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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Back To Work!!!

It has been a nice weekend. And, surprise, people have kept coming along to read this blog, apparently, even if I didn't post anything at all in the last four days. Too busy having fun, eh eh... It seems like there's a critical mass for blogging, once a certain number of bloggers link to you people will keep coming. I wonder if anybody has done any serious study on this?

Anyway, I was planning to go to Liege on friday, but I did not. too much hassle and my GF wasn't free. So, I held off and went looking for my lost mobile. Which I did not find. pants! just what I needed, another 200 euros down the drain... Pah!

However, the rest of the weekend worked out as well as planned, or even better. Enjoyed a half day shopping on saturday, then on sunday, while Marie was on call at the hospital, I went away with some friends, cycling 40-odd km from BXL to Tervuren, running round there and then back. Pictures below:

As you will be able to see, I did enjoy having some duck families close-by. Yes, I said duck, not dutch. Duck! As in Donald Duck. Although the exact species was unknown to me, and most likely different from our cartoon hero.

Here shown in his typical emotion, rage.

And moving on, the following day was BBQ day in Liege, finally, with some italian friends and their arab boyfriends. It looks like all italians abroad are going for mixed couples. Good. We definitely more italian attitude in the world.
The following morning, once the fumes of portuguese and french wine (and the sardinian traditional fruit-spirit, Mirto Rosso) cleared away, Marie and me jumped on our bike for a short up-and-down hilly road, whose surrounding grassy slopes were dotted with herds of cows. Again, pictures follow, no comments on these ones:

After that, a quick lunch and back to Bruxelles, with stopover in the characteristic university city of Leuven, aka Louvain in this crazy, two-and-a-half-lingual country.

Here you can see his gothic-delyrium city-council palace (Hotel de Ville).

That was it. Now, I am back to work, with tons of mails to wade through, my soon-to-happen move to Mechelen to organise, a series of dutch lessons to plan, a post-doc lunch to take part and a Physiologically-based PharmacoKinetics seminar to follow immediately after. not a lot uh? I better check Gastroplus manual.At least I'll know what Stefan is talking about...

Oh, and I also have to set straight my pKa assessment, and find out exactly where half of my acidic pKas went down the drain of forgotten compounds instead of being carried on properly. And will have to subdivide the sets in mono-acidic, mono-basic and so on. Sounds like a plan.

God helps me. Or, the FSM helps me. I haven't done much progress in readuing his bible, my attention was stolen by the latest book I bought "The Wisdom of the Crowds", a fascinating and assertive book on the virtues of letting people (as in plural) make up their mind, aiming to show how this kind of unsupervised free market of ideas, and any other thing usually comes up with the right solution over time, whereas the experts in ay given field do get it wrong more often than not. I blogged about it in my previous post. Interesting, I've always been opposed to popular referendum and this kind of direct democracy, based on the assumption that people mostly don't know what they're doing themselves, let alone are able to decide on complicated matters such as "is nuclear power an economically sound way of generating electricity for our industrial base?". But if, as it seems,. the author backs up his assertions with solid data and numbers, not only with andoctal evidence, we may be onto something. Also, it comes to my mind a paper in the field of my PhD, Docking and scoring function, where it is shown that consensus scoring (that is, merging the suggestions given by different programs on deciding whether a molecule is going to stick or not to a protein) works better when it is applied 'by-number', and not 'by-vote'. It would make sense, in the view of this crowd wisedom thingy. If I get the time, I'll try to explain it later. Now, let's work. See you soon.

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