Tram Town
Monday, May 31, 2004
Category: Magazine Subscriptions
Risks aside this is sorta cool!

Category: Art
Ohhh, Semi is gonna love this, or maybe not.

Category: Technology Politics (I guess)
"Wash with warm water
Use mild soap
Dry flat
Do not use bleach
Do not dry in the dryer
Do not iron
We are sorry that
our President is an idiot
We did not vote for him".

Sunday, May 30, 2004
Category: Charles Babbage
Hmmm, this should make a difference.

Saturday, May 29, 2004
Category: Bifty
Now, I'm a big fan of this fillum so this appeals to me big time! I want one.

Category: Burgers (of my dreams)
Ian Royall, consumer reporter, has spent quite a bit of time researching the whole burger thing. Interesting reading.

Category: Engineering (more on the bridge)
I don't follow these things very closely unless they are covered in docos on the Discovery Channel. But, as DB said, this really is a cracker.
You could never drive like this in Victoria, though...
2,460m in length, the crossing is expected to last, by car, around one minute.
Hmmm... 2.46km in 1 minute = , where's that kooky spreadsheet when I want it, found, just shy of 150kmh. Hereabouts that would be automatic license suspension and you can bet your life the bridge would have speed cameras!

Category: Engineering
This is a cracker of a bridge.

Category: Nukular
Power, that is. Professor Emeritus Philip Stott over at EnviroSpin Watch boldly suggests that nuclear power is even cleaner than solar and wind power and he has the temerity to base his assertion on facts!
NB The article in question is a little way into the page. Also, I note that Firefox can't disply this page while IE and Opera have no problems! What about Safari, DB?

Friday, May 28, 2004
Category: Fillums
Bob Altman is a left-wing idiot but he sure can make a picture. Today I found The Long Goodbye at JB for less than $20 and there was no question about it, I had to have it. It got a reasonable review over at michaeldvd and I definitely enjoyed it. Points of interest:
  • The sound is nowhere near as good as M*A*S*H and yet it is roughly three years younger than M*A*S*H . I'm talking about the detail here, like Elliot Gould's mutterings. Sometimes they sounded like they were voiceovers and sometimes it sounded like he was muttering. No such problems with the operating theatre scenes in M*A*S*H
  • The Williams/Mercer song used throughout in different forms gets a bit tired.
  • As expected in an Altman piece, the acting was all very good, of particular note, Mark Rydell as a Jewish hood looking just like Phil Spector, and the current Governor of California as one of his thugs.
  • Also, Henry Gibson playing a sort of slightly more realistic Doctor Evil.
  • Can anyone tell me what sort of car the Terry Lennox character was driving around LA during the start of the pitcher?
  • The three days in jail didn't work as a single scene-to-scene cut (but I'm not suggesting some sort of animated calendar or clock trick would have worked, maybe fade to black, stay there 1 second and fade up to the cell just before his release).
  • The apartment that Marlowe lived in was fantastic. It would have been fantastic even if it didn't have naked women dancing on a nearby balcony in almost every scene (what were they all about?).
Overall, I'd say 8/10 with half a point taken off because Altman's such a halfwit lefty.

Category: Portable Music Players
Scroll about half way down and you'll learn about the MS offering to provide an iPod equivalent for about fifty bucks US. Go Figure!

Category: Technology
Whilst listening to the Lawyer's program yesterday on Radio 1 I learnt that Charles Wright (a tech journalist I have some time for despite his slightly folksy style (he seems to have some great contacts but)) has his own blog. Worth a bit of a look.

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Category: Headlines
Childish politician takes her boyfriend to Europe on our dime!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Category: Space TFF
Blimps In Space!

Category: Iraq
Kev Gillett has posted a magnificent "state of the war" report. Well worth reading.

Category: Nukula
Slatts points out that the ABC wants us all to know that Dubya can't pronounce Abu Ghraib. Neither can I. I guess I am probably dumber than GWB. Where does that put me on the scale.
UPDATE: Slatts has found the original transcription -
US President George W Bush has sought to regain support for his Iraq policies, outlining in a speech broad plans for the country's return to self-rule, including the destruction of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, which he mispronounced three times.
It has since been taken out of the intro and moved to the fourth paragraph by somebody from the ABC.

Category: (Their) ABC
Janet Albrechtsen is on fire in today's OZ. It seems the appalling David Marr has been conspiring with the disgracefully stupid Ramona Koval.
Reform cannot come soon enough.
Well... so long as the reform takes the form of shutting their ABC down.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
The Love Canal sounds like something from from erotic fiction or a B52s song but it isn't.

Category: DVD (R4)
I keep meaning to blog this site as it offers a handy comparison of local releases to overseas ones. It also offers the handy thing to get an e-mail in your inbox every morning to notify you of new local releases.

Monday, May 24, 2004
Category: Celebrities
Celebrity idiots in fact. Celiberal, the celebrrity liberal whine list, points out a whole mess of hypocrisy amongst lefty Hollywood types.

Category: Leftism
Of the underwear variety! These "people" are putting political slogans on their undies and flashing them at passers-by. I can't see a lot of votes changing on the basis of this form of activism:
"But universally, it seems to be a turn-on. So many people are drawn to us." Except for one group of hold-outs: "We haven't sold any panties to Republicans," Tasha admitted. "I guess we haven't converted anyone yet."
UPDATE: Go read the comments over at Tim Blair's site on this "issue".

Category: Language
I love the term "grocer's apostrophe" used by an attendee of the Sydney Writers' Festival but where the heck does an English novelist get off having the name Louis de Bernieres?

Sunday, May 23, 2004
Category: Labor
The SSS has a fascinating item about branch politics in Deer Park. How infighting snapped Haermeyer's branch.

Saturday, May 22, 2004
Category: Democracy
Who gets to vote for these clowns who are trying to tell us what to eat. Nutritionists have hardly been a shining light in terms of science or consistency over the years. The current kerfuffle over the Atkins approach is enough to tell us that they probably don't really know much at all.
Just One (fat) Guy's Opinion

Friday, May 21, 2004
Category: Food
You can learn a lot by reading (It's not news, it's...) Fark. How about "Pringles introducing chips printed with trivia".

Category: Comedy
One of my favourite fillums is based on this bloke and one of his characters has his home page here. Some of these links are well worth following up I reckon. Oh! and here's his blog! Goodness me! Thanks memepool.

Category: Technology
Thanks to Blogging Auffl I now know about this, I'm sure some folks will find it interesting (not!).

Category: Ep III
"Is there any way for Lucas to salvage the series in a single movie?":

Thursday, May 20, 2004
Category: Records (Update)
I played this song on our radio show last week on account of this. What I only realised last year is that this record and this record were both produced by this person at about the same time in '73. Go ahead and listen to them back to back!
Update: Actually they were respectively produced in '73 and '75! I need to research more about Bob Ezrin! (obviously).

Category: Quagmire
Quagmire! Quagmire! Quagmire!
As noted in various other places, Chrenkoff does a bit of work that you might expect of the press. It turns out that a lot of good things are happening in Iraq at the moment.

Category: Ep III
Birth of the Empire?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Category: Transport
transport racer looks really interesting, until you actually try to download or look at screen shots. Is it real??
UPDATE: It doesn't seem to work on Mozilla FireFox but does a lot more on IE. Will investigate when I get home. UPUPDATE: Well it works... but it's pretty lame. Still, it's a "harmless" bit of fun.

Category: Spelling
In an earlier post I needed to check that my understanding of defenestration was right (or at least within the context I imagined). I used MacDICT to confirm it.

Category: Apple
Hmmm, Defenestration, I see.

Category: Telephony
I've never been much into mobile 'phones (as long as they're tri-band GSM with Bluetooth I don't really care) but some 'phones are getting into the realm of being astonishingly silly. But if you are the type of person with an interest in this kind of stuff (albeit of a US kind of nature as near as I can tell), you should check out this site.

Category: Apple
New Windows SDK for iTunes. Looks interesting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Category: Culture
Just in case you missed it over on memepool, How Much Is Inside?. I found the writing style very similar to the narrative style of this FWIW. (If I was convinced that both of our readers checked memepool on a regular basis I wouldn't do this kind of thing as much!)

Category: Music
I don't have much in the way of an opinion on Marilyn Manson or Ozzy Osborne but I know the Johnny Mandel song Suicide is Painless is a terrific piece of work. This clown has got it ridiculously wrong about the song and the movie of M*A*S*H.
Thanks to my friend Simon who used to be a musician for pointing this out.

Monday, May 17, 2004
Category: Internet
Interesting look at the foiling of a scam. Some of the links are a bit broken (off & on) but there is a PDF of the story so far here. (roughly 640Kb FWIW).

Category: Technology
Defraggle your motherdisc, good tech tip!

Sunday, May 16, 2004
Category: Audio
is a computerized cart machine for the Macintosh. It is very similar to the so-called cart machines used at radio stations in the past. Each recording - a jingle, advertisement, etc, was on a cartidge, which could be quickly selected and played.
You might find theat useful DB.

Category: Apple

Saturday, May 15, 2004
Category: Space
The Encyclopedia Astronautica is a Good Thing™. Thanks, yet again, to ÆBrain for the pointer.

Category: Illumination
I just went down to Dickens to buy some batteries for one of these. I've had one for over five years now, and by Jingo they're good. I believe I bought some for my staff a while back too. But I'm currently buggered about how the bloody batteries are supposed to line up! Locally, last time I looked, you could buy them from here FWIW.

Category: BoltA
Now I know our readership halves every time I point at Andrew Bolt but I have to point at this one because it is such a huge chunk of truth... Just One Guy's Opinion.

Friday, May 14, 2004
Category: Green
It turns out that we don't really understand all of the implications (and in particular their minisculity) of anthropogenic climatic changes, oh duh!

Category: 'Viromunt
The Magnificent Murray is not in such a bad state as many pundits, including our PM, insist.

Category: Top 10 Commandments
This prisoner is concerned about observing the kosher rules - a pity he wasn't so concerned about observing "thou shalt not steal".

Category: Computers
We bought a Mac 128K back in 1984 because it was the most useful computer around at the time and we really wanted to be able to do the stuff MacWrite and MacPaint let us do. Word and Excel really rounded out the whole thing and a V.23 (1200/75) modem, a Viatel client, and a 512K motherboard made for a heck of a setup in 1986, particularly when benchmarked against an ugly PC-AT.
Oh!!! There's the word: UGLY. Apple were pretty good at functionality and looks back then and the looks continued for quite a while. In 1992, MicroSoft produced Windows 3.1 with TrueType and any pragmatist would have to say that there has been very little difference between the players ever since (except that Apple didn't "get" "pre-emptive multi-tasking" until well after the otherwise recalcitrant MicroSoft).
Now, the point of this post, our mate Auffers just got him a Color (sic) Classic. Bugger me if that sumbitch isn't ugly and, IMHO, not even as functional as the contemporary WinTel box.
Just One Guy's Opinion.

Category: Lomborg Hitler
No less an authority than the Chairman of the IPCC (love that rainbow sidebar!) has declared Bjørn Lomborg to be a Nazi. Over at Tech Central Station, Iain Murray declares the argument to be over by virtue of Godwin's law as mis-stated thus:
the party invoking the Nazis as a debating tactic in any argument where there is not some direct relevance automatically loses the argument
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): D. U. M. B.. Perhaps D. U. M. B. is what "United Nations" means when used as an adjective.

Thursday, May 13, 2004
Category: Leftism
When the leftoid nuts in the Democrats and the Greens and the Labor party talk about taxing to spend on "important things", this is what they mean... Sweden, The Third Way, between socialism and capitalism and somewhere just South of 66% of GDP going to the guvamint as taxes. Oh, and also, NO NEW NET JOBS SINCE 1950!

Category: Technology
Unless I'm very much mistaken, and I am often very much mistaken, DB is going to love this...
piece was inspired by the retro-futuristic machines in the movie Brazil by Terry Gilliam
Thanks Brain, A. E.
UPDATE: The ElectroClerk site points of to RetroGram which is a terrific idea but a bit expensive at 99¢ per.

Category: Area 51
Now, I didn't know that Mexico even had an Air Force. Silly me! But they're obviously a crack team. Klaatu Berada Nikto!

Category: Art
Sixty one years on from the 1943 caricature vs portrait controversy (tried in 1944) where Garfield Barwick (KC) suggested that the subject of the winning portrait was wearing a red tie which implied that he was a lefty (so there!), a new painting vs drawing case is on its way to court.
It's a terribly serious business is art!

Category: Weird
Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls:
We govern for all Victorians -- and that includes witches, magicians and sorcerers
even transgender witches who have been practising their craft since six years old and are members of the police force.
This story has been going around for a while but this is the first time I have seen a picture of the outed former Casey Council candidate.
It's a funny old world!

Category: NGVI
New glass pain for top gallery is the headline in today's PHun. No good reason for pointing at it except as a soft followup to this and this and this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Category: Games
This introduces some interesting possibilities. I'd personally like to see how to do Galaxian but Pac Manhattan looks like it might have been a bit of fun. Maybe someone should organise Pac-Melbourne where all of the major players have to take Trams! (or maybe rather than Moonrover, Tramrover -- Craters could be a bit of a problem but).

Category: Apple
Whilst I use iTunes as my player of choice I'd never liked the interface much, too hard to manage large collections (not to mention disparate ones that include theatre sound effects). So given this, Go Figure!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Category: US Culture
Apparently DB is not a very popular name in America, at least when you're registering for Social Security! Why would you call your kiddy "Princess" for goodness sake (no direct link, sorry(but lot's of folks have in the last decade or two)). If I recall correctly my "god-daughter" was almost named "Green Traffic Light" but her parents saw sense.

Category: Weather
Weather Frog?

Category: Pizza (Technology?)
Hmmm, pizza! Thanks Peter.

Category: Fillums
One of my favorites, and I'm still unsure why we never covered the title track in our band days (unless we did and I forgot!). What I never realised though is that it was directed by Sam Peckinpah. What happened?

Category: Civil Engineering
Slatts points at an article at ArabNews.com about the building of a 705 metre tower in Dubai to be built, it seems, by a construction company by the name of The Saudi Binladin Group. The tower...
will outstrip by more than 250 meters the current contender, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, May 09, 2004
Category: Footy
As it was... Tony the Teacher has posted an interview Tim Lane did with Brent Croswell in the SSS yesterday.
TL: Everyone laughed in David Williamson's play, The Club, when Geoff Hayward, the Tassie recruit, saw a strange apparition coming at him one day at Glenferrie. It's much more serious now.
BC: It is, and that's the point, isn't it, the way we might react to that particular character and what that character was doing might be very different today. I don't know. I haven't gone to the play for 20 years or longer. It would be interesting to see the reaction to Geoff Hayward. I think people would perceive him a little differently from how they did in the '70s.
TL: Were you Geoff Hayward?
BC: The character might have been loosely based on certain things that I did.

Category: Killing time
For those who like it better dead! A site advertising a computer game, Railroad Tycoon III, has a really Flash little game that gets the kiddies' brains active. Our calculations say that it takes about 4 hours to get a score of 1,000,000. How long does it take you?
I do have something bad to say about the site unfortunately. It pops up an "unresizeable" window that is not big enough to contain the page it is meant to display. At least that is the case on my browser/platform combination. It must take them some effort to make the window "unresizeable" and yet it only limits usability. D. U. M. B.

Saturday, May 08, 2004
Category: Smoking
A really good article on second-hand smoke over at Tech Central Station by Sydney Smith includes:
Smoking is bad and smoking around non-smokers without their permission is rude. But exaggerating the dangers that smokers pose to non-smokers is not wise. For one thing, it undermines the credibility of the medical profession. For another, it promotes an attitude of intolerance that should give us pause in a free society. The way things are going, it will be only a matter of time before a smoker is charged with manslaughter for his co-worker's heart attack.
Also a really interesting article by Andy Kessler about the Google float:
There are certain unwritten rules for structuring a tech company and filing for an initial public offering and Google just broke them all.

Friday, May 07, 2004
Category: Fillums
Master and Commander (The Far Side of the World) is a good pitcher. I just got the DVD and watched it over two sessions; on both occasions leaving my children in after-school care so I could watch in peace. The Prof was not sure prior to its release down here, neither was Tony the Teacher.
It's not perfect.
  • Some important pieces of cellulose ended up on the cutting room floor: why the hell did they abandon the chase of the Acheron into the West and return to the Galapgos?
  • The violin and cello strumming simply did not work against the audio
  • When Blakeney was left incharge of the ship he ordered the cannon to hit the hull (why didn't the cannonball roll out of the cannon as they pointed it down?) and the next moment they were boarding the froggy boat. Maybe my ignorance stepped in here.
  • Some of the battle stuff leaves you wondering, until a surprise victory, who is winning. This is not uncommon in battle scenes generally but it could probably have been handled better. Of course it doesn't help that I was looking at a letter-boxed image at 2.35:1 which should have been clipped at the end into a true 16:9 so that we get a bit more information on the screen at the sacrifice of a few far edge bits of image... but that's another fight.
Russell Crowe magnificent, though I suspect it will look a bit BIG when we "look back in hindsight" twenty years from now. A bit like Katherine Hepburn's performance in The Lion in Winter looks just a touch overdone nowadays. Someone will tell me I'm wrong somewhere in this paragraph!
Other than that rough prediction, all acting was good, very, very good. That warrants a 9!

Category: CD/DVD
I've actually got some experience with this. My copy of Girls, Girls, Girls suffered this phenomenon a number of years back with the result that I lost (at least) my only version of Shipbuilding and in researching this post I came across this site which I hadn't come across before. On the other hand, I have a number of 78's that still play well after almost 80 years. What's an audiologist to do?

Category: Athens
I first saw this pointed at by Tim Blair, I don't know its origin but it's good!

Thursday, May 06, 2004
Category: Newton
Let's blog from our brick and I still have two that mostly work, so cool! Thanks Mark. And according to Mark, the Bluetooth driver is apparently now functional.

Category: Apple

Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Category: Virus' (updated)
Now, I don't know my US/Mexican/Cuban/Wherever geography as well as I should, but this could be a good time to be an illegal immigrant (refugee?)! Jeez! WBC & Delta got done too! Is it so hard? Err Der! Why is this so complicated?

Update: Oops -- my fault--Geography/News Feed deficiency.
Coast Watch notification should be for (I Guess): Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany etcetera notification. But still, Err Derr!

Category: Police
Who knew...
VICTORIA'S second highest-ranking woman police officer has been promoted to the position of Commander for Organisational Wellbeing.
Victoria's police force has a "Commander for Organisational Wellbeing"??
Go us!
UPDATE: Blogless Clive has it figured... she's the president of the social club. You know, the one with the glass ceiling!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Category: Nukular
If you are going to use nuclear missiles the last thing on your mind is the environmental impact of the rocket propellant, right?

Category: Claptrap
The ACF apparently believes that 250,000 people died as a result of the accident at Chernobyl. The the International Atomic Energy Agency has the number closer to 28. The ratio is close to 10,000! Who am I meant to believe?

Monday, May 03, 2004
Category: Physics
The unfortunately blogless Clive pointed me at a really interesting physics lab class which allows us to measure the speed of light using:
  1. Marshmallows
  2. A Microwave that has no mechanical motion-no turntable or rotating mirror
  3. A ruler
Item two might be a bit difficult to come by in 2004.

Category: ET
I didn't know that Australia had its own UFO Capital but I'm not surprised. Thanks Karen.

Sunday, May 02, 2004
Category: Fillums
Yesterday we went to see a Hayley Mills fillum but, guess what? It didn't star Hayley Mills but someone called Lindsay Lohan who I don't think I'd come across before. Some wonderful work was done by Carol Kane who I've been a fan of for a while and Mark Mothersbaugh who, besides Rugrats, was one of the original members of Devo. Are we not men?

Category: US Politics
Ohhhhh! Semi'd just love this one. If he wins will this make him an iPresident?

Saturday, May 01, 2004
Category: Audio
I've spoken about it before but it's still interesting, the US 122.

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