Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Hello, San Francisco.....Oh, we finally get a chance to meet

I received news today about the acceptance of an abstract I submitted for a conference in San Francisco. I was so delighted to hear this. This will be my first international conference and will hopefully give me the opportunity to meet with many of the experts within my field whose works I have been reading about for the past two years.

Inter-species refloating technique

I heard a heart-warming story today: On Monday, a resident dolphin off Mahia Beach on New Zealand’s North Island helped two beached whales swim back into the sea preventing potential death. Two Pygmy Sperm whales (mother and calf) became stranded on-shore and failed to return to the water after several rescue attempts made by volunteers. Conservation workers believed that the two whales would have been euthanised if it had not been for the efforts of the dolphin. A bottlenose dolphin, named Moko, detected the distress signals from the Pygmy Sperm whales (mother and calf) and intervened after volunteers had tried for an hour to coax the whales back into the water. A volunteer rescuer described the heroic efforts of the dolphin as it pushed its way between the humans and whales and guided the whales through a channel back into the sea. The whales were not seen after the rescue however the dolphin returned to the shore to play with local residents. What a beautiful story.

Just in case you were wondering, Ta Moko which is also known as Moko, is the permanent body and face markings used byindigenous people of New Zealand who are known as Maoris. It was used in the 19th and 20th centuries for several reasons including the display of rank or status; attracting the opposite sex and signifying the transition from childhood to adulthood. Today, Moko is more commonly used to signify Maori cultural identity.


Saturday, 8 March 2008

My first demonstrating job

I start my first job demonstrating practicals for undergraduate students next week. Although I have done a bit before, it wasn’t professional and it was only a couple of practicals in a laboratory that I worked in. This will be an on-going thing for the entire semester. I am really excited but also quite nervous.