’d felt the tug of something more, something that came to life in Wylan’s unexpected courage, in his wide-eyed, generous way of looking at the world. It made Jesper feel like a kite on a tether, lifted up and then plummeting down, and he liked it.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I start trying to stay unconscious. The problem with this is that no amount of willpower can change the reality.
Lauren DeStefano (Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2))
Whenever you start doubting yourself, whenever you feel afraid, just remember. Courage is the root of change and change is what we're chemically designed to do.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn't be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There's something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I'm way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn't fat I would be happier. I wouldn't have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time. Like that's fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learned Russian or something? Or took up an instrument? I could speak Chinese. I'd be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn't that what women are attracted to? Men don't have to be attractive. But that's not true. Especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it's my brain chemistry. Maybe that's what's wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I'll still be ugly though. Nothing's gonna change that.
Charlie Kaufman
A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. A book that does nothing to you is dead. A baby, whether it does anything to you, represents life. If a bad fire should break out in this house and I had my choice of saving the library or the babies, I would save what is alive. Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn baby. The finest of our precision watches, the most super-colossal of our supercargo plants, don't compare with a newborn baby in the number and ingenuity of coils and springs, in the flow and change of chemical solutions, in timing devices and interrelated parts that are irreplaceable. A baby is very modern. Yet it is also the oldest of the ancients. A baby doesn't know he is a hoary and venerable antique — but he is. Before man learned how to make an alphabet, how to make a wheel, how to make a fire, he knew how to make a baby — with the great help of woman, and his God and Maker.
Carl Sandburg
It is true that on bright days we are happy. That is true because the sun on the eyelids effects chemical changes in the body. The sun also diminishes the pupils to pinpricks, letting the light in less. When we can hardly see we are most likely to fall in love.
Jeanette Winterson (The World and Other Places: Stories)
Do you think music has the power to change people? Like you listen to a piece and go through some major change inside?” Oshima nodded.“Sure, that can happen. We have an experience—like a chemical reaction—that transforms something inside us. When we examine ourselves later on, we discover that all the standards we’ve lived by have shot up another notch and the world’s opened up in unexpected ways. Yes, I’ve had that experience. Not often, but it has happened. It’s like falling in love.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Benjamin started; an almost chemical change seemed to dissolve and recompose the very elements of his body. A rigour passed over him, blood rose into his cheeks, his forehead, and there was a steady thumping in his ears. It was first love.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Since Pawlow and his pupils have succeeded in causing the secretion of saliva in the dog by means of optic and acoustic signals, it no longer seems strange to us that what the philosopher terms an 'idea' is a process which can cause chemical changes in the body.
Jacques Loeb (The Mechanistic Conception of Life)
an almost chemical change seemed to dissolve and recomposethe very elements of his body. A rigour passed over him, blood rose into his cheeks, his forehead, and there was a steady thumping in his ears. It was first love.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Cuentos : Volume 1 (Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald 1))
It was as if I’d suffered a chemical change of the spirit: as if the acid balance of my psyche had shifted and leached the life out of me in aspects impossible to repair, or reverse, like a frond of living coral hardened to bone.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Medicine’s a funny business. After all, dispensing chemicals is considered mainstream and diet and nutrition is considered alternative.
Charles F. Glassman (Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life)
Great things happen through great commitments. Our commitment to the next generation is a pollution-free, toxic chemical-free, nuclear weapons-free, clean world.
Amit Ray (Nuclear Weapons Free World - Peace on the Earth)
There is still a chance to change things. We can provide fresh drinking water to all people. We can make sure crops are not regulated for profit; we can ensure that they are not genetically altered to benefit manufacturers. Our people are dying because we are feeding them poison. Animals are dying because we are forcing them to eat waste, forcing them to live in their own filth, caging them together and abusing them. Plants are withering away because we are dumping chemicals into the earth that make them hazardous to our health. But these are things we can fix.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
He smiled and kissed me. It wasn't precisely a peck on the lips, and my wild vampiric reactions took me off guard yet again. Edward's lips were like a shot of some addictive chemical straight into my nervous system. I was instantly craving more. It took all my concentration to remember the baby in my arms. Jasper felt my mood change. "Er, Edward, you might not want to distract her like that right now. She needs to be able to focus." Edward pulled away. "Oops," he said. I laughed. That had been my line from the very beginning, from the very first kiss. "Later," I said, and anticipation curled my stomach into a ball. "Focus, Bella," Jasper urged. "Right." I pushed the trembly feelings away. Charlie, that was the main thing right now. Keep Charlie safe today. We would have all night... "Bella." "Sorry, Jasper.
Stephenie Meyer (Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, #4))
More fundamentally than any of this, though, is their deep fear that if the free market system really has set in motion physical and chemical processes that, if allowed to continue unchecked, threaten large parts of humanity at an existential level, then their entire crusade to morally redeem capitalism has been for naught. With stakes like these, clearly greed is not so very good after all. And that is what is behind the abrupt rise in climate change denial among hardcore conservatives: they have come to understand that as soon as they admit that climate change is real, they will lose the central ideological battle of our time—whether we need to plan and manage our societies to reflect our goals and values, or whether that task can be left to the magic of the market.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
Infatuation doesn't last because it's conditional and conditions change, but if it's real love, it turns into mature, unconditional love, and new chemicals are released in the brain, Endorphins that make you feel warm and peaceful and satisfied and content whenever you're with the one you love.... And miserable when you're without him because if he's not there, the brain won't produce chemicals.
Jennifer Crusie
Hormones and neurotransmitters, the chemicals associated with human desire, fear, love, joy, and sadness, “are highly conserved across taxa,” Jennifer said. This means that whether you’re a person or a monkey, a bird or a turtle, an octopus or a clam, the physiological changes that accompany our deepest-felt emotions appear to be the same. Even a brainless scallop’s little heart beats faster when the mollusk is approached by a predator, just like yours or mine would do were we to be accosted by a mugger.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
A growing number of studies have made a link between animal behavior and the trillions of bacteria and fungi that live in their guts, many of which produce chemicals that influence animal nervous systems. The interaction between gut microbes and brains—the “microbiome-gut-brain axis”—is far-reaching enough to have birthed a new field: neuromicrobiology.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
we’ll learn about epigenetic changes—the chemical modifications that occur in our cells as a result of a traumatic event.
Mark Wolynn (It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle)
Giving in to craving doesn’t necessarily lead to pleasure because wanting is different from liking. Dopamine makes promises that it is in no position to keep. “If you buy these shoes, your life will change,” says the desire circuit, and it just might happen, but not because dopamine made you feel it.
Daniel Z. Lieberman (The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race)
If you do just one thing—make one conscious choice—that can change the world, go organic. Buy organic food. Stop using chemicals and start supporting organic farmers. No other single choice you can make to improve the health of your family and the planet will have greater positive repercussions for our future.
Maria Rodale (Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe)
I think the fear gets into your blood. It makes your subatomic particles twist and distort. You change, chemically. The fear changes, too. It because not your helper, but your master. You are a slave to it.
Nancy Werlin (The Rules of Survival)
At Latham House, we were asked to believe in unlikely miracles. In second chances. We woke up each morning hoping that the odds had somehow swung in our favor. But that’s the thing about odds. Roll a die twice, and you expect two different results. Except it doesn’t work that way. You could roll the same side over and over again, the laws of the universe intact and unchanging with each turn. It’s only when you consider the past that the odds change. That things become less and less likely. Here’s something I know because I’m a nerd: up until the middle of the twentieth century, dice were made out of cellulose nitrate. It’s a material that remains stable for decades but, in a flash, can decompose. The chemical compound breaks down, releasing nitric acid. So every time you roll a die, there’s a small chance that it won’t give you a result at all, that instead it will cleave, crumble, and explode.
Robyn Schneider (Extraordinary Means)
We sat in silence for a while. I gazed through the window at the night sky, wondering idly at all that space, all that blackness, all that nothing, and as I sat there looking up at the emptiness I began thinking about the creek, the hills, the woods, the water... how everything goes around and around and never really changes. How life recycles everything it uses. How the end product of one process becomes the starting point of another, how each generation of living things depends on the chemicals released by the generations that have proceeded it... I don't know why I was thinking about it. It just seemed to occur to me.
Kevin Brooks (Lucas)
Light clarity avocado salad in the morning after all the terrible things I do how amazing it is to find forgiveness and love, not even forgiveness since what is done is done and forgiveness isn’t love and love is love nothing can ever go wrong though things can get irritating boring and dispensable (in the imagination) but not really for love though a block away you feel distant the mere presence changes everything like a chemical dropped on a paper and all thoughts disappear in a strange quiet excitement I am sure of nothing but this, intensified by breathing
Frank O'Hara
when you change your emotions, you can change the expression of your genes (turning some on and others off) because you are sending a new chemical signal to your DNA, which can then instruct your genes to make different proteins—up-regulating or down-regulating to make all kinds of new building blocks that can change the structure and function of your body.
Joe Dispenza (Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon)
Nothing in this scene will be changed by my death, Nicole thought. There will just be one less pair of eyes to observe its splendor. And one less collection of chemicals risen to consciousness to wonder what it all means.
Arthur C. Clarke (Rama Revealed (Rama, #4))
Fungi are equipped with different kinds of bodies. They don’t have noses or brains. Instead, their entire surface behaves like an olfactory epithelium. A mycelial network is one large chemically sensitive membrane: A molecule can bind to a receptor anywhere on its surface and trigger a signaling cascade that alters fungal behavior.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
Getting hold of the difficulty deep down is what is hard. Because if it is grasped near the surface it simply remains the difficulty it was. It has to be pulled out by the roots; and that involves our beginning to think about these things in a new way. The change is as decisive as, for example, that from the alchemical to the chemical way of thinking. The new way of thinking is what is so hard to establish. Once the new way of thinking has been established, the old problems vanish; indeed they become hard to recapture. For they go with our way of expressing ourselves and, if we clothe ourselves in a new form of expression, the old problems are discarded along with the old garment.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Culture and Value)
You would not have known,' Baynes said, 'because I do not in any physical way appear Jewish; I have had my nose altered, my large greasy pores made smaller, my skin chemically lightened, the shape of my skull changed. In short, physically I cannot be detected. ...
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
Life is just chemicals. A drop here, a drip there, everything's changed. A mere dribble of fermented juices and sudenlly you're going to live another few hours.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
People change. There's no way you're the same person you were when you were sixteen.
Krystal Sutherland (Our Chemical Hearts)
There is nothing like the study of nature to understand human interference with natural processes such as the study of chemical changes.
Lailah Gifty Akita
Stress is bad for every medical condition—many of the chemical changes in the nervous system with stress can lower the threshold for pain conditions.
Jennifer Gunter (The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine)
Celebrity chefs are the leaders in the field of food, and we are the led. Why should the leaders of chemical businesses be held responsible for polluting the marine environment with a few grams of effluent, which is sublethal to marine species, while celebrity chefs are turning out endangered fish at several dozen tables a night without enduring a syllable of criticism?
Charles Clover (The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat)
It didn't matter much what Dwayne said. It hadn't mattered much for years. It didn't matter much what most people in Midland City said out loud, except when they were talking about money or structures or travel or machinery - or other measurable thins. Every person had a clearly defined part to play - as a black person, a female high school drop-out, a Pontiac dealer, a gynecologist, a gas-conversion burner installer. If a person stopped living up to expectations, because of bad chemicals or one thing or another, everybody went on imagining that the person was living up to expectations anyway. That was the main reason the people in Midland City were so slow to detect insanity in their associates. Their imaginations insisted that nobody changed much from day to day. Their imaginations were flywheels on the ramshackle machinery of awful truth.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
That genes explain our behaviour and well-being distracts attention from society as a cause; such ideas also encourage us to accept or pursue chemical, physical solutions, not social change.
Oliver James (The Selfish Capitalist - Origins of Affluenza)
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
We can change so many times in our lives. We’re born into a family, and it’s the only life we can imagine, but it changes. Buildings collapse. Fires burn. And the next second we’re someplace else entirely, going through different motions and trying to keep up with this new person we’ve become.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
I was gazing at a cup of cocoa on my night table. As I focused on the thick brown skin that had formed upon its surface like ice on a muddy pond something at the root of my tongue leapt like a little goat and my stomach turned over. There are not many things that I despise but chiefest among them is skin on milk. I loathe it with a passion. Not even the thought of the marvelous chemical change that forms the stuff—the milk’s proteins churned and ripped apart by the heat of boiling then reassembling themselves as they cool into a jellied skin—was enough to console me. I would rather eat a cobweb.
Alan Bradley (A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia de Luce, #3))
Many scientific concepts—from time to chemical bonds to genes to species—lack stable definitions but remain helpful categories to think with. From one perspective, “individual” is no different: just another category to guide human thought and behavior. Nonetheless, so much of daily life and experience—not to mention our philosophical, political, and economic systems—depends on individuals that it can be hard to stand by and watch the concept dissolve. Where does this leave “us”? What about “them”? “Me”? “Mine”? “Everyone”? “Anyone”? My response to the discussions at the conference was not just intellectual
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
Whenever you start doubting yourself,” she said, turning back to the audience, “whenever you feel afraid, just remember. Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others’ opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion. Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies. Design your own future. When you go home today, ask yourself what you will change. And then get started.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
Making Genetic Changes We used to think that genes created disease and that we were at the mercy of our DNA. So if many people in someone’s family died of heart disease, we assumed that their chances of also developing heart disease would be pretty high. But we now know through the science of epigenetics that it’s not the gene that creates disease but the environment that programs our genes to create disease—and not just the external environment outside our body (cigarette smoke or pesticides, for example), but also the internal environment within our body: the environment outside our cells. What do I mean by the environment within our body? As I said previously, emotions are chemical feedback, the end products of experiences we have in our external environment. So as we react to a situation in our external environment that produces an emotion, the resulting internal chemistry can signal our genes to either turn on (up-regulating, or producing an increased expression of the gene) or to turn off (down-regulating, or producing a decreased expression of the gene). The gene itself doesn’t physically change—the expression of the gene changes, and that expression is what matters most because that is what affects our health and our lives.
Joe Dispenza (Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon)
Repressed memory of childhood sexual abuse usually begins to surface around age 30 when natural electro-chemical changes occur in the brain. The is a widely known and established fact. The fact that the Vatican placed a ten-year statute of limitations on reporting such abuse eliminates a vast number of their victims from joining the class action suit. Neither Cathy nor Kelly is eligible for compensation under this rule. How many others are being ignored?
Cathy O'Brien (ACCESS DENIED For Reasons Of National Security: Documented Journey From CIA Mind Control Slave To U.S. Government Whistleblower)
It was as if I’d suffered a chemical change of the spirit: as if the acid balance of my psyche had shifted and leached the life out of me in aspects impossible to repair, or reverse, like a frond of living coral hardened to bone. I
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I’ve started dreaming in Spanish, which has never happened before. I wake up feeling different, like something inside me is changing, something chemical and irreversible. There’s a magic here working its way through my veins. There’s something about the vegetation, too, that I respond to instinctively - the stunning bougainvillea, the flamboyants and jacarandas, the orchids growing from the trunks of the mysterious ceiba trees. And I love Havana, its noise and decay and painted ladyness. I could happily sit on one of those wrought-iron balconies for days, or keep my grandmother company on her porch, with its ringside view of the sea. I’m afraid to lose all this, to lose Abuela Celia again. But sooner or later I’d have to return to New York. I know now it’s where I belong - not instead of here, but more than here. How can I tell my grandmother this?
Cristina García (Dreaming in Cuban)
Magical work involves change and creation. And the subject of the magician’s work is the self. The magician is the focus of his or her own alchemical processes. By adapting one’s personal vision to reflect the macrocosm, we can change ourselves to better reflect those divine ideas. We may alter our body, appearance, the chemical composition of our blood, and the configuration of our nervous system. We may tame the feral beasts that dwell within our organic structure. By changing ourselves to resonate with the divine, we may transmute every portion of ourselves and become as purified vessels for the eternal spirit.
Israel Regardie (Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind & Magic: formerly The Middle Pillar)
Most EOs are the result of accidents," he said, studying the snow. "But Eli and I were different. We set out to find a way to effect the change. Incidentally, it's remarkably difficult to do. Dying with intent, reviving with control. Finding a way to end a life but keep it in arm's reach, and all without rendering the body unusable. On top of that, you need a method that strips enough control from the subject to make them afraid, because you need the chemical properties induced by fear and adrenaline to trigger a somatic change.
V.E. Schwab (Vengeful)
Part of our primate heritage is that most of us want to feel that we fit in somewhere and are part of a group. Which group we're part of may matter less to some of us than others, as long as we're part of a group and not left entirely on our own. Although there are individual differences, being alone for too long causes neuro-chemical changes that can result in hallucinations, depression, suicidal thoughts, violent behaviors, and even psychosis. Social isolation is also a risk factor for cardiac arrest and death, even more so than smoking.
Daniel J. Levitin
The landscape of carcinogens is not static either. We are chemical apes: having discovered the capacity to extract, purify, and react molecules to produce new and wondrous molecules, we have begun to spin a new chemical universe around ourselves. Our bodies, our cells, our genes are thus being immersed and reimmersed in a changing flux of molecules--pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, plastics, cosmetics, estrogens, food products, hormones, even novel forms of physical impulses, such as radiation and magnetism. Some of these, inevitably, will be carcinogenic. We cannot wish this world away; our task, then, is to sift through it vigilantly to discriminate bona fide carcinogens from innocent and useful bystanders.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer)
Vanderbilt University scientists had discovered chemically testable differences between psychopaths and others. One was the variance in levels of dopamine, a naturally produced chemical that contributed to a person’s motivation and pleasure. Those scientists concluded that the elevated level of dopamine was not an additional symptom to the personality abnormalities already known, but rather responsible for the personality changes.
Michael Benson (Watch Mommy Die)
What if the water that came out of the shower was treated with a chemical that responded to a combination of things, like your heartbeat, and your body temperature, and your brain waves, so that your skin changed color according to your mood? If you were extremely excited your skin would turn green, and if you were angry you'd turn red, obviously, and if you felt like shiitake you'd turn brown, and if you were blue you'd turn blue. Everyone could know what everyone else felt, and we could be more careful with each other, because you'd never want to tell a person whose skin was purple that you're angry at her for being late, just like you would want to pat a pink person on the back and tell him, "Congratulations!" Another reason it would be a good invention is that there are so many times when you know you're feeling a lot of something, but you don't know what the something is. Am I frustrated? Am I actually just panicky? And that confusion changes your mood, it becomes your mood, and you become a confused, gray person. But with the special water, you could look at your orange hands and think, I'm happy! That whole time I was actually happy! What a relief!
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Look everywhere. There are miracles and curiosities to fascinate and intrigue for many lifetimes: the intricacies of nature and everything in the world and universe around us from the miniscule to the infinite; physical, chemical and biological functionality; consciousness, intelligence and the ability to learn; evolution, and the imperative for life; beauty and other abstract interpretations; language and other forms of communication; how we make our way here and develop social patterns of culture and meaningfulness; how we organise ourselves and others; moral imperatives; the practicalities of survival and all the embellishments we pile on top; thought, beliefs, logic, intuition, ideas; inventing, creating, information, knowledge; emotions, sensations, experience, behaviour. We are each unique individuals arising from a combination of genetic, inherited, and learned information, all of which can be extremely fallible. Things taught to us when we are young are quite deeply ingrained. Obviously some of it (like don’t stick your finger in a wall socket) is very useful, but some of it is only opinion – an amalgamation of views from people you just happen to have had contact with. A bit later on we have access to lots of other information via books, media, internet etc, but it is important to remember that most of this is still just opinion, and often biased. Even subjects such as history are presented according to the presenter’s or author’s viewpoint, and science is continually changing. Newspapers and TV tend to cover news in the way that is most useful to them (and their funders/advisors), Research is also subject to the decisions of funders and can be distorted by business interests. Pretty much anyone can say what they want on the internet, so our powers of discernment need to be used to a great degree there too. Not one of us can have a completely objective view as we cannot possibly have access to, and filter, all knowledge available, so we must accept that our views are bound to be subjective. Our understanding and responses are all very personal, and our views extremely varied. We tend to make each new thing fit in with the picture we have already started in our heads, but we often have to go back and adjust the picture if we want to be honest about our view of reality as we continually expand it. We are taking in vast amounts of information from others all the time, so need to ensure we are processing that to develop our own true reflection of who we are.
Jay Woodman
Stories nowadays are put in to squares, just like everything else. Stories are ever changing. They are like rivers that flow, but mankind is busy trying to dam them up and as a result, they become stagnant. They divert the water into square swimming pools, and then add chemicals to it in order to keep it sterile.
James Rozoff (Perchance to Dream)
The health care establishment is structured to profit from chemical and surgical intervention. Diet still takes the back seat to drugs and surgery. One criticism that is constantly leveled at the dietary argument is that patients will not make such fundamental changes. One doctor charges that Dr. Esselstyn’s patients change their eating habits simply because of Esselstyn’s “zealous belief.”47 This criticism is not only wrong and insulting to patients; it is also self-fulfilling. If doctors do not believe that patients will change their diets, they will neglect to talk about diet, or will do it in an off-handed, disparaging way.
T. Colin Campbell (The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health)
During this time (at high school) I discovered the Public Library... It was here that I found a source of knowledge and the means to acquire it by reading, a habit of learning which I still follow to this day. I also became interested in chemistry and gradually accumulated enough test tubes and other glassware to do chemical experiments, using small quantities of chemicals purchased from a pharmacy supply house. I soon graduated to biochemistry and tried to discover what gave flowers their distinctive colours. I made the (to me) astounding discovery that the pigments I extracted changed their colours when I changed the pH of the solution.
Sydney Brenner
To begin with, there is the frightful debauchery of taste that has already been effected by a century of mechanisation. This is almost too obvious and too generally admitted to need pointing out. But as a single instance, take taste in its narrowest sense - the taste for decent food. In the highly mechanical countries, thanks to tinned food, cold storage, synthetic flavouring matters, etc., the palate it almost a dead organ. As you can see by looking at any greengrocer’s shop, what the majority of English people mean by an apple is a lump of highly-coloured cotton wool from America or Australia; they will devour these things, apparently with pleasure, and let the English apples rot under the trees. It is the shiny, standardized, machine-made look of the American apple that appeals to them; the superior taste of the English apple is something they simply do not notice. Or look at the factory-made, foil wrapped cheeses and ‘blended’ butter in an grocer’s; look at the hideous rows of tins which usurp more and more of the space in any food-shop, even a dairy; look at a sixpenny Swiss roll or a twopenny ice-cream; look at the filthy chemical by-product that people will pour down their throats under the name of beer. Wherever you look you will see some slick machine-made article triumphing over the old-fashioned article that still tastes of something other than sawdust. And what applies to food applies also to furniture, houses, clothes, books, amusements and everything else that makes up our environment. These are now millions of people, and they are increasing every year, to whom the blaring of a radio is not only a more acceptable but a more normal background to their thoughts than the lowing of cattle or the song of birds. The mechanisation of the world could never proceed very far while taste, even the taste-buds of the tongue, remained uncorrupted, because in that case most of the products of the machine would be simply unwanted. In a healthy world there would be no demand for tinned food, aspirins, gramophones, gas-pipe chairs, machine guns, daily newspapers, telephones, motor-cars, etc. etc.; and on the other hand there would be a constant demand for the things the machine cannot produce. But meanwhile the machine is here, and its corrupting effects are almost irresistible. One inveighs against it, but one goes on using it. Even a bare-arse savage, given the change, will learn the vices of civilisation within a few months. Mechanisation leads to the decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to demand for machine-made articles and hence to more mechanisation, and so a vicious circle is established.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
...seven core emotions show up chemically in the body: Love, Joy, Hope, Sadness, Envy, Anger, Fear
Shawn Kent Hayashi (Conversations for Change: 12 Ways to Say It Right When It Maconversations for Change: 12 Ways to Say It Right When It Matters Most Tters Most)
Stress and anxiety cause our brains to release chemicals that put lines in our faces and tear us down emotionally and spiritually.
Chris Prentiss (Be Who You Want, Have What You Want: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life)
because of a chemical in his skin that some people resented and felt superior to and that no one on this earth could change.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
At the age of 48, my body had become a chemistry experiment that I was constantly changing the composition of the chemicals in it to find beneficial reactions.
Steven Magee
This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought. —Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
Oliver Benjamin (The Tao of the Dude: Awesome Insights of Deep Dudes from Lao Tzu to Lebowski)
Fear can change you. It can change you on a physical level. It’s not just feelings, it’s chemical cascades.
Rufi Thorpe (The Knockout Queen)
If we cannot think beyond how we emotionally feel, then we are living according to what the environment dictates to our body. Rather than truly thinking, innovating, and creating, we merely fire the synaptic memories in other areas of our brain from our genetic or personal past; we instigate the same repetitive chemical reactions that have us living in survival mode.
Joe Dispenza (Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind)
She didn't just change the temperature of rooms, she changed their entire chemical make-up so that anyone in the room would only be aware that the room was an extension of her and she was the thrumming nucleus.
Emma Jane Unsworth (Animals)
Villanelle It is the pain, it is the pain endures. Your chemic beauty burned my muscles through. Poise of my hands reminded me of yours. What later purge from this deep toxin cures? What kindness now could the old salve renew? It is the pain, it is the pain endures. The infection slept (custom or changes inures) And when pain's secondary phase was due Poise of my hands reminded me of yours. How safe I felt, whom memory assures, Rich that your grace safely by heart I knew. It is the pain, it is the pain endures. My stare drank deep beauty that still allures. My heart pumps yet the poison draught of you. Poise of my hands reminded me of yours. You are still kind whom the same shape immures. Kind and beyond adieu. We miss our cue. It is the pain, it is the pain endures. Poise of my hands reminded me of yours.
William Empson (The Complete Poems)
The transition between our current Type 0 civilization and a future Type I civilization is perhaps the greatest transition in history. It will determine whether we will continue to thrive and flourish, or perish due to our own folly. This transition is extremely dangerous because we still have all the barbaric savagery that typified our painful rise from the swamp. Peel back the veneer of civilization, and we still see the forces of fundamentalism, sectarianism, racism, intolerance, etc., at work. Human nature has not changed much in the past 100,000 years, except now we have nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to settle old scores.
Michio Kaku (Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100)
The concept of internal selection, of a hierarchy of controls which eliminate the consequences of harmful gene-mutations and co-ordinates the effects of useful mutations, is the missing link in orthodoxy theory between the 'atoms' of heredity and the living stream of evolution. Without that link, neither of them makes sense. There can be no doubt that random mutations do occur: they can be observed in the laboratory. There can be no doubt that Darwinian selection is a powerful force. But in between these two events, between the chemical changes in a gene and the appearance of the finished product as a newcomer on the evolutionary stage, there is a whole hierarchy of internal processes at work which impose strict limitations on the range of possible mutations and thus considerably reduce the importance of the chance factor. We might say that the monkey works at a typewriter which the manufacturers have programmed to print only syllables which exist in our language, but not nonsense syllables. If a nonsense syllable occurs, the machine will automatically erase it. To pursue the metaphor, we would have to populate the higher levels of the hierarchy with proof-readers and then editors, whose task is no longer elimination, but correction, self-repair and co-ordination-as in the example of the mutated eye.
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine)
We have altered the Earth system physically and chemically through disrupting the global cycling of carbon, causing warming of the surface of the Earth and acidification of the oceans; and biologically, through species extinctions and the movement of many species to new locations. Of these myriad changes, summarized in Figure 8.1, some are being preserved in geological archives, including glacier ice and sediments accumulating on the ocean floor.
Simon L. Lewis (Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene)
There are two types of memory frequently experienced by individuals who have had overwhelming trauma that has been suppressed psychologically or chemically. The first is general memory, experienced as an adult, in which there is a natural recall of early events. The other is the memory that is often associated with post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). The person suddenly smells, sees and feels as though he or she is actually living the event that took place months or years earlier. Many soldiers who survived horrifying combat experiences have PTSS. This has frequently been discussed in terms of Vietnam veterans who suddenly mentally find themselves in the jungle, hiding from the enemy or assaulting people they see as a threat. The fact that they have not been in Vietnam for decades and that they are experiencing the flashbacks in shopping malls, at home or at work does not change what they are mentally reliving. But PTSS has existed for centuries and has affected men, women and children in the midst of all wars, horrifying natural disasters and other traumatic experiences. This includes physical and sexual abuse when growing up. the PTSS Cheryl was experiencing more and more frequently, in which she found herself seeing, feeling and re-experiencing events from her childhood and adolescence had become overwhelming. She knew she needed to get help.
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed to Kill for Their Country)
Okay, okay . . . where do you hear it coming from?” “Around here somewhere.” “Always in this spot?” “No. Not always. You are going to think I am even more insane, but I swear it is following me around.” “Maybe it is my new powers. The power to drive you mad.” She wriggled her fingers at him theatrically as if she were casting a curse on him. “You already drive me mad,” he teased, dragging her up against him and nibbling her neck with a playful growling. “Ah hell,” he broke off. “I really am going mad. I cannot believe you cannot hear that. It is like a metronome set to some ridiculously fast speed.” He turned and walked into the living room, looking around at every shelf. “The last person to own this place probably had a thing for music and left it running. Listen. Can you hear that?” “No,” she said thoughtfully, “but I can hear you hearing it if I concentrate on your thoughts. What in the world . . . ?” Gideon turned, then turned again, concentrating on the rapid sound, following it until it led him right up to his wife. “It is you!” he said. “No wonder it is following me around. Are you wearing a watch?” He grabbed her wrist and she rolled her eyes. “A Demon wearing a watch? Now I have heard everything.” Suddenly Gideon went very, very still, the cold wash of chills that flooded through him so strong that she shivered with the overflow of sensation. He abruptly dropped to his knees and framed her hips with his hands. “Oh, Legna,” he whispered, “I am such an idiot. It is a baby. It is our baby. I am hearing it’s heartbeat!” “What?” she asked, her shock so powerful she could barely speak. “I am with child?” “Yes. Yes, sweet, you most certainly are. A little over a month. Legna, you conceived, probably the first time we made love. My beautiful, fertile, gorgeous wife.” Gideon kissed her belly through her dress, stood up, and caught her up against him until she squeaked with the force of his hug. Legna went past shock and entered unbelievable joy. She laughed, not caring how tight he held her, feeling his joy on a thousand different levels. “I never thought I would know this feeling,” he said hoarsely. “Even when we were getting married, I never thought . . . It did not even enter my mind!” Gideon set her down on her feet, putting her at arm’s length as he scanned her thoroughly from head to toe. “I cannot understand why I did not become aware of this sooner. The chemical changes, the hormone levels alone . . .” “Never mind. We know now,” she said, throwing herself back up against him and hugging him tightly. “Come, we have to tell Noah . . . and Hannah! Oh, and Bella! And Jacob, of course. And Elijah. And we should inform Siena—” She was still rattling off names as she teleported them to the King’s castle.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
SOUTH AMERICA’S GREAT Atacama Desert is a place unlike any other. Its climate is different, with close to zero rainfall but occasional thick fogs. Its plants and animals are different—what there are of them, which is to say almost none—capable of living with almost no water. Even its rocks are different. The floor of the Atacama is crusted and shot through with a riot of strange chemicals: nitrates, chromates, and dichromates; perchlorates, iodates, sulfates, and borates; chlorides of potassium, magnesium, and calcium; minerals “so extraordinary,” a researcher wrote, “were it not for their existence, geologists could easily conclude that such deposits could not form in nature.” How
Thomas Hager (The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Discovery That Changed the Course of History)
Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others’ opinions of what you can and cannot achieve.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
allopathic medicine is very good at managing trauma, acute bacterial infections, medical and surgical emergencies, and other crises. It is very bad at managing viral infections, chronic degenerative disease, allergy and autoimmunity, many of the serious kinds of cancer, mental illness, “functional” illness (disturbances of function in the absence of major physical or chemical changes), and all those conditions in which the mind plays an active role in creating susceptibility to disease.
Andrew Weil (Natural Health, Natural Medicine)
We tend to think of the brain in terms of its other critical physical and chemical domains. But its plasticity, its ability to change and to learn, seems to lay primarily in its electrical, oscillatory properties—in short, in the way it fires. As
Sebern F. Fisher (Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain)
...evil is a force and, like the physical and chemical forces, we cannot annihilate it; we may only change its form. We light upon one evil and hit it with all the might of our civilization, but only succeed in scattering it into a dozen of other forms
James Weldon Johnson (The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man)
When you eat meat, you ingest not only the chemical substances that animals are full of, but also the emotional and physical stress that animals experience throughout their lives and at the moment of their slaughter. That stress is also part of your meat.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje (The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out)
Watching her, I remembered a girl I'd known in school, a grind, Mildred Grossman. Mildred: with her moist hair and greasy spectacles, her strained fingers that dissected frogs and carried coffee to picket lines, her flat eyes that only turned toward the stars to estimate their chemical tonnage. Earth and air could not be more opposite than Mildred and Holly, yet in my head they acquired a Siamese twinship, and the thread of thought that had sewn them together ran like this: the average personality reshapes frequently, every few years even our bodies undergo a complete overhaul--desirable or not, it is a natural thing that we should change. All right, here were two people who never would. That is what Mildred Grossman had in common with Holly Golightly. They would never change because they'd been given their character too soon; which, like sudden riches, leads to a lack of proportion: the one had splurged herself into a top-heavy realist, the other a lopsided romantic. I imagined them in a restaurant of the future, Mildred still studying the menu for its nutritional values, Holly still gluttonous for everything on it. It would never be different. They would walk through life and out of it with the same determined step that took small notice of those cliffs at the left.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
Stress is one of the biggest causes of epigenetic change, because it knocks your body out of balance. It comes in three forms: physical stress (trauma), chemical stress (toxins), and emotional stress (fear, worry, being overwhelmed, and so on). Each type can set off more than 1,400 chemical reactions and produce more than 30 hormones and neurotransmitters. When that chemical cascade of stress hormones is triggered, your mind influences your body through the autonomic nervous system and you experience the ultimate
Joe Dispenza (You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter)
Many people think trees grow so big from soil and water, but this is not true. Trees get their mass from the air. They gobble up airborne carbon dioxide and perform an act of chemical fission by using the energy from sunshine... Essentially, trees are made of air and sunshine.
Ned Hayes (The Eagle Tree)
Difficult To Believe Impossible To Deny The world today is witnessing the emergence of an extraordinary phenomenon that offers a radical way to transform life on this planet for the benefit of all. This phenomenon brought to the world by Mahendra Trivedi is known as The Trivedi Effect®. The Trivedi Effect® is a natural phenomenon that transforms living organisms and non-living materials through the Energy Transmissions of Mahendra Trivedi and The Trivedi Masters™. This Intelligent energy has the ability to transform all living organisms such as plants, trees, seeds, bacteria, viruses, fungi, animals, cancer cells, human cells…everything. In the addition to that, this energy has the ability to transform nonliving materials, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, and chemicals by changing the structure of the atom permanently.
Trivedi Master
The conundrum of the twenty-first (century) is that with the best intentions of color blindness, and laws passed in this spirit, we still carry instincts and reactions inherited from our environments and embedded in our being below the level of conscious decision. There is a color line in our heads, and while we could see its effects we couldn’t name it until now. But john powell is also steeped in a new science of “implicit bias,” which gives us a way, finally, even to address this head on. It reveals a challenge that is human in nature, though it can be supported and hastened by policies to create new experiences, which over time create new instincts and lay chemical and physical pathways. This is a helpfully unromantic way to think about what we mean when we aspire, longingly, to a lasting change of heart. And john powell and others are bringing training methodologies based on the new science to city governments and police forces and schools. What we’re finding now in the last 30 years is that much of the work, in terms of our cognitive and emotional response to the world, happens at the unconscious level.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
We can change so many times on our lives. We're born into a family, and it's the only life we can imagine, but it changes. Buildings collapse. Fires burn. And the next second we're someplace else entirely, going through different motions and trying to keep up with this new person we've become.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
the job of the brain is to constantly monitor and evaluate what is going on within and around us. These evaluations are transmitted by chemical messages in the bloodstream and electrical messages in our nerves, causing subtle or dramatic changes throughout the body and brain. These shifts usually occur entirely without conscious input or awareness: The subcortical regions of the brain are astoundingly efficient in regulating our breathing, heartbeat, digestion, hormone secretion, and immune system. However, these systems can become overwhelmed if we are challenged by an ongoing threat, or even the perception of threat. This accounts for the wide array of physical problems researchers have documented in traumatized people. Yet our conscious self also plays a vital role in maintaining our inner equilibrium: We need to register and act on our physical sensations to keep our bodies safe.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Driftglass," I said. "You know all the Coca-Cola bottles and cut-crystal punch bowls and industrial silicon slag that goes into the sea?" I know the Coca-Cola bottles." They break, and the tide pulls the pieces back and forth over the sandy bottom, wearing the edges, changing their shape. Sometimes chemicals in the glass react with chemicals in the ocean to change the color. Sometimes veins work their way through in patterns like snowflakes, regular and geometric; others, irregular and angled like coral. When the pieces dry, they're milky. Put them in water and they become transparent again.
Samuel R. Delany (Driftglass)
Chapter 1 Summary The debate in science is between the mind being what the brain does versus the brain doing the bidding of the mind. The correct view is that the mind is designed to control the body, of which the brain is a part, not the other way around. Our brain does not control us; we control our brain through our thinking and choosing. We can control our reactions to anything. Choices are real. You are free to make choices about how you focus your attention, and this affects how the chemicals, proteins, and wiring of your brain change and function. Research shows that DNA actually changes shape in response to our thoughts. Stress stage one is normal. Stress stage two and stage three, on the other hand, are our mind and body’s response to toxic thinking—basically normal stress gone wrong. Reaction is the key word here. You cannot control the events or circumstances of your life, but you can control your reactions.
Caroline Leaf (Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health)
Our galaxy is some small part of universe, and it’s just a fluke that bunch of chemical reactions can somehow support a life system. You see, we aren’t special. There’s no watchman looking over us, there’s no sin or deed. It’s just that you balance universe every second, and you cannot change a thing about it.
Supreeth Mithunkul (Gods are Dead)
Yet one powerful way of cleaning up a small bay of the chemical ocean is within our reach. We can vote with our purchases. It is the one thing to which industry pays attention. How many polyester dog toys, laced with antimony, would manufacturers continue to produce if none of us bought them? How many Frisbees, footballs, and retriever dummies full of phthalates would they make, if these toys sat on the shelves? How many fire-retardant dog beds and how many kibble bags lined with PFCs would any manufacturer ship, if they remained unbought? It is a powerful way to change silence into action. Our dogs, after all, have no say.
Ted Kerasote (Pukka's Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs)
This will pass. This isn’t you. This is some stew of chemicals and hormones in your brain, translating stimulus into despair, and if you take these meds or do this exercise or spend this amount of time a day out in the sunshine, the recipe will change, and you’ll see clearly again. Wait for it. Just a little longer.
Holly Goddard Jones (The Salt Line)
However, at that stage in the walk one of those curious changes took place in circumstances of mutual intercourse that might almost be compared, scientifically speaking, with the addition in the laboratory of one chemical to another, by which the whole nature of the experiment is altered: perhaps even an explosion brought about.
Anthony Powell (A Buyer's Market (A Dance to the Music of Time #2))
In the vestibule of the Manchester Town Hall are placed two life-sized marble statues facing each other. One of these is that of John Dalton ... the other that of James Prescott Joule. ... Thus the honour is done to Manchester's two greatest sons—to Dalton, the founder of modern Chemistry and of the atomic theory, and the laws of chemical-combining proportions; to Joule, the founder of modern physics and the discoverer of the Law of Conservation of Energy. One gave to the world the final proof ... that in every kind of chemical change no loss of matter occurs; the other proved that in all the varied modes of physical change, no loss of energy takes place.
Henry Enfield Roscoe
Years later, a different therapist asked her exactly what she was afraid of. Varya was initially stumped, not because she didn’t know what she was afraid of but because it was harder to think of what she wasn’t. “So give me some examples,” said the therapist, and that night Varya made a list. Cancer. Climate change. Being the victim of a car crash. Being the cause of a car crash. (There was a period when the thought of killing a bicyclist while making a right turn caused Vaya to follow any bicyclist for blocks, checking again and again to make sure she hadn’t.) Gunmen, Plane crashes – sudden doom! People wearing Band-Aids. AIDS ¬¬- really, all types of viruses and bacteria and disease. Infecting someone else. Dirty surfaces, soiled linens, bodily secretions. Drugstores and pharmacies. Ticks and bedbugs and lice. Chemicals. The homeless. Crowds. Uncertainty and risk and open-ended endings. Responsibility and guilt. She is even afraid of her own mind. She is afraid of its power, of what it does to her.
Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists)
Things I've Learned in 18 Years of Life   1) True love is not something found, rather [sic] something encountered. You can’t go out and look for it. The person you marry and the person you love could easily be two different people. So have a beautiful life while waiting for God to bring along your once-in-a-lifetime love. Don't allow yourself to settle for anything less than them. Stop worrying about who you're going to marry because God's already on the front porch watching your grandchildren play.   2) God WILL give you more than you can handle, so you can learn to lean on him in times of need. He won't tempt you more than you can handle, though. So don't lose hope. Hope anchors the soul.   3) Remember who you are and where you came from. Remember that you are not from this earth. You are a child of heaven, you're invaluable, you are beautiful. Carry yourself that way.   4) Don't put your faith in humanity, humanity is inherently flawed. We are all imperfect people created and loved by a perfect God. Perfect. So put your faith in Him.   5) I fail daily, and that is why I succeed.   6) Time passes, and nothing and everything changes. Don't live life half asleep. Don't drag your soul through the days. Feel everything you do. Be there physically and mentally. Do things that make you feel this way as well.   7) Live for beauty. We all need beauty, get it where you can find it. Clothing, paintings, sculptures, music, tattoos, nature, literature, makeup. It's all art and it's what makes us human. Same as feeling the things we do. Stay human.   8) If someone makes you think, keep them. If someone makes you feel, keep them.   9) There is nothing the human brain cannot do. You can change anything about yourself that you want to. Fight for it. It's all a mental game.   10) God didn’t break our chains for us to be bound again. Alcohol, drugs, depression, addiction, toxic relationships, monotony and repetition, they bind us. Break those chains. Destroy your past and give yourself new life like God has given you.   11) This is your life. Your struggle, your happiness, your sorrow, and your success. You do not need to justify yourself to anyone. You owe no one an explanation for the choices that you make and the position you are in. In the same vein, respect yourself by not comparing your journey to anyone else's.   12) There is no wrong way to feel.   13) Knowledge is everywhere, keep your eyes open. Look at how diverse and wonderful this world is. Are you going to miss out on beautiful people, places, experiences, and ideas because you are close-minded? I sure hope not.   14) Selfless actions always benefit you more than the recipient.   15) There is really no room for regret in this life. Everything happens for a reason. If you can't find that reason, accept there is one and move on.   16) There is room, however, for guilt. Resolve everything when it first comes up. That's not only having integrity, but also taking care of your emotional well-being.   17) If the question is ‘Am I strong enough for this?’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, but not on your own.’   18) Mental health and sanity above all.   19) We love because He first loved us. The capacity to love is the ultimate gift, the ultimate passion, euphoria, and satisfaction. We have all of that because He first loved us. If you think about it in those terms, it is easy to love Him. Just by thinking of how much He loves us.   20) From destruction comes creation. Beauty will rise from the ashes.   21) Many things can cause depression. Such as knowing you aren't becoming the person you have the potential to become. Choose happiness and change. The sooner the better, and the easier.   22) Half of happiness is as simple as eating right and exercising. You are one big chemical reaction. So are your emotions. Give your body the right reactants to work with and you'll be satisfied with the products.
Scott Hildreth (Broken People)
Dissection ... teaches us that the body of man is made up of certain kinds of material, so differing from each other in optical and other physical characters and so built up together as to give the body certain structural features. Chemical examination further teaches us that these kinds of material are composed of various chemical substances, a large number of which have this characteristic that they possess a considerable amount of potential energy capable of being set free, rendered actual, by oxidation or some other chemical change. Thus the body as a whole may, from a chemical point of view, be considered as a mass of various chemical substances, representing altogether a considerable capital of potential energy.
Michael Foster (A Text Book of Physiology (Classic Reprint))
The problem is that Negative Self-Talk Disorder is an unconsciously acquired disorder that becomes physically, chemically, wired into your brain. (It becomes an actual disorder––faulty wiring––in the brain.) If you do nothing to change it, it not only stays, it also gets progressively worse. It becomes a part of your programs, and follows the rules under which your brain operates.
Shad Helmstetter (Negative Self-Talk and How to Change It)
You don’t let your feelings run around and jump into someone else’s hand.” Mercury made a fist. “You grab on to your own life and push it around where you want it to go.” Mercury believed she had her life firmly in place beneath her tongue, and she didn’t spit it out here and there, in bits and pieces diffusing its power. She had even taken a new name, changing it from Anna to Mercury after er granddaughter brought home a copy of the periodic table in the eighth grade and explained it to her: “An element is a substance that can’t be broken down into simpler substances.” “That’s my story,” Mercury told Charlene. running her thick forefinger across the chart. “I’m all of a piece.” Charlene opened her mouth to object, to explain that her grandmother could never be one of the chemical elements, assigned an atomic number and measured for atomic weight, but Mercury presided over the kitchen like a force of nature. Charlene’s words were snatched from her mind before they ever made it to her vocal chords. She imagined they were pulled into the woman’s energy field, the electric air surrounding Mercury’s body like her own personal atmosphere.
Susan Power (The Grass Dancer)
Instead of admitting that happiness is an art of the indirect that is achieved or not through secondary goals, it is presented as if it were an immediately accessible objective, and recipes are provided. Whatever the method chosen, psychic, somatic, chemical, spiritual, or computer-based, the presupposition is everywhere the same: contentment is within your reach, all you have to do is undergo a "positive conditioning," an "ethical discipline" that will lead you to it. This amounts to an astonishing inversion of the will, which seeks to establish its protectorate over psychic states and feelings that are traditionally outside its jurisdiction. It wears itself our trying to change what does not depend on it (at the risk of not dealing with what can be changed).
Pascal Bruckner (Perpetual Euphoria: On the Duty to Be Happy)
Then came the discovery that adrenochrome, which is a product of the decomposition of adrenalin, can produce many of the symptoms observed in mescalin intoxication. But adrenochrome probably occurs spontaneously in the human body. In other words, each one of us may be capable of manufacturing a chemical, minute doses of which are known to cause profound changes in consciousness. Certain
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell)
Experiencing chemical sensitivity to food additives, dyes, perfumes, and household products Having keen fine motor skills Experiencing a weaker immune system, often due to the stress of overstimulation Needing more sleep than other people Having greater reaction to or awareness of changes in the natural environment, such as a shift in barometric pressure or the onset of seasonal changes
Barrie Davenport (Finely Tuned: How To Thrive As A Highly Sensitive Person or Empath)
Courage is the root of change—and change is what we’re chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others’ opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion. Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
Imagine for a moment that your body receives its stress hormones and chemicals through an IV drip that’s turned on high when needed, and when the crisis passes, it’s switched off again. Now think of it this way: kids whose brains have undergone epigenetic changes because of early adversity have an inflammation-promoting drip of fight-or-flight hormones turned on high every day—and there is no off switch.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa (Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal)
EVERYTHING I KNOW about tears I learned from Meret, who had to do a science presentation on them once. She had four giant photographs on easels, X-ray crystallography of onion tears, tears of change, laughing tears, tears of grief. Close up, they look completely different from each other, because they are. Emotional tears, for example, have protein-based hormones in them, including a neurotransmitter called leucine-enkephalin, which is a natural painkiller. Onion tears are less sticky, and disappear more quickly from a person’s cheeks. Although all tears have salt, water, and lysozyme—the main chemical in tears—how the crystals form differs, due to other ingredients. So onion tears look as dense as brocade. Tears of change resemble the fervent swarm of bees in a hive. Laughing tears are reminiscent of the inside of a lava lamp, with smarter angles. And tears of grief call to mind the earth, as seen from above.
Jodi Picoult (The Book of Two Ways)
The defenders of feeling-based marriage venerate emotions for their authenticity only because they avoid looking closely at what actually floats through most people's emotional kaleidoscopes, all the contradictory, sentimental, and hormonal forces that pull us in a hundred often crazed and inconclusive directions. We could not be fulfilled if we weren't inauthentic some of the time—inauthentic, that is, in relation to such things as our passing desires to throttle our children, poison our spouse, or end our marriage over a dispute about changing a lightbulb. A degree of repression is necessary for both the mental health of our species and the adequate functioning of a decently ordered society. We are chaotic chemical propositions. We should feel grateful for, and protected by, the knowledge that our external circumstances are often out of line with what we feel; it is a sign that we are probably on the right course.
Alain de Botton (How to Think More About Sex)
What are the nuclei made of, and how are they held together? It is found that the nuclei are held together by enormous forces. When these are released, the energy released is tremendous compared with chemical energy, in the same ratio as the atomic bomb explosion is to a TNT explosion, because, of course, the atomic bomb has to do with changes inside the nucleus, while the explosion of TNT has to do with the changes of the electrons on the outside of the atoms.
Richard P. Feynman (Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher)
Europe, which at last count has banned 1300 chemicals from personal-care products, is way ahead of us in regard. Most people probably believe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is regulating what goes into personal-care products like lipstick, skin cream and shampoo. In fact, that's not the case at all. In the United States, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 allowed cosmetic companies to police themselves—and nothing's changed in the 80 years since.
Sandy Skotnicki (Beyond Soap: The Real Truth about What You Are Doing to Your Skin and How to Fix It for a Beautiful, Healthy Glow)
Objects within a few millimeters cause the fruiting body of Phycomyces to bend away without ever making contact. Regardless of the object—opaque or transparent, smooth or rough—Phycomyces starts to bend away after about two minutes. Electrostatic fields, humidity, mechanical cues, and temperature have all been ruled out. Some hypothesize that Phycomyces uses a volatile chemical signal that deflects around the obstacle with tiny air currents, but this is far from proven.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
The PTSD stress response can be triggered by powerful memories. The emotional attachment to the memories is so strong that it can cause the same chemical reaction as the actual event. My thought was that if a body could be trained into this constant state of stress, then it could be trained out of it. I came up with a plan. If Ryan’s stress trigger was the emotional charge attached to his old memories, then we would defuse those memories by creating new, more powerful ones.
Robert Vera (A Warrior's Faith: Navy SEAL Ryan Job, a Life-Changing Firefight, and the Belief That Transformed His Life)
Antidepressants fail to outperform placebos in up to half of clinical trials. Armed with fMRI technology, brain scientists now understand that assuming we are born with chemical imbalances is putting the chicken before the egg—trauma changes the structure and chemical and hormonal responses of our brains. In many cases, we can’t just pump opposing chemicals into our brains with the assumption that things will change. We have to treat the underlying, original cause: the trauma.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
Do you think music has the power to change people? Like you listen to a piece and go through some major change inside?" Oshima nodded. "Sure, that can happen. We have an experience--like a chemical reaction--that transforms something inside us. When we examine ourselves later on, we discover that all the standards we've lived by have shot up another notch and the world's opened up in unexpected ways. Yes, I've had that experience. Not often, but it has happened. It's like falling in love.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Green Capitalism", even if products are produced using the utmost environmental care and designed for easy reuse, offers not way out of a system that must expand exponentially and thus, continue to ratchet up its use of natural resources, its chemical pollution, its contaminated sewage sludge, its garbage, and its many other toxic substances. Some of these "fixes" will probably slow down the rate of environmental destruction, but the magnitude of the needed changes dwarfs these approaches.
Fred Magdoff (What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism: A Citizen's Guide to Capitalism and the Environment)
That line of reasoning also leads to questions—but they’re the exasperating kind. If there was a designer, why did he or she or it create all those fossils of things that aren’t living anymore? Why did the designer put all these chemical substitutions of radioactive elements in with nonradioactive elements? Why did a designer program in this continual change that we observe in the fossil record, if he or she assembled the whole system at once? In short, why mess around with all this messiness?
Bill Nye (Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation)
With the development of chemicals with broad lethal powers, there came a sudden change in the official attitude towards the fire ant. In 1957 the United States Department of Agriculture launched one of the most remarkable publicity campaigns in its history. The fire ant suddenly became the target of a barrage of government releases, motion pictures, and government-inspired stories portraying it as a despoiler of southern agriculture and a killer of birds, livestock and man. A mighty campaign was announced …
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
As to the efficacy of the policy recommended by Rostow, it speaks for itself: no country, once underdeveloped, ever managed to develop By Rostow's stages. Is that why Rostow is now trying to help the people of Vietnam, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and other underdeveloped countries to overcome the empirical, theoretical, and policy shortcomings of his manifestly non-communist intellectual aid to economic development and cultural change by bombs, napalm, chemical and biological weapons, and military occupation?
André Gunder Frank (América Latina: Subdesarrrollo o Revolucioón)
Yet the hunger to treat patients still drove Farber. And sitting in his basement laboratory in the summer of 1947, Farber had a single inspired idea: he chose, among all cancers, to focus his attention on one of its oddest and most hopeless variants—childhood leukemia. To understand cancer as a whole, he reasoned, you needed to start at the bottom of its complexity, in its basement. And despite its many idiosyncrasies, leukemia possessed a singularly attractive feature: it could be measured. Science begins with counting. To understand a phenomenon, a scientist must first describe it; to describe it objectively, he must first measure it. If cancer medicine was to be transformed into a rigorous science, then cancer would need to be counted somehow—measured in some reliable, reproducible way. In this, leukemia was different from nearly every other type of cancer. In a world before CT scans and MRIs, quantifying the change in size of an internal solid tumor in the lung or the breast was virtually impossible without surgery: you could not measure what you could not see. But leukemia, floating freely in the blood, could be measured as easily as blood cells—by drawing a sample of blood or bone marrow and looking at it under a microscope. If leukemia could be counted, Farber reasoned, then any intervention—a chemical sent circulating through the blood, say—could be evaluated for its potency in living patients. He could watch cells grow or die in the blood and use that to measure the success or failure of a drug. He could perform an “experiment” on cancer.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies)
Nineteenth-century inventors of the steam engine used a physical theory which today is considered as scientifically false . In fact most of the inventors up to very recent times have been, for the most part, ignorant of the science of their day and have applied theories that have proved to be false. Moreover, even today a physical or chemical theory can change while its application continues untouched. The success of applied science, therefore, is no reason for accepting the infallibility of the scientific theories involved. There should be an intelligent and conscious criticism of science and its implications, both for those involved in the sciences, and most of all for those who are the recipients of the popularized versions of scientific theories. The philosophy of science has in certain cases tried to point to the lack of logical consistency in some scientific definitions and methods. But having surrendered itself to the fruits of the experimental and analytical methods, it cannot itself be an independent judge of modern science.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Man and Nature: The Spiritual Crisis in Modern Man)
The principal reason for this limited mastery of materials was the energy constraint: for millennia our abilities to extract, process, and transport biomaterials and minerals were limited by the capacities of animate prime movers (human and animal muscles) aided by simple mechanical devices and by only slowly improving capabilities of the three ancient mechanical prime movers: sails, water wheels, and wind mills. Only the conversion of the chemical energy in fossil fuels to the inexpensive and universally deployable kinetic energy of mechanical prime movers (first by external combustion of coal to power steam engines, later by internal combustion of liquids and gases to energize gasoline and Diesel engines and, later still, gas turbines) brought a fundamental change and ushered in the second, rapidly ascending, phase of material consumption, an era further accelerated by generation of electricity and by the rise of commercial chemical syntheses producing an enormous variety of compounds ranging from fertilizers to plastics and drugs.
Vaclav Smil (Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization)
When, very late in the history of our planet, the incredible accident of life occurred, a balance of chemical factors, combined with temperature, in quantities and in kinds so delicate as to be unlikely, all came together in the retort of time and a new thing emerged, soft and helpless and unprotected in the savage world of unlife. Then processes of change and variation took place in the organisms, so that one kind became different from all others. But one ingredient, perhaps the most important of all, is planted in every life form— the factor of survival. No living thing is without it, nor could life exist without this magic formula. Of course, each form developed its own machinery for survival, and some failed and disappeared while others peopled the earth. The first life might easily have been snuffed out and the accident may never have happened again—but, once it existed, its first quality, its duty, preoccupation, direction, and end, shared by every living thing, is to go on living. And so it does and so it will until some other accident cancels it.
John Steinbeck (Travels With Charley: In Search of America)
I was suspicious of such a theory because biology tends to run on hormones and enzymes, that is, control mechanisms, not on mass action (the principle that chemical processes are determined by how much reactants are put into them). The grand principle in biochemistry is that there is hardly anything that is not connected with feedback. If you try to lower your dietary cholesterol, the liver will respond by making more. So simply adding more or less is not guaranteed to give much change at all and I was skeptical if not well-informed.
Richard David Feinman (The World Turned Upside Down: The Second Low-Carbohydrate Revolution)
A study from New York's Mount Sinai Hospital found that genetic changes stemming from the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors were capable of being passed on to their children. Our genes change all the time when chemical tags attach themselves to the DNA and turn genes on or off. The study found that some of these tags--found in the genes of those survivors -- were also found in their children. The changes led to an increased incidence of stress disorders. This passing down of environmentally altered genes is called *epigenetic inheritance.*
Nadia Owusu (Aftershocks)
The policies the US government is following are dangerous for its citizens. It's true that you can bomb or buy out anybody that you want to, but you can't control the rage that's building in the world. You just can't. And that rage will express itself in some way or the other. Condemning violence when a section of your economy is based on selling weapons and making bombs and piling up chemical and biological weapons? When the soul of your culture worships violence? On what grounds are you going to condemn terrorism, unless you change your attitude toward violence?
Arundhati Roy (The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile: Conversations with Arundhati Roy)
On New Year's Eve, when the children had gone up the hill to be with their father, I went to a Mensa party in San Francisco, but returned home relatively early, wanting to face the first few hours of the new year away from the noise and lurching of people who had drunk too much. I stood outside on the deck, in darkness, looking up at the star-frosted sky, letting myself feel without censoring the ache and hope that belonged to that night, and I sent out prayer for connection with someone who would be --finally -- the person I'd needed to be with all my life, someone who would have gone through his own changes and wars of the spirit and emerged a true adult. A grown-up man. Who wouldn't mind my being a grandmother, for Pete's sake. A man somewhat like Shura Borodin -- or what Shura seemed to be. I cried a bit because the wanting was so very intense and the clear night sky so very indifferent, and everything I was in body and soul might yet grow old without a lover and friend who could be to me what I was capable of being to him. I toasted myself, hope, the new year and the magnificent cold stars with a bit of wine, then went to bed.
Ann Shulgin (Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story)
The impact of fungal diseases is increasing across the world: Unsustainable agricultural practices reduce the ability of plants to form relationships with the beneficial fungi on which they depend. The widespread use of antifungal chemicals has led to an unprecedented rise in new fungal superbugs that threaten both human and plant health. As humans disperse disease-causing fungi, we create new opportunities for their evolution. Over the last fifty years, the most deadly disease ever recorded—a fungus that infects amphibians—has been spread around the world by human trade.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
In science knowledge comes first and then faith follows. In spirituality faith comes first and then knowledge follows. The knowledge that pesticides and chemical fertilizers are good for plants came through science. Based on this knowledge, people had faith in pesticides and fertilizers and they were used all over the world. Then a different knowledge came and faith shifted to organic farming. Knowledge brought faith, the knowledge changed, and then faith changed. The knowledge and faith of science is of "happening." In spirituality, faith is first and knowledge comes later.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Celebrating Silence)
Neurotransmitters are chemical-like substances that travel between nerve cells across a synapse and determine whether a nerve signal keeps going or halts. Levels of two of these neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, decrease during adolescence. The decrease in dopamine results in mood changes and problems with emotional control. The decrease in serotonin results in decreased impulse control. A third neurotransmitter, melatonin, increases in adolescence. Melatonin is responsible for circadian rhythms and the sleep–wake cycle. Its increase results in a need for greater sleep.
Richard Guare (Smart but Scattered Teens: The "Executive Skills" Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential)
Few chemicals confer maleness, but many take it away. Which, if any, are responsible for our own troubles is hard to say. The Pill changed men's lives in more ways than one. It caused reproductive hormones to leak into tap water and has been blamed both for the sex changes in freshwater fish and for the drop in our own sperm count. The jury is still out on the issue, but other hormones have had a disastrous effect. A drug called diethylstilbestrol was once thought - in error - to prevent miscarriage. Five million mothers took it and for a time it was even used as a chicken food supplement. A third of the boys exposed to the drug in the womb suffer from small testes or a reduced penis. In rats, the chemical causes prostate and testicular cancer (although there is as yet no sign of those problems in ourselves). To give a powerful steroid to pregnant women was at best unwise, but the effects of other chemicals were harder to foresee. The 1950s saw a wonderful new chemical treatment for banana pests. Soon the substance was much used. Twenty years later the workers noticed something odd: they had almost no children. Their sperm count had dropped by five hundred times.
Steve Jones (Y: The Descent of Men)
It says quite clearly that processes within the brain that trigger a hormone release can cause enormous effects on the body.” It says, that is, that what we think can change our bodies, that there is a quantifiable chemical link between mind and matter, spirit and body, imagination and reality. Spiritual leaders, great thinkers, artists have been saying this very thing for ages, but the fact that hardheaded, hard-research oriented neuroscientists are not just saying it but actually identifying and measuring the very neurochemicals that link idea with matter adds a new legitimacy and urgency to the idea.
Michael Hutchison (The Book of Floating: Exploring the Private Sea (Consciousness Classics))
the planned destruction of Iraq’s agriculture is not widely known. Modern Iraq is part of the ‘fertile crescent’ of Mesopotamia where man first domesticated wheat between 8,000 and 13,000 years ago, and home to several thousand varieties of local wheat. As soon as the US took over Iraq, it became clear its interests were not limited to oil. In 2004, Paul Bremer, the then military head of the Provisional Authority imposed as many as a hundred laws which made short work of Iraq’s sovereignty. The most crippling for the people and the economy of Iraq was Order 81 which deals, among other things, with plant varieties and patents. The goal was brutally clear-cut and sweeping — to wipe out Iraq’s traditional, sustainable agriculture and replace it with oil-chemical-genetically-modified-seed-based industrial agriculture. There was no public or parliamentary debate for the conquered people who never sought war. The conquerors made unilateral changes in Iraq’s 1970 patent law: henceforth, plant forms could be patented — which was never allowed before — while genetically-modified organisms were to be introduced. Farmers were strictly banned from saving their own seeds: this, in a country where, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, 97 per cent of Iraqi farmers planted only their own saved seeds. With a single stroke of the pen, Iraq’s agriculture was axed, while Order 81 facilitated the introduction and domination of imported, high-priced corporate seeds, mainly from the US — which neither reproduce, nor give yields without their prescribed chemical fertiliser and pesticide inputs. It meant that the majority of farmers who had never spent money on seed and inputs that came free from nature, would henceforth have to heavily invest in corporate inputs and equipment — or go into debt to obtain them, or accept lowered profits, or give up farming altogether.
Anonymous
highest incidence of massacres in what is now called South Korea took place in Gyeongsang province. In this part of the country in particular, there is a reported phenomenon called honbul, or “ghost flames,” in which flickering lights rise up from the ground, usually at the site of a massacre. The folkloric explanation, generated since the Korean War, lies somewhere between science and the supernatural. In places where buried bodies are heavily concentrated, the remains have changed the chemical makeup of the earth, causing the soil to ignite. Through ghost flames, the spirits of the dead release their grief and rage, their han, into the world.
Grace M. Cho (Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War)
Even in the best of times, when we’re not stressed or needy, many of us enjoy petting our dogs as much as any other aspect of dog ownership. This is not a trivial need. Quiet stroking can significantly change your body’s physiology, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. It releases endogenous opiates, or internal chemicals that calm and soothe us and play a significant role in good health. Lucky for us, most of our dogs adore being touched. Most normal, well-socialized dogs cherish getting belly rubs and head massages and butt scratches. Many dogs like grooming so much that they’re willing to work for it, pawing or barking whenever needed to remind their human not to stop.
Patricia B. McConnell (The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs)
It is a myth that the free market breaks down national barriers. The free market does not threaten national sovereignty, it undermines democracy. As the disparity between the rich and the poor grows, the fight to corner resources is intensifying. To push through their 'sweetheart deals', to corporatize the crops we grow, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the dreams we dream, corporate globalization needs an international confederation of loyal, corrupt, authoritarian governments in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the mutinies. Corporate globalization - or shall we call by its name? Imperialism - needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice. Meanwhile, the countries of the north harden their borders and stockpile weapons of mass destruction. Afterall, they have to make sure that it is only money, goods, patents, and services that are globalized. Not a respect for human rights. Not international treaties on racial discrimnation or chemical and nuclear weapons or greenhouse gas emissions or climate change or - God forid - justice. So this - all this - is Empire. This loyal confederation, this obscene accumulation of power, this greatly increased distance between those who make the decisions and those who have to suffer them. Our fight, our goal, our vision of another world must be to eliminate that distance. So how do we resist Empire?
Arundhati Roy (An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire)
Cancer. Climate change. Being the victim of a car crash. Being the cause of a car crash. (There was a period when the thought of killing a bicyclist while making a right turn caused Varya to follow any bicyclist for blocks, checking again and again to make sure she hadn't.) Gunmen. Plane crashes--- sudden doom! People wearing Band-Aids. AIDS----really, all types of viruses and bacteria and disease. Infecting someone else. Dirty surfaces, soiled linens, bodily secretions. Drugstores and pharmacies. Ticks and bedbugs and lice. Chemicals. The homeless. Crowds. Uncertainty and risk and open-ended endings. Responsibility and guilt. She is even afraid of her own mind. She is afraid of it's power, of what it does to her.
Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists)
The nature of the precious liquid from which purple came would not be entirely understood for another two millennia. In 1826, a twenty-three-year-old student at the Ecole de Pharmacie, Antoine Jérôme Balard, after studying the composition of salt marshes, concluded that the blackish-purplish, foul-smelling liquid present in marsh water, the residue water from which salt crystals had formed, was a previously unidentified chemical element. Because the liquid was identical to the purple secretion of the murex, he named the new element muride. The Académie Française, wary of having major discoveries come from students, thought at the least it should not let him give the name. So they changed muride to bromine, a word meaning “stench.
Mark Kurlansky (Salt: A World History)
The results of the study were astoundingly clear: The more childhood trauma someone had suffered, the worse their health outcomes were in adulthood. And their risk for contracting diseases didn’t go up just a few percentage points. People with high ACE scores were about three times as likely to develop liver disease, twice as likely to develop cancer or heart disease, four times as likely to develop emphysema.[2] They were seven and a half times more likely to become alcoholics, four and a half times more likely to suffer from depression, and a whopping twelve times more likely to attempt suicide.[3] Scientists have learned that stress is literally toxic. Stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline surging through our bodies are healthy in moderation—you wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning without a good dose of cortisol. But in overwhelming quantities, they become toxic and can change the structure of our brains. Stress and depression wear our bodies out. And childhood trauma affects our telomeres. Telomeres are like little caps on the ends of our strands of DNA that keep them from unraveling. As we get older, those telomeres get shorter and shorter. When they’ve finally disappeared, our DNA itself begins to unravel, increasing our chances of getting cancer and making us especially susceptible to disease. Because of this tendency, telomeres are linked to human lifespan. And studies have shown that people who suffered from childhood trauma have significantly shortened telomeres.[4]
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
Reade drew a deep breath. He said with resignation, "All right. I'll try to explain. But it's rather difficult. You see, I've devoted my life to the problem of why certain men see visions. Men like Blake and Boehme and Thomas Traherne. A psychologist once suggested that it's a chemical in the bloodstream—the same sort of thing that makes a dipsomaniac see pink elephants. Now obviously, I can't accept this view. But I've spent a certain amount of time studying the action of drugs, and taken some of them myself. And it's become clear to me that what we call 'ordinary consciousness' is simply a special, limited case. . . But this is obvious after a single glass of whiskey. It causes a change in consciousness, a kind of deepening. In ordinary consciousness, we're mainly aware of the world around us and its problems. This is awfully difficult to explain. . ." Fisher said, "You're being very clear so far. Please go on." "Perhaps an analogy will help. In our ordinary state of consciousness, we look out from behind our eyes as a motorist looks from behind the windscreen of a car. The car is very small, and the world out there is very big. Now if I take a few glasses of whiskey, the world out there hasn't really changed, but the car seems to have grown bigger. When I look inside myself, there seem to be far greater spaces than I'm normally aware of. And if I take certain drugs, the car becomes vast, as vast as a cathedral. There are great, empty spaces. . . No, not empty. They're full of all kinds of things—of memories of my past life and millions of things I never thought I'd noticed. Do you see my point? Man deliberately limits his consciousness. It would frighten him if he were aware of these vast spaces of consciousness all the time. He stays sane by living in a narrow little consciousness that seems to be limited by the outside world. Because these spaces aren't just inhabited by memories. There seem to be strange, alien things, other minds. . ." As he said this, he saw Violet de Merville shudder. He said, laughing, "I'm not trying to be alarming. There's nothing fundamentally horrible about these spaces. One day we shall conquer them, as we shall conquer outer space. They're like a great jungle, full of wild creatures. We build a high wall around us for safety, but that doesn't mean we're afraid of the jungle. One day we shall build cities and streets in its spaces.
Colin Wilson (The Glass Cage)
The neurological research shows something truly remarkable: If a person keeps taking the same substance, his or her brain keeps firing the same circuits in the same way—in effect, memorizing what the substance does. The person can easily become conditioned to the effect of a particular pill or injection from associating it with a familiar internal change from past experience. Because of this kind of conditioning, when the person then takes a placebo, the same hardwired circuits will fire as when he or she took the drug. An associative memory elicits a subconscious program that makes a connection between the pill or injection and the hormonal change in the body, and then the program automatically signals the body to make the related chemicals found in the drug. . . . Isn’t that amazing? Benedetti
Joe Dispenza (You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter)
Even when no one was talking and she didn’t realize anyone was looking at her, there was a light behind her eyes. She sat up straighter. The body language she lacked when she was sober was there in spades when she was tipsy. She looked – despite being moderately dirty and unkempt – quite beautiful. people noticed her in a way they never had before. People noticed how pretty she was. People noticed she was there. As fucked up as it is to say, alcohol made her come alive. When we brainstormed the newspaper, we always sat together. Accidental touches were unavoidable at such close range but when she hadn’t been drinking, Grace always pulled back from them. Always sat so close that they would happen, then pulled back from them. Like she wanted me to touch her until it happened, and then when it did, she suddenly changed her mind.
Krystal Sutherland (Our Chemical Hearts)
You must control bugs,” I say. “Bugs no eat fruit,” it answers. In other words, how can you control an animal except with fruit? “Change sap for bugs. Like this.” I show a chemical. “Sap will control animals.” “Bugs no eat fruit.” “Bugs drink sap.” “Yes,” it says. “Bugs no eat fruit.” “Change sap for bugs because bugs drink sap, no eat fruit.” “Bugs no eat fruit.” I realize that we are related plants, both bamboos, in fact, and our shared physiology is the only reason I can have a conversation of any complexity. The hedge along the river is too small to have many sentient roots. The presence of other snow vines triggers an aggressive growth, but this hedge has lived alone and is content to lead a manicured little life parasitizing its aspens and putting down more guard roots than it needs, thus serving the humans without realizing it. It has no need for intelligence, none at all. “Change sap for bugs,” I repeat, hoping that repetition will of itself prove persuasive. “Big animals eat bugs.” “Bugs no eat fruit.” “Big animals eat bugs.” “Big animals eat bugs,” the snow vine repeats. I have made progress. “Yes,” I say. “Change sap for bugs.” “Big animals eat bugs.” “Yes. Change sap for bugs. Like this.” “Bugs eat sap,” it says. “Bugs are pests.” “Bugs are good. Big animals eat bugs like fruit.” The snow vine stammers some meaningless chemical compounds and finally says, “Bugs are like fruit.” This is very significant progress. “Bugs are like fruit,” I agree. “Bugs eat sap. Change sap. Sap will control two animals.” “Sap will control bugs. Big animals eat bugs.” “Yes. You must change sap for bugs and animals.” “I will change sap for bugs and animals.” At last! “Yes. Change sap like this.” I deliver some prototype chemicals.
Sue Burke (Semiosis (Semiosis Duology, #1))
Imagine yourself having a fight with your romantic partner. The tension of the situation makes your limbic system run at full throttle and you become flooded with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin. The high levels of these chemicals suddenly make you so damn angry, that you burst out in front of your partner saying, “I wish you die, so that I can have some peace in my life”. Given the stress of the situation through highly active limbic system, your PFC loses its freedom to take the right decision and you burst out with foul language in front of your partner, that may ruin your relationship. In simple terms due to your mental instability, you lost your free will to make the right decision. But when the conversation is over, and you relax for a while, your stress hormone levels come down to normal, and you regain your usual cheerful state of mind. Immediately, your PFC starts analyzing the explosive conversation you had with your partner. Healthy activity of the entire frontal lobes, especially the PFC suddenly overwhelms you with a feeling of guilt. Your brain makes you realize, that you have done something devilish. As a result, now you find yourself making the willful decision of apologizing to your partner and making up to him or her, no matter how much effort it takes, because your PFC comes up the solution that it is the healthiest thing to do for your personal life. From this you can see, that what you call free will is something that is not consistent. It changes based on your mental health. Mental instability or illness, truly cripples your free will. And the healthier your frontal lobes are, the better you can take good decisions. And the most effective way to keep your frontal lobes healthy is to practice some kind of meditation.
Abhijit Naskar (What is Mind?)
There has been an enduring misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up. Turing’s core message was never “If a machine can imitate a man, the machine must be intelligent.” Rather, it was “Inability to imitate does not rule out intelligence.” In his classic essay on the Turing test, Turing encouraged his readers to take a broader perspective on intelligence and conceive of it more universally and indeed more ethically. He was concerned with the possibility of unusual forms of intelligence, our inability to recognize those intelligences, and the limitations of the concept of indistinguishability as a standard for defining what is intelligence and what is not. In section two of the paper, Turing asks directly whether imitation should be the standard of intelligence. He considers whether a man can imitate a machine rather than vice versa. Of course the answer is no, especially in matters of arithmetic, yet obviously a man thinks and can think computationally (in terms of chess problems, for example). We are warned that imitation cannot be the fundamental standard or marker of intelligence. Reflecting on Turing’s life can change one’s perspective on what the Turing test really means. Turing was gay. He was persecuted for this difference in a manner that included chemical castration and led to his suicide. In the mainstream British society of that time, he proved unable to consistently “pass” for straight. Interestingly, the second paragraph of Turing’s famous paper starts with the question of whether a male or female can pass for a member of the other gender in a typed conversation. The notion of “passing” was of direct personal concern to Turing and in more personal settings Turing probably did not view “passing” as synonymous with actually being a particular way.
Tyler Cowen (Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation)
Emotions, at their most basic level, involve the release of neurochemicals in the brain, in response to some stimulus. You see the person you have a crush on across the room, your brain releases a bunch of chemicals, and that triggers a cascade of physiological changes—your heart beats faster, your hormones shift, and your stomach flutters. You take a deep breath and sigh. Your facial expression changes; maybe you blush; even the timbre of your voice becomes warmer. Your thoughts shift to memories of the crush and fantasies about the future, and you suddenly feel an urge to cross the room and say hi. Just about every system in your body responds to the chemical and electrical cascade activated by the sight of the person. That’s emotion. It’s automatic and instantaneous. It happens everywhere, and it affects everything. And it’s happening all the time—we feel many different emotions simultaneously, even in response to one stimulus.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
Beyond serving as an inspiration to engineers, the group behavior of fireflies has broader significance for science as a whole. It represents one of the few tractable instances of a complex, self-organizing system, where millions of interactions occur simultaneously—when everyone changes the state of everyone else. Virtually all the major unsolved problems in science today have this intricate character. Consider the cascade of biochemical reactions in a single cell and their disruption when the cell turns cancerous; the booms and crashes of the stock market; the emergence of consciousness from the interplay of trillions of neurons in the brain; the origin of life from a meshwork of chemical reactions in the primordial soup. All these involve enormous numbers of players linked in complex webs. In every case, astonishing patterns emerge spontaneously. The richness of the world around us is due, in large part, to the miracle of self-organization.
Steven H. Strogatz (Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life)
Normal cells could acquire these cancer-causing mutations through four mechanisms. The mutations could be caused by environmental insults, such as tobacco smoke, ultraviolet light, or X-rays—agents that attack DNA and change its chemical structure. Mutations could arise from spontaneous errors during cell division (every time DNA is replicated in a cell, there’s a minor chance that the copying process generates an error—an A switched to a T, G, or C, say). Mutant cancer genes could be inherited from parents, thereby causing hereditary cancer syndromes such as retinoblastoma and breast cancer that coursed through families. Or the genes could be carried into the cells via viruses, the professional gene carriers and gene swappers of the microbial world. In all four cases, the result converged on the same pathological process: the inappropriate activation or inactivation of genetic pathways that controlled growth, causing the malignant, dysregulated cellular division that was characteristic of cancer.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Although the idea has been around for ages, most depressed people do not really comprehend it. If you feel depressed, you may think it is because of bad things that have happened to you. You may think you are inferior and destined to be unhappy because you failed in your work or were rejected by someone you loved. You may think your feelings of inadequacy result from some personal defect—you may feel convinced you are not smart enough, successful enough, attractive enough, or talented enough to feel happy and fulfilled. You may think your negative feelings are the result of an unloving or traumatic childhood, or bad genes you inherited, or a chemical or hormonal imbalance of some type. Or you may blame others when you get upset: “It’s these lousy stupid drivers that tick me off when I drive to work! If it weren’t for these jerks, I’d be having a perfect day!” And nearly all depressed people are convinced that they are facing some special, awful truth about themselves and the world and that their terrible feelings are absolutely realistic and inevitable. Certainly all these ideas contain an important gem of truth—bad things do happen, and life beats up on most of us at times. Many people do experience catastrophic losses and confront devastating personal problems. Our genes, hormones, and childhood experiences probably do have an impact on how we think and feel. And other people can be annoying, cruel, or thoughtless. But all these theories about the causes of our bad moods have the tendency to make us victims—because we think the causes result from something beyond our control. After all, there is little we can do to change the way people drive at rush hour, or the way we were treated when we were young, or our genes or body chemistry (save taking a pill). In contrast, you can learn to change the way you think about things, and you can also change your basic values and beliefs. And when you do, you will often experience profound and lasting changes in your mood, outlook, and productivity. That, in a nutshell, is what cognitive therapy is all about. The theory is straightforward
David D. Burns (Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy)
With the rise of molecular genetics, it has become possible to search for possible changes (mutations, polymorphisms) in target genes. Much effort has gone into investigating variations in genes that contribute to serotonin transmission, because serotonin-related drugs have antidepressant and anxiolytic properties. This assumes, however, that the treatment mechanism is the same mechanism that gives rise to the disorder.53 Although this is consistent with the old chemical imbalance hypothesis, it is not a conclusion that should simply be accepted without careful assessment. Nevertheless, studies of the genetic control of serotonin have found interesting results. For example, people with a certain variant (polymorphism) of a gene controlling a protein involved in serotonin transmission are more reactive to threatening stimuli, and this hyperreactivity is associated with increased amygdala activity during the threat.54 Further, it has been reported that this variant of the gene can account for 7 percent to 9 percent of the inheritance of anxiety.55
Joseph E. LeDoux (Anxious)
Concepts of memory tend to reflect the technology of the times. Plato and Aristotle saw memories as thoughts inscribed on wax tablets that could be erased easily and used again. These days, we tend to think of memory as a camera or a video recorder, filming, storing, and recycling the vast troves of data we accumulate throughout our lives. In practice, though, every memory we retain depends upon a chain of chemical interactions that connect millions of neurons to one another. Those neurons never touch; instead, they communicate through tiny gaps, or synapses, that surround each of them. Every neuron has branching filaments, called dendrites, that receive chemical signals from other nerve cells and send the information across the synapse to the body of the next cell. The typical human brain has trillions of these connections. When we learn something, chemicals in the brain strengthen the synapses that connect neurons. Long-term memories, built from new proteins, change those synaptic networks constantly; inevitably, some grow weaker and others, as they absorb new information, grow more powerful.
Michael Specter
By one billion years ago, plants, working cooperatively, had made a stunning change in the environment of the Earth. Green plants generate molecular oxygen. Since the oceans were by now filled with simple green plants, oxygen was becoming a major constituent of the Earth’s atmosphere, altering it irreversibly from its original hydrogen-rich character and ending the epoch of Earth history when the stuff of life was made by nonbiological processes. But oxygen tends to make organic molecules fall to pieces. Despite our fondness for it, it is fundamentally a poison for unprotected organic matter. The transition to an oxidizing atmosphere posed a supreme crisis in the history of life, and a great many organisms, unable to cope with oxygen, perished. A few primitive forms, such as the botulism and tetanus bacilli, manage to survive even today only in oxygen-free environments. The nitrogen in the Earth’s atmosphere is much more chemically inert and therefore much more benign than oxygen. But it, too, is biologically sustained. Thus, 99 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere is of biological origin. The sky is made by life.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
What if the water that came out of the shower was treated with a chemical that responded to a combination of things, like your heartbeat, and your body temperature, and your brain waves, so that your skin changed color according to your mood? If you were extremely excited your skin would turn green, and if you were angry you’d turn red, obviously, and if you felt like shiitake you’d turn brown, and if you were blue you’d turn blue. Everyone could know what everyone else felt, and we could be more careful with each other, because you’d never want to tell a person whose skin was purple that you’re angry at her for being late, just like you would want to pat a pink person on the back and tell him, “Congratulations!” Another reason it would be a good invention is that there are so many times when you know you’re feeling a lot of something, but you don’t know what the something is. Am I frustrated? Am I actually just panicky? And that confusion changes your mood, it becomes your mood, and you become a confused, gray person. But with the special water, you could look at your orange hands and think, I’m happy! That whole time I was actually happy! What a relief!
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
if there is no proof that a depressed person has a chemical imbalance, and you choose nevertheless to put that person on a medication that will alter neurotransmitter levels in his or her brain, then in effect you are causing a chemical imbalance rather than curing one. According to Steven Hyman, a neuroscientist and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, all psychotropic drugs cause “perturbations in neurotransmitter functions.” And this is Whitaker’s main point. We are subjecting millions of brains to drugs that change natural neurotransmission, sometimes radically, disturbing and upsetting the complex interplay inside our heads, clogging neural pathways with excess chemicals, and sometimes causing the entire brain, which is intricately interlinked, to malfunction in ways we do not yet understand. An unmedicated depressed patient does not have a known chemical imbalance in his brain, but once he ingests Prozac, he will. The drug crosses the blood-brain barrier and gets to work, jamming serotonin into the synaptic cleft. Whitaker explains the result this way: “Several weeks later the serotonergic pathway is operating in a decidedly abnormal manner.
Lauren Slater (Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds)
Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides affect the soil food web, toxic to some members, warding off others, and changing the environment. Important fungal and bacterial relationships don’t form when a plant can get free nutrients. When chemically fed, plants bypass the microbial-assisted method of obtaining nutrients, and microbial populations adjust accordingly. Trouble is, you have to keep adding chemical fertilizers and using “-icides,” because the right mix and diversity—the very foundation of the soil food web—has been altered. It makes sense that once the bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and protozoa are gone, other members of the food web disappear as well. Earthworms, for example, lacking food and irritated by the synthetic nitrates in soluble nitrogen fertilizers, move out. Since they are major shredders of organic material, their absence is a great loss. Without the activity and diversity of a healthy food web, you not only impact the nutrient system but all the other things a healthy soil food web brings. Soil structure deteriorates, watering can become problematic, pathogens and pests establish themselves and, worst of all, gardening becomes a lot more work than it needs to be.
Jeff Lowenfels (Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web)
There's a lot of wealth in the world. For the most part in Western society, we've removed the threat of starvation an other life and death issues. Everything should be rosy. But it's not. As I've already noted, there is a rise in the incidence of depression in the Western world that threatens to become an epidemic. Freudian psychology says, 'Analyze them and find out what went wrong in their upbringing, then find a solution and fix them.' Other scientists look at the chemicals in the brain and say, 'Aha, it seems that they are depressed because they do not have enough x. Give them this pill and they will be fine in an hour or so.' That sort of thinking is like fixing a machine. Find out what's wrong, make the repairs and put it back into service. If it's human, analyze it, decide what's wrong, put it back into the economic machine, keep it going, keep it desiring, keep it working to fulfill it's desires. When it does it will be happy. NO. Doesn't work. I know people who have been taking antidepressant medication for years. There's nothing wrong with taking medication to correct an imbalance. The problem occurs if that's all you do. You need to take action to move things forward and change who you are being.
A.C. Ping (Be)
I will give technology three definitions that we will use throughout the book. The first and most basic one is that a technology is a means to fulfill a human purpose. For some technologies-oil refining-the purpose is explicit. For others- the computer-the purpose may be hazy, multiple, and changing. As a means, a technology may be a method or process or device: a particular speech recognition algorithm, or a filtration process in chemical engineering, or a diesel engine. it may be simple: a roller bearing. Or it may be complicated: a wavelength division multiplexer. It may be material: an electrical generator. Or it may be nonmaterial: a digital compression algorithm. Whichever it is, it is always a means to carry out a human purpose. The second definition I will allow is a plural one: technology as an assemblage of practices and components. This covers technologies such as electronics or biotechnology that are collections or toolboxes of individual technologies and practices. Strictly speaking, we should call these bodies of technology. But this plural usage is widespread, so I will allow it here. I will also allow a third meaning. This is technology as the entire collection of devices and engineering practices available to a culture. Here we are back to the Oxford's collection of mechanical arts, or as Webster's puts it, "The totality of the means employed by a people to provide itself with the objects of material culture." We use this collective meaning when we blame "technology" for speeding up our lives, or talk of "technology" as a hope for mankind. Sometimes this meaning shades off into technology as a collective activity, as in "technology is what Silicon Valley is all about." I will allow this too as a variant of technology's collective meaning. The technology thinker Kevin Kelly calls this totality the "technium," and I like this word. But in this book I prefer to simply use "technology" for this because that reflects common use. The reason we need three meanings is that each points to technology in a different sense, a different category, from the others. Each category comes into being differently and evolves differently. A technology-singular-the steam engine-originates as a new concept and develops by modifying its internal parts. A technology-plural-electronics-comes into being by building around certain phenomena and components and develops by changing its parts and practices. And technology-general, the whole collection of all technologies that have ever existed past and present, originates from the use of natural phenomena and builds up organically with new elements forming by combination from old ones.
W. Brian Arthur (The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves)
Astounding, really, that Michel could consider psychology any kind of science at all. So much of it consisted of throwing together. Of thinking of the mind as a steam engine, the mechanical analogy most ready to hand during the birth of modern psychology. People had always done that when they thought about the mind: clockwork for Descartes, geological changes for the early Victorians, computers or holography for the twentieth century, AIs for the twenty-first…and for the Freudian traditionalists, steam engines. Application of heat, pressure buildup, pressure displacement, venting, all shifted into repression, sublimation, the return of the repressed. Sax thought it unlikely steam engines were an adequate model for the human mind. The mind was more like—what?—an ecology—a fellfield—or else a jungle, populated by all manner of strange beasts. Or a universe, filled with stars and quasars and black holes. Well—a bit grandiose, that—really it was more like a complex collection of synapses and axons, chemical energies surging hither and yon, like weather in an atmosphere. That was better—weather—storm fronts of thought, high-pressure zones, low-pressure cells, hurricanes—the jet streams of biological desires, always making their swift powerful rounds…life in the wind. Well. Throwing together. In fact the mind was poorly understood.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy, #3))
The evolutionary landscape of the city is now nearly completely revealed to us. There are close encounters of the first kind—the tough but static physical and chemical structure of the city (heat, light, pollution, impenetrable surfaces and all the other urban features we saw in Section II of this book). Evolution as a result of such encounters may come to a standstill when the perfect adaptation is reached. Then there are the even more exciting close encounters of the second kind. These happen where urban animals and plants interact with aspects of the city that are not static, namely where they involve other animals and plants, including humans—all of which could, in principle, respond by changing themselves. This kind of encounter is all the more exciting because it may lead to “Red Queen” evolution: evolutionary arms races where both partners keep finding new ways to gain the upper hand. In theory, such evolution never stops. Yet there is one final part of this urban evolutionary landscape that we have so far skirted around. In the previous chapters, we have seen close encounters of the second kind involving interactions between species. But what about that particularly close encounter within a species? Males and females of the same species also evolve to adapt to each other—we call this sexual selection. It would be naïve to think that there is no urban impact on the amorous animal.
Menno Schilthuizen (Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution)
Outlawing drugs in order to solve drug problems is much like outlawing sex in order to win the war against AIDS. We recognize that people will continue to have sex for nonreproductive reasons despite the laws and mores. Therefore, we try to make sexual practices as safe as possible in order to minimize the spread of the AIDS viruses. In a similar way, we continually try to make our drinking water, foods, and even our pharmaceutical medicines safer. The ubiquity of chemical intoxicants in our lives is undeniable evidence of the continuing universal need for safer medicines with such applications. While use may not always be for an approved medical purpose, or prudent, or even legal, it is fulfilling the relentless drive we all have to change the way we feel, to alter our behavior and consciousness, and, yes, to intoxicate ourselves. We must recognize that intoxicants are medicines, treatments for the human condition. Then we must make them as safe and risk free and as healthy as possible. Dream with me for a moment. What would be wrong if we had perfectly safe intoxicants? I mean drugs that delivered the same effects as our most popular ones but never caused dependency, disease, dysfunction, or death. Imagine an alcohol-type substance that never caused addiction, liver disease, hangovers, impaired driving, or workplace problems. Would you care to inhale a perfumed mist that is as enjoyable as marijuana or tobacco but as harmless as clean air? How would you like a pain-killer as effective as morphine but safer than aspirin, a mood enhancer that dissolves on your tongue and is more appealing than cocaine and less harmful than caffeine, a tranquilizer less addicting than Valium and more relaxing than a martini, or a safe sleeping pill that allows you to choose to dream or not? Perhaps you would like to munch on a user friendly hallucinogen that is as brief and benign as a good movie? This is not science fiction. As described in the following pages, there are such intoxicants available right now that are far safer than the ones we currently use. If smokers can switch from tobacco cigarettes to nicotine gum, why can’t crack users chew a cocaine gum that has already been tested on animals and found to be relatively safe? Even safer substances may be just around the corner. But we must begin by recognizing that there is a legitimate place in our society for intoxication. Then we must join together in building new, perfectly safe intoxicants for a world that will be ready to discard the old ones like the junk they really are. This book is your guide to that future. It is a field guide to that silent spring of intoxicants and all the animals and peoples who have sipped its waters. We can no more stop the flow than we can prevent ourselves from drinking. But, by cleaning up the waters we can leave the morass that has been the endless war on drugs and step onto the shores of a healthy tomorrow. Use this book to find the way.
Ronald K. Siegel (Intoxication: The Universal Drive for Mind-Altering Substances)
I’m wondering what it would be like to be kissed by you.” “Let’s not go there,” he said. “I don’t want to mess up our friendship.” “It wouldn’t,” she said, grinning suddenly. “I’d like to know how it feels. I mean, as an experiment.” “Put the wrong chemicals together, and they explode.” She frowned. “Are you saying you don’t think I’d like it? Or that I would?” “It doesn’t matter, because I’m not going to kiss you.” She looked up at him shyly, from beneath lowered lashes, and gave him a cajoling smile. “Just one teeny, weeny little kiss?” He laughed at her antics. Inside his stomach, about a million butterflies had taken flight. “Don’t play games with me, Summer.” He said it with a smile, but it was a warning. One she ignored. She crooked her finger and wiggled it, gesturing him toward her. “Come here, and give me a little kiss.” She was doing something sultry with her eyes, something she’d never done before. She’d turned on some kind of feminine heat, because he was burning up just looking at her. “Stop this,” he said in a guttural voice. She canted her hip and put her hand on it, drawing his attention in that direction, then slid her tongue along the seam of her lips to wet them. “I’m ready, bad boy. What are you waiting for?” His heart was beating a hundred miles a minute. He was hot and hard and ready. And if he touched her, he was going to ruin everything. “I’m not going to kiss you, Summer.” He saw the disappointment flash in her eyes. Saw the determination replace it. “All right. I’ll kiss you.” He could have stopped her. He was the one with the powerful arms and the broad chest and the long, strong legs. But he wanted that kiss. “Fine,” he said. “Don’t expect fireworks. I’m only doing this because we’re friends.” And if she believed that, he had some desert brushland he could sell her. Suddenly, she seemed uncertain, and he felt a pang of loss. Silly to feel it so deeply, when kissing Summer had been the last thing he’d allowed himself to dream about. Although, to be honest, he hadn’t always been able to control his dreams. She’d been there, all right. Hot and wet and willing. He made himself smile at her. “Don’t worry, kid. It was a bad idea. To be honest, I value our friendship too much—” She threw herself into his arms, clutching him around the neck, so he had to catch her or get bowled over. “Whoa, there,” he said, laughing and hugging her with her feet dangling in the air. “It doesn’t matter that you’ve changed your mind about wanting that kiss. I’m just glad to be your friend.” She leaned back in his embrace, searching his eyes, looking for something. Before he could do or say anything to stop her, she pressed her lips softly against his. His whole body went rigid. “Billy,” she murmured against his lips. “Please. Kiss me back.” “Summer, I don’t—” She pressed her lips against his again, damp and pliant and inviting. He softened his mouth against hers, felt the plumpness of her upper lip, felt the open, inviting seam, and let his tongue slide along the length of it. “Oh.” She broke the kiss and stared at him with dazed eyes. Eyes that sought reason where there was none. He wanted to rage at her for ruining everything. They could never be friends now. Not now that he’d tasted her, not now that she’d felt his want and his need. He lowered his head to take her mouth, to take what he’d always wanted.
Joan Johnston (The Texan (Bitter Creek, #2))
Between 1995 and 1997 the California-based healthcare network Kaiser Permanente gave more than 17,000 patients a questionnaire to assess the level of trauma in their childhoods. Questions included whether the patients' parents had been mentally or physically abusive or neglectful and whether their parents were divorced or had abused substances. This was called the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study. After taking the questionnaire, patients were given an ACE score on a scale of 0 to 10. The higher the score, the more trauma a person experienced in childhood. The results of the study were astoundingly clear: The more childhood trauma someone had suffered, the worse their health outcomes were in adulthood. And their risk for contracting diseases didn't go up just a few percentage points. People with high ACE scores were about three times as likely to develop liver disease, twice as likely to develop cancer or heart disease, four times as likely to develop emphysema. They were seven and a half times more likely to become alcoholics, four and a half times more likely to suffer from depression, and a whopping twelve times more likely to attempt suicide. Scientists have learned that stress is literally toxic. Stress chemicals surging through our bodies like cortisol and adrenaline are healthy in moderation—you wouldn't be able to get up in the morning without a good dose of cortisol. But in overwhelming quantities, they become toxic and can change the structure of our brains. Stress and depression wear our bodies out. And childhood trauma affects our telomeres. Telomeres are like little caps on the ends of our strands of DNA that keep them from unraveling. As we get older, those telomeres get shorter and shorter. When they've finally disappeared, our DNA itself begins to unravel, increasing our chances of getting cancer and making us especially susceptible to disease. Because of this, telomeres are linked to human lifespan. And studies have shown that people who have suffered from childhood trauma have significantly shortened telomeres. In the end, these studies claimed that having an ACE score of 6 or higher takes twenty years off your life expectancy. The average life expectancy for someone with 6 or more ACEs is sixty years old.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
The tyranny of caste is that we are judged on the very things we cannot change: a chemical in the epidermis, the shape of one’s facial features, the signposts on our bodies of gender and ancestry—superficial differences that have nothing to do with who we are inside. The caste system in America is four hundred years old and will not be dismantled by a single law or any one person, no matter how powerful. We have seen in the years since the civil rights era that laws, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, can be weakened if there is not the collective will to maintain them. A caste system persists in part because we, each and every one of us, allow it to exist—in large and small ways, in our everyday actions, in how we elevate or demean, embrace or exclude, on the basis of the meaning attached to people’s physical traits. If enough people buy into the lie of natural hierarchy, then it becomes the truth or is assumed to be. Once awakened, we then have a choice. We can be born to the dominant caste but choose not to dominate. We can be born to a subordinated caste but resist the box others force upon us. And all of us can sharpen our powers of discernment to see past the external and to value the character of a person rather than demean those who are already marginalized or worship those born to false pedestals. We need not bristle when those deemed subordinate break free, but rejoice that here may be one more human being who can add their true strengths to humanity. The goal of this work has not been to resolve all of the problems of a millennia-old phenomenon, but to cast a light onto its history, its consequences, and its presence in our everyday lives and to express hopes for its resolution. A housing inspector does not make the repairs on the building he has examined. It is for the owners, meaning each of us, to correct the ruptures we have inherited. The fact is that the bottom caste, though it bears much of the burden of the hierarchy, did not create the caste system, and the bottom caste alone cannot fix it. The challenge has long been that many in the dominant caste, who are in a better position to fix caste inequity, have often been least likely to want to. Caste is a disease, and none of us is immune. It is as if alcoholism is encoded into the country’s DNA, and can never be declared fully cured. It is like a cancer that goes into remission only to return when the immune system of the body politic is weakened.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
intelligence. This is not surprising because our present computers are less complex than the brain of an earthworm, a species not noted for its intellectual powers. But computers roughly obey a version of Moore’s Law, which says that their speed and complexity double every eighteen months. It is one of these exponential growths that clearly cannot continue indefinitely, and indeed it has already begun to slow. However, the rapid pace of improvement will probably continue until computers have a similar complexity to the human brain. Some people say that computers can never show true intelligence, whatever that may be. But it seems to me that if very complicated chemical molecules can operate in humans to make them intelligent, then equally complicated electronic circuits can also make computers act in an intelligent way. And if they are intelligent they can presumably design computers that have even greater complexity and intelligence. This is why I don’t believe the science-fiction picture of an advanced but constant future. Instead, I expect complexity to increase at a rapid rate, in both the biological and the electronic spheres. Not much of this will happen in the next hundred years, which is all we can reliably predict. But by the end of the next millennium, if we get there, the change will be fundamental. Lincoln Steffens once said, “I have seen the future and it works.” He was actually talking about the Soviet Union, which we now know didn’t work very well. Nevertheless, I think the present world order has a future, but it will be very different. What is the biggest threat to the future of this planet? An asteroid collision would be—a threat against which we have no defence. But the last big such asteroid collision was about sixty-six million years ago and killed the dinosaurs. A more immediate danger is runaway climate change. A rise in ocean temperature would melt the ice caps and cause the release of large amounts of carbon dioxide. Both effects could make our climate like that of Venus with a temperature of 250 degrees centigrade (482 degrees Fahrenheit). 8 SHOULD WE COLONISE SPACE? Why should we go into space? What is the justification for spending all that effort and money on getting a few lumps of moon rock? Aren’t there better causes here on Earth? The obvious answer is because it’s there, all around us. Not to leave planet Earth would be like castaways on a desert island not trying to escape. We need to explore the
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Cannabinoids relax the rules of cortical crowd control, but 300 micrograms of d-lysergic acid diethylamide break them completely. This is a clean sweep. This is the Renaissance after the Dark Ages. Dopamine—the fuel of desire—is only one of four major neuro modulators. Each of the neuromodulators fuels brain operations in its own particular way. But all four of them share two properties. First, they get released and used up all over the brain, not at specific locales. Second, each is produced by one specialized organ, a brain part designed to manufacture that one potent chemical (see Figure 3). Instead of watering the flowers one by one, neuromodulator release is like a sprinkler system. That’s why neuromodulators initiate changes that are global, not local. Dopamine fuels attraction, focus, approach, and especially wanting and doing. Norepinephrine fuels perceptual alertness, arousal, excitement, and attention to sensory detail. Acetylcholine energizes all mental operations, consciousness, and thought itself. But the final neuromodulator, serotonin, is more complicated in its action. Serotonin does a lot of different things in a lot of different places, because there are many kinds of serotonin receptors, and they inhabit a great variety of neural nooks, staking out an intricate network. One of serotonin’s most important jobs is to regulate information flow throughout the brain by inhibiting the firing of neurons in many places. And it’s the serotonin system that gets dynamited by LSD. Serotonin dampens, it paces, it soothes. It raises the threshold of neurons to the voltage changes induced by glutamate. Remember glutamate? That’s the main excitatory neurotransmitter that carries information from synapse to synapse throughout the brain. Serotonin cools this excitation, putting off the next axonal burst, making the receptive neuron less sensitive to the messages it receives from other neurons. Slow down! Take it easy! Don’t get carried away by every little molecule of glutamate. Serotonin soothes neurons that might otherwise fire too often, too quickly. If you want to know how it feels to get a serotonin boost, ask a depressive several days into antidepressant therapy. Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and all their cousins leave more serotonin in the synapses, hanging around, waiting to help out when the brain becomes too active. Which is most of the time if you feel the world is dark and threatening. Extra serotonin makes the thinking process more relaxed—a nice change for depressives, who get a chance to wallow in relative normality.
Marc Lewis (Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs)
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We also find *physics*, in the widest sense of the word, concerned with the explanation of phenomena in the world; but it lies already in the nature of the explanations themselves that they cannot be sufficient. *Physics* is unable to stand on its own feet, but needs a *metaphysics* on which to support itself, whatever fine airs it may assume towards the latter. For it explains phenomena by something still more unknown than are they, namely by laws of nature resting on forces of nature, one of which is also the vital force. Certainly the whole present condition of all things in the world or in nature must necessarily be capable of explanation from purely physical causes. But such an explanation―supposing one actually succeeded so far as to be able to give it―must always just as necessarily be burdened with two essential imperfections (as it were with two sore points, or like Achilles with the vulnerable heel, or the devil with the cloven foot). On account of these imperfections, everything so explained would still really remain unexplained. The first imperfection is that the *beginning* of the chain of causes and effects that explains everything, in other words, of the connected and continuous changes, can positively *never* be reached, but, just like the limits of the world in space and time, recedes incessantly and *in infinitum*. The second imperfection is that all the efficient causes from which everything is explained always rest on something wholly inexplicable, that is, on the original *qualities* of things and the *natural forces* that make their appearance in them. By virtue of such forces they produce a definite effect, e.g., weight, hardness, impact, elasticity, heat, electricity, chemical forces, and so on, and such forces remain in every given explanation like an unknown quantity, not to be eliminated at all, in an otherwise perfectly solved algebraical equation. Accordingly there is not a fragment of clay, however little its value, that is not entirely composed of inexplicable qualities. Therefore these two inevitable defects in every purely physical, i.e., causal, explanation indicate that such an explanation can be only *relatively* true, and that its whole method and nature cannot be the only, the ultimate and hence sufficient one, in other words, cannot be the method that will ever be able to lead to the satisfactory solution of the difficult riddles of things, and to the true understanding of the world and of existence; but that the *physical* explanation, in general and as such, still requires one that is *metaphysical*, which would furnish the key to all its assumptions, but for that very reason would have to follow quite a different path. The first step to this is that we should bring to distinct consciousness and firmly retain the distinction between the two, that is, the difference between *physics* and *metaphysics*. In general this difference rests on the Kantian distinction between *phenomenon* and *thing-in-itself*. Just because Kant declared the thing-in-itself to be absolutely unknowable, there was, according to him, no *metaphysics* at all, but merely immanent knowledge, in other words mere *physics*, which can always speak only of phenomena, and together with this a critique of reason which aspires to metaphysics." ―from_The World as Will and Representation_. Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne. In Two Volumes, Volume II, pp. 172-173
Arthur Schopenhauer
The brain is tremendously clever, one of the reasons Ibrahim likes it so much. Your foot was your foot and would remain your foot through thick and thin. But the brain changes, in form and in function. Ibrahim has respect for podiatrists, but really, looking at feet all day? The brain. That magnificent, dumb beast. He knows that alien chemicals are currently racing around his brain, protecting him in this moment of crisis. In time these chemicals would fade, leaving nothing but a faint stain. When they say that time heals, that’s what they mean. Like most things, when you really drill down into them, it is neuroscience, not poetry.
Richard Osman (The Man Who Died Twice (Thursday Murder Club, #2))
When trying to understand the interactions of non-human organisms, it is easy to flip between these two perspectives: that of the inanimate behaviour of pre-programmed robots on the one hand, and that of rich, lived, human experience on the other. Framed as brainless organisms, lacking the basic apparatus required to have even a simple kind of ‘experience’, fungal interactions are no more than automatic responses to a series of biochemical triggers. Yet the mycelium of truffle fungi, like that of most fungal species, actively senses and responds to its surroundings in unpredictable ways. Their hyphae are chemically irritable, responsive, excitable. It is this ability to interpret the chemical emissions of others that allows fungi to negotiate a series of complex trading relationships with trees; to knead away at stores of nutrients in the soil; to have sex; to hunt; or to fend off attackers.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures)
Don’t forget that over time alcohol chemically damages your prefrontal cortex.236 This is the part of your brain that is vital to making sound, long-term decisions. The prefrontal cortex balances out the pleasure-seeking, animal regions of your brain, and when it is damaged by alcohol abuse, its effectiveness is decreased. You make worse decisions, and temptation is harder to resist because the animal regions of the brain, the parts that seek pleasure without considering consequences, become stronger than the more measured areas of the brain.
Annie Grace (This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life)
Blood glucose instability is a huge problem that affects the moods of millions of people. The brain accounts for only about 2 percent of body weight, but requires 25 percent of all blood pumped by the heart (up to 50 percent in kids). Therefore, low blood sugar hits the brain hard, causing depression, anxiety, and lassitude. If you often become uncomfortably hungry, you’ve got a serious problem and should solve it. Eat high-protein, nutrient-dense meals, and snack enough to keep your blood sugar up, but not with insulin-stimulating sweets or starches. Remember that hunger kills brain cells, just like getting drunk. Be careful of caffeine, which causes blood sugar swings, and never crash diet. Food sensitivities are common reactions that are not classic food allergies, so most conventional allergists underestimate the damage they do. They play a major role in mood disruption, much more frequently than most people realize. They cause chemical reactions in the body that destabilize blood sugar and wreak havoc upon hormonal and neurotransmitter balance. This can trigger depression, anxiety, impaired concentration, insomnia, and hyperactivity. The most common sensitivities, unfortunately, are to the foods people most often overconsume: wheat, milk, eggs, corn, soy, and peanuts. The average American gets about 75 percent of her calories from just 10 favorite foodstuffs, and this narrow range of eating disrupts the digestive process and causes abnormal reactions. If a particular food doesn’t agree with you and commonly causes heartburn, gas, bloating, water weight gain, a craving for more, or a burst of nervous energy, you’re probably reactive to it. There are several good books on the subject, and there are many labs that test for sensitivities. Ask a chiropractor, naturopath, or doctor of integrative medicine about them. Don’t expect much help from a conventional allergist. Exercise and Mood Dozens of studies indicate that exercise is often as effective for depression as medication, partly because it increases production of stimulating hormones, such as norepinephrine, and also because it increases oxygen flow to the brain. Exercise can, in addition, help relieve and prevent anxiety, creating a so-called tranquilizer effect that persists for about 4 hours after exercising. Exercise also decreases the biological stress response, which dampens the automatic fear reaction. It is also uniquely effective at causing secretion of Nerve Growth Factor, one of the limited number of substances that cause brain cells to grow. Another benefit of exercise is that it increases endorphin output by about 500 percent and decreases the incidence of major and minor illnesses. For mood, the ideal amount is 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily. Studies show that exercising less than 30 minutes or more than 1 hour decreases mood benefits.
Dan Baker (What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better)
No state in America has taken more aggressive action to reduce the public’s exposure to chemicals, and to secondhand smoke, than California. California banned the sale of flavored tobacco, because it appeals to children, and the use of smokeless tobacco in the state’s five professional baseball stadiums. It prohibited the use of e-cigarettes in government and private workplaces, restaurants, bars, and casinos. San Francisco in late 2020 banned cigarette smoking in apartments.8 In the fall of 2020, California outlawed companies from using in cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products twenty-four chemicals it had deemed dangerous.9 And yet breathing secondhand smoke and being exposed to trace chemicals in your shampoo are hardly sufficient to kill. By contrast, hard drug use is both a necessary and sufficient cause to kill, as the 93,000 overdose and drug poisoning deaths of 2020 show. And yet, where the governments of San Francisco, California, and other progressive cities and states stress the remote dangers of cosmetics, pesticides, and secondhand smoke, they downplay the immediate dangers of hard drugs including fentanyl. In 2020, San Francisco even paid for two billboards promoting the safe use of heroin and fentanyl, which had been created by the Harm Reduction Coalition. The first had a picture of an older African American man smiling. The headline read, “Change it up. Injecting drugs has the highest risk of overdose, so consider snorting or smoking instead.” The second billboard’s photograph was of a racially diverse group of people at a party smiling and laughing. The headline read, “Try not to use alone. Do it with friends. Use with people and take turns.”10 When I asked Kristen Marshall of the Harm Reduction Coalition, which oversees San Francisco’s overdose prevention strategy, about the threat posed by fentanyl, she said, “People use it safely all the time. This narrative that gets it labeled as an insane poison where you touch it and die—that’s not how drugs work. It’s not cyanide. It’s not uranium. It’s just a synthetic opioid, but one that’s on an unregulated market.
Michael Shellenberger (San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities)
Thinking happy thoughts literally creates a positive chemical change in the brain which stimulates both positive physical and psychological benefits.
Deepak Chopra
THE SIGNAL CAME FROM XENIA, a small planet in a modest star system near the tip of one spiral arm of the Pinwheel Galaxy. There, at the start of a night that lasted for several Earth years, something like a child held up something not quite a flashlight to something quite unlike the Earth’s night sky. Near the child stood the closest living thing to what might be called its parent. On Xenia, the entire species of intelligent beings contributed a little germ plasm to birth each new child. But each Xenian was given one child to raise. On Xenia, everyone was everyone else’s parent and everyone else’s child, everyone’s older sister and younger brother all at once. When one person died, so did everyone and no one. On Xenia, fear and desire and hunger and fatigue and sadness and all other transitory feelings were lost in a shared grace, the way that separate stars are lost in the daytime sun. “There,” the something-like-a-father said to its something-like-a-child, in something almost like speech. “A little higher. Right up there.” The little one lay back, floating on its living kinship raft above the intelligent soil. It felt its not-quite arm nudged by a process of assistance no one from Earth would have a name for. “There?” the younger one asked. “Right there? Why didn’t they ever answer?” The older one replied not in sound or light but in changes in the surrounding air. “We bathed them in signals for thousands of their generations. We tried everything we could think of. We never managed to get their attention.” The sequence of chemicals that the young one emitted was not quite a laugh. It was a whole verdict, really, an entire astrobiological theory. “They must have been very busy.” THE DAYS LENGTHENED.
Richard Powers (Bewilderment)
In fact, none of the papers published in the JME over the entire course of its life as a journal has ever proposed a detailed model by which a complex biochemical system might have been produced in a gradual, step-by-step Darwinian fashion. Although many scientists ask how sequences can change or how chemicals necessary for life might be produced in the absence of cells, no one has ever asked in the pages of JME such questions as the following: How did the photosynthetic reaction center develop? How did intramolecular transport start? . . . The very fact that none of these problems is even addressed, let alone solved, is a very strong indication that Darwinism is an inadequate framework for understanding the origin of complex biochemical systems.
Michael J. Behe (Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution)
The working hypothesis of Czechoslovakian psychiatrists who have been using LSD in therapy for several years is that this chemical (at least temporarily) destroys conditioned reflexes. That is, if you have been conditioned (trained) to hate Mexicans, or to repress your sexual drives, or to feel inferior to any male taller than yourself, these reflexes will, at least temporarily, vanish during a session with a heavy dose of LSD. Thus, if you want to change one of these reflexes, the chemical will – according to this theory – at least give you a head start in that direction.
Robert Anton Wilson (Sex, Drugs & Magick – A Journey Beyond Limits)
Ling’s electrostatically connected water molecules sheathing long, thin protein braids are as easily swayed as Carlyle’s sheeplike critics—a little influence applied in the right place goes a long, long way. Each water molecule shifts the interior balance of its neighbors’ electrons, and every water molecule is able to pivot its electrostatic charge. The result is a typical crowd response: when conditions change, every molecule of H20 swivels in the same direction. The result, in Ling’s words, is a “functionally coherent and discrete cooperative assembly.” If a relatively small but insistent molecule called a cardinal adsorbent*48 steps up to one of the many podiums (docking sites) along the protein chain, it galvanizes attention, making all the water molecules swivel their “heads”—the polarity of the electrons in their shells—simultaneously. This changes the chemical properties of the assembled multitude dramatically.49 But, hey, that’s life—quite literally. When the molecular crowd disperses, a cell is dead.
Howard Bloom (Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century)
Neuro-transmitters are chemicals which alter the electro-colloidal balance of the brain and hence change the perceptual field. Brain-change agents.
Robert Anton Wilson (Prometheus Rising)
At the heart of the theory was an astonishing change in the chemical cocktail of your brain that takes place during REM sleep. Concentrations of a key stress-related chemical called noradrenaline are completely shut off within your brain when you enter this dreaming sleep state. In fact, REM sleep is the only time during the twenty-four-hour period when your brain is completely devoid of this anxiety-triggering molecule. Noradrenaline, also known as norepinephrine, is the brain equivalent to a body chemical you already know and have felt the effects of: adrenaline (epinephrine).
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
Serotonin helps with impulse control, willpower, and resilience. Dopamine is important in enjoyment and habits. Norepinephrine modulates focus and concentration. Oxytocin is essential to close relationships. Other neurotransmitters are important too, like GABA (antianxiety), endorphins (elation and pain relief), and endocannabinoids (appetite and peacefulness). Other chemicals, like BDNF, help grow new neurons, and even proteins in the immune system play a role.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
A 2015 study in the journal Nature found that chemical emulsifiers—compounds that give packaged foods like ice cream their smooth consistency—cause an increase in the growth of unhealthy bacteria in our guts. That can lead to the inflammation that causes not only obesity but all those other health issues I mentioned. In fact, about 40 percent of the bacteria species that naturally occur in our bodies have gone extinct over the past sixty years, according to Emeran Mayer, MD, PhD, a brain researcher at UCLA. The proper balance of gut bacteria—what’s called your microbiome—is crucial to keeping you slim and healthy.
Danica Patrick (Pretty Intense: The 90-Day Mind, Body and Food Plan that will absolutely Change Your Life)
Insect infestation? A few years ago, Stamets won a patent for a “mycopesticide”—a mutant mycelium from a species of Cordyceps that, after being eaten by carpenter ants, colonizes their bodies and kills them, but not before chemically inducing the ant to climb to the highest point in its environment and then bursting a mushroom from the top of its head that releases its spores to the wind.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
I think of when I was in high school in the 1940s: the white girls got their hair crinkled up by chemicals and heat so it would curl, and the black girls got their hair mashed flat by chemicals and heat so it wouldn’t curl. Home perms hadn’t been invented yet, and a lot of kids couldn’t afford these expensive treatments, so they were wretched because they couldn’t follow the rules, the rules of beauty. Beauty always has rules. It’s a game. I resent the beauty game when I see it controlled by people who grab fortunes from it and don’t care who they hurt. I hate it when I see it making people so self-dissatisfied that they starve and deform and poison themselves. Most of the time I just play the game myself in a very small way, buying a new lipstick, feeling happy about a pretty new silk shirt. […] There’s the ideal beauty of youth and health, which never really changes, and is always true. There’s the ideal beauty of movie stars and advertising models, the beauty-game ideal, which changes its rules all the time and from place to place, and is never entirely true. And there’s an ideal beauty that is harder to define or understand, because it occurs not just in the body but where the body and the spirit meet and define each other.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Meditation, which alters the brain in many positive ways. The physical effects of sitting quietly and going inward are amazingly extensive. It took a long time to unravel the puzzle. Researchers had to work against the Western assumption that meditation was mystical or at best a kind of religious practice. Now we realize that it activates the prefrontal cortex—the seat of higher thinking—and stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and brain opiates. Each of these naturally occurring brain chemicals has been linked to different aspects of happiness. Dopamine is an antidepressant; serotonin is associated with increased self-esteem; oxytocin is now believed to be the pleasure hormone (its levels also elevate during sexual arousal); opiates are the body’s painkillers, which also provide the exhilaration associated with runner’s high. It should be obvious, then, that meditation, by creating higher levels of these neurotransmitters, is a more effective way of changing the brain’s set point for happiness. No single drug can simultaneously choreograph the coordinated release of all these chemicals.
Deepak Chopra (Ultimate Happiness Prescription)
The embalmer and undertaker opened Lincoln’s coffin. He had been dead for eighteen days. Only chemicals and makeup had kept him presentable during the journey. At the beginning, at the White House funeral, Lincoln’s face had looked almost natural. He had changed along the way. The face continued to darken, and more and more white face powder had to be applied. Lincoln no longer resembled a sleeping man. Now he looked like a ghastly, pale, waxlike statue.
James L. Swanson (Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis)
Syphilis is caused by a spiral bacterium (aka a spirochete) known as Treponema pallidum. The bacterium is usually acquired during sexual contact, whereupon it corkscrews its way across mucous membranes, multiplies in the blood and lymph nodes, and, if a patient is especially unlucky, gets into the central nervous system, including the brain, causing personality change, psychosis, depression, dementia, and death. That’s in the absence of antibiotic treatment, anyway; modern antibiotics cure syphilis easily. But there were no modern antibiotics in 1917, and the early chemical treatment known as Salvarsan (containing arsenic) didn’t work well against late-stage syphilis in the nervous system. Wagner-Juaregg solved that problem after noting that Treponema pallidum didn’t survive in a test tube at temperatures much above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Raise the blood temperature of the infected person a few degrees, he realized, and you might cook the bacterium to death. So he began inoculating patients with Plasmodium vivax. He would allow them to cycle through three or four spikes of fever, delivering potent if not terminal setbacks to the Treponema, and then dose them with quinine, bringing the plasmodium under control. “The effect was remarkable; the downward progression of late-stage syphilis was stopped,” by one account, from the late Robert S. Desowitz, who was a prominent parasitologist himself as well as a lively writer. “Institutions for malaria therapy rapidly proliferated throughout Europe and the technique was taken up in several centers in the United States. In this way, tens of thousands of syphilitics were saved from a sure and agonizing death”—saved by malaria.
David Quammen (Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic)
Photo retouching is a method of photo editing which focuses primarily on the restoration and enhancement of photographs whether the photo is digital or printed. The art of photo retouching has the ability to highlight different details within an image or make up for the limitations of a specific kind of camera. As such, the light exposure, contrasts or color tones can be corrected or played with thanks to photograph retouching. It is important to note though that photo retouching is not simply equitable to Photoshop. Although Photoshop is one of the most common way photo retouching is performed, photo retouching can also be performed with different chemical agents and physical changes made to film before they are printed.
Rashel Ahmed
Revolution focuses on freedom, the value of human life and knowledge. Revolution is the universal truth, an act without harmful chemicals, slavery, poverty or corruption. Revolution is the act of united people, where vision and clarity ignite the flame of hope and is an icon of pure and revolutionary courage.
Efrat Cybulkiewicz
Cupro A vegan alternative to silk with the same luxury feel, Cupro is made from linter, a by-product of cotton that would normally be wasted. Manufactured in a closed-loop system, which means the chemicals and wastewater used in its production are reused again and again, it’s also biodegradable, easily recycled and machine-washable. ‘Dry clean only’ can do one.
Lauren Bravo (How To Break Up With Fast Fashion: A guilt-free guide to changing the way you shop – for good)