What on Earth is Kieselgur?

It’s a good idea to try to hang on to my remaining brain cells…

Rock Duet

As a person keen on rocks it was a surprise to me that they use certain types of rock in the process of making beer.

It may seem odd for someone that doesn’t drink whisky or beer to be writing about these in my blogs but there you go! I don’t like the taste of either and I much prefer cider and wine although I’m trying to give up. This weekend will be an exception though as we slide into that heavenly state between sheer terror – trying to meet our deadlines – and the inevitable sickness that will follow. I reckon we have about 3 days before it all goes pear shaped.

My daughter arrives this afternoon from Christchurch and I have barely even seen her since she came back from Australia. It is quite hard when you’re a mum. For years you have been there and then, when they leave home, you…

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Singing Sands and Syria

Camping out under the stars in Oman wouldn’t it be wonderful?

Rock Duet

Today’s song is the fabulous Leona Lewis singing Footprints in the sand. Live!

Artwork © Lauren Delora Sears

One of my fondest memories is of a trip we did to Turkey and Syria back in 1996. Yes that long ago! We had our three daughters with us aged between three and thirteen years old.

We did all the touristy things in Istanbul like the Aya Sofia,Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. It is amazing just to be in a city that has been around so long that its name has changes a few times.

The boat trip up the Bosphorus should have been a relaxing affair but a certain three year old kept asking annoying questions. When we got back we ate fish sandwiches and watched the traffic stream across the Galata Bridge. Ah yes, the bridge between East and West – the whole place oozes history.

We caught a plane down to…

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Rocks as grief therapy

We can put things in perspective and heal our sorrows by immersing ourselves in nature. All of us have different ways of coping and this is one of mine.

Rock Duet

Today’s song is Queen’s Under Pressure.

Five years ago, a light went out in my life.

I was heartbroken and lost. There was a vast expanse of future ahead and I had no idea what it would look like. Friends told me to keep moving forward but I could only look back and I knew I had to find something that would take me away from it.

So I packed up my car and started to drive. I had no idea where I was headed except that it had to be far, far away from the suffocating present. If I could drive off into the future maybe I would get there sooner, shortcut the grief process, and stave off the free-fall plunge to excruciating pain that I knew lay ahead.

I had music blaring, boy-racer style, although my stereo system was way too under-bassed. Unashamedly, I sang my heart out in between bouts of ab-wracking…

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Forever in Amber

Short and sweet. Hope it resinates with you! 😉

Rock Duet

Artwork © Lauren Delora Sears.

Today’s song is a chillin’ Amber from 311.

I sat and watched, hands held in front of my face waiting for the inevitable. One thing’s for sure. When a Saint Bernard’s head swivels furiously, the jowls flap and contort as the edges on the outside can’t keep pace with the skin closer to the muzzle. Huge globs of frothy spit threaten to hurl themselves off at any moment. You never quite know where they will land, only that, eventually, they will.

Long-haired Saint Bernards have an added bonus. They have clumps of hair, scrunched and matted in the gathering gel, that give it texture, substance and stickability. Finally, one sailed past me and adhered itself to the wall about a metre above my head.

“Phew safe”, I thought. For now.

Funny as it seems now, I miss those dodge-the-bullet games. I can’t believe it was so long…

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Flames stand up for Hallelujah (Part 2)

Part 2 is now out! It’s a short journey from standing waves to guitar playing.

Rock Duet

In Part 1, of Flames stand up for Hallelujah, I explained standing waves and used the immensely popular fire-breathing Ruben’s tubes to illustrate them.

We can now begin to explore particular lyrics of Hallelujah, the song by Leonard Cohen, that mentions “the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift”.

To recap, standing wave patterns form from perfectly timed interference of two waves in a medium – passing along a string fixed at one end, for example. Take a quick look at the previous post if you need to refresh your memory.

So, while the waves travel in opposite directions they still have the same frequency. The frequency that produces a single standing wave on a given string is called its resonant frequency. That will change according to what it’s made from and its length, tension and thickness, among other things.

The lowest frequency that produces a standing wave is the fundamental. It’s also called the 1st harmonic. It looks like…

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Flames stand up for Hallelujah (Part 1)

Ruben’s tubes are all the rage right now. They spectacularly demonstrate standing waves. What are they? Read on and find out!

Rock Duet

The song that inspired this post is the popular Hallelujah written by Leonard Cohen and sung here by Jeff Buckley.

Artwork © by Lauren Delora Sears.

One of the great things about staying in post-graduate residential accommodation, here in Dunedin, is undoubtedly meeting some great people from all around the world. I met a lovely Dutch professor here – Maria. We chatted, on and off, as our busy schedules allowed and met up for drinks a few times. On one of those occasions, in fact the last one, we drank a glass or two of wine and played each other some of our favourite music. We both love classical music, and other genres, but at one point she showed me a clip of an Irish priest – Ray Kelly – surprising a couple, at their wedding ceremony, by singing Hallelujah. He did a fantastic job and was happy that I watched…

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Flood – When a five hour journey turns into twelve

Use information about flood dynamics to help plan your travel journeys better.

Rock Duet

Song for this week is Tool’sFlood.

from dreamxspace

This week, for the second time in two weeks, I had to make the trip between Christchurch and Dunedin during a severe weather warning.

At the start of Easter, my classmate and I left Dunedin and headed for Christchurch. It was the start of a ten day break and we were both looking forward to going home to be with our partners. I was staying in Christchurch but she was flying out in the very early hours next morning bound for Sydney.

I picked her up just after lunch and we began the five hour journey by car. There was a severe storm approaching, and we had been warned to take it easy, but I have driven that road many times before and it didn’t really faze me. Rain had been plummeting from the sky for several days, on and off, and the ground…

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