STOP shooting each other!

As anyone who’s been following the news or indeed, just the Queensland Police Service’s Facebook feed, would know there has been a notable increase in shootings in South East Queensland over the last year or so.  Just this weekend alone there has been several armed robberies, a shooting at Burpengary, the details of which are sketchy, and a shooting at Robina shopping centre, the surveillance images for which are just as sketchy.  OT: Why is that the case given the improvements in digital technology over the last decade?  Surveillance video images, as Yale pointed out, are just as crap as they’ve always been? So the Gold Coast police are looking for a man who is ‘possibly Pacific Islander or of Middle Eastern appearance, of large build with tattoo on his neck’ who may be ‘able to assist them with their inquiries’.  A muscly guy with a tanned complexion and a tattoo on the Gold Coast?  Yeah, no problem.   :S

But I digress (I know it’s a bad habit).  I originally starting to write that people need to stop shooting one another, because if this trend keeps going they are going to crack down on firearms legislation… again!   The most recent statistics I have seen on gun related crimes in QLD indicate that 97% of gun related crimes are committed with ILLEGAL firearms – ie: firearms that do not belong to licensed firearms owners and are not registered with Weapons Licensing Branch. But every time politicians and the Qld Police Service need to be seen to be getting tougher on gun related crimes, they screw down on firearms legislation even though there appears to be little evidence that restricting gun ownership and making acquisition ever more difficult reduces these crimes.  No doubt this is largely because they are NOT being perpetrated with legally owned and registered firearms possessed by licensed gun owners!

So, please, if you happen to know any of the hairy unwashed miscreants committing these shooting offenses with illegally obtained firearms, do your local sporting shooters a favour and encourage them to threaten and harm one another with knives, power tools or gardening implements.  Anything other than a gun really.  Because personally, I believe that we as a community deserve more stringent restrictions on the purchase of cutlery, chainsaws and secateurs to keep the law abiding citizenry safe.

firearms licensing Queensland Australia

It’d be nice to see them using their knives and forks.

Rare Coptic Textile in UQ’s Antiquities collection

I’ve been attending a conference at the University of Queensland for the last couple of days run by the Australian Early Medieval Association themed on “Land and Sea in the Early Middle Ages”.  The program has been quite diverse and an unexpected session of the conference was a personal tour through the small antiquities collection that was accumulated by UQ’s Emeritus Professor Bob Milne over the last 40 years.  It’s a very small collection but contains some surprisingly important pieces.  Not the least of which is this unusual coptic textile (my apologies for the quality of the phone images – had I known I was going to see this I might have taken a real camera!)

7th century 12th century woven embroidery According to the staff there, the textile fragments are from a funerary garment and have been unable to be adequately dated, with best estimates somewhere between the 7th century to 12th century.  C-14 dating is slated to be completed this year some time which they hope will yield a more accurate age of the piece.  Apparently there are only two other similar coptic funerary stoles in existence, one located in a museum in Alexandria, Egypt and the other in Dresden, Germany.  The piece is an exquisite woven work with embroidered detail, and some inserted roundels. It is not currently on display for the public so I’m told we are the only group of people likely to see it for a few years until they have a proper display housing for it.  I took a number of pictures, but given I only had my phone with me they’re not great. 7th century 12th century embroidery woven piece  Detail:

7th century to 12th century woven embroidery

Bird and fish figures in woven band with lighter (white) detail embroidered over the woven ground:

7th to 12th century embroidery woven stole

Detail of roundels, probably located at ‘shoulder’ of garment –

7th to 12th century textile funerary garment

Closer up –

7th to 12th century funerary garment

Hopefully the testing on the item that is planned to be carried out this year will yield more info on this amazing piece. It will be interesting what information will be ascertained about the age of the textile, the origins of the work and even the dyes that have been used.  I can’t believe I got to see this yesterday, it was a most unexpected pleasure and such a wonderful experience to see it without glass in the way!

The Diamond Anniversary Theory

Clever guy that he is, Mr K worked out back in the beginning that paper, wood and linen just doesn’t cut it when it comes to showing the woman in your life how much you appreciate her.  I mean, seriously?  Paper?

So for many, many years now Mr K has been telling people that ALL wedding anniversaries mean Diamonds – and whenever anyone brings up the ‘traditional’ list of wedding anniversary gifts he agrees that the list is quite correct, but that people have been misinterpreting it for a very long time. ‘Paper’, he claims, is the receipt for diamonds; ‘cotton’ is the little cloth jewellery bags that the diamonds come in, ‘leather’ is the bound boxes which also house diamonds… but that’s about as far as he’s ever really gotten in explaining his Diamond Anniversary Theory before getting an amused reaction from any male listener and an approving reaction from any female audience!

Having just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary, I thought I’d put him to the test and see how far his Diamond Anniversary Theory could hold out.  And this, ladies, is what came of it:

Mr K’s Diamond Anniversary Theory 

1st Paper:  Receipt for diamonds

2nd Cotton:  Cotton velvet jewellery bags that diamonds come in

3rd Leather:  Leather bound jewellery boxes for diamond rings

4th Linen:  Linen shirt pocket containing diamond tennis bracelet

5th Wood:  Polished walnut boxes with diamond studs inside

6th Iron:  Diamonds bought paying the ‘Iron Price’ (not ‘Gold Price’!!)

7th Wool:  Padding holding loose diamonds for setting of her choice

8th Bronze:  Diamond set Bronze Age design torc bangle

9th Poetry:  Slogan at Tiffany & Co. where diamond keys (pl!) are purchased

10th Tin:  Biscuit tin in which diamond jewellery is hidden until anniversary

11th Steel:   BHP stocks sold to buy diamond necklace

12th Silk:  Ribbon on box of miscellaneous diamond jewellery

13th Lace:  Lace filigree work on setting for diamond pendant

14th Ivory:  Ivory Coast ‘blood’ diamonds acquired in suspect transaction

15th Crystal:  Temporarily give up crystal meth habit to pay buy diamonds

20th China:  Trip to Hong Kong to buy back alley diamonds

25th Silver:  Cremated remains of 1st husband made into a Life Diamond

30th Pearl:  Diamond encrusted, pearl handled handgun/s

35th Coral:  Diamonds recovered from pirate treasure found in the Coral Sea

40th Ruby:  Recently deceased Grandma Ruby’s heirloom diamonds

50th Golden:  Diamonds bought with $1 coins saved from leftover schrappers

55th Emerald:  Diamond solitaire ring – Emerald cut of course

60th Diamond:  Well duh…

70th Platinum:  Platinum Visa used to purchase more diamonds

75th Diamond/Gold:  You can’t buy off my affections every… OMG!!! It’s a tiara!!!

So there you have it.  Every wedding anniversary really is a Diamond Wedding Anniversary.  Ladies, make sure you spread the word to your husbands, and gentlemen… I hope you’re paying attention!   🙂

Diamonds are a girls best friend


ANZAC Day … memories of Gallipoli, family and tragedy.

I’ve traveled to Gallipoli twice…once in 1995 as part of the Grand Tour I did with Big Sal back in 1995 and again in 2007 with Dr Nick.  It truly is a place, while being so far from home, stirs the imagination and the hearts of every Australian and New Zealander who visits there.  But something we, as Australians often overlook is the great sense of loss and grief and the subsequent deference the Turks themselves hold for the Gelibolu Peninsula and the horrific events that occurred there.  This is something we don’t teach in schools here – how the other side felt, but it is something that stays with you once you’ve visited this solemn site.

ANZAC Day has always evoked strong memories for me ever since I was a kid – from discovering my Grandfather had killed several Japanese soldiers with an axe in the Pacific in WWII earning him the Military Medal, to the loss of my three small cousins in a tragic drowning incident on ANZAC Day in 1988  🙁   But still my most enduring ANZAC memories are from participating in dawn service memorials and commemorative marches when I was in the army cadets and from those two visits to Gallipoli which will stay with me awlays.

Lest we forget…

Gelibolu Cannakale Peninsula

Gallipoli Peninsula

Anzac Cover

Turkey, Memorials Gallipoli


ANZAC Cove Gallipoli




Gallipoli ANZAC Cover

Memorial for Turkish Soldiers ANZAC Cove


Word Clouds for shits and giggles.

A friend of mine was doing up some interesting Word Cloud images on Facebook tonight via and was coming up with some very creative and cool images full of words describing her friends.  I flicked through to the site and noticed you can use the URL of your blog or Twitter feed or website and it will create one for you based on your content. So I thought I’d give it a burl for a bit of a lark on an otherwise boring Monday night.

Here’s one it created from this blog:

borys azerbaijan etc

Here’s one I created from my SCA website:

word cloud for

And here’s one I created from my Twitter feed (which I don’t use much tbh): @boryssnorc

tagxedo word cloud twitter

That last one is a bit painful really… but then, so am I.