April 30, 2008
Mucho brouhaha and braying over allegedly sultry and sexually provocative shots of 15 year old Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montanna), taken by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.
Well, you know, go ahead and burn all of your Hannah Montanna accessories in outrage if you must, but young Miley looks exactly like a child auditioning for a lead role in The Exorcist IV.
After every flight UPS pilots fill out a form called a ‘gripe sheet' that lets mechanics know about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form and the pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Below, real complaints submitted by the UPS pilots ( P) and solutions recorded by real UPS maintenance engineers (S).
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Auto pilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.
P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to: straighten-up, fly right and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.
April 27, 2008
"Michael Burleigh's theme: the moral squalor, intellectual poverty and psychotic nature of terrorist organisations, from the Fenians of the mid-19th century to today's jihadists - the latter group, especially, being composed of unstable males of conspicuously limited abilities and imagination, and yet who pose "an existential threat to the whole of civilisation" with their crusade to realise "a world that almost nobody wants", all in the hope of an afterlife featuring 72 virgins and rivers foaming with honey and beer.One book is a start. Many more are needed to shake us out of what has become, I believe, our post 9/11 complacency and fondness for appeasement.
Maybe Burleigh's biggest achievement is persuasively to argue that no ideology is worse than radical Islam - itself motivated by "sheer racial hatred" - which exploits Europe's tradition of freedom of worship (and welfare state) to curtail our freedom of speech. Its leaders are people who know their human rights, but not anyone else's."
“For instance, my belief in God and the Devil comes, to a good extent, from the fact that the majority of people, through all of recorded time, have believed in both evil spirits and good ones and, finally, in a god and a devil accompanied by angels and demons. If the majority has such beliefs, one does well to keep some respect for such notions.”- Norman Mailer on finding god (in his own imagine, no doubt)
"When enough people share a delusion, it loses its status as a psychosis and gets a religious tax exemption instead."- Ronald de Sousa (author of Why Think? Evolution and the Rational Mind)
Which still doesn't explain the whole Scientology thing. A famous mass is not a critical mass!
"Many atheist sects are experimenting with building new, human-centered quasi-religious organizations"Yeerrs, you read that correctly.
Forget the lunatic antics of Scientology, over in a America, real people are talking about atheism in terms of "sects" and some atheists are calling for (without blushing) a need to have their own little churches.
Let's define this correctly, shall we. We'll do it once, and then we'll never speak of this again.
Treating atheism as a faith, with structures, with orthodoxies, with membership criteria, is the same as defining bald as a hair color or not gardening as a hobby.
If god is dead, who gets his house ...
April 26, 2008
All for the loose change of $20M a year since 2003, NASA has been confirming that tempertures have not risen since 1998, and the oceans are not warming up.
As other hard evidence has shown, the ecosystem is better at self-correction than humans are at reversals.
Still not hitting the headlines of MSM.
NASA measures global temperatures ...
When asked his view of the recommendations of the health workforce and service provision discussion stream, in which he was a participant, former AMA president Mukesh Haikerwal responded with a gust of candor:
"I'm not really sure what they were, to be honest".
So say we all.
"There is new evidence of misleading information in Al Gore's Oscar-winning global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth."
ABC News reports one of the most famous shots in the movie — of Antarctic ice shelves — is a fake. The film's visual effects supervisor says the film took the shot from the fictional movie "The Day After Tomorrow," which created it from Styrofoam and scanned it into a computer.
"Yeah, that's our shot," she says. "That's a fully computer-generated shot. There's nothing real in there."
ABC wanted to ask Gore whether it was wrong for a documentary to use a fabricated shot to make a point, but says he did not return their calls."
April 25, 2008
They came, they saw Cate Blanchett, and they went home.
Rudd has a pile of ideas, mostly what you would expect from a committee of 1000, that is, mundane, unoriginal thought, primarily vapid summations of Rudd’s own agenda, with a few off-the-wall things that no government would ever implement.
Let’s review, shall we?
Becoming a Republic isn’t an idea that required 1000 of our best and brightest to gather in
Some managed to get almost excited though:
“Victorian Premier John Brumby said it had been a fantastic process. "I think the republic is a good recommendation"
Yeah, sure, whatever, because it’s never been suggested before, has it John?
Another “der, who would have thunk it” moment related to creating a national market:
“The Prime Minister welcomed as "very good" the call for a seamless national market, knocking out as much interstate regulation as possible.
The idea of such a market, whether in electricity, energy, labour, carbon or water, was an ambition that "we haven't been presented with" before.”
No one in the history of
Sure, whatever. If you say these are novel ideas Kev, they must be.
Another brain wave from the economy group:
“ a tax review should look at simplifying tax, reducing inefficient taxes, harmonising, ensuring a progressive system and tackling negative interaction with the welfare system.”
Sure, whatever. On with the show.
Key ideas and idiocies from the ten government predefined topics:
Families and communities
People buying new homes should be obliged to pay a tax equivalent to 0.5% of the purchase price to fund public housing and tackle homelessness.
Tackling disadvantage was a key theme.
Which would explain why they thought make housing more expensive was a beaut idea.
A new charter of human rights [err, we have an "old" charter somewhere?], community hubs, early intervention and prevention strategies, a national co-ordinating body for the community sector, a national disability insurance scheme and a statement from the Prime Minister on the creation of a non-violent society.
Are you feeling warm and fuzzy yet?
It was decided that by 2020
And to universal applause during the final gathering, it was declared that
Ah, that's so much better: now I feel warm and fuzzy.
Every government department should divert 1% of its budget into investment in the arts by 2020, under a proposal to radically boost funding.
The so-called "creativity dividend" could be spent on anything from design to performance.
Why government departments would be hit with this burden is anyone's guess, but the idea would definitely create several thousand jobs to administer the transfer of funds from the government, to government departments, then back out to random "creative" ventures.
Other ideas included forcing politicians to attend arts events, provide more hubs, this time for indigenous artists and setting an objective to "double the level of cultural activity" by 2020.
Ah, concrete ideas. Feel the brilliance.
Youth delegates to the 2020
Seems the little twerps were shocked and awed that the coal industry was "so well organized" for the event.
Senator Wong summarised her group's mood as one of urgency. "The one message was act now and act wisely".
As opposed to acting stupidly in 300 years time.
We pretty much covered this in the intro. Tax review, seamless economy, blah, blah.
Labor MP Maxine McKew advocated a move to cap public funding for elections to help restore public trust in the political system. In McKew-land political donations from unions and business would be banned and parties would be restricted to spending only public funds on campaigns.
That sure spells "democracy" to me!
Ms McKew also called for politicians to be given more free votes instead of being forced to toe the party line. "People don't want to think you just left your brain behind when you walk into caucus and you sign up for everything."
Uumm, that's called running as "an independent"and there's no law stopping McKew from doing that next time around, or even right now, nor is there any law to stop her from voting against her own party right now. Me thinks McKew did leave her brain somewhere when she walked into caucus.
Create nationally consistent laws across
All sound and sensible, and highly achievable in a short time if the political imagination and will exists.
Apparently there has been a catastrophic decline in the number of Australians who speak foreign languages. This in itself is catastrophic for Australia, because it means we can't function in the wider world, don't understand other cultures, and we'll end up going to war with everyone.
The decline in the number of Australians who speak foreign languages supposedly creates a serious future security risk because it reduces
Does anyone recall a time when Indonesian languages were offered at Australian high schools - like, ever?
Yes, you can: that's what consultants are for.
"It is that important because if you can communicate with your peers in the region, it makes it far less likely that they are going to be your military adversaries in the future."
I guess if everyone had learned German back in the 1930s the whole Hitler thing would have been avoided.
I have a sneaking suspicion that there are more multilingual Australians at this moment than at any other time in our history. I'm pretty sure census figures would back that up.
There was no agreement on the pushed-for Aboriginal treaty idea, which is good, because it's a dumb-arsed concept whose time came and went a couple of hundred years ago.
Proposals that did get up included establishing educational "knowledge centres" [ah, sounds a lot like a "hub" to me] about Aboriginal culture was backed, and a "future fund" for infrastructure and support for indigenous businesses.
Pitiful really, given the parlous, precarious and worsening state of Aboriginal communities at this point in our history. Guess no one was interested in doing much of anything to save the Aboriginal population from itself.
PM Kev stopped short of embracing large-scale health policy changes though. Seems Kev is not keen on other people's good health.
If we can embrace the idea of shared standards, laws and infrastructure for trade and commerce, why not for the delivery of medical services and hospitals?
Don't get your hopes up on productivity any time soon.
"Learning for life accounts" at birth. The government would pay in money for education, training, parental leave and superannuation, which people could withdraw at any time to pay for child care, education and training.
"Golden gurus", retired and semi-retired people offering their skills and time to advise small business.
Warm, fuzzy, vague, hubs galore - what the hell sort of country are we that we need hubs for darned everything; what the hell is a hub? - populist, politically correct, woolly, wacky, bland, motherhood.
Pushing the envelope?
Done and dusted?
Buddhism mostly consists of wearing a flattering-to-all-shapes frock and looking serene, interspersed with giggling.
If you like your religion light and trite, now you can carry it with you in the form of the new Nokia N70, which is decorated with numerous Buddhist aesthetics making this the "ultimate religous phone" - and the world has waited far too long for such a gadget to arrive, non?
The phone features 24 K gold plating, a Buddha on the back and intricate carvings and religious symbols all over. It even has custom Buddhist wallpapers and prayer ringtones.
Religion has never been a lighter to carry.
April 24, 2008
Hillary hasn't yet nominated other countries for obliteration, but Bill's penis is on the alternate target list if the Iran thing doesn't come off.
"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," Clinton said.
"In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."
Hillary was last seen heading over the horizon with a bazooka slung over each shoulder, a wad of chewing tobacco and several dozen sets of testicles needin' a good scratchin'.
You go guurrll.
The victory of the left is complete.
Humor has been vanquished from the great brown land.
Mourn, mourn, mourn, for we know not when we'll be permitted to sniggle, titter, snirtle, chortle, snigger or giggle again.
A senator and a few viewers have got all uppity about an ABC promo aired this week:
"By the time this ad is finished, 854 million people will go hungry, one billion people will live under the poverty line and three ABC stars will be without a Gold Logie," the voice-over says.This is the first time that the ABC has been able to tout for Logie votes for its nominated talent. In the past they would have had to promote purchase of TV Week, but with SMS and phone voting newly introduced the ABC can run amok without being accused of running stealth commercial advertising.
"But you can change the world one step at a time. Vote for gold. Click on abc.net.au/tv and follow the links to shower the ABC in gold. Only you can make a difference."
I thought the promo was cute.
Which is a mere trivia compared to how the children would feel about being the spawn of Carey.
"It's hard to have kids in this world. I don't think I could properly educate a child right now."
Err, sure, because finding a private school in the US to do the job would be, like, really hard.
April 23, 2008
April 22, 2008
Dare I suggest that the timing of their suggestion is, well, a little miscalculated? Hmm
April 20, 2008
Actually I haven't read any of the Potter books, which, as I understand it are rather badly written, but apparently Rowling tells a good yarn and that's not something to be sniffed at. (Just ask Dan Brown!)
Since Rowling published the last of her Potter books we haven't been able to get rid of the silly cow.
If it's not revelations of a secret gay character, more bitching about her ex-husband (sorry honey, but if not for him leaving you you would not be the billionaire you are today, have you ever thanked him, sent him a cheque, offered to lick the soles of his shoes clean, or even thanked the Brit's for giving you the literary grants that enabled you to spend your time writing, rather than working in a factory?), moaning about how hard it was to end the last book (oh, sob, how she cried, and cried, and cried), it's trying to screw-over a fan, a devoted fan, who has done such a good job of providing guidance on all things Harry Potter that he was used as an adviser on the films. Hey, even JK found Vander Ark's efforts (then in blog form) so helpful that she used it as a reliable, quality reference when she was too lazy to go back over her own work.
Having appropriated (in a shoddy, unsophisticated, and not subtle manner) from the very best of writers that came before her, JK can't bear the thought of anyone appropriating her work - in an open and honest manner, mind you - and potentially turning such an endeavor into recognition and income.
Let's cut to the chase for one moment: Rowling has a few billion, a nice husband and two nice kids. For fuck's sake could someone tell this women to stop whinging and whining and get the hell out of public life. She has a magnificent enviable life - live it, LIVE IT, and leave the poor unsuspecting public alone! GO AWAY! JUST PISS OFF!
No such luck. So back to this pitifully unnecessary story and the continuation of tawdry Rowling outings.
"At stake is whether authors other than Ms. Rowling have the right to publish books that rely substantially on her work as source material, and whether the "Harry Potter Lexicon" in particular sufficiently adds to and transforms the content of her books to be protected by copyright law."
Rowling told a
When asked about how she felt about her beloved Harry Potter (um, he's not real), she said she had to stop herself from crying.
It's possible Rowling will win this case, if so, she should divide up her billions between the descendants of Tolkiens, Lewis and the dozens of others whose work she so artfully copied, without acknowledgment, without regard. Her claim to originality is morally bankrupt, so is her action in taking the guileless Steven Vander Ark to court.
Via all and sundry MSM neewes sources .... here ... here ...
The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks
Bethany Keeley has taken this life-long, never-ending job upon herself, which I think is admirable, if not somewhat masochistic.
Alas, it will make no difference to the proliferation of unnecessary quotation marks used in business documents across the world.
4 Inch Heels Only
An anonymous blog that might not last long, so I suppose one should enjoy while one can.
4 Inch is a fashion / beauty mag insiders dig at ... well, the inside of fashion / beauty mags in Oz.
There's nothing especially startling here, nothing that will make us gasp in wonder at the behind the covers gossip, it's just fun to know that it exists and that everything we already knew about these asinine "journalists" is true.
In a MSM write-up, one anonymous insider opined about 4 Inches:
"It's disgraceful; it's horrible the level of bitchiness.''
Oh yes, the irony is delicious.
I'd hazard a wild guess that the blog is not nearly as disgraceful, horrible or bitchy as the unnamed people populating it.
Now all I need is a blog written from the inside of our local gossip / trash mags!
Bitchy blog targets mag editors
April 19, 2008
No more jokes about women and their hormones, OK?
The share markets aren't rational, we know that already.
Turns out that male traders are probably even more dictated by their hormones than shareholders.
"Movements in financial markets are correlated to the levels of hormones in the bodies of male traders, according to a study by two researchers from the University of Cambridge"Oh, and if anyone thinks this is only true of a trading floor, that it can't possibly be extrapolated to every field and whim of human endeavor, then you're just not thinking.
Trading on testosterone ...
Osama Bin Laden is much newer to terrorism than you might imagine.
His alleged hatred - more a trivial preoccupation turned into a misguided obsessive compulsive disorder - came late, even if the seeds might have been planted in youth.
"Coll goes back to Osama's father, a young illiterate Yemeni called Mohammed bin Laden.
Mohammed gathered wives at whim, marrying at least nine times between 1943 and 1953 and fathering 54 children from numerous partners. Seven of his children were delivered in 1958 alone, one of which was Osama, whose mother was a 15-year-old Syrian who split with his father soon afterwards.
“When Osama was seven, his father died in a plane crash, a loss that deeply hurt the young boy. "He was affected by the death of his father, he was very solitary”
Osama idolised his father and saw him as a role model. He was told that his father died as a result of a mistake by an American pilot.
Mohammed's death left control of the family business in the hands of his eldest son,
Relatives remember Osama as calm and extremely quiet, almost to the point of timidity.
Outside of religion, Osama was passionate about outdoor activities such as swimming, hunting and horse riding, and he had a weakness for action movies and westerns.
His only conspicuous pleasures were sex, cars, work and the outdoors.
In the early 1980s,
Salembin Laden sent Osama to to oversee the distribution of funding to the Afghan resistance, which was fighting the Soviet invaders. Pakistan
By dispatching Osama, the bin Ladens were supporting the Saudi Government's clandestine foreign policy of helping the Islamic resistance.
Osama revelled in his role. He soon moved into supplying arms to the Afghan rebels, the mujaheddin, and gained a taste for Islamic-style armed resistance. With
providing substantial financial backing, Osama soon became a hero to the mujaheddin. Salem
The bin Ladens used publicists and the media to market Osama, promoting him as a fearless rich man who lived among the poor and who was willing to sacrifice everything for his religion.
bin Laden did much to make Osama's reputation, and when he died in a plane crash in 1988 Osama was deeply affected, overlooking his half-brother's hedonistic ways. Salem
When Osama returned to
in late 1989 he saw himself as a international guerilla leader who worked in the service of his king. Saudi Arabia
But within a year he fell out with the royal family over its plans to employ American-led troops in a war to oust Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces from
Disgusted, Osama moved to
in 1991. Sudan
In 1996, under pressure from the
US, Sudanexpelled Osama and he moved with his family to . Once there he became increasingly preoccupied with the Afghanistan US, reading books about America, including long tomes on Washington's foreign and defence policy towards Saudi Arabiaand the Middle East."
Of the 19 hijackers involved in 9/11, five were recruited from the Saudi village where bin Laden’s father’s plane had crashed all those years ago – the plane piloted by an American. Read into that what you will, but don’t dwell long on such trite data. A quarter of them were from that village? It’s not a big number, certainly no better than chance. Where else would Osama recruit, other than regions well known to him, and in which the bin Laden name was well known?
Osama is the black sheep of the bin Laden family. The black sheep who, as in all good Westerns, grows up to avenge his Daddy's death.
No particular reason, it would seem.
No compelling economic, cultural, or religious reason.
Just because he can. He found an obscure object for an obscure grudge, and let the minor scab fester.
There is, contrary to globally held and persistent emotionally aberrant over-heated imaginings, nothing more banal than evil.
Taking stock of evil's bloodline ...
April 18, 2008
April 17, 2008
The lower house of the French parliament has passed a bill aimed at stifling any means of mass communications that promote eating disorders or offer handy tips on starvation - both of which are, notably, luxury life-style choices that only those in wealthy countries can afford to indulge, or in which one is blessed to have the time and energy to be so utterly self-obsessed.
Punishments on offer will be up to three years in prison and more than $70,000 in fines.
The very best part is the coining of a new euphemism, which on its own is well worth the legislation: "troubled nutritional behavior".
I lurve a good euphemism!
How to sound convincing when you add this to your personal lexicon:
As happens most of the time, the "experts" have thrown in what's left of their withered thought processes:
"We have noticed," Ms. Boyer said in an interview with The Associated Press, "that the sociocultural and media environment seems to favor the emergence of troubled nutritional behavior, and that is why I think it necessary to act."
"Eating disorder experts ... expressed doubts about whether such a law would help victims or create even more demand for the sites by publicizing them.
"Ultimately, I think it's a mistake to ban them because I think that you're going to be hard pressed to demonstrate in a very clear way that these sites have a direct negative affect," said Michael Levine, a psychology professor at Kenyon College in Ohio whose specialty is eating disorders and the mass media."
The professor isn't convinced of any direct negative affect of girls and women creating cult like clubs on web sites, encouraging and supporting each other to starve.
Beats the heck out of going to McDonald's for a burger, volunteering at a community service group, or reading Camus.
It's a mistake, according to the professor to ban these sites.
Sure, it sounds almost as if the French are trying to make it difficult for girls and women to create a collective delusion that starving is a skill and that doing so makes them special. Wouldn't want to attempt to tackle such an endearing interest now would we? It might smother female ambition.
I get so tired of experts being so ƒυςќing stupid.
April 16, 2008
"In March, 60-year-old Russell Shaw, a prolific US blogger on technology subjects, had a fatal heart attack. In December, another American technology blogger, Marc Orchant, also had a heart attack and died, aged 50. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack the same month.
There is no official recognition of death by blogging and the premature demise of two people does not qualify as an epidemic. There is also no certainty that the stress of the work contributed to their deaths. But friends and family of the deceased and fellow information workers say those deaths have got them thinking about the dangers of their working lives.
"I haven't died yet,"[err, to state the ƒυςќing obvious] says Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a technology blog. The site has brought in millions of dollars in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost.
Arrington says he has gained 13.5 kilograms in the past three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees.
"At some point, I'll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen. This is not sustainable"
Sounds like a cheery little thing.
April 15, 2008
"Plants deserve respect, a group of Swiss experts said Monday, arguing that killing them arbitrarily was morally wrong -- except when it comes to saving humans or maybe picking petals off a daisy."Pop over to AFP for a moment (their copyright) ... Plants deserve respect, Swiss committee says
While the Swiss are worrying about cutting flowers for decorations and a moral justification for pulling daisy petals (there is one: *phew*), the Japanese have issued a statement of regret that they only bopped-off about half their target number of whales. Their goal had been 1000 whales, but their ships are heading home with only 550 carcasses.
"It is regrettable we could not carry out the project", said Toshiro Shirasu, vice minister at the agriculture ministry.
First we had one of our Olympic swimmers letting us in on the secret that the possibility of being kidnapped is the worst nightmare of all swimmers. (Hey, I still would have picked flat hair as nightmare number one, leg cramp as nightmare number two, a momentary erection on the starting blocks as nightmare number three, and being eaten by a shark as nightmare number four. Kidnapping plots would have been 2079 on the list.)
Now one of our Olympic team gymnasts has described her mere attendance at a function where paperclips were found in chocolate muffins as a “scary” experience. She wasn’t aware of the offending muffins and the offending paperclips until the following day, when told by a helpful journalist, but it was still “scary” and she further declared that it would be “disastrous if someone actually swallowed a paperclip”.
I would have thought scary is falling off a beam and breaking a limb, or getting tangled in a big ribbon, or being stabbed in the eye with a toothpick, but being in a room with tainted muffins (and not even knowing it) isn’t fear inducing for the normal person.
Swallowing a wasp, a razor blade, a cyanide capsule, or a handful of small magnets has the potential for disaster, but a neatly closed paperclip is likely to travel through uneventfully, before sailing out intact within a day or so.
Anyway, I’m thinking our chances of a cache of medals will be diddly-squat at the upcoming Games, based purely on the level of paranoia and narcissism in our designated team members. They’re not sounding tough enough to win a game of snap, let alone compete against seriously doped-up athletes from seriously hard-arsed countries.
Here’s my real quibble though: is a paperclip a foreign object (when in situ in a muffin), or is it a poison? I would have thought it was clearly the former.
Our esteemed MSM don’t agree … Olympians in muffin poison scare
April 14, 2008
As Ben Franklin said:
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.
In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink one litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in faeces.
In other words, we are consuming one kilo of poop.
However, we do not run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.
Water = Poop, Wine = Health
Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.
This has been a community announcement.
April 13, 2008
"Kohnstamm, who worked on more than a dozen guide books for the publisher, has even admitted that he didn't visit one of the countries he wrote about, saying he worked on the book about Columbia from his US home.
"They didn't pay me enough to go (to) Columbia," News Ltd newspapers reported him saying.
"I wrote the book in San Francisco. I got the information from a chick I was dating - an intern in the Colombian Consulate.
"They don't pay enough for what they expect the authors to do."
He also claimed to have accepted free travel, breaking the publisher's policy aimed at maintaining the independence of its authors."
Here's the real kicker though:
"Lonely Planet has conducted a review of all Mr Kohnstamm's guide books, but says it has failed to find any inaccuracies in them."
Fake but entirely accurate.
Kudos to Mr Kohnstamm!
Ivana Trump is getting married again - with twenty five bridesmaid's to help her.
Also helping is ex-husband Donald.
The couple divorced way back in 1990 and it wasn't pretty.
But that was then.
Not only will Donald and his latest wife be attending Ivana's wedding, but Donald - bless him - wrote the pre-nup to make sure that Ivana's assets are kept safe.
Gosh darn it, I know I'll sound like a sentimental old fool, but that's about the sweetest thing I've heard in a long time.
"Between what your parents gave you to start with—genetically or culturally or financially—and pure luck, you play a small role in determining how long you live. And even if you add a few years through your own initiative, by doing all the right things in terms of diet, exercise, sleep, vitamins, and so on, why is that to your moral credit? Extending your own life expectancy is the most selfish motive imaginable for doing anything. Do it, by all means. I do. But for heaven’s sake don’t take a bow and expect applause.Mine is longer than yours ...
The last boomer competition is not just about how long you live. It is also about how you die. This one is a “Mine is shorter than yours”: you want a death that is painless and quick. Even here there are choices. What is “quick”? You might prefer something instantaneous, like walking down Fifth Avenue and being hit by a flower pot that falls off an upper-story windowsill. Or, if you’re the orderly type, you might prefer a brisk but not sudden slide into oblivion. Take a couple of months, pain-free but weakening in some vague nineteenth-century way. You can use the time to make your farewells, plan your funeral, cut people out of your will, finish that fat nineteenth-century novel that you’ve been lugging around since the twentieth century, and generally tidy up."
April 12, 2008
Yes, this is a community announcement.
Don't ever say that I don't provide you with life-style warnings and other important stuff to get you through the years.
According to some really old, really rich guy in America, the bubble is going to burst it's shiny coating and the remnants are going to leave us all soggy and icky for years to come, because that's what happens when an elderly 25 year old bubble cracks the shits.
"At the age of 77, Mr. Soros, one the world’s most successful investors and richest men, leapt out of retirement last summer to safeguard his fortune and legacy. Alarmed by the unfolding crisis in the financial markets, he once again began trading for his giant hedge fund — and won big while so many others lost."
Soooo, his bubble is safe, it's only the rest of us who have to worry.
"Last week he rushed out a book, his 10th, warning that the financial pain has only just begun.
“I consider this the biggest financial crisis of my lifetime,” Mr. Soros said during an interview Monday in his office overlooking Central Park. A “superbubble” that has been swelling for a quarter of a century is finally bursting, he said.
... this is not the first time that Mr. Soros has prophesied doom. In 1998, he published a book predicting a global economic collapse that never came."
If one bubble doesn't burst, get a sharper pin.
"Mr. Soros thinks that this time he is right. Now in his eighth decade, he yearns to be remembered not only as a great trader but also as a great thinker. The market theory he has promoted for two decades and espoused most of his life — something he calls “reflexivity” — is still dismissed by many economists. The idea is that people’s biases and actions can affect the direction of the underlying economy, undermining the conventional theory that markets tend toward some sort of equilibrium."
Now, as much as Mr. Soros might be too rich for his own good, and possibly harbors intellectual pretensions beyond his bank balance - and "reflexivity" is a stupid word - I'll admit that I'm partial to his theory, which is more demonstrably accurate than the fairytale of classic economics and market equilibrium.
Economics is based on the cute assumption of a rational buyer with full knowledge, neither of which is ever true.
Soros needs a handful of terms with better marketability than "reflexivity", which sounds a little too much like a rebellious and extreme branch of reflexology believers.
Yep, 100 million amazon condoms per year, to start with.
Not sure if there are that many amazon men in the world, but let's not quibble over small things.
Sub-editor for Melbourne commuter newspaper mX couldn't help himself (had to be a "him"), the headline read:
"Rain forest starts putting out roots"
For our valued O/S audience, don't worry, you're not stupid, it a heading that only Aussies would get.
April 11, 2008
There are many funny aspects to the US battle of the primaries, such as the claims-to-fame of the contenders when touting their foreign policy credentials, and, presumably, their ability to pick up the handset of a red phone and speak into it like a normal person at three in the morning.
John McCain relies on his not at all obviously foreign-policy related military career and combat experience.
Hillary Clinton likes to dwell endlessly on her *involvement* in international and national security, not to mention dodging invisible bullets and other hero-like qualities.
Barack Obama draws a long string of the bow of family ties, in particular to relatives in poor villages in Kenya, plus his years spent growing up in Indonesia. This week he expanded his resume by discussing a three week holiday in Pakistan more than 25 years ago, during which he also made a quick side trip to India.
Doesn't matter who becomes POTUS from this little lot, US foreign policy is going to be mightily fucked during the next term.
Responding to Kev's statements about Tibet while he is traipsing around China, KD effused:
"Your most amazing prime minister has been very fearless in his answers and very, very graceful," Lang said.
"I'm very very proud of Kevin Rudd for being so focused and clear on his answers and his approach.
"I'm very moved by him."
Which is nice for KR and KD.
"Tibet is purely an internal affair and none of the foreign countries or other groups has any right to interfere."
Scaredy-cat opposition leader Brendan Nelson, sitting out of harm's way in Oz, said he supported Mr Rudd's criticism on human rights but added:
"I don't know whether it's wise to have broadcast as publicly as he seems to be doing."
Sure Brendan, these things should be kept in a secret box in the wardrobe.
BTW – was there anyone else whose shriveled black heart pounded with suspicion when the Chinese government announced that 45 would-be terrorists had been arrested, caught red handed with every thing from guns to poison-laced food – allegedly for use on and force-feeding of foreign journalists and athletes, come the Olympics.
Not sure how many alleged Muslims with alleged Al Qaeda links are allegedly lurking in China, but I would have figured about three and a half. Five point seven, absolute tops.
Remarkable timing too. You can't buy that sort of beaut PR in the midst of rolling protests against your country, can ya, hey, can ya??!!
Back to Oz for a finishing flourish: swimmer Libby Trickett (nee Lenton) said kidnap plots were "every swimmer's worst nightmare".
Ummm, really Libby?
April 9, 2008
A pack of nasty torch haters are spoiling the spirit of the Olympics. So says Aussie Olympic Games committee board member Kevan Gosper.
Kev.G has accused has “accused pro-Tibet protesters of being "professional spoilers … filled with resentment and hate".
Kev.G said protesters had not taken into account the hard work put into organising the event.
"They just take their hate out on whatever the issues are at the time, and that hate against the host country is being taken out on our torch."
Ron Clarke said - "The Olympic movement is something that should be held as sacrosanct."
Rob De Castella said - the Olympics were "easily exploited and manipulated by organisations or individuals with different agendas".
Jonathon Welch said - "The flame should be seen as a symbol of hope and unity not to be used for any other political purposes."
Because, you know, the Chinese government wouldn't use the Olympic Games for political purposes, nor manipulate the occasion for a different agenda, nor abuse the sacrosanctness of the event purely because they can.
Neither did Hitler.
Following multiple court appearances and unrelenting praise from a dumb-arsed British judge, Pete Doherty – he of the puffy, pasty skinned body and intellectual capacity of an ameba – has finally been jailed.
Only for a short while.
I'm not complaining.
I'll take Doherty in jail any way and any length of time on offer.
April 7, 2008
Err ... I am not a robot.
So says Kev, who is still busy defending his salute to POTUS, insisting that it was a manifestation of his quirky sense of humor.
Meanwhile, Kev is incomprehensible on the global stage (just wait ... he will try this at home kiddies), and Mrs Kev is being harangued to get thee to a stylist and a hairdresser.
(How many loud, large dresses and jackets can one woman carry in a suitcase - lots. How many handbags and shoes - just the one of each, apparently, and we have the photographic evidence to prove it.)
Kev, impressing his international peers:
"There has to be a greater synergy between, let's call it our policy leadership in this, which has been focused so much, legitimately, on targets and global architecture, almost reverse-engineered back to the means by which you can quickly deliver outcomes, and on the demand side in our economy we're looking at potential advances in terms of 20 to 25% range if you do this across the board. It all takes cost, but let me tell you it's probably the quickest lever you can pull given the challenges we face."Two years and 8 months to go.
Someone, anyone, please help us!
Rudd says he's no robot, yet he talks like one ...
April 6, 2008
"WhiteNorthern Territory public servants are taking courses on indigenous culture, raising questions about whether the funds would be better spent teaching Aborigines about the consequences of sex abuse under Western law."A good thing, non?
Well, non, it would seem.
Let's repeat the central point here: " raising questions about whether the funds would be better spent teaching Aborigines about the consequences of sex abuse under Western law".
Deep breath now.
"Senator Nigel Scullion saw some benefits of cross-cultural training for whites, but said ... the priority should be to educate Aborigines about the dominant culture's laws relating to underage sex and sexual assault.
"For a long time we've understood that communication has to be improved ... Often Aboriginal people fall foul of the law because they don't understand it. Cross-cultural interaction is what needs to be expanded so they can understand the issues better.
"We focus a lot on people going into communities but it is important that indigenous people understand the law where they've been living in areas where there's a lack of compliance. We do need to ensure there's some sort of process to help them understand their obligations."
Northeast Arnhem Land artist, land-care strategist and avowed anti-interventionist Banduk Marika reacted angrily to the cross-cultural scheme.
"Why would they even bother with it when they're using this intervention to turn us into white people?" she said.
Ms Marika said Aborigines needed cross-cultural training, not whites. "If we're being taken over, if our culture is not good enough and if people want us to change overnight, we should get training in your laws."
Hmmm.Sounds to me as though Aboriginal communities are, indeed, in desperate need of training in "white man's culture" and "white man's law", particularly if an Aboriginal woman is angry at the notion of her people - men and women - complying with white laws against rape of children, rape of women, use of drugs, and assault and murder.
It would be truly excellent if things did "change overnight". Bring on the training!
I'm sure it wasn't long ago that I was reading some "history wars" in which many were insisting that Aboriginal culture has never encouraged, sanctioned or colluded in the rape and brutalization of children and women.
In fact, the insistence is most frequently that these barbaric ways are the fault of white culture.
Apparently adopting white-ways is a wholly selective - selective of only the negatives - process.
The Australian reported this story with no analysis, no quizzical asides, not so much as a furrowed journalistic brow or chewed cuticle.
- 42% of Australian women own a vibrator
- only 20% of French women own such toys
A Durex global survey offered additional details:
- Australia has a higher use of vibrators than any other country in the world
- the highest use of vibrators is among white, Christian, married women who vote conservative.
I have no clue what any of this means.
April 5, 2008
For mysterious reasons, best known to himself and his invisible friends, Kev thought it would be a nice joke to salute George W Bush - in front of the world's press.
"Mr Rudd made the gesture and smiled when he spotted Mr Bush across a room at a Bucharest summit on military action in Afghanistan.
Asked about the greeting later by journalists, he said it was meant to be "a joke" and laughed out loud.
"I was just saying hi to the president of the United States - I was just with him the other day,'' Mr Rudd said.
Following the salute yesterday, Mr Rudd denied he was angling to take over Mr Howard's deputy sheriff nickname, saying it was in jest."
April 4, 2008
Titanic :...... Cost - $29.99
Clinton :...... Cost - $29.99
Titanic :..... Over 3 hours to read
Clinton :..... Over 3 hours to read
Titanic :..... The story of Jack and Rose, their forbidden love, and subsequent catastrophe.
Clinton :..... The story of Bill and Monica, their forbidden love, and subsequent catastrophe.
Titanic :..... Jack is a starving artist.
Clinton :..... Bill is a bullshit artist.
Titanic :.... In one scene, Jack enjoys a good cigar.
Clinton :.... Ditto for Bill.
Titanic :..... During the ordeal, Rose's dress gets ruined.
Clinton :..... Ditto for Monica.
Titanic :..... Jack teaches Rose to spit.
Clinton :..... Let's not go there.
Titanic :..... Rose gets to keep her jewelery.
Clinton :.... Monica' s forced to return her gifts.
Titanic :..... Rose remembers Jack for the rest of her life.
Clinton :..... Clinton doesn't remember Jack.
Titanic :.... Rose goes down on a vessel full of seamen.
Clinton :..... Monica...ooh, let's not go there, either.
Titanic :..... Jack surrenders to an icy death.
Clinton :.... Bill goes home to Hillary - basically the same thing