Monthly Archives: October 2013

I’m definitely a simple creature

I think I would actually go crazy if I didn’t have the lakes near my place to serve as my refuge from the modern world, I loved spending time around them when I was growing up and since re-discovering that hasn’t really changed now that I am “all grown up” earlier in the year it certainly does have a profound impact on how I feel and letting go of the simple burdens of day to day life. Tonight the evening was kind, the one downside to the lakes is they are right next to a main road leading towards our freeway so the noise of traffic can be sometimes be distracting from the general sounds of the area; Tonight however there was pretty much no traffic so I got to relax and take in the sound of the frogs croaking and the ducks talking among themselves.

Spent some time in thought and passing on my respects for the changing of the wheel and my wishes for the world around me in the coming season and generally lying there watching the clouds go by through the branches of the tree I was under and the stars that were visible making their slow journey through the night sky. Very peaceful and very relaxing and given how off my sleep has been this week was definitely needed, fairly sure that I will sleep well tonight.

The added benefit of grounding the aching and cramping in my leg that has been around for most of this week and no amount of massaging or hot water could seem to be rid of was nicely gone when I got back up after my time there of which I am incredibly thankful, it won’t be able to keep me up tonight. Overall I think I am definitely a relatively simple creature, the small and simple things that are often overlooked by many in the world these days tend to be the things that make me most happy and bring a sense of peace and contentment. I hope that everyone is also having a pleasant evening / day whichever the case may be.

Of Ghouls & Goblins

Well the new day has dawned across the majority of the world and sections are abuzz with preparations for Halloween and although at opposite ends of the spectrum this day represents another turn of the wheel and a continuation of the endless cycle that we call life and existence. A large portion of the Western world knows today as Halloween, or All Hallows Eve for the traditionalists of the name a time of ghouls and goblins and the thinning of the veil between realities, of parties and frivolities and children dressed in various costumes collecting tasty sweets from their neighbors and suburb.

An interesting day based on it’s history throughout the European world with roots in the Christian belief system which may or may not be tied to original harvest based festivities and the Gaelic Samhain marking movements between one season and the other. Personally being based in the southern hemisphere our seasons are rather upside down compared to what is considered “normal” in the northern hemisphere so I find myself preparing to pay my respects for Beltane at the opposite end of the wheel.

Regardless of what this day may be to you; A spiritual day of significance, just another day or just the modern version of Halloween take heed not to invite anything in you are not able to deal with, and take the time to remember those that have come before us and how we can make a difference to those that come after us. Just as the world around us grows and changes and goes through cycles so do we, may the beginning of a new season bring you all that you need and try to spare a thought for those in need. Making a difference in our own lives is important but through the courses of our days we have the power to influence the lives of others around us; I think we should try to be a positive one especially with all the youngin’s likely to be out.

International Day of the Girl

http://www.care.org.au/education


Today is International Day of the Girl (which I did not even know existed)

Throughout the world there is countless places with issues, even in our own back yard but looking at all of our troubles, and no matter how bad things may seem to us at any point in time there are always those who have it far worse than us.

Care Australia is one of the charities that I support as I believe that everyone deserves access to an education and if provided with an opportunity we are all capable of bettering ourselves, our lives and the lives of those around us and where possible I strive to aid with this.

$69 Provides education for a year
$156 Provides a uniform and books for four students
$365 Provides funding for a secondary school scholarship

Speaking from experience it is easy to hit all of these price points on a night out on the piss with Perth based prices, if we all sacrificed a bender just once we can help change the world for people who need it most.

Homage to Toliken

http://io9.com/astronomer-recreates-the-solar-system-from-lord-of-the-1443347817

Tolkien’s works and imagination have touched the lives of so many people through the world over; Hope, responsibility, destiny are all things that we can take away from it and the fact that sometimes the choices that we make whilst they may not make sense to us or seem significant at the time are all part of a much larger picture that can often take far longer than we imagined to ever come to pass.

The fact that someone would go to this deal of effort working through the pieces of information left in his writings to piece together this picture is a testament to the impact that his works have had on people, and the inspiration to us to reach for the stars and fuel our imaginations.

To dare, to dream, to do. Good on ’em 🙂

The state of our home

I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading of late around the state of the planet in which we call home. More and more it does seem like we are going through a state of upheaval currently in a lot of ways there has been increasing unrest in various societies around the globe, economies have gone through meltdowns and natural disasters the globe over have been on the up and up over the last 5 years further compounding the human and monetary impact on various societies.

In terms of our place on this world, I do not feel the next coming decades are our golden years for sure I said a few years back that I thought things were going to crash in a lot of ways and whilst a lot of things have happened I believe it is just the tip of the iceberg going forward and in some ways things do need to crash as it is only from the ashes of something can true change come about; The proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes if you will however this is just our own human societies and whilst we may be the most populous on the globe we are still by no means it’s master and we have been pushing our mother planet rather hard since the dawn of the industrial revolution and our subsequent further explosion across the globe.

Whilst we may be the dominant species on this planet we are by no means it’s master, we have our technologies and knowledge but overall we are reliant on the protection that our planet offers us. The sun throws out a great deal of radiation which our ozone layer protects us from, our atmosphere is somewhat dense and friction burns up space debris of smaller sizes and the overall climate of the planet is conducive to our continued existence as a species however unlike our brethren in the animal kingdom we do not seek to live in harmony with our surroundings, the major controlling factions on the world are capitalist driven so we tend to rape and pillage and continue to move on to new areas where people and materials are cheaper and laws may be more lax in the pursuit of lower prices for consumers and increased returns to our shareholders.

In the end something has to give. As much as we have a decent understanding of the physical world around us and how things tick we are still accountable to the forces of nature and this world and it’s complex biosphere is intricate and tends to have it’s own checks and balances; Regardless of what we do to it she will be around for a lot longer than we will in the same form or not is definitely open for debate but as the mighty cockroach has proven life can be resilient and found in the most unexpected of places even if it is not suitable for us. There has been a lot of talk over the last few years around the topic of global warming, if it is happening and is it driven by the changes we have introduced to our environment or is it a part of cyclic changes that our world goes through.

There are experts, critics and skeptics on both sides of the fence regarding it, with both sides constantly squabbling over it but it did make me curious so I decided to have a look into some climate data for the area in which I grew up and see if/how it has changed throughout my lifetime; Now this is just the area which I grew up over my lifetime so it is by no means a conclusive picture for a state/country or even global scale but it could potentially provide an indication of how things could look on a wider scale which would involve considerably more research on the topic but the picture it has painted I still feel is somewhat interesting.

jkot_yrly_rainfall jkot_5yrly_rainfall

Looking at the yearly rainfall information it appears that my area sees peaks and troughs roughly on a 4 year cycle however one thing is apparent the troughs are getting lower and lower pretty much each cycle and the peaks are also following the same pattern. I rolled the data up into 5 year windows more in line with the actual cycle and averaged it out to determine a trend in the cycle and it seems that we are on a fairly consistent downward trend for rainfall in my area of approximately 5% per cycle.

rainfall_distribution

A slight positive though, we seem to be on an upswing this year with an increase of 24% compared to last year currently half way through spring which is definitely a good thing as our dams were looking in a rather sorry state and I believe they are now up near 40% capacity which is a decent improvement. Although broadly in line it does appear there is a slight shift occurring over time with the distribution of rainfall moving from winter and into spring months, this may be indicative of a slight shift in season patterns.

jkot_yrly_tempjkot_5yrly_temp

It seems our mean temperature distribution throughout the year also follows a similar pattern with peaks and troughs roughly in line with the rainfall seen above. Whilst the picture painted here is nowhere near as stark as the rainfall one it does show that we do not seem to be dropping down quite as low as historically seen and although only slight it does appear that the mean temperature is actually on the rise as well, our last peak appears to have been 2010-2011 with 2012 dropping down again by half a degree which is in line with the drops seen after previous peaks.

Throughout the 1980’s – 1990’s it seems the peaks were somewhat consistent being 24.9 degrees celsius however the last 5 years appears to have been on the rise setting new records in mean max temperature so it will be interesting to see how the remainder of this decade goes and if it equalizes itself out as time progresses. At least our mean low seems to be somewhat consistent. Overall though it appears throughout my lifetime the area in which I grew up is slowly heating up but more worryingly is drying up at a considerably faster rate.

If the worlds population was somewhat stable this wouldn’t be as much of an issue but we appear to have taken the words of Genesis 9:7 “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” to heart with current projections (http://news.yahoo.com/world-population-hit-9-7-billion-2050-221905126.html) putting the worlds population at 9.7 billion by 2050 a further 35% increase on current levels.

Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.
~ Ancient Indian Proverb ~

I really feel that something has to give, and I really hope it does soon as I happen to like this rock we call home.

Protected: Making a Decision – Happy Birthday

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Sleep

Sleep from Thursday night to now has been somewhat of an elusive beast leaving me unable to actually reach a state of deep restful slumber which I could actually do with. Most of my energy appears focused on dealing with the remainder of the leech infection and cold that I brought back from Nepal the chest infection has for the bulk passed though I do still have a lingering cough but at least my sinuses and head are back to normal but even so a good solid sleep through would be great about now.

Dreams are not too uncommon for me once I actually get there if I can actually remember, but typically they are around scenarios, events or concepts that have been niggling at my subconscious and not actually people that I know, when they are they tend to be warnings around things going on and typically not unfounded. Have never actually dreamt about this person though and it whilst I cannot remember the overall contents of the dream from Thursday even after waking aside from who it was regarding and that it wasn’t overly good I hope that everything is alright in that regard.

I also have a new found respect for pregnant women morning sickness (well nausea in general) is not a pleasant thing, especially when you have no real control over it. Didn’t get much sleep when I finally crawled into bed on Sunday night for this reason, I really hate throwing up and thankfully I didn’t actually end up doing so but my stomach was certainly unsettled enough to warrant spending a reasonable amount of time being prepared to and generally unable to get to sleep due to unsettledness. No real identifiable cause as what I had eaten that day was pretty much fine and nothing out of the ordinary was just something that was there for the night to prevent decent sleep and instill me with respect for pregnant women having to deal with it on an ongoing basis.

It’s the beginning of a new week, new possibilities and I hope that everyone makes it a great one!

What’s in a headline

Space, astronomy and related topics are definitely a hobby/interest of mine and I try to keep up with developments at least once a week and came across the below which has certainly brought a raised eyebrow.

http://www.rememberthe13th.com/ – “The Biggest Discovery That will shake the earth, It will never be the same again.”

Hmm…

The issue I have with the As a headline is it is really far to open for interpretation and a lot of media outlets these days seem to go for the concept of shock and awe to grab your attention and don’t necessarily convey the reality of what the underlying article is really about.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/01/nasa_find_tupperware_on_titan/ – TUPPERWARE FOUND ON MOON of Saturn (Plastic food boxes boldly go where no plastic food boxes have gone before (Titan)) is a prime example of this.

The headline is designed to convey the actual presence of Tupperware on a moon of Saturn when in reality a chemical that is involved in the process of creation of the plastics used for Tupperware is what was discovered, rather world of difference there guys… A more apt headline in my opinion would be “Chemical used to make Tupperware found on Titan” or if you wanted to add some more flare/humour “Tupperware from space – Key chemical in creation of Tupperware found on Titan!”

Sensationalist headlines aside what the world consideres to be a huge discovery and what a scientist considers groundbreaking are two very different things. Given the discovery of water from soil with Curiosity on Mars and the fact the facebook/twitter links at the bottom this discovery (if real) is likely to relate to something found on Mars. Given that we have already worked out that water vapour can be released from the soil it wouldn’t be a stretch in my opinion for complex organic molecules to be discovered which whilst not necessarily life in itself could be a building block for more complex organisms or evidence of previous presence of life.

If I was a scentist I would definitely consider it rather groundbreaking especially in the field of exobiology, for the bulk of the world however it doesn’t really change a damn thing and many people especially with the issues facing the world as a whole at the moment probably wouldn’t even care. Me however, I would find it awesome and a reason to raise my glass to science and push for further investment, exploration in these areas as the logical expansion of our capitalistic viral race.

On the other side of the coin however, I find the timing of it’s appearance somewhat interesting. The United States government which is in control of NASA is currently in a state of shutdown due to the ideological differences of the Republican and Democrat parties over the newly introduced health care reforms so a lot of things deemed non-essential are currently closed and their workers from what I can gather are going unpaid. Even websites which once the cost of Hardware (servers, internet connectivity) and domain registration fees have their costs virtually sunk and have very little in the way of ongoing operational expenses are currently pointing to a notice message.

One of these is NASA, with the bulk of it’s employees currently on furlough.

The domain rememberthe13th was registered on the 1st of October, which was just after the shutdown came into effect so effectively it would not have been able to receive funding from official sources as they will not even run their own website or update existing social media sites so it would have needed to be privately funded. Now domains are dirt cheap, as is webhosting the domain name resolves to an IP address of 192.111.149.82 which seems to link to a company called Adixy where you can buy youtube views, twitter followers, facebook likes and “reach your marketing potential” so it is a shared server. The IP address is allocated to CraftingHost which seems to be an incredibly low cost virtual server provider.

So based on the services with which that ip address is shared with I am going to lean towards this being more of a phishing site looking to capture your details to then use towards other needs taking advantage of the fact that only mission control at NASA is currently in operation so they can take advantage of the shutdown whilst no one will really speak out against it. Whilst I won’t use the share functions on the site and expose access to my underlying credentials or add my email to be updated I will take a look after the release date to find out what it is out of sheer curiosity.

In the end I hope I am wrong and something awesome is announced 🙂


Edit:

Hmm I notice that they are bringing forward the date of the announcement due to “a change of plans” one thing I find interesting however is just when they consider to be the 6th of October. As at the time of writing the countdown clock has 5 hours and 7 minutes remaining on it (6:52pm GMT +8). Wait, what? Isn’t NASA’s headquarters in Washington DC (and currently closed) and the time there is currently 6:52am 10/05 so 5 hours from now is going to peg the time there at about lunch time on the 5th of October.

7 hours from now will only be the 6th of October in countries GMT +5 or greater, I guess that is an “Oops”


Edit 2:

Well at least it wasn’t a rickroll video I guess, but sadly it was predictable with someone trying to take advantage of NASA being unavailable to dismiss it and was just a promotion for some music video.

Whilst I do somewhat understand the concept of viral marketing used today, personally I believe you should be able to market your goods/service without trying to piggy back off something else.

At least my hopes were not dashed, but right now really would be a good time for NASA to have something Earth shattering. They don’t have their shuttles anymore and with the state of the US economy they really can’t afford to be innovators in todays’ world.

Is always China I guess.

Tears

Alone you sit here this night,
Wondering what happened to the world so bright.
Why is it the ones we hold most dear,
Can push us towards what we most fear?

Alone you sit shedding your tears,
Knowing within you can conquer your fears.
The easy path presented merely an illusion,
Only you can stand up and fight your confusion.

Alone you wonder why you should continue to feel,
Your emotions serve to remind you that you are real.
Shadows uncaring and unfeeling are you no more,
Once you chose to walk through that door.

Let these tears remind you of who you are,
And the reason why you have come this far.
Although events of the past may have set the tone,
Remember that you never stand alone.


Overall I think I definitely need to keep working on my poetry style, I used to be quite good and I feel my current attempts are somewhat lacking but I still feel the push to keep writing.

As much as I thought I was moving past things I guess I still have a ways to go yet. Historically when it comes to emotions I tend to simply bury them and never actually really deal with anything which is something I have been trying to work on over the last few years and whilst I have successfully moved from the whole uncaring and unfeeling position I had allowed myself to get to actually processing how I feel is still not the easiest of things, especially with something I actually cared a great deal about.

In a lot of ways it would be easier to go down the same path again, but I know where that leads and have no intention of ever ending up back there again so whilst I may still shed tears I am reminded of what was real and mattered to me and that should never be let go of simply for convenience.  And although it may still hurt now I can and will get there.