Archive for September, 2015

September 30, 2015

An Ode to Tilly Bud: the worst birthday poem ever

by Janie Jones

happy birthday banner

Thinking of you today, dear Tilly, and sending sincerest wishes:

May your day be filled with good friends, loving family and slobbery dog kisses,

May your box of Maltesers over floweth,

And may the sun shine where ever you go-eth!

May your tea kettle freely flow,

May the pile of crumpled wrapping paper grow.

May you grow old and wise,

(Though I feel a need to clearly emphasize,

That’s not to imply that you are still young),

And have travels far-flung.

For ever and always, I hope life treats you well,

In short, have a birthday that’s totally swell.

September 29, 2015

Tuesday Titters: Do fruit flies dream of bananas?

by Janie Jones

There is a saying which may or may not have first been coined by Groucho Marx and revisited yesterday by my genetics professor:

“Time flies like an arrow.  Fruit flies like a banana.”

It’s stupid.  It makes me laugh.  Then again, grades this semester imply I am stupid.  But lets not dwell on that.  Let’s have fun.

What is the difference between a fly and a bird?

A bird can fly but a fly can’t bird.

Why do fireflies wear sunglasses when they talk to their children?

Because their future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades.


What do you call a fly with no wings?

A walk.

What do you call a fly with no wings and no legs?

A roll.

Whew!  I must be a fly with no wings and no legs because I’m on a roll.


Well that was fun.  My how time flies.

time flies

Maybe a little too much fun…


September 28, 2015

A first

by Janie Jones

For the first time in my college career I made a decision to simply not do an assignment.

It required me to download software to my ancient computer and then after that I had to download a file from a huge scientific database.  The file came as a WinZip file.  I don’t have WinZip software so I can’t open the file unless I want to buy said software.  Well, I don’t want to spend money I don’t have to spare on a software that I will use once for an assignment worth a whole whopping two points.

So I didn’t do it.

Now I just hope the professor doesn’t assign any future homework that requires me to use this stuff.

Well, off to class with me and my non assignment turning in self.

September 22, 2015

Tuesday Titters: Dog jokes meet science jokes

by Janie Jones

It’s always a good day for a dog joke.  And, this morning it was really hard to get motivated to face the day, so more than one was in order.

This site had a lot of funny dog stuff.  But I *had* to steal this one.  I mean, dogs and science.

dogs barium

And, then there’s the old reliable of jokes which provided:

How is a dog and a marine biologist alike?
One wags a tail and the other tags a whale.
There.  Now I feel better.  Doesn’t anything dog related make you feel better?
September 21, 2015

Random dog picture

by Janie Jones

Because the fall weather yesterday was amazing, and as I sat in a sunbeam doing my homework a heavenly breeze was wafting in, this is really all I wanted to do:


snoozing dog

Happy Monday, ya’ll

September 19, 2015

Love is in the water

by Janie Jones

It occurred to me that I forgot to share a very important update in the wake of Constitution Day.

I’m sorry if you’ve all been on tenterhooks with anticipation to know the outcome of my fish experiment.

So last week Thursday I got to genetics lab and found that Verda and Rudy didn’t spawn.

*sad face*

But apparently odds for a single couple spawning aren’t that stellar.  Out of all the different classes doing this project there were 60 something “fish couples” and only 12 produced baby fish.

I ended up having a pretty cool Genetics lab anyway.  We got to look at the baby fish (called larva, apparently) under these special microscopes.  You can see fish larva with the naked eye, but they are super tiny, think smaller than the size of an eyelash.  Mostly they are clear, but you can see some of their skeletal and muscular system which give that appearance of a very fine, small, black eyelash.  However, under the microscope you can see all the details.  You could see their eyes and fins move and you could see their gills flap.  If you were looking at a fish that had inherited the fluorescent genes, you could put on a special light and see the colors glow.  It was cool.

As my couple didn’t couple, I had to pick from some fish belonging to other students.  So I picked a purple to wild type cross to look at under the scope.  I reasoned that, because it is thought that the purple fish are actually that color because they get a red transgene and a blue transgene that sort of combine to form an intermediate color (thinking back to your color wheel from your art class days, red+blue=purple, right?),  if you cross a purple fish with a natural wild type fish, in theory, you shouldn’t get any purple fish because, due to the nature of genetic inheritance, your purple parent fish can only pass on one blue gene or one red gene per offspring.  For the same reason you won’t expect any wild type fish, because the transgene is believed to be dominant over the wild type, or normal color, gene.  So every egg gets one one wild type gene from the wild type parent and one color transgene from the purple parent, either red or blue, that will mask or dominate over the wild type gene.

This couple only produced three babies.  But seeing as we were looking at tiny larva, they all looked the same at first.  While it is not impossible to end up with three that all look the same, I couldn’t see any real color at all.  I was hoping to find a nice combination of red and blue fish.

And, guess what?  There was one red, one blue and one wild type.

An exciting curiosity.  While I got both colors, I also got an unexpected wild type.

It seems as though we have to write a little research paper about our fish experiment.  Because this couple only had three babies, it’s not really enough to judge accurately what inheritance patterns are present.  And, there is that errant wild type larva.  It turns out that the professor had two tanks of other purple to wild type crosses she spawned the night before, she’s putting them aside for me and I can use those progeny, too, which will hopefully give me a larger pool of progeny to base a paper on.

Biology is so cool.  This is why I put up with all the school crap.

September 18, 2015

The new, new deal

by Janie Jones

So, for any of you on pins and needles with me over the being “over paid” federal financial aid loan dollars here’s the update:  all seems to be resolved.

Stickittoyou U, in a nearly unprecedented display of taking responsibility for their screw-ups, has given me (and presumably the others who they dumped in the same boat) a University Grant to cover the amount of funding that they over extended in my federal loan package.  This grant will basically repay that $500 I wasn’t technically allowed to have but was allowed to borrow anyway.

As the university packages your financial aid by school year, it seems as though this grant will also cover spring semester.  Even though spring loans haven’t technically been disbursed yet, I had already “accepted them” and those amounts would also have exceeded my lifetime undergraduate federal loan maximum.  Way to be surprisingly pro-active in preventing a repeat of this debacle in February.

The long and the short of it all means, provided no additional screw-ups are discovered, I should be able to finance my last spring semester as originally planned.  And, as this is grant money, I won’t have to pay it back.  In this case, if you look at it from the silver lining perspective, their screw-up actually has saved me money.