The inclination

I was wondering the other day what it is that gives me such satisfaction in writing my blog (presumably it’s the false sense of connection and social involvement, believing that many more people are interested in my life enough to want to read about it than actually do (hi mum!)).

In the couple of years I have been intermittently doing this I have watched other members of my family and social group start (and usually fail to continue) blogs of various themes and styles.

Mum got one set up to allow her to wax lyrical about her quilts. As far as I’m aware she hasn’t written a single thing since the first entry I helped her with.

Other friends like Jeremy, Vic, and James and Telle write more frequently, in these cases I think because they have widely dispersed friends overseas, and seem to have interesting lives (travel and distraction wise) that is worth sharing.

Ultimately I just wish more people kept blogs up, because I like the opportunity to keep up with friends who I don’t necessarily have the time to phone and talk to as often as I would perhaps like…


Firstly, hooray for those quirky folk at MIT:

1. They think they’ve discovered the molecular basis for fear. Now if that isn’t a potential target for military drug R&D I don’t know what is.

2.  They’ve also been tinkering with next generation space suits, which instead of being pressurised are just really really elastic, to counteract the effects of the no atmosphere of space, and the low atmoshere of other plants/moons.

Next, using the power of photon emission some guys have developed a genuine random number generator. This is great because up until now most all computer based random numbers were just approximations generated by an algorithm, and not actually random. What’s even better is it’s apparently available free of change via the internet for researchers or other people interested in random numbers.

Finally, those/us cooky New zealanders, they’ve come up with an idea to make a biofuel derived from algae that can be used to power commercial jets. They go on to say that algae ponds covering “only” 34,000 square kilometers could supply enough fuel for all the world’s aircraft. That sounds great in theory, but that’s somethink like 15% of NZ’s land area, that doesn’t sound quite to practical…

I finally get it

One of the amusing features of getting old is that it seems to take longer and longer to become aware of and take up the emerging cultural trends of the day. My first recallection of this was when the whole “Bling” phenomenon passed me by for about 5 months before I became aware of it (not that that really constituted a big loss for me, or the rest of society for that matter).

I have generally put it down to the fact that you spend all day working and not randomly surfing the net or gossiping with vacuous 15 year old girls (who unfortunately seem to originate and perpetuate many of these “trends”).

As a result I have been amused to realise that after several years of reading about them and hearing everyone go on about how it’s the new hot thing, I finally seem to “get” the internet phenomenons of Youtube and Facebook.

I had in the past looked at a few videos on youtube, but had never gone beyond linking in to look at a specific video, and then leaving again. I just didn’t get the whole fun of jumping from video to tenuously related video and seeing where it took me, or watching (usually only parts of) unbelievably bad video blogs. Perhaps its the acquisition  of higher speed broadband that has changed it for me (less loading lag time) but I’ve now found quite a lot of fun in link-surfing around Youtube. I’ve also decided that it’s a great system for putting video on my blog (as seen recently in my Youtube Stumbles regarding Harry Potter) without having to bother with setting up my own streaming video server – watch for more videos of Jack soon.

Facebook also was something I saw people using and didn’t get. I couldn’t see the point. I could email people quite adequately already, why would I need to do it through a website for everyone else to see as well? But in a fit of curiosity a few weeks back I signed up and now I can’t seem to go 12 hours without checking whether I’ve got new friends, or new photos have been added, or someone’s changed their status, or written on my wall. It’s unbelievably compulsive. It also makes sitting in my study being boring and reading anatomy seem immensely less socially isolating than it was only a month ago.

So it’s only taken  me a few years to get with the program, but I’m finally here.

If you are using facebook as well and want to add me as a friend, you should be able to locate me with either my gmail or hotmail addresses.

Best Bush T-shirts

On a site that posts the kind of internet humor that regularly ends up in your email inbox in the form of FWD:fwd:re:Fwd… <insert caption here>, I found the following amusing little list of best Bush T-shirts. My favorites are 1, 16 and 18.

Best Bush T-Shirts

Posted February 11, 2007

1) (On an infant’s shirt): Already smarter than Bush.

2) 1/20/09: End of an Error!

3) That’s OK, I Wasn’t Using My Civil Liberties Anyway

4) Let’s Fix Democracy in This Country First

5) Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.

6) You Can’t Be Pro-War And Pro-Life At The Same Time

7) If You Can Read This, You’re Not Our President

8) Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

9) George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight

10) Impeachment: It’s Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

11) America : One Nation, Under Surveillance

12) They Call Him “W” So He Can Spell It

13) Which God Do You Kill For?

14) Jail to the Chief!

15) Who Would Jesus Torture?

16) No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade?

17) Bush: God’s Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap

18) Bad president! No Banana.

19) We Need a President Who’s Fluent In At Least One Language

20) We’re Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them

21) Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Blood

22) Is It Vietnam Yet?

23) Bush Doesn’t Care About White People, Either

24) Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Handbasket?

25) You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.

26) Impeach Cheney First

27) Dubya, Your Dad Shoulda Pulled Out, Too

28) When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46/gal!

29) The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

30) 2004: Embarrassed – 2005: Horrified – 2006: Terrified

31) Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

Youtube stumbles

While doing some stumbling around Youtube I came across these somewhat unusual girls who go by the name of the Parselmouths, and who like to make videos of themselves singing songs about harry potter and potter related themes.

Here, for your amusement, are two of their offerings.

“What kind of name is Hermione”:

and, “And then I died”:


Cheers big ears

For those geeks of you out there, here’s something that’s sure to appeal to you:

An online partially visual version of the old hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy game (which if you’ve ever played the old text only version (which I think may be available at Home of the Underdogs), you will know to be spectacularly, amusingly frustrating. In fact I don’t think the adjective frustrating really adequately does justice to how entertainingly infuriating it can be at points. Anyway)

Public service announcement

As several observant people have commented to me recently, my blog looks a little different at present. The reason is that I upgraded all my blog software components about a week ago, and haven’t gotten around to setting up all the little customisations I need in order for my site to look exactly as it did before. Have faith. Soon all will be back to the way it was, it might just take a week or two for me to find the time.