Monday, 30 November 2015

Music for Your Monday//Escape

For you.

Because it was BEFORE Guardians of the Galaxy...

and maybe because I'm not into yoga.

Because you have so much more than half a brain.

Because now there's so more more to gain.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Music for Your Monday: Keith Green

Keith Green songs are some of my faves in the oldies christian rock scene. One reason is because his lyrics are fascinating and set to wonderful melodies and, frankly, groovy beats.


Monday, 26 October 2015

Monday, 19 October 2015

Music for Your Monday//The Cure

I was going to pick Letter to Elise or Pictures of You for this week's track, but they seemed a little melan-choly, to quote Megamind. Also, no offense to The Cure, but their music videos are frightful. Anyway.

Just Like Heaven is less melancholy than either of those tracks. It also has the upbeat attitude of a Friday night's roller rink soundtrack paired with familiar chords from the A-ha music group as well as the strained excitement that comes with reaching a long awaited destination after an even longer drive.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Music for Your Monday//Bossa Nova

Concierto de Aranjuez

Unabashedly flaunting the bossa nova jazz this week, folks. Fall is here, tea season is upon us, and we're beginning to show signs of hole-ing up to study and survive; Nogueira ensues.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Article Analysis//Cryptosporidium

Just a fair warning... for those of you that don't appreciate stories of nasty bacterial and intestinal infections. This is an article analysis on an outbreak that happened earlier this year. I cut the abstract aaaaaand the pictures. (welcome)

Cryptosporidium: Evading the Nemesis
          Airplanes, Cruise ships. College dorms, recreational pools. People, public places, and the organisms that inhabit them sometimes cry mutiny against a healthy system wreaking havoc and ultimately causing distress. Cryptosporidiom muris, or ‘Crypto’ in short, is a single celled parasite most commonly known for causing Cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal disease.
          The causal agent of Cryptosporidiosis is a protozoan, a parasitic oocyst. Route of infection most commonly includes contaminated drinking water (such as in third-world countries with poor water supplies), extensive and unprotected contact with livestock, especially bovines, and the occasional inhalation of an oocyte through the respiratory route. Once ingested, the oocyst becomes a sporozoite (spore releasing) and cycles between asexual (trophozooite or type I meronts) or sexual (merozooite or type II) reproduction in the gastrointestinal tract. In this tract, the parasite reproduces asexually (schizogony). Sexual reproduction for the parasite differs from asexual in that gametogony produces micro and macrogamonts (male and female, respectively).  The results of this cycle are two different oocysts, thick and thin-walled. The former is often excreted while the latter preoccupies itself with further infectious duties. Because excretion is the end of a cycle, the oocysts allows for infection directly after excretion (Parasites).
          Risk factors and sources of infection are important measures in infection prevention. Common sources of the parasite include food, water, or fomites (door knobs, tables, tools etc.) which have been contaminated by feces from infected sources. Risks range from direct contact (caring for an infected individual, contact with infected animals, changing diapers) to swimming in community pools, attending playgrounds, travelling, and many others. Public pools are especially dangerous if children are defecating or voiding within the pool, and recent outbreaks have been traced to this cause (Rettner). Sources of infection include but are in no way limited to handling livestock without proper protective measures (donning of gloves and boots, hand hygiene), campers or travelers drinking questionable water, working with children, and even self- infection (fecal oral route) if an individual is not taking care to wash their hands frequently (Parasites). 
          Though symptom intensity does vary between individuals (especially those with immunosuppression and HIV/AIDS), the common symptoms are watery stool followed by dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss. Most often, the small intestine is affected by the parasite, but the respiratory tract can be subjected to infection if an oocyst is inhaled. Symptoms typically last a fortnight (Parasites). Crypto can be cured by auto-recovery, that is, most healthy immune systems will regain composure after infection; it is simply a case of letting the parasite run its course, per se. A supporting measure is to constantly drink fluids to replace water loss. For pregnant women, the fluid loss can be extremely detrimental, while for babies it can prove to be fatal. Additionally, those with HIV/AIDS should take even more measures to care for their health because most Crypto symptoms will not be visible because of the already compromised immune system.
          It was the beginning of the 2015 spring semester for veterinary medicine students in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when the school’s health center was alerted to five cases of students with some type of gastrointestinal issue. Twenty-two students had been present at a bovine obstetrics training session, and five of these same twenty-two reported symptoms of cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea (the nausea and vomiting, like intermittent symptoms of malaria are caused by release of merozooites after oocyte reproduction) CITE . After further interviews and research, a total of sixteen students (including the original five) had reported the said symptoms. With this factor in the equation, specimens from the calves the students worked with were collected and tested, and results of an acid-fast stain performed with a calf intestine smear tested positive for oocysts of Cryptosporidium. Though the protocol for PPE (personal protective equipment) was in place and all twenty-two students wore gloves, it is not known how many of the students were vigilant about their outerwear and hand hygiene.              
          Concerning the student demographic, thirteen of the twenty-two were female, sixteen symptomatic cases were reported. Of the sixteen reported cases, four symptomatic students submitted specimen samples for case confirmation. Interestingly, most cases were able to be classified as strict Crypto, just because of the basis of definitions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These cases were very obvious. Other testing used was direct fluorescent antibody testing in which a dye stains the antigen making it visible using microscopy. This testing determined the obstetrics lab as the source of the outbreak.
          This outbreak was undoubtedly dangerous, and it could have been avoided providing the students had followed the PPE protocol. Unfortunately, many people think that washing hands after using the bathroom or touching animals is enough; there is a reason why gloves and even coveralls paired with boots were called for in this obstetrics laboratory. I think it important that students in any science field follow protective measures implicitly. This does not mean no one should ever play in public pools, have a garden, or raise calves - my family does all of these and they are very rewarding. It does, however, mean increased attentiveness to hygiene. I have had family members go through this horrible infectious experience and it is something that could have been avoided; because of this, I advocate attentive precautions.
          Most often, ‘Crypto’ appears paired with a decreased vigilance in proper hygiene and or improper handling of either specimens or animals. The oocyst or the Cryptosporidium parasite “survives various environmental pressures, as low as -7.6 [degrees]F (-22[degrees]C) for >700 hours”(Drinkard). This is fascinating, the way these parasites seem to conquer their environment in order to survive. The survival of these parasites in such variant temperatures, however, should be a signal to those dealing with animals, whether in livestock or in veterinary science, that proper protection is never not effective, Just because we do not see a parasite does not indicate that it is not there. Such gastrointestinal distress can be avoided if the correct protective and preventative measures are applied.

Drinkard, L., et al. Outbreak of cryptosporidiosis among veterinary students – Philadeplphia,
Pennsylvania. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(28). 773.
Parasites, Cryptosporidium: Diagnosis, risk factors, illness, symptoms, and treatment. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, April 2). Retrieved Sept. 21, 2015.
Rettner, R. (2015). Crypto parasite outbreaks increasing pools across the US. LiveScience.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


In honor of the last day of September. 

Perhaps a bit nihilistic.

Energy gained, energy lost; 
bonds formed, bonds broken. 
Bitterness harbored; acidity making its mark. 
and wide.

I just want you to remember
Remember what happened 
get carried away.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Music for Your Monday//BØRNS

Rainy days, 
Exams away, 
More work. 

And of course, inspiration. 

Even though this has the phantom-of-the-opera Eros love exploding from every fabulous note (cue Kat in 10 Things I Hate about you: "I want you, I *need* you, oh baby, oh baby"),
it's still a fantastic track. 

joxeux lundi.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Monday, 31 August 2015

Music for (//last Monday)

Hello World.
And oh, yeah, that homework that's getting done 10x faster.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Pieces. Ends. Fragments. Harmony?

"For in the day of trouble, 
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his 
and set me high upon the rock."

Sometimes the pieces we thought made sense as children don't. They seem further away than ever, and the straining to clear the vision just hurts more than anything.

Things you once had are now such small fragments that your memory questions their existence. Even though you're sure their happening was sometime in the not-so-distant past. It must have been.

The joy. That joy. It was a dream. It existed but does no more, for what reason we know not. So we keep seeking, seeking him in his temple, for he has promised to rule and build it in harmony.

Oh, how well I know that it is there, that joy, that harmony. But I only have these weak eyes with which to strain to see it. At times the the smoke is thick and choking the breath out of life and we hurt not for ourselves, but for others, those close, and those far but not because of what is shared in our hearts; the same deep longing for the harmonic edifice. Breathe. He will cleanse and bind up the broken-hearted and set the captives free from their prison of darkness.

To continue to strain with our weak eyes? But to request eyes renewed which do not focus on momentary, fleeting joy but instead look past it and through the smoke to a greater harmony.

You don't stop loving someone; you must learn to live without. 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Music for Your Monday: Under African Skies

This is the story of how we begin to remember
The powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm
and the roots of rhythm remain

Monday, 11 May 2015

Saturday, 9 May 2015


When listening to 'your' songs over and over
being in class doesn't seem so very bad
you can almost half convince yourself
it'll be okay.

You can propose a toast
for all the ones that hurt the most
A parade for those that must march on.
For they have no choice
but to continue
If the course were to discontinue
to run
would be fatal.

So we almost half convince ourselves
it'll be okay
as we hurt the
and march

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Music for your Monday: Sprinkle of Spektor

A little toast. 
To all the friends 
that we have lost. 

A parade through town
that leaves a mess - 
but oh, 
so fun.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Respite and a Patron

To the library patron behind me -
You shouldn't be eating Chinese.
Please put your shoes back on -
How will I get my homework done??

There are no grounds
For those slurping sounds -
They won't even be drowned out
By this Mr. AZ listening bout.

Disgruntled - should I not be?
And now you're eating a croissant... Really?
There are other spots I could sit...
But not really. Everyone else has the tables and windows.

And I sit ahead of the patron
With no grounds to stand on -
Who's most likely enjoying respite
From people like me.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Rhizobium, Rhizobium: Bioetry?

Of all things, one of my intensive Bio classes asked for a poem about a 'good bacterium.' Well, demanded, rather, it wasn't an option.

Most of my classmates were very annoyed at this assignment. Probably because they would rather calculate percentages of exponential growth versus actually think about word construction. Really.

They will never know how much I liked this assignment - and how I could not understand their dislike for it - at all. So I'm back, friends, for a moment, but only to share this bio poem. If you're curious about succinate or Nod-f (factors), look it up. It's worth it.

Photo Credit//Article Link 

Rhizobium, Rhizobium,
You wonderful bacterium:
Fixer of Nitrogen like no other,
To leguminous roots providing cover.
Like no other.

Rhizobium, Rhizobium,
Fair proteobacterium,
Such intimate association
Causes nitrogen fixation -
Through root nodules.

Legumes do require nutrients grand ,
Soil can’t always provide this demand –
But thanks to a factor dubbed ‘Nod’,
Rhizobium twines round plant roots.

Roots low in nitrogen once cried
“Absence of nutrients? We’ll die!”
Rhizobium heard this sad lament,
It release Nod factors (to roots detriment).
New beginning.

Nod-f now released, Rhizo could grow,
Inside legume roots, outside; below.
The plant sighed with joy; its need were met
As for Rhizobacterium?
Good as it gets.

Fixing Nitrogen in forms plants can use,
Now even growing can be put on cruise.
Rhizo gains malate, succinate, too,
And leguminous roots? Fixed N2.

nunc ad dei nostrum gratias erit;
This symbiosis; we cherish it.
These tales shall good men will teach his son,
And April’s earth day ne’er go by,
From today to the ending of this world,
For those bacterium will be remembered,
Those few, those happy few,
May we call them band of brothers?
For they hold their manhoods not cheap,

Doing good and never evil. 

**Note: the last ten lines taken and inspired by Shakespeare's
St. Crispin's Day speech by Shakespeare; Henry V.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Music for Your Monday: Valley of Tomorrow

Pull those thirty-eights, and don't second guess the little whispers, Ever. 


Monday, 16 March 2015

Music for Your Monday: Face in the Crowd

I don't care if this has been played before. 
You can listen again. 
Go on. 
It won't hurt you. 
If anything, let it make you that much more alive. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

That Professor Said What...? PART i

Since we all lead busy lives and are constantly making deadlines, I thought it would be nice to put up something a little different on here. I have professors, you may have them too, but it's always better to have a laugh in life, and frankly, some of the things they either don't make quite enough sense, or they are on the verge of being either risque or insulting. The latter often fall just short of inappropriate and therefore leave the hearers awkwardly squirming in their seats.

In sum, these posts will be a continuation on the hilarity I find throughout the academic week. With that, feel free to 'lol' or squirm awkwardly.

A Professor on tips for his exam essay questions, in a much quicker-paced but Forrest Gump voice:
"Now remember. I grew up on a daaaaairy ranch, and for the first eighteen years of my life I woke up at the crack of dawn to clean out the cow stalls. Believe you and me; I cleaned more out of those stalls than you can imagine. So don't go writing just any old thing down for your essay...I know a bunch of CS when I see it. And only some of you really got what I meant by that."

Statistics Prof on a variable:
"So when it is high," (pause) "Oh you know what I mean... ."

Biology Dept. Prof on bacterial metabolism and reproduction:
"...which is exactly why the proton gradient is so very paramount to this specific bacterium! The male sex will have an exponential amount of sperm while the female, well," (points to female student in front row) "you don't have an exponential amount of're born with all you'll ever have!!" 

Oh thanks. Now what.

Until next thyme.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Music for Your Monday: "Typical American" Goodness

Only recently did this group become a more important part of my music listening life. Regardless of the whirlwind of wonderful that brought it on, I thought I'd share.

Sharing appreciation is cultivation. Sometimes what is shared is not so lovely, and people scream "TMI!! TMI!!" However, other times, sharing steps in brilliantly, disguised or not and dishes up delectable things that leads to other new and exciting discoveries that make life pretty stinkin' enjoyable.

You come on to Sloop John B, here, now.

I feel so broke up//I want to go home

Monday, 26 January 2015

Music for Your Monday: My Current Vaccine

Down, down in my bones//Somewhere I'd never have known//Right at the back of my head//It hit me like a beam of light//Hit me like a hook of the right//And I could have fell to the floor//cause you talk to me and it comes off the walls//You talk to me and it goes over my head//Let's go...before you say something real//Let's go...before you say how you feel//

Oblivious to all that I owe//I'm hanging on to what I don't know