Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Serving suggestions

Has anyone EVER eaten the serving size quoted in the nutritional contents panel on the packet of anything that comes in more than a single serve?
eg on a packet of water cracker dipping biscuits: serving size 15g, 6 biscuits.

I do feel a bit devil-may-care, naughty for always eating more than the nutritionally described serving size. Sometimes I'll eat the whole packet in one go!

How do they decide how much a serving is? Perhaps the manufacturer is legally obliged to recommend moderate consumption of what is often a processed and therefore unhealthy snack food. For me it always seems a unrealistically small serving and not very useful as dietary information. That's why, if I want to understand and compare the nutritional content I look at the per 100g information and think of that in percentages.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


At work, two middle aged ladies are looking for a gift for a bloke they know.
"Ah MasterChef aprons! They have MasterChef aprons. You could get him a MasterChef apron. Do you think he would like that?"
"I think he would be insulted [low chuckle]!".

Friday, December 03, 2010

The first moving images of the new life forms from NASA!!!

The first moving images of the new life forms from NASA!!!*

* aka
Shipoids in the Night from Malcolm Sutherland on Vimeo.

Friday, November 26, 2010


On the train from Footscray into the city we pass a temple under construction. It features a golden statue almost as tall as the temple itself. There is a group of jovial Maoris behind me.
On seeing the statue one bloke says "Whoah... What is that - gold?"
His mate "Cheese."

An analogy about veganism

'Vegans are to meat what Christians are to sex. The best way to control people is through shame, and attaching shame to a natural part of being human is hugely powerful.'

'Wolter' commenting on this article.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2 @ Wunderkammer

Flight of the Crayfish
print from a paper collage
21 x 29

2 @ Wunderkammer is the second exhibition of art by Patricia Denis
at Wunderkammer featuring her latest two dimensional works in collage.
An array of unique, full colour paper butterflies will flutter up the wall while the Spam Tales collage series continues.



by Patricia Denis
Nov 25 - Dec 9, 2010
Open: Mon to Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4
439 Lonsdale Street,
Melbourne, 3000 Victoria, Australia
Phone: +61 3 9642 4694

Join the Facebook group,
Art by Patricia Denis
to keep up to date with events and news.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Egalitarian cuisine or disrespectful to the fish?

I learnt today that having a taste for salmon doesn't mean you know how to pronounce the word. I'm not sure if this makes salmon sushi handrolls an egalitarian cuisine or disrespectful to the very tasty fish. If it were a foreign word it would be less of a thought curio.
At a sushi shop in Melbourne CBD,
"Yeah we want two sushi rolls. One of them sal-mon..."

Saturday, November 06, 2010

The windmills of your pink paté.

'But how you get a rainbow activity map, or any other useful figure, out of a 2.2 lb lump of pink paté -- that's a part of the story they rarely tell. The truth is, brain tissue looks blah. It's boring. Sliced brain is about as pretty as a thinly chopped white mushroom; you can see only a few obvious structures, and those structures only grossly correlate with brain function. '
Jessica Palmer @ Bioephemera.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Freerange eggs and pork.

I saw this ad appealing for free range pigs on the tram to work recently. 'You are Our Hope' is a campaign funded by Animals Australia*. You would need a heart of stone not to be at least a little moved and think a bit more about the welfare of your food sources. Bred freerange pork products are currently so hard to find. Chicken and eggs on the other hand is fairly easy. Hopefully this campaign will raise enough awareness to create demand and lead to happier Aussie piggies. Coles has committed to making its fresh pork products sow stall free. Use this link to appeal to the other major food retailers to do the same.

Admittedly you do have to be selective/educated about which freerange eggs you buy. I owe it to the Epicure section from The Age earlier this year for my knowledge:

Some are actually barn laid with access to outdoors through an opening too small to allow but a few chooks through in a day. Others have their beaks trimmed whether they need it or not, and in some cases this is done so severely that other farmers have described it as debeaking. Beak trimming is only acceptable where other measures to deal with pecking order issues are unsuccessful, and even then it must be professionally done.

Further reading:

I hadn't previously been successful finding them, because the Epicure print article didn't have the logo included but now I know what to look for:

*yes they are a vegan promoting bunch but listen to what they have to say in this campaign, if nothing else.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I made this :)

food styling

Recipe from here. Dusted with Dutch cocoa powder.
To create strawberry garnish:
  1. Wash and dry fresh strawberries, preferably more than what you think you will need so you can practice. For best results, select berries of a uniform size and shape.
  2. Use a sharp paring (small, smooth blade, pointed) knife to carefully slice strawberry from tip to hull into four or five slices, but not all the way through. You need the hull to hold the slices together.
  3. Gently fan out the slices.

Friday, September 03, 2010

'The Art of Tidying', for girls in 1886,

A room that needs tidying.

‘One of the few anecdotes intended to prove a warning to my heedless youth, which I can now remember, related to the homely subject of tidying up. It was to this effect, and was short and sour. Miss Smith had long been engaged to be married to Mr Jones. That gentleman was invited to sleep a night at Mr Smith’s house, and coming down to breakfast he passed his intended wife’s bed-room, from which she had gone down, leaving the door wide open. There he saw such a scene of confusion that he felt sure his home would not be a comfortable one under Miss Smith’s management, and so he broke off the match.
“Mean man!” all you girls cry in chorus; and I am not the least commending Mr Jones’s behavior; I am merely telling you what effect on his conduct the sight of that untidy bed-room had.
My own view of untidiness is that it is an indication of a very inferior mind – a mind lacking in imagination, lacking in the sense of the appropriate, lacking in will-power.

It sees that the armchair cannot be used to sit on because a skirt lies across it; the floor cannot conveniently be trodden on because a wrap would trip up the feet; the sunshade must be removed before the smaller chair can be taken from the wall; and the children may catch their heedless little heads against the corners of the open drawers.

By acting thus the untidy girl shows herself lacking in the sense of the appropriate. I strongly suspect she is the kind of girl I meet with a fur cape on her shoulders in July, and thin summer shoes on her feet in December. In common language, she never knows “what’s what”.

Let it be every woman’s ambition to lead a perfectly beautiful life, and to do that she must try to cultivate a very beautiful mind; for surely we know that the outward is only a picture of the inward, and that a little drop of water can contain a miniature picture of the world; therefore all great results can be accomplished in a very small space, and every little life, in any humble sphere, be so exquisitely lived that it would be a fit subject for a poet’s verse, a painter’s picture of home-life, or a heart-refreshing biography from the pen of a loving friend.’

Image and extract from: Power, Helen, ‘The Art of Tidying’, Cassell’s Family Magazine (annual), 1886, p172-173

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Swan dive!

The sequel to that Old Spice commerical:

Comments on You Tube about this :
'Holy beans, this is so manly it makes my mustache tingle.'
'Would 299 OldSpice men plus yourself, wearing manly armor made of the freshest scents, muscle and a towel be able to take on the power of an army of Narwhal riding tigers?'

How did they make it? Click here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Proposed close time for seals, 1873

Click image to see bigger version.
Proposed close time for seals
S.E. Waller
from the editorial by Frank Buckland in The Animal World, A Monthly Advocate of Humanity, Issued by the R.S.P.C.A, No. 43 - Vol. IV, April 1873

This was on the cover, illustrating an article proposing the creation of a hunting season of baby seals to allow them to reach a bigger size. Regulating this would offer the seals as a species a better rate of survival since the babies would not be quite so helpless when the time came. One would expect the later hunting season would require a swifter killing method than what was happening - leaving the younger seal pups to starve to death after killing their mothers. It would appear to ease a collective conscience albeit temporarily. He went into some gory detail about the inhumanity of the then current 'slaughter of the innocents' method. He did not call for an outright cease to hunting nor change in technique, acknowledging the economic value of the animals.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Box received in a kitchenware store. If it were a toystore perhaps the JellyCat wouldn't seem so random. Cool logo and interesting product description. I recommend the Truffle Collection.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You can find inspiration in everything

'Smith's fondness for tin robots of all shapes and sizes and antique bakelite radios is well known; some of these gizmos have even been known to spill into his shops. His prediliction for velvet Elvis paintings and rubber chickens is something he generally keeps to himself, however.'
Jim Davies on Paul Smith from 'You can find inspiration in everything*... *and if you can't, look again' by Paul Smith.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hine Mizushima soft sculptural works

I love Hine Mizushima's work! I haven't looked through all of it yet. What I have seen so far is beautifully detailed, lovingly well crafted, with a gentle dash of sometimes black humour here and there.

Mizushima's site is here. You must check it out. You will not be disappointed :)

Found via The MochiMochi blog.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

In a nutshell: STFU about the fish and get on with the adventure.

The plot when there was plot was rivetting, and Verne's occasional comic relief through both Conseil and Ned Land was entertaining as well. I'm told that comprehensive detailing of the science in SF is characteristic of the period. If it were published today it would probably be half as long because as a modern reader that is tiresome and we like to be entertained by the non-fiction aspect don't we? The modern reader has access to books, journals like New Scientist, the internet if he/she desires to learn more. We don't need that level of detail. There is extensive discussion of maritime history, geography, specifics of longtitude and latitude, physics and waaay too much coverage of every single fish and lifeform encountered.

This reader understands that the narrator is a marine biologist but is this text written for the benefit of fellow scientists? The use of scientific names only in some cases was particularly annoying! The text would be at least a quarter if not a third as long if these piscine descriptions were pared back to the essentials.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things.

Today my bliss out time was:
wearing stripey tights and Mary Janes,
while sitting on a large, high backed, fancy street bench crowned at each corner with metal sunflowers,
eating a choc mint cupcake,
and being an island of tranquil bliss while everyone rushed to the station to get home.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pork wonton peaks

Listening to: Running Up that Hill by Placebo

Pork wontons prepared this afternoon. As I was making them I couldn't help but notice the pleasing pattern they made, complemented by the soft natural light. My cooking experiments are providing me with a great opportunity to practise my food styling skills and photography.

Aerial view

Playing with depth of field.

Grayscale with slight levels tweak to bump up contrast.
I've made this one my desktop wallpaper, I like it that much - plus it's well suited to it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Here Comes the Hook Again

Telephone call for Lady Gaga:
[Hello, hello baby you called I can't here a thing]*
It's Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox.
[I have got no service at the club you say, say]
They want their hook back from Here Comes the Rain Again.
[Wha, wha, what did you say? Huh? You're breaking up on me]
You used it in Dance in the Dark, yeah?
[Sorry I can not hear you. I'm kinda busy]

*All small print, lyrics from Telephone by Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spaceman to Victorian diver customization

Customization in progress.
20th century spaceman, 1 1/2" tall, plastic figure bought to accompany my Sea Monkeys on Mars tank.

Victorian diver
In order to make this convincing, I did a bit of google image researching.
The front window is a brass eyelet and a plastic disk. The side and top windows are googly eyes with the lens cut back to just a rim. I used a scalpel. emery board and carving tools to cut off the space paraphernalia, define the helmet, and 'depuff' the suit.

I also did a mini steampunk style customization on the base of the tank.

Happy Bug sayz "Hai!" ;)

Listening to: It's My Life, by Talk Talk, from The Collection.

Unidentified* cute bug on my bedroom window this afternoon. He hung around long enough for one photograph.

"Oh hai and welcum to de naiborhud."

*I tried to but there doesn't seem to be an easily accessed online resource for local bug identification. There is for spiders and butterflies. He was about 8mm long.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunny day, cool sky.

From my new backyard this afternoon.

The Hippo Jar

Listening to: Shining Light by Annie Lennox from the Annie Lennox Collection

The weird, ceramic Japanese hippopotamus pot/jar/vessel I got from the Salvos a few years ago. I had eyed it off for a few weeks before sucumbing to its odd charm.

Open hippo.

Hippo on mah belleh. Looks even funnier on a bare belly because it looks like he is emerging from it like water!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sir David Mellifluous Attenborough

Listening to : Telephone by Lady Gaga from The Fame Monster

Quote of the Day
'I have just received the televisual equivalent of a Sunday comfort shag from David Attenborough spooning sweet nothings about sand dunes into my gaping, ravenous ear. Is this what heroin feels like?'
Stephen Collins @ Coelacanth Diaries

Plastics are killing marine life.

via Bioephemera

Friday, March 05, 2010

Get the gist?

The soft 'g' in gist is pronounced in the same way as the 'g' is in giraffe or ginger,
like the hard 'g' in girder or get.

Get it?
Got it?

c. 1933* HMV record sleeve

Australian, HMV generic, LP record sleeve c.1933*


Detail showing HMV's portable record player

From the reverse of this sleeve.

*As surmised from the copyright notice on the reverse of sleeve.

Franz Ferdinand and moshing

Franz Ferdinand at The Forum wasn't as exciting as I hoped. Perhaps I built them up too much.

A while back I read that Franz Ferdinand got together to create music to make girls dance and not have just have a bunch of guys moshing. The area closest to the stage was not a lady friendly zone - it was a mosh pit. I saw other women with slightly anxious looks on their faces as the guy/s closest to them bounced fiercely up and down like demented Masai warriors. I saw women back away and others try to make their partners stop moshing.

I don't mosh. It's intimidating being in the middle of it. Guys think it's alright to keep bumping into you. When I told one guy "Get off me!" because he sort of leaned and draped over me, he told me "Relax, it's a concert". His friends were pushy pricks too.

Saying that it reads like other fans spoiled FF for me doesn't it? Well they did. It went against what I had expected from such a gig. I think I would have had 100% fun if I could have gotten closer without being jumped on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tim Burton's Alice in Mashupland

There's a something of a brouhaha over Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland because yet again the director has strayed from the original source material. Given critical opinion of 'Planet of the Apes'*and to an extent 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' this is understandable. Burton and sci-fi did not work, while C&C Factory was a good fit for Burton but what was with the excessive CGI Oompa Loompa/s?

A conspicous portion of American McGee's Alice PC game concept seems to be incorporated into Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. The major plotline is closer to the game than Lewis Carroll's books: An adolescent Alice returns years after her first adventure in Wonderland to find The Red Queen/Queen of Hearts has taken over. She must ultimately fight her and free all her Wonderland friends from tyranny. Carroll's Alice was only 6 years old, fought no one and - though she tried at every opportunity - failed to successfully befriend anyone in Wonderland except for the Cheshire Cat. She did fair better in Looking-glass Land.

The Red Queen is not the Queen of Hearts, but two separate characters in different books - in the film they are merged into one. In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts rules Wonderland and is based on the queen from a deck of playing cards. Her sister is the Duchess and mother of the baby who turns into a pig. In Through the Looking Glass, the Red Queen is from Looking-glass Land and based on the queen from chess. Her ditzy sister is the White Queen.

Announcement, 2007
digital collage

Film adaptations of Caroll's two Alice books usually combine both stories but use Wonderland as the dominant thread with most of the characters from Wonderland. The talking flowers, Tweedledee and Tweedledum are examples of Looking-glass characters which are often incorporated into such productions. Hatta and Haigha are Looking-glass versions of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare sans teaparty. There are few film adaptations of Through the Looking Glass. Perhaps this is because while it is a good read, it doesn't have the same level of clever delight and originality found in Wonderland. Nonetheless the author recommends you read both because they don't write children's stories like this anymore.

In summary Tim Burton has taken his liberties with an existing story/ies but he isn't the first and he won't be the last. So sit back and enjoy the visual feast this movie is sure to be, and hopefully the 'reimagined' plot will follow!

*Third result when you google 'Planet of the Apes Burton'!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cocktail Recipe: The Polar Bear

Listening to: Happiness by Goldfrapp from Seventh Tree

Ah vodka how I love thee. Let me count the ways. 1, 2, 3, 4...
I came up with this new way, earlier this evening.

The Polar Bear
In a high ball glass build in the following order;
two or three scoops of lemon/lime sorbet,
a two or three fingers of vodka,
fill with soda water.
Stir with preferably with a metal straw-spoon -it is the biz and maximises ya fizz!.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells

Despite Wells' modesty about glossing over the science with fiction (namely Cavorite) in The First Men in The Moon, I found it to be one of his most scientific pieces so far. His explanation of defying Earth's gravity, how life forms might evolve in the absence of earthly gravity, and how humans might find moving about on the moon then returning to earth were all scientifically plausible if not accurate. Well's background in natural science is highly evident in his descriptions of lunar vegetation, its habits, and in particular its growth cycle.

None of this is to say that the science overwhelms the story for indeed it does not. True to form this is as rollicking a Victorian adventure as any Wells has written. Woven throughout the book is a philosophic pondering on the often exploitative and violent nature of humans. Allowing the audience to read the story from the two characters' viewpoints in two, carefully spliced sections of the book adds a clever twist to what could otherwise have been an anti-climatic ending.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Childhood favourite Sesame Street segments

Still my favourites as well :)

The Yip Yip Martians meet a telephone (blue Martian puppeteered by Jim Henson)

Grover's Health Minute - Teeth

Grover the Waiter - Big Hamburger

Born to Add

The Beetles, Letter B

Most memorable animations:

Me and My M.

The Ladybugs' Picnic

Number 12 from the Pinball counting song, sung by The Pointer Sisters

I could go surfing You tube all day looking for more but I'll leave it at that!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Nurdles aka mermaid tears

Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets from the plastic moulding industry. Raw plastic is formed into pre-production plastic pellets or plastic resin pellets less than 5mm in size. Their size and shape make them easy to feed into the hopper of a plastic moulding machine. Not every nurdle makes it into the hopper. Some may be spilt or blown away on the wind. These usually end up in waterways.

Nurdles are also known as mermaid tears because they make up a large portion of marine debris. Scientists have been aware of the danger of marine plastic debris for some years now*. However it is only the recent set of images of dead albatross chicks that have made a wave in the sea of public consciousness.

*So have I (see blog entry here) though not as long as they have obviously.

Rant about marine plastic debris

Never mind chaos theory's flapping butterfly: one carelessly disposed of plastic item inland, could end up in the gut of an albatross chick on a remote inland thousands of kilometres away. That object could be one of many plastic fragments and particles that will fill this bird's belly thus starving the animal to death.

Hundreds of seemingly insignificant nurdles are swallowed by other animals such as fish, leaching toxins into their bodies.

What can anyone do about any of this? We can all learn to be responsible. We can tell others about it. We can share articles and images with our friends and family to help them understand no piece of plastic is insignificant. It means life or death for the animal that eats it. That animal could indirectly be us. As the dominant species on this planet we have the capacity and therefore the responsibility for our collective actions.