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!


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


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!

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