Potassium is taking a quick break from blogging right now because she wants to go frolic in the lovely spring weather! See you in April!
It’s starting to feel a lot like spring here! The birds are singing in the mornings, the sun is looking less winter-y and the trees are getting buds on them. Yesterday, Cobalt and I went for a walk and I didn’t have to wear a jacket! To show off the lovely spring weather we’re getting, I thought I would post some silly pictures of inanimate objects enjoying the sun. The picture up there shows off a horse I found on our walk. PS – If anyone is missing their plastic purple horse, I found it.
This past weekend, Cobalt and I were visiting our friends in Boulder. The weather was pretty much the same as in eastern Washington except slightly more dry. We celebrated the spring weather there by playing on slides with our 19-month-old friend, going on walks with our older friends, eating lots of tasty food, going to see an amazing play and taking my stuffed taco on a trip to Chautauqua. :D
Do you have spring weather yet?
A Friday post?! No way!
Hellloooooo everyone! I hope you are doing well! Sorry these posts started to get infrequent again – I wasn’t kidding when I said that adding teaching my class into the mix was going to make my life insane! But it’s almost spring break now and I am finally coming up for air.
Here are some things that are interesting me right now:
- Mimivirus. This virus infects amoebas and can also cause pneumonia in humans. This virus is HUGE. You can see it under a light microscope (note: you can see most bacteria but NOT viruses this way). The mimivirus also has a huge genome. Most viruses have a few genes but the mimivirus has more genes than a lot of bacteria! Just a note, the HIV virus (causes AIDS) has ~10 genes while the mimivirus has ~1000 genes. What is it doing with all of them?! Who knows… but it has them!
In addition, the mimivirus has its own “immune system” in that it has a system set up where it can recognize DNA from other viruses that might try to infect it (yeah… viruses can infect other viruses AHHHH! What is this ridiculous world that we live in?!). Bacteria also have systems like this to protect them against viral infections. This is all super interesting because the mimivirus and its family members (including an even BIGGER virus called the mamavirus) are challenging the idea that we scientists had of viruses not being “alive.” I can go more into that if you want – it’s kind of an interesting philosophical question except also with science.
- Science rhetoric – that’s right. Let’s talk about how to talk about science. That’s like a million levels of nerdy in one sentence but still. It’s so interesting to me. I have been loving the class that I am co-teaching because it is opening my eyes to so many cool ways of talking about science! Plus I get to hang out with college students and have them debate things like: who is responsible for sharing science with the general public (all scientists? some scientists? journalists?, etc)?
- Science Communication – Speaking of talking about science, I’ve been accepted to the Science Communication program at UC Santa Cruz! It just keeps getting better and better! It’s big decision time! Life is getting exciting and terrifying.
- So Metal – This Tuesday my friend L and I drove down to Colorado Springs to see Nightwish and Delain in concert. There was much head-banging and jumping. Wednesday was a hard day…
- Soccer – I finally got to play soccer last week. I’ve been having some major IT band and bursitis issues that were initially flared up by doing Insanity workouts last summer but I think they also initiated drama from an old soccer injury. But I got the OK from my PT to start soccer again and spring season started on Sunday. Our team lost 5-2 but I was so overjoyed about being able to play again that I barely noticed. Also I assisted on the second goal so WOOT.
- Inclusive Excellence- It’s a big deal right now on CU’s campus as we try to shift the campus climate to be more inclusive and welcoming. I’ve been playing my part by drafting a document for the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee I serve on and by moderating a meeting between the Chancellor of the University (!!!) and the group I co-founded called CU Café.
Craziness… I swear I am still working in the lab on top of all of that!
Okay, let’s talk about some future posts. Do you have any preference? I could write about my life in general, life as a postdoc, previous trips (like how we went to Germany last October and I haven’t talked about it at all?!), race, cool science topics, science communication, etc. How’s your spring shaping up? We’re getting our traditional “pre spring break” snow storm right now… perfect because my PT has also cleared me to go snowboarding!
Well for now it appears the snow has stopped and maybe spring can finally arrive in Boulder. This Saturday, Cobalt and I repotted some of our plants (still too cold for the peppers to go outside though…), went out for delicious taco truck tacos, and then we took a walk around a lake. The lake walk had all these neat little exercise activities located every 0.2 miles. Cobalt and I had a lot of fun trying all of them out. Here’s Cobalt on the parallel bars!
Is it spring for you guys yet? We’re supposed to get a lot of rain this week – just in time for all the undergraduates to graduate this Friday. Did you guys do anything awesome this weekend? Did anyone else see Iron Man 3? Cobalt and I liked it but not as much as the first one…
Cobalt and I are getting excited about our France trip! Hopefully updates on that later this week….
It’s spring break here in Colorado. Unfortunately for grad students like me who are done with our classwork, spring break doesn’t really mean much except that there are less undergrads everywhere. We still have to go to lab and we still can’t park on campus because spring break doesn’t count as a holiday for the crazy parking police. Booo…
Even with that said, my spring break has been pretty exciting so far. First my mom came to visit this weekend! We had so much fun even though it snowed almost a foot (yeah Colorado doesn’t really get the whole “spring” concept). Below is a list of fun activities that my mom and I did together:
- We went out to lunch at this fancy French restaurant in Boulder. We pretended we were in Paris and babbled a little bit in French while eating our super fantastic meals… mmmmm
- We made homemade rosemary crackers from scratch… Oh man they were so easy to make and so delicious. I wish I could post some for you guys to try on here…
- We watched the crazy snowy USA vs Costa Rica game (which happened in Commerce City, CO… not too far from here) on Spanish television and screamed GOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL along with the newscasters. I also babbled along with them in Spanish whenever I was happy that I knew a word or phrase.
- We made delicious shrimp tacos for dinner for Cobalt since he had to work late.
- We braved the crazy snowy streets to go run some errands and get tasty breakfast at Mom’s favorite breakfast restaurant here: The Buff (it’s on Man vs. Food – the Boulder edition if you want to learn about it).
- We had a party for the 50th anniversary of The Birds because it was mostly filmed about a 30 min drive from my hometown/where Cobalt and I stayed on our minimoon and because my mom had never seen it. I always get super homesick when I watch it so it was nice to watch it with my mom…
- I worked on trying to make alligator earrings in a similar style to my shark earrings…
- We planted the seeds for Cobalt’s and my summer garden. Obviously they won’t be heading outside for a while…
- Did I forget anything Mom?
After my mom left, I took advantage of the crazy snow everywhere and went cross country skiing around the hill by my house. No one else was out so it was a peaceful adventure through the fluffy snow for me and my sharks (Gustav is featured in the picture on top).
And now for the reason why I didn’t write on Thursday last week – I’ve been working extra hard in lab (except for when my mom was here) so that I can take some time off to actually have a spring break. Cobalt, our friend A, and I are road trippin’ to Dallas to see our friend Jem later this week! So exciting (so excited about WARMTH too…)! So I might not write this Thursday either… Or maybe I’ll make Jem cowrite a post with me (you were warned Jem… ;)). Jem and I have already planned to work on our street photography techniques as she shows us Dallas. Also, maybe Jem and I can finalllllly get our Etsy store up and running! So much excitement!
Now it’s your turn. What kinds of things do you do with your family when you visit them or they visit you? Is it spring there yet? What is your ideal spring break activity? Do you want that tasty cracker recipe? Have you been to Dallas? If so what do you think of it?
These past few weeks have been super busy for me mostly due to things going on in lab. However, while I was away in lab, my sharks got to have a lot of fun this week. First Banana Shark got to have Orange Julius and pie on Pi Day and then yesterday five of my sharks had the pleasure of chasing me around the apartment complex when I got home early from lab. These pictures were super fun for Cobalt and me to take… I have been planning this shoot for a while now. Unfortunately the sun got in our way a little bit (hence all the crazy flares) but no worries. We just might have to do it again… I had originally planned the shoot to use three people and not just two so we’ll just have to try it again… perhaps we’ll take the sharks to the park! :) I love Banana Shark in this bottom picture…
I hope you have good weekends!
I usually check the weather on Weather.com every day before I go wherever I am planning on going. Yesterday when I got up and checked the weather before my soccer game (first outdoor game of the year woooooooo!), I saw the following weather report. If you are thinking that this looks like a decent report of the weather, make sure you take a look at the current wind listed…
I am sure this was a random mistake on Weather.com’s part because when I reloaded the page a few minutes later it was fixed. But it still made me laugh and made me think of how appropriate the report was for the month of March in Boulder. You see, we don’t really get one of those “normal” springs where it gradually gets warmer in March and then the “April showers bring May flowers…” No, Boulder basically has a split personality for this whole part of the year which makes the weather almost completely unpredictable (hence “wind: ??? calm??? Maybe?!?!?”). So yes, one day it will be absolutely gorgeous and a nice 66 degrees outside and the next day it will snow 2 feet (or rain/snow, or drizzle, or just be freakin’ COLD for no reason, etc) and then the next day the sun will come back out, the temperature will go back up, and it will be like that day in the middle never existed.
Is it spring-like where you are yet? Are your springs as two sided as ours? I know we technically have 8 days until spring starts according to the calendar but no one seems to have told our weather that…