Apologies for the lack of a Sunday Bits segment last week (and the week before?). Once again it’s been pretty hectic around here. Amongst other things, I’m starting a new job on Tuesday…as if I’m not busy enough already! This job will involve a lot of shift work, so it looks like my body clock can go back to gladly not having the faintest clue whether its coming or going.
I note with some pleasure that my good friend and former 1WAY FM colleague Lynn Nerdal, who left 1WAY FM around the same time as I did, has found herself a new home on the radio dial, 96.7 QBN FM  on Sunday afternoons between 3pm and 6pm…when the local AFL coverage doesn’t take over bits of her show anyway.
Lynn makes for great company on the radio and I thoroughly enjoyed co-hosting with her on a number of occasions. I missed her first show last week, but will be sure to tune in to at least some of it this week.
I also note with some pleasure that 91.9 and 94.3 1WAY FM are broadcasting Sheridan Voysey’s Open House  program again on
Saturday Sunday (edit: oops, brain snap there…you’d think I’d remember the day seeing as I drew great pleasure from working on a show which is in competition with Sharyn’s Psychic Boredom on 2UE) nights between 8pm and 11pm.
When I left 1WAY FM in late March, unfortunately they were not able to immediately fill my position as panel operator/weather presenter for Open House on Sunday night despite me giving five weeks of notice, and so for about a month, they replaced Open House with music. Thankfully they have been able to find somebody else to sit in the studio on Sunday night, and Sheridan Voysey’s wonderful program is now back on the air in Canberra.
To the Open House fans in Canberra, I apologise. As I’ve said before, I was simply unable to maintain finishing up late on Sunday night and backing up to work at 9am the next day. My body simply couldn’t take it any more. I was pushing it with the five weeks of notice that I did provide to the station.
On that note, I empathise with 2GB’s Ray Hadley who is currently working seven day per week and, understandably, wants a day off .
The logical choice to me is Saturday. Ray’s only role on Saturday is to head the five hours of self-described gibbering that is Weekend Detention. He could safely leave this in the hands of “The C Team” (asking B-teamer Andrew Moore to do it would be pushing Andrew a bit too much), which would allow him to still host the show and call the football on Sunday.
The changes keep on coming over at 2UE where Program Director Greg Byrnes has resigned, leaving to take up a senior position over at Sky News. I doubt that with a new program director, the changes at 2UE are likely to slow down…if anything I expect them to increase as the station tries to claw back some ratings points from 2GB.
The Rudd government’s bizarre proposed mandatory internet filter is on the back-burner , and might not see the light of day before the federal election. And on the off-chance that it does re-appear before then, never fear, for the trivial task of bypassing it will not be punishable .
Whilst this is great news, it does make one wonder what the Rudd government’s definition of “mandatory” is, and what other of their words fit in to the “my words mean what I want them to mean” category?
It seems that the policy surrounding what constitutes a death which counts toward the road toll has changed as suicides are apparently no longer counted. A few weeks back, somebody apparently deliberately ploughed in to a concrete wall  at Parliament House in the wee hours of the morning. According to Police:
The incident is being treated as a deliberate act and will not be recorded as an ACT road fatality.
I can think of at least two other deliberate crashes in recent times which did count towards the ACT road toll, so when did this policy change, and why? Surely any death through the use or misuse (and I’m sure that we can agree that you need to misuse a motor vehicle in order to deliberately kill yourself with it) of a motor vehicle on a public road should count towards the road toll. Why do I get the feeling that, given our already higher than usual road toll so far this year, somebody in authority has just said “we can probably get away with not counting this one, that’ll help keep the road toll number down”.
What’s that saying? “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”?
On a related note, I see that Google is now censoring suicide searches  by adding extra information about helplines. I know from experience that searches for information on suicide are already heavily stacked in favour of suicide prevention. Do we really need to alter the search results further to the point where we’re effectively applying censorship? It just seems like an odd stance for a company which is opposed to Rudd’s proposed internet filter.
It seems that the New South Wales government does not believe in the freedom of the press. The National Parks and Wildlife Service, a division of the Department of the Environment, has a curious policy titled “Filming and Photography Policy ” which controls who can take photos and film in national parks, and how much they have to pay to do so.
Part ten, after announcing that the news and current affairs media do not have to pay for access, declares:
All news and current affairs filming, including matters which relate to a particular incident, such as a bush fire, must be referred to the Public Affairs Division on (02) 9995.5295 in the first instance. Incident related information will then be referred to the nominated Incident Controller by the Public Affairs Division. The Regional Manager must be notified of any intention to film/photograph for news and current affairs by the Public Affairs Division and give consent for the carrying out of such filming.
So, how do you rate the chances of 60 Minutes being given consent to film in a national park for the purpose of a story about mismanagement of national parks creating fire hazards?
I was astonished this week to read that a third of American mobile phone owning teenagers send 100 text messages per day . I just can’t get my head around this. It has been weeks since I last sent a text message and even longer since I received one from a human (I receive them from robots for work-related reasons all the time).
To each their own I suppose, but I would much rather use email instead of SMS for most text-based communication. I’m curious though, I don’t send or receive 100 emails per day…what could people possibly be discussing which requires 100 text messages to be sent per person per day?
Finally, it is ANZAC Day, may we all remember and have the utmost respect for those who have, and those that would, lay down their lives so that we may remain a free country. Many brave people have laid down their lives for us, and many more are risking their lives for us as you read this now. To them, we should be eternally grateful.
It’s interesting the ways in which we end up reflecting on the sacrifices of our soldiers. For me over the last week it really came about when I was appalled to hear that a friend intended on going clubbing on ANZAC Day. That was a knee-jerk reaction, and it was a wrong reaction, but it got me thinking about what ANZAC Day really means. I later apologised to the friend in question as, after some thought, it occurred to me that our soldiers have laid down their lives so that we may live in a free country and accordingly so that we may choose how to spend our days.
The morning of ANZAC Day, especially the dawn, is sacred and nothing will ever change my view on that, but we are privileged to be in a country where we are free to spend our time as we please. Regardless of whether you choose to observe ANZAC Day, as long as you do not actively show disrespect or contempt for our soldiers, past and present, I have no problem with how you choose to spend today, and neither should anybody else.
I do, however, ask you to remember the sacrifices of our soldiers, and spare a thought for the families of our military personnel on this 95th anniversary of the ill-fated landing at Gallipoli. Lest we forget.