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Thursday 27 April 2006

Fridge magnets

Posted by kim @ 6:11pm

I found a few pics of fridge magnets while going through the miriad of emails in my inbox today; these are my favs:

:P

Wednesday 26 April 2006

Ex-Monica

Posted by kim @ 10:28pm

Well, Monica's gone. She was a pretty long-lived cyclone really, creating havoc over two states, and with only 4 days to go until the official end of the Wet/Cyclone Season, hopefully she will be the last we'll see until next year.

This was her on Monday:

And Today:

Today April 26 2006:
NT community continues cyclone Monica clean-up (.pdf)
April rainfall sets Darwin record (.pdf)
Chief Minister inspects Arnhem Land cyclone damage (.pdf)
Ex-cyclone Monica 'unlikely' to reform (.pdf)

Tuesday April 25 2006:
Cameraman describes cyclone damage (.pdf)
Goulburn Island residents heading home after cyclone Monica (.pdf)
Remote NT community bears cyclone's wrath as danger passes (.pdf)
Island community remains intact after cyclone Monica (.pdf)
Cyclone Monica continues to weaken (.pdf)
Weaker Monica to spare Darwin (.pdf)
Cyclone Monica hits Arnhem Land (.pdf)

Monday April 24 2006:
Cyclone warning sounds in Kakadu (.pdf)
Darwin braces for cyclone Monica (.pdf)
NT residents wait for cyclone Monica's onslaught (.pdf)
Fears cyclone Monica may be Australia's 'most severe' storm (.pdf)
Island evacuated as Monica nears land (.pdf)
Darwin awaits cyclone Monica's arrival (.pdf)
Monica buffets Arnhem land (.pdf)
Island communities brace for Monica (.pdf)

Sunday 23 April 2006

Monica updates

Posted by kim @ 6:12pm

A quick update of what Monica has been upto: she's currently a category 5 with winds of upto 320km/hr at the core, she's moving parallel to the Northern Territory coast but has so far spared Nulumbuy, the first town in her path, from much of her destructive winds. Here are the images and a few news reports from this afternoon.



NT town spared as cyclone Monica lashes coastline (.pdf)
Darwin on cyclone watch as Monica approaches (.pdf)
Darwin put on cyclone alert (.pdf)
Monica to hit Arnhem coast (.pdf)
Monica set to wreak havoc (.pdf)
Anxious wait begins (.pdf)
Monica upgraded to category 5 (.pdf)
Monica tipped as category five (.pdf)
First effects of Monica felt (.pdf)
Strengthened Monica heads to Territory (.pdf)

Saturday 22 April 2006

Sadly inspired

Posted by kim @ 2:50pm

I'm not usually one for reading sites like Daring Fireball, but this particular entry caught my eye and I would like to talk about it some more. He refers to Steve Jobs's Commencement address at Stanford last June and how a particular part about not 'settling' inspired Gruber to quit his job and focus on what means most to him, on what he loves doing. Job's says:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don't settle.

And it made me start thinking about my job, career and life as it is at this present moment. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I work in the Admin Department of a computer store as their Purchasing Officer. As much as I do enjoy my day-to-day work, I know in my heart that its not what I truly want to be doing. As much as I know what I do makes a difference and means a lot to those I work with and the company as a whole, I know that my career is sitting on hold, stagnating, for as long as I continue to work there.

As anyone who knows me could tell you, I spent 5yrs at Uni completing two different pieces-of-paper in Science. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and do miss it greatly, if only for the fact that I love learning new things all the time.

I'm a scientist, through and through. There is nothing that I enjoy more than being outside, bushwalking, looking at plants, animals, environments, speculating, studying, observing.

The closest thing I get to that at the moment is pottering around in my garden.

Checking on Monica

Posted by kim @ 10:31am

Wow, the IR Satelite Image says a lot:

Then the tracking and forecast confirm:

This is not good at all. After the severe flooding that Katherine and neighbouring areas have suffered in recent weeks, they could really do without more rain. (And you wouldn't think that the rest of Australia is still drought-declared, would you?)

Here's what ABC and NEWS.com.au have to say:

Cyclone Monica moves closer to NT coast (.pdf)
Monica intensifies during journey across Gulf (.pdf)
Monica's strength prompts cyclone warning (.pdf)
Darwin bracing for Monica hit (.pdf)
Residents flee ahead of Monica (.pdf)
Monica could intensify and hit NT (.pdf)
Cyclone may dump more floods on NT (.pdf)
Floods worst in 450 years (.pdf)
Daly River community now an island (.pdf)

Fighting

Posted by kim @ 9:35am

As I said yesterday, never a dull moment. Unlike yesterday, I don't know if I'll be able to solve this problem as easily.

I came home last night, after going ten-pin bowling with friends, to find Pips with a massive bite on her tail, so deep and fresh in fact that it was still bleeding when we walked in. It seems to have sealed itself a little by this morning - still very raw and sore-looking, and weeping still a little too - and she clearly wasn't too happy with me picking her up to have a look this morning, even though I was careful not to touch anywhere near the area. Being mice, for which any antiseptic that is eucalyptus- or tea-tree-oil-based is highly toxic, I guess I'm just going to have to keep an eye on it to see if it gets infected.

I had attributed their little nips on our fingers when we put them up against the outside of the cage, which started about a week ago, as being a defense mechanism against the afore mentioned visitor, but perhaps it isn't. Perhaps this is more of a territorial/heirachy-establishing thing. I've already noticed that in the last week or so that Scoot has become top mouse, Pips is second and Lara, being the youngest of the three by my guess is bottom. So I have little doubt that that is Scoot's tooth impressions on Pips's tail.

Hopefully this is as bad as it gets. If not I might have to go back to the pet shop and ask for advice, and perhaps a bigger cage.

Friday 21 April 2006

Boy troubles

Posted by kim @ 10:47am

Never a dull moment in our house. Last night I came home and headed downstairs to say hello to my meeces, as I usually do, got to the bottom of the stairs and spotted the rat sitting on their cage. I was so stunned that I just stood there, staring. And it looked at me. And I looked back at it. Then it turned and hopped down and set about darting in and out from behind boxes and things until it had made it over to about half a metre from my feet, stuck its head out from underneath the overhanging lid of one of the boxes, took a big sniff - checking me out - then headed back behind a few boxes, along behind the freezer and around the corner into the laundry. I turned, walked the remaining few steps to the mouse cage, said 'come on, girls, we're going upstairs', picked up the cage and headed back upstairs. And thats where they stayed, back on the dinning room table.

I ended up having to clean out their cage again, because even after a few hours, they just wouldn't settle - I figured that the rat (most probably a male, since all my mice are females, probably nearing breeding age) had probably marked (peed on) the cage/furnishings, and the smell of it was upsetting them, so I thought it best if I made the whole area neutral-smelling again. That seemed to do the trick, and they were quite happy after that to explore their new setting, eat the food I'd given them and let me pick them up.

So, yes, RatTraps and RatSack have been added to our shopping list for this weekend.

Never a dull moment :)

Thursday 20 April 2006

Monica

Posted by kim @ 4:37pm

Quick update on Monica's path, past and future.

Tracking as at 10:30 this morning:

Tracking as at 2:30 this afternoon:

Prediction as at 11:00 this morning:

Wednesday 19 April 2006

Tracking Monica

Posted by kim @ 10:11pm

Monica crossed the coast of Cape York early this morning but, according to the news, caused little damage - she huffed and puffed but didn't blow much down :P Here's what ABC.net.au and News.com.au have to say about it:

ABC Today:
Cyclone Monica tracks inland (.pdf)
Category 3 Monica crosses coast (.pdf)
Monica strengthens en route to coast (.pdf)
Monica begins to buffet Lockhart River (.pdf)
Monica moves towards Lockhart River (.pdf)

ABC Yesterday:
Far north Qld readies for cyclone Monica onslaught (.pdf)
Qld emergency crews say they're ready for cycone Monica (.pdf)
Cyclone Monica tipped to intensify (.pdf)
Cyclone Monica to reach Qld Coast by mid-week (.pdf)

ABC Monday April 17 2006:
Cyclone Monica continues to march towards far north Qld (.pdf)
Cyclone looms off Qld coast (.pdf)

NEWS Today:
Monica dumps rain on Cape (.pdf)
Monica heads across Cape (.pdf)
Monica to miss Lockhart River (.pdf)
Residents shelter ahead of Monica (.pdf)
State watches as Monica bears down (.pdf)
Towns brace for Monica's fury (.pdf)
Monica to hit late morning (.pdf)
Monica misses Lockhart River (.pdf)
Monica upgraded to category three (.pdf)

NEWS Yesterday:
Monica moves towards Cape York (.pdf)
Monica could further soak Innisfail (.pdf)
Queensland braces again (.pdf)
Minister to inspect cyclone recovery (.pdf)
Cyclone Monica intensifies (.pdf)

NEWS Monday April 17 2006:
Cyclone Monica set to strengthen (.pdf)
Cyclone Monica heading to shore (.pdf)

NEWS Friday April 14 2006:
Power still out after Larry (.pdf)

NEWS Wednesday April 12 2006:
Qld reveals Larry rescue package (.pdf)

NEWS Sunday April 09 2006:
Mosquito risk on the rise (.pdf)

NEWS Saturday April 08 2006:
Warning eases as Hubert weakens (.pdf)

NEWS Friday April 07 2006:
Hubert set to cross Pilbara coast (.pdf)

NEWS Wednesday April 05 2006:
Workers wanted for Larry recovery (.pdf)

NEWS Tuesday April 04 2006:
Premier unveils cyclone aid package (.pdf)

NEWS Sunday April 02 2006:
Near 7000 Larry victims blacked out (.pdf)

Those are the articles as far back as the respective weather news pages go.

So amungst that we had ABC.net.au focusing souly on Monica while NEWS.com.au alternated with 15 articles about Monica (and she's only been here 3 days), 1 about Glenda, 2 about Hubert and another 6 articles on Larry. Even though Larry hit a month ago tomorrow, he still seems to be a hot topic; although most of the articles just repeat what has been said previously.

And because I like pics of weather, here are the charts for Monica:

Last night:


This morning:


Tonight:


Monday 17 April 2006

News update

Posted by kim @ 8:45pm

Hopefully this will be the last of these such entries for this cyclone season.

Introducing Monica. She's a category 3 off the coast of the far north east. She came to my attention about 15mins ago when the news update between TV programs came on.


That's pretty similar to the way Hubert was treated too - little to no coverage or mention aside from the 5mins when the weather is done at the end of the news presentation. This was Hubert:



Hubert was a category 2 and hit the exact same part of the west coast that Glenda did, approximately a week after Glenda. Surprisingly he received bearly a mention on the news, even though he was direct-hitting the townships on a part of the coast that had just been torn apart by category-4 Glenda. Apparently no-one cares what happens to those on the west coast, and yet we are still being driven slightly mad by incessant coverage about Cyclone Larry hitting Innisfail. This topic probably gets my goat a bit because of two things: (1) there are other towns up north that were hit just as hard and devastated just as much as Innisfail was, and are they getting any coverage or help? No (ok, so Babinda got one days-worth of coverage because the locals kicked up a stink, but thats it), and (2) we've now had 6 cyclones to cross our coastline this season, not 1; where is all the emphasis on and help given to all those other people affected? There is none. But of course, most of those other cyclones didn't hit densely populated or heavily cropped areas, ie important areas, so they're probably not seen as being news-worthy.

Ok, I'll get off my soap-box now. Bedtime - work again tomorrow.

Articles

Posted by kim @ 7:11pm

Now that I have my new computer up and running, and because I haven't posted any for quite some time, I think its time for some more articles. Today's category: Mysteries of the Deep Sea (click the link to download the .pdf)(All articles courtesy of NewScientist.com)

Bizarre new jellyfish discovered
Europe's deep corals are facing devastation
Trawling seamounts threatens ocean's biodiversity
Half of endangered turtles snared each year
Atlantic ridge reveals underwater wonders
Ancient glimpse of seas' bleak future
Deep sea predator creates red light zone
Northern-most hydrothermal vents revealed
Footage reveals threat to stunning Irish corals
Unregulated fishing devastates shark populations
Sea lilies caught creeping away from trouble
Marauders continue to plunder the oceans
Deep sea special: The curious afterlife of whales
Deep sea special: The undiscovered oceans
Broody squid carry their eggs in their arms
Deep-sea fish species decimated in a generation
Hunters of the sea become the hunted

Wednesday 12 April 2006

Mouse-capades

Posted by kim @ 10:30am

(The escapades of mice :P) Well, haven't we had an interesting week so far? ... where 'interesting' means shattered, morose, disappointed, sad, and then this morning, happy and reproachful.

Monday night, while I had left the top door of the mouse cage open so that they could wander over to the fishtank - their secondary house (where I put them when I'm cleaning out their cage, and where I let them wander over to just for somewhere else for them to explore) and wandered into the laundry, then I wandered off to do something else, don't remember now, but I came back 10-15mins later and did a quick head count, and couldn't find Scoot. I called up to BF, upstairs, to see if he had Scoot with him, he said 'no' ... Oh dear. Well anyway we ended up making a big mess of the rumpus, pulling out all our storage boxes, pulling the couches out away from the wall, etc, calling her, sitting quietly to see if we could hear her, trying to entice her out with sunflower seeds (her personal favourite), putting the cage and fishtank on the floor.. to no avail. I ended up sitting there in the dark towards the end, just quietly, calling her softly occasionally, the sitting their quietly again. Eventually, past midnight, I decided that she wouldn't be coming out again while I was still there, so I wandered off to bed. The next morning (yesterday morning) I placed a little container of food on the floor along with a dish of water, because I knew that if she's still in the room, she wouldn't have any food or water, then went off to work. When I got home last night, I was pleased to find that half the food was missing, evidence that she was still in the room. Unfortunately the water had evaporated so I'm not sure whether she managed to get any. So I set about making sure that there was plenty of comfy furnishings in the fishtank (ie scrunched-up loo paper stuffed into a cracker box)(the cracker box was a previous furnishing so it would smell safe to her), because its getting a bit chilly at night time now, refilled the dishes of food and water and put them in the fish tank this time, before wedging a kitchen-towel tube to the outside of the tank so that she could climb into the fishtank (not having much water for the past two days she was likely to be pretty thirsty). And low-and-behold, when BF went down there this morning the cracker box was decidedly heavier when BF went to pick it up, and a scuffling sound was coming from inside, then a little black nose appeared through the hole that had been chewed in the corner of the box. Scoot was back! So yes, this morning it was happiness, and a little reproachfulness - see if they'll be let out again anytime soon (except if I'm holding them that is).