Archive for August 2006

Editorial – 1. The Best Idea I’ve Heard In A Long Time

Me at work says:

Climate change, as Tony Blair says, is “a challenge so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power, that it alters radically human existence”. The future gets even gloomier, as there are a range of nasty mechanisms that could lead to abrupt climate changes. We don’t yet know what the triggers for these are, but even with the most optimistic projections for the uptake of zero-emissions technologies, we may still be in danger.

So how can we do better than zero-emissions technology? Peter Read, from Massey University, organised a colloquium last week to discuss his idea of holistic greenhouse gas management, or Bio-Energy to Carbon Sequestration (BECS). It is simple to outline. Firstly, grow lots of biomass, probably trees for NZ conditions. This sucks carbon out of the atmosphere. Secondly, use the trees as fuel for electricity or feedstock for biofuels. This pays you money. Thirdly, separate out the carbon from the waste streams and store it. This storage, or sequestration, is being developed and the likely destinations for carbon are the deep ocean, underground or in minerals. We won’t need to begin sequestration until our trees are mature, so there’s a chance the technology will exist by then. Alternatively, we could burn the biomass to char and use that as a soil conditioner as was done in the Amazon in the terra preta regions.

This approach is entirely complementary to the usual approaches suggested as nations try to meet their Kyoto commitments and further targets. More renewable energy and more efficient energy use will still play a role. But BECS offers at least a technically feasible way to reduce carbon dioxide levels on a decadal time span.

Obviously, this kind of biological and technical fix will require vast land use changes and these will have vast social and environmental impacts. But then again, so will climate change, abrupt or not. We could wait for further discussion on a global level about how to solve climate change, or New Zealand could just get on with it. BECS seems an effective form of mitigation, gains us international mana and could be a sustainable use of our natural resources. Why should we wait for everyone else?

Me at home says – oh ffs! You’ll need to reforest an area the size of France and Germany, each year, for at least twenty years. Go ride a bike instead.

Aerial training this weekend

Saturday 12 till 3 pm, Sunday 5 till 7. I’m supervising both training sessions.

Go hard or go “ooh, my back!”


You know I’m kidding, right? No bodyweight exercise is going to get you looking this deformed.

Sky – A Stilt Ballet by Empress Stiltdance

There’s some arty waffle text on the flyer, but basically, Andrea and others, dancing on stilts, Te Whaea, this weekend, with some other dance things too.

6 pm, Friday, Saturday
2 pm, Saturday, Sunday

Several of us are thinking of going to the 6 pm Saturday showing.

Spring!

Biked to work in a t-shirt today, so I declare it to be officially Spring.

A friend unknowingly referred to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” as “An Inconceivable Truth”. And that’s scarily accurate.

For all those Burners out there, especially those traveling long distance – Cooling Man

Bedtime Stories by Thom Yorke.

Words that I didn’t know, part 6,041,934 – tawse

Go hard or go home… and do some training there instead

Aerials training at Karori this weekend:

Saturday, 12 till 3 with Valerie
Sunday, 5 till 7 with Me

And suffer till you look like this:

Actually, that’s not entirely true. Aerialists are far hotter.

Interwebulation

Its 9am, I cycled in hence I’m annoyingly hyper and have already done half a dozen things since I got here, including getting my second-biggest report of the year to the typesetters. So, its time for intarwebulation:

GPS, MTB, Wellington

Serpentes on a shippe

Cows with accents. From Summerset, of course.

Bloody immigrants! Oh hang on, its true, there’s facts and everything.

When science policy documents go wrong:

“Substantial capital requirements are needed for the intended purchase of initial research materials, including large amounts of the oxides of the elements odium and tedium.”

“Science is like drilling for oil. You don’t know what’s down there until you drill, and each hole costs millions. And that’s why we’ve given up on this new-fangled petroleum business and we rely for transportation upon our dependable friend – the horse.”

That could be the last but one time I move, ever

So yes, we are moved, into 6 Cardall Street, off Owen Street, in Newtown. And phone will be, but isn’t yet, 970 6166.

Its little and warm and sunny. I could fall hopelessly in love with little warm sunny cottages in Newtown. Ah, warmth, how I’ve missed you.

Thanks very much to everyone who helped us move, everyone being: Jodi, Allyn, Rhiannon, Dylan, Suzannah, Anita and Kathryn. Vans are wonderful things, as are sack barrows/hand trucks.

Now, unpacking and sorting of stuff and working out where sofas go. We have a sunbeam and books but no beanbag.

No pics yet, coz no internet yet, but that’s what work is for.Then again, I just caught up on a whole weekend of not very interesting emails. Damn you, Intarwebs!

And one for the chemists

Mass bombing plot? What mass bombing plot – can you really blow up a plane with hair gel?

Moving house

So, who wants to cruise round town on saturday in the Merc with the lowered suspension?

Though I should point out that it’ll be lowered coz it’ll be full of our stuff. Yes, its moving house time and this time, we’ll be moving what’s in the house, not what’s in the shed. And then we can stop and chill out.

But cheers to those that have offered to help tomorrow and if more people want to give a hand or pay back favours, I’ll be most grateful. Any time from 11. And I’ll give you beer. Umm… if we can find the beer amongst all the boxes.

And afterwards, everyone is invited round to our new place – 6 Cardall Street

Although, everyone seems to have left Wellington this weekend, so we might end up at Tom’s birthday drinks instead/as well.

“How about a nice game of chess?”

If I dredged up all my neuroses and wrote a computer game about it, it would look like this:

Yes, its global thermonuclear war, the strategy for which was described by the game author as: “everybody dies, so try to lose the least”.

Its by the people who did the retro-cool Darwinia, the most innovative looking game of the last few years. More and more. Luckily, its not out yet, so I can still sleep.

While we’re at it, if you see this, you don’t have time for a last cup of tea:

I’d ask who can id the quote, but Google just makes it far too easy.

Quick broadband question for Wellingtonians

Old place had Telecom+Orcon. Orcon great, Telecom donkeys nobs.

New place has Saturn/TelstraClear thing. Should we go with that over Telecom?

Well jolly hurrah

Spot the error in the latest government press release:
Employment highest, unemployment lowest ever

They’re claiming the “lowest unemployment rate on record”. Well, only because the current way of recording it changed in the 1980s. In reality, the unemployment rate was lowest in March 1951, when it was 12.

Yup, twelve people were unemployed in the entire country.

And can anyone track down the story of the first unemployed person on Stewart Island? I’d really like to know if its true, coz it sounds like it should be. You know the story:

  • bloke on Stewart Island becomes unemployed
  • bloke is the first person there to ever be unemployed
  • bloke claims benefit of $11 per week
  • bloke discovers that he has to claim this weekly from the nearest unemployment office, which is in Invercargill
  • ferry to Invercargill is $12 per week
  • bloke writes letter to Minister of Employment pointing this out
  • Minister kindly instructs Dept of Labour to set up an unemployment office on the Island
  • Unemployment office on Island needs staff, so employs the one unemployed person on the Island
  • Dept of Labour discovers that Stewart Island has no unemployed people, so closes the unemployment office, making bloke redundant
  • bloke is back where he started

Is this true?

Anyway, the Fear has kicked in and now I am getting on with chipping away at one of the huge piles of things I have to do.

Until your arms fall off

Aerials training, 5-7 pm tonight at Karori.

Climbing tuesday, Fergs, 6 pm.

Cheers to those who helped us move half our house yesturday, we’ll be doing the rest this saturday coming, any help greatly appreciated, then saturday evening, quiet drinks at our new place in Newtown, quiet coz we might not be able to find where the beer went.

Organisation

I’m going to be putting in an order soon to the T-Nation store. Mmm… Power Drive, Spike and other brain food. Anyone want anything and we’ll save on postage?

Secondly, we are moving this saturday and next saturday, from Wright Street to Newtown. Help will be greatly appreciated and favours can be redeemed from 1 pm tomorrow.

[EDIT – Today I just got my first ISBN! Woot!]

Coz there ain’t no party like a Mt Cook party

As several have expressed interest at the size and potency of my equipment, we shall have to go for a cruise. We will be sipping gin and juice1, hanging our thang out the window of the Mercedes Benz, turbo popping, subs bumping, laydeez jumping. Or some activity of that ilk.

However, I suggest that we do this later in the year, when a) the laydees won’t get frostbite, and b) I will be able to partake of discresionary leisue activities and not be quite so overcommitted.

1 – But I’ve never known what kind of juice? I’m partial to pineapple, but you’d think that an original gangster would use freshly-squeezed baby juice.

Also, does anyone have a small glitter ball with a magnetic base that we can attatch to the roof inside the van? And a UV strobe and twenty metres of arctic white fake fur? Coz I feel this jaunt should be most furry.

I’m getting worryingly good at blogging about nothing

Why don’t we get good Goan Trance in NZ? Its sunny in summer, we’ve beaches and copious amounts of dope? You’d think that you couldn’t move in Takaka for Goan Trance, but no, its all organic dub.

After four years of studying, I’m really missing my immediate gratification.

Also, my desk is really tidy! Hurrah!

(That’s coz I just put all the piles on the floor. I’m going to build a castle out of my to-do list and just hide in there and hope everyone forgets about all the things I’m supposed to do.)

Protein bars are Bachelor chow.

Mediocre Britain

Whoops, nearly had another Chernobyll – near-meltdown incident at Swedish nuclear reactor.

Best party ever.

Fact number 5734:
Magdalene College, Cambridge, owns all of Covent Garden in London. And sadly, according to the deed of 1574, they’re only allowed to charge a rent of fifteen pounds (although it is specified to be fifteen pounds of good and lawful money of England. At a rough guess, the rent on Covent Garden would be in the tens of millions these days. Whoops.

And if I’m walking along the pavement, where pedestrians have right of way, and if you’re pulling out of a carpark, across the pavement, where I have right of way, if its possible for me to knee your car without breaking my step, making it sound like a drum and causing you to jump out of your seat, don’t bother giving me evil looks as you drive off. You’re in my way. Get out of my way.

Oh gee

Wandering my way back home from the nights revels, an intoxicated lady asked if I was an “original gangster”.

No, I am a bureaucrat. Although, I do consider myself a badass hardcore motherfucker bureaucrat.

Climbing

Climbing was fun last night. And Fergs really was the place to be, it was fair heaving.

Managed the big overhang, possibly due to not pfaffing and going for it, possibly due to the big difference from last time – lots of front lever training. Its the muscles to keep the hips up when hanging from arms, hence keeping feet on wall becomes something that just happens without pfaff.

Or, it could just be that if you’re strong enough to do even a tuck lever, then you’re pretty strong. Ooh, casuality or correlation?

Also hot, muscular climbers have very different muscle development patterns in their shoulders and upper back than do hot, muscular aerialists. (Not that I was perving at anyone’s back, of course.)