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Last Visit 2014-04-20 16:14:38 |Start Date 2007-04-01 15:09:25 |Comments 9,495 |Entries 1,006 |Images 1,399 |Sounds 30 |SWF 1 |Videos 217 |Mobl 27 |

Category: music

11/15/10 10:30 - 41.ºF - ID#53109

Clave Crazy

Okay, I spent every minute of my mp3-player time today playing traditional salsa by greats like Roberto Torres (and OMG-so-popular-its-POP Marc Anthony) and listening for this Clave Rhythm:



I am nowhere close to deciphering this elusive rhythm in real salsa songs. But the funny thing is I can now hear it clear as day in Prodigy's d&b hit.

(Yeah, I know. Weirdest video ever. And I have no idea what they are croaking on about in the middle of all those raving-loony-peeping-into-screen dance moves. They definitely need the hospital. Any hospital. But listen to that clave right there! Listen to that d&b clave!)

At this rate, I might start hearing the clave when people speak. Who knows...

PS: Being a bit salsa-clave-overzealous nutcase here but I also found a software called "The Salsa Rhythm Machine" at this I am going to give it a whirl and report back.

PPS: The Salsa & Merengue Society's website is an absolute delight It's so plain and innocuous but every little corner is a nifty surprise!
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Words: 191
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/15/10 10:49

Category: dance

11/14/10 06:31 - 53.ºF - ID#53105

Salsa for the Soul

Cue music!




I godzilla-stomped through Sarah and Sean's basic dance moves and yet, they made me feel as if I was their best dancer on the floor. They are probably the most amazing pair of teachers I have ever met.

At some levels, their class reminds me of the days I struggled to comprehend the molecular orbital theory. In fact, salsa and the orbital theory share more intricacies than you might think is possible. It's all about energy levels, subshells, orbitals and spins. Solo salsa steps closely mirror the energy densities of s, p and d orbitals.

At the heart of all salsa steps is a return to a high energy center - the S orbital.

You step out of the center and distribute the energy a bit to the periphery capturing the P orbitals. image

The d orbital is all those twirls and twists subtly layered on top of the p energy density distribution.

And if you didn't guess already, the f orbital houses the salsa shines and some of the inspired freestyles by Sarah!

The molecular orbitals or partnered dancing becomes easier once you get the gist of the atomic orbitals or solo salsa! Oh, and there is also this perplexing mystery of how exactly one picks up the rhythm of the clave in the music and decides to dance on-1 or on-2.

I spent a good chunk of time listening to the Salsa Beat Machine at the but the beat of this quirky instrument is one of the toughest to isolate in the middle of all the other instrument racket. I read somewhere that some people are born with the rhythm resonating in their bones. I think I can believe this easily of Sean and Sarita. There is something so very inherently rhythmic about the way they move. If one of them is dancing, they can make even the most waddly of partners look graceful and poised.

PS: Drop by the Configuration Dance Studio (at the corner of Ashland and Lexington at 7:15 PM on Thursday evenings) for some super-stylish Salsa Chemisty with Sean and Sarah! Catch up with Salsa for the Soul at: and

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Words: 416
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/11/10 02:44

Category: the odes

11/14/10 09:51 - 54.ºF - ID#53101

Pom Poms!

I browse the Sartorialist for fun. I just saw this picture. The little kid looks somewhat like my brother... back in the day. I had to post it here, just so I could look at it and smile! :-)

From the Sartorialist, November 9, 2010

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Words: 58
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/14/10 09:53

Category: the odes

11/11/10 02:10 - 59.ºF - ID#53091

At home

I am at home on a sunny beautiful weekday after a really long time. As wonderful as it sounds, it's not even remotely satisfying. Every 10 minutes, I am coughing out what looks like greenish-greyish-yellowish globs of primordial slime. I am sorely tempted to post a gross picture here but I am trying not to offend (e:libertad). :-)

The thing is I have dance class at 7:15 today. And these two are my instructors:

I know. It's intimidating, especially when you have cold and can't think straight. Last week, I was caught up in lab and crashed the intermediate class instead of the beginners class. It didn't do my confidence any good but it was fun to watch all the footwork and see Sarah and Sean dance. I am hoping that I am well enough to get there at 7:15 today.

Oh and before I forget, I can't really be at home for long because my cells need some TLC in the lab.
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Words: 165
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/11/10 02:17

Category: the odes

11/08/10 11:38 - 38.ºF - ID#53083

Pain Pain Pain

I have a terribly sore painful throat right now - probably a result of lecturing at the top of my voice for two and half hours combined with a pharyngitis causing virus. My throat probably looks like this:

What is worse is the nagging feeling that I didn't really give an interesting lecture. I wasn't feeling the joy I usually do and totally violating my personal rule of presentation zen. I was miles away mentally, worrying about my lab assays and data analyses while I was lecturing. I didn't connect with the students. As a result, I feel very fake and very ill right now and down in the dumps.

Maybe it's the impending cold or maybe it's just a realization that I didn't get all my energies out there conveying a simpler message to the students - always a sign of bad and graceless teaching. I feel as if I misused the time of those 25-odd students in the class. They definitely deserved a better lecture than this.

Sincerely yours,
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Words: 178
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/09/10 12:11

Category: work

11/06/10 01:57 - 39.ºF - ID#53069

RPCI cuts down trees for no real reason

I am very depressed that my workplace decided to cut down all the full-grown trees in front of my office and build an ugly cement rink and footpaths that were completely unnecessary. It is true that some of the employees complained about suffering falls in front of the building because of the uneven footpath. Instead of advising caution while walking, recommending sensible footwear and non-invasively fixing the few uneven concrete slabs in the walkway, my workplace, in its infinite wisdom, hired an industrial-scale landscaping crew/demolition squad, dug up all the grass and uprooted the mature trees that had probably grown there for nearly 40-50 years, judging by their girth and root-size.

The trees brought character to the building and filtered light through their beautiful foliage. When they turned, they were awe-inspiring and soothing to the senses. More importantly, they were part of the natural air-quality control near the periphery of the campus where employees, who are probably blind to the ill-effects of smoking, continue to smoke like chimneys and blow out puffs of smoke all through the day. As far as I know, these four trees were causing no structural damage to the building. I would be interested in hearing why exactly they needed to be chopped down and uprooted for no reason other than to satisfy some dull and unimaginative aesthetic.

The "tree of life" - a sad-looking evergreen at the centre of the Kaminski gardens in the campus was structurally damaged during the October snow storm a couple years back. A million emails were sent out to the employees and everyone else to assure people that the pruning of that tree was only made in the good faith that it would grow again. However, there has been no word of explanation, or even acknowledgement that cutting down four healthy trees is a sizable and real concern.

It is not enough that our recycling program is so patchy, that the employees misuse paper as if it grows out of thin air and that we "are proud to partner with" coke. Now, we go and cut down trees that have slowly grown over 40-50 years. All of this, compounded, makes me think that we are a cancer fighting institution only in name. Through our actions, we are indirectly destroying the very environment that contributes to our state of health. Our non-existing conservation strategy and poor decisions subtly have a detrimental effect on the health of our neighbouring communities.

Deforestation can NEVER be justified by some perverted notion of aesthetics or urban planning. I am sorry, but whoever argues that landscaping justifies cutting down full grown trees is an environmentally oblivious selfish human.

PS: The official suggestion box comments have been ignored since June. I'd be glad to hear what logic they could possibly have for cutting down the trees.
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Words: 471
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/07/10 08:59

Category: i-tech

11/05/10 09:05 - 40.ºF - ID#53061

Android Gmail Theme

Love Love Loving it!

The matching Chrome Android theme:

This is probably the first time a theme has instantly appealed to me so much. I am digging that green/grey/microchip design. Would be even more smashing if it were peachblow/grey/microchip...

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Words: 53
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/06/10 04:14

Category: science

10/31/10 03:35 - 43.ºF - ID#53042

Linkage Disequilibrium Tutorial

A guest messaged me to say:

Hey. I just wanted to say thank you for writing about how to read LD blocks. My teacher failed to mention the details and you have solidified what I thought was going on. Thank you again

How cool is that?! I am so glad at least one person found the post on how to interpret LD maps and blocks useful!

The post on how to interpret and read Linkage Disequilibrium maps and blocks:


Words: 91
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/31/10 03:35

Category: science

10/26/10 12:26 - 61.ºF - ID#53013

Soda is the new cigarette

Back in the 1940s, this Phillip Morris advert interrupted TV programming and annoyed the heck out of people:

{Though why anyone would want to follow that creepy looking "doctor" in his rickety car just to see him smoking is beyond me... unless you are a shoddy-noir fan.}

Fast forward to 2010 and this is what is happening, quite literally, in our backyards.


We saw a similar disturbing story last year:

Full marks to whoever sees the ominous similarities here.

I was going to preach on pedantically about how the Center for Disease Control (and Prevention) -- CDC has come out with findings that show that 1 out of every 3 of us are going to get Type II diabetes in 2050 (1) and how eerily similar is the fact that, currently, 1 out of every 3 of us is clinically obese (2) - 5% of which is directly and squarely attributable to soft drinks, colas and other dodgy carbonated what-nots (3, 4). I was also going to throw in research findings about how sweetened beverages cause diabetes, metabolic syndrome (5), hypertension and cardiac diasease (6) and finally, how obesity and diabetes are increasingly being linked to an increased risk of cancer as well as poorer cancer-related outcomes (7, 8).

But I guess, we will all be cold in our comfy plus-size graves by then. So, I am just going to splash this post with some time-machine acccelerant and serve up the punchline from 2050.


However, feel free to ignore this post and all the evidence and drink up those colas. Because you see, history does repeat itself and it will probably be 2050 before we will get to see the surgeon general's message on cola cans, pepsi cans and other members of this aggressively marketed ilk.


The full-text of all the references for the pedantically inclined:

1. The CDC diabetes prediction making news-waves: Boyle J et al. Projection of the year 2050 burden of diabetes in the US adult population: dynamic modeling of incidence, mortality, and prediabetes prevalence. Population Health Metrics. 2010;8(1):29+. Available from: . PDF Link:

2. The dramatic obesity charts, statistics and trends in the US:

3. National Cancer Institute's report on where all the excess energy-intake in the US population is coming from. PDF Link:

4. A systematic review of all the epidemiological studies, clinical trials, prospective studies and retrospective studies that have investigated the associations between obesity and the consumption of carbonated drinks (and yes, the vast majority of the reliable studies have very consistently damaging findings against cola): Woodward-Lopez G et al. To what extent have sweetened beverages contributed to the obesity epidemic? Public health nutrition. 2010 September;p. 1-11. Available from: . PDF Link: ::READ PDF::

5. Hu FB et. al. Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes: Epidemiologic evidence. Physiology & Behavior. 2010 April;100(1):47-54. Available from: . PDF Link: ::READ PDF::

6. Chen L et. al. Reducing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Is Associated With Reduced Blood Pressure: A Prospective Study Among United States Adults. Circulation. 2010 June;121(22):2398-2406. Available from: . PDF Link: ::READ PDF::

7. Renehan AG et. al. Interpreting the epidemiological evidence linking obesity and cancer: A framework for population-attributable risk estimations in Europe. European Journal of Cancer. 2010 September;46(14):2581-2592. Available from: . PDF Link: ::READ PDF::

8. Pal SK et. al. Impact of Age, Sex, and Comorbidity on Cancer Therapy and Disease Progression. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2010 September;28(26):4086-4093. Available from: . PDF Link: ::READ PDF::
Bonus reading: The guide to healthy-eating from Harvard:

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Words: 690
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/26/10 12:36

Category: science

10/20/10 12:02 - 46.ºF - ID#52984

Did you know? (Facts against smoking.)

A recent debate on (e:dcoffee)'s journal - (e:dcoffee,52972) about smoking prompts me to remind everyone about how evil smoking actually is. Did you, for instance, know that:

Approximately, 30 percent of all cancer is caused directly by smoking. It is a risk factor for cancers of not only the lung, but also the larynx, the oral cavity, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, stomach and cervix.

And if that was not enough, 100% of Smokers inevitably end up with either emphysema or chronic bronchitis.


Admittedly, cancer is a rare disease, but 30% of all deaths due to cardiac disease is also directly attributable to smoking. Cardiac disease is the #1 killer in this country.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke in households are more likely to get asthma, chronic respiratory disease, middle ear infections and cardiac disease as adults, . More than a 3rd of all the children who have ever tried even one cigarette will become regular daily smokers before they leave high school.

US spends at least $100 billion every year for health care addressing smoking-related issues in its hospitals and clinics. The state makes payments of over $20 billion in smoking-caused Medicaid payments every year.

It is SO hard for me to sympathize when someone defiantly brings up smoking as an excusable recreational habit instead of feeling guilty about it. I just cannot see their point of view and maybe deep inside, don't want to. It is on par medically with all of the other hard drug addictions, simply because of the massive medical and financial impact it causes. As I write this, some MORON smoking in my building and hanging their cancer-sticks out their window is causing smoke to drift into my living space. You will excuse me if I feel this intense urge to go right up to them, scream in their face and choke them to death.

  • Blatant admission: All of this is completely plagiarized from various sources on the net. It is comforting to know that infinitely wiser people have arrived at these various damaging conclusions against smoking and that it is not some personal ill-supported propaganda of mine. Google each sentence on this blog and you will likely find a million peer-reviewed research documents in support.

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Words: 369
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/20/10 12:20



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