Woody Internship at the Getty: Week 4

Visiting the Villa

Four years ago I visited my grandparents, who live outside of LA. The week was filled with beach trips, mini-golf, watching the Olympics, and a visit to a museum I’d barely heard of–The Getty Villa. My parents, who’d planned out our whole week for maximum enjoyment, had chosen this museum because of my and my brothers’ interest in Roman history. Well, needless to say, a recreation of a 1st century villa, family room filled with interactive activities like drawing on amphoras and shadow theater with props (my brothers and I are fundamentally kids at heart), and incredible art and artifacts made it one my most vivid memories of that trip. And despite my mother saying, as only a mother can, “how wonderful it would be if you were able to work here someday,” I never thought I’d return.

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Photobleaching: Our Formidable Foe

When trying to find single molecules, there is a delicate balance that has to be struck between sending in too much power and not enough. Remember in my previous post when I said power was going to be the theme of the summer? I wasn’t kidding. If send a molecule too little power, the fluorescence intensity you’re going to get back will be too low, and consequently indistinguishable from the fluorescence you’re getting back from potential dust particles. Consider the following two scans, one taken of our sample (10^-10 M alizarin in ethanol) and the other as a control of just ethanol. The intensity counts are so similar that it’s impossible to say for certain that we’re actually looking at alizarin molecules and not just our solvent or dust.

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Woody Internship at the Getty: Week 3

Forays into Museum Exhibitions

This week started off with a bang–the exhibition opening of Unruly Nature: The Landscapes of Theodore Rousseau. Rousseau was a prominent artist of the Barbizon School, which arose out of the Romantic movement in the mid-19th century, who painted, as one can guess, landscapes.

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Halfway Point of W&M Cambridge Program

We have just passed the halfway point of the W&M Cambridge Program, and I can already feel how much I will miss this wonderful city when I leave in two weeks. I have experienced so much during my time here in Cambridge, traveling across the English countryside and growingly increasingly independent while abroad, and it will be strange to resume my much less adventurous life back at home. Our coursework is nearing the period of final projects and papers in order to wrap up our analyses of betrayal in espionage and humor as a representation of British national identity. I just finished a paper discussing John Cleese’s cyclical analysis of humor through its use in So, Anyway…, and I am about to begin another that will discuss the relationship between double agents, betrayal, and human fears of deception in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Agatha Christie’s N or M?, two novels that include spies that betray their own countries.

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