+12,000 Tomatoes

Over the weekend, I did a bit of calculations for how many tomatoes I will need over the course of my experiments (assuming I don’t mess up a tomato here and there in the process) … the resulting number was actually REALLY HIGH!! “How high?” you scoff.

Can I get a drumroll please?  *insert drumroll here*

12,312 tomatoes

Here’s the calculations:

Photo: L Yang (all rights reserved)

Photo: L Yang (all rights reserved)


Lament of Labwork (1 of many to come)


cuz ALL THE PLATES! (all rights reserved: L Yang)

Labwork finally started up again. Who knew?

After a fulfilling summer down at NC State doing awesome data-mining, social media, and food safety related projects (which I am still doing now, but on the side), I’m now back at VTech starting my thesis research.

What am I doing exactly? I’m not too sure…and here is where the frustration (more with myself, than not) lies. As many graduate students can relate to, the thing about doing a project is that (a) you never know when/if you will succeed or fail; (b) if you haven’t done something in awhile, the confusion of not remembering certain methodologies (added to the thought that you should already know what’s going on) can be disheartening and even tragic. I’m definitely falling into this latter boat, at the moment.

From the outside, my project seems simple enough. Tomatoes. Salmonella. Things growing randomly? What could go wrong?

Besides that…

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Rocketdogs Were Made for Raging

Today’s Daily Prompt prompted us to talk about our favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken us. For me, it was love at first sightThe moment I saw them on the shelf at Payless Shoes (so many years ago), my heartstrings were pulled to their inexplicable color and beautiful neon-pink threading all around. In their prime, they were black/pink “IceCream” Rocketdogs with multi-neon-colored stripes across the sides: perfect for raging.  C’mon, I’m a sucker for pink & black. They were with me in multiple labs – having chemicals and bad microorganisms spilt over them. They brought me through three years of my undergraduate career at UC Davis and a year after graduating in the working world. They’ve travelled to Taiwan, around the country, up and down the states, and onto cruise ships. They’ve splattered through water, become water-logged to the point of “melting”, and almost nearly ripped apart at the seems when stepping into grime. They’ve come with me in and out of hospitals, through blood in the Emergency Room, and up and down random excursions. Indeed, they were my favorite pair of rave shoes; and they matched perfectly with my multi-colored-neon-candy studded belt. Even after I’d frustratedly ripped out the insoles, they still bore my extreme activity with quiet diligence and acceptance. Unfortunately, I have since tossed away my favorite pair of shoes about 3 years ago; however, they will always hold a special place in my heart (and now in the interwebs for all to see and gawk at).

Right before I tossed them out. A forever momento.

Right before I tossed them out; the beautiful colors are no longer on them. A forever momento.