Saturday, May 19, 2007

And Now the Weather

Today will be mainly fine, bright and sunny, then becoming heavy storms, torrential rain and zero visibility in about 2 minutes time...

Friday, May 18, 2007

All About SECS

Ever wondered how the years went past so fast? You hit 40 and you think, "Where did all that time go?" It seems like just a month or two ago you were 18 or 20, and you can't believe you're actually as old as you are. And the problem gets worse the older you get, so that you turn 70 and still can't believe you're more than 25 or so. You see teenagers and you think "Man, you think you have all the time in the world, but I know that soon you'll be thinking 'where did all the years go?'" And it gets much worse when you have kids of your own, because you have no idea of what you're meant to do to raise them right, and just about that same time comes the realisation that your own parents weren't the Wise Ones you thought they were, and that they had no idea either about how to raise kids, and were winging it day-by-day just like you are doing now.

Well, I have a simple explanation for it all, which I call Significant Event Chronology Scale, just so that I can say to people (very loudly of course) "Hey, I'm the inventor of SECS" and watch their reaction.

In a nutshell, imagine you're starting on a train journey. At first, you look out the window and watch every passing house, bridge, tree and interesting sight. After a while, though, you've seen enough of them that you lose interest, and only look out the window at some new, not-seen-before sight, like a waterfall perhaps. You only mark the passage of time in your brain through the 'Significant Events' of the journey.

Now consider life. When you're 5, every day brings heaps of new events and things which you haven't encountered before. To use a computer metaphor, let's say that each time one of these things happens, your brain creates a new Inbox for that subject. As time goes on, you encounter a lot of the Significant Events you've seen before, and they are largely filed as 'been there, done that', but new events still get a new Inbox created for them.

On a graph it might look like this:

Imagine that every time a Significant Event happens, we shout out our age at that time. Obviously, it will sound like "I'm 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 20, 20, 20, 20, 30, 30, 40" etc. From this we can see that the more time goes by, the less we notice how old we're getting, because (for the sake of argument) we only notice it when we shout it out. So if we take special notice of our age every 10th time we shout something out, it will appear as if we were 10, then 30, then 90, all in the same breath.

Using this view of things, some pretty disconcerting trends emerge. Assuming that at age 70 we have 1 SE per year, a decrease of only one-tenth per year means that at age 10 we had 304, or just under 1 per day, and at age 1 we have 790, just over 2 per day. No wonder we say thats kids learn much faster than adults, that early reading, writing and maths tuition is a big benefit, and that habits learned in the first 5 years are the most formative! According to this scale, 61% of everything that you learn, and therefore every Significant Event for which a new Inbox was created, is experienced by Age 9! By the time you reach 20, you've experienced 86% of the SE's in your life, and by the age of 30, its 94%!

So that's why everyone feels old before their time, and why they still feel in their mind that they are much younger than their real age. Our brain is only shouting out our age whenever a Significant Event occurs, with all the boring bits of life in between them left out or relegated to the Junkmail box. So by age 40, 98% of your life's exciting bits are in the past, and you have the option of hanging in there for the remaining 2% in arthritic pain and agony, or finding a friendly Doctor who'll promise to pull the plug when you just can't take it any more. I know which one I'd prefer.


Beautiful but deadly… no, I'm not talking about any of my ex's (well actually, maybe I am…). Today's picture shows a US Peacekeeper missile test. Nice to look at when you're at this end of the flight path, but not so funny if you're on the receiving end. Ever been to a fireworks show and wondered how much it cost? Well each Peacekeeper is worth $20-$70 million, so in this one scene you're looking at between $160,000,000 and $560,000,000 being shot off - perhaps making this one of the most expensive photos ever !

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Footy Fan

A reporter from the Melbourne Herald is wandering the streets looking for a story because its a slow news day, when he spots a small kid in a playground about to be attacked by a vicious pitbull terrier, frothing at the mouth and clearly out for blood. He jumps out of his car, wondering what to do, but before he can decide, another older boy runs over, picks up a stick, and hits the dog with it, landing a lucky hit and killing it instantly.

The reporter runs over to the boy and says “Mate, I'm a reporter from the Melbourne Herald and I saw the whole thing. You're a hero, you'll be on the front page of the Herald tomorrow morning. I can see the headline now - 'Brave Bombers Fan Saves Defenceless Child'…”

"Uh yeah", says the boy, but I'm not a Bombers fan."

"Oh…", says the reporter, "you've got to be a Hawks fan then eh? Selfless Hawks Hero Takes On Rabid Killer…"

"No, no…", says the boy, "I'm a Sydney Swans fan!"

So the next day's headline read "Beloved Family Pet Clubbed to Death by Psycho Swans Thug"

Deer Fire

Continuing on with the 'best pics from the web' theme, today's is the famous deer fire photo. It was snapped by a fireman fighting a bushfire in the US, and it probably would have won all sorts of awards in the photographic journalism world, perhaps even been rated as the best photo ever, except for the fact that because he was on the job at the time, he is prohibited from making any profit from it. Nonetheless, we're glad he chose to upload it and share it with the rest of the world.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Amazing Photos

Haven't got a lot to say at the moment, so for a few days I thought I'd just post some of the most amazing photos I've come across here and there on the web. To start with, the lot of a lighthouse-keeper isn't always a comforting one...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What's Wrong?

What's wrong with the above picture? No, you don't get a hint, except to say its not a trick question and the answer is fairly obvious if you use your eyes and a little intelligence. I'll post the answer as a Comment to this post, tomorrow, or someone else might care to post the answer first...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Trophy Winners

As you've probably guessed by now, I've been spending a fair bit of browsing time on lately, a site dedicated to taking all your spare time. Some people, of course, have way too much spare time, and fill it in in the stupidest ways imaginable. Here are some real-life cases, to whom the British Sunday Express gave Gongs (medals) for dubious distinctions:

Tortoise Trophy
To British Rail, which ingeniously solved the problem of lateness in the InterCity express train service by redefining "on time" to include trains arriving within one hour of schedule.

Rubber Cushion
To John Bloor, who mistook a tube of superglue for his hemorrhoid cream and glued his buttocks together.

Crimewatch Cup - Gold Star
To Henry Smith, arrested moments after returning home with a stolen stereo. His error was having tattooed on his forehead in large capital letters the words "Henry Smith." His lawyer told the court: "My client is not a very bright young man."

Crimewatch Cup - Silver Star
To Michael Robinson, who rang police to deliver a bomb threat, but became so agitated about the mounting cost of the call that he began screaming "Call me back!" and left his phone number.

Crimewatch Cup - Bronze Star
To Paul Monkton, who used as his getaway vehicle a van with his name and phone number painted in foot-high letters on the side.

British Cup
To the passengers on a jam-packed train from Margate to Victoria, who averted their eyes while John Henderson and Zoe D'Arcy engaged in oral sex and then moved on to intercourse ... but complained when the pair lit up post-coital cigarettes because it was a 'non-smoking' compartment.

Flying Cross
To Percy the Pigeon, who flopped down exhausted in a Sheffield loft, having beaten 1,000 rivals in a 500 mile race, and was immediately eaten by a cat. Alas, the 90-minute delay resulting from finding his remains and handing his ID tag to the judges relegated Percy from first to third place.

Lazarus Laurel
To Julia Carson, who as her tearful family gathered 'round her coffin in a New York funeral parlour, sat bolt upright and asked what the hell was going on. Celebrations were short-lived, due to the fact that Mrs. Carson's daughter, Julie, immediately dropped dead from shock.

Silver Bullet
To poacher Marino Malerba, who shot a stag standing above him on an overhanging rock ... and was killed instantly when it fell on him.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Toilet Training

WorldWierdWeb reaches a new low - with an entire post about toilet humour. You know your toilet habits are a bit weird - you fold the toilet paper, never read anything, and wipe front to back. Other people somehow manage to do everything so nicely that even their... punctation symbols... smells like roses, right? Well maybe not. Get the truth from real people out there in the world, and compare your crapping capers to the rest of the world's, at

And what are all the hidden, unwritten laws governing public toilets? If 2 men are already standing at the urinals, where do you stand in order not to look gay? Do you talk to the guy, or not? And what goes on in women's bathrooms, and why do they always go to the toilet in pairs? Check out the facts at this link here.

And if you think you know where to stand and where not to, take drinknation's urinal test to see if you've really got it all figured out yet.