Entomological Description

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Sydney, NSW, Australia
I'm a Christian husband currently finishing a Software Eng degree and wondering what God's plan for my life is. I sleep soundly in the knowledge that time will assuredly answer that question with little effort on my part.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dose of daily destruction

In case you had been missing out on your daily demo-fix, here is an update on next door.




And an image for you too:



The big orange thing showed up last Friday. The people to drive it came on Tuesday. It's quite remarkable how quickly one of those things can level two houses. They've already started on the third, and quite amazingly the residents of the fourth house moved out over the weekend! So maybe this development is bigger than we even thought! Or maybe they had just had the jack of living next to a disaster zone...

With any luck, we'll be gone-ski before things start going up instead of down. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New style

Background: I have a large, widescreen monitor.
Problem: I don't like fixed-width web pages.
Observation: My blog has a fixed-width style.
Solution: Voila! New style.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

LHCb sees where the antimatter's gone...

Three posts in one day! Will wonders never cease! But this is doing the rounds, so I have to keep up with the 'sphere.

Stargate Continuum

It being our 9 month anniversary yesterday, Libby and I celebrated in style by renting a DVD. Being the undisputed nerds that we are, we got Stargate Continuum, a movie based on the Stargate SG-1 series that we all know and love.

It actually exceeded my expectations for this kind of movie. I mean, dedicated fan though I am to all things Stargate, when you consider a flagging series in its 10th season that's already spawned a spinoff, a couple of telemovies, and has its own convention circuit, the hopes are not high. And, to be honest, I wasn't as big a fan of the later seasons of Stargate as the early ones. The technology got cooler, the aliens got meaner, and the special effects got more "ooh, ahh", but the plots got tired, the dialogue got a little lame, and the characters had been plundered to death. The fact that I am not moved in the slightest to see Daniel die anymore speaks volumes about the overuse of that particular plot line.

But this is all sounding very negative. I still love SG-1 and enjoy watching it, but it's a mother's love. I can understand why somebody trying to join the Stargate bandwagon at this point would find it all a bit... well, twentieth century, I guess.

Continuum, as the director Martin Wood puts it, is "old school Stargate". Gone are the Ancients, the Asgard, the replicators, the free Jaffa nation, and all the other acoutrements of the latter series. It's just SG-1 (though not as we usually know them), a shedload of Goa'uld motherships, some seriouslly evil System Lords, four F-15s, six MiGs, a few dozen Death Gliders and a time machine. Barrels of fun!

With a name like Continuum, it's hardly a surprise that it's a time travel movie. And also the first movie I can think of watching that has two adjacent "u"s in the title.

It's a lot of fun, and leaving aside the minor problems with integrating the multiple timelines (just explain it away by saying "we were in transit through the Stargate at the time and thus weren't affected") it's also a fresh take on the characters that we all know, by putting them in a different version of reality. Even if Richard Dean Anderson is looking a little decrepit, and Christopher Judge and Amanda Tapping look weird with so much hair. Daniel still looks exactly the same, although he's now a macho, gun-toting commando as well as a bookish nerd.

So if you're a Stargate fan, get Continuum. You'll enjoy it. If you aren't, then you'll find the movie hard to follow, the characters inexplicable, and the whole thing a little too fantastic. But you wouldn't have read this far anyway.

The value of editing

I haven't done any proper sustained writing since high school. Doing an Engineering/Maths degree at uni has restricted the forms in which I write to the bland "report", the almost entirely symbolic "proof" and the all-but-regurgitation "article".

I'd really love to write something approaching an "essay", and to do it properly. The Borrodalian pieces that I wrote served primarily a venting purpose, but deadlines meant that they were always poorly edited and rarely well thought out (with a couple of exceptions).

So while listening to Tony Payne (http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au) talk about his experience as a professional writer at church the other day, I pondered the possibility of producing a written work myself. Something which has no publishing deadline, no spur-of-the-moment, bee-in-my-bonnet, crisis-of-the-minute kind of agenda, and something in which I can invest a modicum of time actually editing. My first thoughts on any given subject are rarely totally correct, but my Jedi training as a debater has gotten me into bad habits of justifying any kind of persuasive sounding argument in order to sound convincing, rather than pursuing objective reasoning.

This is a problem.

So what shall I write about? My current thinking is that this project will be of short book length, be written on a worthwhile subject and have some value to people other than me. But I have no current intentions of publishing it in any way, except maybe to this blog. In addition, I hope it could get me into some good working habits, because sod all else has.

I could write about something I know something about, but I have this sneaking suspicion that in doing so I would simply re-present all my existing, preconceived, and not well-researched ideas, thereby avoiding the point of the exercise. The alternative is to find a field which I know little or nothing about, and seek to become knowledgeable just for the sake of the project. Ultimately, I suspect I'll have to reach a compromise and relearn some things that I feel like I already know.

So, oh few readers (only 4 through FeedBurner, as I write this) of this, my lowly contribution to the blogosphere, what think you? Any ideas for a worthwhile subject of my writing project? Be warned that you will probably never see the fruits of any suggestion you may choose to make!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Hurricane Duke has struck!

Shame about the rain... Oh yeah, and the missing roofs. Although yesterday it did give those houses a nice sunny, breezy feel.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chainsaws? At 7:30am?

I can understand how appealing a job in demolition might be, but in a display of enthusiasm for that occupation unrivalled since the sacking of Rome by the Vandals, our neighbourhood destructioneers started up not one, but several chainsaws and let them rip through roof struts for an hour and a half. And now, after 9, all is silent.

I may never understand.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A new vista

It's a bit different to what we're used to...

Hitting the roof

Behold. Notice anything slightly more interesting in this totally uninteresting view? Hint: anything missing?

PS. It's really hard to take photos of your neighbouring houses without appearing to be nosey, a civil complainant, a psychopath, or just plain stupid. But I'll endure, for the sake of my blog readers.

Monday, September 01, 2008

An uninteresting view

This is not a very interesting view. Three roofs. Other than the fact that it is the primary vista from our lounge room balcony window, it is insignificant in the extreme.

So why do I draw your attention to it? Well, this has something to do with it:

Stay tuned. I'll try and keep the photographic log flowing.