Archive for June, 2006

It’d love to be there…

It really would be a great thing for me to attend such literary tours.  You know, see those great young writers read in front of you.  Well, that’s what’s Opium Magazine is doing at the moment.  They went to Beijing some days back and here’s the insider’s account.  I love those insider’s report, don’t you?

Todd Zuniga, editor of the literary magazine and one of the “performers” in Beijing, is a pretty nice guy.  At least, that’s the impression I get when we correspond by email once in a while.  I have huge respect for the guy and wish him luck with Opium Magazine.  It’s great.  Keep it up people.

I’m a fan.  And oh yeah, if you happen to be in Paris or London, do check Opium’s world tour event schedule.  Those guys may be near you and trust me, you don’t want to miss them.

Update:  I love this photo: like a movie poster! Hope they don’t mind.  Well, I’m giving them some publicity, man!


As for the photo above: Kesey and Koch are standing. Leary and Zuniga are in crouch position. In the background you see a lone house amidst a field of ruin. Houses used to be there, but now only one remains. The residents refuse to move out, and the building plans by the government are on hold until they agree to move out. It’s really, really weird. The area is huge, and only that one house still remains.

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Here’s my house

Zooming in on Mauritius on Google Earth, here’s what I came up with.

[click for larger image version]

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The prepaid card story

Ok, I admit – I’ve been consuming loads of cellphone prepaid cards during this last couple of weeks.  An average of 3 cards per week actually and that’s a lot from my point of view.  I guess we’ll have to see to it…

In any case, today i had to buy one of those prepaid cards because I only had 2 cents on my account.  2 cents, I tell you! So I ran to the store only some seconds from my place (to be taken literary) and guess what? I bumped straight into my parents!

Dad: What are you doing here?
Me: You know…

Dad: Prepaid card?
Me: Well, yeah.

Dad: Ok, let me pay.
Me: What? Oh… yeah, sure.  Sure.

Dad took out a R200 note.  Wow, what luck, you say.  Well, the store unfortunately ran out of prepaid cards.

Ah well.  In the meantime, I’m still left with 2 cents – not even a miss call.

The column revival

So after many many months, I’m finally going to publish an article over at my backwash column, Not Scientific Science.  There are no links whatsoever in this below version, but i’ll drop a link in here so that you can check the final version of the article when it’s published at backwash.

I was also thinking about writing on how I got the idea and how I proceeded to write it in the first place, as well.  We’ll see.



The WOW list
by Khalil A. Cassimally aka NotScientific.

In no particular order.

1.Your body produces about 80 million neutrophils per minute.  Neutrophils form about 60% of all white blood cells travelling in the blood-flow.  White blood cells are those cells which fight pathogens during an infection.  Now, that makes you wonder how many cells your body actually produces in one day, doesn’t it?

2.Next time you’re in the loo, do recall to take to take a long and good sniff before you flush.  No jokes! Then think how your body’s inside stinks.

3.Homosexual animals exist, in case you didn’t know.  Male big horn sheeps bond through anal intercourse and genital licking and yes, ejaculation does occur.  Other gay animals include giraffes, bottlenose dolphins, killer whales and gray whales amongst others.  With this, some scientists are starting to question Darwin’s sexual selection because the father of biology apparently neglected all gay animals.  Oh yeah, Japanese macaques are lesbians by the way.

4.According to de Broglie’s wave-particle duality theory, any wave can also be treated as particles and consequently one can also expect a particle to act like a wave, in some circumstances.  But when does a wave actually behave as a particle or vice-versa? Bring on the next Einstein, I say!

5.Einstein’s theory of relativity.  Don’t worry it’s in simple terms.  I mean, it is in plain English all right.

6.A vaccine is in fact an injection of antigenic material, which may be dead pathogens or some living one themselves.  This results in an immune response.  The immune system is, in this way, prepared for any “natural” attacks by this same pathogen that may occur in the future.

7.HIV is short for Human Immunodeficiency Virus while AIDS is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.  As you see, the causative agent is HIV while the disease is AIDS and not vice-versa. Not to be confused, people.

8.Bind two amino acids together and you’ll end up with a dipeptide.  Bind three of them and you’ll obtain a tripeptide.  Now, bind many hyundreds of them and you’ll get a protein.  Now same thing with nucleotides: bind two of them to get a dinucleotide, three of them and you get a trinucleotide and a multitude of them so you get a nucleic acid.  Yep, RNA and DNA and stuff.

9.Biology + Chemistry = Biochemistry, Physics + Chemistry = Physical Chemistry, Biology + Physics = Biophysics!

The secret language of sleep

I am a colon!
Find your own pose

How the hell do they now that? And, oh, check out The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions over at McSweeney’s store.  It really looks so cool.

Some couples wonder if they have the mettle for a committed relationship, or the momentum for long-distance love, or the reflexes for fighting crime. Unsure couples waste years looking for answers in each other’s eyes, or in the offices of behavioral therapists. And yet each night their sleeping bodies reveal more than any doctor or private detective could ever discover.

With The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions, a couple unlocks the true meaning that lies within their chosen pose.  All thirty-nine poses (including Classic Spoons, the Tobogganer, and
Softserve Swirl) come with easy-to-identify illustrations along with detailed descriptions, case studies, and training tips. Handy icons indicate which positions are the most therapeutic for snorers, outdoorsmen, or couple who work on their feet.

You can read the New York Post article on the book here.  Believe me, it’s damn interesting.

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Breathe The Wind That Makes You Free

AUSTRALIA!

Yes people! AUSTRALIA IS IN THE LAST 16! And what a match; nail-biting of course but man!

Australia only needed a draw to qualify whereas Croatia needed a win.  The aussies get the worst start ever by conceding a goal on the second minute.  During the fifth minute, Australia are denied an apparently obvious penalty and left fuming until they are finally awarded a penalty, transformed, later on during the first half.

Half-time score: 1-1

Second half and Australia is completely dominating possession searching for the killer game.  But barely 10 minutes through this half and Croatia take the lead again.  As it stands, Croatia are through.

Suspense before finally Harry Kewell, arguably the best football player the aussies have produced, strikes 10 minutes from time.  Australia are through and the two sending offs later in the last minutes of the game may well go unnoticed.  Australia creates history.

Thing is, there probably is a Croatian player who created history too.  Simunic received a second yellow card in the dying minutes of the game but the referee (Graham Poll) forgot he has already booked the player and doesn’t show the red card.  Simunic returns to the game and is still on the field with the two yellow cards.  It’s not over yet.  On the very last minute of the game, Simunic is handed a third yellow card and at last, the red card!

So Australia go through the last 16 for the first time in their history and Croatia’s Simunic may well have become the first player to be booked thrice in a football game.  In any case:

GO AUSSIES!

P.S.  Can’t wait to see the reaction on Metroblogging Melbourne.

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What’s up in my life?

1. Best friends: I love you people.
2. My own company: sky media
3. Science is so very cool
4. 6 month sabbatical.

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