Friday, December 18, 2009

My Family Vacation

This week I went to San Diego with my family as part of our family vacation for the holidays. Our very first day in San Diego was full of surprises when my mother and sister were all excited to go visit a real haunted house (it's been my sister's dream to see a ghost). I, however, do not do well when I'm scared and dislike haunted houses to my very core. Here are some pictures from that house. It's a historic landmark of San Diego called the Whaley House. Not sure if there were ghosts when we were there but we never know. The Whaley House was built in the 1800's and has served for many different purposes in San Diego. Here is a link to my video about our trip with a lot of pictures of the house. The pictures are a little too big for the blog so it's better if you view it through the link than if it was on the blog. I hope you all enjoy it. Even working on this gave me the willys.

The Whaley Haunting

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's around Thanksgiving time that I ...

It's around Thanksgiving time that I really realize how much I miss having my biology classes.  We would discuss subjects such as tryptophan and cholesterol which would make me sometimes think twice about partaking in the Thanksgiving events but it would never deter me.    It's amazing how much goes on in our bodies and in the world around us that we don't even realize.  Thanksgiving is the mark for the holidays coming and finals approaching.  Though nerve-racking, it was always a thrill to see the end of the classes and discovering how much you learned.  Biology takes place everywhere on Thanksgiving.  Whether it's the leaves changing, the different plants either blooming or dying, or our own bodies reacting to the weather changing. 


I loved learning how tryptophan (found in that delicious turkey) actually doesn't make me want to take that nap right after eating.  That's right.  I said it.  Tryptophan in your turkey doesn't really make you sleepy on Thanksgiving.  Though turkey does contain tryptophan (more precisely L-tryptophan), it must be taken on an empty stomach to make you drowsy.  Tryptophan is used in our bodies as an amino acid.  This amino acid is used to produce the B-vitamin niacin.  Also, tryptophan can also be used to create melatonin and serotonin.  These two neurotransmitters are known to have a calming effect and help regulate sleep.  Now, while tryptophan can help put you to sleep, it is the fats that are consumed that really help bring on the nap time.  According to, when a lot of fat is consumed, it takes a lot of energy to digest it and the body redirects the blood flow to the digestive system, making people feel fatigued, especially when overeating is involved.  Also, alcohol is known to be a depressant of the nervous system which allows the body to relax and nap time can creep  on in.


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  Not just the food but the time it represents and the family time that comes along with it.  It's around this time of the year that I begin to notice people to be in better moods.  I'm excited for Thanksgiving and I say bring on the nap time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Biology wikis

While looking at different wikis online, I found one that has to deal with the subject of Biology. Intrigued, I followed the site and looked over it. This site has a lot of potential but I feel that it doesn't provide enough information to the public. I looked at an article on DNA and it was only a sentence long! I couldn't believe it. Being disappointed, I decided to make an edit to that article and I gave it a little more depth. I spoke about the structure of DNA and gave more information about the bases as well as the discovery of structure of DNA. If you are looking to learn some information about biology, this site is okay if you are looking for just very brief and basic knowledge. I think I will continue to add to this biology wiki because I feel that there is a lot of information that can be added to this site and will hopefully be a learning tool for other people. Here is the site:

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sams Teach Yourself Youtube in 10 Minutes Book Review

For my book report, I decided to read the book: “Sams Teach Yourself Youtube in 10 Minutes,” written by Michael Miller. As I began to read this book, I found that it was extremely easy to read. Before reading, I looked over the table of contents and as I began each chapter, I found that this was a very well thought out book. One of the best things I found with this book is that any reader won’t need any experience in the beginning. They can read this book without knowing what they're supposed to do or any vocabulary related to this topic. Michael Miller wrote this book for the most easy way to break something down so any reader can understand the point and what they are supposed to do.

The beginning chapters of the book give the reader a basic introduction to what Youtube is and what the purpose is for the site. Miller gives examples of what can be found on Youtube and what the basic components are of Youtube in this book. First off, Miller tells the reader how to create an account with Youtube and how it can be actually linked through their Google account, if they have one. This allows people to combine these two sites and won’t have to worry about creating a whole new account to add to the list of their already long list of accounts they have. If a Google account isn't already established, that's okay. The first few chapters of the book lay the basic foundation of Youtube. What it is and what it holds. Miller explains how to look for certain videos, how to browse through different videos, and how to add the reader's favorite videos to their profile so they don’t have to go looking for them. Youtube allows everyone to share videos that are found on the site with friends that might not have an account with Youtube or don’t like to go on Youtube very much. This give a lot more freedom for the videos so they can travel around all the different sites the internet has to offer, giving the video and the creator much wanted publicity. People even use Youtube as a site for them to post their blogs which are called vblogs.

This book gives the reader all the necessary information they want and need to shoot, upload, watch, and keep track of their videos. They can contact other Youtube users and find others that share the same interests. They can show the readers different videos that they may have never seen. As a reader reads the book and gains more information, the information transitions to the more advanced stuff such as adding captioning or annotations to the uploaded video. As a reader of this book, I would have never known how to do it before. Now, I can create a video with all these different options open to me and make a video that is more than just shooting something and uploading. Youtube allows the user to be very creative with their videos. I especially enjoyed the chapter where you can switch the soundtrack on the video with an outside soundtrack completely different than the original. That was always an interest of mine as I watched Youtube videos. I didn’t know how they did that and was always curious.

As I said before, this book is wonderful for the beginners out there. It breaks everything down and allows a better understanding of the material. If the reader pretty much understands how Youtube already works, this entire book may not be for you. Certain chapters may pertain to you, or anyone for that matter, but the whole idea of the book is for those that are just starting out on Youtube. If you pretty much are set on Youtube, you may find this book a little boring because you already know what he’s telling you. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to increase their skills on Youtube. It definitely allowed me to understand more and be a little more interested in making a movie of my own. Not technically a vblog but something.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dinosaur Discovery

Scientists at BYU have discovered a total of 67 individual dinosaurs from 8 different species. All the bones that have been found are fractured. Over time, bones break when they are brittle and are in the ground for a long period of time. While examining the bones found, they saw that when the bones were broken they were not brittle at all but new bones. This indicates that the bones were broken shortly after death or while they were alive. And these bones were crushed by MUCH larger animals.

The bones were located right near a dry, ancient lake bed and the death of the dinosaurs is likely to be from a drought. As the lake was disappearing, they believe that the larger animals used the area with the dead dinos as a stomping ground toward the lake causing the bones to break. The bones that were able to be put together to form full dinosaurs will be on display at BYU's homecoming.

Here's the link for it:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pregnant twice??

Just the other day I saw a news story about a woman who is pregnant that is carrying another child that is just a few weeks younger than the other. Julia Grovenburg is carrying two children that are due to be born at different times. It's very rare for a woman to ovulate during her pregnancy but it can happen and sometimes this does occur. The children are an estimated 2.5 weeks apart according to the article on This phenomenon is called superfetation. I was so amazed to read this article and learn about this. I had heard about people getting pregnant while pregnant but just thought they were rumors. Now, I see that it in fact is very true and very real.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fishy fishy

While wandering around a website I visit sometimes, I noticed an article that discussed a possible fish-killing toxin that helps kill cancer cells( At a facility in North Carolina, scientists there noticed that many of their fish were dying for some unknown reason. They contacted fellow scientists to see if they could discover the cause for this. Analyzing the pond that the fish lived in, they found two types of algae in the pond that they had originally considered not to be harmful.

After more tests, the scientists found a toxin that was released by the algae which is called euglenophycin. Though this toxin if found to be fatal to fish, it has shown to slow cancer cell growth or kill cancer cells all together. This is a truly amazing feat! If it has shown to kill cancer cells, tumors may be able to be reduced and eliminated in the future.