Sunday, May 12, 2013

cell phone pics and canadian commies.

So I got my shipment from social coffee co the other day. I asked them to draw something canadian on the box; here we see the canadian flag. I have to admit I am more pleased than I expected to be with this coffee. Very smooth, very deep, the Peoples Liberation blend has become a new favorite. I still have more to try but I am supremely confident in what Ive tasted so far.
Doesn't do it justice
Oh Canada
In other news I have planted and switched out lights in my 10gal. It's now a nighttime lounge for my gourami. Blue night lamps make everything dimly glow. Maybe one day Ill pull out my dSLR to get a real shot of it.
Noisy nighttime cellphone shot.


meh.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Recent developments


So whats new?

Well after failing to keep up with my coffee supply I have had to revert to Coffee Labs (Tarrytown, NY) Doghouse Espresso Blend. Nothing too bad, but definitely not on par with what I have been pulling. That said, my next order will be from Social Coffee & Tea Co. (Ontario, Ca). Im excited, and Im updosing my shots to make the lb flow quicker.
Im going to stay at NYMC.
In terms of general life? I have been accepted at two medical schools now, NYMC, and the University of Toledo. Toledo offered me a position as MD/PhD, but their inability to balance that with a full tuition reimbursement as many other schools (Including NYMC) do for MD/PhD’s has made them less attractive to me... That and the fact that they are all the way out in Ohio, with less clinical exposure in the early years, and smaller clinical training facilities in MS3/4. They're both well enough ranked and have a hoard of other pros and cons weighing against them. To say one is better than the other really comes down to personal preference. I chose NYMC because it's here in NY and I still have the option of MD/PhD if I chose to apply later this year. It's actually cheaper than Toledo as well considering I do not have to pay an additional $15k in out of state fees.
Yes, I am an award winner.
            I have withdrawn from Toledo, and submitted my deposit to NYMC. On a schedule posted (then retracted) online, my orientation is at the end of July, with classes starting in August.  It seems so close yet so far away. I still of course have to graduate, which Im no longer worried about so much. I submitted my lit review a few weeks ago, and hopefully Ill finish out this last exam with strong marks. I managed to win first prize in a research forum on campus, and I cannot say Im not gloating a bit about that. It would seem as if getting into the MD/PhD here at NYMC isn’t too far out of reach. I will have to insure my first year is an impressive one though.

This is a beautiful camera.
the only plastic here in in the pleather of the case.
Academics aside, Ive picked up yet another camera. This one, the Fuji x100, I grabbed used for $699. While some users reported issues with sticky aperture blades, this one seems fine after 5k frames. Regardless it shipped with the original receipt so getting a repair wouldn’t be an issue. So far I am really impressed with the image quality.
I initially tried buying a new Nikon powershot 7700 and decided to return it after
one nights use. The camera was awkward to hold and had such terrible manual control that I had to rely on preset modes to take shots. Even then the low light performance was essentially garbage, and I can generate better shots off of my cell phone.

 A bit of color tweaking in lightroom,
this camera takes beautiful shots.
The Fuji on the other hand is beautiful. The camera really feels nice to take shots with, the color reproduction is very natural and it handles jpg and raw files with speed and clarity. The film simulations are very natural looking and I really like this camera’s monochrome settings. I could have gone for the X-pro, or E-e1 interchangeable lens systems, but I like the quick ease of use the x100 has, and I really wasn’t looking to replace my d7000 in any way. This camera fills my 35mm focal length gap, and is a great camera to carry.

Low light performance is amazing with the fuji,
natural color rendering and nice sharp focus
            To get more use of these cameras Kristin and I have decided to take up hiking, which complements bird and wildlife photography nicely. Sadly this has also provoked me to look into longer-range telephoto lenses.... well. One day.
Bird watching at croton point. This shot was taken with my d7000 and tokina 11-16mm.

My current mission is to finish planning a French vacation,  find an affordable cat friendly apartment in lower Westchester, and to catch up on my reading before I start classes again....

We’ll see how that goes.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I never had a "single spout," PF. It's interesting how that spoutless comes out almost like a bottomless but with a bit more of an accuracy guarantee.

eh... whatever.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dr Casabianca MD


I suppose in everyones life there come moments where it is possible to directly witness your own dreams becoming a reality. For me, I have been lucky enough to have a few of these more recently- finding an amazing girlfriend  graduating from Stony Brook, and now most recently receiving an acceptance letter to medical school. Back in 2006 I entered college with a vague sense of purpose, only to quickly discovery my interest in medicine and biology. I cant believe that now, nearly 7 years later I am finishing my masters degree and about to become a student physician.

The acceptance letter means many things to many people. For me, it's the beginning of the rest of my life, job security, and the opportunity to pursue a career both intellectually and ethically stimulating. This is an chance to remain at the front lines of technology and innovation, and to garner a certain degree of comfort later in life, all the while making a directly visible difference today.

I still have more interviews, and I am still waiting to hear back from other schools as well, but knowing that I have been accepted to one, especially a top choice, has given me clearer perspective on my future.

In the coming weeks and months I intend to post here more as I continue my interview season and begin the process of choosing a school and an apartment.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Nexus 7 dock review.


The nexus 7 dock is a long awaited addition to the nexus line of google products. While the nexus 7 may have been a revolutionary $200 tablet, the dock is a rather basic add on, which I think will only be truly appreciated by a select few. This isn't meant to sound pompous in any way. Instead, Im referring to the docks lack-luster features, and low profile design. 
The tablet its at a steep angle making typing harder. 
Voice commands become  an essential feature

What it does have:
The dock charges your nexus using the 4 pin connector, making it essential that you take off your case before resting in in the carrier. In this regard it's pretty robust, it held my tablet in place even as I slapped it to disable my morning alarm. The tablet itself will go into screen saver mode when docked, unless you tap the power button to dim the screen completely. 

The port access is pretty limited.
The dock has an audio jack. To be honest this doesn't impress me at all. Many users have their devices configured for DLNA servers and wireless audio making this addition a bit null. It could be of benefit if you use system alarms and such very frequently, but again, the tablet's speaker is pretty loud. It may also be better for video chatting, but I can't say that I have tested it yet.


What it lacks:
Well I could attack this devices lack of a HDMI port, but honestly how big of a deal is this? Like I mentioned before, setting up a DLNA server is commonplace these days, and with googles cloud based services, a HDMI port is just wasted hardware. 

Built in speakers and a mic. I would have liked this dock to make the nexus a more video chat friendly device. The aren't enough opportunities to really test video conferencing in my field, and any chance I could have to make them operate in a higher class are much appreciated.

I would have also liked to see dock-mode be more google now ready. It wold be nice if I could just say google commands while Im working, and have my tablet make the necessary adjustments.

That said, the dock is just about as handy as you would expect a dock to be. It holds your device at a reasonable angle and provides you with easier access to basic functions, simply by holding it in place. My guess is that this dock is really only going to benefit those who need a new  alarm clock, or needed a desk assistant. 

I like mine, and for $30 you can't go wrong anyway.

Monday, February 4, 2013

2photon image success!

Here is the left optic, and central lobe of a control fly.



Ordered some more coffee from Café Grumpy today. Exciting times ahead.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

issues on a 2photon

So, after about a month of what I will now refer to as "training trials," I have finally gotten the 2photon to play nicely. However, my images are pretty cloudy. Im not sure how to knock-out the noise. Im using Kaulmann averaging, but Im not sure it's actually working. We'll see.

In other news. I have decided to keep a 10gal tank with the intention of eventually raising Axolotl's
My experience so far has been easy enough. Live plants (Microsorum pteropus, &  Eleocharis acicularis) in a Flourite substrate. Im going to set up a DIY CO2 mechanism, in the next few days.