James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

July 6, 2008

Birthday Post 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — James @ 5:59 pm

Once more I find myself mostly satisfied with the year, now past. I might actually be making a habit of this, but don’t jinx it. 

I got into a very challenging grad program, which I’m thrilled about starting in the fall. Given the local cost of living I may have to live on rice, beans, and ramen for five years. Fortunately my parents gave me a rice cooker and mini-crockpot for my birthday, which can been used to prepare the first two more easily, and it’d be hard to make the third (ramen) any easier to prepare than it already is.

I finished up at Cornell, if not with flying colors, at at least close to them. (Editor’s note: What’s close to flying colors? Gliding/hopping colors? Flying shades of grey?) The graph of my GPA by semester forms a nice U shape and a U definitely beats a \ shape.

To celebrate my suriviving another year on this planet, I had pizza and cake with family, followed by monty burgers, and the until now mythical monty-nator*, with close friends of many years. None of us got through even two burgers, and everyone was falling asleep by eleven-thirty, driving home the point that we’re not teenagers anymore.

*monty-nator: A monty burger (that is a burger prepared by a monty) wrapped in bacon, beer battered, and deep fat fried. Until recently the monty-nator existed only in theory rather like the Higgs boson.

(credit to monty for catching a typo.)

Remaining goals this summer:

1. Discover something cool (and ideally also publishable) about ultraconserved regions in monocots.

2. Assemble new energy effiecent ubuntu server and get software opperational, so I’ll be able to keep playing with the cammand line after I leave the lab this summer, and not pay huge energy bills to make my files constantly avaliable to my XBMC. <- XBMC is a great way to increase your stock with roommates. 

3. See the movies WALL-E and Hancock.

4. Do at least one thing unusual enough I’ll be able to use it as a topic of last resort when meeting people at Berkeley. (Basically what I was able to do with having gone sky diving my junior year of college.)

5. Find out what the genetic aptitude of the monty clan for producing tasty food can do when applied to baked goods.

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