Sunday, December 21, 2008

An earthquake, a spider, the proposition and a question

Tuesday I was awoken by a sound like faraway thunder, except it came from deep within the earth. About half a second later, the entire room started shaking! I could hear the entire building creaking, and my bed was rocking hard enough to make it impossible for me to lie still. Slowly, the rocking faded until everything was quiet. I had just experienced an earthquake! In Denmark! We never get earthquakes! Well we do occasionally, but there are decades between the ones you can feel!
I quickly figured out what was happening, and by then I was enjoying it immensely as I knew enough about earthquakes to know that there wasn't any danger as we're too far from the edges of our tectonic plate. I've always wondered what it would be like, and I'm really excited about having felt a safe one!

This week I've had a lot of fun writing an article on the heteropoda maxima spider for Wikipedia. I created it from scratch since it didn't exist, and apparantly it turned out so well they decided to put it on the front page! I am very excited about this, and very proud. It's been so much fun researching this species, and I was impressed at how helpful people are when they recognize you're doing a good job. Finally, it was thrilling to see how the article was lifted out of my hands once it had been featured on the front page, as people with a better understanding of biology, and people more web-savvy than me, took the article to new heights.

The great thing is that it inspired me in many other ways too. I've always been a bit scared of collaboration when it comes to music and good ideas, mainly because of the stories I've heard about people getting their ideas stolen. Doing this article however, I realized how much fun it is collaborating with people, even when I get no official credit. From now on, my main priority is to have fun with what I'm doing, and do the very best I know how.

Eventually, i contacted Peter Jaeger, the guy who discovered the species back in 2001, and told him his spider would be on the front page. Unfortunately, he wasn't too happy about "promoting" it, as collectors are trying to purchase them as pets. I don't like that my work might promote this thought in some people, so I'll try to find a way of putting this info in the article.

Update: The day after posting this, I received this note on my user page in wikipedia:

Giant page views for Giant Huntsman
Your DYK for the Giant huntsman spider drew 29,300 page views while on DYK. That's the 5th most in the recorded history of DYK. Congratulations! Your hook as recorded onWikipedia:DYKBEST is set forth below. Cbl62 (talk) 07:13, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


Thursday I bought a movie called The Proposition . What a great film! It is a western set in Australia, and it's written by Nick Cave . Being a fan of his, I've been wanting to see it for a long time. Knowing his music though, I was afraid that his movie would be either
a) incredibly slow, or
b) sickeningly brutal.
It turned out to be neither. It's haunting, to say the least, but also very touching. harsh and gentle at the same time. The acting is inspired, and the camerawork, ambience and especially the soundtrack (which is written by Cave) is excellent in a surprisingly offbeat way.

I ordered a new camera about a month ago to replace the one that was stolen, but since they took so long sending it I cancelled my order and started looking for another. Seconds from ordering a brand new one, I received an email from a fellow diver who was selling his camera. Not only was it almost the exact same camera, but it was a LOT cheaper than what I was about to buy. And best of all, it came with an underwater case! So now you can expect great underwater photos, and maybe videos, along with standard "landlubber" pictures :)
I've also purchased a 16GB memorycard, so I don't expect to run out of memory at all.

Also, my dad equipped me with a small, powerful and sturdy flashlight. Perfect!

If the adventure biker meet in New Zealand happens, this lovely couple will be featured speakers. This is a couple who've spent the last twelve years riding around the world on a Harley Davidson, visiting every internationally recognized country in the world!

These crazy guys rode from Oslo to Indonesia on two 70 year old Nimbus motorbikes (from the days before rear suspension :/ ). Read the entertaining account of their trip (dubbed the "King Croesus Contempt for Death tour 2006") in danish or english . (The danish one is the best, as much of the humor has been lost in translation)
As if that wasn't not crazy enough, they're planning an even longer one for 2009!

For an exciting read, check out this post from Peter Cullens blog. He's riding with Mark Hammond in africa and almost went to prison!

I am considering changing my blog-posting habbits as I realized that these long posts must be tiring to read. How do you feel about them? Would you like shorter, more frequent updates (several times a week, maybe even daily), or these long, infrequent tirades?

Note: I removed the world clocks as they were big, ugly, and threw loud parties late in the night. You can use if you want to know what the time is where I'm at.

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