Our mission

Are you that special person who - weary from trudging the endless superhighways - just longs to camp next to a glorious oasis of the mind? Do you desire to explore new frontiers, splash in shared ideas, fill your belly with the refreshing fruits of inspiration, and bask in the gentle rays of fond reflection?

Well, you can fuck right off. This, my friends, is not that place. This place is... The ShadowLands.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The templates are a changin'

To better reflect the widely acknowledged status of this blog as being way cooler than many "popular" web-sites, the ShadowLands will be celebrating the new year with a new way, way cool template.

Since our crack IT team are currently in Miami working on their tans, and MM is all but technologically illiterate, this may involve a bit of mucking around. Sorry in advance.

Regular posting to resume soon. Happy New Year to all readers of the ShadowLands.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Predictions

What are your predictions for 2009? Here is a rag-bag of mine:

* Following the success of the new Guns n Roses album, China to take its first tentative steps towards democracy;

* A long cold winter in both north and southern hemispheres;

* A few prominent supporters of AGW to fall off the wagon;

* Some solutions for carbon emissions to be put forward, but dismissed by environmentalists who kind of like this whole moral crisis thing;

* Premiership winning teams of 2008 to fail to win in 2009 following a horror run with injuries;

* The AFL to use the GFC as an excuse to abandon plans to establish a second Sydney AFL team (after they receive market research showing it was always a bad idea);

* The Global Financial Crisis to be blamed for everything;

* Mugabe to leave Zimbabwe one way or another, but an idiot of equal douchebaggery to emerge from another country (Uganda looks like a good bet at this stage);

* ShadowLands readership to exceed that of Tim Blair's website. (His old website, that is, not his current one, obviously.)

* Barack Obama to make some major gaffes that are ignored by the mainstream media.

* Signs of economic recovery by the end of the year, but American auto industry to continue to go downhill;

* Kevin Rudd to get less keen on carbon trading as the next election approaches;

What are your 2009 predictions?

and what have we done?

The ShadowLands will be taking a holiday for a few weeks, and be back (hopefully) in the single digits of January, possibly with a new template.

During the first seven months of operation, the ShadowLands has:

* told the story of how a senior public servant may have been leaking information during and following WWII (thanks stackja);

* was the only public journal of record that seemed to notice that Kevin Rudd's rationale for acting on climate change was wrong and got a government department to admit it;

* provided the only submission to Australia's Department of Climate Change to point it out;

* Provided a blow by blow accounts of action at the Poznan Climate Change Conference;

* Found the most sensational un-reported youtube video of the year;

* Followed the amazing journey of Lewis Pugh;

* was the first blog in the world to call the election of Barack Obama;

* Found the money trail of Snow Cone Tony Jones;

* hosted articles by a stellar cast of celebrities including John Butler, Cate Blanchett, Prof Tim Flannery, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad;

* Was thrown out of the Korean Friendship Association after making one post.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and general non-offensive greetings to all those who don't believe in such things until next year...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Headlines of the day

Not one but two from the Bhutan Observer.

Also, while you're there, why not take part in their online poll?

The dead tree scrolls

"Your Eco Handbook puts the commonsense back into the debate surrounding global warming and achieving a sustainable future..." but not to the extent of being available as a pdf.

Missy drives to the US

Australian musical artiste, Missy Higgins has given herself a big pat on her own curiously-hunched back for her environmental credentials in this video - with highlights including the bottled water and the conversation at the 45 second mark.

Chances to see Missy in Australia will be limited this year due to her hectic travelling, but it is still not too late for fans to buy a green moonbat singlet(complete with subtle breast outline).

Missy quote: "I wish I had a flower name, like Rosie or Violet or Daisy. It's so cute! I'm going to call my kids all flower names!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Power corrupts

What to get Al Gore this Christmas? How about one of these.

We need more politicians like this one

After a year of blah, this sure makes for a refreshing change.

Quote o' the day

"I've got a gut feeling the reef will cope with climate change, if it exists, but that's just a gut feeling.

"Scientists say you aren't allowed to have a gut feeling, but my gut feeling is based on diving the reef for half a century. But then again, I'm not their kind of expert."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's complain-tastic!

The ShadowLands has had a win after complaining to the ABC about this item. Correspondence went as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to complain about a news item regarding logging protesters near Bermagui by Jayne Margetts.

The gist of the story was that logging is detrimental to carbon emissions. Nobody from the forest industries was given leave to speak on this issue. I imagine if they had, they would have pointed out that logging where regrowth is allowed does not cause a net loss on the carbon balance sheet. Even, if you disagree with this, you would have to agree that if the logging did not occur in Australia, it would simply occur somewhere else (or by some other method) and imports would cause further emissions.

Logging is an important industry for thousands of Australians. The forest they were standing in was regrowth forest - a demonstration that it is a sustainable industry. The fact that nobody representing them was interviewed was clearly in contravention of ABC policies about balance in reporting.

Yours sincerely

MM and the response:

Dear MM

Thank you for your email regarding the ABC TV news bulletin on 6 November. The ABC has reviewed the story in question and while we note that the views on the Regional Forest Agreement of NSW Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt were included in the report, the piece should have also included comment from a representative of the forestry industry or someone who would could present alternate views from those of the conservationists who were featured.

The ABC regrets that balance was not achieved in this instance. This represents a breach in the ABC's editorial guidelines for news and current affairs. These guidelines require that the ABC air the principal relevant viewpoints on matters of importance such as this in news content...

The reporter who prepared the story has been reminded of the need to include the views of all the main parties in any future story on the subject. A correction has been placed on the ABC Corrections and Clarifications webpage: http://www.abc.net.au/news/corrections/

Kevin's job as the Government

How do you deflect difficult questions with meaningless generalisations? Australian PM, Kevin Rudd knows his job.

"Our job as a community is to do whatever we can to soften the blow.
Our job is to make a difference.
Our job in the economy is to provide continued support for growth.
Our job as the Government is to continue to support economic activity through the measures that I have outlined.
It is our job as a responsible national government to help where we can.
It is our job as a Labor Government and as a responsible national Government to make sure that those who need that practical level of assistance, get it.
Our job as a Government is to provide leadership...Our job is to provide that leadership.
Part of our job is to make sure the information gets out there about when people are being ripped off.
Our job as the Government is to make sure that we have got the best policy in place. Our job is to turn the corner... Our job is to try and help that work in a practical way.
Our job isn’t just to maintain what was built in the past.
And our job is to try and support people and families and businesses and the general economy as much as possible.
Our job is to get the balance right.
Our job in government is to make it as easy as possible to do business.
Our job is to ensure that we provide strong, decisive action to maintain the overall strength of the economy.
Our job is to maintain that difference which exists between our conditions and those around the rest of the world, and to do what is necessary to achieve that.
And our job is to do whatever we can to help families who find themselves in these horrible circumstances.
Our job is to make sure that the core of the system is healthy.
Our job as a Government has been to make the job of the Reserve Bank as easy as possible."

Factoid of the day

Japanese food has recently become popular all around the world. But did you know it has been popular in the New Guinea highlands since World War II?

Zimbabwe shopping guide

Travelling to Zimbabwe again these holidays? First, don't expect too much of the airline food - instead, stock up when you get to the supermarket.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Still looking

for a last minute gift? Try the Translucent Penance Leg Garter. (via SDA)

Fun in the DPRK

The Pyongyang Central Zoo (pictured) in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has been facelifted to meet the demand of the times and the desire of the people. Features now include:

* Refreshing and dignified main entrance;

* Outdoor pond designed in style to delight visitors;

* Softdrinks available for purchase;

* Peculiar looks to animal sheds.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Christmas without bonuses

A sad, sad story...

Kidman breaks non-law

Nicole Kidman has been accused of bastardising an Aboriginal law that women should not play the didgeridoo - but the law does not exist.

Didgeridoos were the traditional instruments used by Aborigines in the far north of Australia - about 4000 kilometres away from Darug (Sydney) Aboriginal Richard Green, who is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying:

"I will guarantee she has no more children. It's not meant to be played by women as it will make them barren."

However, an expert on the subject says there is no law against women playing the instrument in the traditional communities where the didgeridoo is played - it's just something they tended not to do. The fact that there was no law against it is backed up by the fact that recordings of women playing the didgeridoo have been made.

He quotes: "Reports of (Aboriginal) women playing didgeridoo are especially common in the Kimberleys and the Gulf regions, the westerly and easterly extremes of it's distribution in traditional music."

As for infertility, one historian notes:

"It is believed that if a woman does play, she will become pregnant and possibly develop facial hair."

UPDATE: In case you missed it the first time - some inside info on Nicole.

Capitalism and Freedom with John Butler

In Part VII of his series on Capitalism and Freedom, John Butler of the John Butler Trio discusses Africa:

Despite the fact that his nation's debt has been repeatedly forgiven and half his budget comes from foreign aid, the President of Uganda, Yoweri Moseveni now has this to say:

"We Africans are at the mercy of the developed world who have super weapons that could eliminate us from the face of the world in a whisker of time, but instead of working hard to reduce the technological gap, we are just sitting back."

All of which makes the arguments in this item particularly compelling, (including these key quotes):

"In 1998 Uganda was forgiven its debts through the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative. As a consequence, government indulged itself in very luxurious expenditure - increasing the size of Parliament - and invaded Congo and Sudan.

And not only that, it went on a renewed borrowing spree and today, seven years later, Uganda's debt has more than doubled and now it is unsustainable...

Foreign aid does not help the poor out of their misery - it exacerbates their problems and prolongs their agony. Taxpayers in the west should not be asked to pay to keep corrupt and incompetent governments in power."

(For those who are curious, more information about the author of these words, Andrew Mwenda - a man who, if all things were equal - would also be lead vocalist with U2.)

ShadowLands beaten

At the ShadowLands we believe complaining can add meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence. Who needs penpals when you can get some public servant somewhere to send you a form letter? - but truth is, we're still just amateurs...

Monday, December 15, 2008

ShadowLands' Gift Guide Part II

More goodies to fill those Christmas stockings. Mmmh bacon!

They're here to help

Don't be alarmed by the jellyfish - turns out they are on our side.

Farewell to Poznan

Finally, after a tough 12 days of negotiations, Marg Maiden bids a sad but fond farewell to the great city of Poznan.

Things are desperate

but they're not quite that desperate.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Media release'omatic

{Embargoed until Monday morning - please remember to fill in blanks}

Rudd target "bad joke": [insert name of organisation here]

Today's announcement by Environment Minister Penny Wong that Australia is aiming for a xxxxx per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 won't be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change according to xxxxx.

"xxxxxx per cent is not nearly enough," xxxxx said. "If it wasn't so serious, it would be a bad joke. We have a responsibility to be leading the rest of the world, and instead, this pitiful target will make us the laughing stock.

"Also, the new carbon tax of $xxxxx per tonne is clearly not enough. What we were looking for from Rudd and Wong was clear leadership and they have let us down," xxxxxx said.

"Australia is set to lose the Great Barrier Reef, the Murray Darling food basin, Kakadu, our alpine snowfields and possibly the Gold Coast themeparks, as struts holding up roller-coasters begin to melt.

"It looks like we are leaving it to our grandchildren to solve this problem and by then it may be too late. It's just not good enough," xxxxx concluded.

ends

Aaaaaarrrghhhhh!

Don't try to say you weren't warned about this.

Unsustainability slammed

"It has the hallmarks of a very quick fix solution that is not sustainable."

What do you think this man is talking about? Answer here.

More Poznan diaries

Marg Maiden reports on latest developments from the Poznan climate change conference.

Bands

with stupid names.

Warming update

Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, uh huh.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where the ShadowLands leads...

On Thursday, the ShadowLands had this to say about our unmatched ability to break the news regarding old youtube clips.

It probably won't stay up long, but today's Daily Telegraph (no direct link) features some of the photographs we linked to under their headline "Don't Miss" (scrolling about a quarter of the way down).

Foreign investment review

Wondering where to put your money during these times of economic uncertainty? The ShadowLands is here to help.

Although their website is inexplicably down, more information is available about this African paradise here.

Oh great

now they tell me.

Science and the hot young housewives

It was Robert Louis Stevenson who once wrote, "Everyone lives by selling something," - so The ShadowLands congratulates the scientists at the Max Planck Institute for their latest initiative.

On this subject, Marg Maiden has gone into troll mode at the blog of the European Minister for the Environment, but can't vouch for how long the comment will survive.

We should have seen this coming...

Being a 9/11 truther is so 2002. Time to get on board the Mumbai truth express.

Going for gold in Poznan

Although our mainstream media do not seem to have picked up on it, the Australian Government are leading the way in Poznan in some key areas.

According to this blog, Australia has opposed 25-40 per cent reductions in emissions and made a "stunningly substanceless speech...without any discussion of what their contribution to collective actions might be".

Friday, December 12, 2008

I never knew

that John Cleese has a blog.

Observations

The latest edition of the Bhutan Observer has hit the streets. Highlights:

* Cracks in Thimphu’s new vegetable market building are due to expansion joints and nothing to worry about.

* Bhutanese film-makers are not happy with the outcome of the annual film awards.

* “I do not know whether the quality of education is declining or not, but some of my students think that 10 cows will give 440 litres of milk per day...”

Is it me...


or is the image accompanying this article about the death of Macaulay Culkin's sister just a tad insensitive?

An announcement

by American car manufacturers... (From Small Dead Animals).

The Poznan Blues

Marg Maiden reports things have gone from bad to worse in Poznan.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Arctic summer round up

With the Arctic melt season now over, a few facts have emerged.

* The Arctic Summer of 2008 was colder than 2007;
* The Greenland ice sheet appears to be moving more slowly;
* Ice in Alaska's Tanana River took longer than average to break up;
* The chap who attempted to kayak to the north pole was stopped by ice 1000 kilometres short. (He would have made it further in 1979, the year when satellite images commenced.)
* Arctic sea ice grew faster than ever recorded in October 2008, being approximately 25 per cent larger in extent than at the same time in 2007.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, in the sub-Arctic zones...

In case it's a slow news day

Yesterday an old youtube video we linked to mysteriously made its way onto Australia's national Channel 9 TV news. Today the ShadowLands presents another collection of stuff ups just in case any news types need 'em.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ShadowLands' Essential Gift Guide

No matter how pristine our gene pools may be, there will always be - metaphorically speaking - a few chokitos floating around demanding presents at this time of year.

Never fear, the ShadowLands has you covered. How about:

Space invaders doormat; reindeer pate; inflatable cathedral; crazy pacifiers; urine powered batteries; remote control tarantula; phobile; bubble chair; ducti wallet; badonkadonk sand crawler; rubber band gatling gun; naughty duvet cover; inflatable pub; glowing ice cubes; ambient light module, L39 jet fighter.

All links from pointless but cool. Also, don't forget to top up your supplies of banana guards and Exxon fuel this year. Tell them the ShadowLands sent you.

Anatomy of a news story

The collapse of an ice sculpture that the ShadowLands linked to today found its way onto tonight's edition of Australia's Channel 9 News.

There are videos of this on youtube that are at least 12 months old. We therefore surmise that the news professionals at Channel 9 have followed the lead of Australia's undisputed best source of ice-sculpture collapsing news - The ShadowLands.

Stay reading the ShadowLands, folks, there are plenty more scoops where that one came from.

Ice sculptors to melt away

REUTERS: Scientists are warning that ice sculptors could be the next victims of global warming.

Speaking to delegates at the Poznan Climate Change Conference, Professor Wayne Greenbottle of the End Times Institute said hundreds of ice sculptors face redundancy as the climate becomes unsuitable to sustain this kind of work.

"We are already seeing some tragic examples," Professor Greenbottle said.

Groundhog Day in Poznan

Marg Maiden reports on progress from Poznan.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Last chance to save the world

Experts are saying that Rio, Johannesburg, Poznan, Bali, and Copenhagen are the last chances to avoid dangerous climate change. At this rate, there will be no last chances left at all.

World Sports Round-up

Not much doing in Bhutan.

UPDATE: Except for the many lapses of Thimphu's Mermaid.

Do it again

Full credit to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for recycling this 2007 story.

Monday, December 8, 2008

One small step

The ShadowLands has not always been complimentary of the sisterhood, but does congratulate Nadia Jamal for this.

Another lost weekend

Marg Maiden continues her Poznan Diaries.

Interest rates, credibility down

There's nothing quite like expert financial advice.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What a palaver

The people of the African nation of Ghana are currently experiencing election fever, which makes a pleasant change from the regular fevers associated with cholera, HIV, malaria and the like.

The ShadowLands' favourite source of news from this part of the world, the Ghana Palaver has not gone so far as to recommend a candidate, but they have gone pretty close.

Find out what happens here.

Bangladesh

has got talent.

Christmas shopping?

For the person who has everything. Maybe Greenpeace can use the proceeds to learn about apostrophes.

UPDATE: Oops, link fixed.

Climate change cuts achieved

The ShadowLands noted that the number of protesters attending a national protest day of action in Sydney during November fell by 90 per cent.

Yesterday's march in London achieved similar impressive cuts. In 2007, 15,000 protesters braved freezing rain to attend the march. This year, although there was no rain, the numbers were as few as 5,000.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Don't know...

how I missed this the first time. PJ O'Rourke's all purpose graduation speech.

Hooray

for boobies.

Globe takes action

With 6 December being Global Climate Action Day, a number of French ski resorts have decided to take things into their own hands.

More global climate action here and here.

(via the Timster, of course.)

Kinda weakens the argument

An article by Ross Gittins suggesting university students are not worthy welfare recipients has predictably not been well received in some quarters.

You might find the first paragraph of this rebuttal somewhat peculiar:

"I was helped out by my folks for the final year and a half of my PhD in a direct way. My mum also used to send me cash every now and then during my candidature so I could buy some broccoli."

until you look it up.

Nenana hey hey

The ShadowLands was intrigued when we stumbled upon the story of the Nenana Ice Classic - a lottery that has been held in Alaska since 1917 to guess when the ice breaks up on the Tanana River. The locals set up a large wooden tripod, that sets off a clock when it falls through the ice.

A number of scientists seem to agree that the contest is a credible historical measure of climate change in Alaska, and this is backed up by an early melt that occurred in the famously warm 1998.

During the history of the Ice Classic, the earliest calendar date the ice broke was April 20 in both 1940 and 1998; the latest date was May 20, 1964. The last prize awarded as of May 6, 2008 was $303,985.00. So let's look at recent recordings of ice breakages:
1998: April 20 (equal earliest date)
1999: April 29
2000: 1 May
2001: 8 May
2002: 7 May
2003: 29 April
2004: 24 April
2005: 28 April
2006: 2 May
2007: 27 April
2008: 6 May
You won't find any news stories about this, but by looking at the program, it appears that in 2008, the ice in the Tanana River maintained the tripod for the 35th longest time in its 81 year history. In other words, the ice in the river remained for a time that was a little longer than average. All of which serves to support the much-repeated refrain of the sceptics - it really hasn't warmed since 1998.
CORRECTION: that should be 35th longest time in its 91 year history.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Guess he's never read Loewenstein...

I went to the link to see if the blog had been updated, and it hadn't, but it was okay.

Poznan diaries, Thursday

After a full day overcoming a massive hangover, MM is back commenting about Poznan.

Conference trivia: with a forecast 8,000 delegates, the conference was expected to generate 13,000 tonnes of carbon - however, more than 10,000 have showed up.

Don't say you weren't warned

The ShadowLands has written to Mr Kevin Rudd as follows:

Dear Mr Rudd

Last year before the election The Australian reported that:

'Mr Rudd said Labor would take asylum-seekers who had been rescued from leaky boats to Christmas Island, would turn back seaworthy vessels containing such people on the high seas, and would not lift the current intake of African refugees.

"You'd turn them back," he said of boats approaching Australia, emphasising that Labor believed in an "orderly immigration system" enforced by deterrence. "You cannot have anything that is orderly if you allow people who do not have a lawful visa in this country to roam free," he said.

"That's why you need a detention system. I know that's politically contentious, but one follows from the other. "Deterrence is effective through the detention system but also your preparedness to take appropriate action as the vessels approach Australian waters on the high seas." '

Now we read that illegal immigrants who arrive and manage to stay for a certain period will be set free. On top of this, we read that the Navy will not be patrolling the waters for two months this Summer.

Firstly, it looks like you lied.

Secondly, there's a great chance there will be an influx of refugees this Summer because of these lax policies, and a significant chance some may drown on the voyage.

If this happens, you and your government will largely be responsible. If and when it does, please don't call it a 'tragic accident' - as all good O,H&S people know, there is no such thing as an unavoidable accident.

Yours sincerely...

MM

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dance secrets revealed

Arm movements properly combined with leg movements are understood to be the secret behind the dancing of people from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Further details via the DPRK official news agency here.

(By the way, could it be that the writer of this news item is alluding to something else?)

Test arrives

"Mark my words, it will not be 12 months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy," so spake Vice-President elect Joe Biden.

Well the day has arrived. English Pravda reports that Putin's dog's mother has the name Henrietta Bush. Can Obama meet this challenge?

The ShadowLands is here to suggest to you Mr President-Elect (and we know you are reading) that the new Whitehouse pup must be named Vlad or Lyudmila. Fail this test and you might as well roll over and call yourself Jimmy Carter.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Counter terrorism .303

We have heard much about the possible causes of terrorism, but Boy on a Bike reveals that the solutions may not be as complex as some pundits like to make out.

Bah

Posting will be a little more sporadic in coming days until our crack IT squad can fix the damn computer.

Get ready for the amero, amigos

International journals of note are reporting that the United States is about to establish a new currency with Canada and Mexico called the Amero.

The American media remains oblivious.

Meanwhile, as always, it is left to 9/11 conspiracy types to work out what it all means.

Poznan Diary, Tuesday

MM has commented over at the Canadian Youth Delegation blog in Poznan over here. (If the first link is not working, try this and look for comments under "CYD meets the Canadian delegation").

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Land of sweeping generalisations

Australia was a crap film, now visit the even crappier Tourism Australia website.

It's slow and it's full of inaccuracies. Try this one:

To start with, the didgeridoo (1.) is probably not the world's oldest musical instrument. Then at (3.):

"The world’s oldest known art was created around BP43,000 by Aboriginal people, who engraved animal images on rocks in the Olary region of South Australia."

Firstly, this is not true - other rock art around the world is older. Secondly, the date of 43,000 BP for the Olary site has subsequently not been supported by other studies - the best they can pinpoint is that the engravings are older than 30,000 years.

Now behold the quality of the writing (click along to number 3 here for this):

"Some 1.4million peopl had an involvement in visual art activity in 2007 – that’s up 79 per cent from 2004."

Then click along to 6 of this one for information overload.

Similarly, under "nature", it is asserted that kangaroos and emus cannot walk backwards.

Need we go on...

The law-makers

In most of the successful nations around the world you will find strong echoes of the English justice system - one of the great under-appreciated exports of that green and sceptred, if rather too easily persuaded - isle.

And behind this great law-making nation there have been some great law-makers. Paco investigates. (And while you're there, check out his Peruvian adventure.)

Tuesday dawns on Poznan

It will be a marvellous day once again for ecowarriors to fight global warming at the Econcern Sustainable Energy Event. Poznan is expecting rain, 30 km/hour winds and a temperature range of 1 to 5 degrees. But don't take my word for it, check out the webcam.

More of the dark arts

The ShadowLands previously brought to your attention passive aggressive notes.

Now a Brisbane man has taken it to a whole new level.

Monday in Poznan

MM is keeping everyone updated in the comments section of the Canadian delegation's blog at the Econcern Sustainable Energy Event in Poznan.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Can we swap him for Roebuck?

I am not sure I agree with everything Simon Barnes says here, but begorrah, this is a stirring sports opinion piece.

Global warming update

All the latest global warming news from around the world...

Also, a big shout out to Penny Wong and the eco-warriors at the Econcern Sustainable Energy Event in Poznan, Poland. The forecast for today is a minimum of -1 and heading to a balmy 4 degrees C.

Up in the sky...

For a good time, ozwegians are invited to look up in the sky tonight from about 8 pm EST.

UPDATE: It looks like this from the ShadowLands.

Might be, might not be

The Weather Bureau boffins believe there is a 60 per cent chance of wetter than average conditions in the north east corner of NSW.

However, the ShadowLands thinks the overall likelihood of conditions being in excess of average is probably closer to 50 per cent. Now let's see who is right.

For the record

the US box office gross on thanksgiving weekend.

It's Poztastic

Around 200 youths from 50 countries have flown to Poznan, Poland - as you do - for the Econcern Sustainable E-Energy Event. As gryphon girl from the Canadian delegation writes:
"We were able to develop subgroups on 6 key issues, which include Forestry issues, Clean Development Mechanism issues, Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance, and Technology Transfer. The group is already very well organized, highly co-operative, and I am looking forward to seeing what this dynamic team is able to accomplish over the next two weeks."
The ShadowLands cannot e-wait and will be following their exploits very e-carefully and even posting e-comments if they allow us.

UPDATE: Link maybe not working so good - http://www.tigblog.org/group/cydpoznan

Going off in Poznan

Bored of Bali? Tired of Tahiti? Had enough of Honolulu? Can't cope with Copenhagen?

Get your positivity back at Poznan, Poland - the latest e-fantastic location on the climate change world tour! Not just any event, but an E-concern Energy Sustainable Event. What does this mean?

It means the e-fun you experience in Poznan is of the kind you would find hard to e-sustain anywhere else. Poznan! Poznan! Poznan!

But don't take our word for it. Here's what other happy Poznan visitors have had to say:

"Celem tego wydarzenia jest zaprezentowanie osiągniec i wyzwan w rozwoju zrównowazonych, przyjaznych klimatowi systemów energetycznych!"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jorn Utzon

was a man of few words - he was, after all, an architect. As well as designing opera houses, he also designed other regular kinds of homes, like this one.

Rumours, hearsay...

all the latest tattle at this site...if you dare.

Two ways

Here are two possible ways for muslims around the world to respond following the Mumbai atrocities:

a) Take responsibility and call for solutions within their own communities like this or

b) The other way.

Ambassadors' meeting: Exclusive!

Meeting of the Men's Health Ambassadors, Hayman Island

Present: Professor David de Kretser, Governor of Victoria; Mr Bill Noonan, Vice President of the Transport Workers Union; Mr Barry Williams, President of the Lone Fathers Association; Professor John Macdonald, University of Western Sydney; Mr Tim Mathieson, Man Who Fucked Julia Gillard.

Prof de Kretser (Chair): Welcome all to our second meeting and a particular welcome to Mr Tim Mathieson. Glad you could make it this time . I do hope the trip wasn't too onerous for you.

Tim Mathieson: No, no, no - nothing I can't handle. I'm the one who fucked Julia Gillard, remember.

Chair: Quite. How could we forget.

Just a quick reminder why we are here. Every year, around 3,000 Australian men die of prostate cancer. Thousands more die of other male-specific diseases. Our job is engage the men of Australia in consultations for the National Men's Health Policy. In short, gentlemen, what we do here may ultimately impact on the welfare of more than 10 million Australians.

Now, if we could begin by asking what each one of you can bring to the table. Do we have anyone here who is expert at rolling out these kind of information campaigns?

Bill Noonan: Well, I could get something in the Transport Workers Union newsletter.

Chair: Thanks Bill, anyone else? Tim, you're a hair product salesman, isn't that right?

Tim Mathieson: Well, not exactly, not anymore. I'm not qualified, or so they say. However, I am doing one day a week at a hairdressers in Shepparton.

Chair: So you'll be able to tell your customers about our initiatives?

TM: Well, I don't get that many male customers, to be honest.

Chair: Oh God, this isn't going to be easy.

TM: Well, who said life was easy? If there's one thing I've learnt in life, it's that sometimes there are things you don't want to do. Things that do not even seem natural. But you grit your teeth and just go ahead and do them anyway...

To be continued...

Health care Zimbabwe style

Too often we see the blinkered imperialistic western media being critical of Zimbabwean reforms.

But how many western nations can claim to offer these kinds of universal free health services?

Than Shwe Poetry Competition Update

The ShadowLands has been inundated with two outstanding entries in the inaugural General Than Shwe Poetry Competition.

Can anyone out there do better?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do you think...

Russia would be sending warships to Venezuela if McCain won?

Here's some other news from the homeland of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Frizz grows inward

In case you were wondering why there is nothing at all a bit too cosy about the partner of Australia's Deputy PM being given a job as Ambassador for Men's Health, here's Annabel Crabb:
"I have used the shampoo and I am thrilled and terrified in equal measures by something called Drench, which promises to 'Tame frizzle (sic) or damaged hair, fast'...

Janette Howard used to get a bit of flak for not doing enough of this stuff. But when she did, she sure as hell never had to put up with this sort of treatment."
Just a few points. Mathieson is the un-married partner of the Deputy PM - not the PM. The equivalent person in the Howard Government was Wendy Vaile, who was never given similar appointments.

The only Government position Janette appears to have received over 11 years was patronage of the National Portrait Gallery - something of a little less importance than health.

Bolt beats Luhrmann

Ahh well, another Australian movie, another flop.

Ironically, Luhrmann's new epic (a close run thing between sixth or seventh) was beaten by Bolt (fourth).

Some interesting claims in here:

* The film is rumoured to have been made with $40 million in tax credits. Way not to contribute, guys.

* The film never would have been made except for the fact Rupert Murdoch is boss of Fox.

So, the ShadowLands wonders, how much has Australia cost Australian tax payers? And how much more will it cost when Luhrmann's ineffective tourism advertisements roll out?

The ShadowLands notes, no Australian film has made money since Happy Feet - a happy film. Maybe - just maybe - there is no money to be made by making up stories about stolen kids.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I wonder...

what will happen. Will Rolf's opinion be discussed, or will it start and end with him being called a racist?

(The premise for the story, by the by, is two years old.)

Strong competition for Ambassador position

REUTERS: The Australian Federal Department of Health has received an overwhelming response from people (pictured outside Department Headquarters) seeking the vacant Men's Health Ambassador position.

Health Minister, Nicola Roxon said she was astonished to find so many well qualified applicants.

"It will be a real challenge to sort through them. Butchers, bakers, journalists, nurses, used car salesmen - there appear to be dozens of well qualified people, all of whom have fucked Julia Gillard," Ms Roxon commented.

Recognition

Last night Pamela Bone was awarded a Walkley Award - the first occasion The ShadowLands can recall that someone with a clearly conservative point of view ever received one. The next step for the Walkley judges will be to give an award to a conservative journalist who is still alive.

Here's a reminder of Pamela's work.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dear Nicola Roxon...

Please find my attached resume for whatever prestigious and/or well paid positions you have going. I just hope you don't find me over-qualified!

Yours sincerely

Margo's Maid

NAME: Margo's Maid-
D.O.B. - Oooh - now you are making me blush
ADDRESS: The ShadowLands
EDUCATION AND COURSES:- I dropped out of school as soon as I could.
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS: None to speak of.
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY: A bit of this, a bit of that.
COMPUTER SKILLS: Have you seen my crappy blog? I still haven't figured out how to get the links up the side and the sitemeter down the bottom.
PERSONAL SKILLS : I once fucked Julia Gillard.

Staying schtum with Kevin

As the ShadowLands noted earlier, on November 24, while talking about China, Australian PM, Kevin Rudd made this puzzling statement:

"Now if you have 1.3 trillion people - 400 million of them still lie south of the poverty line, I stand to be corrected on the exact number, but something like that - then it is a huge challenge."

Could it be that the Kev-meister was thinking in trillions because attendees at APEC had been informed of this before its official announcement?

Was Bryant not available?

Former ABC gardening host and Communist Party of Australia Senate candidate, Peter Cundall has been named Tasmania's nomination for 2009 Australian of the Year.

Cundall has been the public face of opposition to the building of a woodchip mill in Tasmania that would:

* directly employ, on average, more than 1600 Tasmanians over 30 years

* return enough power (from biomass) to the national electricity grid to power Launceston

* save 1.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year (normally spent transporting woodchips to Japan).

* inject billions into the Tasmanian economy, growing it by 2.5 per cent, and adding $890 million to government revenue - money that could be spent on things like hospitals, schools and the environment.

The project is seriously in doubt as finance is currently unavailable. The interminable delays caused by the various Cundalls of this world may ultimately have been successful in stopping the project.

Bolt vs Australia

There have been few more vociferous critics of the movie "Australia" than uber-columnist Andrew Bolt.

So looky here at what (or who) is one of Baz Luhrman's main competitors in the US this weekend.

Way

to piss off one billion people.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tourists flock to "Australia"

REUTERS: With his new movie "Australia" only just hitting international screens, tourism authorities are understood to be delighted by an immediate influx of tourists.

A spokesperson for the tourism industry said while it was too early to talk about numbers, the great work of tourism ambassador, Baz Luhrmann was already having an affect.

"We are already seeing an entirely different kind of tourist - the kind who wants to find out for themselves about the land Baz is promoting."

The sharemarket for smarties

New to the market? Confused, wondering what it's all about? Theo's here to help.

Truth hurts

Just as well most of the assertions in this article are true, or as a proud citizen of New South Wales, I would be outraged.

A little touch of Kevin

No sooner did Kevin mention that Australia should produce a bionic eye, and behold, there was one.

Then He spake of closing the gap...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Geography with Kevin: Part XXIV

Kevin Rudd on China (near the end):

"Now if you have 1.3 trillion people - 400 million of them still lie south of the poverty line, I stand to be corrected on the exact number, but something like that - then it is a huge challenge."

1.3 trillion?

No life?

No problem...Watch and wait until the pitch drops.

Whales saved?

Things are looking up for the rescued whales. Looks like they might have made it after all...

Go nuke

One very cluey contributor over at zerofootprintweek.org.au (select "Energy" under the Greenprints blog) offers this super-handy tip to save us from carbon emissions:

"The most important practical step you can make that would prevent the emission of millions of tonnes of CO2 is to support the introduction of nuclear power into Australia - just like they have in France.

Write letters and talk to your local MP."

"Chinese Democracy" criticised

REUTERS: Chinese President Hu Jintao has bitterly criticised Guns' N Roses long awaited album, Chinese Democracy.

In a private conversation with Australian PM, Kevin Rudd at the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru, President Hu is understood to have been scathing of both the quality of the album and the time it took to produce.

"This album is virtually hook free, and will surely disappoint the millions of fans of Appetite for Destruction," President Hu is understood to have said.

"Remember Sweet Child O' Mine? Dooby dooby doo doo - now that's what I call a hook. And since when did Axl Rose become a flabby old ranga?"

Monday, November 24, 2008

Costume unveiled

The traditional dress has been unveiled for the 16th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meeting in Lima, Peru.

Kevin Rudd is pictured third from right at the rear end of the costume, just behind Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Election time

Vote counting is now underway in regional Venezuelan elections. Links here and here.

Record set straight

Tonight's episode of The Howard Years should help to bring out some of the obsessive types who think the children overboard affair was instrumental in Howard's election for a third term as Australian PM.

In a nutshell, Minister Philip Ruddock claimed asylum seekers had thrown their children into the water during an October 6, 2001 incident - information John Howard repeated - but video and other evidence later proved to be inconclusive.

Howard later explained why he refused to apologise: "They irresponsibly sank the damn boat, which put their children in the water".

However, it is now often implied that asylum seekers never did throw children overboard. Maybe not on October 6, 2001.

But as well as detailing a number of other incidents where asylum seekers threatened to drop kids overboard and deliberately sank and set fire to vessels, we have this from David "Scoop" Marr's book Dark Victory (p 321):

"Two sailors from HMAS Bendigo witnessed what happened next. A woman dangled a small child in a red jump suit over the side....The child, about three years old, was also screaming. This time the child was dropped overboard."

What odds

a white Christmas in Australia and the UK?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Whale management

The ShadowLands was no fan of the apparent lack of effort when it came to saving a baby whale that found itself in Sydney waters earlier this year.

However, old hands suggest that we need to get real about mass strandings like the latest - a regular occurrence on islands that have perfectly natural whale traps. Says this one:

"By far the commonest cause of mass strandings is navigation error exacerbated by local geographical anomalies and ‘spring’ tides. This is almost certainly why only toothed whales are involved in mass strandings. They follow a food source of squid or fish across a shallow sand bar, known in Tasmania as a ‘whale-trap’, only to have a rapidly ebbing tide strand them in the shallows..."

"Stranded whales which have been on the beach for longer than 4 hours are history... A heavy cetacean ashore, out of its natural habitat, has to overcome a significant specific gravity effect merely to breathe. Add to that physical stress, sand and rubbish in the respiratory passages,and exertional rhabdomyolysis... Re-floating a cast whale and pushing it out into the deep might evince warm fuzzy feelings but rarely is success guaranteed unless both time gap and handling are absolutely minimal...

I reckon I have, in the past, shot more cetaceans than most other vets without a single regret. My .38 calibre revolver, with hard-nosed projectiles was ideal for the job."

UPDATE: Eleven have been returned to the sea with satellite tracking devices. It makes for a feel good Sunday night news story, but if our man is right, they will soon be turning belly up. I am inclined to back his judgment.

Two hour vigil successful

So-called Tim Blair had this to say on November 18:

"The single most reliable meteorological phenomenon known to humankind is that which delivers hilariously cold weather whenever global warming alarmists gather."

Rising Tide Australia had this to say on November 23:

"The Eraring protest rally was a success, however the 9 day vigil has been canceled due to various circumstances including terrible weather."

Other reasons would appear to be that hardly anyone showed up (only about 50 in the very brief sunshine they enjoyed on Saturday).

When good artificial characters turn bad

People of a certain age may recall that a long, long time ago - a time archaeologists refer to as the 80s - there was a character called Max Headroom. Whatever happened to Max?

It's a sad story.

Venezuelan elections

Regional elections occurring in Venezuela this weekend may be pivotal to the future of Hugo Chavez. Writes the Devil's Excrement:

"If Chavez loses Sunday, he is in trouble. His whole objective is to bring to referendum next year his indefinite re-election. If he suffers a significant loss on Sunday and with oil dropping like a stone, his only option to perpetuate himself will be set aside all pretense that this is a democarcy and act like the dictator he has always wanted to be..."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I am not your mother

A selection of outstanding passive aggressive notes from this website (via list of the day).

Get out your blankets

Melburnians are being encouraged to take part in Zero Footprint Week - and right on cue...

How did they know?

The gender analyser is a handy device for when you want to know the gender of someone behind those websites you read every day. Take these for example:

Belinda Neale; Tim Blair; Margo's Maid; Julia Gillard; John Pilger

Majority of experts get it wrong

Maybe it's time to start listening to this guy.

Now he says the US Government's policies are inflationary, we should invest in gold, and Obama could be the next Jimmy Carter (via Theo Spark).

Leave Kidders alone: ShadowLands

The newspapers seem to have decided that sinking the boot into Our Nicole Kidman makes for great reading - and all the better since she is way too polite to complain.

Well, we reckon these lowlife media types have either forgotten her body of work, or are just plain jealous. Whether or not she is your favourite actress, the ShadowLands reminds readers of this item.

Cabinet footage EXCLUSIVE

REUTERS: Former Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke's suggestion that Ministers in the Rudd Government be given more freedom has received a rapturous response from some quarters within the Australian Labor Party.

With Mr Rudd currently on his way to Peru for an APEC meeting, the ShadowLands has been able to obtain exclusive footage of Senior Ministers' reaction to the suggestion at a recent cabinet meeting.

Hicks wants gardening award

REUTERS: Convicted terrorist supporter, David Hicks has made an impassioned plea, through activist group GetUp, to be considered for an Apprentice of the Year Award for his work with potplants at a Sydney nursery.

Mr Hicks said that while some say his rehabilitation had been slow, he had made great inroads in his new industry.

"I think that I have already brought some of my unique skills to this position, and probably deserve awards or somefink, and I am probably ready for bigger projects," he concluded.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Damn...

with great topics like this, I wish I hadn't been expelled from the Korean Friendship Association after only one post.

(Hey, any readers of the ShadowLands out there who wish to sign up with the KFA should join in the fun and let us know about it. It takes about a week for your membership to be processed properly.)

Nothing

to see here, just move along.

Science, erm, Friday

English Pravda's science section must be one of the worst in the world, but at least their theories don't end up costing billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.

This week - is Michael Phelps an alien?

Hicks' book completed

REUTERS: Melbourne University Press has emerged as front-runner to publish David Hicks' new book.

CEO of Melbourne University Press, Ms Louise Adler, AM, said MUP should be a natural choice for Hicks.

"At MUP we are proud of our hard-earned reputation as being Australia's foremost publisher of anti-semitic works," Ms Adler said.

"We understand that it will still be some time before Mr Hicks will be able to write The Dawood Diaries since he is nearly illiterate, but in the meantime, look out for his great new kids colouring book - Beh is for Bazooka."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here they come again...

"So previous governments - and specifically those who passed lax laws allowing queue jumpers into Australia - really were responsible for the loss of life on the SIEV X...

And those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it."

So spake John Butler of the John Butler Trio, warning readers of the ShadowLands about this.

Hitler

really did only have one ball...

Here, for your delectation, is the dance version.

Prison cramps my style: Milat

REUTERS: In a video released today, Ivan Milat said that imprisonment in Goulburn Supermax Correctional Prison is making it hard for him to get on with his life.

The convicted mass murderer said he was very worried that he may be expected to serve the life sentence he was convicted for.

"Sure, I killed some young foreigners, but that's pretty much what David Hicks was trying to do just a few years ago. Should I be punished because I was more successful?" he said. "Plus Hicks took up arms against his own country, which is something I never did.

"I call on useful idiots everywhere to get behind my campaign," Mr Milat concluded.

Tim v Tim - prediction check-up

Top weather predictor, Tim Blair won his bet in 2007 that Professor Tim Flannery's prediction:

"Environmental researcher Tim Flannery has warned that Brisbane and Adelaide - home to a combined total of three million people - could run out of water by year’s end. "

would not come to fruition.

So, maybe the Flanster just got his timing wrong. Surely, given a little more time, the environmental researcher would show up the anti-Tim for being King Wrong of Denial Town...So let's check how it's going.

Adelaide...Brisbane...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Perfect match

It's a relief for all of us to learn that fussy Aussie girl Kristy Hinze has found the handsome, charismatic, intelligent and funny man she was looking for.

And in unrelated news...

Readership disapproves

Australian rules footballer, Ben Cousins was rubbed out of competition in 2008 for cocaine use.

With the announcement that he will return next year, a full 46 per cent of polled readers of The Age newspaper still believe he should not be allowed to return.

Clearly the editors of The Age appear not to have the same scruples.