Friends, funda, and the codon-controversy

The Trifiniv really made me rethink about my fundamental notions about biology.

The Trifinov paper really made me rethink about my fundamental notions about biology.

Too much blogging for one day? Well that comes of blogging too little on a 2 year old blog.

So today was a weird day, as all good days are wont to be. For the fifth semester in a row I wrote all six exams in a row. I’m probably the only one to  hold this record form my class, heck, from my department. But writing exams can be quite taxing, more because your body hates staying up late on a chair with thick books on its thigh. Not to mention the strong signals of disapproval your brain keeps sending you. So all in all it is quite an arduous endeavour.

But later in the evening I met up with a veritable mob in KC. Tara’s treat! Man, I love that girl. I would have never thought I’d be advocating socialising, much less practising it, two years ago. But here I am, and man, did I have fun! Friends can be amazing people, and although a small part of me is protesting against this sudden anthropophilia, I’m not going to be locking myself away from the reaches of humanity yet. Food, laughter, gossip, random talk, planning, reminiscing! Who said rowing old is bad?

But now I’m back in my room, and I am yet to start working on my assignment, which is due in about 14 hours~gulp~. I did a quick search and came up with a lot of interesting stuff: my assignment is about the universality of the codon table in the face of recent evidence, and I realised that it is one of the most controversial topics in biology today!  I am appalled by all the theistic/pro-creationism bull-shit that is being justified on the grounds that no successful theory exists to explain the variations in codon usage across organisms. How desperate can these radical clowns get?

But all the lame faux-intellectuality aside, I find this whole thing about codons fascinating.

Check out this paper! http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378111900004765

I’ll get back to you guys in a little while. But before that, the codon-brandishing missionaries need to be addressed.

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The day I decided…

Its been a while since this blog has been last perused. And I’ve been considerably guilty about my last post: if all my blog posts are going to be rants, I’d rather stick to burning scraps of paper in the dead f the night. So I decided that I should finally get down to some real blogging. Yay!

Why the sudden resolve you ask? Well it is quite an interesting story in itself: ‘ta was telling me about how she had discovered that Koor was acquainted with the boyfriend of the writer of some blog whom she happened to be stalking. Typical ‘ta. But the point is the whole discussion came full circle when I realized that I knew this boyfriend too, and very well at that! After a fun evening at KC, I hurried back to do a little snooping around, and voilà, on my second attempt Google led me to the Blog. It is a beautiful piece of work, the blog, and you can see that the blogger puts in a lot of effort and writes with immense passion. Passion! But then that goes unsaid when you are talking about love and the like. Like stains on white clothes, rather.

But that’s the point. It was the Blog that had built a new connection in the web of my human interactions and acquaintances. And funnily enough, while I don’t really see how the blog reflects anything about me, it changed something in me. A little nudge for blog-writing perhaps? I don’t know. But well here I am, and I’d rather post something while I can, before the net starts acting up again(woe befall on the India-vs-Australia cricket match that is hogging my network.)

What is passion? I’ve been wondering of late. I would like very much to be a man of logic(pardon the sexist usage). To make point blank and matter of fact statements, unsullied by emotion and affectation. I would like my speech to be structured, articulate, precise and objective. All very reasonable, no? But therein lies my problem. None of these adjectives even begin to describe me. I am brash and moody and excitable. I laugh easily and I explore the world with passion. I am dramatic and flamboyant in my mannerisms and theatrical in my expressions. So can I ever achieve my ideal? So the next question I ask myself is, are pure logic and frivolous passion mutually exclusive traits in people? Is that why scientists, more so mathematicians are stereotyped to be “boring” and unnatural? Stilted, and forced in their interactions with the world, which necessitate a display of emotion, of raw passion? Is there a middle ground? If so how do I work towards being that person?

Another Day in Drama

Ideas and events are best explained and related through drama. That said, I should probably be coming up with a concept for a play instead of writing this, but well, things don’t always work that way. Perhaps some day in the future… but more of that later. Urgent business, this ranting.

ImageWell, well, well. Funny typewriter images are dramatic.

Today has been an extremely curious day, dramatically speaking. In the afternoon I had another of those out-of-the-blue conversations with Fasciola hystolytica, about superhero movies, comics and RDJ. The small talk was small enough to be innocuous, and quickly turned confrontational, as all such conversations are wont to. Realisation catches you in the ribs when you are least expecting it. But hey, I’m not ticklish. Much. So when the conversation started becoming unbelievably tactless and in poor taste, from one side, I didn’t really react. Much. Well what could I have expected to say in retort to point-blank insensitiveness? “Well I had great fun this Mid-Summer Eventide.” “Oh. The number of damns I give is: oh damn.” But that didn’t put me off the conversation. The fighting spirit is much too powerful in me, or so I’ve been told. So I carefully smiled my way out of the awkwardness(for me) and tried to bring the attention to the tone the conversation was taking by making elaborate third person references to syntactic and idiomatic usage of the English language. I think that was more to myself, than to the Fasciolas. But that was that. I am much too sophisticated to judge people from their behavior in delicate situations, so I just sneered at them from the inside. That helps when you feel threatened by inferiors. You should try it. So I walked away with that aura of smugness that often follows such incidents of harrowing humiliation, content in knowing that the worms admitted to being as shallow and base as I accused them of being.

This conversation wouldn’t have mattered if it hadn’t been about drama. I could go off in a tangent about people not being empathetic enough and being narrow minded, self centered, egotistical, snobbish, having tunnel vision, being hedonistic and in general placing themselves a little above the canopy at Olympus. But I hate digressions. I really do.

This evening, the Muses performed one of their choicest works, and the demigods reacted suitably with much ado, punctuated by tail stamping, horn bumping and claw breaking. It was so much fun! To be a part of a revolution and to be aware that if anything went wrong, I’d have to share the blame for someone throwing up on a recently refurnished auditorium stage! To stare in horror as some of the props toppled off on their accord, and cringe in resignation as others went hurtling towards an unsuspecting audience! To know that yelling and raging and pointing fingers can sometimes come to fruition after watching a good play! Ah, intellectual bliss. Then it was time for them to pack up and moan. They left to sell themselves at some fancy French place this evening.

I’m not sure which of the two was a better experience. But I’m not one for categorizing, unlike people with OCD. I’m not unfazed by the goings-on in my head either. So although I was inspired enough by the worms and the Muses to put a little more e-ink on e-paper, I assure, you my dear, concerned, sympathetic, morally upright and stiff-upper-lipped reader, that life still goes on. Until the Study of Mysteries assignment gets done, at any rate. Smart dustbins are quite mysterious.

Therefore, today was just another day in drama. Dramatically speaking.

Looking and seeing

It was a gray day. The evening had just begin to set in.  Indecisively, the sun leaped behind the clouds, only to emerge, and then again. I stared at the repulsive, slime filled puddle. Crouching by its edge I could see the hazy reflection of the clouds as they rushed  around the heavens in turmoil. I could see the slime on the surface and  the slime in the bottom. I could see my own face, reflected with an  expression of great pathos. And I could see the thousand winged specks that  had made the puddle their home.

I stared at the mosquitoes,  looked at them with repulsion and hatred and disgust. Who would have  thought such tiny creatures could inspire such feelings of animosity?  The unhappy clouds writhed in agony above and still I frowned at the  collection of tiny bodies, a static layer pulsating in the gentle  breeze. While I stared at the mass of ephemeral matter, thoughts of  vengeance colliding with thoughts of bitter resentment in my head, I  realized that as even as I looked at them they were staring at me. A  thousand minuscule faces, apprehensive. Waiting for a sudden move so  they could scamper to shelter. Waiting, waiting. For a fleeting moment, I felt tender. Compassion for those helpless, flightless little insects:  the power of their wings overcome by the need for self preservation.  Because the larvae had to be protected. A small hint of doubt.  And just when it felt as though the negativity had begun to melt in a   trickle of emotions, it all came rushing back, the seething, tumultuous mixture of unexplained ill-will.

I left those mosquitoes in the puddle when the rain began to soak me.

The giant drops did nothing to waver their unblinking gaze of reproach.