Saturday, 24 November 2007

Yihui was saying that we should be glad that our campus is so huge. I never thought that the campus was big until yesterday where I went biking into the eucalyptus forest. OMG there are multiple trails in there, complete with trail markings on trees and dust flying everywhere.. Nature trails on campus. Wow. How many schools have that? Pretty cool. Great view of the canyon and of the campus in the distance at some parts. Anyway I suck, had to stop many times cos couldn't make it up the slope.. But it was fun chionging down the slopes =) and to have a homecooked dinner =)

Thanksgiving. Totally just slacked through the 4 days. Mostly played old grandmother's games online. Had a thanksgiving dinner at my place. Wasn't a total flop but let's face it, I'm not a good entertainer. On those personality quizzes that ask where are you usually found in parties, I always answer at the side talking to a small grp of friends. Food was plenty and good. No turkey but no loss. Pictionary saved the day.. Next gathering, hopefully more people show up, hope the better entertainers show up

Then psychoed Yihui to take us to Las Americas at midnight. The traffic was crazy, everyone is flooding there. Finally got there, finally found a parking spot. Bought my shoes and jeans and tshirt and sweater.. Haha. Not bad for ~$100. Got tired and didn't want to go anywhere with huge queues so I probably missed the best sales, like the 50% off at Puma. Next time, go at 4am. There's much less people.. But that means you'll have to wake up at 3am. Or don't sleep.
The things we do to get a good deal.

I'm getting excited over embryo lab. Planning my expt and hoping to get presentable results. Our plan is very ambitious and hopefully we're technically up to it.
Doing Southerns next week. Hopefully I have a correct clone and finally successfully knocked the gene out. And doing even more wishing, hopefully my clone has some phenotype.

Reading Watson's Double Helix. It's so much speculation and theorizing and not much expts.. It seemed like as long as they have the time to sit down and think, they could get groundbreaking theories in a week. They go for conferences, see other people's data, and get excited and start theorizing. Then they try to scoop and publish before others.. Science.

Friday, 16 November 2007


Flash Mob! Bang! You're dead.

Yes you're dead.

Very amusing to watch. But I must say that the pillow fight was a lot more exciting.

Halloween! Our cute pumpkin with 2 teeth =)

The artists

Pumpkin after a week.. and no it's not burnt by the fires.. just providing a home for microbes..

My orchids

Chick-in-a-cup.. They're so cool.. Watch the chick develop in a cup during the time when it's usually in the shell.

Closer look at the baby chick. About 6 days old. Huge eyes. Wings and legs are developing. In fact, digits are developing. Heart is happily beating away. It's so cute.

After manipulations with hue and saturation and crop, an alien looking creature.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Instead of spending my time playing some online crossword puzzle, I'll blog.

Things to do:
  1. Get that gene into the plasmid and into the bacteria.. Why so hard??
  2. Find cute crafts to make to give to old people
  3. Chase after people to approve of my crafts and chase after other people to get me materials to make those crafts
  4. Read the 5 papers needed for me to start my lab report
  5. Read more papers to decide what final project to do
  6. Pray and hope that my tadpoles are still alive and relatively normal after its head is partially detached from the body
  7. Do something fun this weekend
  8. Plan something fun for Thanksgiving
  9. Stop feeling angry at myself for throwing my distinction in biology away
  10. Churn out some rudimentary personal statement
  11. Practise
  12. Stop feeling impatient with slower-witted people

Grr... #9. How dumb am I to make such a big mistake and not realise it until now.. Grr.. What to do?

Was the MC for senior house. Went pretty well. Actually went very well. The old people were high even though not many of them came. The song was a big hit. I'm pretty sure they felt that it was too short and it was over before they felt shiok. And I love my turtle movement. Pretty surprised that PP agreed to such cute actions. Games were exciting. My pingpong ball game went quite well. As usual all of them tried to cheat and I had to physically block them to prevent them from throwing more balls. They were nice and didn't throw balls at me. Jenga was veto-ed but the other game with the bottle air gun thing was cool. It was so exciting and the pictures came out good too. So even though we started out kind of slow.. didn't know what to say.. quite stoney, depended a lot on Alice for cues.. it was a good show..

I'm quite amused at what the sta people are trying to do. I wonder if PP noticed. Highly amusing. Sneakily taking pictures of people, suggesting people to work with each other.. hmm..

Thursday, 1 November 2007

If you haven't heard already, there was a huge fire in Southern California last week. Actually, it's many big wildfires. Burnt many homes, blackened lots of trees, evacuated hundreds of thousands of people. It's quite an experience to live through a disaster, there's a lack of those in singapore, not that I'm complaining. It was a little smokey on Sunday but we thought it was because of fires from LA and didn't think much about it, went to labs, checked my sea urchins, picked my colonies.. Monday morning, my aunt called me and told me UCSD was closed because of fires near San Diego and that she's evacuating. Wow, this thing's serious.

Well, ok, classes cancelled, no midterms. Good. The air stinks. It's much worse than Singapore during the Sumatra fires. much much worse. It's like people burning incense paper everywhere + the indonesian fires. The air smells like smoke, ash particles are everywhere. Our window was opened throughout the night and there was a black layer of soot over everything next to the window. I could see soot particles flying in. It was freaking hot and we couldn't open window. Evacuation orders were being given all day, half a million people were evacuating.. friends were freaking out and packing.. got us a bit worried too. What happens if we were asked to evacuate? I never thought that the fire would ever reach La Jolla, but since Carmel Valley (2 highway exits away) was asked to evacuate, I don't see why the evacuation order wouldn't reach us. Stayed tuned to the news all day. Loved my radio.

And then, Tuesday classes cancelled. Fires were spreading, somehow it crossed the I15. Del Mar had to evacuate, Rancho Bernado was burned.. Air's terrible. It's getting scarier. Then UCSD sent an announcement, classes cancelled all week. Hahaha. After hearing this, many many many people started leaving san diego, going back to LA, flying back to Nor Cal. Guess what I did? I hunted down a ticket to Chicago and flew there. Hahaha. Got holiday, might as well make good use of it right? More about it some other time.

Anyway, a lot of people evacuated to Qualcomm Stadium, which is the main stadium in San Diego, and the aids that were going to that stadium and other evacuation centers were just amazing. Starbucks sent coffee, Costco sent food and water, volunteers donated burgers and sandwiches and offered massages.. Donations were so much that they had to stop accepting. Thanks to all the warm-hearted Californians. People who went to Qualcomm said that it was like a festival there. Kind of like Quidditch world cup, everyone pitching tents, big screen TV, plenty of food and water.. Evacuation in luxury. How many people get coffee and massages while evacuating?

It is San Diego after all, where the rich live. Or at least the middle class. Families with comfortable lives, owning at least 1 car.. When they're asked to evacuate, most just grabbed their important stuff and sped off in their cars. The house is probably covered under extensive insurance. It'll be a lot of inconvenience if houses really burn down, but we'll all live. After all, the money's not going to burn. Furthermore, even though the air's terrible, even though it's pretty hot in the day, at least people were not wet and cold and hungry and miserable. And the later evacuation orders were sent with plenty of time for people to get ready.. People were ready.

You need friends. you need to be prepared for emergencies. You need to not panic.. San Diegans did a pretty good job at all these.