Friday, October 27, 2006

Climate Change

I finally got around to seeing Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" tonight in Auckland. It is a chilling movie, as the site it points you to makes out. The single most chilling fact is the direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 and temperature over the years.

Unfortunately the full power of the film is destroyed by Gore using the analogy of the boiled frog. This is the one that goes "a frog dropped in boiling water will jump out, but one put in tepid water that is heated to boiling will boil to death." I know Karl Kruszelnicki wrote in his Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend column "Myth Conceptions" that this was simply not true - indeed the frog dropped in hot water will have the protein in its muscles rendered useless, while the frog in rising temperature water will indeed react.

So it is a pity to see it being recycled in what is otherwise an intriguing movie - both about climate change and politics.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cultivating grass

My last post received an anonymous comment that asked a question about my profile. So I thought I should put the record straight.

I have a number of hobbies/interests but my older daughter took to telling her uni mates that her Dad's hobbies were "playing bridge and cultivating grass". This was good to get a good eyebrow raise and so I took to adding it to my corporate CV and now my blog profile.

But the grass I cultivate is not the one everyone's mind seems to leap to - it is instead oplismenus. You can see some details at the Royal Batanic Gardens, North Sydney Council or Hornsby Herbarium. This is commonly known as "basket grass" and is a native grass. It is a native grass in the little it of bushland behind my house and I have been making one small patch very much bigger. The other native grass I have patches of is "right angle grass". And I had a great deal of excitement when I discovered some good patches of "scurvy weed" amongst the wandering jew.

Unfortunately I haven't developed the ability to post photos here yet so I can't show you.

And - anonymous - to organise the game of bridge we need to know who you are.