Friday, 31 May 2013

Stripes and Mosaics

What an adorable pinafore dress I received in the mail this morning! Simple and stripey, all it needed to be dressed up (in my opinion) was this vintage Mickey Mouse club badge and a simple cropped top. And I'm totally embracing the last day of "non-winter" by sitting in the sunshine while studying and (sneakily) blogging. I am pretty jealous of all of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are going to be starting summer tomorrow :'(

Just to let you know, my posts are going to become a little bit less frequent over the next month as I head into my final university exams for the semester, but I'll endeavour to keep posting at least 2 or 3 times a week! Having something else to focus on other than studying keeps me somewhat sane, so I'm not going to do what I did last year and abandon you guys while my exams are going. It was good for my grades, but not so much for my sanity.

striped pinafore dress - c/o She Likes | socks - c/o Oasap | shoes - Bodyline | shirt - c/o Sheinside | badge - gift from my friend (thrifted)

Continuing on this little genetics theme I've got going on... I'm going to talk about something quite related to genetic chimerism, which is known as mosaicism. In chimeras (which I talked about last week), the organism ends up with two different sets of DNA within their body because of the fusion of two zygotes (the stage before becoming an embryo) in the womb. This means that a chimera's non-identical twin is alive inside them. Pretty sci-fi stuff, right? 
Well, organisms with mosaicism came from a single zygote (meaning they didn't absorb their own twin), but still have more than one set of DNA within the cells in their bodies. How does this happen?

Similar to chimeras, the process begins very early in development while the baby is still in the womb. When dividing (as cells do very rapidly at the beginning of development), some cells get confused and don't replicate their DNA correctly. A mutation occurs in one of the cells which goes unnoticed, and continues to happily divide. Cells with different sets of DNA continue to grow within the baby, and if the mutation isn't really serious, the baby will be born with a mutant trait which is seen in some cells, but not others. Mosaicism can affect any type of cell, including skin cells (see above). Do you have a tortiseshell cat? This is a really great (and easy to see) example of mosaicism!

I hope you're all having a great last day of autumn or spring, depending on where you are!

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

More unicorns! / Space sleep

I now have two pieces of unicorn-themed clothing in my wardrobe (see my unicorn sweater here) and I'm hoping to build up a small collection! Lashes of London sent me this unicorn patterned dress to try out, and I have to say that it's pretty incredible! Unfortunately for me, it's more of a summer dress as it has a gorgeous open-back thing going on, but it's now a bit too cold to wear it backless! So I paired it with this new cropped purple blouse from Romwe, added some heart-shaped collar clips, and got a whole pastel-themed thing going on.

 dress - c/o Lashes of London | belt - Thrifted | shirt - c/o Romwe | hat - c/o Wholesale | collar clips - DIY

I've mentioned before how much I admire Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. If you haven't done so already, go and check out his videos about how everyday things are done in microgravity. They're endlessly fascinating. From brushing your teeth, to crying, to eating, to going to the toilet and cutting your hair, everything has to be done a little differently when the physics of your world change, and you have to adapt to a new kind of world. In this video, Chris Hadfield shows how you sleep in space - and what a bedroom looks like on board the International Space Station.

How are you all today?

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Sunday, 26 May 2013

DIY Red Cape

It felt really good to get my sewing machine out for the first time in months and make something! This cape coat DIY has been on my to-do list for ages now. I thrifted this red corduroy coat the other day for $8 (then found $7 worth of coins in the pockets, so the coat basically paid for itself!) then took to it with some scissors, cutting up the arms and attaching them to the body of the coat before cutting the whole thing to this cape-sized length. It's basically the easiest DIY you will ever do (and hopefully I can put some instructions up soon!) I got all these free men's coats from the side of the road the other day - a church was giving away a whole heap of clothing and oh boy it was exciting. I took everything that looked like it could be even a little bit useful. But anyway, I've got a whole lot of coats that I'm planning on turning into little cape coats now!

Also, I've turned 21 since I last wrote a blog post. You are now looking at a super wise, worldly old lady. Well... not exactly, but I dyed my hair a darker colour since my last post and so... well... I look a bit different...? Older? Wiser? Although wearing a giant velvet bow and a cutesy red cape probably doesn't help things.

coat - DIY | dress - Chicabooti | tights - c/o OASAP | shoes c/o YesWalker | headband - Claire's | necklace - Claire's

I hope you're all having an amazing day.

p.s. you can use the code "HAPPYBIRTHDAY" for $5 off all ad spots on my blog until the end of May.
p.p.s. want to help me win a $1000 asos wardrobe? Click here and vote for my look (in the "style feed", click on NSW... you should be able to find me there ^^)

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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Fast As Lightning

It's my birthday tomorrow! The big 21. I am actually pretty unhappy about getting older, I have to admit, and have not really been looking forward to my birthday. However, my amazing aunty gave me some money to buy this dress for my 21st, so things aren't all that bad ;)

This pastel purple sweater was such a good find (yep, another one from the op shop that's just a stroll from my house. That store is totally going to empty my bank account...) and I've also been into wearing kitsch badges as brooches lately, after my friend found all these awesome 90s badges for me (like my Peter Pan and Science Museum ones). This hedgehog one is still pretty kitsch, but also suits the pastel colours of my outfit.

sweater - Thrifted
blouse - Forever 21
shorts - c/o Sheinside
socks - c/o Oasap
tights - c/o Oasap
boots - Asos (similar)

See how my shorts have got lightening bolts on them? Well that's convenient, because today I'm going to talk about a new idea of what causes lightning strikes!

Running against the most accepted idea for what causes lightning - collisions between ice crystals in clouds and hail stones - a new scientific paper released the other day suggests that it's actually cosmic rays, from far off in the universe, that cause lighting strikes.

So we know what lightning is - an electrostatic discharge between clouds and the surface of the Earth (like a 1000x bigger version of taking off a static-y jumper and zapping yourself), but are not entirely sure what causes the build up of electricity in the clouds to occur.

Firstly what are cosmic rays? They are streams of high energy particles travelling through space nearly at the speed of light, which come from far away in the galaxy, probably from supernova explosions (when massive stars explode and die).
And how can cosmic rays cause lighting? Well, these high energy particles get inside our atmosphere and become ionised (they lose or gain electrons). This leads to a lot of free electrons floating around. When these collide with water atoms in clouds, more electrons are released, which sets off an "avalanche" of high-energy particles that builds up until it discharges into the Earth (read more here).

So firstly, I had no idea that we weren't sure what caused lightning. And now it's even more uncertain. It's really cool that we are still investigating the cause of something that seems as everyday as a lightning storm, when we can also make computers and flying cars (yes really) and print organs from machines, and although it can sometimes seem like we are living in the future, we still have so much to learn.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Wild Cat

This was the outfit I wore last Friday night (hence why I'm not wearing a boater hat for once, because wearing a hat at night isn't a very normal thing to do). I wasn't sure if my tights made me look interesting or lopsided - but then I settled on "interesting" and ignored all odd looks that came my way. This thrifted Charlie Brown skirt has come in very handy - I can't believe what a good find it was for $3! I've been wearing it with absolutely everything.

The Wild Cat tee-shirt was sent to me by a new sponsor, Cichic! I chose to get a t-shirt rather than a cute little dress for once, a) because I have way too many dresses and b) because I'm really liking simple t-shirts instead of over-the-top vintage blouses lately, I don't know why.

Also, did you notice how bizarre my badge is? Why Peter Pan and Captain Hook are battling on top of a balustrade that's perched atop an alligator's nose is beyond me. But I love it.

t-shirt - c/o Cichic
sweater - Asos
skirt - Thrifted
tights - A sock store in Japan
shoes - Asos
badge - Gift from my friend Hannah (thrifted)

I hope you're all having a lovely day!

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Monday, 20 May 2013

Sunshine & Selfies in the Park / Chimera

Yesterday afternoon was so beautiful, I couldn't miss the opportunity to take some photos. Unfortunately, I spent the whole day all alone and had no one to take photos of me. So I ventured out into a public park with my bike, camera, tripod and self-timer and tried to ignore/avoid making contact with all the dog-walkers and teenagers who wandered by my little shoot. Pretty scary stuff if you're a little bit shy and self-conscious when it comes to strangers. But it was well worth the mild embarrassment because I got some really nice photos out of it (seriously, my new EOS 60Dwith thislens is soooooooooooo good. I can't recommend it enough).
dress - Thrifted
hat - Hat Stall in Japan
shoes - Asos
necklace - Claire's (Japan)
tights - c/o Oasap

A reader brought up genetic chimeras the other day, something that I find really fascinating, so I'm going to talk about that today!

So, the DNA in each and every one of your cells is totally identical (apart from germ cells - that's sperm and egg cells). What makes a brain cell different to a skin cell is the genes that cell chooses to express and the proteins they subsequently make. However, if you're a chimera, it means that you have parts of you which are technically from a different being - so a certain organ, or your arms, or some of your blood cells have different DNA in them to the rest of your body.

A way in which a chimera can form is when fertilisation occurs between two separate sperm and two separate eggs. This would normally lead to dizygotic (non-identical) twins, but sometimes the two can fuse together. So basically, chimeras are formed when one twin EATS the other twin (in a way. Kind of not really. It just sounded dramatic). Then, as the organism develops into a fish, cat or even a human, different parts of them are technically formed from two different people.
(Image source)
Yes, you heard me right, it does happen in humans, and has often only been discovered when a genetic test is done between a mother and child, who that mother knows she has given birth to, but the DNA says that it's not her own child - leading to a whole bunch of fun lawsuits (read more here!) Chimeras often wouldn't show such distinctive markings as this horse above though - this would only happen if the different sets of DNA are expressed in the skin cells (although it does happen!)

Anyway, I hope that you learnt something new today ;)

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Pastel Unicorns and Crying in Space

I am one happy and very lucky, spoilt lady - I'm turning 21 in just a couple of days time, and my parents bought me a Canon EOS 60D! (I may have gotten it a little early, hehe). Needless to say I've been spending all my time playing around with the new camera and not studying. One thing that I'm really happy about is that the 60D is incredibly useful if you take your own photos (i.e. if you're a blogger who needs to take multiple outfit shots in a day and you don't have a super patient photographer friend who will take photos whenever you need them). The best feature of the 60D is that has a flip-out, twisty screen which you can use to look at and position yourself right in front of the camera. Buy a self-timer remote, and it's super easy to take outfit photos.
A package from Oasap containing this new dress and sweater also arrived in the mail the morning while I was playing with my new camera, so I decided to take some pictures of them! I'm super in love with this sweater - it's basically the softest, most cuddly thing in the world and the print on the front and back just make it that little bit sweeter. I'm fairly sure I am going to live in it throughout the winter here.

sweater - c/o Oasap
dress - c/o Oasap
hat - c/o Wholesale
bow - DIY

For the last few days I've been obsessed with watching the Canadian Space Agency's youtube channel (after this video went viral - the first music video recorded in space! And it's a David Bowie song!). Astronaut Chris Hadfield is not only my new hero for doing that, but he's also done a bunch of videos while onboard the International Space Station explaining how everyday things work when the physics is completely different: including brushing your teeth, making a sandwich, getting a haircut and crying.

Of my life-goals, living up in the ISS for a few months is probably one of the most unrealistic, but gosh I want to be an astronaut, so badly. Does anyone else ever get that feeling??

Anway, this video from Chris Hadfield shows what happens if you cry in space.

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