Drama kids: I walked through a Home Depot today to buy some wood screws and the smell of lumber and industrial lubricant brought me right back to set construction and the wood room and I Felt some Feelings; that is all. Miss you and thanks. <3
  • Current Music
    Smashing Pumpkins - Here Is No Why


thinking about lots of things right now

- climate change app contest: using BC data, create a web or mobile application to raise awareness of climate change and climate related issues

- ethics and propriety of engagement and design targets / humanitarian design, http://designforthefirstworld.com/ -- and actually why are we not designing for impoverished local settings, like vancouver's downtown east side or rural kansas or whatever

- umm other stuff, going to eat dinner and head down to the vancouver hackspace, should be interesting
  • Current Music
    road noise, it's kind of loud outside my apt when it rains

Alinsky, Saul. Rules for radicals : a practical primer for realistic radicals. Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1989. p 21.

"A word about my personal philosophy. It is anchored in optimism. It must be, for optimism brings with it hope, a future with a purpose, and therefore, a will to fight for a better world. Without this optimism, there is no reason to carry on. If we think of the struggle as a climb up a mountain, then we must visualize a mountain with no top. We see a top, but when we finally reach it, the overcast rises and we find ourselves merely on a bluff. The mountain continues on up. Now we see the 'real' top ahead of us, and strive for it, only to find we've reached another bluff, the top still above us. And so it goes on, interminably.

"Knowing that the mountain has no top, that it is a perpetual quest from plateau to plateau, the question arises, 'Why the struggle, the conflict, the heartbreak, the danger, the sacrifice. Why the constant climb?' Our answer is the same as that which a real mountain climber gives when he is asked why he does what he does. 'Because it's there.' Because life is there ahead of you and either one tests oneself in its challenges or huddles in the valleys in a dreamless day-to-day existence whose only purpose is the preservation of an illusory security and safety. The latter is what the vast majority of people choose to do, fearing the adventure into the unknown. Paradoxically, they give up the dream of what may lie ahead on the heights of tomorrow for a perpetual nightmare -- an endless succession of days fearing the loss of a tenuous security. ...

"At times we do fall back and become discouraged, but it is not that we are making no progress. Simply, this is the very nature of life -- that it is a climb -- and that the resolution of each issue in turn creates other issues, born of plights which are unimaginable today. The pursuit of happiness is never-ending; happiness lies in the pursuit."
  • Current Music
    Another Likely Story-Au Revoir Simone-Still Night, Still Light

We both know your heart's not in it

Hello again from Berkeley! There was a fire drill today! The annunciator horns in Stanley Hall are very polite.

"May I have your attention please!," they called. "May I have your attention please! A fire emergency has been reported in the building. While this is being verified, please leave the building by the nearest available exit or exit stairway. Do not use the elevators."

Happily I had just finished in the tissue culture hood, so I pulled my stuff out, took off my lab coat, dithered about whether to bring my laptop (I didn't), and otherwise did as the nice man said while the lab manager pulled on a reflective vest and a plastic helmet. Maybe there was actually a small hood fire? Something was venting white smoke at the roof level. In any case, the Berkeley FD showed up but we were back in the building in about fifteen minutes. It was a nice day.

For several good reasons, Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed has been on my headphones several times tonight. Though good reasons would be less relevant if it weren't so damn catchy. Seriously, I fucking love the production on it. Triumphant layers of guitars with screaming violins crashing in over cymbals FTMFW.

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So I have like three weeks left in the lab. CRAP! Just starting to make friends with the not-mine grad students, too.

Anyway ttylz bai
  • Current Mood
    Oh my god, let me tell you about this song again

hey everyone!

hey guess what, ljfriends! i'm in berkeley!

i've been here for about a week... i've hung out with maia in the mission and glennis around golden gate park and ellen downtown and all of the kids in the amgen program here around berkeley! and i JUST ran into elana on the street! anyway i'm doing vascular graft engineering oriented kinds of things in the li lab at ucb... i think the focus of the project will be comparing in vitro assays of vascular biocompatibility (doesn't encourage blood clots, degrades, supports endothelial cell attachment) between electrospun nanofiber films of a couple of different polymers.

i also tried (and failed, i'm pretty sure, though we'll find out soon) to isolate endothelial and smooth muscle cells from a rat artery sample. it's hard to lose to a diced rat, but i don't think i won, either.

soooooooo give a holler if you're in the bay area and we'll see what's up i guess! so far i think i like berkeley, THOUGH (this is a critical flaw) there's no really decent coffee to be had south of campus as far as i can tell. please let me know if i'm wrong!

New York and NTLM

HAY GUYS what should I do in Manhattan? I get in to New York midday Wed and I'm leaving Thu evening; I'm spending the intervening night with Matt Ritter after checking out the Amazon Web Services meetup.

Ideas I have so far are:
- the Guggenheim.

While cool, this is a very short list for a potentially very full day of New Yorkin' it up! LET ME KNOW.

I've been chilling in Charlottesville this week, doing a very little bit of helping my parents move in. Major projects so far have included doing reading for Tissue Engineering, finding REU's for this summer, and starting work on my bizarre Frankenstein synchronization web service.

Observations so far:
- Google's documentation consists of a set of examples. This is very useful if you are trying to duplicate their examples. It is less useful if you are not. Would it kill them to provide an annotated list of objects and methods? pydoc is nice but insufficient; the SNR is poor.
- Trust me on this one: suds is the Python SOAP client library that you want to use. It's actively maintained and uses modern Python XML libraries, unlike say all of the other ones.
- NTLM authentication is a pain in the ass, but python-ntlm (a new project!) makes it easy, with urllib2. I'm glad I didn't try to write this app a month ago.
- Microsoft ships an incomplete WSDL file with Exchange and didn't bother to document it. What? Who does that?

Anyway, about those REUs. TTYLz baiii

hot in 2k9?

Hello, Blogterwebnets! It's the first day of the year and I'm trapped inside a pressurized aluminum tube hurtling over the Midwest, so why not engage in some critical thought and reflection about the past year, eh what?

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It'll take me a while to come up with a proper set of resolutions. Stay tuned!?
  • Current Music
    the clanking of crystallllllllllll / airplane drone