I've started some black eyed susan seeds, and they are growing beautifully! I also bought some other seeds this weekend (sunflowers and zinnias, I think), and I'm going to try and plant them in the yard one of these days.
There's been yet another occurrence of parthenogensis. This time, a female shark (at Henry Doorly Zoo, which is in my old stomping grounds of Omaha) gave birth to a shark that contained no male genetic material. Pretty crazy. I'm just waiting for the day when they announce that mammals can undergo parthenogensis. I wonder if this is how the remaining humans might one day reproduce in the event of a massive war?
I went to high school with Blake Lewis, the runner-up for the American Idol contest. He was a beatboxer back then too, and he'd do freestyle raps with the other theater guys. My high school actually had quite a number of beatboxers. Anyway, it was nice to see Seattle so well-represented in this national contest.
Went out for thai food tonight with a friend. A new thai place opened up a block from my house, and they had 50% off food today (yes, 50% off. I couldn't believe it either). We paid $11 for wontons, fried rice, and pad thai. There's more than enough left over for me to have another meal, especially since my friend gave me his leftovers too.
It's more of a takeout place type place, but it was still really good. Very limited menu, but still yummy food. It was wonderful to eat thai again; I haven't had any since I was last home in late February.
In other news, it was really warm today. I played frisbee at lunch with someone else. Social life is doing fine. Now I just need to up the amount of work I'm doing.
-> learned how to do pond surveys. In my lab, we survey a bunch of ponds a few times a year to keep track of the tadpole/insect abundance and diversity. It's really fun. So far, I am just the recorder and time keeper. This is more work than how it sounds. I keep meaning to write up a nifty post about this, so I'll just give the nutshell now. Basically, I stand somewhere in the pond so that I can hear everyone. Ideally, I should be able to see everyone, but that doesn't always work. Sometimes, I stand on a slope above the pond (there is one pond that is particularly rough). Anyway, I stand there, and people yell out the species that they are collecting. I tally them on a sheet like a crazy madwoman. Soonish, I'm going to start learning how to identify all the insects (my heart is singing with joy over this one!), and then I will be able to get into the pond and actually do surveys on my own.
-> played a few games of ultimate frisbee. It's my main form of exercise these days. On Sunday afternoon, a bunch of different people from around town (mostly grad students) get together for an intense pickup game. It's a lot of fun, and I have some new friends from it. So far, I'm the slowest person, but I am steadily getting better.
-> have done lots of reading, both for fun and for school. I've reread three of the six Harry Potter books in anticipation of the movie and book releases this July. I'm very excited. In school reading, I have been reading a lot about food webs. I'm very close to nailing down a proposal for my work this summer. I need to finish it ASAP, which is why I have not been blogging much.
-> played a game of ubi (a geographic trivia game) with some friends. I had eight people over to play! We played in just two teams, but I am hoping to get more people over so that we can have more teams. It was tons of fun.
Life is going well here. The weather is slowly warming up, so I now enjoy sleeping with my window open. I've been watching movies with friends and trying to get out of the house a bit more. I'm still a touch behind on my work, but I am steadily catching up.
Oh, and I forgot the most exciting news. My brother graduated this weekend! I am super proud of him, and I wish I could have been there :-) Hopefully, I will be going home for a week or so in August to hang out with the little tyke (erm, newly minted college grad). That's all for now, but I am hoping to get some little stories and pictures up here one of these days.
I got my first cavity ever this year. I got it filled just fine. It's small and on my upper back tooth, so you can't even see it unless you're specifically looking for it.
When I got the cavity filled, the dentist warned me not to eat a lot of sugar. Apparently, bacteria can uptake enough sugar in a few minutes to provide for two hours with of growth. Amazing! The new rule, then, for sugar consumption is in moderation and only immediately after meals.
Of course, for the first month or so, I was super strict about sugar intake (helpfully, it was also Lent, and I had given up candy). Since, I've been a bit more lax, though I do consume less sugar than I did before. I have noticed one big thing since I started this new "watch the sugar" regimen: on days where I eat a bunch of sugar (mostly of the gummy variety), my gums bleed more. My gums used to bleed almost all the time, and I chalked it up to being a mouth breather at night. Now, I'm not so sure; it seems like gum bleeding is tightly associated with sugar consumption. Strangely, I am way more careful about my teeth and gums than I am about my body, so this new discovery has led to much more careful sugar consumption than ever before. Sugar is now an occasional treat, and I'm trying a lot harder to get all my sweets in the form of fruit instead of turning to processed sugar delights (don't get me wrong: there is still room for sugar delights in my diet, but they have become more of an occasional treat than anything else). It will be interesting to see how this changes my diet over time.
Over the weekend, I went to a cinco de mayo party at a friend's house. The highlight of the party was the Nintendo Wii that my friends own. A couple of us spent a good chunk of the party playing with the various games (mostly Wii sports, honestly). Great fun, and I am looking forward to getting my own wii sometime in the fall.
I ran into a guy from my high school today. I was walking home from hanging out with some friends, and I passed by him working on a car. Out of the blue, he asked whether or not I'd gone to Inglemoor. Turns out he recognized me! I'm impressed at his memory. He looked vaguely familiar, and I remembered his name. I'm sure I'd recognize him in the yearbook, and I think he was friends of a friend. Still, we didn't really hang out in high school, so I'm impressed and a little shocked that he would recognize me.
It's getting warm here in Michigan. It's 66F at 10pm, and I'm appreciating it. I'm still wary of how I will cope with the hot and humid summer, but I'm enjoying the weather thus far. The highlight of weather in Michigan is the frequent occurrence of thunder storms. I do not think I will ever get tired of hearing thunder.
I'm working on a really annoying paper, hence the lack of updates. I've got to turn in a rough draft in a few hours, and it will hopefully be good enough to not necessitate significant changes.
I am so ready to be doing my summer research. I've been helping out the folk in my lab with their work. My work should start in about a week or two. I'm working with green and bullfrog tadpoles, and they don't start laying until mid-May.