Friday, 20 July 2007

1 word. 1 word made me so happy today. I thought that something's terribly wrong when I saw my dicty clearing bacteria like crazy today. And P seriously sounded like I made a mistake. Then she showed S. S looked under the microscope and said, "phenotype". Yay! How exciting it is if it's a real phenotype! We'll see in a few weeks. I can totally understand why people work on nights and weekends, people work 12h days and 7 day weeks. If there're some exciting results coming up, I'll want to rush it out. If I can save a day by working till sunset, then I'll stay till sunset. But I have no wish or need to be workaholic yet.

Then the skepticism comes, the questioning, the what-if-the-cells-were-bad, what if it's not even dicty.. and so on. Science, we can never trust what we see, can we? I wonder how they communicate on the other side of the lab. Watching them today was really hilarious. People speaking in this language that is not their first language. Sometimes it's exasperating to get a simple point across.

Harry Potter! Can't believe I stayed at the bookstore for 3h waiting for it to be released today. Haha. It was actually pretty fun. People were really excited. The little girls near us who were waiting were like, oh can we ask that guy if we could touch the book?

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Looking at the 3f photo on the blog. Even though I haven't seen most of them much since 3f time, somehow I feel that we looked so young in the 3f picture. Maybe it's because I have been looking at people who are older now, or maybe it's just that I've aged.

Having sequences align nicely. That felt so good. Finally got 1 thing working. I'm still admiring it. Haha.

I've always have something to fill up my life with. Something that takes up all the time I have. This summer I'm really free and suddenly I feel this emptiness, what am I going to do with the free time? When I was in Singapore, I always had my organ and tv. For the last 2 years here, well, I've always have some reading to do, and when I do have time, I just sleep or hang out online doing nothing. Now what? Life is getting boring. What is life? How do you live it? man. i'm getting philosophical again. I will read Nietzsche before this summer ends.

I asked a blunt question. I got an answer. Now I'm lost once again. Why did I do what I did? Should I even think so much? On the one hand, I really can't stand some things, on the other.. there was a point in the anser.. haiz.. let's just go strawberry picking.

Talked to this girl from dance today, haha, we had the same experience when we were young, same hair problem, same yelling teachers. I am so glad I switched class. This is getting fun, though I'm pretty sure my enthusiasm won't last the whole quarter.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

People have such different lives. Harry has to worry about getting killed by Voldemort and all Ron is worrying about is his Potions finals. Harry looks into the mirror and sees his parents, Ron looks in and sees himself as headboy, holding Quidditch Cup. I feel like Ron. What am I doing every day? Why am I worrying about such trivial stuff?

People are selfish. I want to stop selling fish. What am I doing? Am I that heartless? gws.. for all of us..

Friday, 6 July 2007

Becoming very conscious of race lately. No matter how blind the society tries to be towards colours, people still look at each other as of different races, different cultures. I'm hanging around with too many chinese people, which is absolutely fine with me. I wonder how I'll feel when I go to a place with demographics like those in the midwest, or for that matter, anywhere else except for the West Coast. I don't have this feeling of I'm a different colour when I speak to non-Asians, but I'm pretty sure many of them see me first as a Chinese before anything else. It's like watching some sitcom/ drama, say Friends, and an Asian dude shows up. Not too usual eh? Summer classes. The demographics is even more skewed, 3/4 of the class are Asians, even in my music class. In labs, most if not all the undergrad lab assistants (fly carers, solution makers, autoclave people) are Asians. Someone who's obviously very sensitive to this high Asian population asked me why only Asians want lab jobs. I don't have a good answer except that maybe other people can find more interesting jobs, and that Asians are more likely to take summer classes and stay in San Diego in summer. She wasn't convinced at all.

Went to a picnic with my aunt's family and her colleagues. Her Chinese female colleagues. There are a lot of them. They are all so similar, stay in the same area with the same good schools, have young kids who need to be sent to many different classes everywhere.. Anyway, we had a picnic in a park on July 4th. The Americans next to us bbq-ed strips of meat. The latinos next to them made burgers and hotdogs and chicken. We had a potluck of all sorts of complex Chinese goodies. 粽子, 担担面, 凉粉, 素什锦, 绿豆汤, 杏仁豆腐.. Ok, you get the idea. Food is so much better than burgers, but it's not anything they'll appreciate. Just like how many Chinese never accepted eating raw vegetables.. There is definitely a culture difference that cannot be eliminated.

Last point. This person was saying how she doesn't feel like she's going 'home' when she's going back to her country and visiting parents and friends and so on cos she has no plans to stay at where 'home' is and work there. There's this conflict between integration and preserving the difference. How much should the society force integration and how much should individuals/ peoples retain their own characteristics?

4th of July. My first in this country. Fireworks are not that spectacular. Fireworks festival last yr in Singapore was much more impressive. But this country has really a lot of nationalistic songs. They can last through that 20min of fireworks. And I didn't realise that 76 trombones is an American song. Went to Coronado to watch fireworks. At a resort. There's a guy entertaining everyone before the fireworks and he has a fantastic voice. So had fun listening to him sing with his guitar and had more fun roasting marshmellows making smores =)

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Why does the moon look so big when it's rising?

Almost everyone has noticed the same effect: the moon indeed appears larger when it is close to the horizon than when it is overhead. Yet you can prove to yourself that this is strictly an illusion. Hold a dime at arm's length in front of the moon. Regardless of the moon's elevation in the sky, the dime will just cover it.

The "moon illusion," as it is sometimes called, is entirely conjured up by the human brain. There are still several explanations for what the actual process might be -- some contend it's brought about by having terrestrial frames of reference right near the moon when its rising (trees, houses, telephone poles, etc.), allowing the brain to "focus" on it more closely.

Another theory says the illusion centers of the human perception of the sky as an overturned bowl, more distant on the horizon than overhead, which fools the brain into "correcting" the size of the moon for that scenario. In any case, here is a final test to prove that it's all in the mind. When no one is watching and the full moon is near the horizon, bend over and
look at the moon upside down from between your legs (!). The effect vanishes, presumably because you have flipped the scene reaching the brain by placing the horizon above the moon.

Why do male dogs lift up one leg to pee?
Dogs descend from wolves and packs of wolves in the wild have certain territories. They establish their territories by marking the perimeters with urine. They males lift a leg and pee on a tree so any passing wolf will be able to smell it and know he better get out of the territory that isn't his. So it's to pee higher.
As for the females, both cats and dogs, lions and wolves squat. The female doesn't have the dominate role (except in hyena packs) so they don't need to mark their territory like a male does.

Copyright, M.J. Grimson & R.L. Blanton
Biological Sciences Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Texas Tech University

People are how funny. Doesn't this look like a chiobu. Looks even kind of holy.

My pictures from the recent trip