Blueberry Muffins – Consistently Disappointing

Actually, I’m more disappointed in myself for falling for the allure of a blueberry muffin.

They promise so much but deliver so little!

Sub consciously I perform a calculation: 6 blueberries on the top of the muffin multiplied by the height equals an expectation of 24 blueberries.

But no.

There are only 6.

I bite deep into the muffin filled with hope that this one is going to be different.

But my search for those little sweet nuggets is in vain.

I vow not to fall for it again, but a few months later temptation is in front of me again.

I purchase, I eat, I’m disappointed, I promise, time passes and the vicious cycle begins again.


Everything Causes Cancer

Regularly, routinely, if you look and listen carefully, you may notice that once a month it is reported in the news that research has shown that yet another everyday item or activity causes cancer.

Smoking, handling radio active material, getting hit in the breast, snorting milk, we knew about those already.

But did you hear that eating meat, or sugar or drinking caffine, milk, and even contact with wood?

Oh no!! Lets all live in bubbles!

Maybe life causes cancer.

Cancer is nothing to be afraid of. Refer to my previous post for more info.

Need more evidence?

The Speed of Technological Advancement… Is Not That Fast, Really

We all think we are pretty cool with our ATT (All The Time) internet, integrated handheld communication devices, flat panel TV’s on the wall, microwave cooking, stay sharp knives… and we have this perception that the rate of technological change is very high. “Moores Law” dictates that the speed of PC processors doubles every 6 months or something?

But are we really advancing as quickly as we think? I refer back to a 70’s TV show and a 60’s movie.

The TV show was called Space 1999 and it was about a colony on the moon and the hilarious miss-adventures of the inhabitants (I think it was a comedy, I don’t really recall too much). The point is, it was set in the future – 1999, that was 10 years ago, and there are no such colonies!

The movie is Space Odyssey 2001. Hello! Hello! The writers projected that in 38 years from then we would be flying around in space ships off into deep space. 38 years seemed a reasonable timeframe to arrange that! And yet here we all are, stuck on boring earth rather than floating huge distances through the frozen and desolate void of space, millions of miles from anything, eating food through a straw and getting your faeces sucked out of you in zero g… actually earth aint too bad!

How To Wash Your Car Correctly

People often ask me “how do you get your car so clean” and I always reply “it comes down to correct car washing technique”. So here are my tips for correct car washing technique.

  • The only equipment you need is a hose, a soft bristled brush and a good quality car wash detergent (TurtleWax is excellent).
  • The best time of day is early in the morning and out of direct sunlight. If its too hot, the suds will dry before you rinse them off and you may get marks on the paintwork.
  • Don’t be tempted to use a high pressure hose. The water can blast thin layers of paint off your car over time.

Founding principles

The correct technique is to scrub and rinse in decending layers. The idea is to keep the water and brush as clean as possible by washing the cleanest areas first and the dirtiest last. Usually, the closer the section of the car is to the ground, the dirtier it will be. Remember also, that rinsing frequently prevents the suds from leaving marks on the paintwork.

Step by step

  1. First, thoroughly wet your car. Hopefully this will remove a bit of the dirt and grime too.
  2. Next, scrub the roof and all the windows. When you are done with that section, rinse thoroughly with the hose.
  3. The next layer to scrub is the top half of the doors, the bonnet and boot (or hood and trunk for the Americans). Stop and rinse thoroughly
  4. Next, the nose and tail and the lower half of the doors
  5. Finally, the skirting around the doors, the mudguards and wheels

It is also a good idea to wax and polish when you’re done. Unfortunately the technique that I have outlined above takes so bloody long I’m sick of cleaning once I’m done so never get around to the waxing.

I Shared My Method Of How I Would Get One More Phone Call Out Of A Flat Cellphone Battery

This one time, I was chatting to a work mate about how, in emergency situations, you can charge your flat cellphone batteries just enough for one more phonecall with sunlight. Recently, a couple of climbers got into trouble on a NZ mountain and used that trick to call for a rescue. My work mate asked me if I would have thought of that. I told her that I probably would have just used body heat to warm the batteries, perhaps by sitting on it. She said it needs sunlight to work. And I said, “Well, the sun does shine out of my arse!”

How Old Is The Earth?

Some christian scientists say less than 10,000 years. Some evolutionary scientists say millions of years. If the universe really is less than 10K then I suggest that the first day was a long one.

“On the first day God created the heavens and the earth”

Because the fact is we can see light in the night sky from stars that took tens of thousands of years to get here.

Who Did Adam And Eve’s Kids Have Sex With To Produce The 3rd Generation?

I guess there are 2 possibilities:

  1. God created a few more people (most unlikely)
  2. They had to get it on with each other (most likely).

Yes, that is detestable to us now, but back then it was fine! There was only one law, one rule: “Don’t eat the fruit from the forbidden tree”. And keep in mind that the gene pool was fresh and clean. There was no chance of mutation or genetic muck ups, so it was perfectly acceptable and neccessary to populate the earth.

So time went on and the population grew, and generations followed. And as the population increased it was no longer neccessary for brother and sister to have sex, there was a large quantity of cousins to choose from. More time passed and then came the time of Noah. The population of the earth gets wiped out and there is about 8 people on the boat; Noah, his wife, two or three daughters and their husbands. The in-breeding had to kick in again to repopulate the earth. A couple of thousand years passed, Gods laws were decreed, in crept disease and the genetic code began to degrade. Now everyone knows that its a bad idea.

Cancer De-Mystified – A Cell With One Instruction

Chances are you will probably die from cancer.

We are getting better at detection which has got to help.

Do you even know what cancer is?

We have a perception of cancer that it is some great evil that consumes people from the inside out.

Its quite simple, and really not evil.

It starts with a cell.

The normal cells in our body have one of two sets of instructions.

  1. One set (stem cells) have instructions that say “build a liver” or “build a heart”.
  2. The other set says “replicate to replace yourself”.

For example, a skin cell is coming to the end of its life and so creates a new version of itself.

Cancer starts with one cell that gets short circuited and confused, and “forgets” the latter part of its instructions, so the only items on it’s daily “to-do” list is “replicate”.

So, the cell does just that.

It creates a cell with the same instruction “replicate” which creates new cells and so on. The result is a tumour. Simply a glob of cells with the instruction to replicate. If all these cells stay in the same place it can be easy to just cut it out (benign tumour), but if some of these cells have escaped to other parts of your body you are stuffed (malignant).

That’s why it’s so important to either kill these cells with radiation or cut them out with a scapel – because every single cancerous cell left over will blindly carry on with its instructions.

Does this explanation make the concept of “Cancer” a little less scary?

Nuclear Power – The Gentle Three Eyed Giant

I think many of us have a negative perception of Nuclear power that is outdated.

The technology has come a long way since Chernobyl.

It’s now one of the safest methods of electricity generation. And the impact of the environment is minimal. The only problem is those damn drums of nuclear waste… If we can somehow slingshot them off the planet onto the moon… (or sun, but we’d need a bigger slingshot).

Do you even now how nuclear power works? The simple explanation is that the nuclear reaction (fission or fusion, I get them confused) heats rods of uranium (simply a metal that can handle such heat without melting). These rods are dipped into water which creates steam. The steam builds up pressure which spins turbines which generate the electricity.

But is it an option for New Zealand? Perhaps not. Our nuclear free image is engrained so deeply into our culture that I don’t think we could ever have nuclear here. But we are happy for Australia to build them and lay cables under the sea to supply us with cheap power.

How To Resize Your Digital Photos So They Are Easier To Email

Are you aware that many of you are emailing digital photos off to friends and family incorrectly? The most common mistake is not resizing them before you send them off. Failing to do this means that peoples email box gets full and the images take a long time to download for those with slow internet connections.

The photos straight off your digital camera are about 1Mb (1000Kb) each. They are so large because they have a lot of detail enabling you to enlarge them (right up to 15″ x11″) and get them printed at a photo developers.

On the internet however we don’t need or want to see them this big. It is easy to downsize them to fit on a computer monitor (about 6″ x 4.5″) size and bring the file size down to 40Kb (50 times smaller).

Your options:

  1. Download and install a free photo album software called Picasa from Among other things, this amazing piece of software offers you one-click emailing which resizes your photos for you when emailing them. Click here to read more.
  2. Use a web based resizing service. There are a few websites that offer this such as You upload your photo to them, choose the size you want back, and then save the resulting image back to your computer. Unfortunately you are uploading a big photo which takes ages, and the whole process is rather time consuming. But it may be all you’ve got if you’re in an internet cafe.
  3. Get everyone you know to open a account. This free email service created by Google gives you 2GB of storage (and counting). Thats enough room for 1000 unoptimised photos or 50,000 optimised photos. It automatically creates thumbnails for quick loading too, to download the full size photo just click.
  4. Finally Windows XP has an “Email this file” option under “File and Folder Tasks”. Using this option will ask you if you want to resize the photo before emailing it. I don’t use Outlook so this doesn’t work for me. To find out more, read “method 2” on a tutorial I found, click here.
  5. Finally, you probably got software with your digital camera. It is likely the software includes a function that will resize photos for emailing. Learn how to use it!