I was poking around some art related stuff last night and wandered onto the Louvre’s website, which is pretty cool.

I spent the first 5 minutes just looking at the section of the main page which showed random pictures of items from the museum’s collection. There was some really cool pictures in there.

Then I delved a bit deeped into the site and found that they have quite well constructed galleries of photos from their various collections (I got trapped by the islamic art section).

It’s all well worth a look.

Creepy! Crawley! Bugs are cool!

I’ve been watching the David Attenborough series Life in the Undergrowth, which is all about the fascinating diversity of insects and arachnids (spiders and scorpions) and the evolutionary adaptations that they have developed in order to master all the world – wings, silk, armour, breathing without being in water, breeding without water.

It really is pretty cool the various things they have done in order to fill all the millions of little ecological niches that they occupy.

The whole thing takes me back to my childhood, where we used to watch nature documentaries all the time, which was always a strangely enjoyable family activity, despite the fact that it made me vastly geeky (and by extension in primary school, unpopular).

New and exciting

If it’s been a while since you last visited the site, I’ve been very busy writing lots of stuff (the new setup makes publishing stuff heaps easier than my old system) and uploading lots of photos, so take a look around and have a laugh at the piccies etc.

Tendons are cool

Now this is going to be a very medical post, but I was watching a patient get a release of their Dupytrens contracture today, which basically involved opening up the skin on the palm of the hand along the axis of the little finger, and chopping out the contracted fascial tissue, allowing the patient to flex and extend their finger normally again afterwards.

Now while the operation is in progress you can see all the flexor tendons for the little finger, which usually lie deep to the fascial sheet, and it struck me while I was watching things that it tendons are damn cool things. Given what they allow us to do they really are pretty underappreciated, and seeing them so clearly and so well on display was frankly cool.

Purry and furry

Today was one of those days where you really appreciate having a cat.

Simone was on call last night, so although I didn’t fare as badly has her, I lost a fair bit of sleep from her being called a number of times.

Then I has a pretty average day, with several quite sick patients that needed sorting out.

Finally trafic was quite scarey on the drive home, with a nasty habit of changing collective speed from 105kph to 35kph with little or no warning (I had to throw out the anchors on several occasions).

So to arrive home to Jack being cute, fluffy, and friendly, was just glorious.

Fuzz therapy goes an awfully long way to making the world better at times like that.


For whatever reason, Jack seems to love stealing socks.

This is most amusing and inconvenient when you’re running late in the morning and put a pair of socks on the bed while you’re putting your shirt or trousers on, and at the opportune moment when you are incapacitated by having one and a half legs in your pants, or the shirt over your head, Jack will tear in, grab the socks and tear out of the room with them, and then of course it becomes a little game for him of scamper around while daddy alternates between laughing and ineffectually trying to retrieve his socks.

Great amusement for all really.

Water and power from poo

Straight from the “How we should really be using our brains” files, comes this story about the guy who built the segway (if you have no idea what that is, have a look at the site: they are an astounding piece of engineering, but are equally a spectacularly frivolous toy in almost all applications) who has designed a 1kilowatt power plant and a ~1000L/day water purifier system that work by burning cow dung (or for that matter, just about anything you can find that you can set fire to…).

The notion is that if they can get the price of production down, and put one or two in each small african and asian village, then the villagers will have clean water (which in effect = no water borne illness, which = decreased illness, increased productivity, and better lives) and power for small applications (like a community refrigerator, or a light bulb in each house (which will allow them to spend evenings in recreation, education, or further productivity)).

For all the brilliance and creativity of our modern science and engineering, there are far too few of these ideas being developed as far as I can tell, and so we must loudly aplaud this guy for his genius and his social responsibility.

More thoughts on copyright

The BBC has an interesting discussion piece about the appartent push by certain industry lobby groups in Britain to extend copyright from it’s current 50 years.

Regular readers will be quite familiar with my opinions on matters of copyright and IP as it pertains to popular culture, so I will forgo my usual tired tirade, but the piece is certainly an interesting and quite fairly balanced discussion of the issue.

Celebrity confusion

It was very funny flicking past Oprah the other day long enough to watch her being utterly confused by the concepts of how the internet worked.

The guy who was explaining, who was using really basic terminology and analogies to explain the system, would explain how routers and network switches and DNS servers worked and Oprah’s brow just furrowed deeper and deeper. She seemed to kind of think that it all just went through the air, and had no idea how things (emails for example) found their way from their starting point to their intended destination.

Very funny to watch. Also very scarey when you consider that Oprah is apparently a pretty intelligent individual. Obviously not that tech savvy though..

Abortion debate?… Ah crap

It has amazed and irritated me for the last week or so hearing stupid politicians trundle out their “harrowing tales” of wives, partners and girlfriends who have had abortions and how it has affected the politicians lives, without realising that the thing they are debating has absolutely zero to do with the morality of abortion.

Abortion within Australia is legal within tightly defined pre-existing parameters.

This debate had nothing whatsoever to do with the legality or morality of abortion.

It was entirely to do with whether the health minister alone and with no oversight should be allowed to decide whether a safe method of carrying out a legal proceedure should be available, or whether this decision should be entrusted to the organisation that makes these same decisions on all other medications that are available in Australia, and who posess significantly more expertise in the fields of medicine, public health, pharmacology, and medical ethics than the health minister personally does.
If the politicians want to try and change legislation to outlaw abortion then they are perfectly welcome to try to do just that, and they can have their emotional stories, and they can have their fiery debates (and they can also loose the next election because they alienate the majority of the female vote, and they can live with the fact that women will go back to having so called “back yard” abortions, and they can have the many deaths which will result from this on their conscience).