The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Fail!, Facebook, and pillows …?

Thursday 19 February 2009 at 10:55 pm

A few anecdotes before the more serious political post to follow:

San Francisco Pillow Fight 2009!

  • The Valentine’s Day pillow fight was fun!
  • My favourite quote from last night’s FAILparty (at a surprisingly cosy bar hidden behind SF’s Federal Building): “I love how the Internet has made ‘fail’ a noun, but I’m sad for ‘ure’. I feel like we should throw a ‘ure’ party, to mourn its loss.”
  • Tonight’s Facebook developer event was cool for explaining how the news feed will become first-person and more about sharing, but also because Mark Zuckerburg dropped by to say hi to everyone …!
  • And okay, I couldn’t resist some politics. I suppose it was necessary for the US to pass an enormous bailout bill, right after Australia’s parliament enacted our own mini-version, but even though both went through with amazing speed I’m surprised at how much party bickering there still was (in both cases). In WA, for instance, observe how the Premier supported the plan at first, only to fall in with his party and question it two days later!

Budgets and Asian disasters and work and parties

Monday 9 June 2008 at 6:16 pm

So I have been naughty and working too hard, quite apart from being naughty with respect to this blog. Although we did squeeze out a new Lichen version a fortnight ago, and if or when things finish up at the day job I do believe the next version of Azureus will be sweet.

Some of the things I’ve been wanting to write about:

  • Oh how the honeymoon has come crashing down for the Ruddster and his peeps! First there was the Federal Budget, which was generally sensible but reeked of compromise in every direction (that, and an unhealthy obsession with Costello-style future funds). Then we have inflation egad, public sector overworking oh my, and premix tax eeek! But it’s okay: they had pictures of troops leaving Iraq to distract the masses.
  • Speaking of Budgets, WA’s was remarkably unremarkable given it’s what Carps will be calling an election on. I mean, sure there are billions being splashed about for infrastructure and whatnot, but that kind of announcement is kinda getting old. (Then again, I’ve documented enough times how poor the field is.)
  • It amuses me how much sound and fury has been generated by the plan for a national version of FuelWatch. Surely the logic should be simple: did it work in WA? if so, implement! … just like the other State policies that went national (TravelSmart, Go For 2 & 5, and others; WA actually does have a reasonably inventive bureaucracy. Not to say FuelWatch is perfect, but having foresight does make us all feel better).
  • If Burma’s military leaders were a little less skilled at crushing dissent, they’d probably have riotous mobs demanding their heads for the latest in a long line of cock-ups. Alas, they’re not, and so their country has become even more of a mess than it was. Compare the Chinese government, who have done a far better job handling their natural disaster — not to say the Communist Party are any good at logistics, but at least they didn’t get unfriendly headlines before the Olympics.
  • Onto less weighty matters: may I briefly say, I deeply dislike the new Google favicon? It doesn’t look Google-ey at all, making it that much harder to find searches amongst twenty browser tabs …
  • The WordPress party of two weeks ago was fun! There was schwag from Automattic! I met people from such diverse places as Connecticut and Sweden! And there were many more ladies than your average geek event ;-)
  • This, I think, is hilarious — who’da thunk a metro ride could be so rowdy! And it reminds me of how weird it (still) seems to see people downing beer on trains here, while the staff walk past not caring.
  • Although, speaking of, I felt sorry for the girl across from me on the last Caltrain service out of San Francisco after the WordPress party, whose parents were going off at her on the phone for riding the train; apparently nice girls don’t do that sort of thing …

Upcoming party, via MOO cards!

Monday 30 October 2006 at 10:34 pm

It is official: there is to be a party on the 25th of November in celebration (or, more likely, commiseration) of the fact that — shock and horror — I will soon have finished uni!

E-mail and SMS invites will be going out shortly. But far and away the coolest way to be invited to my party is to get one of my Flickr MiniCards!

[Some of my Flickr MOO cards!]

I echo the widespread sentiment that these cards are awesome, and almost everyone to whom I’ve given one has mentioned their coolness. But I was nabbed by a few gotchas:

  • The cards are matte — which isn’t a problem, and is probably better than gloss, but still caught me unawares.
  • I managed to break their system by trying to print photos I’d only just uploaded … but I think they’ve fixed that problem now.
  • Their software had some trouble with the Unicode punctuation characters I fed it. Fortunately MOO’s customer service is awesome and I got almost-completely-fixed free cards out of them — and promptly, too!

If you want a card, even if you can’t come, get in touch with me! :-)


Party photos and Nobel Prizes

Tuesday 4 October 2005 at 11:07 pm

Thanks to all who made it to my party last weekend and a thousand rabid monkeys to those who failed to come. (Actual rabid monkeys are optional, but only because of budget cuts, not any sort of kindness on my part.)

Some of the hilarity that occurred is captured in these photographs taken by Cara, Daniel, and Korin, which you might like to peruse … well maybe.

In other exciting news today, the dude who lectured me in Molecular Biology yesterday just won himself a Nobel Prize! This is the first Nobel to go to a UWA person (no longer can the unis of Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne claim exclusivity!) and indeed the first to go to West Australians, which I think says more about northern-hemisphere bias than anything else ;-)

Sadly (but not surprisingly, considering past Aussie Nobel winners) all the major news sites ? even Aunty ? have dropped the story from their front pages already. Apparently bombs killing two dozen people are a bigger story.

Better yet, Yahoo! News is listing this in their Oddly Enough section just cause they hadn’t heard the story that’s circulated round Perth for ages, that Barry Marshall ate some Helicobacter pylori when no one believed him that they caused stomach ulcers. Meh.