Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Month of Living Free

Recent discussions with friends have left me wondering about my own consumerist ways. Am I one of those "addicted to spending" types? Lately I feel like I have been whipping out my eftpos card everyday, mindlessly spending money on crap.
And then the flip side hit me too. How much energy does is take to produce, package and transport all the crap I buy that I don't need.
I am an environmental nightmare. Sure I recycle, but doesn't everyone? I see all the blue bins out on Thursdays so I can assume my neighbours are doing it too. But wouldn't it be better to not consume as much in the first place?

And so starts my experiment.

One month. No buying anything, with the exception of the weekly groceries.

So November is my anti-consumerism pro-enviroment month. I will not buy any lunches, soft drinks or coffees. No DVDs, books or DVD rentals. No takeaways or restaurant meals. NO PETROL. I will be buying a bus ticket.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bats for lashes - Video Review

I first saw this video at the end of nightline of all places a few months ago (remember when Marcus Lush was on nightline and you actually made a point of watching it, because even though it was three news, it was awesome!)
I love the song, stripped back drums and percussion and judicious use of hand clap! Speaking of handclaps the BMX riders in their animal heads (very donny darko I suppose though that seems to obvious comparison) are eerie and ambiguous. I think video is very clever and almost hypnotic when combined with such a haunting song.
A very Easy 9/10

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I want to pay for this song!

Hi folks,

Right now I am sitting at my computer waiting for the digirama software to install before I can purchase any music from them.

Yep the minutes are ticking by......

I could have already downloaded a whole album illegally by now and be listening to it on winamp.
They make it so hard to buy music off the internet its no wonder everyone just does the illegal download. Its a lot easier.

But I love to support kiwi music, I buy it, I insist my friends buy it too. So I'm trying to download your single Exiles, and I'm even going to pay $1.75 for it. If the software ever finishes installing.

Which by the way is quite a violation. I don't want digirama software on my computer! I just want your awesome single on a CD and in my car!

I even tried itunes, but the site was down.

oh look its finished installing!

but guess what

i still cant download the music from the store, the software is crap


I need to install additional plugins?

okay what are they ?

WTF windows media player 11??????? I don't want that!!!!!! it breaks everything I HATE IT.

Just give me my mp3!!!!


FTS !! Iwant that 20 minutes of my life back! OMG!

someone start a torrent, I'll be there with bells on.

Biology Lessons - Digestion

The first stage of digestion occurs in the mouth. Mastication (chewing) breaks up the food into smaller pieces giving it a larger surface area for enzymes to work on, warms the food and moistens it with saliva. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase which begins the process of carbohydrate digestion. The food is then worked into a bollus (a small amount of food that can be comfortably swallowed) and the propelled down the oesophagus by peristalsis (rhythmic contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract) and into the stomach.

The stomach acts as a churn mixing the food with gastric acids into a milky substance called chyme. The gastric acid lowers the pH of the stomach which activates the enzyme pepsin. Pepsin digests proteins breaking the links between amino acids.

Most digestion occurs in the duodenum but only small amounts can digested at anyone time. Small amounts of chyme are released from the stomach to the duodenum enzymes from the pancreas and gall bladder are added to the mix and the pH of the chyme increases to about pH 8. (i.e. the stomach acids are neutralised)

Gall bladder:
The gallbladder is a holding pouch for bile(produced by the liver). Bile works to aid digestion of fats (but note that bile contains no enzymes). Bile binds to fats to allow them to dissolve in the watery contents of the small intestine. This is called emulsification. Bile also helps neutralise the the stomach acids and raise the pH.

The pancreas actually has many functions, it produces digestive enzymes (for carbohydrates proteins and fats) but also produces insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. It also produces chemicals to neutralise stomach acids.

This is the second part of the small intestine (after the duodenum) digestion is still occurring and nutrient absorption begins. The small intestine has lots of small folds and villi (sometimes referred to as the brush border) which increase its surface area allowing a lot of absorption.

The third and last part of the small intestine is responsible for some very selective nutrient absorption such as vitamin C and B12. By the end of the small intestine most nutrients have been absorbed and mostly waste products and water enter the large intestine.

Large intestine (Colon) :
Here bacteria in the colon help with any remaining digestion of food (unfortunately bacteria digestion can produce some gaseous by products) . The mucosa of the colon has amazing absorption powers and water is recovered from the stool. Waste and gases are eliminated through the anus.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Top ten movies with female leads then..

Some of you have you may have read Natalie's post on Warner brothers deciding to no longer produce movies with female leads. It has inspired me to try create a top ten list of movies with female leads. I expect you all to help! Heres a few to get us going.

1. Monster - Charlize Theron
Yes chicks can be serial killers too.

2. The Aliens Movies - Sigourney Weaver
Women can save themselves and kill the big bad!
The first Alien movie was made in 1979 and was kinda groundbreaking. The writers had used unisex names for all the characters so casting could be completely flexible, but they never imagined a female in the lead role.

3. Boys Dont Cry - Hilary Swank
Girls can play boys.

4. Legally Blonde - Reese Witherspoon
Women can be funny and sincere in comedy without falling into stereotypes.

5. Silence of the Lambs - Jodie Foster
Women can be terrified and still get the job done. Jodie Foster plays a wonderfully complex character and I am reminded of the saying "Without fear there can be no courage."

6. Kill Bill - Uma Thurman
Love the scenes where she wakes up from her coma! Arsed are kicked and karma is dealt instantly. She should be every womans favourite action hero!

7. Million Dollar Baby - Hilary Swank
Once again showing us all how its done.

8. Amelie - Audrey Tautou
French and wonderfully whimsical.

9. Bridget Jones's Diary
I love honest characters.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


A city solely created to become the nations capital is a strange city indeed.

And a city that is completely empty when parliament is out of session. It closed on Thursday, I got there Friday.

Firstly we were ripped off by the dodgy taxi driver and despite getting into a yelling match in the hotel driveway we still ended up losing about $20. But the staff at the Rydges hotel more than made up for it. The lovely reception staff were quite lovely and rang the taxi company and complained on our behalf, the also gave me free internet and extra bonus points on my Rydges card.

The next morning we walked into the city centre. The place is like a ghost town, we hardly saw a soul. But the enviroment was pleasant, spacious, a lake, plenty of footpaths, the city seemed to be designed with cycling and walking in mind. Its the perfect little city for an introvert like me.

For lunch we found King O'Mallys. Lovely Irish pub with cascade on tap (one of my favourite aussie beers)

In between times there was a Histology conference, I enjoyed it.It hath renewed my interest and made me remember its not all mundane routine tests. Plus I came away with a few ideas to improve the decalcification processes at the lab.

So while I wouldn't recommend Canberra as the ultimate holiday destination, its not so bad if you just happen to be going there.