Monday, May 31, 2010

Andy Warhol

While I couldn't fairly call myself a lover of art, I could at least be considered a 'tolerator of art'. Oscar Wilde once said "All art is quite useless." Which is a little harsh, although the man had a point.
In my opinion, there appear to be two kinds of art: Art that looks nice, and art that doesn't. There are many shades of grey in the middle.

Heather, on the other hand, is a little more sophisticated in her patronage of the finer things in life. If you ask me, a good weekend involves a sandwich, some sunshine and a good movie. Heather's idea of a good weekend includes grocery shopping, going for a walk, visiting relatives, cleaning the house together, singing Korean songs in a noraebang, cooking and eating food from at least two different countries, going through our recycling, cashing in shopping bags for 50 won each, walking around the house with her hair wrapped up in a towel, asking me for a foot massage and going to an art gallery.

So despite my considerable verbal gymnastics, I often find myself at an art gallery of some sort, on a weekend, thinking "Okay, well here I am at another art gallery."

But to be fair, the last one we went to wasn't just any art gallery. It was an exhibition of Andy Warhol's work, which, I might add, is an artist of whom I had heard of. As well as Andy Warhol, I am also familiar with such artists as Picasso and er, Mozart.

The line was as long as they get in Seoul, so we went inside to have a peek.

There were so many people walking around and lining up that we just decided to leave it for the time being and have a look at the art gallery shop. I instantly recognised the soup can, being as it is, a pop-icon of arbitrary significance.

Even the shop was packed, with people all scrambling to get their very own Andy Warhol merchandise. What I wondered about many of these people was: Do they really like Andy Warhol, or do they just think that they should? How much American pop and consumer culture could they really be identifying with? Could they tell the difference between an authentic Andy Warhol print and an imitation created by an exceptionally good Korean art student? If not, why pay more?

In the end I told my brain to be quiet and bought a Chairman Mao notebook.

But my brain wouldn't be quiet. It's like being stuck in an elevator with a talkative old lady. This is what it said to me:

Question: What's the difference between an original Andy Warhol print, and a realistic copy for sale at an art gallery shop?

Answer: Approximately three million dollars. For that money, how many third world children could you send to school for a year? According to World Vision, it's 20,000.

Remarkably unfazed by this piece of information, Heather and I went and ate samgyetang before catching the subway home.

Now this is what I call art. Various photographs showing how to escape from a subway carriage in times of emergency.

And this has nothing to do with art, but in an email my father recently told me that cutting open an empty toothpaste tube liberates yet more paste. So I squeezed the daylights out of a tube and cut it open to test the hypothesis. Sure enough, there were a good 2 - 3 more brushings worth in there, right near the top.
Imagine what the world statistic of discarded toothpaste in uncut tubes must be. Thousands of tons per year, I bet. Now Heather and I have started cutting all sorts of containers open to find remaining consumability. Hand cream and sunscreen containers produce a particularly fruitful yield.

You should try it too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wiki Rummage #3: Chickens

We're living in a culture of consumerism as a direct result of the industrial revolution. Not all of us are lucky enough to enjoy the luxuries of the developed world, but if you're reading this blog, chances are that you are pretty well off. 

After enjoying a few pieces of fried chicken the other day, it struck me that we grossly underappreciate our feathered friends. I recently came across the article on chickens while link surfing through the cloisters of Wikipedia. As often happens when I partake in such activities, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of novel information I learned. And as Margaret Fuller once said, "If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it."

Right now, living, breathing and clucking on 'our pale blue dot in the cosmos' are 24 billion chickens. Most of us would probably not realise this because 78% of them are locked up in battery farms, far away from the prying eyes of the public. But it sounds about right. You wouldn't have any trouble going to the store and buying a whole chicken and gobbling it up tonight. You could do the same thing tomorrow and the day after if you wanted to. In fact, it's highly unlikely that we could ever out-eat our ability to produce chicken meat, because industrial farming of our favourite bird has developed beyond the imaginations of you or me. Unless you happen to be a battery farm engineer.

Chickens were probably domesticated around 10,000 years ago, and the ancient Egyptian 18th dynasty knew them as 'the bird that lays every day'. Along with dogs, cats and horses, they've been with us since the beginnings of recorded history, helping us to build our societies into what they are today.

The UK alone goes through 29 million eggs per day. In egg-producing farms, hens are typically kept in battery cages under long artificial light duration which stimulates continuous egg-laying. My work here in Korea is focused on ovarian cancer, and our professor has suggested using chickens as a model to study because they have higher occurrences of the disease than humans do.

There's a Japanese breed called the Phoenix, with long and graceful tail feathers that reach the ground. So-called 'poultry fanciers' keep these birds for exhibition, and the American Standard of Perfection (the apparent authority on poultry fancy-ing!), consider them to be 'an officially recognised breed'.

During Indonesian Hindu cremation ceremonies, chickens are used as a channel for evil spirits. During the ceremony, a chicken is often tethered by the leg to ensure that any evil spirits are absorbed by it instead of family members.

And in classical mythology, a cockatrice was a dragon-like creature that hatched from the egg of a rooster. Its reputed magical abilities included being able to turn living things into stone by looking at them, although the weasel was apparently immune. While sounding pretty scary, cockatrices could apparently be killed by the sound of a rooster crowing.

According to Consumer Reports, "1.1 million or more Americans are sickened each year by undercooked, tainted chicken." A USDA study discovered E. coli in 99% of supermarket chicken, the result of chicken butchering not being a sterile process. Faeces tend to leak from the carcass until the evisceration stage, and the evisceration stage itself gives an opportunity for the interior of the carcass to receive intestinal bacteria.

My older sister was always particularly fond of eating the Parson's Nose, technically called the pygostyle, which is the fatty tail of the chicken. Its greasiness is due to preen oil content, but certain breeds of chicken don't have them at all.

Most broiler chickens (bred for their meat) have their beaks removed with a hot knife. This is to prevent cannabilism amongst themselves, living in such close quarters, and some people consider it to be cruel as chickens have nerve endings in their beaks.

In intensive broiler sheds, the air can become highly polluted with ammonia from the droppings. This can damage the chickens’ eyes and respiratory systems and can cause painful burns on their legs (called hock burns) and feet. Chickens bred for fast growth have a high rate of leg deformities because they cannot support their increased body weight. Because they cannot move easily, the chickens are not able to adjust their environment to avoid heat, cold or dirt as they would in natural conditions. The added weight and overcrowding also puts a strain on their hearts and lungs. In the U.K., up to 19 million chickens die in their sheds from heart failure each year.

In natural circumstances, chickens will normally live longer than 6 years, but meat chickens are slaughtered at six weeks.

Wild chickens display considerably more advanced behaviour than their imprisoned kin. Roosters will court hens by offering them food and mother hens also cluck to let chicks know that food is around.
Individual chickens in a flock will dominate each other, hence the term 'pecking order'. It's similar to Korean grad student life. Removing the alpha chicken from the flock will result in a period of disruption in social order, until a new pecking order is established. That's what happened in the old lab when our post-doc left.

Some groups which advocate for more humane treatment of chickens claim that they are intelligent. Dr Chris Evans of Macquarie University claims that their range of 20 calls, problem solving skills, use of representational signaling, and the ability to recognize each other by facial features demonstrate the intelligence of chickens. They also have the ability to understand that when an object is taken away and hidden, it nevertheless continues to exist, a feat beyond the capacity of small children.

In the box above are dyed baby chickens for sale as pets in Oaxaca, Mexico.

So I hope all of this chicken-related information has been interesting. I'm not saying that you should stop eating chickens or eggs, as I'm sure to continue eating them as well (albeit, perhaps a little less now).

But the next time you enjoy some cheap and delicious buffalo wings, perhaps we can spare a thought for the humble chicken they came from...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quote Dump #10

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
- Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

"The great minds of our society are those who make us use our own."
- Bill Hicks

"Never work so hard making a living that you forget to make a life."
- lostNfound

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rice Protoplasts and a Speech Competition

The new cancer lab is under construction, so I've been spending the days preparing my research proposal and learning about animal cells. At a very basic level, molecular biology is all quite similar no matter what you study. But I've still got a lot of learning to do.
Plant science and cancer are both interesting to me, but I'm getting more intrigued by the inner workings of cancer cells.

I took this photo when I was working with plants. These are rice protoplasts that I made with Rakshya Singh at Sejong University. Plant cells are different to animal cells because they have rigid cell walls that make them strong. That's why plants are able to stand upright without any bones. But there are special enzymes that you can use to dissolve those walls. That will leave behind little bubbles of plant cells, floating around in solution. They're alive but so fragile that you can rupture them by stirring slowly with a spoon. You can transform the little critters just by adding DNA and increasing the concentration of macromolecules.
The photo above was taken straight down the eyepiece of a light microscope with my handheld camera. The cells are sitting on the gridlines of a hemocytometer, which is normally used to estimate the density of red blood cells.

And if you have a champion of a scientific partner like Rakshya to work with, this is what you should see under the confocal microscope the next morning. These are my protoplasts at 600X magnification, with the top one showing fluorescent reporter gene expression.
It's a nice result, but this is not an easy protocol. It will take you 13 hours straight, and if you make one mistake, you just end up with brown goo. If you're attempting it for the first time and needing some help, ping me an email. I've sent out our old biolistics protocol to quite a few biology students who stumbled on this blog. More than happy to help.

These photos are from the last SRTM speech competition, and have been sitting in my drafts folder for a while now. Nine competitors were up for the challenge and gave speeches on a variety of topics from Spanish love stories to passing interviews. Overall the speeches were quite good.
If you're up for a thrill, try entering a Toastmasters speech competition. I still haven't entered one, due to time and courage constraints. 

All in good time.

Here's our friend Robert Cha, giving a speech about perspiration. Robert used to run a blog called Korean 1.5, but it's gone into cryostasis. I've filed it under the appropriate heading in the column on the right of this blog.

And here's the kind of audience you'll find at SRTM. A wide range of working professionals, all contributing their free time to get better at public speaking. Heather was inducted just last week and is now a full member.

Ron won the competition with his distinct motivational style. He was once a USFK soldier here and now teaches management at Dongguk University. When he's on a roll, he's pretty much unbeatable. Now he's going to represent our club at the national speech competition in June.

If you want to watch one of Ron's award-winning speeches, you can see one here.

A few weeks back, we bought a cask of Hardy's wine from Costco. It was a nice 5 litre box, which we rationalized was worth buying because it would last a long time and save us money. Three nights later it was feeling remarkably light. One and a half weeks later and I found myself squeezing out the final remnants, before inflating the foil bag with air, much like my old man used to do when we were kids.

You know you're an expat in Korea when you're sitting down drinking cask wine while eating sundae. Sundae is blood sausage, but it doesn't taste like blood and only remotely reminds me of a sausage. In Busan, the locals prefer to eat it with gochujang (soybean chili paste), but in Seoul they eat it with salt and pepper. But the best thing I like about sundae in Seoul is that they sell it with sizeable chunks of boiled lung, complete with vascular tubes and observable alveoli. There's a whole anatomy lesson sitting on your plate, if you feel compelled to explain it to someone. Korean wife these days is learning a lot more than she cares to know. 

That's what happens when you marry a geek.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quote Dump #9

"Operator, get me the number for 911" - Homer Simpson

"... Are you suggesting Coconuts migrate?" - Monty Python

Lady Astor: "Sir! If you were my husband, I would put arsenic in your coffee."
Sir Winston Churchill: "Madam, if you were my wife I would drink it!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Funny English

There's plenty of comical English around this country if you care to look. And I'm not just referring to people from England. When I come across a funny sign, I'm often limited to having a little laugh by myself. That's because explaining it to any accompanying Koreans can become a well-drawn out affair that ends in patriotic tears of rage. While I don't think it's particularly hindering anybody, I sometimes wonder why companies won't just do a quick check with an English speaker before inscribing something in permanent acrylic and plastering it on a wall. A few years ago, Samsung chose the words 'Digital Exciting' as the company slogan for their Anycall phones. Untold piles of money were spent on getting this arbitrary double adjective on billboards around the country, before someone was nice enough to let them know that it didn't really make sense.

Since the billboards have been taken down, Anycall has remained sloganless.

This particular piece of Konglish seems to have spread like a rogue meme throughout the country. In Korea, the plural of 'man' is often 'mans', ie. "this soup is invigorating, and good for the mans". Most men's room signs in Korea use the singular form, although there is usually more than one urinal. I like to entertain the idea that historically, if the first signmaker had just got it right, everyone would have copied them.

One day, when I have unlimited time and money, I intend to go around and correct all of these with polite little 'e' stickers. I can feel the tingles of satisfaction already.

In Korean, the word 'funny' is often used interchangeably with the word 'fun'. It's one of those blurry lost-in-translation deals, resulting in students exclaiming to their English teachers "Teacher! On the weekend I went swimming and it was very funny!"

Laugh you may, but the tables turn when the English teachers have to explain why saying "Hmm, this old milk smells funny" doesn't mean that it smells hilarious.

Mother's Finger sounds just like what you'll get if you ask your mother to bake you a chocolate brownie.

If you have an Australian mother, that is.

I'm not sure what it means or even how to pronounce Diget, but they don't taste too bad. Actually the only reason I bought them was because the name intrigued me.

Ah, so that's their marketing plan....

This hairdressing salon, elegantly named 'Hair the Hyun', is on the way to Suwon if you travel from Sadang station. I've long considered dropping in and getting my hair cut there, just because the name is weird.

I'm not sure what my problem is.

And you can find It's Skin in the Gangnam area. They sell winter clothes, obviously.

And some stores like to use exclamation marks! Regardless of whether the message is really that important!

Look everyone, it's our new dismal marketing ploy favourite hero, Can! Whenever you need to blast away your hunger, Can will come and dispense cold gelatinized and sterilised meats at a moment's notice!

Who can help us in times of hunger? Can can!

It appears that Kyobo's number one competitor has been restricted by their own policy of stocking only one book at a time.

You can find these gems in COEX. IL Mare is a pasta restaurant, which has various other slogans pasted on the walls for the bewilderment of diners. The food there is quite good. Tom N Toms is a coffee franchise much like Starbucks. 

Please enjoy the fresh coffee in the world.

And these are my favourite biscuits, Binch. Although it sounds like an arbitrary bunch of consonants and vowels selected by confectionary executives, this one actually stands for 'Biscuit and chocolate'. Genius, no? It reminds me of the amazing Family Mart Bonus, the Fonus.

Well that's all from me this time. Ideally I'll be spending the rest of the evening in front of the TV, munching on Binch.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Bicycle Built for Two

One of the oddities of living in a densely populated city is that everything is done en masse. In good old Pt Augusta (300km north of Adelaide), where I spent some of my youth, we only had two sets of traffic lights in the whole town. The annual Christmas pageant lasted all of 20 minutes and involved half the kids from my school. We also had a single toy shop in the town, called Toyworld, and that's where 90% of our Christmas presents came from.

In terms of population size, the Seoul metropolitan area has approximately 24.5 million more residents than my old country town. Taking a nice Sunday evening stroll along the river is inevitably shared with thousands of others who were struck by the same great idea.

Which is fine with me.

It's not as bad as it sounds. I often can't see most of the people anyway, because I'm myopic.

I'm quite a big fan of the Seoul City Council, who do their best to make the world's biggest Korean Beehive a pleasant place to live in. Recently they've been promoting bike riding here, with special subway carriages being renovated for bicyclists. And along the Han River, there's a whole bunch of council-run places where you can rent bikes.

For around $6 you can rent 'a bicycle built for two'. That reminds me of a song that my old man used to sing in the mornings. It referenced a lovesick man wishing to marry some lass called Daisy, and because he couldn't afford a lavish method of locomotion, he alternatively suggests a tandem bicycle.

The lyrics in the song are less technical.

And here's me and the lady who married me, even though I can only afford to rent a tandem bicycle for an hour.

And here's a shot from Handlebar Cam. We had quite a nice journey up and down the river. I'd highly recommend it to anyone with a persuadable companion.

Every elementary school kid in Korea knows the 63 Building. Even those who have never been to Seoul. It's a fairly agreeable looking chap. We sat and stared at it for a good ten minutes before continuing our bike ride.
It spends the days watching over the Mighty Han, which is really just a great big dirty old thing, but equally as endearing.

And after our nice afternoon at the river, we headed out to Itaewon for a nice meal and Alley Kat beers at the Wolfhound. This pub sells some great food, and we were impressed with the fish and chips. Then we went home early and watched movies on our computer.

I wish everyone could have more Sundays like these.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A Night Out with Morning Special

Going to university isn't just about what you learn or what degree you get.
An equally important part of the experience is the people you meet and the friendships you keep. Once you enter the workforce, social rules change, people get married and old friendships sometimes fade into the mists of time.

Morning Special was the name of a regular English morning radio show in Korea. When Heather was an undergraduate, some fellow students of hers formed an English speaking club at their university and named it after the radio show. They would get together on weekends and discuss news articles, followed by drinking and socialising in the hofs of Busan. Years later, the friendships that were made through this medium have withstood the test of time. The old members of Morning Special have all graduated and gone their separate ways, but they still meet up when they can.
Recently we met some of the members that have moved up to the Seoul area. We ate barbecued duck at probably the best barbecued duck restaurant in Korea, which is located tantalisingly close to our university subway station.

An indeterminable amount of beer and soju later, we found ourselves at the end of a bar-crawl and then a noraebang. Somehow I knew it would happen like this.
One of the responses that comes to my mind in situations like these, was invented by my Polish friend in Adelaide, Damien.
Whenever you ask him "Do you want to get ridiculously intoxicated tonight?",
he often replies "No... "

And then he adds "... but I can be easily persuaded."

Only some noraebang are licensed to sell alcohol. For the ones that aren't, there's often a discreet supply of under-the-counter beer that can be obtained if you ask the right way.
But the one we went to had a third alternative. 'Elite' is a non-alcoholic beer-flavoured soft drink. For those of you who live in Korea, you're likely to notice the label's uncanny resemblance to Hite, Korea's most popular brew. It tastes exactly like beer, and it took me a long time to determine what it really was. It's manufactured in Hong Kong, exclusively for the Korean noraebang market. 

Crafty indeed.

Somewhere in the fog of the night, Heather took off her shoes at a lounge bar and found out later that someone had removed them. Being in the merry mood that she was, she just left the venue wearing the complimentary toilet slippers that were offered by the manager.

Happily enough, she trotted the streets of Gangnam as a trendsetter, turning heads wherever she went. Her shoes were returned to the venue the next day by the person who took them - another tipsy patron who woke up and realised that the shoes weren't hers.

It happens more often than you'd expect... in Korea.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Wiki Rummage #2: Stress Management

This post is a summary of the information on the Wikipedia article, as well as some of my own advice that I've composed from over the past year. I hope that you might find at least some of it useful.

Workplace stress is the harmful physical and emotional response that arises when there is a poor match between job demands and the ability of the worker to cope with it. As well as the emotional strain involved, it takes a physical toll on the body that can be measured. During times of stress, levels of the hormone cortisol rise in your bloodstream and interfere with normal bodily processes. People living highly stressful lives can suffer from sleep disorders, mood disturbances and suppressed immune systems. If you work under stressful conditions for extended periods, you are also putting yourself at a greater risk of developing chronic cardiovascular disease.

Happy and motivated workers are more productive and less inclined to make mistakes. St Paul Marine and Fire Insurance Company has conducted several studies on the effects of stress prevention programs in hospital settings. In one study, the frequency of medication errors declined by 50% after prevention activities were implemented in a 700-bed hospital. Dealing with stress will not only make you a better worker, you also owe it to yourself to lead a more enjoyable and rewarding life.

Most of the stress management advice online describes what I think of as 'winding down' or distraction techniques. They're useful to know, but there are also some broader ideas that I want to note here. It can all be broken down into three main points:
  1. Boost your ability to cope
  2. Focus on non-material goals
  3. Build close personal relationships
We'll talk about these more in a second, because first I want to talk about emotions.

Emotions are what make us human. They're not a bad thing in that sense. However, they often get us into trouble and it's quite possible that the deliberately emotionless Vulcan race from Star Trek have a good point. I think we shouldn't try to deny our feelings, but if we let our feelings override our logic, it can often be most detrimental to ourselves. We all feel angry at times, but you'll probably be hard pressed to remember the last time that a situation improved after you had an angry outburst.
I think the more primitive emotions are the ones we need to focus on getting under control. How many situations can you think of involve the best solution being for everyone to panic? Things like anger, panic or fear are primitive psychological responses emanating from our amygdala, an ancient part of the brain that we evolutionarily share with lizards. They're not often useful for your average homo sapien in a developed world. Another proof that they're primitive is that less neurologically complex organisms experience them. For example, you can make a snake, a spider or even an ant angry if you want to. Birds can be seen to panic when cornered, and the humble shrew has been known to die of fear at the sound of a thunderstorm.
Perhaps the better emotions to savour, as a more cultured entity, are the sophisticated and subtle ones, like mild amusement, melancholy or nostalgia.

Anyway, the main point I want to make here is that you can avoid making a lot of bad situations worse if you can learn to control your emotions.

So back to those three main points...

Boosting your ability to cope all comes down to what we were talking about when there is a 'poor match between work demands and your ability to cope'. If the boss wants you to submit three reports by Friday but you are only realistically capable of completing one, then you're going to be stressed. On the other hand, if you could churn out four experiments by next week, but you're only required to complete two, then you're going to be feeling pretty good about yourself. Therefore, you can tackle the stress by either lowering the demand (ie. negotiating with your boss for a more realistic deadline) or boosting your ability to cope. Because the former is often not a valid option due to the fickle mannerisms of the boss species, let's focus on the latter.
Most of the winding down and distraction techniques fall into this category. Listening to music, going for a walk, meditation, healthy food and regular exercise are all ways to energise yourself so that you can tackle your challenges with more bounce in your step. Getting a good sleep at night and eating a large breakfast in the morning can also work wonders. Heather and I have been dabbling with meditation for a few months now and it really helps to clear your mind. I'll post about it in a couple of weeks.

Focus on non-material goals. The monks have it right when they say that the root cause of all human suffering is desire. The more things you want, the more pain you put yourself through to get them and the more pain you feel when you lose them. Material goals are things like more money, a nicer house or getting that degree. It has been well documented that increasing amounts of money beyond the average income do not correspond to increasing happiness. Deep down we all know that becoming filthy rich would probably transform us into selfish, suspicious and reckless people, yet we can't help but fantasise about it. Sixty thousand dollar shoes might make you feel good for a week, but overindulgence numbs us to the things that really matter. Getting a title or a promotion is also a material goal, because it is something that can be taken away. Non-material goals on the other hand, are intangible. Working because you want to become a better person is a non-material goal. The pursuit of wisdom is another. Some PhD students are utterly fixated on getting their degree, which really is just a piece of paper. The non-material goal they should be focusing on is the life experience that one gains while doing the work. No one can take that away, and therefore the benefits are long lasting. Keep this in mind when you get up in the morning. Try to think of the reasons you work, apart from the paycheck.
Build close personal relationships. Being the social monkeys that we are, having meaningful relationships with others gives true meaning to life. If we evolved from snakes or stick insects, we'd probably be perfectly happy living everyday alone. But that wasn't the case. Friends gives us an avenue to vent our frustrations and a way to share our successes. People who are very stressed in the workplace may notice that their relationships with others aren't going too well. Conversely, if you get along magnificently with everyone at work, it's likely that your job will be enjoyable even if the workload is tough. True friends give us realistic feedback and emotional support when it's needed most. But not all of your personal relationships have to be good friends. Being polite and friendly to the security ajossi in your building can work wonders at a later date when you need his help to move out. Remembering someone's name with a friendly smile can also set the wheels in motion for a future working partnership. Simply put, building relationships is an investment in time and effort, but the dividends are long-lasting and good for everyone involved.

The American Psychological Association also reinforces these ideas with their "10 Ways to Build Resilience", which are: 
  1. maintain good relationships with close family members, friends and others
  2. avoid seeing crises or stressful events as unbearable problems
  3. accept circumstances that cannot be changed
  4. develop realistic goals and move towards them
  5. take decisive actions in adverse situations
  6. look for opportunities of self-discovery after a struggle with loss
  7. develop self-confidence
  8. keep a long-term perspective and consider stressful events in a broader context
  9. maintain a hopeful outlook, expecting good things and visualizing what is wished
  10. take care of one's mind and body, exercise regularly, pay attention to one's own needs and feelings and engage in relaxing activities that one enjoys.
So along with these little pearls of wisdom, remember to Boost, Focus and Build. None of us can avoid stressful situations entirely, but we can always change the way deal with them.

Good luck!