Category Archives: Odd stuff

Knitting Evil

knitting evil

knitting evil 2

Those poor dogs, chosen to model those garments.

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Defies description, Odd stuff, Pets


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Tardar Sauce, the Grumpy Cat – Christmas edition

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in cats, Odd stuff, Pets


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Bookmarks on your internet browser – good or not?

I admit that I have a lot of bookmarks for internet browsers, usually methodically filed under various headings (e.g. Education, Journals, Children, Psychology, etc.) I also bookmark things which I come across while doing research for lecturers, not necessarily what they wanted but things I’d found serendipitously.

The drawback is, of course, that I find the bookmarks later when I think “How on earth did I get to that one?” Or worse still, “Why did I take the effort to bookmark that?”

My treat today is from the American Association of Wine Economists, the AAWE Working Paper No. 36, .

After ranking the samples on the basis
of taste, subjects were challenged to identify which of the five was dog food. Although
72% of subjects ranked the dog food as the worst of the five samples in terms of taste
(Newell and MacFarlane multiple comparison, P<0.05), subjects were not better than
random at correctly identifying the dog food.

Best bit:

44% (8) of subjects incorrectly chose liverwurst (sample E) as the dog food.

We conclude that, although human beings do not enjoy eating dog food, they are
also not able to distinguish its flavor profile from other meat-based products that are
intended for human consumption.

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Academia, Article, Food, Odd stuff


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Sock Wars

Rose is Rose

How do socks end up without their pairs? I put two in the wash, and somehow only one makes it to the clothesline, or only one makes it from the clothesline back into the house.

The other day I found that I had only washed one of each of the pairs of socks. Somehow there were naughty socks playing hooky in the bottom of the clothes basket in the laundry, hiding from me by sneaking behind the woollen jumper which I should have washed in December (oops! It’s January 28!).

DD’s socks do the same thing. I’ve got one bright pink Barbie sock. Now honestly, the second sock can’t be hiding with that sort of colour. ┬áMind you, DD has a tendency to take off her socks at school or childcare and I don’t find out there’s a missing sock until we get out of the car at home.

Much as I work on my own organisational skills, I know DD needs some skills of her own. It’s a long, long path.

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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in children, Odd stuff


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When I went to the clothesline to put out the washing this morning, there was a dead rat underneath it. This is the first time I’ve seen a rat at this house. Maybe our ancient kitty (may he rest in peace) used to keep them under control without letting me know, and now the little rodents are having a great time in this verdant spring.

Anyway, I called our tabby cat over to see if she was interested in the rat. No way. She simply demanded scritches and head butted me, completely ignoring the dead rat. I decided I’d pull on some disposable gloves, wrap up the rat in some newspaper and put it in the bin. (It’s bin night tomorrow night.)

Oh oh. I hadn’t counted on DD. She saw the rat and was very interested. She announced, “Mummy, you can’t put the rat in paper and into the bin.”

I asked her why not. She said “Rats aren’t things for putting in bins. Even if they’re dead.”

Upon being asked what she thought I should do with the rat, she said “Leave it there.”

We then had a bit of a talk about how animals don’t stay the same after they die, there is decay and there were already a few ants rustling around the rat’s body. DD didn’t look convinced.

After she went inside, I quickly put the rat in the bin and hoped she’d forget during the day.

No such thing. As soon as we came home late this afternoon after her swimming lesson, DD announced “Where’s the rat? I hope you didn’t move it.” Yikes. I said it had to go away and wasn’t allowed to stay under the clothe

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Posted by on January 11, 2011 in Odd stuff


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New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not making any.

Last year’s were depressing or not worth it or completely derailed by life sucking massively.

There’s an article by Peter Gorski in The Sydney Morning Herald about trying to be a better parent which is definitely a good thing to try, whether it be the start of a new year or the middle of the year or any time at all.

So what do I take from his 10 tips? Firstly, there’s a lot packed in those 10 tips. While he has briefly covered them, I think that musing over the points and then working out how to apply them would easily take a full year – and what a year it would be! Challenging ideas, some are not new, some I’m already doing and want to continue.

I was reminded about number 4, Set consistent, secure boundaries, or rather, the fact that DD has variable boundaries depending upon who is looking after her. DD knows what my boundaries are. She knows the boundaries for behaviour and care at childcare and preschool last year. This school year she’ll learn what it’s like in kindergarten (how did my little darling suddenly become so big and ready for primary school so quickly?). But like every other 4, nearly 5 year-old, she pushes boundaries and some people cave in faster than others. So, yeah, it’s easy for some other parents to have a go at me because I’m a single mother and I share my child’s care with her teacher and others. I should add, I look after other children who come over to play with DD and I’m happy to do that. (Should add, my friends do not comment like that, for which I am enormously grateful.) DD would have probably loved to have a brother or sister, but having time to play with other kids and learn how to get along with people is very important.

What about number 5, Know and respect your own emotional thresholds and physical limits? I found my physical and emotional limits were variable last year. I was far sicker than I thought I would be, never anticipating how badly I would be shaken with asthma and viruses. It felt like my body was a battleground for emotional battles fought out in my immune system. How can I make things better this year? I have to be strong and well to provide the best care for DD and me.

First up, I’m fixing my messed-up ankle so that I can continue my regular walking for pleasure and health at lunchtime and on the weekends with DD, as well as using the exercise bike in the evening after DD has gone to bed. I want to increase my aerobic capacity bit by bit. Secondly, I also saw an immunologist last year about my allergies and asthma and I am getting better at managing the allergies, with asthma problems decreasing a bit. Thirdly, I’m seeing a GP regularly if I am ill and that is helping me to keep on top of the illnesses rather than suffering in silence and becoming worse. Yes, it costs more but it’s better than ending up feeling revolting and not being able to be there for DD.

I don’t see these as resolutions. I’m currently doing these things so it doesn’t come under the heading of “New things for torturing myself”. By the way I’m still doing a resolution that I made for New Year in 2009. I’m not watching repeats of television episodes. I still have to work harder on reading more and more books but I’m getting to the point where I’m having difficulty finding more hours in the day.


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Head, meet desk

Speaking of Whackos...
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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Odd stuff