Stuff from April, 2007

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on April, 2007.

Church in Chicago

Church in Chicago

This is the Fouth Presbyterian Church. It ended up in the midst of a bunch of tall buildings.



And Once More

Back from the iTunes dead, as it were, the song “The A La Menthe” has been getting heavy rotation lately. And yes, for once you can listen to a song I am raving about … along with the incredible movie sequence it accompanies. Thanks to Ryan Markoe for the original tip on this song, long ago (ok, a year or two ago).


Hey Ya Cover

Hey Ya Cover - This is a great cover—and as Mykala pointed out, the acoustic version really makes you listen to the lyrics. A higher quality version of this song is available off the Obadiah Parker MySpace page.

Pope Pius XII Quote

The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, insofar as it inquiries into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter.




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Messes can be a good thing

Messes can be a good thing - Spawns creativity/productivity, etc.—an idea advanced by Lewis Kornhauser, an NYU School of Law professor.

A peptide that helps fight antibiotic resistant bacteria

A peptide that helps fight antibiotic resistant bacteria - The peptide spurs immune response—basically leveraging our own intricate systems to fight off an infection. This is in contrast to direct chemical inhibition, which is how all antibiotics work. From the article:


Packard Bell

A recent article in PC World about the top 10 worst computers of all time names Packard Bell machines (specifically, those built between 1986-1996) to be the worst ever. Guess what brand of computer we bought in 1992? That’s right! A Packard Bell! It is funny to recall those days, though, when computers were the Next Big Thing. It was amazing that our computer was “multimedia”—pumping out sound and video at the same time! It printed! The screen was in color! We marveled at clips from the San Diego Zoo, and later entertained ourselves playing Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. I learned about ctrl+alt+del, too.


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DNA Ligase

When your head is buried in scientific literature, from the “Alarming Increase in Ciprofloxacin- and Penicillin-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae Isolates in New Delhi, India” all the way to “Serum IgE response to orally ingested antigen: A novel IgE response model with allergen-specific T-cell receptor transgenic mice”, you begin to look forward to studying DNA metabolism and its associated reactions for a biochemistry test. So sure enough, this past Sunday night found me studying away from my biochem test on Monday. While perusing Wikipedia (which I generally use as a sort of scientific dictionary for studying—it saves time for basics, compared to looking them up in the book), I found an amazing illustration.


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French Paper Company

French Paper Company - Let’s say you are printing a poster, and you want it to appear on nice paper. These would be the guys you go to. I’d almost like to buy some of their bright white paper, just so it’s available for later projects. About that white paper:


Penthouse triplex of the Hotel Pierre

Penthouse triplex of the Hotel Pierre - While the $70 million price tag is the “highest ever listed for a city residence,” I find the price, for once, to be justified. This isn’t any price-inflated handbag—this house is the real deal:


Keillor Writes about the holidays

Keillor Writes about the holidays - Keillor’s written tone swings like a pendulum between stinging, acrid, political pieces barely containing his rage … and much more pleasant prose, as seen here. This has been waiting to be uploaded to tumbledry since the middle of December.

Slashfood’s best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Slashfood’s best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - I should at least try fluffernutters.

West Photo

West Photo - They were a bit snobby to me at West Photo when I visited.

I had just purchased a not-inexpensive camera bag by Lowepro. Nevertheless, as I struggled to mount Canon’s $1,100+ 24-70f/2.8L lens on my 300D, the sales lady commented “haven’t you ever done this before?” Thanks. And no, I haven’t.


Animated drawings—_stunning_

Animated drawings—stunning - The brilliance here is that he used a whiteboard to do this animation.

Amazing… there’s no need to redraw each frame, just take a photo for each modification.


A 128-bit storage can address a rather lot of memory

A 128-bit storage can address a rather lot of memory - I can’t explain the boiling oceans thing myself, so onwards with a quote:

To operate at the 10E31 bits/kg limit, however, the entire mass of the computer must be in the form of pure energy. By E=mc2, the rest energy of 136 billion kg is 1.2x10E28 J. The mass of the oceans is about 1.4x10E21 kg. It takes about 4,000 J to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 degree Celcius, and thus about 400,000 J to heat 1 kg of water from freezing to boiling. The latent heat of vaporization adds another 2 million J/kg. Thus the energy required to boil the oceans is about 2.4x10E6 J/kg * 1.4x10E21 kg = 3.4x10E27 J. Thus, fully populating a 128-bit storage pool would, literally, require more energy than boiling the oceans.

Joe Mathlete Explains Today’s Marmaduke

Joe Mathlete Explains Today’s Marmaduke - Since Marmaduke is essentially the anti-Calvin and Hobbes … you get websites like this. Writes the author on why he doesn’t even attempt to ridicule the Sunday strips:


Tasty Corner

Tasty Corner

Tribune Tower

Tribune Tower

Love that neo-Gothic style. More information on the Tribune Tower.

Four Day Break

I don’t have class tomorrow. *So happy*. Just have to go in for labs on Friday and Monday. Hurrah!

Songs Lately

I’ve been thinking that it might be a good idea to start a favorite songs list on occasion. The material’s sitting right there in my iTunes, ready to bore anyone who reads it. I’ll try to limit the list to an arbitrary number, to encourage myself to only pick the best. You know, maybe someone could glean something off the list. Anyhow, here we go:


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Indoor Fountains

Indoor Fountains

Jets shot water up to two stories straight up. Very fun to watch.

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Huge Space

Huge Space

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A very happy Easter to you all. For those of you at a Catholic or Christian University, you may find yourself with a long weekend (as I do). For those of you everywhere else (for example, the University of Minnesota, like my sister), you may find yourself with a normal length weekend. I hope you are still able to enjoy the holiday.


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Metal Moose

Metal Moose

Made from car bumpers by John Kearney.

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Connecting Skype to an old phone

Connecting Skype to an old phone - I was telling Mykala about this idea I had; hook an old style rotary phone up to Skype, or at least have it ring when Skype rings. Looks like problem solved, at this link.

Indole Test

Indole Test

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Currently: listening to “Stomp to My Beat” and pretending the floor is a DDR mat. I think I’m winning. 200 combo!

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Christopher O’Riley covers Nick Drake

Christopher O’Riley covers Nick Drake - I haven’t heard of Nick Drake, but after attending O’Riley’s Radiohead concert @ Orchestra Hall, I’m tempted to give this album a listen.

Scientists Create World’s Largest Novelty Atom

Scientists Create World’s Largest Novelty Atom - The best thing about the Onion is their ability to keep funny turns of phrase flowing throughout an entire article like this.

As soon as the image of that atom came on the screen, everyone just lost it. I nearly knocked over my model of a constitutional isomer, I was laughing so hard.

Golf Screen Shot

Golf Screen Shot

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Hamster powered shredder

Hamster powered shredder - Put your hamster to good use!

Easter Bunnies

Easter Bunnies

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So Leopard’s Delayed

I’m incredibly unconcerned that Leopard (Apple’s upcoming point revision of its OS X operating system) has been delayed. As long as they fix the finder (!!!!), I’ll have nothing really important to criticize in OS X.


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Paul Ford on Websites

The best thing to hope for is that in time and with much more effort the work will become transparent to its users, that it will be taken for granted. That’s life with websites.

Two in One

Two in One

Rat laughter

Rat laughter - Animals laughing — I think that’s swell.

Lamp Base

Lamp Base

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Wooden Slats

Wooden Slats

Happiness: Simultaneously Concrete and Ethereal

Mykala directed me to some information that she saw on a recent Oprah show about happiness called “How Happy are You?” She had some good quotes from it.

We have beliefs about ourselves and our lives, and our perception gathers evidence in support of these beliefs. If you believe that your life isn’t satisfying or that you are a failure, you will look around for ways that this is true. If you believe that life is fulfilling and you are a worthy and significant person, you’ll find evidence to prove this case.


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Grades, Salaries, and the Real World

Hot on the heels of my extensive discussion on happiness, I must change topics a bit and point out a 2005 study by the American Chemical Society, specifically, “Senior Research Associate Janel Kasper-Wolfe of ACS’s Department of Member Research & Technology under the general guidance of the ACS Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs.” Fascinating, you say. Read on! So … what in this study could be so interesting, you ask? Well. This is an analysis of the starting salaries received by chemistry graduates in 2005. Possibly an ironic subject matter given my last post? Yes. Interesting? Without a doubt.


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Deadly Beautiful

Deadly Beautiful

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Painful bike crash

Painful bike crash - I don’t think I’d like to be run over by a bike.

Literature Geekery

I’ve been reading more and more of The New Yorker lately, so I’ve been seeing a lot of their famous one panel comics that have been in their pages for years. These cartoons are selected quite carefully, as shown in a recent article about the cartoon editor of the New Yorker; from what I can tell, the cartoons are selected to be subtle, clever, and not laugh out-loud funny. They are therefore things you can glance at more than once and find entertainment.


South Campus Dichotomy

South Campus Dichotomy

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Chappelle pulls all-nighter

Chappelle pulls all-nighter - This Dave Chappelle guy, I think there’s more than meets the eye.

Anyone who bought a ticket to the Laugh Factory on Sunday night ended up getting two surprises.

The first came when Dave Chappelle appeared onstage at 10:36 p.m. for an unannounced set. The second shocker: Chappelle kept telling jokes until 4:43 the next morning—making his entire set a whopping six hours and seven minutes.

That’s the longest performance by any comedian in the the 28-year history of the Laugh Factory, according to founder Jamie Masada.


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Banquet Souvenir

Banquet Souvenir

The chemistry faculty presented us with round bottom flasks filled with treats - plus, we got to keep the flasks! Glassware like this is pretty expensive, so the gesture was very nice. Unfortunately, mine cracked when I tried to remove the candy from it …

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Rap Quote

I’ve often thought that Gangsta Rap singers have done the inner cities load of good by teaching urban punks that holding the gun sideways is “cool.” That has to have gone a long way in reducing shooting fatalities in the hood by making it impossible to aim the gun properly. Plus, it should increase the number of incapacitating but non-fatal arm/shoulder wounds and save lives.

Flask Filtered

Flask Filtered

The Vulnerability of Youth

As the human body ages, certain immune system organs actually shrink. For example, there’s the thymus: here, T cells (one of the primary components of the immune system’s ability to recognize and eliminate foreign antigen) are converted from naïve to mature. If you look at a picture of the thymus of a teen next to one of an 80 year old, the difference is striking. It’s not like the color and texture difference between a cancerous lung and a normal lung—there’s actually hardly any thymus left in the 80 year old’s picture. Why the geriatric thymus continues to function effectively is the topic of another post. But the fact remains: there’s a definite change in the immune system with the passage of time.


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Out My Door

Out My Door

Through the peephole.

Hot Fuzz

I think I’m going to see the movie Hot Fuzz this evening. I’m pretty excited, it’s from “the guys who watched every action movie ever made and brought you Shaun of the Dead,” and it looks pretty funny. Metacritic shows that most reviewers like the movie, rating it an 80, which places it right between Volver and Little Miss Sunshine. Oh, and there’s this scene where the more portly cop crashes through a fence while trying to take a shortcut. I’m a sucker for physical comedy. I’m also a sucker for cool graphic design, and the logo-type thing for the movie is fantastic.

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BMW Concept CS

BMW Concept CS - Look at those lines! Apparently, this may hearken the return of the 8 series.

Air Grate

Air Grate

Money and Safety

Saint Thomas is situated in a very safe part of St. Paul—crime is low, and the safety measures in the dorms are high: keycard access and check-ins after hours. You start to take it for granted how safe it is to be on campus. In the past few years, however, we’ve had a marked increase of muggings only blocks from school. It’s usually dark, and the victim usually gets hit on the head. One guy was running with his iPod and didn’t even know what was coming because he couldn’t hear anything. Another guy was something like 6’5”, and he still got attacked.


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Accidental Smear

Accidental Smear

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A very nice OS X theme

A very nice OS X theme - As usual, for when (if ever) I get a Mac.



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White Finish

White Finish

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Zippy on College

… this must be what it’s like to be a COLLEGE GRADUATE!!

Things to Know for Biochem Test

A list of things I should/need to know for my biochemistry test tomorrow.

  1. “DNA polymerase enzymes are only able to join the phosphate group at the 5’ carbon of a new nucleotide to the hydroxyl (OH) group of the 3’ carbon of a nucleotide already in the chain.” - “DNA Replication
  2. UV light = thymine dimer photoproducts = requisite enzyme correction
  3. Only two biochem tests left.
  4. The movie Finding Neverland fascinates me.
  5. Have to get back on topic.
  6. The damaging effects of superoxide radicals necessitate enzymes such as catalase and superoxide dismutase.
  7. It’s currently 56 degrees.
  8. See #5
  9. Now it’s actually 54 degrees. It’s getting colder.
  10. I’m closing this window and going to study.

Barber Pole

Barber Pole

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Everyone’s bugging me

My lab this past Monday was significantly longer than the time I spent sleeping last night. I find that curious.

A lot of work to do before graduation, yet I feel quite ready to be done.

To augment this post, I will (happily) provide you with some lyrics to a very short Fountains of Wayne song.


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Too Dark

Too Dark

The reflection is the lights inside the building.

Aggressive elephant seal menace sonoma beaches

Aggressive elephant seal menace sonoma beaches - As usual, you can’t make this stuff up.

“Before the time of European colonization, grizzly bears would have kept all the elephant seals in check,” Allen said. “Only harbor seals would have been there. They have the instincts to take off into the water if they see a land animal appear, then come back when that animal’s gone. Elephant seals don’t. They confront what shows up. They are used to inhabiting islands. So it’s an interesting example of what happens when an ecosystem is disrupted. Take grizzlies out of the picture, and elephant seals aren’t scared off of the mainland beaches anymore.”

From Here We Go Sublime

From Here We Go Sublime - On Metacritic, rated the top album of 2007 so far … by a fairly large margin, too.

Plus, “From Here We Go Sublime” by The Field falls under the category “Electronic,” and the guy behind it is known for trance music, no less. I find it interesting that an electronic album with that particular pedigree could top acts like Arcade Fire and Arctic Monkeys.

A neat circular watch!

A neat circular watch! - From Alessi watches. I really like the simplicity here. Old-fashioned as it may be, I still dig timepieces as art and fashion rather than outdated accouterments.

Superbad: Supergood?

The premise behind this upcoming film isn’t too hard to summarize, but since I haven’t seen the preview more than once, I’ll leave it up to Cinematical.

Superbad’s poster does a good job of summing up what the film is about—two awkward kids who are “superbad,” or more accurately, co-dependent and full of separation anxiety when they get accepted to different colleges. With badass 70’s fonts and a trailer that pipes out Van Halen’s Panama, it’s pretty obvious who this flick is meant for.


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The Fickle Perception of Beauty

The art and science of photograph manipulation and retouching has been evolving for years. And by “years,” I mean for around 150 years. Consider the first example from that link above: Abraham Lincoln’s head is the only original part from Lincoln—his body comes from another photograph of John C. Calhoun. Want to talk about tasteless? How about grafting the head of Lincoln, the man integral to the Emancipation Proclamation, onto the body of a guy famous for his pro-slavery opinions?


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Drunk Man Parks Horse in German Bank

Drunk Man Parks Horse in German Bank - You can’t make this stuff up.

A photo released by police on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 shows a horse standing next to a sleeping man in the foyer of a bank in the east German village of Wiesenburg on Monday, April 23, 2007. The obviously drunken man tried to rest with his horse in the bank’s entrance, when passers-by called the police who could convince the man and horse to leave the bank.

Practice lightbox

Practice lightbox

Trying out this two pieces of paper method for creating a softbox. It’s called “Mini Macro Studio for less than $0.02”.

Cercis Sunlight

Cercis Sunlight

I think that this tree is in the family Cercis, also called the Judas tree. Appropriate for St. Thomas with its purple color.

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The Best Produced Guitars You’ve (N)Ever Heard

Those would be the power-chorded caramel-smooth perfectly processed guitars on the first track of Avril Lavigne’s album “The Best Damn Thing.”

I unashamedly acknowledge my enjoyment of this poppy sugary snack. Let the emasculation of my character commence!


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ViewSlimmy Wallet

ViewSlimmy Wallet - A slim “front pocket” wallet with a clear ID area for your license (for those travel and bar situations).

Am considering this as a great replacement for my fat old wallet. The minimalist idea behind the design forces you eliminate the usual wallet clutter of receipts and useless club cards.

Fraction Rap

Fraction Rap - They’re rapping about fractions! Square One TV! Thanks, Katy.

More Cercis

More Cercis

A close-up.

Kenko Extension Tube for Canon EOS AF Mount

Kenko Extension Tube for Canon EOS AF Mount - When you combine this inexpensive extension tube (filled with the same “low dispersion” gas as the actual Canon tube), you can use Canon EF lesnses (I don’t know if EF-S lenses work) to do macrophotography.


Daniel Rutter Quote

Dust is stupendously annoying. More annoying than bandits killing everyone in your village. Not necessarily quite as annoying as having the foil on the top of the yogurt tub rip into little bits, of course, but still very annoying indeed.

— Daniel Rutter

The Quest for True Meaning

I suppose this could be considered another entry in my ‘happiness’ series, but this comes from a very different angle. I just finished a flat-out fantastic article in the New Yorker called The Way We Age Now, by Atul Gawande. What Dr. Gawande did was summarize the steeply declining geriatric profession and link it to anecdotal evidence for necessary changes in medicine’s attitude towards geriatrics.


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Google now included in Oxford English Dictionary

Google now included in Oxford English Dictionary - It’s a real live verb now. Officially.

Pictures lately

I think I may have burnt out my ability to take decent photographs. A re-infusion of creative juices, or simply some new subject matter would go miles in the daily photolog part of this website. Have no fear, I’m brainstorming some solutions. In the meantime, the pictures suck a bit.


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Try the Backlighting

Try the Backlighting

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