Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trip to New York

While I was attending the 2012 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Meeting on Bacteria, Archaea, & Phages [1] with my professor and the other two graduate students in the lab, we wanted to see New York City. So the day I presented, after that session was over, we cut out and caught a train to New York to see the sights. (As I wrote that I realized that I could've put sites and still had the sentence be grammatically and informationally correct.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Meeting on Bacteria, Archaea, & Phages

This last week I haven't posted anything because I've been at the 2012 Meeting on Bacteria, Archaea, & Phages.[1] It started on the 21st and ended on the 25th. I submitted two abstracts, one about the work I've done on the effect of certain accessory plasmids on host range in Sinorhizobium meliloti [2] and another about the work I've done on identifying a phage receptor in Sinorhizobium meliloti. I was asked by the organizers to give an oral presentation about the former and to present a poster about the latter.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just Like Mommy

A while back I posted some of the ways that Lillian tries to be like her Daddy.[1] But she spends most of her waking hours with Leann. So while Lillian has picked up a few of my interests and behaviors, she's more likely to pick up Leann's. Since Leann's birthday was last week, I thought it would be nice to share some of the ways that Lilli tries to be just like her Mommy. (Note that I've been preparing this post for a while, so Lilli is going to look young in some of the pictures.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Birding at the Lower Hobble Creek Wildlife Management Area

Last weekend (August 4th) we went down to the new Lower Hobble Creek wildlife management area looking for an Indigo Bunting. There were reports [1] of several being seen along the trail (at "a tree with a fallen tree at the base and a sign nearby") and Leann wanted to add that bird to her life list. There were at least three spots on the trail that fit the description of "a tree with a fallen tree at the base and a sign nearby." But we didn't find the Indigo Buntings at any of these spots.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reed Family Vacation 2012

From July 26th to July 30th we traveled to southern Utah for what may be the last Reed family reunion.[1] Out of 107 descendents 90 were in attendance, which was pretty respectable. We stayed in a cabin at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort [2], just west of Mount Carmel, Utah. Lilli was particularly fond of the ceiling fans (she'd point at them and wave her hand around and say fuh! fuh! [3]) and climbing up and down and up and down and up and down the carpeted stairs to the second story.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Walking By Herself

By this point I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but I'll say it anyway. Lillian has been walking by herself for several weeks now [1], it's just taken me a while to take a video and write a post. In times past this has been because Lilli was unwilling to perform when the camera was on. But in this case I haven't taken the video because I haven't wanted to stop playing with her to go grab the camera. So as time has gone by she's gone from taking one or two hesitating steps and then sitting down to chasing me all the way from the living room into the back bedroom without stopping.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Movie Review: Ondine

The Irish film Ondine invokes two similar mythological sea creatures: the titular undine (a water sprite or nymph which sings beautifully and which can only gain a soul if she marries a man and bears him a child [1]) and the Irish selkie (a seal turned human who must remain on land if their lover finds and hides their shed skin [2]). The film opens with a down-on-his-luck fisherman, Syracuse, finding a woman in his nets. She gives her name as Ondine. Her name and her subsequent strange behavior leads Syracuse to suspect (and his daughter, Annie, to accept) that she is a selkie.

Movie Review: Taking Lives

The title of the film Taking Lives (loosely based on the novel of the same name) is a play on words. The antagonist is a Canadian who finds a victim who resembles him physically, kills him (i.e. takes his life), and then assumes his identity (again, takes his life). Once that new life becomes boring (or when he's at risk of detection), he searches out a new victim. Several decades later, an FBI profiler (played by Angelina Jolie) travels to Montreal so she can help the Canadian law enforcement apprehend him.

Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Diary

The author of the book this movie is derived from, admitted to using the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice as an inspiration for her book.[1] So Mark Darcy is based on Mr. Darcy. And just to make things fun, they picked Collin Firth for the role precisely because he played Mr. Darcy in the BBC production.[2] They also cast Hugh Grant as a scoundrel, much like Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice. But the connections don't stop there: both had the same screenwriter (Andrew Davies) and two other actors (Crispin Bonham-Carter and Lucy Robinson [3]).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sun Spots

You might think, from the title of this post, that it has to do with temporary areas of reduced temperature in the photosphere of the sun which are visibly darker than the rest of that celestial body.[1] But there you would be wrong. In the title I am referring to instances where most of the light from the sun is filtered away, leaving only one or two bright spots. The other day Lilli found some of these and was having the darnedest time figuring out what they were. Even more confusing, they would disappear every time she moved in for a closer look.