July 7 2017

I’m A Phlebotomist

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I request patients to roll up their sleeves

But first, what is your first and last name?

How about your date of birth?

Who is your doctor?

Let me check your wristband too

That is, if you have one

Otherwise I will need to find the nurse first

For patient identification is vital

Within the healthcare environment

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I use a tourniquet to help anchor your veins

I use a finger to palpate for them

Have you drank plenty of water?

Have you fasted for twelve hours?

I understand your hunger pains

Unfortunately, breakfast can wait for now

I know you want coffee and creamer

Please provide me a few minutes

I will be done here shortly

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I’m almost ready to draw your blood

My needle equipment has been assembled

The tubes and sterile gauze are all within reach

Please keep your arm straight and don’t move

Here we go

Depending on your veins

They are either shallow or deep

Highly visible or invisible altogether

Regardless, I’ve struck a lively oil

And my tubes are filling fast

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

Are you feeling alright?

I mean, I am removing blood from your system

If you’re not, please take a deep breath

I’ll have someone grab a juice

And before you realize it

The blood draw is over in seconds

I’ll place an initialed label on each tube

Then confirm the information is correct

With your acknowledgement of course

< >

Hello, I’m a phlebotomist

I’m sorry, but I need a urine sample too

Don’t worry, I won’t stand in the bathroom with you

Unless you request my assistance

But if you’re here for a drug screening

I will request the door remain slightly ajar

I have many more duties

Like collecting throat swabs

Listening to a patient’s stories

Because I am a phlebotomist

And no matter the situation I’m thrown into

No matter the tasks involved today

And the days that follow this one

Patient confidentiality and comfort

They always come first

Category: Poetry | LEAVE A COMMENT
June 10 2017

I Had To Say Something ( [A] Christina Epiphany )

Alongside everyone else who still has a soft side, I’m also deeply saddened by Christina Grimmie’s death, even though that was a year ago now. This is a poem I wrote, which will be included in my book Millennial On The March, in the minutes following the moment I heard the news. I never knew Christina personally or attended any of her shows, but I still feel a strong connection to her music. Once more, if only she were still here to compose new songs. Why do those who make this world a little more unique always seem to be taken away from us too soon?

A Christina Epiphany

I’ve been a fan for less than one year

The comfort of her pop music in my ears

Now I’m told the selfless young woman is deceased

Such tragedy like none before for me

I usually feel disconnected when events like this occur

Someone I never knew personally or indirectly

Someone who never influenced positivity in my life

Her lyrics empowered everyone to promote change

To make this world dominated by evil a far better place

This incident has struck home for me

I cannot believe there’s a reason for everything

Why did this young woman whose music I loved must be killed?

What physical or thought crimes did she commit?

Maybe there is a reason for why such creative beauty was prematurely ended

Even if somebody within the billions that resoundingly disagree believes it was a righteous one

Musicians like Christina always breathed love and devotion

Always outpouring to those in need of a helping hand

I noticed her recent campaign to help animals needing homes

This proves how passionate she was as an individual

Her unfortunately short legacy should never be forgotten

I must transition my attention to the currently anonymous murderer

What crime was committed by Christina?

I have found no empirical evidence to prove such accusations

What went wrong inside your mind whoever you are?

I realize life can be more difficult than veteran level in video games

What made you snap inside to seek attention through 15 minutes of fame?

The questions about this immoral character have abounded inside my head

Had a former best friend betrayed you?

Did your boyfriend/girlfriend dump you without a precise explanation?

Did you fail an important course in high school or college?

Did you lose the source of income that kept you off the streets?

Unfortunately, the world will never know

More importantly, why hadn’t we noticed this individual was gasping to be heard?

To release the tensions of a tormented mind that felt abandoned

There’s a gift card on my desk still unclaimed 

I entered the code and bought Christina’s album

‘With Love’ with a double meaning 

One to financially support her heartbroken family

Two because that’s the title of this musical masterpiece

How bittersweet that’s what it took to decide

Whose album to purchase with the gift card on my desk

I might be a nobody compared to Christina

The contestant on a nationally televised show

An artist that’s toured the world

While I’m struggling to promote myself online

Though I’ve written one published novel

With five more books on the way

As part of my poetry series under development

This one’s for you Christina

All because someone like you through your lyrics 

Inspired someone like myself to keep moving forward

No matter how difficult this life as a writer becomes

At least I have individuals like yourself to inspire everyone

I wish this wasn’t a goodbye poem 

Sincerely, Joel Hovell 

A Christina Grimmie Fan

May 18 2017

Beyond Our Cosmos

Humanity failed to explore

Beyond the Earth’s moon

All while probes, satellites, and rovers

Have been sent beyond our closest neighbor

Many of which have reached

The edge of the Solar System itself

What about Homo sapiens?

Don’t we deserve better than this?

Manned space exploration

The holy grail of the 21st century

After nearly five decades

Where humans never left low-Earth orbit

Forget about the innumerable risks

Where space could kill us immediately

Should we escape the protection

Of our spacesuits and spacecraft alike

< >

All the hype derived from films and books

Especially those from the last ten years

The drive to explore space is understandable

We wish to journey for the Red Planet

And this journey is very possible soon

What about other celestial bodies?

How about colonizing Venus?

Once we eliminate the sulfurous clouds

Is the Moon a suitable home too?

How about Phobos and Deimos?

The two moons of the planet Mars

Doesn’t matter which are viable sites

For future populations of homo sapiens

Humanity is going

Whether the haters outnumber us

Or not

< >

In the year 1492

Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean

From east to west

Was considered risky if not fatal

However

People would greet Columbus

And they could help him return to Spain

Unfortunately for space pioneers

Besides those stationed in low-Earth orbit

Those who venture farther out

Will have nobody to rescue them

Should a major problem occur

They will need to rely on each other

< >

Due to my vivid imagination

I can perceive how humanity can live elsewhere

Somewhere beyond the edges of the Solar System

Here’s a good question

What’s really beyond the asteroid belt?

You know

This humongous ring of big rocks

Found between Mars and Jupiter

If only we knew the answer to this question:

What’s beyond the dwarf planet Pluto?

I’ve watched the space pioneers

During their quest to search the heavens

Where they found hundreds of planets

All situated in distant galaxies

The time between these discoveries

And when humans venture towards them

Could be measured in centuries

We might be an ambitious, intelligent species

If exploring space beyond our system is desired

The first step we make

No matter the impact it makes

Must be made soon

< >

Why not now today?

Humanity possess the technology

Companies are preparing to mine asteroids

To provide resources for use on Earth

To construct infrastructure in outer space

For use in colonizing the cosmos

We’ve taken risks before

Look at our history on this planet

We colonized the Earth over thousands of years

Acclimating ourselves to various climates

Forging the crudest of weapons and tools

To find ourselves possessing great potential

Our species is almost entirely interconnected

Our technology more advanced

Than those days on the plains of Africa

Several million years ago

In other words

Humanity has come a long way

And despite the journey thus far

We’re far from anything associated with finish lines

< >

In respect to human exploration

This is the beginning of our journey

New systems to colonize

New galaxies inhabit

On these untamed planets

With their foreign habitats and exotic suns

Many people are not afraid

Or understanding firsthand

By putting boots on the ground

In the name of science

And carbon based life forms itself

I’m aware of the ongoing bloodshed

The widespread poverty and chronic illness

Which afflicts this species of ours

There’s no better time in human history

Than the current era we’re in

We have some of the boldest thinkers

Who continue to question everyone

And everything at our disposal now

< >

Why didn’t we head out sooner?

The technology meant for space exploration

Has been around for several decades

We have already set foot on the Moon

Long before I took my first steps during infancy

Space technology has improved exponentially

Since those days during the space race

Another competition like long ago

Through free market competition

A similar attitude can be achieved

Forget the antics of the pessimistic

Humanity will be reaching out again

With the help of ambitious souls

To colonize Mars and the Moon

To venture towards the edge of the Solar System

Without question

Category: Poetry | LEAVE A COMMENT
April 29 2017

A Stream of Fire

A rocket engine array of nine

Belches demons of fiery orange

One engine commanding the center

Eight more along the circumference

The astronauts aboard the command module

They activate the third and final stage

In order to escape low-Earth orbit

To head for the big gray ball nearby

Without bureaucratic tape involved

For the first time in human history

Over the course of two days

These courageous astronauts

They prepare for the main event

To create footprints on the lunar surface

The first time in almost half a century

The live streams are available worldwide

Millions stand and cheer

For humanity has returned to stay

Within the Sea of Tranquility

The lunar lander touches the grayish surface

Less than two hundred yards from the Eagle

The lead astronaut descends the ladder

When they hop off the bottom rung

To form a small dust cloud upon impact

Millions of people burst into an outcry

Another leap for mankind

Has been achieved

Within five years of this remarkable day

The first lunar colony is established

Hundreds vow to emigrate from Earth

While thousands more prepare

For another exciting cosmic adventure

The journey to colonize Mars

With the rebirth of large spacecraft

These massive beasts of carbon fiber

Besides the other cutting edge materials

Will form a bridge between celestial neighbors

Forget about only thinking about Earth

Humanity is meant to go multi-planetary

Our destiny is to colonize the stars

Because we are explorers by intuition

Category: Poetry | LEAVE A COMMENT
April 21 2017

GMOs For Vertical Farming

Abstract

In 2011, the human population crossed over the seven billion mark. Demography experts claim that not only will there be an increased ratio between the number of the old and young, but the addition of two or three billion people by the year 2050. In order to produce enough food to sustain these many people, radical and revolutionary ideas must be attempted. Along with the idea of revitalizing the oceans through seasteading, which will allow humanity to solve agricultural problems, we must discover ways to revitalize agriculture on land. This will require ramping up yields on ever less space by developing more vertical farms, and the crops that will be grown in them. Although this would be expensive in the short-term, the growing season would be year-round and allow for higher yields and profits. Unfortunately, most crops that are grown on millions of acres worldwide such as corn, wheat, and soybeans are incompatible with vertical farming in their current form. The idea behind this document is to promote the increased use of genetic engineering techniques meant to manipulate common crops in order to make them compatible with vertical farms.

Introduction

None of these crops I want to mention here have been genetically modified for the purpose of growing inside of a vertical farm. I don’t claim any possession of patents over such technologies, and I never plan to as I’m an advocate for open sourcing all developments I create. For the purposes of this document, I will limit the number of crops to describe those I have written about before though I never published any of it. This includes the following genetically modified crops: Cluster Corn, Wheaty, Bananavine, Applery, Peachy, Pearce, Vorange, and Valmond. To the best of my knowledge, I will attempt to individually describe each crop for everyone to understand what I’m proposing to be done to advance agriculture on land through the use of vertical farms. Many important details are missing, if not nonexistent, and this is because this document is purely theoretical. This document is not meant to act as a final product of published ideas that are fully realized or incepted.

Cluster Corn

When someone observes a cornfield in the American Midwest, they notice how the stalks morph into a sea of green. This greenery stands at approximately eight to nine feet tall, requires hundreds of gallons of water to reach maturity, and has managed to deplete the soil of essential nutrients such as Nitrogen and Phosphorus. In order to bring a heavy, nutrient hungry plant into the vertical farm, serious genetic modification will be required first. One, decrease the amount of water necessary to produce a maximum yield of corn per plant. Two, change the corn plant to grow as a vine rather than a stalk if preferred. Three, minimize the height of the corn plant to three feet if to be kept as a stalk plant. This should be done to focus the Cluster Corn plant upon producing grain rather than silage. Four, produce three or more corn cobs per plant. I realize this will require a massive undertaking in both money to finance research in order to engineer such a plant, but it can be done. However, if Cluster Corn can be successfully grown in the vertical farm, the potential yield could possibly be triple what the average corn plant produces today. Furthermore, as the growing season inside of a vertical farm is year round, the annual yield in comparison to field grown corn could reach a factor of ten. I don’t know about you, but Cluster Corn could potentially eliminate the need to use millions of acres across the Midwest if not America itself. This would allow for increased use of this traditional farmland for other purposes.

Wheaty

In comparison to Cluster Corn, Wheaty will require little to no genetic modification to become compatible with being grown inside of a vertical farm. Other than to eliminate the protein that causes non-gluten sensitivity issues, and to shorten the plant to one-half scale, Wheaty would be considered almost ready for the vertical farm. Wheaty would be grown similar to wheat today, in lengthy rows and harvested when the plants turn golden in color. One question remains: is there any way to increase yields in a single season without significantly altering the Wheaty plant? Whenever one places a large weight atop a thin tower, gravity tends to strain the tower to where the pressure would become a burden. Maybe it’s possible to cross the stalk of the corn plant, and then transform the cob portion of the plant into Wheaty seeds. In other words, grow Wheaty as in growing wheat as though the plants are Cluster Corn. No matter how the Wheaty plant will finally look, the increased yields and the year-round growing season could produce a maximum of six times more per year in comparison to current annual yields.

Bananavine

The banana plant would undergo radical genetic modification to be considered compatible with the vertical farm. One, the fruit would need to grow individually instead of in a cluster. This would allow each piece of Bananavine fruit to ripen without being harvested due to the other fruit having ripened faster if the fruit remained as a cluster. Two, the Bananavine plant would need to become similar in composition to the Cluster Corn plant as trees grown in the vertical farm would place considerable strain upon the building. Although Bananavine plants would change the way we view how this fruit appears, no longer would bananas need to be imported from countries in the tropics. Bananavine may not necessarily increase yields at first, but the concept would promote locally grown food, which saves time and money for consumers and businesses alike. However, Bananavine would grow year round and only have one harvest annually unless genetically modified to produce two harvests per year.

Applery, Peachy, and Pearce

The apple, peach, and pear trees of today would receive genetic modification for the purpose of bringing these three fruits into the vertical farm. The best way to grow Applery, Peachy, and Pearce plants in the vertical farm would be to transform them into plants that are bushes instead of trees. Genetic modification would include shortening the process to achieve fruit to three or four months, meaning there would be two harvests annually despite four to six months of rest for the plants. This would allow for the doubling of the current annual yield, and reduce transportation costs.

Vorange

The Vorange plant will grow as a bush instead of a tree like Applery, Peachy, and Pearce plants. However, due to the fact oranges of today require about 300 days to grow before harvest is possible, only one crop per year will technically occur. Other than for harvest time to occur throughout the year, Voranges could only be harvested once a year. Except to genetically modify the Vorange plant to produce fruit in say, half the time, or about 150 days, there is no way to increase annual yields. In addition, the Vorange plant could receive genetic modification for the purpose of increased tolerance towards colder environments. This would allow for reduced heating costs where the Vorange plant is grown in vertical farms constructed in colder climates.

Valmond

A similar approach used with the potential development of the Applery, Vorange, Peachy, and Pearce plants with Valmond plants and grow as a bush instead of a tree is desired for compatibility with the vertical farm. The Valmond plant could be optimized to have two harvests annually, and be genetically modified to grow inside of a vertical farm by limiting the height and weight of the plants. As of this writing, almonds are harvested once a year, requiring seven to eight months before harvest can occur. If the Valmond plant can double the current annual yield by extending the growing season all while reducing the amount of water used, the better the environment will be overall. Also, as almonds of today typically grow in climates associated with the Mediterranean, attempts should be made to increase tolerance towards colder climates for Valmond plants.

Upkeep of Vertical Farm

To maintain a large-scale production of agricultural goods grown in vertical farms, a significant amount of infrastructure must be available. Although humans will be involved in the upkeep process of the vertical farms, most of the work will be completed through automation. Automation, in this case, is a mixture of task-specific drones and fixed-position robots. Drones will complete tasks associated with planting, harvesting, and maintenance of the crops through cultivation and the removal of dead and diseased plants. The fixed position robots will complete tasks associated with processing the yields from the various crops within the vertical farm they are installed at.

Notice

This document is purely theoretical and should never be considered evidence for a call to rapidly develop these genetically modified crops on my part. If interested parties wish to use these open-source ideas and claim them for the purpose of further development starting with a detailed inception, no legal issues will exist between the author of this document and those interested parties. In fact, the author wouldn’t mind if anyone claimed ownership of these ideas unless the interested parties attempted to patent them. However, please notify the author before further development of the ideas described in this document as they would like to hear about your interest and progress.

Contact Information

Author Email: joelh@joelhovell.info

Personal Email: drkwlfwrtr@protonmail.ch