Tram Town
Monday, April 30, 2007
Category: Tramtown
Oops, we almost missed this. Four years and 3005 posts later...

Category: Mulesing
From the little paper:
Footy fans face a ban on calling umpires "white maggots".
AFL Umpires Association chief Bill Deller has called for spectators who use the time-honoured sledge at any AFL match to be thrown out.
The Gabba has ruled fans who yell the age-old term at Brisbane Lions' games will be evicted instantly.
The best thing about the story is a comment from one Phillip Tullio:
No surprise that Bill Deller would instigate such draconian measures. The worst umpire in the games history and probably who the term was devised for.
Read the whole article, it's hilarious! I particularly like the fact that the writers contacted the Salvation Army for an opinion... and got one!

Friday, April 27, 2007
Category: Espionage
I was, and still am, a huge fan of the 60's/70's TV Show Mission Impossible. One of the things I liked was the way that they altered perceived reality to achieve their objective. This longish article reminds me of it quite a bit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007
Category: Storage
Speaking as a bloke who's moving house for the first time in 20 odd years, I've found this to be bang on the money -- although I'm *sure* I'll find a use for that colour PowerBook Duo any day now (it works, it just doesn't boot). Thanks Auffers

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Category: Economics (101)
The Sun has an idiotic article by somebody called Annalise Walliker which purports to show a 50% drop in prices of electronic gadgets since 2004 and which cites greater demand as one of the reasons. I'm guessing that then industry experts quoted really meant greater supply but, if so, what they said was 180° away from their intent.
According to someone from Pioneer:
The more demand there is the more volume will be produced and the greater the volume the more cost-effective it becomes to manufacture and supply products to the market, allowing companies to be more price competitive.
If his TV had been $5000 three years ago with the same features as are available now it would have been selling in very similar volume as it is now. Supply, caused largely by technological improvements, has caused the price to drop; it is idiotic to buy into this modern argument that demand will cause price drops.
What's more, the basket of goods includes the superseded PlayStation 2, the twice superseded Motorola V3 phone and a swag of goods which rely on flash memory to operate. Such comparisons are useless.
I hope that Annalise is a cadet reporter and that her editor was "making" work for her. I fear, however, that she is a graduate of our tertiary system.
Just One Guy's Opinion™

Sunday, April 22, 2007
Category: Space TFF
The Dish.

Category: Ejukashun
From Randy Cassingham's This is True free newsletter comes this short bio of Marie Clay the woman who founded the notion of reading recovery. Both links are well worth a read.

Saturday, April 21, 2007
Category: Coincidence
This afternoon, while Collingwood meet Port at the 'G (Magpies v Magpies), down at Chirnside Park, the Coburg Tigers meet the Werribee Tigers. Interestingly (for some sufficiently weak definition thereof), the same thing happened on a Sunday afternoon late in the season last year.
The sad thing about this nice coincidence is that Coburg have only been known as the Tigers for a few years.

Category: Birds
It's not a very good image but somebody may be able to help. What bird is that?

Answers to georjb(at)google.com.
UPDATE: Having conferred with sister Susan, I have decided that the best bet is juvenile Blackbird. The colouring is right for female Blackbird but the beak is not yellow. The juvenile has a darker beak. Other supporting evidence is that I have been seeing a few Blackbirds about. They are, however, very hard to catch on "film".

Friday, April 20, 2007
Category: Birds
On today's walk I noticed these:

Based on my research, this seems to be a Crested Pigeon.

This one looks like a Red Wattlebird to me but I'm struggling to see which part of it is red (I am colourblind).

The best match I can get for this is a Willie Wagtail. Am I right?

Category: Chicken
Semi and I have been discussing Doug Zonkers presentation previously here and here. My friend Ken has pointed this out to me so it seems the phenomen is about seven odd years old. Who would've thought?

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Category: Morality
The Kerplunk blog has been added to my regular reading list. This article entitled 10 signs that you're a Moral Idiot is an absolute cracker. Go ahead and read it, Jack.

Category: Players
There was an interesting article in Monday's Oz commenting on Apple's announcement of it's "100 millionth iPod - a landmark, the company claimed, which makes it the fastest selling music player in history. The article notes that last year alone, Nokia sold 70 million music capable phones. Now you might say that Nokia's product is not primarily a music player but Apple themselves have muddied that water with the iPhone. Nokia, who are already the noggest biggest digital camera manufacturer in the world might well find themselves in front of a wide open door into the iPod space, left open by Apple.
As Andrew Landeryou would say... Game On!

UPDATE: I had accidentally typed "noggest" in the above post (N and O are right next to B and I on the keyboard) and have left it there because TramTown is the number one hit on Google for, you guessed it, noggest.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Category: Questions
Regarding Doug Zongker's magnificent presentation of the Chicken Chicken Chicken: Chicken Chicken paper as pointed at by DB a couple of posts ago, I thought that any of the questions listed in ANY QUESTIONS? by Desmond MacHale might have been offered with and almost guaranteed response of "Chicken chicken Chicken".

Category: Warmening
Go over to Slatts' place and have a look at the two gems he found in a CSIRO brochure.
Summary: we don't believe our models because they don't work.

Monday, April 16, 2007
Category: Presentations
I have both presented and viewed many Powerpoint (et al) presentations and have been doing a bit of research lately about the relationship between slideshow and content (cf. some of Les Posens work). There are many schools of thought about that relationship. Those of you in that same boat as myself might like this.

Category: Star Wars
James Taranto's Best of the Web (which is off to the right in the Pool Room) is always worth a read, Jack. It is a week day thing so we get it Tuesday through to Saturday mornings. A bit over a week ago, in an article headed 'You Came in That Thing? You're Braver Than I Thought', James noted an article (scroll down to the last item) about a lesbian couple one of whom was named Leah Vader. James' comment?
[W]e were surprised to hear that Leah Vader is a lesbian. She seemed so happy with Han Solo!

Friday, April 13, 2007
Category: Birds
It's time to play Name That Bird again. This is one I see all the time around here and I should know what it is by now but I'm only just starting to dip my toe in the whole ornithology thing for the first time in my life.

UPDATE: Not quick enough, Sue. I ran into Jack at a wild party yesterday and he had nailed it as a Spotted Turtle Dove. Ref - Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Simpson & Day, fourth edition, 1993, number 317.

Category: Ejukashun
Once more during an election year the AEU is funding a campaign to discredit our governments' methods of education funding. The simple fact is that to compare how much funding is provided to students in government schools with that provided to students in private schools you have to sum funding from all levels of government. From The Australian:
But overall, government schools receive a higher level of government funding than private schools. Sixty-seven per cent of students are in government schools that receive 75 per cent of total taxpayer funding. And under the Howard Government's funding formula, which is based on income demographics for the school catchment, the poorest non-government schools can receive a maximum of 70 per cent of the taxpayer funding provided per government school student, with a sliding scale down to a minimum of 13.7 per cent.
Read it all and keep the link handy in case you get into a barney with somebody who believes what the teachers at the AEU tell them.

Category: Science
Over at one of my favourite sites, dogflu.ca, is an article entitled Making The Perfect Bacon Sandwich.
British researchers have stated that after hours of experimentation they have come up with a recipe for the perfect bacon sandwich

Thursday, April 12, 2007
Category: Cars
My boys and I have just arrived home from a three day trip to Bright, Hotham, Omeo, Paynesville and Maffra. As we entered Maffra, I noticed a sign pointing at a motor museum which was apparently open. I hadn't previously known of this museum and I do try to keep myself up to date on such things so, after a pie and a coffee in "town", we headed back to the museum for a perve. It was $7 for me and nothing for the boys (both under 15)! It Is Good™.
The Car-Of-Show is definitely the Cord but, stupidly, I didn't get a picture. According to this website it was advertising supercharger status that was not justified according to the curator's notes.
The following FE/FC lounge suite caught my eye but it trivialises the museum to suggest it is a highlight...

Their intention is to change the display quite regularly so I'm expecting to drop in each time I go to East Gippsland. Apart from anything else, the Maffra, North Yallourn, Moe route through the Valley is a lot more interesting than the regular highway.
Here's another view...

When I got up close to the Kombi up towards the back of the image, I discovered (to my delight) that it had a 289cid V8 mounted in the heart of what might normally be the cargo or hippy-sleeping section.
I note, also, that the only double ups on display were the two XP Falcons in the foreground. True Classics™.

Category: RDC
KVJ, very serious Vale (but at least now I feel good buying up the back catalogue).

Monday, April 09, 2007
Category: Telly
Peter Cook et al present Superthunderstingcar. I fouund it amusing and I reckon I know where the D-Gen got their Thunderbirds sketch from from.

Saturday, April 07, 2007
Category: Telly
Wired has a nice photo spread on the history of tellies.

Thursday, April 05, 2007
Category: China
Kevin Rudd's trip to China is supposedly likely to be all the more successful because of his ability to speak Mandarin. Bruce, a commenter over at Diogenes' Lamp, suggests otherwise:
Contra the hype, Rudd speaking Chinese is not an advantage at higher diplomatic levels, for it just opens the door to endless dissembling and posturing which is traditional Chinese politics, and for plenty of smoke and mirrors at the Australian end.
Like any foreign Mandarin speaker, Rudd will have a ‘Chinese name’ which he will use to introduce himself to a Chinese speaker. (Mine is ‘Bian Xiao Xia’). A properly selected name has a subtle poetic meaning which gives the native conversant vast opportunity to expound obscure hermeneutics. So any conversation will go like this:
‘Greetings, my name is X-Y-Z and I am aspiring to be Prime Minister of Australia..’
“You speak excellently (even if you don’t), where did you learn? … Who was your teacher?…
Your name means ‘flower of the new spring’ and reminds me of my native province… have you been to Hai Nan? It is a beautiful place….”
And so on. Bearing in mind also that Chinese believe in ‘Wu-wei’, which means that the higher status the person the slower and more portentously they speak every syllable [the Emperor ideally was not supposed to speak at all, Wu-wei - ‘accomplishing without acting’ (by pure virtuousness)]. So the conversation will take an hour or so to cover a few preliminaries.
Since it’s basically a stunt to get elected, what’s the bet that Rudd is tempted to go to China, talk a lot of meaningless platitudes, then give us a distorted account of what was discussed?
After last week’s account of his attempt at press manipulation, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Category: Global Warmening
Bit surprised that Semi hasn't mentioned this already, Y2+7K Summer Time "Bug" achieves bugger all in power consumption reduction. Who would've thought?

Sunday, April 01, 2007
Category: Zombies
On this morning's Insiders, Andrew Bolt (whom I greatly admire) tripped over his own tongue but, nevertheless, revealed something interesting about ABC audiences:
[Referring to David Hicks] what he repeatedly, voluntarily, freely said in letters to his father and elsewhere about what he did, and the fact is, it is just beyond any question that he trained with al Qaida which is responsible for the deaths of more than a hundred Australians including some probably watching right now.

Category: April Fools Palm Sunday
(Hmm, probably a very limiting category) Best of.... (well, maybe not the Easter'ish bit).

Category: Technology
A life told in computers interested me in a self-serving kind of way. I reckon though that Auffers will like it (or more likely blog it as well). (FWIW I've had about eight of these myself)

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