Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Microbiology: Chapter 6

Last night I read a chapter called “Microbial Growth” for Microbiology. This chapter goes into great detail to explain what kinds of environment each of the different kind of microbes need to grow. I learned that while it is a common thought to assume that oxygen in necessary for life, it is actually poisonous for many microbes, which are called obligate anaerobes (see picture below for example). However, there is a process that neutralizes oxygen by combining it with hydrogen atoms that have been stripped from organic compounds, which forms water. My book describes this process as very beneficial, because it not only eliminates a potentially toxic gas, but it also yields a great deal of energy in the process, “a very neat solution, all in all.”

Now… I am sorry if I lost any of you, but all that to say – I think that God is the coolest, most amazing being in the universe. What my science book describes as “a neat solution” and passes off as a wonderful coincidence is one of the many amazing facts of nature that remind me how great God is. The more I study science the more I believe that God is real. He just has to be. How could this crazy and intricate world exist without some kind of intelligence behind it? The world is so interconnected that if even one or two minor details were messed up, much of the rest of the world would quickly find its way to ruin. A God who orchestrates a process that eliminates danger in order for a microbe to thrive is pretty amazing. He cares about microbes. He cares that if it were exposed to oxygen it would stop growing. Crazy.

Perhaps I won’t understand everything I read in my science classes this semester, but I will understand that the world we live in is beautiful and it is held together by something even harder to grasp than Microbiology. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Marvin the Mouse

This year for Christmas, I decided to be thrifty and give my family paintings for presents rather than store bought treasures (which tend to empty my pocket book). My goal was to finish 9 paintings: 5 small paintings on canvas board (for my cousins) and 4 large paintings on stretched canvas (for the adult couples of my family). Like most projects, I procrastinated until the last week and faced the daunting task of finishing 7 paintings in 6 days. My brain has been on an alternate plane the entire week due to the ridiculous amounts of paint fumes I have been breathing. It came down to Christmas Eve and I had three paintings that needed finishing touches and three paintings that hadn’t even been started. So I painted from 11 o’clock in the morning until 6 o’clock at night when my family arrived for Christmas Eve dinner. I did however make a couple of trips down stairs to take care of various things, such as cleaning brushes, eating lunch, and stretching my legs. One venture I made downstairs and away from my studio was at the strong behest of my mother who called, “ALI GET DOWN HERE QUICK!” Since my family lives on the edge of town and we often have interesting wildlife in our backyard, I expected to find my family crowded around a single pair of binoculars peering out at a deer or bobcat. Instead what I found was a baby mouse that my father caught in a mason jar. World, I introduce to you my family’s first Christmas visitor: Marvin.

For those of you who are wondering what has become of Marvin, just ask my brother the question, “can baby mice swim?”

Have a happy holiday everyone, and have a cup of cheer. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Goodbye Fall. Hello Spring!!

Tonight is my first night in my new room, #305. The benefits of the new room are: a window that looks out to the lawn between the girls and guys dorms (perfect for people watching), a disco ball, and I was able to remove the loathsome doors from the closet.

My new roommate is Callie White and I am so excited to live with her!!

Even though I am so excited about living with Callie, I am also very sad to say goodbye to my old roommate Kaci Shough. She is a wonderful roommate and we get along famously. I will always welcome her company and friendship.

This is a picture of us enjoying cheesy bread sticks and enjoying a few last minutes in our old and empty room.

This semester has finally come to a close and I am happy to see its end. Not to say it has been bad, but I am ready to move on and enjoy whatever else it is life has in store for me.  I always get a surreal feeling around Christmas and New Years. I can never believe that a year has already gone by and despite my disbelief the coming year will go by just as fast. I am at a very different place than I would have imagined myself a year ago, but I am better for it and I know that it is God who has brought me here, safe as always. So world, here is to another year gone and a fresh start! Soon it will be spring and there will be new life to enjoy. A fond farewell friends and a wonderful end to a splendid year. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The poor product of procrastination.

I reconstructed some clich├ęs in my desperate attempt to procrastinate from studying. 

If you give a mouse a cookie, you’ll have to shoot it before it bankrupts you.

The early worm is caught by the bird.

Absence make the heart grow bitter.

All that glitters is never going to come out of your carpet.

Always a bridesmaid, never the groom.

The bigger they are, the harder you fall.

Curiosity killed the consumer.

The more things change, the more things become different. 

Nothing can give me back the time I lost while willing words to come to me so I could recreate these cliches. Blast. 

The moral of this non story is that in an attempt to procrastinate, you will always procrastinate.

Happy finals week to one and all. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Here's to you and me! A toast to being alone.

Today is Wednesday. Tomorrow is Thursday and I only have two classes. After I get out of my last class on Thursday all I have left to accomplish until I am released for Christmas Break are finals. But since I have a moment, I’ll tell you what I am doing now. At this particular moment in time, I am sitting in Cuppies and Joe enjoying a cup of coffee and coming down off of a sugar high the cupcake I purchased gave me. I have developed a habit lately of going on what I call “lonely dates”. The premise is that I take one night and I devote it to enjoying myself by doing something that you can only do while alone. I decided since I am single and have no one to take me out, that I will take myself out. Yes, I go on dates with myself.  I talk to myself, pray by myself, read by myself, buy coffee (and occasionally a cupcake if I am feeling rather generous) for myself, and listen to my favorite music. I always make sure to look my best. I enjoy this habit very much and have found it to be very useful. I do not think that people give themselves enough credit and forget to take care of their own soul. I like to recognize my own person from time to time and thank it. God gave me a healthy mind and body and I need to honor that gift by treating both of them well. So tonight, I am treating my mind to some well-deserved time alone to think, pray, read, and enjoy some of the world’s finest delicacies – coffee and cupcakes.  I would encourage anyone to take themselves out on a date – single, married, or dating. This practice may seem narcissistic and self-serving. Well, perhaps it is, but I have found it to be very rewarding and if done right can give you a greater sense of self and a great measure of peace and calm. The moral of this story is: one may be the loneliest number, but being alone isn’t always a bad thing and can even add to one’s happiness. So stop spinning about and causing your world to go asunder. Take a breather. Read a book. Brave the world alone for a couple of hours. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

An ode to James Gurney

What is art?  I found this answer on the artist James Gurney’s blog (http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/). 

Art is the deliberate transmission of emotion. 

Bravo! bold bohemian. I like your answer. It is simple but leaves room for interpretation. What kind of emotion? Who or what is transmitting the emotion? I love the question "what is art" because no one is ever really right or wrong, unless of course they use absolutist language. I am going to start collecting and compiling answers to this question. 

This watercolor pencil sketch by James Gurney, surely and simply stated, is art.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I would say it all my life to you.

Every time I listen to the song Impossible Soul by Sufan Stevens my heart wants to leave my body and melt into the oblivion of a world Sujan lives in.