Australian Man, 91, Completes Law Degree

Here is the Forbes item. You know if lawyers and the agents of the devil and you believe in that sort of thing choosing law at 85 seems like a bad strategy in the maximise lifetime wealth versus risk of eternal damnation decision tree.

5 years ago

Well this is the first year I have had a blog on September 11th. Time to recount where I was.

September 11th, 2001, was, for me, one of those incredibly long days that people flying over the Pacific experience; over 30 hours. You see, on that day, I was exactly where my family hoped I wouldn’t be, in the air. Continue reading “5 years ago”

Doing it yourself

The Age today (article over the fold) carries an obituary for Australia’s only professional obituarist, Philip Jones, who died last week. And you guessed it, he wrote his own obituary. Suffice it to say, it is far more personal and introspective than the average. It is also self-critical. I guess this is a task Jones wouldn’t trust to anyone else. Continue reading “Doing it yourself”

Cry in the basement

JonBenet Ramsey is the US’s Azaria Chamberlin (click here). Cue Meryl Streep Cate Blanchett. (Anyone know if she can do the appropriate American accent?)

Into the short tail …

My blog hit a milestone today hitting the top 100,000 (No.98,695 to be exact) on the Technorati blog rankings (click here). I am along way off my co-author Andrew Leigh (No.41,856), colleague Kim Weatherall (No.46,985) and top blogger John Quiggin (whose rank I couldn’t find but it must be in the top 5000).

That puts this blog in the top 0.2% of all blogs in the world. You just have to choose the right pond and the statistics can make you look good.

Marrying surnames

An article in Slate, talks about ‘trends’ (actually a few instances) where marrying couples have fused their surnames into a new hybrid. An example:

As for couples fusing their surnames upon marriage, the New York Times wedding announcements continue to reveal the occasional Luband (Lubinsky + Rittenband) or Ryman (Rawlins + Hyman). Some creative newlyweds work up concoctions that draw a few letters from each of their surnames—like Lumea, which does seem preferable to the hyphenated alternative, Tlumacki-Head.

I think this illustrates the potential and the problem. One of the goals of the blended surname is to deal with the issue of the kids in a time where adopting a spouses surname is antiquated. A blended surname is a strong commitment but also requires phonetic compatability. If you are lucky you can make it work. If not, as we were with Gans and Lippey (not enough syllables to go around), you have to do something else. Hyphenated names (e.g., Lippey-Gans or Gans-Lippey) are one solution but cannot possible stand the test of time as word length becomes of problem across generations. This is something law and accounting firms over 50 years old tend to find out. Continue reading “Marrying surnames”

Impolite rejections

The Weekend Australian conducted an interesting experiment. It sent out a sample chapter from Nobel prize winner, Patrick White’s novel The Eye of the Storm; changing only character names. All of the Australian publishers it was sent to rejected. The interesting thing about all this is not the rejections themselves (the sample chapter may have been chosen strategically) but how impolite some of them were. For example: Continue reading “Impolite rejections”

Site Feeds and Subscriptions (and Comments)

I have had a few requests for email notifications of new posts. You will notice that at the bottom of the sidebar to the right I have included more sitefeeds but also a subscribe to feature (from Feedburner). Hopefully that will do the trick.

Also, to combat spam in the comments, if you post a comment you need to answer a simple maths question.

Impression of Alice

As I looked around Alice Springs these last few days, I was staggered by the numbers of SUVs being driven. So contrary to usual perceptions, it seems that out here they as pretentious as people in Toorak!

Impossible Lego

[Cross posted on Game Theorist] I am a big fan of Lego and we are big consumers in our household. (Once you decide that you can enjoy children’s toys the sky is the limit on expenditure!)

In my office, I have printouts of Lego sculptures of Escher prints. Their place on the web had been lost but they have reappeared. Click here to view them. You will see that it is all in the angle at which you are viewing.