Wednesday, July 4, 2012

So, it's been a long time.

I caught up with a good friend from college last night, and we chatted about, well, MANY things (tears of laughter started after only about 5 minutes of conversation... yep, it was THAT good).  But we chatted about her blog and how it's fun to read.  She reminded me that I technically still have mine, and that even though I haven't written in years, she still stops by to feed the fish.  This is a very good thing, as it is clear that I haven't been doing that, and I was very happy to log on tonight and see that they are still there.  Whew!  Didn't kill the fish.  Teags, I owe you big time.

Blogger has changed their style since I last wrote.  I was very curious about the stats report that you can read about your blog - telling you how many people visit your blog, etc.  I expected the numbers to be near zero, haha, but I was surprised to see that I actually have quite a few hits.  After some rooting around through the stats, I've discovered that apparently my Macgyvered Blackberry Dump Cake recipe is relatively popular (fun party trick: google "blackberry dump cake"; my blog is in the top ten results!  I'm practically famous).  Also, I have had more visits from people in Germany than any other country.  I can only assume that Germans really like reading about Blackberry Dump Cake.

This reminds me that I have a bag of frozen blueberries in my freezer that should be used somehow... 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

test post

test post...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This ad has been showing up on Canadian Airwaves this month. It is too good to not share with my American friends! I find it so inspiring and energizing. It send chills up my spine every time I see it. After watching it twice in a row on youtube, I was teary-eyed. A third time yielded real teardrops. It's amazing, and I love how it shows the power of hope and the human spirit in the face of tremendous adversity and once-bleak prospects. Each person in the ad is telling his or her own story: some are directly affected by illness, some are family members, and others are doctors, nurses, and researchers. Regardless, they have pulled together to help each other through it all, and that is something we can all do.

With an estimated one in three people to be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, it is something that all of us will likely have to pull together on at some point, in one role or another. Hope is essential.

The music choice was so appropriate - Verve's Bittersweet Symphony. Illness and loss are two of life's most bitter experiences, but through them, our capacity to understand and appreciate life's sweet moments is increased. One girl's story, "Cancer took my leg, but not my life", emphasizes this. Loss is part of life, and mourning those losses is an important step, but focusing on the good that remains will ultimately further our healing from loss and deepen our capacity for joy and appreciation of life and its sweet moments.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harry Potter and Physcis

First off, let me alert you that if you haven't seen the new Harry Potter movie yet, you might not want to read on. I'm not going to reveal any huge plot twists or anything (and really, they're in the books anyway...), it will actually be quite insignificant, but if you like to be completely, totally, wonderfully surprised when you watch movies, this would be a good time to stop reading. Also, if, upon reading the title, you think that I might be about to discuss the intricate physical phenomena of levitation, apparition, spells, charms, etc., I'm sorry to inform you that you will be disappointed. There is just one small part that caught my eye...

So I saw HP6 this week, and it was great! I went with some friends who are also a little obsessed (in a good way!) with the books and movies, so it was lots of fun.

Right, so, on to the physics.

At one point near the beginning of the film, the Death Eaters are flying around London, causing havoc here and there. Nasty people, those Death Eaters. At one point, they began flying next to a suspension bridge that spans the Thames. The bridge started swaying back and forth and twisting, more and more violently until it snapped and collapsed. As this was happening, it reminded me of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster:

(there are a great many more videos on youtube about this bridge collapse, but I just chose the shortest one :) )

Basically (according to my physics professor), the wind gusting through the narrows (down the river, hitting the bridge), was not only powerful, but the gusts also occurred at a frequency that happened to be a resonance frequency of the bridge. This is the same principle that makes crystal shatter when a loud, high frequency noise (like a soprano's high note, lol) is sung. Instead of a glass, though, the bridge itself was resonating, and the strain caused it's collapse. Which is pretty cool, despite the destruction that it caused (for those who may be wondering, no person was killed or injured on the Tacoma Narrows collapse).

Anyway, so while watching the HP, and seeing the Death Eaters' flight around the bridge cause it to tremble, twist, bend, and eventually collapse, my thoughts wandered slightly, and I thought:

"Wow, those Death Eaters must be flying at exactly the resonance frequency of the bridge!"

There is no denying it now... I am a physics geek.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh, Joy

Well, my somewhat firm resolve to stop posting silly videos in lieu of actual posts has broken. Partly because I don't have too much to say, and partly because I think these next couple flicks are hilarious. And you all deserve a dose of hilarity in your days. Who am I to deny you that joy?

I loved watching the Muppet Show when I was little. I think, of all the members of our family, I loved it the most. I figure this to be true since I have memories of whining to keep the channel on the Muppet Show, and no one supported me.

Actually, it just occurred to me that that may have had nothing to do with their love for the Muppets, but rather with their disdain for my whining.



One reason to love the Muppets is that they can take something serious or stuffy, like classical music, and make it accessible to more people. Exhibit A:

I love that the violin caught on fire... that is some intense friction.

Another great aspect of the Muppets is their ability to take cultural pieces and bring them to people of other nations. Exhibit B:

And I think that anyone who has played that song umpteen times in band will find that funny. I also love how Animal only seems to know the first few words: "Oh Danny Boy... oh... boy...". Which, can probably be said of a lot of people. "Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.... um... Danny... Boy...something something something." The words to the song really are beautiful, but I never would have known them if hadn't had a CD that happened to have that song on it. Funny how that happens. But we (as band people) can't be blamed - our job is to play notes, not sing words, and adding the words to our music would only cause confusion and missed cues.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


As Teagan was kind enough to point out to me today, it's been two weeks since a post! Whoops.

Today has been an ok day, I had a biochemistry midterm this morning that was a little rougher than I'd like, but I think overall it went alright, and one can always hope for a grade curve. :)

This course is a 3-credit class science class, all crammed in to 3 1/2 weeks. The pace is definitely up! But I think it's just like tearing off a bandaid - sometimes it hurts less to get it done quickly, rather than dragging it out (the danger in this analogy is that, when applied to learning, it makes the lecture schedule a nightmare, assignment pace atrocious, and labs... every afternoon). It's going alright, though, so I can't complain about the course. About my lab partner, maybe, but... not about the course.

Speaking of which, I think I might start a writing project: a guide manual for science students on how to best irritate their lab partners. Given the extent of experience I have in this area (many times being the annoyed, and possibly also the annoyee on occasion ;) ), I'm sure I could have enough material for a great book (or at least a pamphlet). But that's only if I get really ambitious, which is not likely to happen, so... this guide will probably stay on the internet.

Here is some rough work so far...

Working Title: How to Annoy, Frustrate, and Drive your Lab Partner to Tears by Your Incompetence (She Didn't Actually Want to Pass This Class Anyway)

1. Be sure to show up to lab without having read the procedure beforehand. Reading is for losers, and you wouldn't want to show that kind of weakness. The *true* mark of a good student is being able to do experiments on the fly (even if this may mean having to repeat them when you add the wrong reagents).

2. In fact, don't even print out the lab procedure before coming to class. Having only one copy to work off of makes it much easier when both people need to be doing different parts of the procedure.

3. Marking glassware with a Sharpie makes clean-up a snap!

4. When holding a slide with neurotoxin on it, be sure to hold it over your lab partner's laptop so that when you space out and drop it, the liquid dribbles on to the keyboard. This is especially effective if you space out so much that you don't notice you have dropped the sample until your lab partner starts cleaning it up (yes, it was neurotoxin, but it was in its polymer form, so it wasn't dangerous. So I've been told... *twitch*).

5. Every so often, leave the lab without explanation for 20 or so minutes. While some lab procedures may leave you with down time while you wait for reactions to be completed, leaving during such times is almost expected. For maximum effect, leave the lab right before a complicated, time-sensitive procedure that can't wait needs to be done. Your lab partner will LOVE doing the work of two people herself. Come back at the next lull time, but don't offer any explanation as to where you might have been. Guessing games are fun!

I'm sure this will evolve as time goes on... and previously-repressed memories come back.

Naturally, any and all input from fellow students from their own experiences will be appreciated. :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Concerned Children's Advertisers Strike Again

Maybe one of these days I'll stop posting videos of commercials I see on tv. Maybe one of these days, commercials will stop making me laugh hard enough to want to post them. Maybe one of these days, I'll just stop watching tv.

But until then, enjoy...

I love the music - it reminds me of Copland's Rodeo.