Sunday, October 31, 2004

FRONTLINE: The Choice 2004

Culled from more than fifty interviews with the candidates' families, friends, colleagues, and political adversaries, "The Choice 2004" takes a hard look at the character, experience, and worldviews of Bush and Kerry and illuminates defining moments of their lives with rare archival footage. The program also examines both candidates' decision-making on going to war in Iraq.
watch it online here:
FRONTLINE: The Choice 2004

or on PBS Monday night...

It has BEGUN!

Most important week in the history of the world begins tomorrow...

MONDAY: Hmmm...a slow start to the most important week in the history of the world...actually nothing too important on this day (that I can think of).

UPDATE: Just found out that its the 5 year anniversary since the death of Walter of the greatest running backs in the "history of the world"...and THE greatest player in Tecmo Bowl (tied with Tony Dorsett and Lawrence Taylor) and John Madden Football. Relatedly, Larry Flynt was born on Nov. 1st...thank God!

TUESDAY: The start of the 2004-2005 NBA Season. Should be a good one...Kobe vs. Shaq at the Staples Center on Dec. 25th...ah hell yeah. And there is a ittle something called the Presidential election. Make sure you get out and VOTE! (for Kerry)

WEDNESDAY: Probably the start of a long recount...or maybe not. Hopefully not.

THURSDAY: The end of my 29th year alive (aka, my 29th Birthday). Plus I'll be having my midstreams at 9AM. The rather simplistic title of the talk is "Glutamate Sensors & Their Use in Studying Glutamate Uptake in HD". There shall be much rejoicing.

UPDATE: Holy crap! I just found out that I share my birthday with none other than P-DIDDY!! I've always felt we were kindred I know why. I wonder if I'll get invited to one his all-white parties...lord knows I'm all white. The man is exactly 6 years older than me and $6 billion richer than me...that means I have 6 years to catch up!

FRIDAY: It's FRIDAY...nuff said. Midstreams over and the "month of eric" has begun...there shall be much rejoicing across the land. This also marks the begining of a 7 day countdown until I return to the wonderful city of Las Vegas.

SATURDAY: See FRIDAY...but replace FRIDAY with SATURDAY and swap 6 for 7.

SUNDAY: See SATURDAY...but replace SATURDAY with SUNDAY and swap 5 for 6.

UPDATE: In 'researching' for more important events this week I stumbled upon a goldmine of what seem to be rather arbitrary dates thanks to the University of Missouri Extension website:

Nov. 1-30 National Fun with Fondue Month
Nov. 1-30 Peanut Butter Lovers' Month
Nov. 1-7 National Fig Week
Nov. 3 Sandwich Day (better be Peanut butter and Fondue!)
Nov. 4 National Men Make Dinner Day (better involve Peanut Butter and Fondue!)
Nov. 6 Halfway Point of Autumn (thank god...we're halfway home!)
Nov. 8 Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day (are Peanut Butter and Fondue Bold and/or Pungent?)

This entire post has been brought to you by the need for PROCRASTINATION!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Something's FISHY!

...and its my apartment! Here's my dilemma, I love
grilled salmon. Nothing easier to cook and tastier to
eat than salmon fresh off of the Foreman Grill. But
now that I live in a studio apartment, the sometimes
pungent fish aroma easily wafts across the 10 inches
that seperates my kitchen from my living
room/bedroom...thus infecting every towel, bedspread,
and piece of clothing it comes in contact with. What
to do, what to do?

For now, I'll just have to settle for a salmon dinner
with a side of Lysol spray.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Journal Article Title of the Day

Been looking up articles ALL DAY LONG and this one just made me laugh...

Changes in astroglial GLT-1 expression
after neural transplantation or stab wounds

Exp Neurol. 2002 Apr;174(2):137-49.


It's 9:45AM on Saturday and I've been at work since 8:30AM...this after being at work until 11:30pm last

Best part...drove in at 8AM this morning (SATURDAY) and I was in traffic on the 405! This proves yet again that the only time that there isn't traffic on the 405 is between 4:01AM and 4:01:30AM (on the third Sunday of every other leap year).

[Props to pPa for reminding me how fun it is to use the 'wtf?' Does anyone else make the 'wtf?' face when reading 'wtf?' to themselves? Yeah, me neither.]

Friday, October 22, 2004

Supreme Court Justices

from :

"One issue that has been totally absent from the campaign is the Supreme Court. The median age of the justices is 68. No spring chickens here except for Clarence Thomas, a mere stripling at 56. Here are the current justices.

Justice Appointed by Sworn in Age
Stephen Breyer - Clinton 1994 - 66
Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Clinton 1993 - 71
Anthony M. Kennedy - Reagan 1988 - 68
Sandra Day O'Connor - Reagan 1981 - 74
William H. Rehnquist - Nixon 1972 - 80
Antonin Scalia - Reagan 1986 - 68
David H. Souter - Bush 1990 - 65
John Paul Stevens - Ford 1975 - 84
Clarence Thomas - Bush 1991 - 56

It is very likely than multiple vacancies will occur on the Court in the next four years. The court will undoubtedly have to rule on cases involving abortion, the Patriot Act, and other divisive issues. If you are an undecided voter, think carefully about which candidate would make better appointments to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, a president makes far more appointment to the appellate courts than to the Supreme Court, and they hear far more cases per year. If you approve of the appointments Bush has made to the appellate courts, surely you want to give him the chance to make more. If you don't approve, maybe somebody else should be doing the appointing. The next president's appointments could shape the country for decades to come. It is at least worth discussing. "

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Before we got cold, wet and tired...

Here's a picture of Erik and I on our camping...err...hiking trip. Thanks to my good friend Photoshop, we were able to "take" a picture "together" (i.e., there was not a soul around to take it for us). It's hard to see but in the distance between us are these 3 rock spires that are called the Three Chimneys...pretty cool. Felt like we were friggin' Frodo and Samwise Gamjee making our way to Mordor. Oh my...I have a blog and I made a Lord of The Rings reference...I'm officially a geek. But doesn't the fact that they won an Oscar make LOTR pop culture? Okay, I'm cool again.

The 2 E's with the 3 Chimneys Posted by Hello

Stress, stress, and MORE stress...

Not only do I have a crapload of work to do in 2 weeks for my midstreams, but I have my first of 3 NBA Fantasy League drafts in 2 hours....what to do!!!?!!? Fantasy basketball is my secret addiction...but at the same time, it has the chance of being a good source of income as well. I've always said that gambling is to a graduate student what a quarterly bonus is to a business man. Not that I gamble a lot or anything...only on fun stuff like the NBA with my friends (Denial? I don't THINK so!) Wish me luck...

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Band Recommendation of the Day: The Crimea

Heard The Crimea on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic yesterday ...pretty good. Go to the DOWNLOADS page on their site and click on the link to 'Launch Mini Site' for the Lottery Winners on Acid EP. Sound a little bit like Bright Eyes...but a little more in tune. Posted by Hello

Paralysed man sends e-mail by thought

by Roxanne Khamsi (from Nature)

Brain chip reads mind by tapping straight into neurons.

Controlling objects with thought is becoming a reality. A pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far.

Many paralysed people control computers with their eyes or tongue. But muscle function limits these techniques, and they require a lot of training. For over a decade researchers have been trying to find a way to tap directly into thoughts.

In June 2004, surgeons implanted a device containing 100 electrodes into the motor cortex of a 24-year-old quadriplegic. The device, called the BrainGate, was developed by the company Cyberkinetics, based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Each electrode taps into a neuron in the patient's brain.

The BrainGate allowed the patient to control a computer or television using his mind, even when doing other things at the same time. Researchers report for example that he could control his television while talking and moving his head.

The team now plans to implant devices into four more patients.

The tiny sensor consists of an array of 100 electrodes to capture signals from the brain.

Rival teams are building devices to read brain activity without touching neurons. Neural Signals, based in Atlanta, has patented a conductive skull screw that sits outside the brain, just under the skull. Other researchers are developing non-invasive technologies, for example using an electroencephalogram to read a patient's thoughts.

But BrainGate's creators argue that such techniques only give a general picture of brain activity, and that the more direct approach allows more numerous and more specific signals to be translated. "This array has 100 electrodes, so one can theoretically tap into 100 neurons," says Jon Mukand, an investigator on the team based at the Sargent Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island.

This makes the technology faster and more flexible, he argues. "It's far more versatile when one can get a larger number of neurons."

But Stephen Roberts, an engineer at Oxford University, UK, who has worked on brain-computer interfaces, says the field is still waiting for a breakthrough. "We have to make something that works robustly and without a lot of patient training," he says. "Most of these devices work well on a small subset of patients, but there's a long way to go before getting them to work for the general population."

Photo of the Minute...

Mona Lisa Louvre and white photography by r. gardiner Posted by Hello

Friday, October 08, 2004

I love California

WOW...the smoking in Indiana is out of hand. My clothes reek! Smoking is so stupid.

It just can't get any better...

Wow...went out to watch the Dodger game at SPORTS here in Bloomington (a sports bar, go figure)...and low and behold, what to do I get to witness? None other than Brad from the Real World San Diego hosting some greek date auction. It was quite the treat...Brad getting drunk and eventually dropping lyrics to a Snoop Dogg song with the "auctioneer". This was followed by Brad greatest remark of the night (yes better than his "come on y'all this is for the kids"): "This is the tightest auctioneer I've ever met". What a sad, sheltered life Brad must have I have met many auctioneers that were WAY more tighter than the auctioneer of tonight's festivities. Then at the next bar I got to witness an incredible drunk middle aged man try to steal the last bit of our pitcher of beer and then stick his finger down a girl's crack as she sat perched on a stool. Good times. I feel like I'm at Maloney's every time we go out here. I'm old and I'm proud...down with the undergrads!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Imperial

The Imperial

1/2 cup of HOT water
1/2 cup of COLD water

serve with lemon

I was introduced to this "drink" at the Union Square Cheesecake Factory in SF thanks to our waiter (and Erik's roommate) Nick. Quite an ingenious drink actually...who would imagine that cold water and hot water would get along so swimmingly.

I guess a large group of asian tourists ordered these from his coworker...who promptly got laughed at for not knowing what it was. Silly her...its only the greatest drink ever poured!

Trip Highlights (NorCal Chapter)

My trip to Oakland/Emigrant Wilderness/SF:

  • Hiking from 9am until 7pm with numerous ascents is very painful...especially in the rain...and especially when you expect below freezing temps at night.
  • Campfire cooking is pretty good. PB sandwiches after hiking for hours are delicious. Instant oatmeal ain't so good...makes me feel like I'm in the middle ages. Oh yeah, and beer and pizza when you get home after hiking all day...that's the BEST!
  • Sleeping in a two man tent isn't THAT bad...until the guy starts snoring or spooning you least I hope it was inadvertant.
  • Drinking filtered water from a lake is kind of cool...tastes kind of good when you are really thirsty...but then it leaves a chlorine taste in your mouth. Mmmm...swimming pool water.
  • Cal has a Gardening Tools Library...from which you can check out tools like hoes and pitchforks. Classic Erik (my camping buddy)...borrowed a pitchfork and owed months of late fee's. Finally had his girlfriend return it so as to avoid the wrath. Apparently "that German guy" is now banned from the Gardening Tools Library. That can't be good...
  • White Water Summer...could be one of Kevin Bacon's finest movies. Erik was raving about it ('one of the best bad movies ever!')...and I think I must agree. Of course any film shot in Yosemite can't be all that bad...just mute it. We also ended up watching The Edge filmed in I think technically we "camped" for more than 24 hours.
  • Erik does a great impression of a certain japanese (?) pothead roommate...
  • Tailgating at Candlestick Park (now MONSTER Park) is fun and freezing. Learned that if you run out of bread for your BBQ, you can slice open your chicken breast and put the remaining sliver of bread inside...kinda like an inside out sandwich.
  • Found out that you can enter the Niners game pretty easily by hurrying through the "Entertainment" entrance and pretending like you know what you are doing. Then again, who the hell wants to go to a Niners game?!?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

broke down...

Yup...bus died. But only waited 2 min for the next one. I think Colin and Christie passed me though.

Call me Mr. Public Transportation

Took the BART to the AirBART shuttle to Oakland airport...then the LAX shuttle to the Big Blue Bus where I sit now. I was about to rave about the bus system...but the engine just died at a stop for the 5th time...we just start up again and go though. Conservation of gas?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Happy Boys

Check out my friend Erik's Band...
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