Welcome to the 21st century!


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101 bioinformatics facts

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The Dragon’s Loyalty Award


As I am catching up on awards, here’s the Dragon’s Loyalty Award for which I have been nominated by the lovely Jaisal author of the very intelligent “Inquisitive minds and stubborn hearts“, Thank you so much 😀

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Accept award with thanks.
  2. Give your readers 5 facts about you.
  3. Nominate other bloggers and let them know.

Here are five facts about me:

1. I sleepwalk (and secretly resent people who tell me that sleepwalkers are creepy)

2. I often draw comics about people in my life and funny things that happen to them.

3. I can’t stand pens left uncapped. I automatically reach and cap them even if it’s not my pen :/

4. Back when I was in PhD, I held a ridiculous record in my lab as the fastest human to fill the pipette tip boxes

5. Even though I’m only 1m60, I can kick a 1m85 person’s head (just to say I’m flexible :p ).

And finally, here are my nominations:

Martial Arts With Lyman Chen, because not only his blog is awesome but also because the dragon itself sounds very martial arts’ly

Art Peace a very creative blog that I like 🙂

And Tessa Can do it! which is like the journal of a brave person coping with a chronic disease

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The Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award


It is time for me to start to catch up with awards. I’ve been very busy these last couple of days, so I lagged on blogging… I have been nominated for The Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers Award by the lovely Belinda Crane, writer extraordinaire of impressively intelligent short stories. The first story I’ve read in her blog was “Little Ol’ Henrietta” if you haven’t read it, just.. stop reading this and go check it out first 🙂

Here are the rules:

Rule 1 – Thank the person who nominated you:

Thank you so much Belinda Crane, for nominating me for this award. And also, thanks heaps for your stories 🙂

Rule 2 – Add the award logo to your blog.

Rule 3 – Answer the questions asked by the nominator.

1. Describe how it makes you feel to write.

Writing is like a therapy, it allows you to put a word on the images and feelings that occupy your mind. It usually calms me.

2. Do you have a routine for where or how you write?

I usually write at home, or anywhere I feel safe. In an environment where I know that I wont be bothered every minute.

3. Is there anyone you would thank for giving you the final little push to start your blog?

I think that would be my lovely girlfriend.

4. Do you have any writing goals?

Not that I’m aware of 🙂

5. What inspires you to keep blogging?

The need to write something and share it.

6. What is your favorite book?

The Wizard of the Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

7. Do you have one distinct moment in time, when you fell in love with writing and/or reading?

I fell in love with reading as soon as I learned how to read. And for writing, sometime during university I guess (not so distinct after all).

8. What is your favorite movie?

“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, beautiful story, stunning artwork, impressive martial arts choreographies…

9. Describe your style of writing.

I like to write as I talk. I try to be simple and fluent.

10. Describe yourself.

Well… Easiest is to describe how I look: I’m a 1m60 brunette with very long, dark wavy hair. My friends and colleagues often joke about my height (or the lack thereof). I’m athletically built and have a black tribal dragon along my left arm. Some say I’m good looking. I don’t know if I agree, but at least I don’t have any body image problems…

Rule 4 – Nominate 5 bloggers

OK, it’s my turn to nominate people. Here are my picks from the blogs I’ve been stalking lately:

Kathy Salt, who happens to be one of the hottest fiction writers in wordpress 😉

Bellaelena, who often writes about her confusing emotions with outstanding honesty

Forties and faking it a very brave person with a big heart

The almighty Baroness Buttercup sorry for bothering you with this Baroness, but a fan girl must fangirl…

and finally NotAnne… it’s very hard to find the right words to describe this blog. Just go and check it out (especially the posts on the “Right here, right now” category, I’m pretty sure you’ll be like… this) and her other blog is this one 🙂

Rule 5 – Ask 10 questions of your own

That’s the tricky part. Since I’ve been stalking these blogs quite intensively I have to retain myself from asking very specific questions…

1. Who is your favorite book character?

2. Why that character?

3. What’s your favorite subject to write about?

4. How would you define strength?

5. Do you get jealous easily?

6. What would make you jealous?

7. What do you like the most about women?

8. What do you dislike the most about women?

9. Which country would you like to visit the most?

10. How do you drink your Martini?

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My Kafka-esque experience on reading “Awakenings, I found my heart in San Franscisco by Susan X. Meagher” on Kindle for PC

First things first, this post is intended either for those of you who have read this book or for those who could have but chose not to. This is not a book review, and there might be spoilers ahead. And just so you know, regardless of everything that I’ll say next, I actually like this book 🙂

Since I have been restlessly postponing to get myself in a decent store and buy an actual Kindle, I decided to give Kindle for PC a try. Because it is an integral part of Windows 8, it’s already installed on my laptop. Perks of this is that I still haven’t figured out how to display real page numbers and this detail renders the whole experience very Kafka-esque. I will explain why:


Awakenings is a nice story about a straight woman falling for a lesbian. Most of the time NOTHING happens. The said straight woman is Jamie. Her duty in the book is to portray the stereotypical straight woman from a gay point of view: fragile (no, anemic! or maybe even cataleptic… she passes out every now and then), emotionally needy but somehow unable to leave her jerk of a fiance, Jack, who is a borderline sociopath. The character she falls for is Ryan, a boldly “out” and gorgeous woman who’s hobby is to sleep around. Despite the libido, Ryan is everything a gay woman, a straight woman, a straight man or even a gay man would want if they could ever convince her to get involved. She is the only thing that keeps the story going. I honestly loved this character.

The story is told in a very… VERY slow pace. Nearly realistic. Every… single… detail… Who wears what, who orders which meal from the menu, how does she cook her lasagna… If you want to perfect your “diagonal reading” It is actually a very good book to exercise on. If it was an actual book (and not Kindle PC) I think I would have stabbed it.


So, there I was, scrolling through pages of Jamie with her obscenely wealthy but emotionally retarded family, her boring relationship and awful sex life with Jack, then waow! Awesome love scene between Ryan and some random sex buddy, but then back to Jack’s insecurities and how much he excels in the art of assholeness with the way he treats Jamie.

The relation between Jamie and Ryan is obviously romantic, Jamie spends all her time fantasizing about her (and sometimes in a rather graphic way), Ryan treats her so heavenly nicely, and you are just waiting for Ryan to stop being such an honest, perfectly trustworthy, decent human being and just grab her friend and make a woman out of her!


The thing is, since nothing else ever happens, as the reader we are entirely focused on the relationship between those two and how much this relationship is more than just friendship. We want to see it fulfilled. We root for them. We want to read how Jamie will handle her newly discovered sexual identity, how is she going to confront her fiance, her parents… But this is just pushed further and further away. So much that after a while it becomes surrealistic. At one point, I can’t say where because there are no page numbers (thank you Kindle PC!), I just counted and the characters hugged each other 5 times during an overall 2 minutes dialog! I’m not yet at this point of intimacy with my fiancee… not even with my own self (and that’s saying a lot cause we go way back).  


When those two finally kissed, I had the impression to have finished War and Peace. That’s how long it took! Then they went home and started to get intimate. I was ready to admit that the book had surprised me and that maybe it wasn’t entirely and solely based on delayed gratification but then… It was all a dream… Of course


Susan X. Meagher is a very good writer. Much better than I can ever wish to be. I am sure that there are many people who righteously enjoyed this book and all the others in the series. But I should have bought it as a paperback copy. Kindle PC definitely ruined it!

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Every end is a beginning


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So, I got engaged…

Often, before going to bed at night I think about what I’ll do the next day. Usually I do this while staring at the mirror, brushing my teeth. Sometimes it’s as simple as I should make filter coffee tomorrow or as twisted as What if I immersed the whole chip in a water chamber, there would be much less evaporation through it (by the way, that was a very bad idea).


The glue used for the chamber wasn’t water-resistant at high temperature…

But last Friday, I looked at the mirror and thought Tomorrow, I’ll ask her to marry me. Just like that…

I know, marriage is over-rated, divorce is difficult, if you don’t want kids why would you even go through the hustle, blah blah blah…  I know, but I realized I have been thinking about it for over a year and when you consider my age (soon 32) and my weird portfolio of ex-partners… Well, yeah let’s go through that first (I hope they’re not reading):


1. In high school, a philosophy professor (and the source of my  despise towards that field of social sciences). FYI I was at legal age and she wasn’t my professor (she used to teach at the university) so nothing illegal there.

2. First year of university, fellow biology major. She was cute but also the most stubborn person I’ve ever met. It only lasted a year.

3. Some guy, to persuade myself that I could think straight (see the pun there?).

4. The med student that I cheated on my boyfriend with (I know, I’m not proud of it). She later became a psychiatrist and probably still hates me.


5. A gorgeous looking but very often depressed woman from Martinique. She worked as a translator (German-French) and hated everything about her life. When we broke up she said that she had dated me just because I was good looking and that besides this, nothing about me was of any interest. I somehow managed to register only the 1st part of the sentence and took it as a compliment.

6.  A young woman who operated forklifts in a sports shop’s warehouse, who somehow managed to tell me that I was the 21st woman she had slept with right after we had done it. It never went further than that.

7. A quite unstable (psychologically I mean) ambulance driver who was kind enough to drive me home and to come upstairs for a coffee although it was 2 a.m. Her shift had already ended, so nothing illegal there either. We dated for a year. She managed to make me quit smoking but for some reason she started herself right after we broke up.

8. Another guy. Because you never make the same mistake only once. A very nice person though. He’s now dating a ravishing girl who is so in love with him. They are a cute couple and he deserves to be happy.

9. An accounting assistant who dated me just to get back at her ex-girlfriend (who somehow was into me) and broke my heart in the process.

10. A very big mistake in the person of the drummer of my old band. As they say in the show called “How I met your mother” you are ought to make one last (and huge) mistake before you meet the right one.

11. And finally the dark haired, blue eyed elf who is a librarian by profession and a pianist by passion, who’s been following me all around Europe for the last couple of years.

Me, last saturday

Me, last Saturday (I’m on a mission!)

In my mind, there’s no doubt that she’s the one, so I just decided. And that was on Wednesday.  The problem was that I had no idea how to do it. She was in Germany for a couple of days and would be back Saturday evening. I did some research, got some advice from my sister and friends then I spent the Saturday afternoon ring-hunting like a Nazgul.

At the end, when I found the right ring, and gave it to her (just as she had arrived home from a 4 days-long trip, before she could even catch her breath) she somehow didn’t throw it back at my face and accepted to marry me.

So, yes, I got engaged.

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Ranking the Villains of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

because a good story = a solid villain 😉

Funk's House of Geekery

The legendary Stan “The Man” Lee once spoke about how he had to put more effort into writing the villains than he did the heroes. The way Lee looked at it, the hero had to remain stalwart and noble, but the villain was the exciting character who sought top bring change and define the hero. With the Marvel Universe now a mainstay of the silver screen the villains; Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Romita, and others brought to life are now staples of pop culture. Since villains are such an important part of these films, here is the ranking of the top baddies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


12. Malekith the Accursed (Thor: The Dark World): When it was announced that gifted character actor, Christopher Eccelston would be playing the infamous Dark Elf fans were salivating. These same fans were more than disappointed when they discovered that the…

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Chapter 7: Fragments of Time and Space

kalimaI am currently venturing an attempt at publishing… So I’m hoping to be back with a link to an actual, real, book 🙂

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From the Cthulhu Mythos to the Intergalactic Empire: The Kardashev Scale in Science Fiction

Theorists often judge a civilization by its energy demands and access to resources. More advanced a civilization is, bigger the demand for energy gets to feed the population, or to fuel the machines and technology. In 1964 the Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev suggested a scale for measuring a civilization’s technological advancement based upon how much energy it is able to exploit. This is called the Kardashev Scale.

Not to be mistaken with the Kardashian Index (K-Index) in science which is a measure of discrepancy between a scientist’s social media profile and publication record (influenced by the professional selfie taker Kim Kardasian) 🙂

According to the initial Kardashev scale, there are 3 types of civilizations:

Type I: This civilisation is able to exploit a planet’s entire resources, and control all natural forces of the planet (including volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.) and extract energy from these forces.

The Dyson Sphere around a star. A future technology which could harness power and energy from a star by surrounding it with hexagon shaped satellites.

The Dyson Sphere around a star. A future technology which could harness power and energy from a star by surrounding it with hexagon shaped satellites.

Type II: is pretty much similar to a Type I civilisation but they have this kind of control over all the planets on their star system. They may have surrounded their star with satelies to harness more energy from it (using some kind of hypothetical magastructure like the Dyson Sphere).

They can feed a stellar mass into a black hole, and collect photons emitted by the accretion disc or capture photons already escaping from the accretion disc, reducing a black hole’s angular momentum; known as the Penrose process.

A civilisation as advanced as Type II could remove a substantial portion of a Star’s matter in a controlled manner for other uses, a hypothetical process called Star lifting. This type of engineering would produce antimatter as an industrial by-product (that could be recycled).

The Penrose process is a process theorised by Roger Penrose wherein energy can be extracted from a rotating black hole. (http://imgur.com/gallery/zTw9Q)

The Penrose process is a process theorised by Roger Penrose wherein energy can be extracted from a rotating black hole.

A Type II civilisation is immune to extinction by anything known to science. They have enough energy to overcome a Malthusian Catastrophe. They are terraformers. They can pulverise a moon sized asteroid if ever its path crosses their stellar system (or move a planet to dodge it entirely). They must also be able to manipulate genes, transplant or replace parts of themselves and may even have a cure for their own mortality.

Type III: The same kind of technology as a Type II civilization but they control an entire galaxy. This is a master race. Completely immortal, they are hundreds of thousands of years’ worth of both biological and mechanical evolution ahead of us. They may surely look very different then us. They can alter molecular bonds and create new materials or even complex forms of new life.  They are able to use energy from super-massive black holes, white holes, gamma ray bursts or quasar emissions. They can travel anywhere in the galaxy, build Dyson Spheres around stars and harness energy.

Type IV: Not included in the original Kardashev scale, this civilisation controls the entire resources of a universe. They may even control the mechanisms dominating the universe and slow down entropy or even reverse it.

Multiverse by CryptFiend

Multiverse by CryptFiend

There’s even Type V, a multiverse civilisation that exploits a collection of universes (after that my imagination hits its limit) or Type VI that live outside time and space and create or destroy universes just as easily (pretty much like a God maybe).

We, as humans are a Type 0 civilisation since we don’t control the resources of our planet in its entirety. To simple creatures like us, any civilisation above Type III (or maybe even them) would seem like immortal, omnipotent deities.

In science fiction we encounter civilisations with immensely advanced technologies. Let’s put them in a Kardashev’s scale 🙂

Star Trek: The Federation of Planets in Star Trek is an example of Type II civilisation while the members of the Q Continuum are clearly Type IV.

star-trekStarwars: The Intergalactic Empire in Starwars is an example of Type III civilisation.They make use of the resources of an entire galaxy, they can form or destroy planets at their will.

Stargate: The Goa’uld in Stargate is a strange example for Type III. They tap into the resources of an entire galaxy therefore they might be considered as Type III but for a very mysterious reason they have done nothing in terms of bioengineering and therefore remain a parasitic species. But then again, we are only Type 0 so we cannot really understand their judgement, right? 😉

the goa'uld from Star Trek (inside a host body, otherwise they are quite ugly)

the goa’uld from Star Trek (inside a host body, otherwise they are quite ugly)

Cthulhu Mythos: I think that the great race of Yith  is actually a Type III civilisation. their ability to project their minds into different planets and inside other species makes them immortal.

The Great Old Ones like Cthulhu are Type IV and the Elder Gods (like Hopnos, Nodens, Bastet) might actually be a  Type V or above (except that they are very evil).

So a devoted and wise acolyte might actually say that Azathoth is not in the universe. The universe is in Azathoth 🙂

coming of Azathoth by tentaclesandteeth from Deviantart

coming of Azathoth by tentaclesandteeth from Deviantart

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