January 15, 2008

Four Hours

A little wisdom from the father of a friend. "You have four good hours in you each day - the rest is crap."

And so another 20 hours of crap works it's way to a finish. The clock just struck 12am and I wonder whether my four good hours begin now or will my brain can figure a way to save them up for when I really need them. Perhaps if I go straight to sleep I can save about three of them for when I wake up. Either that or I sleep through my four good hours each day, which would explain the events of the last few weeks at any rate.

Ah screw it, here's a photo of something completely irrelevant...

January 09, 2008

Hands Up

This week someone asked me to write a bio about myself and what inspires my photography. Boring as a boat of full of backgammon. The indigenous artists of Australia had the right idea - make a stencil from your hand and bugger off to let someone else tell the story.

"Photography was a creative pursuit against a background of boring career moves. I quit graduate school after studying molecular biology, became an IT expert during the dot.com boom and then dropped out of organised society to live life among the barristas of Melbourne's inner suburbs. Finally when my kidney could stand no more coffee I returned to the camera and discovered that photography is more than an art form, it's a story telling device. Travel photography is not about beautiful pictures for the sake of a beautiful picture, it's about revealing insight into the lives of people the rest of us have never known.

My first exhibition was in 1994, a collection of leaves shot in the outback between Melbourne and Alice Springs. It was all about the little things - sticks, mud and sand. 14 years later my work is being exhibited in Sydney and Melbourne as part of a travelling photo collection. The theme hasn't changed much, except I've found bigger
meaning behind the little things. Sticks can be used as brushes to paint rock art, sand makes an oven for cooking bush-tucker and mud is an indicator of where we sit in the cycle of seasons.

hmmm, contrary to my highest expectations I really did get a little wiser with age. Somebody should write my high-school teachers and let them know their efforts were not completely wasted."

What's Up Doc

Who would have thought that a career in medical research would prepare me for travel journalism, but the fact is that I would never have learned to write if not for the riggers of scientific communications.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can know assemble the highlights of my medical career and link to a few published articles that bare my name. All those years standing at the lab bench in Houston and Melbourne were not wasted. Well, some of those years weren't wasted!

Warning: the following articles contain pretty racy titles, the young and infirm are advised to avert your eyes...

Characterization of the interaction between the Staphylococcus aureus clumping factor (ClfA) and fibrinogen.

Production and characterization of WEG-1, an epidermal growth factor/transforming growth factor-alpha-responsive mouse uterine epithelial cell line

Production of prostaglandin f2alpha and its metabolite by endometrium and yolk sac placenta in late gestation in the tammar wallaby, Macropus Eugenii.

January 03, 2008

Not Cricket

When you read the press reports from Indian cricket writers you'd almost believe that they're the only side that ever got a bad call.

I don't recall reading too many stories blaming the umpires for any other team losing a test match. The reason is of course that one decision does not determine who will win or lose. The melodramatic pleas from Indian media and players reveals the extent to which they have failed to take responsibility for their own situation.

They got two bad calls during the day, that is true. But they also stood around for hours and watched hundreds of runs scored against their bowling. There were eleven fit and talented Indian cricketers out on the field that day, what were they doing to win the match? They did half a days work and then let the game slip away from them after a bad call.

Andrew Symonds pointed out himself that the rub of the green can go either way in a match. Just ask Ricky Ponting about being given LBW after getting the bat to ball. All kinds of luck can flow with you or against you, and the important thing is how you respond to that. The previous test match in Melbourne saw a few LBW decisions go in favour of some lucky Indian batsmen - but the bowlers job is to walk back up the pitch and bowl another one until you get your man.

Most disappointing was the suggestion that it was a deliberate error. There's a big difference between whining about the result and accusing someone of interfering with the game. It shows an appalling lack of character on behalf of those who would voice such baseless drivel.

Even the call to lodge a complaint with the match referee only reflects poorly on the Indians, and does nothing to help the team perform at their best. By diverting attention towards a single incident they fail to accept the nature of the game, and fail to accept the challenge of test cricket. It's about five days of ebb and flow, it's not about hysterical theatrics and playing the victim.

India has a great team of players, I'd like to see them concentrate on their cricket and leave the impossibly difficult job of umpiring to people who have more skill than some hack of a writer.

India Dialy
Hindustan Times
Inida Times
Express India