Family photos

Right. Since getting home I’ve had a chance to look through the CD of the ultrasound Simone had while I was in Dunedin, and for your edification here are a few photos of Simone’s handy work:

baby-1.jpg _ baby-2.jpg _ baby-3.jpg

I included the last photo to prove (as if there was ever any doubt, given it’s parentage) that our kid has spine (and thus by inference grit, determination and (god help us) that now famous Ramsay family stubborn streak).

You should be able to see bigger copies of the pictures by clicking on each of them.


Well after 6 weeks in Dunedin I’m finally going home today. It’s going to be very odd going from Dunedin, where the daily high might reach 18, to Cairns where the daily low might reach 18.

And my cat is going to demand many many compensatory belly scratches. And Jack’s demands are going to be *nothing* when compared to my ever so demanding (:-)) wife’s expectations for snuggles and pampering after I left her alone and up the duff to go traipsing off to another country for 6 weeks…

And then I’ve got to get used to going to work again. Ah well. Suppose I can’t expect to be paid to do nothing forever… (although sometimes I think it would be nice).

Sushi Side Effects

Curious little mention on Slashdot of an article in Practical Neurology about a neurotoxin in tropical fish which, among other equally odd effects, causes a reversal in the sensations of hot and cold. That would certainly be unusual to experience, but an amusing party joke if you could make it short lived and reversible…

I have ridden the mighty moon worm!

Al Gore, the inventor of the environment, and first emperor of the moon (those futurama fans out there will know what I’m talking about), and one time holder of the award for the most boring man alive, has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy regarding global warming. Kudos to him. Now the question is going to be who will win the bag of moon sapphires for coming up with a solution to the global warming problem??

Call me cynical

…but I agree with those who feel that John Howard’s sudden interest in Aboriginal reconciliation is pretty cynical.

He’s had plenty of time to do this, but to suddenly decide to finally stop ignoring the sentiment of the majority of the country on this issue in the immediate lead up to an election just seems pathetic and fumblingly manipulative (especially when you’ve just annexed and arguably disenfranchised many of the Aboriginals in the northern territory).

I understand the concern that a poorly articulated apology might be interpreted by some as an admission of government guilt or complicity, and may lead to greater activity in the areas of aboriginal land rights and compensation litigation, but it is possible to (a) grow a set and accept that perhaps that wouldn’t be the worst thing, and (b) have taken some peremptory steps in that direction before trying to use it to leverage an election.

“I’m (personally) sorry that these injustices have happened to your people” neither implies guilt or responsibility, nor obliges any action, but does show that you appreciate that certain unfairnesses occurred, and that you may be agreeable to looking at ways of rectifying things. And if John had said something like that when Peter Garret and Midnight Oil wore their “Sorry” suit at the 2000 Olympics (as most of the younger generation of Australians apparently feel he should have) then perhaps I wouldn’t think that talk of recognising Aboriginals in a constitutional amendment so suspect.

Hooray for Allen

The (SETI) Allen Telescope (previously known as the 1 hectare telescope) is up and running. Now lets see if we can’t find some little green men (and do some pretty damn nifty science in the process…


At the moment I’m going through quite a bit of respiratory physiology, and I can’t help noticing that I constantly become consciously aware of my breathing. I get that thing where I suddenly notice that I’m breathing, pause mid breath, and then have to think for a tic before I remember what comes next and I start breathing normally again.

It doesn’t happen when I’m studying any other kind of physiology, which is why it’s so curious.

Terrorism and kidnapping

The other night while I was cooking dinner Ellen (who I’m sharing a flat with while we are in Dunedin both studying for the exam, and who I worked with at logan last year) looked up from her study and said something to the effect of “You know what, I’m really starting to like Last’s” (which is our (rather wordy) anatomy text book).

I found this rather amusing because I found myself wondering if this was some perverse form of Stockholm Syndrome, the situation where captives come to empathise with and form emotional attachments with their captors.

And baby makes Three

Well actually it’s four, given that Jack is such an integral part of the family.

Today Simone had her first (12 week) ultrasound of our first attempted child. Apparently all is well to date with bones being where they should be and the like. Another 2 months before we get to the good scan (with fingers and brains and heartbeats etc) but it’s still a significant milestone. According to or reckonings it should be cooked and ready on about the 20th of April next year, although for those inquisitive souls out there you may have to wait until then to find out a sex, as we think we’re going to let it be a surprise.

In other related news Simone is planning on taking next year off work, and since Cairns have offered me a non-training job doing Orthopaedics we’re going to be staying in Cairns for another year, which obviously wasn’t the initial plan when we decided to come up, but as they say, life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

Flight of ideas

One of the things I am living about being in Dunedin is the exposure to Academic medicine, with our lecturers as often as not being dual clinicians and researchers. They really know the stuff, and keep on hinting at the bits that are still unresolved, or those tidbits that have recently arisen from exciting research breakthroughs. Having gone through the UQ Med school and worked for Queensland Health (neither of which have administrations even remotely interested in research) it’s unbelievably refreshing to be around other minds who are interested in how things work, not just the fact that they do. (and who do research that involves more that glorified counting and stamp collecting).

For the first time in what seems like years I find myself wandering along a million miles away deep in contemplation of how I could solve some of the problems in Medicine, how I could improve myself, and how I could come to take over the world (or at least become a giant in my little corner of it). I used to get it all the time when I was doing my Biochemistry undergrad degree, but haven’t felt it much since starting studying medicine, and I had forgotten how invigorated and vibrant it made me feel to know of all the big holes that exist in our knowledge just waiting for me to devote a happy life to figuring them out.