Thursday, January 31, 2008

Semester so far & Book report

Semester stuff: How's the semester so far? Just fine, I'm waiting for the shit to hit the fan on some of the subjects but things look pretty OK so far. Animal Behavior is damn facinating, Genetics is cool, Biochemistry A and Animal Physiology's boring but tolerable, Experiment Analysis and Microbiology Lab is fine.
Unlike last year's lazing about (from ignorance of what tests are like in uni, not intirely out of laziness) I'm summerizing classes twice a week to stay in touch with the material and, also, there's far less material than last year's semesters.

This semester's favorit lecturers are the Biochemistry A proff and the Experiment Analysis lecturer.
Biochemistry proff is an israeli arab (because, aparently, we don't really treat our arabian citizens in aparthide style...) with an endearing sense of humor and a compassionate heart for the students facing his material's complexity. He knows when to gives a break when we're getting too sleepy and treats student questions with philosophy and respect where other lecturers would snob them out. Another respectable thing in the guy is the fact that when he doesn't know the answer to a student's question he'll just say he doesn't know.
Experiment Analysis is basically a course where we take a subject (the Ligioners' desease' bacteria for my group) and try to slowely patch together a do-able, reasonable experiment. The lecturer starts each class with a problem ("how to find which kind of mutant the ligionella bacteria you recieved in the mail today are") and shoots down our sprouting, green ideas like an expert AA battery ^_^ better him teach us the art of making reasonable research suggestions than our future professors, says I (from bitter experience...). The lecturer has a heavy stutter which he reins into control by focusing (and often slips when he's distracted) but he's still giving the classes with a sweet humorous atmosphere and a lot of brains. Fascinating stuff.

Book report: Finished reading Steve Jones' Almost Like A Whale. Damn wonderful book, honestly. I started reading it a little before the strike ended and was immediately glad for the little treasure box ofchances to refresh last year's ecology and taxonomy material. You'll find everything in Jones' book; ecology, evolution, genetics, microbiology, bacteriology, history, poetry, logic. Jones' style is wonderfully readable and elegantly addictive but most of all, it's simple and informative with a healthy dash of good, sharp humor. With very, very little mindless judgment to anyone (not even the 'monster' of creationism as so many american scientists are rediculously buzzing about) every argument for and against evolution is well represented, dealt with and explained in deep but not boring details. There wasnt a dull moment in this book and it managed to keep my attention without lapsing into petty anecdotes or meaningless detail scattering. A great, highly recommended book alltogether.

Next on my reading list: Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game which beloved boyfriend got me (*squee*)

And now an update: L'Oreal and Unilever decide to remove shark liver oil from their products now if only L'Oreal would completely stop experimenting its products of animals, I'll be its happy consumer.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The two news pieces I promised...

1. I got fired after a small, silly, bitchy tackle with a coworker to a shift who was also themanager of night team, but which was based on a very deep and annoying problem. I have work ethics so I don't talk on the phone while I'm supposed to stay available to answer costumers' calls, and I try to stay by my work station in case I'll miss a call. Said coworker and manager had a habit of having private conversation on her line so that all the calls kept streaming to me and when she wasn't at that she'd talk on one of her own cell phones and not notice calls entering her computer thus ending up getting to me etc. On my last shift the pressure of calls was phenomenal and she chose the wrong time to be bitchy about me needing to answer even more calls (I answered twice her ammount by then) instead of using the relative calm in calls to eat my dinner.
Also, two months ago I covered for their asses by staying to do a double shift until the next morning because the guys who were supposed to replace us stood us up. On the morning after I was praised and promised a big bonus for that act of niceness by two of my bosses but two months later and there's zilch from them.
Screw them, I can find better places and I have better things to do now.

2. SCHOOL'S BACK!! Last friday the lecturers finally signed a reasonable agreement with the ministry of treasury and the strike is over! Aw, man, how I missed my faculty...I even missed the toilet <3 it seems the semesters will be shortened by two weeks and some substance diducted but also we'll be learning 6 days a week and not just 5 as usual. My faclty has yet to give us the year's new time table so I'm still happy and optimistic but there are high chances that I might have to postpone some of my choice labs (invertebrates and variational bugs labs, most likely) to next year when you're supposed to complete all your choice labs and classes.
But most importantly...SCHOOL'S BAAAAAAACK!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kitty pictures

There are changes developing on both work front and university strike front, but both are yet resolved so I'll wait until there'll be something to share.

In the meantime; I've got kitty pictures!! I know you enjoy 'em and so here they are.

Spread out evenly.

Sam in his lion den cat tunnel.

All curled up and fluffy.

Getting cynical and annoyed with camera!mom.

Scarlett, nursing curling up with mom under the blanket.


When I finally have some time to sit to the computer, this is what happens; Scarlett wants to poke her fluffy sweet little nose into what I do.

Most unladylike.

"Leave me alone already, moooom!"

Note the fluff pantaloons.

Sam's really beginning to spill out of his bowl; he's just gotten too big for it >.<

And last but definitely not least; BF (who goes by the name of Ofer) and his complimentary cat - Tuli

More updates later (probably tomorrow)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I am alive (or so it seems)

* I've worked six days this week, without even noticing it...damn, how did it come to this? Well, with nine days until the semester is due to be canceled by the strike for good and the professors still not willing to settle (they didn't show up to a meeting about it scheduled for yesturday...) it seems I still have time to keep gaining a financial fat layer before the disaster of how this academic year will look when it's finally started again will ruin any chance of me ever having a life beyond work and study.

* Speaking of life, me and the BF have a one month anniversary tomorrow (*squee*) and if I wasn't so cynical and shy I'd tell you exactly what I feel about it.

* I've updated my flicker account with some new pictures, including all my old hyrax pictures. As I was writing comments for each picture, I noticed how this stupid project and the treatment I get from the project guide didn't mar my enthusiasm for these strange little beasts. *sigh*

* Finished Mists of Avalon. Have you ever found yourself reading a book, knowing you're reading crap, but the writing style and the occasional promising plot twist kept you going?
Maybe I was fooled by Hallmark's production, Merlin, and I expected Morgaine to have a backbone to call her own. Zimmer Bradley took whatever hope I had of finding yet another female character to favor and crushed them; Morgaine is obsessed with who everyone marries and who gives birth to who as badly as the simple 'foolish' women she describes contemptibly.
The constant religious conversations were getting boring by the nine-hundredth time they were run and Zimmer Bradley's constant obsession with not taking sides or making too many snapping comments of Christianity were annoying.
Bradley gives no one a truly happy ending nor a revenge to any of the 'bad' characters and so leaves the reader with a sense of bitter disappointment. Sure, it was nice to read about the very early days of post-Roman england, but for god's sake; I could have picked up a history book and not this waste of time, energy and paper
However, watching Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail, is a wonderful cleansing experience after this book...

Am now reading Steve Jones' Almost Like A Whale.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Youre president sucks...

President Bush acknoledges the existance of CO2. He is quoted to say, "Carbon dioxide, a molecule which contains one atom of carbon bonded with two atoms of oxygen, is a naturally occurring colorless gas exhaled by humans and metabolized, in turn, by plants.As a leading industrialized nation, we can no longer afford to ignore the growing consensus of so many experts whose job it is to study our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is real."

Do you guys know how fucked up you president is? Was in the kind of acknoledgment the UN gives a new country or is it an umwelt thing; it's just not there until you've acknoledged it.

Then again, if your dad ran around Auschwitz in 1987 saying, "Boy, they sure were big on crematoriums, weren't they?" there's very little surprise about where all this stupid came from...

And speaking of global warming, winter here consists mostly of cold nights, sunny-to-lightly-cloudy days and NO FUCKING RAIN. I hope January's going to be a little better because so far this winter's worse than last year where we hardly saw rain through all of December...