• General

    Refuse, Resist

    Something I wrote elsewhere today and wanted to share: There was real hope around the turn of the millenium, too, … and then Mr Bush and Mr Bin Laden got together and f***ed it all up. I was just thinking this morning that we’re in this weird situation where for…

  • General


    …captures the words used in a body of text and makes the most frequently used ones bigger. Here’s a Wordle for this blog:

  • General

    The Second-biggest Size

    This is a great conference, but it’s very intense and you see the same people all day every day. And the campus is way out in the bush, so there’s nowhere convenient to escape to. We got a little stir-crazy by this afternoon and decided to go for a walk…

  • Teaching

    Teachers and Teaching

    (d’oh! had this one as a draft but no web access in Townsville a couple of weeks ago, and so just discovered it in the Draft box and realised I’d never published it. Hope the content is still interesting) I’ve been away from home this week conducting a research study…

  • General

    Frankie Says ‘Relax’

    Did my presentation, which I enjoyed a lot and seemed to be well received, and finished a good first draft of a grant application as well. With the workshop also over, my formal commitments at the conference are complete and I can focus on partying learning and making professional connections.

  • General

    PZ Myers – Decent Human Being

    This post will be irrelevant to you if you’re not up to speed on the Rebecca Watson – Richard Dawkins kerfuffle. If you’re in the blogosphere at all – or even read a decent newspaper – though, you have probably heard something about it. This is PZ riffing on the…

  • Religion

    Religious Stuff

    http://www.alternet.org/belief/151539/5_faulty_arguments_religious_people_use_against_atheists_%28debunked%29/?page=entire It’d be nice if everyone, on all sides, could show more respect for other viewpoints and more respect for the truth. It’s what I increasingly come to: I’m not advocating for or against any particular view, I’m advocating for truth and honesty. By all means disagree with someone, but…

  • General


    I’m at Bryant University an undisclosed location in Rhode Island for the Gordon Research Conference on Visualization in Science and Education. The rules of the Gordon Conferences are very strict, and say that no quotes, photos, papers or information about what is discussed at the conference can be shared. I…

  • General


    Casper was the cat we had to leave behind in Canada when we returned to Australia (we looked into it, but quarantine costs were prohibitive). He went to the Adamses first, but allergies meant he had to move on. Then he want to the Sirdars, but after a pretty major…

  • General


    Our first home in Edmonton: the townhouse at 886 Erin Place. Our home away from home when we lived in Erin Place: West Edmonton Mall. Our second (and final) Edmonton home: Centurion (sic) Towers. We lived on the 13th floor. Oliver School/Nellie McClung: the school Cassie and Alex spent most…

  • General

    Presentation Success, Photography Fail

    Presented at the U of A yesterday, and had a great time. I’d expected an almost empty room since it’s summer holidays here, but ended up with a full one. A great mix of old friends and new faces. Sitting in a circle, in a room I’ve taught in many…

  • General

    Ooops – dang!

    Got an email to say one of my courses started yesterday without me… I didn’t realise that Ipswich classes were starting 3 weeks before St Lucia classes. I need to do something about the class for next week, because I won’t be back. I only get 9 weeks with these…

  • General

    Kind Hearts and Gentle People

    Had dinner last night at the lovely home, out in the country, of my friend and colleague Brian Martin. It was great to drive out into the prairies, and everything is lush and green at the moment. I was almost tempted to head on out to Elk Island park, which…

  • General

    The Quest for the Energetic Electrons

    Frustrating morning. Woke up at 4 am to do some work – probably unsurprising because Lisbon is 7 time zones earlier than Edmonton. Unfortunately, both my laptop and my phone had dead flat batteries from the trip, and I didn’t have a North American power adapter with me. Headed out…

  • General

    Short Thought: Holiday Snaps

    Nothing too profound, but I realised digital photography and the web have changed the meaning and purpose of holiday snaps. In the olden days you had to take the photos home, get them developed, then a few weeks later bore everyone rigid with a slidshow or a deck of pics.…