Friday, August 31, 2007

Flame War in the USA

Be careful with what you say and post online.

You would be hard pressed to invent this. Only in America.

The article Title is a classic. The Day PyroDice went waco in Waco.

Laurel Papworth dissects the story from a professional perspective. Very interesting.

American Medieaval Castle Ready for Long Term Occupation in Baghdad

Americas long term occupation of Iraq will be commissioned shortly with the opening of the 104 acre, one billion dollar Castle of America in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Talk about contempt for a country that they are seeking to rebuild.

Located in Baghdad’s 4-square-mile Green Zone, the embassy will occupy 104 acres. It will be six times larger than the U.N. complex in New York and more than 10 times the size of the new U.S. Embassy being built in Beijing.... The Baghdad compound will be entirely self-sufficient, with no need to rely on the Iraqis for services of any kind. The embassy has its own electricity plant, fresh water and sewage treatment facilities, storage warehouses, and maintenance shops. The embassy is composed of more than 20 buildings, including six apartment complexes with 619 one-bedroom units. Two office blocks will accommodate about 1,000 employees.... Once inside the compound, Americans will have almost no reason to leave. It will have a shopping market, food court, movie theater, beauty salon, gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis courts, a school, and an American Club for social gatherings."

If architecture reflects the society that creates it, the new U.S. embassy in Baghdad makes a devastating comment about America’s global outlook. Although the U.S. government regularly proclaims confidence in Iraq’s democratic future, the United States has designed an embassy that conveys no confidence in Iraqis and little hope for their future. Instead, the United States has built a fortress capable of sustaining a massive, long-term presence in the face of continued violence."

Forty years ago, after the 1967 Six Day War, America was forced to flee a newly constructed embassy in Baghdad just five years after it opened. It's unlikely that they would abandon this new compound—whatever the circumstances. Instead, this time around, the question is whether something so isolated can really be used to conduct diplomacy and spread democracy.

And don't bother going for a Visa here. For that, you have to leave the country. I have been to many embassies around the world and they are very secure. This however might as well be a separate country. All they are missing is an airport within the complex.

Thanks Foreign Policy

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hottest August Day in 100 Years

Today the thermometer hit 30.6 degrees centigrade in Adelaide, with no rain and a northerly wind. That is the hottest day in 100 years for August. We are two days away from the end of winter. Water looks pretty scarce and a summer of drought looks likely. No significant rain for two months. Things are drying up already and gardens are dying.

That's a lot of Dog Biscuits

Leona "Only Little People Pay Tax" Helmsley has left $12 million to her dog Trouble.

She was trouble when I lived in the US in the 1980s. I wonder who will get the money when Trouble dies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dubya Does Oz

APEC Special Edition Bush Biscuits

Dress up Dubya as an Aussie.

Warning. This somewhat entertaining activity may violate common decency, good taste and may make you sick.

You have been warned.

Famous Five Have Midlife Crisis

Blognor Regis draws my attention to a loony project to bring back the Famous Five as middle aged sleuths in a television programme.

Leave that stuff to Angela Lansbury, CSI and The Bill.

The idea just seems completely loopy. Leave them alone. Let their memory rest with that generation of readers. I don't want to imagine what George ended up like.

More interesting would be a contemporary take on the group. As one of the commenters on the article noted, the following titles might work.

Five get an ASBO, Five go Joyriding, Five get hammered on White Lightning and Five get High.

Mission Accomplished?

Dubya' s recent attempts to link the Iraq Quagmire to the humiliation in Vietnam is interesting in the attempt to show parallels between two failed military and political campaigns. Leaving aside that both wars were sold under false pretences and lies, these are the last gasps of a bankrupt and desperate leader.

The war in Vietnam was a civil war that was turned into an American war; the war in Iraq is an American war that has become a civil war. To that extent Iraq is the true quagmire that Vietnam did not have to be. A precipitate withdrawal would unleash Iraq's civil war into ever larger killing fields of vital significance not only to the United States, but to the rest of the region and beyond.

Wow and I can vividly remember all those technical guys who were going to come in and fix Iraq within a few months after the glorious liberation march. Get the power plants running, fix the water, build some schools....

As the author concludes

The future holds no "date certain" for withdrawal, although, and without a doubt, the earlier the better. But the past offers even less of a date certain for redemption, and going back to Vietnam as an alibi for explaining a delayed withdrawal from Iraq only serves to obfuscate further a war that the administration failed to explain when it was launched, and now fails to understand after it has failed.

So basically they are completely stuffed in every department. More money will be poured into a bottomless pit of death, despair and disaster. Surely this is what people envisage hell to be.

Perhaps Bush will have to do some political rearranging to move things along a little. I mean why would you take a holiday when you have guests fixing things up for you.

Viral Art from the very talented Beau Bo D'Or

Australian Official Election Season Kicks Off - Splat

In a break from tradition, the Australian Election Kick Off has moved from Pamplona to coincide with the Running of the Bullshit to Buñol to coincide with their annual tomato food fight.

Take that Rudd! I'm going to ketchup! Splat!

Take that Howard! Allow me to squish you! Splosh!

Splat! Splosh!....

I mean that is going to be the high point of what promises to be a miserable, depressing "he said she said" rush to the bottom, election season laced with rumour gossip scandal and the rush to be less bad than the other guy.

Today is exactly three years since the last election. Might as well settle it with a food fight.

Carnival of Australia Open for Viewing

over at Dipping into the Blogpond.

Excellent work Meg (and everybody else).

Hockey Revamps Liberals IR Message

Union Bosses Suk, Union Bosses eat Children, Union Bosses are Scary, Union Bosses support Collingwood, Union Bosses are Mean, Union Bosses are like Mark Latham, Union Bosses want to establish a Stalinist Communist Republic in Australia, Union Bosses hate Workchoices, Union Bosses go to Strip Clubs, Union Bosses cause Global Warming, Union Bosses Bad, Union Bosses Really Bad, Union Bosses are Boring, Union Bosses are .........,

Thanks Joe "Broken Record" Hockey

Oh Arr Oi Be A Pirate Oi Be

My Pirate Name is Mad John Flint

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arrrrrr!

My son's pirate name is Captain John Flint.

He obviously has leadership potential.

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.

You are a Real Aussie Mate!

If you can make sense of this from Catherine Deveny, writing in the Age.

It's time for a real test that requires real Australian qualities.

You can shove your citizenship test up your poxy date. No one has the right to decide what being Australian is. I was born here and I have no idea. But I do know what it isn't, and what being Australian isn't is testing people on what they know about some white pen-pusher's idea of Australia. This is the country whose citizens pride themselves on not knowing the words to their own country's anthem.

If I wanted to be an Australian citizen and I was told that I had to pass a test first, I'd bugger off to New Zealand.

Who are we trying to keep out with this test? How will knowing the name of Australia's first prime minister or the date of Federation keep out terrorists, wankers or bludgers? The citizenship test questions are irrelevant and offensive. Here's my citizenship test and if you don't like it you can rack off and go back to your own country. You know what the most un-Australian thing in the world is? Migrants. And we don't want them coming here with their fancy food, classy culture, rich traditions and willingness to contribute.


1. Do you understand the meaning, but are unable to explain the origin of, the term "died in the arse"?

2. What is a mole?

3. Are these terms related: chuck a sickie; chuck a spaz; chuck a U-ey?

4. Explain the following passage: "In the arvo last Chrissy the relos rocked up for a barbie, some bevvies and a few snags. After a bit of a Bex and a lie down we opened the pressies, scoffed all the chockies, bickies and lollies. Then we drained a few tinnies and Mum did her block after Dad and Steve had a barney and a bit of biffo."


1. Macca, Chooka and Wanger are driving to Surfers in their Torana. If they are travelling at 100 km/h while listening to Barnsey, Farnsey and Acca Dacca, how many slabs will each person on average consume between flashing a brown eye and having a slash?

2. Complete the following sentences: a) "If the van's rockin' don't bother … b) You're going home in the back of a …

c) Fair suck of the …

3. I've had a gutful and I can't be fagged. Discuss

4. Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of a wedgie?

5. Do you have a friend or relative who has a car in their front yard "up on blocks"? Is his name Keith and does he have a wife called Cheryl?


1. Does your family regularly eat a dish involving mincemeat, cabbage, curry powder and a packet of chicken noodle soup called either chow mein, chop suey or kai see ming?

2. What are the ingredients in a rissole?

3. Demonstrate the correct procedure for eating a Tim Tam.

4. Do you have an Aunty Myrna who is famous for her tuna mornay and other dishes involving a can of cream of celery soup?

5. In any two-hour period have you ever eaten three-bean salad, a chop and two serves of pav washed down with someone else's beer that has been nicked from a bath full of ice?

6. When you go to a bring- your-own-meat barbie can you eat other people's meat or are you only allowed to eat your own?

7. What purple root vegetable beginning with the letter "b" is required by law to be included in a hamburger with the lot?


1. Do you own or have you ever owned a lawn mower, a pair of thongs, an Esky or Ugg boots?

2. Is it possible to "prang a car" while doing "circle work"?

3. Who would you like to crack on to?

4. Who is the most Australian: Kevin "Bloody" Wilson, John "True Blue" Williamson, Kylie Minogue or Warnie?

5. Is there someone you are only mates with because

they own a trailer or have a pool?

6. Would you love to have a beer with Duncan?

And after all that, the people to be granted citizenship are the ones who call it a crock and cheat.

Well I had to cheat for a few of those. Luckily I have an Aussie Wife and some Aussie Work Colleagues.

Total Lunar Eclipse

Last night the clouds cleared and we watched the total lunar eclipse develop and the moon turning red. As it developed the crescent moon was displayed as a hat rather than the more normal vertical alignment. The moon turned red around 8pm, at a time the kids could watch after we had celebrated Elizabeth's birthday with glow sticks and ice cream.

Science geeks read on.

It glows a warm red because of the dust particles from pollution, bushfires and volcanoes in the atmosphere, which filter out the blue light.

The moon doesn't vanish as the sun does during a total solar eclipse, thanks to the geometry of Earth, the sun and the moon in relation to one another.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves into the shadow of Earth. The moon passes through Earth's main dark, circular shadow, the "umbra". It then moves through a lighter region of shadow, the "penumbra", surrounding the umbra.

Unless the moon's edge is very close to the umbra, it's difficult to notice any changes or dimming of the moon's disc because it still receives some direct sunlight.


Thanks Knowledgable Astronomer Types from the Australian

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

International Fashion Terrorist Alert! State of Emergency Planned in Sydney


Sydney Under Seige

  • Water Cannons
  • No Bail
  • 3 metre fences
  • Detention Buses
  • New Laws...
All to control people like these from scaring Georgie Porgie and his International Fashion Terrorist Buddies.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Kicking Somebody When they are Down

Prime Minister John Howard was visiting a primary school and he visited one of the classes. They were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.

The teacher asked the Prime Minister if he would like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy". So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a "tragedy".

One little boy stood up and offered: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a 'tragedy'".

No," said Howard, "that would be an accident".

A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not," explained the Prime Minister "That's what we would call a great loss."

The room went silent. No other children volunteered.

John searched the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of tragedy?"

Finally, at the back of the room, a small boy raised his hand...In a quiet voice he said: "If the aeroplane carrying you and Mrs Howard was struck by a "friendly fire" missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.

Fantastic!" exclaimed John Howard. "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"

Well," says the boy "It has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be a bloody accident either.

Graphic by Guy Pearce

Bert and Ernie Get Sweary

My son thought this was funny for the ten seconds that I let him hear. It is very confronting to see kids television characters swear.

Kevin Andrews Dodgy CV Saga

Fresh from accusing two Indian Doctors of CV fraud, Saint Kevin Andrews is shown to be a Hypocrite.

Apparently he claimed co-authorship of some books, where he contributed one article out of 25 and took no part in developing the project.

But the publishers do not see his role that way. The name Kevin Andrews is not on the title pages. The publishers credit other authors and editors with assembling these collections. Mr Andrews appears to have done no more than contribute one paper to each — he does not even have top billing.

Over the past week, the Immigration Minister he has been scathing about irregularities discovered in the CV of Dr Mohamed Haneef's former Gold Coast colleague Dr Mohammed Asif Ali. The doctor is reported to have left the country and lost his job for exaggerating his employment in India by three months.

Publishers say they would regard Mr Andrews as merely a contributor to
these collections. The definition of authorship in the Vancouver Protocol cited
by academic bodies such as the National Health and Medical Research Council
requires, at a minimum, "substantial participation (in) conception and design …
drafting … and final approval of the version to be published".

Strong Candidate for Wanker Du Jour

Thanks Ken from Road to Surfdom.

Want to be an Australian Citizen?

You have to get 12 out of 20. I did.


1. In what year did Federation take place?


2. Which day of the year is Australia Day?


3. Who was the first Prime Minister of Australia?

Paul Keating

4. What is the first line of Australia's national anthem?

Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport

5. What is the floral emblem of Australia?

Dame Edna Everage

6. What is the population of Australia?

Not enough

7. In what city is the Parliament House of the Commonwealth Parliament located?


8. Who is the Queen's representative in Australia?

Barry Humphreys

9. How are Members of Parliament chosen?

By their buddies and then Plebiscite and Deed Poll

10. Who do Members of Parliament represent?

Themselves and their Buddies

11. After a federal election, who forms the new government?

The ones with the most mates

12. What are the colours on the Australian flag?

Lots of them

13. Who is the head of the Australian Government?

His Majesty John Winston Howard

14. What are the three levels of government in Australia?

Corrupt, Inept and Downright Appalling

15. In what year did the European settlement of Australia start?

2001, when I arrived.

Please don't deport me Mr Andrews. I will be serious the next time.

Real Answers Here

Here is something else that you need to know about. The Stump-Jump Plough

And Darryl Mason has another cheat sheat.

Cigarettes Popular in the Stone Age

Harry Clarke has a great summary of cigarette advertising as part of a series of posts on tobacco addiction and impact.

The evolution of advertising is fascinating with early promotion developing a mass market for cigarettes from nothing within 20 years at the turn of the century. The early sales pitch emphasising the development of positive associations, unbridled optimism and sex appeal, rugged Cowboys and cool French Cafes. In the last 20 years we have come full circle with the banning of cigarette advertising, anti smoking adverts and the promotion of tobacco substitutes and quit smoking products. All of this within a Century.

As a non smoker, no bad thing. In the early years of my career, smokers were definitely a larger number, not a majority. Now in my office they are a distinct minority. They have been pushed out of public spaces and marginalised. I just don't like all the cigarette stubs on the ground at the nearest point of exit from a public building. I am happy that the work environment is no longer polluted. Going to visit my boss in Singapore was a fairly unpleasant experience, not just for work reasons.

What is not so good is just as the markets for cigarettes dive in the West, they are increasing dramatically in countries like India and China, major mass markets. I wonder what themes are being used to push the cancer stick onto these populations?

Brits Bail Out

Australia and New Zealand received over 100,000 immigrants from the UK out of a total of about 400,000, as many as France as Spain in the last year. During that period almost 600,000 people moved in. This is the largest rush for the doors since 1991.

Perhaps we can expect even higher numbers next year as Brits become more frustrated with a seven day summer (over 3 months). Happy Sunny Bank Holiday Weekend residents of that soggy place. Glad you have been able to find some sunny weather wherever you are.

I can confirm that it took me many months living in Colorado when I first emigrated to get used to the sun being out every day during the summer and fall. It stayed that way for the rest of the day. We have the same weather here in Adelaide at the end of winter at the moment as parts of the UK. 25 degrees and sunny is the forecast for today. It would be hard to go back to the UK weather and I am not sure I could cope with my Australian family moaning about how cold and wet it is.

Cross posted at the Wardman Wire.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Iraq Quagmire Planned in 1994

In 1994, Emperor Cheney elucidated so clearly why overthrowing Saddam was a dodgy proposition. At that time,Cheney said that 140 American deaths was too high a price to overthrow Iraq. How about 3,700. Halliburton must have been a bit short on backlog.

We should all be so thankful. The world is a safer place. All praise to Emperor Cheney.

Schottenpreis Reputation Hard to Live Down

I never thought that I would be saying this, but Germans are really funny.

In Germany, everything from mobile phones and internet services to cars, videos and even condoms are marketed as Schottenpreis to emphasise their rock-bottom cheapness.

Even international companies have got in on the act, with Greek-based Superfast Ferries, the operators of the Rosyth-Zeebrugge service, offering Germans trips to Scotland at Schottenpreis.

The VisitScotland web page of special offers boasts: "Nach Schottland zum Schottenpreis" (Travel to Scotland for a Scotsman’s price).

The SNP Members of the Scottish Executive are getting angry "These adverts are crass, they are outdated and they are offensive to Scots and are an outdated and misleading cliché.."

What do we expect after all those years of ridiculing Germans as humourless square heads.

The image of the thrifty Scot began in the 15th century, when large numbers of Scots left for the cities of the Baltic, which at that time were mainly inhabited by Germans.

Large numbers became pedlars, selling very cheap household products, such as pots and pans. And the expression Schottenwaren (Scottish wares) emerged to describe the ultra-cheap items which they sold.

But the jokes are good.

The Germans have a great sense of humour; the problem is they reserve it for the Scots, as these examples show.

Scots traditionally marry on February 29, goes the joke, so that they only need to celebrate their anniversary once every four years.

How can you tell that the trawler coming to the harbour is from Scotland? There are no seagulls in its wake.

"I’ve received some photos from my Scottish pen pal?" "What do they look like?" "Don’t know. Have to get them developed first."

Two Scots fall down a crevasse while in the mountains. The mountain watch is alerted, and the rescue team appears. "Hello, we’re from the Red Cross," one rescuer says. The reply comes from below, "You’re getting no donations from us."

Very fuckin' funny. Now where were those Kraut jokes again?

From Scotland on Sunday

Fat Buddha Gets Stuffed by English Council

In China and other countries with Buddhist traditions, he is a symbol of health and happiness. But tell that to the politically correct council officer who objected to a restaurant being called Fat Buddha...because it might offend Buddhists.

In a letter to Mr Fung, Miss Ingle wrote: "To use the name of a major religion's deity in your restaurant brand runs contrary to this city's reputation as a place of equality and respect for others' views and religious beliefs.

Durham City Council defended her position, saying: "The department felt the name was inappropriate in a city founded on faith. We don't want to offend anyone because of the different faiths that come to the city. The council operates a strict non-discriminatory equal-opportunities and diversity policy across the board."

The restaurant has now opened and nobody has objected. The council has admitted it is powerless to force him to change it.

"If this lady had known more about Buddha this problem never would have happened," tbe owner said.

"She asked me what I thought would have happened if we had called it the Skinny Jesus or the Hairy Muslim.

"But it is not the same. Buddhists are not going to be offended by the name Fat Buddha because it is a symbol of health and happiness."

Fat Buddhas are everywhere in countries with a Buddhist presence, based on my observations during my many years in Asia. It just smacks of ignorance and political correctness gone beyond mad.

Does this mean that the Fat Controller in Thomas the Tank Engine has to be renamed? Is Fat Boy Slim too balanced a name? These and other important questions really need to be answered.

World Peace, Love, Prosperity, Health and Happiness to Dogfight at Bankstown

Photo from the Daily Mail.

There's Money in them thar Hills (and Holes)

Australian Government Surplus $17 Billion (Give or Take)
BHP Billiton Australian Global Miner Global Profit $17 Billion (Give or Take)

I have been to the mine in the picture in the Kimberley in Western Australia. BHP have been digging iron ore for years. The scale is astonishing. Don't let anyone say mining is an easy business, but if you have the facility operating and if demand and prices go through the roof, you will be very profitable.

Here in South Australia, BHP are developing a huge mine at Roxby Downs. They are currently doing underground mining, but the mine will be developed as open cut in the next few years. That means at least four years of digging before they get to anything valuable. They also have to build all the infrastructure, including a brand new desalination plant, power plant, import trucks and excavators that have to be built on site, build infrastructure. It is not a game for small players. One of the sister companies to the one I work for does environmental planning for these developments. The picture of the trucks laid out ready for assembly were amazing. Everything has to be trucked in.

As for the Australian Government, seems to me that they just sit back and bank the royalty cheques. It is good for the economy that China is expanding so rapidly, but surely some of this money could be returned to the over taxed and over charged Australian Taxpayer and to make some sorely needed investments in infrastructure such as telecommunications, roads, public transport, hospitals, schools......

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Protest Dog Alert for Bush APEC Visit

Officials are following up on threats by protesters to unleash an army of protest dogs during President Bush's Ceremonial Visit to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meeting in Sydney next month. Draconian laws are in place to stop the violence that have plagued similar meetings in Australia. Jails have been cleared to keep human protesters out of action when they are arrested. No bail will be allowed for the period of the meeting.

Contingency plans to ban all dog immigration for the next month and dog lockups are now being seriously considered.

Woof to Michael Greenwell

Google Sky Takes Off

The latest version of Google Earth (4.2) is very cool with the addition of Google Sky. The kids and I just spent a very entertaining and time wasting hour travelling the galaxy. Fantastic free resource.

This is a nice video highlighting some of the features.

Cross Posted at Shades of Grey

Return of the Cold War?

This article caught my eye mainly for the ominous looking photograph of the Russians playing war games over the North Atlantic. A bit of real excitement for a young Biggles no doubt.

One of the three locations where the Typhoons shown in the photograph are based or will be based when the F3 Tornadoes are retired is at RAF Leuchars, just up the road from where I went to High School in St Andrews. That is also where Tiger Woods flies into when the British Golf Open is played at St Andrews. Not many private jets get to park with multi million dollar airborne deterrents.

Blognor Regis fills in the blanks.

James got me thinking about this with his interesting post on day to day living in the Former Soviet Union.

Don't Mess with Mary Kostakidis

It is noteable that there has been such support for Mary Kostakidis in her dispute with SBS over the dumbing down of the nightly news format. The story has not been covered much by SBS, but everybody else seems to be having a pot shot at the News Director, who has instilled a more commercial look and feel to the news programme presented at 6.30pm across Australia.

It is understandable that many Australians are reluctant to accept changes in the format that have brought in Ken to partner her, lengthened the programme from half and hour to an hour, introduced adverts, reduced the world focus and generally moved more towards infotainment news.

This satirical piece from Chris Henning is not so far from the truth. Very similar to the American TV Anchor who wouldn't read the Paris Hilton Article as the lead news story.

What in the world is wrong, Mary?

Chris Henning
August 24, 2007


Scene: A television screen with the SBS logo. There appears to be a transmission problem, but we see blurry monochrome closed-circuit images from the SBS studio, where a producer, who is clearly from London, is talking to Mary and Stan.

Producer (cajoling): Come on, Mary love. We shoulda been on air five minutes ago.

Mary (furious): I'm NOT reading this story.

P: Woss wrong wiv it, Mary, sweetart? Iss got efnics in it an everyfing.

Mary: DON'T call me sweetheart. Paris Hilton is NOT an ethnic.

P: Yeah she is, love. She's a efnic rich person. An vere's a dog in it, too.

Mary: Give it to boofhead if it's so good.

Stan: Oh, Mary. That's a bit harsh.

P: Well, I'd love to give it to boofhead, love - I truly would. But it's such a important politicoo stor-ree, I fought you of aw peopoo would jump at ve chance, like.

Mary: It's NOT politics at all. It's about Paris Hilton's chihuahua, for Pete's sake!

P: Yer, but Paris is in Afghanistan, inn she? Clearin lan mines wif er cute littoo doggie. She's doin a Princess Diana. Vass ve-e-ery politicoo, vat is.

Stan: I see what Steve is saying, Mary.

Mary: Shut up, you bollard. Just keep applying the fake tan, OK?

P: Ooh I know you're upset, so I tell you wot I'll do. Stan can read ve Paris piece, an I'll get you to read ve next one, abaht Lindsay Lohan goin ter jai-oo fer drunk drivin.

Mary: That's not news. It's gossip. You are single-handedly ruining a world-class news service. Where are our stories about Darfur? About the Middle East? Iraq? Russia, North Korea - Australia, even?

P: No one's inner-rested in vose places, love. But look - I ear what you're sayin abaht Lindsay, so jus read vis instead, an frow to ve ads.

Mary (reads): And now to America, where Britney Spears is in trouble again for … Oh this is clearly pointless. (Crumples paper and walks out. After a short pause, the studio audience begins cheering and whistling.)

P: Lovely! (Waits for silence) Lovely! … Whoo! Fank you! Congratulations Stan. Well vat wraps it up for vis year everyone! See you again nex year for anuvver series of SBS Noos Survivor. (Floor managers whip audience into renewed hysteria. Ad break.)

We used to schedule our evening to watch the SBS World News, but I only watch snippets now. Good news bulletins are hard to come by and SBS is tinkering in an insidious way with a national treasure.

There are seven separate Facebook sites backing Mary Kostakidis. One has over 700 members.

Friday, August 24, 2007

No Bulls Were Hurt in the Writing of this Blog Post

Spain's national broadcaster has dropped live bull fights from the schedule, because they are considered too violent. Bull fight aficianados will have to watch it on private channels. This reflects the end of an era for the broadcaster, with bull fighting being the first programme shown on the station.

In Australia, some people are still angry about the ABC, the national broadcaster here, giving up live cricket. Sport and culture, the links are very strong.

Yellowcakes Howard Pitches to the Nuclear Family

In a sign that all controversial areas of public policy are to be neutralised in the run up to the Australian election later this year, John Yellowcakes Howard has promised plebiscites for communities unlucky enough not to be selected for a nuclear reactor in their town.

Homer Simpson will be invited to provide technical advice and support about the benefits of nuclear power plants for communities.

Communities will be able to vote their support and those with the strongest support will be awarded the reactors.

Although this will not happen for about 20 years, Yellowcakes can have his nuclear cake and eat it.

Eat your heart out Kevin A Hospital for Every Town Rudd.

Tim has a more reasoned summary.

It is all very plausible. Years of feasibility studies, planning, design, financial highjinks... and the community selected gets to vote. I doubt it.

Adelaide Oval Scoreboard - An Edwardian Treasure

Yesterday my wife had a planning meeting at Adelaide Oval. I went along at lunch to have the tour. By far the most interesting is the scoreboard, dating back to Edwardian Times, first seeing action in 1911. It is almost completely hand operated, with four working levels to allow all the information to be updated. Six to eight people are needed during test matches and it must be bloody hot in there on Adelaide summer days.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fiddle with Your Photos

Beautify your photographs on Dumpr.com.

Thanks Lady Banana.

Wealth Generation Chinese Style

These two clever clogs stole $8.2 million from a Chinese Bank and used it to buy lottery tickets. Guess who got rich? The Lottery Company.

I'm a Red Crayon

You Are a Red Crayon

Your world is colored with bright, vivid, wild colors.
You have a deep, complex personality - and you are always expressing something about yourself.
Bold and dominant, you are a natural leader. You have an energy that is intense... and sometimes overwhelming.
Your reaction to everything tends to be strong. You are the master of love-hate relationships.

Your color wheel opposite is green. Green people are way too mellow to understand what drives your energy.

I am a bit surprised, since I am very mellow by nature. Must have been my exhibitionist and impulsive side and my love of sunsets.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kevin "Maxwell Smart" Andrews to Waste More Taxpayers Money

"Hello Hello Any More Rudd Sex Stories? Hello Hell0...."

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews is set to waste more taxpayers money fighting the decision of an Australian Court to return Dr Haneef's visa. He has the full support of John "Spot the Terrorist" Howard and Philip "Dangerous Muslim Alert" Ruddock, who are both as involved as Andrews in the failed political lynching campaign.

Apparently this little set back does not fit well with their attempts to take the tone of the election campaign even lower.

Alexander "Who Me? Downer, was too busy working on the China Angle in the Sledge and Sludge Rudd Campaign, to comment.

If all this is too much, try this titilating taster.

Transcendental Meditation Levitation Validated

My Dad was(and maybe still is) a follower of Transcendental Meditation. We always thought it was a hoot, the thought that he might levitate one day. My brother and I were very scathing, with visions of him floating off the kitchen table. Such cynics, the Scots.

Scientists from my home town, St Andrews have made big steps (floats?) and have demonstrated levitation for small objects.

Casimir force — discovered in 1948 and first measured in 1997 — can be seen in a gecko’s ability to stick to a surface with just one toe.

Now the scientists from St Andrews University say they can reverse the Casimir force to cause an object to repel rather than attract another in a vacuum.

“The Casimir force is the ultimate cause of friction in the nano world, in particular in some micro-electromechanical systems,” said Leonhardt, writing in the August issue of New Journal of Physics.

Now to move on to 100 kilogram objects. ummmmmmmmmm

New Zealand Spits Pips over 86 Year Old Apple Ban

Fresh from defending the Banana Barons from cheap Philippine imports, the Australian Government is facing a new front in the Fruit Wars, this time with New Zealand.

Australia has barred New Zealand apples since 1921 after fire blight was found in them.

New Zealand exports about $NZ300 million ($A261.5 million) of apples a year and trade with Australia could initially be worth $NZ9 million. It has been lobbying to have the ban lifted since 1986, based on its assertion commercially traded apples do not carry fire blight.

"Eighty-six years seems enough for New Zealand to wait for access to the Australian market for New Zealand apples. We believe science is on our side, and we believe we will win this case."

Fire blight is a bacterial disease that attacks apple and pear trees as well as rosebushes, giving branches and blossoms a burnt appearance. It can stop fruit from growing and in severe cases can kill the tree.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wootton Bassett attempts to get to Wembley

I have decided to tip the English Premier League for interest this year. I am not doing very well, which is not too surprising since I have not been following it much since we left Singapore. It is pretty popular here in Australia and gets time on the late night sports reports. I was looking at some results and noted that the FA Cup was just getting going with the FA Cup Qualifying Matches being played. It is a true community event, with these matches long forgotten when we get to the business end and when we get those Didier Drogba moments.

All those small community teams made up of working people having a shot to get to Wembley and a bit of glory. OK, pretty unlikely, but fantastic all the same. I just love some of the names.

FA Cup Qualifying

Biggleswade Town 1-3 Concord Rangers (at Bedford Fc)
Billingham Town 6-1 Eccleshill Utd
Corsham Town 5-1 Wantage
Eton Manor 3-1 Colney Heath
Highworth Town 0-0 Wootton Bassett Town
Lancing 1-1 Faversham Town
Lymington Town 4-1 AFC Wallingford
Sporting Bengal Utd 0-0 London APSA


Here is the story of the Highworth Town versus Wootton Bassett Town match.

Wooton Bassett itself, is a small town of about 10,000 people in Wiltshire, west of London with a population of around 10,000. I wonder how many were at the match?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Biggles Flies Undone

Sir James Biggelschwarz describes the perverted life of Biggles evil twin. l was a big fan of Biggles as a young lad and am shocked that he could have been associated with such a depraved relative.

Here Captain W E Johns describes the essence of Biggles appeal.

And as for camels? I don't recommend them as pets.

Spring in Adelaide

I am always surprised how quickly spring turns up in Adelaide. From my Scottish experience, spring definitely turns up around the beginning of summer. Here it is always just after the middle of winter. There have been blossoms blooming for a couple of weeks, the geraniums are in full bloom and the Calla Lily's are just coming out.

Not that winter is so bad in Adelaide, it is just that warmer weather is going to be around more often now.

Friday, August 17, 2007

First Day at School

The local Radio Station was taking calls on Your First Day of School. I was able to tell my story from 1965. My own experience was that I was picked up by minibus and taken to our local school, New Gilston Primary School, with two teachers, two new students, myself and Pat Lees and about 25 other kids. We had to say the Lords Prayer, Sing Onward Christian Soldiers and then sit down and do some drawing. I can still remember how humiliating it was to watch how neatly she was able to do a picture of her house and mine was an uncoordinated scrawl.

What is it with girls? They are so clever early.

Colin Campbell Nutritionist

In the first of series highlighting the benefit the world has realised by the use of my name by The Great, The Good and and the Not So Good, I bring you Colin T Campbell Nutritionist.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Jacob Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell Univerity and author of The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.

Through his work as a professor, researcher, and scientist for almost 40 years, Dr. Campbell has been an inspiration and health resource to people around the world. The high point of his career was serving as director of the China Study, the most comprehensive study of diet, lifestyle, and disease ever done with humans in the history of biomedical research. The New York Times described the project as the "Grand Prix of Epidemiology".

VIP: The China Study focuses on the difference between diseases of affluence and diseases of poverty. What are the principal differences? Could you give us examples of diseases in each category?

TCC: Diseases of affluence are those that tend to occur much more frequently in industrially advanced, mostly Western nations. They tend to be chronic and degenerative, progressing with age (e.g., cancers, cardiovascular diseases, etc.). Diseases of poverty, as the name implies, are those that occur in the poorer societies and are strongly related to inadequate public health conditions and poor nutrition (e.g., infectious diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, tuberculosis, pneumonia).

VIP: Why is a study of over 6000 people in rural China relevant to Americans today?

TCC: All humans share virtually the same biochemistry and physiology, regardless of ethnicity, race and gender. They differ, both as individuals and as groups of people, in the DEGREE to which they respond to dietary insult. But the direction of the effect is essentially the same.

Pretty useful stuff. OK I'm off to McDonalds for Breakfast

Colin Campbell - My Name is (In) Famous

My name has been bandied about indiscriminantly in history. Here are a few, living and dead versions.

Baritone Singer

Famous American Nutritionist

Famous Australian Test Cricketer - Colin Campbell McDonald (Spot the Irony)
Not So Famous American Artist

Lonely Canadian Bagpiper

Famous Oil Supply Expert (and Beer Drinker)

Valiant Colonial Warrior - Sir Colin Campbell

Famous Australian Gardener

Glamourous Female Version - Lady Colin Campbell

We All Want a Statue Someday

Corrupt Jamaican Politician

Colin Campbell - Jocko

Inspired by Lady Banana's Google Image Name Meme. Relax I am not going to tag anyone.