Scientific pets

News today that Darwin’s tortoise has died. The 176 old was purchased by Darwin from the Galapagos Islands in 1835. Obviously he took much better care of his pets that Schrodinger did; well, I guess we will never know on that one! The cat may still be alive.

Twisted blog

This comes from my brother, Jeremy. It is worthwhile following his guide in reading this blog post.

Another remarkable web document with a twist, but this one isn’t as amusing as the ‘cab driver’ expert.

It’s a blog about the recovery of a car accident victim in a coma. The blog is, as usual, in reverse chronological order, so the shock ending is at the top. You could just go straight to the key post (May 29th 2006) or you could scroll straight to the bottom and read upwards. (It’s a bit long, but key posts are Friday 4/28 to Monday 5/1; Monday 5/8; Wednesday 5/17; Monday 5/22and Thursday 5/25 to the top.)

Click here to read the blog.

Updated Web Page

It has been about 6 years since I have done this but I have redesigned by academic home page. Click here to see the result. The idea is to make it a more ‘living document’ than I had previously with more about ‘what’s new’ than ‘what’s old.’


Over the past week or so, I have been steadily going through the daily challenges on The Da Vinci Code Quest (brought to us by Google). I can recommend it thoroughly. It takes less than a minute but is a nice distraction.

The idea is to solve puzzles, reveal clues and use Google to solve the clues. Suffice it to say, there are alot of clues you can solve this way. This is going to make Dan Brown’s next novel quiet a challenge: to find clues that a simple or more complex Google search couldn’t solve. If not, there is going to be alot of Robert Langdon googled the two associated words on his mobile phone and headed straight for the Palazzo di Venezia in Rome!

Of course, this suggests an interesting novel twist. Whomever the villan is, such as the modern equivalent of the Knights Templar or CERN, will deliberately manipulate Google’s page rank to have the wrong answers come up prominently on Google throwing Langdon off the sent. Now that idea is worth a 4 page chapter in a thriller! [Does anyone know if Dan Brown is reading this? Did I just become a Plot Troll?]

April fools spotting

I can’t resist some good April Fool’s Day prank spotting. As usual Google got into the act with Google Romance (following up from last year’s Google Gulp and this job ad from 2004).

According to The Economist you will soon be able to buy dragons. Of course, for an economist, nothing will beat their post of a decade or more ago on the growing concern over ‘number inflation.’

For a complete list of this year’s work, see Wikipedia.

On the technology front, the iPod ironing dock takes the cake.

Click here for the full story.

Under the cover

Having a hard time fending off people in the train when you are reading Core Economics for Managers? You know, all those people who want to know where you purchased it. Try this courtesy of Freakonomics.

My favourite is: “How to murder your Professor and get away with it”

Glad well blogs

Last week, Malcolm Gladwell, the author of The Tipping Point and Blink, started a blog.

Those books are good but I am a fan of some of his writing for the New Yorker. Here is a selection (with links):

There are many others but this is a good start.

Blog links

I thought I’d just take a second to note blogs of people I know out there:

All different, all with interesting stuff.

Is this a joke?

On the way to Melbourne airport there was a billboard for Villa and Hut. If you just glance at it (as you do when you are driving) you will notice that they claim to be “voted the best homewear store in the world.”

Sounds impressive but drop your eyes down and you will see in much smaller print a qualification “by internal staff poll.” Not that that is bad — if it wasn’t true that might be a problem. But really, isn’t this just a tad misleading? The homepage of their website says the same thing and much as I have tried I haven’t seen a hint that this is all tounge-in-cheek.