Monday, April 30, 2007
UPDATE. Speaking of gambling, Media Watch recently asked:
What’s the bet this photo will get a run again…
The BBC obliges.
WORLD OBSERVED, EXPLORED, ETC
Labor candidate Mia Handshin explains herself:
Some time ago on the vast island of Australia Mia Handshin was born. She looked at the world as she grew, she observed, explored, participated, engaged, debated, wrote, heard, felt, developed, advocated, articulated, absorbed and came to some conclusions about what she could do to be creative in her own unique way.
From a young age she felt a commitment, an inner impetus and inspiration to live her life to its utmost potential, seeking to share her particular passion and vision for the world and “humanaty”, TO BE THE VOICE SHE WANTS TO HEAR IN THE WORLD.
Mia wants to hear her own voice IN THE WORLD. That explains the all the SHOUTING.
(Via Andrew Bolt, now returned to his work hut after recent journeys among the foreign.)
SEEING JOHN MALKOVICH
Here’s how blogging works. First you run a site for four or five years, then one day John Malkovich turns up at your house:
Also, my friend Bryan appears wearing a Pope hat for some reason. How did this come to be? Simple; John’s sister Melissa is a dear friend of this site, and arranged for us to meet while her brother (a wide-ranging blog reader) is in Sydney filming J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace. Nadia cooked (veal involtini); pals brought wine; everyone talked politics and art and sport for about six hours.
Which wasn’t a stretch for Malkovich, who’s outrageously well-informed (and hilarious) on just about any subject you might name, from 1950s British cars to Portuguese architecture. Worlds-collide moment of the night came when John asked, in that voice: “What’s the story with Margo Kingston?”
EVOLUTION OF A QUOTE
US author Jeffrey Krames appeared four years ago on ABC radio to discuss Donald Rumsfeld:
On September 7th, 2001, the very influential Washington Post was starting even to name successors to the Defense Secretary, having already written him off, and of course then with the horrific events of September 11, came and proved Rumsfeld right on many ways. And on the morning of September 11th at 8am, Donald Rumsfeld was hosting a breakfast in the Pentagon in which he said, “Sometime within the next 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 months, something so horrendous is going to happen in the US that it will remind people why it’s important to have a strong and healthy Defense Department”. And it was something like 20 minutes later that a huge jet crashed into the Pentagon and of course the World Trade Center and also in Pennsylvania, and it was a chilling prediction of course, that he made that morning, which became of course true that very day.
Reader Gary S. recalls Phillip Adams mentioning that broadcast on Adams’ own ABC program. Subsequently, in late 2004 Adams wrote:
Before September 11, there was unrest in the Bush team. Take Donald Rumsfeld. The White House was energetically undermining him. The Washington Post was one of many papers receiving leaks and backgrounders from the White House, including names of the candidates most likely to replace him. Rumsfeld knew he was for the chop and told his confidantes that only a major terrorist attack could save him.
One year later Adams refined that paraphrased quote:
The word was out - via White House leaks - that Rumsfeld was for the chop. When poor Donald was forced to read the names of likely replacements, he said he’d need a Pearl Harbor to save him. Osama bin Laden obliged.
Last month Adams quoted Rumsfeld directly:
The appalling Donald Rumsfeld observed shortly before the attack on the twin towers that political survival “needed a Pearl Harbor” ...
Not according to any online records, he didn’t. Will Adams survive what seems to be another quote-doctoring scandal?
LIGHTEN UP, MARS
The red planet is becoming toasty:
Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.
Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.
The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth …
You betcha. On Mars, it’s all about dark colours. That kid from the Learnium was right:
Fenton’s team unearthed heat maps of the Martian surface from Nasa’s Viking mission in the 1970s and compared them with maps gathered more than two decades later by Mars Global Surveyor. They found there had been widespread changes, with some areas becoming darker.
When a surface darkens it absorbs more heat, eventually radiating that heat back to warm the thin Martian atmosphere: lighter surfaces have the opposite effect.
There you have it. We have much to learn from the Learnium.
French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy trashes the Left:
He summoned memories of the student revolt of 1968, saying: “In this election, it is a question of whether the heritage of May ‘68 should be perpetuated or if it should be liquidated once and for all.”
If elected, Mr Sarkozy promised to break with the “cynicism” of the “gauche caviars”, who he blamed for a crisis of “morality, authority, work and national identity”. Citing the recent mini-riot in Gare du Nord, he repeated his accusation that the Left “systematically takes the side of thugs, troublemakers and fraudsters against the police”.
Leftoid Jill Sparrow reconsiders the value of protests:
It seemed to me that continuing to organise demonstrations once it had become clear that the events were getting smaller and smaller didn’t achieve that much apart from demoralising those who attended and suggesting to everyone else that hardly anyone opposed the war anymore (even though that’s certainly not the case).
On the other hand, there is an argument – and I have a certain amount of sympathy with it – that it’s always good to get people out on the street. That this very act is radicalising for people. That it gives the Left a chance to raise other issues with those who attend. That a small demo is better than no demo.
But while I sympathise with this attitude, I don’t wholly agree with it. As I said, I’ve certainly got doubts about whether there’s a point to the continuing anti-war rallies ...
Surely we don’t want people to associate mass protest with not winning? Or even worse, with not even trying to win?
Too late for that, Jill. At this point, people not only associate leftist protests with losing, they associate them with losers.
WORLD WITHOUT RULES
It’s almost too horrible to imagine:
As the world warms and scientists’ warnings grow urgent, climate negotiators are counting down toward make-or-break talks later this year, hoping for progress on a long-term deal to sharply reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
Experts are beginning to fear, however, that as time runs down the best that can be hoped for may be an extension of the relatively weak Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012. The alternative is a world without any carbon-reduction rules at all.
THE CHOSEN ONES
The following email arrived a couple of months ago, sent by an irate Englishman:
How about a table showing how long it is since Australia won a cricket match?
Similar to what you did with the Pommy cricket team. You remember them, don’t you? They are the ones that would never win a game, while the Aussies were so far ahead that they were unbeatable.
They were the champions, the chosen ones, typical Aussies. Non-stop crowing and insults when you are winning, and when losing you hide away and sulk.
No reason to sulk this week; Australia last lost a World Cup match in 1999.
SUNRISE AGAINST BULBS
City skylines filled with burning bright lights will be a thing of the past if Sunrise and the Australian Conservation Foundation have their way.
Lights Off Australia will take place on the first Wednesday of every month.
Companies taking part need to switch off any non-essential lights when they finish work on that day. Residents are asked to go without one light they’d otherwise have on.
In the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, Sen. Barack Obama was asked what he personally was doing to save the environment, and replied that his family was “working on” changing their light bulbs.
Is this the new version of the old joke? How many senators does it take to “work on” changing a light bulb? One to propose a bipartisan commission. One to threaten to de-fund the light bulbs. One to demand the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for keeping us all in the dark. One to vote to pull out the first of the light bulbs by fall of this year with a view to getting them all pulled out by the end of 2008.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
It’s a religion:
Visitors to the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa won’t find the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer. Instead, on the bureau will be a copy of “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s book about global warming.
No Bibles? Most folk could live with that. But what about another hotel staple - adult videos? Guests at the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa presumably get off on Tipper-hosted ecorotic greenporn ... titles of which (Debbie Does Dioxide?) are sought in comments.
FISHES THRIVING IN THE WORLD
Climate change is affecting the growth of fish, with those living in warmer, shallow waters growing faster and species in cooling deep ocean waters growing slower, according to an Australian study.
But things are looking up even for those sad, slow-growing fish in the cooler lower depths, according to the CSIRO’s Ron Thresher:
“With increasing global warming, temperatures at intermediate depths are likely to rise near-globally.
“This could mean that over the course of time, the decrease in growth rates for the deep-water species could slow or even be reversed,” Thresher explained.
Which is great news for fat ‘n’ lazy polar bears.
The Australian asks:
Are our lives so meaningless that we have to waste our time, money and neurons on this human trash?
Harry Reid said this week that, if Gen. Petraeus reported progress in Iraq, he would just choose not to believe him. Pesty victory problem solved.
HAIR OUT OF PLACE
Meg Worby, one of Al Gore’s Australian envirobots, tells of her indoctrination:
All of a sudden he just fired up and he wasn’t this smooth politician anymore. His hair, which is usually slicked back, was out of place, he had sweat on his brow, and he was gesticulating wildly. You could feel the energy from the back of the room. It was the moment when I felt I had touched on something real. That was the moment I really felt convinced.
At the time, Gore was explaining the importance of showing slides in the correct order. Seriously.