Archive for January 7th, 2010

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That was published on the 16th of December so it might be out of date by now, but it’s a start.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


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