Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crabs in a chinese market

DSC_0246, originally uploaded by jpusel.

Chinese Friendship Garden

DSC_0247, originally uploaded by jpusel.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, we went to the Chinese Garden. Beatiful and serene.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bondi Beach

DSC_0220, originally uploaded by jpusel.

DSC_0222, originally uploaded by jpusel.

An alien from Victoria at Bondi

Bondi Beach


Breakfast at the Buena Vista cafe( in the Supreme Law Courts Building of all places. Had to go through security to the 14th floor for a wonderful inexpensive breakfast with the best capuccino and a great view of Sydney.

Off to Bondi Beach. It was about 85 degrees F but the water was cold.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rays etc

DSC_0155, originally uploaded by jpusel.

This is one of the rays. He's also bigger than a person"

Saw poisonous octopi and jellyfish.

The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball, but its venom is powerful enough to kill humans. Here's a picture from Wikipedia:

Box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), the infamous lethally venomous of northern Australia's coastal waters, is the most lethal jellyfish in the world, and one of the most dangerous animals in the world.(Picture also from Wikipedia).

Wildlife of Australia seems to come in 2 varieties weirdly cute or very dangerous -- multiple species of poisonous snakes, saltwater crocodiles, cassowaries (people size birds with a 5 inch long dagger-like claw talon that they can use for defense), several species of poisonous spider and one animal belonging in both the cute and dangerous catagories -- the duckbilled platypus. Male platypus have venomous ankle spurs.

Staute of a duckbilled platypus at Taronga Zoo

Truly a unique and fascinating continent.

Dinner tapas at Casa Asturiana ( in the Spanish sectiona: Jamon Serrano, garlic shrimp, peppers and salad. Heavenly!

10/20 afternoon

DSC_0152, originally uploaded by jpusel.

After lunch at an Indian restaurant, we went to the Sydney Aquarium. Saw poisonous jellyfish and octopi. The best part was walking under(yes, under) a huge tank with sharks and rays; so you could look up and watching them swim over you. In this photo you can see one of the walkways on the right. The shark in the center is much bigger than he appears in the photo. He was approximately man-sized.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This is Stuart with a black-headed python. He gave a talk on current snake-bite treatments (important because 7 of the worlds 10 most poisonous snakes live in Australia).

Pressure immobilization

In 1979, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council formally adopted pressure immobilization as the preferred method of first aid treatment for snakebites in Australia.[27] As of 2009, clinical evidence for pressure immobilization remains limited, with current evidence based almost entirely on anecdotal case reports.[27] This has led most international authorities to question its efficacy.[27] Despite this, all reputable first aid organizations in Australia recommend pressure immobilization treatment; however, it is not widely adhered to, with one study showing that only a third of snakebite patients attempt pressure immobilization.[27]

Pressure immobilization is not appropriate for cytotoxic bites such as those inflicted by most vipers,[28][29][30] but may be effective against neurotoxic venoms such as those of most elapids.[31][32][33] Developed by medical researcher Struan Sutherland in 1978,[34] the object of pressure immobilization is to contain venom within a bitten limb and prevent it from moving through the lymphatic system to the vital organs. This therapy has two components: pressure to prevent lymphatic drainage, and immobilization of the bitten limb to prevent the pumping action of the skeletal muscles.

Pressure is preferably applied with an elastic bandage, but any cloth will do in an emergency. Bandaging begins two to four inches above the bite (i.e. between the bite and the heart), winding around in overlapping turns and moving up towards the heart, then back down over the bite and past it towards the hand or foot. Then the limb must be held immobile: not used, and if possible held with a splint or sling. The bandage should be about as tight as when strapping a sprained ankle. It must not cut off blood flow, or even be uncomfortable; if it is uncomfortable, the patient will unconsciously flex the limb, defeating the immobilization portion of the therapy. The location of the bite should be clearly marked on the outside of the bandages. Some peripheral edema is an expected consequence of this process.

Apply pressure immobilization as quickly as possible; if you wait until symptoms become noticeable you will have missed the best time for treatment. Once a pressure bandage has been applied, it should not be removed until the patient has reached a medical professional. The combination of pressure and immobilization may contain venom so effectively that no symptoms are visible for more than 24 hours, giving the illusion of a dry bite. But this is only a delay; removing the bandage releases that venom into the patient's system with rapid and possibly fatal consequences.

Get to the nearest ED for antivenom treatments,. Don't need to bring the snake since they can test for which on at the hospital.

When we asked him where(zoo, wildlife park, etc.) we could see a common death adder, he named a street in Sydney. It would be like asking where someone could see a dangerous animal in Durham and being told Roxboro St.

Flashback to last Tuesday

At the zoo:

Komodo dragon

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Taronga zoo

After wanderng around the Quay for awhile we caught the ferry to the zoo.

The zoo has wonderful views of Sydney

Taronga zoo


Walked to Circular Quay.
first we saw this: We walked a little bit further and this suddenly came into view:

It just snuck up on us

First day in Sydney

Sydney coming in for a landing. You can see the Opera House in the right center of the picture.

Long flight, packed like sardines! Saw Oahu at night from high altitude!

After landing, getting our bags, going through customs -- having thrown out our peanut butter crackers and dark chocolate M&Ms, that might have been classifiable as contraband (foreign food/plant material). Afterwards the customs agent said they were probably OK. We wandered around Hyde Park until our hotelroom was ready.

Men playing chess.

An Australian white ibis. According to the guidebooks, they like to hang out in the rubbish bins in Hyde Park. This one liked to follow me around.

After our room was ready, we crashed for several hours (22hrs and 14 time zones does that).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Off to Oz

first flight leaves RDU at 14:55

Saturday, October 10, 2009

mmm Barbecue

The annual pork barbecue at the PVFD

Sunday, September 27, 2009

19 days and counting until Sydney!

Leaving for Oz on 10/17.
Although with the International Date Line, it'll be 10/19 before we're there.