Thursday, December 18, 2014

December in Boston

Some snow (but mostly not), a cute little tree, and a new friend that waves to me on the way home from work!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SWEA Swedish Christmas Festival + a language learning adventure

Another year, another Swedish Yuletide Festival!

Nothing says Swedish like pearl sugar and cinnamon!

I think Britta is excited.  Just a little. 

A Swedish Christmas jazz trio. 

My other adventure right now is Duolingo, an online platform for language learning.  It is admittedly not the best for language immersion before a trip to a country...the first sentence I learned was "A moose drinks water," which is downright useless.  Yet, it's a splendid way to learn the basics and how a language is constructed.  I'm also continuing to practice Spanish and French, and while I'm entirely sure my conversation French is sub-par, my next time in France will make so much more sense because my reading comprehension is at about 50%, which is a good deal more than none.  It's great to have 15 minutes a day to learn something completely unrelated to science - a good brain workout, to be sure. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Baby shower!

Another baby is joining my Boston family!

Zoe has no time for all this excitement, thankyouverymuch.  There are naps to be had.

Such a fun group!  We're so excited to welcome baby Aria soon!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tenure Talk!

Jacquin gave his tenure talk this December - and that required tshirts!

It's a little hard to tell, but the little green guy is a parasite, and there's a hard hat and hammer for the engineering we do of the circular thing, a DNA plasmid.  The back has an aptamer as the "i' in Niles. (an aptamer is a 3D structure made from either DNA or RNA that binds well to something else we're interested in, and makes a mighty fine tool in our engineering toolkit).    

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A friend comes to visit!

Residency interviews mean two things:

Toscanini's, despite very inclement weather (pouring rain.  ugh)

And---a Penthouse picture! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pie for Breakfast Day!

Also known as: my absolutely favorite holiday!

Apparently 9:15 am on the day after Thanksgiving is the only time you will ever see the entirety of the Infinite Corridor completely deserted. 

10 hours after Thanksgiving ended, the pie was almost gone!


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving at MIT

See that, Minnesota!  Snow on the ground.  For Thanksgiving.  Never mind that it didn't stick around, it was here!

I think "feast your eyes" is the appropriate phrase to use here.

Master carver.

These girls made turkey dumplings from scratch!  They turned out so well, yum!

McCormick Thanksgiving Pies - 2014

(back row)
Apple pie with dutch crumble (adapted from here)
Cranberry, raspberry, and blueberry (from here, really good!)
Double crust apple pie
Pumpkin pie (Smitten Kitchen)

(front row)
Pumpkin pie (Serious Eats)
Salty Honey pie (the surprise hit!)
Strawberry rhubarb (Smitten Kitchen)
Pecan pie (Amma's secret recipe)

Cutting the first slice of Kathy's magnificent chocolate mousse pie.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

McCormick Art Gallery - Fall 2014


While perhaps a bit challenging to adapt to photography, several of my submissions for the art show "Fantasia" were accepted!  

Alien Blossom
With petals rolled tightly and leading to an almost fluorescent blue center, this delightful beauty seemed truly out of this world.

Heaven is a Brass Band
Seen suspended high above a museum's rotunda, the light from above obscures the color of these instruments.  Yet, with their arrangement into a skydiving formation against the white of the ceiling, it's clear that heaven is sounding sweeter all the time.

Wings on Air
Always in motion, yet never moving.

Starflowers and Solder
The natural and the distinctly unnatural coexist in a surreal garden, leggy electronic bits and bobs mixed in among leaves.

The natural world is truly full of wonders: the pull of the moon's gravity creates these tiny fractal-like rivulets in the sand of a beach. 

One of the pieces was made using 3D printing--so cool!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

McCormick, March through December

2014 is almost over, it's hard to believe!

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cafe ArtScience

Le Laboratoire Cambridge recently moved into the first floor of an office building in Kendall Square (for the locals confused by the vague google maps directions, it's across the ice skating rink from Aceituna).  Le Laboratoire is a museum and learning center dedicated to the arts, creativity, and science.  They recently opened a flagship restaurant that melds their motto into food, called Cafe ArtScience.

We ended up sitting at tables in the bar area, meaning we could order from both the bar and dining room menus, which was a great choice. 

I ordered the Johnny C to drink, and the combination of vodka, lime, chartreuse, St. Germain, and orange bitters was far more balanced than the tiki drink I had the first time (there was mango pulp formed into discs throughout the drink, making it look cool, but they didn't dissolve until the very end, giving me a very dry drink and then very sugary ice water...not good).  Sadly, they were out of the Waft-Tiki, a drink with a vapor component and special ice cubes - so that's something for next time!

They focus on French dishes, and since I'd never tried leeks aux vinaigrette, I went for it!  The leeks were good, but honestly, I could have eaten about three pounds of the crab they used for garnish, it was definitely the star of the plate.

We were also delivered the most devastatingly good salt-kissed focaccia, and ordered the cheese plate from the dessert menu to come out as an appetizer.  A small wheel of cheese, a schmear of honey, and marcona almonds, it was delightful.  The mixed nuts we ordered were tasty, but on the oily and messy side.

The desserts of the evening were great!  Sarah and I shared a cherry wood smoked cake with angostura geleĆ©, maraschino cherries, angostura toile, marshmallo, and a cherry puree. 

All in all?  I'm thrilled that there's another addition to the Kendall Square roster.  My strategy next time would be to gather up some moderately hungry friends, order the cheese plate and one entree (to make sure that there would be lots of bread), drinks, and lots of dessert.  Though the main courses were tasty, they are expensive for what you get.  In comparison, the $12 desserts or drinks are a better value.  And if you have really hungry people, there are better places to get a good deal (Area Four!)