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inc. pasttimes, not puzzles or tricks

Tale of two bits of tech


UC Irvine and Australian chemists have figured out how to unboil egg whites – an innovation that could dramatically reduce costs for cancer treatments, food production and other segments of the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to findings published today in the journal.

“Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” said Gregory Weiss, UCI professor of chemistry and  & biochemistry. “In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold. We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return a key  in the egg to working order.”

Like many researchers, he has struggled to efficiently produce or recycle valuable molecular proteins that have a wide range of applications but which frequently “misfold” into structurally incorrect shapes when they are formed, rendering them useless.

“It’s not so much that we’re interested in processing the ; that’s just demonstrating how powerful this process is,” Weiss said.

Das Boot, das Buch und die Blogging

The boyz are dropping me hints about the boat.  First, haiku:

dilbert das boot

Then Amfortas [though to be fair, this is for comparison purposes]:


I’m also getting it in the ear at this end – the site manager next door, my landlord and my mate are all dropping hints.  Simple answer is I’m not gluing under 8 degrees.  Once it goes above that, I’m down there again.

Cunning plan is to get the book into EPUB and PDF – all efforts are currently directed there] and hopefully that will dovetail later this week in the first build for a while.

There is likely to be light blogging [by N.O.’s standards] today, dear reader.  Ivan’s waiting.


It’s Australia Day today or as some are calling it downunder: First Fleet Day, a day to celebrate the subsequent genocide and oppression of the aborigines.

And now:

Once again, I’m caught here in this blogging bind of so many issues to cover but readers complaining that the posts zoom past too quickly.

By running posts today only at 6, 9, 12 and now [maybe at 18], it’s provided breathing space but there are 18 separate issues awaiting in emails alone, let alone going around the blogs and ignoring the MSM altogether. Frankly, I do not have the answer to this, beyond compromise.

Anyway, down to it:

elizabeth-hurleyGot sucked into this “famous for being famous” debate last evening.

There are obvious contenders – Paris Hilton, Elizabeth Hurley, the Kardashians, Jade Goody, Paris Hilton to name a few and it seemed to me it had to be for having done virtually nothing worthwhile.…

Cod a la Davos


Task – to build on the Cod a la Davos to make a complete meal. Last evening, as I reported to Rossa:

Made the ratatouille and that’s not all that easy to get the consistency of the different veg right [for me].

So, bed of those veg on small plate, touch of the butter sauce, rice around the edge, cod on top and rest of sauce over, should have had a green leaf for the top but not to worry.

Chelsea Roffey and why I support wimmin’s quotas


I’d like to see hundreds more like her.

One area where there’s almost universal agreement on the need for more females and personally, I’d like to see them taking over completely, is goal and boundary umpires in AFL. There is only one girl in the whole AFL who does it at the top level – Chelsea Roffey.

WARNING: Broad Australian footballing accents coming up.…

Prora – beach resort that never had a guest


Prora is a beach resort on the island of RügenGermany, known especially for its colossal Nazi-planned tourist structures. The massive building complex was built between 1936 and 1939 as a Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude or KdF) project.

The eight buildings were identical, and although they were planned as a holiday resort, they were never used for this purpose. The complex has a formal heritage listing as a particularly striking example of Third Reich architecture.


The beauty of square [2]

In cruising mode, it’s all about load carrying – supplies, living space, gear, that’s a certain weight, that weight needs buoyancy to suspend it above the waterline.


For a given length, you need a wider monohull to bear that load but the wetted area is prohibitive.  It must sail on a steep angle to reduce that wetted area and allow the lines to meet the water properly.  The sail area would tip it over immediately, so it needs ballast which also holds her down in the water.…

The beauty of square [1]

The yachts of the 30s were graceful, with delicate ends and curves, nothing square and ugly.

For some reason, I’ve always liked what could be called the rounded square or rounded rectangle, preferring straight sides, vertical ends, squarish sails.  It’s redolent of earlier times and though the dreadnought was not strictly squarish, the straight-sided designs are redolent of that.

In fact, the designers of Steve Jobs’s mega-yacht [H/T Rossa] adopted a similar stance and though the glitsy, high shine is not my thing, the lines are.

what a jobs

You can call it Ark but I like Ark and the more ungainly the straight sides, flat deck and roof, the better I like it – on a yacht, not on a house.…

Worse things happen at sea

A chap building a boat has a vision.  Warm waters, calm seas, light winds, exotic places to see.

But what happens when shyte happens? And it does happen even with best laid plans. It can keel a chap over.

Well, it is handy to have an older, sea-legs version of Kate Middleton along with her cute bum and encouragement.

I am not a sailor nor an expert on boats, but even I can recognise a stunningly classy craft.  One worth the effort.

So what lessons can we learn. Suggestions from the floor please.…

David and Goliath – it is possible, it’s happened before

These are the days I adore, when the potential giant killers meet the giants.

My whole working life was spent building people up, getting them to believe in themselves, from little kids to managers of companies. Call it arrogant, call it punching above your weight, playing out of your league, call it what you want, I plead guilty.

Anything is possible. You can teach the principle of relativity to a little kid with certain demonstrations. You can put a bunch of Under 11s against Under 19s and win, as long as certain principles are stuck to and as long as the game follows the laws strictly – more on that below.…

Of Lampard and hygienic pontoons

Two topics – Lampard … and pontoons.



OK, OK, they do have a point. There was an agreement and that agreement was premature – he still had good football left in him.

What should he do?  Well, obviously compensation.  However, beyond that, there is the question of self-realization, no?

Let me drag wimmin in here who are the most unprincipled at times.  You know the one about wimmin and computers – how they are similar.   If you’d waited, you might have had a better model.

The notion of wimmin upping and seeking a better partner is legend.  Wimmin are fickle, wimmin are restless, wimmin will dump you at the drop of a hat or a passing Adonis.  a woman’s promise is strictly for today, like a child’s.  Or at least such are the women I’ve got involved with romantically.

I’d suggest this is different to Lampard.  The man has a window in which he can play top flight.…

Money in sport

In a similar vein to the Newcastle post and the hegemony of big money, it’s certainly a blight on sport today. Whether it’s the notorious Premier League, F1 or the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the story’s the same.

This one is about the reporter asked by Rolex to leave the media centre in Hobart:

Her piece, entitled “Sydney to Hobart yacht race’s yawning gap”, looked at the demise in public interest in the race coinciding with the rise in expenses for those who want to remain competitive in it.

Neales quoted a veteran of the race who said he was “fed up with the many changes money has brought to the sailing world”, lamenting the loss of “real sailing” and comparing the sport’s story to that of horse racing, with success only available to the elite.

She also quoted the skipper of line-honours winner Wild Oats XI, Mark Richards, who dismissed such criticism and insisted the skills of the crew remained the most important factor in success.