My Name Is Tyson, and I’m Germaphobic

Alright, well it’s actually called Mysophobia, but I figured more folks would recognize it better if I called it Germaphobia!

I will admit though, I am a bit afraid of germs and bacteria. Kinda odd especially since I was all into making E. Coli cultures today in the microbiology lab. But I like having clean hands, and not getting sick! Also, I’m working towards applying to the only level 4 lab in Canada, and one of fourteen in the world. That’s right, this incredibly accident prone guy might be working with some of the most dangerous biochemical substances in the history of mankind!

The other night, I watched that movie Contagion, which really doesn’t help this little bit of a fear at all. It’s all about the spread of a super-virus that’s taking millions of people’s lives. It uses a lot of camera angles and imagery to show just how easily disease can spread throughout the world, causing an epidemic. While I was watching the movie, I was chowing down on my popcorn and instantly thought that someone had to touch it at some point…

Also, sometime during the movie, they said that a person touches their face up to 3000 times a day. If its true, that’s an incredible and scary amount that I really have difficulty fathoming. My face must be absolutely filthy by the end of the day really. But I found the movie very interesting as well; especially how it punched in the reality that a super virus is actually very possible. Especially with some of the stuff I have been learning in my advanced microbiology classes. For example, in the entire worlds stockpile, we have only been able to find a medium to grow/reproduce 0.1% of all bacteria.

I don’t really like to think about it all too much, it just kinda shows how weak the human race really could be, and everything I learn in my classes don’t really help that viewpoint at all.

Neither does Contagion!

In my biochemistry class, we need to find a topic for our scientific research essay. It’s not due until mid-November, but it’s still imperative to work on it at a constant basis until then. I’m not sure what to choose for a topic though. It needs to be biochemistry related and very recent research, so I probably just need to do some research on recent findings. Maybe I’ll ask a biochemist too, I have a friend working at the University of Calgary in Biochemistry. Unless anyone has any suggestions? They would be greatly appreciated!

Since I’m talking about science things, I might as well continue along that subject line. Yesterday I got the new issues of Science Illustrated and Popular Science to help me look for a possible topic. But I actually enjoy reading them, a lot of the articles are extremely interesting and have some pretty insane information and experiments that have been going on. There’s actually a pretty inspirational story in Popular Science about a college student that was paraplegic, but didn’t want to graduate in his wheelchair. So a group of student engineers at U.C. Berkeley built him a machine that allowed him to walk across the stage and get his diploma. Basically he’s considered a cyborg since the exoskeleton they installed into him is a combination of his flesh and this machine. I would recommend to read the entire issue though if you have the time, its apparemtly a special education issue.

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.” – George Bernard Shaw

Tyson Trepidations

Nerding Out With TED

I do admit confidently, that sometimes I can nerd out quite a bit. I don’t really care, if it interests me then hey, it’s okay.

Once in a while though, I’ll go on Wikipedia to look something up or read into whatever is on my mind and I end up Wiki-surfing. I go from one subject to another and another just looking random things up. For example, the other day I went on Wikipedia to look into that new show called Terra Nova, then I ended up reading about Steven Spielberg, then onto Stephen King, Jack Layton, Fallout 3 and lastly, Rio.

Maybe I have an addiction to learning random facts. I could be like that random fact guy who sits in a corner, then whenever someone walks by, I’ll shuffle out of hiding yelling “RANDOM FACT!” and give them one. Even if their running away.

But really, that’s not even what this post is about, and I shouldn’t be creeping out the people that have to put up with reading this neither. It’s more about how I can nerd out a tonne with TED.

Who’s TED anyways? I don’t even know a TED.

Well, okay, TED isn’t a person, its a nonprofit organization that specializes in “ideas which are worth spreading”. It’s basically a conference full of guest speakers that have some innovative ideas for the world. I gotta say, some are pretty inspirational and creative. It has all kinds of people giving the talks, from scientists, to actors, to magicians, soldiers, writers, dancers, investors, etc. Any person, even just regular people that have a big idea.

So if you feel like nerding out, seeing something inspirational or really cool, give it a try! Below are a couple of my favorite conferences.

This TED conference video features Marco Tempest, he’s a magician that uses iPods as his magical props. While he performs, he talks about truth and lies, art and emotion. It’s really neat and worth a watch.

Here’s another one, this ones a bit longer at 18 minutes. This inspiring lady is Charity Tillemann-Dick. She had a double lung transplant and after being told by her doctor that she will never sing again, she proved them all wrong. Watch her amazing speech and musical performance if your up to it.

 

 

 

“In order to do good, you have to do something.” – Emily Pilloton

Tyson Trepidations.

I’m a Scientist! Your a Scientist! Science!

“Sometimes I do.”

 

I’ve always been a bit of a science nerd and interested in that subject matter, so of course on the weekend I went and saw The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes. I’ll try not to give anything away, but you’d think a movie like that would make me be a little less interested in science. It was actually the opposite effect for me, it made me even more interested in science and just researching things in general.

As far as the movie goes though, I really enjoyed it! Some parts were a little farfetched to me, but otherwise I did enjoy it quite a lot. Not to mention it had some really cool eye candy too in some parts, which is always appreciated.

With all that said, the new school year is under four weeks away already, so I need to start shopping for a few school supplies. I gotta remember to buy paper early too, last year I went to buy some the same week school started and everywhere was completely sold out of paper! So maybe next week I’ll do that instead. I already got some new reading material, I ordered an old version of “Electronic Life” by Michael Crichton on Amazon and finally got Catch-22 along with Get Laid or Die Trying.

Thompson Rivers University Update

I already have my courses for next year too, I signed for them all the way back in June, and for the most part, I have some really interesting sounding ones. The most noteworthy ones are my Cell Physiology class, which seems to have a lot of wicked cool subject matter, Biochemistry, Ancient Philosophy (also my last elective credits I need, WHOOT), microbiology, genetics, and the evolution and ecology of land plants (featuring a wicked multi-day hike field trip). The other classes that I’m not looking forward for are both in the winter semester, Philosophy of Science, which will be interesting reading Galileo and such but I feel as though there will a tonne of essays. The other one would be Calculus Two. I struggle with math way more than I should have to…

Oh! My tap dance lessons start at the same time as well, so that’s pretty exciting. I just need to go and pick up my shoes basically. Plus I was contacted by the regional organizer for Scouts Canada, and he somehow heard of my name and gave me a call to ask if they could use my expertise as a leader this year. I’m not sure how I feel about that one yet because I think I’m going to have a busy year, but it should be fun if I can.

Just a music update from my iTunes, I’m really liking Alyssa Reid’s, Alone Again (Encore Seule) avec Dice B. I’m loving the French rapping and singing. Other good mentions are Nick Carter and Britton “Briddy” Shaw’s, Burning Up and Titanium by David Guetta feat. Sia.

 

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity” – Ellen Par

 

Tyson Trepidations.

The Spy With The Golden Thunderballs

I’m still slowly getting through Carte Blanche; the most recent of Bond book as written by Jeffrey Deaver. I’m only managing to read a couple chapters per day, but that’s alright, just makes the enjoyment last a little longer.

Actually, like a lot of people, I think James Bond is pretty wicked awesome! I love all of the Bond films and the character in general is so suave and brilliant, makes me want to get into the espionage business.

Back in the days of highschool though, I took French all the way until I graduated. I actually really enjoyed the class and wanted to learn as much French as I could since its Canada’s other official language. Of course, at my school we didn’t really have a real French teacher, so we didn’t get taught very well. That’s something that really stumped me when I got into grade twelve because my teacher really knew her French and made us speak it only. It was good, but quite the challenge considering the poor French education that I had received previously. It was mostly fun though because it was a video conferencing class, and the only students from my school there were just my best friend, Steve, and I. So we had a blast singing songs and just going crazy.

When we were in grade eleven, we had this skit assignment. We were to make a skit and perform it in French in front of everyone, as well as the english version too just for fun. Of course since Steve and I were partners, we wanted to do something different from everyone else. We were always like that and extremely creative. So as a change, we decided to turn it into a film rather than a skit. So we made our script during the class time, then when we got home, we filmed the whole thing. Everyone in the class really seemed to enjoy the films a lot too, so we were a hit. Actually, after that, it seemed like everyone in our entire had decided to go on YouTube and watched our video. Everyone seemed to know about it, even the kids we had never talked to before had started asking us about it. We didn’t mind though of course.

That film was a James Bond parody if you must, featuring my best friend as James Bond and myself as the evil scientist. We decided to make the title and amalgamation of James Bond titles and called it: “James Bond: The Spy With The Golden Thunderballs”.

After that year, we had quite an urge to make another movie. Except this time with more freedom for our creativity that the French class didn’t allow us to explore. So we went ahead and created a rough script, but mostly with improv. It was just basically an outline of our actions and a couple lines that we thought we needed to add. That one we decided to start as a new series, since the first was basically all tied up. Plus we wanted something a tad more exciting. So we ended up developing “I Saw Bond’s Bats: The Love That Was Puzzled”. In the short, it was a love story between James Bond and BatShell (A Batman type character, but a girl), being tormented by Jigsaw from the Saw films.

Soon after that one, we decided to make a third film as a sequel to the second. We made more action and had a larger cast of characters as well, but still following the original storyline. This sequel we called, “I Saw Bond’s Bats… Again: The Jigsaw Comes Together”. I’ll leave it at that.

At the end of that third film there’s a bit of cliffhanger that we had intended upon finishing, but never really got around to it. I actually hope that we do in order to conclude the series. Maybe I should look into that… We even have a final script too.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” – Winston Churchill

Tyson Trepidations.

My Top 10 Apps For iPad

At the start of the summer I wanted to spend some money and get myself something a little extra for working so hard during the school year and treat myself for not really having a life.

In the long run, I decided to go with an iPad 2.

Now, a couple months later, I have many many apps downloaded and developed my personal favorites that I happen to access all the time.

Just as a side note as well, I have bought five apps since getting my iPad and of the five, four are featured on this Top 10 list.

Here they are:

1. GarageBand for iPad ($4.99)

The first of my bought apps, GarageBand pulls up into number one. It was basically like love at first sight when it finished downloading (Which seemed to take forever, being over 300 MB). I find myself on this app constantly, creating new songs and testing out new sounds, it actually makes me wish I stuck with learning the piano, so I could make more complicated sounding keyboard and piano parts. But it really has a tonne of different sounds to check out and play with. Of course it doesn’t feature everything that the full Mac version has, but it has quite a lot to offer as an iPad app and entirely compatible to the full version. Most definitely worth paying for, super fun and awesome for anyone, even if you don’t have any music background.

2. Hospital Haste ($6.99)

This one’s my all-time favorite game to play on my iPad thus far. Its crazy hectic and you really have use your brain fast to decide what you do with the patients and in what order. To quickly sum up the game, you play as Nurse Sally just starting off in the doctoring world and working for different hospitals while you earn money for your own medical clinic. It features many different hospital issues and methods of treatment along with a very well thought out scoring system that makes you have to make decisions based on attaining a better score. Not to mention you have to be fast! The last thing you want is a patient leaving in disgust because your too slow. It really is a hectic and crazy game, but that’s what makes it so fun.

3. Tower Madness (Free)

Coming in as number three is another wildly hectic game. Tower Madness is as simple as building defences to protect your 10 sheep from being abducted by alien invasions. It really is a crazy and random idea, but the levels are build so specifically and extremely well thought out that you have to use your head in deciding what the best arsenal set up would be to defeat those pesky aliens. As you go along, the game gets harder too, there are more and stronger aliens introduced and even some that are impervious to a number of different weapons. I’ve spent many hours playing this game in planning my defences against those aliens! Well worth the download especially being free.

4. Friendly for iPad (Free)

This app is for Facebook and after trying many different ones, I found this one was the best, especially now that they added Facebook chat into it (not like I actually use it though…). There’s not too much to say about this app except that its Facebook in app form with a great layout and its super easy to use, making Facebook even simpler as it is.

5. Words With Friends (The Free Version)

There is a payable version, but I’m not sure what the difference is besides taking out the ads, but the ads really aren’t that bad compared to many other apps and games I’ve tried. This game is extremely simple though and highly comparable to Scrabble. Its a word game that you can play against friends, Facebook friends or anyone random as well. Each letter is worth a certain amount of points (The more difficult the letter the higher its value) and there are many places on the board where you can gain double letter, triple letter, double word and triple word bonuses. So you actually have to think what words you play and where you play them. You get seven letters at all times, but there are only 104 letters in total, so once that capacity is reached, the game is over (unless someone resigns). The nice thing about this app is that you can come back to it anytime and play when you can, so you don’t have to sit there waiting for the other person to play their word.

6. Dead Space for iPad (Got it for $0.99 on special, but $4.99 regular)

After playing the original Dead Space for the Xbox 360, I just had to get this game. I was a little skeptical how good it would be though. I couldn’t imagine how the controls would turn out and wasn’t sure if the graphics would be ok or not. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the graphics were actually really well done and the controls weren’t bad at all once I got the hang of it (and it didn’t take all that long neither). The great thing, though, is that it serves as a prequel to the original game and kinda gives a little bit of a back story. Otherwise, it is just as the other versions, an intense and creepy third person shooter that is extremely satisfying for the horror lover.

7. Worms 2 ($0.99)

I used to play this game all the time as a kid on my PC! So when I saw it in the apps store, I just had to buy it and probably would have still if it were more expensive. It’s a really fun game to play where you have a small arsenal of worms that you use to battle other small arsenals of worms. You get dropped off at a level randomly spaced apart and go through each worm, one at a time, attacking the other teams with a huge variety of different weapons. With that said though, you still have to think a little bit since the wind can alter where some of the weapons fire. Plus it’s a little bit harder since all the other teams seem to be mostly after you. Tonnes of funny and a cute little game that is definitely worth the small price.

8. Kobo for iPad (Free)

This is one of the reading apps for the iPad. There’s also iBooks and the kindle app that are really popular, but after trying them out, I felt that this one was a better choice (even though Kindles are better quality than Kobos in my opinion). All three of the apps have something like a thousand free books to choose from as well any popular book that you can pay for as well. Not only that, but a good number of the books are actually a lot cheaper to buy in the app than going to the book store and buying them. The Kobo app also allows you add friends (Although I don’t have any still…), lets you create custom bookshelves, and creates a book cover specific to you and the type of books you read. Plus it has some nifty achievements, including some that can be quite challenging and fun to obtain.

9. Twitter for iPad (Free)

Again, there really isn’t much to say about this one. Its just the official Twitter app and has many of the same functions as the web browser version (except you don’t have to worry about the Fail Whale in the iPad app). It has a great layout and a super simple to use interface. Feel free to follow me, find my profile from the Twitter widget on the right hand side.

10. Science 360 (Free)

So this app is pretty awesome when I’m bored, in a wise mood or just geeking out again. It has tonnes of HD photos and videos with all kinds of science news and topics to go with them. Since everything is HD though, the app can sometimes be a little slow and use a lot of memory. But once inside, you’ll see that it has a really neat interface. It basically is in a 360 shape and when you move around, its like your on the inside of a circle and every turn has something new. The great thing too is that when you click on a picture or video, it will make sure that one doesn’t show up for you again. Wicked cool app for a science fanatic.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do” – Apple Computer Inc.

Tyson Trepidations.