Saturday, November 12, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Yesterday the teenager pleaded guilty in Campbelltown Children's Court to the murder on the night of November 20 last year. David Auchterlonie's grandmother, Sandra, told the Herald last night she was still trying to find any relief in the fact that ''the evil seed of Ivan Milat had finally pleaded guilty''.Sydney Morning Herald
Friday, September 23, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Limited Spaces remaining! Don’t miss the chance to add your picture to an officially licensed Star Trek photo mosaic. Each Star Trek Fan Mosaic uses photos submitted by fans as the building blocks that re-create an iconic image. Log on to www.fanmosaics.com/startrek today to upload your photo and purchase your commemorative print.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Friday, September 09, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
National Census Day was today - where everyone in the land stands up to be counted ... or in our case, sits down at the computer to lodge their eCensus online. S had put her hand up for the task - and while she would have preferred to have done it on the iPad, we weren't sure that the eCensus website had been optimised for this technology - so she used the PC. Which is strange because the Census form and questions weren't ... PC. It's not often I take umbrage but I did tonight. I think I was more disenchanted because I had really been looking forward to it ... I'm not entirely sure why but this year's Census had caught my imagination, possibly because there are some major social issues around at the moment and this offered a chance for a true "snapshot" of what our communities and society are about.
The sticking point was the marital status question. There was no option for "de facto". While this may seem like a small point - especially as some people have pointed out that the "de facto" option was available when Person 2, 3 etc entered their relationship to Person 1 - it can not help but skew the results, especially if one's marital status is used as a key demographic in tabulating other information. It could have been fine if you knew every household in Australia is the traditional familial model - but we know they aren't ... there are many variations and permeations.
It would have been fairer, and more representative, if they had included more categories in the marital status question. The available options were married, divorced, widowed, single - and I'm not sure if there was a "separated". It did not give a definition of "marriage" - as in married in a church vs civil union in anything other than a church. It didn't included an option for "not married because I don't believe in marriage but I've happily been with my partner for more than 20 years" nor an option for "not married because my partner for more than 20 years and I cannot marry because it is not legal in this country for us to do so ... and any civil union we enter into overseas is not recognised here" nor an option for "de facto" for whatever reason eg I cannot get a divorce for religious reasons but my wife and I have been separated for 20 years and I have been re-partnered for more than 15 of them and have 4 children by that union. I wonder if "engaged" was an option?
As I said to S, just before I suggested we have no part of this flawed exercise - it looks as though they were doing a proper count but it turns out they were only including you in the count if you were "purple" - whatever "purple" might be.
And who knew that completing the Census was compulsory under an Act dating back to 1905 with the possibility of a $110/day fine being levied for non-lodgement? Can there be Census Conscientious Objectors and how would one lodge a protest - and where?
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Of course they are going to have different security requirements and procedures at some grounds - and we've all heard stories of venues who prevent glass bottles being taken into sporting events but this suburban sports field may not be one of them. According to a report in today's Gold Coast Bulletin, back in 2009, Tutaki Olsen walked on to the field of a Melbourne suburban ground after the siren to congratulate a friend whose team had just won - and was hit in the head with a steel headed mallet by a rival fan. He has since forgiven his attacker's "mistake" - although it doesn't say whether that mistake was wielding the mallet - or bringing it along to a sporting event!
Saturday, July 02, 2011
Having trouble sleeping? You may be just one in a long line of sufferers of PDSD- Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder. Simply put, what you have watched or read in the last hour before putting your head down to sleep may have stressed you out of that I'm tired and want to go to sleep state. i'm still reading up on it but it seems that when you are in an Alpha state - as you are when you watch television (or drive) - you are 200 times more suggestible than when you are not in an Alpha state! Seems if advertisers could learn how to tap into this, they would have a way of prying open people's wallets and making more sales!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
There was an interesting article this morning on what approach you take to life and the people around you. Are you a naysayer or a yaysayer? Despite the obvious first observation - this is the first time I can remember having seen 3 y's in a word - it does give pause for thought. Do you encourage people by telling them they can do something or they can't do something - and what motivates each of us to our best action? Which reminds me, another article from this morning's reading looked at when we put in our "best" performances. According to research, we work best when we are under some pressure to perform - not too much pressure, not too little pressure. How much is too much, too little or just right (why do I feel like some porridge about now?) depends entirely on the individual. Wouldn't that make an interesting HR course in business - how to gauge how much pressure is the right amount for each individual employee to help them produce their best work ... they could call it (apologies to MasterChef) ... the pressure test.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I have been watching the machinations within the new NSW Government, especially as it relates to public servants and their pay and conditions (since I was one in a former life). This statement, as noted in The Sydney Morning Herald, intrigued me:
Mr O'Farrell said the cabinet had decided to shorten the period for retaining excess public servants from 12 months to just three months and reduce severance payments for employees who reject an initial offer of voluntary redundancy.
Isn't this almost the same as a forced redundancy then if people are penalised for not accepting voluntary redundancy?
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
A Malawian man has been found guilty of circulating false documents after distributing Leaflet predicting The Rapture - the event which didn't take place on 21 May. Saduki Mwambene, a 39-year-old bicycle repairman, was given a six-month suspended sentence because he pleaded guilty to the charge. (Meanwhile, US televangelist Harold Camping who predicted The Rapture suffered a mild stroke over the weekend.). So how long will it be before local authorities start going after other religious organisations/believers and their publications - because, surely, they too must be based on faith.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Police in the south of England last week were called in after a tiger was sighted in a field off the M27 Motorway. Photos were provided by some tourists who were able to capture the images using telephoto lens. A nearby stadium was evacuated and a helicopter was sent in to assess the situation. It was only when thermal imaging was used that authorities realised not was all as it appeared - there was no heat signature - and then the tiger "blew over" from the winds generated by the helicopter. A large stuffed toy Tiger is now being cared for by police who have called it a "most unusual item of lost property".
John Birmingham's novel Without Warning tells of a mysterious energy wave that sweeps over - actually lingers on - America causing the disappearance of those it comes in contact with except for their clothes and some "residue". People seeing pictures on the web this week could be forgiven for thinking they were related, but the prank photos (they are prank not real) of people's empty clothes strewn on subways, on motorbikes, and just about anywhere as if their owners just vanished has more to do with The Rapture which was originally due to happen on May 21 but has now been "deferred" (according to those who "know") until October. what will they (the pranksters) think of next?
The recent eruption of another Icelandic volcano (not the one with the unspeakable name which erupted last year) means air traffic throughout Europe has again been disrupted - but not as badly as last time. So, if the eruption and ensuing ash cloud is much larger, why is there less disruption? Well, according to some reports it's simply that the policy regarding air travel has changed - allowing flights in denser ash conditions. Hmmm. Makes you wonder what led to the policy being developed in the first place - and how much is "too much" ash - and does it very for different aircraft, different engines, etc?
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Why is it that things in life are never always all good or all bad? I was just marvelling at the "Personalized Mazagine", Zite which is a free application on the iPad. It allows you to "tell" the magazine what content you like or dislike so it can tailor your reading to your preferences. It does a very good job of it - too good in some respects and I would happily read just about everything it serves up if there was more time. Which is where Instapaper comes in - which allows you to save web content for later reading. Which is why I constantly feel behind with my reading and blogging - I'm so busy marking articles for looking at later that I seem to be getting to less of them.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
If Louis Armstrong was known as Satchmo or Louis - pronounced Loo-ee - why was it that in Hello Dolly, Barbra Streisand's (and why is it that I am more sure of how to spell the diva's surname than first name?) character called him "Lou-is"? And why has it taken a thousand repetitions of the soundtrack (it does feel like that many some times) to realise that?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Why does this not come as a surprise? Apparently income tax was first introduced in Canada in 1917 to finance the First World War - and it was levied at different rates - based on a man's marital status with single men taxed more - 4% of all income. It became the welfare state's greatest revenue source - which no doubt explains why some country's have a personal tax rate of well in excess of 40% for high income earners. Of course tax has been around for much longer - in 10 CE in China, professionals and business were taxed 10% of profits; the UK introduced it in 1798 to fund the Napelonic wars, and the US adopted an income tax in 1861 to help out with costs of the American Civil War!
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
What was really interesting was what happened after Faldo had won the game, which, according to Gladwell's account was this: When it was all over, Faldo wrapped his arms around Norman. “I don’t know what to say—I just want to give you a hug,” he whispered, and then he said the only thing you can say to a choker: “I feel horrible about what happened. I’m so sorry.” With that, the two men began to cry.