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Saturday, March 31, 2007

CITY OF (EXTREMELY POWERFUL) LIGHT

Readers aren’t convinced by the Age’s before-and-after shots of Sydney’s Earth Hour lights-out experiment:
image
The first shot is ridiculous. Drivers wouldn’t require headlights if Sydney were illuminated so. They’d need sunglasses, and lead shields.

A few nights ago there was an awful accident below the Harbour Bridge in which several people were killed when their boat was struck by a ferry. Whether the struck vessel was displaying navigation lights is a matter of dispute; but if conditions were even close to those depicted in the first image, navigation lights would be redundant. Perhaps the ferry skipper was blinded by our hyper-bright bridge. Light-wise, that first image has been cranked.

Let’s take a look at a few other shots of Sydney at night, without Age light enhancement. There’s this one:
image
And this:
image
And one more:
image
UPDATE. Attention Media Watch: the photographer you need to speak to about relative exposure times and so on is Adam Mclean.

UPDATE II. When de-brightened, the first image looks compellingly realistic.

UPDATE III. Lefty blogger Daily Flute says bollocks to Earth Hour.

UPDATE IV. Another lefty calls bollocks.

UPDATE V. The Fragrant Elf reports Earth Hour drama:

I nearly burnt my hair while lighting the candles and tripped over the rubbish bin ... I also had to cheat for a minute, as when I got back to my flat after checking out the view of the city (a couple minutes walk away) to see the lights go off, there was a large bump and I had to turn on all the lights to check everything was ok.

UPDATE VI. Lack of interest noted outside of central Sydney:

In North Parramatta, all the neon signs were on as usual. Shame ... we went outside and had a look to see if any businesses around were participating, and it didn’t seem as though they were, so it looked like any other night.

UPDATE VII. Mark Steyn:

Being on Eastern Time (US) rather than Eastern Time (Oz), I’m afraid I slept through the excitement of Sydney’s “Earth Hour” when, from the Lord Mayor to the lowliest rummy lying in the gutter belching incandescent meth fumes, the entire city turned out its lights for one whole hour in order to stop global warming. You can see a satellite picture of it here.

No, wait, that’s North Korea by night. Now there’s a guy who’s really doing his bit to save the planet.

UPDATE VIII. Stately Blair mansion shines on through the Earth Hour gloom:
image

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 03:17 PM
(70) CommentsPermalink

MAN FED UP

Scroll down to comments for prominent Melbourne cat lawyer Jeremy Sear’s exposure of the David Hicks Bulkening Conspiracy:

[T]hey fed Hicks up before his court appearance.

“They” must have been working on Hicks for quite a while; you don’t put on ten kilos overnight. Actually, it seems “they” were feeding Hicks up as far back as 2004:

[Terry Hicks] said his son was finding it hard to cope with his detention, although he had “gained a bit of weight”.

It’s a pity Sear didn’t represent Hicks, who escaped with a mere nine-month sentence despite confessing to helping al Qaeda fight US troops. A 70-year-old represented by Sear once copped three months inside for illegal dentistry; with Jeremy arguing his case, Talitubby terrorist Hicks might’ve been sent away until the next appearance of Halley’s Comet.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 03:05 PM
(25) CommentsPermalink

TRY MINUTES

Labor’s blunder-prone future environment minister is impressed by Earth Hour:

Mr Garrett said the act of turning off the lights for an hour would ricochet around the country and the world for years.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 02:36 PM
(23) CommentsPermalink

RUDD TO RESHAPE LARGE FOREIGN NATION

Some guy from Queensland is going to set China straight:

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd is to lead a Labor delegation to China later this year to push the world’s fastest growing economy to limit its greenhouse gas emissions.

Good luck with that, Kev. Then again, why are you bothering? China already has stricter emission limits than the US; Sir Nicholas Stern says so! Maybe Rudd should convince his new pal to limit his emissions instead:

In a pre-recorded message, former US vice-president Al Gore, producer of the climate change movie An Inconvenient Truth, praised Mr Rudd for his leadership, singling out his plan to get China on board.

Gore is interfering in Australian affairs! This’ll upset Bob Brown for the rest of the week.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 02:31 PM
(19) CommentsPermalink

RUNNING AWAY FOR HIS BELIEFS

A letter from David Hicks to a former flatmate:

Don’t try to write about my adventures because you don’t know that information. Nobody does, so it would be inaccurate. I would prefer if you wrote nothing about anybody, for that matter. Shit, I would have no chance to make any money when I got home, otherwise.

Guantanamo Fats can give up on that little plan:

The plea deal ... also included a provision that he cannot profit from the eventual sale of his story; profits from any such sale are to go to the Australian government.

Doesn’t sound like he’d have much of a story to sell, in any case:

Major Mori says Hicks was a naive young man looking for battlefield experience after having been rejected for military service in Australia due to his only having an eighth grade education ...

Recounting how Hicks fled from advancing Northern Alliance forces for three days, Major Mori said, “the ‘wannabe’ finally got a real taste of it and he ran away”.

So much for him being a freedom fighter, as one fan wrote to Miranda Devine:

“Sort of like a William Wallace (aka Braveheart). Both fighting for what they believed passionately about against a superior foe ... Good on you David for standing up for your beliefs.”

Read Miranda’s whole column, in which SMH readers stand up for their beliefs:

“When you write such rubbish about Hicks it is a givaway [sic] that you are Jewish,” wrote Phil. “Only the Jews support what the United States does in the Middle East, because the Jews are an awful race that don’t give a damm [sic] about anyone but the ‘Chosen People’.”

Kevin began: “Birdbrain Devine, your diatribe regarding David Hicks reeks of ... pillow talk with your favourite Jewboy - one Col. Moe Davis - and, worse STILL, a yankee jewboy (scum of ALL scum) ... It IS the yankee jew who is responsible for EVERY conflict since WW2.”

See, this is why Sydney’s Earth Hour was such a flop; who wants to be in the dark with these types around?

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 11:50 AM
(29) CommentsPermalink

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Wednesday is Traceeee Hutchison’s thinking day.

UPDATE. I wonder what day Rosie O’Donnell reserves for thinking. Smart money’s on August 5, 1997.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 11:20 AM
(21) CommentsPermalink

LET THERE BE LIGHT

The excitement of Earth Hour is upon us! Let Kate the Uptalker explain.

(Brief pause while we consider the miracle of an audio head-tilt)

Incredibly, enthusiasm for this pointless idiocy isn’t universal:

Who do you want to kill?: anyone spruiking this “earth hour” shit. I’m turning all my lights ON tonight out of sheer rebelliousness.

Well said, youngster. Now, let’s get this Gaia-rapin’ underway:

My house at night
is big and bright
(clap clap clap clap!)
Deep in the heart of Sydney ...

UPDATE. Via J.F. Beck, live video coverage of the Great Darkening.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 05:31 AM
(120) CommentsPermalink

HOT PIES

Collingwood celebrates Earth Hour Day by switching off North Melbourne. ABC special comments guy Mark McClure noticed North tiring at the end of the third quarter; Collingwood could still win, he said. McClure’s co-hosts were sceptical.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/31/2007 at 04:44 AM
(5) CommentsPermalink

Friday, March 30, 2007

ALL LIGHTS ON

Earth Hour looms. Citizens, prepare your illumination arsenal.

UPDATE. A roundup of the unenlightened.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2007 at 11:44 PM
(63) CommentsPermalink

FREE IN 2008

David Hicks will only serve nine months:

Hicks, 31, who has spent five years at Guantanamo Bay, was sentenced by a U.S. military commission on Friday to seven years in jail after pleading guilty to helping al Qaeda fight American troops and their allies during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

However, the commission suspended six years and three month of the sentence, meaning Hicks will serve just nine months in an Australian prison.

Kevin Rudd, previously evasive on the subject, now has an opinion:

A Labor government would honour the sentence imposed on David Hicks and keep him in an Australian jail for his full nine-month term, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd said today ...

“We are no defenders of Mr Hicks, we are no defenders of what he has done or what he is alleged to have done. We are a defender of his legal rights and human rights,’’ he said.

Speaking of Rudd, the SMH’s Alan Ramsey is unimpressed by his recent Latham-like antics.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2007 at 11:22 PM
(44) CommentsPermalink

LESSER MINERALS DISSED

The Age’s Traceeee Hutchison, in her dippiest column since she was smoked, boldly rejects uranium:

No other mineral is connected to the most destructive weapon ever built. It needs to stay in the ground.

No other mineral? That’ll be news to to the A-bomb’s builders.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2007 at 01:22 PM
(81) CommentsPermalink

NARROW WORLD OF SPORT

England isn’t exactly blasting Ireland out of the World Cup; just 201 after 45 overs. Should amass a winning total, though.

In more crucial sporting news, Kevin Bartlett has returned to Richmond. I know people (yo, Bryan!) who will weep with joy about this.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2007 at 12:52 PM
(8) CommentsPermalink

HICKS CONVICTED

David “Puffy D” Hicks is looking at seven years:

David Hicks will be home within two months and has agreed to testify against other terrorist suspects.

He was formally convicted last night of providing material support to terrorism and will receive a maximum of seven years in jail as part of a plea deal agreed this week.

Meanwhile, Dave’s dad is upset about his kid stacking on the pounds:

Prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are offered a diet of up to 5000 calories a day, 2 1⁄2 times the recommended daily intake for Americans.

David Hicks’ father, Terry, has criticised the food his son has been given while in captivity.

Yeah. There was too much of it. That must be why Hicks described Guantanamo Bay as “like a Nazi concentration camp”; everyone remembers those morbidly obese prisoners waddling out of Dachau in 1945. Why, some of the mass graves at Auschwitz were only big enough for one person.

This week’s column is Dave-related.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2007 at 12:09 PM
(45) CommentsPermalink

VOLLEY MELEE

An unexpected headline:

Volleyball fan dies as hooligans run rampage

(Via volleyball hooligan Murph)

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2007 at 10:30 AM
(10) CommentsPermalink

HICKSLOTTO

Place your bets, folks; how many years is Fat Dave going away for?

UPDATE. Ha!

UPDATE II. “My story,” writes Shannon, “bears some frightening resemblance to the plight of David Hicks.”

Posted by Tim B. on 03/30/2007 at 12:51 AM
(143) CommentsPermalink
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