The awesomousity of life and the spectacular people in it all wrapped together in a little blog by a girl who has a little too much time on her hands...
The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe. But what about a fruit fly’s? While only the size of a pinhead, it’s still pretty motherf’ing complicated. Which is why a team of scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute used an ingenious technique called “Brainbow” to make their job easier, revealing fine neural structures with unprecedented clarity.
Before Brainbow, scientists interested in tracing the structural connections between neurons could only color-code them one or two at a time using crude dyes. That meant slicing, staining, and combining many separate samples to build up a map of even tiny portions of a brain. Brainbow uses genetically engineered fluorescent proteins to make the neurons color-code themselves, right in the brain, in up to 100 different glowing colors. This makes it easier for scientists to clearly map the overall structure and tangled mass of connections, and also zero in on tiny individual areas of interest. Call it neuroscience by way of Massimo Vignelli.
Brainbow had already been demonstrated on lab mice, so why use it on lowly fruit fly instead of a bigger, “cooler” animal? As Technology Review explains, “these organisms have a very sophisticated set of existing genetic tools, [so] researchers can exert even greater control over when and where the fluorescent proteins are expressed.” Which means better, more informative pictures, and better, more informative science. (The researchers’ modified color-coding techniques for the fruit fly are called dBrainbow and Flybow.)
Take a gander at the inside of a fruit fly’s skull in this slideshow. It may be a pinhead, but in many ways, it’s still smarter and more sophisticated than any supercomputer we’ve ever built. With tools like Brainbow, scientists can learn more about them than ever before.
Finally bought new batteries for my old school CD player so I thought it best to bust out some Phoenix. I know what you’re thinking, “Why not just skip the countless trips to the 99c Only Store and simply buy the tracks on iTunes or listen to music online?” I tell you, I have completely logistical reasons why I even bother(not really). One: I lost my precious iPod awhile back and forgot my iTunes account password OTL so that pretty much strikes out that. Two: I already have a whole bunch of CDs that pile up in my room anyways, and it pains me so to not being able to use them regularly. (But hey, iPods are your era, CD players - with the huge sexy headphones - are mine)(Is it just me, or does Thomas Mars always seem to be wearing the same shirt while preforming? ;D That, my friends, is called awesomeness right there…)
I would like to thank Pandora for introducing such a lovely band along with many others (MGMT, Interpol, Modest Mouse… Just to name a few). Online radios aren’t necessarily my preferred way of listening to music, but I sure am grateful. Now whenever “Lisztomania” comes on the radio while driving to who-knows-where I can sing along knowing all the words and dance about in my seat like a deranged person! Thank you, online radios and Phoenix, for letting me look like a complete weirdo to anyone that happens to be looking out their car window. I really appreciate it. (Honestly… no sarcasm intended)
(Awh, Thomas isn’t wearing his blue shirt. Or maybe they just look similar? I shall never know… But aside from that, this is one classic picture. Stylishly running down towards the camera seems to be in fashion these days. Like in that one Last Dinosaurs music video I saw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV8dfyrD64c)
But seriously, beautiful music. I just thrive for this lively pop-rock kind of stuff. Every time one of their songs plays, a new sense of energy just surges though me. I mean really, how could you not go through any one of their songs without dancing along? Impossible I tell you. The songs are so abstract and hard to describe. Surprisingly the songs sound just as good (possibly even better) even when preformed live. They seriously take control of their performance and are able to have it sound like there are two voices on top of each other, just like it does during any of the records. Amazing? I know…
Your idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing. The more amazing, the more people will click with your idea. The more people click with your idea, the more it will change the world.
One of the most controversial debates that has been going on for - years, actually. Graffiti. Today it is considered a crime. Even as a child I remember having been told to look away because it “was a bad influence”. Though because living near LA I saw the works of others daily (some more appropriate than others). I had always wondered how something so colorful and creative to the point all the writing was illegible and the pictures which were more and more abstract, could be such a bad thing? But soon enough I had realized it was just one of those things that were simply illegal because someone said so, and I just had to accept it. Though many people didn’t and continued on anyways. Because of this I have found graffiti art quite interesting…
I remember being so jealous of the art these people can develop. Oh wait, I still am…
Okay, this is an example of where the line between art and vandalism is at its finest. As you can see, this to me is certainly NOT art. Funny? Sure, why not. I can honestly (though regrettably) say that I did snicker a tiny bit. Crude? To most, yes. Even I can say that the police-donut debate is sheerly stereotypic. Police people aren’t the only ones who like to enjoy a cup of coffee and a warm glazed donut once and awhile. I mean, who doesn’t? Also, speeding is a crime because it can seriously cause a crash that will most likely be fatal. The police aren’t the only ones trying to prevent the loss of a loved one. Though I think it was pretty stupid design for a “accident-awareness” billboard. Of course, people will think up of idiotic ways to mock this. “My excuse for speeding? Well sir, I wasn’t the one speeding… Everyone else was just too slow”
(Alright, I’m done with my tangent… back to the real art…)
Art? You bet so. The designer of the billboard, Murakami, himself even praised this. (Though I always wonder how people even get themselves up these things without some contraption)
Ah, subway graffiti… Frankly, I think this makes the train car look far more interesting to ride than a plain, old, rusty, off-white one. Now if only all subways looked this cool. I would certainly take the subway more often. (but that’s just me)