Friday, March 28, 2008

The start....and a book report

So far on Animal Behavior: I sure do hope one of the lecturers won't ask us the kind of questions he gave us as sample questions in the test. If so then I can only conclude he's hoping we'll earn good grades by cramming and memorizing like parrots, forgetting it all the next day.
He's a strange fellow, that lecturer. You know that old hobbit in Lord of the Ring's beginning, the one who frowns sourly at Gandalph as he rides into the Shire, well, whenever I see that prof he frowns at me sourly like that. I swear I've never done a thing against him.

So far on Genetics: whoever's writing the tests for this course is either very nerdy or extremely bored. Today I exercised on a story with Popeye and Olive in which I concluded that, according to blood type, Olive's been cheating on Popeye...oh lord, the nerdiness.

Book Report: Quite an air of disappointment on Tuchman, really. Here's the report:
Tuchman writes well, she obviously knows a great deal of history and can often reach that almost-impossible achievement of historians to both tell as many facts as possible while not overloading. I say 'often' because this book didn't always have this moment.
Two things I liked about this book:
1. Tuchman's deep familiarity with a very wide range of history topics and times.
2. The obviously matriculate and objective, clear way of defining 'folly' by a certain logical and smart definition without getting too emotional and choosing more "hot topic" acts of silliness.
Two things I didn't like about this book:
1. Despite her great knowledge of the periods she wrote about, she failed to write a proper background of the ruling systems and the climate of the eras she discussed. Trying to understand how corrupt the six popes of the renaissance it'd help to know why the popes has such a control over Rome as if they were the kings (rather than the rulers of the Vatican as they are now...) or who were the French they fought against.
2. The chapter about the US in Vietnam was both boring, tedious, overly-detailed and featured Tuchman referring to the Americans as 'us' and 'we' which indicates a lack of objectivity a historian should avoid at all costs.

It's an OK book but definitely not the best general history book I've ever read.

Am now reading: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oh, the nerdiness

Our little kitty's too big for his old bowl and has lately been spilling out of it whenever he tried curling up in it (his legs would slip out and his fats would spill out on the rims of the bowl) so we got him a bigger bowl into which, I have no doubt, he'll eat and grow himself into. His father was a 13 kilo little fluff monster so I know he'll end up a biggie like his dad, even if we snip-snipped him.

Like our dear Clio, Sam also developed a habit of sitting with his ass on my mouse-hand for attention. Only Clio was slim and flexible and quite able to clean her butt, not something I can say about or plump Sam who once in a while needs us to give his rear end a cleaning. We're so lucky he's a raggie or we'd be in hospital by now <3

Last friday friend Guy from the university gang threw a purim party and here are some (shamefully blurry) pictures of the events. I will find better pictures, I promise.

Here's Shay dressed as his pet mantis, Menash

Here's Olga (dressed as a zombie nurse) and her boyfriend (dressed as Clockwork Orange's Alex)

Here are (from left to right) Merav dressed as a chinese thing, Neta dressed as something ambiguous and Dana dressed as a Hawaii girl.

These are Guy (at the back) dressed as last year's math course lecturer who we suspect is actually Count Dracula and Shiran (at the front) dressed as a flying gay deer of some sort.

I dressed as a mouse going to sleep. I'll find a picture of it.

And now, nerdiness beyond repair, cellphone pictures from various microbiology labs:

Creating as buffer was never something I thought would be easy, but it is!! As you can see, this pH stick indicating the exact pH we (me and my lab partner, Guy) wanted to achieve is evidence of such a triumph.

PhotobucketThese are the E.Coli we planted on our petri plate in the first lab and got to see in the second lab. I took mine home (freaked my lab teacher out a bit) where Scarlett licked it happily due to the agar's attractive smell.

Photobucket3rd lab results as we checked for protein activity rates in various concentrations (I think) then checked to make sure, using a spectrophotometer.

PhotobucketThe charting of the results of the 4th lab, where we checked to see how much E.Coli survive on various substrates before we make a plasmid out of them.

PhotobucketHanded over my first test this semester (student test season starts next week @_@) for 'Lab and test result analysis' course which had nothing to do with the title. We had a home-test over the weekend the answers to which we were to hand over this morning. Nice picture, eh? Quite pastoral, no? Well, a touch of pastorality before the test season <3 here, have some fluff in bookshelves: Photobucket

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lab report and progress

* I hate lab reports. With a vengeance, I do. When I don't get my data for the calculations mixed up because I'm looking at the wrong line in the data sheet I'm getting confused in the calculation itself and when I'm done doing that I have me some confusion while feeding the data to the semi-logarithmic graph I make of it. The semi-logarithmic graph has been made manually, mind you, as requested by the lab staff of babysitting masterants. Ugh, I have semi-logarithmic graphs, yuck yuck yuck!!

* Guess what, I'm done with the tests time of the hyrax project!! Hooraah! I did some initial statistic handling and have sent my guide person a heads up so she can send me the testosterone, age and sex sheet stuff. Cool!! All that's left then is further statistical analysis and writing down the paperwork. I've already written down the protocol, so the Tools and Methods bit is done, done done ^_^
As for the cat cradling project, me and Prof #2 are trying to get a hold of each other and meet up about reading material for the project. Hopefully I'll manage to get a hold of him this week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Book report and a sweet story

* First, the sweet story: The Story of Adam & Eve's Pets

Adam and Eve said, 'Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.'

And God said, 'I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.'

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, 'Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.'

And God said, 'I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG.'

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. And they were comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, 'Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.'

And God said, 'I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.'

And God created cat to be a companion to Adam and Eve. And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility. And they were greatly improved.

And God was pleased . . . . . .

And Dog was happy. . . . .

And Cat didn't give a crap one way or other....

* Finished Stephen King's Nightmares and LOLerskatesDreamscapes and here's my review:
Stephen King lovers, horror lovers, mystery and suspense lovers.
review: Stephen King's works should usually be read in small doses, book by book and with a long stretch of time between reading one and the other or the magic somehow fades away.
That's usually the case.
With this book the magic ended and started again for every story, though some were better than the others (Night Flier, Rainy Season and The Moving Finger being some of those), they were all captivating, pleasant to read and wonderfully written.
This book also includes a hindu tale which he merely translated and a Sherlock Holmes story using characters he didn't come up with. These two put a little bit of a damper on a other-than-these book packed with originality and fun.
All in all a great book indeed and I highly recommend it

Am now reading Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Legend Chapter, my two cents about humanity, cool science vids

* The new Legend chapter is out, many thanks to Nat, Eddie Baby, for beta-ing it. To see the new chapter go to either my original fiction LJ or

* E.O. Willson says the reason for animal extinction can be summed up as HIPPO.
Habitat loss
Invading species
Population (of humans)
IMO I and the second P are one and the same. We should have never left centeral Africa...

* I've been neglecting the Fun Links Time tradition, haven't I? Here's something to make it up for you guys: Top 10 Amazing Chemistry Videos (and they really are amazing) of course Brainiac's got a foothold there, how couldn't it have? I heard the latest season has my good old friend, Vic Reeves in it instead of the Gorodetsky-like former presenter. Couldn't think of anyone other than Mr Reeves to do this sort of show XD speaking of crack!