Archive for: July, 2010

Coffee of the Week, Edition 3

Jul 31 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Sci has recently taken to talking about her coffee experiences. She usually buys by the pound, and goes through one pound of coffee solid before she blogs about it. This allows me to get the initial surprise of the new coffee flavor, but also to feel how the coffee feels on a daily basis, what you get to know about it. In my mind, the best coffees are the ones you expect in the morning, the ones you wake up and go "mmm, I really want that nutty flavor of that nice savory blend...".

For today's coffee, we are going to one of Sci's favorite brands, Counter Culture out of Durham. I got my first exposure to them at SciOnline 2009, when we did a tasting, and I've been an addict ever since.

I don't know why, but I'll say that Counter Culture brand tends to leave me a lot more "wired" than other coffees. I'm not sure if the caffeine content is higher, or if there's something else, but one cup of Counter Culture is enough to get me up and going, and two or more leave me UNCOMFORTABLY ENERGETIC.

But today's blend is delicious despite the energy. I picked up their Mocha Java. It's a lovely blend, and astonishingly fruity. I really notice the taste of raisins in it, as well as a nice fresh aftertaste. It's a coffee I generally prefer to drink in the later morning or afternoon rather than the earlier morning, so I can focus more on the taste rather than the "need to get to work...grump grump I hate mornings...". I would definitely drink this again (well, duh, I have and probably will!)


Sci takes any coffee recommendations and would love to hear insights on various brands and flavors!

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A Geeky Recommendation

Jul 31 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

In case you all did know, Sci's a massive geek. And so she does some massively geeky things. And one of those geeky things is that I watch The Guild.

The Guild is a short web-comedy about a bunch of gamers and their rather hilarious, geeky hijinks. It's now up to season 4, and the actors have gained some seriously geeky internet fame (and apparently they DO actually game together!!! How cool is that?!)

Anyway, in addition to the web series, which is seriously hilarious, they also make MUSIC VIDEOS, which will get in your head and make you feel...not quite so bad about your addiction to games. 🙂

Video: The Guild - Music Video - Do You Want To Date My Avatar

(I would like to note that this is TOTALLY what I'm wearing for Halloween this year)

Video: Season 4 - Music Video - "Game On"

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Friday Weird Science: HEY GUYS, I'M SO DRUNK RIGHT NOW!!!!

Jul 30 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

You know how it is when you're in college (or high school). You've got that one kid (and yes, it has at some point been you) who's never had a drink before, and they go to a party. You have a few drinks, they have a few drinks, and pretty soon, even though they have been told repeatedly that they need to keep it down because the club is 21 and up and you've got fake ID's, the kid is screaming "HEY YOU GUYS! I"M SO DRUNK RIGHT NOW!!! DID I TELL YOU I WAS 17?!?!"

Now, I'm sure we all know a good bit of this is simply the loss of inhibition and the excitement of getting drunk for the first time. But there is there also something else? Haven't we all noticed that parties where alcohol is involved tend to get WAY louder?

It turns out it may have something to do with your hearing! Upile, et al. "The acute effects of alcohol on auditory thresholds" The British Medical Journal of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, 2007.

This post comes to you via NCBI ROFL, providing some of the craziest abstracts to the internet since 2009.


(I do wonder, they keep doing all these studies that seem so obvious when it comes to things like acute drinking. Is there a study out there on whether or not getting drunk will make you more likely to wear your underwear on your head? Studying that in a controlled environment would be...really really awesome).

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I want you to hit me...

Jul 29 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

This might be the best thing that Sci has seen ALL WEEK.

Brilliant. Partially because Sci, like many a good girl geek out there, LOVES some Jane Austen (ok, we all fell in love with Pride and Prejudice, secondarily with Sense and Sensibility because Marianne was SUCH a diva, and the other ones fall behind because DANGIT, Fanny of Mansfield Park really needed a spine, and Emma was...Emma). And secondly, I think it's brilliant because life back then really WAS so completely tied down and bound up for the women of that class. I bet they could have used a fight club.

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Stem Cells and Diabetes

*I would like to start with a disclaimer. My laptop is broken (AGAIN), and until I invest in a new harddrive, I am going to have to write all the posts on this little netbook, Ruby, who, while intrepid, can't do JACK when it comes to images. Which means I'll have to add the images in the AM. My apologies.

Sci found this paper today and immediately had to run around showing it to people and saying "OMG isn't this COOL!!" At first, it was so cool that I thought I should save it for a special occasion, but dangit, I'm feeling celebratory. Anyway, I wanted to blog it NOW.

And since this is Sci's blog, what Sci wants, Sci gets.

And I love this paper. Alipio, et al. "Reversal of hyperglycemia in diabetic mouse models using induced-pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived pancreatic β-like cells" PNAS, 2010.

So first, let's talk a little about diabetes.

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Science Poetry Contest!!!

Jul 27 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Jason at The Thoughtful Animal let Sci know about this contest, knowing Sci's love of completely terrible poetry.

And now there's an opportunity for you to compete for the First Annual Charles Prize in Poetry! This will honor the most outstanding poem in the context of health, science, or medicine.

Poems should be related to experiencing, practicing, or reflecting upon a medical, scientific, or health-related matter.

And even better, if you wanted, you could then submit your poem to OPEN LAB, which publishes up to two poems a year! With poetry as famous as that, you could totally pose around coffee shops with a tight black turtle neck and a set of bongos, jammin' to your science sounds!

Probably the poems shouldn't be as silly as the ones Sci usually goes in for, but hey, you never know. They might appreciate the silly side of science. 🙂

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The Geek Hierachy, New and possibly Improved!

Jul 25 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Mr. S showed Sci something hilarious today when she got home from work (yes, she works on a Sunday. She's a post-doc). The something he showed was this:


This is the geek heirarchy (bigger version here), and is a basic flow chart of who is considered to be the most nerdy among the nerds, they geekiest of the geeks, the dorkiest of the dorks.

Actually, they just say geek. It's often easier than adding in Nerd and Dork because you then have to distinguish between the three definitions (there IS a difference. If you did not immediately KNOW that there was a difference, you are clearly none of the above). But many people perceive geek as being the most "cool" (relatively speaking) of the three terms, and so geek has become kind of a catchall.

So Mr. S and Sci laughed over this flowchart for a while. And then, being the MASSIVE nerds that we are, we started critiquing it. Where were the magic cards? Where was Warhammer? What about STAR WARS?! What about the people who may not buy replicas of famous swords, but DO proudly wear Star Trek corsetry and that necklace Arwen gave to Aragorn in LOTR?! And what about the people who attend anime conventions in costume?! They feel woefully underrepresented here. Furthermore, how do you rank if you, say, have seen all the Star Wars movies, know them by heart, AND are a Heinlein fan, AND refuse to watch anime unless it's in the original Japanese with subtitles?!

Obviously this flowchart is flawed.

And Mr. S and I think WE CAN DO BETTER. We can do better for ourselfs, and for all our geeks out there.

We need a ranking system.

So here we go.
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Coffee of the Week, Edition 2

Jul 24 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Sci is a huge coffee fan. If that comes as a surprise, you clearly don't know her well.

And a few weeks ago she thought maybe she'd start reviewing some coffee.

Last time, I sipped through Philz Ambrosia, Coffee of God from Philz coffee in San Fransisco.

This week's is another from their brand, the Philz Philharmonic. Sci had to order hers without cardamom in it due to lack of funds. I think this made the coffee suffer a little. Without the distinctive notes of the cardamom, it's a nice lighter coffee, a good bit sweeter than the Ambrosia. But I think without the cardamom there's not a lot that's distinctive about it. Still, it's a nice medium bodied coffee and certainly better than many.

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Friday Weird Science: A very special Sheepdog and retrograde ejaculation

Jul 23 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

So Sci was feeling rather...uninspired for this week's weird science. Life hasn't been easy lately and it's wearing on me. But then I saw a recent post from Isis' co-blogger (and, to Sci's mind, possible doppleganger) Set Oculus. Set Oculus, who's gender is apparently no longer in question (though I don't know if I believe that, I know plenty of chicks who can pee standing up, as well as a few who can ejaculate), is now on a drug which is going to cause retrograde ejaculation.

Sci was immediately intrigued.

Ejaculation, you say?

I bet I can pubmed that...

And then, when Sci did, she found a paper. When she had read through the phrases "ejaculation with a full bladder", "palpation of the testes indicated normal size", and "using an estrous teaser bitch", she was hooked (that's "bitch" as in female canine).

Yup. Dogs. Post et al. "Retrograde ejaculation in a Shetland sheepdog" Canadian Veterinary Journal, 1992.


So let's start with the three stages of ejaculation, and the story of a Sheepdog.

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Friday Weird Science Revisited: the "but they could have done it better" edition

Jul 22 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Some of you may recall the post Sci posted on Friday "If you're happy and you know it, smell some pee". It's an adorable post, by the way, in which Sci waxes extremely witty and breaks into song. We all love songs.

But the more Sci thought about the paper the more she thought several things:

1) Biological Psychiatry?! Do we have to go through this AGAIN?! I mean, the paper was FINE, but...BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY?! This is not groundbreaking clinically relevant awesomeness, it's a new animal model.

2) Sci could do it BETTER.

Sci doesn't mean that to be a jerk, I really DO think this paper could have some bigger, cooler awesomeness to it. And for all I know, the scientists are in fact pursuing all of these avenues of research, but still. Authors, listen up for a second. Sci's got some IDEAS. And she wants you to use them. Cause we are all in this together, and we all need to find some new hot animal models, amirite?!

Here we go
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