There’s no such thing as space and time


Last night I had a strange dream. Most people who know me will understand that almost all of my dreams are strange – but this one wasn’t the normal kind of dream sequence.

In my dream I was simply surrounded by “awareness”. No pictures, no sound.

I became aware that there is no such thing as time and space. That these are constructs that we humans use to explain movement, memory and projections into what we call “future”. But that none of those things are real either.

Everything that ever has happened or will happen is all happening simultaneously.

Even the concept that we are separate entities is false. Technically we are all energy, a single big energy blanket, all connected together.

It turns out that just when I thought I’d woken up, science might support my new found awareness. Check out this article on space and time not existing

There’s plenty of other articles on quantum theories that describe a similar view.

Maybe this awareness I received was some kind of quantum jump?

No clue, but I’ll keep you posted the next time I get any other new awareness. Or maybe I’ll just post a recipe.


Stain remedy


I really should work on writing down the random stuff I know.  Yes, that’s right – what the www needs is more information.

My work colleague asked me about a stain remover for a grease stain on a new dress.

Sadly, she’d already used a spot remover product and washed the dress, which may have set it.

In these greasy situations, I use my handy dandy stain recipe:

2 Tablespoons of washing powder

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of plain water (enough to make a mushy paste)

Mix together and gently apply to the stain.  Lay the garment flat and put a damp cloth over for a few hours or overnight.

The next day soak for an hour and wash as usual.


Reasons to support my IT hero nomination


I was surprised today to receive more than one nomination for the IT Superhero awards by Kordia

Then I got to thinking perhaps I’ve helped a few folks in my time.  If I’ve helped you in one – or more than one – of these ways, maybe you’ll consider supporting my nomination here:

If we’re friends or family – maybe I’ve:

  1.  Fixed your PC/your friend’s PC/your boss’s PC
    1. By phone
    2. By a visit to your place
    3. By receiving it via courier
    4. By receiving it by a friend of yours that happens to be coming my way
    5. By remote access
  2. Reprogrammed your TV/VCR/DVD/Media Centre/Microwave (other thing that flashes 12:00)
  3. Installed and configured your wireless so you can hide what you’re doing from the kids
  4. “Found” your files that just “disappeared”
  5. Uncorrupted your database
  6. Recovered your password
    1. One more than one occassion
  7. Showed you how to use your mobile phone
  8. Plugged in all the cables when the repair guy pulled them all out to paint and you tried seven times to get them back in but there’s always one left over and nothing works
  9. Fixed your webpage
  10. Designed your webpage
  11. Showed you how to update your webpage
  12. Updated your webpage for you cause “it’s too hard”
  13. Configured your email
  14. Install and configure your new modem
  15. Spend hours on the phone to your telco to sort out an unidentified “issue”
  16. Bought and installed your webcam
  17. Disabled every animated cursor/toolbar/browser helper/unessential programme or service so now your PC runs “JUST LIKE A NEW ONE”
  18. Sent you cheats for games
  19. Figured out the exact combination of button pushes to unlock your mobile device/gaming device

If we’re web acquaintances or part of my personal learning network maybe I’ve:

  1. Tweeted some really handy technology links
  2. Retweeted some handy dandy technology links
  3. Helped you sort your Facebook security settings
  4. Configured HTML tags for your forum/favourite website
  5. Fixed up your avatar
  6. Shared your insightful blog post
  7. Blogged something you found useful

If we work together or we have worked together maybe I’ve:

  1. Demonstrated some new technology you’d never heard of
  2. Showed you how to use that technology
  3. Slid you some proxy sites
  4. Talked to the IT team on your behalf and translated from Klingon/Dalek -> Plain English (and reverse)
  5. Fixed your autocorrect
  6. Showed you where the “out of office” message magically comes from
  7. Showed you how to browse “incognito/inprivate/private” [browser dependent]
  8. Explained the differences between the operating system and the browser
  9. Made your IT project work
  10. Showed you how to use social media
  11. Explained what social media is
  12. Showed you how to unblock an email
  13. Showed you how to use shortcuts in Office Apps
  14. Showed you how to use a smartboard
  15. Converted your 165 page powerpoint to a more accessible size and format
  16. Told you about web standards
    1. Helped you implement them
  17. Fixed that corrupted table in Word
  18. Fixed your invalid formula in Excel
  19. Found the piece of paper stuck in the photocopier that seven other people looked for but couldn’t find

I’m dreaming of a white August…


We recently had one of the coldest spells in living memory.  Some say it was a once in 50 year event, others once in 100 years.

Snow was down to sea level with power outages right across the country.   The cold snap rolled in on 14 August 2011 with the greatest snow falls on 16-17 August.

It’s snowed here in Upper Hutt at the base of the valley twice in my lifetime that I remember.  Once was when I was a child, during the night but the snow didn’t settle.  The other was just a month ago, but it lasted only for a few hours and then melted.

This polar blast was sucked up straight from Antarctica and dumped over New Zealand.  The snow has melted now – but I captured the scenes on my trusty Canon point and click, and now you can enjoy it too 🙂


golden crumpets

An opened 50g package of compressed yeast, bou...

Image via Wikipedia

I make these the other morning and had them lightly toasted with homemade lemon curd.  They were delicious.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 15 grams compressed yeast OR 1 packet (approx 7 grams) active yeast OR 7 grams (a tablespoon) of surebake yeast
  • 15 grams melted butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 550 ml warm milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 450 grams plain flour

Warm your milk in the microwave until tepid (not too hot or you’ll kill the yeast)

If using compressed yeast, pop your yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat on high until creamy.  Add warm milk to bowl.  Mix until yeast begins to float.

If using active or surebake yeast, pour your warm milk and sugar into the mixing bowl and give it a whirl til combined.  Sprinkle yeast over the milk and let “bloom” for about 5 minutes.

Add melted butter and salt.

Start adding sifted flour a large tablespoon at a time until the mixture resembles thick paint consistency.  Add a  little more or less flour until you get a reasonably thick batter.

Cover and put in a warm place until it bubbles – about an hour.

Pop it in the fridge for about 30-45 mins to firm up.

Drop spoonfuls of mixture into a greased medium heat pan.  The bottom should go golden and the top will bubble, then crater, then dry.  I like to wait until it’s almost dry before flipping over – about 4-5 mins.

This makes a lot of mixture.  You can make the crumpets without flipping over but until the top is dry, then freeze in an airtight bag.

When required, just defrost and pop into the toaster.

Just like a bought one 😉

[Edited to add alternatives to compressed yeast]

Killer Bees from MARS

Reunion Tower

Image by David Jones via Flickr

Thanks for visiting 😉 I’m looking for comments and feedback on the plot outline for a new story – short poll at the bottom.

Killer Bees from MARS

Theme                       Technology without ethics can be deadly

Setting                       Dallas, Texas and parts of South America, in the current day

Characters                Spencer Doyle – CEO and chief technologist MARS (Mobile Autonomous Robotic Systems)

Elwood Woodrow – Investor/Business Tycoon – Woodrow Investments

Clarence Olsen – Retired CEO and Founder of MARS

Rory Olsen – Deputy CEO MARS (Clarence’s headstrong son)

Abby Napier – Gifted technologist at MARS

Honey bees in large parts of the world are dying, hives are being abandoned.

Thanks to developments by MARS and backing by Woodrow Investments – robotic bees planned to offer pollination strategies are released into the wild with great success.  Doyle receives world environment award for innovation.

Woodrow Investments puts unwanted pressure on MARS to develop bees with more artificial intelligence and almost military like capabilities to perform activities like surveillance.  Doyle is opposed to the direction but Rory Olsen supports it.

Rory Olsen creates a breakaway division (MARS Scope) to concentrate on more experimental developments, including worker bees who can build more bees without human intervention.

MARS Scope wins a major contract to deliver their modified bee robots to South America in an unprecedented pest eradication programme.  Olsen calls for Doyle’s resignation when he refuses to let the mainstream workforce deliver on the contract.

Olsen overturns Doyle as CEO in the boardroom/Doyle steps down.

Olsen is called to an emergency briefing after 14 men are killed in South America – purportedly by the MARS bees.

Olsen and Woodrow shift the blame to a local virus and deny any involvement.  Abby Napier discovers evidence that they are lying after observing similar bee behaviour in the lab.  She visits Doyle with her concerns.

The bees begin to target “pests” indiscriminately – using their AI to boost their killing power by forming small swarms and striking larger targets en masse.

Woodrow and Olsen launch a strike against the bees in South America.

The strike harms, but does not eradicate the South American colony.  Large numbers of bees are now being constructed as man is seen as the enemy.  Woodrow is killed during an attack.  Huge superswarms begin heading north from South America to their “home” in Dallas, leaving destruction and death in their wake.

Olsen panics and runs.  When the board gets wind of the crisis, Clarence Olsen steps in to denounce his son, and reinstates Doyle who has been working undercover with Napier on a potential solution.

Swarms infiltrate Dallas, breaking through glass and into buildings.

Reunion Tower

Their mass is concentrated around Reunion Tower – a large ball-shaped building in the middle of Dallas.  They share their knowledge with the local robotic population as they prepare for a complete eradication of man.

Doyle and Napier make their way to Reunion Tower with a massive low-frequency electrotransmitter which works to attract the bees through pseudo magnetism.  They release a new model of the pollinator robot into the air who also help to attract the bees towards Reunion Tower.  Once the swarm reaches its maximum, a high powered microwave pulse is emitted – destroying the bees and most other electronic equipment within a city block including MARS Scope.  Olsen is arrested.  MARS is shut down after a massive fall in shares and no investor confidence.  Doyle and Napier are cleared of any wrongdoing.  Napier becomes chief technologist of a new company – Just Technology focussing on fair and ethical practices – with CEO – Spencer Doyle.