BLOG: Finally Learning How to Code, to do Interesting Things

This is Kai Rasmussen’s blog.  He is the webmaster for, and UW molecular biology research undergrad.  These are updates about the process, if you are interested.

it’s time to code

It was time that I learned how to program.  Really, I’ve survived building with wordpress and Isaac doing the coding.  I haven’t needed to code but Isaac and I are working on a more complex project now and it would be helpful if I learned how to code.

The last time I coded was in objective C, building a FlappyBird clone for the app store.  Apple ultimately rejected the app, and rightfully so, because it was a shoddy piece of work that I reverse engineered from watching a youtube tutorial.

Before that, I learned TI Basic in high school, the coding language for TI-84 calculators.  I taught myself that code by downloading a poker program and got unnecessarily good at it.  Highlights of my TI Basic programming included “KAI CITY” a rip-off of that one gangster program that was on so many high school TIs and also “KAIQUAD LITE”, a quadratic formula solver where every 1 in 5 answer yielded was incorrect.  “KAIQUAD”, the full edition was available for purchase from me for $1.00, and all answers would be correct (no one bought it).  The best I got was building the shooting animations for a side scroller that exploited the TIs “graph” screen.

Unfortunately, my venture in TI Basic has not translated well into a modern coding skill.  Now, I start from scratch with HTML and CSS.  I ponied up and bought a codeacademy subscription.  Their achievement system keeps me coming back more than I care to admit, but it’s a really good learning tool.  Web development is becoming less and less foreign.

Eventually, I hope to program so well that I can really manipulate data.  Is it possible to take the Arabidopsis thaliana genome and scramble the genes over and over until the genome becomes meaningful to researchers in some way?  Probably not.  Well, maybe not now.

I’m taking care of the important code first


All the PIs in lab are at the Kennedy Space Center preparing for the SpaceX CRS-13 launch in which the Gilroy Lab plant samples are going up.  It’s been delayed from December 4th to the 8th now.  A reason for why the launch keeps getting scrubbed has not been given…

I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Ray Wheeler over the phone about his contributions to the field of astrobotany.  He works with NASA Life Sciences.  Kai Brito will be releasing that article sometime in the next month.

I’m also supposed to prepare some peroxidase mutants to be stressed through vibration.  I hope I can get around to finishing that protocol this week.

I hope y’all are alright with the new “blog” news format.

Let’s grow plants in space.

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