July 31, 2006

Cups overflowing down under

Forget breast implants, Australian women already need their bras to be up-sized - to a D cup, an E cup, an F cup, or, even - *gasp* - the increasingly in demand G cup and above.

Good grief!

Tasmanian ladies are oozing out, with no surgical intervention, with a startling average bra size of 16C, clear front-runners compared to the national average of a relatively modest 14C.

If that’s not enough of a handful, it has taken a mere 6 years for the average bra size in Australia to increase from a 12B to an ample 14C.

The bra industry is rejoicing at this expansion, while the medical profession offers up the prosaic explanation: we’re getting fat.

That seals it

The top Islamic body in Malaysia has ruled against Botox injections.

The ruling came about because Botox contains prohibited substances, potentially including those derived from pigs.

There goes my conversion to Islam, or migrating to Malaysia any time soon.

(via MX, 31 July 2006, the Melbourne commuter newspaper)

The silent revolution

From The New York Times, quote of the day:

Alan Beggerow, an unemployed steelworker, on why he has not found another job:

"I have come to realize that my free time is worth a lot to me."
"Millions of men like Mr. Beggerow — men in the prime of their lives, between 30 and 55 — have dropped out of regular work."

Perhaps men are finally figuring out that there is more to life than being "the breadwinner" and that "bringing home the bacon" isn't nearly as much fun as the alternatives.

Tch, tch - who let that secret out of the bag? This quiet movement has significant implications.

July 29, 2006

Don’t feed the homeless

It would seem that 12,000 homeless folk are ruining the lush grassy beauty of Las Vegas. At least I assume that’s the case, since laws have been introduced to make it illegal to feed homeless people in parks.

Yes, that’s right: “do not feed the pigeons” signs will be replaced with “do not feed the homeless people”.

It will still be entirely legally for the less disadvantaged to take their equally less disadvantaged relatives or friends to a park for a picnic, so long as everyone carries proof of residence, in case they are accused of being a homeless person while passing around slices of sponge cake for dessert.

Seems they don’t like homeless people cluttering up the grasslands, because, well, it’s aesthetically displeasing.

A humpy of homeless in a pretty area tends to run the risk of:

“ruining efforts to beautify downtowns and neighborhoods.”

Advantaged people flaunting their legal right to clutter up parklands.

Other cities across the US have also initiated similar laws to protect the attractiveness of their streets and parklands.

“I don’t think anybody in America wants people to starve to death,” Mr. Reese said. “But if you want to help somebody, people can go to McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken and give them a meal.”

I’ll bet all the casinos in Las Vegas that McDonald’s and KFC are thrilled to bits with that little piece of PR.

At a June Council meeting, the Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar B. Goodman:

“suggested that panhandlers with signs asking for food be sued for “false advertising” because soup kitchens provide free meals.“

Now, if only we could initiate laws to get rid of the ugly people cluttering up the world, oh, and maybe people with too many freckles, yes.

July 28, 2006

July 27, 2006

Electioneering whoopee cushion!

We’re excitedly looking forward to a State election here in Victoria, before the year is out.

As always, the Greens – who have yet to win a seat in the Victorian parliament (as far as I can tell) – are jumping in early with fun and frivolity. The Greens – bless their little cotton socks and their hemp fibre tie-die overalls – love nothing more than taking the citizenry’s minds off their onerous voting decisions by lightening the atmosphere in the lead-up to the pointy-end of politics.

Yes, that’s right, in their idea of a great big election year whoopee cushion, the Greens have announced some of their major policies. This is a crafty strategic move by the Greens, not only diverting citizens from the problem of which bozo to vote for come November, but greedily taking for themselves a whole wad of policies that will be the envy of other – normal – politicians.

If only they’d been quicker at getting their paws into the policy lucky dip, other parties could have been blessed with these fab vote winners:

  • Free taxpayer-funded heroin for hardcore addicts. [However, becoming a hardcore addict will not be mandatory. Recruitment will only be necessary if initial demand does not meet with hoped for projections.]
  • Abolition of criminal sanctions for drug users. [Breaking the water restrictions by showering gardens or motor vehicles with gay abandon will still be illegal.]
  • Introduction of injecting rooms across the state. [Diabetics will not be permitted to use these special rooms; they are for illicit drug users only, not for people with a life-threatening chronic disease. Clean, well-dressed diabetics attempting to pass themselves off as hardcore heroin addicts will be vocally berated, publicly humiliated, and asked to leave the nice rooms.]
  • Around $10 billion or so to be spent on public transport over the next decade.
  • Zero money to be spent on new roads for the next decade. [This will be accompanied by an across the board ban on all of the following: having babies; purchase of new vehicles; immigration; and building houses or businesses on currently vacant land.]
  • Cut pokies from the current 30,000 to a measly 10,000 poker machines. [Old aged pensioners will be forced onto the streets to make their own recreational arrangements.]
  • Ban eating and drinking in all gaming venues.
  • Replace the status of animals as “property” to one of “beings” with recognizable legal rights. [Divorcing their owners, claiming half the family home, priority lanes on footpaths and parkland, access to professional tummy-rubbers, and all meals to come *fresh* from the natural food-chain, are some of the more favored rights being mooted.]
  • Creation of local “sexuality guidance” groups for school children who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

Among their less innovative policies are boosting education funding and establishing some industrial relations thingy.

Oh, and they don’t want any DUCKS to be shot! No more duck shooting seasons! (Well, they have MY vote already.)

Now, in case you don’t have this sorted in your head, here’s how things would work out: once you establish that you’re hardcore, you’ll be given free heroin, and a special room to hang-out for injecting purposes; having taken care of that twice daily chore, you might have to travel further than usual to find a pokie machine, and once you get there, you will not, under any circumstances be allowed to eat, drink, or, we assume, shoot up heroin while playing; you’ll also need to be careful when you’re driving, because the state of our roads and traffic volumes will be ignored for the next 10 years; and you’ll have to stop treating your dog as if it’s a dog of some sort, because he / she will have new legal rights; oh, and if you’re a gay, transgender, or generally bemused student – well, good for you, excellent, carry on.

While that pretty much solves all of the most compelling issues facing our little State and worrying the crap out of the citizenry of Victoria, the Greens are not finished yet.

In the weeks ahead, we can look forward to their policy “unveilings” on health, global warming, justice, the sexual benefits of crystal meth, architectural design for oompaloopas, social security payments for land animals (not goldfish or other water-dwellers), dress and hygiene codes for the homeless, and the “revive and gamble” initiative that will see food and drink buses provided in the car parks of the remaining gambling venues.


July 25, 2006

July 23, 2006

Joseph – the lesser dad

I’ve never given Joseph – of bible fame – much thought, which may or may not make me a really bad person, but today I had reason to stop, momentarily, to consider his position in history.

He was Mary’s husband and the earthly father of Jesus. By all accounts, or by accounts of total omission – I’m not sure which, as I don’t know how much PR Joseph gets in the various books of the bible – Joseph was a good and decent husband (well, wouldn’t you be, if your wife gave birth to the son of God?), and a good and decent earthly father.

Why am I suddenly and inexplicably concerned about Joseph, I hear you ask. Excellent question. I’ll tell you why:

I came across this bizarrely modernized / sanitized / politically correct snippet of text on a blog post about the origins and meaning of Father’s Day:

“Father's Day has religious as well as social origins. In the Roman Catholic tradition, it is celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day. Saint Joseph's Day is marked to commemorate Saint Joseph, husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus."

See what happened? Whoosh – out of no-where Joseph has been relegated to foster-father status in the hierarchy of the preeminent biblical family.

When and how did that happen? Has someone written a yet more *modern* version of the bible, and decided that Joseph wasn’t so much an adoptive father, or a perhaps a step-father (of sorts), or even a damned fine and loving father-figure-type-person to young Jesus. No siree, he's a foster-father! Jeeze, was there even such a thing in biblical times?

Yes, men are a different species

Only a man would willingly, if drunkenly, agree to a bet to cut off his own penis, for the lowly sum of $A2360.

Now we’re on our own?

In an entirely unpublicized move, planet earth – that’s us – has been quietly removed from the NASA mission statement. (Do they know something we don’t?)

Where once the statement read:

“To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers ... as only NASA can.”

Earlier this year the new statement became:

“To explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers ... as only NASA can.”

No mention in this New York Times article on whether the NASA vision statement has also removed life-here-on-earth from future NASA aspirations.

NASA Vision – “To improve life here, to extend life to there, to find life beyond.”

Perhaps removing "life here" from the vision statement is on the NASA “to do" list for next year; one small step at a time.

July 21, 2006

Duck Friday

Coming soon to a cinema near you – PAWS!


July 20, 2006

Remember Screen Savers?

Remember the olden-days, when we all first got desktop computers, and everyone desperately tried to project their personality and uniqueness by tailoring their desktop colors, their background, and that most dazzling of all time-wasters, the search for a killer screen saver, something that would be the envy of all?

Yes, the screen saver remember the screen saver?

I haven’t bothered with a screen saver for many years, until now.

If you would like to sit starring at your PC screen for minutes, hours, or even days at a time, this is the screen saver for you.

The Electric Sheep Screen Saver

You won’t see any sheep though (which is a pity really, sheep are cute, sheep are fun).

The screen saver name is a homage to Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", and what you will get is abstract animations, known as – you guessed it – “sheep”.

You can even vote for your favorite animations:

“The more popular sheep live longer and reproduce according to a genetic algorithm with mutation and cross-over. Hence the flock evolves to please its global audience.”

The free download is simple, but be aware that once you execute the file you really do have to leave your computer ON for about 24 hours for all of the animations to transfer. This won’t interfere with your normal computing business. No matter what time of the day you do your initial download do be sure to leave your PC on overnight. Reboot when you get up the next day.

Ooops – nearly forgot: if you’re on a dial-up service, you have no hope; this is only worth trying if you have broadband.

This is an awesomely gorgeous screen saver.

July 19, 2006

No Rain, No Women

You have to feel from our poor old farmers: they had it bad without rain, and the longer they had no rain the worse things got – the area in drought in New South Wales has now climbed to a disturbing and persistent 94%.

But there is even worse news.

Without rain, women are fleeing rural areas.

Illustration of rural area devoid of women folk.

Who know there was a causal link between rainfall and the presence of women folk?

This is no trifling matter:

“Farmers would not keep farming in areas where there were no women …

There really isn't many females out in some country towns. Bush kids are red-blooded males like everybody else.

Mr Laurie said rural women, like their urban counterparts, needed simple pleasures such as going out for coffee and playing tennis together.”

And there ain’t no hot cup of coffee or social tennis matches without rain, no siree, there ain’t.

July 18, 2006

It's Crop Circle Season


Australia doesn't seem to "do" crop circles, so we have to rely on really bored people in other drought-free countries for our vicarious crop circle thrills, along with a very excited crop circle community. (You didn't know there was an actual "crop circle community", did you now?)

"The world's first three-dimensional crop circle has been discovered deep in the English countryside, sparking the start of the corn circle season.

Experts have been left in awe of the intricacy of the latest sighting, which is 360-feet in diameter, on a wheat field in Oxfordshire."

And if you think that's impressive, the symbolism goes much deeper than a mere three dimensions, according to one analyst:

"There is a lot of symbolic number play at work here. The square in ancient times represented the material world.

The move from a two-dimensional square into a three-dimensional cube might indicate that these patterns emanate from a dimension of reality we cannot access.

Of late the crop circles seem concerned with the moving of one dimension into another."
Nor is it only the three dimensions and the depth of the symbolism that leaves us breathless, no, there's more:
" ... the significance of this particular design has been increased by the fact this has been the slowest season for more than ten years."
Yes, much to the disappointment of the crop circle community, this is a disturbingly slow crop circle season.

However, there is much to comtemplate about the singular 3-D spectacular:
"It is very difficult to say what it's purpose is and how it got there ..."

Er, sure, absolutely, if you say so.

[Read full story ...]

----------------------

Over at Cublicle's place, you can find an even less exciting crop circle, created by a Star Trek fan (of course).

----------------------

After all these decades: the inherent mystery remains: if it's not a circle, why the hell do we keep calling them "crop cirles"? Hmmm?

Too Late to Vote!

Yes, I missed it, and you probably did too.

Over at Iowahawk voting for Hawkeye Hoosegow Honey of the Year closed on July 7.

For reasons unknown to this blogger the winner has yet to be announced, but it may be due to the complex voting and exhaustive assessment criteria.

The Iowahawk HHH of the Year winner will come from a pool of nominated female arrestees from Des Moines' Polk County Jail, whose mugshots have been carefully selected by Iowahawk over a period of time, however, as he has said:
"... make no mistake: this will not be a beauty-only pageant. It is important that the winner be well-rounded, and that is why I have added a talent portion to the program. In addition to the raw votes she receives from readers, each candidate will receive 1 bonus point for every $100 in bond set by her assigned magistrate."
Judging just doesn't get fairer than that.

Buying Votes!

This coming northern autumn will see Arizonians voting on the introduction of the “Arizona Voter Reward Act”, which proposes that one lucky voter at each general election should win $1 million.

Ah yes, let the voter bribes begin – a damned fine initiative!

July 16, 2006

Police description: humanoid wanted

Last week we saw the Victorian Government objecting to the proposed new citizenship testing, which would include some level of English literacy (that being our primary language down here). That particular concern has some passing validity, given the “White Australia Policy” in decades past. These tests can be applied so as to lend ostensible legitimacy and objectivity to what is actually nothing more than a racist exercise.

While they were at it, they decided to throw in this recurrent cringe-worthy red herring:

“The Victorian Government will also call for a national review of the use by police of ethnic descriptions such as "of Middle Eastern appearance".

Yes, absolutely, because in the course of their work, and when seeking information from the public to assist with the apprehension of criminals, the very last thing we want is for police to issue accurate descriptions of actual persons who may have committed a crime.

Something like:

“Male humanoid, not especially tall, possibly older than 12 years, some dispersed hair on head, wearing warm clothing”.

Yes, that should bring forth seriously good leads from the public and a prompt arrest.

As opposed to:

“Male, olive skin, possibly European heritage, about 5ft 8ins, balding grey hair, around 50 years of age, wearing knitted thick brown jumper and grey track pants, last seen carrying a large and bloodied knife ”.

The second example would be entirely unhelpful, inflammatory, ageist, follicular biased, racist and bigoted, and would serve no purpose in the timely capture of a criminal. No, indeedy.

Meanwhile, over in Washington, a young man was killed when he had his throat cut while trying to defend a friend when the pair were set upon by four youths, who threatened to rape the woman. Outrage, yes, outrage over the killing has centered not on this brutal loss of life, but on the investigator Andy Solberg’s description of the murdering little group:

“He said the suspects should have “stood out” at 2am because they included a teenage boy and a “bald chunky fat guy”. He added: “They were black. This is not a racial thing to say black people are unusual in Georgetown. This is a fact of life.”

He’s right, it is a fact – but it drew a predictable response: black advocacy groups were outraged and DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey reassigned Inspector Solberg temporarily and promised an investigation.” (The Weekend Australia, 15-16 July 2006)

We are on the most perverse kind of slippery slope when instead of being focused on bringing to justice a brutal cold blooded murderer, the police, instead, suspend their own officer and launch an investigation into his entirely accurate physical description of wanted criminals.

This is how racial tensions and bias are ignited and fanned, is my belief: when all ethnic groups, other than Caucasian, are granted special and extraordinary exception from identification, so as not to upset their precious feelings and public image. That is what leads to racist thinking and potentially a racist culture where none previously existed.

July 14, 2006

It's a Baaaby!!!

Leading by example, Mr and Mrs Captain (psydoc) have had one for Mum, one for Dad, and now one for the country!

Yes, there is a new little Captainette in the world, born on Monday July 10, 2006, weighing in at 3.67 kg, 52.5 cm long, with green eyes and blonde hair. A new sister for (5 and 3 year old) Captain Junior and the other little Captainette

A police artist’s impression of how the new Captainette will look in a few months.

Congratulations to the Captain family! Much love and best wishes.

July 13, 2006

Women wed themselves

In an almost admirable act of desperation - far outstripping the average cat lady - women in Vancouver are resorting to marrying themselves. Of course, this raises any number of important questions, such as: how will the household chores by shared; which side of the bed to sleep on; how to divide the wedding presents in the event of a divorce, and who would get the house?

A less burning question has already been answered by “Observation”, who is convinced that Vancouver women are the most stuck-up women in the entire universe. Not being prepared to settle for anything less than the very best would help to explain why they choose to marry themselves. We wish them well.

Far less desperately, and with more realistic standards, a comely Indian lass has married the neighborhood cobra. While the snake declined to appear for the ceremony – a copper snake was provided as a facsimile groom – the unnamed cobra always appears for his bowl of milk, and has never harmed his new wife, thus suggesting that this will be a marriage free of domestic violence. The bride’s family has built a new home for her, situated near the anthill occupied by the groom. This is a modern twist to a unique love story, following in the path of many committed and monogamous, yet not cohabitating couples, who find that ‘his and her’ residences help to keep the passion alive and saves on broken crockery.

Not to be beaten in the romantic stakes, a gay Muslim made this enticing offer in an online dating forum:

"Hi, I am looking for a lesbian girl for marriage. I am gay but I would like to get married because of pressure from parents and society. I would like this marriage to be a 'normal' marriage except for the sex part, please don't expect any sexual relationship from me.”

For some, this describes a perfectly normal heterosexual marriage, in all respects. No-one will suspect that anything is amiss. We wish him well.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Britain, the 48 year old mother of 20 children has done a runner on her family, taking up a more enticing offer from some bloke she met on the Internet (although he has now done a runner on her, so it's a little bit like a rolling-fast, but with food, and without celebrities).

Husband Mr Pridham said that “their marriage started to fall apart as his wife struggled to come to terms with the fact they would have no more children after the birth of their youngest child, now seven”. Yep, not being able to reach a goal of giving birth 21 times spells the end of many a marriage; we can all relate. (Herald Sun, Wednesday July 12, 2006)

July 12, 2006

Yes, you can do this at home

In the interests of keeping you entertained and gainfully occupied I am providing instructions for making ice cubes that sink.

No more silly ice cubes that stay afloat. Now you can amaze and amuse your family, friends and strangers.

At around $US15 per sinking ice cube you might be rather choosy about who gets to drink and who gets to watch.

If you'd like to round out a really fun evening, you should consider adding a personalized branding iron to your kitchen equipment. Forget monogrammed towels and bathrobes, think monogrammed steak.

[Don't forget the seriously chic toilet paper for the visitor's powder room.]

July 11, 2006

Everyone wants to be a paperback writer

Okay, so it turns out that not everyone wants to be a fighter pilot, but very nearly everyone on the planet believes that they have at least one good book inside them.

81% of the population feels they have a book inside them.
27% would write fiction.
28% would write on personal development
27% would write history, biography, etc.
20% would do a picture book, cookbook, etc.

6 million have written a manuscript.
6 million manuscripts are making the rounds.

Out of every 10,000 children's books, 3 get published.

Given that most Americans don’t seem to buy or read books, we can only hope that the books waiting to burst forth from 81% of the population never transpire.

In 1998 Thirty percent of Americans surveyed by the Harris Poll say they would rather read a book than do anything else; twenty-one percent said watching TV is their favorite activity. That's the good news. The bad news is that only 13 percent selected "spending time with family.

It's quite possible that most of the survey respondents lied.

Only 32% of the U.S. population has ever been in a bookstore.
One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. Many do not even graduate from high school.

58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.

42% of college graduates never read another book.

80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.

70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

57% of new books are not read to completion.

Most readers do not get past page 18 in a book they have purchased.

63% of adults report purchasing at least one book during the previous three-month period.(Most were probably exaggerating).


On average it takes 475 hours to write a fiction title and 725 hours to write a nonfiction title.

It takes an average of 531 hours to produce a book-422 hours for fiction, 550 hours for nonfiction.

Many advances are between $1,500 and $7,500.

A typical advance for a computer book is $10,000.

70% of the books published do not earn out their advance. [Nor make a profit, obviously]

The average royalty is 10.7% of net.

Books are displayed in bookstores for one selling season of four months.

Up to 40% of all books manufactured never sell. Most publishers would rather suffer the costs of over-runs and returns than run short of a title. A return rate of 15% is considered very good.

The LA Times receives 600 to 700 books for review each week.

1,818 self-help titles were published in 1997, generating $538 million.


The majority of self-help books are purchased by women.


Women buy 68% of all books.


On the average, a book store browser spends eight seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds looking at the back cover. Sales Reps show covers or jackets and give a sales pitch that averages 14 seconds.

So much for "the love of books" that everyone on the planet espouses.

Perhaps they really only mean the books they have written, or will write, themselves.

Or perhaps the first 18 pages they read are so good that they just know they would have loved the entire book, if only they'd had time to finish it.

But that doesn't help to explain all the people who never walk into a bookstore and never read a book - not ever, ever, ever.

All information from Dan Poynter’s – ParaPublishing.com

And so it should be

Turkish grooms were once required to always provide their wives with coffee.

Failure to comply was grounds for divorce.

This is one custom that deserves to be revived, globally, perhaps with a few additions.

July 10, 2006

Wait ... Canada has a Warship?

Just catching up with news from the last few years - you know how it is, sometimes you get so far behind you wonder where the years went.

I've finally reached 2002, and now that I have some Canadian friends (which I didn't, back in 2002), this story is a little homage, just for them.
-----------------------------------------------------------

"Canada Warship Seizes Tanker in Arabian Sea" -- Reuters, Feb. 8, 2002

CANADIAN WARSHIP SEIZES TANKER IN... WAIT...
CANADA HAS A WARSHIP?

Oh Right, and Switzerland Has Nuclear Weapons

Arabian Sea (SatireWire.com) — Canadian television reported Friday that a Canadian warship in the Arabian Sea had seized a tanker suspected of smuggling oil from Iraq, leading many to suspect that the report was a hoax.

The HMCS Vancouver
The Halifax Class frigate Vancouver.
Honest.

"You're kidding, right? Canada has a warship?" asked U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Like for war?

"Does Canada know?" he added.

"Nobody was more stunned than we were," said Kali Omari, first mate of the seized vessel. "We saw this frigate steaming toward us, and we were worried, but then we saw the maple leaf on the flag, and we thought, 'Oh, Canadians. What the hell do they want?'"

When an officer of the HMCS Vancouver announced that the tanker was about to be boarded, the crew of the detained ship was confused, said Omari, but their confusion quickly turned to anger when they saw what the Canadians sailors were carrying.

"They were armed. With guns," said Omari. "Canadians. With guns. And a warship. What is this world coming to?"

"They were pretty rude, too," Omari added. "They started asking us all sorts of questions, like 'Where did that oil come from?' But first we wanted to know who gave them the damn warship."

According to Canadian defense officials, the Vancouver is one of four frigates deployed in the region to assist in the U.S.-led Afghanistan conflict. The tanker was stopped, officials said, because its cargo of crude oil violated United Nations sanctions, which prohibit Iraq from selling oil unless in exchange for food and medicine.

The U.N. said the incident is already under investigation, and promised swift action against those found responsible for giving the Canadians guns. Initial findings indicate that the Vancouver crew may have been watching too many American television shows.

From SatireWire.com

July 9, 2006

The boys from BB rebuild their reputations

Michael Bric, or “John”, as he was known during his longish stint on Australia’s current season of that globally educational cultural edifice, Big Brother, has gone all shy since being removed from the BB house following his involvement in a “turkey slapping incident.”

While he was in the house Bric’s MySpace profile remained online, but the lad – who, according to host Gretel, was a wonderful housemate, having provided the audience with oodles of entertainment and garnered much affection from the other housemates – has taken his profile off the Internet. I can’t imagine why, as it shows him in such a flattering light – a real charmer.

Father Bric claims that "Big Brother has ruined my son's life".

“He said film of the incident showed his son did not hold fellow housemate Camilla Halliwell, 22, down while Michael "Ashley" Cox rubbed his penis on her face.

He said it showed that, while his son's arm was across Halliwell, she was not restrained.”

Ah, well, that’s alright then; that changes everything.

Meanwhile, the other contestant tossed from the BB house for carrying out the “turkey slap” itself – Michael “Ashley” Cox – has apologized to women in general, assuring them that he’s not that kind of guy.

He should have left his apologies at that, but noooo, he then goes on to bemoan that he was really upset that he wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to his friends in the house (perhaps he thinks they will be staying there forever), and that he missed out on winning the big prize – ‘cause, you know, he was in with a good shot He is also really miffed because if only Channel 10 hadn’t kicked him out, no-one would have made a big deal about the whole turkey slap thing.

"Sexual assault to me is where someone has actually been assaulted and I didn't feel Camilla was assaulted at all.

"The whole thing was totally blown out of proportion."

The self-employed Warnbro bricklayer, who returns to work tomorrow, said he was distressed and angry about being forced out of the Big Brother house and missing out on saying goodbye to his friends.

"If they didn't make it an issue by kicking us out, it wouldn't be such a big deal," he said.

"I definitely do feel robbed. If I'd stayed in there I could have won and it would have made my life a lot easier.”

Small tip guys: your management advice was correct. But, hey, digging yourselves into a bigger hole? Yeah, that’s a perfectly reasonable alternative. Ooooh look, here’s an even bigger shovel ...

July 7, 2006

Duck Friday

Mmmm, I wonder which one is the 'black sheep' of the family?

July 6, 2006

Bloggers to pay tribute

Many more bloggers are needed for a very special tribute planned for the coming fifth anniversary of September 11.

D.Challener Roe is aiming to gather 2996 bloggers to each write a tribute for one of the 2996 people who died in the WTC attacks, but there is quite a way to go yet – many more bloggers are needed.

The tributes are intended to focus on the lives of those lost, not on their deaths.

If you want to contribute, all you need to do is leave a comment on this thread, and within a day you’ll be sent an email with the details of your assigned person.

Consider taking part, but if it’s not your ‘thing’ at least pass along the information to other bloggers who might like to contribute. Let’s do everything we can to make sure every victim is given a special blog tribute on the fifth anniversary.


July 5, 2006

But will they disappear?

Some will fast indefinitely, while others will take part in the innovatively named "rolling fast", meaning: they only have to “fast” for a day, and then someone else will take over.

What a sacrifice, what commitment, what daring-do, jeez the President will be really impressed, and really worried about the well-being of those chubby rolling-fasters.

“Star Hollywood actor-activists including Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon and anti-war campaigners led by Cindy Sheehan savoured a last meal outside the White House today before launching a hunger strike to demand the return of US troops from Iraq.

As Americans got set to fire up barbecues to celebrate the US Independence Day tomorrow, the anti-war protestors planned to embark at midnight on a "Troops Home Fast". [That pun is so darned catchy and clever, I think I may throw up: that's like the cheater's way to fasting.]

For their "last meal", several dozen protesters this afternoon clustered around a rose-colored tablecloth on the pavement outside the White House fence.

The hunger strike will see at least four activists -- Sheehan, veteran comedian and peace campaigner Dick Gregory, former army colonel Ann Wright and environmental campaigner Diane Wilson -- launch long-term fasts.

"I don't know how long I can fast, but I am making this open-ended," said Wilson.

Others, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a "rolling" fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.

Bloody wuz! Anyone with a half-decent case of the flu can fast for a day. Truly pathetic.

As for the others, lets hope they fast for long enough that they’re so small we can’t see them. Now that would be something.

Read the full story ...

July 4, 2006

Silly string falls out of favor

Sad but true: according to Google Trend results, silly string is not popular with anyone, and is seriously losing out to String Theory.

See the tiny little bit of red graph, in the middle of 2005? Well, that's the silly string result. For some reason, people in Chicago and LA were momentarily excited about silly string, then promptly lost interest.

Meanwhile, people in India and the USA have lost their sense of humor entirely and insist on focusing almost exclusively on String Theory, without any silliness.

July 2, 2006

Top Ten Excuses

It must be the end of the financial year, because everyone is cleaning up the previous years mess by summarizing everything that matters into a top ten list. One of these days someone is going to come up with a top ten list of life, the universe and everything and we won’t need schools or scientists anymore.

Doctors and medical scientists normally do their utmost to ensure we have no idea what to eat or what to do, because everything we eat and everything we do will kill us, and the beneficial things are impossible to achieve (such as eating 10 pounds of broccoli each day). They work overtime on the guilt and confusion principles.

A more happy-go-lucky group of doctors, throwing all caution and brain cells to the four winds, have offered the (industrialized) world 10 excuses for being fat – a collective get out of jail free card.

No less that the International Journal of Obesity (you didn’t know there was such a journal, did you?) have published an article (and issued wallet sized cards) of the top ten hypothesis – other than diet and exercise – on potential contributors to obesity.

One doctor, not involved in the study, was tickled pink at the clutching at straws approach to a serious lifestyle problem in wealthy nations:

"I think it's very creative," said Dr. Robert Kushner … "We are facing an epidemic with no tipping point in the near future. At this point, there are no silly ideas."

Err, no; no silly ideas to see here folks, none at all. You’ll have to look elsewhere for silly ideas.

A total of twenty highly qualified scientists put in the hard-yards to come up with these fresh ideas to explain away the little obesity epidemic:

1. Inadequate sleep. (Average sleep amounts have fallen, and many studies tie sleep deprivation to weight gain.)

2. Endocrine disruptors, which are substances in some foods that may alter fats in the body.

3. Nice temperatures. (Air conditioning and heating limit calories burned from sweating and shivering.)

4. Fewer people smoking. (Less appetite suppression.)

5. Medicines that cause weight gain.

6. Population changes. (More middle-agers and Hispanics, who have higher obesity rates.)

7. Older birth moms. (That correlates with heavier children).

8. Genetic influences during pregnancy.

9. Darwinian natural selection. (Fat people out-survive skinny ones).

10. Assortative mating, or "like mating with like," as Allison puts it. Translation: fat people procreating with others of the same body type, gradually skewing the population toward the heavy end.

One of the contributors concludes:

“The point is, there is more to obesity than diet and exercise, he said. "These are 10 reasonable hypotheses, and as scientists, we should be open-minded"

Yes, for the majority of people there is more to obesity than diet and exercise, such as: exercise and diet.