‘Bout time!

Finally! A piece of news from across the pond that isn’t making me sit in my shower until the feelings of revulsion wash away:

13th CONGRESS
1st Session

H. RES. 41
Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 22, 2013

Mr. HOLT submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

RESOLUTION
Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.

Whereas Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by the mechanism of natural selection, together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it, provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth;

Whereas the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics;

Whereas it has been the human curiosity and ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries that have helped humanity solve many problems and improve living conditions;

Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change;

Whereas the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems;

Whereas Charles Darwin is a worthy symbol of scientific advancement on which to focus and around which to build a global celebration of science and humanity intended to promote a common bond among all of Earth’s peoples; and

Whereas February 12, 2013, is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809 and would be an appropriate date to designate as Darwin Day: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) supports the designation of Darwin Day; and
(2) recognizes Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.

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Presidential Peptides

Bit late now, but in honour of the US presidential elections, I’ve made the preamble to the US Constitution into a polypeptide using the single letter amino acid code.It required some tactical misspelling in some places, but I think it’s ok.

WETHEPEEPLEAFTHEVNITEDSTATESINAWDERTFRMAMREPERFECT
VNIANESTADLISHIVSTICEINSVREDAMESTICTRANQVILITYPRAVIDEFR
THECAMMENDEFENSEPRMTETHEGENERALWELFAREANDSECVRETHE
DLESSINGSFLIDERTYTARESELVESANDRPVSTERITYDVARDAINAND
ESTADLISHTHISCANSTITVTIANFRTHEVNITEDSTATESFAMERICA

It works pretty well if you imagine an American with a particularly thick accent and a severe sinus infection is reading out his text messages.

Damn it all. I just did a Blast search to see if this were a real protein, as in, a protein found in nature so far, and it came up with nothing.

Well, not nothing, the region from ‘from the common defense’ to ‘blessings for liberty to’ had a weak match to blue copper domain protein from Variovorax paradoxus.

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Flashback: Fresher’s Week Hell

One of the first things I wanted to do upon returning to uni was to help get the student TV station STOIC back on its feet after it slipped a bit in my absence. Our main problem was that nobody had really heard of us, so we didn’t get many people joining the society. If this continued unabated, there would be a grand total of two people in STOIC next year after we graduated.

The plan was simple, we film everything in fresher’s week and upload it as soon as we’re finished. We’d be wearing cool new hoodies with our new logo embroidered on them, and we’d direct people to our new website. Slight downside, we’d get absolutely no sleep. I named it ‘Hell Week’ after the US marine corps’ famous endurance test week.

So I wrote up an elaborate schedule timing where everyone would be, and all ten of us would do shifts so that we didn’t get too tired. Yeeeeeeeeeah. It ended up being three of us working ungodly hours. We filmed from about 9pm until 11pm each night, and then we’d stay past 5am to edit it and upload it. If we were lucky, we managed to get about 3 hours sleep before we had to get ready for lectures. 

No exaggeration, by the end of the week we couldn’t keep a sensible thought in our heads, let alone communicate that thought to another person. Conversations became grunts, and standing up started looking like the dream of a mad person. I was so tired that I got a subconjunctival haemorrhage. That’s right. I was so tired my eye started bleeding.

But it only bloody worked.

Our first shows got a couple of thousand views each over the weekend, and they continue to climb. We got lots of interested people showing up to take part and make TV shows with us. It’s all looking good for STOIC this year.

Now all we need to do is win a bunch of awards. Perhaps Cooking with Frank is due for a revamp?

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Well that went well…

So I didn’t actually manage to write anything on this damn blog while I was off sick. I spent most of my days reading and wandering around a garden barefoot whilst feeding animals. All terribly relaxing, but I missed having something to do.

Now I’m back at college, and, rather than burning the candle at both ends, I elected to douse it in kerosene and throw it into a fire.

The plan now is to carry on with the blog as much as I can, because I find it rather calming. Lots more science, and more horror, well as much horror as I can watch on my insane new schedule.

Anyway, I should really add an actual post now, so hold your breath…

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I’m back…and I’m gone

Well, iGEM went well, we took the Grand Prize at the European Jamboree, and came 2nd at the World Championship.

However, at the moment my schizoaffective disorder has gotten pretty bad, and so I’ve taken a year out from uni to recover a little. This is mainly because I wasn’t getting anything done on my course, and so it was either this or fail.

Which is why I’m back to updating this blog of mine, to keep myself occupied and to try and teach myself how to do things again.

For my first post then, I’m going to continue with the theme of mental illness by posting this talk, which I found very helpful:

And here’s something I understand to be called a trackback to the blog I found this on..

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iGEM – the road to victory

Not really, I’m more modest than that. I’m just setting the precedent for the next bunch of posts about iGEM in which I won’t be able to give details until we have settled upon a final idea and published it.

The professors are very much in this to win and so get very moody about any attempt to publish our ideas. I can however say that we are trying to find a problem that can be solved with genetically engineered life forms.

This should help:

What is wrong with the world today? …that can be fixed with a genetically engineered life-form.

God I love my work.

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The Worst Hall Senior Ever – Officially

I am officially done being a hall senior. Never again will I have to stop a drunk fresher from choking on their own vomit, or wake up at 9am to make toast, or collect money from cash-strapped freshers.

As for a performance review, the guys on my floor decided that this would be best done through the medium of the Internet:

“Frank is the worst hall senior ever,” said Charlottle. Everyone solemnly agreed.

Naturally, I bought the mug. I guess my only consolation is knowing that James’ spelling mistake will be preserved in mug form forever.

So, was I the worst hall senior ever? Let’s look at the facts:

We were asked not to sleep with any of the freshers during the first two weeks. I managed five days.

During the winter, everyone in the building was revising hard for their exams and planning trips home. Meanwhile, the guys on my floor had a snowball fight. In the kitchen.

The kitchen was quite possibly one of the messiest places on Earth. We had an onion growing in the cupboard.

Every week there was an Ice-Cream night, a Ruin-Glee-For-Michael night and a Porn night. You can judge for yourself whether this goes in the pros or the cons.

I did organize a rather successful Secret Santa, which seemed to be enjoyed by all. The gifts included a trident and a robotic hand with a purpose too hideous to contemplate.

Large quantities of pasta were put under my door, whilst everyone ran around singing “Frank, Frank the Pasta King”.

We watched A Serbian Film. Enough said.

Hmmm…maybe I was the worst hall senior ever, perhaps this was all my influence?

Then again, I might be looking too far into this, I tend to complain a lot, its nothing serious and I doubt that anyone would make a big deal out of it.

Oh for the love of-

“Frank’s life is such a vale of tears” said Charlottle. Everyone solemnly agreed.

Wait a second…it’s spelled ‘Charlottle’ here too. He wouldn’t spell it wrong twice, that’s not like James…Oh crap. I’ve been calling her Charlotte all year long…

I am the worst hall senior ever.

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