Take the Scenic Route

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Digital Detritus

It's been, like a while. The fickle finger of technology has swung. As noted today, Microsoft's Encarta is dead, and for many people, social networking replaced blogs. Certainly, that explains my absence form here. Things like facebook make it much easier to share experiences and photographs with friends. Hell, I was reminiscing earlier about the days when people made websites to share photos on and stuff on. And actually, I still edited the raw html to make this site how I liked it. That's all expedited these days. It was also funny thinking that I'd taken those photographs with a film camera, scanned them in, and then reduced the resolution so that they wouldn't take too long to load on dial-up.

And so that got me to thinking, will twitter start to supplant facebook, sooner than we all expect? I felt a strange kind of buzz sending my first tweet from my phone. Suddenly able to pass random comment on something I'd seen, and then see a bunch of responses to it when I arrived into the office. And yet, its also nice writing a long rambling introspective post here, despite the fact that no-one may ever read it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Luna Rossa

Got a good pic of the eclipse, in between some clouds

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Size isn't everything (Apparently)

So I'm writing this on a 22" widescreen monitor, which has turned up in advance of my new computer. Unfortunately, my old computer doesn't understand widescreen resolutions at all, so I'm just looking at it big and stretchy. And some bits are really quite quite blurry. I knew that my old (work) box sucked. But not this bad. Oh well. Only a few days. Hopefully. It's just annoying having this big cool monitor that is really just a paperweight for the time being.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Countries visited

create your own visited country map

This would look a lot less impressive if Hong Kong and Macau weren't Special Administrative Regions of China.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Coincidence? Or Something More Mysterious?

Here's one for the mastercard guy.

New Plymouth.
A certain manufacturing facilty.
Obscured by Cloud.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Clocks, The Clocktower, and Delusions of Grandeur

Tee-hee. You can see the new plywood clock in the registry building on the campus weather station page. Apparently, it is the first time the clock has been serviced since it was installed in 1931. But was is really odd is that construction of the Clocktower building began in 1879, meaning there was a clocktower for nearly 50 years containing no clock.

Of course this isn't entirely unusual. In those days, it wasn't unusual for magnificent buildings to be only half completed. Rather than reduce the cost of the overall design, they'd just half build something, on the assumption that people would find more money to finish the job later. In fact, wandering around the geology building behind the clocktower, it's extremely obvious that it was designed to be extended in both directions, as the end walls are brick, rather than the breccia and limeston finish of the sides of the building.

Possibly the craziest in Dunedin is the cathedral in the Octagon, however. It is the only church (certainly of its size) in New Zealand to have a full stone-vaulted roof, which of course goes very nicely with its flying buttresses. Originally, it was intended to be a classic cross shaped design, with chapels off either side at the end away from the Octagon. However, due to budgetary contraints, only the nave (the main 'wing') was ever constructed. Eternally optimistic, however, it had a corrugated iron 'shed' for the chancel (although it looked, I'm told, flasher inside). In the late 60s, it was finally realised that there was never going to be a crossing (or indeed, I think there may have been a clocktower over the chancel in the original plans, much like many UK cathedrals). Thus, if you go round the back of the neo-gothic cathedral in Dunedin, you'll find that the backend is a lovely modernist concrete edifice (but probably much better than most of the campus buildings of that period).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Student Antics

Amid all the hullabaloo over the new student code of conduct, and the rioting, couch-burning, and bottle-throwing, I've been wondering what has changed. However, I had a small ephiphany on Friday morning when I saw this.

Sure, damming a flood-prone river isn't entirely unstupid, but there's a decent amount of initiative in this. And you have to admire the sheer audacity of this enterprise. I particularly like the way they've used the tarpaulin to line the dam, and I'm equally impressed at the size of the rocks they have holding the tarp down.

You get a better perspective of how much water it's holding back from the downstream angle.

And that's it in a nutshell. There's nothing audacious, novel or funny in burning a couch, or throwing bottles at people. There wasn't anything too amusing about the skip fire in Grange Street last week, so close to a house that it melted the spouting and cracked the upstairs windows. Student life in Dunedin has become a Marc Ellis cliché.

I have very fond memories of my own foolish hijinks. I haven't burnt a couch, but I did drive one up Baldwin Street in a trailer (absolutely not recommended!). It's probably not over-prudent to list more remiss things, but they weren't always legal, and they weren't always safe. But I would like to think that they were funny, or at least, had the potential to be so.

[Driving up is the easy part. If you try to back a trailer down such a steep street, it's very prone to jack-knifing. There's also not a lot of turning room, and taking the trailer off would be ill-advised.]

The great Flying Saucer Hoax springs to mind. Students going home for the holidays meticulously planned a serious of sightings to produce a trajectory across New Zealand (follow the link and scroll down for a map and planned sighting times). 'Operation Berlin', an foiled attempt to brick up the front entrance to Selwyn also deserves credit. It would have perhaps been completed, if it weren't for an RA sneaking back in.