Bored to life

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Latest on Tasmania’s trapped miners:

Two miners are entering their tenth day trapped in a Tasmanian gold mine as a powerful machine slowly bores them a tunnel to freedom.

The high-tech borer began chewing through 12m of solid rock separating Todd Russell and Brant Webb from their rescuers.

Picture a ravenous John Quiggin. Even armed with the powerful bore, rescuers will still be working for days:

The rock is harder than concrete and boring a one-metre wide escape tunnel for the pair could spill into the weekend.

However, Beaconsfield Gold Mine managers yesterday said they hoped the delicate task would not take more than 48 hours.

An old-fashioned media circus awaits the miners’ return. Rescue workers now face daily bag searches for cameras. Stand-out efforts are noted from Naomi Robson and Alison Caldwell. And Bill Shorten remains prominent:

This is not about me at all.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/03/2006 at 01:34 PM
    1. Nevermind those hoping to capitalize on this, my thoughts and prayers are with the trapped miners. It sounds like there are good reasons to be optimistic despite the length of time it will take to reach them. I keep telling myself the point is to get them out alive, the rest is less important. Good luck to them and and their rescuers.

      OT: There is news of a possible tsumani headed toward NZ and Austalia and for that I’ll say a few more prayers that it isn’t as bad as the MSM is hoping.

      Posted by Retread on 2006 05 03 at 02:12 PM • permalink


    1. For a first-rate Hollywood treatment of a trapped miner and the ensuing media circus, see “Ace in the Hole”. This film, released in 1951, starred Kirk Douglas as the ambitious reporter (it was also released under the title, “The Big Carnival”).

      Posted by paco on 2006 05 03 at 02:29 PM • permalink


    1. I don’t see John Quiggin chewing rock.  I’ve always pictured him as using a feedbag.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 05 03 at 02:36 PM • permalink


    1. #3: And a moth-eaten old thing it is. At least, I assume that thing hanging from his chin is a feedbag; that’s what it looks like in the picture on his web site (either that, or he was eating a yak when the photo was snapped).

      We better watch out, Real Jeff; the last time Quiggin was laughed at on this blog, he posted a comment trying to shame Tim Blair for permitting bumptious fellows such as ourselves to hoot derisively in his direction.

      Posted by paco on 2006 05 03 at 02:56 PM • permalink


    1. Real Jeff, Paco: You should be looking at the end without the feedbag.

      Posted by Jim Whyte on 2006 05 03 at 03:02 PM • permalink


    1. Bumptious fellows!

      Hey!  I resemble that!

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 05 03 at 03:03 PM • permalink



      Is exactly the outcome desired. The trapped miners, will have to accept and come to terms with their new found celebrity.

      Miners regardless what they mine, must feel something similar to our troops walking through parts of Iraq and Afghanistan, everyday.

      You volunteer for the job, knowing that the roof could cave on you at any moment…hardy lot those miners…Yes all of our troops are, as well.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 05 03 at 03:07 PM • permalink


    1. Let’s just hope the miners don’t call Shorten an arsehole after their rescue, or Andrew Jaspan will have another coronary.

      Posted by PW on 2006 05 03 at 04:17 PM • permalink


    1. You’d think these people, including those two dimwitted women reporters, would feel some embarrassment at being laughed at for their performances in public.  You and I would.  But no.  I don’t think any of them are capable of shame.

      My thoughts and prayers are with the miners and their families.  Keep us updated, Tim, if you please.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 05 03 at 04:35 PM • permalink


    1. I’m waiting for the Richard Carleton caravan to arrive, complete with personal trailer, hamper of selected wines, pates and other delicacies, etc. Expect some tough questioning of the mine owners, along the lines of last Sunday’s Solomon Islands story (“Prime Minister, I put it to you that you’re a crook!”), as 60 Minutes jostles with the other media sc(r)um for a possible Logie.

      Posted by Big Arnie on 2006 05 03 at 04:56 PM • permalink


    1. Excuse the OT…Moussaoui gets LIFE no parole, in a Federal Facility. If they keep him away from others…he may even live that LIFE sentence.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 05 03 at 05:20 PM • permalink


    1. Excuse the response to El Cid’s OT…

      What? No precious martyrdom for Moussaoui? Did he immediately file an appeal?

      BTW, there is a large and increasingly militant Muslim population in US prisons, so he has nothing to worry about. He’s more likely to received as a conquering hero.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 05 03 at 05:54 PM • permalink


    1. The mid day national ABC TV news on Tuesday carried a story on the imminent arrival in Beaconsfield of the heavy duty raise borer. The accompanying video footage showed a Dingo mini digger on a trailer behind a Landcruiser ute. Ol’ Fred, the local landscaper, had no idea his Dingo was to play such a hugh part in the rescue effort!

      Everyone’s taxpayer funded ABC is just as inept and sensationalist as the other wankers.

      Posted by Gravelly on 2006 05 03 at 05:58 PM • permalink


    1. On the subject of strange Australian left wing bloggers, has anyone seen Tim Lambert’s apparent disbelief in the concept of supply and demand?

      Posted by Ross on 2006 05 03 at 06:20 PM • permalink


    1. #13:  “Everyone’s taxpayer funded ABC is just as inept and sensationalist as the other wankers.”

      If it’s taxpayer-funded, it’s probably more inept.

      Just sayin’, ‘s all.  ;-p

      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2006 05 03 at 06:24 PM • permalink


    1. Spiny

      Get use to hearing and seeing Free Moussaoui.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 05 03 at 06:27 PM • permalink


    1. Geez Ross, you made me read the comments at that Lambert thread – what a black hole of unadulterated stupidity.

      Posted by PW on 2006 05 03 at 06:41 PM • permalink


    1. I just hope that Shorten gets out of this okay.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 05 03 at 06:43 PM • permalink


    1. It’s a little misguided to always blame the media circus.  They only do it because there’s an audience for this crap.

      Namely soap opera women, their target audience.

      They’re easy to attract and hold, day after day.

      I propose ridicule of soap opera women to shame them out of it.  With them will go the media circus.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 05 03 at 06:43 PM • permalink


    1. Re the boring.  The first thing they do is drill an approx 200mm pilot hole.  Then this gets reamed out by the following drill to the full diameter.  This ensures the big hole arrives where it should.

      It reported (so its probably wrong) that the hole is being directed beneath the men.  This would make sense as this would be the most competent ground.  One of the problems is that when within about half a metre of the ‘breakthrough’, there is a risk that the hole rips through, rather than drilling through cleanly (not much more different than drilling through wood).  These raise borers are used normally for drilling vertically through many 10s of metres (?hundred or more), so they are pretty brutal machines.

      I can’t quite picture how you then connect the bored hole through to the men but no doubt they have that in hand.

      Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 05 03 at 06:49 PM • permalink


    1. PW, it’s actually good for you to absorb the idiocy, it’s like a vaccination, repeated exposure to moderate doses of dumbness means that soon you will be able to read the Daily Kos with no ill effects.

      Posted by Ross on 2006 05 03 at 07:05 PM • permalink


    1. #16 Heck, I’d better nick down to my local Greek eatery and tell tham to take down their “Free Moussaki” sign—might be misunderstood.

      (you have to order the Paspipsoe Plate to get the moussaki)

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 05 03 at 07:19 PM • permalink


    1. Geez Lambert’s a fugly bastard!

      Posted by murph on 2006 05 03 at 07:23 PM • permalink


    1. Naomi graduated from the Mike Moore – Frontline School of Journalism. She fired up last night about vicious rumours of her Private Caravan, personal groomer and so on. She, in her sincerely serious (or is that seriously sincere?) straight-to-camera denied it all, “I do my own hair and make-up.” I can’t stand her (yeah, she was on while I was in the kitchen and I didn’t get to the remote fast enough, ok?).

      Shorten. Well, he’s entirely another nauseating kettle of fish. He’s like all those religious leaders that the MSM interview for people’s opinions all the time.

      You know, down in Tassie there are a lot of powerful bores; they keep annoying interviewing the locals.

      Posted by kae on 2006 05 03 at 07:41 PM • permalink


    1. MentalFloss

      take down their “Free Moussaki” sign

      LOL. Yep, for damn sure…LOL.

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 05 03 at 07:42 PM • permalink


    1. This comment also bears on the subject of the humourous left.

      Mr Lefty posted this on his blog yesterday:

      Finally, some good news for the trapped Beaconsfield miners. (The good news of the other day, their being alive, having been good news to everyone but them, since they were already well aware of the fact. Did those two miners who are us survive the initial disaster? they could have probably skipped asking. Yes, apparently we have. Now, to stare sadly and uncomfortably into the darkness.)

      The first wonderful development is that News Ltd has apparently given their rescue a snappy name: “OPERATION FREEDOM”. Okay, so it’s an ironic title for the actual miners, but it would undoubtedly be INSPIRING for their rescuers, and I’m sure the trapped men can take comfort in that. Also, OPERATION FREEDOM sounds like a US military adventure, and those always turn out brilliantly for everyone involved. That’s what I’d be thinking, as I lay under 925m of solid rock.

      Then, that evening, he posted this:

      Okay, so I might be a bastard for laughing at this, but is there anything funnier than a kitten rolling off a chair/desk in her sleep? She’ll yawn, and stretch… a little too far. And suddenly she’s falling, falling, clutching at the table, trying desperately to get a hold, slipping, clutching, and then dropping startled onto the ground.

      She never hurts herself, though, so I think I can laugh at it without forever dooming my non-existent soul. Her offended expression (at the universe for waking her up so rudely) is utterly hilarious.

      He feels guilty about laughing at a cat, but doesn’t have problems cracking jokes about people caught hundreds of metres underground for days on end?

      I think Lefty should probably be introduced to a little concept known as ‘consistency’.

      Posted by TimT on 2006 05 03 at 07:44 PM • permalink


    1. Free Moussaoui.

      Abu-Jamal Mumia is going to be ticked off about that, you bet.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 05 03 at 07:47 PM • permalink


    1. If they want these guys out faster, send Sean Penn.

      Chewing scenery, chewing rock it’s all good…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 05 03 at 08:44 PM • permalink


    1. #28: I hear he’s already inflating his dinghy.

      Posted by anagallis on 2006 05 03 at 08:52 PM • permalink


    1. If “future PM” Little Billy Shorten is good enough to the “the Future PM” why dont they use him to unseat a sitting Liberal? or at least give him a marginal seat to claim for labor?

      Why waste the Bill “champion of the workers” skills on giving him a safe labor seat?

      unless of course they’re not actually interested in winning government?

      Posted by knuckleheadwatch on 2006 05 03 at 08:54 PM • permalink


    1. I kind of get the feeling that Shorten is an intelligent kind of guy because he doesn’t seem to be charging into the ALP, more like he’s sitting at the edges and playing it safe. And he probably knows that the ALP’s chances of winning seats at the next election aren’t high.

      Speaking of which, Crikey had a rumour yesterday that the election will be held in February 2007.

      Posted by anagallis on 2006 05 03 at 09:07 PM • permalink


    1. #26 I think Mr. Lefty should probably be introduced to a little concept known as fistorthodonty.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 05 03 at 09:16 PM • permalink


    1. If I were HoWARd I’d go very soon after the budget – June ? perhaps!

      Posted by knuckleheadwatch on 2006 05 03 at 09:57 PM • permalink


    1. #24 kae, I missed TT last night with Naomi’s blather about doing her own makeup, but they were paying out on her on the radio this morning.

      I will confess that I had noticed her makeup was looking a bit bleh when they had her on the ads.  I thought at the time that the makeup artist wasn’t doing her job properly, because of the bits that didn’t suit the lighting lol.

      Perhaps Peter Mitchell is getting Naomi to do his makeup, too.
      /Confessions of a Makeup Artiste.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 05 03 at 11:54 PM • permalink


    1. Well, I nearly missed it – when I heard it I thought it was a bit “me Me ME”.

      Hmm, if Naomi’s make-up is that bad, maybe there’s a job there for you, knowing your vocation…

      Naomi needs to take a lighten-up pill get another job.

      Posted by kae on 2006 05 04 at 12:04 AM • permalink


    1. Of course, it could be that Shorten is being economical with the truth, but I am inclined to give him credit for being the first leftie ever to put those words in a sentence with that arrangement.

      Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 05 04 at 12:21 AM • permalink


    1. Naomi is so like Frontline it’s not funny – it’s hilarious.

      She has the compassionate head tilt honed to such a fine art that lefties could use her as a role model.

      Posted by amortiser on 2006 05 04 at 01:28 AM • permalink


    1. Not for me, thanks, Kae. That tv work would drive me nuts in no time. No enough blood and guts.

      As for the things wrong with her makeup, very few would pick up on what wasn’t quite right. If she’s doing her own, it’s understandable.

      Oh, and #19 rhhardin, please get over your issues with advertising demographics. It is becoming tiresome. We all know that tv caters for the supposed lowest common denominator, but bored women are not necessarily it.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 05 04 at 05:29 AM • permalink


    1. rhhardin, what IS your obsession with “soap opera-watching women?” Why not WWF-watching men, or something?  Not everything is about the soaps…

      Posted by ushie on 2006 05 04 at 06:58 AM • permalink


    1. #26 – it certainly sounds like someone talking to himself in the dark, isolated. Sad, really.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 05 04 at 07:36 AM • permalink


    1. I think Channel 7 news tonight did a story on one of the trapped miner’s dogs…

      It beats last night’s story where they showed a bed in the intensive care ward in the local hospital and said “the miners may have to spend some time here after they’re rescued”.

      I’ve stopped watching the news.

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 2006 05 04 at 08:33 AM • permalink


    1. Why not WWF-watching men, or something?

      If they were tailoring the news to that demographic, I suspect they’d just show that big-ass drill for hours on end…

      Posted by PW on 2006 05 04 at 11:13 AM • permalink


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