Anomymous Proximity

One of the wierd things I have noticed with facebook is the way you get this “I wonder whether x ran into y” thought when you see that two of your friends are visiting the same place at the same time. For some reason it doesn’t immediately occur to you that just because you are friends with them doesn’t mean that they actually know each other at all, and are essentially just two strangers who are connected solely by two degrees of David Ramsay (with an obvious nod to Kevin Bacon).
Either way I hope they both enjoyed Darwin…

Strange but true

I was listening to background briefing on ABC tonight and heard some interesting factiods.
Iran’s population has increased from 25 million to 60 million since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
60% of the population is under 30 years of age.
50% of that age group are unemployed.
Says some interesting things about the likely long term stability of the current religious establishment there.

Mobile Elements

Charlotte is about to start crawling and the family are having to get prepared.
Jack is getting practice at scooting away and hiding on the top of his scratching post, and Simone and I are investing in cupboard locks and gates to put in the various doorways around the house.
At the moment Charlotte can get up on all fours and move her knees forward as if to crawl, but hasn’t figured out how to coordinate in the hands yet.
Next thing I know I’ll be dropping her off to her high school ball…


Well it seems that I am mellowing.

No longer does every post involve a tirade cast down from my pulpit about some injustice or societal absurdity.

Now I just talk about things my baby is doing, and the innane day to day happenings of my life, so…

To conincide with me updating some of the background software which runs my blog I have re-branded this little corner of the web as “Three Ring Circus” with a few color changes and everything!

The newer version of the photo embedding addon also seems to work again (the old version had stopped wroking for some reason), so instead of just pointing you in the direction of my photo galleries I will hopefully be able to put more pics directly into my posts.

Anyway. We’ll see how the new layout and system works over the coming few months.


When you continue to make comments like “Only God who appointed me will remove me” you really start to look crazy (well, more crazy than previously).

You also make your retirement plans to the country villa seem a little non-viable, as people start to think that the only way they’re going to be able to effect democratic change is via some democratic high velocity lead into your anti-democratic brain case.

Now I’m not usually one to condone any form for capital punishment, but perhaps we can make an exception or two, and perhaps the UN should be following through on it’s promise to intervene when a country’s government shows flagrant, ongoing, and intentional disdain for the wellbeing of it’s own citizens. (and the same goes for Burma as well).


On the creation of “heroes”


Again I watch a bewildering cycle of absurdity play out in America.

Kid goes on shooting spree, leaves note, says that “Now he’s going to be famous”

People despair and ask why.

No-one asks why anyone could possibly need an AK47 for keeping the squirrels in check etc.

Everyone floods him all over the news, making him “(in-)famous”, and thus actualising his prediction, and serving as a nice little reinforcement for others that if you find yourself feeling like no-one, you can kill a bunch of people, “solve” your problems, and become a “someone”.

Instead how about (a) making some moves to curtail assault weapon and handgun ownership, and (b) not making it public that part of his intention was fame, so as to avoid making him a role model to other disaffected youth.



For an engagement present we got these great new knives (whose praises I have sung previously), and today, while doing some post exam procrastinative/rewardative shopping I wandered through Myer (where the knives came from) and went looking for an additional knife to fill the one gap I percieve in the set’s capabilities.

As I was doing it I realised what an amusingly mature and adult activity it was that I was enjoying shopping for kitchen implements. Whatever happened to the foolish and hedonistic days of my youth? 🙂

Fiscal kneejerk

For almost my entire life so far I have operated on relatively limited finances (I have had enough to live quite comfortably by general standards, but never enough to do many of the things I would have liked to have done) and so have been forced into a mindset of very stringent fiscal rationalism, a self imposed reality that at many times I have found myself violently resenting.

With the end of exams looming I have taken to rewarding myself for my study efforts by buying a present for myself after each exam (a CD or a book or some such thing).

I think that my actions represent something of a fiscal kneejerk reaction against the feelings that I was investing so much time, money and effort in my education to better myself and ultimately my society, but that I was recieving little in the way of encouragement, support or reward from government, faculty or family/friends/associates for my percieved scarifices. Now this is of course a quite selfish feeling, but none-the-less this was how I often felt, and when you consider that I get less support from the government and society as a medical student than I would if I were unemployed, it is perhaps not an entirely unjustified reaction on my part.

Of course it is going to be very bad next year when I am in a position to properly react against the years of consumer repression and buy (within reason) pretty much anything that I want.


The other day I was shopping and noticed that my shaving cream seemed to be more expensive that I recalled it previously being, and it got me thinking about whether the cost was related to the current high price of crude oil.

Now most of the concern in the news relating to the high oil cost revolves about the flow on costs for petrol, jet fuel, and diesel (with the associated increase in transport costs for trucks, ships and trains). Not much mention is made of the other effects that scarcer oil reserves (with their associated high free market prices) will have.

Now my shaving cream has butane as the main propellant to get it out of the can, but Butane comes from oil (either directly or by “cracking” heavier hydrocarbons in the oil). Butane has many many other applications as well, from gas stoves to refrigeration, which would become more expensive as oil gets scarcer.

The other thing that people are often unaware of is that Helium (as in the gas, which floats those party balloons) is almost entirely acquired by extracting it from oil, and when our oil runs out so will our helium, which is a problem given how much we use helium for cooling things like the magnets in Medical MRI machines, in deep sea diving, in weather balloons, and in welding and other industrial processes.

Food for thought really.

Magnetty fun

Something that caught my eye on a link off a link off Slashdot* and which seemed pretty damn cool was some guys experimenting with ferrofluids. You can get some really cool patterns when you apply a strong magnet to a bunch of small ferrous particles suspended in a fluid.

* Slashdot and wikipedia link jumping has become one of my main and favorite pastimes online. It’s surprising what cool stuff these two sites link to (whether it’s interesting articles on wikipedia, which contain links to other interesting articles ad infinitum, or reference links within Slashdot posts, which themselves contain interesting stuff, or contain links to other interesting stuff)