Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lessons from Research

As I sit at my desk in the Ameer Lab graduate student office for the last time this summer, I look back on some confusion-filled yet amazing weeks. Asides from the crash-course in orgo + bio while on the run, i've tried to summarize some of the lessons i've learned from my brief dip into the world of research:
  • Good results/data are very hard to come by (and are definitely good reasons for celebration when they do)
  • The more you learn, the more you feel like you know nothing. (especially true when starting in a completely new and foreign field)
  • Key help can sometimes appear in unexpected places
  • Never pass anything non-sterile over something sterile (well, maybe more useful for tissue culture...)
lastly, but definitely most importantly
  • Life is too short to always be annoyed by the little things

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Omnivore's 100

[Admittedly, it's been a very very long time since I've updated this.]

One of my goals this summer has been to discover more foods that I had never even heard of. I came across this the other day, and thought I'd give it a try
[The idea of putting checkmarks and the hyperlinks to Wikipedia are courtesy the blog Chocolate & Zucchini]
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borsch
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Phở
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet Pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root Beer Float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu (seems rather risky, no?)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (???)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (??)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (do broccoli or sunflowers count?)
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

With a total of 40/100, my standing is less than impressive I admit, but now I have some direction when it comes to trying new things. I do think some of these are questionable, like roadkill, clay/kaolin, or the Scotch Bonnet peppers, but I suppose I'd be willing to try anything once.