Saturday, November 17, 2012

Selfish Genes, Why Dawkins is Wrong - Again !

Selfish genetic elements are genes or groups of genes that appear to promote themselves in an evolutionary sense irrespective of the organism they are a part of. The idea being that evolution is a competition for survival of the fittest gene and that it is the most successful genes that will gradually become more numerous and be transmitted to later generations.

Sexual reproduction is the means by which the genes of two organisms that have successfully survived to the point of being able to reproduce, are combined in a somewhat haphazard way to produce new organisms that will go on to face the trials of evolution. The fittest of these new organisms going on to recombine their genes in the next generation and so on.

As genes are the architects of the phenotypes that face the trials of evolution it is necessary that the most evolutionary successful phenotypes will have been the result of having certain genes and this will be reflected in the frequencies of the occurrence of a population's genes.

However, although it may appear that evolution is acting at a genetic level, evolution can only

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pipe Organ Repairs

Exterior and interior view

I was asked to fix a 'broken key' on this two-storey high beauty.

The Specs.
Built in 1870 in England by P.C. Conacher it has three keyboards each with 56 notes and the pedal board contains 30 notes. There are 17 speaking stops, 5 couplers and a total of 986 pipes. The largest pipes are approximately 8 feet long and the smallest pipes are about one half inch.
It was built to an older design and even though an electric pump had been added, the original hand operated bellows where still intact and operable.
End specs.

Spent the afternoon in Chris' Heaven, scrabbling about inside figuring out which bits did what, when, where and how; with a big silly grin on my face the whole time. I found and repaired the connection on the key that was broken.

Having fixed the key, had to test it - stretched both my index fingers in preparation, took a deep breath, depressed a low E key, slowly wound the volume up to full and belted out that immortal riff by Deep Purple.............. Smoke on The Water.......sounded absolutely brilliant.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Cycling from West Beach to Mount Lofty summit with (almost) no traffic to contend with.

Distance 70 km (round trip)

Height 727m. approx.

Need a challenging ride in Adelaide but are acutely aware of the problems associated with cycle/car interactions - read more for details