Sunday, December 2

Eclipse 2012

The total solar eclipse on November 14 was visible in Queensland's north. Here in the south 86% of the sun was covered.

This was my method of seeing the eclipse without looking directly at the sun.

Closer to the time of maximum eclipse, this is what it looked like.

As you may have seen on the news, one of the TV cameras filmed me when i moved the crescent to around the face area of my shadow - such that it looked like a big smile.

I think science only makes it on commercial news if there's pretty footage - or a corny line like "the eclipse brought a smile to everyone's face". (Sigh!)

Sunday, October 7

Cheap Meals

This is either a simple error, or this place is being very generous ;)

Monday, October 1

Just One Day

One of the joys of growing food is seeing plants spring out of the soil. Classic case is my current experience with beans. Having planted the seed (almost jellybean size) a week before, i took this photo on Tuesday morning:

And this one on Wednesday morning (with finger for scale):

Pretty impressive for one day's growth. Let's see if any beans come from this. :)

(The debris in photo 2 is the shell of the original seed)

Saturday, September 1

Investing in the Phillipines

I've just joined Kiva - the online community that makes interest free micro-loans (as small as $25) to people in the developing world.

This is Carolve, who i've lent some money to. She's 25 and runs her own rice farm.

I'm quite excited about this way of helping, because (i) it's helping people help themselves and their community, and (ii) the one $25 can be used over and over again to assist different people in different communities.

I should mention that the loans are interest-free - so you're not going to make money out of it, but you can get a bunch of warm fuzzy feelings from helping someone out.

UPDATE: We're now in March, and the final repayment (of $1.93) has been made. That doesn't seem like a lot of money to us, but to people in places like the Phillipines it is huge. The average wage in the Phillipines is $1175 per year. So the $250 (from me and 9 other lenders) was significant. Even the $1.93 repayment is around half a day's wages.

In you want to experience what it's like to make a big difference, why not sign up for a FREE trial at

Saturday, August 11

A Cracking Time

A few weeks ago i showed the macadamias i collected. After some 'hammertime' i had myself a jam jar full of ready-to-eat macadamias.

Clearly the jar wasn't full by the time the pic was taken. Some got eaten during the cracking process - and a few later on (with some icecream and melted chocolate). Mmmm.

Sunday, July 29

Winter Sunset

Saw a brilliant sunset developing while on the bus home this afternoon, and took this shot from the pedestrian bridge.

... and the bit that didn't fit in the first shot...

Sunday, June 24


Our neighbour has a macadamia tree. Having grown to quite some size, it generously shares its produce over the fence. This is what i collected. Now to crack them open!

Monday, June 11

Giving Away the Code

Took this photo today at Lifeline's Bookfest. To save you counting, it's around 200 copies of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. Not sure if that makes it a really popular book (as so many people bought it) or a really unpopular book (because so many are getting rid of it).

Da Vinci Code books

So that's everyone's Christmas presents sorted out for this year ;)
(Just kidding!)

Saturday, June 9

Insert Memory Card

Not sure if this was a humorous prank by the guy in charge of programming the messages into the roadworks sign - or an authentic error message.

But either way it was funny.

Sunday, May 6


I took this at Southbank. I've written more about the meaning on my other blog.

Saturday, March 24

Is Queensland a Democracy?

This is slighty off-topic, but it's election week here in Queensland. I had a look over some recent election figures, and wondered if we really get what we vote for.

Here is a list of parties comparing their percentage of the vote, and the percent of seats won in the post-election parliament.

2001 is probably the worst (from a fariness point of view). Kind of makes me wonder how democratic my state really is. surely there's a better system we could move to. One where the parliament represents the vote.

For maths nerds, there is a thing called the Gallagher Index. The higher the rating, the less the result reflects the proprtion of voting. 0 represents a perfect election, the New Zealand elections come in about 1. Queensland's 2001 election was over 20.

UPDATE: On the preliminary figures below, it looks like this election was over 30 on the Gallagher index.

Preliminary figures:
LNP - 50% vote - 88% seats
Labor - 27% vote - 8% seats
KAP - 12% vote - 2% seats
Greens - 8% vote - 0% seats
Independents - 5% vote - 2% seats

UPDATE 2: Image from Election analyst Antony Green.

Friday, February 24

Tomatoes at 1 week

OK, it may not look much, but after one week, it was exciting to see the first signs of life from my potential tomato plant.

Thursday, February 23

Planting Tomatoes

One of my goals for this year is to grow some food. I thought an easy start might be some of the seeds i got as promo material (for an ethical investment company).

Check out the instructions! How easy does that sound? Surely even a novice like me could do this. Well, let's see about that. This is the start.

By the way, i reckon one of the signs of being a novice is not having specific seed-raising pots. Instead i'm re-using yoghurt containers - with a few holes punched in the bottom for drainage.

Monday, January 16

The Tide Is High

Here in Queensland, the Witness King Tides project is running this weekend. I had a practice run at a recent high tide, and took these photo on the bikeway from Toowong to the city.

(reverse angle)