Showing posts from September, 2015

Longer ring

I was recently on holiday in Port Douglas and Cairns. Mid afternoon I was in the pool having a swim and cool off before it was gin and tonic time. A few of the other swimmers, mostly women from down south (we all were from down there or now, from down here) were having a conversation about their mobile phones - how it never rings long enough. Actually I had the same problem and had never bothered to fix it. After the swim, shower and a lovingly made gin and tonic, I googled the problem. They were impressed when I left a note on one of the sun beds with the code to enter into their phone. To make your mobile phone ring longer before it diverts to voicemail, Enter **61*101**30# (and from memory then press call). Note: the 30 above is the number of seconds for the phone to ring. Within minutes there were no women in the pool. They were programming their phones and expressing delight that it works. It will be damn frustrating for the caller when the phone now rings and rings

Killer robot

Whilst on holiday in FNQ ... The beauty and magic of the Great Barrier Reef is shattered in places by devastation of the coral by cyclones and that nasty Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS). Out on a boat, a biologist was telling me that for years divers had been killing the COTS by hand injecting them with a salt compound. A tedious process given the extent of the reef. Now, a Queensland Uni has developed a mini robot with smarts to detect and kill the COTS. A fantastic development of technology with IT smarts that works under water for 8 hours. Here's an extract from a Government publication ... The Crown of Thorns Starfish, also known as COTS, which has been devastating the Great Barrier Reef for the past 40 years may have just met its match. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have developed a robot specifically designed to detect and eliminate COTS on the Great Barrier Reef. The COTSbot, as it’s known, is a small submarine type robot equipped

Prawns & pawpaw

I've been on holiday up in Far North Queensland for the past couple of weeks. It was hard, very hard, to return home. From 30 degrees C up there to 17 degrees in Adelaide. Now the transition from tropical fruits and prawns and all sorts of seafood and white wine and gin and tonic to less enticing southern fruits, red meat and red wine and less friendly people and a more formal lifestyle. Take me back to thongs, shorts, singlet and prawns and pawpaw. Give me a couple of weeks and I'll truly be back home and enjoying life in SA. If I'm looking a bit down and out, then slip me a prawn.

Wind the clock back

Today's media has described South Australians as reeling in embarrassment over the SA Government abandoning its push to move the SA clock forward 30 minutes to eastern standard time ie. the same as Sydney and Melbourne. Months ago (on  19 March 2015) I blogged on the matter; see a link below. Months ago the Premier  Jay Weatherill (and architect of the ill-feted proposal MP Martin Hamilton-Smith) should have listened to my opinion and that of the majority of SA. Well that's the end of it. No it isn't. Now Family First MP Robert Brokenshire will move a private members bill to wind the clocks back half an hour to SA's true meridian central standard time. It's a time zone that SA has never used, but it is the natural time zone (based on the sun) for the State. This proposal will get the support of the influential remote west cost farmers. I'm not opposed to it (as it would mean that it wouldn't get as hot so early in the morning) but I doubt that

Reality food

Did you read the article by food critic Necia Wilden in the Weekend Australian (Life section), 5-6 September? The article is titled Reality Bites. I'd give you the link, but you need to be a subscriber; which I'm not. She pours scorn on (in her words) fabulous foodies who serve up suggestions for simple fare and invariably forget that vital ingredient: real life. Restaurants are getting carried away with complex menus spurred on by critics. That's fine for the restaurants; they can and should manage the complexities of food preparation. But at home it's a different story and people (especially women, and yes and before you hit me, they do more of the cooking for the family) do not have the time to prepare meals from complex recipes published by snobby food critics. Necia Wilden talks about crazy suggestions of making your own tacos, julienne the vegetables and popping down to the farmers' markets to source dehydrated cumquats. If we had the time (and some do

At it under the arches

We all know the word and what it means; and probably sniggered over it at school. The word is Fornication; the verb is to fornicate. I was surprised to learn that the root of this word was derived from an architectural term, Fornix. The word first appeared in English in the early 1300s. Now, on to the origin of the word ... Back in Roman days there were official brothels. However, there was also the unofficial side of the business which was conducted out of sight in the streets and lanes beneath the City. The business (of sex) was preferred under an arch, which in Roman architectural terms was known as a Fornix. The prostitute was known as a Fornatrix and the client was known as the Fornicator. In strictly architectural terms, the fornicator had sex with the fornatrix beneath the fornix. It is interesting to learn the meaning of some words. Try using the word Fornix in your next game of scrabble.