Filed under Interesting Stuff

Video of Brisbane’s Storms

Well, I thought they were pretty bad in Rosalie and Kelvin Grove. Stories emerged about the ferocity of the storms at the Gap, but it’s always a little hard to comprehend without the visuals. So when I saw this on a friend’s blog I thought I’d have a squiz. And I was impressed!

Halfway through it gets pretty hairy, so do persist…

The value of knowing

During my news roundup the other day, prior to doing any ‘real’ work, I stumbled on a news article regarding the launch of a new website. The spruik ended up slamming the website’s server such that using it on the first day was akin to cutting your front yard with toe clippers. However, what was on offer definitely made the wait beyond business hours worthwhile and come 5 o’clock I was knee deep in exploration…

You see, a curious mind and a tool for knowledge combine to make for dangerous times…

What was this site you ask? It’s called -On The House- and is a new kid on the block in the online real estate game. Now this little gem allows you to obtain the prices paid for a piece of property as far back as the 1970s for QLD (and occasionally further). What’s more, the information can be accessed for an individual property, or expanded to include all properties in a street or suburb! There’s even a radius function to let you look at property prices within a 1km radius of your requested location!

Now the information it provides is not in itself entirely amazing – it is readily available upon payment of a fee – but the ease with which information is readily searched and displayed is nothing short of awesome (and scary). Within a few minutes, you can ascertain what your parents, boss, friends, landlord, arch nemesis, paid for their house or apartment. You can observe trends within a suburb, street or even for the one block of land over the past 2 decades or so. You can see what those properties you had contemplated buying had ‘really’ gone for. Scared yet?

And so an hour or two was spent after work on that fateful day sating my curiousity for information about all things property and priced.

First it was my own house and houses on my street -> the big one with the tennis court recently sold for $2.7 million. 4 more properties on my street are > $1 million.
Next it was what friends and bosses had paid for theirs -> in most cases I actually knew but was using their information to verify the verity of the website’s data.
Next next was the search of all the houses I had rented in the past 8 years -> some appeared, whilst others appear to have been singularly possessed (and not by ghosts) for a number of years.
Next next next was a search of all those places I’d been interested in ‘buying’ (dreamily) to see what they finally went for -> some went for less than I’d hypothesised my bid to be
Penultimately was a suburb search to see where the really expensive houses are – > One house in Highgate Hill recently sold for $4.5 million (more than a lifetime’s earnings at Subway)
Lastly, I realised there was actually an academic utility in this glorious information in observing price pressures placed on towns like Moranbah – a town surrounded by mines and where real estate demand is phenomenal – to help centres like mine quantify the social impacts of (cumulative) mining operations in the region.

Let me sign off by saying the initial glee and euphoria of discovering such a treasure trove of information has worn off; still, how nuts is the internet!?!

Faberge Eggs

The recent sale of the Rothschild Faberge Egg (1902) brought these little gems to my attention for the first time. Indeed, they appear to be sensational works of craftspersonship and are very striking. I found a good site with pictures of a lot of the eggs if you’re interested in taking a sticky-beak 🙂

Isn’t she beautiful.??

Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise

This item has being doing the rounds recently, purporting to determine whether you are left- or right- brained. I haven’t been able to find it’s origin or why it was developed (whether it is indeed a test of interhemispheric switching).

However, it is cool and has been quite productive in arousing discussion and reducing productivity in the office and around the traps. Most people I know seem to think she turns clockwise most often (left-brained (or right, depending on which site you get the .gif from) ;).

Some friends have not been able to change her direction of motion. I can get her to switch directions quite easily by focusing on a foot and telling the brain that she is heading in a given direction.

Have fun and let me know which you are!

Déjà Slam

It’s somewhat odd that only now am I realising how wonderful YouTube is. I’ve been aware of its existence for some time but had never felt the desire to explore the bowels of this behemoth. I must add that there are a lot of dags that come with the golden fleece; comments are often crude and users seem to get easily distracted into simple sledging matches. But if you avoid sections that comprise the obvious haunts of these potty-mouthed denizens, there are some fantastic snippets around.

My curiosity was recently perked by the phenomenon (used loosely) of slam poetry. I love the speed, wit and expression of slam poets like Steve Coleman, Beau Sia and Taylor Mali, whom I discovered on a first sweep of the ‘tube’. (Aside – the appearance of spontaneity is somewhat eroded when you view multiple videos of the same poem/monologue/rant). Still, as a lover of poetry and stand up, it does seem the marriage of the two forms sits rather well on my palate.

So as I sat at my desk enjoying my afternoon lunch (as opposed to morning lunch) and watching the following piece of slam poetry, I was struck with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. Not being an overly complex creature, I’m still struck by the awesome nature of the feeling, a real sense of having experienced the exact snippet of existence once before. Previous episodes have been reminiscent of dreaming the future (as tacky as that sounds), but this one was particularly poignant.

I love the singularly unique nature of déjà vu as far as experiences go and the mysterious nature of the event. It’s one area that I hope that science doesn’t figure out. After all, imagine if déjà vu was simply caused by a magentic flux in the frontal lobe…whoopdy fuck. I prefer the somewhat romantic notion that déjà vu provides an indication that you were intended to reach that moment in life, however cynical and skeptical I choose to be in remaining areas of my life.

So enough of the ramble, here is a video of some slam poetry – not necessarily my favourite piece, but it is the one that gave me the déjà slam.

I think Steve Coleman’s slam is particularly good.