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Showing posts from October, 2006

Where Have All The Peace Freaks Gone?

Last night I watched the Australian music industry awards - the Arias - and I must remember to get new batteries for the DVD remote. As I've said before, I don't really know modern music, so basically the artists last night were divided into those I don't know very well, and those I don't know at all. It was about as familiar as watching the Eurovision song contest, except without the amusement of seeing a blonde lurex-clad Swedish lass belting out "Loff me, don't liff me!" or two ageing Dutch hippies singing "Zip Zip Zip...Zap!"

What there was instead was a mostly uncontroversial variety-style love-in. I may not know much about rock n roll, but isn't it supposed to be about... rebellion? And yet, even though we live in "these troubled times", no one referred to them in their speeches.

Until Midnight Oil rocked up (and that term is used advisedly) as they were deservingly inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame. Followng tributes from Bo…

Mea Culpa

Sorry, I know I haven't been around much lately. Nothing's wrong, I'm just busy with my new job...and feeling a bit burnt out. Think I need a holiday, actually (I haven't had the chance since then, and now things are two months worse!) One way or the other, I'll get back to posting soon; I've got about 5 half-written posts saved that I've been too busy, frazzled, or not-funny-and-smart-enough to complete!

That Was...The Week That Still Is

We know in the hectic modern world, it can be hard to keep up with the news. Being the kindly and condescending sorts we are, Xander and Nico are here to help, looking back at the week that is (almost) past.

In the face of Australia's worst-ever drought, the Federal government has announced a $2 billion drought relief package for farmers. However, for the first time I can remember, people are actually criticising the aid, claiming unviable small farms should be left to go under. The government of course immediatley labelled these views "un-Australian". I'm inclined to agree with the critics though. After all, in any other industry, if you're business is untenable, you need to do something else. Why should farmers be any different?

World War...(what number are we up to now?) hasn't broken out over the North Korean nuclear test yet. But the U.N. has imposed sanctions, so it seems the global community is in "wait and see" mode. Also, things aren't go…

Xander Says: I Guess I'll Have To Post Myself

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What's a cat to do when his Mum is too busy to post? Sit in the sink! Honestly, I'm not used to having to do things for myself, but Mum is hardly ever home lately, and when she is, she complains about how busy she is...
Mum's never home because she's "at work", and apparently her new job is really hard. At least, that's the impression I get from when she returns in the evenings, lies down on the kitchen floor, and moans "I've had the day from hell" ...every single day.

She's also stressing about buying a house. I don't know why it's so hard. Normally when Mum buys a house, it only takes a few seconds, but then she starts to lose, throws a tantrum and shoves the Monopoly board away. Maybe this time she's worried abut being sent to jail?

But what's really bad, is she doesn't buy drinks any more. Well, she still buys cheap drinks, like juice, but she won't buy the fun drinks, like green apple vodka. I miss it, Mum was …

We're Only There Because We Love Them

Suprise, suprise - Australia's Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson, has once again popped up in the news to re-state the Howard Government's position that Australian troops won't be leaving Iraq as long as they are in power.

Almost everyone else is at least considering leaving. Even, Tony Blair now says he agrees with a call for UK troops to withdraw soon. As for the other members of the Coalition Of The Willing - well, you can see for yourself that most of them seem to have given it up as a hopeless business.

But not Australia. The Government hangs stubbornly, grimly on to the idea that staying in Iraq is the right, the only thing to do. Well, they have to say that don't they. They can't admit that they were wrong, and they certainly won't say to the U.S. "Thanks, but we're gonna call it a day."

Instead they keep feeding us, the Australian public, lines - they might even believe them themselves. One of the most frequent ones we here is, "An Austra…

Of Tattoos and Grease and Bad Language

There's something rarefied and special about a day off that a weekend just doesn't have. I think it's the sense of guilty pleasure - everyone else is at the office - but I'm not. The best pleasures are the guilty ones, after all...*takes surreptitious swig from vodka bottle hidden in desk drawer*

Hic. Where was I? Well, although I've outlined a day at the office before, I've never described what I get up to on a day off. And as yesterday was, sadly, my Last Day Off, I thought I should do something to mark the occasion...

So I left the laundry unwashed, the bills unpaid, and headed to the tattoo parlour. The tattoo on my ankle I had done last year (see it here), I've never been entirely happy with, as it wasn't really the design I wanted. I wasn't sure what could be done to fix it, but just decided to get the centre fillled with purple as well. It took the guy all of three minutes to do, and he said he felt bad for charging me anything, but he had to c…

To Tech News Now...

The big story this week is that Google has bought YouTube. Google paid $US1.65 billion for the company, far in excess of even the $US580 million which Rupert Murdoch paid for MySpace back in July.

The thing is, only a few weeks ago, the tech press were falling over themselves to write off YouTube as an investment, citing the fact that YouTube is likely to face huge law suits, a la Napster, due to it's breach of copyright laws. Mark Curran even famously declared that "only a moron would buy You Tube".

Now though, they're lauding Google's investment. Either the tech press are in Google's pocket, accepting pressure from Google not to run stories that affect the company's value...or they just like jumping on the "If Google says it, it must be good!" bandwagon.

Seriously though, why can't I think of some innovative internet phenomena that would acquire a cult following, go mainstream, and allow me to sell it for millions? It wouldn't necessarily…

A New World Awaits

North Korea has apparently followed through on it's threats and carried out a test of a nuclear weapon.

Apparently, the test was carried out at 11:36am AEST - the same time as South Korean monitors detected a 3.58 magnitude seismic disturbance.

There's very little information available at this stage. The North Koreans claim that there's been no radiation leakage as a result, but they did conduct the test on a Monday...and we all know how sloppy output can be on back-to-work Monday.

Aside from any environmental damage that may result, the political implication of this are staggering. As John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said on Friday, “We think the main point is that North Korea should understand how strongly the United States and other council members feel that they should not test this nuclear device...And if they do test it, it will be a very different world a day after the test.”

Will the U.S. invade if they know a country actually has WMDs? Will there be a mass ex…
The Five Hundreth


Xander says: When Mum asked if I would contribute a few words on the occasion of the Pod's 500th post, naturally my first question was: "What's in it for me?" And she asked if I'd like to start getting my own meals and cleaning up my own messes. So, I'm taking time out from my busy "shedding winter coat all over the house" schedule to thank all of you who've dropped in to read this, left a comment, and - which is the most important - remarked on how gorgeous I am. (It's all the beauty sleep I get).

It's true. 500 posts. Which is pretty respectable, considering when I started this thing (990 days ago, to be precise) I thought I'd get bored with it after a few weeks.

So where have we gone since we started? Well, it was nearly three years ago, so obviously I'm a few months older than I was back then. This blogging thing was such a novelty, and I wasn't sure what to do with it. But I do know I was addicted - in the…
ReD Dwarf Fans, Rejoice!

Last night, I saw a story on the news* about an interesting new technological development; computer-generated digitised personalities which appear through a user's digital television, a post-millenial update on Max Headroom (whom my generation may remember as that vaugely scary guy from Saturday morning TV).

The primary motivation behind this is the idea that they could serve as companions to the elderly, disabled and otherwise housebound. Of course, this is a very worthwhile ambition, but as a Red Dwarf fan, my initial reaction was far more selfish. It would mean I could finally achieve one of my long-held dreams - and I don't mean make sweet, sweet love to Rimmer in his red gingham dress. No, I could have my own Holly in my house! (Norman Lovett version, obviously).

Aside from it just being awesome to have a Holly for its own sake, think of the possibilites! I would be elevated to the status of goddess amongst (wo)men. Receive answers to any questions t…