31 May 2007

yoga patents...

India to protest grant of yoga patents by US
30 May 2007

NEW DELHI: The Indian government has decided to lodge its protest against yoga-related patents issued by the US Patents & Trademarks Office.

While the health ministry has decided to take up the issue directly with USPTO, the commerce department is writing to the US Trade Representative against what it sees as a violation of rights over traditional knowledge.

If the move fails to impress USPTO, government is prepared for a legal battle to get the patents and trademarks vacated.

Officials said government was of the opinion that USPTO has been careless in granting patents and trademarks in matters related to traditional knowledge.

While details of a counter-offensive by government are still being worked out, sources indicated that a protest was the first line of attack. There is a digital traditional-knowledge library, which has enough reference material, and a proper search should be done before USPTO grants a patent, India is telling the US authorities.

US-based Bikram Choudhury has applied for a patent of yoga practised in a steam-room. USPTO is learnt to have issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 124 trademarks on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks so far.

"It's ridiculous to even think that an asana which has been practised for several years can be patented just because they think it is different. They have not been looking at the digital library," said an official.
Hmmm... greed! Imagine if those gymnasts who created new routines had patented them.

I wonder if this yoga pose is patented...

It was my birthday today. I didn't tell anybody at work.

Tonight Devi and Fiona took me to the Dumpling Inn for Peking Duck. It was a great dinner.

My blog may have another break until Monday as I will be going to Melbourne again (yep, football).

30 May 2007

whales - part 1

From San Francisco Chronicle
The two humpback whales that captured worldwide attention for their two-week sojourn in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta returned to San Francisco Bay on Tuesday and came within only a few miles of the Golden Gate and their Pacific Ocean home.
Meanwhile, from the Sydney Morning Herald reporting about the International Whaling Commission meeting

Japan says it is pushing ahead with its controversial plan to hunt humpback whales after key powers refused a compromise offer and despite warnings by Australia and New Zealand it would be a "provocative act."

"Japan is proceeding with its full research program as planned at this stage and this includes the humpbacks," Glenn Inwood, the spokesman for the Japanese delegation at the annual talks of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), told AFP.

Sometimes, the media just aren't able to connect the dots.

I finished a major piece of work today and I also had a hair cut.

29 May 2007


From the Sydney Morning Herald
Gay' tubbies face government ban
May 29, 2007 - 6:21AM
Poland is concerend the Teletubbies promotes homosexuality.

Poland is concerned the Teletubbies promotes homosexuality.

Poland's conservative government took its drive to curb what it sees as homosexual propaganda to the small screen on Monday, taking aim at Tinky Winky and the other Teletubbies.

Ewa Sowinska, government-appointed children rights watchdog, told a local magazine published on Monday that she was concerned the popular BBC children's show promoted homosexuality.

She said she would ask psychologists to advise if this was the case.

In comments reminiscent of criticism by the late US evangelist Jerry Falwell, she was quoted as saying: "I noticed (Tinky Winky) has a lady's purse, but I didn't realise he's a boy."

"At first I thought the purse would be a burden for this Teletubby ... Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone."


But in a sign that the government wants to distance itself from Sowinska's comments, Parliamentary Speaker Ludwig Dorn said he had warned her against making public comments "that may turn her department into a laughing stock".

The 10-year-old Teletubbies, which features four rotund, brightly coloured characters loved by children around the world, became a target of religious conservatives after Falwell suggested Tinky Winky could be homosexual.

ABC reaction

The ABC will not be removing Teletubbies from their roster, regardless of the findings of a Polish Government probe into whether the show is homosexual propaganda.

"We've been showing it for ten years. It's basically a non-issue for us. Australian kids love the Teletubbies,'' Catherine Bocking, publicist for ABC Kids, said.

"The issue's come up before hasn't it, this whole handbag thing, we don't see anything in it.''


"It's colour and movement for children, it's nothing political,'' Ms Bocking said.

Reuters and Erik Jensen

For goodness sakes, the purple character doesn't even resemble a human. What if it is normal for purple Teletubbies from their alien planet to carry handbags?

Seriously, some people need chilling out.

Tuesday, and it is raining tonight.

28 May 2007

other blogs

Taxi (cab) drivers must have lots of interesting tales to tell.

So a blog from a taxi driver would be good reading.

Adrian Neylan who drives a taxi in Sydney writes a good blog called CABLOG.

Interesting reading.

Back to work today. I will really need a relaxing weekend at home soon.

27 May 2007

40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum

Today, Sunday 27 May 2007, marked the 40th anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in Australian history.

The 1967 referendum saw more than 90 per cent of eligible Australians vote YES to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the national census of the population and to give the Commonwealth Government power to make specific laws in respect of Indigenous people.

One of the questions in that referendum was to decide whether two references in the Australian Constitution, which discriminated against Aboriginal people, should be removed.

The sections of the Constitution under scrutiny were:

51. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:-

(xxvi) The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.

127. In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.

The removal of the words ‘… other than the aboriginal people in any State…' in section 51(xxvi) and the whole of section 127 were considered by many to be representative of the prevailing movement for political change within Indigenous affairs. As a result of the political climate, this referendum saw the highest YES vote ever recorded in a Federal referendum, with 90.77 per cent voting for change.

As the majority of parliamentarians supported the proposed amendment, a NO case was never formulated for presentation as part of the referendum campaign.

The 1967 referendum did not give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the right to vote. This right had been legislated for Commonwealth elections in 1962, with the last State to provide Indigenous enfranchisement being Queensland in 1965. It was not about citizenship either (despite widespread reporting through Associated Press), but about citizenship rights.


One of the posters that asked people to vote 'yes' in the 1967 referendum. © DAA Collection, A/V Archives, AIATSIS

Of course, before the referendum process, a lot of work was done by Indignenous civil rights workers to petition the Australian Parliament. Women played a major role in the campaign.

What a weekend! I arrived in Brisbane after midday and was met by my brother Thomas and his wife Sarah. We had lunch at Wagamama, which was pretty ordinary before visiting their house which was bought last year.

In the afternoon, I met up with fellow footy fanatics and followers of my team, at The Lions Den at Chalk Hotel. It was great (they are wonderful people), and we headed to the game together.

We met up at half time to exchange notes, and also returned to The Den for a few drinks afterwards.

Unfortunately, this morning was not as fun. I missed the train. It was on the platform and while I was asking the train driver if it went to the airport, he closed the doors. So I had to catch a taxi to the airport, after already having paid for a train fare. This was still a better option than missing the flight and having to pay full fare for a later flight.

Arriving back in Canberra just before midday, I discovered that I had lost my prescription sunglasses. Another unexpected expense.

Anyway, Emily and I went to the game this afternoon at Manuka Oval, between Sydney Swans and Western Bulldogs. It was very much one-sided in favour of the Swans.

football - round 9

COLLINGWOOD 5.2 8.7 12.10 18.12 (120)
4.4 7.6 11.7 13.9 (87)

Davis 3, Burns 2, Pendlebury 2, Fraser 2, Didak 2, Cloke 2, Medhurst, Swan, Johnson, O'Bree, Lockyer. Brisbane Lions: Clark 5, McGrath 2, Power 2, Brown 2, Patfull, Black.
Lockyer, Johnson, O'Bree, Burns, Prestigiacomo, Pendlebury. BL: Black, Clark, Power, Charman, Notting, Stiller.
INJURIES — BL: C Johnson (foot) replaced in selected side by Roe, A McGrath (knee), J Adcock (concussion). Collingwood: Bryan (toe) replaced by Richards.
Umpires: Kennedy, M Nicholls, Woodcock.
Crowd: 32,225 at the Gabba.

Another loss, watching from front row seats on the wing last night. Sigh!

This was a signficant game to attend, being Simon Black's milestone 200th game.
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Sir Richard versus Ben Johnson

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Mitch Clark (he was awesome)

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Blacky being 'chaired' off after the game

25 May 2007

Squatting to riches...

From UK Daily Mail

Tramp given £2m Hampstead Heath plot after squatting on land for 20 years

Last updated at 08:55am on 24th May 2007

Home for Harry Hallowes is a rickety shack surrounded by junk.

Yet the 70-year-old Irish tramp is the unlikeliest of property millionaires.

He has become the proud owner of a prime plot of land on the edge of Hampstead Heath in North London - by claiming squatter's rights.

Because he has lived there longer than the 12 years required by law, he has been declared the legal owner by the Land Registry.

Harry Hallowes

Happy tramp: Harry Hallowes

The plot near Highgate, which consists of a 90ft-square woodland area around the 12ft x 8ft shack, has been Mr Hallowes's home since 1986.

If it were sold with permission for housing, estate agents say it would fetch more than £2million. But Mr Hallowes says he has no intention of cashing in. Yesterday, after a visit to the shops with his plastic bag hanging from an umbrella slung across his shoulder, he asked: "Do I look like the type that would sell up and go jetting all over the world?

"I'm not into package holidays and all that other modern stuff where they bundle everyone up like a package and send them all over the place. It all sounds quite nauseating. I'm quite happy here with all my friends and all the nature.

"I'm pretty lazy if I'm honest. I do a bit of weightlifting and I chop wood for the fire. I don't much care what happens to the land after I'm gone as long as they keep the wildlife - I'm all for wildlife.

"If I write a will I will leave the land to the Royal Family. They are the last bastion of refinement and sophistication so they'd know what to do with it.

"But there are a lot of greedy people behind the scenes who would love to get their hands on this."

Harry's squat

The squat: Where the tramp has lived for 20 years

His grey hair stained yellow by smoke from his open fire, Mr Hallowes said the only changes he wanted to make were to have running water and electricity installed in his shack. "Water is a problem because I have to use my friends' taps in Highgate."

Over the years he has become a well-known figure in the community, surviving on food handouts and doing odd jobs, and his friends in the area include Monty Python star and film director Terry Gilliam.

Tramp shack

Mr Hallowes now has the deeds to this plot

A spokesman for Gilliam said: "We are delighted by this. Harry is an amazing man, very intelligent, and Terry and his wife have done a lot to help him out over the years."

By a bizarre twist, it was an attempt to evict Mr Hallowes which led to him owning the land.

The squat is in the grounds of Athlone House nursing home which was sold to the property developers Dwyer International by Kensington and Chelsea Hospital NHS Trust.

Tramp plot

The view: This is what Harry Hallowes sees from his shack

To gain planning permission for a block of 22 flats, worth £1million each, Dwyer agreed to donate a strip of woodland - which includes the tramp's half-acre - to the Corporation of London, which manages the adjoining heath.

Dwyer began proceedings to evict Mr Hallowes in March 2005 but dropped the case after his solicitors presented evidence that he had lived there for more than 12 years and could therefore not be removed.

Mr Hallowes is free to sell the land, but without planning permission to build housing it is unlikely that it would attract much attention. The Corporation of London said that the land had covenants attached preventing it from being developed.

Tramp: Harry Hallowes has finally been handed the deeds to the plot after 20 years

A spokesman said the woodland, which is not open to the public, acts as a "buffer" between the heath and the development and that Mr Hallowes had always been welcome to stay there for the rest of his life.

But she added: "We are looking at the legal consequences of this. We hope that the land would pass over to us when Mr Hallowes is no longer there."

Mr Hallowes's case comes two years after George 'Rainbow' Weiss claimed squatters' rights on a flat in Hampstead which he later sold for £710,000.

Mr Weiss said: "I think it's quite magical that Harry has got his land, but I hope he uses it wiser than I did. I've squandered all my money."

Sometimes the concept of 'wealth' is a state of mind.

Thank goodness it's Friday. This weekend is another busy one. I will be in Brisbane tomorrow, staying for one night. Yep, another football game! Woohoo!

24 May 2007

I don't want one

In the 'how did you ever do without one' category...

A snot siphon, otherwise known as a Nasal Aspirator.
Nosefrida is a doctor recommended nasal aspirator that removes mucous from your child’s nose. It was invented in Sweden by Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, and has been used by Swedish Moms and Dads for years.

When your child has a cold with a runny stuffed nose, it can be frustrating when they can not blow their own nose. Congestion interferes with sleep, feeding and makes for an overall cranky child, and parent too.

Nosefrida is a plastic tube with a filter that the parent uses with their own mouths to get the mucous out of their children’s noses. WITH THE FILTER IN PLACE, THE PARENT DOES NOT COME IN CONTACT WITH THE MUCOUS FROM THE CHILD. There is no risk of bacterial contamination, in other words, you will not get the cold your child has.

Compared to the bulb aspirators on the market, Nosefrida is better and safer, since you never put anything inside the nose, and you control the amount of suction you apply. It does not irritate the sensitive lining of the nose.

Your child’s nose will be clear and she or he will be able to breathe, sleep and eat better.
Nosefrida USA
Nosefrida is made out of non-allergenic and latex free polypropylene. The blue hygiene filters are made out of moisture absorbing polyurethane.

Nosefrida is effective and hygienic and has been clinically tested. It is safe to use and causes no injury to you or your child. No more runny noses!

Um, whatever ...

Nothing much to report. I should be doing a few things tonight, but haven't started...

23 May 2007

democracy in the UK... voting on TV shows

According to reports (in The Independent) about the latest edition of Lonely Planet's Great Britain
Modern Britain, according to the guidebook, is a nation obsessed with celebrity...

For this nation ... it is "a telling indictment that more people [in Britain] vote in TV talent shows than for their country's leaders", said the new guide to Great Britain. That, it suggested, was "a symptom of Britain's ever-growing obsession with fame and celebrity".

And in a damning indictment of what some might consider to be the UK's thriving creative industry, those so-called celebrities base their fame on "little more than the ability to sing a jolly tune, look good in tight trousers or kick a ball in the right direction".

Yes, where else would you find a 'reality show' with D-list former has beens that people actually watch? (I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here)

Emily came over tonight and even cooked - T-bone steak, baked potatoes and beetroot, and broccolini. She had noodles for lunch, which I had been planning to cook for dinner. I was not about to turn down having dinner cooked for me, especially steak.

22 May 2007

wishful thinking...

Qantas' new first class lounge.

Qantas' new first class lounge.
Photo: Janie Barrett

- Qantas unveils new first-class lounge (The Age)
- Lounging Around (Sydney Morning Herald)
Design aside, the lounge, housed in a new building on top of the international terminal with floor-to-ceiling views of the tarmac, includes a Payot Paris day spa and a restaurant with menus by Neil Perry. The premium brand names proliferate, from Australian Kevin Murphy hair products in the bathrooms to wool carpets by Hong Kong's Tai Ping and Italian Carrara marble on floors and walls. Soaring oak dividers break up the lounge into areas for entertainment, business, dining and general lounging, with a library at the end featuring leather flooring, a sliver of a view towards Botany Bay and a ban on mobile phones.

The minimum time spent in a first-class lounge is 45 minutes, but my tip would be to give this one a few hours (and given a first-class return ticket to London costs $15,448, plus taxes and charges, unsurprisingly all services are free). You'd want to have one of the 10 spa treatments on offer - a full-body massage, or energising facial, perhaps - while remembering to pause at the spa entrance to admire the lush vertical gardens by international botanist Patrick Blanc.

You'd also want to leave time for a meal in the 48-seat a la carte restaurant (tables and chairs by Italian designer Cappellini): breakfast options include organic egg omelettes; after midday, the sample menu ranges across schnitzels, pasta, stir fries and salads. With enough time, you might later sample the self-serve buffet.

Apart from the French champagne and Italian mineral water, beverages include an Australian wine list. Nudie juices, too, are among the locals to get a look-in.

Designed by Marc Newson

Marc Newson and his stylish Qantas lounge at Melbourne Airport are part of a global trend to offer premium services for first-class travellers.
Marc Newson and his stylish Qantas lounge at Melbourne Airport are part of a global trend to offer premium services for first-class travellers.

Newson's first project with Qantas was the Skybed. He has since refitted the airline's first-class cabins and is working on the interiors of the A380, which, he revealed during the course of publicity for the airport lounges, will have an on-board spa.

Last year the Sydney-born, Paris-based designer assumed the title of creative director for Qantas and eventually the Newson sensibility will filter through to the back of the bus and be as familiar as the 'roo on the tail. "That is still a couple of years off," he says.

But first things first. Yes, Newson is quietly content with his handiwork on the lounges.

"It is cool, it has dynamic, it is the kind of place people want to be," he says.

Inside the Qantas first-class lounge.

An extended view of the Qantas first-class lounge.

A vertical garden at the Qantas first class lounge's entry.


I had a pretty good extra long weekend in Melbourne from Friday to Monday, staying at Michelle's place while she is on vacation in Italy.

On Friday I went to see my team train at the grounds opposite their hotel. It was cold and wet and there were television cameras and crews everywhere. They didn't train for very long and apart from Blacky, I didn't speak to any other players.

On Saturday, I met up with Paul and Tim again at the Turf Bar at midday, and we were joined by other supporters, Simon and Peter, visiting from Brisbane. Footy blokes and beer... yeah!

We went to the game together, and I sat with Tim enduring a dreadful game. Brisbane Lions lost, but they played my other team, Essendon Bombers, who won.

I didn't do much on Sunday, apart from catching the train to the city to wander around.

On Monday morning, I went to Windy Hill, the home of Essendon Football Club and watched my other team train. It was awesome. I had an opportunity to speak to Bachar Houli who is a new player and also a devout Muslim so we had a good discussion. Great guy.

Henry Slattery and Bachar Houli

Gussy, Froggy and Big Mal

21 May 2007

not slacking off...

Returned from Melbourne today, and alas can't think of what to write.

Watch this space tomorrow

football - round 8

ESSENDON 3.6 7.10 13.15 18.19 (127)
BRISBANE LIONS 2.4 5.8 5.10 8.15 (63)

M Lloyd 4 J Hird 2 A Monfries 2 M McVeigh 2 B Houli 2 J Watson J Johnson D Hille B Stanton S Lucas A Davey. Brisbane: T Selwood 2 T Notting A McGrath J Brown J Patfull J Drummond C Begley.
J Hird J Watson D Fletcher D Hille M McVeigh A Monfries.
Brisbane: S Black T Selwood R Hadley N Lappin J Brown J Adcock.
Umpires: H Kennedy K Nicholls T Pannell
Crowd: 35,034 at Telstra Dome.

Argh, despite Essendon being my other team, this was a horrible game to watch on Saturday afternoon. I love both teams, but Brisbane Lions is my designated team.

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Power tacked by Slattery

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Bunno can't stop Stanton

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Blacky trying to stop Stanton who manages to get a handball away

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Harding being tackled by Dyson

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Ash after a kick

18 May 2007

an interruption to this service

My blog is taking a few days break.

I'm off to Melbourne this morning, returning on Monday afternoon.

Yep, more football.

17 May 2007

baldness is not a disease

The media has gone into a frenzy describing a research breakthrough as a 'cure for baldness'.

Since when has baldness been a disease that required a cure?

For the original press release from University of Pennsylvania;

(PHILADELPHIA) – Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that hair follicles in adult mice regenerate by re-awakening genes once active only in developing embryos. These findings provide unequivocal evidence for the first time that, like other animals such as newts and salamanders, mammals have the power to regenerate. These findings are published in the May 17 issue of Nature.

Regenerated Hair Follicle

Growth of regenerated hair follicles over 45 days. Arrow indicates hair shaft.

Click on thumbnail
to view full-size image

A better understanding of this process could lead to novel treatments for hair loss, other skin and hair disorders, and wounds.

“We showed that wound healing triggered an embryonic state in the skin which made it receptive to receiving instructions from wnt proteins,” says senior author George Cotsarelis, MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology. “The wnts are a network of proteins implicated in hair-follicle development.”

Researchers previously believed that adult mammal skin could not regenerate hair follicles. In fact, investigators generally believe that mammals had essentially no true regenerative qualities. (The liver can regenerate large portions, but it is not de novo regeneration; some of the original liver has to remain so that it can regenerate.)

In this study, researchers found that wound healing in a mouse model created an “embryonic window” of opportunity. Dormant embryonic molecular pathways were awakened, sending stem cells to the area of injury. Unexpectedly, the regenerated hair follicles originated from non-hair-follicle stem cells.

Thank goodness for Thursday. I had a shorter day today at work due to an appointment with the accountant. Last year's tax return now lodged. Can't wait for the small refund. Better than having to pay more tax.

Emily is over tonight. We had duck confit with roast whole baby unpeeled King Edward potatoes with broccolini for dinner.

16 May 2007

woohoo... Tintin

I love Tintin and have all the books, even the two rare ones (in the Congo, and in the Land of the Soviets).

Tintin movies will now be made. Woohoo! I remember watching an old Tintin movie as a child on television (Tintin and the Blue Oranges), but have never been able to find it on tape or DVD.

From New Zealand's Dominion Post

Jackson teams with Spielberg to film Tintin

By TOM CARDY - The Dominion Post | Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Blistering barnacles! Peter Jackson has teamed up with Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg to make three Tintin movies, with cutting-edge visual effects to be created by Wellington's Weta Digital.

Jackson and Spielberg are likely to each direct at least one of the big-budget films, based on three of the 23 Tintin comic books.

The announcement comes seven months after The Dominion Post reported Jackson's wish to bring plucky Belgian reporter Tintin, his trusty dog Snowy and pals, including Captain Haddock, to the big screen.

Spielberg holds the film rights for the books by Georges Remi, better known as Herge, and has cited them as an inspiration for his Indiana Jones movies. The films will be made back-to-back.
See also Variety.

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Work was busy today.

15 May 2007

I don't want one

I wrote about the Eames lounge chair and ottoman on 3 May.

Now here is a set of chairs that I don't want.

These are chairs designed by a British designer, Lucy Merchant based on her drawings when she was a child. The chairs are made of bent steel rods (powder coated steel). The seat colour is matt white resembling the paper drawn on. They are called Mommy's Chair and cost £285.00 each.

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Give me some steel rods and I'll make my own.

I can't wait for the work week to end.

14 May 2007

13 May 2007

good evening Helsinki

The final of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest is on TV tonight, hosted by Finland in Helsinki.

I am not going to stay up to watch all the counting though... "good evening Helsinki, here are the results from the Finnish vote. United Kingdom, one point, Royaume-Uni, un point pwarnt... Greece, twelve points, La Grèce, douze points pwarnt" etc

Delayed telecast means that we already know who the winner is.

(Pictures and comments from Guardian website.) The winner is...

Serbia: Marija Serifovic with "Prayer" (Molitva). Serifovic is, it’s fair to say, a peripherally successful singer in her native Serbia, which chimes more with the Eurovision entrants we know and love. Backing singers with sashes is always a winner.

(My) honourable mentions...


Greece: Sarbel with "Yassou Maria". A keen advocate of modern laiko music, Sarbel says: I can't tell you whether Eurovision helps my career or not, because I don't know. It's very dangerous.” Crikey, what’s he planning?


Spain: D'Nash with "I Love You Mi Vida". Recently changed their name from NASH to D'NASH, due to the existence of a rapper called NACH, which sounds similar. It’s a small world and you don’t want to confuse people, hence the t-shirts.

Reading the lyrics on subtitle is always fun. They are so lame. Thank goodness for Terry Wogan.

Didn't do much today. Where did the day go? Devi came over in the afternoon as I woke from a nap. She picked up an old clunky computer for her sister.

12 May 2007


I thought I recognised the story!


Didn't do much today. Emily came around and we walked to the shops and back, then Neil arrived with a trailer to help Emily move her furniture (in the garage) to her new place.

Tonight, I joined Neil and Nick at the Canberra Labor Club to watch the Brisbane Lions v Adelaide Crows game along with a few other supporters from the local supporters group which I set up.

It was great to have a small crowd with whom to watch the game, as shocking as our players were.

football - round 7

Adelaide 4.2 6.8 10.13 14.16 (100)
Brisbane Lions 3.6 5.8 6.12 9.15 (69)

S Thompson 3, S Welsh 3, S Goodwin 2, C Knights, R Shirley, I Perrie, N Bock, T Edwards, J Griffin
Brisbane Lions: T Notting 2, J Brown 2, J Charman, C Johnson, A McGrath, S Harding, M Rischitelli

S Goodwin, T Edwards, C Knights, S Welsh, S Thompson
Brisbane Lions: S Black, M Rischitelli, J Brennan, J Adcock

C Kamolins, M Ellis, S Jeffery
Official Crowd: 26,978 at the Gabba.

Argh! What a terrible game. Poor disposals - poor kicking to targets, inaccurate goal kicking, and bad passing.

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Blacky tackling Luke Jericho

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11 May 2007

iPods can make pacemakers malfunction

From CNN
iPods can cause cardiac implantable pacemakers to malfunction by interfering with the electromagnetic equipment monitoring the heart, according to a study presented by a 17-year-old high school student to a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday.
Duh! All that will happen is that a warning will be added to the packaging. Have you seen senior citizens using iPods?

Leah is in town for work, so a bunch of us went out for a drink after work to catch up.

Even without Keiser around, I still feel strange being out after work and getting home late. It was never so much about having an excuse to go straight home from work, or to avoid after work social engagements, but rather I actually preferred to go home and hang out with Keiser. She was such a great cat. I still miss her dearly.

10 May 2007

Helvetica is 50

The Helvetica font is 50 this year.

It was created by Swiss graphic designer Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann at the Haas’sche Schriftgießerei (Haas type foundry) of Münchenstein, Switzerland. Haas set out to design a new sans-serif typeface that could compete with Akzidenz Grotesk in the Swiss market. Originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, the typeface's name was changed by Haas' German parent company Stempel in 1960 to Helvetica (from Helvetia, Latin for Switzerland) to make it more marketable internationally.

Helvetica is used widely today. Personally, I prefer Arial as a font.

In government, we use Times New Roman as the font in all our printed material.


See also BBC News magazine.

I left work and went home at 1pm today as I wasn't feeling too well (should not have gone to work in the first place). I had a nap in the afternoon on the couch (and missing Keiser).

This evening, Emily came over and we had Saltbush lamb sausages with Bintje potato mash, and peas. Tonight, we are catching up on Prison Break and Heroes from last night.

09 May 2007

shower jumpers

Too many people say that they are going to jump in the shower. I've never heard any auditory evidence of it.

Why say jump or hop in(to) the shower, when it is perfectly adequate to just step into it?

And then, why talk about getting into the shower, whether jumping, hopping or stepping into it, without making a reference to actually having a shower with water?

People are so strange.

Michelle left this morning. She had booked a taxi/cab for 8am, but it didn't turn up. In the end, we caught the bus to where I work at 9.15am, and she took another bus to where she had to go. Somehow, the whole purpose of getting up early was defeated.

08 May 2007

chicken-eating spider

I'm not scared of spiders and leave large Huntsman spiders inside the house, which certainly freaks out some people.

Now the Chicken-eating spider is a totally different matter.

From PBS Nature
Chasing the Chicken-Eating Spider

In NATURE's DEEP JUNGLE: MONSTERS OF THE FOREST, spider expert Martin Nicholas travels to South America's Amazon in search of a spider known as the chicken-eating spider. He heard from a friend about a giant spider that can kill a hen, and he wants to see if these tall tales are true. With the help of a tiny "spider cam" that can see down spider holes, Nicholas comes face-to-face with a huge spider (possibly new to science) that is nearly a foot across and could easily eat a chicken. NATURE recently spoke with Nicholas at his home in Great Britain.

A chicken-eating spider
A chicken-eating spider with young. Photo by Martin Nicholas
How did you get involved in spider hunting?

Martin Nicholas: I've always been interested in spiders. When I grew up outside of London, the other kids were pulling the legs off insects, but I was the one feeding flies to spiders and studying their behavior. It just grew on me.

But you are not a full-time spider researcher.

No, I sell commercial water treatment plants for a living. Once or twice a year I get out for an expedition, to see something new. I've been to Vietnam, South America, all over. Every time I go out, I learn something new. I've even discovered a couple of new species ... one is a small, brown, stripey tarantula that builds the most incredible tube webs. It is going to be named after me.

How did you get interested in the chicken-eating spider?

It started a few years back with a letter from a friend in Peru who built power plants. He heard this story of a chicken-eating spider. I love those kinds of stories, they are irresistible. So I had to go to Peru and see if it was true.

The spider cam allowed you to see some remarkable behavior, including some young tarantulas in the same burrow with what appeared to be a parent. ...

Yes, there were some real surprises. Seeing the big mama tarantula with the young was remarkable. Most tarantulas are in no way gregarious. In fact, they often cannibalize their own young. So seeing that was very unusual. But it may make sense. It looks like when they go out at night as a group, they can catch and kill larger prey by working together. We also discovered that those spiders appeared to be keeping a pet. There was a little frog that lived down in the hole with the spiders. It may offer some sort of service to spiders, like sweeping up ants that might bother the spiders.

You believe that mother spider was about 10 inches across. How big are the biggest tarantulas?

I believe the record is 11.8 inches, held by the Goliath spider of Venezuela.

Is the chicken-eating spider a new species?

We don't know yet. I would like to get it properly identified. There are two or three other large black tarantulas that live in the area.

Where would you like to go spider hunting next?

Central Africa. That's my next big spider project. The logistics are very difficult, but there are potentially several kinds of giant spiders living in the region. One that was 11.5 inches across once walked into a British fort a long time ago, but it has never been seen again. Perhaps it was a freak of nature, but maybe not.

Do you keep spiders as pets?

Oh yes. I live in a big converted chapel, and they've got one whole end of a hall. I keep, breed, and photograph dozens of species. I always say keeping and feeding 500 tarantulas is cheaper than keeping a single dog!
Um, even I won't leave one of those inside the house.

See also BBC Science.

Michelle is in town for work, so is staying over tonight. About time she visited! We had vindaloo (beef) for dinner.

Sigh, Keiser is very much missed tonight.

07 May 2007

what's news?

As at 8.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane), on Google news, there are 1147 articles about Paris Hilton going to jail, and 24 articles about glycerin contamination.

The articles about glycerin contamination are important as it concerns counterfeit medication which has resulted in fatalities.

I have no idea why the other topic about an infamous nobody has generated so much interest.

Work week started again. Ho hum.

06 May 2007

the worst lyrics ever

Radio BBC 6 Music had a poll on the worst lyrics.

The worst at number one was Des'ree with her song Life.
I don't want to see a ghost,
It's the sight that I fear most,
I'd rather have a piece of toast,
Watch the evening news.
I wonder how she could keep a straight face singing that...

Didn't do much today. Went to the club in the afternoon to watch the game, even though it was live on free to air TV. Caught up with Courtney, then Nick and Sunny. Hopefully I can get a bigger crowd next time. There was also some barbaric boxing match on and most of the screens were tuned to that.

I miss spending do nothing days with Keiser.

football - round 6

BRISBANE LIONS 5.5 9.10 12.15 17.18 (120)
FREMANTLE 4.5 7.8 9.14 10.15 (75)

GOALS: Brisbane: A McGrath 5 C Johnson 2 L Power 2 J Sherman 2 J Brown 2 J Patfull C Begley C Stiller M Rischitelli. Fremantle: M Pavlich 3 C Tarrant 3 T Cook R Warnock D Headland P Bell.
BEST: Brisbane:
A McGrath L Power B McDonald N Lappin S Black. Fremantle: P Bell M Pavlich H Black J Carr D Mundy.
REPORTS: C Johnson (Brisbane) reported by field umpire S Wenn for allegedly headbutting S Parker (Fremantle) in the second quarter, Antoni Grover (Fremantle) reported by field umpire M Nicholls for attempted trip on A McGrath (Brisbane) in the third quarter.
Umpires: M James M Nicholls S Wenn.
Official crowd: 27,175 at the Gabba.

What a great win by my team on a hot day! I like attending Sunday afternoon games, but don't like sitting in full sun though. Although this game was telecast on free to air TV, I went to the club and watched a bit of it with Courtney, and then Nick and Sunny.

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Ash (five goals from him)

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Bozo flies

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