Sunday, April 29, 2007

Scottish Blog Roundup

The Scottish Blog Roundup with an Antipodean Perspective is published. Go and take a look.

Sorry Cricket Tournament Finally Ends in Chaos

Sambit Bal sums up the disastrous Cricket World Cup.

Even at the end, they couldn't get it right and the event ended in farce, with the teams playing out the last three overs in pitch dark. Not to take anything away from the Aussies, who apart from Scotland, were hardly challenged throughout the tournament. OK, I was talking about in the bar after the game. Got to take those moral victories.

Not a very good advert for a sport that is looking to expand.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sexin' Up Barbie Branding

Mattel has just unveiled Barbie Girls, a doll-shaped MP3 player that turns into a live character at BarbieGirls.com, a website where girls can interact with each other in a manner reminiscent of Second Life, the virtual world for adults. The online site has many safety features, including a dictionary of 2,000 words that can be used on the site.

The company hopes the new toy, which brings together Web surfing, shopping and music downloads, will cool demand for rival MGA Entertainment's sassy Bratz dolls - a line of big-headed, skinny dolls with scant, trendy clothing.

Hannah has already asked for an MP3 player. I am sure that the demands will become more vocal now. I also wonder what you can say with just 2,000 words.

Roaming Rabbit Alert

Public Notice
Wanted for Violating Terms of Probation, speeding and the theft of neighbourhood grass.
Grey Rabbit aka Daisy the Rabbit

The public, particularly those in the Kilkenny Area are warned to guard their lawns and young vegetables against a rabbit which has escaped from household detention and disappeared into the neighbourhood.

On no account are the public to approach the animal, which is considered very loveable and missed by her custodial guardians.

The public are asked to provide information on sightings directly to this blog.

Thank you in advance on behalf of Hannah and Ben the Brown Rabbit, who likes to hang out in the garden.

This will likely get a better coverage than neighbourhood posters, which I am sure we will be making in the next few days when Hannah realises that Daisy has gone. Losing animals is extremely stressful as a parent. Hannah is the worlds number 1 animal lovers (I am sure that there are others just like her, but I only know her).

When Spotty went missing one day, Hannah completely lost it. She was beside herself with worry. It was very unusual, because he never left the house by himself and found his way back from the park, the first time we went there and he was chased by a huge dog.

We made posters and put them up, we called the Animal Shelter, called the Council, looked around the neighbourhood, the house, the yard...everything that I could think of. About an hour later, I went to get something from the car and there was Spotty fast asleep. He had not managed to make it out of the car after our trip to the supermarket. Palpable sighs of relief from me and utter joy from Hannah.

When we went on holiday last year, Spotty went to stay with my friend Rod, who lived about two kilometres away in a different neighbourhood. We got a call from the house sitter one evening, that Spotty had turned up. She was in the living room and heard scratching on the window. She went out to look and there was Spotty. He had jumped the fence at the other house and come home. Cute, but annoying. Clever Boy.

I hope Daisy comes back, but the adults in the house are not holding their breath.

Update Daisy turned up this morning and we managed to catch her. Very happy Hannah. Thanks to the blogging community for assisting in this matter.

Baaaking Mad in Sapporo

As you would be if you bought a poodle and it didn't bark, eat dog food and you went to the vet to have its toes clipped and are told they are hooves. Apparently poodles are very expensive in Japan and people who bought the $1,600 sheep thought they were getting a bargain. More than they bargained for more like.

Sheep are quite rare in Japan and most Japanese have never seen one. Perhaps they should have checked here first.

Sheep can be purchased for about $50 in the local market here in South Australia. With a bit of feeding and grooming and transportation costs thrown in, there is a good potential for a quick profit. Great business scam while it lasted.

Thanks Cheeseburger Gothic for the entertainment tip.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Always look on the bright side of life.

After a crap week of work, try this for inspiration.

Official Coronation of HRH King Kevvie Man of the People

Today is the start of the Labor Party Conference, where all the dirty laundry will be cleaned up prior to the official annointment of Kevin Rudd as Alternative Prime Minister in Waiting and All Around Great White Hope, by his adoring fans the Unions and a few others who are members of the Labor Party.

He is definitely taking a Tony Blair Cult of Personality approach to politics and is currently very popular. He just has to work out a few problems like ensuring that he can't be tagged as Mark Latham II, whether to approve new uranium mines, what to do about industrial relations, water politics and preparing for the Howard dirty tricks department, who are keen to paint him as a union flunky, job destroyer, drought creator, underminer of the Australian way of life....anything to bring him down to earth.

Based on the number of Union Leaders who are giving up their high paid jobs to run for parliament, they must feel very confident of victory in the election to be held sometime before the end of the year.

Dramatic Increase in Baked Bean Can Assaults in London

Hugh Grant takes matters into his own hands.

Very Scottish Weather

It has rained here for 36 hours continuously. Nobody is complaining. It is just very surreal and unusual.

We haven't had a weather forecast like this for about three years, unlike weekly forecasts like this for my entire childhood.

From the Bureau of Meteorology

Adelaide Forecast for Friday
Showers. Possible thunderstorms and local heavy falls until late afternoon.
Moderate to fresh northwest winds.

Precis Showers.
City: Max 20

Saturday Showers.
Sunday Showers.
Monday Morning shower or two.
Tuesday Showers.
Wednesday Showers.
Thursday Showers.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Buying Readers

Is it ethical to buy sponsored ads on Google for events such as the Virginia Tech shooting to drive readers to your site?

Peter Black from Freedom to Differ poses the question.

Jesus The Musical

Life has many possibilities. This is one.

Where are you Lex Luther?

Watch out Superman! Kryptonite Alert.

Google Everywhere

From The Age

Google has knocked Microsoft from its perch as the world's top-ranked brand, according to findings released on Monday.

The rankings, compiled by market research firm Millward Brown, also put Google ahead of well-established brands like General Electric, No. 2; Coca-Cola, No. 4; Wal-Mart Stores, No. 7; and IBM, No. 9.

Some key factors seen this year in building brand recognition ranged from corporate responsibility to serving customers in emerging markets like Brazil and India, according to the study.

For Google, which ranked No. 7 a year ago, the jump to the top underscores how quickly the web search leader has become an everyday name. The company uses relatively little advertising, instead relying on word-of-mouth promotion.

By contrast, Microsoft's slide down to third place from first comes even as the software company has been rolling out its new Windows Vista operating system with a massive global marketing blitz.

Eileen Campbell, global chief executive of Millward Brown, said the rankings showed "a blend of good business leadership, responsible financial management and powerful marketing ... can be leveraged to create and grow corporate wealth."

I can remember living in Seattle in the mid 1980s and meeting people at parties who worked for Microsoft, "a company that made programmes that allowed people to type documents on a computer" and that almost nobody had heard of. How things change.

Google, with a corporate motto "Don't be Evil" has gone from a no name to a verb (we are all googling after all) in less than 5 years. Pretty impressive. All the more impressive since less than 20 percent of the world population have access to the internet, based on somewhat imprecise estimates.

Searching on Wikipedia, I found that I was at the University of Maryland College Park at the same time that co founder Sergei Brin was getting his undergraduate degree in the early 1990s. Lives diverge.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Carnival of Cities

This is my city, Adelaide, looking over Adelaide Oval towards the city

The Carnival of Cities will be here next Monday, after going home to Mummy at Home Turf Media for this week. Pay a visit. There are some interesting articles.

Remember – one post only, please. I have a quirky sense of humour, so unusual articles welcome.

Pick your best-written work about any aspect of a single city, and get it to me by Sunday, April 29th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. That would be 03.30 on Monday morning here in Adelaide, so earlier, would be good. Use this form to submit. For more Carnival of Cities info, click here or on the side bar.

Thanks and looking forward to your input. The Carnival will be up and running on Monday, April 30 2007.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Coulda Been

This sort of stuff will make nationalists curse.

From the New Zealand Herald.

It was a document that could have changed the course of Scottish history. Nineteen pages long, written by Scottish economist Gavin McCrone, presented to the Cabinet office in April 1975 and subsequently buried in a Westminster vault for 30 years.

McCrone's paper, written for Ted Heath's Tory Government and only just released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed how North Sea oil could have made an independent Scotland as rich as Switzerland.

Earlier this week, Chancellor Gordon Brown underlined the vital revenue stream that North Sea oil still is in the context of British politics.

In his pre-Budget report, Brown extracted an extra £6.5 billion (NZ$16 billion) in tax from North Sea oil and gas producers, to be taken over the next three years. Imagine then, what the oil could have done for a Scotland which chose independence in the mid-1970s and claimed ownership.

Thirty years ago, McCrone's conclusions shocked his political masters. An independent Scotland's Budget surpluses, wrote McCrone, would be so large as to be "embarrassing". Scotland's currency "would become the hardest in Europe with the exception of the Norwegian kronor".

Scotland would be in a position to lend heavily to England, a situation that could last "for a very long time".

Sunday, April 22, 2007

At Home with Kevin and John The New Reality Political Show

This article made me laugh out loud. It just rang so true to my life. Thank you Sue Dunleavy, whoever you are. I know how you feel.

Red Tape Strangling Aussie Family Life

I decided I'd had enough of the nanny state the day my kids came home in disgrace because they had hummus for lunch - it was the same day the ACT Government banned me from walking my dog to school.

Business is always whingeing about government regulations, but what about the red tape strangling family life?

Governments are now trying to micro-manage every aspect of a parent's job - from telling you what you can feed your kids and how you can discipline them to how much television they can watch.

Now Kevin Rudd wants to test what sort of a parent you are by measuring your child's waistline, empathy, curiosity and whether they pick up a pencil dropped by a classmate.

My one luxury as a working mum used to be lunch order day - but the healthy canteen policy has robbed me of that.

Instead of sleeping in one day a week I'm now up packing lunches - because cream cheese and lettuce sandwiches just don't have the same appeal to my kids as chicken nuggets.

"Mum, I don't do sandwiches," my 11-year-old solemnly informed me during the canteen's healthy sandwich drive.

Even the task of concocting a healthy home-made lunch has become a feat of Olympic proportions, thanks to the school's new nut-free policy.

After calling a family conference to workshop lunch ideas that removed nuts, muesli bars and peanut butter from my kids' lunchboxes, I thought I had the perfect solution: chicken and hummus rolls that are not only good but tasty.


Hummus (which I never realised until now is a nut) is also banned because it has sesame seed paste in it.

That just happened to be the day the school newsletter informed me that getting the kids fit by walking the dog to school with them was now also illegal and I'd be fined if I took the dog on to school grounds.

If governments want to wrap families in red tape they should at least make sure the rules they set are consistent.

Do they want us to feed our kids healthy food and get them fit or not?

What annoys me most about the burgeoning nanny state is that all families are being penalised by rules meant to stop the bad practices of a minority.

If one in four children are overweight, that means the overwhelming majority aren't.

The 75 per cent of families who buy their kids one junk food meal a week at the school canteen as a treat are penalised because a few parents feed their kids junk more often.

This is an election year and I reckon it's time for families to fight back against the government red tape that is taking the spontaneity out of parenting.

Ban boring televised debates between two leaders and put them to a real life test.

Before we let Kevin Rudd or John Howard impose any more we-know-better-than-you rules on families, they should have to try to battle with the problems their rules have already caused.

Let's run the election campaign like a reality TV show.

Instead of touring the country making staged policy announcements, John Howard and Kevin Rudd should each be put in a suburban home with two kids for five weeks.

Hidden cameras can show the voters how they manage the family budget with child care fees of $90 a day and subsidies of just $4.57 a day.

Every morning they will have to come up with a packed lunch that's not only healthy but complies with the school's nut-free, seed-free, taste-free allergy policy and yet is still eaten by the children.

They'll have to work out how to fit in exercising the dog and the kids while getting the kids to school without straying on to school grounds.

They'll have to juggle working overtime with the massive penalties for picking your kids up late from childcare and still get home in time to cook a healthy meal.

They'll have to figure out how to entertain the starving and exhausted kids who aren't allowed to watch television or play on the computer and can't go to the local park because it has been stripped of its play equipment because of public liability risk.

And, before they can creep exhausted into bed, John and Kevin will have to find a non-existent product which will kill nits and spend an hour of quality time combing lice out of the childrens' hair.

Only when they can do all this do they deserve the right to impose more new rules on us.

Allelujah Amen. The Osbornes, Big Brother and all the other reality shows will be running for cover as Australian parents take revenge against meddling politicians and Nanny State bureaucrats.

Pommygranate Hits Paydirt

This post on the Self Haters Guide to Science deserves to be widely read. Very amusing and clever.

These are some I liked.

Boyle's Law
Global Warming is a product of peer-Pressure and the Volume of calls for 'something to be done'.

Kepler's Second Law of Planetary Motion
The 1st Law: "The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the sun at one of the foci."
The lesser known 2nd Law states; "The sun has no connection with the temperature of the Earth. At all. All plantary temperature changes are caused by man-made CO2s, especially from SUVs"

Newton's Laws of Motion;

Leftist's 1st Law of Motion
A Leftist idea, once in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by a sensible argument.

You will be nodding along. More in the comments.

Attilla the Vaccuum

When I vacuum, I like to put on Ride of the Valkyries and go for it. Get out of my way! Spotty is genuinely scared of the vacuum cleaner and when I am sucking up dust, he likes to make little aggressive forays to the vacuum head before retreating and hiding. Very entertaining! Anything to overcome the tedium of domestic chores.

Why Servers Crash

From Alexa, whose claims of easy use of their graph making widget on your website are false. The code is there, but nothing shows up. Anyway, the graphs shows the IRS graph trending up gently to a peak around the 17th of April. Virginia Tech's graph is flat, probably for months and then there is a huge spike. Looks about 10 times normal use. I also included the US EPA graph for comparison and it just hums along as normal since nothing dramatic happened.

One of these peaks is predictable, given that 15 April is Tax Day for Americans. The Virginia Tech servers were probably just purring along until around midday on the fateful day. They must have been smoking for the next few days. I wonder how computer systems managers deal with massive changes in usage like that.

Alexa is also good for reviewing the (pathetic) status of your blog as a vehicle of social influence. You can find out that I have about 0.00000015 penetration of the market, or something like that. Not sure if that is too many zeros, but that is not the point. They will even print up a T Shirt for you, if you like to display your feeble status in public. Imagine walking around with the blogging equivalent of "I am a complete loser" in public. Most people don't even know what blogs are! Interesting and entertaining all the same.

Top 100 Australian Blogs

Blogpond has done a heroic job of developing a ranking of the Top 100 Australian Blogs.

Interesting range of blogs, many I had never heard off. The best thing from my geeky engineer side was that there was an understandable formula underpinning the ranking.

Karma Sutra for Eight Year Olds

We noticed that Hannah had been developing very detailed drawings of men and women apparently in the act of sex, complete with anatomically correct penises. We thought it was a bit odd, but didn't raise the issue with her. Both she and Ryan are quite interested in discussing these kinds of things in a can we get a reaction from mum and dad kind of way.

Although we are not prudes, we are careful about how sex is discussed and we censor most television with mature themes. This afternoon, Elizabeth was tidying up her room and found a mini book of the Karma Sutra in her special handbag. She must have been rummaging through the shed, where we keep some of our pre children naughty books in a box.

At least it wasn't condoms, alcohol or drugs. Funny and jarring at the same time. Kids, they grow up so fast.

Silence is Golden

A man's silence is wonderful to listen to.
- Thomas Hardy

This caught my attention on my Google Homepage. Elizabeth and the kids have gone to visit Granny for a few days and I am at home taking care of the animals and rationalising blogging as opposed to catching up with my very severe work backlog that has become even worse during my week off last week. I feel like I am ready to enjoy a week off now after last week looking after the kids and fending off irritated clients. We live our lives at such a frenetic pace these days, it is hard to really relax.

Everything (well almost everything) is quiet now. I even turned off the washing machine, but there are still birds chirping. Not too bad for an urban street.

How to Earn a Six Figure Income Blogging - Take Two

harold is a robot, comic, cartoon, web comic, robots wordpress, blog, blogs, blogging, problogger, career, money, income, profession, job, seo, smo, adsense
Thanks Engtech
and Elaine from 2K Bloggers

The Simpsons 20 Years at the Top

It is now 20 years since The Simpsons were first on TV. I can remember in the early 1990s that my work colleagues were pretty scandalised that one of them let their quite young daughter watch. I never watched then and I hardly see them now, given that it is on when I am doing my domestic chores, but our kids would watch all that they could, if they were allowed. They show it for up to an hour and a half some nights here.

Although there are a few too many naughty words and mature themes, we think on balance it is ok. Uh Oh, does that make us bad parents? At least we draw the line at Big Brother, set to swamp the airwaves, starting later today. Verboten and Not Allowed in our house.

It is intriguing that after 20 years they basically look the same, rather like the somewhat less technicolour cartoon medium of Oor Willie or The Broons from my childhood. The themes in those cartoon strips were a good deal less racy and hardly a naughty word was said.


Happy Birthday Your Majesty.

Another year Charles and Camilla are not King and Queen.

Inspired by Theo Spark, with his first posting of a lady with a top on. I don't think Her Majesty fits into the Totty Category.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Unusual Addresses

People have the darndest addresses

Apparently they have a web site. Imagine typing that into your browser.

Nicely put together by Odds and Ends

The People Have Spoken

Who will be viewed most favourably in 5 years time
Tony Blair 41%14
David Beckham 12%4
Jade Goody 3%1
Andrew Flintoff 26%9
George Bush 18%6
34 votes total
pollcode.com free polls

New Quiz in the sidebar on Your Environmental Footprint. What would you be willing to give up?

McDonalds to Open in Kabul

In an optimistic sign, McDonalds is set to open their first restaurant in Afghanistan. The first, in Kabul is currently hiring staff. Highlights will be a new line, Big MacCurry and a free Happy Meal with every Kalashnikof Rifle surrendered. Plans for more restaurants and the specific menus to be offered throughout the country have been put on hold until the numbers of foreign troops and their ethnic background have been determined.

Not a Drop

With the driest conditions east of the Sahara, irrigators along the Murray Darling Basin face a bleak future. If there is no substantial rain in the next two months, their allocations to water their crops will be cut to zero. Generations of farmers face potential ruin as certain crops such as vines and citrus may have to be sacrificed. These take years to regenerate. The area irrigated by this huge river system provides up to 40 percent of Australias crops and food prices are certain to rise. The water from the river is being reserved for humans who live along the river course until it rains in substantial quantities.

Adelaide depends on the river for almost all of the water supply. Level 5 water restrictions are almost certain to be enacted shortly. Still no serious proposals for alternative sources of water such as desalination.

Hello? It may not rain substantially for years.

The cartoon by Leunig made me laugh, because the last time we had substantial rain was when we had our two ducks and their was enough water to clean up after them. It would be much more challenging now. They now live in a farm in Gawler. I wonder if it is raining there?

In the interim, we will just have to do our rain dances without them. C'mon rain. Where are you????

Drink Till You Drop

Just as proposals to allow pubs in Edinburgh to open 24 hours, so that the city can be more cosmopolitan, punters in Sydney face having to go home to (beat) their families.

On the radio this morning, members of the elite all day all night drinking society justified keeping the pubs open 24 hours a day, stating that many of the "drinkers were alcoholics and would have nowhere to drink and would just go home and beat their wives". It was on the radio, so it must be true.

Experts are lining up to have the pubs' opening hours restricted.

The state's chief adviser on alcohol, Ian Webster, says the Government is in denial about the extent of alcohol abuse and it should close 24-hour pubs and limit new licences in areas where heavy drinking is recorded.

Professor Webster, the chairman of the New South Wales Expert Advisory Group on Drugs and Alcohol, said state and federal governments had been more focused on combating the abuse of illicit drugs, even though alcohol caused more harm.

"Alcohol is a bigger problem than the drug-addiction problem," he said. "More people are medically harmed, more people get injured, there is more domestic violence, more families get destroyed. Governments are prepared to proudly state what they are doing about illicit drugs but they rarely say what they will do about alcohol."

Good to see that we all agree.

Goodness Gracious Great (Toilet) Bowls of Fire

This appealed to my sick sense of humour. Imagine if you did an explosive fart. You may end up in Walthamstow.

Shamelessly stolen from Daily Referendum

A Year without Toilet Paper

A New York Family, living in an apartment are reducing their environmental footprint by getting rid of their car, junking most appliances, only eating food available within 250 miles of New York and giving up toilet paper, amongst other things. How much would you be willing to give up?

Having lived and travelled in a number of countries where toilet paper is not always available, I can confirm that would be a major hurdle for me.

Here in Australia, we have the EcoHouse Challenge, the latest reality show, where two families are deprived of basic services and have to cope.

The challenge starts with a bang. Without warning four environmental hotspots, energy, water, transport and waste removal are shut down until further notice.

Over several weeks, while still living their normal lives, the families must radically reduce consumption and learn to live sustainably.

Even Big Brother Australia is cutting out long steamy showers for the new series that is about to start. Recycled water is being used for flushing and other uses. The series is filmed in the middle of one of the most severe drought zones in Australia in southeast Queensland.

I made up a little kwiz on the sidebar to see what you think. What I know is that it is a lot easier to talk about making changes than to actually implement green friendly changes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007







1. Shuggie has bought half a kilo of cocaine to sell. He wants
to make 300% on the deal and still pay Mad Malky his 10%
protection money. How much must he charge for a gram?
2. Wee Davie reckons he'll get £42.50 extra Marriage Allowance
a week if he ties the knot with Fat Alice. Even if he steals the
ring, the wedding will cost him £587. And he'll have to start buying two
fish suppers at £3.95 each every night instead of one. How long will
it be before Davie wishes he'd stayed single?

3. When Rangers play Celtic, their fans sing The Sash every 10
minutes when they're winning and every 15 minutes when they're
How many times di d they sing it at last season's Cup Final?

4. Joey and Davie stole a 1999 green Toyota 1600GL with 35,000
on the clock - and got a grand for it. How much more would they
have got if it had been metallic silver, done 29,000 miles and had low
profile tyres?

5. Jake the Flake and Fingers got grassed up for dealing speed.
The Flake got 18 months but Fingers got 3 years. How many more
previous convictions did Fingers have?

EXTRA CREDIT: Who was Fingers' Brief?



Rugby Club..................................

Daddy's Company.........................

1. Gavin has a spare ticket for Julian Clary at The Festival
Fringe. But Benji and Adrian BOTH want to go with him. How long
does he cry before giving them the tickets?

2. Half of Peter's friends say that they went to school with
Ewan McGregor. Another third say they were Gordon Brown's flat
mate at University. A sixth say that their dad played rugby with Tony
Blair's dad and the rest say Sean Connery was their milkman. Only one is
telling the truth, so how many friends does Peter have?

3. Todd wants to be a lawyer, but is as thick as Edinburgh
Castle. His daddy is a Freemason and a QC. How long before Todd
becomes the Lord Advocate?

4. Tamsin's Personal Trainer charges £250 a week, but has sex
with her whenever she wants it. Jasmin's Life Coach charges £50 a week
but has refused all sexual advances. Which one of the women
weighs 19 stone?

5. Princes Street is 2467 yards long. On average, there is
someone begging for money every 195 yards. You walk at 3.1 miles
an hour. How long will it take if you tell them all to sod off and
work for a living?




Clan ................................

1. After Hector's death, Archie has to pay Death Duty on
Glenbogle. With 25,000 acres, Archie must pay £1.76 for the
first 15,000acres and 90p per acre for the remainder, including VAT. How
How many people actually give a toss?

2. An Afro-American called Zachary Obisanjo Kokobobo asks a
Tartan Shop in Inverness if he has any Scottish Geneaology. How
long does it take to flog him full Highland dress and matching kilts
for his wife and 10 kids?

3. If an Aberdeen supporter laid every sheep in Grampian Region
end to end, how many people would be surprised?

4. If you caught a Loch Ness Monster 115 feet long and each
foot weighed 27lbs, how much money would you make by selling your
exclusive story and pictures?

Sorry, question 5 has been delayed by heavy snowfall and will
be here as soon as the Cockbridge - Tomintoul road re-opens in the


Interesting method of developing low cost housing.

All you need is some cardboard cutters and an Allen Key.

Cloud Power to be Renewable Energy Salvation for Scotland

Apparently Scotland is the most natural country in Europe for renewable energy, most notably wave and tidal power, but investment is falling significantly behind potential demand, according to industry experts. Most of these investors are from Europe.

Scotland currently has 25 per cent of Europe's wind and tidal capacity, 1 percent of solar capacity, 93 percent of cloud power capacity and 10 per cent of its wave power.

Cynical Scots recognise that solar power is probably not going to cut it in their miserable weather. Scottish companies are reported to be biding their time for the day when cloud power is economically viable as a renewable energy source.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Statements of the Bleedin' Obvious

Mea Culpa Time. Pass the Sword.

Fletcher's future as coach is set to be discussed at the end of the tournament and former England allrounder Ian Botham said it was time for a change.

``We've got some good cricketers but they need a new direction,'' Botham said on Sky Sports. ``Duncan Fletcher has done some great things for England over the years but everyone has a shelf life and I'm sorry, his has expired.''

Allow me to add Michael Vaughan and a few others.

Well hello. These guys get paid a fortune and have not delivered. Goodbye, Adios.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sunset on Sunrise

Labor Golden Boy, Kevin Rudd has given up his lightweight political segment on Channel 7's Sunrise Programme, for more cerebral media pursuits. The change was precipitated by a mini storm in a tea cup where he was scheduled to attend a fake dawn service for ANZAC Day, Australias day for remembering military heroes. Election season is so much fun. Despite all the hoo ha, his ratings keep going up despite many in the media and Gruppen Fuhrer Howards Storm Troopers trying to pull them down.
Dancing with the Stars, eat your heart out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pop Went the Marketing Strategy

Reports that the Woolworths Marketing Manager has left the country can not be confirmed at this time.

I am sure we could take a few here in Royal Friendly South Australia.

Thanks for the Souvenir Tip UK Daily Pundit

Oh That It Was This Easy

How to have six figure blogging income. Ha Ha Ha. Would that be in Rupiah, Dong or other forms of funny money.

Call me cynical, but I think that it is a bit trickier than this.

Imagine that there were 10,000 bloggers in the blogiverse with this as their goal. That would mean that if there business plans were to work, there is at least $10,000,000,000 floating around (I think that is billions), floating around waiting to be sucked up by the blogosphere (is that before or after tax) just by signing up for Adsense and writing lots of good posts, linking and doing cool blog widgit stuff.

Any way. Interesting idea. At least I wasn't asked to hold money for a Nigerian Business who couldn't cash some cheques.

Thanks Modern Life is Rubbish (aint that the truth).

When You Blogged Using Computer Cards

Nice balanced article in the Age about blogging. I like the history of the early precursors to our current pretty polished tools. I can remember my early Fortran compiling classes, when we had to arrange cards to get things to run. I imagine that blogs would be less creative if that was still the case.

They have some interesting history on one of the early bloggers, Jorn Barger, who still maintains a weblog, Robot Wisdom even now. It is certainly a part of cyberspace with many people not making a dime, which I think contributes to the free flowing nature of blogs. Nobody can complain if you decide not to blog for a day or two or more. Not the same thing if it is your job.

Conspiracy Theorists Read On

This one takes the biscuit. A mainstream view from Pakistan on the Woolmer murder.

Regarding the death of Bob Woolmer in suspicious circumstances there is a lot of hearsay in reference to the murder; the commonest being the role of the `bookies`. But I would like to mention another logical angle of this murder. The concerned authorities should keep in mind that it is quite possible that Darryl Hair and his compatriot Australian cricket team may be behind this murder, considering this as the most appropriate time to take revenge from the Pakistani cricket team for bringing an end to the empire`s career. Therefore it seems imperative for the Caribbean police authorities that fingerprints and DNA samples of the Australian cricket team members should be taken as well.

Shafiqur Rahman
Rawalpindi (in the Pakistan Tribune)

Bounteous Praise to Tony from After Grog Blog.

This makes my conspiritorial take on life seem pretty mild.

In reality it seems likely that he was poisoned with a plant chemical common for assassinations in Pakistan.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

View from my Window

This is our pet rabbit, Ben having breakfast this morning around 6am. The photo was taken from our kitchen window. The rabbits are in a cage most of the week and run around like wild things, when we let them out in the back yard on the weekend. This post is being submitted to the Fuel My Blog View from my Window Competition.

Superheros Were Us

You are Green Lantern

Hot headed. You have strong will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...

When asked I always told the kids that I was a Campbells' Souper Hero, when forced to pick a Superhero identity. Cheezy I know, but what to expect from such a lame joker. Ryan is moving out of this phase of his life. For over a year, he wore his Spiderman Outfit everywhere. We had to buy two more because they got so worn out. People react very well to little kids with a Spiderman Costume on. Many of the parents at the school did not know his name, he was just Spiderman. When we first let him watch the DVD, his only interest was to work out the mechanics of shooting out a web. He would ask for that scene to be replayed and replayed.

As for me, I don't even know who Green Lantern is. He reminds me of a Junior Version of the Jolly Green Giant in the commercials from my childhood. Maybe he is an eco friendly warrior. "Turn off the lights, you energy sucking thief" or other such threats or fighter of evil tree cutting bandits such as these. I see I have a good bit of Batman and Robin and not too much Incredible Hulk. I never was much of a hunk.

And for my evil side, how appropriate. Almost everything I do involves some level of irreverent joking.

You are The Joker

The Clown Prince of Crime. You are a brilliant mastermind but are criminally insane. You love to joke around while accomplishing the task at hand.

Click here to take the Super Villain Personality Test

Another Kwizz

Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISFP)

Your personality type is caring, peaceful, artistic, and calm.

Only about 7% of all people have your personality, including 8% of all women and 6% of all men
You are Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving.

Thanks David Anthony

Friday, April 13, 2007

Howard Digs Out

After a shocking few months, The Australian Ewok is starting to dig out from his electoral hole and parade his party tricks. Much more to come.

Today is the last COAG Meeting when the Commonwealth Government and the Labor States get together to hash out issues. More likely lots of political posturing and hot air than the development of good public policy.

All we need to do to stop him is to get really good at this.

But does he know anything about Cricket?

Sheik Rattles and Rolls out a Googly or was that Doosra or a Curve Ball

From The Australian

Embattled Australian mufti Taj Din al-Hilali has declared himself more Australian than John Howard and said his widely criticised remarks supporting the hardline Iranian regime were meant to encourage world peace.

At least he has a sense of humour.

Talk to the Cute Little Animals

With the world getting over the death of the Crocodile Hunter, and after a scary summer of hungry sharks around our beaches, some reminders of the dangers of working around animals.

Yesterday a vet had his arm bitten off by a sick alligator he was trying to cure. Today an Argentinian Zoo Keeper died after being mauled by an ant eater and the most recent violation of the bond between man and the animals is a savageing for a teenage surfer in Western Australia by a sea lion. A very rare occurrence by all accounts.

And finally a man has died after being bitten by a poisonous snake while looking for scorpions in rural Victoria. I mean, what was he doing looking for Scorpions. What did he expect.

Obviously there are some communication issues here. Where is Doctor Dolittle when you need him. Why can't we just be friends?

Wolfie with Paws in the Honey Jar

From The Times

Paul Wolfowitz, the president of the World Bank, was fighting for his job today after he was forced to make a humiliating apology over ordering a pay rise and a promotion for a bank official, Shaha Riza, who is his girlfriend.

World Bank embarrassment over the disclosures was compounded as Mr Wolfowitz has come under heavy fire from governments and campaigners after pushing good governance and anti-corruption efforts in poor nations to the forefront of the agenda of the world’s most important development institution.

Mr Wolfowitz told reporters: “In hindsight, I wish I had trusted my original instincts and kept myself out of the negotiations.”

Well No Shit Sherlock. Just desserts I say. He was one of the kabal of schmucks making all the illegal arrangements and justifications for the war in Iraq. Then when things went pear shaped he was shipped off to tell poor countries how to privatise their economies, fight corruption and promote good government. Ha Ha. Neo Cons What a bunch of Cons.

Well D'uh! Are You Bored Too?

The Cricket World Cup Chief thinks that the tournament is too long. Well Hello, what training do we need to render that opinion? How about adding boring and tedious.

I think that anybody who had even a passing interest in cricket would come to the same conclusion.

The tournament is supposed to be a showcase to get people excited about cricket. This tournament is doing anything but. In additon, next time around they will also have to make room for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Sponge, Gun, Dynamite, Dragon.....

Rock Papers Scissors for gifted kids and bored adults.

This is very geeky. I would anticipate a very slow game as the rule book is challenged and arguments about what was being presented.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I was a Lumberjack (or sort off)

I used to work in a saw mill, full of life's best and brightest back in Scotland. None of the older guys in the log cutting area had all their fingers and the younger guys liked to fire air powered nail guns at each other. I lasted four days. Tough working environment. This next little story from just up the road from where I live seems to be something along the same lines.

Not for the squemish male types. Warning! Contains Easter Bunny.

Office Aids

I could use one of these for my office desk. Perhaps some of the stuff that ends up there could find its way somewhere else. On the other hand I would have to talk to them in the morning.

Thanks Tuba Pants

Monday, April 09, 2007

I'm on the Road to Nowhere (and happy about it)

Martin Strell, a Slovenian has likely broken his own long distance swim record by swimming down the Amazon River from Peru to Belem in Brazil, approximately 3,300 miles in nine weeks, about 50 miles a day. That is approximately the same distance as across America.

I have to ask myself when I hear these kinds of stories, what on earth motivates these kinds of adventurers to go through extreme discomfort including chafing from the wet suit, sun burn, diaharrea..(you can read it all in the link) and worry about piranhas, flesh eating fish and sharks.

I have the same concerns for mountaineers who face death, frostbite, exhaustion...to go higher than anyone else.

Boring as it is, I think I will just stick to my day job.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Are Ewe Lonely?

This is sad. Very sad, but funny. Personal dating New Zealand Style.

Lemon or Apple

Apple Mac fans are only slightly passionate.

John Howard looking increasingly desperate on IR

Listening to John Howard, the Industrial Relations Reformer Evangelist yabber on the radio about how he has wanted the current industrial relations reform for over 30 years, earlier in the week and in the same breath slam the union dominated Labor Party for wanting to modify his Work Choices legislation, made me laugh.

This is the week when he has pleaded for big (and small) business to get behind the reforms with paid commercial adverts (supporting the legislation) during the election season. This after changing the political salesman three times. Joe Hockey, the current owner of one of the more unpleasant tasks in politics is a pleasant enough politician, but he has a real turd to polish to persuade Australians that these reforms are fair. Initial responses have not been too positive, with many Australians judging that they dramatically favour employers over workers, particularly for lower paid and casual employees .

Union membership is down, but it is not too surprising, given the increasing limitations on their activities in the new legislation. The key issue is whether people are still sympathetic to the issues that the unions promote and which are generally taken on by the Labor Party here in Australia. If the opinion polls are to be believed, then yes they are. Look for lots of scare tactics about the return of militant unions and the like as we roll into election season.

Murata the Robot Biker

Watching Murata the Robot Biker made me realise how tricky it is to master bike riding. Ryan is getting more confident, but he still struggles with unexpected situations. All this has been learned through trial and error and more than a few spills and frustrations. He is definitely having more fun than the robot now, although the robot won't have received any skinned knees in his learning process.

If the Japanese bureaucracy get their way, Murata will not be exposed to the rough and tumble of learning to ride. He will have to be proficient from day one. And he will have to document when he causes harm to his human masters.

From The Times

When the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov envisioned a future shared by human beings and robots, he predicted that the mechanical servants of tomorrow would be safely controlled by only three simple laws.

But when Japan’s notoriously zealous bureaucracy looks into the future, it sees robots enmeshed in miles of red tape.

Three laws, the robotics experts say, are nowhere near sufficient to ensure human safety in a world where cleaning, carrying and even cooking could one day be performed by machines. So the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has drafted a hugely complex set of proposals for keeping robots in check.

It is symptomatic of the increasingly complex and risk averse world that we live in today. The risks that our parents took with us as children are significantly higher than those that this generation are willing to take with our children. We monitor car safety, food safety, personal safety, play safety and many many other aspects of their lives that I don't even remember being discussed in my childhood. I wonder how that will impact our children's independence and creativity later in life. Will they be totally risk averse, or will it make them more confident, not having been exposed to some of the bad stuff.

For the interested, here are twenty more things that you really didn't need to know about robots.

Friday, April 06, 2007

We're All Going to Hell Not!!

From the BBC World Service

Argentinian Catholics have been reassured that they will not go to Hell if they have a nice juicy steak on Good Friday. The highest meat consuming country in the world is struggling with a shortage of fish and a 40 percent increase in the price of Hake, the most available fish, since last Easter. The Catholic Church has stepped in to reduce the guilt quotient. Maybe step off the alcohol instead is the advice.

Happy Easter

from our Easter Bunnies and our Chocolate Egg Admirers.

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Mr I'm A Dinner Jacket is clearly an unreasonable nutball. Perhaps not as stupid as people paint him. That said, his government, whoever it is that runs it is clever in pushing back against the world community.

This was definitely a diplomatic coup for Iran and as Tom Paine summarises, the issues raised are far reaching. In the end the intervention of the Americans was likely the factor that led to the release rather than the hand wringing of Britains European buddies, who didn't want to jeopordise the Iranian economic gravy train.

If I were a Vampire......

Your Vampire Name Is...

Xavier de Sade

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hey You Get Outta My Nose

Keith Richards snorts a mixture of his dead father and that white stuff.

From The Age

In comments published today, he said he snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.

"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.

"He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared ... It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."

Richards' father, Bert, died in 2002 at the age of 84.

Richards, 63, one of rock's legendary wild men, told the magazine that his survival was the result of luck, and advised young musicians against trying to emulate him.

"I did it because that was the way I did it. Now people think it's a way of life," he was quoted as saying.

"I've no pretensions about immortality," he added. "I'm the same as everyone ... just kind of lucky.

"I was number one on the Who's Likely To Die list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list."

I used to work as a short order cook during my skiing days in Aspen. The cook, the most screwed up individual I have ever met, used to throw knives and plates of unsuccesful food around the kitchen all the while cursing and swearing at everybody.

He used to like to start his morning shift with a line on the front bar and a Budweiser. It was a miracle that any food was served. What to expect from a drug addled Vietnam vet with 10 kilograms of chips on his shoulder. His colleague kept going on about how he hated Japs. I thought he was racist, not realising he was talking about Jewish American Princesses. 'Merican Culcha Ye Gotta Love It Y'all

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mathew Hoggard to Play for Scotland in Twenty20 World Championship

Matthew Hoggard has made himself available for a jolly in South Africa later in the year. Having been dumped from the English Team for the short form of the game, Hoggard fancies the chance for some heavy drinking and the new look all tartan uniform after finding he was actually born in Scotland.

Source Yorkshire County Cricket Club Official Website.

Note: This actually made it on to Google News Australia. Never trust the MSM.