Wet science

Whereas other countries provided their olympic swimmers with swimsuits scientifically enhanced for optimal hydrodynamics, the japanese team wore swimsuits with an added infrared-shielding layer – to protect them from peepers’ cameras.

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lost identity

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So, there it went. 11 years of /eorkm/uusisaar. Remembered to redirect the iki address somewhere else, and collected some 11 megs of .sendmsgs into a safe place. Forgot to clean up the screen processes, so my ghost still hovers on some irc channels. Somewhat reluctant to start using a new server for passing through. Feels weird.
The typhoon Chaba passed last night the Sea of Japan / East Sea / Korean Sea, with enough wind to break a few branches around the campus area in addition to leaving 5 dead, almost 100 injured and close to 40000 people evacuated from their homes, including some 3500 who had to leave their homes by the seaside due to high waves. Watching the live feed at the gym was like watching the trailer for Day after Tomorrow.
And, I could not get more than some 2 hours of sleep last night. I blame the howling wind, even though probably without proper justification. This must just be the price to pay for having a reasonably good Monday at work and some – albeit a very small amount – of work-related inspiration and ideas for things to accomplish today, as well as the determination to write some e-mails to people who definitely deserve being more appreciated. Instead, I do what I usually do when too tired to even pick up my morning demitassa Boss Latte canned coffee – write a meaningless blog entry.
Lost identity, meaningless life – I’m numbing away.
I feel somehow weird reading the blogs I usually read. Like I would be fooling someone, about something – no idea who and what. Maybe, each day, I feel more distant from the world they are written in. And this despite I very strongly know and feel that this windy island of mine is on another face of the same planet.

Music

Many things. But, first, I have to lie on the floor, stare at the ceiling and curl up in Björk’s divine voice – the new album, Medulla, was just released in Japan (with an extra track not available in the international version).
Almost completly a cappella album.
Divine.
No, I guess she’ll never do tracks like Human Behaviour or Big Time Sensuality. They’re done already.
I wish I could write some more about the music I’m hearing, but all I can say is that the tracks are even worse suited for karaoke pieces than those on Vespertine.

angstaavat (were?)lampaat

Lammastiede etenee. Uudessa tutkimuksessa havaittiin, että ahdistuneita lampaita voi rauhoittaa näyttämällä niille valokuvia sievistä, samanrotuisista lampaista. Vuohenkuvat ei auta samalla lailla. Tulosten perusteella ehdotetaan että ahdistaviin tilanteisiin joutuvien lampaiden eloa – esimerkiksi kuljetusten aikana jolloin ne joutuvat olemaan erossa lajitovereistaan – voitaisiin helpottaa ripustamalla seinille kuvia lampaiden kavereiden kasvoista.
Siis, ennenkuin verrataan tilannetta siihen että kaukana sotimassa olevilla miehillä on tyttökalenterit korsun seinällä – lampaat tykkäsivät katsoa kasvokuvia.
Toisessa, hiukan vanhemmassa tutkimuksessa, havaittiin että uroslampaat (onko ne ny sitten pässejä? pukki on vuohi, kai?) jotka preferoivat seksikumppanikseen toisia pässejä, on hiukan erilainen hypotalamus kuin niillä toisenlaisilla. Jostain syystä myös homoseksuaalisia lampaita esiintyy enemmän kuin esimerkiksi lehmiä – jopa joka kymmenes pässi. Naaraslampaiden (uuhi?) mieltymyksiä ei tutkittu. Diskriminoivaa.
(New Scientist)

Sun on the pavement

aug26.jpg I heard of a friend back in Finland, who, after having achieved pretty much everything a person might want to before the age 30, decided to drop it all and start doing what she really wanted. So, quit her job, and became a shoer for horses. It came apparent that she actually was quite skilled in the job and is most likely getting more out of it than from the office job in the high-tech company.
I was – again – thinking, maybe I could do the same. Just call it a quits and do something I really want to do. The only problem is that, really, I am doing the thing I most want, I have my dream job. When I think of quitting it all and starting to do what I really want, I actually mean quitting everything else and starting to do this job ‘for serious’. Now then, it is not a secret that I usually work over 5 weeks each month, and actually spend only few tens of minutes of working time daily for chatting on the irc, surfing websites not related to work and blogging – so what I mean by serious working I do not know, but still I feel I am just flirting with the real thing instead of being in a serious, mutually rewarding relationship with science.
Last night I finally got at least some 8 hours of sleep; spent a lot longer time trying to get to sleep from the middle of the tangled thoughts in my head. Reading N.Stephenson’s Quicksilver helps: not that it was boring (the story follows the paths of several great scientists of the 17th century), but physically heavy to hold and thus tiring. After falling asleep I dreamed sad dreams and dreams filled with blood, death and war, and had to wake up once in a while to make a reality check (and spend again some time trying to fall asleep).
In one particular dream I had seemingly decided to drop it all and start doing something I really wanted – which for some reason happened to be a life of a career soldier. Not surprisingly, I did not make a very good soldier, as my main worry befor engaging in a mission was ‘what should I wear’ and at the first actual battle, I fell asleep on my post, got ambushed by the enemy while armed only with my tiny red umbrella; got arrested and was heading for serious trouble before got rescued by Vera (and her blond friend, unknown to me) and their amazing Krav Maga skills.
Lots of gore, limbs torn from bodies and mud.
I toy with the thought of joining a buddhist order or something. Shave my head. Unfortunately, I suspect that would not go well together with what I do with mice.

Dropping down

cicada.jpg The cicadas are falling down from trees like over-ripe fruits. Not a nice surprice to be hit by one that still is most definetly alive, kicking and making that terrifying noise, but for some reason has lost the spirit to stay up on the tree. There are many smaller mobile phones than those monsters of summer nights.
Dead tired. Fell asleep for a moment at the lunch table. I guess watching van Helsing last night starting at midnight was not a wise choice, after all. Especially as it was just another piece of crap. Even though could amuse myself somewhat by thinking who of the Helsinki Camarilla players each of the main characters of the film was. But the horses were not given enough time.
I actually *wish* that the mice today were dim. Or that I could do something like the cicadas, could just drop down on the floor and call it a quits.

Häntä pystyyn Suomi!

To be too tired to blog, that’s one thing. Now I’m becoming too tired to read blogs. Or news. Viivi&Wagner is quite at the limits. Had the plan to write about a far-fetched analogy between Japanese and Finnish sportmanship and the Olympic games – well, I’ll just sum it up: the ‘poor’ harvest of medals for Japan has been suggested to be the result of this nation being too honest and rule-abiding to even consider doping; the main theme of all training is ‘no pain, no gain’ which somewhat reminds me of a Finnish theme of ‘perrrkele!’. So, even though Kimikayo (japanese national anthem) would not be heard as many times as the soul-lifting Ohsaycanyousee (I must confess, not even sure if that is the US anthem… not to mention it’s name…) – any time it IS heard, the nation can be proud and believe that the victory was well earned. Thus, maybe the Finns have also – after several tragedies on skis – decided to revert to a less scientific method of training?
(For some reason, though, the Rising Sun has collected already 13 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze… Finland? One. Skeet shooting. But, I would find it hard to imagine what kind of illegal steroids would make one a better shooter… )
Still, working. I need fluorescent mice, and each mouse I take has a 25% probability to be completely dim. The +/+ fluorescent ones die before birth, so I should have 2/3 of the surviving ones bright. I’ve been rather unlucky, so far… Doping my performances up with the new Boss Demitasse Latte can coffee.
—Later
Change in plans. No experiment, instead, read the most informative book titled “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Statistics” and remind myself what is the probability that three mice in a row are GFP-/-. And, how probable it is that tomorrow will be similarly unlucky day – might call in sick and not bother to waste the gas.

Chill

aug23.jpg I guess the first hints are in the air that even here, the summer – or at least the heat – does not go on indefinetly. This morning the weather was utterly chilly (+22 degrees) and I realised that quite a few leaves have fallen from the cherry trees.
I had the most valiant plan to wake up early and go to the gym before my weekly cerebellum-team-meet. Failed miserably to rise up at the designated time, and actually, have not a smallest inspiration of doing anything that would require moving from my office desk. Tired, tired, tired. Which is bad, since I skipped most of the training sessions last week as well – something’s wrong with my head, I just don’t want to train.
I feel it’s going to be a Monday. Wish it was over already. Could not sleep half of the night, turning things over and over in my head…

Heavy duty shopping, part II

Today was another successful day – if success is measured by the soreness of feet. Still, managed to find a handbag that should go OK with the rest of the gear (I’m a lousy stylist, but I think I did not do any blunders here) – when after 3 department stores I found the ‘Wedding guest debut’-section, catering to the needs of wedding guests. But, did not find other things on my agenda, even though I traveled wide and far and even skipped my monthly pilgrimage to the Kinokuniya bookstore. Next weekend, then…
An unreal moment: at the Metropolitan Plaza shoes/bags area, in the middle of chaos and rush, a single drop of calm: a young buddhist nun walking through it all with the tiniest smile playing in her eyes. Transfixed, I had to follow to see if there was a special section catering to the needs of the men and women of cloth – suddenly, she walks up faster, and throws a happy greeting to her friend – another nun – between the stockings and the hello kitty fans. After embracing, they turn and walk away, leaving me in the eye of the material whirl.
I wondered for a long time, could I have gone up to them and asked if I could join the – well, whatever they were part of.

Heavy duty shopping with ugly feet

This weekend has been more or less completly allocated for shopping. Serious shopping. Almost terrifying shopping – I need several items related to my sister’s wedding drawing near: shoes, handbag, something to cover my shoulders in the church, not to mention the wedding gift… Most fortunately, I found that indeed I still do fit in the dress that was bought for the purpose several months ago, so that did not need to be changed. Anyhow, a mighty task. One that I am particularly poor at.
Nevertheless, I guess the first day was at least moderatly successful. At least if success is measured with the amount of money spent – I refuse to sum it up alltogether… But, I found that I really have no need to go to Shibuya’s fashion shrines for shopping – the complex of Tobu, Seibu and Parco – each of which takes turns in being the ‘biggest department store on this planet’ in Ikebukuro
actually are quite sufficient to kill one’s feet while browsing only the shoes and handbags sections.
Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Usually I hate shoes, unless talking about things that actually are useful, like hiking shoes. But, having browsed through several soccerfield-sized areas filled with all kinds of high-heeled and other useless things for women to put their feet in, I find that actually quite many are pretty, nice, actually – desirable. But, very quickly I learned not to even touch any that looked pretty – my feet are just too big to fit in them, if not in length but at least in width, and really way too ugly and worn to be used in combination with any of those … creations. Luckily, I found a section selling ‘health shoes’, where a pretty and helpful girl brought me their selection of shoes that would fit the paddles at the end of my legs. Bought a pair of shoes that do not look TERRIBLY birkenstokish, leaning on the belief that the dress is anyhow so long that nobody will see what kind of shoes I’m wearing…
Crushing defeat – even though I might be able to starve myself down to the local standard sizes, it will not make my feet any smaller.. even though, I remember someone of the ballet girls of a certain irc-channel mentioning that after several years of pointe and barre and whatnot, feet seem to be a bit smaller…
But, to ease the pain – some more shopping. I caught up with myself walking up into a store, and contemplating a shirt that was cool and red and very similar to things I used to buy at the Kaisaniemi Fiorella outlet store for 5 euros – only that this shirt had a price tag with 5 digits and the store had a tag with the letters ‘v’, ‘e’, ‘r’, ‘s’, ‘a’, ‘s’, ‘c’, ‘e’ … But, I finally seem to have realised that the high-brand designer names don’t just mean high prices but something called ‘design’. Meaning that the clothes actually look good. Found a shop selling hand-made clothes, all decorated with dragon motifs and east-european style flowers. Restrained myself. But found some things that actually can be worn in normal life.
Did not yet find the hand bag. Probably I just did not find the correct floor, and did not dare to walk into Louis Vuitton (yet, I guess). Tomorrow, fresh feet, and Takeshimaya Times Square.