Pop culture “Next Top” shows

April 25, 2007

Some shows on the box just demand your attention – I’m addicted to The Apprentice and always try to catch Project Runway, the Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency, Tyra Banks’ American Next Top Model and at the moment I’m enjoying Australia’s Next Top Model (ANTM), a low-cost Australian version of Tyra’s original.

A great aspect of these shows are the wrap-ups that some bloggers do of them – some of the funniest are about ANTM on the Bland Canyon blog, which I’ve added to my blog roll.

In the immortal words of one ANTM contestant, “Game on, moll!”

Professor Roger Stimson’s presentation on an “ecological analysis” of the 2004 federal election

April 23, 2007

There is a very interesting post over on ozpolitics – I can do no better than to quote the first part of it to whet your appetite. Do yourself a favour and read it!

I have been looking at Professor Roger Stimson’s 28 March 2007 Parliamentary Library presentation on his ecological analysis of the 2004 election using the data from the 7576 polling booths and the 2001 census. The presentation was based on research by Stimson, Dr T- K Shyy, and Dr Prem Chhetri. Read the rest of this entry »

Movies on hyperbolic spaces and three-manifolds

April 22, 2007

I just came across a very interesting movie (in two parts) on mathematical hyperbolic spaces! (FYI they’re youtube files.) This movie should give some idea of what three-manifolds and hyperbolic spaces are – conveying the idea of a closed, connected, orientable three-manifold to a non-mathematical audience can be difficult (I always use two-dimensional analogues to illustrate the idea) but these kinds of movies should be able to help.

It’s kind-of mind blowing if you havn’t come across it before.

Web-based floating desktops

April 22, 2007

Web-based e-mail is very familiar to many computer users, and I’ve read that web-based applications are gaining in popularity. I wonder if many people have looked at creating web-based desktops? By a web-based desktop I mean a (password-protected) desktop that’s accessible from any computer connected to the internet. The desktop would “float” on the net rather than being located on one particular computer/network. With floating desktops, a stolen laptop needn’t mean that one’s information and work disappears. To alleviate the problems of material disappearing when computers are stolen, maybe one could have an (unhackable!) private website to which one uploads relevant materials at the end of each day.

Of course, there may be security issues with floating desktops as there are with all web-based e-mail programs. Read the rest of this entry »

The changing English language

April 15, 2007

I’ve recently noticed that language is making a quantum leap in the US or at least on US TV shows. So many times I’ve heard “You did great” or “You did brilliant” on US reality shows, from all kinds of different people, that I wonder if adverbs are going to disappear from the US sometime soon.

It sounds so strange to hear people dropping “ly”, but language changes – there’s no “correct” way of communicating in English (thank goodness – that’s something the French could learn!).

The Free Hugs guy

April 6, 2007

As I’ve said many times, hugs are the best! 

Having said that, the Free Hugs guy appeared on Oprah today. I saw him in the Pitt St mall a couple of weeks/months ago – I didn’t know what it was all about but it looked as if it could have been for a short film/video clip. I was a bit annoyed by the whole “free hugs” thing – why should I go up to give him a hug just because he was offering one – and was he going to use images of strangers hugging him or strangers not hugging him despite him freely offering a hug to make some statements about people connecting or not connecting with each other in a short film/video?

I don’t know – it just annoyed me a bit!