Tram Town
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Category: Humour
I often watch The Chaser's war on everything and find that I get a good laugh, on average, two out of three shows. I read this in this morning's dead tree edition of the TTT and laughed out loud about 12-14 times. They're average is improving. Your mileage may vary.

Saturday, December 30, 2006
Category: Fillums
I just watched this on the telly. I thought it was worth the investment -- your mileage may vary.

Category: Propoganda

It might have been convincing then but I think retrospectively propaganda can look very silly!

Category: WHWTMSitW
Housework cuts breast cancer risk
There's a bit of data mining going on here, I'd reckon.

Friday, December 29, 2006
Category: Bears (Polar)
It appears that George W. Bush has got the Global Warming bug and is concerned about the plight of the polar bear. Never fear, we here at TramTown can point you at The Bear Facts. Consider:
Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.

Category: mp3
I hadn't come across this before How To Boot Ipod Into Diagnostic Mode! Video.

Thursday, December 28, 2006
Category: mp3
Further evidence that Apple is just rubbish ! Can't even run a simple retail operation.

Category: Bridges
"The highest and one of the largest trestle bridges in Victoria." - RoyalAuto

Nimmons Bridge can be seen from Galatea Road off the C171 near Scarsdale on the Glenelg Highway. It was a railway bridge (or is that viaduct) on the long since defunct Ballarat to Skipton line. It is now part of a walking track.

Well, maybe just not enough of the right kind of scientists. Honorary Research Fellow at the CSIRO, Barrie Hunt, says "...the greenhouse effect is a load of rubbish...".

Category: (Again with the) Gore
This observation from someone who goes by the name pat in comments over at the Climate Audit site which is run by Steve McIntyre:
[Al Gore] only supported the Internet by mistake. Read “Where Wizard[s] Stay Up Late” (a history of the Internet). Al Gore was recruited to help get congressional funding for communications infrastructure - which he did. However it is clear he thought he was supporting centralization not decentralization and certainly not distributed computing. Al was a mainframe guy. The World Wide Web is a Libertarian kind of idea. That’s hardly Al Gore’s native political stance.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late look like a really interesting book and it is going on to my next Amazon order.
McIntyre, BTW, is the man who with Ross McKittrick managed to extract the famous Hockey Stick from a random data set.

And since we're on the topic of presidents, yes, DB, Ford was the president who sometimes stumbled. The only reference on YouTube, however, appears to have been taken down recently.

Category: The Far Side

Having created the Internet, Al Gore enlists the help of a friend to install the Internet.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Category: RDC
Former President Ford dies at 93. Vale. Hey Semi, was he the clumsy one?

Category: Presentation Software
Semi posted this recently which is all fine and dandy. Except rather than use PowerPoint, the presentation software used was, in fact, Apples Keynote! FWIW. (Hey, let's call a spade a spade)

Category: Warmening
Al Gore's PowerPoint presentation:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Category: RDC
Well, not that recent but I only just read the obit this morning. Chris Hayward wrote some of my all time favourite TV shows. Vale.

Category: Trams
John Legge writes an interesting article on trams in this mornings TTT.

Category: RDC
James Brown, vale. Only the best folk get pneumonia.

Category: Scrooge
In Defense of Scrooge is a good read. Once more I found it through comments over at Diogenes' Lamp.

Monday, December 25, 2006
Category: Names
The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager will kill a bit of time on Chrissy day.
Found in comments over at Diogenes' joint.

Category: Warmening
Paul Driessen has written a terrific article for the Washington Times which includes this magnificent quote:
Earth-centered-universe dogmas have been replaced by a far more intolerant Church of Gaia catechism of cataclysm.

Category: Science
It's ten years since the death of Carl Sagan and yesterday I listened to an old interview with him and a new one with his widow on PBS's Science Friday. It was all very adoring stuff. We remember him for Cosmos and for Contact and also for his reliance on dodgy computer climate models in his fight against Reagan's efforts to win the Cold War. He would have loved to have been able to contribute to the current climate nonsense.
Colby Cosh of The National Post offers a not-so-adoring memory of the man (if you're only going to click through to one link in this post, make it this one).
Also, from Canonical Lightbulb Jokes come this:
Q: How many Carl Sagans does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Billions and billions.

Category: Christmas/Hanukah
In 1947, the FBI considered "It's A Wondeful Life" to be a Commie Manifesto! I'm not convinced they weren't bang on the money. Seasons Greetings et al from all at TramTown to both of our readers.

Sunday, December 24, 2006
Category: (Devout) Atheism
I am almost certainly going to buy The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins but of late I have been having some doubts in my admiration of him. I have been known, in jest, to call myself a devout atheist but I'm afraid that such a thing does exist. Michael Fitzpatrick provides quite an interesting review of the book in Sp!ked which includes this:
Discussing the consequences of clerical sexual abuse in Ireland, [Dawkins] suggests that ‘horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place’ (p317). These are statements of such unmitigated prejudice – and indeed absurdity – that it is shocking to find them in a serious book by a reputable author.
I remain atheist but certainly not of the Dawkins ilk.

Category: Christmas
I thought Santa had delivered an early present yesterday morning when I saw this headline in the Oz:
Scientists an endangered species
Unfortunately it referred, as "endangered species" often does, to a very specific and insignificant environment.
Get this:
"There are not enough Indians down at the coalface to do the work," said one scientist, who requested anonymity.
My guess is that he requested anonymity when he realised what an idiotic sentence he had constructed.
Have I ever mentioned that I think We Have Way Too Many Scientists in This World™?

Category: Warney
YouTube entry of the [some time period]:

Not exactly classic TramTown fodder this one but I wanted to be able to point my boys at it. They will love it.

Friday, December 22, 2006
Category: Fact(oid)
Now here's an interesting thing...
Marajó [...] is the largest island to be completely surrounded by freshwater. Although its northeast coastline faces the Atlantic Ocean, the outflow from the Amazon is so great that the sea at the mouth is quite unbriny for some distance from shore.
Well... I found it interesting.

Category: Flying
SeatGuru is quite an interesting site that gives critiques of individual seats on jetplanes from a wide variety of international and US domestic carriers. I wish they had other domestic carriers, though.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Category: Technology
USB rechargeable Shaver. That's either a good idea or the stupidest thing I've ever seen -- not sure which.

Monday, December 18, 2006
Category: Curses
Tim Blair pointed me at a story on the Swedish site The Local about a book entitled Fruktans Makt that had not been written but had been reviewed. As I was reading it I was wondering how they tell the difference between decent and indecent language over in that part of the world. Apparently it's even more of a problem than I had imagined as I discovered by following a link about a village called Fjuckby the residents of which are keen on a name change.

Saturday, December 16, 2006
Category: Common Sense
Sp!ked Online is a magnificent operation (as I have said before) coming out of the otherwise Unhinged Kingdom. It includes a substantial body of work entitled Don't Panic. Each "panic/don't panic" pair finishes with a tiny next link which you might not notice without me pointing it out. Read 'em all for a great batch of good ol' regular common sense approaches to the panics of the early 21st century.

Category: Health
A Short Course in Brain Surgery is this week's YouTube pick. It's a sad observation on public health systems.

The Junk Science guy, Steven Milloy, has just published his annual Top Ten Junk Science Moments. Well worth the read. Note that each of the top ten points off to a more in depth coverage and most of those are worth reading, too.

Friday, December 15, 2006
Category: Green
I don't think I believe this, perhaps I'm a bit irony-deficient. By all accounts you can ease your greenhouse conscience by giving these people $75 to alleviate the warmening problems caused by Santa's reindeer who "graze, burp and fart!". The fact that they really believe somebody will spend the dough is a sad indictment on our crazy world.
If you really want to do some greening, send me the $75 and I will buy some spray paint cans and give the local oval some green. Goodness knows it needs it given that it will probably never be watered again.
Dam shame.

Category: Useful
Up there with bugmenot is 10minutemail which gives you a mail address that lasts for ten minutes but can be extended ten minutes at a time.

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Category: RDC
Peter Boyle was one of my favourite actors in Taxi Driver. Vale.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Category: Technology
These new fangled robots sure seem a bit silly to me. But wait, they just get sillier.

Category: Medicine
Jeez, I wish I knew all of this before I had kids.

Category: Journalism
Tim Blair has noticed that somebody in Tullamarine has informed us that:
more than 75% of the state has been “consumed”, and 13% of it “charred”
In comments someone suggested:
They must have outsourced all statistical work to Lancet.

During my walk yesterday I listened to last week's Ockham's Razor from Radio National. If you ever want evidence of people hating amongst intellectuals here it is.
Science, people believe, will find solutions to the problems that seem to preoccupy Greenies and other doomsayers. Well, I am a scientist, and I have to say I am more than somewhat sceptical about the ability of science to rescue humanity from its own folly.
So, he's a scientist. I guess we have to listen to him. He believes we have to reduce population in short order and he even canvasses the means thus:
War, Pestilence, and Famine, three of the horsemen of the apocalypse, can bring about a reduction in the human population. But these kill on a scale of tens of millions, which is not enough to solve the problem of over-population. And they are most brutal in the ways they kill. Consequently, let us consider the alternative.
And get this:
The next most human way to reduce the population might be to put something in the water, a virus that would be specific to the human reproductive system and would make a substantial proportion of the population infertile. Perhaps a virus that would knock out the genes that produce certain hormones necessary for conception.
I did say he is a scientist not a humanitarian but every sentence seemed to make me feel more ill...
A triage approach will be necessary so that scarce medical resources go to those who can contribute most to the long-term viability of the planet. Consequently, many middle-aged-to-elderly people will die uncomfortable deaths. Not every problem is solveable.
Read it all, Jack, but be prepared to be disgusted!

UPDATE: Tim Blair (and many others) had been alerted to this article and the comments on his post make for interesting reading, too!
His argument is something like trying to prevent another World War I by putting the youth of each country into trenches and having them shoot at each other.

Sunday, December 10, 2006
Category: Warmening
US Senator James Inhofe delivered this speech to the Senate in September this year. It looks like good reading to me.
Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes over lapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930's the media peddled a coming ice age.
Fromt he late 1920's until the 1960's they warned of global warming. Fromt he 1950's until the 1870's they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes global warming the fourth estate's fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.

Category: Politics
Just when you thought that Parliament couldn't get any more brain dead, they start talking about using PowerPoint! Jeez.

Category: Technology
If I was in the market for an expanding table I reckon I'd spring for this one.

Saturday, December 09, 2006
Category: Trivia
The Great Batman Equipment Archive.

Friday, December 08, 2006
Category: Politics
Auffers points me to this! I'm not sure that I understand it but it's sorta' funny.

Category: History
I was at this last night. Semi and I contributed quite a few things towards the collection. A review is around here. It's running through to 30/12 -- might be worth a look if you're in town.

Category: Audio
It's an iRonic i(Roning) Pod.

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Category: Science
Jeez, first they get rid of a planet, now they can divide by zero! WHWTMSITW!

Category: Movie
Kenny is very, very good. It had a relatively early release on DVD and I got it yesterday at a bargain basement price of $19.95 and it is magnificent. It is as if the Jacobson family learnt all there was to learn from Working Dog and Christopher Guest and Robert Altmann and then injected a whole bunch of teariness into the equation. I loved it, it was as silly as a bum full of Smarties.
9.5/10.0 It started a bit slowly for me.
As it happens, I was walking past the Kenny limo regularly a few months ago. The non-poo-working Jacobson boy lives just around the corner from me!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Category: Information
The Alfred Noble Prize is not a typographical error! Claude Shannon won this award in 1940. Most people don't know quite how much Claude Shannon's work influences our day-to-day existence. Go read!

Sunday, December 03, 2006
Category: Weather
From John Ray's Greenie Watch comes a pointer to a press release from the National Center for Public Policy Research in the US which has the temerity to suggest that climatology is an uncertain science! Dated 30 November it includes this:
Today marks the official end of the 2006 hurricane season. The number of hurricanes was 38 percent below the number originally forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The number of hurricanes that qualified as "major" - category 3 or above - fell 50 percent below NOAA forecasts. Not a single hurricane made landfall.

Category: Inconvenience
Al Gore has 50,000 DVDs of his schlocumentary movie that he cannot give away! Doug Ross has some suggested uses for them.

Category: Health
Four big, fat myths in the Telegraph (UK) is a very good read about diet. Well worth the effort!

Friday, December 01, 2006
Category: Fillums
I'm just back from seeing BORAT: The Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Let's just say that I'd advise you to wait until it is onto the weekly rotation at your rental shop. I suspect some of the jokes went over my head but mostly it did not warrent attention for the full 83 minutes. It doesn't help, of course, that I have seen quite a few of the scenes on YouTube.
3.0/10.0: I laughed precisely three times.
AAMOI I don't even use a rental store and I'm going to follow my own advice.

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