Monthly Archives: October 2012

Arguably I feel better after a couple hours of doing ‘chores’ like organizing and decluttering and putting things away both figuratively and literally then after a couple hours of ‘relaxing’ watching tv, reading, browsing the internets. Even better if i do chores and then relax. huh.

I want to fill my mouth with your name.

Pablo Neruda  (via fennecs)

Reblogging for Anna and St. Clair




Dear Ann Coulter of the Day: After Ann Coulter referred to President Obama as a retard in a tweet during Monday night’s presidential debate, Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens penned her this open letter:

Dear Ann Coulter, 

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult? 

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night. 

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have. 

Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next. 

Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift. 

Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more. 

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV. 

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash. 

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor. 

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much. 

Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged. 

A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens Global Messenger Special Olympics Virginia


hell yeah

Hey, Anne Coulter, here is some commercially available burn cream.

I think this is the best explanation I’ve heard of why it’s not okay to use derogatory language. I think I will save this for when I have trouble explaining why it matters and is important.

do you think nanotechnology will be a big part of healthcare in the future?

I do.

I think nanotechnology will have a lot of positive and (hopefully fewer) negative health effects on people. There is lots of promising research focused on nanomedicine already underway. One really neat possibility that I can see having colossal impact on medicine, is targeted drug delivery. A lot of the time when people are sick they take drugs orally. While this treats the problem, it also floods your entire body with chemicals which can be really hard on your system. Some of the negative effects of medications are expressed as side effects. With the use of nanotechnology, and structures like buckyballs, there may be a real possibility that we could send drugs specifically to the locations in the body where they’re needed. This would drastically reduce the required dose and the negative side effects. I may make a video further detailing how that could work, and some other nanomedicine in the future.

In addition to positive health outcomes, it’s also important to note that increased use of nanotechnology could cause health problems down the line. Nanoparticles are very difficult to characterize, since they play by different rules then the big stuff. Normally health studies focus on factors like volume, but when it comes to nanoparticles, we’re still figuring out what is important to measure, let alone how to measure it. Surface area is a front runner, but particle shape, conglomeration (how much particles clump together) and functionalization are a few of dozens of other criteria that need to be consideered.

In summary, nanotechnology is driving innovation in the field of health care and we may see some revolutionary new medicines and procedures in the future, but there’s also a lack of reliable toxicology data for the nanoparticles we’re already producing and using in consumer products, which may lead to some new health problems that need to be solved.

Why I want to create Educational Videos

I’m fascinated by science and technology, which is why I’ve been attending the University of Waterloo for Nanotechnology Engineering for the last two years. However, my real passion lays in creation and collaboration. Those magical moments where ideas and concepts click in to place, either in a project, a classroom, or alone with a book (or these days, the web). I want to help create those sorts of moments for people. I want to teach, but more than facts I want to help people uncover the way things fit together. In my experience, this type of teaching takes hard work and creativity. I find ideas are more often understood when they’re jiggled and stretched before they’re laid out flat. When they’re expressed through imagery and narrative. When the students are taught how to connect the dots themselves. I find all of this fascinating, and I want to get better at it, I think it’s something that matters. And the nano part was a logical choice for me, since when I first learned about it, it seemed more like magic then reality, and because many of the pieces have locked together for me in my last couple years of study.

*Note: This was a part of my application to YouTube’s Next Up Edu Guru Program*