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livredor
General update
Saturday, 18 August 2007 at 11:41 am
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I've spent this week learning how to be a better microscopist. It was a very useful course; the leader, Michael Peres from RIT, is really obviously a natural teacher. And there was lots of hands-on time to try out all the new techniques and improvements he'd mentioned in the lecture part. It was also very exhausting, spending hours in a darkened room staring at tiny, tiny things and absorbing lots of new information. I thought that since I was on a course with a defined timetable (instead of doing experiments which tend to overrun), I would have plenty of time in the evenings for sorting out my trip, but I ended up so tired that I wasn't good for much.

I learned: what all the knobs and settings on a scientific microscope actually do, and what kinds of tweaking of both the microscope and the camera improve the results. That was definitely the most useful part! A few specialized imaging techniques, such as DIC and polarized imaging, as well as bits of things like darkfield and phase contrast which I was already familiar with. Most of the students were pathologists for whom phase contrast is new and exotic, but I work with cells so that's the most basic technique for me. Fluorescence imaging, which is what I actually do. Also got to play with a flashy confocal microscope, which is always fun. Basically, it's like being in a simulator which lets you fly through, say, the tubules inside a kidney in 3D. Also a lot of really useful Photoshop technique, how to make the detail clearer without interpolating anything. I do wish compilerbitch could have been there!

It's very satisfying to be on the steep part of the learning curve, so you can see clear improvements from one day to the next. Here's an early attempt; it looks kind of pretty, but as scientific data it's hopeless. It's not properly in focus, and I had set up the camera slightly wrong so everything has a greenish tint. I was also using one of the poorest microscope and camera combinations in the classroom, but this is at least as much bad workman as bad tools! And then at the end, I started taking decent pictures and then further improving them in Photoshop, as you can see in this example. (Sorry that's so big, but at less than 900 x 900 you won't really see the effect.) I don't actually know what it's a picture of; it's some kind of very thin slice through some poor lab animal or biopsy subject's organ, with some muscle (the pink stripy bits) surrounding a gland (the purple lobed bits). I don't work with this kind of thing, but only with individual cells. The photos I took of my actual experiment (cancer cells with specific proteins labelled with fluroescent antibodies) are more interesting scientifically but less interesting visually, so I'm not showing examples.

Oh, and my boss was not too annoyed about my lack of real productivity over the summer, so while it's still a problem, it's not compounded by being "in trouble".

Not a particularly major event, but something to note: Making Light posted a link to kd lang singing Hallelujah. If you haven't heard this already, you really should; it's the first time I've been motivated to find software for saving YouTube videos (though really I only want the soundtrack, the video is just of a concert at Sidney Opera House). I am a purist about that song; I care too much about Leonard Cohen's original to like most covers. And I don't generally like kd lang all that much. But this performance is seriously awesome. And then there was some discussion about Cohen covers and I found out that the Jennifer Warnes cover album Famous blue raincoat has been rereleased. And it's even on eMusic, so now I have a copy of Warnes' duet with Cohen himself, Joan of Arc, where she sings Joan and he sings the fire. rysmiel played it to me when I was in Montréal in 2005, and it is just about the most emotionally powerful song I have ever heard.

On the planning front, well. I tend to stress about travel more than is really required, and in this case I'm not nearly as pre-organized as I would like to be. However, I have booked all the travel from here to London via Finland, Estonia, Germany, Holland and briefly Belgium, and all the accommmodation I need at the stopover points. That's the important thing. I reckon once I'm in England I can be flexible and if some of my planned meetups don't work out, well, it's a pain that I don't get to see people I'd hoped to see, but at least I won't be stranded. And I haven't planned what I'm going to do in any of the cities on my whistle-stop tour of northern Europe. But if I'm only going to be in each city for between a few hours and a day and half, I think I can get away with just wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere, rather than going to specific Tourist Sites. (I have to do it all on a 64Mb camera memory, which should be an interesting discipline, as apparently they no longer make the cards that fit my camera.)

Not connected to anything else at all, but while I'm posting, have a link to the writer Catherynne M Valente's thoughtful and personal essay on porn.


Whereaboooots: Huddinge Hospital, Flemingsberg, Sweden
Moooood: pleasedpleased
Tuuuuune: Jennifer Warnes + Leonard Cohen: Joan of Arc
Discussion: 14 contributions | Contribute something
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pseudomonas: default
From:pseudomonas
Date:August 18th, 2007 12:09 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 01:09 pm (pseudomonas's time)
(Link)
Camera-wise: if it doesn't need esoteric software, take the cable with you and transfer the photos to 'net space when you have a friendly connection?
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adrian22: default
From:adrian22
Date:August 18th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
2 hours after journal entry, 06:08 am (adrian22's time)

Hallelujah & Joan of Arc

(Link)
You've cited two of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs in Hallelujah and Joan of Arc.

May I contribute to your online salon, links to those versions of each recorded (live, first/single-take), by the Canadian musician Allison Crowe (whom I enjoy the pleasure of serving):

Hallelujah ~

http://www.allisoncrowe.com/AllisonCroweTidingsHallelujah.mp3

Joan of Arc ~

http://www.allisoncrowe.com/JoanOfArc128.mp3
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livredor: likeness
From:livredor
Date:August 18th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
4 hours after journal entry, 03:58 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Is this some sort of experimental publicity stunt in marketing 2.0, or something? You get bonus points for making it clear you've actually read the post and followed enough links to get an idea of what sort of person I am. And you know, grammatical English and free music samples are positives too.

I'm really in two minds about whether I approve of this sort of thing or not. The fact that you were upfront about your connection with Crowe means that on balance I'm prepared to leave your comment in place and lend my modest audience to your publicity campaign.
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darcydodo: default
From:darcydodo
Date:August 18th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
5 hours after journal entry, 11:10 am (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
rysmiel played it to me when I was in Montréal in 2005

Wait, you mean I never played it for you??

Also, Joan Baez does a good cover of just "Famous Blue Raincoat."
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livredor: complicated
From:livredor
Date:August 18th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
5 hours after journal entry, 05:17 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
No, you never played it to me. I think it was you who introduced me to Leonard Cohen himself, though. I so want a Joan Baez cover of Famous blue raincoat! That sounds really yummy.

And thanks for replying to my Facebook message. I will tell my parents to contact your parents directly; working through me is going to be stupid when I'm about to go offline!
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darcydodo: dodo (color)
From:darcydodo
Date:August 18th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
5 hours after journal entry, 11:58 am (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
I think it was you who introduced me to Leonard Cohen himself, though.

That doesn't make any sense, though, if I never played the Jennifer Warnes CD for you, since that's the only Leonard Cohen stuff I have. I didn't play you "A Singer Must Die"? Or "First We Take Manhattan" (or whatever it's called)?

And I believe that the Joan Baez cover of FBR is on Diamonds and Rust in the Bullring, but it could be that it's on Diamonds and Rust, I'm not sure. (I'm too lazy to check on her site, sorry.)
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livredor: complicated
From:livredor
Date:August 18th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
8 hours after journal entry, 08:52 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
I think maybe you *sang* me A singer must die. I'm fairly certain you mentioned Warnes, but that Joan of Arc I would not have forgotten. I have this idea that you encouraged me to download Famous blue raincoat, but maybe it was MK.
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darcydodo: default
From:darcydodo
Date:August 18th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
10 hours after journal entry, 04:06 pm (darcydodo's time)
(Link)
If I played you one, I certainly played you the other. I wish the past were more easily recollectable! :)

but that Joan of Arc I would not have forgotten

I can see that, but then there are certain things one would think I'd never have forgotten that, per a discussion of ours the other day, I clearly did! ;)
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adrian22: default
From:adrian22
Date:August 18th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
7 hours after journal entry, 11:23 am (adrian22's time)
(Link)
hi ~

I'm just a person who loves music, loves great artistry, and loves sharing such creative excitement. The stated nature and purpose of your livejournal suggests you're open to the world. And, it's remarkable that you mention both Hallelujah and Joan of Arc.

I don't know of another artist, apart from Leonard, who happens to have recorded both of those songs.

It's all about the music. If you do any searching about who I am - you'll understand my motivation. May you enjoy the contribution ( :
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livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:August 18th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 09:00 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Well, nice to meet you. I am sorry to be cynical; there are so many increasingly subtle forms of spam everywhere these days. I am indeed an open person, and a lot of the reason I eventually decided to talk to you rather than reporting your comment as spam is that it is exactly the sort of comment that I do like to receive. A stranger drops by and notes a shared taste in music and recommends another artist I might like. That's great.

It's because your comment made you sound like an interesting person that I started poking around, and found lots and lots of press releases about how you're revolutionizing music marketing, which made me kind of suspicious. But if you want to hang around and talk about whatever happens to interest you, you're very welcome. I don't automatically hate PR people!
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adrian22: default
From:adrian22
Date:August 18th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 01:20 pm (adrian22's time)
(Link)
Understood. And thank you ( :

It can be a delicate balance, being a believer and doing what one can to help artists - be that for love or money. In my case it's the former, but, who's to know and say when one just meets. PR hacks, street teamers and passionate patrons of the arts can all sound the same online in bytes.

I shall be happy to explore when I can, and will contribute if and when appropriate and meaningful.

Sláinte mhaith!
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(no subject) - sunflowerinrain (8/19/07 10:19 am)
livredor: complicated
From:livredor
Date:August 19th, 2007 10:33 am (UTC)
23 hours after journal entry, 11:33 am (livredor's time)

You did not read this comment.

(Link)
Boo eMusic for messing around with different countries. It's the first time I've seen something available in Sweden but not the UK; a lot of record companies are nervous of the very liberal copyright and licensing laws here.

Oh dear, how did this link happen to be lying around in my LJ? I can't imagine how it got there. *cough*
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(no subject) - sunflowerinrain (8/19/07 02:09 pm)



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