Sunday, July 29, 2007

I mitt tillfälliga hem

Hemma på Classensgade igen. Nu med doft-teljus (äpple) tänt. Köpte ett paket på ICA (Bröderna Andersson) i Södra Sandby. Hoppas på mysfaktor och lite bättre lukt i mitt köpenhamnska krypin.

Det var skönt med en tur till Skåne. Fredag var jag på Botaniska museet i Lund. Ska försöka få ihop en epistel om att komma med pågatåget till Lund en solig förmiddag, och funderingarna jag hade över min studenttid och det att komma tillbaka som besökare. Jag flyttade väl ut från Kämnärsvägen våren 1997.

Och så en skön helg i Flyinge med mamma och pappa. Brorsan var också där mycket.

Inatt drömde jag massor.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday night

The first PCRs were crap. But the PCR last night gave superb products! And the one I set up this afternoon, too! Wow, I feel like I never want to stop making PCR reactions! Tonight, we went into herb C to find more material of X. borealis, and tomorrow I will get some collections from herb LD.

And then, I will spend the week-end with my parents in Skåne. In the rain, probably.

So I have to (reluctantly) pack a week-end bag.

I like being here in Copenhagen. It feels like I though it would. If only my legs were better, I want to walk around a lot. But I get tired.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wonderful Copenhagen?

Vacation is over. Yesterday I traveled to Copenhagen to carry through my SYNTHESYS funded work here at the Dept of Biology.

Det känns ganska konstigt att resa hit. Själva resan är ju inte lång. Och man kommer bara till Danmark. Men det är ändå annorlunda. Språket till exempel. Jag pratar ju ngn konstig slags "svorsk", och den låter hemsk här. Skånska, tja...

Och så måste jag vänja mig vid stället jag bor, och nya matbutiker, hur pengarna ser ut, och nya människor med namn som jag borde lära mig... Och labrutiner som är nästan som hemma, men litegranna annorlunda... Fast det är inte så illa, tror jag. Har satt upp en direkt-PCR och en PCR med en del av de DNA extrakt som jag hade med mig. Gömda i kofferten och modigt släpade med genom tullen, tillsammans med 3 kg lav-kollekter!

Vi hörs!

Friday, July 13, 2007


From now, I am officially on holiday, vacation, ferie, semester!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Några visa ord från BIO-info

Minner da bare om den britiske økonomen John Maynard Keynes, som i 1923 advarte mot å planlegge med for stor vekt på ”i det lange løp”:
”Long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.”

(Redaktör för nyhetsbladet BIO-info är J. Giske.)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

We went to Tysnes for a couple of days of relaxation and field work. Results are soon available at NLD (NXL).

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July 4

14 years ago, I celebrated Independence Day in Denver, Colorado. That was great! My eternal gratitude goes to HMO (nowadays known as HM), who patiently drove the car.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Man Without a Country, cont.

- A Memoir of Life in George W. Bush's America
By Kurt Vonnegut (2005)

I am reading this book for the 2nd time. The first time was a week or so after Vonnegut died. I went to the library, this book was among the displayed, and I borrowed it since I had never before read or even seen it.

You should check this out.

Chapter 1: As a kid I was the youngest

Vonnegut was the youngest member of his family. He says that the youngest is always a jokemaker, because a joke is the only way to enter the conversation. He then discusses comedy and what is funny and what is not funny. He claims that occasional obscene words are the only shocks he uses. Some things are not funny, for example there is not one funny thing about Auschwitz. On the other hand, total catastrophes can be very amusing. For example the Lisbon earthquake, as showed by Voltaire (I have read this, maybe 15 years ago, and I cannot remember one detail!)

He then goes on to discuss that humor is almost a physiological response to fear. The text ends with a story from the bombing of Dresden. You will have to read it for yourself. It teaches me something about being a human being and having a sense of humor.

Chapter 2: Do you know what a twerp is?

If you have not read the greatest American short story ”Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, V. considers you a twerp. The chapter starts with the definition of the term. All great literature is about what a bummer it is to be a human being. See list of Vonnegut’s examples of great literature.

As far as V. is concerned, evolution can og to hell! ”What a mistake we are”, he says. Because we are trying to wreck our planet. But he also defends humankind: everybody just got here, and the crazymaking games were already going on.

He goes on to discuss socialism in America, which is quite an interesting issue. Among other things, many American socialists were freshwater people (like V.). Then he tells about becoming a writer in a family of artists and about instead of writing for money writing about the 1945 bombing of Dresden in Germany (”Slaughterhouse Five”, 1968). ”You know, the truth can be really powerful stuff.”

Chapter 3: Here is a lesson in creative writing

1st rule: Do not use semicolons. From here, V. will tell us when he is kidding…

He writes about What Art Is. And he explains his system of the G-I axis (good fortune – ill fortune). It is exemplified with ”The Man in Hole Story”, ”Boy Meets Girl”, ”Cinderella”, and ”The Kafka Story”. The Question posed: Does this system V. have devised help us in the evaluation of literature?

”Hey, what was the good news and what was the bad news?”

Chapter 4: I’m going to tell you some news

This is a piece about smoking and fossil fuels.

V. chain-smoked unfiltered Pall Malls, starting when he was 12 years old. When he wrote this text, he was 82. And for many years the company had promised to kill him, right on the cigarette package! He was planning to sue them for breaking their promise…

Chapter 5: Okay, now let’s have some fun

Let’s talk about sex.

What do women want?
What do men want?
Why are so many people getting divorced today?

The answer is that most of us don’t have an extended family anymore.

A husband, a wife, and some kids is a terribly vulnerable survival unit, not a family. An extended family is a large group of people that can be called on for help. I’ve been having some similar thoughts lately, however, they are approaching the theme from another angle. The national state is a too large unit, for example there are ca 4,5 million citizens in Norway and ca 9 million citizens in Sweden. I believe in smaller units, like counties (e.g. Scania) or even tribes (100-200 people living close to each other). Then, humans are able to care for each other and know each other.

Chapter 6: I have been called a Luddite

”We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”

This is an enjoyable, warm, hilarious, giggling, enlightened piece about technology as ”newfangled contraptions”. Electronic devices that turn us into dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go out and do something.

”Like posting a letter, with stamps!”

(BTW: A Luddite is - hmhm, they destroyed machines, and I will tell you the rest tomorrow!)

Chapter 7: I turned eighty-two on November 11, 2004

What’s it like? To be so old? And, what’s life about? One of V’s sons has one answer.

But, music is always wonderful. And it makes us like life better. To deal with depression, music works! By playing and singing the blues, ”Old Man Suicide” could be shooed away by slaves in the era of slavery in North America.

After this point, I think that V’s text dwindles and consists of several digressions. Wise words, yes, but I can’t follow any consistent line or thread of thoughts. I think that a major point might be to compare the society today with the world of yesterday. And this might be one answer to what’s it like to be old…

Chapter 8: Do you know what a humanist is?

V educates us about being a humanist. He was, btw, Honorary President of the American Humanist Association as the successor to Isaac Asimov. In Norway, there is Humanetisk Forbund with Åse Kleveland as the new President. I do not know what the Swedish equivalent might be.

V explains why you shouldn’t aim to be a guesser but that if you are using the knowledge available to educated persons you are probably going to be very lonesome…

He explains why he is a man without a country – as the book title says. He seems to have lost all faith in the human race. And the most he can give us is a modern hero: Ignaz Semmelweis. If you are a biologist, you have heard about this obstetrician before. If not - learn the story! However, the guessers won again.

If there’s anything the guessers hate, it’s a wise human. ”So be one anyway. Save our lives and your lives, too. Be honorable.” V says.

Chapter 9: Do unto others

Good people: Jesus, Confucius, Mark (V’s son the doctor), Eugene Debs…

The most scary reality show that V could imagine: ”C-students from Yale”!

There are so many psychopathic personalities (PPs). And they have taken charge of the U.S.A. But the librarians resist, and hence, V is a man without a country, except for the librarians!

Chapter 10: A sappy woman from Ypsilanti

V was sappy too: A lifelong northern Democrat in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt tradition, a friend of the working stiffs.

This is a chapter on some of the letters that V had received, including some answers to them.

Chapter 11: Now then, I have some good news

…and some bad…

I convey this text as a typical V novel, in just 7 pages. With all his trade marks, like extraterrestrial beings and a telephone call from Kilgore Trout. V claims to be working on a novel with the working title If God Were Alive Today. V gives us an epitaph: ”The good Earth – we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy”.

Chapter 12: I used to be the owner and manager of an automobile dealership

It was called Saab Cape Cod. (Btw, I visited Cape Cod in 1995.)

V claims to believe that his failure as as dealer of Swedish cars so long ago explains why the Swedes never gave him a Nobel Prize for Literature! (Which would otherwise remain a deep mystery.)

As the old Norwegian proverb goes: ”Swedes have short dicks and long memories.” (I have lived in Norway since 1998, and never heard this! There might be several reasons why…)

V explains technical stuff about the Saab cars of those times, constructed by aeroplane engineers.

Then, he is back writing about jokes and humor (compare chapter 1). Then again, some autobiographical remarks, and he urges us to please note when we are happy!


I don’t know if is up again, but some of the artwork appearing in the book might be there. The home page is there!