Category Archives: Uncategorized

D Is for DNA

This post is coming a day late. I hope that’s not a problem with the rules of the A to Z Challenge! You see, I have some foreign DNA in my body. The common cold. I was too tired to get the video and post up last night. But here it is now! For the letter D, I’m talking about DNA. How many of these facts did you know?

And here are the facts:

  1. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.
  2. A DNA molecule is made up of two bipolymer strands wrapped around each other to form a double helix.
  3. There are four nucleobases represented by the letters C, G, A, and T. They are cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine.
  4. Nucleobases pair up, A with T and C with G to connect the two DNA strands to form the double helix.
  5. Only 2% of human DNA codes protein sequences. The remaining 98% have other various functions, which would require another full video to talk about.
  6. The species with the largest number of chromosomes is the ciliated protozoa with 29,640,000.
  7. The species with the fewest number of chromosomes is the jack jumper ant with only 2. But that’s for the females. Males are haploid and have only 1, the smallest number possible.
  8. Humans have 46 chromosomes, but other great apes, including chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, have 48.
  9. More than 8% of the human genome is made up of retrovirus sequences.
  10. There is a 4% difference in the genomes of humans and our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos.

Let me know in the comments section below what you knew.

Week in Review – November 13, 2016

The past week can only be characterised by the US Presidential election. It overshadows the vlogs I did that week, though I haven’t even posted them yet. Soon! So, let’s find out what happened.


I’m at 57% in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin. Great progress! I may actually finish this week! If so, that’ll be wonderful.


NaNoWriMo is officially a failure. Although I still have 17 days, I won’t be able to catch up. I have written nothing in the past week. I will still work on it, though.


I had a very busy week at work last week, so I had less time to work on both publishing and shooting videos. However, I did publish 7 videos on my main channel and 5 on my vlog channel. I’m still behind on my vlog channel, though I am catching up a bit. The biggest thing about my vlog channel is that I may start doing science videos once a week!


Nothing. Major revamp coming!


I need to get back to work on this.

The Blog

Despite the fact that I’ve been making fewer posts, the average number of views per day has increased. I find that very interesting.



The Next Week’s Goals

I’m planning on doing some reviews. Yes, I’m saying that again. I also have to write my Star Trek episode 8 review and watch more episodes. I’m going to develop my science video idea further. And I need to learn a new video editor. I want to be able to add graphics to my videos.

How about you?

Why I Review Self-Published Books

As someone who is writing a book and intends to self-publish, I want to support other authors who self-publish. That is why I review them.

You see, while I’m reading traditionally published books in physical form, I also read self-published books on Kindle. I usually have two books going at the same time, and I when I have a little time, I read the eBook.

But aren’t self-published books garbage? Absolutely not! There are some that are very good. Here are three that have received publishing deals after originally being published online or as self-published eBooks:

  • Riyria Revelations, by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Wool, by Hugh Howie
  • The Martian, by Andy Weir

Although I don’t have Wool, I have the other two, and will read them soon. I have also read some that don’t have a publishing contract and are very good. Sure, just like traditionally published books, you find some that aren’t very good.

Below, you can watch the review of the first self-published novel I ever read, Voidhawk, by Jason Halstead.

The original review is here, which I did nearly four years ago.

Do you read self-published books? Let me know in the comments below.

Week in Review – May 22, 2016

It’s been an interesting week with some progress in some places and no advancement in others. But there have been a couple really big things that happened. Interested? Find out what you missed.


Still at 41% in Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds. Must read! But I have an excuse. I’ve been a bit busy.


This is a big one, actually. I’m getting back to writing this week! You can read all about it in this post. There’s a lot going on right now and the writing part is happening. Oh, and I got a quick freelance job doing some writing. Actually, two freelance jobs.


This is the new section here. I’ve started up Patreon, which you can read about here. But I also started a Support page, which you can see in the menu above on the far right. Definitely need the help. You can see my Patreon page here. Of course, since it’s just been started, I’m only at $0.


Again, I haven’t been doing any language studying, but I should get back into it once I’ve got my office set up this week.


A couple big things. I’ve already mentioned the freelance work. The other is that my wife is starting English lessons this week.


I did a couple videos in the past week. But one is about Patreon, the other is about a goose I got close to. Exciting!

The Blog

Apart from the Support page, I haven’t done anything exceptional. Oh, except for sharing social media links and encouraging others to do the same. Let’s connect!


Nope. Nothing.

The Next Week’s Goals

Writing! I’m going to work on that as much as I can. I need to get that office ready first. I also plan on using my new membership at the local recreation centre. The pool isn’t open yet, but it will be next week. And of course, I hope for my first patron on Patreon. Will it be you?

How was your week?

Don’t Believe the Mt. Etna CO2 Meme

Have you seen this floating around on Facebook or Twitter?


Don’t believe it. Don’t believe one word of it. Check this out. It’s a link to the Snopes article explaining why it’s not true. Simply, Mt. Etna releases the same amount of carbon dioxide in an eruption as a small European country does in one day. It’s rather insignificant when compared to the world.

I’ve seen this going around on Facebook with people believing every word of it. They’d take the word of a meme that cites no legitimate sources over the consensus of more than 99% of climate scientists. They say it’s a hoax or conspiracy. “They” are climate change deniers, people who have no formal training in climate science or atmospheric science. They are people who have no idea what science is.

I will fight against ignorance. When you understand the science, then I’ll take you seriously. If you look at all evidence and come to an unbiased conclusion, then I’ll listen. Unfortunately, all the people I’ve seen arguing that climate change isn’t happening are doing so from a political point of view, or they feel that local economics are more important than the future of our planet and the lives of our children and grandchildren. Such arrogance. Such self-centred righteousness.

99 Cent or Free eBooks? I Won’t

When someone goes to work, they expect to be paid a fair amount for their work. When an artist creates a work of art, they expect to be paid for the work they have done. So why would an author work for months on a book only to sell it for 99 cents or just give it away for free? I won’t do that.

Sure, I’ll do the occasional promotion where I’ll drop the price to 99 cents, but never free. I want to be paid for the work I did. I’ll never keep a book at 99 cents, either. That is unless it’s one of my first books in a series and I’m comfortable with reducing it to that price. But I can’t guarantee it.

So why won’t I do this? It turns out, from what I’ve heard, that offering free books may get more downloads, but they’re unlikely to be read much. When people buy books, they will read them. A freebie is just that. Something they’ll put on their Kindle and forget about it. Low priority.

With that said, I do download free books, but I want to give back to that author in the form of a review. If I really liked the book, I may buy a print copy. I like physical books, because I’m a bit of a collector.

So, permanently low price or free book? No. I want to be paid for my work. Low price promotional copies? Yes. It’ll boost my visibility and hopefully drive regular price sales. I will have to experiment, though.

How do you feel about free or 99 cent books? Let me know in the comments.

The Imperial Palace Makes Me Want to Do What?

Today’s visit to the Imperial Palace was a very good one. Just take a look at this.


That is just a small part of the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor and Empress of Japan live. We can’t go in there, but we can go into the Eastern Gardens. That was beautiful. While walking around through the multiple gates, the landscape, and the many native Japanese plants, we noticed how everything was carefully constructed and planned.

Well, looking at how things were built, I had a strong desire to do two things. First is worldbuilding. Second is play SimCity 4. SimCity 4? Yes! It’s one of my favourite games, and I loved watching my cities grow. Unfortunately, the CD is covered in dry food after my daughter decided to play with it after eating. Not sure how I can get it off now.

Anyone else get a desire to do anything like that? Let me know in the comments below.

August 2015 Update

I’ve made an update on my writing over at my official author site. Check it out!

Jay Dee Archer

It’s been a while since my last update, but it’s been a busy few months. Long story short, we’ve been dealing with immigration for my wife’s visa in Canada, and have decided when we’re moving to Canada. But on to the update.

I have now completed Journey to Ariadne parts 4 to 6. Critiquing is coming up next, and after that, I will edit and post the parts. Part 7 will commence soon. However, due to the fact that we’ll be busy preparing for our move to Canada over the next seven to eight months, writing will be slow. After the move, I should have more privacy and time to do my writing.

Outside of writing, I have more worldbuilding to work on, as well as character profiles to post. I have several written in a notebook, but I haven’t transferred them over to the website. I also have countries…

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The Microbiologist

Now at the halfway point of the A to Z Challenge, we come to our thirteenth letter, M.  And with this one, we have ourselves a new mystery.  Enjoy!

The Microbiologist


New Athens

Thirteenth day, ninth month, first year after colonisation, Ariadne Era (9/13/01 AE)

The cells looked similar to cells from Earth. They were single-celled organisms containing nuclei with DNA, various organelles, and a cell membrane formed from lipids. The parallel evolution was extraordinary. Kenji Hamaguchi had no shortage of organisms to study and classify. But the more he looked, the more he discovered things were very unusual. That one thing he saw in and out of the cells bothered him.

“Doctor Knight, you’ll never believe this,” said Kenji.

“Show me,” said Patricia. “I’m difficult to surprise.”

Kenji motioned Patricia to sit at the counter and look in the microscope. She carefully sat down, leaving enough room for her round belly. He watched her expression as she peered through the broad eyepiece. He eyes widened. Kenji smiled. “Surprised?”

“What is this?” she asked. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Kenji touched the large screen above the microscope, froze the frame, and zoomed in. “Look at this. No evidence of a cell membrane like we or Ariadne life have, no cilia for locomotion, and the outer surface is smooth and angular. It’s either crystalline or unnatural.”

“It doesn’t look like it could be a virus, does it?”

“If it is, it’s nothing like I’ve seen,” said Kenji. “But what’s even more unusual is that it’s highly mobile. It moves around quickly, and it’s always going in and out of cells. It even goes into the nucleus. What I don’t understand is how it’s doing it, and what it’s doing. I see no evidence of any changes. I’ve tried analysing the DNA before and after one of these things goes through the nucleus, but there’s no change.”

“Where are these organisms coming from?” asked Patricia.

“They’re everywhere. In the air, water, soil, trees, animals, you, me.”

“It’s in us?”

Kenji nodded. “And this is what I wanted you to come and see. I extracted DNA from one of these viruses, but I can’t make head nor tail of it.”

Patricia looked at the display, her eyes passing over the DNA sequences. “It doesn’t resemble anything I’ve seen. It doesn’t even have the same nucleobases that we have.”

“Interesting, isn’t it? But look at this one. I made sure to sample a few of them.”

She looked and whistled. “Adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine. Same as us.”

“I bet you didn’t expect that,” said Kenji, smiling.

“How is this even possible?”

“You’re the geneticist, doctor.”