Tram Town
Saturday, December 31, 2005

My eight-year-old was tooling around with the Magnetix things that were shipped in on a sleigh and I said to him "Do you know what that reminds me of?". Without missing a beat he replied "Yep! Hideous Federation Square".

It ended up collapsing under its own weight... ominous, that.

Friday, December 30, 2005
Category: Theatre
DB will surely be interested in this theatre sound software for the other platform. All other TramTown readers, Your Mileage May Vary™.

Category: Science
It must be taking a while to nail this technology down... from 9 years ago...
Imagine this: Your next stereo system arrives without big, boxy loudspeakers. Instead, it has a pair of silvery disks, each the size of an Oreo cookie and covered with a dozen or so circular crystals. These curious structures, which are similar to the piezoelectric quartz crystals that keep time in watches, will tease musical notes out of thin air--and the sound will be better than that of speakers costing thousands of dollars.

Category: Pitchers
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a terrific piece of work that I somehow completely missed at the cinema. How long was its run in Australia, anybody? Whatever, it's available for about ten bucks from JB and an extremely worthy addition to the collection. DB, you must buy it or borrow mine, I think you will love it, apart from anything else it is very beautiful.
I generally can't bear Gwynneth Paltrow but her wet approach seems somehow to work in this picture.
8.5/10.0 Not perfect but very, very good.

Thursday, December 29, 2005
Category: Technology
Jeez, I wish this was available for the mighty magna!

Category: Technology
Mrs. Thurrott get's a computer that'd be good enough for her to use (but not a REAL computer, right?).

Category: Politics
Janet Albrechtson had a terrific article about Howard haters in yesterdays OZ. Well worth the read.

Category: K. F. B. Packer
From news.com.au, some memorable quotes of the recently deceased man:
  • "If a working class Englishman saw a bloke drive past in a Rolls-Royce, he'd say to himself 'Come the social revolution and we'll take that away from you, mate'. Whereas if his American counterpart saw a bloke drive past in a Cadillac he'd say 'One day I'm going to own one of those'. To my way of thinking the first attitude is wrong. The latter is right"
  • "Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer. Reluctantly." - To a federal parliamentary media inquiry, when asked to state his full name and the capacity in which he appeared.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Category: Technology
The 50 greatest gadgets of the last 50 years (I've only owned a dozen or so of these but).

Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Category: Tram Town
A very belated Seasons Greetings to all of our readers (both of them).

Category: Fillums
We wento to see this today and we all thought it was good. I expected it to be too long but found that my expectations "felt" unfounded (I reckon it came in about 2:40'ish).

Category: RDC
Belatedly, K.Packer. Vale!

Category: Fillums
Cheaper by the Dozen II carries no surprises except for the seemingly complete lack of mic booms in shot. That shows that they learnt something from the first modern CbtD. In fact, the first scene with real dialog in CbtD II features a centre stage microphone playing up a little (a Shure Beta 58 as it happens), presumably a hat tip to CbtD (I).
Don't expect a lot and you won't be completely disappointed. I would definitely not have enjoyed without laughing descendents on either side of me.
The best scene is where Eugene Levy's charcter's new wife appears on the doorsteps of his mansion (named The Boulders) welcoming the Baker family with lots of cleavage (centre shot) saying "Welcome to The Boulders".
6.5/10.0 - Not utter rubbish and lots of eye candy.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I love Coober Pedy. As I have said before, it is a town where everybody is out to make a buck in the nicest possible way. Take Joe for example. Joe is the proprietor of Joe's Tour and this budget motel. What Joe actually has is a truck and a spare room. Good luck to him!


My boys having a hit at Hideous Federation Square with Stuart McGill and Glenn McGrath and, also, the new boy Phil Jaques. The 10-year-old is in a white tee shirt with a red cap to the left of the image and the 8-year-old is in the centre, in the red.

Category: Blog
Charles Murton has finally got Diogenes' Lamp off the ground with a couple of interesting and insightful postings. "Straight to the pool room"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Category: Politics
Over at BrookesNews, Gerard Jackson notes quite a bit about freedom of expression and issues a challenge to the Bracks' government. All worth a read, IMHO.

Category: Custard
Daniel Bowen, author of the excruciating Toxic Custard and president of the Public Transport Users Association, is quoted thus:
Hundreds of commuters shared their tickets with friends or family each year, PTUA president David Bowen said.
Some businesses also have ticket pools in which employees can use validated tickets for transport around the city to save money.
"It seems a bit unreasonable to make it illegal, given that it is one person doing another person a good turn," Mr Bowen said.
The laws would also apply to commuters who give their tickets to other people so they can avoid fines.
If this is the official position of the PTUA they are fools. How the heck do they think the system is going to work if people don't pay fares that are due?
Also in the article:
[from 2007 onwards] RUNNING late will no longer be considered a valid excuse for not buying a ticket before boarding a train, tram or bus.
which would imply that running late is a valid excuse presently!
The real clanger, though, is that the new system is going to require people to scan their card through an electronic reader "twice, at the beginning and end of their trip". And this is going to reduce fare evasion? Exactly what happens now will be standard practice. People will not do the first scan until the inspectors get on and so will generally not do the second scan at all.
Transport Minister Peter Batchelor: incompetent fool.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Category: Carols
I'm sure that many of our readers have already decided that I am mean spirited but I will nonetheless say that I think Kodak's support of the RVIB Carols by Candlelight is kind of funny. The obvious issue is that Kodak is a company that is all about imaging and that's precisely what the RVIB is NOT about. That is not where my problem lies, though.
On the television broadcast of "Carols" (I haven't been to the real thing for over 30 years so I have to rely on the GTV9 production) there are frequent crowd shots where camera flashes are seen to be firing quite regularly. There are at least two problems here:
  • The inverse square law says that a flash will not help any consumer imaging device beyond a few metres
  • You can't illuminate a light source such as a candle (did you ever see a successful flash-illuminated shot of fireworks?)
So Kodak are providing support for an event which makes the users of their products look like idiots. I don't care which suburb you come from, that's gotta be bad karma.

Monday, December 19, 2005
Category: Terrorism
Children's Birthday Parties are bloody dangerous!

Category: Web
MS ceases support for IE on Macintosh! Ho-Hum.

Sunday, December 18, 2005
Category: Walking
Zoe Brain pointed at this human walking model. Good fun!

Category: Adhesive Capsulitis
Also known as Frozen Shoulder.
The verdict is in. It seems I do indeed suffer from this complaint. Unfortunately the only treatment is long term and involves a fair bit of exercise. It's regular painkillers for me!

Category: Cronulla
Adrian Neylan has a column in Investigate magazine and he maintains man of lettuce (a cabbie's spray). It is worth a regular visit. This week he has spoken a lot about the riots. This post notes that the cab companies are urging their drivers to listen to commercial radio because the ABC is not keeping the punters up to date.
Also this from Adrian:
Earlier in the evening, before the trouble flared again, I was listening to a favourite ABC program, Evenings with James O’Loghlin. He of ABC TV’s The Inventors. In a broad debate on violence, O’Loughlin also considered listeners opinions on the riots. After one such discussion he was moved to note,
These riots are not about religion...I mean we didn’t see the Cronulla crowd on Sunday chanting Christian slogans....Okay, now we have a traffic report from the police - motorists are advised to avoid the Lakemba mosque area, where large crowds have gathered...
Sometime later commercial radio reported this crowd was chanting, ‘Allah is Great’. A crowd from which some 40 carloads of youths then departed for Cronulla, to cause further violence and property damage.
The entire post is a good read. Go there.

Friday, December 16, 2005
Category: CO2
Over at Greenie Watch, J. J. Ray notes a report from the University of California at Irvine that suggests that the Amazon is not very good at consuming carbon dioxide. JJ came across this at the Astute Blogger who suggests a good modern Kyoto supporter should adopt the slogan "Save the Atmosphere! Cut Down the Amazon!".

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This is the signage for a new private lane heading south from Bourke to Little Collins between William and Queen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Category: Cronulla
I think we will all need to read many accounts, opinion, chronologies, whatever before we can even begin to understand what happened on Sunday. I will list some of the ones that impress me most here:
  • Zoe Brain is hosting an item by long-time Cronulla resident Benjamin Amy. It is Benjamin's eyewitness account of Sunday's events. It includes a couple of pictures.
  • Former Sydney police detective Tim Priest follows up on an article he wrote for Quadrant nearly two years ago called The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia. UPDATE: I had read Tim Priest's article when it was originally published in Quadrant but I re-read it in toto this morning on the tram. It is not surprising that some are asking if Tim's middle name might be Nostradamus.
  • Andrew West has a couple of blog posts at the SMH. The first condemns the behaviour of the riotous Cronulla locals. The second dismisses the notion that ALL cultures can be compatible. I don't agree with everything in the first but taken together with the second they present at least a rational two halves to a many-halved issue. [Andrew has since removed all references to the second post due, apparently, to contrarian viewpoints. The post remains on the site but does not appear in any archiive lists. Read it while you can.]
  • The Bolta quotes Tim Priest and provides quite a lot of other background.
  • Janet Albrechtsen has much to say about the mixing of cultures.
  • Slatts starts with "Lazy commentators have been barking “racists'’ all week about the Cronulla boofheads" and goes on to a lot of different places from there.
  • Slatts pointed at a terrific article by Keith Windschuttle about recism and multiculturalism.
More to come...

Category: Drinking
If Santa really did get a bottle of beer left out for him in most homes he would behave as in this game.

Monday, December 12, 2005
Category: Truth
This article about some false information being placed into the Wikipedia as a prank highlights the need to seek multiple sources when trying to establish the truth of anything.
Me, I find the Wikipedia is a reasonable tool but would never use it as an _only_ tool.

Saturday, December 10, 2005
Category: Look-a-likes
I swear I won't point to the Borowitz Report again for a while but this one really tickled my fancy:
Doppelgangers Will Return Credibility to Proceedings, Rumsfeld Says
Another look-alike, Saddam Hussein, 43, said that the call to fill in for Saddam at the trial came just in the nick of time: “I swear, last week I was this close to shaving off my moustache.”

Category: Madness
From a commenter on Andrew Bolt's forum:
Just a thought, Andrew. Have we gone completely mad? St.Patricks, six priests, approximately 3000 people for the funeral of a convicted drug dealer. Earlier this year, a church refused to hold the funeral of a digger because his coffin was draped with the Australian flag.

Friday, December 09, 2005
Category: Bikes
This is an interesting article about bicycles in city traffic.
Off yer bike - for the sake of all of us on the roads

Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Category: Blogging
Australia ’s best blog announced
The competition over at SmartyBlog has been won by a woman by the name of Jodi Rose for her Singing Bridges travel blog. I think she might be an intellectual because I can't make any sense at all of her writings. She's certainly very wordy:
The sound of singing bridges all around the globe may also strike the resonant frequency of the earth's materials and dissolve the world. Echoing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which was freed from material constraints when the resonant frequency was struck by the wind. Sounding the harmonic frequency within the unheard vibrations of the cables will release the voice and liberate the spirit of each bridge.
"freed from material constraints"? The bloody thing fell down.
Charles Wright has raised some issues with the voting for the award in an article in the TTT.
Best of all, read all of the comments over at Tim Blair's site.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The C word.

Sunday, December 04, 2005
Category: Fashion
Umm, I'm not exactly sure what they were thinking. Bound to get banned somewhere, Hoodies!

Saturday, December 03, 2005
Category: Kyoto
Professor Emeritus Philip Stott who runs the blog EnviroSpin Watch has been on fire in the past week with an article on believing in six impossible things before breakfast, one on "transnational moral virtue", and one on "tilting at windmills". "Attacking imaginary enemies" is very much what seems to be happening with the grotesque windpower efforts going on here in Victoria.


A mud map of Australia (it even includes Tassie for a change).

Category: Legend
This page has a lot of the details of Boony's famous 52 not out flight to London.
My favourite bit:
So revered is the figure that it was once suggested that the Tasmanian speed limit be lowered to 52kmh as a tribute.

Category: Marriage
I didn't even know who Jessica Simpson was until I came across an interesting blog post about an international fashion designer by the name of Vera Wang. It seems that the marriages of a huge number of celebrities who were married in a Vera Wang dress went into meltdown within a few years.
Jessica and Nick Lachey have joined this very classy list having starred in a reality TV show called Newlyweds.
On the official Jessica Simpson website the following is prominently displayed:
Check out exclusive new photos of Jessica, and read about her first movie, how she keeps her marriage strong, and much more!
Much more? Such as why she chose Vera Wang?

Friday, December 02, 2005
Category: Engineers
Have you got The Knack?

Thursday, December 01, 2005
Category: Numbers
Somebody at the Hun, presumably Milanda Rout, doesn't consider basic arithmetic in their writing.
The Government is providing the state's 650,000 grade 6 students in 1850 schools with a book outlining 50 ways to save the world.
Let's see, that would mean an average number of grade six students in our primary schools would be 350 which would mean the average number of students in each school would be around 2,400. One too many zeroes in all these numbers, I reckon.
One way to change the world might be to teach journalists basic arithmetic.

Category: Women
Whilst I was not completely ignorant of the state of affairs with female children in India, I found this article quite disturbing.

Powered by Blogger