Sunday, March 28, 2010

I've Moved!

Meredith and I have combined blogs and are now posting together here:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Yesterday we did physical exam and restraint of the bird. On the face of it, this sounds pretty terrifying to most vet students (although reptiles is usually what gets people). I think most vet students imagine a savage, wild-eyed macaw with a lust for human blood that they will have to tackle bare handed and thereby establish a certain machismo in front of a panel of observing veterinarians. Instead we got 35 quail in a dog carrier from poultry sciences and some parrots. Doing physical exams on the quails was a little like trying to do a physical exam on our hedgies, there isn't a whole lot of cooperation going on. Quails are like bars of soap I discovered, from the minute I pulled them out. You can't squeeze them too tight, because birds keel over if you do that, but in attempting to be gentle, the happily slip through your fingers and flap about 5 feet off directly in front of zoological medicine faculty who were pretty convinced beforehand that this sort of thing was your bag. It was definitely an adventure, but worthwhile for listening to a 500 beat per minute heartrate alone.

After we got done with the quail and a station on getting case histories from owners, we went parrot wrangling in a sweltering small room. The parrots, which were some relative of puerto rican parrots, really aren't socialized, which is good to start off one. The made small tooting noises and looked so cute until the door to their cage was opened. Parrots, like cats, can become the spawn of satan when a veterinarian is involved. To combat this problem, you are given a towel and told to throw it over them, avoid their biting head, and burrito the beast in fine egyptian cotton. I gave it a shot and got one after three tries and his cage mates running in circles around my arms. Mine didn't struggle once burritoed, but a friend of mine's screamed bloody blue murder once restrained. I like parrots, if only for the fact that they are mischievous little guys and they have decent reasoning skills.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Orange Moon

Last night was the full lunar eclipse, which myself and my study buddies, along with Mer and Dez watched from our front walk. Very beautiful. I missed the satellite getting shot down though....

The orange moon reminded me of a brew by the New Belgium folks called Biere du Mars, I believe, which is an excellent seasonal rotator. I think some form of malty amber. You should try it.

Other than that, I have been studying neuro spinal pathways. We have a clinical case exam today after three other exams this week. =). Its embedded in between a neuro lecture and a three hour neuro discussion section- yay!

Stay tuned for new developments from Mer. Exciting things are afoot related to the Orange Moon. More later.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

An Embarassment of Snow Storms

Well, its at it again! An inch of freezing rain this morning, 14 inches of snow expected tonight. The buses are off, and the libraries are closed. I went in this morning to study the cow and horse neck musculature with my friend Rachel, and stuggled back out again afterwards. The building was largely empty and despite an exam in two days there was hardly a vet student to be seen. Right now it is blowing snow outside and we are buckled down for the worst. I made it to the grocery store just in time before it closed, so we have vittles.

This evening will be spent in desperate studying of radiology and physiology. I am going to try to get work done before the powerlines start coming down. On friday I studied at the informally recognized faculty union, the University Club in their St. Alban's like sitting room. The place was founded in 1907 and has a dining room (The Veranda) and a coffee shop. The bathroom was cavernous with a leather couch in the anteroom. I half expected to see a man offering me towels when I finished washing up. I hope to go back at some point.

I found an excerpt from a book that I have been looking for on the use of the horse in WWI on the web. The book is called "The Horse and the War" by Capt. Sidney Galtrey and argues against the future use of horses by the military. Its a good piece of history.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Epic Snowfall, Limited Preparation

This last week was an interesting one. Many of you may have read about the 2000 car backup on 39/90 and the general mayhem in Wisconsin. We were expecting 1 to 4 inches in Madison, then the forecast radically changed on this past Wednesday morning to 12 to 18 inches with pockets of 20 inches. Despite this forecast and the fact that it would be doing all of this during the day, UW Madison did not close until 3:30 PM after my last class. This was distressing, and I had a long walk home. On the bright side, I got to push cars out, and so did my friends.

At vet school, we had a week packed with information largely on lipid and protein metabolism, GI physiology and a whole bunch of neurobiology. I don't know if you know how complicated the spinal cord is, but I think I am just brushing the surface. There are tracts seemingly everywhere that cross and recross, and overlap. We learn all of these to be able to tell what part of the cord is damaged if say your dog's legs on the left side are weak, and his reflexes are still ok. We have two clinical cases to write up that actually require that we have studied for our upcoming exam (in two weeks) in order to complete them. I think this is a good think, but it has been taking me awhile.

Nothing too much else is going on, other than a flurry of different thoughts and emails about my new position as a SAVMA delegate. I am looking forward to seeing what it is all about in Auburn. Also, it is the Chinese New Year. Hopefully, the year of the rat will be a good one!

Here are some Chinese art links to celebrate the new year! Ming Dynasty Art and some pictures of the Big Goose Pagoda, which I visited when I was nine.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Prestige

I just watched "The Prestige" for about the fourth time last night, and I must say it is still one of my favorite movies, particularly for its employment of the crossover between the mysteries of science and magic. David Bowie does and admirable Nikola Tesla. I am including a link to one of Tesla's works here from the Harvard Classics library 1892 brought to you by google books. I would like to plug google books here and say that it is a wonderful resource to have so many good things scanned in. You can download pdf's from there and make your own digital library of your choice. I think I will make a point of this when I have time. But anyway, I must say I can't get enough of Victorian science. I love the mystery and wonder of discovery and a time period of florid prose in science. Here is an excellent example of just such a book, Wallace's Malay Archipelago, done I believe well after his fortuitous bout of malaria.
Other than that, nothing much is up. I am studying for a couple of quizzes and working up some neurological cases for neuroscience which makes me feel more like a veterinary student than certain other activities. Also, we picked out some nice recipes to cook this week, and the songbirds have returned to the backgarden. If I get a good look at them, I will report back.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today's Thoughts

Seldom have I had a book completely save me in the midst of studying. There is probably a top ten list out there for books that have done this for me in the past but the current favorite is the Color Atlas of Biochemistry. Its small, its efficient, its written by Germans and has lots of diagrams, and its pocket sized. I rediscovered it in the midst of doing flashcards and am quite pleased with it.
There is some other news. I have another first cousin once removed, his name is Noah and he is the son of Evan and Amy my cousins. Their other son Nathaniel just had his Bar Mitzvah (which I am sorry we could not attend) and I am sure will make a great older brother full of interesting things to impart. My sister is this much older than me, and she has always been a great source of wisdom and advice.
Second, I am now one of the two SAVMA delegates from UW Madison vet school. This means that I get to attend a conference in Auburn, AL in March (I hope you're reading this Morgan) and a conference in New Orleans in July (should be like DC right?). To check out what SAVMA is all about look here
Other than that, I am studying away for the first set of quizzes and exams. We have dissection of the superficial head of the horse tomorrow, and our first clinical cases to discuss in neuro on Thursday.
As promised I will give a couple of interesting links. One of them is to my favorite ridiculously slow (both in loading and shipping) fascimile printing book source for old things and another.

This one is just for my mom, or if you can read , cuneiform go ahead, I dare ya!