General Updates 2011: June

Upcoming Europe holiday

We will soon be visiting Germany and then England (for about a week and a half each). This is primarily because a German friend of ours is getting married, but of course we’ll do some touristy things too (e.g. I want to visit the Kepler Museum). If I have any readers out there who’d like to meet, please do get in touch. We leave on August 20.

My birthday party

… didn’t go exactly as planned. But I had guests who were determined to make the most of it.

I’d ordered pizzas online from Dominos a few days in advance, and instructed that they be delivered on Saturday June 11 at 6:45pm. But they didn’t arrive. At about 7:15 I phoned the store and they were able to look up my order and recite it correctly, but they indicated apologetically that they were having a very busy evening. So we kept waiting, but no pizzas arrived. I, for one, was feeling very tired and hungry. And no matter how busy they were, someone who goes to the trouble of ordering in advance is entitled to be prioritised.

An hour or so later, my sister was on the phone and learned that the pizzas hadn’t even been made, because apparently a computer error of some sort meant that the order had never been printed out and given to the appropriate staff. We got the pizzas half an hour after that, which was a full two hours after they were supposed to arrive.

The five pizzas, including delivery, cost $72. My sister negotiated with the delivery guy (who knew nothing about the delay), and after a phone call with his manager we got them for $50. For a two-hour delay in the delivery of food that eight people were depending on, I’m not sure that’s good enough.

I invited nine people, seven of whom made it. The two who didn’t were my sister’s husband, to whom the weather gods had allocated farming duties, and my friend Julia, who I’d got to know at work and was looking forward to introducing to my family. But however disappointed I was at the time, in the end I was glad Julia couldn’t come because I would not have wanted to put her through the torment of waiting for food.

Enough of the bad news. Here’s a photo of one of the desserts Mum made. The layers are: instant pudding, raspberry jelly with embedded mulberries, and lime jelly.

We played the parlour game known by various names including Telephone Pictionary (blogged about previously here and here). Excerpts from the game:


A while ago, I sponsored an episode of the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. I recently got a sponsorship badge in the mail, and here’s a photograph of Popeye the Monkey wearing it.

I’m actually working on an episode of my own (yet to be officially proposed), based on the solar system song I wrote earlier in the year. My idea is to intersperse verses of the song with commentary on the astronomical concepts alluded to in the lyrics. The song was originally meant to be aired in a future episode by Bob Hirshon, along with other people’s submissions, but this hasn’t happened; I suspect because not enough people wrote songs.


I talked about the 3QD Science Prize candidates last time. Of my personal favourites, one made the semifinalists, but none made the finalists. Winners are here.

We’re learning more about the very edge of the solar system. For example, it turns out the heliosheath is full of bubbles.

Earworm guaranteed to infect science fiction fans. This is a tribute to women in TV science fiction and excellent all round.

I’ve been watching some great astronomy videos on Youtube. Very artistic.

The British Guardian newspaper is running a competition to invent common names to help popularise ten endangered species (closes in a few days, with winners decided in early July). For this, I suggested Neptune’s Pencilcase. For this, I suggested naming it after this food blogger. The fact that my suggestion has no chance of approval is beside the point.

After a terribly long haitus, the Living In Oblivion blog is back! Basically, the blogger created a character in an adventure game who never has any adventures, and shares that character’s daily life of adventure-avoidance while playing the game. Highly recommended for story lovers. The newest episode is here, and to help you catch up, I’ve created a very large PDF of all the previous episodes (or you can read them from the blog archive if you prefer).

3 Responses to “General Updates 2011: June”

  1. dupersude Says:

    So is it safe to assume you won’t be updating the PDF with Chris’ future updates?

  2. Flesh-eating Dragon Says:

    No updates, sorry. :-) It’s something I did for myself because I wanted to refresh my memory on everything pre-haitus, and then thought might be useful for others. No motivation to keep updating it. Might possibly make new version when Chris declares the blog finished, but no plans. Will decide that when the time comes.

  3. dupersude Says:

    Okay, that’s cool. Thanks for the confirmation!

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