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Cryptic Message

Hi Ghazal, my Dear,
While waiting for an answer from you, I tried to de-crypt (or decode) a peculiar sequence of numbers to find out if there is a meaningful message hidden in it. The sequence reads as following:

5 2 6 0 2 0 4 2 2 4 1 2 0 1 2 1 5 1 3 3 8 1 4 3 2 4 0 1 4 2 1 2 0 1 2 4 1 2 1 3 3 2 3

Each digit is the number of messages that I wrote to you before I received an answer (during the last 4 month). Therefore, this sequence was virtually generated by you.
On average, you answered after receiving 2.3 mails from me, what is not too bad, considering that you have been very busy writing your thesis. I already thought how to bring the ratio closer to 1 (i.e. that one mail from you is followed by only one from me). This would mean I have to write less frequently, but this unfortunately  would result in much longer messages - a nightmare for you. On the other side, asking you to write more often would prompt you to shorten your e-mails to an SMS format again. And these very short mails too often lack any opportunity to say something important (although you are much more experienced in saying a lot with a view words only).

To decipher a hidden message in the above sequence of numbers, one can group them pair-wises (i.e. 52 60 20 42 24 .....). Using any text that is only known to you and me (i.e. to the sender and to the recipeint of the hidden message) one can re-derive this cryptic messsage by considering each of these two-digit numbers as the position of the next character within the key-text (method is called book-cipher)  (as above:
1. character at position 52
2. character at position 52+60 = 112
3. character at position 52+60+20 = 132 and so on).

With the introduction of your MSc-thesis as the key-text, the hidden message reads :

n matti nfecatskedatt
On the first glance it might still look very cryptic, but by re-positioning the empty spaces and with some fantasy one might read it like:

inmate at infected cats kedat

Ghazal, you have to help me further. Although I can read each single word now, I have no clue what you want to tell me. 

Take Care, my Dear
Hi michael, 

Oh, I"m surprised how far you got with decrypting this hidden massage. To be honest, I was not aware that there was some "meaning" behind the frequencies of my e-mails to you. The more I am surprised that the words make a lot of sense to me: 

"KEDAT"  is the name of my  "INMATE" at the university, with whom I share an office. She was sick ("INFECTED") with flue the last time we met. And now it might be that I ("CAT") caught the infection from her.

I have one general question about the decryption you did: You put the code (the sequence of numbers above) onto your blog, so everybody can read them. Even though the introduction to my MSc thesis is only known to you and me (unless I"m going to publish it in NATURE, ha ha)  I guess with some computing power the hidden message can be deciphered by anybody else, right ?  So how safe is it then ?

Seeing forward to hear you opinion.

take care


Ghazal, my Dear,
Sorry to read that you got cold. I hope it was not provoked by my intense search for a meaning behind the numbers (like a self-fulfilling prophecy). For myself, I try to "ban" the flue-bugs by going swimming in the cold once a week. Up to now, it seems to work.
Take Care, get better


Full Moon at Dawn

Hi Ghazal, my Dear,
I went to the Bayerischer Hof Jazz-Club yesterday, listened to a funny band "Titus Waldenfels and friends" who played on weired instruments. But they had an amazing singer Julia Schöter from Freising. With closed eyes one could imagine it is Natalie Cole there on stage.
Every second song they played was about the Moon. Like "Paper-Moon", "Moon over Manhattan". It appeared, that it was indeed full-moon night, and therefore I did a foto of it (sorry, its a bid blurred, but I hope you like it anyhow.)
Take Care    Michael


hi michael,
who was there at the club yesterday ?  Is the gigolo-type waiter still working ?  I remember when we went there on my last evening in Munich, it was nice Music, but only few guests. Is it always so empty ?


Hi Ghazal,
I think its is always pretty empty during the evening, when the live-bands play. Later at night, they switch to dance-music from CD and it turns more into a night-club. Than more people come, but this happens usually only at around midnight (We had already left then).  The personel is still the same, and they are so friendly and polite, even though they have to deal with strange guest (like yesterday, a middle-aged lady insisted she wants to dance bare-foot (!!). After two songs, she stopped to dance, toke her coat and wanted to leave the club (without paying her bill, but still bare-footed). Still, the waiter remained very polite.



Pierre Curie to Marie Skladovska

(August 10th 1894)
Nothing could have given me greater pleasure than to get news of you. The prospect of remaining two month without hearing about you had been extremely disagreeable to me: that is to say, your little note was more than welcome. I hope you are laying up a stock of good air and that you will come back to us in October. As for me, I think I shall not go anywhere; I shall stay in the country, where I spend the whole day in front of my open window or in the garden.
We have promised each other - haven"t we ? - to be at least great friends. If you will only not change your mind ! For there are no promises that are binding; such things cannot be ordered at will. It would be a fine thing, just the same, in which I hardly dare believe, to pass our lives near each other, hypnotized by our dreams: your patriotic dream, our humanitarian dream, and our scientific dream.
Of all those dreams the last is, I believe, the only legitimite one. I mean by that we are powerless to change the social order and, even if we were not, we should not know what to do; in taking action, no matter in what direction, we should never be sure of not doing more harm than good, by retarding some inevitable evolution. From the scientific point of view, on the contrary, we may hope to do something; the ground is solider here, and any discovery that we make, however small, will remain acquired knowledge.
See how it works out: it is agreed that we shall be great friends, but if you leave France in a year it would be an altoghether too Platonic friendship, that of two creatures who would never see each other again. Wouldn"t it be better for you to stay with me ? I know that this question angers you, and that you don"t want to speak of it again - and then, too, I feel so thoroughly unworthy of you from every point of view.
I thought of asking your permission to meet you by chance in Freibourg. But you are staying there, unless I am mistaken, only one day, and on that day you will of course belong to your friends, the Kovalskis. Believe me, your very devoted PIERRE CURIE

PS: I should be happy if you would write to me and give me that assurance that you intend to come back in October. If you write direct to Sceaux the letter would get to me quicker.

(Ghazal, my Dear, This is a letter that Pierre Curie wrote to his colleague and later wife Marie Skladovska. I found it in a book that I bought as present for christmas (Love Letter of Great Men and Woman, Macmillan Pan Books 2010). It is such a wonderful language, don"t you think so ? And you see, even the two had a deep friendship in addition to their professional relation, Marie Skladosvka not only got her MSc, but two times (!!!!) the Nobel Price (one for discovery of natural radioactivity).
In the letter above Pierre Curie obviously also tries to convince Marie to stay with him, both for a future scientific career but also in privat, although he knows that this suggestion worries her. You know, Ghazal, what I really would like to know: Did Pierre Curie also promised her that staying with him privatly would not hamper her chances to get the Nobel-Prices, same as I tried to convince you in summer, that spending some time with me wont have any negative effect on your MSc project.
Ghazal, I know you have a good sense of humor, don"t you ?
TAKE CARE, have a nice evening and dreams that make you smile.


On 20.12.2010 12:17, Ghazal F. wrote:

Hi Michael,
 I read everything, didnt jump over 1 and 2.
Thank you so much for letting me know. I just tried to organize my chaotic thoughts a bid and introduced chapters 1 -3 in the e-mail.

so the link for Ikea was and accident. maybe your dog was looking for attention.
Maybe our dog did it intentionally, because she felt that you ought to see the IKEA book ?

 So you went to Ikea, they didnt have the pizza yet? I think if you buy food or some cake then you can have free tea or coffee right? I heard a story, that the man who owns Ikea. He went to Ikea somewhere (not in sweden) then he wanted the coffee after his food. They wanted money for it. The man was angry and told them who he is and obviously they were ashamed or they didnt know about the free coffee. good that you got the free coffee.
Do you know, if he ever inspected one of the IKEA shops in Munich ? I was quite satisfied there, nothing for me to complain about. But this, in fact, had mainly to do with you guiding me around and making this visit to an exciting language course in Swedish.

I try to answer as soon as I can. dont have bad thoughts. And it is still Ghazal that answers, not an angel from another universe.
 God to hear this, I feel a big relieve. But still think that parts of you are angel like. Maybe thats one of the facettes of your personality that is only visible to other people.

Its christmas soon. What will you and your family do? I will be at home with christmas-tree. will probably get presents. and then at night I will go to a concert with a friend. Its Googoosh, a persian singer. she is very famous since long back. My first time to see her.
I had a look yesterday on some Googoosh videos on youtube. It is very emotionally, but probably requires knowledge of the lyrics. Are there also songs with her on the CD you once gave to me ? But why does she staines her hair blond ?

your view of people not knowing all about themselves. it was interesting. I wonder how other people see me. would be interesting to see yourself from another point of view. i thought about this when i was younger.but you can never really see how other people see you. but interesting.
Yes, you are right. Only very rarely people are honest enough to tell you which picture they have from  you. Whether it is a positive one or a negative, it requires some convidence between two person to speak out. But on a long term, it is useful to find out. I remember, a friend at university ones told me that  " ... I am very unlikely to have real friends.." and others complained that "... I  am always cynical..". I thought that this was result of an misunderstanding, and tried to change my appearance a bid. Never know whether it helps.

take care

Take Care, Ghazal.


A view from the outside

Hi Michael,
I read everything, didnt jump over 1 and 2.
so the link for Ikea was an accident. maybe your dog was looking for attention.

So you went to Ikea, they didnt have the pizza yet? I think if you buy food or some cake then you can have free tea or coffee right? I heard a story, that the man who owns Ikea. He went to Ikea somewhere (not in sweden) then he wanted the coffee after his food. They wanted money for it. The man was angry and told them who he is and obviously they were ashamed or they didnt know about the free coffee. good that you got the free coffee.

I try to answer as soon as I can. dont have bad thoughts. And it is still Ghazal that answers, not an angel from another universe.

Its christmas soon. What will you and your family do?
I will be at home with christmas-tree. will probably get presents. and then at night I will go to a concert with a friend. Its Googoosh, a persian singer. she is very famous since long back. My first time to see her.

your view of people not knowing all about themselves. it was interesting. I wonder how other people see me. would be interesting to see yourself from another point of view. i thought about this when i was younger. but you can never really see how other people see you. but interesting.
take care



Dear Ghazal,
Was so nice to read your e-mail. I am amazed, because you are very good in saying a lot of things with a few words only. I am very bad in this, very inefficient.
This is a general problem of german language: it needs many words to express simple things. And then, if I want to say it in englisch, I intuitively use a lot of words as well. I think I should learn from you.
I did not knew the story about the IKEA director, but it is really nice. So this man obviously likes to visit his own shops around the world without telling the employees beforehand that he will come. Thats good, that I like a lot.

I was not sure if you celebrate Christmas, now I know. Do you know that the Christmas tree is much older than christian religion. It goes back to pagan faith, when people believed that there are ghosts all over nature, that there are fays living in the forest (I think they are called "Peri" in persian) and angels all around. It is mostly irrational believe, but for me better than christian religion with its punishment, cheap morality and ignorance of science.
You probably also heard that this figure "Santa Claas" is an invention from Coca Cola, and is rejected by the Pope and the Vatican. In particular here in catholic Bavaria the church is heavily campaigning against Santa Claas and the Christmas Trees. They would like to have Jesus Christ and Crosses instead.
I"d like to hear the music by the persian singer Googoosh. Do you think I might find it on youtube ? I once found music by a persian singer Dariousz. It was good, it was very emotional. It gave me a shiver along my back (like Shirley Bassey, but the shiver I got from her is even stronger).

We will stay here, more or less. If the weather is nice, we go to the mountains for skying. But I will also use the time to do some article writing. It will be very quiet in the institute, this means nobody will be here to disturb me. I already have been to Berlin two weeks ago, already prepared the gifts for my parents and my sisters family.

Thanks once again for your mail, I enjoyed very much to read from you. I never got the impression that you have bad thoughts, Ghazal. I just could imagine that you have lots of things to do and to sort out and to organize. I know you are a very planed person, what is good in a sense that you have aims. Please don"t think that I want to interfere with them, I just like to exchange thoughts that - maybe because we are so different and so far away - I can tell much easier to you than to friends or relatives.

I see that I start to write endless epics once again, and risk that you get tired by them. Therefore, I"ll better stop now and instead send another e-mail soon.

Take Care, Ghazal, stay strong and happy and get the bad ghosts out.

PS: One last thing, that might be interesting for you: Do you remember the August "Stjaernfallen" called Persides ? Guess where the name comes from ? You were probably already wondering about it before: It comes from Perseus (son of the mythological beauty Danae, whom Zeuss visited as a golden shower). And there is the theory, that Perseus was the founder of the persian nation. Funny, isn"t it. But not all historicians agree with this.


Orbituary: Blake Edwards

Hi Michael,
When I heard today that Blake Edwards, the congenial director of "Breakfast at Tiffanys" died, I got very sad. My hope for a continuation of this nice movie wont become true any more. Could you imagine how the nice, sad story of Hollie Golightly and Paul Varseck goes on? How would they proceed, after the final kiss on the rainy avenue in New York ?
Coming back to our discussion about Anna Karenina and my suggestion that she very badly represents a prototype loving woman, I always considered Holly the diametral opposite, like the antipode of Anna. Holly, at least during most of the movie (and even more during the entire novel) managed very well to suppress her love and went only for material wealth.
Both, Anna and Holly therefore might represent the two extreme characters, between which each woman changes or from which each of us picks more of the one or the other. Some are more driven by an unconditioned love (Shirley Bassy "The way a woman loves"), others by the search for material safety Shirley Bassy "Diamonds are forever").

Therefore, if I would hope for a continuation of "Breakfast at Tiffanys", it had to be with a Holly Golightly changing her attitude more into a loving relationship.
Like in "The wonderful Baker Boys", where Michelle Pfeiffer also starts as a completely money-oriented and non-emotional woman, and step by step discovers that what she really needs is a loving partner, somebody to share joy and frustration with and somebody to trust.

Hope you have a nice time
Take Care



Hi Ghazal, my Dear,
I never considered Holly Golightly as the antipode of Anna Karenina. In a sense, Anna Karenina was a much stronger, she made her decision once and then followed her own route to the end. Holy, I always saw her as very undecisive. She much more seemed to play a role, the society expected her to play. It was the role of the fashion victim, of the modern girl completely devoted to fancy stuff and luxory life-style. However, in the few moments when she got "the mean reds", she seemed to show a desire for love and for a shoulder to lean on.
But you are probably right, that each real person changes between the two extremes.
But I could imagine, that one is aware one side of such a complex personality much more than the other. And maybe one even needs friends, to show you the other side of your personality. This might sound to you like a very stereotype pseudo-question of want-to-be psychologists. But could you image, that people next to you - your parents, relatives, or just friends - not necessarily know more about you, but that they know some aspects of your personality and your life, that are hidden to yourself ? Because they watch you from the outside, they see you different than you see yourself. They don"t see you better than you see youself, but they can see you in a different light, in different circumstances.

And so do I, always see you in a different light than you see yourself. I think that I can see aspects of your personality, that you try to hide from everybody, perhaps even from yourself. I don"t think that on a long run, hunting for material wealth and economic safety will satisfy you, Ghasal. I"m sure that deep inside you there is the desire for fantasy and for intellectual excitement, there is a great love for knowledge and maybe for what is called in an inflationary way "spirituality".

And on the other side, I now know that you discovered something inside me that I was never aware of before. That I can become extremely careless, ready to give up all material safety and all social and professional position, only because beeing strucked by the sudden love to a girl that arrived here from nowhere"s land, that was just sitting there in her own flare, not moving, not laughing, not speaking, only having her deep-blue eyes moving around.

TAKE CARE, Ghazal.



Something for you to consider: The Shabby Chick

Ghazal my Dear,
I hope you don"t mind this form of address, but I can not imagine starting a letter to you other than this way. O.K. an exception would be "Dear Miss F...", which would be in a funny contrast to the privacy we had here in Munich.

#1 (If you want to read about the mail with the IKEA link, continue here, otherwise go to #2)
Ghazal, my Dear, if your last e-mail had one important message than it was this: if I want to challenge your quiesence, to wake you up, and to make you curious enough to ask something, I have to write something that - with or without intention - appears confusing (like this Web-Site from Ikea). The weblink to Ikea was indeed send of by a a sort of accident. I was just about to save it, when I got distracted by our dog who hit the keybord such a way that it was send to you. In fact, I did not want to send another mail right after, with explanations or excuse could have only made you think I"m mad.

#2 (if you want to learn about a Saturday at IKEA, continue here, otherwise proceed to #3)
Last Saturday I helped a friend to move flat (I think I told you about her: she was my class-mate at gymnasium, and after University married a boy from Algeria, only to got the permission to flee from East-Germany. She has divorced already many years ago, and since then has trouble to sort our her life). Anyhow, as part of her removal into a new flat, she wanted to go to IKEA to buy some furniture. So I drove her there with a small truck, and although the weather was a catastrophy, we arrived there straight (unlike in June when we drove there, and I was so much distracted by you sitting next to me that I missed the exit from the motorway and we ended 50 km further north). This time it was different, more business as usual. My friend is so delicate, that selecting the right kitchen furniture took her 3 hours. Therefore I decided to go to the cafe, since I had the nice memories when we were there and you argued with the service lady about the missing pizza.
Meanwhile, the cafe was rebuild, it is huge and like a lounge area. You can have coffee, tea and even hot chocolate for free, and I think you would like this a lot (the next time you come to Munich we have to go there together). While I was waiting for her to sort out the kitchen furniture, I drank at least 4 tea and 2 and half hot chocolate, and read the entire weekend newspaper. Than, I found a nice book that was on display there, and this book is called "Geliebtes Zuhause" or "ÄLSKADE HEM", as I later found out. It is a funny book, cause it shows 9 swedish houses and their inhabitants. What was interesting for me: that you don"t see any of them living with IKEA furniture, instead they all have a very exotic and non-commercial style. Most of them live in old house, that are anything else than luxurious and comfortable. But all of them emanate an atmosphere of creativity and happiness. If you by chance go to IKEA, have a look at the book. What was really fascinating for me, that our old house here in the eastern part of Munich very much resembles one of the house in this IKEA book. So I got happy to learn that our house is not simply un-finished or primitive, but it can be considered stylish according to swedish taste (by the way, there is a special term for this: Shabby Chic or have a look at this Blog ).
The final essence of this day was: Even though IKEA worked hard to rebuild their coffee-shop, sitting there for 3 hours was a waste of time, if I compare it with the evening we were there together in June. Neither the free tea and hot chocolate nor the new, elegant lounge interior could compensate for the absence of an inspiring company as you were. The nice book, at least, drove my thoughts away a bid.

#3 (you have to continue here, even if you skipped #1 and #2)

... and for the next days, Ghazal my Dear, before I might receive another letter from you not earlier than Saturday, I just try to find out if possibly my mails are just too long and over-stress your patience. It always takes a long time before you answer, and sometimes I already thought that something got lost. But then, I got the feeling you don"t want to tell a lot. O.K., everybody keeps thing for itself, but I hope there was something more exciting and fascinating happening during the last days than a talk to MHR and SH. You must have your thoughts, your plans, your ideas every day, things you enjoy or you dream of. And other things that you hate and you condem, and at least those you could write about (Although I wish so much that there are more moments in your life to enjoy than things that you hate). I remember it was always nice to have long conversations with you, when we met somewhere, but the same seems to be more difficult in writing. You probably don"t like to put thoughts into words and put those into an e-mail. Or maybe you are simply too impatient to wait for e-mails.
I think I still live to a certain degree in a dream-world, and that I continue to write e-mails to you is part of this.
I can never be sure, if there is still this young lady Ghazal, somewhere at the other end of the internet to read my mails and answering them. But I carry on, assuming if it is not her, than maybe an angel in another universe reads it, and sometimes I even believe that this extra-terrestial angel sends back long answers, that appeare on my blog and are signed as /ghazal. These dreams, whether or not they have any real base, keep my mind in ballance. There is too much bullshit in the world that tries to enter our minds and destroy our souls. So what is bad about creating a little universe of dreams, made from old houses, castles, persian cats, frisky dogs and beautiful horses, and an inspiring, charming human beeing with tentalising hair and blue eyes and a dark voice, and to keep this all as barrier against the intruding stupidity from the modern society ?
(PS: Maybe you oppose this view, and I would be extremely glad to read your contradiction. But keep it fresh, send it right away. If you wait for too long, your sensation will fade away !!!)

Otherwise, Take Care my Dear,

Good Night , Enjoy your dreams



Give me one more time

This photo was shot by I.. She approached me so silently from the back, that none of my silly thoughts got interrupted.


What lasts forever ?

Hi michael,

it is hard to tell what will last longer in life, material stuff or love ?
At least when Shirley Bassey sings it, it sounds very convincing to me, that
" will lustre on, when love"s gone."

Diamonds are forever
Sparkling round my little finger
Unlike men, the diamonds linger
Men are mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for

I don't need love
For what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me
For when love's gone
They'll lustre on



Hi Ghazal, my Dear

There is no doubt, that the diamonds will lustre on, and they will last forever, even when the love is gone. But I think that their sparkling shine will loose its importance for us. Maybe it will even become painful, since it reminds us of better times.

Shirley Bassey also had songs with the complete opposite connotation, for instance in this one "the way a woman loves" it says "... a man would love discretely, a woman gives herself away completely."


Anna Karenina

hi michael,
how are you ? Yesterday night I found my mom watching a movie on TV, but the first scenes showed a rather cold winter atmosphere and I already wanted to zap over to another program (cause we have enough snow and frost in reality here in Sweden). My mom, however, insisted to watch this movie so I also stayed. After a few minutes there was a scene on a railway-platform, and a young lady leaving a train through a cloud of steam. It reminded me of a short youtube video you send some days ago, showing Greta Garbo as "Anna Karenina" in an 1934 movie. Now it appeared that we were watching a modern version of the movie, featuring Sophie Marceau as the main character. I think I probably would not have carried on watching it, unless my mom promissed that it is a great movie. She likes romances, and at the end of the film when Anna Karenina committed suicide, I realized that her eyes were full of tears. But this was very likely a sort of planned eruption of emotions, since for sure she knew before how sadly the film will finish. You know, woman can exploite emotions in a very useful way: breaking out in tears can relieve one of a lot of stress. It therefore should not be considered as a sole loss-of-control or as a sign of weakness. It can really help you to feel better later on. So in this sense, "Anna Karenina" is a very helpful movie for woman.
But except for this final scene, we had an argument with my mom, whether Anna did right leaving her husband and son for Vronski, to whom she had suddenly fallen in love with. My mom insisted that Anna did right, and that for such a great love, everything else in the world can be given up. In her opinion, a family relation that is based only on joint wealth, or material interest, or even on joint children, is a weak foundation and is not worth to sacrifice a really strong love for.
I don"t have this idea of a unique value of an ideal love, and that it represents something so extraordinary to neglect material wealth and a social status for. I could not understand how Anna Karenina left behind her easy and convenient life in the upper society and the material safety provided by her rich husband and his aristocratic family. For me it was hard to understand that she gave it all up to follow Vronski into an unknown future, only for the sake of love. Therefore, I consider Anna Karenina a males phantasy. And it is now surprise that Leo Tolstoj wrote it while he had lots of hussle with his wife. Sure, he dreamed of woman following only the voice of love, and not the temptation of material safety when they choose a partner. But thats not how woman usually feel. In the first instance, we are looking for somebody who can provide us with a safe haven for a long time. Love is optional, and might grow later. Therefore, the hype and the mystery around Anna Karenina became so long-lasting because what she did was against normal femal behaviour, whatever sociologists and femal-right activists want to tell us.

But there are exceptions, of course. And for me the best example is my mom. At least now, after her own experiences with husbands and lovers, she would clearly opt for an unconditioned love.

take care


Hi Ghazal my Dear,
Thanks a lot for your long mail, which is a clear proof that you can write not only in SMS-format. I have never considered before that Anna Karenina might be a pure males phantasy, as you suggested. There is nothing I can really contribute to the debate between you and your mom.
For sure, what you wrote about the female quest for material safety is more in agreement with sociologists theories, but also what is known from animal behaviour. So traditionally and in a large scale in society, woman do perhaps always look for a partner that provides best guarantee for a secure life. But there are also many famous examples where woman following an unconditioned love became very happy. Or do you think that this hunt for the supreme love will never end ?
But so will the hunt for material wealth. I think the fairy-tale about the fisher and his wife is known not just in Germany, but in Sweden as well. Like therein, hunting the whole life for nothing more than wealth will leave you at the end unsatisfied.

I liked your observations about the benefical effect of crying, that it will relieve you of stress. I have not tried it on myself, but very well remember when our son was still a baby, sometimes he had stress at the evening, was somehow unhappy about something, and did not want to sleep. I than use to slap him very gentle, not to hurt him, just to make him cry. It appeared, that after crying for some minutes, he became very calm and sleepy. A pediatrician later explained me that through the tears the body can get rid of stress hormones like adrenalin or cortison.
Thats probably what your mom knew instinctively, when she insisted to view the Anna Karenina movie. Ghazal, I hope so much that you don"t need tears to get rid of stress hormones. I remember that during your MSc project you have been very good of managing stress by other means.

Take Care, my Dear



Soldier of Love

Hi michael,

In case you want to listen to some great music, have a look at this collection of Sade"s greatest hits (you can click each of them and listen the full length title - if you don"t stop, it even plays the entire album).
And there is a video of her performing for her newest album. Its unbelievable, she is already 52 and makes such a powerful and young appearance. When you send me some of her music in July and asked me to guess her age, I was somehow sure that she is my age (just by listening to the music). But still now, seeing her performing in this video of her latest 2010 recordings, she is still so fresh and tempting.

Hope you are alright, my Dear, every day has at least one or two great moments and you feel amazing.

take care


The Velocity of Time (and how we feel it)

Hi michael,

okay, so 4 institutes will go together and become the department of radiation research? which institutes are these?
the movie that you mentioned i have never seen before. Gustafsson is a very common name.
 time pass to fast, unbelivable. just enjoying the free days that i have left. hope time goes slow!
 hope you had a good weekend.



Hi Ghazal my Dear,

So nice reading your mail. I just came in, we went out for a long walk because it was a beautiful Sunday, icecold but sunny. Finally, winter started here as well. This year it was a perfect program:  We had almost later summer temperature till first half of November, and now, two weeks later, already winter climate. This intermediate autumn, with its wet and windy temperature lasted only two weeks.
I went swimming today in the little river next to our house (maybe you remember I wrote you in summer about it, it has several old stone bridges spanning over its cristal water). Swimming is still fine there, the water is warmer than the air (about 6 degrees I guess). After taking a bath for a minute, one gets very hot (think its like a counter-reaction of the body, like adaptive response).

The three institutes of the research-center that officially fused to form a Department are Radiation Biology, Radiation Protection, Cytogenetics and Medical Radiation Protection. I think the idea was more to save the institutes from beeing closed down, since there is actually not very much scientific exchange between the 4 institutes. Its merely political.

The center of Munich is very crowded nowadays. People start X-mas shopping, its crazy. I think people, although they are mostly catholics here, have forgotten that christmas has a non-comercial tradition. But I"m quite sure, you would also like it, to join millions of other people on their caravan through the department stores, don"t you ?  What I like about the winter time in the city center is a big scating course they do on the Karlsplatz/Stachus (you might remember, where in summer-time there was the big fountain). This is really fun, one can do ice-scating, or just watch the other people doing it, or eat some grilled saussages.

I talked last week to Mrs. Friderike E-S, who studied UV-repair her whole life through. I asked her about the problem, if cells of different origin differ in their UV-repair capacity (depending on whether or not they can be exposed to sun-light at their normal position of the body).  I told her that our hypothesis was that cells that origin from inside the body (lymphocytes, endothelial cells, neurons, muscle-cells and so on) might have a much lower UV-repair capacity than cells that are naturally sun-exposed (like skin fibroblasts or -melanocytes or epidermal  or retinal cells).
She explained the following:  There is no special DNA-repair system just for UV-induced damage. The nucleotide-excision and base-excision repair systems are essential to remove DNA damages induced by chemicals as well, like alkylating agents or free-radicals. And since these agents can cause DNA damage anywhere in the organism, most cells have the capacity to repair base-damages,   8-oxo-guanine, thymidine-dimers and all the other lesions, and therefore they are also prepared to repair these damages  if they are induced by UVA-exposure in the laboratory.
I wrote some ideas about this on my blog, in case you want to read. Ghazal, I hope you don"t mind that I wrote it like a scientific dialogue, and it reads as if this fictional person "Ghazal" explains this.  Hope you don"t hate that I put the words into the mouth of somebody else.

You wrote in your mail that you feel your time is passing very fast now, and you would like to slow it down a bit. I think it might depend from where you observe this. If you mean the present time, the moments you are just experience now:  they seem to be short and run fast, if you are busy, if you have something important to do. Like when you did your thesis during the last weeks of September/October, I guess you felt that the few hours of the day passed away like minutes. But if you look back to such a busy period of your life, it seems as if this expanded, because you filled it up with something important.  This for me is most obvious when travelling. If you finally arrive at your destinations in the evening, you just can not believe any more that 12 hours ago you still were at home. It seems as if this was many day ago.  Do you know this feeling, Ghazal ?   I guess so, because last year you also traveled a lot.
But this changes to the complete opposite, if one has nothing to do. Than the time one actually feels at the moment passes very slowly (for instance if you have to wait at the dentist or for a bus that does not arrive). It feels as if the minutes are hours. But later, if you look back, a period of your life where nothing important happened can appear very short.

I hope you are not fed up with all these long essays. You don"t have to answer them all, but I"m always very happy reading some words from you.

Take Care, Ghazal

PS:  Yes, I would have been surprised if you would know this movie with Greta Garbo. I also saw it just by chance in the TV, because Leo Tolstoy, who wrote the novel, died 100 years ago. But if you just click on the youtube-link that shows a short scene from it, don"t you think its amazing, how Greta Garbo appeared trough the steam of train ?


The Great Garbo

Hi Ghazal my Dear,

Thanks for your nocturnal e-mail, for every single word. We had a big meeting in the helmholtz-center yesterday night, it was on the occasion of fusing four institutes into a Department of Radiation Research. It was a big reception, but it was very political (what is not my favorite). I came home quite late, and the more I was happy reading your mail.

Recently I thought of you, when I watched an old hollywood-movie, "Anna Karenina" from 1935. It was re-filmed since then many times, but none of the newer versions (like the recent from 1997 featuring Sophie Marceau) came close the early one from 1935 with Greta Garbo (I think it is considered among the top 100 important movies of cinematography). I don"t know if you (after Breakfast at Tiffanys) are willing to watch another old movie, that is even 20 years older.
Greta Garbo (also nicknamed "the great Garbo" or the Divine") reminded me of you, how she arrived in the movie the first time, through the steam of the train. She had the same extraordinary expression in her eyes and her face as you have, a sort of enigmatic aristocracy, as if she came from another world.
What is a funny coincidence: her real maiden name was Gustafsson, so maybe she was a relative to Lars Gustafsson. I think I have to ask him. Or do you think, that Gustafsson is a too common name in Sweden ? But Greta Garbo (former Gustafsson) did not looked typical swedish, for my feeling she looked more oriental or south european. And before going to Hollywood, she lived in Stockholm.

I hope you don"t mind that again I tell you things you have not asked me about. I hope you are well up, that you fill your days with pleasure and your nights with exciting dreams.




dear michael,

I did not know that Greta Garbo was such an international star. I remember that, quite often when we went to the center of Stockholm with my family, we passed along a little memorial that show a very pale face, and this was commemorating Greta Garbo.


To be honest, I never watched a movie with her, but my parents told me that she was a famous swedish actress of last century. But it was a long time before I was born. And on the memorial plate she looks a bit sad and cold, so I was never tempted to see her acting in a film. But I like the short scene from "Anna Karenina" that you send from youtube, where she arrives by train and suddenly appeares through the steam.
Do you know that, when I arrived the first time in Unterschleissheim by train, and you met me there to help with my luggage, I was feeling the same ?
I had many doubts, I felt lonely and was afraid to be on my own for the next month without my parents. It was good that you came to meet me, not just to carry my suitcases.
Platforms and trains are always the same, does not matter whether in Russia 100 years ago or in Munich in 2010. They all give you this impression of arriving at an unknown, hostile place, but later you stand there again on the same platform and have to leave this place, just when you got comfortable with it.

Hope you have a nice day and night

Take Care



Ghazal my Dear,

That"s strange: when I watched the movie recently I somehow knew that it was not just Greta Garbos eyes and the expression on her face that reminded me of you. I could not tell where this strong feeling of a deja-vu came from. But now you gave me the solution, Ghazal. It was the very scene when Greta Garbo (aka Anna Karenina) arrives by train and she and Wronskij see each other for the first time, and both are like struck by a lightning.
Now I know it was very much like the day in May when you arrived here, and I was waiting for you on the train station. I probably was shivering, when I saw you leaving the train, whereas Wronsky in the movie, behaving in a typical soldiers manner looked rather frozen like a stone statue.
When you said that you did not felt very confident about the project in Munich and how to live here on your own for 6 month, I tell you one could not recognise these doubts on your face. You looked very aristocratic, as usual, very calm and confident. But only later I understoud how experienced you are in hiding emotions.

Take Care, Ghazal



full moon and wild geese

hi michael,
I don"t know what was wrong with your sophisticated calculation, but I could not spot any meteor this time ! I went over to Shafa, since her windows faces southward, and it is always fun to be with her and have a chat. So we were sitting in front of her big window, with tea and some sweets, but all we could see was the hugh full moon shining through the clouds. But unlike in August, when we were in the Park in Unterschleissheim to watch the Perseides, this time the sky was almost 100% covered with clouds. So I don"t know, whether we were blinded by the moon, or the stjaernfallen were all obscured by the clouds, anyhow there was nothing that looked like the amazing meteor we saw together in summer.
Have you been more successful ?

Thanks anyhow for the calculation - I have never seen your handwriting before.

take care

PS: I have not jet found sufficient data from the journals to make a firm conclusion about different UVA-repair capacity in different cells of the human body. You asked, why people study UV-repair in lymphocytes, considering they are in their normal physiological situation never exposed to UV-light.
But you should consider, that what we call UV-repair is in fact a DNA-repair mechanism that can process a larger class of damages, not just UV-induced ones. Base damages, nucleotide damages, O6-methyl-guanine and the like are all repaired by the NER- or BER-system that we study after UVA-exposure. And because lymphocytes (as well as other cells of inner organs) can always be affected by those types of DNA-lesions (for instance after free-radicals or just by replication errors), they are probably able to repair UVA-damage es well. The cell, at the end, does not know where the damage comes from (UVA or free-radicals), it just feels the damage and responds to it.


Hi Ghazal, my Dear,

Yes, you are probably right, I had not considered this before. But I guess at the moment UV-repair is not so important, I mean because there is just no sunshine. At least here in Munich.
Hope it is more pleasant over there in Sweden.

So nice you acknowledged the calculation, although the clouds were not considered therein :-(
But at least the moon was visible from here and from your place, have a look I did a photo of it. And by chance there was a flock of wild geese flying across. Might be they came from Skandinavia, on their way to the south. Maybe you also saw them a couple of days before, while they were just starting their journey in Sweden.
Yesterday I passed along the cafe, where we went in May (think it was the 19th, after you did the test for the german course at the Gasteig evening school). I remember that you had an iced chocolate then, and I had a tea. The waiter was asking you where you came from, and you had to explain him all the details of your odyssee from Stockholm via London to Munich.
Yesterday, there were only a few people sitting inside the place, and all of them looked like regular customers, who use to go there frequently. They all seemed to be very cool, I guess none of them had any reason for an emotional irritation as I had, when I was sitting there with you. When I saw the place again yesterday, it all came back to my mind in a second. I hope you keep the place in good remembrance. I think you should, Ghazal, because at this time in May you perhaps haven"t been very confident about your MSc project yet, and how you will manage it. Maybe you have been afraid that this whole formal genetics would all be too complicate, and it will cause you only lots of stress but no scientific satisfaction. I hope so much, that now, after this half year you can laugh about the doubts you had in May.

Hope everything is o.k. with you, and that you enjoy every day.




A Joint Meteor Party

Hi Ghazal my Dear,
You recently raised the issue of spotting simultaneously the same meteor from your place in Stockholm and from here in Munich.
It appears it is not as simple as you thought, since you cannot compare it with the moon, sun or stars that, if they are high enough always look the same from here and from there. The difference is, that meteors, once we see them glowing, have already entered the upper layer of the earth atmosphere (about 100km altitute). And therefore, it is a matter of whether they are still above the horizon of an observer or below, and this determines if they are visible or not. Trigonometric calculation (see below) shows, that a meteor coming down as far as 1121 km from the location of an observer would still appear above the horizon (and therefore be visible). Munich and Stockholm are exactly 1310 km distant from each other (on a direct line, not motorway, railway or flight), and therefore each meteor coming down halfway between the two would easily be visible (since the distance to each of the two observers would only be 655 km).
And even more, all meteors coming down within a +/- 54 degrees radiant around the direct line could also be visible (i.e. about one quarter of the whole skies circumsphere, what is not too bad). So my suggestion for the Leonides meteor-shower on the 17th of november is: If we two agree on a defined observation time (maybe one hour around midnight), and we both look in the right direction, and there are no clouds, and we are lucky, and we believe in this calculation, and the Leonides shower has not choosen another trajectory this year, and there are now vampires biting us at night, and there are no drunken guys distracting us, and no haloween - kids begging for sweets, and no snowmen melting next to us and and and ....
then we might be really lucky and both spot the same meteor at the same moment. Our wishes, most likely will neutralise each other, I"m sure, so life will carry on.

TAKE CARE, my Dear




Hi michael,

So your calculation shows that if I would look southward from here and you would look northward from Munich, we might both spot the same meteor tonight ? Does your calculation also considers by chance the outside temperature ? You can"t expect me to wait outside our house for an hour tonight, since we have already snow here and its freezing cold. And anyhow, even if I would spot a meteor tonight, knowing that the same one is visible from Munich, it would not be as wondeful as at was in August, when we saw the "Stjaernfallen" from the park behind the guesthouse. Then it was warm, a nice summer night, and it was fun to be there together. I think I will skip the meteors tonight. But your calculation should equally hold true for next years Perseides in August, right? But then, who knows, maybe I"m back in Munich, and the distance between us shrinks from 1310 km to just a few cm.

I wish you a pleasant night anyway

Take care


PS: I could stay inside and try to spot some of the meteors tonight through the window, can"t I ?


Ghazal, my Dear,

Assuming there is a clear sky tonight, you might spot a meteor through the window, why not.
Which side does your window face ? north, south ?



Dear michael,

I checked, the window of my room faces north, and our kitchen to the west. What is the best ?



I guess if you watch through your window northward, you perhaps wont see the meteors, but you have a good chance to see Polar-Light. By the way, since Polar-Light comes also from the upper atmosphere (like the meteors), the calculation is equally valid for them. This means, you might see the same Polar-Light looking northward as an eskimo in Greenland or a reindeer farmer in Lappland.
But they don"t know about you, they have never seen the magic of your blue eyes, my Dear. Maybe for them the polar light is something very common, or even something frightening. And unlike me, they don"t associate it with a particular person, whom they miss a lot who might watch it at the very same moment.

O.k., I have to accept that the Leonides meteor shower is not the most suitable to watch it outside in Sweden, despite all my calculations. However, in case I spot a meteor tonight, I"ll imagine that at least in your dreams you see the same one, and that it takes you on to an angel flight through the night sky.

TAKE CARE, enjoy



Lang Lebe das Freie Berlin (Lars Gustafsson)


Diesen Montag, genau 2o Jahre nach dem sogenannten Fall der Mauer (oder "Mauersturz" wie es im Schwedischen genannt wird) endet ein ganzes Jahr voller Erinnerungsveranstaltungen, mit extra dafür geschriebenen Büchern, mit Augenzeugeberichten, Ausstellungen und jetzt mit einer Reihe von Konzerten. Und diese Veranstaltungen werden sämtlichst an historischen Orten stattfinden: Auf dem Platz vor dem Reichstag, am Brandeburger Tor und auf dem Potzdamer Platz. Natürlich mit einem Feuerwerk, und mit prominenten Rednern wie Michael Gorbachov und Hans-Dietrich Genscher, mit Rockmusik und der Staatskapelle Berlin unter seinem Dirigenten Daniel Barenboim. Aber es wird auch Veranstaltungen mit einem gewissen Witz geben, wie zum Beispiel eine anderthalb kilometer lange Mauer aus bunten Dominosteinen, die dann ebenfalls umgestossem werden wird, fast so wie es mit der richtigen Berliner Mauer geschah. Das wird voraussichtlich bei allen echten Berlinern grossen Jubel auslösen.
Denkt dann wirklich noch jemand, dass das alte Westberlin irgendwie interessanter war mit seinen Agenten und seinen Künstlern, oder dass die frühere DDR tatsächlich idyllischer und schöner war, mit seinen Plattenbauten und seinen Trabantenstädten ? Gibt es noch jemanden, der sich die Schüsse an der Mauer und versteckte Mikrophone zurück wünscht ?
In den Tagen während dieser Feierlichkeiten wohne ich in einer grosszügigen Etagenwohnung in Schöneberg, deren hohe Räume einen ähnlich hallende Akustik haben wie das Stockwerk, in dem ich nur 500 meter entfernt im November 1972 wohnte. Dort war ich ständig mit Schreiben beschäftigt und dort entstanden meine beiden Bücher "Yllet" und "Sigismund". Der einzige Unterschied ist der grosse Park hier gegenüber, der jetzt in den schönsten Herbstfarben erstrahlt. Und die fast ausserirdische Kälte, nicht zu vergessen.
Dieses Berlin des Jahres 2009 ist eine fast völlig veränderte Stadt. Und von vielen Berlinern hört man, dass sie selber das Gefühl verspüren als wären sie von einer Stadt in eine andere umgezogen, ohne sich selbst wirklich fortbewegt zu haben.
Besucher aus Schweden, die in den70er Jahren aus Ostberlin zurückkehrten, waren oft voller Begeisterung. Egal ob Seeleute oder Kirchen-Mitarbeiter, sie alle brachten scheinbar neue Ideen von dort mit. So übernahmen wir aus Ostberlin zum Beispiel die Idee der "Einheitsschule" (schwedisch "Einhetsskola"). Und vom Theater am Schiffbauerdamm kamen neue Impulse von den Aufführungen der Stücke von Brecht.

Wenn man sich jetzt die Reste der Mauer auf den Zeitungsbildern anschaut, wirkt das ja sehr pitoresque mit all den Graffities, als wäre die Mauer in erster Linie als eine riesige Freifläche für künstlerische Experimente errichtet worden.
Zu leicht vergisst man dabei, dass es hinter der für uns immer bunt bemalten Vorderseite auch eine Rückseite gab, die nur grau war und die zusammen mit einem Mienenstreifen und Selbstschussanlagen eine absolut tödliche Zone darstellte, verziert mit Stacheldraht and Scheinwerfer-Anlagen. Das war die eigentliche Mauer, und diese richtete sich, einmalig in der Welt, nicht gegen eine Bedrohung von Aussen, sondern zielte nach Innen, auf seine eigenen Bewohner.
Die Selbstschuss-Anlagen, wahrscheinlich ein Begriff der wegen seiner
Abstrusität nur in wenige fremde Sprachen übersetzt werden musste, waren geschickt konstruierte Geräte, die an Pfosten entlang des Grenzstreifens angebracht waren und durch elektrische Kontakte ausgelöst auf einen Grenzflüchtlig eine tödliche Salve von Schrottschüssen abgeben konnte. Diese Anlagen arbeiteten nicht nur äusserst "effizient" 24 stunden am Tag ohne erkennbare Ermüdunsgerscheinungen, sondern sie befreiten auch das Grenzpersonal von der unliebsamen Pflicht, selber einem Schiessbefehl Folge leisten zu müssen.

Ich erinnere mich, wie ich eines Morgens irgendwann im November 1972 in der Feiherr-von-Stein Strasse zu Frühstück ein Buch las und miterlebte, wie zwei junge Leute in dem Wasserlauf entlang der Grenze ertranken, nachdem sie auf ihrer Flucht durchs Wasser von tödlichen Schüssen der Grenzer getroffen wurden, und wie die Westberliner Feuerwehr untätig zuschauen musste, weil es ihr nicht erlaubt war, mit dem Schlauchboot auf das Grenzgewässer hinaus zu fahren um die Verletzten zu retten.
Am Grenzübergang Friedrichstrasse gab es immer beleidigende Situationen, wenn die Grenzpolizisten erst unter dem Zug alles mit Spiegeln und Lampen an langen Stäben absuchten um sich dann dem Inneren unserer Koffer zuzuwenden, in denen ja verbotene Bücher wie F.Nietzsche versteckt sein könnten. Mich würde sehr interessieren, wie meine jungen Mitstreiter in der schwedischen Piratenpartei sich wohl damals verhalten hätten.
Nachdem dann diese Mauer gefallen war, kamen viele Geheimnisse ans Licht, die vorher unverständliche Ereignisse plötzlich durchschaubar machten. So weiss man jetzt, dass der Polizist, der den Studenten Benno Ohnesorg während einer Anti-Schah Demonstration erschoss, in Wirklichkeit ein bezahlter Mörder des Ostens war. Westdeutsche Terroristen bekamen Unterstützung von staatlichen Stellen der DDR und Schriftsteller schrieben mehr Spitzelberichte als Belletristik.
Kurz und gut, der Fall der Berliner Mauer war ein gewaltiger Sieg der Freiheit, und wie der Paukenschlag in der Ouverture Leonora 3 zu Beethovens Fidelio, beendete er ein langes und sehr schmerzhaftes Ringen um Selbstbestimmung, das nicht in Deutschland, sondern bereits 10 Jahre früher in Polen, Ungarn und der Tschechoslovakei begonnen hatte.
wenn am Abend des 9. November die grosse Party am Brandenburger Tor beginnt, ist eine endgültige Bewertung dieses Umbruchs aber immer noch schwer zu erhalten. Soll man wie Tenger sagen. "Die Wahrheit setzt sich durch" ? Oder es eher mit Hans Magnus Enzensberger halten und seinem "Der Sozialismus funktioniert nicht. Punkt. Aus." ?

(english translation A.F.
german translation M.R.)


Sentenced to death for adultery - the cruel face of iranian justice

Hi Ghazal,
Thanks for writing about the case of Mrs. Sakine Ashtiani in Teheran and the threat of her beeing killed by stoning. I did not knew about her, but what you wrote is shocking. I don"t know what is worth, shooting people at the Berlin Wall or killing an innocent woman by stoning (and having this "officialy" approved by a court sentence). I read that although the original court decision to stone Mrs. Ashtiani has been withdrawn, she still faces death penalty by hanging.
I found a website of an initiative to protest against this injustice, one can click here to sign a petition .


More information about this case is available in an article of the german newspaper FAZ and in the New York Times.


Meteors and Walls - both fall down in November

Dear Ghazal,

Befor too much time passes away, I further translated the text by Lars Gustafsson (which you brought into English some month ago) and put a german version on my blog. I also send it to Mr. Gustafsson, maybe he uses it further. Do you also want your english version have it published ? The reason I did it today was that in a few days will be the 21st anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Ghazal, my Dear, I suspect you are not too much involved in these political events. Thats fine, I understand this.
If possible, one should try to use this precious lifetime for creative things, rather than to fight against walls or against political unjustice. Unfortunately, too often the political circumstances dont allow us to live in peace, and one is reminded on the poem by B Brecht:
(B.Brecht: An die Nachgeborenen)

Hope you are fine, and happy and in a sort of harmony with the world and your life.
In case not, maybe you can dream of it, and this can help to make it come true.

Sleep well, Take Care,


Hi michael,

I did not know so much about the Berlin Wall and what happend there, I think I was much too young when this was an issue. You are right, I am probably not very interested in politics, think that there are more crucial problems in my life. But maybe it is because here in Sweden there was never a lot of political fight. Therefore, it is only when I hear some news from other countries that suddenly can make me very angry, and then I would like to fight against injustice.

Maybe you heard about a case in Iran, that a woman, Sakine Ashtiani has been sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery. I was crying when I read this. I am probably very emotional in this case, since I know some of my relatives are living there and also I love the home country of my family a lot, for its people, its great cultural heritage and so on. And the more I got angry when I hear that an inhuman gouvernment in Teheran can keep people in custody, tortures them, kills them.

And yes, you are right, that when we hear about political crime or injustice, we can"t enjoy any more the nice things in life. For instance something very basic, but amazing like a meteor shower that is expected next week. I doubt it will be as impressive as the one we saw on August 24th in the park behind the Guesthouse, but who knows.
The Stjaernfallen expected in the night from 17th to 18th of November belongs to the Leoniden.

I"ll try to watch them in the night of the 17th, and in case you also go out, we may even spot the same meteors. Or do you think that I might see some here in Stockholm, and you see different ones from Munich? They should be the same, for my feeling. I mean we also see the same stars and moon and sun, why should we see different meteors then ?

For tonight, TAKE CARE


The scale of relaxation

Hi Ghazal my Dear,

Thanks a lot for writing and for keeping me up-to-date about your progress in relaxing. Do you have like a scale of relaxation ? Like starting at October 27 (after your exam) with 0%, and now already reaching 95% to finally come close to 100% at the end of the year (and then stay on this level for long time) ?
You would deserve this, Ghazal, thats for sure. You have been working hard enough the whole summer through.

For me its almost the other way around: For me summer was very relaxing, but also exciting and thrilling. And I still profit from these few month. And now its more business as usual, without the regular after-work visits with you, to restaurants, shops, funny places.

Next year we will have an important evaluation of our institute, therefore we have to publish as much as possible in short time. Its a very political thing, though. For me science was always something with a metaphysical value, something that other people (who are religious) would consider a dialogue with god. For me it is a dialogue with the nature, but for sure nothing that beaurocrats should get involved in.

I miss a lot the conversation with you, although you have never been very strong or undisputabel with what you said. Sometimes there were more statements visible in your eyes than outspoken in your words. Now this silent way of communication is not working any more, I have no clue about what you think when you read my mail. Since I can"t see your eyes, it could be that you got bored about my messages, maybe you think its rediculous or just stupid what I tell you.

On 30-10-2010 11:47, Ghazal F wrote:
> Hi Michael,
> Oh, 18 degrees in Munich is warm. here its cold.
> enjoy the warm days then.

Yes, but as expected: It was the last day yesterday with warm weather, last day to go out swimming. Today grey autumn has conquered southern germany.

> Yes I forgot to remove the data and photos from the computer,
> didnt know that I have to. So you can delete everything.
> I dont need it. I have all the important things. Thank you.

O.k., I deleted all data and files from the network drive,
after saving it locally. From the images, I only keep two.
hope you don"t mind.

> Yes I have been to movies, I saw "the other guys", "saw 3"
> and "social networking". They were good.

I had a look at the trailer of "Saw 3D". Was as shocked as before recognising that you enjoy such violent movies. "Social Networking" I"d like to see, from a psychological interest in people and what drive them. The movie "No one knows about persian cats" is still not on the screen in Munich. They obviously missed it, its a shame. One probably has to get it on DVD.

> take care

I"ll do my best.

> /ghazal



Baby you can drive my 007 Aston Martin

Hi Michael,

I came home yesterday, at night. Everything went good and I passed. I think the half-moon brought me luck. moon29102010Thank you for all your help. I dont think anyone understood my project really, only one professor was asking me questions, but it was only some questions about the graphs.

Hope everything is fine with you.

take care

PS: At the end I"d like to tell you something funny: Do you know that right during my exam at UCL a few miles further south the road, at Battersea Park (must have been the area where you lived between 1993 and 1995) the real James Bond 007 Aston Martin car was auctioneered, and it "went over the counter" for 2.6 Mill. Pound. Some scenes from the original movie are here. And the most impressive intro with the title song by Shirley Bassey. Don"t know if you like this.
What I just found funny was the idea, that - while I was struggeling at UCL through the exam - you went to the auction at Battersea Park to bet for this car (I know your crazy love for exquisit vehicles ;-}

Ghazal my Dear,

I can"t tell how happy I was hearing from you. How do you feel now, after having passed this important step on your professional path ? Do you feel relieved now, or rather exhausted ? Do you want me to update your homepage, stating that you now completed your MSc successfully ?
What are your next plans ? If you start to feel homesick for Munich, the guesthouse and who knows what else: Just take the next flight that brings you here.

Its very sunny those days, cold in the morning but usually gets quite warm during the day. Occasionally, I still go swimming in the lake after work. This morning I met your horse, but I think it did not saw me because of the mist.horses-in-morning-mist-29102010-2

I"m fine, more or less. Usually, when I got a mail from you and you ask about this I immediately feel alright. It is just the days when I don"t hear from you that make me become despair. Have not yet found a remedy for this.
What is realy a big, big relieve for me: That I don"t have this feeling of guilt anymore for illegally mixing personal feelings and professional relations, and that you might feel obliged to write or meet me only because you worry about the progress of your thesis. Its good that this is not an issue any more, that you passed your exam with glamour and you are now a fresh Master-of-Science. And I know that if you send me a mail now than this will only be because you like to do so and not because you think you have to please your supervisor. About this I am so happy, Ghazal.
It is a pitty that I missed the Battersea Car Auction, since I like James Bond a lot. But it is not just for the exquisit cars that he used to drive, but I admire the whole character of 007 and how he is placed in the system a lot. He represents a sort of prototype british hero: not ranking at the top of the hirarchie (like all the clerks of Q and M and the directors and minister and the prime-minister in their offices), 007 is the out-door hero, the one doing the field work. But at the end it is him who deserves our sympathy, who is the funny one and whom the girls like most for his smartnes and his humor and his dirty elegance.


Rose Blossom

Ghazal, my Dear,

You may have not recognized yourself how happy you were looking today. With every single detail of your thesis that you corrected and improved, with every minor spelling mistake or format problem that you could eliminate, your relaxed smile that was rarely visible during the last weeks returned step by step.
It seemed as if a rose that was left dry for days and suffered from drought, was given fresh water and re-opened its blossoms again.
And immediately it released its tantalising scent that was kept hidden behind its grey soft leaves.
I hope so much your happiness lasts for ever, not only untill you see your parents on Wednesday but maybe even untill you return to Munich.

Enjoy the evening, the night, the quiescence or the music, be careful with your blossom leaves, so they don"t brake under the pillow.


PS: About the movie "The Town", Ghazal: don"t think that I have disclosed any detail of the plot. I just told you it has an happy-end. But the happy-end comes in a complete unexpected (and maybe even un-believable) move. Maybe you prefer to use now the probability terms and call such an unexpected event "against all odds". I don"t think that I have told you too much to spoil the excitement. It is a great movie, it is a crime story I like, its very masculine in healthy way: it is about gaining for wealth, fighting for freedom from poverty and about the an eternal dream to leave behind the misery. The violence done by the gang during their bank robberies is never an aim, it is something that the system and the society are producing by keeping the majority of people in poverty.
At the end, when all the violence finishes, the love between the two main characters survives.
What is bad about this ? We always dream that this will happen, don"t we ?


Discovery of a habitable planet (also for horses ?)

Ghazal, my Dear,

What a funny coincidence that today, just a couple of days after you speculated about finding a house for us on the moon astronomers from Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C announced the discovery of the first extra-terrestrial habitable planet in the universe. For sure, the moon is much closer to the earth, to your family and friends, and you probably can even spot Sweden from there if it is "Full-Earth". According to the U.S. astronomers, however, the living conditions on "Gliese 581g" as the planet was named, should be much more convenient than the surface of the moon. O.k., I have to admit, you have to spend more for transportation (Gliese 581g is about 20 light-years or 190 billion km away from europe, moon "only" 380 000 km), but I would be ready to spend some extra money for the flight tickets, but have a nice environment instead (like on earth, the value of a property mainly depends on the three factors "location, location and location"). Talking about the living conditions there, of course one cannot expect exactly the same as on earth, but I guess we could easily accomodate to them. For instance, the seasonal year is only 37 days long (whether there ARE seasons like summer and winter here on earth is not known yet). There are, however day and night, that"s for sure. And the day-and-night rhythm seems to be much more human (first estimate is between 25 and 35 hours) than what you have in northern Sweden with their 180 days polar-day followed by another 185 days darkness.
There is one problem, and thats the mass of Gliese 581g: Since it is about 3 times heavier than the earth, physics unavoidably will give everything there a 3 fold higher weight. So the first weeks up there would be quite exhausting, walking, standing or dancing will be a tough physical exercise, untill our skelleton, joints and muscle strengthen and got used to carry this extra weight. The good thing and the best way to get around this stressful gravitational stress is the existence of water up there on Gliese 581g. Calculations show that there will be plenty of lakes, oceans and beaches, and the water should be crispy and cristal-clear. There just was no messy industry or agriculture or human sewage to spoil the water). And swimming, you should know, we would not feel our extra weight any more because of the (hydrostatic principle discovered by Archimedes).
Anyhow, whether you believe him or not and whether you like spending most of your day in the water, it is good that neither you nor me have any weight problems here on earth. This is for sure a good pre-condition to relocate to Gliese 581g, and maybe they even want to see a health-certificate for this when you ask for entry visa up there.

Hope you sleep well, and maybe in your dream discover some extra "must-sees" on this planet.

Take Care,


PS: You don"t have to prepare you luggage right now. And for sure: You first have to finish your MSc project and got the degree, because this improves your chances to make a scientific career on "Gliese 581g".


hi michael,

what ???? I don"t wanna go to this extra-terrestrial planet ! I just made up my mind, and after struggling with myself again and again and weighing every pro and con, and talking with my family in Sweden I declined to consider a future here in Munich. Thats 980 km away from Stockholm, and I wont accept any further distance. Not the moon ("only" 380 000 km ha, ha, ha) let alone a planet that is so far away, that even the light needs 20 years to reach stockholm. So then, everything the U.S. astronomers discovered now only shows how this planet was 20 years ago. Things can change so rapidly, michael, just have a look on our earth and ourself: 20 years ago we didn"t had mobile phones, but instead Freddy Mercury and Frank Zappa were still alive. You have been in east-berlin working in the station-bistro and I was a 4-year old baby-girl carried around europe on the arms of my beloved parents. How can we be sure that during the last 20 years no massive industrialisation started on this strange planet, or that global cooling down turn all the lakes and oceans into ice-skating courses ? Thats my last word. This planet is not an option for me.
And by the way, I came along this marvellous horse range this morning, on my way to the lab. It was a mystic scenery, how the horse appeared slowly from the morning mist.horses-in-morning-mist.
When I was a kid, my dad used to read me persian fairytales, in which a white camel played a role, because it rescued Zartusht (or Zaratustra as you call him) from the deluge. I think you mentioned this legend also on your blog entry form July 16th. I fell in love with this camel, and the horses I met this morning reminded me of it. I think their physical strength and mental calmness are similar, and that makes both of them good companions to men. There was a display on the horse farm, and as much as I understoud german, they offered to give you one of the horses for riding out, if you agree to take care of it and clean it and feed it, it wont even cost a lot. So this, I have to admit, was one reason for me to consider staying in Munich.
I doubt that there will be horses on this far planet, therefore I also don"t want to go there.

Hope you understand my concern, michael.

Have a good night, and good dreams.



Here you go again

Ghazal my Dear,

Before you escape into dreams, give your ears (and your soul) something extra to enjoy (It is not a lullaby, though):

Now here you go again
You say, you want your freedom,
Well, who am I to keep you down ?
It"s only right that you should
Play the way you feel it,
But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat drives you mad,
In the stillness of remembering what you had,
and what you lost.

Sleep well, Take Care, Michael


hello michael,

thanks a lot for the link to this nice song. Although I have to admit the lyrics are tough, can"t imagine that this beautiful woman Stevie Nicks wrote and performed this song, that has so firm statements about staying and leaving. The last words :
"Like a heartbeat drives you mad,
In the stillness of remembering what you had,
and what you lost" . I understand this well enough. Sometimes you loose things or people or even yourself, sometimes you are happy and find them again. Sometimes even a stranger finds them and brings them back to you, and brings even something extra for you (like when you brought back the bike that had been stolen, and you had filled the luggage rack with flowers. This was so nice, I did not want to bring the flowers to my room, much more liked to keep them on the bike and drive around and show the people.

I found another great song by Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. Listen to it, and enjoy the evening and the night.



Hi Ghazal, Are you still awake, or drifted away into dreams guided by Stevie Nicks song about dreams. I think the very special style of Fleetwood Mac has its roots in the almost family style of their band-members. The most visible and hear-able members were Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (guitar and vocals), who were a couple, and John and Christie McVie (bass and keyboard), who were married. Mick Fleetwood (drums), who founded the band in 1967 and gave it his name, was the neutral and stabilizing point in this melange full of tension and conflicts. In this sense, Fleetwood Mac was a prototype for Abba. I think the fact that both bands could not leave their very privat feelings off the stage, but brought them to every concert, gave their songs a very authentic style. When they sung about relations, about obsessions or devotions, it sounded not just a live concert, but as if they reflected in their songs emotions in real-time.
There is a nice interview from 2004 with them.

This is perhaps my last message for tonight, sleep well, my dear.



The excited Explorer

hi michael,
you send yesterday the article from "The Onion" about the first people on the moon. i was very shocked initially by the rude language. i could not believe that an educated person such as you reads and even circulates such a primitive conversation ? But then I reconsidered and tried to understand what the article is mainly about: O.k., it uses a lot of blasphemic words, like you hear on Octoberfest. But when we ignore those, what remains from this conversation of Armstrong and Aldrin during their first walk over the moon is: They were just emotionally overwhelmed. And there is absolutely nothing bad about this, in opposite: I find it bad if somebody who discovers nature, explores the unknown and steps into a sphere no one else has been before, if he (or she) does not allow any expression of excitement.
Therefore, if Armstrong and Aldrin would have indeed shouted "Fucking Christ, we"re on the bloody Moon", I would 100% feel with them. They were human as we, and why shouldn"t they go absolutely mad walking on the moon, if we are already so much excited just looking on the moon from here.
So who knows, maybe once we discover a gene for a strange disease, we will also shout in the lab "Holy shit, I found this fucking mutation".

Enjoy the evenig, sleep well


Moon is back (now on Google Moon)

Hi Ghazal my Angel,

A month ago the same moon looked down to us, and for sure could not turn away its eyes from this spot on the Isar river banks, where we were sitting at the bone-fire the whole night through, whispering secrets, feeling the heat of the august sun that was stored in the pebbles on which we layed down. Since then, I call the Isar the Moon river, and every morning I pass the river on my way to the institute, I do a short stop there and slide a flat stone over its surface, as you have shown me to do.
[caption id="attachment_1055" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Full Moon 24-09-2010"]Full Moon 24-09-2010[/caption]
Now we are a month older, it is already autumn down here, but up on the moon there are no seasons. Unlike our 24 hours day, every spot on the moon has a day as long as 15 days down here, followed by 15 nights in a row. Could you imagine, this would mean exchanging some mails and early night dialoges only ones in month, and then 360 hours long darkness.
Maybe you recognized that I could finally revert to you real name. I had to hide it for two month to protect your privacy from the nosy Google-machine, which somehow disclosed your real name and linked it to the blog. Therefore I used another pseudonym in the blog, which had only slight resemblence to "Ghazal". It sounded similar, but looked quite different, and Google still does not recognize similarities by sound. But I"m sure, there soon will be a Google-Sound search machine, and this one will find out that "Azal", the pseudonyme that I used for two month, sounds very similar to your real name "Ghazal".

Are you o.k. ? Are you still studying so late at night ? Don"t miss your dreams, some actors therein might desperately wait for the main character, the blue-eyed persian cat.

Sleep well, Take Care



hi michael,

I dont know if it was the picture of the moon you send in the evening, or my fear to meet some strange people in my dreams: either of the two did not let me sleep. but didn"t you once said that the full moon itself can also directly interfere with my emotions. maybe it is this what happend. finally, I went out for a walk over the fields behind the guesthouse, I think it was already 6.30 a.m. could see the moon, but not a house there ;-). I did a photo of it, have a look. If you find a house on it, show it to me. Does it mean you"d like to send me to the moon to live there ?
Have a nice day (I may come a bit later to the lab today, hope thats alright).
Take Care, michael

PS: If you click on the photo, there is a nice song about the moon. I only know its by Pearl Jam, don"t know the title.


Hi Ghazal my Dear,

You came here on your angel journey half a year ago, arriving from somewhere far away. How could I ever send you back alone ? If, however you would suggest to take me with you somewhere in the universe, I would get my luggage ready today. A nice house on the moon could be a first step.
By the way, the moon is not only fascinating by its yet poorly understoud influence on females psyche but can make man equally crazy. Have a look at this alternative record of what the first astronauts said when they put their feets there.

Enjoy the day, recover from the sleepless night,
I"ll tell everybody you work on your thesis.

TaKe CaRe