a brief(-ish) post now that i'm back in town... flew back in on the last flight last night.

sydney was fantastic. had a great time.

day one

flew down, eventually, despite the first plane being grounded and our flight being 1.5hrs late. collected from airport by wonderful host; set up in spare room and then coordinated dinner/gig with the ever-sexy Rocksluts. sadly i was unwell and unable to enjoy dinner at Betty's Soup Kitchen, but the company was wonderful :) then on to gig... Covenant rocked our socks, boots and pants off. the trip was worth every cent right there.

day two

morning was an attempt at recovery - we were exhausted before we even left so didn't try to fight a sleep in. spent a highly enjoyable afternoon doing nothing more than wandering around the harbour taking photos; i think it'd take me a very long time to take that place for granted.

day three

Taronga Zoo was great. i thought it was an odd idea when first suggested, but having been there i thoroughly recommend a visit. you'll need at least half a day though. I SAW MEERKATS! ..and bought out the gift shop's supply of meerkat soft toys (only two, but still). ferry across harbour. Museum of Contemporary Art was good, although we had to rush a bit and were a bit tired to properly soak it up. the MCA shop has a great range of odd stuff - picked up a set of "invisible cards" (you can see through them, but can't see the actual markings - basically just a nice bit of funky design). ferry back across harbour... i loved travelling by ferry. in fact all of sydney's public transport was good (we did ferry, train and bus while we were there). i now think brisbane's public transport sucks even harder, which i didn't think was possible.

day four

shopping expedition. we got through the Pitt Street Mall, then along Oxford Street almost to Paddington before our feet gave out and we ran out of time. as always happens when travelling, we were asked for directions to the place we were trying to find :) credit card a little sore but we both have new coats and groovy shirts. i have a leather coat; 25% off the marked price which was already 50% off... hooray for closing-for-renovation sales. staggered back in time for dinner, photos of everyone and drive to airport. basically walked straight onto plane and were in the air a few minutes later. a little bumpy and the inflight music didn't work properly for the second time...hrrmph... but heard one of my all-time favourite Bill Cosby comedy routines so all good. ransomed car out of long-term parking and headed home.


can't wait to do it all again, although it'll have to wait until we've made peace with our credit cards :)

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news bits


The club vortex lj floated through my lj friends list tonight; with some now-deleted posts. Seems some punters in Sydney have been bitching their little hearts out over the $45 cost for Covenant tickets; and the fact that the promoters have been promoting the gig a touch too stridently (actually that's probably true to some extent).

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw a comment that $45 was "exhorbitant". What can I say but get a fucking grip you whingeing fools and cry me a fucking river while you're at it. $45 for a band like Covenant is nothing. Besides that, if anyone complains to me about the door charge I'll probably be arrested for trying ram my Virgin Blue ticket stub up their nose. The ticket will - literally - cost me less than airport parking.

Even worse is the naive attitude that it wouldn't matter if turnout for Covenant was low. Bullshit! If Covenant come out here and the gigs are dead; it'll be that much harder to get similar acts to come here. They do research these things, kiddies.

Bah. Some people don't appreciate what they have. At least now I know that goth punter attitudes on Sydney's scene can be just as fucking lame as Brisbane's scene. Sad really.

news bits

for those who missed it

The Washington Monthly - 2004.04.15 / - THE PRESIDENT'S BRAIN IS MISSING... gives a transcript of Dubya's recent press conference failure. No matter what else was said; this shows the guy just isn't smart enough to run America. He's coached by others and it's painfully clear when he gets a question he hasn't been taught to answer:

For 17-minutes all went smoothly as the president delivered a prepared statement about Iraq in only his third solo appearance before reporters at the White House.

Then came the bombshell. He was asked to name his biggest mistake since September 11.

'I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it,' Mr Bush appeared to joke, before taking a long pause.

'Er, I'm sure historians will look back and say, 'Gosh, he could have done it better this way, or that way'. I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer.. but it hadn't yet.'


Next came his most jaw-dropping reply: 'I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't. You just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.'

It's not quite as stunning when you don't see the actual video. But it should still give an idea why even the most jaded Bush-basher found this one amazing. Plus, the look on Condoleezza Rice's (sp?) face was priceless.

I never thought I'd take as active an interest in an American presidential campaign as I will over the coming months. Never before have I felt like I or my country had any serious stake in the outcome. With Bush it's different. This fucker saddled the world up for war, coz hell that's what Daddy did and I want a crack at the sumbitch that shot at him. Probably not the exact words ;)

Before Bush we had a guy whose biggest fuckup/scandal basically amounted to bonking an intern. BRING BACK THE INTERN BONKER. At least Clinton could string a sentence together.

kmfdmaybe | Kapt'n's Korner: A European tour is once again being attempted, so far we have gigs confirmed in Russia, Germany and in the UK while Holland, Belgium and France are still in the works. Australia, Japan as well as (hopefully) South America are bracing themselves for a possible onslaught in the form of the KMFDM WWIII WorldTour 2004. Dates will follow shortly...

I'll get excited if those "possibly"s and "maybe"s turn into definites.

(spotted via lj somehwere; angie78 i think)

news bits

  • Europe rejects 'bin Laden' truce tape. 15/04/2004. ABC News Online: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw dismissed the tape as an attempt to divide the international community that will not succeed. ... Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said discussing a peace deal with bin Laden was 'unthinkable'. ... Spain's incoming Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said the message, which justified the March 11 attacks in Madrid, should be ignored. ... European Commission President Romano Prodi said there was no way European nations would accept the truce offer.
  • Richard Alston could chair Telstra: PM - National - Former communications minister Richard Alston could be considered as a candidate for the job of Telstra's new chairman, Prime Minister John Howard said today. Oh, for FUCK's sake.
  • Govt stands by decision to abolish ATSIC. 16/04/2004. ABC News Online. Having two separate systems encourages a segregation mentality; alienating Aboriginal people from the rest of Australian society. Many Aboriginal leaders are being quoted right now as saying Aboriginal people have "lost their voice" - which to look at it another way shows a firm belief that they cannot succeed on their own in Australian politics. What message does this send to young Aboriginals? "We can't succeed if we are not treated as a special case"? It's a similar mode of thinking that has plagued feminism - backhanded affirmation of ability/worth, which ultimately work against the original goal. The question is whether Aboriginal communities can be adequately served by mainstream providers. Keep in mind here that many mainstream providers don't do a great job of serving everyone else (eg. Centrelink is a gigantic fuckup for everyone unlucky enough to need it); so it'll be easy to claim that they specifically fail Aboriginal people. I'm hoping this doesn't descend into finger-pointing and emotional arguments; instead of practical and realistic work towards outcomes for Aboriginal people.
  • Web inventor wins major new technology prize - World - The inventor of the worldwide web, Tim Berners-Lee of Britain, was awarded the first Millennium Technology Prize worth one million euro ($A1.63 million), the jury said.
  • Netsky-V: computer virus gets nastier - World - Most viruses rely on the user double-clicking on an attachment sent with an e-mail to infect the computer. But a new virus, called Netsky-V, is rare in that it starts to infect the computer after the user clicks on the subject line of the e-mail just once. ... Vincent Weafer, LA-based Senior Director of Security Response with IT group Symantec, said that the virus can be easily prevented by downloading the latest Microsoft security patch.
  • | Harry Potter the 'new Prozac' (April 16, 2004): A paper on the popular book character, Harry Potter: The New Prozac, says Harry Potter helps counsel young readers about depression and anxiety.

news bits

  • Howard axes ATSIC. 15/04/2004. ABC News Online: Prime Minister John Howard says federal Cabinet agreed to axe ATSIC after a submission from Aboriginal Affairs Minister Amanda Vanstone today. 'We believe very strongly that the experiment in separate representation, elected representation for Indigenous people has been a failure,' Mr Howard said. I'm not sure if this is an out-of-left-field attempt to gain favour leading up to an election; or a case of "what the hell, I'm going to lose anyway" type of action. Because surely it can't be a non-political action. / PM pulls plug on ATSIC - National - What the government is concerned about is delivering better services to indigenous Australians, giving them a better chance to share in our prosperity, which the current arrangements simply have not done. [said Sen. Vanstone]
  • 'Bin Laden tape' offers peace with Europe but not US - SpecialsGlobalTerrorism - / | 'Bin Laden' offers Europe a truce (April 15, 2004)
  • I couldn't find much on this... but did everyone catch the press conference with Dubya; aired here last night? Dubya's response to the question "What has been your worst mistake, and what did you learn from it?" was just pathetic. The President of the US should not be so completely unable to answer such a basic job interview style question. The President certainly shouldn't resort to asking for sympathy for being under pressure to produce an answer - it's a press conference, that's what they are for. Americans... please... make sure you vote that fuckwit out of office. (Update: here's a mention of it - Bush Makes Three Mistakes While Trying to Cite One)
  • ABC Sport - Rugby League - Broncos to appeal points decision. Let's face it, the NRL isn't going to back down - they'd rather strip points off the Broncos than wear any suggestion that the officials may have made a mistake in the way the situation was handled. Frankly the players should be up in arms that a concussion no longer rates a pause long enough to get the injured player off the field. Not to mention the fact that Tigers were allowed to play with one additional player as a direct result of their illegal tackle - this entire situation is based on a high tackle against a Broncos player. ARGH. Ahh well. I guess the Broncos will have to pray they don't miss out on the finals by two points.
  • Mobile phone goes off with a bang. 14/04/2004. ABC News Online. Ringtones don't seem so annoying now, in the face of exploding phones.

zeldman "sharing the mac experience"

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Daily Report | The Great Panther Disaster of 2004

On a Windows machine, you can push a button to eject a disk and then insert a different disk. Not on a Mac.

On a Mac, there is no button. You eject a disk via the operating system. Which assumes that you have a bootable operating system. Which I didn't.


Reader Chris Miller says, There is a way to force eject a CD on a Mac: Hold down the mouse button as the computer starts up.

In over ten years of daily Mac use I somehow never came across that tip. And it sure is not intuitive, especially for a platform that prides itself on user-friendliness. Is a discreet Eject button too much to ask?

Apparently Mac has killed Jeffrey's inner child ;) [Go watch the movie, ok?]

I'd like to point out that this story describes my every dealing with a Mac. People who claim Macs are "intuitive" need a subtle attitude readjustment... something like having an iMac rammed up their arse, while being flogged with the stupid round iPuck mouse. PCs at least have an On/Off button; and having been unable to get a Mac to turn the hell off on a few occasions I know how annoying that is.

Read The Fucking Manual you say? I have tried reading Mac help files; only to discover they refer to control panels without telling you where the hell to find them. They assume you already know what you're doing, despite the fact that you've opened the HELP file which would suggest that you don't know how to do something. Buy a book you say? As if I'd have that kind of money left if I'd actually bought the bloody Mac ;) Seriously, I didn't have a Mac book and I wasn't about to run out and buy one.

Now, PCs are afflicted with just about every problem that you'll get on a Mac; and vice versa. I do not claim that PCs are perfect, nor do I claim they are intuitive, nor do I claim they are morally superior, nor do I think my computer wuvs me. If a problem occurs on my PC I do not immediately launch into a self-righteous rage against the world (I rage at the Scourge of Redmond). This is how you know I'm not a Mac user. I am willing to admit my computer has faults :)

My point, in case it's not abundantly clear, is that PC vs. Mac is a lot like Pepsi vs. Coke. It's 90% emotion and 10% fact; and the best thing you can do is admit that neither one is intrinsically better than the other (before you start, PC video cards caught up years ago, so shut up); although Mac is sure as hell a lot more expensive, both to buy and run (eg. Mac repairs - you pick it up by the integrated handle and carry it to the overpriced Mac techies, who will guilt trip you for not reading poetry to it in the evenings).

Neither one is better than the other. Neither one gives a perfect, crash-free, computing nirvana experience. So STOP TRYING TO TELL ME YOUR MAC NEVER CRASHES. OK? OK.

news bits

  • | PM rejects sweeping intel probe (April 14, 2004): PRIME Minister John Howard has again rejected calls for a royal commission into Australia's spy agencies despite serious concerns raised by the army's top ranked intelligence analyst. 'I don't think you set up royal commissions willy-nilly,' he said. I just wanted to quote the PM saying willy-nilly, really. Actually no, that's not true... this is classic Howard - flat refusal to investigate anything he doesn't want to look into (presumably he might not look so good). / Intel failures cannot be ignored: Latham. 14/04/2004. ABC News Online
  • | Judge rules girl can become boy (April 14, 2004): The Family Court has delivered a unique judgment allowing a 13-year-old girl who wants to be a boy to begin a sex-change process and amend the child's birth certificate. I'm surprised at the ruling purely because of the age of the child... I guess they've gone through extensive psychiatric evaluation; if the condition is genuine then I guess it's in their best interests.
  • | Mark Latham goes bling-bling (April 14, 2004): 'Youth of Australia, Labor's policy is bling-bling,' said Mr Latham. 'Bling-bling for everyone.' ...and we'll retain our cultural identity, yo, in da house. We won't be dissin' da U-S of Aaaaiiieee, boyeeeee, like any good Aussie (awwssee). So it'll be business as usual for Australia.
  • Mortimer quit Dogs after snub by board - League -, a classic "wander vaguely between unrelated topics" article; a style becoming increasingly popular it seems. For example, this one includes: NRL officials yesterday re-interviewed the interchange official involved in Brisbane's use of an illegal replacement against Wests Tigers three weeks ago, leaving the club in danger of being stripped of two competition points. 'We'll make a decision in the next day or two,' said [NRL chief executive] Gallop. ...which has absolutely nothing to do with the Bulldogs and should be a separate story.
  • Movie industry fights Internet DVD piracy. 14/04/2004. ABC News Online: The movie industry is set to take court action against people who sell pirated DVDs on the Internet. What's not clear from this article is the scale of the operations they are going after... if we're talking about high-volume, organised piracy then this is a great move. If they're talking about going after individuals who've hocked a few DVDs then they're still attacking the wrong level in the piracy food chain.
  • The Courier-Mail: Unrest and Mel resurrect Church passion [12apr04]: A potent combination of bloody unrest in Iraq and the bloodthirsty Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ was behind a huge jump in church attendances over the weekend, Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby said yesterday. I know I make all of my spiritual decisions based on overhyped Hollywood movies, don't you? Plus I can just see the long-term congregation members bitching about how all these newbies "aren't real fans".
  • BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Bond to return - as a schoolboy (in books, not movies).

boing boing

  • Boingboing is now doing the Technorati linkback thing. I'm undecided about how useful this technique is since a) a lot of people will link to the subject of the BB post, not the BB post itself; and b) surely the linkback thing plays merry hell with search engines. But... well, it's pretty cool. Although Technorati thinks this blog hasn't been updated in 71 days; even though Blogger is meant to ping whatever needs to be pinged.
  • MoCoLoco: War Bowl and Ivy Shelf

news bits

news bits

  • US defends mosque attack. 08/04/2004. ABC News Online / US targets insurgent held mosques - SpecialsWarOnIraq - A senior US army officer said today that Iraqi mosques will be targeted by his troops if they are used as fire bases or weapons storage depots. To put it another way; it's only a protected holy site when not in use as a bunker. US troops are pretty much forced to fire back - unless of course they simply lay down their weapons and allow themselves to be shot, because "hey! that's a mosque they're hiding in while they try to kill me - can't break the sanctity of a holy place!". Yes, if I was a solidier I would fire upon enemies who are attacking from inside a church or mosque. You would too. Save your moral outrage for something else.
  • | Security guards flee industry (April 8, 2004): THOUSANDS of security guards and bouncers are fleeing the industry - because they don't want to be exposed as criminals. There's an industry that should have been more careful in the first place.
  • Girl, 15, on child porn rap after posting sex pics online | The Register: A 15 year-old American girl has been charged with child pornography offences after posting pictures of herself online. That's just weird. How the legal aspects will be wrangled out, I just can't guess.
  • Who's beautiful now? - Entertainment - Film stars once again dominate Who's annual Most Beautiful People list. It's a pity that mags don't do "Most Interesting" people, instead of "Most Beautiful". They claim it's not solely about looks - if that's the case, don't say it's about looks. Simple.
  • Too nice Anu quits Popstars - TvRadio - In the end, Christine Anu was just too nice for reality. She resigned yesterday from the judging panel of Channel Seven's talent quest Popstars Live, unable to deliver the venom Channel Seven needs to save the show. Basically Channel Seven is desperately trying to recruit vicious arseholes, since they figure that will make their show popular. The reality (ha ha) is that there is a total glut of "reality" TV shows and they're failing miserably. They are stuck just like Channel Ten - letting their failures run to the end of the competition, rather than simply axing the shows and saving face (and money). It doesn't matter how they twiddle things around; only the very strongest reality shows are going to survive the next year. Which is pretty ironic really; the viewers are essentially voting out the shows they don't like. Maybe the channels should start allowing viewers to SMS their vote for which reality TV show to axe.
  • IOL : Conmen take victims on 'magic' money ride
  • Jewellery that puts a twinkle in your eye. 08/04/2004. ABC News Online: The latest fashion trend to hit the Netherlands is eyeball jewellery. Dutch eye surgeons have implanted tiny pieces of jewellery in the mucous membranes of the eyes of six women and one man.

news bits

  • Google's new e-mail slammed: Although Google's free "Gmail" service isn't even available yet, critics already are pressuring the popular search engine maker to drop its plans to electronically scan e-mail content so it can distribute relevant ads alongside incoming messages. this somehow better than MSN/Hotmail collecting personal information? I wonder if these same critics trust Microsoft to act ethically? I wonder if these same critics use Google search - which does the exact same thing and tracks it as well. Not to mention the fact that it's a free service - did people think Google would do it without generating revenue somehow? Is it somehow worse to have a script evaluate your email and return ads accordingly, than to have irrelevant ads plastered over your screen? Can you imagine how much it will cost advertisers whose ads are triggered by spam? >:) At the end of the day - we lost real privacy a long time ago; jumping up and down about an opt-in service like this is just ... well it's not even shutting the gate and the horse is not just gone, but probably died of old age.
  • Oliver burns meat and two veg: CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver has brought a whole new meaning to overdone meat and two veg, burning his "crown jewels" while cooking. I recall everyone making jokes about this when "Naked Chef" was first aired...
  • The big TV turn-off: The television networks have suspected all year that Australians were watching less TV. Now they know the truth: Australians aged 25 to 54 are switching to the DVD player
  • Rocket man ready for DIY space race: Intrepid Canadian computer designer-turned-astronaut Brian Feeney plans to strap into his red 4.88 metre Wildfire rocket later this year and soar to a height of 24,000 metres while strapped to the world's largest helium balloon. Once in position, he will fire his craft's twin engines, which guzzle a cocktail of kerosene and liquid oxygen and blast into stratospheric sub-orbit which is around 100 kilometres above earth. After a perilous five minute space flight, Mr Feeney then hopes to float back by parachute.

pesky character entities

You can never remember the character entity you need right now; or more likely you just don't know it, eg. someone wanted to know the Delta symbol earlier today (Δ = Δ as it happens). So, mainly so I can find it again quickly next time...

zeldman: can't we all just get along?

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Daily Report - If you're eating enough fruits and vegetables, you must not give a damn about protein

The assumption - which does not stand up to investigation - is that if you pay attention to one thing, you must be falling down on another. For instance, if you think about the people who use your site, you must be a bad designer. Or if you torture-test the backend, you probably don't even bother proofreading the text.


[I]t gets harder to build an effective team if the UI designer distrusts the graphic designer, who hates the writer, who can't stand the lead developer, who looks down his nose at the systems administrator, who's convinced that the information architect is a useless hack - and don't even ask what they all think of the client.

Basically, questioning why people think you won't do everything well if you do one particular thing well. To put it another way: you can have a beautiful design; standards-compliant and accessible markup; a robust back-end; useful content; and a rewarding user experience... all on the one project. You might even be able to have a happy client as well, although you might want to just shoot for the stuff that you can control.

the vagaries of modern life

Turns out the author of [Happy] - I Like To Watch is not actually dead (ha ha, joke, don't look at me like that); he just forgot to pay his hosting bills and then skipped the country. Or something like that, anyway.

But it goes to show that the net makes things a bit weird - you can follow someone's web postings enough that, should they suddenly stop, you notice it. After a while with no activity you start wondering what the hell happened; but most of the time you never find out. To the reader there is no difference between the author vanishing without trace and the author just feeling lazy and/or getting out of the house a bit more often.

Years ago, before anyone had heard the term "internet" (or worse "information superhighway"); we had BBSs (that's Bulletin Boards, for you young pups who think explorers Googled for undiscovered destinations). BBSs had discussion groups and an email system that (eventually) reached around the world. On one of these boards, the topic was discussed - what would happen if someone really died? Other users would only know if someone who knew the facts told them about it. Even then, would anyone believe it?

I distinctly remember people pointing out that the replies would be stuff like "ha ha, seriously where are they?", or as sq2 pointed out you'd probably get the succinct "heheheheh". It was the thought of the "heheheheh" response which has stuck with me.

Ultimately the people behind websites will stop updating them. They may lose interest, join a hippie commune with no computers, become unable to pay for hosting or - not to be morbid - they may pass away. So what's going to happen to these sites? Right now, they'll just fade into the digital umbra; become part of the lost data gulfstream and blow away.

news bits

  • Surgeon urges lower priority for smokers - SpecialsHealthScience - Smokers who do not quit should be refused elective surgery, argues a Sydney doctor who says post-operative infection rates are higher for smokers and that their treatment wastes healthcare resources. I think it would be a little more reasonable to argue that smokers who do not attempt to quit should be given lower priority; since quitting is a difficult thing to do and usually takes a few attempts. The issue is based on medical evidence about healing and infection rates; it's not because some doctor is pissed off at smokers.
  • Too much TV spells ADHD - SpecialsHealthScience - Every hour a toddler spends watching television each day could increase the risk of attention problems in later childhood, US research suggests. Imagine that... it's bad to let children spend hours on end tuned into half-hour resolutions interspersed with 30-second resolutions. Nothing on TV requires concentration for more than a few minutes; then it cuts to something else (ads, usually). The ABC is basically the only channel where you can watch something without interruption for an entire half hour or longer.
  • At last advertisers are moving online - BusinessNews - The online advertising market grew by more than 40 per cent last year, outstripping the broader ad industry and giving rise to claims that the medium has finally landed a permanent place on the advertiser's schedule. It's funny to hear it discussed like it's a good thing. I'd love to think this would mean advertisers would start doing research about what works and what simply pisses everyone off; but then I remember that didn't work for TV either. They figured out what pissed people off, but continued to do it anyway since that still puts their brand into people's minds... and a great deal of advertising is about &qot;top of mind" recall.
  • | Split will allow email checking (April 6, 2004): THE Government will split amendments to the Telecommunications (Interception) Act, holding off changes that could have blocked employers from monitoring staff email for viruses and offensive content. ... The AFP warned the amendments could throw corporate email monitoring into disarray, by prohibiting any person from reading email without an interception warrant. ...that'd be called Civil Liberties, people.
  • | Farmers slam fertiliser withdrawal (April 6, 2004): Fertilizer Industry Federation of Australia executive manager Nick Drew said a simple ban of one product would do little to address the issue of nitrogen-based fertilisers being used by terrorists. Ban everything! It's not like anyone actually needs fertilizer? Right? It's only terrorists! Better ban aircraft too!
  • | Entertainment | Ozzy dobs doc over drug supply (April 06, 2004): ROCKER Ozzy Osbourne filed a complaint with the state medical board, accusing a Beverly Hills doctor of over-prescribing addictive drugs to him. This was first mentioned a while ago; but now he's taken action. Meanwhile both his kids are in or have been through rehab...
  • Calgary Herald - Colleges forced to deal with overprotective parents: Most agree the new parent is an extension of a new breed of student, commonly referred to as the "millennia student." Born in 1980 or later and emerging from structured lives, these students rely on parental involvement and many don't mind if their mom or dad checks in. To put it another way; they are so completely spoonfed throughout primary and secondary school; they can't fend for themselves at the tertiary level. Students really have changed and they're falling on their arse at university, since they're expected to act like adults - but they haven't been eased into that concept.
  • SBS left reeling as film buffs give it the flick - TvRadio - Two of the highest profile stars on SBS TV, The Movie Show hosts Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, have quit the network for the ABC. This amuses me... "Screw you guys, we're gonna hit the big time - that's right, we're going to the (*fanfare*) A B C!"

because, well, why not


You are Neverwhere! You are dark, intriguing, and lenient. You might make people feel uncomfortable, either because you are intimidating or you dress differently possibly both. In reality you are a nice person, but people tend to make snap judgments about you and think they can push you around. You probably are idealistic and dream of a utopian society. The friends that you have are the kind that last forever and you are fun and easy-going when people bother to get to know you.

*~Which Neil Gaiman book are you?~*

a thing of beauty

Fellow rev-heads will know and love the Shelby (Mustang) GT 500 from Gone In 60 Seconds ("Eleanor", the last car he steals). Turns out they actually put one together for the hell of it... but it generated so much interest they figured plenty of people would want one; and a handful could even afford it :) Hence.... Carroll Shelby Brings Back A Mustang GT 500E. Yep, they actually have that exact car in "production". What that means is they get a good '67 fastback and rebuild it like Eleanor.

So, anyone got US$80,000 they can give me? :) Hell, a decent '67 fastback and some body kit would do - I'm not a purist, a replica/clone would suit me just fine.

Now, any Mustang purists out there, don't pop a valve. I fully appreciate that I've just seen a cool car in a movie and think it would be fun to drive one around. That must piss off serious Mustang enthusiasts. But you know, lighten up.

news bits

  • Sept 11 families awarded $US2.6b. 02/04/2004. ABC News Online: Families whose loved ones died or were injured in the September 11, 2001 attacks have been awarded over $US2.6 billion in Government compensation, a fund administrator said on Thursday.
  • Murali goes under the scope - Cricket - Muttiah Muralitharan bowled the five most important overs of his career last night in a bid to clear himself once and for all of the charge of being a chucker. High-speed footage of Murali bowling at the University of Western Australia's human movement department will be used to either clear him of chucking his doosra or reignite the debate over his standing in the game. I hope this sorts it out once and for all.
  • Simpsons actors on strike - TvRadio - The actors who provide the voices for the cartoon characters on the long-running television show The Simpsons have stopped work in an attempt to force a settlement of lengthy contract-renewal talks, Daily Variety reported.
  • | Girls have sex for HECS (April 2, 2004) - this is a rotten bit of journalism. The article states at least 40 struggling students worked in strip clubs, escort agencies and massage parlours; but it doesn't say how many students were surveyed. So, perhaps it's 40 out of 100; perhaps it's 40 out of 10,000. Since we don't know, the number means nothing - a percentage would have been useful. But then, perhaps a percentage would take the sting out of the research (and the story). Think of it this way: statistically, a certain number of people in the general community work in these industries; so if the survey results simply reflected that, then there's no sensational issue (or headline). The article also avoids stating how many survey respondents actually have sex in their jobs; despite using that as the headline. If you read carefully you find that three students have illegal jobs - but yet again you have no idea what proportion we're talking about. Given that this issue has been raised before; the point of running this story is that someone has done a survey to get some real numbers... but the story doesn't actually give that info.
  • Grumpy cat survives wild car-top ride. 02/04/2004. ABC News Online: A grumpy house cat was the toast of New Zealand traffic authorities after it survived a hairy ride through a city clinging to the roof of a car, with the driver unaware of the drama.
  • Google says "Gmail" is no joke, but lunar jobs are

fun with google

Regular readers (hahahahahha eeeh, funny, "regular readers", oooh it's priceless...) *ahem* anyway, regular readers may remember the spectacular fall from Google grace that happened after my humour page was no longer indexed on tripod. Unfortunately I didn't have the forsight to take a screenshot of those stats, but the trend was for 0-10 hits per day, average of 5 hits. Previously it was more like 70-100 hits/day.

Now to quickly recap what was going on with the site in question: it used to be hosted entirely on Tripod (free hosting), until it blew out over 1gig of traffic in a month (thereby shutting the site down). So, I shifted the content to the free space I get with my ISP (Comcen); and used a frameset to sort out some location/content issues - frameset on Tripod, content on Comcen. Somehow I forgot to put meta-data in the frameset. Comcen also has a frameset in case anyone hits that location.

A few weeks on from that....

Screenshot of traffic stats, showing sharp rise in traffic - peaking at around 80 hits per day. Links to live stats page.

Apparently Google has now found the Comcen-hosted humour site. I don't really get it. But hey, traffic is back up - people are laughing... it's all good :)

news bits and /. bits

Update: the Gmail release is being reported as a confirmed, serious press release:

MSNBC - Google to offer free e-mail with 1GB in storage: Google spokesman David Krane, reached Wednesday night, admitted that the "color and personality" of the press release -- which is dated "April 1 UTC" and includes phrases such as "millions of M&Ms later, Gmail was born" -- "was indeed in the spirit of April 1" but said that Gmail was a serious product.