Archive for December 13th, 2007

Day/Night Tests

Good evening Gibbsy and Cameron,

Just a thought about having day/night cricket test matches…wouldn't it require a change in the rules, in particular the bad light rule?

As I understand it, the bad light rule says play can be stopped when the artificial lights are having more effect than the natural light. For obvious reasons, this rule would have to be abandoned if test matches were to be played at night. Somehow I just don't think the cricket traditionalists would wear it.

Also about Stephanie Brantz being dropped from the Channel Nine cricket team…I thought her role last year doing fluff pieces from the grandstand was a joke and a waste of her talent. She deserves a place on the central commentary team, and if Nine don't want her there, perhaps she could add some badly needed colour to the ABC radio coverage.

Enjoy the golf (I bet Mr. Bocking wishes he was there).

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

December 13th, 2007 at 07:00pm

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Back in the early 1990s when for most people answering machines were somewhat new, and if you were purchasing one, interesting and exciting, various people saw a need to go nuts and produce peculiar answering machine greetings. Sadly, the manufacturers and distributors of answering machines were amongst them. Courtesy of Franskter we have this peculiar gem produced in the early 1990s by First Take Productions for Tandy Electronics Stores.

Just imagine for a moment that you are ringing somebody…you wait a little while and the phone keeps ringing, and after about thirty seconds of ringing you hear a click and a slight hiss as the tape on the answering machine starts playing, and then…

What would you do?

If it were me, I would probably hang up half way through…and maybe that was the point of the tape, in which case I have to wonder why the people bought an answering machine in the first place.

It is worthwhile noting that as bad as it sounded there, it would have sounded worse (and probably a bit distorted) blaring down a copper analog phone line.


December 13th, 2007 at 02:13pm

Ian McNamara

There was an interesting four-page article about Ian McNamara in The Weekend Australian Magazine last week titled “Macca All Over”. Many would know Ian by his nickname, Macca, the host of ABC Local Radio’s Sunday morning program “Australia All Over”.

I didn’t spot the article on the weekend but it did come to my attention earlier this week on The Australian’s website. It’s lengthy, but it’s worth a read and is probably one of the best feature articles in a newspaper this year.

Ian McNamara is one of the few people I can listen to for any length of time on the ABC…I think this quote from former ABC boss David Hill probably explains the key difference between Macca and most other ABC radio presenters quite well:

Generally speaking he’s got extraordinary popularity and extraordinary reach but Macca is philosophically old Australian conservative, old working-class conservatism. Philosophically, I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, it just rubs me up the wrong way – not progressive, uncomfortable with change.

He’s a real traditionalist. And he breaks all the rules (of radio). Traditional professional radio management have always found Macca exasperating. He mumbles, ‘Now, I’ve got this letter from Bill somebody.’ Rustle, rustle on air. ‘Oh here it is – oh that’s not it.’ Most people in a program like that would have a strict rundown but he’s all over the place.”

It’s not just the fact that I find some of the more “progressive” presenters on the ABC utterly infuriating and I find Macca much easier to listen to, but it is that “unprofessional” element of his program…it’s not a strict schedule, things don’t quite go to plan and he plays with that. It’s just a down-to-earth Sunday morning chat program. I think many of the best radio presenters are the ones who don’t expect everything to go perfectly, and aren’t afraid to have fun with things going wrong.

I disagree with him on various issues, I find his bird call music annoying and some of his callers to be bordering on the stultifyingly boring, but I like him, and in general I like his program. It is almost the only thing that I can listen to on 666 ABC Canberra without trying to pull my hair out. That being said I am probably more likely to listen to 2CC on most Sunday mornings, but every few weeks I spend a couple hours listening to Macca. He is, to summarise, a good change of pace.

Anyway, the article is most interesting and I encourage you to read it. Even if you’re not interested in Ian McNamara, it’s one of the best bits of journalism you will see this year, and for that reason alone it is worth reading. I congratulate Mark Whitaker for writing such a wonderful article.


December 13th, 2007 at 11:55am

Possibly the most useless news story of the week…

…and perhaps the most useless scientific study of the year.

TWO scientists studying at the Australian National University are part of an international team that has discovered the Milky Way galaxy actually spins in different directions.

In their paper to be published in the journal Nature, the scientists describe how the outer edge of the Milky Way, the halo, is made up of two components that rotate in opposite directions.

(Source: Herald Sun: Milky Way ‘likes it both ways’)

Can anybody explain to me why we are funding studies like this when we could be using that funding to find a cure for cancer or any number of other medical ailments?


4 comments December 13th, 2007 at 10:37am


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