James Purser's blog

A call out for People who science!

Right, there is just over two weeks to go until the inaugeral episode of Lunchtime Science and I am looking for People Who Science to interview for the show.

What I am looking to do is a ten minute segment where we introduce the Person Who Sciences and the project they are currently working on. We'll record it using Skype, either skype to skype or skype to phone, or in rare occasions, in real life.

So if you know anyone who's doing science and you think they would be worth talking to, please let me know. Ping me via the following:

First thoughts on the Wollongong/Shellharbour Merger

So we finally have some actual detail about how the proposed Wollongong/Shellharbour LGA merger might work. Not just the fluff about "so many millions" that might be spent, but actual structural information.

First off let's have a look at how the proposed new LGA is going to work from a representative point of view.

Wollongong currently has the following:

A return to regular podcasting

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I have been incredibly bad at getting my podcasting going again. Apart from one episode of Purser Explores The World (which I need to repush because of the site breakage a little while back) I did absolutely nothing last year.

This is very bad.

So I've set myself a target. Starting on the 5th of February I am going to produce a weekly Lunch Time Science podcast. It will be half an hour long, and have the following format:

Looking to move to Drupal 8 for Angry Beanie.

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Ever since Drupal 8 dropped (I honestly thought it wasn't going to drop until at least late 2016) I've been looking for a project to test it out. I could move this blog over to it, but I was thinking a bit more adventurously and thought I could have a look at setting up a seperate site for the For Science! show.

Well.

Slight problem.

While core Drupal 8 appears to be solid, the third party module set, especially those that deal with media handling seem to be well behind in terms of development.

Renting vs Owning, a quick calculation

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So we rent, we always have. Not from any sort of ideological resistance to owning a house or anything, we just haven't been in the position where it's been a thing we could even consider until now.

A new job has put us into a position where we could start looking at the vague possibility of buying a house, committing to a mortgage and so on. So I've been looking around both at the houses available in the area (I like Dapto, I don't particularly want to move), and at the sort of money we would need to be paying out fortnightly.

A little blogging hiccup

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So I ran into a bit of a hiccup a few weeks back.

An update managed to corrupt the database files that ran this blog and a few other sites. I tried to recover them, but it turns out that InnoDB files are notoriously finicky, so I had to turn to the backups.

Sigh. Last backup was in June.

Well in the washup, it wasn't a great loss, only five blog posts and an episode of Purser Explores The World need to be replaced.

On the upside, I've switched from the vanilla mysql to MariaDB, so we'll see how that goes.

So Bill is going to bring a Bill

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So Bill Shorten has announced that he and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersec will be putting a bill to the house to allow Same Sex Marriage.

Honestly I'm torn.

Movement at the Angry Beanie station

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Good news everybody!

This week I've started pulling everything together to bring both For Science! and Purser Explores The World back to the internet airwaves :)

I won't reveal what the return episode of Purser Explores The World is going to be about, but suffice to say it's going to continue the same explorations and interview style that previous episodes had.

Tired but looking up

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Ye gods I'm tired.

Mostly I think this is due to the prodigious amount of travel that I've been doing to Melbourne for work, which while interesting, has left me with very little time to get a handle on things that I want to do outside of work.

There is a light on the horizon though, it looks like the Melbourne sojourne is coming to an end, and that means that at the very least psychologically I can start looking at committing to doing things around Angry Beanie that I've been meaning to do for the past six months.

So here's a rundown of the tasks I've set myself.

On Super Hero Movies and worthiness

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This was originally going to be a comment on this post over at the Guardian

Yeah so here's the thing. Hollywood isn't about worthy (in the academic sense), has never been about worthy as a business model.

Rather it's about bums on seats. From the time before they invented talkies the whole business is about making sure that people spend their hard earned cash watching the studios movie rather than someone elses.