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Random musings and whimsy.

Ho Ho Ho!

Ever wondered exactly what Santa gets up to on Christmas Eve night?
Review highlights of his efforts this year, here:
NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) is a bi-national U.S./Canadian military organization responsible for aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defense of North America.
24 hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD provides warning of impending missile and air attacks, safeguards the air sovereignty of North America and maintains airborne forces for defense against attack.
However, on December 24th each year, NORAD has one additional mission - tracking Santa around the world!
For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.
The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location and a tradition was born.
NORAD uses four high-tech systems to track Santa – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets.
Tracking Santa starts with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System. This powerful radar system consists of 47 installations strung across the northern border of North America. On December 24th, NORAD monitors the radar systems continuously for indications that Santa Claus has left the North Pole.
The moment that radar indicates Santa has lifted off, Satellites positioned in geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth’s surface are equipped with infrared sensors, which enable them to detect heat. Amazingly, Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature, which allows our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa.
US and Canada flagsThe third tracking system is the Santa Cam network. Santa Cams are ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras that are pre-positioned at many locations around the world. NORAD only uses these cameras once a year. The cameras capture images and videos of Santa and his reindeer as they make their journey around the world.
The fourth system is made up of fighter jets. Canadian NORAD fighter pilots flying the CF-18 intercept and welcome Santa to North America. In the United States, American NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15 or the F-16 get the thrill of flying alongside Santa and his famous reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and, of course, Rudolph.

NORAD has also collected additional, useful information about Santa:
When will Santa arrive at my house?
NORAD tracks Santa, but only Santa knows his route, which means we cannot predict where and when he will arrive at your house. We do, however, know from history that it appears he arrives only when children are asleep! In most countries, it seems Santa arrives between 9:00 p.m. and midnight on December 24th. If children are still awake when Santa arrives, he moves on to other houses. He returns later … but only when the children are asleep.
What route does Santa travel?
Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. But keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable. NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf launch staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots.
We just track him!
Does Santa visit everyone (i.e. Afghanistan, Israel, non-Christian countries)?
Indeed! Santa visits all homes where children who believe in him live.
How can Santa travel the world within 24 hours?
NORAD intelligence reports indicate that Santa does not experience time the way we do. His trip seems to take 24 hours to us, but to Santa it might last days, weeks or even months. Santa would not want to rush the important job of delivering presents to children and spreading joy to everyone, so the only logical conclusion is that Santa somehow functions within his own time-space continuum.
Is there a Santa Claus?
Mountains of historical data and over 50 years of NORAD tracking information leads us to believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of people throughout the world.
How old is Santa?
It’s hard to know for sure, but NORAD intelligence indicates Santa is AT LEAST 16 centuries old.
What does Santa look like?
Based on flight profile data gathered from over 50 years of NORAD’s radar and satellite tracking, NORAD concludes that Santa probably stands about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs approximately 260 pounds (before cookies). Based on fighter-aircraft photos, we know he has a generous girth (belly), rosy cheeks from sleigh riding in cold weather, and a flowing white beard.
How does Santa get down chimneys?
Although NORAD has different hypotheses and theories as to how Santa actually gets down the chimneys, we don’t have definitive information to explain the magical phenomenon.
Does NORAD have any statistics on Santa’s sleigh?
NORAD can confirm that Santa’s sleigh is a versatile, all weather, multi-purpose, vertical short-take-off and landing vehicle. It is capable of travelling vast distances without refuelling and is deployed, as far as we know, only on December 24th (and sometimes briefly for a test flight about a month before Christmas).
Sleigh Technical Data
Designer & BuilderK. Kringle & Elves, Inc.
Probable First Flight Dec. 24, 343 A.D.
Home Base North Pole
Length 75 cc (candy canes) / 150 lp (lollipops)
Width 40 cc / 80 lp
Height 55 cc / 110 lp
Note: Length, width and height are without reindeer
Weight at takeoff 75,000 gd (gumdrops)
Passenger weight at takeoff Santa Claus 260 pounds
Weight of gifts at takeoff 60,000 tons
Weight at landing 80,000 gd (ice & snow accumulation)
Passenger weight at landing 1,260 pounds
Propulsion Nine (9) rp (reindeer power)
Armament Antlers (purely defensive)
Fuel Hay, oats and carrots (for reindeer)
Emissions Classified
Climbing speed One “T” (Twinkle of an eye)
Max speed Faster than starlight
Where is Santa right now?
Santa is at the North Pole, where he lives with Mrs. Claus and the elves who make toys and take care of the reindeer year round! Each year on December 24th, Santa and his reindeer launch from the North Pole very early in the morning for their famous trip around the world. The minute they launch, NORAD starts to track him! Come back to this website on December 24th and you can track Santa along with NORAD.
I would rather talk to someone at NORAD to find out where Santa is located. Is there a number I can call?
Yes! The NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center is fully operational beginning at 2:30a.m. MST on December 24th. You can call 877 HI-NORAD (877 446-6723) to talk directly to a NORAD staff member who will be able to tell you Santa’s exact location!
For international callers, phone +1 (719) 556-5211.
Can I send an email to NORAD to find out where Santa is located?
Yes! On December 24th, you can send an email to noradtrackssanta@gmail.com. A NORAD staff member will give you Santa’s last known location in a return email.
Has Santa ever crashed into anything when he was flying around the world?
Santa has been flying for centuries without hitting anything. He must be a great pilot!

Date & Time Posted 11:37 AM, Tuesday, 28 December 2010, by Faber Optimé.
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Anonymous Tito Dutta @ Wednesday, 29 December 2010 at 4:42:00 PM NZDT, posted:
 
I had already learned about it! Thanks to Wendy Boswell's blog, which I read regularly. This article is also wonderful! :)

Anyway, in yesterday's (December 28th) Times Of India (which is India edition of Times Group), Kolkata (Calcutta) Edition, CT Supplementary, Page 2, column: SMS joke of the day a joke has been published, a joke has been published, though not completely relevant, still I want to share it here-

Dear Kids,
There is no Santa. Those presents are from your parents!
Love!
Julian Assange!
WikiLeaks

So,
Ho Ho Ho!
 
 
 

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The Thermodynamics of Hell

A true story.
A thermodynamics professor had written a take home exam for his graduate students.
It had one question:

"Is hell exothermic or endothermic?
Support your answer with a proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law or some variant.
One student, however wrote the following:

"First, we postulate that if souls exist, they must have some mass. If they do, then a mole of souls can also have a mass. So, at what rate are souls moving into hell and at what rate are souls leaving?"

"I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for souls entering hell, lets look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to hell."

"With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially."

"Now, we look at the rate of change in volume in hell. Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the ratio of the mass of souls and volume needs to stay constant."

"So, if hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose."

"Of course, if hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, than the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over."

It was not revealed what grade the student received.

Date & Time Posted 11:21 PM, Monday, 19 April 2010, by Faber Optimé.
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ATAMIRA - Māori in the City

A celebration of Māori creativity and enterprise.

Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGWJ11Qe8xs to watch the video on YouTube.

Held at the Auckland Showgrounds from the 3rd to the 5th of July, 2009.
Hosted by the local tribe, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei.

Including:

  • Waituhi (painting)
  • Mahi Toi (crafts)
  • Toi Whakairo (carving)
  • Kākahu (clothing)
  • Raranga (weaving)
  • Ta Moko (tattooing)
  • Waka (canoes)
  • Kapa Haka (performing arts)

This mix includes the double platinum hit single "Brother" from the award winning South Auckland band Smashproof, featuring Gin Wigmore.

Atamira is helf every two years, following it's inaugural 2007 success and in anticipation of the Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand in 2011.

For more about Māori:
http://www.faberoptime.com/travels/maori.htm

For more about Atamira:
http://atamira.org/ws/

For more about Smashproof:
http://www.movethecrowd.co.nz/smashproof.shtml

Date & Time Posted 8:53 PM, Friday, 6 November 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Happy Halloween!

I hope yours is a scream!

Date & Time Posted 12:05 PM, Friday, 30 October 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Blogger jimmy @ Saturday, 31 October 2009 at 2:27:00 AM NZDT, posted:
 
They look like they're having a great time!
That's nice to see.
 
 
 

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Auckland Harbour Bridge

A short celebration of its 50th anniversary, enjoy a little flavour of the history, construction, maintenance and recreation around the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

If you cannot see the above video, click here to go to the YouTube page (rate! favorite! comment!).

Connecting Auckland's North Shore City with the rest of the isthmus' metropolitan area, the bridge was originally opened on the 30th of May, 1959.

The 1.2km structure (about the length of ten football pitches) is actually made up of three bridges. The section in the middle with the steep arches and flags on top, is the original four-lane 'truss' bridge that was built over four years by a team of 1000 men at a cost of over $6 million dollars.

The base of the six piers (76ft by 46ft), filled with 7,500 tons of concrete, support over 6,000 tons of steel.

Within a relatively short time it was apparent that the bridge would not be able to cope with the rapidly growing North Shore population (within a year 4.9 million vehicles had crossed the bridge and by 1965 traffic had risen to 9.3 million). The decision was made to extend the bridge from four to eight lanes to increase capacity and ease congestion.

This was done by adding two box girder bridges to each side of the bridge at a cost of $7.4 million. Designed and manufactured in Japan they instantly became known as the "Nippon clip-ons" and opened to traffic on the 23rd of September 1969.

Since then traffic volumes have continued to rise, to over 56 million vehicles last year.

The most important bridge in New Zealand, it is one of the best maintained anywhere in the world. From day one comprehensive maintenance has been carried out and over the years there have been a number of major upgrades including seismic, wind loading and fatigue crack upgrades.

In addition to its traffic purpose, recreational visitors can climb the bridge to walk over it to its summit and/or bungy jump from it.

Date & Time Posted 9:44 AM, Monday, 6 July 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Happy Easter

Bringing you wishes of peace and happiness this Easter.


Remember and reflect upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ, marked by this Easter Sunday.

Always good to end with a smile.

Date & Time Posted 10:07 PM, Sunday, 12 April 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Northland Secrets Early Rizers Mix

A new, improved version of Northland Secrets, updated to include some rare footage of Māori waiata (singing) at the oldest living kauri tree, courtesy of geocachers Early Rizers.

Click here if you cannot see the above video to go to the YouTube page.

This short film includes:

- The Eutopia Cafe

Based on eutopian ideals.
See: http://www.eutopia.co.nz/

- Maungaturoto

Billed as "A Real New Zealand Town", Maungaturoto was first settled by pioneers from the Albertland Settlement Scheme back in 1863, the Māori name meaning "Valley Between Two Hills".
See: http://www.realtownmaungaturoto.co.nz/

- Waipoua Forest

An ancient rainforest, the Waipoua reserve comprises 247 hectares (greater than the size of more than 600 football pitches), with more than 300 species of trees, shrubs and ferns.

- Te Matua Ngahere

Meaning "Father of the Forest" in Māori, it is thought to be the oldest living kauri tree. Enjoy the Māori waiata, captured by fellow geocachers Early Rizers whilst doing the FaberOptimé Te Matua Ngahere geocache (for more info, see here).

- Tane Mahuta

Meaning "God of the Forest" in Māori, it is the largest living Kauri tree, estimated to be over 2000 years old. It stands about 52 metres tall, with a girth of 13.8 metres.

- Omapere

"Gateway to the Hokianga" (a long, estuarine drowned valley).

- The Hundertwasser Public Toilets

Designed by internationally-renowned artist, ecologist and architect, Freidrich Hundertwasser, he recycled the communitys old glass bottles and reclaimed bricks, and incorporated these into the only structure he ever built in the Southern Hemisphere.

Grass adorns the roof, a tree is incorporated into the structure and mosaic tiling, copper handwork, sculptures and cobblestone flooring abound.

- Wellsford

A small Northland town with some interesting corrugated iron!

- Other art, sculpture and pink sheep?!

Date & Time Posted 6:17 PM, Thursday, 19 March 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Two Glasses of Red Wine

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a
day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of red wine...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two glasses of red wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

Now, said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.'

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else; the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.'

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. Do one more run down the ski slope. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.

The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of glasses of red wine with a friend.'

Share this with a friend,

I JUST DID!

Date & Time Posted 6:12 PM, , by Faber Optimé.
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Pasifika Festival 2009

A little of the sights, sounds, music, colours, peoples, arts, crafts and cultures of the Pasifika Festival 2009.

If you cannot see the above video, go to the YouTube page (rate! comment! subscribe!) here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujHY-QKPNEk

Kia ora, talofa lava, malo e lelei, ni sa bula vinaka, kia orana, fakaalofa lahi atu, kam na mauri, taloha ni, greetings!

One of the largest free events in the South Pacific, the Pasifika Festival comprises ten "villages", each from a differing South Pacific island community.
Now in its 17th year, this one day event is held annually in Western Springs park, Auckland, New Zealand.

The villages (in order of appearance): Tangata Whenua; Tokelau; Fiji; Samoa; Tuvalu; Niue; Cook Islands; Tonga; Tahiti and Kiribati.

TANGATA WHENUA
Meaning "people of the land" in Māori, this village presents the hosts - Ngati Whatua o Orakei.

TOKELAU
One of the smallest and most isolated island groups in the Pacific.

FIJI
Fierce warriors and friendly Fijian policemen usher entertainment and mat weaving, tapa printing and wood carving crafts.

SAMOA
Known throughout Polynesia as the "happy people", the Samoan village highlights food, dance and fashion, with traditional Samoan dishes such as cold pineapple salad, tropical ice cream and food prepared in an umu (earth oven); dance groups, bands and choirs and a fashion show, Fa'afetai Lava.

TUVALU
Tuvalu means "eight beautiful islands".

"Tuvalu culture is rare and unique
And hold a message we should seek
Hold our culture way up high
And our Tuvalu culture will never die.
I normally hear friendly waves on our island shore
when I was little
It is not anymore
The sound is getting louder and threatening
My Tuvalu island is going to disappear from the
rising sea level
Tuvalu, my beautiful Tuvalu I cry for you."
- Apiseka Eka

NIUE
Originating from the word "niu", meaning coconut, Niue literally translates as "here is a coconut". Also known as the "Rock of the Pacific", comprised of a single island, Niue is the largest raised coral atoll in the world.
With song, music, challenge dances (meke), traditional weaving, coconut grating, umu cooking and a range of handicrafts made from pandanus and coconut leaves.
Niue is also proud home to Miss Vanessa Marsh - Miss Niue and Miss South Pacific 2009.

COOK ISLANDS
The Cook Islands are known as the "Pearl of the Pacific".
To the sound of the conch shell, drumming, ukuleles and warm smiles, Cook Island dances make your feet and hips move in magical ways. Abundant delicacies, intricate handicrafts and rich resources are key features of this vibrant community.

TONGA
Tonga means "south" and is another highlight of the South Pacific.
Traditional Tongan music by Kava groups, tapa cloth making and mat weaving.

TAHITI
Tahiti is made up of 118 islands in five archipalle - Tuamotu, Marquases, Australle, Society and Gambier.
Home to the finest black pearls and a blend of Tahitian and French cultures.

KIRIBATI
Featuring traditional dances or mwaies, such as "Te Eitei" - where head and arm movements imitate the frigate bird, an I-Kiribati symbol of peace and freedom.
A chance to taste their foods and see Kiribati weaving and tilbuta (a traditional blouse, unique to the I-Kiribati women).

For more about the Pasifika Festival, see:
http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/whatson/events/pasifika/default.asp

Date & Time Posted 12:19 AM, Tuesday, 17 March 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Northland Secrets

Many fascinating things can be found in Northland, New Zealand.

Click here if you cannot see the above video to go to the YouTube page.

This short film includes:

- The Eutopia Cafe

Based on eutopian ideals.
See: http://www.eutopia.co.nz

- Maungaturoto

Billed as "A Real New Zealand Town", Maungaturoto was first settled by pioneers from the Albertland Settlement Scheme back in 1863, the Māori name meaning "Valley Between Two Hills".
See: http://www.realtownmaungaturoto.co.nz

- Waipoua Forest

An ancient rainforest, the Waipoua reserve comprises 247 hectares (greater than the size of more than 600 football pitches), with more than 300 species of trees, shrubs and ferns.

- Tane Mahuta

Meaning "God of the Forest" in Māori, it is the largest living Kauri tree, estimated to be over 2000 years old. It stands about 52 metres tall, with a girth of 13.8 metres.

- Omapere

"Gateway to the Hokianga" (a long, estuarine drowned valley).

- The Hundertwasser Public Toilets

Designed by internationally-renowned artist, ecologist and architect, Freidrich Hundertwasser, he recycled the communitys old glass bottles and reclaimed bricks, and incorporated these into the only structure he ever built in the Southern Hemisphere.

Grass adorns the roof, a tree is incorporated into the structure and mosaic tiling, copper handwork, sculptures and cobblestone flooring abound.

- Wellsford

A small Northland town with some interesting corrugated iron!

- Other art, sculpture and pink sheep?!

Date & Time Posted 11:40 PM, Wednesday, 4 March 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Orakei Korako

"...possibly the best thermal area left in New Zealand and one of the finest in the world..."- Lonely Planet Guide

Click here if you cannot see the video above to open the YouTube page in a new window.

Orakei Korako, a Māori name, translated into English as "the place of adorning", also known as "the hidden valley".

It has remained almost completely unchanged for thousands of years, even though 20 million litres of hot water flow over its silica terraces every day.

Enjoy a short tiki tour of some of its highlights featured in this film.

Access is by ferry across Lake Ohakuri, about 25 minutes north of Taupo and 45 minutes south of Rotorua.

The Emerald Terrace (so called as it extends 35 metres under the lake's water, thus has a distinct hue), greets you.

Past the Diamond Geyser (ejecting boiling water up to 8 metres, its water jet shatters into a million droplets, sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight), "Aniwaniwa" - the Rainbow and Cascade Terrace is found.

One of three great fault scarps formed by the last eruption of the world's greatest known volcano - the Taupo volcano (now a caldera, filled by Lake Taupo), around 131AD. The diverse colours are created by algae growth in water temperatures up to 60°C.

Having numerous small geysers erupting at its base, another striking fault scarp, called "Te Kapua" (The Cloud) by the Māori people, "The Golden Fleece" is 5 metres high and 40m long.

"Kei Runga Ite Mania" was formed by hydrothermal eruptions between 8000 and 14000BC. The expansive, kidney shaped silica area features a myriad of browns, greens, yellows, oranges and pinks, pock marked by over 120 crystal clear blue pools. It is hence (very appropriately) known as "The Artist's Palette".

The Ruatapu Cave (Sacred Cave) is preeminent - the video sincerely does not do it justice. One of only two geothermally situated caves known in the world. A 45 metre descent takes you to "Waiwhakaata" (the pool of mirrors), resting serenely at the bottom. Legend has it that if you put your left hand in the water and make a wish it is guaranteed to come true! The water's acidity and chemical composition also has the peculiar ability to naturally clean jewellery.

The steaming, boiling "Kohua Poharu" mud pools, hot springs and "Waiariki" soda fountain can also be found during the meander back through one of the largest Ponga (silver tree fern, Kiwi native and emblem) forests.

Other features (not appearing) such as "Elephant Rock", "Devil's Throat" and "Map of Africa" truly have to be seen to be properly appreciated.

Music - Now We Are Free by Hans Zimmer.

http://www.orakeikorako.co.nz/
http://www.faberoptime.com/

Date & Time Posted 10:32 PM, Sunday, 8 February 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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New MCE Takes

Thanks Fred for sending me this:

Actually the winner in an "If Everyday Objects Were Designed by M. C. Escher" competition, you can check out the full article, here.

Date & Time Posted 11:37 PM, Saturday, 31 January 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Goat and Fish

A short film featuring Goat Island, Leigh, New Zealand.

Click here if you cannot see the above video to go to the YouTube page in a new window.
Make sure you have sound!

Favoured by snorkelers, divers and day trippers alike, Goat Island is New Zealand's longest established marine reserve.

The name originates from the ancient maritime practice of leaving a couple of goats (since they do not need to drink) when small, uninhabited islands (having no dependable water supply) were found, for potential future use as an emergency food source.

The island had previously been stocked with goats and pigs, but the pigs swam and escaped to the mainland, leaving the goats and the name.
There's also the Hen and Chicken Islands on the reserve too!

A stunning diversity of marine species can be found here (many featured in this film), such as spotties, red moki, kelpfish, marblefish, moray and conger eel, silver drummer, crayfish, snapper, blue cod, bearded mussel, seahorse, global sponges, sea squirts, stick bryozoa, hydroid trees, blue maomao, demoiselle and kahawai.

The island's notable ornithology includes pied shags, petrels and little blue penguins.

Click here for more information about the Goat Island glass bottom boat.

Date & Time Posted 1:15 AM, Thursday, 29 January 2009, by Faber Optimé.
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Merry Christmas!

Finest festive wishes to one and all and here's to a cracking 2009!


If you're unable to see the above, click here to go to the YouTube web page in a new browser window.

Date & Time Posted 10:49 PM, Wednesday, 24 December 2008, by Faber Optimé.
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New Zealand General Election

Here in New Zealand, similarly to the USA, we're on the run up to a general election.

A Labour led coalition are the present incumbents.

With Labour having been in power since 1999, there's much talk in the air of a change to the more right-wing National party.

True to my beliefs, I've given my support to Labour.

Naturally, the locals are much excited by this!

There's barely a street left available to walk down without crowds of avid interest...

Of course it's great to see such support in action.

Gives one hope for a decent election result yet to come.

The picture opposite from a recent rally thankfully shows that there's still a good body of peoples that retain the nation's best interests in their hearts.

Here's to another glorious four red years to come!

Date & Time Posted 7:45 PM, Sunday, 26 October 2008, by Faber Optimé.
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Blogger casdan @ Wednesday, 29 October 2008 at 6:21:00 AM NZDT, posted:
 
hi mate good to see your pic hope this means your still into politics all the best cas  
 
 

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Bloody Aussies...

The cause of some disgruntled Kiwi faces...

Date & Time Posted 6:36 PM, Thursday, 10 July 2008, by Faber Optimé.
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Funky Monkey!

For all those who've not had the pleasure of seeing this ad:

If you can't see the video, click here.

Date & Time Posted 12:43 PM, Thursday, 3 July 2008, by Faber Optimé.
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Amazing News!

Click here or on the picture to open a larger version with readable text.


Date & Time Posted 11:56 AM, Saturday, 21 June 2008, by Faber Optimé.
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Magnificent Mister Bond

Check out the above link to see a great example of one of Roger Moore's specialist skills that delivered him into the role of Bond.


Set to the music "Left Bank 2", by the Lance Gambit Trio (AKA "the Gallery Music" ).

Date & Time Posted 1:22 PM, Saturday, 24 May 2008, by Faber Optimé.
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Bonsai Kitten

The perfect gift for the person who has everything!

How about your own unique Bonsai Kitten?!

In earlier days of the internet, when this site launched, this creative hoax caused quite a stir!

Made me crack up!!

Date & Time Posted 11:46 AM, Saturday, 22 March 2008, by Faber Optimé.
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Maharishi Phucknuckel's Guide To Zen

  1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.
    Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.
    Do not walk beside me either, just f*!k off and leave me alone.
  2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a flat tyre.
  3. The darkest hours come just before the dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbour's milk and newspaper, that's the time to do it.
  4. Sex is like air. It only becomes really important when you aren't getting any.
  5. Don't aspire to become irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
  6. Remember, no one is listening until you fart.
  7. Never forget that you are unique, like everyone else.
  8. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
  9. If you think nobody cares whether you're dead or alive, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.
  10. Before you judge someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, when you judge them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
  11. If at first you don't succeed, avoid skydiving.
  12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
    Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
  13. Have you ever lent someone $20 and never seen that person again?
    It was probably worth it.
  14. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
  15. Some days we are the flies; some days we are the windscreens.
  16. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
  17. Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.
  18. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
  19. A closed mouth gathers no feet.
  20. There are two theories about how to win an argument with a woman.
    Neither one works.
  21. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much if your lips are moving.
  22. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  23. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
  24. When we are born we are naked, wet, hungry, and we get smacked on our arse.
    From there on in, life gets worse.
  25. The most wasted day of all is one in which we have not laughed.
  26. Remember not to forget that which you do not need to know.

Date & Time Posted 6:18 PM, Tuesday, 4 September 2007, by Faber Optimé.
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Regonsice Tihs?

Thanks to Paul Cropp, CEO, Hanover Group for this fantastic piece of observation:
Not olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.
Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Date & Time Posted 8:23 PM, Friday, 7 July 2006, by Faber Optimé.
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Troubles?

Date & Time Posted 8:17 AM, Saturday, 17 June 2006, by Faber Optimé.
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666

Today's date has eerie overtones...
From the bible, book of Revelation 13:16-18:
"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666."

Date & Time Posted 7:08 PM, Tuesday, 6 June 2006, by Faber Optimé.
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A Guide to Software Upgrades

1.0
Also known as "one point uh-oh", or "barely out of beta". We had to release because the lab guys had reached a point of exhaustion and the marketing guys were in a cold sweat of terror. We're praying that you'll find it more functional than, say, a computer virus and that its operation has some resemblance to that specified in the marketing copy.

1.1
We fixed all the killer bugs ...

1.2
Uh, we introduced a few new bugs fixing the killer bugs and so we had to fix them, too.

2.0
We did the product we really wanted to do to begin with. Mind you, it's really not what the customer needs yet, but we're working on it.

2.1
Well, not surprisingly, we broke some things in making major changes so we had to fix them. But we did a really good job of testing this time, so we don't think we introduced any new bugs while we were fixing these bugs.

2.2
Uh, sorry, one slipped through. One lousy typo error and you won't believe how much trouble it caused!

2.3
Some jerk found a deep-seated bug that's been there since 1.0 and wouldn't stop nagging until we fixed it!!

3.0
Hey, we finally think we've got it right! Most of the customers are really happy with this.

3.1
Of course, we did break a few little things.

4.0
More features. It's doubled in size now, by the way, and you'll need to get more memory and a faster processor...

4.1
Just one or two bugs this time... Honest!

5.0
We really need to go on to a new product, but we have an installed base out there to protect. We're cutting the staffing after this.

6.0
We had to fix a few things we broke in 5.0. Not very many, but it's been so long since we looked at this thing we might as well call it a major upgrade. Oh, yeah, we added a few flashy cosmetic features so we could justify the major upgrade number.

6.1
Since I'm leaving the company and I'm the last guy left in the lab who works on the product, I wanted to make sure that all the changes I've made are incorporated before I go. I added some cute demos, too, since I was getting pretty bored back here in my dark little corner (I kept complaining about the lighting but they wouldn't do anything). They're talking about obsolescence planning but they'll try to keep selling it for as long as there's a buck or two to be made. I'm leaving the bits in as good a shape as I can in case somebody has to tweak them, but it'll be sheer luck if no one loses them.

Date & Time Posted 8:34 AM, Sunday, 4 June 2006, by Faber Optimé.
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The Top 12 Things You Don't Want to Hear From Tech Support

  1. "Do you have a sledgehammer or a brick handy?"
  2. "...that's right, not even McGyver could fix it."
  3. "So -- what are you wearing?"
  4. "Duuuuuude! Bummer!"
  5. "Looks like you're gonna need some new dilythium crystals, Cap'n."
  6. "Press 1 for Support. Press 2 if you're with 60 Minutes. Press 3 if you're with the FTC."
  7. "We can fix this, but you're gonna need a butter knife, a roll of duct tape, and a car battery."
  8. "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
  9. "In layman's terms, we call that the Hindenburg Effect."
  10. "Hold on a second... Mom! Timmy's hitting me!"
  11. "Okay, turn to page 523 in your copy of Dianetics."
  12. "Please hold for Mr. Gates' attorney."

Date & Time Posted 8:28 AM, , by Faber Optimé.
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Dilbert's Laws of Work

  • Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
  • You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.
  • When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
  • Everything can be filed under "miscellaneous."
  • If you are good, you will be assigned all the work.
  • If you are really good, you will get out of it.
  • At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.
  • When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.
  • Following the rules will not get the job done.
  • When confronted by a difficult problem, you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
  • The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

Date & Time Posted 3:16 PM, Sunday, 28 May 2006, by Faber Optimé.
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Girlfriend V1.0

It's an oldie, but still a goodie:
TECH SUPPORT CALL
I'm currently running the latest version of GirlFriend and I've been having some problems.
I've been running the same version of DrinkingBuddies 1.0 forever as my primary application, and all the GirlFriend releases I've tried have always conflicted with it.
I hear that DrinkingBuddies won't crash if GirlFriend is run in background mode and the sound is turned off.
But I'm embarrassed to say I can't find the switch to turn the sound off.
I just run them separately, and it works okay.
GirlFriend also seems to have a problem co-existing with my Golf program, often trying to abort Golf with some sort of timing incompatibility.
I probably should have stayed with GirlFriend 1.0, but I thought I might see better performance from GirlFriend 2.0.
After months of conflicts and other problems, I consulted a friend who has had experience with GirlFriend 2.0. He said I probably didn't have enough cache to run GirlFriend 2.0, and eventually it would require a Token Ring to run properly.
He was right: as soon as I purged my cache, it uninstalled itself.
Shortly after that, I installed GirlFriend 3.0 beta. All the bugs were supposed to be gone, but the first time I used it, it gave me a virus anyway. I had to clean out my whole system and shut down for a while.
I very cautiously upgraded to GirlFriend 4.0. This time I used a SCSI probe first and also installed a virus protection program.
It worked okay for a while until I discovered that GirlFriend 1.0 was still in my system.
I tried running GirlFriend 1.0 again with GirlFriend 4.0 still installed, but GirlFriend 4.0 has a feature I didn't know about that automatically senses the presence of any other version of GirlFriend and communicates with it in some way, which results in the immediate removal of both versions.
The version I have now works pretty well, but there are still some problems.
Like all versions of GirlFriend, it is written in some obscure language I can't understand, much less reprogram.
Frankly I think there is too much attention paid to the look and feel rather than the desired functionality.
Also, to get the best connections with your hardware, you usually have to use gold-plated contacts.
And I've never liked how GirlFriend is totally "object-oriented."
A year ago, a friend of mine upgraded his version of GirlFriend to GirlFriendPlus 1.0, which is a Terminate and Stay Resident version of GirlFriend.
He discovered that GirlFriendPlus 1.0 expires within a year if you don't upgrade to Fiancee 1.0.
So he did, but soon after that, he had to upgrade to Wife 1.0, which he describes as a huge resource hog.
It has taken up all his space, so he can't load anything else.
One of the primary reasons he decided to go with Wife 1.0 was because it came bundled with FreeSexPlus.
Well, it turns out the resource allocation module of Wife 1.0 sometimes prohibits access to FreeSexPlus, particularly the new Plug-Ins he wanted to try.
On top of that, Wife 1.0 must be running on a well warmed-up system before he can do anything.
Although he did not ask for it, Wife 1.0 came with MotherInLaw 1.0 which has an automatic pop-up feature he can't turn-off.
I told him to try installing Mistress 1.0, but he said he heard if you try to run it without first uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MSMoney files before doing the uninstall itself.
Then Mistress 1.0 won't install anyway because of insufficient resources.

Date & Time Posted 3:08 PM, , by Faber Optimé.
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