Reflection: 1st Sunday of Advent

What struck me most from this reading were these lines: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy/ from carousing and drunkenness/ and the anxieties of daily life,/ and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.” The reading stated that we should always be on guard and that we shouldn’t be caught sleeping because the kingdom of God will come when we least expect it. It invites us to avoid sin and follow the good as well as to be ready when the son of man returns. The gospel reading on this day made me more aware of the authority of God over my life. I saw this by the fact that only he knows the date and time that the world will end and that he is the one who holds the book of our lives and knows the choices and thoughts we have made.


Think Outside the Box

If you’re not inside the box, it’s hard to see what’s in it. That was why we had to think outside the box, literally! The only thing we relied on was what we felt when shaking the box or our sense of touch. Thus, we concluded that it was a box within a box with Lego blocks inside the 2nd box, but it turned out to be a bunch of black paper clamps (or whatever it is you call those black things you use to clamp paper together).

In a scale of one to ten, I’d give it an 8 to how sure we were. At this point, any additional info would have been useful, but never in the history of the universe would our group ever have been COMPLETELY (100 percent) sure of our guess. For your information, that’s why it’s called a guess.

Relating this mystery box to the atom, we don’t necessarily need to see something in order to believe it especially if it’s too small to see.

In this guessing game, I could feel, but not see what’s in the box, but what if we put things around and devise a situation wherein I can see the object, but not feel it. An example of a situation like this is when faced with illusions. We find optical illusions all over the internet fooling our minds into seeing something else. In one image, we see a woman strolling in the park beside a tree and suddenly also be faced with the face of a man grinning at us. Now we see the importance of thinking outside the Box!


What is a radioisotope?

Isotopes are atoms of the same element, but have a different number of neutrons in the nucleus. What makes it different from a radioisotope? Is it just because it is radioactive?

According to, “In most cases, elements like to have an equal number of protons and neutrons because this makes them the most stable. Stable atoms have a binding energy that is strong enough to hold the protons and neutrons together. However, an additional neutron or two may upset the binding energy and cause the atom to become unstable. In an unstable atom, the nucleus changes by giving off a neutron to get back to a balanced state. As the unstable nucleus changes, it gives off radiation and is said to be radioactive.”

Although reading word’s like “unstable” and “radiation” makes it seem very dangerous, radioisotopes still have quite a number of applications in the modern world that we are not even aware of. One example is irradiating food to make it last longer and be safer to eat. Food is irradiated by exposing it to the gamma rays from a radioisotope– cobalt-60 is the one that is most widely used. Other uses of radioisotopes are in pest control, smoke detectors, archeological dating, and has various medical uses.

Now we discuss the risks of radioisotopes. Radioisotopes can damage normal tissue and  cause mutations in DNA. High doses can also cause illness & death. It is also difficult to Dispose of radioactive waste as some could last for more than 100 years.

Although the chemical properties of isotopes of the same element are the same, the physical properties differ. The most obvious physical property that differ between isotopes is mass. The difference in masses would then also affect the melting and boiling point of that element. For example, the boiling point of deuterium (Hydrogen-2) is about 3°C lower than protium (Hydrogen-1).

Read more: hydrogen: The Isotopes and Forms —