Saturday, August 25, 2007

Prosper - P2P Lending 

As a long-time fan of Kiva, I was pleased to see that there is a commercial version of the same concept, called Prosper. Basically regular folk with spare cash lend to regular folk who need a loan. It cuts out the banks, so in theory it is a win-win situation for both parties. Default rates seem to be in line with bank loans, and it makes it all very personal and nice (unless they default, then not nice).

If you have $2000 to invest, you could make 20 x $100 loans, significantly reducing the risk of default

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ryan Adams at the Palais - arrogant, talented wanker 

First off, let me say that if I closed my eyes it was a bloody good gig - Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Palais, St Kilda, August 20 2007. Played a good mix of old, new, covers & some stuff not on his albums. Songs with harmonising were beautiful. He chatted with the crowd a bit late in the proceedings, and got a great response from the crowd, but that would've happened no matter what he actually said.

Bad things happened!

1) Venue doesn't let you take drinks to your seat - so people were necking their beers before the gig and at the intermission
2) Venue ran out of beer! So I had to switch to wine and get more drunk
3) Here's the arrogant wanker part - the gig was back lit, so all we could see was silhouettes - all the fans never really got to see the fella they'd paid to see. I'm sure Ryan would say "I wanted folk to focus on the music, man". The image above was how it looked to my eyes - another image shows it better than it was (damn lying cameras)

Finally, a good point, he was finished before 10.30pm - great for those travelling by public transport, and those keen to get to half price Monday drinks at the Prince!

UPDATE: Hear the entire show for free:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Why I Pick My Nose (and eat it) 

Sorry, I will neither confirm or deny that I eat snot. But if I did, it could have health benefits. The following research confirms why we have that channel between our nose and mouth, that helps nose run-off reach your stomach...
A "friendly" bacteria found in soil has the same uplifting effects as those produced by anti-depressant drugs, the study found.

A study of mice found they altered their behaviour and appeared more relaxed after they were treated with the Mycobacterium vaccae bacteria.

Scientists at Bristol University and University College London found the bacteria stimulated the immune system and activated a group of neurons in the brain which produce the mood-enhancing chemical seratonin, a lack of which has been linked to depression.
I'm suggesting that almost anything your nasal hair and mucus catches is worth swallowing to boost your immunity to it - and apparantly boost your seratonin!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

McDonalds Tastes Nicer: Proven Fact 

Not McDonalds food, but rather anything in a McDonalds wrapper. For it seems that if it has the McD logo on it, kids brains (via TV ads) tell them it tastes nicer.

Almost as disturbing:
The study involved 63 low-income children from Head Start centers in San Mateo County, Calif. Only two of the 63 said they'd never eaten at McDonald's; about one-third ate there at least weekly.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Brawl in the African Wild 

8 min amateur video at YouTube called "Battle at Kruger" - featuring buffalos, lions and a croc. It's like a wilderness version of tag-team wrestingly, and the end result is not predictable!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blackwood Holiday 

Last weekend I stayed at a lovely country cottage in Blackwood, Victoria. Took some amazing pics of the kangaroos grazing next to the forest, and then dinner at the local pub, before a spa and a root. We stayed at Suite Blackwood Holiday Accommodation.

No More Reincarnating! 

In an effort to stop more Dalai Lamas materialising, the Chinese government has banned it:
"The so-called reincarnated living Buddha without government approval is illegal and invalid,” according to the order, which comes into effect on September 1.

The 14-part regulation issued
by the State Administration for Religious Affairs is aimed at limiting the influence of Tibet’s exiled god-king, the Dalai Lama, and at preventing the re-incarnation of the 72-year-old monk without approval from Beijing.

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