Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Carnival of Cities July 30 The Real Deal

Welcome to the latest Carnival of Cities. Enjoy!

Pommygranate takes a look at the impact of changing ethnic demographics in London.

From the linked article in his post comes the following.

London has a foreign-born population comprising 31% of the total, a figure surpassed only by New York, Miami, Sydney and Singapore; its non-white population is 27%.

However, when you look at the maps of Greater London, you see that ethnic segregation is as real in the capital as it is elsewhere, with immigrant communities overwhelmingly concentrated in the city's inner core, whilst those classified as 'white British' occupy the suburban periphery.

Meanwhile Shades has been to the National Media Museum in Bradford with his family, to see Wallace and Friends. I like the idea of being on the Teletubbies too.

While in Bradford, consider hugging the Bradford Odeon, threatened with demolition. David highlights the campaign to Save the Bradford Odeon, including the Hug the Odeon Day. Sounds a bit wacky, but how could you knock down such an iconic building?

This post from shedwa took me back to the mid 1980s when I spent some time in New York in the Upper West Side. The architecture in the photograph is so typically New York. One of my strongest memories of that area was how important the West Side Parks were for such a densely populated area. They were very well used by New Yorkers and their many dogs.

Speaking of urban animals, JMB has done some research and identified some Belted Galloways coexisting with a growing tourist destination near Vancouver. How long before these interesting cows have to give up their land for a new subdivision? Will we be developing cow parks as a compromise?

Speaking of cattle, Seafarer suggests a trip to the Chisholm Trail in Oklahoma Yee Ha! Although I have never been to Oklahoma, I lived in Colorado for a year and travelled around the West quite a bit. I always enjoyed putting on my Cowboy Boots and living a little history.

And finally in the we love animals department, Evelyn has the scoop on Dolphin Watching in Honolulu

In a somewhat more sombre mode and in the age of terrorismphobia, Jeremy of WTTF makes the case for a few spare cities.

In a more comic vein, Carole Lane has been to Comic-Con 2007, a huge comic expo in San Diego. I wonder what form these types of exhibits will take in a few years, with most comics going online.

Just down the road from Sacramento, where I used to live, is Lodi. I never did get to Lodi, but if I did, this is what I would do.

If you want to buy Harry Potter in Buenos Aires, Alan Patrick suggests Avenida Corrientes Bookstores.

And if you want to see some busking Mariachi Players, head off to the Zurich Metro System.

Speaking of tough ways to earn a living, Kalyan Banerjee, blogging in Kalyan Speaketh, takes a look at the army of migrants who support the growing middle class in Delhi. Short vignettes detailing their stories are presented here.

And the worst job ever, window cleaner in the heat of Dubai for this enormous structure. The Burj Dubai will be the worlds tallest building when it is completed. They seem to like to do it bigger better more in Dubai.

And finally in the doing it tough department, James Higham an expat living in Russia takes a look at the essence of being Russian and the impact on day to day life there. As James comments in an earlier post, Moscow is a third world city at first world prices. In a ranking of the worlds cities, Moscow is dead first in the most expensive stakes.

And so from the 108th ranked City in the most expensive rankings, thank you and see you at the next Carnival of Cities.

If you are interested in participating in the next Carnival of Cities or even hosting a Carnival, go to the Carnival of Cities Home Page for more information.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Carnival of Cities July 30

Hello Carnival of Cities Groupies.

This Carnival has been delayed due to some unforseen technical difficulties. If you have submitted, I have them and I hope to have this posted tomorrow.

In the meantime, the 50 most expensive cities in the world, according to the cost of items including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment:

1. Moscow

2. Seoul

3. Tokyo

4. Hong Kong

5. London

6. Osaka

7. Geneva

8. Copenhagen

9. Zurich

10. Oslo

10. New York

12. St Petersburg, Russia

13. Milan

14. Beijing

15. Istanbul

15. Paris

17. Singapore

18. Dublin

19. Sydney

20. Shanghai

21. Rome

21. Kiev

21. Vienna, Austria

24. Tel Aviv

25. Helsinki

25. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

27. Douala, Cameroon

28. Taipei

29. Los Angeles

30. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

31. Lagos

32. Beirut

32. Hanoi

34. Sao Paolo

34. San Francisco

36. Stockholm

37. Ho Chi Minh City

38. Chicago

39. Miami

40. Rio de Janeiro

41. Lusaka, Zambia

41. Amsterdam

43. White Plains, New York state.

44. Shenzen, China

45. Abidjan, Ivory Coast

45. Dakar, Senegal

47. Toronto

48. Jakarta.

48. Bratislava, Slovak Republic

50. Prague, Czech Republic


74. Melbourne

93. Perth

99. Brisbane

100. Auckland

105. Wellington

108. Adelaide

Source: Mercer Human Resource Consulting

Haunting Questions........

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in"... but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere, but call it a haemorrhoid when it's in your as*?

Have you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Why do they call stuff sent by rail shipping and stuff sent by ship freight?

Do you wonder why you gave me your e-mail address in the first place?

Woooooh Cheney's Gonna Get Ya

A bit dated, but still funny.

In case you ever doubted who has the pants in the White House, read this. Scary.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Online Newspapers

I have been using online newspapers for many years. What I am not clear about is where the money stream is. I know that for most newspapers, the major source of income is advertising. I am not clear where the advertising for these sites come from. I understand that there are transferable skills in journalism, but newspaper websites require significantly more maintenance and currency is about 10 minutes.

So where is the return for online newspapers? The article looks at the Washington Post.com, which has a very good and successful site, actively supported by the company. Even so,the online portion of the business is being subsidised heavily by one of the most successful local newspapers in the world. The Washington Post has the highest penetration for a local paper in America, a fantastic international reputation, a very cheap print price (35 cents) and a very good location for a newspaper.

When I lived in Washington in the 1980s and 1990s, the newspaper was very much a part of the culture. I have no idea what it looks like now, but it was a very comprehensive offering in those days. As the article says, if newspapers like the Washington Post cannot make a commercial go of online newspapers, then there are going to be some very unhappy newspaper owners around the world. I mean I use these resources daily and doubt if I could list more than one or two of the advertisers who underpin these very comprehensive offerings. Very few charge for access and those who do are almost automatically clicked through.

I suppose that I like many bloggers have an interest in this, since I cannot blog effectively without access to these sources. Is there going to be a time when we cannot just tap into these resources without charge? Is advertising going to become so in your face that it will be unpleasant to use?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Little and Large


John Winston Howard Whacks the States

John Howard's sophisticated reelection strategy.

You can play too.

Insight into Nepal

In the mid 1990s, I spent some time in Nepal. It was one of the most interesting places I have lived. Michael Greenwell also spent some time there for a project. He has put together a whimsical Nepal A-Z, which is worth looking at if you are interested in Nepal.

Socceroos Licking Their Wounds

After a disappointing Asian Cup, the Socceroos are considering a return to the Oceania Football Conference. They might win some games then.

Finally - Dr Haneef Released

The most glaring of the injustices of the detention and trial by Politicians of the Gold Coast Doctor who gave his SIM card to his second cousin in the UK and was deemed to be supporter of terrorism is over.

The blame game started after 3pm. Yes, announced Director of Public Prosecutions, Bugg, the charge would be dropped. Yes, there had been dreadful mistakes. No, said Keyston Kop Police Commissioner Keelty, there would be no apology to Dr. Haneef. I still want to deport him said Immigration Minister Kevin (I am Tough on Terrorists) Andrews.

Their press conference was an unedifying spectacle. A man's reputation trashed, his freedom stripped, his family honour ruined, because he was deemed guilty by association. It has been a disaster from start to finish.

And at the end, in another place yesterday, Attorney General Philip (Wet Fish) Haddock made the most absurd statement in this black comedy of errors.

"I think that what we have seen is that the system worked as was intended,"

Now that is Scary. Australians Be Afraid Be Very Afraid. Your Civil Liberties are at Risk.

Now he is in home detention, but cannot leave while the Government decides whether to restore his visa or to deport him.

You can just imagine that the Australian Tourism Commercial, "Where the Bloody Hell Are You?" will go down well in India right now.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Milli Vanilli and Friends

Behold the glory that is the ROCKLOPEDIA FAKEBANDICA. All the fictional bands and singers from TV and movies listed in one convenient, ... scarily obsessive place.

Do you know any of these guys? Can you lip synch?

Thanks Tuba Pants

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Drug and Doping Cheats Spoil Cyclings Greatest Prize

After staying up late to see Thomas Rasmussen win the latest stage of The Drug Addled, Doping, Performance Enhancing Chemicals Tour of France by Bicycle, last night, I was more than a little surprised to read this this morning. He had been virtually annointed as the winner and the next thing, he is completely gone.

It really devalues the eventual winner.

Excuse Me Sir

Pommygranate Blasts Off

As some of my Scottish Friends may say

Leave me the Fuck Alone


Bobby Calves get the chop

Today I learned about Bobby Calves. I had no idea that milking cows had to give birth every year and most of the boys get the chop. I tend to steer clear of these kinds of emotive articles as I am in tune with one of the commenters.

I love all animals - They are delicious.

This coming from a country boy, who grew up with a small bottle of milk every day at school. Dairy is ingrained in my genes and would be a big loss. I really hate UHT milk, which I had to endure in Nepal and the Philippines when I lived there. In our family, we have two dairy intolerant members. They use Soy and Rice Milk. I find the soy alternative to be ok for tea, but revolting in coffee. Rice Milk, you can pretty much keep.

So keep up the good work you lactating cows. I appreciate it. Sorry about your losses.

Victoran Buildings Need Colour Change

Apparently there are too many red and blue buildings.

Future President Kevvie Speaks

Piss Off Liz, Chuck, Camilla, Wills......

If he times it right, he can move right into El Presidento Kevvie of Orztralia.

Geek Mythology

Welcome Dionysus

0% Extroversion, 46% Intuition, 55% Emotiveness, 90% Perceptiveness

Although deeply emotional, you are extremely lacking in self-knowledge. You are somewhat needy, and when bored, may become very hedonistic. Your life is a quest for meaning, above all else. You are most like Dionysus. You are primarily interested in serving others, but your efforts are almost always unappreciated. You aren't confrontational, you're often out of tune with your own needs and unaware of the consequences of your own actions.

You are, at heart, a good person. You are very affectionate, and you are very loyal to your friends and family. You are very reluctant to burden others with your own problems, to the point that this in itself can become a problem for the people who care about you. This is a particular of a more general problem. Dionysus sends wave of ruin throughout his personal life. He is the photographer who seduces his subjects. He is the teacher who seduces a student. He is the art student who paints nonrepresentational splashes of color, he is the poet who rejects meter and content. You seek sexual partners more than anything else (this is to exploit the nurturing side of others to help fill your own void). If not sexual partners, this desire to become the object of sympathy with other people can manifest itself in other destructive ways. Stinkfist by Tool explains your condition pretty well. It's very likely that you haven't had many experienced mentors. You don't want them either, because you're the sort of person who rejects criticism and boundaries, but they're also your only hope for reaching any kind of emotional maturity.

Famous People Like You: John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Hefner

Link: The Greek Mythology Personality Test written by Aleph_Nine

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Current Life Plan

A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it - Unknown

Thanks Bradford Vision

Statements of the Bleedin' Obvious

Costello as PM would not help Liberals : Poll Results

I would have been happy to provide that gem for free.

Neighbours Does in Queens English Mate!

Apparently saturation coverage of Neighbours is destroying the hallmark BBC English.

The traditional refined English accent is in danger of disappearing, and the hit Australian TV soap Neighbours could be partly to blame.

Casting directors for a range of plays, TV shows and films in Britain are struggling to find actors who can speak proper English.

The problem appears to stem from a drop in the number of young people brought up to speak with the clipped English accent known as received pronunciation (RP), The Times newspaper reported.

Known as "the accent of educated south-eastern England" and famously used by BBC announcers, RP is gradually being replaced by the classless estuary English, which is based on non-regional and south-eastern English pronunciation and intonation.

And Australian accents could be filtering into the mix.

TV producer Suzan Harrison said she had found casting children in British dramas difficult because many had picked up "an Antipodean lilt from watching Neighbours".

Having lived around the world, I can identify with this. My somewhat bland original Scottish accent has been manhandled out of existence by having to interact with all these foreigners and their bloody accents. New words, phrases, pacing, accents have been incorporated into my communication patterns.

The worst culprits were Americans, which places me in Canada for many people trying to guess where I am from. People often don't pick up my Scottish accent. I am rarely picked for English, but often Irish. No idea on that one. I can certainly revert to my Jocko mode if necessary, especially after a few beers. When I talk to my family at home in the Motherland now, their accents seems somewhat foreign and intensely Scottish. The kids love to make jokes about Scottish accents now.

Now I am surrounded by bloody Antipodeans, including my family and have picked up some of their lingo and I suppose some pronounciations. In the end I am comfortable with whatever comes out.

Clickable Web Trend Map

A map of the internet based on the Tokyo Metro System and current trends and patterns.

A diagramatic bookmark tool.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Defined by Language

Your Language Type is: Older Futhark

Language of the Norse, Older Futhark! Thirty symbols, all told. And no hardier, more warrior-like tongue has ever graced the longships of the Viki or left the Celts and Saxons in such quivering fear. There's only one drawback, that being you died 800 years ago.

The Which Ancient Language Are You Test written by imipak

Sunday, July 22, 2007

How to Make $5 Million Online in One Year

Snoskred is an Australian blogger and expert on internet scams. She is in receipt of over $5,000,000 in fake financial instruments from scammers who she scambaited using proven techniques. She shares her story, with lots of useful information here.

Very interesting reading and well worth sharing.

High Altitude Mountain Cricket in Pakistan

This wicket is about as good as some of the pitches that I saw when I lived in Nepal. At least the weather is good, unlike that for our cricket friends in the UK.

This reminds me of the pictures that you see of football being played in similar environments. Out of these conditions, inevitably there will be some talented sportsmen developed.

Thanks The Corridor (a cricket blog)

London Olympics Anagram

From Private Eye


Bible Spoiler

Sam the Seagull Goes Shoplifting

Sam the Aberdonian Seagull has perfected the art of stealing Cheese Crisps and sharing them with his friends.

Customers are impressed with his skills and are paying for his crisps.

Here in Adelaide, his relatives are similarly persistent. They can tell from about half a mile if you have chips when you are on the beach.

Thanks Groanin Jock

Wanta Fatwa?

Do This

Thanks Dogfight at Bankstown

Standard of Political Discourse Rises on both sides of the Pacific

Bush Like Hitler

Howard Like Hitler

Na Na Na Na

All in one week. Where to next?

Bush Baby Killer?

Howard Animal Abuser?

Check Mate Extreme

This guy will probably need a complete face lift and skin job later in life.

I have always had an aversion to tatoos and body piercing. I hope that my kids don't plan on experimenting later in life. At this point they have promised not to deface their bodies. We are completely fine with washable tattoos.

Earlier in the year, the kids were in my office and painted themselves with indelible marker and white out. It was weeks before it was all gone.

Hannah can't wait until she is 10, when we agreed that she can have her ears pierced.

Thanks but no thanks to Ueba Extreme Tatoos

7 Days to a Better Life in America

All Praise to PTForsythFiles

Eating Disorders Rise in Australia

From the ABC

One in five teenage girls have eating disorders, according to a new Australian Study. The rate has almost doubled since 2000 when the last study was completed.

"There was a doubling of the number of girls who said that they starved themselves for two days or more to try to lose weight," Dr O'Dea said.

"That was across the social classes. It wasn't high-income girls, it was low, middle and high-income girls.

"So we need to be careful - we don't want to promote this starvation, the vomiting, the laxative abuse, the cigarette smoking - that I found in this study."

But she says the programs against eating disorders are struggling against a society that sends a very different message.

"I think the crux of that sort of poor body image, that sort of desperate need to try to achieve the perfect body comes from this idea that, 'to be a better person, to have a successful life, to be happy, I have to lose weight - that's what western society tells me'.

"Celebrities have become very thin since the year 2000 - celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton, Nicole Kidman, they're very, very thin. They're probably underweight, clinically.

"I think girls look to these role models and say, 'I need to be like that to have a happy life'."

While the differences for this group is not income based, obesity in younger kids was significantly higher in lower income groups.

"The trend was there in 2000 for the lower-income children to be more likely to be obese or overweight and it's there again in 2006, and I think it's more pronounced in 2006," Dr O'Dea said.

"I think it's a trend that we really need to look at - how can we affect low-income schools, low-income families, disadvantaged families.

Both of our kids are completely normal for their age. Our daughter, only eight, is already very conscious about her appearance and asks whether she is fat. It is not surprising as the author noted, given the look and feel of many of her female heroes. Her best friend is very overweight, just like her parents. It doesn't seem to get in the way of their friendship. I wonder what it will be like in a few years.

Crushed By Ingsoc International Man of Mystery

Crushed by Ingsoc is teasing his audience.

Singapore Investments in Australia Trump Australian Government's

With the purchase of Alinta, a huge energy conglomerate, by Singapore Power, the Government of Singapore will become the largest foreign investor in Australia. They will control more assets than the Australian Government with an investment portfolio of over $30 billion dollars, including Optus, controlled by Singapore Telecom.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fair Go for Mohamed Haneef

This is looking scandalously unfair. Apparently the SIM card was not in the car and I read somewhere that it expired a year ago. Is being related to somebody grounds for being considered a terrorist? What about relatives of murderers. Are they guilty and complicit because they were related to them. Are Defence Attorneys complicit?

After September 11, all of Osama Bin Laden's relatives were flown out of the country politely very soon after the event because of their contacts with the US Government and the friendly relationships with Saudi Arabia.

Why is this Indian Citizen, a Doctor, who was providing a valuable service here in Australia treated like a GITMO Detainee?

This does not reflect well on Australia and specifically the Howard Government and more specifically Kevin Andrews and Darth Ruddock.

Is this episode, part of this plan?

Update: The Government is looking to deport Haneef to get out of this mess. This article outlines some of the powers Australia's Anti Terror Laws gives to the Government.

Over at the Road to Surfdom, Ken Lovell has the scoop on the new requirements for suspicious visitors to Australia.

Digital Theft at Hogwarts

Dan Morrill outlines the sleuth work being done to nail the person who photographed and presumably distributed the last Harry Potter Book.

Apparently you can be identified by a forensic examination of the camera output if the camera has been registered or serviced. The publisher took out $20 million in intellectual property insurance to protect the story until the release date.

Presumably this person could be up for the money. You can run but you cannot hide. We might as well be microchipped and tagged at birth.

And I vowed that I would not blog about the book.

What would happen if the Internet Really Crashed??

Laurel Papworth has an excellent video on the day teh internet crashed. Scary. No Blog, No Flickr, No You Tube...no global backup... aaaaahhrggg..

Oh no I may have to talk to my family.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pot Black in Black and White

This morning I was thinking about all the technology that we have in our house that the kids not only are familiar with, but use every day. Computers, DVD Players, MP3 Players, Mobile Phones, Digital Cameras. The most high tech thing we had in our house when I was their age was a Kodak Box Brownie, with eight black and white photographs per roll.

It got me thinking of our first major technology purchase, our Black and White Television, purchased when I was 13. This even predated the Sinclair Scientific Calculator.

That lead me to thinking about Pot Black. I used to love to watch this show, a show ironically developed to showcase the new potential of colour television. It took a trained eye to tell the difference between the pink and the blue when they were out of position. Legendary commentator Ted Lowe, aware that not all viewers had colour televisions, said the player is "going for the yellow ball by the sidepocket - and for those in black and white, it's next to the blue."

I never did like it as much in colour. So much for modern technology.

Looking for an image, I came across this. I had never realised that snooker could be dangerous. Warning: Not for the squemish.

Happy 60th Carlos Santana

Although I haven't listened to Carlos Santana for many years, he is a classic.

Besom Abroad does Austin

I am still laughing at this post entitled the Power of Positive Thinking, on cultural differences from Besom Abroad, a Scot studying in Austin, Texas. It takes me back to the mid 1980s when I went to the US to live. I ended up in Aspen and her observations in the early part of the post rang so true for me and brought back many good and bad memories.

Cultural changes can be very challenging, even if all your needs are catered for. It can be alienating to live amongst people who look like you but who are completely different in their values and the way they interact.

The thing I noticed first was the absence of sarcasm in the culture. You can expect most Americans to stare blankly if you go down that path. Personally I used to cringe when referred to as You Guys and often incorrectly wanted to reply to the obligatory Howzitgoan.

We all adjust, but those first few months were challenging, with sun every day and having to smile and say hello to everyone. It was a long time before I could have a good moan when I met a travelling Scot in the bar.

Google's Privacy Policies

Bag weighs in (as Bag is wont to do) about computer privacy and specifically Google's policy change, where cookies will only be retained for two years rather than until 2038. Cookies store all that useful information that websites need to know that it is you that they are communicating with and to allow them to ply you with appropriate service. In reality, it is just a continuing license to store information about you, given the fact that it is almost impossible not to interact with Google on a daily or at least weekly basis.

More interesting was the fact that Google plans to anonymise all their data after 18 months. Based upon the number of people who use their service, they must have a lot of important personal information on about half the worlds population. That is a lot of power.

As long as it is benign power, I have no real issues. I enjoy many of the free services that Google provides and am happy to allow them to use their secret plans and clever tricks to keep it that way and make a lot of money for their shareholders.

I just have a niggling worry about all that information stored on Google servers and how it could be used in a malevolant way.

Thanks Bag

Birdsville Races Somewhat Different from Royal Ascot

The Birdsville Races are the most famous outback races in Australia. They are held every August in Western Queensland and almost everyone has to drive about three days to get there, with no tarred roads, mobile phone coverage, hotel rooms or other creature comforts us urban softies take for granted. A real Australian tradition of a weekend of drinking, pies, punting, horse racing, sun, barbies, dust, camping and entertainment.

I wonder how long these kinds of events will survive as Australia becomes increasingly urbanised.

When I was growing up the Point to Point was held every year, just down the road at Balcormo. It was the same kind of thing. People would congregate for the day and enjoy the racing, have a punt, beer and a pie and then go home. At least at Birdsville you can pretty much count on the weather.

As for racing, I still don't see the attraction.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Which Tarot Card are You?

I am The Hermit

Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.

The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration,hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.

The Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. You do not desire to socialize; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. You prefer to take the time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent but these feelings eventually lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.

The Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thanks Bag and Theo Spark

More Naval Gazing

Big Five Word Test Results
Extroversion (24%) low which suggests you are very reclusive, quiet, unassertive, and secretive.
Accommodation (75%) high which suggests you are overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense too often of your own individual development (martyr complex).
Orderliness (24%) low which suggests you are overly flexible, random, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense too often of structure, reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.
Emotional Stability (52%) medium which suggests you are moderately relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Inquisitiveness (21%) low which suggests you are overly small minded, traditional, and conventional at the expense too often of intellectual curiousity, possibility, and progress.
Take Free Big Five Word Choice Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

Ice Cucumber Pepsi Hits the Japan Market

Apparently it is green minty and syrupy. Not too much coke flavouring and more sugar than your average cucumber.


Thanks Japan Probe

Stay Inside Today

Based upon this excellent Weather and Disaster Gizmo, it is advised that you don't go out today. Wow so many potential hazards in one world!

Looks pretty good in Australia, so I will run out for some milk.

Thanks Pommygranate

What Really Happened in that Cabinet Meeting

Aussie Bob in Road to Surfdom has one of the best political and satyrical minds in Australia. His take on the cabinet meeting where John Howard beared his throat recently is an absolute classic. Starring John Howard as Dr Evil and Peter Costello as Number 2. Some understanding of Australian politics helpful.

Interesting that Peter Costello has decided to stick the knife in. He must think the gig is up and might as well do in Dr Evil. Is this the script? Much treachery and dissarray on the way me thinks.

Rudd Relieved as Tintin Banned in Australia

Kevin Rudds pitch to liberal voters has been enhanced by a decision by Borders to ban Tintin in the Congo from public view. Rudd, very successfully cartooned as Tintin by Bill Leak in the Australian, staved off a Coalition attempt to brand him a rampaging racist, with an eye on environmental destruction. The books are now available in brown wrapping to discerning eligible voters looking for any reason to vote for John Howard.

The cover of the book purportedly showing Kevin about to tour remote Aboriginal Communities was deemed too explosive in an election year.

The Spokesman from the Labor Party said they had nothing to do with the decision.

I was drawn to this story by an interesting article by Robert Sharp, himself a Tintin fan and his love hate relationship with some of the not so PC aspects of the storyline.

Based on his writings, Tintin was about as progressive as my grandparents generation. Robert writes:

I’ve read Tintin in the Congo, and it is indeed appalling. In addition to the obvious racism, it is also distinctly environmentally unfriendly. Tintin blows up a rhino with a stick of dynamite, shoots an entire herd of impala by accident, makes a snake gobble its own tail, performs a summary execution of a chimpanzee, attempts to shoot a crocodile in the face, and poaches an elephant for its tusks.

Where to begin with the racism in the book? Throughout, the Africans are portrayed as simpletons, who idolise Tintin and Snowy and fetishize anything western they can get their hands on. The chief of one tribe has a rolling pin for a sceptre.

Kevin can rest easy that he will just be mocked rather than vilified in the cartoon community.

Sometimes Spam is Interesting

caret budapest canfield brandon. beetle bluebush canny chloroform circumferential contractual. branch aquila dizzy belgian abrupt cowhand analogue counterman complementarity. decisional daytime decontrolled aristocracy campanile chock crowbait.

A sort of 21st Century Poetry

This came in an email titled Crayfish Dogging Buttonhole

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

China Polluting the World

Depressing Reading and it will continue to get worse.

Be glad that you are doing your bit to clean up the environment by filtering some of this pollution through your lungs.

Look for factories to be shut down for months during the Olympics.

Thanks for the Happy News Two Wolves

How to Grow a Condom

Looking for Carnival of Australia? You got this trailer instead.

My kids kept asking and asking what it was. I never did tell them.

Thanks Inside My Frontal Lobe

This is my entry to Mutley's Smut Competition.

"I had better win, or I will travel over and jump on him and savage him."

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

You can carry on now.

Please Travel D
o w n Under T w o P o s t s for all Ozzie Carnivoreists.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Boris for Mayor

Why stop there. How about Boris for President. He was born in New York and as such is more qualified than Arnie. 'mericans would swoon over his accent, but may not go for his "communist" name.

Apparently there are more than 1,500 admirers on the Facebook site promoting him for Mayor.

Carnival of Australia Number 6

Welcome to the July 18, 2007 edition of Carnival of Australia. This is the sixth carnival and we are continuing to grow. Carnival of Australia is the featured blog carnival this week, so welcome new visitors.

So why is a crazy Scotsman doing Carnival of Australia? Obviously I have way too much time on my hands. For those interested in my Haggis Leaning side, I have just completed the Scottish Blog Roundup, so if I lapse into celtic teuchterisms, incoherent ranting and gross sarcasm, you will know why. I will just take off my kilt put on my Aussie hat and dive into the surf Mates!

I found this interesting map of Australia on Strange Maps. It is a proposal for the administrative make up of Australia from 1838. I wonder if Australia would be different now if this had been implemented.

It is election season here in Australia, so we will start by wading right into non confrontational territory Check out these home made Aussie Election Ads.

Gavin R. Putland continues the political theme with Howard for Nobel Prize in Economics posted at /etc/cron.whenever/ saying, "Yes, it's a joke -- with a serious side." Phew glad about that.

Yesterday in the Australian, Nicholson had a brilliant animated cartoon about Howard Yesterday Man. I know I know, I shouldn't be wading into politics, not least because I can't vote. I am an Australian Permanent Resident (for the period that I don't lend my SIM card to anybody with malicious intent). When I was in America, I left two full mobile accounts for somebody to use. I may yet end up in Guantanamo. Where have all our rights gone Mr Ruddock?

I laughed at this cartoon of Brendan Nelson and his honest but apparently incorrect assessment of the Iraq Occupation. Well who would have thought that there was a hidden agenda.

Again in the non confrontational department, Roger presents his ringing endorsement of the Tasmanian Governments endorsement of the proposed pulp mill (sarcasm alert) in Tassie Pulp Mill Approval 2007 – NOT one for the CV. Wow! These guys are full on. I suspect it is one of those follow the money type stories. Interesting that this has not been picked up too much on the mainland. If this was suburban Sydney or Melbourne, it would be in the press every day. Roger's suggestions for tags (corruption, climate change, satire, dumbockracy..) give you some idea of where he is coming from.

Ever one to tread lightly on sensitive issues, Roger had originally planned to have this post on the Howard Governments plans for Aboriginal Communities as his post, but it was not complete at the time of submission. I hunted it down and included it anyway.

I included it as another perspective to this excellent post from Kirky, a Koori woman from New South Wales, who has strong opinions on the Howard Governments current plans for aboriginal communities. Here, she presents Pulling apart the spin... line by line, and lie by lie

I have also included this post, by Paul Canning, which she refers to and from which the image came from. An interesting perspective from overseas, although with the benefit of having lived in Australia for 15 years. The very resonant image seems to be how things are viewed from within much of the Aboriginal Community. These articles really speak for themselves and I shall stay out of it.

Public Service Announcement - That's It for Politics On to Some Interesting Stuff

For those of you financially inclined, Noric Dilanchian presents Revenues and stock values of Google and eBay in context
Information technology markets are globalising faster than most. Yet Australia is falling further behind. This is illustrated by focusing on the loss of internet advertising revenues to Google and others, the lack of major Australian global IT companies and the gap in venture capital between Australia and the United States.

This may seem a bit dry, but I think that it is important. Australia's internet infrastructure is medieval and it is no wonder that our internet companies struggle. Apparently we are up there with Kazakhstan in available broadband speeds. Some kind of very large investment in internet infrastructure will happen in Australia regardless of who is elected. Telstra and another consortium are vying for the rights to the lucrative portion of the market, serving the Cities. The rest of the country will have some patched up Fraudband Alternative.

Megan Bayliss who blogs at Imaginif presents I Had a Fight with Husband so I Hit my Kid.

Bloggers who confront difficult personal and potentially painful areas for many parents are to be admired. My mum was an expert with the flying hand and I have inherited some of that. I need to take a breath from time to time. This is especially true this week, being at home with my kids. I enjoy it, but they certainly know how to wind each other (and me) up.

Again Megan Bayliss,
blogging this time at Home Schooling Aspergers presents Circus Goes Back to School.

This post reminds me about the challenges of home schooling. Next Monday I can just pack the kids into the car and drop them off at school. Not so easy for a home schooling family. My best friend in America and his wife are still homeschooling their fifth through eighth kid. That is a major life choice.

And the last post from the Bayliss family is from Sue Bayliss, a sufferer of Dystonia. Sue has an interesting blog called Spasmodic Dysphonia. In Dystonia, Home Sweet Home she updates readers on her current status and increases awareness about this medical condition.

Craig Harper runs a very High Energy Personal Improvement Blog. Here he presents a post that sounds like a Physics Lecture. It is not an area that I am familiar, but that is certainly no reason to avoid The Law of Attraction should be renamed The Law of Distraction

I personally think the LOA should be re-named the Law of Distraction (as the title of my article suggests) as it (in my opinion) actually distracts people from change principles which actually work."
Laurie Joyce blogging at Midlife - A Journey, presents an interesting post called Perceptions.

Study had a profound effect on my curiosity, I yearned to know more and I enjoyed the way my perception of things was changing. When I read this post I wondered when that curiosity became stifled, when the boy’s excitement became the man’s practicalities. Have I really gotten to the point where the wonder of the bush has left me, or has it just been cloaked in responsibility and shelved because the pressures of marriage and fatherhood intervened?

I think that we could all learn from Ruby of Advice and Rants, who presents Everything is Transitory.

This is so true. Ruby's message is basically, that things will change. If they are bad, they will likely get better. If they are good, enjoy it while they are. Be patient when things are tough and enjoy it when things are good. I generally have a hard time with overly upbeat motivational stuff, but this message is a good one.

And you thought that you could avoid that book, here, but no such luck. John Lampard from Disassociated.com presents What bloggers can learn from Harry Potter.

My one piece of advice is to resist the temptation to write about it. There will be major overload of the sensory system for about a week when the book comes out. Do your bit to reduce the intensity and just say no. I enjoyed the films with the kids and have probably seen them in their entirety in 1 minute and 10 minute sections in between doing chores.

My dad is an artist, so I was interested to read the next article by Susan Borgas. It is a step by step presentation of the development of a painting called Water's Path - Willochra Creek. My dad was intensely private about the creative process and it is refreshing an artist willing to share their craft in a practical way.

My work as a realist artist does promote the Flinders Ranges and hope that viewers of my work will consider visiting this region. There is nothing like sitting under a gum tree with a cool drink in one hand and a camera or drawing tool in another along with some flies for company. What more can anyone want!

Well let me tell you, you can keep the flies. I have only ever been to the Flinders Ranges once in a plane piloted by my brother in law. We landed on a bush strip after flying from Adelaide, saw some emus, kangaroos and some scrub and then flew home. Small plane flying is a unique experience after my many years of jetting around the world on flying buses.

Laurie Joyce, featured earlier, also maintains Sunrays and Saturdays -An Ordinary Life. Here he presents the deep and meaningful post of the week, Space is Big.

From Journal 1 – 02/03/1982

“….really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it it. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s peanuts to space…”

Douglas Adams, The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, p.62

Laurie wades into the why are we here debate? I am definitely in the no idea department, but Laurie certainly poses some interesting questions. Enough to keep us entertained until the next Carnival of Australia.

If that is not enough, may I recommend some practical homework in the area of astronomy provided by Professor Onyx Stone, our token Kiwi. Don't let it be said that I don't maintain a Broad Church.

That concludes this edition of Carnival of Australia. Submit your blog article to the next edition of

Carnival of Australia

Happy 90th Birthday The (Wettin) Windsors

As requested by Shades

Don't say I am not customer service orientated.

Due Process and Fairness??

The American Way

The Australian Way

$1.5 Million for 20 cm of Copper Wire??

Expensive I think.

The dark glass was pushed out when Lennon died, by the Japanese owner in accordance with Japanese customs.

A copper crime wave is a major issue for the Constables of Adelaide, with many copper thefts taking place, because of the rising price of the metal. Metal recyclers require proof of the source before they will pay. Whole electrical and plumbing systems are ripped of buildings, including churches. A car was stopped last week, towing a 10 metre length of large diameter copper electrical wire. I wonder what he had to say when the men in blue nabbed him. "It's from the starter motor, Honest Guv."

Sponsor an F1 Car and Combat Global Warming??

The irony associated with this plan is astounding.

I mean what kind of message are they trying to send?

Thanks Servant of Chaos

Monday, July 16, 2007

What to do when your kids run up a $1,000 mobile phone bill.

Get a tank and take it out on them.

Sheer speculation like.

Ozzie Politicians Suk

There is a lot of hype about the impact of social media, YouTube, Facebook, Blogs and the like on influencing the upcoming elections here in Australia. How about try interest rates, unemployment, house values, perception of wealth, access to health care, job security, cost of groceries, education, access to health care........ basic stuff.

All the other stuff is on the margin.

Australia Fraudband Speeds Shocking

Australias so called Broadband should probably be called Wormband if the speed is anything to go by.

Pretty Embarrassing.

Thanks Gary