Monday, November 15, 2010

How to draw on your own marshmellows (and still be able to eat them)

I'm not sure how I didn't know about food coloring pens but I'm really excited. :)

Click here for more info about food coloring pens.

Holy Crocheting Klingons Batman!!!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You have got to be kidding...

So I thought that a doctorate stood for something, no matter what school you got it from. Because I had this sort of idea that crappy schools wouldn't be able to sustain programs like that. Well, no worries, I'm not so naive anymore.

Because now, you can get your doctorate online. That's right...from the comfort of your home, you too can get a degree that people in the past have spent years achieving. Granted, it is a Doctorate in Health Education...but seriously???

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh joy...Is education worth it?

Questions a PhD should just stop asking education worth it? At this point, we'd better just go with the idea that it is or or lives will get even more depressing. Well, Gizmodo and The Chronicle decided to help us out with that.

A recent publication released a variety of information regarding jobs of people with degrees. This chart has been included.

But everyone's favorite depressing part of this is the following:
"there are 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s, other doctorates, or professional degrees."

Keep in mind that a professional degree can mean a number of things (even though Gizmodo headlines 5000 PhD janitors) and that none of these people were asked more about it. Is it due to economic hardship? Being blacklisted in academia for something they did? or even free will? They also generalize janitors when in their graph they say janitors and cleaners other than maids...and state that 5.7% of people in that group have at least a bachelors. Well, that 5057 with higher degrees account for 4.7% of that (wee math). So maybe there is a bit of exaggeration going on. Cleaning jobs don't necessitate working at a high school moping up kids puke, although for some reason that is the sight my brain invokes.

So maybe it's not as scary. This list of people with bachelors degrees in other jobs leaves out a lot of things. Especially in light of the fact that the degree options out there are pretty various and their level of usefulness also varies. Level of drive of the student definitely plays a role. I've definitely known people that went to college to go to college, not for the degree. Some of them definitely dropped out, some got their degrees following the path of least resistance. However, I definitely don't just write off people in low income jobs with degrees. Competition in fields is definitely a big one. Say, for instance, musical theater. I can't tell you the number of actors I know working at starbucks or waitressing. And sometimes it's just a matter of luck, good or bad.

Ok, enough ranting.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's about time...

Somebody got it right. So before you go quoting that swimming pools cause cancer, read how news articles sum up scientific papers to the lay people.
This is a news website article about a scientific paper

In the standfirst I will make a fairly obvious pun about the subject matter before posing an inane question I have no intention of really answering: is this an important scientific finding?

Read it! Do it now!!

Halloween Candy: Blood slide suckers

This is pretty awesome.

Blood slide Suckers recipe

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Support animal rescue!

Today I came across a really neat thing Animal Rescue Pet Shop. Each time you click on the link below or make a purchase from their site, it feeds animals in rescue shelters. They tell you how many bowls of food your purchases fund. Details here. They have cutesy things (see below), $1 shipping on $30+ orders and support animal shelters. Yes please.

Please click here!! It costs you nothing and supports animal shelters! CLICK HERE TO DONATE FOR FREE




Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kitchen...before and after

When I bought my house, one of the biggest eye sores was definitely the kitchen. I could not get over that floor or the cabinets with their red-toned brown that clashed with the yellow-toned beige on the walls. It drove me nuts. After having purchased tiles over a year ago to solve this problem, something was finally done...

What all did I do??
-Peel and stick tile over the old laminate
-New countertop
-Painted the metal cabinets
-New sink
-Installed a garbage disposal (that's right, this house had no disposal or dishwasher)
-New faucet

I friend of mine is a contractor so he did the work with me helping where I could. For ~$1000, check out my transformation.



The stained, 50's diner countertop.

That nasty floor...

Yay awesome kitchen

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's about time!!!

See! I'm not the only one to say pop and now I have proof! source


funny gifs - Superslomo Karate CHOP!
see more SeƱor Gif

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ass-hattery at its finest

This is the sort of thing I like to call ass-hattery. Many things annoy me and many people get the simple title of ass. Then there are ass-hats. This term is reserved for people that particularly annoy me or choose to cut me off in traffic.

Not only does the Twilight saga make vampires into dreamy, sparkly's ruining my Disney favorites.

I've been waiting since 2001 for Beauty and the Beast to be re-released on DVD and I've been anxious since the announcement earlier this year that it would be back on the shelves in November. They need to stop teasing me. Rumors flew a few years back about the re-release since other DVDs whose original DVD releases were after Beauty and the Beast have been out already.

Bottom line: The Beauty and the Beast release has been post-poned INDEFINITELY. Blarg.


My secret is out.

An interesting blog:
"There's a ruinous misconception that a Ph.D. must be smart. This can't be true. A smart person would know better than to get a Ph.D."

And he's right.


Bill and Ted's Excellent Inception

Friday, July 30, 2010

Iz like my kitteh

Big magnets...not to be trifled with...

This happened at work once (on a smaller scale). It wasn't pretty. $5000 to remove a metal handle from the N2 valve that bounced straight into a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Magnet. The Dr down the hall is built like a linebacker but he couldn't pry it off. Can't turn off the magnet, you have to quench it, destroying it. No good.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Holy crap it's cute

and badass (it eats men-of-war)? nice


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another yay science post!

Students make a portable centrifuge that doesn't require electricity for ~$30. The one in my lab probably cost $2,000+. Granted, it has more features and is far more helpful to me on a daily basis, but yeah, this is cool.

Sally Centrifuge - Read more here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Remembering awesome...

A friend of mine is going backpacking which reminds me of my South America trip.


Osprey Kestrel 48


North Face Capris: Good for warmer climates, making you feel like not a total schlub while backpacking and are quick dry. Don't forget lightweight.

Convertible North Face pants: Good for every day. Great for days when you change from the mountains to suddenly in the rainforest (like we did). Look silly but are quick dry and are very lightweight. (Pictured: Paramount Peak Convertible Pant)

Chacos!!! Just be warned the following may happen. However, mine were perfect for white water rafting when everyone else went barefoot. And hiking when boots are too heavy. Bring these (maybe Tivas) or just don't bring sandals.

Hi-Tec Boots (or other awesome hiking boot): Keep the feet dry and happy.

Good hiking socks: Wick moisture to keep your feet dry, provide support, breathe, warm and cushion your feetsies. I forget the exact brand of mine but these look right. (Pictured: Thorlo Hiking socks)

Under Armour rain coat: It stops the wind, has no leak zippers and, thankfully, breathes. It's the only rain coat I've ever liked. It is also a goofy coral color...but I got it on sale

Columbia fleece (or other awesome fleece): I got mine at JC Penney for $15-20 probably 5 years ago...yay spring sale. Didn't need more than this and my rain jacket for cold nights. But this was South America, not Alaska.

Camelbak: For all your water-carrying needs. My pack also has a pouch specifically for this and places to attach the hose. Perfect.

Leatherman Blast (or other Leatherman or Gerber):

Yep, definitely the stuff I will never travel without again. The quick dry underwear wasn't bad but at $18 a pop, I dunno. They would actually dry after you washed them in the wickedly humid air.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sushi and tasty day

So my love of jujubees and my excitement for sushi tonight has caused this investigation...into CANDY SUSHI!

Jelly beans ftw!!

Lemonheads also - FTW!


Food Network
Very similar to the Food Network recipe with bonus sushi type and pictures

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You didn't learn this in school...

With gems such as "Hunger is fat leaving the body," "Most women aren't sexually stimulated by spanking," "How to break off a fight with a hobo before he stabs you," and my personal favorite "Foreign Objects You're Going to Try to Put in the Microwave at Some Point so Let's Just Get it Out of Your System Now."

The 10 Most Important Things They Didn't Teach You In School
This is a must read

Monday, June 28, 2010

Neil Patrick Harris, yay

I'm not big on Glee...but wee.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tears of joy...

Oscar now has new feet. After an accident with farm equipment, they built him prosthetics that his skin will graft to. This gives me tears of joy. source

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Boo Science!

So the other flip of the coin. The New York Times recently published an article complaining about the lack of progress. See my last post for some "Yay science!"

Be prepared. I'm about to jump on my soap box.

My responses to parts of the article...

"But the primary goal of the $3 billion Human Genome Project — to ferret out the genetic roots of common diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and then generate treatments — remains largely elusive. Indeed, after 10 years of effort, geneticists are almost back to square one in knowing where to look for the roots of common disease."

Ummm...back to square 1 huh? We can map genes to the 'reference genome'. Let's just start with Francis Collins since I discussed him in my last entry and his story is fresh on my brain. He found a single nucleotide difference in 1 gene that causes Progeria. The human genome has thousands of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms and other changes in our DNA. If our DNA was the same, we wouldn't all have so many differences. THAT shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. But no, linking a single base pair change to a disease...that's not progress at all. Oh, and btw, they discovered what that single base pair chain causes and a potential treatment to alleviate the problem. It's in a Phase II trial. Yep, back to square 1.

"In announcing on June 26, 2000, that the first draft of the human genome had been achieved, Mr. Clinton said it would 'revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases.' "

Yes, because turning in your first draft for your final paper will always yield the best results...We didn't have a draft of the genome that we felt confident in until 2003. The 'reference genome' is made of sequences from several different people so it can be a better reference because we are all different.

"It was far too expensive at that time to think of sequencing patients’ whole genomes. So the National Institutes of Health embraced the idea for a clever shortcut, that of looking just at sites on the genome where many people have a variant DNA unit. But that shortcut appears to have been less than successful." [the 'clever' shortcut involves looking at common variants in different human populations] "But with most diseases, the common variants have turned out to explain just a fraction of the genetic risk."

Clearly, because it didn't answer the riddle, we have failed as scientists. Oh, and btw, the reason we did that was because of how ridiculously expensive it was to sequence a genome. Currently, we're down to $30,000/complete genome sequence. It's estimated to be down to $1,000/genome in the next 2 years. Filtering through the info contained in billions of base pairs will be easier when we can take out the noise that is common differences between you and me.

"But most of the sites linked with diseases are not in genes — the stretches of DNA that tell the cell to make proteins — and have no known biological function, leading some geneticists to suspect that the associations are spurious."

Ummm...who is your source calling this spurious? Between genes are thousands of binding sites for things like transcription factors that regulate the expression of proteins coded by genes. Some are certainly spurious but we don't know all the interactions between proteins and DNA. I doubt they are all spurious just because we haven't figured it out yet...

"The only way to find rare genetic variations is to sequence a person’s whole genome, or at least all of its gene-coding regions. That approach is now becoming feasible because the cost of sequencing has plummeted, from about $500 million for the first human genome completed in 2003 to costs of $5,000 to $10,000 that are expected next year. "

Several points I already mentioned but they didn't seem to care about earlier...

"But while 10 years of the genome may have produced little for medicine, the story for basic science has been quite different. Research on the genome has transformed biology, producing a steady string of surprises. First was the discovery that the number of human genes is astonishingly small compared with those of lower animals like the laboratory roundworm and fruit fly." ... "Little, if any, of this research could have been done without having the human genome sequence available. Every gene and control element can now be mapped to its correct site on the genome, enabling all the working parts of the system to be related to one another."

So, they are telling us that having the 'reference sequence' has been really helpful. Ok, so we haven't solved cancer yet. Just because we haven't done what some president predicted in the time he allotted, doesn't mean we failed. Eventually this writer kind of ish came around. But they sure as hell tried to make it as much like a failure by their wording.

Ugh. I'm off my soapbox. For now.

Yay Science!!

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health brought up some interesting points at a recent talk at my school.

Recovery Act:
- Funding health care research
- Funding whole genome sequencing of cancers and projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)

"...the scope of the TCGA Research Network has expanded to include more than 20 tumor types and thousands of samples over the next five years. Each cancer will undergo comprehensive genomic characterization that incorporates powerful bioinformatic and data analysis components. The expansion of TCGA is expected to lead to the most comprehensive understanding of cancer genomes and will enable researchers to further mine the data generated by TCGA to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer."

50 Acute Myeloid Leukemia genomes have been sequenced (leukemic cells and the same patient's 'normal' cells). 10-20 Myelodysplastic Syndrome genomes are currently in the works. Numerous breast cancer and prostate cancer genomes have been completed with more in the works. We're already learning awesome things about these genomes. Check out this AWESOME study that was published in Nature. I got to speak to the author of this paper and have colleagues that work directly with him.

So there, yay science! And yay the recovery act.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How to get better at being ironman

Maybe I should be Iron Man for Halloween. The pieces just keep coming together...

First, my previous post and now this shirt.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I knight thee...

A friend emailed me, the source is unknown.