Hope this can inspire someone. By the way young scientists are HUGE redditors. Working in a lab is how I got into reddit.

If you're reading this Hi Chris and David!

If you want the quick summary of how I transitioned: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1dn5q6/was_homeless_at_19_years_old_am_23_now_and_will/c9s80rp

and thanks for the reddit gold.

Comments: 412 • Responses: 72  • Date: 

roastedbagel309 karma

OP has verified with the mods both focal points stated in the title.

On a personal note just wanted to say congrats on your success and the obstacles you overcame. You are a very strong person.

HannibalofBarca132 karma

thank you very much!!!

VivaLaVodkaa3 karma


HannibalofBarca3 karma


BossHoggHotDogg157 karma

How did you end up homeless? Also, how did you overcome it?

HannibalofBarca632 karma

I had never met my father before. And my mother died right before I turned 19. Since I was an adult the government offered me no support. So I took the rest of the money from her bank account and bought a car with it where I lived for about 9 months.

I overcame it slowly step by step. Being a cancer researcher wasn't my goal. I first started working at a fast food restaurant. I would bathe in the sink of a coffee shop every morning before work. But I got fired for being unsanitary. [I had caught bronchitis from eating at homeless shelters.]

Someone at a local boys & girls club heard my story and knew that I was talented in music and gave me a stable job as a music teacher. I worked there for 2 and a half years. I went back to school to study music but then changed to Biochemistry. I had excellent grades and then applied for internships in 2012.

I was rejected 8 times before I got offered a nearly $8,000 package to do research at the #7 School of Pharmacy in the world. University of Michigan.

Then this summer I signed up for an internship at Lawrence Berkeley Labs and was accepted.

packetOFfries68 karma

you could make a whole movie out of your life

HannibalofBarca175 karma

Lol directed by Michael Bay

HannibalofBarca4 karma


goonersquad1923 karma

U of M huh? Go Green

HannibalofBarca49 karma

Green but yeah Haha. Michigan State is green. U of M is Blue.

HannibalofBarca26 karma


bluskale21 karma

What precipitated your decision to switch from music to biochem? usually there isn't a lot of crossover between those fields and interests (although, oddly, I once spent a summer NSF REU with an undergrad who had made the same switch over).

LBNL in an interesting place, with tons of really smart people— congrats on getting the internship! If you're honestly interested in biochem, I encourage you to check out Carolyn Bertozzi while you're there. Don't be surprised if there is a week or two of downtime due to required safety training, getting your ID, security clearance, etc. They have very high expectations for safety standards, relative to any other lab I've worked in.

HannibalofBarca52 karma

If you do classical music or jazz improvisation its a lot different than any other music. It requires tons of hard work and discipline. Tons of practice. Studying music changed my attitude on school. It wasn't until I became a musician that I actually studied outside of school.

HannibalofBarca15 karma

Bluskale do you have facebook there's some things to say to you.

sudstah10 karma

I'm 29 with a degree still in limbo about what I realistically want to do, so your story inspires me to not just be happy in the job I am in at the moment but to continue pushing for something I am passionate about doing. You've overcome uncertainty and made decisions at extremely stressful times of your life, tough decisions were most would just say fuck the world to ourselves.

1) Over coming your loss and buying car to live in! 2) Getting a tie over fast food job and over coming getting fired. 3) Working in music 4) Deciding to go back to school and do something totally different 5) Doing well and not being demoralized like I have been in the past from constantly CV's and hearing nothing back etc resulting in you getting an internship!

I wrote them again for you just to make you realize you have done fantastic given the misgivings and you should pat yourself on the back for it.

HannibalofBarca5 karma

that is so awesome, thanks!

Prodigal_Ink-1 karma

8000$ a year??? wdf how can u survive off that

HannibalofBarca6 karma

for a summer.

NoNotHimAgain105 karma

Even though cancer research is interesting, I think advice on how to survive while being homeless would benefit people also. And yes, homeless people internet too.

HannibalofBarca229 karma

  1. Reside downtown. Thats where most of the resources tend to be.
  2. Get in contact with social workers. Go to their stupid meetings.
  3. See this as a period in your life rather than who youwill be for the rest of your life.
  4. Find a place to hide your stuff.
  5. You might have to jump through people's hoops to get what you want, but don't ever do anything that will cause you to lose respect for yourself.
  6. As long as you'll respect yourself, you'll find a way out.
  7. Dumpster Dive Bakeries! Grocery stores too but bakeries and donut shops often through out a lot of food.
  8. If you're dumpster diving try keep an eye out for hygiene products.
  9. Try to buy a bag to clothes in.
  10. Just because you're homeless doesn't mean you're hopeless and if you can survive this you can get through anything.
  11. Bathe in local beaches, public restrooms.
  12. A little coffee helps fight appetite.
  13. Tell everyone your story, this is most likely what will get you out of your situation.
  14. If you are not homeless yet but think you may become homeless the most important things you can bring or get are, bags, locks, hygiene & grooming products, any nice clothes for job interviews, AND A BLANKET . The bag can also make a good pillow.
  15. If people offer to let you stay at your house try to not stay there for more than two nights. Try to find people's houses to rotate at.

Kiniswin88 karma

"Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." - Benjamin Franklin

HannibalofBarca2 karma


Bailie29 karma

"13. Tell everyone your story, this is most likely what will get you out of your situation." As a former homeless person I have a problem with this one. I really hate the pity card because it back fires either on you or other homeless people. 1) people lie 2) maybe you are not lying but some other person did lie and people tend not to trust you. When I was homeless I made sure to keep it as secret as possible. Ultimately it depends on the reason you became homeless, drugs and bad choices vs bad life events. But, people don't know by just looking at you and even if you tell them you could be lying. IMO its better to not tell them and seem as normal as possible. I'm also on the fence about couch surfing. There are varying degrees of "homeless." yeah you don't have a place to live but its not the same as someone sleeping under a bridge or in a car. I had a car, but there are several homeless people without even that and its a huge advantage. There are a lot of programs out there for homeless people. They make life pretty easy on people. Free food and nearly free places to live. The choice then becomes are you ok with depending on these programs or are you going work to get out of your situation. Its a lot of work too. Finally, the #1 cause for being homeless is not having a job so you can pay for a place to live. I don't know how many times I had cops wake me up tapping on my car window suggesting I get a hotel. (granted mental illness and drugs an alcohol are high on the list) For anyone that hasn't been homeless reading this, we are just like everyone else. If you don't want to hire us because of our living condition we will stay that way.

HannibalofBarca6 karma

Very true man. Same issue with the cops too. I guess maybe telling people my story worked for me because I was down on my luck, but I guess it depends on what your story is.

croatanchik46 karma

I don't even have a question--just wanted to tell you how much I admire you for changing your circumstances--and then some!

HannibalofBarca23 karma

Thank you! :)

Raleighirishman35 karma

I was too homeless at 19, and now I do database management for a pharmaceutical company called PPD. Crazy the similarity in situations.

HannibalofBarca20 karma

Strong work!

ktbird726 karma

Did you go to college? How did you get in and how did you pay for it? What did you major in?

HannibalofBarca49 karma

I went to community college for music. Dropped out. [homeless] Returned for music, Changed to Biochemistry, Then Chemical Engineering.

I received a good amount of financial aid. I also had to take out a lot of student loans. Every year I have to fill out a lot of paperwork proving my situation.

flabbergastard19 karma

Real question: What are some examples of the kind of work a ChemE does in cancer research?

Obligatory reddit question: Which is the cooler disease to have: cancer or AIDS?

HannibalofBarca29 karma

The good thing about Chemical Engineering is that it requires such a strong background in all sciences that I have a strong Molecular biology background (as far as courses I've completed). So even though I'm majoring in chemical engineering, I'm going to be doing Molecular and Cellular biology research. So I'll be studying how the body attempts to repair itself against cancer. In short, one of the best things about Chemical Engineering is our ability to work outside the field of Chemical engineering.

Typically, Chemical engineers concern themselves mostly with how can they produce cheaper pharmaceuticals. But as fields such as nanotechnology develop, a lot of chemical engineers are interested in nanocoating drugs so that way they can target cancer sells more specifically. These new technique hope to snipe out cancer, rather than kill it with a shotgun (chemotherapy).

flabbergastard16 karma

I just got done bombing a final in Gen Chem II today. How many more ICE tables and acid-base titrations will I need to do before chemistry classes gets interesting again?

HannibalofBarca11 karma

Good news I have for you is that when it comes to doing research what you learn in your lab classes is by far more applicable to your actual work than what you learn in the lecture class. It also really depends on what field of chem you want to get into but I've never had to do an acid-base titration after Chem II, but I have had to use a photospectrometer dozens of times.

If you're good at really understanding chemistry and predicting what will happen you'll like O chem. But no matter what your skills you'll die in P chem. whats your major? wand what school do you go to?

flabbergastard5 karma

Well I'm actually gonna be going to Old Dominion (Norfolk, VA) for this really unique program: Modeling and Simulation Engineering, so there's absolutely no correlation to chemistry outright. But with a degree like M&SE, it's a good idea to pair it up with something more of a "hard science" appeal (or something like business/economics, but fuck that shite) - and I'm really not into MechE or ElecE.

Biology's really not my cup of tea, haven't taken a physics class yet so idk how I feel about that, and I've always been into chemistry. God damn did college chem I and (especially) II bore the pants off me, though. I aced all the tests, but to hell if I was gonna relearn all that stuff in a matter of hours, right?

Back to the point, though: M&SE really has no cross-overs with other degree curricula, so double-majoring seems impractical at my age/ patience level. I would consider a minor in chem or chemE, though. The only concerns I have are that 1) it seems more logical that if I were going to be modeling chemical systems for a living that I would have the major in something chemical, with the minor in M&SE. 2) I'm not sure a minor in chem or chemE would amount to shit - sort of in-line with concern #1.

Any thoughts?

HannibalofBarca5 karma

Interesting major, what math and science classes have you taken, grades, and what makes you interested in chemistry? I don't know any engineers that don't at least know modeling and simulation though. If you could pick a focus of engineering you might be able to get the same interests accomplished.

But you'll have a better idea what you're into once you take physics.

flabbergastard2 karma

Well I've had a few changes of heart: chemistry, liberal arts, psychology, spanish, (briefly) the medical field, back to psychology, then I finally settled on doing something engineering-related last fall. I had shitty study habits for the longest time, but last year I got my act together, started to put forth the necessary effort and now pulling mostly A's - albeit still in lower-level classes. I've taken about every introductory course known to man, lol.

So I think I'm finally at the point what they call "math maturity" - Pre-calc II was surprisingly a breeze, considering I hadn't stepped foot in a math class in damn near 4 years. So, I expect I'll do pretty decent in Calc I at least. I understand the logic behind derivatives/ integrals, for what it's worth.

I was initially interested in chemistry due to some misguided positive reinforcement - getting a 600 on a chemistry SOL does wonderful things to a 15 yr old's ego, evidently. I've really grown to appreciate how obvious everything is once you pass the first few hurdles of "WTF..?!?" - always left me wanting to learn more.

Honestly I've always been more interested in the theoretical side of things than the application, but at the same time I have no illusions that I would ever be a worthwhile academic-type.

I've also been hesitant about taking the plunge into the chemistry field, because I didn't want to feel like I was boxing myself into such a specific line of work. That's why modeling and simulation really appealed to my sense of diversity. Though, it would be wise to show I have competence in at least 1 other area.

HannibalofBarca7 karma

Hard question. If you're leaning towards science my advice is take physics, you'll figure out what you like and don't like in that class. But it seems also you should consider more science than engineering because you're more interested in theory as opposed to application.

I don't think you should write yourself off as an academic especially with your wide background you might be able have a unique perspective.

patzzo21 karma

You're still in school right?? Are they paying you to research while at school?

edit; you're ... thanks.....

HannibalofBarca30 karma

Happy Cakeday btw.

Yes! I get paid pretty well. Definitely not going to be homeless this summer.

incognito89216 karma


HannibalofBarca9 karma

Must appreciated.

nfiggy7 karma

I keep seeing facebook posts from these "green" and "conspiracy" facebook pages about how Pharmaceutical companies already have a cure for cancer but don't release it because they make more money treating the disease than curing it, how certain fruits can completely cure cancer without the nasty effects of chemo, how marijuana is the best cure for cancer, ect. Now I'm no expert on cancer, me still being a high school senior and all, but I'm assuming this is all blatant bullshit. What are your thoughts on this? Btw keep up the great work man!

HannibalofBarca20 karma

Hahahah .

Well refer to this for cancer being curable. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1dn5q6/was_homeless_at_19_years_old_am_23_now_and_will/c9rzk3f

America does have an obsession with Pharmaceuticals though, but we have to ask why is that. The best medicine is exercise, good sleep, good food, and lots of hydration. But what happens when doctors tell people to stop drinking, stop smoking, or to lose weight. They get angry and they don't stop. They would rather take a pill.

Don't trust any science you read on facebook. Science is skewed in the media, even online. Really the best thing to do always is find the primary source and read the research yourself. If it doesn't link backto a website like nature.com, science.com, or some other scholastic journal and the publication isn't highly technical describing what exactly is being done, don't trust it!

Cannabis isn't evil but there are some people who are convinced Cannabis can cure all diseases, fix the economy, and bring world peace. But these people tend to not to be the ones actually doing anything about it so take it with a grain of salt.

hosinthishouse6 karma

I hear something like 80% of homeless youth are either sexually assulted or sexually propositioned within 3 months of being on the streets. From your experience, are these statistics accurate?

HannibalofBarca29 karma

I think I was really lucky to be an overweight black male which kept me in the other 20% but yes definitely. Mostly women and gay men that are propositioned. They usually end up pregnant (one of them by a social worker). I'm glad my sister was lucky enough to be under 18 and ended up in foster care.

LaAdaMorada3 karma

Have you contacted your sister at all since you last saw her? And was she aware of your situation?

HannibalofBarca5 karma

We always stalk she's doing well in school I think she'll even do better than me.

limonflora6 karma

Have you considered mentoring some other transitioning youth? Your story is really inspiring. I've met some other smart kids that don't have the necessary support who could definitely benefit. Particularly being denied that internship and continuing to apply, you must have a really indomitable spirit.

HannibalofBarca12 karma

Yes but I want to accomplish a little bit more before I go back. But I did do a lot of mentoring at the Boys & Girls Club and various elementary and middle schools.

second_to_fun6 karma

Wow, this is really cool! Apart from the whole homeless topic, what is cancer research like? Is there a process or method to it?

HannibalofBarca11 karma

Well There's many difference approaches. Some people are interested in surgical procedures, gene therapy, new medicines, revising old medicines, targeting the whole body, or targeting specific cells. But no matter what area you're in it takes a lot of literary research. A lot of reading the previous results of a lot of other people's research so you can draw your own conclusion. I'm working on someone else's research team so I won't be deciding what we do, then once we've figured out our objective and the procedure its running a lot of tests. A lot of measuring, a lot of flashing lights through liquids. A lot of gloves and a lot of measuring.

second_to_fun5 karma

Wow, I didn't know the research was so diverse! On another note, how's funding for cancer research in general?

zombiegoddess136 karma

Wicked. No idea who you are, but proud of you! :)

HannibalofBarca7 karma

thank you, thank you!

AwayFromReality5 karma

I just graduated undergrad with a Bio degree, been looking for jobs in Research labs. Mind telling me where you started in terms of looking for a job/internship?

HannibalofBarca6 karma

consider post-bacculararte programs.

shadowofmyfutureself4 karma

There is a conspiracy theory that humans already have the cure to cancer but do not release it because it prevents overpopulation. Thoughts on this?

HannibalofBarca32 karma

Really frustrates me. I understand how people can see that but once you really understand what cancer is and how it works you will see this is not the truth.

First Cancer isn't 1 disease, it is a category of literally hundreds of diseases with all different mechanisms. There is no 1 cure for all cancer. It might be nearly impossible to construct one.

Another thing is that if 1 company did have the cure to cancer they would make billions off of it and easily dominate the pharmaceutical market. You can't keep it secret, we couldn't keep the Nuclear Bomb a secret, let alone the cure to cancer.

But I understand that people don't trust the government. but if anyone thinks that we have a cure to cancer are keeping it secret, they should come in the lab and try to do the actual research and see how tough it actually is. They should read the papers we have to read and understand how complex it is.

Steve Jobs was a billionaire but couldn't buy this secret cure for cancer? But I guess a conspiracy theorist would think maybe he did and faked his death?

Another way that we know its not true, is that even if they wanted to make it exclusive, they could just make it expensive. They don't need to keep it a secret. Everyday in the developing world people die from diseases that are already cheap and easily curable. Basically they don't need to keep its existence a secret to stop you from accessing it, they have many other methods.

Most of this is caused by scientific illiteracy which is a fault of the scientific community as well as the general population.

thebeattakesme7 karma

i took a graduate course on the biology of cancer. its amazing how many mechanisms/routes there are. i was a little troubled about how impressed i was by the whole thing.

HannibalofBarca6 karma

Really complex, I wish there were an easy way to explain it to people. Most people don't even reaally know what it is.

shadowofmyfutureself1 karma

Thank you for taking the time to reply, just curious what an experts opinion was versus the people usually discussing it.

HannibalofBarca5 karma

I'm glad someone is thinking critically out there, we need more people like you!

Nero924 karma

That's really impressive, to not only overcome being homeless but to continue working towards self-improvement through education. Congradulations on fighting through and not giving up. What would you say was your biggest challenge through the entire ordeal, and what was your primary motivation?

HannibalofBarca14 karma

People will promise to help you out and then get sick of you in less than a week. Sometimes you just survive because its the only thing you can do, and you simply just believe in yourself. It also sucks to realize you're the only person you can rely on but by going through that entire ordeal you never lose that drive.

fesxvx3 karma

Just wanted to say I, too, was homeless at 19. After my parents lost the house, they went with my two siblings into a 300 sq ft tiny apartment, while I couch surfed from house to house among my friends. Thankfully, I only spent the night in my car a few times, and if I really wanted to I could've slept on the bathroom floor at my parent's tiny place. Over the following years I held every job you can imagine, while managing to figure out my immigration paperwork to stay here in the US.

I'm 24 now. I work 30 hours a week and go to school full time. Next fall I'm entering my first semester as a transfer student at UCR, and I'm majoring in Economics. My grades are such that I'm getting enough financial aid to quit my day job and go work at the school, while covering all of my expenses.

Just wanted to say congratulations. I know i'm in the right path, but it's awesome to know that I'm not the only one.

I know that first night sleeping in your car is always the worst, and I cried myself to sleep just like a baby, but there really isn't anything that hard work and dedication can prevent you from doing.

HannibalofBarca2 karma

Wow man you're truly an amazing person. I admire you.

verysaucyfellow3 karma

This is a really cool story. I wish you the best!

HannibalofBarca3 karma

thank you very much.

poeticmatter3 karma

The guy that lived in a tree for a year said he got a gym membership to shower. I'm guessing that was above what you could have afforded, but seems like if you had it right in the beginning it could have rally helped.

And I tip my hat off to you. You can never know how you react to situations like that until it happens, but I feel like I would just feel sorry for myself.

HannibalofBarca2 karma

That's smart I guess I hadn't thought of that.

HeartwarmingLies2 karma

What has been the biggest change in your outlook in life from your time spent homeless?

HannibalofBarca10 karma

Before I would hope to be given opportunities. While being homeless I learned I had the make my opportunities.

DrGiggleFairies2 karma

May have been asked (I'm too lazy to check) but do you have any religious standpoint?

HannibalofBarca40 karma

I am not religious. I consider myself an atheist. Though I would like to point out some of the best scientists I have worked with are Christians and they did not let their religion interfere with the integrity of their research.

Religion is what you make it.

ateoclockminusthel2 karma


HannibalofBarca6 karma

I've contacted the mods so I can confidentially verify who I am and my story is true.

HannibalofBarca3 karma

Sure, how do you suppose I do it?

crapholyalmighty2 karma

Are you doing cancer research while being homeless! That'd be impressive.

HannibalofBarca2 karma

No I'm not a super hero!

dude123222 karma

Good for you! Now i feel like a loser. Is this your dream job?

HannibalofBarca3 karma

I would like to start my own technology business somewhere either in medicine or alternative energy. but that's 10 years from now.

dude123222 karma

How did pay for school?

Rhana2 karma

Is there any particular type of cancer that you want to focus on researching?

HannibalofBarca2 karma

Right now we're just analyzing the bodies natural ability to protect itself against cancer to see how it does it.

Rhana2 karma

Very cool, I only ask because my uncle and grandpa (father and son) both had pancreatic cancer, diagnosed within 5 months of each other, but both presented with completely different symptoms. Cancer is a strange beast.

HannibalofBarca3 karma

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive and dangerous. Everyone's cancer is unique even twins. It's definitely strange.

LVB7132 karma


HannibalofBarca14 karma

Friends, man.

Friends = family.

ImFuckingASophist2 karma


HannibalofBarca2 karma

Almost all my friends lived with my parents, but they offered a lot of support and advice and always did everything in their power. It all meant a lot.

hard2forget2 karma

That's really impressive, I hope your work leads to some crucial improvements in cancer research and treatments. Keep up the awesomeness

HannibalofBarca6 karma

I really appreciate it.

solwiggin2 karma

As a music lover, I'd imagine that there are certain songs, albums, types of music, of "vibes" that you associate with your story.

Could you tell your story musically? When you were homeless what were you listening to/playing, and how did that change (or did it) as you progressed through your education.

HannibalofBarca5 karma

I listened to a lot of Jazz, A lot of John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Dizzy Gillespie. I guess because there was so much hard work and improvisation in their work similar to I had to do to survive.

This song isn't fast but I'd always think of those days when I hear this one.


sirnoah272 karma

What is your favourite food?

HannibalofBarca3 karma

I love Chicken Tikkah Masalah with garlic naan. Indian food and Thai food are definitely up there, but my favorite dish is just the classic. Fish n Chips.

unsharpenedpencil2 karma


HannibalofBarca2 karma

Have you looked into Technician degrees at 2 year Universities?

"With a two-year community college degree, air traffic controllers can make $113,547, radiation therapists $76,627, dental hygienists $70,408, nuclear medicine technologists $69,638, nuclear technicians $68,037, registered nurses $65,853, and fashion designers $63,170"


But thats if you're not interested in doing research. If you're going to do cancer research you're going to have to go the cell/microbiology or bioengineering route and you're going to have to get a bachelors and you will have to take on a lot of debt.

blimp112 karma

Sir/mam, as a libertarian I have a belief in the survival of the fittest. I see things in a very social Darwinism mentality, but your story has had a significant impact on my opinion. You sir/mam are a great person. To hear that there is success from social programs really makes me rethink my stance. I would sacrifice on a scale from 10/1 to know that it would be going towards helping those who want to help themselves. You are an inspiration to the disadvantaged.

HannibalofBarca12 karma

Don't worry, I'm a libertarian too. But my experiences do make me call into question some of my values. Could I have done okay without government help? Maybe, maybe not. But would we be in such a bad position with the government's economic meddling? Is it possible that I would've already been working when my mother had died? A lot of questions, the answers aren't simple.

KingMid5 karma

You are attaching yourself to social Darwinism on purpose? Excerpt from the Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia entry: "The theory was used from the late 19th century to support laissez-faire capitalism and political conservatism. Social Darwinism declined as scientific knowledge expanded."

HannibalofBarca2 karma

True, people Darwinism mostly said that certain races were better than others. But what i think blimp is trying to say that individuals should compete rather than races.

icanhasfoodnaoplz1 karma

Fuck you. Where is the proof?

I_am_the_bomb1 karma

Do you tell people you've met after you we're homeless that you were homeless for a time or do you try and hide it?

HannibalofBarca4 karma

Good question. Very few people know. I woudnt say I try to hide it. But I do keep it to myself. I never know if I'm applying for internships whether it hurts or helps me. I believe that it would be hard for me to obtain a leadership position. I will tell my class this week in a speech I'm doing.

attackofthebears1 karma

What is your best piece of advice?

HannibalofBarca6 karma

Improvise. And always move forward. You never know what life will bring at you and when it will be taken away.

BearSeekingFace1 karma

Which is better?

HannibalofBarca2 karma

which what?

BearSeekingFace-1 karma

Homeless or curing cancer.

HannibalofBarca2 karma

Being homeless definitely sucked!

BearSeekingFace3 karma

Cool. Now I know which to choose. Thanks science man

HannibalofBarca2 karma

lmao hilarious.

HannibalofBarca2 karma


adonahue1 karma

first, congrats to you on your success. i wish you the best going forward. second, i wanted to ask you what how you would describe the importance (ratio mix) of 1. your determination/psychological hardiness to see through your difficult circumstances and 2. your raw intelligence/talent as it applied to the areas of academia you pursued. How would you rate that mix as determining factors of your success? (50/50, 30/70, etc.) ?

HannibalofBarca2 karma

That's a really hard question! Since it's pretty much these two factors, Determination and planning. To get through the difficult circumstances is definitely 60/40 Its too easy to just settle with sustaining yourself, which you will learn only works for short time. You have to always plan for the future when you're homeless, so it takes a considerable amount of intelligence. And its really trying on your willpower.

As far as school. The hardest part of school for me is simply organization and following directions. Science and engineering are too competitive to rely on natural talent. Only freaks of nature cannot study, no matter how smart you are you're probably not one of them.

The keys to doing well in science and math are simply. You have to schedule all your time. Schedule your study time, hw time, following those goals. Maintain your health and mind, eat well, exercise, and sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things. Schedule breaks too. Being a successful student has only about 7% to do with intelligence. That 7% may or may not be a letter grade. 75% is using your time effectively and following directions. Even if you're an idiot you can pass any class if you simply follow directions and use your time wisely. Don't multi-task. I don't' even use music when I study. NO! TV under any circumstances. the other 18% is maintaining your mind, (sleep, staying hydrated)

TheMostHonestMan1 karma

What's your favorite color?

HannibalofBarca5 karma

black but that's more of a shade not a color. Then green.

Sergxh1 karma

Actually did you have a day where you wanted to give up on everything?

HannibalofBarca2 karma

All the time, when I got fired from my job was pretty bad. But I didn't have any choice other than to keep going.

Clay_Statue-1 karma

Why do all my farts smell like baloney?

HannibalofBarca1 karma

Sorry I don't know. Wish i could help you out.

picklezzzzzzzzz-2 karma

Have you heard of Burzynski, and antineoplastons. Any thoughts on why the FDA refuse to test them, and have closed him down, with constant threats and lawsuits?

The Burzynski movie shows court cases, highlighting how the FDA have purposely done everything they can to shut him down. Also, patients in court testifying to its effectiveness and the corruption of the FDA.

Too many people are making money from cancer, a cure isn't desirable. There are many other treatments which are proven to be useful and effective in treating cancer, such as laetrile b17 and Zeolite. They aren;t advised or tested in any way because they aren't highly chemical and thus, someone can't make money from them.

HannibalofBarca2 karma


you should read the FDA letter himself. Most of it has to do with him not taking enough effort to ensure the safety of the people in the study and that consent was legally authorized.

HannibalofBarca2 karma

Well Zeolite is a known carcinogen. According to this article "These mortality figures support the hypothesis that erionite fibers cause cancer other than mesothelioma and lung cancer. Mineralogic analyses of the tissues should be performed to demonstrate this relationship."


There was some a study that did find some minor cancer growth inhibition, but definitely not a cure.

And as for Laetrile b17 there was a couple of researchers said they could find no evidence from any well-conducted study to say that it had any cancer curing effects after reviewing about 8 different publications of experiments.


HannibalofBarca2 karma

I would not trust documentaries for scientific or medical advice. They are not made by doctors, they are made by film makers.

In regards to the film it has been commented that: The Village Voice commented that the movie "violates every basic rule of ethical filmmaking" and that by interviewing only Burzynski's supporters, the film's producer "is either unusually credulous, or doesn't understand the difference between a documentary and an advertisement.

They can be deceptive. I'm going to try to give you my unbiased opinion.

According to research done by other researchers Burzynski's methods were ineffective. http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)63835-4/abstract

Though one study did show it does help a little bit. But it is definitely not a CURE and had just as harmful side effects as chemotherapy.