An American in Austria.
A student (again).
Future teacher.
Burgeoning running addict.
Klutz.
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jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo
The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.
Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?
(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo

The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.

Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?

(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

5 things

Things have been getting busier and a little more stressful. Definitely starting to feel the stress from school and anxious about some bureaucratic things, but…

  • it’s nice to cook for two again.
  • I finally got to Früh em Veedel, first time since I arrived. Good Kölsch and good Halve Hahn. Yum.
  • enjoyed being outside and collecting all sorts of “icky” snails, centipedes, millipedes, pill bugs, spiders, etc for class.
  • a friend came over dinner Saturday night. Was a nice, quiet, comfortable evening.
  • it was a beautiful today today for my race, met my goal, had someone at the finish line, and then made Schnitzel and Erdäpfelsalat for lunch. (And of course some beer.) Was perfect.

5 things

  • My classes are more or less sorted out… not completely, but at least better than before.
  • I am really excited about one of the classes. Will definitely be a lot of work and nerve-wracking sometimes, but I think it will be a good balance of fun and challenging.
  • Met up with a friend visiting a city and her other friend here - we drank some good Kölsch, had good conversation and now I have a new acquaintance here in Cologne.
  • Took a day trip to Koblenz - we didn’t do much and I don’t think there is tons to see there, but we had a nice little tour and the weather was perfect.
  • E is back! :) And he brought me some Portuguese (Azorean) tea!

Uni Wien vs Uni Köln

Ok, so this might be a bit unfair, since I am more familiar with Uni Wien and I have to go off first impressions here. But who cares.

Course registration:

  • Uni Wien - All course registration is online. There is a point system, which can be extremely frustrating. But it’s all online - you can change the points up until the registration date, you can see how many others registered, and you can see where you are on the waiting list. Easy, but not flexible.
  • Uni Köln - Some course registration is online, some is not. I can’t judge the online system because my department doesn’t use it. There is a different online way to register for the “Module” (which I haven’t used yet, because I was manually put in), but to register for other classes you have to contact professors individually. A lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of unanswered emails. Not easy, but it seems more flexible? (And because I am not used to that and don’t know the Uni or the professors or how things work in general… it makes me uncomfortable.)

          Uni Wien 1, Uni Köln 0

Bathrooms:

  • Uni Wien - You go in hoping there is either toilet paper or soap or paper towels there. Always have tissues in case. The Biozentrum bathrooms were generally better stocked (most of the time toilet paper, sometimes also soap and paper towels), but were rather dim and somewhat dirty.
  • Uni Köln - Light, white, clean. PLENTY of toilet paper and soap and paper towels.

          Uni Wien 0, Uni Köln 1  

Biozentrum:

  • Uni Wien- old, dark, ugly, depressing
  • Uni Köln - newer, lighter, not so ugly

          Uni Wien 0, Uni Köln 1

Printing:

  • Uni Wien - Print anything from any computer in the university’s network and it is sent to all printers. Go to any university printer, put your printing card in the machine, log in, and you have access to your documents. If one printer/copier is occupied you can go to another one.
  • Uni Köln - Printing from a university computer, you have to pick out a specific printer and then go to that printer to print out your documents. This means more waiting in line. Or you go back to your computer, send the documents to the other printer and hope that there is no line when you get back.

          Uni Wien 1, Uni Köln 0

Total - 2 : 2

(to be continued)

Reflections on my first month in Cologne.

  • I feel relatively comfortable here. The city doesn’t seem too big and the buildings aren’t as high as in other big cities. I like that it’s easy to get around by bike, though I still need to get used to that. It definitely helps that I have visited Cologne several times before, so I have a very very basic layout of the city in my head. But there are still enough places to explore!
  • I still feel a bit apprehensive about the bureaucracy. I still need to hand in everything for my German visa and organize a trip to Vienna to do that same for my Austrian visa. Everything will work out, but it annoys me that it’s still not taken care of; that I still have to wait until I can hand things in / make plans.
  • It kinda bugs me how people here say “Tschüss” (“Bye”) without the “ss”. For some reason it comes across as fake, snotty, superficial, etc to me.
  • I like to drink chocolate milk after strength workouts or long runs, but I have not found one good brand of chocolate milk here. I have tried 3 so far; I think there are 4. I might have to stop being lazy and mix my own when I get home or switch to protein bars/shakes (ew).
  • I find it funny that in two cases, I was/am the only/first student to express interest in taking a class. One class will not be taking place this semester because I was the only one to register. The other I can take (the work is more independent and based on practical experience), but it is a brand new course, apparently, and I am the very first one to express interest.
Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.

5 things

  • Made it to the gym for the first time since the move. And man, did I feel it!
  • Getting a better “feel” for Cologne’s geography.
  • Finally read Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (Thanks, Jad!). Was an easy, entertaining read to fill up my time here alone in this big house.
  • Got those 10 miles in today, even though I hardly slept last night.
  • Then I ate a pizza and it was good.

Scenes from my new neighborhood.

currentsinbiology:

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes
In recent years, the idea that artificial sweeteners may trick the brain and lead to “metabolic derangements,” as one researcher has theorized, has gained traction, too.
Now, a new study published in the journal Nature introduces a new idea: Diet sodas may alter our gut microbes in a way that increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes — at least in some of us.
In the paper, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel describe what happened when they fed zero-calorie sweeteners, including saccharin, aspartame and sucralose, to mice.

"To our surprise, [the mice] developed glucose intolerance," Weizmann researcher Eran Elinav tells us.

currentsinbiology:

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

In recent years, the idea that artificial sweeteners may trick the brain and lead to “metabolic derangements,” as one researcher has theorized, has gained traction, too.

Now, a new study published in the journal Nature introduces a new idea: Diet sodas may alter our gut microbes in a way that increases the risk of metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes — at least in some of us.

In the paper, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel describe what happened when they fed zero-calorie sweeteners, including saccharin, aspartame and sucralose, to mice.

"To our surprise, [the mice] developed glucose intolerance," Weizmann researcher Eran Elinav tells us.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

— L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (via vse-tvoe-moe)

(Source: vintageborn, via currentsinbiology)