The doctor is in.

4 05 2007

Today is the official start of the spring term and, although I actually started doing work yesterday, my official first to of Phd-ery! So I’ve decided to give the blog a shake-up, to hopefully stimulate me to get more content flowing from my noodle.

New CC song: many of you have been witness to how retarded i have become for Crystal Castles over the last year or so. They’re a boy and a girl and they play 8-bit beats that temporally kick your ass back to days of sitting nose-close to the TV, swearing at that fucking flying Koopa that you need to run under, and the giant pit on world 8-2! the first time i saw them, i got in free by lugging in their gear and saying i was part of the band (not the first or last I have done that) and they were so good, it made sitting through an hour and a half of BAAAAD toronto hipster / folk / shit groups a lot less mind-numbing. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to see them live for a good 8 months, but they have a whole lot of content on their various myspace pages and a new remix out just the other day. Plus they’re either in europe or the US right now, so catch them if you can!

Another thing that reminds me of the old days, Sliding down railings on your ass. It used to be fun, but I think they don’t wax those rails as much as they used to because I tend to get stuck about half way down these days

something I can’t condone though (contrary to ass rails), Alvin and the Chipmunks (wait for it) the live-action feature.

What the fuck?!

seriously…. they’re raping our youth out there.



SANTO: El Enmascarado De Plata!

12 04 2007

last night i caught Grindhouse. i have to say, it was a total blast. an excellent zombie gore-gy, full of laughs and ridiculous levels of gore (plus Tom fuckin-Savini!!). Death Proof was great too. A little long-winded, which detracted from the spirit of the feature, but the dialog was good, and the car chase scenes were really intense. I would definately say “hey, you. goober. go see Grindhouse!”

Just do it quick. I’ve heard rumblings of it being split into two films because American’s can’t stand to sit through 3 hours (/whining). fuck. maybe if theaters had food troughs full of cheeseburgers, those fat cows that make up the majority of movie-goers, would try things a little different.

then again, not everyone may be down with extreme violence and the fact that i laughed out loud when (SPOILER!) a certain young boy blows his own face off with a handgun! (bah-hahahaha)(END OF SPOILER!)

more importantly, with the creation of Machete, a planned straight-to-dvd feature, based off one of the fake trailers attached to Grindhouse, i really hope that indie cinema shifts back to the B-movie glory of days gone by.

And what better film could be made, then one featuring…

the world’s most famous luchadore,

star of over 50 films,

Mexican folk-hero and super-hero,


Although I have yet to see any of his films, they seem to follow a similar flow:

Santo, the silver-masked man, is living a comfy life. Fancy cars, great eats, and plenty of girls! Enter the bad guys! Ranging from mexican mobsters, to mummies, to martians; somebody shows up to ruin the party and terrorize the poor people of Mexico!

Then Santo, sometimes accompanied by his friend the Blue Demon, must show up to fight off the bad guy, and save the girl!

Generally, this involves challenging them to a fight in the ring, if my understanding is correct, but there are times that Santo has to get down and dirty in an alley with some of his luchadore friends as back-up!

I’ve tried to include as many videos as I can find, but here is an extra-special one; the one that introduced me to Santo! It’s a compilation of some of his greatest moments, including the ONLY time in his 30+ year career where he demasks! Enjoy, and, if you’re like me, you’ll be heading out to your local art-movie house to try and find anything you can featuring…



Happy Easter!

6 04 2007

it’s good to know that on this, the weekend which marks the anniversary of the birth of the chocolate egg, that the great Christian God has presented upon us, the true-believers, a great gift. One prophesized by two of our greatest prophets!

This gift, The Flying Car!



and what better way to be sure that said transportive vehicle of aviary excellence, be safe to the average church goer, than to sacrifice those who are the most faithful (and least useful in society): The OLD!



Buckle up, gramps! You’re heading for the skies!

“What a time to be alive,” INDEED!!


Disclaimer: I meant no offence to anyone here. God’s a good chap. Jesus died for sins this weekend (note: not just his believers, btw). And I wish everyone a happy (or dignified, if you’re Jewish) weekend.

Let’s not fight over religion, people. That’s all just storybook tales to teach kids how to behave, anyway.

Happy Easter, Everybody! 

The U.N. Dream

5 04 2007

which is what it remains…

more info

Madona and the Master’s of the Awesome-verse!

3 04 2007

WELL! after i dot all my i’s and cross those t’s, i’m a Master of Science!

the defense went very well. i hyped myself up with a few rounds of a cover of “My guitar gently weeps” from Harrison’s induction to the RnR hall of fame. so rockin’ and rollin’ through this thing was easy.

so, my devoted Madon-ites, I’m sure many of you have been heard to say “what sort of science does this banana do?”


WARNING: the following may be a long read. you may want to keep this running in the background.

In water (lakes, oceans, etc), the most abundant biological particle are viruses. Now, there are viruses that infect just about everything. Animals, plants, everything. Now, one class of viruses infect bacteria, and these suckers are called bacteriophage. Now, bacteriophage infect bacteria by injecting their genetic material into the host bacteria, creating copies of the virus inside the cell, then bursting the cells, releasing new viruses into the environment.

So, there are huge numbers of all kinds of viruses in water, but naturally (and when we treat water and sewage) these viruses will be “killed”, or more accurately inactivated. Now, this can happen in a physical process (they can stick to solids surfaces, and we can remove these solids from our water) or through a biological process. And it’s this process that remains a bit of a mystery.

Another type of cell that is common in water are called ciliates. These guys (that can be about 1,000 times bigger than viruses) will swim about and swallow large amounts of water. The question is, are they swallowing viruses too? Well, one model that was put together a number of years ago to describe how all these organisms interact is called “the killer of the killer of the winner.” So, imagine a body of water. In here, you’ll have all sorts of bacteria. Now many of these bacteria will perform some sort of process that could benefit the environment and would be required to make sure all the “shit” is in order, so to speak. Problem is, some of these bacteria may be…..kind of shitty… as far as being able to use nutrients available. Not only that, some will eat like crazy, and could danger the our slow growers, to the point that certain types of bacteria could die off completely. This is referred to as “competitive exclusion,” is an important part of evolutionary theory, and if that bacteria does something very important in the environment, well, the shit could hit the fan.

So, these fast-growers can be said to “win” the “race to use nutrients.” Now, if we consider the presence of our bacteriophage, they will be most likely to infect, and kill, the fastest growing bacteria (“the killer of the winner, of the nutrient race”). But if our bacteriophage replicates to high enough numbers, our bacterial populations could be in trouble.

Time for the big boys. Ciliates like to eat. And if their bacteria are killed off by bacteriophage, things could get sticky for them. So, along with eating bacteria, they could benefit from eating up bacteriophage (killing the killer of the winner) to help regulate the number of these viruses and prevent excessive bacteria-killing.

So, in my work, I looked at how ciliates (Tetrahymena thermophila, to be specific) will affect a population of a couple bacteriophage (T4 and MS2 to be specific. What I found was, it looks like these ciliates will in fact eat, and inactivate these viruses (they won’t infect their hosts anymore). But the rate at which they do, will differ depending on the virus.

“Well, what the hell does that mean?”

Remember how i said there a lot of viruses in water? They ain’t just bacteria-infectin’ ones, jack! We’re talking biohazard, diaheria-inducing, Dustin Hoffman-coming-to-the-rescue type viruses!! Hepatitis, Norwalk, Poliovirus, and even HIV! Now, thankfully, we have pretty good ways to clean up water (before we drink it), but sometimes our systems fail (Walkerton, for example). So this type of work may not cure cancer, but understanding how something like this happens is really important to understanding how to keep these systems running and how to, potentially, improve these processes.


hope that was enlightening! expect some changes coming in the future, as i try to breathe some life (or possibly zombie-itis?…) into this floundering blog, and try to entertain you schmucks, again!


what’s that weird buzzing?

30 03 2007

man, what the fuck?!

i’m sitting here, at my desk, trying to cram my brain with knowledge, in hopes of convincing 4 faculty members that I have some sort of idea what I’m talking about, on monday (monday being the day i defend), and out of nowhere the fire alarm goes off!

turns out, i didn’t notice for about 4 minutes, when the fire marshal runs in to the lab and tells me to get the hell out of here.

“fire? no i’m reading about ciliate mucocysts. their like little pores on my cells that release mucous, but noone really know why they do”

turns out it wasn’t a real fire, just some undergrad that didn’t want to write a quiz or something. bullocks, i say. the only problem, the copy of TMNT that sits on my desktop. let me tell you all, the newest incarnation of the ninja turtles is quite rad. I saw it sunday in the theatre, but i know i’ve got to watch it again.i’ve heard some mixed reviews, but i don’t see why. it takes place in present day (where we haven’t really seen the Turtles for 10 years or so). some of them are away, some have day jobs. from there the story focuses on the family unit, which is really cool when said family unit consists of mutants turtles and rats. JL Picard (Patty Stew’) is the main bad guy too (OMFG, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT VIDEO!!!), in the sub plot, which is kind of weird but still cool. It’s totally Leo and Raph’s flick (which is sad for a Mikey loving kid like me) but trust me when i tell you that it is a great movie. the action scenes are tight, the characterization is spot-on, and really, its the goddamn ninja turtles. if you weren’t bouncing up and down in your seat from the time you heard about this, why are you still reading.

to adequately describe this movie, the made-up word i feel applies is RAD-ABUNG-AN-TACIOUS!

So, monday is the defense day. I think it’s going to go just fine, though. I’m going to nail the presentation, then go to the grad bar for the complimentary bottle of champaign!

grad school for life!

Starting today its SPIKE YOUR COFFEE-FRIDAY!

 so, to celebrate, i give to you the following:



8-bit music (which, i might add, you should really get into!)

science and more


more patrick


thesis submit is GO! update: now with more words!

19 03 2007

WELL! it’s submitted.

97 pages of pure, microbiological bliss!

so now to tweak the presentation. i’ve got time (2 weeks) so i think i’ll forego the “professional” look and go for “ridiculous.”

to help me along, i’ve found this mp3 on a blog which i tend to frequent, and it’s rekindled my odd love-affair with ocremix. so expect some music around here sometime later.

also, they TOTALLY STOLE my idea?!?! at least it’s getting made, but i’d like to stand on record saying i could do a better job…..


**herein lies the updates!**

well-welly-mc wellington, the day is almost done. from the talk about ocremix this morning, i proceded to check some of the remixes out. now, i’m a fan of cheesy nes remixes because it reminds me of days spent playing nes back in the day. SO! why not just listen to actual nes music.

well, it turns out those are called “chiptunes” now. they’re pretty easy to listen to on a pc, with winamp. but on a mac there are a limited number of programs (read: 1) that will play the files.

so, here’s a website with a ton game music files, here’s the mac program, and here’s an error screen to make you windows users feel comfortable 🙂

as an aside, i listened to the overworld theme from Zelda 1 for about 45 miutes this morning while working. i really felt like i got things acomplished

NERD-ALERT: that program also lets you export to .wav easy. so you can pimp all your electronic shit with nes sounds! love the theme to Friday the 13th (FUCK YOU! I DO!!), why not make it a ring tone? (i hate you so much. ragging on friday the 13th like that…)

(sorry Dr. so-and-so, but I’m much too busy to help you)

after that, i headed off to one of my new fave music blogs missingtoof. check it out. it’s a lot of british “new rave” stuff, that’s cool with the kids in the UK, so i am told. (i recommend checking out the Kavinsky stuff. it’s neat)

after writing a painful operating procedure, for people who don’t know how to use a microscope, i found this hillarious stand-up video and this art site, that i’m sure i’ve posted before. i really like the super-deformed look of it.