Archive for January, 2010

Happy Australia Day!

A very happy Australia Day to you. Please be upstanding for Julie Anthony’s brilliant (the best, in my view) rendition of our national anthem, Advance Australia Fair.

Samuel

1 comment January 26th, 2010 at 12:01am

The Australian of the Year is Professor Patrick McGorry

The list of winners, which Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will announce a bit later this afternoon is as follows:

Australian of the Year 2010: Professor Patrick McGorry of Victoria
Senior Australian of the Year 2010: Maggie Beer of South Australia
Young Australian of the Year 2010: Trooper Mark Donaldson VC of Western Australia
Australia’s Local Hero 2010: Ronni Kahn of New South Wales

There we go. No need to wait around and endure the painful process of listening to Kevin Rudd talk.

I’m not naming my source but am 100% sure that this information is accurate. I’m led to believe that the media are stuck in some sort of embargo around this information, so if you’re in the media and reading this, it’s not my fault if you decide to relay it and get in to trouble for it.

Samuel

3 comments January 25th, 2010 at 04:27pm

2CC taking Jones, Hadley from January 18

As expected from 2XL’s early announcement of their plans, 2CC have now confirmed that they are dropping Steve Liebmann’s show on January 18 in favour of Ray Hadley from 9am to 11am and Alan Jones Highlights from 11am until Midday.

According to 2CC’s Program Director Peter Davidson, this is in response to a large number of listeners asking “Why can’t we hear him [Ray Hadley] on weekdays?” when he can be heard on the weekend. Mr. Davidson also referred to Alan Jones’ return to 2CC as a homecoming of the “king of breakfast radio of the last 20 years or so”, referring to the old Alan Jones Highlights show which aired between 8:30am and 9:00am on weekdays in the early days of 2CC’s life as a talk station.

The station is expecting a lot of feedback today. I’m just glad that it’s not me that’s dealing with the correspondence.

Update: I’ll clarify that last line. I’m glad it’s not me dealing with the correspondence due to the volume…not the content. I’d love it if people flooded me with positive feedback, but I’d probably hate replying to it all because I wouldn’t want to use a form reply.

Anyway, 2CC’s press release follows:

January 7, 2010
EMBARGO – FOR RELEASE 8AM MONDAY JANUARY 11, 2010
RAY HADLEY & ALAN JONES JOIN 1206 2CC

1206 2CC announced this morning to it’s listeners that two of Australia’s most popular broadcasters will join the weekday lineup from Monday January 18.

Ray Hadley’s top rating Sydney morning show will be broadcast in Canberra on 1206 2CC.

Already familiar to Canberran’s through the Continuous Call in NRL season, Ray Hadley presents a morning show that is entertaining and informative. He often puts politicians on the spot to answer the questions his listeners want to know.

The Ray Hadley Morning Show will be broadcast on 1206 2CC Monday to Friday between 9am and 11am.

Alan Jones returns to the 2CC line up with a daily one hour highlights program of his highly successful Sydney breakfast show.

Alan Jones is one of Australia’s most popular and successful broadcasters. With the mind and capacity to make complex issues understandable, Alan Jones sets the agenda with the day’s newsmakers.

The Best Of Alan Jones will be broadcast on 1206 2CC Monday to Friday 11am till midday.

For further information contact:

Peter Davidson
Program Director
Talking Canberra 1206 2CC
Phone: (02) 6241 1911

End Update

Samuel

7 comments January 11th, 2010 at 07:53am

Steve Price heading to Macquarie/3MP

I noted earlier that I had some not particularly Earth shattering information about Macquarie’s (owner of 2GB and 2CH in Sydney) venture in to Melbourne.

Some information which has come my way from within the Macquarie bunker at Pyrmont says that Steve Price has signed with Macquarie and will take up a spot on their new talk station. The story goes that Price has moved back to Melbourne. No word yet on whether he will take up Breakfast or not. Also no word on when said station will launch or whether it will bump SEN from 1116AM over to 3MP’s existing 1377AM.

Personally, I’d be confused by having a News/Talk station on 1116 in Melbourne. 4BC have that frequency in Brisbane…and I’d be even more confused if the new station were to steal the 4BC ID and call themself “Melbourne’s News/Talk Eleven Sixteen Three Emm Pee”.

This has been rumoured since before Price left 2UE, so it’s not a shock by any means, but it is nice to have some confirmation.

Samuel

3 comments January 10th, 2010 at 03:04am

2XL taking Alan Jones and Ray Hadley from January 18 — 2CC and 2GN to follow?

2XL may have just the cat out of the bag on the big 2CC announcement on Monday morning. From 2XL’s website:

Hadley and Jones on 2XL

2CC and 2GN‘s websites are both promoting the “big announcement” on Monday at 7:45am and don’t show any sign of Hadley or Jones, and 2XL’s site doesn’t contain any more details (Update: See update below). 2GN does at least say that there will be “two big additions”.

It’s obvious what they’re doing with Hadley. That will be 9am to midday. It couldn’t possibly be anything else. Alan Jones on the other hand is interesting. Many moons ago 2CC took Alan Jones’ 2UE breakfast show between 8:30am and 9am but that doesn’t seem like a sensible use of funds to me. I would say that it’s more likely that we will either see a relay of the “Alan Jones Highlights” show between 5am and 5:30am, or the nightly “Alan Jones and Ray Hadley Highlights” show (assuming that said show returns to 2GB’s lineup once they get the summer holidays out of their system).

Update: OK, I might be wrong about how they’re handling Hadley’s show, and also Alan Jones. 2XL, according to their on-air schedule, are taking Ray Hadley from 9am to 11am, and Alan Jones from 11am to midday. The Jones show will probably be a highlights show from that morning…it wouldn’t make much sense to replay a particular hour.

I’m not sure that 2CC will follow this model though. 2XL and 2GN are music stations outside of 9am-midday, whereas 2CC is 24/7 talk and could easily get away with running the full three hours of Hadley and putting the Jones highlights show elsewhere (dump an hour of Webster, please!).
End Update

If it is the evening highlights show, then this will also lend credence to the theory that Macquarie, when they take over 3MP in Melbourne, will relay evening highlights to Melbourne. It will also lend credence to what I have heard today and will share with you later this evening…nothing ground breaking, as it’s already been the subject of heavy speculation, but important for 3MP all the same.

Incidentally, 2GB’s website has not added any of the Capital Radio Network stations to the list on Ray Hadley’s page as yet.

The 2CC press release
I promised 2CC that I would run their existing press release. Originally I was going to do this tomorrow night as a teaser for Monday’s announcement…but I can’t see any point in waiting any more. As such, here’s the press release (original available by clicking here).

January 6, 2010
EMBARGO – FOR RELEASE FRIDAY JANUARY 8, 2010
WHAT IS THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT AT 2CC?

Canberra’s commercial talk back station 1206 2CC has been telling listeners to tune in this Monday morning for a ‘big announcement’.

2CC has been quietly expanding its operations with the recent launch of Hot Country 97.5FM.

It’s expected that 2CC will announce extra additions to its 2010 lineup.

For the full details you will have to tune into 1206 2CC this Monday morning at 7.45 when breakfast host Mark Parton reveals all the details.

For further information contact:
Peter Davidson
Program Director
Talking Canberra 1206 2CC
Phone: (02) 6241 1911

Samuel

7 comments January 9th, 2010 at 07:40pm

A proposed 2UE schedule

Andrew Coster writes in with his proposed on-air schedule for 2UE

Weekdays
Breakfast: John Stanley and Sandy Aloisi
Mornings: Steve Liebmann and Ken Sutcliffe
Afternoons: Tim Webster and Dawn Rawlings
Drive: Murray Wilton and Liz Ellis
Sports Today: John Gibbs and Greg Alexander
Nights: Stuart Bocking and Tracey Spicer
Overnights: Jim Ball and John Kerr

Weekends
Weekend Breakfast: George Moore and Paul B Kidd
Weekend Mornings: Andrew Daddo and Don Burke
Weekend Afternoons: Clive Robertson and Chris Kearns
Weekend Drive: Ed Phillips and Ken Sparkes
Saturday Night: Dr Ross Walker and Pete Graham
Sunday Early Night: Dale Sinden and Simon Foster
Sunday Late Night: Spencer Kirk and Sharina
Weekend Overnight: Clinton Maynard and Rachel Friend

Fill-ins
Scott Cam and Dr Vivienne Miller
Mike Carlton and Matt De Groot
Bill Woods and Deborah Knight
David Prior and Judy Horton
Tim Gilbert and Murray Olds
Rowan Barker and Susie Yates
Andrew Voss and Ian MacRae
Mike Munro and Julie Singleton

Possible additions
Ben Fordham
Chris Smith

Thanks for sending that in Andrew. That lineup is probably more useful than what 2UE currently put to air. It might just make their apparent current aim of being the softer, less abrasive alternative to 2GB, work.

Pairing Steve Liebmann and Ken Sutcliffe is, I think, a stroke of genius. Steve Liebmann desperately needs a co-host to help keep him focussed, and Ken is likely to sound good next to Steve.

There is no way in the world that I could listen to Tim Webster and Dawn Rawlings. It’s funny though in a way, as I was, just yesterday, joking about a possible daily Sharina show for stations which hate ratings…putting Dawn on daily would be close enough.

Stuart and Tracey have done a great job on breakfast over summer. Personally I’d keep them there, but it’s probably easier to put them on nights…no need to find somebody else suitable for the timeslot that way.

I’m not sure that Jim Ball and John Kerr would be compatible. Their approaches are worlds apart and I think we’d end up with a power struggle.

I like the idea of pairing Clive Robertson with Chris Kearns again. I’m fairly sure that Chris had to retire from the show on medical grounds…but it would be great to hear them together again.

I also quite like the idea of moving Burke’s Backyard out of the breakfast slot. Syndication would probably have a fit…but I like it, and replacing half of “The Two Murrays” at Drive is a good idea…that show currently has no flow.

On the “possibles”. Ben has done well for himself over at 2GB and I doubt that they’ll let him go, especially seeing as the other on-air talent and John Singleton have defended him after the PD pulled the plug on his John Laws interview. I won’t be surprised if Ben surfaces doing a national show from 3MP in Melbourne.

Chris is, apparently, all but gone from 2GB. He is still suspended, but he doesn’t exist on their website now and Luke Bona has apparently been told to get ready to take over the afternoon show permanently (big mistake…give it to Ben. Ben is more engaging when he tries than Luke is in my opinion). Chris might end up at 2UE after a while…it certainly seems to be the way that fired 2GB people go, and vice versa.

The soft talk format that 2UE are trying at the moment is very hard to get right. The current line-up needs work, and I think Andrew is very close to something which could hold a decent, steady share of the ratings.

Thoughts anybody?

Samuel

8 comments January 9th, 2010 at 01:50pm

Lord Monckton’s Australian lecture tour dates

Lord Christopher Monckton’s people have been kind enough to provide some more information about his upcoming lecture tour. The exact schedule is still subject to change, but as of this moment the following is known:

Wednesday 27.1.10 – 5.30pm – Sydney – Grand Ballroom, The Sheraton on The Park, Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Thursday 28.1.10 – 12.30pm – Newcastle – Banquette Hall, Newcastle City Hall, King Street Newcastle.
Friday 29.1.10 – 12.30 Lunch – Brisbane – Grand ballroom, Hilton Hotel, Queen Street, Brisbane
Saturday 30.1.10 – 2pm – Noosa – The J at Noosa Junction
Monday 1.2.10 – 12.30pm – Melbourne TBA
Tuesday 2.2.10 – 2pm – Melbourne – Grand Ballroom, Sofitel Hotel
Wednesday 3.2.10 Canberra
Thursday 4.2.10 – 2pm – Adelaide – Venue TBA
Monday 8.2.10 – 2pm – Perth – Venue TBA

I’m informed that details which are a bit more concrete should be available in a week or so.

In the meantime, I have been asked to pass on the following letter about Lord Monckton’s tour. It is available here in its original form.

Lord Monckton in Australia
(Please spread this message widely) 21 Dec. 2009

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (Christopher Lord Monckton) has agreed to come on a lecture tour in Australia in late January 2010. Professor Ian Plimer will accompany Christopher Monckton on a whirlwind tour of the mainland capital cities starting in Sydney on January 26th and finishing in Perth on February 8th. Unfortunately we cannot fit in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Lady Juliet Monckton will come as well, in part to monitor Lord Monckton’s health.

Prof. Plimer says the following of Lord Monckton: “although I modestly state that I am a good performer, he is superb and I have seen him fielding a very hostile BBC and other networks. He has the ability to change thinking……”.

Given the now generally-acknowledged lack of understanding among the Australian general public of the underlying reasons for a “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” and the likely effects thereof, it is critical that the public gets a chance to hear a globally-recognised presenter to explain the rational understanding of the whole issue. Lord Monckton is the ideal person to carry out this task and to also put it to the mass media.

[Tour date details removed – see details above or download the PDF]

As you can understand, the cost of this exercise will be very substantial as we have to fly Lord and Lady Monkton to and from Australia, all his domestic travel and accommodation plus a “stipend” of $20,000. Our aim is to cover these costs from donations from individuals, appropriate associations and corporations; we expect the required total to be of the order of $100,000. We would like to keep the cost of admission to Monckton’s lectures at around $20 so as to maximise the number of people that will come to hear him.

We have had a number of donations already of $1,000 (and higher) and would prefer donations to be of that order, but of course any amount is very welcome. Should there be a surplus, this, depending on the amount, will be given to Lord Monckton and/or the Climate Sceptics Party which is assisting with this project.

Your donations should be directed to:
Westpac Bank – Lord Monckton Tour account
Bank BSB: 035612
Account: 253068

Thank you in advance for your support of this nationally important project.

Case Smit BSc CIH(ret) CP(Env) FAusIMM
Noosaville Qld. 4566
07 5473 0475
case.smit@gmail.com

John Smeed D.MechE FIEAust CPEng RPEQ
Noosa Heads, Qld. 4567
07 5474 8928
johnsmeed@adna.com.au

As promised, I will continue to keep you updated.

Samuel

6 comments January 8th, 2010 at 10:22am

The Rush Limbaugh Gym of Weston?

I’ve been meaning to write this article for many months but have struggled to find a decent quality copy of the EIB Network logo and as a result, kept putting it off. This changed this morning when The Rush Limbaugh Show upgraded their “dittocam” (webcam) stream to an “HD” stream. Personally I don’t think it qualifies as “high definition” at a 640×480 resolution…but it’s a vast improvement over the tiny old Windows Media and Real Player webcam streams, so I’ll let it pass…especially seeing as I can see things clearly enough in his studio now to work out that his web/email computer is a Mac.

DittocamHD screenshot

You can see the EIB logo in a few places in that image. The EIB logo has been around for years.

In late 2008, after having driven past it on an almost daily basis for months, I noticed the remarkable similarity between the EIB logo, and the logo of the Edge Health Club in Weston. Edge opened in early 2008 and have therefore not been around for anywhere near as long as the EIB logo.

Edge Health Club Weston

Pretty similar…especially when you look at the two side-by-side.

EIB Network logoEdge Health Club logo

Could it be that the owners of the Edge Health Club are Rush Limbaugh fans and are subtly promoting Rush with their logo?

Samuel

January 8th, 2010 at 07:48am

More proof that I really can’t sing!

Anybody who has been reading this blog for long enough knows that my singing is, to say the least, disturbing. The original intro for Samuel’s Persiflage is a good indication of that…but every now and then an invitation comes along to prove it all over again. Today is one of those days.

It’s KXNT’s Morning Source host Alan Stock’s birthday today and I was always intending on calling in to “The Flip” segment to wish him a happy birthday, but at the beginning of The Flip, Boss (KXNT Program Director Jack Landreth) issued a directive that everybody who called the flip had to wish Alan a happy birthday in song…it was also discussed that Sue Lowden, candidate for the Nevada Republican ticket in the 2010 senate election, who popped in earlier in the morning to wish Alan a happy birthday, had brought in a cake (I mention this to provide context to what follows). I managed to get through as the last caller of the morning…

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

My singing might be awful, but the wish is the same. Happy Birthday Alan!

Samuel

January 8th, 2010 at 03:59am

It must be Summernats again

And it’s not as if you even need to check the news or Exhibition Park to know it. It may be under new management, but it hasn’t attracted a less hoonish crowd. (As in previous years, I am not implying that all attendees are hoons or acting like idiots, so don’t even go there.)

The increase in buffoonery on the roads of Canberra…well the inner north at least, is quite noticeable. Dickson around lunchtime was pretty bizarre from what I saw, and when I took Nattie for a walk this evening, Ainslie Avenue and surrounds weren’t an awful lot better. Notably, the majority of people that I noticed doing bizarre and stupid things had interstate number plates.

A word to the foolish (because the wise don’t need words): the police have the power to confiscate vehicles and it really is a long walk back to pretty much anywhere from Canberra. I should know, given that I walked and hitch-hiked back to Canberra from Sydney in March last year.

Samuel

January 7th, 2010 at 06:56pm

Monckton, Plimer in Newcastle on January 28

Reader Denis writes in with some exciting news for Novocastrians. The previously mentioned Australian tour of Lord Christopher Monckton and Professor Ian Plimer will be visiting Newcastle.

Monckton and Plimer will be appearing at the Newcastle City Hall on Thursday, January 28 at 12.30 pm. Admission costs $2.00. (Update: This price seems to be lower than others, and I haven’t been able to confirm it, so please don’t take it as gospel. For information on Lord Monckton’s visits to other cities please click here)

Many thanks Denis. I’ll be in touch personally in just a moment.

I have a few tasks to do this afternoon…one of them is getting through this rather large backlog of unanswered emails from the last couple of weeks. Emailing Lord Monckton’s people about tour dates will form part of that, so I hope to have more details for you all shortly. In the meantime, if you know of a stop on the Monckton/Plimer Climate Truth Express, please let me know.

Update: The following information from the Climate Sceptics Party has just been brought to my attention:

The itinerary is still to be detailed, but what has been agreed with Lord and Lady Monckton so far is:

Sydney January 26 & 27, Newcastle the 28th, Brisbane 29th, Noosa 30th & 31st, Melbourne Feb. 1st & 2nd, Canberra 3rd, Adelaide 4th & 5th, Perth 8th.

That was published on the 16th of December so it might be out of date by now, but it’s a start. I will still follow this up with Lord Monckton’s people.
End Update

Samuel

January 7th, 2010 at 02:48pm

2CC is expanding?

I caught the tail end of a promo on 2CC earlier this morning while I was between rooms. Apparently they are “expanding” and will have an exciting addition to their on-air staff…the announcement will be made by Mark Parton at 7:45am on Monday (Mark returns from holidays on Monday).

I’ll chuck a disclaimer in here and say that I know absolutely nothing about what the changes are…but if I had to make a wish, it would be that Mike Frame is getting a weekday slot replacing one of the 2UE shows. With any luck it would be Tim Webster’s show (oh what I would give to have Andrew Daddo take over that shift permanently).

I would also rate 2CC dumping the 2UE Steve Liebmann show in favour of the 2GB Ray Hadley show to be an outside chance.

And, just for the fun of it…wild and bizarre speculation time. Perhaps the rumours about John Laws returning to radio are true and he will be joining 2CC on Monday.

Regardless…announcement at 7:45am on Monday. Hand me a survey book because 2CC will easily win me in that quarter hour.

Update: I just had another thought which I had dismissed earlier…but the word “expanding” just keeps bringing me back to it. Perhaps 2CC will steal my idea (and guys, feel free to do so) and launch their own syndicated morning show hosted by either Mike Welsh or Mike Frame, initially networked to 2GN and 2XL, with the other Mike hosting the Drive show. That sort of morning show could be more relevant to the local region than either Sydney show is. End Update

Another update: One wonders if Steve Liebmann’s noticeable absence from 2CC’s presenters list and the (more comprehensive) “Presenters & Shows” menu means anything? One also wonders if the fact that, right now during the Mike Welsh Drive Show, the listen live box isn’t showing the name and photo of the current presenter means anything? End update

Samuel

9 comments January 7th, 2010 at 11:27am

New South Wales Government: All spin and no substance

2UE’s fill-in breakfast hosts Stuart Bocking and Tracy Spicer put together an excellent piece yesterday morning on how the New South Wales Government seems to be more concerned with feeding neat lines to the media than actually answering questions and addressing concerns.

It all came about following a Daily Telegraph report which claimed that the New South Wales Police’s traffic and speed monitoring plane had not been used once over the Christmas/New Year period despite assurances that it would be used. (As an aside, the information about the plane was pretty sketchy back before Christmas/New Year, with initial statements from the government and police indicating that it could be used anywhere and everywhere and later police statements amending that to just a couple highways near Sydney).

Stuart and Tracey had New South Wales Police’s Traffic Services Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley on the show and asked him about the Daily Telegraph’s report.

John Hartley: It’s been up three times out of nine we could have used it and, look this bad weather is one with only a light plane we don’t want to send it up where it is dangerous or could endanger the pilot or the observer’s life. So we’ve only used it on three days out of the nine we could have.

A very direct answer which shows that the plane has actually been used, contrary to the Daily Telegraph report, and also shows that the police would have liked to use it more often.

You can imagine then, just how surprised Robert Spicer in 2UE’s Newsroom was when he asked the Police Minister, Michael Daley, the same question and didn’t get an answer, but instead was treated to an episode of Daley’s Daily Phrase.

Robert Spicer: How many times has it been in the air?

Michael Daley: Well we don’t give details about that. You understand that it has a deterrent factor even when it’s not in the air because you never know when and you never know where the plane might appear.

Robert Spicer: Yeah that sounds really good minister. Forgive me, but, I mean, the question really stands. How many times has the plane been in the air? You say the Telegraph is wrong, it has flown…how many times has it flown?

Michael Daley: I’ve just answered that question.

Robert Spicer: I don’t understand why you won’t say it’s been up once, twice or three times. I mean your Traffic Services Commander has just told Tracey and Stuart that he thinks it’s been up three times. Why is it a secret from your point of view?

Michael Daley: It’s not a secret. What we’d like to do is to say to drivers that you never know where and you never know where…that you never know when and you never know where that plane might be operating, so we’d prefer not to give details about when and where it’s operating. It’s as simple as that.

Robert Spicer: I appreciate that, I’m not asking you when it’s going to operate, I’m asking you in response to what you were saying about the Telegraph article…how many times has it operated? Not is it operating, but how many times has it operated?

Michael Daley: I’ve just answered that question for you twice.

Robert Spicer: I can understand you not wanting to say when it’s in the air in the future, I have no problem with that, but I fail to understand why you don’t want to say how many times it’s been up.

Michael Daley: Because that’s an operational decision that was made.

So effectively Michael Daley just wants to say that the Daily Telegraph is wrong and “you never know when and you never know where” etc etc etc, without providing any sort of information which might make his claims seem credible.

As Tracey commented a few moments later:

I can just imagine the media meeting they had in Michael Daley’s office this morning with all his media advisors coming up with this key message “you never know where and you never know when” and patting each other on the back and saying “yeah that’ll get it through, we won’t have to say how many times”

I don’t know whether the New South Wales Government are doing this so that they can employ a whole lot of media advisors making up nonsense, whether they’re trying to make the media give up on asking them about anything they don’t feel like talking about, or a combination of both. Regardless, it’s ridiculous. It’s also typical of a government which is so bad at delivering anything useful, that they have become quite expert in producing a vapid smoke screen of hot air which they delusionally think people can’t see through.

I think Stuart summed up the futility of it quite nicely by applying Michael Daley’s interview logic to Michael Daley’s personal life.

You could meet him somewhere and say “look, I forgot your name, what was it again?” “I’ve already answered that”

Brilliant work Stuart, Tracey and Robert in exposing what I think we all already know, but need to be reminded of so that we don’t become desensitised to it.

Samuel

January 7th, 2010 at 02:49am

Doomsday scenario #57,932,458: Big bang #2

We’re all about to be vaporised…again…apparently:

A STAR primed to explode in a blast that could wipe out the Earth was revealed by astronomers yesterday.

It will self-destruct in an explosion called a supernova with the force of 20 billion billion billion megatons of TNT.

New studies show the star, called T Pyxidis, is much closer than previously thought at 3,260 light-years away – a short hop in galactic terms.

So the blast from the thermonuclear explosion could strip away our ozone layer that keeps out deadly space radiation. Life on Earth would then be frazzled.
[..]
[T]he International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite has shown them that T Pyxidis is really two stars, one called a white dwarf that is sucking in gas and steadily growing. When it reaches a critical mass it will blow itself to pieces.
[..]
The experts said the Hubble space telescope has photographed the star gearing up for its big bang with a series of smaller blasts or “burps”, called novas.

These explosions came regularly about every 20 years from 1890 – but stopped after 1967.

So the next blast is nearly 20 years overdue

The article does not suggest that the next blast will be the one to wipe us out, although I can just see the 2012 doomsday cult using it regardless.

I have one question about all of this: will the blast wave travel at, above or below the speed of light? If the blast wave travels at or above the speed of light, we will never see it coming and really shouldn’t worry as there isn’t a darn thing we can do about it. If, on the other hand, the blast wave travels below the speed of light, then the question is “by how much?”. From that we can calculate the time between seeing the blast and feeling the effects of it…and if we’re technologically advanced enough at the time, how long we have to prepare a defence for our planet and…well probably our solar system if we don’t want gravity to be affected too much…we wouldn’t want to save our planet only to end up plunging in to the sun due to gravitational changes, now would we?

Oh, and I just have to note that news.com.au ran this story as well…but they did it in the “breaking news” section, with the headline “Self destructing Supernova explosion may wipe out earth”. It makes it sound like the explosion has already happened and we are on the brink of destruction. It’ll get lots of hits, and I suppose that’s what matters!

(Thanks to Kane Bond for alerting me to this story).

Samuel

January 7th, 2010 at 12:48am

Arizona to remove speed cameras?

That’s a headline you’d never see in New South Wales, but it’s the state of affairs in Arizona where the whole implementation seems to be so badly botched that the speed camera program may very well be axed.

PHOENIX (AP) — More than a year after Arizona became the first state in the country to deploy dozens of speed cameras on highways statewide, threats to the groundbreaking program abound.

Profits are far below expectations, a citizen effort to ban the cameras is gaining steam, the governor has said she does not like the program, and more and more drivers are ignoring the tickets they get in the mail after hearing from fellow speeders that there are often no consequences to doing so.

“I see all the cameras in Arizona completely coming down ” in 2010, said Shawn Dow, chairman of Arizona Citizens Against Photo Radar, which is trying to get a measure banning the cameras on the November ballot. “The citizens of Arizona took away the cash cow of Arizona by refusing to pay.”

The Arizona Department of Public Safety introduced the cameras in September 2008 and slowly added more until all 76 were up and running by January.

Supporters say the cameras slow down drivers and reduce accidents, but opponents argue that they are intrusive and are more about making money than safety.
[..]
The cameras led to more than 700,000 tickets to drivers going 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit from September 2008 to September 2009, the most recent data available, according to the Department of Public Safety. The mandated fines and surcharges on all those tickets would total more than $127 million, but they had generated just $36.8 million through September, Lieutenant [Jeff] King [photo enforcement district commander for the Department of Public Safety] said.

Some of the people who got those tickets are contesting them in court and could end up having to pay the fine, but many of them have gone unpaid because drivers know they have a good shot at getting away with ignoring them. When people get tickets, they can pay without question, request a court date and fight the ticket, or simply ignore the ticket because law enforcement cannot prove they received it. The ticket becomes invalid if a violator who ignores it is not served in person within three months. It is nearly impossible to say how many people have ignored their tickets because courts do not track the figure.

Yeesh. Over here the authorities just assume that you receive the notice and suspend your licence if you don’t pay. It seems to me that this is the main cause of the apparent failure of the speed camera program. If the tickets were enforced, people would be paying them.

Somebody really stuffed the implementation of this program…I wonder who it could be?

While certain to increase, that $36.8 million in revenue through September will still fall far below the $120 million a year that former Gov. Janet Napolitano hoped to put in the state’s coffers when she ordered up the program in early 2007.

Oh…well that explains it. Janet Napolitano, the Obama administration’s National Security Nit-Wit (as Mark Levin so accurately put it yesterday)…the woman who said “the system worked” after a terrorist managed to get explosives on-board an aeroplane and use them on a flight in to Detroit on Christmas Day. The only reason many people didn’t die on that day is the heroic actions of other passengers.

Clearly Janet Napolitano’s definition of “work/worked/working” in the case of national security and for speed camera programs differs from the definition which can be found in English dictionaries.

Samuel

January 6th, 2010 at 07:32pm

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