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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Back at home again... was staying at Lisa's place for a bit over a week there. Was lovely.
Man, is it hot today. I'm sitting here sweltering, it's 8:39pm and 31 degrees C. Our Real Estate keep making excuses instead of fixing our air-conditioning. Bah them.

I've just logged into MSN messenger and noticed that Microsoft have finally mentioned the elusive 250 meg mailbox size... They talk of it 'coming in December'... we'll see. One thing I did notice that was really interesting was their inclusion of a calendar function. Excellent. I have been searching around for a web calendar for a couple of week... Come on Google... don't let me down here... The combination of gmail with an included web calendar would be killer.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sydney slice of day
... I took this on the way from Wynyard station into work this morning...

... Some vines creeping up the wall near Lisa's house


Dale and I met up on the city (as usual, I was late) and we went to the underground bar and had a few gin and dry's, played some pool, then went over to the spirit, mind and body festival. That was alright, nothing particularly special (other than the fact that lisa was working there), although they did have some really nice teas which we sampled, several times. Dale bought some, I think I got the contact detail here somewhere... from memory they were some indian or african chai teas.... beautiful!


I took this photo after we left the festival (held down at the convention centre) on our way over to the imax where we saw some 3d under the ocean film. Looks like he was posing for me. The movie was cool, I hadn't been to imax before... I'm not sure why, guess I didn't really see the point of paying extra to see something that I hadn't seen publicised anywhere. Perhaps a bit of a narrow minded oversight. Movies are expensive enough as it is... it costs about $14 to see a normal, 2 hr film, imax is like $18 for 50mins.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Try this at home...

Supposedly some high school kid in Utah broke the world record for fastest text messaging yesterday, tapping out the official sentence the Guinness people use to judge these things (”The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”) on his cellphone keypad (no predictive text or QWERTY keyboards allowed) in just 57.75 seconds.

...I tried it... I gave up after it took me about 1 min 23 seconds to get to the end of 'Serrasalmus', but hey, I'm a predictive kinda guy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Plan for new square opposite Town Hall
...from SMH - November 12, 2004

Changing the neighbourhood ... the proposed new Sydney Square.

Sydney will get a new town square under an ambitious multimillion-dollar plan by the City of Sydney to buy half a city block opposite the Town Hall and demolish the buildings for open space.
Yesterday it overcame the biggest obstacle to its goal, buying the Manchester Unity building at 307 Pitt Street for $19.1 million. It already owns the Woolworths building on the corner of Park and George streets, the Hotel Coronation next door and Park House on the corner of Pitt Street, which has a $10 shop on its ground floor.
The council is now only a few buildings short of being able to bulldoze the entire northern half of the block. Three of these buildings were sold at different times for a total of $19.4 million. A fourth building is split into strata title, with several owners, which may increase the cost of the dreamed-about Sydney.
Both Brisbane and Melbourne have squares opposite their city town halls, with the expansive King George Square in Brisbane and the narrower City Square in Melbourne used for public events.
But Sydney's existing square is sandwiched between Town Hall and St Andrew's Cathedral, serving more as an entrance to the underground railway station than as a host to civic functions.

The plan is for a park for ceremonial and everyday use that leaves open the possibility of a reconfigured railway station. Cafes would be used to break up the bare facades of the remaining buildings, including the Energy Australia headquarters.
If completed during her term, it will be the second park the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, has secured. In June the council bought the former Water Police site in Pyrmont for $11 million.
"This is a long-term vision for the people of Sydney," Cr Moore said. "It will provide a legacy for residents, workers and visitors."
Preliminary plans show about 5300 square metres of open space at street level. Beneath the square would be a retail area, with the present supermarket retained. The council plans to rezone the area to preserve it for public use and "preclude any site amalgamation for redevelopment".
"Acquisition of all of the properties will be by negotiation, where possible, or failing a satisfactory negotiation, by compulsory acquisition," Cr Moore said.
But exactly when the dream will be realised is not clear, although the council, which will be taking in rents until the buildings are pulled down, yesterday suggested 10 years at most.
The square was first suggested in the 1980s and revived by former lord mayor, Frank Sartor, whose plan to put a library in a square on the site of the Woolworths building would have had to wait for its lease to run out about 2015.
But the retail giant has since announced plans to move its headquarters out of the city centre next year. Its general manager of property, Peter Thomas, refused to comment on the future of either the lease or the remaining supermarket because the matter was confidential.
The plan still requires a lot more money, and gives the owners of the Manchester Unity building a $7.7 million premium on what they paid for it in 1999.
Pittsway Arcade at 303 Pitt Street, last traded for $2.4 million in 1992. The building next to Woolworths, 542 George Street, was brought for $6.5 million in 1997. Henry Pollack, the founder of Mirvac, bought the adjacent Commonwealth Bank building for $10.5 million the same year.
The owners will be asking for a good deal more than those sums if they are to be convinced to sell.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Create best child possible, as our future depends on it: bioethicist
By Amanda Dunn- SMH - November 16, 2004

Parents have an obligation to have the "best" child possible, and that includes using genetic technologies to enhance humans. To neglect to do so would consign future generations to chance, rather than making rational choices about how we should live, Julian Savulescu, a bioethicist at Oxford University and Melbourne's Murdoch Children's Research Institute, said yesterday.
Speaking at a Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics seminar at Melbourne University, Professor Savulescu said the idea of enhancing children was no different from sending a child to the best school.
"If you're going to have a child you should have the best child you can," he said.
In the end, he argued, there were only two choices: either reject medical technology in its entirety or embrace it. To want to engage in only parts of it was morally ambiguous.
"Once we accept intervening in how things are naturally, for the treatment of disease, relief of pain, we've accepted that we can intervene in God's will or in nature for the better," he said. "And why should we stop at relieving pain, or prolonging life? Surely what matters is how well our lives go."

Monday, November 15, 2004

bromeliad detail


Found some info today suggesting that the nokia 7710 may actually be released in Australia after all... nice site, I'll keep an eye on it: http://imobile.com.au/ today.

Yesterday Lisa, Mick a bunch of Lisa's friends and I went to the Newtown festival. The weather today and yesterday has been amazing, hovering around the 30degC mark. Not too hot, just right. Pity I had to work today, but hey, that's another story. Lisa and I are giving up cigarettes again... It'll make it easier if she's joining me this time... wish us luck. On Saturday Lisa and I went to Centennial Park to hang out with one of her friends and her baby who she hasn't seen for about 8 months. It was very windy. In true line of domestics, we then went to Bunnings Warehouse and spend about an hour and a half in the gardening section... my god.. this is getting serious... ;) I bought a Bromeliad. Useless trivia time: the most well known bromeliad is..... the Pineapple!
I never knew!

my friend Dale is coming to Sydney this weekend from Melbourne, so I'm trying to find plenty of cheap things we can do, there's plenty, i know... he hasn't been here for 18 years or something, so there's a lot to catch up on. We'll probably check out the Spirit, Mind + body festival which is on at the Convention Centre down at Darling Harbour. I might even drag him to the Glebe markets too. Show him Sydney as I see it, not just the touristy stuff.

I'm happy to report that I've recently opened a managed fund with ING too.... trying to get on top of my finances.. My plan is to live like a complete tight-ass for about 6 months and get on top of my debts a bit more... I think it's working.

I'm coming up to another 2 weeks working onsite down at the Rocks, starting this Friday too... I'll probably not write in that time as for most of it I'll be staying at Lisa's place in North Sydney.
We'll see.
Oh well, more later I guess. Till then, take care.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Infofile (from Sydney Morning Herald ~ 8.11.2004)

Would-be inventors - heed this advice: Phillip George, lecturer of photography at UNSW, predicts a major area of growth will be in personal archival databases.
"The issue is people at home with 20,000 photos of their baby. When their computer crashes they've lost all their photos. All that will be lost. This hasn't been addressed. People's family photographs aren't stable and the paper will fade over time. Also, colour and resolution hasn't been addressed."
George says big businesses are asking everybody to be their own archivist, resolution and colour experts, where once we could go back to our negatives.
"We've got to migrate data. The thing about data is that it can slip," he says.

2020 vision: live to 120

Sydney Morning Herald ~ November 8, 2004 - 2:37PM

A life expectancy of 120, glow-in-the-dark cats and wiping out diseases with the bite of a banana - welcome to life in 2020.
Scientists say this and more is possible within 16 years.
Craig Cormick, from the federal government's Biotechnology Australia, said today advances in biotechnology had the ability to provide significant lifestyle changes for humans, including the ability to live 40 years beyond the current average life expectancy.
"The fundamental difference is we'll no longer be treating diseases, we'll be treating wellness," he said today.
"If we can sequence a child's genome when they're born, and by 2020, before they're born, you can test a child's genetic make-up while they're still in the womb and undertake corrective measures."
By 2020 it is predicted medicines will be tailored to your own genetic make-up, you will be able to clone your own organs if something goes awry, and have the ability to slow your ageing process.
"These ones are in the realm of scientific possibility ... because they're things we're doing at the moment, they're technologies we're starting with or we're doing them in mammals to some extent," Mr Cormick said.
A conference in Brisbane this week is exploring visions of biotechnology into the future, including their benefits and risks.
Mr Cormick said those visions included growing crops with vitamins and vaccines to counter health problems such as diabetes, types of cancers, malnutrition and vitamin deficiency.
"We expect by the year 2020 we'll see lots of our foods with increased health attributes," Mr Cormick said.
And the use of biotechnology in the future could mean puss will never be the same again.
"You'll be able to change the colour of your cat or dog," Mr Cormick said.
"We already know you can put genes into rabbits and fish and make them glow.
"People are willing to look for novelty and it's well within the realms of possibility if people want to have a glow-in-the-dark cat or designer dog."
Mr Cormick said it was also possible humans would be drinking recycled waste water as biotechnology processes created certain bacteria which could be used to purify water.
However, scientists were wary of overstepping the mark.
"Every time you're tinkering with life to any extent you worry people," Mr Cormick said.
"There will always be a side-effect or an impact that we have to consider ethically. The best way that's done is through working with the community."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Another day down as we plummet headlong towards the weekend. Today was good, though very busy, I barely had time to think. Monday was much the same which probably led to me having yesterday off work... I woke up feeling horrible and burnt out. Just couldn't do it, just shuffled around the house feeling fluey.
I did have one victory though, I managed to get py2exe to generate an exe file from one of my python projects... finally I can do something a bit more useful (at least ina windows environment). I hear that Nokia are working towards releasing python for symbian-based mobile phones. Cool!
Looks like nokia have officially announced the 7710, but no mention of it being available to Australia. Damn. I was hoping to combine my next phone with more pda functionality, doesn't look like that will be happening quite as soon as I had planned.

m: strung-out but energised.
b: toasted ham, mushroom and tomato sandwhich.
k: 2
l: tomato and capsicum tuna with zuchini and rice.
c: 10
g: 4

I bet $10 on our Melbourne Cup sweep at work for yesterdays race, got nuddin, absolutely nuddin. I think I won $25 last year tho. All part of the game really.

2moro night Lisa is on again at comedy, so I'm going to that, I'm working down at the Rocks on Friday, so will be staying at her place. I'm working Sunday back in the office too, so not much time available to spend with the girl this weekend it seems. She has a photoshop course on Saturday too, but hey, it's all good, we'll take what we can get, and there's plenty more opportunity as we do get most other weekends to ourselves (well, we have something planned on most weekends anyway, but that's our choice). Y'know we've spoken everyday for 4 and a half months? amazing.

oh, i have a new favourite site: http://tosic.com/... nice work nikola!

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