Archive for January, 2008

Storm and the stolen generation

Good evening Stuart,

It sounds like the storm really hit you up there in Sydney. We were supposed to have a lot of storm activity down here in Canberra but (in my part of town at least) it was just a light show and a bit of rain. Probably a good thing because I'm doing a good impersonation of a bear with a headache at the moment…the excess noise of more thunder and hail would not have been welcome.

Also, I can see the floodgates just starting to leak with the apology to the stolen generation. This call to teach the history of the stolen generation in schools is a tricky one, because which version of the story are we talking about…the "nasty white people stole children" version that I was taught in primary school, or the factual "aboriginal children were removed because the government thought it was a good idea, and the debate has been raging ever since" version. Undoubtedly the "history" will ignore the non-aboriginal children who were "stolen".

I clearly remember the day in primary school where we had to write down our thoughts on apologising to the stolen generation, I wrote my opinion that we shouldn't apologise, and was forced to cross it out and write something about how important it is to apologise. I have no problem with the story of the stolen generation being taught in schools, it is after all an important part of our history, but it should be taught accurately, not in the biased way it was taught when I was in primary school.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

4 comments January 31st, 2008 at 09:30pm

Storms and Satellites don’t mix

There’s a large storm making its way through Sydney at the moment, and another storm near Canberra and expected to hit within the next hour or so.

Both 2CC’s feed from 2UE, and the 2KY feed to their Canberra repeater are having issues this evening as a result of the storms…2KY’s Canberra repeater doesn’t have an emergency tape either.

Incidentally the Bureau Of Meterology is warning of large hailstones, very heavy rainfall, flash flooding and damaging winds in Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Cobar and Bourke.

Update 7:25pm: Both stations are back on the air and have been broadcasting without issues for the last little while…the storms are still a concern though. End Update

Samuel

January 31st, 2008 at 07:16pm

ACT Health are incompetent

Originally posted 30/Jan/2008
Hi Mike,

I've been on the fence over this issue with the male sex worker and ACT health not identifying his medical condition…I've been leaning towards your argument that ACT Health should have informed the public, but today's revelation that he may have infected 250 people with HIV makes me agree with you completely.

This is a disgrace, those 250 people, if they're infected, could have infected hundreds more people by now, and those people could have infected others and so on…this all should have been announced a month ago when ACT health were first informed.

I can't see find any reference to the court case about this being over, so I'd be interested to hear how this public announcement fits in with Katy Gallagher's statements to you that her legal advice was that she couldn't say anything. If you try to talk to her tomorrow, I'm willing to bet that she'll be unavailable until three minutes to the hour.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

For your reference, here's the story James Goodwin files for 2GB's livenews.com.au this afternoon:

From http://livenews.com.au/Articles/2008/01/30/Sex_worker_may_have_infected_250_with_HIV

Sex worker may have infected 250 with HIV

James Goodwin & AAP

1 hour 54 minutes ago.

Authorities in Canberra are desperately trying to contact hundreds of people who may have been infected with the AIDS virus by a male sex worker.

Hector Scott, 41, has been charged with knowingly infecting someone with a sexually transmitted disease and failing to register as a sex worker.

ACT Chief Health Officer Charles Guest confirmed on Wednesday the man had Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV.

"It is a very unusual step to take to mention the diagnosis of this kind in the interest of privacy," Dr Guest told reporters in Canberra.

"But we will be calling people this afternoon and discussing this diagnosis with them so we know that it will be in the public domain today so therefore I'll share that with you."

The health department have begun call around 250 people who Scott has telephoned in recent weeks to warn them they could be at risk.

It is believed a number of the man's clients could have been from interstate.

During 2007 he advertised himself as a prostitute in Canberra media using the names Adam and Josh.

The health department first became aware of Scott's actions on December 20 last year when notified by another jurisdiction. The department alerted police within 24 hours.

But Scott was not issued with a public health order – to stop working as a prostitute – until January 4, when he was arrested.

Anyone who has been in sexual contact with Scott is urged to see a doctor.

Update 31/Jan/2008: Mike Jeffreys interviewed Dr. Guest this morning, they went around in circles for a little while with Dr. Guest insisting that the government’s approach to this issue has not changed. Dr. Guest terminated the interview when he declared that Mike Jeffreys’s summary of the situation was incorrect (despite being almost identical to the story that Dr. Guest had told Mike a few moments prior) and that he didn’t have time to explain the investigation to Mike. Dr. Charles Guest hung up on Mike Jeffreys.

I think the PR people will be having a word with Dr. Guest today, as he was doing fairly well until he decided to hang up…he was holding his ground, and then he threw his credibility out the window by making it sound like an enquiry from the media about an important public issue was too hard and too time consuming. Dr. Guest did himself and the government no favours by hanging up…this is why Katy Gallagher should have been the person to spout non-answers, she could have read the same script, and just re-used her (possibly true) “I have to go and look after the children” line when it all became too much to deal with.

I will say this in Dr. Guest’s defence though, it should not be left to him to deal with the media, it should be the minister facing the media, not a public servant. Making Dr. Guest hold a press conference yesterday was a disgraceful act, and Ms. Gallagher should either be ashamed or discipline the person responsible.

End Update

1 comment January 31st, 2008 at 08:00am

An Emergency Tape That Skips

Well, this is a new one for 2CC…the emergency tape sounds like it’s probably a CD, and it skips chronically. It’s been skipping for at least the last hour and a half, and probably longer.

At 6:15 2CC were broadcasting normally, by 8:15 they were not. In that time there was a fairly large thunderstorm in Canberra (it’s still nearby as I write this) so I believe this had something to do with it. I turned on the radio at about 8:15pm and thought “why is Stuart Bocking playing music”, I only had the radio on for a few moments but could hear the music skipping. About fifteen minutes later I turned the radio on again and it was still skipping…it took at least the next twenty minutes for it to progress beyond the tail end of a song and the following commercial.

It’s not a power failure in Mitchell as 2CA’s night time programming is continuing as normal. It also doesn’t sound like a standard network failure as there have been no network pulses or stray bits of audio interrupting the emergency CD…I’m guessing that something has gone seriously wrong between 2CC’s studio and transmitter causing a complete loss of the broadcast feed, which has left the standby program running.

The skipping emergency CD is a bit more of a mystery, it’s been stuck on extracts of the one song and the sting before it for the last twenty minutes, and has only just skipped back to the ad break before it. The CD was stuck on this ad break at 9pm. I suppose it’s possible that the problem is entirely at the transmitter, because otherwise I’m sure that Duncan McCrea would have rushed in to the studio and put on his own backup program by now.

9:51…and as I finish writing this, they’re back on the air…hooray!

Samuel

January 30th, 2008 at 09:52pm

Trend Micro suing Barracuda

Anti-virus company Trend Micro are suing Barracuda Networks on the grounds that Barracuda are using ClamAV anti-virus on their spam and anti-virus gateway products, something Trend Micro claims breaches their patent on anti-virus software being used in SMTP and FTP gateways.

It’s a court matter so I won’t say much, except that if the claim is upheld, then Trend Micro will have a green light to sue many many companies and open source projects for the same thing.

The patent is, in my opinion, ridiculous, but it’s a patent none-the-less and it will be interesting to see the outcome of this court case. Regardless of the outcome, the ramifications will be felt.

Samuel

January 30th, 2008 at 05:03pm

What’s new with the ABC?

This ABC ident has me wondering, what’s changing?

Apart from, perhaps, a new colour scheme (I don’t suppose red, white and blue means they’re being purchased by America’s ABC?) I can’t see an awful lot that’s new here…and if Peter Cundall retired, why is he still in the promos?

It’s funny that this ident has appeared, as I was going to post some ABC promos I recorded around the time of The Bill on Saturday…I was quite pleased with what I saw…more on that tomorrow.

Samuel

3 comments January 29th, 2008 at 06:24pm

On Seven News at Six…

Ian Ross:

We reveal the cause of the F3 truck crash inferno

Errr, driver loses control of semi-trailer and it crashes in to a wall, fire ensues, flammable cargo (waste paper and rags) burns, road gets closed, fire brigade put out blaze, truck is removed from area, road gets re-opened, police continue investigating…it’s pretty straight-forward and considering that nobody else has any information about what happened before the crash, I think you’ll find that Seven News will have a nice two-to-three minute elaboration on what I just said.

I thought Seven News were doing well enough in the ratings to not need to suck in viewers with misleading statements.

Samuel

January 29th, 2008 at 05:33pm

Steak and Soy Milk

Along with my nightmare about working for Telstra again the other night, I had another peculiar dream about recipes involving soy milk.

I don’t really like the taste of soy milk, so thinking about this dream makes my stomach churn.

The basic premise of the dream was that a cooking show was being produced in my kitchen, and every recipe had to involve soy milk. It was quite concerning that this did not mean creating new receipes, rather it meant adding soy milk to existing recipies…and even things which I wouldn’t consider a recipe.

The image of a steak being cooked in a frying pan filled with soy milk is one of the most disturbing images I can think of, and I can’t get it out of my head.

I think I’ll stop there, you don’t need to know about the other soy milk recipes.

Samuel

2 comments January 29th, 2008 at 09:05am

I notice that Andrew Bolt is back

I notice that Herald Sun columnist and blogger Andrew Bolt has finally returned from holidays.

I like Andrew’s blog and I generally skim through it two or three times a week. His posts range from things I strongly agree with, to things I just find peculiar or wrong, but I always find it entertaining.

Of particular interest is this video he posted under the title “What’s French for moron?

The question is simple enough, Which of the following orbits the Earth? (Update: Mark makes an interesting point about the question in the comments below…apparently they used “gravitate” in the question instead of orbit…and there are some other peculiarities with the question. End Update)
A: The Moon
B: The Sun
C: Mars
D: Venus

The result is quite staggering.

Samuel

4 comments January 28th, 2008 at 10:13pm

Hair

Good afternoon John,

I can't imagine you with hair, I think the bald head suits you quite well.

As for my hair, I'd be much happier if it didn't grow. I dislike haircuts, and I also dislike having long(ish) hair. If only it could remain short without needing to be maintained!

And welcome back to Canberra, I've missed you since you disappeared to the drive show. I was very excited when I heard your voice after the 3pm news, I hope you're enjoying your new timeslot.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

January 28th, 2008 at 04:00pm

That doesn’t make any sense…

During my 22 hours of sleep I had a very strange dream that I quit my current job (that sounds grammatically incorrect to me, but I can’t see any way to correct it without affecting the meaning) and was excited to go back to a previous casual job working for Telstra.

The few months I spent working for Telstra are not a time I wish to repeat, it is most definitely not something I would be excited to repeat.

Whilst writing this I noticed that Firefox’s spellcheck function wants to change “Telstra” to “Maelstrom”…I would let it, but then this post would make as much sense as my dream.

Samuel

2 comments January 28th, 2008 at 09:01am

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week

Monday and Tuesday of last week, and in particular approximately 3:30pm Tuesday, marked an important personal milestone for me. It also marked the end (or at least the start of the end) of a chapter of my life that I’m not particularly proud of. I’m not going to elaborate on what this is at the moment, I may feel like discussing it publicly in a few months from now…maybe.

I can count on one hand the number of people who know what I’m talking about…hopefully it will stay that way, but it’s up to them if they choose to tell. Right now I think the idea Clive Robertson keeps mentioning (a tell-all book released posthumously) sounds like a very good idea.

So, what does all of this have to do with the Musicians Of The Week award…well I was going to mention what I have just mentioned, and then run Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” as the award winner because a few lines of it are reflective of the ending chapter, but then I realised that Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” was an award winner last year, so it can’t win again. I didn’t want to let the opportunity to make a point of this event slip away, so I wrote all of that, and in case you’re wondering, these three lines of the song are the lines that relate to what I have described above.

Yeah you go back Jack do it again
Wheel turnin’ ’round and ’round
You go back Jack do it again

As much as I know that you, as a reader and effectively my audience, probably find my occasional lapses in to the cryptic (such as this) to be annoying or bewildering, and I don’t aim to bewilder you, it is fun!

Anyway, on to the award for this week. It has been noted by a couple emailers over the last few months that the alphabetical progression of the artists receiving my Musician(s) Of The Week award has disappeared. They are right, I have moved to a different system where I update a list of songs I want to feature as I think of them, and then select one of them at random each week. This week’s award goes to a group who have been waiting on the list for a couple months, Flash and the Pan, and the feature song is “Hey St. Peter”.

There are a couple reasons why the lyrics of this song should annoy me (I could add to that list if I lived in New York), but I’m quite sure that, like most songs, the lyrics don’t really mean an awful lot…and apart from that, the composition of this song is fantastic.

The morning was cold and lonely
City lights old and grey
The sun arose trying to smile
Gave it all away
The honky-tonk called a stranger
The stranger couldn’t pay the bill
Made a stand, raised his hand
Sang a song, no time to kill

I said, Hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
I’ve got a tale to tell
I’ve just been down in New York town
It really feels like hell
It really feels like hell

Billy was out of fashion
Manhattan was years ago
Yesterday he wasted time
Money was kind of slow
Billy had friends of glory
Billy was a friend of fame
Took a chance and raised his hand
Sang a song, now he’s back in the game

I said, Hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
I’ve got a tale to tell
I’ve just been down in New York town
It really feels like hell
It really feels like hell

I said, Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
It really feels like hell
It really feels like hell

Hey, St. Peter
Before you ring your bell
Just been down in New York town
Done my time in hell
Done my time in hell

I said, Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, St. Peter
It really feels like hell
It really feels like hell
It really feels like hell

Samuel

January 27th, 2008 at 05:48pm

Sleep and Coffee

As I sit here having a cup of coffee, I’m trying to work out how much sleep I’ve had in the last few days…at this moment it amounts to three hours of sleep in the last 54 hours, and seven hours of sleep in the last 58 hours.

At 11:30pm on Thursday I woke up from a four hour sleep and went to work, the next time I slept was 9:30am to 12:30pm yesterday; I haven’t slept since then and I won’t be getting to sleep until at least 10am, by which time the counter will have reached three hours of sleep in the last 58.5 hours, and seven hours of sleep in the last 62.5 hours.

It’s also safe to say that I have had a fair bit of coffee in the last few days…at least five on Friday, seven or eight yesterday, and I’m already on my third for today. The coffee isn’t keeping me awake…I’ve just had too many things to get done in the last few days to get any sleep (I’m definitely not used to working midnight to dawn on the weekend), the coffee has been helpful in keeping me alert to some extent though.

The upshot of it is that I am once again interested in running my sleep-o-meter and coffee-cup-o-meter, starting yesterday. I’m going to declare yesterday a “7.5 cups of coffee” day and start from there. As long as I remain interested in the project, updates will be posted on a weekly basis.

Samuel

January 27th, 2008 at 05:33am

Happy Australia Day!

The Australian Flag

Once again it’s the 26th of January. If I ever manage to get my hands on a time machine, I would love to go back to the 26th of January 1788 so that I can watch the landing of the first fleet.

The national anthem.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download MP3.

Enjoy your day, and the long weekend.

Samuel

January 26th, 2008 at 05:47am

The 2CC Emergency Tape

Nine days ago I was pleased to discover that 2CC’s emergency tape had been updated, even though I was unable at that stage to ascertain whether or not the tape was a short loop like the previous emergency tape.

Courtesy of a network news failure at 5:30 this morning I am very pleased to say that the tape is not a short loop, it has an approximately three minute ad break to start with (enough to handle the occasional missing ad break pulse), followed by music. The first song is Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.

I didn’t get to hear any more of the tape, but I don’t really need to. All I need to do is say a very big thank you to the people responsible for the new tape at 2CC…hopefully the tape will never be needed again, but if for some reason 2UE disappear from the face of the earth in the middle of the night, at least 2CC’s listeners will have something to keep them entertained…unlike the old six minute ad break loop, which I will hopefully never have to mention ever again.

Samuel

January 26th, 2008 at 05:42am

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