A silver wining

Climate change had to have a benefit somewhere… and I’ve found it.

“The consequences of warming are already detectable in wine quality, as shown by Duchêne and Schneider (2005), with a gradual increase in the potential alcohol levels at harvest for Riesling in Alsace of nearly 2% volume in the last 30 years. On a worldwide scale, for 25 of the 30 analysed regions, increasing trends of vintage ratings (average rise of 13.3 points on a 100-point scale for every 1°C warmer during the growing season), with lower vintage-to-vintage variation, has been established (Jones, 2005).”

Here’s the study (pdf).

Via BoingBoing

Finding Jesus on Wikipedia

Back in 2006 when nobody read my blog I came up with this unoriginal “six degrees of Wikipedia” game. I haven’t really played it since.

Boing Boing today posted “Click to Jesus” – a similar concept. See how you go.

1. Go over to Wikipedia.
2. Click “Random Article” just below the Wikipedia unfinished Death Star logo.
3. Choose the link in the article you think will get you closest to the Jesus article.
4. Keep track of the articles. Continue step 3 until you arrive at Jesus.

1 point for Random page
1 point for each click
1 point for Jesus page

You get style points if you start at Kevin Bacon – share your path from Kevin Bacon to Jesus in the comments.

Raising dough

If you’re here for a post on breadmaking you’re in the wrong place. Robyn might do that later. The only thing I use a breadmaker for is roasting coffee… which tangentially leads into the point of this post.

Today is Robyn’s last day of teaching. Next month I’m giving up my job. We’re going to be poor uni students again which means stepping out of DINK time (double income no kids) into the great unknown of government supported poverty. We’re trying to come up with ways to earn money on the side. I am seriously investigating the possibility of upgrading my roasting capacity and flogging of roasted coffee to friends in Brisbane – if you’re interested in cheap, but quality, coffee beans – let me know.

Anyway, I’ve just read a couple of stories that had great ways to save (or make) money that I thought I’d share with you.

Frequent Flier programs are pretty much a license to print money for some US residents. They’ve cottoned on to this great scheme in courtesy of the Federal Mint. Now, this won’t work in Australia – I bought a $1 coin at our Mint for $2 when I was a young lad… I’m not sure what they cost now…

Here’s the scheme that has been cooked up in the states

At least several hundred mile-junkies discovered that a free shipping offer on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value by the U.S. Mint, amounted to printing free frequent-flier miles. Mileage lovers ordered more than $1 million in coins until the Mint started identifying them and cutting them off.

Coin buyers charged the purchases, sold in boxes of 250 coins, to a credit card that offers frequent-flier mile awards, then took the shipments straight to the bank. They then used the coins they deposited to pay their credit-card bills. Their only cost: the car trip to make the deposit.


BoingBoing reports on a guy who makes $45,000 a year cashing in discarded betting slips that are actually winners.

Mr. Leonardo, who is married with two teenagers, is hardly living on the fringes. He said that stooping brings him $100 to $300 a day, and more than $45,000 a year. Last month, he cashed in a winning ticket from bets made on races at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., for $8,040. His largest purse came in 2006, when he received $9,500 from a Pick 4 wager (choosing the winners of four consecutive races) at Retama Park Race Track in Selma, Tex.

Got any cool money making schemes for Bible College students? Share them in the comments…

Tips for the iPhone photographer

BoingBoing has a series of tips from a Japanese pro photographer who takes amazing iPhone pictures in his spare time.

“Always be on the lookout for change, whether that’s lighting, or the movement of people, or just a slight difference in something ordinary.”

“Walk a lot. The iPhone camera has a fixed focal length. Whether you enliven or kill this feature is up to your footwork. If you need a close up, get real close. If you need distance, you exaggerate that distance. You use your feet to find angles. It’s also important to venture far away from your comfort zone to find good subjects to shoot.”

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