Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Aghast! Nooooo! Shield the Eyes of the Children Lest They Be Corrupted!

Finished averting your eyes in moral terror? Good. So, why am I displaying this image of Satanic Evil on my previously pure and chaste blog?

To get my ratings up.

Well, not really.

Recently it came to my attention that a blog listed in Google had gained the tag 'Pornography'.

Was there porn inside?


Unless you counted the unclothed baby image placed within by a loving mother. My suspicion is that some clever software somewhere was detecting too high a skin-to-clothing ratio thus generating an automatic tag of damnation. Or a neat advertisement!

We shall see.

I think I shall adorn my blog with other shameless hussies for a while and see what it unleashes.

I would like to think the American Taliban will descend on my blog in raging fury. They are, after all from the country that created a huge stink over a highly obscured nipple revealed at a football game (Janet Jackson's somewhat un-erotic wardrobe malfunction). That little moral catastrophe cost millions and is still making waves nearly 5 years later.

America is crazy. Here, have another pair of gratuitous tits, courtesy of someone's great great grandmother:

Not bad at all.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

New Season! Yay!

One of the best things you can ever listen to on your iPod is:

... the podcast. Each episode is a work of art - the art of telling a story, without pictures, in the most beautifully crafted audio you are likely to hear. The show would surely bring a smile to the face of the (still) great Stan Freberg.

An aside: 'Who's Stan Freberg?' says you, if you are under 30 (or 40). Stan Freberg!!! The world's greatest believer and practitioner in the power of sound and radio. As an example of Freberg's genius, (quoting from Wikipedia): 'Through the magic of sound effects, Freberg drained Lake Michigan and refilled it with hot chocolate and a mountain of whipped cream, while a giant Maraschino cherry was dropped like a bomb by the Royal Canadian Air Force to the cheers of ten thousand extras viewing from the shoreline. Freberg concluded with, "Let's see them do that on television!" '

Back to Radio Lab. The hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich are having the time of their lives delving into all sorts of issues about Life, the Universe and Everything. Wagner. Infinity. Bizarre human behaviours. Space and Time. Music. Sleep. Stress. The Placebo Effect. Deception.

Go to the iTunes store and subscribe. It's free. As in "The Best Things in Life Are..."

Each season is 5 episodes, twice a year. In between they do shorter filler episodes, and these are not too shabby either. You can get most of the back episodes at iTunes. The rest are at the Radio Lab website if you dig a little. Each episode is about an hour and explores a single topic in ways you probably won't expect.

Do yourself a favour and put on a good set of headphones, or find a time when no-one will interrupt you, crank up the amplifier a little and just LISTEN.

If you want to learn more, click the title of this blog entry and it'll take you to the 'Radio Lab' website. A comment by Dr Pamela Gay on the 'Astronomy Cast' podcast led me to 'Radio Lab'. Thank you Pamela, and Jad and Robert. You guys are brilliant.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Ultraviolence for preteens - 60's style

The picture above is one I took at the now long demolished Sydney Boxing Stadium, in 1965, when I was a wee lad of 12. The stadium was an ugly tin shed and the largest covered venue in Sydney in the '60's. The Beatles played it and never returned to Australia. The solitary figure on stage is Japanese actor Ose Koichi playing the legendary swordsman 'Shintaro' from the Japanese television series, 'The Samurai'. This show was enormously popular in Japan, the Philippines, Australia, and nowhere else. The fan base was pre-teen boys, and that was definitely me.

I can remember having long arguments with my best friend at the time about whether or not the show should be banned. I defended the show as fun and only fantasy, and my best friend (who also loved the show) argued it should be banned because it would give children bad ideas. Our arguments went round and round, and to this day I haven't turned into a homicidal sword wielding maniac or killed anyone with star-knives (although I did try and make some out of can tops).

Cashing in on the craze, promoters brought Ose to Australia for a touring show. As he naturally didn't speak a word of English, he appeared only briefly three times in the hour and a half long show to vanquish evil doers in flurries of impressive sword play. He wisely remained silent, as his voice was reportedly much higher pitched than the manly dubbed voice of the TV series.

What was the rest of the show? An evil Koga Ninja prowled around with lines like: "I am going to fight Shintaro!(Audience: Boo!) I am going to beat Shintaro!(Audience: Booo!) I am going to KILL Shintaro!!'(Audience: BOOOOO! BOOOOO!) etc... Acrobats, stunt players and dancers did assorted things the balance of the time that didn't advance the plot much.

I loved it.

And Shintaro looked right at me for the photo! Swoon!

Ose retired from acting 4 years later (1969) at the age of 32. The Sydney Stadium was torn down the following year.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Fun with Yanks

SPERchul skwerl WOY-yerz fer JAAAAY-suss!

Picking on accents is probably not a fair sport but it can be fun. The above doesn't make a lot of sense but it combines a few of my favourite American mispronunciations into a single phrase. The translation if you aren't sure is "Spiritual squirrel warriors for Jesus!" Yes, a silly concept, but it fits the type of southern U.S. ranting loon Fundie persona I'm thinking of.

'Warriors' as WOY-yerz seems more widespread though. I have heard quite well-spoken US citizens use it, as well as a few who can say it correctly.

As an Australian I can't throw too many stones. STRINE for 'Australian' is still quite common. Or STROY-ya.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Elevator Blues

The concept of the space elevator has been around for a long time. Arthur C.Clarke helped awareness of the idea in 'Fountains of Paradise' published way back in the 1970's.

And now the Japanese claim to be doing the development work prior to actually building one. Price tag claimed? $10 billion. I suspect it will cost a bit more than that, but its great to see a real start at last. Here's hoping they stick to their resolve, because it will be a tough job.

I, and I'm sure a lot of people wonder if it can actually be done. The risks are enormous; and even if it proved possible, the appeal to various clot-headed terrorists and end of the world wannabees would be enormous. Imagine a structure tens of thousands of kilometres high slowly collapsing back on a rotating planet...

Doom and gloom aside, the concept is completely cool. Being able to feed stuff into orbit continuously would open up unlimited possibilities for getting humanity off this rather limited rock. And for just $10 billion...

It has so far cost the US around $5 trillion to conduct its war on terror. Benefits gained? One dead dictator and stuff-all else. Other effects: An unlimited supply of hatred for the US from the Muslim bits of the world. Well done, Dubya.

Now, if the US had spent just one fifth of the money they have plowed into endlessly thumping Iraq and Afghanistan on developing space elevator technology instead, they could have built one hundred space elevators, rendered conventional spacecraft unnecessary and delivered payloads into orbit at a fraction of the present cost and opened up the Solar System.

I wonder which would have been better value for money...?

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Twelve Minute Kidfood Countdown

This is my almost nightly ritual for two children who will eat little else at this time...

12 mins: Half fill a medium saucepan with hot water and set to boil (covered is quicker) on a gas hotplate. Remove block of frozen pasta sauce cubes (labelled 'BOL') and the bag of frozen cooked Honey beef sausages from the freezer. Every week or so I cook 'BOL' and sausages to freeze.

11 mins: Get two pasta plates. Place a 'BOL' cube on a pasta plate; cover with a sheet of kitchen paper. Separate out a single sausage from the bag. 20 secs in the microwave may be required to loosen one from the scrum.

10 mins: The water should be boiling about now. Add some salt. Take a bunch of 'Instant' spaghetti out of its bag ('Instant' claims 8 mins to cook - I do 9 mins for the kids) . Snap the long spaghetti in half and drop in the boiling water. Stir with a teaspoon to prevent clumping.

9 mins: Place dish with 'BOL' cube into the microwave. Cook on HIGH for 1 min. Get two glasses out of the cupboard. Get a wine glass.

8 mins: Use the pasta stirring teaspoon to mash down the semi-cooked 'BOL' cube. Reset microwave and cook on HIGH for a further minute (or less if it was a smallish cube of 'BOL').

7 mins: Get milk out of the fridge. Pull out completed 'BOL' and carry to bench using the covering paper as mittens if hot. Toss the paper. Put frozen sausage into a freezer bag and cook on HIGH for 1 min.

6 mins: Get tomato sauce out of fridge. Pour a glass of milk. Get raspberry cordial and pour a fifth of a glass. Pour a small glass of red wine.

5 mins: Retrieve heated sausage and tip out of bag onto its plate. Toss the bag. Cut the sausage up into bite size pieces with a knife and fork. Leave the fork with the sausage and deposit the used knife on the sink.

4 mins: Squirt some sauce onto the sausage pieces and squirt some more sauce onto the 'BOL'. Stir the sauce into the 'BOL' thoroughly with the pasta stirring spoon (see above).

3 mins: Clear spaces at the table. Add water to the cordial. Place a paper napkin beside Matthew's place. Put the glass of cordial on the napkin. Place the glass of milk beside Gracie's place.

2 mins: Free time! A sip or two of wine works well here.

1 min: Turn off gas, drain the pasta. Pour half into each dish. Stir the 'BOL' through the pasta. Gracie gets the 'BOL' and pasta and Matthew gets the sausage and pasta.

Blastoff! Call the kids and then stand around cajoling while they make excuses why they can't finish all of it...

This all has a ritual accuracy, as I have been doing this for many months now. We live in hope that vistas of variety will open up real_soon_now, but I'm not holding my breath just yet. How old are my fussy children? Matthew is 9 this month and Gracie is 8 in December.

Friday, 12 September 2008

A list of oxygen thieves of the last 100 years

A short list of people the world would have been better off without:
  1. All the heads of Europe just prior to and during WW1. These pathetically useless mammals helped inspire the phrase: "What if you declared a war and nobody came?" Unfortunately everyone did come. 40,000,000 dead.
  2. Adolf Hitler and his inner circle of humanitarian sidekicks. 70,000,000 dead.
  3. US President Truman. This stupid prick had no valid human reason to drop the A-Bombs on 220,000 Japanese civilians - the Japanese military were already looking for a way to end the war and Truman knew it. He just didn't want the Russians to get to Japan first.
  4. Joseph Stalin. Millions slaughtered by Stalin's resilient paranoia.
  5. Mao Tse Tung. (Where the heck did the rename 'Mao Zedong' come from? The same guys who created 'Beijing' from 'Peking' I guess. Once names have been Westernised they should bloody well leave them alone. The new ones are rarely any more accurate than the old. So, how come we don't call 'Japan', 'Nippon'?)
  6. Idi Amin. Most Amazing Man. Thousands killed or eaten.
  7. Pol Pot. 1 - 3 million (Pol himself reckoned it was only a pardonable 800,000. What a guy.)
  8. Kim Il-Sung (Dad). Human Rights? We ain't got no steenking human rights...
  9. Kim Jong-Il (Son). Human Rights? We ain't got no steenking human rights...
  10. Dim Sum Il Jong (Cousin). Human Rights? We ain't...(oh all right - that one is a little silly. I'll get back to being deadly serious)
  11. Osama Bin Laden and happy friends. A comment is hardly necessary.
  12. All those happy suicide bombers. Kill everyone who doesn't share your faith. Allah be praised. Kill the Shi'a if you're Sunni. Allah be praised. Kill the Sunni if you're Shi'a. Allah be praised. Kill all infidels because Allah is too piss-weak to do his own dirty work. Allah be praised. The guy suicide bombers all score 72 shiny new virgins each - what do the girls get? More Holy Rogering, I guess. Allah be praised.
  13. Presidents Bush. A right pair of village idiots. Brought about the demise of far more Iraqis than poor departed Saddam ever managed AND set us all teetering on the brink of Holy Wars for the foreseeable future. Allah be praised.
I'm sure many names could be added but its MY biased incomplete list, not yours, so bugger off.

Public Idiot Number One

"Lordy sakes! Let's go to war with Russia if they don't do what we tell them!" (paraphrased and probably understated)

Oh super - just what the world needs - another testosterone soaked blathering idiot in a position of power. And won't she have that in spades if McCain keels over.

This person is probably more dangerous than Dubya ever was. One wonders if she is already planning her part in the (rather late, but still coming) Christian Apocalypse - "gotta get those End Times a' rollin' before The Lord up an' Raptures me away!" The sooner Jesus snatches her (and the 90% of U.S. Republicans who believe such nonsense) away for a bang-up fundie-fest in the clouds the better. One can only hope.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Websites of Woo #1: Metaphysical Spiritual Telepathic Healing and Transformation

The first in a series of Total Bullshit Websites (TBW's).

Words failed me as I dredged the rich vein of dross within this site.

Buy the Rejuvenizer®! (it's a vaguely glittery looking pendant that costs US$159, or various other lumps of rock or rings containing what appears to be opal from US$25 - $149)

Clears your energy field to 100% positive! Encoded with over 3.5 million (wowie!) healing and protective functions ... to clear your negative programming that creates dysfunction in your immune system, heart, spleen, thyroid and adrenals! Builds a matrix of higher dimensional frequencies around the body to protect the physical and subtle bodies from all the electromagnetic fields! Clears many kinds of viruses and bacteria! Clears energy blockages-created by the "high-tech" frequencies-in the area of the higher chakras!

Genuine proof it works! An unidentified (surprise) university researcher says:

"I have been researching various subtle energy and vibrational medicine technologies for several years. Recently, I carried out some interesting tests with the Personal Rejuvenizer ... I did an initial check up on myself and found 17 interferences. I did not harmonize them. I then wore a Personal Rejuvenizer for 24 hours and measured myself again. After 24 hours, 13 of the 17 interferences had been harmonized. After a further 24 hours, the remaining 4 interferences had also been harmonized. This was, to say the least, an extremely impressive result. I have not encountered another product with this ability to harmonize interferences so quickly and effectively." –A.G., Researcher, M.A., London University, M.Phil, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Hopefully A.G. did this 'research' in their own time. In secret.

This sickening display of pseudoscience infused with endless mystical mumbo-jumbo goes on for many pages. Read about how a new satellite system is wiping out everyone's etheric(?) body. The Rejuvenizers® will save you!

Read all at your peril:

Check out the FAQ and you will learn how Phyllis created her Rejuvenizers® in the 4th dimension (time, hopefully) with the help of a group of Higher dimensional beings assigned to her (by who or what?) way back in 1988. "Unusual, I know, but all true." says Phyllis. Oh puh-leeze...

TBW RATING --- 10/10 'Surely nothing could be sillier than this...' - Petros

A far more effective posting

In an effort to improve my blogging skills, I will apply sound homeopathic principles to the rest of this entry...


An amazing improvement, I'm sure you'll agree.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Time passes

I just noticed it is nearly 2 years since I last posted to this blog. Pretty slack, I know. For the most part I am talking to myself, but this might not always be the case.

Anyway, I will try and get more stuff in here, even if it only to get shrapnel-face-girl (below) out of sight.