Does this guy remind you of anyone?

February 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm (question, random)

They say that it’s Jeremy Abbott, and Mark has been in NYC all week, so I guess that means Mark’s not secretly the U.S. national champion in figure skating.

This week has been busy – trying to balance crazy research times with preparing for interviews (yay! and yikes!  More on that if things turn out well.).  And at the same time, I’m trying to squeeze in some Winter Olympics.   My father, or actually, just his rear end, fell through a ceiling so that we could watch the Olympics.  That’s how you know watching the Olympics is really important.

While we’re on the subject of Mark’s doppelgangers, I did some Google image searching.

Some guy in Provincetown suggested Ron Howard.  But he was quick to point out that he was talking about a young Ron Howard.  I didn’t see it at first, but then I looked up some photos:

This is Juanita’s suggestion: Peter Krause, who was in Sports Night, Six Feet Under, and Dirty Sexy Money.  I’ve never seen any of these shows.  She claims that he sounds like Mark too.  I think the hat in this photo helps:

Mark has also heard JFK, not sure from whom.  Probably some female with some romantic interest in Mark.

There’s also some guy walking behind Musharraf on the campus of Brown.  This is from the alumni magazine.  In addition to having the right hair, face shape, nose, chin and jaw, he’s got the walk and posture down perfectly:

Note about photo selection methodology: Except for the guy walking behind Musharraf, I looked at a bunch of photos of each person and picked the photo that showed the highest level of resemblance to our dear study subject.


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Delicious form and function…

July 29, 2009 at 1:41 pm (ceramics, food, random)

… a.k.a. structure and function, for those of you who are in the protein biology, computational biology world.

Check out this pho bowl.  It’s so smart and beautiful and efficient and functional!

I’m not doing ceramics these days, but seeing this makes me want to do it again.  Even though I don’t have the skills or patience to throw something like this.

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The city in Legos

February 3, 2009 at 3:43 pm (new york city, random)

This is a Lego version of what my life is like now.  At least the things that I see now.

I recommend checking out all the photos, but here are my favorites:

I was just wondering about the subway seats this morning.  The orange and red are actually pretty similar in color.  So it was really hard to tell if they were the same or different on the real subways.  I came to the conclusion that they’re different.  I guess the NYC Lego guy agrees.  Also, this is exactly what Manhattan looks like.  I live in the column of dots on the right side, and I’m near the 5th dot from the top.

Ha ha, this one is just very amusing.

Substitute “woman” for “man” and this is how I spend much of my time waiting for the subway.  In my version of this scene, I’m also looking around at the other people waiting on the platform, wondering why they’re not seeing the rodent, and wondering why they don’t look completely grossed out by it.  But maybe they accept that man and nature must live in harmony, which means we have to share the subway.  Maybe I’ll get to that level of acceptance sometime.

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New York City vs. San Francisco Round 6: Filling out online forms

December 10, 2008 at 10:35 am (new york city, random, san francisco)

I used to type ‘C’ when entering my address online and California would be selected from the list of states.  And then I could tab on to the next thing I had to enter.

Now I have to type ‘N’ 6 times.  Six times.  And I have to double check that NY was selected because I’ve seen cases where things are screwy and six doesn’t get me to NY.  Or maybe it’s just that there’s a lot of room for error when you have to type things 6 times and I often get it wrong.

So this is a big enough issue for me to write about.  But probably not big enough of an issue that I’ll move to Nebraska.  Or Alabama.

NYC: 2
SF: 4

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Happy Birthday, a day late, to Mark

November 24, 2008 at 10:45 am (random)

To celebrate, here’s a funny story about Mark.

He comes from a family of phone pacers.  His father does it, so does his sister.  And now, apparently, his niece is also a phone pacer.  But this is no ordinary phone pacing.

He was talking on the phone inside his room, going from wall to wall.  For some reason, I opened the door and left it open  Now that he was in an open container, he started pacing out into the hallway and then back into his room.  He’s like a gas molecule!

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New York City vs. San Francisco Rounds 3 and 4: Geography nomenclature and Crossing streets

October 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm (new york city, random, san francisco)

Round 3: Geography nomenclature

I grew up in New York and when I’d say that I’m from New York, people would assume New York City.  Then I’d have to explain that it’s the state of New York.  What really bugs me is when (not all, but many) people from the city of New York then say, “Oh, you didn’t grow up in New York.  That’s not New York.”  Using a very arrogant tone of voice.  Self-centered, obnoxious jerks!  Now, I say that I grew up near/outside of New York City, but that doesn’t stop the jerks from pointing out their views on what’s New York and what’s not and what’s better and what’s worse.  It’s not attractive you tell other people how you think you are superior!  Don’t even get me started on the issue of what’s “upstate” and what’s not.

It’s much easier in SF and the Bay Area.  There’s SF.  There’s Bay Area.  There’s no confusion about it, I think.  And no one uses these distinctions to put people down.

NYC: 1
SF: 2

Round 4: Crossing streets

In NYC, everyone jaywalks.  No one waits for the pedestrian light to change to the white walking man.  As soon as there’s a break in the traffic, they go.  You always have to be alert – it’s quite stressful.  I would prefer to just chill out and relax and let my mind wander at the intersections and just go when the light changes.  Along with everyone else.  I can’t do that here.  I’ll look stupid – in fact, I’ll get dirty looks for blocking their path.  So even though I would prefer the relaxed way, I’ve resigned myself to being constantly alert and stressed.  But I don’t like it!

Maybe eventually, I can learn to be alert and relaxed at the same time.  But given how everyone else looks so stressed, I don’t think that possibility is very likely.

NYC: 1
SF: 3

You might be thinking that I’m picking the rounds in a biased way.  Maybe.  I don’t really want to spend the effort to think about it.  I’ll just use (what I think are) interesting stories.

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Last things

September 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm (dessert, food, random, san francisco)

I took my last trip to the Alemany farmer’s market today.  I got lots of sweet summer goodies!  Corn!  The alfajores lady was giving away samples, so I got to eat half of one of their large alfajores.  I would be much more sad to leave SF if I had to leave without eating one of these.  They’re flaky, light cookies that are filled with dulce de leche. Here’s a photo that I took of one from a year or so ago.

I also I had my last earthquake last night.  At  least, I hope that’s the last one!

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Happy Left-handers Day!

August 13, 2008 at 12:00 pm (random)

My left-handed sister wants to share this information with everyone:

“Left-handed people are smarter and more beautiful.

They’re also more likely to be schizophrenic.”

On wikipedia, there are references about this schizophrenia thing.  But nothing about smartness or beauty.  Are left-handed people more likely to have self-aggrandizing delusions?

There really is a Leftorium.

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Good ideas

August 4, 2008 at 8:08 pm (dessert, food, fruit, random, san francisco)

We had some blueberries and decided to make some muffins.  I was flipping through Moosewood’s dessert cookbook (really good book!) for inspiration and I saw gingerbread cupcakes!  I thought that would be perfect for adding blueberries.  And I was right.

Blueberry Gingerbread Cupcakes!

Blueberry Gingerbread Cupcakes!

(That’s my Santa Claus melon in the background!  I don’t think I can finish it by myself, so some of it might be made into a Santa Claus melon sorbet!)

The atmosphere at Range is quite nice, but it’s still hard to forget that you’re on Valencia St in the Mission.  At one point, this guy dressed up as a disco ball came in to the restaurant.  I guess he was kicked out soon after that.  But what makes this a good idea is that he had a little sound system built into his costume.  So he was a walking disco party, all rolled up into one glittering ball.  With legs.

The disco ball costume wasn’t my idea, but if you are interested in hearing more of my ideas, my paper is published!  You can check it out if you’re interested.  It’s PLoS so it’s open access!

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Houston, that’s really embarrassing

July 29, 2008 at 7:47 am (environment, international, random, san francisco)

From an article from NYTimes about Houston’s recycling:

It is the worst recycler among the United States’ 30 largest cities.

Houston recycles just 2.6 percent of its total waste, according to a study this year by Waste News, a trade magazine. By comparison, San Francisco and New York recycle 69 percent and 34 percent of their waste respectively. Moreover, 25,000 Houston residents have been waiting as long as 10 years to get recycling bins from the city.

Yay, San Francisco!  I love San Francisco.  Plus, the city collects compost!  That’s awesome!

Here’s info on other cities:

I guess it’s the NEW YORK Times, which is why they quote the NYC number, but it’s also pretty embarrassing for NY to be so far behind other cities like SF, LA, San Jose, San Diego, and Chicago.  It’s barely above the national average!  And why did they exclude Boston?  Is this a Red Sox thing?

Okay, here’s the update after looking at

It looks like they cut it off based on population, and the cities in their bar graph are the most populous cities.  Here’s the rest of the list that’s available:

  • Austin 27.3%
  • Memphis 26.0%
  • Fort Worth 22.2%
  • Baltimore 42.0% (That’s unexpected, but that’s not bad)
  • Charlotte 10.6%
  • El Paso 16.0%
  • Boston 15.0% (Boston, you should be ashamed!)
  • Seattle 44.0%
  • Washington 22.0%
  • Milwaukee 24.0%
  • Denver 10.3%
  • Las Vegas 16.0%
  • Nashville 28.0%
  • Oklahoma City 3.0% (It’s a good thing there’s Houston, otherwise, you’d be getting the shameful headline.)
  • Portland 62.0%

Doesn’t seem to be correlated with size.  So that’s no excuse.  Based on the patterns that you do see, my guess is that weather and willpower are key factors for having high recycling.  But Baltimore is pretty high.  As is Chicago… so I don’t think weather can be an excuse either.

You know what other city is doing embarrassing things?  Beijing is erecting screens to hide some areas for the Olympics.  Beijing, we can see the screens and we can tell you’re hiding stuff.  And this whole issue appears to to beyond appearances, so there are other interesting bits in the article.

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