Phage Therapy

The folks at Kurzgesagt have a new video out, about Bacteriophages and their possible place as our saviours in the not-to-distant future.

The one standout piece of dialogue from the video for me is:

“Unfortunately this treatment is still experimental and pharma companies are reluctant to invest the necessary billions in a treatment that has no official approval yet.”

The sad truth is, many of our great medical achievements follow this pattern.

  • The governments pour the billions in via grants, the researchers at universities and the universities themselves, set up ‘companies’ to receive the grant and to do the studies,
  • The studies that are successful patent their findings as the company, the makers and the university often co-writing the patent.
  • Then the pharma companies vie for the research and the patents and buy the company at a fraction of the cost of the research and for a stake in the patent.
  • The pharma company ramps up production, and sell it to the masses at a marked up cost, often claiming it’s justified in doing so because of the cost of research, that some countries tax dollars often paid for.

At the moment big pharma doesn’t want to know about it, it’s promising, but they have their antibiotics to sell and they sell a LOT of them. Even with the rise of superbugs many doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics as a matter of course, almost as a placebo it seems. 

Having said that, I have seen at least one paper that has been written on bacteriophages that was funded by Nestlé Health and Nestlé Health Science, so I guess some companies are investing in it, but clearly we need more.

Anyway, enough of my ranting. The video is very interesting to watch.

Lean Into It – Photography / Modelling Tip

Thought I’d share a little insight should anyone be interested.

Here are two images I took of Zach, they were taken with a 24-70 lens at 24mm from a very low angle, almost from the ground.

In the first image you’ll note that Zach’s body appears to be leaning backwards, his head smaller than in the second and the lower parts of his torso and legs, closer to the camera appearing larger. In this image, Zach was actually standing upright.

Zach standing upright.
Zach standing upright.

In the second image I asked Zach to lean forward, to him it felt weird, and to onlookers probably looked like he was leaning like Michael Jackson in the “Smooth Criminal” video ( see below ). But what I was doing was trying to get all of Zach’s body on the same focal plane, adjacent to the camera’s sensor so we’d not see the distortion in his body.

Zach leaning forward, into the shot.
Zach leaning forward, into the shot.

The result was a more natural looking image rather than one where Zach looks like he’s leaning backwards in the shot.

Ashes – Celine Dion – Deadpool 2 Soundtrack

Deadpool

Have you heard this song yet? Or rather, have you seen this video clip?

The song is Ashes  performed by Celine Dion for the movie Deadpool 2. The song itself is endearing, but it’s the dance routine by Deadpool that really brings the video home. It’s topped off with some pretty funny banter between Deadpool and Dion at the end, so stick around for that.

Deadpool dancing in high heels was quite the surprise, and painfully Ryan Reynolds doesn’t have the chops for it, the dance number was actually performed by dancer and choreographer Yanis Marshall.

At the end, as I mentioned, there is so back and forth, Deadpool telling Celine Dion that her performance was amazing, but they need to do it again. When asked why by Dion, Deadpool retorts “Well it’s too good, this is Deadpool 2, not Titanic. you’re at like an eleven we need to get you down to a five, five and a half tops,  just phone it in.” That’s only part of it… get to watching and I’m sure you’ll love it.

I’m hanging to see the movie, it starts May 16th 2018 here in Australia. If it’s anything like the first one it will be well worth the wait.

BillTheDoggin, Work, Photos, and Friends

BillTheDoggin
BillTheDoggin taken with a prism.

Today is Bill’s birthday! Happy birthday BillTheDoggin, today he turned 8… where does the time go, seriously.

My day started out with work, I have a deadline looming for a new site and I am a little behind after some server issues we had at the end of last week and into this week, so I’m in high gear getting that done… more about that when it launches next week. But in short, I’ll be chained to my desk all day Sunday and into Monday… fun times.

I did get away from my desk for a time today… a few weeks back I ran a promoted post on Instagram looking for local folks who wanted to model for us. I got a few responses, one hasn’t gotten back to me after initial contact, another cancelled on the morning of our shoot, but today one came through for us.

Today we met with Zach and his Dad at Carlton Gardens in Melbourne for a shoot. The day was threatening rain early in the morning, the winds were up and it was freezing, I was feeling sorry to be the one to drag Zach out into the cold for a shoot. But thankfully, the sun came out and we ended up with a pleasant 20°C and a mixture of sunshine and shadow throughout our shoot.

Zach is a 16 year old from Williamstown who has been getting into fitness over the last couple of years. His initial inspiration he says came from a comedy podcast he was listening to, something the comedians had to say sparked an interest and sent him on his journey. After a short while he says it became a passion.

His parents are supportive of his interests and it shows as his Dad came along today, at our request, to be around for the shoot. At 16 it was just preferable to have a parent along for the ride.

We made some great photos and I’ll be diving into the edits for those over the coming days but for now, a rushed edit from the day.

Portrait of Zach
Portrait of Zach taken at Carlton Gardens Melbourne.

Following the shoot we stopped in with Sue and Lana for a quick visit. Lana threw together some viennese hotdogs with onion, bacon, and cheese. I certainly left their place full to the gullet.

It was quite the busy day and a fun-filled day for sure, well after I stopped working, oh who am I kidding, I actually like what I’m working on at the moment. 

What a Mess

While I’ve posted recently about my quirks and quotes, another one comes from the old 1980’s ad for Stainmaster carpets feature Australian artist Pro Hart.

Mr Hart makes quite the mess of a beautiful piece of carpet… of course the “mess” is actually an ephemeral work of art by the master artist.

The kicker for the ad is the cleaning lady who comes in at the end and proclaims “Oh Mr Hart, what a mess!”, and it’s this kicker that is firmly in the lexicon of most Australians I imagine. It is definitely in mine.

Just now, when making a coffee I spilt some and as I reached for the cloth to clean it up, heard myself utter: “Oh Mr Hart, what a mess!”

Darkness Falls

Candle

Sitting in the dark at home… it went out at 5:30pm before it was too dark, but now it’s totally pitch black. ☹️

The power was due to come back on at 7;30pm, but we just got an update saying it would now be 9:30pm.

We’ve already been to Melton, grabbed some dinner and kills some time walking around the shops not spending money, but just looking… and now we’re home again.

It’s funny how much of our lives depend on power… I had to be the ‘automatic’ garage door opener tonight when we went out, and when we came home.

I am, of course, writing this on my Laptop at the moment, tethered to my iPhone, using the Internet, so I guess I’m doing OK… just no Netflix. 🤪 Though I do have enough data left on my plan to watch a couple of hours of Netflix if I felt the need.

Remember the old days when the power used to go out and you’d have to remember which drawer in the kitchen the candles were kept in… and that it used to go out so often that we used to have to have candles in a particular drawer so we could find them in the dark, or with the help of the good old Dolphin torch!

As of now we have the light from our little Hue Go (we call him Hugo) which will maintain full-power light output for 3 hours. We also have our phones with flashlights on them and if need be we have a Godox LeadPower LP800X Inverter that we use for our studio lights that we could use to power devices for a time, not sure how long because we’ve only really used it for powering our studio lights so far.

I think I’ll put my laptop away now and maybe grab a book and the Hugo and read for a time before calling it a night.

Feature image from iStockPhoto

Official Spy’s Handbook

You want a tell about my life, well here you go… I’m, on occasion, paranoid.

I’ve admitted to very few limited people, and may have mentioned on these very pages, that I have a few weird proclivities, particularly when it comes to entering strange or enclosed places.

  1. I check for exits. I need to know if I want/need to get out of the location fast where the best exit is likely to be.
  2. I build scenarios in my head… what might happen while I’m here and how would I counter it if the happening is negative.
  3. Who looks like they may be a combatant and how would I handle them.
  4. What can I use as weapon. As an example in a movie theatre this could be everything from “how hard would it be to remove the arm from a chair”, to “how quickly can I fold a popcorn box into a hardened stick”.

Yes, I’m weird like that. A therapist might say it has to do with never feeling safe, of having social anxiety or something in that vein. But it goes beyond that because if I’m with others they are definitely included in the plans in my head… and it’s never, what can they do to help, it’s what do I have to do to protect them. So maybe I have a bit of a hero complex thrown in for good measure.

Well, I often wondered where it comes from, and the armchair therapists out there may have a point, but I prefer to believe it has to do with my obsession with a book when I was a kid.

The Usborne Official Spy's Handbook
The Usborne Official Spy’s Handbook

I first found out about an Official Spy’s Handbook when I was in primary school, I’m not certain it is the Usborne version but I imagine it was, how many could there be? Anyway, this book I obsessed over, it talked about how to see if someone was following you, doubling back, altering your routes to not have. a routine, checking in mirrors and windows for tails, how to lose a tail, how to mark a drop site, etc I had that book down. If it still existed in the Shalvey Primary School Library with the original borrowing card I’m pretty sure my name would be all over it, I had that book out all the time.

Carrying Secret Messages from The Official Usborne Spy's Handbook
Carrying Secret Messages from The Official Usborne Spy’s Handbook

Recently it came up, I’m not sure how or why, but I saw something that reminded me of it, so I went looking and have found a new imprint of it, and well, I’ve bought a copy, I’m waiting for it to arrive. Nostalgia is a crazy thing.

I look forward to reading it again, it’s a kid’s book so I’m not sure if it will stand the test of time. Maybe when I’m finished with it I’ll send it onto my nieces in New Zealand so they too can learn the art of the spy.

Feature image is from iStockphoto.com

Have it All – Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz is back with some new music… the sentiment of the song is awesome, we should all wish for everyone to have everything they can have… and we’re not thinking material items, we’re thinking a right to good education, to good health, and to happiness.

We’re too often focused on what someone else has, we aim to keep others down so we can feel important and wealthy, and it’s no wonder when that’s pretty much how every country on Earth operates.

Instead we need to want everyone to have a good life; through the betterment of those around us we too will grow.

I want you to have it all!