Saturday, July 31, 2010


Is our money being well spent putting out the latest TAC ads?
I would say not, given the hoon that went screaming around the corner near my house last night.
The message is not getting across because the hoons that need the message are out hooning.

Who is getting the message?
Everyone who has lost someone in an accident because we're home watching the TAC ads.

For once, the cops have the right idea.
Take the hoon's car and crush it into a tiny cube. That's for the first offence.
For the second offence in another car, crush the car with the hoon in it.

Don't complain about the expense, use the money wasted on TAC ads.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's the use of a guide that doesn't guide?

It could be that the TV station is just messing with the ratings but it's infuriating to sit down to enjoy a favourite programme that isn't there.

Last night, two episodes of 'Ghost Whisperer', joy for me until it turned into one episode and that was on very late, late late.

So GW is not exactly Shakespeare at the Old Vic but I enjoy it and it has a continuing story line which they managed to keep in sequence, at least. And Jennifer Love Hewitt has stopped wearing her Betty Boop line of frou frou dresses so I've stopped wanting a ghost to drop a match on her.

Now I'm sitting down with cat on knee, enjoying.

The cat sits up, ears go up.

Cat jumps down, goes into the dark hall, goes through to the dark study then comes out and SLINKS close to the ground until she reaches me.

And sits on my knee again.

Yes, I'm spooked.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tutanhkamun Online

We're all familiar with the golden mask of the boy Pharoah, Tutankhamun, but it was only one of the thousands of objects found by Haward Carter.
In the Sackler Library at Oxford, there is a room where the humidity and temperature are controlled in order to preserve things not as durable as gold. The Griffith Institute houses the notes, photographs and diaries of the English archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. For 10 years, Carter catalogued the thousands of treasures stacked inside the chambers, but the majority of his work has never been published.
In 1993, Jaromir Malek started his work when he realized that of a total of 5,398 artefacts found, only a third had been properly studied and published. He decided to put all of Carter's notes online, the entire archive available for study.

When Carter died in 1939, he had no collaborators left to continue his work. While the artefacts themselves are held in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, the Griffith Institute has all of Carter's written records. He recorded his finds on more than 3,500 cards with additional notes by Carter's chemist and conservator, Alfred Lucas. There are also more than 1,000 photographs by Harry Burton, plus hundreds of fragile pages from Carter's journals and diaries and 60 maps and plans of the excavation site, one of which has the valley's contours with Carter's black-ink lines showing the dig site located in the deepest point of the valley where the floodwater dumps debris when it rains. This plus the fact that the later tomb of RamsesVI was built almost on top of it, kept the smaller tomb (after the first break-in) undisturbed.
Malek and his staff had to work in their spare time due to a lack of funding but in 1995, "Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation" became one of the first websites dedicated to Egyptology. 98% of the material is online with the last pages available within the next 3 months.

Carter, funded by Lord Carnavon, had been searching the Valley of the Kings for 7 years but only a few objects had been found with Tutankhamun's name but it was enough to keep the two of them searching. Years later, there were rumours that Carter had discovered the tomb early in the search but had kept quiet in order to explore the rest of the Valley, with Carnavon's money.
On Saturday, November, 1922, stairs leading to a walled up doorway were uncovered. A diary entry for the next day says "seals intact", a sign that the tomb was undisturbed. Carter's first look through a hole into the tomb was on Sunday, 26 November and by the light of a flickering candle he made out the images of statues, gilded couches, painted caskets, chairs and chariots.
Harry Burtonphotographed the team's progress, as Carter, worked slowly and methodically to catalogue the position of every artefact before removing them. The photos show a jumble of objects due to the burial of the boy king in a smaller tomb than he should have had plus the tomb had been robbed shortly after his death and the contents were shoved back in any old way before the door was resealed. The photographs on the database reveal treasures from a leopardskin cloak with a golden head and silver claws to a collection of green and blue draughtsmen. Burtan also photographed the stages of unwrapping the mummy.
Malek hopes that Egyptologists will begin to study in detail all of the artefacts, not just the luxury items but the everyday items to find out, not only what they were made of but how they were made and the techniques involved. Not only did Carter records exactly where each item was found but they were recorded and photographed almost immediately the tomb was opened, before any deterioration had begun. Museums at the beginning of the last century did not have the technology for preserving organic items which is standard now. If other Egyptian digs are entered into the data bank then cross referencing will make research easier.

This is one of the treasures, a pectoral scarab ornament belonging to the Pharoah. It has at its centre, another mystery. To the west of the Nile, there is a patch of desert where Libyan desert glass is found. It sits on the sandy surface but is much older than the sand and is almost pure silica. The scarab in the middle of the ornament is the only piece of the glass ever found in Egyptian jewellery.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Another fritzing

Light bulb in the ceiling has blown. The toilet light.
This house is telling me that I can't live here anymore.
Changing the light bulb by me is nerve wracking and dangerous.
Get the ladder.
Find somewhere to hold the new globe and the old globe. Yes I do have a big gob.
Go up the ladder carefully.
Unscrew the three screws holding the shade but not all the way out. Last time I did that I was fishing around in the toilet bowl with a sieve. Yes I did forget to put the lid down.
Hold the glass shade, take out dead bulb, wonder where to shove it while getting the live bulb.
Yes I do have a big gob but there's no where else since I'm holding a bulb, shade and one hand on the ceiling.
Put in the live bulb, put the shade back, screw the screws in.
Take hand off the ceiling. ffs, just let go of the ceiling. Okay, leave hand on the ceiling until one foot goes down a rung. So you've just dislocated one shoulder but don't whine to yourself, now take the hand off the ceiling.

Or I could just leave the door open and turn on the hall light until the BrickOutHouse turns up.
He stands on the floor, unscrews with one hand, replaces bulb with other, drops nothing in the toilet, replaces shade. It takes him 2 minutes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This IS a serious science blog

I've posted before about the cannibalistic mating habits of various insects but we have more research which proves where a male keeps his brain and how females can multi-task though anything.

Take one sex-crazed praying mantis. His mission is to jump onto a female's back, grip hard, get his rocks off and jump to safety. Unfortunately all too often in a giant FAIL, he'll slip right into the female's mandibles and get his head ripped off for an appetizer.

In some mantid species, getting your head ripped off also loses the system of nerves that tells you to stop copulating. The nerves that keep copulation going are in your abdomen and remain intact.

So, while Madam is munching and lunching upstairs and re-designing the leaf and twig penthouse, the headless wonder is still going strong in the basement.

You'll notice, not one snigger during this serious blog post.



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This was always a deeply interesting science blog

So in the interests of science, here we have a photo of a Hairy Angler Fish from the Deep Australia Project. Not even a mother could love that face. If there is justice in this world, my ex husband should now look like this......without the teeth.
This one from the same project is an amphipod, a type of crustacean.
Only one name for him.....Darth Prawn.
You have been reading a serious science blog, don't be fooled by imitations.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This or the other?

Terrible isn't it, a geek at my advanced age.
There are lots more at the Noble Collection
But I want this one.

Through the gloom there's a birthday looming

How revolting to realize July will soon be over and so will another year of my life.
Apart from really wanting a body that looks like this
I really really really want a light sabre.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One of those dreams

It was one of those dreams that linger longer than usual probably because I was woken up in the middle of it by the furball wanting its too early breakfast.
I had complained so much about dress designers to everyone who would listen that one of the Paris designers had chosen me to end his show wearing 'The Wedding Dress'. No I didn't look like bones up there or bones down there, it was me in all my wall to wall flab. The dress was gorgeous, heavily beaded V neck, wide crinoline type skirt with train, miles of petticoats and heels, me, wearing heels. My flowers were white roses and I didn't so much as parade down the cat walk as glide. As I reached the end and had to turn, I remember thinking, here it is, where I go over the side and kill half the audience but no, I turned with grace, using my feet to flick the train behind me and continued to glide to tumultuous applause. I didn't have a veil, just a sparkly headdressy thing. Thanks to the cat, I didn't get to see myself as the next supermodel plus plus size but the dress was a beauty.
So the dream started me thinking (at that time of the morning, Great Goddess) about why dress designers don't design for lardarses. It's because they can't. Miss Skinny Pink in Satin is flat all the way around, up and down, no tits, no bum. Designers cannot cope with lumps. Fat ladies have lumps. They have lumps in strange places, they have one up/one down boobs. Fat stomachs tend to move as one glides (yes, we glide, shuttup) legs can be thinnish to tree trunks.
So you see with all their fabulous designs that they charge squillions for, they've not got the talent to dress the most Rubenesque of real women.
I dream of the day, that one will rise above this tryanny of skinny and have a show of such largeness, such women of curves to rival an alpine road and all in the most gorgeous of frocks to outshine the stick insects into extinction.
I could really kill the cat.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm not sure I can handle another chance

The clock is borked.
The toaster is borked.
The dryer is borked.
The spouting is borked.
My understanding of Telstra wireless broadband is definitely borked.
Relations with my sister are almost unfixedly borked.
My eyes are borked because I can't stop this water stuff from flooding out of them.
The cat has finally realized that waking me at 3 am for food is the road to borkdom.
I think my tin knee is borked.
My bank account is borked.
But I'm not depressed, my depression button is borked.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Idle, I haz it

I don't really but the blog haz.
Three days at the home this week.
I will just take a minute to unpack my brain.
Damn, I forgot where I left it.
Think, where do I hide the chocolate.
Thank the Goddess, brain and left over chocolate.
Sorry can't blog, eating chocolate.
Can't blog tomorrow either, smashing scales with hammer.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Plants I could get to like

I could really get to like that green blobby thing pictured here. For a start it's growing in the Atacama desert in Chili which is not the most hospitible places for growing. It's called llareta, a relative of parsley, looks like moss but actually consists of thousands of flowering buds on long stems which are so densely packed together they can withstand the weight of a human. Some parts of the above plant (photographed by Rachel Sussman) might be more than 3000 years old but we don't know enough about it to be sure. It has adapted to this extreme environment and is very slow growing. Of course humans can't leave it alone, the locals use it as fuel and make medicine from it which is fine if you're living in the same extreme location but don't tell big Pharma companies or it will be history.

I'd love it in my garden, no weeding and it looks so 'Dr Who'.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

July is not turning out well at all

The big kitchen clock dropped off the wall this morning but with an agility I haven't seen in years, I managed to catch it.

The BrickOutHouse brought all his washing over including his world record sock collection. Washing was no problem but with two pairs of jeans in the dryer, it fritzed itself. Smell of burning, very hot plug in the power point and a low level clunk in the machine itself. Still I have been using it since 1991. Out comes Grandmother's giant solid stainless steel clothes stand which weighs a tonne and take up half the MCG's ground when it's all out in radiating spokes. I don't think I've used it since I put his nappies on it. (He said he didn't need to know that)

I dropped my mobile phone in my coffee cup. It was not a day for multi-tasking but being 5 years old and very basic, it didn't seem to do it any harm.

Putting paper in the bottom of the kitty litter tray was not a success. I walked in to the laundry to find kitty litter still in the tray but shredded paper from wall to wall. I have no idea how she did it but she must have had a grand time.

Fast forward Miss O'Dyne.

The black and white terror seems to have recovered from setting her tail on fire the other night.
She was rolling round the floor with BOH, so engrossed in him playing with her that only I noticed the slight smell of singeing. Stupid clot had her tail right up against the gas fire. OMG, the drama. He's still checking to see if any hair has fallen out, his precious was nearly hurt. Little beast is milking it for all it's worth, even cringing when he touches it.

My adventures on eBil, now at an end, cost me dearly money wise but lessons learnt were worth it. I am now ready to launch my retaliation against the largest of the shonky dealers and he's not getting the stones back, I'm keeping the evidence.

Happy Fourth of July.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Confession time

Don't get all excited, it's not about sex but about food specifically being a vegetarian.

The vegetables that I like are vastly outnumbered by the vegetables I don't like. Tofu is only made bearable by coating it in batter and smothering it with sweet and sour sauce. There are tofu sausages made by Sanitarium which gives me a taste of normality with tomato sauce and mashed potatoes although if you read the ingredients on the back of the pack it might as well be MacDonald's.

It's no good directing me in the direction of good vego recipes, I have them by the hundreds but the problem is, they all contain vegetables and I have to cook them. I am so past cooking a decent meal.
Yesterday I had such a craving for roast pork that I gave in and bought 4 little pork belly cutlets. I put a skewer through them, covered them in soy/ginger marinade, hung them over a baking pan and let them cook. The smell was enticing, the eating not so much and I will be glad when they leave the body. The sight of how much fat was left in the bottom of the pan from four 8cmx4cm pieces of pork was frightening. It wasn't wasted, the magpies were enjoying bread dipped pork drippings all morning.

I no longer want red meat, add pork to the list but a geniune free range piece of chicken does find it's way to the table at least once a week along with some salmon and a tin of sardines or my doctor screams about bone fractures along with the other screaming he does when I refuse to get on his scales or have blood and fasting tests which means getting up too early on cold mornings.

My weight is at the limit of what frightens me, not as much as it was in 2000 but more than it was when I lost 20 kgs in the post divorce glow. My credit card is at the same limit, I dare not go over either of them. It's not like I'm not trying, I mean I'm not just sitting here eating chocolate, it's chocolate covered dried fruit. See, I'm trying. But I confess, my diet is appalling.

Breakfast cereal is a mixture of whatever's on special but mainly high fibre and skim milk but it's winter and that's cold eating. Don't mention porridge, I've told you lot before, it's like eating cold snot. But toast (wholemeal wholegrain) and two free range boiled eggs (before Miss O'Dyne has the vapours, Kangaroo Island free range eggs) and steaming hot Earl Grey tea I can manage with my eyes shut and they usually are until midday.

The problem is, I'm a stress eater and staying home with my feet up beside the fire lessens stress but I'm still stressed because I'm not used to de-stressing yet, being still in 'what's happening to mother' mode. This is not as bad as it was but the brain still lingers there. The last time I lost weight, I stayed home, kept busy (not housekeeping, never housekeeping) and the kilos dropped off. It didn't last, the motherdrama kicked into high gear and I was back in the fat business.

If I could just resist the siren call of cakes, forget the hand to gob pleasure of chocolate, the melting goodness of a quiche made with sour cream and Tasmanian Brie, the steam from hot crisp fried chips crusted with sea salt and bread, lovely lovely fresh bread with creamy butter and not the crap Nuttlex I'm stuck with. You did notice the absence of vegetables in there, I thought you might have.

There's no getting round it, I'm the world's worst vegetarian.