Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Things I like, May

1. My new improved hairdo

2. My first publication, soon to be found in PLoS ONE

3. This book, by the very talented and very funny the bloggess

4. Estonia’s song in the Eurovision song contest

5. This video. Maybe I should save the link on my phone and show it as an excuse every time I burp out loud.


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After this year’s crazy days I decided to see how many unread books I actually possess. Quite a few as it turns out. Two of which are currently in theaters… Apart from the obvious problem of how I’ll find the time to read them all, I’m currently wondering if I’ll even be able to drag the Patrick Rothfuss novel with me to Kvevlax next weekend.


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I went to the library to borrow some magazines. And I thought it was my lucky day when they had all the latest issues of Damernas värld and Amelia. I quickly grabbed two copies of each, but it was then that I noticed…

they all had little notes on them. And what did it say on the little note? That I couldn’t borrow the magazines!

I was shocked and stunned and demanded an explanation. But still trying to calm down I thought “I don’t really know the system here in Turku, maybe they keep the magazines you can borrow on another shelf”.

Approaching the lady at the info desk I put on my best smiling face.

“excuse me, but is it so that you do not lend out magazines?”

“oh well yes we do, but they have to be one year old.”

“ONE YEAR OLD?! How long have you had such a rule?”

“Well for a very very long time now.”

“But… WHY??”

“I guess it’s because they were always lent out, they were never in their shelf.”

“But… this must be the ONLY city in Finland where there is such a rule!”

Now the polite smile the info lady had been keeping up went a bit stiff and I felt it was time for me to go. Of course I couldn’t blame her for the laws that the city has.

But the logic to this! Because they were in such high demand they just decided that no-one, unless you have enough time to sit and read in the library for a couple of hours, can borrow the magazines.

My mother jokingly told me to write a letter-to-the-editor. And why not…?

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Today I ignored my want for eating porridge in the mornings and went to get a tan instead of buying a microwave oven.

Did not get a tan since I got out around 6pm.

Did however get to spend some time with my favourite author William Gibson and read sentences like: “The Panther Modern leader, who introduced himself as Lupus Yonderboy, wore a polycarbon suit with a recording feature that allowed him to replay backgrounds at will.”

And I know nothing about computers, so I’m lost half of the time. I just like to use them. Like for watching things on surfthechannel.com. Have almost finnished the last season of Project runway.

So really, I like TV.

Today I’ve also; watched My name is Earl 🙂 Watched some mice sperm, Eaten some cinnamon pecan nuts, Washed a machine of clothes, Gone shopping for food and currently I’m Baking a bread.

And I’m wondering why I always have more energy when I get home from work than when I’m at work. But today I had a laboratory animal course and just sat and listen to legal issues and such.

Important info: Killing an animal is not considered an experiment. I am therefore allowed to kill an animal even before I’m allowed to keep it in a cage.

My kitchen as promised. My curtains name is Bean:

köket mitt

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I spent half of my Friday cursing Itella (the Finnish postal service).

First of all I cursed it for the fact that it always takes two days to send anything, from a small postcard to a large package, from Vasa to Helsinki even though they kind of promise that it will only take one day.

Then I cursed it’s bosses for being incompetent fools to have started to downsize the company, closing down half of all the post-offices in our fine country. This will of course only give Itella more trouble since people aren’t even able to send letters anymore. Instead we rely more and more on the ever present R-Kioski who now sells stamps and distribute packages from H&M. (Here I spent some time thanking God for R-Kioski and it’s more than competent bosses.)

After going to the post-office with the one and only bus that can take me there, I started cursing Multitronic. (This was not until I had cursed Itella some more for not even being open on a lousy Saturday, forcing me to go there on Friday even though I still had a temperature.)

At the post-office I namely noticed that the said package that I would receive from Multitronic wasn’t actually a package but a letter! They had just put the “package” label on it, forcing the post to make me come and pick it up and sign for it. (And yes, as you may have noticed, Itella brings nothing heavier than 50g to your doorstep.)

The cursing of Multitronic continued into the evening.

When I opened the “package” I found the case to my harddrive. Multitronic had sent my harddrive two weeks ago but forgotten to send my case. So two phone-calls later I finally had the case in my hand – even the right case – things were looking a bit better…

But after putting together the new harddrive and the case and plugging it to my computer, I found that the problem I had had two months ago was still very much present in that I had no way to access the harddrive. The new harddrive was totally worthless and if I wanted a third one I would probably have to wait another two months. Cursing continued.

Then I read a very refreshing chapter from the book “Birds without wings” by Louis de Bernières. Here a man named Georgio P. Theodorou is cursing the men in charge of the war between Greece and Turkey (year ca 1920). He is doing so while drowning after being chased out into the sea by a mob of Turkish soldiers. He, and his fellow Greek/Christian countrymen were hoping that the Greek battleships in the harbour would send out people to rescue them from this horrible death, which they obviously neglected to do. So here he is drowning and cursing, not only the Turkish side, but maybe mostly the incompetent leader of the Greek army.

And I came to the conclusion that at least the incompetent leaders of Itella aren’t causing my death.


 This book is actually quite nice – a bit long, but nice. It makes you think about how easy it is to one day call your neighbour your friend and the next day kill him for no good reason at all. And it also made me understand Vassileios a bit better when understanding that the Greek empire and the Greek-Orthodox religion might have screwed with people’s heads a bit.

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Books I’ve read



I saw this in facebook and thought it could be fun…

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Tally your total at the bottom.
3) Tag others and pass it on.

Here’s the list:

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

 Well, I seem to have read 21 of them (but I’m not quite sure about Count of Monte Cristo and Adventures of Sherlock Holmes). But who has put this list together? Where is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. Or, maybe most people have read them… And I guess most people have seen more than 6 of the movies/series made from these books. I have seen 31, so what does that make me – illiterate?

books read in red, movies/series seen in green

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Today I want to open up a manga-rental in Helsinki. A place where you can rent a comic book and then sit down in a comfy sofa to read it. They have them everywhere in Asia and now, with the growing interest for manga in Finland, I think it’s about time that we get one here as well. Here is a picture I took in Taiwan that would explain what I mean:

manga rental

Even though they sell manga in every supermarket nowadays they cost something like 8 euros a piece! Way too expensive in my opinion. So my business plan is to buy all the translated manga and the manga made in Finland and let people rent them for say 2 euros. 

The place could become a hangout for kids. Sofas in every nook and some vending machines selling japanese candy. There could even be a coffee machine.

And it wouldn’t have to stop there. If there was a basement or an upper floor I could arrange manga workshops. Every other week we could have lolita-nights where girls could compere their latest outfits. Then there would be all night karaoke where kids would stay up until dawn to sing. 

And because there isn’t that many Finnish manga books out there, I could hire a guy to translate the latest manga series into Finnish and print them out as text-only versions. Then the reader could look at the pictures in the book and read the text on a separate piece of paper. Then I wouldn’t even be breaking any laws (I think).

I’m sure I wouldn’t get any money doing this. Selling cheap candy and renting books for a couple of euros won’t cover much more than the rent, if even that. But it would be a lot of fun! And maybe I’ll even get some sponsoring from the Finnish comic book society (if there is such a thing), or maybe from the Japanese embassy or a cultural fund.

Maybe something to consider if I ever get unemployd…

…if someone isn’t doing it already that is

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