There’s always something a little gloomy about Sundays, don’t you think?
I donated my brain.
Here in The Netherlands, you are free in the choice whether or not to donate organs after you pass. Another option, which can be combined with the donation of organs, is the donation of your brain to the “Dutch Brain Bank”, de Hersenbank. *
This organization was founded in 1985 by a neurobiologist I greatly admire – Dick Swaab**. He’s not afraid to research unconventional things, such as homosexuality, religion and moral behavior and even love, and its foundations in the brain. Over 30 years time, he’s received multiple death threats from people that didn’t agree to his rather well founded theories, simply because they didn’t like them, or because they were scared by them.
The Brain Bank researches brains extensively, and not just in The Netherlands, but in over 30 countries worldwide. They focus particularly on neurodegenerative diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. As my grandmother suffered from Parkinson’s and I might as well, in the future (one gets Parkinson’s either out of the blue or because of a genetic component), which is why I think it’s important, whether I get the disease or not, that they research my brain as well.
It was quite a big step for me to actually sign these papers, have my mother sign them as well, and throw them in the mail box.
It was like I was saying goodbye to my own brain.
*Another option, here in The Netherlands, is to donate your body to “science”. You can donate your entire body, which will be used to train medical students and for research.
**Dick Swaab recently published a book called “We are our Brain” (Wij zijn ons Brein). Hopefully it will be translated to English in the near future. When it is, I will be sure to announce it.
Another strange thing that happened this week was that my boyfriend left for a trip in the US. He’ll be gone for another two weeks and two days. That’s not the strange thing, though. I can handle that bit (sort of – an empty bed is weird).
As you may (or may not) know, we own several fishtanks. It’s my boyfriends hobby, mostly. When he left, I would have to take care of the fish.
So, he left. Then, not even 24 hours later, one of the filters broke, and the fish were starting to look quite miserable. Already, I was trying all day to keep them alive, by refreshing the water and trying to fix the filter…alas, no luck. A few died, but they generally seemed to do a little better. No clue why. Maybe because I told them to man up.
I went to bed, woke up and read a bit. Then I got a call from my one of my neighbors who lives an apt higher. We all live above a store (that sells expensive guy fashion) and have to go through that store to get out of the building.
“Manon, there is a leak in the store, it looks like it’s coming from you.”
I nearly got a heart attack. I got out of bed, went downstairs and nearly slipped because of all the water on the floor. Then, I really nearly got a heart attack. At the very least, I got a panic attack. At least there was no lack of oxygen in my blood.
At that moment, the tank was still leaking. What happened is that the adhesive used to glue the glass plates together apparently was so old that it just.. broke. I scooped out all the water so that the level went below the little leak. So all was well, then.
About 100 to 120 liters of aquarium water leaked into the store below. The whole ceiling was wet, and it looked rather depressing. I think the levels of adrenaline in my blood were 5 times higher than normal.
I asked a handyman to come look for me, tell me what the damage was, what we would have to do. He wasn’t really impressed – I think by my stressed phone call he thought my floor was about to collapse. He said “just paint the ceiling a couple of times, then you’re fine.” Surprisingly, there wasn’t much damage on my own floor.
My house looks strangely empty without the huge tank. A lot of work went into it (it was a second hand, really old and ugly tank, my boyfriend was trying to patch it up), which is a bit sour. Right now, I just wish we never got the tank to begin with.
I think I’ll need a three week vacation to get my hormone levels back to normal. I spent the night at my mom’s, and now I’m scared to go back home. What’s next? Will my microwave explode? Will my desktop pc short-cirquit and set the house on fire? Will the washing machine fall through the floor when centrifuging? I hope the reason why I haven’t heard anything from my neighbors and the store people isn’t because they died in the fire caused by my broken water heater, but because nothing’s wrong.
Now, on to more interesting stuff: the blog mashup of this week! Since I have to hand in a considerably big (HUGE) assignment next week, I’ve been procrastinating considerably (A LOT) by reading all sorts of blogs.
Writing, Publishing, Social Media & Such
3 Helpful Blogs I’ve Recently Discovered @ Jane Friedman, There Are No Rules
10 Reasons Why Authors Love Ebooks @ The Creative Penn
Why Pen Names Suck & Can Make Us Crazy @ Kristen Lamb
How to Easily Write Brilliant Blog Posts @ Pushing Social
7 Ways to Be Professional @ Rachelle Gardner
Other Entertaining Stuff
How LinkedIn is Taking Care of Business (Infographic) @ Mashable.com
The Fundamentals & Best Practices of Logo Design @ Mashable.com
Twitter’s Long History With Malware [INFOGRAPHIC] @ Mashable.com
The Surprising History of the Lobotomy @ Psychology Today
‘Knowing it in your gut’ is real @ Science Daily
FF – Places to go when you want to switch off your brain! @ Mirrors, Musings and Magic
And of course… xkcd: Trapped
Enjoy and have a wondeful, uneventful Sunday.