Rachel Kim's blog

A Throne Room of Mushrooms

It was really interesting to go visit this exhibit of mushrooms in a sort of throne room. Only two people were allowed to enter the exhibit at a time and tasty mushroom snacks were provided for all as we waited to enter. There were many people in the background pretending to be statues that seemed to be one with the actual piece. In the center, on a luxurious chair, was someone that seemed to be the mushroom queen.

LASER: What is an Infinity Structure?

I was really not sure what to expect when attending Robert Gero's exhibit on infinity structures. I was half expecting to see a 3d rendition of the Möbius strip, but Robert Gero talked about an idea where the interior expands infinitely and the exterior remains unchanged. He based his concept off prior works where people had discussed the idea of an infinitely expanding exterior with an unchanging interior and what he came up with was this model in the following picture.

The Versatile Monkey

When I think of the monkey, I somehow always associate them with intelligence and creativity. I never really thought about why I am inclined to think so, but coming from an Asian background, it was somehow understood that monkeys were related to intelligence in terms of the Chinese zodiac. After doing some research, however, I realized that many cultures also associate the monkey with intelligence and the ability to adapt/learn.

Viral and Flavorful Honey

I really enjoyed learning about honey bees and colony collapse disorder (CCD) from Jason last week and actually found the whole process of beekeeping very entertaining. I never really considered bees as much other than insects, but I would notice them time to time crawling on the floor of my front lawn. I always wondered why they had done so, but never really stopped to learn about it. I always thought it was simply due to the heat and that they were tired. Little did I know that honey bees actually suffer from a disease known as deformed wing disorder.

Plants in Pain? An Interesting Idea with Many Misconceptions.

Pain in general terms is understood to be an indication that something is wrong with the body. It involves the central nervous system which consists of nerves, synapses, the spinal cord and the brain. Nerves detect an aggravator and an impulse is sent to the brain from the spinal cord via a complex network of neurons and synapse reactions involving electrical impulses through axons and dendrites. 

Kathy High's Works and Her Innovative Approach to Fecal Transplants

Spending a whole week with Kathy High taught me a lot about artists in science. She spoke a lot about her prior works, and the ones that stood out most to me were her projects with transgenic rats and blood wars. She had created an artificial home for rats with various genetic diseases, and had tried to extend their lives as much as possible with various treatments to see if it could carry over to human treatments as well. She eventually concluded that these rats had lived longer and happier lives.

The Merging of Art and Science

When first enrolling in this class, I was immediately enticed by the prospect of my two favorite disciplines, science and art, being combined. I've always had a passion for both and wondered why they weren't taught together. There was always the stereotype that art and science were polar opposites--that art was reflective and that science was factual experimentation--but I personally always saw them as building upon each other and both unable to survive without the other, which isn't a completely new or farfetched idea.

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