Monday, March 30, 2009

Surprisingly, seeing me dance like an Israeli will only cost you $2

That's right. If you want to hear me yelling about my gramps while throwing girls up in the air like an Israeli, you should come to the Wilk ballroom on April 1 at 8pm (7:30 if you want to hear the folk music group). It's the Spring Festival of Nations Folk Dance concert. It's $2.

This is no joke.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why I'm Smiling

On Tuesday Dr. Seligman spoke at the devotional about positive psychology, or focusing on how to help people life fulfilling lives rather than just focusing on how to solve psychological ills. He challenged us to write 3 good things that happened that day every night. So I've done it, and perhaps as a result I've been in a really positive mood. Here are some things that currently make me happy.
  • I just figured out why my blog compositions were displaying in HTML.
  • I'm doing some really exciting research on down syndrome, gene expression, and possible regulatory pathways that lead to craniofacial defects using mice that have been engineered to have down syndrome.
  • I had a really enjoyable conversation with my roommate Josh last night.
  • I overcame my fear (with help from Ben Murphy) and played a song at the open mic at Becky's party last night. Ben was a great encouragement. Thanks man!
  • I just sneezed like 5 times and I liked it.
  • I was productive today and got some good work done.
  • Biochemistry is a great class and despite studying 12 hours for this weeks test, I really enjoyed it. I think I did well.
  • I talked to Patrick today who is at the ASDA (American Student Dental Association) conference. He told me that next year's conference is in Pitt and he will be going. Woot woot!
  • We have our folk dance performance on Wednesday and we finished the dance. Although I have blisters on both big toes and I injured my partner Friday, I am still excited to perform. Hi Bethany!
  • My road bike and mountain bike are in good shape.
  • It is spring.
  • My friends are amazing.
  • In 3.5 weeks I will be a graduate!
  • The sunshine shooters rocked their game on Thursday. Yeah Shooters!
  • I only have two finals!
  • I love assisting at the dental clinic. This week was fun. I felt very useful taking x-rays.
  • Adam and I rocked out on Guitar Hero this week.
I don't know if I'm just trying to be more positive or not, but I have a lot to be thankful for.

Confidence in Marriage

I've thought a fair amount lately about dating, marriage, and statistics. Here are the hypotheses I am working off of:

Null Hypothesis: The person you are dating is not who you should marry.
Alternative Hypothesis: The person you are dating is who you should marry.

I guess I've decided that since I do not believe there is one and only one soulmate out there for me, Type II errors shouldn't be too concerning. Or at least as concerning as Type I errors should be.

So, Type I errors are bad, but where do I set my level of confidence? 95%? 99%? I'm not sure. But should I set it too high, I'll never get married. The higher I set alpha, the more likely I am to commit Type II errors.

So what do you do? I don't know. The odd thing is that despite these conclusions, I often am not very concerned about Type I errors, while the tragic feeling of committing a Type II error scares me a lot more. Perhaps I trust my judgment more than I should? Maybe I should be more afraid of Type I errors. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Life Goal #47

I just realized one of my life goals is to be on a ship or boat when the cry "All hands on deck!" is given. I bet you could use that story in so many Sunday school lessons.

Things I've Lost

Of late, I've been losing things.

I've lost:
My winter coat

I'm losing:
My motivation to finish the last few weeks of school
My sanity because of this Biochem test

Monday, March 23, 2009

The problem with songs

The problem with getting your advice from songs is that they all tell you to do different things. Basically, there is a song for every choice in every possible romantic scenario.

Perhaps songs are only good for affirmation once a path has been chosen. If so, it is important to organize your songs in playlists with corresponding messages. That way you don't just choose decision X, listen to a song that says that X was the only way to go, and then have the next random song come on and talk about decision Y and how it is so good you didn't choose X.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Media

I've long heard that the media is biased. I'm not talking about a liberal/conservative bias here, but a bias towards just reporting the negative. I never put much thought to this until I stumbled upon irrefutable proof that this is indeed the case.

With the current economy, we see lots of pictures of depressed stock traders from the NYSE that we worry about jumping out of a window the minute after the picture was taken. But do we ever see happy stock traders when the market rallies? No. I've never seen a picture of Joe Schmoe on the stock market with a big grin on his face about to click his heels cause the market just rallied 300 points.

Well, in an effort to stem the tide of negativity, I have tried to undo the wrong Time has done (they actually have a gallery of depressed traders). Here is a picture of some guy that just made a lot of money during last week's rally.

See that smirk? He just made out like a bandit. (This picture is really just a depressed trader with his frown turned upside down like the song says, but assuming this guy didn't jump out any windows after the original picture was taken, and that the DJIA is roughly representative of his portfolio, he was probably smiling during last week's rally).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Band

I'm thinking very seriously about dropping it all right now and getting the band back together before we all part ways and graduate.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

If you will...

My teacher just made an announcement about recommending a professor for some reward. He was explaining how even if that professor doesn't get selected, the recommendation stays on file. He said, "So these things have a cumulative effect, if you will."

It was at that moment that I realized that I had no clue what that phrase means, "If you will." It isn't like I would stand up and say, "I won't! I just can't!" Really, what does it mean?

I think it is interesting that we have certain little phrases that don't really mean anything, but we still use them as filler phrases. Sometimes it seems to make our language unique. Other times they just seem like baggage. And yet at other times they make me want to write blog posts.

Boss Shirt, Boss!

So I have this obsession, this informational addiction. I think a lot of us have it actually. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night, reach over and unlock my phone just to see if I have any emails. I don't like it. But many times one of the first things I do in a day is catch up on Google Reader. This addiction, which I think many of you probably have as well (perhaps even leading you to reading this very post), has lead me to eliminate some unnecessary clutter from my informational intake (Twitter, Lifehacker feed, Woot feed, etc.) Anyway, that is the topic of another post, but needless to say one of the first things I did this morning at breakfast was check my RSS Feeds, and then since I unsubscribed to Woot and Shirt.Woot, I checked

As many of you know that is where I have gotten about a third of my t-shirts. You know, the squid in the bucket, the birds threatening to peck each other's face off, the dragon disguised as a restaurant called The Stuffed Dragon with people walking in through his mouth covered by a brick facade. So, anyway, in today's description they mentioned a secret passphrase. So I clicked on the link and discovered that there is indeed a secret passphrase which one woot shirt wearer is to say to another woot shirt wearer during chance encounters. The first woot shirt wearer says to the second, "Boss Shirt, Boss!" to which the second replies, "I know."

I thought that was pretty neat. So I started off to school wearing my Squid in Bucket woot shirt and the whole way was thinking about it. I thought about how once I did actually see someone with a shirt that I also had from woot shirt. If only I had known then! Oh well. I figured I would never get to use the phrase. Despite that sad realization, I did practice it a couple times to get the enunciation and phrasing right just in case I ever did get to use it. It is actually a little difficult to emphasize when "boss" is used as an adjective and when as a title. Anyway, I went to school just hoping someday I would have the chance to use that phrase.

One hour later, coming out of my Biochem class, I see him. He is wearing the woot shirt with the birds that are gonna peck each other's face off. Coincidentally that was the shirt I wore yesterday. So I went for it. I mustered up my courage, tapped the guy on the arm amidst the cloud of people rushing to get to their next class and said, "Boss shirt, Boss!" He said "Thanks..." and looked at me a little confused. So I explained everything to him.

Moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for because if it involves saying an obscure passphrase to a stranger just because you bought your shirts from the same internet vendor, you might just get a "Thanks..." and a strange look.