Archive for May, 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

Mike Bailey

Good evening Stuart,

Mike Bailey is an odd choice as a celebrity candidate for Labor, although I can see one potential benefit.

Currently whenever a politician speaks in parliament there is a super (graphic) on the screen showing their name and which electorate they represent. Most of us wouldn't have the faintest clue where most of these electorates are, but Mike, with his amazing experience pointing at maps, could appear on camera momentarily pointing at the electorate in question…then if time permits, he could fulfil his portfolio of "minister for weather" by telling us about the weather in that electorate.

I certainly wouldn't want to be the minister for weather…imagine having to take the blame for all the floods and droughts and cyclones…and getting the blame for wrong weather forecasts. I suppose it would be of some use to have a minister for weather if we could control the weather, but otherwise, what qualities is Mike Bailey going to bring to parliament?

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

May 22nd, 2007 at 08:57pm

Queanbeyan Community radio Station 2QBN Breaches Licence Conditions

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that Queanbeyan Community Radio Inc, the licensee of community radio service 2QBN Queanbeyan, breached the condition of its licence that requires it to encourage members of the community it serves to participate in the operations and programming of the service.

2QBN also breached the Community Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2002 by not having volunteer guidelines or a written conflict resolution policy in place.

ACMA investigated complaints that 2QBN had rejected a number of membership applications, denied access and equity to community members, discriminated against members of the community it serves, engaged in inadequate management practices, did not have guidelines in place regarding the principles of volunteering and did not have a written policy and procedure in place in relation to internal conflict resolution within the organisation.

In light of these breaches of the licence condition and code, ACMA will now move to pursue compliance measures addressing the potential for future breaches of the relevant licence condition and code provisions. ACMA will be writing to Queanbeyan Community Radio Inc shortly about the proposed compliance actions, details of which will be announced when finalised.

A copy of the investigation report is available on the ACMA website.

Thanks to Irene in Brisbane for the tipoff. Article courtesy ACMA.


1 comment May 22nd, 2007 at 08:04pm


I can hardly say that I’m surprised, but Samuel’s Persiflage is now officially delayed until tonight.

A number of reasons including technicial difficulties have forced this, and I apologise. I will not sleep until it is online, however I do have to go to work.

Update: Who wants to hear a story? I have a bit of time to elaborate on the rushed text above, so I will. At about 4:30 this morning I interviewed Bill Grady, this was fine apart from a few technical glitches which resulted in multiple files and more editing being required than I originally expected. The interview itself was a bit under an hour in length, but we didn’t finish up until just after 6am, at which time I decided to finally go to bed and get some sleep. A bit before 11am I got up and did a number of things I needed to do, which meant it was a bit after midday when I finally got back to the podcast. There was some editing to do, a few script changes, more editing, lunch during the times when the computer was processing bits and pieces, and I even got the show notes done during processing times…3:45pm was my deadline, I had to be out the door by then, everything was going to plan and I was to start the upload of the mp3s when I noticed something rather odd…the mp3s were saved, but then blanked. The plan had been to start the upload from home and then post all the show notes remotely, but that plan was no longer plausible.

There is one good thing to come from this delay. In my haste I used the wrong intro for one segment and I can now go back and fix that. As I won’t be in a position to even access those files until a bit after midnight, it will be a bit after that when the show gets online.

I think it will be worth the wait as I have taken a lot of the feedback from the last year and a half of podcasting on board in an effort to make Samuel’s Persiflage more of what the listeners want…there are still a few changes to come and I’m happy to receive more constructive feedback from listeners.

I’m sorry about the delay, this is one project where I really did try to meet my self imposed deadline, and then when I saw that it wasn’t going to be possible I tried to get things done within a few hours of the deadline…I even had a plan devised to allow me to get some of it done from elsewhere, but in the end a bunch of inconvenient technical problems prevented it.

One of the big changes is that the podcast is going to be shorter (after this episode…I had far too much to discuss with Bill to shorten this episode), probably around 40 minutes per episode. This will allow me to easily have more regular episodes…I’m hoping that you will take part in some of them…although that gives away a bit too much information about an announcement in the episode, so I’ll stop writing and let you hear it for yourself.
End Update

Further update: Looks like it’s a good thing everything went pear shaped earlier as it looks like I didn’t use the wrong music to introduce the editorial segment…I didn’t include the editorial segment! Everything has been fixed up now and I am on track for a 3am release.
End Update


May 22nd, 2007 at 03:45pm

Blueberries and Rain

Good evening Stuart,

One thing that is really annoying me at the moment is the shortage of blueberries. I absolutely love blueberries, they have always been a bit expensive, but it seems that the drought has taken its toll and they are now so expensive that fruit stores just aren't buying them. One fruit shop owner I spoke to last week said that he won't buy them because he doesn't think it's worth paying $9 per punnet and then not having anyone purchase them from him.

In the last week I have only found one fruit shop selling them, they were charging $10 per punnet and had sold out. It's becoming much harder to find blueberries, which is quite disappointing.

Also we had some nice rain here in Canberra few hours ago, a twenty minute downpour, unfortunately it's gone now and doesn't look like coming back.

Also, seeing as you were interested, I got three from six in the NRL this week and five from eight in the AFL…it looks like all the home teams won in the AFL this week.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

May 21st, 2007 at 10:57pm

2CC’s Afternoon and Drive Show Promos

About a week ago whilst listening to 2CC I had the immense pleasure of hearing a promo for their afternoon show, Afternoons with John Stanley. It was one of their short pre-news promos, but it pleased me immensely as it is, as far as I can recall, the first time they have ever had promos for the afternoon show.

Later on I heard some full-length promos for John Stanley’s show. 2CC are using the same promos as 2UE for John Stanley’s program, with their own station ID tacked on the end.

These promos are long overdue in my opinion, and I am very pleased that 2CC have decided to run them.

Also, 2CC have started running promos for the upcoming drive show with Mike Welsh during John Stanley’s show, this is a great idea as previously the first chance anybody had to find out what was planned for the drive show was after it had already started.

In the last Canberra ratings 2CC’s drive show gained 0.5 of a ratings point to reach 5.8% of the available audience, and logic would say that this kind of promotional activity should bring in more listeners who may have otherwise switched off at the end of John Stanley’s show, which can only be a good thing.

Incidentally, in the Canberra ratings, The Mike Jeffreys Breakfast Show also gained .5 of a ratings point, to claim 9.5% of the available audience.


2 comments May 21st, 2007 at 02:53pm

Happy 50th Birthday Mike Frame

Congratulations to 2CC’s Mike Frame who today is celebrating his 50th birthday.

One does have to wonder if Framey would like a watermelon cake? If so, that would explain why he was weighing a watermelon.
Mike Frame weighing a watermelon
(Anybody want to guess where that photo came from?)

Another reason Mike Frame is celebrating today is that it is his first full day off work since Saturday May 5, as he has filled in for the holidaying Mike Welsh on 2CC’s drive show for the last two weeks whilst continuing to fulfil his weekend programming commitments for the station.

Framey deserves a break, and I’m sure that the break combined with his 50th birthday will make it a day to remember.

Happy Birthday Mike!


14 comments May 21st, 2007 at 04:27am

Ducks in the Canberra White Pages

Good morning John,

Following on from our chat a few minutes ago, I've had a look in the Canberra White Pages and there are 12 listings for "Duck".

I didn't look closely enough to check if any of them are psychiatrists, but if one of them is, well I'm sure they get called a "quack" on a daily basis.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

May 21st, 2007 at 01:57am

Samuel’s Musician Of The Week

This week I am giving the award to George Ivan Morrison OBE (more commonly known, quite simply, as Van Morrison). Van Morrison is a musician I was thinking about during the week for no particular reason, and the musician that enters my mind every time I think of 2CA’s Leighton Archer, mainly because on a day earlier this year when a nice uplifting song was just what I needed, Leighton was on the radio and he played the feature song for this week, Bright Side Of The Road.

From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road
We’ll be lovers once again on the
Bright side of the road

Little darlin’, come with me
Won’t you help me share my load
From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road

And into this life we’re born
Baby sometimes, sometimes I don’t know why
And time seems to go by so fast
In the twinkling of an eye

Let’s enjoy it while we can
(Let’s enjoy it while we can)
Won’t you help me share my load
(Help me share my load)
From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road

And then into this life we’re born
Baby sometimes, baby sometimes I don’t know why, don’t know
And it seems to go by so fast
In the twinkling of an eye

Let’s enjoy it while we can
(Let’s enjoy it while we can)
Help me sing my song
(Help me sing my song)
Little darling come along
On the bright side of the road

From the dark end of the street
(From the dark end of the street)
To the bright side of the road
(To the bright side of the road)
Little darling come along
On the bright side of the road

From the dark end of the street
(From the dark end of the street)
To the bright side of the road
(To the bright side of the road)
We’ll be lovers once again
On the bright side of the road
Well We’ll be, we’ll be lovers once again
On the bright side of the road

We’ll be lovers once again
On the bright side of the road


May 20th, 2007 at 06:19pm

On this little portal to insanity

Thanks Thomas, I love the quote, it seems to fit perfectly.

Why does it fit perfectly? Well I can think of two reasons in the last week which could probably summarise it.

I’ll start with the coffee machine at work, I pressed the button to get a large coffee, it made the coffee and then informed me that the dreg drawer was full, so I dutifully pulled out the dreg drawer and noticed that there was barely anything in it…I placed it back in the machine, and suddenly all was right in the world according to the coffee machine. I started talking to it, and informed it, much to the astonishment of those around me, that it was an attention seeker.

Some people think I drink too much coffee, but I was only on my third for the day at the time.

Skip forward to today and, after driving myself mad trying to work out the title and artist of a snippet of music (I’m really bad at that game) I went to the source of my confusion and asked for the title. A short time later I had the artist and title and located a copy of the song in question, namely “Take on me”…I started listening to the song and, a few moments later, recognised the song (I previously didn’t know the title of the song, even though I recognised the music)…I thought “aha!”, at which point I realised that this was the name of the artist as well as my exclamation…my decision from that point was obvious, I had spent far too much time in front of the computer and I better go and vacuum my bed.

Insane? Me? Yep!


1 comment May 20th, 2007 at 12:02pm

Coming up on Samuel’s Persiflage #14

Over the last year and a bit I’ve received plenty of feedback, both good and bad, about anything and everything to do with Samuel’s Persiflage. As a result, Samuel’s Persiflage is changing, it’s still the same show, but it’s been tweaked and (hopefully) improved. The first change you will notice is the one you are reading right now.

A few days before a new episode of Samuel’s Persiflage is released I will publish a promo…so here it is, coming up on Samuel’s Persiflage #14.


If the Flash MP3 player doesn’t work for you, click here to download the promo.

Samuel’s Persiflage, hitting the netwaves Tuesday at Midday, on


May 20th, 2007 at 09:49am

Samuel’s Blog Weekly Poll: David Hicks

I’m pretty sure I used that title last time David Hicks was the focus of the weekly poll, on that occasion we discussed how long it would be until David Hicks would return to Australia, and now it looks like David will land in Adelaide in about three hours. The predictable government bashing statements that we got used to hearing on the news every day a couple months back have surfaced again, but now we have a new controversy for David…the aeroplane he is flying in.

What sort of plane should David Hicks have come back to Australia in?

Total Votes: 17
Started: May 20, 2007

Unfortunately in writing the question I had to choose the tense, and decided on the past tense on the assumption that David will be back in a few hours. I will change it to the future tense if David doesn’t return today.

According to the reports, David Hicks is flying back in to the country on a private jet at taxpayer expense, the cost of which is estimated at half a million dollars. Many of David’s strongest supporters (and I really get the feeling that they are whinging just to detract from the government’s involvement in getting David back, and in effect take full credit for it themselves) claim David should have been placed on a public commercial flight with a security escort, David’s father Terry Hicks even took on the role of psychic, saying that David wasn’t going to do anything.

Personally, I think it comes down to this. David is a convicted terrorist supporter who has spent the last five years in a facility filled with people involved in, and alleged to be involved in, numerous atrocities including September 11. I don’t think there is an airline in the world that would risk having David on their aircraft, not necessarily because of what David might do, but because of what others may try to do to free him from custody. If it were my decision, there would be absolutely no chance of David entering a public airport.

Also, the US government and the Australian government seem keen to keep David’s movements secret (probably for the above reasons), so why would they risk having David on a commercial flight where hundreds of people, including airline staff, would have the opportunity to leak David’s flight details? The same can be said of Terry Hick’s complaint about not being told where and when David will arrive…the governments aren’t telling the media that information, so why would they tell Terry? He would just tell the media anyway.

None the less, it will be quite a funny sight outside David’s rumoured landing site today, Adelaide’s RAAF Edinburgh…all those journalists jumping in to action every time a plane comes near the place.

Last week I ran the following poll:

Are you happy with the federal budget?

Total Votes: 39
Started: May 13, 2007

A fairly predictable response there. The majority of people happy with a pretty good budget, and the rest either a bit miffed about the mandatory election year handouts, or just disagreeing with the government on everything anyway.

For a list of all previous results, see the Weekly Poll Results page.


May 20th, 2007 at 06:12am

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