Monday, 12 December 2011

Spider silk

I can't think of a better way to demonstrate evolutionary descent and the importance of genetics on the formation of a protein as well as this presentation from Ted does.  My thanks to Linda for sharing this!

The letters of the amino acids are highlighted and beautifully illustrate what evolution has to work with to generate a huge array of "tools" for the spiders to use!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

2011 Optimist Concert

The Calgary chapter of Optimist International supports youth programming and is quite involved with youth programs, and help fund groups such as Bands of Calgary, which organizes the Round Up, Stetson, and Stampede Bands.  Each year they pack the Jubilee Auditorium with a concert that shows how well the year's membership of these bands have done.  We also get to see some guests such as the Heebee-Jeebees, A Band of Outriders, and this year a special trumpet and piano soloist.  You can get a good sense of the Optimist group from their creed.

The Optimist Creed
Promise Yourself ...
  • To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
As usual, they finish the concert by putting EVERYONE on the stage together.  They barely fit!

As a proud father of Tim and Erin, I dutifully recorded their three songs and also the carols at the end.  I want to share them with you!  You can click on the little YouTube logo at the bottom right of each picture so you can access full-screen display and also invoke the HD mode.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Mount Royal before and after hours

After an evening gathering at the faculty centre, I took this picture on the balcony on the way out.  You can see the Mount Royal Carillon lighted up in the centre.  I had the flash on for the first one and didn't like the preview... but now I see I caught some interesting snowflakes in the foreground.  The latter has no flash and has richer tones in the distance.

 My friend Jim Silovs took these early in the morning! What a striking sunrise!  Once again the Carillon takes a prominent spot!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The end of the "Party of the Century"

Mount Royal University is done with its 100 year anniversary.  Believe it or not, we're older than the University of Calgary (hi there, junior!) and finished up the end of an 18 month party.

We kicked off with a fireworks celebration
And ended it with the unveiling of a special mosaic that was commissioned from around 200 artists.  Each person worked on a single panel according to guidelines they were given by a coordinator.  The panels individually depict historic persons or events and together form a picture of George Kerby, the first principal of Mount Royal College.  Here it is:
Congratulations Mount Royal.  After 100 years you've left a legacy to the community and have matured into Canada's Newest Oldest University.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Bad weather.

Well, the Bluetooth wasn't working too well. Wasn't able to fix it while moving.

The stark reminder about being aware while driving. I passed a fire truck dealing with a car that was turned completely around on the Glenmore flyover. Not too much fun there.

Time for some late supper.

Blogging on the road

I just finished marking some exams. I'm pretty tired. It's good to get it done though.

So I'm trying out my new Siri app on my iPhone to see if I can catch my thoughts as I drive home.

Don't worry, I'm using hands free

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Jordan's going bald!

Wow... what a look!

I've wanted the guts to try for a clean-shaven head, but I have no idea if my skull is shaped well for that.  Jordan Dangerfield in Section 002 (Monday, Wednesday) has been keeping a box on her desk with a countdown to when she'll shave her head for a cancer fundraiser.  I've been told she'll make a video and post that (and I'll mirror it here for anyone who's interested).

If you care to help her out, you can come to room B222 at 11 on Monday or Wednesday and drop money into the bucket.  Alternatively, you can donate online at her page:

Good luck, Jordan!


Change in genetics term test 2

Hi folks.

I took a look at the lecture schedule and one class - section 002 - is getting quite far ahead of another - section 001.  I have two ways to solve this.  I could push up the exam for section 002, which will earn me no fans, or I can push back the exam for 001 from Thursday to Friday.

I know this isn't a lot of notice (well, maybe so... it's over a week in advance!) and it'll give me a chance to try out some new blog features.  Majority rules:  I'd like to run a poll about whether you'd be in favour of moving the exam from Thursday November 17 to Friday November 18.  It will still be a 50 minute in-class test.

It's possible that someone will try to hijack the poll.  If I see more votes than registrants, I'll call it null and void!  This is an experiment.  :)

It's likely that if you're viewing this on a mobile device, you won't see the poll.  You'll have to use a regular browser, I think.

See you next week,