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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ever been called a "worm"?

Learning about words can be an interesting experience, especially as it relates to
trying to find out how a common word has been applied to describe the behavior or characteristics of another human being. For instance, if someone uses the word "worm" to describe you or your behavior ,this can be a positive thing if the person says,

"Look at John, he is such a bookworm." In using the word "worm" in combination with another word, to form a compound world, the person has described John as someone who loves reading.

However, the word worm can be applied to a human and his or her behavior in a less desirable way, for instance:

If someone is talking to you and he or she states:

"You are such a worm." This is a negative perspective of you, informally it means You are: "an unpleasant person who does not deserve respect."

Why am I bringing this up for?

The reason is that you and I may be called "worms" to describe our behavior or qualities, but in reality new scientific research which I learned about today has shown that a "human-like brain structure" has been found in the animals human call "worms".

According to the news article at:


"Humanlike brain structures identified in marine worm",
"Brain structures directly related to the human brain have just been identified in a marine ragworm."

"The discovery means that the origins of the human brain can now be traced back at least 600 million years, when we last shared a common ancestor with this species, Platynereis dumerilii, (pictured above)  a relative of the common earthworm."

"This worm lives in self-made tubes, explores its environment actively for food, and shows signs of learning behavior," lead author Raju Tomer told Discovery News. "Therefore, we thought this ragworm would be the ideal candidate to look for the counterparts of vertebrate higher brain centers in invertebrates."

"Tomer, a scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and his colleagues suspect that other invertebrates, such as insects, spiders, crustaceans and velvet worms likely also possess the brain structures, called "mushroom bodies," which correspond to our cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is a part of the human brain involved in memory, learning, thought, language, consciousness and more."

Tomer and his team used a new technique they developed, called "cellular profiling by image registration," to investigate a large number of genes in the marine ragworm's compact brain. The method enabled the scientists to determine each cell's molecular fingerprint, and to define cell types according to the genes they express, rather than just based on their shape and location, as was done before.

"The development and patterning mechanisms of annelid mushroom bodies and vertebrate brains are too similar to be explained by independent origins," Tomer said. "They must share a common evolutionary precursor, though less complex, which evolved in the last common ancestor more than 600 million years ago."

The next time you think you are superior to other life forms on this planet, hopefully this blog entry will flash up in your memory, and you will remember that it it weren't for the existence and evolution of the worm on our Planet and in the Planet's oceans, we humans may not even be here!!! And secondly, our brain is similar to the brain of an "ordinary" worm!! This scientific finding is another example of how inter-related all life on the planet Earth is!

Source of image:

One of the first images in your mind you might have developed after I related worms to humans is that of you "towering" over a worm in size, and that this
means worms are insignificant in your life. However if you watch this video I found on Vimeo you will then appreciate how small we humans are in relation to other phenonomen on the earth in in our galaxy which should help you keep
your perspective on things (it sure helped me do that LOL):

takeoff from cole rise on Vimeo.

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.