Archive for January 29th, 2007

Hot air balloon narrowly avoids collision with Airservices Australia building

Yesterday morning, after taking photos of buildings in an effort to make a point about the poor quality of journalism evident at City News/Ads, Nattie and I had a lengthy walk which included a visit to the lake. There were a few hot air balloons around and as we had the camera with us, I thought it would be a good idea to take some photos. All of the photos below can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Incidentally, if you’re just after the story in the headline, click here to scroll directly to the story.

At one stage down near the lake we had a bunch of hot air balloons more or less above us, but too scattered to fit into one photo, so I took a few.

First up is the Dawn Drifters balloon. Dawn Drifters and Balloons Aloft are the main hot air balloon businesses in Canberra.
Dawn Drifters hot air balloon, Canberra, January 28 2007

Then the Prime Television balloon.
Prime Television hot air balloon, Canberra, January 28 2007

The next balloon was a trifle odd, it was a balloon for three credit unions, namely The Credit Union of Canberra, The Snowy Mountains Credit Union, and the Hospitals Credit Union. The reason it was odd is that these credit unions have merged to form Service One Members Banking.
Credit Unions prior to Service One Members Banking hot air balloon, Canberra, January 28 2007

All of these photos make the balloons look pretty close, but that was just a zoom effect, as you can see in this photo of the Prime Television balloon (left) and the Dawn Drifters balloon (right).
Prime Television and Dawn Drifters hot air balloons, Canberra, January 28 2007

Next up is the Delfast balloon (top) and the Kamberra Wine Company balloon (bottom).
Delfast and Kamberra Wine Company hot air balloons, Canberra, January 28 2007

And the Questacon balloon.
Questacon hot air balloon, Canberra, January 28 2007

After this I noticed that the Dawn Drifters Balloon was heading towards Civic, and was having immense trouble staying above various buildings, as we headed in towards where it was, it was descending on the Airservices Australia building.

This photo was taken while the balloon’s basket was behind the building, but parts of the balloon were still above it. Needless to say, a collision under those circumstances could easily be tragic.
Dawn Drifters balloon in precarious position near Airservices Australia building, Canberra, January 28 2007

Naturally enough, just when I was about to rapidly head around to the other side of the building with the camera in video mode, the batteries exhausted themselves. While I was quickly changing the batteries, the pilot of the balloon skillfully got out of the precarious position and floated away.

The balloon was just about to hover across the road when I took this photo.
Dawn Drifters balloon after escaping precarious position near Airservices Australia building, Canberra, January 28 2007

I then took the following video of it flying away. If you look very carefully, just after the camera shakes a bit, you can see one of the passengers lean out and wave to the camera.

The original, slightly higher quality video, can be downloaded by clicking here.

I have produced this map with the aide of Google Earth to place the video in context.
Map of Dawn Drifters balloon escaping from precarious position near Airservices Australia building, Canberra, January 28 2007

My location is marked with a blue dot, the location of the balloon in the photo where it is partially behind the Airservices Australia building is marked with a red dot, and the approximate path taken by the escaping balloon is shown by the red line. Street names have been added for your reference.


January 29th, 2007 at 02:37pm

The Astounding Incompetence of City Ads (aka City News)

Canberra’s worst newspaper, the glorified freely-distributed glossy advertorial nonsense device known as City News, and affectionately called City Ads, has done it yet again.

Long term readers would know that I’m not a fan of City Ads for many reasons, including the fact that the three covers of the paper are pure advertising, and an interesting photo stuffup noticed by John B1_B5 where the front cover on the “Canberra Review” section was sporting a picture with no relation to the story it was supposed to promote.

Further investigations revealed entire sections of the so-called newspaper (exclduing an opinion piece) were ads masquearding as articles, plus ads, and then to top it all off, they lifted an opinion piece from

For obvious reasons, I generally pay minimal attention to City Ads these days, usually giving it a quick skim when it arrives, and checking to see if a real estate agent I know has an ad in that week. Usually I don’t find anything of interest, but this week’s edition (dated 25 January 2007) caught my eye with the Braddon advertising feature, starting on page 10.

City Ads has ben running these advertising features for a while, they take a look at a bit of the history of a suburb, and run advertorials on the businesses of the suburb. This week though, the history section caught my eye.

The crux of the article was the recent history of Braddon, mainly the destruction of the nice suburban area it used to be, to make way for masses of medium to high density housing, from about 1990 onwards. They decided to cite the ANU’s Fenner Hall as an example of high-rise accomodation from many many years ago, as Fenner Hall was built in the mid 1960s as general accomodation, and named Gowrie Hostel.

The Braddon article on Page 10 of City News, January 25 2007
The top three quarters or thereabouts of page 10 (click to enlarge)

Anyway, it wasn’t the article that caught my eye, but the photo of Fenner Hall.

Currong Apartments under construction, preumably 1959
Fenner Hall or Currong Apartments? (click to enlarge)

The picture is in fact of Currong Apartments, which are way over the other side of Braddon, and were built in a different year. I saw the photo and thought there was an article about Currong Apartments, and found it quite amusing when I discovered the mishap.

Here are a couple pictures of Currong Apartments which I took on the morning of Sunday January 28, 2007.

Currong Apartments, January 2007
Currong Apartments, January 2007 (click to enlarge)

Currong Apartments, January 2007
Currong Apartments, January 2007 (click to enlarge)

I believe that the second photo is roughly the same angle as the archival photo, just with more buildings, trees and a modified top window, and no fence.

This is what Fenner Hall looks like (again photos taken Sunday morning January 27, 2007)
Fenner Hall, January 2007
Fenner Hall, January 2007 (click to enlarge)

Fenner Hall, January 2007
Fenner Hall, January 2007 (click to enlarge)

The two places don’t look at all similar, and given the way Currong Apartments have been in the news in the last few years, you would expect that a journalist or editor would know which is which.

As the archival photo came from the National Archives, it is possible that they just picked an incorrectly labeled photo, so I decided to take a look at the photo they referenced “A1200/L30799”.

Information page for National Archives photo A1200/L30799, Flats at Braddon
Information page for photo A1200/L30799 (click to enlarge)

It’s titled “Flats at Braddon”, is it possible they just picked up the wrong photo?

National Archives photo A1200/L30799, Flats at Braddon
National Archives photo A1200/L30799, Flats At Braddon

Nope, that’s yet another photo, and it appears to be a photo of the Allawah Flats (since renamed Allawah Apartments), taken from Ballumbir/Cooyong Street.

So now they have not only used the wrong photo of the wrong building and not noticed, they have also got the year wrong for the building of Fenner Hall, and attributed a completely different photo, and not noticed.

I then went in search of the photo I think they were going to use, and I found one, photo A7973/INT793/1.

Information page for National Archives photo A7973/INT793/1
Information page for National Archives photo A7973/INT793/1 (click to enlarge)

The photo is titled “Cities and towns – Canberra – Gowrie Hostel, Canberra – 11.1964”, which leads me to believe it was taken in November 1964. Quite clearly the reference number isn’t even close to the one City Ads quoted.

National Archives photo A7973/INT793/1, Cities and towns - Canberra - Gowrie Hostel (Fenner Hall), Canberra - 11.1964
National Archives photo A7973/INT793/1, Cities and towns – Canberra – Gowrie Hostel (Fenner Hall), Canberra – 11.1964

But that still leaves the mystery of what photo they actually used, and whilst I can’t be certain due to the fact that there is no digital copy available of it yet, I believe it is actually National Archives photo A1340/1964/54, “Currong Flats – Section 52 Braddon”.

Information page for National Archives photo A1340/1964/54
Information page for National Archives photo A1340/1964/54 (click to enlarge)

It is beyond me how anyone, even City Ads, could get this so wrong. It should be simple, get a photo and add the correct attribution, but somehow in this case they have published the wrong photo of a building that just about everyone in Canberra would know is Currong Apartments, attributed it to a photo of Allawah Apartments, and seemingly lost the photo they were trying to use of Fenner Hall…not to mention gotten the date wrong for the construction of Fenner Hall.

I can’t understand how nobody managed to pick up at least one of the errors, but letting them all through smacks of pure incompetence. It just concerns me that some people in Canberra think City Ads is filled with quality journalism, especially when half the articles are undisclosed ads, and they can’t even work out what buildings just down the road from their office are called.


5 comments January 29th, 2007 at 11:50am

The 2UE Night Show

This week Murray Olds will be filling the chair on the 2UE Night Show…well that’s what 2UE have been saying, and what their website says, but according to John Kerr who filled in for Stuart Bocking overnight, Stuart will be doing the 8pm-Midnight show tonight. John doesn’t know who is doing what show and when after that…and who can blame him? The whole thing is getting very messy. It was amusing listening to John trying to explain it at the start of the show, getting somewhat lost and making it sounds like he was saving Stuart from a 30 hour shift!

The question of who will take over the show on a permanent basis remains to be seen, and ultimately for me, the question is which source to believe. Only a week or so ago I was hearing stories about Glenn Wheeler, Stuart Bocking and Clive Robertson not being in contention, now I’m told that Stuart and Clive have put themselves up for selection and are “sitting on the edge of their seats”.

I have to admit that Stuart did sound quietly confident when he signed off on Friday night, saying something to the effect of “I’ll either be back here or on New Day come Monday”. It looks like he’ll be on the night show tonight…but I would love to know why he is there and Murray isn’t.

It looks to me like 2UE are just taking the opportunity to test various people on the night shift, and see how the audience reacts. Both Glenn and Stuart are popular in that shift, but Glenn, apparently, hasn’t put his hand up for the job. So perhaps that’s what we will have, Stuart Bocking, with Glenn Wheeler filling in. That might just work, because then Murray Olds could take the midnight to dawn shift, and Clive Robertson, Steve Liebmann, Clinton Maynard and Tim Webster could continue to fill in where and when needed.

Of course that is pure speculation…but it would work.

I’m going to say right here and now that I think Clive Robertson has no chance of getting the night shift…he knows just as well as I do that he isn’t overly well liked by Southern Cross Broadcasting in Melbourne, and whilst he can be great fun in week long bursts, he just doesn’t seem suited to a shift with an endless stream of callers. He is much more entertaining with the occasional caller and plenty of his anecdotes and observations.

I’ve had three emails during the week from people asking who I think will get the job, and I’ve told each of them that, despite Stuart supposedly not being in the running at the time of their emails, Stuart Bocking is my tip to take over the 2UE Night Show. I think Glenn Wheeler will remain as the fill-in host, but I think the rumours of someone new to the station taking over are pure bunk.


4 comments January 29th, 2007 at 09:06am

2CC’s New Emergency Tape

After the New Years Day debacle with the 2CC Emergency Tape’s copy of “The Sounds Of Silence” being repeated ad nauseum, 2CC have once again changed the emergency tape, which is always a good idea after it’s been played a bit more than a few times.

The emergency tape has reverted to the ad break formula, which was used by the one before last, and takes advantage of 2CC’s newish imaging.

Thanks to a missing ad break (there were a couple missing pulses…the technician was still at 2UE fixing things at 2am) during Thursday night’s Sports Today program, I have been able to find out what the start of the emergency tape contains.

2CC “It’s your call” 5 second station ID
Australian Bedding Company ad (generic – 30 seconds)
Vision City ad (Read by John Laws – 30 Seconds)
Raine and Horne ad (30 Seconds)
The Good Guys ad (generic – 30 Seconds)

The pre-news IDC pulse interrupted the Good Guys ad, and whilst I hope I never find out what comes after it, I’m pretty sure that one day I will!


1 comment January 29th, 2007 at 06:10am


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