Monday, September 28, 2009

Would love some opinions

I've been floating around some pretty awesome feminist blogs as of late (thank you I Blame The Patriarchy for this latest post concept). BDSM. Is it totally awesome, partially ok, or completely wrong? Does it reinforce the patriarchy by negatively affecting the individuals?

I think Jill has an excellent point. No matter where you are in your life, or have been, you've most likely been in a dominant/submissive relationship. Everyone plays a side at some point in their life. I'm not necessarily talking about sexual exploits though. Think about it. You've surely kissed up to a professor, or a boss, or a family member. Maybe even a friend who had something you wanted. You've also surely been the dominant personality, holding power over another individual, possibly using it for extraneous gains? Then of course, there's the relationship side. Someone always makes the decisions. One person is usually asking for something more than the other. A commitment, sex, food, time. I'm not so keen on S&M being so constant in all aspects of my life. I'd much rather confine it to the bedroom, when both people are feeling kinky. But yet again, one person always wants it more. S&M Barbie? I think I'm going to spew.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sitting at my terminal...

So I'm in my first rotation, and it's going pretty darn well so far. However, I made a grave miscalculation on Monday, and am still paying for it. I'm working on molecular modeling, where I use computers to help characterize and test potential protein structures. It's pretty awesome, I think. My project is to try and determine the closed state of a particular membrane protein. We know (well, we're pretty sure) what the open state looks like, but no one has been able to determine the closed state. X-ray diffraction and crystallography aren't helping either at the moment, because the darn thing doesn't want to crystallize in the closed state-only the open. And it's got to shut off some time... Anyway, I've been working on a scripting code (I feel so nerdy!) that lets me take a part of the protein, move it through space, and see if that's a possible structure. If it's possible (based on Van der Waals interactions and sterics), then my program calculates the energy of each and every atom, so I can determine the gating charge. We know what the value should be. So, it's pretty much guess and check. I guess a structure, check the value, and either keep or punt it. So far, I've been doing a lot of punting.

Monday, I got the best version of my program ready, set it to run 20808 structures, and pushed 'go'. I thought it would take eleven hours (finishing before dawn Tuesday). It's been almost three days... It's still thinking. I keep going over the code, because I'm convinced there's a glitch. But I won't know until around 4 today, which, unfortunately, is when the University is going on lock down. There's some silly convention thingy that's taking over here. I think they call it the G20?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Protect the Animals!

Made an interesting discovery while wandering the halls of my bat cave (Ok ok, it's really just a lab building, but it sounds cooler if I call it the bat cave-even though it's not underground). So, the science buildings are all connected on the interior, but one of them's....invisible. I know it exists, the other researchers and professors know it exists; some even work in there. But it's not on the map. There are no signs. No labeled entrance door. It's....hidden. And why, might you ask? Because it's where all vertebrate research occurs. As scientists, we have to protect ourselves and our subjects by NOT letting the public know where they are. I really don't know how I feel about this.

Friday, September 4, 2009

reverse sneezing

So, middle of last night, Half Pint wakes me up by making the most god-awful, terrifying noise ever. At first it sounds like she's going to be sick, but she's not really heaving. With every exhale and inhale, she makes this noise-not quite a hiccup, not quite a burp, and not quite getting sick. It's actually called, the REVERSE SNEEZE.