mikal is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Michael Still
Member since: 2000-11-26 23:39:54
Last Login: 2008-07-03 11:17:16

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Homepage: http://www.stillhq.com/

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Recent blog entries by mikal

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Oryx and Crake




ISBN: 9780385721677
LibraryThing
I bought this book ages ago, on the recommendation of a friend (I don't remember who), but I only just got around to reading it. Its a hard book to read in places -- its not hopeful, or particularly fun, and its confronting in places -- especially the plot that revolves around child exploitation. There's very little to like about the future society that Atwood posits here, but perhaps that's the point.

Despite not being a happy fun story, the book made me think about things like genetic engineering in a way I didn't before and I think that's what Atwood was seeking to achieve. So I'd have to describe the book as a success.

Tags for this post: book margaret_atwood apocalypse genetic_engineering
Related posts: The Exterminator's Want Ad; Cyteen: The Vindication; East of the Sun, West of the Moon; The White Dragon; Runner; Cyteen: The Betrayal


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Syndicated 2016-05-27 03:07:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Potato Point

I went to Potato Point with the Scouts for a weekend wide game. Very nice location, apart from the ticks!

                                       

See more thumbnails

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20160523 photo coast scouts bushwalk
Related posts: Exploring the Jagungal; Scout activity: orienteering at Mount Stranger

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Syndicated 2016-05-22 18:21:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

High Output Management




ISBN: 9780679762881
LibraryThing
A reading group of managers at work has been reading this book, except for the last chapter which we were left to read by ourselves. Overall, the book is interesting and very readable. Its a little dated, being all excited with the invention of email and some unfortunate gender pronouns, but if you can get past those minor things there is a lot of wise advice here. I'm not sure I agree with 100% of it, but I do think the vast majority is of interest. A well written book that I'd recommend to new managers.

Tags for this post: book andy_gove management intel non_fiction
Related posts: Being Geek; On Cars; Why document management is good; The Man in the Rubber Mask; Perl sample source code; Cataloguing meta data against multi media formats


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Syndicated 2016-04-23 01:30:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Bad Pharma




ISBN: 9780007350742
LibraryThing
Another excellent book by Ben Goldacre. In this book he argues that modern medicine is terribly corrupted by the commercial forces that act largely unchecked in the marketplace -- studies which don't make a new drug look good go missing; new drugs are compared only against placebo and not against the current best treatment; doctors are routinely bribed with travel, training and small perks. Overall I'm left feeling like things haven't improved much since this book was published, given that these behaviors still seem common.

The book does offer concrete actions that we could take to fix things, but I don't see many of these happening any time soon, which is a worrying place to be. Overall, a disturbing but important read.

Tags for this post: book ben_goldacre medicine science corruption non_fiction
Related posts: Bad Science; Sixty five roses (Cystic Fibrosis); On Cars; Being Geek; Audio from linux.conf.au 2005 continued; Lemon juice as a cure for AIDS?


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Syndicated 2016-04-20 16:53:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

Exploring the Jagungal

Peter Thomas kindly arranged for a variety of ACT Scout leaders to take a tour of the Jagungal portion of Kosciuszko National Park under the guidance of Robert Green. Robert is very experienced with this area, and has recently written a book. Five leaders from the Macarthur Scout Group decided to go along on this tour and take a look at our hiking options in the area.

The first challenge is getting to the area. The campsite we used for the first day is only accessible to four wheel drive vehicles -- the slope down to the camp site from Nimmo Plain is quite rocky and has some loose sections. That said, the Landcruiser I was in had no trouble making the trip, and the group managed to get two car style four wheel drives into the area without problems as well. The route to Nimmo Plain from the south of Canberra is as follows:

Interactive map for this route.

We explored two areas which are both a short drive from Nimmo Plain. We in fact didn't explore anything at Nimmo Plain itself, but as the intermediate point where the road forks it makes sense to show that bit of route first. From Nimmo Plain, it you turn left you end up where we camped for the first day, which is a lovely NWPS camp site with fire pits, a pit toilet, and trout in the river.

The route to that camp site is like this:

Interactive map for this route.

From this campsite we did a 14km loop walk, which took in a series of huts and ruins along relatively flat and easy terrain. There are certainly good walking options here for Scouts, especially those which don't particularly like hills. The route for the first day was like this:

Interactive map for this route.

Its a fantastic area, very scenic without being difficult terrain...

                                           

As you can see from the pictures, life around the camp fire that evening was pretty hard. One note on the weather though -- even at the start of April we're already starting to see very cool overnight weather in this area, with a definite frost on the tents and cars in the morning. I wouldn't want to be hiking in this area much later in the season than this without being prepared for serious cold weather.

   

The next day we drove back to Nimmo Plain and turned right. You then proceed down a dirt road that is marked as private property, but has a public right of way through to the national park. At the border of the park you can leave the car again and go for another walk. The route to this second entrance to the park is like this:

Interactive map for this route.

                     

This drive on the second morning involved a couple of river crossings, with some representative pictures below. Why does the red Landcruiser get to do the crossing three times? Well that's what happens when you forget to shut the gate...

                                                   

Following that we did a short 5km return walk to Cesjack's Hut, which again wasn't scenic at all...

Interactive map for this route.

                                     

I took some pictures on the drive home too of course...

             

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20160409-jagungal photo kosciuszko scouts bushwalk
Related posts: Scout activity: orienteering at Mount Stranger

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Syndicated 2016-04-11 00:17:00 from stillhq.com : Mikal, a geek from Canberra living in Silicon Valley (no blather posts)

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