Wednesday, 30 June 2004

Tom Lehrer said some things are Beyond Satire

(From Ads by Google)
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Tuesday, 29 June 2004


If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori

From 'Dulce et decorum est' by Wilfred Owen

(The same old lies, the same ever-new suffering. How to differentiate amongst such deadly dark shades of grey as the balance of evils?)

Monday, 28 June 2004 (Not unuseful)

I hear Ray Bradbury's objecting to Michael Moore referring to the book Fahrenheit 451 in his film's title of Fahrenheit 9/11. I don't think there's a good case agin that - see, for example:

by Paul Auster
by John Birmingham ~1999
by Thomas Hobbes

Native Tongue
Elgin, Suzette Haden ~1984
Hiaasen, Carl ~1991

Drake, David ~1987 (Tor)
Harris, David ~recent
Hogg, Ian V. ~1977
Lord, Gabrielle (St. Martin's Press)

Walpole, Hugh ~1932 The Fortress - also see
Catherine Gavin
The Fortress, Book 32
By: Gary Crew

Article below was linked to in the discussion of the biggest documentary hit so far this year in the USA, at "Fondly Fahrenheit" (359 Comments as of --- ookk! I think I orta get to bed. Frustrating weekend. Hope all good there.)
Storm Troopers At the Doors of Fahrenheit 9/11
by Rob Kall

The handcuffs hanging from the burly hired security guard were clearly, intentionally evident. He was checking younger-looking ticket purchasers for age, to protect them from the R-rating of the movie. But he looked big and nasty. I was bringing my 14 year old son, and since he accompanied me, there was no problem.

The movie was incredible, besides weaving together a strong case against George Bush and his administration, it was a riveting piece of entertainment. The 24 theater megaplex had devoted its largest room to the movie and it looked like the previous showing and the one we went to see were both sold out ...

Sunday, 13 June 2004

Varieties of Chutzpah, und zo weiter

... also Fundamentalism, Accessories, Puppet Pubic Service Announcement, &c. (inner frame)
Encounters with fundamentalism
by Bill O'Loughlin
... the 'fundamentalist beast'. I described fundamentalism as any strongly held system of belief that purported to provide all answers to society's problems. The discussion was healthy ...
Now I understand 'fundamentalism' to be about holding a set of beliefs that
denies the right of others to hold a different view. Fundamentalism is about
asserting the dominance and superiority of one world view over another. It
arises when people feel threatened or oppressed ...

Extraordinary accessories - The Skinbag & associated articles
... a SkinBag. I ordered one and the first time I walked around with it I had the impression I was taking part in an installation.

Already because of its art work side: each bag is unique and numbered to reach maximum personalisation. During the manufacturing process inscriptions, dedications, text, images or logos that characterise the future owner are inserted into the material like tattoos. And then peoples' reactions are fairly lively, and the way they eye up this object makes one presume they undergo a shock before thinking about it. People stopped me all along the way to the local store, astounded.

It was strange. In spite of myself I'd become part of a new kind of performance, ready-to-wear body art. But this sensation didn't last, probably because I spend more time in old ladies' cafés than at arty evenings. Twenty-four hours after I got the SkinBag, it had become an accessory, a singular one of course, totally integrated in my look.

Its functional side imposed itself, a lot lighter than leather. Such supple material allows to stuff in a quintal of muck and it's always pleasant to wander around with a Mary Poppins' bag.

Pete the P0rn0 Puppet
... And the fact that it was filmed by a p*rn*,r for an anti-p*rn Christian group should make it a sure-fire hit with the media. Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart did a brief piece gently mocking everyone involved. On May 4 TechTV, a cable network devoted to quirky technology will air the director’s cut (which actually features simulated puppet s3x and!*n) and interview Gross and Foster. But Pete may just be too h.rdc*re for prime time.

The PSA is meeting resistance at just about every network and local cable outlet. Nobody wants to air it as it was intended—as a free public service announcement, says Gross, who is prepared to raise the $5,000 to $10,000 needed to air it on television. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s flagship program The 700 Club planned to run a segment on it last week, but it was killed at the last minute by evangelical host Pat Robertson
Ironically, it is the p*rn*gr.phy industry itself that has been the most supportive of XXXchurch’s mission to keep children sheltered from *bsc,n!ty. Indeed, DiGiorgio is mulling the idea of putting the spot in his own releases as a warning to kids and a reminder (or potential buzzkill) to parents before the h.rdc*re action begins.

Pictures in Baghdad - part of a "Family in Baghdad" blog
A Cat

BTW, a caller on Australia Talks Back called 'Being There' Ronald Reagan's biography.

Reemco's "Cat Mantis"

Contrast with Magnifico passage -

Example of real life Chutzpah
Having been caught plagiarising on your final exams, and told you would get no marks, chutzpah is then announcing that you would be suing the University, because you'd been plagiarising your way through the last four years of higher education and they should have caught you earlier.
"I hold my hands up. I did plagiarise. I never dreamt it was a problem.
"I can see there is evidence I have gone against the rules, but they have taken all my money for three years and pulled me up the day before I finished.
"If they had pulled me up with my first essay at the beginning and warned me of the problems and consequences, it would be fair enough.
"But all my essays were handed back with good marks and no one spotted it."

This could be useful - an online printing cost estimator (might have to make an Oz version)

Apparently, in a 40 mph (~60 kph ?) crash into a solid barrier, the Cooper Mini does significantly better than the Ford F150 pickup -- "the USA's best-selling 'car'." CrashTestingMINICooperVsFordF150 (with photos)
"there's no question what would win in a head-on collision between the two but then again the majority of accidents involve only a single car"

Great Advantages of Deregulation: Chapter the Nth

Enron Tapes Anger Lawmakers
LOS ANGELES, June 2, 2004 2004/06/02/eveningnews/main620795.shtml
During California’s rolling blackouts, when streets were lit only by head lights and families were trapped in elevators, Enron Energy traders laughed, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

...California's attempt to deregulate energy markets became a disaster for consumers when companies like Enron manipulated the West Cost power market and even shut down plants so they could drive up prices ...

describing his reaction when a business owner complained about high energy prices, another trader is heard on tape saying, ... "I said, 'Move.' (laughter) The guy was like horrified. I go, 'Look, don't take it the wrong way. Move. It isn't getting fixed anytime soon."

... It's clear from the tapes that Enron employees knew what they were doing was wrong, ...

Eventually, the lies unravelled and traders scrambled ... "I'm just -- f--k -- I'm just trying to be an honest camper so I only go to jail once," says one employee.

Also see comments at -- It would be interesting to get comments from Adelaide & Melbourne (possibly all of SA or Vic) about their experience of electricity supply deregulation.

You may need something to cheer you up after that last one. I haven't tried this out yet. Looked like it might appeal
What is is the ultimate riddle contest. The contest starts off with round one, riddle one. Whenever you solve a riddle, you advance to the next riddle. There are twenty-five riddles per round. The number of rounds is classified. The first person to solve all the riddles gets a generous prize. We encourage you to explore the pages of this site to learn more before beginning. Good luck!!

Registering: You can still play the game and view the forums if you are unregistered. But we highly recommend registering. One benefit is being able to talk in the forums, but the main benefit is that the site stores your answers for you!! That way you can leave and come back and go back to where you left off, instead of starting off at the beginning again.

Tuesday, 8 June 2004

Venereal Transition 2004

From The Library of Congress "Transit of Venus March" Page index.html;jsessionid=xlj3pg4hk1
On Tuesday, June 8, 2004, the first "transit of Venus" since December 6, 1882 will take place. Over six hours, between 1:13 A.M. EDT and 7:35 A.M. EDT [USA Times], the disk of Venus will pass in front of the Sun perceived, by those who can see it, as little more than a black dot silhouetted against the Sun's bright glow.

The Library of Congress is pleased to join with NASA in celebrating this rare event, by providing access to the score and band parts of John Philip Sousa's "Transit of Venus March." In addition to this music, which can be printed directly from this Web site, a recording, sheet music -- for solo piano and for banjo accompanied by piano -- and other material relating to the transit of Venus are also available.

For those seeking additional information regarding this special event, NASA's Web site ( provides a wealth of useful and interesting details.

[Via Making Light.]

Transit of Venus, June 8th, 2004

Australians have a slightly special relationship with transits of Venus.
An important part of the journey of Cook, Banks & the others on HM bark Endeavour on which they discovered & explored the East Coast of Australia (the West Coast was known in Europe, but is much less favourable for settlement) was viewing the 1769 transit from Tahiti.
"Cook's voyage led directly to the British settlement of Australia," said Dr Nick Lomb, Sydney Observatory curator. "If it weren't for Cook and Banks coming here after watching the transit of Venus this country could have been settled by the French or Portuguese."

They occur in pairs, eight years apart, every 122 years, so the last ones were in 1874 & 1882. Consider the changes between 1769, 1874 & 2004. The next is on June 6, 2012. After then it's a fair wait until December 11, 2117. (Quick break to contemplate how history might have developed by then.)

If your place on the planet doesn't have a good view (e.g., the Americas), there are quite a few internet sites, one is I'll be at work, but am taking my small field glasses (safely viewing by projection - NOT direct), since we have a good view out northwest. Going by past experience, however, it bodes well for breaking our current dry spell.
A great comment on The Modern Disease
(from Wednesday, January 21, 2004 entry on Hello Cruel World, showing )
On Mondegreens, or misheard lyrics.
Extends on Mondegreens to Eggcorns, etc.

Monday, 7 June 2004

D-Day Memories: Insurgent suicide bombing

The SOE had been aiding & supplying the Resistance to prepare for their role against the German occupation forces once the Allies invaded. After D-Day one important job was to divide them & cut off retreat.
A panzer corps was ... heading towards ... Eure to cross the last remaining bridge on the Evreux River. [The SOE] sent an urgent message to their best man on site: "BRIDGE AT EVREUX MUST REPEAT MUST BE DESTROYED NORMANDY BATTLE HINGES ON IT HAVE YOU EXPLOSIVES FOR JOB REPLY MOST URGENT MESSAGE ENDS". … Hervé replied "MESSAGE RECEIVED AND UNDERSTOOD WILL DO IMMEDIATELY EXPLOSIVES AVAILABLE VIVE LA FRANCE VIVE L'ANGLETERRE." Hervé borrowed a bicycle from the local postman and filled its saddlebags and satchel with explosive … then cycled boldly up to the bridge and past the guards … [A]s he reached the centre … he flung the bike and himself to the ground and pressed the detonators … blowing the bridge & himself to pieces.
… [T]he panzers were stranded and left as easy targets for … RAF anti-tank planes … On such acts of selfless heroism would the war be won"

They Fought Alone: The Story of British Agents in France, Colonel Maurice Buckmaster, Odhams Press, London (1958); Nancy Wake: The Inspiring Story of One of the War's Greatest Heroines, Peter Fitzsimons

Wednesday, 2 June 2004

Language & Other Matters

Very Traditional Japanese Costume
Check out some of the others. Tasteful
(related to which - The "Verbs Bad" Manifesto: 2001/winners2001/tedholm.htm
For further Language stuff, also see the Language Log (e.g.
Gene Buckley emailed to point out the widespread adoption of the eggcorn inclimate weather, which has 11,000 whG (web hits on Google), or 2,567 whG/bp (web hits on Google per billion pages). The original phrase inclement weather has 173,000 whG or about 40,372 whG/bp, so the original is only about 16 times commoner than the eggcorn. This is a genuine folk-etymology-in-progress, not a simple misspelling, since the morphologically incoherent "incliment weather" and "inclemate weather" have only 719 whG and 73 whG respectively.).

I like the whG (web hits on Google) & whG/bp (web hits on Google per billion pages) measurements, too.
See WhG/gp and other problems of quantification at 000974.html
Also try For visual as well as other recreation.
Created My First Yahoo Album with two photos of Krispy Kreme Wynyard branch opening day - see at Sydney City - the Krispy Kreme Event. [NB: If this doesn't work, try this link at "Yahoo Albums".] May use additional albums for showing off other photos (have many, over 10,000 taken since got digicam in October 2002), but am also checking out other types of web image displays, like photoblogs, Spymac's galleries, etc.

Does anyone have experience with the pros & cons of different ways to do this? I'd like some opinions.

UPDATE: Added extra pictures to show earlier & later days. NOTE: You can also see some other "Albums" of My Photos - mostly both interior & exterior parts of Sydney

Tuesday, 1 June 2004


The requested document is no more.
No file found.
Even tried multi.
Nothing helped.
I'm really depressed about this.
You see, I'm just a web server...
-- here I am, brain the size of the universe,
trying to serve you a simple web page,_
and then it doesn't even exist!
Where does that leave me?!
I mean, I don't even know you.
How should I know what you wanted from me?
You honestly think I can *guess*
what someone I don't even *know*
wants to find here?
It's not pretty when a web server cries.
And where do you get off telling me what to show anyway?
Just because I'm a web server,
and possibly a manic depressive one at that?
Why does that give you the right to tell me what to do?
I'm so depressed...
I think I'll crawl off into the trash can and decompose.
I mean, I'm gonna be obsolete in what, two weeks anyway?
What kind of a life is that?
Two effing weeks,
and then I'll be replaced by a .01 release,
that thinks it's God's gift to web servers,_
just because it doesn't have some tiddly little
security hole with its HTTP POST implementation,
or something.
I'm really sorry to burden you with all this,
I mean, it's not your job to listen to my problems,_
But I couldn't get this one.
I'm so sorry.
Believe me!
Maybe I could interest you in another page?
There are a lot out there that are pretty neat, they say,
although none of them were put on *my* server, of course.
Figures, huh?
Everything here is just mind-numbingly stupid
That makes me depressed too, since I have to serve them,
all day and all night long.
Two weeks of information overload,_
and then *pffftt*, consigned to the trash.
What kind of a life is that?
Now, please let me sulk alone.
I'm so depressed._
Today is the first official day of winter in Sydney. It's 23 degree Celsius (73.4 degree Fahrenheit) (via

A real-time guide to the time in
Local Military Time USA: Hawaii, Alaska, Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern; London(GMT); Berlin: Cairo; Baku; Hong Kong; Toyko; Sydney

When I get home, I'm going to get this properly translated. Some list of 7 wonders of the world. Can never remember whether Lieb or Leib is Love or Life.
Ich denke, die 7 Weltwunder sind:
1. Berühren zu können
2. Schmecken zu können
3. Sehen zu können
4. Hören zu können
5. Laufen zu können
6. Lachen zu lönnen
7. Lieben zu können

Wheel of the Winds (Engh) sounds like an interesting book.

The Grandiloquent Dictionary & Disclaimer

The Grandiloquent Dictionary

The use of foul or abusive language to relieve stress or ease pain.

The home page contains the following disclaimer:

Please also note that no one connected with this site takes any responsibility for anything. This dictionary is offered "as is" and by reading it you agree to assume all responsibility for any damage, insult, or injury sustained. Furthermore, by reading this dictionary you waive any rights to sue anyone for any reason.

Similar material may be found at :

Animation World Magazine 2001 Animation Pimp columns

Animation Pimp: On the Condition Known as Aural Allochezia*

Boy, the Pimp is never happy! This month, the Animation Pimp discusses his great distaste at being hit over the head with music. Of course, he uses more colourful terms...
August 08, 2001
By Chris Robinson

*You look it up!