Stories on the edge of familiarity

And Now For Something Completely Different

I’m considering introducing myself to new people as 
“Thea, fan of Firefly” for this very reason.

I’m ridiculously interested in a lot of things that make about as much sense together as putting wings on a rock and throwing it off a cliff so that it can fly, except my interests don’t generally result in broken windows. With that in mind, I was thinking the other day about everything I’ve written on here and I decided I would write about something really random that I happen to really enjoy. It comes with just about one of the geekiest confessions I’ll ever make (unless someone can find a really fun excuse to use trigonometry, because I have this odd fascination with calculating things that have to do with triangles), and those of you who have not yet met me in real life have never yet heard me talking about this. Wanna try and guess what it is?

Go on.

I’ve got time.

Okay, I’ll tell you. :)

It’s genetics. Just the word makes me want to smile and do a happy dance (I didn’t dance just now though, because it’s kind of hard to in a chair, so I wiggled delightedly instead).

Dear Thea,

For the love of all that is logical, why on earth do you love genetics so darn much?

Worriedly,
Your Sense of Reason

 

Dear Sense of Reason,

For the love of all that is sane, why on earth would you fight the love of genetics?

Happily,
Thea

I win. :)

Anyways, I fell in love with the subject when we first learned about it in grade nine. Remember Gregor Mendel’s peas and those unending Punnett squares? Learning the difference between dominant and recessive alleles? Best part of the whole year.

I remember when we learned about co-dominant alleles (two dominant alleles which, when both are present, result in something that’s a mix between the two in the actual organism -palomino horses are an example of this, also some pink flowers). It totally blew my mind. There were Mendel’s peas, all nice and straightforward with their dominant and recessive genes, and then something else came in and messed with that whole mathematical system. I almost cheered for the inventiveness of genetics.

Grade twelve biology class pretty much made my life when we had an entire unit on genetics. That’s where I learned that alleles always come in pairs, and that different pairs of alleles could work together to make one thing happen (the colour of human skin, for example, is primarily controlled by two pairs of alleles), and we learned about sex-linked genes! And don’t get me started on when I first heard about epigenetics last year in one of my psychology classes. Just when I thought my mind could not get any more blown…

But it gets better!

As soon as I first learned the tiniest bit about genetics and how they work, I decided that I wanted to make up a creature and then make up a simple genetic code for it so that I could then breed these creatures on paper and see what I came up with. That first attempt was pretty rough. I basically knew squat about what I was doing, but I don’t mind because it was fun, and I’ve improved on the system since. I think I’m on version 3.0 at the moment, which is the first version where I’ve built in a way of adding in new genes that I’ve never used before to the code, and it’s also the first that deals with fertility. It’s nowhere near as cool as what happens in real life yet, but I’m working on it. *does a happy wiggle* :D

Okay, I can hear some of you going “What the heck? Why, Thea? Why do you love this so much? Why are you so geeky?

Um. Genetics?

Actually, I’m not joking. My dad makes programs for computers in oil refineries for a living and has the hugest collection of Star Trek books I’ve ever seen in one place in my life, my younger brother discovered a passion for programming when he was in grade ten -starting with graphing calculators, even- and my sister can probably quote to you verbatim all the most famous lines from all her favourite TV shows. My mom and my older brothers probably have geeky sides, too, they’re just much better at hiding it.

And, to be completely honest, I once won a geek contest without even having to mention my insane love of genetics. My insane love of making up languages did that all by itself (I’ll probably have a post about that at some point, cuz I can).

Yay for genetics! *wiggles*

*Sense of Reason raises eyebrow*

:)

If you’ve stayed with me this far, you’re either impressively patient, far better at scanning blog posts than I am, or at least slightly interested in genetics and general geekiness. If not, you’re an enigma to me, in which case, the psychologist part of me is really very interested in chatting with you at some point to try and solve that enigma, with the solution undoubtedly being a personality that’s rather spectacularly cool.

What’s my point? If you love something (which I’m sure you do), make it a part of your life. Allow yourself to be passionate about it; talk about it to complete strangers and find out if they love it, too. So what if it doesn’t fit with everything else you like? If you’re passionate about it, don’t just hide it.

There are a lot of things that I haven’t been mentioning here because I wasn’t sure if it would fit with the way I started the blog. I’ve been hiding my geekiness because I really wanted everyone on the internet to like me (or something), and that’s utterly ridiculous. Besides that, this is my blog. I can do whatever the heck I want with it, no matter how I started out, and to tell myself that I’ve got to ignore things that I’m interested in just because they’re not in the same category as other things I’m interested is just stuff and nonsense.

Heh. I got to use that phrase today! :D

There you go. I love genetics. Someday, I hope to make up a genetic code that’s just as nuanced and mind-numbingly amazing as the real thing (only without all the boring things, like fingernails) simply because it would be cool.

But enough about me…

What about you?

What kinds of things do you just love to pieces and could talk about for hours? What do you do with those interests? Do you have a blog/website/vlog/etc about them that I could check out (oh, do say yes! :D)?

Let’s bask in our mutual awesomeness.

(Also, if anyone knows who made that ecard at the beginning, could you tell me? I’d really like to credit them for it, and Google has been spectacularly unhelpful. Thanks!)

6 Responses to And Now For Something Completely Different

  1. Everything that God made is mind-numbingly cool in some way… hmm… let’s see… what could I talk about for hours? Probably things I know a lot about. Religion. God. Food. Health. Philosophy. Music. Dragons? :P

    It’s a good point, though. I have never much known how all of my diverse interests fit together… unfortunately my interest in God tends to turn all the others to ash… but then they poke up again and make themselves useful in ingenious little ways later on. For example, I was obsessed with music for years, practiced all the time, majored in music for a while… and now after a time of doing very little with it, it is coming back around again and actually being very useful with the things I’m doing now.

    (That’s a great ecard, by the way. Yay for dancy basking!)

    • I do believe I should have seen the dragons coming. :P Actually, they fascinate me, too. Did you know that, at the time the bit (or bits, depending on the translation) in the Bible that mentions dragons was written, dragons were thought to be more like really nasty snakes? The legs and wings got added during the Medieval period. Possibly the fire-breathing, too, but that I’m not so sure about.

      And I love zee moozik! Do you play any instruments? Do you sing? Ooo ooo oo! Do you compose/write songs?!?!? I is hasing a very big curious. I is also hasing a complete lack of grammar, but that’s beside the point. I desire knowledge! :D

    • There are various legends of dragons or winged snakes or snake-like monsters all over the world.. not just in the Bible or in that part of the world. There are variations all over and certainly lots of interesting parallels.

      Er music.. let’s see.. yes I play violin, piano, harp, pipe organ, though I am not doing too much music these days I was rigorously into Bach (on the organ) and Vivaldi (on the violin) and Baroque things. Also I have done a lot of singing, mostly in choirs with some solo or leading. I have composed a couple of things here and there, when I was a music major, but not much.

      You seem very excited XD so here is a couple of links for you to check out that have to do with my music:

      http://soundcloud.com/mishtical < ~~ track I mixed in GarageBand with some vocal recording http://www.youtube.com/user/MishticallySeeking < ~~ pretty much ALL music.. some of it close to 10 years old (like me on the pipe organ) So enjoy ;)

    • This is true, about the dragons. The reason I found it interesting in the Bible, though, is how Satan is referred to as a red dragon in Revelation. Going with the view of dragons at the time as really nasty snakes, it’s a clear link to Genesis that’s lost to modern-day readers. Which sucks, because it adds a whole new layer to Revelations -to me, anyway.

      Music is another thing I have a ridiculous love for. I was in band, choir and musical theatre in high school (though not all at the same time!), and I play the piano, recorder and the clarinet, as well as fiddling with just about anything that looks interesting, the latest of which being a thumb piano. :)

      Ooo! I loved the vocals in that track… and now I have a whole new Youtube channel to watch obsessively. Yay!

  2. Great post! :) I stuck through to the end. Not so much because I love genetics (sorry) but maybe because of the genes that put me in the same boat of being intensely, geekily into random things and kind of all over my own map with winged rocks.

    Current blog (estuarywalkthrough), being narrowly focused, is kind of languishing, while I create a new/improved (all over the map) one… I’ll let you know when it’s up and running (a few more weeks?)