Friday, April 27, 2007

Australia Card II

Here's a fantastic quote from a brochure on the Government Surveillance Card.. sorry "Access Card"...

"Nobody will be denied access to services if they don't have an access card, but from 2010 people will need to be registered and have a card in order to access Commonwealth benefits, such as Medicare rebates."

Translation: Nobody will be denied access to services if they don't have an access card, but from 2010 people who don't have an access card will be denied services.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gun nuts

Boy, the gun nuts are getting me down.

I know I could just stop reading "Reason" but I agree with them on so much other stuff that when the odd story comes up that I know I'll disagree with, I try to read it to expose myself to some other arguments. (Except when they're writing their global warming denial articles; I draw the line at that.) Reason are libertarians, and they believe in personal freedom. For them, that means the freedom to own guns since what a person does in their own homes is no one else's business. The trouble with that is that, if a person fires their gun in their own home the bullets don't just miraculously stop at their edge of their property. Whereas I believe my personal freedom means I have the right not to be killed by someone with a gun.

Anyway, I digress. The reason gun nuts are getting me down is that they can't see the other side of the argument. There's been two big furphies that have come up in the wake of the Virginia Tech thing. The first is that if you make owning guns illegal and stop law-abiding people from owning guns that means only criminals will have guns. No, if you make it illegal to own guns there are a lot less guns around, and everyone will find it harder to get them. They don't can't imagine what a society without guns could look like, so all they look at is "I can't get a gun". They seem to imagine that Wal*Mart will still be stocked with loads of guns with the only difference being that they won't be allowed to buy one. They can't see that no guns means no guns. Seriously - do you know how to get a gun? I don't.

The second fallacy came in an article by Steve Chapman in Reason on April 19: "The carnage at Virginal Tech was as bad as gun crimes get, but it was also as rare as they get". What the? What Steve is arguing is that there are a lot less gun crimes - "deadly violence is a diminishing danger" - but that totally misses the point that "some" is still a lot more than "almost none".

But I'm a realist, I know things will never change in America. That's why I will probably never go there again.


Damn those intended consequences

Under WorkChoices, it's legal to sack someone for the "operational" reason that you can hire someone else for less money. Don't you hate it when things you intended to happen later happen sooner?


Friday, April 20, 2007

No, the cheese was not by mail

That was pretty much the reason I went to the valley today, to buy some taleggio from "Black Pearl Epicure" (and to do something interesting on this most glorious of days). What they sold me - artavaggio - is actually more of a robiola lombardia. It actually looks pretty much like this picture, stolen from the "Australia on a Plate" website (since it's the same brand as the one I bought):
I obviously didn't pay attention to the end product when they covered taleggio on "Cheese Slices".

(I also spent $20 on parmagiano-reggiano.)


April 20 - set the last

We'll make this the last one. It's dark and the battery on my camera has run out. It would only have been a picture of my feet anyway.

5.20pm. Storm's a-comin'.


April 20 - ring in

I won't be posting this one to the other blog or flikr group, so you can only get it here.

I like this, because - while the over-saturation has been post-processed - the radial blur was done in camera.


April 20 - set the third

In which our intrepid reporter sits around the house photographing things, while wondering why he spent $30 on artavaggio cheese (it smells like garbage-water).

2.20pm. Boycat on the bed.

3.20pm. Lucky wonders what the hell the sculpture behind him is all about.

4.20pm. Not playing, just photographing.


April 20 - set the second

I drove to the valley, left Boycat's Mum and the car there and then caught a train to Beenleigh and then a bus home.

11.20am. Preparing to upload first set of pictures.

12.20pm. Relaxing with the tv.

1.20pm. At the Hyperdome.


April 20 - Set the first

6.20am. Looking south towards Beenleigh

7.20am. On the freeway, Brisbane

8.18am. At Brunswick Street Station

9.20am. The 9.20 Gold Coast train

10.20am. Student art in Beenleigh

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ugly new word of the day


As in "The Republicans greatly complexified the tax code..." (quote taken from the New York Times.)

Yes, the tax code was humongoed in its complexification.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Misc 070417

Only three days to go...

With the Virginia Tech shooting , they are angry about the fact that notification was slow for over two hours after the first couple were shot in a dorm room. I think the reason is two people shot was no biggie. This is not my usual "a few less Americans is a good thing" view - I'm just saying that so many people get shot over there that, statistically, two more wouldn't have seemed like a big deal.

John Howard still doesn't get it. He acknowledges he's behind in the polls and all he can say is "What it means is that I must work a lot harder to point out the dangers of a federal Labor government." No buddy, you've got to work a lot harder to point out the positives of continuing with a Liberal government.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Photos from Melbourne

Yarraville houses

The Pub of the Rising Sun

Ted Whitten outside Whitten Oval



Yarraville station [END]

I hate CD reissues with bonus tracks + Mitch Easter solo album!

Don't you hate it when they reissue CDs you already have with bonus tracks?

All three of Let's Active's CDs have been re-released as collector's editions (or is that "collectors' editions"?) all with bonus tracks. I bought my Let's Active CDs 15 years ago, I don't want to buy them again.

Maybe, when they do these editions, they should put out one more CD, with just all of the bonus tracks on it. Nah, if they did that, they wouldn't get enough money out of the poor fanboy suckers.

In other Mitch Easter news, he's finally released his first solo album, "Dynamico". Mind you, the second and third Let's Active albums were pretty much solo albums anyway. There's a free track available here. Not surprisingly, it sounds very much like Let's Active with slightly better production.

Speaking of Let's Active, there's some interesting live stuff on YouTube. It's a shame that the audio doesn't sync well with the video.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Drop and give me 50 (millilitres)

So, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping people claim they've done nothing wrong by making a bunch of schoolkids do what would be considered indecent exposure if an adult did it to provide urine samples without parental consent because, they say they have "the right to test any children who play sport covered by an anti-doping policy at any time."

So, if you're playing football in the park watch out, some dirty perve from ASADA might be coming after you. You don't have to be playing in a competition organised by a governing body that has signed-on to the ASADA code, you just have to be playing a sport.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Misc 070403

New from Ikea: Flat-pack houses

This is the benefit of stacking the courts: everything is legal - even if it's potentially illegal - if the court won't even look at the case.

John Howard won't sign Kyoto because he says it would be economically damaging to Australia; it "would have disadvantaged Australian industry". But then he says that "Australia is on track to meet its own Kyoto targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." There appears to be a large contradiction there, leaving aside the fact the we can't have our "own Kyoto targets" if we haven't signed Kyoto. We're on track to meet reductions targets. These are the same targets that we would have if we'd signed Kyoto. These are the same targets that the government says would damage Australian industry. But we're on track to meet them without damaging or disadvantaging Australian industry. So doesn't that prove the 'signing Kyoto will disadvantage Australian industry' thing is false? (My own opinion, informed only by my own cynicism, is that the government is lying about being on track to meet Kyoto targets.)

[If I'm being totally honest (and I'm not saying if I am) I'd like for nothing to be done about global warming. I think it would be fun living in 'interesting' times. I like maps and aerial photos and such, so it would be fun to go down to the beach and every so often and go "I remember when the water was only up to here, I remember when that island was a part of the mainland" - it'd be like living in southern Louisiana. Let's face it, I don't know anyone personally who lives in any of these threatened Pacific Island countries, so while it will be sad if loads of them die, it's not going to affect me personally. Mind you, I don't have kids. I might feel differently if I had to worry about future generations. But I doubt it, since I'm dead inside.]


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Yeah, add me to the April 20 Blog

You have my email address, send me details at work.