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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Time passes by Sam M. '07

Someone left the cake out in the rain.

DID YOU KNOW? Milk-producing glands in mammals actually evolved from sweat glands. The duck-billed platypus has no nipples. Thus, in order to feed its live-born young, the platypus secretes milk over the entire front half of its body, and the child just kind of licks it off arbitrarily.

Hey folks, not too much of interest going on in my life right now. My entire lab flew all-expenses-paid down to Colorado for the week to conference on sustainable energy with NREL, and I’m an undergrad so I didn’t get to go. While anxiously waiting for their return, I’ve been pursuing the following activities.

1. Playing Jewel Master for the Sega Genesis. The last time I played this was in fifth grade, I remember, because it was the property of my Ukrainian downstairs neighbor Albert. Tip: Once you get the Level 2 Water ring in the ice cavern, equip Wave on the left hand and Fire Viper on the right hand–it’s way better than a Fireball / Ice Dagger combination for the rest of the game.

2. Coding in MATLAB. In case you just tuned in, my job is to turn turkey carcasses into oil to help out Changing World Technologies. Check out the article! So, it’s mostly the fats that break down and thermally depolymerize into diesel-grade oils. Anyway, the problem is that in addition to getting oil from the fats, the carbohydrates (A) and amino acids (B) react to form some crazy copolymers via the Maillard Reaction. We’re trying to experimentally determine the rate of this reaction and then compare this rate to several possible reaction pathways. We can then theoretically model the reaction pathways and determine exactly which intermediates are formed. Hopefully, this should provide insight into how we can prevent the Maillard reaction from occurring.

3. Trying to order earbuds and a cast iron skillet from I want to skillet so I can get some searing action on. In a beautiful bit of symmetry, seared meat is delicious for the exact reason that Changing World Technologies is having trouble turning carcasses into oil–the Maillard Reaction!

Anyway, I really liked this review of a skillet on a certain online shopping site named after a tropical river:

Of course it rusts if “left in the sink too long.” It’s unfinished iron (before you season it), and iron rusts. You do not leave unseasoned cast iron cookware in the sink at all, ever, for any reason (or in any other constantly wet place). Toss any of your unfinished iron stuff into the sink. It’ll rust. Your kid will wrinkle up if left in the bathtub for a couple hours–is this a deficiency in your kid?

4. Hanging out with the rest of the MIT Marching Band at Royal Bengal, a pretty decent $7 Indian Buffet two blocks down Mass Ave. There I learned more about the innerworkings of the female reproductive cycle than I ever thought possible from Caroline ’08, a trombonist and Brain and Cognitive Sciences major.

5. Reading, among other things, The World According to Garp by John Irving.

6. Gearing up for the Burton Conner Ski Trip leaving tomorrow for Cannon Mt. at 5:45 AM sharp!

$30 including transportation, lift ticket, and rentals–hard to beat that.

It’s also hard to beat Jewel Master, but if you just stay close to Jardine the Mad and keep using Blade on him, it shouldn’t be too hard. When he transforms into the freaky Terminator skull, use Level 3 Barrier to avoid taking too much damage.

And that’s all.

7 responses to “Time passes”

  1. Hi Sam!

    Do you remember what was on the menu at the Indian buffet?




  2. Sam says:

    Prashant — They usually have about 7 things and they don’t change much. I think it was Basmati rice, a lentil curry (maybe with cheese?), a cauliflower/chick pea dish, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, and some kind of hard-boiled egg dish. They also have Naan and a variety of sauce/condiments (chutney, cucumber yogurt) and rice pudding for dessert. I don’t think it’s anything too fancy, but it’s always pretty good and you always know what to expect.

  3. mathnerd says:

    can you please post some of the puzzles from the integration bee to satisfy all the extreme nerds like me? smile

  4. Mike says:

    Hey! I’m reading Garp right now, too!

  5. Jess says:

    somebody left a cake out in the rain… OH NO!

    I WAS GONNA EAT THAT CAKE…but now it’s all wet, and I don’t think I WANT ANY!

    anyone?..anyone?…no? okay.

  6. Prashant says:

    Hey Sam!

    Wow! Nice menu! If I get anywhere near MIT, I’ll definitely set up camp near that restaurant. I guess itll remind me of home. The chicken tikka masala is a personal favorite!



  7. Anonymous says:

    I ate at Royal Bengal after taking my tour– it was good. Actually, that was on a college trip in which I had good Indian food in both cities I visited with an Institute of Technology (Rochester and Cambridge).