Tram Town
Thursday, September 30, 2004
Category: Security
Nice site devoted to Stupid Security, looks worth a further look.

Category: Star Wars
Maybe on the telly. The very good news is that George Lucas is not expected to direct or have anything to do with the day to day operations. Even better news is that the slated director may be Kevin Smith according to pundits. What I didn't know is that he is also working on this. The number of things I don't know are increasing at an alarming rate.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Category: Cultural Differences
What is it about the Japanese and penguins?

Category: Fillums
We've all heard of Supermarionation but the new pitcher Team America is filmed entirely in supercrappynation!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Category: Popularity
  Sorry, DB has never been a top 1000 name so we are unable to display a graph for the name DB. Bugger!

Category: Language
A fascinating history of punctuation.

Monday, September 27, 2004
Category: Fillums
I hadn't heard that there was gonna be a re-make of Bewitched. What I'd like to see is if they switch Dicks half way through the pitcher.

Category: Entertainment
Amuse your friends and family with Hand Shadows.

Category: Woof!
Now I Wanna Be Your dog! (with apologies)
Thinking about this reminds me of this.
I guess it happens all the time.

Category: Star Wars
Oh George! You've done it again!

Sunday, September 26, 2004
Category: Star Wars
What do you think the administrative cost of the janitorial staff for the Death Star would be? Nude Chewbacca? and much more. Nice article from CNN.

Saturday, September 25, 2004
Category: Thunderbirds (again, sorry)
What I didn't know is that the Production Company responsible for the above was also responsible for Four Weddings & a Funeral; Johnny English; Elizabeth; Notting Hill and Bridget Jones's Diary amongst others. go Figure!

Category: Thunderbirds
I agree with Semi (about this fillum at least). Sylvia thinks so too! I figure that The Hood has been sent to Gaol (at least until they make a sequel) so I'm not as concerned about this.

Category: Star Wars
The Gnu Hunter points at some commentary by the kiddy Latham who likens himself to Luke Skywalker and Little Johnny Howard to Darth Vader. He hastened to add that Howard will not turn out to be his father. But will Carmen Lawrence turn out to be his sister?
My image of election night has little Johnny coming from behind... "the force is strong in this one"... and NO Millenium Falcon coming in to save the day... "But not strong enough"... "Luke" goes up in flames... the union labor rebel base is destroyed for another three years... shots of joyous celebrations all over Australia... then Johhny thumbing his nose at the ghosts of the kiddy, Paul Keating, Hawkey and, of course, Gough.

Category: Movies
(Again with the) Vegetarian Sharks! I say Bug's Life is better that Antz and I say Finding Nemo (with all of its mucky Green Religion) is better than Shark Tale.
It all looks great but the story is, dare I say it, wet. SPOILER ALERT... It turns out that the tough godfather comes to terms with the fact that his second son is a transgender vegetarian dolphin. It seems a bit extreme to me, though, that learning to live with one son's homosexuality required the other, heterosexual, son to lose his life when an anchor drops on his head.
3/10 - it looked okay, the plot resolved (sort of) but the credits were too long (why the hell don't they move the songs and performers further up the queue?).
BTW is it only in Australia that Tracy Grimshaw is the voice for Katie Current? Yes! The real Katie Couric is doing it for the US release next Friday. It will be interesting to see what's on the region 4 DVD.

Category: Thunderbirds
I think I'm going to have to see it again to see where I went wrong. This on imdb:
The original Thunderbirds was an eccentric, low-budget, weird piece of TV science fiction with the emphasis on alluring gadgetry and brilliant machines. The fact that all roles were played by puppets certainly helped it attain a certain cult status. Fans and even casual viewers have fond memories of puppets bobbing around miniature sets and palm trees folding back to allow Thunderbird 2 to get down the runway. Approaching a cinematic updating of the concept, director Jonathan Frakes had two choices: Go for a faithful, no-holds-barred action-packed romp full of alluring gadgetry and brilliant machines with a 21st century gloss, or ruin the whole thing and make the worst film of the year. Unfortunately, Mr. Frakes chose the latter option.
Firstly, it was NOT low budget. It was a very expensive production in its day. It was made with puppets and models because that was the only way to do such things. Go look at Gerry Anderson's current remake of Captain Scarlet, go on... CGI, isn't it? Just like most of the action bits in the new movie. The story was not really helped by the marionettes bobbing around and if you thought that was a feature you missed the point, bozo.
The vehicles one through five and the mole are all very similar to the originals but with way more detail and realistic manoeverability that CGI brings. For my money, ths film is very faithful to the original concept. I say Gerry's being just a bit precious or bitter. What's more, I find it hard to believe he is so stupid as to have turned down $750k to say it was alright.
Just one thing, how is the Hood made to forget where Tracy Island is? Make that 9.5 9.4.

Friday, September 24, 2004
Category: Ep IV-VI
Geo. Lucas is evil! Or are folks just being pedants

Category: Fillums
Despite what Semi said here it looks like Gerry disagrees with him.
"Speaking via telephone from his home in the UK following a screening of the original Thunderbirds movie, Thunderbirds Are Go!, the creator of the British cult television hit said the new film was a "terrible failure"."
(punch through for full PDF transcript).

Category: (Again with the) Mathematics
Google found a picture of a friend of mine seemingly taken two years before he was born!
Dr Aldred’s current research interests involve paths, cycles, matchings and colourings in graphs. Recently he has worked on bounding the number of cycles in a 3-connected cubic graph, determining the smallest 3-connected cubic planar non-Hamiltonian graphs of cyclic connectivity 4 and 5, factoring (colouring) regular graphs into linear forests of minimum length and classes of graphs which admit 1-factors with prescribed and proscribed edges.
That would come in handy at a bar-b-cue fry-up.

Category: Mathematics
Having attended many seminars where I had no idea what the presenter was trying to say, I found this paper really useful. I hadn't seen it for about twenty years and this morning I woke up with the name Bombialdi ringing through my head. Google is your friend.

Thursday, September 23, 2004
Category: Cars
TCS has some great background stuff about the birth of the V8 including heaps of praise for Cadillac.

Category: Health
The EU position on advertising of prescription drugs is pretty much mirrored here in Australia. One way or another we are going to have to introduce some market forces into our health industries or we will continue our backward slide, IMHO.

Category: Vale...
Slightly more information in this Russ Meyer obit (unfortunately you may have to register). Love this bit... (VULGARITY ALERT!)
In France Meyer's commanding officer was Ernest Hemingway, who enabled the shy young cameraman to lose his virginity. Major Hemingway escorted Meyer to a brothel outside Paris which he controlled, and told him to take his pick of the 15 staff. "I picked the girl with the biggest tits," Meyer recalled.

Category: Star Wars
Still more changes to the original saga. (I smiled a coupla' times but probably not worth 10 pages but)

Category: Recently dead celebrities
Vale Russ Meyer. (minor unsafe @ work warning)

Category: Food
Would you like fries with that?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Category: Yartz
Whoa! Hold on there boy...
The progression from Blade Runner through Total Recall to Paycheck has all the hallmarks of one of his stories—black irony, psychological degradation and the implication of a vast conspiracy organized to deceive and persecute one man. The young Dick would have written it as a dark comedy, the older as a bizarre Christian fable.
I'm not sure how to read this. Is he suggesting a progression from bad to worse or from good to bad?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Category: Star Wars
Five major changes in the Ep IV-VI DVD.

Monday, September 20, 2004
Category: Radio
Thinking Portable Audio Laboratory? Think iPAL.

Sunday, September 19, 2004
Category: Pirates
Pursuant to what Semi had to say below it's the iPatch!

Category: Radio
Via Æ Brain, a history of British offshore radio. Very appropriate given that it is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Saturday, September 18, 2004
Category: Pitchers
Me and my two boys (9 and 7) went to see Thunderbirds over at Airport West (where it only cost eight bucks each for entry). IMDB users gave it just 4.2/10, they're wrong. From the magnificently simple graphics of the opening credits to the tear-jerkingly emotional final scene, this is one great pitcher. Alan is Anakin, Darth and Luke all wrapped into one, Tintin is a Carmen Cortez and Princess Leia morph, and Lady Penelope IS Lady Penelope with a smidge of Emma Peel and Purdy in the blend. Ben Kingsley as the Hood was a master touch of casting.
As a matter of interest, the Hood's special powers are also shared by some of his relatives and might be described as being derived from "an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together".
Favourite Scene: Parker needs a bit of wire to pick a lock, Lady Penelope reaches up under her top and pulls out a bit of wiring evidently from her bra, Parker says "thanks m'Lady" and Lady P says "That's alright, I don't need it".
By all accounts, Gerry Anderson has little or no interest in this piece of work. I guess that's a shame but these people did such a good job of it that I wouldn't change a thing.
9.5/10 (the credits at the end were way too long and I was waiting for info about the music.

Category: Politics
From The Onion:
Kerry Vows To Raise Wife's Taxes
BOSTON—Campaigning in his home state, John Kerry vowed Monday to raise taxes on his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, whose worth is estimated to be in the range of $900 million to $3.2 billion. "My spouse has benefited long enough from tax cuts," Kerry said. "If Congress increased her taxes by 15 percent, this country would have millions of dollars to use to create new jobs and explore alternative energy sources." Kerry added that it's high time that billionaires like the one with whom he shares his life start paying their fair share.

Category: Star Wars
Interesting interview with ol' George Lucas.

Friday, September 17, 2004
Category: Politics
Some commentary on the election from the Currency Lad including this on the possibility of Pauline Hanson's return:
I'd just say this to Andrew Bartlett: mate, don't go off the deep end with Pauline. She's a straight shooter who's done porridge and, if attacked, will surely shank your ass.
Oh also he pointed at an article of a politician with a hand problem.

Relevant to this and this, you too can play I Wanna Be Sedated (although I do dispute the reference to "No Hits").

Category: Fiction
Years and years ago I came across the fact that almost all phone numbers used in the sit-coms of my youth were prefixed with the 555 area-code (thanks blogless Ina (assuming she's right)). This was so that "works of fiction" (books, TV, Movies et al) could use numbers that would never get released to the broader community. I never realised that our ACA Numbering Team were this advanced.

Category: iPod
No Highs? No Lows? Must be Bose!

Category: Apple
Apple fanatics are surely fanatical. One of the things that amuses the heck out of me are the "unboxing" pages that folks post everytime Apple release a new bit of hardware. These are sites that document the whole unboxing experience, I've not come across this sort of madness in the PC world. I wonder what that means? In the mean time, unboxing the iMac G5!

Category: Batteries Included
I can't but try to think what Popeye would have made of this.

Thursday, September 16, 2004
Category: Security
For extreme geeks only... a presentation about ways OpenBSD has been made more secure at kernel/binary levels.

Category: (more) Recently Dead Things
I'm feeling old!! Another Ramone bites the dust!

Category: Music
One! Two! THREE! Four!

Category: Recently Dead Things
Vale for the Late Mrs. McCartney's (gotta research that lineage a bit better I guess) local branch of the Company. (like, they hadn't seen it coming?), too bad for the Northern Suburbs, but.

Category: Good Advice
Very good advice indeed if your airplane gets hijacked by poltergeists. Don't be a hero, not having a special preparation and, whatever you do, Don't disarrange them!

Category: Hobbies
Big Dummy's Guide to Picking Locks! Thanks Auffers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Category: NGV
Slatts made the trip up the Geelong Road to the NGV and he made an aesthetic judgment in its favour particularly when compared to Hideous Federation Square. I hope you kept an eye out for falling glass, Slatts!

Category: Audio
I saw this on Wired this morning and forgot to link. Maybe we should have iPods beaming to tube-amps attached to tape decks being recorded by iTunes to play back on.... oh, don't worry!

Category: Audio
Last Thursday Donald Leslie died at age 93. Apparently he was cremated yesterday which is a shame because we will never be able to say he is spinning in his grave.

Category: Architecture
Virtual Windows.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Category: Viromunt
The banning of very useful CFCs is a lot like the whole messy Kyoto business, it is bad science but very nice politics for some. This article deserves a reading. Also, at the same site, a well written dissertation on global warming.

Category: Apple
Apple -v- Apple, the adventure continues.

Monday, September 13, 2004
Category: Education
Somebody in the Bracks government had it in for Moreland City College (K-12). From Victor Perton's site...
Moreland City College Closure - "F" for the Bracks Government
Saturday 31 July 2004
Moreland City College - "F" for the Bracks Government
The closure of Coburg's Moreland City College is a failure for the Bracks Government's education policies.
The children of Coburg and surrounding suburbs have been abandoned by a government unwilling to guarantee a safe and disciplined school environment.
This Labor Government has let a group of thugs tear this school community apart - instead of dealing with the thugs and enforcing discipline and standards; the Government is closing the school.
This is Labor Heartland in which a fine school has been destroyed by a soft socialist and undisciplined education department.
Over the last four years, Moreland City College was permitted to operate with an unacceptable record of violence and bullying, scholastic failure, poor discipline, non-attendance and truancy.
Lynne Kosky promised accountability for state schools over three years ago - yet under her leadership the number of badly performing state schools has blown out to over 100.
Lynne Kosky promised accountability for state schools over three years ago - yet this school was allowed to continue in its decline.
I find it bizarre that Lynne Kosky should blame the Kennett Government for this closure five years after her Government came to power.
Les Twentyman sounded a distress signal earlier in the year when he wrote that he was "alarmed the other day to read that a highly successful program in Moreland CityC ollege, where a police constable of Turkish origin was based full-time to work with the kids, was likely to be closed down."
Parents expect that children will be safe in school and that they will learn the basics. Over the last four years, they have identified this school as one to avoid. The enrolment numbers have halved during the last four years of Bracks Government administration. The VCE enrolments were about to halve again next year.
As a child, I grew up a short walk from the school. In those days it had a fine reputation for scholastic achievement.
As Coburg High, its successful students included the Dean of Architecture at MIT,Bill Mitchell, and Olympic athlete, Raelene Boyle.
The children of Coburg deserve all the opportunities my neighbours enjoyed in the area four decades ago.
I went there (Coburg High) as well. Also, Robert Walls. I'm of the opinion that we don't know doodly-squatt about the real reasons for the closure.
UPDATE: (we'll lose another reader for this, I'm sure) Andrew Bolt writes on this very topic.

Category: Meeja
To get this post in perspective you may need to go look at some articles about the CBS 60 Minutes "forged" documents "scandal", here and here and here.

Slatts pointed at a magnificent Top Ten article about Dan Rather and the CBS news article. In comments:
Top Ten Reasons CBS Is The Best In The Business
4. Only organization to uncover proof Nixon was President in 1968!
And the number one reason CBS is the Best in the Business ...

1. They actually voted against airing report on forged documents before they voted for it!
The links for this story pile up, some very funny. Go search it out yourself ya lazy cow!

Category: Theatre
I hadn't realised that our friends at Hartwell are doing Arcadia as their next production.

Category: Politics
I hadn't realised the name of the LPA canditate for my local electorate until I noticed over the weekend that his name is Woody Inman, as my brother-in-law commented it could have been worse I suppose, he could have been called Richard.

Saturday, September 11, 2004
Category: Cohen
I'm re-discovering LC again after a while (as, apparently, a number of my peers are as well (no link AFAIK)). Now that I have (mostly) recovered from (most) of my Teenage Angst I find I can enjoy him as a Singer, but I hadn't come across this cracker before (again) AFAIK. Or this, from the lyrics at least, quite relevant parody.

Category: Drama
The British library has digitised almost two dozen Shakespeare plays. Looks like a cracker of a read.

Category: Dubya
GWB -v- JC?

Friday, September 10, 2004
Category: Technology
I use Windows 2000 for many hours every day. If it starts misbehaving I reboot and if the problem persists I do a Windows Update. I do my damndest not to use Internet Explorer preferring Firefox and Opera. I find this to be quite a reliable and cost-effective platform for my usage patterns. I am not using this machine to make split second or automated decisions in battle situations. I wouldn't dream of doing so. The Royal Navy appears happy to do so, however. Utter madness.
Thanks AEBrain for the pointer.

Category: Pets
Just remember, a dog is for life, not just for BANG!

Category: Good taste Common decency Sickening
The SMH has disgraced itself yet again. Way less than 24 hours since the bombing that killed at least nine and injured at least 180, they are conducting a poll (link won't last long I suspect) on which Australian political party it will benefit most.

Category: Innovation
Senior Executives Name Greatest Innovations and Innovators of Past 75 Years.

Category: Travel
Travelling? SeatGuru apparently knows all of the best seats.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
Category: Humour
If you turn me down now, I will become more drunk than you can possibly imagine, geek pick up lines (some of which are actually funny).

Category: Ep IV, V, VI
Interesting article about how G5's were used to clean up the fillums.

Category: Computing
Slide Rules rule!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Category: Humour
I laughed at this list of possible one-hit-wonder songs.

Monday, September 06, 2004
Category: Science
Warwick Hughes' page looks to be an absolute cracker. So far I have only just scratched the surface.

Sunday, September 05, 2004
Category: Zell
(What sort of name is "Zell" anyway?) Is he really the Sith Emperor but?

Saturday, September 04, 2004
Category: Chomsky
The Uncle at ABCWatch pointed me at a Keith Windschuttle review of The Anti-Chomsky Reader by Peter Collier and David Horowitz. I have not read the book but I do have it on my "to acquire" list. I had always imagined that Chomsky's academic record was unchallengeably sound. It appears that I may have been wrong to make such assumptions...
The most devastating articles in the Anti-Chomsky Reader are not those that expose the ideological prejudices, factual misrepresentations, and distorted logic of his political writings but the two at the end of the book that tear up his reputation as one of the towering intellects of our time. Two essays about linguistics reveal Chomsky’s output in that field to be not the work of a rare, great mind but the product of a very familiar kind of academic hack. His reputation turns out not to have been earned by any significant contribution to human understanding but to be the product of a combination of self-promotion, abuse of detractors, and the fudging of his findings.
Hmm... gotta get that book!

Category: iTripe
Given that TramTown now appears on the top of a Google search for "iPod" I suppose I'd best add to the reputation by noting some Paul Thurrot commentary in this week's WinInfo Short Takes.
This first item has the Fruitloop computer company criticising Microsoft for its own shortcomings.
The second has Silly Billy Gates doing a bit of stand-up improv that had me laughing out loud!

Category: Business
Some of our readers might recognise somebody whose picture appears at the bottom of this article.

Category: Advertising
Click through to childish humour...

Category: Mong
A terrific sad/happy story about the-kid-who-got-picked-on-all-the-time. Pointed out by Tim Blair.

Friday, September 03, 2004
Category: Blogger
Sorry about the post looping earlier on. I generally post using the BlogThis! button and it was erroring like a mad erroring thing over the last 24 hours. What I hadn't picked up on was that it actually stored all of the errant posts and then bulk posted them! Normal service will now be resumed.

Category: Dolls
Take me to your iLeader. (or should that be take your iLeader to wherever?)

Category: Go Zell!
Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) talked to the RNC. My favourite part of his speech...
Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.
The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40% of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.
The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.
The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.
I could go on and on and on: Against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel, Against the Aegis air-defense cruiser, Against the Strategic Defense Initiative, Against the Trident missile, against, against, against.
This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces?

U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?

Thursday, September 02, 2004
Category: mp3
Just in case you missed it, mTunes.

Category: Fillums
Fed Square is Go! With Gerry and Bud doing Q & A. Should be worth going to.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Category: Academia/Popular Culture
And the intersection set betwixt? The Monetary Economics of Thurston Howell III

Category: Home Theatre
This product looks worthy of investigation in the home or amateur theatre large screen front.

Category: Politics
Dutch Politics. Noted by Alan Anderson and Steve Edwards, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is making quite an impact on the Dutch public. She has had to fight for her rights as a woman and she deserves some recognition and praise for fighting for the right of others.
Mrs Hirsi Ali arrived in Holland as a penniless refugee in 1992 after sneaking across the German border to escape a forced marriage to a Somali kinsman. She did not speak a word of Dutch. Finding jobs as a cleaner, she went on to study political science at Leiden University.
Her ambition now is nothing less than a reformation of Islam.

Powered by Blogger