Romanian Names - John Vanderslice

One of my favorite music artists, especially live, is indie rocker John Vanderslice. I covered previous albums and concerts on this blog, now there's a new album out, called Romanian Names. You can tune into it at his site, and when you pre-order the album, you'll get an immediate free download of the complete album as well, which I find quite welcoming. So far the album seems quite good, less noisy and a bit calmer; maybe better than Emerald City but not as good as my all-time favorite Pixel Revolt. Also saw that he's doing the European Tour next fall, let's see if he keeps his promise of visiting Luxembourg this time. (I had a short chat with him during the amazing concert he gave in Heidelberg)

by admin
04/30/09. 02:47:49 pm. 127 words, . Categories: Indie Music ,

The Superman that wasn't

Kevin Smith about talk Superman. Via

by admin
04/28/09. 11:38:24 am. 6 words, . Categories: Youtube ,

Asahi Heaven

I'm not a great beer person. I like a (good) beer every once in a while when I'm really thirsty, especially in summer, but that's about it. There's an exception though. Some of you may even remember my secret passion. I've run long distances and went through lots of pain (no not literally) to maybe somewhere find an Asahi bottle or two. Not the regular crap they sell through-out Europe and that's actually not imported from Japan but from the Czech Republic and that tastes nothing like the original. In the US, the only bottles I managed to find were brewed in Canada and did not taste any better. No, I mean the real stuff, that tickles my Nostalgia centers in my brain in memory of the fiery hot 2004 summer days back in good Japan. I managed once to find a 2L bottle in Luxembourg in the Sushi Place, but those days were counted. Also I found in 2005 3 bottles in a weird supermarket in Paris that I could not replicate on any other visit there. And I was reluctant to order the super expensive ones from a UK online store... I even managed to trace back the original importer that was bringing them into Europe and found out that he no longer did this, probably being on the origin of this disaster. But... but there was a sudden twist in this odysey. I was telling Daniele about this the other day, he's from Milano and is also doing his PhD in our lab. And he had the feeling that he's seen those beers around Italy. Of course many people had told me similar stories before that would only end up in another Czech disaster, so I did not get my hopes up. A few internet searches later though, I found several Italian online shops selling them, and these were the Asahi Super Dry Steiny bottles that every connoisseur knew are only produced inside Japan. So I did what every man in his right mind would do, I bribed Daniele to bring me some over next time he's back home, which was on Easter. And so he did. It weren't so many bottles, but it was enough to make my mind go in a Homer Simpson dribble mode for a couple of hours. But then I was faced a fierce challenge. I could not only open one bottle just like that, I had been waiting for it for too long, the moment had to be perfect. Finally, after long hours of meditation and mental training, I was ready for it last Saturday. I pulled the plastic from the cover, activated the overly awesome Steiny bottle opening mechanism, I heard that sound that usually only the Gods hear on their lonely mountain that is Olymp, and I almost did not dare to pour these holy contents into a dusty Leffe grail. That bright color, these reflections, the hazy light it was emitting, it almost blinded me and I had to grab a chair and sit down on my balcony, quickly reciting passages from my holy book Murakami's Norvegian Wood. The first drops were reaching my taste buds just seconds later... Ahh the glory!
As a scientist, I'm trained to look at things with an unbiased view and to recognize personal preferences. In real live however, these are often mixed with nostalgic memories and emotions. I know of course that the Asahi I was drinking was objectively probably not the best beer in the world. But in a zap it brought me back to that place that I love...

by admin
04/27/09. 08:18:10 am. 596 words, . Categories: News, Random stupidity , 6 comments »

Of dodos and falcons

Since we're talking about birds: Adam Savage: TED talks - My quest for the dodo bird, and other obsessions. Gotta love that guy!

by admin
04/21/09. 07:00:45 pm. 22 words, . Categories: Youtube , 2 comments »

Observing kestrels on a live video feed

It's spring! This means lots of reproduction going on (unfortunately not currently for me, as I am single once more.. but who knows what the future brings). If you are bored at work or suffering from insomnia at night, you can always watch the fruits of the reproductive efforts made by a pair of kestrels. The Bildungszentrum BZM in Muttenz, Switerland set up some high quality video feeds that even include night-vision!
The kestrels inhabit the wooden box since March 31th. Enjoy:

by Ced
04/21/09. 04:21:32 pm. 89 words, . Categories: Science , 1782 comments »

In other news...

Yeah it's getting more and more quiet around my blog... Fact is I just have less time and ideas to write. On one hand, Line finally joined me here in Basel, meaning that I spend somewhat less time sitting in front of a computer with nothing much else to do than blog and read. One the other hand I fell like I'm spending much more time nowadays with friends and colleagues, and I guess this compensates somehow all the ramblings I'd otherwise do right here.
... anyways... Lab-wise I'm waiting for my mice to be born, while one of the genotypes I'm investigating is already there and waiting to be characterized in the next couple of weeks. The other one's more tricky, and either my Mendelian luck is down the sink or the mutation I try to obtain is embryonic lethal... Both are rather unlikely, but I may find out in a couple of days.
This weekend we tried out my new Weber über-grill that's awesomely awesome and that will probably serve us many fantastic meals throughout summer.
We're currently trying to improve our Kubb skills, gotta make it to the world series in Gotland...
I also watched some movies I did not yet have time to blog about... To make it short: K-Pax is genius, In Bruges sucked, and talking of sucking, the Hudsucker Proxy is quite good.
I also did some major clean-ups in my iTunes library and actually bought some nice CDs that I still have to further inspect before judging... Guess that's about all folks...

by admin
04/20/09. 03:37:05 pm. 258 words, . Categories: News, Blog , 4 comments »

Red leaves in autumn

Interesting post for all of you science fun facts & theory fans.

by admin
04/20/09. 03:05:37 pm. 12 words, . Categories: Science News, How stuff works ,

Playing with swords

Isao Machii - Never mind the stupid TV show, that guy is pretty impressive.

by admin
04/16/09. 12:45:50 pm. 13 words, . Categories: Youtube , 1 comment »


This will please fireball too. [Via]

by admin
04/15/09. 09:41:14 pm. 6 words, . Categories: Bad Science , 6 comments »

Lost & Found XXIII

by admin
04/15/09. 04:32:59 pm. 0 words, . Categories: Photography ,


Well you may be interested that I just co-authored my first scientific publication. It's nothing like a first author, I know, still it is a decent journal (Human Molecular Genetics) and a nice reward for my internship in Harvard last year.
A hypomorphic allele of Tsc2 highlights the role of TSC1/TSC2 in signaling to AKT and models mild human TSC2 alleles.[Pubmed]

by admin
04/15/09. 02:56:12 pm. 63 words, . Categories: Labonews, Paper of the Day ,

My server ran away

Maybe you noticed, maybe not... my site wasn't accessible over the past couple of days since there was apparently a process in my gallery that ran wild and consumed too much processing power. Instead of shutting it down, the clever guys from cyon just decided they would block the whole domain, and since they also blocked my mail server they could not tell me by mail that they shut it down. So far I've been quite happy with them, hope that this was just a glitch. Now I updated the gallery and also installed a new theme, but it is still suboptimal and well organized... Any suggestions?

by admin
04/14/09. 01:36:24 pm. 107 words, . Categories: Does not compute , 1 comment »

Touring Luxembourg

Last Friday, Julie and Aaron, who work also in the Biozentrum and their friends Megan and Lindsay (not sure bout the spelling...) from the US were touring Europe, so Line and I decided to pick them up in Brussels to show them Luxembourg. We started off Friday by eating Fries in Jette, then moved to Luxembourg City where we saw the Cathedral, the Gëlle Fra, the Veneciano, the Grouss Gaas, my old home, the Wenzel trail, the Scotts, the Pirate Ship in the park, the Chi-Chis and the Rives... Saturday, we drove from Berbuerg to Larochette, Ettelbrück, Heinerscheid, where we went to the Cornelys Haff and checked out the Ourdaller micro brewerie including some beer tasting of course. We had a nice "Waarm Ham mat Saubounen" and baked apples and after filling completely stuffed, we continued through Clervaux, Vianden, the Our valley, Müllertal back to Berbuerg and Hagen. You'll find the pics here.

by admin
04/14/09. 11:34:18 am. 156 words, . Categories: Luxembourg ,

The bunny meltdown

At yesterday's movie Monday, we had the phenomenal idea of doing chocolate fondue, which turned out to be totally awesome, cumulating in the melting of a giant chocolate bunny. See for yourself!

by admin
04/07/09. 09:33:44 am. 32 words, . Categories: Party Pics , 3 comments »

Trekking: Olten - Waldenburg

Last Sunday, Anke, Ania, Adi, Daniele and I went trekking in near-by Olten. It was our first trek for the year, which was probably not such a great choice, even more so that I had told Daniele and Ania they could do it without trekking shoes. After an initial problem of finding the starting point out of Olten, we found our trail and made some encounters with castles, old suicidal people, 30cm of snow and hurting feet. I say it was worth it! Here's the pix. And here's the Google earth kmz file.

by admin
04/07/09. 08:50:03 am. 93 words, . Categories: Photography , 2 comments »

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