July 11, 2013

So, my own domain, tinyplanetblog.com, is having a lie down. That lie down has gone on for a few days now as I have various hosting and FTP issues. I tried to import it here but methinks it is forbidden – it didn’t work anyway. So hello for now. It’s been six years since  I used this particular WordPress blog – I’ve been pretty busy.




June 23, 2007

Due to a technical error, readers were unable to subscribe to the feed for tinyplanetblog.com. If you’ve been affected by this, I’ve fixed things. The feed can also be found here.

Thanks for your patience.


On the move

June 15, 2007

Dear reader,

Tinyplanet has packed its bags and its moving to a new domain. Come and visit at www.tinyplanetblog.com.

My poor brain II

June 6, 2007

It seems that no matter how hard I try, I can not do anything right. When I try to help someone, I’m seen as condescending and fussy. When I try to share information, people think I’m trying to be a know-it-all (and I ain’t). You get the idea.

But then I see something like this and I find myself laughing.

Genius. With credit to icanhascheezburger.com.

From stricken Darfur, a good news story

May 30, 2007

Every week Awatef Ahmed Isaac produces a newspaper documenting the life of Al-Fasher, capital of North Darfur. It’s handwritten and pinned to the same tree every time.

Awatef’s work is inspired by her late elder sister, who dreamed of publishing a newspaper for her town. Al-Raheel (The Journey) contains stories of the two million people who have been displaced by the Darfur conflict. But Awatef wants to build on her experience — her ambition is to produce a daily paper to campaign against poor public services and other such issues.

She came to international attention when The Washington Post ran an article about her earlier this year, but Mohamed Hasni of Agence France Presse has checked in with her. Since the Post’s article, she has been inundated with support and her journal is now available in English and Arabic at Sudaneseonline.com.

Different mindset

May 26, 2007

I’ve just re-read my last post and find myself amazed at how differently I feel today.

Another time I would be raving about what a cool, quirky story it was and then promptly write about something tangentally related. But it seems several factors conspired to colour my viewpoint; the fatigue I mentioned several days ago has not totally lifted, although the accompanying melancholy has. And perhaps the latter was what made me piss and moan about the discovery dolphins have dialects (and other studies have show the same is true of whales). There are certainly worse wastes of scientific time.

Or perhaps elements were at play that I am aware of only on a subconscious level.

Dolphins and dialects

May 24, 2007

From Reuters:

Dolphins living off the coast of Wales whistle, bark and groan in a different dialect from dolphins off the western coast of Ireland, scientists have discovered.

Different physical environments might have contributed to the mammals developing distinctive sets of vocalizations or “dialects,” said Simon Berrow from the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation.

Berrow supervised a master’s thesis by student Ronan Hickey at University of Wales, Bangor, who analyzed 1,882 whistles from the dolphins in the Shannon estuary and bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay in Wales. The study found 32 different sound categories, of which eight were only produced by the Shannon animals.

“The idea that the sounds are different is not a bad notion — you’d expect the information had to be different given the diversity of the areas where they reside,” Berrow told Reuters, adding he would use the data to create a dictionary of sounds and pursue the research further, should time and money allow.

There are times when I just sigh. As much as I love nature and animals of all persuasions — and God knows I hope we can maintain our climate so as to save as many from extinction as possible — there are times when I can’t help but wonder if our scientific focus is fecked beyond belief. Now, I will confess I’m fascinated by this little story, as it’s quirky and unusual. But was it worth the time and money? Could our scientific expertise be used toward better ends? Or am I ignoring the simple joy of research for research’s sake?