31 December 2006

Movies, women in kitchens, and happy NY

Hi again all, this particular missive comes to you with the sweet sounds of Marillions 'Afraid of Sunlight' blaring in the background. This is probably my all time favourite album, and I can't begin to imagine how many times I've listened to it.

For those of you who know me, I am now hairless. Well facial hair anyway. Depending on demand, I may post a picture.

In the paper yesterday, a study reported that women who cook and dust a lot are less likely to get heart disease. Go Science!!! So next time you order your wench to the kitchen to cook you some eggs, add 'it'll save your life honey' - should work a treat!!

Movie reviews:
I went and saw Copying Beethoven yesterday. This starred Ed Harris and the delectable Diane Krugar. Ok so it's a fantasy and creative story telling of Beethoven's last year. But its enjoyable. The first 20 minutes or so were a bit clunky, but after that it settled down and focussed on the characters - Beethoven and his copyist (Diane K). The movie takes as its starting point the final few days of composition of the 9th before its premiere. As Ludwig van is deaf and can't hear the orchestra he needs a backup - and his nephew Carl (who looks so emo-kid it's not funny!) doesn't want to do it. So he (LVB) bonds with the copyist - and she helps him. It's fun, music is great (mainly 9th, a bit of the 7th and bits of the late era quartets - might be others but thats what I picked), acting is good - although at times I thought Harris' was sleepwalking a bit - and movie is interesting.

North Country: saw this last night. Eh typical Hollywood fluff. Predictable storyline. Pah. No-one deserved to win anything from this movie. But I have a feeling they did. Stupid awards ceremonies. Even with wine drinking it didn't improve. The only plus was having Warren Zevon and Bob Dylan on the soundtrack - huzzah!

Oh well, off to cook dinner now :-)

smoochies, b.

29 December 2006

Santo - Mysterio ea Las Bermudas

Santo movies are characterised by their lack of acting, reasonable wrestling, poor scripts and dodgy english subtitles. As such, they rock. And this one, Santo and the Bermuda Mystery is no exception. For some reason Saint, Blue Demon and the Man with a thousand masks, are involved in high level discussions concerning nuclear energy. The babes are cute, curvy and sadly clothed. A strike against the movie...oh heres a plus, two people just appeared on screen. then disappeared. weird. here they are again they are wearing silver suits and headbands. A car chase and a boat chase, how lucky am I?! Followed by meeting a whole bunch of silver clad headband wearing people. Most of them with big village people style mustaches. Do silver wearing people have movember? Maybe they do... Goddard (the main bad guy, don't they make silver polish?) is being told off by his aforementioned babes for wanting to kill the person the wrestlers are going to defend. It's hard being the bad cheese. The silver suited people are scientists living in peace. Of course, it's all obvious. Somehow I'm suspicious that all is not what is seems! The princess is a karate expert. She's also funny looking. And just broke some bricks. It's tough being a brick. It ended with 'The end of the world is nigh'.

b x


Yes I know I promised pictures of the view from my office sometime ago, but like I don't have a camera. And I'm just looks anyway. But following a request to fix a camera/computer I now have some pictures.
First up; looking out towards Wgtn harbour from my window.

And secondly, out towards the cable car and the green stuff:

Love and kisses on your interesting bits, B.

26 December 2006

Boxing Day Pt II

And so begins Pt II. The swim was good, no cute chicks in bikini's, but relaxing nonetheless. First up is Sin City. I like this movie - nice noir vibe and beautifully shot. Was that McSteamy (GA) in it?

It's surprising how many people comment when you've got a painted fingernail.

And now onto Dream Theater 'Score', I was halfway through this so it's the orchestral section. Now with some bands (Metallica spring to mind here) this is just crap. But I have to admit I like what DT have done. Even if Mike P's stupid t-shirt makes me want to slap the bugger. And can his drum kit get any bigger? I mean really, can anyone say small penis? That's not even mentioning the bloody mirror he's got ...
But aside from that. Damm thats a great band. Scary how good they are really. The orchestral tracks were well chosen, the only comment I could make was that with an orchestra, perhaps a bit less keyboard would be required? Is that bit of Octavium a tribute to GardenParty? Hmmm certainly sounds like it.

WTF is up with jack johnson, why is he so popular and yet so frickin' boring?

And since DT it's been a wild wild ride! The news, Simpsons, Futurama and now Little Britain abroad. Shortly will be an episode of six feet under which I'm finally catching up on. Yes, it's all go here.

b (postus maximus)

Boxing Day movies Pt I

Boxing Day, traditionally a relaxing family orientated day. So that means BGRADE MOVIES!!! Yes oh yes oh yes...so in today's movie collection of gorgeous class:

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: Hercules against the Moon men.
An Italian-French 50s (?) flick about with some worryingly cheap effects! With the customary MST commentary - not as good as Briggs' (see Samurai Cop review). The legendary Alan Steel obviously had the title role, he's so heroic!!! Mmm coffee is nice. Watch Herc lift trees, flex his pecs, and beat up people! There's even some guy who was either a early Cyborg, or (more likely) came out of one of the Santos movies. But the great thing about Italian bgrades - as mentioned in the marathon review - is the chicks are hot!! Even if they can't act. At all. Some of them make Keira and Orlando look competent.
Ohh my washing is done. I should hang that out. Then I can be clean and have clothes. Not that I'm naked right now. Honest. Had a fun conversation the other day about acquiring a pre-op bf, nice. Sometimes I'm really impressed by me.
I'm also offering IT support advice while drinking coffee, thinking about my washing, watching hercules' pecs twitch erotically - damm I'm multi talented.

I've been watching six feet under on DVD recently. I've never been that keen on redheads, but she's cute. Mmmmm.

Next up we have Blood Freaks. Hmmm I might have already seen this one at a film fest a few years ago. I'll give it a few minutes, but I think it's the ravenous turkeys 'horror'. Truely a masterpiece, the director/lead actor and music writer/editor/producer appear to monopolise most of the roles and behind camera jobs. Excellent! Yeah I have seen it, but hell why not watch some drug addled hippies vs born again and turkeys.

It appears that there's a larger readership of the blog than I realised!! Exciting times. Oohh the born again just took some dope! and now he's being seduced by his girlfriends sister. Excellent! The one doing the seducing is hotter than his girlfriend so I reckon he made a good call there. Herschel (the main dude, and director) is trying to act. It's not pretty. The turkeys were doing a better job. Ooh plot development: Herschel has had two cigarettes, and is now 'hooked' - must be some type of super THC. In an unsurprising plot development, following eating scientists turkey, Herschel has turned into a giant man eating turkey. You following this? Come on...it's not rocket science...actually he's not a man eater, yet. He's confused, and wants to change back. from the girlfriend 'What would our children look like?' Herschel, the giant turkey, appears to have just put his beak where turkeys dont usually go. The girlfriend didnt seem to mind tho'. He's man eating now! and woman eating. Go the equal opportunist turkey-man-monster. You know those times when people say, no expense was spared, this movie isn't one of them.

Well that's part one of the movie reviews done. I'm off for a swim - or at least to see if the pool is open.

Back later, b x

25 December 2006

Xmas Day

Christmas Day was nice. Caught up with the the family, culminating in a beer n scotch at my sisters before heading back to town. I even hand delivered the only Xmas card I wrote this year. Yeah go me.

Wandered down to catch up with Mark n Gav, drank wine. Drank scotch. Watched Scrooged and Samurai Cop (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0130236/) with Joe Bob Briggs commentary. Damm that was good. Even funnier, we had members of the public watching from the street, and some of them re-enacting the scenes - bloody marvellous!! Great movie, so shockingly bad, it's very very hard to describe the plot. Other than good guy, helicopters, ex-porn stars attempting to act, very little kung fu, a few katanas and very classy directing/editing/writing! Oh and lots of butt shots...

In a random list of cool things:
* macbooks
* bluetooth wireless keyboards
* wireless mighty mouse
* salmon roe
* chicks swimming at the pool in bikini's

There will be another post later today reviewing what movies I'm watching today (boxing day).

me xxxx

22 December 2006

This one might be a bit geeky

Having spent the last five days editing images of chromosomes into more traditional karyotypes I'm going to comment on Photoshop. I've been using it since PS3 which was sometime ago. I'm currently playing with the beta for CS3 and I'm happy to report it's good. It's fast on my Intel Mac - a distinct improvement on CS2 which sucks on Intel's.
Have had a quiet few days, karyotyping during the day and chilling in the evenings. My liver and I reached a compromise, and I rested the wee fella for a few days. He's happier about that.
Had a nice dinner on thurs night with friend - although once again I go over to someones place and end up cooking. Oh well, at least it was smoked chicken pasta salad which is quick. Big ups to Marina for making it a relaxing giggly evening.

I've just finished karyotyping a spread which will make it into the paper I'm going to write over the break (yeah how exciting is my Xmas!) with the first demonstration of AluI digestion in reptile chromosomes. And I've printed out the existing chapters to edit bits and pieces.

Xmas day looks like a movie and wine evening - excellent. Not sure who I'll end up boozing with, but at least the plans are there.

I now have some photos of the office and view which I'll get up here in the next day or so. Must be time for some CD reviews soon too. I should also do some Xmas shopping, but I hate crowds and am having such a productive day that I dunno if I'll get downtown...

Me x

18 December 2006

More Science News!

This time from this weeks Nature update.
It appears doctors have decided that for women on the pill there's no real reason why they should stop taking it for a few days a month - just so they can menstruate. This makes perfect sense and I suspect a fair few women were probably doing that anyway. More info on the test can be found here. There maybe a possible side effect of increased potential for blood clots. Why am I even posting this? Cos my main research interest is sex, and if I have to talk about reproduction it helps to read about it :-)

And in other cool science news a baby Plesiosaur has been excavated in Antartica (see here). Coolness factor? Very cool indeed. A candidate for the reptile cool wall - should Jeremy Clarkson ever move to something a bit slower moving. It's apparently a very well preserved skeleton and its a juvenile (no cool names for juv plesiosaurs sorry!). Juvenile bones don't form fossils very well which is why this is exciting. Why care about Plesiosaurs? Well strangely they are going to feature in the still to be written Anapsid v Diapsid debate blog.


17 December 2006

Din dins

I got a bit inspired and ended up cooking quite a bit yesterday. Here's the menu:
* caramelised red onion, olives and feta in large vol-au-vent cases
* slow roast mushrooms with parsley pesto dribbled over
* cucumber cups with creme fraiche and salmon roe
* white pizza (home made base, potatoes, ricotta, parmesan, garlic, chedder. white mushrooms) - a favourite of F W deClerk
* blanched beans and strawberry salad in a strawberry vinaigrette

It was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon, slaving in the kitchen :-)

me. xx

15 December 2006

Smoking, Viagra and Kofi Annan

A subject title you didn't think you'd see...

News: Scottish smokers ended up getting Viagra instead of an anti-smoking drug.
I love computer glitches. I should take up smoking...

I was reading Kofi Annan's comments on 'what the world needs now' - he hadn't titled it that, but hell, it makes for better reading. It seemed to me that essentially he was saying that by having rogue powerful states, the US being the example he was using (obliquely), the power of a democracy such as the UN is much reduced. That makes sense. Two other points he made struck me; firstly that States cannot confront global challenges alone. I'm thinking that the current global warming crisis is a good example of that. Interestingly on the previous page of the paper there was an article on the Artic icecap melting at a prodigious rate. Is it perhaps the place of the UN to sort out a global policy for global warming and carbon emissions. And then enforce that? I'm picking that at least one country (well ok, two since Aussie won't depart from the Bush love-in) won't be too keen on that. The other major point I got from his article was that the UN Security Council (oops nearly wrote sexual council) needs to be reformed with its membership reflecting the world as it is, not the world as it was in 1945.

Love, B


This one is a bit delayed cos our WebSense server decided blogspot was a bad site :-)

I went to the Arts Faculty graduation yesterday, to accept a diploma for Frances. Went with Jos, Liz and Steve and the four of us wandered across the stage to accept the diploma in SSR (France hadn’t finished her thesis for the MA). I thought that was a nice gesture by VUW. Even if it was a lot harder than I thought – actually I didn’t have any idea how I was going to be. But it was good, we chatted to a few people afterwards, nice to see have a chat to David Norton, whose lectures in first year we both enjoyed. Even if we had no idea of each other then – it was a standard joke that I could remember Rach from those lectures, but couldn’t remember the more diminutive member of her retinue :-)
We headed out for dinner (at KK, a nice touch, even if it is my fav restaurant as well...) then came home. Sleep didn’t come too easy and I ended up reading George’s new book til 2ish.
Thanks to Alex for the Ashes updates btw.

13 December 2006

Mammals in NZ

Hi all, in a change from movie and music reviews...I present the third M, mammals. A really important paper has just been published in the Proceedings of the Nat Academy by Trevor Worthy et al concerning the first mammalian fossils to be found in New Zealand. The NewScientist summary can be found here, and the online version of the paper (if you have access to PNAS) here. Actually that takes you to the abstract which everyone can get to.

So why is this interesting? The general version of the history of NZ biota has been that NZ didn't have many mammals - the exceptions being bats (three species). The absence of mammals led to the development of our unique flora and fauna, in particular the diverse reptilian and avian fauna using niches that mammals would normally occupy. And lets not even start on the weta as a mouse :-)
This has always seemed a bit suspect when you think about all the lands NZ was joined to as part of Gondwanaland, all of which have mammals. The problem stems from a poor fossil record in NZ. Geologically NZ has been a bit like Divine Brown, up and down rather quickly...so old hills and lakeshores where fossils may have been are now buried deep underground, or in the middle of mountains.

This paper details further exploration in the St Bathans, Central Otago region which has previously produced a sphenodontid, a crocodile, lizards, bats and birds dating around 19-16 million years ago (MYA). Phylogenetic analysis of the mammal sample suggested a basal mammal that isn't a monotreme (baby monotremes are called puggles, how cool is that?!). Dating of the fossil post Oligocene drowning (OD) is important. NZ was reduced to a small archipelago around 30-25 MYA (Oligocene) which would have caused extinction of some, and a severe bottleneck to other flora and fauna. Finding this fossil, which is significantly different to other mammals alive at the same time (Worthy et al compared it to Australian fossils) demonstrates that NZ had its own endemic mammalian fauna that survived the OD. Therefore our unique reptile and avian fauna evolved in the presence of mammals.

The fossil, and its absence from Australia, causes more problems for the recent suggestion that NZ was entirely under water during the OD period and that all of our unique biota was post-Oligocene. Worthy et al acknowledge that it is possible the mammal dispersed to NZ post-OD, but absence of any major adaptations for swimming (and no evidence for flight) argue against that. This means that there are at least four major high levels groups of animals that lived only in NZ and haven't been found anywhere else since the Mesozoic era - tuatara, NZ frogs, wrens and now the mammal.

George Gibbs has just published a really interesting book on how the NZ flora and fauna evolved called Ghosts of Gondwana. Apparently UnityBooks are the cheapest place to buy it.


10 December 2006

Bond, Cave and Depp

Movie review time. First up was another viewing of the Nick Cave movie The Proposition basically an Australian western. The first time I saw this movie I came away thinking it was one of the best Aussie flix I'd seen, and would probably make a Top10 if I ever made one. The weekend viewing confirmed that. Really interesting script concerning the British colonial attitude to enforcement. Ray Winstone's character is the Captain who has to capture an outlaw and his brothers who had raped, murdered and burnt a family. The Captain captures the youngest brother (Mikey - a simpleton) and Guy Pierce's character Charlie Burns. He sends Charlie off to find his older brother with the Proposition of swopping him for Mikey - otherwise he'll hang Mikey. What follows is a really interesting exploration of the characters, the Captain being ordered by effeminate boss (David Wenham) to flog to death Mikey. The Captains relationship with his wife (mmm Emily Watson...), Charlie's relationship with his brother Arthur etc. The colonial attitudes to Aborigines is also looked at in, um, graphic detail.
As you might have guessed, this movie is getting a big thumbs up from me. The level of violence has been described as high, but I'd disagree with that. The violence is very quick and in the hands of a lesser (Hollywood?) director it probably would have been made OTT. In this film its more suggested and quick shots, and let's be realistic, colonial Australia was unlikely to be a bunch of flower arrangers...

Next up was the Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton and John Malkovich vehicle The Libertine, this movie was about the debaunched life of the Lord of Rochester. Acting was superb, story was full of breasts and sex and literature, and the costume, period setting (Charles II) was great. I got the feeling that the story was at times subsumed for sex (and no, I can't believe I wrote that!) but it was a good movie. Depp is particularly good although I kept getting flashbacks to his character in Sleepy Hollow, Malkovich is fantastic as Charles II. For some reason I've never been the biggest fan of John M, but he gave Chuckles II a really good vibe all deep and thoughtful. I enjoyed it not as much as I hoped, but definitely worth a spin.

Finally: wandered along to the Embassy to see the new Bond movie. No point giving a IMDB for that one. Came away happy as it is a good movie. At times I think the scripting could have been a bit tighter as certain scenes drag a bit, and the love spin in the middle seemed too long and superfluous. Unless the viewer is really dumb and needs to be bludgeoned. Daniel Craig is excellent, I'd said a few years ago after LayerCake that he'd make an excellent Bond, and then got roundly laughed at. Screw you bastards I was right!!! Craig was excellent, really physical and can act. It did help that he had a reasonable script to work with. Didn't think much of the Bond girl, she seemed a bit lost onscreen. So yeah a reasonable movie, a bit long, but quite enjoyable and lots of explosions and stuff.

Love, b

9 December 2006

Sea of Love

No not a summary of my lovelife - sorry - more a comment on Tom Waits cover of Sea of Love. For what was a saccharine schmaltzy song by the Honeydrippers, Tom has reinterpreted it in Tom style. It now seems to be more about a dirty sleazy lowlife, an ode to perverts if you will.


There was something in the paper the other I thought I might comment on. But its gone now.
And to the nitpickers who have complained about my typing/grammatical structure in this blog - this is designed for my stream of consciousness rants, not structured writing, it's (notice correct use of the apostrophe) a nice break from all the other writing I have to do. So eh, I care not!

Big ups to Apple for giving us iTunes NZ store. Haven't found anything I want yet, but eh early days.

Ciao, B

4 December 2006

Good stuff!! and bloody officemate

Woohoo I checked my mail yesterday and found lots and lots of CDs. Isn't it good when stuff you ordered months ago and forgot about turn up? And when Scottish Neil sends me stuff :-) So in my pile of things to listen to I have:
* Tom Waits - Orphans (ahhhh Tom....)
* Dredg - Live at the Fillmore
* Spocks Beard - Spocks Beard
* Sparklehorse - Dreamt for light years in the belly of the mountain
* Wolverine - Still
* Mew - Frengers (more people should hear this band...)
* Kelly Joe Phelps - Tunesmith Retrofit
* Various Artists - Colours are brighter

My coffee cup had personality. A patina if you will, built up over many months/years of just dumping the dregs out and not washing it. In a shocking turn of events my officemate (knowing full well what he was doing, cos he was laughing this morning) put it through the dishwasher! It's now sparkling clean. And scaring me.

Oh well back to see the chromosomes (which are looking good today).

Smoochies, me xxx

3 December 2006

Christmas lights

Now I'm not usually an advocate for violence or wanton destruction. No really. Focussed aggression sure...

But in this weekends DomPost there is an article about some 'vandals' who have destroyed $500 worth of christmas house lights. This is apparently bad. I'm not so sure though. Am I the only person who thinks the idea of lighting up your house over christmas is a really stupid and dumb idea? You spend bollox loads of money to buy lights and then spend more to run them. And all you've achieved is to make visual pollution and cause massive traffic jams as rubberneckers cruise by slowly. So I'm thinking the 'vandals' may need to rewarded or at least commissioned to destroy more house lights...
The article included some wonderful lines "...leaving damaged plastic Santas strewn across the front lawn and a metre-high reindeer on its side." and my favourite "'It is a pity I didn't have a couple of thousand volts going through the eight leads {snip} that would have made their eyes light up a bit' 70-year-old Mr Marley said."

Ahh there's the christmas spirit...

Love, scrooge...

2 December 2006

Ashes II

This from the BBC live scoring website:
Pietersen is seeing it like a Queensland water melon at the moment and hooks Lee through mid-wicket for four

hee hee I have no idea what that means. But damm its great!

I'm quite liking their live scoring, its quirky and can be found http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/england/6201018.stm

Bloody Windows users

There are silly people in this world. Every few weeks someone will ask me 'my computer doesn't work very well, can you look at' I sigh, state I'll need cash or wine (or crayfish) and begin looking. Most of the time it's due to expired antivirus definitions. Like the current case. They are (or were) running Nortons security centre. Not my first choice for AV software, but hey there were trying. Although this was negated by a) the defs being 18 months out of date and b) none of the windows security updates being installed. It's akin to going to a gay bar, throwing a bucket of water over you, dropping the soap and saying last one in is a het-boy.
So here's my advice to all you windows users out there, and I'll be the first to admit that yes this will cut down my alcohol/cash/seafood income. But thats the kind of hit I'll take for you!!!

* run an upto date operating system. Thats WinXP (preferrably Pro) or Vista. Not 2000, 98, 95. Or switch to Linux (ubuntu/kubuntu is my favourite).
* run Windows Update (under Tools menu in Internet explorer while connected to the internet). This will pull down the number of security updates for the machine
* run Office updates (found here)
* update your antivirus program, if you don't have one and dont want to play with soap, try using a free one. I tend to run the AVG freeware which can be found here
* remember to update your antivirus program. most of them can be set to remind you if you are a forgetful fish like creature, every 7 days should be fine
* antispyware. either spybot or Microsoft antispyware would be a good place to start.

For those of you follow these simple bits of info, and feel immense gratitude to me, send me alcohol, cash or food. I shall send you big respect and love.


Me xx

29 November 2006

Free trip !!!

There’s something about staring down microscopes that is really bad for the head!! Must be the bright lights and weird purple blobs sliding past really quickly. Who needs drugs eh? I get tripped for free!! Now that would really screw up the black market economy...hmmm maybe I should start marketing it?

But I have managed to listen to some new music and in particular The Lost Levels self titled album, or rather EP. It's kind of electro-pop, but using 1980's sounding synthesisers, a little like Athletes first album, but more synth. The album has got a bit of a theme, a computer game - which is supposed to tie in with the style of music. I liked it. Very catchy and good hooks, probably just as well that it was an EP as I think an LP would have been very hard to maintain. But this works well. The lyrics are nice and psychedelic and a reasonable reference point for the singer would be early Steve Wilson (from Porcupine Tree - Up the Downstair, or On The Sunday of Life era). The album is quirky, interesting, and fun. So gets a nice thumbs up from me. You can find it at Burning Shed here.

Okey dokey, back to the lab...

b xxx

Ahhhh chromosomes

Well I got some, not lots, but hopefully enough to work with. Although staring down microscopes all day isn't going to do a lot for my personality. And I'm getting pissed off with our proxy server which appears to go down *way* too frequently. On the plus side my iPod and I are bonding.

I'm currently looking at the artists impression of the new skyscraper for Paris by Thom Mayne. I like it, kinda organic, smooth, and nifty. If nifty can be used to describe a large building. I'm all for interesting buildings, especially if they provoke people. I like Te Papa, but its not hard to find people who don't. My only concern on this one is: does Paris need another skyscaper? One of the things I really like about Paris is its lack of tall buildings. Bloody marvellous idea that. So do they need one? But for all that the choices so far seem good, this looks cool and the Louvre's glass pyramid is very cool. So perhaps I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Not that I suspect they'll care too much about one bloggers opinion in New Zealand.

I think I'll go shopping now.

B x

27 November 2006

The Ashes

Aussies just won by 277 runs.


I'd picked a slightly closer game.


Sigh, long days are here again

Had a good weekend, big ups to Adele's party, beer, wine and vodka in roughly that order. Sunday was spent feeling quiet, watching rugby and setting up all the solutions I needed for the lab today. Which brings me to today, sigh all day in the lab dealing to the blood cultures from last week. Not exactly exciting, but at least I've got my iPod all redone. That was my achievement for Friday night. Yup no stopping me from a fun-filled exciting life!!
Finished getting images for my classical stuff today, so shifted that back to the ipod this afternoon. As an added bonus I found my Kino CD, it had been put in with my Shostakovich Sym#15. Which of course made perfect sense. Sometimes I confuse myself. Actually most of the time I confuse myself which is why I don't listen to me. But that shouldn't stop you. Go on. Listen, learn.

I have some slides drying at the moment and they'll get stained up shortly so I can peer at them tomorrow. That will make me myopic and grumpy by tomorrow afternoon, nothing like a focal length of 30cm and having a bright light staring at you for 6-8 hours to make your day!

Our office is now mostly setup. It seems somehow smaller after Rudi and I moved our stuff in. But its comfortable, has a view, a coffee grinder and filter machine, and much green tea. Huzzah!

I'm currently reading the Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes, which is interesting but not riveting. But thats more to do with having 'heard it all before' as he writes well. The book is his account of the hunt for mitochondrial Eve - a bit of a public misnomer that, as the title of the book suggests. All modern H. sapiens can be traced back to a small group (Sykes' suggests 7) of females based on extant mitochondrial variation.

And now, a bit of public admission. For sometime I have been hassling my geeky friends about their adoration of the new series of Battlestar Galactica. Mainly as I hadn't watched it, and figured geeky people liked it, it was bound to be crap, and anyway I could hassle them ... sadly I've now watched the first 7 episodes, and it's rather good. There I've said it. You lot were right, I was wrong.

Off to stain some slides now...have fun.


23 November 2006

It has been a slow day

And my major achievement has been to add cover art to most of my iTunes library. This was made more of a challenge as NZ doesn't have an iTunes store so it had to be done manually. I just reformatted my ipod and was going to update it and stuff, and remembered that I need the powerplug for that. So no music on the walk home. Tough life.

I saw The Departed the other day. Very good movie, good to see Scorsese with his mojo back. There's been some criticism of it being a bit bloated, but in general it seemed to flow well. I reckon it's Leo's best acting, and even Jack Nicholson seemed to be trying. So for once it almost appeared that Jack was playing a character, not just playing Jack. It is worth seeing the original, Infernal Affairs, which is tighter and leaner than Scorsese's version. But still, I really enjoyed this movie.

I've been told that it can't be a blog unless I blog about cats. I'm not sure you lot want me to do that, but it may turn up anyway...

Me x

nd: japanese lime green tea from Tea Total
np: Sigur Ros - Takk

22 November 2006

I have a view!!!!

I shifted offices today. This fitted in nicely as I'm waiting for the blood to do its culturing thing. The new one has a view of the harbour, some trees, and some pretty houses. Hopefully someone will sunbath naked on the many balconies and veranda's I have to look at. That would so make my day. I have some beer and wine ready in case that happens. Does it show I was in the scouts? Or that I'm just a pervert.

I fixed a friends computer today, and he gave me some nice English ales. I feel a lot of manly love towards him right now. It has made my school bag heavy but eh, that's a small price to pay.

I bled the tuts yesterday which went pretty well. So the blood is culturing itself - well at least I hope its doing that. I'll be mighty grumpy if its not. So leucocytes, if you are reading this, stop and start culturing!!

Mmm just had lovely visitors to my office and they brought chocolate. I like visitors who bring choc. I'm off home now, then to the movies. You take take care now...

b x
np: jolie holland

20 November 2006


I'm quite excited today as I'll be sticking needles into defenceless reptiles. It's been awhile since I did that, and to be honest, I've missed it. I spent last week checking my samples and decided that the chromosomes had degenerated a bit too much for the work I want to do on them, so I need some fresh ones.

In other news I did far too much labwork last week and was pretty shagged by Saturday. So after a bit of work in the morning, I headed home around 1-ish. And found beer. Macs White beer, which was very nice. I did housework, I finished restoring my harmonium (which I'll post something about with pictures at some point), watched TV and drank. This included the metal show from the night before - huzzah to extreme metal. Then some Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd. Odd. And beer. People rang me during this, and were somewhat disturbed by my mood. I was disturbed by my mood. It was so happy, and jolly, and odd. And so I wandered along to an engagement party - yay Fin and Tom!! And had a great time.

Sunday morning wasn't as bad I thought it could be. I learnt sometime ago that a bottle of Powerade before bedtime after the odd drink does wonders for the hangover. Having said that, getting up at 8am to get to the pub for the rugby at 9 was tough. But all credit to the French for having late games, 9am is far better than those stupid poms and their 4am starts. Everyone seems to be complaining about what a crap game it was, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Good intense test match.

But a quiet day after that, ended up watching Godfather 1 again. Ahhh. Great movie.

Ohhh excitement a friend emailed me to say she liked my blog!! hee hee big ups to you!!

Topics coming up: Diapsida vs Anapsida. Don't miss it, it's controversial, interesting, and full of holes - literally!!!


17 November 2006

Shostakovich, Symphony and old people

I wandered along to the NZSO last night as they had their composer focus on Shostakovich, who I like. The first half consisted of The Age of Gold Suite and Piano Concerto #2. Both were very light dancey pieces which sounded good. But not really what I wanted from Shosty...can't say I'll be rushing in to buy a CD of those two.

The second half was the 8th Symphony, which is what I really popped long for. Damm its good. Violent, depressing, futility everything you want from Shostakovich, and as the conductor mentioned no-one ever plays it. Great stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed it, thought all sections sounded great. With the exception of the first Fr horn player, who appeared to having a nightmare night, flipping and cracking notes all over the place. Sadly this was very noticeable since I was sitting behind him. The rest of the horn section were fine, just their leader. I sense a rebellion ... But over all it didn't detract from the piece and I came away a happy wee camper. I'm trying to remember if I've got the 8th on CD (damm not having all my classical on the ipod) if anyone can suggest a good version of it that would be peachy keen.

And now the rant.

Old people are a symptom of the symphony. It may sound age-ist, but lets face it the demographic for the NZSO is not hip young things (aside from me...). Everytime I go I'm reminded of this and how bloody annoying they are, here's a list:
* twitchy legs, arms, necks - they can't sit still (this was worse last night at the Town Hall where their safety first rubber souled shoes kept squeeking on the floor everytime their leg twitched)
* an urge to talk including such gems as 'oohhh that conductor is very young, is it his first time' (it's all relative you half dead octogenarian)
* unwrapping lollies now I'm all for people sucking things (heh heh) particularly if it stops them coughing, but wouldn't it make sense to unwrap them before the music starts? and why unwrap slowly during the quiet bits? is it just to make it more annoying and last longer for the rest of us? twats.
* is it possible that every old person has a cold? it certainly seems that way. If you have a bad cold, why turn up to the symphony? Is it because you a) are a sharing person or b) figure if you have a cold and can't hear the concert very well, nor should anyone else?
* as my bladder appears to be able to handle two hours before it needs emptying, I won't mention the production line approach (Soyent Green?) to the toilet...

And finally, the zombie shuffle to leave the concert. Is it absolutely imperative that the three of you link arms? I see that in teenagers, who I believe you old people detest too, but the principle is the same. Three people heading down a smallish staircase blocks the way for the rest of us.


np: Rush - Test for Echo

16 November 2006


Satya Sai Maitreya Kali on his album 'Inca' sounds just like Jeff Buckley - well in the spoken word bits anyway. Singing wise he sounds more like Nick Drake.

14 November 2006

The Marathon...

Right, seeing as I'd promised to review the movie marathon...24 hours of joy and happiness to the world. Ahhhh.

Lady Terminator The premise was vaguely, hot chick onto her 100th husband who still doesn't do it for her. So he pulls out a snake which wriggles up her privates and turns into a knife. So, in a logical step at retribution, she tells him that she'll wreck vengence on his great-grandaughter. Cut to 1980's, and cute anthropologist is hutning down the legend of the Queen of the South Seas. The anthropologist bit is quite important, cue "I'm not a woman, I'm an anthropologist". Lots of explosions, guns, bigger guns, death count, eye-rays etc. All good stuff. Great way to start the caffeine overload.

Streets of Fire It had Rick Moranis and Willem Defoe (the first of two Defoe sightings for the evening) in it. The director, Walter Hill, wrote/dir The Warriors, and there's a fuck of a lot of crossover in this one, including the same settings! Except the Warriors is good (ish). Streets of Fire is about a young singer who gets kidnapped, and her ex (Michael Pare) a solo grumpy bastard, heads out to save her. Lots of singing, with her songs written by Jim Steinman (or should that be recycled by...) and everyone else by the legendary Ry Cooder. It did look good, nice moody lighting - but script etc didn't live up to the photography. So kudo's to the DoP. In other news I see Hill has announced for 2008 a remake of the Warriors...wonder if Jim Steinman is free ...

Burial Ground
Yay Yay a zombie flick. Even better an Italian zombie flick! With incest! How could it fail!! Unsurprisingly it didn't. Being Italian all chicks were hot, storyline was vaguely : professor opens crypt, gets eaten by zombies, who then start rampaging around the house. What was never really explored was how were there that many zombies down there (body count was high, hee hee) and what they lived on before let loose on an unsuspecting movie public. A good beheading scene, and the zombies are far smarter than the victims. I mean, you've got 10 very slow moving zombies, and you are standing *next* to the car. What would you do? Many victims, and many houses - everytime the going gets tough the kids move onto the next house. Where, quell horror, more zombies! The incredibly weird and ugly looking kid (with the hot mother) makes a move on her, he's quite smooth actually, suggesting weird kids might get more sex in Italy than I'd thought. Sadly she rejects him, so he goes and gets zombied and eats people. Woohoo nice swing on disaffected teenagers... I enjoyed this movie, cheap, crappy, although not enough sex.

Crank The only new release of the marathon. Drug dude is on some shit that if he slows down he dies. So keeps keeping his pulse up by violence, guns, drugs, sex etc. It was less mindless than I thought it would be. Great pacing, I'd almost recommend this one ;-)

Troll 2 Here's a radical thought, lets make a movie called Troll 2 with no trolls. That'll blow their mind man. It does have goblins tho'. Plot (as it is): small boy speaks to dead grandfather who warns him of goblins, boy acts mad. Parents dispair. Go to village for houseswop (Nilbog - geddit? geddit?!) people turn into plants. Weirdness ensues. Real bollox. No redeeming sex scenes.

Behind Locked Doors And onto the sex flix! Swingers, with great music, are having a ball in a barn. Bad swinger tries to do bad stuff to cute swinger, some random old guy intervenes and is invited to the party. Turns out he's a mad sex scientist (I write these words, i feel uncomfortable) and drains their car, or something, and they come to his house. Spooky! Sexy! Sadly no, potential for a full on deviant sex flick is never realised, but there are zombies. For some reason the plastic things came to life at the end. No I don't understand either. Eh it was fun, but the music was the highlight. Note to Ant: more sex next time...

Thunderbirds are go Now I'm not the biggest fan of thunderbirds, and I've seen some of the movies over the years and been grumpy by the end. But violate a duck this was utter crap. Basically a 30 minute plot (if that), stretched out to a 2 hour flick. When they said it would take 10 minutes to launch something, the fuckers were talking real-time! By far the worst/most painful movie of the marathon. Thank god for coffee and V ... I imagine removing genital lice with a branding iron would be more enjoyable than this movie.

Glorify God with TV I don't think anyone actually worked out what the title was to this one, but a great wee cameo (I have no idea how long it was) program about how to make your TV watching glorify the greatness of God. Hey I'm sold...I guess this ties in with the old TVs where phosphorus was on the inside of the screen...

The Hidden Slug alien inhabits bodies, other alien comes to kill it. There, thats your plot. Kyle MacLachlan (before Twin Peaks) was in it. Enjoyed this one, pacing was good and indestructible stripper with guns - will get my vote everytime!

Astrologer Ok, this one weirded me out. Basically government bad people good, which was pointed out many times. And then nothing was done with it. Bright guy, Alexi, is trying to meld astrology and science whilst managing the second coming which he's established is from his wife. Which is why he's not shagging her, in case it needs to be an immaculate conception. Riiigghhhtt. Although it turns out she's already dropped a kid as a *Teenage Mother*! Shocking stuff. Sadly no good sex scenes. Oh as everyone probably mentions, the director went on to do Exterminator.

To Live and Die in LA A William Friedkin penned flick, with Willem Defoe again as the bad guy -whoda thunk it eh? Wasn't quite as good as I remembered, but still bounced along nicely. Car chases were excellent, violence was good, cynicism was good, and the ending is refreshing. Recommended, which sadly stands out as an excuse to pan it for this marathon. It does have the very memorable line: 'If you want bread, fuck a baker'

The Holy Mountain This was it, nirvana. Hell I'd have paid my money for this flick alone. Why yes, I do like Alexandro Jodorowsky. Weird pseudo religious flick with bollox loads of religious iconography in it. Guaranteed to offend anyone too wrapped up in beliefs, but very very cool. Toads and chameleons as surrogates for the Spanish raping of the Aztecs (?was it?) was pretty normal as things went weird from there. You could argue it was a moving about 'finding yourself', you could argue it was an exploration of human religious thought, you could also argue it was an inspired piece of drug induced beauty. I'd push for the latter. I loved it, I spent most of the movie laughing as its very funny. I really can't recommend this one too highly. For those of you who haven't experienced AJ before, I'd recommend Santa Sangre as a reasonable entry point... After 20 hours of caffeine, alcohol and strawberries (heh heh) the timing of this was perfect. Thanks Ant.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers The remake with Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum. I like it, possibly not as much as some people. But it is well done. Nice way to end the marathon.

Overall: less sex and violence than I'd hoped for. A more 'stable' lineup than in other years, but thank fuck for no painful karate movies! Seemed very 80s this year. But as you may have gathered seeing Holy Mountain would cover a multitude of sins :-)

I had a mother of a caffeine hangover on Sunday - stupid water sucking drug.

B xx


Well that's all sorted now. Blog moved, things setup (slightly) and now only the urge to populate my views on the world to deal with. But that can wait. Ooohhh nice people are bidding on my ebay auctions. Thank you nice people. They could bid more, then they'd be nicer people. And I could afford to buy stuff. Mmmm stuff.
I've spent the day staring down the microscope and small dots. Now my focal length is about 50cm which conveniently is the distance between my keyboard and the screen at the moment. Spooky? Coincidence? Or a second keyboard? You be the judge.
Tomorrow promises to be even more exciting when I bake some slides for 5 HOURS! How cool is that?!
Hopefully the slides have interesting stuff on them. That would make it all much much better.

Hmmm I wonder if I can hook my last.fm played list onto this site? I should look into that.

Next post will be a waffle about the movie marathon.

Moi x

Old #4

aturday, November 11, 2006

Alejandro Jodorowsky
Current mood: sore

I was going to post some stuff about the movie marathon, but I think I might wait until I've got a list (richard? steve?) and work from that. But the undoubted highlight was The Holy Mountain see a link and all! Quite an emo moment seeing Alejandro Jodorowsky on the big screen. I've seen Santa Sangre and loved that, but THM was something else. An ideal choice after 20 hours of movies, caffeine, and ummm strawberries. Yeah I have an addiction to strawberries. What of it? Oh and the movie? weird, trippy, psychedelic, indulgent, visionary etc etc

Oh brief count: 8 Vs; 5 espressos; 2 phoenix cola's; 5 beers

My head hurts, caffeine induced I figure, so its a quiet day. Actually the stereo is blasting but I'll pretend its a quiet day.

I'm heading back to my newspapers and orange juice now. I've had no coffee today. I'm absurdly proud of that!

np: chris rees - cool music, cool guy

Currently listening :
Sweetest Ache
By Christopher Rees
Release date: By 21 October, 2004

hursday, November 09, 2006

Sleep is for the wicked!
Current mood: Dormant

24 hours of movie madness kicks off this afternoon. Woohoo. Then a gig with Phoenix Foundation, Little Bushman, etc (or a party) then the NZ v France test match on Sunday morning. Guess there's not much room for sleep or sordid behaviour this weekend!!
The new Pineapple Thief album arrived yesterday and first impressions are that its great. Think OK Computer Radiohead, but with the 'thiefs take on it. On a few tracks Bruce sounds more like Thom than Thom does :-)
For those of you at the film fest, I'll be wearing the t-shirt...

I've just finished recoding a bunch of tables in HTML. This sucks. And I couldnt cut and paste as MS Frontpage screws formatting up. Yeah who'd have thought. Sigh. Oh well, at least I've started tidying up the pages and moving from FPage as it won't run on my Mac (huzzah!).

Music this morning: Pineapple Thief, Rogues Gallery (very cool), Flaming Lips, and now Depeche Mode.

Feel free to text me at odd hours this weekend

Currently listening :
98';return true;" onmouseout="window.status='';return true;">The Singles 86>98
By Depeche Mode
Release date: By 06 October, 1998


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ahhh Tuesdays
Current mood: busy

It's been a funny week, or rather week n a bit. My mate got married on Saturday which was a lovely. The champagne brekkie beforehand was also lovely, and lead to singing of the Night at the Opera album. Then we headed to the wedding, and impressively my mate had gold-tops on rather than rugger socks. Well done Smackers!

Since there was a bit of time between the wedding and reception we headed to Katipo cafe, had a beer (well it was midday!), and continued wandering to the reception. Was great to catch up with people I hadn't seen for sometime (the last time was a funeral...so this was definitely preferrable). Lots of nice vege food which was expected :-) and lots of seafood, so I was happy. Strangely I wasn't anywhere near intoxicated. Go me. Headed back to my place and watched Garden State (highly recommended, especially the soundtrack as its got Iron and Wine and Nick Drake on it - how can it fail!), and then Alices Restaurant which oddly I hadn't seen. This isn't the best movie. It is, I suspect, best seen under the influence of 'stuff', but a couple of drinks later we got into the groove and started pulling the piss. And voila, it clicked. A slow meander down the road to the waterfront to watch the fireworks capped off a slightly weird but fun day. Capped off with a nice cup of lemon and honey tea with Suz and curling up with my book (without Suz before malicious gossip starts!).

Sunday was spent staring down a microscope at some really hot and sexy chromosomes. Mine in fact. But my blood cultures worked really well so I've got a great positive control for the upcoming work. Big ups to Chris Thorn and Al Rowlands for the slightly changed protocol.

Monday was spent planning labwork for the next few weeks. And cleaning out a freezer so I could find my samples. Even found stuff I'd forgotten I had. Very exciting times.

Tuesday, ahhh, Tuesday. You know those conversations which could go *really* badly? Yeah one of those, it went better than I'd expected. Probably cos the recipient is really really sweet, lovely, and gorgeous. And I'm a bit too screwed up at the moment :-( But I do feel better post-talk.
Strangely for such a garrulous chap, I'm leaving it at that.

Went to the ballet yesterday (Giselle) which was great. See I'm sensitive! Dammit! That or I like buggering with peoples heads, your call dear reader.

Well it's back to the lab now, am anxiously waiting my headphones to be shipped as i'm suffering without music while I'm walking around.

Currently listening :
By Osi
Release date: By 30 May, 2006


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Current mood: uncomfortable

I feel tired. I guess there are deep reasons for that. So this is a blah blog. I'm listening to The Who and am scared at how similar Townshend sounds like Peter Cetera (No Road Romance as an example). Odd. But there ya go.
Currently reading some online comics (www.tmcm.com) and wearing the Pineapple Thief T-shirt, conincidently the new album was shipped today. Woohoo. Go Bruce and the lads, you rock. I've been listening to the sampler disc of the new album, and its freaky how much Bruce Soord sounds like Thom Yorke. Possibly even more so than Thom does. If that makes any sense.

I've cut down my coffee intake - does it show? i'm down to two (sometimes three) cups a day. I doubt it'll affect my personality too much. I mean I'm hardly sweetness and light at the best of times.

Off to the movies tonight, Tristram and Shandy, which should be good. Then I suspect I'll end up at a cafe, then the jazz bar. Sometimes I reckon my Wednesday has become too predictable. But on the plus side I remembered to tape the Simpsons tonight, and Bro'Town. Go me. Yeah I rock.

I was going to post a rant at some point about something that annoys me, but really today is not the day.
The mood choice for today is only cos my boxers have twisted and the lads are feeling a bit sore.

I (K) you all.


Old #3

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crayfish and Sunshine
Current mood: productive

Since the weather was crap y'day I ended up going to see Little Miss Sunshine rather than Tristram and Shandy which is what we were heading off to. And cricky, it was good. Really funny. And yet it had Steve Carrell in it, who fails in the basic aspects of being a comedian, being funny. Him playing his character straight worked well. But yeah fun movie.

I've spent the day writing which has been nice and productive, although I now know more about wallaby chromosome evolution than I really wanted to. Big thanks to Chris L and Tariq for sending me papers faster than our library would :-)

In case anyone was worried, my ipod is back ipod-ing nicely.

Am currently nibbling on a nice crayfish, feta and watermelon salad. Tasty.

The beloved Lions are in the NPC (or whatever the hell its called this year) final tomorrow night, so I'm sensing some beer and a pub in my Sat evening. Ok so its not a huge diversion from my normal Sat night, but well, it's a final man.

Back to my salad and basal eutherians karyotypes. Woohoo.

Old #2

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

That was scary and Movies

That scary feeling when your ipod won't switch on, you try the reset combo and you see the apple sign. Feel better, then clutch at the heart again as it fails to do anything of the normal ipod-ness things. Eeeekkk.
On the plus side, I think its just a power issue as after giving it a bit of juice my beloved macbook now recognises that it has an ipod appendage. So fingers crossed I'll be popping the music on the way home...

In other news: saw Out of the Blue last night, the new Robert Sarkies movie about the Aramoana shootings here in NZ in 1990. Damm good movie, one of the best NZ flicks I've seen (Utu and In My Fathers Den are the other two I'd really rate). Really emotionally engaging, well acted, well paced. Think Elephant, but less teenage angst ;-) Go see it. For those of you in farflung lands, go find it... OK so there's a couple of dud points, the last scene in the hospital - thought it didn't need that.

np: Porcupine Tree - ahhhhhhhhh

Kisses and love to yas all, B.

Old #1

unday, October 15, 2006

Mellow tunes

There's something kinda mellow about chilling with his Bob-ness, I'm still not wholly sold on the new album. It's good, better than Love and Theft, but not as good as the perfect Time out of Mind. I could go a nice Chardonnay right now actually. But in the spirit of responsibility I might have a lemon honey drink. Which is a bit sad. Really.

Watched a surprising movie in the weekend, Songcatcher. Almost a chick-flick, woman academic who specialises in folk-music gets dissed by her work goes to spend time in Appalachian mountains with sister. Discovers local music. starts recording it and writing it down. Falls in love with mountain-man. Reading the description on the back almost made me shudder as it was so not the type of movie I'd watch. But it had been recommended to me by a friend. So hell, why not. It was quite good, and music was great. REasonable acting, a bit cliched in the script tho'. I sat down with a bunch of nice seafood, some chardonnay, and generally enjoyed it.


Hello Everybody

Righto, I decided the old blog and I should part company. And so I've set this one up...

The next few posts will be transferring the old blog (hey its only a few weeks old so why not).

Smoochies, B.