Friday, August 31, 2007
PROOF: Send a file or a picture from the olaptop to prove bona fide. Even if data has been deleted and you are a third party recipient, the reward will still be paid.
DROP OFF: Once this is proven, email instructions for handover of cash reward will be given.
I was a bit surprised there wasn't an accompanying story because it seems there could be a story here. What makes a laptop worth $20,000 cash, no questions asked, even if the data has been erased?
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Hmmm ... sounds plausible I suppose until you read further. The survey was of a sample size of 552, of which 26% said they were addicted to coffee. All of these drank more than 3 cups of coffee a day. The "self-proclaimed addicts" said they could not "speak to anyone before they had their first caffeine hit in the morning" ... which must make their partners really happy! The report of the survey, conducted by the Home Beautiful magazine, did not outline the methodology employed, how the sample population was chosen, or give any other details which might suggest the findings will be reported in a scientific journal any time soon!
Also on numbers, and "how did they get that?" was another story in The Daily Telegraph today which told of a pensioner who celebrated her 100th birthday by lighting her 170,000th cigarette from a candle on her birthday cake. Now if only I knew what day World War I started in 1914 (when Winnie Langley was 7!), I could re-check the calculations* ... 5 cigarettes a day since then ... say 1 July 1914 (midpoint in year) to 28 August 2008 is 34,000 days is ... (drumroll) 170,020 cigarettes. Close enough but depending on the actual date, they may have rounded up or down to get to the round figure. More research is needed ... but how amazing would it be to smoke no more and no fewer than 5 cigarettes a day. Of course, it's not such a big health risk, she insisted, because she never inhaled ... cigarette smoke ... as opposed to the rather bold headline on the article which proclaimed "100 year-old never inhaled".
*According to Wikipedia, World War I started on 28 July 1914. So even if she started smoking on that day, and smoked 5 cigarettes a day, that would take it to 169,885 cigarettes smoked in her lifetime (so far). But as she started smoking a few days after the way started she would also fall just short of this mark. (Thanks to Palm's Personal Power One calculator which makes it so easy to work out the number of days between two dates!) (I know ... too much time on my hands.)
And finally, on the subject of choice, in a recent newspaper debate over whether TV shows are objectionable ("too sexy, violent") a reader comments "If families don't like this sort of show, then they should turn off turn the TV off or change channels. This is why there are several free-to-air and pay TV stations: to allow viewers to watch what they like." Hmmm, perhaps not - surely the companies who are running the stations are actually looking to make money out of the exercise, with different offerings a way of catching a greater audience, rather than their way of simply increasing the options open to viewers. The plethora of reality shows spanning so many channels attests to that.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
August 25 2007: Equine flu threatens Randwick: In a major escalation of the equine influenza situation, today's Randwick meeting is almost certain to be cancelled after pleasure horses using nearby Centennial Park returned positive tests to the highly contagious disease.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
After we'd supped on Slings and beer and thrown peanut shells on the floor, we hurried back to the hotel to bid adieu to two of our team that had assembled for the Workshop we were attending - but as we descended the wooden circular staircase someone mused about the many people who would have treaded the same boards over the years eg Somerset Maugham, Charlie Chaplin, Queen Elizabeth II ... and now members of the AP CBP Workshop team.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
So, you post your available items to the group and maybe your junk will become someone else's treasure! If you want something just ASK - you never know! Everything must be FREE, SAFE and LEGAL. Non-profit groups welcome. No politics, spam or silly business please. (colour added)
It worked a treat and the TV was soon on its way to a new home! Now I watch in wonder as the emails come in with the OFFER, TAKEN and WANTED notices.
The team went out to dinner tonight at the Hog's Breath Cafe and since Singapore Slings were on the menu - it seemed like an okay thing to do.
But we are the last of the big drinkers. While a group retired after the dinner to bed, or to the bar, ten of us went of to Swensens in search of ice cream!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
On the way to dinner at a Chinese restaurant (Shanghai style) we passed this church, saw where the Hogs Breath Cafe was, and were within a meatball's throw of an Italian restaurant.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Have a pic you really wish was better - maybe without an ex or perhaps that car obscuring a vital piece of sceneny? The good news is that help will soon be on hand - thanks to a new digital photo tool from the UK. As best I can understand, the tool is an algorithm which will analyse your photo, then go and check against online photo libraries such as Flickr to find similar images. It will then piece together the "best fit" from 20 of the images it finds, to match the lighting, camera position and composition etc of your image, and then create a better composite. Tests suggest that even in its preliminary stages, 30% of the improved photos couldn't be detected. Move over Big Brother.
If one person sitting on a stool can generate enough power to turn on four LED lights how much electricity could you generate from a rock concert? A lot apparently - enough to move a train. The idea is that of two graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who believe the mechanical movement of hundreds or thousands (as opposed to "hundreds and thousands" which is a confectionery of sorts) can be milked to produce electrical power. And it wouldn't just be concerts; you could also harness the collective energy of crowds of commuters, and shoppers. While James Graham and Thaddeus Jusczyk even have a name for it - Crowd Farm (which makes me think again about wind farming) - they see it more as a learning area in the near future. But if you could move a train - what else could you move? A space shuttle? A launch would run to about 84 million strides, leading one of their project reviewers to quip (the highlight of the Associated Press report) “That’s one small step for man, eighty-four million, one-hundred sixty-two thousand, two hundred and three steps for mankind.”
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Tale 2: A woman (cybername Chatty) in Ballina NSW is saved from death after she types "I feel sick and giddy" in a socuial networking chat-room and then goes quiet. Sweetpea in the UK rang through to Chatty's daughter in Queensland who rang through to Chatty's neighbour who knocked on Chatty's door, and, receiving no response, called emergency personnel. Chatty had collapsed in a diabetic coma and could have died except for the Sweetpea's actions. Sweetpea is a great believer in the internet. She originally came from Nebraska (US) but moved to the UK after meeting her British husband, Bill, in a chatroom.
All this talk of over-the-counter food reminds me of a comment I heard the other evening as I waited (and waited and waited) to be served at the McDonalds outside Gatton, Qld: "I thought this was supposed to be 'fast food'".
Saturday, August 11, 2007
But the question is whether it's still as much of a commitment if there is a relatively easy way of removing said tattoo. And there now is. It's a new way of applying the dye which can then be removed with a single laser treatment. Of course it costs more than the regular dyes but given the multiple laser treatments required for removing conventional tattoos, if you're not absolutely sure about the commitment, and know you don't always cope well with excrutiating pain, it might be a worthwhile each-way bet.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Answer: A drinks stand at the beach with an 8 ft yellow and blue Lego man standing outside it.
Said Lego man was found all at sea, well, bobbing off the beach at a Dutch resort and drifting off towards England when rescued by workers from the drinks stand. Reuters reported the Lego giant was sporting a huge grin when rescued. There was no mention of a search for the rest of Bob's family. (You'd have to call him Bob wouldn't you?)
(I wonder what other animals/reptiles can legally be housed in Russian apartments.)
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Among the new slogans recommended are "The mother earth is too tired to sustain more children" and "Both boys and girls are parents' hearts."
Despite China's 28-year-old family planning policy limits, China has the largest population in the world (1.3 bn in 2005). But without the policy, which limits urban couples to one child and allows some families in the countryside to have a second child if their first is a girl, the numbers would have been much higher. However, critics would also say that it would have prevented forced abortions, female fetus abortions, and sterilizations.
Depending on demand, the company has said that it will sell the vehicle for around (AUD) $105,000. But well worth it!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
And speaking of executions, US style, a colleague (that would be you Steph) recently said that he thought it was shocking that anyone should be put to death in the electric chair. Alas, too late, he realised that he could have chosen his words a little more sagely if he wanted his point to be taken seriously.
An American woman who received an ornate box for Christmas from her brother returned it to her local Wal-Mart because it was damaged. Fair enough - until Judy Money's brother pointed out that the box contained their sister's ashes. Oops - especially when Wal-Mart had already thrown the box out in the garbage. But the story has a "happy" ending. The Money box was found amid garbage piles at an area landfill. (Which raises questions like: is trash not compacted in the US; how long did Money and her brother spend looking for the box; was someone able to tell them the approximate whereabouts of Wal-Mart's rubbish?)
"My prayers have been answered," Money told the Omaha World-Herald. "Just the thought of having her in the dump was awful."
If the ashes had been lost, they would not have been able to consider using the services of someone like Canadian artist Luke Seaward. He has started a business which offers to draw a portrait of the departed from their ashes. It only takes about a tablespoon of the ashes which are incorporated into a pencil which is then used to draw the portrait - but currently only in shades of grey. His newly formed company, Honor Industries, will market the concept to funeral homes (and has applied for a patent for the pencil-making process). Cost of the portrait - starting from $A5,500 depending on the size and complexity of the work which can take between 30 and 200 hours.
But back to Inositol which could stand to be a starring ingredient given research which suggests it's a wonder drug that significantly reduces depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Of course to get that affect now, says Wired, you'd need to drink 360 cans of Red Bull (with current inositol levels) a day - and it would probably only be available at pharmacies!
One of the reasons for the bill is to solve a small problem the Missouri State Corrections department seem to be having - they are unable to recruit a doctor with expertise in anaesthesia (as required by Federal law) to assist in executions. Until they can do that, executions in the State will remain on hold and the 48 peoplle scheduled to be executed will remain on Death Row.
So really, why has all this come up? And what are the implications? The MPA is reported as acknowledging that there is a need to protect the identity of prison employees especially if they could be harmed if exposed. But, their arguments is that if you don't know who is carrying out an executions - how do you know they are qualified to do it? For example, if an executioner has been sued 20 times for malpractice, does the public have a right to know that that individual is the executioner? What about the prisoner? Would he or she have the right to request another executioner? Where does the State's responsibility to duty of care begin and end on Death Row?