Archive for December 7th, 2007

Yep, the nation’s water has been spiked

Either that or the door to the lunatic asylum have been left open and unguarded.

An academic says nations need to cut greenhouse pollution by 50 per cent by 2025 and 100 per cent by 2050 .. to avoid climatic disaster.

Climate change researcher IAN MCGREGOR says the kind of emissions cuts being discussed at the UN conference in Bali would not avert catastrophic climate change.

Mr MCGREGOR .. from Sydney’s University of Technology .. says the recent dramatic melting of ice in the Arctic shows the world’s in greater trouble than originally thought.

Somebody’s been paying a bit too much attention to Lachlan Connor’s policies.

First it’s the Melbourne taxi drivers wanting to be immune from demerit points, then New South Wales transport minister John Watkins informs everyone of his delusion that Morris Iemma can’t be run over by a bus because of the marvellous job he is doing as transport minister, then Western Australia’ Corrective Services Minister launchers her own branch of mathematics, and now this. Did somebody fly me to a different planet while I was sleeping?

Honestly, some days on this planet should just be skipped.

Samuel

1 comment December 7th, 2007 at 02:44pm

Meanwhile in Perth…

Western Australia’ Corrective Services Minister Margaret Quirk declares that 7 + 5 + 5 = 31

DRUG trafficker Holly Deane-Johns has landed back at Perth Airport after seven years in a Thai jail for heroin trafficking. She’ll serve the rest of her jail term in WA.
[..]
Deane-Johns — convicted in 2003 in Thailand for heroin possession and trafficking after trying to mail 10.4 grams of the drug to Australia three years earlier — has so far served seven years of a 31-year sentence.
[..]
She will serve five years in prison and five years on parole unless the King of Thailand pardons her, in which case she is likely to be immediately freed.

Has something been put in the nation’s water supply today?

Samuel

December 7th, 2007 at 02:36pm

Watkins to bus drivers: Don’t run over the premier!

The order from New South Wales transport minister to bus drivers in the state is clear, no running over the premier:

Deputy NSW premier JOHN WATKINS denies any deal has been done .. for him to take over from MORRIS IEMMA.

Mr WATKINS says he has no ambitions for the top job .. and he doesn’t think he’ll ever be premier.

Asked what would happen if Mr IEMMA got hit by a bus .. Mr WATKINS said that won’t happen .. because he’s transport minister.

Considering Mr. Watkins’ amazing track record of making train drivers adhere to timetables, I’d be keeping clear of bus lanes if I was Morris Iemma.

Samuel

December 7th, 2007 at 02:21pm

From The Vault: December 3, 2006

A week in to the month and I have only just realised that I didn’t peer in to the vault on December 1.

Today we are going back a bit over a year (to the third of December last year to be precise) and half time at the Scottish International Lawn Bowls Grand Final. The full time report can be found here if you’re interested.

Scottish International Lawn Bowls Grand Final: Half Time
December 3rd, 2006 at 01:17am

Kelvin Kerkow has easily won the first set of the Scottish International Lawn Bowls grand final, 11-5, against fellow Australian David Gourlay.

Ninth seed Kelvin Kerkow started the set well, and seemed more composed than 4th seed david Gourlay whose only answer was driving the ball in the hope of hitting something, a tactic which failed more often than not. By the end of the 7th set (the equivalent of a game in tennis), Kerkow led 8-1.

Gourlay then staged a comeback, getting back within three points of Kerkow, who led 8-5 after 9 ends, but it was all Kerkow from there, as he scored another two points to win the set 11-5.

Today’s final is being run over two sets of 11 ends, in the event of a draw there will be a tiebreaker of three ends.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart reporting for Samuel’s Blog and John Kerr

December 7th, 2007 at 01:07pm

And away we go… (storm warning)

Update 12:19pm: The storm is definitely rolling in, the thunder is more than audible in the Weston Creek area. End Update

Rain, Flood, Hail, that pretty much sums up today’s storm warning, the only difference being that this time, the radar agrees. It’s already raining and the heavier rain is coming.

I wonder how long it will be until the ESA starts issuing colour coded alerts again, I haven’t seen or heard of any for weeks.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for LARGE HAILSTONES, FLASH FLOODING and DAMAGING WIND
For people in the SOUTH COAST, CENTRAL TABLELANDS, SOUTHERN TABLELANDS, ACT, CENTRAL WEST SLOPES, CENTRAL WEST PLAINS and SOUTH WEST SLOPES Forecast Districts.

Issued at 11:53 am Friday, 7 December 2007.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones, very heavy rainfall, flash flooding and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Yass, Young, Cooma, Bega, Dubbo and Parkes.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep clear of fallen power lines.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 2:55 pm.

If severe thunderstorms develop in the Sydney/Newcastle/Wollongong region or Canberra and Queanbeyan, a more detailed Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued to people in these areas.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 218. The Bureau and State Emergency Service would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.

Update 2:53pm: It’s been extended.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for LARGE HAILSTONES, FLASH FLOODING and DAMAGING WIND
For people in the METROPOLITAN, ILLAWARRA, SOUTH COAST, CENTRAL TABLELANDS, SOUTHERN TABLELANDS, ACT, CENTRAL WEST SLOPES, CENTRAL WEST PLAINS, SOUTH WEST SLOPES and parts of the HUNTER Forecast Districts.

Issued at 2:36 pm Friday, 7 December 2007.

Severe thunderstorms may produce large hailstones, very heavy rainfall, flash flooding and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Orange, Bathurst, Mudgee, Katoomba, Canberra, Goulburn, Cooma, Yass, Dubbo and Parkes.

The next warning is due to be issued by 5:40 pm.
End Update

Samuel

December 7th, 2007 at 12:08pm

Why Vladimir Won and Telling It As You See It

I think we’ll have two Friday Funnies this week. Firstly courtesy of Joel, the reason Vladimir Putin won the Russian election.

How Vladimir Putin won the Russian election

And secondly, courtesy of Leslie, the following apparently happened on US radio station NPR at some stage. It would be hard to find somebody who is more blunt about describing things the way they see them.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL REINWALD: We’re going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible, isn’t it?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don’ t see why, they’ll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don’t see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL REINWALD: Well, Ma’am, you’re equipped to be a prostitute, but you’re not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended.

Do you have something you would like to contribute to Friday Funnies? If so, email it to samuel@samuelgordonstewart.com. All contributions welcome!

Samuel

December 7th, 2007 at 10:28am

How Long Would It Take?

I have been thinking about our changing climate a bit this morning and a thought occurred to me. This is purely hypothetical, but just suppose that we, as a human race, were to stop producing “greenhouse gases” completely, and after we did so, they planet kept warming indefinitely. How many years would it take for the scientists who have been blaming human activity for climate change, to accept that humans were not responsible?

I would be willing to say that it wouldn’t happen in my lifetime.

I think the next thirty to fifty years would be spent blaming “all those years of human activity” for the continuing increase in temperatures. The following fifty years or so would probably be spent trying to find something else which was “continuing” the increase, although scientists would start to realise the situation wasn’t caused by human towards the end of this period.

I think it would take a bit over 100 years for the majority of the “humans are responsible” brigade to change their tune, but even then there would be those who would insist that humans caused an “irreversible change”.

As I said, this is entirely hypothetical, but it is worth thinking about. What do you think would happen amongst the scientific community in this hypothetical scenario?

Samuel

December 7th, 2007 at 08:25am

Melbourne Taxi Strike

An email has been forwarded to me which purports to be from “The Victorian Taxi Driver’s Association with support of taxi drivers of Melbourne”, the email claims that taxi drivers in Melbourne will be striking on Monday. I’m not sure if the email is legitimate or not as I have, so far, been unable to find any news stories about the planned strike, but I thought it would be worthwhile sharing it with you as some of the aims of the strike are rather amusing.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This is to inform you, and all the people concerned, that
we the taxi drivers of Melbourne are going on a peaceful “taxi protest ” on
Monday 10th Dec from 3.00 p.m onwards at the steps of Parliament House on
Spring Street against the authorities who manage ,regulate and bully taxi
industry. We were promised a number of solutions 16 months ago but its
highly regrettable that none of them have actually been implemented. Hence
we were left with no option but to go for protests once again .

Please make sure that necessary traffic alterations are made in advance.

Any inconvenience caused to general public is regrettable .

Victorian Taxi Drivers Association with support of taxi drivers of Melbourne

Attached to the email is the following document, outlining the aims of the strike.

TAXI PROTESTS

ON

Mon 10th DECEMBER 2007

At

3:30 PM onwards

Venue: Corner of Spring Street, and Bourke Street.

TREAT TAXI DRIVERS AS “HUMAN BEINGS”

To pressurise Govt. to fulfill the following demands of Taxi Drivers and Taxi Operators

Pressurise the government? “Pressure” perhaps? I’m pretty sure that turning the government in to either a balloon or a marking on a synoptic chart isn’t going to achieve much.

1. Stop the dictatorial powers of Depots such as 13 Cabs for imposing harsh and inhuman penalties such as “Two Hour Recall Penalty” and other unjustified harsh monetary penalties. A two hour penalty literally destroys the whole day income of taxi driver. Maximum penalty should be half an hour. NO MORE BULLYING OF DRIVERS BY MONOPOLISTIC TAXI DEPOTS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.

2. Monitoring by VTD not just of drivers, but also of service provider depots such as 13 Cabs and Silver Top. (We were promised this by Mr. Peter Batchelor on 15th Aug last year at Flemington Racecourse, but no action till now)

A deal struck at Flemington race course? It sounds a bit suspicious to me.

3. A six month trial of Safety Measures was announced on 15th Aug last year. Sixteen months have passed, but driver safety and security still remains neglected. We want results and not just trials. No one should have a problem with Detachable Safety Screens.

I can’t see any problem with safety screens, but how much do they cost and who will fund them? The taxi industry, to the best of my knowledge, is a private industry. Surely if the taxi drivers are so interested in safety screens they would be willing to purchase and install them themselves. I would have thought that the cost of such devices would be quite small when compared to the cost of purchasing and operating a taxi.

If, on the other hand, there is some legislation which prevents the installation of such devices, then I can understand the protest.

4. No constructive input yet from Victorian Multi Cultural Commission to reduce racism against taxi drivers. RACISM is a curse on Victorian Society.

The Victorian Multicultural Commission can produce as many reports as they like…none of them will reduce racism. Racism is an attitude issue, not something a bit of paper can solve.

5. Mandatory upfront payment during hours of 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM on all days, to reduce Taxi Runners (If 9,000 runners a week are too less to wake up Government). This will also help curb racism and violence against taxi drivers.

I have no problem with up-front payments, especially during those hours. It would help prevent “runners” and probably help prevent some violence, but I can’t see how it is related to racism…I have never met anyone who chooses whether or not to pay a taxi driver based on their nationality. It would appear to me that racism is just a pet topic of this group and they are just trying to link as many things as they can to it.

6. Assaults on Taxi Drivers should be punishable in the same manner as assaults on other public transport workers. (We also come under ministry of Public Transport, and there are at least 400 cases of reported assaults on taxi drivers every year. Are they a bit too less to wake the sleeping government)

“A bit too less to wake the sleeping government”? Who wrote this?

For what it’s worth I agree with them, but their grammatical errors don’t help their cause, especially in a public document.

7. Fare increases to match inflation. (1% fare increase is a Joke).

8. Stop undue favoritism to Cab charge and City Link.

9. Drivers to get a 3% share on EFTPOS charges. Stop the EFTPOS regime.

10. Drivers to get 3% share on Account Booking Charges.

11. Tolls on taxis went straight up from $2.20 to $3.50 and from $3.85 to $5.60. Unjustified increment of approx 50 %. Stop the TOLLS regime.

12. Depot fess should increase in the same manner as Taxi Fares. Otherwise it is totally unjustified for taxi operators. VTA should not get any share from the taxi depot fees. Depot fees are unrealistically high and should be reduced. Share to VTA puts unnecessary burden on Operators. Depot fees should be justified by the services provided.

13. Increase in Taxi Rank Spaces. Taxi rank spaces should match the number of taxis on Road. SAVE THE TAXI INDUSTRY FROM PARKING FINES, Stop the PARKING FINES regime.

At each taxi rank or as a collective? Either way, that is insanity. Even if we ignore the fact that they are requesting a change in the number of taxi ranks every time a taxi is commissioned or decommissioned, surely taxi rank spaces should depend on the demand in a particular area, and the space available, not an arbitrary number.

14. Re introduce the NEW YEARS EVE surcharge. Otherwise, NO taxis will be on road on New Year’s Eve.

Blackmail. I don’t know why the surcharge was removed or what its purpose was in the first place, but I can’t see the point in bringing it back. The taxi industry already has a public holiday surcharge, why should they have a “night before the public holiday” surcharge?

15. Increase the driver facilities at Melrose Drive Holding Area at Melbourne Airport.

16. District Destinations to be logically modified to make it practically applicable on Road.

I’m sure that means something, but could somebody translate it in to English please?

17. Clear laws to be made for TAXI DRIVER CHANGE OVER.

And finally, the most laughable request of the lot.

18. Demerit points incurred while driving taxi should not affect the personal demerit points of taxi drivers.

So taxi drivers should be allowed to speed, run red lights and commit various other traffic offences on the basis that they are driving a taxi? And on what planet would the rest of us be safe?

BE THERE FOR YOUR RIGHTS

BRING AS MANY OF YOUR FRIENDS YOU CAN.

IF OUR DEMANDS ARE NOT MET, ANOTHER ROUND OF PROTESTS WILL BE ON NEW YEARS EVE.

Ah well, plenty of their “rights” (or “delusions” as many of them could be more accurately described) won’t be met, especially not the 18th one, so if you are intending on requiring transport on New Years Eve in Melbourne, you might just have to wait for the next train…or an escort in the back of a police van.

Samuel

December 7th, 2007 at 06:09am


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