The last week

Oooops... I accumulated so much stuff during one single year! There's craigslist which is an online portal where you can basically sell anything, but I didn't have time for that, so I just posted things on facebook and I got rid of it super easily. The donation box for clothes in Isla Vista is "open-air" (there is no roof! It's not a container, it's just a box) which confused me at first, but I dropped of some items. Fortunately, I managed to take all my books home to Germany (but they're heavy; maybe it's a good advice to try to buy books you don't need asap in your home country when you come back).

It's also important to hand on your research knowledge to your colleagues - thus, I trained a colleague for a day which was completely new to me because I had always been the one being instructed. But, our experiment and the hand-over went very well!

 As I didn't want to spend my last minute in Santa Barbara in lab, I went goodbye-kayaking:


It's been a year...

... since I have left Germany, and to be precise, it's been a year and a month already. The year just passed by, but some people are thirty and say, those years also just passed by. And there were and are times when experiments don't work which feel very slow ;-)

But now I'm a "second-year" and the new first-years came and they take the courses I took a year ago and it's just all exactly going over the same way it took a year ago. There was a volleyball match against faculty, there are the social events in the graduate student housing etc. And the campus is so full again. The graduate students are only a few, but the undergraduate freshmen (first-years) are thousands!

I've got about a week left to do experiments and collect data for my thesis. But in the last few days our system is working as good as we can make it right now and I can finally start taking data and not only pretty images.

What did I learn during this year? It feels like all three years of my undergraduate education squeezed into one (I couldn't pipette properly when I came here...). Mh, well, maybe that's wrong and I just learned so much practical stuff that it feels like those three year of homework.
If you ever have the opportunity to spend a year abroad, do it! And go to school, do research and other fun stuff.


San Francisco and its fog

San Francisco is a great city, even if you visit it for the second time; however, it becomes a bit less magical and every city has its not-that-pretty-parts. The Golden Gate Bridge was the same and we biked it again, but this time we had a lot more fog which was just above us and the peaks of the bridge pylons so you could see the top, but not the part in between which was a very nice effect (same for the sky scrapers in SF).

As SF lies between the bay and the ocean, the fog and clouds are blocked by the mountains and its nice and warm on the Eastern bay side and rather foggy and cold on the ocean side. Some people even speak of "micro-climate areas" in SF because the weather varies a lot between different different parts of the city.

We biked from downtown SF over to Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and visited one of the villages which gave us a nice view on the bay. We rode back and also visited the Golden Gate Park which is a huge park in SF (maybe 2 miles by 5 miles). By then, we were done. Our total distance was only about 15 miles, but since SF is a lot of up- and downhil, so we were even too tired to return the bikes where we borrowed them (6$ extra charge...). But I can only recommend biking SF! It's safe, you get to see a lot more and you don't have to bother with traffic.


Sequoia National Park

After the day trip to the Channel Islands (you can also camp there over night if you like), we drove to the Sequoia National Park. It took like five hours with a stop at the elephant seal vista point (here are more elephant seals from a trip in March). The drive took the entire day and especially the serpentines in the Sequoia National Park during the night were a bit hard to drive.

You might notice traces of fire in the last two images. The Sequoia tree has a special bark that protects it from fire while all others, usually smaller plants around it, die. The Sequoias profit from the more fertile soil after the fire.

As we started hiking, I was excited, that the trail we took was empty and we could enjoy the quiet, huge forest. But as we came close to the highest overview point of the park, Moro Rock, a huge amount of people appeared. You can drive to most important elements in the park and Moro Rock had a large space for parking. You're basically left with 340 steps to go up and don't have bother about hiking to any point. It's the same for the tree with the largest diameter in the world and the largest volume ("General Sherman Tree"). 

Of course, no matter if you drive your car or hike, the view is amazing! So there's way more then just trees in the Sequoia National Park. The King's Canyon National Park is very close, but because of the mountains it takes three hour to drive there!

Meadows are special in the park (they got names, too! Although they're just an area without trees); they grow on more humid areas.


Channel Islands

A few days ago, I finally made it to the Channel Island Santa Cruz, which is part of the National Park Channel Islands South of Santa Barbara and Ventura. You only see a silhouette of the islands from Santa Barbara and indeed, it takes 1 h 15 min to get their with a catamaran boat. It's easy to book a ticket to the islands, but depending on the date you have to do it up to three weeks in advance! The boat trip itself is about 60$, but kayaking is a lot more pricey and starts with 120$ per person; you'd kayak for maybe 1.5-2 h. I was highly surprised that snorkeling is on top of that with 180$ (probably because of the equipment). Since the Channel Islands are famous for their sea caves, kayaking might be worth its money, but we "just" went hiking which was fantastic as well:


Sometimes, whales can be seen from the boat, but we "only" saw dolphins and seals. But there are foxes on the island! They look for food and even steal money from purses, so you have to watch out.

Channel Islands

A few days ago, I finally made it to the Channel Island Santa Cruz, which is part of the National Park Channel Islands South of Santa Barbara and Ventura. You only see a silhouette of the islands from Santa Barbara and indeed, it takes 1 h 15 min to get their with a catamaran boat. It's easy to book a ticket to the islands, but depending on the date you have to do it up to three weeks in advance! The boat trip itself is about 60$, but kayaking is a lot more pricey and starts with 120$ per person; you'd kayak for maybe 1.5-2 h. I was highly surprised that snorkeling is on top of that with 180$ (probably because of the equipment). Since the Channel Islands are famous for their sea caves, kayaking might be worth its money, but we "just" went hiking which was fantastic as well:



Just a dinner conversation

We were sitting in a restaurant in Monterey, a town on the Pacific coast about an hour South of San Francisco. I was talking to another German physicist about a lecture and we mentioned the word "Navier Stokes Equation" which is a fundamental equation in fluid dynamics. Two people who were sitting behind us left, but one turned towards us and said he knew the Navier Stokes Equation pretty well, too. It turned out, they were German physicists as well, apparently attending a conference about fluid dynamics or something like this in Monterey or around there.



Starting this Saturday, I'll be mainly offline going on a roadtrip as it is a typical activity in the US. We'll go to different National Parks and end up in San Francisco. I never understood, why people do so many road trips, but as I booked my flight back from SF to Santa Barbara, it turned out that this flight will be as expensive as the car we rent for five days! Thinking of trains, it takes nine hours or more to get from SF to Santa Barbara. And it's kind of impossible to reach the National Parks with trains or buses if you're not considering traveling with an agency.

The zipcar thing

To resolve my last post: It worked! I had booked a car from the car sharing company zipcar and I could unlock it with my zipcard. Fortunately, the tank was more than 1/4th filled up, because if not, you have to get gas - but the company pays for the gas, so you don't have to worry. But sometimes the car's credit cards don't work and you have to pay etc. lots of things could go wrong ;-)

The car itself was working great and it was mainly clean, too. It seemed to be useful for longer drives as well as it had a cruise control. I booked it for one hour and I returned it on time, so I didn't have to pay any additional fees. The total cost for the trip was 9.18 $. And after it took me such a long time to become a member, actually getting one of their cars is easy :-)



Maybe you have heard of car sharing and even zipcar. The general idea is that several people own or rent a car and use it from time to time. Zipcar is a huge international company that owns cars in lots of towns (even here in Isla Vista there are four!) and once you are registered as a member, you can book a car for about 10$/hour. You don't have to pay for gas and you don't have to reserve a car for an entire day (as car rental companies usually do it). Thus, you can easily go grocery shopping, pick up a friend, go to a party etc.

However, I had lots of trouble getting my zipcard (but I fought for it and I'll test it tomorrow). Their website service didn't work properly, so I couldn't submit my application. After I called zipcar five times, it turned out, it's a problem with the web page; during the first four calls, the people I spoke to didn't know what's wrong. Wow. If you submit your application via the website it takes about 30 (!) days to be processed. Well, that's when I'll have left the US.

So, I had to track them down at the head quarters in Los Angeles. Only a day trip, haha. Yet, I got my zipcard! You have to scan your passport and send in your driver's license to get your zipcard activated. That should take three days. Of course, nothing happened after three days and I had to call them again - and suddenly, my account was alright and I could reserve a car, yay!
The zipcard you get acts as a key to open the car; the actual keys for the motor are inside.

However, a friend told me a similar story about their service. He booked a car, but was sent to another one (0.5 miles away) because the first one was shut down due to maintenance. The car he was navigated to was also shut down. He ended up taking the bus to pick up a friend. It seems to be that the zipcar thing is great, if it's working ;-)


Cups and mugs

It took me some time to adjust to the imperial units as inches, gallons etc. as people use it here. This is not impossible! Many people complain about it, but it's doable! Instead of "a few meters away" you say "a few yards" and so on. I can kind of estimate how tall people are now and e.g.  "he's six feet" started meaning something to me. Temperatures are a lot harder to deal with, but I got the point that 30°F is kind of cold and 60-70°F is alright. 

BUT, I always thought that a cup means cup (volume measure, eight fluid ounces are one cup, 16 cups are one gallon). Thus, when I was cooking rice I took a coffee mug, filled it almost up and because the recipe said "one cup of rice goes with one cup of water" I added the same amount of water. Indeed, it wouldn't matter how large a cup is, if the ratio rice:water was 1:1, but it wasn't for some weird reason (maybe they assume that the same amount evaporates and the rice:water ratio is constant, but not actually 1:1?!). It said, if you have 2 cups of rice, take 1.75 cups of water etc. As I visited friends, they had a measuring cup (Messbecher) and I learned, that a cup is tiny! It's like a small tea cup. So my "cup" was about twice the actual cup, hups. However, my rice worked out fine ;-)


Key Lime Pie

Last week, we met for lab lunch and somebody brought a key lime pie for dessert (key lime = echte Limette). It consists of a cracker crust (or rather crumbles of a cracker crust) and a filling made of eggs, condensed milk and key lime juice.

Key lime pie at group lunch.

It was great and since I wanted to bake it as well, I searched for the recipe online and also for "lemon pie" as I thought, it's the same, just with lemon juice. But it's not! Absolutely not! For a lemon pie, people use actual dough and half the pie is made of some sugar topping.

I ended up making the crunchy cracker crust and the key lime pie filling with lemon instead of key lime juice. Of course, it worked although the taste was a bit different due to the different fruit. But when I told people I had made key lime pie with lemon juice, they were astonished that it worked! "I mean, really?!?! With lemon?!" I'm not sure if I understood the tradition of key lime pie correctly and I hope I didn't commit a cultural sin.


Campus at night

The campus at night is not as dead as I expected. Most of the office buildings are empty indeed, but the university center becomes alive again. Lots of clubs, student unions etc. meet there. Lots of people go to the sports fields as well which light up the sky with their floodlights (as in the picture, behind the trees on the left).


Happy early birthday!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a birthday party. It was a Saturday, but I knew the person's birthday was on the Monday two days later, so the person was celebrating two days early! I was highly confused. Was the birthday-date information I had wrong?! Or did they plan the party for Sunday night and put Saturday by coincidence on the invitation? There's an old superstition in Germany, that it's really bad luck to wish somebody a happy birthday before their actual birthday. And on the party we did that of course and sang happy birthday. I didn't talk to anyone about the possible bad luck we have in Germany, but I was confused.

Then I got another invite for an early birthday party. So it just seems to be common around here. Fortunately, I talked to a friend the other day who's going to Germany soon, that he wondered why Germans can't celebrate their birthday early and that it's bad luck.This was very illuminating! Apparently, it's really German to not do congratulate someone early.


How To Become a Professor

I went to a talk that was basically titled "how to be successful in acadmia", i.e. how to become a professor which was held by two professors who are famous for their funny and interesting lectures. So, I went and the seminar room, which I only knew in a half-empty state, was full! People stood in the back of the room because it was so crowded (I have never seen this before at any talk I went to here).

However, the main message was "do cool science and be smart". Papers are important, but nobody's going to count the number of papers you have and say "well, this other candidate had one more paper than you, sorry". Have a clear application and not too much "stuff" (= don't list every single high school award etc.). Explain ideas and projects detailed and in a sharp way and don't present too many of them, but rather think about the details and challenges of a few ones carefully (e.g. in your research proposal). Apparently, it's hard for most people to only mention the most important aspects in their application and not write about every single bit they worked on.

The same applies to talks applicants give. Usually, those presentations are about 1h and some people end after 1h or even later, but 45 min talking are absolutely sufficient and it's vital to leave time for questions.

We were told it's helpful to talk to people who made it through the application process and compare their CV to yours and see if you're competitive. Often, CVs are online and you can trace back which kind of applications, fellowships, ... they had at the stage when they applied.


It's raining ash

I started thinking of Vesuv 2.0 when I looked at the mountains close by. The cloud from my last post started drifting towards campus and covered the sky above us. It resulted in one of the reddest sunsets I've ever seen:


I had the not-that-sensible idea to go out running and I noticed that I had to blink more than usual and there were tiny white flocks around. Not too many, but noticeable. Thinking about my lungs, I returned home pretty quickly.


The fire behind the mountains in front of my door

Looking out of the window in my room, I was delighted to see a cloud at the horizon! Yay, we might get rain or at least some shadows. But I also had a weird gut feeling that this cloud was not completely innocent.

Later during the day, I stepped out and realized that I could watch the cloud growing and swelling. The source seemed to be located at a specific spot and the rest of the sky ways absolutely cloudless as usual. It turned out, it's a "small" local fire behind the mountains here. Nobody really talks about it, it's just there. Last time, the fire was apparently closer or the wind pointed in a different direction so that we got an e-mail saying we should stay inside the houses and not exercise outside. We didn't get any message yet, hu.


Dunkin Donuts

Most people I met who come from the East Coast love (or at least like) Dunkin Donuts. Yet, we're in Southern California, where people go to the gym 24/7 and only eat Greek Salad with yogurt dressing ("Did you think about the calories of the dressing?! Maybe leave it out."). Thus, the new Dunkin Donuts store here in Santa Barbara is a tourist attraction. It was quite a discussion among friends and colleagues, that we did get this store!

As I understood that I should not miss this millennium store, I planned an excursion with friends to investigate the donut and coffee quality. Surprisingly, the store is not downtown, but in a new area, where the organic grocery stores are. Overall, it's pretty fancy. It's just hilarious to write on a donut box you bought "no trans fat" - hu, it's alright to eat it now, even for Californians ;-)

Time-reversed drug-symptoms

Our experiments weren't working. I changed this and that, and the signal got sometimes better, sometimes less good and it's been an emotional roller coaster. Two weeks ago, I was pretty down and started thinking about writing my Master's thesis about things that didn't work.

But, thanks to the holy spaghetti monster or whoever, our our networks started netting and we began to take actual quantitative data and I already saw super interesting differences where I expected them :-) YAY! Now, we're "high" though the down-time came first - and what people told me, it's the opposite for a drug. You're first happy and then down. Let's just hope, we don't hit another minimum.


Tiki party

I got an invitation to a tiki party via e-mail and was very confused if this is not person x hacking person's y account. But it turns out that tiki culture is a 1950s generation party/cocktail/music style which started with drinks made of rum and fruit juices (sometimes wodka works as well). People on the party were wearing Hawaiian shirt and the corresponding necklaces (but they weren't drunk ;-) everybody basically just zipped on the drinks and that's about it). 

The drinks can be served from a water melon or coconuts, which looks kind of cool. On the party I went to, there was lots of food, too, which was placed under a palm-tree-leave-covered frame. All in all, it was more like a normal party with super nice people and we talked about all the world and his brother. No weird dances, no weird rituals, just a different, fancy garden-party setting.

Summer cheerleading

Every time I passed the soccer fields during the last few weeks I saw lots of cheer leaders training. Probably it's some kind of summer camp. But they start earlier than I bike along which is at about 8 am and the finish later than I go home which was sometimes around 7:30 pm-ish. They still had music and performances running! Wow! 


Summer interns

The structure of the academic year in the US compared to the German structure is pretty different: Here we have about 10 weeks of instructions beginning in mid September, a break of one week, again lectures, again break (spring break!), the spring term and then - there's three months of "nothing". The salary of professors here only includes nine months because the summer is left out (but grants include it!). In Germany, we have two rather large breaks between the semesters and not a quarter-system. To make it a bit more interesting, some universities around here have terms as well :-)

Graduate students mainly do research during the summer, thought most people take a week or two off to go home. But it's also summer school and conference season. Some undergraduates work and some join a lab for those 2-3 months. We had quite a few in our lab as well and it's a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of research. Today lots of interns from groups all over the campus presented posters about their work. It was amazing to see how productive most projects were although the time was so limited! Most interns I spoke to were also very enthusiastic about their experiments etc. so it was fun to talk to them.


Just a short hike

Going on a brief hike cause me at least two days of sore muscles or pulled bands or sinews or something. We took the Romero Canyon Trail which is a nice, shady trail between the mountains and there's a small creek (sometimes even with water ;-)). We hiked just before sunset, so we really enjoyed the light and the view on the ocean. However, the end of the trail is not some fancy peak, it's just a road and the fun is over. Thus, enjoy the ride ;-)


The life of microtubules

If you'd like to read something like a "funny" paper about microtubules, look at "Dynamic instability 30 years later: complexities in microtubule growth and catastrophe" by G. J. Brouhard, which was published in Molecular Biology of the Cell in 2015. There's a diagram of microtubules wearing diapers, then head phones, then a tie, finally carrying crutches before the "catastrophe" comes. When I saw the scheme, I thought I had not slept enough or somebody put something for experimental purposes into my tea.

But it's still there and it's supposed to visualize the growth of microtubules from "babies" to "adults" until they become "old" and stop growing before the catastrophe, the shrinking event, begins. So imagine something is growing, i.e. there is always stuff added and suddenly it stops doing so and falls apart. But, why? If you're lucky, the microtubule might not completely shrink away as there could be a "rescue" event where the microtubule starts growing again! How and why this is exactly happening is even more complicated.

The tip of microtubules contains GTP, which builds a stable complex with the protein that microtubules are made of (tubulin). Later on, GTP is turned into GDP, which makes the microtubule less stable. Thus, the GTP tip seems to hold the microtubule end together (because everything behind the tip contains GDP which is less stable and would make the microtubule fall apart!). The GTP tip becomes smaller, but when more tubulin is added, the tip grows again. The switch from growing to stagnating to shrinking microtubules seems to happen when the GTP tip vanishes and the "instable" GDP-tubulin is the new tip and make the microtubule falls apart. 

So, if the tip is longer, then the microtubule would vanish less easily? Well, no. The probability that the microtubule falls apart depends on it's age / length, so there must be something like a microtubule memory, or maybe it's the accumulation of defects (when tubulin does not stick together in the perfect order it's supposed to)?
It's kind of a simple system if you just look briefly at it, but there's lots of research to be done about it.



Santa Barbara is celebrating the Spanish festival Fiesta. But remember, there has to be a festival in Santa Barbara every weekend, so Santa Barbara adopted that one, too ;-)

By coincidence, I was in town today and saw parts of the very colorful tables. The most important accessory you have to have are eggs filled with confetti. Three's a huge amount of people just selling those on the streets - and confetti snow covers the sidewalk. Of course, there's lots of more or less Spanish food, traditional clothing and dancing. You can get entertained from 4 pm until at least 10 pm...


It's all glutenfree!

I have just discovered a gluten-free cafe in downtown Santa Barbara! They do all kinds of sandwiches and have lots of pastries as well; and there is not a single item containing gluten. I haven't seen a similar cafe or restaurant in Germany yet, but I'm sure there'll be more soon. Of course, people who are not allergic to gluten love the raspberry chocolate cake etc. as well :-)


"There's a festival...

... on every single weekend in Santa Barbara during the summer. Don't worry about your free time!" I thought this saying about Santa Barbara is a nice brochure advertisement, but it's true! 

Two weeks ago, there was the French Festival, last weekend you could taste any kind of wine at the Wine Festival (which is a huge deal around here!) and this weekend I visited the Greek Festival. At first, I was not sure if "Greek" meant fraternities and sororities and it's all about charity and drinking, but it's not! People danced traditional Greek dances, there was lots of food and Greek soap, glittery dresses, towels, spices etc. The festival was held in a dry park downtown, so grass and the trees look kind of Mediterranean as well ;-)


Diffusion again

Last time, I just briefly wrote about the problem we had when we calculated diffusion coefficients. We were off by a factor of four. After consulting the camera's manual it turned out, that the camera does different "binning" of pixels in the mode we use for particle tracking. "Binning" means, that two pixels become one in the final image. Thus, a 1024*1024 px*px image shrinks to a 512*512 px*px image. And if you think that 6 px represent one micrometer and you do not know about the binning, it's actually 6 px being two micrometers! As the distance goes squared into the diffusion coefficient, we got our factor of 4, yay! (But never mind the software explicitly saying that there is no binning for this camera type, haha... it's only on page 60 of a 130 page manual ;-))

So my life was pink again; I continued with another experiment where we want to observe the growing and shrinking of cell polymers (microtubules). I mixed the cocktail for the experiment and was happy to image lots of moving rods (that's how microtubules look like). But after thinking about it... diffusion could make them move in a super similar way! Damn it. Even theoretical estimations show that they could move quite a bit in 30 seconds. Fortunately, there are different dyes out there to label the dynamic part (growing and shrinking) and the static part (our seeds), so we'll hopefully understand what's actually happening.



Diffusion coefficients

We've got a new camera in our lab which is less light sensitive than the one we had before, so we don't have to expose the more sensitive one to light which might damage it (though we have not shown that in an experiment ;-)). The determination of the diffusion coefficient with the old, sensitive camera works great! We maybe off by 10%, but after averaging I got close to 1% to the theoretical value. 

The new camera is a bit different and less fancy, but our diffusion coefficient is off by a factor of 4 - no matter what we do! It's such a "simple" experiment and I guess it's done as a lab course for freshmen, but it doesn't seem to be that easy. I guess, the camera does some binning and the image info just hides it in a smart way...


"Queen" Concert

During July, there are free concerts in one of the public parks in Santa Barbara downtown. The one last Thursday was announced to have Queen as a theme, so I went, but I was super skeptical if anybody in the world could imitate the real Queen sound.

And, well, of course it was not exactly Freddie Mercury's guitar, but it was great entertainment and one of the band members actually looked like Mr Mercury ;-) It was not like any open air concert as it started at 6 pm and people had brought picnic blankets long before that to sit close to the stage. Thus, at the beginning of the concert, we had a potluck-picnic dinner and afterwards we listened and many people started dancing. At the ending (which was early, around 8:30 pm), they played "We are the champions" and finally everybody (any age, any race) was dancing! It was a great, very intercultural and peaceful atmosphere.


Making seeds

We want to look at dynamic microtubules which are a common biopolymer in cells. So far, our microtubules just grow, but don't shrink, but we want to have both types of dynamics in our studies. To get there, we left out the stabilizing chemical and we ended up with clumps only and no network.

After talking to experts in the field of microtubules, it turned out that seeds could be helpful. The microtubules would just start growing on them. Thus, we had to made those seeds (made of tiny stable microtubules) which took seven hours! But after lots of centrifuging and incubating, the last step involved freezing the sample tubes (the small colorful tubes at the bottom of the photo) in liquid nitrogen which is great fun:

Just slowly freezing the protein would have led to the depolymerization of the seeds, i.e. we would have lots of protein in solution, but no seeds. The liquid nitrogen freezes the seeds so quickly that there's no time to disassemble. Afterwards we store them at -80°C so that no thawing happens.


Santa Barbara Harbor

Believe it or not, I have been measuring diffusion coefficients via particle tracking for days now, and we're still off by a factor of five... I've got some ideas for the reasons and we'll figure it out, but because that's so frustrating, let's talk about something nicer :-)

Like the harbor of Santa Barbara! I haven't been there before, but it's a great view, there are many restaurants and you can walk out to the pier. About 1000 boats are in the harbor (for which you have to pay a fee) and there are some which are just kept outside near the beach (which is free). But if a storm comes, your boat is washed ashore and you don't remove it quickly, the boat is destroyed and its parts carried away. Thus, the harbor fee might be worth it ;-)


How you get a job offer

You should eat a dessert! Actually, I was just eating tacos with a friend since it was "Taco Tuesday" at a local restaurant, i.e. any taco is just 2 $ and usually two or three tacos make a nice meal. It turned out that the restaurant had some nice dessert offers, so we got a "S'mores Sundae" which is an ice cream dessert with marshmallows, cookies and chocolate (yeah, it's super unhealthy, but nice :-)).

While I was waiting for the Sundae, somebody asked me with an American accent "Kommen Sie aus Deutschland?". So we talked a bit about Germany, that he stayed there for some time as well etc.  It turned out that he was working for some company around here and they like to employ physicists. Thus, we exchanged contact details and I could do an internship etc. It sounded like a great new contact overall :-)


Still berning?!

Bernie Sanders has finally announced his support of Clinton's campaign. If that's an honest commitment, is debatable, but at least the Democrats are united now. Well, nearly, as the Bernie-spirit lives on:

I'd love to have that hat! Even though Sanders won't run for president, he's got still many supporters and  it'll be a challenge for Clinton to convince the remaining voters that they shouldn't vote for Trump because he's not part of the common political establishment.