Finally, the horrible Monday is

Finally, the horrible Monday is gone. The lecture I gave did not go very well, but after being anxious because of it for a week I could not help feeling happy and relaxed – celebrated by shopping for a new coat with a lively teenage girl from the dojo, eating ice cream and did not even get very stressed when I was called upon to take charge of this evening’s training session. Had nothing prepared, of course, but in the end everybody seemed more or less happy with the techniques and ideas I had tried to teach.
Devoid of all anxiety, I spent the evening reading cookbooks. Raamen recipes, mainly – I think the closest restaurant that truly seems to be offering this brilliant dish are in Tallinn. Guess I’ll have to check them out, though…

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Thought for the day. Mine,

Thought for the day. Mine, that is – you don’t have to agree…
Cherish the time with your friend. You never know how long he/she’ll be around, and you never know how much effort he/she has spent for being able to be with you or to humour you. Yes, it might be just too much that ‘accidentally’ your favourite brand of chocolate cookies is found in the cupboard or the movie you have so long wanted to see is waiting on the hard disk – at least, a sincere ‘thank you’ should be first on one’s mind instead of ‘noooo, another one trying …’
At some stage in one’s life, there’s bound to be time when even the attention of the old dog tied outside the bar will be welcome.
—-
Unicafe’s pork cutlet was a mistake.

Korventaa. It’s Friday evening, the

Korventaa.
It’s Friday evening, the movie festival has started, our Dojo had a special training session on an ancient kungfu-massage, there are people having fun – I sit at work.
Overwhelmed by the amount of difficult points in the Manuscript – it seems that each sentence contains something that can –
and probably will – be argued about. It’s not that the arguing wouldn’t be the whole point of the show, I am just certain that my already-porous head will lose the last of it’s coherence and skills for logical thinking at the sight of the opponent.
Wondering if there’d be any way to postpone the circus.
Helsingin Sanomat reported that (according to Dagens Nyheter, and related to the murder of Anna Lindh) the Lancet is proposing a database containing the DNA of all men as men do 80% of the violent crimes. As Lancet is a very respected medical journal, I had to find out whether it was again a misquotation by the press.
Indeed, the editorial of Lancet (Vol. 362 Issue 9388) states the following:
“Perhaps we should make a database of all men–according to the UK Home Office statistics for 2001, in 80% of violent incidents the perpetrators were male.”
But, if the reporters (in Sweden or at Helsingin Sanomat) would have read the article more carefully, they’d have noticed that this scheme is given as an admittedly ludicrous solution to the problem of DNA databases – namely, that presently they contain samples from non-white, below-middle class individuals. In this era where ‘genetics solves it all’ (as well as is the culprit behind everything from alcoholism to weird behavior) and the DNA-based evidence is taken to be infallible (at least judging from how much weight the issue is receiving in the media, even though it is not impossible for the markers used in databases be identical in two individuals), the result is an inequal position for wrongdoers from different social classes. An upper-class white male is less likely caught and prosecuted over a crime where the only deciding evidence is a DNA sample, than his fellow who has been in touch with the police previously, even without being prosecuted earlier.
In New York, they are going a step further to Gattaca:
“To prevent sex-offenders from using the statute of limitations to escape prosecution, where no match can be made to a person, the DNA itself will be charged with the offence. “
“Ma’am, your husband’s DNA has been found guilty and jailed. Would you please follow us to the gynaegologist, for removal of possible guilty DNA you might be carrying.”

Should not try to write anything as intelligent as this. Won’t come out well, anyway.

Money talks Europe seems to

Money talks
Europe seems to have (finally) noticed that in order to be the ‘leading part of the world based on science’ or how their slogan goes, it’d be worthwhile to give some funding to the sciences. The European Young Investigator Awards (EURYI-awards) are put forth:
(from http://www.esf.org/)
“The aim of EURYI Awards will be to enable and encourage outstanding young researchers from all over the world, to work in a European environment for the benefit of the development of European science and the building up of the next generation of leading European researchers.

In Europe, regional, national and international institutions, as well as private foundations, have become aware that we all have to take action to foster the new generation of scientists to strengthen European and national R&D and to build the European Research Area. The aim must be for Europe to be able to attract the best scientists in the world, with no restrictions as to origin or nationality
25 awards of an amount up to 250k€/year, will be offered for as long as five year projects in a European laboratory in any discipline of science, including humanities. The awardees will create their own team, manage it themselves in a European research center of their choice. The quality of the project as well as the host center will be taken into account; neither nationality, nor age will. However these awards are meant to attract young scientists and the only rule will be that they should be between 2 and 10 years after the PhD.”
This sounds almost good. As scientific career in the USA is becoming less and less attractive recently – and I suppose I am not alone here – the lack of other reasonably funded choices might at least slow down some part of scientific research. Fact remains that a significant portion of modern sophisticated science (perhaps excluding humanistic studies, which, fortunately, are also included in this program) is expensive in terms of instruments and materials. Also, even though some mad scientists like me are still around who’d do the research even if they had to pay for it themselves – let’s be honest. Who’d want to study over a decade at university living on canned tuna, working days and nights and having no social life – just to be able to earn just about the same what would be acheved by working the same years in a cleaning company and collecting age-bonuses…. not to mention the lack of all social benefits under the currend trend of working external grant funding – no health insurance, no accumulating years for the retirement, no maternity-money – in all respects, we are unemployed, except for the unemployment office and the requirement for working.
*sigh* It’d be so nice to have – at least at some stage in my life – a steady income, high enough that a sudden few hundred euros spent for a dentists would not result in several months lasting tightening up of the budget.
Fortunately, Brain Sciences are so pop and hip and cool that some funding should be available still when I emerge finally (around year 2007) from the Studytube (Opintoputki) of highschool, M.Sc., Ph.D, post-doctoral studies… So mediasexy that Paul Allen, the Other founder of Microsoft, has jump-started the Allen Institute of Brain Science in Seattle.
It remains to be seen whether the usage of brain will still be possible without the Windows Media Player.

There’s so much mankind could

There’s so much mankind could learn. From dogs, for instance. Like, why worry over serious matters or tomorrow’s hardships, when there’s this Perfect Stick to play with. Yes, yes, life is short and soon we die but look there might be a mouse under this rock. No? Well, maybe under the fallen tree, then… No matter how badly I have neglegted the dog, she’ll always perform a dance of joy when I come home, always forgiving – and ever optimistic a piece of meat will fall on the floor when I’m preparing food. The dog did not mind the lack of mushrooms in the forest, either – it was enough that the forest is.

Finding out whether morning coffee

Finding out whether morning coffee could be replaced with Fenix C-vitamin – Ginseng – Caffeine – Fiber – drink.
My usual luck: the best mushroom-season of the post-war era, and I find one (1) mediocre ringed boletus (voitatti). One liter of lingonberries slightly made up for it, but I failed in preparing the dessert (puolukkarahka) for my ever-starving athlete brother (how can one manage to pick up just the wrong wannabe-cream that won’t work?).
I suck. At least in doing things normal people do. Should stick to rodent-slicing. And go get my Latte.
‘Cause my style’s like a chemical spill
Feasible rhymes that you can vision and feel
Conducted and formed
This is a hell of a concept
We make it hype and you want to step with this
Shay plays on the fade slice like a ninja
Cut like a razor blade
(Vanilla Ice)

Man. The lack of time

Man. The lack of time is Annoying.
(Accidentally I saw the automatic translation of this page in Spanish, and the first line read:
“Hombre. La carencia del tiempo es molesta.”
Sounds kewl, nee? 🙂
I get irritated each time someone mentions the letters ‘R’ and ‘A’ near each other. Not that I’d be so sorry to miss all the ‘mustsees’ like Cowboy Bebob or Drive – what nags me most is missing all the weird ex-tempore ideas of seeing a 3-hour eskimo movie or watching teenage comedy from Mexico, and, the whole concept of spending most of a week in theatres. Normally I don’t go too often to movies, and even then it’s mostly when a group of people are going for some blockbuster…
If I ever recover from this period of all-work-no-fun, I think I should develop a habit of seeing movies alone.
Competing over my thin hours of free time are also a game of Kulak, Camarilla (the End is near I hear), budo (I skipped the training today, would have felt again just too much outsider as I would not be able to take part in weekend’s camp… most likely, I will have to be content with one training a week) – not to mention the ‘normal’ social calls, family duties and physical arrangements at home.
Maybe I just should move to my office. It’s nice, clean, spacy and even comes with a functional fridge.

A ‘conversation’ in Tintin Tango

A ‘conversation’ in Tintin Tango yesterday:
“Hey, you’re back! So, what’s Japan like?”
“Well, you know.”
Since I’ve reported so diligently about the journey in the blog, there’s not much more to tell. Or, well, there is, but divining what to tell (such that I had not already covered the subject) clearly is too difficult.
“People these days don’t talk any more.
When they meet at a cafeteria, they exchange the formal greetings:
‘I have read your blog.’
‘And I have yours.’
After this, they sit down, sip coffee and perhaps update the blog on the laptop.”
Maybe bloggers will spend more time at the cafés with non-bloggers, listening to the non-blogger exposing some fresh and unblogged ideas which can later be pondered upon, you know where. (Look who’s talking!)
But, I’m different. Of course I am. And since I am not going to write about anything interesting, and specifically will not tell what I am writing about, I can still perhaps converse in a cafe and meanwhile keep on blogging and being hip and cool and stealing someone’s time at the working desk.
That is, if I had the time. Decided yesterday that there will be no Love&Anarchy (that’s the Helsinki Film Festival) for me this year. Just too few days left for doing Everything. Moreover, I don’t know what hypersynchrony is.

Several people have by now

Several people have by now realised, reading the blog, that I’m back.
Should I continue blogging? Who’d read it, as I still will restrain from talking about people and things by their real names, as well as issues that concern other people – no social bolognaise here. I feel I have tons of things to tell you (who?) about, and not only on Japan and how Finland smells both sweet and disgusting – but I don’t suppose I have the will to talk. Perhaps there’s just too much to tell. On the other hand, I am not a writer skilled enough to produce thought-provoking columns on the small and important things in the world – I’m in too much of a trouble with writing the one work I should. Even without names, I’d probably do enough of self-cencoring that it’d be highly unlikely I’d manage to write about anything that’d interest anybody.
It’s not raining here. Bright sunshine from sky much clearer I ever saw in Tokyo, with mushrooms filling the forests nice social evens filling the calendar.
Blues. Or, ‘Comatose’ by FLA.