Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Update: Added pic of Pluto - the small bump mid-way down the billboard and aboiut a qyarter way in from the left.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Looking for the perfect gift for that special someone? How about an In-Car Microwave Oven that can be powered via the cigarette lighter socket. We won’t have time to order one before tomorrow's road trip - but if you want to, their site is here - and it's on sale for only £79.97 until 2 September (plus freight from the UK). It will help if you're off on a slow trip - if you want to heat a cup of coffee in the in-car microwave oven, it will take about 6 minutes. Or, if you want a hot cup of coffee on the road - maybe you should just call by the supermarket and pick up some Perketts. It's a range of coffees, packed in "a revolutionary self-heating container for anytime, anywhere indulgence". Mmmm … Perketts (now if only I could find it.)
Tech site Gizmodo recently reported on statistics from a UK insurance group on how customers break their cameras:
- 16% said it was their children or dogs
- 3% ran over their camera with a car
- 75% dropped their cameras onto a "hard surface", into water, or by falling onto it and using it to cushion their fall.
While this doesn't add up to 100% - have you ever noticed how surveys often don't - I can believe that dropping was the most common cause of camera death - because that was what happened to 7 The Ricoh - who I dropped to the slate floor in a bungalow in South Africa. Of course, I wasn't one of of those that "fell over" when taking shots, "often into water."
A report in the British Medical Journal suggests that people who suffer from chronic back pain can find relief through the Alexander technique which encourages the user to adopt good (better?) posture. The study, which followed over 400 back pain sufferers over a year, reported the following "treatments" and pain/days per month (pdm): GP care - including regular consultations, pain killer and exercise regimes - 21 pdm; massages - 14 pdm; Alexander (6 lessons)- 11 pdm; Alexander (24 lessons) 3 pdm. As reported by the BBC: Lead researcher Professor Debbie Sharp said using the Alexander technique should provide help to most people with back pain. She added: "Lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualised approach to develop skills that help people recognise, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination. It can potentially reduce back pain by limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving coordination and flexibility, and decompressing the spine."
It may not be as successful for everyone of course. Or you may wish to resort to technology (don't say you didn't know that was coming!) to alleviate bad postural back pain. The iPosture - a wearable intelligent nano-sensor - is a 1-inch; (2.54cm) button which the makers suggest you can wear as a pendant, stuck to you, or attached to your clothes. It automatically senses when the body slouches and starts vibrating to alert you to correct your posture. The iPosture's site suggests the following reasons why we should all invest in it when it comes on the market (soon) - for $US99.95:
- Women with improved posture become more attractive.
- Men with good posture are seen as more successful.
- Waist size is reduced an average of 2 inches in women who improve their posture
- People with good posture are more productive.
Surprisingly, you have to dig a little deeper into their site for the suggested health benefits:
- People with good posture are generally happier and more confident
- Women with good posture are less prone to osteoporosis fractures
- Men with good posture are twice as likely to keep their balance and function as they age
- Posture correction and exercises can be more effective than other medical modalities for the prevention and treatment of back pain .
Monday, August 18, 2008
But for just for a moment I wanted to reflect on my farewell. I have never been one for being in the limelight (long story which we won't go into here) so I was tempted to decline the offer of a farewell function but relented because I did want to celebrate my time with the company. It was agreed we could be a small gathering so that's how eight of us (5 employees, 3 partners) came to be in a very nice restaurant overlooking Sydney Harbour on Thursday evening. The food and atmosphere were superb. But the highlight of the evening was definitely the effort Darien (my immediate supervisor) and American colleagues had put in to the event. Darien had emailed overseas colleagues with whom I've worked asking if they wanted to share any farewell messages at the dinner. They did - and it was truly heartwarming to be so fondly thought of by the people with whom I've worked. It was also pleasing to my partner to understand that these people had seen and appreciated the qualities that she sees in me including my attention to detail, inquisitiveness, enthusiasm and sense of humour. They had also been kind enough to present her with a basket of flowers in acknowledgement of the impact my travelling and out-of-hours work had had on her. Very nice and much appreciated. And then it was time for the surprise - the global team leads for the project I've been working on for the last 18 months had organised framing of some group pics from our team meetings and to have the team sign them. The package arrived from the US in time for my farewell.
As I said in an email to colleagues on Friday, I have learnt a lot about business, people and life during my time with the company and will cherish those memories and learnings - and this is the bit I didn't add - that I will miss working with them. It has been, quite simply, a wonderful ride with a great bunch of folk.
*Mit Out Job Okay - but not without things to do! (This is a reference to the old days of film where they would say MOS when they were filming "with out sound" - or "mit out sound" as non-English film folk would say)
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I took some of the pics with my new Panasonic DMC-TZ15 (purchased on Friday) which features 9.1 Megapixels, 3-inch screen, 10 x Optical zoom, and wide-angle lens. It also has something called "Quick Menu" which allows you to navigate (computer menu style) through a range of options including white balance, image size and others, based on which mode the camera is in. The only thing it doesn't have is a viewfinder - but this isn't an issue. Even in bright sunlight yesterday, I could still see the screen thanks to the various settings (one is even automatic) for adjusting the on-screen contrast. It also has a setting which allows you to see the image when you're holding the camera at arm's length in the air! Did I also mention that it's small enough to fit in your pocket and that it does HD video recording (although I haven't tried that yet - and a quick look at some review sites suggests the sound could be better - but hey, this is pictures)! I am going to have lots of fun playing with this over the coming months - especially since we have Western Plains Zoo in our sights in coming weeks.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
But back to the quote with which I started this post: it seemed to be suggesting that we should all have something with which to remember people by - especially those we care about. The "stealing" reference I'm not quite so sure about. It makes the idea seem just that little bit creepy (but maybe that's just me).
Saturday, August 02, 2008
This may mean that the old saying may need to be modified; you know the one: 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
* Well worth a look for the readers' comments. (I wonder if this says something about the NYT readership?)