• General

    Next Few Days’ Topics

    (just so I don’t forget ’em)(in no particular order) Riverfire and Guilt Hanny’s Voorwerp Swimming in a Rich Soup of Allusions Nannying vs Supporting Ascription Errors Plus it’s definitely past time for some more poetry

  • Science Stuff

    Space is closer than the Gold Coast

    It takes about an hour and a half from our place to drive to the beach at Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast south of Brisbane. The route is a bit convoluted, and includes some areas with low speed limits, but the distance as the crow flies is probably around…

  • Politics

    America has lost its way in the world

    That’s the view of former Australian Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, anyway: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/america-has-lost-its-way-in-the-world-20080828-44zk.html?page=-1 I have a huge amount of respect for the guy and his understanding of the world, as well as his compassion. He is everything that is right and good about conservatism… something we’ve seen far too little…

  • Philosophy - Teaching

    Kieran Egan Makes Me Think (Again)

    Kieran Egan is a Canadian educator who has written a lot about the importance of play, storytelling and imagination in education. I’ve been reading his stuff and enjoying it for nearly 20 years now. Just reading a little bit from one of his books today, I was struck by this…

  • Politics - Teaching

    How Disappointing

    I’d hoped we’d see a significant change in policy with the new government, away from the emphasis on poor measures of quality and a punitive approach to education policy. But the headlines in the past couple of days haven’t been reassuring: PM outlines system to compare school performance PM ties…

  • General

    Reading and Feeding

    I suspect one of the reasons the blogging has slowed down is that I’ve been spending more time messing about on web forums and less time reading. In particular, less time reading good non-fiction that sparks ideas to write about. The ‘Vultures’ story from a couple of days ago was…

  • Religion

    Worship Music

    I’ve already ranted about this general topic a couple of years ago1 but standing in church this week made me think of it again. I realised that Christian ‘worship music’ has wandered off into a separate little evolutionary niche of its own, and is really disconnected from anything else that’s…

  • Personal

    Still No News

    So, it’s two weeks since I did the job seminar for the job I applied for, and tomorrow it will be two weeks since the interview. I’d pretty much given up after a couple of days, but then a colleague who had recently got a job at the same place…

  • Science Stuff

    Vultures, Diclofenac and Human Rabies

    One of those ‘unintended consequences’ things. Possibly as many as 50,000 people in India may have died of rabies… and the cause is a medicine given to cows. Diclofenac is a veterinary drug given to cows. Obviously it’s good for cows, but when they die, and vultures eat the carcasses,…

  • General

    Jinxed Meself

    I was thinking on the way home today “Cool, I don’t have any speeding fines at all on the bike”. Guess what was waiting in the mail when I got home?

  • Bike Stuff

    Baby Bandit

    Still kind of desultorily looking around for a bike for Suzie. We can’t really afford one just yet, but if we move house (if the new job comes through – still no news) it might make her commute a lot easier. Besides, it’s fun to look. She has to ride…

  • General

    1000 Posts!

    Heh, didn’t even notice it go by! I was thinking about writing a post about the fact that I must be getting pretty close to my 1000th post on this blog. Came to check where I was up to and discovered that this will be Post 1002 – the rather…

  • General

    Reality of Online Friendships

    Went to one of three workshops promoting our textbook series last night (they look pretty darn impressive when you see them presented like that!) I mainly went as a chance to catch up with the editor, Rachel, and my co-author, Greg. When I met Greg we shook hands and he…

  • General

    Bufly Vampire Slayor

    So, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Joss Whedon made a trailer for an animated version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I watched it on YouTube, and it was pretty cool. But the illiterate or careless (or, who knows, with English as a second language and…

  • General

    Orwell on Dickens

    ‘He is laughing, with a touch of anger in his laughter, but no triumph, no malignity. It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry — in…

  • Musings

    Language Wrong, Right and Flexible

    Ate some KFC today. (That smell is so powerful at making you forget how evil the food is until you start trying to eat it.) On the wrapper it said something about the taste, and then “It’s the business”. And I died a little inside. It’s like a dad (or…

  • Personal

    Of Course

    Yesterday I lost quite a bit of money on the stock market, because the prices of the shares I owned temporarily dropped so low that my broker closed all my positions (sold the shares at large losses). And today, naturally, the market posted its largest single day rise in 4…

  • Personal

    Screw You Guys, I’m Goin’ Home!

    (please pardon the mild profanity of the title – the line is from South Park, which is usually… much less mildly profane) Cartman generally says this when he gets tired of his friends’ actions. Not sure what we did to annoy Kai (the new little puppy, who is now about…

  • General

    Smart People

    No, not the recent movie of the same name, which I haven’t seen but which doesn’t sound that interesting to me. No, I watched a 50th birthday special on Stephen Fry last night. (It’s available on YouTube and is called ’50 Not Out’ if you’re interested – be warned that…