The Sunday Share: When the alien invasion isn’t quite what it seems

Some songs are a real product of their time and a glimpse into the prevailing mindset of the day. This is one of them.

From a time when the cold war and nuclear armageddon seemed to be a real and imminent threat, and UFO sightings were a dime a dozen, along came a song from The Buchanan Brothers to combine the two with a dose of religious advice. A real time capsule of its day.

Samuel

3 comments May 5th, 2024 at 10:21am

Bonus shots at the crocodile golf

I had a most peculiar dream yesterday that I was playing golf with dinosaurs. Big furry purple dinosaurs. The dinosaurs were very friendly although they didn’t speak any English and roared occasionally.

To make the game stranger, the par score on each hole was variable. There was the standard par score, but before teeing off it was required that you had to search the hole and catch a crocodile. The crocodile, which did speak English, would then award you extra shots on the hole’s par score depending on a criteria which wasn’t entirely clear but a dinosaur did try to explain to me through roars and placing multiple crocodiles on scales and weighing golf balls.

On one hole which was notionally a par 5 I was granted a par 8 and the dinosaur was granted a par 9. I have absolutely no idea why though.

Samuel

2 comments May 1st, 2024 at 05:11am

Listening to the ANZAC Day dawn service

Every year on ANZAC Day I look forward to listening to the dawn service from Martin Place on the radio. This dawn service is on the television, of course, on almost all networks, but I find there is something very special about listening to the service rather than seeing it.

My preference is to listen in a dark room, maybe even in bed with no light whatsoever. The service becomes more intimate in this way and allows a mental image to be drawn of a quiet, humble service by candlelight occurring just as the sun starts to make its light known. More importantly it allows me to imagine what our servicemen and servicewomen endure in dark and hostile locations around the world, and specifically given it is ANZAC Day and the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in World War I, how our soldiers in that time must have felt, in the dark, on the other side of the world, with their only link to the rest of the world being a radio if they were lucky and an occasional letter service at other times.

I made the mistake one year of turning on the television for the Martin Place dawn service and was aghast at the entire area being floodlit. I know light is important for television, but it ruins the atmosphere of a very important and solemn event in my view.

The marches during the day require light and a generally happy atmosphere of gratitude, but this is not the case for the dawn services which occur in the dark as a commemoration of the events of the fateful landing at Gallipoli at dawn on April 25, 1915, and deserve a solemn atmosphere which dark and candlelight provide, and floodlights do not.

May your ANZAC Day be special and reflective.

Samuel

1 comment April 25th, 2024 at 02:05am

A simple little strategy for betting on the top two greyhounds per race

With a 57% strike rate this is a decent strategy, but this is not a “set and forget” system. In order to be profitable it does require a few minutes of management each day.

This is using the Stop At A Winner Greyhound Deluxe software to dutch bet (proportionate bet sizes per runner to receive the same amount of profit regardless of which one of them wins) the top two favourites in the market. In my testing over the course of two weeks, it has generally returned a daily profit of about 100x whatever the per-winning-race profit target is set to.

There have been some drawdowns and stop losses hit along the way, which is why a bit of daily management is required to keep it on track. I explain the details of how to do this in the video, along with a second way of managing it which returns a lower profit but also carries a lower risk of hitting a stop loss and so potentially could be a better way to manage the system in the long run.

Samuel

7 comments April 24th, 2024 at 12:10pm

The Sunday Share: The strange things you used to see on TV at night

Somewhere around 2006 to 2008, a new and bizarre twist on the gameshow format took over the wee small hours of television both in Australia and the UK, maybe elsewhere too. It was a live-to-air interactive gameshow which tried to get viewers to call in to answer extremely simple questions for a chance to win cash prizes. The catch was that these shows were really there to make money for the networks by requiring viewers to ring premium rate phone numbers for a chance to get through, and most of the time the callers did not get through but were instead put on a callback list, and eventually when a producer decided enough money had been made, one of those callers would be called back at random…in the middle of the night, when the majority of the target audience was inebriated or crazy.

In between calls it was the host’s job, with some support from the crew, to fill time with whatever their imagination could dream up. Many many hours of filling airtime while the hosts slowly went as crazy as some of the callers.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well…one of the hosts of the British version of Quizmania, Greg Scott, was the subject of more than a few peculiar live-to-air moments and managed to roll with most of them very well indeed. This has been one of my favourite video clips on the internet for many years. My favourite moment is the caller who seems to have called the wrong channel with an answer to a question on a competing show on another network.

Eventually these shows died off almost entirely, although there was a studio in the Czech Republic churning out dozens of versions this type of show for various countries only a few years ago. As free-to-air TV viewership dwindles, it’s hard to see how this type of thing would make enough money to pay the bills these days. It was a strange form of fun while it lasted.

Samuel

Add comment April 21st, 2024 at 06:12pm

A slow but steady little horse racing strategy

Thank you to all of you for your patience during my recent absence. I would like to especially thank those of you who offered your kind wishes to my mother while she was in hospital. Mum is back at home now, happy and comfortable, but still requires surgery at a date in the future which is yet to be set.

Today I have for you a rather simple little strategy which works quite slowly but also quite steadily on the horse racing markets. This is looking at the place market and looking to lay the favourite if it is at odds of 1.60 to 1.99. This generally indicates that although it is the favourite, it is quite a weak favourite, and often this results in it not running a place. Most favourites tend to sit at 1.50 or lower on the place market so this strategy doesn’t get a lot of bets but it does tend to get a good percentage of successful bets.

This is using the Stop At A Winner Deluxe software.

I am running this on races globally, wherever Betfair offers a place market. This is generally every horse and harness race in Australia and New Zealand, just about every race in the UK and Ireland, and then some of the French, South African and American races. The settings are fairly straight forward.

Saw Deluxe lay place settings
(click image to enlarge)

On these settings I would recommend a balance of $200 as a starting point (and yes, I know my balance is less than that in the screenshot, but I had some unexpected expenses recently and withdrawing some funds from Betfair was the best option at the time, and it does mean I’m running a bit of a risk having less than an ideal amount of funds to work with for this strategy but it has been steady over the month that it has been running so I’m willing to take that risk at this point in time).

These graphs show you results over the last month of testing, running a Stop At A Winner Staking method. You can see it has made approximately $80 in the month. Not a huge amount, but it has done so in a fairly steady manner with only two brief drawdowns of note.

Graph on a bet-by-bet basis
Graph on a day-by-day basis

It’s worth noting that the place market doesn’t have a heap of liquidity and not every race globally has a place market, and the number of races with a favourite in the target range is a fairly small percentage of events. But it is being selective in this manner which allows the system to flourish. Keeping the odds under 2.00 also means the stop at a winner staking method escalates in bet size quite slowly, which also helps to maintain it as a fairly safe and steady system. And the Stop At A Winner Deluxe software handles the job quite nicely.

Samuel

Add comment April 15th, 2024 at 02:11pm

It has been a little quiet here

Those of you who are reading this and thinking it has been a bit quiet here of late would be correct. Alas over the last couple of weeks I have been working a roster which is not my usual roster and has taken a bit of a toll on my sleep, which has made it difficult to find time to write much. And now I have a close family member in hospital awaiting an operation so I remain distracted.

Hopefully everything will settle down soon and I will be able to write more soon. I have run out of pre-written Sunday Share posts too, so I will need to put something together there before the end of the week.

Samuel

3 comments April 7th, 2024 at 11:11pm

The Sunday Share: The thrilling conclusion of the series

There are many more peculiarly translated songs that I could share with you, but I’m going to end the series of translated songs today, at least for a while, with this one which is my favourite of all of the translations. A translation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

I hope that you have enjoyed this and been very happy about these fabrics. A change of pace is upon us next week for The Sunday Share.

Samuel

1 comment April 7th, 2024 at 06:48am

The Sunday Share: This time you can see the actual band members

In recent weeks I have shared with you some videos of Weezer covering various songs while being impersonated by other people in the video clips. This week, for the last Weezer clip I will be sharing with you, the band will actually appear!

This is another cover which I prefer over the original. Pumped Up Kicks, originally by Foster The People. Unfortunately Weezer have never officially released a cover of this song and I wish they would, so a video from one their concerts where they have performed it will have to do. This one, despite Rivers Cuomo seemingly forgetting the words, is probably the best quality of the concert videos in terms of the performance combined with picture quality.

And that is where we leave Weezer for now.

Samuel

Add comment March 31st, 2024 at 06:42am

Lots of fans, both here and in the maze of David Jones

Yesterday I had a dream that I was back in a previous workplace and I found out there was going to be a national power outage, so I had to run the generator to keep the power on at work.

I went up to the generator room (which looked like a larger and emptier version of one of the air conditioning plantrooms at the Canberra Centre) and started the generator but it wouldn’t get up to speed due to what it claimed was an insufficient airflow. So I went and found as many industrial size fans as I could and set them to blow on the generator to provide it with airflow. I had set up a dozen and was happy with that but thought it could use a few more to be on the safe side, and went away to find some. When I came back, the fans I had previously setup were missing and I found out that my present-day boss had sold them to the department store David Jones. So I went to David Jones to get the fans back but the store was a large maze and it was difficult to find the manager.

Meanwhile, I received a communication from an evil spirit which required my permission to pass through my property as a shortcut rather than going the long way around. I granted permission as long as it didn’t stop on my property, so it went through with a dozen other evil spirits and I had to contend with all manner of peculiar objects chasing me including a floating alligator-elephant thing which wanted to recite strange poems at me.

Samuel

1 comment March 27th, 2024 at 03:06pm

What are we being distracted from today?

A good rule of thumb when there is a news story dominating the media despite being of little importance or relevance to the overwhelming majority of the audience is to look around and see what else is happening. Usually, when one story is blown out of all proportion and dominates the news for no good reason, there are other far more important stories which are getting a slither of coverage but not enough for most people to notice, and so most people are successfully distracted from seeing the stories which matter.

Today seems to be one of those days.

There dominant story in the news is about a bridge which collapsed in Baltimore. This is undoubtedly an important story locally in the Baltimore area. The fact a handful of people are missing and might be dead probably makes it worthy of some amount of national coverage in the US. Elsewhere in the world it really deserves no more than a few lines in the papers, and maybe a cursory mention near the end of TV and radio news bulletins. It is a story of no relevance to most of the world outside of Baltimore. And yet, from the moment it happened, it has been THE story dominating just about every news outlet in the western world. A stark difference from when the Gungahlin Drive Extension bridge collapsed here in Canberra and it barely rated a mention outside of Canberra. Unfortunately this distraction technique in the media works, as if you listen to people discussing news stories while they go about their day, primarily this is the story they are discussing even though it makes no difference to their lives whatsoever. Sadly most people will uncritically take whatever mainstream news says is important as being what is important.

So, what else is happening? Well, two stories seem to be of particular importance but are receiving minimal coverage.

Firstly, a few weeks ago I noted the crazy circumstance where Julian Assange couldn’t just appeal his extradition to the United States but instead had to plead for permission to appeal. Well, convenient timing, the UK High Court last night announced that they will grant Mr. Assange this permission, but only if the United States fails to assure them that they won’t impose the death penalty if the extradition is granted, and even then only make an appeal on the basis that he might not get a fair trial in the United States if the US courts fail to accept foreign nationals are subject to first amendment (free speech) protections. Meanwhile Mr. Assange sits in a British jail for even longer.

This story is far more important than a bridge collapse as it fundamentally revolves around the rights of people to find out things which governments might prefer be kept a secret. A society where people are punished for exposing that governments might be doing something bad is a terrifying prospect indeed.

Another important story is some weirdness going on with GPS systems. It is claimed that more than 1,600 aeroplanes across Europe have suffered from some sort of GPS outage. The official spin on this is that it’s Russia’s fault, with basically no evidence to back this up other than “they might be capable of it”. It seems more likely to me to be a result of the severe solar storm which has been hammering Earth’s atmosphere over the last week or so.

Our reliance on technology, and in particular satellite technology for communications and navigation, is a particular concern when solar storms (or cyber warfare) can knock out systems for short or long periods of time. Indeed, as we enter a more active solar cycle, with more reliance on such technologies than we had the last time the sun was particularly active, it is worth considering what backup plans you have in place should a large solar storm knock out communications to some extent. A Carrington-level event could even knock out power for a while. I’m in my mid-30s and I know I would struggle if most technology went away for a few days, but at least I’m old enough to remember a time before modern technology ran just about everything; I shudder to think how the young’uns would handle such an event. Navigating by paper map would be a trial for many.

There’s probably more news of importance than those two things I’ve highlighted but that is what has caught my attention so far. Good luck finding important information on the 6pm news though. Dig deeper. Much much deeper.

Samuel

1 comment March 27th, 2024 at 02:56pm

The moon and the eclipse

It is my pleasure to announce that, after a sky mouse decimated the supply of moon cheese during the night, the moon cows worked overtime and the moon cheese is now back at full capacity.

Samuel

1 comment March 26th, 2024 at 06:23am

The Sunday Share: We must translate for our Swedish friends

All I can say is: thank goodness ABBA had a good grasp of the English language and didn’t have to rely on dodgy automated translations.

Somehow I don’t think predictions about future digital video technologies or all-seeing wifi would have been received quite as well by the public. Brexit predictions at Eurovision would have been bold indeed!

Samuel

Add comment March 24th, 2024 at 07:30am

A soccer strategy looking at the correct score market

A few people have been asking when I would have a soccer strategy ready to publish, well here it is.

I fiddled with it for a little while before arriving at these settings, which have now been in place for two weeks, and I’m pleased to say there has been some fairly steady profit.

For the first week or so I had it running on a 50c base stake and it produced a profit of about $16.
Week 1 graph

For the second week when I had more confidence in it, I increased the base stake to $2.50 in a balance of $100. It generated $50 of profit. Impressively there was only one loss in this period.
Week 2 graph

If we put both periods together and look at how running at a $2.50 base stake over the entire period would have looked, it would have generated $130.
Combined graph

This is using the LayPro88 Football Bot and is placing lay bets on the favourite in correct score market, if the home team is heavily favoured to win and the favourite in the correct score market is paying between $5.00 and $7.80, as long as the favourite score is not 1-1 (which is unlikely anyway if the home team is strong favourite to win). Full details of this can be seen in the video, along with how I’m managing multiple tabs to boost the potential profits from the strategy. However it would also work with just one tab running, perhaps with lower profit, but also lower risk, and so I have details on how I would suggest setting that up in the video too.

Hopefully this has been worth the wait. I know a few people have been eager to see this released.

Samuel

1 comment March 21st, 2024 at 08:27am

My condolences to Kevin Bartlett

It was announced this morning that Denise Bartlett, the wife of legendary AFL figure Kevin Bartlett, had died.

Denise and Kevin Bartlett - source 7news
(Denise and Kevin Bartlett. Image credit: 7News)

Denise had been unwell for a few years and it was clear that this had been taking a toll on Kevin, who is widely regarded as one of the nicest people in AFL circles.

Kevin Bartlett was a legendary player for the Richmond Tigers and later became a commentator, calling many games for Seven throughout the 1990s and Fox Sports after that. He also called football on radio for SEN where he was the long-time host of the morning show Hungry For Sport, a play on his nickname “Hungry” from his playing days. In more recent years Kevin moved to 3AW as a commentator, but when Denise fell ill, Kevin took a step back from commentary to look after her, which was a great loss to football. On the odd occasion that Kevin did return to the airwaves, it was clear that his wife’s struggles were taking a toll on him too.

Kevin and Denise had been married for 54 years. She was as well-regarded around the Richmond football club as Kevin himself. While football had been Kevin’s life for the most part, Denise was his rock.

I’m sure that Kevin has many wonderful memories of Denise, and I hope that these memories can bring him comfort at this time.

Samuel

March 19th, 2024 at 05:26pm

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