Second Basket

Second Basket

This is the second basket that I got through the Bountiful Baskets co-op. This basket came with potatoes, broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, bananas, apples, pineapple, and some kiwis.

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Over`

The 40 days of blogging challenge ended a little over a week ago.  I have been sick with a cold lately.  I got sick the same day as when the big tornado outbreak hit the Midwest.  I got up early that morning to get some produce.  It was sunny when I left home, but I saw the clouds moving across the sky rapidly, and it was overcast when I got to my destination.  Then, when I returned home, there was thick fog.  A few hours later, the storm came.  There was heavy rain where I live, but there were some towns destroyed by tornadoes nearby.

Let’s Play The Prosperity Game

I have done this a while back on the Steve Pavlina forums.  The main object of the game is to go for 30 days, and on each day you get more money.  For most people, starting at $1000 on the first day would be the most reasonable, since most people can wrap their heads around that amount.  On day two, the amount of money you get is $2,000.00.  Then, on day 3 it would be $3,000.00 and so on until the days are up.  What this does do well is to help generate ideas on what to do if that kind of money came into your life.  A lot of people always say that they would like more money in their life, and this is one way that can help you clarify what you really want.  When I did this, what I found was that some of the things that I wanted showed up during that time period.  Interestingly, it turns out, that some of the things that I wanted did not end up costing me as much as I thought it would.  In my case, one of the things I was going to buy with my money was a futon chair from Ikey, which I thought would cost me at least $200.00.  Later that day, I found a sleeper sofa on the curb on my block, which was close, but was way too big to get into my building.  However, another week passed, and a friend of mine e-mailed a bunch of people, including me.  The e-mail was to sell furniture because they were moving.  They happened to sell a futon that was the right size to get into my building, so I bought it, and it only cost me $40.00.  There were some smaller things that I accomplished on my list as well.  My grandmother was having problems with her washer, so one day I put the washer on the list.  Later on, it was replaced with a newer one because of their warranty.

One could look at this either objectively or subjectively.  I outlined the subjective point of view above.  The objective viewpoint was that since I was thinking of these things, my mind started picking up on things that were already there, but now were noticed.  Either way, this is a great exercise in finding out what you want, and will help you find ways to get to your goals or much closer.  Try it for a month, and please leave comments on your experience below.

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Don’t Hold Back

The following video is an example on why not to hold back.  In this video, the lady wants to roast her marshmallow.  However, she is holding back by settling for “browning” the marshmallow.  Because she held back, she drops the stick with the marshmallow into the fire.  That’s what happens when you are a “browner”.  Enjoy the video.

 

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Good Friday

Today is good Friday.  The fish fries are over for the year.  This is the first Friday night in 7 weeks that I have not gone out.  I went out to six fish fries in a row.  The last time I did not go out on Friday, it was the middle of February.  That night, I had trouble sleeping from working really hard the day before.  That was also a week before my 40 days of blogging challenge, which will end in a few days.  During that time, I was feeling really overwhelmed with my professional and personal responsibilities.  I had many sleepless nights around that time.  It was crazy of me to even think of doing a blogging challenge.  Lately,  I have been feeling somewhat underwhelmed, so more action is needed on my part.  Halfway through this period, I went from being busy to being underwhelmed due to some equipment malfunctions at work that have delayed my progress at work.  I have done some small tasks that will help my project a little bit, but now I am getting impatient.  On Monday, everything should be up and running, so I can get my momentum back.  I had momentum in January and the first half of February, then other obligations stopped me.  I then had these malfunctions that were out of my control.  I am not complaining, but reflecting on the past few weeks.  I did like how some of the spare time got me to work on my social life.  I do have plans for the weekend between friends and family, so I look forward to that.  I just need to come up with some ideas for the next couple of days.  I think I may write about some things that I am looking forward to in the coming weeks and months, and where to go with this.

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Being a Couchsurfing Host

Back in January, I joined the Couchsurfing community after a trip to Las Vegas.  I met some people there who highly recommended it.  I have done couch surfing on my own through my network of friends, but not through couchsurfing.org.  As soon as I got back from that trip, I joined, and 24 hours later, I was at a local gathering for couch surfers in my community.  I ran into some acquaintances from my undergraduate days.  They gave me a good introduction to the couch surfing community.  The other night, I had the opportunity to host someone, and it was a rewarding experience.  I had a guest over who is currently moving from Chicago to an organic farm in California.  We discussed it over dinner, as well as my research in prion diseases.  It turns out that his parents hold Ph.D.s, so he has some idea on what Ph.D. students go through to get their degrees.  I showed my guest around the neighborhood, as it was good for him to get a nice walk in after driving all day. We talked some more before going to bed.  After breakfast, he was on his way to his next stop in Wyoming.  It was a nice experience, and I may get to host sometime soon.  I also look forward to using the service to find hosts later on.  If you are interested, you can check out the link above for more information.  Another helpful article that describes couch surfing can also be found here.

Link to article.

Link to article.

My first article published as a first author is now available.  This is one requirement that I need in order to complete the Ph.D. program. I will provide a link, but here is the abstract:

Self-assembly of misfolded proteins into ordered fibrillar structures is a fundamental property of a wide range of proteins and peptides. This property is also linked with the development of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Environmental conditions modulate the misfolding and aggregation processes. We used a peptide, CGNNQQNY, from yeast prion protein Sup35, as a model system to address effects of environmental conditions on aggregate formation. The GNNQQNY peptide self-assembles in fibrils with structural features that are similar to amyloidogenic proteins. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence assay were employed to follow the aggregation process at various pHs and ionic strengths. We also used single molecule AFM force spectroscopy to probe interactions between the peptides under various conditions. The ThT fluorescence data showed that the peptide aggregates fast at pH values approaching the peptide isoelectric point (pI = 5.3) and the kinetics is 10 times slower at acidic pH (pH 2.0), suggesting that electrostatic interactions contribute to the peptide self-assembly into aggregates. This hypothesis was tested by experiments performed at low (11 mM) and high (150 mM) ionic strengths. Indeed, the aggregation lag time measured at pH 2 at low ionic strength (11 mM) is 195 h, whereas the lag time decreases ~5 times when the ionic strength is increased to 150 mM. At conditions close to the pI value, pH 5.6, the aggregation lag time is 12 ± 6 h under low ionic strength, and there is minimal change to the lag time at 150 mM NaCl. The ionic strength also influences the morphology of aggregates visualized with AFM. In pH 2.0 and at high ionic strength, the aggregates are twofold taller than those formed at low ionic strength. In parallel, AFM force spectroscopy studies revealed minimal contribution of electrostatics to dissociation of transient peptide dimers.