Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Just 15 years ago, reading the following lines would have meant you were perusing science fiction, not anymore :
...criminals were using online virtual worlds to communicate and transfer funds around the world.

...federal and state police had deployed resources to investigate virtual world money laundering....

...there were "a variety of means of online communication that criminals can engage in and also a variety of methods of laundering funds and ... virtual worlds create opportunities for both of those for criminal groups".

"What identity do you have? A game tag? There are cases of people buying others' online gaming identities..."

Mr Dyson would not comment on whether NSW Police had infiltrated any criminal groups operating in virtual worlds other than to say that NSW Police had an "ongoing presence..."
The Full Story Is Here

Saturday, March 26, 2011

They're Just Giving Aid And Comfort To Global Warming

By Darryl Mason

If you're going to take on a sitting government with protests against that government's most high priority policy, you have to be prepared to cop a whole load of ugly shit from politicians, the media and opinionists. Think of the appalling abuse heaped upon the thousands of World War 2, Korea, Vietnam and Gulf War 1 veterans who joined hundreds of thousands of other Australians to protest the Howard government's War On Iraq in early 2003. They weren't just called extremists by politicians, they told by their own prime minister they were merely a "mob" and were "giving aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein."

And just like all those veterans, elderly people and young families who attended protests against the War On Iraq, the thousands of Australians who attended the No Carbon Tax Rally in Canberra earlier this week have now discovered what it's like to be uniformly smeared for the actions of the extremist few who also joined their protest.

Unlike 2003, however, there are now numerous ways for protesters to get their message out to wider Australia without having to rely on the mainstream media to speak truthfully of their motives :

The next big No Carbon Tax Rally will be held in Hyde Park, Sydney, on April 2.
Finally, someone explains the Labor and Liberals parties positions and policies on the greenhouse economy, carbon tax and carbon trading in a way that can be easily understood :

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One month on, a reminder of the devastation unleashed on Christchurch by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake on February 22, killing more than 230 people :

The above video, from the day of the quake, shows many of the buildings where hundreds were trapped, and where many died.

A detail from a larger image of Christchurch shortly after the February 22 quake struck :

Rebuilding continues.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Below, the Fukushima nuclear plant after the explosions. My Japanese isn't so good, but I'm pretty sure the words "That place is absolutely fucked!" are in there somewhere. Or should be :

'God' Versus Greens

By Darryl Mason

Cardinal George Pell and some of his lackey bishops aren't happy with The Greens. Now there's a surprise.

Maybe 'aren't happy' isn't an accurate enough description. More like, 'Terrified'.

And, curiously, for an institution that is supposed to avoid getting involved in political campaigning to retain their non-taxpaying status, the Catholic Church is now demanding what remains of Australia's Catholics, at least those who bother to listen to anything Pell has to say, not vote for The Greens in next week's NSW elections.

Leesha McKeeny and Anna Patty in the Sydney Morning Herald (excerpts) :
Catholic bishops have warned the faithful against voting for the Greens in the state election, saying their policies were of ''grave concern''.

A two-page document entitled The Green Agenda is being circulated by Catholic agencies and through schools. It states the party's human rights and social policy areas are in direct conflict ''with the beliefs and values of virtually all religious people, and the beliefs of many other people as well''.
The letter outlines eight areas of ''grave concern'', including the Greens' treatment of personal drug use as a health and social issue ''and therefore acceptable'', and its efforts to legalise gay marriage.
But of course, as is usual with Pell's Catholics, it's really all about money.

The Full Story Is Here

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Miranda Devine spellchecks Twitter because....oh, who knows why :
A quick Twitter survey found similar pet pronunciation peeves. "Knowen" instead of "known" was one. "Lyberry" instead of "library" was another, as was "aks" instead of "ask", although that, I think, is beyond the pale.
She gets paid for that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This is 'The Ring Of Fire' :

This is The Ring Of Fire lighting up with dozens of huge earthquakes, in just one week :

(click to enlarge)

The Ring Of Fire :
....sweeps in a horseshoe shape up through the Pacific Islands, Indonesia, The Philippines, Japan, across to Hawaii, then to California and down the long coast of Chile.

The clashing of tectonic plates around this ring produces valuable anomalous minerals, including gold. It throws up spectacular mountains...

The Ring of Fire also comprises the most unstable zone in the earth's crust, beneath which pressure constantly builds, causing volcanoes to erupt and earthquakes to roar.

About 90 per cent of the world's earthquakes occur around the ring.

More On The Ring Of Fire And Tectonics at This Dynamic Planet

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Millions Of Americans Will Not Be Killed By Nuclear Fallout In Two Weeks, It's Just A Fake Map

By @DarrylMason

Australian Radiation Services finds itself inadvertently caught up in a fast spreading online hoax, following the unnerving explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, after yesterday's 8.9 earthquake and 10 metre tsunami.

This is the hoax :

The authorative looking logo was stolen from here :

The Nuclear Fallout Map is fake simply because Australian Radiation Services don't issue such maps. It was likely chosen before ARS offices are closed until Monday, as they are most weekends.

This unsourced and likely dodgy chart (nausia?) is being heavily circulated, on social networking sites, forums and email, along with the fake Nuclear Fallout Map :
0-50 rads - No obvious short-term effects

80-120 rads - You have a 10% chance of vomiting and experiencing nausia for a few days

130 -170 rads - You have a 25% chance of vomiting and contracting other symptoms

180-220 rads - You have a 50% chance of vomiting and having other severe physical effects

270-330 rads - 20% chance of death in 6 weeks, or you will recover in a few months.

400-500 rads - 50% chance of death

550-750 rads - Nausia within a few hours ; no survivors

The fake map shows a huge nuclear fallout cloud of 750 rads engulfing millions of Americans by March 22. So, if you were a West Coast living American, the fake map and the above numbers might lead you to believe you and all your family and neighbours will be dying within 6 to 10 days.

But there are some interesting things happening on social networking sites and public online forums about that map.

First off, there are thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook shouting down claims this Nuclear Fallout Map is the real deal and pointing out exposure to 750 rads will not "cause nausia within a few hours; no survivors".

Also, discussion pages, linked in Google search to 'Nuclear Fallout Map, claiming the map is very, very real and The Truth Is Being Suppressed By The Media are disappearing or turning up blank. Google also appears to be jigging their search results so searches for the map will expose users to sites pointing out its utter fakeness.

But at the same time, at least a few dozen Twitter spam accounts (fake accounts pumping exact same tweet & link) are busily flogging the Nuclear Fallout Map, also claiming it's very, very real, and the truth is being suppressed, presumably aiming to spread panic in the United States. Most of these fake accounts only became active shortly after the fake Nuclear Fallout Map started circulating online.

It would seem that someone more powerful than a fukwit photoshopping hoaxer and his friends want the Nuclear Fallout Map to be viewed as a horrifying reality.

Who would want to do this? Who benefits?

Of course, attention and discussion focusing on the Nuclear Fallout Map hoax distracts many from the real truth about the Japan earthquakes, and particularly the quakes that seemed to be closing in on the Fukushima plant, and this real truth needs to be immediately revealed.

Here it is :

Al Gore used his earthquake machine to destroy the Fukushima plant and paranoid up the whole world about nuclear energy so everyone turns to alternative energy instead.

You know it, I know, but most importantly, Al Gore knows it. And now he knows you know!

Anyway, James Bond villianish conspiracy theories aside, the real truth about the March 11 Japan earthquake is this is turning out to be the worst, the most deadly, most devastating, in modern Japanese history.

Cities, towns, tens of thousands of people swept away. A disaster now of a scale beyond the imaginations even of Japanese disaster management specialists, the most earthquake paranoid people on the planet, who seem mostly stunned, broken, dazed, at press conferences. Who can blame them. The massive earthquake and horrifically devastating repeat tsunamis are beyond the worst scenarios ever workshopped or modeled, a surreal nightmare has become their reality.

The death toll may climb to over 30,000 within days, and top 100,000 within a few weeks.

At this moment, there are at least 1300 Australians visiting or living in Japan who are unaccounted for. This number is likely to fall as communications are restored.

Destruction So Vast, So Comprehensive, Your Brain Can Barely Register What You're Seeing As Reality

Recently On The Orstrahyun....

When Australia Had Elephants & Giraffe Camels, Apparently

Global Warming Is The New Hitler

Julian Assange : Nobody's Buying The Smears

Darryl Mason is the author of the free, online novel ED Day : Dead Sydney. You can read it here

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunamis Destroy Cities On Japan's Coast

(screengrab via ABCNews)

UPDATE : The first tsunami wave sweeping across Miyagi, Japan. Cities, towns & farmlands gone, cars full of fleeing people swallowed up, those running in the streets disappear in the debris. Hundreds died under this wave. Simply terrifying :


One of the most devastating earthquakes of recent times has hit Japan, a massive 8.9 magnitude. Tsunami waves are killing thousands, destroying entire cities along the coast.

Tsunami waves are now radiating out, and will travel halfway across the planet. No official warnings have.been issued, yet, for Australian coastlines :

To the right of the Miyagi coast in Japan is the massive undersea fault that tore apart earlier today.

A recent new arrival at Taronga Zoo :

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Songlist Of Mass Distraction

Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave US President Barack Obama an iPod full of Australian music. The full list is here, but before you go for a scan, know this : The Angels didn't make the cut, neither did Rose Tattoo, or the Radiators, no Nick Barker, no Saints, no Radio Birdman, no Choirboys, no Beasts Of Bourbon, no Screaming Jets, no Cosmic Psychos, no Baby Animals, no Scientists, no Tumbleweed. Outrageous!

But what will Michelle Obama think when she scans through the song titles on her husband's new iPod?
'To Sir With Love'

'Your Love Is Like A Song'

'I've Got You On My Mind'

'Reconsider Me'

'Fall At Your Feet'

'Confide In Me'

'Throw Your Arms Around Me'

'Need U Tonight'

'Into My Arms'

'When You Come'

'Wash Me Clean'

'Never Tear Us Apart'
Or maybe the iPod list is a new way for world leaders to send coded messages to each other?

I've pieced together the following message from Gillard to Obama, using only song titles on Obama's new iPod :
We're Not Finished, Just Yet, but Little By Little, Now We're Getting Somewhere, we're Heading In The Right Direction.

These Days we wonder Which Way To Go, Tomorrow? To The Moon And Back? Will it be All Torn Down In The Midnight Hour?

On Days Like These When The River Runs Dry, we need a Big Jet Plane and A Bullet And A Target. A New Sensation. The Holy Grail.

It's a One Way Road, it's The Hard Road, to Better People in the Streets Of Your Town and The World Where You Live.

Remember, From Little Things Big Things Grow.
As Australia and the United States move into an even closer military relationship now China rises as the true world power of the 21st century, what exactly is Julia Gillard trying to say to Barack Obama?

What does it all mean?

It means I just wasted another 20 minutes.

Professional idiot Andrew Bolt sees this photo of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama having fun in the West Wing...

and smells some kind of conspiracy! Or at the minimum, something suspiciously amiss :
Bolt : What an incredible coincidence, that a photographer was there to witness Julia Gillard kick a footy in the White House with Barack Obama.
Yes, what an incredible coincidence that the official White House photographer Pete Souza happened to be doing his job at the same time the leader of one of the United States' closest allies paid a visit to the White House.

Here's another Souza photo from the official White House photos & video site. It was so hard to find it was the first photo I saw when I visited the page :

Fact-checking, like spell-checking, has never been a priority for Bolt in his rush to get out his latest conspiracy soaked rantings, or yet another frothing demand for whoever happens to be prime minister to quit.

Interesting, though, that in all his daily blatherings about a carbon tax, Bolt doesn't mention that he works in a 'carbon neutral' News Limited workplace, and never discusses how much money his boss Rupert Murdoch is likely to save when carbon tax & trading for Australian businesses become a reality.

As ex-Australian citizen Murdoch's newspaper circulations plummet across the country and his dreams to get people to pay money to read his digital news sites fall apart, the tax benefits of running a carbon neutral corporation in a carbon currency economy will help pay all kinds of bills and keep wealthy non-stop whiners and intolerance spreaders like Bolt in paid employment.

But despite the hypocrisy, and deception, Bolt will keep railing against a carbon tax, knowing all the while that even if the Liberals were in federal power they, too, would be bringing one in, because that's what his readers want, and he has to keep those readers well pleased, and coming back, because Rupert still wants News Limited bloggers like him to convince their readers to hand over cash for iPad & iPhone apps instead of reading for free.

Good luck with that.

Monday, March 07, 2011

A newly scanned French map of the world from 1546 by Pierre Desceliers includes, curiously, part of Australia :

Desceliers got the outline of the Northern Territory of Australia down in surprising accuracy for the 16th century, particularly when you consider the first official recorded "glimpse" of the west coast of Australia by a European explorer didn't happen until 1606.

Detail :

Desceliers also included Australia on a far more detailed map four years later, in 1550, where he, well let's face it, he went a bit nuts. Or at least, his flight into cartographical fiction was encouraged. Hell, who knows, maybe he was just having fun :

Some of the detail of this map is too good not be given prominence. A selection of screengrabs from the above map follows.

The now rarely seen Australian giraffe camel :

A human sacrifice? Note the figure hanging/suspended from the tree :

Yes, Desceliers even included elephants as Australian land beasts :

Beautiful art, at the very least.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Robert Manne has a lengthy essay in the March edition of The Monthly on how Wikileaks evolved from the Julian Assange's association with the first famous public act of hacktivisim in 1989 and the 1990s cypherpunks, a hackers information-sharing revolution that fought US government oppression of cryptography technology. The essay also goes into detail on the political philosophies of Julian Assange, which can be best summed up, in Manne's words, as "anti-establishment but genuinely beyond Left and Right."

Assange is often accused of being secretive himself, or vague at best, about what he is trying to achieve by leaking the secrets of both illegitimate and legitimate governments. But Assange has already revealed all on why's he doing this.

The Manne essay includes many excellent quotes from Julian Assange's past essays, interviews and emails, that tell you more about what Assange is trying to achieve with Wikileaks, the revolution he has mounted, his war against the war industry, his repeated calls for an uprising against government secrecy deceit, than ten thousand articles written about him by journalists who are more interested in the sex scandal angle and who've never bothered to go back to see what Assange himself has had to say; the ultimate, world-changing, mission he has so clearly spelled out over the past four years.

Julian Assange :
"The more secretive or unjust an organisation is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in the leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimisation of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive 'secrecy tax') and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold on to power as the environment demands adaptation.

"Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance."

"Mankind has successfully adapted changes as monumental as electricity and the engine. It can also adapt to a world where state-sponsored violence against the communications of consenting adults is not only unlawful but physically impossible. As knowledge flows across nations it is time to sum the great freedoms of every nation and not subtract them. It is time for the world as an international collective of communicating peoples to arise and say 'here I am'."
It's not really that complicated. And it's already proving to be an enormously effective way of fermenting & inspiring great change in the world.

But Assange's mission, as outlined in his statements above, has clearly only just begun.

Look at what has already resulted from the release of just over 2% of the CableGate documents. Three months ago, most of the Middle East was regarded by "experts" as moderately stable. There has been a revolution almost every fortnight since, and dictators and self-appointed royal leaders have already fallen from power, or about to lose power, due to mostly non-violent acts of public dissent and street-clogging demands for democracy, freedom and reform.

If Assange makes the US embassies cables available at the current rate of release, it will take until 2017 before all they're all out there.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Aftershocks are still jarring what's left of Christchurch and after reading the papers & watching the evening news, many who stayed on were jarred further by a widely publicised prediction that another huge earthquake will hit the fractured city on March 20 :
Mr Ring, who lives in Auckland, uses the moon, sun and tidal activity for the basis of his theories, which have been dismissed by scientists.

His warning is clear.

"If I lived in Christchurch, I'd get out for a few days over that time, go camping, visit friends, just get out and keep safe," he said.

"And if you don't live there, stay away."

Mr Ring claims he got it right last time :

On Valentine's Day, he issued a tweet stating that conditions were "potent" for a quake in Christchurch between February 15 and 25.

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck on February 22, killing as many as 240 people.

Eerily, he warned people to watch for "special signs", such as silent birds or scared pets, and said "stay away from old cracked buildings".
The day when scientists can accurately predict the eruption of an earthquake below a city will be one of the pinnacles of our understanding of this planet's thin, unstable skin that we base our entire existence upon.

But you do have to wonder, if it was known, say, 10 hours before it hit that a magnitude 7 quake was going to rip apart Los Angeles or Sydney, would a city wide evacuation even be attempted? Could authorities cope with the evacuation of millions of people in half a day?

Will we see a day when city evacuations are rehearsed in anticipation of earthquakes scientifically, accurately, predicted to hit within the next year or two?

For tens of thousands still trying to live in Christchurch, life after February 22 quake has gone back to the 18th century. There is no electricity, water is fetched and carted home, toilets are backyard holes or a long walk to a communal commode.

From the New Zealand Herald :

Blogger Peter Hyde, who lives in the south-east of Christchurch, said he was living in "refugee city".

It was populated by 50,000 to 100,000 people who have been living on broken streets with little access to power, water, gas and other services, he said.

"Their houses may or may not be intact. Their streets may be clear, broken, or full of silt. Or sewage. There are no showers. Or ways to wash clothes. Or to wash dishes. Or to heat the "must boil" water that is available - assuming they can make it to the nearest water truck, day after day. No refrigeration. No working toilets, and precious few portaloos. No face masks to defend against the blown silt.

"They have no internet either, and usually no phones. And their radio batteries are dead or dying."