30 January 2006

Chikungunya puts virology in perspective

Chikungunya virus in Reunion

This reminded me that some day the research we do will have a use. Chikungunya is related to Sindbis, which I work on. The currently infected people will have to suffer it though. How did we let mosquitoes hang out for so long?

27 January 2006

Virology outside lab is scary

I got to thinking that there's a lot of stuff we talk about in lab that when outside, for instance at an airport, could be (and has been) misinterpreted severely. So here's the list of stuff we talk about in lab that could land us in lots of trouble with the authorities when said outside.

1. Did I give you Dengue or did you get it from Tom?
2. I have the bloody diarrhoea bacteria
3. I didn't get the clone
4. I got the clone (don't know which is scarier)
5. So we're going to mix the DNA of x virus with y virus
6. I have mutations up the wazoo and don't know what to do with them
7. The smell of a fresh culture of bacteria in the morning really wakes me up
8. Caution - carcinogens and reproductive toxins inside this lab (on every lab door)
9. Did you infect the cells?
10. How's the virus in a test-tube project going?
11. So I mutated the HIV...
12. Did I give you the radioactivity?
13. I got lots of west nile virus (OK that one is really scary)
14. Skulls and crossbones on most chemicals that we use
15. I don't use gloves for that, but I've had kids and don't care anymore
16. Damn, the mutant doesn't grow
17. I made the virus glow
18. I got contamination, how about you?
19. This is the wrong clone
20. It's a free t-shirt, so what if it says 'Rubella rules'?
21. I'm a virologist, if you see me coughing, run away

Disclaimer : OK so it has happened to us that we're at a public place talking about work as if we were still at work and everyone stares at us funny and a little scared :) but rest assured in lab we follow all the safety practices and the public and we are safe from clones and mutants and virus chimaeras.

MPAA Accused of Piracy

DailyTech - MPAA Accused of Motion Picture Piracy: "MPAA Accused of Motion Picture Piracy"

Ha! Apparently those guys who make 18$ profit from 0.25$ DVDs and try to sue their customers out of existence also pirated a movie. They claim that they were right to do it because the director of the dvd followed their reviewers around and spied on them. So I guess it's legal to download their movies because they spy on (and identify) people who download movies. Since they also claim that the people who make the software that allows files to be shared are responsible for what gets downloaded, I guess the people who make the movies are also responsible for what gets downloaded. I really don't understand those guys. Why make the customers angry? Why steal from the customers? Why send customers to jail? Those be some strange people. Anyway, here's a really good website for those who think the MPAA is unethical:

MPAA got owned

26 January 2006

boohoo we're out of the Africa Cup

We lost!

Guinea 2 : Zambia 1

We lost again! We're out of the Africa Cup. And in injury time too, that's really heartbreaking. The team tried their best, kudos to them, but it still leaves us fans with bitter disappointment, year after year. I guess we are still the 'almost men' of African football.

Until next time, chipolopolo iyeaaa.

Happy Republic Day!

Happy Republic Day

गणतंत्र दिवस पर शुभकामनाऐं

റിപ്പബ്ലിക് ദിനാശംസകള്

25 January 2006

Vanilla Ice, where's my T-shirt?

Lova and I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that said "If there was a problem, yo, I'll solve it, check out the hook while my dj revolves it." Now if you can remember that line, then you are a child of the 90's as we both are. For the uninitiated, it comes from Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby that stayed for 16 weeks at number 1, or so we heard, way back when. I didn't think anyone still admitted to actually listening to that song unless they were drunk enough not to remember. Anyway we concluded that in order to wear that t-shirt you have to be either be very confident or a big fan of Vanilla Ice, which is fine, but 'Cool as Ice' won't make it to any awards any time soon. OK I liked the song when it came out, but how do you rip off Queen without due credit? Well Queen got their revenge when an Indian dude called Baba Sehgal ripped off Ice Ice Baby and called it the equivalent of 'cold cold water'. (ठण्डा ठण्डा पानी). Did I mention that Freddie Mercury was originally Indian? That woke me up when I heard it. Now I continue to have hopes of being the first person to win both the Grammy and a Nobel (hopefully for peace). Nah, Bono will beat me to it I'm sure.

In other news, I found out that Vanilla Ice went to the university that I did my B.S. in ... ha ha ha... B.S. More of the Same, just Piled Higher and Deeper ha ha ha... almost to the end of that one now and I can categorically say that it's true. Anyway Iceman himself attended Louisiana Tech University at some point. Purdue (my current) has Neil Armstrong and Louisiana Tech has Vanilla Ice. I consider that a promotion... now where's my T-shirt?

24 January 2006

Another blog in the making

I'm just testing this space right now. The Boonga blog will now be just for those two and their friends and this will be the other part where I comment on things that I notice. With lots of contributors for the other blog this should work out well.