Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Back pain?

Back pain? - Excruciating muscle cramps?
Been to Queansland? perhaps you've been stung by one of these:

Continuing with the jellyfish theam. These cute little Australians pack a punch. They even have their own syndrome named after them. The SMH reports that some people have been stung in Queansland over the last few dayz. I want to know if anybody has ever died from stings from the strange concentrations of blobs of purple jelly encountered surffing in Sid-en-nee beaches from time to time. One Bondi local caleld them purple people eaters. The are kind of like a blue bottle but with no air bladder and no tenticles. More of a concentrically ribbed transpearent disk with a ridge like sail and stinging purple edges.

The origional SMH article is here: Jellies attack Queansland
I put the whole text under the fold if it disappears.
update: they have now found a breeding ground collected venom and a few thousand embreos.


Four people have been stung by potentially deadly irukandji jellyfish off central Queensland within the last few days.

Surf Lifesaving Queensland's spokesman for the Wide Bay-Capricorn region Craig Holden said today the people were stung by the tiny jellyfish at Agnes Water beach, which has been closed as a precautionary measure.

Mr Holden said reopening the beach, which was closed following a similar jellyfish problem four years ago, would be considered as a day-to-day proposition.

"That was the one-off and we haven't had them since and haven't had them before that," he said.

Irukandji stings cause severe lower back pain, excruciating muscle cramps in legs, arms, abdomen and chest, and nausea, vomiting, headaches and palpitations.

They can also cause cardiac failure.

In 2002, two tourists - a Briton and an American - became the first recorded fatalities from irukandji stings after separate encounters in Far North Queensland.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Smacks for you

Giant jellies attack Japan

Stolen verbatim from here: http://www.cdnn.info/news/eco/e051208a.html.

TOKYO, Japan (8 Dec 2005) -- THEY are called echizen kurage and they sound like monsters from the trashier reaches of Japanese science fiction.

They are 6ft wide and weigh 450lb (200kg), with countless poisonous tentacles, they have drifted across the void to terrorise the people of Japan. Vast armadas of the slimy horrors have cut off the country's food supply. As soon as one is killed more appear to take its place.

Finally, the quarrelsome governments of the region are banding together to unite against the enemy.

Echizen kurage is not an extraterrestrial invader, but a giant jellyfish that is devastating the livelihoods of fishermen in the Sea of Japan. Nomura's jellyfish, as it is known in English, is the biggest creature of its kind off Japan and for reasons that remain mysterious its numbers have surged in the past few months.

The problem has become so serious that fishery officials from Japan, China and South Korea are to meet this month for a "jellyfish summit" to discuss strategies for dealing with the invasion. Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has formed a jellyfish countermeasures committee and fishermen are at work on technology to keep the marauders out of their nets.

The problem first became obvious in the late summer when fishermen chasing anchovies, salmon and yellowtail began finding huge numbers of the jellyfish in their nets.

Often the weight of the echizen kurage broke the nets or crushed the fish to death; those that survived were poisoned and beslimed by their tentacles.

Fishermen on the northern tip of Honshu, Japan's main island, were forced to suspend work at the height of the lucrative salmon season.

In Akita prefecture some communities saw their incomes fall by 80 per cent. The gizzard shad fishers of South Korea have also been plagued by the Nomura's.

In some places jellyfish density is reported to be a hundred times higher than normal. Worst of all, no one yet understands why. One theory is that global warming is heating up the seawater and encouraging jellyfish breeding.

Some observers blame heavy rains in China over the summer, which flowed out from rivers and propelled abnormal numbers of jellyfish towards Japan. Nutrients in its river water may have given them extra zip — or overfishing has allowed the growth of the populations of plankton on which the jellyfish feed.

Screens and meshes have been designed that allow fish through but keep out anything bigger, and a web of metal wires can be placed inside a net to chop the jellyfish to pieces.

In the meantime locals are making the best of it — rather than just complaining about jellyfish they are eating them.

Jellyfish are an unusual ingredient of Japanese cuisine but are much more prized in China. Coastal communities are doing their best to promote jellyfish as a novelty food, sold dried and salted.

Students in Obama have managed to turn them into tofu, and jellyfish collagen is reported to be beneficial to the skin.

# The most poisonous jellyfish is the Australian sea wasp, or box jellyfish, with enough venom to kill 60 people. Wearing tights is an effective defence
# The largest jellyfish ever found was a lion's mane, with a bell 2m (7ft) across, and tentacles extending more than 35m
# The notorious Portuguese man o'war is not a jellyfish at all but a collection of different organisms including stinging tentacles
# Jellyfish have both male and female characteristics. A group releases sperm and eggs which mix in the water
# A collection of jellyfish is known as a smack

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hand Drawn Holograms

This is facinating, how to make you own hologram with some bits of plastic and a drawing compas. It's right up there with making your own model rocket fuel.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My first Nigerian email scam

I have alwase felt a little let down that I have never recieved an invitation to give my money to a Nigerian in an email scam. Mr Paul Kamara has changed all that. the problem is that he only has $12.50. He has offred me 10% or a little over $1.20. I am perplexed as to why he would want to travel internationally to claim $10.50?
Here is the origional email:
From: paulkamara@infinito.it

Dear one,
I sincerely seek your assistance. My name is paul kamara.
I am the son of late Mr Julius kamara and i am an indigenes of Sierra Leone but based in Abidjan,Cote d'Ivoire. Until his death, my father was a very successful businessman,he deals on international import. He died of a heart failure in November 2003.

My problem now is that, my late father had a some money which he lodged in a prime bank here in Abidjan ($12.5), his intension was to use this money for an oversea investment. I want you to help me by claiming this money from the bank, to your account as my late father's foreign pertner. I will then come over to your country for my training and investment. I am willing to offer you 10% of the money for your help.Please get back to me for more details.
Thank you,
paul kamara.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Telemarketers - do-not-call register

Whilst I'm opposed to just about every move Jumping Johnnie H makes to become more like the U.S. I’d support this one.

As reported in The Age, Anna Burk, a Victorian ALP MP is campaigning for a national call register similar to the Do Not Call Registry in the United States. That’s an ace idea. Because if I can borrow from Rodney Rude - you know what I hate, you know what I hate, you know what I hate; I hate it when at 6pm after you’ve dragged yourself home from work and you’re feeding the baby and cooking dinner and some prick rings you up to tell about some special offer. I hate that. I either hang up, tell them I’ll just be a minute, I’m trying to feed a crying baby could they hold and just put the phone down to waste their time or I ask them for their home number so I can ring them at their home at say 7pm when they are just putting dinner on the table.

Johnnie, if you pull this one off, I promise I’ll put up one less “Not Happy John” sticker around the electorate.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Gosh Mar... I'm a commie!!

And I always thought I was a greedy neo-con fascist like my leader Jumpin' Johnny H.

Take the test here, only take a pill first cauz it assumes your a yank.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease

Our flock of cockatoos visits regularly. Whilst I like the playful cheekiness of the white destroyers one of them has a rather ugly advances case of PBFD. Yucky.

Pop a water balloon in space

Way cool NASA page on poppng a water ballone in space.
Almost as good is the Moldovan robber who uses hypnotism to rob banks.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am not Zaphod, or, How unpopular is it possible to be?

In the blogverse I have done that narcissistic little experiment akin to googeling yourself in the greater internet. I looked up “who links to me” and added their link to my site (down the bottom go look now, but come back, I’ll still be here).

This is what I found.

I am nothing.

Zaphod may have stepped into the The Total Perspective Vortex and realised that* he was the most important being in the universe but I live the crushing reality that, in terms of my reciprocated contribution to or rather from the web, I am a nothing; see:

i am nothing

I’m writing this blog for 2 + 1** reasons. Firstly because knowing about technologies like blogs it is what I do for a living and secondly to put a few photos up for friends and family, mostly of Baby Girl cauz’ that’s all they want to see. So I never set out to be popular or create a digital crutch on which to augment my sense of self-worth. Lucky really because yahoo divines that -1 people link to me! MSN suggest that I may be a little more popular reporting that 1 person links to me. Yay, that means that I have an average of 0. There was some poetry in having -1 links to me, 0 is, well, nothing. I wonder what you have to do to get an imaginary number of people linking to you.

I note that I am so unpopular that the immensity of my nothingness has broken the code at line 618. I bet that the code never had to calculate negative popularity or perhaps through some mathematical trick my popularity really is imaginary.

* I so wanted to write “…realised that he could have his cake and eating it too”, but I doubt that any but the most ardent Adams fans would get the reference.
** I also want a good excuse to invite myself to Grogblog and buy Darp a beer or three for his excelent contribution to the Benelong electorate and the internet in general.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Banksia blechnifolia - 20th Sept

The blechnifolia is comming along nicely, as are the Isopogon anemonifolius and the Hakea laurina. I'm looking forward to seeing it flower. It self seaded from a garden tree in Rosedale, Southern NSW

Banksia blechnifolia

Isopogon anemonifolius

Hakea laurina

Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's your world - reclaim your public space

It would be good if Adbusters (from whom I pinched this image) had a more international presence.
Unfortunately you can't use their web form to start a campus JammerGroup unless you are from the USA or Canada????? What The !!
You’d think that an organisation that was opposed to globalisation would have a global presence or is good fight restricted to North America?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Banksia blechnifolia

The blechnifolia (a rather pretty prostrate banksia) have just started flowering after a little over 18 months. They are in partial to full shade in very sandy soil - part native soil mix part sand and a little osmocote about 20cm thick over building rubble in a small raised garden. Of the three plants in the garden - the one that gets the most sun has flowered first but the other two plants look to have 2-3 flowers each. It’s taken about 5 weeks to grow from a tiny apical bud to an 8cm high cone that has not yet finished growing. Reading up about them on the web suggests that they prefer a drier environment but we have a drip water system in that delivers a slow drip for an hour once every other week and all the proteaceae are thriving.
I’ll post a few more photos as it grows.
The isopogons are goint to flower this year as well, should be very pretty.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

American Hypocrisy

Whilst this is scary, This is truly wacko or should that be Waco

Now you've had your laugh.

I can't help but to think what the response would be if this same footage were shown in the US except the people involved were clearly muslim. Imagin if you would, camps in the middle east for fathers and sons, bringing their wives, daughters and grandparents to fire powerfull wepons. It would, I imagin, result in a moral panic. People would be bombed.

Nuf Sed

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Back at work

83 emails, 5 voice messages and a lot of paperwork.
I love comming back after a few days aff site.
B.T.W. Harry Potter ATHBP whilst ok, was not up to standard :-)
Well, at least it kept me up on the plane trip so I slipped back into australian time easily.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I'll have the lobster thanks.

Dinner at the St Francis Yacht Club is, I must say, the absolute climax of my stay in San Fran so far and unlikely to be exceeded. An enormous thank you Mike for organising it and sharing such a special place with us.
I like to collect little cultural observations. Observation 436b is that in the U.S. they call the main an entrĂ©e. That’s so dumb. Gee am I glad I went with the onion soup.
Back to the room now, packing my bags. I have to be on a plane tomorrow for the 15+ hr flight back to Sydney. I miss my girls, my bed and the sleep I’m not getting here. If the plane continued going east around the world would I get two days back again?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

more nothing

Day.. what is it?, three I think - perhaps 4, but who is counting. Nothing earth shattering, but that’s just fine when you are standing atop the San Andreas . Today was the first day of the conference proper. Nothing much to report from the conference but we did have a wonderful dinner at city hall (how Gothem is that) a lovely old building except that it was full of over a thousand delegates, mostly from around the states. I got stuck talking to a couple from South Dakota (not the hip younf couple standing next to them). SD has about the same population of Golburn. The Uni has about 500 students? That’s not even a small school. Hick, Hick, Hick-svill. I did however manage to sell Australian beer to an infedel non beliver - who would have thought that you could get a squires in San Fran???

Back to city hall. This is what 2000 people look like stuffed into a national monument:

Se ya all tomorrow

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Poverty, Steep Streets, China Town and Batman

Tuesday, Day three in San Francisco.
After a swim and quick gym session this mourning I snuck into a workshop early but there were no empty workshops worth going to in the afternoon so I went for another stroll. I struck out south-west, more or less the direction that I can see from my room. Pretty quickly the scene turned nasty, lots of very poor, mostly black sick people lying on the pavement, yelling, drunk or high. Those with legs walked with crutches and anybody who could keep up with me had a sorry tail to tell. After three blocks I took a right, turning more or less north- striking towards a restaurant that was suggested before I left Sydney- Asia de Cuba. I’ve looked it up on Google earth and kind of knew where to aim for however the building was a construction sight and the lass out the front with a clip board and entourage of body builder types didn’t have the time to answer my questions. Plenty of time to stand there and do nothing tho’. So I continued up the hill, and in a rounda abouts way found myself circumambulating china town. Then I orbited back around the hotel and up to a largish food hall where I attempted to have lunch. Now I don’t think that I have a particularly broad Australian accent but the Latino serving wench had no idea what I was saying no-mater which way I tried to say it. Falling back on spanglish she understood me, kind of a taxi-lingua I guess. “Yo querio el numero uno, ci, the beef sandwich, con carne sin mayonnaise, ci, gracious ”. I have heard much much more Spanish on the streets than I have English, the same for the airport, taxi, hotel staff and any place that I purchase food. TV is half in spanglish or Spanish and even bus adverts are in Spanish (click on the image to zoom in)!
After the stroll I headed back to the hotel and took some photos from the sky lounge and then did the meet and greet in the conference drinks. I managed to catch up with all the providers that I had agreed to meet with before I left Sydney so that was good. Then up to drinks in the very batman like lounge before coming back down to write up this blog and then head to bed for a 6:30 gym session.
More tomorrow


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. ~Author unknown, commonly misattributed to Mark Twain

Just a short post today. I didn't do much, what, with sitting in on some long introduction to WebCT. I snuck out and walked around San Fran for lunch and again after the end of proceedings for the day. There is plenty to see but the fog and cold and mist don’t lend themselves for good photos of the city.

The hotel has a nice restaurant with palm trees growing inside and a Gothem-City esque cocktail lounge. I’ll try and get some good picks of the city when it is:
1 – Not covered in fog and;
2- Not full of geeks.

That’s all for now

18 July 2005
Flying from Sydney to sanfrancisco for the web ct conference.

I Arrived in San Fran today after a very long day. On Sunday in Sydney before I left Alex, Annalise and I went for brunch down at Brazura in Coodgee. Very nice - Annalise was playing it up for the waitress, all smiles and giggles. Then off to the airport by 11:45 for a 13:45 flight that thankfully, left on time. 14 hours in a flying coke can surrounded by Americans packed into cattle class on united, arriving sf on Sunday around 9am. I caught a shuttle to the hotel then walked around sf for a few hours, grabbed some lunch and did a spot of shopping before finally passing out from exhaustion at 3. 30 hours without sleep.
I hope that Annalise and Daniel like the nemo and pooh bear stuff.

BTW: are signs that your hotel is poisonous common elsewhere in the world or is it only the Marriott that is killing us?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Again, just testing. I took this photo of some ivy climbing a wall on campus because the autumnal reds looked warm in the afternoon sun. Unfortunately the HP iPAQ device bleaches the colour out :-(

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A big hola to one and all. The first few posts here will simply be testing the waters - how to post, playing with the interface etc. I created the blog for two reasons:
- I work with the internet and my supposed skills with it are what feeds me. Part of my job is to evaluate technologies like blogs and wikies, and,
- I read quite a few blogs (I’ll sort out how to put up a blogroll sooner or later) and occasionally leave comments here and there. I think is more or less polite of me to give you a way to find out who I am.
I’m basically lazy, busy and lacking in creativity so don’t expect too much. I’ll probably just use it to post pictures to friends and family and legitimise my turning up at a Grogblog someday. But then again I’m a rabid green / red so I might get fired up about IR, liberals or right wing doings from time to time.

Naught else to say for now, drop by later.

Nuf Sed
Av Phun
Emunctory: Any organ or part of the body (as the kidneys, skin, etc.,) which serves to carry off excrementitious or waste matter.