Monday, October 30, 2006

The curse of the Wererabbit!

Last year at this time my garden was haunted by something that went thump in the nigth. One evening I hid behind the strawberry bed and caught a glimpse of the horrifying creature... The Wererabbit!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Chocolate Day

What to do in Uppsala on a cold Saturday late afternoon? Visit the chocolate bar for a big cup of hot chocolate and a taste of their delicious assortment of pralines or chocolate cakes.

Of course I could not resist buying a box of Godiva chocolate squares at the airport at 20% discount (just because the package had a dent in it!).

What a day.

Photo courtesy: Neil Setchfield,

Friday, October 27, 2006

Next stop: Uppsala

Tomorrow I am leaving for a conference in Uppsala, Sweden. The conference will be held in the University Museum Gustavianum, in the centre of town. The weather forecast has (at least once) predicted snow for Sunday, so I will have to bring some warm clothes, and since Tuesday will be half a day off, I am looking forward to the chance to explore the Gustavianum museum while the snow is piling up outside...

Photo courtesy: Uppsala, Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Irrational fears

Yesterday I had a very interesting discussion where I discovered quite a number of things about myself. For years I have had momentary slight panic attacks in certain situations, and the situations have changed throughout the years. Each time I felt fear and/or distress, but managed to forget about the incident immediately thereafter and did not give it much thought afterwards. And when I eventually gave the panic situation more thought, I subconsciously slowly changed my habit into not being afraid anymore.

At the moment I can only recall three specific situations where I get this feeling, for example when walking in the street and a big heavy truck passes by, I am afraid that I might put my foot in front of the wheels of the truck. It sounds rather silly, and it is, but the fear is real. The funny thing is, I only realised today that all my current momentary panic situations are all of the same kind: I am afraid I might do something that will hurt myself.

The reason that this revelation makes me extremely happy, is that I know already that my earlier fears diminished as soon as I started to realise my compulsive behaviour and acknowledging it. And, on another note, it is also always very nice to be able to make sense of your senses. :o)

This kind of symptom of irrational fears and obsessive thoughts of danger are known from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The webpage of OCD-usa explains very well how fears and anxiety can develop to obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.

Image courtesy: Heavy Truck Home Page

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Josh!

Here is another present for you!

Image courtesy: Video Feedback by professor_tom

Sunday, October 22, 2006

AAaaaarrggH Evolution!

I am using the Evolution mail client for my Ubuntu installation. Since sometime during the first week of October, this mail client mysteriously and independently decided that all my incoming mail is probably spam, and has sent EVERYTHING to my junk mail folder!
I only realised today that it was EVERYTHING, because I wondered why I had gotten so few emails on my glyn mail lately and had a look in the junk folder... AAaaaRGH!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lab retreat to Spa

Tuesday 17th to Thursday 19th I was with the rest of the molecular biology lab on our annual lab retreat. We went to the famous city of Spa in Belgium, where we stayed in something-like-a-castle to have fun and talk about the future of our projects in the lab. Now do not confuse this lab with the lab where we are installing an aquarium, which is the bioinformatics lab. I am in the lucky position of having two supervisors, one from molecular biology and one from the bioinformatics department, thus I have two labs to call my own.

Read also: Spa in Belgium by wikipedia
Photo courtesy:

Monday, October 16, 2006


The mountain Brocken, or Bloksbjerg as it is also called, is the place where the witches gather according to the German folklore. This weekend we entered the misty top, and exited safely on the other side, meeting no witches. It is almost impossible to see the entire summit if not on postcards, for the weather forecast predicts thick fog 306 days a year!

Illustration by paganlink gallery.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What does a real scientist look like?

Without posting a picture of myself, I think I can answer the question by referring to the answers of these wonderful seventh graders... :oD

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday Morning

I usually never have a problem with Mondays, but today everything just started out wrong. I overslept, but not simply overslept, I woke up from a nightmare where I was screaming of all my might (in the dream). I got up and made my breakfast as usual, but realising I was not hungry, which is strange, since I usually wake up because I am hungry. It was past 9am, and normally I wake up, without using an alarm clock, between 7 and 8am.
When I arrived at work I felt dizzy and not entirely awake. But there was no chance of slowly waking up, because once again (second time in two weeks) there had been stolen a roomfull of computers during the weekend. For safety measures our flatscreens had been stowed away, so I had to use time to find another monitor before I could even start working.
Since is is Monday, I had to go to my Dutch lesson at 10:45, still not feeling clear in my head. It felt quite unusual sitting there, because I could not concentrate, and by the end of the two hours, I found myself dozing of during one of the interesting explanations by the teacher.

After my Dutch lesson I ate my lunch without much appetite. I did not really wake up until I had a meeting with one of my supervisors who happened to have some nice chocolates left over from his last visit to the airport (this morning). Later I got some more chocolates from Evy, and I was finally able to do some work by late afternoon. What a day.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

International train tickets

Buying a train ticket in the Netherlands is usually a simple task; go to the ticket machine, type your destination stations and pay directly by card. However, if you wish to go international, you might face some problems. If your destination is one of the ~20 biggest cities in Europe, no problem, you do not even have to go to the international ticket office at the station, you can buy the ticket directly from the NS ticket machine.
But if your destination is any smaller international station, you will have to buy your ticket at the ticket office, BUT not any international train ticket office, since only the ticket offices at the larger stations have the system for international tickets to all international stations. So in fact, you will probably have to buy a ticket to a larger station and go and buy your international ticket there.

Buy a ticket to buy a ticket? Yes, unless you can wait three days for delivery of your ticket, because then you can just book and buy your ticket online.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Extra present

The surprise of today was an extra birthday present! My new housemates had left this nice present for me in my inbox in my new house. But since I have not been there much except for moving some furniture in now and then, I did not see it before today, what a pleasant surprise!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Clouds in the sky

The nice sunshiny weather during the weekend has changed to changing cloudy, stormy, rainy weather. Bad for cycling out without rainclothes, but certainly great for cloudwatching!

Photo courtesy: Colin Page from the Cloud Appreciation Society

Sunday, October 01, 2006


The cold weather is closing in on us (see the current weather in Nijmegen), and I am rediscovering aerodynamics, or the lack of same, when cycling on my opa-fiets in the stormy weather. In Denmark I still have my mountainbike (from Cash and Carry), but at the moment it is just left on its own in a dark shed. Not much use in bringing it here, since all bikes that are not trashed already get stolen right away.

Photo courtesy: Work Cycles. nl