Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Just listened in on a fabulous presentation about the genome as a giant sudoku puzzle and the process of genomic clustering and biomarker discovery, inarguably the most mind-opening talk I've heard in a long time, high respect for Dr. Murray Robinson. God I'll miss this place... so many interesting and intelligent people. Biology is not so boring, screw you hater CS/physics/math majors.

The dude working in the next lab bench, Zakir, is fasting for a month as part of his Islamic tradition. You'd think having no food all day would make you a grumpy and lethargic person, but he's more energetic and talkative than usual. Hmm... as a personal goal, I want to see if I can fast for at least a week, to make up for my failure at veggie nom.

Filling out my last time sheet. Time sheets... are so confusing. Why can't I just fill out the hours online? It's less likely to screw up the dates that way. Whoever invented the idea of timesheets deserves a punch in the balls.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The nicotine of food.

new phone!

samsung intensity, same number. trying to figure out how to turn off the speaker phone... instruction manual isn't helping, either that or I'm really dumb, but yeah, just a heads up, if you call me you'll be on speaker phone.

CMU on Friday! So psyched! So the plan is we start driving at 3am in the morning, I'm driving for first 5 hours and then parents taking over for the rest of the trip, if all goes well and we don't crash cuz of my terrible driving, should on campus in the afternoon. I need to start packing..

Monday, August 9, 2010

religion and how it's a piece of shit

I know this may offend a lot of people... it already put me at odds with my mom and a bunch of my Christian friends, but hey, it's my opinion and I think atheists deserve their equal share of free speech. If you are religious, that's great, still got high respect for you. This is just my opinion and you don’t have to agree, any comments/critiques welcomed.

Basically, I've been an atheist all my life and ever since my mom converted to Christianity I've grown to develop a stronger sense of repulsion towards it. During Sundays, she would always invite these people from the so-called “Jehovah's Witnesses” for bible studies. Sometimes when I'm in the house, she would force me to drop by and join them for their discussions on how God created the world. Luckily I managed to avoid them this Sunday by getting out of the house really early and camping out at clothing stores. Anyways, I think my mom is going nuts from all this religious brainwashing. I don't think I can talk to her normally anymore without the topic of our conversation somehow digressing to involve creationism. To her, the concept of evolution is completely bonkers: “no, humans are not evolved from apes. God created the first man and ripped out a rib from the man to make a woman.” Also, “the human eye is so complex that it couldn't possibly be a result of evolution…” even though real science shows that the human eye is a structurally inefficient piece of crap that's completely designed backwards for its function, like having your anus at your mouth. I’ve given up trying to win the argument over intelligent design vs. evolution, but what annoys the fuck out of me is how she spends so much time and energy on trying to decipher the words of God when she has bigger problems to worry about. That’s the worst aspect of religion; it belittles mankind and undermines everything we work hard for and constantly reminds you to suck up to this invisible entity who’s like a baby craving for attention.
I got a call from a friend a few days back, it’s the first time she contacted me since a year ago. She’s currently spending the summer at a missionary trip at New Jersey and the reason she called is that she needs donations because the trip costs money but she’s already broke from tuition. I told her I don’t have any money to donate at the moment, which is partly true since my paycheck’s about to go to CMU anyways, but bigger reason for not donating is that the donation money would have gone to the church, an institution that I despise and have no interest in supporting, also I find it ridiculous that she is paying thousands of dollars to help spread religion when she’s having a hard enough time paying for her own education. I think if there were a God, God would not want you to spend the money you don’t have to spread his teaching. Otherwise, God is pretty darn selfish. Seriously, all that money spent on missionary programs and churches, and the war against Islam for that matter, could be used on better things.

I watched the Book of Eli yesterday, if you take away its religious theme it’s a pretty kickass movie. Basically, this guy named Eli (Denzel Washington) is a survivor in a post-war apocalyptic world and he has the last remaining copy of the bible. So Eli has to protect it while dodging from bad guys. At the end of the movie, Eli lost the copy to the bad guys but he manages to travel to Alcatraz and get a scribe write a new copy as he recited it word by word. Poor Eli wasted his entire life protecting that book, and I think the last words he said before his death was something like “Oh Lord I’ve suffered long enough and now I’m just happy to be finally allowed to rest!” except more dramatically phrased. So, the bible survives after all, happy ending? I think not. Eli made painful sacrifices to be considered a hero at the end, but why go through all that trouble so the next generation and every generation onwards has to suffer from mass brainwash? Bottom line is, religion is a waste of time.

I’ve been listening to this guy on youtube.

He gives some amazing insights into the discussion about Christianity and atheism. Give it a listen if you have time. Yeah, I’m a huge hypocrite for spending time on these philosophical discussions when I just said that religion is a waste of time, but this is really interesting stuff!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Movies watched/misc updates

Inception (8.5/10): I think the concept of a dream within a dream is clever but didn't like how the plot is based off a guy trying to steal business from a competition by manipulating with his mind through dreams, but overall, excellent special effects and what a twist ending.

Toy Story III (6/10): I didn't like it as much as other pixar movies such as Up and Ratatouille. Since they finally realized that the toys-coming-to-life aspect got old, they decided to incorporate social-commentary styled dialogues into the movie and made it seem like a poor version of a children's story trying to imitate adult humor. I didn't like first or second movie, maybe that's why I'm so critical on this one...

Dinner for Schmucks (7.5/10): A clever parody of the modern definition of intelligence vs. stupidity. The stuffed mice are so cute! I want one.

Liked the movie overall but it got a little crazy for me towards the end with that mind/brain control scene.

The Other Guys (9/10): Definitely a must-watch. It's stupid to the point of being funny plus it's a good action thriller, and Will Ferrell's detective partner is cute. New favorite movie quote: "Imma peacock, you gotta let me fly!"

Saw a flock of turkeys crossing the road in Burlington... that just made my day.

Had my second trip to a legit Indian Restaurant yesterday. I didn't know that haddock was a fish until now... nor that when on the subject of Indian food, mildly spicy means Bhut Jolokia mouth burning/tongue inflaming spicy. O_o

Can't believe its nearing the end of summer vacation. Two more weeks and... CMU >_<. I still need to get my schedule sorted. As of now I have 62 units :O But I can't drop Chinese until I know for sure that I can enroll in 15121 since its lab time on Thursday conflicts with undergraduate colloquium. I'd rather not take undergraduate colloquium but I don't know if it's required for sophomore biology majors. I shoot Dr. Braun an email but she's on vacation and wont be able to respond until next week. Ugh. Or maybe I shouldn't drop anything, 62 units is manageable right...? Although that would mean going hungry on Mon/Wed/Fridays...

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This is a comment on Liz's post about the homeless from a long time ago. Today, I was driving through Alewife on the way to work and I saw a homeless man carrying a sign and asking drivers for money. I've seen that guy many times before, but he changes his sign every week or so. I remember back in the beginning of the summer the sign said something about him being a veteran, and then last month it changed to something along the lines of him being crippled and needing to feed his family, and now the sign says he has MS... O_o All of this could be true, but more likely, he's making up stories to gain sympathy, but somehow I can't bring myself to criticize him. I don't know what deserves more sympathy, being an honest beggar or being driven to the point of desperation where you have to tell lies to get help. This man was probably never a veteran, or may not have a family to feed, or doesn't have some neurodegenerative disease, but that doesn't change the fact that he is living on 20 dollars a day out on the streets. The media is putting more attention to this kind of issue now but it hasn't really resonated with me until it hits home and I start seeing it for myself. Sad world we're living in.