Tuesday, May 31, 2005

When Love Hurts & Other Shocking Puns

So I lean over to kiss my partner and ZAP! Static electrical discharge right on the upper lip. Owie. Five minutes later and we got zapped again.

What have I learned? Do not kiss lover in room furnished with carpet and plastic chairs and filled with electronic appliances and too many damned cables running everywhere, on a cool and possibly humid day, without first grounding oneself. Otherwise, poke him with a metallic object first, such as a key, to painlessly discharge any static electrical build-up. Otherwise... ZAP!

We've already heard plenty of bad puns on the subject. Move along now. Thank you.

On a training course

On a training course
Basically I spent three hours learning how to use a government CMS (that's Content Management System for all you unhip kiddies). Now it only took me maybe 5 minutes to work out, and maybe another 25 to get truly bored with it but I had to spend the entire time there anyway. My brain is mush. The view was the only perk.

Some stills

Here are a couple of stills from an animation we did for Byte Me. It's from an interview with Steve Scott, CTO of Cray Inc. Basically, it is supposed to be a demonstration of Computational Science. I have to say that I really think the clouds are hoopy. I ended up creating high and low pressure systems in order to get them to look at least semi-decent.

I know what French is but...

And so I'm checking out Usenet and in wa.general someone is raving about how craigslist now has a Perth listing.

'Woohoo', I think. 'What's Craigslist?'.

And so I go there and I notice that it's basically an online classifieds section. Interesting, but I'm not really a classifieds type of guy. I prefer not to have to break legs to receive my money back.

But anyway, I click on the first link I see, which just happens to be Community. There are six listings - not a lot but then the Perth version has only just started. I scroll down and then I see this:

Seeking vegetarian/vegan female for English-French
How do you give English?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Because it didn't know it would get fined for jay-walking.

Yes, it's another of those Only-In-America tales. It's also apparently part of a long-runing saga between the chook's owners, the local town council, and an unsafe road. Ah, there's nothing like petty local politics and bureaucracy to make a slow news day seem slower.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Overheard in New York

Great blog called Overheard in New York. Here's a sample:

Guy #1: You'll figure it out when you move here...it's like, I opened my first electic bill and said, "Wow, I really live in New York now!"

Guy #2: Right, it's like when you're killing someone with an axe, and you're just hacking, and hacking, and hacking, and some blood splashes on your face and you're like, "Oh yeah, I'm murdering someone!"
Thanks to Ted for the heads-up.

How Little Is Your Labour Worth?

Well, here's a terrific new approach to finding employment: bidding for it - lowest bidder gets the job.

German student Fabian Loew created the website JobDumping (German only at this stage, world domination coming soon) as a creative means of addressing the unemployment situation in Germany, but it's become so popular he's been invited to develop his job auction concept elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, he's now made the hate list of German labour unions.

Boy, I can't wait for the Howard government to get right behind this workplace initiative.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


The people who advertise in The Quokka have a mighty strange idea of what the word free means or maybe I'm just missing out on a real bargain. For instance, in the free Motor and Marine section:

1990 subaru sports wagon 4wd, auto ,roofracks, tow ,power everything, bloody good condition. $4k
I wonder whether the $4k is in notes or a cheque.

Stop it or...

In another case of the inevitable, there are reports of permanent blindness in men using Viagra. Pfizer, the manufacturers of Viagra, stresses that there is no proof that Viagra caused the blindness and that statistically the percentage of men reporting blindness is no greater than in those men not taking the drug.

Of course, all those who weren't taking the drug and went blind were between twelve and sixteen years old.


Freo fucks felines

Once again the Dockers have proven just how shameful last week's performance was by beating Geelong at Kardinia Park by nine points today. There's only one way to win a flag, guys, and losing the easy ones ain't it.

Perilous Activities: Purse-snatching

In case you haven't received this in your inbox, here's a link to a video demonstrating why purse-snatching is a perilous activity.

Friday, May 27, 2005


After a scheduling mix-up I had an hour to kill before my meeting so I wandered around Technology Park and Curtin. Here are some things I noticed:

  • The municipal body in charge of Bentley are evil geniuses that like to save money on footpaths by:
    • Either not providing any, or
    • requiring pedestrians to zigzag across a major thoroughfare to follow them because they only provide paths on one side and that side keeps changing halfway along a street.
  • Some of the rubbish bins are still stencilled with WAIT - it became Curtin University of Technology in 1987
  • They're expecting the student population at Curtin to decrease - new student carparks aren't paved.

Schapelle Corby, the Knowledge, & the Fear of Travel

Came across this little page of tips and thought it appropriate for today.

I don't know if she's innocent or not. All I know is that in an Australian court, her case would have raised enough reasonable doubt that she might even have been acquitted. But she's not in an Australian court, and the verdict has just confirmed yet another of everybody's worst nightmares about travelling overseas. Corrupt baggage handlers, thanks a fat lot.

Maybe this is the way to travel. Then, you only have to worry about metal fatigue, underpaid mechanics and flight crew, sleep-depped air-traffic controllers, stray vehicles on the runway, suicidal hijackers, surface-to-air missiles...

Today's Word/s of the Day :

Xenodikephobia - the fear of foreign justice.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Get a transplant, learn a language

Sick of the amount of time it takes to learn a new language? Then you should consider receiving an organ transplant. A french woman claims that she received Diana's (ie Princess of Wales) kidney in September 1997 and after the operation she found herself speaking in English:

"I found myself speaking English to my friends, something I don't normally do because I have no reason to," she says. "I cannot explain why I did this."

Of course the most conclusive proof that it was Diana's kidney came when she suddenly had an uncontrollable desire to shag James Hewitt. Shiver!


If you had 60 seconds or less to tell your story could you do it?

Here are some people that have.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


So you're sitting there, flicking through the community paper when your eye catches a series of abbreviations in the personals column: DTE; GSOH; SD/SS; NS; F/S. So you spend the next few minutes working with your soulmate trying to work out what they mean. And then your partner points out this entry:

eyes, Marilyn Monroe
lookalike, couldn't get a job,
plays 2 instruments, sks
female to drive on freeway.
Likes Phantom of Opera &
Candle in the Window by Elton
John. I live SOR.


...while walking along the South Perth foreshore late this afternoon:

  • Two girls playing footy (as opposed to football). Perhaps not unusual in our modern, liberated society, but it is the first time I've seen kick-to-kick played while the participants are both chatting on cellphones.
  • A Nyungar gathering. Looked like a wake but sounded like a committee meeting.
  • The latest crop of watercress growing in one of the man-made creeks near the Swan. At least I hope it's watercress.

I quit

Is your job driving you insane? Can't be bothered quitting? Then you need The Telequitter.

Why waste anymore time on the bastards?

What is Your Star Wars Horoscope?

Star Wars Horoscope for Cancer
You may whine at times, but you've developed a thick hard shell (like that of a crab). You are strong willed and persistent - until you get what you want. You never shy away from a fight, even when things get dangerous. Mentally sharp, you are starting to master the elements of mind manipulation.

Star wars character you are most like: Luke Skywalker

I have a bad feeling about this

Light sabres. Made from flourescent tubes. Filled with petrol. Set alight. And then used to film a duel.

They're both in critical condition.

How long before we see the video?

Vale Graham

You kept me up way past my bedtime, but I went to sleep with a smile on my face.

Thanks mate.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Need a life?

If you don't have time for a life then perhaps you need Autoblogger.

I wonder if it metablogs.

...or are you just happy to see me?

Concerned that your lover might be having an illicit affair? Don't believe your daughter is at the library studying? Planning a baby and need to know when it's time to shag? Then you need Forget-me-not panties.

One hundred percent cotton using a space-age design, GPS and unique sensor technology your bird certainly won't forget you when you give her a pair or six of these.

Just see these testimonials:

When my daughter hit puberty I nearly had a heart attack...Rather than become an over-protective parent , I decided to try forget-me-not panties...My wife and I bought our Sarah several pairs so we can watch her around the clock...My only comment is it would be great to have a video camera, maybe you can work that into V.2.
-- David
My wife and I got married three years ago. Last winter I started suspecting her of cheating... It turns out, she was sleeping with her coworker!...I monitored her through the mapping software, pantyMap, for several weeks,and then I confronted her.
-- Tim
So order yours today. Lots of styles to choose from.

For true peace of mind.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Restoring the Balance

Name and recent postings aside, OneDogSaid is not a dog-centric site. In other words, here're more totally daft pet costumes.

Behold Cat Prin, a Japanese tailor who desires nothing more than to help your feline friend achieve their lifelong dreams of being a frog, leopard, bunny rabbit, or apparently, Anne of Green Gables.

No computer for you

Can anyone name a computer or cellphone that has been manufactured in the last 10-15 years that has a majority of US-made parts? No, me either. That little fact could soon be a major issue for the US government if recent legislation becomes law. The legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security to buy only those products that are made mostly in the US. This could be a real boost to the sliderule and semaphore flag industries.

Remember, these guys are our allies.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Book Meme

  1. Total number of books I’ve owned

  2. TP and I are bibliophiles so our combined collection easily exceeds over 1000 books.

  3. The last book I bought

  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

  5. The last book I read

  6. I'm still working my way through For Whom the Bell Tolls. Before that I completed And to Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

  7. 5 books that mean a lot to me

    1. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable - I read something from this nearly every day.
    2. Macquarie Dictionary - my dictionary of choice
    3. Macquarie Thesaurus - despite Alan Moore suggesting that writers should throw away their thesauruses and improve their vocabularies, I prefer to have a backup for when I lose my mellifluence.
    4. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien- I read it at least once a year and have since I was 15. Back then it was hard to find. My aunt bought me my first copy and it took her weeks to find it. Even then she got the one without the appendices. I now have three complete editions.
    5. Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge by Harry Harrison - I read this one every year and have since I was 14. Pure escapism.

May the paws be with you

If there was ever any doubt that Lucas has sold out then let it be dispelled now. The above pic is of a Yoda costume for your pet (costumes recommended for dogs only - the page says helpfully). Also in the same range are Darth Vader; Princess Leia; and, every teenage boy's favourite, Slave Leia.

I particularly like the note that they ship worldwide except Mexico. Does Mexico have a monopoly on good taste, or something?

Crying While Eating

What are you eating? And why are you crying?

And what persuaded all these people to film themselves crying while eating?

Is it therapy, self-promotion, or art? Have we reached some point in societal development that these terms can be true and yet inadequate?

Maybe we're just running out of synonyms for "wierd".

How Early Man Hunted

Art terrorist Banksy has struck again, and this time his victim was the British Museum.

rock art

Banksy put up a fake rock painting that showed prehistoric man "hunting" with a shopping trolley, and it was a couple of days before museum staff noticed.
They took it in stride, though, and have generously "loaned" the artwork back to the artist for an Outside Institute exhibition, and expect the hoax rock painting to be returned.
The British Museum are a canny lot. Post-notoriety, Banksy's prank art will probably soon be worth big money.

When 5-4 Really Means 0-0

Let me just say, that Arsenal vs Man U. FA Cup becoming a history-making finals match absolutely does not compensate for the fact that it was damned tedious to watch. Talk about a match of attrition. Neither side could put the ball in the goal so they elected to wear their opponents (and supporters) down through sheer bloody-mindedness instead - running back and forth, running at each other, running back and forth again...
I managed to knit half a sleeve, though, so it wasn't a complete watse of time.
Yes, Arsenal played like shite. Without Henri, they just had no focus to their game. Undoubtedly, Man United played better football. But no goal from 23 attempts? And that was just the main game. The way their balls kept skimming over the bar you'd think there was a force field around the Arsenal goal.
Winning on a penalty shoot-out isn't much to be proud of either. Thank the Almighty Football God for Lehmann. At least the Gunners know how to pick a goalie.
Arsenal may have won, but somehow it just doesn't feel like a real win to this fan.

Storm pics

Here are a couple of pics supposedly of The Storm doing the rounds:

They were supposedly shot in Bunbury. There are more pics here. I say supposedly because they are also available here. But no matter what their source they are still very pretty.

Wow, I managed to use supposedly in nearly every sentence...including this one =).

Saturday, May 21, 2005

...and statistics

It's probably worth noting that the most popular page over the last 36 hours has been Kylie has breast cancer. Concerned fans? No bloody way. The most popular query is Kylie cancer jokes.

And The Winner Is . . .

Harry Awards the Coveted Palm Dog

It's been a dog's week, what with police dogs being trained to sniff out talcum powder, and now a Cannes Film Festival prize for dogs in arthouse films - The Palm Dog.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Around the grounds

You know a blog has jumped the shark when it stoops to an around-the-grounds-style post. So here it is:

Supermercado Project
Eurovision Week MP3 mania (Day One)

In the lead-up to Sunday’s Eurovision Song contest TSP will highlight a few of the great moments in competition and European music history. To open proceedings we look at two of the greatest foreign language tracks to ever have come to us from “the continent”. All hail, and then dive for the English/French dictionary to try and work out what’s going on.

Mahmood's Den
On the BBC World Service!

I've just been interviewed over the phone by the BBC World Service's The World Today regarding the website registration administrative order by Bahrain's Ministry of Information. It should air in about 6 or so hours (around 11pm GMT). It should also be available online.

Red Rag
Distorted moral judgments

Sometimes I think academics write papers simply to attract media attention. Yes, I’m talking about the unpublished but much-discussed paper by Deakin law school’s Mirko Bagaric and Julie Clarke. The pair has jumped on the “torture warrants” bandwagon, arguing in favour of legalised torture.

Not the West
The West beats the world’s best

The West Australian has beaten newspapers from around the world to win a prestigious international marketing award for its Defining Moments collectors’ series (congratulations from Not The West).


Sure there are those Fridays when it's just me and a jar of chocolate body paint but in the end nothing says weekend better than beer. I've made a flickr tribute here and you might also like to check out Tokyogoat's enigmatic pic.

feeling like a perfectionist - acting like one too

Radio. It turns you into a massive perfectionist.
I feel like a right fool most of the time. I feel like my stuff could always be improved.

Mysterious marks and green macrodots

Well okay, toxicpurity over at onedogsaid blog actually made me aware of it. On a Google maps map of what appears to be the US west side, there's a strange ground marking.

Australian Creative Commons Animation

Here’s an Australian Creative Commons Animation that really beautifully explains creative commons through a conversation between a couple of whacky characters.

A Yobbo's View
Samui Tattoo

I’m back in Samui now after 4 days in Penang, Malaysia. There I met up with John Humphreys and we hit the bars on the first night, which (as per usual) turned out be a great idea.

Anyone Seen A Russian Lake?

The Russians have misplaced a lake.

Overheard . . .

"There's a scar on your nose. Either that, or it's make-up."

Well done, matey. She'll remember you for that next time you ask her out to lunch.

Powder pups

If you're planning to visit Victoria in the near future it's probably best not to wear any talcum powder.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thought For Today

Thought For Today
The mannequin said: i am tired of being an object d'art.
Of being polished and posed, then taken apart -
Of having faces imposed, and manners supposed. . .
The mannequin smiled: but what price stardom, i say in my heart.

Apocalypse Cow and Other Revelations

Recently watched Apocalypse Now: Redux and found out how Kurtz really dies in the climax.

Let me explain: when I first saw the original, I was 18 and still fresh from Singapore, otherwise known as BradyBunchLand. I'd been brought up a good Catholic girl in Asia, which means I didn't know what sex was, I didn't recognise a joint when it was offered to me, and I had no idea movies (or music) like Pink Floyd's The Wall existed.

In Singapore, the Love Boat was considered such salacious television viewing the kissing scenes were cut. Movie violence... well, you can imagine. The hottest thing on the pirated video circuit was I Spit On Your Grave, which of course everybody had to watch since the government had banned it. And since black market video rentals offered door-to-door service, everybody did - grandma, the kiddies... All grouped around the VCR gawping at X-rated films. If the government didn't want you to watch it...

But that was just Hollywood cartoon violence. There was good and evil in the world and justice was always bloodily served. It didn't fuck with your moral precepts. It didn't ask questions.

So I come to Australia at 18, and movies mean Herbie Rides Again and The Sound of Music, and music means the Carpenters and BoneyM, because that's what my parents liked. I personally was into A-Ha, and I had to justify Sting with "But, Mum, he's a school-teacher".

I took Media Studies. I knew there was... stuff out there. Stuff I didn't have words for, because I simply didn't have any concept of them, just the utter conviction there was more out there then what I'd been allowed to know about. I learnt what sex was when I fucked for the first time, and incidentally learnt that's what the word "fuck" meant. Seriously. The first time someone passed me a joint I thought it was a cigarette and declined, and no one's offered me one since.

And I heard Pink Floyd. And Media Studies teacher Eloise Hicks made us watch films like Insignificance and Brazil, over and over. And taught us about how the mass media manipulates us all. And then we'd watch Brazil again.

I experienced films like Apocalypse Now and Life of Brian and Liquid Sky and the one where Divine eats dog shit, so many other weirdshit movies I can't name them all. Let's just say for the next few years I was wide-eyed and brain-fucked.

I didn't need drugs - just exposure to the other extremes of popular culture. Probably overdosed, unfortunately, because I don't recall a lot of it. I didn't understand much of what I was watching or hearing at the time, and when you don't comprehend what's going on, it's harder to recall it exactly. Strange sounds, and shadowy images, and a deep disquiet, that's what I was left with.

I shut my eyes at the climax to Apocalypse Now, because I was too horrified to watch, and I missed Kurtz's death. Well, I finally got to see how he dies, and it is still pretty horrible, but not as horrible as when I was 18 and a film virgin.

Okay, a confession. I still shut my eyes. Briefly. An old, underused reflex action kicked in during the Apocalypse cow sequence, and just for a moment I was 18 again and watching it for the first time, not knowing what comes next, wondering when this vision of hell would end and how could anyone make anything so horrible...

...and loving every single second of it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

100 Days

While we're on the subject of football, the A-League kicks off in 100 days with Glory playing the Central Coast at ME stadium.

Other football fixtures to watch out for:

Beginning this Saturday and lasting until the 26th May, the Young Socceroos play in a four team tournament versus Korea, Colombia, and Morocco as they prepare for the World Youth Championship, which starts on the 10th June.

Socceroos play NZ on the 9th June.

Socceroos play in the Confederations Cup starting 15th June.

The Wrong Game

Five months ago I wrote this post about SBS' Worldgame website. Well, as a result of a supreme case of boredom I decided to investigate what exactly was causing the problem. Yeah, I should have done this months ago, but basically I didn't care and I still don't. And the reason I don't care is that the problem still exists. It's not with the webpage - which I successfully found a route around - but with the web designer's laziness.

When I design a web page I test it with every browser I have available. Not just Firefox or Mozilla (my browsers of choice) but IE, Opera, Lynx, Konqueror and Amaya. I've even been known to borrow time on my friend's Macs to test my pages with Safari. Now, I'm not what I call a serious web designer. I certainly haven't done it for money for years. But I do know many serious web designers and they follow a similar strategy. That's because web pages look different in different browsers. Each handles the HTML code in a different manner. It's getting more standardised but there are still a few instances where they differ.

The designer of The Worldgame site only bothered to test it with IE. I know this because the opening page doesn't work with any other browser. And the reason for this is because the page uses an ActiveX redirect. HTML has its own redirect and that works fine. It also works in every browser written in the last five years.

So the problem remains, but we've routed around it. A bit like the internet, really.


From the same people that brought you The Alien Landing Strip we get Alien Spacecraft over Florida. Yes, folks, we now have evidence that alien spacecraft are visiting our planet, because we all know that satellite photos don't lie - just ask Colin Powell.

It has been quite interesting watching the conspiracy nuts go wild over this photo. Not that they need much prompting.

At the risk of sounding even more geeky than I usually am, this photo reminds me of an episode of UFO, an SF television show made in the early 70s. For those that don't know, UFO was about this super-secret group called SHADO that were defending the earth against alien invasion. Each episode silvery UFOs would appear and one of SHADO's ships would vector in and shoot it down. Other things happened as well but that was the crux of each episode. That and girls in short silvery dresses and purple wigs.

Anyway in this particular episode SHADO manages to attach a probe to one of the alien ships so they can track it back to its home planet and take some photos of it. Everything works swimmingly right up to the point where it's sending the data back to Earth and from memory I think it is shot down. As a result some of the data is lost.

I remember the series' protagonist coming in jubilant to look at the photos only to be told they're useless. He claims they must be of some value. So he's shown some photos. Alien landscapes in wonderful detail. He's over-the-moon. Until he's shown the final photograph: a woman's thigh. Then he's told that every photo was a closeup of that thigh and that without a sense of scale the photographs are useless.

Likewise the UFO pic lacks any real sense of scale, but of course the conspiracy nuts don't care.

For the record, it's probably a weather/scientific balloon.

Western Australian Geography: Our Lake

Our lake
Like many of the water features in Australia Our Lake is seasonal, forming only during the wettest months. It consists of three pools and two waterfalls. The lower pool (shown here) is the most resilient and may last several days or even weeks after the others have dried up. Unfortunately, Our Lake is barren and contains only microbial life, although it has been known to be frequented by the occasional feline domesticus.

Scooby Donk

Prove you're alive

In another of those bureaucratic nightmare cases that sound like they're straight from the movie Brazil, a German pensioner has been forced to prove that she was still alive after her pension fund cut off her payments because she was dead. A phone call wasn't enough, she had to produce a life certificate.

Personally, if I was in that position I'd storm down there and kick the guy in the nurries. That ought to prove that either I'm alive or a particularly nasty ghost that shouldn't be fucked with.

Your papers please.

Are you an Australian citizen, but were born overseas? Do you look 'white'? Do you speak with an accent? Then, you are now required to carry proof of citizenship with you at all times. This is because the Immigration Department no longer has the time to do the required checks. They're too busy deporting enemies of the state. So, if they even suspect you're a rag-headed terrorist about to launch armaggedon then they'll sin-bin you.

Even immediately after the debate was lost in the 80s we were hearing about the introduction of the Australia ID Card. So far it has been limited to a few wackos and in general governments have steered clear of any sort of universal ID card. How long before we hear an urging by more prominent members of the government for such a measure? I bet they'll use three excuses to sway the general public:

  1. That old bugbear: Terrorism
  2. It will stop detention and expulsion of citizens
  3. The yanks have just introduced their own universal ID card and the Poms are about to do the same. We'll need to keep in step with both of them.
I give it six months.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Kylie Has Breast Cancer

The story here.

So far, the response seems to be universal:

1. Shock;

2. The Jokes.

ie. Kylie has breasts?

My Favourite Things: Kill Your Mother

I figure at some point I should talk about some of my favourite things - such as this killer tee from Work By Eaksak (which I think of as my Industria shirt 'cause that's the sort of place that'd stock it). She sports a tattoo on her shoulder that cheerfully reads "Kill Your Mother", hence the title.

Kill Your Mother

Got it for $7.50 at the Family Store on Barrack Street. Talk about bargain buy of the year or what. Cool shirt, in my size, and brand new to boot.
And it's not even my top op-shop-bought of 2005.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Byte Me update

Well 31 came back to us today with a supposedly better offer of the same shitty timeslot but a starting date in June (instead of July). Fortunately they're not talking to me directly otherwise I would have told them where they could stick it. The person that they are talking to advised me to wait and see what happens. So that's what we're doing: waiting and seeing. In other words: SNAFU.

Meanwhile we've almost finished the latest episode. We have a few short segments to shoot this weekend and then, once they're edited, we're done.

Got milk?

So, you're lactating - guys, just pretend. Just how much milk do you produce per day? While you're trying to work it out think for a moment just how much fridge space you'd need for 107 litres. That's a shitload in non-metric units. Lucy, a five-year old holstein (I'm guessing that's some sort of cow thing), recently produced 82 litres more than the average daily cow output (25 litres for those with poor arithetic).

That's a lot of banana smoothies.

Social loophole

There are times when you see something and you just hope it isn't a hoax. This is one of those somethings.

I wonder if they have a supercharged version for sadists.

The rain tumbles down

The rain tumbles down
The rain tumbles down,
scattering the reflections.
I am going home.

Radar map of storm

This is the radar map of the storm at around 7am this morning.


Sunday, May 15, 2005


Quoth the irate Perth fan to Neil Gaiman, upon learning the author's forthcoming Asia/Pacific tour stops.

Whoever you are, Irate Perth Fan, you expressed my sentiments exactly, if not eloquently. Mother brought me up too nicely, alas.

Well brought up fellow that he is, the author replied with good grace that his itinerary is scheduled by his publishers and promoters - they point, he goes. He also offered an anecdote by way of apology.

"If it's any consolation, the last time I went to a convention on the Australian mainland it was to go to a Swancon in Perth. And I flew in to Perth, went to the con, then took the four hour flight straight to Sydney to catch a plane home -- where I found myself having to convince an immigration official that I had, of my own free will, flown all the way to Australia in order to spend four days in Perth. This was, I was given to understand, the strangest and most suspicious sort of thing that that particular gentleman had ever encountered..." -- Neil Gaiman

Perth - dangerous and highly suspect. Who knew.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Love Immortalised

Fickle Love

Ain't young love sweet.

DFAT warning no joke

In a startling development DFAT's warning that Perth is dangerous at this time of year has been proven true. Just look at these:


Bad day for penises

In the last day we've had two stories come out of the US that involves the blatant denial of penis rights:

So lads, it's probably best to keep it in your pants for a while.

Be careful out there.

What did they know?

Two days ago DFAT issued a warning about Perth being dangerous at this time of year. There were lots of humourous articles and stories about the mix up. And then yesterday we get a freeway onramp collapsing.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Meme: You're the film-maker

If you had access to any amount of money what story would you make a movie of and why?

Gridlock 2

Gridlock 2
18:30 & still stuck.

It took us another half-an-hour to reach the Causeway, which had incoming traffic backed up across it as well. I'm guessing it was a combination of the rain, Friday night rush hour and superstition (Fri 13th) that cause the gridlock. It's the worst I've seen for a while.

A combination of the rain, Friday night rush hour, superstition and a burst water main.


It's 17:30 and Perth ain't moving.

Happy Friday 13th!

Well, I've just spent a happy morning skipping puddles with skribe on the way to work. Maybe May has finally worked out which season it is. Maybe not, considering the sun blazing through the window now.

This past week has had some interesting morning experiences. I've had the great good fortune to witness Tori Amos dribbling throughout her performance on Sunrise, which - if nothing else - proves she wasn't lip-synching. Good to see an artist with real talent and passion on fluffy morning television.

Then there was Derryn Hinch's no-show on the Bert Newton's Advertorial Program. That was worth catching a later bus for.

I noticed, too, that they've replaced the Darth Vader poster on the billboard at Barrack and Wellington, which had been ripped down for the past couple of days. The Revenge of the Disgruntled Fan, perhaps?

And of course this morning also sees a rather soggy protest at the Supreme Court Gardens by the Falun Gong activists. The Anti-Torture Demonstration probably won't go too well. Drip. Drip. Drip. AAAARGGH!

And for those who're finding it hard to concentrate (ahem) on this gloriously damp Friday the 13th, check out this Odd Satellite Map Image from Google. You can move around the map and zoom in!

Is it:
A. Alien Landing Strip;
B. Air Force Aerial Bombing Target;
C. Google Copyright Infringement Trap; or
D. Just Another Photoshopped Hoax?

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Perth is so boring that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued a travel warning declaring that Perth is dangerous at this time of year. Too right, there's simply nothing to do except hunting down and butchering tourists. It may not be right but at least it keeps food on the table.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005



So far I've only embarrassed myself twice.

ADDENDUM Well we're back now and I have to say we had a great time reacquainting ourselves with some new best friends. Sorry about the quality of the pic. From right to left is: Graeme, Richard and Anthony.



An American woman of 40 wants to get married, but she is only willing to marry a man who has never been with a woman sexually.

After several unsuccessful years of searching, she decides to take out a personal ad.

She ends up corresponding with a man who has lived his entire life in the Australian Outback. And after a long-distance courtship, they decide to get married.

On their wedding night, she goes into the bathroom to prepare for the festivities. When she returns to the bedroom, she finds her new husband standing in the middle of the room, naked and all the furniture from the room piled in one corner.

“What happened?” she asks.

“I've never been with a woman,” he says. “But if it's anything like screwing a kangaroo I'm gonna need all the room I can get!”

The Best Friend Effect

One of the side effects of spending hours in a small dark room editing a project (apart from junk food diets, expanding waistlines and vitamin D deficiency) is that after a couple of days I develop a serious empathy with the people in the story. It's like they're life-long friends.

This can lead to some embarrassing situations. I remember that soon after finishing one project I met up with one of the participants and immediately greeted her with "I've just been staring at your ugly face for hours on end." Now, that might be okay with a friend but with a stranger it's pretty confronting. She just stared at me and it took me a moment to make the realisation that while I had thirty hours of 'experience' with her, she only had one hour with me. Fortunately, after I explained she joined in the joke too.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because tonight I'm joining a blog meetup. About six weeks ago we did a story on them and while I finished editing it several weeks ago the best friend effect remains. The reason for that is that while I was editing the story I was also reading their blogs. For the story I mean =). Even after the editing process was completed I found myself returning to them. Most I continue to read daily. So, in a sense I've got a double dose of pseudo-friendship. I know these people. Their mannerisms and body language, as well as their thoughts and beliefs. As a result, I fully expect to make a fool of myself tonight.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kudos and not

They say that four-wheel drive owners are the scourge of the roads with their bull-bars, fat tyres and their wide girth. For the most part I agree. Especially given that such off-road vehicles never go off-road. Well today I saw a four-wheel drive owner that got off the road quick smart.

The corner of Wellington and Barrack. Traffic is lined up along both streets waiting for the pedestrian traffic-light cycle to complete. Then suddenly, from east along Wellington comes the wail of sirens. People stop and look. Drivers are checking their mirrors. A bunch of pedestrians caught making a diagonal crossing freeze as though caught in headlights. The four-wheel drive owner was in the left-most lane. The only one in that lane as chance would have it. He sussed out the situation quickly, did the math and made the move. Onto the footpath, easily avoiding the gaggle of gob-smacked tourists. Only just in time too. The firefighters gave him a wave and a thankyou as they barely had to slow down. Through the gap the four-wheel driver has left them and whip around the corner - narrowly missing the group of pedestrians that had stopped in the middle of the road.

So kudos to the four-wheel drive owner and a fat kick up the arse to the pedestrians.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Got Sodium Laureth Sulfate?

While researching the Progesterex Mind Virus I came across this mind-virus that I hadn't seen before. Those infected usually show signs of haliotosis and split ends.

Subject: FW: Read this about the shampoo you use

Check the ingredients listed on your shampoo bottle, and see if they have substance by the name of Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or simply SLS. This substance is found in most shampoos, and the manufacturers use it because it produces a lot of foam and it is cheap. BUT the fact is that SLS is used to scrub garage floors, and it is very strong. It is also proven that it can cause cancer in the long run, and this is no joke. I went home and checked my shampoo (Vidal Sasoon); it doesn't contain it; however, others such as Vo5, Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, the new Hemp Shampoo .. contain this substance. The first ingredient listed (which means it is the single most prevalent ingredient) in Clairol's Herbal Essences is Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

So I called one company, and I told them their product contains a substance that will cause people to have cancer. They said,"Yeah, we knew about it but there is nothing we can do about it because we need that substance to produce foam.

By the way Colgate toothpaste also contains the same substance to produce the "bubbles". They said they are going to send me some information. Research has shown that in the 1980s, the chance of getting cancer is 1 out of 8000 and now, in the 1990s, the chances of getting cancer is 1 out of 3, which is very serious. So I hope that you will take this seriously and pass this on to all the people you know, and hopefully, we can stop "giving" ourselves the cancer virus.

This is serious, after you have read this, pass it on to as many people as possible, this is not a chain letter, but it concerns our health.

Personally, I don't use shampoo. I use the real stuff =).

The Progesterex Mind Virus

Yet another mind virus aka email hoax. This time sent to me from a friend who believed that it was real - and subsequently panicking about it. For further details on the hoax check out Snopes, Truth or Fiction or just Google for Progesterex.

Ladies, be more alert and cautious when getting a drink offer from a guy. Good guys out there, please forward this message to your lady friends. Andboyfriends,take heed. There is a new drug that has been out for less than a year.

Progesterex,that is a essentially a small steriliziation pill. The drug is now being used by rapists at parties to rape AND sterilize their victims. Progesterex is available to vets to sterilize large animals. Rumour has it that the Progesterex is being used together with Rohypnol, the date rape drug. As with Rohypnol, all they have to do is drop it into the girl’s drink. The girl can’t remember a thing the next morning, of all that had taken place the night before.

Progesterex, which dissolves in drinks just as easily, is such that the victim doesn’t conceive from the rape and the rapist needn’t worry about having a paternity test identifying him months later.

The drug’s effects AREN’T TEMPORARY. Progesterex was designed to sterilize horses. Any female that takes it WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO CONCEIVE. The crooks can get this drug from anyone who is in the vet school of any university.

It’s that easy, and Progesterex is about to break out big on campuses everywhere. Believe it or not, there is even a site on the internet telling people how to use it. Please forward this to everyone you know, especially the gals.
ADDENDUM: Seems we've become the top result on searches for Progesterex on Yahoo-Aus/NZ.

Just so there's no doubt PROGESTEREX IS A HOAX. It doesn't exist.

Sunday, May 08, 2005



Here is Neil showing off a prop from the television series BBN, which is a satirical look at the news and current events.

In case you're wondering why I posted this, it's because I was testing photoblogging directly from my phone. Seems it works. Expect more - yes that is a threat.

Lest We Stay Silent

Lest We Stay Silent

Watch out! Abandoned plush toys have taken over the monument at Supreme Court Gardens in protest at their mistreatment.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Almost equal

Last night the one vote one electoral reforms passed through the Legislative Council. While the reforms aren't perfect and it isn't exactly one vote one value - several isolated country electorates will still have small gerrymanders - it's a start. Well done to all those that took the time and effort to pass these momentous and long overdue reforms. As for those that opposed them, you have only yourselves to blame. You had your chance to be part of it and you chose to close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears and hum. A curse on all your houses. You placed your own personal gains over the good of the community.

With noble intentions

Given that now any anti-establishment action is seemingly viewed as an act of terrorism, it seems that the terrorists have finally had a win. In the Geelong County Court. According to this story Ralph Hahnheuser was found not guilty of deliberately setting out to cause economic loss.

Ralph was the guy that finally figured out how to stop live sheep exports to the Middle-East. His solution: just throw some ham into their feed. Sheep eat the feed along with the ham and bingo the sheep are now no longer considered clean. The funky Middle-Easterners won't accept dirty sheep - having worked on a farm let me tell you the idea of a clean sheep is a myth.

Now that Ralph has been found not guilty everyone is free to add a handful or two of ham to the sheep feed. Pretty soon no live sheep export trade. Which is good for the sheep, but bad for the trade balance - if you care about that sort of thing. Okay, maybe it's not so good for the sheep because they still end up dead and miss out on an all-expenses paid cruise, and maybe it's also bad for the farmers (remember them?). So, I guess there's only one thing left to say:

does this roast lamb taste like ham to you?

Gambling just doesn't add up

One from the People who shouldn't be allowed to breed file.

Smile if you did it

Internet Cleanup Day

It's that time again!

As many of you know, each year the Internet must be shut down for 24 hours in order to allow us to clean it. The cleaning process, which eliminates dead email and inactive ftp, www and gopher sites, allows for a better working and faster Internet.

This year, the cleaning process will take place from 12:00 a.m. GMT on May 31 until 11:59 a.m. GMT on June 1 (the time least likely to interfere with ongoing work). During that 24-hour period, five powerful Internet search engines situated around the world will search the Internet and delete any data that they find.

In order to protect your valuable data from deletion we ask that you do the following:
  1. Disconnect all terminals and local area networks from their Internet connections.

  2. Shut down all Internet servers, or disconnect them from the Internet.

  3. Disconnect all disks and hard drives from any connections to the Internet.

  4. Refrain from connecting any computer to the Internet in any way.
We understand the inconvenience that this may cause some Internet users, and we apologize. However, we are certain that any inconveniences will be more than made up for by the increased speed and efficiency of the Internet, once it has been cleared of electronic flotsam and jetsam.

We thank you for your cooperation.
It's an email that has been circulating for years. Isn't it amazing what some people will believe?

Friday, May 06, 2005

Wanking for fun and profit

From the I-told-you-so-files, a pornstar in Mexico has just launched a new range of moisturising cream. Made from human semen. The actress, Lyn May - who is in her sixties, swears that it erases wrinkles and leaves skin soft (and a little sticky). If proven effective we may see a sudden spurt in the guide dog industry.

You In?

Feeling low? Need a lift? Then you obviously need some ice-cold gomutram. That's cow urine to the rest of us. And no, I'm not taking the piss. It's the latest fad in Hyderabad. Apparently, you can kill the smell by adding some essence while you're consuming it. So start your day with a wee. Drink genuine, pure gomutran. Now available in 44 litre family pack.

What I'd like to know is who's the joker that first tried it.

A door closes. A window...we'll see

I'm sick and tired of jumping through hoops for Access 31. Today I was offered a chance to have Byte Me shown on Foxtel and I went for it. It doesn't mean we'll likely get shown any earlier than July (although June is a possibility) but it does mean our show will go national. Foxtel looks so much better on the resume than Channel 31.

On a similar front, a week ago we were asked to put forward some ideas for a show for one of the Foxtel channels. Lots of emails followed. Today we started putting things into place for the making of a pilot episode for one of those ideas. This doesn't mean the show - or even the pilot for that matter - will ever happen, but it's a start. More if it happens.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I lied


We saw our President undermined, mocked and emasculated by his own wife on the most public of stages, and at a time when his manliness is already under attack. We saw the leader of the free world seemingly unable to lead his own family. Mr. President, as God's elected represented here on earth, you owe it to every American to live your life as an example to us. And that example extends to the behavior of your wife, Mrs Bush, as well.

It's fake btw, but it must be true if FOX is reporting it =).

Elephant Joke

I saw this on rec.humor.funny.reruns and had to share:

Six wise, blind elephants were discussing what humans were like. Failing to agree, they decided to determine what humans were like by direct experience.

The first wise, blind elephant felt the human, and declared, "Humans are flat."

The other wise, blind elephants, after similarly feeling the human, agreed.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Temporally Conventional

And by the way for those of you wanting a review of the Time Travel Convention, all I can say is that I personally found it a major letdown. Within minutes of arriving I got into a huge fight with myself and then had to throw myself out for brawling. Again.

Film music

I spent much of today scouring the net for some music that will eventually be used in a film project that I'm developing. We're not talking pirated stuff here. We're talking about music either released into the public domain or under an appropriate Creative Commons licence. There are lots of versions of the Creative Commons licence that an artist can release their work under. I'm looking for work released under one that will allow me to make derivative commercial works - films - with few strings attached. My preferred choice is the By Attribution Licence.

There are quite a few tracks available under the By Attribution Licence but locating them isn't easy. Soundclick has a good selection but the search process involves visiting every artist's site and looking through their list of music to see if some are released under the licence. Most aren't and many that are aren't appropriate for what I want to use them for or are downright crap. If only Soundclick had a search parameter for searching by licence.

The Creative Commons website itself has a basic search function that provides listings of websites that reputedly have music (and other material) released under Creative Commons. Unfortunately, most of the sites don't have downloadable music, although it does have a link to the website of a brilliant musician named Derek Audette. I used a piece of his music in our film The Audition.

But getting back to the point of this post, and yes it does have one other than babbling on about copyright licences, while I was searching through Soundclick I noticed a familiar pattern amongst its listings. Soundclick has a category called Film Music, that is a sub-genre of Classical. Most of the stuff in there is exactly what I'm after, but unfortunately most isn't released under an appropriate licence. In fact many of the so-called pieces of Film Music are released under a Creative Commons licence that prevents derivative works. Isn't that kind of defeating the point of Film Music?

By the way, if anyone knows of any good repositories of public domain/by attribution music or any budding artists that want to see their work used in film then drop me a line (I'm particularly looking for symphonic pieces). As I said, I spent a sizable portion of today looking and I only found two tracks.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Real Paris

The wax dummy of Paris Hilton at Madame Tussaud's looks nothing like her. She's clothed. She's standing instead of on her back. Her legs aren't spread. I will admit though that the dummy has much more personality. I mean the wax one btw.

Good Reasons - we're just not telling what they are

Well, we appealed Access 31's decision to not offer a slot for Byte Me before July. And they rejected the appeal very concisely:

With good reason our previous advice regarding this matter remains unchanged and your request is declined.
So what are these good reasons? Apparently they're refusing to tell us. More as it becomes available.

Monday, May 02, 2005

For want of a nail (or a plug-in)

A few months back I mentioned that CTV Perth was checking out Sony's new HDR-FX1 and that because Adobe hadn't finished programming the necessary plug-in for Premiere Pro they had some problems using the High-Definition bit of the High-Definition camera.

Well, I'm happy to say that the plug-in is now available, which is just as well, because I found out today that we're expecting four of the cameras later this month. That doesn't mean we'll get them, but that's when they're due.

To be honest it wouldn't matter if we got them tomorrow because despite the fact that we have the necessary plug-in, the editing machines we use aren't of high enough spec to run it. Upgrades for the computers are also due later this month, but I'm not holding my breath for them either. But, with a lot of luck and many fat wads of Lotterywest cash, by the end of the year - we just might be able to produce a 1080i high-definition television programme. Pity Access31 can't broadcast a HD signal.

Change the channel. It's a repeat.

Now, if I was a cynic, and I am, I'd suggest that the surest way for the Howard-Costello Government to remove all the bad headlines that have been flooding the airwaves and filling the papers over the last few weeks would be to regurgitate that old favourite: leadership speculation. 'A slip of the tongue,' Howard claims, 'I was misquoted.' And he calls Costello to explain. While Costello just happens to be having dinner with a bunch of journalists from The Age. Come on, I've seen this on The West Wing. It worked there too, because the media is nothing if not predictable when it comes to leadership speculation. Someone give these hacks a clue.