Archive for Uncategorized

This is my thing.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 15, 2008 by Philonous

Was very interested to see that there is some growing popular interest in tourism around Native American mounds- the stuff I wrote my Masters thesis on and want to do my PhD on.
The New Yorker actually devised a road trip to view some of the most impressive, which you can read here
I will definately consider doing it when I get back, even though I’ve already been to most of the sites. They’re still very impressive, and definately under appreciated (and unknown) by the majority of tourists. Perhaps the economy will encourage people to do more travelling at home, and then discover these sites!

Contraceptive pill ‘can lead women to choose wrong partner’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 13, 2008 by Philonous

Whoa. Yeah that’s the headline in the Guardian. Say what??? I thought I smelled some conservative anti-feminist anti-sex thing going on. But actually the scientific study here references tests done that claim women are unable to ‘smell’ appropriate partners, who would be best suited to produce offspring, and be potential mates. What???

“Not only could MHC similarity in couples lead to fertility problems, it could
also ultimately lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the
contraceptive pill, as odour perception plays a significant role in maintaining
attraction to partners.”

I realize that smell and hormones play a big instinctual part in creating these relationships, but I think that the tagline of this article and its message are anti-contraception. And I am not down with that. I’m apt to think that this study was supported by funds with interests in my aforementioned ‘anti-‘ list.

Literary Criticism Criticism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 9, 2008 by Philonous

Cheers for the link Archie.

The Man With No Name

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 14, 2008 by Philonous

I just read that most American presidents cite their favourite films as westerns. I really like westerns. I know that most people don’t. For me, it’s probably a cultural thing- I grew up on a farm, my dad is kind of a cowboy, he liked westerns, so I learned to as well.
Traditional westerns (al la Serge Leone) are really really slow. It’s all about the anticipation. Most people hate this pace- they get bored. This is something that’s really copied by Tarentino in Kill Bill which I think is fantastic. Watching the final confrontation in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly or many of the scenes in Kill Bill, I just savor the timing. I’m practically bouncing in my seat while other people are looking at their watches. Basically its the complete opposite of say the Transformers or Die Hard. I think that you have to learn to watch these films- just like someone might learn to appreciate opera- to truly get the most out of them.
And don’t even get me started on the music… ah, Ennio Morricone! If only you could do the soundtrack to my life…
Cowboys and the wild west are one of the most popolar and romantic themes in American life. They’re frougth with strife in reference to the reality- the politics of American expansion, the (un)reality of the American Dream/Manifest Destiny. I know both- but if I’m asked I’ll say I wish I lived during this time period. People want to control their own destiny in their own way, they want to think that they’re moral and good, and have the power to act on this. They want to be clever and powerful but independent and self sufficient. Hence the popularity with presidents, I think.
So let me know when you’re ready for me to bring over my dvd collection, and we’ll begin the education…

World Wide Knit in Public Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 14, 2008 by Philonous

For me, not as much fun as cycling naked. Unless I knit naked! Hmm…

Farm life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 29, 2008 by Philonous

One of my favorite times on the farm when I was little was when the power would go out. It was such an adventure! We had a wood burning stove in our house, so we could still see, stay warm, and cook. It was such a novelty to put the pan on top of the stove just like they did in the olden days. We would usually cook something out of a can as it was easy. I remember feeling very industrious and pleased to live on a farm, because that meant that we could survive anything! We had all the tools and supplies we needed.

Living in the city now is the complete opposite, just like Philonous said, you look around and realize how entirely vulnerable you are. Imagine just trying to get out of the building and having to rush down 7 flights of stairs- what if the door wouldn’t open because the buzzer was off? Our urban societies are much more fragile than we think.

Technology- amazing.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 25, 2008 by Philonous

Just saw an article in the Guardian that made me marvel at technology (how old do I sound?) There is an idea to put ‘under floor heating’ beneath road surfaces, but heating that is powered by solar energy, collecting it during the hot summer to melt ice in the winter and improve driving conditions. Wow. Now that’s a good idea, and I hope it works.

Read more here

I love you Google…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 24, 2008 by Philonous

I’m glad I’ve got a google account (thanks to this blog) because now I’ve set up my iGoogle page, which is clever on their part, so now each day I’m greeted by new art, quotes, and words to ponder on. I never thought it would be so easy to enrich my life- it really seems like cheating. But here is a quote to start:

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
-John Le Carre

Save the animals – buy fur.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 21, 2008 by Philonous

I must admit, the thought of buying fur makes me feel slightly queasy. I have no explanation for this other than an emotional response triggered by many years of exposure to the anti-fur movement’s advertising. On the face of it, farmed fur really is a pretty horrible thought. Animals raised in captivity in terrible conditions just so that folk can be dressed from head to toe like someone from Dr Zhivago. Now that synthetic materials are avalailable which perhaps offer better protection against the elements than mother nature, it really does seem rather a cruel and distasteful fashion accessory.

I was amazed therefore to read of fur as being marketed by various organisations as an ‘eco-friendly’ product. According to Canada’s Fur Council. Their website in the optimistically titled ‘Fur is Green’ section argue that fur is a renewable resource and is fully biodegradable (as opposed to fake fur which is make from petroleum byproducts). Indeed they seem to imply that they are somehow in tune with (and I quote) ‘the circle of life’, calling it ‘the ultimate eco-clothing’. I can see hundreds of hippies wandering round in bear-skin Birkenstocks right now…

A slightly more serious claim to environmental responsibility in relation to fur is New Zealand’s possum fur industry. Though quite cute, possums are considered eco-system destroying pests across New Zealand since their numbers have grown beyond all expectations. The trapping and poisoning of possums is in fact encouraged by the government in an attempt to preserve natural habitats from dessimation by these marsupials which were artificially introduced around 150 years ago. Amazingly, conservation organisations such as the WWF have endorsed the possum fur industry as essential for maintaining biodiversity.

I like this math

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 4, 2008 by Philonous