Archives for : Environment & People

    Panda Live Cam – Adelaide

    The Adelaide Zoo Giant Pandas

    Wang Wang

    Wang Wang (“Net Net”)

    Born: 31/08/05 at Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre, China

    Personality: He is a very laid-back and placid boy. Like all Giant Pandas, he loves to snooze but can usually roused by a fresh stalk of bamboo.

    Wang Wang’s Family Tree


    Funi (“Lucky Girl”)

    Born: 23/08/06 at Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre, China

    Personality: She is very active and playful and often makes excited mewing vocalisations at feeding time. She is also very intelligent, curious and loves to explore.

    Funi’s Family Tree

    Live Panda Cams

    Checkout the latest addition to the Adelaide Zoo. You will need Quicktime to see the live Cams.

    Thanks to Adam Internet for providing the feeds.

    The Internet is the modern day electricity

    Recently I have been been sorting through some of my old electronic engineering books and found myself randomly flicking through circuit design principals and practical electronics/radio theory application of calculus.

    I remember the amount of hours I spent trying to get the different laws (Faraday, Coulomb, Kirchhoff, Lenz, Ohm, etc.) stuck in my head ready for the gruelling exams at the end of each term. I quickly realised that as I have moved from radio/electronics to the computer industry that most of my applied detailed knowledge has been lost.

    I think the old adage that you loose it if you don’t use it, definitely applies here.


    This got me thinking about the evolution of computing and the Internet and how there are many parallels to the introduction of electricity to the modern world and how we consider/use the Internet today.

    Examples that came to mind are:

    • Electricity was originally only available to business and the very wealthy
    • Electricity was originally only available in isolated segments of heavily populated areas
    • Electricity grids, once created, provided many more distribution opportunities, introduced redundancy and increased the customer reach which in-turn provided economies of scale to drive down costs
    • Modern society can not function without electricity
    • Electricity production methods and the resulting pollution has had a profound effect on our planet, where the production of consumer electronics and infrastructure supporting the never ending thirst of modern society for faster, more feature rich, communication methods. This is still spiralling out of control through the production of extraordinary high levels of non-recyclable waist, heavy metals and other planet destroying bi-products
    • Electricity has been essential to survive in modern day society for some time.

    The internet is quickly becoming (some would argue has become) essential to survival in our modern society and required to be available to all socio-economic groups and developing countries to allow them to participate in the global economy.

    But at what cost?

    Adelaide City to Bay

    Some pictures from the city to bay walk/run.

    I did the 12 km walk. It was a great day for it.

    Kathy’s School – a school building project in Cambodia.

    Please visit the fundrasing site in support of “Kathy’s School” – a school building project in Cambodia. The school was the dream of Kathy Hutchinson, who sacrificed much of her time for the underprivileged children of Cambodia. Sadly, Kathy passed away in April this year, but her dream is now being pursued by her family. To find out more about Kathy’s life, the nature of the project, upcoming fundrasing events and how you can donate, please take the time to browse the site. Your support would be greatly appreciated, and make a significant difference to the children of Cambodia.

    Donations Page


    Kathy's School Project



    Lethal Toxins Entering Your Body

    I recently read an article in a magazine and was shocked to see some of the toxic dangers which modern living introduce. Australian Men’s Health April 2008, by Susan Casey, pg 87.

    I thought I would expand on this article here as a method of analysing some of the things Kerry and I need to be careful of. I hope this also assists others in understanding some of these dangers.

    “Except for the small amount that’s been incinerated every bit of plastic ever manufactured still exists”




    Bottles (marked with a #7 in a triangle)

    Cling wrap and plastic takeaway containers (marked with a #7)



    Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic oestrogen, which can leach into the bottle’s contents when heated.span>

    Phthalates, a probable human carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, can seep into food (especially fatty foods, such as delis meats and cheeses).

    Linked to

    Prostate cancer, reduced sperm count and reproductive-organ abnormalities, according to US studies at the universities of Missouri, Chicago and Cincinnati.

    Reproductive problems like undescended testes and low sperm count, reveal researchers at New York’s University of Rochester and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US.

    How to reduce your exposure

    Pots, pans and bottles made from stainless steel are a non-toxic alternative. If you’re using polycarbonate, keep it out of the dishwasher and replace it every 60 days or if it’s scratched. Plastic releases toxins over tie when damaged or exposed to high heat.

    Keep it out of microwave and dishwasher. Don’t store fatty or acidic foods in these containers, rather use waxed paper and buy meat wrapped in paper from the butcher. If you use plastic-wrapped cuts, trim the edges off where the product touched the wrapping.




    Polystyrene cups and takeaway containers (marked with a #6)

    Fast-food containers (with waxy lining) and non-stick (Teflon) pans.

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), used in vinyl flooring, shower curtains and car interiors.



    Styrene, a possible human carcinogen, can leah into the contents of the cup.

    Perfluoro-octanoic acid (PFOA), a grease-repelling flourotelomer chemical and likely human carcinogen, can transfer from the waxy-plastic coating onto the food inside, especially at high temperatures.

    Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen that gives off gas into the surrounding air, so it’s inhaled instead of ingested.span>

    Linked to

    Cancer, warn scientists at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development and the World Health Organisations International Agency for Research on Cancer.

    Cancer, lung and kidney damage, according to studies at the EPA and Environmental Working Group in the US.

    Cancer and liver damage, predicts both the EA and the Centre for Health and Environmental Justice in the US.

    How to reduce your exposure

    Never drink hot liquids out of polystyrene ups. Use paper ones (those without a wax lining) whenever possible or a ceramic coffee mug. If your takeaway comes in polystyrene, transfer it to ceramic dish or glass as soon as possible.

    The best alternatives to drive-through and delivery are sit-down restaurants and home cooking. At home, never use Teflon-coated pans. If you own any, replace with non-toxic cookware made from copper, cast iron or stainless steel.

    Use natural materials for home flooring. Buy a shower curtain made from hemp, which lasts longer and is naturally mildew-resistant. New vinyl gives off aerial toxins at highly concentrated levels, so open windows to air spaces where this material is present.


    These are also great articles: