Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Train Seats

Whats with people and those folding train seats? You know; the ones where its facing one way, but if you pull the back across it will face the other way? (Those of you who don't take a train to work are just gonna have to trust me on this...) A couple of times a week at least I watch someone get on the train and come up to the following situation: 3 seats in a row, the ones on the ends with people on them, facing each other across an empty seat in the middle. And they move the seat before sitting down. Why?

I'm not saying I particularly care; it only bugs me because I just can't imagine whats going through these people's heads. Its not about sitting facing someone; theres someone facing you either way. Its not about facing forwards or backwards; it seems to go either way. (Its not even about me needing to shower more often, because they seem to move it to join me about as often as they move it away, when its even my seat.) Its not a huge amount of effort - though I've seen people put packages down to do it - but it is some. Why bother? All I can figure is its some kind of nesting behaviour, like cats circling before they lie down to make it all comfy.

Happened 3 times on the train home last night and it got me wondering. If anyone can explain it, I'd love to know.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I have a secret

A while ago, I read about an article about people sending anonymous postcards with a secret on it. It was so cool and i just found it on the web.

It's touching and funny and sad and lovely.

Now Taking Submissions

for the coolest links of the week.

#1 What would you do with 8 treadmills? Someone get Graehme Murphy on the phone... (It's a film clip - best with sound though pretty damn funny without.)

myeh myeh hrefs not working again...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Reality TV looking hard to find a new low...

This is terrifying enough, but if you don't read it all then skip down the bottom for the list of other wonderful ideas coming to a small screen near you. Ten people kept from sleeping for 7 days straight... how long was it you said that radio host went Tops? Before he suffered from a total personality breakdown, left his wife, kids, and job and crawled into a cave somewhere?

Black. White:

This show for the FX Channel of the Fox network makes a black family white and a white family black with the use of expert makeup techniques. They go out in Los Angeles to record people's reactions.

The Farm:

In the Channel 5 show, 10 celebrities experience the "harsh realities" of life on a farm. Rebecca Loos', below, stimulating a pig caused a furore.

Who's Your Daddy?:

In the American Fox programme, one adult who had been put up for adoption as an infant has to pick their biological father from a group of 25 men.

Be My Baby:

Produced by the ABC network, the 20/20 show has five couples competing to convince a teenager that they would be the best adoptive parents for her baby.


The Channel 4 programme has 10 contestants going without sleep for seven days. £10,000 is deducted from the total prize of £100,000 if any of the contestants close their eyes for more than 10 seconds.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What Politician does your baby look like?

I swear it's a coincidence.

For Battle, now destined to be banned in North Korea (not that we've been there to check).

On a sadder note we buried our beloved grey and white cat Attila (aka Tiddle) on Saturday. His big adventure turned into his big adventure in the sky when he took on a car and the car won. He is now in the garden under a pile of rocks. Mainly so a curious toddler can't dig him up again, or steal the $1 coin we gave Tiddle for the Ferryman. We have been answering lots of questions about whether Tiddle is coming back for the rest of the coins on the kitchen counter (no Tiddle isn't coming back), is that Tiddle every time the cat flap bangs (no Tiddle is not coming back), or are we going to put Seffy in the hole we are digging now (no we are planting a tree and Seffy is still alive, she just sleeps a lot). There have been lots of tears, but D and I are getting better now. Fortunately Charlie seems quite happy and has already been out to say hello to Tiddle in his spot in the garden.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I heart Pollock!

a rellie of mine sent me a link to this site, which I think is absolutely amazing. I don't know much about clever computer programmes but I know what I like! the longer you leave your mouse in one spot, the more paint you get. every time you click, you get a different colour. move the mouse fast, get splats and dribbles, move it slow, get blobs. about the only critisism is that you can't choose your palate...

so beautiful. I'll never leave the house!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

YouTube. My new time waster

I've got a lovely bunch of links

If you feel the need for utilising some of your time, here is some help:

Firstly, Miss Krin found this lovely little survey to see if you can tell the difference between Rolf Harris and Adolf Hitler.

Next in line, inspired by conversations on the Night of a Thousand Dumplings (tm); with many thanks to the lovely Nw and DV; Ob mentioned that somewhere out there on the internet is the instructions for a paperclip trebuchet. How many will be in service by this afternoon?

And lastly, while flicking through other blogs, I found a nice rant about how musicians are severely affected by the ban on carry-on goods in Stumblings in the Dark. Sometimes it's good to get angry about something I hadn't really thought of. Other times I should just not have so much coffee and sugar.

Edit: Okay... now I'm freaked out AND angry: RIAA Wants to Depose Dead Defendant's Children but that's okay because they are giving them 60 days of greiving first.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My cunning plan

Can you help?

Last year, DV held a baby shower and we were all asked to build a decorated fabric square to contribute to a patchwork quilt for the then proto-Torbenspang.

I thought this was a cunning plan!

But I have to take a plan to a nerdier level.

My plan is to create a wall hanging with a square for each letter of the alphabet. However, I don't want some boring "a is for apple, b is for ball" quilt. I want the nerdy alphabet. I want "c is for cryptosporidium, d is for deuterium... t is for trebuchet" sort of alphabet with appropriate pictures. I figure sproglings can learn the ordinary alphabet from ordinary books, but the nerdy alphabet could be a source of all sorts of questions and nerdy discussions for many years to come.

So I'm asking all my friends (ie you bunch of nerds, even though you may deny it) to design and create a decorated fabric square to the above theme, bright colours preferred. Choose whatever letter and word that takes your fancy depending on your own special subject. I'll keep track of the letters so that we don't double up.

I figure the design should be 15x15 cm with at least 2cm on each edge for sewing it all together. I don't think the finished quilt will get washed but perhaps check that your square is colourfast in cold water in case I need to handwash the hanging at some stage in its lifespan. Please include the letter in the design. The inclusion of the actual word is optional, but I figure I'll include a full key and list of who made what on the back.

If you are in Sydney, then I can supply some fabric and I can organise fabric paint if you need it. (although any medium is fine - applique, embroidery, paint, permanent texta...)

Feel free to post alphabet suggestions. Please let me know specifically if you want to claim a letter and build that square. I'll see who volunteers before I start specifically asking people to contribute. I'll build a seperate webpage to keep track of claimed letters.

I have no idea if a baby shower will be occurring but there are 3 babies due within a month of each other so any event is likely to be a combined affair. Since there is so much second hand baby stuff out there I'd rather have your creative gifts than a purchased one.



Friday, August 11, 2006

Those Crazy Yanks

Over at Pharyngula, (great blog, he likes tentcley things) there has been a couple of posts about the American FDA considering the sale over the counter of Plan B, the Morning After Pill. Of course all the nutters are out in force over it, and the issue of chemists refusing to sell it on "ethical/moral/religious/FITH" reasons.
It has been available here for 3 years as Postinor so it doesn't concern us here but I thought this The Onion image was pretty good.

America is a great country (never thought i'd say that), but man it seems to be hell bent in returning to those glorious days of 1645.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Has anyone heard about this?

Got sent an email today from someone within Chem:

Australian Museum
I have received the following from scientists at the Australian Museum...

You may be aware that the NSW government is planning to merge the Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum ( the latter is a museum of technology and design, at which no scientific research takes place, rather they undertake research associated with exhibitions). For a variety of reasons, we are concerned that scientific research at the Australian Museum will suffer in this merger. Because of this, I'm writing to seek your assistance in letting the minister know that people in the wider scientific community care about the research effort at the Australian Museum, and want to see it maintained. We are in the Arts Ministry, so the minister is Bob Debus.
Attached is a letter the Museum's research scientists have prepared to make this easy: you can simply paste this into an e-mail and send to Debus (his e-mail is contained in the letter). Please modify as you see fit, or even draft your own message.
The key issues are: SCIENTIFIC research at the Museum is perceived to be at risk, that it covers a range of subjects, that it is relevant, and that the connection with the collections is what makes it unique.

If you have any questions about what is happening please contact Dr Pat Hutchings, Principal Research Scientist, Australian Museum - 02-9320 6243 or

On this you might also be interested in an article Julian Cribb has written in today’s Australian Higher Education Supplement pointing out that you can’t import scientists to do quintessential Australian research in taxonomy etc.

Okay, so how does merging the Power House Museum of technology and the Australian Museum of natural history make sense in the first place?
And where would they put it all? Power House is full of huge whirring machines and the Australian Museum is full of whale skeltons.

Though, I have to admit, i have been very lax in my local culture participation and haven't been to the museums or the art gallery in years.
Shame on me...

Friday, August 04, 2006

milk. we love it.

I found a site called The Consumerist today, by following threads of a story posted over at Lavatus Prodeo. I posted about that at our brand-spanking new ForBattle! rip-off: For Rattle! Meg, can we put a link in the sidebar? I tried, but I failed to find where you do it.

anyway. the Consumerist. they had an article about milk, sparked off by the fact that Amazon now sells food. and one of the things they sell is milk. and of course, you can review it, can't you?

Reviews for Tuscan Whole Milk

fan-tastic. 313 reviews, and counting. here's a couple of favourites so far:

Pride of Tuscany: without prejudice
Reviewer: Jane (Austin, TX)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a gallon of Tuscan Whole Milk.

Believe the hype
Reviewer: R Moses
There's been a lot of talk on the streets lately about Tuscan Whole Milk: It refreshes, it invigorates, it folds, it spindles, it mutilates. Well let me tell you friends, all this is true and more! Tuscan Whole Milk cured my grandmother's scurvy! Tuscan Whole Milk tackled a pair of armed robbers who broke into my kitchen last night. Tuscan Whole Milk sat in with my band Friday night when our bass player got too drunk to play. Never in my life have I encountered an elixir so potent, so incredible, so MMMMMMMM-WAH! as Tuscan Whole Milk. Get some today, pour it down the front of your pants, and sit in it. Won't you?

Does not help web servers run faster
Reviewer: Scoots "Father of Four"
I was promised this Tuscan Whole Milk could increase CPU rates in web servers by a factor of a gazillion, as well as increase RAM refresh rates, extend RAID arrays, improve ethernet performance, make ASP pages secure, fix PHP exploits, prevent port probing and block script kiddies and DDoS attacks, as well as ensure no hardware failures would ever happen. After carefully drip-acclimating an entire farm of web servers over a 6 hour period with 18 gallons of milk (6 for each rack), I'm sad to report it doesn't stand up to any of those promises, and now I'm out of a job and a half million customers are gathering a lynch mob.

go and have a giggle.

How Many Times...

can you flog a dead gnome horse ?