Posts filed under 'Sport'

Melbourne Cup 2015: Tips and broadcast information

Another year, another Melbourne Cup, although this year there are some interesting changes to the ways you can watch the Melbourne Cup which will be of great benefit to people who can not be near a television.

As usual, after the race I will provide complete results (including the complete finishing order) and the TAB dividends. It should be noted by prospective gamblers, given the number of people who may only bet on Melbourne Cup day and not be aware of all the ins and outs of horse racing, that bookmakers (which includes most of the online betting agencies) may offer different odds to those of the TABs…so the figures you see in the media may not match the odds on offer by your chosen betting outlet, and you should take this in to consideration before placing your bet.

My tips
My tips for the first three horses to pass the finishing post, in no particular order, are:
12. Sky Hunter
17. Almoonqith
23. Excess Knowledge

Scratchings
At the time of publishing there were no scratchings. If this changes during the day, I will update this post, but not until the afternoon.

Broadcast information
The race starts at 3pm Melbourne time (UTC +11).

The usual places on television and radio will be carrying the race, but with an extra television station and extra online viewing options to throw in to the mix. This makes the 2015 Melbourne Cup the most accessible Cup in history.

Television:
The Seven Network (through Channel Seven in capital cities; Seven Queensland in regional Queensland; Prime7 in regional NSW, ACT, and Victoria; GWN7 in regional Western Australia; Southern Cross Television pretty much everywhere else) remains the primary broadcast partner and will be running coverage pretty much all day, however this coverage is likely to be less focussed on racing this year and more focussed on the ancillary stuff such as fashions on the field and various associated social events. Seven will still cover the race and all of today’s other races at Flemington, but is likely to produce a broadcast aimed at more at the casual viewer than the fan of horse racing. This is because Seven has an agreement to air another racing channel.

Racing.com (channel 78 in metropolitan areas and most of regional Queensland, channel 68 in other regional areas, channel 522 of Foxtel, and also online…see below) is Victorian Racing’s own channel, broadcast through an agreement with the Seven Network and regional affiliates. The station offers a more thorough coverage of Victorian horse racing than that of Seven and is probably of more value and interest to people who are actually interested in horse racing, although it will also be a busy day for this channel as it will also be covering racing in Echuca, Wangaratta, Bairnsdale, Mildura, and Mansfield, however this won’t compromise coverage of the Melbourne Cup in any way as all of these other race meetings will take a prolonged break at 2:30pm. It is also worth noting that in most locations the Racing.com broadcast is at least a couple seconds ahead of the Seven broadcast, and in areas served by Prime7 and GWN7, Racing.com can be as much as 20 seconds ahead.

Online:
The big change this year is that live vision of the Melbourne Cup will be available online. Racing.com is undoubtedly the best place to go for this, however to access their stream you will need to register for a Racing+ account. This is free, but not something which you would want to do at the very last moment. Racing.com’s stream will be available worldwide. It is the only live stream of the Melbourne Cup which will be available outside Australia.

Channel Seven will also stream the Melbourne Cup live via 7live.com.au (where a Racing.com stream is available in addition to Seven’s coverage) and also via the Plus7 app. However these streams will only be available within Australia.

Various online bookmakers offer a relay of the Racing.com stream through their own apps and websites to account holders. These streams will only be available within Australia. These betting agencies include: tab.com.au, Sportsbet, Crownbet, Ladbrokes, Betstar.com.au, bookmaker.com.au.

Radio:
Very little has changed in regards to radio coverage this year. Many radio stations across Australia will take coverage of the race and some overseas will as well. I don’t have details for non-Australian radio stations, but the chances are that if you are outside Australia and have a station which regularly covers horse racing, it will probably cover this race too.

Inside Australia, your local racing station will definitely have full coverage of the race. The main racing stations are:
Melbourne: RSN 927AM
Sydney: Sky Sports Radio 1017AM
Canberra: Sky Sports Radio 1008AM. (Note: ACTTAB used to run 88.7 FM, however Tab Corp have bought and dropped the ACTTAB brand, and I can no longer receive a signal on 88.7FM, although it was never good in my part of town so might still be operational).
Brisbane: Radio TAB 1008AM
Adelaide: Radio TAB 1539AM
Darwin: Radio TAB 1242AM
Hobart: Radio TAB 1080AM
Perth: TAB Radio 1206AM

For non-capital cities, the frequency of your local racing station can be found at the following sites:
New South Wales (and some towns on the Victorian side of the border): Sky Sports Radio frequency finder
Victoria: Wikipedia’s list of RSN’s regional frequencies (which have unfortunately disappeared from RSN’s website
Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory: Tattsbet’s Radio TAB frequency list
Western Australia: WA Tab Radio frequency list

Of course you can also listen to the race online. The best station for this is undoubtedly RSN 927 in Melbourne as it is the originating station for the coverage which will be heard on other stations across Australia. They replaced their old Windows Media stream with an MP3 stream this year, which means it should work in pretty much every media player and every mobile device. Click the following link or copy and paste it in to your favourite media player: http://rsnshout.dyn.rsn.net.au:8000/rsn
This stream can also be accessed from RSN’s website rsn.net.au and from Racing.com.

This stream will get very busy, so if you can’t connect to it or have other problems with it, the other racing stations are your next best bet.
Sky Sports Radio: http://www.skyracing.com.au/index.php?component=content&Itemid=215&id=96 (and the old lower-quality stream is still available http://www.skyracing.com.au/index.php?component=content&Itemid=121&id=97). Both require Flash player.
Tattsbet Radio TAB: https://media.tatts.com/Tattsbet/radiotab_http.asx (Windows Media stream)
WA TAB: https://www.tabtouch.com.au/RRLive (to play in a browser with Flash Player) or http://racingradio.rwwa.com.au/live to directly play the MP3 stream. (The stream was silent when I checked it this morning, although given the local time in Perth at the time, it could have just been an overnight technical fault).

2GB in Sydney also usually take the race and have a decent capacity for listeners on their stream, so if none of the above work for you, then http://www.2gb.com/listen-live will probably get you the race.

The above stations are all also available via phone apps such as Tunein Radio.

Replays of the race:
Racing.com will have the replay of the race, however it will only be available within Australia, and requires registration (the same registration as their live stream). Seven will undoubtedly replay the race many times during the day and Racing.com’s TV station and webstream will replay the race many times during the overnight replays over the next few days. The closing stages will be replayed by most television news bulletins in the 24 hours following the race.

Best of luck for the race today. I hope you have a good day and remember to have fun but only gamble what you can afford to lose. As usual I will be back this afternoon around race time with all of the results.

Samuel

1 comment November 3rd, 2015 at 07:30am

Melbourne Cup 2014: Results

The 2014 Melbourne Cup has been run and won. Correct Weight has been declared. All TABs are now paying dividends. Listed dividends are final. The full finishing order is now posted below.

For those of you who are unsure of which TAB dividend is relevant to you, the simple guide is:
Super TAB: Victoria, ACT, Western Australia
NSW TAB: New South Wales
Tatts: Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia
If you placed a bet through an outlet other than a TAB, you should refer to that outlet’s website for their prizes.

**Final Dividends**
1st: 5. Protectionist
Win: Super TAB $8.60, NSW $8.20, Tatts $8.40
Place: Super TAB $3.10, NSW $3.00, Tatts $3.00

2nd: 4. Red Cadeaux
Place: Super TAB $5.10, NSW $5.60, Tatts $5.10

3rd: 12. Who Shot Thebarman
Place: Super TAB $3.60, NSW $3.30, Tatts $3.60

4th: 24. Signoff

Quinella (Protectionist & Red Cadeaux)
Super TAB $87.50, NSW $92.70, Tatts $87.80

Exacta (Protectionist & Red Cadeaux)
Super TAB $155.70, NSW $154.30, Tatts $158.10

Trifecta (Protectionist, Red Cadeaux, Who Shot Thebarman)
Super TAB $2,173.10, NSW $2,202.40, Tatts $1,918.30

First Four (Protectionist, Red Cadeaux, Who Shot Thebarman, Signoff)
Super TAB $15,381.80, NSW $18.884.00, Tatts $18,452.80

Duet / Any Two
5. Protectionist / 4. Red Cadeaux
Super TAB $26.90, NSW $31.20, Tatts $31.90

5. Protectionist / 12. Who Shot Thebarman
Super TAB $30.60, NSW $26.30, Tatts $26.80

4. Red Cadeaux / 12. Who Shot Thebarman
Super TAB $48.20, NSW $44.00, Tatts $39.80

Running Double
Race 6 (3. Hijack Hussy) and Race 7 (5. Protectionist)
Super TAB $109.60, NSW $33.30. (Tatts does not offer this bet type)

**Full finishing order**
1st: 5. Protectionist
2nd: 4. Red Cadeaux
3rd: 12. Who Shot Thebarman
4th: 24. Signoff
5th: 13. Willing Foe
6th: 15. Precedence
7th: 21. Araldo
8th: 18. Au Revoir
9th: 7. Seismos
10th: 3. Fawkner
11th: 20. Opinion
12th: 10. Gatewood
13th: 22. Lucia Valentina
14th: 11. Mutual Regard
15th: 16. Brambles
16th: 23. Unchain My Heart
17th: 14. My Ambivalent
18th: 8. Junoob
19th: 19. Lidari
20th: 9. Royal Diamond
21st: 17. Mr O’Ceirin
22nd/last: 1. Admire Rakti

Scratched (did not start): 2. Cavalryman
Scratched (did not start): 6. Sea Moon

**My tips**
12. Who Shot Thebarman
I picked this horse to run first. It came in 3rd.

15. Precedence
I picked this horse for a place but it ran 6th.

20. Opinion
I picked this horse for a place, but it ran 11th.

Sad news after the race
Stewards at Flemington have confirmed some rather sad news. The favourite, Admire Rakti, broke down after running last and has died after returning to the stables. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people connected with this horse.

Also, Peter Donegan on Seven has reported that Araldo has been injured after the race. He was frightened by something and kicked the fence, injuring a hind leg. He is being taken to a vet for assessment. Peter Donegan reports it looks like a severe injury. A further update on Araldo is that the injury is operable, and Araldo’s prospects look good. Update Wednesday 5 November 10:09am: Unfortunately Araldo had to be put down overnight. A very sad end to the great race this year. End update

Samuel

Updated: 5:07pm (except for further update noted above)

November 4th, 2014 at 03:10pm

Melbourne Cup 2014: tips and broadcast information

It’s Melbourne Cup day again. I gave the Melbourne Cup a miss on this blog last year, but I’m back this year and will provide my usual results service including the full finishing order of the horses after the race, which is often useful for the sweeps where a prize is offered for last place (or in some unusual sweeps, one of the other places in the middle of the field somewhere) and is also of some importance this year with some online betting outlets offering a prize for correctly picking the first ten horses in order, the odds of which are astronomically difficult and it deserves a larger prize than is being offered, but with a prize of over a million dollars on Melbourne Cup day, I can see why it would be tempting.

My tips
I’m not going to attempt to pick the first ten horse in order, but I will give you my top three.

I like horse number 12 “Who Shot Thebarman”. Not the most consistent recent form, but with a decent barrier (13) and ridden by Glen Boss, I think he stands a good chance. He has won previously over this distance which is also a plus, and his last two victories were at this track with this jockey, although as a six-year-old there are definitely some more young and spritely horses in the race, but I’m happy to select Who Shot Thebarman as my top pick.

The other two horses I like are number 15 “Precedence” who I don’t think can win but I can think can run a place, and number 20 “Opinion” who, like Who Shot Thebarman, is trained by C.J. Waller.

Scratchings
(Updated 12:02pm)
The Melbourne Cup field is currently now down to 22 horses due to the early scratching of number 6 “Sea Moon”, and the subsequent scratching of number 2 “Cavalryman”.

Broadcast information
The Seven Network is the official television broadcaster of the race which starts at 3pm Melbourne time (2:30pm in South Australia, 2:00pm in Queensland, 1:30pm in the Northern Territory, and 12:00pm in Western Australia) and you can be sure it will be shown on a television in every TAB and most clubs and function venues in the country.

For those who can’t be near a television, many radio stations will be covering it. Your local racing station will definitely have full coverage and a bunch of other stations will be taking the coverage for at least the race, if not some of the pre-race and post-race coverage.
Melbourne: RSN 927AM
Sydney: Sky Sports Radio 1017AM
Canberra: Sky Sports Radio 1008AM and ACTTAB Radio 88.7 FM (limited broadcast range for the latter)
Brisbane: Radio TAB 1008AM
Adelaide: Radio TAB 1539AM
Darwin: Radio TAB 1242AM
Hobart: Radio TAB 1080AM
Perth: TAB Radio 1206AM

For non-capital cities, the frequency of your local racing station can be found at the following sites:
New South Wales (and some towns on the Victorian side of the border): Sky Sports Radio frequency finder
Victoria: Radio Sport National frequency map
Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory: Tattsbet’s Radio TAB frequency list
Western Australia: WA Tab Radio frequency list

Of course you can also listen to the race online. The best station for this is undoubtedly RSN 927 in Melbourne as it is the originating station for the coverage which will be heard on other stations across Australia. They have a Windows Media stream which should work in most players. Click the following link or copy and paste it in to your favourite media player: http://www.rsn.net.au/ListenLive.asx

This stream will get very busy, so if you can’t connect to it or have other problems with it, the other racing stations are your next best bet.
Sky Sports Radio: http://www.skyracing.com.au/index.php?component=content&Itemid=121&id=97 (requires Flash player)
Tattsbet Radio TAB: https://media.tatts.com/Tattsbet/radiotab_http.asx (Windows Media stream)
WA TAB: https://www.tabtouch.com.au/RRLive (to play in a browser with Flash Player) or http://racingradio.rwwa.com.au/live to directly play the MP3 stream.

2GB in Sydney also usually take the race and have a decent capacity for listeners on their stream, so if none of the above work for you, then http://www.2gb.com/listen-live will probably get you the race.

The above stations are all also available via phone apps such as Tunein Radio.

If you’re having a bet today, then best of luck to you, and remember to gamble responsibly.

I’ll have all of the results this afternoon following the race.

Samuel

November 4th, 2014 at 05:43am

Friday Funnies: Sandy Roberts goes to Commentator Heaven

Fox Footy released a promo this week for Sandy Roberts’ return to television AFL commentary later this year, and it amused me quite a bit. I really enjoy Sandy commentating and have enjoyed having him on the radio over the last few years…I’m happy that his commentary will once again reach a wider audience on television though.

The fact that heaven in this case has AFL goal posts, and Sandy even lets out an “Oh my hat!” is brilliant. The apparent implication from the promo that Kevin Bartlett has also joined Fox as a commentator is also great news (but I hope he can still call games for SEN).

Incidentally, when Sandy left Seven last year, I wrote him a letter to express my gratitude for all he has done for sport on television and radio over the years and to wish him all the best for his next career stage at Fox Footy (I also said that I hope this doesn’t prevent him from doing some radio commentary still, as I think he works really well with both Rex Hunt and Peter Donegan). In the letter, I sent Sandy the lyrics for a song…back in the 1990s, John Laws had a jingle produced which started with the lines “Life ain’t so tough when there’s Lawsie / He’s good news to me” and he still uses it to this day. Alas I don’t have the audio on me to demonstrate the concept, but I adapted the song for Sandy.

Golf isn’t golf without Sandy
He’s on-par to me!
He can take a bogey
And turn it in to a birdie
And at the Aussie Rules
He sits next to the fat lady
She can start to croon
And “oh my hat” comes out of Sandy

He’s the voice of the golf you can trust
He’ll keep you going when you’re in the rough

I’ve got Sandy commentating
(trumpets sound)
Sandy commentating
(trumpets sound)
He’s a putter
He’s a driver
He’ll keep you out of the bunker
Ooon the front nine
(trumpets sound)
Aaand the back nine
(trumpets sound)
Sandy’s commentating!

I kind of hope that Sandy quietly let out an “oh my hat” when he read that.

Samuel

(h/t David Knox, TV Tonight for bringing my attention to the promo)

February 15th, 2014 at 04:44am

Happy Super Bowl Day!

It’s Super Bowl Day. I must profess to knowing little about American Football (it probably looks as foreign to me as Australian Rules does to Americans) but I am interested in the Super Bowl…this year I have an extra reason to be interested.

Last year, a friend in the US (Hi Gordon) sent me an NFL jersey from the Seattle Seahawks (a replica of the one worn by quarterback Russell Wilson to be precise). Seattle are in today’s Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos. I’m wearing my Seahawks jersey and will be supporting them from afar.

Samuel wearing a Seahawks jersey
A well-framed selfie (if I do say so myself) of me in my Seahawks jersey.

Go Seahawks!

Samuel

February 3rd, 2014 at 06:43am

The charges against Essendon

An email to 2GB’s Ray Hadley

G’day Ray,

Given the hype which has surrounded the so-called scandal of the Essendon supplement scandal in the AFL for months, the charges of “bringing the game in to disrepute” seem very odd.

It seems to me that it may be a case of “we can’t charge them with anything else, but we need to charge them because we have made such a big deal out of it”.

“The Darkest Day In Sport” will surely go down in history as yet another grand failure of this Labor government. The suffering and anxiety it is causing across professional sporting teams is an outrage.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

August 14th, 2013 at 09:25am

State Of Origin game one

An email to Andrew Moore and the rest of 2GB’s Continuous Call Team, who are currently in the middle of their pre-match show as they prepare to call the first State Of Origin match of the year

Good evening Andrew and co,

The series scoreline of 17-12 is much like the margin in the latest NewsPoll, the only difference being that New South Wales have a chance.

That said…Go Queensland!! And I’m glad your voice is better tonight.

Enjoy the match.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

June 5th, 2013 at 07:34pm

Television rights for the cricket

An email to 2UE’s Jason Morrison in response to the news that Ten could get the broadcast rights to every bit of Australian domestic and international cricket.

Hi Jason,

I’m sorry but I disagree with your comments about Nine, Ten and the Cricket.

Nine do “get” the game, but I feel that they’ve become very complacent with their coverage of late, in much the same way that Seven were very complacent with their AFL coverage in 2000 before they lost the rights.

When Seven lost the rights to the AFL, the game benefited from a fresh take on covering it by Nine, Ten and Fox, and it made Seven reevaluate how they cover sport and helped lead them to the point now where they make a decent effort with AFL, V8s, Golf, Tennis, Horse Racing etc.

I believe Cricket would benefit in the same way if Nine lost the rights. Ten could on sell to Fox so you wouldn’t lose Fox’s expertise, and you would get a new style out of Ten…then in a few years Nine will have had enough time to rethink how they would cover the cricket and would be able to reclaim some or all cricket rights with a reinvigorated approach.

It also wouldn’t hurt to have something on Ten which could make them competitive again.

Have a good weekend.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

May 10th, 2013 at 04:24pm

Melbourne Cup 2012: Results

Final update: 3:57pm
**Final dividends for Supertab and NSW TAB, plus the complete finishing order is is now online**

1st: 14. Green Moon Win: $22.50 Place: $7.40 (NSW: Win: $20.80 Place: $6.60)
2nd: 11. Fiorente Place: $11.80 (NSW: Place: $12.70)
3rd: 3. Jakkalberry Place: $16.00 (NSW: Place: $15.30)

Quinella: $506.90 (NSW: $533.50)
Exacta: $765.30 (NSW: $852.70)
Trifecta: $45,941.60 (NSW: $51,177.30)
Duet 11-3: $359.10 (NSW: $484.80)
Duet 14-11: $185.20 (NSW: $159.20)
Duet 14-3: $246.70 (NSW: $245.60)
First Four 14-11-3-24: $969,406.60 (NSW: $1,467,099.60)

Finishing order of all 24 horses
1st: 14. Green Moon
2nd: 11. Fiorente
3rd: 3. Jakkalberry
4th: 24. Kelinni
5th: 8. Mount Athos
6th: 13. Glencadam Gold
7th: 16. Mourayan
8th: 4. Red Cardeaux
9th: 21. Precedence
10th: 17. My Quest For Peace
11th: 2. Americain
12th: 7. Cavalryman
13th: 6. Voila Ici
14th: 1. Dunaden
15th: 18. Niwot
16th: 10. Lights Of Heaven
17th: 5. Winchester
18th: 9. Sanagas
19th: 15. Maluckyday
20th: 12. Galileo’s Choice
21st: 22. Unusual Suspect
22nd: 23. Zabeelionaire
23rd: 19. Tac De Boistron
Last: 10. Ethiopia

My Tips
Not too bad I suppose. First and last is an interesting result.
I picked:
14. Green Moon (Finished 1st)
2. Americain (Finished 11th)
10. Ethiopia (Finished last)

Obviously I didn’t win the quinella or the trifecta, but with those odds the win and place paid reasonably well. I hope your tips went well.

Samuel

November 6th, 2012 at 03:09pm

Tips for the second week of the finals

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore and The Continuous Call Team

Evening Andrew,

How good is it to have another week of finals. It gets really serious from here…but not for the next few seconds…

After my resounding success of only tipping one winner (the Doggies) out of eight AFL and NRL finals last week, I’m officially tipping the Cowboys by seven points tonight, and the Rabbits by twelve tomorrow. In the AFL, Fremantle and Collingwood are my tips.

Have a great call!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

September 14th, 2012 at 07:13pm

Nice Korea and Naughty Korea

Apparently in the last few days the freebie News Limited newspaper in the capital cities, MX, decided to rename the Koreas, calling North Korea “Naughty Korea” and South Korea “Nice Korea”. This angered the North Koreans which made noises about MX’s actions being against the spirit of the Olympics (because, as we all know, North Korea are the world authority on all of the peaceful sentiments of the Olympics) which in turn caused MX to run a paper with the headline “North Korea launches missive (yes, missive)”. That missive is one of the more amusing official statements I have ever read.

The Australian newspaper Brisbane Metro behaved so sordid as to describe the DPRK as “Naughty Korea” when carrying the news of London Olympics standings.

This is a bullying act little short of insulting the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and progress and politicizing sports.

Media are obliged to lead the public in today’s highly-civilized world where mental and cultural level of mankind is being displayed at the highest level. Brisbane Metro deserves criticism for what it has done.

The paper behaved so foolish as to use the London Olympics that has caught the world interest for degrading itself.

The paper hardly known in the world must have thought of making its existence known to the world by joining other media in reporting the Olympic news.

Then it should have presented its right appearance to the world.

Editors of the paper were so incompetent as to tarnish the reputation of the paper by themselves by producing the article like that.

There is a saying “A straw may show which way the wind blows”. A single article may exhibit the level of the paper.

Many people were unanimous in denouncing the small paper for defaming the mental and moral aspects of the players of the DPRK who earned recognition from several appreciative world famous media.

Even hostile forces toward the DPRK heaped praises on its players’ successful performance at the London Olympics, saying that “Korea whirlwind” sweeps the world.

The Australian paper cooked up the way of moneymaking, challenging the authority of the dignified sovereign state. The paper deserves a trifle sum of dirty money.

As already known, it was reported that a lot of petty thieves sneaked into the London Olympics together with tourists. Players fight to the finish in the stadium, but those petty thieves demonstrate their “skills” outside the stadium.

The paper Brisbane Metro is little different from those petty thieves. In a word, the paper discredited itself. How pitiful it is.

The Brisbane Metro will remain as a symbol of rogue paper for its misdeed to be cursed long in Olympic history. The infamy is the self-product of the naughty paper Brisbane Metro which dared challenge the spirit of Olympic, common desire and unanimous will of mankind.

(h/t News Limited)

MX were having a bit of fun…probably not as much fun as I have been having while reading the peculiar missive from North Korea. MX’s altered medal tally may have been in bad taste, although I personally think it was quite amusing. In fact, I think the names should stick. From now on, I intend on adopting MX’s names for the Koreas, referring to the North and South as “Naughty” and “Nice” respectively.

Now, let’s see if I get a personal message from Pyongyang describing me as “most sordid” and “cursed long in Olympic history”.

Samuel

1 comment August 8th, 2012 at 10:00pm

The Sunday Bits for April 15, 2012

And a good morning on this quite lovely Canberra morning. It is starting to get a bit colder now, but I have to admit to quite liking the way April and May unfold in Canberra. The leaves change colour, the nights become a bit more nippy, and for those of us who are fortunate enough to be awake in the mid-dawn hours, there are some interesting and patchy fogs which adorn the roads.

On this lovely morning I, taking advantage of the windscreen-mounted position of my phone, took this photo of a couple hot air balloons wafting over Commonwealth Avenue.
Hot air balloons over Commonwealth Avenue

In this edition:
* Bye bye Bob!
* Canberra is a good place for an international airport
* To Japan’s credit, unfounded fear-mongering does not derail nuclear power
* Mike Huckabee will not be VP
* New brain research leading to better reading skills in school kids
* Is Metricon Stadium breaking AFL rules?
* Heidi Harris to announce her new station on Monday

Bye bye Bob!

As you have probably heard by now, Bob Brown is retiring from politics. The current leader of the Greens in federal parliament will quit his post as leader of the party, and also as a Senator. He will be handing the reigns over to current deputy leader Christine Milne.

In some ways it is nice to see Bob go. One less strange person in parliament pushing an abhorrent wheelbarrow of nutty ideas can only be a good thing, except for one small problem. I see the Greens as being left-wing extremists wrapped up in fuzzy feel-good environmental stuff designed to make them look nicer. They use the guise of being worried about the environment to enable them to push all kinds of socialist and Marxist ideas. Bob Brown, to me at least, is more moderate than the likes of Christine Milne or (I get a shudder down my spine from merely mentioning this name) Sarah Hanson-Young.

Bob Brown is patient, and doesn’t seem to mind how long it takes for him to get his way, and in many ways I think this is what has helped the Greens to reach a point of having some influence in politics. The fact that, under Bob Brown, the Greens have very rarely aggressively pushed their underlying ideas, and have instead made sure that their message is carefully wrapped in pleasantries, is one of the main reasons they have managed to attract voters. They have attracted the people who are uninterested in politics and “like the environment and stuff”; the rusted-on Labor voters who couldn’t support various Labor people but knew that a vote for the Greens would result in Labor government; as well as the true lefties who have quite happily understood the underlying message of the Greens, and have agreed to follow Bob’s lead and not make too much noise, because they know that the majority of Australians want no piece of a socialist country.

Sure, the Greens have been right there every time the Socialist Alliance has held one of its weekly protests about everything, but they don’t go out of their way to publicise it.

This will change under Christine Milne. Anybody who has watched her whenever one of the non-ABC TV stations has given her a platform will know just how forthright (or would that be forthleft in her case?) she is in her support of anything and everything that Karl Marx would have supported. Equally, Sarah Hanson-Young does her bit to whip up the socialist fringe of the country.

This isn’t to say that Bob Brown didn’t have his moments. His repeated attempts to have the “hate media” (read: anyone in the media with whom he disagreed) silenced were a good example. Bob clearly has an angry streak under the surface, and I suspect that 2UE’s Mike Jeffreys may be correct in his analysis that Bob Brown is a very angry man under the surface, but uses that anger to carefully craft a very controlled outward appearance in the hope of getting his own way eventually. Think about it. It really didn’t matter whether Bob was talking about his love of trees, the carbon dioxide tax, or about the latest story in the “hate media”, his delivery was always the same. A continuous monotone hypnotic boredom-fest. I suspect that he was trying to brainwash people through sheer boredom.

It seems to me that under Christine Milne, the Greens will solidify their core socialist voters by being more strident in their advocacy of Marxist views, but will scare off most people in the process. In the short term, this will create waves, but in the long term it should destroy the party.

All that said, if in three weeks time the Greens decide that the Bob Brown approach is better for them, all they need to do is recruit former Obama propagandist press secretary Robert Gibbs, who had the same entirely uninteresting delivery as Bob Brown, with the added ability to never answer a question which he didn’t want to answer, something which dear old Bob never did quite manage to accomplish.

***

Canberra is a good place for an international airport

In other domestic news of late, the subject of Sydney’s second airport is back on the agenda, with Canberra being touted as an option. I like Canberra as an option, but if it happens, I don’t want it to be considered as “Sydney’s second airport”. Canberra Airport should take international flights, especially given Canberra’s status as the capital city of the country. In fact, part of the reason Sydney airport is so busy is because it’s the connection point for many people who are travelling to Canberra from outside the country.

I would also like to see a residential development occur at Tralee. Canberra Airport’s Stephen Byron is opposed to this because it would be under a flight path, but I don’t see this as an impediment. The airport is already there, and therefore anybody who buys or builds at Tralee would be well-aware that aeroplanes may fly over their house, and should therefore be unable to complain about it.

I see both things as being extremely beneficial to Canberra and surrounds, and while I expect to only ever see one come to fruition, it would be nice to have both.

***

To Japan’s credit, unfounded fear-mongering does not derail nuclear power

You may recall all of the fear-mongering after last year’s Japanese earthquake about the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe, and all of the anti-nuclear activists trying to use it as an excuse to end nuclear power generation around the world. As we know, despite the claims that the death toll would be high and the people who would be afflicted with radiation-related illnesses would number in the many thousands, the fact is nobody, repeat, nobody has died, and a mere 10 people have radiation-related illness.

As such, sanity has prevailed, and Japan are turning some of the nuclear reactors back on.

The Japanese government decided Friday that two nuclear reactors in western Japan are safe to restart, in a major step toward bringing idled plants back online for the first time since last year’s devastating nuclear accident — though local opposition could still prevent a restart.

The decision effectively gives the government thumbs up to a gradual return of nuclear power, after nearly all the country’s 54 reactors — which provided roughly 30 percent of Japan’s electricity — shut down because of damages or for routine maintenance and stayed offline amid concerns about their safety.

(h/t New York Post and The Wall Street Journal)

The Japanese government still needs to convince locals that it’s a good idea, but given how small the fallout has been from the Fukushima plant, especially given the magnitude of the natural disaster which occurred (the earthquake and tsunami), a simple statement of the facts should be enough convince any sensible thinking person that the nuclear power plants are a good and safe option.

***

Mike Huckabee will not be VP

In the wake of Rick Santorum’s unfortunate decision to abandon his run for the Republican Presidential nomination during the week, almost making it certain that Mitt Romney will be the nominee, there was some peculiar speculation that Romney will choose Mike Huckabee as his candidate for Vice President.

Let me tell you right now, that will not happen.

Mike Huckabee, while certainly a plausible person as a candidate, is out of the race for this election cycle. He recently (in the last few weeks), launched a new syndicated talk radio show in conjunction with US radio giant Cumulus Media. The show, which airs at the same time as Rush Limbaugh (the single most listened to talk radio host in the country) has replaced the Limbaugh show on a decent number of Cumulus stations, which is a massive gamble for Cumulus, and is airing on over 180 stations.

Neither Huckabee or Cumulus will be abandoning this show any time soon. Cumulus has way too much riding on this to be suddenly left without a decent show in the midday eastern timeslot, especially seeing as letting Rush go from many of their stations has allowed competitors to air Rush, giving them potentially crushing competition if Huckabee were to walk or flop.

I would rule out Rick Santorum as a VP pick at this stage, but I’m not willing to make a prediction as to who will be Mitt’s running mate if Mitt does get the nomination. What I will say is that it will have to be a solid conservative, because Mitt is not enough of a conservative to enthuse the Republican party’s base.

I just hope some lessons have been learnt from the 2008 campaign. America can not afford another four years of Obama, and another dumb lurch away from the right and to the centre, politically speaking, is the sort of bad idea that could once again see the GOP botch a campaign and give Obama a perfect opportunity to win, despite his terrible polling numbers.

***

New brain research leading to better reading skills in school kids

An interesting story out of Michigan.

New brain research has led educators in New Buffalo to try a different method of teaching kids to read. Instead of teaching just the letters of the alphabet, they are teaching kids to read the sounds in words. It’s having remarkable results. Reporter Ryan Klund from ABC57 News in South Bend, Indiana, has the story:

If you sit in Ms. Selir’s kindergarten classroom you’ll see something, maybe, you’ve never seen before. Every kindergartener is reading a book and pronouncing words that other five and six-year-olds, usually, would never read.
[..]
“It used to be we just thought it was the 26 letters of the alphabet and that’s it,” said Laura Selir. “But there are 44 sounds the kindergarteners all learn.”

“We now know every child can read if taught the right way,” said Erika Milovich, the Instruction Literary Specialist at New Buffalo Schools.

Milovich helped implement the program in ever grade at the school and said that the results speak for themselves.

On state testing this year New Buffalo improved K-5 reading and writing scores, moving into the top three schools in Berrien County. It was the first time New Buffalo made that mark.

(h/t ABC57 News, and also thanks to Casey Hendrickson who alerted me to this story when he mentioned it on his radio show on 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel on Friday)

It’s only being taught in a handful of schools at the moment, but hopefully that number will rise soon as the results are very promising.

***

Is Metricon Stadium breaking AFL rules?

Last night while watching the AFL, I noticed something strange about the way Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast is putting the vision of the match on the big screens. They appear to be taking the full TV feed rather than a modified version and, consequently, the countdown clock on Seven’s graphics is visible at all times on the big screen.

For those of you not familiar with the way AFL timing works, each quarter runs for 20 minutes of playing time, and events such as the ball going out or someone scoring temporarily disrupt the “playing time”. At the ground, a clock counts up from zero in each quarter and does not stop for these interruptions to playing time, meaning that the players and the crowd can not see how much time is left in the quarter, but instead can see how much real time has elapsed. Most quarters take between 25 and 30 minutes of real time, but can take more or less time.

It is not against the rules for a team runner to pass on a message to players about how long is left in the quarter, and it is common practice for the coaching staff to keep an unofficial record of how much time remains, but it is against the rules for the amount of time remaining in a quarter to be visible.

At many grounds, where a broadcast feed is used on the big screens, the spot on the screen where the time would be shown in normally covered up, however at Metricon Stadium it is not.

I wonder if the AFL have noticed this, and what will be done to fix it?

***

Heidi Harris to announce her new station on Monday

If she’s going to another radio station, anyway.

You may recall that a couple weeks ago I mentioned that Alan Stock had taken over Heidi Harris’ morning drive program on KDWN-AM in Las Vegas, and that there was a rumour going around that Alan’s former station (Heidi’s too, for that matter) KXNT had signed her but not made it public. Well, Heidi has announced that, on Monday, she will be able to make an announcement.

Regardless of where Heidi goes, she has a strong following and will most probably do very well. I wish her all the best, and look forward to her announcement on Monday US time.

***

And that’s all of the Sunday Bits for this week.

Samuel

April 15th, 2012 at 09:48am

Easter Rugby League

An email to 2GB’s Continuous Call Team

Good evening and Happy Easter Andrew and Blocker…don’t let Daryl eat all the Easter Eggs!

A disappointing result for the Dogs today, but that’s what happens when you only play for one half, and don’t even win that half. Congratulations to the Bunnies.

As for tonight, I think it’ll be tight, but the home ground advantage might just get the Tigers over the line, so I’m joining Blocky in supporting the Tigers tonight.

By the way, are you calling a match on Sunday.

Happy Easter!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

April 6th, 2012 at 07:11pm

Quote Of The Day: Rex Hunt

I had a to clean up a lot of coffee after hearing Rex Hunt announce this during the AFL Live call of Melbourne V Brisbane this afternoon.

Melbourne’s game plan has been as useful as a flywire screen on a submarine

That, plus the return of Rex Hunt’s Fat Lady Singing (whom I have not heard since Rex’s 3AW days in 2009), and Rex’s great rapport with Sandy Roberts, made that an absolutely fantastic afternoon of radio listening for what was otherwise a fairly ordinary AFL match.

Rex, Sandy, and the AFL Live team at Crocmedia, you have made my day! Thank you.

Samuel

March 31st, 2012 at 04:37pm

Well if you’re gonna crash out, you might as well do it in style

From yesterday’s NASCAR Daytona 500, this is what I call a spectacular crash.


(h/t Fox Sports)

This happened shortly after another crash had placed the field under a yellow caution flag. Juan Pablo Montoya lost control of his car, seemingly due to a mechanical malfunction of some sort, and careered in to the back of a truck which had a jet engine on it which was being used to blow debris off the track.

Amazingly, nobody was hurt. This always amazes me as an awful lot of careful planning and design has obviously gone in to the whole car racing industry so that people can usually simply walk away from incidents such as these.

The couple hundred gallons of burning jet fuel damaged the road surface so badly that it took two hours for the track to be fixed up to a usable state. It wasn’t great, and the drivers did mention that it was still a bit rough, but the fact that it was usable at all a mere two hours after such a large and intense fire is quite extraordinary.

The race had a number of other spectacular crashes with multiple cars flying all over the place, and set a few records too. It was the first Daytona 500 to be held on a Monday night, and was also the first in history to finish on a Tuesday morning. I have my doubts that the V8 Supercars here in Australia would bother continuing later in the day if there was going to be a two hour delay to fix a melted track.

Samuel

February 29th, 2012 at 04:41am

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