A brief history of Toothbrush Depilation

Toothbrush depilation, or, as it is known to its practitioners, “toothbrush depilation”, is a vibrant and exciting competitive sport. Although it has been around for the last two hundred years or so, it only came to the public notice when Hammurabi’s daughter, Hammuribena, was viciously murdered in Babylon. The ensuing civil war has guaranteed toothbrush depilation’s place in the homes and hearts of Australia’s most-beloved families.

Perhaps surprisingly, the sport has remained relatively unchanged from its Babylonian days, notwithstanding the French revolutionaries’ attempts to “simplify” and “democratise” it. Two teams attempt to remove the bristles from between five and six toothbrushes. Judges award points based on the number of bristles removed, their angular displacement, and the size of the bribe. Many have called for toothbrush depilation to be played at the Olympics, but unfortunately they had the wrong number, and so their calls could not be connected.

In Australia, the sport has had something of a checkered history. Forced underground by Hughes, it later experienced an upsurge in popularity under Menzies and Howard. Its detractors claim that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment; its pundits counter this by pointing out that the detractors are all wimps.

With growing numbers of young Australians choosing toothbrush depilation over other, perhaps more conventional sports, it looks set to sweep the world in the new millenium. A bright future of bristles, bribes, and bloody murders beckons!

iOS 4

I’ve been living with Apple’s new OS for about a day now, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that Apple dropped the ball. There are so many minor frustrations, as well as a few big ones, that the whole experience is at best annoying, and at worst unbearable.

The new iOS isn’t all bad. The animations feel snappier, Springboard is prettier, and it’s got the slick Apple feel which everyone so desperately wants to emulate. The big one, of course, is multitasking, and that I think they got right.

But then there are the problems. Apps crash with neither rhyme nor reason: the iPod app won’t even startup properly for me anymore. Google Sync is kaput (although I think Google should take some of the blame for that). The new folders, whilst useful, are, to be charitable, ugly. It all feels as though it was released without going through proper testing, let alone going through the spit-and-polish phase.

I was looking forward to this update. I thought that, like all the iOS versions before it, it would Just WorkTM. I hope that when they patch iOS 4, they don’t introduce any new features: there’s just too much that needs to be fixed.

Work

I’m a software developer, working for SEQTA Software. We develop software for the education sector; basically, we aim to let teachers just get on with teaching, rather than having to faff around with a myriad different poorly-designed systems. I’m responsible for most of the front-end development of our two flagship products, Teachers’ Assistant and SEQTA Coneqt. Recently, I also redesigned the company website.

Why am I bothering to tell you this? Because I enjoy what I do. I get to develop software that’s genuinely useful, that people actually appreciate, and that has concrete benefits. Oh, and I also get to play with all of the latest and most interesting new browser developments. One of the things I enjoy most about my job is getting out to sites and training people one-on-one. I love seeing people get caught up in what’s possible, and I particularly appreciate it when they come up with new ideas — ideas which can sometimes become central features.

I know, I know, this sounds a lot like I’m just banging on about work to earn brownie points. But the really weird thing is, it’s the truth. Yes, I’m young and idealistic. But then, I think that I’m work in a young and pretty-nearly ideal job.