• Personal

    Running for Office

    I may have mentioned here before that I was nominated to serve on the UQ Academic Board. I just got the ballot papers, and there were 10 candidates for the 7 positions, and in the picking of the names out of the hat my name was placed first on the…

  • Politics - Teaching

    Education For What?

    I just attended a very interesting presentation with the above title. The four presenters each looked at the question from a different perspective, including a very interesting one from a guy who used to head up UNESCO’s education efforts all around the world, and a case study of Singapore and…

  • Politics

    Don’t Lie

    Current traffic safety campaign, with TV ads and billboards, is focused on the slogan ‘Every k over is a killer’. Which is basically crap. Sure, speeding is dangerous and all that – but are they seriously saying that a crash at the speed limit of 100 km/h won’t kill you…

  • Religion - Reviews

    Metal and Religion

    I listen to metal radio stations on the net, and read metal magazines and web sites, and what I see is that religious/Christian bands are just included in the mix and treated like everyone else. And I really don’t see that in mainstream pop or mainstream radio, where Christian music…

  • Personal

    First Of Many

    First swim in our pool this afternoon. The day was maybe 27, and we’d played tennis, so we went and hung our feet in the pool to cool off. After the initial shock we decided that it was warm enough for a swim, so we jumped in. Pretty breath-taking just…

  • Musings

    The Long Goodbye

    For a generally pretty mellow guy (see the whole ‘not pressing the close door button in the elevator’ thing), there’s one tradition in Australia1 that I’m still not comfortable with: the long goodbye. That is, when you’re enjoying a social evening at someone’s place, and you say ‘OK, goodnight, we’d…

  • Teaching

    Thinking Like A Middle School Teacher

    Yesterday was the Ipswich campus Open Day, and as part of that I was asked to do a couple of presentations (well, the same presentation a couple of times!) on a topic something like ‘The Middle Years – unique challenges’. That’s about all the guidance I got, so I decided…

  • Teaching

    Our Own Worst Enemies

    So as a favour to a colleague I did a 15 minute presentation yesterday extolling the virtues of teaching in general and our teacher education program in particular to 50 or so Year 9 students at the Ipswich campus. Went well, I think, although I’d love to have had a…

  • Bike Stuff

    That B%@$#& SMIDSY

    Who is SMIDSY? It’s an acronym for the most common thing Australian motorcyclists hear after they’ve been knocked off their bikes by a car: Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You. Well meant, but not much consolation with a broken leg and a bent bike (or worse). It’s up to car…

  • Poetry


    Jintishi is a Chinese form of poetry from the Tang dynasty. Here are a couple of examples, with translations: ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ???????? Our host brings wine, for merry-making tonight; And bids the guest from Guangling, to play upon the zither; Moonlight bathes the…

  • General


    One of the challenges when I’ve been blogging for this long and have written this many posts (over 600) is that ideas have already been used. Had the idea for a post about horror movies as a reaction to current social conditions in the world, but then there was an…

  • Reviews

    How Do You Know A Movie Will Be Lame?

    (this one might be interesting for Zaak, who I know is a movie nut and has likely thought about it!) What features of a movie indicate to you early on that it’s going to be a waste of your time and you’re going to want your time and money back?…

  • General

    Comments and Conversations

    Part of my whole new ‘not living so much of my life on the net’ push has meant that I’ve been a bit slack about following up to people’s comments on posts here – which I’m sorry about, ‘cos the discussion is an important part of the Total Blogging ExperienceTM.…

  • Reviews

    Getting My Metal On

    (heh, when I used that phrase in front of the kids they were horrified, so this is for them) A student in my class this semester, Regan, happened to know I like the heavy music, and was thoughtful enough to give me a flyer for a concert last night. His…

  • Poetry

    Caution: Poets At Work

    A thread I started at the William Gibson Board that involves writing poetry to order within certain rules. Lots of cool and fun stuff so far: http://williamgibsonboard.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/2866012481/m/2671022652

  • General


    Working on pulling together a research project on biotechnology education that will be worth over half a million dollars over four years… but I just can’t help noticing that ‘biotech’ is only one letter away from ‘biotch’.

  • Philosophy - Teaching

    Perry, Idiots and Stages of Thinking

    (OK, this is another ‘not really about bikes, honest!’ post) So I started a thread on the Netriders forum about how riders should respond to people who do stupid and dangerous things on their bikes, like overtaking over double lines around blind corners or over the crest of a hill.…

  • Bike Stuff

    Tools Of The Trade

    Been hanging out a bit lately at the Netrider forums, an Australian motorcyclists’ discussion site. I’m trying to go easy on bike-related posts here, so this isn’t really one… it’s just to share a couple of humorous signature lines from there in relation to tools: The only two tools you…

  • Religion


    Went to a new church yesterday – one that it’s possible might become our new church home. Met some very good friends who we hadn’t seen for 15 years, since Cassie was a newborn baby, and went to their place for lunch. They’ve lived in the UK for a couple…