Looks like this house cricket decided to live with me this winter! I don't mind she stays, if she can find some food in my room and survive. I'm okay to live with insects as long as they don't bother me.
I really shouldn't be drawing because I had much to do, but I did.
Little was done in this afternoon. I guess I'm just sick of studying.
I felt like drawing this although I don't even know if it's needed ...
It's the arms of an ancient family with good tradition.
This is probably passed down from Medieval or so.
Would the non-psychedelic members have objection?
I know it's lame. The shapes should probably be put more tightly together. If I've got better ideas I might change some parts and the words later.
P. S. The word "veritas" might be more appropriate instead of "veri".
Just some parts from my 5-page-long art history final paper. Taking the components of the painting apart, I felt like studying the anatomy of an organism. I should have started it a few weeks ago, however finished it in the last day. Whether it's good writing or junk, it's done now! Consider how much time I put in, I'm satisfied. Hope prof. MC will like it.
Wassily Kandinsky, Black Triangle, 1925
Source: Paul Overy, Kandinsky: The Language of the Eye
New York, N.Y., Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1969, p. 91
I just came back from the last organic chemistry midterm. It's such a tough week for me so I haven't been updating my blog. Broke my record again. There was a time I was awake for 22 hours, going to classes and studying.
The deadline of final paper for art history class is coming fast. It has to be about an artist we talked about in class and one of his/her works that we didn't talk about. I picked Wassily Kandinsky. His paintings often have the prettiest colors, mainstream yet spiritual (that's what he tried to emphasize and achieve for life), and frequently induce synesthesia of sounds in me. They're like candies to my soul. Can I say I'm becoming a fan of this Russian artist? X))))))))
I just realized that my art history professor reminds me of the Warden of Superjail a lot. The same slender, soft build, similar way of speaking, similar voice (though even softer), and the same gestures, wow! Not to mention he's often in suits or something formal-looking. When he strides across the platform elegantly yet flamboyantly, his waist and legs curve when he turns, with fingers of both hands spreading just below his face and a vibrant expression, spouting ... oh ... especially his half-sarcastic, half-silly, high-pitched laughter "ha-ha!"
It might not be Infected Mushroom's most notable song, but I like it.
Sure The Legend of the Black Shawarma is an interesting song.
Overall, the tracks from Legend of the Black Shawarma are great. I love the album!
Count down 3 days to Infected Mushroom's concert in Madison.
Erez and Amit I'm cominggggggggggggggg!
I think this time someone is going with me. :D
P.S. I see how much Infected Mushroom love food. Shawarma is a Middle Eastern sandwich warp. 沙威瑪, right? XD
When I was at my roommate's friends', I mentioned Pet Shop Boys and one of the girls asked me to play some of their songs. When "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk" was playing, she said it sounds almost like a woman singing and reminds her of Enya.
While I was eating dinner today, I played Pet Shop Boys in my new apartment. My new roommate expressed her liking for Paninaro '95. I said PSB is a British duo. "Are they a man and a woman?" she asked. I said they're both male. "Then who is that girl singing?!" she said surprisedly, referring to the chorus, "Paninaro, Paninaro, oh-oo-oh" sung by Neil Tennant.
Is Neil Tennant's voice that feminine? LOL
I love his voice no matter how you'd like to describe it. Also his lyrics, and his sentimental, mild-mannered, sometimes sarcastic tone of singing/rapping.
It's Thanksgiving. Most residents in Madison have gone home. Most stores are closed and few people are on the street.
It's a short break. I don't know how much I can accomplish before school starts, but I'm sure I'll get enough sleep. I feel so sleepy today that I slept in the late afternoon. All of the noisy neighbors are gone. So quiet! So good!
Tomorrow will be my moving day to another apartment.
Prof. Y, "This is a Tenebrionid. It has horns. Here the horns are not referring to the antennae, as long-horned beetles, but the extension of the pronotum. This is a male, as in most biological cases, males are the hornier ones."
*The class laughed*
Prof. Y, "Some weevils are so hard-bodied that they were eaten by toads and passed through the whole digestive track and came out at the other end alive."
The class, "Woaaaw!"
Prof. Y, "Pretty bad experience for both participants."
Cover of The Long and Winding Road by Kevin Rowland, the singer-songwriter and frontman of Dexy's Midnight Runners.
This song is found in his solo cover album, My Beauty.
Even though he didn't write the songs, he tried to adopt his own style and depict his painful experience of fighting with drug addiction through them.
I didn't listen to the whole album, but Allmusic review says that this album is not good, gives it a somewhat low rate, and says his version of The Long and Winding Road is laughable. Why? I didn't find anything funny.
Also, the reviewer said he doesn't look good in drag on the album cover. Hey ... it's random and disturbing but very brave. (Well, the video of Concrete and Clay IS disturbing, but good song. XD)
Kevin went to some festivals in drag and was pelted with bottles. Ahh, those people were mean to him!
Video of Concrete and Clay for whoever wants to facepalm:
So, I went to the first football game in my life with some new acquaintances.
It wasn't a very comfortable place to be, because all the fans were too excited to sit down, so everyone had to stand for hours. Also it was cold.
I was still happy to see our school team kept scoring and won and big victory versus Purdue.
What surprised me was not the excited crowd or the game itself, but the non-written rules (traditions) the audience should follow at specific moments, such as take out keys and shake them, shout out swear words, or jump around with music at some points.
We are going through those plant hormones in biology class so I think it'll be fun if I draw them. Plus, it's "sort of" requested by my botany professor when I told him I'm personifying some molecules.
Biology + chemistry is awwesoooomme!! I'd love to have them as characters even without any story. Here's the sketch of how they might look. What do you think?
My art history professor was trying to explain how surrealist artists produce the sense of uncanny by making familiar things seem strange and unfamiliar.
Prof. MC, "One of my favorite things to do is to look at myself in the mirror. Hehehe. The more you look, the stranger and more alien the familiar face becomes. Believe me, just give yourself a minute. I give myself a minute every hour."
LOL I can't tell if Prof. MC was being philosophic and psychoanalytic or just plain narcissistic.
This article was read out loud by Prof. Y in class. Prof. Y is funny enough usually, but I haven't heard of something this ridiculous.I know I shouldn't laugh at people's injuries and misery, but this is ...
Prof. Y, you could be an actor!
Blame it all on the 17-year cicadas! Those insects emerge every 17 years in 100 millions. Lots of kids were hurt either because cicadas "attacked" them or they tried to attack cicadas. Some fell from the bike or run into the wall because cicadas fly into their faces. A girl was bitten by a dog because a cicada perched on her leg. Some kids were hit or stabbed because their friends were trying to kill cicadas by throwing soda cans or stabbing with a knife. One boy was injured because he kicked a cicada on a lawnmower's wheel (ouch!). Another boy's hand got ran over by car wheel because he planned to put a cicada under his dad's car.
I wish I can witness the emergence of 17-year cicadas too. Sounds like a gigantic insect party.
There're a lot more cases in this short article. I hope you can enlarge it and read. (click and click "show original")
I don't remember in which exact year I visited Penghu, but I saw a creature on the ground near salty water that freaked the hell out of me. The worm was slender and long, soft-bodied, had numerous legs, and most weirdly it was light blue. I thought it was absolutely disgusting.
I have no reason to draw this molecule first, but we're learning plant biology in Biology 152 recently.
So this is Indole-3-Acetic Acid (IAA), who looks a little bit like my botany professor. ^ ^
He is not one of the drug molecules, but a plant hormone.
His greatest ability is to make plants grow roots, and then they'll grow new shoots.
Each of the four pockets on his shirt is full of different kinds of seeds.
If nothing changes my original character description, he's French!
Prof. Y., my entomology professor, is experienced, bright, very friendly, and hilarious!
Prof. Y., "(not exact quote) Everyone is wearing moth spit and eating bee vomit, and thinking they're things of luxury ... like the next time you wear silk and taste honey."
Prof. Y., *points at the picture of a dragonfly and looks at a boy* "Tell me what's the family of this sucker."
Me, "It's not a sucker. It's got chewing mouthparts!"
*the whole class laugh*
Prof. Y., "Okay ... *points at the picture again* This chewer."
I feel so tired of doing homework ... but that's sort of preparing for my exam right?
This is the Insect ID Project for Entomology 302.
They are arranged from the most primitive to the most advanced, in the evolutionary sense.
Being primitive doesn't mean they're inferior, just means that they still possess more ancestral features.
I had enough! I've been generally very busy, but since last week, I've done nothing except studying and eating, and have not gotten enough sleep.
Finally the midterm week ended (for me), so I decided not to study tonight.
I made myself Thai chicken and eggplant yellow curry and ate it with baguette.
I believe it's a Vietnamese thing to eat baguette with curry.
The baguette was the kind hard enough to hit people with. It was so hard to cut.
French people are so smart to invent this. If you carry a few while traveling, eat them when you're hungry, and use them as weapon when attacked by bandits.
Although I was tired, I went to the movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part II.
That was a great choice after midterm, wasn't it?
I was so worried that I would run out of dill and Dill would be starving. I knew butterflies in this genus eat plants of the family Apiaceae, but I wasn't sure if Dill would accept if I suddenly switched its diet. It turned out that it seemed to like parsley even more, and got fatter each day. I was so happy!
The spectroscopy we studied in class was first used in the early 60's. In infrared NMR, the position of the peaks represent the functional groups the protons attached to. In proton NMR, the integral (area) under the peaks represent the number of the group of chemically equivalent protons. There were no computer to help draw the diagram or calculate the integral. How did the early chemists complete the task?
My chemistry professor said, they adjusted the infrared frequency a little each time, dotted down the absorption, and then hand-curved the dots.
How about proton NMR? Did they used grid paper and calculated the integral by calculus? It would be hard to do because the peaks are not perfect, smooth curves. They used a even more primitive method: printed out the diagram on paper of uniform thickness, cut the peaks, and weighed them to obtain the ratio.
Early scientists are great people ... Phew, I'm so glad that we don't have to do that today
I actually made this dish last week. I got a bunch of radish and the farmer told me to eat raw. They were too spicy! So my initial idea was to cook it to get rid of the spiciness. I ended up adding everything left in the fridge into it.
It actually tasted great! I decided to write a recipe.
It's named because most of the ingredients came from FH King CSA, Farmers' Market, and Willy Street Co-op.
Neurotransmitters are generally pretty benign and non-aggressive; but if you do piss them off, some of them can drain your psychoactive power and some can fire out an action potential!
For your info, action potentials are fired out by excitatory neurotransmitters. When you meet inhibitory neurotransmitters, your power just doesn't work at all. Sometimes watch out for the tiny calcium ion bullets too!
P.S. The appearance/clothes of Dopamine and Serotonin are just temporary and random.
I invited Jodie and Linda to dinner on Saturday and cooked (and re-heated) several Chinese dishes. Getting their three meals normally at the school cafeteria, they were so satisfied with my food and kept complimenting. Unfortunately we're all too busy for the midterms next week to chat.
Now whenever a American person asks me, where can I find good, authentic Chinese food around Madison? I'll smile and said, I don't know, but I cook good food!
(Because Linda said she wanted to vanish on Facebook, so I'm not going to post her photos.)
Paul Cezanne, Mountain at Saint-Victoire, 1902-1904
This painting made my day!
Thanks to the professor, now I see how art evolved from impressionism to post-impressionism, to cubism, and to abstractionism! Realized they come from the same origin, share the common goals to view things differently and seek the structures and orders underlying the surface of the world, just express through different methods.
I visited my chemistry professor from last year and gave him the gifts from Taiwan. I asked him why are most organic molecules that contain only carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sometimes phosphorous and sulfur white / translucently white? Those brilliantly colored crystallines usually contain transition metals.
So the reason is that: For a molecule to have colors, its electrons must be able to absorb EM waves, be excited, and jump onto the higher energy level. When the electrons descent back to the low energy level, they emit a certain amount of energy as photons. For molecules with C, H, N, etc., the gaps between the lower and the higher energy level are too big to be excited by visible lights. However, they do absorb infrared light and can be excited by ultraviolet light.
Why some molecules have colors: Some molecules such as the red-orange carotenoid, or the pigment in carrots, possess colors and the trick is located on their series of double bonds. The electrons on the pi bonds have much lower gaps between energy levels so they can be easily excited and emit photons within the visible spectrum. LOL White, or even transparent carrots just sound much less delicious.
Glad that I'm leaning new things everyday. Perhaps too much that I can't take them!
I went to the Chinese church with my friend, John, and studied with him in the library afterwards. I don't really like the way the pastor preached, but it's nice to hang out with friends. It's kind of funny that he was the only white person in the church, but he can speak some Chinese! I think one of the reasons he befriends with me is probably finding more people to practice Chinese. He seems eager for the subject and he's really good - considered he has only been learning for 2 years!
So I was back from Tiesto's Club Life Tour and had the first trance party in my life. It was surely more intense than any party I've been to (BPM maintained around 130 throughout), and I felt fortunate to see now the world's no. 2 DJ (according to DJMag) in the beginning of my school year!
Hexapod: the clade that include insects, Collembola, Protura, and Diplura, or arthropods that have six legs.
One lecture plus a lab. I had so much entomology today but I wished the class never ended. It was a lesson of insect external anatomy. It felt kind of weird to know so much about bugs, while my English human anatomy knowledge seemed to be a lot poorer.
"Because they're so darn cool!" the professor said again and again, "Do you want to be a Hexapod?"
Why not? I thought, I want to be small, to have exoskeleton, six legs, wings, antennae, and extended mandibles too! So I'll be wearing light armor all the time, great protection. My legs will be firm and skinny, and I can do more things at one time, especially if at least one pair of my legs are specialized. Then I can fly to wherever I want and dig right into a giant pile of food - and my fingers don't even have to move because the antennae are feeling and tasting everything and the mandibles are grabbing stuff into my mouth.
It's just so cool to have multiple appendages ... and I feel like 10-20 will be the perfect range. But the eight-legged Chelicerates can't fly ... so insects rule!
Because I wasn't able to find a lab position, I was put into a library research group for Bio 152. The two boys seem to be interested in some topics about the Asian Multicolored Ladybird too, such as "whether Harmonia axyridis is replacing native species after its introduction". One of them suggest a topic about the effect of hunting laws regarding birds on their prey species. We'll see what topic is better in near future ... now library research doesn't seem too bad to me!
I have at least two happy things done today.
I've sent out my signed visa. The post office is located beside the Wingra creek, so I biked there. I should have no problem to continue staying in the US.
I purchased the ticket to Tiesto's concert on Thursday! The reason why I started listening to Tiesto is a bit funny: I like Astrix, and Astrix likes Tiesto a lot; but Tiesto is of course a much more well-known figure. I'm so looking forward to the show ... hey I hope to have some entertainment too, but I need to study double hard this week!
Astrix and Paul van Dyk, I love you! When will you come to Madison?
Willy Street Co-op is an unconventional market that sells local and organic products.
It works this way. There's no a single person or a company who owns this co-op. It is owned by everyone who paid a fair share. The co-op uses the foundation to earn profits, and returns the money to every owner. There's discount for all owners who shop at the co-op.
Even though the co-op is quite far away from where I live now, I joined the co-op!
I like their products, and I really appreciate their efforts to promote local and organic products.
Let's do something for the earth and for the other creatures living with us!
My entomology professor said,
"It's better that you sit in the same place throughout the semester, so that I can learn to remember your names, which is a bitch, because you all belong to the same species!"
Really professor? I remember I said the exact same thing before. We're the same species!
Then he talked about baiting insects,
"If you have some over-ripen fruits, you can use it as bait. Just stuck it into a trunk and put things over it, because the mammals will get it too! ... Or if your roommate is dead, bring your roommate into the forest, and you'll get lots of interesting insects before the body returns to dust!"
How could I not be happy? I thought I lost my iPod after Monday's outdoor event, and worried for the whole afternoon. It was weird that I could have been so careless. Then people at the front desk of the Regent told me a person named Paul picked up my iPod and returned it to the desk. OMGOMG thank you a thousand times! And whoever Paul is, bless him for being such a nice and honest person!
Art 108 came out to be an art history class; art history of modern European and American art.
I love my new art history teacher because he seems so funny!
When we first saw him, he was dressed neatly in a black suit and a striped shirt.
The room was dark that we couldn't see his face.
And he moved with grace, liveliness, and ... a little femininity.
I wonder what gave to his speech such speed and circularity.
When he said, "Those three things are essential for this class," I already forgot his first point.
Teaching us "close visual analysis", he commented on the world-famous paintings:
"A narrow range of hues: white, tan, and hardly black.
The woman dissolved into the background.
She looked at the mirror but saw no reflection of the self." Or
"Composed of several simple things: black lines and huge color blocks.
Some lines don't even reach the end; they were done intentionally.
You can't find a focus on this painting, because nothing is more important than the others!
Why is it that this piece is both systematic and philosophic, both logic and poetic!"
There will be some works, but I think I'll like the class.
The Blackhawk Church was giving out free hotdogs and chips right in the Regent Apartments' parking lot, so I went and listened to a local band. Brought back a CD with a few dollars. I felt they're not too bad. I learned that the church actually meets in the Regent every week.
I found out that there're no biology lab and discussion tomorrow, so that's a pretty good news? I can focus on contacting the professors for my project.
I was wandering on State Street and thinking about how to use all those coupons.
I tried something that I wanted last year but didn't get because of the price.
Jamba Juice, a smoothie store. It's quite refreshing. :)
And yep I was playing with my new molecular kit in the store. I don't care if people think I'm a freak.