My grandmum’s trip to the USA

For her 85th birthday my grandmum got a trip to the US from her relatives in Sweden. Her half-sisters emigrated in the early 20th century to Minnesota, and in September she got the opportunity to visit her nieces and nephews + other family members in Chicago, Tennessee, New York, Grand Rapid and more places.

For the special blog installed for the trip, see


Jonathan’s baptème

The son of my brother was baptized to Jonathan this past weekend, in a beautiful ceremony in the old church of Stora Hammar in Höllviken, Sweden.

Parc de la Tête d’Or

At the beginning of August I visited Lyon with my sister Anna and my nephew Filip. We stayed with the family of Filip’s father Kamel, and were shown a good part of Lyon by Filip’s uncle Chukri.

Terms for sailing

I need to learn some of the most common terms used on a sailing boat:

Swedish English French Spanish
akter stern, aft  le arrière, la poupe la popa
ankare anchor la ancre la anchla
babord port bâbord el babord
boj buoy  un buoy 
bom boom bôme bumo (?)
fall   la drisse  
att falla   au portant  
fock   le fock  
för bow la proue  
gajar (skot till spinnaker) spinnaker sheet l’écoute de spinnaker  
genua   génois  
att gippa gybing empanner  
knop knots noeud   
att kryssa   louvoyer (zigzaguer)  
köl keel quille   
latta lath    
lova (att styra upp båten mot vinden) heading up border  
lovart (båtens vindsida)   au mûr  
lee abriter du vent  
läns running downwind vent arrière  
mast mast le mât mástil
ombord aboard    
att reva reef, take in sail    
roder rudder rames  
rorkult   le barre  
segelbåt sailing boat le voilier barca de vela
sittbrunn cockpit cockpit  
sjömil nautical mile mille marin  
skot sheet l’écoute  
skott (båtens vägg) hull le coque du bateau  
att slå to tack de virer  
styrboard starboard tribord el estribor
winschvev   la manivelle la manivela
vind wind le vent el viento
vinsch winsch winch  

Le Chat Noir

Le Chat NoireWhen a good friend moved away from Geneva, I was given her poster of Le Chat Noir. I have framed it and it now hangs in my apartment. What is the story behind the famous poster?

Well, the original Le Chat Noir (“The Black Cat”) was a famous 19th century cabaret in the (notoriously bohemian) Montmartre district of Paris. It was opened on 18 November 1881 at 84 Boulevard Rouchechouart by the artist Rodolphe Salis, and closed in 1897.

Salis most often played, with exaggerated, ironic politeness, the role of conférencier. And it was here that the Salon des Arts Incohérents (Salon of Incoherent Arts), the “shadow plays” and the comic monologues got their start.

The artist behind the iconic poster is Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, who was a Swiss-born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker.

Pursewarden’s advice to the budding artists

In the Alexandria Quartet, the author Pursewarden asked the children of the literary group at the Jewish school to write down three things in the notebooks might help them some day if they didn’t forget them. Here they are:

  1. Each of our five senses contains an art.
  2. In question of art great secrecy must be observered.
  3. The artist must catch every scrap of wind.


I have been asked to help to get the development of a possible marker for breast cancer underway. So I am reading up on breast cancer these days.

The gene that might be used is called BARD1 and here is its technical description:

BARD1 interacts with the N-terminal region of BRCA1. In addition to its ability to bind BRCA1 in vivo and in vitro, BARD1 shares homology with the 2 most conserved regions of BRCA1: the N-terminal RING motif and the C-terminal BRCT domain. The RING motif is a cysteine-rich sequence found in a variety of proteins that regulate cell growth, including the products of tumor suppressor genes and dominant protooncogenes. The BARD1 protein also contains 3 tandem ankyrin repeats. The BARD1/BRCA1 interaction is disrupted by tumorigenic amino acid substitutions in BRCA1, implying that the formation of a stable complex between these proteins may be an essential aspect of BRCA1 tumor suppression. BARD1 may be the target of oncogenic mutations in breast or ovarian cancer.

More is to come on this topic.