25 January 2010

Why are you so abhorred, my little friend?

My dad used to say that squirrels were nothing more than glorified rats with furry tails. I used to see that as an insult to squirrels. I now see it as a compliment to rats. I really think that people would not hate my little rodents so if their tails didn't look like snakes. Maybe I should glue a few feathers on and solve the problem.

To be fair, not everyone loves squirrels. My father once knew an old lady in Moscow who consulted him for legal advice on how she could kill the squirrels in her attic without getting in trouble. She HATED them. At the same time, he learned of another man in town who liked to eat squirrels. There was quite some consideration of hooking the pair up--but it never did happen. Sad.

Moral of the story: If you aren't a crazy old lady with squirrels in your attic (which I do admit would be upsetting) and happen to LIKE squirrels yet you find yourself at odds with rats, you should seriously consider the reasons for this foible of yours and see if you can alter your perception. If it takes a few tail feathers, so be it.

21 January 2010

My other blog

I've posted several write-ups of the buggy project on my other blog. I write them there and then post them on a builder's forum Sam and I participate in called minibuggy.net. The blog is http://ttgracing.blogspot.com.
The writeups are somewhat long, but If you've read any of my posts here, you'll know that when I write, I tend to have a lot to say.

Anyway, this short week has been pretty busy. I've been up early all week and have been in the research lab at 8:00 am a couple of times. Dr. Woodbury asked me to be a team leader so I've been in and out of the lab a lot. I enjoy it though. Also, I've been working on three presentations. Each class I'm in has either a grant proposal or review paper at the end of the semester so they have us doing paper presentations or writeup every couple weeks. Today I got up at 6:00 to write a literature summary on the links between microcephaly and human brain evolution. Tommorrow I have a 40 min group presentation on the molecular biology method of immunoprecipitation and a research paper that employs it. After that's done I have a solo 20 minute presentation in lab meeting about the dynamic nature of lipid-bound synaptobrevin. Thats three paper review in less than that many days. By the way, I think my major is really, really cool. This last semester will be a lot of work, but now I can see how it all comes together. I like that.

This is what we study in the lab. Right now, our team grows the proteins we need in e. coli colonies. Soon we're getting a new circular dichroism machine and I'll be splitting my time with that and the regular team stuff.

06 January 2010

Playing with 3D pictures

We recently went an saw Avatar in 3D. It was a really cool experience. You can make 3D images your self for free. I had come across stereoscopic 3D photos before and wanted to try it myself. Basically, you snap the same photo twice sliding the camera an inch or two to the right after the first picture. Then you place them side by side and correct and alignment issues. To view it in 3D, cross your eyes until the two pictures merge together and the imaginary third photo comes into focus. I can do this fairly easily, but others may struggle with it. It may help after you have isolated the third photo to place your hands about 5-6 inches from your face to block the original two images leaving only the third 3D image in view. Anyway, I think it turned out alright. I didn't play with the photos much so they're not the best quality. This is the bike I got last April. It has almost 400 miles on it. I hope to put 500 on it in the year I've had it. As I get some better 3D photos I'll keep posting them if people think they are cool. This is my first shot at it.

I made it small to fit on this narrow blog frame. Clicking on the picture will link to the larger picture in a different window. It may help you concentrate better.

It is important that you do not use the flash for both photos. For best results put your camera in manual mode, so the exposure and settings to not change between each shot. For tips you do this your self visit this webpage:

I hope it works for you.
1. Click to get the larger picture

2. Cross your eyes (maybe stare at your finger a few inches in front or your face. The third photo will appear but will be out of focus. Then try to focus on the image with out uncrossing your eyes. This may be uncomfortable, but I assure you it won't cause any lasting damage. You may need to move towards or away from the screed to get it right)

3. Focus on the third apparition between the two original photos. Don't leave the mouse cursor on either of the images, that will be very distracting. It should pop, and you will see very distinct layers in the photo(s). It doesn't look quite natural, but it is cool.

4. If needed, move both hands a few inches in front of your face, to isolate the middle image.

5. Enjoy the scenery of our apartment. Try making one yourself. Its cool.


(obviously, I am focusing my energies on my classes for my last semester right...?)