October 30, 2006

Oh crap – they’re serious!

Remember back when you were just a little ‘un, earning a few dollars an hour to drop leaflets into mail boxes all around the neighborhood, and all around connecting neighborhoods? It was a healthy and honest, if tedious, way to earn a tiny bit of pocket money.

A cutting edge Sydney company has just spruced up the honest work of their leaflet deliverers by arming them with global positioning systems. Now PMP can track, via satellite, the every move of their every worker, including making sure they take the most efficient delivery route, which has been carefully devised by management.

No big surprise to hear PMP management insist that most of their workers support this charming innovation. In fact you could anticipate the joy - and pride - that workers would feel at being tracked by satellite by their manager, and thus being able to “prove they have done a good job”.

If you’re thinking there might be some down side to this you would be wrong. As one manager explains it:

"We've cut the amount of time it takes to do their job by 40 per cent and we are still paying the same rate," he said.

Yes, it's all good. The future of work has arrived.

October 29, 2006

Walk this way

Australian’s are more afraid of walking than people in other countries.

Not fear of the activity and action of walking, per se, but fear of the perils that lurk for people who meander or perambulate on streets and in parks and so forth. You know, like out there right in the midst of the open spaces of life.

"The survey canvassed the opinions of 150 international walking experts. It found that 85 per cent of Australians fear for their personal safety compared with 65 per cent around the world.

Around 5 per cent of women and children walk "a great deal" or "a lot" in Australia, compared with more than 30 per cent in other countries."

The really sad part of this is not anything in relationship to our girths getting wider, rather, it’s the wide spread internalization of irrational and entirely unfounded fears. We are blessed with living in one of the safest countries in the world.

I can appreciate the fear of traffic, but adults should know how to cross roads safely. I can also appreciate the fear for children’s safety, but no-one is suggesting that children should be let loose on their own, and certainly not let loose to play at the local intersection.

[There are international walking experts? Lots of them? Wow. - ed]

Walking is civilized, as evidenced by the Wright brothers, who demonstrate how to stroll safely and with maximum decorum.

October 28, 2006

Packing Purell


Like chicken dinners and lobbyists, they afflict Democrats and Republicans alike. It would be difficult to find an entourage that does not have at least one aide packing Purell.

“It’s condescending to the voters,” said Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, a Democrat.

A fervent nonuser of hand sanitizer, Mr. Richardson holds the Guinness Book of World Records mark for shaking the most hands over an eight-hour period (13,392, at the New Mexico State Fair in 2002).

Indeed, what message does it send when politicians, the putative leaders in a government by the people, for the people, feel compelled to wipe off the residues of said people immediately after meeting them?

“The great part about politics is that you’re touching humanity,” Mr. Richardson said.

Mr. Richardson said that if he ran for president, as he is considering, he had no intention of conforming to the norms of his antiseptic peers.

“I just won’t use the sanitizer,” he said. “I’ve been offered it, but I’ve turned it down.”

Read the whole thing - New York Times

October 27, 2006

Duck Friday

Radioactive Duck!!!

October 25, 2006

There’s no place like a Bali jail

Yes, being in a Bali jail is a tough gig, for the guilty or the innocent or the rather suss, I have no doubt about that.

However, it doesn’t compare to the appalling first-world rigmarole of arranging a visit to someone in an Australian jail. Not to mention “how many big butch sheilas are there”.

Remember, all the way back at the beginning of the year?

With the Oz government still negotiating on an agreement that would allow Australian prisoners to come on home to serve their term in our modern prison system, and to be rather more conveniently located for visits from family and friends, the Corby camp has been steadfast in rejecting such an option for Schapelle Coby – she of the boogy-board-full-of-drugs and the baggage-handler-did-it infamy.

Commenting on the soon to be released shock-horror book by Corby, mum Rosleigh says:

“her daughter would not be afraid of suffering consequences in the Bali prison for her tell-all book because "nothing could be worse than what Schapelle is going through right now".

Well no, nothing could be worse, other than the perils of the rigmarole of Australian jails and all those big butch sheilas.

But hang on a minute … what’s that from Schapelle Corby, in her own words:

"I felt sure their (Bali nine) crime of trafficking heroin had contributed to me getting 20 years," Corby said.

"I was terrified of Renae Lawrence. I thought she'd pick on me, start fights and ram my head into the cement walls. All the girls who had been sharing cells with her had been telling stories about the freak.

"She refused to let anyone else sleep if she was awake. She kicked them in the head, sexually hit on them, punched them.

"So, by the time she checked in at Kerobokan (prison), I imagined Renae as a psychopathic lesbian. I was scared to death of her."

Sheesh - you pick the well-appointed jail of your choice after much careful deliberation and you still can’t avoid the big butch Aussie sheilas!

October 24, 2006

Sssshhhhhhh ...

Posting will be, at best, sporadic for a while. Just busy is all. Feel free to browse or better still, go visit some high class blogs, linked over yonder in the left hand side navigation bar.

October 23, 2006

Thumbs up to the General

Kudos to General Peter Leahy, head of the Australian Army, for demanding that access to an online discussion forum be restored immediately, after Defence technical officers unilaterally took the decision to block access from all Defence Department computers.

The site, Fire Support Base, provides an outlet for soldiers to vent their anger about such matters as poor conditions and shoddy equipment and has around 600 members. Little did the wider forum know that their General signed up as a member two months ago and has been reading their discussions. Indeed, the good General was on the forum when his own access suddenly vanished. Thus alerted, he acted promptly to have the block reversed.

Nice one General Leahy!

The forum is restricted membership only.

October 22, 2006

Life Style Bans

I hope there are a lot of forward-thinking Australians living in the USA, who thought to stock up on 2.5 kilo mega-tubs of Vegemite, rather than relying on little jars, on the optimistic assumption they could go and buy another one any old time. Not so.

Vegemite has been banned in the US – not because everyone in the world, other than Australian’s think it’s a vile and disgusting condiment – no, the ban comes because Vegemite contains folate. Yes, it’s choke full of health giving vitamins, of the B complex variety, and in America folate can only be added to bread and cereals, not to the spread that you put on your bread. Ipso facto, Vegemite is illegal in America, and they are now cracking down on this serious offence, relentlessly stripping Aussies of their condiment and their vitamins.

What next, Tim Tams?

Meanwhile, Australia is looking to ban hydrogen peroxide, among 86 other common everyday chemicals that have never been used for making a bomb in our fine land, at least not during the last couple of hundred years, but hey, it would be irresponsible to gamble away the next couple of hundred years, right? The federally proposed list of chemicals to be banned has been sent to state governments for comment.

If this is a true report, the days of the blonde in Australia may be seriously endangered.

From the darkest ash blonde to the palest blonde, the various hues of natural blondness constitute about 2% of the world's population.

The fake blonde, on the other hand, can be seen enhancing the heads of around 70% of women. (At least, off the top of my head, that’s the last figure I can remember, but it may have even been higher. In other words, most women who colour their hair, colour it blonde, which is the sole reason why the world appears to be overwhelmingly full of blondes.)

As one hairdresser said: It would be the end of hair as we know it.

Or more accurately, the end of hair as we have pretended it to be.

Will the government inadvertently ruin the lives of fake blondes across the nation? Will they reallly be prepared to dig-in, perhaps scaring away thousands of tourists because of the extreme and unattractive regrowth problem that will cover our shores?

I’m thinking not, but we’ll have to wait and see whether vanity or irrational bans on commonly used chemicals will win the day. Maybe we'll see the emergence of illegal back alley trading in hydrogen peroxide, and only the seriously wealthy will be able to maintain their blondness.

Wheat blonde, in Australia, might only be seen on wheat in future.

[Stories via the Melbourne Herald Sun, October 22, 2006]

October 21, 2006

Revealing Trends – As the World Turns

Liposuction, dog training and orchids are, thankfully, of marginally more interest to the world of web users than Kevin Federline, however, that only holds true in English speaking countries, and in some years, Kev has put dog training in the shade, much to the world's shame.

At least Bin Laden is a clear winner when compared to Kev. I suppose that’s something.

Google Trends – Kevin Federline and liposuction

Google Trends – Kevin Federline and dog training

Google Trends – Kevin Federline and orchids


October 20, 2006

Hold the gin, hold the tonic

Australian consumer magazine – Choice Magazine – has released it’s annual “Shonky Awards”, and while I’m loath to pick favorites, it’s impossible to go past Seagers Gin & Tonic and the Lean Cuisine Purely Fish meal.

The Choice Shonky for Most Creative Product Name

Seagers Gin and Tonic with a Squeeze of Lime
Gin and tonic with a squeeze of lime — what’s creative about that, you may ask. Thing is, according to its label there’s not a trace of gin in it (for some reason it’s vodka). Nor quinine (the ingredient that makes tonic water tonic) or anything else referred to as tonic water. Nor even a drop of lime.

The Choice Shonky for Something (Not Quite) Fishy (Enough)

Lean Cuisine Purely Fish range
The Lean Cuisine range has only 48% fish content. ‘Purely Fish’, or fishy marketing?

Special Mention - The Choice Shonky for Shonkyest Quote

“We don’t consider wholemeal flour to be a characterising ingredient in wholemeal bread.”
Awarded to a manufacturer of wholemeal bread, for their creative interpretation of what is or isn’t a characterising ingredient according to the Food Standards Code.

[My all time favorite “Most Creative Product Name” remains that old stalwart: McDonaldsApple Turnover” – filled with the goodness of potato and apple 'flavoring'. At least the Seagers Gin & Tonic contains alcohol, even if it isn’t gin; and the Lean Cuisine contains a whiff of fish. ]

Duck Friday

October 18, 2006

Policy Development 101


Telling us what we already knew, yet summarizing the sophistication of our State Government’s policy approach, in a succinct manner, opposition leader Ted Baillieu today took out a wet one with which to wipe the current government over our never ending water crisis / water wastage situation:

"All they have been doing is inviting Victorians to shower together and pray.”

That’s true. That has been the policy for about 7 years now.

Someone is obviously not delivering on the prayer front. God’s next performance review is not going to be pretty.


Fried Coke

You can snort it, you can drink it, you can suck on an icypole of it, and now you can fry it.

Yes, coca-cola is available as a tasty fried nugget, but only if you can get over to the Dallas Texas State fair ... rather soon, I would imagine.

Meanwhile, and not nearly as riveting, Yahoo has released its top twenty most commonly misspelled Internet searches. Apart from the list being not even the tiniest bit provocative, and the errors being minor, understandable and bland, the only thing worth commenting upon is that you’d reckon anyone in search of a Mercedes Benz or anything by Louis Vuitton would at least know how to spell the brand name. I also don't think that “The Biggest Looser”, as opposed to “The Biggest Loser” is necessarily an error; it might be descriptive.


October 17, 2006

Great news for gerbils

Researchers have found that low doses of methamphetamine reduces brain damage caused by strokes in gerbils. The animals also became calmer and less agitated.

Although speed increases neuron damage if used before a stroke research has shown an 80-90% reduction in damage if used afterwards.

The lead researcher says he doesn’t know why the drug has this beneficial effect but he repeated the experiment four times and found "it worked again and again”.

Yeah, speed is like that ... again, and again, and again and again and ...

New Scientist

October 16, 2006

Symbols of Hubris

Since the arrival of 'the war on terror', the overt use of symbols to proclaim and emphasize one’s religious superiority is one of numerous hitherto minor curiosities that has become a central public battle ground, a micro-landscape over which the everyman can contribute and participate in said war, albeit, this is occurring far more vigorously in Europe than on our large and parched soil.

The argument has often become increasingly literal and cultural, leading people away from the profound and metaphoric significance of a fundamentally religious fight. This is not cultural. This is not about burqa versus bikini. This is about the semantics, the metaphor, the judgmental and separatist representations embedded within the potent symbolic and public embellishments of purported religious right and might.

This is no longer a trivial debate about sartorial or emblematic cultural differences. Who would have thought?

Masculinity is messy

A primary school headmistress in Norway has tried to ban boys from urinating while standing up, because the school cleaners complained that the little lads had yet to perfect their aim, thus leading to … increased cleaning needs.

As one mother commented, it takes painstaking effort to teach little men how to aim properly, and now the school wants to undo all that hard work.

Now, call me silly if you will (go on, go ahead!), but it seems to me that if cleaners are complaining about having to actually clean things – messy things – it’s time to stand down those cleaners, rather than sitting the boys down.

It has to be said: the principal’s suggested solution is piss weak!

Perhaps the little lads need to be able to urinate in style to help keep their minds on the business.

October 15, 2006

Defying all intelligent life

In a breathtaking dare-devil brain defying-feat, one Dr Butler has insisted that global warming and an increase in terrorist numbers will have a positive causal relationship.

Snubbing his nose at financially well to do, Western educated middle class terrorists everywhere (a profile that fits pretty much every terrorist caught – dead or alive – in non-Middle Eastern countries), Dr Butler seems sure that the fight for survival under a global warming scenario will see a rise in temperature as well as tempers. Such bad tempered people will, for inexplicable reasons, morph into terrorists intent on grabbing whatever resources and crusts of bread they can get their scrawny, impoverished little hands on.

This might appear to be at odds with the usual terrorist goal of killing themselves and anyone in their near vicinity, but hey, let the good Doctor speak, he’s as much entitled to a fanciful opinion as the next person. [And at odds with all academic studies that argue against any relationship between resources, or lack of them, and terrorism - ed.]

Poignantly and compellingly Dr Butler asks:

"What's to stop someone who's desperate, who sees the world as so unfair (becoming a terrorist)?''

Well, hot damn, I’ve gone from cynic to the converted! What an argument, ‘ey? I wish I was that clever. I’m the sort of person who would have been tossing up vacuous rhetorical questions, such as:

"What's to stop someone who's a dick-brain with a death wish (becoming a terrorist)?''

"What's to stop someone who's a [insert religion or fervent cultural obsession of your choice] (becoming a terrorist)?''

"What's to stop someone who's born and raised and living comfortably in a Western country (becoming a terrorist)?''

Despite his humungous fears and fear mongering, Dr Butler is sure that his prophesizing will lead to wonderful things.

“The upside, Dr Butler said, was that there was more chance of instigating change to combat global warming when people start feeling its effects.”

Excellent! Yes! When we folk in the inner suburbs suddenly find that we live in beach front homes, then we’ll start to worry. Good-o.

Or maybe not …

"Not too many people read the literature or necessarily can visualize what's happening to a polar bear in Alaska but if you start to see that it has a bigger impact; if you start to see it in your own family ... I think that will really motivate people,'' Dr Butler said.”

Ah, okay then, when you start to have polar bears in the family, then you should start to panic. And keep an eye out for terrorists too; perhaps they can fight it out with your new polar bear great-nephew. I’m putting my money on the nephew.

Meanwhile, local largest-man-about-town and Federal opposition leader, Kim Beazley, has suggested that we need to fix global warming in order to address our water crisis.

Not much wrong with that logic, other than the fact that Australia contributes around 2 to 3% to global warming (so we’d need a little bit of help from the rest of the world unless Beazley thinks we can fix just the bits sitting overhead of our great parched land); it will, if at all possible, take, ooooh, lets say 100 years to halt or reverse the current levels of greenhouse gases; and water may have run out long before then.

How about governments and industry stop wasting water? That might be a start.

And how about governments start spending money on implementing good policies and on building infrastructure so that billions of litres of perfectly good clean water currently wasted and / or not captured, year after year, can be used constructively, by all?

In the Melbourne CBD alone, an estimated 4.2 billion litres of water goes begging every year, for lack of thought, and a burning compulsion to save a few dollars on infrastructure. Water tanks cost money, ya know?

Don’t let any silly people tell you that a new dam would be worth thinking about either, no siree! A total waste of money, a blight on the environment and all that we hold dear. The fact that strategic water tanks dotted around the CBD could potentially capture billions of litres of water should not get you salivating at the mouth about how much water a dam might hold. [Grab a cup and capture that saliva; it may be the last drink you ever have - ed] And don’t give me any nonsense about a dam being just like a water tank, only bigger.

Fixing global warming so as to fix the Australian water wastage problem seems to me to be the longest most tortured scenic route from point A to point B.

October 13, 2006

October 12, 2006

Beautiful Saturn

Stunning new images of Saturn have been released by NASA.


October 11, 2006

No corpses injured; no premature cremations


In happy news, over in Denver, two morticians ran back into a burning funeral home to rescue the dead, as they wanted to spare families any further distress.

Of the bodies that were not wheeled out by the mighty morticians, all were found undamaged after the intense fire had been doused.

Five thumbs up to two foolhardy, yet good hearted morticians.

October 10, 2006

Dolphins are dills after all

An entire family of dumb dolphins.

Typical humans, projecting their dreams, expectations, human sensibilities and intellectual convolutions onto animate and inanimate objects and beings.

Looks like we’ve been sprung this time: seems that dolphins aren’t nearly as smart and evolved as humans have long been want to assert.

According to one newspaper “Dolphins are flippin’ idiots”.

Meanwhile, you can read the same story, with an ever so slightly more appropriate degree of gravitas at “New Research Suggests Dolphins Actually Dumber Than Goldfish”.

Is anyone else detecting some childish glee here; a touch of human spite perhaps?

New feathered friend

The world has a new feathered friend, and a pretty little fellow too.

The Yariguies brush-finch has been found in the previously unexplored Andean cloud forest.

October 8, 2006

Things I don’t need

1. I don’t need shampoo and conditioner with traces of vitamins or fruit in them. No amount of vitamins or fruit will give dead cells new shining, vigorous life that swings from side to side in an idiotic manner whenever I so much as twitch. Try ingesting food, including fruit, rather than smearing it on your hair.

2. I don’t need a mobile phone handset with a camera, an Internet connection, a scheduler, and a coffee maker, I really, really don’t. I already own a camera, I already have a grown-up computer with a broadband connection, I already have a diary and a “to do” list, and I buy takeaway coffee when I’m out and about. But I have no choice: all mobiles now come with these superfluous “features”, and as a consumer, I’m supposed to be dazzled and get excited about it; I’m not, I’m pissed-off.

3. I don’t need low fat cottage cheese, no-one does. Cottage cheese, at full strength, is already low fat you pillocks! With low / no fat cottage cheese morphs from a yummy food into tasteless bits of white rubber. I also don’t need a choice of Philadelphia cheese that is 80% fat free, or 60% fat free – how the hell would I know which 20% or 40% contains the full creamy fatty component, ‘ey? Come to think of it, I don't need low fat cheese of any kind, period; it defeats the entire purpose of cheese.

4. I don’t need tofu sausages. (Self explanatory – ed)

5. I don’t need a little jar of face cream that costs $1400 (or more), which the makers promise will reduce the “appearance” of my “fine lines” by up to 86% within 10 to 12 weeks of continued use. (Alas, the jar will be empty by around week 7.) No, woman on earth needs to put her name on a waiting list (as they do) for creams that cost as much as a monthly mortgage payment, and only last as long. Botox costs less, lasts longer, and “removes” wrinkles, not the “appearance”. Or if you’re really that worried, go and get a facelift – they actually work too. If you can’t afford the facelift, go spend a couple of dollars on some Hollywood tape and use it to pull your face back, rather than push your breasts into place (or do both, if you must).

6. I don’t need to know what Paris Hilton is wearing, thinking, saying or doing – not ever, for the rest of my life, or yours. (Ditto Lindsay Lohan, and so on and so forth; this applies to flibbertigibbets in general.)

7. I don’t ever need to hear that a conference organizer – for female bloggers – has pronounced, in a precious, outmoded indulgent feministic kind of way, while flaunting her arrant ignorance, that she wants, at her conference: "… to create a scenario where everyone feels like the questions they have about blogging or about life get addressed and answered. I want these women to feel that they are in charge of their own online experience." Oh, for fuck’s sake! What twaddle!

October 7, 2006

The Drunka’s Go Head to Head

With The Drunka off paddling up a river with a broken-sticky-taped together paddle, the fa├žade of happy-families DrunkaLand has been broken, with something resembling the Drunka Wars having broken out over at The Drunkablog.

The DrunkaHusband, in his youth.

Reluctantly, Mrs Drunka agreed to blog-sit while Mr Drunka is away, and low and behold The Drunkawife is blogging up a veritable storm, having previously denied all knowledge, interest or skills in such an endeavor.

The DrunkaWife, last week, before she became a blogger.

She is not only blogging up posts at the rate of confetti at a wedding – a sign of a true blogging pro – she’s threatening to adopt a replacement for Billy Bob (the wonder dog, of whom we all know and love). Okay, it’s only a supplement for Billy Bob.

In addition, little Miss Amateur Blogger, barely through her first week of blogging, has already initiated a Friday animal theme.

Audacious I tell you!

October 6, 2006

October 5, 2006

Disgusting

In the continuing, yet entirely ad hoc, series of ‘America really is another country’ comes news of a Christian fundamentalist group being appeased with a one hour spot on a nationally syndicated radio talk show , in exchange for not protesting at the funerals of five little Amish girls.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church have a sick penchant for picketing military funerals, with the justification that the men and women of the military are being killed overseas “because God is displeased that the United States tolerates homosexuals”.

Their filthy rational for wanting to protest at the funerals of the little Amish girls is because the Westboro group have slated blame for the multiple-slayings – no, not on the gunmen – to Governor Ed Rendell, who made comments against the group on television several months ago. According to the Westboro Baptist Church, god is not only in their corner, but he / she extracts revenge on State Governors who displease them by concocting the murder of children.

Sick.

October 4, 2006

Dead Wrong Songs

Whether it’s the most frequently used wedding songs, or the farewell favorites for funerals, I invariably shake my head – in a negative manner – not at the taste, or the age, or the sticking power of predictability, or the utter banality of the tunes, no, that’s not what leads to my vigorous doggy-type-head-shaking. It’s the total inappropriateness (in most instances) of the song lyrics.

My all time favorite befuddling song choice for both weddings and funerals – because people really do choose it for both ceremonies– is Ave Maria. A beautiful piece of music, indeed, but for a wedding? For a funeral? Read the lyrics people, for gawd’s sake read the bloody lyrics!

While it’s often obvious, in a cloying, saccharine, gooey and entirely embarrassing way, why people choose particular songs for their weddings, funeral songs are altogether more puzzling, as it’s not entirely clear who the song is for, or reflective of – the living, or the dead, or maybe some stranger in the street.

The current top ten favorite funeral ditties are as follows:

1 - Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt

[This is a break-up song. I guess a death is a fairly definite breakup - ed]

'Cause I saw the end before we'd begun,
Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.
So I took what's mine by eternal right.
Took your soul out into the night.
It may be over but it won't stop there,
I am here for you if you'd only care.

2 - Angels - Robbie Williams

[No comment on this – ed]

I sit and wait
does an angel contemplate my fate
and do they know
the places where we go
when we´re grey and old
´cos I´ve been told
that salvation lets their wings unfold
so when I’m lying in my bed
thoughts running through my head
and I feel that love is dead
I’m loving angels instead

3 - I've Had The Time Of My Life - Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley

[Err, okay, but is this funeral really the best time of your life, or the mourner’s lives, and who owes the pleasure of this funeral to whom? And who, exactly, has passion in their eyes, at a funeral? See the problems I’m having with this song – ed]

Now I've had the time of my life
No I never felt like this before
Yes I swear it's the truth
and I owe it all to you
'Cause I've had the time of my life
and I owe it all to you

I've been waiting for so long
Now I've finally found someone
To stand by me
We saw the writing on the wall
As we felt this magical
Fantasy

Now with passion in our eyes
There's no way we could disguise it
Secretly
So we take each other's hand
'Cause we seem to understand
The urgency just remember

4 - Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler

[Give it up already! Enough said – ed]

The blog owner reserves the right to refuse to provide lyric excerpts; no correspondence will be entered into.

5 - Pie Jesu – Requiem

[Well sure, that's easy for some to sing - ed]

Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu, pie Jesu
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Dona eis requiem
Sempiternam
Dona eis requiem
Sempiternam
Sempiternam

6 - Candle In The Wind - Elton John

[Specifically for youngish dead blondes, named Norma Jean (or “English Rose”), whom you’ve never actually met. This begs the question: why are you attending funerals for strangers - ed]

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

7 - With or Without You - U2

[Ah, couldn’t live with them, ‘ey? Think on that a minute: is their funeral really the time and place to be sharing that information with everyone - ed]

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side.
I wait for you.
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait… without you

With or without you
I can't live
With or without you

8 - Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton

[Yeah, yeah, okay, tissues all ‘round – ed]

9 - Every Breath You Take - The Police

[This is the official anthem for stalkers everywhere. After the death of the stalkee, one would tend to think it’s relevance rather wanes, particularly the “with every step you take; every move you make” lines, which seem to be in rather poor taste. Unless it's the death of the stalker being celebrated, and the stalkee chose the song; that might be amuzing - ed]

Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I'll be watchin' you

Oh, can't you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take

Every move you make and every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake
I'll be watchin' you

10 - Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers

[A line call on this one. But then again: “are you still mine” seems like a question with a significant proportion of redundancy at a funeral. Maybe it’s something that could have been asked a little earlier in the relationship – ed]

Whoa! My love, my darling,
I hunger for your touch,
Alone. Lonely time.
And time goes by, so slowly,
And time can do so much,
Are you still mine?
I need your love.
I need your love.
God speed your love to me.

October 3, 2006

Interns and Pages

I was going to write a droll little piece, mostly about the gapping hole in our political and cultural landscape, devoid as it is of the wonders of interns and pages (see, we’re not the 51st State of the USA after all, truly we’re not), but that idea was superseded by this dumb-arsed quote:

“This is a political problem, and we need to step up and do something dramatic,” Representative Ray LaHood of Illinois said afterward, adding that he had proposed abolishing the Congressional page program."
Huh?

Let me repeat that: Huh?

One twat sleeze bag behaving exactly like one twat sleeze bag is a political problem now?

A well-established, respected and valuable work experience program should be abolished because of the behavior of one individual now?

And I thought we suffered from a few too many stoopid politicians and a few too many irrational social reactions.

Update: The Borowitz Report sheds new light on Foley’s excuses:

Former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla) held a press conference in Washington, D.C. today to offer yet another excuse for his inappropriate contact with congressional pages, telling reporters that his behavior was caused by an acute case of postpartum depression.

Mr. Foley's latest explanation took many in Washington by surprise, since in recent days he had blamed childhood abuse and alcoholism for his current woes.

But in his press conference this morning, the former Florida congressmen said that while childhood abuse and alcoholism played a part in his behavior, postpartum depression played "an even bigger part."

"Like millions of Americans, I suffered from postpartum depression," said the embattled congressman, choking back tears. "Instead of seeking professional help, I self-medicated by sending instant messages to hot congressional pages."

While many in official Washington and across the country questioned Mr. Foley's latest explanation for his behavior, perhaps no one registered stronger doubts about the postpartum theory than the actor Tom Cruise.

Just hours after Mr. Foley's press conference, Mr. Cruise held a press conference of his own to call the former lawmaker's explanation "bogus."

"I, too, suffered postpartum depression after the birth of my daughter, Suri," Mr. Cruise said. "But I got over it through a straight regimen of exercise and vitamins."

Responding to Mr. Cruise's criticism, Mr. Foley said that postpartum depression had not caused his behavior after all, but added, "What if I told you I was hypoglycemic?"

Errant “A” Not Left on the Moon

An historical missing little joining word – all 35 milliseconds of it – has been found in Australia, finally solving the puzzle for both NASA and Neil Armstrong over whatever happened to the “a”.

Spoken quickly, and in a "sub-aural region", when Armstrong took his first step on the moon he really did include “a” in his famous, but frequently misquoted transmission to earth.

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” July 20, 1969.

Aussies Solves Mystery

October 2, 2006

Say a little prayer ...

Or save time and money by outsourcing your prayers and the holding of a little mass.

The pending priest shortage seems to have been solved, with India picking up the slack; bless their little cotton socks.

“Western churches have been paying Indian churches to conduct prayers for them. While most requests are for thanksgiving and remembering-the-dead prayers, last year a Catholic church in Kerala received a request to pray for the return of Beckham’s form.”

No need to worry that your request will be carried out by an unskilled call-centre full of feigned Aussie / American / Canadian accents and feigned cultural knowledge. No way! A priest will be carefully hand-picked to meet your particular request.

“Western churches do not send such requests directly to Indian priests. These are routed through local bishops. "The Bishop’s office assigns the priests after considering the need and capability of each priest."

At around $5 for a dedicated mass, you’ll be able to afford prayers for your whole football team.

October 1, 2006

Is he dead yet?

I’m no fan of criminals, truly I’m not, but if you’ve ever needed the expression “overkill” illuminated this is probably the story for you.

In Florida a SWAT team has killed a suspected murderer by firing 110 rounds of ammunition, 68 of which hit the alleged killer.

Without so much as a snirtle, The Ledger reports that the suspect was “killed instantly”.

The Polk County Sheriff was nonplussed about the number of shots fired to kill one suspect:

"I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had," Judd said. "We were not going to take any chance of him shooting back."