April 16, 2006

Stupid Things

Phillip Island's iconic fairy penguins have been renamed "little penguins" in Queensland to avoid offending the gay community.”
Apparently no-one has ever complained about the “fairy” credentials of these penguins, least of all the gay community. No, Queensland’s Sea World has taken this preemptive initiative to rename animals because:

“…someone thought it could be seen as offensive so we decided to change it to little penguin instead.”

Isn’t it great to know that big business acts upon any old dumb thought that passes through “someone’s” tiny little mind? A very slow working mind too, since fairy penguins have been around for, oooh, a really, really long time, and the gay community has been out & about for quite a while too.

“…Queensland's gay community described it as ridiculous and unnecessary.

"If they were called poofter penguins or something more direct, it might be a problem. But I don't see the name fairy penguin as a mickey take.”

Poofter penguins? Catchy.

In Melbourne, the home of the fairy penguin, Eureka Tower nears it’s destiny as being the world’s tallest apartment building at over 300 metres. With construction almost complete, a proposal has been mooted to add a sweeping bridge structure to the top of the tower – imagine a half circle stretching 50 metres from one side of the building’s roof to the other side – the intention being to create a tourist destination and activity. (Sorry, no link to the article, or artist’s impression). In a vox pox by the Herald Sun (16 April, 2006), when asked “Do you think building a 50 m skywalk above Eureka Tower is a good idea?” – one 42 year old woman allegedly responded with:

“It’s novel and anything that encourages physical activity is good.”

Up until now I hadn't considered that a leisurely 50 metre stroll, even at 350 metres above the ground, was exactly an aerobic workout. Nor had I considered that thousands of office workers might be trotting across a Eureka Tower skywalk during their lunch hour in lieu of a visit to the gym. See just how limited is my imagination?


  1. Sorry, totally o/t, but look at your revamp! Wowser. I like it. I've been getting up my courage to do the same thing for months. Details, Caz. What brought it on?

  2. Drunka – oh good, so glad you like it. I was worried people might look at it and think “OMG what has she done?” – Like when women come out of the hairdresser with a totally new look, convinced they’re all “glam” & ten years younger – when really they just look very silly.

    “Courage” is right, that and finding something to work with. I’ve been passively looking for a new template for months; only when I came across blogs with freebies, or linking to other people’s designs, but haven’t seen anything I like – they’re all a bit busy & fussy for me, or the colors make me gag.

    Was bored with mine, and lots of people use the old one I had, so it was all just a bit too ordinary. Really felt it was time for a spruce-up, something fresh & new.

    I quite liked the starfish (sort of matched color in my avatar picture) & the sea shell, and I wanted white background for the body, because I think that’s easier for people to read. I changed quite a bit from the original template, but it took me hours & hours, over several days – I’m hopeless with HTML, so it was entirely hit & miss, and I did almost give up because I couldn’t seem to be able to change the color of the background for the screen (which was all black – around the sides, thus very gloomy & made the white totally glary), and couldn’t seem to change heading formatting. Aaaaarrrrrrrr - I’m such an amateur, I nearly threw it in, but I finally stumbled across the right code to change, and a great deal of trial & error with different colors & different aspects of the template. Then I had to put in all my tailored stuff that I wanted to keep, the links & whatnot.

    I’ve messed up a couple of things, but it will do. I feel quite pleased with how it looks. Just hope I don’t get bored with it in a hurry; only had the last one for 9 mths. Maybe I’ll try to stick with this one for an entire year.

  3. Just one question. Are any of the penguins gay?

  4. Dr John - not that they admit to. As far as I know, they are legitimate fairy's, but not at all gay.

    (Actually their real label is "blue penguins, or such, but they've always been known as fairy penguins to the masses.)

  5. I like the new look, but I liked the old look too. I'm not so concerned about the look of my blog as I am about the content. Is that goofy? Should I worry about the look of it?

  6. Cube, I haven't done a thing to gussy up my blog since I started it in Feb 2005, so I sort of agree with you. But don't you ever get sick of blogspot? I mean, they're wonderful for the price, but there's stuff I want to use on my blog, like sound, that I can't seem to figure out on blogspot. I'm also really sick of my template, etc.

    So Caz, naturally I'll ask: what kind of support did you get from Blogs Gone Wild in the revamp? I'm all too familiar with the trial and error approach to html; it took me about two hours to put my paypal button where I wanted it, for instance. But it doesn't sound like you got much help this time either.

  7. Cubicle - agree; I don't get nit-picky about the style of other blogs, although there are some rather ugly designs out there! I really only notice if a blog is ugly, or cluttered with crap everywhere (a bit like people's appearance really, tee, hee.)

    Drunka - well, it was a freebie blog skin, which is a "big" support for someone like me. For all of the tailoring that I did, no support, though he did try to answer a question that I sent to him. So, if you stumble across a free design that you like, I expect you'll be on your own for any tinkering. I've noticed that a lot of people who have free skins are also trying to run a business doing web design, so I can understand why there would be no support - besides, it would take up so much time.

    I think finding a base design that takes your fancy is actually the hardest part!

    I haven't been game to even try Google Ads, just because I imagine I'd go through torture trying to place the ads somewhere sensible.

    At the risk of prying, but I really am interested: have you found it some value to have Google Ads & Pay Pal? Do tell.

  8. Blogspot is free & that appeals to my thriftiness. I just don't have time to do much more than devising new posts.

    You can have the most beautiful blog in the world, but if you don't post freqently, you will lose your audience. You're only as good as your last post.

  9. Ah my mother lives on the 20th floor of Eureka, hence the search that found this. My friends and I were also discussing how Queensland thought fairy penguins might insult gay people. Since most of those there are gay, we all decided that we were frankly more likely to be insulted by the suggestion that we could be insulted by Fairy Penguins. I wouldn't go quite that far I suppose, but the word preposterous comes to mind.

    The best I can do is to suppose I could insult someone by saying "Hey, you guys look like you would appreciate the Fairy Penguins" with rude innuendo attached. But the name of the bloody penguins isn't the problem.

    The only other thing I can think of is if overseas tourists from some countries feel a little stronger. I did live in the U.S for awhile and have friends there, I'll ask, but I don't see it, besides, you don't rename Spotted Dick because the yanks get uptight about the name. It's part of a country's culture.

    We believe that decision will be reversed, because it's just TOO ridiculous and embarrassing.

    Thanks for the blog. I've just started getting into these, and it can be fun and interesting. You never know what you might stumble on if only a sentence of interest.

  10. Darren - wow, lucky Mum, eh?! I actually like the building, it looks good from all angles; not *boxy*, like most. It has an intriguing abstract quality & it looks great at night. I quite admire the work done by Grocon, innovative stuff - they're not just big: they're also clever!

    Love your suggested insult - LOL.

  11. I think the name "little penguin" is offensive to short people.

  12. EP - as a 'short' person, I should have lodged a formal objection myself. Although I hasten to add that on a good day I'm somewhat taller than a fairy penguin.

  13. They'll never manage to satisfy every interest group.

    I say, throw caution to the winds. Call 'em "Pipsqueak Poofter Penguins".