Archive for March, 2009

That’s one large pothole!

An email to 2GB’s Jason Morrison:

G’day Jason,

Did I hear that properly? Did Warren just say in the traffic report that a “large pothole” has taken out two lanes of a road?

That’s more like a crater than a pothole! Perhaps if we make enough noise about it we’ll see Nathan Rees or Barry O’Farrell out there with a shovel showing us just how wonderful and responsive they are.

By the way, another great ratings result. Congratulations Jason.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

Update: Yep, the 5:36pm traffic report has the same pothole. Two lanes affected on the Pacific Highway at Atarmon:

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End Update

March 31st, 2009 at 05:26pm

Internet filtering debate tonight on Insight

The Federal Government’s mandatory Internet filtering plan will be the subject up for debate tonight on SBS’ Insight program at 7:30.

I am yet to hear a single argument for the mandatory filtering which holds up to logical scrutiny, so it will be interesting to see if getting a group of supporters together in a room will produce a coherent argument. I think they’ll be ripped to shreds by the opponents of the filtering.

What will be more interesting to me though will be working out how far in advance Insight is filmed. If it was filmed at any time today, then I expect Insight to use today’s statement from Federal Communications Minister and Senator Stephen Conroy, in which he said that the filtering will not stop child pornography.

I suppose that’s the final nail in the coffin for the supposed secret magical bits of technology that can determine whether a picture contains child pornography, as vaguely described to me by Jim Wallace, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby in an interview on 1WAY FM on December 22 last year.

Samuel

2 comments March 31st, 2009 at 03:37pm

Photo captions with mobile numbers?

Whilst looking through News Limited’s fairly uninteresting gallery of photos from this afternoon’s peak hour blackout in the Sydney CBD I noticed this:
News Limited's picture of Mark Williams and Colin Strange, and accompanying caption
(click to enlarge)

Notice anything out of the ordinary here? A closer look might help:
Is that Colin's mobile number in the caption

That looks like Colin’s mobile number is in the caption. I’m not about to call Colin to check if he gave News Limited permission to publish his mobile number, as it is after midnight, however I might just have to do so during daylight hours. I’ve blurred the last few digits of Colin’s mobile number, but News Limited didn’t.

And if News Limited do have Colin’s permission to publish his mobile number, I do have to wonder what newsworthy purpose it serves, as I can’t see how Colin has anything to do with this blackout other than being one of the many people who was caught in it.

Samuel

March 31st, 2009 at 12:23am

Tonight

I’m only back in the land of communicating with people for a few moments so that I can write this, once I’m done I’m still “off the grid” and will re-evaluate that position on Monday.

Anyway I’m breaking my silence because of the rather busy night I envisage tonight. ABC1 are screening the 25th anniversary episodes of The Bill, whilst up in Queensland they are having an election which I will need to keep an eye on. I figure that the best option here is to record and delay The Bill as necessary, and have the webstream of the ABC TV coverage on, but mute it in favour of the audio from 4BC.

A couple predictions. A Liberal National Party victory, and Pauline Hanson to receive more than 4% of the primary vote (enough to receive payments from the electoral commission), but not enough to win a seat in Parliament.

And if I can soundproof my house to avoid the awful noises of Skyfire, that will be wonderful.

Samuel

3 comments March 21st, 2009 at 01:35pm

Away

I’m taking a few days off from the blog and other forms of communication. I am effectively in a full “do not disturb” mode and will be for a few days, possibly the rest of the week while I take some time to escape from the inane trials and tribulations of this planet.

This means that I am not accepting phone calls, emails or blog comments. Phone calls are being diverted to voicemail, emails are receiving an auto-response, and blog comments are being held for moderation.

When I return to the land of communication, I will sort through whatever calls, emails and blog comments I have. Until then, enjoy your time in my absence.

Samuel

1 comment March 16th, 2009 at 06:32pm

Corruption doesn’t matter

About two weeks ago I mentioned the rather interesting coincidence of a whole stack of developers paying Adolfo Carrión Jr. around the time that he approved their development applications.

I noted, with some humour, at the time that it seemed like corruption, by writing the headline “Looks like corruption, smells like corruption and quacks like corruption”.

It looks like corruption doesn’t bother the devout followers of Barack Obama. Brad noted on his blog a couple days later (sorry that I missed it until now…I wasn’t checking links to this blog last week) that I need to take “another little pink, knicker-deknotting pill”.

A stroke of genius from Brad! I’ll try that line on the judge after I attempt to bribe a police officer who pulls me over for speeding. I’m sure his or her judginess will be most obliging.

Samuel

1 comment March 16th, 2009 at 03:09am

Kettles

Why is it that kettle manufacturers can make kettles that heat the water to any number of different temperatures, but are yet to make a “single cup capacity” kettle?

I would have thought that in this age of everyone running around trying to conserve energy, the kettle manufacturers would have worked out that there are many kettles which are only ever used to boil enough water for one cup, and that it is not only more energy efficient to boil just the amount of water that you intend to use, but that a smaller kettle requires less material to build.

Update: Reader Valerio points out by email that Tefal and Powergen have produced kettles which are similar to “single cup” kettles. Hippyshopper reviewed them back in 2007 (wow, I’m nearly two years late on this!). Video of the review below.

End Update

Back to kettles that heat water to a number of different temperatures, it would appear that Breville have decided that water for coffee should be heated to 95°C. Sorry but I disagree…water for coffee should be boiled.

Samuel

March 15th, 2009 at 07:40pm

A few years back, justice like this wouldn’t have been possible in Iraq

A fair and balanced judicial system, with sensible rulings and the right of appeal. This wouldn’t have been possible if Saddam was still in charge.

An Iraqi court has jailed for three years the journalist who shot to fame in the Arab world for throwing his shoes at former US president George W Bush.

Muntazer al-Zaidi, a 30-year-old television journalist, had pleaded not guilty at the hearing in the Iraq Central Criminal Court to assaulting Bush during his farewell visit to Iraq last year.

“He was sentenced to three years in jail,” defence lawyer Yahia Attabi told reporters outside the Baghdad court.

“We expected the decision because under the Iraqi criminal code he was charged with assaulting a foreign leader on an official visit,” Attabi said, adding: “We will appeal this decision.”

Zaidi, whose shoe-hurling gesture is considered a grave insult in the Arab and Muslim world, had risked up to 15 years in jail on the charge of aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit.

The former US president, deeply unpopular in the Arab world for ordering the 2003 invasion of Iraq, had been at a globally-televised media conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki when Zaidi let rip with his shoes, zinging them at Bush, who managed to duck just in time.

When Judge Abdulamir Hassan al-Rubaie asked Zaidi if he was innocent, the journalist responded: “Yes, my reaction was natural, just like any Iraqi (would have done).”

Samuel

1 comment March 13th, 2009 at 03:05pm

The proof of the ETS is in the electricity bill

It was always inevitable that the Kyoto protocol and an emissions trading scheme was going to increase the cost of living…now we see it begin:

Emissions trading scheme blamed for power bill hike
Heidi Tiltins

There are claims the Federal Government is actually to blame for a potentially massive hike in the cost of power because of its emissions trading scheme.

Many families across NSW are struggling to make ends meet, and it doesn’t look like ending any time soon.

In fact, if IPART has its way, we’ll be forking out around $180 a year extra on electricity.

The Pricing regulator has released its draft recommendations, which include a 21.5 per cent hike in the cost of power.

But Premier Nathan Rees isn’t happy

“We are disappointed and concerned and we’ll be making a submission of our own.”

Mr Rees asked IPART to reconsider, given the current economic climate.

But Doctor Jennifer Morahasy from the Australian Environment Foundation has told [2GB’s] Jason Morrison we’ll soon fork out much more as electricity retailers pass on the cost of emissions trading.

“When Australia signed Kyoto we all felt good about that, but there are consequences to that.”

And all this when the world is cooling, not warming. *sigh*

Samuel

March 13th, 2009 at 12:34pm

2QN/Classic Rock Regional News Headlines: Friday 13 March

The Deni ute muster has announced a donation of $30,000 to the Navorina nursing home.

The Victorian government is showing no signs of connecting the towns of Nathalia, Rushworth, Heathcote, Cohuna, Leitchville, Lockington and Elmore to the natural gas grid despite a 2002 promise to do so.

The Deniroc Come Back Again drought relief concert is on tomorrow at the Deniliquin boat club from midday to 10pm.

The president of the Australian Local Government Association, Councillor Geoff Lake, is calling on councils across the region to support Harmony Day on March 21.

Government job cuts and a lack of government support for the dairy industry are putting significant pressure on communities in Northern Victoria accoding to State Nationals member for Rodney, Paul Weller.

In Wednesday’s Division two Barooga Football matches, Jerilderie defeated Katunga 16.7.103 to 11.7.73 and Wahgunyah defeated Blighty 12.11.83 to 6.5.41.

Samuel

March 13th, 2009 at 09:38am

It’s definitely insulation

Earlier this week I noted that, despite petrol prices apparently falling across the nation, they are still quite high in Deniliquin.

Well it looks like this is some sort of price insulation because in Deniliquin and Mathoura it’s 126.9 cents per litre. In Echuca and Moama (41 KM from Mathoura and 76 KM from Deniliquin) it’s 124.7 cents per litre, and in Shepparton (137 KM from Deniliquin, 102 KM from Mathoura, and 71 KM from Echuca and Moama) it’s 120.9 cents per litre.

Sense it of makes not the much.

Samuel

March 13th, 2009 at 03:25am

Could claiming to be a country be a sign of insanity?

A judge in Pennsylvania seems to think so:

DUI Defendant Claims He Is His Own Country
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Associated Press/Fox News

EASTON, Pa. — A man accused of driving drunk said Pennsylvania courts have no jurisdiction over him because he’s his own country. After seeing the paperwork that 44-year-old Scott Allan Witmer filed with the court claiming sovereignty, a Northampton County judge said Tuesday he cannot be released from jail until he gets a mental exam.

Witmer, who represented himself, said he believes police lack jurisdiction to pull him over. As he said in court: “I live inside myself, not in Pennsylvania.” He said there is no victim in the crime and asked to go to trial.

Defense attorney James Connell, Witmer’s standby counsel, said a challenge to the traffic stop would need to be filed as a pretrial motion.

As long as the court doesn’t end up ruling that being your own country is a good enough defence, I’ll be happy. The precedent which would be set by letting people off because they claim to be a country would be intolerable.

Samuel

March 12th, 2009 at 11:25pm

Pictures of (places near) Deniliquin: The Jerilderie Phone Tower

A short distance out of Jerilderie along Conargo Road is one of the more interesting phone towers in existence. It’s a much more elaborate setup than most phone towers and I took some photos of it on the 13th of December.

The entire complex:
The Jerilderie Phone Tower

The upper half section of the tower:
The Jerilderie Phone Tower

The lower section of the complex:
The Jerilderie Phone Tower

The tower has obviously been there for quite some time as it is from the pre-Telstra era. Here’s a sign along the side of the dirt track leading up to the tower which bears a Telecom Australia logo:
The Jerilderie Phone Tower

It’s probably a good thing that they didn’t print the “underground cable locations” phone number on the sign as they would have needed to replace the sign when they changed the number last decade.

Samuel

2 comments March 12th, 2009 at 11:21am

2QN/Classic Rock Regional News Headlines: Thursday 12 March

Deniliquin council will spend over $200,000 on safety improvements at the water filtration and raw water pumping station, and has granted the Deni rural fire service approval to build a new fire station at the airport.

Campaspe shire council has secured a $300,000 grant from the Victorian government to build a bike and pedestrian bridge over the Campaspe river, linking Echuca’s east and west.

The Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment has refused to reduce fuel loads in the Barmah Forest, prompting concerns about the bushfire risk in the region.

The New South Wales department of the environment has returned water flows to the Wakool River system, three weeks after halting them.

Discount supermarket chain Aldi has received approval from Campaspe shire council to build a supermarket on the eastern boundary of the old St. Mary’s school site on Anstruther Street.

And the Deniliquin clay target club are holding their pre-national shoot on Sunday at 9:30am.

Samuel

March 12th, 2009 at 09:49am

Bizarre dream of the week #3

In this dream I was sitting in the hall of my primary school watching a presentation by the head of a company which produces wool so that it can be stuck on sheep before they are sheared. The speech appeared to be part of a conference about farming, and this speaker was the speaker before Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The wool speaker introduced Mr. Rudd and offered him a sheep so that he would be able to buy wool. Mr. Rudd declined the offer.

Mr. Rudd then took the microphone and offered everyone in the room a free cow, which seemed to be a popular announcement…he then declared that everyone in the room had to vote for him at the next election, or he would appoint Jon Stanhope as Prime Minister “in order to doom the country”.

This prompted me to run out screaming. I ran screaming all the way home, where Jon Stanhope was waiting for me. He promptly informed me that he was going to turn in to a cow so that Kevin Rudd would give him to a farmer…the plan being that, as a cow, he would be able to prevent the farmer from voting for Kevin Rudd, and would then become Prime Minister.

I asked Mr. Stanhope if he intended on “dooming the country”, to which he replied “oh no, much worse than that…I intend on making Katy Gallagher the minister for everything”.

I agreed that his intentions were much worse, and the dream ended.

I’m hoping that there will be a sequel.

1 comment March 12th, 2009 at 07:08am

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