Monday, December 2, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
To help the common people comprehend the size of something enormous journalists like to compare these things to something they think will be more familiar and therefore more comprehensible. Unfortunately the items chosen for the comparison are often just as unfathomable as the original quantity being described.
From earth to the moon or from here to the moon and back, if that is not far enough it can be described as multiples i.e. from here to the moon and back 3 times. Is this something NASA is working on, building a contraption that can stack things one on top of another all the way to the moon, will it have an elevator running alongside for to people doing the stacking or just a really long ladder?
Around the earth, this is difficult for many reasons, for one the earth is not round, does the measuring tape nee to go over Mt Everest. Also is the measurement taken at the equator because as one moves towards the poles that circle becomes smaller.
London double-decker buses, oddly used in countries other than England, but is a measurement of choice to describe the size of enormous deep-sea “monster” fish that occasionally wash up on beaches of countries that normally have very little public transport let alone double-decker buses.
Football fields are popular ignoring the fact that different football codes have different length fields, in fact even within a single code football fields will vary. In the 2013 Rugby league World Cup some of the fields were smaller than others. In the Australia v USA quarter final the commentators regularly informed viewers that the distance between the 20m and 40m lines was only 15m.
Olympic size swimming pools, this is very popular when describing quantities of alcohol consumed at a public event, ie that’s enough champagne to fill 4 Olympic size swimming pools. Has anyone tried to fill an Olympic swimming pool with champagne, a backyard inflatable wading pool, sure. Not even an Australian swimming team has tried to fill an Olympic sized pool with champagne. Why not use a measurement we all understand. Like every guest in the Bird Cage on Melbourne Cup Day consumed the equivalent of a bar fridge full of champagne.
Sporting stadium/arena, normally the biggest or most iconic venue in a region is used. In Australia it is always the MCG, a venue so large in its own right it could be measured in Olympic swimming pools. For the record it would take 680 Olympic swimming pools to fill the MCG.
The Sydney Harbour, a favourite of Australian journalists, this world famous harbour is often used to describe volumes of water in regards to heavy rain or flooding. Does it matter if the measurement was taken of the harbour at low tide or high?
African elephants, never Asian elephants (that would just be ludicrous). An adult African elephant can weigh between 2 – 6.5 tonne. A variation that in itself only complicates this comparison. But how much is 2 – 6.5 tonne? The average family sedan weighs about a tonne (maybe a bit more) but at least we can all understand that, as at some stage most people have had a car that has broken down or run out of petrol and have had to try to push it off the road. So an elephant (African) is 2 to 6 times more than that! If the average adult male human weighs 80kg then an elephant is the equivalent of 25 to 80 adult male humans.
If you laid these 80 adult male human down in a single line, head to toe, their length would be the same length of the MCG.
Currently in Melbourne the local tram company, Yarra Trams, is trying to warn other road users that trams are heavy and therefore can not stop quickly. To do this they are comparing a tram to a rhinoceros on a skateboard. Are the Masuri bushmen being killed off in spate of accidents involving skateboarding rhinoceros? Can rhino’s skakeboard? If the were on a half pipe could they get enough air to jump over a double-decker bus?
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Things to do when bored at work
- Colour in yellow post it notes with yellow highlighter
- Download new apps for your smart phone
- Play with new apps on your smart phone
- Go to the bathroom and change the part in your hair to the other side
- Plan and book holidays
- Plan and book activities for weekend; dinners, tickets to shows/sports
- Look for other jobs
- Nothing, just sit and stare at a blank screen and see how long it takes for someone to notice
- Take off a shoe and put it on your desk and see how long it takes for someone to notice
- Email conversations with friends
- Read online newspapers, every article
- Test the limits of the work
- Make sculptures from office supplies
- Force yourself into every conversation happening in the office
- Practice signing your name to try and create a more elaborate and impressive signature
- Teach yourself another language
- Walk around the office looking for leftovers from catered meetings, and team morning teas and help yourself to anything you find
- Take a book to the toilet and read
- Map out a route to walk around the office a so that you pass each desk once and only once
- Time yourself walking the route you mapped
- Try to beat your time.
- Make yourself a coffee, even though you only drink tea just so you have a reason to go back to the kitchen to re-make your drink
- Photocopy/print documents then put them straight in the recycling
- Test the limits of the organisations spam and internet security filters
- Book your self out for a meeting and just go shopping
- On a Wednesday count how many people you can get to say “Hump-day”
- On a Friday count how many people you can get to say “Thanks God It’s Friday”
- Put red lids on the blue pens and blue lids on the red pens in the stationery cupboard, if you are really bored swap the end caps as well
- Swap everything on your colleague’s desk to the other side so it is a mirror image of itself.
- Dial a random sequence of numbers on the work phone and see who answers and where in the world they are
- Maintain a map on Google map dropping pins to show all of the places you have randomly called
- Take the Super Trooper challenge, and like the characters of the 2001 comedy film try and include the word “meow” in every sentence you speak
- Clean your workstation like a person with OCD
- Wink at every third person that passes your desk
- Create a crossword using jargon specific to your industry
- Write a haiku poem
- Recite you haiku poem for your colleagues
- Go to the shared office lolly jar and see how many lollies you can fit into your mouth at once
- Write lists and blog about them
Thursday, October 31, 2013
|Governor Hindmarsh |
Lonely Planet listed Adelaide in South Australia as number 9 on its top ten "Best in Travel 2014" so here are 9 things to do if visiting the city of churches. No, one of the things is not the churches themselves as many of them are now night clubs or bridal boutiques
Catch the Tram
Which tram? The tram. There is only one. It travels between the Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh and Moseley Square, Glenelg. And it’s free within the CBD! It must be said that neither destination on this route is one that warrants this type of infrastructure. Glenelg once was a great sea-side location popular with tourists and locals alike. It is now over developed and the boutique shops and eateries are now chain stores and franchises. Glenelg is now a shopping mall with sand.
If you do want to go to the beach whilst visiting Adelaide - and it is highly recommended that you do with their fine white sand, easy access and absence of truly dangerous rips and undercurrents – visit Henley Beach. Two beaches north of Glenelg along Tapleys Hill Road. (Bypass West Beach it is a caravan park and sewage outlet). Henley offers all the amenities for a great day at the beach, ice-creamery, great fish and chips, town square with large lawn area and some picnic tables, shady trees and best of all smaller crowds. Most people are on the tram to Glenelg.
Another unique public transport option in Adelaide, and like the tram offers a single route. From the CBD to the north-eastern suburbs. It was established for commuters to help with congestion during peak hour – peak hour in Adelaide lasts for 10-15 minutes. It is a bus running on a guided track, one of the world’s first rapid bus systems. Buses travel up to 100km along the 12km track and as it is a guided track the drivers do not need to steer. Seeing a driver take their hands off the wheel and eat their lunch can be very disconcerting for the first time traveller. The route follows the Torrens River, which may not contain water, providing a beautiful view. It ends in the north east at Tea Tree Plaza, a major Westfield shopping complex, containing the same shops that you left behind when boarding the bus in the city. But they are arranged differently – all in one building instead of along busy streets. Yes many of them will be the same retailers you will find at the end of the line of the Glenelg tram.
If you are a sporting fan, this is a must see. Arguably one of the most picturesque sporting venues in the world. Complete with its heritage listed scoreboard and Morton Bay fig trees. The ground is currently being re-developed. Visit the ground and argue with tourists from NSW as to whether or not Don Bradman is South Australia's greatest cricketer. "The Don" was born in Cootamundra and grew up in Bowral both in NSW. He learned to play cricket in Bowral before moving to Sydney. He played for NSW before being selected to play for Australia in 1928-29 season. He did not move to Adelaide until 1934, when he was already a national sporting hero. Either way the best batsman ever, and Adelaide has a statue of him, and a road named after him.
Adelaide CBD is surrounded by parklands, each one known locally by very creative names; North Parkland is in the North, South Parklands is in the South etc. The pick of them for family fun would be in the north, where the parklands bring the zoo, city and botanical gardens. Lots of grass under foot and shade overhead courtesy of the Morton Bay figs. Whilst the north parklands are known for their picnics and family gatherings, those in the south are known for their gay cruising.
There are two world class wine regions in Adelaide and its surrounding area, McLaren Vale and Barossa. The former is south and the latter north. As a rough guide if you are after whites head south and for reds go north. Either direction plan to eat along the way to help with the management of the effects of alcohol and hire a driver or join a tour to ensure a safe journey home.
This 7m high metallic sculpture (pictured) in the heart of Rundle Mall, is officially called The Spheres. By artist Bert Flugelman, this famous landmark is a favourite meeting place, mainly because locals get to tell their friends and family to “meet at the balls”. Erected in 1977, during the Premiership of Hon Don Dunstan, as a gay man, it meant that all of the public have an opportunity to rub his balls.
Port River Dolphins
Just 12km from the city centre is Adelaide original and still operating sea port, creatively named Port Adelaide. The Port River is home to approximately 40 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins. This is one of the few places in the world where wild dolphins live within a major city.
Sure they may be being slowly poisoned from pollutants from river traffic in this busy port, and some of the dolphins may have cuts and scars from run-ins with ships motors, but the experience is second to month. Pack your camera and join a river cruise or kayak tour, to get up safely close to these mammals.
No don’t become one and don’t get in one’s way, Adelaide is Australia’s serial killing capital. In fact Adelaide is argued to have the most serial killers per capita of anywhere in the world. Truro murders, check out this town after a few wines it is within the broader Barossa region. Snowtown, head north to visit the bank vault where barrels were discovered with their gruesome deposits.
“The Family” abducted, abused and killed young men in the 70s and 80s.
When you get off the tram at the beach join the search for the Beaumont children. These three young children disappeared from Glenelg in 1966. They have never been seen since and their bodies never discovered. One of Australia’s most infamous cold cases, locals and tourists have the opportunity to become a real crime stopper by uncovering any clue that leads to their discovery.
Friday, October 25, 2013
I am in the unfortunate position of having to reconsider my continued support of your company through the purchase of MILO. Let me explain why. You promote MILO as the “drink of play”, my personal experiences lead me to believe that it is in reality the “drink of death”.
Let me explain why.
My personal preference is all milk. I heat the milk in a microwave and then add a heaped dessert spoon of MILO into the hot milk and stir it until dissolved.
No hot water.
In my last workplace I was preparing a hot MILO as per my preferred method. I had the tin and spoon waiting ready for the milk to heat up. I opened up the microwave to retrieve the now suitably heated milk to discover that it was the mug and not the milk that had been heated.
The subsequent burns to my fingers, although superficial, required medical treatment, and I could not fully extend my index finger for a week. The heat caused me to drop the mug spilling, what turned out to be still relatively cold milk all over the kitchen floor.
I was grateful for the presence of one of the administrative staff who walked into the kitchen at the same moment I was burned to prepare her own hot drink. She not only attended to my injuries but also cleaned up the mess. This also was the start of one of my closest friendships, for which I should be thankful.
But Nestle, I ask you, at what cost?
Like customs firing over the bow of a suspected drug runners boat, this burn was merely a warning shot.
In my new and current workplace, I was initially pleased to discover your fine choc-malt powder was supplied to staff. That was until Monday of this week when I again prepared a workplace beverage.
Having not heeded the earlier warning this time MILO conducted a full assault, almost ending my life! I was innocently drinking my freshly made MILO as per my preferred method as described earlier when I choked. I had a mouthful of MILO and was in the act of swallowing when I inadvertently coughed at the same time. The result was a lot of cough and spluttering and gurgling as my body’s reflexing kicked in ejecting the MILO drink before it drowned me.
If I was not the unwitting victim in the seemingly unprovoked attack I might have objectively argued that drowning in a perfect hot MILO was a pretty good way to go.
Different office, different mug, different milk, different microwave. The only constant in these two assassination attempts in the Neslte branded energy food drink, MILO.
My question is this, Nestle. Why are you trying to kill me? I just wanna be made of milo.
I have not criticized you for your support of Robert Mugabe’s regime of reclaiming farms, nor have I commented on your demands of the Ethiopian government during its countries crippling drought. I have not protested against you use of palm oil or you earlier stances on breast feeding. Whilst the rest of the world had a field day of your use on horse meat in products labelled as beef, I kept my silence.
I may have provided some light-hearted commentary on your acquisition of Jenny Craig, but surely I have done nothing to warrant such personal and dangerous attacks upon my person.
I do not understand your reasoning. Maybe you are just indiscriminately wielding your power as the world’s most profitable corporation. Does your ability to willingly harm and destroy loyal customers send a message to individuals and organisations that might really harm your reputation and bottom line?
What ever is happening for you I respectfully request that you cease and desist your attacks you your person. Please allow me to enjoy the malty milk goodness rich in vitamin B and calcium with Low GI. I just want to play.