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!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Back to Vet School: This time its personal

Well, I am stuck in again for Large Animal Anatomy, Neuroscience, Nutrition, Large Animal Radiographic Anatomy, Vet. Biochem, Physiology, Pharmacology, and Physical Restraint and Exam of Large Animals. Its a potpourri, a grab bag, a veritable plethora of meaty facts and exams. I have had all of my classes except the radiographic one and the physical exam. Large Animal anatomy is fun but unfortunately the University of Minnesota doesn't have a dissection site where you can follow along, sorry Laurie Spicher! I think I like the anatomy best, with neuroscience a close second. I think it will be a good semester, and I am changing my tune on the studying front. I am trying to work on flashcards and summary notes out of class. Should be interesting.
Other than that, I have been busy on articles and stuff. I have a grant going in for summer research at the vet school with any luck. Madison has been quite chilly but a break is in the offing. It looks like we'll have some good First Year Initiative trips if all works out.
Last weekend Meredith and I went to see BodyWorlds 1. The anatomy was fascinating especially brain sections and the horse. The artistic choices left some stuff to be desired and I thought a few poses were deliberately and inappropriately ghoulish but you'll get a flavor for it here.... Bodyworlds . Overall it was quite good though. The wall panels needed work, as Molly and Spiff from the Museum of the Rockies could probably attest to, but otherwise it was good. They do some very spiffy dissections.
Other than that (again), we had a great chinese meal last night with excellent Sichuan food. There was a numbing spice in it called hua chiao ("flower pepper") but sold at Penzey's spices as Szechuan peppercorns http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Zant_pip.html . It is uncannily like putting lidocaine on your tongue. The meal was excellent with dried pepper beef, Chon Jin chicken (sol's favorite) and some yummy eggplanty thingies. We will be going back (maybe this week....)..
On another note, I want to start including a neat link on the internet per week, for amusement purposes. This harkens back to me working on a large science site which can be seen here
This one is on World War One with some interesting footage http://www.bbc.net.uk/history/worldwars/wwone also there is a web blog of WWI soldiers letters which you should see http://www.wwar1.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 4, 2008

All Hail Our New Nephew

The most awesome news of these past months bar none is a new addition to our immediate family. My sister and brother in law on Mer's side have been assigned their new baby from Thailand. He is beautiful and we're very excited to meet him. I am still trying to figure out if there is anything additional to being a godfather. My godfather was very involved in my life while I was growing up, which really affected me as a person, so I want to figure it out.
Our new nephew's name means "Bow and Arrow", which is very cool for his martial arty aunt and uncle. Congrats Robin and Kyle! We love you!

Movies of Late: What I am doing today....

Went to see Juno. This was a very good movie, although the father acted much more predictably with his kids pregnancy than I thought he would. Saw Charlie Wilson's War which I thoroughly enjoyed, especially because the movie was so faithful to facts. I love when the truth is Stranger than Fiction (see that movie).. We watched Run Lola Run the other night. Good movie, but I could care less about whether any of the characters live....

I'm typing up some research results and working on painting the bathroom after installing a pedestal sink, which may I say is a worthwhile challenge. My dad and I struggled to get it in for quite awhile...

5 Restaurants in Madison

I have some recommendations for those who care....

1) Bandung Restaurant (Indonesian)- WOW, what a great place. Try the Krakatau Chicken, its exactly like the volcano chicken from the King & I in Milwaukee, which for those of you who just tuned into radio EWAN, is Kentucky Fried chicken in a fiery tamarindy goodness sauce with cabbage and carrot. Also try the Rendang and Krupuk.

2) Taj Indian Restaurant - good vegetarian stuff and breads.

3) Wasabi Japanese Restaurant- Hot damn, best japanese food in a long long time. Good hibachi stuff, goma-ae, sukiyaki, sushi, you name it...

4) Inka Heritage- great ceviche, oversized corn kernel dishes and peruvian music sans pan flute thank God. The chimichurri with fried corn kernels is particularly good.

5) This gelato place on state whose name escapes me. Its awesome... I'll fix this post later and tell you the name... The white chocolate hazelnut was worth the price of admission

Defining Music of the Past Few Months

Thought I would share music which I have lately become interested in as the result of watching more Wes Andersen movies and other things. I have been really enjoying the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, David Bowie (from the late sixties early seventies phase), the Animals, the Zombies, and generally noticing that punk is fun. I also hit up iTunes to see what the pickings were like for early 90's alternative and found that the great thing about dead bands is their greatest hits albums are ALL available. I was disappointed and pleased to find out that The Man Who Sold the World is a David Bowie song from 1972 not a Kurt Cobain song from 1993. Anyway, check out some of this music particularly Powerman, This Time Tomorrow, Man who Sold the World, Gimme Some Shelter, The Passenger (by Iggy) and I Finding it Harder to Be a Gentleman Everyday (The White Stripes). Hope you enjoy!

Activities over the Past Months

The last few months haven't been without excitement. For instance, I delivered a calf, participated in the International Crane Foundation annual health check, did an avian necropsy workshop and led trips to an elk farm and a fish hatchery... Some pics are below.

The Things They Carried

The last few months of vet school blurred together from October through the last exam on December 22nd. I won't lie, this semester was all about survival. I have never pulled so many consecutive days of studying staying up until midnight or 1 and waking up at 5:30AM for the next day at it. I had no nights or weekends to spend at home in particular. It is amazing how much we learned in one semester and how little of the total this amounts to. One thing I did notice as we all became more weary is that the contents of our backpacks changed. I admire Tim O' Brien's writing greatly, and must cite him here. This is what my backpack had the first

Week One
3 pens
1 memory stick provided by purina
1 binder containing notes
Veterinary Physiology
Miller's Guide to Dissection
1 standard issue Wisconsin notebook
Keys to the histology drawers
1 plastic folder for additional handouts

Final Week of Classes
15 pharmaceutical company pens
4 highlighters
1 3-sided highlighter Banfield
1 graphing calculator
1 dissection coat (soiled)
1 pack dissection tools (haphazardly cleaned)
4 scalpel blades
1 pack wasabi peas (half-eaten for staying awake)
1 pack flashcards
1 chocolate bar (half-eaten)
Millers Dissection guide to the dog
1/3 of the course notes in a dilapidated binder
1 pathology report (for job)

I will try to see what the contents of others packs are. One friend was carrying over 600 filled out flashcards. This next semester we have less lab time but more classes. We will have Neuroscience, Nutrition, Large Animal Anatomy and Lab, Biochemistry, Physiology, Large Animal Radiographic Anatomy, Ethics and Physical Restraint and Exam of the Large Animal. Right now I am enjoying the calm downtime.