Thursday, 31 December 2009


Avatar (2009 film)Image via Wikipedia

Like world of warcraft meets dancing with wolves... brilliant, engrossing if a little predictable in story... the cgi is fab. Plus it stars an Aussie

Avatar at IMDB - in 2D and 3D
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Sunday, 29 November 2009

UV warnings and SPF

So my first ever taste of the worst the sun can throw at me - yes I got a sunburn on Saturday. I am a traditional shade of lobster red. One of those mixed days of rain, wind and sun; and I wore a silly cami top (and factor 30! spf).

So my lesson is - always wear SPF - all over; seek more shade; carry a cover up top of some sort. or as they say over here; slip slap, slop, seek and slide! yep two extra words...

Protect yourself in five ways from skin cancer: Slip! Slop! Slap! Seek! Slide!
Slip on sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible.
Slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen liberally to dry skin, at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every two hours when outdoors.
Slap on a broad brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears.
Seek shade
Slide on sunglasses.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Carbon in Australia

Well there is a big political row about Carbon Trading here (or ETS) but the thing that gets me is that the ATMs are air conditioned - yes thats right, ATMs outside banks caress you with a stream of cooled air as you do your business. ETS - hell yes charge em for it!

PS - I am keeping well out of the Carbon Trading discussion.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

In modern day London, a travelling circus called The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus invites people to enter a mirror whereby they are transported into their inner dream lives. The Imaginarium is made up of the guru Parnassus himself (Christopher Plummer), his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) and a young man named Anton (Andrew Garfield). Parnassus is regularly taunted by a Lucifer-like character who calls himself Mr. Nick (Tom Waits) and it is revealed that Parnassus has made a wager with him. As the company is struggling to find an audience, they discover a man named Tony (Heath Ledger) who is being hanged under a bridge. They rescue him and for saving his life Tony helps the company find an audience.

Though thematically it is a failure, the film is still an exciting visual experience due to some really magical sets, costumes and art direction. The imagined world behind the mirror is a real sight to behold on the big screen. A moment where a giant head of a bobby officer bursts from the ground echoes the cartoons from Monty Python, along with the chorus-line of policemen.

Ledger's role as Tony only comes across as someone interesting at the end of the movie - sadly we lost Heath Ledger during the making of this - but this fact works well for the movie that his role 'through the looking glass' is played out by three other actors - Depp has the briefest part and shines in a cameo. Colin Farrell looks wide eyed and lost and Jude La; knowing and venal - all give the character depth. Tom Waits basically plays himself as Mr. Nick with raspy voice as the devil tempting Christopher Plummers Good (and as we see in a flashback - Budda like) character. Lily Cole is oddly pythonesque as Valentina with her elfin face and Andrew Garfield as Anton is the real star - overshadowed by Heath Ledger's passing during the making of the movie.

Don't go for the story but for the steampunk visuals of this remarkable film.
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Thursday, 5 November 2009

Listening To....

Michael J Fox - Always Looking Up
Brilliant view of Parkinson’s, its symptoms, and its possible cure along with a myriad of other diseases based on stem cell research.Clear and concise, this lays out the science and the politics. set around a time when the us was focused only on the war on terror.A very good listen and read by Mike himself.

At Amazon
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Sunday, 18 October 2009

Laptops, Netbooks and iPods

Well its been a bit of time but here's my tech update
  1. the iPod is working again - and I love having all that music and video and audiobooks at my control again. 'Fraid the phone (yes the imate 8502) is not up to the job of being more than the most basic Nano.... so 60GB of stuff to keep me occupied on the bus!
  2. the laptop - last heard of in March is definitely defunct in the video card department and too expensive to repair - so the drive is doing duty as a backup device and the rest - well is available for spares somewhere!
  3. Netbook - my faithful Advent is doing very well thank you as main PC, linked to a mouse, keyboard and LCD monitor its a slow but steady workhorse for SL, WOW, all my web and wordprocessing needs - I love it dearly!
  4. Phone - that damn imate - its a tough wee thing - and pretty good for the basics; camera = OK, docs and email handling = exceelent actually, games = fab, Video = yeahhh if I find a small enough file; it even deals with the Audiable software pretty well; but its got such a tiny memory 2GB just won't cut it anymore!

I would still like to give the Touch a go - lol or better yet an iPhone. Que sera sera!

Swine Flu - H1N1

Just a quick entry to say I have been inoculated - TYVM Eastern Health! Now they warn you about side effects and all that - but is that not just feeding my hypochondria - now I have an aching arm, tight chest and various aches coming to the fore (but TBH I had the chest pain this morning - possibly based on all the call us before you have a heart attack ads!).

BTW - did you know this is a similar virus to the one in 1918 that wiped out more people than the First World War? erm I could recollect that incorrectly - but it makes an appearance in Bill Bryson's 'A complete History of Nearly Everything' a book I love to listen to!

A different View

For Second Life that is.....

Well first - Hungry Beast had a section about Second Lives featuring Gary H, based on finding work in SL. Good luck with that one - if only a Linden were worth a Dollar! erm well perhaps not as I would be poor in SL too.

And the good news is there is a new viewer (well new to me) out there. The Emerald viewer for SL. It has boob movement for the boys and an intergral AO for us techies - which means a free HUD slot (woot!). So far so good. My fav addition so far is the 'TP to this location' button on the start-up screen though. How many times has a great looking location flicked up on that log in page and I wonder 'where's that; I would love to visit' - well now I can! TY Emerald.
Emerald Viewer

Monday, 28 September 2009

Doing Porridge

Well one of the interesting points raised in the lectures I was listening to was about the Babylonian Law codes and how draconian they seem to modern man. But the point was that early civilisations did not have a penal system (and hey we were shipping our criminals to the ends of the earth only 200 years ago) so punishment was either 'it' - a death penalty and usually rather a nasty one or at least a major deterrent - any eye for an eye sort of stuff. So I shall spend a few days pondering 'crime and punishment' through the ages.

The Teaching Company

I have a long bus journey to work currently, so have been getting through Audio books at a bit of a rate - this week I have been listening to something new though 'Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor' - a series of 30 minute lectures given by Kenneth W Harl.

Nothing I did not already know from my Archaeology studies - but a great refresher and some interesting asides I had not previously thought on. (See next posting) Anyway the upshot is that I will be in learning mode for a while and Audiable had better watch out - with iUni (iTunes University podcasts) and various companies like the Teaching Co there are some new contenders on the block for our earspace!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

An Education - Movie (Smells like Teen History)

I have a love hate thing with the Sixties - I was born slap in the middle; but I really hate all those aging hippsters who say it was the greatest decade..... Jez get a life and move on..... but this is a movie firmly set in 1962, the London Suburbs too.... so It has all the promise of London in the 1960's and all the hard lessons of post war 1950's Britain to. Look for signs of Beatniks, early feminism, changes in British Education and the elements of Olde England meeting post war Britain - including asides to immigration etc.

So a great movie about coming of age - lots of laughter and pathos and a very good cast. And a very probing question from the central character - what is the purpose of education, both School and University... Does the School of Life have more to teach us?

Sadly I could not get over how much Peter Sarsgaard looked like a young William Shatner.... (apparantly Orlando Bloom was originally cast in the part) or how very adult the young Jenny, played by Carey Mulligan was.

On general relaese from 9 October 2009

(500) Days of Summer - Movie

Well done on this one - I never would have made an Architect (even a failed one) the central character. But I loved Joseph Gordon Levitt in '3rd rock from the sun' and have followed him since - nice to see him older if not wiser as Tom - the central character. Also, Summer; played by Zooey Deschanel - last seen in 'Tinman' the updated Wizard of Oz TV serial... was good - distant and un-emotional to Tom's head over heels.

The set up for the movie worked well to - lots of flashbacks but with the neat cartoon calendar it all made sense. There were laugh out loud moments but mostly this was a look at a man vs a womans view of a relationship. Nice to see the guy on the rough end for once.

On the minus side - it still felt a little like the graduation film of Marc Webb the director - including far to many cinematic tricks, including a dance number with animation and - well just too many tricks!

Good effort - a pass mark; and recommended too. Out in Australia 1st October 2009

Monday, 24 August 2009

A day in Pompeii - Melbourne Museum

Detail of a mosaic found in Pompeii. The figur...Image via Wikipedia

Very well laid out exhibition - interesting objects well linked together and to life in the Roman Empire; perhaps a bit more context about the Emperors and politics of the day. The Exhibition is accompanied by a series of lectures. Avoid times when a/ small children are taken and b/ School parties are there. There are a couple of screens showing interactive CD's - but if you want a go you may have to queue.

As usual its the body casts are particularly evocative and they are well 'displayed' with decorum. A bit more information on how the casts were discovered and made might help the casual browser on the day.

The shop was pretty tacky however, with a few roman inspired bracelets inc Roman & Greek coins, and a catalog - but very few 'Roman' items.

Til October 09

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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Cove (I highly recommend you get to the cinema)

If you enjoyed Al Gore with 'An Inconvenient Truth' you will love 'the Cove'. The movie may raise more questions than it answers but it certainly makes you think. Are Dolphins sentient? How should we treat wild animals? (though Dolphins are classed as Cetaceans or small whales - and yet not covered by the IWC!) Do Whales and Dolphins threaten fish stocks? How do humans interact with our planet? etc

Well I left with a weird dichotomy of feelings - and watching Flipper as a child may have aided and abetted my adult feelings of guilt and 'awww they are so cute'ness.

Yes I would be happy to write letters to stop whats happening in Tajei - but more importantly to stop Japan interfering in Caribbean island nations to 'buy' votes on the IWC. Oddly for me they came out as the bigger wrongdoers - the IWC, with Japan as the slightly overweight David that the International Goliath was sadly mismatched against.

But - go see it and come away with your own views - not as gruesome, maudlin or even the bad rip off of the Blair Witch meets Al Gore I expected. Highly Recommended.

At Cinemas now!


That's BunnINGS - not bunnys.... the local Aussie DIY shop. Take your man there and get your hair done girls - or loose 3 hours of your life there looking at every little and large gizmo and gadget he might need for the summer or winter (or at least the season juxtaposed to the one you are in) and comparing screws.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

I-mate ultimate 8502

well there you go, if its my prejudice against windows mobile, or if MS still have not made a robust mobile OS... I still find I cannot get on with a WinMob smartphone.

Oh the phone is not bad per se. The screen is excellent, perhaps the unit is a bit overburdened with buttons... to make use of it as a decent type emails machine. Certainly it comes with ms mobile word, excel and powerpoint. It allegedly connects to your tv... Wow and with such a timy memory too.... but its matt black finish is too me a little dull, I do not want to buy 16 software solutions to MS's shortcomings in terms of media player, menu customisation etc. And overall its overpriced!

but its main issues are: only takes 2gb expansion, runs WinMob and (sigh) I really want a E61, or for the same price could get a E71!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Favorite Movie Quote - From Tremors (1990)

Earl Bassett: We gotta run. We've got a schedule to keep.
Valentine McKee: Yeah. See, we plan ahead, that way we don't do anything right now.
Earl explained it to me.

Is it art or is it just a sofa..... The ACCA

ACCA - Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - Tacita Dean til 2 Aug.

Is usual pretentious film works and dark maze of rooms... Is it art or is it just a sofa? Well I like art that's comfy on the bum...

Indeed is it a cafe or an art installation? Good chai and muffins if it is - even with its own resident Tracey Emin lookalike barrista.

On the art on display - usual "I could do that myself" all round review of anything 'contemporary' applies... But saw the Yellow Peril - see picture above(actually called Vault, Ron Robertson-Swann 1980).

Tuesday to Friday 10am - 5pm, Weekends & Public Holidays 11am - 6pm
Open all public holidays except Christmas Day and Good Friday

111 Sturt Street, Southbank , Victoria 3006, Australia

Saturday, 30 May 2009


Set your 'friends' up with a prank news item at..... for good or bad! at

Friday, 22 May 2009

Wasting time in front of your PC?

Check out CAMPAPER where various worldwide street CCTV's will show you what happens every 5mins..... currently mine is set to Mathew St, Liverpool. Since I am in Australia I get to see the happenings from 2amish to 7amish last night. Its great to see the wildlife of Liverpool.

To cut out the middleman you can go straight to

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Star Trek - Beginnings; no spoilers!

well as a trekker... Yes I have seen TOS, TNG, VOY, DS9 and ENT, even been to the convention in LV. I know the characters and the actors. Some I love and some you learn to despise a bit (Robert Beltran bites the hand that feeds him!).

so I think I am qualified to comment on the movie... Young star trek. We have Kirks youth here, and Spocks - which has previously been covered in many of the books about the series (Spocks World etc). so here we get it all acted out for us. We know Kirk and Spock, we know how they should react in situations, of course in their youth that would be different.... Or would it?

so here we are, Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Uhura and Bones and someone in a red shirt (Yes that old chestnut was given the nod too!) all good strong characters.... McCoy is brilliantly realised by Karl Urban, Spook is surprisingly well played by Zachary Quinto (I did not like the guy in 'Heros'. But Kirk was something of a disappointment, good acting but not enough of a young William Shatner to be convincing!!

next - the ship - Enterprise,in the series of the same name, was dark - like a submarine interior..... (BTW was a show This ship has the coloring of the original series though with a lot more pipes and struts onshow - large cargo holds not corridors.... sigh and the uniforms... oh yes exactly as the originals would recall - Uhura in a short frock and the Boys all in tight black pants.

Taken out of the series, movies and books 'historical' context what are we left with? A ripping good story though one sadly heavy on special effects but will that be to encourage a new generation of fans? Or a sop to us oldies who loved TOS and lived through Janaway and Major Kira and all the other strong characters and motivational stories that ST has given us.

Monday, 18 May 2009


Or Aussie Rules.... which is actually Victoria (State) rules.... as NSW follow the rugby - which they call footy.... and you think that's complicated; wait til you try following a game that has more in common with netball (OK basketball) with some judo thrown in. Or Aussie Rules.... which is actually Victoria (state) rules...... as NSW like Rugby!and call it footy too! My favorite bit is still the fumbles when it looks like two teams in a cat chasing competition though.

So I won't go into the rules.... there are other sites for that (try AFL). Just to say that I now barrack (that's Aussie for 'cheer on/or support' St Kilda... who are not only unbeaten this season but now top of the - needless to say - quite short league.

Which brings me to my main point - there are 16 teams in the league..... all but 6 teams are in Victoria and actually are Melbourne suburbs/teams....well they ALL are but some have been banished to Sydney, Adelaide and Freemantle... to make it Aussie vs Victorian Football League. Odd they could not send a team to Darwin.....

Monday, 11 May 2009

Computer fairs

Well one of the great things here in the land of the 'early adopters' are the Sunday computer fairs. Every week there are two or three to choose from in and around Melbourne - to see what new gadgets are out (plug in car mp3 players with SD slots for $25), just browse for components or be seduced by flashy screens, latest netbooks and wireless gizmos.

I love them!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Music - The Spooky Men's Choral

Worth a look if you don;t want to hear a traditional male voice choir and playing loads of gigs in theUK July to September.... if nothing else try building your own SpookyMan!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Overweight Luggage

As expected my luggage was over the allowance. Since my case alone weighed 5kg - once i pulled out the £1 nylon laundry bag that everything was 'second packed' in, I was actually under. Grrr that they wanted to charge £60 for an additional 3kg that was all case not real luggage.

Anyway everything arrived safe in that nylon thing so I am chuffed!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

My life in crates

Well here goes. Departing for Melbourne today. Meanwhile - most of what I am or hope to be is in 8 crates - consigned to Maersk (the shipping line that keep being pirated off Somalia - agghhhh)

Odd to pack up stuff like this- yes I have lots a of books (too many), CDs and DVDs, too many clothes too perhaps. Watching Gok do his capsule wardrobe of 24 things(yes i think TV programmes are a valid technology medium - video-lectures, TV programmes etc all inform our lives and choice making values) left me feeling over-clothed. Or rather as someone with too big a wardrobe.... See here

Anyway since I will be living out of a rather large suitcase for the next8 weeks or so; watch this space for tips!!!!

Of course - my bow and arrows are also packed - as well as the essential technology; or at least the bits I have not broken in the last 5 weeks (double grrrrr on that).

And I cried as I went through departures - perhaps thats what madethem search my bag - or the fact it was overloaded with a million techie wired things!!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Baroque - V&A London

Well a much better exhibition by the V&A than Tzar one. Educational, truly magnificent and well presented. From the iPod touch used for the audio tour (still an additional cost of £3.95!) to the opening item that explains how the style got its name. Well done!

So Baroque is names after a mis-shapen pearl - andits a well named style- from Rubens women to the flowing acanthus leaf decorations, the rounded organic shapes and intricate music abound. Any art form seems to have adopted the sumptuous forms of Baroque and this large and well planned exhibition show off the objects, their spread across both the western and eastern worlds and the variety of materials used.

Finally V&A a truly magnificent exhibition.

4 April - 19 July 2009
Exhibitions, Rooms 38, 39 and North Court
£11 Adults, £ 9 Seniors, £ 6 Students, 12-17 yrs, ES40 Holders

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Real World events

Well what a week - I have my Visa for Australia and I am off to pastures new on the 16th April. And not a moment too soon it seems.... Apart from being with GAB I might stand a chance of getting some work.

Agencies are not exactly beating down my door this time round as I stare 'end of contract' date in the throat! A first in my expereince so I hope Melbourne treats me kinder. The GFC hits (Global Financial Crisis! not Geelong Football Club!).

Coming up on an important 2 year anniversary; had a mini-celebration early of that in SL....

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Gadget Envy

It's that time of the month (some would say week) when I want a new gadget. Or at least fill my spare time comparing. So Nokia E71 or iPhone? OR do I try forcing Android onto my HTC Touch WinMo? Or just sort out my iPod 5G to talk to the Advent! (OK a freind got a E71 and its dead sexy!)

Certainly the last needs to be addressed and an iPod backer-upper looks a good idea (TY Mr GAB!) So thats task 1.

With a (Oh God I have everything crossed) move to the other side of the world a possibility should I be looking at phone tariffs and the tech they offer. iPhone are improving but I actually think I like the keyboard rather than touch screen - and i am not an Apple fan - So GAB; prepare to see a E71 in my grubby little hand at some point!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Cognitive Linguistics

A cognitive linguist by the name of George Lakoff has done some fascinating (and no doubt grueling) empirical work on metaphors in English literature. He has shown, for example, that we often conceive of the abstract in terms of the concrete: anger is an overheated fluid in a sealed vessel, emotional states are locations, relationships are repeatedly portrayed as journeys in a shared vehicle, and fascinatingly, we don’t just talk about things in this way, we may also reason using these metaphors.

Plagiarised from 'Bad Science'
hence 'Looking California but feeling Minnesota' . The name comes from the Soundgarden song "Outshined" from the album Badmotorfinger (Don;t you just love Wikipedia)


Since I have to pick mine up and shift it 10,000 miles I have been pruning, planting and weeding mine somewhat; including considering a vaguely different climate! Finally some sensible help came along with this website
Full of useful advice, nice pictures and local info (well near as dammit!)

raison d'ĂȘtre

No not a mis-spelling of raisins - the 'reason to be' of this website.... For a while there I thought I had lost my way - was this about technology or Second Life or my life. Well actually (apparently/ allegedly) its about the inter-connectivity of all things. Particularly those linked by tech.

So games and web sites, gadgets and the effect they have on my life; and the effect they have on the lives of others. Is my scope to wide? Who cares.

So this badly spelled and gramarised site will continue as my online diary and record of my electronic life. Interspersed of course with organic world experiences!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Well this is the beast I have gone for - more chiuaua than pitbull.

The 4213 has all the features of other Netbooks, but with the added benefit of an embedded sim, so connects to mobile broadband without the need for a dongle.
Intel Atom N270Processor - Energy efficient
(1.6GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512MB cache)
Genuine Windows(R) XP Home
Memory & storage - 1GB Memory & 160GB HDD
Portable - 10.2" Widescreen Display & 1.4KG
The Ultimate mobile broadband solution! I will let you know!

Friday, 6 March 2009


Since my laptop imploded and my joy with 'blinkenlight' and pokenfinger und mittengrabbed has paled. I have been looking at getting a netbook as a replacement. The reasons are manyfold - not only that I like a small machine that works with a girly bag!
  • I am not so enamoured of Vista that I could not retreat back to XP....
  • Using Linux - but unsure as to its support of my phone syncing etc.
  • That my PC is generally a link to mail and skype and connections rather than a gaming machine
  • Will I get WOW on it - do I care??
So - gonna get myself a Advent 4213 Netbook - 1Gb RAM, 160Gb HD running XP - the sim card from the dongle goes directly into the machine, its got wireless (my library is a free hotspot - HGIT!) - Having grabed most of my fav software for the crappy lappy I am ready to install and prune Windows as I want it.

And TBH - the joy of a new machine; shiney and with a pristine HD....

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

And thats enough of that....

No more Koala's for a while - back to our regularly scheduled Technology gripes.

So just as the Dongle is performing to maximum capacity; First my WoW account runs out of pennies and I am too poor (at the time) to pay for another month... and just as I am about to lay my £8.99 down - my laptop implodes.

Well not literally but the monitor is not talking to the rest of the beast. So its a manual and a screwdriver but.... the manual is a pdf.... on the web... that I cannot access because I cannot see my screen......grrrrrrrrr.

Right borrowed a laptop - put manual on USB key at the library (from whence I am writing this - good huh!) and now off home to hit laptop (mine) with a bigger hammer.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Here is a koala near the town of Ballarat, escaping the Victorian bushfires. She is climbing into a stored commode hanging in a shed.

Well new fires are threatening central Victoria.... Lets pray for rain.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Koala swims

Koala comes from an aboriginal word meaning 'drinks little' - now the Australian Environment Minister is looking for a nice aboriginal word that means 'frequently seen drinking Evian' to correct this mis-naming. (This is a joke!)

In response to a request - Koala's don't really swim but can float a bit - see video here!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Magnificence of the Tsars - Exhibition

I am a bit confused by this - the name and the exhibition overall. Firstly, well yes some of the clothes were magnificent - and some were very plain too, many were army uniforms of the Tsars.

Yes the liveries of the Heralds and coachmen were amazing - perhaps some detail on the workmanship that made these ribbon bedecked jackets and elaborate velvet tabards would have padded out our sense of 'how and why?'

I am even less sure of who the exhibition is aimed at - my sense as I came away was - did the Moscow Armouries send a few spare articles over and the V&A have to display them? The timeline seemed fairly narrow - 1720 to 1918. Were they trying to tell us something about the last years of the Russian Ewmpire; what led to the revolution? Certainly of the Emperors covered 3 were assainated - historically that puts the deaths of Nicholas II and his family in context. Would schoolchildren have that sense of history? Would fashion students care? Were all those yards of ribbon machine made? Help me V&A I need to know!

Perhaps the very fact that I am so full of questions is what the curator wanted?

Well here are a few more; the V&A holds a huge collection of decorative artifacts - could they not have displayed the 'magnificence of the Tzars with a few more of these? As usual the fashion gallery was hot and close - I went to the Supreames costume exhibition there (and that was a faultless display!) and because of the location and the lack of real educational benefit of the 'Magnificence of the Tzars' could not wait to leave!

OR - got to the V&A web site and save yourself the cost of a ticket

The Magnificence of the Emperors: From The Moscow Kremlin Museums Collection is on at the V&A from 10 December 2008 to 29 March 2009

No it doesn't - Koalas part 2

Posting pictures of Koala's does not increase your traffic - but in case it does here is another of the cutest beasties on earth.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Running (is that me?)

OK so I may not be keeping to my Mon, Wed & Fri sessions on the treadmill (could forgetting towels by a psychosomatic reaction!) but 3 sessions a week of 30 mins exercise is definitely improving my stair climbing stamina! So what the doc's say is true - I only hope I will one day run 5K on a road!

Cute vs serious news

Anyone watching the recent bushfires in the Australian state of Victoria cannot help but be affected by the terrible loss of life and lives (houses, businesses etc) and today we hear of the first firefighter to die. But we all know that most people will shrug and get on with their own concerns. But the more acceptable face of all this tragedy:

'A koala bear has become an internet sensation after an Australian firefighter stopped to share a bottle of water with the stricken animal, burnt by the Victorian Bush Fire. Photographs of the scene were broadcast around the world by most news agencies. Sam, as the koala has been named, even has her own account on Facebook now where people can sign up to become her friend.'

Sam has raised awareness of this tragedy as no other picture could. Strange world huh!

If you would like to help - go here:

Friday, 13 February 2009

TREO 680

Time to give some feedback on the Treo - which replaced my HTC 'delicate' (a great little machine but not for being kept in a handbag!). As usual I wanted a do everything PDA with phone capabilities. Since the Treo has a similar sized screen to the ipod - its fine for photos and videos.... I have a 6gb transflach card so memory is not a problem. Also it has a reasonable music player, comes with Audiable mobile and eReader. I have lots of books in MobiPocket format and the Treo runs both readers well. Web access is good and with a Java virtual machine runs Google maps.

However, its taken me months to get Versamail (the included email app) to work adequately with Gmail. The one drawback of a Treo being that Google does not support the Palm OS.

Now if Only I could play WoW on it I could replace my dodgey laptop!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


With Amazon releasing a newer Kindle in the US - will eBooks kill off paper?

Probably not - although I read books on my Palm Treo 680 - both in eReader and Mobipocket form (in fact Mobipocket do a converter for txt and html files - so anything available on the web can be converted to an ebook!) I love being able to carry a reference library in my pocket, perhaps search is not as good as an index but at a pinch its fine. I like having 15 novels available from Austen to Conan Doyle to the latest Harlequin romance if I feel like it - not the one kilo tome I thought I might dip into.

But ultimately I want reference books and my favourite novels in paper format - graphs and pictures are never the same on electronic devices; notations in margins and post its will take some replacing..... it might be easier to cut and past your quote from an electronic document - but there is something about flipping pages for that elusive paragraph; re-reading your favourite scene; reading in the bath!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Couch to 5k

Well now I am back on my feet I am hoping to get back to running. So, joined the gym at work and starting on the interval training programme offered by 'Couch to 5K' with supportive podcasts (and some very nice trendy music) the podcasts are by an American whose honeyed tones really help without being intrusive.

Yes, I am running on the treadmill to start. Why? well firstly the weather in London right now is not conducive to outside running. secondly - interval training makes you look a bit dorky (OK a lot dorky) and thirdly - I am unfit and need both a heart monitor and something to control my pace. The treadmill does that at least for the first 3-4 weeks of training.

And once I feel happy with weather, my pace and stamina - its onto the roads of London. Walkrunjog can help you plan your route anywhere in the world - or show you routes others use...

I feel I might be setting up some walks as well using this great mash-up!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Avatar Abuse
Hmm should you be able to Trade Mark yourself to prevent avatar abuse????? I mean I have no particular thoughts about Peter Mandleson; well i know you can get a Brad Pitt or a Princess Di avatar and abuse them - quite literally - to your hearts content. I suppose seeing in done by a(dare I call the Daily Mail a newspaper) tabloid is hardly news and actually mildly amusing - given the scope of places to go in SL they could have got him into a lot more sticky situations.

But how would I feel if it were me - best left unthought of; but then I am not famous and therefore not public property. If you want to get your boyfriend to dress as Indiana Jones, someone from Stargate or indeed Captain Kirk that's your business - but if you wanted to mis-represent a politician in a public forum? surely that's grounds for legal action??

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

new Year, New life

Welcome to 2009 - 2008 was such a weird year, a year of parts...... lets hope 2009 is the same but overall better. So the first half - I think - will be organised and form filling. the second part will be sunny and loving and the third part - I will change my name for!