Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting into Medical School: Personal Opinion

It is one of the most complex and difficult of sciences. It is personal at so many levels. One of the most respected and longest-standing professions of all time. I am of course talking about medicine. Nowadays competition for a place in a medical university is notoriously high. I won't even talk about any specific values since it will probably disincentive many of you readers from such a career. It will be untruthful of me to say that I have always wanted medicine as a future career. Many of my close friends and colleagues believe that this choice has been influenced by my parents who are both respected medical officials. I won't deny that their perseverance towards their job was what first made me seriously consider medicine as a potential future.

I have been reading many guides towards making yourself a perfect UCAS application in order to get an interview. And let's just say that the standards for getting an interview have seriously gone up. Not only do you have to achieve the highest possible marks for all A levels, you also need to have prior working experience. One candidate had such a big curriculum full of amazing achievements such as working in hospitals part-time, being leader in all types of societies and even one part where it almost seemed as if he found a cure for cancer. I actually found myself becoming more and more in doubt whether I really wanted this amount of work just for a place in an university in the UK. Already I have been to many MUN conferences ( here in Portugal as well as being part of INTERACT ( They have proved to be useful experiences but they are not enough to guarantee even an interview.

As a result of these expectations I am facing the biggest dilemma of my life. Whether to continue down this road, work non-stop for a reward that might not even be much different than university's in Portugal or in Poland. Whatever my future choice will be, I do know one thing. That I will make the best selection because it is my opinion that counts in the end. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

TIME : The 50 Best Inventions of the Year

As my little unplanned hiatus from post-writing draws to a close, I find myself captivated by the shear amount of news that has flooded the world. The most astounding perhaps is TIME's 50 best inventions of 2010. Before we get started on the list however we must remember the words of Galileo: "Doubt is the father of invention". To strive towards creating something new and unexpected is one of the most daunting experiences of all time. I applaud all the inventors that have realized our deepest cravings and dreams. Even though those dreams may not be apparent at first they are fulfilled. Many reasons have pushed people to invent stuff, in the modern age this is mostly sloth or laziness such as the English-teaching robot. Others have surfaced from sustainability issues about the environment. Some have even been motivated by frugality or in other words 'discoveries by complete accident using home-available products' such as chrome-cleaning baby oil. Enough introductions it's time to announce my favorite inventions of the year. Eureka!

1. First Synthetic Cell
To be honest, the idea already came to my head a few years ago but never would I have thought that it would be possible. It took J. Craig Venter 15 years to finally achieve a living bacteria. Such synthetic life would in fact make it possible  to generate new biofuels as well as improve bacterium-induced processes such as yogurt production.

2. eLegs Exoskeleton
Most likely inspired from popular game cultures such as Halo, this suit serves its use perfectly. Paraplegic patients are now able to stand up and even take a few steps. The robotic legs even use artificial intelligence to analyze the wearer's arm gestures via a set of crutches. Even though this will not be available for many year's to the public marker it is a big step forward for the mentally handicapped.

2.5 Iron Man Suit
In demonstration videos users that wore this incredible armor were able to lift 90 kg weights without even breaking a sweat. Another example of how science fiction is becoming a reality.

3. Martin Jetpack
The jetpack. Most likely the stuff of dreams for most nerds and scientists alike. The ability to simply fly into the sky with nothing but a propeller is simply outstanding. It is quite literally the depiction of the future. Although the Martin model is an enormous, 200 horsepower flying beast and costs roughly 100 thousand dollars a piece it's still an awesome patent that must have been made by some kind of genius.

4. Google's Driverless Car
Already discussed in a past post, this ingenious device is able to pilot itself through traffic over long distances with no assistance from the driver whatsoever.

5. Body-Powered Devices
I have always thought of the human body as an immense factory producing and using energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triophosphate). Now it seems that using particular piezoelectric crystals in a rubber-like material we can in fact generate power due to the body's metabolic reactions. Such devices may produce enough electricity to power personal electronics such as pacemakers.

However there were also many inventions that did not spark any interest in me. Some should not have even made it to the best inventions of the year. One such example is probably the most hated product on this website : the iPad (
Others include the Oakley 3D glasses (seriously how many people could possibly have a 3D television in their homes? not many I believe) and the Lifeguard robot (complete unnecessary won't even discuss),28757,2029497,00.html

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zeitgeist : The Greatest Story Ever Sold

For generations the world has studied religion to its greatest depths, whether it was Christianity or Islam. Historians have tried countless times to explain the true nature of the one and only all-seeing God. It is acknowledged by most of the citizens of Earth that a force greater than themselves exists. That particular force created the Big Bang, so it was sentient enough to create life as we know it. In this particular film that I viewed not too long ago was pretty much astounding. Inconceivable similarities between religions and its connections to astrology. I have never thought of religion having anything to do with astrology but I'm glad that I was wrong.

Perhaps the most enigmatic of all religions, that which most of the humans walking this Earth believe in is Christianity. The religion centers itself around our savior called Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin mother, had 12 disciples, performed miracles such as reviving the dead and walking on water and upon his death by crucifixion he was resurrected. Little do we know that these god-like qualities are already shared by many other important and religious figures. Many thousands of years before the era of Jesus, in particular in Ancient Egypt there was already a God with such events in his life: Horus, the god of the Sun.

After this comparison the film focuses fully upon the connection with astrology. Jesus was born on the 25th of December when a star in the east, also known as Sirius, positioned itself directly in the path of three other stars (the 3 Kings). All of these pointed directly at the Sun, which is considered to be God or in this case Christ. A few days before the Birth of Christ the Sun had dropped to its lowest point on the horizon. It would not rise or fall until the 25th signifying the birth of the Son of God.

"The Bible is in fact an astrotheological literary hybrid developed from many different religions before it"
The movie goes on to tell us what we already could have guessed from the beginning. Christianity is just not based on any historical facts. It is fueled by its believers nothing more, nothing less. Most of the points mentioned throughout the video were negative such as the Dark Ages and the Crusades. But I beg to differ. Religion has brought hope to the poor, the sick and many others during the ages of mankind. Without religion we would have destroyed each other during the early stages of our development. I urge every one of you who watches this video not to take each world literally.