Friday, January 23, 2009

A phylogenetic analysis of the wheelbarrow and shopping cart

Last week we had our ward break-the-ice activity.
We had unconventional tools.
I decided the wheelbarrow and the shopping cart weren't too different after all. Probably like distant cousins or something.

But I don't think the new kind of shopping cart arose from natural selection for its ice-carrying ability.
Here is a picture of two ice babies. Or should I just say Ice-Ice-Baby.
I also wondered the following question. Why is stealing wrong, except when it is digital media or shopping carts?

P.S. I was not the thief that stole those carts. I do not know the thief, nor do I condone in any way the theft of shopping carts. I think it is a very narcissistic idea to suppose that as a college student one is that important of a customer to in any way justify the theft of a shopping cart.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Come one, Come all, Come-dy of Errors

Tomorrow, or today, depending on when you are reading this, on Monday we will be having a Shakespeare reading in Apt 304. We will be reading A Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare (duh). We will start at 3pm and have some dinner too. So come over, get ready to read dramatically, bring some bucks for Papa Murphy's pizza, and bring a laptop or a copy of the play if you have it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

View on University Avenue Last Night at Midnight

I don't think there is anything that I can say to explain this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

Last semester I took Computational Biology. The class included a final project. I'm not a fan of projects, especially open-ended ones dealing with subject matter I am unfamiliar with. This project fit the bill. I worried for weeks about what I was going to do. I fretted over my lack of research experience, after all, everyone else in the class seemed to have worked for a biotech company last year. I worried about deciding to do a project for someone but then having them expect things beyond my ability. Once I finally decided on a topic, dread lingered in the air. I didn't know how long it would take, if it would be good enough, if I was in over my head, if it'd be too easy. And then I did it.

It took me a few weeks and some long days, but I got it done and got a good grade. I wouldn't say the experience was something I would scrapbook or click my heels and think about. But it didn't kill me and life went on. When I think back on the experience, I still feel a little stress. But it isn't from how hard the project was or how long it took. It is stress from worrying about it.

If stress had units and I could measure it, I'm sure I suffered 2 times more from dreading the project than executing it.

Over a year ago a girl I was dating me broke up with me, not because of any problems we'd had together, but problems that she could foresee. Or at least she thought she foresaw. Life went on, I moved on, but it still seemed like a somewhat senseless, preemptive strike into thin air.

The play of life was written with Fear as a supporting character. It has a bit part that sometimes shapes the action. But too often we let Fear rush the stage in a fitful power-grab. He rewrites the plot and stars in his new show. He creates problems where there were none, conflict where there was peace, imbalance where there was balance. And we usually play the part he's written for us without asking questions.

The Beginning of the End

I'm publicly declaring my love for chemistry and biology. I love how ordered and logical they are, yet applied and not abstract like math. I think it is perfect balance. They feel so consistent, and when they are inconsistent, at least it feels consistently inconsistent.

I'm taking Biochem this semester and am actually excited about it. In fact, I am excited by most of my classes. Disregard the fact that I have stayed completely awake in only one of the four I have attended so far. I'm taking Bioinformatics (the class) which I am not so excited about. But everything else should be great. I have Stats 221 online which won't be bad since Stats 331 last semester probably prepared me a fair amount. I also have Doctrine and Covenants with Brother Esplin, about whom I've heard good things. Then I have Anthropology films which consists of a movie a week which sounds cool. I've also got the Honors' Lecture Series which usually is interesting. And tonight I am trying out for Folk Dance.

So that's it, my last semester has begun.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dear "Neighbors" at Money Mailer LLC.,

Today I braved the winter cold to check my mail. I found this in my mailbox:

Let me introduce myself since you obviously do not know my name as evidenced by the fact that this envelope is addressed "TO OUR NEIGHBORS AT." My name is Gabe and I see through your smokescreen. I would have felt more comfortable if you had called a spade a spade and addressed the envelope "TO ANYONE WHO LIVES, BREATHES, AND HAS MONEY AT." Instead you have chosen to disguise yourself as my "neighbor," no doubt hoping to evoke memories of Mister Rogers or neighbors who actually care about me. But no, you are one of those neighbors who doesn't know my name and just comes over when you need something, in this case, my money. I bet you don't even live in Alta Apartments.

Now that I have introduced myself, I would like to take issue with the bold claim made on the front of your mailer, the one that says "Like Getting Money In Your Mailbox." I noticed you needlessly trademarked this phrase. I say needlessly because unless a company was actually sending money to random persons' mailboxes (doubtful), I doubt anyone else would even think about using this slogan. Trust me, I've experienced both having money sent to my mailbox and getting your mailer. The experiences are quite different. Yesterday when I got my mail and received a random Book Scholarship check from an honor society for $75 I didn't: roll my eyes, throw out the check, and then spend 20 minutes blogging about how misleading the check was. Trust me, the sensations of getting money in the mail and getting advertisements in the mail are very different on many levels.

However, to be fair I've racked my brains for any situations in which the two would be similar. I have found three.
1) I am retarded and have no concept of what money is
2) I dying of cold and have no access to shelter or fuel to burn, just matches and a postman
3) The economy continues its way down and inflation makes money as worthless as your spam

I hope you agree that in a majority of conceivable situations your mailer is nothing like money. I therefore request that you change your slogan to "Like receiving junk in the mail." If you would like, you may also drop the "Like" since it is unnecessary. If, however, your loyalty to your slogan is greater than your to your business model, may I suggest you send one of the following items:
Any Precious Metal

Thank you,

P.S. That weird awardish-looking emblem on the front that says "Local Neighborhood Money Saving Coupons Since 1979" doesn't fool me either. You can't just make up awards and give them to yourself.