Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Above is a false-color picture of the surface temperatures of Mimas, one of Saturn's moons (from here) --it was in many ways a surprising discovery from the spacecraft Cassini.

Look familiar?

Nom nom nom.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Nope. But taxes are in, a double batch of truffles is made for tomorrow's study break (by request; I just can't turn down a pouty face!), and I'm actually kind of maybe caught up on a little bit of lab work. Well, as caught up as you can be with science, I guess...it's one of those things that until you have solved the world, there is always more to learn, always more to do. And tomorrow to go with the truffles, there will also be smashed chickpea salad and my favorite chili of all time. So. good.

But there are some delicious new recipes in the works, and although Pi day did not come to fruition, I am making a spinach mushroom quiche on Wednesday, which will be both my first foray into tofu at home (yikes) as well as my first co-op cooking session. The co-op is another "study break" by student request...I buy groceries, you chose a menu, we find a time, and we cook together and eat together. It should be good for a couple reasons...I need to be better at planning, I enjoy cooking meals for more than just myself, and I want to be the best role model I can be for my girls when it comes to cooking.

Not a one of them is going to leave my floors without realizing how easy it is to make quick healthy food...and how you only need to rachet it up to medium (not medium hard, not hard, not must-be-an-Iron-Chef-to complete) for it to not be boring...in general with food that they have available to them, it's gonna be quick+easy+boring or takes more time+medium+more exciting...and too often they even skip the first option to eat baaaad pizza in the student center.

Also...kumquats are quite possibly my new favorite food. The essence of orangey-citrusy-lemon packaged in one burst...it kind of reminds me of why I loved sour patch kids back in the day...and you eat the peel, too! I mean, they're incredible!

And with that...bed. Laundry at 6 am tomorrow, woo-hoo. Way to start a week, I say. (and I'm heading back to MN on Thursday to be around while a person close to me is dealing with some medical stuff...I'm glad that I can be helpful. And this gives me the perfect opportunity to make...wait for it...hot cross buns! And blueberry buckle. And meatloaf. I have now conquered my fear of the meatball, so meatloaf, I'm lookin' at you).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

science and art

...they just go together.

Radiolaria pendant, courtesy of Nervous System

Slice of a tree; unknown origin.

Embroidered art of scientists and their discoveries, courtesy of Etsy's naomicyane

Victorian glass creatures, courtesy of the Design Museum (this is a jellyfish specimen from the genus Aurelia; these astonishing works of glass were made by the very same father and son team---Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka---who made the flowers in the Botanical Museum at Harvard)

Grey lichen wall art, courtesy of elinart

Painting of benadryl molecule, courtesy of Alexander Kobulnicky

ps--updates coming soon. I'm trying to get caught up on labwork now that we're back from the retreat as well as get taxes done. Can you tell I'm behind? Because I am.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the brother is here!

...and it has been wonderful. Stories and pictures to come, but here is a teaser:


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Boston weatherlords, again...I have a bone to pick with you.

Now, don't get me wrong...it has been gorgeous for the past four days...beautiful, sunny...all that. I approve.

But this weekend? My birthday weekend? You know, the one where my brother is coming for spring break to spend time walking around Boston?

Come on! Is this really necessary?

At this rate, all day Tuesday will be spent outside.

Monday, March 8, 2010

the best Rube Goldberg EVER.

...and mad props for the use of the phrase "this too shall pass." My grandpa always used to say this, and add the caution, "for better or for worse, this too shall pass. Enjoy the present, and look forward to the future." I'm trying my best, Pa. Promise.

sugar high!

I'm currently in the midst of an epic sugar high...because guess what? PUPPY CHOW. for breakfast. Dude. That stuff...it is dangerous.

I thought I'd post the Oscar notes I took last night to send to my mom...we always used to watch together, and with all the Olympics and lack of TV-ness, I find myself missing that time on the couch working on homework and looking up to make snide comments about dresses and stars.

Confession: I read a lot of People Magazine as a child. My grandmother got a ton of magazines every week (Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping, New Mexico) and I read them all. Cover to cover. And while People's somewhat paparazzi-based coverage gets a little old (I always skip over "star-spotting" because I really don't care) --- I love living vicariously through their coverage of gowns and pretty things. Because one day, I'll get to a real ball (how about next February, Ariana?).

Anyway...here goes the coverage (with pictures stolen from the usual sites, like E! and People)

Oh my god, someone killed Grimace to make a dress! And it's disgusting.

(when it started to rain on the red carpet)
"What happened it was sunny! I mean, it was sunny! And now the rain just...stopped."
Yes, lady talking about fashion...that happens sometimes. It's called weather.

Dentyne ice's new commercial series is "practice safe breath." Lord. Thank god I don't watch TV all that often, or I'd be experiencing basal levels of advertising-induced nausea all the time.

Nick Cannon just said the word "drawers." Baller.

Lady announcer, you are wearing about six times too much eyeliner.
(she's not even wearing that much in this photo).

ZAC EFRON! start the girl squeals! (Not mine. Zac is not my type).

Amanda Seyfreid, yowch. Your top? It is square. And your tan lines...are not normal.

Zoe from Avatar has a lilac-purple colored tail on her dress. OH NO she's the one wearing the grimace-killing dress! Zoe. Zoe. Seriously. You can't use the words "respect" and "integrity" while wearing that thing.

Oh Nicole Richie. Your voice is much less obnoxious that I expected. And you joked about Ryan Seacrest getting ordained to perform your wedding.

Vera Farmiga from Up in the Air has a dress that is cascading frills...and it's kind of odd-looking. It's a Marquesa? It looks like art, actually. Couture art. I can't imagine what it would be like to sit down in that.

I gotta tell you, it annoys me to no end how many times that different stars are asked for their Oscar opinions. It just seems...really silly to make pointed questions about this...too many hurt feelings!

Oh Ryan Reynolds, you are so cute.

Ryan Seacrest about Sandra Bullock: "She's a chick that's like half a dude."

Tina Fey, your hair looks beautiful. And you make sequins look actually ok. And the movie Date Night also looks great!

Maggie Gyllenhal, oh goodness you're just incredibly poised and gorgeous.

James Cameron is wearing Na'vi blue pocket square. That perfectly coordinates with his wife's dress.

Pet peeve addressed to Elizabeth Banks: if the top of your dress is so tight that your boobs/underarm fat spills over the top...that's gross. Fat and boobs are normal. But squishing them over your dress is really....unnecessary.

Anna Kendrick looked beautiful. Love the draping and the color.

Also, the "nerd oscars" --- I'm pretty sure that you don't need a PhD to understand them, Ms. Banks.

I have seen only two movies nominated for the Oscars this year: Coraline, and Wallace and Gromit's "A Matter of Loaf and Death." That's awful.

Lenny Cravitz just exudes chill (and his date looked wonderful!)

Sandra Bullock---your dress is elegant. Although I could deal with not having all the nonsense about how could she look with the oscar statuette and that it'd be perfect and etc... And thank you for saying that the anticipation for whatever---for all of this---needs to stop.

Diane Kruger, what did you do to the bottom half of your dress?

Apparently the guy commentator's name is Jay. His suit looks ridiculous. "No no seriously!" Why guys think that the tux needs to be messed with I don't know.

Carey Mulligan, not bad. Earrings are a bit...long. And the front of the dress is weird...I kind of like her costumes in "An Education" better.

There is Rachel McAdams, my half-clone. Your dress is perfect for your haircolor and it fits your body wonderfully. A+.

Miley, gross. Stand up straight. Oh wait...your boobs would fall out of your dress if you did. Shucks. Guess that means you better find a dress that fits you properly. Also, stop acting like you have the body of a 30-year old woman. And you're presenting? Aww no. I disapprove. And your mom's dress and tattoo? Ugh. Awful.

Jake Gyllenhal, you are so cute when you talk about how proud you are of your sister Maggie.

Ryan Seacrest, you taped your pocket square into your coat? Really?

Oh - here's the girl---Juliana's the other girl commentating for E. She needs to have some almonds and a sandwich...her face just looks really stretched thin. Eat your lipids, lady!

All of the freezing and unfreezing of things and drawing on of arrows to point out things about dresses. Necessary? No.

Sarah Jessica Parker's Chanel couture looked beautiful. Art. The back is prettier, but even though it is accused of being a sack, I like it.

Kathryn Bigelow's satin dress makes her look preggers. And she's not.

Charlize Theron----BOOBS. Look at them! Pulling attention away from her face...and to her BOOBS. Cinnabuns, aisle 10!

Matt Damon, oh you're wonderful. Articulate and intelligent.

Colin Firth, will you marry me?

Queen Latifah - the color of your dress is perfect!

Meryl Streep, you know how to dress for your age and your elegance. You're not acting like
you're twenty, and you're not acting like a dowager. Win.

JLo, thanks for the introduction to your third hip?

Gabourey, that blue color is incredible. And you called Woody Harrelson "honey." Heck yes. And said "If fashion was porn, this would be the money shot." Oh gosh.

Neil Patrick Harris...you are wearing sequins. And singing. And dancing.

Obviously, Alec and Steve, you have to be velcro-ed in and surrounded by angels and lowered onto the stage. Obviously.

Poor Meryl Streep. Always made fun of, but beloved.

Amanda Seyfried and Miley Cyrus, oh boy. Why are you here? I could have done a better job as a presenter than you.

Blind Side looks pretty good. And the music for Princess and the Frog looks pretty cute.

District 9 looks creepy. Reaaaaallllly creepy.

Tina Fey, you're funny.

Oh Coen Brothers, your dialogue is ridiculous.

Ah, Kristin Stewart. From those vampire movies. Nice work being one of the worst onstage presenters.

I loved the modern dance interpretations for best score. Very cool.

...and here is where my laptop died. Or when I went to sleep. I can't remember. But yes...you are now enlightened about my Oscars thoughts. Or something like that.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


A post about swinging is making me smile. It reminds me of the swingsets in a campground we visited when I was younger - it was in the northwoods of Minnesota and near a beautiful lake and the woods were full of pine trees...what a wonderful place.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

invertebrates are my fave

This woman = genius. It's a sculptural webcomic. With octopi. I'm in love.

Credit: Justina Kochansky at Articulate Matter.

You have officially made my day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ships in the wind

subway cars in the night

from artist Adrian Tomine

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2010

[modeled after Kyla Roma's month-forward post, Andrea's idea of every Monday as a mini-new year and Nicole's pictures of her adorable baby]


--The Boston Globe's "Big Picture" series from the Olympics. Wow. Just wow.

--Norwegian smiles

--A reminder that my biology degree is, in fact, useful. See syncitium (cells of an organisms which have more than one nucleus, or storage compartment for DNA...this isn't exactly rare, as it happens in our own muscle cells, fungus, sponges, the placenta, and during embyronic development).

--My homegirls Elizabeth, Daine, Anne, Sabriel, Alanna, Matilda, Jane, Cimorene, Laura, and Elinor. Thanks for reminding me that tough things happen but there is always a way to a happy ending.

--This dining room picture from an Apartment Therapy house tour:
It's got everything: windows, wood floors, a dining room table that is to-die for! storage space, beautiful colorful art...when can I move in?

--This video (linked instead of embedded; vimeo has been really buggy for me lately). Hold Your Horses is a band from Paris, and this video for their song "70 Million" recreates famous works of art (thanks Ms. Dahlin; without you my art history knowledge would be much skimpier)

--Daffodils. God bless Trader Joes and their $1.49 bunches of daffodils.
Too bad, however, that I forgot that they make me sneeze and make my eyes water. Alas...they look so pretty and sunshine-y that I forget that subtlety treacherous effects on my immune system.

--My little brother. Seriously. How many people out there get an assignment to do a presentation of Romeo and Juliet end up doing this?

Yes, you see that correctly. He did the whole play. In lego. Uh-huh. Rock out, bro.

Things to look forward to:

--Turning 24. Older, braver, and perhaps wiser.

--Orchestra concert March 12th---get ready for some jazz! And some crazy new music by an MIT composer.

--Birthday party AFTER the orchestra concert. This night...oh man. It is going to be epic. There will be deep fried corn fritters, boozy delicious things, chex mix, general bar food happiness and ice cream cake. Not just any ice cream cake...we're talking an ice cream cake with homemade chocolate chip ice cream, with homemade caramel, with two wondrous layers of brown sugar/chex/butter/peanuts...I can't wait just thinking about it.

--My brother visiting! He'll be here for the aforementioned party, and through St. Patrick's Day. Shenanigans? Oh yes. And restaurant week with my brother, one of my favorite people ever---it will be a week to remember.

--BE Retreat. Pretty good food, wonderful tea, seeing BE people that I don't see much anymore...should be fun times.

--Pi Day. Me? I like pie.

Things I will do:

--Lab meeting tomorrow! I have a stuffy nose and made the mistake of taking some expectorant today. Ugh. Now I have a stomachache and snot running down my nose....and I still feel sick! Ew.

--I had this horrid realization last night that I am a willpower-less hypocrite. At least about one particular issue. It's the beginning of a new month, and my gosh I am hereby growing a spine and saying "no way josé" instead of rationalizing saying yes. I'm done.

--Not break glass. I broke two things this weekend which resulted in spending 3+ hours on my hands and knees "taping" my carpet or the tile to try and pick up glass shards. I will never get those three hours back.

--Start culturing Plasmodium. It isn't easy, and I hate using ethanol on my hands (it evaporates very quickly, taking the heat of my hands with it, something that I cannot stand since my hands are already cold). But it is the start to studying some cool-io Plasmodium biology, which I am totally down for.

The Olympics

...they have sadly passed me by. But I will have a television for the next Olympic games, mark my words!

And because it's one of the best commercials I've seen in a long time:

Also, what do people think of the idea of establishing a permanent home for the Olympics in Switzerland? It's an interesting idea, I think...