Tram Town
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Category: Music
We're using one of The Ledge's tracks as part of an effect in our next production. It might wake up some of our audience just as it was used once by mission control to wake up the Skylab Astronauts.

Category: Audio
Some nice, freely available, sound effects, here!

Category: Pumpkins
Extreme Pumpkins!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Category: Cars
Jay Leno talks about the Hot Rod he had made for him. I'd like to have Jay's money!

Category: Madness
Apple says "put a sock in it!" (or is that put it in a sock). Hmm, not sure really.What are they thinking?

Category: Recently Dead Legends
Vale John Peel.

Category: iTripe
Apple have taken their wholly unremarkable iPod and created the slightly less unremarkable iPod Photo. They're going to have to jump a bit higher if their market share is to continue, IMHO.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Category: Madness
Late Breaking News, 25MHz Macintosh Centris 650 boots OSX in less than a week!. Go Figure!

Category: Madness
Late Breaking News, 25MHz Macintosh Centris 650 boots OSX in less than a week!. Go Figure!

Monday, October 25, 2004
Category: Storage
Looks interesting with maybe some audio/photo/data applications, FlashPoint is a simple solution.

Category: Literature
I was just chatting to someone about the author Phillip K. Dick and froze on a book title. I then stumbled across this, apparently, very exhaustive site.

Sunday, October 24, 2004
Category: Theatre
As seen at Cool Tools (see last post), a site selling Tools for Stagecraft.
I'm not so sure about this black magic item that they throw in for a buck with large orders, though.

Category: Web
Am I the only one who has never come across Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools before?
I set up this post about an hour ago but got caught up reading the site! Well worth the effort.

Friday, October 22, 2004
Category: Israel
Feeling a little Israeli-slanted after the whole Carol Gould investigation referred to in my last post, I refer you to this FrontPageMag article where David Meir-Levi tears into an article by Michael Tarazi in the NY Times (included at the end of the FPM article) has some compelling, if oft-dismissed (rightly or wrongly - your call), information about the state of Israel:
There is nothing "untenable" about Israel's policy. In fact, it has been an amazingly successful policy since the earliest Zionist activities at the end of the 19th century. As a state, Israel has pulled off bona fide miracles: defeating armies five times the size of its IDF; integrating and rehabilitating a refugee population (c. 750,000 Jews driven from Arab countries between 1949 and 1954) larger than the population of Israel at the time; draining swamps and making the desert bloom; creating the second most successful hi-tech industrial complex in the world (second only to the USA); and creating the only functioning democracy in the entire Middle East, in which the Arab citizens of Israel have five political parties (four more than they can vote for in any Arab state in the entire world) and twelve members of Parliament.
[my emphasis]

Category: Politics
Carol Gould has a story to tell about being an American Jew in London. It is most easily read at the Guardian but that link may go away and so I also offer the original at FrontPageMag. Responses seem to be along the lines of "this only happened in her mind". She does not seem so paranoid that that would be true. The article deserves to be read.
Ms Gould is, apparently, a playwright and a documentary film-maker as well as being a journalist but Google only knows about her for this particular article. Investigations continue... a review of a film by someone else emerges...
There appears an extensive and reasonably rational discussion of the article on Samizdata.net. Here I found the comment that perhaps Ms Gould had just had a Pauline Kael Moment (PKM). "define: pauline kael moment" reveals little on Google but I found what it means at an "extreme message board":
In his book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, Bernard Goldberg recalled, as a glaring example of how the media elite are often out of touch, how after the 1972 election New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael was completely baffled about how Richard Nixon could have beaten George McGovern: "Nobody I know voted for Nixon."
I had a PKM during lunch on Monday when one of the group said something to the effect "none of us voted for him" referring, of course, to the Man of Steel (or Mean-Spirited Jackass depending on which way you tend to swing). Infact, this happens reasonably often in my experience. I'd always thought of it as "The Great Denial of the Left".
Sorry for the rambling, I found the investigation kind of interesting.

Category: Movies
A review of Team America. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
Category: Smile
The album sounds great and the Australian tour is on! December the 8th is the Melbourne gig. I'm there!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Category: Birthdays
Happy 50th Birthday(TM) to the tranny.

Category: Advertising
I've never knowingly worked in advertising (although I did do a minor piece with Shirley Strachan for the ill-fated Kodak Disc Camera) and so don't know too much about it. Jeffrey Zeldman though has a lovely collection of advertisements that never quite saw the light of day.

Category: Feng Shui
Couldn't help myself here. Hey Mickey! Get those ears pointed in the right direction for goodness sake!

Category: Feng Shui
A bloke I worked with a few years back insisted on organising his office such that he had crawl under his desk to get to the working position. I think it was crankiness rather than Feng Shui. This however might be Feng Shui.

Monday, October 18, 2004
Category: Jet
I was subjected to an awards show last night by my nine-year-old (these things appear to be aimed at the nine-year-old intellect). I personally really like Jet's Get Born album and was not surprised that it got the odd gong. Not being a nine-year-old, though, I cannot understand how an album from a Rock group could win album of the year and not win rock album of the year. One of the categories must be redundant unless the purpose is to inflate Jet's statistics.

Sunday, October 17, 2004
Category: Shopping
Jeez, I sure as heck won't be drivin' past this here Stop'n'Shop in a hurry. (with apoligies to J.R.).

Category: Audio
The Blue Tubes Bundle 2.0.1 recreates the sound of warm, vintage signal processors . Looks worth a look (listen?).

Category: Music
Pro Choice? MS launches PlaysForSure. Now if only I can get Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 to run on my iPod -- there's gotta be a hack somewhere. Another distinct marketing advantage but is that they do have the entire ACDC catalogue. go MS!

Category: Who knew?
Thank goodnes for Monash University's "Centre for Population and Urban Research". They've illuminated the demographic landscape with:
AREAS with a significant number of single parents have emerged in some of the poorest parts of Victoria.
Get this: families with single or no income are more likely to live in poorer areas. You'd never've guessed, would you?

Category: Bestiary
This gorgeous picture:

illustrating this strange story about a turtle. What happened to these beasts in the old days? Isn't it all a bit unnatural to keep them alive?

Category: Eureka
The Bolta hits out against Eureka - Our Story. I certainly wasn't planning on seeing it - I'm not very interested in Musicals.
But from where I sat, crying over the cash my wife had flushed down the mineshaft, what made this entertainment so unrousing was the most contemporary thing about it -- its endorsement of the Left-wing prejudices that so mar the arts in Australia.

Saturday, October 16, 2004
Category: Bikes
Well...I guess Snow White could have used one of these, or something.

Category: Birds'n'Bees
Everything you wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask.

Friday, October 15, 2004
Category: Ep IV-VI
Before and After, with lots of pictorial comparisons.

Category: Politics
Tim Blair has news of one of the greatest political initiatives regarding horses and Hollywood dills that I have ever seen.

Thursday, October 14, 2004
Category: Education
Message from Dahle Suggett (Deputy Secretary of the Office of Learning and Teaching):
Just as an excellent business puts the needs of customers first, the public sector is inverting the traditional heirarchical pyramid to focus on making a difference to the people it should be serving.
What the FUCK does that mean?
All from the Education Times (the editorial content of which can not be viewed online)
Oftentimes this sort of business is offered as abused language. I think it is outright bad use of language and brain by our "smart types". Teachers have nailed themselves as third quartile intellects for my money.

Category: Politics (again)
Imre highlights just how shocking a democracy we live in.

Category: Politics
Imre (one of my personal heroes) alludes to this country's disastrous "election":
Last night the UN Security Council was in emergency session on the situation in Australia, where John Howard seized power in a bloodless election on Saturday. The defeat of democracy had been long foreshadowed by the country's artists and intellectuals, as well as by some prominent columnists.

Category: Recently Dead Routes
Vale 69'er (hehehe)
(a bit sad but, used catch that tram all the time -- Pop Quiz: After Sunday how many routes now don't start or end in the Melbourne CBD?)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Category: Tech Culture
I'd never want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.

Category: Science
Well the opposite actually. Reading all this nonsense about the so-called philosphy of Jaques Derrida made me glad that I did a science degree. I couldn't have survived the whole deconstructionism nonsense.
Jacques Derrida, the father of the pseudo-philosophy of "Deconstructionism", has been deconstructed into the next world. He had been conducting a terminal "narrative" with cancer. Well, at least that is the subjective unproven conclusion we have, since, after all, how do we REALLY know that death and cancer exist? Well in fact we do, and the passing of an individual, even a philosopher who has contributed to human confusion rather than to enlightenment and clarification is regrettable. However, the tragedy of ordinary human mortality should not dissuade us from examining the legacy left behind.
Perhaps it's best that his narrative with the construction called life has ceased to exist in any useful or, to be more accurate, useless, sense.
The category should probably be "Recently dead dills".

Category: Computers
I'm typing this on an unnatural keyboard and, to be honest, I don't mind it at all.
Thanks blogless Clive for the pointer.

Category: OS's
I'd heard a little about this being in development but was unaware it'd gone quite as far as it appears to. Wonder what the fruit company will make of it? (a bit like the old reverse engineered ROM stuff really)

Category: Anthropology
Hmm, Missing Link?

Category: MP3 Players
Virgin announces the VEP5GB. (obviously they subscribe to the Sony random product name generating machine)

Category: Microsoft
MS releases Office 2004 SP1 for Mac (FWIW).

Category: Transportation
From our friends over at Segway comes the Concept Centaur. i'm not sure I understand it but.
UPDATE: Pop-Sci also have a take on it as well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Category: Telly
I've had a few friends but few 'companions'. (I'm not a timelord but).

Category: Politics (left)
Don't talk to me about Sat'day night thanks. Interesting take from my mate Phil but, "I had it in writing from Latham that there was no place for me in his ALP. People like Adams are what's wrong with the ALP, he said repeatedly". I may get back to you on this one -- Semi might too.

Category: Weird
Hmm, Sim Torture. (colourful language warning)

Monday, October 11, 2004
Category: Recently Dead Celebrities
Not gonna help Kerry much after the last debate. Movie Superman Dies.

Category: Communism
Freecycle is a not-for-profit organisation that helps folks unload stuff to individuals that need stuff. If that's not communism then I'll go he! They also appear to have a local presence -- no ergonomic chairs that I can see but!
Tramtown NEEDS ergonomic chairs.
(Semi reckons that rather than communism this is actually common sense).

Category: Search Engines
Another new one (to me at least), Clusty the Clustering Engine.

Category: Politics
Labor's preferences put a conservative into Victorian Senate seats? Thanks Tim Blair for the pointer.

Saturday, October 09, 2004
Category: Politics
Is this the "sweetest victory of all"? Let's just wait to see what happens in the senate.

Category: JibJab
Those crazy guys at JibJab have done it again.

Category: Internet
The boy Thurrot has a comment or two about AOL and Microsoft in
Netscape Owner AOL Is Making a Web Browser ... Based on IE
This story is so full of irony that I don't know where to begin. How about an obvious jab? You know that Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) has one foot in the grave when AOL--which basically ushered Netscape to an early, undeserved grave--is developing a Web browser product based on--yep, you guessed it--IE. That's right, folks. Just as the planet is finally starting to move to more constantly updated Web browser products such as Firefox, Mozilla, and Opera, AOL is getting off its technology-averse patootie and making its own browser ... that's based on IE. Why not just create a new PC based on the Commodore Amiga? Or a car based on the Packard? These ideas were good in their time, but as you know, the world has moved on. Even Microsoft doesn't seem to be concerned about making IE any better than it was in 1998. Why anyone else would bother, either, is unclear.

Friday, October 08, 2004
Category: Marquee
I'm a bit of an HTML naïve so I didn't know about the <marquee> tag. The Currency Lad makes a fine use of it here (give yourself a few minutes to read and laugh).

Thursday, October 07, 2004
Category: Kinky
This time it's Kinky for W:
Time changes the river, I suppose, and it changes all of us as well. I was tired of Sudan being on the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. I was tired of dictators with Swiss bank accounts, like Castro and Arafat and Mugabe, masquerading as men of the people. I was tired of Europeans picking on cowboys, everybody picking on the Jews, and the whole supposedly civilized world of gutless wonders, including the dinosaur graveyard called Berkeley, picking on America and Israel. As I write this, 1.2 million black Christian and Muslim Sudanese are starving to death thanks to the Arab government in Khartoum and the worldwide mafia of France, Germany, China, Russia, and practically every Islamic country on the face of the earth. What happened to the little boy who cried when Adlai Stevenson lost? He died in Darfur.
Go over to Tim Blair's place to read more and if you can fight your way through the subscription system at Texas Monthly you can read the whole thing there.
UPDATE: The full text is now pointed at above but the comments at Tim Blair's place are still interesting (with the exception of my mistyping "memories" instead of "memoirs").

Category: Birthday
Coming up (20th October) Homicide turns 40.!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Category: Spam
Need Windows XP SP2 on CD? This guy may be able to help you!

Category: Dubya
Voices, voices, they could hear voices.

Category: Compulsory voting
And then they voted...

Category: Dead
Rodney Dangerfield didn't get no respect.
“Her nickname is Federal Express. That’s because when she goes to a guy’s apartment, she absolutely, positively HAS to be there overnight.”
They all called him a one-off but I still see parallels with Henny Youngman on the one-liner front.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Category: Recently Dead Astronauts
Gordon Tracys' namesake dies. All of the Tracy boys were named after famous American astronauts. Jeff Tracy's sons were named after the first 5 American astronauts into space via the Mercury space project, Scott Carpenter, Virgil Grissom, Alan Shepard, Gordon Cooper and John Glenn (Gerry later wrote to the surviving astronauts with signed photos of their Thunderbirds counterparts, dryly stating , "Now you know why you became so famous").

Category: iPod

Category: Protest
It's good to see the spirit of Protest Warrior has made it to Sydney!

Category: Meeja
Matt Moore might have done a better job of accuracy had he capitalised Physiology and Medicine:
Two win Nobel medicine prize
By Matt Moore in Stockholm, Sweden
AMERICANS Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck have won the 2004 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their work in studying odorant receptors and the organisation of the olfactory system in human beings.
Physiology, medicine, physics, peace, one of those things.

Monday, October 04, 2004
Category: Silliness
Is that a BOMB in your Bin? Or are you just pleased to see me?

Category: Music
On the subject of tops of the pops, coming soon to an mp3 player near you, the first debate. (I suspect that a recent version of iTunes may be required to view).

Category: Music
You'd have to start to question your methodology, however objective it might be, when a top fifty rock and roll bands list does not include The Who but does include Erasure (I freely admit to never having heard of Erasure). Thanks to the Currency Lad for pointing this list out.

Category: Telly
Shatner or Shitner? You Be The Judge!

Sunday, October 03, 2004
Category: Fillums
Team America advance preview thoughts(slightly blueish).

Category: Research
More Annals.

Category: Research
The Annals of Improbable Research include such good stuff as "people who listened to more country music were indeed more likely to commit suicide". Oh Good!

Saturday, October 02, 2004
Category: GPS
These people have created a train three times as wide as regular trains. They have also managed to receive a GPS signal beneath the sea bed of the North Atlantic. This is really quite something!

Category: Web
If your website has ever failed after you've been slashdotted (ie. linked to by /.) this may be a solution.

Category: Kyoto
That the climate is constantly changing is without doubt, it always has and it always will. That human activities have some effect on this change is without a doubt. That this effect is in any sense measurable above the noise of non human effects is VERY doubtful. That we can have some sort of ill-defined positive effect on the climate by messing around at the edges with one tiny variable in an extremely complex system that we do not understand (not even a little bit) is ridiculous.
And yet, despite these "indisputable" facts (the quotes acknowledge that some might dispute but...) Russia looks like signing up to the loopy Kyoto agreement:
Despite opposition from leading scientific and economic advisors, Russian President Vladimir Putin has told key ministers to sign off on the documents necessary for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and the State Duma may approve it in the next few weeks. Russia's support will clear the way for the treaty entering into force. Apparently, the Russians have decided that Kyoto's defects shouldn't stop it from being used as a bargaining chip with the European Union. According to Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming & International Environmental Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute: "Russia's scientists have dismissed the faulty science behind the treaty and their economists have done the same with the rosy economic projections put forward by Kyoto's backers. The only thing left supporting ratification is pure politics."
Pure politics? Given that Kyoto is based on 1990 emission levels and Russia's emissions have come way down since then (once the people have a say in their affairs they will tend to prefer clean environs) so Russia will have a whole bunch of credits to trade for billions of Euros. It would be irresponsible of Putin not to opt in to the agreement.

Category: Audio
If Logic Pro 7 lives up to its promise it will sell a lot of high end Macintoshes. Audio composition is a sponge for CPU cycles and building in distributed processing is a Good Idea™.

Friday, October 01, 2004
Category: Meeja
As usual, Mark Day's column in the media section of the Oz is a good read this week. This time it is about the "evil" that is FoxNews. I personally hate O'Reilly and Alan Jones and I am as far Right as anyone I know!

Category: Fillums
Michaels on the job again with an interesting article/review of the Poolroom Edition. Not to be confused with the more local edition.

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