Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How I tricked Jason Segel into becoming my friend

I've blogged about my crazy dreams before, but I had another fun one the other night that I just had to share:

I was at this hotel that had arcade games in the lobby (awesome.) and I was playing a racing game when all of a sudden there was a lot of commotion behind me.  I turned around and there were a couple people accosting this ridiculously tall overly friendly looking guy...it was Jason Segel.  He was obviously uncomfortable by the "fans" that were surrounding him, and he started to creep away.  Being a fan myself (but not the crazy kind) I walked toward him hoping to get a photo or an autograph or something.  As he saw me approach, he got that deer in the headlights look of "oh no, another stalker fan."  And this is where the dream gets really random...

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I walked up to him and nonchalantly said, "don't worry, I'm just going to go to watch Megashark vs. Crocosaurus. Wanna come?" To which he replied "That's my favorite movie!"  So we head to this ballroom where they were supposedly showing this awful awesome movie, but walked in to discover it isn't the movie showing but a talent competition.  Mistaken as contestants we were told we were up next.  So what did we do as our talent?

We went out into the lobby and split up, each going near random people and started humming a catchy little tune.  We continued to do this until we feel we've gotten enough people.  Then we got together in the middle of the lobby and started a song and dance number...the tunes we hummed in people's ears were the harmony parts - and magically everyone started singing along.

Then the hotel manager came out and said it was past curfew (what?) and kicked us out of the hotel.

I guess if ever I meet Jason Segel in real life, now I know how to become his BFF.



Friday, February 24, 2012

5 Positives From This Week

Despite my congested nasopharynx and my messy hair, I decided to do my 5 positives a bit differently this week...vlog style!!  Hope you can bear with my randomness...


Thursday, February 23, 2012

random.

Herro!  My virology class was canceled tonight, so I'm home getting things done.  Bake cinnamon bread - check!  Clean living room - check! That's as far as I've gotten :)

This week has gone by super fast! I can't believe tomorrow is already Friday.  Part of the reason the week seems to have flown by is that we've been back and forth with our poor car.  Monday I was ready to go to the lab to work on research, and the brakes didn't work!!  Matt took a look and sure enough, one of our brake lines was corroded through and leaking the brake fluid.  We took our car to the shop, but they didn't have the means to fix it, so they referred us to another shop.  We took the car there, and the next day the mechanic said he wasn't able to fix it because the car was so rusted underneath that he was afraid of removing the whole brake line...rusty underbellies are common in vehicles from the northern states due to the snow and salt, but down here, southern mechanics are always shocked to see so much rust!  Boo.  We had a rental car for a couple days, but then luckily a friend said we could borrow his truck.

Our car is still brake-less...it's now with a friend from church who works at another shop and he's going to work on it.  Hopefully it'll be up and running by next week.  I do enjoy driving a big truck, though :)  I like being so much higher than the wee little cars!!

I've also been fighting off a cold all week...both Matt and I have had sore throats and runny noses, but it hasn't become "full blown sick" yet.  I'm pretty much eating a Cutie clementine every hour and guzzling down water.  I have 2 exams and a presentation due next week, so I can't afford to get sick!

Despite the car troubles and the semi-sickness, this week has been pretty good.  Stay tuned for my 5 positives tomorrow!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

5 Positives: The Happiness Advantage

I wasn't going to do a 5 positives post this week because honestly, my week has been full of ups and downs.  I've been in a semi-grumpy mood today, so I didn't want to even attempt to think of anything positive...

...but then I saw that a friend on Facebook posted a TED talk titled "The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance."  This is EXACTLY why I needed to write a 5 positives post this week - a positive thought (no matter how small) will help create lasting positive change.


So here are my 5 positives:

1.) Social media/the interwebs is amazing.  Seriously.  For all the bad junk that is out there, there is also a plethora of knowledge as well as an ability to connect with awesome individuals.  I'm especially thankful for social media today, for without it, I would have never stumbled upon this video on Facebook which jump started my positive thinking for the day :)

2.) Matt brought home sushi, flowers, and a new (RED!) iphone case for me on Valentine's Day.  yum. pretty. yay!

3.) I bought a new iPhone 4S and though it shipped right away, it was delivered to my parents house (since I used my dad's wireless account).  But I'm super excited to get it this week :-D

4.) We ate sushi for a second time.  yum.

5.) I watched a hilariously bad movie with Matt and my sister (we chatted online while we watched, since she's at home in WI).  It was fun to laugh and make fun of the awful sci-fi plot, horrible acting, and awful special effects.  We are such movie snobs :)  Oh, the movie was 1995's "Congo", which was based off a Michael Chrichton novel, starring Laura Linney and Tim Curry.  So so so bad.

How are you staying positive?  What was your take on the ideas presented in Shawn Achor's TEDx talk?



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Science Saturday 2.5: Mini Chameleon, Deep Space Exploration, & More


Remember the recently discovered tiny frogs from Papua New Guinea?  Well a new dwarf chameleon species has been discovered on an isolated islet of Madagascar.  The Brookesia micra is only 30 millimeters from snout to tail, and its minuscule size is believed to be an evolutionary result of being in such an isolated environment.

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A new study from China suggest that electric cars cause more aerial pollution than their gasoline counterparts.  When factoring in the fossil fuels used for energy going into the production of electric vehicles at various power plants, emission of pollutant material was worse per person per mile in electric cars vs. gasoline cars.

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NASA is looking into the possibility of an astronaut-tended waypoint on the far side of the moon.  The Earth-moon libration point 2 (EML-2) is a point in space where the gravitational pull of the moon and the earth are balanced out, allowing for spacecraft to "park."  An EML-2 waypoint would allow for better deep space exploration of the moon, asteroids, and Mars.  This would be the farthest point in space that humans will have traveled.

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WARNING: The following video is graphic and not for those who are sqeamish at the sight of insects. The hissing cockroach, of Madagascar, carries it's eggs internally until they hatch, and it then gives "live birth" to its young (as seen in the video).  After birth, the mother squirts out "cockroach milk" which provides the young nymphs with nutrients.  Adult hissing cockroaches are not pests, taking habitat in rotting logs and foliage.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Science Saturday 2.4: The Brain and Obesity, Bootylicious Horse Fly, & Heartless Life



While many factors contribute to the onset of diabetes and obesity, a recent study has shown that a signaling pathway from the hypothalamus in the brain may affect obesity in a strain of mice.  db/db mice are genetically altered with a lack of leptin receptors, a hormone responsible for control of metabolism and appetite.  When treated with leptin-receptor neurons, the cells integrated with the hypothalamus circuitry in the brain, allowing the db/db obese mice to better control their body weight.  This can help open up new understanding of how receptors in the brain can affect diabetes and obesity management.

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Discovered in 1981, this Australian horse fly species has remained un-named until now.  Marked by the golden hairs on it's fabulous "booty", the Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae was named for pop star Beyonce Knowles.  This rare species plays a strong role in the pollination of plants such as grevillias, tea trees, and eucalypts.
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Two doctors at the Texas Heart Institute have developed a device that can replace a beating heart and sustain life without a heartbeat or pulse.  Their 'continuous flow' device provides a novel physiological approach to life support.


Heart Stop Beating | Jeremiah Zagar from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

5 Positives

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No creative title this week, just simply my 5 positives:

1.) Ate sushi today and it was glorious.

2.) I spent some quality time playing through and singing some showtunes this week.  I really need to get back into playing the piano regularly, as well as work on my vocal technique, and sightreading some Sondheim or Jason Robert Brown is definitely a good challenge :) (for anyone even remotely familiar with these Broadway composers, you know they are notorious for tough music...instrumentally and vocally)

3.) McD's Shamrock Shakes are back...rumor is they are now available nationwide, so I am on a MAD hunt to find one here in Mississippi.

4.) TV got exciting for me this week - The Voice premiered and once again I am 100% Team Adam.  I love singing competitions that actually focus on the SINGING and not the "image" or "pop success factor."

5.) Matt reminded me of this powerful verse, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Great reminder as we reflect on the past week and look ahead to the next.

Are you thankful in all circumstances?  What were you thankful for this week?



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Did you find what you were looking for?

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I love when bloggers post about the people who find their blog via ridiculous Google searches.  For the longest time, mine were pretty boring.  Usually it was just "mariel mohns blog" or "more than blog".

But recently, my stats have been showing some interesting search results!!  I love that this is what my blog represents for Google:

"the force lazy"

"scrapie spongiform" (guess those Science Saturday posts are paying off!)

"g4m3r"

"west side story cosplay"

"i am a jedi like my father before me craft ideas"

"rottweiler in the movie underdog"

"hebrew monopoly board" (haha, what?)

What's the funniest search term that brought a reader to your blog?


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Science Saturday 2.3: The Blue Marble, Flying Nanobots, H5N1 & More



Let's start off with a versatile and potentially comical new synthetic biology breakthrough.  E. chromi is a genetically engineered strain of bacteria designed to produce a different color when exposed to various chemical environments or in reaction with certain proteins or enzymes.  This technology has the potential to detect toxins in water treatment plants, to use as a chemical-free food coloring, or event to diagnose gastrointestinal ailments...yup, poop pink and you know you have salmonella poisoning.


In 1972, Apollo 17 captured an iconic photo of Earth which was named "The Blue Marble."  Last month, NASA captured what is called "Blue Marble 2012" via the satellite Suomi NPP.  Many photos of Earth have been captured and digitally enhanced over the years, but Blue Marble 2012 is the first high definition quality image taken of our planet.

images via NASA

Recent controversy began when the National Science Advisory Board of Biosecurity (NSABB) acted to place a hold on research and publication of two papers that document transmissibility of the H5N1 avian flu virus in ferrets.  Concern is that the results in these papers may lead to possible misuse by bioterrorists.  While there is possibility of using scientific research for harm, continued research would give scientists a much better understanding of how the influenza virus affects its hosts and can also aid in vaccine research.  There is no evidence that this particular strain of H5N1 affects humans.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and KMel Robotics have designed a "swarm" of nano quadrocopters, little nanobots that can fly and interact with each other in intricate patterns.  While this technology is impressive, this video demonstration borderlines scary robot-apocalypse sci-fi.





Friday, February 3, 2012

Gray skies are gonna clear up...Put on a happy face

It's been a gray cloudy and rainy week.  I need to invest in a happy lamp because grey skies always make me feel depressed.  I also received my first rejection letter from KUMC yesterday. 1 down 4 to go as far as hearing back from grad schools.  Part of me is stressed out thinking "I didn't get accepted there, so I won't get accepted in the other programs!"while another part of me is thinking "That wasn't your first choice anyway. You still have 4 more schools to go, you are bound to get accepted into one of them..."  STRESS.

But coincidentally (though nothing is a coincidence to our Lord), Proverbs 19:21 has been on my mind all week in anticipation of grad school letters coming in. My God is bigger than anything in this world, and He already has a plan and purpose laid out for me. I need to be patient and focus on His good promise for my future...


So here are my 5 positives for the week:

1.) God is good and faithful.  His Word will endure.

2.) I have some new lab mates that will be doing research this semester.  I've been showing them the ropes and having fun collaborating with them :)

3.) Found out that Taylor Swift is NOT playing Eponine in the Les Mis movie!! Samantha Barks will be reprising her role (she was Eponine in the 25th anniversary concert - she really understands the character and the girl can saaaaang)

4.) Made a good grade on my first virology exam.

5.) Ate way too many roasted chick peas for my GI system to handle.  But they are just SO yummy and delicious.  I think I might make some more right now :)

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*p.s. I know I slacked last weekend and didn't post a SciSat post when I promised I would.  But I was busy studying for virology.  But you can expect one tomorrow...It's gonna be a good one!!!