Why Gen Y Yuppies Are Unhappy

First off who is Generation Y? This article defines it as the generation born between the late-1970s to mid-1990s. I was born in 1990 on the dot, so I fall in this category and find this bit of info pretty relevant. 

I had to post this link, despite the somewhat somber connotation the title gives off. It gives some interesting views (and sarcastically funny stick figures) on why post-college-graduation or young adult life may feel like its taking a larger toll on your mental health and happiness. If you are just starting off, like me, on the long and arduous path to full-fledged careerhood, just understand this:

The struggle is real. We are all experiencing it. Don’t feel like you are the loneliest, unlucky person out there. So stop comparing yourself to your peers. It will do you no good, man.

Happy Sunday from a reasonably happy (at the moment) yuppy 🙂

ARTICLE: http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

GYPSY expectation

Figure. Image is from “wait but why” article on “Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy.” Lucy is our example Gen Y girl.


What Makes Being A Nerd Awesome? By Wil Wheaton

This is so amazing. And what I love most about it is that it was on the spot, impromptu, and genuine.

What makes being a nerd awesome? The way you find other people who love [something] the way you do.


Words of wisdom by Wil Wheaton. A mouth full of alliteration, and it’s totally worth it.

Thanks to my friend, Naomi for sending this to me.

How Different Types of Happiness Affect Human Health

Sorry for the drop in posts this week. I had a few night shifts, so I have been trying to rest the past couple of days.

I wanted to share this interesting article I read about how human cells respond to types of happiness. While happiness in general is associated with better health, Science Daily explains the difference between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness.

Terms sound familiar? Probably because you have heard of them in your Philosophy 101 class. Hedonic happiness is defined as a simple happiness derived from a pleasurable experience. Eudaimonic happiness is a “deeper”  type of happiness that is driven by a noble cause, or as my Ethics prof taught me, a sense of duty.


Figure. This picture has really nothing to do with the article, but they look like smiling, happy cells! It is actually grass cells seen under a microscope. Image source was provided by my friend, Christine: http://haha.nu/arts/photography/grass-cells-under-microscope/

Researchers have found  that people with eudaimonic well-being had a positive affect on their gene expression, showing decreased levels of CTRA in immune cells, whose expression is associated with stress. In contrast, hedonic happiness showed higher levels of CTRA expression, possibly because this happiness  is associated with consumption of “empty calories.” I’m not entirely sure what they mean by “empty calories” but I would assume that  hedonic happiness can be derived from drinking alcohol or eating food in larger quantities or lower quality (IE- fatty foods and sweets, yum!). These things may trigger the reward circuit in the brain, but also eventually lead to a negative impact in health if done excessively.

These findings may indicate  how important it is for humans, on both a mental and physiological level, to have a sense of purpose in their life. In discussions I have had in literature and philosophy classes, we have always talked about how this drive for greater meaning in life is what makes us humans so uniquely human, setting us a part from other species. It’s really cool to see how this can been reflected both on a biological level and not just a  “spiritual” one.

Got to love connections made between humanities and science. Deep stuff, man.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729161952.htm

Reached 100K Hits!

Just a quick post to say I’m happy to say that “Looking Through The Test Tube Glass” has achieved over 100,000 hits, earning 128 wonderful followers in it’s time running!


Figure 1. Celebration time!

Also, with the recent surge of followers, I just wanted to say hello & welcome! And to my old followers, thanks for sticking around!

Thanks to this blog and those who read it, I have an outlet. I have a space to reflect on different jobs I have had. I have a place to display things that I have made proudly. I have motivation to ask questions and share what things I learn. I get to gain insight from comments and other bloggers.

It’s really rewarding having an audience because even in the smallest way, I feel like I can impact someone by what I write. And when you write with that perspective, it really helps you grow a lot as a person.

So thanks for lending me your ears (more like eyes & brains, but then I can’t use the following pic :P)!


Figure 2. Robin Hood Men in Tights – one of my favorite comedies ever. Bless you Tumblr for having this gif.

It’s 2.5 years and still blogging on, ever strong!

TED Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since last blogging! Well, since then tons of stuff have happen, but I will update more on that next time. While huge changes have been coming my way and tons of adjustment is in order, I stumbled upon this TED talk via a friend’s Facebook post. It talks about the pros and cons of vulnerability, and it’s necessity in life. I really enjoyed the speaker because she  is funny while still having that profound researcher tone. I think anyone on the brink of big decisions (or wanting to) should take the 20 minutes out to watch. Enjoy!

My Year in Review (so far)

Well, its been about one week since I got home, so I think its time for a personal update! I must say, 2013 has had some amazing things for me in store academically and career-wise already, though stress and other personal issues have taken a big toll on me. Thus is life though, ups & downs. Some highlights I’d like the share since I have fallen off the face of the planet:

1) My laptop has been broken since December. I stupidly spilled coffee on it one morning before a phone interview while stressing out about the call and thinking about the pending doom of a project due that same day. I had gotten a USB keyboard whose life was short lived when it started to fizz and smoke one night while doing homework. Then I ran out to my local university Radio Shack (couldn’t wait for Amazon to ship!), and I got this cute Logitech wireless one. It’s still been a pain in the ass and a half lugging it around campus though along with books and having to explain to people why I have an extra keyboard. At least it survived til the end of term. Hopefully my computer does not clonk out any time too soon. I can’t afford another one for a while ;_;

wireless keyboard

Figure 1. My cutesy Logitech wireless keyboard! And stop judging my desktop background. It’s entitled “SUPERnova” from Threadless.

2) I will be presenting a poster at my university’s Research Day! It’s always been my dream as a freshmen to participate, and when I didn’t get a chance to do join in academic research because of my coop program, I thought it was hopeless. I was wrong because my former coop employee (DPI) is awesome! The data I compiled from working on one of their lab projects was enough to get my abstract approved for my poster presentation! The poster is a collaboration with another student from the University of Maryland, and it is about plasma treated water with the addition of propylene glycol and its antimicrobial effects.


Figure 2. I love how colorful the Research Day logo is!

3) I was coauthored on a real scientific publication! Another debt to DPI! With some hard work and lots of guidance from my former lab managers & supervisor, I’m lucky to have my name squeezed onto there. I’m still in awe! Never thought as an undergrad I would have my name in anywhere else, but “special acknowledgements” haha. Look for my name in an issue of Applied Physics (free to read if you have university access!). The article is about the use of water treated with the Glid-Arc plasmatron, and its benefits to plant biology and growth.


Figure 3. Yes, I am that silly undergraduate student who screenshots their name on an article so they can show their parents. Shoot me, I am happy!

4) I have successfully made two types of pie recently, one of which on Pi Day (3/14)! The first is a retake of the Caramel Apple pie recipe that caused all the fire alarms in the land of Philadelphia to go off. The second is Caramel Pumpkin Pecan pie.

2013-01-13 21.50.25 2013-01-13 23.18.53 pumpkin pecan pie

Figure 4.1. Unbaked Apple pie with lattice crust. So pretty!
Figure 4.2. Baked Apple pie with caramel encrusted crust. Kind of ruined the pattern in my opinion 😦
Figure 4.3. Baked Pumpkin Pecan Caramel pie. Took forever for it to stop jiggling! haha.

5) I am finally finished with my undergrad! Graduated a bit earlier than anticipated, taking about 4.5 years with 3 full time internships, a ton of volunteering, and part time jobs to boot 🙂 I could rant on about the blood, sweat, tears, and lack of a normal college life I had to get this degree, but I will leave it at “I am content” now that its mine and extremely appreciative for the learning experience, knowledge, and people I have been fortunate to meet. I am still waiting for my diploma and my actual walking ceremony is not until June, however.

6) I actually scored a job already! I have been a bit hush-hush about it because I am still in shock. After passing the phone screen in December (SO WORTH sacrificing my laptop as an offering; see bullet #1), I was offered a job back in the end of January with Merck & Co. down in Virginia as an Associate Specialist Engineering. I’m really humbled that anyone thought I was a good fit, especially in such a big and reputable company. I took a two day trip in the earlier part of the term to interview in Virginia, leaving Philly and school behind for a bit. I had met with about 10 people throughout the day, representing different teams within the department. It was intense, but I’m glad I made an impression on someone/some people!

7) Things still to come…! So right after I finished exams last week, I have been (re)learning how to drive. I need to pass the road test, which I will be taking on in about 2 weeks (eek!). Then, another wisdom tooth extraction, apartment hunting, car bargaining, and then the big move! Not to mention squeezing in seeing people I may never see again/for a very long time in both Philly and NYC 😦

So much for a break, but this is real life! I feel like everything is happening in a blur.I legit just finished taking exams less than 7 days ago.  I’m anxious, nervous, and excited to see where it takes me. I would be lying if i said the life transition doesn’t scare the crap out of me (and I like to take risks). It’s sad that I have got to leave behind friends and family and places so familiar and dear to me. I had always thought that I could come home to NY for a bit to relax and catch up with people I love, and then eventually find a job. Even hanging around Philly seemed like a cool idea, especially if my roomies were willing to hang around with me. Perhaps if I stayed long enough I would have caved in and applied straight to grad school.

But if there was ever at time to be daring, here it is. I have spent so much time planning for the real world that I am almost confused as to what to do now that “the big time” is here! Adventure is out there, and I’m lucky to have this opportunity, though it seems scary and lonely right now. Time to grow up and get a pair of real ovaries! For now, I’m taking it one day at a time until I leave for my new job.


Figure. Screen shot image of Winnie the Pooh movie  from Disney’s Facebook page. Their caption was “It’s always good to have a plan.” So true!

Right in the feels, Mr. Emerson.

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”


“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely…”


“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

Eloquent words of a great American poet > my own ramblings