Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Oh The Joys of Invertebrates.

Today was arthropod lab day in my inverts class, which made me very happy because it meant I got to spend an hour with my favourite arachnid the scorpions!

Isn't he cute! Okay, maybe not cute, but they are sweethearts. This little guy tried to climb up my sleeve and sleep. Needless to say we were buddies for the day. Time for a "The more you know" moment, did you know that scorpions fluoresce under a black light? No, well, they do!

See! Scorpions fluoresce due to compounds found in their exoskeletons, and that is how you can find them in "the wild", or if they get out of their container and you have to tear the lab apart to find them. The little guys in the picture are the younger ones that haven't been "socialized", they really don't like being picked up and held yet. Eventually though, they will, and they'll be wanting to "snuggle" (I'm pretty sure you can only properly snuggle with mammals, but anyway) just as much as their older siblings.

This past week I also got to spend some time in the greenhouse on campus, and here a
re some of the pictures from that. I experimented with some macro work, and I'm not confident that it's "good" by any means.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hooray For College Making You Do Strange Things.

Leech pictures were promised, so here they are.

Mmm.... I must be tasty. Little guy latched on right over a vein too.

There's the Y-shaped wound the little guys leave after dropping off.

Oh, the stupid things I do in the name of science... *shakes head*

Monday, March 10, 2008

Reasons To Question Your Life Choices.

So, I've been questioning many of my choices in life lately. The big one is "Why do I always feel the need to question professors about certain things?" Case in point, Thursday in my Natural History Of Invertebrates class, we were told there need to be volunteers to feed the lab specimens, being me I raise my hand and ask what the specimens are... yeah... needless to say I volunteered to feed them... them= leeches... yup, leeches. I spent the better part of an hour feeding a two inch long medicinal leech, and another six or seven hours trying to stop my hand from bleeding. "Six hours!?!" some of you are probably exclaiming. Yes, six hours. Apparently leeches possess an anticoagulant in their saliva that works extremely well, especially when they decide to chow down over a vein. So I spent most of Thursday attached to a leech or bleeding. Oh, and if you're wondering... yes, it hurt. Amazing time... yeah. Expect pictures sometime this week.

Time for the second set of bad judgment calls on my part. When you ask a friend to remind you to do something, write the something down. I had a very long horrible night last night trying to find the only 24 hour pharmacy in the county I live in. Besides having horrible directions to said pharmacy, which led me to drive in circles from about 12:30 to 1:30 AM, I'd never been to the town it's in outside of daylight... yes, finding things in the dark is much harder than it seems, I now believe my mother when she says things like this. So I drove around, praying that I was going the right way when I see a sign for my university. "Damn", I thought to myself, and proceeded to have my friend who was "navigating" call her sister to have her tell me that the previous directions for "If you hit the highway, you've gone too far" were incorrect due to her reading the map upside down. All in all it was a lesson in designating navigators in a vehicle and stress management. I now know exactly how many 25 mile circles I can make and not just run over a random pedestrian out at two in the morning.

Third questionable life choice: "Why am I CHOOSING to spend so much time and school and proceeding to freak out about it?" This comes from a bout of doubting my chosen career path due to the urge to travel and write a book or two. Right now I'm looking at another three semesters to graduate with my BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, after that, it's med-school (Hopefully). That's another four years of my life spent with my head crammed in a book. That's the unpaid school bit that is eventually going to cost me somewhere around six figures to complete. Damn. After that, I still have a residency which is going to take anywhere from 3-5 years, followed up by a fellowship that is going to be another 1-3 years. Every time I think of this I keep asking myself "Why?", I know that being an M.D. will be amazing, but for some reason, I'm getting seriously stir crazy in a classroom every day of every week, and doing it for another five and a half years?

All I can say, is wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Place For Random Thoughts To Have A Home.

Since I'm probably going to be doing research etc. most of the summer and won't be around for random periods of time and won't be able to keep in touch, I've decided that a real blog is probably the best place to attempt to do it. So here it is, my first one... I'll get the real hang of it later.

Anyway, here's some food for thought...
1) Why in the world does anyone live in a place where it's 50 degrees one day and 15 the next? Really now, I've lived in a horrible, Godforsaken place that does this pretty much my entire life and I cannot for the life of me figure out why any sane person would, I can stand both extremes but not in the space of 24 hours. Really, that type of weather just makes me think that global warming is more like global PMS, and maybe it is just the mitten-y state, because even in the desert you don't have nice sunny weather for two hours, a foot and a half of snow the next hour and a half, and then a slight melt with a quick freeze following minutes after.
2) Why does it seem to me that fewer and fewer movies produced in the US are "good"? Honestly, there has to be a gigantic amount of talent being squandered in Hollywood lately, and I truly feel that the age of good cinema is past. With fewer and fewer movies like "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country For Old Men" coming out and more movies like "Strange Wilderness" taking their places, there doesn't seem to be a huge pull for me to go and spend $10+ at the theater anymore.