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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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Rudderman in New York

Two things of note in this highly recommended youtube video:

1. The rapturous crowds listening to Kevin at 1.29

2. The camera just misses it - but WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING at 1.55!!!!

The jacket speech

Winston fought them on the beaches, Martin Luther had a dream, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has this...


A big shout out to Nigeria, enjoying Independence Day on October 1.

International reports accuse Nigerian government officials and police of motivated killings, beatings and torture of suspects, detainees and convicts, and extortion of civilians. Other abuses included discrimination, violence and genital mutilation of women, child labour, prostitution and human trafficking.

Sharia law, including stonings and amputations, is applied in 12 northern states.

Nigerians were once reported to be the happiest people in a survey carried out in 65 nations and published in New Scientist. Reasons for this are unclear, except that many of them may be receiving much needed assistance from foreigners in transferring the bank accounts of their recently departed oil magnate uncles.

Please stand for the Nigerian National Anthem.

Monday, September 29, 2008


On 30 September, 1999, workers at a nuclear plant in Tokaimura, Japan poured the wrong solution into a precipitation tank, achieving criticality and causing a frightening blue flash

Two workers received massive doses of radiation, and later died.

Today, Japan's nuclear power plants (situated on highly earthquake prone land) produce more electricity than goes through the entire electricity grid in Australia - and yet this remains their worst accident related to nuclear power.

Many more people die mining and producing coal, falling off roofs when installing solar energy panels, or servicing wind turbines - which is why nuclear energy is pretty much the safest energy source on the planet.

On this subject, here is the story of the greenie who finally got a clue.

Use by passed

A nutritionist has kept a McDonalds hamburger since 1996 to prove... well, not much at all, really.

Capitalism and Freedom: Part VI

John Butler of the John Butler Trio continues his meditation on economic theory...

Through my work here at the ShadowLands, I have built a strong reputation as a follower – and let’s face it – a shameless copier and paster of the work of the late-great champion of free markets, Milton Friedman.

So, everywhere I go these days, it seems someone wants my opinion on the economic crisis.

“Hey Butts, Friedman will be spinning in his grave, hey what?” is the typical question being yelled at me by punters from mosh-pits around the nation.

Well, yes and no.

Those with only a passing acquaintance of economic theory may be surprised to know that while Milton Friedman was no fan of bail-outs, he might not be one to oppose the proposed action to save US lending institutions.

As Friedman once told the ABC:

“ all times from 1929 and 1933, the Federal Reserve had the power and ability to have prevented the decline in the quantity of money and to have increased the quantity of money at any desired rate.

So in our opinion, the Great Depression was not a sign of the failure of monetary policy or a result of the failure of the market system as was widely interpreted. It was instead a consequence of a very serious government failure, in particular a failure in the monetary authorities to do what they'd initially been set up to do.

When the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913, its major purpose was to prevent 'banking panics' as they were called, temporary crises that had occurred in the United States in 1907 and during earlier periods. What it did was to preside over the worst banking panic in the history of the United States. Not only did the quantity of money go down by a third, but about a third of the banks failed and in the Spring of 1933, the Federal Reserve System, which had been set up to prevent banking panics, closed its doors itself and stopped operating.”

So in fact Friedman (and co-researcher Anna Schwartz) believed that the Great Depression was largely caused by a failure of the Reserve Bank to prevent the collapse of banks, and the subsequent disappearance of money from the system. The problem was then compounded by further government interference, including huge increases in taxation, tariffs and the like.
Nobody is likely to be more aware of this than the current chair of the Reserve Bank's Board of Governors, Ben Bernanke. In 2002 ,then a Federal Reserve Governor, he made a startling admission in a speech given in honor of Friedman’s 90th birthday: “I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression, you’re right. We did it. We’re very sorry.”

Sunday, September 28, 2008

So where the bloody hell are you?

Have you ever wanted to see monks get what's coming to them? Come to Myanmar!

Paul Newman

As part of our series showing that being a celebrity does not mean you have to be a dickhead, the ShadowLands brings you some facts about Paul Newman:

* Newman had a Jewish father, and identified as being Jewish.

* Newman was a veteran of WWII, fighting in the largest amphibious assault of WWII, the Battle of Okinawa. He served as a gunner on torpedo bombers, narrowly missing out on going out on one assignment where his colleagues died.

* His sauce business has raised more than US$200 million dollars for charity.

* He is responsible for some quotable quotes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Held to account

A blog dedicated to keeping Kevin Rudd accountable declares that Mr Rudd is doing such a fine job, there is nothing to post about.

Turns out this is the work of Mr Lefty who notes - puzzlingly - that the blog is about keeping the PM accountable, but any posts advocating conservatism will be deleted.

Louis Pasteur

The great microbiologist Louis Pasteur died on September 28, 1895.

People meeting Pasteur always faced an awkward moment, as he refused to shake hands - which sounds cute and eccentric - except that three of his children died of typhoid.

Contemporaries remembered his bravery in collecting samples of saliva from rabid dogs for his ultimately successful work creating a vaccine against the disease.

Pasteur quotes: "I am often scolded by Mme. Pasteur, but I console her by telling her that I shall lead her to fame."

"My strength lies solely in my tenacity."

Thou shalt have mutuality and interdependence

Unlike the ShadowLands, the Uniting Church's submission to the Green Paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was accepted and is now available for perusal. Among other predictable things, it turns out the Uniting Churchers are against using nuclear power - despite its credentials as an all natural phenomenon.

The Uniting Churchers also seem to have a very flexible interpretation of the Bible. Here is what the Bible says:
Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." . . . Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

And here is what the Uniting Church says:
"The Uniting Church’s commitment to the environment arises out of the Christian belief that God, as the Creator of the universe, calls us into a special relationship with the environment – a relationship of mutuality and interdependence which seeks the reconciliation of all creation with God. We believe that God’s will for the earth is renewal and reconciliation, not destruction by human beings."

Saturday science

In the interests of satisfying inquiring minds, the ShadowLands is proud to offer you today's fascinating science story, courtesy of English Pravda.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Department admits: Kevin lied

The ShadowLands has finally received a reply to a letter sent to Kevin Rudd in July asking where he got his information that Australia is the hottest and driest continent. The reply has been handed down to some poor bloke from the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts.

While the question has not been answered, to his credit, this chap has made an honest attempt as follows:

Dear [MM]

Your email of 13 July 2008 to the Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, concerning comments in media interviews has been passed to the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon Penny Wong. The Minister has asked me to thank you for you email and to reply on her behalf. I apologise for the delay in writing to you.

Recent media interviews where the Prime Minister has referred to Australia as the hottest, driest continent have been conducted in the context of discussing the impact of development on water management and climate change. Interpretations of key global temperature datasets by the National Climate Centre show that Australia is the hottest developed continent. Similarly, the National Climate Centre has interpreted data from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre and this shows that Australia is the driest inhabited continent. The Bureau of Meteorology has also referred me to a separate study which shows Australia to have the lowest continental mean rainfall of all the inhabited continents (Willmott, CJ, Robeson, SM and Feddema JJ 1994. Estimating continental and terrestrial precipitation averages from rain-gauge networks. Int. J. Climatology, 14, 403-414.)

Your sincerely

(Some poor bloke from the Department of the Environment)

MM's response to the response

1. This does not answer the question of where Kevin Rudd got his information that Australia is the hottest and driest continent - it is an attempt to justify it after he said it. It was a question to Kevin Rudd, not Penny Wong, or the Department of Environment.

2. It proves he is wrong. Saying Australia is the hottest developed continent, means the Department of the Environment acknowledges that developing continents - Africa, South America and Asia - all may be hotter. This means they acknowledge that Australia is only hotter than the developed continents of North America and Europe - a ridiculous proposition that we come first out of three. It acknowledges Antarctica is drier - thus, Australia is not the hottest, or the driest continent - let alone both.

3. It seems to imply that the context of the lie makes it okay: WTF?

4. Kevin most often said "hottest and driest" not "hottest, driest" - it makes a difference.

5. Kevin Rudd has scarcely ever (only once I've seen) used the words "inhabited continent" and never "developed continent" despite spouting the "Australia is the hottest and driest continent" line in at least five media interviews, including on Sixty Minutes. He lied, he misled, he has not corrected, and he has continued to lie and mislead after I wrote to him. He said to Canberra radio on July 18:

"My job as Prime Minister is to look at these scientific facts, look at the economic facts, and then make a balanced judgment for the country’s long term future. And then when you look at the science facts and the economic facts on climate change, the fact that temperatures are going up and we’re already the world’s hottest and driest continent, and we’ll become, therefore, likely candidates to be the hardest and earliest hit by climate change..."

6. This is his Ministerial Code of Conduct including:

"Ministers are expected to be honest in the conduct of public office and take all reasonable steps to ensure that they do not mislead the public or the Parliament. It is a Minister's personal responsibility to ensure that any error or misconception in relation to such a matter is corrected or clarified, as soon as practicable and in a manner appropriate to the issues and interests involved."

ShadowLands silenced!

Highly respected website, the ShadowLands and by implication, its discerning readership base, has been snubbed by the Federal Department of Climate Change, which has refused to include our submission (Parts 1 and Deux) to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper. Watch this space - the ShadowLands will be seeking an explanation from the Department...

Sydney researchers' world first

News organisations are reporting that Sydney clinicians and researchers are the first in the world to identify meth amphetamine (also known as "ice") as being used by women for weight loss.

These researchers and the journalists reporting on the story are believed to be the first in the world never to have heard of google.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can you guess...

On Friday, 26 September, this famous Australian turns 60 years of age.

Her maternal grandfather was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954 for his work developing quantum mechanics. Her father was an MI5 officer who arrested Rudolph Hess and worked on the Enigma project. Surely you've got it by now...

Sydney, Nova Scotia

An Argeninian tourist has supposedly found herself in the wrong Sydney which sounds like a disaster - but look - glorious Sydney Harbour, the ferry station, the haute cuisine. What more could you possibly want?

While you're there, why not visit Paris, Texas, Athens, Georgia (actually, not a bad looking place!), London, Ontario, or Texas Queensland.

Rudd announces rescue package

REUTERS: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a new initiative to stave off the global economic crisis.

“Today the Federal Government is pleased to announce the establishment of Global Economic Crisis Watch,” Mr Rudd announced from UN headquarters.

“This new website will ensure that Australian working families can check on the Global Economic Crisis 24 hours a day. The fact is that balancing the household budget is getting harder and harder - with grocery bills, child care, petrol prices and housing. The Global Economic Crisis ought to be closely monitored,” he said.

“Federal Labor understands the financial pressures on Australian families. That’s why I am announcing plans that would see the Global Economic Crisis monitored for the first time” Mr Rudd added.

Under Kevin Rudd’s plan a Federal Labor Government will:

* Strengthen the role of the Reserve Bank to monitor the Global Economic Crisis to make sure that families are getting a fair deal; and

* Direct the Reserve Bank to conduct a Global Economic Crisis Inquiry to report to the Government within six months, taking submissions from working families.

"This act will serve to increase transparency in the market place and exert greater pressure on those recklessly engaging in Global Economic Crisis activity.

“To the Global Economic Crisis, the Federal Government says ‘no’,” Mr Rudd concluded.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Justice dispensed

Caught red handed...

Don Adams

Don "Maxwell Smart" Adams died on 25 September 2005. The son of a Jewish Hungarian father and an Irish-Dutch Catholic mother, he served as a marine during WWII, being wounded and barely surviving a case of malaria at Guadalcanal.

Embarking on an acting career, he changed his surname from Yarmi to Adams, because he hated waiting until last during auditions conducted in alphabetical order. Here's a trivia quiz, (I got 7) and a youtube reminder.

I'll show you mine...

Australia's Treasurer, Wayne Swan and Shadow Treasurer, Julie Bishop are exchanging accusations of plagiarism.

While they're at it, perhaps they could explain each other's donations to political parties, starting with our Treasurer. It's astounding to me that this issue was never raised at the last election...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sustainability is the word my friends.

But how can we learn to sustain sustainability or is this just way too unsustainable? Where can we learn of the joy of conservation, moderation and simple living? Well, right here...

Richard Bong

America's greatest air ace, Major Richard "Dick" Bong should be much better remembered in Australia, not least because he scored many of his 40 or so kills supporting Australian soldiers over Papua New Guinea.

He might have reached 88 years of age this September 24, but sadly died while testing an aircraft on the same day that Hiroshima was bombed, widowing his 21-year-old wife. He was reportedly a man of few words, but his widow Marge recalls his favourite saying: "We are just doing our job."

New York transcript: Exclusive!

Kevin Rudd: Well good morning, Chairman.
Ben Bernanke, (US Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve): Good morning Mr Rudd, welcome to America.
Kevin Rudd: Well, I am here today, Mr Governor, to help you with the world financial crisis moving forward.
BB: Oh great. I mean, really we welcome any help with this.
Kevin Rudd: Well what I mean to say here is that the world financial crisis really is not acceptable.
BB: What do you…
Kevin: Well I mean, we must say no to the world financial crisis. Bricklayers and celebrities and bankers and real estate agents, taxidermists and broadway dancers – we all say no to the world financial crisis.
BB: So okay, no to the crisis, But what are you planning to do about it?
Kevin: - Well, this is a global world financial crisis, and it is time to say no. At summits. In our parliaments. At our barbecues we all say no. Under no circumstances are world financial crises acceptable. That’s what we say.
BB But really, Mr Rudd, why did you want to see me?
Kevin Rudd: Well, of course, I will be moving forward with action Mr Governor and here is what I am suggesting. Get this -Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman have decided…
BB: ...that you want to say no the world financial crisis? Can you stop saying well?
Rudd: Well! Not just say no, but moving forward, to bury some kind of time capsule, to fully encapsulate the extent to which we say no moving forward.
BB: Fuck me dead.
Rudd: Well, just say no. Got to go, I am moving forward to the UN. Tarquin?
BB: Dickhead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One hump or two?

September 23 is the National Day of Saudi Arabia. If you are just a little patient, you will be rewarded here with the Saudi national anthem or if you would rather cut to the chase, here is a camel joke.

I voted for wombats

This climate change survey brings to mind those questions designed to give pre-ordained answers along the lines of, "When did you stop beating your wife". Nevertheless, I would encourage all ShadowLanders and others further afield to have a go.

Via kae's always informative bloodnut blog.

It's natural

A reliable source who works for the NSW Health Department has informed the ShadowLands that there has been an outbreak of whooping cough on the north coast of NSW. The outbreak centres on one of those alternative Rudolf Steiner schools.

One of the teachings of Mr Steiner is that childhood diseases are part of development, and therefore vaccination is not required. These teachings have spread around the world just like they are spreading on the north coast.

Of course, whooping cough produces distressing symptoms in babies, and is sometimes fatal, but rest assured - it's all natural.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Marcel Marceau

A million inferior imitators have tended to affect our memory of the world's only great mime, Marcel Marceau who died this time last year.

When Marceau was 16, his father was murdered in Auschwitz, and he and his brother changed their surnames to hide their Jewish origins and fought in the French resistance. Amongst other things, they changed the ages on the identity cards of scores of French youths, both Jews and non-Jews, to save them from labour and death camps

Marceau quotes: "I have spent more than half a lifetime trying to express the tragic moment."

"It's good to shut up sometimes."

International Peace Day success

I expect many ShadowLands readers will still have traces of glue and papier mache on their hands after the International Day of Peace. Pictured is one of the many great events planned for the day - the display of the Dove of Peace.

New Mozart: ShadowLands exclusive!

A new piece of music by Mozart has been found and the ShadowLands is excited to bring you the first online performance for your listening pleasure.

Young and free

Crikey - it's a collection of Australian laws.

Three arms walking

The latest from Kevin Rudd (3rd last paragraph during his first statement to the media).

"The final thing I would say is that we need to make sure that this third arm of the federation, the national government, state governments and local government, are walking together in building the nation’s long term infrastructure needs."

Thanks expressed

From Bill Shorten's maiden address to Parliament on Valentine's Day, 2008:

"Above all others—and I can say this on Valentine’s Day—I thank my wife, Deb Beale, an endlessly intelligent, supportive and loving woman."

Shorten is also responsible for saying about former Labor Leader, Mark Latham: "He has all the attributes of a dog except loyalty".

And today's news...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Don't Panic!

Sydney's only tabloid newspaper, the Daily Telegraph - usually the least tabloid of Sydney's two dailies - led with the Don't Panic heading, followed by the confusing assertion that Australia has recently experienced the worst stock market crash since the great depression. Sorry, but not even close. Sensibly, the article appears to have been taken offline.

Say it again, Kev

As all speech writers know, repetition is a device used to help build emotion. Kevin Rudd is now taking the belief to absurd levels in nearly every speech - like this one:

Violence against women is the great silent crime of our time.It is the silence that makes it the most insidious.

Because it prefers the darkness. Because if it stays in the darkness, it cannot be discussed, debated – let alone dealt with. To begin with, we need to change the attitudes of Australian men.
From birth, it must be drilled into the conscious and the subconscious of all men that there are no circumstances – no circumstances – in which violence against women is acceptable.

There are no circumstances in which the threat of violence against women is acceptable. There are no circumstances in which the thought of violence against women is acceptable. That on violence against women, we have simple, clear policy in two words: zero tolerance.

That needs to be heard from every husband, every father, every partner.
From every celebrity. From every business leader.
From every football player.
From every brick layer.
From every bus driver.
From every factory worker.
From every office worker.
From every lecturer.
From every teacher.
From every student.
And from every politician of every political persuasion.
And it needs to be heard in every place.
In our parliaments.
In our work places.
At our barbeques.

Solution found

Why won't they listen to us?

The ShadowLands fully empathises with our sister site, the Disclosure Project, when it comes to writing to politicians. The Disclosure Project has been seeking comprehensive hearings about the activities of aliens around the planet, and most hearteningly of all, the banning of all space weapons.

However, the Disclosure Project has done much better than the ShadowLands in getting a response. The terrific news is that one conservative British MP, Mr Tim Loughton (see the response at the bottom) will be taking this issue up with the Government.

Missionaries order noble savages to attack

From an article in the Age/SMH today about Aboriginal paintings in the Northern Territory:

"Disturbingly, many images portray terrible conflict between Aborigines. Guse says the fact that many depict spearings is perhaps indicative of the cultural change that followed the arrival of missionaries."

Mr Guse, who is an archeological doctoral student from ANU, has apparently not heard of payback or the work of palaeontologist, Stephen Webb who studied skeletons of Aboriginal people and found widespread evidence of violence prior to European contact (bottom of page 152 here).

Here's why...

it's not such a good idea to directly feed foreign sourced stories onto websites for Australian audiences.

...And just in case an explanation is required, for foreign readers.

Truth shared

Here's hoping this can kick off a healthy exchange of views.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cate was right

See if I am wrong! was Cate Blanchett's bold challenge to readers of the ShadowLands.

Well no - she was not wrong...

Remember Alzheimers Awareness Week

Don't forget, September 19-26 is Alzheimers Awareness Week. One of the highlights will be the Dementia Awareness Walk, so get your t-shirt and get involved. Also, don't forget Alzheimers Awareness Week from September 19-26.

Pirates rrrrrr us

Invented by a couple of friends, International Talk Like a Pirate Day - 19 September - is sweeping the world.

Here are some pirate sayings from Treasure Island to get you going:

"Bring me one noggin of rum, now, won't you, matey."
"Avast, there!"
"Dead men don't bite."
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
"There! That's what I think of ye. Before an hour's out, I'll stove in your old block house like a rum puncheon. Laugh, by thunder, laugh! Before an hour's out, ye'll laugh upon the other side. Them that die'll be the lucky ones."
"Have I lived this many years, and a son of a rum puncheon cock his hat athwart my hawse at the latter end of it?"

Here is your pirate personality test, your pirate name generator, your pirate jokes, and an English to Pirate translator right here. Now begone wi' ye.

Fair call

Apparently, John McCain can't use a computer. There is some (not very interesting) debate out there in cyberspace whether or not this is due to injuries suffered as a POW, but regardless, I think Boy on a Bike makes a sound point over here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


August: "Doomed, Yankistan is doomed."

September: "Russia's main stock market suspended trading today after plummeting more than 11 per cent, having lost more than half its value since May."

...and the reaction.

Love it or leave it

The media don't tell us a great deal about life in South Africa, which is why I was a little surprised to learn today that 300,000 South Africans have applied to migrate to Australia...

Maybe this has something to do with it.

Would you believe...

Oh no, Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer, report scientists studying the effects of climate change.

But then...

Or would you believe ...

Or would you believe, 2030?

Or how about...?

But then...

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull

Since Malcolm Turnbull was elected leader of Australia's opposition party, the ShadowLands offers some Turnbull trivia. In accordance with his family tradition, Malcolm Turnbull's middle name is Bligh. The practice goes back to the Rum Rebellion, when Governor Bligh (yes, that Bligh) was overthrown in a military coup. The Turnbulls were staunchly loyal to the Governor, and have expressed this ever since by giving over the middle names of their sons.

This is mentioned briefly in an excellent book, Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny by Stephen Dando Collins. The book reveals that - unlike most renditions given by Australia's legion of shithouse historians - the rum rebellion was an extremely serious matter in Australia's formative years, and that the ringleader John Macarthur was an A-Grade dickhead who was fortunate not to be hanged for treason.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Well is he?

Behold the Messiah...

or then again...

At the third stroke...

Despite the strong possibility that imperialistic news sources have used this as a distraction from the monumental achievements of North Korea, reports continue to suggest that beloved leader, Kim Jong Il had a stroke about one month ago.

Let's hope he recovers soon, as the death of his father (and DPRK idol contestant) in 1994 did not go down at all well.

Paula Yates

Paula Yates was found dead of an accidental heroin overdose on September 17 2000, orphaning her youngest daughter. She was the very model of modern celebrity, with her life one very long soap opera aimed at attracting attention. She set the trend for giving children names better suited for pets - probably because she never really envisaged seeing them as adults.

International dialogue encouraged

So-called Tim Blair has cottoned onto the Palin opinion piece first linked to here a couple o' days ago (and a few posts down).

In an attempt to encourage greater international understanding, Margo's Maid has alerted the denizens of English Pravda. Let's see how this one pans out. Back in a moment - I'm just heading out to get some popcorn.

Update: Bah, no far.

Paralympians disappoint

The ShadowLands has been watching the Paralympics very carefully with a view to making fun of disabled people.

Instead, we are ashamed to say, it was much easier to poke fun at the abled bodied athletes, who seem to take themselves much more seriously. It is also refreshing to hear athletes being interviewed who have not done media training, and will tell you straight out when they are pissed off.

If you get a chance, check out the upcoming final of wheelchair rugby (it was subject of the documentary, Murderball) between Australia and the United States. The world's best player, Ryley Batt (pictured) is likely to be hemmed in by three players all game - and still score 20 goals.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Armageddon shmarmageddon

Concerned about approaching armaggeddon? Don't be ashamed - we all are. But there is something you can do.

I am not supersticious but...

You will know of the gnarly large experimental atom smasher (the Large Hadron Collider) that has been built in Switzerland, well... check out the Stop the LHC petition and click on "View the whole petition" to see some of the enlightening entries:

Nostradamus Century 9, Number 44 "All should leave Geneva. Saturn turns from gold to iron, The contrary positive ray (RAYPOZ) will exterminate everything, there will be signs in the sky before this." I'm not supersticious but this is quite obviuos. Also the Aztec calender ends abruptely on 21. december 2012. If a black hole builds it will swollow up the earth in ~ 50 months (21 oktober + 50 m) and

Im 14 years old and have my life ahead of me, plus i have 2 little brother age 8 and my littleist is 2 in december. And I do not want us all to die. Can we please stop this experiment??? Why risk everything just to find out what happend to earth years ago? Cuz if we die then you havent learnt nothing. I also love my mom to bits and am really scared Please, please dont do this experiment. Think of others not yourselves.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The devil in disguise

English Pravda's considered opinion on Sarah Palin:

"So next time suppose you keep your mouth shut and while you’re at it, make sure the members of your family keep their legs shut too. Your country has enough failed mothers as it is."

The author is the enigmatic - if somewhat predictable - Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey. TBH turns up in some google searches as Sir Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey. Thissy here digs up an old link with some background on the author, including the claim that he was a leading songwriter in the 1980s...

Stupid thing Sunday

Okay, you folk probably knew this already, but MM has only just discovered that this computer can turn text into speech, and that it's a hoot. Maybe yours does too.

1. Go to the start icon in the bottom left (assuming you have windows).
2. Click on control panel
3. Click on speech
4. Type in some stuff in the text box
5. Click on preview voice.

Works a treat with stupid lyrics from pop songs, and vulgar messages to family members.

Ding, ding, ding. Live blogging Insiders

Here we go folks, the Smackdown is on. Mmmh this chair is not very comfortable and the tele reception isn't very good.

Tim thinks NSW election results could swing by as much as 15%. Over on the couch of solidarity, token chick Fran and Dave laugh. They're warming up slowly here. The Timster looks a bit restrained, no doubt after a night of vandalising cars following the Collingwood game. Dull interview with some dude. Blair and Dave eye each other off.

The dude talks about uranium to India - my estimation rises.

The people give their opinion. Tim and Dave contemplate metaphorical grapple holds - Dave perhaps, the not-so metaphorical.

"At the moment being opposition leader is like being a Collingwood supporter - it's something you don't want to be." Confirmation - Blair is effected. Blair interrupts Marr before he gets into stride then Cassidy cuts Marr off - good tactics.

Paul Kelly was better in the early days. Fran says "It's an awful phrase, 'cutting through'" before using it repeatedly.

"Is this man (Costello) really a leader?" asks Marr. "Howard looked into his soul and saw he would not make a Liberal Party Leader." Interesting how the left don't make judgements, they look into others' souls.

Blair: "I agree with David." We pay our taxes for this? C'mon Timster.

Marr: "Tim, you're right there." C'mon guys, why not everyone just move on over to the couch.

"There's no way the Nationals (in WA) will get into bed with Labor," says Fran - there's a quote that could come back to bite her.

Talking pictures is a good idea for a segment, and Michael Bowers is amiable enough - it's just not very interesting.

Come on Tim not long to go, fire up!

Wish granted - Sarah Palin gets them going, Marr melodramatic as usual. Blair cuts him short, "Sounds like a documentary going on in your head." Marr's point that you can see Palin has no idea if you look at clips on youtube is neatly segued into Blair's point that the same can be said about Obama and a clip showing Obama stumbling.

A cutting remark from Blair at the end as Fran plugs her book "Your taxes at work!" Ouch.

Blair says Geelong and Hawthorn will not make the grand final - Fran says Nationals in WA will not join up with Labor. Who will be proven right?

Summary: They were slow to get going - too much common ground talking about state Labor governments - nobody likes them, so nothing to argue about. Blair's interrupting tactics unsettled Marr who found it hard to get his head wobbles happening. Blair, certainly a bit sheepish following the football. Not really the definitive smackdown we were hoping for, but promising signs when they started talking about US politics.

Hey - commenters! Thanks for coming over, folks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Preview of Smackdown 2008: Blair vs Marr

Tim Blair vs David Marr appearing on Insiders (ABC TV) 14 September 2008. Standby for live blogging at the ShadowLands tomorrow. The contenders:

Tim Blair

Age: 43
From: Werribee
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 82 kg
Australian Public Intellectual ranking: not even ranked
Award winning biographies of Patrick White: nil
Strengths: He's a bit of a smart-arse. Made that oompaloompah politician guy look like a tool on Q&A.
Weaknesses: Not asked to give his opinion on the ABC all that often if they can help it, so might lack experience. Knowledge of wheat varieties is poor. A bit sensitive about his driving record.
Opportunities: Is backed up by a well-drilled legion of attack dog/flying monkeys.
Threats: Has high expectations from attack monkeys that he will crush his opponent like a bug. Can he handle the pressure? Could be distracted - if not locked up - for vandalism or other bogan like behaviour following Collingwood game.
Chief weapon: mockery

David Marr

Age: 41
From: Somewhere snooty, I'm pretty sure
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Australian Public Intellectual ranking: top 40
Award winning biography of Patrick White: Yes
Strengths: Has endless experience speaking on ABC and to literary festivals about how his right to free speech has been curtailed.
Weaknesses: Is full of shit.
Opportunities: After years of being tormented by Blair, has a chance to exact revenge. Unlikely to be distracted by football games unless cameras linger too long in dressing rooms.
Threats: For possibly the first time in his life, there is someone in the room who likes to fact-check.
Chief weapon: will not allow anyone else to speak, and will wave head around and suck all oxygen out of the room

The Eleusinian Mysteries

September 14 is supposedly the starting day for some way weird festival in ancient Greece, but is more likely just an excuse for modern day academics to take psychedelic drugs.


Murdered while drunk in his bed on September 14, 1146, Zengi was a Syrian leader who fought against the Crusaders. Historians at the time noted that his proper title was:

"The emir, the general, the great, the just, the aid of God, the triumphant, the unique, the pillar of religion, the cornerstone of Islam, ornament of Islam, protector of God's creatures, associate of the dynasty, auxiliary of doctrine, grandeur of the nation, honour of kings, supporter of sultans, victor over the infidels, rebels, and atheists, commander of the Muslim armies, the victorious king, the king of princes, the sun of the deserving, emir of the two Iraqs and Syria, conqueror of Iran, Bahlawan, Jihan Alp Inassaj Kotlogh Toghrulbeg atabeg Abu Sa'id Zangi Ibn Aq Sunqur, protector of the prince of the faithful."

When he rode, his troops followed him in single file, since he was known to crucify anyone who trampled on a crop.

Another historian noted "He was feared for his sudden attacking; shunned for his roughness; aggressive, insolent, death to enemies and citizens.” Another noted, “When he (Zengi) was unhappy with an emir, he would kill him or banish him and leave that individual’s children alive but castrate them. Whenever one of his pages pleased him by his beauty he would treat him in the same way so that the characteristics of youth would last longer in him.”

Lesson for followers of history: upon his death his army disintegrated.

The Smackdown: Blair vs Marr

The ShadowLands will live blog Blair vs Marr: the Smackdown - on ABC television's Insiders tomorrow morning.

Don't miss it - or at least, perhaps drop by some time a week later and look it up.

Just a few pages from the history between Blair and Marr right here.

Correction and apology

The ShadowLands wishes to apologise unreservedly for an item it published titled "Climate vandals for Perth Conference".

It turns out that the conference is in fact being held by AGW believers - not by sceptics. The ShadowLands apologises for the error, and hopes delegates enjoy their visit to the golden west.

Climate "vandals" for Perth conference

REUTERS: Environmental groups are outraged that a group of climate sceptics have chosen one of the world's most isolated cities to hold a major conference about climate change. An environmentalist spokesperson said it was outrageous that Perth, Western Australia has been chosen to host international guests.

"Perth is arguably the world's second most isolated city after Honolulu. I say arguably, because Perth is 2100 kilometres from Adelaide - and being near Adelaide shouldn't really count.

"Even the hundreds of attendees from Australia will be forced to fly four and a half hours to the conference, let alone other speakers, who I understand are attending from Italy and the United States. We believe that by holding the conference in Perth, which will spew untold tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, that this group is being deliberately provocative. We call upon the relevant authorities to put an end to this outrageous extravagance."

Ambrose Burnside

Dying on September 13, 1881, Ambrose Burnside is remembered as a not terribly successful General during the US Civil War.

However, he is better remembered for inventing a rifle used extensively during the war, and more particularly, for having the term sideburns derived from his last name.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Song-stuck-in-your-head Friday

I have a great song stuck in my head today - it has one of the most memorable opening lines of any pop song.

The singer, now passed away, overcame a difficult upbringing, served in the US Navy during WWII and was a NASCAR driver. He is quoted with: “I didn't choose a word or anything. I just wrote the song until it stopped.”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The amazing journey of Lewis Pugh

For some reason, the great explorer Lewis Pugh has not provided a map of his kayak adventure to the North Pole, however, by carefully picking over his diaries, I have been able to come up with a picture of exactly how far he penetrated the Arctic.

He left the island of Svalbard (circled on the above map) but could not penetrate any further than 81 degrees north (the large blue line that encircles the Arctic is 80 degrees). As a matter of fact, it appears the intrepid Pugh has gone about exactly as far as is indicated by the dotted line marked "average summer ice extent".

Awareness raised

So, it turns out that in his quest to paddle to the North Pole, adventurer Lewis Pugh only made it as far as 81 degrees north. Since the North Pole is at 90 degrees north, by my calculations, he was about 1000 kilometres short. In other words, the ice that Lewis said might not exist at the North Pole, existed for the same distance required to travel from Sydney to Brisbane.

Confusingly, Pugh described himself as disappointed, but consoled himself with meals of duck in red wine sauce. Hilariously, a number of schoolchildren around the world were following the expedition on a map.

(Via Kae)

Kim Jong not so-Ill

Well placed sources from the Korean Friendship Association are saying that it is unlikely that Kim Jong Il is unwell.

As Algerian delegate Mr Skander Belouizdad points out:

"We must show our greatest respect for the Dear Leader who went as far as to not attend the 60th anniversary of the DPRK just to take care of the people, unlike other corrupt leaders who still manage to enjoy themselves when the people suffer. The Dear Leader comrade Kim Jong Il has always been a healthy man as can be seen in the video documentaries 'Kim Jong Il The Great Athlete' and 'Kim Jong Il The Great Dietician.'"

Watch and weep, imperialist scum!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Barbarians don't always win on September 11. On this date in 1945, the Australian 9th Division (with more than a little help from decisive action in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) liberated 2000 people from the the Batu Lintang internment camp in Borneo. The prisoners were freed with only four days to spare before the Japanese planned to bayonet those who were too weak to leave the camp, poison the women and children, shoot the men, and burn all the evidence.


Bald pop dude Moby, who is 43 on September 11, has produced a few toe-tapping tunes, a couple of amusing videos, and one very tedious blog. A resident of New York, here are his thoughts following 9/11, including his evil plan for a devastating pamphlet drop.

Billy Bishop

Canadian air ace and VC winner, Billy Bishop died in his sleep on September 11, 1956.

His official tally of 72 kills during WWI made him the most lethal air ace in the British Empire. Nicknamed "hell's handmaiden" by the Germans, he had a reputation as a lousy pilot, but a rather accurate shot. He had his own cocktail named after him, the Billy Bishop bullet.

Privacy respected

English Pravda is urging readers not to discuss Vladimir Putin's super-hot daughter, Maria - and as such this will be a taboo topic at the ShadowLands also. The ShadowLands thanks you in advance for your good taste and restraint.

Doubts expressed

REUTERS: International observers close to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say they have serious doubts about reports that Kim Jong Il has fallen sick, possibly suffering from a stroke.

A spokesperson, Mr Dermott Hudson of the Korean Friendship Association said that it was always difficult to believe media reports from the imperialistic west.

"I think it is very unwise to indulge in speculations concerning the leader's health. In fact this is being deliberately spread by the imperialist media to distract from the success of the anniversary celebrations."

These sentiments were backed up by Philippines representative of the KFA, Mr James Mangan:

"There is always allegations that countries that dont back up the United States of Fuckmerica always have 'nuclear weapons' or any other assorted nonsense," Mr Mangun said.

"But of course the stupid American public whose idea of education is MTV, guns, killing other people and pop culture will readily accept it being the sheep they already are while sitting on their fat asses doing no work while receiving social welfare paychecks exploited from other nation's wealth...that's the American no work, sit on your ass all day, get a juicy social paycheck every week and buy products made by exploited pathetic," he concluded.

Is il ill?

9 September, 2008:

Let there be more great revolutionary achievements inside Socialist Korea brought about by the people and wise leadership of the Worker’s Party of Korea, headed by You Leader Comrade Kim Jong IL, and may they live forever! TO THE HEALTH OF THE LEADER, COMRADE KIM JONG IL...

10 September:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has apparently suffered a health setback, "possibly a stroke," a US intelligence official said Tuesday, noting he had not appeared at a 60th anniversary parade.

The unreliable internet

"How true!" concurs Jonathon Holmes of ABC television's Media Watch program when it was put to him that "This is a reminder that there can often be a precarious gap between what's on the internet and the truth." And how does he know? He confirmed it at

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Canada congratulates DPRK

Canadian representative, Mr Kevin Cain (pictured) has congratulated the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its founding with a message including MANY CAPITAL LETTERS.

Good job all round, chaps.

Rin Tin Tin

September 10 2008 is the 90th anniversary of the supposed birthdate of German Shepherd, Rin Tin Tin.

The first Rin Tin Tin was a shell-shocked pup found in a bombed out dog kennel in France by serviceman, Lee Duncan less than 2 months before the end of World War I. After a distinguished Hollywood career, according to legend, the dog died at the age of 14 in the arms of Jean Harlow.

Clueless journalists fail to understand story

A news story from our good friends at Reuters about three Chinese men who smuggled a large ball of depleted uranium does its best to imply that the men involved were in danger of suffering radiation-related diseases - when they probably weren't.

Depleted uranium is 40 per cent less radioactive than the natural uranium you will find in your backyard (or for that matter, in small amounts in your drinking water) and is perfectly safe to handle, so long as you don't drop it on your toe.

If DU was such a radiation hazard, we probably wouldn't use it for radiation shielding in radiography departments or as counterweights in aeroplanes.

Non-challenges tackled

About a third of the way down in Kevin Rudd's address to his Tasmanian comrades:

"We will also tackle non challenges like terrorism, natural disasters, water scarcity, food scarcity, and energy security."

Monday, September 8, 2008

McCain/Palin suffer youtube setback

Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin decried Barack Obama's "styrofoam Greek columns" to much adulation - clearly implying there was something both messianic and a little less than sincere about his presentation.

However, she never could have foreseen that one young man who actually touched Obama's Greek column would turn to youtube for this stirring rebuttal.

Celebrity exposed

If not everyone's favourite actor, Adam Sandler (who turns 42 on September 9) has been in a lot of successful movies. But wait - he has a way dark side.

Election puts Aborigines' poverty at risk

The charming poverty of the Martu people of north western Australia is now at risk, after the cliff hanger election in Western Australia. It may be as long as a week before results are in and it will be known if the Martu are to be kept in lives of penury.

This is a great example of the kind displayed in the documentary, Mine Your Own Business. The producers of this documentary, incidentally are still trying to finance the release of their next film, Not Evil, Just Wrong.

Geography with Kevin

As previously noted, Kevin Rudd appears to struggle with geography.

This time, Kevin discusses dumped Premier of Australia's fifth largest state/territory, Morris Iemma:

"Morris achieved much for NSW, both as a Senior Minister and Premier of Australia’s largest state."

Sunday, September 7, 2008


September 8 is the national day of Andorra, a neat little tax haven sandwiched between Spain and France.

If this short documentary is anything to go by, no-one should need to visit - it is an exceptionally dull place.

Please take a moment to stand for the Andorran national anthem.

Families demand respite from MPs

REUTERS: Families of Members of Parliament in Western Australia and NSW who have been voted out of positions of power in recent days are calling for respite.

A spokesman for the families said they do not want to be spending more time with their political family members.

"No-one asked us if we wanted to spend more time with these retards - and the answer is no," the spokesman said.

"These people have proved their incompetence, and now it seems we are expected to take the brunt of it. There really ought to be some kind of 'pretend Parliament' that we can keep them in for a period of time before releasing them back to the community."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Change we can't believe

Since we at the ShadowLands couldn't be arsed watching the event, news has only just filtered through that there was no balloon release at Obama's acceptance speech.

Instead they went for fireworks which, of course, released all kinds of good stuff into the Denver countryside.

More balloon-based excitement to be had here.

Great actor visits

Australia is currently being visited by a 69-year-old considered by most independent experts as the world's greatest actor. He once appeared in a television show with the world's greatest opening, before making several of the world's best ever acting performances.

Christopher McCandless

"If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed."

This is a quote from glorified hobo, Chris McCandless, who was found starved to death in his sleeping bag in the Alaskan wilderness on September 7, 1992. His story has since been given the Hollywood treatment by Sean Penn.

Another McCandless quote: "...nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future."

Except, as it turns out, a lack of food and a good map. As an Alaskan park ranger later wrote, "When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn’t even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Seeds of discontent

Pining was ruled out as the cause of the behaviour of African Parrot, Alex, found at the bottom of his cage on September 7, 2007, coincidentally the same day that Pavarotti fell off his perch. According to wikipedia:

"Alex died quickly. He had a sudden, unexpected catastrophic event associated with arterosclerosis ('hardening of the arteries'). It was either a fatal arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke, which caused him to die suddenly with no suffering. There was no way to predict his demise. All of his tests, including his cholesterol level and asper levels, came back normal earlier that week. His death could not be connected to his current diet or his age; our veterinarian said that she has seen similar events in young (<10 year old) birds on healthy diets. Most likely, genetics or the same kind of low-level (impossible to detect in birds as yet) inflammatory disease that is related to heart disease in humans was responsible."

Stupid song Friday

I have this stupid song stuck in my head, and thought you should suffer too. Recorded by a Spanish duo, it sold 16 million copies...

The duo split when their final recording inexplicably failed to replicate this success.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Douglas Bader

British war hero, Douglas Bader died on September 5, 1982.

Bader lost both his legs in an aerobatics accident in 1932, writing in his log book after the accident, "Crashed slow-rolling near ground. Bad show" but rejoined the RAF, becoming a top air ace during WWII. He made at least 11 kills in the Battle of Britain alone.

He was later shot down over Germany and captured, where he attempted many escapes, before being sent to Colditz.

After the war, he was seen by some as a right wing extremist for his support of the rule of Ian Smith in Zimbabwe - boy, did he get proven wrong on that issue.

Bader quotes: "I am not one of those who see war as a cricket match where you first give anything to defeat the opponent and then shake hands."

"Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools."

Submission to Green Paper: Part Deux

Margo's Maid concludes the ShadowLands' submission to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper. Take it away, MM...

...One strong possibility is that the regular facts are not strong enough. The other one is that they are very badly informed. Either possibility should be a major concern to you.

But there are lots of other clues that the Government’s heart is not really into it.

One big clue is that if Kevin Rudd really believed his own rhetoric, he would support the introduction of nuclear power to Australia. Instead, he is allowing the opening and expansion of coal fired power stations around the country.

And if Kevin believed in cutting global emissions, he would support the export of uranium to India for the production of carbon-free electricity. One of the largest sources of carbon emissions - as acknowledged by big Al Gore in his documentary - is the burning of wood-fires in Africa and southern Asia. This is a large contributor to that haze you saw over Beijing during the Olympics and is part of what is known as the Asian Brown Cloud. It’s so big, you can see this pollution on satellite images. Some research shows this pollution causes thousands of deaths from respiratory illnesses, and may contribute to global warming in its own right.

Another clue is that if Kevin Rudd really worried about carbon emissions, he would be lobbying the states to stop the construction of those power hungry desalination plants being built around Australia, and building dams instead. He would also be concerned that he is allowing tens of thousands of Olympic swimming pools worth of fresh water to flow down the Snowy River instead of into the Murray-Darling basin this year, and more again next year.

So you’ve been given a job you cannot achieve by a boss who doesn’t believe in it himself. But there-in lies an opportunity.

Here’s my advice: write yourself up an impressive Green Paper that makes everyone happy, just don’t be too specific. Get your graphic designer to produce a sensational cover, maybe with a picture of a child planting a tree or staring directly into the lens, so Kevin can hold it up to the camera. Have a Summit and get Cate to bury a time capsule. This will have the benefit of wasting time, demonstrating activity and having no discernable outcomes until Kevin makes his run for the UN.

Make sure that in between the covers, you phase your recommendations in verrrry slowly, so that as the tide turns on this debate, and when Kevin is tossed out in an election or two, the damage can be minimised, and your reputation kept in tact.

As we all know, the risk that any finding you make will have any effect on climate change is zero. However, if China’s economy slows down, our primary industries suffer from your findings, and we all go into recession, the risk that Kevin will blame you for it are approximately 100 per cent.

So turn up to work, get through the days and the weeks, doing stuff but really doing stuff-all. You are in a unique position, where by doing little, you can do much for Australia. In the meantime, spend those glorious weekends in Batemans Bay. Wait for the election. Save up your leave and take your kids to Murramarang Resort, try the tandoori pizza. Life will be okay.

After this all blows over, get a real job with a mining company, move to Sydney and let us never speak of this again.

Watkins farewell in doubt

REUTERS: The NSW Labor Party is today struggling to organise a suitable farewell for its Deputy Leader, John Watkins who announced his resignation yesterday.

Labor MPs were today undecided whether they should accept a sponsorship for the event or whether they should just each bring a plate of food. A source from the Premier's office said that while nobody had heard of Watkins before he announced his resignation, they were still keen to organise some kind of decent farewell.

"We tried to book some venues but found the waiting lists were too long. And while it may all be well and good to bring a plate, there seems to be a chronic shortage of suitable tables. And last time we did this, there were about 20 boxes of cheesels and no Fanta," the spokesman said.

"In the meantime, we are still arguing over whether we should just take it to the party room at Mcdonalds. Some on the left are insisting that we can't hold it at Maccas, but the concern is that if we don't, nobody will show up. But if we do, someone might catch us yelling, 'Don't you know who I am' at the staff - and that is not to mention the issues with public transport.

"Oh fuck, I don't even want to think about it," the spokesman concluded.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hop to it: Rein

REUTERS: Therese Rein, wife of Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd has farewelled the last of Australia's Paralympians who are now on their way to Beijing for the Paralympics .

"I hope they get there soon, as I'd hate to be trying to get a disabled parking space at this stage of proceedings," Ms Rein remarked. "But seriously, I am sure this team will do well. Our cripples and retards are right up there with the finest anywhere in the world. By the way, has anyone seen Kevin?"

Climate change submission: Part One

Time is rapidly running out to make your submission to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper. Margo's Maid will be making a submission on behalf of The ShadowLands and presents Part One here:

First of all, let me say straight up that I feel sorry for you guys in the Department of Climate Change Office. I really do.

Imagine waking up every morning in sub-freezing temperatures after having a couple too many merlots the night before, still haunted by the memories of a glorious weekend in Batemans Bay. Cappuccinos and friandes at the Starfish deli while the waters of the Clyde dance gently to the squawks of the sea-gulls. Then having some bendy bus regurgitate you onto the steps of the John Gorton Building (pictured above). Fair dinkum, building designs like this have been rejected for use in the Gulags on account of being too grim.

Then you have to face up to the usual crew of workmates – ugly as a hatful of arseholes, and not much more useful... And your job is what? Trying to stop the world from getting warmer? And it turns out, anything you do will make no difference, because Australia produces one and three fifths of bugger all of world emissions. Trust me - I feel for you.

But, about this carbon trading emissions scheme. One of the big questions about the scheme is whether or not Australia should be an early adopter of this scheme. On this subject, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told ABC radio in Canberra:

But Australia is not the hottest continent. That honour goes to Africa. In fact, Australia is not even the second hottest continent – South America is hotter. The reasons for this are simply that around 75 per cent of the continental land mass of Africa is in the tropics, and around 60 per cent of South America.

If you want confirmation of this, look at a map, or go here which will give you a graphic representation of the comparative temperatures any time of day, and you will find that Australia blushes but Africa and South America burn with red. Still not sure? Travel to Africa or South America and step out of the plane.

It turns out that Australia is not the driest continent either. That honour goes to Antarctica. But further than that, did you know that Australia ranks second amongst continents for renewable fresh water resources per capita? Only South America, thanks to the force of nature that is the mighty Amazon River, outranks us.

I wrote to Kevin Rudd to explain the source of his repeated claim that Australia is the hottest and driest continent some months ago, and he is yet to respond. If, as Kevin believes, Australia must act quickly because we are the hottest and driest continent, it surely follows that we need not act quickly, because we really are not the hottest or driest continent.

On the ABC television show Q and A, Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong said “It depends what chart you are looking at, but Australia or the United States are either first or second for carbon emissions per capita.”

Google it. I defy anyone to find a chart that shows Australia or the United States as first and second on the chart for global emissions per capita. I wrote to Penny Wong weeks ago to explain the source of this claim, and she is yet to respond.

All of which begs the question: why are the Prime Minister and the Minister for Climate Change telling big fat bulbous lies about Australia’s position on carbon emissions?...

to be continued

Monday, September 1, 2008

Technical difficulties

MM - and it seems - everyone else is experiencing technical difficulties at the moment. I will be putting my crack team of IT specialists onto it, which means taking the computer down to the fixin' shop.