You can control more in life than you think

Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

The force that is perceived to be dominant in one’s life is called a locus of control (LOC).

A person can have an internal locus of control, meaning that they view themselves as the primary force determining the course of their life.

Conversely, a person can have an external locus of control, meaning they view external circumstances as the predominant determiner of their life’s outcome.

There are subjective arguments for both perspectives, but which perspective a person develops has major implications on their mental health and life outcome.

Psychological studies have found that people with an internal LOC are happier…


Letting go of logic to find the beauty in language

Photo by Wengang Zhai

Kilograms of words, and milliliters of punctuations won’t make beautiful prose or convincing dialogue.

Great Impressionist paintings were not created by measuring the volumes of paint colours, temperature of the canvas, or speed of the brush.

So why do we think we can do this with language?

Language as an art

The linguist Steven Pinker says that when it comes to language, “we have an instinct to acquire an art”.

And that’s exactly what a language is- an art.

Language is an organic product of socio-cultural trends.

Many of us who learn a foreign language want to think of it as something that can…


And the greatest gift you can give to yourself

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

There is a disease in our society.

At first I thought it might just be a millennial issue.

I now recognize it is prolific in western society- affecting all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

It is the disease of self pity; the total absorbance into one’s own difficulties.

Self victimization.

It’s a malady openly flaunted and accepted, joked about in memes, a mainstay on social media.

Many of us have a story we tell about ourselves.

A story of victimization and negative self talk- “I’ll never succeed because I’m poor”; or “I’ll never feel better because this person doesn’t love…


She placed the basket down and began unloading pastries wrapped in ornate paper and striped string.

A rich aroma of vanilla and lavender wafted into the air.

The day’s light was waning and the tall grass around us awakened with a symphony of crickets.

She said that I may choose only one dessert.

The one wrapped in purple paper accented with gold leaf caught my eye.

Without me indicating, she immediately handed me the pastry.

She asked if I ever take the time to watch the cosmos.

I gave a hesitant reply of “not since I was young”.

She said…


Owl frequently imagined where the Sun goes after it sets.

During a summer long after her chicks had grown, she decided to leave the safety of the meadow to try to follow it.

She nestled onto an oak branch and waited for the sun’s crimson descent.

She flew.

She flew farther than she had ever before.

She flew through stretches of forest blanketed in silence; no deer or fox could be found.

She flew over forgotten meadows of wild flowers, never to be seen, beautiful for no one but themselves.

It became a number of evenings where she would fly…


She would play for hours in the orchard, dancing around under the dense canopy. Her own little forest, just tall enough for her to race under the low hanging fruit.

Sarah Duval was the daughter of a fruit farmer. She lived in a small home at the end of a long dirt drive lined by fruit trees.

Beyond the ancient rusted plows and tractor engines that surrounded the house were seemingly endless rows of trees- tangelo, clementine, tangor, and satsuma.

Her father was a commercial citrus farmer. After leaving a failed dairy business her father spent their savings on the…


Rain doesn’t have to ruin your day

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

“Rain rain go away, come back another day.”

“I’m feeling under the weather.”

“Save it for a rainy day.”

“The weather is dreadful today.”

“Shitty out today, ain’t it?”

Rainy days are shrouded in distaste.

They make it terribly unbearable to get out of bed.

They are steeped in melancholy and lethargy.

And there aren’t many things worse than wet socks.

Along with the general distaste of them, rainy days can have dire consequences.

Rain means flooding and hurricanes.

And throughout history, rain has been tied to many unsavory happenings.

In Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, Cynthia Barnett writes…


Fusion is here, and you already use it everyday

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

When you watch a sunrise, you aren’t simply watching a star; you are witnessing what the alchemists sought after for centuries- the transmutation of matter.

Under enormous heat and pressure, beneath the golden plasma that we see and know so well, hydrogen nuclei fuse together, forming helium and releasing a massive amount of energy.

We receive this energy on earth as the warmth and light we are so familiar with.

Almost all energy on earth originated from the sun.

Carbohydrates, kilowatts, and wind gusts have their origin in the core of the sun.

Heat from the sun moves air and…


From blood cells to towering redwoods, proteins make it all

Photo by Connor Wang on Unsplash

Think about how a string of 100,000 words can form the prose of a life changing novel.

Or how a string of notes makes up the song that can bring you back to your childhood.

Likewise, strings of proteins in cobra venom can stop the heart of an elephant.

While strings of proteins in a mother’s womb have the power to grow a heart and create new life.

But what is a “protein”, other than a term we toss around as carelessly as fat and sugar?

Proteins are the makers of the natural world, they built our bodies, the bodies…

Ryan

Artist | Chemist | Engineer

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