Saturday, December 4, 2010

Things have changed a little bit!

Well it’s been a little while since I last posted, sorry about that! But I have been a bit busy lately. Last time I was at work my career took a bit of a dramatic turn. I was just sitting there working away on one of my reports when I got a phone call from my boss. I won’t tell you the whole conversation but the basic jist was "do you fancy going to Brisbane to work on a project for 5 weeks and then possibly go to Papua New Guinea and work 4 weeks on a rig and 4 weeks off, it means that you will become the global expert for this new piece of equipment". Obviously in my mind I was going OMG yes please. But then I was thinking oh S**t "Global expert" that’s a lot of responsibility. No I’m not usually the sort of person to seek out responsibility, but I have recently been considering a new career anyway so I jumped at the chance.

So I’m currently in Brisbane loving the weather, loving the city and loving the people. No I don’t know if it’s because i live in Southend or if it’s just because I’m from the UK but everyone here is really polite and I don’t think I have ever felt safer just walking around in a city. This has got me thinking, does the climate affect the whole population in a positive way? We have all heard about S.A.D. and its effects on some people and I guess everyone to some extent.

I would love to see if there has ever been a study into crime rates and climate. Is there a correlation between the amount of sunshine and temperature with crime rates and social well being? Now I know I have only been in the city for 4 days and obviously haven’t seen everything it has to give, but there is just a general air of happiness.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting lost, stupidity or medical condition?

Finally there is a reason why women can’t read maps!!! Only joking, but I was reading an article today that was talking about a new condition that has been identified called DTD. Developmental Topographical Disorientation is a new condition that has been discovered by some scientists over in Canada, they have found that there is a legitimate reason why people get lost all the time and have absolutely no idea where they are. Obviously there are varying levels of how badly people are affected by this “condition”, but it just amazes me that there is a reason for everything that affects people, and just proves that the brain is an awesome thing.
From a personal point of view I tend to not have a problem with finding my way round places, I can be shown the way once and generally I don’t have a problem getting back. It’s a handy ability to have as I spend half my life on the rabbit warrens that are oil rigs. I can also take a look a Google maps and not have to worry about how to get somewhere. It appears that the people who suffer from extreme DTD have trouble navigating their own house or office. I know this seems strange to most people but there are cases of people who have trouble getting from the bedroom to the kitchen.
Research using an fMRI has found that the Hippocampus (a little chunk of the brain just at the top of the spinal cord) is the offending piece of the brain which prevents you from developing the “cognitive map” that you use to navigate yourself. This part of the brain is also responsible for your internal compass, allowing you to generally know which way your facing at all times. Now, people who do get lost there is nothing physically wrong with your brain, you haven’t damaged your Hippocampus, basically it just hasn’t developed as well as most peoples. As far as I can tell there isn’t a cure for this condition, I think you just have to learn to live with it.
After reading the article there is one question I would like to ask. I don’t want to come across as sexist but there has always been that battle of the sexes in the car when going somewhere. Who should drive and who should navigate? Gents I know you generally like to use you “pigeon’s instinct” but how good are you at reading that map. Ladies, do you really know how to read a map, is it just a pretty picture and you have no idea how to read it and relate it to where you are.  The scientists have developed at test on their website that won’t answer this question but might help answer the age old question. The test has been designed to test your orientation skills. I know the test lasts 90 minutes so give yourself plenty of time but all I’m asking is that you take this test and let me know how you get on.
You can find the test at, have a read of the rest of their site and take the test. It would be interesting to know who will win this skirmish in the battle of the sexes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Modern Day Gents movement starts here!

Well this may seem like a strange subject for a 26 year old male to be talking about but where have all the Gents gone? I don’t consider myself a perfect Gent but I like to think that am considered a nice guy, I don’t always smile and I can be grumpy, but I want to change. Don’t get me wrong I know that there are nice blokes out there, my dad being one of them, but they seem to be hiding away, possibly because they are so fed up with the lack of appreciation they get for their Gent like actions, they just dont bother anymore.

What does someone have to do to become a Gent? I don’t think that it means you have to walk around in a suit with a waist coat, cane and a top hat. Trust me times have changed! But I think there are a few basic things that a bloke can do that could earn him the status of Modern Day Gent.

1) Opening doors for anyone. You don’t have to open doors just for the ladies but fellow blokes too. You don’t have to stand there all day but just for a few people. Or even once you have walked through the door just hold it open for the next person.

2) Help the older generation. Seriously how much effort does it really take to help someone with their bags off a train? With all the travelling I do on trains these days I see so many cases where people can help but they are too wrapped up in their own little world to help. Maybe even carry their bag up a flight of stairs. Whoever it is they may say, no thanks, but at least offer a hand!

3) Say thanks and use those muscles in your face to smile!! We all have the ability, I know some days you just don’t want to but try it, as the sayings go "it takes 41 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile".

These are only 3 things that could help you on your way to becoming a Gent. There are plenty more that can be done but even if you do a couple of these at least once a day you could then progress on to the advanced stages on your way to becoming a true Gent.

I would love to see the term "Gent" getting used more often, It shouldn’t be just an old fashioned term that people automatically link to posh people it should just related to genuinely nice blokes. There are too many "chav's", "Emo's" etc etc around and not enough "Gents". So come on fellow budding Gents practise those smiles and generally being nice, it’s better to be nice than it is to be that grumpy git that people tolerate. Plus its better for your health (science bit coming up), Studies have shown that smiling and being smiled back at can really positively effect your health, studies have shown that it can make you more attractive to the fairer sex, it can lower your blood pressure, it can relieve stress and it makes you more attractive.

By the way all you ladies out there this is a two way street, if you want more Gents in your lives you are going to have to encourage it a bit more. Smile back; say thanks, if a man offers to help, let him. He is more likely to do it again and it will make him feel good!

No matter what your age become a Modern Day Gent!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Well..... Here it goes


I've set this blog up as a way for me to get things off my chest. Dont worry it wont be one of those ranting and raving blogs. Granted i may have the odd post or two that i will just have a good vent, but hopefully they will be of interest to other people. I have been told by friends and family that i can get a little up tight about things and that i over think things way to much. Im hoping this blog will help me to share stuff and it will also be a way for me to get some of the randoms things out of my head that sometimes float around in there for days or weeks. I will try and share funny stories from my offshore oil rig lifestyle and from my other travels around the country and maybe even the world.

So here it goes......hope you enjoy.