26 May 2009

A quote for the day

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
- Krishnamurti

Brought to you by igoogle daily quotes.

Some may argue that it is necessary to adjust because you are stuck in that society, sorry. But it does seem like an unfortunate state to be in. It seems better to just be able to function and move within the society without being changed or altered by it from some ultimate TRUE SELF FORM. Or something.

This Krishnamurti person seems pretty interesting. He was born in colonial India, to give you some perspective, and looks like Aladdin. From glancing at the article, it seems he talks about stillness of the mind and change in any circumstance coming from within.

An extended quote:

"How is the mind which functions on knowledge – how is the brain which is recording all the time – to end, to see the importance of recording and not let it move in any other direction? Very simply: you insult me, you hurt me, by word, gesture, by an actual act; that leaves a mark on the brain which is memory. That memory is knowledge, that knowledge is going to interfere in my meeting you next time – obviously. ... Knowledge is necessary to act in the sense of my going home from here to the place I live; I must have knowledge for this; I must have knowledge to speak English; I must have knowledge to write a letter and so on. Knowledge as function, mechanical function, is necessary. Now if I use that knowledge in my relationship with you, another human being, I am bringing about a barrier, a division between you and me, namely the observer. That is, knowledge, in relationship, in human relationship, is destructive. That is knowledge which is the tradition, the memory, the image, which the mind has built about you, that knowledge is separative and therefore creates conflict in our relationship."

YES. This is, in fact, exactly what I have been thinking about recently. Krishamurti is now my favorite person. I will argue that knowledge about him is perfectly fine, seeing as how he is dead ;)

Eckhart Tolle says some similar things, except Eckhart also has all these other silly things he talks about, the pain-body in particular, that I do not agree with because it is too abstract and ridiculous. Sorry, Mom.

25 May 2009

Boldest Boulder-er-er....er...

HEEEY I ran the Bolder Boulder!!! I started out strong and ended sort of strong, but I admit I wasn't taking the race seriously and took a pee break in mile 2.... Hence the crappy time. If I had just SKIPPED the pee break, I would have come in under the 62 minute mark to qualify for a heat next year.

It was a fun race, and there are all sorts of bands and singers set up along the course and people sitting out, cheering you on, and a couple of people were cooking bacon and handing out beer. I did take a cup of beer in the last mile. It was sort of one of my goals. Half of it ended up being poured down my face and shirt, but oh well. I've been to parties like that too, Ha. My favorite part was definitely all the crowds, and running around cheering and "Woo!"-ing with them. Some of them were tired of cheering and I tried to get them excited, which may have been a selfish thing because I just wanted them to cheer for me. ANYWAY, it was fun, I'm glad I did it!!!

And then we got free beer and massages and it was all pretty great. :)

Pictures to be posted later maybe if I remember.

12 May 2009

Trilobites are awesome!

They found thousands of gigantic trilobites! They were swarming in shallow waters, maybe to shed or mate. They're like 3 ft long each!

10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

In light of this day, here is a video where a baby gorilla gets a new mommy! YAY!

Also, I love my mom. She is pretty great and understanding and is always around to talk, which I appreciate :)

08 May 2009

A silly thingy I got in an email

It is said that engineers take 3 minutes to resolve this, architects 3
hours and doctors 6 hours. If you guess the 6th number, you can open the
excel file by using the number as the password. Once you discover it, put
your name into the spreadsheet, save it and send the saved copy on. There's
no prize here, and no jokes. Just a little bit of self satisfaction.
If your tumor starts to thud because you can't get the answer, just ask.
I will be more than obliged to help.

What is the 6th number?

1, 2, 6, 42, 1806, ______?

It came along with a message: Chemists can do it under a minute. Well, that was true in my case :)

05 May 2009

Eh heh.

Sorry I am so lazy. :-/

I read "Into the Wild." If I ever get the ambition, I will write about it. Talk about escapist fantasies, man.

In the sciencey bits, I am reading about CML, which is some sort of leukemia, and I can't remember what the other letters stand for, but it results from a chromosomal translocation that fuses two genes together (called the Philadelphia Chromosome, I remember that much). This sort of thing usually happens from RADIATION EXPOSURE. Anyway, this particular fusion results in a constitutively active kinase, which basically means that the gene has been truncated by the fusion, and it used to be self-inhibited, and now it is active all the time, turning all sorts of shit on, like a naughty toddler or something.

And suddenly, I am distracted by The Beatles "Something" that is playing right now, because I am all sentimental lately. Something of an honest confusing love song. (I do not suggest watching the video, it takes away from the lyrics, I think)

ANYWAYS. Um, so theres this kinase running amuck, that is normally involved in regulating the cell cycle and inhibiting the apoptotic pathway (which leads to CELL DEATH) upon DNA damage (that might occur upon radiation exposure). So you see, the kinase normally is involved in killing off sick cells that have DNA damage and may turn cancerous. When it is doing things wrongly, the cells don't die, and they proliferate uncontrollably, and in this case, you get all sorts of crazy unnecessary blood cells being made in the bone marrow, and I'm not really sure of the mechanism, but it eventually leads to death.

SOOOOOO, this is a success story, because someone figured, Dude, let's just inhibit the kinase. And they were able to develop/find a specific enough inhibitor that you are just inhibiting this particular kinase and not all the other ones that have to do other normal things. BTW, kinases are responsible for putting a phosphate group on particular amino acids on proteins. (I really am so out of touch with what terms laymen know, so this probably makes no sense to anyone outside the field. But oh well, thats what Wikipedia is for.) So, they actually have a super awesome, specific drug for this form of cancer. Honestly, if you were to get a cancer, I would choose this one. Cancers are a**-scary, but its nice that this one makes so much sense.

IN ANY CASE, one of the people involved in this whole saga, Jean Wang, is coming to give a talk next week and that is why I'm learning about sh*t, because I have to, because I'm on a training grant and this is what is expected of me. But it's pretty cool.

In other news, my car developed a nasty brake fluid leak and I think I am getting ripped off by the car mechanic man, but there is not much I can do about that now.

In some even more remote news, that is related to escapist fantasies, I am daydreaming about flying away to Munich, because it is less than $400 to get there, see. But this whole paying for expensive car repairs thing is not very conducive to that sort of thing. Ah well.

I might also mention that citing so many wikipedia articles is bad form for a scientist, but honestly, we all look at wikipedia. YOU MUST TRUST IN YOUR FELLOW MAN.