Commisaire Magique Sabio Marten

You can find the schedule here and the giveaway here.

Sabio Marten is probably the most intelligent person on the Gendarmerie Magique. Aside from doing his work and inventing new gadgets to improve crime scene investigations, he teaches in Salthaven’s university. Here is one of his lectures for freshmen of Investigative Crime Detection (Sabio insisted I use his original papers including his graphics so I won’t get things muddled). Please keep in mind that the information presented is difficult, so if you don’t get it, don’t worry. You can eat your greens without understanding the details of how plants create matter from sunlight and magic.

Lecture on Photomagysynthesis by Commissaire Sabio Marten
Basic Magical Theory – Transcript

In my opinion, Magical Basics should be obligatory for all university courses. It isn’t. Thus, I’m all the more grateful that so many of you attended this course. Let’s dive right in.

I’m sure all of you know the basic formula of Photomagysynthesis. However, I’m better safe than sorry. Photomagysynthesis is the process plants, from tree size to the smallest algae, use to turn sunlight, magic, water and carbon dioxide into sugar while giving of oxygen. For those of you chemically challenged, specialists would write it like this:

6 H2O + 6 CO2 + magic + light –> ΘC6H12O6 + 6 O2

Just to make sure you understand this correctly, the numbers of hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), and carbon (C) have to be the same on either side of the arrow. The Θ indicates the magical enhancement. For those of you who don’t know, most sugars have a ring like structure of carbon atoms with hydrogen and oxygen atoms attached. In enhanced sugars, the magic curls up like a ball and sits in the center of the ring of carbon.

With the basics in mind, let’s look at how plants do what they do. Surely you’ve all heard of cells. All plants have cells with green organelles called chloroplasts. These contain so-called thylakoids. Those are membrane-bound compartments inside chloroplasts that look like piles of green coins stacked on top of each other. Their membranes contain molecule-complexes which absorb all colors of light except green. By the way, that’s the reason why plants are usually green. Only a few organisms use predominantly molecules reflecting red or yellow, and they don’t do Photomagysynthesis. They create unenhanced sugars. Their process is called Photosynthesis which is part of every basic biology lecture, so I won’t go into details here.

To make the molecule-complexes very effective, they have antennas using chlorophyll and other light absorbing molecules. Each antenna holds two to four hundred molecules absorbing energy and is referred to as a Photosystem. So, the membranes of the thylakoids hold everything necessary for the first step of the Photomagysynthesis, the light reaction.

During the light reaction, the chlorophyll molecules in Photosystem II use the sunlight’s energy to give off electrons that are then snatched up by a chain of electron transporting molecules. Every molecule in the chain uses up some of the electron’s energy and triggers the combination of Magie Sauvage with ADP and Phosphor to ΘATP. Yes?

Student: What is ADT and ATP?

Oh, you really want to know? Don’t say I haven’t warned you. ADP’s full name is Adenosine diphospate and ATP accordingly Adenosine triphosphate. You can imagine the molecule as a lorry for transporting energy to places where energy is needed – say for growth or movement. It’s just that ATP-molecules don’t keep, so life had to find a way to store energy for longer than the normal ATP-lifecycle. That’s where the sugar comes in. And that’s why we need to know about Photomagysynthesis.

Now, to get back its electrons, the chlorophyll steals new electrons from water inside the thylakoid. That action breaks the water molecule. This process is called the photolysis of water. The oxygen atoms combine into O2 and travel out of the plant. Lucky for us or we couldn’t breathe.

light reaction part one

light reaction part one

They leave behind hydrogen atoms that are missing an electron – and a lone rider like that is called… correct… a proton. The protons are transported out of the thylakoid by an enzyme that works like a one way revolving door. As the proton is pushed from the inside of the thylakoid to the outside, the enzyme creates more ATP, this time unenhanced. To fill up the void left by the protons, new water streams into the thylakoid through the membrane, thus keeping the photolysis going.

creation of ATP

creation of ATP and transport of protons out of the thylakoid

At the same time, the electrons that went through Photosystem II and the chain of electron transporting molecules reach a second photosystem. Photosystem I re-charges them with sunlight, and hands them to a second chain of electron transporting molecules. At the end of this chain, the electrons are used to combine two waiting protons with a stuff called NADP… what? No I won’t tell you the full name this time – go join a biology class…

NADP creation

NADP creation

As I said, two protons combine with NADP and Magie Sauvage to ΘNADPH2+. This molecule is like a shopping cart for protons. It takes them to the place where the second step of the Photomagysynthesis takes part. Here’s a graphic presenting the whole light reaction at once.

full light reaction

full light reaction

Now for the second step – The molecules produced during the light reaction are used to build sugars out of carbon dioxide. Since the second step isn’t directly dependent on light, it is often referred to as light-independent or dark reactions. But because it uses molecules from the light reaction, it still is indirectly dependent on light, so the expression is misleading.

The second step of the Photomagysynthesis is called the Calvin cycle, named after a poor guy who spent half his life watching the grass grow. It takes part in the Chloroplast but outside of the thylakoids, and it starts with an enhanced five-carbon-sugar grabbing a carbon dioxide molecule. The newly produced six-carbon-sugar splits up into one enhanced three-carbon-sugar molecule and a normal three-carbon-sugar molecule.

The normal three-carbon-sugar molecule grabs more carbon dioxide molecules and uses ΘATP and ΘNADPH2+ from the light reaction to recreate the initial five-carbon-sugar in several steps. It’s a form of recycling to make sure the plant doesn’t run out of five-carbon-sugars.

The second, enhanced three-carbon-sugar merges with another of its kind. The result is what we commonly refer to as sugar. Since it was built from two enhanced molecules, it is also magically enhanced with the magic caught in the center of the ring structure.

This sugar is then transported out of the chloroplast and distributed to wherever in the cell it is needed, or it is put into storage. When the enhanced sugar gets digested, the magic inside the molecules has been significantly altered by being balled up. It is set free as Magie Générale.

Herbivores or omnivores like us keep part of the enhanced molecules in their metabolism. Carnivores and omnivores receive their share of Magie Générale from what remains in the food chain. Are there questions?

Student: So I get more magic when I eat more greens?

Unfortunately not. It has been proven that the limiting factor for the amount of magic a human can hold is not related to the amount of plant matter consumed. There’s no need to become a vegetarian if you’re not so inclined.

Student: Is there a way to make someone’s magic stronger? What does limit the accumulation of magic?

The limit is defined by a genetically predetermined threshold that differs for every individual. Research suggests… No, I think I’ll better stop here. This is not about Photomagysynthesis any more, and I don’t think the university would be happy if I held you captive for one of my rants. Thank you for listening today, and I hope to see you again when I talk about our relationship with nerls, next week. Good bye.

 

(editors note: Did you understand all that? Where did you stop? I did tell you he’s a geek, right? Let me tell you a secret: so am I – I love this stuff!)

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On Tour…

…until February. You can find the schedule here and the giveaway here.

Yesterday, Kelsey published my post about Mixing Genres, and tomorrow, I will present to you Moira’s Mentor, Sabio. But beware. He’s a real geek. See you tomorrow.

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an audio interview with me…

… on YouTube.

This was a lot of fun. Watch it (and it’s only the first third). I’m hoping Rick will post the reast too, some time soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Enjoy your weekend,

Cat

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My first ever Blog Tour…

…is for my novel Urchin King. It was the first Fantasy novel I Indie-published and although the reviews are extremely favorable, I’m not getting the results I had hoped for. However, I do not think it’s a quality issue (it was semifinalist for the KBR 2012 Best Indie Book award) but a visibility issue. Hopefully this will change with the tour.

There are going to be interviews, reviews, giveaways and other goodies. I’ll post a schedule as soon as I can with links to the sites involved.

If you’ve read the book (or plan to) could you tell your friends about it? I’d love to have as many participants as possible on the tour. Grab the graphic below and send them to my homepage.

Blog Tour Badge

or grab the code:

<a href=”https://www.katharinagerlach.com” target=_blank”><img alt=”Blog Tour Badge” src=”https://www.katharinagerlach.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Blog-Tour-Badge.jpg”” width=”247″ height=”531″/></a>

Thank you for your help. I will post more information as they come up hoping we’ll have a great time before Christmas.

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The Advent Calendar is now available

Sign up for a countdown for Christmas. The first Advent-eMail-parcel will be delivered on the first of December for all who sign up in time (the others get their parcels later). In total, you will get 25 eMails with stories, Character studies, recipes and original music from six talented authors. And the best is, it’s absolutely free.

Check it out and join the fun!

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It’s my daughters’ fault

Now, I haven’t posted in quite a while. You could say it was my daughter’s fault. I always push them to spend as much time outdoors as they can because it’s healthy and trains their imagination. But two of three are in puberty  at the moment, and they accuse me of forcing them to do something I’m not doing myself. They are right (partially).

I worked a lot this year (new novels and short stories, becoming an Independent Publisher, Webdesign, several publications, marketing plus a course and much more), which meant I spent a lot of time in front of my computer. Incidentally, it’s a desktop PC and cannot be carried outdoors.

The kids have been on holiday for the last two weeks, and I tried to make amends and be a good example for them. One week we went horse riding on a pony farm we have been visiting for the last few years. By now, the kids are capable enough to go riding on their own (with a mobile in their pocket and us walking somewhere close). The days flew past so fast, I barely noticed.

One questions remains: How can it be that my garden is still a mess despite the time I spent outdoors?

How about you? Do you have a garden? Do you like to roam around outdoors like my kids (if they’re not throwing a puberty-related tantrum)? Let me know and enjoy the golden autumn.
Unterschrift

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“Hangover” — have you ever listened to the lyrics?

When I drove to the shopping center yesterday, I head the song “Hangover” by Taio Cruz on the radio. For the first time, I really listened to the lyrics and was shocked. There’s a boy singing about getting drunk and linking it. He’s even asking for more. No wonder that so many kids think that binge drinking is OK.

Why doesn’t anyone ever make a song that’s just as addictive (the music alone is wonderful and memorable)  about the dangers of alcohol? Why not devote a song to FASD-children who are born with severe handicaps because their mothers drank alcohol during the pregnancy (and it doesn’t even have to be much alcohol since the drug goes through the placenta unhindered and kills the fetus’ cells — mostly brain cells)?

These are the steps of drinking alcohol. Believe me, it’s not much fun at a party to have someone around like this:

Alien Happy Alien Sad Alien Wasted
 

Remember that it’s your body and it will have to last for a hundred years (best case scenario). And, what’s worse, your alcohol drinking habits will affect your children directly (FASD) or indirectly (“following in your footsteps”-mentality).

Rant over (for now),
my signature

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The Lost Day (incl. roman/germanic battle)

Wouldn’t the header for this post make a great title for a book? So, what happened?

On Tuesday, my day went haywire. First I went to a wonderful exhibition with my husband about a Roman/Germanic battlefield from 335 a.D. It was discovered a few years back and shocked the scientists since they had been sure that Romans had never been this far into Germany since Varus lost 3 legions in 9 a.D. The exhibition was great and we enjoyed it a lot.

Since it took us all morning and the lunch break too, to go there, look at it and return, we had given our middle daughter (12) a key so she could get in when she came back from school at 12am. Unfortunately, she left the key in the house when her friend came and requested her to help catch their sheep (4 of the herd had broken free from their compound).

We spend two hours waiting for the car service to come and open the door to my husband’s car (the key was in the house too) where we had a spare key to the front door. Of course, everybody was starving by then, so I had to cook and walk the dog (which had been in urgent need). Well, with shopping and a few telephone calls, the day was gone before I realized I hadn’t been on my PC at all. Strange feeling but not unwelcome.

Now, I’m back on track. The revision of my newest novel, “Juma’s Rain”, is nearly done and the first 50 pages are already translated. If all goes as planned, it will be available in the usual shops early next year.

Have you ever had a day like this? Tell me. I’m happy about every comment I get.
Unterschrift

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Podcast Interview with me – funny accent for free

Hi,

Yesterday, I was interviewed by Voice Over artist Katie Adler. Before the show started I wondered, “How will we fill a whole hour? I’m not really that interesting.” Man, was I wrong. Time flew by, and I even surprised myself with some of the answers I gave. Truth be told, you only get a good interview if the interviewer knows how to ask good questions. I had a lot of fun and highly recommend her site. She has this kind of podcast every first Sunday in the month (mine was a week late due to technical problems).

You can find the short stories I wrote (two 500 word flash stories) on Katie’s site:

Short Story Sunday with Katie Adler

and while you’re there listen to the replay, or listen to it here:

Have a great day,
my signature

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