Thursday, April 26, 2007

UFOs in Hawaii?!?

A Katysux original....

p.s. I don't really believe this is a UFO. This is actually a picture I found on the internet. In the "Where's Waldo?" tradition, I have hidden the words, "Katy sux" somewhere in the picture. Can you find it, Katy?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Now presenting....

Creatures of the deep....

The science journal, Marine Biotechnology picked my image of a Labiodocera sp. copepod for its cover for next month! Last June, a colleague here at U. of Hawaii, Gabor Macz asked my boss, Petra, if any of the local copepods expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP). Petra, who was in Maine at the time, asked me to take a look. We discovered that the local species, like some of the other Labidocera, likely contain (a previously undescribed!) GFP in the female sex organs.

Here is the caption for the image:

Confocal microscopic image of the Pacific copepod Labidocera muridae with green fluorescent protein-like fluorescence. Colorful fluorescent proteins (FPs) occur in hydrozoan, anthozoan, and copepodan species, and are the source of exciting research opportunities and technological development. Copepodan FPs are among the brightest FPs in general which lends special value to this class of proteins. FPs have been used to address questions relevant to evolutionary and developmental biology and aquaculture. Photograph by Dr. Caroline Wilson, University of Hawaii, 2006. See the article by Mocz, pp. 000-000.

Isn't science fun?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Beer, earthworms, and lots of shrimp...

For the first time since I have lived in Hawaii, I feel like I am home. It happened this weekend when I was down at Kapiolani Park hanging out with a bunch of friends at a pre-Kokua fest party, when I looked up at Diamondhead and realized that it was my backyard. I live here, and I like it here. And I think I get to stay at least one more year, so I better take advantage of all that Hawaii has to offer.

The feeling was accented by a weekend of parties, starting with a Thursday surprise party for my friend, Kim, at the Ice Palace. Kim used to be a semi-pro figure skater, so it was only fitting to take her to the only ice rink in Hawaii for her 30th birthday. Then, on Friday night, the Sally's camped at Bellows beach, easily the most beautiful stretch of beach on the island. Saturday was the Kokua festival (I got to hear Jack Johnson and Eddie Vedder do a duet, but didn't actually see them since I didn't go into the show. One just needs to set up camp behind the Waikiki shell to hear the bands. Incidentally, this is where Kyle and I "watched" Hootie and the Blowfish play last spring.) Finally, Jake is in town, so we went on what is easily the most beautiful hike on Oahu yesterday, the Maunawili falls trail. People go to the falls and jump off; we saw about 4 guys do it; one came out with a bloody lip from the impact. It was pretty sweet.

Tomorrow begins a new experiment and my list of experimental necessities includes beer, earthworms, and different kinds of shrimp. The beer is for the boat driver, and the animals will hopefully be my control group. If all goes well with this experiment, my boss wants to send a paper to Nature. Hah! We shall see, we shall see!!!! Experiments never work that well, do they?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Have you ever had a lab accident?

Sunday, 10:30am.

Twenty minutes into heating a solution....voila, it was done!

There I was, with my lab coat on, closed-toed shoes (which rarely happens in Hawaii), behind the protection of a hood.

Thank goodness.

I took the solution off the hot plate and....

the bottom of the glass bottle remained on the hot plate, the top, still in my hand.

The lanthanum chloride in sodium cacodylate splashed everywhere. The hot plate is ruined.

"Do you know how to tell when you have acute cacodylate exposure?" asks Tina, our lab manager 10 minutes later when I call her.

"No..." (Oh crap, I forgot about the cacodylate, concentrating only on the effects of the rare-earth metal)

"You'll taste garlic".

Taste buds in check, I let out a sigh of a relief.

Boy, was I lucky. Serves me right for working on a Sunday.

Anyone else have any good work-related stories?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good, good Friday

Aloha! K and I are back on the islands, and the weather this week has been BEAUTIFUL! This morning, we went to our new favorite place to take the dog, Kahala (Waialae) Beach park. Apparently, it is a sought after destination for beach weddings.

Speaking of weddings, we had a great time at both Dacks and Penny's and Lane and Anne's weddings last week. I would show you pictures, but our camera display died. I did manage to take a picture of Nate hanging out with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, at Solar Culture in Tucson:

Jake told us the afternoon before the show that Casiotone was playing that night, along with XiuXiu, two of Kyle's personal favorite Pitchfork-recommended bands. So we rounded up a posse (Julia, Jake, Nate, Elaine, K, and I) and went to what was easily one of the craziest shows I have ever been to. Awesome music, but the hipster kids just don't dance anymore. At least we had 40 oz. Tecates to make the evening go faster...

In DC, we went to the National Gallery, the Native American Museum, and saw beautiful cherry blossoms everywhere. What a great time of year for a wedding! Also, it was the first time I was back on the east coast for spring in probably 8 years. Spring is my favorite time of year, mostly because of Easter. This year, there is a party both on Saturday and Sunday thanks to all the April babies around the isle (I'm one of 8 frisbee players with birthdays between now and the 18th). And of course, my niece turns 1 year old tomorrow, so Happy Birthday, Megan!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!