Tram Town
Friday, June 30, 2006
Category: Trams
I haven't been riding the trams for a while because I work at home and drive most places I need to go. Today the boys and I went into Hideous Federation Square for an Origin event and we saw lots of posters celebrating 100 years of electric trams. This site tells the story and it is an interesting read. The moral of this tale is that I am obviously seriously out of touch with what is going on around Melbourne if I missed out on this milestone.

Category: HD
Here's an interesting read: 10 Reasons Why High Definition DVD Formats Have Already Failed at Audioholics.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Category: Music
Those Crazy Eyeball Guys are certainly, well, Crazy.

Category: Audio
A-U-T-O-B-A-H-N! (time limited e-bay link)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Category: Energy
I had always understood that the amount of radioactivity released to the environment by coal fired power stations was significant. This article quantifies it and includes the factoid that, for every megajoule generated by coal, one and a half megajoules could be generated by the uranium and thorium that gets sent up the chimney as waste. It's a hard slog but well worth the read.

Monday, June 26, 2006
Category: Culture
Now, despite popular belief, I genuinely don't like making fun of folks. But...Get the pickle, someone get the pickle, break their hand if you have to!.

Sunday, June 25, 2006
Category: Science
Well, the end of science according to some. It is important for us to be aware that with increasing spending on science there will be many scientists who don't necessarily meet what we would expect as basic levels of ability. Without blind funding science has evolved into a bad policy tool. This tells part of the story. All readers need to spend time investigating the problem. Just One Guy's Opinion™.

Category: Pallid Mishap
Tim Blair noted this magnificent letter to the Oz from former Labor Arts Minister Barry Cohen. Well done, Barry!

Category: 'Net
There's one of everything on the 'net. conservativematch is
The place for Conservative Singles, Conservative Events, and more. Find people who share your cultural, political and religious values. With a culture that is often hostile to conservative values our goal is to provide alternative resources.
It's motto: Sweethearts not bleeding hearts.

Prescription 4 Love, a Special Health Considerations and STD Dating Service?
"Prescription4Love is dedicated to providing individuals with special conditions an online dating experience that is completely honest". It's for finding a date with a similar sickness to yourself. Some from the left might say the same for conservativematch.

Category: Found
USB-powered air conditioned shirt.

Category: Links
The magnificent Diogenes' Lamp is always a good read. Yesterday's posts had a couple of magnificent quotable points. The first, suggesting people get the vote six years after finishing their education, also makes the point...
When the British franchise was extended to all males over the age of 21y, one writer pointed out that it would mean that political freedom would decline, as soon as the populace realized that they could vote themselves money coercively taken from others.
That goes some way towards explaining John Howard's disgraceful vote buying spree before the '04 federal election.
The second posting is about Africanism but has this to say about Europe...
The European Union hasn’t even worked for EUrope, where it is simply creating a pan-authoritarian state, and succeeding where Napoleon and Hitler both failed.

Saturday, June 24, 2006
Category: Music Videos
Video FX? Hoff? Words fails me.

Category: Viromunt
Back in the early days of our existence here at TramTown, we pointed at a transcript of a television show called Against Nature. It is still well worth the read, Jack.
Characterising environmentalist ideology as unscientific, irrational and anti-humanist, this acerbic and polemical three-part series turns 'Green' ideas on their head.

Category: Vale
Harry Harriet dies at 176.

Category: Science
Here's an interesting micro-bio of Georges Lemaître, "a first-rate mathematician and physicist, [and] also a diocesan Catholic priest".
Lemaître is credited with being the Father of the Big Bang theory (Fred Hoyle once disparagingly referred to him as 'the big bang man'), but in fact, his contribution to the theory was almost an afterthought to his real achievement. Lemaître was in essence the first cosmologist, meaning, the first physicist not only conversant with Einstein's field equations of general relativity, but also the first to deliberately train himself in astronomy and astrophysics to find proof of what the equations suggested to him -- that the universe could be dynamic, expanding.
Read it, Jack!

Friday, June 23, 2006
Category: Apple
My new BlackLook MacBook arrived yesterday. It's fast, Parallels is fast (although it seems confused about my screen size), Rosetta is delivering better MS Office performance than my PBG412. Major downside though is that the VGA adaptor, Power adaptor and Modem adaptor are all white -- how does that work?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Category: Seminars
We've all heard of these "seminars" where "important people" get to share their wisdom with "Captains of Industry" to make them better managers etcetera. I don't recall ever having attended one but was certainly part of the target audience in a previous career.
There's another one coming up soon. I say to you two words:
Malcolm McLaren? How does that work?

Category: Music Videos
I have no idea of either the quality nor legality of this but it surely looks worth a look.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Category: Words
I'd always thought Dagbladet was a sort of a curse. It's a newspaper!

Friday, June 16, 2006
Category: Apple
And another thing, iPods get stuck in dunnies! They're just rubbish.

Category: Vlogging
It's a shocker of a word but it seems to have taken root. One I will look at regularly is Amanda Congden's RocketBoom.

Category: Art
I don't even know what I like! I do know that a commenter over at Tim Blair's got this story bang on when he said "you can’t make this stuff up".
An artist's sculpture has been rejected by the Royal Academy of Arts which has instead opted to display the wooden support it was put on.

DB noted the item on Boing Boing and wondered aloud how often Tim Blair and Boing Boing post on the same topic.

Thursday, June 15, 2006
Category: CamelCase
I just learnt a new word. CamelCase, according to the Wikipedia, is "the practice of writing compound words or phrases where the words are joined without spaces, and each word is capitalized within the compound". The "name comes from the uppercase "bumps" in the middle of the compound word, suggestive of the humps of a camel".

Category: Fillums
Is this the first example of product placement in a Pixar movie?

Category: Cholesterol
I'm a big fan of Spiked Online as a source of news commentary and, largely, good old common sense. This article about cholesterol prompted a bit of research which led me to this article entitled New cholesterol guidelines for converting healthy people into patients. The author of the latter, Uffe Ravnskov, is a spokesman for THINCS, The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics.
The Spiked article is a must read, the Ravnskov is very interesting and further reading may be dangerous to the health of your relationship with your doctors. My current position is that pharmaceutical firms have way too much influence on which research is given prominence in the journals. Just One Guy's Opinion™.

I had a doctor tell me recently that peasant farmers in China have very low cholesterol levels and a very low rate of heart disease. From the Spiked article:
One regularly quoted fact, which superficially seems supportive of [this] hypothesis, is that peasant farmers in China have very low cholesterol levels and a very low rate of heart disease (although their average cholesterol levels are actually about four, not two-and-a-half).
But when you study the figures with more care, they reveal something else. As usual, those with low cholesterol levels have by far the highest mortality rates. Liver failure and liver cancer are common causes of death. However, there is a simple explanation for this association. Many Chinese peasant farmers have chronic hepatitis, which creates low cholesterol levels, and also leads to liver failure and liver cancer. This is why people with low cholesterol levels die young.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Category: Apple
Oops! I may have made a bad choice in choosing the BlackLook MacBook.

Category: Music
GWB performs SBS!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Category: Food
Oh good, Hooters is coming to Sydney! (Despite having been to the US on numerous occasions I've never been to a Hooters although I have been to Dick's Last Resort in Boston)

Category: Technology
Portable Big Telly! (and you'd also look like that bloke from Star Trek TNG -- added bonus)

Monday, June 12, 2006
Category: Flix
Car Story has a lot of ideas and gags and is a great sample of the state of the art in animation technology but it doesn't have much story and, at 116 minutes, is way too long.
Best gag was having a lawyer called Porsche.
6.0/10.0 By the end my end was getting sore.

Sunday, June 11, 2006
Category: Optical Illusions
Big Spanish Castle.

Category: Madness
Funny lot the Spaniards!

Category: Space TFF
When is a planet not a planet? Looks like we'll find out later this year.

Category: Conventions
When I was a kid, you were either a Lego kid or a Meccano kid and never the twain did meet. Interestingly enough, I was a Lego kid and Semi followed the Meccano route. I don't know that either of us will be going to this but.

Saturday, June 10, 2006
Category: Fillums
Hadn't come across this before either -- should be a cracker I reckon.

Category: Fillums
The trailer for (another) New Pixar Fillum.

Category: Technology
Two new models but this time the white one runs faster (hints of The Banana Splits about the black one but)

Category: Viromunt
From a Greenpeace press release:
In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE].

Category: Names
Brangelina's new born has been named Shiloh Nouvel. Penn got criticised for Moxy CrimeFighter so Shiloh Nouvel surely deserves some criticism if nothing else for lack of humility. Shiloh, amongst other things, means messiah and Nouvel surely comes from the French for new. So Brangelina's baby is New Messiah!

Thursday, June 08, 2006
Category: Health
Can this really be happening in such a wealthy country as ours?
A farmhand was forced to deliver his dead baby in a car beside the road after his wife - having her first child - was turned away from their local hospital and told to drive to another facility three hours away.

Category: Chess
The World Chess Beauty Contest is NOT a joke. I am not making this up. Indeed, it is linked to unruly behaviour on the part of various male chess players.

Category: Fashion

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Category: Technology
The Mac Mini-based DeLorean drivable drive-in.

Category: Capitalism
If you're a squeamish leftoid you'd best avoid this fascinating book review in the Tullamarine Trotskyite Tribune. I'm sure their chattering classes readership were disgusted with the contents. The book, by the way, is called The Undercover Economist and is written by Tim Harford. The review is by Ross Gittins. Well worth the read, Jack.

Category: Technology
For all I know these things might be a dime a dozen but I hadn't come across them before. I want one! (but haven't worked out what for yet (like, that'll stop me))

Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Category: Huh?
Their ABC was treating this story about nuclear power and the president of the Australian Conservation Foundation as important during the radio news services this morning,
But scientist and Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) president Professor Ian Lowe says a greater concern is the potential effect on Australia's neighbours.
"I think it has huge potential for damaging relations with countries like Indonesia, who would see it as a direct threat," he said.
Now you have to think that this scientist is really struggling to come up with sound enviro reasons to object to nuclear to go off on this tangent which is way out of his purview, surely? Apart from anything else, if there is mileage to be had from this tack, don't you think Kevin Rudd would be popping up on the telly?

Category: Beware
That is if you suffer from hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.

Sunday, June 04, 2006
Category: Language
Far from the Madding Gerund is a collection of posts from The Language Log. I'll be keeping an eye on The Language Log I think.

Saturday, June 03, 2006
Category: Entertainment
Think Rocky 'n' Bullwinkle, think Sid & Marty Kroft, think Kenny Everett, think Wonderworld followed by Flashez (...well, maybe not that last one) Think YO GABBA GABBA!

Category: Space TFF
Thanks to that Brain bird I now know this which I found interesting.

Category: Music
Interesting round-up of present day Analogue, Monophonic Synthesisers (where's my Korg MS10 when I need it?)

Category: Security
If you have some small pieces of sensitive paper you may need a Portable self-powered Shredder.

Category: Dubya
Tim Blair's Continuuing Crisis column in the Bulletin this week is "the official crazy-lefty presidential chronology" of the current US administration.

Category: Climate
Al Gore's new documentary film An Inconvenient Truth has at least some problems. Dr Robert C. Balling Jr who is a professor in the climatology program at Arizona State University lists six major flaws in this article. He concludes:
The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in December 1997, giving the Clinton-Gore administration more than three years to present it to the Senate for ratification. Given Gore's knowledge and passion for global warming, you wonder why the vice president didn't seize on the opportunity of a lifetime?

Category: Science
Popular Science magazine covers a study wherein it has been found that tin foil hats do not necessarily stop The Man from being able to read your mind. Important safety tip, Jack!

Category: Celebrity
When you get your very own Wikipedia entry because you're noted for being a small time crook, you've made it. Amir Massoud Tofangsazan had made it!

Category: PDF
I'm hoping someone can explain exactly what's going on in this dispute between Adobe and Microsoft because I can make no sense of it at all.

Friday, June 02, 2006
Category: mp3
Jano has trouble with her Nano and all Hell breaks loose (set aside several hours to read the comments but).

Category: Apple (hmmm, I'm becoming repetitive here)
Some of our readers may like this synopsis of the Fruit Company's Product Life Cycle -- I hadn't seen it for a coupla' years.

Category: Science
This article is kind of interesting IMHO... "Israeli scientists have discovered an ancient ecosystem containing eight previously unknown species in a lake inside a cave, where they were completely sheltered from the outside world for millions of years".

Thursday, June 01, 2006
Category: Technology
(now, I'm probably being a bit harsh, but)
Pay us fifty bucks a year or we shoot the computer! (oh well).

Category: Technology
engadget reminds me that Robots are 85 years old this week apparently.

Category: Apple
Thurrott reviews MacBook and seems to like it (didn't mention which colour, but).

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