A f*cked up world sending chills down my spine

The Russian city of Arkhangelsk near the Arctic circle hit 28.9 degrees last week. In mid-May.

Meanwhile, carbon dioxide concentration was measured at 415 ppm at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory on Saturday. It has never been as high in the entire human history.


The entire modern human society fits in the last 12 thousand years. TWELVE THOUSAND. Before that, anatomically modern humans developed about 0.5 million years ago. Their predecessors, the Neanderthals and Paleolithic hominins, about 3 million years ago.

Estimates vary, but it's possible that last time CO2 levels were as high as they are today, there existed only about 100,000, maybe 300,000 humans on the entire planet. They were basic hunter-gatherers, living within the means of subsistence. Food in, poop out. Minimal shelters made of wood and stones and leaves.

Today, the world has about 7.2 billion humans. It is about thirty thousand times more than then, and we consume copious amounts of absolute crap WE DO NOT NEED.


Housing, transport, food.

Think what you eat, where it comes from, how it's packaged.
Think where you live, how much space you are taking up, how you are heating it, what you are doing with outdoor space.
Think how you travel and where.

DO NOT VOTE FOR Republicans if you're in US, or National Party if you're in New Zealand.

Use your brain - it should not be too difficult to recognise what political organisations are aware of the problem, and have the balls to at least try tackling it through policy. Vote for those people. 



When silicone penis implants make me laugh

I'm reading a book called Bonk by Mary Roach and it really is a very amusing read. For all sorts of reasons!

One paragraph in particular. Mary describes attending a surgery - as a visitor. A silicone penis implant is being inserted into a 70-year-old man's, well, penis. The rod is not going in very well.

"Dr. Hsu presses on the kinked rod. The novelist Martin Amis once described an impotent character's attempts at intercourse as being like trying to feed an oyster into a parking meter. This is like trying to put a parking meter into an oyster."

If you want a good laugh and to, occasionally, wince then I highly recommend this book. You'll most certainly do both!

To legalise cannabis?

I've been around people who are high on pot. I've also been around people who are drunk on alcohol.

I know which one I prefer.

Autumn is here. I think.

I don't know if I've lived here long enough to say with certainty that it's unseasonably warm, but... 20 degrees in mid-May!? Alder tree is still green (front left), birch is midway through dropping its leaves (back right).

It's been averaging 15 C for a month now. No frost. Is that... normal?

Stuff is still growing. Even the salad greens! Watercress (photo below, front left on the foreground) is sprawling like a king. We eat watercress almost every day, but it seems to be keeping up with our eating speed, so we're not running out of it. Tomatoes (they are in the planterboxes, ie they are not inside a greenhouse) are still ripening.

And, if anyone's interested: we've had planterboxes for about a year now and I've discovered that slugs don't seem to want to climb up in there. Where we had kale growing behind the house in the ground, slugs were eating it, but the kale in the planterboxes - not so much. I guess slugs don't like crawling over rough-sawn timber to get to the plants. Either way, yay for me!

Loving, loving, loving the boxes! The only disadvantage I can think of is that they're expensive to set up initially (especially if you do it like us, with 200 mm x 100 mm macrocarpa timber), but once they're up and running, they're awesome.

Golden rules of parenting

The parent exiting house and leaving the other parent at home with kids is to say, "Good luck."

The remaining parent is to acknowledge the statement by raising his/her eyebrows. For theatrical effect, a loud sigh can be performed.

Fonterra changes milk tanker schedule to help a family

Andrew Oliver is one of only eight people in the world living with Fryns-Aftimos syndrome. The extremely rare condition means that at 35 years old, Andy has the mental age of a 6-year-old.

Fonterra's milk tankers are Andy’s favourite thing in the world and local drivers have long known that Andy won't go to bed until they've made their evening trip to his family’s farm.

But when it became unmanageable for his parents, the dairy exporter stepped in to help. It changed its entire milk tanker schedule in the district so that Andy can go to bed on time.

via radionewzealand

Stuff I have found whilst looking around

Indonesia is changing its capital city away from Jakarta in the face of rising oceans and climate change.


Good article on Christchurch terror attacks.


So, I'm about 4 years late to this party, but when you see this dress and this shoe - what colour are they?


According to this book, there are only two species of animals where males take interest in rubbing females' 'mammaries' - ie, boobs. It's humans and pigs. No-one else!

Good advice

"Don't take criticism from people you would never go to for advice."

Hmm. I think I may remember that one.

My dog's an opportunist

I've written before about my Labrador Retriever being always, always hungry.

But it goes deeper than that, of course. Up until a few years ago, she would get fed (once in the morning, once at night) but not until she has followed one of us around the house like a limpet, sticking her snout into backs of people's knees, making us trip over - her labradorian way of saying, hey, look, you! You haven't fed me yet. Feed me.

Then, one day, accidentally, she got fed twice in one evening. I had already fed her dinner and left the house to go to writers' group; and then my husband, unaware that she's already been fed, gave her dinner again because, apparently, 'the dog behaved like she hasn't been fed yet'.

Well, call me bananas, but the dog has learned from that.

Now even if she's already been fed, she will - in an opportunist way - follow people around the house like a limpet, making a face of feed me, feed me, please, master, and... sometimes, she has actually pulled this off. It's now come to a point where, before giving her food, me and my husband check with each other, "Have you fed the dog yet!?"

Today I gave her the breakfast. She then continued hanging out in the kitchen with me, looking at me all sad-faced.

You have already been fed, dog! I know because I WAS THE ONE WHO DID IT!!! Sod off.

I love her, of course, but, man!, she can be a persistent bugger.