Archive for February, 2008

Social Networking

Happy Leap Year Day Stuart!

Much like you, I don't fit in to any of the categories in that list of social networking "personalities" which you read out. If there was a category for "been there, done that, and closed my facebook account" then I'd fit in to that one. I had almost no use for it, still don't, and I'm much happier without the endless bunch of useless emails and notifications I used to receive from Facebook.

Enjoy the last few hours of leap year day…you won't get another chance for 1461 days.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

February 29th, 2008 at 08:30pm

Clive

Hello Stuart,

I hear that we have lost Clive Robertson from the overnight show…that is a shame, his humour and intellect through the night were really great company and I'll miss the unusual conversations I used to have with him. I just hope he didn't leave because I haven't rung for a while (or maybe he left because I might ring again).

I don't know what we're going to do without Clive…I suppose you could extend your show by five and a half hours or John Kerr could do seven nights a week…or maybe we should just give the show to Abe? Or what about the king…I don't suppose Lawsie is looking to get back in to radio?

I'm going to miss Clive…if you're listening Clive (or even if you're not), best of luck for the future, it was always a pleasure listening to you.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

(Thanks to Dan for letting us know about Clive’s departure from the overnight show)

4 comments February 28th, 2008 at 10:00pm

Afternoons with Alexander and Nicky Downer

I forgot to check FIVEaa’s website this week until last night Stuart Bocking reminded me of the news I mentioned a few weeks ago, the former federal foreign minister and current member for Mayo Alexander Downer is hosting the afternoon show on Adelaide’s commercial talk radio station, FIVEaa.
Screenshot of the Alexander and Nicky Downer Show page on the FIVEaa website

I had wondered how FIVEaa were going to get around the problem of their afternoon host being in Canberra every Friday, and it looks like rather than illegally rebroadcasting parliamentary proceedings in the hope that Mr. Downer says something, they have taken the sensible option of involving his wife as the co-host and (on Fridays) only host.

After the furore last week about Alexander Downer missing question time so that he could have lunch with somebody whose plane was late, not missing parliament for the sake of a radio show is a good idea.

When I wrote the original article about Alexander Downer hosting FIVEaa afternoon show, I raised the prospect of a biased program being in breach of the Commercial Radio Australia codes of practice…well FiveAA have negated that. Have a look at the “coming up” section of the screenshot above (click it to enlarge the image if you can’t read it). Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is joining their morning host today for a while.

I also raised the prospect that it would be interesting to see how capable Mr. Downer is of running an interesting program. I haven’t had a chance to listen to his show properly yet, and the snippets I heard last night were mainly of him being grilled by the electorate, but if his performance whilst being interviewed by Steve Price last week is anything to go by, he is one of the few politicians I have heard who seems to be more than capable of thinking on his feet and giving as good as he gets…and pulling an interesting distraction trick.

I will try and find some time to listen to his show tomorrow, but for now his show is on the air as this post appears, so if you’re interested, visit the FIVEaa website and click the Listen Live link.

Samuel

February 26th, 2008 at 01:30pm

2UE’s New Intro for New Day Australia

I first noticed this on the weekend but only now have had a chance to record it.

2UE have changed the intro for New Day Australia. So far I have only heard the new intro on John Kerr’s show, but it could very well be altered for all of the presenters which would probably be a good idea considering that there have been two different intros used since Stuart Bocking hosted the show…although I don’t remember if his new intro fist graced the airwaves in 2005 when he took over the weekend shift, or 2006 when he took over weekdays.

The old intro had been in use for as long as I had been listening (mid 2003) and as far as I can tell it was used from the time John started hosting New Day Australia in 1994 (Update: Davky points out in the comments below that John used a song by Basia prior to the music I’m used to). I’m sure that I have a better copy of the old intro around here somewhere (I just don’t know where), but that’s irrelevant as I have found a good enough copy from a couple years ago. Here are the old and new intros for New Day Australia:

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Download MP3

I prefer the old one, but I suppose the new one will grow on me.

Samuel

9 comments February 26th, 2008 at 10:59am

Samuel’s Blog Weely Poll: Involving The Police

Last week I mentioned a peculiar incident involving traffic cones scattered across one of Canberra’s busier streets at night and how I called the Police for assistance with moving the cones off the street as they, with their flashing lights, would be able to make the job much safer, and this would avoid any chance of me being blamed for the problem if the Police turned up half way through me moving the cones off the road.

I believe calling the Police was the right thing to do, but others have argued that I wasted police resources. So, my question for you this week is as follows:
See http://samuelgordonstewart.com/weekly-poll-results/ for results

Last week’s poll was:

If your income could be tripled by doing so, would you live in an area which is affected by regular cyclones?

Total Votes: 18
Started: February 18, 2008

I can see the incentive here, but if you’re going to have to put up with multiple cyclones every year, I just don’t see the benefit.

A list of previous poll results can be seen here.

Samuel

February 26th, 2008 at 04:52am

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week

This week’s award goes to The Kinks, and the feature song is “A Well Respected Man”.

‘Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
‘Cause his world is built ’round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he’s oh so good,
And he’s oh so fine,
And he’s oh so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

‘Cause he’s oh so good,
And he’s oh so fine,
And he’s oh so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
‘Cause he’s better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father’s loot,
When Pater passes on.

‘Cause he’s oh so good,
And he’s oh so fine,
And he’s oh so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the Regatta,
He adores the girl next door,
‘Cause he’s dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

‘Cause he’s oh so good,
And he’s oh so fine,
And he’s oh so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

Samuel

February 26th, 2008 at 04:35am

Tiger Woods

Good evening Stuart,

In regards to that email earlier about the likelihood of Tiger Woods attending an Australian event. As you are surely one of the lucky people at the basis of that myth about talkback radio presenters earning millions of dollars per day, you could sponsor one of the events and get him over here?

You could probably get him to agree to less money if you get him on to your show, surely he'd be willing to drop a couple million off his asking price for the chance of being interviewed by Stuart Bocking.

Have a great night.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

February 25th, 2008 at 09:30pm

Fair Pay Commission

I was just wondering if anybody can explain to me why the fair pay commission hands down its increases to the minimum wage in July, when in my mind it would make more sense to make the announcement in late May or early June, with the change to take effect from July 1, so that businesses can budget for the increases?

Can anyone think of a reason for it, or is it stuff-up by the previous government who introduced the Fair Pay Commission a couple years ago?

Samuel

February 25th, 2008 at 03:29pm

Planned Delays

The things which would normally appear on this blog on a Sunday night and the wee hours of a Monday morning may be abnormally delayed this week as I have recently returned home from an unexpected nearly-seventeen hour shift at work, which was preceded by an expected four hour shift with AIR News.

I am tired, and am going to sleep. I do have one fun thing to share with your from this interesting weekend, but it can wait until I am awake and remember where I put the file.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

Update 25/Feb 3:24pm: As much as I would like to deal with the Musicians of the week award and the weekly poll today, it’s not going to happen. I’ll do it sometime between this evening and daylight hours tomorrow. End Update

Samuel

2 comments February 24th, 2008 at 11:21am

Viewing only unread messages in Gmail

I have one minor gripe with Gmail, and that is that there is no obvious way to show only unread messages. The reason this annoys me is that over the course of a week I will skip many messages that I don’t need to read or know what I need to do with them, whilst reading others, which leaves an inbox with unread messages scattered over many pages…I then eventually get around to cleaning up the unread messages but have to spend far too long doing so.

The good news is that thanks to Ozzie, I have found out that, even though it’s not obvious or seemingly documented, it is possible to show only unread messages through the search function in Gmail by searching for:

is:unread

Even better, now that Gmail’s search produces usable URLs instead of long strings of gibberish, it’s possible to bookmark a link to the unread messages view:

http://mail.google.com/mail/#search/is%3Aunread

It should be possible to narrow the search to a particular place such as the inbox or a label with an extra argument or two. Of course you will have to be logged in to Gmail prior to clicking the link for it to work…now if only there was a way to save archaic searches in Gmail rather than having to bookmark them.

Samuel

February 22nd, 2008 at 08:43am

The difference between a female and a male superb fairy-wren

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a male and a female superb fairy-wren (other than the obvious)?

Click of Creativity has an answer:
The male superb fairy-wren and the female superb fairy-wren.

To quote another Canberran, “now you know”.

Samuel

February 20th, 2008 at 03:26pm

A definition of atheism or the big bang theory

Prophet, over at Random Brainwave, posted the following quote about atheism last week.

The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.

Makes perfect sense.

Whilst I’m not sure that it’s quite a definition of atheism (I actually think it’s a definition of the “big bang theory”), it certainly could be a definition of an aspect of atheism as that usually implies a disbelief in the “intelligent design” theories. I personally think intelligent design is more likely, but I doubt that anybody will ever truly know (whilst they’re alive anyway).

Samuel

1 comment February 20th, 2008 at 01:21pm

Alan Jones leads 2GB to massive victory

The metropolitan radio ratings were released yesterday, and whilst 2GB’s victory might not be the exact definition of “massive” there can be no denying that Alan Jones’ victory in the breakfast timeslot is massive. Alan Jones has almost double the audience of any other breakfast show in Sydney, he commands an extraordinary 19.1%. His nearest rivals 2DAY FM and 702 ABC Sydney both get a 10.9% share, leaving everyone else in single figures.

Ray Hadley’s morning show continues the extraordinary figures, being the only morning show in double digits. Ray Hadley has a 17.8% share, well and truly ahead of 2DAY FM on 9.6% and everyone else on 8.3% and lower.

Overall 2GB leads on 14.3% (a gain of 2.6), followed by 702 ABC Sydney on 10.5% (a gain of 1.1), and 2DAY FM on 9.8% (a loss of 0.2). 2GB had the largest gain, whilst Mix 106.5 had the largest loss (1.4). Much of 2GB’s success can be attributed in a jump from 0.8% to 6.2% in the 10 to 17 year old age group.

A big congratulations is in order for all the staff at 2GB. Incidentally Alan Jones was interviewed by their online news service livenews.com.au. It is well worth a watch…it really looks like Alan is (deservedly) pleased with the win, but not letting it go to his head.

One does have to wonder if Fairfax are questioning the merits of buying 2UE. Every single shift except for the weekend lost ground, some by as much as 35% of their audience.

Full results of the Sydney ratings can be found at http://www.nielsenmedia.com.au/files/sydney108.pdf. Others are as follows:
Melbourne
Brisbane
Adelaide
Perth

Samuel

1 comment February 20th, 2008 at 09:29am

Dim-witted idiots and traffic cones

I was coming home along Coranderrk Street at about 5:15 this morning and noticed something which I can only describe as an act of stupidity. Next to the National Convention Centre a new building is being constructed and there have been some minor roadworks in the area (see the green mark on the map below)…as such there are traffic cones. Some dim-witted idiots (or probably the plural thereof, even if it is a partially redundant description) decided that it would be a good idea to move them on to the road in a haphazard manner, effectively blocking one lane, and turning the other into an obstacle course. The road was not in this state (and there were no construction or roadwork staff on-site) when I went past at 7:45pm yesterday, so these dimwits obviously did it during the night.

Map of where the traffic cones were scattered on Coranderrk Street
Map copyright: Google 2008. Map data copyright: MapDataSciences Pty Ltd. Green marker added by Samuel

Just so we’re clear about this, I am not talking about the “witches hat” type of traffic cone, I’m talking about the tall skinny ones which are about a metre high, so you can’t really negate the obstacle course by running over the cones.

The area was still navigable, but at a lower speed, and only for one car at any given time. If left in this state, this “generally busy during the day” road would undoubtedly have an accident before long. I live short distance away, so I stopped at home, then made my way back and called the police. A friendly lady answered the phone and I explained the situation to her, and she let out a sort of “some people are really dumb” moan when she heard that traffic cones had been spread across the road. I mentioned to her that I would have fixed it myself, but it most probably would not be safe for me to move the cones at night (especially as I was wearing fairly dark clothing), and if somebody saw me moving the cones and called the police about it, I would be the one getting in trouble.

I wasn’t quite sure if the lady on the phone wanted me to wait around for the police to arrive, and as I generally don’t like to leave the scene until they arrive when I call an emergency service, I decided to wait. A few minutes later a police car arrived, “the police officers activated their vehicle’s warning lights” as one of their press releases would say, and got out to assess the situation. I walked over and explained who I was and why I was there, and then assisted the police with the cleanup (which was now much safer thanks to the flashing lights on the police car). A security guard who was just leaving the nearby CIT campus also assisted.

I must say that the two police officers, who must surely have been wondering what was going through the minds of the people who moved the traffic cones, did not seem phased by the sheer stupidity of the situation. They were very professional and friendly, and I think the response of the police to this incident was absolutely fantastic.

It’s just a pity that, in all likelyhood, the chances of catching the dimwits who moved the traffic cones is almost zero. With that in mind, if you saw anything suspicious in the area during the night, I would urge you to give crimestoppers a call on 1800 333 000.

Samuel

6 comments February 20th, 2008 at 06:54am

Happy 66th Birthday John Kerr

Today is 2UE’s John Kerr’s 66th birthday. Happy birthday John.

Samuel

February 19th, 2008 at 01:24pm

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