Friday, April 29, 2011


I fucking love underground music. Other than the fact that it's not bloody overplayed, I love the feeling when people have never heard of whatever you're listening to.

Dubstep is becoming too mainstream. Not that it takes away from my enjoyment, but I've had a solid, you know, year or so of listening to straight dubstep and perhaps it's time to take a break. I used to dislike electro house because the bass wasn't as heavy and it seemed a little monotonous, but it's very acquired.

Anyway, the 49ers are old but I love their music so much. Here's a chill track to keep your nerves calm.

Endless Rhymes ft. Nieve - The 49ers

The harp part is to die for, but overall, an awesome song. The beat sort of reminds me of Nujabes, actually.

I'm glad my music is diversifying.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yet another post stolen from Tumblr

It's been a long, long haul to get where I am. I've endured so much pressure from everyone, especially my dad because he had this initial idea that I couldn't cope with the workload and that I wouldn't be capable and so I'd rely on him. Yeah, hasn't happened. The only time I needed help from him was when I wanted him to test me on all the content and since I've proved myself and he's started to realise that medicine isn't the only profession I can be successful at. And I realise that there are a lot of people who would absolutely kill to be in my position.

People are often tossing up between medicine and dentistry and they've asked me what my opinions are on both, so I guess I'll dedicate this post to that. They're both very sought after because the general public perceives the following:
  • To be a doctor or a dentist is considered prestigious
  • The income is high
  • You're dealing with people
  • It's very difficult to get into either
The truth is that there is a lot, LOT more than that. See, I've always been interested in science/health sciences and I love working with people. I find it fascinating how we can incorporate the straight knowledge of science withe the art of interactions to improve people's lives. And I'm fairly independent and fixed on leading my own job and being my own boss, so that's why I prefer being a doctor or dentist instead of someone who has to answer to a higher authority.

I used to have this really fixed idea that I was going to do either ophthalmology or dermatology if I did medicine and orthodontics if I did dentistry but I've weighed up the study:success ratio and dentistry has thus far shown to be better. See with medicine, it's 6 years (2 years of undergrad + 4 years postgrad MBBS) but after you complete the degree, it's basically only the beginning of your education. From there, you must do internship, become a registrar and then choose a chosen specialty and complete the training. Thing is, it's one thing to get into medicine, but it's another thing to actually get an internship and THEN get into the college of a specialty. It's especially difficult particularly with ophthalmology, dermatology or surgery because they're so popular.

So that's 7-10 years providing you get in straight away. With dentistry, you do the 5 year degree - bachelor of dental science - and then you can begin working immediately. Although it's hard to get into specialties, you need to work for 3 years anyway and if you can't get into orthodontics or whatever, just keep trying while you work. You're earning an extremely high income anyway and if you go rural, your pay goes up something like 60-70% for first year pay.

I've got pretty good manual dexterity so I'm not worried about the technical skills. They can be learnt and playing instruments really helps with that. So yeah, I'm erring towards sticking with dentistry, but I'll keep my options open.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I feel like I'm blogging to myself

I guess I'm still really used to Tumblr.

Blogspot is a lot more isolated and idk it should be more personal but honestly my tumblr is my personal blog.

Oh well, everything just takes time.

Great car music

I downloaded a mash up album last year called "Rematch" by The White Panda.

Not until just then did I realise how amazing they are. I've been listening to the album pretty much on repeat in my car, but it's 47 mash ups crammed into 14 tracks, so of course you can't really put the full length tracks in there. Ugh there's one track I really, REALLY like but I can't find the single anywhere. Oh well, just means I have to skip halfway through a song to get it.

Two tracks I love in the album are "I Wish I Broke Your Heart" and "Overnight Panda".

I Wish I Broke Your Heart (Taio Cruz//Skee-Lo Mash Up)

Love, love and love some more.

Overnight Panda (Twista//Crystal Castles Mash Up)

I recognised the Crystal Castles - Black Panther song immediately but yeah this is awesome.

Both tracks are from Rematch.

I'm currently downloading all the single, full-length tracks and you can find them all from their Official Website. It's going to take ages to download. Far out. It's estimating at 4 hours for 500mb um what.

All their mash ups are amazing! I've never, ever come across better mash ups in my life.

They're great. I know what I'll be playing in my car from now on. I've really deviated from dubstep but this is still far, FAR from mainstream.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Time Traveller's Wife

Today I watched The Time Traveller's Wife (okay, whatever, I know it's "traveler" but I'm not American so screw it). It was a great movie; the acting wasn't absolutely fantastic and the plot wasn't the deepest, but it was a really cute movie. Of course, anything with Rachel McAdams is worth watching just to stare at her the entire time. And let's be honest: Eric Bana is a babe.

The Time Traveler's Wife is the debut novel by American author Audrey Niffenegger, published in 2003. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences. (Source: Wiki)

It's based on a novel and the movie is pretty old so if you haven't watched it then you seriously need to do so. Not going to ruin it for people, but I didn't like the ending just because it was sad. And it wasn't even the sad part that made me sad. It was the very ending where the parts are kind of happy and yeah.

Excellent movie just for the cute romance factor. Not exactly the most thought-provoking movie, but it's cute. It's the perfect word to describe the movie. A good movie and one that sticks with you, but not one that pops into your head when someone asks you, "what are some fantastic movies?"


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Battle of the sexes

When everything boils down, which gender prevails?

Point of this post: comparing male best friends to female ones.  Having only recently attained one of the opposite gender, I can tell you all that it's a fairly insightful thing. It's almost as though I act differently around him; no, not changing my personality, but it really brings out my inner bitch. Whether it's because I'm more comfortable talking to boys in general and that it's my natural instinct that I've been holding back ever-so-gracefully, or if it's just because his own personality brings out my inner bitch, I'm not sure. It's not much of a debate right now but I'd like to reflect on this post in the upcoming months.

So far, this is what I've been able to conjure from the top of my head. Yeah, going to be pretty crap reasons but hey, hey, it's almost 2am and I've had lectures today which I probably would have legitimately been better off skipping them. Anyway, without further ado:

  • They're not going to try to steal your boyfriend - okay, worded REALLY badly but I guess what I'm trying to get at is that there's no risk of any interest, unless they're not straight but that's cool too.
  • They're more likely to be honest and not hold back on opinions just because they're guys and built that way. In general, they have a very blunt mentality and get straight to the point. I like that.
  • It brings out my boyish side - like, I do like shopping but I'll be truthful and say that I must prefer a decent quality conversation.
  • Advice central - they're guys, right? So that means when you're having boy troubles, hopefully they're able to help you.
And yeah that's my two cents' worth of thought at 1:45 in the morning. Okay, really and truly better be off to bed and up bright and early-ish for chem study.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stolen from my Tumblr

I've been asked this a few times now, and since I've finished 2/3 of my mid-semester exams, I'll give you a brief (or detailed, however you want to put it) overview of my routine. I'm actually quite versatile in my style of study in that I can adapt my brain to many styles but it just takes a bit of time to become accustomed to all the different methods.

But I maintain the fact that I can never purely read through something and absorb everything; I get maybe 5-10% of it. Visually, my brain can't really process things from first glance. Even after 5 or so times, I'll have a lot of trouble remembering. I need other ways to embed things in my brain. I'm certainly not a visual person; from greatest to worst learning styles, the other is definitely kinaesthetic -> audio -> visual.

Kinaesthetic is really being active in your learning by doing things to learn, but I need a combination of all three. Firstly, I'll read through my lecture notes, or if you have high school notes - then those, to see what's relevant. Of course I'm not going to understand what I'm reading, but at least I can recognise the content when I read it in the textbook. That's the next step - reading through the textbook. I really need to grasp a concept and understand it fully before I can take the bits and pieces I need for my exams. It's a lot more work I know, but at least it's a way that I can understand. I mean, I'd much, much rather understand absolutely everything and beyond than to skim through something and remember nothing.

After reading the relevant sections in the textbook once, I read over it again and match what I'd read in my notes to those corresponding in the textbook. Then, I take very short notes (not really, I write a LOT just because at this stage, I'm not completely sure what's relevant and what's not) in my notebook and make sure I understand those notes. The key is UNDERSTANDING - you can memorise things later. That's the easy part; if you can understand something, memorising just takes time but you grasp the concept.

If I need a better understanding, I search around for videos until I find ones I can understand. That might take a few hours, but it really consolidates my understanding because it mixes my visual reading with the audio recording on the video while demonstrating another visual aspect - the picture from the video. Of course, I take video notes from them and it helps a LOT because those little notes trigger important segments that replay in my head - my mind works that way.

After that's all done, I type up my notes and organise them into one single document. That way, I have an accumulation of everything that is essential to learn for the exam. There's no time wasted in flipping from page to page, book to book and trying to learn something you don't understand. By typing up your notes, you're obviously learning when you read your notes and process them into sentences you understand. And that's just it - what you're typing are hopefully your own words - and not some textbook's. If you really understand what you've spent all that time on, you should be able to explain those concepts to anyone, or at least understand what you're trying to convey with them. Organising your notes is definitely the key to remembering.

I test myself by revealing the key words of each concept and covering the content part and trying to revise that. Retell yourself and even talk about it with your family members. I think that's the bulk of my understanding - when I can discuss what I've learned with my dad. It's so useful to have someone of a medical background in the family because they understand 100% what you're learning; it's great. They test you and if you can answer every question properly, then you've learned.

Other things I find useful are flash cards - they're pretty much the same as notes, except they're a lot bulkier in terms of shape to thickness ratio and a lot more effort to prepare. I find them extremely useful, but it's just that the amount of content I have to learn means that I spend hours and hours actually preparing the cards and then more time cutting them up and it's just counterproductive. Another thing is group study. Definitely useful - VERY useful. Here, you can discuss your extent of understanding and compare it with the different points of interest with other people. If someone doesn't understand something, then you can teach your strong points and that REALLY consolidates your knowledge. Conversely, if there are things that you perhaps are not as good at, people can do the same thing. One thing I suggest though, it's a waste of everyone's time if you go there without knowing ANYTHING. Study beforehand before discussing it.

And yeah, there you have it: Michelle's comprehensive study guide.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

You know, just taking a break from studying and all

I honestly intended to post yesterday but I didn't have time to. Seriously, I went to sleep at my normal nocturnal hours of the day and told my mum to go away twice when she tried waking me up.

She left me alone in the end, allowing my waking up on my own accord.

Left the house late, got to uni just on time and then started freaking out about the behavioural skills test we had to do for interpersonal skills, which is a psychology subject compulsory for the dent course.

I found the dress I bought from the city for like $15 the other week and thought I might wear it with something I got from the rummage just because I would have been a complete idiot for wearing just the dress in moderately chilly weather. I'm pretty sure it was $8. I swear, I'm never going to buy another piece of clothing from any retailer for the rest of my life.

I had to bounce the stupid flash. Remind me never to take photos when it's dark outside.
Yeah, I was still an idiot because it was windy. And you know what wind + short dresses means. I was kind of self-conscious for the entire day. Yeah, that was really cute.

I never thought a mirror shot could give such nice detail. I forgot that I could bounce the flash.
I didn't think I was a dress person, but this is really my style. Maybe not the best but I still like it. I love the warm colours; it's not too in your face.

I love the crochet detail on the shoulder line.
You can probably tell I like mirror shots now. So long as you can't see my face, everything is all G.

Love oversized. LOVE.
I made the mistake of wearing a white bra. I realised that as soon as I got to uni, but yeah I couldn't exactly turn around, could I?

So yeah not a huge post but basically, WDYWT #1.

I seriously did mean to write this, but I was studying and responding to various people on skype, going through questions.

Stress levels accumulating.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Slow it down

I'm so tired and sleep deprived because of a certain person but today has been just bearable because I've been listening to music all day.

I'm the type of person who downloads a song, falls in love with it and then I'll put it on repeat until I get sick of it. If I can't be bothered changing it, I'll go look for another song and then the process is repeated.

Anyway, these are some pretty chill songs. I downloaded them a few days ago and I must say they're really growing on me.

Reminded - Tyga ft. Adele

Love it. Gives a new perspective to hip hop; mixing it with acoustic was a good choice. I adore Adele and this was a really nice mix.

Equinox - Skrillex

What else can I say about Skrillex? Have to say, I'm getting slightly annoyed that his dubstep is kind of assimilating into mainstream but hey, it's still good. Pretty sure this is an unreleased track.

Riverside - Agnes  Obel

I heard one of her other songs, 'Brother Sparrow', somewhere and fell in love with it so I downloaded her entire album called Philharmonic. I don't think I can walk away from this song.

Kids - Two Door Cinema Club

I was a bit surprised to hear this song, mainly because I have their entire discography but it turns out that it was an exclusive track from the Japanese version of Tourist History. Fair enough. Good song.

So yeah I have a psych test to study for by tomorrow. Actually, it's not even a test - it's called a "behavioural skills test". I get really stressed so I think I'm going to go study for it for an hour of so. Enjoy these chills tracks.

A knitball of stress

Since I can't exactly post on my Tumbrughhhhh about my educational experiences, I shall post them here.

Yesterday I learned more about cell biology than I have the rest of the term (mid-semester, but term sounds much better and plus I'm still kind of accustomed to using it from high school). Anyway, I spent roughly about 3-4 hours watching this amazing lecturer from some random non-profit organisation explaining photosynthesis and cellular respiration in just enough detail and I guess he's really inspired me to try to actually do well in these exams.

If I do really well in these exams, that 7.0 is definitely attainable.

Damned eraser almost ripped my page. We have a definite love-hate relationship.

I'm yet to do a summary for everything; I have to really go through my entire lecture booklet + Jess' notes and I'm planning to redo the practice test. Actually, I don't think I did too badly considering that I hadn't even touched cell biol when I did it the first time. Sort of failed on the true/false questions and almost died because of that but hey, nevermind.

Let's try to consolidate my understanding of photosynthesis. I wasn't bothered taking a detailed photo of the second page just because it's pretty self-explanatory. So, let's get started.


The overall reaction for this process is as follows:

6CO2 + 12H2O -> C6H12O6 + 6H2O + 6CO2 + Energy

So there are two main phases: the light DEPENDENT reaction (which is obviously dependent on light) and the light INDEPENDENT/""""dark"""" reaction/Calvin cycle (happens simultaneously to the light reaction but obviously doesn't require it). Firstly, let's deal with the light dependent reaction.

Yeah I know, really cute drawing right?

Step 1: Light DEPENDENT reaction

There are proteins, or "complexes" embedded within this phospholipid bilayer and it occurs in the thylakoid membrane.

Summary of what happens:

  • Water is broken up into H+ and molecular oxygen (O2) and the electrons given off are the source to drive this """""electron transport chain""""" and yes I know it's technically not THE electron transport chain but that's the best way to put it.
  • ATP synthase is driven by this process and electrons combine with the final electron acceptor NADP+ and is reduced to NADPH. ADP combines with P to form ATP

A more detailed summary:

  • Photons of light penetrate the cell and hit the first complex PSII, exciting electrons and therefore putting them at a high energy state.
  • The electrons move to the next complex and lose energy through movement until it reaches PSI where it is hit by another photon and gets excited again.
  • The energy lost through movement from higher energy states to lower energy states pumps H+ ions from the stroma into the lumen of the thylakoid and establishes a concentration/electric/pH gradient/potential.
  • Eventually, the [H+] inside the lumen reaches a stage where all the hydrogen ions want to be pumped back into the cell and this is where ATP synthase comes into play. The electrons from the chain reach the ATP synthase where they are used to reduce NADP+ to NADPH and the energy from the electrons' drops in states is used to drive this process.
  • Now, obviously it's called ATP synthase for a reason. While all this NADPH is being formed, this whole thing is driving the ADP and Ps together and they form ATP.
  • So, electrons are being used in this chain, yes? One question you may raise: once the electrons are used up, how do you get new ones? Does the process just stop? And ok I'm tired so they're bad questions but basically, the electrons are being constantly replaced through the "electrolysis" of water. Again, a loose term, but essentially, water molecules hit PSII and it's strong enough to pull electrons and it's broken up into H+ ions and more importantly, molecular oxygen or O2
The basic reactions for this step are:

2H2O -> 4H+ + O2 + 2e-
NADP+ + H+ + e- -> NADPH
ADP + P -> ATP

Step 2: Light INDEPENDENT/"Dark" reaction/Calvin cycle

Basically, this is where the CO2 from the overall reaction is converted into usable forms for the cell like glucose or sucrose. Carbon is "fixed" - from a gaseous form to a usable form for energy. Since this is a lot simpler than the light dependent reaction, I don't think I really need two types of summaries. It occurs in the stroma.

What happens:

  • 6 CO2 molecules combine with six 5 carbon molecules called RuBP (which stands for ribulose biphosphate or ribulose-1,5-biphosphate but that's not very important at all) to form 12 molecules of G3P (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate) which is a 3 carbon molecule. Aside: just concentrate on the number of carbons. We started with 6 carbons from CO2 and combined it with 6 RuBPs so 6 + 5 x 6 = 36 and we form 12 G3Ps so that's 12 x 3 = 36 carbons.
Summary equation: 6CO2 + 6RuBP -> 12G3P
  • Since G3P is at a higher energy state than CO2 or RuBP, you need energy to make the reaction work. This energy comes from the ATPs and NADPHs which were produced in the light dependent reaction. Specifically, 12 ATPs and 12 NADPHs are used in the above reaction and are converted into 12ADPs, 12Ps and 12 NADP+
  • From the 12G3Ps, 10G3Ps are used to remake 6 molecules of RuBP and that's why it's called a cycle. In the process of recombination, 6 ATPs are used to complete this reaction because it requires energy. Aside: 10G3Ps give 3 x 10 = 30 carbons and 6 RuBPs give 5 x 6 = 30 carbons.
Summary equation: 10G3P + 6ATP -> 6ADP + 6P + 6RuBP
  • Now, we started with 12G3Ps and 10 were used to regenerate RuBP, so what happened to the other 2? Well, we know that G3P has 3 carbons and since there are 2 of them, they combine to form a 6 carbon molecule; what haven't we covered? The sugar. So two of them join together to form either a glucose molecule or sucrose - something that provides food to the cell - C6H12O6.
The basic reactions for this step are:

6CO2 + 6RuBP + 12ATP + 12NADPH -> 12G3P + 12ADP + 12P + 12NADP+
10G3P + 6ATP -> 6RuBP + 6ADP + 6P
2G3P -> C6H12O6

Still too confusing? Just know that CO2 is converted into C6H12O6 and these reactions require energy to happen because of the products at a higher energy state. Also know that it's a cycle.

And there you have it: photosynthesis in a nutshell.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's without the fools

What is this now - my 6th/7th/10th/20th blog?

Beside the point.

This blog is probably going to be used to post new music I like and get in touch with my creative side. This will definitely be a tertiary blog; Tumblr is still my preferred posting style because I tend to get carried away with long posts.

As I said, I'll be posting photos, motivation for future projects, music and perhaps even recounts of my little journey to the right side of my brain. Nothing too big and nothing to take away from my other blogs.