Thursday, September 30, 2004

On the DNC website!
Debate Bingo!
That's hilarious.

Not so hilarious is the fact that my left front tire is now flat. I think perhaps I drove over some glass waste from the bar behind my house. Uncool.

Also, is it ture that Conan is going to take Leno's job in 4-5 years? That just doesn't seem right. I'd hate to see his style get cramped by the earlier time slot. Would we still have Triumph the insult comic dog?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Have ya heard the one about the macaque with herpes b virus?

Sorry, just annoyed at some reorganization in the animal facility where we get mice.

So, I've come today to share a household tip, and a recipie.

The story begins with a trio of nectarines. I like nectarines. I like them more than I like peaches or plums. They're quite tasty at their best. However, this particular trio of nectarines seemed to refuse to ripen. I allowed them to sit, out of direct sunlight, hoping that ethelene would work its magic and turn the hard rocks into tasty fruits. Mmmmm, tasty fruits. They refused to do so however. I checked them every day. Still, hard as rock.

One day however, they were not hard as rock. There were fruit flies everywhere. The little buggers had evidently colonized my nectarines without compromising their external strength. I don't know how it happend. But I now had an apartment full of drosophila. Not wanting my personal and professional lives to mix too much, I decided I needed to get rid of them. If you ever have fruit flies you can do the same thing...

First of all, you need to make sure to get rid of anything that further eggs might develop on. Any fruit or vegetable matter should be in your fridge. Indeed, no food product of any kind should be left in an open container. At that point all you need to do is efficiently get rid of the current generation of adults. To do this, take several disposable cups or other open mouth containers. Pour 3/4 of an inch of wine or cidar vinegar into each cup. Add a drop of simple dish detergent. Set them out around your residence. The flies will come to take a drink, walking down the side of the cup to the surface of the liquid. The fly will make the fatal mistake of putting it's fore legs on the surface of the liquid. Because of the detergent, there is reduced surface tension, and instead of being able to put its weight on the liquid surface, the fly will wall into the liquid and drown. Pretty cool. Just throw the liquid out after a few days.

Now that we've talked about flies, it's time to discuss recipes. My perfect meal these days consists of three pre packaged ingredients. First, a box of rice-a-roni, second, half a pound of bulk sausage, and third, a package of pre mixed fozen stir fry vegetables. You should be able to find all of these at your local grocer. For the bulk sausage I usually go with the Jimmy Dean brand, but there are other good ones to try as well. I usually grab the grocer's generic stir fry vegetables. This recipe places a premium on ease of preperation and ease of clean up. Prepare the rice a roni according to the package microwave directions. This means a microwave time of ~20 minutes in a large bowl. You should have your sausage already defrosted at this point. 10 minutes into the microwave time, you should fire up the stove top and put your sausage down in a skillet. Cook till brown. You should get finished cooking the meat at about the time the rice is done. Put the meat on top of the rice in your large bowl. Then, quickly pour some vegetables into the skillet and quickly cook them. It should take less than five minutes. Pour the veggies over top. Enjoy this meal with a nice glass of milk, and a piece or can of fruit, and you've got all your food groups. If you're on the Atkins diet, get off.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I listened to the NU vs. KS game on saturday, and was pleased to find out we won.
Went to dinner with one of the grad students in my lab a couple nights ago. We hit the campus japanese restaurant. Not a bad place. I got udon and a spicy tuna roll. We talked about science and life. Not bad at all.
Otherwise nothing much seems to be happening around here.
It's like... like the Noyes street el stop at 9:30pm on a week night. Nothing going on. A few street lights are on but they don't illuminate any activity.

So, no more updates for now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I've been so busy checking the email, that I totally forgot about the weblog!

Not any more.

EDIT: Damn, I better be careful if I ever go to India. I could get put in the gaol!

Monday, September 13, 2004

When I was in high school, I recall picking up some interesting old books from the school library. Dusty books, appearing to have sat untouched for many years on the shelf. Books written in a forgotten era, an era whose emotions were unremembered. Books written during the 1970's and 1980's about the strategy and consequences of nuclear war between the superpowers.

I was frankly fascinated by this volume of literature detailing the myriad ways I could have been killed during the first decade of my life. As a high schooler, with the 1980's and indeed the Soviet Union merely a vague memory in my mind, the strategic literature of the period seemed strangely earnest, and yet quaint at the same time. Afterall, these authors had predicted an end like a lion, and of course the era instead went out like a lamb. Yet there was also a strange, almost pornagraphic draw to the writings as well. A certain guilty thrill from peering at the deep darkness lurkiung in the mind of an older generation... a darkness necessary perhaps, but no less dark for being so. The matter of fact descriptions of the effect of a MIRV'd 5 MT ICBM on the city of Chicago or Minsk were shocking, but also thrilling, if only because they seemed so impossible in the present world. Like the special effects of a Hollywood blockbuster, it was entertaining precisely because it was not real.

Reread the Three Conjectures last night. It brought me back to that high school library, and the black and white arial maps with superimposed concentric circles. Marcus Tacitus suggests that our current strugle may only be the labor pains of a coming singularity. I'm rather skeptical of that eschatology. I don't think we have any more or less of an ability to predict the future than people living a thousand years ago. While our tehcnological advancements make "natural" phenomenon ever more subject to prediction and control, those same advances lay even more power at the feet of humans -- us, in all our tarnished glory. We're not approaching a singularity in time, beyond which no adequate predictions can be made. No, the shock is that despite all of our advances, the prediction of the future remains the sole purview of the prophets. The problem now is the relative balance of power. While the ancients could petition God to deliver them from famine or flood, we're forced to rely on the grace of other humans to withold fire and brimstone.

But perhaps... things are more in hand than we realize...

"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come....All these are the beginning of birth pains."

Friday, September 10, 2004

Okay, why does this only happen when I'm not around?!

Scroll Down

Look at the last picture...

Why didn't this happen while I was at NU? They certainly would have had an easier time feeding 8,000 NU students than 40,000 voracious UW students.
Now I'm going to sulk...

...or go to Qdoba.
I'm in the habit of not watching the evening news. I'm even more in the habit of avoiding the television "news journal" shows like the plague.

I don't know very much about the demographics of my readership, but in case you are an avid CBS network and/or 60 Minutes fan, you should check out this post about last night's broadcast. Or rather about the authenticity of some evidence cited in last night's broadcast. Ace also has a nice summary run down (just keep scrolling).

What with the current media establishment shooting themselves in the foot so often, maybe I should look into a career in journalism...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I wonder if I had a fever last night.
I woke up around 4 am covered in sweat. It was warm, but not that warm in my room. Then, after getting a glass of water, I decided it would be a good idea to go to sleep on my floor and not on my bed. Very strange. I can recall being conscious while lying down on the floor, but I don't really recall any reasoning or decision making going on at the time.

One observation about my work place. Down the hall from our lab is the common "dishwashing" room which is used by all the labs on our floor. Not only are there two automatic dish washers in the room, but there are two autoclaves as well for sterilization.

That's four machines in total. All are roughly the same size and shape, and besides the washing machines have glass fronts they all basically look the same as well. Simple, squat, stainless steel.

I probably go into that room a couple times a week at most. About every other time that I go into the room (so roughly once every week or two) one of these four machines has a sign on it saying that it is out of order and waiting to be serviced. It's not the same machine, week after week, lanquishing unloved and unrepaired. It's a different machines each time that seems in need of maintenance. This has been going on since as far back as I can recall... so a year. Our building isn't that old... only a couple years. The machines don't look any older than the building. So what I can't figure out is why they are always falling apart.... and why it's evidently cheaper to repair them on a monthly basis than buy new machines from a scientific supplier other than Incraptogen. (Comment not meant to disparage any real bio suppliers with, "in", "gen" or "crap" in their names)

Friday, September 03, 2004

Wow, I just discovered that the house has a blog... err, sorta.

You can see the proceedings of the house at the Office of the Clerk website. I'm going to have to brush up a bit on my Robert's Rules of Order, but still it's a rather nice site. They even provide hyperlinks to the text and status of all house and senate resolutions whenever they are discussed in the proceedings. Now you can see for yourself what kind of crap your congressman wastes his time on... and just how far they are overstepping their constitutional bounds...

Interestingly, by my reading, the house hasn't even met since July 22nd. They've been on recess over a month! I'd say that was an intolerable dereliction of duty except that at least while they're on recess they can't make any new laws...