Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas All.

Just got back from a Christmas service at Spreydon baptist. The Sermon was very well done. Any way I see on the clock it's 12:32am on the 25th December so Merry Christmas all.

Finally don't forget what this day is ment to celebrate the birth of Christ.

God Bless Every one.

Friday, December 24, 2004

I'm Back

Well I'm back in town till the 9th Jan hopefully I'll see a few of you around. Then it's back to Fonterra Palmerston North for another 6 weeks.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

New Year Eve!

Katherine has kindly made her place available to us for New Years so here are the details.

New Years eve.

On December the 31st starting at 4pm you are invited around to
Katherine's place (If you don't know it comment or Ask here) for the evening, to welcome in the New Year.
Tea will be around 6-7pm so please bring a plate to share or meat for
the BBQ and wine or other drink if you so wish.
If you so desire you will be able to stay the night - you'll need to
bring a sleeping bag etc.

RSVP please, noting if you intend to stay the night, Though if you
forget to please turn up any way! And feel free to bring friends and
others who you think should have received this, as I don't have emails
for every one so don't feel left out if you didn't get an personal email.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Quick Question.

Just wondering how many of you people are going to be in town between the 24th Dec and the 9th Jan? As thats when I get back in town for my Holiday and am hoping to organise a few things.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Palmy Week Two.

Not much has changed from last work getting todo alot more lapwork. Apart from work still not alot to do. I still need to try organising some sort of interent connection in my flat as the current system's annoying and fonterra still hasn't given us network access yet. Though hopefully that will change seeing we're supposed to be getting work laptops next week.

Can't really think of much else to say except have meet a few of the Palmy TSCF people which is good.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Palmy One week down!

Well I've now spent a week in Palmy 5 days of which were spent “working” at Fonterra's research facility. In that time I'm come too a couple of conclusions, Fonterra would be a cool place to work full time at and there's not a lot to do in Palmy during the weekends if you don't know people.

Any way back to Fonterra. As suggested above working there is quite fun (at least this far) it's had some boring parts especially this week with all the confusion with all the summer students showing up and the national Microbiology conference being held in the town. Which meant my supervisor was for the last two days dashing off to that for most of the day. Still on the Thursday I did get to do some lab work total DNA extraction is quite fun (well as fun as work can be at least) not a very hard technique and one that I'd already done in Molecular genetics at University but still none the less interesting. Friday made up for that though with the supervisor in town for most of the day and the DNA extraction complete it was decided to wait till next week to do the analysis the result being I spent the day reading research papers, not the most fun thing to do as any of you Science students will know. Still it did mean that I've completed most of the background reading for the research.
Well I guess I should comment on the first couple of days. Monday was the big “First” day. After some difficulties with the bike I borrowed I managed to get to Fonterra at 9am were I met up with Chris (A guy from my Biochem classes) who's also doing work at Fonterra over the summer. Wandered into the building got fitted out with visitors passes by the Receptionist then waited for the HR person to arrive and take us to a conference room where the health and safety lady was explaining all the OSH stuff to all the students who had arrived sat through that then went down to the cafeteria for morning tea. After which the HR person went over various other things of importance gave us our staff passes (Cool little radio frequency things just hold the card somewhere near the sensors on the doors and they unlock for you!) then took us to our various supervisors. Then Lunch time at the Staff Cafeteria (foods real nice and quite cheap!) which was followed by a discussion with my supervisor (who's got several students) about the various projects were doing and how they kind of related to each other. Then afternoon tea at the staff Cafeteria. After that organised a few things got shown round the building introduced to people we would have to deal with, given some readings and done for the day. After which I headed up the road to the place I'm staying at ordered a pizza got my second cousins to drop off the rest of my luggage and went to bed.
Tuesday turn up to Fonterra 8:30 have a chat with the supervisor got told what was happening with pay and related things Morning tea, then went to a seminar by a visiting scientist (from Ireland) followed by a visit to stores for safety Glasses (cool somewhat stylish ones quite a wide range of choices) and a couple of lab coats. Seeing I wear glasses they also gave me the order form for a set of prescription safety glasses for me (~$300 worth paid for by them!). After which was lunch, did some reading in the library for a bit then had the the safety tour of the lab I'm working in, Afternoon tea more talking to the supervisor and done for the day.
Wednesday head in 8:30 another safety tour of another lab I might work in. Sub out some cultures Morning tea, Chat with supervisor do some reading, Lunch do something I can't remember then Afternoon tea and I finish for the day to head into town to order the prescription safety glasses from OPSM.

That's pretty much the week at work after work I've mainly been listening to music, doing some of the reading for work and playing the odd game on my laptop as I say not a lot to do in the evenings and weekends in Palmy.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Palmy

Well I've now been in Palm for 24 hours so about time to post about the happenings of the last week.

As my previous post has indicated I finished exams on the Monday (9th). With Biochemistry 3 being held on the Monday afternoon. It went fairly well so I'm pretty sure that I've done reasonably well and therefore should have my degree.

Next day Tuesday I spent the morning mucking around. Then went in to uni for a bit and chased the Bank for abit about a delay in clearing the laptop payment. The evening was spent watching a Movie at Brehauts with a few others.

Wednesday was spent doing not alot in the morning with the afternoon spent on updating the book sale tender (due this Friday). It would be good to get that again as the money helps pay for alot of Christian Union activities. The evening was spent at Andrew's playing settlers and Magic with Andrew, Jared, Matt P and Paul.

Thursday morning was exciting because the laptop arrived. However I was forced away from spending all day at that by mum taking me shopping to get some stuff for Palmy in the Morning which was followed up by chatting to the last two lecturers I wanted to talk to about Master Research for next year. After that a friend dropped by for a bit. Then I was off for a haircut then to Alethea's 21'st, which was a lot of fun. Got home lateish from that then played on the laptop for a bit.

Friday I packed for the Six weeks in Palmy (I get back the 24th December) we (Me and the rest of the Christian Union exec exc Tim) headed up to Blenheim they for SLC (Student Leaders Conference/Summer Love Camp :P) and me for Palmy. Spent the night at Ray's then at 4am Saturday Morning got up to head to Picton for the 5:30am ferry crossing to Wellington (not the best time to get up!).

Saturday after crossing over on the ferry very early that morning we took a shuttle to the Wellington Bus/Train Station where we (the exec) split up the others going to explore Wellington well I waited for the Bus that was to take me to Palmy and for some old friends from Napier to wander down and say hi. After they tuned up spent two hours wandering along the Wellington waterfront then headed back and caught the Bus up to Palmy. Where I got picked up by my Second cousins (my mothers cousins and his family). Spent the remainder of the day at there place fiddling around on the laptop.

Sunday went to Church with my cousins then after lunch biked into town to meet another Guy from my Biochemistry class who'd also got a job with Fonterra over the summer. Had a look around Palmy and the Massey Campus then headed back here. Which brings me upto the current time. Leaving me with the final alterations to the booksale tender to be made and some documents to fill out with regards to my accommodation. With my job at fonterra starting tomorrow morning.

Any way I hope things are going well back in Christchurch. Enjoy your selves people and I hope to see some of you over my Christmass break if your still in town during the two weeks after Christmass.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Done

That is it the last of my three exams was finished today. All three went all right so I think I can say that is my undergraduate degree finished. One BSc (Biochemistry) done, of course I'll need to wait till the results to make sure of that though.

It also means things get busy I can no longer put off things with the excuse that I should be studying meaning I've now got a couple of weeks worth of stuff to do in three days.

First is stuff related to my summer job. For those of you that don't know I applied for a summer job with Fonterra (the big milk company) and got it so I'm off to Palmy Nth for 12 weeks :(. Not my favourite place in the world but I need the experience, so to bad.

Unfortunately that means I'm out of town for most of the holidays except for 2 weeks just after Christmas Seeing I leave Friday the 12th of November.
Which is bad as I miss out on all you wonderful people's company and all the fun and amazing activities that will be organised. So hopefully a few of you will be around between the 24th of December and the 7th of January which is my Christmas holiday period. So that I can say hi and see you all.

Any way what I'm doing at Fonterra roughly, will be looking at the life cycle of a Bacteriophage (A virus which infects some species of Microbes) which is of interest to Fonterra.

Stuff I need to arrange with regards to this is:
- Accommodation in Palmy (partially sorted).
- Getting up there I'll be heading up with the other members of the CU exec who are going to SLC (Student leaders conference aka Summer love camp).
- Organising stuff to keep me from going nuts with boredom during the weekends.
- Go shopping with mum to get some stuff I need.

After that I've also got stuff that needs to arranged for doing Masters next year:
- I need to decided on a rough project Idea for research.
- I need to decided on and get a lecturer to be my supervisor for Masters.
- I need to decided on my 4th 400 level (Masters) paper for next year.

Fun stuff is:
- Have my laptop arrive and load all the needed software and Music on it.
- Play lots of games on it.
- Organise a game of Settlers or three.
- Possibly organise a small LAN.
- Go to Alethea's 21st.

Finally I've Christian Union stuff to do seeing I'm on the exec:
- I need to sign some stuff for the hand over from the old exec.
- Discuss the UCSA Book sale tender with the rest of the exec and those in CU interested in helping out.
- Rewrite or get some one else to rewrite the tender for the Book sale, and have it done preferably before I leave for the Job on Friday.
- Talk to various other exec members about things we need to get done by the end of the holidays.
- Spend half a day or so with all the exec apart from Tim as some sort of team building/getting to know each other thingy.

Hmm I feel alot better after having written that all down doesn't seem so much after all, seeing I've got 3 days or if you prefer 72 hours in which to do most of it before I leave on Friday with the Rest of the exec for Wellington. After which I carry on to Palmy.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Worth a Laugh & a Read :-)

The “Moon”: A Ridiculous Liberal Myth — by 70%.

Other Good reads some what more geeky than the first ;).

The Tao of Programming.

Worth reading if you want to attempt to understand us geeks :-).
Though the book may be about programmers you could stick science and research in there as well and it would still be meaningfull. In fact you could probably add Music as well :P

A not so Randomly chosen example.

A manager went to his programmers and told them: ``As regards to your work hours: you are going to have to come in at nine in the morning and leave at five in the afternoon.'' At this, all of them became angry and several resigned on the spot.

So the manager said: ``All right, in that case you may set your own working hours, as long as you finish your projects on schedule.'' The programmers, now satisfied, began to come in at noon and work to the wee hours of the morning.



A randomly choosen example.


There once was a man who went to a computer trade show. Each day as he entered, the man told the guard at the door:

``I am a great thief, renowned for my feats of shoplifting. Be forewarned, for this trade show shall not escape unplundered.''

This speech disturbed the guard greatly, because there were millions of dollars of computer equipment inside, so he watched the man carefully. But the man merely wandered from booth to booth, humming quietly to himself.

When the man left, the guard took him aside and searched his clothes, but nothing was to be found.

On the next day of the trade show, the man returned and chided the guard saying: ``I escaped with a vast booty yesterday, but today will be even better.'' So the guard watched him ever more closely, but to no avail.

On the final day of the trade show, the guard could restrain his curiosity no longer. ``Sir Thief,'' he said, ``I am so perplexed, I cannot live in peace. Please enlighten me. What is it that you are stealing?''

The man smiled. ``I am stealing ideas,'' he said.


That should keep you busy for a bit.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Firefox and Spell checking.

For those of you running the web browser firefox there's a little extension that I think you might find of use.
SpellBound, it's a spell checker (with an NZ dictionary :-)) extension that allows you easily check the spelling of your posts and comments for blogger and the various forums you might visit on the web.

It works better than Bogger's built in one and can be used for checking the spelling of comments as well. You just type in your text right click in the box and select "Check spelling".


So get it from here, SpellBound.

Note if your not using Firefox as a web browser on your home computer you should be it's only a 5MB download so it doesn't take long to get and install. It's more secure than IE and will stop all the silly little pop-ups from appearing. It also supports RSS and Atom feeds, which are the cool little things that the more tech aware of us use to read all your blogs quickly and easily.

Any way. Get Firefox!

Hobbits

Most of you have probably seen or read something about this but still it's cool.

Any way it's just (in the last week) been announced that a group of researchers digging on an Island in Indonesia have found the remains of a hobbit like species in human family that appears to have lived in the area up to 12,000 years ago.(Historical evidence for us doesn't start showing up just after that point).

The creatures were about 1 metre (just over 3 feet) tall when fully grown and where found in the same sedimentary layer as a range of well made stone tools and were not Human Homo sapiens they've been classified Homo floresiensis.


Then just to top this all off there are a very large number of very detailed local legend's about a race of small people in the region. Some of the legends being quite recent in origin which has lead to speculation that some of the species may still survive today or did up to a couple of hundred years ago in the more remote and unexplored regions of the nearby islands.

Any way for more information both the BBC and National Geographic have articles on it.


Note they're NOT Humans Homo sapiens they're a different spieces!

Interesting isn't it, also it makes you wonder what if they still exist?
Human or Animal?
What effect might this have on our faith and beliefs?

Edit: Added Species differences.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Exams, lack of Study, lack of Interest and some Stress.

Not the most enjoyable time at the moment with 3 exams coming up 2 of which I need to pass with decent grades to do Masters next year and one that doesn't really matter I just need to pass it to avoid having to take it in 4th year. However of the three exams two I find to be exceedingly dull, Biological Chemistry and Biological Data Analysis. Biological Chemistry sounded interesting and was compulsory for Biochemistry Majors so obviously I took it only to find out that the first two semester were taught by Erikson Fellows (visiting lecturers) both of which sucked! The last half was better with reasonable lecturer's from the Chem department but the stuff they were lecturing on wasn't the most interesting and by that stage I'd kind of lost interest in the subject! My grades for the first half of the course suck pretty badly which means I need to do reasonably in this exam, but I'm so completely uninterested!

The second Boring course is Biological Data Analysis, in other words statistics for Biologists this paper wasn't compulsory just "highly, highly" recommended for any one wanting to do Masters. I knew it was going to be boring and it has been. The thing is it attempts to combine 1st, 2nd and some 3rd year Statistics into a single 6 point paper, and it manages to do so reasonably well. The other problems for this paper is that through out the year you use computer stats programs to do most of the work, then in the exam you have to do it all by hand. The course also doesn't count towards any majors, making it essentially a paper you need to take that is worth NOTHING! Which kind of sucks if I hadn't needed to take it I'd have been able to take a different Biology paper and get a double Major (Biochem and Biology). Thankfully my marks through out the year for the paper have been reasonable which makes that exam a bit less important.

The one interesting exam I have is the Biochemistry core paper,with the exam being on Free Radicals effect on Heart disease and Epigenes and alternative Genetic stuff which is really interesting! Just my luck though that this is my last exam 3 days after the Biological chemistry paper still could be worse and it should give me enough time to study for it seeing I've already done abit before starting to study for the earlier exams.


This is likely to be my second to last lot of exams ever the last lot would be the ones for first year of Masters, yet I find I just don't really care even though I need to pass at least two of them reasonably well. I'm just sick of studying things I find blasted boring! Hopefully that shouldn't be so much of a problem next year as 4th year papers are alot narrower in focus and you get to choose from quite a number allowing you to focus on the areas that are of most interest to you.
Part of the problem might also be I think that even if I stuffed up in Biological Chemistry I can probably graduate and do Masters with a degree in Biology seeing I've already got 6 of the 12 points I need for a Major in Biology thanks to taking Molecular Genetics in the first Semester and seeing Biochem core is worth 6 points and is double coded as both a Biochem or Biology paper ...
I'd still be able to take the same 4th year papers but I really prefer to Graduate BSc Biochemistry rather than Biology.


Apart from that various other things need to be done. There is quite abit of Christian Union stuff that needs to be done with regards to getting organised for next year and some other planning for next year with regards to Masters and that my 21st birthdays in the middle of the holidays.

The biggest non exam thingy though is probably that I applied for a summer scholarship job with Fonterra to do a research project of some description (in my field) for them in Palmy over the summer. Last week of term they contacted me and offered me two possible projects one of which I chose and let them know. The scholarship is Government funded though so once I said yes they sent it off to who ever to get it confirmed, that was 12 days ago and I've still yet to hear a final yes or no, sure that's maybe not a longtime when dealing with one of New Zealands largest Companies as well as the government, but when you really want the job, as you need the money and more importantly the experience, as well as trying to study for exams and are waiting for the confirmation to find out when you start and too start organising accommodation in Palmy for the summer, transport there and various other things it starts to get on your nerves!

Any way that's enough on that time to try and do some study I think. :-(

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Security, Computing.

If you interested in computers and there operating systems or other similar fields such as web design this article is well worth a read.
Security report: Windows vs linux.

It has a good look at OS security with regards to Linux and Windows (Sorry no Mac stuff). Looking at Microsofts various attempts to portray linux and other free software as insecure.

Well worth reading.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Interesting.

The new conservatives. Worth a read. I'd have guessed or even thought slightly possible that there could be a move towards Conservatives.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Sketches from a Mind. Free Will, Man and God.

Free Will, Man and God.


In looking at my views of various things it is interesting to see that all are dependent on one other Idea that man kind has Free Will. All my thoughts about the world and various matters make this assumption which is interesting as this is an assumption that I can not back up biblically with a direct statement (If you know of any please comment and mention them).

Yet this assumption with out any "proof" is the basies for my views and understanding of the world and many of the more "difficult" questions we as Christians are asked, and that some of us think about as we grapple with our faith attempting to justify it and understand it. At points doubts plague our minds, some of us ignore them others of us discuss them and some of us simply close up around them and attempt to justify or produce a rational basis for what we see in the world around us. Some of us succeed in this some of us don't.

The Ideas that are generated for those that think about various Issues are pure speculation yet they help us get a grip on reality and give us a "self" justifiable basis for our belief. Of course the ideas may be a little weird and some one heretical by the standards of the more conservative and even by our own standards before we started thinking, and mine are as some of you might know.

Any way back to the topic.The basis of my thoughts on various topics comes from to assumptions one which is fairly obvious from the bible and the other which is suggested but never stated.
The first is God exists :-), Rather obvious and basic isn't it and certainly is rather clear from the bible.

The Second is that God has given humankind Free Will and/or a Soul. Yet this I can not back up obviously from any biblical statement.
Yet it underlies all my thinking, all my thoughts, and our vary Society to some degree.
The Creation account and the Fall is one of the prime examples in scripture that supports this but does not clearly state it. The Creation of the Tree of Knowledge and the ban on eating it's fruit clearly leaves Adam and Eve with a choice and one that they must make. This strongly supports the idea of Free Will for a choice can not exist if you have no Free Will to decided.

Again it can be displayed to some degree by Christ when he choose to allow him self to become human and be Crucified. He willingly choose to accept the that outcome.

Any way it's been 2 weeks since I started this post and I've kind of lost the thread So it'll have to g up as it is.

Friday, October 15, 2004

What I've been doing ...

What I've been doing ...

Well thats it I've finally managed to finish my Biochemistry research project.
It took 6 weeks of lab work and 15 or so hours to write up but it's
finally done!

All that leaves me to do is my BDA assignment which is due in at 5pm today and
which I've already more than half done and 3 exams which don't start till the
3rd of November time for some R&R I think.

Any way the above Image is from my Biochemistry project, rather cool looking I
think, though that could just be the Biochemistry talking :-).

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Geeky but cool!

Such a Cool little device! Plug this thingy into any computer with USB and it appears as a new sound card. Then tell one of your Music programs to play to the new sound card and this little device starts transmitting the Music on FM Radio :)! Supports 107.3MHz, 107.5MHz, 107.7MHz & 107.9MHz and will work in windows, linux or MacOS.

You could easily get this to work with winamp or the equiv, and if you selected it as your default sound card, it would allow any sounds your computer made to come through your Stereo which is nice for those who have Cheap stereo's that don't have AUX.

You could be listening to the Music on a stereo while outside and the stereo would let you know when some one signed on or started chatting to you on your computer!

More importantly though a private short range radio station with what ever music you want no adverts, and unlike the Stereo you wouldn't need to keep on changing CD's.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Anorffennol another joins the Madness!

Well another one has joined the blogsphere a friend from high school times, her blog is Anorffennol, She's up north studying to be a teacher and will be soon.

Have a read I and don't be supprised when you get a few comments from her on your own blog :-).

Congrats on joining the Blogging comunity Sharn :-).

And note to the rest of you please don't freak her out to much! Matt P!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Sketches from a Soul

To my friends.

I greet you with love and daily thank God for you.
You add colour, joy, moments of beauty, and flashes of fun and amusement.
Helping form the hill's, valley's, mountains and plains,
That define the dimensions of my Soul, as it bathes in the light of God.

You strengthen my appreciation for that that is good and of God,
Helping prevent loneliness from claiming my mind and soul.

What would there be with out you, but God and Me?
God and Nothing!

A man with out friends is like a desert,
That bathes in the light of the Sun,
That burns with utter purity, revealing all flaws,
With nothing but acceptance of the Sun and it's light to redeem.
Life is present but can not be seen, hiding from the Sun,
Unable, incapable of interactions with other Souls.


God bless you, protect you and keep you for all eternity!
Amen.



A mind's constructs of the reflections of a Soul.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Random stuff #2

Interesting week and a bit this has been, with a suprising amount of things happening.

First there was having a Chat with Jack (one of the lecturers at Uni) about doing Masters next year, That was followed by a quick dash home for tea and the icing of the cake. Then heading back to Uni for the CU exec meeting and walking to the Movie night at Jess's Good company, decent movies, and a lot of fun. Thanks Jess :).

Next day there was CU camp. Lovely weather, Good speaker, Good food (thanks Joy and Phillipa), and Good Company even if there wasn't alot of it :).

Get back from Camp and head to church decent worship, with a resonable speaker (though I did disagree with her on a couple of points related to whats on Andrews blog). After which back home where my cousins from Auckland had just arrived, A few people from church drop in and it's fun and games (taboo, pictionary etc) till 12.

Monday into the Lab to work on my Biochem project and the usual University Lectures and Tutorials. Followed up by Monday night Cynics cell group with Andrew, Brehaut, Frasertron, Jim, Mike, Reuben and the occasional other. Return home for a Game of Settlers with my cousins and brothers.

Tuesday Uni again and lab work get a nice SDS Page result. Skip Nav's in the evening to stay home and chat to my cousins as well as do a bit of uni work and play a game of Settlers.

Wensday lab work, CU main meeting, BDA Lab then in the evening, finishing the Biochemistry assignment due the next day and watching Most of "dare devil" with my cousins on Zeb's (my youngest Brother) computer because it's got a DVD player and at 17" the Screen's bigger than the family TV :).

Thursday more lab work with a nice Western blotting result being produced :). Handing the Biochemistry assignment in, doing the reading for the Tutorial on Firday and the first exec Meeting of just the New exec at which we finally work out the postions and roles which we will be doing as well as mention the sorts of things we want to do next year in CU.

Also somewhere in the above mess watching (between Monday and Thursday) the 26 or so Episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion a rather interesting and somewhat wierd (It's Japenese after all) Anime series.


And that is 7 busier than normal days in the life of Me.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Sketches of a Mind.

Is any body else out there?

One interesting question that may at some point in the future become more important to Christian's is the question of “Does other life exist any where else in the universe?” or “Does other Intelligent and Self aware life exist?”. These may at some point become very important to Christian's should contact with an extra terrestrial species ever occur. As one thing I think many Christian's do is assume that we are the only Intelligent life form in this universe (God and Angels don't count :)). That God made the universe for us. A rather self centred view I feel and one I can think of no real “clear” and “definite” biblical backing for (If you know of some please feel free to point it out to me). Also how would you or other Christians react if life is discovered on some place that is not earth and that was clearly not of earth origin e.g. Europa (A moon of Jupiter and considered a prime candidate for evolutionary life)?

Would it affect your world view and interpretation of the bible? As I know of no verses which state that life was created any where else? This is not the biggest possible problem though life on other planet's and Moons can quite easily be fit into a Christian world view with out to much discomfort, just accepting that Genesis is not the full, accurate, step by step guide to the Development and Creation of the Universe and every thing.


The real gotcha though would be the discovery of Intelligent life! Something that really hits the Universe is for Human kind argument on the head! The other thing is such an event could prove Christianity is correct but can't disprove it. I mean for example say the Seti project detected a signal that was clearly of intelligent origin that was close enough for some form of contact/communication to be developed (This of course assumes that the hypothesis, that we don't hear/detect any other civs in space is because there is another more advanced paranoid species out there that attacks any it detects wiping them out, is incorrect) . And as part of the communication Religion was discussed for which there is a number of possible outcomes.

Species doesn't have any Religion's, never did or fail to understand the concept.

This leaves several points of view the negative, God doesn't exist or Religion is a human construct but again you can't prove either of these. Which pretty much leaves us with the situation as it is to day though with a few changes in interpretation of the bible no doubt :).

Or the Positive, that they need to be converted, human kind was lucky or unlucky (depending on your point of view) enough to be chosen by God as his “Chosen species” and it's our duty to convert the universe :). This of course assumes that we accept they have souls and as far as I'm concerned that would be a YES if they were intelligent, and that they can learn to comprehend religion, faith, and belief.

Species understands Religion but has no Christian religion or Christian compatible religion.

This would probably be a mixed bag, a species that understands the concepts of Religion and has some proving that it's not just something imagined by some humans and that possibly it's and underling part of self awareness. On the other the lack of a Christian or Christian like religion or faith would mean that we don't have any more “proof” as the world would see it that Christianity is the only true Faith. Still I'd expect most Christians would welcome it more than the previous and again we'd have another group to convert :).


Species understands religion and has a Christian compatible one that teaches similar concepts and Ideas and expects similar behaviour.

This would be nice. It would provide a nice little boost to Christianity and possibly the other religions derived from Christianity and would be a real boost to the idea that God exists.


Many Eden's. Species understands Religion and has Christianity in it's fullness. Similar holy book or equivalent, similar theology, the Trinity, Creation, Eden, the enemy, Christ etc.

This would be a massive boost to Christianity and pretty much prove it for many I think. No doubt there'd still be those who rejected it for one reason or another and others who said it was just proof that some advanced alien species had decided to play god at some time. But some of the issues it would rise would be VERY nasty from some points of view. The concepts of other species all undergoing the same fate falling from grace is horrific to comprehend, or at least I find it so, and it begs the question have all species fallen or are there some that survived or avoided the fall and passed the temptation?

Well there you are you've just had a view in to the sort of random stuff that I think about when in bed, walking to University or am just plain bored.

No there are a couple of reasons for posting this, it force's me to order my thoughts about the issue which is usually useful, and it gives me a chance to find out if other people that I know think about this sort of stuff or other random ideas and if they do have they thought about this? Or other interesting ideas?


So now a few Q's.
  • What do you think of these idea's?
  • Are there things here that you agree with, disagree with etc.? Why?
  • Do you think about random Ideas like this?
  • Did I manage to freak you out?
  • Do you now think I'm abit odd now?(Don't feel guilty I'm quite happy to tell you that I am :))
  • Or perhaps insane? :-}
  • Or just eccentric?
  • Have you considered that we might not be the only Intelligent beings in creation?
  • If so how does it affect you, does it?

Note it would be nice if your'd at least mention if you also think of such random things.
As it generally requires a really wierd conversation to find out.Or to discuss such things :-P.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Interesting Reading.

If you are looking for something interesting to read, or just have nothing to do for a while. Then have a look at this. It's a number of Science Fiction Authors commenting on what they see as future social trends.

They all have there bias and you'll be able to spot some of them fairly quickly, but over all it's and interesting look at what people who earn a living thinking about the future and writing about it see.

Well worth reading!


Some comments are especially interesting and seem rather important.


Ken Wharton's answer regarding our biggest mistakes: “The worldwide population explosion. Being in the middle of it for so long, it's hard to remember that exponential growth can never sustain itself forever. 50-100 years from now population will have mostly stabilized at something, and that number will be the primary determinant on what sort of long-term future is in store for humanity. In hindsight, will there have been a way to stabilize at a lower number? Probably... and someday we might be viewed as criminal for not doing just that.”


Which is an interesting point, with advances in Medicine and Agriculture over the last 200 or so years the world population moved from being fairly stable (100,000,000 or so) with a slight linear growth rate to our current 6,000,000,000+ people.
The problem with this is though that all environments have a max population they can support and when that limit is reached you have to either stablise the pop by getting the birth and death rates to equalize, decrease the population or move else where.
I'm not sure that we are capable of the 1st and 3rd options at least at the moment. Which leaves us with decreasing the population :(.



Another interesting point is this one:

Norman Spinrad: “I'd say the Jihad; there is one, you know. There isn't any ‘war on terrorism’; terrorism is a tactic; the war is Islamic fundamentalism versus ‘the Crusaders,’ aka ‘the Great Satan,’ aka the United States, aka the ‘West,’ aka the 21st Century. The Jihad has been openly and loudly declared by the jihadis, and as far as Islam is concerned, Bush has openly declared the other side in Iraq. This will affect everything. It already has. It's a holy war that's been going on for 1400 years or so, and this is only the latest and most dangerous phase. Osama bin Laden, after 9/11, said that he would destroy civil liberties in the West, and in the US he's already succeeded. What he didn't understand was that he was feeding energy into the fundamentalist Christian right, Bush's allies, and in effect creating the Great Crusader Satan of his paranoid fantasies that hadn't existed before, or at least not on a mass level. Years ago, and I paraphrase loosely, William Burroughs said that if you want to start a murderous brawl, record the Black Panthers speaking, play it for the Ku Klux Klan, play their reaction back to the Panthers, etc.... Voila, Jihad! Destroying civil liberties, indeed civil society itself, on both sides. Wherever you go, there we are.”


I'm not sure I agree with him exactly but it's not to hard to see where he's coming from and the various routes that could lead to.

Another interesting bit:


A consensus emerges that war is staying but changing shape. Bruce Sterling: “Well, if you gather in armies and raise a flag, the USA will blow you to shreds, so the trend is to strap a bomb around your waist or pile artillery shells into a car and then blow yourself up. The idea that a 'war on terror' is going to resolve this kind of terror by using lots of warfare is just absurd.”


Which seems a reasonably good summary of the current trends unfortunatly.


Any way have a look at it and I'd be interested in your points of view on the various things mentioned and if you agree or disagree with some of the stuff.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Music Mutations.

Well my music play list mutates again to another wierd and wonderfull mix. The latest addition being some Gregorian Chants that I found for free download here. They're not best quality be recorded live during a service I think but a fairly good.

Decided to find some when I saw this post on Jim's blog, Always quite liked the stuff, at least the bits of it I mheard now and then.

As a result my music collection now ranges from Gregorian Chants and Classical music, through Techno, Rock, Punk, a tiny bit of pop, and finally to Heavy metal style stuff.

Which will no doubt disturb some of you people :) To bad!

Now off to see if I can find some more Gregorian chants.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Of interest to those ...

Some thing that might be of interest to those who like Classical literature is
  • Project Gutenburg
  • a website/organization dedicated to converting old books to computer text for free release on the web. They've been going for it for quite some time now and have a very large collection of free books available in a range of languages. This books are for the most part at least 70 years old as that is the amount of time an author may hold copy right on a book after which it becomes free/open domain or something according to US law at least.

    So if your looking for an oldish book that's a good place to start.

    Other similar sites are.

    Archive.org A collection of Old and free Movies, free texts and books, and free Music.

    Sunday, August 29, 2004

    Gmail

    Well one of my friends from Navs sent me an invite to gmail, googles new email service, which is currently undergoing testing. It's caused quite a fuss in some parts with lots of people trying to get invites for a variety of reasons. It's quite nice, the interface is clean and quick and has a few nice features that other free email providers don't offer.

    The main ones are.
    • Users are allowed 1Gb of email storage space.
    • Good spam filtering.
    • Nice clean interface.
    • Easy to use.
    • Can import your current contact lists from quite a number of different programs.
    • I'll mention it again the interface is nice and clean and loads real quick!
    • Threading for messages. eg it links replies to the original email so you can follow the conversation easier etc.
    • It's currently in limited testing so you can still get good email address's unlike hotmail and the others where all the good ones are taken, and your left with ones like chad_harland_129_ABY@hotmail.com (note that isn't my email address it's just and example).
    The down sides are.

    • The text only ad's which target things your interested in. eg Should you send lots of emails discussing a certain author or book you might end up with a couple of small ad's down the side that link to sites where you can buy those books or more books by that author.
    Not that, that's a major downside the ad's are small, text only things and use the same colours as the rest of the site, so they don't stand out! And the scanning of the email to determine the ad type is done by computer so humans never see what your've written. Which probably puts it on equal footing with the rest of the free email services available, except they don't state if they scan the email.

    Any way for some reason, either that google's trying to increase the number of testers, or they liked the suggestion I made to improve something, I've some invites that I can give out to any of you people who are interested.


    So if you want a new spam free email address, with 1GB of storage and a nice clean easy to use interface let me know.
    Making a comment with a current email address then deleting it it's probably the best option as I'll get a copy of the comment sent to me. Either that or let me know at church or some other time. And I'll send you the invite. Note hotmail address's won't work as hotmail blocks all gmail invites. So use your student one. If you don't have anything but a hotmail address let me know as I can give you a link directly.

    Note if you don't know me please don't bother posting I don't have that many invites.

    Monday, August 23, 2004

    Sketches of a Soul.

    My Faith.

    Faith underlies my very being it's what my entire world view, belief and character are based on. Faith in God, that he exists, created us some how, Sent Christ to die for us and that Christ then rose from the dead.

    Faith in God is at the basis of my thoughts it is the foundation of my desire to know things, to see God's glory and might revealed in all that I see and learn. To see God in all things, the wonder of the world and existence as seen through the scientific perspectives with the millions and millions of tiny things that make up larger things, which in turn make up larger things.

    To look at a Tree and comprehend/see that it consists of trillions and trillions of sub atomic particles assembled together to form the atom's held together by forces humans barely understand in prefect order and harmony, atom's linking up to form the molecules, Ring structures, lines, links, chains, interlinking joining together to form the macro molecules, DNA, RNA, proteins, lipid's with there odd and complex forms, structures and abilities which combine to form organelles. The organelles grouped together to form cells, items more complex than any thing ever constructed by man some living, some dead linked into tissues with specific purposes, structural, transport, production, growth and reproduction all joined together to form a tree an single thing to our view something ordinary and boring something that you see standing in the garden, along the road, in a forest all so ordinary. Yet to stop and thing and marvel at the design and to see what God has created or brought into existence.

    Lord to see that more often! To be able to comprend such things where ever I went, rather than as rare brief flashs!

    Faith is what keeps the fear of death from tainting and poisoning my life for I have faith there is more than nothing awaiting.

    Faith in God shapes my action when I let, producing all that is good in me but oh it is so easy to forget to over rule the implications of ones faith to ignore what is right, true and good, to do as we wish turning a blind eye to the consequences.

    Faith must grow for only with the growth of faith can I grow. Lord let my faith grow I pray.

    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    Random Stuff #1 Feelings and Other Stuff.

    Is it just me or do many of us guy's seem to have problems discussing what we are feeling are we afraid of exposing the dark and gloomy depths of our souls and mind the insecurities and weaknesses we hide? Afraid of expose that which is "weak" and "pitiful" to our friends and families? Afraid that our core self would scare and disturb our friends and families?

    Why I wonder for we cannot grow and strengthen with out light, some of us put our hope in God then refuse to open up to those he may/or has sent to help us, other bury it deep and let it fester and grow changing us and affecting our actions and interactions with our fellow beings and God.

    I note this seems "some what" less of a problem among those of the fairer sex, Why?

    Why do we have this tendency to close up and keep our deepest and darkest thoughts, our problems and troubles to our selves struggling to fight a war we can not win for we fight for both sides divided against our selves.

    We call on God for help and allow him to help us in many ways but bits we keep to our selves rejecting God and his will in those areas, Why? With time and growth in faith and knowledge of God we open up more allowing God more control, but few if any can give up total control and honestly admit that God controls every facet and corner of there soul, body and actions.

    Is it cultural I wonder? Spiritual for sure. Genetic? Nature vs Nurture?

    Is it innately human? For Adam and Eve displayed it in the garden to some extent listening to the serpent and eating the fruit of there own choice failing to consult with God even though they new what they did was wrong. Was the sin eating the fruit? Or in the rejection of God in considering to eat the fruit?

    Faith, faith in God and the Chance some perhaps if it still matters at that time to face/bow before God in heaven above and ask, Why oh Lord?

    This rambles but thoughts would be welcome on all the questions for I doubt we know the answer to many of them.

    Especially.
    - Does the ability or the ease in discussing feelings differ between Male and Female?
    - If so why, what causes this difference, Culture, Genetics, Nature or Nurture?
    - The Spiritual and interpersonal problems this can cause?
    - What can be done about it? By our selves and with God?
    - Finally should we attempt to open up our feelings and thoughts more to others and if there is a difference between males and females is it beneficial to smudge the differences in this area?



    Again any other "Whys" are free to be talked about if you wish and have the time.

    Thanks and God Bless.

    Monday, August 09, 2004

    Spybot Search and Destroy

    Here is a quickish suggestion/recomendation for all you windows users.

    One of the major problems with Windows these days are programs called spyware.They're little programs that are installed by website or by adware software you download to try out on your computer.

    What they do is run hidden in the background of your computer monitering what you do with your computer what websites you visit and how often. Then they either report this to the company that made the software or start to pop ad's up (pop ups) when your browsing the internet they can also do other things well such as changing your web browser homepage, adding shortcuts to your favorites and desktop that take you to online casinos, pornsites, web browsers, dialing up 0900 or international numbers when your not using your computer, steal the passwords for the online sites you visit (including banks) and other similar things or they may do nothing except monitor what your doing.

    These things are annoying but its the other problem they cause which can be even more annoying. Many of these little programs are VERY badly written or designed and can slow your computer down a lot, cause it to crash or simply cause various problems for other programs you try to install or use.

    Once the apps are installed though (and if you use the computer to connect to the Internet they will be) they're much harder to get rid of. This is were a number of free ad ware/spyware removal programs come in, Spybot Search and Destroy being one of the better. What these programs do is scan your computer for installations of the spyware programs and remove them for you. This can lead to some quite dramatic reductions in problems with Windows.

    So here is how to get Spybot Search and destroy and use it to clean up your computer.

    First go here and click on one of the "download here" buttons to download the app it's about 4.2MB so will take about 10-15mins if you use a 56K modem to connect to the Internet. Once it's downloaded install it. Then once it's installed it will either run depending on what options you choose or you'll need to run it. Once it's running it will ask to make a back up of the register which is generally a good idea which if you decided to do (you should!) will take a couple of mins and longer on older computers. After that's done click next and It'll ask you get "scan for updates" click on it and then once that's finished click "Download updates". It'll download the updates then click next again. Here it will ask to immunize the System probably worth doing click next again and then start using the program (you could read the help stuff there if you wanted) then on the left bar click search and destroy and then in the main window search for problems. This will take a while as there are over 15,000 problems it checks for. Once it's finished scanning the computer it will list any problems it's found to fix them then click "fix problems". Some of them it may not be able to fix right away and if so it will ask you to allow it to scan the computer next time you restart/Turn it on. This is worth doing so click yes.
    Then next time you restart the computer it will scan for and remove the remaining problems.

    I'd suggest you scan the computer every month or two as the programs install them selves pretty fast.




    To stop these little programs there are several things you can do with one of the most effective to simply use a non IE (Internet Explorer) web browser. This makes it alot harder for the programs to install them selves. Combined with using another non Outlook or Outlook Express email client this can also make it hard for viruses and worms to infect your computer.

    Some of the best alternative browsers and webclients are
    Web Browsers:
    Firefox: web browser a 4.7MB download for windows.
    Mozilla: a web browser and Email suite 12MB
    Opera: web browser and mail client

    Firefox and Mozilla are free while Opera charges for the full version of it's web browser. I'd personally recomend Firefox for simple web browsing and Mozilla for WebBrowsing and Email.

    Email:
    Thunderbird: Email Client
    Mozilla Mail: part of the Mozilla Suite above.
    Opera Mail: part of Opera above.

    All are good email apps Thunderbird and Mozilla Mail especially I'd recomend Thunderbird is designed to complement Firefox and replace Mozilla Mail. It features very good junk mail filtering and various other nice features that aren't available for IE and Outlook or Outlook Express.

    Quick note don't bother trying this on the uni computers.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    Random Stuff #0.

    Couple of randoms things I've come across recently one is a rather funny pointed lyric about Christian Rock music.

    Some might think my hair is too long
    Some might fear the beat of this song
    So much religion, so many rules
    But this is us and we are tools

    He calls us to be free
    Enjoy that freedom, friends
    In time, we all shall see
    Where man-made rules end

    I might offend you by how I look
    But God will not, according to His book
    It's by our fruit that we will be judged
    To show the world Jesus love

    So keep the sheep together
    No matter if one's shaved
    Cause the wool means nothing
    For all Christ came to save

    I respect old-fashioned ways
    Let's come together in His grace
    Lord help us all to understand
    How you can use a hard rock band

    It makes the point quite well that it's not our (human) job to judge in the end it's God that matters and will deliver the Judgment that is required. More info can be found here.


    Also being reading a book on "The Later Roman empire" lately is about the Roman Empire in the 300's-500's AD currently just reading through the summary/analysis of the sources the author draws from it's interesting to see the bias's the author Identifies in the various historic writters of that period and the probems caused by gaps of 40+ years where there are no surviving origional writtings to draw from. Of course no doubt the Author of the book has there own bias's no doubt better concelled than the ones that She points out.
    This particualr period of history has a fair bit of interest from a christian point of view as it marks the beging's of Christianity as the official religion or one of the official religions of the Roman empire.

    Any way thats enough for now.

    Group photo Sunday afternoon.


    Group photo Sunday afternoon. Posted by Hello

    Andrew leaving the Womens toilets.


    Andrew leaving the woman's toilets after hearing us plan an ambush with a camera outside them. Unfortunately he managed to cover up the sign on the door just as Jared took the photo. Posted by Hello

    Camp

    Well camp was fun a fair number of people went along ~ 17 from CU and one ICFer with the rest from Lincoln and Otago all up there where probably 40-50 people there (it varied abit). The location was quite nice and the main room fairly warm. The bad stuff was the room assigned to us guys. It was a fairly large octagonal room off to one side of the main building. Having a concrete, no heating (part from the 6 bar oil filled someone provided) a massive old cupboard in the middle of the room and a number of cast iron (or something similar) bunks around the edges with a wire mesh/fence like base. The mattresses where very basic and soft foam things and the combination resulted a sort of U shaped bed when you lay down. The wire base also had a habit of making quite a racket when ever you moved around not to mention moving would cause some of the bunk to sway around and clunk into each other. These combined with a rather humerus late night discussion resulted in little sleep for a number of people and promoted several to sleep the next night on the floor in the main building. Also the bunk room didn't have enough beds for every the resulting being that most of the Lincolnites had to sleep on the floor on spare mattresses in the bunk room, I must mention though that 20+ guy's in a room generate enough heat to keep the room warmish.
    The other lovely thing about our (males) accommodation's where the toilet and shower facilities assigned to us. When we first walked into the place it smelt like something had curled up and died in there. Then noted the facilities 2 toilets a urinal and two attempts at showers, shower heads stuck on a wall with a couple of wooden sides sticking out and some sort of curtain thing at the end. with what appear to be abit of painted packing crate for standing on or something hanging at the bottom.
    The Girls on the other hand were rather lucky they where assigned the fairly modern cabins at the other end of the camp each with it's own toilet and shower. As a result they seem to have managed to get a decent amount of sleep and have showers.
    Apart from that though the things weren't too bad. The food was good though it seemed some what less than last year. Roast for tea with Club sandwiches for one lunch and sausages for the second.
    The speakers where fairly good as well.
    Jean? the south Island head of one of the missionary groups spoke first on missions on the Saturday morning and was reasonably interesting.
    The Pastor for one of the Lincoln churches (baptist?) spoke next going over a couple of meditation exercisers thing's which seemed abit new agey to me.

    Val Gould (amazing I managed to spell it right) then spoke in the Saturday evening and Sunday morning meetings on outreach (she really likes interactive stuff doesn't she!). Saturday evening she focused on testimonies keeping them short sweet and effective and how they should leave the person listening thinking about God not us which was a good point. She also got us to at articles in the newspaper and see if we could find related or semi related verses to support our view on each article. After which she pointed out the general negative slant on many of the verses chosen as well as that many had been taken out of context and several only applied to Christian not the general populace the final thought she posed was about what sort of stuff we need to point out about Christianity and god when talking to non believers and what order might be best in which to do so. I can't remember either the details of the order though.
    Sunday morning she spoke again about outreach stuff but I can't remember the details.
    Apart from the speakers quite abit happened at camp. Friday evening was mainly talking and a mix of odd games and alot of talking. e.g. Mu/Mew? not sure how that's spelt a rather amusing card game which several people were talked into playing, the name game with choosing random names and guessing who was who etc.
    Saturday afternoon involved Andre at his corny best with a number of the exec helping out running a random Olympics involving such things as eating dry wheatbix and rolled oats, seeing how many times we could manage to fold a sheet in half and successfully get 6 people from our group to balance on it, the group I was in managed 6 the winning group "9" times, other such fun events were caring a member of our group around the field as fast as possible while they were holding a bucket of water and trying to spill as little as possible.
    Later that evening when it got dark another game was run by Andre and co involving "bible smuggling" at the domain down the road which was fun but cold accept for the blackberries which we tried to sneak through on one side of the domain.
    After that finished (11 something) more cards and a lot more talking occurred as well as some settlers (I didn't play in that game yes unusual I know).
    Sunday was sleep in till 9am which was nice not much apart from the Val speaking occurred though and after lunch we packed up and left.
    Another thing thing that should be mentioned was Brehaut and a lincoln guy played the music for most of the worship after the normal lincoln band managed to effectively disable them selves during some skiing or something a day or so before the camp. So congratulations to Brehaut for managing that at what was probably rather short notice.
    Any way overall a good time was had by most I'm sure and I certainly at least enjoyed it.
    Also one thing to note is Tim Weir managed to acquire a cell phone some how so now there's another number to collect for those who are interested and leaves Andre as one of the few remaining people in CU to get one. If you want Tim's number leave a comment and I'll stick it up for you I'm sure he'd enjoy a number of random texts :).
    Any way here is a few photo's from camp thanks to Jared.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    Insanity is A OK.

    Well the latest victim has now signed up! Andrew now has a blog, theogeek.blogspot.com. Note that is also not exam time so he may not use the excuse "temporary insanity due to exams" to explain his sudden reversal and establishment of a blog.

    Friday, July 23, 2004

    Time flies by.

    Well it's been a bit since I last posted here fair bit's been going on with uni starting up again. Unfortunately looks like I'll have to do some work this term as I'm taking a lab paper "Biochemical Techniques". Which means lots of lab reports and assignments. It should be an interesting paper though with two especially interesting bits, The Murder Mystery and the Projects.
    The Murder Mystery is a non assessed assignment/project thingy, where we attempt to solve a fictional Murder produced by one of our Lecturers.

    Here's a brief out line of it.

    The deceased was a 20 year old Female flatting with one of her best friends (Female) who is also her ex lover. She was having an affair with her flatmates father a 40+ year old geneticist who's primary area of research is Bioterrorism and is currently married to his second wife a Microbiologist also researching bioterrorism.
    The deceased had recently thought she might be pregnant and had mentioned it to her lover.
    The deceased was a test tube baby which she new, but cloned by her current lover 20 years ago, from DNA that was claimed to have come from a finger bone of Helen of Troy.
    The deceased had been taking Gossiupy an anti nausea Medicine provided by her flatmate (ex lover) who had gotten it from her step mother (her fathers second wife.)
    The flatmates mother (the first wife) had died ~20 years previously of the flu at the age of ~30 and had left her considerable fortune to her husband.

    And that's just the basic out line.

    The second part of the course which will begin in the second term is a 7 week research project into one of the topics provided by various members of the Biochemistry department. The topics I've expressed an interest in doing are.

    Switching enzymes on and off: are tyrosine phosphatase's present in plants and fungi
    Which will test for the presence of tyrosine kinases (a type of enzyme) in a number of plant and fungal species. Making use of such techniques as ELISA, Western blotting, antibodies for molecular species detection, coupled enzyme assays and the genomics database.

    How do parasites invade host cells? - Turgor pressure in a parasitic plant.
    Which will involve examining turgor pressure in Cuscuta cells and the effect of hormones on the turgor pressure.

    Detecting toxic metals in the environment: fungal growth patterns could provide a new tool
    Which involves the use of fractal geometry to examine the shape of colonies of Microbes growing on various agar plates contaminated with toxic metals.

    Enzymes of nitrogen nutrition in Old man's beard
    Which is studying NO3 assimilation via the NR protein in Old man's beard. Via hydroponic growth of plants, enzyme extraction and assays and quantifying enzyme concs using antibodies.

    Hopefully I'll get the first one as it appears to be the most interesting of the ones I choose.


    Quick note times I'm most likely to be found hanging round uni with noting to do are.
    Monday 1pm.
    Tuesday 10-12 and 1pm.
    Wednesday @ CU.
    Friday 12-1.
    Rest of the time I'm usually at home or in lectures or Labs.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2004

    The Limitations of God?

    After having read the last to post on Reuben's blog I was wondering what are God's limitations (I've thought about this before)?

    Does God actually have limitations?
    Does he have limitations in his abilities?
    Are any “limitations” only really decisions that God has made and decided to abide by?

    What do you think?

    Thinking about it at various times I've come to think that God does have some “limitations” that result from his very Nature or at least appears to based on our perceptions of his Nature. Most of you probably wouldn't call these “limitations” most likely advantages and I guess many of them are what are things that would seem to be limitations in a human but in God are only advantages.

    Any way these are the ones think he may have.

    He is can only be truthful and follow his word exactly. He is unable to lie in any form or manner, i.e. he can not conceal “emotions”, shade the truth, tell only part of the truth (might be some exceptions) pretend to be what he is not . He may decide not to revel something but can not easily tell partial truths.

    He can not change, his word or mind. Once he says something he will do it.

    He is unable to completely force a human to do something he may set things up so that there is only a 1x10^100 or less chance that we will not do what he wants but in the end the final choice is ours, even if it only comes down to the random firing of one neuron or something.

    Really most of these are not truly “limitations” for god but would be if applied to a human in the world as it is today.

    Any way what do people think?

    Does God actually have limitations, can he be limited?

    Does he have limitations in his abilities?

    Are any “limitations” only really decisions that God has made and decided to abide by?

    Blogging.

    Just read a rather interesting Story/Article on Blogging at The Register titled "8000 bloggers born every day".
    The Stat's mentioned seem a little odd but the Article on the whole is quite interesting.
    The Story can be found here.

    I can't really imagine that many people get sued over there blogs though it seems rather crazy.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Changes.

    Finally managed to regain access to the web space we get with our Internet connection the result being I now have some storage space for images and other stuff. The result being that I'm playing around with what this looks like a bit.

    One thing I wouldn't mind some help on people is a better colour for the Site heading something that stands out on the leaf background I'm using and preferablely fits with the rest of the blog. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    Any way Uni's back in as most of you know by now, or should know by now :). Which means back to lectures and labs. This semester the only changes to my time table are that Molecular genetics (An interesting paper) has ended and been replaced by "Biochemical Techniques" a full Semester lab paper which should be a lot of fun with the first thing where doing being the annual Murder Mystery. In which one of the lecturers has invented a Murder and story to go with it and we must work out who committed the murder through questioning and the use of Biochemical and forensic techniques should be a lot of fun just hopefully it's a little less dodgy than some of the previous years ones.


    Well as usual the spell checker isn't working I really need to work out how I managed to disable it so oo.org instead then.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    Thanks & IM

    Well this is just to say thanks to Jess for holding the Monty Python evenings at her place for the three nights, alot of fun for all and alot of tickling for a couple of people. On that note I might as well inform you all that Tickling.mp3 has been sent to those who can make best use of it :-).
    I'm sure you can all guess who they are. For those who couldn't make it you might want to grab a copy so you can share the fun :).
    It can be found here for the moment.

    Apart from that though I note some of you use various IM programs. If your interested in adding me to your contacts either send me an email if you know it already or use this (once you've corrected it, hint no " "'s).
    "cha 93 at student . canterbury . ac"
    I've ICQ, MSN, yahoo and jabber accounts ("Hey who said geek Grh!").

    I wonder if it will work this time!

    Saturday, July 03, 2004

    Done & Gone.

    Finally they're out of the way the Exam and 2 tests are finished. Thankfully they where all quite nice so now it's one week of holidays and I need things to do. There's a bit of a list at the moment.

    * Get to the library for some reading material.
    * Watch some Monty Python stuff at Jess's (If I can catch a or 3 there lift).
    * Fiddle around with python or Monodevelop and C#.
    * Possibly watch around the world in 80 days video's.
    * Maybe stick some stuff online here.
    * Play some Settlers of Catan, well more accurately Cities and Knights with those who are interested.
    * Tidy my Room before mum throws every thing in the bin or on the bed.
    * Sleep, eat, read and listen to music.
    * Watch Spiderman 2 (would have been today but too much is happening, Any one interested some time next week? Or after church tomorrow?).

    That should at least keep me some what busy for the first couple of days.

    Wednesday, June 30, 2004

    One Down Two To Go.

    Well that's the Exam done (Molecular Genetics, Biol 330) now only two tests left todo. One tomorrow (Biological Data Analysis) and one on Saturday (Biochemistry).

    Then Movie watching time I think who's interested in going to see Spiderman 2 on Saturday? Here's a review for it Spiderman 2. It sounds rather good! Then afterwards prehaps a big game of settlers. :)

    The exam today wasn't to bad though I'd have liked abit more time to finish the last question. The exam format was a long answer type and required you to answer 4 out of the 6 questions.


    1) Discuss the concepts of proto-oncogene and oncogene. Using the ras gene as an example, discuss how ras gene product functions in a normal cell. How can ras gene become oncogenic? Support your answer with experimental evidence.


    A fairly nice question as I'd had a good look at that when studying. The support the answer with experimental evidence was annoying though.


    2) The retinoblastoma (RB) gene is known to be an anti-cancer gene. Discuss how this gene was discovered. How does the RB product control the cell cycle.


    Again reasonable I knew a lot more about the second part than the first though.


    3) Discuss how some DNA and RNA viruses can induce tumors, using specific examples.


    Nice easy question except for one thing Id forgotten any examples that had been covered in the lectures and couldn't remember any from the text book. So skipped that one.


    4) Animal models are often used to study human diseases. Briefly describe two methods for producing such animal models. Discuss the pros and cons of using animal models to study human diseases, giving examples where available.


    Another good question. Nice and general so did it. A good way to get any animal rights activists in a class upset. Didn't appear to be any though.

    Then we have the second leacturer's two questions which happen to be as big as the previous 4.


    5) Those who monitor the food supply for evidence of GE organisms using PCR worry about generating false positive and false negative results. To answer the following questions, you may use concrete examples from the case studies discussed in lecture or discuss them hypothetically.
    a. Describe what is meant by a false negative and a false positive result.
    b. How is PCR prone to producing false positive results? What are the most important controls to include to avoid such results?
    c. How is PCR prone to producing false negative results? What are the most important controls to include to avoid such results?


    Another easy question. Some basic biological stats principles with hypothetical examples or examples from case studies eg Corngate.


    In its decision to "approve with controls" AgResearch application GMD02028 to genetically engineer the bovine genome, ERMA requires AgResearch to "monitor for HGT at the disposal sites", but did not specify how. According to ERMA, "The Committee's view is that every reasonable opportunity should be taken to monitor developments such as this for occurrence of adverse effects and for information on the significance of pathways such as HGT. As well as providing an assurance on the effectiveness of controls, the information is potentially valuable for future applications".

    a. AgResearch has come to you for advice on how to monitor the paddocks. From your knowledge of how others have monitored HGT in the past, describe how you would approach this problem.
    b. Assess how effective you believe that your approach might be for providing "an assurance on the effectiveness of the controls" to limit harms that might arise by HGT.


    Not such a nice question at least based on what I'd studied I hadn't done that case study and so lacked information on it.


    If your interested in such stuff more info can be found at these links.
    Genetics
    - Genomics
    Molecular Biology

    And related courses here.

    Saturday, June 26, 2004

    One Week Togo.

    Great this time next week I'll have finished my exams and tests. I'm not sure what's better having the exams at the beginning or the end of the the exam period. Sure the end means you have more time for study but it also means you spend more time with nothing to do but worry about them and that every body else finishes well before you do.
    Which is a real rub when your studying, thinking about studying or trying to study and you know all your mates are enjoy them selves as their exams are done and gone (yes I know some of you still have a couple left but you'll still be finished before Saturday no doubt)!

    Well conclusions from studying so far are BDA's boring but the stuffs easy and therefore hopefully the test will be.
    BCHM is more interesting except for the Biokinetics junk and that one of the lecturers has said his exam won't be about the material he went over but the general principles and underlying concepts that make the stuff he taught work. While also being informed to concentrate on the Material for one of the other lecturers last two lectures yet remembering that those lectures had a lot of video stuff and discussion and not much stuff for notes, and as a result a Third lecturer sending out a review paper to read on the subject.
    As for Molecular Genetics well I've still got 3 days to study that in.


    Well I'm really going to have todo something next Saturday after this is all done. Perhaps a big game of Settlers or watching the second Spiderman movie seeing I think it'll be out then.

    PS to those of you who saw the previous use of the word studding it was the spell checker that changed it to that!

    Thursday, June 24, 2004

    An Interesting Idea, But I Don't Think So.

    Paul made a rather interesting comment yesterday pointing out that I'd got some of my links wrong and that the Full Frontal Nerdity link should be pointing to a certain one of the Randoms.
    However I don't think that will be changed as if I started to use some what accurate descriptions for the Random's links I'd have to find one for you Paul. Which would no doubt have to involve women and imaginary relationship sort of stuff and I don't really have 25 lines of side bar to donate just to you :)

    Wednesday, June 23, 2004

    Testing 123...

    Well it says you can update this via email so how about email via text from a cell phone. If your seeing this it would appear 2 have worked.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Edited

    Well it seems to work alright it also proves that I'm procrastinating like crazy.

    Looks like The fridge may gain a new method of being updated, if the others see this, decide it's useful, that it isn't to geeky and they haven't already discovered it.

    BDA = Biological Boring Data Analysis.

    Exams and tests soon and all I'll say is BDA (Biological Boring Data Analysis) lives upto it's name when studing, though at least the math is real easy.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Mozilla Tips and Tricks.

    Reading through Brehauts blog saw his little Mozilla tip with regards to "Find as you type" so thought I might as well point out a few more nice little things that Mozilla and Mozilla firefox have, if your not using Firefox or another Mozilla based browser you should see the Link on the side bar to get it (~5MB for Windows)!

    This is most about Mozilla Firefox but some of the tricks can also be done in Mozilla.

    about:config


    This is Mozilla and Firefox's advanced configuration tool. Type about:config in the Address bar and hit enter and the configuration options load in the main window, for easy editing this allows full control over how Mozilla works. Allowing you to change any setting that exists. A word of warning though I'd suggest using google to check what a setting does before changing it.

    about:plugins


    Similar to about:config and accessed the same way. Type about:plugins into the address bar and hit enter.
    This lists all the plugins that are currently installed with the browser. It's of no real use except to tell you what types of special content your webbrowser can deal with.

    Plugins and extensions


    Firefox is designed to be easily extended allowing users to add extra features to it. With this in mind it has a strong plugin frame work and a large number of plugins have been developed for it allowing it to do quite a few cool things. These extensions can be found at this location. They allow Firefox todo all sorts of cool things such as, controlling it with Mouse gestures, blocking the annoying Flash ad's many sites use, block banner ad's, reload your previous session when you open the browser (ie any pages that you had not closed in tabs last time you quit it) and many other things.

    Ones that I recommend are.

    Flashblock Which replaces shockwave and Flash items with a small icon that can be clicked to view them. Really good for getting rid of the big flashing Flash/Shockwave ad's some sites use.

    Adblock a plugin which hides or removes banner ad's from web pages when you view them.


    The extensions can be configured, disabled or installed via "Tools > extensions" in Firefox 0.9 or greater. In the older versions they could be configured under one of the tabs in the Tool>Options dialog box.

    Ad Blocking CSS


    Another trick that can be done with Firefox is the use of an Ad blocking style sheet. One of which can be found here. By copying and pasting the code from that page into the example file, userContent-example.css, in Firefox's profile directory for which you can find the location of here and then renaming that file "userContent.css". Firefox will examine webpages you look at and remove an ad's it finds generally making the pages load abit faster and much easier to read.

    Ad blocking host file


    This is another some what more powerful way of block various types of ad's on the internet and has the effect of speeding up page loading and reducing the amount of bandwidth used. It prevents the ad's ever being sent to you. It works by telling the computer that it is the ad server. Your computer then asks it's self for the ads when a web page try's to load one and seeing it isn't really the ad server it can't find them and so the web browser just ignores them and loads the page.

    This is done by creating whats called a host file which contains a list of internet address's such as www.blogspot.com and the ip address that web address points to eg 94.158.44.214. On most computers a host file is not present so the computer is forced to ask a DNS sever on the internet what IP address goes with what web address (url). If there is a host file though the computer checks that first and if it finds the url there then it doesn't ask the DNS server for the IP. Using the one in the host file instead. To block ad's what is done is a list of the special computers on the internet that host internet ad's is created and added to the host file. Then for each server the IP address 127.0.0.1 is set (a special address that always points to your own computer not to one on the internet).

    Any way enough tech stuff. You can find an installer for Windows and instructions for MacOSX and Linux at this Site. http://www.everythingisnt.com/hosts.html




    Any way that's enough junk for now from me, time to study :-(.

    Hmm must be Exam time.

    Well it must be exam time again. All the clues point at it.
    Staying up late reading Sci-Fi rather than text books, recompiling the kernel (Linux 2.6.6) when the current one works pretty blasted well, finishing computer games that where started 6 months ago in the Christmas holidays, going out to watch movies and play settlers, not getting out of bed till 2pm and then still only having had 8 hours sleep, Starting random things on the internet that I'd never ever do if I had anything other than study todo (i.e. this) and baking Bread.

    Well any way seeing this is becoming abit of a trend and I was bored thought might as well stick something up.
    Not that I usually follow such trends or see any real point in it.
    Unless your traveling and want a good way for people to find out what your doing, or the subject of your blog is your area of expertise. Especially after remembering some articles I've read about Blogging e.g. Blogosphere to reach 10 million and Most Bloggers are Teenage Girls, not that I have any thing against Teenage girls :-P.

    Well I guess it's a good way to waste abit of time now and then instead of studing.