Archive for September, 2010

Packing Guidelines

There is a definite art to packing for a holiday.  You don’t want to forget anything important, yet you don’t want to take so much stuff that your luggage is heavy and inconvenient to carry.

I learned my packing skills though trial and error, moving from New Zealand to London and back (twice), and going on lots of smaller holidays as well.

If you want to learn how to pack efficiently without going the time-consuming trial and error route, here are some useful sites with great guidelines for packing lightly and comprehensively.

The Universal Packing List

One Bag: The Art And Science Of Travelling Light


Off To Africa!

(This is my three-year old niece being cute on a recent visit to Brisbane.)

I’m off to Africa today!

I’m doing this Intrepid Travel tour, going to ten different countries over 60 days.  At the end of this trip I will have achieved my (completely arbitrary) goal of having visited as many countries as I am years old.  I imagine this will be extremely satisfying until my birthday next year when I shall have to start planning more holidays to keep up!

I’ve organised for posts to keep going up while I am away, and when I return (and have recovered somewhat) I’ll start posting some of the awesome photos I hope to take.

Ok Go – White Knuckles

Ok Go’s new music video.  Awesome choreography (as usual), this time with dogs!

Ilona’s Compendium Of Leading Men

One of my favourite authors, Ilona Andrews, created Ilona’s Compendium Of Leading Men, a tongue-in-check guide to the common types of leading men found in movies and books today.

The Rake is an enigma. He can be a cowboy, a British Lord, a pirate, or an Italian gazillionaire,  but he is always charming, clever, and handsome as sin.   He may pretend to be brainless, but he never is.   He pursues women passionately and abandons them the moment after they succumb to his charms.  Strangely, despite this cruel treatment, he is usually well liked, perhaps because he’s quite entertaining and because he makes a dangerous enemy.

The Rake is usually damaged by a deep childhood trauma.  He has definite trust issues and taming him requires kindness and a great deal of patience rather than sharp wit and beauty.  However, once properly tamed, he makes the most faithful of husbands.

Click here to find out about the Aristocrat, the Madman, the Hero, the Victim, the Mercenary (eg: Han Solo), and the Genius.

Also check out The Compendium Of Leading Ladies: the Rebel, the Innocent, the Professional, the Shrinking Violet, and the Milady.

…the CellScope, which is a Nokia device with a microscope attachment, was the inspiration for a teeny-tiny film created by Sumo Science at Aardman.

History Of Art

Beached As

So good, it got picked up by an Australian TV channel and made into a series.

The original will always be my favourite, and I’ll be devastated when my Beached As t-shirt falls apart.

Random Quotation

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: the mad daughter of a wise mother.


Balloons And Dyson Bladeless Fans

Dyson engineers send a balloon through a series of Air Multiplier fans.

This quote from Arthur C Clarke seems quite apt:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Sometimes I look at all the technology around me and marvel at the world I live in.  What even cooler things will be invented in the remainder of my lifetime?

New Diskworld 2.0 reading guide

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels are some of my favourite reads.  They were not written in chronological order, and different books focus on different groups of characters.  I can imagine it would be confusing for a new reader wondering where to start!

This helpful reading guide is correct as of July 2010 and was created by Krzysztof Kietzman and beautifully illustrated by Jakub Oleksow.

A larger version can be found here.