Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

iPhone love

I just realized I’ve spent close to 80 euros on iPhone gadgets. Not the actual phone but accessories. And I’m starting to see the greatness of Apple.

This is my latest purchase, a pocket to keep my phone sweat-free when running. It made me feel like an idiot, especially when it gave me a status update every five minutes. “fif-teen-min-utes-you-have-run-three-point-seven-kilo-meters”. Thank you for letting everyone within a 100 meter radius know how fast I’m running.

Unfortunately it seemed to have added an extra kilometer to my run as it said I’d run 5.5km in 23min.

So now I’ve downloaded another app – lets see if it works better. At least it was free…


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Went to Hyytiälä for a Developmental biology meeting this Fri-Sat and was lucky to meet my former colleague Shinya.

And he had some exiting news to share – not only is he a Drosophila (fruit fly) expert, now he’s also a professional Mölkky player!

He and some friends from Japan have formed a Japanese mölkky team and are now trying to bring this very Finnish game to Japan.  

Here’s a video from when they participated in a tournament in Slovakia.

The world championship of mölkky is played in Lahti every year, and the best thing is that anyone can participate. Just get a group of 4-6 people together and start practicing!

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Abiding to tradition, we celebrated Shrove Tuesday (fastlagstisdagen) with a sports day. At 10am, I and my colleagues headed out to a nearby park where we risked our life and limbs by skating around in circles.

Me wearing skates for the first time in over 10 years. It’s touring skates (långfärdsskridskor), since I thought this model would prevent me from falling – and  I was right, my ass didn’t touch the ice for the whole one and a half hours we were skating!

Unfortunately Hannele, one of our lovely technicians, wasn’t so lucky. She came back to work with her arm in plaster and is now on a one month long sick-leave.

For me, the day ended on a happier note as I got to eat not one but two fastlagsbullar! I blame the non-Finns in our group for having no shame and just going for more and more buns – good for me since they only had the jam ones when I went for coffee.

My happy face 🙂

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Off and away

Now I know how nicotine addicts feel when people tell them to quit smoking. On Monday there was a big sign on the elevator door at work. It said something like “stair-week, don’t use the elevator”. This is part of a campaign that strives to make Finns the healthiest people in the world by 20…something.

The rebel in me came to life. Screw them for telling me what to do.

I took the elevator.

But to compensate for my laziness I went for a jog today. I have come to the conclusion that city jogs are the best. Those where you have to stop every once in a while for a red light, and where cars are constantly driving by, prohibiting you and everyone around you from hearing your heavy breathing. Nice!

But no more exercising for me this week. I’m off to Helsinki on Thursday. It’s only me and Matteo that’s going. He wants to see the Sibelius park, I want to have some sushi. I think we’ll only do the latter. The Sibelius park kind of sucks. It makes tourists travel around half of Helsinki just to see a monument. It is a beautiful monument but there is absolutely nothing else for miles around and after taking a picture with the thing you have to get a bus back to the city center. To sum it up: if you’ve never seen the Sibelius monument, just think that you’ve saved yourself from a 45min bus ride.

Me, Sarah and the Sibelius monument.

Matteo also wanted us to share a hotel room in Helsinki. He is afraid that our grad-school won’t give him any more money since he has been travelling quite a lot this year. So to save a few bucks – or rather half of the travel expenses – he wanted us to book only one room. I voted no to this one as well.

And besides, as we are employes at the university we get a 20% discount as it is…

Just a funny video I found:

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skitig Tobbe

My brother after biking 106km in 2hours and 39min. Quite the bad-ass!

I myself have bought a yellow helmet. In the future I can therefore be mistaken for a wounded bee, driving my rattling bicycle through the streets of Turku.

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Nightly exercise

Since I started exercising more regularly I’ve been having some troubles with my sugar levels. I tend to take too much insulin in the evening with the result that I wake up in the middle of the night with levels around 3. Tonight was no exception, and I had the urge to say:

– Honey, isn’t it your turn to get up and feed him!

Unfortunately there is no “honey”, and even if there was, Iam the one who needs feeding. So I just have to drag myself out of bed and drink some juice… Gah, and only two hours before I really have to get up!

But being a diabetic is really an eye-opener when you exercise. After just one hour of interval-body training I can take half of the amount of insulin that I usually take. Consider that next time you find it hard to drag yourself to the gym!

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So I know that the Olympics are soon to be over but I just couldn’t go without writing something about it.

Because we’re talking about heroes (see Dark knight review) I thought I should tell you that I was getting up at 5 o’clock every morning last week to listen to the US national anthem.

The way I choose the sports I’m interested in is quite simple. I either watch them because someone else is watching them with me, or I watch them if there is a hero who is destined to win the whole thing. An example of the first one is the 100m race that my father has always been very in to. Even though it is over in about 10 seconds, it is still a highpoint in the Olympic games. At least when I get to sit next to my dad 🙂 

An example of the latter, is figure skating. I started watching this when Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen became big names. Heroes to me, heroes to a nation.

Another reason is of course the program after the actual competitions, when skaters are allowed to do somersaults. And because the whole thing is soooo pretty 🙂

Well this Olympics I was watching another American hero, namely Michael Phelps.

I happily got up at 5 in the morning, only cursing the Americans a bit for making the competitions air at such an inhuman hour. And then I’d watch something that was over in about 5 minutes. Went and took a shower and then had breakfast watching a very touched Michael get up on the winners’ stand. I came to the conclusion that going to work at 7 o’clock isn’t all that bad, since it allows you to leave work at 3pm.

But after it was done and the eight gold medals were hung around his neck I had an anti-climax moment. What now? When everything is done, what is there more to accomplish?

But it is probably like the reporters said: He is not yet a great athlete. He still needs time to mature and grow in to a man. To be truly great you have to do something beyond sports. Like Mohamed Ali or Tiger Woods have done. But being a white kid it’s kind of hard to be a role model. Maybe he could stand up for the environment. He could start by driving a more environmental friendly car for example…

Even though I might not admire the person Michael Phelps, I still think of him as a hero in terms of athletics. And I was actually considering to buy this:

Or maybe this is more fun:

Another thing that is fun with the Olympics is working with a Chinese. It’s like having your own China Daily, the newspaper that all journalists in the Olympic village are laughing at, at hand at all times. Positive propaganda you could call it.

But he did find a critical article in the latest issue of Cell (of all magazines) that he could agree with. It’s about the enormous amounts of money that China has put into its sports programme. Here is some figures:


Funding for Basic Research and Sports in ChinaBasic sciences funding supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) from 1998 through 2007. Also shown is government funding for sports by the General Administration of Sports (GAS), from 2003–2007. Since 2001, lottery sales have contributed $350 million to the 2008 Beijing Olympics (the total cost is estimated to be $42 billion). (Source: MOST, NSFC annual reports; GAS lottery sales statistics.) Science in China: 30 years and on., Xin Hao, Cell, Vol 134, 375-377, 08 August 2008


Well if you have such a huge country to rule over it’s good to put the money where the people can actually see the results 😉 Science isn’t that visible if you know what I mean…


And China has got a couple of medals. Not in football (soccer) though. This is a sore point for every Chinese it seems. They have a very good women’s team, but the men seem to fail in everything they do. “How hard can it be to find 11 guys to kick a ball around” is the comment I get when I try to compliment them on their athletic success.

No wonder that Liu Xiang asked the Chinese people for forgiveness when he couldn’t run the 100m hurdles because of his injury…


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