Sunday, March 27, 2011

What have I been up to?

First, some more random, but interesting stuff I learned in repro class. (If science/animals gross you out, or you were completely grossed out by the bedbug thing in the last post, skip to the next paragraph) When artificially inseminating an elephant, (cause you never know when you may be put up to the challenge, you could just be walking along and then Whoah! There’s an elephant and I need to AI it. When that happens, you’ll be glad you read this) you should know that it’s gonna be quite hard to do…because yeah, it’s an elephant. It’s about a 1.5 meter journey to the cervix where you need to insert the semen, and there’s like this random 45° angle turn that you have to make in order to get to the cervix. And once you get there, there’s 3 tiny mm sized holes that you have to choose from, one is the correct one and the other two are dead ends. Still with me? Well, the initial opening that you’d enter through is on the underside of the elephant, so I’m still trying to figure out how they actually mate…no wonder they’re endangered. Was that difficult enough? Well, let’s rewind a bit, because before you AI the girl, you’ve gotta get the semen out of the boy. This is where, once again, it gets weird. In order to get the male to ejaculate, you’ve gotta stimulate the prostate gland. This is NOT how it’s done for most animals, so I’m sitting there trying to figure out, “Who in the WORLD figured this out???? Oh, the normal ways we use for getting an animal to ejaculate isn’t working on this elephant. Maybe I’ll try sticking my arm into the rectum (yes, this is how one accesses the prostate gland) and…well you get the idea. As interesting as I find conservation of endangered species, I’m getting the idea that finding new AI methods for animals such as the elephant or the rhinoceros is possibly not the field I want to get into as a vet or animal scientist, but I suppose we shall see what the future holds. (If that bit of info interested you, check out the documentary “An elephant’s guide to sex”)

But yeah, I’m thinking that this is going to be quite a hodgepodge/random collection if tidbits from my life…so if you’re interested, read on. Today, my church had a picnic and it was quite fun, not to mention that the weather was pretty near perfect. Not too cold, not too hot and the sun was warm but not scalding. Anyhow, the reason I put this in here (well, I guess my church here is pretty cool, and I suppose that is one thing that I’ve been up to) was to tell you about the bathroom adventure that me and two friends had. We got up and started walking to the bathroom, but none of us actually knew where the bathroom was. We saw this building off in the distance that we decided the bathroom was probably in, but as we got closer, it was looking more like a shack and we were hoping that this was not where the bathroom was located. When we got to the building we realized there was a small fire burning, and there were a group of people sitting by. They were like “Hi! This is our campsite!” It was a bit odd, but they were quite friendly, and pointed the bathroom out to us. It was of course in the direction that we had come from so we went completely out of the way. However, we took a nice scenic tour around the park to get to the bathroom, so I guess it wasn’t so bad. When we got to the bathroom, there was a line, and no exaggeration, this is probably the weirdest public toilet I’ve ever seen. Firstly, there was no handle on the door. It slid open like an elevator, and it actually looked like the door to an elevator. You had to push a button to open it. (sidenote: interesting fact, the doors on the trains don’t open automatically, you either have to push a button or slide it open manually with a handle) Anyhow, when you went in, despite the fact that it was kinda gross, being a public toilet in a park and all, it almost seemed like a bathroom from the future. I almost wish I’d taken pictures. Anyhow, I felt a bit ridiculous as the various signs on the wall pretty much walked me through the process. First, you had to push a button to have the toilet paper dispensed to you. In hindsight, this was quite gross. If you think about it, if someone needed a second helping of TP, they had to push that button again after wiping….GROSS! Anyhow, the next step was to try and figure out how to flush the toilet. Sign: Toilet will flush automatically upon washing hands or opening door. (Could hand-washing not have been compulsory at this point?) So I go to the 3 part sink. Section 1: Automatic soap dispenser. (shift hands to the right to) Section 2: Automatic water. (shift hands again to the right to) Section 3: automatic hand dryer. Finally, you push the exit button to open the door. When the 3 of us finally got back to the group, 2 of my other friends were like, what took you guys so long, so I proceeded to tell them this story. They then told me that if I wanted a simple public toilet that I could go visit China because there are no doors on the stalls. One friend said she used an umbrella as a door.

I mentioned earlier how I have a tendency to go the wrong way to find stuff. If I haven’t told you my dentist in Chinatown story, ask me about it, but it pretty much happened all over again here when I was trying to get to the FEDEX store. I knew it was near the airport, so I went to the Metro place and asked which bus to take. He told me the bus number and pointed in the direction of the nearest stop which was V2. Unfortunately, when people point to stuff from inside a building, once I walk outside, I get confused. V2 happened to be only a few meters away down the street, but of course, I went the wrong way. I found V1, but V2 and V1 aren’t that close to each other. I ended up walking around a major chunk of the city, and ended up going back to the main campus of the university because I knew there was a stop near there (but it was completely out of the way). I finally got the bus, and it was about a half hour trip. I got off at the stop before the airport b/c that’s where FEDEX is. However, when trying to go back, I found out as the bus passed me twice, that it doesn’t stop there unless someone on the bus needs to get off there, because the stop is off the main road and the bus driver can’t see if anyone’s there (and no, they don’t bother checking). Another bus came, and he told me that I probably wouldn’t get picked up there anytime soon, so he took me to the airport stop. Because of this long excursion, I ended up missing the bus back to my campus, as well as the train that gets me to the town close to campus in time for the afternoon shuttle from town to the campus. So, I got on the train anyway and just decided that I could hang out in town for like 3 hours. That wouldn’t have been happy. Fortunately, one of my friends has a car and she got out of class early so she came and got me. But yeah, I’m still up to my normal travel mishaps.

Lastly, I guess I’ll tell you about my random uni stuff. I started a bible study, and it’s been going pretty well by God’s grace. I also joined the netball club. I’ve never played or heard of netball before I came here, but I’ve been told that I’m doing pretty well at it. I’ve been playing wing defense which I think is an alright position for me. For those who don’t know what netball is, which for all I know, plenty of people could and I could have just been living in the dark (but I think it’s primarily an Australian sport), it’s like a combination of handball and basketball I guess. The hoop doesn’t have a backboard, and only two people are allowed to shoot, and you have to be right next to the basket. Also, whoever’s trying to block the shooter has to stand 3 feet away. There’s also no dribbling allowed, and once you catch the ball, you can’t move (well you can pivot, but you can’t run with it). It’s pretty fun, and it’s giving me exercise which is good, cause this campus isn’t nearly as big as Purdue so I can’t use walking to class as my daily physical activity. I guess that’s it for now.

Oh, one last thing: I tried Vegemite…and hated it.

Until next time, try something new.


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