Adventures of a Lab Rat. Subtitled: Why me?

“Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake of this creeping malaise
If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this maze? “

– Pink Floyd
Dogs (Waters, Gilmour) from “Animals”

For the last month, I have been working in the Neurocognition Laboratory of the Human Nutrition Research Center on Ageing at Tufts University
(And no wisecracks, please, about me discovering cognition,finally, or “coming to my senses”). Ergo, the lack of posts. I am trying to refine my hypothesis; let me rephrase that – I am trying to figure out what my hypothesis will be; i am immersing myself in the lab to get oriented with, and learn more about, lab techniques, pick up skills in hitherto unheard of (atleast in ordinary everyday science lives) tests like genotyping, and generally bring some hilarity into the lab atmosphere. I have also been a not-so-proud active participant in the “sacrifice’ of 60 rats in two batches of 30 each. The experiment involved seeing the effect of various diets on membrane lipids in various organs, and blood. I remember the rat experiments in school, and the heart and nerve physiology experiments in the torture chamber called “Medical Physiology Lab”, and these experiments, which details I will not divulge as I have blocked them out from active memory, fall in the same category. These noble souls have given their lives for scientific progress. They, and their species, will not be forgotten. Here’s looking at you, Rainy!
On a cheerful note, when I am not lab-ratting (yes, that is a verb!), I hang out with a cool group of people, enjoying their company, as I hope they enjoy mine.
~Still Alive and Kickin’ Lab Rat
PS: I am assuming that the smart readership of mine (all 10 of you; Yay! up from my last census count of 6) must have already discovered the obvious link between my post title (“rat”) and the line from Dogs (“maze”)… hahaha… but it goes deeper than that… i am talking about a metaphysical maze, and my path forward…if you figure that one out, do send me a telephatic message

Interesting … and a message

Following sound advice from Big Brother, I started using Google Reader as my choice of an RSS Aggregator. I follow Foreign Policy analysis, Development Economics, US Food Policy, Medicine, News , NewYorker, blogs from family, friends, friends of friends, people I haven’t met (but would love to meet), people I have met and would love to meet again, and also a random funny comic strip to balance things out.
My morning does not begin unless I have read through these, even at the cost of less sleep. I was looking at some of the time saving tips that the Reader offers, as time is limited with me, notwithstanding that I will live to be 86 years.

I came across this:

Curiosity killed this Cat! So, I added Next to my bookmark, opened my reader, read all the unread posts, and then clicked the Next on the bookmark to see what would happen. I got this message:

hahahahaha…. alright, I am a sucker. I am going to click on the End of the Internet. What will happen if I reach the edge of the world? Will I fall off?

Nope, I now know that at the End of the Internet, I will come head to head with another funny person! I love it. Okay, Harry Potter, my time is yours now! πŸ™‚


What happened…

Follow the pictures, and fill in the blanks to create your own magical fairytale wedding story…

Find the needle in the haystack…rather, find the needle and then the haystack…


Coming soon…

… when I have time…
1) Photoblog of “Adventures in Discovery Park” (Not quite Jurassic Park, but it had its own thrill)
2) Lake Washington Kayak-King (Nay, no names will be taken, atleast not in vain)
3) JetBlues a.k.a Return of the Prodigal Son (from Seattle)



…to say the least….

It’s 9 pm in Seattle. I am sitting on Kelly’s balcony, watching the sun set on Mt Rainier, digesting the quick indian dinner that I made for us (Krish, you missed out on this one but, lose not your heart, tomorrow is our night!)

Big Event No. 1: Pat and Lori got married

Big Event No 2: Pat and Lori got married

alright, alright, the wedding pretty much dwarfed everything else… And to Big Event No 3: I danced at the reception (Yep, all of the two left feet me)
Pat, in his inimitable style, made a presentation of his and Lori’s life – funny, poignant, and memorable… and we all featured as the supporting cast; Thanks to our adventures at the Ben Gurion Airport, I got the honor of being represented as a video clip πŸ™‚
On a related note, the Seattle Times reported that 37000 couples got married on 7/7/07 – i hear that particular day was lucky both from a religious as well as a cultural perspective… I know of one couple who won’t need luck πŸ™‚
It has been a whirlwind visit – Seattle, Redmond, Pasco, Kennewick and Seattle again in 3 days! A shoutout to Kelly, Donna and Krish for making it happen…
I am off to adventures galore, as Krish and I “paint the town pink”(His words, not mine – I prefer the colour red).


Fourth of July

This was my second Fourth of July in Boston, in three years!
Last year, Pat, Lori, Kelly, Char and a bunch of us headed out to the top of the Tisch Library on the Tufts Medford Campus to watch them from afar. Someone had brought a radio and we even got to hear Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as the fireworks took off.
Since the last fourth of July, my year has been something of a trough on all fronts , plunging down, rising a bit, dipping for a bit and then plunging even further! Pretty much the toughest year of my life, notwithstanding Year 1 (Oh i forget, that wasn’t difficult for me, it was hell for my mater and pater!).
I put a tombstone on that year with a fantastic evening with Noah and Dora, Bob joining in as a late guest. Nothing spectacular, we saw a cute rat movie “Ratatouille“, sneaked in our homemade popcorn and raspberry lemonade into the theater, made our own pizzas for dinner, and watched the fireworks on TV πŸ™‚ . To top it all, Nikhil is born
Off I go to Seattle, to meet with the ole Gang, and to “ride with Krish”


Nikhil is born…

Another star is born!
Nikhil Srinivasan was born at 12.21 AM on the Third of July 2007. Mom and baby are doing fine. Big Brother Adarsh is excited about his arrival, and refuses to leave his side. Dad is efficiently managing the whole show, losing a lot of sleep but not showing it.
Yay! I am an uncle again!



If you heard that there was a Vitamin B12 conference that had a session in your subject of interest, you would go, right? Even if the conference was a retreat, being held in a sort of “removed from the mainstream” location, and it would be really a tight schedule, given that you are headed out to Patrick and Lori’s wedding in Seattle next week. Would you? you bet!

Update: I forgot to add that Bush and Putin are meeting 10.4 mi (~17 mins drive) south of where I am headed; I presume that a single brown male travelling alone would be searched and followed, both by the Secret Service and the KGB. So expect stories about this journey. Fun!