Stephen Hawking

It’s been a sad pi day, guys. Stephen Hawking’s passed away.

I’m not sure what to say. I’m just sad.

Stephen Hawking was legendary and legends aren’t supposed to die like us mere mortals.

He will be a legend forever and join the ranks of Einstein and Newton.

Mellow Yellow Episode 23: Science

KYR, CYRA, TICK, and TOCK have made a Science Squad together in the expanses of ZHAN’s old workshop.

CYRA: Kyr, do you want to know how to make a potato light something up?

KYR nods.

CYRA: Okay! (throws a potato at the light switch)

ALL: Welcome to the Downside Up Science Squad!

TOCK: Today we will teach you how to science!

TICK: First, you ask a question. Kyr will demonstrate.

KYR (writing): What do Peeps do in a microwave? Because human flesh is a lot like Peeps’ marshmallowness, this experiment will prove useful.

TOCK: Then you construct a hypothesis! Make sure it’s biased and totally not backed by background research!

CYRA (overflowing with confidence): I believe that this peep will lay an egg since the bird species likes to reproduce in warm climates. As they say, the early bird catches the warm!

TOCK: Egg-xactly!

KYR plays laugh track.

CYRA: Now you can continue with an experiment!

TOCK puts a Peeps in the microwave and warms it up for a couple minutes.

Everyone except TICK watches the Peeps, waiting to see if it will lay an egg.

TICK: Tock! I need your help, Mommy!

TOCK (still watching the microwave): I’ll be right there!

TICK: No really, Tock! I need your― (screams)

TOCK (Concerned): Tick? (rushes over)

TICK: Ahhhh! That feels better!

TOCK: What happened?

TICK: I laid an egg! Isn’t it wonderful! I feel like a mother egret!

TOCK: Hooray!

KYR comes over to see.

The three stare at the egg intently.

CYRA rubs her hands evilly behind them, leaving the workshop.

The egg starts to crack.

TICK: It’s my offspring! I can’t wait!

TOCK: (puts a hand on TICK’s shoulder) We are parents now, Daddy!

TICK: I’m the mother this time!

TOCK: oh yeah.

The egg hatches, LUR rolling out.


JOHN: (bursting from the wall) Never fear, John is here!

Bubble sounds come from the microwave.

Everyone looks at the microwave.

SQUAWK! The Peeps explodes everything.





PEEPS (in a deep voice):  I don’t know.  




Let’s Save the World!

I was looking at the weather forecast recently, as I usually do. The high for this Friday is 49°F (9°C)! That’s sweater weather in the middle of January in Michigan!

It’s ridiculous!

I don’t know if the warm weather recently is a result of global warming, but because of it, I have been thinking about global warming more than usual lately.

Carbon dioxide is a major contributing factor to rising temperatures. (This website discusses the science-y stuff way better than I could, so check it out.)

I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but there’s this thing called a “tree”, and you know what it does? It takes carbon dioxide and converts it into oxygen for FREE.

So why don’t you guys plant a tree this spring? You’ll be saving the Earth! You’ll be a hero! Think about it. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

You could force everyone to call you (insert name here) the Hero.

And while you’re at it, you could plant some flowers to help the bees in your life.

Or you could recycle.


So, readers, please use the Contact page to send me a picture of you planting a tree or a garden and I’ll make a collage of all the pictures I get around April.


And please talk about climate change and planting trees on your blog or pester your real-life friends. I think together we could save the world!

Climate Change: Some Random Thoughts

In my relatively short life, I’ve already noticed changes in the weather. Barely any snow, frigid winters, blistering summers. I remember when we were younger and I had a Slip n’ Slide (which is basically a tarp you put water on so you can slide around) and we’d anxiously wait for the temperature to go into the 80°s so we could use it, but it rarely went above the high 70°s. Now, we have summers where most days are spent in the 90°s.

Also, I remember the snow piling higher than my head. Obviously, I’ve gotten taller, but this winter you could see all the grass, and I doubt I was shorter than grass.

I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure these things should take multiple lifetimes, no one lifetime, and definitely not the fraction of a lifetime I’ve lived.

The Origin of Life

As you probably know from your elementary school days, everything, including you, is made up of atoms.

As you probably know from your pre-elementary school days, you are alive (well, you hopefully are alive if you are reading this. Zombies and vampires don’t count).

So you are made of atoms and you are alive, but your atoms are not alive. So how can you be alive if the parts that make you up are not alive?

Let’s imagine this on a larger scale. If you were to put together an extremely large number of rocks (which represent atoms), they wouldn’t suddenly become a giant rock monster that is alive (which represents life).

Now, let’s consider the saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” In a similar fashion, two inanimate objects shouldn’t make something that is alive.

Things that are alive are usually made up of the elements sulfur, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen, but if you were to mix all these things up in a giant bowl, it wouldn’t magically come alive.

If you are made of atoms, and a rock is made of atoms, and both of your atoms are not alive, then why are you alive and the rock is not alive?

With that unanswered question, let’s move on.

Where did life even come from? I understand the whole evolution thing, but how did life even start? The first thing that was alive had to come from something, right? I refuse to believe the first organism evolved from a rock. That is absurd. But what else was there on Earth other than rocks?

I’ve heard the theories that a lightning strike caused life or that a space rock with microorganisms on it struck Earth.

If a lightning strike caused life, it would imply that if we took our giant bowl of sulfur, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen and shot it with electricity, it would come alive, right?

Ned the Narwhal: …

If a space rock hit Earth and it had microorganisms on it, that poses the question, Where did life on that particular planet come from? And if that planet was hit by another space rock from another planet with microorganisms on it, then where did the life on that planet start? And the one before it? And the one before it?

Let’s consider the phrase “We are what we eat.” This is actually true. The atoms from the food you eat today will be your hair or skin or organs or blood later. Your food is (hopefully) not alive, but when it becomes a part of you, it is alive, but they are the same atoms, so how did it go from being not-alive to alive? And before your food was your food, it was a part of some plant. Let’s assume a carrot. And before it was a part of the carrot, it was carbon in the air, which became a part of the carrot through photosynthesis. The carbon in the air could’ve come from a large number of places. Let’s assume that at some point, it was a part of a dead leaf. But that leaf was alive at one point, but the carbon itself was never alive, but the leaf was alive and it was made of the carbon, which was not alive and I am confusing myself.

I should make a diagram.

Fifth Grade Science Fairs and Tomato Cannibalism

Long, long ago, I was in fifth grade, my mind was weird, and I participated in a science fair.

Like all the other fifth graders in my school, I was assigned to do my very first science fair. I was very excited. I was going to revolutionize the world. I was going to discover something new, brilliant, and world-changing.

I scoured the internet, searching for the perfect project, but none of them were good enough. They were too easy, too boring, too plain. None of them were special enough, unique enough. I needed something new, something great.

So I scoured my mind for the perfect solution, the perfect project. An idea had been stirring in the back of my mind for a while, ever since the beginning, before the announcement of the project had yet to reach an hour of age.

I was going to see if tomato ketchup would help tomato plants grow, essentially, tomato cannibalism.

I received my first pet plant for this very science fair. I grew those tomato plants from little round seeds, checking the moist, brown soil every day to see evidence of sprouts pushing their way to the sun.

After they’d grown for a little while to a significant height, I began my experiment. The plan was to give one pot of plants (the control group) two tablespoons of water every other day and give the other pot of plants (the test group) one tablespoon of water and one tablespoon of tomato ketchup.

A simile: My fifth-grade science project was like feeding babies a paste made from ground-up and seasoned dead people.

“Every other day”, I would count the total number of leaves in each pot and record the height of the tallest plant (each pot contained about 13 tomato plants).

In the previous paragraph/sentence, I put “”Every other day,”” in quotation marks because “every other day” was how often I’d planned to water the plants and record their height and leaves, but this was not how it actually turned out. I was a very busy fifth grader, and I often forgot about my tomato plants locked away in the sunny guest bedroom, which I rarely visited.

Every once in a while, I would water them and record data, but this was very inconsistent. Eventually, they shriveled up and died from lack of water and love, but in the official report (aka my science fair board) their death was blamed on the innocent ketchup.

My project was called “Catch up on the Ketchup News”, catchy, right? The title was hand-painted, the graphs were hand-drawn, and the pictures of the plants were also hand-drawn (as I didn’t know we were supposed to take pictures. How convenient that I could portray my dying plants however I pleased…).

I found my board a few months ago. While I was brimming with pride in fifth grade, I now see it for what it truly was: horrifying and immoral.