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.