An angel asked me for a letter of endorsement

No doubt Christmas time is on the verge again, and with it come this very weird species of christmas angels. They are populating the highstreets, department stores and all the media, and depending on where in the world one goes, they are called either kid Jesus Christ (Christkindl), Snowflake (Snegotchka) or End-of-Years-Winged-Puppet (Jahresabschluss-Fluegelpuppe). But recently I received a personal message… (more…)

The magic of a cup of wine at 24 000 feet altitude

During 360 days of the year I am sober, training myself to fulfill the commitments I made in an act of intellectual megalomania. Keeping track of the several research projects, which I initiated before closing others, supervising the students and PhD students, trying to keep the collaboration projects running and the partners happy, doing at least some of the things… (more…)

Why I cannot afford a day in prison

Last Friday night I came home from a 3 days conference in the beautiful town of La Coruna in Galicia/Spain, and as usually a pile of unopened letters was waiting for me. One of them stand out from all the others, since it arrived in a yellow envelope. I found it suspicious right away, becaus it was not the glossy… (more…)


For my colleague from Israel it was a matter of faith, when he warned me that going to the lab on a Saturday wont be favored by God. Yes I know, I said to him, but first of all I am an bloody atheist, and second this super-ambitious student in my group occupies the RealTime PCR machine every day of… (more…)

A Night at the Races

Perhaps the highest concentration of horse related activities in Germany can be found in the two villages of Daglfing and Riem, which both are today part of Munich. When we moved here 6 years ago we found a house that once was owned of Charly Seiffert, a famous jokey and horse trainer.  Some of the wooden beams in our bicycle… (more…)

Sunrise and Mist on an Autumn Morning

Pictures taken on my daily ride to work, from Daglfing on the eastern outskirt of Munich, to Neuherberg, on its northern parts. The picture on the very bottom was shot about 40 minutes after the picture on the top. Thats about the time the ride takes me by bike. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via… (more…)

Love and Share Values: Despair and Happyness count differently

For their personal wealth-management people have a quite different perception of a failed investmemnt, depending on whether they lossed some money by investing into a falling fund or they missed the opportunity to invest their money into a growing fund. In the first instance, they count it once was their own money which was lost by putting it into the… (more…)

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…)