以前中学里有个家伙
胖胖的 穿着破布棉袄
每天没事儿就喜欢站在别人班门口盯着进出的女生.
眼睛一个直的 跟没见过漂亮姑娘似的.
大家都笑话他 觉得他是个异类 脑筋有问题那种.
跟笑话街上走路一颠一颠 嘴上抽抽傻笑的人一样的笑话.

只有我默默的很敬重他.
因为他做的是我一直想做
却没有勇气做的事.
因为我知道我的尊荣
没有这个资格.
我只敢偷偷的 假装再看别的的样子的时候 瞄上一眼
生怕被别人看出来
也揪出来嘲笑辱骂

I’d like to see you all.
I’d like to have you all.

我是一个行动的矮子.
我只敢写下来.
假装别人看不到.
我只敢用文字
恣意的妄为.
还要声东击西
假装在说别的事
好被人揪住以后
事后开脱.

I wish you were all still.
I wish you were all smile.

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HHMI meeting Day 3

Today was all systems neuroscience, an area that I don’t quite get. And because of this lack of understanding, research in this field usually falls into two categories to me: questions too simple to study, and questions too lofty to grasp. But still, I found most of the talks interesting and well-presented. Topics range from visual reflex, motor coordination and learning, to reward and decision making.

The one talk that I really like is a functional imaging study of conditioned fear memory from the Schnitzer lab. The presentation was too fast to absorb every bits of detail and the computation is little too difficult for me, but the gist of it is that they managed to perform calcium imaging in an ensemble of neurons in lateral amygdala, an area critically important for the formation, storage and retrieval of fear memory, during a typical conditioned fear memory paradigm. The take home is that during training sessions, the populational activity pattern of neurons responsive to the conditioned stimulus (CS) becomes more similar to the neurons responsive to the unconditioned stimulus (US); and this similarity becomes even higher during the consolidation period after the training. What’s more interesting is that after memory extinction, the similarity between the CS and US neurons is lost, but the activity pattern of the CS neurons do not reverse back to their naive state before training, rather they adopt a totally different state, which suggests that extinction is perhaps not a simple erasure of the established memory but is an active mechanism driving the cells into a new circuit.

HHMI meeting Day 2

It was a busy day packed with all sorts of exciting science and personality.

Totally didn’t sleep well last night. Luckily the meeting started with works from Kolodkin and Engle labs that I’m quite familiar with. So that was a easy wake up transition for me.

A ton of circuit studies today. Aggression from Anderson, taste perception from Zuker, salt appetite from Palmiter, olfactory memory from Bargmann, and memory from Tonegawa. Not too many new stuff. No new technique. But still, good to hear them presenting in person.

The highlight of day, in my opinion, is work presented by Chris Chang at Berkeley on metal, particularly copper, as signaling molecules in the nervous system. There’re regions in the brain that are highly enriched in copper and they’ve devised imaging and other methods to visualize copper in real time and in response to different stimuli. Pharmacological perturbation of copper transport affects various aspects of normal neuronal function besides its crucial role as a redox center in metabolism. That opens up a lot of interesting directions. Copper is the new Calcium, in a way, if you have the right tools.

Had somewhat in-depth discussion with Walsh, Ecker and Axel. They seemed to have high praise about my work and be enthusiastic about a possible future. Pretty sure now that I’m going to line up an interview with Walsh. There’s a lot new initiatives and huge projects that get me really itchy and hooked up, and I could see, easily, a 10, 15 years of outlook stemmed from these projects.

HHMI meeting Day 1

It’s been a while since my last post about science.

Today is the first evening of the three day Howard Hughes meeting at Janelia.

I’m here for the science and I’m on a mission of a first look at my next project in a different lab.

The highlight of this evening, in my opinion, was Hopi Hoekstra’s presentation. They did a fantastic job of establishing deer mice as a model organism for social and mating behavior. They did some really elegant genetics identifying loci contributed to monogmy, which I think is pretty cool.

Had some inspiring chat with Chris Walsh and Hugo Bellen. Not a bad start.

To be continued…

EYE_LIZ

P.S. 掐指一算, 还能再看到这双眼三次.

<啪嗒>
清透的茶色湖水 环绕着
灰白的月光 轻抚着
走向看不见的尽头 催眠着

她的眼 是午夜的沙滩
静静的 一个 一个浪头
重复中 明白了世间一切的道理

伸手不见五指 摸索着
门后的光 诱惑着
听得到天堂的召唤 虔诚着

她的眼 是贴满玻璃色彩的教堂
没有审判 没有对错
穹顶倾泻的白光下 无拘无束的忏悔

黑得静默 却水晶般清澈透亮
白得无瑕 却容纳了所有的情感

她的眼 是一个世界
甚至可以包容得下我的世界
她的眼 总在期盼
任凝视再久也不会收回

只是…

猫的脖子

tara不见了.

tara是只猫.一只摸不到脖子的小猫.

所以tara的消失毫不意外.

tara住在同一座公寓的二楼一间屋里.平时每天走正门进出的时候看不见那间屋,只有在走向公寓院子尽头的停车位的路上才会经过. 每次开车回来都很晚,<啪嗒>一声停好车,一转身抬头,二楼的那间房间立刻一览无余.房间很宽敞,很空,帘子总是开着,时而开着嫩黄的顶灯.猫便窝在窗缝上,盘踞着俯看窗外.开灯的时候,猫是虎皮黄色的;屋里熄灯的时候,外头惨淡的路灯照出一个黑色的剪影, 玻璃弹子一样的眼睛嵌在黑影里, 发出和脚下摩擦沙地的刺刺声——猜是这声音,从车子的距离何至于能听见二楼房里眼珠摩擦眼眶的声音.

于是这成了一个场景,一个有固定套路的布景. 刹车.拉闸.开门.关门.上锁.转身.仰头.确认剪影.确认摩擦的声音.确认完每一个步骤,完成整个仪式,僵硬的身躯才能放松下来,自如的走过回公寓的小路.

tara没有表情.不咧嘴.也不打哈欠.眼睛也没有特别的表情.没有贵气逼人.也没有楚楚动人.慢慢的,虎皮色的花斑身子成了漆黑的硬纸板剪影,玻璃弹子的眼珠成了熬不过冬天印在墙上的爬山虎. 但是仪式成了习惯,愈发显出每个步骤确认的重要.

习惯成了自然以后, 有时候也能开始读到tara并非不存在的表情. 会歪头.会踱步.会瘫倒. 会笑. 会好奇. 会想要更多. 会撒娇. 会不耐烦. 会语重心长…尾巴扬起是一个意思,半弯着是另一个意思. 躺着握爪是一个意思,蜷缩着握爪又是另一个意思.即使表达同一种情绪,可以用胡子,用虎牙,还可以用抬头纹. 如此丰富,却又无比新奇,轻松的细节表达能力, 让人羡慕,着迷,无可救药的上瘾.

现在这份独一无二随着tara的消失也一并无处可觅了. 是如此的突然, 毫无预兆的无影无踪了——世界上大多数的失踪大抵都是这般突然的罢. 于是仪式不复存在,残破的一半不知该怎么办.身躯重归僵硬.脚底摩擦沙地的刺刺声,也变回了<梆梆>的恐龙一步一个坑印. 强大得沉重感到达极点,以至于变得很轻,很轻. 活像冥王星脱离太阳引力轨道,飞向外太空. 活像做了一个无比清纯的梦,醒来一天都沉在其中不能释怀的感觉.又好像熬了一夜恍如隔世,仿佛世界不曾存在过,而自己为什么在这里.

这种心情的下场, 和碎了一地摊在街上的酒瓶一样. 第一天, 还能闻到没散尽的酒味. 第二天, 碎片干巴巴的躺在地上,一脸无辜. 第三天, 上面开始沾了灰尘. 一个礼拜, 人们已经习惯了绕着经过. 最好突然有一天, 全都不见了. 不见得是如此的彻底和突然, 以至于想不起来是今天不见的还是之前已经没有了. 总之是全都干净了,何苦去想哪一天哪一点钟是谁拾起了碎片,包好处理掉了呐.

tara不见了.

我会难过好一阵子.

还没有摸过她的脖子.

my most hated words in 2015

“Thank you Sooo much”

When has it become trendy to say this, genuinely and sincerely, when someone’e being helped on some trivial matter?

“Can you pass me some napkins””Yup””Thank you so much”
“What time is it””12:15””Thank you so much”
“Hey can you keep an eye on my stuff for a sec””Sure””Thank you so much”

It’s everyday, everywhere and in nearly every conversation. The richness of the whole phrase make me nausea. It reminds me of the voice in the “next big thing” ads by samsung: “our phone allows us to do amaaaazing things” “the next big thing is here”. Those seemingly friendly and pure tones cannot hide the fact that they’ve been carefully calibrated and crafted, one syllabus a time, to magically convey their messages to the innocent audience. I almost think they’ve consulted a dozen psychologists so that the tones, the messages and the visual can fully grab the weakness of human nature. So are those banners and posters with one or two all-captalized catchphrases. All those Steve Jobs’ type of presentation and visualization are unnaturally unhealthy and deceiving. Nothing can be summarized in one phrase. Everything is complicated. A bold, catching slogan sells good, but it doesn’t actually make the product better, especially when everybody is doing it.

What about a simple and snappy “Thanks” or a formal and less emotionally engaged “Thank you” for such subtlety? I guess you’d never say those two words. What if I saved your life from an angry hippo at the zoo? How are you going to thank me for that? What are you going to say so that I feel I deserve this? I guess you’d run out of your repertoire of expressing gratitude. sometimes it’s not even something grateful. It’s more of a pet phrase, something slipped out of the mouth subconciously to make people feel you care about them, to end a conversation, or just to be cute. Well, perhaps no reason for such behavior.

If over-modesty is a sickness of Asians, over-politeness is becoming a pandemic among modern citizens in America. And both make me nausea, for a long time. Adding a “so much” tag at the end of a sentence doesn’t bond people closer. The over-polite conversation balls tossed back and forth are sarcastically sad, because beneath the web knitted by them, in stark contrast, is the absurd nature of desolated individuality and the lack of understanding and trust. They are just there, all the time, cold, isolated and hard. Anything we try to build in the layer above it not only does not help, but even worse, makes the facts down below opaque and inaccessible.

Say “Thanks” when it should be said. Then feel the warmth and coldness of human connection when it’s presented, truly and transparently.

小说家的操守

今天看到一段让自己脸红的话。是周国平援引昆德拉对小说职责的一段评论:

“一个小说家必须具备存在的眼光,看到比现实更多的东西。然而许多小说家都没有此种眼光,他们或者囿于局部的现实,或者习惯于对现实作某种本质主义的抽象”。。。
“这种情况,借用海德格尔的概念,就是“存在的被遗忘””。如此写出来的小说,不过是小说化的情欲,忏悔,自传,披露隐私罢了。“

这段话应该批评了世界上百分之九十九点九的小说家,包括所有经典文学,所有故事童话,以及所谓的<哲学小说>———-那不过是在用小说的形式上哲学课罢了。

But ya’ know what, I don’t care. 我就是那种倾全部注意力于当下瞬间细节的描绘者—-语言的摄影师,说的高尚点。我就是把一切情欲,忏悔,道德和无奈小说化的那种人——主要是情欲。我就是那种描绘记忆中的现实,不揭示任何存在的花间派。为此我乐此不疲。

另一位评论家Rebecca Solnit最近在一篇virginia woolf 的文章里写道:”writers have to be by nature optimists…it’s the job of writers and explorers to see more, to travel light when it comes to preconception, to go into the dark with their eyes open.”

Which I totally disagree. 我写任何我想写的东西。笔者不应对读者对社会负有任何责任感和导向型。我们的职责只有写任何我们感兴趣,我们觉得值得探讨的话题。文字本身没有开导读者,给读者以信心的责任。而我写作,仅仅是体验一种不一样的可能性罢了,而且凑巧大部分时候是及其消极晦暗的。我不认为这就是没有价值的。相反,文字应该是把世界原原本本的摊平了展现在人们面前的介质。

历史上的今天:
2011年7月8日 写一首给朋友的分手歌

夜幕的守望者

我是一个城市人。生于城市。长于城市。现在我是一个彻头彻尾的城市的外乡人。

曾经转角的小吃店,消失了;曾经熟悉的青石板,也不再了;曾经的楼房,被更高的楼房挡住了;曾经的人们,被另一群人代替了。

城市的味道变得复杂了,多了石灰味,少了青草味;多了一点躁动,少了一点平和;多了光亮,少了夜色温柔。我像一条狗,拖着疲惫的四条腿,努力分辨那熟悉的气味的方向。却总因为太过模糊而不得不时而停下,这里嗅嗅,那里嗅嗅,一脸茫然的向人们摇摇尾巴。

闭上眼,我好像知道在哪里;顺着模糊的记忆,我却找不到我要的回忆。 Continue reading “夜幕的守望者”

second night in hong kong

我的头还有点疼.鼻尖还有残留的机舱里刺鼻的冰冷气息.

食指揉了揉发胀的太阳穴.定了定神,努力把眼睛对着前面. 毫无预兆的,是什么呢?

<啪嗒> 是了, 今天遇见了个百分之百的女孩.在这百分之百的夏日里.

毫无征兆的,好像熬了一夜的清晨,惺忪双眼,套着睡裤吹着口哨走在已经有声音的街上,拐角路过早点店,毫无预兆的,街角一抬头看到了日出的阳光.庄严.绚丽.不由得屏住呼吸,心跳的紧张起来,让人只想驻足原地,对着它行注目礼,直到仪式结束.仿佛一道电流,一束光,这一时刻生命改变了轨迹. Continue reading “second night in hong kong”