tanarill: (Default)
It rolled out v.22, and promptly broke my DW. I have whatever pic is in my virtual tokonoma set to be 275px wide and scale height to that. This is somehow now wider than the sidebar. I haven't changed any other settings, and it still displays as intended in Chrome, so logically is means Firefox actually changed the width, in pixels, of the internet. They need to fix it, so that my tokonoma can go back to looking great no matter which browser you happen to be using.

Also, the buttons look all weird.

No love. -_-
tanarill: (Bitchin')
Today I leveled up. I am now Grad Student Level 2 - Candidate. This means nothing in terms of money (I am not paid) or status (still mud), but it is a big step because it means I am a candidate for a doctoral thesis. Now I start working to do my thesis.

I still don't have any of that one protein, so . . .

But myself and my PI and my committee member Dr. Low are going to sit down and pow-wow next week to work out what other things I might be doing rong!!! I'm doing something wrong, that is for certain.

Fic recs! Well, a fic rec. Go read Exclusive by [personal profile] copperbadge. Most of his stuff is pretty good, but that was just wow. The bit with the Hulk interview! And people, being wrong, on the internet!! And - !

Also, what is this bullfuckery, SCOPUS? You 'can't speak to the constitutionality of laws?' Excuse me, that is your job. Get off your asses and do it. Explain to the crazies that no government anywhere has the right to deny social services like marriage licenses on the basis of any of the following: age, gender, identified gender, ethnicity, religion, crazy family members, sane family members, people who just don't like you, or previous marriage history. In addition, explain that "abortion is legal in all states" = "you are not allowed to make spurious laws designed to prevent women from having an abortion, especially if it is an emergency one." Finally, explain that just because the anti Jim-Crow law is out-of-date doesn't mean it is not necessary; and that your ruling to that effect does not make these new Jim Crow laws that states are trying to pass any more legitimate, just that Congress needs to get off of its collective lazy ass and update the law. I am not impressed with you right now.

Huff, huff.

Okay, I'm done.
tanarill: (Default)
This one is mostly because I KEEP LOSING THIS RECIPE. So I am putting it online where I know I can find it whenever I need to.

No Insects Were Involved in the Making of This Cheesecake )

And it is cheesecake holiday today. Fantastic!
tanarill: (Jewish)
Today is the forty-seventh day of the Omer, which is six weeks and five days into the Omer. And two days until Cheesecake Holiday. Also, JJ came up this weekend. Since he doesn't have an electric blender-mixer, we made some cheesecake bars for him to take back and eat on the appropriate days.

Cheesecake )
tanarill: (Science!)
Also, I kind of fell down on my official Omer-counting duties, so I will get those out of the way first. Today is the thirty-eighth day of the Omer which is five weeks and three days into the Omer.

The thing is, I am really not a hypochondriac. I don't got looking up things for 'light fever, mild headache, scratchy throat' to mean because to me that means common cold. I just . . . I am a biochem grad student. If I think there is something seriously wrong I will go online and look up those symptoms, and if they are symptoms of a bad enough thing I'll go ask a doctor.

The last time I did this, I turned out to have Crohn's disease.

This time, I have pneumonia.

Don't worry! The doctor said my blood-oxygen level is fine, and I am otherwise healthy and not in pain. I have antibiotics (to which I am not allergic) which should be clearing it right up. But still. If I go into the ER and say things like "I think I have pneumonia, my lung is gurgling," I'd really rather be wrong about it!

Art

Apr. 7th, 2013 06:20 pm
tanarill: (Default)
Today, JJ and I went to the SB Mvsevm of Art. It said so right on the building. We went because JJ had an assignment requiring a visit to a Mvsevm of Art, and hey, he comes up here every other weekend anyway. So he stood there staring at paintings and then taking copious notes on a chosen couple, while I wandered around.

The last time we were at this mvsevm, it was under renovation, so most of upstairs was blocked off. This time, it was all open so instead of having a print from Thirty-Six View of Mount Fuji and picnic basket from Edo-era Japan, there was gorgeous stuff from all periods of China and also some from India. Most hilariously to my mind, they had wooden statues of the bodhisattva Guanyin from the twelfth century. (This is funny because Guanyin was male when he arrived from India in the seventh century, but became female after a few centuries so her statuettes could chillax in the ladies' rooms without being Improper.)

I also saw some impressionist paintings. The thing about the SB Mvsevm of Art is that it has a lot of paintings by famous artists, but only one or two each. They have a few Monets, a Degas (about ballet dancers, even!), a van Gogh, etc. This time, they also had an exhibit about more contemporary South American works. One was pretty cool light sculpture made of glass and LEDs.

Then JJ finished and we wandered off.

This week is going to suck. I have to put a committee together :/

Today is the twelfth day of the Omer, which is one week and five days into the Omer.
tanarill: (Jewish)
Today is the ninth day of the Omer, which is one week and two days into the Omer.

I really need to get MW to send me the recipe for Grasshopper Cheesecake*.

*No actual grasshoppers are used in the making of this cheesecake. Because that would be Gross.
tanarill: (Default)
to Panda! Yes, it is on this very day that Panda was born, way back in the mists of time.

Today is the eighth day of the Omer, which is one week and one day into the Omer.
tanarill: (Jewish)
Today is the sixth day of the Omer.

Also, I just read an egg-dyeing fic. I have never done that, in the same way I never decorated a tree, but now I find a previously unknown burning curiosity. So the question is: what do you do with the edible part of the egg? If you just leave it there, you must hard boil the eggs first; and even then, they do not last forever. If you drain it through a little hole, then I guess the eggs would last, but that seems to be a lot of work to keep an eggshell. Explain it to me, world at large!
tanarill: (Jewish)
Woo, it is This Damned Holiday, and were are past the second night, when we begin counting the Omer. So now it is Omer-counting days:

Today is the fourth day of the Omer.

Also we have switched over from the rain prayer to the dew prayer. Of course, we would still love rain, but since Israel rarely gets summer rain, we pray for something there's an actual chance of getting.

Me, I'm waiting for weather control. :D
tanarill: (Default)
So I got off an airplane. The airplane brought me here, to Detroit, from LAX. My connection will take me to Erie, in Pennsylvania.

Art )
tanarill: (Default)
For those of you who ever thought of getting into Homestuck but were not quite sure, this video. It's the main characters showing off their skills with their weapons, iPod style.

tanarill: (Default)
Victory to the cake cup!

JJ: When in doubt, use C4.
Me: If your problems have not gone away, you didn't use enough of it.

Me: Blood for the blood god.
JJ: Pastry for the pastry god.
Both: Booze for the death god.
tanarill: (Science!)
Not the rock genre. Literally heavy metal, which in this case, is mercury.

Mostly, given that I typically never need to heat something to more than 95C, and considering that plain alcohol thermometers go to 110C, I use those. But we still have some mercury thermometers floating around the lab, a relic of the days when we did organic synthesis and used hot oil baths. Sometimes we find them in odd places, and carefully remove them to the Thermometer Drawer.

Sometimes we find them broken next to a centrifuge.

Okay, okay, that only happened yesterday. But I nearly jumped out of my skin when I went to pick it up and realized it was not in one piece and was dripping mercury. It's quite likely that it was there to measure the temperature of the centrifuge, but that the vibrations cause it to fall to the ground and, well, glass is not noticeably bouncy.

Kota, who is my labmate, freaked out. So, for all and sundry, I wish to make this point Known: like all heavy metal poisoning, a fair amount of mercury has to be inside your body to mess you up. If you were stupid and drank it, you could conceivably kill yourself that way in a day. Provided you are not stupid and the mercury is getting into your body when you breathe in the miniscule amount of aerosolized mercury from a spill*, it will take years to poison you. And years are a thing this did not have, because as soon as I realized what it was, I called our Haz-mat guys to come deal with it.

Which they did. They were not even in Haz-mat suits. They just swept up the glass bits and used "absorbent sheets," which are basically paper towels, to wick up the liquid. So basically this was the least interesting semi-hazardous material spill ever. Which is a good thing.

*Mercury, like every other liquid, can evaporate into a gas. It does not do so very much, but constant exposure to mercury fumes (they used the metal to help make felt) led to many hat-makers getting poisoned, losing a bunch of neurons, and then going apparently crazy - thus the mad hatter.
tanarill: (Default)
There is, quite near UC Santa Barbara, a monarch butterfly preserve. That is to say, it is not a rather disgusting spread made out of insects, but instead a hunk of land which has been set aside for the butterflies. This is because it is a hibernation grove, to which the butterflies will annually return for the winter.

The amazing thing being, of course, that butterflies only live a few months at best; so actually the returning butterflies are the great-great-grandchildren of the ones that left. And yet, they somehow find their way back to the same grove, each year!

So today, to celebrate dead presidents (?) I went to go see the butterflies. I took with me Nathan the Mathematician, because he'd also never been. At first, we went the wrong way; the paths are not clearly marked with signs that say "this way to the butterflies ->" so instead we ended up on the coastal trail, which is pleasant in its own right but was not the goal. After a while, though, we did find out way to the butterfly grove, which looked . . . disappointingly empty.

Except.

After standing still and looking up for a moment, it became apparent that there were butterflies. They were quite high up, and apparently quite few now in comparison to the profusion that live there during the season (it is the tail end of the migrating-away part of the year), but there were indeed butterflied. Most were hanging off each other in these formations that look rather a lot like leaves and probably do confuse most predators. Some were flying around, in the breezy blown-about way of butterflies.

So I changed my virtual tokonoma to celebrate. Next year, I shall be sure to go during the time when more are there. Still, mission accomplished :D
tanarill: (Default)
There's a whiteboard in the kitchen. We mostly use it to announce that we have made some form of baked good and it's up for grabs. Sometimes, we end up with things like the following exchange:

10 GOTO 10

Write a fork bomb!

[picture of a fork with a fuse] Death of a utensil!

[tree diagram of a fork bomb] Computer! Die! x_x

{ :|:& };

So, in short, I love my roommates.
tanarill: (Default)
I have been thinking about them, since yesterday. And the place that society ought to have in private lives, and what happens when it slides too far to either direction.

Yesterday, at about 2 PM, someone in my apartment complex began screaming at the top of her lungs. After a few minutes, I went to go see what was up. She was pretty incoherent, I thought, until I got close enough and realized that, no, she just wasn't shouting in English. But after determining which apartment it was, I began knocking on the door until her roommate admitted me, and pretty much barged in to her room.

The roommate did not want to; they were a couple, he said, and this was a couple's quarrel.

She had been crying, plainly, and her boyfriend would not meet my eyes. At this point two other students, a male named Aaron and a female whose name I do not know, joined me. All three of us tried to persuade the girl to come out, but she just kept insisting that everything was fine, so we left the apartment, but stayed closeby outside.

Aaron called the cops.

And all I can say is that the polices here don't take reports of possible domestic violence lightly, because they were there in minutes. In those minutes, we'd heard a loud thunk, and Aaron had been prepared to break down the doors to get in. We certainly did not leave the girl in there, or alone until the cops showed, because regardless of what she said she was Not Okay. Once the police arrived, about the same time as we were bringing her out, we turned the whole situation over to not-amateurs.

All three of the people in that apartment - the boyfriend, the girl, and the roommate, were Asian and from Asia; at the very least, they did not have the best control of the English language. They seemed genuinely shocked that random strangers would break into someone's apartment because of a simple quarrel. Or call the police. Or have the police respond.

I recognize that there are some places police don't belong: your religion, your political ideology, your sexual orientation, are all things that are nobody's damn business. I fight hard for that, the belief that the right-wing conservatives have to right to run this or any other country according to some magical book. I believe everyone has a right to a private home, free from some kind of Orwellian overseer monitoring one's every moves.

But.

Most cases of rape go unreported. Help lines for people who need to get out are busy full-time and they only cover the ones who are brave enough to say, "Yes, I need help." I heard a story about how North Korean domestic violence is a. skyrocketing b. nearly never reported and c. rarely acted on even when reported because "it's a family problem."

Maybe it is, and it is almost certain than, wherever the three Asians mentioned above were from, there would have been no response. Not here, though; and if this kind of culture clash shocks them, I am viciously glad of it.
tanarill: (Default)
After the Endeavour, it was time for Cleopatra, Queen of De Nile. Actually, aside from that thing where her religion said she was the mortal avatar of the goddess Isis, she seemed actually to have been pretty realistic in her views. She just took a big gamble in the whole war of succession following Caesar's death, and unfortunately she gambled on the wrong side.

History Lesson )
tanarill: (Science!)
This actually happened on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but I have been lazy and not posted about it. So now I am posting about it.

On that Friday, my family went in to LA, to go to the Science Center. It is interesting because it is a whole complex of museums, centered around a common, underground parking structure. We only visited the science museum, but it would take quite a lot of time to go through all of them. Perhaps I will go back and go to the cultural museum, which looked interesting, or the natural history museum, which I have no doubt takes advantage of LA's La Brea tar pits to get dead post-dinosaur pre-human things.

Anyway. We got tickets to two exhibits: the space shuttle Endeavour, and the Cleopatra exhibit. It was in that order, and if I had the day to do again I'd give myself more than an hour between the two, because the Endeavour definitely deserved more time.

Endeavour )

So that was the Endeavour. If you happen to be in this part of the world, or a different part of the world that also has a retired shuttle, I high recommend you go see it. It's worth it.

Just give yourself a whole lot longer than an hour.