Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sarajevo roses

Sarajevo roses: a design made of red resin poured into the scars left in asphalt or concrete from a mortar or other explosive device. They are found in the streets of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, from the siege that took place in the early 90s.

During the Siege of Sarajevo, an estimated 11,000 civilians were killed, including 1500 children.  The city was barricaded and snipers set up shop.  The conflict was driven by the  instability of Yugoslavia post WWII and the declaration of independence by many of it's provinces  (Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina).    It was the Bosnian sovereignty that set the Serbs to mount an attack.  Although the conflict began in 1992, the conflict wasn't fully resolved until 1996.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

National Engineering Week

So, in honors of National Engineers Week (which I just learned is this week), I'd like to post a joke about being a girl in engineering:
'The odds are good, but the goods are odd'

Monday, February 18, 2013

Adventures with Lizi

One of my closed friends here is Lizi.  We have lots of adventures, including getting free pie every Wednesday and being lab partners in Chemistry (sometimes following the procedure).  We have lots of fun adventures together.
Salt Lake City has a nice light rail system that was built for the 2002 Olympics.  As it happens, my dorm is nicely situated at one end of one of the lines.  So, for fun yesterday, Lizi and I decided to ride the train all the way to the other end, just to see what was there.
As the train started getting closer to the end of the line, we began to notice that we weren't really in the city any more, but more of a barren field with houses in the distance.  We got to the end of the line, and, sure enough, there really wasn't much there.  It's a newly developed suburb south of SLC, called Daybreak.  Coincidentally, Daybreak was named the number one planned community in America.  You can see more about how this place is eerily similar to the Stepford Wive's community.
So, Lizi and I asked a random stranger what there is to do in Daybreak on a Sunday afternoon.  The look on his face was fairly entertaining, similar to the look I give people who ask me what there is to do in my hometown.  We eventually stubbled onto a small shopping center, which, surprise surprise  is 90% closed on Sundays (after all, this is Utah).  We were hungry, so we decided to go to the one place open, a Sports Bar/Grill.  There were about 5 other people in the place, which we assume are the few non-Mormon residents of Daybreak.
The end of the story: Lizi and I are no longer curious as to what is at the end of the line.  Also, we have no desire to go there again.
Later that night, Lizi and I decided to go shopping, because she had a car for the weekend.  I don't usually have a car, so we were going to buy the heavy things that I don't really want to haul on the bus.  While I'm picking out some fruit, Lizi asks how strong I am.  I turn around, and there's Lizi, in the cart.  So, I pushed Lizi in a cart around Smiths at 9:30 on a Sunday night.  Good thing we had the store pretty much to ourselves.   Also, Lizi didn't get out until after we paid and had left the store.  The cashier was a little preplexerd.
Happy Adventures in College!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Caturday!

Even though it's now Sunday, I meant to put this up yesterday.

These are some of the gorgeous kitties at the Salt Lake City animal shelter.  Because I'm not allowed to actually have a cat in my dorm, I just go pet the ones that don't have owners.  I usually want to take at least two or three home.  Oh well.  Happy Caturday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

International Childhood Cancer Day

Today, February 15, is International Childhood Cancer day.  In truth though, every day should be a day for childhood cancer awareness, because every day, 36 children will be diagnosed with cancer in the US (46 on school days).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Well, happy Valentine's Day everybody.  A few interesting tidbits about V-day:

  • Valentine's Day is also the feast of St. Valentine, who, according to Catholic legend, was imprisoned for wedding soldiers who were forbidden from marriage during the 3rd century in ancient Rome.  Coincidentally, there are 8 other 'St. Valentines', including one woman, spanning from the 3rd century to modern day.  Most were hermits...
  • St. Cyril also died today
  • 73% of flower buyers are men.
  • Cupid is Venus' son.
  • The oldest surviving love poem is from 3500 BCE
  • 141 million V-day cards are exchanged today.
  • Over $1 billion in chocolate is purchased for Valentines day
  • 189 million stems of roses will be sold today
  • On average, there are 220,000 proposals on Valentine's day
  • The LDS (Mormon) movement began in Ohio
  • Congress approved use of the first voting machine 1899.
Enjoy your cheap Valentine's day chocolate tomorrow!

Friday, February 8, 2013


So, it's been really exciting in the Steffi world of photography lately.
First, I got the chance to sign up for a photography class here at the U, in Nature Photography.  As part of the class, we are going on a three day trip to Southern Utah, Bryce Canyon to be exact.  I am super excited!
Secondly, I got a new camera :)  It takes awesome photos:

Lastly, since my last blog included a photography page, I'm hoping to get one up and running on this blog.  Watch for updates on this.
Yay photography!

Monday, February 4, 2013

New website, less problems

Hey everybody!
I've moved my page here from Webs due to a lot of technical problems with the site.  I couldn't load it, and neither could a few others.
So, the old site,, will be transferred here, and then I will be taking down the site due to the problems.  Bear with me while under construction.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

St. Baldricks

This year I will be participating in St. Baldricks in Green Bay.

St. Baldricks is an organization that supports childhood cancer research.  Outside of the federal government, St. Baldricks is the largest supporter of research (in terms of funding).  They have one of the best rates of return on donation, near 97% (American Cancer Society spends 71% on research and program funding, 22% on fundraising, and 7% on management).  They support young and old researchers, including fellows (advanced degree researchers).
Please visit my profile and donate:

Friday, February 1, 2013


The flu.  Every year, it strikes fear in the population, affecting 60 million Americans yearly.  It's also a multi-million dollar industry, between flu shots, doctor visits/hospitalizations, disinfectants, and over the counter medications.
This year is one of the most virulent years for the flu, with some of the most intense flu rates of the decade.  you can see the flu's progression for this and previous seasons at Although flu levels are dropping slowly, all 50 states are at either high or intense levels of flu.  Flu levels can be separated by state, or even some major cities.
The biology of the flu is quite complex, although it is a relatively simple virus, not even technically alive.  The virus has 8 protiens (we have about 30000), which are both inside and on the viral coat.  For more into, visit, which is a great site run by a professor of virology at Columbia University (Medical School).
On a side note, I have recently moved to a new lab here at the U of U, where we are studying the flu and the possibility of using one of the coat proteins that doesn't undergo genetic shift (hemagluttanin) to create a universal flu vaccine.  There are lots of interesting atricles on this type of research, which goes on all around the world.