Wednesday, August 31, 2005

At least someone did

Denny (among others) asked whether any one would be offering any help to the US in dealing with Katrina, or at least expressing honest condolences.

Well at least someone has.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Stop that! It's Silly.

Nobody supports Howard more than me: Costello channels monty python.

"Now nobody supports Howard more than me, except Vanstone and that Downer across the hall, Ruddock, and that insieous man who pumps my petrol in the morning. Ok maybe, maybe almost any else supports Howard more than me."

When do we stop waiting for something to happen?

According to Michael Slater that should happen now. As I mentioned with regards to them picking Gillespie doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insane.

While their is something to be said for showing patience with batsmen, after all anyone can make a mistake that gets them out no matter how good their form is, the entire top order has failed on almost every occasion this tour. Not only have they failed to make runs, they've often failed to show any determination to actually fight for their wicket. The two worst offenders are Martyn (168 runs at 21) and Hayden (180 at 22.5). Gilchrist (158 at 22.57) has had probably his worst ever series, but the entire middle order has been under worse pressure than they've had to deal with for a long time.

I'm not sure about Katich as an opener, from memory, isn't that the role that Brad Hodge (the specialist batsmen they took on tour) usually plays for Victoria? Although playing him as opener in the fifth and deciding match would certainly be chucking him in the deep end, I'd rather see them take a chance with him and fail, than just leave things as they are.

I'm not sure that they really need a fifth bowler as some have suggested, unless they are worried about the workload on Warne and about McGrath's durability. If they did want to bring in a fifth bowler I'd suggest Shane Watson for Martyn, and move Clark and Katich up the order.

Their other option is to bring in Brad Haddin for Gilchrist, but I'm inclined to say that Gilchrist may still deserve another chance, plus you could have Hodge playing his first test for the series, and Tait his second, and perhaps even Watson his first. I'm all for shaking things up a little, but not as far as replacing half the team.

Monday, August 29, 2005

It ain't bad, it just ain't that good

I don't think that wind farms do any real harm, I'm sure that if cause of death statistics were compiled for birds in those areas, colliding with the windmills would barely rate a mention.

But I also don't think they are the solution to the worlds energy needs. Their power output is pretty modest and only when the wind blows, not when there is demand for it. The problem with that is that it unless you have some other source for when there is demand and no wind, you have to try and store it, losing much of the power produced, then release it on demand, again losing much of the power stored. Solar power has the same problems.

What gets annoying though is continually hearing completely impractical suggestions about how we should use them as our sole power source. I read in the comments on slashdot today (about an article on nuclear fusion), that we shouldn't be looking at nuclear power, instead we should build a 250,000 square km solar power plant in the desert. Basically the idea is that if a solar panel this size produces this much power, all we need to do is multiply that area by the amount of power we need. Never mind the fact that there probably isn't anywhere that you could put a power plant that large that isn't either too remote and isn't the delicate habitat of the endangered puckered arse wallaby. I also heard a proposal from some environmental group during the election that every single rooftop in Australia should be required to be covered in solar cells.

They could be useful in some applications, in particular remote areas where it is impractical to connect them to the main power grid, and where local conditions favour them. For example an outback cattle station probably gets enough sun that it would be possible for them to run at least partially on solar energy. But for the moment at least, they are still a long way of being the most cost effective solution in those cases. I was actually looking into Solar cells for marine use last summer, and there was simply no comparison in terms of cost between Solar power versus Diesel generators, especially since you would still have to have the diesel generator as a backup for the solar.

I'm also not sure about the cost per Mw for them. A while back Western Power was running ads offering people the opportunity to join a renewable energy program, where they would be charged based on a rate for renewable energies rather than the general charge. I would be interested to know how much more (or less) those who signed up paid, and how many many takers they got. Given that it has been a while since I last saw one of those ads, I guess it probably wasn't many.

Since when?

Ah, so she's wearing a burkha because she's a muslim. I'm curious to know how parading around on a catwalk in swimwear and revealing outfits meshes in with that, perhaps she has a male relative accompany her?

Or has she just converted to get the charges downgraded?

Merchandising opportunity

Can someone tell me where I can get a tshirt with the first image here on it?

Maybe Tex could do up some merch with a Compost Che line. I'd love to show up to a family function where I know Aunt Hippie will be attending wearing one of these.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Slim Chance

I thought when the follow on was enforced that if they could get 400 or more they might have a chance, in the end they got pretty close to that.

They can thank themselves for holding on for a draw in the last game for even having a chance. I doubt that Vaughn wanted to bat then try and bowl them out while they went for another draw.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Is the road to progress paved with idiots?

Are the drug busts in Indonesia a good thing?

If Mr Taylor is correct, then the answer is yes, and I'm inclined to agree with him. As I mentioned earlier, there was a time when a drug bust in Bali only meant you had to shake the cops hand (with the right amount in your hand, they'd let you know how much). Last time I was there, someone ran into the back of the jimny we had hired. Now here, if someone didn't stop and exchange insurance details and the like, after you report it to the cops they will sort them out. We soon discovered that to get them to do anything about it would cost us more in bribes than it would cost to just get it fixed ourselves.

While it would be bad news for those who want to get involved with drugs in Indonesia, it would be good news for the Indonesians themselves. When corruption is rife, you'll never get much development, the investors you don't immediately scare off will eventually tire of paying off every public servant they encounter.

Tis better to remain silent

"When I got arrested I was actually kind of happy because I ran out of cigarettes and I didn't have any money but everyone here is excellent and they couldn't stop giving me enough of their own"

Why settle for having people assume you're an idiot when you can pipe up and prove it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I must be getting cynical in my old age

Tell me, is this plan anything other than CSU under a new name? Will anyone be checking to see that this "amenities fee" doesn't just replace the current union fees?

I wouldn't be surprised to see the money end up in the same pool that covers busing their rent-a-crowds to parliament house.

Racial Hatred?

Was Habib a victim of racial hatred? If I had my guess, I'd say it probably had more to do with his involvement with terrorists, than the color of his skin. I'd guess that David Hicks would probably have received the same welcome from them if he'd been walking through that park.

Why can't I overrule government policy I don't like?

"I wrote on the death certificate that the cause of her heart attack was being harassed by the Department of Immigration"

From his description of his report immigration, I'm not surprised they demanded that she see a doctor who's medical opinion they felt they could trust.

Dr Owie exclaims "I don't even understand why they didn't accept my word". Maybe if you weren't acting like you felt you had the right to act as a self appointed visa fairy, they would have trusted you more.

Do these drugs make my arse look dumb?

Seriously, how does anyone decide to go to Indonesia and mess with drugs. It's not like there hasn't been any recent news from there that might indicate that you might get into trouble for it.

At least in Leslie's case she probably wasn't dealing it, just didn't read one the travel guides that says: don't buy drugs from the locals, because they'll then go get paid as police informants for telling the cops who they just sold to. In the past, what would then happen is they'd demand a bribe from you that was some multiple of what they paid the guy who sold it to you, but it seems that they are being more closely watched these days, so actually pressing charges.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Riddle me this, batman

Is it just me, or is anyone else convinced that if the australian government were to arrange to have David Hicks brought back here to face trial in an australian court, the very same people who are currently insisting that he can be charged under our laws and therefore shouldn't face a US military tribunal, are going to be claiming that the australian legal system has no jurisdiction to hear the case?

I'm afraid we've had to issue him a fatal beating

So it seems that not only did the UK police shoot an innocent man, they lied about the circumstances under which it was done. If what has been revealed since is true, then I'd say there needs to be two investigations. One into the cock-up that led to the shooting, and one into the coverup of that cock-up.

Regardless, there are some pretty important questions that need to be answered. How was an innocent man assumed to be a terrorist? Was there anything other than just which block of flats he happened to live in? How did we let someone we honestly thought was a terrorist get onto the train, and so into a situation that we felt that we only had one course of action open to us to stop him. Surely if they were certain enough to shoot, they were certain enough to intercept him before he got onto the train?

I think that the "shoot to kill" policy is still the only option when you have a situation where someone is about to carry out an attack, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a lot to be learnt from this tragedy.

Look here, mate

To the shitforbrains behind this, you need a kick somewhere sensitive, mate.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The definition of insanity...

is often stated as doing the very same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It also appears to be the ACB selection policy.

Can we try something different, at least for the next two tour matches? You know, really radical ideas like seeing if the guys who haven't played yet can do any better than the guys who have shown as much form as room temp icecream.

I am evil Homer!

Was the sole purpose of this to remind everyone on the left who has the numbers in the senate?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Is there some secret plan I haven't heard about

to make the english bowlers seem better than they really are?

Sure they've got a better bowling line-up than in past series, where the main difficulty for batsmen was keeping a straight face, not a straight bat, but as our tail-enders have shown, they aren't unplayable. So why the hell can't the guys who are actually being paid to bat manage the same? At this rate they'd do better to just pick seven bowlers. Sure they wouldn't score many runs, but the batsmen aren't either.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Arshes

Is it just me, or does going into a five day test match (with two more to follow in the series) with two bowlers under injury clouds not sound like a great plan?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Who is that masked man?

My first thought was that its one of the guys from Tism.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

From the discussion here. Was it necessary to bomb populated cities rather than say letting them off in some deserted place as a show of strength?

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were relatively unpopulated areas, at least compared to say, Tokyo.

Why not just drop it on some unpopulated island instead of on a smallish city? Well I would say the reason for that is that they wanted the Japanese to know with certainty that they were prepared to use them on people. Remember that these were the only two nukes they had, if they had of detonated one somewhere remote, the Japanese might have decided they weren't prepared to use them on a city, in which case they would have had only one more chance.

Remember too that they were dropped a few days apart, and the final surrender came six days after that. They had time after the first to surrender, and even after the second they wouldn't surrender unconditionally.

Let the crap begin!