It’s Alive in Brisbane: Pretty Possum

14 04 2010

Finally, I have been able to photograph something living in the Brisbane area that wasn’t a water dragon. I was getting worried they might have eaten everything else.

Actually, I have seen other living things, I just have not had my camera with me when I have seen them.

The rusty critter above was spotted at the QUT Kelvin Grove campus as I came home from the bus stop after ice skating. Possums are pretty common to be spotted on campus at night, and I have seen at least one during the day time.

Later on, closer to my unit, spotted one hanging upside down on a wire outside someone’s house. Thankfully they didn’t notice me taking flash photography outside their window, which may have been a little difficult to explain easily.


Something smells fishy about this sushi

5 04 2010

Click frame for complete comic at Ménage á 3 (NB: comics can be NSFW).

One of the activities that has seen me diverted from blogging duties has been a Japanese language group I joined last year.

Despite Brisbane and Queensland in general being a popular destination for Japanese in Australia, the Japanese students and visitors I’ve met complain it is hard to find authentic Japanese cuisine. With sushi bars approximately every 200 meters, it may seem difficult to believe. But even I notice that many of the city’s sushi bars are actually owned an/or staffed by Koreans (complete with Korean signs, Korean pop star posters, and Korean community papers and zines on display etc.).

Korean restauranteurs posing as Japanese is not anything entirely new or restricted to just Brisbane or Australia (Ménage is set in Montreal, and here is an article with the Japanese government wagging a finger at L.A.). Why does it happen?

I can’t find anything exactly investigating the phenomenon. I don’t think it is because old war issues, because they are as likely to be with Japanese as Koreans. And I don’t think it is because people don’t like Korean food, because, at least in Brisbane there are still plenty of of Korean restaurants around. Anyone know of another suggestion? Perhaps it is just that there are some Koreans who open Japanese restaurants.

It’s Alive in Brisbane: Junior Dragon

22 09 2009

Even the animals in Brisbane are friendlier than Sydney ones.

The waterdragons in the Mount Coot-tha gardens are not intimidated by some human company. Three waterdragons swam across the Japanese ponds to let some friends and I get a closer look, including this little juvenile:

Juve Waterdragon 002

Juve Waterdragon 004

Very sure these are Eastern Waterdragons – same as this one I saw in Lane Cove earlier in the year (I’ll also sheepishly admit that I may have thought the adults were frilled neck lizards when I first saw them – but quickly realised they weren’t).

Build yourself a brain

21 07 2009

Sydney does not have a monopoly on public science outreach in Australia.

This upcoming month the Queensland Brain Institute (at University of Queensland) is hosting a bunch of public lectures on neuroscience.

Wednesday, 22 July — Associate Professor Geoff Goodhill
Computational Neuroscience Laboratory, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland
“Building a Brain – wiring the brain”
Level 7 Auditorium, QBI, St Lucia Campus — 3.305.30 pm

Wednesday, 29 July — Professor Seong-Seng Tan
Senior Principal Research Fellow, Brain Development Laboratory, Howard Florey Institute, University of Melbourne
“Building a Brain – harm minimization following injury
Level 7 Auditorium, QBI, St Lucia Campus — 3.305.30 pm

Wednesday, 5 August — Professor Dennis O’Leary
Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, California
Building a Brain – building the cerebral cortex
Level 7 Auditorium, QBI, St Lucia Campus — 3.305.30 pm

Thursday, 13 August — Prof. Michael T. Shipley
University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
“Building a Brain – deciphering functional circuits in the brain
Level 7 Auditorium, QBI, St Lucia Campus — 3.305.30 pm

Directions to the QBI can be found on their website here.

Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to make any of these because of late lectures and working evenings. Awwww…

Today is special

20 07 2009

Today was the first day of classes for my Graduate Diploma.

It only consisted of a lecture and tutorial for our field studies unit – but for some reason QUT has two hour lectures. Not that I am complaining or anything. At least one good thing you can expect from the education faculty is that the lecturers know how to teach.

Today was included some discussion on teaching/learning, as well as what exactly this “Middle Years” thing that I signed up for was actually about. There was also fruitful discussion on creating and developing our personal teaching philosophy – which in addition to our performance on pracs will form a major part of our assessment for this unit. In reflection, perhaps I should work towards obtaining the required texts for classes, they may actually be useful (then again everything does seem to be downloadable from the Blackboard site).

Some statistical information that came out of today included (note: some of these were dated 1998 and 2000*):

  • 1 in 5 school students in Australia are affected by poverty
  • 1 in 4 school students come from a culturally diverse background
  • 83% of school students with a disability attend a regular school
  • 18% of school students have a parent with a disability
  • less than 40% of ATSI (Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) children finish high school at a year 12 level
  • roughly 30% of pre-service teachers are “career switchers”
  • $21 million is spent on stress leave for Australia’s teachers each year

The last one was perhaps not the most encouraging thing to hear on our first day (but I guess at least it’s not $22 million, and remember these are only Aussie dollars, they quite literally give them away).

Image credit: Exploding dog

*They were also scrawled hurriedly in my notepad so may be less than acccurate

Behold the UggCroc

16 07 2009

Pic: UggCroc at the Valley Markets (yes, it’s what you think), originally uploaded by David Jackmanson. (Creative Commons by Attribution)

Pure Awesome.

Moving in pictures

12 07 2009
From this:
North Sydney view of Harbour


To this:

The Derelict


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