Archive for June 16th, 2009

Federal government gets the definition of “solar” wrong: gives money to people buying electric water heaters

And there’s no prize for guessing that it’s the gas industry which is infuriated by the debacle:

The gas industry has slammed the government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation saying it is flawed and was misleading consumers.

Under the RET legislation to be introduced in parliament this week, households which install an electric water heater can apply for a rebate.

The Gas Industry Alliance says under the proposed RET, electric heat pump water heaters qualify as solar products and will be eligible for rebates.

Group spokesman Peter Harcus said the legislation makes no sense and should be amended if the RET is to be effective.

“Would you call your fridge a solar product? These electrical hot water products run the same way, driven by grid electricity and generate more greenhouse gas than genuine solar products,” Mr Harcus said.

“Under this policy, if you put your fridge outside, it would therefore be considered solar. It is a complete farce.”

Mr Harcus said consumers were being misled by “bogus” solar products which run on electricity and produce more carbon emissions than a solar energy system.

The gas industry group is calling for electric heat pump systems to be removed from the scheme.

It says due to the inclusion of electric hot water systems for rebates, the RET will fail to deliver the 20 per cent electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020.

Hmmm, a solar fridge…that’s one thing I haven’t seen Malcolm Douglas pull out of the back of his four-wheel drive yet. Maybe he will do so the next time Channel Seven decide to show one of his dubious outback cooking shows.


June 16th, 2009 at 05:15pm

Sarah Palin lookalike in Josh’s Bakehouse Deniliquin

I can only assume that one of the women who works in Josh’s Bakehouse in Deniliquin has changed her hair or her glasses since the last time I went in there, as she now looks just like Sarah Palin. It wasn’t until I heard her voice that I was sure that she isn’t Sarah Palin.


2 comments June 16th, 2009 at 03:15pm

Upcoming changes to The Bill

Warning: The following post contains information about events which are yet to occur on The Bill. If you do not wish to know in advance, then do no read this post!

As noted back in January, The Bill is about to have its production halved from two episodes per week to one per week, and move from the 8pm timeslot to the 9pm timeslot in the UK. The changes are set to occur later this year, and Australia should see the changes from early next year.

The show itself will be changing a bit, and a number of those changes are now coming to light.

Firstly, and disappointingly, a number of cast members are leaving the show. PC Tony Stamp (actor Graham Cole) is being given the chop after being on the show for 22 years. Cole was told by the producers that Stamp “doesn’t fit” the show’s “new dynamic” which, according to reports, is set to make the show sexier and more violent.

Also leaving the show is DI Samantha Nixon (in my opinion, Sun Hill’s most interesting detective) played by Lisa Maxwell.

Lisa decided to quit after seven years on the show: ‘I’ve loved every minute of my seven years on The Bill but feel I have taken the character of Sam as far as I can. It is time to move on to new challenges.’

Her character will leave the drama in an ‘explosive episode’ later this month.

I recall the producers promising not to have another “Sun Hill bombing” or “station fire”, so what “explosive” means in this context is anyone’s guess.

Superintendent John Heaton (Daniel Flynn) is leaving and taking Inspector Rachel Weston (Clare Goose) with him. I’m not a huge fan of Rachel (probably because I preferred her predecessor, Inspector Gina Gold) however I think dropping Heaton is a big mistake.

On the bright side, there are some sensible decisions. DCI Jack Meadows (Simon Rouse) is being promoted to Superintendent, sensible as he is the only person suitable to take over from Heaton if the show is to maintain any credibility, and Sergeant Dale “Smithy” Smith will be promoted to Inspector, as he should have been when Gina left. One can only hope that Smithy’s promotion reignites the frosty relationship between him and Sergeant Callum Stone, and also gives Stone the chance to work more closely with the relief, which is clearly what his character’s purpose has always been.

In addition, DC Stevie Moss (Lucy Speed) will be promoted to Detective Sergeant while trainee DC Will Fletcher (Gary Lucy) will become a fully fledged DC.

In non-storyline news, The Bill will start screening in High Definition from July 1 in the UK. Hopefully the show’s crew learnt a thing or two from their High Definition double episode for their 25th birthday. The lighting needs some serious work in their sets if the show is going to work in HD.


June 16th, 2009 at 11:23am

Sean Hannity and “Liberty & Tyranny” author Mark Levin

Another Sean Hannity interview for your enjoyment, this time with the author of Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, US talk radio host Mark Levin.Liberty and Tyranny: A conservative manifesto

I finally got my hands on the book a couple weeks ago when I last returned from Deniliquin and am most of the way through it (it’s not particularly dense…it’s just that I haven’t had a lot of time to read of late) and intend on finishing it this week.

The book spent seven consecutive weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and, at the time of the interview last week, had spent nine of the last ten weeks at the top of said list.

Sean and Mark discuss the book, the mainstream media’s apparent lack of interest in the book, and how it relates to the Obama administration (despite it being written almost entirely before Obama was elected).


June 16th, 2009 at 09:54am

iPods and driving

I probably should have done this research before I drove to Deniliquin yesterday, but I ended up doing it afterwards and was slightly surprised by what I found.

I do not, at this time, have a working car stereo, so have been relying on my iPod for audible entertainment during long and longish trips, and have been slightly concerned that such action may provoke a negative reaction from the police and incur a fine, however as I do not believe that it hinders my ability to drive, and instead makes it possible to concentrate for longer periods of time (I would have been very bored without it), it was worth running the risk.

Last night, as the topic was starting to annoy me, I decided to do some research and found that it is perfectly legal in Australia to use an iPod (or other device) with earphones while driving, despite the fact that it can potentially block out external noises.

When I thought about this, it made perfect sense as deaf people are able to drive (although I don’t understand how anyone can teach a deaf person to drive) and they can’t hear a thing, either inside or outside their vehicle, and to the same extent, it is legal to block out external noises with a car stereo (within prescribed environmental noise limits).

Apparently the same can’t be said about using an iPod in this manner in the US, where most states have outlawed it for reasons which don’t make much sense to me.

A word of warning though, much like the use of any device, if an iPod is distracting you from your driving, and you cause an accident, you can be charged with negligent driving.

This is general information only and does not consider your needs and circumstances, nor is it a substitute for professional legal advice. You should seek professional legal advice before acting on any advice given herein.


2 comments June 16th, 2009 at 07:54am


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