Monday, 27 September 2010


  1. kite
  2. a potted flower plant
  3. keyboard scores, film scores will be nice, or anything that sounds impressive
  4. board game, since i'm addicted now
  5. ukelele haha
  6. experiments that work
  7. to play in an ensemble/ band

I like good surprises too =)

Sunday, 26 September 2010

So long and thanks for the fish

It comes in waves. There are days when I think of him way too much, and others when I can't imagine we were ever together. I guess this is it. Thanks for the fish. If only I'm a dolphin.

Addicted to board games lately. Agricola and Puerto Rico. It's fun to use brain to do something else other than thinking up good experiments. Planning strategies that last for a few turns is much less stressful than planning expts.. With board games and dance and meeting people for lunch/ dinner, who has time for reminiscing? What is there to reminisce? go away..

Gave my first lab meeting. I guess things can only go up from now. Every lab meeting will be better than the last. I will know more about my topic, have more data and answer more questions adequately. It's a strange relationship I have with my PI. I tell her about my failed expts hoping that she'll have suggestions to right them. She tells me about her failed expts hoping, well, I don't think i'm too helpful. I also need to be able to argue my point without getting emotional. And I'm on my way to losing my crappy US accent

Sunday, 29 August 2010


spending a lot on shows lately.. nothing has been a waste of money yet

John Mayer concert at Shoreline
1st outdoor concert I've been to. It's quite cool, can see stars, and it's not too cold. It's not too packed and can smell people smoking pot. Owl City, sorry, sounded like karaoke. Maybe he didn't always sing into the mic, that's why. The keyboard/ backup singer has a really sweet voice and he has a violin and cello too. Cool. Fireflies song got firefly lights glowing in the background. Wish he sang Vanilla Twilight though.
John Mayer. I liked this better than the trio concert. Mainly because I know a lot more of the songs he sang this time. They were more mainstream songs, like No Such Thing, Gravity, Heartbreak Warfare, Waiting for the world to change.. The giant screen behind him helped a lot, since we were about a few hundred metres away from the stage. He's a damn good guitarist, there's no denying.. And he can sing. I want a ukelele.

Beauty and the Beast, the Disney musical
It follows the cartoon so closely I'm amazed. The sets, the conversations, it's the exact words from the show. I'm really impressed with the sets and costumes and choreo. Turning sets around to make a new set is brilliant. Mrs Potts' arms can't move much, haha, Lumiere's lights can go on and off, and Cogsworth got pendulum hanging down his belly. The beast is quite shuai. Lefou is really cute. They added a mug clanging dance in Gaston which I really really liked. Be Our Guest was really grand too, can almost match the cartoon. Of the new songs, I liked "If I can't love her" the best. Maybe it's the lyrics, maybe it's the catchy progression, she'll never love me if i can't love her. I didn't like the acoustics that much, the brasses are really loud and the singing was covered sometimes.. but maybe i got used to it after a while and it stopped bothering me =) Such a sweet story.

Sweet stories, happy endings.. too many of them. May reality be as sweet as that
2yrs.. i can't do that. plan of action: inaction.

I never thought i'll say this, but i really miss playing in a group. Considering that I never liked playing bass much, I miss playing it with others. Anyone want a bassist?

"Since when do we dislike ourselves so much that we shudder at photos of ourselves because it looks too much like us? We have to turn our face sideways to take pictures so they don't look so much like us."

Thursday, 29 July 2010


There are as many songs about falling out of love as those about falling in love.. Here are a couple to add to the collection, 1st one's dug out from a yr ago, 2nd one's fresh. I hope these are the last of this kind i'm writing.

To listen, click the links below
Locked out
Let it go

Locked out
Sitting right next to you in the car
driving to the shores to look at the stars
I made a joke, you said uh-huh
your mind was somewhere far

On Saturday, I gave you a call
wanted to go with you to the mall
had a good lunch but you were grouchy
Why aren't you happy

What makes you laugh
What makes you cry
How can I read your mind
What can I do
to please you
how can I ever know
I am locked out
I am locked out locked out
locked out of your heart

Let it go


* 但火花从没擦起

Let it go
Let it go
这条路 太多障碍物
Let it go
I’ll let you go
梦醒了 你走了
雨停了 天晴了



Friday, 16 July 2010


It was the perfect day yesterday. I jammed (it was decent jamming, i was surprised at how good it was), I danced (horrible dancing but whatever) and I drank lemon tea the whole day. Lovely. The only prob was that I couldn't sleep. It's been a while since I was so jittery that I can't sleep, maybe there was a night or 2 in this year, maybe not. Last time when i had a jittery period was a year back. Was it the tea? Or was it spidey?

Making music has always made me happy, though my ability to make music has diminished throughout the year. I need to get it back.

Quote of the day: You need to like yourself

Why am I so bothered?

I'm ready to go back to lab.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Things I've forgotten about singapore

  1. It's so green! It's a different shade of green, very new, very fresh. Don't get much of it in SF
  2. The green man to cross road is green! not white
  3. We use so many plastic bags, especially compared to SF where plastic bags are banned from grocery stores
  4. No one says hi to u at the checkout counter
  5. It's so hot
  6. People wear very nice clothes, go out here cannot anyhow dress like going to haight
  7. No one is obese
  8. Can't use credit for everything, in fact can't use credit for most things. I've only used it once so far
  9. People get super high on world cup. Can hear people shouting through my window every time the ball gets close to the goal

The list will go on.. as i discover more

Friday, 2 July 2010

Academic salaries and satisfaction

Read the Nature article here
Asians earn peanuts.. about half of what Americans earn at full professor level. And there are fewer full profs in Asia too. Industrial positions also pays about twice as well as academic positions.
If money's what you're after, be a guy, be in US and go into industry.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Alcohol under the Microscope

That's Pina Colada, dried out, and viewed under microscope. Very peacock-ish.

More pictures here. I can almost see some sort of character associated with different alcohols. Tequila is angular. Champagne looks softer and classier. Sake is warm and bold.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Mission in the Mix

Never thought i'll say this, but I'm learning quite a bit from America's Next Top Model. How to make yourself look tall, how to shoot daggers with your eyes, what to do with your mouth etc. Comes in handy during dance

Talking about dance, Soul Force is amazing. They can use their bodies and faces.. in so many styles. And none of them esoteric. I've watched them 3 times and want to watch them more.

Mission in the mix has been a good experience. To go through it with people as clueless as I am is great. It was great to learn a dance that well and show it and not just do it. The teacher's fantastic and her assistants are so much fun. Now i'm gushing positive words.

Can't wait to go home

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

cell bio problem set question- sums up my last 2 weeks and next 2 weeks

Two pathways exist in a Tetrad 1st year winter quarter cell. The first one starts with a Cell Biology input that leads to the activation of Super Cool Biology (SCB). This recruits cell bio prof (DM) and the Cell Bio Crew (CBC). DM and CBC catalyze the formation of Memorable Quotes (MQ) which goes to the nucleus to turn on the transcription of Happy TAs (HTAs). HTAs promote Yummy Baked Goods (YBG) and Relatively Nice Grading (RNG) production, which all eventually lead to the outputs of Fun Times in Cell Biology and a awesome Cell Bio Proposal (CBP). The other pathway starts with a Bioreg input that also leads to the activation of SCB. However, this recruits bioreg prof (JL) and the Bioreg Crew (BRC). JL and BRC promote Central Dogma Overload (CDO), which leads to activation of Massive Memorization (MM). MM phosphorylates Freaking Out Over Proposal Ideas (FOOPI), which causes a conformational change that allows it to enter the nucleus and promote the transcription of CBP and Bioreg Specific Proposal (BSP). BSP goes on to activate Dread of Unknown Duo of Examiners (DUDE) and then Stressful Orals (SO). SO is a protein kinase that phosphorylates PASS or FAIL depending on inputs from other players that are not yet understood. Once phosphorylated, PASS catalyzes Sh!t-load of Drinking and Celebration (SLDC), while phosphorylated FAIL feeds back to Bioreg.

As mentioned above, the PASS or FAIL outcome is determined by unknown regulators. In vitro, SO phosphorylates both PASS and FAIL at equal rates. However, in vivo, SO activity is strongly biased towards PASS. A screen recently revealed a factor, Extreme Work (EW), the overexpression of which results in 100% PASS phosphorylation and 0% FAIL phosphorylation. Describe one possible mechanism for how EW could be providing PASS specificity to SO and how you would experimentally test this hypothesis.

-koping this from the problem set (Anna) without permission

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Top 10 perks of being an academic scientist

It's a Wonderful Life: A Career as an Academic Scientist
Mol Biol Cell. 2010 Jan;21(1):11-4.

  1. Freedom to Choose Your Directions
  2. Reinvent oneself through one's career
  3. Participating in the great era of discovery
  4. Being part of an international community joined by common interests
  5. Pleasant travels
  6. A social and youthful job
  7. Many measures of success
  8. Flexible daily schedule
  9. Doing some good
  10. Scholarship

I like 3, 4, 5, 9 and 10.
What do you think are the perks of your job?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Recent wisdoms

I love talking to smart people. Or having wise people talk to us. Here are some random pieces that I don't want to forget.

From Sandy:
How much proof do you need before you believe something is real? You can always disprove something with an example of a case that doesn't fit the theory. But how much evidence would you need before a theory becomes a fact? Evolution by natural selection is a theory but we all believe in it. If it's just a belief, what makes it different from intelligent design? We believe in our evidence, they believe in theirs.. How's one more right than another?

From Ron:
Ron was just inspiring. He's right. I got to do something other than science. Help the community, help lab, make friends, spend time with friends and family. It's not about karma, it's about being human. Whatever happened to my humanities training?
My New year's resolution: be generous with my time and not hog it all for myself.

On a separate note, check this out. if you want to learn some biology, the lectures here are pretty good. Not too long, not too difficult.

From me:
Watched this Jap postdoc come ask another Jap postdoc questions. Think they bowed to each other 5 times before started talking.. What would they think of american culture? where you call your PI by his first name, joke, curse, swear with ur superiors..

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Back to life

I love holidays. Don't have to worry about work, school, deadlines.. But holidays have to end. And it's back to life. Let me bask in my last hours of holidays..

The older i get, the more emotional i get. Thought people get hardened by life. I never used to cry in movies.. but now i'm getting teary at albatross stories. Not to mention the tears shed for stolen clothes. Perhaps i'm just not used to having attention when bad things happen.. and crying is not an expression of sadness but an expression of thanks for all the concern? weirdo

Highlights of the holidays
  1. hiding out in cafes in cold drizzly weather (if anything, i'm not against Starbucks any more
  2. Pike's clam chowder
  3. Avatar
  4. train ride to Vancouver
  5. bus ride in the rainy night back to Seattle (feeling warm and protected in the bus, playing Spikey and talking abt life)
  6. Koi palace dim sum
  7. quaint downtowns (Napa, SB)
  8. Monterey Bay Aquarium (the bkgd music + the sea creatures never fail to attract me)
  9. beautiful coastline, fierce waves, foamy seas (Monterey, 17-mile dr, Big Sur, I would go there any time)
  10. different photo ideas from different people at the same spots
  11. John Mayer trio (extremely talented 3 people, 5 rows away from me)
  12. warm comfy beds
  13. Guitar Hero
  14. CS's sour apple pie
  15. nice guitar
  16. Balboa Park on a sunny Sat afternoon watching planes land and people take wedding photos
  17. being around friends, all the time

Forgettable moments

  1. discovering that the car's missing
  2. hotel room getting broken into and luggage rummaged through
  3. Hearst castle
  4. LA jams