Monthly Archives: June 2010

Those hairy things that we all love

Today I as I was looking blankly at James my maths textbook (we are tight, most people call the book Stewart but I have spend enough time to call him James) I got distracted (nothing new) and saw the dogs sleeping together on their bed. This got me thinking about how strange the notion of having a “pet” is. It is another animal that you look after, feed, clean, vaccinate and give love too. But why did people start to get pets in the first place? Why do some places not really have pets that live in the home but other places the pet is more a member of the family then the middle child!

What I have always heard when people talk about the domestication of dogs is that they more domesticated themselves by following humans and being friendly and from that getting free food and people looking after them. But would people have really been that warm towards dogs when commonly they were predators and just scavengers from humans. It is almost like inviting seagulls to eat your fish and chips! Except that a seagull wont eat your baby. Maybe a pelican but not a seagull. I hope.

But in all honesty, I am pretty happy that some dude or dudette went against the traditional rules of society and let that dog come and say gday, and get a cuddle. I am one of those people that loves their dogs. They both sleep with me pretty much every night and when they get cold they get under the covers and I really could not careless, I see it being of mutually benefit they get my body heat, and I get a furry heat pack. Also when I am home alone they give me something to talk to. Like I said a few posts back it is really depressing not having to open your mouth except to eat. It is nice to feel words every so often. They are my buddies they follow me around the house, which I like most of the time except when the little one starts to see my feet as a really good toy and goes for them!

All in all I think that the idea of pets is an awesome idea, but a little strange. But you know what really is strange? Why anyone would choose a cat over a dog when they have the choice for either!

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Maths with an iPad on an Argentinian bus

So here I am, Looking at my marks for maths this semester and trying to figure out how much I need to pass the subject in a best case scenario and it’s not looking good! I need 70% in the final unless I improve in my last quiz and in a best case it will still mean around 64%.  But when I think it can’t get any worse I look at my best mark all year and see how massive the task at hand really is! highest mark all year… (drum roll please) 31.25% yup, i need to go more than twice as good as I have gone all year and not just over 3 weeks work, but over 12 weeks worth of knowledge. hmmm…

So today the first day that I have actually been able to study as my brother and sister in-law came over for the weekend I organised all of the maths taskbooks instead of working. And as I lie in bed writing before going to sleep after having only completed less than one days of work I wonder why that is.  Why was I only able to motivate myself  to do so little work?  It could be the whole mentality of it is too hard so why bother trying?  Or there is no chance of passing from the very first Thursday lecture seeing that we would again not be learning with Ian Benn.  But I honestly think that it is all down to me, because I can motivate myself to do work, I have done it in the past, I do it when it comes to things of interest to me, such as planning my trip or reading about some new technology.  Yet I can’t sit and do maths which will be of massive benefit to me, and will save me other $700 in the long run.

On a tangent now, I am one of those “Bloody full licence drivers” now. Yes I can teach people to drive, can keep up with the traffic on the freeway, and not get that judgemental look from an old person for overtaking them on the freeway when they are going 70km/h. Yay!

Oh was having a look today at how much it will cost to get from Argentina to Chile or Peru at the end of the year and annoyingly enough there is not much I can find on the net and what I have found is stupidly expensive even for buses! For example I am talking $500-600, even though a bus from Santiago to Lima can be as cheap as $70 so I am not sure if it is just the sights I am finding or if that is really the case.  I hope that when I ask my cousin to have a look he will find something a bit cheaper.

And finally my one paragraph review of the iPad.  As many of you will know I am not the biggest fan of Apple.  But I have been looking at the tablet market with great interest as it would be very practical for me to have one as I find I use my laptop as a bigger clumsy tablet.  So when Tim and I went to westfield and had a play around with the iPad I had a look at it a bit closer then most users.  First off, the screen is great, it has great colours and contrast.  The touchscreen is amazing, it picks up the softest of touches and the rotation is so quick that you never have to shake it a little so that it will FINALLY switch.  The Photos app thingy is really nice, very easy to use and navigate.  iTunes was great! why don’t we have the way to see the songs inside a album on the PC version? With the iPad one you hold over the album and then a little menu appears with all the songs that are on that album/artist which is so easy and saves a lot of time having to go back and forth when looking for songs etc.  The onscreen keyboard was nice, Tim and I found that it had approx 10 finger multitouch so it is possible to type fast, not as fast as on a real keyboard but fast nonetheless.  The main complaint with it was that because of the touchscreen you have to hold your hands above the keyboard as all times and because you don’t have anywhere to rest your wrist it makes your forearms very tired after only a hundered or so words. So maybe you could make a blog and do all your facebook and stuff but in general it really is for limited imput use.

Talk soon, I doubt I will be making another post during the exam period which finishes on the 25th so if I don’t post by then leave lots of comments and give me suggestions for what to post next.

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Communicating without any understandable words

At the present time my parents are in Penrith visiting family, and it had made me realise how depressing solitude can be.  But not all solitude, there is solitude when you just want to escape and be on your own for a while.  Solitude when you just want to escape everything that is familiar and be alone, but with unfamiliar people at the same time (what I am planning on doing in my travels). And solitude when you don’t have anyone to talk to, and no need to use your vocal chords for extended periods of time.

It is the final type of solitude that I will be exploring.  It is a very strange feeling when you think about not talking at all, not opening your mouth unless to eat, drink or yawn.   With even the most anti-social people at least communicating with other people in one way or another not many people experience deep solitude often.  The only true exceptions to my theory are people that purposely remove themselves from society and live alone in a small cabin only going to civilisation to get supplies.

These thoughts on solitude got me thinking what it will be like while I am on my journey, will I feel a deep loneliness of not being able to communicate with people for very extended periods of time?  But then I came to the most wonderful realisation. Vocal communication is only a very small part of it. In one of my subjects this semester we have been learning the use of communicating information with just a drawing.  We have had to build complex objects inside a CAD program with only an image and some measurements.  Therefore realising that if language is an obstacle there are so many ways left to communicate with another person that it just means that a deep political discussion is out of the question, but at least we can show how old we are with numbers, how many brothers and sisters we have with drawings and where we come from with a map.  And that is only picking at the surface of how to communicate without words.

When you listen to someone talk it is not just the words that you are listening to, it is the tone that the words are said with.  If I turned around and yelled at Sam in rage telling her that I HATE her, she would be really hurt about it, but if I said the same words to her but in a joking manner she would not even think twice about it.  Is it possible to talk to someone with only tone being the sole convener of meaning? If talking with a Moroccan he does not speak a word of English, I don’t speak a word of Arab yet can a message be passed on with only tone? If I speak in English would he understand what I was saying without me saying anything of meaning to him?

прощание I know of only one person that will be able to pronounce that, but even he would not know what it means…

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