Thursday, December 29, 2005

What I do at the Shop vs Uni

VS Uni

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

What I do at uni.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

What I do at uni.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Well I hope every one had a fun Christmas, mine was certainly reasonable. Christmas Eve at Kelly's was fun, and the High Anglican evening service was certainly interesting.
The afternoon and evening on Christmas day were also a lot of fun, so thanks for coming around every one and thanks for the use of your pool Jess!

On a related topic Speculum Conlectio has been updated with Images from:

Heresy Christmas
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
As usually contact me if you want bigger versions.

On a rather different note I'm now stuck in the shop for the next few days and a couple of days next week. So there could be an increase in posts in an attempt to fight of boredom. Also if you were intending to browse through it sometime I recommend doing so now, not that I can give discounts!

Any way New Years Eve.

New Years Eve is at my place people are welcome to turn up from about 2pm onwards.
Bring something for tea and your sleeping bags if you think you'll be to tired to head home afterwards!
Hope to see many of you there and I hope people are enjoying there holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I was Bored.

Your #1 Match: INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

Your #2 Match: INTJ

The Scientist

You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems.
Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized.
You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others.
Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.

You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.

Your #3 Match: ISTP

The Mechanic

You are calm and collected, even in the most difficult of situations.
A person of action and self-direction, you love being independent.
To outsiders yous eem impulsive, surprising, and unpredictable.
You are good at understanding how all things work, except for people.

You would make an excellent pilot, forensic pathologist, or athlete.

Your #4 Match: ISTJ

The Duty Fulfiller

You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.
Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas day & New Years

Right few more details for Christmas day.

People are welcome to head around from lunch time onwards.
There will be a light meal at tea time so I recommend you drag a packet of something along or some drink. Suggestions being Crackers, Cheese, fruit, salad etc.
There will be savouries and salads there but more are always welcome.
If you want something a bit fancier than softdrinks you'll need to drag some along there should be plenty of fridge space to keep such things cool.

It'll continue to every one leaves or falls asleep.

New Years Eve!

People are welcome to congregate at my place again New Years Eve.
Again lunch time onwards, and bring something for tea. I'll acquire a BBQ from some where (so pray for nice weather).
Drink wise BYO.
People are welcome to stay the night so if you want to please drag along a sleeping bag as well!

Some indication that your likely to turn up to one another or both events would be appreciated.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Much like Thoughts there is no particular reason for this post.

Emotions and feelings some say guys don't have them or at least very many of them :) the truth of the matter being we just hide them a lot better under our "Masks". Is perhaps that guy's have more "masks" than gals or is it that our "masks" are "thicker"? Or are we simply slower at lowering them and less comfortable with out them? Is it nature or nurture, biology or culture that generates these differences of is it both?

But what are emotions? Are they a product of our soul or of our biology? Do animals have emotions?
Are emotions something that comes from the soul, if so how could we tell? Of course this brings to mind the eternal question of what is the soul, and do we actually have one? Personally I'd hope so though I'd likely call the soul the mind that which is conscious combined with that which is unconscious.
If they are the product of the soul then do we assume that creatures that are not self aware do not have them? And what are they actually to the soul? Are they the various states of the soul like the differing charges of an atoms ions? Some how they are linked to the environment as external cues can manipulate and alter the emotions is this due to something "spiritual" an indefinable element associated with these external cues or perhaps it argues that the emotions are products of the body, the product of biological processes? As surely the activity of the brain differs from one emotional state to another?
If so what purpose do they serve? Are they there as system for altering the way we interact with stimuli? For often our emotions change how we would react to certain stimuli, when some one is angry they react differently to when they are happy.
Thus are emotions means of changing and altering our responses to external stimuli based on stubble environmental cues of things that have happen previously. Are they a feed back for our consciousness a biological means of encouraging certain behaviors?
Is "love" a biological feed back to encourage conscious behavior the benefits the organism or species?
Is "hate" a biological feed back to encourage the elimination of a threat to the organism or species?
If so it is interesting that culture plays such a large part in setting up triggers for each emotion. Is there for emotion a biological means of focusing our conscious attention and promoting specific sets of responses over other possible responses?

How many emotions are there truly? How many are truly different from one another? Can they truly be separated or are they all shades of a couple of true emotions, if so how do you separate them? They say Love and Hate are but the two sides of the same coin, do they other emotions all spring from similar roots?

So many emotions, so many ways we respond and react as a result. Is it not interesting how certain emotions can be linked to a wide range of things some which have clear biological links and others that have less clear links.
Desire for example we all desire many things some useful many useless.
I desire knowledge it probably isn't my greatest desire but it is one of the greater ones (as for what else I desire well wouldn't you like to know :P).

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Went to the 8pm screening of Narnia today and I have to say that it is by far the best movie I've seen this year and quite possibly the best single fantasy movie I've seen. They've kept it very close to the book the bits that were added helped fill in the background.
I preferred the LOTR series over "Lion Witch and the Wardrobe" and the rest of the series but Movie wise I think the smaller tighter LWATW made for a much better movie than any of the LOTR's movies or the HP movies.

A very very good movie and one I think I'll seriously consider acquiring when it eventually arrives in stores.

On a completely different note two minor miracles occurred at uni today.
First the two lab keys I ordered yesterday arrived at the begining of the year getting one key took several weeks. Thus I now have access to the labs and no longer am restricted to only working when someone else is there to open the door for me :-)!
Secondly I went to stick my name on the waiting list for office space to find that my supervisor had stuck my name on the list sometime back meaning I'm about 3rd in the queue rather than about 15th.

Friday, December 09, 2005


What are they? Who can tell me? They could be electrochemical impulses flowing through the neurons of our brains, passing from neuron to neuron, in some order, processing and generating information or activating and recalling memories that some how becomes our consciousness.
But where and how do they start? Are they a logical networked response to some form of environmental cue, are they the result of random chemical or electrochemical interactions. Are they the logical or randomised continuation of our first thought, the spark that awoke and ignites our consciousness or are the the interaction of our soul with the physical world?

What are they, how do they work?

We think about thinking, and we think about how we actually think. Is this what differentiates us from other species we think lack sentience?

What are thoughts? Surely they aren't just an organs favourable response to a random chemical reaction or interaction or the attempt to of a lump of organic matter we call the brain to impose order on the chaotic interaction between our matter and the spontaneous formation of a particle and an antiparticle.

But what about the soul? Does it exist, is it separate from our thought processes, is it the originator of our thoughts or the consequence of our thoughts?
Is the soul our consciousness or the attempt of our thoughts to think that they are eternal immortal? Or perhaps a biological trick to prevent certain logical flows of thoughts from thoughts about what is the purpose of existence.

Is the soul our thoughts attempt at immortality like children are our genomes attempt at immortality?

Do you know? I don't “think” you do nor that I know.
Do you care? Maybe, maybe not there will be some both ways undoubtedly.

My thoughts are amazed, that we as a species claim to understand how the universe came into being and can mathematically “prove” it. That we claim to know how life came into existence and eventually how we were formed and our thoughts came into existence, and can logically “prove” this.
Science a theory for developing theories about other things.
Yet we can not even explain how we think such thoughts, even though in some form or another an the investigation of our thoughts has been examined for by far the longest.

How can it be that consciousness is more complex than the Universe? Or is it just a limitation of our thoughts that they are incapable of comprehending them selves?

I think, therefore I think, I think I am!

Are we nothing but a dream of God or perhaps God's nightmare?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

MSc Research

Well I've finally managed to get started on my Masters Research, spent yesterday setting up cultures and today finishing up the initial culturing, pouring plates, organising lab keys, Health and Safety Training, and getting my summer scholarship sorted out. So hopefully in the next week or two I'll be paid my initial payment for that. It'll be good to be "earning" a bit of Money.

If any ones at uni between 12 and 1:30pm and intending to have lunch drop me a txt as I'm likely to be in at uni from now on having lunch at those times, and eating in the Staff room or outside by my self is likely to get quickly boring.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Having recently acquired a digital camera you've probably noticed that there has been an increase in the number of photos being posted to this blog. In an effort to keep this blog primarily for text with a few good photos I've decided that I should make more use of my flickr account. Flickr is a photo sharing service. So with regards to that I'll be posting a decent number of the images I like but not enough to post on the blog to my flickr account.

My Flickr acount can be found at Falcdragon's photos. Like all good webservices these days there is also an RSS feed available from the account should you like my photos that much.

The Flickr content will be any photo I take that I like. There is also a restricted access section of photos which you'll need a flickr account and to be on my friends list to access they'll be funny photos and other stuff that is not for the general public.
Speculum Conlectio will remain the University and ex-University crowd with photos from a number of people.
Eonsimia will remain photos I really, really like, or are related to blog posts.

Sky Panorama

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Composed of 9 5MP photos intial size of the resulting image was 15MP before being resized.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Able Tasman National Park (4 Geeks and a Gal go for a walk/kayak)

Right well seeing I've now got most if not all the photo's from the tramp I thought I better make a post about it. On a quick note photo's in the post are from either Alethea (A's) or Matt P (M's) seeing I didn't take a camera with me.

Any way we left Christchurch about 1pm on Sunday 13th of November and headed rapidly (well as rapidly as Matt's van is capable of any way) to Brightwater just out side Nelson where we spent the night at Fraser's parent's place. At this point our party consisted of my self, Andrew, Fraser, and Matt. We all headed off to bed early at least by our normal standards (11ish I think) after sorted out some of our gear and deciding what stuff we could probably do with out.
We got up very early the next morning (6:30ish I think) as we had to be at Marahau by 8:30am for Kayak training. So after finally waking every one up and grabbing breakfast we headed on to Marahau, arriving there at about 8:30am. Apon arriving there we seemed to enter a brief state of confusion while attempting to find Alethea who'd been staying at her family Bach in Tata Bay. First our driver decided that a kayaks 80m sign on the side of the road meant 80m up the driveway next to it, after that was corrected we arrived at the kayak hire place and tried to find Alethea, only to get some what confused by the fact that two different companies "Kayaks Able Tasman" and "Able Tasman Kayaks" had both decided to set up shop on what was pretty much one big section. Alethea having organised the Kayaks we were some what confused until we spotted her around behind one building. Once having met up we started the kayak training, a rather brief and some what shallow set of lessons, the most valuable of which was probably the 20 or so minutes covering the weather and where we shouldn't go. Apart from that it involved a lot of hoping into kayaks in the "correct" manner while they were sitting on the ground and practicing a number of different strokes while standing on the grass in full safety gear. Finally headed down to the beach with the kayaks, where we were "tested" ie hoping in the kayaks paddling about a bit turning around and landing them after which we were offically "trained" (and the 4 of us who trained being effectively 30 something dollars poorer each)!


After the training we headed back to Motueka for lunch then proceeded onto Alethea's Bach for the rest of the day. Getting there we sorted out the food that had been brought up from Christchurch then three of us Andrew, Alethea, and I headed down to the beach with a Kayak and two Kayak like things where we intending to make use of the things.
Apon reaching the water Andrew promptly launched him self out on the purple one proceeded about two metres out into the water and Sunk.

Before! (M's)

After! (M's)

Several photo's later and a decent bit of laughter I proceeded to launch my self on the purple thing while Matt videoed the launch in hope of a second sinking which thankfully didn't occur. It would appear that the purple thing considered it's self a Kayak for masses of 60kg of less and a submarine for masses above about 70kg. As a result Andrew ended up using the Green and purple one I'd been intending too us as it was able to stay a float with him on in.
After about an hour we returned to shore having visited the closer of the two islands. The rest of the day and evening was spent playing Settlers (Of course Matt took it!), cards and walking along the beach. We headed to bed early again only to discover that one of the next door neighbors had decided it was apparently a good night to let of some fireworks which lasted for an hour or so.


Any way we were up early again the next morning (7ish I think) added a days food to our packs and headed off with Alethea dropping us off at the start of the track at about 9.15am. After which we started walking the longest day of the tramp, as we were skipping the first hut and walking to Awaroa Hut a walk of around 19km of hills and beaches, so that we could meet up with Alethea and the Kayak the next day at Onetahuti beach.

The beginning! (A's)

The Second Ridge (M's)

Lunch, Andrew playing Andrew B's game! (M's)

Needless to say that was a rather long walk. We had lunch at Mutton cove a bit before 1pm, and finally reached Awaroa hut at about 5:45pm where we discovered that sausages are not the best food to take tramping as they're a pain to cook. The evening was spent tending our blisters and sore legs and watching the estuary that we had walked across quickly fill up, and then when the moon came out the way it played across the waters. We finally headed off to bed at about 11:30pm where I discovered to my horror that a certain person snores, and rather loudly at that when on an less than optimal sleeping surface.

One of the Beaches on the way. (M's)

The Awaroa Hut. (M's)

Moonlight. (M's)

Earlier talking with the Warden who came to check the accommodation passes we discovered a minor problem. We had apparently miss read the tides for the next day, the plan had for Alethea to catch a water taxi with the kayak to Onetahuti at 9am where we'd meet up with her at about 10am. When the tide allowed us to reach the beach. Nice plan but it really didn't work to well when we found out that we'd not be able to cross the beach till about 1pm due to the tide. With out cell phone reception it was rather annoying.

The result was the next morning I was up at 5:45am, at 6am was at the start of the next section of the track, by 7am at the top of the ridge and by about 8am I was at Onetahuti about 30mins before the tide got to high to cross the beach. Where for the next 2 hours I waited in the sun while dodging miniature flying elephants and enjoying the nice quite beach. At 9:30 all of a sudden 6 water taxis turned up and started off loading passengers, then at 10 another one turned up with Alethea, her father, and the rest of our food. We proceeded to load the Kayak with our packs and the extra food and launched. We spent the rest of the day hoping from bay to bay along the coast with frequent brief pauses for photo's to be taken.

Arches (A's)

It had originally been intended for us to head back to Onetahuti at 1pm to meet with the others for lunch but a reasonable wind at our backs and weather that was looking iffy soon put paid to that idea. Instead we headed down a couple of extra bays to Sandfly bay and up the river behind the beach for a look around. After looking around there we headed back up to Bark Bay only to discover the wind had picked up noticeably while we were in Sandfly bay, the result was a rather nasty 30 or so mins paddling directly into the face of the wind which was wiping up the sea quite effectively.

Falls River Sandfly Bay (A's)

Bark Bay Hut (A's)

Not a pleasant experience paddling into that sort of wind. Having got to Bark Bay beach some confusion over the location of the hut and the rather low tide lead to the beaching of the Kayak in a rather odd location some distance from the hut. Once the kayak was emptied we managed to dragged it further up the beach above the high tide line and we settled into the hut to wait for the other to arrive, which they did a bit latter. The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent playing cards, walking down to the beach and taking photos of dolphins and making tea. A short trip was made down to the beach later that evening to see if the moon was going to make a showing in a reasonable time, but an inconveniently placed head land meant we all headed off to bed about 10ish, where the human noise maker attempted to form a choir with a couple more of it's type.

Dolphins (M's)

Any way, up again about 7am with Alethea dashing off with her Camera to get some early morning pictures of the beach. Once every one was up and about and had breakfast we load up the kayak with the food and as much of the extra gear as we can fit and Andrew and Matt take off for the day. At about 10:30 We finally started up the track again for the 2-3h walk to Torrent Bay. Stopping now and then for photo's when the track give a decent view of something.

Falls River Swing Bridge (A's)

The track was a lot busier that day and we meet quite a lot of groups heading in the other direction. Luckily the walk wasn't not to bad and the hills aren't as step as the first day. So we made good time, arriving at torrent bay at about 1:30pm. Forty or so minutes later Andrew and Matt turned up in the kayak for lunch they'rd headed into the estuary behind torrent bay for a look. After lunch they hopped back in the Kayak and headed across the bay to the beach where the hut was. While the 3 of us took the low tide route across the estuary and over a hill to get to the beach the hut is on. It wasn't quite low tide so Fraser decided to hang back for an hour or so till the water went down even further to avoid getting his shoes wet. Alethea and I went on and got to the hut about 40mins after having started walking, covering a nice flat but rather muddy estuary and a beach with one brief low steep hill in the middle. Once we'rd unpacked in the hut Andrew decided to go for a swim and the rest of us decided to go along for a paddle in the water, being not quite so optimistic about the water temperature. Andrew eventually went in up to his shoulder (took him about 15mins) with the rest of us hanging back and looking at the starfish and crabs we could see moving about the bottom of the bay. We were then lured by a pile of rocks in the middle of the beach and a number of little streams of water running down the beach to the sea. The result of which was us Guys spending an hour or so building Dams, undermining them and redirecting water in channels to and from the dams, while Alethea wandered around taking plenty of photos of the fun.

The Big Dam(A's)

Matt the human Dam (A's)

Tea followed back at the hut before went walking over the ridge to the next bay and up to the look out point for more photo taking. Much to Alethea's apparent amusement and bemusement this walk involved several of us sprinting down hill along the track as fast as possible cutting a 10min walk to 2mins. Running/sprinting seemed to use a different set of muscles to walking and kayaking and as a result was considerably more comfortable, at least until we had to stop to recover our breath go endorphins!

Beach at Night (M's)

After getting back from that it was off to bed, for what was probably the best night for those of us sleeping in the hut. The human noise machine took a night off and with the hut fairly empty and no one replaced him. Also we'd grabbed the top bunks for a change and being next to a small open window meant that my sleeping bag temperature stayed down low enough that I was actually comfortable. The two tenting on the other hand apparently had their worst night with the camping ground being quite busy and full of a large party of people in there late teens.

The next morning it was up and off again with the walk/kayak down to Marahau where the kayak was due to be returned at 4pm. Andrew, Matt and Fraser were walking while Alethea and I were in the kayak. After loading the kayak up with as much gear as possible we launched it at about 9:30am and proceeded around the bay to the estuary behind Torrent beach for a gander. After which we proceeded out of Torrent bay and down along the coast visiting a number of the bays on the way Akersten Bay where we were supposed to met the other for lunch. Only to arrive to find they weren't there, after waiting close to an hour and attempting to send the odd txt message to find out where they were we headed back out, only to receive a txt a couple of hundred meters off shore saying they'd decided to have lunch a couple of bays further on and would we please hurry up and get there.

Shot of the Coast line (A's)

One of Many Beaches (A's)

After lunch we decided to head out to Adele Island but by then the wind had picked up and after getting half way there it was decided it would be easier to go with the wind and visit Fisherman Island instead. So we swung by that heading past it about 200m out after increasing wind and swell ruled out going round the far side of it. After that it was just heading back to Marahau unfortunately the wind and swell forced us to tack into the wind a couple of times to make sure we ended up landing at Marahau not a couple of km's further down the coast. We eventually landed the kayak next to the boat ramp at about 3:30 I headed off to get the kayak company to come and pick us up, which they promptly did along with another group who'd turned up shortly after us. Arriving back at the kayak hire place with the kayak we spotted the others just opening up the Van. A decent shower later and we headed off back to Brightwater for a BBQ tea at Frasers place stopping only for a "Real Fruit Ice Cream" on the way. The evening was spent watch Harry Potter 1 after we hired it out from the movie store.

The next day we visited Fraser's relative then had lunch at mine before spending the afternoon wandering around Nelson and wasting money in bookstores. That night we watched "Saved" which Alethea and Matt hadn't seen before and as a result we were amused by both the Movie and the expressions on their faces!
Nelson (M's)

Sunday we headed back to Christchurch arriving about 4pm.

Fifty babies a year are alive after abortion

Fifty babies a year are alive after abortion - Sunday Times - Times Online

This is just sick! And they call a medical procedure!

Morning Moon rise

Slack people Slack!


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Christmas day fun

For those of you who are going to be in town on Christmas day and looking for something todo or some place to hang out, or just for and excuse to escape the relatives. My place will be free and available from midday onwards to when ever. The rest of my family will have vanished off for a holiday, so there will be plenty of room and no one to get in the way, and my parents don't mind at all!

There will be table tennis, pool table and plenty of fridge space to keep "cold ones" cold during the afternoon and evening etc.

There will probably be some more details before the actual time but for now you might as well note down:

Christmas day, midday onwards Chad's place.

Hopefully I'll see lot of you then.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Quick note a new blogger has enter the blog sphere so keep an eye out for their blog!

Another 8 second exposure.

Fun with a 8sec shutter speed at night!

Fun with exposure settings!

The Dog, after all you can't have a cat with out a Dog.

A miniature flying elephant hard at work.

Our Cat for those of you who've never seen him.


Well as a result of Able Tasman I've recently aquired a Digital Camera (Kodak Z740) so expect a few more photos to get posted to both this blog and Speculum Conlectio. Photo's here will mainly envolve myself and related subjects of interest while Speculum will continue to get a wider range of photos covering the whole "group".

Any way time for the odd Image.

I'll probably get around to a Able tasman post sometime in the next week or so assuming I manage to get my hands on the rest of the photos from the trip. There is always a chance one of the other (Alethea, Andrew, Fraser or Matt) may also post something on their blogs as well.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Well we've just got back from Nelson/Able Tasman so expect a number of posts and photos in the next day or two. Currently how ever I have a week of email and other stuff to catch up on (22 uni, 39 hotmail, and others that are still downloading).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Able Tasman

Well I'm off this week to the Able Tasman track for a proper holiday before I start my Masters Research. The result being I'll be spending the week walking the Able tasman track, along with an number of other people. Hopefully I'll be able to aquire some of the many photo's that will be taken by Alethea and Matt so there will probably be an update to the photo blog when I get back.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


The movie Serenity opens this thursday (10th). Who else is interested in going to see it and what day/time would most suit them?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Female sci-fi viewers outnumber males

Adventures of Buffy and Lara see female sci-fi viewers outnumber males I've no idea why it's those shows that are making scifi so popular but none the less it's interesting!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Stanford iTunes

Stanford University is offering audio versions of leactures and talks online for free. They cover quite a range of topics so most people should find something interesting there. Unfortunately they're offering it through iTunes fortunately seeing they're free you don't need an account to access them. Any way have a look here if your interested Stanford iTunes.

The lectures Range from Nature Sustainability, Global warming, to religion and political science, there is also some classical music and other related materials there.

Have a look and download a few if they look interesting.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Miniature flying Elephants

Bumblebees look alot like miniature flying elephants!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Flock web browser

Currently experimenting with Flock a Mozilla firefox based browser that has built in support for a number of web services such as Flickr Blogger wordpress, Technorati and RSS looks interesting so far. Seeing I make some use of most of those services it will hopefully be rather convenient.

New Scientist Breaking News - Weird and Wacky

A couple of interesting Patents, Eyeball electronics and a Dancing Cell phone!

New Scientist Breaking News - Invention: Eyeball electronics


It's a relief to find out that I've passed all my papers for this year. It's also a relief that the grades I got were good enough to allow me to continue on to Masters Part II, the research project.

I stuffed up one paper with a rather low grade but thankfully 2 very good grades and a reasonable one balanced that out nicely.

So it's now waiting to here back from my supervisor I can start my project!

Also on another VERY nice note the Biology department is offering all it's MSc Part II students a summer scholarship! Enroll to do a research project over summer and they pay for the course fees ($1000) and $4000 on top of that! The summer research project is meant to be your thesis project as well. So effectively they're giving you $4000 to start your research a bit early!

I think I like my department!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Earth Observatory Newsroom: Blue Marble Next Generation

Looking for some different wallpapers for your computer? Nasa's has released some new high-res satellite images of the earth with one for each month showing how the seasons change the appearance of the earth. So if you've some free bandwidth I'd suggest you have a look!

Earth Observatory Newsroom: Blue Marble Next Generation

A couple of Firefox extensions worth having.

These two firefox extensions are rather useful.

Mouse gestures - Allows you to navigate around the browser by holding down a mouse button and moving the mouse in a certain direction. No more moving the mouse to the top of the page to use the buttons there or create a new tab.

Blogthis- A nice little extension that adds a new option to the right click menu in Firefox. Right click on a page and choose blogthis and it pops up a box containing the URL so you can post it to your blog. Do it while you've selected some text and it pops up a box containing the text and a link so you can post it directly to your blog.

Dyslexia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Always interesting reading this sort of stuff Dyslexia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Humans are such a varied species in so many ways. No doubt that's also true in other species it just alot harder to observe when it's not our selves.

Wikipedia's an interesting and useful source but like all things on the internet care must be taken when using such a source. It's well worth finding a couple of papers or reviews from a respectable journal, which is one thing that wikipedia has going for it the use of references and a bibilography for the more scientific articles.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Archimedes Laser

Now this is rather cool.

Ancient Greek and Roman historians recorded that during the siege of Syracuse in 212 BC, Archimedes (a notably smart person) constructed a burning glass to set the Roman warships, anchored within bow and arrow range, afire.

A TV program called MythBuster apparently tried to do this and decided that it was impossible and therefore a myth.

How ever a group of engineers decided to have a go any way and the results are definitely rather cool!

2.009 Product Engineering Processes: Archimedes

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Knife of Dreams

Right well I just picked up the book from the UBS. Please excuse me if you can't contact me in the next 5 hours :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Holidays - Reading

Well with my exams having finished in September I've spent the last few weeks reading, gaming and watching abit of Anime.

Read some pretty decent stuff during that time nothing absolutely brilliant. None the less if you like Science Fiction and Fantasy then many of these are worth a look at:

Science Fiction

Williams, Walter Jon - Dread Empire's Fall:
The Praxis
The Sundering
Conventions of War
- This series focuses on two major Characters Officers in the Fleet of the Galatic Empire as if falls apart after the death of the last members of the Master Race. Focus is Military, especially space fleets.

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle - CoDominium
The Mote in God's Eye
The Gripping Hand
- Two books about the first Contact with an Alien race. Some of the Best Science fiction I've read for quite some time.

Robinson, Kim Stanley - Mars
Red Mars
Green Mars
Blue Mars
- A political and science focused series that follows the teraforming of Mars over a couple of generations.

Anderson, Kevin J - Saga of the Seven Suns
Hidden Empire
A Forest of Stars
Horizon Storms
- This series hasn't been finished yet but is a nice big Space Opera. Following the lives of a number of Characters both human and Alien after humans accidental start a war with an ancient and powerful species, when they Convert an Gas Giant Inhabited by the race into a new Star using ancient Technology they discovered.

Bova, Ben - Voyagers
The Alien Within
Star Brothers
- Very Light Science fiction, about the discovery of an Alien Ship that drifts into the solar system set about the late 1970s

Eric Flint - Assiti Shards
- Starts with a Very brief Scifi mechanism then quickly converts to a semi Historical/Alternate History Series. The Premise is a small American Village is transport back into the 17th Century and ends up in Germany in the middle of the "30 Year War" most of the historical detail appears to be fairly accurate so an interesting read.

CJ Cherryh - Morganine
Gate of Ivrel
Well of Shiuan
Fires of Azeroth
Exile's Gate
- Interesting Scifi/Fantasy series, An Alien Race created a series of gates that allow transport through time and between worlds, someone made the mistake of trying to go back and time and caused a massive cataclysm that wiped out the Alien civilization. Many years later Humans discover the Gates and send a team through with a job to disable every gate at any cost to prevent any one trying to go back in time ever again.


Canavan, Trudi - Black Magician
The Magicians Guild
The Novice
High Lord
- Nice resonable light Fantasy. Fairly typical series about a young Girl from the Slums who is found to be able to use Magic and is forced to join the Mage Guild as a result. Well worth a read though nice and clean.

CJ Cherryh - The Fortress Series
Fortress in the Eye of Time
Fortress of Eagles
Fortress of Owls
Fortress of Dragons
- Fairly typical High Fantasy though with out the usual elves, dwarves, orcs and Goblins. Well worth reading though again very clean.

Juliet E. McKenna - Einarinn
The Thief's Gamble
The Swordsman's Oath
The Gambler's Fortune
The Warrior's Bond
The Assassin's Edge
- Interesting series focus on a 2 characters a thief/Gambler and a Swordsman. Again clean and a good read.

Paolini, Christopher - Inheritance
- A classic boy and his dragon out to save the world series. It's very well written and apparently managed to knock "Harry Potter" off the top spot in the sales charts when the second book was released soon after the latest HP book.

Things I'm Intending to read soon or reread.

Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan - Book 11 of The Wheel of Time, need I say more?

Gap into Madness series (5 books) by Stephen R. Donaldson - A Good but VERY Dark Science fiction Series this really pushes the limits of what I'm prepared to read (or least it did last time I read it in 1997 (hmm I was 13)). Definitely Adult only from memory , but still interesting and well written. I personally think it's better than Donaldsons fantasy "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" which is somewhat cleaner. Though I think my favorite work of his would be "Mordant's Need" A much cleaner Fantasy series.

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny - Should be interesting not read any thing of his before.

I Should also note that during this time I've also been watching some Anime mainly:

Witch Hunter Robin - A very nice series about a group who hunt down witches in modern Tokoyo.

Naruto - Funny action series set in a world were nija are used instead of Armies, following the adventures of a young nija and his friends from one of the major countries.

BBC NEWS | Health | Scans show how HIV attacks brain

BBC NEWS | Health | Scans show how HIV attacks brain
Right as if the other effects of the disease weren't bad enough as it was!

Monday, September 26, 2005


Do you use a RSS feed to view blogs?
What is RSS?


Free polls from

Deadly plague hits Warcraft world

WOW Virtual plague! Kind of Cool! Certainly increases the realism of the game a lot! A very apt mirror of what can happen in real life.
Our similarities define what we are, our differences define who we are.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

An update

Well having finished my Exams which were in the first two weeks of this term I've for the most part finished University for the year.
I have no lectures, no seminars, no labs and no assessment, in fact I have pretty much nothing to do for the next month (except CU stuff). Part way through October I'll get my results back and after that I'll probably have alot of reading to do.

The biology department works on a system of early exams then once they've decided if you pass or not they then allow you to start the initial work for your thesis in about November, that at this stage though is like to consist of alot of a lot of reading until I get into a lab which will probably be next year.

A couple of figures from a "year" of Postgraduate Biochemistry study.
300MB+ Of paper and data.
500+ Scientific Papers read
3 Hours of presenting presentations.

On a completely different note things of interest that are coming up in a the next month or so (hopefully).
Knife of Dreams: Wheel of time book 11
Age of Empires 3: The 3rd Age of strategy game covering 1500AD-1850AD.
Serenity: Sci-Fi Movie that looks rather interesting.

Opera Cool Web browser.

No doubt most of you who are interested have not doubt already noticed this.

Any way the Opera webbrowser has been released for free no more banner ads or licience fees.

It's a 4MB download and supports RSS, Email, IRC and of course web browsing.
I've been fiddling around with it and its very nice.

Also worth noting there are versions for:
Windows, MacOSX, Linux, QNX, Solaris, BeOS, and BSD.

Well worth a look if your interested in a new very fast and small email app and web browser.

Be interesting to see which I end up sticking with FFX or Opera.

Also if your running it on windows XP it supports voice controled navigation.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Reasons too be happy, that your writing an assignment rather than making a presentation

When your referencing Scientists such as Matzke, Leung, Filipowicz, Fire, Gorovsky, Moazed, Piano, Qun Pan, Quackenbush, Tang, Wadhwaa, and Catteruccia.

Piano, Fire and Moazed noted that...
Quackenbush suggested ...

For all you Napoleon Dynamite Fans

Bill Gates and Napoleon Dynamite

Apparently you can watch the video here! It doesn't seem to work too well for me though.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Life such as it is

Well the delights of exams and assignments is finally nearly done. In the next couple of weeks I have my final exams for uni (hopefully ever). The Biology/Biochemistry Masters program is a bit unusual in that the 4th year exams are held in September rather than November when all the others occur. Kind of scary to think these are my final exams.
On a dissimilar note it's also scary to think how many of the people I know finish uni this year or already have finished uni. By the end of next (when I'm likely to be considering writing up my thesis) I think there will be just about nobody I know still at uni (excluding the other Masters students). It is kind of sad to see people disappearing from uni going job hunting and all the rest, though in same cases it's more disturbing to see the types of jobs they end up getting.
Any way in the next three weeks I've three exams and an assignment worth 100% due in so I may be a tad busy.

On a different note a small group of us are considering doing the Able Tasman walkway/tramp just after exams this year (Nov 11 onwards) if your'd be interested in joining in let me know if you haven't already.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Looking to do some gaming?

For all of you who looking to do a little computer gaming these holidays the link below might be of interest. It's a list of excommercial games that have been released for free. Most of them are a few years old but some of them are still worth playing.
Gratis gaming

Monday, August 08, 2005

CCG Ball

Well the CCG Ball has just finished, lots of fun for all I hope.
As you might expect with the number of cameras present there is a decent number of photos around and some of the highlights of those will soon turn up on a certain photo blog.

I'm going to try something a bit different this time and add them all to one post in a logical order. So it will pay to check the post out a few times over the next week or two as I acquire images from Alethea's collection and hopefully a couple of other peoples.

Note as usual if you want a full res copy of a photo or have a good reason for one to be removed contact me.

Note if you see two copies of this in your feed it's because Bogger ate the previous post so I've had to repost it.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Here are a couple of questions that I've been curious about people opinion on.

1) What do you consider more likely?

Creation - ie The world is approximately 4,000 old Genesis is a complete and accurate account of creation.

Evolution - ie All life on the world is formed from evolutionary processes

Intelligent Design - A mix of both Creation and Evolution, an Intelligent Designer/Creator was involved in some role or another. More info

2) Does it actually matter?
Yes or No

3) Why? With regards to either or both

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry Potter Book 6: done gone finished!

Got the book at 12:50 today and started reading at 1pm finished it at 6:30 pm, with breaks for lunch and tea. The below is my impressions, there shouldn't be enough detail there though for it to provided any major spoilers.

It's a reasonable read, not up to the standard of the earlier ones though, at least in my opinion. It starts off interesting enough but fairly quickly loses some of the interest, with a couple of things not being followed up properly, at least as far as I'm concerned. Two new characters are introduced out of the blue at the beginning, one makes little appearance after that, just enough to make sure you don't like the chap, while the other shows up through out the book and is interesting enough if under used.
What is done quite well though is the confusion developed over Snape, he plays an increasingly important role with a couple of very interesting scenes which simply increase the confusion. Is he good or bad? I can't tell at all though his actions in certain sections certainly lean towards the later.
As in the previous book she kills off another of the more important and interesting characters a habit that I'm beginning to find annoying. The story ends pretty much on that note.

Thankfully the teenage angst of the previous book doesn't seem as common in this one, instead she has a couple of fairly obvious and completely unsupprising romances develop with a bit of angst thrown in, which if you don't spot coming at least a book ago, then I don't know what to say.

A little more is learnt about Voldemort but he doesn't appear directly at all in the book.

Oddly enough one of my biggest complaints about it would be that it glosses over much of the detail present in the earlier books even though it's just as large as the previous two.
The biggest question it leaves me with though is why is Snape considered so trust worthy by Dumbledore?

Any way I hope the next Wheel of time book is better than this book turn out to be.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Don't you just love it when you check up the due date for a piece of work and find it's due a week later than you thought!

Though that still does leave me with my MSc proposal to finish and other various bits of work.

On another note been reading alot of old Sci-fi recently, a mix of stuff from the 1930's to the 1980's. Kind of cool some of the stuff they dreamed up for the books.

For example one of the book series set in the next couple of hundred years but written in the 1930's through 1950's.
Plays around with the idea's of:
Black holes though they're not called that, probably because that name hadn't been invented.
Matter to energy conversion.
Negative Matter ak Antimatter
Inertia less space ships.

Some of especially interesting things are:
Electronic Computers in the Books are Mechanical or Analogue.
Computer often refers to it's original meaning, Humans or groups of humans trained in Mathematics.

Kind of cool so if you want to read some good old school Scifi try "E E 'doc' Smith's" lensman series.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Finally decided to read "Pride and Prejudice" (Jane Austin) last night to find out why it was so popular among members of the "fairer sex". I've never seen the movie or read any other of the authors works. Any way downloaded a copy from Project Gutenberg and started reading it.

It's surprisingly good or to look at it another way it managed to keep me interested enough to finish it in one sitting, It wasn't as long as I thought it would be though I guess 6 hours reading is decent.

Any way back to the book the portrayal of the major characters is very well done as is the entire feel of the Society, an interesting look at early 19th century (I assume) English gentry.

Boredom = Bad

Thus after reading a certain blog

My #1 result for Five Love Languages of Gary Chapman, is

Quality Time

2nd)Acts of Service
3rd) Words of Affirmation

Touch, unsupprisingly was last by far!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Great Eye!

He's out there Waiting and Watching!
Sauron Lives.

Batman Begins?

Who'd be interested in going to see this movie sometime? The reviews I've read suggest it's quite good.

Speculum Conlectio update

Seeing most of you probably don't check Speculum Conlectio often I thought I'd better mention it's just been updated with a number of photo's taken by Matt and Paul at Katherine's 21st.
Also hopefully I'll manage to add some more photo's from the event taken by Alethea in the next couple of weeks.

As usual if you want high quality versions contact me or the people who took the photo's. Though with regards to Matt's ones it's probably easier to contact me.


A recent testimony at church helped provide an interesting insight into my own faith and where I am in it.
The lady Discussed 3 phases that her faith had went through:

1) God is everywhere in every thing all around, faith with out knowledge with out question, innocent faith.
2) The loss of faith, faith weakened, questioned unknown, "My God, My God have you forsaken me"
3) Faith rekindled small, but strong slowly growing maturing, faith with reason.

That's not quite how she described her three steps but that is how I see them.
Looking at my own faith though there are some similarities.

The early faith was that that I had when I was a Child.

God is good, God is Love, God is the reason for all things, God saves me from hell, God is light God is life, Jesus my best friend, The bible unquestionable accurate and perfect. Christians are good people, god protects and looks after Christians.

This was the faith of a Child (6-10,11) having given one self to God it was strong and unquestioning, I think the commitment had a change at least on my public behaviour. Based years of bible stories, reading children's bibles, Bible in Schools, Bible Club, Sunday School (Brethren with a bit of Apostolic).

Next came faith with some reason. God is good, life and love. God forgives, God protects, God created the earth and the universe, the Bible accurate and near prefect pretty much literally. Christians are people and have people the same weaknesses as other people. The problems in the world are human based. It's better to be a Christian than not. Evolution and science wrong in some areas. Faith and religion not the same.

The faith of a teenager (11-18), a child growing up, finding Sunday School could no longer teach any more, discovering greater and greater diversity in Christian thought and circles, Attending a private Conservative Christian intermediate then a public coed high school. Starting to study and examine Science, History, Church History. Discussing things with Dad troubled by questions he raised to think about, arguing with friends at school about Christianity, Religion and Science. Gaining a deeper understanding of Science and History. Church hopping, attending a traditional style cell group. Disagreeing with other Christians in some areas agreeing in others. Reading more and more, learning more about our culture. Learning about politics and the world.

Next was "faith"? Can I, do I have faith? What do I have faith in?
Questions, always questions.
Does God exist, can he exist, why do things happen, why do we exist? What is the world with out God what is our purpose if there is no God? Is this the true "faith"? Does it matter? One way to god? What is Heaven, what is Hell? What is death with out God? Is the bible all ways right? Is it the exact word of God? Is it a humans inadequate attempt to express the Divine? Genesis, fact? Historical fiction? or Story? Evolution or Creation, perhaps Intelligent design? Does one exclude the others? Social issues abortion, murder, crimes, victim and criminals place and rights?

The Question (18-19)? Still going to church, but wondering, questioning all that one sees. Going to Uni Studying Science, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Computing. Questioning what was taught, but seeing underlying logic as well as holes. Mixing and merging ideas from all areas of interest Science and Christianity. Going to a cell group people who see black and white, I see grey and some black.

A new faith? Different, now things fit, small though, Questions still a plenty
Much is grey but now there is both Light and Darkness as well as they grey. Truth I may not know entirely, but some understanding achieved, such as a human may. Both Science and God now fit to a degree. God rules but free will for now has power. Heaven and hell of less importance. God IS! But what is the nature? What is the method?

The faith of one who has balanced internally at least to some degree the demands of two things that may appear to conflict (19- ). Involvement with CU, New friends, Christian Friends, Changing cell groups to my current.

The future? Growth of the faith a decrease in questions? Or more likely a decrease in the importance of the questions. An increase in the relationship with God, perhaps one day reaching a point were it dominates. Baptism, Hope for a future with God. Trust that in the end that which can not be explained, is not understood, will be explained or made irrelevant.

One thing I'll say with regards to the period of question, one thing there that scares me, more than pretty much any thing else is the question of "What if God doesn't exist"? Even contemplating that briefly is disturbing beyond anything else I've considered.

Any way what you see is part of the journey of one who has a faith of a kind. One raised in a Christian family.

I'm somewhat curious, if any one wants to comment, on how many others have experienced something similar, and if, if they don't mind me asking, they were raised in a Christian Family.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Beethoven downloads

If any one likes Beethoven, the BBC has been distributing some of his works being preformed by the BBC Philharmonic in MP3 format.

They're only making them available for download, for a few days after they're played on the Radio station.

I spotted the link a bit late and so only managed to download his 2nd, 4th and 5th Symphonies before they took them down.

How ever later this month they'll be playing the 6th - 9th and they'll be placed on the web for a day or two as well. So if you want a decent recording of the 6th - 9th Symphonies you should be able to download them from this page BBC BEETHOVEN DOWNLOADS at the dates mentioned below.

When are the symphonies available to download as mp3 files?

Symphony 6 will be broadcast on Monday 27th June, and available to download from Tuesday 28th June to Monday 4th July.

Symphony 7 will be broadcast on Tuesday 28th June, and available to download from Wednesday 29th June to Tuesday 5th July.

Symphony 8 will be broadcast on Wednesday 29th June, and available to download from Thursday 30th June to Wednesday 6th July.

Symphony 9 will be broadcast on Thursday 30th June, and available to download from Friday 1st July to Thursday 7th July.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A WOT Comic

This is rather old and surprisingly Good.


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

11 steps to a better brain

Here's something that might be worth reading if you've got sometime.
11 steps to a better brain
It's an article by New Scientist looking at IQ and the brain and how such thing as diet, sleep, training and various stimulates affect IQ.

If you've got time I'd suggest you read it. If you don't have time right now I'd suggest you stick a link to it somewhere and have a look at it when you do have time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Biological Viruses

Genome may be future step for virus writers

An interesting little article about the possibilities of designer viruses and how they may eventually become similar to computer viruses.

It's not likely to happen too soon but it is something that we may end up having to deal with in the next few decades as biological knowledge and understanding increases massively.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

WOT Comic book

Well the Wheel of Time Comic books on it's way and they've posted a couple of example pages from it. The Art work is SO much better than the book covers, even if people have already pointed out that at least some of the Aiel should probably have Red or Blonde Hair rather than the black they're all shown with.

New Spring Comic

Earlier Art & Info

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Really Slick Screensavers

For those of you who like very pretty but somewhat pointless screensavers, have a look at this site and try installing a few.
Really Slick Screensavers.
There's versions available for Windows, Linux and MacOS X.


Quick note if you install them change the framerate under the settings option to something realistic for your computer like 30fps other wise they're really going to push your system hard!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Welcome to your life BA's.

Whatever happened to machines that think?

Also of interest is this Whatever happened to machines that think?. It's an article by New Scientist on what happened to AI.

Quite interesting and worth a read even if it's not a subject you'd usually be interested in.

Bible Software

If any of you are looking for some free bible software I'm currently downloading copies of e-sword and Sword project for windows, linux and Mac OSX, along with the various associated resources and bible translations.

I'm going to be burning a couple of copies of all the files to CD, which I'll be lending out to any one who wants them to install on there computer.
The software is not as fancy as the packages you can buy, and they're missing some of the more popular translations (NIV etc), but it's still a good resource especially with the Greek and Hebrew versions and dictionaries for each.

All up they weigh a couple of hundred Megabytes so if any one wants to install the software leave a comment and I'll lend you the CD's as soon as I get a chance.

I've grabbed most of the files so it works out to:
- A dozen or so bible translations including KJV, CEV, Good News etc.
- A Couple of bible encyclopaedia
- Greek and Hebrew versions of the bible.
- Commentaries by various people
- Daily Devotions
- Bible Map's
- Bible concordances
- A few classic Christian works such as "Fox's book of Martyrs"

All up it makes a nice little biblical reference library. Let me know if you want to borrow the CD.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Geeky and FUNNY!

Right this has to be one of the more amusing things I've read on the internet in a while. I've no idea if it's true or if it's been improved a bit, but it really really is funny.

Any way with out much ado let me introduce you to the story of the 1337 Hacker.

A 26 year-old German claimed he was the baddest hacker in town and threatened to attack a moderator on #stopHipHop's IRC Channel because he thought he'd been thrown out.

He demanded the moderator cough up his IP address and prepare to be hacked.

The 1337 Hacker

Thanks to The Inquirer

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

LAN or Social thingy?

Who might be interested in having a small LAN at my place on the Saturday the 23rd and or Sunday 24th April?

Family's away so might as well make use of the place.

If there's not enough interest in a LAN or if prefered I'll have some sort of more general social event happening on one of those days instead.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Well I've just updated Speculum Conlectio with some photos I acquired from Matt's collection.
There's a mix of CU, Social gathering and Parachute photos.

Also I think I should probably explain what exactly Speculum Conlectio is for.
For starters Speculum Conlectio is Latin and roughly translates to Image or Mirror Image collection.

What I'm using the blog for is a place to store and share Images that fit in to a number of categories, CU related, photo's related to our little blogging community and any other cool photos.

At the moment I'm the only one posting Images from my collection and a few from Alethea and Matt's collections. Hopefully at some stage Alethea will start posting as well. Also if requested I'll probably open it up to any of you I know who have Digital Camera's and what to post the odd Image the fit's in the above categories that you don't want taking up space on your blog.

Note all the images are uploaded at 1024x768 so if you want the larger version click on the image. If you need or want an even higher quality version than that contact me or who ever posted the image and ask them to send you a copy.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A Story

This is what you get when you let Andrew and Mike write a story with
input from Christina, though I must admit I was in the room at the time, with help from Innergeek.

A long time ago, there was strife in the kingdom of Skull Island.
The Aristocracy people wanted their freedom from the annoying ruler of
world. The annoying ruler of world, however, had different plans. He
wanted to radiate the Aristocracy people to kill for the Chimera. The
people of Skull Island gathered in the local Burlesque house to Play
the Goldfish. The elder Orthodontist spoke first. We must Tickle the
ruler of world, who is now more Busy than annoying!!! Who will join
me? I will, shouted Bob, the kingdom's Lad of negotiable affection. I
think your idea is Quickly Chimera, said the local Frog Tamer. I'm too
Green for this Feather, anyway. Unreal Tournament is a better waste of
my Astropithicus Leviticus. The GM Dove his Spleen on the Majesty.
Wow!! Why don't you go play Bubble Bobble with James if you don't like
the way we play Spoons! You're such a 64, Reuben.

Note a combined attempt at the Geek test by Andrew, Christina, Mike,
Jared and my self produced a score of 64%, only 20% greater than Mike's
best score!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Here you all are. A fun test that gives you a geek rating.
Have a go and post your scores.

I managed to get 17% which equals Geek.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Speculum Conlectio

Speculum Conlectio

Lucky me.

I've a lovely little debate tomorrow.
The topic is Xenoestrogens and Male fertility and we the guy's are stuck arguing that xenoestrogens have no effect on male fertility against the gal's who are arguing they decrease male fertility.

So 4 guy's vs 5 gal's. With public opinion on the topic leaning more the gal's way and the science also appearing to lean in that direction.

Xenoestrogen's by the way are biochemical mimics of the female hormone estrogen. They're a pollutants, waste products and by-products that enter the environment and then the food chain through a large number of sources.

It's not going to be fun :-(.

PS I'll stick up some camp photo's soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

My 21st: Food!

My 21st: Food!

My 21st: Food! Oh and the odd person or six.

My 21st: People

My 21st: People

My 21st: People it's not a 21st with out them.

My 21st: Food drink and people.

My 21st: Food drink and people.

My 21st: Food drink and people.
The perfect ingredient's for any 21st.

What I've been doing.

Well the new University years started with a bit of a bang.

I got back in town on the 19th of February after having spent the summer working for Fonterra at there research and marketing centre in Palmerston North. And then went out for the evening to Sally's flat warming.

Uni started on the Monday @ 9am with an introduction to Postgrad study in the School of Biology. A number of activities kept us busy for the morning.

After that was out of the way I had the lovely job of enrolling having missed enrolment week. Thankfully it didn't turn out to be to bad.

The rest of the week was spent going to Postgrad activities and preparing for the booksale.

That Saturday was my 21st party which went well. Went out to dinner with a few close friends then had every one else around for supper. People seemed to enjoy them selves which was good as did I.

The following week was the booksale enough said. Let's just say I was there from 7:30ish to 6pm one day and 9-5 for the rest. Thankfully the UCSA was used to working with us from last year and so had organised a few things from there end which helped.

Also I must thank all those who helped out with the booksale. You people were great and have helped make it work out well.

Special thanks to Andrew for organising big bit's of it due to me being up north in the lead up to it. Christina for coming in and helping even though she's now finished Uni and the various others who helped Organise things.

Also that week my seminars for the year started.
That's one interesting thing about Postgrad in Biology we don't have lectures instead we have seminars 3 hour slots every second week were we discuss current research with lecturers, present presentation's, posters, grant application debates and a number of other things. It's more relaxed and the focus is very much on you doing the work and the study, understanding what your looking at then discussing it with the Academic staff.
It's a nice change from undergrad though it may end up meaning that I actually have to spend more time at uni as a result reading papers and books at the library trying to understand the subjects that are to be discussed in the seminars.
The result being that I'm only scheduled for six contact hours a week. The other nice thing is that the exams are in September and after that we begin our research.

This week has be a continuation of the booksale with the unsold books and monies being returned to there owners with my second set of seminars. And producing a final copy of my thesis research statement.

By the way for those of you who wonder this year I'm doing A Masters of Science in Biochemistry.
Covering these topics:
Medical Biochemistry
Molecular Biology
Protein Science

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I'm Back

Well I'm back in town for good now. Now to enrol for Uni and organise some CU stuff.

Don't forget my 21st thingy next week. If you've yet to be informed of the details please let me know.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

One week to go!

Seven more days and I'll be finished at Fonterra and home again. It's going to be good to be back home even with Uni starting 2 days after I get back.
Biggest annoyance though will be that I miss enrolment week and therefore get stuck enroling on the first day of term. That combined with CU, the booksale and what ever Uni stuff is happening that first week should make things interesting and busy.
Then of course on Saturday the 26th of February is my 21st thingy.

Any way looking forward to see you all in the next few weeks.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Bit of an Update

I've spent 10 weeks in Palmy now with two to go thankfully they were broken up by the two weeks of Christmas holidays. A very nice two weeks they were giving me a chance to catch up with many of you. Up to the point where in 14 or so days i was in Chch I think I spent 4 evening's at home. :-)
Any way got back up here on the 9th of January and started work again the next day. That week wasn't so good, with the whole week spent trying to get thing's working again after the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) A rather cool technique) stuffed up after testing the various components which are used we finally found that the Primers had done something silly over the two week break. Since then things have worked all right. I got to spend quite a bit of time designing some more primers for different Phage gene's to extend the testing which as quite interesting and introduced me to some very nice Internet Bioinfomatics resources.
Any way with work going ok again it was back to things as normal. After work spent a fair bit of time playing Rome: Total War (single player) and UT2004 Multiplayer as Chris another chap from chch who was staying at the same place I was had brought his computer up after the holidays. UT2004 Invasion Mode with instagib is a lot of fun.
In the second week back I finally turned 21 not really sure what to think of that getting older but also getting to 21. That week end was a long one as the following Monday was the local anniversary day. So I hoped on a bus to New Plymouth getting there 11pm on the Friday night. The trip was boring and the bus pretty much empty except for what appeared to be a number of Navy and Army Cadet's. After it got dark things improved though as the sky was fairly clear and the stars looked brilliant!
Got to New Plymouth and walked from the bus stop to Nana's with dad who'd flown up for a week's holiday while leaving mum to run the shop. Always special being in New Plymouth in mid to late January as me and Nana have the same birthday and my youngest brothers birthday is 2 days after mine and Nana's. So spent the weekend with Nana and Dad. On the Saturday I managed to get out to Cameron's (see links) family farm for his 21'st and on Sunday the 3 of us went out to my Uncles place for a big semi birthday lunch for me and Nana. Went back to Palmy mid afternoon on Monday after Cameron had dropped around for lunch for a chat.
The next weekend (last weekend) I finally had to move out of the Massey Cottage where I'd been staying so moved to my second cousin's place on the far side of town. It's now a 25min bike to work but the the 10m pool my cousin's have makes up for that, as do the meals. Also that Saturday evening a group of us from work went out to a maize horror maze 30mins out of Palmy. Nice clear night with lots of very well dressed up monsters wandering through the maze scaring the people going through it (undead, ghoul's, Butcher, Crazy clown's, Guy's with working Chainsaws etc, the chainsaw chap was probably the most disturbing I thought he'd walk up to you rubbing his face over your clothes sniffing muttering comments about you smelling nice etc then let rip with the chainsaw.). We split up into groups of 4 with a mix of guys and gals. The gal's screamed quite impressively when the monsters jumped out on them (probably why the actors all targeted them). A lot of fun that. Went clubbing after that finished an interesting experience seeing I've never bothered to go before.

Any way this last week I've been mainly working on the presentation I need to give for my project. Ten minutes to explain what I've been doing and what use it is to Fonterra then five minutes of questions. I've pretty much got mine done and will be speaking second on Monday so hopefully it'll go well.

Well thats what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks hope your all having a good time where ever you are.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Twenty One

Well some time last week I finally turned 21. Seeing nobody (except family pretty much) actually knew the exact date not a lot happened, as planned. Quite happily however the weekend was a long one with the local anniversary day being this Monday so I managed to get away to New Plymouth for two and abit day's to stay with my Nana (Who shares the same birthday as I do, which means she's one of the few people I always know the age of). Dad had also flown up for a week and was staying with Nana as well.

Any way supprisingly enough the weather was actually quite decent for Saturday and Sunday, so I managed to get out to a friends 21st and have lunch at my Aunt & Uncles. Then on the Sunday evening Dad took me out to a Steak House for tea in celebration of my 21st Birthday, So my 21st didn't pass completely unmarked.

Also one thing I should mention is on Saturday the 26th Feb I'll be having a 21st party/thingy at my place at 8pm. I've sent out emails to most of you, but don't have every one's email address and I've not received replies to all the emails I've sent out, possibly some of them have been blocked by Spam filtering etc.
The point of this is to say that if you haven't received such an email and I know you, you are invited it's just the email got swallowed up on the way or something. So if you don't know my address please email or text me. Or Leave a post here and I'll get back to you. If you are coming and haven't replied to the email please reply to this post or email me to let me know. I need some Idea of the numbers to organise the supper! Note no presents is prefered.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Work, in various forms.

Spent the last two days working at my parents shop, running it while they're down south having a holiday. I usually look after the shop while they're away though I'm liking it less each time, not that I ever looked forward to it, though I guess it's not really that bad and working for my parents is alright but I just don't like retail work.

It's especially annoying this time when I've just spent 6 weeks working in a lab at fonterra's research centre in Palmy. The difference between lab work and retail work is very noticeable and further strengthens my desire never to work in retail. You know you aren't suited for retail when you see a car load of customers pull up and all you whish there'd go get lost somewhere that wasn't the shop your in. Dealing with customers and phone calls is the primary annoyance get rid of those two features and I wouldn't mind it so much. Unfortunately getting rid of those two things tends to leave you with out a shop after a while which is a bit of a pitty.

Any way my two weeks of "holidays" are nearly done and on the 9th Jan I fly back up to palmy for another 6ish weeks of work at Fonterra before University starts. I get back about the 18th February to start my MSc (Biochemistry), (Master of Science in Biochem), which hopefully will be interesting.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The New Year!

Well it's 2005, finally. Which will hopefully be an interesting year!
It started off well with around 24 (at the peak) of us gathering at Katherine's place to see the new year in. With 6 or so of us staying the night and most of today (1st Jan) there.

Thanks for the brilliant evening and day Katherine.

On other notes being January it means it's not long till my 21st and I should probably pre-enrol for the Master course for this year before I head back up to Palmy for another 6 weeks at Fonterra's research centre.