A Week from Hell!

Finally my week from hell is at its end… and by week I should clarify that I’m referring to the period between the 16th and today 28th, so in fact my week had 13 days.


I’m exhausted! Not only because I just spent 13 days in a row at work, but because my brain is on the fritz from all the stress… And this is why I’m behind on my favorite shows, such as Castle or Psych, whose episodes lay forgotten on a remote corner of my computer because my brain does not have the ability to process them now and so I turned to old favorites, shows that I already know and love and that I already saw and don’t have to think about them… so I started to watch Chuck and How I Met Your Mother from the pilot… It’s like comfort food for my brain!


So, why I’m I so stressed out?! Well…

1. I miss home! My dad’s right, I do get jumpy and irritated when I don’t go home for a while. It’s natural I guess. I don’t particularly like the place I’m in, I don’t particularly like the people. I miss my parents, my house, my bed, my nieces and nephew.


I miss my food, my oven and my cakes. I miss my friends. I miss the supermarkets, where I can get anything (and I mean anything…). And I miss not having to program almost a week ahead to be able to catch a movie, because here there are only 3 original version movie theaters and they’re all 1h30min away from where I am! OMG, I miss my movies (so that I can clarify, while in Portugal, I would go to the movies every week!)!



2. I’ve got one undergrad! God, I hate undergrads (no offence…), but I hate to have to train one. I honestly do not get the point, not the way they do it here, anyway.


The point is, suddenly I have a person inside my lab, which obviously makes the risk of contamination rise, which means I’ll be working some days to throw away stuff. And There are the moments when you don’t actually know if they give a fuck about what you’re trying to teach them, because they don’t seem to want to be there. And what’s the deal with the gloves? How hard is it to put a pair of gloves on?


Then there’s the speed… or lack of it and the realization that while they are doing that one simple task, you could already be done and drinking your fourth coffee of the day! And the fact that they can be brought down by a micropipette, an eppendorf, a parafilm strip, cleaning or really small volumes of anything.



3. Huge workload and 24 hour days! Directly related to the one above – I HATE being dependent on somebody else’s schedules.


I HATE it, can’t cope with it. One of the worst things about having an undergrad is that they still have classes, in the middle of the day (crazy schedules they have…), which means I cannot work at the pace I want to work… so this week (13 days), it meant working weekends (to compensate de slowness and contaminations)…


…and arriving at the lab before 8 a.m. some days, to get some work done before the kid arrived. Which means, I’m so behind on my sleep…



4. I’m not a people’s person… which means that my tolerance for stupidity, idiocy and lack of common sense, is incredibly low! And my week was full of such events, some more “normal” than others, but all kind of: “wow! are these people for real? O_o”…



5. It’s not working! It’s when you have the most things to do, that’s when the universe decides to screw you! So, for the past couple of weeks, nothing is working! The PCRs whether turned out contaminated or they just won’t amplify, which is cool, is kind of normal… but then the restriction enzyme is not cutting (WTF!!!). Really Universe? On this particular time? When I have so many damn things to do? Data to obtain? Haven’t you screwed me up enough during the summer, when I came to work by myself all August and the PCRs decided that they needed a vacation too?!



So… here you have it: my brain is trying to hibernate at the moment (reason why I haven’t been able to post anything with real content for the past days), avoiding the simple and truthful realization that this weekend I might get some sleep, but I’ll still have to go to the lab, still not sure when, but I have a 7 hours work ahead of me before Monday comes… and then it’s the beginning of the week again and I have a lot of stuff to do…

In the meantime, this is my plan for the little free time I’ll have:


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HIMYM funny facts

Funny Fact nº2: In episode 14 of the 1st season of How I Met Your Mother, is the first time we realize how perfect Robin and Barney are for each other (and they realize it too). The show should actually be called “How Barney and Robin got together!”.

Also, this episode marks the first mention of the BroCode!

Fantastic Four (2015)

After years of speculation, it was finally revealed a awhile back that The Fantastic Four will make their way into the big screen… again! And it’s a reboot, obviously… there’s no way they could keep up with those horrible couple of movies… So, it’s good news, I’m always up for sme superhero movie, if it’s good, which the first couple weren’t (not unlike The Hulk!). The movie is set to hit the theaters June 19, 2015.

The main cast was also revealed: Michael B. Jordan will be starring as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch and Kate Mara has closed a deal to play Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Johnny’s big sister. Miles Teller will be Reid Richards/Mr. Fantastic and Jamie Bell will play Ben Grimm/The Thing.

This is definitely a different kind of cast. First, they are all so much younger, and I guess that’s the point, right? I love Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, but for the life of me, how are they going to spin the fact that the Storms are brother and sister? I’m not seeing it…

HIMYM funny facts

Because we are roughly 1 month away from the last episode ever of How I Met Your Mother, I decided to rewatch the whole show. It’s not a hard task, given that the episodes are only 22 minutes long and most of them I know pretty well, so I don’t have to be super attentive.

So, funny fact number one: by episode 8 of the first season (The Duel), Marshall had injured his then fiancee, Lily, twice – the first in the pilot, when he opened a bottle of champagne, resulting on she wearing that amazing eye patch, and the second one by stabbing her with a sword.


Best news so far: a Male Companion!

Since the moment the 8th season of Doctor Who started filming, until the day it starts airing (summer, autumn… who knows…), we will be bombarded with news and scoops and spoilers. But this particular piece of news came as a breath of fresh air! The best news so far, in my opinion, is that season 8 will finally have a man on board – Danny Pink played by Samuel Anderson.

Yes, we had several men on the TARDIS, since its return in 2005, but we haven’t seen a permanent and proper male companion for ages.

Adam… we don’t even talk about Adam! Mickey went along for the ride mainly because of Rose, and that didn’t last long. He showed all his potential when he already had one foot out the door, to a parallel universe. Jack was great, but very on and off, and very aware of everything, I love him though, and I wish he would have been a full time companion. Then came Rory, and don’t get me wrong, from the 11th Doctor companions, Rory is my favourite, but he went to be with Amy, and there was never Rory without Amy.

Now we might actually have a chance to see a proper male companion, like Jamie was. I just hope that they don’t spoil it by making him romantic linked to Clara… we had enough of that already.

Heroes: Reborn

It came to public today that NBC has ordered a mini-series, of 13 episodes, of Heroes, a stand-alone arc entitled Heroes: Reborn.


This would be presumably with new characters and new stories altogether and is unclear weather any of the original cast-member will be joining in, as TVLINE reports.

To be honest I don’t really know how to feel about this. While I loved the first couple of seasons of Heroes, it all went downhill from that, incredible fast. Well, lets wait and see…

Working all weekend long

I’m in a kind of weird type of research, where my experiments don’t take exactly too long, but somedays, if my PCR at 10 a.m. does not work, I can’t do it again in the same day, and I get nothing left to do in the lab… this implies that there are days that my day is done by 1 p.m., and that everyday of the week counts, which means, working holidays and weekdays.


This was this kind of weekend. My DNA extractions take a grand total of 3 days (with 2 overnight incubations), which meant all weekend alone in the lab.


Don’t get me wrong, I love coming to work on weekends, I get much more done than on weekdays, because every piece of equipment is available and there are no waiting lines for anything… and I get to hear loud music!


There is just one problem with being alone in the lab: I’m alone, so this is pretty much my reaction each time I hear any kind of sound…



Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Book vs. Movie

This was the first really big HP book, so they decided to cut anything that wasn’t important to Harry’s story, which means, a great loss in background info and funny stuff…

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Book vs. Movie

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Book vs. Movie

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Book vs. Movie


  • The book opens with Frank Bryce’s history, about how he was accused of murdering the family he worked for, many years ago, the Riddle’s. This is omitted from the film.
  • Bertha Jorkins, the Ministry employee that Wormtail and Voldemort capture and question, and who gives them the information about the Triwizard Tournament being placed at Hogwarts is also not in the movie.


  • In the film, Harry dreams of seeing Voldemort, Wormtail as well as Barty Crouch Jr. discussing their plans together in the Riddle House. In the book, however, Barty Crouch Jr. is not present in this dream nor in subsequent ones, given that he hasn’t escaped yet.
  • Unlike the film, Harry spends great part of his summer at Privet Drive, and he’s there when he dreams about Voldemort, Wormtail and Frank Bryce. After waking up from what he thinks is a nightmare, he writes to Sirius about his scar hurting. In the movie, he wakes up in the Burrow given that Privet Drive is omitted from it, and sends a letter to Sirius from the train on his way to Hogwarts.
  • Harry receives a letter from Molly Weasley, inviting him to attend the Quidditch World Cup. Mr. Weasley, Fred, George and Ron travel by Floo Network to nº 4 Privet Drive to pick Harry up, finding the fireplace boarded up, Mr. Weasley ends up blowing up part of the wall in order for them to get out of the fireplace, which the Dursley’s do not approve off.

  • Pigwidgeon has been omitted from the film. Any and all mentions to Pig were excluded…
  • Mrs. Weasley’s disapproval of her sons’ plans to open up a joke shop after their graduation was omitted.
  • All the Weasley children attend the World Cup, including Bill and Charlie – actually, Bill appears throughout this and subsequent books. Bill, Charlie and Percy didn’t travel by Portkey, meeting their family latter at the World Cup, given that they were traveling by Apparition.


  • In the book, Amos Diggory was portrayed as a boastful, proud and impolite man with a scrubby brown beard who takes pride in boasting that his son Cedric was better than Harry – given than Cedric had betten Harry in Quidditch the previous year. In the film however, he was portrayed as a nice man with an affable personality, does not boast about Cedric being better than Harry and is clean shaven. Also, they knew very well who Cedric was…
  • Ludo Bagman’s role is omitted from the film, which means the bet that the Weasley twins made did and their loss of all their savings does not happen. Therefore the subplot of the Weasley twins trying to blackmail Mr. Bagman was omitted.
  • Percy Weasley does not appear in the film, so there is no mention of Percy’s new job as Crouch Sr.’s assistant and his hero worship of his boss has been omitted. This also means that all the subsequent stories involving Percy estrangement from his family is omitted.
  • In the book it was Ludo Bagman that provided Arthur Weasley with the World Cup tickets for the Top Box seats (really good places, along with the Malfoys) as a favor for helping his brother.


  • Winky’s and Dobby’s roles are omitted in the movie, which causes come continuity mistakes latter on.
  • The mascots presentations during the Quidditch World Cup are different: the Veela are omitted and the Leprechauns’s presentation is significantly minimized, not being any mention of their gold.


  • In the book, Mr. Weasley has to wake up his family, Harry and Hermione after hearing the attacks outside because they have all fallen asleep before they started. After this, Harry, Ron and Hermione get separated from Fred, George, and Ginny when they run into the woods. Harry, Ron and Hermione run into Draco in the woods, and he mentions what the attack is about. Also in the book, they run into students from Beauxbatons, who are lost, Winky (who was omitted from the film completely), who appears to be attempting to run away from the chaos, a group of goblins “cackling over a sack of gold,” three Veelas surrounded by a “gaggle of young wizards” and Ludo Bagman (who was omitted from the film completely).


  • Harry losing his wand briefly during the Death Eater disturbance has been omitted.
  • While in the film, Barty Crouch Jr. is clearly seen conjuring the Dark Mark, the identity of the caster in the book is a mystery until the end of it. Also in the film, the Mark was cast after the Death Eaters destroyed the camp-site, as a sign of the Death Eaters’ works. However, in the book it was cast to scare away the Death Eaters for disloyalty to Lord Voldemort.


  • Barty Crouch Jr. casts the Dark Mark with Harry’s stolen wand. He stole his wand while sitting in the Top Box with Winky, under an Invisibility Cloak.
  • Hermione’s attempt to stand up for the fair treatment of house-elves as well as any mention of her S.P.E.W. organization was omitted from the movie(s), the role of the house-elves is also very limited in the movies, unlike the books.
  • In the book, Mrs. Weasley gives Ron his dress robes before the start of school, but as Molly Weasley is omitted from this movie, Ron gets his dress robes by post and Errol delivers them to him while in the Great Hall.
  • Colin and Dennis Creevey are omitted from the film, and their parts are instead played by the composite character Nigel Wolpert.
  • In the book, when they first arrive at school Peeves is throwing water balloons at the students as they are gathered in the hall, and they see the sorting ceremony for the new first years, but this is omitted from the film.
  • In the book, the Sorting Hat sings a new song about the history of Hogwarts and the Founders which is not shown in the film.


  • The arrival of the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons schools occurs on 30th of October and not on the 1st of September as in the movie.
  • Padma Patil, identical twin of Parvati Patil, is in Ravenclaw and not in Gryffindor.
  • Hagrid’s Blast-Ended Skrewts never made their way on to the screen… neither did 4th year Divination classes.
  • Malfoy as a ferret scene is very extended in the film.

cruci oh

  • In the film, Moody demonstrates the three Unforgivable Curses on a single spider, ultimately killing it. In the book, he uses a different spider for each one, and later is also shown using the Imperius Curse on students – despite it being illegal to do – in order to teach them how to overcome its effects.
  • Madame Maxime is said to be the same height as Hagrid, while in the movie she’s noticeable taller.


  • The film implies that Durmstrang is an all-boy school and Beauxbatons all-girl, the book however, portraits both school as mixed gender schools, as a boy is shown in Beauxbatons and a girl is shown in Durmstrang. Neither school does any presentation when they arrive.


  • Fleur Delacour as a part-Veela is omitted. Probably because the Veela and all the explanations given about them at the World Cup are also not present. Also, the Beauxbatons pupils are rather unhappy about being at Hogwarts.
  • Fred and George aren’t the only students to try to circumvent the age line around the Goblet of Fire. Angelina Johnson does enter her name in the Goblet.


  • When Harry’s name comes out of the Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore remains very calm, he asks Harry if he did it, to which Harry replies “no”.
  • Draco and his fellow Slytherins support Cedric Diggory and not Krum.
  • “Constant Vigilance” – the phrase that Moody often says, is not present in the movie.
  • Rita Skeeter’s role is remarkably diminished, as well as any details that she is an unregistered Animagus. With this, no sign of Hermione’s relentless efforts to find out her secret are shown


  • Charlie’s appearance during the preparations for the First Task is omitted, as well as his congratulations to Harry at the end of the task.
  • In the book, Hermione doesn’t visit Harry in the tent prior to the first task, Skeeter’s romantic implications between them come from “interviewing” Colin Creevey.


  • In the book, Harry accomplishes the First Task by getting by past the Hungarian Horntail Dragon via a clever and skilled flying strategy to secure the egg it is guarding – they don’t fly away and have all that action over Hogwarts…
  • Harry and Ron spend much more time trying to figure out who to ask to the Yule Ball in the book than they do in the film.


  • Draco goes to the ball with Pansy Parkinson, Seamus Finnigan goes with Lavender Brown. Percy attends the ball in the place of Mr. Crouch.
  • In the book, Harry and Ron, dumped by their dates, go for a walk around the school grounds when they see Igor Karkaroff showing the Dark Mark to Professor Snape and Hagrid revealing to Madame Maxime that he is a half-giant, to which she reacts badly. The whole subplot about Hagrid being a half-giant and its implications are not present in the movie. Professor Grubbly-Plank is omitted too.


  • In the book, Harry sees “Barty Crouch” on the Marauder’s Map and suspects Barty Crouch Sr. of wrongdoing. After this, “Moody” asks Harry if he can hold on to the map, and Harry agrees.
  • In the book, for the Second Task, Moody (Crouch Jr.) gives Neville a book on aquatic plants so that Harry can learn about gillyweed from it by borrowing the book from Neville. However, when this fails, he successfully sets a series of events allowing Dobby to learn of the gillyweed and steal it from Snape’s storage to give it to Harry. All the actions by Dobby are replaced by Neville in the film.


  • In the book, Crouch Sr. does not appear as a judge during the second task, Percy goes in his stead.
  • Sirius’ visit with Harry in Hogsmeade was omitted, as well as his conversation with Harry about Barty Crouch Jr..
  • In the book Crouch Sr. was killed because he was able to resist the Imperius curse and escaped to Hogwarts to warn Dumbledore of Voldemort’s plot only to be intercepted by his son and killed before he could succeed. Harry and Krum see Barty Crouch Sr. (still alive) while they go to the edge of the forest to talk about Hermione. Harry then runs to get help, Krum is knocked out and Crouch killed and transfigurated.
  • Because of the different circumstances of Crouch’s death, Harry never dreams about Voldemort punishing Wormtail, and Fudge never accuses Olympe of being the likely culprit, given that she’s half-giant.


  • Bellatrix and her husband Rodolphus are never shown in the flashbacks. Dementors are also not featured in the film. Also, Barty Crouch Jr. supposed death in Azkaban is omitted, as well as all the story of how he escaped. Crouch Jr. demeanor during his trial is considerable different.
  • In the Pensieve, Harry sees three trials: Igor Karkaroff, Ludo Bagman, and the other for Barty Crouch Jr, Bellatrix , Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange.


  • Bill and Molly Weasley attend the third task, Arthur does not.
  • In the film, there are no creatures or obstacles in the hedge maze, whereas in the book, several creatures stand in the way of the Cup. Harry meets a Sphinx, a Blast-Ended Skrewt, Acromantula, and other obstacles. Harry gets injured in his fight with the acromantula.
  • In the book, Cedric gets killed as soon as Voldemort and Wormtail come into view.


  • In the book, after Voldemort is reborn, he tells Harry about his history, including murdering his father and his mother’s death during childbirth.
  • Voldemort’s eyes are red, but in the film they are blue. The director had made this choice, because more emotion could be put into blue eyes than into red. Voldemort’s eyes remain blue for the rest of the films following Goblet of Fire.
  • In the book Crouch Jr.’s disguise as Alastor Moody wears off since he forgot to take his most recent Polyjuice Potion dosage due to the excitement of that night’s events regarding Voldemort’s rebirth. When he reverts back to his original form, he is then subjected to Veritaserum, where he then is forced to reveal how he got out of Azkaban and how he orchestrated the scheme to resurrect Voldemort. Winky is called and asked to tell the truth about the events as well.


  • The film omits Fudge ordering the Dementor’s Kiss on Barty Crouch Jr, McGonagall losing her temper with him, and the beginning of his doubt of Dumbledore and Harry. Crouch Jr.’s being kissed by the Dementors was a critical part of Fudge’s denial that Voldemort was back.
  • The train ride home on the Hogwart’s Express is omitted and with it, the scene where Harry gives Fred and George Weasley his Triwizard Tournament winnings so they can open up their joke shop, which causes some continuity problems.

12 (of the 25) Deeply Painful PhD Students Problems (besides your thesis)

There’s a great post on Buzzfeed about the 25 Deeply Painful PhD Students Problems (besides your thesis). So, here is how some actually apply to my case…

1. Telling children you’re in the 25th grade.

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

Well, this one is particularly true and weird. Explaining to my nephews that I work at the University… and that in this case work = study, is complicated.


2. It’s been at least 10 years since you had a “real” weekend.

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

This doesn’t mean I don’t actually enjoy a weekend every once in a while, but it’s never a truly relaxed time. Even if I’m not working in the lab, I’m stressing about not being there… so…


3. Going to parties and everyone’s just standing around talking about their research.

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

… well, this one doesn’t apply quite literally, it’s more like, being with your undergrad and grad friends and talking about nothing more than research, grants or lab problems…


4. When someone claims that being in a doctoral program isn’t “the same thing as having a real job”:

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

It’s not! It really isn’t true! I may not have a 9 to 5 job, I might even get out some days in the middle of the day and go home, because there’s nothing more I can do in the lab that day, but I also work most of my weekends and worry constantly. I have to write reports and papers and read tons of research by other people… a PhD is a JOB!


5. …and feeling ultra-guilty anytime you try to relax.

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

It’s impossible not to feel guilty… all the time! Damn I fell guilty for the time I spend writing in this blog!


6. When all of your colleagues are married, and you’re just like:

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

It’s not my collegues per say, since most of the people in the unit I work are  a lot younger than me… but these last couple of years, a lot of people from my high school and college are tying the knot…


7. Feeling some degree of “impostor syndrome” at least once a day.

Feeling some degree of "impostor syndrome" at least once a day.

…”as in, you’re just waiting for someone to realize that they made a HUGE mistake letting you into your program and to swiftly kick you out.” – YEPPPPP, TRUE!!! But by now I think that this is a very normal feeling!


8. When someone asks you for the 357th time what your dissertation is about:

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

Yep, yep… not even my parents know it properly…


9. Seeing someone on your dissertation committee outside of school:

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

By rule, I avoid everyone remotely related to this area!


10. When someone asks how “writing” is going:

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

Yeah… Tough subject!


11. Explaining to your friends with 9-to-5 jobs why you can’t go out on Friday night.

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

This is a bad example because I never want to go out… but yeah, it there’s work to be done, it will come first, whatever the hours or days of the weeks…


12. When ANYONE asks you what your plan is after you graduate:

25 Deeply Painful Ph.D. Student Problems (Besides Your Thesis)

I’m halfway done with my PhD (the stipulated time, anyway) and I have no idea. I also don’t know why I was supposed to know before I even got into the program… oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out… eventually…

Lab stresses!!!

I found this really cool blog on Tumblr, THATS NOT HOW YOU PIPETTE, about the wrongful use of pipettes on TV. It’s hilarious!!!!!

I found it on a day that I was particularly stressed out about tips (pipette tips), why? Well, I don’t have OCD or anything of the sorts, but this…

… Just stressed me out! Why on Earth would you not follow some kind of logic when taking the tips out of the box? WHY?! Why would you not do it somehow like this?!

Well, I will leave you with some of the hilarious posts about pipettes on TV, from the blog I mentioned above.

By the way CSI, this is not the right way to use a centrifuge…

It hurts my hear a little to see all this great equipment and material being misused…