Archive for September 1st, 2006

Pluto demoted, planet goes mad!

Good morning John,

The Pluto fiasco continues! This week science and technology website Slashdot brings us the news that a group of astronomers want the definition of a dwarf planet changed, and 300 astronomers have signed a petition saying that they won’t use the new definition, which effectively means we have one set of astronomers who think Pluto is a planet, and another set who don’t.

Pluto might not be out of the solar system just yet…I pity the poor teachers who have to decide whether or not to include Pluto in solar system projects.

Have a great morning John

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

On 8/27/06, Samuel Gordon-Stewart <smoothwallsamuel@gmail.com> wrote:

Good morning John,

During the night I was thinking about the demotion of Pluto from planetary status…it just seems silly that with a single vote of a few astronomers we can change something as significant as the number of planets in the solar system. Just think about how many school projects have been rendered incorrect overnight by this vote…and the sheer volume of textbooks that will need to be rewritten.

It’s also amazing how much press coverage this is getting…Google have recorded 1491 news story on the Internet about Pluto’s demotion, and counting…and it seems that half of those stories are about NASA officials annoyed at the decision, or a controversy about the number of astronomers in attendance for the vote.

The headlines are amusing too…"World mourns poor Pluto’s plight", "Is 8 enough? Reaction mixed to Pluto’s demotion", " Farewell, Pluto — we thought the world of you ", " Pluto’s demotion creates galactic uproar", "
A COSMIC SHAKEUP
", "Left out in the cold", " Pluto still has its bright side", " Family of astronomer saddened by Pluto demotion"

Perhaps we should go out and measure the planet and see how big it is rather than guessing with telescopes…can I borrow your tape measure John?

I’m going to go and have another giggle to myself about this fiasco….I’m just waiting for the rest of the Solar System to vote us out of the solar system for being planetist, or sizeist, or otherwise naughty is some way.

Have a great week John,

Regards,

Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

2 comments September 1st, 2006 at 11:45pm

60 Seconds Of Traffic

On Sunday evening I took the camera to the corner of Elouera Street and Fawkner Street in Braddon to take some photos which will appear in a future post. I later decided to turn the camera to face the road (and look torwards the corner of Elouera Street and Torrens Street), turn on the long exposure mode, set it to 60 seconds, and see what happens. I took two photos like this, and it was quite interesting to see that a few drivers mistook me for a roadside speed camera and slowed down considerably before passing.

I think the photos are quite interesting, the lighting in the area is very poor (except for the intersection of Elouera St and Torrens St), but the long exposure does a very good job of making it lighter. I think the results are quite interesting.

60 second exposure of traffic on Elouera Street in Canberra

60 second exposure of traffic on Elouera Street in Canberra

Samuel

3 comments September 1st, 2006 at 03:04pm

Livinia on Getaway

Good afternoon John,

Well the trademark John Stanley jinx didn’t affect Livinia Nixon last night…her report on Getaway was excellent, hopefully the ratings were too. I managed to catch Livinia after Inspector Rex finished on SBS, I usually don’t watch Getaway but wanted to see Livinia…I also wanted to see Rex…so I was lucky and got to see both Rex and Livinia (thanks to Channel Nine for that).

By the way John, how did Inspector Rex (7:30pm on SBS) go in the ratings last night?

Have a great weekend John,

Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

2 comments September 1st, 2006 at 01:30pm

Talkback Emails

Every now and then I send an email to a talkback radio presenter for inclusion in their program (for those not familiar with the concept, many talkback radio shows encourage listeners to send emails, as well as ring in) and as such I have decided that I will now post these emails on this website, in a new category titled “Talkback Emails”.

If I remember, this will be acheived by sending a copy of the email to a secret email address as a bcc (blind carbon copy) recipient…this should enable the email to appear automatically within moments of me sending the email. If I forget to send the copy of the email, I can quite easily copy the email in later.

This will not be a comprehensive effort, so some emails will not be included, and any email with “not-for-air” portions will either be edited before appearing, or will not appear at all.

Some of these emails contain the framework for future posts, and other contain opinions that either do not merit their own article, or I simply don’t get around to writing about. This should also improve the frequency of posts here…assuming that I send enough emails to talkback presenters!

Samuel

September 1st, 2006 at 12:39pm

How to annoy a telemarketer

This week’s Friday Funny is a transcript of a telemarketing call from American phone company AT&T to somebody who was just trying to enjoy their dinner. This was written by the person receiving the call from AT&T, but has been copied on to so many websites that I am unable to find the original person.

Me: Hello

AT&T: Hello, this is AT&T….

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T….

Me: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes. This is AT&T….

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: YES! This is AT&T. May I speak to Mr. Salem please?

Me: May I ask who is calling?

AT&T: This is AT&T.

Me: OK, hold on.

At this point, I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, she was still waiting.

Me: Hello?

AT&T: Is this Mr. Salem?

Me: May I ask who is calling please?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T….

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T….

Me: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, is this Mr. Salem?

Me: Yes, is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: The phone company?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: I thought you said this was AT&T.

AT&T: Yes, sir, we are a phone company.

Me: I already have a phone.

AT&T: We aren’t selling phones today, Mr. Salem.

Me: Well, whatever it is, I’m really not interested, but thanks for calling.

When you are not interested in something, I don’t think you can express yourself any plainer than by saying “I’m really not interested”, but this lady was persistent.

AT&T: Mr. Salem, we would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Now, I am sure she meant she was offering a “rate” of 10 cents a minute, but she at no time used the word “rate”. I could clearly see that it was time to whip out the trusty old calculator and do a little ciphering.

Me: Now, that’s 10 cents a minute 24 hours a day?

AT&T: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes, sir, that’s right! 24 hours a day!

Me: 7 days a week?

AT&T: That’s right.

Me: 365 days a year?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!! That’s amazing!!

AT&T: We think so!

Me: That’s quite a sum of money!

AT&T: Yes, sir, it’s amazing how it adds up.

Me: OK, so will you send me cheques weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560? If you send an annual cheque, can I get a cash advance?

AT&T: Excuse me?

Me: You know, the 10 cents a minute.

AT&T: What are you talking about?

Me: You said you’d give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1,008 per week and $52,560 per year. I’m just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.

AT&T: Oh no, sir, I didn’t mean we’d be paying you. You pay us 10 cents a minute.

Me: Wait a minute here! Didn’t you say you’d give me 10 cents a minute? Are you sure this is AT&T?

AT&T: Well, yes, this is AT&T, sir, but….

Me: But nothing! How do you figure that by saying that you’ll give me 10 cents a minute that I’ll give you 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of subliminal telemarketing scheme? I’ve read about things like this in the Enquirer, you know. Don’t use your alien brainwashing techniques on me.

AT&T: No, sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for….

Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please?!?

AT&T: Sir, I don’t think that is necessary.

Me: Sure! You say that now! What happens later?

AT&T: What?

Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!

AT&T: Yes, Mr. Salem. Please hold.

So, now AT&T has me on hold, and my supper is getting cold. I begin to eat while I’m waiting for a supervisor. After a wait of a few minutes and while I have a mouth full of food…….

Supervisor: Mr. Salem?

Me: Yeth?

Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.

Me: Id thish Ath Teeth & Teeth? (Is this AT&T)

Supervisor: Yes, sir, it sure is.

I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter, and I had to be careful not to produce a snort.

Me: No, actually I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.

Supervisor: OK, no problem, I’ll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.

Me: Thank you.

I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I needed to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.

AT&T: Hello, Mr. Salem. I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan?

Me: Do you have that friends and family thing because you can never have enough friends and I’m an only child and I’d really like to have a little brother………

AT&T: (click)

Samuel

5 comments September 1st, 2006 at 09:26am

Samuel’s Footy Tips

It’s the last regular round of both competitions, but my tips will continue right through until the end of the finals.

NRL Round 26
Broncos V Warriors
Tigers V Rabbitohs
Storm V Sea Eagles
Sharks V Raiders
Cowboys V Eels
Roosters V Dragons
Panthers V Bulldogs

AFL Round 22
Bulldogs V Bombers
Tigers V Eagles
Crows V Demons
Lions V Saints
Dockers V Power
Swans V Blues
Magpies V Kangaroos
Hawks V Cats

Samuel

September 1st, 2006 at 06:44am


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