Archive for June 6th, 2009

Eighth pig flu case in the ACT

The ACT now has eight confirmed pig flu cases, which pales in comparison to the number of people who will get normal flu this winter.

A 19-year-old man is the latest to test positive to the swine flu in Canberra, taking the number of ACT cases to eight.

The man tested positive when he visited the territory’s Influenza Assessment Centre, which was set up at one of ACT’s hospitals just days ago to deal with influenza testing.

“He is not a contact of another confirmed ACT case,” a statement from ACT Health says.

The number of swine flu cases has risen nationally to more than 1,000. Most of them are in Victoria.

ACT Health’s press release isn’t up on their website yet, however they have confirmed that the number of confirmed pig flu cases in Australia is now 1020.


June 6th, 2009 at 09:25pm

Rush Limbaugh on ‘Hannity’: If Al Qaeda wants to demolish the America we know and love, they’d better hurry, because Obama’s beating them to it

Earlier this week Sean Hannity went to Florida and interviewed fellow talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh for his show on the Fox News Channel. The interviewed covered a wide range of topics including Barack Obama’s policies and the problems with the Republican party in its current form.

The interview was long enough to be spread out over two nights, and is well worth watching.

Part One
Topics include:

  • Why the Democrats are seemingly focussing on Rush as if he was the leader of the Republican party.
  • Why Rush wants Barack Obama’s policies to fail.
  • Why Obama is “running around the world and apologising for America”.
  • Fidel Castro believes Obama is further left than he is.

Part Two
Topics include:

  • Some thoughts on Colin Powell and why he supported and voted for Obama, despite him being in the other political party.
  • Sonia Sotomayor, why she shouldn’t be a judge, why she is being nominated, and the unknown factor which could make her racist comments overlookable.

Part Three
Topics include:

  • Who Rush thinks should replace him as the person Obama declares the “titular head” of the Republican party.
  • How to understand the thought process behind Obama’s policies.
  • Why Rush is optimistic that the American people will stand up to Obama in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
  • The hypocricy of Obama saying that America can’t impose values on other countries, and then going ahead and doing it anyway. (which includes a comment on Israel).

Part Four
Topics include:

  • Obama’s socialist policies, and the effect it will have on the economy, and on peoples’ lives.
  • The so-called “Fairness Doctrine” and a possible way to introduce it by stealth.
  • The problem with the Republican Party in its current moderate form.
  • More on the problem with Obama’s policies.

Part Five
This section doesn’t appear in the transcripts and appears to be a portion of the interview which wasn’t aired in the “four parts spread over two nights” version, and instead aired later on.

Topics include:

  • Rush describes the real meaning of conservatism, and how that differs from many perceptions of it.
  • Obama’s speech to the Muslim world, and what he should have said.

The transcript of parts one and two can be found here, and parts three and four, here. If I find a transcript of part five, I’ll let you know.


June 6th, 2009 at 01:32pm

Half a bucket of coins

Seeing as this blog post is related, I should say to all of those of you who guessed that my “major infrastructure investment” earlier this week was a car…congratulations, you were correct.

I love hitch-hikers. They often have interesting and somewhat random (and often alcohol induced) stories to tell, and occasionally (OK, rarely) they pay for their ride. This morning I had one of these rare paying hitch-hikers. When we arrived at their house, they asked me to wait for a few moments while they got “some coins” which were apparently going to be more than worth my while…they weren’t kidding.

After waiting for a couple minutes, the hitch-hiker returned with what looked like a small bucket, which they then took a couple seconds to empty in to the front passenger’s footwell. The coins covered the entire footwell, seemingly layers deep.

It took me at least five minutes to pick up the coins when I got home…and whilst half a (full size) bucket of coins is an exaggeration, the bucket is certainly heavy enough, and it is going to take me quite some time to count.

This leaves me pondering a couple questions though. The coins are obviously worth a fair chunk of money, so how drunk was this hitch-hiker? And will they regret giving away so many coins when they wake up later today.

Secondly, who keeps large amounts of coins of all denominations, in buckets?

I’ll weight the bucket once the bathroom is (and the scales are) free. I’ll count the coins later on today. I’ll report back on both counts.

Update: 12.5kg of coins. End Update

Further Update 5pm: Having spent the better half of the afternoon counting coins, I can confirm that the coins are as follows:
Bucket of coins

In $2 coins: $398
In $1 coins: $228
In 50c coins: $92.50
In 20c coins: $57.40
In 10c coins: $21.90
In 5c coins: $6.30

In total: $804.10

I took this hitch-hiker from Barry Drive to Weetangera, a distance of about 7 kilomteres, which makes the cost of the journey a rather ridiculous amount of $114.87 per kilometre, or 11.5 cents per metre. To the same extent, the trip took about ten minutes, which is a pay rate of $482.46 per hour.

That was certainly a very generous hitch-hiker.

Bucket of coins
End Update

June 6th, 2009 at 07:04am

Air France wreckage is not Air France wreckage

It seems that ill-fated Air France flight 447 is actually still missing, and that the stuff which they thought was wreckage is actually just “sea junk”.

France’s transportation minister said Friday that French forces have found no signs of the Airbus A330 airplane that vanished over the Atlantic and urged “extreme prudence” about suspected debris taken from the ocean.

Dominique Bussereau said he regretted that an announcement by Brazilian teams that they had recovered plane debris from Air France flight 447 turned out to be false.

The Brazilian air force announced Thursday afternoon that a helicopter plucked an airplane cargo pallet from the sea that came the Air France flight, but then said six hours later that it was not from the Airbus.

“French authorities have been saying for several days that we have to be extremely prudent,” Bussereau told France’s RTL radio. “Our planes and naval ships have seen nothing.”

Bussereau said the search must continue and stressed that the priority was finding the flight recorders. The plane went down Sunday night with 228 people on board in the world’s worst aviation disaster since 2001.

Meanwhile Airbus are issuing some rather concerning safety messages about the A330

Such warnings from Airbus to its clients are only sent if accident investigators have established facts that they consider important enough to pass on immediately to airlines, an industry official told Reuters.

The French air accident investigation agency (BEA) has said the speed levels registered by the slew of messages from the plane showed “incoherence,” Reuters reports.
Investigators are looking into whether malfunctions in instruments used to determine airspeed may have led the plane to be traveling at the wrong speed when it encountered turbulence from towering thunderstorms over the Atlantic Ocean.

Two aviation industry officials told The Associated Press on Thursday that investigators were studying the possibility that an external probe that measures air pressure may have iced over. The probe feeds data used to calculate air speed and altitude to onboard computers. Another possibility is that sensors inside the aircraft reading the data malfunctioned.

If the instruments were not reporting accurate information, the jet could have been traveling too fast or too slow as it hit turbulence from violent thunderstorms, according to the officials.

Jetliners need to be flying at just the right speed when encountering violent weather, experts say — too fast and they run the risk of breaking apart. Too slow, and they could lose control.
European planemaker Airbus has sent an advisory to all operators of the A330 reminding them of how to handle the plane in conditions similar to those experienced by Flight 447, which was an Airbus A330-200 version.
In such circumstances, flight crews should maintain thrust and pitch and — if necessary — level off the plane and start troubleshooting procedures as detailed in operating manuals, Dubon said.

It’s almost a week now since the plane went missing, so I have to wonder if any of the wreckage (assuming that it crashed and didn’t just disappear in to thin air) would still be floating, and more importantly, be floating near any other wreckage.


June 6th, 2009 at 12:51am

Long phone number

It just occurred to me, as I contemplate ringing in to KXNT‘s morning flip segment at 1am that I have remembered their phone number, including international dialling codes and area codes etc: 0011 1 702 733 5968. Whilst I am slightly concerned that I have managed to remember a fifteen digit phone number, it is nice to know that I don’t have to refer to KXNT’s “contact us” page every time I want to call them.

As it happens though, I have something else to do at 1am, and therefore won’t be calling Alan. I’ll try to make some time next week instead.

Update: Meh, I’ll push the 1am thing back a tad and ring Alan Stock at about 1:10am. End Update


June 6th, 2009 at 12:22am


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