I decided to just list some quotes that I love, and maybe tell you about why I love them so much. They are in no particular order. They are from everywhere, from songs, to books, to sermons. Feel free to steal them if you want. I really enjoy quotes, and I like sharing them even more. If enough people like and respond to this post, I will find more quotes and put up another list!

1. “Writing is not just how I communicate my thoughts but how I actually think. It’s the way an experience or a fleeting thought becomes real to me instead of floating away. It’s the way I catch my thoughts and turn them over and over, testing their weight and deciding whether to keep them or throw them away. For me, to write is to become, and I can’t become [an] older, wiser person without skewering those youthful thoughts to paper, without holding them up for my scrutiny and yours.” -Alisa Harris

When I read this quote in Alisa Harris’ book Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics, I fell in love with the book. It describes my love for writing in a way that I was never able to do myself. I could never find the words, ironically. Writing really is how I think and how things become real for me. I have terrible memory, until I write things down. When I write, everything that goes onto paper seems tangible.

2. “The venn diagram of boys who don’t like smart girls and guys you don’t wanna date is a circle.” -John Green

Personally, I think that John Green is one of the best people ever. He is one half of the VlogBrothers on YouTube. If you don’t know who the VlogBrothers are, click the link right now. Yes, now. This particular quote is from a video about dating. John Green’s advice to girls seeking a boyfriend? Date nerd boys. I agree with that 100%.

3. “Even if God were to make me tyrant of the world and give me power to reshape it as I see fit, even if I won every political battle I waged, I could never create the world that Christ will one day bring to the poor and meek. The most brazen campaign promises fall short of His. The only way to defeat the politics of ressentiment is to remember that the kingdom of God is here but not yet realized: we still live in the earth’s darkness, but we hold on to the heavenly promise. Instead of seeking power, I want to work for the kingdom’s picture of peace.” -Alisa Harris

Again, a quote from Alisa Harris’ book, Raised Right. This completely describes how I feel about politics and the far-right Christians who seem to be everywhere since the 1980’s. This election is not the election that will decide the fate of everyone on earth, and our children will probably never experience that election either. Our world is full of sin, and electing one man as the Commander in Chief of one country will not change that.

4. “[My brother] knows that I love him even if I don’t say it. But like Dumbledore said, words have power. And we have to use the magic of our words on each other so that we can feel it and experience it, and the people that we love know viscerally and without a doubt how we feel.” -Hank Green

I love Hank Green. Hank Green is not just an amazing person, but he is also the other half of the VlogBrothers. You would know that if you’d clicked the link I gave you earlier. If you’re at all nerdy, you will love these videos of two brothers rambling about everything under the sun, because it’s nerdified ramblings.

5. “We hypocritically applaud men for seeking the truth, but call for the public execution of anyone arrogant enough to believe he has found it.” -Paul Washer

I love Paul Washer. He’s an awesome man of God, and one of the best preachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. This quote was one regarding truth, and the way we view it in society today. This relates to one of my recent posts about R.C. Sproul and the law of noncontradiction.

6. “It has been my observation that those who are most opinionated and critically outspoken of other people’s evangelism are those who say the least for Christ, if they say anything at all.” -Jon Revers

This is something that a friend of mine said, and I think that it speaks for itself.

7. “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” -Ray Bradbury

First I’d like to say R.I.P. Ray Bradbury. You will be missed, and you have contributed some of the most influential pieces of literature ever written to the book-loving community. I love this quote because, well, I love Bradbury, but more than that, because staying “drunk on writing” to me means continuously creating, continuously becoming (if we connect this to the quote from Alisa Harris). Writing is the only drug I’ll ever need.

8. “This is no game. You want revival and awakening, but know this: for the most part, great awakenings have come only preceding great national catastrophes or the persecution of the church. I believe God is bringing a great awakening, but I believe that He is raising up young men who are strong in trust in the providence of God to be able to wade through the hell that’s going to break loose on us.” -Paul Washer

Yep, Washer again. I think this one speaks for itself, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. It’s from a short video on persecution in the United States, here, if you’re interested in watching it. Whether you are Christian or non-Christian, it’s a good video.

9. “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” -Martin Luther

I believe that prayer is one of the primary marks of someone who is truly saved. It is impossible to be a Christian without praying. ‘Nough said.

10. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” -Thomas Edison

This is another one of those quotes that speaks for itself, but I’d like to say, never, never, NEVER give up. You always have tomorrow, and trying again tomorrow when you fail is just as courageous as completing your goal today.

11. “Have you ever wondered how John could sit down and write all the whole gospel of John, 21 Chapters, and all through that entire thing record exactly the words of Christ? He could do it because the Holy Spirit brought him to his remembrance. That’s that promise there. Same here. We who have received it. We apostles, we writers. God has given it to us. You remember how? What was the vehicle? Inspiration. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all Scripture is inspired by God.” Theapanustos, one word, God breathed. God breathed it out into our minds. We received it. The Bible was not made up by men. It is not the opinion of men. It is not the view of men. It is not the comment of men on certain acts of God. It was received from God a gift brought by the Holy Spirit. So important. And notice a freely given or a graciously given one, not earned, just graciously given.” -John MacArthur

I love this man.

12. “The question is not ‘do you want to go to heaven?’ The question is ‘do you want Christ?'” -Paul Washer

More of Paul. Evangelical preaching has suffered because of the implementation of the question, “Do you want to go to heaven?” in place of, “Do you want Jesus?” Everybody wants to go to heaven. Why would anyone want to go to hell, unless it’s the little kid in the corner wearing a black leather jacket reading the satanic bible? Everyone wants to go to heaven, but Jesus is the only way to get there.

13. “Unfortunately we often get praise for things that weren’t particularly difficult to achieve. If we focus on the props and encouragement of those who have low expectations for us, we become mediocre. It can be challenging to set our sights on excellence, particularly when we’re hearing that we’re already there. One of life’s greatest lessons, which we all must learn, could be expressed in the phrase “That was nothing. Watch this.” Challenge yourself and others to call the normal things normal and save that word excellent for things that really are.” ― Alex Harris

This is from a book called Do Hard Thingswritten by the younger twin brothers, Alex and Brett, of Joshua Harris. Alex and Brett’s book is awesome, and I think you should read it. It’s not just for Christians, though Alex and Brett are both Christian. It’s about doing hard things (go figure) and being the best you can be. Also check out the Rebelution website! Josh Harris is the author of I Kissed Dating GoodbyeBoy Meets GirlDug Down Deepand Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)All of these are excellent books, and I strongly recommend Dug Down Deep for anybody, whether you are Christian or just curious about Christianity. It’s a clear, well-written, and easy to read overview of Christian doctrine and theology without getting into all of the messy denomination stuff.

(Wow, that’s a lot of links.)


It’s Slow, It’s Brainless, It’s Ravenous…

And, no, it’s not a politician.

It’s the comb jelly:

THIS THING is NOT a jellyfish.

THIS THING is NOT a jellyfish.

Now, contrary to what the name might imply, the comb jelly is not actually a jelly fish. A jelly fish belongs to the phylum Cnidaria, while the comb jelly is of the phylum Ctenophora. But it’s a lot like a jellyfish (if you can’t see that). Most species of comb jelly are spherical in shape, and they have eight comb rows that extend from one end of their body (called the statocyst which is actually their sensory organ) opposite their mouth. These comb rows are where they derive their name. Well, actually, they derive their name from the Greek for “comb” and “bearer,” but I’ll let your biology teacher cover that. Comb jellies and others that share its phylum are usually colorless like the one above, but they have been known to occasionally have pigment, ranging from red or orange, to black or gold. 

The comb jelly, or Mnemiopsis leidyi, is sluggish and has no brain and therefore no cognitive ability. It’s basically a gelatinous blob that eats things. But it is surprisingly an extremely effective predator. Until recently, nobody knew why. The comb jelly is such an effective predator that it has recently become an invasive species in many parts of the world, taking out small animals at the base of the food chain. This throws off entire ecosystems. I mean, this thing eats a lotAccording to the Smithsonian, the comb jelly can eat ten times its body weight per day. And we think we’re fat. This little tiny thing wipes out entire ecosystems just because it eats so much.

Remind you of any other species?

Apparently, the comb jelly’s favorite food is this thing called a copepod. A copepod is a small crustacean that lives in pretty much every water-based habitat, even swamps. They are benthic, meaning that they are bottom-dwellers, and are used as bioindicators for aquatic ecosystems. A copepod is 100 times the size of a comb jelly, and can move up to 800 body lengths in a second as opposed to the comb jelly that basically just floats. Copepods have great sensory abilities, and they’re fast. So how does the slow, brainless comb jelly manage to eat so much without ever being spotted by the things it’s trying to eat?

Well, it turns out that the comb jelly is invisible to its prey. Yep, invisible. According to research by Sean Colin of Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University, the comb jelly is able to sneak up on the copepods because of the fluid dynamics of its feeding behavior. Basically, the jelly feeds by pulling water into its mouth using the cilia on all those combs all over its body, creating a current that draws things in.

So why can’t the copepod just sense that water current and get away? Because the current is such a minute change that the copepod can’t detect it, even with its super sensitive senosory gear (say that five times fast). The current is very wide and very slow, so not many animals can tell that they’re about to be lunch. This renders the comb jelly “hydrodynamically invisible,” in Colin’s words. He’s now wondering if turbulence affects the comb jellies’ feeding habits, so he’s comparing stomach contents of jellies from calm and turbulent waters by dragging a huge net around behind him in the ocean. If there’s a correlation, then we will be able to narrow down which places are monitored for this tiny, translucent predator.

This is all super useful information considering the comb jelly devastated the fishing industry in the Black Sea during the 1980’s. The comb jelly has been more recently discovered in the Bornholm Basin, which is where the Danes get their cod. They’re pretty crazy about cod, so when they heard that the comb jelly could potentially wipe out their precious fish, they flipped out. So it was a great relief when the Danes found out that salinity affects comb jellies’ breeding habits, and the Bornholm Basin has low salinity. However, countries surrounding the Baltic Sea are concerned about what this small animal could do to their own fish populations.