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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 09:09 pm
  • Lunch with Mama - excellent way to spend time :)
  • Talk at UWA by Joel Cohen who currently serves in the United Nations as the Executive Officer for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Field Operations. He talked about his career with them, what they do, where they do it and what it's like for him. Very interesting.
  • Picked up a French hitchhiker and dropped him off at the airport on the way home, he was doing the travelling and fruit picking thing and had made it all around Australia and Tasmania.
  • Watched Batman: Dead End, a fan film (with a budget) made in 2003 which was good fun.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, April 26th, 2007 10:37 pm
Khadija Khaja is Assistant Professor of Social Work at Indiana University. She was born in Africa and also raised in Canada. Her specific research and practice interests include cultural traditional pracices of female circumcision; multicultural research; Muslim cultural competency in counselling; and Muslim Human Rights. She gave a very human and interesting talk on some of the issues facing Muslim women in Canada and America.

Read more... )
samvara: Photo of a fox looking thoughtful and text "Someone should do something... Oh... I'm someone" (Do something)
Wednesday, December 6th, 2006 10:49 pm
A public lecture given by sociologist Dr Susan Maushart, the author of such gems as The Mask of Motherhood: How Motherhood Changes Everything and How we Pretend it Doesn't, Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women and What Women Want Next.

She's a fabulous speaker, funny and concise with lots to say. A few things stood out for me:
  • Aggression turning out to be a lot less gendered then people thought. It seems that girls are just as capable of inappropriate aggression and poor impulse control if you grow up in a culture that constantly tells you girls kick ass.
  • The wages gap is apparently a lot smaller if you compare single men and women. It remains large if you compare parents to non-parents.
  • Women aren't necessarily happy as a result of the legal and financial changes over the last generation but women are a hell of a lot happier than their male counterparts.
  • 33% of men are likely to be still living at home at 22 compared to %15 of women.
  • Weirdness of weirdness, Australia has a much lower % of women working full time compared to the US and the UK. Ironically this is considered a beacon in the US where women have figured out what men knew all along: full time work is no way to live if you don't have a wife.
What I really liked was talking about feminism and saying that in this generation it makes more sense to talk about choices and what choices you make than political agendas. Because really, to me, motherhood isn't looking all that sexy. If I want low wages, poor hours, low status and no future I can get a job at McDonalds. Full time work and a career isn't all that sexy either, job stress, long hours, no personal life and an early heart attack doesn't sound like fun. And frankly, this is what the traditional female and male roles were looking like.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Tuesday, December 5th, 2006 12:15 pm
On an unrelated note, I'm passionately in favour of education but I'm also keen on not vanishing up our own rectums...

good grief )
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, May 18th, 2006 10:06 pm
Trekked down to UWA with [profile] mynxii for the Dean's Lecture: Detecting gravitational-waves with interferometers   - Giant detectors, precision measurement, and the search for the elusive waves delivered by Professor Nergis Mavalvala and saw some very cool things.

Interesting trivia includes:
  • massive objects need to be asymmetrical to propagate gravity waves
  • gravity waves pass through mass (as opposed to light waves which bounce, scatter or absorb)
  • gravity wave frequencies are so low they are almost in the audible range (imagine listening to the universe, literally).
Also heard a little more about LISA the Space Antenna - check out the Ripples in Space-Time animation to see an artists depiction of the gravity waves created when two massive black holes orbit, collide and merge.

Professor Nergis was fabulous and energetic and managed to make some graphs and equations pretty darn sexy. She also does a very impressive simulation of the sound of a binary inspiral as heard by a gravity wave detector.
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006 09:48 am
Pru Goward gave a talk last night on gender equality, economic growth and social / demographic sustainability. Read more... )
I plan to date school teachers, University professors and TAFE lecturers exclusively from now on :P
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, February 9th, 2006 09:34 am
I'm going to run away from home, join the circus and become a physicist.
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, February 8th, 2006 10:05 pm
PUBLIC LECTURE: Professor David Blair: EINSTEIN, BUDDHA AND MODERN COSMOLOGY: AWESOME KNOWLEDGE AND THE SEARCH FOR ENLIGHTENMENT.

Very spammy, incoherent rave about lecture )
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, October 13th, 2005 10:39 am
Very enjoyable. A UWA Extension talk - low on serious information but high on charm and trivia. A sort of high speed science patter.

High points included some detailed extrapolations on grandmother deaths of uni students around exam times, why 7.5 stories is the most dangerous height for a cat to fall from, the amount of universal energy contained in the average nostril, the C2H5OH content of the universe and why creativity in engineering is so important.
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, September 21st, 2005 10:43 pm
It appears they did it because

a) They could
b) It was easily distributed advertising material
c) It was convenient to pay mercenaries

The talk was given by the delightful and extremely old Associate Professor John Melville Jones who passed on a wealth of information about creation, composition, ornamentation and distribution. He ended his talk by showing us images of his favourite coins ‘because they are the most beautiful’.
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Monday, August 29th, 2005 06:00 pm
Mon, 29 Aug 2005 18:00 - University Club Theatre Auditorium

Was very interesting, Professor Hanoch Gutfreund went through some of Einstein's major achievements. He told some wonderful anecdotes and was generally charming, witty and full of deep admiration for Einstein as a physicist and a human being.

Read more... )
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, August 25th, 2005 08:57 am
DR KARL KRUSZELNICKI: GREAT MOMENTS IN THE FUTURE Tue 7-9pm Oct 11
THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA AND ITS LIBRARY Wed 7-8.30pm Sep 7 14 21 28
IMPROVE YOUR ANCIENT GREEK Sun 1.30-3.30pm Oct 2 9 16 23 Nov 6 13

Bookings: http://www.extension.uwa.edu.au (in the Intellectual Adventures section).
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 09:29 am
Paul at UWA in the Human Movement area is looking for more people for his weight-loss through exercise gym program.

If you think you could get to UWA for 1 hour, 3 times a week and want a reasonably gentle regime then let me know and I'll introduce you – anyone who fits into the category of 'could lose some weight' is eligible.

You get a free, 3 month personally managed gym program and he gets lab bunnies to measure for his control group.

Getting started involves a fitness test, a stress test (mandatory UWA thingy to make sure the exercise doesn't kill you) and a DEXA scan1 – which is the –real- reason to do this.

1DEXA Scan = Full body composition scan, you can find out how much bone, lean muscle and fat you have AND it comes out in a pretty picture!
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 08:43 am
Wed, 27 Jul 2005 19:00 - University Club Theatre Auditorium, UWA Am planning on going - anyone else interested?

Cancelled due to George Ellis being 'trapped in Africa.' He has my sympathy - happens to me all the time.

Have met [livejournal.com profile] juffles' new housemate C. who is delightful and fun and made me tea - we dragged him off to the talk and had one of those amusingly farcical travelling experiences whereby we navigated through ignorance and charm4.

The desserts at the University Club Auditorium3 are excellent and I recommend them to anyone who happens to be in desperate need of very good chocolate or sticky pudding.

My poor Lambert failed to start on leaving [livejournal.com profile] juffles' place - it seems the clamp holding the battery down has failed me and the contact bounced off - am driving in a very sedate2 fashion and have lashed the whole thing in place with some string and a rubber band1

1It was a BIG rubber band.
2I may have to reinstate the Reckless Driving Frog.
3Very posh. No students in sight. The boys were worried they wouldn't let us eat there
4Found some people preparing for some sort of performance and asked a smallish anthropoid mountain for directions.
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Nemo)
Wednesday, June 1st, 2005 07:30 pm
Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem and The Code Book, talks about his latest book, Big Bang, a history of cosmology. As well as explaining what the Big Bang theory actually is, Simon will recount how the theory emerged and tell the story of the brilliant and eccentric scientists who fought against the establishment idea of an eternal and unchanging cosmos. He will also look at the astronomical evidence in favour of a Big Bang moment of creation and discuss why today's cosmologists remain confident that the Big Bang theory is an accurate description of the origin and evolution of the universe. The lecture is likely to include Led Zeppelin, the teletubbies and an electrified gherkin.

ED: It did indeed include an electrified gerkhin - not quite enough to read by but should I ever run out of lightbulbs I know I'll be able to amuse myself by the light of a pickled cucumber on 240V.

Talk was very amusing and chatty, was hoping for more science content but it was pitched a little low.
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, March 9th, 2005 10:19 pm
Mongolia is still a fabulous place, incredibly beautiful.

Am fascinated that the nomad tribes are constantly on the move, even under huge pressure from the Russian government; to give up their lifestyle and settle in villages; they clung to their traditional lifestyle.

David quoted a man from the Reindeer people as saying "My ancestors are here, the meaning of my life and family is here, my happiness is here."

It's this contrast between owning very little and having no permanent home - so there is this perception that they have no attachments - and yet being deeply, deeply tied to the land and it's history to the point where they would rather die than leave. If *I* was told my children and flocks would survive if I moved to a village, and it was health related as opposed to status / wealth related I would not hesitate to move.

Innate Culture )
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 09:23 am
Impulse enrolled self in a short course on Mongolia. 1st lecture looking good, much trivia to be had by all. David obviously loves Mongolia and it's people.

Left woofer with the Beast to play with Wendy for the day and came to collect him afterwards to find the backyard destroyed and Beast regretfully saying he didn't think he could face another day of it. My woofer is a bad influence - although Wendy ate the boot all on her lonesome.


MONGOLIA: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GHENGIS KHAN )
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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, December 15th, 2004 09:51 pm

Was presented by Professor Sergio Della Sala. Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience and Honorary Consultant in Neurology University of Edinburgh and the Raine Foundation Visiting Professor in 2004 .

It was also witty, informative and thoroughly enjoyable.

and has a fabulous demonstration where you fail to see a man in a gorilla suit.
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