Archive for June 13th, 2009

Player Fog

I was quite amused, whilst watching the Rugby Union match between Australia and Italy on the television, to see what can only be described as steam billowing off the players who were clearly much warmer than the air which surrounded them.

The result, however, when a large group of them got together (for a scrum, for example) was a fog, through which it was difficult to see all of the players.

I maintain that it is not cold tonight, indeed it is currently 0.9 degrees. It will be cold though if the temperature continues to fall. I think the Bureau’s rounded overnight low of 1 degree was wishful thinking.

Meanwhile Rex Hunt is singing on 3AW. The fat lady sings. Richmond are home…even if Denis Cometti does think they look like Richmond, which is not a compliment.


June 13th, 2009 at 09:37pm

Denis Cometti quote of the night

Denis: “Richmond are looking like … Richmond.”
Co-commentator: “I take it that’s not a compliment.”
Denis: “No, it’s not.”


June 13th, 2009 at 07:57pm

It’s not even cold tonight!

And yet one can easily work out who, in the crowd at Canberra Stadium for the Rugby Union match between Australia and Italy, is a tourist…they’re the ones who are rugged up like Eskimos.

It’s 4.5 degrees outside right now according to the Bureau…I could quite happily go for a walk for an hour or so without a coat right now…but alas I’m inside listening to 3AW’s AFL coverage, and later I will be watching The Bill.


June 13th, 2009 at 07:37pm

It’s not a prison, so there’s no surprise: Conjugal visits at the St. Alexander Maconochie Centre of Respite for the Criminally Challenged

I can’t claim to be surprised by this, because quite frankly when the ACT Government builds a prison which isn’t a prison, but rather some nice, warm, fuzzy, friendly, wondrous place of leprechauns and criminal bonding sessions, this is inevitable.

The ACT has become the second jurisdiction in Australia to allow prisoners who behave to receive conjugal visits.

The Alexander Maconochie Centre’s conjugal visits policy, which includes same-sex couples, came into force on March 30 when the jail received its first prisoners.

The Canberra Times reports prisoners and remandees who meet certain criteria can have access to such visits every two months.

During the visits, couples are provided with “domestic surroundings”, condoms and reduced supervision so they can have their intimacy.

But there is a catch – the prisoner has to change the linen after the visit.

The policy excludes partners who are also prisoners at the jail.

It’s ridiculous that a place which is supposed to be an unpleasant punishment for doing something wrong, a place which should be bad enough to ensure that criminals don’t want to reoffend and find themselves “inside” again, a place which, whilst not necessarily awful, should not be a place which inmates can enjoy…it’s ridiculous that a place which should be all of these things I have mentioned, is instead being turned in to a nice friendly place.

Naturally the ACT Government are clinging to the “Victoria are already doing it” line, as if that’s some sort of good reason to do something…”oh, but they’re stealing candy, so therefore we should steal candy too”.

Realistically, prisons should be places of solitary confinement in small rooms with just a bed and a toilet, and three meals per day. Prisoners should not be permitted human contact except for occasional (monthly at most) monitored visits with family and legal counsel (the latter would have to be allowed at any interval if an appeal is either likely or underway). As far as I’m concerned, if prisons can be made as inhospitable and unaccommodating as possible, then people would be far less likely to re-offend, as they wouldn’t want to go back there.


2 comments June 13th, 2009 at 06:34pm

A new ranking system for students, and only a bureaucrat could have come up with it

It must be a year with a 2, a 5 or a 9 in it, because the bureaucrats have decided to overhaul the ranking system for students wishing to enter tertiary studies.

The good ole University Admission Index (UAI) is dead, and is being replaced by the “Australian Tertiary Admission Rank” which…try and get your head around this one, will have scores “higher than equivalent UAI ranks which may push up course entry scores at universities” but will have a lower maximum score.

In a show of true political correctness “we can’t let people get a perfect score in case others don’t feel just as perfect” methodology, the new top score will be 99.95.

So, everyone gets a higher score and feels better as a result, but nobody is able to get a perfect score. I see how this could backfire very quickly…with scores being effectively squeezed in to a narrower band, students are going to miss out on entry to their preferred course or university by smaller margins, which will probably make them feel somewhat hard done by.

Here’s the really amusing part of all of this though, Kim Paino of the Universities Admission Centre is urging students not to worry:

The scaling process for students will be the same, the rank order of students will be the same, and the same applicants will be selected for the same uni courses

So, if the only thing which changes under this new scheme is the end score, why do we need a new system? There is only one good answer to that question, and it is this: it keeps our bureaucrats in a job, pushing paper for the sake of pushing paper.

It’s a shame that we have wasted money on a pointless new system, when that money could have been better spent on school maintenance or, shock horror, actually educating students.

Now there’s a thought…actually educating students in schools. Oh Mr. Rudd, what happened to your “education revolution”? Did you accidentally empty a sauce bottle on it during your shaking of said bottle fairly?


June 13th, 2009 at 12:55pm

Mike Jeffreys’ “High Speed Analysis for the Conversationalist on the Run”

One thing which I have been enjoying of late on the Internet is Mike Jeffreys‘ “High Speed Analysis for the Conversationalist on the Run”. Basically, Mike is taking a brief look at a number of issues at a time which is proving to be quite interesting.

In his latest post of this ilk, one of the topics is something which I too have noticed…an increase in the number of bank scam emails lately:

There seem to be more than the usual number of bank and credit card email scams right now… and the quality is up. Was a time when the bad spelling and ludicrous grammar made you wonder how anyone could be taken in, but not now. I recently rang the Commonwealth Bank on their praise or comments number – got straight through to a real human being. Full marks. You don’t have to be a customer to get one of these things. Example: today I received an offer to win a Porsche Cayenne for completing a survey as a St. George customer. Which I’m not. Be nice to know of a way to get these damned nuisances where they live. Maybe experienced net nerds know how. Unfortunately I don’t.

A comment from “Alf” of Belconnen in reply to this certainly caused some amusement:

Can’t agree more on the presistent nuisance emails we receive, although quality control still falls down at the scammers end. Raised a smile after receiving virtually identical scam emails, the first “from the St George bank”.

A giveaway in the second was the sign off, as the St Commonwealth Bank.

Perhaps the scammers know about an impending merger?

That said, the last time I checked, there is no “Saint Commonwealth”, and raising interest rates all on their lonesome isn’t getting them any closer to sainthood.


June 13th, 2009 at 10:46am


Having spent the last few days dealing with wonderful and persistent migraines, its nice to be back in the land of heads which don’t hurt.

I’ll be catching up on a bit of a backlog of blog posts over the next day or so, and things should quieten down a bit again on Monday or Tuesday. Actually I have some videos which I might hold over to Monday seeing as I’ll be on the road for most of that day.


June 13th, 2009 at 09:46am


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