Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Busy preparing for the end of the world?

If you aren't too busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse pandemic that will kill us all, you might want to check out Pandemic II. I've spent way too much time playing it over the past two days, but I still haven't managed to wipe out everyone :(

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Monday, April 27, 2009


You know, if you'd have told me that twitter is a great way to observe mass hysteria I would have joined without second thoughts. I loves me some mass hysteria (Why do you think I still have an LJ account? They do mass hysteria better than anyone else).

P.S. ERV has an interesting post on ketotifen fumerate, an allergy med that works both as an anti-histamine and a mast cell stabalizer. I might have to bother my doctor about it, preferably before I claw my eyes out. Dying of allergies. Please rescue.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

It's that time of year again.

Tomorrow, I have my first exam and I doubt I'll be sleeping tonight. Since almost anything is preferable to lying in bed trying to fall asleep while my brain is repeating the spinothalamic tract or the cranial nerve nuclei, I went and got enough caffeinated beverages to keep me awake for days...and chocolate gummi bears. Chocolate gummi bears make me feel better about my impending death by neuroanatomy final. I am, in fact, the most pathetic human being on the planet.

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Friday, April 17, 2009


- Or I've caught the Dr. Isis bug.

Reading Dr. Isis' "Shoe of the Week" posts has made me realize that I am severely lacking in hot shoes. Luckily I got abandoned downtown today (long story involving a dead cellphone and various levels of miscommunication) and spend a good two hours at payless hunting until I found these adorable heels. I'm still severely tempted to buy the navy and white version of the brown pumps, I just have to come up with a reason why I would need them.

I also met up with a really good friend from high school who is still one of the funniest and nicest guys I have ever know. sh

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fuck YES!

After getting our gas shut off on Thursday (someone fucked up the bill payment) I finally have heating and water again. There are no word to describe how happy I am that I won't have to take another ice-cold shower or drink myself into warmth*. Now, I can go back to recording dramatic readings of a friend's porn.

*I'd be lying if I said I really minded that.

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What the fucking shit Amazon?

Apparently has decided to strip sales rankings and remove from some searches books that they deem "adult". This is WTF and stupid in and of itself, but with the pervading culture of screaming "What about the CHILDREN?" it's understandable. What really makes this really fucking egregious is that they seem to be specifically going after LGBT books that aren't fucking adult in any way unless you're one of those idiotic homophobic dimwits who thinks kids should never, ever under any circumstances be exposed to homosexuality because otherwise they'll catch the gay.

What the fuck guys? How is Stephen Fry's autobigraphy or a guidebook for LGBT college-bound students or one of the many banned books that have mentions of non-vanilla-heterosexual sex or love adult? Jesus Christ, first the "same-sex marriage will destroy America"-video and now this bullshit, is this like prudish homophobe week or something?

Amazon needs to have one of the giant vibrators they sell firmly shoved up their asses...with no lubricant
Pyth: until then, we can shove googlebombs up their ass instead

So here goes. Amazon Rank and the hilariously written context.

[HT: Stupid Free Drama]

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

I have unhealthy obsessions

On Tuesday, the course listings for next year were released and I've spent far too much time hunched over my laptop reading through that and the calender plotting my possibly last year as an undergrad. Seriously, I have wasted so much time trying to figure out how much interesting shit I can stuff in one year. I've managed to make a short list of classes to take, but I still need to cut back on one full course or two half courses to fit in a fourth-year project. *Sigh* my life is so difficult.

Here's a nifty table of what I have so far (If anyone out there has opinions please express them, they need not be based on anything):



Membrane Dynamics of the Cell Surface

Principles and concepts of cell biology are covered including the structure, molecular organization and dynamic interactions of cells with each other and the extracellular matrix during cell migration & cell adhesion. The role of cytoskeletal components and cell surface receptors in these processes and in membrane traffic will be addressed.


Membrane Physiology

Biophysics and molecular biology of ion channels. Topics include equivalent circuits for cells, molecular structure of voltage-gated channels, distribution of channels, relationship between single-channel and whole-cell recording and regulation of channel function by voltage, phosphorylation, G-proteins and metabolites.

Regulation of Signalling Pathways

A variety of questions relating to signal transduction are investigated. How is calcium regulated in the cell and how does calcium regulate cell function? How are extracellular signals received and transmitted by intracellular proteins to control cellular proliferation and differentiation? What signalling pathways are triggered by insulin?


Mechanisms of Neural and Endocrinal Secretion

Exocytosis and other aspects of secretion mainly in neurons and neuroendocrine cells, but also in pancreatic cells. Topics include synapse anatomy and physiology, synaptic plasma membrane and vesicle proteins, membrane fusion, genetic tools, endocrine secretion, plasticity in neurotransmitter release, diseases arising from secretion defects.

Seminar in Development I

Seminars analyzing the major problems in developmental biology from cellular, genetic and molecular perspectives.

Seminar in Development II

Students will choose a major issue in contemporary Developmental Biology and critically analyze present and future prospects in that field.

Neuroscience I: Systems and Behaviour

Introduction to systems neuroscience. A review of basic neuroanatomy and physiology followed by in-depth study of selected sensory and motor systems. Students with an elementary neuroscience background progress to reading neuroscience literature on their own.

Neuroscience II: Cellular and Molecular

Overview of the fundamentals of cellular and molecular aspects of brain function. Course material is updated yearly to reflect the rapid evolution of ideas in Neuroscience.

(PSL = physiology, BCH = biochemistry, CSB = cell and systems bio)

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In which I serve up some TMI


Anyone who has an aversion to discussion of feminine hygiene can skip this post.

This month I managed to quit tampons and pad. No I haven't gone into very, very early menopause or decided that free bleeding is a great idea. What I did was finally give into my curiosity of menstrual cups. I'm sure you're all intelligent enough to pick up on the environmental benefits and supposedly there are health benefits (via reduced chances of TSS). Whatever, the real thing the convinced me was the idea that I wouldn't have to be running to the bathroom every 4-6 hours to change products.

I bought my Diva Cup a couple of weeks before my period to do a "dry run". This was an interesting experience in alternating anxiety and relief:
  1. Remembering the good old days on LJ, I find a community dedicated to menstrual cups where I read up on how to put the goddamn thing up my vagina. Apparently there are about 50 million ways to fold the thing so it fits in. and apparently everyone has a favourite.
  2. After trying a couple of folds, I'm not getting them to open up in my vagina (anxiety, maybe I suck at this or my vagina is sentient being all of its own that dislikes my environmentally friendly menstrual product).
  3. Success! I felt it "pop" open and twisted it around to confirm (relief).
  4. Next comes the removal and a fuck-tonne of anxiety. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU GET THE FUCKER OUT?!?!?! The thing is now basically suctioned to my vaginal walls and doesn't want to let go. FUCK!
  5. Okay I just need to calm down. If worse comes to worst, and I need to get it removed at least I didn't stick something embarrassing up there like a pickle or a dildo on a power tool.
  6. After waiting 30 minutes, I manged to relax and make another attempt to rescue the silicone cup from the jaws of my rabid sexual plumbing. It is successful and I can now relax until my next attempt to repeat steps 1 through 6.

Having now also tried it while on my periods, I'm fucking sold. Even on my heaviest day, I manged to go 12 hours between changes and aside from the incident where I dropped a cupful on my bathroom floor (if I ever need to stage a miniature massacre, I now know what to do) I had no leaks - a huge change from the usual.

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My Commenting Policy

I never thought I would have to write a post like this, but due to recent wank and accusations of censorship I'm guessing it might be a good idea to clear up my comment policy.

Comment moderation is a hassle and I don't want to do it. It also disrupts the conversation since sometimes I can go offline for hours or days. I'd like to keep my door open to anyone: anons, pseudonyms, and even those crazy people that use a real name. I'd also like that discussions continue whether I'm here or not. What I don't like is people coming and shitting on my carpet. Since I can lock them out with comment moderation, I damn well will when I have to. I'll try to avoid ever doing it, but if I see trolls, people completely derailing conversations, or paranoid-delusional wackos coming to rant about the SciBlog hivemind I will turn on comment moderation because I like my carpets clean dammit. This will be temporary until the idiot I'm trying to rid myself of is gone.

As for actually not publishing posts or deleting them - well, that's something I feel really uncomfortable with. I won't delete comments once they've been published no matter how dumb, trolltastic, or useless they may be. I will, however, keep comments that contribute nothing to the discussion and don't pertain to anything said in the post or other comments from being posted by using comment moderation. This will only happen if I even deem it necessary to turn on moderation again. Hell, I'm even loose with that. I'll let through blatant trolls and other undesirables if they're not repetitive and are entertaining enough because I love laughing at you.

I think this pretty much matches what I did in the post linked above. None of the posts by YouKnowWho and their various aliases have been deleted after they were posted. I only kept one comment from being published because it contributed nothing but a "you're lame" and would have futher derailed shit.

To make it clear I will NOT delete comments for disagreeing with me unless they contain absolutely no content. I'm open to arguing and discussing something pertaining to my post even if you disagree. I'm not open to trolling, raving about a blog-conspiracy, or any obsessive loons using my comments to continue a tirade about other bloggers. To continue my analogy, you can come in smelling as if you've been rolling in garbage or Chanel No. 5 (read:vile) and I won't be happy, but you don't get kicked until you start shitting on my carpets because I like my carpets clean dammit.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Morgan's Flies

[HT: Toronto LJ Community]

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

I wasn't planning on writing about the sexist comments made toward Sheril Kirshenbaum on the Bad Astronomy Blog since other people have written some very good commentary on this shit. But after reading and commenting in the post on CPP's blog (which is filled with awesome commenters, trolls, and clueless fools), I decided that I had some things to say that are probably a bit teal deer for a comment. I'll probably be repeating some things mention in the posts linked above.

Point #1: This whole issue to me isn't simply about people commenting on/judging Sheril based on her appearance. Because while that is admittedly a shitty thing to do, I think there is a deeper issue with the with the comments. The problem I see is that too often the metric for judging women is attractiveness ( defined: How much men should want to stick their penis in a particular woman).

This kind of judgement is often made based on what a woman looks like (it was in this case), but it's not exclusive to appearances. Commenting on how sexy a woman is based one her intelligence, interests, hobbies, or a particular personality trait is not as widespread, but it happens and it's still unacceptable.

I've mention before some of my interests. Most of the people who share these interests tend to be male and this means that if I want to talk about them the community I'll be joining will be made up of 90% men. And such was the case on one forum where I post. Of course, I post under a pseudonym and it happens to be a masculine sounding pseudonym. This made a lot of people assume that I a man and I was treated as decently as anyone there can expect to be treated.

After a month or so of posting for whatever reason, I can't remember, it came out that I was a woman. The response that followed was interesting. There was the expected reaction; some people insisted that I must fit their stereotype of a woman and therefore I would infect their precious community with feminine shit. There was also a response I did not expect. I did not expect to receive come-ons that ranged from the almost innocent to the obscene. These were from people who had no clue what I looked like and only knew that I have an interest in certain shows.

This doesn't happen as often in real life, as it's much easier to sexualize based on appearance, but it indicates that the problem with how many men treat women as sexual objects extends passed just finding them physically attractive. And this is what I find offensive about the comments. It's that a women was treated as if her first, if not only, role is to sexually please a man. This kind of treatment denies us the ability to be fully human. This is even more troubling in the context of the history of women's oppression. For thousands of years women have been treated as if their only possible role was to breed and be mothers.

Point #2: Some comments were made indicating that we where just overreacting to an innocent complement. I hope the above convinced you that the comments, while possibly made innocently, are not at all innocent. But lets assume that those comments are harmless. Lets assume that we are living in a historical vacuum. Even in that case I think that the people defending them should apologize and shut the fuck up.

Why? Well, that involves trying to understand what a goddamn compliment is. A compliment isn't simply saying the X is a good trait of Y person. When I compliment one of my aims is to make the person being complimented feel good. I think that's the more important part of compliments and that's why I try not to offend people with inappropriate praise.

Now, if you read all the follow-up to the comments, you'd have realized that quiet a lot of women found the comments offensive, including Sheril. So your compliment failed. All you did was offend the person you wanted to compliment and therefore you should apologize and STFU.

Point#3: "When is it appropriate to comment on a woman's attractiveness?" you ask.

I would say the best guidline is to think, "Would she want to know or care whether I want to bone her or not?" It's really as simple as that. Well, unless you think that every woman is here as as your personal cockwarmer. But then you're an irredeemable misogynistic waste of air.

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