Nothing in particular


I just arrived home after having my very first bicycle-vehicle collision, so I feel like I’ve had my initiation into cycling in Sydney (after cycling in and around Sydney for more than 18 months).

I’m not injured – just a bruise on my thigh, a scratched arm, a sore hip and a tender shoulder (where I put a dent in her rear passenger door) – just a little shaken up. Lucky I was wearing a helmet; my head came down on the road pretty heavily after I rolled off the back of her car. The bike suffered just a little bit of wheel bend (a little truing will sort that out) but the brakes and gears were pretty easily contorted back into their rightful positions.

My only concern now is that her insurance company may claim that I was in the wrong, where in fact all present agreed that it was just an unfortunate incident for which no one is responsible.

This was what what Sydney looked like yesterday morning.

A combination of severe drought in South Australia and strong westerly winds brought fine, iron-rich dust right to the coast. The air quality was 17 times worse (whatever that means) than usual, and several hundred people called for ambulances for respiratory problems. There’s also concern that if the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia is allowed to go open-cut, tailings containing carcinogenic alpha radiation may be deposited by similarly strong winds over the country’s most heavily populated corner.

Still, it made for a pretty amazing morning.

I just received over the RNLD1 mailing list, a call for papers for the second biennial conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory hosted by SOAS in November (see here for details), and the instructions for abstract submission contain the following (emphasis mine):

Abstracts are invited for 20 minute papers followed by 10 minutes of discussion. Each individual may present up to one single authored paper and one joint paper. Abstracts should be anonymous, 11pt font or larger, and one page in length, including references and examples. They should be in .doc or .pdf format (but not .docx format)…

Excellent.


  1. Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity, which I like to pronounce ‘Ronald’.

At about 11:04 pm yesterday eastern daylight saving time1, the Earth reached the extreme of its latitudinal periodic oscillation2, representing the very middle of geographic summer in the southern hemisphere; the point at which the sun (sol) comes to an apparent stop (stitium). This naturally means it’s time to spend money for the sake of the retail sector, and ingest unhealthy amounts of food and liquor.

In a little over a week from now, absolutely nothing astrologically or meteorologically notable will happen. We will nonetheless celebrate this fact by collectively ooing and ahhing at expensive aerial incendiary devices.

Joyeux Solstice3!


  1. 12:04 pm UTC
  2. Nevermind that it’s a mere illusion produced by the conjunction of the Earth’s tilt and its rotation around the sun.
  3. I don’t mean to sound so cynical, but sometimes the folly of it all gets to me.

When lodging tax returns, especially using the online eTax method, remember to meticulousy check the numbers, lest you miss an entire digit from your principle income and find yourself in debt to the Australian Tax Office 18 months later.

It’s the 26th of December, which of course means that the planet has passed the periodic minimum representing a northern hemisphere winter¹, and for the next 6 months will gradually pitch in the other direction (well, assuming your frame of reference is the planet itself and not the sun).

I hope your solstice celebratory activities were as inebriating and enjoyable as mine.

The next day of celebration will be to mark the arrival of an arbitrarily selected date in our culture-specific calendar.

May the arrival of said day greet you with plenty of festivity.

~

¹That isn’t strictly true. Due to various people changing the calendar every few hundred years, the solstice is actually a few days earlier, around about the 21st of December.

Since installing the self-hosted WordPress.org software, I’ve had a few days of fiddling around with some of the features of the css stylesheet and the various php scripts that control this blog and, all in all, I’m impressed with what I’ve been able to do with it.

First and foremost, all those purty pictures that used to adorn the header of my blog, the ones that would change whenever I got bored of them, are now on a randomiser. So every time you reload, you’ll see a different image.

Secondly, I’ve integrated gravatars – globally recognised avatars – pretty much everywhere. So unless you want your comments to be illustrated with an anonymous-looking silhouette, you should go and get yourself a free gravatar.

Thirdly, as soon as you start writing a comment, you’ll notice a live preview underneath the comment box. It’ll even show your gravatar off to the side, if you have one. The live preview will interpret any licit html tags you want to include and will output exactly what will appear after you hit ‘submit’, so now you won’t have to email me and ask me to fix up your erroneous formatting tags.

Lastly, I’ve gone and got myself a Creative Commons license, and if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see the image and link to the license in the footer. This is just to give me a bit of legal basis next time my posts get ‘content-scraped’ without attribution, and realistically, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I just hope you enjoy using it as much as I’ve enjoyed customising it.

A few hours ago, I began the steps to migrate this entire blog entity from its current location, on WordPress.com, to a self-hosted location with my own domain name, meaning that this blog will from now on be located here.

I thought it would take days and days to do everything, but with a little luck, and a lot of help from the friend who is kindly hosting the site, we managed to get the whole thing up and running in something like 45 minutes!

However, there are a few teething problems that I’ll have to work through when I get some time, such as all the times I linked back to my own posts. All those URLs will need to be changed. Also, the wordpress software supports the same theme as I’m currently using, thankfully, except it’s slightly different and I’ll have to get used to the details, but chances are I’ll be able to load all those perty little pictures that change every so often (whenever I get bored of them), so they can come up at random each time you reload. First though, I have to figure out how to edit that part of the theme’s stylesheet. Until that happens, I’m afraid we’re stuck with the uninspiring defaut image.

I’ve successfully migrated all posts and comments from here to there, and for the next month or so I’ll post everything to both locations, so there’ll be a bit of continuity. Unfortunately though, I’ll lose my blog statistics and my technorati ranking. The latter aint so bad; a while back I’d attained a ranking of 50, but I think they figured out how inflated that figure was and kneecapped me back to 23. I’ve been hovering around 30 ever since. The loss of the blog stats though, is quite annoying, since as any wordpress user knows, it’s rather addictive to see all those statisticss pile up, now I’ll have to start afresh.

As for all the other bits and pieces, such as links and rss feeds, well, I’ll have to leave it up to all of you to update your rss reading software look to the new rss feed, if you use my feedburner feed then you can leave the change to me. Finally, if you link here from your site, could I be a pain and ask you to update your blogroll?

Has anyone ever had their posts mirrored on other blogs without consent, and seemingly fraudulently? What I mean is, I had two extra links to a post of mine in my wordpress.com dashboard, which I’ll repeat in full:

 

THE HOT JOINTS | Breaking News and Opinion created an interesting post today on Annihilation – and not just Howardâ��s
Here’s a short outline

Annihilation – and not just Howard’s Posted by Jangari under Election ‘07, Environment, Indigenous, Land, Law, Philosophy, Politics, The Intervention

View the rest of this entertaining post here

(source)

~

 

kevincmurphy created an interesting post today on Annihilation – and not just Howardâ��s
Here’s a short outline
Annihilation – and not just Howard’s Posted by Jangari under Election ‘07, Environment, Indigenous, Land, Law, Philosophy, Politics, The Intervention

For more information go click here

(source)

The striking similarity – by which I mean ‘complete identicality’ – between the two, and the coincidental timing with which they both appeared makes me think they’re entirely spam.

I’m not very used to spam. Has anyone else had this happen? It doesn’t appear to be malicious at all since it links only back to me, but it freak me out nonetheless.

…When Google searching for certain phrase returns a very unlikely result of the form:

    www.DodgySoundingURL.nl/[your-exact-search-string]

Don’t click it, lest you find yourself forced to spend your Saturday reinstalling Windows.

Windows makes me homicidal.

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