Friday, 28 October 2011

Bowling FINN-ale!

Hard to believe that we've just marked SIX MONTHS since we moved out of Fonthill! It's also 10+ weeks since our arrival in Helsinki and it's almost time for goodbye here! After giving a talk about what I hopefully learned during my stay, Heikki treated us and the lab to a celebratory night out. First up was some bowling, adding to the list of activities (outdoor rock climbing, frisbee golf, running, floorball, handstands!) I haven't done ever or in eons!
Group picture of my Finnish friends. Juha Peltonen's on the far left, Heikki Tikkanen's is on the right next to me, and poor Harriet Haglund (far right) had to put up with my 80s music fetish in our shared office.
It's been a while since the last "Daddy's Feet" picture, but at least I got one in from Finland! And no, that shot was planned and not from me falling on my butt sliding down the bowling lane! Zachary is either practicing his All Blacks "Haka" or else doing some advanced yogic body english to get the ball to curl! Debbie just missed cracking 100, but at least we all kept our balls in our own lanes and didn't drop the balls on our toes.
Next up was a fancy meal at "Motti" restaurant. Here's my artsy picture of Jacob.
As farewell presents, the lab also dressed us up as proper Finns. The hats should keep us warm in Belgium!
The meal was terrific if a tad slow (as in about 3h delivery for 6 courses!), but it gave all of us lots of time for conversation. The meal was very fancy and haute cuisine. Some notable dishes included grilled river lamprey, which was certainly a first for us and which led to me getting a lot of extra lamprey - not bad at all really! There was also cabbage rolls with duck meat in a cherry compote, which was awesome. And up above, Santa has one less reindeer for his sleigh this Christmas, but it was delicious with vanilla cabbage on top.


  1. I was minded of you, Stephen, when listening this evening to As it Happens on CBC. The interview was with a researcher at the University of Tromso in Northern Norway (which is said to be the northernmost university in the world).

    Anyway, this researcher was training reindeer to run on a treadmill. Why? To research heating/cooling mechanism of the reindeer. They can't sweat because that would get their fur wet and would freeze and kill them. The explanation of the science was pretty complicated, except for the running on the treadmill part. Seems the reindeer kinda like this activity once they get the hang of it.

  2. Ooops, I guess we ate one of the test subjects - maybe the one who refused to run on the treadmill? I'm definitely going to have to look that story and research up - it might be a good reason to visit Tromso! And yes, it is the northernmost university in the world. Thermoregulation is a wonderful field of research, because there are just so many interesting ideas like this out there. For the same reason, one of the worst things you can do when out in the cold is to exercise to the point of sweating heavily and then stopping, as you then have that high heat loss from the water soaking your skin and clothing. That's very similar to the rationale for our recent project with Mark's Work Wearhouse, looking at sweat transport through different types of clothing while working and resting in the cold.

    BTW, the CBC podcasts of shows like News at Six, Quirks and Quarks, Vinyl Cafe, etc. are a great link to home. I'm usually listening to them while walking to work or on the Metro with the boys.

  3. I did some googling on the topic. Found a picture of reindeer running at a gallop, 'though not on a treadmill. Their tongues were lolling out. Apparently they must cool by panting like a dog. There was some discussion on AIH about how they can let their tongues hang out in minus forty without freezing the organ, but I didn't quite catch the drift of that, but the discussion certainly did make me think of your work.

    They built a special treadmill, and started training the reindeer as calves. Pictures I looked at show adult reindeer as pretty big animals, almost like our moose.