Archive for the 'Memes' Category

Where were you … when we got a female PM?

June 24, 2010

Where was I when the news broke last night about the spill?

Umm…in Maccas. #trueconfessions

I had an early morning meeting then Mr15’s parent teacher meetings at his school from 5:30pm for which I had to leave work at 4 to go home first and pick him up.  So I had been offline for a while. (and no time to blog yesterday.)

[The meetings went well but didn’t actually resolve anything re his subject choices for next year. His Art and Drama teachers are delighted he is continuing, the others are concerned about the workload those 2 subjects entail. His recent relatively poor grade in Chemistry could be the result of too much chatter with his mate, but he has lifted in Math from a rank of 80 something last year to 39 at the moment. English and English Lit will each have their pros and cons.]

So hubby went to band practice after the meeting and it was just boy and me heading home to a cold house. So we decided on Maccas on the way home. And regretted it – as we always do. While we were there I checked in with twitter and  saw all the #spill tweets (I am still curious about who started it and picked that hashtag) but none that cited sources and I didn’t take the time to go through them to check. So I remarked to my boy that there seemed to be rumors of a spill. A remark that he quoted back to me this morning “you said that it was just a rumor”.

By the time I got home the stream was full of #spill tweets and jokes like “I hope BP will be at the #spill” (Miles Burke).

The rest of my experience was much like Kathryn’s. Nothing on the ABC TV or SBS in Perth. Someone tweeted that in Perth Channel 7 was broadcasting the speech so I flicked to that.

The news about the result of the ballot has just broken as I have been writing this. I am sitting on the bed listening to ABC radio and checking twitter from time to time. There was a also joke on Yammer that at least a restructure in the labor party is over in 12 hours.

Hubby’s observation this morning is that a new prime minister is like a new phone. We live in anticipation of the new bright and shiny model. Comparisons with the old model start right away. The gloss wears off in about a year and we know that when we are sick of it there will be a new model waiting in the wings.

My other observation, and it is not new, is that its yet another demonstration of the importance of twitter as our news source these days. Even my daughter and her mates (who aren’t on twitter…I think) were quoting the twitter stream in a Facebook thread last night. And yes I am still on Facebook. I get to keep up with daughter and other relatives there.

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Me! Me! meme

June 18, 2010

Succumbed to this meme for lack of other inspiration …

Two names you go by:

  • Sue
  • Mum

Two things you are wearing right now:

  • Scarf
  • Socks

Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship:

  • Common values and goals
  • Laughter

Two things you like to do:

  • garden
  • plan house renovations

Two things you want very badly at the moment:

  • a neck and shoulder massage
  • an iPhone 4 or iPad (but it’s just new-techno-envy)

Two things you did last night:

  • watched Stargate Atlantis (again)
  • didn’t sleep well (again)

Two things you ate today:

  • Muesli- I make my own
  • Pad Thai- from the work cafeteria

Two people you last talked to:

Two things you’re doing tomorrow:

  • washing/shopping
  • upgrading itunes and syncing iphone to new lappy

Two Favorite Holidays:

  • long car trips with family
  • Europe with hubby before we had the kids

Two favourite beverages:

  • Tea
  • Cappuccino

Two things about me! Things you may not have known:

  • I am an introvert
  • I was born with a mild club foot

Two jobs I have had in my life:

  • Social Security call centre (before it was Centrelink)
  • ran a Dairy quality control lab

Two movies I would watch over and over:

Two places I have lived:

  • Broken Hill NSW
  • Woomera SA

Two of my favourite foods:

  • Roast leg lamb
  • Apple pie

Two places I’d rather be right now:

  • home on my couch
  • Venice (if I had a squillion $$)

iPhone meme plus extra Science

June 12, 2010

Jenelle and Kim shared their iPhone home screens with us. And this is mine.

I used to sort my apps by category but then read a tip which said to put the apps that you use every day on your home screen . Doh!- so mostly I use these every day or think that I should. Oz weather gets it’s data from BOM and has great radar maps. I paid for the upgrade. Friendfeed, GReader and the Perth Traffic are Safari bookmarks. The Yammer app is useful as a lot of people in my organisation post first thing in the morning Eastern States time- 2 hours before I get to work.

You call tell that I am a social networking (and Suduko) addict.

However their posts returned me to thinking about an ongoing project. I like to seek out science apps.  These are what I have at the moment:

In looking I have come to a few conclusions.

There is a difference between a app that a working scientist would use and one that just appeals to a science geek. Most of the apps on this screen probably fall into the second category. If you are a science geek have a look at pUniverse and SkyVoyager. They aren’t quite augmented reality as they don’t make use of the camera but do make use of all the location features to help you work out what is in the segment of the sky you are looking at. NASA is doing great work in promoting their science in the provision of apps or data for apps such as 3D Sun. Exoplanet is a nice database mashup app written by a student. I don’t know if the data exists all in one place anywhere besides this app. (And I didn’t know that there were 455 currently recorded exoplanets until I looked at the app)

Some apps  which fall into the first category cost a bit more than the usual so I haven’t actually downloaded them to assess them.

Most of the more common productivity and measurement apps would of course be also of use to the working scientist. Other useful categories include specialized calculators such as ChemiCal, and apps which are basically manuals translated into app form like Promega – hopefully with added interactivity. I have doubt whether an app designed to be of most use in a wet lab eg Promega or ChemiCal, would actually be used in an environment where the iPhone would be vulnerable or there would be a computer anyway. A nice development is the dedicated conference app like SciOnline10 and these aren’t restricted to the science field.

One type of app I can see a working scientist using is the one that helps keep them up to date with the science literature. As with the rest of us, spare time for reading is mostly while commuting, a time in which you are most likely to be using an iPhone. Papers stands out here. I just wish it synced with a PC or somebody would develop a PC equivalent so I can justify buying it. Examples such as the ACS mobile and AIP apps are worth a look. As you can’t access the full text unless you are on a subscribing network it would be nice to see some sort of cloud syncing solution besides emailing the abstracts to yourself. In arXiview you can access to full text and save results to a folder but I don’t see anyway to sync the folders to the cloud or larger machine for the use of the citation when writing your own paper. Martin Fenner has a recent and useful write up of Reference Management software where he also mentions that Nature and Scopus have iPhone apps now. There is also a Pubmed search app that I haven’t yet tried. Another limitation of these apps is that you can search and read but not annotate. You can bookmark in Papers but as I said above I haven’t tried it to see how useful the bookmarking is.

One gripe is that the the lack of advanced search or filter in the  iTunes store makes apps like these hard to find except by recommendation. Does anyone have more nice examples of apps that may appeal to the science geek or working scientist to share with me?

TV meme

June 11, 2010

Now for something completely different.

Kudos to Mal Booth for this meme (Sorry Con. I couldn’t do the book one without revealing that I am one of those weird librarians that have lost the reading habit. Oh … wait …)

Do you snack while watching TV? Snack? Everything especially dinner but not breakfast.

What is your favourite TV show? Currently. Dr Who, House, NCIS, Castle, Spicks and Specks, Being Human, Big Bang Theory

What TV show makes you run to change channels? Commercial “Current Affairs”,Oz Soaps, Most sport, Reality TV

How do you view your TV guide: online, on-screen, newspaper, magazine, other? Kind of online, we use the EPG built into our media centre software which also has a built in web page that can be viewed from our laptops when connected to the home WLAN.

Have you ever been surveyed for your TV-viewing habits or do you know anyone who has been? Yes, We actually had a rating meter in our house for a while but didn’t make the distance to collect our reward. It was only linked to one machine and could only be a “traditional” TV and near a phone point. I remember that it was a pain so we asked them to take it away after a couple of months. The restrictions of the technology meant it certainly wasn’t accurately capturing our viewing habits. (We had multiple TVs even then.)

Do you watch TV news and/or current affairs regularly? Yep, usually more than one but at least the ABC.

Do you watch any TV “soaps”? (Truth please, even if it is embarrassing.) Probably given a broad definition of soap (is Glee a soap?)- but not any of the current offerings usually thought of under that genre. (However, when I was younger we avidly watched “Country Practice” and “The Sullivans” and then when I was at Uni my grandmother, who I was boarding with, got me hooked on “Days of our lives”. Work replaced that addiction.)

What other series shows do you try not to miss? Other than I have already listed? I can’t think of much. We record anything we may miss- also we have 2 tuners so we don’t miss much due to conflicts either.

Any previous series or shows you really liked? How far back can I go?  Monty Python, the Goodies, Star Gate, Dr Who, Star Trek, Torchwood, the early Red Dwarf …

Do you have pay TV or are the digital channels enough? Digital (and other means) suffice.

Do you only watch certain TV shows online? No. Well, like Fiona, they aren’t online when we watch them. Unless you can call Dr Horrible or the Guild “TV” shows.

Do you regularly use services like ABC catch-up or other online replays? No. I have but I wouldn’t say regularly (and see previous answer).

Do you ever pay any attention to the adverts? No-except maybe to wince or to yell back at them. Auto skip is a truly wonderful invention.

Do you multi-task while watching TV & if so what else are you doing? Well lets put it this way. The sofa in the living room has powerboards and laptop chargers positioned at each end and we selected it partially for its nice wide laptop holding arms. I also have the news on while cooking.

Is there a TV show that makes you laugh out loud? IT Crowd, Spicks and Specks.

Have you ever said no to a social invitation to stay at home and watch TV? (Truth again please.) Mind telling us what the show was? Not that I can remember.

Do you record TV shows & if so why and how (VCR, DVD recorder, TIVO, laptop, etc.)? How: We have a computer that hubby and the kids built from components with 2 tuners, a DVD recorder that’s not often used and 2TB of storage. It runs Ubuntu and Mythtv. It is positioned so its “hidden” behind the screen. I am quite proud of this set up. It was a family effort and fits our DIY way of doing things. We did it so that we could upgrade without having to replace the whole thing. Blu ray was looming large at the time but we mostly play things from the hard drive not the DVD. Why: Actually on our set up everything is recorded and we can rewind or pause “live TV”. But also many of my favourite shows are on simultaneously or after I go to bed or while hubby wants to watch the motorcycle racing. Recording means that you are never tied to a schedule. Feel like a movie but a show is on? Just record the show and watch it later. It also means its easier to compromise and watch something as a family or let Mr15 and hubby game on the “nice” screen and watch what I wanted to see later. We are much more discerning now and watch live TV less than we used to (and skip ads).

Least favourite TV personality/actor/character? There are so many that I probably don’t even know. Bert Newton. The people on the football panel shows.

Most popular TV personalities/actors/character? Tennant as the Dr, John Barrowman as Jack. Richard Dean Anderson as Jack (SG1). Seems to be a theme here so to divert you I will throw in Helen Mirren for being and playing a strong “older” woman.

Have you ever seen anything really memorable on TV (not news/events – made for TV drama, etc.)? There is plenty that have left a lasting mark on popular culture. I remember watching Monty Python as a kid and they were just so radical for the time. No-one was quite getting it but we were all hooked. It was great being able to buy the DVDs and introducing the kids to them. Mr15 knew that he was at the right high school when his new peers were also referencing Monty Python jokes.

Do you prefer TV series or stand-alone shows? Series

Is there a specific show you find yourself recommending over and over? Dr Who