Sunday, December 31, 2006

Friendship/Relationship Inhibitions

I've been thinking a bit lately about how I treat people, and the differing level of behaviours I associate with different levels of relationships. In specific the differing levels of trust, and willingness to communicate with people.

As a result I decided to sketch out a list of the way I treat people with regards to how well I know them. Though the list people has distinct categories in reality it's more of a continuum. Also thinking about it there are two significant continuum's. One for friends and one for blood relatives.
There undoubtedly should also be a third category being "spouse" but seeing I don't even have a girl friend I decided that was best left out.

Any way here is a list of some of the different ways I treat people depending on the type and state of the relationship.

  • Limited to small talk about, a current event, the weather or something similar.
  • Physical contact: minimal/none
  • Happy to talk about every day stuff, ie job, study, current events etc
  • Interested in certain of their primary interests
  • Physical contact: Handshake level
Distant friends:
  • Happy to discuss a bit about what I'm doing, what they're doing, there primary interests
  • Physical contact: Handshake/backslap level
  • Happy to talk about most stuff, what I'm doing, what they're doing, Interests, opinions, what I feel in brief
  • Willing to help if needed
  • Happy to make jokes at their/my expense
  • Physical contact: Don't mind hugs from members of the "fairer sex", but I won't initiate them {way to shy}.
Close/Best friends:
  • Happy to talk about nearly anything, Interests, opinions, beliefs, hobbies, past times, future aspirations, emotions/feelings (to a limited degree) etc
  • Enjoy spending time with them even if nothing much is happening
  • Want to know more about them what makes them up as a person
  • Likely to attend events I'm not particularly interested in they're going to
  • Willing to go out of way to help if needed.
  • Will answer many personally questions directly if asked (ie birthday, middle name, other personal)
  • Physical contact: Happy with hugs from members of the "fairer sex" {from the other sex would require exceptional circumstances :-)}, but I won't initiate them {way to shy to do that}.

Girl Friend (never yet reached so theoretical :-P):
  • All attributes assigned to best friend
  • Would answer pretty much any personal question truthfully and directly
  • Interested in everything about them, their friends, family, interests, desires etc
  • Greatly enjoy spending time with them, and strongly desire to do so
  • Physical contact: holding hands, hugs, kissing, general physical contact imitated by either party etc {hmm not sure I should include this bit :) seems a little odd!}
  • And many other things that will no doubt be determined should I every find someone who is equally as interested in my self

The second continuum would be for family, direct and extended (all blood relations). The continuum would be much the same as for the friendship one with a few additions at all levels and obviously lacking the girl friend category (nearly posted it with out this bit :| that would have been bad, I can quite easily imagine some of the comments!)

Blood relatives/Family:
  • Willing to discuss most stuff
  • Willing to answer many personal questions truthfully
  • Interested in most things about them
  • Physical contact: Hugs, kisses both genders fine

Any way this hopefully gives you some idea of the possibly bizare personal inhibitions I have floating around somewhere in my head.
Note that these aren't hard and fast categories, they are the result of a mix of thoughts from rather late at night.

Also do other people also note that they treat people differently depending on how well they know them?

I'd expect most to do so, and I'd expect that most people would have quite differing degrees of how they treat people when compared to each other.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More old Colour images

Old Pictures Additional colour photos from the 19th Century. Again the images are rather interesting!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Heresy - Speculum Conlectio

For those of you who haven't noticed due to RSS feeds for speculum not working it has been updated with images from the heresy Christmas party.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Brit TV

BBC moves to file-sharing sites.
Looks like the US at least will soon be getting access to High Definition British TV via Zudeo. If we are lucky we'll soon gain access as well, Fawlty Towers at least interests me, and I'm aware that a number of you like other British shows such as Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, Little Britain.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

For those who don't read the newspaper...

or the right internet sites, this is a rather impressive image:

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Colour Photography 1872 onwards

Here are a couple of Colour photo's dating 1872 through till the 1940's. Interesting images to see in colour as we generally tend to think of colour photo's as a recent invention.

Well worth a look at.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Beautiful Images

These two chaps produce some unbelievably brilliant photos.
Robert Mekis

Well worth a look!

The Multiverse

Interesting BBC documentary about Parallel universes, string theory and M theory.
The parallel theory I find rather interesting, the idea that there are infinite possible universes exist and they that all exist. That somewhere your favourite fiction series is fact not fiction, that there exists a universe when you made that other choice or you weren't born and so forth. It's a fun idea to play around with, which I've been doing for a while mentally, and it's nice to see that it's not a complete pie in the sky idea, and I at least share the dreamworld with others :).
But as far as I see it not understanding the math and even if I did understand the math I'd be some what sceptical, seeing it's not exactly an idea that is easy to prove, and mathematical proofs don't always necessarily carry over to the real world.

Any way what do people think do you like the idea of an infinite number of universes? A multiverse so to say?
Or do you think that such and idea makes no real sense?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blogger 2

Right finally been able to update my blogs to Blogger 2 as a result there should be a number of changes happening to both over the next few days.

The first one will be that Speculum Conlectio will be locked down so that only people I (and the other posters) know will have access to it this lock down will be accomplised though the use of google/Gmail accounts so if you don't have a google/gmail account or are not logged in to them will not be able to access the site. I'll be adding every one I know who has a gmail account. If for some reason you can't access the site please let me know what your gmail address is and I'll add you.

If you don't have a gmail account you can sign up at

Also I'll be adding some more photos ad will likely continue to do so now that it's not wide open to the web.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Results = The Good!

It's nice to get some decent results now and then especially when you eventually have to write a thesis about them! DIC and Epiflourescent Images of the organism I'm working with under two different conditions after it's been stained with the the same chemical.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Myth of the Flat Earth

The Myth of the Flat Earth

The Myth of the Flat Earth

So apparently the idea that christians thought the world was flat in the middle ages, is a modern myth.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

World Diets

The World's Fair

A couple of interesting photos showing families and what they eat in a week in different parts of the world. I'd think my family would be somewhere between the english and the Chinese images.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"V” Meets The Secret Service

V as in "V for Vendetta" goes for a visit to a number of US government locations to deliver a some petitions.

"V" Meets The Secret Service

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why Economists should not try to understand evolution

Pharyngula: Africa is filled with people too dumb to live, according to the LSE

Are you disturbed? I can hardly believe something like this would get published, any way I think I'll have to see if I can find the orgional paper and have a read of it to see if it's as bad as the post makes out!

powered by performancing firefox

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why Google ads now worry me!

Playing a game online and see this!

Click on it and...

Need I say more?


Any one else notice some sort of cycle in how they use their free time.
Mine tends to get split up into three or 4 major categories.

Computer gaming
Intensive Reading
Watching Anime

I seem to cycle from one to another in a fairly random order, I'll spend a couple of weeks playing computer games, then get bored of that and move on to reading for a month or so. After that spend a couple of weeks just mucking about on the computer trying to get something working (ie Linux or a piece of software I'm interested in), after which it's spend a week or two watching anime I've downloaded etc, before switching back to reading.

In the background of course there is lowish but constant amount of book reading happening regardless of what I'm specificly concentrating on. Also there is a fairly high amount of reading of news and current affairs stuff on the net happening all the time as well.

The slightly disturbing thing of course is that nearly all if it happens on the computer. Reading, gaming, anime and mucking about all happen on the same machine, the more I think about it the more disturbing it is. Computers appear to be the central tool in my life :|

Any one else notice any such cycles of behaviour with their spare time?

Very Very Short Stories!

If you want some very quick but cool reading, and the right to claim you can quote an entire story from memory. Then have a look at this Wired asked a group of famous SF writers to each produce a short short story of approximately 6 words long. As a kind of tribute to Hemingway's story ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn.") apparently.

Any way the results are supprisingly cool so have a look!

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.
- Gregory Maguire

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
- Orson Scott Card

"God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist."
- Arthur C. Clarke


Thursday, October 19, 2006

End of Science?

The End of Science

Interesting article suggesting that science may be reaching it's end having solved all the sovable questions.
It looks abit like the chap seems to think that Physics is true science, as he spends alot of time focusing on that.

via Science.reddit

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why Exposé is useful & Why I need more RAM

Editing images for panoramas certainly shows why how something like Exposé can be useful and why lots of RAM is good!

Note this isn't Exposé it's the Scale plugin for Compiz on linux.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mountain BW

Mountain BW
Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Well I've stuck a few photos from Kaikoura up online here. Not entirely sure what to do with the ones featuring people though. I'm considering Sticking some of them up onto Speclum or prehaps my Picasa web Album. Preferences any body? The Picasa option is probably somewhat more secure and stores higher quality images, but is more annoying to use from my point of view as it requires using windows.

Any way this photo was an HDR composite from 3 images which then had the saturation of Blue and Cyan reduced to convert the majority of the image to Black and White. There is a small number of landscape like images from Trip uploaded to flickr and I'll be adding some Panoramas soon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Theological thoughts in Fiction.

Recently one fantasy series I've been rereading has highlighted some interesting ideas about the nature of freewill and how it affects our dealings with any superior being or beings who who are unwilling or unable to override that freewill no matter what the consequences are for the being with free will. Any way here are a couple of quotes from the books that I particularly like dealing with freewill and other stuff.

Whatever sins the stranger had committed, he had surely paid. Mercy, High Ones. Not justice, please, not justice. We would all be fools to pray for justice.

“If the gods saw people’s souls but not their bodies, in mirror to the way people saw bodies but not souls, it might explain why the gods were so careless of such things as appearance, or other bodily functions. Such as pain? Was pain an illusion, from the gods’ point of view? Perhaps heaven was not a place, but merely an angle of view, a vantage, a perspective.”

Through the eyes of a God:
“He opened outward, and outward, and outward still, till all the world lay below him as if seen from a high mountain. But not the realm of matter. This was a landscape of soul-stuff; colors he could not name, of a shattering brilliance, bore him up upon a glorious turbulence. He could hear all the minds of the world whispering, a sighing like wind in a forest—if one could but distinguish, simultaneously and separately, the song of each leaf. And all the world’s cries of pain and woe. And shame and joy. And hope and despair and aspiration... A thousand thousand moments from a thousand thousand lives poured through his distending spirit.
From the surface below him, little bubbles of soul-color were boiling up one by one and floating into a turning dance, hundreds, thousands, like great raindrops falling upward... It is the dying, pouring in through the rents of the worlds into this place. Souls gestated by matter in the world, dying into this strange new birth."

Umegat pulled on his queue. “Do you think your steps were fated from that far back? Disturbing. But the gods are parsimonious, and take their chances where they can find them.”
“If the gods are making this path for me, then where is my free will? No, it cannot be!”
“Ah.” Umegat brightened at this thorny theological point. “I have had another thought on such fates, that denies neither gods nor men. Perhaps, instead of controlling every step, the gods have started a hundred or a thousand Cazarils and Umegats down this road. And only those arrive who choose to.”

Annihilation and Mercy:
“I understand the poor ghosts much better now than when they first terrified me,” said Cazaril diffidently. “I thought their exile and erosion was a rejection by the gods, at first, a damnation, but now I know it for a mercy. When the souls are taken up, they remember themselves . . . the minds possess their lives all whole, all at once, as the gods do, with nearly the terrible clarity that matter remembers itself. For some . . . for some that heaven would be as unbearable as any hell, and so the gods release them to forgetfulness.”
“Forgetfulness. That smudged oblivion seems a very heaven to me now. I pray to be such a ghost, I think.”


Do you ever get the feeling or think that some how your brain and thoughts are wired differently to every one else?

That some how when other peoples thoughts and apparent actions seem to follow a nice "logical" path, yours seem to head off at a 90 degree or greater angle?

That thoughts and actions you think "logical" make no sense to any one else?

Do you some times or often do what feels or seems "right" or "more fun" or "just random" rather than that which you know will work or is logically more likely to produce the better outcome?

10 Programing languages you should learn?

10 Programming Languages You Should Learn Right Now

For you acctually programers out there what do you think of this list?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Mono or C#?

Does any one know of any decent resources/introductions for mono/c# preferably utilising monodevelop as the IDE?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Free IDE's Borlands Turbo family

Looks like Borlands released free express editions of there IDE's again. Worth a look if your interested in programing.

What is the best form of Government?

A question for you all.

What do you think is the best form of government please answer twice:
  1. First looking at it from the point of view of getting stuff done and having a functioning productive Society.
  2. Secondly from the POV of individual freedom, equality, and having a friendly people focused Society.
Possible Answers:
  1. Absolute Monarchy (King or Queen's word is law, inherited, Court is the executive)
  2. Early Constitutional Monarchy (Monarch executive with supporting Parliament and bill of rights ie England 1600ish, Saudi Arabia?)
  3. Modern Constitutional Monarchy (Monarch head of State, Parliament executive ie UK, NZ, AU)
  4. Dictatorship (Dictator is the executive there word is law, position due to own power Italy, Germany 1930-40's)
  5. Benevolent Dictatorship (Dictator elected or chosen after passing certain requirements)
  6. Republic (Elected head of State + Parliament/Senate/House of Congress ie USA)
  7. Theocracy (Church is the executive body)
  8. Anarchy (No government)
  9. Communism
  10. Federation (Each city, clan or region provides a member for the governing committee, each region has full autonomy within it's boarders).
I personally think I favor a "Early" Constitutional Monarchy or Benevolent dictatorship as an optimal form of government for getting stuff done. For a society that I think I'd enjoy living in (assuming it was my native culture) I'd prefer the "Early" Constitutional Monarchy I think. Especially if the monarchy is not from eldest to eldest but instead passed onto the most capable child.

So what do you think, can you think of any others that I've not listed that your'd prefer?

Attempts at HDR Photography

It's rather useful that the Ilam Gardens are part way between my place and Uni. As it gives me an excuse to stop by there now and then to play with my camera. This time I'm experimenting with HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos, which are normally generated from combining 3 or more images at different exposures together. In these images I've tonemapped them to make the details sand out.
As usual more images at Flickr.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Flash Photography Techniques. - photographer education

Linux Desktop

Hmm I'd forgotten how nice the linux desktop (Well Gnome 2.16 any way) was compared to Windows XP. Any way after recompiling the kernel, and installing the various apps that I need to linux I think I'll be making it my primary desktop leaving Windows XP for Gaming.

Had a decent bit of configuration to do first though:

  • Install NTFS write support - NTFS-3g
  • Configure Wireless network using the OSS driver
  • Configure URPMI via easy urpmi
  • Install mplayer and codecs
  • Recompile Kernel to get rid of the junk
  • Install Beagle Search
  • Add Windows fronts
  • Install Mozilla versions of Firefox and Thunderbird and link them to the windows version profiles so that both the windows versions and linux versions of the programs are kept in sync
  • Install Liferea which is by far one of the best RSS readers around, much nicer than the windows ones I'd been using
  • Check Gthumb is insatlled for Camera support
  • Update Gaim to latest version
  • Install Azureus and Java JRE for Bittorrent support
Any way the result is a nice functioning linux desktop currently with 10 applications open, (Azureus, Firefox, Thunderbird, Banshee, Liferea, Gnome-terminal, Gaim, beagle search and other minor ones) the result of which I'm using 700KB of swap memory, while in Windows XP that would be about 500MB of swap memory.

Apart from that I'm also running AIGLX accelerated desktop so I've all the fancy 3d effects and such which windows is clearly lacking.

About the only thing I've not got working yet is suspend to RAM, which isn't exactly critical for me thankfully.

My Desktop with the FFX and Mplayer made Transparent

Expose like feature.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fancy Linux :)

Well I've finally managed to get opengl accerleration up and running on my laptop. As a result I now have a VERY cool and pretty desktop.

Here are a few screen shots and a movie clip of the sorts of things I can now play with.

Screen shots to come

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Speed test

A cool little online tool for measuring your latency, upload and download speeds. Seems to be pretty accurate when you use the local test server.

Drinking Tea Is Better For Health Than Plain Water

Well apparently drinking three cups of tea a day is good for you. :|


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Gaim Problems

There's an updated version of Gaim 2.0beta for any one who's found that it started to crash in the last couple of weeks.


Gaim 2.0b3.1

The other option, for those slightly more daring, would be the latest SVN build of gaim 2.0 which can be found here. I've been using it with out problems for a last few months none the less use at your own risk, it is not supported.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Confusion and delusion: What do we know?

Note: This may make not logical sense. It is also likely that if it does, some philosopher somewhere sometime has likely explained it better. But any way I hope you can get some idea of what I'm thinking from it.


One of the problems with human kind is that we are unable to easily consider the unknown. We can not usually comprehend that there are possibilities beyond those that our current understanding can suggest or predict. We can not predict what will or may happen in the future or know for truth what true limitations exist because we lack the knowledge to see what could be.

Thus it was once thought the earth was the center of the universe and the logic of that time was used to support that. Thus some today think that AI or other computational problems can't be solved because our current "provable theories" declare or suggest they can't.

We limit our selves by what we know. It looks to me that we actually "know" nothing and believe everything. We do not necessarily "know something" we believe we "know something". Thus we can not say something is completely impossible because we lack the knowledge to "know" that which might allow it. What we can say though in some things is "that with the knowledge we have now that appears impossible". Within the limitations of our "knowledge/belief" we produce logic to prove our limitations.

We are within the system and part of it and thus limited. Only a truly independent observer who is beyond the system and not reliant on the system can know the "true" limitations.

Our limitations thus limit us and our capabilities until an exception someone or something appears that looks at or allows us to look at the system in a different way and thus opens up our eyes to a new set of limitations.

Proofs only prove that with our current "knowledge/understandings/beliefs" something is or isn't possible.

We exist in a universe of potentially limitless possibilities, yet we believe it to be limited to what we can understand, we do this with out absolute knowledge. Not that I think it possible that we will ever be able to prove that we have absolute knowledge. We lack absolute knowledge of our own lives after all, we can not remember everything we have done and every thought and motivation.

Science I think is a continuation of revolutions, changes that modify the way we see and understand that which exists or may exist, each revolution built upon in a million minor steps, as we seek to refine and extend our knowledge to the potential limits of each revolution.

We may consider our selves advanced but we cannot even conceive that which will come next.

A truly static society is one that is dying, the death may take time but if the society remains static it will die eventually.


We live with our comforting delusions of knowledge as with out we would likely go insane, we seem to be wired to need to know. Thus we create false certainties to maintain our sanity and sentience for with out them we can not function and that which cannot function dies.


Thus evolution duels with the truth of reality.


Perhaps this is why I like Si-Fi. For in Si-Fi to a degree we escape the limitations of our knowledge. The author takes something that we "know/believe" is impossible and utilises it to generate a world or universe with differing limitations from our current view point, opening up new vistas for us to consider.



This was originally written at about 4am in the morning, it still makes sense to me for the most part but if it's abit to hard to follow the jumps between some sections, well then blame it on the time.

Nature of God or Gods?

What do people think about the nature of God or Gods? Can other Gods exist?

In someway's I think they do, or at least once enough people start believing in one they become nigh on impossible to disprove (at least to the believers) assuming they haven't been assigned any clearly impossible actions or attributes.
As if enough people believe there belief will start to influence others actions, in a manner similar to how Christ's teaching affected us, and once enough people are effected it starts to affect the culture.

Also I think when people start to believe and enough in a certain culture do then statistically improbable effects will start to be taken as miracles. People who pray will start to think their prayers are answered as they them selves think up ways of solving problems they were praying about or something happens that fits what they were praying for.

You see it a bit in the Christian church, "all glory to God", and the believe that anything that happens somewhat easier than expect or things that don't work out are due to the will of God. If something goes right well then it was clearly God's will and if something doesn't happen then it was also Gods will.

The problem here I think is that people seeking prove of the existence of God simply start to assign the thanks or blame to anything that happens to God. This also allows them to avoid having to feel as much responsibility if things go wrong I think.

This may just be the outpourings of an overly cynical mind but I hope not.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ghost in the shell | Free Software Magazine

An interesting look at the use of Avatars on the net. Touches on them in Sifi and in current use. Well worth a read if you spend a decent amount of time online.

Read more at www.freesoftwaremagazin...

eonsim's User Page -

I've been started to use lastfm a bit to track my music tastes and see if it can come up with stuff similar to that I already like. One of the amusing things is that it attempts to recommend a list of "Neighbors" last week after mainly listening to a lot of the "One Dark Summer" sampler with some anime sound track it came up with a decent list of Neighbours. However a weekend of listening to something completely different (Enya and some Tchaikovsky) with just a bit of "ODS" and anime tracks has resulted in all my neighbors disappearing :)


Chibi no Nothing: Ergo Proxy - The Allegory of the Cave an Anime Blog

An interesting look at Ergo Proxy linking elements of the story to Plato’s Allegory of the cave.

Read more at chibinonothing.blogspot...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

No Greater Love Than This

 What do you think is a greater love?

To die for someone you don't know, or to do something you completely and utterly believe damns you for all eternity to save/protect someone/one's you don't know.

Note: Using damn as in eternal damnation

Thinking about, thinking about, God

(quick note I'm using "it" in the gender neutral sense rather than "it is an object")

In the last couple of years I've started to notice something, when I think about what God is or maybe that's started to worry me in someways. I've started to realise that I don't care if God's almighty, all-powerful, perfect and all that extra stuff. Instead I pray that God is simply powerful enough to do what it promised, that God is merciful above all else. That God is just but not humanly so, justice without personal bias, justice that is not bound by laws, rules and regulations but justice that is bound by mercy. A God who could welcome those who had damned them selves by their actions to save others, as well as those that had followed it's ways, and those who had attempted to follow it's ways yet not quite managed, as well as those who had followed other ways well still attempting to do that which is right.

I pray that the God I believe in sees freewill as humankind's greatest gift, that seeks to know and love us because we are aware. On a slight tangent I really don't like it when speakers say we should surrender our freewill to God, to become as I see it God bots, sure very few people if manage it, but I just do not like the idea, as as I see it freewill and the sentience that goes with it are our greatest gifts that which distinguishes us from animals. How could God thus justify taking away the thing that makes us us. Some might say that our soul is what makes us, us but you can't even prove the existence of it and to me it seems most likely our "soul" is our freewill and sentience linked to our memories. You might say giving up our freewill to God allows it to protect us and stops us doing that which is wrong/sinful which maybe true but it is hardly good! If there are no consequences and no bad actions how do you learn what is good and bad? Trying to raise a child would not work if you stopped them from ever doing anything painful or damaging, as experience is the best and most profound teacher.

I pray that my God is one who does not have a list of "sins" as such but one who has a list of things that damage us. On a tangent again what is sin? I tend to think it is actions that damage us in some way shape or form, the few things that I'd consider evil are actions that damage, destroy or limit the freewill of others, within the restriction that some ideas and actions that others chose must be limited because they'd effect the freewill of others.

When I then, think these things that I hope and believe God is, I begin to worry what if he isn't? And is this me a simple human attempting to impose my ideas of what is right on God, a being that is most likely much greater than us? Are such thought's evil or sinful/harmful?

This confuses and worry's me as on a similar note my personal believe have already taken a good look at most of Genesis and discarded that is irrelevant and unlikely to be true.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Virtual Gig's

For you music geek's who've not yet noticed, it sounds like virtual gigs are starting to take off with bands "playing/streaming" live gig's over Second life one of the largest online virtual worlds.


For more info have a look at this article.,71...


(post by Windows Live Writer, it works surprisingly well)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A new lifeform?

An interesting article has turned up on Noble Intent the Ars Technica Science blog about a type of infectious cancer. It appears from recent research that all cases of the cancer may have come from two individuals and thus the cancer cells are now able to live separately from there original host as a parasitic organism in the species. Raising an interesting question as to if they are thus classifiable as a separate lifeform.


Any way for more details have a look at the post Catching Cancer.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sharpest Manmade Thing

Rather cool image of the tip of a tungsten needle.


The trouble with rounding floating point numbers

A rather interesting look at some common problems with using floating point number in computer programing. The article suggests that failure to correctly deal with this in software design may have been responisble for the failure of some of the recent space probes along with numerous other things.Apart from that it's an interesting look at how computers deal with floating point values.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Virtual desktops and PC Geekery

Any one who's stuck using a Windows PC and missing virtual desktop support may find this little app Virtual Dimensions useful. It's a surprisingly robust implementation of Virtual desktops for windows, a lot lot better than the Microsoft powertoys implementation. Well worth looking at if your screens are getting a bit full.

Also I'm slowly been getting Linux back up and running on my laptop (Mandriva Cooker 32bit). It's quite impressive the amount of process thats occurred in the Linux world since I last installed Linux about 18months ago on the laptop. NTFS (ie Windows XP) Read and Write support (, native wireless drivers (, Eye candy Mac OSX style(which I've yet to setup), automatic detection and handling of CPU throttling, Beagle desktop search ( which appears to be better than google desktop.

Of course there are still some issues such as 3d acceleration via the ATI drivers and suspend to RAM issues.
None the less it's nice to be playing around in gnome a bit again. Once the ntfs support becomes stable and I can set up Thunderbird and Firefox to share there Linux and windows profiles I'll seriously consider moving to Linux as my main desktop, at least until I want to play a game then it'll be straight back to windows I'm afraid.

Monday, July 31, 2006

So Big and Healthy Grandpa Wouldn’t Even Know You

So Big and Healthy Grandpa Wouldn’t Even Know You.

A rather interesting article in the NY Times looking at how human health and aging has changed over the last hundred or so years. It looks like disease are taking 10-25 year longer to manifest when you compare someone born in the 1950's to the 1850's.

Well worth a read though you need to login to read it (registration is free).

Sunday, July 30, 2006


This looks rather interesting, apparently Microsoft has been doing some research into turning photos into 3D models. Theres a couple of demo video's at the site and at the blog for the team working on it, Photosynth Blog.

It has some rather interesting possibilities for gaming and movie making as well I'd think. If the software is good enough to produce a reasonably accurate 3D model of a site, It's likely that some one will work out a way to export the 3D model to a gaming engine allowing level designers to create levels from photo collections that are accurate to the real thing. While if the models are high enough detail movie directors could perhaps use the models for there movies rather than actually going to the location and filming there.

Undoubtedly there would be a number of other uses as well. Being interesting to see what the product they produce is like in a few years.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ergo Proxy Trailer

Ergo Proxy Trailer

For those of you interested in anime, and that I've mentioned the series to, this is a rather bizarrely done Japanese trailer for the series. The trailers better watched with the sound off as some chaps raving on about the features which is rather distracting.

Roughly the series name translates to "Therefore in place of another", the series also is by far one of the most referential works I've seen the amount of stuff they cram into the episodes referring to various theories, philosophy's, poetry, and other things is quite impressive.

So if you liked the matrix, blade runner, cyberpunk, etc it's well worth a look. If your prefer Quantum physics on the other hand then may I suggest Noein.

Fire and Ice

'Fire and Ice'

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

-- Robert Frost

An old poem I came across again that I quite like.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wired 14.08: Enter the New Age of DIY

Wired's published a number of little articles covering tips to help with every thing from, Photography, downloading you tube videos, eating, and memorization. Well worth a look, especially the work smarter one.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Gnod - AI and Entertainment - The Global Network of Dreams

Just found this rather interesting site it claims to be running an AI style system that seems to look for similarities or patterns in peoples interests and links them to other similar products.It currently seems to cover Books,Movies, and Music. Entering a couple of my favorite authors it certainly seemed to find a number of other good authors that I've read and think similar as well as a number I'd heard about being good and some names I'd not heard before. The system seems quite interesting the book section asked me to enter three authors I liked then started to suggest other authors I liked asking for each if I liked them, disliked them or didn't know them.Any way if your looking for something new I'd suggest you give the system ago.Here is how it describes it's self on the music page.

Gnod is a self-adapting system that learns about the outer world by asking its visitors what they like and what they don't like. In this instance of gnod all is about music. Gnod is kind of a search engine for music you don't know about. It will ask you what music you like and then think about what you might like too. When I set gnod online its database was completely empty. Now it contains thousands of bands and quite some knowledge about who likes what. And gnod learns more every day. Enjoy :o)

Well have a look this looks like it could be a rather cool system as long as it can keep from being stuffed up by people trying to manipulate it to advertise certain products etc.


Friday, July 14, 2006

A few images from Hanmer.

Here are a few images from Hanmer a few more can be found here in this album along with larger versions (1600x). Worth a look especially if you want to print off a few photo's from that trip and didn't take a camera.

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.
The Pass

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

Reading: A short history of nearly everything.

Currently Reading A Short History Of Nearly Everything. It's an Interesting book being a short scientific history of the world. Looking at how the universe came into existence, the development of modern sciences and so forth. It does it in quite an interesting way. Looking at the important both well know and not so well know figures in each area it looks at. Covering the history of science by looking at each person involved and what they did in sometimes what is quite an amusing manner.

So far it's covered the Big Bang, the formation of the earth, the rise of modern physical sciences, the rise of Quantum physic. Skimming on it's still got a very large section on the rise of life and the rise of humans which should be interesting.

Any way if your looking for an interesting bit of reading I'd certainly recommend the book it's by Bill Bryson.

Here's a couple of amusing quotes from a number of different sections of the book which give a decent feel for the way it's written.

Smith’s revelation regarding strata heightened the moral awkwardness concerning extinctions. To begin with, it confirmed that God had wiped out creatures not occasionally but repeatedly. This made Him seem not so much careless as peculiarly hostile. It also made it inconveniently necessary to explain how some species were wiped out while others continued unimpeded into succeeding eons. Clearly there was more to extinctions than could be accounted for by a single Noachian deluge, as the Biblical flood was known. Cuvier resolved the matter to his own satisfaction by suggesting that Genesis applied only to the most recent inundation. God, it appeared, hadn’t wished to distract or alarm Moses with news of earlier, irrelevant extinctions.

Before Owen, museums were designed primarily for the use and edification of the elite, and even then it was difficult to gain access. In the early days of the British Museum, prospective visitors had to make a written application and undergo a brief interview to determine if they were fit to be admitted at all. They then had to return a second time to pick up a ticket—that is assuming they had passed the interview—and finally come back a third time to view the museum’s treasures.

Scheele’s one notable shortcoming was a curious insistence on tasting a little of everything he worked with, including such notoriously disagreeable substances as mercury, prussic acid (another of his discoveries), and hydrocyanic acid—a compound so famously poisonous that 150 years later Erwin Schrödinger chose it as his toxin of choice in a famous thought experiment (see page 146). Scheele’s rashness eventually caught up with him. In 1786, aged just forty-three, he was found dead at his workbench surrounded by an array of toxic chemicals, any one of which could have accounted for the stunned and terminal look on his face.

It is still a fairly astounding notion to consider that atoms are mostly empty space, and that the solidity we experience all around us is an illusion. When two objects come together in the real world—billiard balls are most often used for illustration—they don’t actually strike each other. “Rather,” as Timothy Ferris explains, “the negatively charged fields of the two balls repel each other . . . were it not for their electrical charges they could, like galaxies, pass right through each other unscathed.” When you sit in a chair, you are not actually sitting there, but levitating above it at a height of one angstrom (a hundred millionth of a centimeter), your electrons and its electrons implacably opposed to any closer intimacy.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

MYTH: More Foreign Aid Will End Global Poverty

An interesting look at Foreign Aid and the Bono style make poverty history view. They suggest that Foreign Aid does more harm than good, supporting the corrupt governments that are one of the biggest problems. The author makes the interesting point that go back 50 years east Asia was as poor as Africa yet with much lower levels of Foreign aid those country's are now much better off than Africa. Worth reading do people agree or disagree?


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Need to kill time?

3D Logic

A fun little logic game well worth checking out if you want to kill abit of time at work or home.

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Well here's a fancy trick that looks rather cool. An unusual photography trick produces images that look like they were take of toys.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Playing about

Well I'm currently playing about with a number of beta applications some of which are kind of cool.

Google Earth 4beta (now for Linux and Mac OS) is the usual though the interface has been updated. The cool thing is they've finally added high resolution satellite photos for Christchurch and some other regions of New Zealand so it's now possible to make out your house :).

Picasa 3beta now has a free google run web album added, with 250MB of free storage online for your photos, unlike flickr it appears to be based more around a personal/friend/family photo album rather than flickrs universal any one can browse your photos. As for the Picasa version you need to provide people with a link to the image for them to be able to find them easily. The biggest problem perhaps with it compared to the others is that it's linked into via the Picasa software and there appears to other way to upload images to it yet. The nice thing is unlike free flickr the largest supported image size is 1600x rather than flickrs 1024x. will show the images I've currently got up in the public section.

Flock beta1 is the other app I'm currently playing with, very much a web browser that's been focused on the whole "Web 2.0" thingy with built in Blog, photo sharing, RSS, and bookmark sharing ( utilities. Still kind of nice, though with noticeably more problems than either of the other two apps. It's based off firefox so nothing special there.

technorati tags:

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

NIR Image

Originally uploaded by Falcdragon.

An example of NIR photography.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Flickr update.

For those of you interested in photography I've stuck up a few more photos on my flickr account, including some attempts at Near InfaRed Photography.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rubik's Cube Sickness

For those of you who like Rubik's cubes here is a new challenge.
4D analog of a Rubik cube it's a free small download so grab it and have fun!

There is also a 5D analog of the cube if you want to try something even sicker.
5D Cube.

Matt P this should keep you busy for a bit!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Slashdot reports that google news has been removing sites from it's index citing objectionable content such as this article on Islam: A false religion the article is very harsh and anti-Islamic and is apparently written by a Iranian exile in the US. Worth a look perhaps, though it certainly is rather extreme.
Any way the site it's hosted on claims that left wing google is censoring conservative rightwing news site as a result of all this.


Right, a bit on the late side but I've been wanting to but up some Easter photos for a while, with a quick outline of what we did so here it is I hope it makes some sense as the writing of it's been spread out over 3 weeks, and it actually happened over a month ago.

Easter Thursday we finish work and at Uni then headed round to Suva with our gear to meet up for the road trip. Tea was had there, some decent Chinese takeaways, and we started to load the car, Matt arrived after a bit and we loaded up the second car finished tea and headed off for the West coast, at this stage our group consists of Andrew, Alethea, Christina, Matt, Mike and my self. A decent length drive means we soon move on to discussing various things from homosexuality in the church and theology, to probability and physics (our car has a Bsc (Hons) COSC / BA Maths and Philosophy, Bsc (Hons) Stats + Mathematics/Biochem, Bsc Mathematics/biology, Bsc Biochem/genetics a decent mix for 4 people). Any way after 4 or so hours of discussion we reach Hokitika at about 10:30 and get the key to the cabin, the other car soon makes and and we quickly head off to sleep.

Easter Friday
Wake up at a reasonable time the next morning 7am ish. Have breakfast and hop back in the cars to head south to Frans Joseph. The weather is lovely and we get some reasonable photos out the window of the car, and when we stop at one of the road side lakes.

The Alps

The Road South

Arriving at the motor camp at Frans Joseph about 10:30am we dropped off our gear at the cabin and make lunch then head up to the Glacier. We get to the Glacier about 12 only to find out that the track we were intending to spend the afternoon walking up to above the glacier is currently closed due to damage some significant number of months ago (they're taking there time fixing it). None the less we decided to head up the track through the native bush until we reach the point where it's closed off. Along the way we get some nice photos of the glacier peeping out through gaps in the bush. One pool gives some especially nice photos. About 15mins up the track we come to the bridge over the Glacial river which is roped off and we turn back deciding to take the normal track up the Glacier's face.

The Pool

The Glacier

On the Way to the Glacier

A quick rest on the way.

We get to the final warning sign about 100m from the Glacier about 1:30 after by passing the first couple of signs and having taken a decent number of photos. We spend a while there taking photos and eating lunch before heading back the cars. On the way back we spend an hour or so looking around Frans Joseph village before heading back to the camping round where we spend the rest of the afternoon napping or reading. After tea we spend a couple of hours playing games before heading off to bed early as it's been decided that we'll attempted to get to lake Matherson around dawn.

Glacial Rock (Alethea's photos)

Galcial Ice (10x Zoom)

Frans Joseph Panorama (Larger version available, 8000x2000)

Easter Saturday

Thus the next morning the alarm goes off at about 6am we stumble out of our sleeping bags have a quick breakfast and hop in the cars for the 30min drive to lake Matherson next to Fox Glacier. Unfortunately we get there a bit after sun rise, though with the over cast sky it seems likely we didn't miss much. None the less the lack of tour buses full of tourists and the still conditions means we get some decent photos of the mirror lake.

Lake Matherson

After which one car heads back to the camp and the other up to Fox for a quick look at the Fox Glacier. We can't be bothered walking all the way to it so simply settle for looking from the first rise on the track to the face. After which it's back to Frans Joseph as the weather starts to clear, we've now been as far south as we'll get this trip. After packing up it's time to head north. How ever a chance to do some Kayaking soon leads us off the main road to the large estuary and bird sanctuary. With the day cleared up we hire out some kayaks and move out onto the Okarito estuary where we spend the next two hours exploring one of the side channels that leads up into the native bush that surrounds much of the estuary. Thankfully it's just reached high tide and the winds not to strong so for the most part it's an easy kayak around with some breath taking views, of the Southern Alps and native bush. We really have to go back there for a weekend sometime and spend an day exploring the estuary.

Starting out

Alps from the Estuary

Raft of Kayaks

Up the Creek and under the Road

A bit further up the creek

Back to land

After returning the Kayaks we head north stopping at Ross at 4pm for lunch and the odd photo before continuing onwards up to Punakiki.
Stopped at Greymouth to stock up a bit more food. Driving along the coast road north of Greymouth the sun was setting over the Tasman sea providing a lovely view.

A Visit to Ross

Sunset north of Greymouth

We finally got to the camping ground about 7pm just as night was falling, after checking into the camp to pay and be allocated tent spaces, we meet up with Jim, Joy and Reuban who'd come over from Christchurch to join us for the next two days. With the sun set we end up setting up tents in the Dark again something we'd sworn we'd try to avoid after Okain's bay. This time how ever with all the tents being dome ones it's much easier and we quickly get the 4 tents up for the 7 of us who are tenting. Dinner the next night at the pub is arranged, and a time agreed onto meet for the next day before we split up J&J heading off to their motel room. While the rest of us head off to make tea. After tea a couple of us head down to the beach for a brief walk, then those of us tenting head up the road to a glow worm cave, there aren't a lot of glow worms but still enough to be seen, the cave certainly is interesting enough though.
After it's back to the camping ground and off to bed for the night. Except for Matt who seems to find the beach interesting at night and heads down to it for an hour or two.

In the Cave

We're all up at a reasonable time and wander down to the beach after breakfast, to muck around for a couple of hours until it's time to meet up with Jim and Joy. The hour is spent wandering up and down the beach with grabbing interesting coloured stones and trying to avoid the waves. At 10ish we head back to the tents and prepare to head up to the pancake rocks. Once we've meet up off we go getting to the rocks at about 10:30. The next couple of hours are spent wandering around the rocks watching the blow holes, taking photos and buying morning tea.

The Beach

With overcast weather, and some rain it's not particularly nice wandering around the rocks and by 12:30 we've had enough and head off to Jim and Joy's hotel for a lunch of Pancakes :-). After the pancakes have been cooked (thanks Jim!) and eaten. It's decided it's time to follow Joy's wishes and head to Cave Creek stream. Which is about a 20min drive north of where we are staying. Getting there about 3:30 we start off on the track through native bush finally arriving at the creek at about 4pm. The next 20mins is spent wandering around the stream and taking lots of photos of the native bush before we head back to the cars.

Cave Creek

Arriving at the vehicles Andrew made the unfortunate discovery that his jersey had fallen out some where along the track, so he and Matt head back up the track to look for it. While those of us with camera's start walking down the road to try and get some photos of the interesting rock formations that line the valley. The jersey recovered we head back to get ready for dinner. Once every ones recovered we meet up with J&J and head to the local pub for tea. After which we return to our tents or hotel rooms for the evening this quickly converts to a game of RoboRally for a number of us, but soon enough every ones off to sleep at which point it does what it's been threatening to all day and starts to rain.

The next morning the weathers no better than the previous day and no one feels much like walking so it's decided to return to Christchurch via Lewis Pass and visit the Maruia Springs hot pools on the way. Thus most of the day is spent traveling with a couple of hour stop over at Maruia to enjoy the pools. We finally arrived back in Chch about 5:30 in the evening.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Wildlife defies Chernobyl radiation

Interesting to see that wild life is making a big comeback in the radioactive Chernobyl region. Reading the article it sounds like the DNA was mutated but has had little visible effect on most of the animal species. While the lack of humans, and human associated materials such as pesticides has helped the animals which are apparently to radioactive to eat.
Amusing suggestion at the bottom is that maybe nuclear waste should be stored in regions where the ecology is endangered It'll kill or scare off the humans and leave the animals alone after the initial die back of those who can't adapt.
Wildlife defies Chernobyl radiation

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Gospel of Judas

Looks like they've just finished translating a 1700 year old copy of a document called the The Gospel of Judas (free registration required), it's apparently a document that claims that Christ asked Judas to sell him to the authorities to help further his work on earth, and that Judas understood what Christ was doing better than the others. It certainly sounds interesting I'd be keen to read a copy if they when they get round to releasing it. The idea is certainly somewhat more appealing than the idea that Judas sold him out for his own gain and was thus forordained by God to do it (or for someone to do it).

The National Geographic Page has a link to a pdf of the full English and Coptic texts, Skim reading it, it looks a little bit wacko (at 2:40am) but still the idea is interesting.

Wikipedia has more info on it, apparently it was declared a Gnostic heresy in AD 180 by the Bishop of Lyons.

Any way what do people think?

A Couple of Science Articles

First up we have Red heads suffer more pain which is rather interesting.

Secondly we have quite a cool article on making non-light sensitive retinal neurons, light sensitive by using GE to introduce a light sensitive ion channel. (warning scientific paper, has some cool epi-flourescent images though!)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Inspired by Yet Another Internet Quiz

Found via Andrew admitedly when in doubt I choose yes rather than no.

You Are 50% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Can you Believe?

  • Can you believe in a God who saw all that could and might happen?
  • Can you believe in a God who is not the Creator of the universe, but is the Initiator.
  • Can you believe in a God who is inside time and is time?
  • Can you believe in a God who initiated and set in motion a universe so complex and awe aspiring that life arose and evolved in it?
  • Can you believe in a God who watched and waited, observing and delighting in that which formed?
  • Can you believe in a God who saw life gain intelligence and reasoning, A God who loved so much that he stepped out and held out “his” hand in greeting and friendship?
  • Can you believe in a God who saw what would come, and yet still allowed us free will? A God knowing what might happen allowed it in order to allow us to be real beings?
  • Can you believe in a God who warned of what knowledge would bring yet still offered it?
  • Can you believe in a God so holy and pure that even seeing what might come was surprised at how badly we fell?
  • Can you believe in a God who saw us lose our way, fall into habits that hurt us, and refused to listen to “him” when he tried to point out that these things hurt us?
  • Can you believe in a God who loved that which he had caused so much that he was willing to become one of us, mortal? A God who was willing to become us so he could truly understand us?
  • Can you believe in a God who loved us so much that when taking our form and gaining a mind like ours was prepared to die so that we would actually pay attention to what he had said?
  • Can you believe in a God who wishes the best for all, and sees what that might be, a God who loves the homeless, the sick, the poor, the weak, the helpless and the fool. And yet loves us and respects us so much that he cannot and will not force any one us to do what he sees is best, but only shows us the way letting us choose, letting us be real people?
  • Can you believe in a God who waits for us to decided who and what we are, to experience many of the aspects of life, and who waits for us to leave behind the limitations of this cocoon of flesh and truly know him?
  • Can you believe in a God who loved us so much he let us choose what we would become for better or for worse?
  • A God so complex that this surely only touches on the most infinitely small facet of what he really is?

If not what can you believe in? Please feel free to post how you see God in the comments or on your own blog. I think the manner in which we see God and his actions differs for each of us and underlies all that we do and are. Therefore I'd love to get some idea of how others veiw God.

Also feel free to make any objections to items in this list you feel necessary, I'll try to explain it but, seeing the above is probably a reasonable overview of some of the bias's that underlie my understanding of God and therefore my faith. What I say may make little sense and likely in some areas lack a strong and strictly accurate logical structure.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Links: Sleep and "The worst Mistake"

Science News - Sleep Deprivation: The Great American Myth

An interesting article about sleep and sleeping pills.

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race another interesting article by a rather famous author looking at what may have been the biggest mistake in human history from a certain point of view.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Life expectancy Calculator

Apparently this is based off the sort of thing some insurance companies use to calculate health insurance.
Life expectancy Calculator

I didn't know the answers for all the questions so leaving them to the default I was informed I could expect to live for something like 92years. And that my biggest risk factor was being a Male.

It also claimed I was about 9 Kg's underweight.

P2P Apps

For those of you doing a lot of P2P downloading theres something to keep in mind about the difference between P2P apps like bittorrent and hub/network based ones like DC++.

Bittorrent is a fast way to download single files or collections of files. A BT download is hundreds of slow connections downloading different bits of the file to maximise your download rate. So you'll get one file fast.

DC++ on the other hand is more a fast way to download a large number of files. You have a number of slowish connections each downloading a different file till you max out your bandwidth. The result is you get a lot of files downloaded togeather in a bunch.

The important thing to keep in mind with this is for DC++ you want to download large numbers of files and to use the priority settings to group important files. If your just downloading a couple of files at a time your most likely wasting a good part of your available bandwidth.
With BT you only want to download one or two files at a time as if your BT client is opening up 40 connections per torrent your downloading. Then the number of connections increases dramatically with the number of files your downloading. If you had 10 files downloading at an average of 40 parts each that's 400 connections to the net. Do you really think your cheap $100 ADSL Modems going to be able to cope with that many connections plus your, email, RSS, Web Browser, IM and Widget connections, and the connections of any one else who uses that internet connection.

I don't think so!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Road Trip (4 day Version)

Who would be interested in a short road trip during the Public Holidays over Easter? Not enough people were interested in a big long two week road trip so we've decided to go on a much shorter one to the west coast. It would be on the public holidays from Thursday Evening before Easter to Easter Monday.
Thus allowing all those with work to get back in time for it.

If your not going to Easter camp and are interested please let my self or Alethea know ASAP.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sleep position gives personality clue

Sleep position gives personality clue The BBC reports some rather random science which claims your sleeping position gives clues to your personality. The articles got some diagrams illustrating each position and comments on the expected personality type associated with it. I'd say I was a mix of two (freefaller/yearner) of the "styles" and that the associated personalities are incorrect. Any way what type of sleeper are you?


Well talk about slightly crazy Here is a video clip of a guy in Stormtrooper Armour walking around in Japan. It's crazy where ever the chap walks all the Japanese pull out camera phones and start taking photos.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

End times Slashdot

Well someones gone and written a book suggesting that RFID tags are the mark of the beast mentioned in the Book of Revelations. Some how the topics got posted on Slashdot or all places! As a result there is a significant number of comments about it some intelligent, some funny and most stupid. Here are a couple of the more interesting ones from the debate which can be found here.

Uhhhh, not quite. Constantine did some important stuff. For example he defined the Trinity at Nicea in 325, unified the Roman churches and outlawed the Pantheon, Egiptian, Persian and other churches. The Christian Bible as we know it today however, was compiled under the auspices of King James of Britain, France and Ireland, roundabout 1611.

Hell, when England made the Domesday Book [] in 1086 Christians probably went ape-shit over it for the same reason.
I've learned something about Christians, when something like this comes, many don't say "this is the mark of the beast" instead they say something along the line of "the end is near"... So, they're learning.
I think that the stance against RFIDs needs all the help it can get... So, let the Christians rant and rave next to the EFF... Just as long as the reasonable people raise that point that tracking technologies COULD be used for bad reasons, and encourage people to weigh the good against the bad... Or does that involve thinking?

If I were a Christian, I would be doing anything I can to hasten the return my my God.
And that explains so much of the Bush foreign policy. Starting civil wars, giving out nukes, it all makes sense in this context.

We have six billion people on the planet. Over the next five hundred years, hundreds of billions will live and die. Most of them will spend most of their lives suffering terribly. They will starve, kill each other, rape, drug themselves to death and more.
If the six billion alive today suffered through the apocalypse now, it would prevent the suffering of hundreds of billions. More, really, since you can extend this for as many thousands of years as you like. It's clear that the sooner the world ends, the fewer people will suffer, and the sooner those of us who are righteous will be in heaven.
Just one of the reasons God is clearly a son of a bitch.

The funny thing is that the whole book of Revelations is far more likely to be about events in the first century, with either Jerusalem or Rome being the Whore of Babylon and the Beast being the Emperor or the Roman Army. The Mark of the Beast probably refers to the tatoos that were given to slaves to mark them as such, usually in an easily visible place like the face or the hand. Early Christians also wore tattoos as a sign of their faith. Facial tattoos were sometimes worn by Roman Soldiers, although the Romans regarded tattoos as barbaric.
In fact, the Book of Revelations was a controversial addition to the early Bible, and several Bishops argued against including it in the canon due to the difficulty of interpreting it, and hence, its potential for abuse--particularly the type of abuse so typical of fundamentalists, who keep claiming that the end times are upon us. Other portions of the Bible specifically warn against doing this, because only God knows the time when the world will end. To this day the Eastern Orthodox Church does not consider it part of the Canon.
If you're a non-believer, like I am, all of this is moot--the whole thing is either about the world John lived in, or he got dosed with some grain ergot while in prison. If you are a Christian, however, steer clear of belief that these are the end times. It's a definite no-no in the religion. And if you believe in the Rapture, rest assured that the people who compiled the Bible would have denounced you as a heretic, and you probably would have ended up being used for sword practice by a Roman Legionnaire. This is a spin from the lunatic fringe on a single line of a book that almost ended up in the fireplace of history. It is also a morally corrosive doctrine because it undercuts personal responsibility, encouraging people to believe that God is going to solve all of their problems for them, kill all their enemies, and build them a whole new world.

In this case, the cult is Christianity. If they were any other group, we'd be laughing at them. Unfortunately, they are large enough that their crazy belief system may cause trouble for the rest of us (yet again).
Christianity does not believe end times are heralded by RFID tags, some Christians do. That is what separates Christianity from crazy cults, since it is large and diverse enough to have people make up their own minds on such things. Cults need centralized leadership to tell its adherents what to do and what to believe, Christianity hasn't got a central authority and so its adherents are free to interpret the canon however they see fit and form groups where they share crucial facts of their interpretation. Most Christians believe the book of Revelation to be a non-literal message about what kind of persecution the church has faced and will face in the time between Christ's first and second coming, others believe it is an allegorical prophecy of the history of the thousand years after it was written in about 50AD and some (like the RFID nutter) believe that it is an allegorical prophesy of the thousand years before Christs second coming (whenever that may be). What almost all scholars agree on is that whoever the beast may be is irrelevant when one simply holds to the principles that the bible teaching when dealing with the beast as with dealing with anyone, thus finding the beast is pointless. Unfortunately, not all Christians are scholars and some like to draw shaky parallels and make accusations without merit.
I know I have just bitten a troll, but someone had to clarify it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


1/4 Cub Rolled Oats
1/2 Cub White Flour
1 Table spoon Sugar
2 Pinches of Salt
50g Butter melted
100mls Milk
1 Egg

Mix together fry in a non stick frying pan till golden brown.
Serve with a sliver of butter between each and Maple syrup.

3 Tea spoons Cadbury Drinking chocolate.
150ml Milk
100ml Boiling water

Shake the Milk and Drinking chocolate up in a container until it's completely dissolved and has plenty of froth. Pour into cup microwave 30s, Add 50mls boiling water Microwave 30s, Add 50mls boiling water Microwave 30s, Drink.

Thank God that your metabolism allows you to do this with out side effects!

20th Century Fox : Date Movie

20th Century Fox : Date Movie Just looking at the trailer it looks BAD, but kind of amusing!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

All is well

Right well my laptop arrived back to day so expect a few additions to the photo blog in the next 48hours.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Road Trip

As most of you are no doubt aware a number of us are considering going on a road trip around the west coast and north of the south Island during the Easter holidays. Hopefully you've received an email about this in the last day or two. If you haven't and might be interested in a road trip at that time please contact Me, Alethea or Andrew W for more details (comments here will do fine).

Things that come to mind

It's the second of these that keeps coming to mind when playing RoboRally especially the first stanza (hope that is the correct term, relying on faint memories of 6th English here), none the less I couldn't really post the second with out the first.

"Ladies and gentlemen, hoboes and tramps"

Ladies and gentlemen, hoboes and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes and bow-legged ants,
I come before you to stand behind you,
To tell you something I know nothing about.
Next Thursday, which is Good Friday,
There will be a Mother's Day meeting for fathers only;
Admission is free, so pay at the door,
Pull up a seat and sit on the floor.
The topic to discuss...
The crime that has never been committed.

"One fine day in the middle of the night"

One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead men got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other,

One was blind and the other couldn't, see
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout "hooray!"

A paralysed donkey passing by,
Kicked the blind man in the eye,
Knocked him through a nine inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all,
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came to arrest the two dead boys,
If you don't believe this story’s true,
Ask the blind man he saw it too!

Blinding Silence

Well I've been a little silent on the blog front recently. The primary reason being my laptops currently in for repair which has severely reduced the time I'm spending online. As my old desktop is rather slow, and after 13 months of using an LCD screen a 15"CRT is insanely painful to use.
Also the desktop is far to slow to edit the photo's I'm wanting to post. Combine that with University enrolment and related issues, the new Riccarton public library opening up right across the road and I've been somewhat preoccupied (35 books takes some time even for me to read).
None the less the laptop hopefully comes back in the next day or two at which point I'll get the photo editing out of the way and the photo's posted.

So expect to see soon a number of photo's from the play in the park, from Jess's 21st, and likely some from Sparks in the park once that occurs this weekend.

In the mean time I leave you with a couple of poems that have been unfortunately coming to mind during the last few games of RoboRally I've played.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A World of Warcraft World An interesting if maybe some what crude look a where MMORPG's could end up going.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Right you English Language geeks here is a Question.

Is there a better way of saying "and or"? As in one word with the same meaning?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Okains Bay

Well a lovely time was had by all with our trip to Okains bay this weekend 6 of us headed out Friday night getting to the bay at about 9:30 by the time we'rd found a spot to set up the tents it was dark making putting up the tent not the easiest of things. After initially sticking up the 4 person tent with the wrong pole due to them being in the wrong bag we finally got up and usable after which the small 2 person pup tent was quickly and easily assembled by which point it was 10:45 and was pitch black.

Pitch Black

Gear was quickly thrown into them and we headed off to find the facilities at which point we discovered as usually not every one had remembered to bring toothpaste. After that was out of the way we headed back to the tents and spent an hour or two chatting and discovering a number of things about the 4 person tent. First the apparently flat ground was any thing but flat and that I was in the center of the dip while Alethea and Andrew where at the tops of either side of the dip. Actions were thus taken to make sure I was not unfortunately awakened in the middle of the night with the placement of a number of bags on the flour between me and Andrew and Alethea moving her Air mattress further over and deciding to sleep on the far side of it. Apart from that we were entertained by some interesting talk that I can no longer remember and the site of two certain guys staring into each others eyes at a distance of about 10cm's. Sleep eventually eventuated after two people were banished to the pup tent and a slightly uncomfortable night was had by three of us, two due to the risk of sliding, and my self due to a number of sticks that materialised under my mattress and the tent after I'd been lying on it for a bit, and the combination of the loud surf from the beach.

At 6am we were awoken by a combination of light, birds (the camp site be surrounded by trees full of sparrow nests) and Surf, the result of which was we immediately attempted to return to sleep and succeeded until 9ish. At which point breakfast become of interest. While setting up breakfast we noted that the two in the pup tent had yet to get up so we quickly arranged a circle of deck chairs around the door flap and when movement was detected suggesting the imminent appearance of one of it's occupants we all hopped onto the deck chairs facing the flap and stared intently until one of the occupants emerged, with an interesting expression as he realised what he faced. 20mins latter this was repeated as the second occupant emerged and wandered straight past with out paying us the slightest attention, we concluded coffee.

The morning was spent erecting the second of the 4 person tents and three of us moving our gear into it after checking to make sure the round was flatter and had less hard objects.

The Camp finally set up.

A quick wander along the beach and a game of "Ticket to Ride Europe" completed the morning. The cloud cover finally burnt off about lunch time and a swim thus became our primary objective for the afternoon so after waiting half an hour after lunch, much to the annoyance of one person who muttered something about an old wives tale we grabbed the body boards and headed down to the beach. Where we spent the next 3 hours bodyboarding and mucking about in the water. During which I discovered three thing, One) body boarding is fun when someone who has a decent idea of what they're doing is along so you can work out how to actually do it, Two) That at what ever temperature of the water was at Okains that the maximum amount of time that I could stay in for before my body temperature dropped to an uncomfortable degree and shivering/shaking starts to the point were it was hard to hold onto the board was approximately 1 hour, and Third) that using something like 10grams of sunscreen and taking 15mins to rub it in means that I actually can stay out in the sun for 3 or so hours with out getting any thing more than the slightest sunburn (being a red head means that summer is often literally a pain in the neck, shoulders, backs and arms).

The Beach, Saturday Afternoon

Waiting for a Wave

Any way during the 40 or so minute period were I was warming up to the point where I'd be able to hop back in the water the other 4 turned up walking down the beach. After showing them our camp site we headed back to the beach with them in tow where we remained till about 5:15ish. Before wandering back to the camp where we set up another pup tent for the two gal's that had turned up and set about making tea. The rest of the evening was spent talking and playing board games.


Some of us went for a wander up the river that runs down one side of the bay just as it was getting dark where we spent 10mins pointing out "invisible" sheep which apparently only 3 of the 4 of us could see for quite some time. After which we returned to the camp via a different route which involved jumping a number of gates and fences and taking a route that was anything but straight. Arriving back we spent the remainder of the evening talking before heading off to talk abit more and sleep.

We were again woken up at 6am and went straight back to sleep.
After breakfast another round of board gaming occurred after which we wandered off to go rock hopping around the southern wall of the bay finding a couple of other small beaches before heading back to beat the rising tide and to avoid a bloke protecting a plot of endangered Grass.

The Beach

Sunday Walk

The cloud didn't burn off until after lunch and so the first part of the afternoon was spent mucking around and talking. Before with the arrival of the sun we headed back to the beach a lack of decent waves meant body boarding was soon passed up in favor of Sand Castle making. Several of the group headed back to Christchurch at about 3:45pm in order to get to church in time. The rest of us spent the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the lovely weather before packing up the tents and gear, heading back to town at about 6pm.

At which point this better describes it.

Akaroa Bay heading back from Okains.

An enjoyable weekend though if only we could do it every weekend!