Archive for May 23rd, 2007

Fire at Dickson College

Thanks to IBN News for alerting me to this story (it’s a good thing I still have that Google alert for Dickson College!).

There was a fire in a classroom at about 12:40pm on Tuesday at Dickson College. Police are calling the fire “suspicious”. According to ACT Police about 600 students were evacuated, and a teacher hurt her foot during the evacuation. As a police investigation is currently underway, I will reserve my comments on this particular fire for another date.

I have fond memories of the strange activities that they liked to call fire drills when I was a student at Dickson College though. I remember one in particular where everyone was evacuated in a semi-chaotic manner…once outside, nobody quite knew how far away from the building everyone was supposed to be. At first all the students were able to go virtually anywhere they wanted to, then an exclusion zone of about twenty metres was setup around the front office, followed by a fire brigade official telling the then-deputy principal that the students were too close to the building…so they moved us closer to another one instead. Nobody had the faintest clue what was going on, not even the people who organised the drill.

The only other times I can remember the fire alarm ever going off at Dickson College is when the alarm actually thought something was wrong, it was rarely ever right, but it did happen often enough to remove any real need for fire drills.

People who have been reading this blog for a long time would remember that when I was a student at Dickson College I was also an employee there, and I clearly remember working in the tiny LOTE (Languages Other Than English) computer lab in the morning during one of the school holidays. I was busy working when the fire alarm went off. I did a quick check of my surroundings and could see and smell no smoke or fire, so I got my things together so that I could quickly evacuate if I needed to, and continued working.

The fire alarm at Dickson was separated in to two components, one was the “user friendly” control panel which certain staff had access to, the other was the actual fire detection system which the Fire Brigade has access to. The “user friendly” system was used for the emergency intercom system and basic control of the alert and evacuate tones. Standard procedure was usually for the registrar to open this, make an announcement that the alarm is being investigated, and silence the alarm while investigations were carried out.

On this particular day there was no announcement and there was no silencing, so ten minutes in to the alarm, the automated evacuation program kicked in…an endless loop of an American voice saying “Please proceed to the nearest exit and evacuate in an orderly manner” twice, followed by a few cycle of the evacuation “whoop whoop” tone.

There was still no sign of smoke or fire, and by this stage it was quite clear that I may have been the only staff member in the building as the alarm automatically gets silenced when the door on the “user friendly” alarm control system gets opened, so I picked up my things and quickly walked towards the front office. When I got there I saw the registrar battling with the door on the control system which appeared to be jammed…she informed me that the fire was non-existent, and the alarm had been set off by tradesmen removing asbestos from the art building. I waited with her in the front office until the official all clear was given by the Fire Brigade, after which I went back to work.

Later on in the day when I saw my Indian boss, the head of the IT department, again I asked him where he was during the alarm…amazingly, despite an alarm speaker being situated right outside his office, and the smoke doors in the same area automatically closing quite noisily, he told me that he wasn’t aware that the alarm had gone off. He had been sitting in his office working, wondering what the noise was…even the automated evacuation alarm wasn’t enough for him to consider that something may have been wrong…but then again, he wasn’t particularly bright. He has improved since, and even has IT qualifications now (he had a horticulture degree or something at the time).


May 23rd, 2007 at 10:36pm

Sent to 2GB/2CC’s Continuous Call team

Good evening Andrew and Blocker,

Just listening to the call on the radio at work, I’ve given up tipping origin matches, but my random number generator says New South Wales will win.

Last year you called me cranky when I rang after Origin 2…hopefully the ref is better this year, then I won’t need to be cranky!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

Note: have a webstream of the State Of Origin for the benefit of anyone who can’t get coverage on the radio. Personally, if I was at home, the television would be muted, and the Continuous Call Team would be blaring out of the radio…it’s an awful lot better than Channel Nine’s commentary.

May 23rd, 2007 at 07:23pm

Who’s holding the voodoo doll?

First it was the DVD player, now it’s the microwave, what appliance will be next to die in my house? And which one of you has a voodoo doll replica of my house? And why do you keep sticking pins in it?

On a slightly less important note, I gave up on tipping State of Origin matches a long time ago, so for this I will defer to a random number generator. 1 for New South Wales, 2 for Queensland.

The random number generator generated 1, if the person with the voodoo doll could see to a New South Wales victory it would be appreciated.

Update: It looks like the Voodoo Doll person stuck a pin in New South Wales at half time…this is fantastic, I can blame someone who might not even exist for the footy results! End Update


2 comments May 23rd, 2007 at 07:00pm

Samuel’s Persiflage #14

Samuel's Persiflage
The new and “evolved” Samuel’s Persiflage has arrived, with episode number fourteen just waiting to be downloaded . There is also a low quality version for the bandwidth impaired here.

If you so desire, you can even listen to it online, just click the play button below.


The new feature is an editorial, slightly based on the format of Editorial Echoes, and I have even used the Editorial Echoes intro for the Persiflage Editorial, except that it is now in stereo! The editorial for the month focuses on telemarketers.

De facto US correspondent Bill Grady and I discuss the Virginia Tech shootings, how the media affects peoples perceptions, security for world leaders, the world of advertising, and the new feature involving listeners…one could say that Bill is actually a bit of an expert in the new feature…the feature word of the interview is “crazy”.

Bill Grady’s podcast is You Are The Guest, and his other website is Create Ads That Work.

There are two ads this month, and both are promoting advertising on radio. It’s quite interesting to compare how the US and Australian radio industries promote themselves to advertisers.

There is also a bit of feedback, including someone calling me a scoundrel.

All listeners are invited to send in more feedback, both in written and audio format. As per usual feedback can be sent to (text, MP3, Wave or Ogg Vorbis), spoken feedback by clicking here or on the button below would be great, or leave a comment below.

You can also send feedback by post

Samuel’s Persiflage
PO Box 1272
Dickson ACT 2602

Send Me A Message

The Samuel’s Persiflage #14 file itself is available here, and is 1:15:35 in length (69.2MB) at 128kbps stereo. The 128kbps format is used so as to provide you with a high quality and good sounding podcast. I do, however, acknowledge that this is just unreasonable for dial-up, so a 16kbps mono file is also available here. The sound quality isn’t as good, but is much better for those on dial-up or with small download limits. The low quality version is 8.65MB

For those of you who are using podcast software to receive your podcasts, the feed can be found here and if you are using iTunes you can subscribe to Samuel’s Persiflage by clicking here.

The next episode of Samuel’s Persiflage will be in a couple weeks.

Enjoy the show!


May 23rd, 2007 at 03:36am


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