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A graduate student has created the first man-made biological leaf. It absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant. He did this by suspending chloroplasts in a mixture made out of silk protein. He believed it can be used for many things but the most striking one is the thought that it could be used for long distance space travel. Plants do not grow in space, but this synthetic material can be used to produce oxygen in a hostile environment. (Video)

speechless.

Holy fudge

Genius.

Let’s talk about Burning Man

Where do I even begin?! Burning Man was wild, intense, freeing, spiritually engulfing, emotionally stimulating, romantic, full of laughter, and above all…life changing. One full week of beautiful freedom from everything life tangles you in.

But how do I even begin to explain the awesomeness that is Burning Man? Well, I’ll start with the basics. I went to Burning Man with the love of my life and best-friend B (aka, my boyfriend, but for his privacy I’ll refer to him as B). He had been once before but this was my first time so it was very exciting. We drove in on a Monday, hoping to beat much of the traffic, with the truck loaded full of food, camping gear, and a ridiculous amount of costumes.

Unfortunately we were met by a huge lightning and thunder storm. Initially they tried to turn everyone away and claimed that burning man was closed for the day and we couldn’t return till Tuesday. But we refused as we had just driven six hours to be there, so we parked our cars and boycotted their “closing of the gate”. I guess the joke was on us, because although they let us stay and wait, we ended up on the side of the road for about 12 hours. We made the most of it though, and pulled out our beers and pop up shade’s, and partied at what we referred to as “black top city”. Thankfully we had caravaned in with B’s friends, so we had a good group to sit and hang out with.

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Around 8 PM they finally let us in, which began the slow crawl to getting checked in. After getting our tickets from will call and waiting in line to have our cars checked and greeted at the gate, we didn’t actually get inside burning man until about midnight (so it took pretty much 19 hours to get into Burning Man). We were tired, cranky, hungry, and exhausted from the long day but all that disappeared the moment we got to the greeters as they yanked us from our car to give us a big warm hug with a huge smile on their face as they said “Welcome Home”. And to my surprise one of the greeters was actually an old friend from San Diego! 60,000 people at Burning Man and some how I find the only person I know at the very front gate. So cool

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The next day B and I set up our camp with that tent, couple of pop up shades and a ton of blue tarps. I called our camp “Camp - If I were green I would die” Haha. Seriously the whole camp was blue.

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The people there were so naturally filled with happiness, everyone had a smile on their face. Any time you met someone new they welcomed you with that warm embrace and a big hug. Everyone was just so happy to be there. There was no use of money at Burning Man, everything was either traded for or “gifted”. And rule number one for Burning Man is “leave no trace”. Whatever you brought in had to be taken back out, so I’m not kidding when I say there was not one single speck of trash on the ground. I’ve never seen a place so clean in my life.

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But aside from all that, the best thing at Burning Man was all the amazing costumes! It was as if the rule was “don’t ever wear anything that makes sense”. And people went all out. It was so freeing not having to worry about wearing make up or giving a shit about what my hair looked like. I could just throw one whatever I felt like wearing, even if it was the most ridiculous thing you could think of. And the crazier the better

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The only thing that B and I had to worry about while we were there was making sure we ate food, drink lots of water and otherwise did whatever the hell we wanted to do. We would wake up in the morning, make breakfast and drink our coffee then hop on our bikes and ride around to whatever adventure we could find. We met hundreds of new people, as everyone was always inviting us to stop by their tent to try whatever drink they were making or to give us some amazing gift they had handmade. You could just feel the positive energy everywhere you were at.

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Oh, did I mention B and I got married? Oh yes. Had a little Burning Man celebration and everything. It was such a fun time. Completely ridiculous, and not technically real. But B still tells every one we eloped, and freaks out all our friends and family. image

I think there is so much more I could explain, but the rest i leave between B and I. We really connected on a much deeper level during this trip. Everything else is left in the playa, and for you (the reader) to experience next year….if you’re brave enough to attend :)

Remember. You will be okay

1. You are stronger than you realise.
2. You are crueller than you realise.
3. The smallest words will break your heart.
4. You will change. You’re not the same person you were three years ago. You’re not even the same person you were three minutes ago and that’s okay. Especially if you don’t like the person you were three minutes ago.
5. People come and go. Some are cigarette breaks, others are forest fires.
6. You won’t like your name until you hear someone say it in their sleep.
7. You’ll forget your email password but ten years from now you’ll still remember the number of steps up to his apt.
8. You don’t have to open the curtains if you don’t want to.
9. Never stop yourself texting someone. If you love them at 4 a.m., tell them. If you still love them at 9.30 a.m., tell them again.
10. Make sure you have a safe place. Whether it’s the kitchen floor or the Travel section of a bookshop, just make sure you have a safe place.
11. You will be scared of all kinds of things, of spiders and clowns and eating alone, but your biggest fear will be that people will see you the way you see yourself.
12. Sometimes, looking at someone will be like looking into the sun. Sometimes someone will look at you like you are the sun. Wait for it.
13. You will learn how to sleep alone, how to avoid the cold corners but still fill a bed.
14. Always be friends with the broken people. They know how to survive.
15. You can love someone and hate them, all at once. You can miss them so much you ache but still ignore your phone when they call.
16. You are good at something, whether it’s making someone laugh or remembering their birthday. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that these things don’t matter.
17. You will always be hungry for love. Always. Even when someone is asleep next to you you’ll envy the pillow touching their cheek and the sheet hiding their skin.
18. Loneliness is nothing to do with how many people are around you but how many of them understand you.
19. People say I love you all the time. Even when they say, ‘Why didn’t you call me back?’ or ‘He’s an asshole.’ Make sure you’re listening.
20. You will be okay.
21. You will be okay.

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