Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't let the bed bugs bite

I cannot remember correctly, how my mum, sister and I came to this topic. I think I was complaining about an ichting leg and asked whether our Madame Chanel has flees. Anyway, there was one statement I have to share with others: "I don't air my bedclothes so that the bedbugs die." (Sister)

"Noo noo, my bed doesn't stink, I just try to suffocate my bedbugs." Yesh, don't try this at home kids!


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Home sweet home

After a long dry spell, I finally reached home (Austria). Marvelous food, a proper bed and absolute silence at night. I haven't slept that well for months.

Now, appropriate time management is key. To-Do List:

  • Granny's Birthday Party (I hope the tea will be appreciated)
  • Friends (though chunk)
  • Dad & Jakob (my little half-brother)
  • Beer (Murauer, Stiegl, Hirter)
  • Familiy
  • More beer (Ottakringer, Paulaner, Erdinger, ...)
  • Wine
  • More Wine
  • I think revision was also part of my plot
  • Chocolate for MIC's anonymous chocoholics (lets reveal their identities: Alex, Vicky, Aurora, Sara, Tara and Ellen - basically every girl around the TV room)


Friday, March 24, 2006

The one and only real law of thermodynamics

Since biochemists have to deal a lot with nice numbers like the Gibbs free energy or the activation energy for reaction kinetics, I got sick of it and created the one and only true law of thermodynamics:

Activation Energy is the useful quantity of energy available in one cup of coffee.


Update regarding my essay: almost done. I still hate "brief commercial and technical assessments".


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A scientist on the dark path of business

Good guess, this is all about me. Since I wasn't smart enough to choose a simple and straightforward, easy-marks computer course, I chose a course with the enlightening title "Planning and Evaluation of Business Opportunities in Bioprocessing and Life Sciences". Seems like my ambition took me the Greek way this time.

However, I have to finish a 2500 words essay (yeah, Alex and Vicky - only 2 paragraphs) for Friday and I simply can't motivate myself to write this "brief technical and commercial assessment". Well, I started, but after 300 words my muse left. Maybe I should hand in bullet points with whatever comes to my mind (after shortly re-considering this: no I shouldn't!).

Cheerio! Hopefully it will look better tomorrow (today?).


Monday, March 20, 2006

Mike's movie corner: V vor Vendetta

Remember, remember the fifth of November [...]

Warning: may contain spoilers and peanuts!

The movie is stuffed with symbols, which many folks wouldn't even take notice of. Taking into account that our superhero is actually transsexual (or tries to be), this doesn't come out at all. It's probably the misery authors have to face, when directors get hold of their books, comics, stories and turn them inside out.

It is worth seeing, if one likes special effects and doesn't glimpse behind "the scenes". However, it was definitely not worth the 9 quid I paid.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


By Lawrence and Gail Bloom, Appeared in J.I.R., December 1974

Chairman of Department
Leaps tall buildings at a single bound
Is more powerful than a locomotive
Is faster than a speeding bullet
Walks on water
Gives policy to God
Leaps short buildings at a single bound
Is more powerful than a switch engine
Is just as fast as a speeding bullet
Walks on water if the sea is calm
Talks with God
Associate Professor
Leaps short buildings with a running start
Is almost as powerful as a switch engine
Is faster than a speeding BB
Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool
Talks with God if a special request is approved
Assistant Professor
Barely clears a quonset hut
Loses tug of war with locomotive
Can fire a speeding bullet
Swims well
Is occasionally addressed by God
Makes high marks on wall when trying to leap buildings
Is run over by locomotive
Can sometimes handle gun without inflicting self-injury
Dog paddles
Talks to animals
Research Associate
Runs into buildings
Recognizes locomotive 2 out of 3 times
Is not issued ammunition
Can stay afloat with life jacket
Talks to walls
Graduate Student
Falls over doorsteps when trying to enter building
Says, “Look at the Choo-Choo.”
Wets himself with water pistol
Plays in mud puddles
Mumbles to himself
Lifts buildings and walks under them
Kicks locomotives off the track
Catches bullets in his teeth and eats them
Freezes water with a single glance
Is God …


Chinese, Koreans and the kitchen facilities...

I don't have a clue why the kitchen always looks like "kissed by a hurricane" after those dudes did their cooking.

"Und nach mir die Sintflut..."



Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The accumulation of people in narrow passages

Why are folks always used to stop (and e.g. have a chat, coffee break or football match) at the narrowest possible point? I absolutely hate that.

Example: lecture theatre in the second floor of the building. After the professor's relieving words "that's it for today", I try to make my way out of the mouldy room as fast as possible.

  • Obstacle number one: people packing up their stuff in slow motion, trapping me in the row. Solution number one: jump over the bench (thanks god to my crappy glasses, I usually sit in the front row).
  • Obstacle number two: the stair case with students moving downwards at even-slower-than-granny speed - a little kick in their asses becomes a big temptation in such moments.

However, as this would be a far too obvious offence, I'd rather have telekinetic powers to simply prod them out of the way (or throw them off buildings, down the staircase, etc.). When they turn around to peer for the culprit (well, if they still can), I would innocently make my way through the crowd while whistling "fuck the system" and maliciously smirking inwardly.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Tube

The London Underground: used by millions, hated by millions - day for day. Last year a song about the Tube, written by Amateur Transplants (aka Adam Kay and Suman Bisons) came to my ears. It is an amusing, but still quite veridical song (i.e. "it's sooo true, dude").

Enjoy: London Underground


Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Ig-Nobel Prize

Year after year Harvard University awards Ig-Nobel prizes for the "best, most genuine" research projects (the sarcasm should be self speaking).

"The Ig Nobel awards are arguably the highlight of the scientific calendar." Nature

My favourites from 2005:

  • Chemistry

    Edward Cussler of the University of Minnesota and Brian Gettelfinger of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin, for conducting a careful experiment to settle the longstanding scientific question: can people swim faster in syrup or in water?

    A sweet swimming entertainment

  • Peace

    Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University, in the U.K., for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie "Star Wars."

    I cannot image how "shhhhhshhhhh, Luke I'm your faaaaather" could impress locust. Funnily enough, that a peace ignoble pize was awarded for a research project with the word "war" in the title (but that's probably part of the cynicism).

  • Economics

    Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.

    Hmm, doesn't sound that useless too me. And one does morning workout as well. Maybe the Ig-Nobel prize for sports should also go to this candiate.

Just a couple of days until the 2006 awards start. [Btw. thanks for the hint, (german) Alex .]


Zandy's gettin' old

I'm note quite sure, whether it's her 50th or 22nd Birthday. However, judging from her clever sister's and mum's age history (apparently they look like 25 and 22, respectively), this doesn't matter anyway. It's probably just a funny coincidence that Alex will become a cosmetic surgeon.

Hmm, what did I try to say? Oh yeah: "Happy Birthday, Alexandra"


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wash, boil and serve?

According to the Knight-Ridder News Service, the inscription on the metal bands used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds has been changed. The bands used to bear the address of the Washington Biological Survey, abbreviated: "Wash. Biol. Surv." until the agency received the following letter from an Arkansas camper:

"Dear Sirs: While camping last week I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you, it was horrible."

The bands are now marked: "Fish and Wildlife Service."



Der Fuhrer's Face

Heil Donald!

Whoever claims that american propaganda during and after the second world war was inefficient compared to the german one, suffers from severe confusion (delirium?). Some of you might have already seen this banned Wald-Disney cartoon. However, it's worth watching it again:

right in the Fuhrer's face

I also dug out the lyrics for the catchy song:

Der Fuehrer's Face

Spike Jones and the City Slickers

When Der Fuehrer says, "We ist der master race"
We HEIL! HEIL! Right in Der Fuehrer's face
Not to love Der Fuehrer is a great disgrace
So we HEIL! HEIL! Right in Der Fuehrer's face
When Herr Gobbels says, "We own der world und space"
We HEIL! HEIL! Right in Herr Goring's face
When Herr Goring says they'll never bomb this place
We HEIL! HEIL! Right in Herr Goring's face

Are we not the supermen
Aryan pure supermen
Ja we ist der supermen
Super-duper supermen
Ist this Nutzi land not good?
Would you leave it if you could?
Ja this Nutzi land is good!
Vee would leave it if we could

We bring the world to order
Heil Hitler's world New Order
Everyone of foreign race will love Der Fuehrer's face
When we bring to der world disorder

When Der Fuehrer says, "We ist der master race"
We HEIL! HEIL! Right in Der Fuehrer's face
When Der Fuehrer says, "We ist der master race"
We HEIL! HEIL! Right in Der Fuhrer's face


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world


If I had the monopoly on all the coffee worldwide, I would crown myself to the god-emperor and leave all folks obeisant at my dusty feet. Coffee would be sold as ambrosia for insane prices, given by the all-just god-emperor.

"Who rules the melange, rules the universe".

Apparently, I needed a cup of the tasty beverage, when I typed this entry. Damn, these withdrawal syndromes suck.


Gernglish for Beginners

Wondering what a mixture of german and english might sound like? There you go:

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German lyk zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If you can read und understand this, you should start thinking about your roots. Might there be some german blood in your venes?


Monday, March 06, 2006

PhD - permanent head damage

Have you ever wondered what "PhD" actually stands for? Besides the far too obvious definitions I dug out some other convenient possibilities:

  • Permanent head damage
  • Pizza Hut Delivery
  • Piled Higher and Deeper
  • Productive Happy Devil
  • Public Hated Degree
  • Patiently Hoping for a Degree (me favourite)
  • Progressively Headed Downhill
  • Pulsating Heaving Disaster
  • Pretty Homely Dork
  • Pathetic Homeless Dreamer
  • Pour Her a Drink


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mike's movie corner: Syriana

Yesterday evening, I decided to make use of an excellent amusement service offered in many cities: the cinema.

Judging from trailers, movie previews and interviews, Syriana seemed to be a nice, challenging piece of entertainment. However, the film was slightly too long, which made many scenes really boring. Nevertheless, the overall message "American oil companies and their lobby sucks" was submitted in superb quality and hopefully every fool got this statement (if not, they were probably sleeping).

Amazing though, how much weight George Clooney gained for his role - a real fatso

The Dawn

Out of absolute boredom, a MSN conversation with Alex and my ingenious but utterly insane mind, I started my blogging career with a couple of mouse-clicks. Easy.

Apropos boredom: Actually, I should write three essays and two practical reports. Nevertheless, I am pissing around and cannot motivate myself - strange world, isn't it?

In the mentioned MSN chat, Alex created the word "hoit!" for hello (or whatever her twisted mind was thinking - my muse). Following her example, I created the "miketionary": source of endless un-knowledge and ignorance. The perfect way to spread my seed in the infinte vastnesses of the virtual world.