Saturday, February 28, 2009

While few dare ponder from whence they came, I imagine that it went down a little something like this...

Super-Boss: "The researcher have been looking a bit down lately."

Humble-Underling: "Could it be because they are working 10 hours, 7 days a week for virtually no pay?"

SB: "Nonsense. They just lack a bit of stimuli. Something arty perhaps? A new voice for the vending machine maybe? No, it has to be a bit more kawaii. Hayaku! Underling, what do scientist find cute?"

HU: "Ehm. Bunnies are cute..."

SB: "Shrewdly observed. Bunnies are indeed cute, but what's even cuter than bunnies?"

HU: "Uhm."

SB: "Pink bunnies of course!"

On the prowl
From Bunnies

Hiding in the hallway
From Bunnies

Secret breeding ground
From Bunnies

Yes, these are from my workplace. They suddenly appeared one day all over the building.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

PhD's are bad for you.

Apparently 10% of my peers have considered suicide (at least at Berkeley) and 57% "felt so depressed they had a hard time functioning":

Grad school fosters depression

Unfortunately, you need subscription for the actual article. Considering that frustration is the most common feeling experienced on any given day I am not altogether surprised. I obviously have some way to go before reaching the average level though. Well, back to work I guess...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Today I heard the voice of God.

It is not the first time, that was about a month ago. Around 22:30 on a Wednesday (God is very memorable). Having arrived from work about an hour earlier I was pretty tired and decided to watch an episode of Flight of the Conchords ("formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo a capella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo") in bed.

Suddenly, a booming voice erupted from my kitchen. To put this in perspective "my kitchen" is also my hallway and it is not at any time possible to get more than 4 meters away from it unless leaving the apartment. In bed this distance is considerably shorter.

Naturally, when someone you are not aware of starts yelling in your apartment, there follows a short interval of confusion. The voice however, oblivious to my panic continued its thundering monologue. God, in his wisdom, wanted me to know that the elevator was now in order. At least that was my interpretation of God's message. You see, even if addressing a supposedly "international" student house, God's preferred and often only method of conversation is Japanese. He is also surprisingly loud, appears to live in the ceiling and his Word is preceded by beeping noises one can only assume is the celestial choir.

God only knows why it is imperative to inform me about the status of the elevator before I go to sleep.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pictures from P's visit. Trip to Sapporo Snow Festival as well as some Tokyo scenery.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Flyer distributed at work:

Preventive measures to avoid influenza

  • Gargle regularly and wash your hands frequently
  • Get enough sleep and eat food that enhance your immune system
  • Be aware that there are established 'coughing rules' in Japan, including the use of masks
  • When you sneeze or cough cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and stay at least a meter away from others
  • Make a habit of immediately throwing away tissues that you used for coughing or blowing your nose (reason: this helps maintaining a hygienic environment as both wet and dry tissues can easily spread infections)
  • Promote to using a mask to those who are coughing
  • Wash your hands after blowing your nose or sneezing
  • Masks are available free of charge at the occupational health center. Please come to get one if you're coughing or sneezing.
    A note about masks in Japan : wearing a mask is considered proper etiquette when you have a cold. A mask not only keeps droplets from sneezes and coughs away from others,it also helps keep your mouth and nose moist.
  • If you catch a cold,or suffer of influenza, get medical treatment immediately.