born again geek

31 March 2005 at 12:20 (General)

After 10 or so months living it up in the south-eastern suburbs I’m going to move back home in a few weeks time. Mainly to be with my brother and for the high speed internet connection that I became addicted to over the easter break -like a foetus to it’s embryo cord.

Just to run with that analogy, I guess that means our 10/100 hub is like my placenta or something. What a mental image.

Anyhow, you heard it here first. My family don’t even know that I’m going to claim residence at their house again.

It was fun while it lasted.



  1. Deirdre said,

    You’ve been sitting here blogging since the 28th?? Just what sort of foetus are you, hmm? Terribly secretive, presumably.

    I hope your uncle is okay. I’ve blocked all news of the earthquake from my brain – it’s just too hard to believe. Too much tragedy in one area.

  2. toto said,

    My aunty sent me an email saying he was fine. they were evacuated. I’m not sure if the area they were working in was effected or not.

    I went home over the easter weekend and leached then. I always have my laptop at uni so I connect to the uniwireless network or to the councils city network. The place I was living at was surrounded by unprotected wireless home networks so lately, if I’m experiencing massive withdrawal symptoms at my apartment I’d very briefly steal from someone elses network. Stealing is wrong, but i don’t consider setting my network config to ‘automatically detect’ as cracking. Don’t be an idiot, don’t tempt me: use WEP security or at least don’t broadcast your SSID.

  3. toto said,

    you moron, it’s called an umbilical cord, not an embryo cord. You should know, you’ve been studying foetal development this week.

    question: is the umbilical cord made of baby DNA or mummy DNA. I think i know the answer, there is a barrier in the placenta where mummy and baby DNA meet, so I assume the cord is 100% baby DNA. actually yeah, ’cause it grows from the embryo, not from the mummy.

  4. Kent said,

    This is like revisionblog.


    What happened to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, when a grenade was lobbed at his car in the streets of Sarajevo on 28 June 1914?

    a) He was unhurt and his wife suffered a minor graze.
    b) He and his wife were both killed, precipitating a chain of events which culminated in the beginning of the First World War.
    c) He was killed but his wife was only wounded.

  5. Deirdre said,

    I don’t know what the hell the second part of that comment means, sorry. Was it supposed to be somewhere else?

    I think it’d be interesting if you just moved home without saying any at all, even after you’ve settled in again. Move in overnight or something, and then when everyone gets up in the morning, you’ll have taken over the house.

  6. Deirdre said,

    What’s going on? Sorry, my comment was following your first one, toto – before whatever is happening after that… (you people are scaring me) :)

  7. matty said,

    Deirdre, never fear, although I have no idea why your comment is so out of order, the secod half of my second comment was just me poorly articulating and rabbiting on about how even if I don’t have an internet connection I still access the net more than often enough.

    as for kent’s question, I’m going for b). even if it’s wrong, that’s how i’d write the history books cause it sound like the most intensive option.

  8. Kent said,

    Yay you answered. Now I get to tell my story. (a) was right, but only through a trick.

    The grenade bounced off the roof and exploded underneath the following car, injuring some officers and members of the crowd – the Archduke was untouched and the Duchess suffered a graze. The driver of the Archduke’s car accelerated away but Ferdinand told him to stop so he could inspect the damage caused by the bomb. They then drove to the hotel, and later the Archduke decided to go to the hospital to see one of the officers who had been injured by the blast – then he would continue with his prearranged tour.

    The cars set off at high speed, but instructions had been muddled and the leading two cars took a wrong turn. The Archduke’s car, following, came to a sudden stop at the corner. A Serbian student revolutionary in the crowd, Gavrilio Princip, drew a revolver and stepped forward – a policeman attempted to grasp him but was himself stopped by another person. Princip’s first shot hit the Archduke in a major artery, his second the Duchess in the abdomen. The car sped to the residence of one of his generals but both died on the way, their demise hastened by the rough roads.

    A sort of butterfly effect resulted in the breaking out of general continental war.

    And the people of Europe rejoiced.

  9. Kent said,

    Actually, that middle bit is wrong… the cars merely had to slow quite a lot to negotiate a hairpin corner… obviously Princip anticipated this and placed himself accordingly.

  10. toto said,

    more questions:

    general continental war = ww1 ?

    and the people of Europe rejoicing is a sarcastic comment?

  11. Kent said,

    Yes, WWI, and not at all – people were delighted that war had begun:

    I can’t watch them because I don’t have Media Player and perhaps you don’t either, but I’ve seen similar clips (or perhaps the same) in docos.

    It was the same in London.

  12. Deirdre said,

    Why were they happy war had begun? Did they just not realise what they were in for?

    And Kent, did you write “The grenade bounced off…” or quote it? It’s a fine piece of writing – very clear.

  13. Kent said,

    Paraphrased it down from an account about three times as long… I always put quotes in quotation marks!

  14. Deirdre said,

    Good job, then. It reads really well.

  15. Kent said,

    Well, one minor reason they were happy was that tension had been building for an entire month on top of years of poised alliances – the declaration finally brought the ‘end’ of the tension in sight.

    But the main reason we are surprised is the one you gave – that we have the benefit of hindsight. World War One was – if we ignore the American Civil War, which we can – the first ‘modern’ war. The first war with machine guns in wide use. The citizenry had no idea what was going to happen. The last major European war, the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, lasted six months and resulted in 174,000 deaths, mostly French, and a lot of glory for the Germans (they occupied Paris).

    So, the people in the streets expected the war to be like that – no longer than six months. They couldn’t foresee the trenches or the endless mowing down of men with machine guns.

    Why not be happy? Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

  16. Deirdre said,

    Translation of that last bit for dopeys please?

    Has it occurred to you that if we were living in those times, you two might have been involved in that war? I suppose it has, but it seems shocking to me. To board a ship in Australia in those days and sail away, probably hoping for adventure and heroism, and then to meet with the reality on the other side of the world…

  17. toto said,

    If I was born back then I would probably know no better. I can fully see myself jumping on the ship, ready for adventure, ready for fun.

    But I like to think I have more brains than that. Educated as I am now, I would be a conscientious objector. I didn’t realise that this movement was started in WWI until I came across this site earlier tonight.

  18. Kent said,

    Of course; I think I would be on the ship too, albeit with a somewhat different attitude.

  19. Kent said,

    Oh, Deirdre, you’re not a dopey, you just need to use Google a bit more. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori means “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country” (I don’t speak Latin, alas). It’s the closing line and the title of Wilfred Owen’s poem which I quote altogether too often:


    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    8 October 1917 – March, 1918

    “DULCE ET DECORUM EST – the first words of a Latin saying (taken from an ode by Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the First World War.”

  20. Deirdre said,

    I didn’t realise there was an ‘conscience clause’ in the conscription law, toto – thanks for that link. I’ve never actually considered what that phrase meant in practice (I mean, that if you fitted into one of those categories, you could be exempted). I actually thought you had to break the law and flee the country. Didn’t Americans have to hide in Canadia to avoid going to Vietnam? Maybe the US law didn’t include exemptions.

    And thanks for that poem, Kent – it’s hard to know what to say about it. It’s probably only fitting to cry, anyway. How do we humans ever get into situations like that, throwing people into war and dragging their bodies back out? I don’t understand any of it, not then and not now. If there has to be a cross-border dispute, why doesn’t it come down to a game of chess or something? Why this huge production, a cast of thousands, billions of dollars, pain and cruelty? It doesn’t make any sense.

  21. toto said,

    My understanding of the law was that it was included to stop people protesting on the front lines which could potentially be more dangerous. I don’t know if i’m just making this up.. I assume however that being an objector wouldn’t make you too popular if you were still send to war because the officer in charge would probably look down on hippies and give you dirty or even more dangerous work to do (my sketchy understanding is that some people are still sent to war but not expected to fight in combat. they wear special uniforms that alert people to the fact that they aren’t involved).

    If you were an objector and you were told to stay home back in WW1 you would have probably been shunned.

  22. Kent said,

    Yeah, from what I know there was pretty nasty ostracisation of young men who didn’t sign up.

    And in any case there are heaps of administrative and non-combat roles in the army – FWIW, my family: my grandpa was a supermarket manager so he worked in an admin part of the RAAF during WWII, whereas my poppa was just an ordinary tradesman so he went into active service in the army (though didn’t see any action thankfully).

  23. Deirdre said,

    The ostracism was terrible, apparently, and often due to women. My dad is interesting in this stuff (war stories… suspect it’s a boy thing) and he was shocked by an exhibition somewhere showing the strength of propoganda in pushing people to enlist, and the equal strength of opposition to those who wouldn’t. Women gave them feathers or something (? is that right?) and basically denounced them for being cowards. Which is somewhat easier to do when you aren’t being called on to go yourself…

    I think farmers were exempt from going to WWII – not sure, maybe it was just the head of the family or something. My grandfathers didn’t go, but lots of young men from this district did. There’s a Roll of Honour thing in the hall, naming all the people who died. It’s one of the things most places have in common: war memorials. God help us.

    And the idea of hippies turning up on the front line makes me laugh. They’d be shot at by both sides, wouldn’t they? :)
    (I like hippies, I do.)

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