Little wonder we stumble in life.


I’ve been interested in palaeontology ever since I saw Walking with Dinosaurs when I was younger. I used to have common daydreams of me as a palaeontologist sometimes. I would specialise in dinosaurs/animals from the south, or else strictly Australia.

Australia is basically the wild west of palaeontology. While countless dinosaurs have been discovered in North America, a minimal amount in comparison have been found in Australia. When I was younger, seeing the large variety of dinosaurs known, especially in America as well as China and others, I started wondering about Australia, expecting the same.

Not mention that sea level isn’t something they generally show on the ancient maps, and is something else I’ve wondered about ever since I learned that America was underwater in a large portion from Texas up to Canada at one point. That’s another thing about Australia I really want to know about. And I don’t just mean at one point; I want to know it all.

I never even considered New Zealand.


By Offeiriad, Staff News Writer

Fossilised remains of one of the largest penguinsever, an “elegant” giant standing 1.3 metres (52 inches) tall, have been found in New Zealand, scientists said Tuesday.

The penguin lived 27-24 million years ago, when New Zealand was mostly underwater and consisted of isolated, rocky outcrops that offered protection from predators and plentiful food supplies, researchers said.

The first traces of the penguin, dubbed Kairuku — Maori for diver who returns with food — were found embedded in a cliff at Waimate in the South Island by University of Otago paleontologist professor Ewen Fordyce in 1977.

Over the years, Fordyce discovered more complete remains and invited University of North Carolina specialist Dan Ksepka to help reconstruct the lost giant in 2009.

They determined the bird was much larger than the biggest modern penguin, the Emperor, which grows up to 1.0-metres, and weighed in at 60…

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I was just thinking recently of the term “monkeying around”, specifically in relation to our resemblance to primates. Dad started watching an old movie recently, in fact, that directly made reference to that very thing: a movie from the 60s called Bikini Beach.

But this also reminds me of Japanese monkeys; when I was reading Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson, one of the Japanese people he hitched a ride from was a professor from Tokyo University, and spent all the time in the car telling Will all about Japanese monkeys.

He also said that Japanese monkeys, like Japanese people, are different than the rest of the world’s people because they have shorter tongues and longer intestines. This means that they have more trouble digesting certain foods and find it harder saying complicated sounds. I think of that often now when I think about Japanese people.

Finally, the reference to Nagano reminds me of a Japanese exam I had once in which I had to read a passage and answer the questions. It was about a ski lodge in Nagano and the not-impressive impression the Australians made on the Japanese people there. It was actually kind of funny. (And of course, there was an Australian in the blog above).

Hey from Japan- or wherever the moving van arrives- Emily Cannell

While the rest of the world celebrates the Year of the Dragon, the Clampitt clan has been in a parallel universe celebrating the Year of the Monkey. Primates, those in addition to the hairless version in my family, have participated in most of our family vacations throughout the past year. Orangutans, lemurs, (are they monkeys? I`m counting them) macaques of various renditions, and dozens of others I can`t name have blessed us with their howling presence. Having never observed a monkey outside a zoo, this led me to evaluate their presence whereby I concluded it`s my fault. I`ve been abusing monkeys for years- karmically speaking- and now the karmic monkeys are on my back.

It started innocently when as a child I swung from one monkey bar to the next.

In the 70`s I learned that people recovering from heroin addiction wore leather monkey fists around their necks.

My favorite…

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Sim-ulated Life vs. The Real Thing

Recently, I’ve gotten really into The Sims.

I was invited into playing it on facebook by Casey, a friend of my sisters that I know fairly well (particularly besides her many more leagues of friends). I had never played the Sims before, and thought it would be fun.

I’m addicted.

Considering as it’s a social game, and I’m not so good with social interaction on a wide scale, I don’t know how long it’ll last, especially considering that this is my latest fad. This is what I meant recently when I told mum I was fickle; which, considering that idea alone, I suppose means our society is fickle.

Here’s the thing: when I was younger, rejected by my peers as I was in primary school, I promised myself I would be different than that.

When I got older, and started writing, I learned one troubling and disappointing thing about myself. I would write one thing for a little while, I would change my mind often and switch to another, or simply give up one what I was doing; I was fickle. Blame it on my generation.

For the record, I don’t think I should have to give examples. There are plenty and everywhere; actors, TV shows, songs, even food. And we extend this same lack of focus to our own lives too, like I did with my writing.

I like Sims because it’s like looking into someone else’s life. That’s good for a writer. I also want to use it as a lesson to try and understand social processes better.

Sometimes I wish it was as simple as it is in Sims. In Sims, I never have a problem with hygiene any more than sleep, or bathroom breaks, or hunger. I wish I could just have a little button to tell me when I’m due for something, but I don’t have that sense too strongly in me like I assume everyone else does.

Sometimes I wish it was that easy to do something at will, like fall asleep. Sometimes it’s hard to just fall asleep, even when I am sleepy. Like it feels like I can’t just fall straight to sleep like my Sim does, even when her sleep button is full.

Plus the fact that my Sim seems to have unlimited free time. If only real life was like that.

In real life, of course, it’s more than just a detached image of yourself (or someone outside yourself) moving around on the screen. It’s more complicated, more detailed and more physical. But doesn’t it seem so easy watching it all as you sit there?

So easy that you might want to go out there and try it. And then you find there’s more to it than you thought. It never is what it seems, is it?

When I watch The Biggest Loser, at the very least when I do, I watch them exercise and think, ‘Yeah, I could do that. Easy. Don’t know what they’re whining about.’ Recently, I have been going to the gym (Virgin). It’s not as easy as it looks.

I have memories of feelings, just feelings. It seems like a common type of memory for me, as I’m not good at recalling scene memories at will; I’ve tried. I remember finding it easy, not fully registering the burn of exercise. When I watch the contestants on Biggest Loser (around the house, we call them the “Big, Fat Losers” as a joke, and the show as well), I wonder why they don’t just do that.

Now I know better. Because it’s hard.

Awhile ago, I was told that women are stronger in their legs, and men stronger in their arms. I always considered that a factor in why men think themselves stronger than women in general; because strength in your legs is less obvious, and certainly not something you can go around showing off.

The simple fact of it, though, became apparent in the gym recently. I tried shoulder presses and one other, and I could barely make it to ten. The legs were simple, and on the second machine, I even made it to twenty, easy.

Not that I thought that at the start of the workout, on the bikes. But like my memories (but different, because the workout pain was ever present) I could manage to block out the pain — as long as I had something to distract me. In this case, TV. (Big Bang and Whose Line.)

On the cool down, it was far easier. I even relished the sweat across my forehead and neck, and the sting of physical activity. Perhaps that’s how some people get gym-addicted (something my mum is eager to be).

I suppose that might be because of the positive reinforcement of exercise and healthy eating. For years, I avoided salads not because of the taste, but because it was “too healthy”. I thought that it was too pretentious, just as gyms were. I felt it was unnecessary for a healthy lifestyle.

Too bad life isn’t that simple. It may be not be needed, but I am literally almost a hundred kilos. I could probably go on “Big Fat Losers” myself, and that’s just sad. While those things may not be necessary, if you’re not going to do those things anyway (eat healthy, exercise), they become suited.

I don’t know if I like that. Actually, I don’t mind now.