Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More Chilli Finger

Some time ago I blogged about the couple who had tired to extort an American fast food chain by planting part of a finger in their meal. But where did the finger come from? News from their trial says the finger had been accidentally severed by one of his workmates and handed over in payment of a $66 debt. Now that mystery's solved - I want to know how they had the idea and when.

Taming Technology

I'm so used to playing with new things that I sometimes don't take a moment to think about how daunting it must be to try out different/new things with technology. The other day I watched over my mother as she made an ATM withdrawal - something that Dad usually takes care of. And, just this morning, I received a blog comment anonymously - as they are - but I think I know who it was - and if it was you M - I am impressed because I know you don't usually go in for this type of thing!


Here's a shot of Dad's head following the biopsy. There are six metal staples - and it still makes me feel funny to think about how they put them there! After three weeks in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, he's going home today. He's looking forward to it very much - and Mum has spent the weekend getting the house and yard ready for his return.

Nerang views

While in Queensland for the weekend, we stayed with friends who were remodelling their bathroom. They had rigged up an "outside" model in the existing laundry ... not bad. Not bad at all. Once clean, it was off to the local markets, where we found, amongst the eggs and tomatoes, a violinist. Then, home to watch playing with wires of a different kind - fencing. And then, tired but happy, we were off to the dog beach - with the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise rising in the distance.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Queensland animals

Here we are in Queensland and 12 has been out for a bit of a run - taking some photographs of Albert, Maggie, and the horses next door!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One of a kind

I was given a present this week - and I had to try to guess what it was - without seeing it. I had been told that I mention this thing at least once a year (and in retrospect it is more than once a year) and a friend of ours had had her sewing machine out and decided to make me one.
I didn't guess it - but think I would have if I'd seen it first - but that's not really how you play guess is it? And speaking of "guess", I ran into the worst player the other day. She said "Guess who I saw at the supermarket the other day. Uncle George." She didn't even draw breath anywhere in the sentence. Not a good game of guess at all. A bit like trying to play on the internet really. So if you want to know what it was - because you can't guess or because you want to confirm your guess - click on the small photo - if it doesn't open in a new window for you - ie you can't see it - the words after these will tell you what it is ... so stop reading now if you're still guessing.
(It's a sleeve for your driving arm!)

Instant millionaires

So, who knew that wandering along a beach and finding a mass of foul-smelling waxy substance weighing nearly 15kg could put you on the path to becoming a millionaire. Well, it does if the stuff is ambergris and sells for about $27 a gram! And if you pick it up!! Initially the South Australians who found it had walked on by - but when they returned to the beach 2 weeks later and it was still there, they took it home with them and started trying to discover what it was - little expecting to find out they had stumbled on a fortune!
Ambergris: A waxy grayish substance formed in the intestines of sperm whales and found floating at sea or washed ashore. It is added to perfumes to slow down the rate of evaporation. (Thanks to www.dictionary.com)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sydney by air

Flying back from Brisbane (and visiting the folks) yesterday, I was lucky enough to be on the right side of the aircraft for a great view of Sydney Harbour. Unfortunately it seemed to be a little murky - without those brilliant blues you sometimes get.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hospital visiting

Surprisingly enough, even though these look like lifesavers stuck on with bitumen, these are in fact a high-tech diagnostic and treatment tool. Or as my father (Da to his cheeky children) just said "these are the real life-savers". He also said "This is not ...." and gave his name - which I will leave out to protect his identify. The lifesavers are to help in location and biopsy of a lesion.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Spare parts - no secret

There's a sign on our water cooler at work saying "Out of service. Waiting for spare parts." At what point do parts become "spare" - or at what point do they become not spare. It seems if something isn't working and needs parts - these parts are not "spare".
The same way that a diary kept by a young girl which may be crucial evidencein the case against an elderly cult leader accused of child sex crimes could perhaps no longer be billed as "secret diaries" if content from them is released. Prosecution has apparently objected to Defence copying entries from the diary for "reasons of privacy" according to today's report in The Daily Telegraph. No mention was made as to whether copies of the relevant passages/entries/excerpts had been made available. (Isn't English a funny language? Or maybe it's just me. I am reluctant to use the words "passages" and "entries" in relation to a sex case!)

Who are you ... really?

If you were to be arrested for a crime, what description/identifying comments would the press attach to you? In The Daily Telegraph this morning, there is again coverage of the Cronulla riots (previously referred to by some publications as the Cronulla race riots) - and a story entitled "Both sides of the divide have a day in court", one is described as 18-year-old Ali Osman. The second, Peter Higgs, is described as "A 28-year-old classical pianist and senior analyst for JP Morgan. Higgs was accompanied by his parents." Previous accounts have referred to another person as a "Caltex oil refinery worker", or another as "an air conditioning mechanic". So who decides how much or how little description is included; whether they include the name of your employer; who was with you on the day of your court appearance?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Laced up

I have just been using the Technorati site to check if I have blogged previously about double-knotting shoe laces. I thought I had because it is one of my favourite pieces of trivia – and pretty useful to boot (although it won’t work on boots because they don’t have laces). When I was younger, I used to have the tightest double-knots on my laces, so tight I would often need to use a sharp implement to pry them loose enough to undo. But all that changed when Sooz showed me a trick. All you have to do is pull steadily on one end of the lace and it will come undone (if it doesn’t try the other end). Works like a charm!


Well, here I was thinking that camouflage patterns didn’t work. I was wrong. News this morning tells of an Australian Army Land Rover worth $74,000 which is missing after being painted with camouflage. Police are appealing to the public (no, really) for help in finding the vehicle. But it’s not just a matter of them not being able to find it because it is so well camouflaged – the report I read in The Daily Telegraph suggests it was stolen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

By any other name?

It’s a familiar argument – Mac vs Window – which is the better operating system? Microsoft has just announced Windows Vista and there has been comment about it in the technology press – particularly because it seems to have a lot of the features currently found in Mac’s OS “Tiger”. David Pogue’s column in the New York Times made reference to this – and followed up the next day with reference to a video someone had posted – using Microsoft’s audio and screen shots from Mac. It's pretty funny.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Day at the beach

We went down to Brighton Beach today to soak up a bit of sea air and eat up a bit of sea food, and it was a lovely day out. I took some pictures of flying things: there were plenty of seagulls, and the planes were taking off across the bay.

Goth washing

I looked out the window this morning and saw washing on the line. At first I wasn't sure what I was seeing - but yes, in amongst the actual washing was a doll. A goth doll. Someone suggested that it might be merchandise from Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride - but I couldn't find any reference to this particular "Miss Goth" on the Bim Bam site.

The washingCU of Miss Goth

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"Banana skin" statistics

How many people are injured each year in falls/slips caused by banana skins? Where are such things recorded? I've found news of isolated incidents of compensation cases but no real "statistics". The Professional Broking site mentions accidents with a mushroom in a supermarket, and spilt cream in another - and mentions the banana skin only in passing:
The stories themselves are almost parodies of the old 'banana skin' joke, but
the reality is far from funny.

So where are the statistics about the dangers of banana skins? A quick Google and Yahoo search found the above-mentioned isolated incidents but nothing concrete. Is it only a myth?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Hare Krishna

"Chant Hare Krishna and be happy" said the sign on the side of a mini-bus spotted in the CBD yesterday. It had never occurred to me before then that the Hare Krishnas chant their own name - although come to think of it, it is a while since I've seen then around. Of course, they're not actually chanting their own name - which is really something like the "Order of ..."; Hare Krishna is their popular name. (The chant is used to invoke the power/grace /enlightenment of the Lord Krishna.)


It's a long-accepted fact that T-Rex the dinosaur couldn't see you if you didn't move. However, that left the question of how you could possibly hope to remain unnoticed given you would be screaming your lungs out! Research published recently in New Scientist suggests this may not have been a problem ... T-Rex may have been hard of hearing and (bonus) not able to hear high-pitched sounds. But we know T-Rex wasn't the dinosaur with the worst hearing - that would have been Stegosaurus - with its horns (as in hearing - boom tish!) (It's at times like this that I'm really sorry I can't draw. I would have loved to have an image of a T-Rex with a hearing horn held up to its ear with those "ridiculously short arms" [thanks Rowan], here!)

Monday, January 02, 2006

This image was published on the Snopes website. According to the information there, this is a photo taken by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel stationed in Sudan: Rain left this mud map in potholes, bearing a striking resemblance to Australia. Even more incredible is that Tasmania was included!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hot in the city

It is hot. Very hot. We are due for a cool change and that might just be arriving now - but it has been a long time coming. The cats are having a hard time of it - moving from space to space, looking for a cool spot. Not that very different from us really. Sydney's not the only spot of course. It was fairly hot in Queensland earlier this week - and I heard that it was so hot somewhere ikn Australia that a train came off the rails - and the driver didn't even realise at first. It is fairly hard to get effectively cool on days like today if you don't have air conditioning - and it can be a bit of a strain on that too.
I can't imagine what difficulty the cool change is going to bring for firefighters across the State though.