Veckans ord: kastmärke

SpjutkastmätningSom spjutkastfunktionär bör man ha ett skarpt öga för att hitta den tävlandes kastmärke.


Sjung som en pirat!

Min katt har nio svansar,
nio svansar har min katt
och har den ej nio svansar
så är det ej min katt!


After years of writing scientific papers

Today I found myself writing “…increases the saliency of x.”, stared at it and realised it probably was not a well-suited expression for end-user documentation. I had to think for several minutes before coming up with “…makes x easier to see.”


Feng shui

My predecessor in my flat had his bed along the north wall of the bedroom and a huge wardrobe covering the opposite wall. I got rid of the wardrobe and placed the bed so that the morning sun would shine in my face. I hoped that I in the future might wake up to sunny summer mornings with my best girl by my side.

This is indeed what happened. Now mornings tend to be darker, but I still get to wake up with Honeybuns by my side and that is the best way I could imagine waking up.


Word of the week: diarrhy

When investigating Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it's a good idea to keep a diarrhy.


We hold these truths self-evident

No one should die because they cannot afford health care. No one should go broke because they get sick, and no one should be tied to a job because of a pre-existing condition.

If you agree, please post this to your blog.


Diamonds and chills

A less well-known not-quite-hit from my youth.


Veckans ord: skonummer

En skofetischist är ständigt på jakt efter ett skonummer.


Avoiding going native

Some years ago I listened to professor Hans Rosling talking on Sommar. He described how he figured out that the epidemic disease of konzo is caused by insufficiently processed cassava in the diet. Then, apparently to demonstrate the wisdom of indigenous populations, he mentioned that the local population know very well what causes konzo but poverty often requires balancing between not eating at all and eating potentially dangerous cassava. I was dumbstruck. Why couldn't the patients have mentioned that, as they were piling up in the hospital and the (presumably city-bred) medical staff were scratching their heads at the mysterious disease? Didn't the physicians think to ask, were the patients too intimidated by the experts to voice their own knowledge, or did they just not care, as long as they were taken care of?

I had a bit of the same feeling when I recently saw District 9. The aliens had been on Earth for almost 30 years, long enough for humans to have learnt their language, yet no-one in all that time had asked them why they were here. I first thought this was a major plot hole, but considering Rosling's experience, I wonder if it isn't rather an accurate and scathing assessment of human behaviour—we don't care about the motives of refugees that (literally!) descend upon us, we just do what we, for reasons completely our own, decide to be the appropriate thing to do.


CO2-minimal cooking

Last summer my friend Charger gave me a solar cooker. I was a bit intimidated by the package, but when I invited friends over for a summer cookout to celebrate my refurnished balcony, I decided I would finally break out the cooker and see how to construct the thing. It turned out to be quite simple—a single large piece of corrugated fibreboard covered with reflective foil on one side to be folded into a reflector and a largish, transparent plastic bag to wrap one's cooking vessel in order to keep air circulation from cooling it. I stirred in the ingredients for a veggie stew in my black castiron pot, wrapped it loosely in the bag and then set it in the sun for five hours. It didn't exactly become hot to the touch, but it certainly cooked the food, which was wolfed down by the guests, so it must have been good. (It contained cheese, so I couldn't eat it myself. I also consider it a good principle to let others taste my experimental cooking first.)

Castiron pot in solar cooker

We did use the new grill as well. While considerably less energy-efficient also less weather-dependent, even if we had sun all day.

Grill and plants on balcony

My balcony is probably too windy for optimal gardening, so the tomatoes and strawberries were still green, but the chilli was plundered on its one fruit to contribute to the stew.