I’ve been feeling run down and sickly a lot for the past few years. Yes, years. Nothing super specific. Just… overly tired. My memory is getting worse. When I try to get in shape by running, the next day I feel almost like I have the flu. Granted, I barely sleep, because of 2 li’l kids, and late nights working. And I ain’t getting any younger. But still — something just doesn’t feel quite right with my wavering constitution.

Two years ago, I had some kind of weird mouth plague. My tongue burned horribly for a few months. I lost over 10 pounds because eating was too painful. I saw at least 10 different doctors and specialists, both in the US, and in Denmark. Nobody knew what it was. Then, one day, it went away.

More recently, I had an insane fever, had a horrendous outbreak of seborrhoeic dermatitis, and dozens of veins burst in the palms of my hands and soles of my feet. I looked and felt like an extra from World War Z. It was excruciating. Diagnosis? Some kind of regular ol’ virus. But why was I so slammed by it? What’s next? Spontaneous human combustion?

The dermatologist had me go through an all-encompassing set of tests. Almost everything came back negative. Except one result: Borrelia. Wait, what? I showed positive for both old and new antibodies. (What does that mean, anyway?) And when the heck did I get bitten by a tick, when I never had the obvious skin reaction and “bullseye”?

I took 10 days of strong penicillin. Then I got a cold. Now I don’t have a cold. And do I still have borrelia? I have no idea. I watched a documentary about Lyme Disease, Under Our Skin, and it was freaky, because there is a minority of doctors who think it’s actually really hard to cure, requiring years of antibiotics.

Bottom line? I have no idea.

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wait but why?

This website has so many cool posts. I absolutely love this one about time. We often hear about the “humans arrived at 11:59 PM on the Earth’s clock-history”, but the way things are zoomed out here is awesome.

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Huh. I went to Paris this past weekend, for a wedding. By plane. And at no time did I show any identification whatsoever. What’s up with that? I thought air travel of any kind, international or domestic, required showing proof of identity? Otherwise you can just buy a ticket and transfer it to anyone, like in the old days. I guess for intra-Euro travel it’s not important anymore.

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3 months in the US

We recently got back from a 3-month whirlwind tour of the US (and a little Canada), and jetlag with 2 kids is brutal. But now we’re home in Denmark, and slowly getting back on our feet, and putting away the suitcase explosion that continues to cover our entire dining room table.

That’s it. More in 6 months.

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What’s up with the ads?

Some of you (the 3 who read this site, including myself) may have noticed there are Google ads spattered around the pages. Most noticeably, just below the header menu. Why, you ask? Mainly, it’s just an experiment. I’m curious as to how much money can be generated by hosting advertisements. I get about 50 unique visitors a day, the vast majority of which most certainly are bots. I can’t imagine otherwise.

Anyway, I think I’ve earned like $5 since July, so soon I expect to be able to quit my regular job and retire early.

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Samuel Clemens

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

– Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

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Uncle Jay comes to Denmark

Stine and I opened the newspaper Friday morning, and on the front of the KULTUR section was a big article about the new trend of “fact checking” in American politics. The piece is entitled “The War on Facts”. And the quoted expert on the subject? None other than my uncle Jay Rosen, a leading expert on social journalism, and professor at NYU. Way to invade Denmark, Jay!

“If this continues, journalists will become irrelevant.”

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Not so junky DNA

I knew it! Back in the day (early 90’s), when I was studying biology, the word on the street was that the bulk of human DNA was “junk” filler, and probably nothing more. New research shows that all those boring repeating base pairs actually play an active role in gene expression. This is pretty awesome.

It also fits with my whole tenet about how very little we actually know about biological systems, despite what many scientists might purport. There are orders of magnitude more variables at play than we even realize, and incalculable permutations of interactions across the board. This is one of the things I absolutely love about biology — we barely know anything! (Yes, we do know quite a lot, but we’re barely scratching the surface, especially compared to many other natural sciences, save maybe cosmology.)

Science rocks!

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6 minutes

I was in New York recently, and was boasting to my friend and business partner that I could certainly run a 5:30 mile, without much training. I used to run much faster than that in high school. And I try to run longer distances (albeit dramatically slower) on a regular basis.

I’ve tried twice now in the past 3 days. First time: 6:14. Second time: 5:58.


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This is great stuff, especially for nerds (like me).

Answering your hypothetical questions with physics, every Tuesday.

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