Happy Halloween!

I don't celebrate Halloween but I am going to a Bonfire Night!
  • Taiko drummers
  • Fire dancers
  • Sky lantern
  • Bonfire
  • Soup, cake, sweets, hotchocolate and coffee


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Wai Taiko Website

Hens Night

My sister's hens night kicked off with mini golf at Callum Brae family golf course.

The eighteen holes were increasingly difficult.

This was one of the earlier holes.

Golf Course

25 Callum Brae Drive
Rototuna Hamilton
New Zealand.

Cupcake Decoration

These are some notes I made.


  • fondant icing
  • food colouring
  • chopping board
  • knife

Fondant Preparation

  1. Cut fondant into smaller blocks
  2. Microwave for 20 seconds or soft
  3. knead into one piece
  4. squash flat and add a few drop of food colouring to center
  5. fold and knead for food colouring to spread throughout
  6. repeat steps 4 and 5 until desire colour
Note: You can make fondant softer by microwaving for a few seconds and harder by adding some icing sugar. A drop of red makes fondant pinker. It was difficult to make purple by combining red and blue. The blue dye was overpowering.

Cupcake Icing Options!

  • Silver Beads
  • Hundreds and thousands
  • Lollies

Just take some fondant, roll in you hands and press flat. Place on a plain muffin (that's what we NZers call cupcakes). Pat the fondant flat to get a shiny surface.Decorate with beads, lollies etc. There are literally hundreds and thousands of combinations!

Above on the left is the one I made. Hearts and kisses!

Dinner was pizza from Hell. I liked the seafood one aptly named 'Underworld'.

Entertainment involved Singstar. It was mostly pop and 90's songs. We belted out tunes I barely know. I was bolstered by the fact that there were only so few people present. I even woke up the next morning with my voice intact!

Chemical Separation


Candid Engineer in Academia wrote about using a separation funnel to part organic and aqueous phases in solvent extration.

I remember doing this in lab. The instructions were to shake vigorously, remembering to release the vapour pressure build up but not too hard. Shaking too hard may form an emulsion.

This technique takes practice. A friend ended up with corrosive mixture splattered all over her. I was glad that she did the lab before me and warned me about it!

I hope this video clip demonstrating liquid-liquid extraction helps.


I am Gorilla, give me the Funnel by Candid Engineer in Academia

International Day of Climate Action

Aw I missed it! Participate next year....

Franz Liszt (22 October 1811 - 31 July 1886)

(533) Franz Liszt`s birth place ...
Franz Liszt was born 198 years ago to the day in Raiding, East Austria.

You can shop for music by Liszt in my Amazon Affiliate Store.


The Franz Liszt Site by Rich DiSilvio

The Smallest Man in the World - Part II

There are three men who could be the smallest man in the world. They all live in Asia.

Khagendra Thapa Magar from Nepal

Khagendra has primordial dwarfism resulting in extreme small proportional stature. During the visit the host saw people of Nepal treat Khagendra with respect. The young man seemed happy about the way he is. I think he is brave for standing up and living a life full of obstacles. Khagendra turned 18 this month and is now eligible to lodge a claim for the world record.

Lin Yu-Chih from Taiwan

Lin Yu-Chih at 67.5 cm has osteogenesis imperfecta. The condition is also known as brittle bone disease. He is an author and social activist. Lin Yu-Chih's limbs had fractured many times and curved during healing so it is impossible to measure his exact height. He is a published author and has wrote songs despite health problems.

He Ping Ping from Inner Mongolia

He Ping-Ping also has Osteogenesis imperfecta. The 73cm man reacted badly when first asked about the possible world record. He has since claimed the title for the World's shortest man.

I think the documentry showed how hard life could be for people born at a disadvantage. It's nice to see them benefit from their condition and hopefully help other little people.


Information on primordial dwarfism

The Smallest Man in the World

I am looking forward to a documentary called The Smallest Man in the World and me, hosted by Mark Dolan.

Khagendra Thapa Magar from Nepal is 56 cm tall at age 18

You can watch an introduction on Channel 4.

Female Scientist Blogs

I subscribe to On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess by Isis the Scientist. This week I want to go through her updated blogroll.

The Millikan Daily by Arikia

She lives in Brooklyn and writes frankly on each post. The topics vary from shopping for female hygiene products to politicians. The clever header has title in the foreground and a changing background. Check it out!

Golden Thoughts by Pascale Lane

Pascale Lane is a professor in paediatric nephrology at University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her recent posts are health related, with a mix of twitter and books. There is a presentation available at the bottom of the page. Check it out!

Female Science Professor (since 2006)

This physical sciences professor muses over puzzling and stressful factors for women in science. Archived entries are available on Lulu. You can also check out latest entries!

Musings by Bug by Ktbug Ladydid

Ktbug is relocating to start a PhD programme this summer. I liked her post about Trichotilomania titled "Oh anxiety, you evil friend." Oh dear! The effects are distressing...

Ruminations of an Aspiring Ecologist by Karina

Karina is a grad student in ecology and evolution biology. Her recent posts recounts conference happenings and advice on travel. I liked the simple template design staying true to ecology. Check it out!

Noted and Blogged by Sandy Shoes

Sandy from Cape Cod is a SAHM with kids Bean and Peanut. She writes about motherhood and general life.Check it out!

My Fair Scientist by Juniper Shoemaker [visit]

Juniper Shoemaker is a developing scientist in the biomedical field.

VWXYNot? and rENNISance woman by Cath Ennis

Cath Ennis based in Vancouver writes about cancer research grants on rENNISance woman. She described herself as a grant wrangler. Check out VWXYNot? and rENNISance woman!

Source: On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess

New York Lottery Sweet Million "Bunnies"

This is so cute! I couldn't work out what the ad was for until the end though. Were the bunnies trained to do all that? Was sedatives involved? Photoshop? I would love to see a making of for this commercial!

Carnivores at the Hamilton Zoo

African hunting dogs have a black, white and tan coat. Their big ears not only helps hearing but also has sweat glands.

The Sumatran tiger is lying under the trees. This is a perfect example of camouflage. Can you find it?

Dometicated Animals at the Hamilton Zoo

Kune kune pigs come in a variety of colours. They are fat and round with stout legs and squashed snouts.

This piglet is so cute!

These alpacas were playing with hay earlier!

Hamilton Zoo: Fishing Cats and the Waikato Wetlands

Besar and Imphal are fishing cats who arrived on 16th July.

It took several minutes to find one as they blend in well to the surroundings. The zoo is hoping the pair would breed.

New Zealand's First Fishing Cats

The mute swan resides in the Waikato Wetlands Exhibit.

Birds here live near these rather murky lakes. It's raining season after all.

I found a herd of black swans in the next lake. The babies, called cygnets, are definitely not ugly.

Primates at the Hamilton Zoo

The Hamilton Zoo ring tailed lemur habitat has a rock pool with waterfall.

Lemurs are from Madagascar. The matriarchal species evolved in isolation, an example of founder effect.

A lemur ambles over to sit in the sun after lunch, and is joined by two others.

The chimpanzees lives in a leafy enclosure with climbing beams. Below is a top view.

There were two indoor sleeping quarters. Maybe to separate the males and females?

Platform with straw bedding connected by ropes

Maybe the yellow container with holes are for food and enrichment on rainy days.

The chimpanzees were outside. This is the winding path leading to them.

The frolicking chimps carried blankets. There were posters showing their unique facial features. Too bad they were so far away.

Hamilton Zoo III: Primates

These crepuscular ruffed lemurs tumbled about while sunbathing.

My shots of the siamangs feeding were blurry.

The lunching cotton tail tamarin buried its whole head in the food bucket. When it noticed visitors it took only a moment to high tail back to the safety of its den.

1. Nom nom nom

2. Notices visitors...

3. Retreat!

Hamilton Zoo II

Below is a pair of Himalayan Monals from Nepal. The male on the left has multi-colour plumage and the female on the right has only shades of brown. This is called sexual dimorphism.

Peacocks are also sexually dimorphic.

The salmon-crested cockatoo gave a loud cry as I took photos. I think it looked at me!

Hamilton Zoo

"The zoo with personality."
Last Tuesday my sister and I went to Hamilton Zoo. We saw most of over 600 animals.

The sulfur-crested cockatoo screeched loudly and bit its cage wire. Information showed that they do that when they are alarmed (call). It had beautiful white plumage with a hint of orange underneath.

The blue and yellow macaw hung upside-down with several sun conure. The species live in Central and South America.


Hamilton Zoo Online


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