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Bits n bobs - Tactical Ninja

Mar. 20th, 2014

09:29 am - Bits n bobs

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First, some housekeeping. Last year after I went to the MAPs conference, I said that if you listened to nothing else I said about the conference, you should at least listen to Julie Holland's talk about the ethical considerations in the medicinal use of psychedelics, and that I'd post it when it became available.

Well, finally, here it is. It's 57 minutes long, so add it to the list of other doccos that you want to watch, and sit down with it. It's well worth your time and you'll come away with a pretty up to date knowledge of the state of play in this field.

"It is unethical not to do psychedelic research". That's the message I took away from it. Watch, see what you think.

And here are the rest of the vids from the conference. Some good stuff in there. I thoroughly recommend Matt Johnson's talk and Albert Garcia-Romeu's talks for some interesting stuff about how psilocybin works.


This morning I took this photo as I walked down the hill to work:



Yes yes, dramatic clouds yadda yadda. But look at the boats! On the right you see a cruise ship coming in (probably getting close to the end of the season now we're past the equinox), and on the left you see two tugs going out to meet it.

I love tug boats. I love that they are basically just a giant floating engine. I love that they can move ships that dwarf them, I love when they do the pump/fountain thing in harbour displays, I love that they're painted red. I love that the power they have stirs up a wake you can see even when they're doing the compulsory in-harbour 5 knots like in the picture.

And I love the way that they look for all the world like a couple of wolves getting ready to pincer-move their prey as they head out to the cruise ship. I have this book at home, that my parents gave me when I was a kid. It's called Killers of the Wild, and is a kind of encyclopaedia of predators. It has several pages titled 'Wolves in Concert', which shows the ways that wolves use teamwork and forward planning to ambush and bring down prey much larger than themselves. The tug boats kind of remind me of that, and when I see them it stirs something in me.

Being a tug boat driver would be a cool job I reckon.


Meanwhile, maybe going to the doctor was a good idea. Since then, my back hasn't given me any problems. Weird - all he did was poke a bit and ask me about my scar, and that was that. Maybe I scared it into submission.

And this morning I learned that the capital of Azerbaijan is Baku and that there's a bit of it that's completely cut off from the rest of it by Armenia. that would be weird. Like, New Zealand is also in chunks separated by distance, but straits are quite different from other countries. Navigating that must be interesting. Also, there are about twice as many people there as there are in New Zealand.

Makes you realise how Western-English-speaking focused our part of the world is, that I knew none of this before copying Dr Wheel starting to do this memory card thing. I'm glad I started.

Comments:

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From:ferrouswheel
Date:March 19th, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
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One thing I like about learning about the countries of the world is it makes it really obvious that the Western world is just a tiny part of what's going on. There are so many countries/cultures/lives out there. The world is huge, even if it's a tiny speck in the solar system.

(also, links to video are broken ;-( )
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From:tatjna
Date:March 19th, 2014 09:24 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the headsup. Fixed now.

I'm particularly interested in the Balkan area because so many people I know from Dargaville have ancestry there, and it was big news in the nineties as things upheaved there. Prior to that it was a bit of a black hole on the world map for me, so it's neat to be finally finding stuff out about it.
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From:richdrich
Date:March 19th, 2014 09:20 pm (UTC)
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Ngorno-Karabach? Am I right cos I didn't even try and google it?

There was a war there in the nineties.
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From:tatjna
Date:March 19th, 2014 09:23 pm (UTC)
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I had to google it, but it's called Nakhchivan apparently.

There was a war everywhere in that area in the nineties.
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From:bekitty
Date:March 19th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
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I thought the equinox was this coming weekend. Or tomorrow. Or something. Isn't it supposed to be about March 21-22?
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From:tatjna
Date:March 19th, 2014 09:56 pm (UTC)
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According to the first site that popped up on google, it's apparently today.
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From:bekitty
Date:March 19th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
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It's March 20 at 16:43 UTC. So that makes it early tomorrow morning NZ time.
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From:pombagira
Date:March 19th, 2014 10:14 pm (UTC)
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my morning started with a broken fridge freezer.. O.O well fuck.. so now i am hiring one...

i would of preferd the cards of interest.. *is only a little sulky faced*

tonight i will be cooking all the things raw things that have defrosted.. i loose however the smoked tuna.. *bigger sulky face* and some of my rabbit *more sulky face*..but i get a new fridge freezer this afternoon, so yay... or something..

you know i shouldn't really blog in your comments section right... *coughs*


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From:tatjna
Date:March 19th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Haha but I like your 'what's Polly up to' updates.

Sorry to hear about your freezer - although there are advantages to having a hired one, cos you can make them replace it if it doesn't suit or is too expensive to run or whatever.

Bummer about the fish. I'll just have to catch you some more..
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From:pombagira
Date:March 19th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
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yeah.. yay new freezer and being able to afford to hire one without much fuss apart from getting the old one outside so the landlord can come and take it away.

and yes more smoked fish pls.. *nods*

*yay*
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From:t_c_da
Date:March 19th, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC)
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I love that tugs can go as fast backwards as forwards, and nearly as fast sideways.

We went on a tour of one of them several years back at a port open day, which was fascinating. IIRC they are powered by two "eggbeaters" for and aft, each driven by a V12 diesel donk putting out lots of ponies... There is a formal name for the "eggbeaters" which also escapes me, however they have variable pitch blades which enable them to thrust in any direction perpendicular to the axis (the axis being vertical unlike usual ships props).

The treat of the day was to see the two tugs racing each other down the wharf by Aotea Quay, one going forward, the other backwards, both with monitors going as well for added spectacle. The tug captains like the port days because they get to have fun with their boats instead of the serious work. Ditto the chopper pilots...
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From:tatjna
Date:March 19th, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
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I found this and it made me happy.

Also, it's called a Voith-Schneider propulsion system, and no wonder they make such a big wake.
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From:fbhjr
Date:March 19th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
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Very cool photo. Especially the boats!
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From:tatjna
Date:March 19th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)
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I really like that this is the view I get every morning on my walk to work. I especially like that it's different every day because of the amount of sky and water that's in there.

I consider myself lucky.
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From:rivet
Date:March 20th, 2014 01:27 am (UTC)
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I loved that part of my life in wellington, given where I lived and worked.

Speaking of my old work, we spent a lot of time there watching boats & ships, given that we were atop the container port and my ex-manager had 16 years in shipping before government. Like many things, the maritime traffic is surprisingly interesting when you watch it closely enough to see patterns and distinctions.

I've got a funny story about Baku, remind me to tell you some time. Relatedly (at least in VERY broad geographic terms), I finally ate at a Uighar restaurant last night. I used to pass one in Sydney fairly regularly and Will and I kept declaring our intent to 'eat the food of the dispossessed!'
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From:meathiel
Date:March 20th, 2014 08:11 am (UTC)
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*runs off to check google maps*

Didn't know that about Azerbaijan, the being cut off thing, I mean.
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From:adam_0oo
Date:March 20th, 2014 02:16 pm (UTC)
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Similar but different to the Azerbaijan thing!

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