Nice weekend – Gone fishing

By | Space and Aliens | 4 Comments

When the earth becomes the worm on the fishing hook

So this is what it feels like to be a worm on a hook

Have you ever gone fishing? I’ve tried it once with a group of friends. It was a casual affair with a simple reel, hook and bait and we all huddled together along a pier. At the time, I thought the chase was fun and treated it like a competition…until I was struck with the actual reality of catching my prey. I felt awful looking into the goggly eyes of my helpless victim and froze – I couldn’t kill it, I couldn’t remove the hook and put it back into the sea – What to do?!

One of my friends saw the dilemma and took control. His decision was to swiftly kill and place into the bucket. Unsurprisingly, that was the end of my fun for the day. I sat back with some other friends who too had retired from the activity. We did the Aussie thing and cracked a tinny (opened a tin of beer), sat on the pier’s edge, talked nonsense and watched the sun set.

So, have you ever fished?


By | Work | 4 Comments

pictogram of business networking

A few weeks back I shared a cartoon from a work project we started in the office… just for that bit of daily fun. If you missed that post, fear not, I’ll explain here.

I’m calling it The Art of Us and it comprises of a series of cartoons that each portray one of our cultural  strengths as an organisation.  The panel above depicts networking as one of our key strengths in a business that spans the globe in over 40 countries and 100 offices. It resides amongst a set of other images that depict our culture and is slowly growing into a giant checkerboard of colour and inspiration.  Best of all, it’s a community project and allows anyone in the business to get engaged in the art.  These aren’t my ideas; these are the thoughts and feelings of people in the business when I ask them ‘What is our key business strength?’ All I do is bring their idea to life in a few cartoon strokes and a bold splash of colour (cunningly coloured in our corporate approved branding pallette 🙂 ).

I feel it is a small but meaningful way of introducing the inspiration of art into our workplace.  I’m a big believer that art helps spark people’s imagination and put simply, makes us feel good. Rather conveniently, it also allowed me to cover up that uninspiring beige wall adjacent to my desk.

So how would you describe your workplace in one word or sentence?



Musical chairs

By | That's life, Work | 4 Comments

Office musical chair dance

Funny, how the past comes back in later life.

For me as a child, musical chairs was one of my all time favourite party games. That, as well as pin the tail on the poor donkey and eating cake (that’s food, does that count?)

So what was your favourite party game and why?


The 5 second rule

By | Dung Beetles, Science | No Comments

does the 5 second rule apply to dung beetles?So what does science say about the 5 second rule?

Well, to do the topic full justice, please pop on by to my favourite science blogger, Jen Martin from Espresso Science, where she’ll give you the full blown scientific low down in a fun and disgestable format.

This week she explored exactly what science has to say on the popular notion that less than 5 seconds, means thumbs up to the consumption of a dropped item of food.  Without giving away too much, I was initially surprised by the finding that although duration was an obvious consideration, both the landing surface type and food type were more important. Dropping a moist piece of watermelon onto a tiled surface is more likely to pick up bacteria when compared with say a dry biscuit on carpet…(carpet? surely not?)

But I have shared enough. Read Jen’s study into the 5 second rule quandary, so that next time you drop food onto the ground, you’ll know exactly what to do.

So tell me, do you or don’t you eat food that’s been dropped?

When presented with a second chance

By | That's life, Work | 3 Comments

The IT cloudHopefully the exit is different from the entrance, in that a lift would be really handy when accessing the cloud…

But hang on, let’s imagine if that were possible…  The fastest elevator currently is Taipai 101 in Taiwan. It travels at a speed of 59 km/hr (37 mph). If we assume our average white fluffy cloud to be at a height of 4km (2.4 miles), then this elevator would take us 4 min and 6 sec to reach our destination. Pretty impressive when you consider that the first ever elevator installed by the Otis elevator company in 1857 in New York travelled at a modest 20cm per second (40ft per min). That would definitely require a packed lunch for our Otis elevator trip, with a duration 5 hrs and 33 minutes.

But you know what? I think I’d take the old tech option and enjoy the journey.

Which elevator would you take and why?

Thinking together

By | That's life | 9 Comments

Thinking together - the unified whole is greater than the sum of its parts

And now for something completely different…Yes, you’re right, not one of my normal cartoons. I thought I’d mix it up a bit and share with you some of the other cartooning work I do.

I’ve been looking at ways of introducing art into our workplace as I’m believe that art helps spark people’s imagination and put simply, makes them feel good. But, the art had to fit in with the business environment (hey, we’re a serious bunch of engineers at work); it had to be another element of the business that made sense amongst the library of engineering standards, 3D CAD machines and meeting rooms.

Ultimately, this idea manifested itself into what I call The Art of Us. This is one panel from a growing series of panels that I’ve checker boarded onto the big blank beige wall opposite my desk (What is it about engineering offices and their love of all things beige or warm grey?). Each panel aims to depict in images and a few words the culture of our organisation and express what it means to work here. But best of all, it’s a community project and allows anyone in the business to get engaged in the art.  These aren’t my ideas; these are the thoughts and feelings of people in the business. They simply tell me what they think one of our cultural strengths is and I interpret their thoughts and feelings into a one panel drawing.

So what do you think?

What word or phrase would you use to describe the culture of your workplace?


Seven day news forecast

By | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

weather forecast

We possibly take weather forecasting for granted these days, but within the study of meteorology is a whole set of terminology that perhaps you weren’t aware of…well, at least until now. Here is a summary of some of the more quirky words that can used to describe the weather.

  • Ball lightning  A relatively rarely seen form of lightning, generally consisting of an orange or reddish ball of the order of a few cm to 30cm in diameter and of moderate luminosity, which may move up to 1 m/s horizontally with a lifetime of a second or two.
  • Barber pole  A thunderstorm updraft with a visual appearance including cloud striations that are curved in a manner similar to the stripes of a barber pole. The structure typically is most pronounced on the leading edge of the updraft, while drier air from the rear flank downdraft often erodes the clouds on the trailing side of the updraft.
  • Bitterly cold   In winter, bitterly cold or very cold, refers to more than seven degrees Celsius below normal. (So, descriptions are relative to your location, which might explain why Canadians laugh at us Australians when confronted with a ‘bitterly’ cold forecast whilst vacationing in Melbourne. You can easily spot them, they are walking around in shorts, whilst the locals are rugged up in scarves and black coats).
  • Broken clouds  Clouds which cover between 5/8ths and 7/8ths of the sky.
  • Heat index  An index that combines air temperature and humidity to give an apparent temperature (how hot it feels).
  • Hot spot  Typically large areas of pavement, these “hot spots” are heated much quicker by the sun than surrounding grasses and forests. As a result, air rises upwards from the relatively hot surface of the pavement, reaches its condensation level, condenses, and forms a cloud above the “hot spot”.
  • Iridescence  Brilliant patches of green or pink sometimes seen near the edges of high or medium level clouds.
  • Katabatic  Wind blowing down an incline, such as down a hillside; downslope wind.
  • Mushroom  A thunderstorm with a well-defined anvil rollover, and thus having a visual appearance resembling a mushroom.
  • Yellow wind  A strong, cold, dry west wind of eastern Asia that blows across the plains during winter and carries a yellow dust from the desert.
  • Sunny Sunny or a few clouds means that less than half the sky has clouds.

I had to stop myself and limit it to eleven, but if you want to read the entire list, then click on over here.

The most beautiful weather I’ve ever experienced was whilst sun baking on the amazing Whitsunday island – The perfect sunny day (zero cloud)… probably the environment had a little bit to do with it.

What is the most amazing weather you’ve experienced?


Who ate your homework?

By | Space and Aliens | 2 Comments

Black hole ate my homework

Back to a favourite stomping ground – aliens and space – and this cartoon happens to be the perfect lead into the topic of black holes. Cool, huh!

Many of you know my affinity with all things astronomical in nature and black holes are up there in my favourite top space wonders of the universe. So tell me, have you ever wondered about the humble black hole and what would happen if you ever had the misfortune of getting sucked into one? Well, you wouldn’t be the first to have wondered. In fact, there are many scientists who dedicate their time to understanding more about the black hole and some of them conduct thought experiments to theorise what would actually happen to someone entering the hole of no return. Many thought experiments have been undertaken and there are three versions that I’m particularly fond of.

If you’re a wee bit curious, click on here to download your very own black hole (yes, I’m not joking this time), along with the thought experiment details. All you need is a computer, printer, scissors and sticky tape and you could be the proud owner of your very own black hole in less than 5 minutes! (Hang on, why are you still reading? You should be in print mode by now).

Hey, and if you enjoy that, come and visit my fun space website. I call it Cosmic Caboodle and if full of, you guessed it – aliens and space stuff.

In the mean time, let me know what you thought of the black hole download above.


Why are the lights off? Reason #23

By | That's life | 5 Comments

When the lights go out

When confronted with a blank canvas and no funny ideas to draw, I take the ostrich approach… I stick my head deep into the sand and just let the cartoon get on with the job without me.

When was the last time you stuck your head in the sand?