Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tag-Team Cost Of Living

From Lateline:
Ian Harper "wrestled with God" before becoming the head of the Fair Pay Commission, which places him in charge of setting the minimum wage of Australia.

He also boxed with Jesus prior to the decision, as well as played a quick game of backgammon with flying pixies, a Mario Kart session with a rare unicorn with opposing digits, online Sudoku with a three headed monkey, played hide-and-seek with The Jolly Green Giant (won every time), and finished with a bout of fencing with Papa Smurf.

*sob* Oh sweet merciful crap. *sob* The livelyhoods of the lowest paid are in the hands of a man who plays contact sports with imaginary people. It's OK to cry right now, yeah?

Mr Harper also wrote something like "the American economy's success was helped along by the wages not rising in Manhattan sweatshops" in a report a while back. My guess is that crying is fine now.

"As far as I'm concerned, religion is just people having imaginary friends. And I'm fine with that, if that makes them happy, keeps them sane. The problem I have, is when people in power are devoutly religious. 'Should be bomb this country?' 'Just one second..' *pretends to walk away and have conversation with imaginary person*"

Dylan Moran, massively paraphrased. (At 2006 Melbourne Comedy festival.)

Sunday, May 28, 2006


The hard truths about eco-warnings:

Nuclear power is "greenhouse friendly" because it's better than coal.

Incandescent bulbs are "greenhouse friendly" because they use far less energy than burning stacks of newspapers to provide light.

CFC's are "greenhouse friendly" because they use far less energy than providing every home with a supply of liquid nitrogen to spray over their foodstuffs or air conditioning units.

CFC's are also "greenhouse friendly" because they are far more efficient in aerosol cans than running a 2-stroke diesel compressor for each can of deodorant.

Cars are "greenhouse friendly" because they use far less energy than raising a person into orbit with solid-fuel rockets, and then landing them where they want to be.

Hosing down the driveway is "greenhouse friendly" because it uses far less water than inciting a flood to clear off the leaf matter.

Electric heaters are "greenhouse friendly" because they use far less energy than warming a household or it's water tank with the heat emitted from a jet engine, even without using the afterburner during off-peak.

It's all relative. This relativity is important, because if world leaders and their ancestors had not bred with their relatives and produced idiotic offspring, we wouldn't have this problem.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Spherical Truth

Al Gore appears in a controversial upcoming movie, The Spherical Truth. The documentary film explains how "global roundness" is a very real situation, and identifies flaws in theories based on the world being entirely flat.

Think Progress, Fox News, and other groups that exist solely to campaign against anything that might hinder in any way the economic interests of those they represent, have campaigned against the film, citing claims it "hinders the economic interests of those we represent".

"After finding out anything we possibly could to smear this, we have discovered the following shocking facts - the economic impact of a global roundness may possibly have some effect on the flightpaths of aircraft, which in turn may cost some airlines some indeterminate amount of money, which in turn might mean that cost is passed on to passengers, which means some of those we represent might maybe have to pay slightly more sometime - and that Al Gore once said 'poo' when he was 12" said one representative, whose job it is to say these and other similar things with a straight face and a suit/tie or lab coat.

Scientists have not been too enthusiastic about the film either. "This is like, primary school stuff" claims one professor. "There's no point making a movie about how the world is round. It's freakin' round. We know it already, Mr Gore. All the proof that could possibly exist points to this single, painfully obvious fact, and I cannot comprehend why this is still an issue for anyone bar those that are entirely sheltered from the outside world. No scientist that doesn't have a specific interest in declaring otherwise, and there aren't many, would ever question global rounding. It's round - don't argue the point, deal with it."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Headlines + rant.

Early humans had sex with chimps.
Child support payments flow from the jungle to the Bush family.

PM likens nuclear debate to GST.
"There will never, ever, be a Chernobyl event in Australia."

Shot fire at house narrowly misses baby.
Hits much more valuable house.
(Compare your mortgage to your families life insurance... See? Not such bad taste after all.)

Trapped miners felt like caged rats.
Rescuers arrested for entering private property and freeing them, accused of being ALF or PETA members, as is the norm.

Whale set free after three days.
Caught by whalers in five days, eaten by seven, digested by nine. More news at eleven.

Don't push me, says ACCC boss.
'Cause I'm close to the edge.

OK, enough dodgy pseudo-funny headlines...

Liberals chase $8.4m war chest.

I like this story. Oh so very much. They need $8.4 million to fight the next state election, around $2 for every voter "prompting concern among some MPs about the party's "fund-raise or perish" mentality."

"the party's 31 sitting MPs have been ordered by party headquarters to raise $80,000 each for their local campaigns. Candidates have been set a target of $60,000."

"...traditional corporate support for the Victorian Liberals has drifted to Labor in recent years because of the Bracks Government's strong position."

"and state Liberal MPs have privately expressed concern about the pressure to raise money and the possibility that some business people could seek to take advantage of MPs and candidates by promising large donations in the hope of calling in favours later."

""If we are not careful we will finish up with pro-forma candidates … who are purely there because they have enough mates in the business world to grease their palms," a senior Liberal warned."

"Candidates have had to prove their fund-raising capabilities before winning preselection"

"The surge in fund-raising activity by both parties comes amid a warning by former Victorian auditor-general Ches Baragwanath that people would be naive to think big corporate donors would not "expect a return" for their support."

No Liberals were harmed during this reporting, because all of them commented anonymously. You brave souls.

Some might want for some end to this utter electroral shambles.. maybe a party that was capitalist-democracy-friendly (like the commies'd get the corpie dollar anyway), and had policies that ensured donations were subject to ethical review, were for general support and not particular purposes, and would push for publicly funded elections.

Sure they'd be run on a shoe-string budget, relying entirely on grass roots community/personal effort, sure they'd have many of those who depend on corruption throw everything at them, sure it would make candidates and members frustrated with the lack of resources..

But the blighters would never have a donors hand up their backside, and would consider the little guy with the vote just as high as the big guy with the wallet and the agenda.

Oh for such a party.... ......... !

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Appreciation! Now in NEW plant form!!!.

Or: "Here, have our garden refuse/green waste as a token of our sincere appreciation."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Comic

Auspols 01
That's supposed to be Peter Costello and John Howard. Props go to PSP9, TS2 and Ctrl-Alt-Del (I so stole their layout.)

Reference is from the PM's quote here - PM plays down leadership talk.

News Corps Blimey

Being sans-Fairfax, I borrowed a co-workers Herlad Sun for a bit of a read. And I am struck by the horrific puns in their headlines. The following are from today alone:

(An article about the Mt Merapi volcano)
Volcano's all fired up.

(A picture of an owl for no apparent reason)
Who's been up late? (What noise do owls make? Yeah, painful isn't it?)

(An article with Prince Harry is a rediculous hat)
I say, Harry, spiffing titfer.

(A V/Line train 'meeting' - possibly an accident, the photo is accompanied with one-sentence with no real information)
Getting carriage away.

(Article about hiding water pipes from public view, and display health warnings in stores.)
Bongs may take a hit.

(Photo of Howard pretending to plant a tree by shoveling dirt from the top onto the top of the soil)
Howard shows the digger spirit.

(Article showing lions lying around a house)
Lion around the house.

(Article about John Cleese's involvement in an anti-racism in soccer campaign.)
Ironing out the fawlts.

To the brainstormers who came up with those little wonders, why are you wasting your life? You do not bring joy to the world, you bring pain. Lots of horrible pain.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Miners under investigation.

Recent national security investigations have begun on Brant Webb and Todd Russell, seen above. It is believed they now pose a threat to Australia. AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said he "cannot comment on individual cases", that there were privacy and security concerns in leaking this information to the media, but in this individual case he would only comment that investigations are underway, and provided an in-depth dossier.

"We do not racially or religiously profile citizens, not legal ones anyway, and most definately we do not ever admit doing so" claimed Mr Keelty. "But we have reason to suspect these two miners of joining a particularly fanatical and violent group, based on their sudden and inexplicit growth of facial hair in the form of beards over the past few weeks." At this point the commissioner tapped his nose, gave a nod, looked us in the eye and mouthed what seemed to be the name of a religion.

"There is much evidence for this, they have been in hiding for some time, and our investigations confirm reports they have been involved with a cell of some description. Attempts to question the men has proved difficult, and for the present, is beyond our departments budget to do so."

ASIO operatives declined to comment, but did say the following in relation to the matter: how did you get this number, could we stop drawing attention to them - we would blow their cover, that no - this is not a Groucho Marx disguise, and could we please leave their subtle van parked outside the mine, marked on the side with 'pizza', 'electrician', 'Jim's Make-up Vans for Naomi', and 'Other Miscellaneous Contractory Things' signages.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Unsolicited calls = why?

OK, 3 unsolicited phone calls (2 from companies wishing me to change phone providers) whilst I prepare to struggle through some rather nasty education learning procedures that require concentration and attention (commonly known as assignments) has resulted in the following thoughts:

Why did we open our telecommunications network to the markets?
Does anyone remember astronomical prices for calls in the past?
The unsolicited advertising/sales calls are not fun for anyone.

The recipients don't enjoy it.
The call center staff aren't finding it particularly pleasant either.
And with line rental being jacked up, even without Mr "if you don't like price hikes, you don't NEED to have a phone ya'know" Alston around, I don't see any benefit in value.

Why was this done?

"In July 1997 the Australian telecommunications sector was opened for full competition with removal of restrictions on the number of licensed operators and anti-competition mechanisms (replaced by general competition law under the oversight of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission)."

Read the wiki.

Don't blame the person on the phone, they are trying to survive.

Blame the company, and blame the bastard's in power that introduced this idea. (I wonder who was prime minister in '97, hmmmmm...)

Oh, and the same people in power that year are the same people that blocked Labor's enforcable do-not-call list from proceeding in parliament.

Everytime the phone rings, and there is that few second pause, you know what to say.

"Fucking Howard, not again... No thanks mate, not interested, sorry, bye.. no, sorry, I'm not interested,.. OK I'm going to hang up, no I really don't care about the savings. Or the prize. Or the $200 in free calls... Ow! Shit, I just fractured my courtesy bone and tore my politeness ligament, fuck.. *click*"

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Almost But Not Quite

Jake Kovco.
Larry Knight.
Richard Carleton.

The miner's are free. Normally, the miner's sit in a confined space under a kilometre of rock to work, and are free to exit the mine at any time, although depending on the particular time, they may lose their jobs. But in this case, they were even less free to leave, but the level of confinement and the distance of rock above them generally remained the same. But the new superstars are free, and now have a difficult recovery process, including many, MANY cheque's from journalists which require cashing, many, MANY interviews, and consultation with script writers on the telemovie that almost-but-not-quite remotely resembles the incident.

And, y'know, catching up with friends/family and whatever psychological healing process that is possible in between the media giants bombardment of inane questions. The rescue effort itself shows a great regard for the value of human life. As opposed to, say, China (who should be doing some of the mining in Australia in the future) where human life is considered as an economic value to be compared to the cost of a rescue effort.

Those miners had an important, some might say vital purpose in their duties.

Shiny things.

We all love shiny things. They reflect light in a way that is uncommon amongst most dry objects in our daily life. Unless you work in a jewellery shop, then they may lose some of their lustre. Sometimes, like gold, diamonds, etc, they have an amazing property that makes them incredibly useful for practical purposes - high conductivity, low resistance, incredibly hard. This is usually a side benefit, and not viable because the price goes up due to the fact they are shiny.


The rescue has incited the first incident of a 'free beer' sign in front of a church - something that many had thought would have been a last resort to rebuild the numbers in the future.

But, there is a sad story to be told. The names above, Kovco, Knight and Carleton, all have something in common. They passed away whilst at work.

This is sad, but some in this country are not overly concerned, because many are paid extra to compensate for the chance of death, and 'they knew it was a dangerous job.' (And yes, I chastised them.)

Some sort of incentive needs to be devised to reward those who almost-but-not-quite die at work, the number of which seems on the increase, but seems still proportional to those who do not live to clock-out. Working until death is encouraged by the Howard government, as long as it does not provide an inconvenience for the employer through a workcover premium rise.

This rise is best avoided by avoiding dying at work.

Refusing to perform dangerous work and having respect for health and safety regulations may have serious financial repercussions, so some other method of death dodging needs to be devised.

I propose the following: an Almost But Not Quite Death At Work award. The miners for example, could maintain their will to live by looking forward to the award and the accompanying ceremony, whilst still performing work that may have been causing dangerous earthquakes. Other workers in the industrial accidents that WorkChoices encourages increases in, may find further reason to stay away from the light at the end of the tunnel if they get a nice, and most importantly, shiny medal. This award will also confuse those new workers who haven't actually heard of the other wage-related awards (mostly because they haven't read Australian history books.)

Mmmm... cynical.

During this blog post, a fisherman drowned, and there has been a reported casualty in a South Australian munitions factory.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Big news. Big, great, awesome news.

We're all going to get fisted*. And I'm not talking about... yeah I'm not gonna go there.

Double The Fist is coming back. (I had a whinge about this ages ago, when this blog was only a wee tacker.)

For those unawares, Double The Fist (or DTF for us fans) is an Aussie comedy - cross between the Goodies and Jackass. Although it's more a satire of Jackass and pretty much every reality TV program there is. Regardless, it was excellent, refreshing, hilarious television. Haven't met anyone who hasn't cackled incessantly whenever I've forcefed it to them. Won an AFI in 2004 for best TV comedy (that was the time the Kath + Kim fans (which is a top show, no disrepect) furrowed their brows and made that huh? sound confused people make when they realise there are awesome shows hardly anyone gets to see because some monkey at the ABC thinks everyone wants to see The freakin' Bill and the same news stories regurgitated from the news to the 7:30 report to Lateline and to hell with anything the elderly might find too crude for them not that I'm bitter or anything.

I think I lost a closing bracket somewhere.

) There she is.

Anyway, atwik, the show is coming back in a second series, as of March this year. (That is, it was announced in March, it doesn't begin in March, if it did then it'd be finished and stuff, so it'll probably be on next year or something.)

The first four episodes are available on DVD at the ABC's remarkably inflated prices.

And, two years (minus 10 days) after they first aired - the ABC will have released the DVD of the second four episodes of the first season.

See, after years of lobbying, complaints, and an online petition, the ABC MIGHT CONSIDER PUTTING A POPULAR AWARD-WINNING CHEAP AUSSIE-MADE COMEDY SHOW BACK ON THE AIR.

Remember - it's your ABC.

So go buy the DVD's (what, like the Liberals aren't going to continue to cut public funding for publically funded institutions like the ABC?) - they rock, and the ABC needs the money, and no one supports Australian talent, and the ABC's make up department struggles to keep Kerry O'Brien's head looking human on a limited budget.

Anyway, cheers to the ABC for not being a stubborn little shit on that one.

I think currently it's shown on Foxtel, but I haven't regressed mentally enough to resort to paying for television other than the involuntary ABC/SBS, so I have no idea on that one.

Bring back the Womp!

* - I'm quite sure term is going to bring in some serious traffic. Will see how that goes.