Yom HaShoah and the fish

Today was the remembrance day of the Shoah and Heroism. Yom HaZikaron LaShoah VeLaGvurah. Because we do not only remember those who died but also those who fought.

The sirens resounded in the whole country at 10AM and every thing stopped. People stood were they were, whether they were walking in the university, on the road or in their office. Totally frozen for two minutes.

On a lighter topic, a few words about my life in the lab. In brief, we are doing neuroscience, trying to understand how the information is coded in the brain and to do so we analyse how the visual data are processed in specific fish. So far I have been mainly reading articles about brain, vision and those fish, and observing the others in the lab while they were doing their experiments. But serious things have started this week and I carried out my first surgery yesterday! I am not sure whether it can be called it this way since I had to kill the fish before the operation, thus it’s not like I’m a surgeon who might save someone’s life. But who knows, maybe there is a market for rich fish’s owner who would make me rich to cure their pet from a brain tumour or cataract…

Anyway, so to understand how it works we use a specific type of fish, the archerfish, who has the unique faculty to spit. Those fish aim at insects standing on leaves at the surface of the water to make them fall and catch them. The beauty of this model is that on top of that, we can train the fish to spit on different targets (like one moving in a different direction, or with a different color etc…).

A video being more eloquent than a lengthy description, here is one of our fish, spitting at food pellets that Mor is putting on his cage:

Otherwise I think I fit in this city a little bit more every day, meeting more people, finding my way more easily, at least in the university. One thing that drives me crazy is the public transportation system. I have probably been spoiled by Switzerland but here, it’s simply impossible to find even a map with all the bus lines so you could have an idea of which one goes where. As a result I walk a lot and it’s nice most of the time, except when I had a long day at work and I am lost in the middle of an industrial zone where I can’t even find the shop I came for and then have to walk for more than half an hour.

Oh and something you don’t want to do abroad: call Orange CH customer service to ask them to unlock your iPhone for example. Firstly they won’t do it before the initial deadline even if it’s in more than 3 months and you’ve left Switzerland for good. Secondly, it will cost you twenty-eight Swiss francs for seven minutes. SEVEN minutes!! It’s what you would pay here for a full month of unlimited calls, SMS and internet…

I will try to do a fondue this week for my friends, who knows what type of cheese I will find…

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