Today I learnt… Not all disposable nappies are toxic to babies

26 Jun

Today I learnt… Not all disposable nappies are toxic to babies (and some are less worse for the environment)

Why: Many disposable supermarket nappies include toxic chlorine, phthalates and dioxins.

I learnt about the brands that are better because they are

Chlorine Free: Chlorine is often used to bleach the paper liners and wood pulp in nappies. This process can leave traces of a toxic chemical called Dioxin in the nappy as well as releasing it into the environment during the bleaching process in manufacturing. Dioxins are carcinogens and are linked to many health problems. There are lots of chlorine free nappies available, so it’s just not worth going there – for your baby’s health or the environment.
Fragrance free: Fragrances are frequently used in nappies to block odour. They often have endocrine disrupting phthalates in them which are linked to a whole host of negative health effects. These are unnecessary nappy ingredients as you should change a nappy frequently anyway. Nappies with fragrance should definitely be avoided.
Phthalate free and lotion free: Phthalates can also hide in lotions which can be used on the inner layer of the nappy. Either look for a nappy without lotion or make sure that they are phthalate free.

In the end we choose

Amazing detailed brand comparison here:


Today I learnt… Don’t put a hanging mobile over your baby cot

25 Jun

Today I learnt… Don’t put a hanging mobile over your baby cot. It could make her less creative.

My favourite parenting expert Janet Lansbury explains

If an infant can begin to spend time gazing at, listening to, and later touching and examining what interests him in his surroundings, rather than being forced to see and hear a mobile above his face every time he wakes up, or a rattle being shaken in front of him, then he has a better chance of staying in touch with his own unique essence.

There are only a few choices an infant has the opportunity of making in his world, so let’s allow him to make those choices.

If we have artwork or a wonderful mobile that we want to share with a child, then we can place it in his room somewhere for him to choose to focus on it, if and when he wishes to do so.”

Read more

Goodbye fat wallet, hello Coin.

20 May

I love new gadgets and this is the coolest one I’ve seen this month.


Coin” is a credit card sized device with a screen and a magnetic strip that can store all your cards. Keep this in your wallet, press the button to choose which card you want to pay with and then hand it over to the merchant as you normally would.

Cool features:

  1. Bluetooth alert to your phone if you leave it behind (distance from phone)
  2. No recharging, battery is designed to last for 2 years, then you buy another Coin ($50).
  3. As thin and light as a credit card

Coin is in beta and not yet released, but accepting pre-orders now.

Looking forward to version 2 which will hopefully support chip payments and contactless payments like paywave and paypass.




Build a sailboat at home

21 Apr

The Balmain Boat Company sells flat pack kits so you can build a sailboat at home. What a way to impress your family. Awesome

Drones are fun

31 Jul

I caught up with a mate the other day and he bought his drone around. We headed down to the harbour to give it a high risk over the water test flight. This thing doesn’t float and it was a windy day.
It’s a pretty mean looking quad-copter with a very serious looking remote control handset.
I turned the video on a little late, but it gives you an idea of how quickly it can shoot off. My friend is on the controls.

The drone is called DJI Phantom and costs about $700+

It has a built-in GoPro camera mount. What’s really cool is the built-in GPS with automatic-return-to-base feature if you get out of range or into trouble.

The Phantom is a step up from the more mainstream Parrot AR 2.0 drone ($300) which is flown by using your iPad as a controller looking at the live stream of the drone’s camera.

It is great to see consumer technology like this becoming so advanced and affordable. Even more exciting is when the technology intersects. In this case we have Drones + Wifi + HD Video camera + GPS technology coming together. The possibilities are only limited by one’s imagination.

Some other interesting drone resources / videos:

Put “Givers” in charge of customers (not Takers)

30 Jul

I enjoyed this short, simple video on improving customer experience.

It begins with:

To improve customer experience, every company needs to act like a start-up. 

Politifact – Political Fact Checking

18 Jul

Politicians have a reputation for lying. Sometimes this can be unfair, but some of the time it’s a case of ‘where there is smoke, there’s fire’.  It frustrates me whenever I hear an interview where a MP is misleading the audience and does not get called out on it.

It turns out that Politifact exists to check the facts and call out the liars. A fantastic idea, and on the whole, the site is excellent. Here is an example of a ruling where “The truth has taken a holiday”

While I like this non-partisan site in general, they lost a bit of credibility with me here with this “Pants on Fire ruling”. I don’t believe any reasonable person would have been misled by those comments.

Politifact has a USA version too.

All in all, I love the idea of holding people who deliberately try to mislead the public to account.