Stuff from September, 2008

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on September, 2008.


Mykala and I have been dating for a bit over 4 years now. We’ve shared successes and failures, satisfaction and disappointment, snow days and beach days. (Some of it is recorded here on tumbledry, which I am rather happy about.) I am, however, getting ahead of myself. You see, it all began when Caley introduced us — don’t forget to click on that link, because it’s a wonderfully kind and well-written account of When Mykala Met Alex. Ahh, nostalgia!


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Mykala is back, blogging again! After an extended hiatus, Unicorndog.com lives again. It is, as promised, powered by the Pax system I’ve been working on since January.

The reason it looks so similar to this website has nothing to do with both websites running the same software, it’s just that I haven’t had time to refine the style of Mykala’s page. We’ll get around to that… but in the meantime both pages are rather obviously cut from the same cloth, so to speak.


Working in the Mouth

We did dental indices on our peers today — so, this was the first time I have ever in my life probed around someone’s gums using actual dental instruments.

I’ve never sweat so much in my life.

By the time I was done with my rotation as examiner, my nitrile gloves were transparent from sweat. Posture, working in your mirror, keeping your hands braced on the person’s face, not blinding them with light, not poking them in their soft palate… so many things to keep in mind. And all we were doing is counting teeth and testing the health of the mouth! Drilling and filling a cavity seems a lifetime away right now. I think the hardest part is knowing what someone is comfortable with; I mean, it’s one thing to say you can (and should) brace your working hands on your patient’s face, but it’s quite another thing to physically maneuver your hands into the correct positions. I’m nervous and excited to get better at this.

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Mail Chimp Logo

Jon Hicks: you may know him as the man who designed the Firefox logo/brand. After seeing that and other fun, creatively brilliant solutions he’s come up with, I’d call him the best branding man online. Amazing stuff. Take a look at his latest:


Dental Waypoints

A little update on the status of my dental learnings is in order. We aren’t getting too hammered with courses until Histology and Gross Anatomy are added in October (then the real fun begins).

All of us D1 students have a class called “Dental Care Delivery and Oral Epidemiology” which we simply abbreviate “DCD.” Today, we took the midterm for DCD (the final is next week… huh?) There really is some valuable material in the class, especially with regard to enhancing and measuring the increase in oral health of a community. However, the structure of guest lecturers (sometimes two per session) means studying for the test is an exercise in adapting to many different styles of teaching. One particularly entertaining lecturer was a retired dentist who recently retired from teaching at the U as well. This guy is a really entertaining and unbelievably knowledgeable speaker. He has, quite literally, seen it all — he casually mentioned the characteristic signs of marijuana usage, bulimia, methamphetamine abuse, etc. Naturally, we had quite a few questions from his presentations on our midterm. My strategy for some of the questions I wasn’t quite sure of was to play clips of this fellow reading different answer options in my head. This worked sometimes, but other times all I could hear was “you bet your sweet bippy,” which was an expression he used to indicate that “you are darn right “X” is true.” It was entertaining, but not particularly useful.



Strict dress code at the U of M School of Dentistry: wear scrubs or business casual; no jeans, hats, torn clothing, etc. Now that scrubs have arrived, no one is wearing business casual anymore. Mine were back-ordered, but finally came in, so today was my first day wearing the standard outfit for the next four years. It’s a little surreal because:


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Sufjan Stevens

The Snow Patrol song Hands Open has a little lyrical twist that always intrigued me:

Put Sufjan Stevens on, and we’ll play your favorite song,
Chicago bursts to life in your sweet smile remembers you


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Convenient Showdown

Riding my bike back from my workout, I thought I’d stop to buy some cereal from the local convenience store. But, as I was about to turn into the parking lot, I realized that both employees manning the store were standing outside the entrance, apparently in the midst of a showdown with a 40-something bear of a man. The thing that struck me most is that the proprietors had this guy facing them as he backed away; he did this until he was out of the parking lot. Then he turned and walked away.


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Removing iTunes Store Arrows

You might have noticed that the preference to show or not show arrows linking to the iTunes music store is no longer there in iTunes 8. That means the average user is subjected to user interface clutter — arrow after arrow after arrow, all linking to the iTunes music store. Awesome. Except it isn’t. According to Mac OS X Hints, this is how you fix the issue on a Mac:


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School and Coffee

Mykala recently told me about a study she read that said 25% of med school students have suicidal thoughts during their four years of schooling. I would imagine this extends to most kinds of professional school, and I think it points to the ridiculous demands and pressures bearing down on students. The school breaks you down unless you do something to fight that erosion.


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