General updates 2011: February

As usual, a little about what I’ve been doing lately, and some interesting links.

Cricket T-shirt design

I work part time at a local graphic design place, where I’m one of a team of staff who have no training other than what we’ve learned on the job. (As opposed to the other staff, who do have some academic training and sit on the other side of the room handling more responsibility.) Often, several of us grunts are given the same design project to work on so that a client can choose the best of our ideas. Sometimes the client picks mine, which is lovely.

In a recent project, we designed T-shirts for a cricket team based in Nelson, Victoria. Our instructions boiled down to: white on red, with “Nelson Cricket Team” across the back, and “NCT” on the front (left breast area). My design was selected, and here’s what I came up with for the front and back of the shirt. Do you like it? (Personally I care very little about cricket, but I still hope my design brings them good luck.)

The Nelson cricket team is not very high-profile. I can only find one photograph online, and that was taken in 1929. Eighty-two years later is perhaps time for a new photograph, with the team wearing their new T-shirts. I’m told there might be something upcoming on that front

Cooking tip

This is just a little culinary anecdote.

Only one brand of diced bacon is sold in local supermarkets, and the packaging annoys me. Basically, the tubs are too small, so that it’s very difficult to get some bacon out without spilling more of it. For this reason, I’ve recently switched to buying an alternative pork product sold as “bacon style rindless pieces”, which are not quite the same but happen to come in sensibly-sized packages. The first time I tried this substitution I didn’t like it, but I’ve discovered it tastes OK if you add a dash of olive oil before microwaving – it has a lot less fat than true bacon, so the oil makes up for the fat it doesn’t have. It also needs to be cooked a little longer than true bacon does.

Related: I also got myself a new bottle of olive oil. A taller, thinner bottle, better for pouring small quantities.

Interesting links

I sent my friend Elsha a music CD (among other things) for Christmas, and now she’s written about a couple of the songs on her blog. Here’s the first installment and here’s the second. I left a comment on the first one.

I learned this month about a major research project collecting data on the Australian accent. It’s called AusTalk, and I eagerly filled in the online form letting them know I wish to volunteer.

Babel’s Dawn: The Book is on my list of presents to buy for myself next Christmas. (At this stage there’s no description or anything, but I follow the blog it’s based on so I hardly need one.)

At some point, you’ve probably taken part in a conversation where you and your friends/siblings/parents/whatever speculated about things that would be invented in the future. I remember one such conversation from my childhood in which Dad rather facetiously suggested spray-on clothing. Well, guess what? It’s here. In my opinion, a lovely idea for a novelty product, but not really very practical. You couldn’t spray your own without eyes in the back of your head, and the stuff would get all over the far wall.

Brian Switek wrote a very interesting article about the dodo and the artists responsible for its biologically inaccurate popular image.

Phil Plait posted a special Valentine’s Day blog post about hearts in space. I knew about two of them. Also includes one amazing heart in a mathematical equation.

Fruit flies can smell the difference between hydrogen and deuterium.

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