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Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 1051

I would be very happy if my boss told in public that I made a mistake.
He always tries to solve mistakes with formalization.
The next dead-line, with obviously completely changed chemical analysis objectives, ruins his templates so miserably it's not funny.
I have to admit that after four years or so, clients started to short circuit my boss and communicate to me directly over the phone in order to have less "mistakes" i.e. not even understanding what the client wanted in the first place.

Comment A Dutch clinical biologist called me in his office (Score 1) 513

to negotiate on the price for our One Lambda monoclonal antibody against HLA-B27.
It was not a clinically interesting antibody for him since he had a high prevalence of cross reactivity with another HLA antigen in his lab and this was well documented by St Catharina Ziekenhuis in Eindhoven.
Translation: The Dutch seem to inbreed in their own kin so much that the most mutating gene in the human genome had such a high frequency that the "monoclonal" antibody par excellence was worth jack sh*t in their labs.
Corollary: They will need to sequence quite some loci on the Dutch genomes to make inferences on the DNA sample being unique.

Comment Minitel dating (Score 1) 137

My French connections used Minitel primarily as a dating service. One of my dad's friends had three girlfriends through his Minitel dating "site". The profiles were rather dedicated since these girlfriends all shared same previous boyfriends. Enfin, I will not go into detail - yes, French tend to go into those details already at the apéritif.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 448

Neal Stephenson instills a lot of food for thought in my engineer brain.
His thorough historic research is remarkable.
It has been noticed in other posts that his grammar is exceptional.
As a native Flemish speaker I also take interest in his extensive vocabulary.
Metallica got aware in the nineties that their music might have a sociological impact mostly on teenagers - so did Neal Stephenson albeit on another public.

Comment three kids - not one valid donation (Score 1) 321

In Belgium we have a system of donating umbilical cord blood.
This has the advantage of the simple fact that it is massively donated, screened and used.
1) first baby not nearly enough blood was taken for valid donation
2) next baby umbilical cord around neck so cord was cut with scissors in split second - blood splattering up the ceiling among splattering on other errr... things
3) third baby again not enough blood for valid donation
Just mentioning this to tune your expectations.

Comment Re:First time (Score 1) 840

In a historic perspective beer and wine were a safe replacement for water.
During research for his thesis as a guide in Bruges, my father found a heated argument of the local brewer with the (upstream) wool dyer, four or so centuries ago.
The brewer could handle a lot of circumstances, the water being also the sewer, but his beer colored to the dye of the wool handler was cause for fury.
In todays perspective the beer consumption is effectively decreasing in Belgium.
I will live to see zero tolerance on alcohol intoxication for drivers in Europe.
But I will be a happy beer drinker all my life.

Comment Re:As a woman, may I just say this... (Score 1) 376

You've got to love a woman talking like a queen bee. I agree with your post completely. Wales is doing things fine up 'til now. Wikipedia is a great resource even for my boss/professor. Oh before I forget, women are doing fine also with or without Wikipedia the last time I checked. Hopefully Wikipedia will teach my daughters a few things for their projects-to-come.

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