Surviving in the front yard of hell

hi michael, over the last 3 years i more and more revised my former indifference with books, and now i like to visit book stores more regularily. my aunt Farnaz has red many books, and it is her who gives me good literature to read or recommends my new or classic books. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, you might remember… (more…)

Washington D.C. wont turn into Gotham City

After several weeks of facing a complete and long-lasting shut-down of the US government, sending home all public sector workers and closing most administrative offices, a friend of mine working at the NIH NCI in Bethesda/Maryland told how relieved she was yesterday to pass again the gates of her re-opened institute. I had completely forgotten that many americans just like… (more…)

Is the Persian Cat ready for Lift-Off ?

Shall I feel honoured that finally the Iranian authorities recognised my effort to promote the Persian Cat as a mayor player in science and research ?  Or shall I tell them what other science nations have experienced a long time ago ? That is the recent news (source: The Guardian) about another effort of the Tehran regime to conquer space:… (more…)

The way to catch your audience’ interest

At the annual Mouse Molecular Genetics conference at the Sanger Center in Hinxton. Some of the presentations seem to attract more attention by the audience than others, and this not only depends on the originality of the subject or the wealth of novel results. Not completely unexpected, speakers also had quite different presentation styles. Some were giving their presentation while… (more…)

Remedy for my Persimania

Dear Ghazal, Perhaps not completely unjustified, people suspect that I might suffer since 3 years from a sort of Persimania. Colleagues at work noticed this, and if they are Iranians they take it with some curiousity, whereas other foreigners and Germans find it highly suspicious. Not to mention my family, Russian-Jewish and always convince that they should satisfy all my… (more…)

Tomatoes – from all around the world

Dear Ghazal, I think one of the best souvenirs one can bring home from a journey are plants. Knowing how easy it is to grow tomatoes from seeds, I am constantly on the hunt for some variants from other countries. In particular I like to collect the seeds from the ripe fruits themself, be it from a salat dish in… (more…)

Firouz Norouz

Ghazal Dear, I wish you, your family and friends, your neighbours and colleagues, the people you meet on the street and in the Tehran underground line, your doctors, your basar shop owner, your bus driver and your post-man, and the lady that sold you the marvellous flowers, I wish all those a happy, prosperous, healthy and liberal new year. Michael… (more…)

Happy Persian New Year – سال نو مبارک

Haft Sheen:  The 7 S…, a set of objects all starting with the persian letter Sheen       People in and from Iran, Kurdistan and Afghanistan celebrate the beginning of their new year today. By precise astronomical calculation it started already yesterday at 11:02 GMT, since astronomers calculated that at this very minute the duration of day and night… (more…)

Are we Stardust ?

Dear Michael, All the big stars, i.e. those with a mass exceeding the sun’s mass by a factor of 1.3, gain most of their energy by a hydrogen-fusion reaction that involves a catalytic cycle, known as the Bethe-Weizsäcker or CNO-cycle. During this reaction cycle, protons (i.e. hydrogen nuclei) are added four times into a cycling reaction that converts carbon through… (more…)


Today it is 1967, May 19th, and its my 6th birthday. I still go to kindergarden, but in 4 month time I will enter school. Thats nice, because than in the 6th course I will learn – among other things – English. But I will also learn maths and literature, and science. In 8 years from now, I will change… (more…)

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