Sunday, December 31, 2006


For the first time ever I saw live wild rats in the underground station Nørreport in Copenhagen. I saw three of them, large and brown, running on the platform and between the tracks, as I crossed the station at around 2am last night.
In London I have seen lots of mice roaming the underground any time of the day, but I have never seen neither mice nor rats in Copenhagen - until last night.

I arrived at my parents place at 3am and could not sleep... and of course I woke up at 9am this morning - rats!


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Friday, December 29, 2006

Introducing Bowie

To my immediate despair I learned that my younger sister had no idea who David Bowie is. I instructed her to go to the first music store she came by and buy a David Bowie greatest hits album. A few hours later, she was the happy owner of The Platinum Collection.

Listening to it right now...

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Walk around the christmas tree

For some reason it is custom in Denmark, but not in the Netherlands, to walk around the christmas tree while singing the christmas songs. My Dutch colleagues hardly believed me when I told them, so I made sure to get some proof using the camera on my phone to both take pictures and record a video of people walking round the tree while singing.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Bluetooth on a Thinkpad T42

I could not find any menu to turn on the bluetooth connection on my IBM laptop T42, until I read this blog entry: Getting bluetooth activated on a ThinkPad T42.
(The secret is to press Fn+F5)

Now I just need some program that knows how to connect to my mobile phone using bluetooth, and I will be able to post pictures from my phone on this blog!

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Cloves in oranges

I never knew that it was a special Danish christmas tradition until I presented the idea for my Dutch housemates: In Denmark we put cloves in oranges for christmas for the scent and decoration. Often the oranges are also decorated or hung up by red silk ribbons.

My housemates now think Danes are crazy as far as christmas traditions goes...
Illustration and step-by-step instructions from

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Superwoman

I am no superwoman. My only special power is to wake up today at exactly the same time as yesterday, irrespective of when I went to bed or what I did yesterday. Some special power, eh?

Illustration courtesy: Superman Artists

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If I had... a digicam

I would take a picture of my feet after every salsa party, to show exactly how often you get bruises on your feet, i.e. how dangerous a sport salsa really is.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bad arguments

Today I got particularly annoyed when I once again saw the sponsored link on my gmail to "DNA analysis concludes [DNA proof that Man did not evolve from monkeys. PhD in microbiology]". Now I won't link to it directly through that sentence, but rather through a sentence like "An example of bad argumentation" or "Logical fallacies" or even "Creationist propaganda".
The above-mentioned article (linked three times) is an example of how you can quote perfectly sound arguments and make their conclusions sound like they support your own point of view. If you are educated in genetics and/or molecular biology, you will know much more about the reasoning behind the shown quotes, and you can pin-point exactly where these authors make wrong conclusions. Sometimes it is due to lack of knowledge of the subject, e.g. when they say that a differing chromosome number between organisms makes evolutionary relationship unlikely. In other circumstances they plainly ignore the scientific method, and use a sub-conclusion out of context, e.g. when Elaine Morgan refers to an event that happened to the human lineage and not to the ancestors of chimps and gorillas, they conclude from her quote: "That “something” actually is “Someone”—the Creator."

If they pay per click they get via google-links, I hope they will get a lot of clicks. On the other hand, I am afraid that people with no scientific background might accept their conclusions as true.

Read more about logical fallacies in The Fallacy Files.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Danish christmas decorations

I am glad the Dutch are not as crazy as the danes as far as christmas decorations on the house is concerned (decorating the house for the World Football Championships is a completely different story). The Danish television channel TV2 have made a collection of the most decorated houses they could find all over Denmark. Most of them I find quite ugly, over-decorated. In the Netherlands you mostly find houses decorated with lights around the 'edges' of the house, like a cake-house decorated with white icing. That is more to my taste.

Photo courtesy: by Jørgen Schytte

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas fun the Danish way

Last weekend Sarah visited me in Nijmegen (actually my first visitor who is not a close family member). We made sure to start December with a lot of christmas fun the Danish way, e.g. baking christmas cookies. We did not limit ourselves to the traditional Danish brown coookies ('brunkager') but we also made chocolate muffins and chocolate cake.

The immense pile of brunkager brought joy and christmas spirit to my colleagues at the university the next day.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Finally my master's degree

Today I received my Master's degree diploma by postal mail. It has of course been valid since August 14th, but I did not receive the diploma until now because it was initially sent to my old address in Denmark. So now I have a written and signed confirmation that I have the right to call myself a master of Bio-informatics or Cand.Scient. Bioinformatik.

Thank you SDU!

Illustration courtesy:

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