Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Stranded In Subi

Tonight's parenting class at King Eddy's was on breathing techniques and birth positions. Informative, fun, and best of all, it finished early.

Then we got to the train station and discovered that services had been cancelled.

The security guy explained where we had to go to catch the replacement bus back to the city, but he couldn't tell us when it would be due. Depending on which timetable they were using, there would either be one every fifteen minutes, or every hour. Lovely.

But it's a regular bus stand, so there'd be other regular bus services, right?

Nope. Last regular bus left three hours before.

This is Subiaco. There are restaurents and cafes across the road from us still open, but no buses?

They don't need buses here, Skribe says sourly. They have the trains.

So we wait. In the dark. On our feet. Watching taxi after taxi turn up Rokeby in search of fares.

Twenty-five minutes later, we accept that the replacement bus service must be running on the once-every-hour schedule and go catch ourselves a cab, and finally arrive home just before 10pm.

Thanks, Transperth. No warning, no explanation, no workable contingency plan. I'd hate to have been stranded even further from the city.

Internet Soldier

Monday, January 30, 2006


This is the new channel nine logo. I hope they didn't pay much for it. Erk!

Providing public transport services - eventually

While waiting for something to render I thought I'd pop onto the Transperth website to see if my Smartrider has been registered yet. It usually takes them a couple of days. So I bring up the website and wait for it to load. And wait. And wait. Eventually it grounds into existence. Now let me point out here that I'm using a broadband connection which is - according to my traffic logs - completely uncongested. Websites can be momentarily overwhelmed at times so I continued believing that the sluggishness would pass. WRONG!

By the time my render had finished I had managed to load up only the opening page and was waiting for the login page to show itself. Fortunately I had to make some changes and needed to render again. By the time I had finished and was rendering the login page had loaded. I logged in and then waited two minutes for the next page to load. A new speed record!

Over the course of the next half-an-hour I managed to complete what I was attempting - admittedly with the occasional brief distraction of doing some real work. Now, I will say that once everything is set up that being able to check where you have been and how much you currently have on the card all via the web is very cool. But with each page taking at least a minute to load (and usually 2+), and there being several pages to visit before reaching the good stuff, it makes the Transperth Smartrider Account website virtually unusable.

Perhaps they're just overwhelmed by the introduction of the Control Group. Maybe it will improve with time. However, there are only 5000 or so of us on the control group and if such a small number is able to swamp the system then imagine what will happen in April when a couple of hundred thousand all attempt to log on and register.
There needs to be a big improvement before then. Of course, I suspect much of their problem is caused by their choice of server software: Microsoft-IIS/5.0.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Flying Car At Point Walter

For the past week or so, there's been a story in the Register.com about an odd image found in Googlemap.

Yes, it looks a little like a vehicle hovering some metres above the ground, doesn't it?

Of course, these composite satellite images were taken at least a summer ago (check out Heirisson Desert Island), and so, whatever it was, it's not there anymore. Alas.

Fun, though. Just when I thought the sandbar was the most exciting thing about Point Walter, now I have the possibility of flying cars to look out for, too :)

Review: Munich

"All this blood will come back to us."

Short: There's no good or evil, only vengeance and its consequences. Gory, and long - do not watch on a weak bladder. Generally good, taut, character-driven thriller, standout performances from Eric Bana and fantastic cast, beautifully filmed, another fine example of Spielberg in serious, adult, Oscar-grabbing mode. Let down by overly long denouement and occasional spots of sentimentality. Hey, it wouldn't be a Spielberg film otherwise.

Longer: The thing to remember is that this is not a dramatisation of what happened after the Munich Massacre, when Mossad agents spent the rest of the 70s hunting down and assassinating those responsible. Instead, this story is "inspired" by those events.

Bana plays the lead figure of Avner, who unquestioningly accepts the assignment to avenge the murdered athletes even though it means leaving his pregnant wife behind for who knows how long, and despite his lack of experience as a field agent. His team in Europe comprises a wheels guy, a documents forger, a bomb-maker, and a clean-up man. They have the blessing of the Israeli government to do whatever they must, but that's it. The government will not be culpable. Bana's team are on their own.

Over the course of several months, as they pursue each name on their list with devastating brutality, we see the individual members of the team become increasingly weary of their never-ending hunt. Worse, with each successful assassination, there are bloody and terrifying reprisals elsewhere, and each eliminated target is simply replaced by another up-and-coming terrorist nastier than the one before.

Every man's notion of morality becomes a personal minefield that has to be negotiated afresh with each new mission. Are the target's bodyguards legitimate targets also? What if the target's wife gets in the way? Did we kill too many other people unneccessarily?

They become distracted by extraneous missions, and by uncertainty and infighting. Inevitably, the hunters find themselves hunted. Have they been sold out (and whom by), or have they simply become legitimate targets themselves?

Astoundingly, this is a film that takes no sides, except perhaps the view that vengeance leads only to more vengeance. Munich offers no answers, no pat assurances that if we all just lay down arms and give up the bad fight then everything will somehow magically be better. Instead, Munich tells us that when we answer bloodshed with bloodshed, however just and righteous the cause, all we end up with is bodies. You can never go home again, even if home is what you killed for, and you will never know peace again, even if peace is what you fought for.

Munich is, in some ways, Spielberg's most mature film to date, but it's still not his best film. It is thrilling and chilling, and funny and sweet, and bloodily graphic and morally gray, in pretty much all the right places, and yet, somehow, there is a certain distance. I felt for these characters, enough that I couldn't watch some scenes, but not enough to cry for them or be disturbed by them. Even so, I'm glad I saw this. It's easily one of those films that everybody should see once in their lives. For all its resigned pessimism about the futility of violence, yet it is during moments of violence that the film shows us being at our most human - frail yet selfless, and desperately dependent upon each other, whoever they are.

Basic Guide to Aussie Life

1. The bigger the hat, the smaller the farm.

2. The shorter the nickname, the more they like you.

3. Whether it's the opening of Parliament, or the launch of a new art gallery, there is no Australian event that cannot be improved by a sausage sizzle.

4.If the guy next to you is swearing like a wharfie he's probably a media billionaire. Or on the other hand, he may be a wharfie.

5. There is no food that cannot be improved by the application of tomato sauce.

6. On the beach, all Australians hide their keys and wallets by placing them inside their sandshoes. No thief has ever worked this out.

7. Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the plastic milk crate.

8. All our best heroes are losers.

9. The alpha male in any group is he who takes the barbecue tongs from the hands of the host and blithely begins turning the snags.

10. It's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to hold.

11. A thong is not a piece of scanty swimwear, as in America , but a fine example of Australian footwear. A group of sheilas wearing black rubber thongs may not be as exciting as you had hoped.

12. Historians believe the widespread use of the word "mate" can be traced to the harsh conditions on the Australian frontier in the 1890s, and the development of a code of mutual aid, or "mateship". Alternatively, Australians may just be really hopeless with names.

13. The wise man chooses a partner who is attractive not only to himself, but to the mosquitoes.

14. If it can't be fixed with pantyhose and fencing wire, it's not worth fixing.

15. It's considered better to be down on your luck than up yourself.

16. The phrase "we've got a great lifestyle" means everyone in the family drinks too much.

17. The phrase "a simple picnic" is not known. You should take everything you own. If you don't need to make three trips back to the car, you're not trying.

18. Unless ethnic or a Pom, you are not permitted to sit down in your front yard, or on your front porch. Pottering about, gardening or leaning on the fence is acceptable. Just don't sit. That's what backyards are for.

19. The tarred road always ends just after the house of the local mayor.

20. On picnics, the Esky is always too small, creating a food versus grog battle that can only ever be solved by leaving the food behind.

Borrowed from Miss Cipher

Happy Year of The Dog!

Went to Russelll Square last night to check out the annual fair the Vietnamese put on, and found it a little sad and disconcerting: bingo, insurance salesmen, and candy floss. There were a couple of stalls offering traditional fare, and about thrice as many offering hot dogs, meat pies, and chips. Proof of how well Vietnamese migrants and the children of the Boat People have intergrated into Australian culture and society perhaps, even as they dress their grandchildren in traditional costume and sing old folk songs while sipping a Passiona.

I always wondered why the Chung Wah Association don't organise a New Year's fair like the Vietnamese do. I suppose they feel the Chinese community doesn't need to remind itself of who they are as much. Either that, or most Chinese businesses are too busy making money during the New Year period to waste time manning stalls and operating bingo games.

Ah, well, to each their own.

In the meantime, we've got fifteen days of lion dancing to look forawrd to in Northbridge. Woo-hoo!

And a couple of obligatory dog stories to see in the Year of the Dog: Aibo is put to sleep, while dog is taken off the menu in China.

Happy Year of the Dog, everyone!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Octopus v ROV

So, what happens when a 45kg octopus starts getting jiggy with a submersible ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle)? Check out this video to find out.

That Belly Line Thing

It's called a linea nigra (or linea negra) meaning "dark line", and it's apparently just one of those things that happen and nobody knows why. T'rif.

Oh, alright. Known facts can be counted on the off hand of a careless butcher:
  • It usually appears 4-5 months into a pregnancy.
  • It's more pronounced in women of stronger complexion.
  • it generally goes away after the birth. Generally.

An old saw has it that if the linea nigra comes up to your navel, you can expect a girl, and if it runs all the way up to your sternum - as mine does - then you're having a boy, which we are.

And that concludes today's Odd And Useless Fact Of The Week. Time to head off and start preparing for the New Year. Woof!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Special Control Group

I'm currently part of the beta test for Smartrider, which is the replacement for the antequated multirider system. I just got my card today, so of course I went for a ride to test it.

What can I say? It works. In fact it seems to work well. I like it. I did encounter one possible bug however. My ride home cost me $1.11, which is a little odd. On the old system it would cost me $2 if paying cash or a maginally reduced amount if using a multirider. Now, it is possible that the $1.11 fare is correct. It may not be bogus. The Smartrider literature says that the system will automagically calculate the cheapest fare for the journey. Most of my trip home was through the free transit zone so it may not have counted that. Even if it isn't bogus it's still a very odd amount.

Anyway, I expect I'll be travelling around quite a bit over the next couple of weeks of the trial. Lots of long journeys. See, while the card cost me $10 and I had to put at least another $10 on the card it all gets refunded at the end of the trial. So, I'm riding for free. Proving that I am a very smart rider indeed. Your tax dollars at work.

UPDATE: As Azza-bazoo correctly points out in the comments the $1.11 comes from a 2 section ticket at a 15% discount. Subsequent testing has confirmed that the fare for riding over that distance remains consistent. So, it's all good so far.

Get ready for more

So Hamas has won the Palestinian elections. Predictably Israel has said that they won't deal with a Hamas government. So, I guess we can expect the already stalled peace process to collapse completely. But this is just the start. Hamas also has offices in Iraq. Could we be seeing the beginning of a trend in politics? Maybe soon we'll be seeing Al-Qaeda handing out Bin Laden for President pamphletts. Terrorist to politician seems a logical career path to me. It seems to have worked for Gerry Adams.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


...to our favourite penguinista for being elected to the board of Linux Australia.

Happy Yobbo Day!

So, what's the most Australian way to celebrate Australia Day? Is it the all-day barbecue? Compulsory backyard cricket? Beer and fireworks? Wearing the flag, and flying the Union Jack and Southern Cross from every balcony, antenna, and flowerpot?

Australia Day's the only holiday in the calendar where people start celebrating the day before. And don't stop until the wee hours of the day after.

Sure, people get up early for the Dawn Service on Anzac Day, but they're quiet and respectful about it. They haven't got 96FM blaring all night, they're not scraping the barbecue clean at 11pm, they're not making beer runs through the night, or sneaking their cars into the prohibited zones at 7am.

Whatever Australia Day was originally conceived to be a celebration of, it has come to be Yobbo Day.

And I love it.

Somehow, it's definitely Australian in a way that no officially sanctioned activity could ever hope to be, because the day is what the people have made it to be. Rather along the same lines of how you might mumble your way through Advance Australia Fair along with everyone else, but it's Waltzing Matilda and I Still Call Australia Home you know the words to. That's where the emotional core is.

And whether it's lamb chops, or prawns, or the national double-act of roo and emu, you have to do a barbecue today. It's virtually an act of treason not to.

I was going to blog about Australian symbols, but I can't frankly be arsed. We've had a lovely walk on the foreshore and the traditional breakfast of yes, barbecued sausage in a bun, and it's too damned nice a day to spend pondering national iconology.

Suffice it to say, today's a day to appreciate what we have, especially the freedom to be loud and stupid, and to barbecue dead animals and blow things up and make pretty lights and scare the birds. Tomorrow is another workday after all.

But today is about being us as loud as we can be, for good and bad. Today we celebrate being ourselves as we would hope always to be - ordinary, decent, fun-loving folk.

The UnAustralian Awards 2006

In the great Aussie tradition of taking the piss out the pompous and self-important it is with great pleasure that I present to our readers the First Annual One Dog Said UnAustralian Awards.

UnAustralian of the Year
John Howard - for services against mateship. Nobody stabs a mate in the back quite like our John.

Young UnAustralian of the Year
The Mob - for bringing the nation into disrepute. Morons who riotted in NSW, chanting nationalistic slogans and faux-patrotism. Real Aussies don't have to tell, they show.

Senior UnAustralian of the Year
Alan Jones - for bringing the nation into disrepute. This senior citizen, three days before the riots, whipped up racist hysteria that helped fuel the fire. Please, someone pension him off.

Local Villain of the Year
Access 31 - for failure to support the local community. Not only did they introduce contracts for locally produced programmes that stipulated a 3 year exclusive arrangement, but also allowed them to on-sell the programme, they received for free, for profit. They also showed more German-produced tv than Perth-produced tv.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Service with a turkey baster

While we're seemingly on the topic of commercials, have you noticed the Gatorade ad? The one where the likes of Brett Lee, Paul Kelly and, I'm guessing, The Boomers keep hassling some poor kid to come play with them? Is the subtext supposed to be that the mother has conned all these guys into believing that the kid is theirs? Just a thought.

When Does Australia Day Begin Around You?

By which I mean, of course, what's your earliest sighting yet of patriotic yobbos, with stubbies in hand, yelling "AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE!" and getting a response.

17:45pm 25th January. Woolie's in the city. It's going to be a long night for some.

Car commercials

From Honda and VW.

Warning: the VW ad may offend some people.

Service with a 'I don't know'

I notice that Bunnings are running a series of commercials featuring some of their supposed staff telling anecdotes. One in particular caught my attention. In the commercial some old fart tells of how one customer is in the store for three hours supposedly looking for the exit. The staff member laughs as he tells the customer that he won't be showing him where the exit is.

Now I'm guessing that the ad is trying to convey two things: that the Bunnings stores are huge; they're full of interesting stuff. Unfortunately, to me it also reflects something else about Bunnings. The staff are useless.

We have a store near to us and every time I've gone there looking for some help or advice I'm greeted with a shrug and a 'I don't know.' Even something as basic as when the store is due to have a peice of hardware restocked is greeted with the same banal response. Now, I'm not talking about a pair of limited-edition, titanium-encrusted, laser-sharpened secateurs. I'm talking about a normal, everyday rubbish bin.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What I Wasn't Told About Being Pregnant

I was expecting nausea, cramps, incontinence, cravings, and other fun stuff. They didn't happen. If it weren't for the ultrascan pics, I'd probably think I'd developed some sort of weird, highly animated tumour.

Even the anticipated wardrobe difficulties haven't eventuated, thanks to today's love of stretchy fabrics. In truth, I haven't had to resort to any maternity wear yet, and the event horizon is only about 9 weeks away.

So. If Bubzilla's been this easy on me so far, what have I got to bitch about?

How about fat armpits? No one told me about fat armpits. Of all the damned places fatty deposits could possibly build up, nobody said watch out, your armpits will get fat and saggy and look horrible in sleeveless tops. They're hollow! They're arm-pits! And I suddenly have fat ones!

And there's this line running down the front of my belly. Straight down the centre and true. I feel like a plastic-moulded toy with a seam-line down the middle. What the hell is it? Will it go away afterwards, or am I going to be stuck with it, along with the fat armpits?

And then there's the event itself to look forward to. My Mum likes to tell me she was in labour for twenty-three hours, and that I was ten days overdue, and more than eight pounds at delivery. She said she thought she was going to die. Uh, is this hereditary? Google, hello?

Clearly, this is what happens when I haven't had anything to worry about - I start freaking out over the oddest little things, and then start panicking over things I absolutely have no idea about.

Think I'll go lie down now. And fret about not having anything to fret about.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Australia Day is looming in the headlights. The Xmas decorations can come down now. And anyway, they're only supposed to be up until the 6th of January. That's the trouble with society these days: no appreciation of tradition.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Pherotones: Or What Are They Actually Selling?

Pherotones is allegedly sounds (that you can download as mobile phone ringtones) that make you irresistable to the opposite sex.

Yes, it's a hoax product. What, scientists really look like this?

They've taken the trouble to set up a blog for the "inventor", and a wiki article (well, that's not that difficult, and it is being marked for deletion), and the "inventor" was even interviewed on O'Reilly so it's another of those fine examples of viral marketing on the net.

But what the hell are they selling?

Look, I'm the sort who enjoys whodunnits and cryptic crosswords and works of wacky meta-fiction, but the chief problem here is that the clues and references don't seem to go anywhere. What's the point of a marketing campaign that doesn't seem to be selling anything?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Don't Read This If You're Blonde

. . . because this is simply the best blonde joke ever.

You have been warned.


A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.
-- Walt Whitman

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cool Site of the Day


Boomin' Clueless

I seem to be encountering more and more people that:

  1. don't have a sense of humour;
  2. don't have a clue.
For instance the other day I met a young mother and we were talking about the recent baby boom. She was wondering about the reason for it.

I made the comment that I thought there were three-thousand reasons why there was a sudden increase in the number of births. She just blinked at me.

I then reminded her that the government was paying $3000 for each new brat. She then proceeded to do a complete segue and rant about teenage mothers and how they were bludging off the system. She made a point of indicating that her husband had a job. Woohoo!

I then asked her why she thought there was a baby boom. She just shrugged and said, 'I don't know.'


Saturday, January 14, 2006

In the words of INXS

Sometimes you kick. Sometimes you get kicked.

Friday, January 13, 2006


It's not enough for the Iraqis to learn how to vote. They have to learn how to lose a vote.

What ToxicPurity Learned This Week

  1. That parenting classes should come with a warning. You may think you have an idea what you're in for, but you don't, you really don't, until that first class when the midwife cheerfully and graphically demonstrates the birth process to you, such as just how big a 10cm dilated cervix really is, and how long it'll take you to achieve that. But also "Don't worry, we won't let you go into labour for more than twenty-four hours". Painkillers won't be discussed until Lesson 3.

  2. That lots of heartburn during pregnancy means Bub will have lots of hair, according to a Hungarian woman's lore. And that because I have small tits, I'll probably be more likely to be able to breastfeed Bub, unlike more generously-endowed women, according to the same Hungarian woman's experience.

  3. That educating a child born this year will cost about $250,000 all up. Apart from school fees and associated costs such as books, shoes, uniforms, and extra-curricular activites, this also assumes private tuition, laptops, IPods, Nike sports gear and personal organisers, according to Channel 9's breakfast show anyway.

  4. That before Milli Vanilli, there was Boney M. Same music producer, same lip-synching schtick, and yet... and yet. Well, there goes a part of my childhood.

  5. That this month marks the 50th anniversary of the first publication of The Third Eye, by T. Lobsang Rampa, otherwise known as Cyril Henry Hoskins. My then boyfriend really bought into the whole Rampa mythos. Probably still does. Some lies are so beautiful you never want to give them up.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

And Pigs Might. . . Glow?

You know how sometimes bacon develops a green iridescence when it's been in the fridge a while? What does it mean when the bacon goes green, and it's still on the pig?

They may not be the world's first glow-in-the-dark pigs, but the scientists responsible claim they're the most thoroughly fluorescent, inside and out, and they want to breed entire generations of them for scientific purposes.

What we want to know is, what do they taste like, and will they still glow green on the grill?


He didn't so much run as riverdance.
-- discussion about a jogger on the South Perth foreshore

Belated Tag

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.

  1. Queen of Spain
  2. Sarah and the Goon Squad
  3. Little Miss Pissy Pants
  4. Milchfrömmler
  5. One Dog Said to the Other
Then you get to select five people to pass the love on to (this is in no way mandatory):
1. TedALOG
2. Keet
3. Decaffeinated
4. Gravyland
5. Mahmood

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Riding what was to become the Internet bubble. I'd just bought my first domain name.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Belgian chocolate 2. Gelati 3. Natural Confectionary Company jellies 4. Fruit Smoothies 5. Crystalised ginger

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1. Australian National Anthem 2. Vienna - Ultravox 3. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2 4. Crossing the River - Devlins 5. Need You Tonight - INXS

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Blink 2. Laugh 3. Ponder 4. Smile 5. Steal more

Five bad habits:
1. Procrastination 2. Bitchification 3. Messification 4. Blogification 5. Masturbation

Five things you like doing:
1. TPing 2. Sleeping 3. Creating 4. Bitching 5. Driving

Five things you would never wear or buy again:
1. Compaq 2. Music CD 3. Fro 4. Braised Steak and Onions 5. Baggy shorts

favorite toys:
1. Computers 2. Cameras 3. Mister Underfoot 4. Books 5. Juggling Balls

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Evolution or Intelligent Design?

Borrowed from Life Between the Shoeboxes


I had forgotten that I had turned on comment moderation. I've now published all the comments and turned it off. Thanks to everyone that left messages.


I'm currently reading Startide Rising by David Brin. It's about the seventh or eight time I've read it. It's science-fiction, for those that don't know, and it features a dolphin crewed spaceship by the name of Streaker. In the front few pages of our copy there is a diagram (a rough sketch actually) showing you what Streaker looks like. For want of a better description it looks a little like a Collins-class submarine minus the sail. Which is cool. Until I went looking for artwork related to the book (and subsequent series) and found this 3d model of Streaker. Hmmmm.

Scam of the week

Princess Diana never lost her capacity to smile, laugh and inspire others. Please provide your name, address and employment details so that we can send you the three million dollars in winnings from the lottery set up by her estate. Story here

Monday, January 09, 2006

Website of the Week: Patently Absurd

First day back at work and I actually had nothing I could do, despite having a two-parter Gallery Watch to edit. So I deleted some previous project files from my hard drive and searched the Creative Commons. That killed a couple of hours.

One of these days, I'm going to say To Hell with ethics and propriety and I'm going to make copies of the keys to the equipment storage just so I can get work done when I need to.

So I'm home and websurfing.

So here's my contribution to Cool and Wacky Website Of The Week: Totally Absurd Inventions: America's Goofiest Patents.

My favourite's the Bird Trap Cat Feeder. Hope it comes in different sizes - Mister Underfoot does so love his doves.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dangerous Ideas

Last year, the World Question Centre asked prominent scientists, thinkers, and commentators the question: What Do You Believe, But Cannot Prove?

This year, the provocative question was: What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

The answers range from "open source" economies to the evolutionary origins of morality and murder to the possibility that Earth, on a planetary level, is perfectly fine and can take care of itself.

Absolutely fascinating. Just as fascinatng was seeing how the various respondents interpreted the term "dangerous" - "dangerous" as in "bold" and "challenging", or "dangerous" as in "this sort of talk will get people killed".

Personally, my dangerous idea isn't that revolutionary or even original, but it's enough to cause awkward lapses in conversation between myself and certain family members and friends: atheism. In short, there is no divine intelligence governing the universe and therefore no implied scheme or purpose to life, and there is no such thing as an immortal soul and therfore no afterlife of any sort. Life is its own purpose, things happen because of a combination of chance and human design or inaction, and you ultimately are responsible for the consequences of your actions.

It's all perfectly sensible to me, but it's not a popular or even polite point-of-view among some of my dearest and nearest, which is somewhat disappointing. So it doesn't get mentioned at all. That's how I know it's a dangerous idea - it's something that may not be discussed.

Coke Blak

Okay, here's something else to look forward to in 2006: coffee-flavoured Coke.

Like I don't have enough of a caffeine problem already.

And the French are getting this first? What do the French know about coffee?

And why is it now, years after I've sworn off Coke that we're finally getting some decent flavours like Vanilla Coke and Lime Coke and Coffee Coke?

And why do they still produce the execrable Cherry Coke?

Bet there's one flavour Coke won't be selling anytime soon: Salt Coke. Back in school, we used to sprinkle salt in our Coca-Cola to make it drinkable. (The salt trick didn't work with Pepsi, though). Even these days, I still salt my Coke, on those rare occasions I'm having the black bubbly beverage and there're salt packets available. About one packet per regular cup is about right. For me, anyway. Salt just makes Coke taste better, I don't know why.

These, and other mysteries of the universe, will not be satisfactorily answered today, or indeed ever, since they assume an implicit understanding of both how Coca-Cola's marketing department works and what the consumer public has a taste for.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The New Seven Wonders of the World

The original Seven Wonders of the World, as recommended by tourist guides of the classical era such as Antipater of Sidon and Philon of Byzantium, were the must-see architectural and artistic masterpieces of their day such as the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Of these, only the Pyramids of Giza still stand today.

Since then, we've had the Seven Wonders of the Modern World (which include the Great Wall, the Taj Mahal, and the Grand Canyon), the Seven Wonders of the Engineering World (Empire State Building, Panama Canal...etc), the Seven Wonders of the Natural World (Mt Everest, Great Barrier Reef...etc), the Seven Wonders of the Undersea World... ad nauseum.

But what should be the definitive Seven Wonders of the World? The New Seven Wonders Foundation has come up with a shortlist, and wants you to vote, with the final seven to be announced 1st Jan 2007. The n7w, however, want you to vote by phone, with proceeds going towards heritage protection, which is what the foundation's all about to begin with.

Hmm... Cure For Cancer and SETI aren't listed. Oh, wait, those are Wonders in Freeciv. Nuts.

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Sport?

Normally we're not down at the beach during a public holiday - normally we're not at the beach at all - but today we made an exception and we think we may have found a new - albeit also old - sport: kid tossing. For the uninitiated, take a kid and throw them in the air as high as you can. If you do this in deep enough water they tend not to break anything and will probably squeal for more.

Now, while we had this back in my day - and probably many millenia even before that - there seems to have been a plague of it down at Cott beach today. Little kids, big kids, even overweight tween girls were being tossed into the air, either by seemingly bored fathers or by groups of tween boys.

Are we seeing the emergence of the next Olympic craze?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

What ToxicPurity Is Looking Forward To In 2006

Another year gone, another second older. Huh.

New Year's Resolution: No More NY Resolutions. Apart from To Make It To The End Of The Year With At Least As Many Body Parts, Family Members, And Bank Accounts As Began The New Year With, what else matters?

So to Hell with resolutions. Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which fills up first, as the old saying goes.

Instead, here's my list of what I'm looking forward to in 2006:

  1. January: Australia Day on the 26th, Chinese New Year on the 29th. Mmm... fireworks and firecrackers galore.
  2. March: The Commonwealth Games. Sure, it's like teaching the cat to Sleep! Lick Yourself! Stare With Disdain! on command but there's a certain morbid, stubborn fascination with watching Australian athletes subjugate everybody else in the British ex-Empire. It's nicer than doing it with soldiers, maybe.
  3. March/April: the arrival of Bubzilla, and seeing as how he'll be born in the Year of the Dog, I guess we could be said to be having a puppy after all :)
  4. April: The arrival of Transperth's much-heralded and much-delayed Smartcard. Real soon now, Perth will join the 20th century as far as public transport ticketing systems go. Real soon now.
  5. June-July: World Cup! Yaaaaay!
  6. Forever: No more crappy misbegotten StarWars prequels! Even Bigger Yay!
That's it. The rest of the year might as well be Narnia (or New Zealand, whichever's further), and I just don't think that far ahead on this little sleep. Besides, the possibility is very real that after the advent of Bubzilla, there just won't be time to care about anything else.