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Showing posts from October, 2007

Review of an article on climate change

I remember being introduced to the term 'global warming' way back when, probably sometime in the Eighties. Back then, it wasn't kosher to say that anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide were exacerbating the 'greenhouse effect', just as cigarette smoking may not definitely cause lung cancer. It was with some degree of interest that I started going through the various chapters of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report in class, aided by my lecturer and classmates in sifting through the dense scientific language and physical concepts of climate research.

The class assignment seemed interesting enough: review a paper by a team of climate change skeptics. On first impression, the paper seemed decent enough- it survived a peer-review process after all, even if it was published in some medical journal. I set aside my doubts about what physicians and surgeons know regarding climate change and delved deeper. Red flags started popping out when I found out that the journal

Where does the time go?

Yesterday was my really big Saturday. For some reason, I had it jam-packed with activities, and could barely snatch a breather in between. It started on Friday night, with a visit to Club Vida after an absence of a few weeks. I had planned to leave at midnight, but we only started getting into the whole dance-y vibe around 11.30pm, and met Silvestre, Gilberto and Evan too, so it seemed a little premature to leave so early. And so yes, we finally left when the lights came on at 2.30am. Argh. I had Iaido practice on Wrightsville Beach at sunrise... With supreme effort, I crawled out of bed 3 hours later to drive down and did 1.5h of intense sword practice while trying not to fall down in the soft sand.

Got persuaded to go have breakfast at Saltworks II, before heading home to take a 30min power nap. The alarm went off after what felt like 2min, and I was up and heading out with my bike to meet Wendy for kayaking. Sure, I had a total of 3.5h of sleep, but it was awesome- the sun was out i…

I finally understand RCBD!

But sadly, it's 2.42pm here, which is 2.42am in Singapore, and the BlueTempeh is offline, so there's no-one I can share my nerdy joy with...

So some reason, the textbook and various explanations on the web all assume that you can automatically see what the big advantage of blocking is (RCBD is randomised complete block design for you non-stats heads out there), and it was so frustrating to do the analyses without seeing the big picture. Had to revisit the model equation, the SS equations and the math again and again before I finally worked it out...pooooh!

So okay, I can see why one might want to block treatments, but the assumption of no interactions is a little niggling. Hm. Will have to ponder some more.

Would you drive 4 hours to watch the Police?

After what seems like a few months of living in the musical and cultural wastelands, we are now besieged by a surfeit of acts and performances. Probably will go up to Durham for the They Might be Giants concert, over a flamenco performance at UNCW...and for that, they had better perform 'Why does the sun shine?'!

Wondering about the Police reunion tour concert in Charlotte on Nov 15. Yeah, I've been listening to them for what seems like 20 years (oops...just gave my age away), but man, Charlotte is a 4 hour drive away! And TDB flatly refuses to drive that distance or pay that money to watch a bunch of old fogeys in action. Imagine coming home at 3-4am. But then...there's 'Every Breath You Take'... Hmmmm...Is it worth it??

Oyster reef monitoring with the NCCF

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Finally, after being on the mailing list for months and not attending a single event, went out with the North Carolina Coastal Federation today to monitor the fauna of artificially created oyster reefs at Dick's Bay, Masonboro Island.

The volunteers met at the NC Wildlife Resource Commission's boat ramp at the intersection of Snow's Cut and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) at the perky hour of 9am, where we were met by Tracy Skrabal and Ted Wilgis, staff members with NCCF. We started with the obligatory doughnuts and introduction session, before Tracy and Ted gave a brief spiel of the oyster reef ecosystem in the area and what we'll be doing this morning.

Ted expounding on the oyster's life cycle

Oysters used to be the main protein source for communities along US East Coast! (Quite sure I would be vegetarian if I lived during those times...) And trawlers used to haul millions of bushels annually for the oyster fisheries. Note the term 'used to', for the oyster …

Pass me a light, for I'm going over to the dark side

After years of ribbing Zee about how she needs to squint in sunlight, I finally got approval from my advisor to start a population genetics analysis of my research sponge. Egads, does this mean next semester I'll be confined in windowless dark labs and never see the sun again? I just did (and enjoyed greatly), a course on sponge taxonomy as well... All my old nemeses... I wonder what's coming up next? Biochemical synthesis pathways of sponge metabolites?? Eeeks!

I won my court case

So another chapter in the cursed car saga unfolds...My small claims court date was scheduled for this morning. Went half an hour early as advised, and sat nervously outside the courtroom wondering if the defendants would show up and argue with me. Well, worries went unfounded as the defendants just didn't show up! My trial was over in ... I dunno... 3min?

Went in, swore to tell the truth on the Bible (I'm not sure if I should respond,"Yup", instead of a more solemn "yes" though, keke), told the judge what happened, he asked,"She backed into your car?", I said,"Yes", and he decided the case in my favour! So, yay, I guess!

Not over though. She has 10 days to pay me, and if she doesn't, I'll still have to file a claim(?) with the Sheriff's office to hound her for payment. Oh gosh...I really hope she just pays up...