Saturday, November 19, 2011

Glycolysis, Like Today, is Awesome

My wife is away in Chicago for the day, which means that I've had an entire day to do with whatever I wanted. I actually was incredibly productive! Here's what my day looked like:

1. I walked downtown and ate breakfast at a counter seat of a local diner while watching an episode of House M.D. on my iPad. I had an egg sandwich with bacon, and I spoke with a man named Tom who was mentally handicapped. When he noticed my iPad, he marveled. I was using bluetooth headphones at the time, so no cords. He was amazed at how the sound could travel to my ears without any cords.

"Are you listening to what's on the screen?"
"Yep, sure am." Patience. I took off my headphones and gave him my attention.
"Is it like, on cable or something?"
"No, actually, it's downloaded to the hard drive. It's saved on here."
"Ohhh, ok. How can you hear it without any cords??"

I rarely stop to think about how awesome something like this is, so I explained it to him as best I could without going into much detail. For those who know me, that was quite a feat. Regardless, he seemed impressed.

"You know lots about this stuff, don't you?" It wasn't really a question, but I answered anyway.
"I guess I do..." I smiled, not knowing what to say, exactly. He got a very pensive look on his face, furrowing his brow as he thought very hard about something. I waited for a bit, then almost turned back to put my headphones back on before he whispered softly, beckoning me closer.

"Do you think it would be possible to, you know, get all of someone's information, like their social security numbers and all, and put them into your - what was that, an iPad? - into your iPad and then hear everything that they're saying?" He was dead serious, but I played along, whispering my assurances that no, what he was suggesting was not possible.

"Are you sure? You're listening to them [gesturing at the paused screen] without any cords, so maybe they're listening to US without any cords..." He looked around warily at the walls. His simple, direct logic made me want to smile, but I wanted him to feel better, so I pointed out that there was nothing around us that could record what we were saying - nothing that could send "them" our words. I don't think he quite believed me, but he laughed anyway and we finished our meals. As I got up to leave, he said that next time, he could tell me about the new bathtub that he was having installed at his house. It's a real bathtub, not one of those FAKES. I honestly hope I bump into him again, as I'm very curious about what a fake bathtub is like, as well as what separates it from the "real" ones.
2. I got back home and vacuumed the apartment. Hooray, no more drifting dead brown dog cells piled up behind the doors!
3. Gave the dog a VERY thorough cleaning. That's two sudsings, mind you.
4. Took the dog on a long walk.
5. Ate dinner, played Halo Reach for a couple hours (first time in MONTHS - sue me), then hit the books. And that's where I've been for the past four hours - holed up in my school's science center. Here's a shot of my actual surroundings as I write this post:

Warning: do not read the rest of this post unless you are very interested in Biochemistry. If you don't like Biochem, this post will bore you terribly. I mean it. If that is you, please stop reading now and salvage what you can of your opinion of my blog. If you choose to continue reading... Well, I warned you.

Glycolysis is good stuff; it's the beginning of our cellular metabolic pathway. Another personally defining characteristic of glycolysis is that I have to memorize it up through pyruvate (no need for gluconeogenesis this time around) for my Biochem quiz on Monday. Those of you that have ever memorized metabolic pathways before know that the key is pure repetition. For me, that means going to a room with a whiteboard and doing it over and over and over until I can do ALL of it from memory. For glycolysis, taking glucose to pyruvate, this took a total of six repetitions. You'd be surprised how hard your brain will work to memorize something if it means you get to quit earlier.

Below is a 4x-speed video of me going through my sixth write-out of the pathway. Just for fun, and this statement may be my crowning glory of nerdhood, I did a voiceover talking my way through the pathway post-recording. And then modulated my voice to sound ridiculous. I don't know why; I guess I was just feeling goofy. Oh, how the levels of my reckless abandon reach new heights at 10:17pm...

I know I put it up here, but please don't watch this video. Come on, just do yourself a favor. I don't even know why I'm putting it up here. Guess it just seemed a waste to leave it sitting on my hard drive (or even worse, to delete it...), so why not share it with the world? Eesh.


Susan said...

Hilarious Video! Glad you did attach it. We all can use a laugh here and there even if we don't understand what on earth we're watching....

Solitary Diner said...

To think that I once new all of that. Interestingly, the glycolysis pathway has not come up once in my three and a half years of clinical training.

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