Wednesday, June 17

Nerd Camp For Nerds

In my quest to rule microbiology with an iron fist, I am spending six weeks this summer in Woods Hole, MA in a microbial diversity course at the MBL (formally: Marine Biological Laboratories). This is awesome news for my future as a scientist - as it has been three days and already I've learned an amazing amount of material.

[It is kind of bad news because my fledgling relationship with Bombshell may be strained as the six weeks drag on. She also happens to be studying for a major grad school exam, further adding to her stress level. I have complete faith that everything will be fine - it would so suck otherwise - but she may come and visit over 4th of July *fingers crossed*]

Microbes are funny things to work with. You can't capture individuals like in classical ecology and studying how they grow is limited to the species we can grow in a lab - which is not a lot. Maybe about 1% of all species can be cultured with our current know how, which is really small considering there is more bacterial species on Earth than there are visible stars. But some of the ones we can grow are ridiculously awesome. Like this one:
These organisms are bioluminescent. When cell densities reach a certain threshold, all the neighboring cells begin to glow. This picture was taken with my regular camera in a dark room - no other light source. No UV light - this isn't like a black light poster. They are so bright you can actually read my writing on the Perti dish in the lower part of the picture (it's upside down).

I am not sure which species this is right now. We'll be identifying it using molecular/DNA techniques later this week. I'll keep you informed because I know you are on the edge of your seat.

Friday, June 12


Anyone who has been reading a while - I have been dating Bombshell for 7 weeks now. It's been AMAZING!

My muse!

I know it's been a while.

I have been lacking inspiration for some time. But this cheered me right up. I have been musing on how to fix the out of date economies of several big industries in this country (and the world) - the music monopoly and print publishers. The internet should be free (and hopefully always will be). And ads don't work because unlike the limited space of a newspaper (where real estate is limited) the internet has limitless space and the ability to link endlessly away from a page where the ads are situated. Not to mention we all ignore ads to begin with.

But still the old guard refuses to admit defeat and devise a new way to weasel money out of the general public. They demand protection from us evil citizens - who "rob" them blindly.

And then I saw this article about France's attempt to curtail piracy - Top French court rips heart out of Sarkozy internet law. *BOOM* Completely stopped in its tracks. Access to the internet is an unalienable right. Plus - the government has no right to track an individuals internet use. Nor can a administrative agency impose justice. Especially without giving an individual due process under the law to defend themselves.

Stop complaining about being a billion dollar industry, music companies. Come up with a new sustainable business plan and stop whining. (I do in fact feel bad for print media - they are getting a bum rap and should be paid for the time. they were never paid much to begin with)

any revolutionary business plans you want to share?