Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cool in NY

NY is cool, in many ways, especially in the early spring. So I wear my bonnet to keep my ears warm. But NY has not failed to realise that spring IS here, so the sun is shining bright most of the day. I bought myself a pair of BIG fancy sunglasses for $3, which not only save my late-night-dancing-eyes from the merciless sun, but also make me look almost as cool as New York.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bagels for lunch

I can give my highest recommendations to the hostel Manhattan Inn. It is a small place, with dorm rooms that all have bathroom ensuite. I was in a six-bed female dorm for two days, and really enjoyed my stay. I was concerned that there would be a lot of noise from the other dorms, but as soon as the door was closed we could only hear the traffic outside (hard to avoid the noise of traffic in NY). There is a small common room/ kitchen where breakfast is self-served in the morning included in the price. The breakfast consists of coffee, tea, juice, cornflakes, milk, fresh fruit and a selection of bagels and muffins with butter and jam, on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Since I am picky and prefer muesli and low-fat milk in the morning, I bought my breakfast myself from the deli on the corner, and allowed myself to bring a bagel and a muffin for my lunch. Mmm... delicious.

Illustration courtesy: Harlan Bakeries

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Duplessey Monday Morning

When I arrived in NY late Sunday afternoon I went straight to the Piel Canela social, and after two hours there I continued to the Mojito Sundays at club Iguana. Lots of good dancing both places and many familiar faces.

Next morning I woke up at dawn as usual (after approx 4 hrs sleep) and went out to explore NY. At 11am I had an appointment with Duplessey-Monic Walker for a private salsa lesson, and "Wow!" did she do me good. She gave me loads of tips and exercises, and she did not let me relax for one moment. I could feel it afterwards, and I am sure the changes are visible in my dancing.

Monday evening it was my intention to go drop in to some classes and then go dancing at Session 73, but at nine pm I fell asleep on my bed in the hostel and slept as a stone till next morning. Duplessey sure worked me good.

Photo courtesy:

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Zen and the art of microarray chip design

I have been reading a lot of books lately, correction: I am reading a lot of books at the moment. When in Norway I finished "Conversations with God" and "Zen and the art of motercycle maintenance". Both happen to be very philosophical of nature:
The first is about inward quality of life, how you can achieve more and be more satisfied by taking life in your own hands - create your Self by conscious choices in your life.
The second is about how you relate to the outside world. The author describes to contrasting ways of viewing the world, the classical and the romantic. The classical is the analytic way, where the solutions to problems are found by describing the object in minute detail until the description reveals the answer to the problem. The romantic, on the other hand, acts on feeling, on gut feeling about what is good Quality.

What I find a bit funny is that I have been working more than a year on a scientific project concerning Quality of microarray chip design. And when it came to the point where I wanted to draw the conclusion, finalise a hypothesis and confirm it, a new question showed up that could not be answered by analysing the data we had. Also, it was not possible in the scope of the project to provide the data that could give us the final answer. So to this problem I had to step out of the analytical way of thinking (it was practically a dead end) and zoom out and give a subjective solution to what will be the best way to deal with the new question. It may be unsatisfactory in a scientific way to solve problems by gut feeling, but in some cases (in science as well as in life), there is no analytical answer possible to a specific question, and then you have to do something else. At least I am entertained by the fact that I draw my own situation into the context I am reading to make it all make sense, hey, that is also why I am blogging this right now...

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a deamon with OCD

I asked Philip if he knew what this gam_server program does, since it is constantly taking up 100% CPU. He answered "Aaargh, kill all gam_server!". Apparently it does not know when it should finish checking file associations for consistency... a deamon with OCD?

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life has taken on the amazing task of documenting all species of life on Earth. Their website states:
"Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about all life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world."

Browse around or take a tour at the Encyclopedia of Life.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Asian crusts

If nothing else would entice me to visit Asia at least once in a lifetime, it might be to try out the new craze: exquisitely filled pizza crusts. Take for instance the shrimp-filled crust by Pizza Hut in Japan shown above, is that not something you would travel half the world to try?

Illustration by

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hold været

Four days more, and I will be off to Norway for my skiing holiday. Lets hope the weather will behave and be none of the hot or cold extremes we experienced the past two years. Check out the local Norwegian weather on TV2 Vær.

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