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The Corroboree


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Posts posted by Darklight

  1. No to shoes. Yes to motorcycle parts and shiny bio-lab toys.

    What sorts of extravagance makes her happy? Outstanding expressions of traditional romance? Skydiving? Old books? Handmade things? Exquisite food or drink?

    If you're out to express your love and impress her and make that moment special we can narrow it down if you tell us what she likes

    • Like 3

  2. Pat

    I adore you unquestioningly and would love you to be the mother of my unborn child

    One day I hope we shall meet and smoke fragrant tobacco together. You get to pick the brand/ cut/whatchacallit.

    A mate bought me back a pack of Drum after an OS stint on the rigs about 20 years ago, can't remember what country it was from. Then was the only time I ever understood why tobacco was called fragrant in the old Edwardian books

    And now you tell me there is a world of tobacco out there, and much to know, and people who know it.

    Damn you eternally for describing temptations I am unlikely to ever be able to slake. Nice one, actually :D Love yer work.

  3. Love it, love it, love it. Congratulations!

    I lost both mine late into winter at +5 years. They were doing so well, then started the usual top-down dying thing. Fought back a bit with branches coming up from the lower stem but these too succumbed

    If they're in cultivation anywhere else I'm just as happy as if they were mine :D

    • Like 1

  4. You bugger, I'll miss you here. Love your irreverance and fire, and your honesty when you apologise after a stoush

    Still, a good reason to go. Best one I've heard. Makes sense even. I'd rather see you happy :D

  5. Cold-resistant polyploid vine anyone?

    Yeah but but. I was only told this. Haven't seen anything to back it up, and the bloke who told me ( who is a wellspring of amazing and obscure botanical facts ) is out of range for a few more weeks

    So I was wondering whether anyone knew more than Google about those claims, or had enough experience with polyploid mutation to be able to describe trends they've noticed

  6. Is there an underlying belief in academia that pharmaceutical research is more likely to be fudged as compared to research in other fields ?

    From my outside perspective science is science, so the need for divergence seems almost irrelevant.

    Yep the last point is the one I'm interested in for the purposes of the discussion, but I don't want to hijack the thread

    Theoretically, successful human clinical trials are supposed to be thorough, having been tried on actual human beings, the margin for error should be theoretically smaller, capacity to replicate greater etc.

    And for human clinical trials of pharma products, the consequences of poor or corrupt reportage are potentially fatal. Much more so than, say, Glowkitty theoretical project described above, or a paper on hamster gut cell receptor genetics.

    And yet... and yet... that hasn't stopped the apparent falsification of data in some instances

    You're prolly right Sally, it's the same issue

  7. There's also the problem that they more specific & advanced the topic being reviewed (i.e. all the "cutting-edge" stuff), the fewer "peers" there are available to review it. So if you're trying to publish a paper about a new technique to create glow-in-the-dark cats, there might not be too many people who are qualified to review your work. And chances are that they'll say "oh, this methodology looks familiar from those GlowKitty 1.0 studies by Goober et al, I know those guys", and then go on to either think: "oh, Goober's a good fella, this must be fine, I don't need to read the rest of it", or: "Goober's a self-righteous git who didn't credit my work on that first GlowKitty study, fuck him & his children & this paper - FAIL".

    Yep. In practice, the peer review process is broken these days. It's not a reason to dump it tho.

    Main reasons IMO are as Anodyne says above. And I think it was mentioned earlier here that much research these days is so highly specialised there aren't many people who are qualified to rebut any dubious statements in public fora.

    Are we distinguishing here between successful pharmacological clinical trials here and general academic publication or are we drawing parallels between them? I'd rather keep the two discussions separate for the purposes of this thread. Forging or forcing clinical documentation is one thing and has potentially greater repercussions but perhaps mending the process could be a model with wider application.

    Personally I am drawn to the Alltrials ethos. If your work diverts from a previously published process or endpoint, a working group could replicate that branching point as a part of the regulation process and then continue in it's own direction through the rest of the trial

    Yes, that could mean an expensive duplication of a particular clinical trial phase, but would confirm ( or not ) the work done by the previous group at that point.

    I have no idea how pie-in-the-sky this is, but the Alltrials campaign has gained some ground. And in the process re-opened the discussion about the publication of negative results being just as valid and a part of the necessary scientific process as positive results.

    • Like 3

  8. We need research police. It would solve the problem.


    No. No. NO. Do not feed the stupid. More police isn't even the beginning of an answer

    For all research taking place, a research officer could be consulted, and validity could be standardised.

    No. What on earth makes you think that is a good idea. I do not have words for what an absolutely sincerely fucked up idea that is

    How in hell did you get the idea that adding a layer of potential corruption favouring larger companies and richer and more vested interests would give an incentive for people employed thus to just take the money and tick the boxes?

    What makes you think adding an extra layer of bullshit for smaller non-profit groups, community groups, individuals or even perfectly legally run corporations is going to do anything other than stifle research and promote corruption and poor reporting

    At the moment it's just a bunch of kids with cash running around trying to look important and feel respected.

    Like that doesn't happen in any other field.

    Never stop asking questions.

    Here's my question- do you sincerely believe your proposal is a good idea? I'll keep asking it. I'll keep adding swear words tho

    One part of a workable solution would be to ensure that all pharma approvals require the publication of all clinical trials data- not just the successful outcomes- as proposed by the Alltrials mob at www.alltrials.net.

    More comprehensive and honest clinical reporting could show up anomalous patterns in studies. Or at least make forged data harder to achieve without a statistical tell

    ( Other main advantage of Alltrials is, I believe, allowing the extension of data from clinical trials to discover new uses for pharma compounds- saving time and money developing new clinical compounds )

    I want to eat your liver for even thinking such a half arsed idea has any kind of merit

    • Like 1

  9. Was discussing polyploidy and mutation breeding with a colleague the other day and he came out with some experiential statements I've been unable to confirm. He's on leave now so I can't have a longer discussion til he returns.

    I thought I'd throw the following of his statements out there and see if anyone knows more

    1. Polyploidy is cool, and pretty standard stuff in plants. However it's not an increase in secondary metabolites that is the biggest outcome for plants, polyploidy generally first confers an increased immunity to cold temps.

    Anyone know more?

    And can polyploidy change the actual phytochemical products of a species?

    2. No point looking for gross floral morphology changes in a mutant population, flowers are the last things to mutate as the plant has a vested interest in passing on it's genetics using its current methods. So they protect the flowers, and work to make ornamental variatiations of floral morphology is much harder

    This one is relevant to me because I was hoping to find floral variations in a mutant population. Haven't seen them. If this line of work is pretty low yielding in terms of results I'll put it on the backburner

    • Like 1

  10. I think you need to post a picture of you in that kimono. Ed surely would have wanted it that way :P

    Nice try. I'd look like a frilly toilet roll doll. With bad hair. Not gunna happen :P

    lookin forward to hitting the "sippers" bar in the hopefully distant future.

    I can feel the genesis of a very strange religion coming on

    • Like 2

  11. He'd forgotten to give me the Eileen cuts that he'd brought along to share :)

    That's so Ed hey :D

    It took a long time to find out he was gone because he hated fuss. We had this out years ago a few times, I was seriously cross and accused him of going into a corner to die like a dog and he said he could do what he fucken liked he hated fuss that much and hated people seeing him sick.

    Fair enough, losing him was always going to suck anyhow

    My mobile was out the entire time around EGA, I got it back on a month later, all messages SMS gone etc. And every time I called his landline I'd leave a message- his voicemail thingy sounded different and he sounded so fucken healthy. Prolly an old message. Or a good day. Hope it was the latter

    He was always hopeful, always seeking a cure for the thing that ate him medicine couldn't name. And suddenly it was August and almost a year since we last spoke. Too much space.

    The house here is full of presents he'd send randomly. Thoughtful. Weird little things would arrive from Alibaba or Amazon. Those neomagnets. A jewellery box. Some whisky tumblers you make out of ice cubes. CD Data dumps of docs he thought would be useful. Sparkly things for the godkids. We got into this huge present war for a bit, he reckons I started it and he hated to lose. Got quite competitive and heated. I demanded he stop because I would rather him call me than send me stuff. He said " Most days all I can do is press "Send" cos I have all my mates' details saved in the store pages. It's my end of the convo love".

    I never did put that beautiful kimono on he sent, because I'd never be able to tie it according to tradition and if he saw a poor effort he would have been most disappointed. He did like the whisky tho, we had a bit of a blue about it too. Very much the traditionalist. All proper construction, loved things made to last, loved the old things. Straight razors, peerless metalwork, proper spelling and grammar flawless between every fucken word, every second one that wasn't fucken

    Don't often take off the earrings he sent me. Wasn't that a right barney. We'd have these great two minute arguments of slashing at each other and then resolve it and get over it right away. We always took the other's answer as gospel. If something changed our minds we'd bring it up next chat "Yeah I was thinking about that thing you said last time... "

    Fuck we had some great convos tho. I keep trying to put stories together and the bare bones don't do justice to the delight of talking to him, hanging out. You never knew where a simple sentence would take you.

    I can still hear his voice inflecting, always on a rise when something struck him " Hey what's this about...I thought... " and off we'd go. One minute you're on the West Coast of Tas hunting with your dog and negotiating fish and chips in some godawful inbred town, next we're 20th century composers and political trends, personal takes on gender politics, phytochemical analysis, gossip, alcohol quality, the care and feeding of lab equipment, how much pig you can fit into the freezer in the back of his landy, which generator is better for camping, the nature of love and loss, bizarre things that happened to us or people we knew

    Loved a yarn, did Ed, and he was grouse at it

    Drove the troopy like a madman, good at it too. Fucken thing looked like something the four horsemen of the apocalypse would paddock bash on a rooshoot. Tyres and wires everywhere. Half the dash ripped out, mostly by his dog, the rest jury rigged to some no-name tablet he'd modified a map system for which was a vast improvement, he claimed, on the ones out of the box. The voice navigation was Darth Vader. Sliding backwards down some high country hill in the near dark, eyeballs parallel to the valley floor hundreds of feet below, maxed out on painkillers and sick, hands me the beer so he can get both hands on the wheel for a minute " fuck, this isn't dangerous, it was a little bit dangerous when we rolled it a bit further up the hill that time. Come out alright tho, walked out "

    Wherever you are mate, may there be whisky, and whiskey, and may it be the finest ever

    • Like 10

  12. Ah Phaemon's dog, what a lovely story you bring, please pass the good doctor my regards

    Your information is invaluable

    Do you think tho, that there is even the slightest chance that the doctor's description of the elaborate process of tobacco curing is coloured due to his access to all the toys with teh blinkenlights? And extensive knowledge of the processes as they currently operate?

    After all, tobacco was being grown, sold and used prior to teh blinkenlights

    A colleague of mine's mum grew and cured tobacco as a farm crop in Europe in the 50s. Unfortunately the family went off the farm to the big city when he was very young, and the lady is since deceased.

    He's trying to find the original document referencing the curing process she used so I can scan and translate it, but not sure about my chances

    ie- is there some advantage to all this new fangled stuff? Or is it, overall and historically, really that complex?

    ( Also, there is the chance that my colleague's family left their farm because his mum was shit at growing/ curing tobacco and lost money on the venture. I doubt it tho. The farm had been in the family for a few generations and tobacco had been one of it's crops for that time )

  13. Let us know how it goes incog?

    Don't worry abt premature announcement, that's practically compulsory in so many industries these days ;) Spiv science announcements making extravagant claims to promote grant application/ company or establishment profile/ investor hype well before data is anything like conclusive or using a small sample size to make 'groundbreaking' announcements

    At least you outlined the possible error before hitting up all SAB members for investment $

  14. Don't sign anything or agree to any stuff til you've spoken with yr solicitor. You prolly know that already, but don't get caught in the heat of the moment :)

    And keep an eye out for their competitors, the first offer mightn't be the best one

    And ping me if you need any cultivars cloned ;)

    Take care mate and best of luck with it

  15. Thanks everyone for your input

    We're now looking at air drying, and we have been discussing the sampling protocol with the analytical lab for clarity

    I'm unable to say much about this for IP reasons, so I'll close the discussion off until results come in and I've clarified an NDA with everyone involved

    Chem is not my special subject and I may have stuffed the original question here up due to my woeful understanding of several processes

    Wish me luck.

  16. I recently picked up 2 more waterbed heaters but these both have probes. Can I duct tape the probe to the top of the mat? What do you guys do with the probe?

    /probe jokes ;)

    I duct taped a probe to a thermostat mat years back and it works fine.

    As long as you keep a container sitting on the probe filled similarly to the ones you intend to use, it will (reasonably ) accurately measure temps.

    If you leave the probe uncovered it will be responding to the ambient room temps, not the container and media temps, the latter will be a little more insulated

    Just my experience

    • Like 2

  17. Having a think....

    I have fifty non-homogeonous biological samples I want to send to a NATA accredited lab for analysis.

    They contain volatiles, so heating the samples will drive off some of the compounds I want to check the levels off. Heating the samples is part of the standard process of digesting them so they can be analysed.

    Freeze drying is an option, but for that number of samples the prep would be expensive and out of my range

    The compounds I'm looking at are relatively stable at ambient temperatures, or at least any variations for the more volatile compounds which come off at above 60C aren't compounds of interest.

    I was thinking of grinding samples to dryness under liquid nitrogen in a not-fully-sealed stainless lab blender- because I have one here ( or should I seal it? ) but was told that as soon as the liquid nitrogen evaporates , water will rush in and the sample won't be dry any more.

    Is this true? How fast does the water rush back in if I quickly place the dried samples into a -20 freezer

    I've previously dried and ground biological samples under liquid nitrogen and found that most suitable, but that was for DNA analysis, not chem analysis.

    Next option is to grind and dry at 50C under air.

    Neither will give me consistent moisture levels for all samples, and it will prolly be up to the NATA lab to standardise these before analysis

    Does anyone reckon grinding under liquid nitrogen to be the superior method in this case?

    Ta for help, this place is fulla smarties :D

  18. Have you just made up your mind your dad dobbed you in and have chosen to believe it? Seriously?

    How can you be sure it wasn't your co-workers who hate you, or your neighbour or someone whose seen your place or a chopper going overhead?

    You sound like a fractious kid, maybe the only way your dad can really make it really clear he cares is by dropping $7k on a ute for you, because obviously dropping round to chat and taking you out for counteries wasn't cutting it. That's pretty fucken sad.

    Maybe he is as confused by the relationship as you

    Maybe if you're worried about the integrity of your relationship with him don't accept any more gifts from him til you've cleared your relationship up

    Maybe drop round and thank him and take him out for a drink. It doesn't have to be for hours, even one drink is a start. Have a go at mending that bridge for ten minutes. Even if you don't like the outcome, give it a go. If it starts to get weird, tell him you were hoping for a better outcome and don't leave angry, even if that's only to preserve your self respect.

    You sound like you need distance, so maybe Cairns is a good idea. Spend that time setting yourself up there before you go so you have a better chance of success, instead of whining about an expensing present and telling everyone on some forum your dad is a dog, when you have no proof of that

    Plan on coming back all grown up, and take him for a counterie when u do

    • Like 3

  19. Spose it depends on the practitioner, like every other sort of treatment. Sorry you seemed to have gotten a useless person first sesh :(

    My first accupuncturist was useless, no effect at all, so I didn't try it again for fifteen years

    Second accupuncturist was a bloke in the dodgiest looking place, but he was really good. I was scarily functional. Saw him til I moved out of SYD

    Third practitioner was pretty meh and kept insisting I felt better when I didn't, fourth was great.The fifth one was the best I ever had

    Make sure they sit with you during a sesh and don't walk out- sounds like you have both serious medical condition and reasons to be suspicious. They should be working to fix that too.

    Have heard good reports about chiro, and the odd horror story from someone who it happened to. Check round for people you know who recommend a good practitioner. I'm still sceptical but I know people who swear by it

    • Like 1

  20. I am certainly flexible with where I want to be. The main thing for me is warmth/humidity. I would like not to have frost, and humidity helps me with my aches and pains.

    Parts of the areas round the back of Nimbin get Melbourne-grade cold over winter, just not for as many of the daylight hours. The higher up your place is, the less cold it will be IME. But then there can be access issues, especially in the wet.

    One more thought about moving- if you aren't skilled at driving on our shithouse roads, you and your partner both do an off-road driving course before you get here and make sure you have appropriate vehicles. It'll make you more confident. The city hatchback doesn't cut it. We have potholes here deeper than those things are tall.

    A lot of our roads are barely wide enough for 2 cars and in some cases both cars need to have the left hand wheels off the tar to pass safely. Too many people are reluctant to do this and a lot of them are newcomers. We have a lot of passive aggressive/ inattentive drivers up here and they are fucken shitheads who are a danger to life and limb.

    If you can't keep pace and find you are driving 20-50km below the speed limit with cars behind you, indicate and pull off the road, there are heaps of safe places to do this if you don't mind not having wheels on the tarmac. No-one minds if you do this and you will earn respect while you learn to handle the horrible bloody roads

    Nothing spoils a good new neighbourhood friendship like finding out they're the people who have been clogging up the middle of the road at 50k/hr in a hundred zone for 10km. These people are rapidly identified and word gets around

    • Like 2

  21. Take access into account when looking at the land prices - if you're going to have to spend $50K to build an all-weather road into the place, is it still a good price?

    This one's a biggie- at times of heavy rainfall you don't want to be crossing swollen creeks you don't know well, and then climbing a kay up a hill on a driveway with the texture of marzipan icing and ruts deeper than your ground clearance for your bike/ car. There are heaps of lovely places out here but a lot have poor access which gets worse during wet season

    Anything you save on your property you will spend on your car over the next 25 years. The roads are shit. May as well know that now.

    Fencing, water and fire protection are your next priorities after access and housing. Set those up before you get romantic and spend dosh on gardens and gables

    If you look at a bush block, talk to the local RFS if it's not peak fire season, they'll help you assess fire risks and make a plan

    Test soil & water (I think DPI do this?) &/or check with local Landcare, Streamwatch, etc groups regarding any issues. Landcare types will usually be able to tell you a bit about the local soil types & plantlife, including obnoxious weeds & pests that you might be up against. The Bureau of Meteorology keeps records you can consult to get an idea about what weather to expect.

    EAL at Southern Cross Uni do soil and water tests for a good price

    Don't be married to the idea of Byron Shire, as folias says. There are lots of wonderful places everywhere north of Coffs and many are way more reasonably priced than Byron/ Tweed shires. Kyogle even has decent coffee these days. All Byron has is traffic.

    Crazy neighbours are a biggie up here ( tho not as bad as it used to be ) and for various definitions of crazy. If you're not buying onto an MO, try not to buy right next to a large one, because more neighbours = higher risk of more crazy

    If you're worried about isolation, once you get to the area simply join something. Local school or hall association, Landcare, fire brigade, market group, garden club, pony club, anything. You'll meet heaps of people really fast. They will find ways for you to contribute. Oh yes they will. There's lots to do.

    Nobody west of Bangalow really cares what you did before you moved here, it's the contribution you make once you land that's important. That frustrates a lot of people who expect to be taken seriously for something hifalutin' they used to do in the city, but it does level the playing field for people who didn't have those opportunities but do make a significant contribution and have better life and social skills.

    Most of the people you will meet in the first 2 years will not be the people you will end up relating to best, so be cautious about going overboard with your early friendships. Getting to know the locals takes time. After a bit you will become one of the locals and that will make more sense than it does now

    • Like 3