Constructing machines, deconstructing men

November 1, 2006

Now it’s raining sleet in Linz, but that’s nothing compared to the awesome things I did this last week.

Disclaimer: hey, no one said they’re THAT awesome to you; that’s why you’re living a life of you’re own, to start with.

From flashing-back to my high school times as student of electronics to the godlike feeling of peering into the mysterious code from which we are all generated, I’ve been SO occupied that the blog has been somewhat neglected.

Let’s start off with Sensor Technology class. This was a trip back to my high school times where I had electronics classes in which we actually got to take the hands-on approach at building circuits. So in Laurent Mignonneau’s class we’ll start off by building an ADC (analog-to-digital converter, see Wikipedia) that will further be used in connecting sensors to the computer.

My Sensor Technologies Workspace

Last Thursday was a national holiday in Austria. So Beate, a German friend I knew at the Kolpinghaus, actually convinced me an Danka to walk all the way up to the lovely Poestlingberg. The three of us had the opportunity of visiting the Tiergarten (zoo) on the way up, and that was when the digital camera was kind enough to finish up the batteries. The zoo is quite small although it sports some unusual critters, a reptilarium and a nice view over the Danube. In the Tiergarten I found some lost relatives, such as this guy:

A distant cousin, he looks cool with that leaf hanging

When we finally got the Poestlingberg night was already falling fast and we had but some minutes to appreciate the spectacular view. I promised myself to return there someday (maybe next Sunday) before snow starts falling and take many, many pictures!

The next Saturday night was the occasion for some serious partying, Portuguese style. First of all let me say that I’m very happy to know that I’m not the only Portuguese in Linz, and even happier to have known four other Portuguese students already! So two of these are very nice girls from the Faculty of Fine-arts in Lisbon, and one of them held her birthday party last Saturday night. It started at the Julius Raab Heim and ended (at least for me) at the Strom. I won’t provide any further details. Suffice to say I wish all Saturday nights were more like this 🙂

However the coolest thing was certainly the Bio-workshop last Monday. Yes, it may be hard having to wake up at 6:30 am but Reinhard Nestelbacher sure made every yawned curse worth while. So on this 8-hour long workshop, whose ultimate practical purpose was viewing a fragment of the participants DNA, we had the opportunity to get acquainted with laboratory procedures as well as the underlying principles for the techniques used in extraction and preparation of DNA for analysis. Nestelbacher was responsible for works such a Spermrace and GFPixel Portrait and describes himself as a scientist collaborating with artists.

The viewing of my own DNA preparation was a success, which is weird. I was never a good Chemistry student nor a good lab helper; usually the experiments I performed in Chemistry lab classes in high school never quite produced the expected results.

At the Bio workshop The GeneCycler machine Viewing the DNA samples

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