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I like running and science and I have no idea what I'm doing with my life. So I'm writing a blog or something.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Call me Kimmael

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to the sea as soon as I can.
-Herman Melville, Moby-Dick chapter 1

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Art, Science, and the fusion thereof, Part II

I realize that my last post on this topic was not some of my best writing.  I probably should have edited it a bit before posting.  So here is a summary of what I think was the point I was trying to make (in oh, so many poorly written words):

There is a place for art inspired by science.  In fact, that art is usually some of my favorite.  But there is an important difference between science art and art/science fusion.  Macro pictures, realistic sculptures, paintings inspired by DNA sequencing are all science art.  Judit(the artist from the talk)'s installment of calcite heart and lungs disintegrating in increasingly acidic water is art/science fusion because there is a a science-y message behind it.  Her talk, however, was more a historical fiction that mentioned science.

In other words, art and science can both be great in their own right, or together, but I like it better when there's a point.

And in conclusion, here's a picture of rum and coke viewed under a microscope (thanks FSU chemistry):

Monday, January 23, 2012

In which my high school French came in handy for something other than crosswords

Tonight at de Vere's Irish Pub Pub Quiz, my team placed 7th and actually won a prize for the first time:
Yes that is a single packing peanut in our shot glass.
Yes, we won one shot glass for five people and it was decided I should keep it and bring it to South Africa with me as a reminder of the 9 pub quizzes I will sadly miss.  But I will be on a ship on the ocean doing geology, so I think I'll be ok.  And there was a geology question tonight, albeit an easy one (what is the name of the super continent during the paleozoic? a super continent that apparently has a myspace?).  Anyway, pub quiz was a good time as always, but that much sweeter since we won something!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Only two weeks left in the states!  I'm mostly excited, but a little overwhelmed about what I want to get done before I go.

In other news, the sunsets sure have been pretty lately.

My room is definitely a room with a view!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Art, Science, and the fusion thereof

My mom and I went to a talk sponsored by the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion program as part of their "the Consilience of art and science speaker series."  The talk was entitled "Pages from the Book of the Unknown Explorer" by a self-described "process-based visual artist," Judit Hersko.  It was more a story and slideshow than a talk, really.  The overall story was one of using art and the humanities to investigate antarctic ecology.  I don't think I can remotely do the presentation justice by trying to summarize it here, so I'm not going to try.  After this story, Judit went on to talk about her efforts in bringing science, in the form of art projects, to students who were otherwise difficult or just plain didn't want to learn about science.

The audience was clearly moved and enamored of her presentation and ideas.  And to some degree I agree with all of the feedback from the audience.  By using a multi-disciplinary approach to education, I think kids, as well as adults, can get a lot more out of the subjects they're learning.  The real world doesn't separate subjects in neat little boxes; everything is connected.

An example of art/science fusion in the oak grove in the UCD arboretum- I made the bird!

Ok, so now I'm going to ramble tangentally on and on about art, science, and ocean acidification, so continue after the jump and read at your own risk.

Monday, January 16, 2012

To Kindle or not to Kindle

Reading Technology <-- fitting comic to come out today.

As I prepare to go offshore for two months, I'm wondering if I should get a Kindle.


  • Access to millions of books, magazines, newspapers, etc on a small, light-weight object
  • Since I want to pack light, having a Kindle means less space and weight taken up by books
  • Maybe in the future I can get my grad school textbooks cheaper on the Kindle?
  • Monetary commitment (in addition to buying the Kindle itself, I'd probably buy a case to protect it and then all the books/media to put on it costs money as well)
  • I've always been against the whole concept of a Kindle;  I really like reading real, physical books
  • The comic I linked to at the beginning of this post expresses my feelings exactly
And if I do decide to get one, there are five different Kindles to choose from...

UPDATE 1/17/11 14:58: does anyone have anything bad to say about the Kindle?  I'm still not 100% sure I'll get one, but the scales sure do seem to be tipping.

UPDATE 1/20/11 12:23: NOT GETTING ONE.  I just don't want one. Too bad I wasted all that time researching them, but when I tried one out in Office Max, it was not remotely compelling.