Friday, February 24, 2012

Restarting in Japan

I arrived in Japan this Sunday (19th) and am setting up new life here. My new base is Kobe near Osaka (but distant from Tokyo). I learned in Europe that this city is famous for its delicious beef as well as for the big earthquake in 1995. Regarding this beef, most people have not tried to eat, but just heard cows that produces 'Kobe beef' are fed beer.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Special last days in Konstanz

I have only two more days in Konstanz. It has been hectic to pack at home and send out, while working on some residual burocuracy etc. Unexpectedly we had a lot of snow although the temperature arose quite a bit. My winter shoes were already sent out in a package for surface mail. I have to survive with my favorite lether shoes, but they are already quite damaged.

This morning we had emotional moments to say goodbye to our 6-year-old son's teachers and friends. It is unbearable when I imagine what this move means to him. Apart from this, I mostly can stay calm, probably because I know what the life is in my next place. But, people saying goodbye to me would feel that I am moving away to an unknown world. I really want to stay in touch with them (you!?) and show how I start in Japan.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Rehabilitation effort (1)

I now need to work on filling out forms for contracting for my position in the next working place. I found a few Japanese traditions (that I need to recover) in this kind of formalities.

1) In Japan, we are based on a unique way of counting years in official documents. For example, this year 2012 is the 24th year in the Japanese way after the previous emperor passed away. I lost the habit to stick to this Japanese year count system. Often I mistakenly write '12' in some blanks instead of 24, for example.

2) A very basic thing. I am accustomed to write and recognize the digit 7 in the European way. This European handwriting is hard to recognize by Japanese people, and the Japanese normally write it in the way shown here (mostly #1). I know this well, but I am so familiar with the European way and spontaneously write 7 in that way. I always realize this after my hand automatically makes a mistake, and say to myself 'These 5 years made a big difference!'

It should not take a lot of time to recover the habits, though. Let's see.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Croc genomes

A paper reporting results and plans of crocodile genome sequencing is out in Genome Biology.

The consortium page is here. One can also run BLAT searches at the UCSC site.