Of models and sea otters

In my last post, I tried to explain my work as simply as I could. This is a notoriously difficult task for people in research: we get so caught up in the technical terms and the complexities of our work...


Election time!

I watched the UK election with interest. I even had the chance to vote in the local election for my ward in Hulme, but not the national election, which is a bit of a shame. For the last 7 or...


i just bought broccolis LOL

So. I have apparently joined the blogosphere. As Duncan Hull pointed out, “what took me so long”? Writing has always been something I enjoy – just take a look at my excruciatingly long emails- and I consider myself a technologically...


Being Vangelis Simeonidis

The details of my life are quite inconsequential... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a 15-year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize; he would drink. He would make outrageous claims, like he invented the question mark. Sometimes, he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament... My childhood was typical: summers in Rangoon... luge lessons... In the spring, we'd make meat helmets... When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds — pretty standard, really. At the age of 12, I received my first scribe. At the age of 14, a Zoroastrian named Vilmer ritualistically shaved my testicles. When I was 18 I went to evil medical school. At age 25 I took up tap dancing. I wanted to be a quadruple threat: an actor, dancer, singer... and I would possess nuclear weapons, which really is the most threatening of the four.

— Dr. Evil, in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

  My life has not been nearly as exciting as that. I was born in Greece, in the northern city of Thessaloniki, and lived there for the first 25 years of my life. I studied Chemical Engineering, and then moved...