Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Australian Conservation Foundation has hit back, releasing the results of a national poll of some 1500 people that appears to confirm that over three-quarters are in favour of the problems of the Murray-Darling being fixed...and that (according to the ACF)
New polling shows more than three quarters of Australians (77 per cent) agree that degradation of the Murray-Darling needs to be fixed now...Blimey. Sounds serious. These people being polled are in favour of problems being fixed, and shortages being rectified. As for that one quarter of people who aren't in favour of a problem being fixed, well, one wonders what they'll do if a problem happens to them? That would be very problematic, indeed.
Then again, most people would probably agree with a survey statement statement that 'there are too many chemicals in our food' or 'we have to stop using chemicals in cleaning products'. (Although of course almost everything is made out of chemicals.) That's all right, it doesn't make them stupid - you don't have to go around carrying a set of dictionary definitions in your head to be considered intelligent - but it would seem to indicate that survey results can sometimes be a little bit, er, misleading.
It makes you wonder what people won't agree to on surveys. I've got one or two surveys of my own in mind, something like...
Do you strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, strongly disagree with the following statements:
1. There is a shortage of positrons in this section of the universe, and something should be done to rectify this shortage before nothing is done.
2. All religions should be respected, and so there is nothing wrong with the worship of Cthulhu.
3. There is a lack of neutrinos in our galaxy, and we need immediate government funding to rectify this imbalance.
4. Problems are bad, and badness is wrong, so we should all do something random immediately in order to stop this wrong badness from causing problems.
Thank you for your assistance. I look forward to drafting a self-righteous press release and hurling it at every available media source as soon as the results of this survey are back in.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
He was quickly shoed out of the place by ABC staff.
It seems to me that this so-called shoe-of-arms is a decidedly ambiguous policy. For one thing, it makes him seem like a shoe-off, with no substance. Also, what if he really decides to sock it to the Prime Minister? Is this going to become the stocking-trade of political debate? Then again, it was years ago that John Howard first started talking about flip-flops, and I’d imagine he’s still thinging the same thong now.
While it’s worthwhile trying to raise important is-shoes in innovative ways, one would hope this manner of debate will be es-shoed in future.
UPDATE! A tosser. Another tosser. (Via here and here.)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
BANG! BANG! SMASH!
FARK. ME. DEAD.
HEY COME ON! HEY WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT!
Some of those sounds were made by the computer. Not that it changes things much.
I don't really know what to say more than that; actually I suspect I could have said a lot less. I enjoyed seeing the film but would have equally enjoyed not seeing it. It was like Sunday afternoon television, at the cinemas on Sunday morning. Fair enough then.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Somewhere in this barren wilderness, in the ancient primal darkness (et cetera) there sits a chair. It is a very nice chair, as chairs go - with lovely little flowers embroidered over it, and splotches of this and blotches of that. (And don't go asking what a lovely chair like that is doing in prehistoric times. What, you let the plateful of Iams and the can of Whiskas slip by, and now you start asking unhelpful questions?) And also, it has very nice looking comfortable cushions tastefully arranged on it in a way that make it look very inviting. And maybe an antimaccassar.
The primordial cat, savage and sleek, comes to the chair. And sits down upon it.
And here we come to, or rather sit down upon, my point (and my point is of course a metaphor, otherwise it would rather hurt our bottoms, sitting down on it). In this unforgiving Darwinian wilderness, where the struggle for scarce resources and bowls of Iams and all that goes on day after day, night after night, what is this primordial cat doing sitting on this chair? In such a way that the blotches and splotches on its coat coincide so neatly with the splotches and blotches on the upholstery of the chair? Does this not strike you as a design flaw? For if, by some happenstance, in this brutal, horrible, deadly prehistoric landscape the primordial chap should come along, what would there be stopping him from sitting upon that chair (for of course the primordial chap wasn't there when the cat got on the chair, and now can't make out the cat-like blotches from the chair-like splotches) and squashing the cat?
This scenario, I believe, refutes both naive Darwinian evolutionary theory, and Creationist argument-by-design. For by what evolutionary process could Nature have brought her cat, the huntress, up to this point, where it so perfectly camouflages with a chair - when that very ability to camouflage itself renders it helpless when it confronts the substantial posterior of its most deadly enemy? Nor can Christian believers take comfort from this scenario either. What on earth did God put a chair in that barren wilderness for? It's much better in the lounge room.
I take my last words from William Blake, who should have known better than to say he wrote this, 200 years before I was born:
In the sofas of the night!
If I were a Whiskas plate,
What the dickens! Look, a bum!
Descending from the sky, it comes!
Scatter! Vanish! Run away!
Or someone here will rue the day!
Kitten! Kitten! Burning bright!
In the sofas of the night!
If I were a Whiskas plate,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"I don't know why it happened," said Dawn Fairychild Crystal-Aubergine, of Daylesford. "He was always such a peaceful spirit dog, inspiring my soul, and providing me with calm and tranquil guidance in my day to day problems, and keeping my chakra and chi in perfect alignment. I don't see how he could do this."
This is the fifth such spirit dog attack in recent months, but it pales in insignificance to the great spirit tiger rampage of 1972, in which the spirit guide of a lonely, reclusive old man living in Palo Alto, California, escaped and ate several members of the town.
There have been renewed calls for greater regulation and licensing of spirit animals following this attack. Meanwhile, Ms Crystal-Aubergine says next time, she'll get a smaller, safer spirit guide. "I'm thinking a spirit tarantula", says says. "They're so furry! Everyone loves them!"
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Where r = rate of cooling, a = air temperature, b = amount of short, punctuated syllabic barks by person getting into bath, and d is an arbitrarily defined constant. (Very arbitrarily defined, since I don't know what it is.)
One more factoid for you: it is well known that if you have a cat sitting on your lap, you don't have to do anything for the rest of the day. You certainly don't have to go to work. Now, if only my lap could find one of our cats...
Saturday, October 16, 2010
That is a problem that leaves me absolutely - well, not 'nonplussed', but 'completely puzzled', and 'in a state of utter perplexity.'
But anyway, house-buying! Who would have thought this was going to happen, hey? When we were tromping around Lalor, going to other auctions (we went to three auctions on the day), I was secretly afraid that we would accidentally bid for a house, and accidentally buy it. (You know, by unintentionally chewing our thumb* in a way that the real estate agent would construe as a $1 million bid, or something like that. I'm sure it's happened before.) Accidentally buying a house would be rather expensive. And of course embarrassing. Even more embarrassing and accidental than intentionally buying a house and then accidentally admitting to it, say, on a blog. Hmmm.
Let me rephrase this post.
Last Sunday morning I accidentally stepped in something the cat puked on the carpet. It put certain matters of a general nature neatly into perspective.
*Yes, we have only one thumb between us. We share. Sharing is caring.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
In other news, it just occured to me today that gays could adopt a similar lexical twist to the term 'homophobe' as others have applied to the term ‘gay’. ‘Homophobe’ could mean ‘happy’, and would result in loving conversations like the following:
‘Does this weather make you homophobe?’
‘I’m so homophobe to see you!’
‘Homophobe homophobe joy joy
Homophobe homophobe joy joy
Homophobe homophobe joy joy
Homophobe homophobe joy joy!’
I can’t see how this could go wrong.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
UPDATE! - Two Sydneys: one thinks the STC is a theatre company, the other that it is a horse-racing outfit.
Two Canberras: some people think the city actually exists, while everyone else knows better.
I mean, where are they going with this? If the Poms keep on making telly shows like this, soon enough we'll have Actuarial Accountancy Aldfordshire, a riveting televisual dramatisation about a small town facing a plethora of problems with the method used in computing the periodic payments that a company must make to fund its employee pension benefits. Every week, there's a new company with a new problem relating to its employee pension benefits. Plus, don't forget to tune in for the soppy ongoing love story thrown in at the last five minutes!
Television. Has it gone too far?
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
On the other hand, 'rhinoceros' doesn't sound very much like 'toilet impersonating duck', and I think we all know what that means.
You just can't trust Language. It'll always try and put one past you.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
This has been brought to you by Tim, advocate of the 'Rigidly Enforce Rules of Etiquette In Those Situations In Which The Ridiculous Whims of One Person Are Inconvenienced by the Normal Behaviour of Many Others' school of thought.
UPDATE! - Elevators are also good for playing 'corners' on. I'm not quite sure how yet, I haven't worked that one out. In the meantime, next time you're on an elevator, improvise.
Monday, October 04, 2010
THE United Nations was set today to appoint an obscure Malaysian astrophysicist to act as Earth’s first contact for any aliens that may come visiting.I've noticed a bit of commentary about this news story in the last few days. However, I'm slightly surprised that no-one has mentioned the obvious point yet: who knows if the United Nations really does exist?
- UN to appoint Earth contact for aliens (thanks Caz!)
I for one am still a skeptic when it comes to the question of the UN. No firm evidence has come in either way. While the existence of the UN remains a tantalising possibility, giving hope and meaning to tens of millions of people (or maybe just tens) whose lives would otherwise be spiritually impoverished, where is the clear, factual, undeniable proof?
I accept that there are many, many people out there who have based their entire careers around the existence of the UN. There have been thousands of so-called demonstrations of the UN's existence, in documentations of meetings, photographs of members, and news stories about apparent 'leaders' of the 'UN' who express 'deep concern' about a number of events in the world. And yet, if such an organisation really exists, why does it never seem to make anything happen? And why is the documentation of UN meetings so difficult to understand? What makes the goals of this supposed organisation so nebulous, and how come the public statements attributed to them so full of bland generalisations? Wouldn't it be simpler if we argued that the 'United Nations' isn't really the 'United Nations' at all, but just a group of old men and women meeting in buildings around the world and saying a number of important sounding, but meaningless, things in order to get attention and feel better about themselves?
And yet, it is true, there is a genuine mystery out there about the existence of the UN. The reasons these people keep on meeting up, given their failure to achieve lasting world peace or an end to world poverty, is very mysterious indeed, after all.
But in the end we must be practical about this: what will happen if the aliens do attempt to make contact with the UN and find that they don't exist after all? Like God attempting to contact Moses and instead getting his annoying little brother Nigel, that would be pretty annoying for all concerned, and could possibly end up in devastation for the entire human race.
Perhaps one day members of the UN will make contact with the rest of us, and a new age of enlightenment and civilisation and peace will dawn, but until then, I'm afraid I will have to remain a skeptic.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
It's what the cool kids do for fun, after all.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Look at this badger! Isn't he happy! He's happy because it's spring! And he's on a spring! And.... um.... anyway, this is on the cover of his latest zine, Badger's Dozen 4. Which is another reason why he's happy, because he's very pleased with it. It has plenty of fun things in it! Like cranky penguins! Sleazy weasels! Dangerous hamsters! And a boring Victorian gentleman! Do you want a copy of this zine? You can pay his secretary (which is me) three dollars on paypal, not forgetting of course to include an address and contact details - (it's linked to my email, timhtrain at yahoo.com.au. I have no idea how they do this. Good vibes, or something?)
To conclude in the manner of all capitalist pigs: oink oink! Wallow wallow! Buy buy!
UPDATE! - You can also get copies at Sticky Institute, in Melbourne!
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
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- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
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- ... and the brieflets
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