25 April 2009


by Cecily
Last weekend was my (and Rachel's) 30th birthday party, and it was the most scientific of all.

Oz took these pictures. Nice work Oz!

We had:
- posters about disease progression in cells
- molecules made out of balloons
- miracle fruits!
- beakers
- lab coats
- foam stickers in scientific shapes
- a whole lotta C2H5OH.

I spent the night drinking whiskey and coke out of an Erlenmeyer flask with a fancy purple twisty straw.

And all week, I kept running into my neighbors who would tell me about how drunk they were on Saturday and how their hangovers lasted for two days and where and when they threw up. Science is dangerous kids; wear your safety goggles!

Now I am frantically trying to make up for all the time I spent ordering science on the internet and setting up scientific experiments and daydreaming about lab coats and magnification, instead of writing my dissertation proposal and doing my homework. It's the end of the semester now; no more fooling around.

Upcoming: I am going to Seattle (well, Bellingham) in mid-May for Brayde's wedding, and Paris at the end of May for a sign language phonetics workshop, and Mozambique late June to look at giant turtles and lie around in some African beach sunshine. Also upcoming: Summer. Guess who has a back yard and a barbeque now?

13 April 2009

another note from China: Altitude Parabolic!

by Special Guest!
Mama says:
The corner street market is open almost all the time now, and I got back from a quick shopping trip this morning to find this notice in the downstairs hallway:
Please! Do not high altitude parabolic!
Please refuse into the bin of life!
Thank for you cooperate!

For several reasons I feel that this might be aimed at us. (Not, of course, that we would EVER high altitude parabolic! Heaven forbid!) We are the highest-up people in the building, and would have the best chance to make things go parabolic if we wanted to, since we also have the only balcony to throw things off. We are also the only English speaking people in the building, and most notices are put up only in Chinese. So why else would they bother to translate it if they don't think that we are doing something in this nefarious vein? I feel slightly paranoid about them thinking this, but also a little miffed. I have been so scrupulous about recycling and I never have put the trash any where except the bin of life!

Cecily says:
I know I never tell you anything about MY life anymore. But it is the end of the semester, and the end of the year, and also it is almost my birthday, and also I am extremely lazy and disorganized. Here's what's on the horizon though: Science Birthday 30!

See you soon.

02 April 2009

Family Update: Wizard of Oz edition

by Cecily
Here is an email, in its entirety, that I recently received from my mama, ensubjected "Theorem and Proof":

I postulate:

A. That in the last six months I have had to spend a lot of hours being Very Bored Indeed sitting in the back of taxis (also afraid for my life from the sketchy driving most of the time, but that’s another story).

B. So I started noticing an aspect of the city that maybe not everyone here has perceived, and I began taking the camera everywhere, and getting pictures to document my case. Jim has become extremely disgusted with this particular obsession of mine, and will no longer speak to me about it. I have embarrassed him enough! It’s time to tell the world the truth about where we live!

Here is the proof:

This was followed by a link to a photo album called "Not = Kansas", from which I have extracted representative samples.

(left at home in KansasSeattle.


the Emerald City:

emerald city 1

emerald city 2

emerald city 3

emerald city 4

emerald city 5

the Wicked Witch of the West:

wicked witch

The Cowardly Lion:

cowardly lion enshrined

Omby Amby(s):

Omby Ambys

Tik-Tok's house:

tik tok's house

The Gump:

the gump

The Wise Donkey:

wise donkey

and then later, a followup captioned "Also? Yesterday we found the rainbow! Only I think waaay too many people have been over it."

overused rainbow

The rest of the pictures are here.

So. There you go. That's all I have to say about that. Except, oh, I am going to Mozambique in June with some siblings. So that will be fun. If you're in Mozambique, we should totally meet up.