September 27, 2013

September 25, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.

E. O. Wilson

September 23, 2013

This should fix things: Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention

Everything you thought you knew about environments and communities is wrong.  But don't worry, you can blame your poor memory, and lack of imagination and invention.

Memory, imagination and invention are three pre-conditions for sustaining communities and environments. The Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention (CMII) comprises a unique interdisciplinary group that addresses these interrelated concerns from both theoretical and applied perspectives. 

Building on the expertise represented in its members, CMII responds to a growing recognition that scenarios for future sustainability based exclusively on instrumentalist, rational paradigms fail to produce community engagement. CMII's mission is to demonstrate and enhance the usefulness and the efficacy of humanities, creative arts and social sciences research to cause positive social change, and to improve social and cultural fabric.
Deploying innovative methods drawn from the disciplines of cultural heritage studies, museology, architecture, literary studies, creative arts and design, CMII is forging ground-breaking projects focusing on themes including spatiality, cross-cultural engagement, innovative technologies, and the operation of memory.

Clive Palmer gets the hang of being an elected member

The new Member for Fairfax responds on Twitter to a questions about his Waratah Coal mine seeking Federal environment approval.


September 20, 2013

They wish

Lexicon, by Max Barry, is a story about an organisation of poets who can, after training, control people by using stupendously powerful words. 

Yes, yes, it's FICTION.

Poets would never have the wherewithal to organise themselves. 

Fowl research

In the UK, six universities have each taken a share of $3.4 million in grants to study how humans interact with chickens.

Yes, chickens.

Yes, how humans interact with them.

Since 6000BC. 

That is, the study will look at human interactions with chooks over thousands of years.

This announcement has been bought to you by KFC. 

As you were. 

Duck Friday

September 18, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

September 16, 2013

Not a peep

Anyone know how the Wikileaks party fared in the not-yet-stale Australian federal election?

Sunk without a peep or a squeak, I assume.

Our political reporters so uninterested that there hasn't been any commentary on where it all went wrong.

Ditto no analysis of how Katter was eclipsed by all and sundry, most especially the sundry Palmer and PUP.

September 13, 2013

Voyager goes star treking

Voyager, the little explorer that could, has left our solar system.
"This is the first time that humanity has been able to step outside of the cradle of the solar system to explore the larger galaxy," said Marc Swisdak, an astrophysicist at the University of Maryland.

The unmanned probe was launched in 1977 to study Jupiter and Saturn but has continued for 19 billion kilometres and is now exploring the galaxy.

It is carrying a golden disc with spoken greetings, earth sounds and a collection of music in case it is found by intelligent life forms.
NASA - Voyager:  The Interstellar Mission

Voyager has gone where no probe has gone before

And so say both of them

Anthony Albanese said he is running for the Labor leadership because he believes he can deliver the party government again at the next election. 

"I am standing for the Labor leadership because I firmly believe I am the best candidate to lead Labor back into government at the next election."
Bill Shorten said the same thing.

Duck Friday

September 11, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.

The Napoleon of Notting Hill – G. K. Chesterton

September 9, 2013

More wash out

The ABC asks the big questions:  'Is it time for Kevin Rudd to quit politics'.

Well, yes, yes it is time.

However, word has it that Rudd has no intention of going anywhere other than straight back to parliament.  This is staggering, unfathomable, if true. 

Australian Greens leader, Christine Milne, refuses to accept any responsibility for a reduction in the Green vote - it's the fault of the ALP and a lack of support from the environmental movement, apparently. 

The whopping 27 per cent drop in support looks like leading to, alas, more Greens in parliament.  Okay, only one more, but that's one too many.

Fearless Clive Palmer, leader of the PUP, has already declared that Tony Abbott owes him - Palmer is taking credit for getting the LNP over the line.

I'm king maker, says Clive Palmer

*Rolls eyes*
LNP star candidate Bill Glasson has labelled Kevin Rudd churlish, sanctimonious, disrespectful and a smart-arse after the deposed prime minister used his concession speech to brag about victory in his own seat. 
Giving his speech on Saturday night, Mr Rudd said: "It would be un-prime ministerial of me to say, 'Bill Glasson, eat your heart out,' so I won't."
The entire 24 minutes of Rudd's speech was shameless.

Kevin Rudd slammed for gloat

How the grown ups got back in charge:

Just after Tony Abbott's frustratingly fruitless victory in the 2010 election campaign, Liberal pollster and strategist Mark Textor presented party director Brian Loughnane with a paper entitled "A campaign for grown-ups by grown-ups". 
Being grown-up became the central theme of a three-year strategy in which four principals with their own distinct roles and talents worked towards Saturday night's "overnight success" of the election of the "unpopular" and "unelectable" Liberal leader as prime minister.

'Grown up' tactics trump negativity for coalition

September 7, 2013

Oh for fuck's sake!

Remember the dirge-like victory speech that Kevin Rudd gave when the ALP won the federal election back in 2007?  The droning that seemed like it would never end?  I can't have been the only person who felt an urge to hand the man a Prozac.

Fast forward to a slamming defeat in 2013 - although yes, he did save the furniture - Rudd's concession speech was cheery, buoyant, bouncy, verbose and virtually a victory speech - and no, he didn't shut the fuck up.

Rudd's latest thought bubble slow to expand

Why hasn't Rudd conceded defeat yet?

It's heading to 10pm and the outcome has been obvious for three and a half hours.

September 6, 2013

September 4, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move.

Douglas Adams

September 2, 2013

It's the economy stupid

Labor campaign spokeswoman Penny Wong tends to lull her audience into a hypnotic state. But this line hit us like a slap in the face. "I think a lot of people are tired of this costings debate, I'd quite like to be able to talk about something else," she told Seven News on Friday. Say what?
(The Oz) 

And with that, Wong joined the Hockey camp of inventing the lie that voters are bored by economics.

As far as I know, there's no 'costing' in the world that can establish that a policy is sound and appropriate, will be effective, will have no unintended outcomes, and will come in at the cost first claimed.  

Nor is there any 'costing' that can establish that the opportunity cost of one policy over another is defensible - at least not in the land down under, since both of our major parties ignore such inconveniences.

These are the reasons why the empty 'debate' about costings should stop.  It's a nonsense game, and the ALP and the Liberals are treating us like fools.  

With only four days until votes are cast, we haven't heard a single concrete or coherent economic thought from Rudd or from Abbott.  


Battle of the witless

The prime minister on Tuesday offered a scathing assessment of the opposition leader's "temperament", including whether he's capable of dealing with complex diplomatic issues.
Mr Rudd took up the theme again on Wednesday, describing Mr Abbott as "aggressive".

He justified the personal attack by saying the Australian people have a right to know "what they're buying". "With me, they do, warts and all," Mr Rudd told reporters in Brisbane…
Mr Abbott later brushed off the comments.
"I'm not going to get into a competitive character assassination with Mr Rudd," he told reporters in Tasmania. "I'll leave Mr Rudd to engage in that kind of personal attack.
"I would simply suggest if you want to know my character, ask my colleagues. If you want to know Mr Rudd's character, ask his colleagues."