Saturday, February 16, 2008

A little trip back to the dark ages

In Kansas, a school would not allow an official to call a basketball game in which one of their teams was playing. Why? Because the offical was female, whereas the game was between two male teams.
The reason given, according to the referees: Campbell, as a woman, could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy's beliefs.

This school is St. Mary's Academy and is operated by the Society of St. Pius X, which follows older Roman Catholic laws. I can only guess that there desire not to have a woman placed in a position of authority over men comes from this particualr bible references (or another similar one).
[11] Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
[12] But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
[13] For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
[14] And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

I timothy, 2: 11-14

Monday, September 24, 2007

Near death of a perfectly good pair of glasses

I suppose they might be considered to be mortally wounded.

Well I joined my Father and a few of his friends on a fishing trip about a month ago. We were fishing on the Wharerama river and were staying at a campsite next to the Wharerama boat club’s boat ramp. It’s a nice sited surrounded by farm land and the cockey had moved his bulls recently so we could here them occasionally during the night.

We’d driven down on the Friday night and set up our camp site. On the Saturday morning I got up had breakfast and then went to put my contact lenses in. Once my lenses were in I packed up my gear and through in the cab of Dad’s ute. Later on in the day after we go back from our days; fishing (nothing substantial caught) I went to take out my lenses and put my glasses on.

Well that was the plan. I quickly discovered that my glasses weren’t in their case, nor were they anywhere within the cab of the ute that I could see. Now this was bad. Why? Because it meant that I’d left my glasses on the ute, rather than putting them in the cab. Bugger. This was particularly bad since the ute hadn’t been stationary during the day. So it had maybe moved all of 150 m, but this had been to put his boat in the water and to pull it out.

So with increasing levels of panic I went and searched along the path that the ute had traveled to see if I could find them. Fortunately I did. They were sitting on the track down to the boat ramp and had been run over at least once. Amazingly they weren’t broken, although one of the arms had come off, but that’s been reattached.

It’d be unrealistic to expect them to come out unscathed and there are some bad scratches and a few small chips from around the edges. Nevertheless they are still usable, somewhat.

My poor glasses

Friday, September 21, 2007

Visa joys

So my time at my previous postdoc is over. It ended in May, which I think was good as I believe that I needed a change from what I had been working on, or at least where I’d been working. So I began hunting for a new position during the last quarter of 2006 and managed to get a couple of interviews for different positions, although I was unsuccessful for wither of those. Then early this year I applied for one position and got a phone call from my prospective employer the day after I’d applied, which turned into an interview. I was subsequently offered this position and I’m very excited about it. It’s an opportunity for me to head back into a field that interests me, conservation and wildlife management.

The only downside is that I was meant to start this position on 1 July. It’s now nearing the end of September and it looks like I won’t be starting till mid October. What happened? Well several things. There was a breakdown in communication. The primary problem is that this job is in the USA and I’m not a US citizen. Hence I need a work visa to be employed there and because I’d been on a J1 visa for my previous position I need a different visa class (unless of course I wind up back in my home country for a year or longer and I’ll almost be half way there soon).

Now when I was offered this job they were expecting me to look into the visa situation and I did. I discovered several things that I relayed to them back in late March. Firstly, I’d discovered that I couldn’t get another j1 since I’d just been working in the country on one. Secondly, that the type of visa that I needed would was an h1b. And finally, that I couldn’t file the visa application myself because under USA immigration law, the employer had to file on behalf of the applicant. They got the first two points but seemed to miss the paragraph explaining the last point in the email that I sent them. Now the part is largely my fault since I didn’t check up on them again till late April to find that they hadn’t done anything and still thought that I needed to do the visa application. Bugger!

Since then we’ve been working on the visa application (well they have and I’ve been checking up a lot more frequently). We’re currently on plan C. The first plan was to employ me through a small foundation, but this fell through. For the h1b visa there is a cap on the total number of visas they give out (either 64000 or 115000ish) and applications for these can take between two to six months so usually people get their application in starting form May to June so that they can start work in October. However there are exemptions to this cap for non-profit organizations (hence the small foundation). Unfortunately it turned out that the small foundation was too small.

The next plan was to employ me through The Nature Conservatory. This plan lasted all of about two weeks. Apparently The Nature Conservancy wasn’t too keen on taking contactors where all the money was coming from one grant (or something to that effect).

So currently we’re on plan C. I’m going to be employed through one of the US Universities. This is progressing at this point and I should be hearing back within 2 -2.5 weeks about it if everything goes smoothly (fingers crossed).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Friday random ten

Feel for youNightwishCentury Child
ChildrenRobert MilesDreamland
JohnnySalmonella dubKillervision
TopLiveThrowing Copper
F-Stop bluesJack JohnsonBrushfire Fairytales
Tristan und IsoldeRichard WagnerThe best of Wagner
White flagDidoLife for rent
Disembodied voicesFinn brothersEveryone is here
White shadowsColdplayX&Y
I'm ravingScooter24 Carat gold
Just a dreamDeleriumChimera

Case of the Jena six

I just recently had my attention drawn to the case of six students who are being held in Jena Lousiana

In this case several black students were arrested after beating a white student at their school and were charged intially with attempeted murder. How did it begin?

At that time, a black student had asked the school's principal whether he was permitted to sit under the shade of the school courtyard tree, where white students traditionally congregated. He was told he could sit where he liked.
The following morning, when the students arrived at school, they found three nooses dangling from the tree.
The school's head recommended the noose-hangers be expelled, but the governing board overruled him and the three white student perpetrators were briefly suspended.

Now I can't don't condone assaulting another person but in my opinion the people resopnsible forthe haging the nooses should have receiveda amuch stringer punishment than that. By placing the nooses on teh tree they were making a very strong statement. Throughout the US and particuarly within the South there is a long history of lynchings, primarily of Blacks (although not always). I stumbled across a website which outlined the disturbing history of lynchings in the US. There are two things that disturb me about some of the pictures in there. Firstly, is that in some of the pictures there it almost seems that he lynchings were family affairs. Secondly that some of those pictures were turned into postcards.

Now given the hisotry of lynchings in the US, hanging the act of hanging the nooses from the tree was not just a simple prank. It's a referene back to a time, not that long ago, when lynchings were common place. When people were strung up on trees by mobs.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Belated friday random ten

Opps.. Meant to put this up on friday...

One last breathCreedWeathered
Start wearing purpleGogol BordelloGypsy punks:underdog world strike
The reincarnation of Benjamin BreegIron MaidenA matter of life and death
NemoNightwishSchattenreich Vol 2.
Coperhead RoadSteve EarleCoperhead road
I won't back downTom Petty and the HeartbreakersGreatest hits
Thirty-threeSmashing pumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Burn all the flagsPhilip Boa and the Voodooclub
PropagandaSepulturaChaos A.D.
Building a mysterySarah McLachlanSurfacing

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What kind of atheist am I

You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I'm not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist


Spiritual Atheist


Angry Atheist


Militant Atheist




Apathetic Atheist




What kind of atheist are you?
created with

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

a Man with No Name

You scored 8 Honor, 3 Justice, 7 Adventure, and 5 Individuality!

It's one thing to be a gunslinger. It's another to wander into town, leave nothing but a trail of those who'd try your skill and take the town's gratitude and cash with you. Hero or villan? It's all in how you look at it and whose side you're on.

Cigar in your teeth and colt on your hip, you are ready to step into the hazy desert horizon. You'll do just fine.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Ninjinuity
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You scored higher than 99% on Knightlyness
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You scored higher than 99% on Cowboiosity
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You scored higher than 99% on Piratical Bent

Link: The Cowboy-Ninja-Pirate-Knight Test written by fluffy71 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test