stuff that happens when one thinks one is strong

Almost got it down to an art, barely floating

Hanging on to straws, the little things

Then a little something comes and

Breaks me down

So tiresome, being a second-rate phoenix

No triumph

Just getting by

Eyes on my feet, the present


Not crazy about them anymore

Hard enough the battering waves

False lighthouses

Don’t want to provide the water

As well


the secret behind why some people run (well)

I recently got introduced to a new theory on why (East) Africans are very good runners. መቼም ጆሮ ለባለቤቱ ባዳ ነው እስካሁን ሳልሰማ:: Three different people from three different countries corroborated the theory. Turns out that Africans grow up being chased by lions and other felines that, competition with their fellow humans is beneath them.  Imagine Haile in the morning, going out of his home –a hut in the savannah, late for school, ደብተሩን በአንድ እጁ ይዞ, prodding a sleeping hangover lion with a very long stick on the other hand,: “ዌል እንግዴ አያ አንበሶ ትምህርት የረፈደብኝ ሁኔታ ነው ያለው:: how about it, huh?”

Some songs now make much more sense:

But why do we never hear news of runners from X, a country in southern Africa where my former roommate hails from, winning races? Simple. Even though X gots lions galore, its flatness is a major drawback. My peoples, on the other hand, run from lions uphill.

More crackpot science

The food shortage in Africa may be a blessing in disguise. Caloric restriction (all other things being equal) has long been linked with retarding the aging process. In the eyes of the rest of the world, what are we Africans but the embodiment of caloric restriction? “It’s like, where do they get the energy to wage all those wars from? በባዶ ሆድ እየተዋጉ….” Is it any wonder then that we look like we are in our twenties whereas in reality, forty is getting too close for comfort?

Read Americanah. Loved it. She sure took a couple of jabs at Etyopians: our claims of beautiful ladies and not-African-like-coloration. My lame response to that: እሰይ! እናንተ ሀገር ኩዋስ ልንጫወት መጥተን ዳቦ አልወረወራችሁብንም?! I don’t know if that story is true or not. Apparently the following is:


አዲስ አድማስ ጥቅምት ፩፭, ፳፻፯

All jokes aside, ምን ይሻለናል?!

Spoiler alert

I was kind of rooting for Ceiling’s wife. የትም ዞሮ መቶ የሰው ባል መንጠቅ ደግ ሥራ ነው?

With all due respect, እማማ ምን ነክቶዋቸው ነው?

bizu gabicha 2                             IMG_20141123_151636528[1]

ትዝታዬ. መርስኤሐዘን ወልደቂርቆስ

Some protein-DNA intercourse, with accompanying music:

leucine zipper

Remember this?

Next post is going to be a few observations from the past three months.

Excerpt “….I hate snow. Fuck Home Alone. I repeat. Fuck Home Alone the movie, parts I and II, hashtag and all. Deceiving impressionable third world children, romanticizing snow. Is the polar ice cap is melting? Goood! At least the polar bears are going to die warm, for once in their lives. Oxymoron be damned…”

After I write that post, God knows I have got nothing.


immortality (ኢመዋቲነት) and other… (cont)

Actually the song I was looking for was the one that went:

በለው በለው በለው በለው በለው

በለው በለው በለው

በለው በለው በለው በለው በለው

በለው በለው በለው

አትለውም ወይ አትመታውም ወይ

በሀገር የመጣ ይታለፋል ወይ

በለው በለው


One of the old የቅስቀሳ ዘፈኖች. Couldn’t find it on YouTube, hence ቱቱዬ.

[Update 08/24/16: found በለው በለው 🙂 ]

Nitric oxide, NO, is a molecule that plays an important role in learning and memory, defense against microbes and blood vessel dilation and subsequently increased blood flow to a region. Erections are the handiworks of NO secretion and its downstream lackeys. That’s how our region gets to be that way, and the following dilemma solved:


Taken from  (የስብሃት ገብረእግዚአብሔር) ማስታወሻ. ዘነበ ወላ.

Lately my posts have tried to break from the usual theme and I have tried to infuse into them as much learned ቁምነገር as possible. However, I see to my consternation that I keep on gravitating to the same old shit. But I can’t help it. Nobody (Keith Sweat voice) can. I mean, students from prestigious universities in the country were parading around campus, carrying the slogan “NO means yes yes means….” I am not condoning their action in any way. I am just saying that at least they have kind of got the mechanics of the thing right. NO has been known to elicit a barrage of yes! yes! yes! (Roughly translated to በለው በለው በለው since አዎ አዎ አዎ won’t do)

Wait, have I blogged on this thing before? ይገርማል, መገረብ ጀመርኩ አይደል?!

እስቲ ትንሽ ቁምነገር ልሞክር

The trouble with Ethiopia

The trouble with Ethioipia resides in the name itself: E-thio-pia. The presence of thio in the name of a molecule is indicative of the presence of sulfur. Despite sulfur being essential for life, its compounds have a reputation for very bad smell. Think mercaptoethanol, rotten eggs, brimstone (hell),…Strange thing is that I have seen sulfur being traditionally prescribed as የቡዳ መድሃኒት:: እሾህን በሾህ ማለት ነው::

So, my country has got sulfur in its name. This is not smack talk, just because I have been in a foreign country for one hundred days. We need to take the stink out of the name, that’s all I am saying. ገጽታ ግንባታ at the most fundamental level. The more reason to take up the way of writing put forward by GeTere sometime ago: Etyopia.

And about the multiple mentions of Ethiopia in the bible:

  1. They are accounts of geography, racism, cases of about-to-smite when all of the sudden the party that was to be smitten repents to the Lord and Ethiopian asses get kicked, a couple of eunuchs, natural resources which are possible sources of conflict, subjugation, shame and dire warnings. Hardly stuff to brag about.
  2. They are not about just us. They are about black people who live south of Egypt, which we happen to be part of.

Next post is going to focus on one of the things Etyopia has got going for her.

One of my short term life goals, to dance to this:

I thought it was a new release. I wonder why they did not play it in the club next door back when I was home. Personally and Chop my money were the ones that were on heavy rotation.

And some revolution:


immortality (ኢመዋቲነት) and other curious associations, many of which only make sense in the writer’s head

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al is that shit. Excellent text and figures –what more could this student of the life sciences ask for in a book? Who would have imagined that the inside of a sperm’s tail could be this ornate?


The authors are chill enough to do back cover designs inspired by Beatles albums:

alberts 2 alberts

It is the required reading for one of the courses that I am taking. The new edition is coming out on December 1st.  I am not excited or anything. Just transmitting info. Even the old edition is a lifetime reading.

If me and my imaginary scientific chums ever get to write a half-decent book, probably pop science, this is roughly what the back cover is going to look like:

how i got over

Reading Alberts’ makes one wax philosophical. For instance, on the beginning of chapter 2 it says that cancer cell break from the norm of all cells for one. Every other (somatic) cell in the body of an organism is bound to die except for the germ cells, i.e., egg and sperm, which survive in the form of one’s offspring (የኔን germ cells ነገርስ እኔንጃ!) The life mission of every other cell is thrusting (no pun intended) their representatives to the next generation with their own sacrifice. Most cancerous cells are rogue somatic cells which do not want to abide by this rule. They are brazen enough to ask themselves: “why can’t we, just like them germ cells, go on?” Cancerous cells get their way, almost. Put in a lab dish and provided for, most of them divide endlessly. This means that they are endowed with immortality, a perk that used to be enjoyed by germ cells only. However, unlike germ cells, they tend to drag themselves and the organism into an early end in many cases. Their immortality does not make it out of the petri dish to populate the world.

[I have in my hit list The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Deals with harnessing of the cancer cell immortality for the greater human good and the ethical issues involved.]

Now to the philosophizing

Cancer cells are jealous of the immortality of germ cells. They try to become immortal themselves at the cost of possible death to the organism. The risk of coming down with cancer increases with age and it is more likely that people will have left behind offspring by then. The sinister plan of cancerous cells would be fully realized in the person who dies of cancer taking unused germ cells with him/her.

The sinister plan

“Crabs in a bucket” is an expression of a preference for collective demise over individual triumph, much like the behavior exhibited by cancerous cells. The individual triumph here being that of the germ cells. I find it interesting that the name “cancer” stems from the Greek word for “crab.” There are several explanations as to why Hippocrates chose to call the scourge by this name. But I wonder, if the inclusion among those explanations of the crab mentality of cancerous cells would make the naming more apt.

Ooooook, moving on.

I also find it interesting that red blood cells stick to one of the tenets of drug dealing. They don’t get high on their own supply. They transport but do not use oxygen:

They get their energy in an oxygen-independent manner. Red blood cells also have got to be the most ascetic of cells. They are the only cells that do not consume fatty acids ቅባትነት ያለው ምግብ:: A claim in favor of the brain’s asceticism would fall short on two respects. One, the brain gorges on the lion’s share of our body’s glucose supply under normal conditions. ሆዳም! And two, even if the brain does not directly consume fatty acids, when shit gets deep (as in times of extreme starvation when glucose becomes very scarce) the liver will cut up the fatty acids and sneak them across the border of the blood brain barrier for the brain to eat. አልሸሹም ዞር አሉ:: አጭበርባሪ!!

Further proof of the righteousness of the red blood cells: the protoporphyrin structure. Protoporphyrins are molecules responsible for the color in stuff ranging from blood (via the “red” in red blood cells) and leaves all the way to piss and shit. Can you spot the cross in the structure?


Next time

Which humble molecule is behind the lewd lyrics of this song?


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