Friday, April 29, 2005

Nobody to blame but themselves

You know, I'm not prone to bigotry or racism, but every now and then I'm tempted. Particularly when people make comments like this:

A victim of rape every minute somewhere in the world. Why? No one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world
Now I was tempted to just include it as a Quote of the Day (yes, that is what QOTD stands for if you hadn't worked it out), just put it down to a slip of the tongue or the ramblings of an ex-boxer that took one-hundred too many to the head, but I just couldn't let it pass without comment. Stupidity needs to be confronted, ridiculed and eradicated and this, folks is rampant stupidity at its worst.

Now, if I was a bigot I would say that despite Arabic and Islamic community protests to the contrary, Sheik Faiz Mohamad's views about women are more than a mere anomalous view held by a handful. No, they're a widely-held view in the Islamic-Arab community. Think Taliban. Think Sudan. Think Saudi-Arabia. If I was a bigot I would say that.

I would also say, that this attitude is the justification for the hajib or burka: to hide women from all but their husbands in the belief that men can't control their sexual lustings when confronted with a constant barrage of bareskin. That Islamic-Arab men are too weak to control themselves and need to subjucate their womenfolk so as to not cause themselves unnecessary embarrassments.

I would then go on to say that any man that believes that because a woman is raped she must have been asking for it, must be so out of control of his own sexual behaviour that he is a serious risk to the community. That he needs to be incarcerated, undergoing constant psychological exams and work programs until he is able to control his desires.

And then I would say to the Sheik that equivalent of saying that rape victims have nobody to blame but themselves would be to say that if someone were to shoot a sheik for making a ludicrously stupid comment, then that shiek he would have nobody to blame but himself. That is what I would say if I was a bigot.

Fortunately I'm not, but sometimes I'm mighty tempted. Stop making it so easy for the bigots.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Firstly, for those of you wondering (all one of you) why we've been so silent over the last few weeks it is because of high work loads followed by a week of bed-ridden sickness. Both of us.

We've been attempting to finish the final few episodes for our television series Byte Me. Byte Me is all about computers and the people that use them. We've covered a broad variety of topics including: blogging; encryption; how to choose a good password; OpenSource WA; an interview with Cray Inc's CTO, Steve Scott; and the IBM computer museum. It's something we've been working on for a little over a year now and we're bloody proud of it. It's not just aimed at geeks, either. We've managed to create a programme that anyone with even the barest fascination with computers or access to the internet will find interesting.

The original plan was to show it on Access 31. We submitted it to them months ago and we've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a response. Today we got one. They love it, but can't show it until the first week of July.

Now, let me point out (for the non-locals and those that have been living under a Lesmurdie rock for the last 10 years) that Access31 is a community television station. Its sole purpose is to broadcast community-based television shows - ie local content. And yet, instead of Perth-based shows we get hours of Deutsch-Welles (German tv), Voice of America, pre-WW2 films and old BBC serials (Coronation Street). You'd think that they'd be scrambling to grab and promote a Perth show, but there's no room because the schedule is too full of overseas crap that can't get a run on a commercial station. And by the way, before you suggest their schedules are made up months in advance, they're not. It's a political decision. There's no advertising money in new, unproven Perth-based community shows. Even great ones. If we were a paying sponsored programme they would have found a slot for us months ago. We're appealing the decision, so stay-tuned.

On another matter, our post Bad Headline Day made it into rec.humor.funny One Liner digest. Woohoo!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Name Game

Today's odd zoo facts are brought to you courtesy of Reality, which remains obstinately stranger than Fiction anyday.

Meet the Monkey, otherwise known as Callicebus aureipalatii. The naming rights had been auctioned off to raise funds to continue research into wildlife habitats and preservation, so it's all for a good cause, and at least in Latin, Golden Palace Monkey does sound rather classy.

Which is more than you can say for Agathidium bushi, Agathidium cheneyi and Agathidium rumsfeld, the three most recently named new species of mould-eating beetles discovered by entomologists Quentin Wheeler and Kelly Miller, and which were named after the unholy trinity of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. Other beetles had been named after the scientists' wives, and Darth Vader.

A Wholphin is apparently what you call the offspring of a whale and a dolphin. Personally, the naming of hybrid animals always reminds me of bored children playing at riddles, rather along the lines of: What do you get if you cross a sheep with a kangaroo? A woolly jumper!

I don't know. We have scientists in China fusing human cells with rabbit eggs, and the only rational response appears to be to sit back and nod sagely and say, ah, yes, there be chimeras.

The only thing weirder than our world is our response to it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

Saturday mornings I don't watch TV anymore, I just find something tolerable and leave it running in the background while I get on with the rest of my morning. Rage generally does the job, but after a certain hour it's all hip-hop, and there's nothing quite so lame-arsed or irritating as wannabe gangstas showing off their bling and shoving their pathetic porn fantasies in your face.

So I do a lot of channel hopping.

Unfortunately, last Saturday, certain stations decided that what everybody really wanted to watch was some dead religious leader's funeral, and regular programming got all jerked around.

Which had one unexpected upshot, because I discovered Scooby Doo was back.

This was new Scooby Doo. But it was just like old Scooby Doo - in other words, GOOD Scooby Doo. It was funny, it'd freshened up the characters and the premise without losing any of their old quirks. It had the whole gang and the Mystery Van and even inside jokes for the fans. It had clearly been written and produced by the generation that had, like me, grown up on the classic Scooby Doo cartoons and wanted to experience that old magic again.

So this morning, I make a point of actually watching something on TV instead of having it run ubiquitous music video pop trash in the background and what happens? There's no Scooby Doo. Checked the Free-To-Air guide. Nothing. Where's my Scooby Doo? It was there last Saturday! Had it just been filler because one dead pope screwed up regular programming schedules? Unfair. Most unfair.

Well, I've learned my lesson. This is what I get for having faith in TV. Next Saturday, it's back to Triple J. TV can go watch itself.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sick and Disgusted

It looks like the crazy weather we recently experienced- four seasons in a week - has finally tripped up my immune system.

My eyes feel like water ballons, my throat's thick, and my nasal passages are filled with that sticky stretchy mucous that feels like melted mozarella and tastes like, well, snot.

But that could just have been hay-fever. I didn't accept I was truly sick until I realised, deep in my sniffling head-muffled misery, that the only food I wanted for lunch was takeaway combination Chinese.

And I was actually disappointed when they'd run out of sweet and sour fish.

Now that's sick.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Pope Wanted - Apply Here A job for life. Your own fan club. The chance to be canonised.
Alas, as an atheist and a female, I'm illegible to apply (the early history of the church notwithstanding). Maybe I should take this up with the Equal Opportunities Board. Hmmm...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Keeping my hard-earned

While browsing through Angus & Robertson's Murray Street store today I noticed a sign in the SF/F (that's science fiction and fantasy for the 'danes) section. A listing of the top 5 SF/F bestsellers for the month. Now, I'd just like to point out that I almost never visit the SF/F section in any bookstore with the sole exception of the various Elizabeth's second-hand stores. The details of the sign might give you an idea why:

  1. Lord of the Rings
  2. Magician
  3. Assassin's Apprentice
  4. Colour of Magic
  5. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
They were all published at least a decade ago. Not a single new release. And why is that? Because all the new releases are just fuckin' awful. Banal characters playing out rehashed plots by second-rate authors. Even the new wave greats like Brin, Bear and Gibson are producing crud. And they're charging me $20 for the privilege. Is it any wonder that even those who were born after most of the top five were written are choosing to buy them instead of the current crop?

Where are the likes of Zelazny, Harrison and Niven? Their stuff still has reasonance today and has held up well - despite Niven's early stories having been outpaced by scientific advances they're still a great read. But even if you ignore the fact that you can no longer buy most of the great SF/F works in A&R any longer - they're even hard to find in Elizabeth's now - where are today's Zelanys, Harrisons and Nivens? More to the point where are today's Brins, Bears and Gibsons? Like Asimov, Heinlein and Herbert they're effectively dead. The vision has been lost. So I'll be keeping my hard-earned until someone finds it again and breathes new life into a stagnated industry.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


All laws should be based on morals. its the moral thing to do. otherwise the cavity of immorality will rot away the molars of our morals.
-- Shania Twain

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Prince Charles Finally Ready to Marry The Man of His Dreams
Headline on Google News

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Bad Headline Day

Catholics pray for gravely ill pope.
Headline, The West Australian, 2nd April 2005.

I guess it worked. They got one.

Friday, April 01, 2005

A Foolish Death

Call me a cynic, if you will, but it is my opinion that JP2 is dead. Not that I really care, not being a catholic or even a Christian, but at least JP2 went out better than JP1, who, if you believe the conspiratorists, was most likely murdered by someone in his inner circle.

Why, you may ask, is the Vatican hiding the truth? The simple answer would be to say because it is the Vatican. They've been hiding the truth since their very inception. A simpler answer would be because the death occurred on the 1st of April and I suspect that a good number of Catholics would be inclined to believe that it is just a Fools Day prank - albeit one in bad taste. It would be a bad omen if the second last pontiff before Judgement Day was to die on the day of fools. So the Vatican has graciously postponed the death until tomorrow, or maybe the day after, we'll probably never know exactly when he died. Perhaps I'll call them when I'm on my deathbed and see if they can postpone my death for a century or twelve. But they'll probably only even take the call if I converted.

Funny how according to some Christian doctrine you can be an arsehole your entire life and still achieve salvation if you repent with your dying breath. Probably explains why there are so many arseholes in the world. Unfortunately, it doesn't explain me.

The First Day of April

Looks like the weather decided to spring an April Fool's all of its own: SURPRISE! IT'S WINTER! Ha bloody ha ha.

To commemorate this giddy day, here's a list of the 10 worst April Fool's jokes ever pulled. Not "worst" as in "inept", but as in "inappropriate" to put it politely.

1. (1998) Uday Hussein's newspaper claims then US President Clinton will lift sanctions against Iraq. The following year, it claimed that food rations would include bananas, Pepsi and chocolate.

2. (2000) Romanian newspaper claims prisoners will be released from a remote prison, only to reveal it was all a joke.

3. Informing your vacationing co-worker the deadline for his big report's due early, and working him into such a state of panic and ill health he's forced to take early retirement, and then you tell him it was just a joke.

4. Tying a dead dog to your co-worker's car without their knowledge, and letting them happily drive for miles and miles with dead dog dragging to the horror of other motorists.

5. Pissed off with your ex? Try traumatising her with the belief that she's caused your suicide.

6. Call your boss (who's at home) and tell him armed men are robbing the shop!

7. (1996) A Russian news agency reported that the Russian parliament was debating reviving the Warsaw pact, causing panic in the affected countries.

8. (1986) Israeli Radio reported the assassination of a prominent Shi'ite leader, causing tensions in the region to flare up.

9. (1999) DJs announced to their horrified listeners that the local dam had burst. Remembering the floods of the previous year, terrified homeowners fled the area.

10. (2003) "The Americans have accidentally fired a nuclear missile into British forces, killing seven." - The Iaqi Ambassador to Russia, to a press conference in Moscow, as US-led Coalition forces were storming into Iraq.

April Fools! Hoo boy, those Iraqis.