Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday we helped some friends pack up for their move.
Saturday we had a lovely night out with friends' for a barbecue. Tons of great food, bocce ball, board games and delicious desserts!
Sunday we rented a canoe from Tussey Mountain Outfitters in Bellefonte, PA. Our friends came in their kayaks (and rented one more).
Central PA is really quite beautiful.
The canoe was good for a leisurely ride,
but I think a kayak would be a little easier to maneuver.
And, to round out the day, I made some banana bread:
Today, we went into work for awhile, took the dogs to the dog park - there weren't too many dogs there, so we came home made banana smoothies and took them for a long walk around the neighborhood.
Friday, May 28, 2010
"... being selfish bastards, we will go into the forest and shoot squirrels, and bring them home and make squirrel tea"
"if you don't believe in evolution, there are bags in the back you can put on your head and run around in"
Raj Patel, The Art of Democracy
As heard on Alternative Radio, on NPR.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I haven't really been hungry for desserts lately - the hot weather kind of takes it out of me, and I just want a glass of cold water (or cold mint tea), but tonight I decided to make lemon cake.
Well, originally I was going to make chocolate chip cookies, but we had no chocolate chips, and
Most of the recipes I found online are for lemon pound cake, or lemon bars, no light and fluffy lemon cake. So, deciding to Betty Crocker it up, here is my lemon cake recipe (would omit the oil for applesauce or yogurt, if I had any).
-- As a brief aside: This is one of the many times I wish the US were more like Denmark, or any other number of European countries, with a grocer within walking distance of nearly every house. But, I suppose if I could have easily walked to the store, I would be eating
1c unbleached flour
.5c wheat flour
.5c skim milk
1.5Tbs lemon juice
1tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350
Mix all ingredients
Pour into 8x8 glass pan
Bake for 30 min, or until toothpick comes out clean
Final verdict: It's a little sweet, but pretty good. If I made it again, I'd leave out a bit of the sugar.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I've decided to try to learn some French before my trip in July. My friend recommended Coffee Break French, and I have to say after only a day, it is tres bien (sorry for the lack of accents). There are 80 lessons, but I don't want to be overly-ambitious (considering I'm also trying to get some serious work done this summer). I think I can get through half of them before July 3. I changed my facebook to read in French - it may not be super-helpful, but will remind me to practice. And help me with reading, because I'm mainly listening to the podcasts.
In other news, we got our first CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) from Plowshare Produce yesterday - and added a fantastic loaf of kalamata olive bread (bread AND olives, in one?!... genius!!!). We were able to meet one of the farmers, Bethany. She was lovely.
Yesterday for dinner and today for lunch we had salads, and tonight I made an Rustic Potato soup (with hot chicken sausage instead of kielbasa, a large yellow onion instead of leeks and omitting the butter). It was fantastic.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
"This Week’s Veggies: salad mix, spinach, kale, pea shoots, kohlrabi, hakurei turnips and/or radishes, maybe a little broccoli, asparagus (from Village Acres and just for Friday folks; Tuesday shareholders will get theirs next week!"
bad news: The oil spill is having a tremendous and destructive impact on the environment (pics here).
This week is shaping up to be a pretty busy week:
1. Prepare a presentation for Friday's lab meeting on the Neandertal genome paper:
A draft sequence of the Neandertal genome (Green et al, 2010)
Science 7 May 2010:
Vol. 328. no. 5979, pp. 710 - 722
2. Submit draft of Y overview to Nature Scitable.
3. Work on Male Mutation Bias manuscript, especially figures.
4. Work on Pseudogene project with undergrad (a. hashing out the procedure for her to follow, and b. computing the math for the Confidence Intervals).
5. Start drafting letters to potential postdoc advisors.
6. Put down some concrete ideas for NSF postdoctoral fellowship application.
7. Start assembling the program for National GWIS meeting.
8. Put together concepts for my guest lecture (Comparative Mammalian Sexuality) for the Tuesday June 15th class of Human Sexuality. It is going to be awesome, so you should all come!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (b. Jan 28 1873, d. Aug 3, 1954, French Novelist)
She had an extraordinary and controversial life, considering when she was born.
I would like to read some of her work, but I wonder how well the material translates to English. I just bought a compilation of three short stores, "Gigi, Julie de Carneilha, and Chance Acquaintances: Three Short Novels". Although I won't be able to comment on the translation, I'll be sure to write about the stories themselves.
My two most foolish (and wonderful) acts this weekend:
1. driving to NY, spending less than 24 hrs and driving back
2. getting into an argument with a goose
Both were completely worth it. :)
Friday, May 21, 2010
"Autism is the most genetic of the neuropsychiatric disorders. So the child seems genetically impaired in his or her ability to interact, and the question is what is the nature of the impairment. There are lots of ideas about this. One is that autistic children don't process faces normally, which interferes with their interactions with people. Another is that they don't have the special interest in biological as opposed to inanimate things that normal children have. And another idea is that they can't figure out what's going on in somebody else's mind - called mind blindness or a 'theory of mind problem'.
I think it is very unlikely that any of those are the primary problem. I think a more likely explanation is that there is a problem with attention - a particular type of attention problem. There's increasing evidence that these children have what's called sticky attention, which is a problem with attention disengagement. When autistic children are focused on something, it's very hard to disconnect them and get them to focus on something else. So shifting attention from one thing to another seems to be a problem."