Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Forbes conference in Sydney; Quick bunchalinks

Nigel Kennedy will be back in Sydney next January
http://www.sydneysymphony.com/event_detail.asp?s=304 Nige Fri 27 Jan 8PM, Mon 30 Jan 8PM
VIVALDI Concertos for Violin and Strings as featured on the Vivaldi II album and others including Summer from The Four Seasons.

Why is the Forbes Global CEO Conference happening in Sydney instead of Forbes?

www.ga.gov.au/bin/gazd01?rec=50704: Geoscience Australia entry for Forbes
FEATURE CODE: LOCB (Towns & Localities)
STATUS: Official
LATITUDE: 33º 22' S [Decimal Degrees -33.382º]
LONGITUDE: 148º 00' E [Decimal Degrees 148.001º]
EASTING: 593000 [UTM zone 55, GDA 94]
NORTHING: 6306000
100K MAP No.: 8431
More on Forbes
home.westserv.net.au/~fsclib/guide/things_to_do.pdf [PDF]

Interesting new way of compressing data:

connects to The anti-sit archives www.usemenow.com/web-log/archives/the_antisit

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

The Visible Human Project®

The Visible Human Project® is an outgrowth of the NLM's 1986 Long-Range Plan. It is the creation of complete, anatomically detailed, three-dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. Acquisition of transverse CT, MR and cryosection images of representative male and female cadavers has been completed. The male was sectioned at one millimeter intervals, the female at one-third of a millimeter intervals.
The long-term goal of the Visible Human Project® is to produce a system of knowledge structures that will transparently link visual knowledge forms to symbolic knowledge formats such as the names of body parts.

Links to Applications for viewing images

Projects Based on the Visible Human Data Set


Mirror sites
vhd-mms.cilea.it (Milan, Italy)
vhp.ntu.edu.sg (Singapore - Nanyan Tech Uni School of Biological Sciences)
www.umin.ac.jp/vhp ( Tokyo, Japan, University Medical Information Network (UMIN) www.umin.ac.jp/eng )
www.vhp.gla.ac.uk/intro.html Glasgow University - this is currently not working. Keep checking.
These are some links at Glasgow Uni that are working:
Medical Teaching Sites (list of links)
Medical & Anatomy Images
World Wide Web and other Internet sites concerning human neuroanatomy and neuropathology images, basic neuroscience images and methods, home pages of medical imaging centers, medical illustration and medical illustrator sites, indexes of medical imaging resources, and neuroanatomy atlases of animals are included in the pages of this section.

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Talk about the weather. No religion & politics

The 21st annual Sydney City to Surf Fun Run (~60k entrants) was on this morning (along with a Gay Marriage March and a Science Pride event for the start of Science Week -- the team of married gay scientists running in their veils, labcoats & pink shoes was a cheering sight*), so our chilly weather kept them from overheating. This is some kind of comfort, I suppose, as I huddle in my sheepskin slippers & warmest nightclothes tonight.

Last week I sent these to an American acquaintance, in case the pix might help cool her down (I wonder if that's part of the Penguin popularity?): Freak snow blankets southern Australia; The big chill is set to continue; Snow falls in Melbourne -- For some reason there's a picture of snow in Canberra** on top of a story about Melbourne (**Fresh snow cover on the Brindabella Mountains behind Canberra and Parliament House Photo: Andrew Taylor)
Winter Wonderland -- photo taken near Oberon, next to Blayney, where I saw snow in December!! while trying to sleep on the old overnight Sydney-Broken Hill train. Snow over Victoria -- has some nice photos

Reader Photo Galleries
Victorian Snowscapes (NOTE: This is a tree-fern NOT a fir-tree); Surprise snowfalls
Four seasons in one day (August 11, 2005), by Shirley Stackhouse
"Some places have proper seasons; we have weather. Last winter seemed colder than usual - remember frosts on the frangipani? Then there was that cold spell in January.
"In Sydney, we had a cold spell in early autumn, plus some good rain. Then conditions went back to warm and sunny. Confused plants, such as roses, thought we had had winter and it was spring and kept growing. Spring will still come in September, but don't pack your blankets away."
[*non-core report]

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Art of Flesh and Stone

pavement art

I strongly advise sensitive persons and cat-lovers to AVOID the 'carcass' section of this.
www.customcreaturetaxidermy.com/ fantasy/fantasy.html
(see other pages for strange & sometimes disturbing stuff.)

www.hanzismatter.com -- a blog that keeps track of the misuse of Chinese characters in, well mostly tattoos -- sort of the opposite of Engrish.com.

There is a certain joy in knowing what the characters in someone's lovely tattoo actually mean ...

Sunday, 7 August 2005

Harry Potter Personality Quiz (Myers-Briggs: INTJ)

Which Harry Potter character has the same personality type as you?

This test is based on the principles of the Myers-Briggs Personality Typing system. I made up the questions myself but they're similar to (and influenced by) the questions you'd find on any other Myers-Briggs-based test.

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Results: piratemonkeysinc.com/result.php
Explanation of the Results:

This type of personality test uses four indexes of personality and the combination of the four is your personality type. The first index relates to how you interact with other people and can be Extroverted (E), meaning you're more outgoing or Introverted (I), meaning you keep more to yourself. The second relates to how you make decisions; whether you're Intuitive (N), getting answers from within, or you rely on Sensing (S) information from your surroundings, using your five senses. The third relates to whether you're more emotional and Feeling (F) or rational and Thinking (T). The fourth relates to whether you prefer things to be organized, meaning you're Judging (J), or you prefer things to be more unbound, meaning you're Perceiving (P).
For more information about real, scientific personality typing, visit the Kiersey Temperament and Character Website keirsey.com.

A picture to accompany the character description. One person's image, different to the film's.
Original artwork and site design © Gillian Rhett 2005.

Friday, 5 August 2005


Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | GM crops created superweed, say scientists
www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/ Story/0,2763,1535428,00.html
Modified rape crosses with wild plant to create tough pesticide-resistant strain
Paul Brown, environment correspondent
Monday July 25, 2005
The Guardian

[Extracts from the article - I recommend a full read, there are some good links on end of the page too.]
Modified genes from crops in a GM crop trial have transferred into local wild plants, creating a form of herbicide-resistant 'superweed', the Guardian can reveal.
It was found during a follow up to the government's three-year trials of GM crops which ended two years ago.

The new form of charlock was growing among many others in a field which had been used to grow GM rape. When scientists treated it with lethal herbicide it showed no ill-effects.
Unlike the results of the original trials, which were the subject of large-scale press briefings from scientists, the discovery of hybrid plants that could cause a serious problem to farmers has not been announced.

The scientists also collected seeds from other weeds in the oilseed rape field and grew them in the laboratory. They found that two wild turnips were herbicide resistant.
Dr Brian Johnson, who is head of the biotechnology advisory unit and head of the land management technologies group at English Nature, the government nature advisers, said: "Unlike the researchers I am not surprised by this. If you apply herbicide to plants which is lethal, eventually a resistant survivor will turn up."

The glufosinate-ammonium herbicide used in this case put "huge selective pressure likely to cause rapid evolution of resistance".

To assess the potential of herbicide-resistant weeds as a danger to crops, a French researcher placed a single triazine-resistant weed, known as fat hen, in maize fields where atrazine was being used to control weeds. After four years the plants had multiplied to an average of 103,000 plants,

Since charlock seeds can remain in the soil for 20 to 30 years before they germinate, once GM plants have produced seeds it would be almost impossible to eliminate them.

The findings mirror the Canadian experience with GM crops, which has seen farmers and the environment plagued with severe problems.
The new plants were dubbed superweeds because they proved resistant to three herbicides while the crops they were growing among had been genetically engineered to be resistant to only one.

To stop their farm crops being overwhelmed with superweeds, farmers had to resort to using older, much stronger varieties of "dirty" herbicide long since outlawed

Farmers in Canada and Argentina growing GM soya beans have large problems with herbicide-resistant weeds. Experiments in Germany have shown sugar beets genetically modified to resist one herbicide accidentally acquired the genes to resist another - so called "gene stacking", which has also been observed in oilseed rape grown in Canada.

Telegraph | News | GM superweed discovered
(Filed: 25/07/2005)
The first genetically modified superweed has been discovered in the UK according to Government research.

The plant, which is resistant to some types of weed killer, is the result of GM oilseed rape cross-breeding with a common weed in farm scale trials.

Monday, 1 August 2005

Some Grisly History

Julie L. ::: July 31, 2005, 02:29 PM:
There was an article in The New Yorker which had a photo of a dead Iraqi whom the troops had nicknamed "Catlips" because before his body was discovered, his mouth had been eaten by feral cats. The picture, which only showed him from the neck up, showed indeed his lips had been chewed off. However, his nose, eyelids, ears, and other parts that might be considered soft and chompy had remained intact.

Jonathan Shaw ::: July 31, 2005, 10:46 PM
Perhaps not entirely relevant, but a herd of killer whales, in the first part of last century, helped the human whalers at Twofold Bay in New South Wales by herding humpbacks into range of the harpoons. The only reward they seemed to want was the lips of the humpbacks after they had been killed--the humans were welcome to all the rest.

Apart from the lips, the orcas liked to take the tongue of whalers' kills. The town of Eden, ~500k south of Sydney on the Far South Coast of New South Wales, is on Twofold Bay. It's the last big settlement before the Victorian border if you're travelling the coastal route Sydney-Melbourne. Whaling and sealing were a very early substantial industry around Australia, and survived into the 20th Century. Some whale jawbones displayed around Sydney Harbour have only been removed in the last couple of decades.

The story of the "Killers of Eden" has been put into at least a couple of books, Killers of Eden: The Killer Whales of Twofold Bay, by Tom Mead. and Killers in Eden, by Danielle Clode.
Here are the local Eden Community Access Centre History of Eden page, and one for the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

And some stories from the ABC Site:
Ockahm's Razor: Killers in Eden Broadcast Sunday 3 November 2002, with Robyn Williams; Whales, Fish & Sealions Andrew Trites on the Science Show, Saturday 29 May 2004; Eden Killers Radio National Breakfast, 8:24am - Tuesday 30 July 2002, with Danielle Clode