Sunday, 30 November 2008

I art Cookie

Yes. Today was really really great :D. I went to the Christmas dinner today, and it was really fun. They have the coolest new dog, and they're really great to talk to. I even got a contact at the pharmaceutical university (an American lector) who promised me lunch and wanted to show me around the faculty. She said she might even help me with books! So cool. I also got a ton of cookies (literally, they filled my whole backpack up with different kind of cookies made from American recepies), so I won't need snacks for a month now =)!

Tomorrow is a new week. Not looking forward to all the reading I need to get done. I need to find the time to post that letter I got from the city hall and send it to my parents in Belgium. My dad seems to be getting impatient about it already, even though it's only a few days since I got it signed. Ah well. I'm too tired to write much more.


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Rain, rain and more rain

Sorry, forgot to post yesterday, i was quite busy. Had badminton practice right after school, and then had to desperately read afterwards in an attempt to catch up in biochemistry. I went to a friend's place in a nearby town in the evening, where I had dinner as well. It stayed a bit longer than I had expected (I ended up leaving at 00:30), and I was on bike. Probably the latest I've ridden a bike before. But what the hell, Denmark is a bike country =). I had fun playing a game called Cat Mario, it's the most hilarious and evil game ever :P. Click here to see what I'm talking about.

Today was a very wet day indeed. Once again out delivering ads and newspapers like every Saturday. It was hell. So hard to keep things from getting wet. Two people felt so sorry for me, that one gave me a coke and another 20 kr. (Danish currency - about 2,5€). Also met some weird people like I do everytime. I asked a woman who opened the door as I entered an apartment block, if it was okay to put the newspaper on her porch instead of trying to squeeze it through her tiny slit of a letterbox and her answer was: "Come on, honestly.. I don't know!!" I was a bit confused by that and silently thought "Wtf..", while smiling, of course, and wishing her a nice weekend. Now I'm home. Tired and exhausted, but I have to read (I'm getting tired of this :P).

Tomorrow I'm going to a Christmas dinner at some Danish friends' place. They've invited an American (who speaks perfect Danish) who's an expert at biomedicine and teaches at a Pharmaceutical university here in Denmark. I'm really looking forward to meeting her.

And now, I'm posting that article about sleep I promised a few days ago:


Why do we sleep? Good question actually. All mammals, reptiles and insects do it. Even the annoying, blood-hungry mosquitoes in your room at night, that never ever seem to tire, do it. Some sleep lighter than others of course, but the fact is, they do sleep. Except fish. But that is not really the point here.

The point is that we do not really know why we sleep. There are many theories of course, but none of them have yet been proved. One states that we sleep simply to restructure our brain nerves and reorder the impressions we got during the day so as to make our brain run more efficiently. That is, of course, just a theory and is therefore potentially laughable. Other better theories suggest that we sleep to cure sleepiness or that we sleep because our dreams miss us. This seems much more likely as everyone would go around being tired if they did not sleep.

Many people love to sleep, but if you think about it, sleep is actually the biggest waste of time known to man. We practically spend a third of our life sleeping and probably even more (think of you as a baby and imagine how much of that time was actually spent asleep). We literally sleep our lives away. And yet, we can not run from the fact that we do need our sleep however big an obligatory waste of time it may be.

How we get this sleep depends on the person of course. The general rule states that it happens by the person first falling asleep. This usually happens lying down on an often comfortable, flat surface. But of course there are many exceptions to this rule. Sleeping can occur sitting, standing, upside down and (in rare cases) while falling. The sitting variety usually occurs during operas, lectures or at the dinner table. In unexplained cases, young people, who have not been able to apply the general rule of sleep and therefore not gotten enough sleep the night before (usually as the result of a very pressing party or night in town), might suddenly find school desks unexpectedly comfortable. The reason behind this is still unknown, but is expected to have a connection with teachers’ soothing voices. Teachers have through the times often found ways to combat this anomaly, but the nature of their techniques remain clouded.

When the general rule of sleep occurs it usually involves a phenomenon called “dreaming”. Scientists agree that this usually happens in the R.E.M. stage of our sleep. For some reason our (for many) sacred sleep has been divided into “stages” with funny acronyms. These include SWS, NREM and the before-mentioned REM. These are further divided into “types” which include alpha, beta, delta, theta, spindles and k-complexes. Why scientists have chosen to do this is not known, but it is suspicioned that it might be to make themselves feel superior to other non-scientists by confusing them. What else would spindles and k-complexes be doing in that list?

REM is short for Rapid Eye Movement. This is said to be because our eyes have been observed to move rapidly when we are in this stage of sleep. Others believe it is short for Real Entertainment Moment, as we finally see something that is entertaining enough to prevent us from moving for hours. The fits of anger normally exhibited by a sleeping person being woken too early also argue for the latter theory. But, like with all things related to sleeping, dreams can not be explained either.

So, to conclude, the best answer to the question “Why do we sleep?” is probably “Because we do.”

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Snowflakes are actually popcorn made of ice!

Greetings from this most tiring of Thursdays.

Today can be described in the one word. TIRING! And very much so. I had to fight to keep my eyes open during both exercise class as well as the lecture. I'm actually not sure it was THAT boring, I was just so tired. I was happy to get home. Except that I still had a lot to do.

I went to the bank to get the credit card fraud thing sorted out. My advisor said everything I had provided was perfect, but that it could take quite some time until my money was refunded to me. And it would take about a week to get a new credit card. It's good I still have some moeny left, but difficult with Christmas coming up. I'll have to save my money like crazy. No more cakes or other random stuff, that's for sure.

I went to the town hall today as well, where I talked to the craziest old hag of a hysterical bureacrat. I didn't get any of the papers I needed to get signed filled in, but she gave me a letter with signature, saying what I guess was the gist of all the forms I needed filled out. I won't bother going down there again anytime soon that's for sure.

And I realise that the tiredness is really getting to me. I'm happy I slept so much today (even though I'm still behind with reading), so I can finally see things clearly again. I suddenly realise that the article I posted yesterday was an article I had written about time, and not about sleep, as I had promised. I'll post that article tomorrow then.

Today will be a full-fledged "catch-up-reading-day" for me. So I'd better get to reading. And uhm, happy thanksgiving too!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Dreaming the days away..?

Here is that promised article of mine:


Have you got enough time on your hands to do what you want to do? Are you running out of time? Or maybe time seems like it is moving too slowly in classes and too quickly once you finally start having fun? Perhaps you feel like time is against you. Is it some kind of evil entity that only tries to hurt you? Maybe it feels like that. Maybe you should take your time and read this article. But what exactly IS time?

Time isn’t something you can control. It is not something you can hold in your hand or sell to someone. And yet you can measure it and sometimes you can practically feel like time has changed its pace. How many times haven’t you looked at your watch in class and thought: “WHY do the minutes go by SO slowly?” And at times it feels like time has passed you with light speed. Unfortunately enough, this always seems to happen when you want the moment to last longer. This clearly shows that time can move at different speeds according to who experiences it. A second can last longer for someone who is bored than for someone who is having the time of his life. So it seems that time is subjective. You might imagine it as a river flowing. At certain points the water flows quicker than at others. And at times it can almost seem like it is standing still.

Still confused about what time is? A general definition might be that time is the continuum of experience in which events pass from the future through the present to the past with no means of altering the process. However, in various novels and works of fiction we find the famous time machines which never seem to be able to alter the course of events in a satisfactory way. Do not mess with time, or time messes with you, is usually the message. It seems that time can get quite angry at you if you don’t leave it alone. Might that suggest a certain personality behind time?

For example we can prove that women are evil using the concept of time:

Maybe time has a sense of humour that has gone previously unnoticed. Time might be laughing at you behind your back while you’re sweating over some difficult exam question, and it suddenly decides to speed up and leave you stranded there as it flies by. Or it might take personal pleasure in making your best moments of life seem as short as possible. Whatever the reason, time is not exactly the most friendly of fellows.

So, always remember that you should enjoy the time that has been given you. Or else it might end up being time that is enjoying, what it is giving YOU..

(Note: This article was written with the TIMES New Roman font)

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A better day!

Like I said yesterday, today would be a better day, and it was.

It's proceeding forward with the credit card mess thing; I now got my own detective =)! I'm going down this Thursday to meet him in person and give my statement as well as email correspondance and bank account overviews. I'm looking forward to all this being over.

University today wasn't so bad actually. I was tired at the first lecture, but the next classes were fine. And I realise that it's maybe just people from that game evening group who don't understand my humour. All (or most of) the others have no troubles. That made me feel a lot better. I think most of the people in the game group are great, it's just that we don't always find the same things funny. Embarassed silences and being laughed at for not understanding can get annoying in the end =).

I'm way behind in reading the stuff, I hope that I'll manage to catch up soon. I do make nearly all exercises, but it's hard to do if you can't keep up with the reading. It's not always enough to simply listen at lectures because the answers aren't all given there, so I can't use that tactic any more.

I can't believe I'm actually doing this blog. But surprisingly enough, it's quite nice to be able to write down your thoughts. Maybe this is why people get addicted to blogging. It's quite nice to take your thoughts off annoying tasks and just realise how you're doing yourself and writing it down in words. Maybe it's a way of dealing with things in a direct manner? Actually admitting stuff to yourself is often the hardest step to take in solving an issue.

Maybe I should change this blogs name to SleepyDuck considering my usual state of sleepiness, but that blog is of course already taken. I seem to have a hard time getting the usual eight hours these days. Tomorrow I'll post an article of mine I wrote about sleep, since it seems quite fitting.

Look forward to it!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Tired and a bit miserable

Another quite exhausting today. Started early with quite some boring lectures followed by biochemsitry quiz (let me hear you shout pyruvate). When the day finished at around noon, I was in the very special spontaneous falling asleep state which can mean two things: I either go hyper, or I become sluggish and use every possible excuse to close my eyes and powernap. Well, to be honest, I think a mix of that happened. And that's a very annoying thing, even for myself.

After the last class I went to a sort of game afternoon/early evening with some people from my uni course. It was quite fun, except for two things:

1. I got a call from my bank saying that pretty much all my money had just been withdrawn from my bank account by an unknown third party. I still have my credit card on me and I have used it for absolutely nothing on the net, so I'm stumped, confused and mildly scared. I noticed some suspicious activity already yesterday, where a very small amount of money had been transferred to a betting company I had never heard about. I immediately contacted the betting company and they promptly replied that they had looked into it, found my card and blocked it. They would see to it that the fraud transaction was identified and my small amount returned to me, but it would take a little time. I looked into the company and they're quite respected and have won a big number of awards as an outstanding company, so I have a hunch it isn't them. Now it's just to contact my bank tomorrow and get all this mess sorted out.. Oh, how I love life's small surprises.

2. It's getting to me that people here don't get when I'm trying to be funny. It's really getting to me. I never had trouble before at all, but here they either take me seriously or just plainly can't see my point (usually the first mentioned). Today annoyed me a bit, and I felt a bit =(. Problem is I have the craziest long-term memory so I can't live by "the truly happy person is the one who doesn't understand and easily forgets". I don't forget when people tell me annoying things. I know I'm whining but I need some comfort here :P! I really don't want to be the one who's "different" and looked down on as being weird or something just because I came from another country. I know I joke a lot about some things, but sometimes I actually care more about it than it may seem. I wonder if other people don't feel the same way sometimes. Making fun of something is also a way of distancing yourself from the problem and not facing it. I know I'm a culprit of that sometimes.

Yeah, a bit of a bleak day up until now, wasn't it. On a happier note: The woman who hosted the game evening had two really cute kids :D! I scared one of the girl's with my bird mimicking whistle sound, but the other started laughing like crazy, and that was the best. I don't know what it is about really young children laughing so spontaneously, bit it seems to always be able to lift people's spirits :D!

And on a completely neutral note: It's snowing like crazy here! I love it! It's been ages since I really saw the snow falling in cascades like I did today. And waking up to a tiny winter wonderland is something I haven't done in ages. It's cold, I admit, but the landscape makes more than up for it. I probably should switch to my winter coat soon =). I just can't be bothered yet, and it would not surprise me if I didn't switch at all the entire winter. Only time will tell :P.

Ah well, tomorrow is another long day. I'm dissecting a lizard, for those interested. I'm slowly beginning to be fed up of peering at intestines all day :P. And my lack of sleep continues =). So now I'd better get to bed!


Sunday, 23 November 2008

A toast

I'd like to propose a toast to Herman the Merlin.

On a site note. Once again a late Saturday. Exhausted after the weekend. Delivering newspaper in the snow, and biking today (Sunday) to a random church to find a box of toys in a random bush full of random stuff (that's geocaching for ya! It's actually quite a lot of fun once you get into the habit).

Feeling pretty much annoyed at the quiz thing (or whatever you want to call it) coming up in biochemistry tomorrow. Only thing keeping me going is the continued repeating of the word pyruvate with an incredibly exaggerated american accent. Bwah, I'm looking forward to be looking back at this.

Christmas this year will happen in Belgium, I just found out. I'm a bit sad it won't be in Norway like usual, but family health issues are amassing. Sigh, it always happens around Christmas, doesn't it.

I'm not finding a lot of time to read these days (except lovely biochemistry of course) and I'm getting annoyed at having to keep refreshing my library loans over and over.

I read about another concept of Gaia today, and it got me thinking. According the the idea, Earth itself is one enormous organism using negative feedback to remain in homeostasis (read: it works like we do). I've heard about Gaia as a sort of magical energy, but this is actually scientific and is being recognised. So, we're basically just part of the Earth, like cells are part of us. Quite a scary thought, isn't it?

On a side note. I spoke to a guy from Texas today. They don't even need a license to drive cars with standard, they just need to be 16. I'm surprised there aren't more car accidents. Also spoke to a guy via chat while he was driving (this one from Minnesota). Once again proves the total recklessness of American driving :P.

Lastly, before this post gets out of hand, turns into a monster and eats you, I'd like to thank a certain girl for the idea of the blog title. Check out her blog at (in Danish).