The Science of Life

Allostasis is a commonly known medical term. The definition of allostasis is termed to oppose that of its synonym homeostasis. Allostasis is used to describe the body in it’s attempt to attain a new normal after it is altered by an external stimulus. Homeostasis on the other hand, is used to describe the bodies set, standard normal. If you’re not in a science field and that sounds like a bunch of wonkiness to you, don’t worry, I’m not going to go much more in depth. I might miss school a little bit and I might be a bit of a nerd but I won’t bore you to death. 

Although both of the terms allostasis and homeostasis are used to describe the body in relation to equilibrium, they can be incorporated into life terms more broadly. Maybe allostasis and homeostasis can be seen outside of our bodies ability to regulate our temperature, hunger, thirst and blood pressure. Maybe both of the terms can be interpreted in our mental processing of change. When we experience external change we must re-adapt. We embrace new environments, meet new people, accept new guidelines and in some form or way move on from the previously accepted way of living. Although these measures may be slightly more conscious than our bodies internal thermostat, they both involve a stimulus that introduces changes, a control center that attempts to regulate the change and an output that tries to rebalance the system.

Allostasis can easily be interpreted with it’s relation to coffee. When we begin drinking coffee regularly, our bodies undergo an allostatic change which builds a tolerance to the caffeine in coffee. Before you begin drinking coffee everyday, your body is at homeostasis. In life, this can be seen as how you’re living before a change that alters the path of your everyday world. It can be the set normal you had living at home with your family before heading off to university, the life you established when you were away at university, the loss of someone close to you or the addition of a new family member. There are constant changes in the duration of life, some small, others much bigger.

These changes may be implicated every so often or much more regularly. Just like our body regulating our systems, we may have control over some of these changes but we are also at a loss to control others. We find different interests, potential dislikes, learn new lessons, meet new people and well, find a new place to put your keys so that you don’t have to hunt for them every time you try to leave your house. Whatever the cause, we adapt. These changes, over time become our new normal. Just like when you start drinking coffee everyday, your body has to reset internal reactions which then leads to a higher tolerance. Little by little, this new chapter of your life just becomes your life. This higher tolerance eventually becomes your “new” homeostatic level. It becomes your normal, standard, everyday routine. Similarly as to how our bodies will send us through withdrawal if we go cold turkey on our coffee consumption, life has it’s obstacles to keep us moving forward instead of backwards.

Homeostasis and allostasis act as a compromise between change and balance. We continually adapt and reset ourselves to handle change, either big or small, internal or external. We learn new tactics, different tricks and all the while; we may just have to try that decked out that extra whipped cream, double caramel, no cream frappuccino at Starbucks.

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Because these Ten Pointers Shouldn’t Stay in Vegas

Viva Las Vegas, sin city, the city that never sleeps and it goes on; we’ve all heard the many scandalous and playful sayings associated with Las Vegas. If you haven’t, it’s safe to say you live under a rock. It’s also safe to say that you should consider watching the Hangover. However, I’m almost positive that the vast majority of you are familiar with the famous city of Las Vegas. Situated in Nevada’s Mojave desert, Las Vegas is tailored to attract tourists with casino’s open 24/7, themed hotels, bright lights and never ending party scenes. After spending four days in Vegas myself, it’s easy for me to say that everyone should visit Vegas at least once in their lifetime. Why you may ask? Because Vegas has it all. There’s good restaurants, pools to relax and tan by, clubs to party at, outlet malls, crazy strips to walk through, night shows, unbelievably architectured hotels and of course, gambling. Las Vegas really isn’t like any other place in the world. As we all know, some of the things that happen in Vegas should probably stay in Vegas but I don’t think that everything should; especially not these ten pointers I’m going to give out. If you are thinking of going to Vegas or are in the midsts of planning a trip to Vegas, here’s ten things that you should really consider doing!

  1. Get a promoter

Seriously, get a promoter. It will make your life a lot easier and your wallet a lot heavier. Promoters not only get you into clubs for free, bypass lines and provide tables with bottle service but they also save you the hassle of finding the most popular clubs the nights you are visiting. Sounds like there should be a catch right? Well just as much as we want promoters, they want us to attend their events; it’s a symbiotic relationship. If you don’t have a connection to a promoter, I’m your girl.

-This information may be exclusively for girls. Promoters would often check to make sure that we were a group of girls only, sorry fellas!

  1. Walk the Old Vegas Strip in Fremont

Often tourists will stay on S. Las Vegas Boulevard, the modern strip of Vegas, and consider this downtown Vegas but it’s not. The real downtown Vegas is found about 15 minutes away from the modern strip on Fremont Street. Fremont street is a four block long strip that retains the traces of fame and glamor that depicted the strip in a previous era. The strip is covered by a digital light screen and is lined with vintage hotels, live music, bars, buskers and even includes a riding zip line that overlooks the strip. A family friendly destination during the day, the strip morphs into an erotic block party at sunset. Live performer’s are scheduled each night and buskers test their limits on covering themselves with apparel. Although the strip itself only takes about 20 minutes to walk, it’s hard not to become enthralled with the varying degree of things to do and see on Fremont street.

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The entrance of Fremont.

  1. Go to a night show

The entertainment industry is incredible and renowned in Las Vegas with shows ranging from famous singers concerts to inhumanly acrobatics to magic shows to strip tease performances; once again, Vegas has it all. From the sounds of the shows in Vegas, you really can’t go wrong and with the variety of options to chose from, you will be able to find a show that you and whoever you are going with, are interested in. Tickets for these shows can be purchased online from Ticketmaster, where prices rise the closer you are to the date of the show. If you are staying in the hotel that hosts a show, you may receive a coupon to cover a small cost of the price you paid for your ticket. Certain hotels in Vegas will also promote half priced tickets the day of a show to fill empty seats.

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We went to chippendales… It was pretty fun.

  1. Take a trip on the high roller

On the modern strip at the LINQ, the world’s largest observation wheel can be found standing at a remarkable height of 550 feet tall. The ferris wheel type structure is composed of 28 enclosed, circular cabins that fit up to 30 people in each individual pod. From these circular cabins a hawk-eye view of Las Vegas can be seen during the 30 minute rotation. Prices for the high roller increase by ten dollars during nighttime and 20% discounts can be found if purchased online through expedia.ca.  

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One of the views from the high roller. 

  1. Visit the Bellagio

Found on the modern strip, the Bellagio one of the most extravagant and architecturally wondrous hotels. The luxurious Bellagio is not only a hotel and resort with 24 hour casinos but also contains a gallery of fine art, a spectacular outdoor fountain show at night, some of the most elite shopping venues and a mosaic garden that will leave you speechless. The Bellagio will be like nothing you have ever seen before and more than you can imagine at the same time.

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Part of the mosaic gardens in the Bellagio.

  1. Find the white bengal tiger in the Mirage

Yup, shockingly Vegas also has a white tiger habitat in the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Not only does the hotel have a habitat for white tigers in their secret garden but it also houses white lions, leopards and dolphins. Tickets can be purchasable ahead of time for a day visit. I repeat, day visit. Trust me when I say the gardens close before 11 pm.

  1. Go to an all you can eat buffet

Surprisingly, buffets are a huge deal in Vegas. I wasn’t even aware that eating at a buffet was a classic Vegas experience until my visit. Let me tell you, I was glad I went. Vegas has some of the best buffets in the world, some pricing up to 700 $ for 4 people for all you can eat chinese food! That’s actually the one we went to as well. Just kidding, we didn’t try that one but we did eat at an everything all you can eat buffet and it was unreal. If you’re already in Vegas you might as well get the full experience am I right?

  1.  Check out a pool party

They’re a blast, I swear even being sober at a Las Vegas pool party would be a good time. Every place we went in Vegas had an unbelievable atmosphere but I’d have to vouch for the pool party to snag the number one spot. How can a pool party be anything but fun with the warm desert sun, cold drinks flowing, live DJs playing and everyone dressed to impress in all kinds of crazy swimwear. We attended Encore and heard amazing things about Wet Republic but I’m sure there’s many more. Also if you have a promoter check to see if they are promoting a pool party before getting tickets!

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An inside view of Encore Beach Club.

  1. Walk through the outlets

Often forgotten in the typical Vegas madness, outdoor outlet malls are located a 15 minute drive away from the strip. These outlets are a perfect break from the Vegas lifestyle and allow you to soak up the sun while browsing a wide variety of stores found in their directory.

  1. Gamble

Saving the best for last of course, or at least leaving the most obvious Vegas association for last. It’s impossible to forget gambling when it comes to Vegas. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to walk into a building that doesn’t have something at least related to gambling. In Vegas, there’s never a bad time to gamble. Since it’s the city that never sleeps, it only makes sense for the casinos not to sleep either.

So if you end up using all these pointers or just a few, I can guarantee a once in a lifetime experience and a forever residing urge to visit the famous city of Las Vegas again. Just one warning for anyone that returns from Vegas- you will forever want to carry around open alcohol.