Tag Archive for 'sydney'

Premium economy

I somehow scored an upgrade to premium economy on my flight to San Francisco. Two seats on the side instead of three, and they lean back heaps further, the food is a bit better. Nice.

Unfortunately it was on the end of a days wait in Sydney airport, and I now have another five hours at SFO before leaving. Not so nice.


Niagara Falls

So as part of my long weekend trip to Toronto, we went down to Niagara Falls for the afternoon. It’s only an hour or so drive so quite easily a day trip. Along the way we stopped near St Catherine’s for lunch at Treadwell, a nice new restaurant with nice food from local sources. I also had a nice beer, made by Great Lakes Beer I think.

Arriving in Niagara, we drove down the main street, which is a total smorgasbord of gaudy signs, and random tourist attractions. I’m sorry not to have a photo, but I was driving my rental.

The falls themselves are spectacular. About ten times as much water goes over the Canadian falls as the American ones, and the best place for viewing both is on the Canadian side. The Americans have built a tower/walkway that extends out over the river to get a better look at theirs.

About 6000 cubic meters of water goes over the falls each second. That’s a bit over 1 sydharb/day in standard Australian units, and it’s beautiful!

niagara falls + people

The rest of the pics are here.

Aus-VO Summer School

I’ve just spent three days in Sydney at the Aus-VO Summer School learning about the programming language python, and the capabilities of the ‘virtual observatory’. About 50 people sat in a room, all with laptops in front of them and tapped away, with breaks for nice food in between!

the rest of the geeks

Sydney Big Day Out 07

I went to my first Big Day Out this week and it was huge! Thousands upon thousands (~55,000 in fact) of flag wearing Aussies made their way to the home of the 2000 Olympics to watch such acts as Muse, Tool, Jet, Lily Allen, John Butler etc. etc. I had a lovely day though was a little sore in the back by the time we got back to the hostel at about 2am.

We arrived nice and early, having already visited ATMS, thus avoiding any transport and 50m ATM queue woes. The audio provided by Jands was largely impressive, the stacks of 760’s in the Boiler Room sounded as clear and solid as anything I’ve heard before.

My favourite act of the day is hard to pick. James Taylor played some nice breaks, though very early in the day unfortunately. John Butler and his Trio had a banner saying ‘Nuclear Free Australia’ and encouraged people to vote in between paying an excellent set. Muse were awesome and energetic, with a good light show to go with. Tool were ok though I’m not a major fan… Shapeshifter have a singer now, and still at their best sans singer going fast with talented drummer and loud synth riffs.

Other highlights include the shiny solar-powered ‘Clubtainer’ in Lilyworld, and the walk-in pinhole camera…

After such a long day, we went for BK back in town and a wind-down beer at a quiet pub. Thanks Mary, Sayuri, Wolfi, and Emma for a rock ‘n’ roll day.

Photo will appear here soon.

Calendar of events for Big Day Out 2007 in Sydney

I’ve made a google calendar for the BDO07 which one can subscribe to via right clicking the following links:

xml | ical

I would suggest copying these into your own google calendar and setting up mobile notifications so you can get texts for each band on the day! The calendar is at this link.

Watch this space for edits…

Late nights at xmas06

After each day of the xmas06 talks, many of us had a great time enjoying a few beverages and catching up. Russell and Deanna came all the way from Queensland and Melbourne respectively, and a number of Sydneysiders completed the excellent group of social astronomers that were let loose on an unsuspecting Canberra.

Cheers for two awesome and funny 4am nights guys, I might have won the iPod with and early night but it wouldn’t have been as much fun.

Deanna’s photos here, mine here

Uncle Pete's place

My most recent trip involved more driving… I stopped in Sydney for a night on the way up, and continued on the next day up to my uncle’s place near Kendall. It’s just between Taree and Port Macquarie. Have a look at the map here to get a rough idea of the terristory. It might look close but it’s seven hours solid drive from Canberra.

There are plenty of excellent views to be had from any of the ‘Three Brothers’, the local hills. Below is a photo of where the Camden-Haven river comes out into one of the lakes that surround North Brother, with cool evidence of stuff coming down the river. Photos here.

cool eh? nice geography


Last weekend I went out to the lovely little town of Tathra. It’s pretty much where the star is near Bega on the map in this post. There’s a few photos of what I saw, along with a few dating back an extra week to when I was at the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney.