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Showing posts from March, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered...

Ever wondered who if anyone clicks on spam emails? This graphic gives an interesting snapshot. Of a spambot that sent 35 million emails in 2008...

8 million were received (the rest were bouncebacks or sent to non-existent email addresses).

10,500 people clicked on the link in the email.

28 bought products.
That's a conversion rate of 0.000008% - roughly the same level of success I had in my dating days.

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Ever wondered how to get a letter published in the newspaper - particularly News Ltd publications? Try any of these handy templates:

“When is _____ going to do something about _____? This is an outrage and _____ has lost my vote!”

“I’ve never voted ______ before, but after ______ you can be sure I’ll be voting _____ at the next election!”

“Once again _____ has proven that all ______ are _______. When are ordinary _______ going to stand up and do something about this?”

“The recent actions/decision/ruling by _______ is PC gone mad!”

"______ are causing all the problems in t…

Trapped In The Noise

It's hard to think of an issue that creates as much division and furore as post-abortion grief (or post-abortion stress syndrome - PASS), nor one that deserves such lack of compassion less.

Recently I was enjoying reading Princesses and Pornstars, Emily Maguire's exploration of modern female culture and how feminism has lost it's way, replaced by meaningless "empowerment" that sees women thinking they gain esteem by pole dancing. I've written about this myself, so the book was really singing to the choir. Until that is, I reached the following passages, which I read with a heavy sigh of familiar disappointment:

"In 2005, Liberal backbencher Danna Vale, calling for a national enquiry into abortion, said that while she believed 'in a woman's right to choice', she worried that women don't understand 'the tragedy of post-abortion depression'. This sounds like she is concerned with women's well-being. If so, she can rest easy: a siza…

Cynical Tuesday

Are there any easy solutions regarding police pursuits?

Of course, we can't just let any speeding crook get away with it and all. But according to this article, 13% of pursuits end in crashes. Over half of fatal pursuits involve stolen cars and traffic offenses. Are these crimes worth risking people's lives for? No one hates a reckless driver more than I, and I don't buy the "these are just scared kids" reasoning. They may not know how to control a car at speed, but they must know that what they are doing is stupid and wrong. But what about others on the roads? Unless police are chasing a prison escapee or suspect fleeing from a serious crime, it's hard to see that police chases are worth it.
~~~~~ So, Google has finally upped and pulled out of China, rather than imposing self-censorship in order to continue operations there with Chinese government approval. Is this Google standing up for what's right, and abandoning the world's largest internet audience…

Pizza Lovers

Whenever I hear someone say something about how they had pizza a week ago, and therefore don't want it that day, I am perplexed. To me, there is no such thing as too much pizza. It's bread, it's melted cheese (usually), it's an ever-changing multitude of toppings. What more could you want in a food? I was always a latent pizza addict, but whilst living in Newcastle my choices were pretty much limited to the major chains. I didn't miss what I'd never had, but my true inner pizza aficionado wasn't awakened till I moved to Sydney, specifically Leichhardt where I fetched up on first moving to the city. On my first night I was introduced to the independent pizza parlour, and the range on offer - prosciutto, chorizo, bocconcini - and the joy of the thin, handspun crust. It was a moment of deep happiness, and as I moved around the inner west I fully explored the range of pizza on offer.

This cost me a fortune. It was time to upgrade to that essential piece of equip…

I Don't Get It

You'd think paid parental leave would be a no-brainer. Surely most people would think it's a good idea to receive at least some financial support whilst giving birth to and caring for new babies?

No. Singles don't want it, which is understandable in a selfish sort of way - why should you keep working to pay for others' failure to remember a condom? Business groups don't want it - it means having to pay for two employees at once, the regular worker on parental leave and also their replacement.

Bizarrely enough though, older people are crying foul here as well. We didn't have parental leave, they moan; we had to raise our kids on one income and bread and dripping so why should today's parents have it any easier? There are a lot of people out there feeling very hard done by.

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You'd think smacking would be a no-brainer as well. Surely in this day and age, no decent parent would want to hit their kids? I don't know about the decent part, but there are a…

On Being Retrenched - One Year Later

Approximately 100,000 Australians lost their job during the Global Financial Crisis. I was one of them. Tomorrow marks a year to the day since I arrived at the office, the one with a great view of Circular Quay where I'd worked as an advertising account exec for just under two years, on an ordinary Tuesday with little more pressing on my mind than wondering what I would have for lunch, and found myself two hours later clutching a cardboard box laden with my possessions, wandering blindly around Wynyard station trying to find a taxi and wondering what the hell just happened?

The GFC never really hit Australia, we have been told. Certainly I never thought it would hit me. I knew job losses were coming but thought, as one of the longer serving members of the team, I would be safe; failing to take into account that I was also one of the best paid. Who knows? Anyway the shock was pretty much total. I managed to keep it together at the office while I was being told...and as I packed my d…

My Wedding Rules

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So, recently I got married, as I believe I may have mentioned once or twice. Those of you who may have read this blog in previous years will know something of my disastrous relationship history, so to get married was a minor miracle in itself.

In order to get married one generally has to have a wedding, and this led to my months of battle with the monster that is the Bridal industry. There's nothing like the mention of a wedding for supplier's eyes to start rolling with dollar signs in the manner of a poker machine. Although I managed to get married without ever setting foot in a bridal shop, I still had to do battle with wedding suppliers, and apparently I did it all wrong.

You have never run into so many rules in your life as when organising a wedding. I've never had much time for the Way Things Should Be Done, though I did actually buy one bridal magazine during the lead up. It really had little of relevance to our wedding, though every newsagent I visited seemed to have …

Justice Still No Blinder

There's been the predictable outrage over the release of Phillip Choon Tee Lim, who served 18 years of a 24 year sentence for the 1991 murder of Dr Victor Chang. The feeling seems to be that, for killing such a "great bloke", Lim ought never be released.

Notwithstanding that this was a heinous crime, murder is always heinous. The average sentence served for murder in NSW is between 12 and 15 years - several years less than Lim served. The argument in the tabloids and on talkback radio runs that Lim should have been kept in jail, circumstance such as good behaviour aside, because of who his victim was. Barring special circumstances such as the murders of children and police officers in the line of duty, should penalties be harsher depending on the identity of the victim? Are some victims more deserving of our, and the justice system's, sympathy (and wrath) than others?

Imagine if death scene pictures of Anita Cobby were shown on TV. There would be outrage whipped to new…

There's Something Fishy Going On Around Here...

Where are all the Scientologists?

Scientology claims to have over 100,000 members in Australia. Where are they? Between myself, my husband and friends I have asked, spread across several cities, having attended several universities and worked for assorted companies and large organisations, one would assume in all that time, if there were 100,000 Scientologists out there, someone would have met one of them. No one has. Maybe because the actual number of Scientologists in Australia, according to the 2006 Census, is more like this:

South Australia - 124
Victoria - 626
New South Wales - 1089
ACT - 51
Queensland - 301
Northern Territory - 8
Western Australia - 284
Tasmania - 25

Total - 2508

(And I sure hope the Scientologists in the NT all get along, or it would be pretty lonely for those on the outer). Even those numbers are an exaggeration; people who list their children's religion as "Scientology" even though young children cannot have any real religious conviction at all.

Curious, re…