Monday, October 26, 2009

Paris is Burning

It's another Monday. And once again, while I should be doing my work I feel the need to blog.

Maybe it's guilt. Guilt that I haven't been keeping up with this damn thing. I really need to since I suppose it doubles as an outlet for thoughts and emotions. Whatever.

Got back from Puerto Rico Saturday night. I attended ACS Southeastern Regional Meeting or the simple rearranged acronym "SERMACS". It was interesting. Presented a poster on the chemical composition of Cedrela odorata.

Also heard nobel laurate Roald Hoffmann lecture. Yeah. You know the Woodward-Hoffmann rules in organic? Same guy. Very interesting scientist. Survived the Holocaust. Wrote plays. Music producer. Poet. Artist. The man is a genius. To think logically, but also to acknowledge beauty in all it's forms. That's my goal. Right now it seems that my life is more or less driven towards science in the respect that I have little time for expressing any artistic qualities. Hopefully I will be able to change that when I have some more free time. I need to write more. Like I said, I've been slacking with the blog as it is. But writing poetry down... I never remember to. I should probably work on that. I also wanted to try my hand at oil paintings. I love looking at the textures on canvas. Maybe I'll buy some supplies for my birthday. Then there's photography. I got some half-assed shots in during the trip. I was injured for the majority of the pictures I took, so it was more like "(Snap a shot before you fall over!)"

Oh right, the "injury". Yeah. This is a fun story... Finally had some free time to spend in Puerto Rico after all the poster presentations. Decided to go to the beach and get some surfing in while I was there. Swam for awhile and hit up against a huge rock. For those of you unfamilar with northern Puerto Rico, there are a lot of fucking rocks. At any rate, it was like "(No big deal. Ow, wave. Ow, wave. Swim faster or else you'll hit up against the rock again.)" So I got hit up against it pretty well. When I came back onshore Whitney pointed out the my leg was bleeding. Ok. No big deal. Just a little blood. Then... I started walking towards the surf shop. I had to stop because of the pain. Sat on the curb and noticed what I thought were splinters. Some were pertruding from the skin, so naturally I ripped them out. Then I noticed SEVERAL inside my left foot and a few in my right foot. Long story short: guy at the surf shop said those weren't splinters but rather sea urchin spines. So I discontinued use of my left heel and rather "hopped" with my right foot and pushed off with my left foot. So it provides some mild entertainment and serves as an odd limping movent.

The spines are painful and pressure on these areas only pushes them into the foot. They are also reverse barbs. Meaning, don't try to fish them out with a needle or tweezers. ... ... ... Okay, looking back on that, I did not intend on the cheezy pun. On the brightside, the spines a Ca/Mg. So, using basic chemical knowledge: dissolve the spines. I used vinegar since it's composed of acetic acid (a weak acid). The perk is that it won't burn my skin or anything, but the downside is that it has an epilthelial barrier before reaching the actual spines. I've seen people post on sites about using vinegar for sea urchin spines, but I have had little success so far. The spines will slowly dissolve on their own. I imagine that is because the skin is slightly acidic... At any rate, I have crutches so I don't drive them in further. I hate using crutches. And I hate being handicapped.

P.S. I was right by the fuel storage facility in San Juan. It was still burning when we left.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Low Of Solipsism

Well, I think it has been a sufficiently long enough time for me to have another entry.

So, what have I been up to? To be honest, I've been busy as usual. Trying to actually have a life and do decent in school. I've come to terms with the fact that I try to do the least amount possible for the best score possible. It's amazing really, when I don't really care about a test and party before it I seem to do just as well as if I had spent weeks studying.

Took some pictures over Spring Break in Decatur and Downtown Huntsville. My camera isn't terribly impressive, but it'll get the job done. One of these days I will invest in a 50 mm or something that takes higher quality pictures. I also need to take out the powerlines in a couple of my better pictures... They are such a pain to deal with... I've been thinking about selling some or even altering them and then painting them on canvas and then selling the paintings. Cool huh? Well, it sounded like fun to me anyway.

I have a nice little job working in the vivarium on campus. The research is in cooperation with Nektar, so it'll be good to have some contacts there. Speaking of contacts, I have been to two undergraduate research conferences lately: one at the University of Memphis and one at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. I gave an oral presentation at the one in Memphis and a poster presentation at UAB. Through those I've made quite a number of good contacts. I also attended the Builing Your Career in Biotech Workshop that was useful. It basically reinforced my ideas on how things in applying for a biotech job are like, but it was still informative.

Saw An Horse at The End in Nashville with Kim and Cassie. AMAZING show. They were really good live. Didn't care for Hey Penny or the Appleseed Cast much. Shoot the Mountain, however, were pretty cool though. I got Kate and Damon to sign my Microbiology notebook and backpack since I had brought that with me to study for my Cal B exam I had the next morning. Lolz all-nighter. Still, I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bullet for My Valentine

So the new year started off quickly and the beginning of the semester was no different.

Classes have been time consuming more than anything else. I think I will do well if I can just learn to to properly time manage.

Chemistry Club is trying to get everything in order, so hopefully we'll be having some cool events lined up in the near future. I've been helping Deacon Jim try to recharter the Catholic Student Fellowship. I told myself that I wouldn't get too involved, but it looks like it's a bit late for that. Guess I'm glad Catholics might have something to go to on campus now...? Anyway that's going on...

Oh, and I might have another publication. I've been talking to Brenda since she's in Moriairty's lab and apparently some of the oils I shot are doing well against the cancer cells. Now how they are against normal cells, have no idea. But I still found that interesting. The Brunellia costaricensis bark had a high concentration of methyl salicylate.

Also had a relatively decent Valentine's Day. Went to Amy's wedding. Congrats to Mrs. Pettigrew! Definitely gave a bullet to my valentine. I found it amusing. Below I've got a pic of part my gift. And uh, I got my hair cut again. Yay being able to make it semi-spiky?