Heavy Plant

Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...



in: Dee Why NSW, Australia
This is one of those posts written to get the thought out of my head.

Abandoned shopping trolleys are urban clutter that speaks about the area it's found in.

An abandoned shopping trolley could mean any one or combination of the following:
  • Can't afford a car
  • Don't care about minor theft where commercial entities are the victim
  • Bored kids live here
  • Not my problem, it'll get cleaned up sooner or later
  • The coin in the top is worth losing to get my shopping home without carrying it. What the hell I'll take a friend, we'll two trolley and plug them together so we don't even lose the coins
I suspect that abandoned trolleys are one of the things often targeted under zero tolerance urban management for these reasons. Getting rid of them immediately increases the feeling that the neighbourhood you're in is looked after and that the people in it actually care about where they live.

This is why it bothers me when I walk past 6 of these on my way to work in a neighbourhood which isn't exactly renowned for being wealthy but isn't exactly a hellhole either. Neglect of any sort bothers me.


Fraggles, Ben Folds Five & Nerdist

Okay Internet, I owe you (another) one, this made my day.



Around the internet this month

A few things that have caught my eye.

What snake venom does to blood.

Oddly enough if you put enough rubber bands round a watermelon it explodes.

What would happen if you pitched a baseball at a significant fraction of the speed of light? XKCD has the answer.


So, as I was saying...

...or at least I thought I was... look I was writing something...or making something. It was important, I do remember that. There was some stuff I was angry about, some people I had to talk to and places that needed investigation.

Annoyingly people I know seem to have done a much better job of staying on top of this than I but I'm not letting it trouble me.

It would be good to know what I was doing though, I should try and remember that.


Why eating ice cream gives you brain freeze

Always wondered about this...

From Evernote:

Why eating ice cream gives you brain freeze

Clipped from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9219371/Why-eating-ice-cream-gives-you-brain-freeze.html

Why eating ice cream gives you brain freeze

Scientists have explained why eating ice cream too quickly can cause a painful headache - commonly known as brain freeze.

The ice cream headache known as brain freeze is brought on by a rapid increase in blood flow through a major blood vessel in the brain, the anterior cerebral artery Photo: ALAMY

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor

10:00PM BST 22 Apr 2012

1 Comment

They hope to use the discovery to develop new treatments for migraine.

The instant headache brought on by ice cold food and drinks is the bane of the summer with ice-cream lovers often seen clutching their foreheads waiting for the gripping pain to ease.

Scientists have noticed that migraine sufferers are more prone to 'brain freeze' and wondered if the phenomenon could be turned to their advantage.

In experiments carried by a researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway and Harvard Medical School a team of 13 healthy volunteers deliberately induced the brain freeze so the effects could be studied.

It was found that the pain was brought on by a rapid increase in blood flow through a major blood vessel in the brain, the anterior cerebral artery.

The ache subsided again once blood flow was restricted.

The findings were presented at the meeting Experimental Biology 2012 being in San Diego.

By bringing on brain freeze in the laboratory the researchers were able to study a headache from beginning to end without the need for drugs that would mask the causes and symptoms of the pain.

The volunteers drank iced water through a straw that was pressed against their palate and then drank water at room temperature.

Blood flow was monitored using a hand held Doppler.

It was found that the anterior cerebral artery dilated rapidly and flooded the brain with blood in conjunction to when the volunteers felt pain. Soon after this dilation occurred, the same vessel constricted as the volunteers' pain receded.

Co-author Jorge Serrador of Harvard Medical School and the War Related Illness and Injury Study Centre of the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System, said: "The brain is one of the relatively important organs in the body, and it needs to be working all the time. "It's fairly sensitive to temperature, so vasodilatation might be moving warm blood inside tissue to make sure the brain stays warm."

But because the skull is a closed structure, the sudden influx of blood could raise pressure and induce pain, he said.

By constricting the blood vessel again the body could be acting to reduce the pressure before it reaches dangerous levels, he said.

Similar alterations in blood flow could be at work in migraines, post traumatic headaches, and other headache types, he added.

If further research confirms these suspicions, then finding ways to control blood flow could offer new treatments for these conditions. Drugs that block sudden vasodilatation or target channels involved specifically in the vasodilatation of headaches could be one way of changing headaches' course


Short cycle round the Hunter Valley

in: Pokolbin NSW 2320, Australia

View Hunter Vineyards in a larger map

A weekend stolen from my family and a rented car headed North to not really my favourite wine area.

North on a slow road, beer in the passenger seat, sarcasm and cynicism driving. Uncle Len used to take my passenger to Bobbin head, as did his mum. Peels of malicious laughter. A stop at the halfway service station for a drink and a pee.

We'd left late after a guzzled pizza, hurried beers in a bar slowly filling with the sloppy overdressed inebriates of a Friday night in Manly.


More notes

A sad truth...



Here is a placeholder post with some links in it whilst I think of something to write.

ASCII Fluid Dynamics animation
Strangely hypnotic

Regenerating immortal flatworms

Feds seize cocaine Jesus
I'm moderately surprised this hasn't happened before.


Happy new year

in: 1 The Strand, Dee Why NSW 2099, Australia
Oh yeah, we look good.
New year's night at the fireworks at Dee Why beach