Why this “contraceptive chip” would be great

contraceptive chip microchipIn July this year, a US tech startup called MicroCHIPS announced their latest product in development: a contraceptive microchip. The tiny chip would provide birth control for up to 16 years and – the best part – could be turned on and off via remote control.

Strangely (or predictably?), the immediate response to this news was suspicion. Suspicion that the device could be easily hacked.

I don’t know, when I read the news, my initial response was “where do I sign up for this, right now?” (It’s still in the development and trials stages, so it’s still very unavailable at this stage.)

You see, I think this sounds fantastic. Fantastic for so many reasons. Continue reading


Proof that I am not very good at challenges

buying clothes in thailandAt the end of July, I decided that I would stop buying new clothes for a full year, subject to one or two exceptions. I have not been doing as well on this challenge as I had hoped and I am unimpressed with myself.

In the interest of full transparency, here’s a list of my failures so far. Continue reading

Why “anti-rape” nail polish is empowering, not victim-blaming

anti rape nail polishA talented team of students from North Carolina State University have developed a nail polish called ‘Undercover Colors‘. As well as making your nails look pretty, the polish will also change colour in the presence of date rape drugs if your drink has been spiked. To double check your beverage is safe, all the wearer needs to do is dip a finger into the drink and give it a stir.

From their Facebook page, “while date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection. Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.” Continue reading

No new clothes for a year

no new clothes for a year

It was the latest arrival of a package in the mail that finally did it.

My Dad remarked that the Australia Post contractor who delivered parcels in our area was becoming so familiar with our address, he and Dad would exchange a knowing look with each other as my Dad accepted yet another delivery.

“Another one for Emma?” my Dad would ask.

The contractor would nod wearily as Dad signed for whatever my latest mail-order purchase was.

And, as always, I grabbed the scissors and tore open the parcel to find new clothes. An exciting new thing to wrap around myself, made from a luxurious fabric or in a gorgeous rich colour or with an excellent flattering cut. And then I would need to find somewhere to store it in my increasingly overcrowded, overstuffed wardrobe which was practically bursting at the seams and rapidly running out of spare coat hangers.

On this occasion, there were no spare hangers. Continue reading

10 tips for hosting a fantastic engagement party

hosting engagement partyWe had our engagement party recently, and it was a blast. My fiance and I both agreed afterwards that it was the most successful party either of us have ever had. Admittedly, we both had somewhat poor track records in this regard. But this time, it seemed our guests had a good time, everything went smoothly, and we were able to enjoy the afternoon.

It wasn’t anything too over the top – just a nice, casual relaxed afternoon with good food and good company. So what’s the secret to hosting an engagement party that everyone can enjoy? Continue reading

A month of frugal living

frugal living moneyLike most other people, I have savings goals. For me, these will be especially important this year and the next few years to come, since I’ll be getting married in December. That means we have a wedding to finance, as well as furnishing our home together and squirreling away as much as we can for our future plans. I intend for these future plans to involve travel. Travel is expensive. Continue reading

12 Week Body Transformation review: halfway through

12wbt reviewI’m now officially just over halfway through the 12 week body transformation. Plus, I haven’t been updating this much, so I thought I’d post a bit of a review. I guess the first question is, at the halfway point, am I still following the program?


Since the first week, I had elected to use the program as “guidelines, rather than actual rules”. What this meant is that while I didn’t necessarily follow the prescribed workout routines or diet plans to the letter, I used them to guide myself towards healthier habits. I’ve been mostly sticking to the recipes, eating healthier foods, but I still snack through the day (on things like healthy banana muffins or fruit) and if there’s cheesecake in the fridge at work? Of course I’m having free cheesecake.

As for the workout plans – well, the workout plans. Continue reading



no regretsMost people on diets will eat food that they shouldn’t. It’s near impossible to stick to a healthy eating plan and the occasional inability to resist temptation is inevitable at some point. This is traditionally followed by a brief period of self-flagellation and guilt over the consumption of a forbidden food item, followed by a renewal of vows to stick to the plan and only eat celery for the rest of the week.

If, like me, you’ve signed up to any kind of online fitness plan or are somehow holding yourself accountable to someone, this can be extended to posting a confession in the forums or on social media or a blog. Usually along the lines of “I slipped up, my emotions got the better of me, and today I ate a chocolate bar.” The audience is usually sympathetic to the plight of the sinner and they offer up words of encouragement and support, often with a pledge to help the guilty one get back on track with their healthy eating.

Well. I’m not one of those people. Continue reading

Supermarket challenges

supermarket challengesToday I started preparation – in earnest – for the 12 Week Body Transformation, which kicks off on Monday in two days time. This meant organising and doing grocery shopping for my week’s meals, as well as finishing off the fitness test to measure my fitness levels before starting the program.

Grocery shopping is stressful.

Woolworths was packed. We were constantly jostling for room amongst the trolleys and the prams and the people staring blankly at all the different options for museli (that last category may or may not have included us). Slowly the trolley was piled high with fruits and vegetables, lean meats and extra-light dairy products, and the occasional Weird Ingredient like a bottle of fish sauce or a can of red kidney beans.

However, what left us dumbstruck with incomprehension was the peanuts. Continue reading