January 29, 2010

HeLa cell line

In 1951 an African American woman's biopsy cells were made available to biological researchers, without her knowledge or consent. Today her cell line is one of the most powerful ones for scientific research. See a Wired magazine article on Henrietta Lacks for more information.

Posted by wrjacobs at 10:06 AM

January 22, 2010

SF adventures

Last weekend I was in San Francisco. I'll have to channel Clint Eastwood and detail The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of an unusual trip:

The Good:

  • I took my niece and nephew to a movie theater they had not been to before.
  • I was able to get zipcars without any problems. Well, the gas card did not work in one car, but I was reimbursed for using a personal credit card, and also received an hour of free driving.
  • One zipcar lot was extremely tight. An Asian Amercian woman servicing one of the other cars tried to direct me between cars sandwiched on both sides and a truck behind me, but I was worried about hitting one of them. She said "let me try; getting cars out is my speciality," and got it out! Go 'head on, sista, and bust those stereotypes!

The Bad:

  • For the first time in 8 years of visiting at least once a year, it was raining (a lot).
  • I had to walk 7 blocks to the hotel in a downpour after a wind gust tore up a cheapie umbrella purchased from Walgreens.

The Ugly:

  • An elderly African American man got into a fight with a non-American White tourist when the tourist ignored a request for the tourist's son to stop filming with a Flip camera. The resident slapped the camera out of the kid's hand, then the tourist pushed the resident down while retrieving the camera from the front of the bus, and then the tourist and son went back to confront the resident (!). That's when I got off.

There's never a dull moment in San Francisco!

Posted by wrjacobs at 7:10 PM

January 9, 2010

college football bowl games

This year I watched at least part of all 34 college football bowl games! While I saw all of only 4 games (Insight, Outback, Rose, and BCS championship), I did catch significant action in half of the others, and saw at least a couple of series in each game. I can hardly wait for the 2010-2011 bowl season to arrive. Hopefully the Gophers will be playing in a January 1 bowl next year....

Posted by wrjacobs at 1:30 PM

NBA basketball games

Yesterday I went to my first Minnesota Timberwolves game. It has been at least a decade since the last time I attended an NBA game, and it'll probably be years before I go again. The game itself was OK, but all of the surrounding "entertainment" was annoying: fan promotions, Barbie doll cheerleaders, half drunk fans, loud music every time the home team has the ball. I'm gonna stick to the much more exciting WNBA and college game experiences....

Posted by wrjacobs at 1:21 PM

January 3, 2010

The Pedagogy of Digital Storytelling in the College Classroom










Posted by wrjacobs at 10:39 AM

January 2, 2010

first sub-zero bus rides

It has now been three months since V and I decided to go without a car. Today I twice went out into sub-zero weather to catch the bus to and from campus. The experience both times wasn't that bad!

Posted by wrjacobs at 8:38 PM