New Post, New School, Old Bradbury

Well it has clearly been far too long since I’ve posted anything here. Helped by the theft of my laptop way back almost 6 months ago now (not long after I downloaded wordpress no less) and plenty of distractions. Now however the summer is fading away and the new school year is approaching, full with enough stress that my head seems far too full and I don’t quite have the words to empty it out. Perhaps if I just get started here however I will slowly discover that it’s leaking and maybe I can keep the pressure at bay for a little longer :)

Ray Bradbury’s birthday was yesterday, while there was one not long after he passed away last June, this seems to be the first one that has been taken account of, two months seemingly being too short of a period to start talking about him again the last time around. While Bradbury doesn’t hold the place in my heart that Asimov and Heinlein do, I have always enjoyed many of his books and stories, being particularly taken away by Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. I think that the authors death who has most affected me to this point in my life has to be Kurt Vonnegut’s when I was an undergraduate. The fact that not many of my peers seemed to care when I was severely taken aback when I heard as well as the fact that I had always harbored a secret hope that perhaps I might meet him someday left me very perturbed, and I quickly gorged myself on his books that I had in my dorm room as well as any I could find in the library and bookstores that I had yet to read. But yet one of my favorite quotes still comes from Fahrenheit 451,

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

 

And my second post to the BPS blog 🙂

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The last time that I was at the BPS Annual Meeting, I was an undergraduate and I was not present for all of the sessions. That being said, I still knew the first thing I wanted to do when I got to grad school was go back. One session I did not get to go to last time was the reception and dance. This year I was able to go and get down and boogie. That was my kind of party and if you see me walking a little stiff today just know that it’s because my calves are sore from last night. What could have made the night even better? How about a band composed entirely of Biophysical Society Members!

Working on SNARE? Now you’re a drum player!

Enjoy Single Molecule FRET? Lead guitarist!

Do you probe the intricacies of life using SAXS? Now you lead the horn section!

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My first post to the BPS Bog!

biophysicalsociety

Let me first briefly introduce myself, my name is Matt Webber and I’m a first year graduate student at The Ohio State University. My first BPS annual meeting was in 2009 in Boston when I was still an undergraduate at  the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This was the experience that made me want to go to graduate school. Before then I always enjoyed work that I had done in labs but was never fully entranced by it. But the experience of going to such a large meeting of people, all of whom were very passionate about their corner of science, and thus being able to find my own corner of science, was incredible.

Coming from a physics background I next spent the next 2.5 years in a pure biology lab as a technician but the whole time I had the idea of applying to grad school in the back of…

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Long gap, broken house, and SCIENCE!

Well it has been quite some time since my last blog post, mostly because only a few short days after my post about the cardinal Open my house was broken into and my laptop was stolen! Only a few other things were taken (by some punk kids in a nearby neighborhood) and I got the majority of them back (see guitar, tv) but my laptop was not recovered. Luckily I have renters insurance and was able to get them to pay for a big chunk of my new laptop, a Dell XPS 12 convertible ultrabook 🙂 After the landlord replaced the back door and installed a security system in the house everything is back to normal, and put even more of a drive for me to move out in May.

   In other news, just after this happened I went to the annual Biophysical Society meeting which took place this year in Philadelphia. This was a great time, and hanging out with two friends of mine from undergraduate made it even better! When I went to this conference in 2009 it was a huge part of what led me to believe that I could go to graduate school someday. Being back was fantastic, gathering in the same place as literally thousands of other scientists and seeing what everyone is passionate about is an experience whose importance cannot be overstated. And as I mentioned before I even got to be a guest blogger for them! (I’ll post those blogs here shortly). All in all it was a great trip and pumped me up for this semester, for research, and for trying to submit a poster to next years meeting, taking place in San Francisco 🙂

2013 Cardinal Open

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Well it’s finally time, my first chess post and I know you’re all very excited 😉 I played in the Cardinal Open this weekend, a 5-round 3-day tournament. The time control was 2 hours for the first 40 moves then 1 additional hour. That’s a pretty long time control but I actually enjoyed playing that slow compared to how much very quick chess I play online. I had already started a chess blog over the summer at Chess.com so I decided to put all my analysis there and put the link here. If you’re interested in seeing some of my games from this tournament head on over here. I ended the tournament with 4points out of 5, I didn’t lose a single game and I came in clear third in my section. It was a pretty good weekend 🙂