Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fiery Hot in Kansas!

Geez ... crazy things always happen to my friends!

Apartment Fire in Kansas

All the best to 'thryn as she cleans up her smoke-damaged apartment!!!!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Matt!

Happy 25th Birthday Mattie!!

Such a fun Birthday Celebration!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Mighty Mitochondria

I couldn't be the only Science Geek blogger who hadn't taken the cell part quiz!

Lately, with it being the end of the semester, my score seemed appropriate! Too bad the only thing I remember about cell bio is that during the Krebs Cycle, I think 32 molecules of ATP are produced? Anyone back me up on that number?? :)

You scored 73 Industriousness, 32 Centrality, and 19 Causticity!
You're a mitochondrion! The mitocondria is a "power plant" of the cell. Nothing could ever get done in the cell without you creating energy. Since both the Citric Acid cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation happen inside the mitochondria, you are critical to every eukaryotic cell. You are always a hard worker, no matter what you are tasked to. Most of the time, you tend to be working in the background, but that often suits you just fine. You get along with almost everyone, and aren't these the most important things?
I should get back to work now ....

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Clean Sheets & Buggy Teeth

Sundays in Bethlehem are generally "my day". I turn down invitations for fun and focus on school work and cleaning my apartment. The day always starts with laundry at the University Laundromat.

Today, I was running late because I was distracted by Sunday morning political shows (Ted Kennedy & Arnold ... you'd be distracted too). Normally, I chat with "Leggings Lady" and her 8-year-old daughter while I wait for my sheets to become snuggle-fresh. But, I caught her on her way out of the laundromat today ("You're late today!" she said as she held the door open).

So, I sat down with my Speciation book and attempted to read about Behavioral Isolation. Suddenly, a woman came in with coffee spilled down her shirt. She was sopping it up with napkins and I offered her some bottled water to help get the stain out.

We began talking and I discovered she was waiting for the bus. She usually drives her car and never takes the bus, had a kid, a boyfriend in Allentown, a BA in English from Syracuse, was a quasi-vegan, and worked for Pfizer. Apparently anyone who has a four-year degree can work for Pfizer's "help hotline". You know, that 1-800 number on all products made by the company.

She tells me stories about the stupidity of people in America.
I learned many things from her:
~Pfizer makes many more products than I ever thought (not just viagara!!!).
~Some people don't understand how ept pregnancy tests are supposed to be used (ouch).
~If your kid takes too many Benedryl or drinks Listerine, you should call Posion Control NOT the 1-800 number on the package (these people have degrees in English -- they are not doctors).
~And, the most disturbing thing I learned today: Don't buy Cirtus Listerine (the orange kind). It is orange because of cochineal coloring -- made from the eggs of beetles.
YUMMY! I totally want to clean my mouth with beetle eggs!!

Apparently, cochineal extract and carmine or carminic acid (its derivitive) are used in many red & orange foods because other red food dyes are thought to be carcinogenic. Though, many people have an allergy to the cochineal coloring. Read more on the Vegetarians in Paradise website about it.

And read the ingredients the next time you eat or drink something red or orange.

It's funny the things you learn from random people while washing laundry! I think I'll try to get there earlier next week!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Random Happiness

2 Random things for you:

1) I got my Free Post-It notes in the mail that I blogged about a few weeks ago! I love post-its. And they sent coupons too. I love post-its AND I love coupons.

2) DancingFish's Mom was checking out my blog because of the fun pupfish collecting photos. And, she also has the cool green fish socks that DancingFish and I have!!! She is so cool!!! I think I need to buy my mom a pair too! If you want to be cool like us, rush out to your local Target and buy green fish socks too!!

Happy Easter!

Happy belated Easter to you all!

I had a very exciting Easter Sunday full of work in my lab and the office. I warmed up some Lean Cuisine and treated myself to some spring flowers! I can't resist daisies!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Delaware -- Home of Tax Free Shopping & Pupfish!

On the most beautiful Saturday, I joined DancingFish on her trip to catch Pupfish for her research. I could not resist a day in the sun with the fish.

Our first surprise was coming across the giant military plane that crashed by Dover Air Force Base a few weeks ago. It was huge and about a mile from the collecting site.

Our second surprise occured when we showed up at the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area near Kitts Hummock -- the roads were all blocked off!!!

So, instead of driving up to the spot where the pupfish have sex, we had to walk. A mile. With our gear. In the sun. Then a mile back. With the gear. And a cooler full of fish and water. A heavy cooler.

But we got a few dozen fish, a tan, and, of course, a few laughs. If only I was able to post videos on my blog. In the picture below, DancingFish is running down to the shore to scoop the fish up. Picture it moving. Way more funnier!!!

The day finished up with some Coldstone Creamery ice cream. My favorite!

And then I traveled down to Philly for a super fun time with the SJU crew at Steph & Tim's engagement party!

A wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Give Blood! Get a laugh & free diet coke & oreos!

Those crazy questions you have to answer before donating blood are worth the trip!!

"Have you ever had sex with a man who has had sex with a man since 1979?"

Me: "I don't think so?"

"Are you giving blood today as a way of getting a free HIV test?"

Me: "Do people really do that?"

"Have you ever paid for sex?"

Lynne (a professor here): "Don't we always pay for sex ... in some way?"

Click HERE to learn more about a blood drive near you!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Happy Passover!

I don't know if you wish someone a Happy Passover, but I thought I'd post you a link to the Wikipedia article about Passover.

Being brought up Roman Catholic, I know little about Jewish holidays. Except that my old roommate Caroline would go to Seder at her boyfriend's family's for HOURS. And my current undergrad has to meet with me to do her work on Easter Sunday, because she needs to miss the next day and a half for the Passover celebration with friends.

The idea of four glasses of wine that MUST be drunk before the meal is over does sound good ....

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Fish, Heels, and Friends

It was a busy week getting ready for the 3rd Annual Lehigh Valley Ecology & Evolution Symposium. My advisor was hosting it ... so I was put to work ... and had to give my first public talk about the research I have been doing here at Lehigh.

Just a few highlights:
My talk went well, I think. Many people complimented me on it and I didn't pass out or burp or anything, so I have to be happy with that. Here's a picture of my fish that I talked about. If you look in the back, left, bottom corner ... you can almost see the "wrigglers".

Ry did not fall asleep during any of the talks (that I know of). I think he secretly enjoyed the day! (And he looked good doing it!)

DancingFish & I were amazing AV dorks.

I wore high heels for 14 hours and I can still walk today!

Becca, my cool friend from SJU, presented a poster on her Drosophila work and won BEST POSTER!!! YAY Becca!!!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weekend Update

A few days since I last posted, so I have some new pics and stories of fun!

For me, the end of the week always makes up for the early-week stress. On Thursday, I actually decided to join the group for pool instead of going home and doing work as I had the past few weeks. Not that I played pool, but DancingFish, Luke (my fav blogstalker), and I watched the pool excitement and enjoyed our brews.

Then I impressed Ry with my amazing culinary skills by boiling spaghetti, opening a jar of tomato sauce and getting the kraft parmesian cheese out the fridge (I figure, he's Italian, so do I really have a shot at making good pasta anyway?)!!

Friday was a super fun day in Bethlehem because it was super nice! I was a kick-ass TA and held class outside on the lawn (a good conversation ensued about curing diseases and evolution)! Then Gags made DancingFish and I an amazing lunch at her house while we tried to do some work.

In the early afternoon, V and Ry held the first official softball practice for the Bio department's softball team. All I can say is -- I am old and out of shape. I am still so sore from a little 2 hour practice of swinging and ball shagging! But I think it is going to be a fun team to be on! Our only problem -- we have no name!! Please submit your suggestions for a good name for a super-fun biology department softball team!!!

At night we celebrated Ry's advisor's Great Professor award -- which meant free drinks for all at S^3 (which is becoming the regular Friday bar)!! Then Ry, DancingFish, V and I ate more pasta at a cute little Italian place in town. Sure, DancingFish had a fly in her salad, but no one really minded ... which may have been an effect of the beer she and I had to slam at our all-time favorite bar -- the You're Welcome Inn.

Saturday's fun was more shopping with DancingFish (justified by our need for cute symposium outfits) and Natalie's 30th Birthday celebration. I'll save that story for later ... I actually had my film camera and I'll be picking up the photos in a bit!! I'll have to scan them in for you!!

Hope you're having a fun weekend too, where ever you are.

I'm off to the basement to hang out with my fish for a while ....