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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Should they stay or should they go?

It's been a quiet election this year for celebrities declaring they will leave the US if they don't get the result they want. So thank heavens for Seal and Heidi.

It is hard to imagine America without the tunes of Mr Seal, but to help you along, try this one for starters.

A date with destiny

Leading international journal of record, Pravda reckons the United States is making some noises about testing its stockpile of nuclear weapons. This would be joyous news to one scientist I once spoke to who is involved in carbon dating.

Don't ask me to explain how, but apparently letting off the odd nuclear weapon makes radio-carbon dating possible, but the lack of C14 in the atmosphere is putting it at risk.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Policy development update

Dear [Some Poor Chicks from the Department of Climate Change]
cc: the Ombudsman

Can you explain why the submission to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme by The ShadowLands website appears not published as promised in the email trail below?

Yours sincerely

MM

Dear MM

Submissions are posted on our website every COB Thursday. Your submission will be posted either COB Thursday 23 October or at the very latest COB Thursday 30 October 2008.

Kind Regards,

Some Poor Chick, Department of Climate Change

Dear Department of Climate Changers

Please find the updated submission attached with the sentence removed. Please advise of whether this will be published and if so, how it will be distributed.

Yours sincerely

MM

Dear MM,

I am not in a position to remove any sentences from any submission received by the Department. If you would like your submission published could you please remove the profanity (submission attached for your convenience) and re-send your submission for publishing on the web.

The sentence containing the offensive word is page 1, paragraph 2 - beginning with 'Then you have to face up to the usual crew of workmates - ugly as a hatful of (profanity)...'.

Thank you,

Some Poor Chick, Department of Climate Change

Dear Some Poor Chick

You have my full permission to remove any sentences containing profanity. Please let me know if this submission is to be published, by Monday 27 October. If there is no agreement to publish by this time, I will be approaching the Ombudsman for adjudication.

Yours sincerely

MM

Dear MM,

Unfortunately the Department of Climate Change cannot publish your submission as it contains offensive language.

Kind Regards,

Some Poor Chick, Department of Climate Change

Dear Some Poor Chick, Department of Climate Change

Can you advise of any progress in publishing this submission?

Yours sincerely

MM

Dear MM,

We have located your submission and it was not processed because you did not fill in a coversheet. Could you please fill in the attached coversheet - in particular please consider the confidentiality and third party provisions - so your submission can be processed.

Kind Regards,
Some Poor Chick, Department of Climate Change

Dear Sir/Madam

The submission by Margo's Maid on behalf of the ShadowLands website has not been published. Can you explain this omission?

Yours sincerely

MM, (28 September, 2008)

The future bullshitters

Tim Flannery 2004:

"Speaking last night at the State Government's Sydney Futures forum, Dr Flannery warned of a city [Sydney] grappling with up to 60 per cent less water."


Tim Flannery 2005:

"Leading environmentalist Professor Tim Flannery...predicts that the ongoing drought could leave Sydney's dams dry in just two years."


Research based on IPCC modelling 2008:

"Rainfall across the Sydney basin will increase by up to half, with a drop in winter rainfall cancelled out by heavier falls in summer."

When Mother Earth was still hot...

The environment - scarcely ever mentioned and clearly in need of awareness raising.

What better way to raise awareness and protect the environment than by flying dozens of hot chicks to the Philippines?

It's an important reminder to us all that Gaia was once a babe.

UPDATE: "This hyper-active young lady admits that she just can’t say no to anything that would help people in need."

UPDATE II: Sometimes pure babeness speaks louder than words.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

IOU WTF LOL

Sarah Palin must be buying her clothes in Zimbabwe if the blurb under the heading "Blogwatch: Shop on, Sarah Palin" (five headings down) over thissaway is to be believed.

Capitalism and Freedom Part VII

The ShadowLands' correspondent on capitalism and freedom, John Butler of the John Butler Trio has some great news about the international economy...

Time for me to 'fess up. I am not an expert on economics - but then, neither are most economics experts.

But what anyone can tell is that when you put two countries together - say North Korea and South Korea, or East Germany and West Germany - the democratic and capitalist society always wins.

So what to make of the international economic crisis? Some say it is the beginning of the end of the United States, and the end of capitalism as we know it.

A much more measured view comes from the respected economics writer, Ross Gittins in today's Sydney Morning Herald. Gittins sticks his neck out by saying:

"I have a feeling that's what will happen this time: a recession that lasts a year or two, with the unemployment rate rising to double figures."

After some deliberation, I would like to put it on the record that my money is that while Government spending is likely to go into deficit, Australia will not go into recession (that being, two quarters of contraction), nor have an unemployment rate that exceeds 7 per cent. There it is.

And how can I be so sure? Economic modelling? Advice from experts?

The reason is simple. Most people who believe that the current economic crisis will have major ramifications are a collection of AGW believers, English Pravda blog contributors, and Larvatus Prodeo commenters. Rest assured, these retards are wrong about everything.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Beyond weird

I don't think the sub-editors thought very carefully about the possible interpretations of this headline before they published it - but it did get my attention.

Authority lost, argument won

Arguably one of Sydney's leading broadsheet daily newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald is promoting a debate about whether or not America has lost its moral authority.

One clue as to the likely outcome of the debate may be found in the title - "America has lost its moral authority."

Representing the affirmative is Herald journalist, Paul McGeough - the plonker who reported that the Iraqi Prime Minister was a murderer and that civil war in Iraq was pretty much inevitable. After these escapades, it's not clear how McGeough is expected to have any authority at all.

Enjoy while you can

It was recognised as long ago as 2006, that Autumn may have to be cancelled in the north east of the United States due to global warming.

Astoundingly, they still seem to be having an Autumn - but make the most of it, before the angry boiling tides engulf these precious autumnal shades...(sob!)

More proof

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - ill from exhaustion or something much more sinister?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Plot exposed

The cat is out of the bag over at Pravda blog.

Charlie Daniels

Turning 70 on 28 October, musician Charlie Daniels has never been one to shy away from an making known his opinion - not least here.

Down for a bit

The ShadowLands' computer system collapsed shortly after messaging began with the KFA - no doubt, attacked by American imperialist dogs.

However, our crack team of IT people are onto it and normal posting should resume shortly.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An ethical dilemma

The ShadowLands is having its first outing at the Korean Friendship Association. Already, our new friends are giving us some great advice.

Opportunity missed

The ShadowLands has been beaten to the punch in buying this tremendous artwork.

Fortunately, there are plenty more out there where that came from.

More stuff for your community-based shrine here and here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Out of LSD?

Then try the Fly Guy, or check out these cool interiors.

McCain smoking shocker

REUTERS: Senator McCain's hopes of being elected President of the United States have taken a blow following the release of an old video showing him smoking a cigarette.

His opponent, Senator Obama (pictured) was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

This story...

has received remarkably little coverage in the Australian media. I stumbled across it at Theo Spark's (careful, there could be totty).

Yemen floats to the bottom

Bracing themselves for increasing water scarcity, the people of Yemen have just learnt a hard lesson about climate change. It's bullshit.

UPDATE: It gets worse.

All the news that's fit to ignore

Only a few weeks ago, David Marr overlooked the story of the week when he buried revelations in his own book that a school principal was helping a photographer scout for nude models.

This week the Sydney Morning Herald is carrying two articles by Marr about former terror suspect, Mohammed Haneef. The titles for these articles might as well be "nothing to see here," but the content in one of them reads:
'But half a world away the Australian Federal Police is still pursuing him. The AFP submission to the Clarke inquiry into Dr Haneef's arrest, detention, charging and prosecution last year claims a disturbing pamphlet from an unidentified organisation and an audio file from an unknown author 'linked to' al-Qaeda were found in Dr Haneef's Gold Coast apartment.

He was never questioned about these at the time. Dr Haneef told the Herald: "It's probably some pamphlets distributed in mosques when I was in the UK in my files. It doesn't mean I follow such things."

He had many audio files on his laptop, he said.

"Because it's there doesn't mean it's my view or my opinion.'
This is not the first time that Herald headlines have been known to come into conflict with the content of the articles.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is capitalism dead?

John Butler of the John Butler Trio meditates on this question for readers of the ShadowLands. Take it away, John.

Well no, actually, you dipshits. Watch this...

(via Tizonas)

Let's see who salutes

The ShadowLands has written to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Dear Sir/Madam

On October 31, someone by the name of Tony Jones (I presume the host of Lateline) is appearing as a paid moderator at Carbon Expo '08 on the Gold Coast.

This event is sponsored by various government departments and prominent proponents of anthropogenic global warming. This may be in contravention of the conflict of interest section of ABC editorial policies.

Of most concern, last night Mr Jones interviewed three proponents of global warming, none of whom provided different points of view. In a question, Mr Jones suggested those who disagreed with them were like "flat earthers".

This was clearly in contravention of Mr Mark Scott's Preamble in the editorial policies which states:

"The Board requires the ABC to demonstrate impartiality in two ways:

• As a creator, broadcaster and publisher of news and current affairs content, the Board requires impartiality at the content or program level. This means that each program or item of news and current affairs content must be impartial...

This means that while individual items of content can take a particular perspective on an issue, the ABC must be able to demonstrate at the platform level that it has provided its audiences with a range of different perspectives on the subject under consideration."

By itself, last night's item about global warming failed to meet these guidelines, and in the context of Mr Jones being paid to work for global warming proponents, it is a serious matter.

Two points:

* If Mr Jones takes money from Carbon Expo '08 he is at risk of being tainted by accusations of financially induced bias.

* Last night's story on global warming did not provide the different perspectives in ABC editorial policies as outlined by Mr Scott.

Yours sincerely

[The ShadowLands]

Sisters are doing it for themselves

'Tis a truth universally acknowledged that Sarah Palin has been given scrutiny of a kind her opposite number, Joe Biden has not during the US election campaign.

It is great to see, therefore, her sisters making a public stand against sexism.

CORRECTION: Turns out the support from NSW MP's was in defence of the Australian Federal MP, Ms Belinda Neal. Ms Neal has been acquitted of misleading the parliament during May.

She had denied telling a heavily pregnant opponent in Parliament, that, "Evil thoughts will turn your child into a demon." Turns out she was fully justified, as the committee discovered she in fact said, "Your child will turn into a demon if you have such evil thoughts."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Intellectual unfairly attacked

A distinguished South Australian education lecturer, Mr Grant Banfield has hit back at Young Liberals who had unfairly accused him of "bias".

In particular, they seem to object to his perfectly understandable application of Bhaskarian Critical Realism and Marxist social theory to an emancipatory sociology of education. As Mr Banfield points out, he has a long history of impartiality.

Future bright

Russia has set a new record for arms sales according to English Pravda. While China and India are the main buyers of Russian weaponry, other keen buyers are a catalogue of international douche-bags: Algeria, Venezuela, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Russia is also currently in talks with Libya who are reportedly in the market for missile systems.

Pravda also reports that Venezuela plans to spend over $30 billion on its defence budget.

More on that man of peace, Hugo Chavez, here.

UPDATE: Sign up to become an official designated naive twat over here.

Happy Maladay

Maladay, October 24, is an important day for observers of the anarchic religion, Discordianism.

Discordianism recognizes chaos, discord, and dissent as valid and desirable qualities.

Followers believe that every man, woman and child is a Pope and may be issued with an official card recognising them as a Pope of Discordia. The rights of a Pope include, but are not necessarily limited to, invoking infallibility at any time, including retroactively.

Amongst many other things, Discordians believe all things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to five. Discordians are forbidden to eat hot dog buns, or to believe everything they read.

One growing subsect of Discordians believe that the entire religion was made up just to take the piss out of wikipedia.

Impartial boards selected

The Rudd Government has devised a way of taking the politics out of selecting the boards of leading compulsory-pay television stations, the ABC and SBS.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has today announced appointments to the new arms length selection panel by way of a public display.

I'll pay that

Kae via Mr Wand has a funny joke.

Indians celebrate science achievement

India has successfully launched a satellite to the moon.

The achievement is being haled by every day Indians everywhere including the pictured group of delirious commuters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rove escapes - this time

A protester by the name of Janine Boneparth has narrowly failed to handcuff mastermind of world events, Karl Rove.

Looks like Mr Rove was very fortunate to avoid the clutches of the group, known as Code Pink, who were also involved in this protest (Warning - Not Safe for Viewing by Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime.)

Future foretold

English Pravda's prestigious science section has some dire predictions from Pavel Globa (pictured).

Turns out, much like the rest of English Pravda, he predicts that the West is doomed, but Russia will be okay.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shaggy

Rapper Shaggy turns 40 on October 22. While born in Jamaica, he grew up in the United States and served as a Field Artillery Crewman during Operation Desert Storm.

Here are some other famous marines.

Deadline set

Dear MM

Unfortunately the Department of Climate Change cannot publish your submission as it contains offensive language.

Yours sincerely

[Some poor chick from the DCC]


Dear [Some poor chick from the Department of Climate Change]

You have my full permission to remove any sentences containing profanity. Please let me know if this submission is to be published, by Monday 27 October. If there is no agreement to publish by this time, I will be approaching the Ombudsman for adjudication.

Yours sincerely

MM

Monday, October 20, 2008

Enviro tip of the week

From the ABC enviro guru: "Recycling paper and plastic is great, but not using less is always better."

UPDATE: Still not fixed - obviously nobody reads that crap.

UPDATE II: Fixed - eventually.

Carbon Expo '08

Climate change is a global challenge, and a global issue.

The Gold Coast (pictured) is a city that is part of the global world in which we live.

That's why The ShadowLands encourages you to attend Australia's first Carbon Market Expo.Headlined by Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong, the Expo will be attended by speakers from Bonn, London, Brussels, India, Manila, Shanghai, Oslo, USA, New Zealand, as well as a host of organisations that choose not to divulge their main address.

Also prominent in getting a piece of the action will be the ABC's own Tony "Mr Sustainability" Jones, acting as moderator. The event will climax with the presentation of industry sustainability awards.

Modest villas may be obtained at a special rate at Jupiters Casino.

Why not get there early and enjoy Gold Coast Indy or hang around a little longer for schoolies week? The ShadowLands says - Get yourself along, or we will torch some old growth forest!

American pie

Meanwhile, from the heart of international power...

Bryson wrong

The admittedly entertaining travel writer, Bill Bryson once claimed in a book of his that Australia was a place in which nothing of any consequence really happens.

Oooh yeah?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Socialist triumph

Somalia was declared a socialist state on October 20, 1970. Some historians have come to consider the venture a triumph, with the gap between poor and very fucking poor narrowing to unprecedented levels of smallness.

Kevin heaven

A summit of world leaders? Kevin Rudd must think he has beaten death and gone straight to heaven.

How old...

do you think these people are?

Great Day

Today is a great day for the ShadowLands. Following a brutal week-long vetting procedure, Ms Marg Maiden has finally been accepted as a member at the Korean Friendship Association and can post at the message board.

By the by: some of MM's new friends say that an important announcement is soon to be made.

Secret police and why we should love them

The Age has its collective panties in a bunch about emerging details regarding covert police activities.

This particular story is about a secret policeman who was infiltrating anti-nuke groups before being exposed in mid 2001.

But here's what happened - but was scarcely reported anywhere - later that year when Greenpeace staged a protest at the Lucas Heights research reactor (see mid article).

"Patrick Corbett...spent last Christmas in agony because a Greenpeace protest at Lucas Heights in mid-December delayed vital pain relief reaching him.

As a result of that protest, the reactor's production of radio-isotopes was disrupted and Mr Corbett, a bone-cancer patient, was informed he would have to go without. Mr Corbett, 79, was in an ambulance outside his home and about to go for treatment when the hospital called, telling him not to come.

His wife, Margaret, said he spent Christmas in a morphine haze without the radio-isotope Quadramet, which can give patients with serious cancer four weeks of pain relief in one dose. "We know there's no cure, but he's only got some sort of life when the pain stops," Mrs Corbett said.

A senior physicist said the Greenpeace protest shut down the reactor, delaying shipments of nuclear medicine. By the time it arrived, it was past its useful life."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rudd speaks

Former Labor Leader Kim Beazley was infamous for speaking in a way that was too complicated.

Kim Beazley never got to be Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd is Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd has made another speech.

He has learnt from Kim's mistakes.

But he went too far.

It is full of repetition.

Often mindless, mindless repetition.

Kevin's speech writer thinks that by having four sentences in a row that start with "It is..." he is creating a similar effect to Churchill fighting them on the beaches, or Luther King having a dream.

He is mistaken.

He is wrong.

He is a dickhead.

And therefore, so is Kevin.

Two sentences cannot go together.

To make a paragraph.

Because that would be wrong.

It is full of cliches, because he is in it for the long haul, is not offering blank cheques, and we are still in harm's way.

And there are some supremely stupid sentences.

"I would also argue that we must make progress."

And many that are not sentences at all.

That is all.

History Wars claim millionth victim

REUTERS: Professor Henry Reynolds says that more than a million of his fellow Australian historians have now been killed as a result of the so-called "History Wars".

"There was a time when historians roamed the plains like sheep, but Keith Windschuttle and John Howard have decimated our stocks, sometimes raping historians, sometimes burning them, leaving little if any trace to be found," Professor Reynolds said.

"I am now among the last of my kind. When I walk down the street these days, unless you bump into Phillip Adams, you might never see another person wearing a skivvy or stroking their beard thoughtfully."

Professor Reynolds' article "The Genocide of Australian Historians," is soon to be published in the internationally respected journal, The Lancet. The Lancet is the world's most popular journal, being read by more than 3 billion people.

Colin would have died: autopsy

REUTERS: Results of an autopsy carried out on a whale calf that was put down by wildlife authorities in Sydney during August show it was suffering from a terminal condition.

The infant humpback whale, nicknamed Colin, was found abandoned by its mother at Pittwater and despite some protests, it was put down by wildlife workers.

A Taronga Zoo spokesman said the autopsy results revealed the calf was male and that it was basically starving to death.

"The autopsy showed it was emaciated. It would have been ridiculous to try to feed the animal when it was starving to death." he concluded.

ABC quality will not suffer: Scott

REUTERS: The quality of programming on the ABC will not suffer despite a decision to axe a series of shows on Radio National's schedule, managing director Mark Scott says.

Programs to be scrapped from the ABC's 2009 schedule include The Ark, In Conversation, Media Report, Perspective, Radio Eye, Religion Report, Sports Factor and Street Stories.

Speaking in Canberra today, Mr Scott said Radio National's reputation for high quality, intelligent programming would not change.

"Nothing minus nothing is nothing. Seriously, who listens to that shit anyway," Mr Scott told reporters today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Howard on retirement rampage

REUTERS: Former Prime Minister, John Howard (pictured, left) has been spending his retirement destroying Aboriginal archaeological sites according to a leading historian/film-maker.

Ms Rachel Perkins, writer and co-Producer of the landmark SBS documentary, The First Australians, says in the last paragraph here, that Mr Howard may be responsible for a number of vandalised and destroyed historical sites that are sacred to the Aboriginal people.

Reuters did not bother contacting Mr Howard for comment at the time of going to press, because he was probably out on a vandalism spree.

London Beer Flood

October 17 is always a day of sombre reflection - the anniversary of the 1814 London Beer Flood when 8 people drowned and another died of alcohol poisoning after a large vat gave way in a brewery. Some died when trampled in a rush to get free beer.

Relatives of some of the victims made a fine profit displaying the corpses in their homes for a fee. Many basements were filled with beer and took many months to dry out.

Here are some funny beer commercials.

Jiti Jatayi

The Jiti Jitayi political party was founded by eunuchs in Madhya Pradesh, India on October 17 2003. Since the demise of the Australian Democrats, it is now widely acknowledged as the most powerful political force for eunuchs.

Tackiness averted

A number of people over at the SBS website have been wondering aloud why the SBS documentary, The First Australians has not covered the first 39,800 years of Aboriginal occupation, nor any aspects of traditional Aboriginal existence.

The eighth paragraph of this may go some way to explain:

"We did not want to have Aborigines grunting and running around the bushes..."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

DPRK update

North Korea's answer to Mata Hari, Won Jeong-hwa, has been sentenced to five years' jail in South Korea.

In other official news, a German exhibition of bear sculptures is a huge hit in Pyongyang. A number of speeches are understood to have been made.

Meanwhile, in response to the earnest desire of all the people of the country and progressives of the world, state standards have been applied to flowers, Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia.

Marie Antoinette

Your Antoinette trivia:

* An Archduchess of Austria, Marie married the future Louis XVI at 14.

* Louis allegedly didn't know what to do in the sack, and it took seven years for the marriage to be consummated. This was public knowledge, and the subject of bawdy pamphlets and "libelles".

* She gave birth in front of hundreds of people.

* She never said "Let them eat cake".

* She stood on a balcony for ten minutes in front of a rowdy crowd with muskets trained at her.

* Here's a great Marie Halloween costume.

Marie quotes: "There is nothing new except what has been forgotten."

"Courage! I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end?"

and her last words spoken on October 16, 1793 after stepping on her executioner's foot:

"Pardon me, monsieur. It was not on purpose."

Canadian election

Polling booths are starting to close in Canada. Updates from the CBC here and an illegal and, as a result, extremely popular live blog here, not to mention, Small Dead Animals.

UPDATE: Good news and bad news for Canadian celebrities. The bad news is their conservative PM was returned. The good news is that they have already left Canada.

The First Australians: Part II

John Butler of the John Butler Trio continues his commentary of The First Australians.

As promised, I have been watching SBS's documentary about Aboriginal Australia, The First Australians.

Six years in the making, the documentary is a worthy project, pictorially pleasing to watch and informative - but has some gaping flaws.
For one thing, the entire subject of Aboriginal history before European contact has been all but ignored. Why would this be? My guess is that there is no political advantage in it. Had it been discussed, the uncomfortable question of violence and treatment of women in pre-contact societies may have needed to be raised. Wouldn't it have been good to discuss the discovery of Mungo man? Wouldn't it have been worthwhile to discuss life with some Aborigines who still live very traditional lives?

Having all but ignored 39,800 years of Aboriginal history, the documentary further ignores contact with the Dutch, and even the first encounters with Lieutenant Cook. Furthermore, the first episode ignored the well documented women-bashing tendencies of Bennelong - as fine an example of 'if you don't learn from history, you are destined to repeat it' as you will ever stumble upon.

The second episode about Tasmania captured the tragedy of the demise of full-blooded Aborigines, but once again nearly suffocated under its own dogma, this time quoting two or three historians who have been fully discredited by Keith Windschuttle. His book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History is a must read for scholars of Australian history and Australian historians.

My good friend, Margo's Maid tells me that she will be doing her best to promote the work over at the SBS website. You go girl!

As an aside, hilariously, one commenter at the SBS site (no link available) has expressed outrage at the use of the term "Eskimo" in the documentary shown on our multicultural broadcaster. "Eskimo" is a highly offensive term to Canadians. One might have thought that the Series Superviser, Professor Marcia Langton, who claims to have worked for First Nation rights in Canada might have known better.

Don't blame us: IT

REUTERS: Qantas Information Technology staff have denied responsibility for last week's mid-flight incident on a Qantas plane headed to Perth.

A spokesperson for IT Helpdesk workers said they could not be held responsible for the events that led to the 197 metre nosedive.

"The Captain may have called us about a problem they were experiencing with changing the clock on the autopilot to adjust for daylight savings. While we may have asked him whether he had tried turning it off and on again, the decision to do so was entirely his."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mata Hari

"I am a woman who enjoys herself very much; sometimes I lose, sometimes I win."

So said Margaretha Zelle - better known as, Mata Hari - before losing out badly on October 15, 1917. She was executed by firing squad on this day for spying on behalf of the Germans during WWI.

She was accused of consorting with senior military officials and giving away secrets that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of lives.

eh?

Canada - a North American nation famed as the place to go if you don't get the election result you want in your own country - is having its own election over the next 24 hours.

The liveliest Canadian blog I have come across, Small Dead Animals, notes that one of the bizarre rituals of media control imposed by this nation's regulators is the banning of live blogging of the event. However, for those seeking to keep up to date, international blogs like this one will be exempt.

It is unclear where Canadians will go if they don't get the election result they want.

Filth found on internet

It has long been rumoured that the internet is the source of a great deal of sexually charged depravity. Now I have proof. To fully appreciate how depraved this is, check out the moose.

I'm not saying...

I know for sure that Ant Loewenstein works for ASIO, but let's just say, I wouldn't be surprised.

First of all, he gets to visit anti-Bush activists in the middle East; second, no-one is likely to pay to read the crap he writes; and so how does he make a living? That is all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Therapy required

Some Professor reckons time wasters need therapy.

Until such time as you need therapy, try the Polar bear vs Sarah Palin game.

Instructions: You are the polar bear. Use the arrow keys to move around. Grab some dynamite from the small island and move onto the big island. Launch the dynamite at the oil rigs by using the spacebar.

A tip: easily avoid Sarah in the armoured personnel carrier by taking to the water!

Emergency

Danger, danger...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Crisis latest

When it comes to a succinct and perceptive analysis of the global financial crisis, there is really only one place to go.

Who wants to be a humillionaire?

LOL, LMFAO, STFW, OMG.

and a cheapskate gets a free phone call.

Russia's chance

One of English Pravda's enigmatic group of opinion writers, Stanislav Mishin sees the economic crisis as Russia's big chance to finally assert dominance over the USA. As he writes at his blog:

"This Great Bank Panic is Russia's chance, a chance to stand on strength due to the wise prudence of Putin and Medvedev and Russia's firm financial base..."

But, as one US analyst notes, Russia has probably been worse hit than the US:

"You can now buy the free float of the entire Russian energy sector with the market cap of Coca-Cola, and still have change to buy all the Russian banks...''

Celebrities embrace deafforestation

Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nora Jones and Sheryl Crow are just some of the bands and celebrities who are demonstrating their environmental credential by using bio-fuels.

And the people of Indonesia are rising to the challenge.

Epstein, Gartrell and the others

MEDIA RELEASE: The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd has paid tribute to Tim Gartrell, David Epstein and six other staff of the PMs department who all suddenly resigned in recent months.

"Well, I am still waiting for reports on all of their names since I am just off the phone with the Prime Minister of Japan, but some of them have put in up to six months' valuable service in my office," Mr Rudd declared. "Well...on behalf of the Government and the people of Australia I record our deep appreciation for their sometimes months of service to this great country and wish them all the best for their future. I have to go now."

Mr Gartrell, Epstein and the other ones all recorded their appreciation of Mr Rudd.

"We all couldn't be happier with our time working for Mr Rudd - sometimes for months at a stretch," they said in unison. "Our predominant feeling today is joy tinged with sadness - joy for the tremendous work we have done, and sadness that it had to suddenly come to an end," they all said.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Managing Andromedans

MM has signed up to a UFO/alien forum to tap into the wisdom of its members.

The title of my first post is "Managing Andromedans" - for which there is a little background here and here.

Candidate speaks

"So I wonder, if I am President, if it means everyone will take me seriously when I put on my aluminium foil hat..."

UPDATE: Some background about the candidate.

Asylum grantees' bike pleas go unheeded

REUTERS: Dozens of asylum grantees in suburban Melbourne are on hunger strike in protest at the time it takes applications for free bikes to be processed.

A spokeswoman from the Coalition for Refugees said some grantees had stopped eating on Friday and urged others to join in.

"Although it is true that some bikes are available now, many of them do not appear to have carbon fibre struts, kevlar tyres, or onboard computers. All of them also appear not to have engines. It must only be a matter of time before lip-sewing commences," the spokeswoman concluded.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Political Discourse Friday

You want to talk about Bristol Palin? Well then, why not let's talk about Obama's momma?

The First Australians

One of the ShadowLands' favourite columnists, John Butler of the John Butler Trio discusses The First Australians.

This weekend, SBS television will be showing a documentary on Aboriginal Australia, The First Australians. This sounds like a worthy and fascinating project and I will be checking it out - but will it be an honest appraisal?

The first question that Australians seem to struggle with is how long Aborigines have been in Australia. The oldest reliable and agreed upon results from radio-carbon dating carried out from sites around Australia is around 40,000 years before the present.

40,000 years is a mighty impressive figure - meaning at least 2,000 generations of people have trodden the earth of this continent. All of which makes it puzzling that some in the documentary are claiming 80,000-100,000 years - which simply cannot be corroborated. It really shouldn't be that hard to ask an archaeologist about the truth - and let it sit at that, at least until someone digs up something older.

This brings us to another question. How is it that, as we are told, Aborigines are the oldest continuous culture on Earth? It was mentioned in the first line of Kevin Rudd's apology, so it must be true, right?

Certainly, 40,000 year old bones have been found in Australia, but 160,000 year-old human bones have been found in Ethiopia. The discovery of bones does not indicate a continuous culture - unless you assume, with a somewhat racist sweep, that the culture of Aborigines probably didn't change because they were incapable of it. How is it that Ethopian culture stopped but Aboriginal culture continued? Frankly, it is unlikely, given the current understanding that humans emerged from Africa, that Aborigines are the oldest continuous living culture.

When does a culture stop? What does a continuous culture mean? Probably very little if you were to ask an expert.

So, if this documentary can't get these facts right - what facts can they get right? It's not a great start. The known facts of Aboriginal history are impressive - so why do they have to lie about them in Episode 1 - and what does it tell us about less obvious facts they are yet to broadcast?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Requests taken

Can you think of any great quotes by Madonna? Me neither.

Edith Piaf

Edith Piaf pioneered the way for tragic drug-addicted female singers everywhere. Raised for a time by her brothel-owning grandmother, she was later linked to the mob and accused of involvement in the murder of her manager.

Her time singing for German officers during WWII attracted some criticism, but she is believed to have helped at least one Jewish person escape Nazi persecution. She battled morphine addiction, but died of liver cancer on October 10, 1963.

Piaf quotes: "As far as I'm concerned, love means fighting, big fat lies, and a couple of slaps across the face."

"I'd like to see one person - just one - who would own up to having been a coward."

Burke vs Cundall - the smackdown

Former Channel 9 garden show TV host, Don Burke has bravely taken up a position with pulp mill developer, Gunns in Tasmania.

Burke will take on former ABC TV garden show host/pulp mill opponent and Communist Party of Australia Senate candidate, Peter Cundall. In contrast to Burke, whether or not Cundall is paid for his advocacy is never discussed.

Burkey speaks about the proposal here.

If Cundall succeeds in stopping the pulp mill he will also prevent:

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

* saving the world 1.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year (normally spent transporting woodchips to Japan). This is the equivalent of taking more than 50,000 cars off the road

* the direct employment of, on average, more than 1600 Tasmanians over 30 years

* the injection of billions into the Tasmanian economy, growing it by 2.5 per cent, and adding $890 million to government revenue - money that can be spent, for example, on things like hospitals, national broadcasting services, the environment, and foreign aid to failed communist states.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Che

There are few things that exemplify the hypocrisy of the Left quite as neatly as Ernesto Guevera (pictured enjoying a round with Castro), who finally got some of his own medicine on October 9, 1967.

Guevera personally ordered the executions of hundreds of people, something you won't hear much about in movies like "The Motorcycle Diaries," and was a racist, homophobe and anti-semite.

Nelson Mandela said Guevera was "an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom" whereas Guevera himself said things like this...

Tehran PD on the case

If any TV types are reading this and end up making some awesome TV series about the women cops of Iran, then you owe the ShadowLands a credit, I reckon. Here 'tis.

Is Quentin the new Al?

Australia's new Governor General, Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce AC (pictured) took a well earned break from raising stocks of union poontang to visit western NSW. The visit apparently went some way to breaking the drought, which leads one to wonder if she may have some of the powers we have come to expect from Al Gore.

PS MM has concluded a spell of hiatusing and the ShadowLands is back in non-hiatus mode!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

While we're away...

The ShadowLands will be taking a four day hiatus - which I think you will agree is far more classy than a "holiday" or a "break". Our regular links are at the bottom.

In the meantime, List of the Day is always fun - check out the mis-spelt tattoos and the talented beauty pageant contestant - and another treat for lovers of art.

Try this communal fridge magnet white board - asking questions is fun if they don't steal your letters.

Tell the chicken what to do or duck!

Try these puzzles and take on the killer broccoli

It's spirograph and bus of the week

Celebrate World Animal Day. Uh oh - we have your PIN.

Try the powder game or click on the brown and green blocks and bring the totem down safely (warning - addictive).

Draw a pig and check out the men who look like Kenny Rogers.

Check on whether or not the LHC has caused the end of the world and while you're at it, scan the Australian toilet map.

Now clean your computer screen.

Exaggerations highest in over a century

On ABC's Q&A this week, Peter Costello took Nicola Roxon to task on the mantra that the Howard Government left Australia with the highest inflation rate in 16 years.

On investigation, it turns out that this claim is simply untrue - and a clear breach of the Rudd Ministerial Code of Conduct. I expect that a journo will be taking Mr Rudd up on this subject any day now...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sesame Street

No-one before or since has created a more entertaining way to learn to count and read:

The Ladybugs' Picnic

Pinball

The Baker (look out for the late, great Jim Henson in the finale)

Willamina and a psychedelic reflection on the letter "V" and my favourite - the emotional rollercoaster that is the story of the lower case "n"

another of my favourites, Grover the waiter,

and then there's the muslim version.

Exclusive: Govt responsible for SIEV-X

John Butler of the John Butler Trio takes a step back from his series on Capitalism and Freedom, to discuss asylum seekers.

If you move the time widget to about 54 minutes over here you will get a heated debate between Peter Costello and David Marr about the SIEVX - the boat full of approximately 350 asylum seekers that sank off Java in 2001.

This incident was not only a tragic loss of life, it dashed the hopes of those on board who had dreamed of the slushy machines and, ultimately, of suing the Australian government for mistreatment when they arrived.

The SIEV X has become a fixation for fruitloops who believe that the likes of John Howard and Peter Costello were responsible for its sinking.

To fully understand how absurd this is, you need to consult a map. No-one knows for sure where the SIEV-X sank, since no Australian was made aware of its position during its voyage, but the most extreme fruitloops maintain it sank in international waters about 70 kilometres from Java.

This means it sank at least 1500 kilometres from Australia. To compare - the Titanic sank only 600 kilometres from Newfoundland.

Shortly after the sinking of the SIEV X, the Government passed tough new laws against queue jumpers that effectively put an end to these perilous voyages.

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.

So did we learn the lesson of history? Of course not.

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

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dear Leader lives!

For the first time in months, the official North Korean news agency has reported that Kim Jong Il has done something, indicating he might not be dead. Details from the posts at the Korean Friendship Association.

Meanwhile, here are two outstanding websites for DPRK fans, firstly an imperialist insult generator and a handy Icelandic guide to North Korea.

Even better, a website about the little known Pueblo incident and best of all - the Captain's confession.

It is pretty much

impossible to sneak anything past English Pravda these days.

Nature assaulted

Today is National Walk to Work Day in Australia - and Gaia weeps.

What not to wear

Iranian style.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wings

October 3, 1964 shall be remembered through the ages as the great day that buffalo wings were invented. According to legend, Teressa Bellisimo (statue pictured) of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York came up with the idea to deep fry chicken wings and toss them in cayenne hot sauce to feed a hungry crowd on the night her son was born.

In Buffalo, buffalo wings are known as "wings".

Secret safe

The latest in the very occasional series suggesting that not all celebrities are dickheads...

The ShadowLands has learnt from a reliable source that on at least one occasion when Nicole Kidman visited Sydney Children's Hospital, she left a cheque for one million bucks with the staff. The donation was made on the proviso that it not be disclosed to the media.

Balls

Thissy here is promising us the last word in gonad gastronomy. One problem only - I can't find it anywhere...

Program announced

REUTERS: The Australian Government has announced a new program aimed at increasing activity and healthy eating habits amongst our increasingly overweight dolphin population.

"Dolphin obesity rates have soared in the past decade - with recent figures showing a quarter of all young dolphins are now overweight or obese,” a Government spokesperson said.

"This figure is unacceptable, which is why over the next four years,the Government will be spending $6.5 million on anti-obesity initiatives amongst smaller cetaceans. Our initiatives will include changing their diets from mackerel to garfish, and an education program.”

Translating for Reuters, a dolphin whisperer said an old dolphin told him that these days younger dolphins were spending less and less time doing tail stands and balancing balls on their noses, while expecting bigger and fatter rewards.

"Eee eee eee eee eeeh," the spokes-dolphin concluded.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gandhi

Here are some little known facts about October 2 birthday boy, Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi.

* As a young man, thanks to his teacher, he first learnt to speak English with an Irish accent.

* He had a set of false teeth, which he carried in a fold of his loin cloth, using them only when he ate.

* He was silent one day every week.

* He made huge amounts of money in South Africa working as a pacifist debt collector.

* His pacifism was passed down by the ancient gurus of India, right? Well actually, he was greatly inspired by an American, Henry David Thoreau. Read this, and tell me it ain't so. Gandhi quote: "I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers."