Friday, 28 November 2014

Weekend Joy

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Rape Culture at the University of Virginia

A harrowing read.

"They burble about UVA's honor code, a solemn pledge not to lie, cheat or steal; students are expected to snitch on violators, who are expelled. UVA's emphasis on honor is so pronounced that since 1998, 183 people have been expelled for honor-code violations such as cheating on exams. And yet paradoxically, not a single student at UVA has ever been expelled for sexual assault.
"Think about it," says Susan Russell, whose UVA daughter's sexual-assault report helped trigger a previous federal investigation. "In what world do you get kicked out for cheating, but if you rape someone, you can stay?"


Never run in a neighbourhood

The current upheaval in Ferguson brought to mind Trayvon Martin. Stumbled upon this and it stayed with me.

"Today I read about Trayvon trying his best not to run when he thought Zimmerman was hounding him. A friend says she was on the phone with Trayvon before he died, and that’s the account she gives. I don’t know Trayvon’s momma. But it seems she likely had the same proverb for her son that I had for mine. “Never run in a neighborhood.”

My son broke that rule when he was 7. He was Scouting for Food with the Cub Scouts on a service project in Buckhead, a posh McMansion neighborhood in Atlanta. Before I could stop him, he was running across the lawn of a mansion with the other little boys in blue uniforms. My scream stopped him in his tracks. I wasn’t so scared about him running just then. I was terrified that he’d forgotten the rules. I was terrified that he’d be with his white friends eight years from then and think he could run."

Article here.

Cannot imagine having to warn my kids against running in public, or running while carrying something in their hands.

See also: The 'Rules' African American Parents Follow

Friday, 21 November 2014

How top colleges figured out how to turn away Jews

"...For the years learning up to the early 1920s, the Jewish population at Yale was steadily increasing. The Yale administration first tried to limit the scholarship money available to Jewish students and, when that failed to deliver the desired results, they decided to require more than just an excellent admissions exam score to secure entrance to the freshman class. Yale, Karabel explained, insisted that would-be matriculants be of a certain "personality and character" consistent with whatever arbitrary requirements the admissions board deemed relevant..."

Oy Vey

Speaking two languages is better for your brain than Sudoku

"Bilingualism, or the brain’s ability to accommodate two languages, means your brain is perpetually working to tune out one messaging system. When someone can think equally well in more than one set of words, your cognition skills sharpen."

Read here.

Scribbler Joy - Picturebook Makers

Just stumbled upon Picturebook Makers courtesy of Shaun Tan, one of my favourite author/scribblers.

Discover how these author/scribblers dreamed up their picturebooks.

Tree House Love

First spotted this awesome book in all its GIANT glory in a bookstore in Shanghai.  3.3 kgs, 27cm x 3.3cm x 34cm (7.2 pounds, 10.5 x 1.3 x 13.4 inches), full of wonderful tree houses from around the world. Figured I'd wait until I moved home to Melb before getting this beast of a book delivered to me. Birthday looming... I think it might be time *rubbing hands together gleefully*

Giant book joy

Antibacterial frenzy

Nuts how I have to dig around a supermarket shelf and read labels carefully to find soaps and other household cleaners that are not antibacterial. 5-6 shelves, full of antibacterial this, that and everything.

Just saw an ad on TV yesterday for antibacterial wall paint. Sheesh!

FIve reasons why you should probably stop using antibacterial soap

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Let's all go outside and roll around in dirt

"Although correlations have been noted between the composition of the gut microbiome and behavioural conditions, especially autism1, neuroscientists are only now starting to understand how gut bacteria may influence the brain. The immune system almost certainly plays a part, Mazmanian says, as does the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the digestive tract."

Gut-brain link grabs neuroscientists

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Tiny Home Love

I would love to park this by the beach and chill-out for a month or so.

$22,000 mortgage-free home

Scientists Use Wikipedia to Predict Disease Outbreaks

"...researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, examining three years' worth of Wikipedia data such as searches for symptoms or diagnoses, managed to create very accurate forecasts of the spread of dengue fever in Brazil and influenza in the U.S., Japan, Poland and Thailand.
They were also able to make predictions, although less accurate ones, of outbreaks of tuberculosis in Thailand and China and of the spread of dengue fever in Thailand, the researchers reported in the journal PLOS Computational Biology."

Read here

Why I have been away

They're a little older now, but here are a couple of favourite pics from not terribly long ago (though it feels like waaaaay back when).

Big Sister

Little Brother

Sweeping Cobwebs Away

4.5 years and 2 kids later, I'm back sweeping away cobwebs as I tentatively revive this blog. The kids are a little older, things are somewhat calmer, and I am in the right headspace again to do this.

Here we go.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


Great love.

Our little Tiger keeps us rather busy these days.

My feeds will still be updated now and again.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Australian Internet Censorship Fail

Funny viral video Censordyne: good, clean internet censorship

Sign the petition against internet censorship in Oz.

More information on Censordyne.

From the folks at GetUp!

"Imagine a government proposing an internet censorship system that went further than any other democracy - one that made the internet up to 87% slower, more expensive, accidentally blocked up to one in 12 legitimate sites, and missed the vast majority of inappropriate content.

This is not China, Saudi Arabia or Iran - this is the vision of Senator Stephen Conroy for Australia. Testing has already begun. The community must now move to stop this plan. Click here to save the net:

The system that Senator Conroy wants is a mandatory filter of all internet traffic, with the government of the day able to add any unwanted site to a secret blacklist. Already, the wrangling has begun for the inclusion of material relating to anorexia, euthanasia and gambling. It isn't difficult to see the scheme is open to abuse.

Even when it comes to preventing child p-rnography, the filter will not prevent peer-to-peer sharing and is very simple to sidestep. The protection of our children is vitally important - that's why we can't afford to waste funds on this deeply flawed system. We should be concentrating on solutions that are more effective and won't undermine our digital economy or our democratic freedoms.

This must rank as one of the most ill-thought decisions of the Rudd Government's first year in power. We need to act now to tell big brother the mandatory internet filter is incompatible with the principles of a modern democracy and modern economy:

Our government should be doing all in its power to take Australia into the 21st century economy, and to protect our children. This proposed internet censorship does neither. Take action to save the net today.

Thanks for being a part of the solution,
The GetUp team

PS - The proposed scheme will pass all internet traffic through a government filter - it's like asking Australia Post to filter every letter sent in Australia. Click here to save the net.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Inspirational Women Scientists

Rather sad that most of these names are not commonly known.

1. Marie Curie 1867-1934

Physicist who was the first European woman to be awarded a doctorate in science. Won a share of two Nobel prizes for her work on radioactivity (25.1% of the vote)

2. Rosalind Franklin 1920-1958

Chemist who did much of the groundwork for James Watson and Francis Crick's Nobel prize-winning discovery of the structure of DNA (14.2%)

3. Hypatia of Alexandria 370-415

Wrote treatises on geometry, algebra and astronomy in Roman Alexandria. A staunch critic of religion, she was murdered by a Christian mob (9.4%)

4. Jocelyn Bell Burnell 1943-

Astrophysicist who co-discovered pulsars as a research student. Her male colleagues won the Nobel prize for the discovery (4.7%)

5. Ada, Countess Lovelace 1815-1852

Made major theoretical contributions to Charles Babbage's early work on computing (4.5%)

6. Lise Meitner 1878-1968

Co-discoverer of nuclear fission, for which her colleague Otto Hahn won the Nobel prize (4.4%)

7. Dorothy Hodgkin 1910-1994

Chemist who perfected the technique of X-ray diffraction. Won the Nobel prize in 1964 (3.8%)

8. Sophie Germain 1776-1831

Mathematician who made great progress on Fermat's last theorem, then unsolved (3.7%)

9. Rachel Carson 1907-1964

Biologist and writer, best known for Silent Spring, the book that launched the modern environmental movement (3.3%)

10. Jane Goodall 1934-

Primatologist, passionate advocate of animal rights and global leader of efforts to protect wild apes (2.7%)


Courtesy of @guykawasaki

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Phenomenal photos of Earth from space

"This spectacular “blue marble” image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. "

"This is one of the most famous photographs ever taken. It was captured by NASA astronaut Bill Anders as Apollo 8 was orbiting the Moon. This was the first time that humans had ever gone into orbit around another object in the Solar System. Seeing the entire Earth as a tiny ball hanging in space was nothing short of life changing."

This is a photograph of Tokyo, Japan - the biggest city in the world - imaged by International Space Station astronaut Dan Tani on February 5, 2008. The brightest part of the city is the center, with ribbons of light stretching out of the city center following roads and public transit routes.

"South of Khartoum, Sudan, where the White and Blue Nile Rivers join, a dizzying arrangement of irrigated fields stretches out across the state of El Gezira. The several bare-looking patches are small villages. This image was captured by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite on December 25, 2006."

"...houses and streets in bustling Las Vegas, Nevada are seen in this image from the commercial IKONOS satellite taken in September of 2004."

View them all here.

Courtesy of @guykawasaki

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Delicious, clean, and distinctive flavours. Vegetarian dining, friendly service, good music (mostly), tranquil ambiance complete with old clocks with old-school chimes on the quarter hour, wifi and Non-Smoking! I have found my new haunt in Shanghai.

Kazu, a lovely Japanese lass, and Fela, a friendly Pommy lad, and chef Sayaka, opened Annamaya approximately one week ago.

I have, over two visits, enjoyed the quiche with salad, and the Japanese set with cold soba noodles (delish) and onagiri (rice ball jobbies - also delish). Interesting, vaguely unidentifiable, tasty soups were served in beautiful ceramic mugs and bowls . Yummy blends of fresh juices on offer include pear and green leaf, and carrot, apple and ginger. The Earl Grey tea cake is divine and reminiscent of the best cake I have savoured in life to date - the poppyseed cake at Blue Elephant, Prahran, Victoria, Oz circa 1994. I will soon sample the apple pie, and ginger scones (3 scones for RMB15), and maybe even the eyebrow-raising tofu cheesecake (hmmm...). Lunch set RMB50, dinner set RMB70. Cakes RMB30, tea RMB25, juices RMB35.

I am a big fan of the larger tables for spreading out laptops, books and what not (during quieter times).

A great place to park and read or scribble.

Thank you Kazu, Fela, and Sayaka for this wonderful oasis in Shanghai.

3 Taojiang Lu.
6433 4602
11:00am - late.
annamaya shanghai healthy vegetarian restaurant shanghai nonsmoking non-smoking restaurant shanghai