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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 ?

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