A most excellent party, with cats. Cheers to Jody & Allyn and happy birthday Wendy.

So in response to all of this, here’s an online school book report on “How to kill a mockingbird“. I don’t remember the pirates in the book, but its been a while since I read it.


While we’re on the subject, I’d just like to point to the Tatra T87 as one of the most fantastic cars ever.

built at a time when British cars looked like:

The tale of crossing the US in one.

The Czechs were fantastic engineers in the 1930s, half the British weapons in WWII were designed over there. Rather a shame Czechoslovakia promptly got stomped on by the Nazis and then Soviet Russia. Still, Tatra did end up making something that’s cool for entirely different reasons:

Whinging never solved anything

So what to do about American foreign policy? Here’s one option: Boycott America. Working off the principle that if the US gubbermint is controlled by evil US corporations, who are all evil and corporaty, then its simple, just hurt the corporations till they promise to behave.

The hate mail they get is great:
“Here’s my suggestion. MOVE TO IRAQ”

And they’re not the only ones:
Boycott of American Products Growing
An Anti-American Boycott Is Growing in the Arab World

Is this a good idea? Is it going to work? Your thoughts, please…

Moving pictures in a box with colour and sound and everything

Woohoo! Anita won “So You Think You Can Dance”. Go her. But the entire concept has so many possible variations. So I think there should be a version called “So You Think You Can Science”.

You’d get a whole bunch of scientists, the young hot ones of course, and each week, they’d have to try out a new kind of science. You’d have bench chemists trying their hand at geology, staggering up mountains carrying hammers, theoretical mathmaticians playing with dangerous chemicals, geneticists trying to do autopsies on what’s left of the mathematicians, anthropologists crying over partial differential equations.

Seriously, this could work. Especially if you kept just moving the f.cking camera around constantly like they did for SYTYCDance.

Aside from that, weekend=study, saw just enough people to keep me sane but not enough to stop me from missing you all. Damn protestant work ethic.

Random crapage

As notnotabouthim is toddling off to foreign parts, I’d just like to celebrate him by posting some random crap.

Firstly, a great big robot of rock-chewing doom:

Its big enough to be visible by satellite.

Ideas that have caught my eye, don’t necesarily agree but am considering:
China shows that market economies work better with some steering, raising two hunded million people out of poverty in twenty years

We have free trade in money and stuff, so why not in jobs? US immigration makes the rich richer, whereas unfettered immigration could redistribute wealth to the third world.

Further evidence that meat-eating is bad for the planet. Go vegan! Or at least head in that direction.

Every so often in this job, I get to read something worthwhile. So here’s a speech from a minister in the Swedish government about how Sweden is going to divorce itself from oil. Its passionate, well-written and the actions they are proposing sound like actions that might work.

And now some real science from Dr Jez:

That’s a gas pore at the end of a crack in a laser weld in aluminium. Its just visible to the eye, about a tenth of a millimetre across. When the aluminium is molten in the weld, it absorbs any water that you’ve got kicking around. When it solidifies, the hydrogen in the water comes out as bubbles in the metal. And this is a bad thing, the weld is only a millimetre across so a few bubbles and the strength goes down 20-30%, but you get interesting patterns on the inside of the bubbles.

And Civil engineers go wild and crazy at xmas. More (pdf).

Finally getting on with it

Yesturday: more revision, three hour meeting with architect and new scottish architectette (she’s really good), curry, sleep.
Today: bike to work (need new seatpost and pump), finish editorials on agricultural productivity (go farmers!), looked up numbers for other boss (got to say exajoule again), now banging through initial draft of huge document (at rate of knots). And I’ve just been given a $150 Ground Effect voucher for merely riding my bike to work, courtesy of the Ride Your Bike To Work day that the council organised. And it turns out that Ground Effect do a soft-shell jacket with pit zips that I can use for snowboarding up at Ruapehu, for not much more than $150 (loves the soft-shell).

Its all so on today. Go me.

damn brain, why couldn’t you have kicked off four days ago?

Sea level rise

Totally forgotten who I said I’d post this for, but maps of how the UK gets affected by sea level rise:

and others, with cities marked.

We’re not going to see 70m rise for hundreds of years, if ever. But six metres is looking like a remote possiblity in our lifetimes, and we can’t rule out thirteen, if we hit certain tipping points.

And NZ? Interactive google map mashup. We don’t loose too much, coz NZ ain’t flat. However, we do lose the expensive, flat coastal parts. Whoops.

Like shooting fish in a barrel

And speaking of things that you can’t quite believe you’ve done, myself, Andrea and Valerie invented a wanky business consultancy with a ludicrous name for the Heavenly Burlesque show: Incentua Consulting. Sadly, some things can’t be mocked. These are real:

The perils of doubles trapeze

Last session of the course tonight, and whilst doing doubles trapeze I managed to remove the trousers from Valerie and more from Debs. In front of everyone. Whoops. However, I learnt that I can still hang upside down from a trapeze with my eyes closed and laughing my guts out.

Monday morning

I have far too many things to do today. I need a montage.

Running treesize over my mp3 player, by order of most megabytes, I have: Essential Mixes, Various, Knowledge Magazine1, Swans2, Aphex Twin, Orbital, Throwing Muses, Underworld, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Basement Jaxx3, Goldie, Audiobullies3, Prodigy, David Holmes, Chems, Concord Dawn, Unkle. Thus showing that I listened to the most music when I needed to listen to the most music.

I still have sand in my shoes and I’ve just banged my head on the 1914 edition of Cheesman’s “Illustrations of New Zealand flora”.

1 – d&b
2 – I have thirteen Swans CDs, I think I must be seriously fvcked up
3 – These figures seriously skewed by their 170Mb essential mixes. Audiobullies = two average albums, but two astounding EMs


Coz no-one’s posted a random linkage pile, here’s stuff and things. Firstly, random comments heard around town this week:
“Have patience. In time even grass becomes milk.”
“The future is here, its just unevenly distributed.”

, that two hundred acres that you want to regenerate. You’re not being slack and its not just scrub, its actually a carbon farm and I look forward to the day when you’ll be paid to do it. Ooh, that’ll be now then.

Bad-arsedest truck, can dig itself into the ground. More pics.

Come the apocalypse, China looks pretty set. Their hand-dug tunnels have roller skating rinks.

And the eternal Crap Arrest of the Week:
“An anti-war protester staged a demo last week in front of an Army recruitment stall in Perth, Scotland. Covering himself in ketchup, he laid down in front of the stall and held a one-man die-in protest. He was subsequently arrested for Breach of the Peace and, bizarrely, Criminal Damage, and police took him down the nick, with relish.”


The global energy consumption is currently about 420 ExaJoules per year. Exa- is 10^18, thats a round quintillion, a billion billion. hmf!

  • giga- 10^9 – your hard disc
  • tera- 10^12 – notnotabouthim‘s hard disks
  • peta- 10^15 – really big
  • exa- 10^18 – just frickin huge

I so rarely get to use the “exa-” prefix. It makes me happy when I do.


You know that staunch layer of skin you build up on your feet in summer, from walking around like a hippy? Yeah, it just all peeled off today, from wearing shoes all the time. It is now officially winter.

And in other news, tuck front lever pullups = mid traps and rhomboids begging for mercy
and my planche still made of moist tissue