Thursday, January 02, 2014

When is Poop no longer Poop?

I was washing mushrooms for making cream of mushroom soup, when it occurred to me that many mushrooms grow in rotting carcases, dying tree trunks, and poop. I made sure to wash more carefully while pondering aloud if my mushrooms were indeed grown in poop.

To this my roommate reminded me that most industries would use fertilized wood shavings, or just straight up fertilizer. To which I then remarked that a lot of fertilizers were in fact, cow manure- poop.

But of course, roommate states that after a lot of time, we don't really consider manure poop any more- because it's more like soil. But I'm sure I know many people who think that manure is indeed poop. But then, in nature, a lot of soil used to be poop, and certainly are not poop now.

So if I take a piece of poop, and leave it to the forces of nature for however long- will it one day no longer be considered poop? If it's still there in a block I'd still look at it and call it poop.

Is it the odour of poop that gives it the poopiness? Odours are actually remnants of the stomach bacterial action, creating disgusting sulphur-containing compounds, famous example being hydrogen sulphide. Of course, over time, these compounds are broken down by non-gut-out-of-body-in-nature bacteria or dissolved into the surrounding environment. At some point, the stench will be gone, take for example, dried poop- it has no stink! But alas, I still think it is poop.

So perhaps poop should be better defined by having come out of the intestinal tract of some animal? And since single cellular organisms don't have intestines, we can certainly say that alcohol is not yeast poop!

But then, if we really think about it, SOIL HAS A LOT OF POOP. After all,  a good deal of it it either came from an animal taking a squat or from a dead plant that was eaten by a worm or insect and released after passing through a smaller, but equally real, intestinal tract. But is soil really made of poop? I can't be the only one who finds this thought disturbing. There are young curious children who eat dirt after all.

Human beings can be pretty interesting about this, our own disgust at poop seems to be a species subjective trait. Many animals, like most pet hamsters, are perfectly ok eating their own poop. Worms eat other animals' poop. Hell, plants get so many nutrients from all sorts of poop.

So perhaps soil really a bunch of poop and other things and we're all just too squeamish to acknowledge this.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What's the point of blogging anyways?

I actually can't answer this question.

I do it because I know strangers and friends read it. Friends can read it and sometimes we chat. But there's an allure in knowing strangers are reading these words. Hi stranger, hope you are well.

Interestingly, people seem to differ in their idea of blogs. Some maintain that it is for publicity, others for social networking, and some use it literally as a journal. But I guess in the end we're all just trying to connect with people in a different way.

I used to write random thoughts down on paper. But it seems weird to just give that piece of paper to people to read, and at the same time I felt like the paper was all lonely just sitting in my room. So then I started blogging. (I also type faster than I write so this helps since I tend to just type down whatever is going on in my mind at the present time- my hands can't keep up with my mind)

But I always need to keep in mind that because people are reading this, I have to be careful what I write down. Some things I wouldn't mind letting out, but thoughts are quite private some other times.

Time and time again, I thought it would have been nice to never have told any of my friends about this blog- and to just write to strangers each time. But there's always this gentle hope that one of your friends will see you one day and mention to something you wrote- and golly, what a nice feeling that is.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Years ago, in a moment of anger before having to start studying for a test, I typed these letters into the Google. The first search result made me smile.

Years later, in yet another moment of anger before having to start studying for my finals, I again typed these letters into Google. I was reminded again of why there are just some great and unique people in the world.

If you haven't searched "asdfjkl;" on Google yet, this is the site I keep referring to:

I think it's cute. I considered writing little updates on my life every week to whoever would receive these messages. But considering I'm not so great at doing that on my own blog, you wouldn't be surprised to learn I didn't follow through with that plan.

But I always marvel that there exists people who try to extend out of the norm, and manage to do so in such an encouraging and simple manner. I find it adorable that there exists this website where I can type away to a real human person and know that it will be read but never replied to.

It's that same feeling of throwing a message in a bottle out into the waters at a beach, or carving an inspirational quote on a park bench, or even scribbling out your thoughts with permanent marker in washroom stalls.

This is all, of course, if you ignore the cruder messages regarding human genitalia and depressing world issues that people send out under cover of anonymity.