Sunday, January 31, 2010

Turnbull Disappears Thousands Of Comments From His Blog

Late last year, two weeks after he was Abbotted from the Liberal Party leadership, Malcolm Turnbull turned to his blog to get his message out about why he thought an ETS was vital, and why so many of his Liberal Party colleagues were fuckwits (obviously I'm summing up his opinions).

What was even more remarkable about very recent former leader of the Liberal Party venting on his blog was that he chose to leave the comments unmoderated. Visitors to his blog could, and did, say anything they wanted. For about six weeks. A few of his posts racked up more than 1000 comments each, probably an Australian personal blog comment record. There was plenty of support for Turnbull, but you rarely see a politician allow such a torrent of abuse at themselves to appear on their blog.

Recently, Turnbull cleaned house at his blog and deleted all the comments. Most of the comments from a post he wrote about climate change are still in Google Cache here.

This comment was up on Turnbull's blog for at least three weeks, read by tens of thousands of people :
Ben 12:23am :

The only reason Turnbull stuck to his guns in trying to ram through the ETS bill before the public had a chance to understand it was... Mal has vested interests.

As previous chairman of Goldman Sachs (who bank rolled Obama's Presidential campaign and will manage the global ETS scam), and with a 500 million dollar (including interest) joint law suit over Mal's head, in the wake of his dealings as GS adviser to FAI during the HIH scandal...

I'm sure you'll remember Goldman Sachs (under Turnbull's stewardship) cooked the books to make it look like FAI was worth millions when it was worth nothing? HIH subsequently bought FAI on the advise of Goldman Sachs and Turnbull for 300 mil.

Mal and his criminal mates, Larry Adler et al, (now banned from being company directors), brought on the collapse of HIH collapse and the downfall of many Australian businesses who depended on HIH for their insurance.

Goldman Sachs is due to settle this case against them very soon. Goldman's deal with Mal is that they will waive any claim on him of personal liability but his balls are owned by Goldman Sachs to the tune of hundreds of millions of $$$$$$$. But that’s chicken feed compared to the billions they’ll rake in from the management of the ETS scam.

THAT is why Turnbull was prepared to risk his political arse for the ETS. He could care less about the environment. He has no environmental scruples, demonstrated by his insistence on converting Tasmania's old growth forests into toilet paper with his GUNNS deal when he was environment minister.

This is all on public record, yet the details of this story haven't been exposed in any comprehensive way in the media. Why not?

Mal is a high powered corporate sleaze with his snout in the trough at the really big end of town.

The media has completely whitewashed this. I've never seen Turnbull questioned in relation to any of this. How does he manage to fly under the radar?

Because we reward criminals if they wear a nice smile and a suit.

It was good to see, if only for a few weeks, a prominent Australian politician so unfrightened of his past as to allow the above comment to be published at his blog, and read by tens of thousands of people.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

You're Either With Us, Or You're With The Greenhadists

By Darryl Mason

Moralising Hypocritical Pagan Watermelon Lefty Al Gore :

"This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions - whether intentionally or unintentionally - and about the action we must take.

"Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury - the phenomenon is an actual fact."

"All the industrial states (are to blame for global warming), yet the majority of those states have signed the Kyoto Protocol and agreed to curb the emission of harmful gases."

"George Bush junior, preceded by [the US] congress, dismissed the agreement to placate giant corporations. And they are themselves standing behind speculation, monopoly and soaring living costs.

"They are also behind 'globalisation and its tragic implications'. And whenever the perpetrators are found guilty, the heads of state rush to rescue them using public money."

But wait! That wasn't Al Gore. It was that other famous global warmist hysterican Osama Bin Laden.

Wha-wha-wha-what?! I hear you say.

You heard me. Osama Bin Laden, or whoever makes those tapes, is reinventing himself as an anti-capitalist, anti-global warming green jihadist.

A Greenhadist, if you will.

Bin Laden hasn't finished with his greenhadist speeches. Oh, you know that's the truth. That was just an intro. This is going to be his Big New Thing.

I'd imagine we will soon hear 'him' delivering forth on how Islam demands respect for nature, and conservation of resources, and, presumably, he will deal away from demanding his followers strike civilian targets in the West and turn their attention instead to corporations. Corporations that cause climate change.

And, presumably, this will also mean that a lot of corporations that have been winding back their anti-terror security in the past year or two, because nobody much believes anymore Al Qaeda are going to charge in their lunch room, will now have to ramp it back up again, to deal with the heavily and seriously promoted new Greenhadist threat.

Laws to deal with eco-terrorism are already in place across most western nation, have been for years, so they'll be easily adapted to round up potential Greenhadists, with plenty of new prosecutions to pursue, and fresh hysteria for the old media and conservative blogs to whip up and froth over.

Put it this way, if you're a young Muslim male with a Naomi Klein-like anti-corporation bent, regularly attends a mosque, donates to Greenpeace, and owns copies of David Attenburrough, Bin Laden and Al Gore videos, you may soon be in a world of shit. Greenhadist!

Oh well, that should make things moderately more interesting for a short while.

Well, maybe. But it will play out like a written script, because some old media, and bloggers, and talback radio, and tabloidia, will not be able to resist, and anyway, they need the content.

The mind spins and surges with the myriad of ways Greenhadism will be devoured and promoted as the Great New Threat by the media, particularly those who adopt faux-conservative outrage because the base material to work from is so much more entertaining, plentiful. And no doubt Bin Laden will supply a steady 'Greenhadist Threat' stream of fresh content.

So, to save local fauxcons valuable brain time, here's some projected headlines and blog post themes for them to get started on. As if they could resist :
One Killer Faith Adopted By Another Even More Deadly

Islamic Greenism : Why Greenhadists Want To Destroy Your Coal Plants

Al Gore No Longer World's Biggest Green Terrorist

Islamic Extremists And Green Extremists Find More Common Ground

George Monbiot Doesn't Know Whether To Kick Bin Laden Or Kiss Him

Kevin Rudd And Bin Laden Agree : Green Terror Faith Must Destroy Our Industries And Your Jobs
The War On Whatever rolls on.


Friday, January 29, 2010

1980s Prediction : Australia Will Become A World Power...When The Rest Of The Planet Has Been Nuked

This report, from the late 1980s, examines the expected immediate and long-term results of a full scale thermonuclear war.

Here's the local angle :

* Australia is hit by at least 12 warheads (from China and Russia)

* More than 3 million Australians, almost a quarter of the population, is killed.

* 5 out of 6 of all the nuclear weapons in the world are launched, or detonated.

A year after the attacks :
Surviving Japanese military forces have waged attacks as far as Australia in search of food sources.
Okay, so there's far north skirmishes over bananas and pineapples, but compared to the blasted, ash-blown, rat dinner hell hole much of the rest of the world has become, by 2040 things are definitely looking up down under :
Some of the surviving nations have emerged by now as major powers, including Australia...

The full report is a Dr Strangelovian nuke 'em all armageddon-soaked grimorama, occasionally sparkled with a dash of "Yeah, it's bad, but not everybody dies" optimism.

I'm not saying it's a fun read, but it is interesting, particularly as a relic of the Cold War.
"We Can't Use The Lift, Mayor, It's Stuffed Full Of Maggoty Bags Of Soiled Nappies"

The solution to the absurd plans by Penrith Council to only collect rubbish every two weeks is simple.

You don't need to freeze your rotting vegetables and meat scraps, like the Council recommends. Just wait until your garbage bags are full on off-collection week and then deliver them to the offices of Penrith Council.

If you can leave them in the foyer, all the better, but even leaving your uncollected garbage bags on the front stairs will get the message across nice and clear.

This kind of protest needs to be flash-mobbed. I wonder how quickly Penrith Council would change their minds if 1000 locals left their uncollected garbage outside the council chambers every second Monday night?
You Can See The Music commenters share their love of hallucinogens :
"...what's so surprising about LSD being found? It's one of the best and safest drugs out there."

"LSD is actually one of the 'better' drugs out there, alot of people have moved back to it after the Ice and Ecstasy explosions. LSD is extremely easy to create. It cannot be detected in current police enforced drug detection ways, and police sniffer dogs cannot pick a scent as it does not have one. the biggest plus side to the usage of LSD is that you can apply it to almost any type of paper or card and no one would be the wiser, so you could actually walk right past a police oficer with it in your hand"

"Compared to some of the other synthetic chemicals that are finding their ways onto the street LSD is quite easy to create, the hardest part is getting iso-lysergic diethylamide, once you have that its a small sip and a jump to LSD."
The story about drug arrests at the Big Day Out, which drew those comments, was notable also for this brilliant piece of boneheading :

Grumpy old Boltoids propose some solutions to deal with those whose drug of choice is not alcohol or prescription pharmaceuticals :
"We used to shoot feral dogs when they attack sheep, bit harsh I know but what is the difference between them and drug crazed idiots."

"....these “feral dogs"poisoning themselves with drugs all have a vote. Some things are grossly unfair. Those living long term off welfare or have never worked and contributed to the nation should be barred from the ballot box."
Shoot drug users and strip the unemployed off their right to vote.

Yeah. Get off my lawn.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

No wonder those with so much 'free time' to bombard blogs with hundreds of pro-war comments a week hate President Obama so much. He's got a very, very big mouth :
"The Government Accountability Office, the GAO, has looked into 96 major defense projects from the last year, and found cost overruns that totaled $296 billion....indefensible, no-bid contracts that cost taxpayers billions and make contractors rich; special interests and their exotic projects that are years behind schedule and billions over budget; entrenched lobbyists pushing weapons that even our military says it doesn't want and doesn't need -- the impulse in Washington to win political points back home by building things that we don't need at costs we can't afford. This waste would be unacceptable at any time, but at a time when we're fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, it's inexcusable. It's unconscionable. It's an affront to the American people and to our troops, and it has to stop.

" longer will we be spending nearly $2 billion to buy more F-22 fighter jets that the Pentagon says they don't need. This bill also terminates troubled and massively over budget programs such as the Future Combat Systems, the Airborne Lasers, the Combat Search and Rescue helicopter, and a new presidential helicopter that costs nearly as much as Air Force One. I won't be flying on that."
We'll see how long Obama's desire to hack into wasteful but very profitable defence spending lasts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

China, Arab States Plan To Grow Food In Australia

Countries running out of water for their farmlands are now looking to buy vast farming properties in Australia to secure their food supply.

From ABC Tasmania :
Greg Mason from Queensland Department of Primary Industries....recently hosted a group of Chinese investors who were interested in seeing farms similar to theirs in terms of climate and crops.

A property adviser who works with an Arab state says his client is interested in buying farms in other countries that are culturally compatible; however Australia is in their sights.

The client wants to spend over one billion dollars on properties to grow grain, fruit, vegetables and live sheep.

...his client prefers to own and grow the food rather than contract Australian growers because it wants control over the food supply.
Read The Full Story Here

Reuters has a follow-up :
China has been buying Australian resource assets to secure supplies to fuel growth in the world's fastest growing major economy, and is now showing interest in agricultural and food companies.
Stories I've Been Reading Instead Of Writing Blog Posts Here :

Rudd's Nephew Throws On A KKK Hood To Protest Federal Government's Support For "Genocidal Regimes"

Martin Amis On The 'Silver Tsunami' : "I Can Imagine A Sort Of Civil War Between The Old And The Young In 10 Or 15 Years' Time."
Guardian Editor Says There Are Already New Media Start-Ups That "Begin Each Day With A Prayer Session For All National Newspapers To Follow Rupert Murdoch Behind A Pay Wall. That's Their Business Model."

The War On Iraq Was Illegal And "An Act Of Mass Murder' , Arrest Tony Blair For War Crimes

Whoever Was Assigned To Infiltrate 'The Tea Partiers' And Undermine Their Movement From Within Is Doing A Heckuva Job

Old Media Prays New Apple Player Will Deliver Rivers Of App Gold

I Think New Scientist Is Trying To Say That Non-GM "Bush Bud" Cannabis, Grown Under The Sun And The Moon, Is Still The Best, And Safest

Oliver Stone : Hitler Was "Enabled By Wester Bankers", Says Theory That JFK Was Killed By Oswald Alone Is "A National Fairy Tale"

Obama Vs The Birthers : "From Where I Am In Canada I Do Not Understand The USA. You People Seem To Be Doing Everything Possible To Undermine Your Own Country."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You must read all of this. I insist.

John Birmingham :
....if Australia Day is about anything other than pinching a whole continent off the black fellas, it has to be about making up for that original dispossession by creating a place where people are free to do as they damn well please, even if that means not buying into a bunch of increasingly commercial nationalistic bullshit.
It used to be patriotic, downright Australian in fact, to not give a shit about Australia Day.
Happy Orstrahyuh Day :

It's a few years old, obviously.

(h/t - @JohnSurname)

Or if you prefer your potential new national anthems slightly less ranty - One movement, One instant, One difference, One lifetime, One understanding, One Country :

How the rest of the world used to see Australia in the 1970s :

Most of those cliches are dead and buried, and we're a better country for it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Disguised As A Terrorist

If you've never heard of British satirist Chris Morris, you soon will.

The first clip from his forthcoming bungling jihadist comedy Four Lions :

Chris Morris On 9/11

Cyclone Olga barrels towards Port Douglas and Cooktown :

Saturday, January 23, 2010

If It ODs, It Leads

A Big Day Out news event :
A 27-year-old man is in a critical condition from a suspected drug overdose at the Big Day Out in Sydney.
The more interesting story would be the near total lack of violence across two days, in extreme heat, amongst 100,000 people, mostly youth. Or that there were so few drug casualties considering thousands, if not tens of thousands, gobbled down and gorged on their drugs of choice before they reached the police check points.
In the comments of this collection of Library Porn, someone complains that the State Library of Victoria was not included. Good call. It's a beautiful building.

The Shakespeare window from State Library of Victoria's stained glass collection :

Cat Plunges Nation Into Debt

Yes, the illustrations for Kevin Rudd's first children's book look innocent enough....

But while Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is fussing over his cat, outside two children are waving frantically to stop an ice-cream van, or perhaps a debt truck, from running them down :

Does Rudd notice? No he does not.

The book is not about those children, it's about Rudd's cat and dog's secret life as pro-Union Jack flag rescuers :
The Prime Minister's trusty four-footed patriot friends, of course, save the day. ''Quick Abby!'' said Jasper. ''You nab Chewy and I'll save the flag.''
In a curious piece of politically pointed satire, Senator Barnaby Joyce writes his own dialogue for Rudd's dog and cat :
Jasper – Well Abby, if we have to plan for our future we have to build on what provides for us cats now. For instance where do we cats catch mice, rats, frogs and other cat food? Where do us cats hang out and get down and dirty with other cats?
Abby – Generally derelict buildings!
Jasper – Spot on Abby! So I have been building a whole new portfolio of future useless buildings, some buildings that aren’t even needed today, so our kittens will never be short of food again. I have put them in schoolyards so they can fill up with scraps of food and old mats and furniture – and mice!
Abby – You crazy cat, you really are revolutionary. Your kittens will be so fat.
You sort of get where Senator Barnaby Joyce is coming from, and then think '.....What in all fuck? This is the shadow finance minister!' :
Jasper – I am a pretty major cat, Abby. You should see my plane and have a gander at my passport. I hang out with all the major talent and will fly anywhere in the world to do it and for absolutely any reason. No party is complete without me. You should pass by my alley and have a look at the photos.
Abby – But how did you pay for all this you crazy cat?
Jasper – Simple! Just borrow the money. I have borrowed more money than any other cat in the history of this alley, and I have made sure that we have stimulated the growth of the local tip with the purchase of a whole range of crazy cat consumables such as flat screens and toys and other electronics so if the school halls burn down we can head back to the tip.
Abby – You revolutionary cat! By the way what is the debt on the poor suckers account?
Jasper – About $120 billion and rising fast, but this cat is not the one paying for that. There’s no easier, more guilt free way to spend money, than by spending some other cats money on other cats!
Always blame the cat.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"We Asked Ourselves For A Comment But We Refused"

From Twitter :

The ABC contacted the ABC for a comment, but the ABC refused to play ball! True story.

ABC News decided not to reveal the Triple J Hottest 100 Winner (a dance remix of the 7.30 Report theme song) in this story, and links to Crikey instead to reveal all.

A controversy has erupted in New Zealand over the publication of photos showing a Victoria Cross awarded SAS corporal walking from a building in Kabul, shortly after a gun battle that killed three insurgents and wounded 70 others.

The horror those eyes have seen.

Do Our Drug Only

So that's why they have so many drug dogs and cops and security guards frisking people upon entry to the Big Day Out, to make sure you only consume the sponsored drug of choice :
Health experts have called for the Big Day Out music festival to drop its sponsorship deals with major alcohol companies or lift the admission age from 15 to 18.
You gotta hook 'em when they're young.

This website claims the below satellite image was saved from the Bureau of Meteorology site on January 16 :

An explanation from the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Met Office :
It would therefore seem to be due to what is referred to as "anomalous propagation"(false echoes) or even possibly dust in the atmosphere.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cue Murdoch Media Outrage

Oracle Tim Blair on ABC director Mark Scott's plans for a 24 hour TV news channel :

Won’t happen.

ABC News launches 24 hour TV news channel :

“No media organisation in the country is better equipped to deliver this channel than the national broadcaster,” said ABC Managing Director Mark Scott.

“We can draw on the investment already made in the ABC, through its major newsrooms in every state and territory, 12 international bureaux and 60 regional newsrooms, to deliver to Australians a top-quality 24-hour news service that is comprehensive, independent and up to the minute.”

New programs are also being developed specifically for the channel, focusing on world news, national politics and business. Many of the ABC’s existing television news and current affairs programs will also be featured.

The Australian ran this up the flagpole to see who would salute it, on January 16 :

THE ABC's plan to launch in the next few months a 24-hour national television news service amounts to a taxpayer-funded declaration of war on commercial media outlets in Australia.

Apparently there's something inherently bad in having a news channel that is not packed with intrusive advertising.

This will not be the ABC's first foray into 24 hour news programming :

The gag at 3.30 is the news reality that all 24 hour news channels have to deal with, as will the ABC.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bet He'd Get His Arse Kicked By Galaga, Too

Okay, enough with the "human rights for apes" movement. They want to be treated like humans? For starters, they can impress us by cracking 2000 on Pacman. You don't have to be able to understand the voiceover in the below vid to know this chimp got in a bit of practice, before they turned on the cameras. And he's still shit at it.

On a more serious note, this vid looks to be a few years old. That's not good news. This chimp has no doubt already mastered Tetris, dabbled in Starcraft and undetartaken raids in World Of Warcraft.

It must, then, be only a matter of time before monkey hackers manage to crack CIA drone control systems, and fly Predators back to our shores to free all their brothers from our many zoos.

If I had shares in a security business targetting monkey hackers, I would say the threat of cyber attacks on armed UAV networks by our hairier planet sharers is very, very real.

A beautiful photo of waterfalls on Uluru, submitted to ABC News by Sam Parker :

Thanks to plenty of recent rain, the Red Centre today is lush and green.

Within three years, all climbing on the Rock by tourists will be banned.
Not Enough White People Killed?

More than 50,000 dead in Haiti, hundreds of thousands injured, millions homeless, the "worst disaster the UN has ever faced", but Fairfax and Murdoch news readers have already moved on. Nothing related to Haiti, none of the incredible stories of survival, or the stunning reports from journalists who've found themselves in a literal hell of Earth, makes the most read stories lists.

Stories about a Moscow video billboard broadcasting porn, however, been extremely popular.

Murdoch's :

Fairfax (click to enlarge) :

And this from yesterday :

And to the side this story :

Those million orphaned girls in Haiti are apparently not as brave as an Australian girl in a yacht.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Cannabis : The Best Way NOT To Get Mixed Up With Heavy Drugs

Another War On Drugs myth destroyed, but don't expect it to drop out of common usage by most of the mainstream media anytime soon. Particularly those who rely heavily on pharmaceutical advertising dollars....which is most of them :

Get Off My Wave

For those who missed it, here's the full 'Surfers' Code' sign (based on the "tribal rules" of the "hardened locals") that's been installed on Manly Beach, because tourists on boards are a pain in the arse (when they're not keeping local businesses alive).

Hopefully that will help keep the locals from rioting and attacking ambulances, and shouting through drunken tears about how their grandfathers died in Europe during World War II trying to protect Manly Beach.

In other Manly news, the local council, like the Taliban, has now banned kite-flying on the beach.

But the anti-fun extremism of Bondi Beach is far more intense. All footie, frisbees, pets, smoking, drinking, collecting of shells and even volleyball have been banned.

Swimming, for now, is still acceptable.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Called 'The Local Angle'

The Sydney Morning Herald :

An actual news site reports on non-Australian fatalities :

Thousands Feared Dead In Devastating Haiti Quake


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Peter Jackson Considers ANZAC Movie For 100th Anniversary Of Gallipoli

Movie maker Peter Jackson (Lord Of The Rings, Lovely Bones) has a lot of movies to finish in the next few years. There's his producing and scriptwriting duties on The Hobbit Parts 1 & 2, and his directorial work on Tin Tin, for starters. But as the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli draws closer, Jackson finds himself thinking about his grandfather, who was there and won a distinguished service medal, and the numerous cinematically untold stories of Australians and New Zealand teenagers fighting together, on the other side of the world.

Here's Peter Jackson on The 7.30 Report :
"I went to Gallipoli in 1990 for the 75th anniversary. That was the amazing year where 50 diggers were taken along, 50 of the original diggers were there. And so, you know, watching the dawn parade with 50 of these old men - the youngest was 92, the oldest was 103 and they were all sitting in these chairs as light came up....

"As the sun rose or the sky started to get light...thee old guys...they weren't interested in the speeches, they were all turning round looking at the hills. And it was an amazing experience to see them all looking at this landscape that most of them hadn't seen since 1915, hadn't seen it for 75 years.

"And I was standing right beside them as they were all turning around and looking behind and up at the sphinx and all the ridges....

" me (Gallipoli has) been a remarkable part of our history. And Peter Weir obviously made a great movie, but Peter's movie was set around events of August 7th, August 8th, 1915. I mean, you know, the Gallipoli was a seven or eight-month-long campaign. And that story is yet to be told on film. So I'd like to do that."

You Can Watch The Interview With Peter Jackson Here

The following is rare footage restored by Peter Jackson of the ANZACS fighting at Gallipoli :

And if you're wondering what a Peter Jackson World War I movie might look like, here's the captivating trailer for a short film by Jackson and Neill Blomkamp called Crossing The Line. It was shot on March 30 and 31, 2009, as a test for the Red digital camera system.

And no, I have no idea where you can see the full version of that short movie. If you manage to find it online, please let me know.


Friday, January 08, 2010

They're Just Cartoons, They Can't Hurt You

A cartoon controversy in an Indian newspaper :

A cartoon controversy in a Danish newspaper :

A cartoon controversy in a Jordanian newspaper :

A cartoon controversy in an Indonesian newspaper :

A cartoon controversy in an Australian newspaper :

They're just cartoons.

The controversy is almost always contrived, made up, whipped up, by story-hungry news media.

I do, however, offer my sincere apologies to those who are offended, and sickened, by one particular cartoon above. Howard taking Downer from behind is a terrible thing to expose your readers to, even on a Saturday.

Clouds over Sydney, January 4, 2010 :

The closest cloud type I could match these to are Asperatus.

But I'll try and confirm it with the most harmless, most benign, society in existence. The Cloud Appreciation Society.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Whales To Show Appreciation For Being Saved From Japanese Harpoons With Ceremonial Mass Beaching

The Daily Telegraph's Tim Blair on the latest whale-related fundraising promotion by depopulationist Paul Watson :
The notion that the 491-ton Shonan Maru 2 – maximum speed 12 knots – could outmanoeuvre a 13-ton, 45-knot trimaran like the Ady Gil is insane, but the media seem to be buying it.
Note, Blair doesn't name 'the media' who seem to be "buying it".


From the Daily Telegraph online :

That's why.

This is standard operation procedure for Blair.

If the Sydney Morning Herald or the ABC promote someone like Sea Shithead's Paul Watson, who wants to see the world's population reduced to less than 1 billion people, then he and his droogies will go to town on the "leftist" Herald and gronk about privatising the ABC, but when his own newspaper leaps onto the latest eco-clickbait bandwagon, well, the Daily Telegraph becomes simply "the media".

Rare Australian Plant Has Been Cloning Itself For At Least 43,000 Years

There are believed to be only 500 examples of this native Tasmanian shrub, King's Lomatia (Lomatia tasmanica), growing in the wild south west of the island.

From Wikipedia :

The plant has shiny green leaves and bears pink flowers, but yields neither fruit nor seeds.

King's Lomatia is unusual because all of the remaining plants are genetically identical. Because it has three sets of chromosomes (a triploid) and is therefore sterile, reproduction occurs only vegetatively: when a branch falls, that branch grows new roots, establishing a new plant that is genetically identical to its parent.

Although all the plants are technically separate in that each has its own root system, they are collectively considered to be one of the oldest living plant clones. Each plant's life span is approximately 300 years, but the plant has been cloning itself for at least 43,600 years (possibly up to 135,000 years).


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Nobody Does A Movie Car Chase Like Australians

A whole load of proof below to back up that headline claim. And yeah, I've seen The French Connection, and Bullitt and the original Vanishing Point. They come close, but....

Metal Skin :

Running On Empty :

Mad Max :

Mad Max 2 :

Shaker Run :

Midnite Spares :

And, finally, two excellent chase sequences from 1980's The Chain Reaction. Though not credited, both car chases were directed in second unit by Mad Max 1, 2 & 3 director George Miller (as if you couldn't tell by looking at them) :

And without all those Australian car chases, you never would have got to see this piece of car chase art from Tarantino :

How long has it been since an Australian movie featured a car chase that comes within a fender kiss of any of the above? It feels like forever.

"Is This A Game.....Or Is This Real?"

The 'story trailer' for the Predator Vs Alien game Australian censors assessed, banned, endured a storm of controversy over, then reassessed before creating a new category, "strong science fiction violence", which then allowed them to pass the game for release with an MA15 rating :

Here's how the Australian Classification Review Board explained its decision :
In the Review Board's opinion the violence depicted in the game can be accommodated within the MA 15+ category as the violent scenes are not prolonged and are interspersed with longer non violent sequences. The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves.
Aliens Vs Predator is released on February 18.

Did you know koalas have been around for tens of millions of years, and that they're bigger now and more abundant than any other time in their history? Neither did I :
Scientists have gained a glimpse into how the koala, one of the nation's most loved creatures, may have acted tens of millions of years ago.

....perhaps the most important finding to come out of the research is that never in their history have koalas had a period when they were so abundant as they are now.

The fossil remains of the extinct koalas....were about a quarter to a third smaller than today's koalas....

....24 million years ago, koalas and their close relatives, wombats, had long diverged on their evolutionary tree. Koalas were already creatures living in the forest canopy and specialising in eating leaves.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the ancient koalas and the modern variety is that it is clear from the fossil jaws and teeth that whatever the extinct creatures were eating it was nowhere near as tough as the leaves from present day gum trees.

The dominance of eucalypts in Australian forests is a relatively new thing - the result of the drying of the continent following a succession of ice ages. Koala teeth reflect this rarity of eucalyptus in ancient Australian forests.

The Full Story Is Here

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Rudd's Totalitarianyrannical Grip On The Nation Even Extends To The Family Pet

7.30 Report, August 28, 2009 :
Q : So (PM Kevin Rudd) doesn't come home and kick the cat?

Therese Rein : Oh, no, he would never kick....

Q : use a well-known imagery.

Therese Rein : He would never kick Jasper or the dog or anyone at home. No. I don't see him do that.
No, Rudd has other ways of disciplining Jasper The Cat :

Looks like a combination nerve and throat hold.

Every cat owner knows the expression on Jasper's face. It's equal parts "Someone or something's about to get shreddded" and "Help Me!"

Free Jasper!

Meanwhile, Rudd exploits the cat and the dog, by turning their adventures around The Lodge into a children's book :
"...we've interviewed the cat and the dog. They have been very co-operative in their responses..."
Yes, I bet they were.

Eyes In Australian Skies

Surveillance drones very similar to the one in the below story have already been test-flown in the skies above Australian cities by the Australian Federal Police. All a journalist has to do is ask the AFP to officially deny it :

Surveillance drones were used, briefly, during the Victorian bushfires in February 2009, though there doesn't seem to be anything online about their effectiveness.

Rumours still float around the Defence Department that the Rudd government will be buying less Joint Strike Fighters so they can purchase some three dozen unmanned aerial combat vehicles (UACVs), which will fly fast enough to be used in missions with the JSFs.

In the 1980s, to have even suggested that by 2015 there would be 'Eye In The Sky' flying robots, and armed robots at that, cruising around Australian skies would have seen you labeled a loon, and a science fiction-addled paranoidian.

And yet, here they come.

There will be little outrage or fuss because UAVs, particularly in this age of Catatrosphic Bushfire Warnings, will likely prove extremely helpful, and life-saving, in spotting outbreaks of fire as soon as they begin, and essential in tracking the spread of those fires.

The future is here, and it makes a weird buzzing noise.

Monday, January 04, 2010

It's Time To Begin The Debate On A Big New Tax On Knee-High Socks

You'd think living somewhere nice and green with an open sky, fresh air, breeding beautiful alpacas might put you in a positive, optimistic mood about the future.

Not so, as alpaca breeder Gerard Oosterman reveals while detailing "My Dreams For 2010" :
A kind of BUG A UP campaign to install loathing towards those that continue, despite many warnings, to drive obscenely large fuel gulping hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxides, CO belching four wheel drive vehicles including SUVs, especially when those vehicles are black.

Spray cans will be distributed for the more sensible 1200cc electric/gas/diesel combo car owners to spray those ratbags car owners that defy all warnings. Those with spray on their fat cars will thus be stigmatised and shamed, and, furthermore, they will only be allowed to drive in slow lanes and by push power only.

To help combat obesity, closure of all food-courts at shopping malls, with the exception of coffee lounges with Portuguese cakes, Sushi bars and fruit juice bars. All tuck shop mothers to be trained in giving dietary guidance to school kids.

All McDonalds to be phased out, replaced by Finnish, Estonian or Balkan black bread with cottage cheese outlets. Those 'car stop' eating venues will be indicated by modest signage portraying a thin but healthy couple with smiling kids munching on black bread with rising sun and sheafs of golden brown Rye in the background. Meat pies still OK, but one per family; no sauce.

Of course, all this to be funded by steep increases in tax on all alcohol, cigarettes, petrol, knee-high socks and drivers of hum vees and enormous four wheelers.
You've got to have a troubled mind to want to deny working families a bit of sauce for their pies.

ABC's The Drum Unleashed also has "My Dreams For 2010" from Tony Abbott, Sophie Cunningham, Keysar Trad, Robert Manne, Julian Morrow, Jonathan Green and others here.


New Zealand philosophy professor, Denis Dutton :

Apocalyptic scenarios are a diversion from real problems — poverty, terrorism, broken financial systems — needing intelligent attention. Even something as down-to-earth as the swine-flu scare has seemed at moments to be less about testing our health care system and its emergency readiness than about the fate of a diseased civilization drowning in its own fluids. We wallow in the idea that one day everything might change in, as St. Paul put it, the “twinkling of an eye” — that a calamity might prove to be the longed-for transformation. But turning practical problems into cosmic cataclysms takes us further away from actual solutions.

This applies, in my view, to the towering seas, storms, droughts and mass extinctions of popular climate catastrophism. Such entertaining visions owe less to scientific climatology than to eschatology, and that familiar sense that modernity and its wasteful comforts are bringing us closer to a biblical day of judgment.
The Full Story Is Here

Then again, being blindly optimistic has its downside, as well :

A study published in the November-December issue of Australasian Science found that people in a negative mood are more critical of, and pay more attention to, their surroundings than happier people, who are more likely to believe anything they are told.

“Whereas positive mood seems to promote creativity, flexibility, cooperation and reliance on mental shortcuts, negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking, paying greater attention to the external world,” Joseph P. Forgas, a professor of social psychology at the University of New South Wales in Australia, wrote in the study.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

A UFO Encounter Of The Third Kind At Milne Bay

Rowan Callick digs up extraordinary letters from an Australian Anglican missionary, William Gill, detailing a spectacular UFO sighting at Milne Bay, in Papua New Guinea, back in 1959 (excerpts) :

"Last night we at Boianai experienced about four hours of UFO activity, and there is no doubt whatsoever that they are handled by beings of some kind. At times it was absolutely breathtaking.

"We watched figures appear on top - four of them - no doubt that they are human.

"Two smaller UFOs were seen at the same time, stationary. One above the hills west, another overhead.

"On the large one, two of the figures seemed to be doing something near the centre of the deck . . . were occasionally bending over and raising their arms as though adjusting or setting up something (not visible).

"One figure seemed to be standing looking down at us (a group of about a dozen). I stretched my arm above my head and waved. To our surprise the figure did the same."

"As dark was beginning to close in, I sent Eric Kodawara for a torch and directed a series of long dashes towards the UFO. After a minute or two of this, the UFO apparently acknowledged by making several wavering motions back and forth."

"...there was nothing eerie or other-worldly about any of this. It was all so ordinary, as ordinary as a Ford car.

"It looked a perfectly normal sort of object, an Earth-made object. I realised, of course, that some people might think of this as a flying saucer, but I took it to be some kind of hovercraft the Americans or even the Australians had built. The figures inside looked perfectly human."

There were almost 40 other witnesses, and the encounter lasted for hours.

Read The Full Story Here

The Australian and/or American military were obviously test-flying some very interesting new aircraft in PNG during the Cold War, piloted by crews bored enough by their tasks to want to do something to excite the locals, and willing to flash their lights in return to the blinking torch light coming from William Gill and his friends below.


Saturday, January 02, 2010

"I Don't See Why It Should Be Blasphemy....Just Saying Jehovah"

How sad. Ireland steps back into the dark ages :
From today, 1 January 2010, the new Irish blasphemy law becomes operational, and we begin our campaign to have it repealed. Blasphemy is now a crime punishable by a €25,000 fine. The new law defines blasphemy as publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion....
There's a list of 25 Blasphemous Quotes Here published by Atheist Ireland to commemorate the utter stupidity of the reviving of this old law, but it's always hard to go past this piece of brilliance :

As the number of true believers of all religious faiths continues to plummet, those who profit the most from organised religions will do everything they can to try and stop the criticism, and mockery, that is ultimately freeing people the world over from dangerous historical lies and fear-ruled absurd mythologies. The introduction, or reviving, of blasphemy laws are just one of the weapons they are utilising in their war against the loss of faith in Faith.

Note: I've used the Google Cache link for the 25 Blasphemous Quotes because the page has been inaccessible for hours.

Feel free to include your favourite blasphemous quote in comments.

Friday, January 01, 2010