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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jorn Utzon

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

Rumours, hearsay...

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

Two ways

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

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

b) The other way.

Ambassadors' meeting: Exclusive!

Meeting of the Men's Health Ambassadors, Hayman Island

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

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

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

Chair: Quite. How could we forget.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued...

Health care Zimbabwe style

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

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

Than Shwe Poetry Competition Update

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

Can anyone out there do better?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do you think...

Russia would be sending warships to Venezuela if McCain won?

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

Frizz grows inward

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

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

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

Bolt beats Luhrmann

Ahh well, another Australian movie, another flop.

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

Some interesting claims in here:

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 28, 2008

I wonder...

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

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

Strong competition for Ambassador position

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

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

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

Recognition

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

Here's a reminder of Pamela's work.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dear Nicola Roxon...

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

Yours sincerely

Margo's Maid

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

Staying schtum with Kevin

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

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

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

Was Bryant not available?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bolt vs Australia

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

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

Way

to piss off one billion people.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tourists flock to "Australia"

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

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

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

The sharemarket for smarties

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

Truth hurts

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

A little touch of Kevin

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

Then He spake of closing the gap...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Geography with Kevin: Part XXIV

Kevin Rudd on China (near the end):

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

1.3 trillion?

No life?

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

Whales saved?

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

Go nuke

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

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

Write letters and talk to your local MP."

"Chinese Democracy" criticised

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 24, 2008

Costume unveiled

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

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

Election time

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

Record set straight

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

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

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

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

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

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

What odds

a white Christmas in Australia and the UK?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Whale management

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two hour vigil successful

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

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

Rising Tide Australia had this to say on November 23:

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

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

When good artificial characters turn bad

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

It's a sad story.

Venezuelan elections

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

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

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I am not your mother

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

Get out your blankets

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

How did they know?

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

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

Majority of experts get it wrong

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

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

Leave Kidders alone: ShadowLands

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

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

Cabinet footage EXCLUSIVE

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

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

Hicks wants gardening award

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

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

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

Friday, November 21, 2008

Damn...

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

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

Nothing

to see here, just move along.

Science, erm, Friday

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

This week - is Michael Phelps an alien?

Hicks' book completed

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here they come again...

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

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

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

Hitler

really did only have one ball...

Here, for your delectation, is the dance version.

Prison cramps my style: Milat

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

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

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

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

Tim v Tim - prediction check-up

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

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

would not come to fruition.

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

Adelaide...Brisbane...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Perfect match

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

And in unrelated news...

Readership disapproves

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

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

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

Germaine finally speaks out

There are some serious issues facing women right now.

Here are just two exercising the mind of Germaine Greer.

"Dickhead" writes headline

The Sydney Morning Herald is currently running a very poorly thought out headline to a story about a multiple drowning tragedy on NSW's south coast on their website. They will probably change it when someone complains, but in the meantime...

Indigenous Community of the Month

With a population of 2,500, Wadeye is the largest Aboriginal town and sixth largest town in the Northern Territory. The population is expected to double in the next 20 years.

First established as a mission in the 1930s, a local council body was established in 1975 in line with the Commonwealth’s policy of self-determination. The council is now essentially run by clan elders.

In 1976, the land upon which Wadeye is situated and its surrounds, was granted as Aboriginal Land under the provisions of the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act.

Let's check in on how these policies are working out.

Revenge of the Rangas

Rangas have a long and (careful, language!) troubled history of persecution.

But following the landmark Ranga Sorry Day, it appears now they are getting organised.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No accounting for Kevin

In these dark and difficult days, it's good to know Australia has Kevin
Rudd, PM, crunching the numbers for us on the international
stage
(see the last question):
"Did you agree with Hu that you should expedite the conclusion of the agreement in light of the global financial crisis? And what were some of the stumbling blocks, if any, that you addressed with him, could you identify and what progress did you make?

PM: That’s four questions Tony."
(BTW Get to the end to be rewarded with one of Kevin's trademark endings.)

Sounds like Kevin

The top 10 most irritating phrases according to London's Telegraph:

1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science

Enviro-fact of the Day

Growing about one third of all of Australia's food and supplying much of Adelaide's water, the Murray Darling basin faces continued drought.

To keep environmentalists happy, about 38 gigalitres of freshwater is diverted from the system every year and sent down the Snowy River. This is equivalent to 16872 Olympic swimming pools over the year or two Olympic swimming pools released per hour - most of it making the short journey back to the ocean.

You know you're (part II)

...Somalian ...Egyptian ...Moroccan ...Turkish ...Armenian ...Fijian ...Argentinian ...Vietnamese ...Jamaican ...Haitian ...Algerian ...Ugandan ...Mozambiquan ...Mexican ...Afghani ...Nepalese ...Albanian ...Cyprian ...Latvian ...Ukrainian ..Polish ...Swedish ...Finnish ...Danish ...Icelandic ...Norwegian ...Singaporean ...Thai ...Taiwanese ...Tunisian...Mauritian ...Panamanian...SriLankan ...Eritrean ...Sudanese ...Swazilander ...Tanzanian when... Swiss...Zambian ...

Highlights - from Morocco: "If you’re a girl, you’ve been harassed by random guys...". Albania: "...your parents beat the shit out of you with a tree branch." Tanzania: "Co-workers frequently walk by and casually mention that they have malaria". Fiji: "You've been given a beat down by your Father that lasted more than half an hour". Nepal: "Your are asked, 'hatti baliyo ki hatti chap chapal', you reply, 'ustai ustai ho Nanu'."

Exclusive preview - "Australia"

John Butler of the John Butler Trio (pictured) previews the much-hyped new film, "Australia".
Over to you John:

Looks like a chick film. I don't think I'll be seeing it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The General Than Shwe Poetry Competition

The ShadowLands is delighted to announce the Senior General Than Shwe Poetry Competition in support of Saw Wai and Nay Phone Latt. To get the ball rolling, The ShadowLands offers two modest examples of what we are looking for - Ahem:
The person of Senior General Than Shwe
Looks like an obese chimpanzee
Has had sex with an elf
Or maybe himself
And created some monstrosity.
and this:

There once was a persistent murmur
that General Than Shwe, that old life affirmer
was planning a wedding
to give his daughter a bedding
to experience what he's done to Burma

Any further entries are more than welcome in comments.

You know you're

Australian when... (via kae)

Canadian when...

Arabic when...

British when...

Italian when...

Japanese when...

Chinese when...

German when...

Russian when...

Dutch when...

Spanish when...

Brazilian when...

Irish when...

Scottish when...

South African when...

Cambodian when...

Kenyan when...

Libyan when...

Iranian when...

Estonian when...

Papua New Guinean when...

Ecuadorian when...

Korean when...

Indian when...

Colombian when...

American when you have no need for a list to confirm your identity.

UPDATE: Try this rib tickler for the Cambodians: "You often see ex-Khmer rouge war criminals, who still have blood of Khmer people on there hand ,who passed as refugee and now are in America or Canada, but don't do anything about it."

Looks like it's

back to the drawing board for Nostradamus...or is it?

Enviro-fact of the day

38 gigalitres of fresh water is now being diverted from the Murray Darling basin into the Snowy River every year to keep environmentalists happy. This is equivalent of 13.5 Olympic swimming pools per hour making the short trip into the Pacific Ocean.

Mixed reviews

It seems like only a few short months since the all-singing, all-dancing theatre musical "Honour Bound" about the life and times of Australian convicted taliban supporter, David Hicks picked up some prestigious Australian Dance Awards.

Sadly, while hardly anyone went to see the multi-award winning play in Australia, it has been received with even less enthusiasm by Hicks's fellow supporters of sharia law.

Global warming round-up

Will global warming come fast enough to save us from an ice age?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mmmh - what to do?

Canadian blog, Small Dead Animals reports on an ethical dilemma...

Why not vote in their poll?

UPDATE: (Greetings SDA visitors - please be gentle with my sitemeter!)

NSW Premier's brothel sex scandal

REUTERS: An illegal brothel is operating in rooms above the Premier of New South Wales' Nathan Rees's Sydney electorate office, Reuters has confirmed.

The business describes itself as a therapeutic massage centre but when Reuters visited three times a week over the last two years, we were offered sexual services starting at $20.

Sometimes, with the Premier possibly working directly below, Reuters journalists have undergone a massage, before being asked if they wished to have their handbrake adjusted for a further $20. It is understood that not only were massage staff willing to play the one string melody for clients, for a little extra, were willing to ride the skin bus into Tuna Town.

Reuters' revelations are understood to have caused the Premier to make a complaint to Blacktown City Council which may force the operation to close down.

At going to press, operators of the Tiantian Chinese Massage Shop could not confirm where they would move to, but promised to email Reuters journalists as soon as details become available.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Affirmative action lauded

REUTERS: Malawian boy, Ntongo Banda (pictured) has welcomed news that Madonna is to open an all girls school in his country.

"Affirmative action is one of the biggest issues facing Malawi right now. Malawian girls are tired of bumping their heads on the glass ceiling. Depending on what they find at the dump, boys can earn $70 a year, while girls are still on barely US$50 or more, for what is basically the same work," young Ntondo told the ShadowLands.

"One of the last things my best friend Biwa said before he starved to death, is that it was so unfair to that some people were claiming this is just a PR stunt following the break up of her marriage, or a pale imitation of what Oprah did in South Africa. He did say, however, that it seemed it a bit odd that she was asking for donations from fans.

"Feminism is not a monolith, nor is it a dogma. Hostile and benevolent sexism consistently emerge as separate but positively correlated factors. In Malawi in particular, metaphysical clarity is needed or feminist paradigms run the risk of becoming easily ignored or refuted assertions.

"Basically, if school lunch is provided you can cut my nuts off and call me Louise," Mr Banda concluded.

PM wants stimulation package to plug hole

REUTERS: Kevin Rudd will today appeal to world leaders to plug a... hole with an unprecedented... stimulation package...

Warning that the damage was too great to be dealt with by the "bruised and battered" private sector, Mr Rudd said only co-ordinated stimulation from as many governments as possible would prevent the collapse of...growth and save jobs.

Protesters achieve 90 per cent reduction

2007: Australians in 60 cities and towns have taken to the streets today to ask the major political parties to make a stronger commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The national day of action aimed to draw attention to global warming and pressure the political parties to address the issue.

The Nature Conservation Council says about 100,000 people took part in Walk Against Warming marches across Australia...

In Sydney, a crowd of more than 20,000 gathered in the Domain, where they were addressed by Greens Senator Bob Brown and Federal Opposition Environment spokesman Peter Garrett.

2008: About 2,000 people have marched through central Sydney as part of a national day of protest action on global warming.

Note: The 2008 protest was organised by the same group - so this is apples being compared with apples. Today in Sydney it is 4 degrees below average. Australia's carbon emissions target is being announced tomorrow.

UPDATE: From ninemsn:

"A colourful crowd showed up in Martin Place, despite the grey skies. Some were dressed as polar bears. Others wore windmills on their backs...

John Mobbs, 73...added he wasn't sure if the government would take the walk seriously."

Biodiversity threatened

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rape is reported to be endemic, and more than 250,000 people have fled sporadic massacres and lootings. The UN peace-keeping force is proving to be largely ineffective.

And which particular aspect of this war do you suppose most concerns the western intelligentsia?

Please appease me

If there was one person on Earth to ignore when it comes to advice on security, who do you suppose it would be?

Which brings us, inevitably, to these:

What would the French call a nuclear explosion in Paris? Proof that more inspectors are needed.

A French and American general were surveying a battlefield. A bullet strikes the American general, grazing his arm. He shouts "Aide! Bring me my red jacket!" The French general asks "Why did you do that?" The American general responds "So my men don't see that I'm bleeding, and lose hope." A second bullet narrowly misses the French general's ear, and he shouts: "Aide! Bring me my brown trousers!"

What do you call a Frenchman advancing on Baghdad? A salesman.

How do you say "Give me liberty or give me death!" in French? I give up.

What English word has no equivalent in the French language? Gratitude.

Why do the french get more votes in the U.N? They vote with both hands.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I guess...

the Arabs will rush to their aid, right?

Harden up, Australia

The ShadowLands commends Michael Pascoe for this article which argues Australians are spoilt and need to harden up. All of which reminds us (careful, frightful language!) of this.

How did it fail?

"I would like to thank everybody who came out to see our dram-edy about autism, including all the poo and tampons and everything..."

The scriptwriter of "The Black Balloon", Australia's most successful box office film since 2006 - which somehow still lost money - at the Inside Film Awards.

An offer you can refuse

As a token of their esteem, the people of Peru are offering the US President-elect an animal that looks like a cross between a pig and a kangaroo. Yeccchhhh.

International women's studies

An important international journal of record has turned its attention to women and their place in society, but for some reason, the author has chosen to remain anonymous.

EU vegetable sex disgrace

REUTERS: The European Union has opened up the possibility for European children - some as young as two years old - to buy fruit that look like penises following new laws relaxing the standards for fruit that may be sold.

A spokesperson for Amsterdam sex shops said that he feared that sales of erotic aids may be affected.

"Why will people come to my shop to buy dirty DVDs when they can head down to their local grocer and enjoy disgraceful scenes like these?"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One for the insomniacs

This speech by Kevin Rudd - now in 747 mode - is extremely boring. But check out the curious introduction which one can only guess was not meant to be posted.

This would not be the first time his transcripts have contained curious messages.

Change you won't believe

REUTERS: President-elect, Barack Obama has removed his agenda from his website.

Asked about the move, Senator Obama said he didn't actually believe most of that stuff.

"I'm actually more right wing than McCain," Senator Obama explained. "I will be setting up machine guns at our borders to keep out immigrants post haste. I will also be cancelling all Government welfare and with the savings, we'll be going to a flat tax rate of 10 per cent."

Senator Obama said that while his followers may be disappointed, he would follow through with his promise to end the war in the middle east.

"The troops will be coming home - right before we nuke those tea-towel heads right off the map."

Senator Obama also announced that under his administration, Joe Biden would be decapitated and replaced with Karl Rove.

DPRK update

In news that is likely to make little difference to anybody, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is understood to be banning border crossings.

In other news proving all goes well in the great motherland, Kim Jong Il is understood to have sent vehicles and machinery to a goat farm.

Great minds...

A few weeks ago, one of the ShadowLands' favourite columnists, Mr John Butler of the John Butler Trio castigated Australian film types for producing lousy movies. As John wrote:
"One really simple clue comes from looking at the images in the last link [here]. All of the actors in the unsuccessful Australian films appear to be suffering from a near fatal combination of insomnia and constipation, while the actors in the American film appear to be happy. Is it a coincidence that the last successful Australian film was called 'Happy Feet'?"
Now an Australian film type has finally come out and said much the same thing - even better, uttered the profanity that Australian film-makers are not owed a living. Credit where it's due to President of the Screen Producers' Association, Mr Antony Ginnane:
"If they premiered most of the Australian movies of the past 24 months on a plane, people would be walking out in the first 20 minutes ..."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On the money trail with Tony Jones

Last night on ABC TV's Lateline, Tony Jones once again presented a range of views about climate change - whether or not we should be very scared about climate change, or whether to be really, really petrified. Representing the very scared, he had economist Professor Ross Garnaut (whom he gave a hard time) and in the really, really petrified corner he had climatologist, Professor David Karoly (who had it pretty easy).

As we know, Tony was recently paid somewhere in the vicinity of $5,000 - $10,000 to appear at Carbon Expo on the Gold Coast (pictured).

However, this is not the first time Mr Jones has discovered that there is coinage in alarmism. In 2006, he was also paid to attend the 2006 Environment Business Association Business and Sustainability Summit held in Sydney (bottom of page 2 here).

The Chair of EBA and platinum sponsor of that event (through the Purves Environment Fund) was one Robert Purves. Purves is also founder and pretty much the sole benefactor of alarmist body, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. Members of the Wentworth Group are a handpicked group of alarmists including - waddayaknow? - Professor David Karoly.

According to the Carbon Expo program, the man who introduced Mr Jones to the Gold Coast crowd, was once again, none other than his old mate and benefactor, Mr Robert Purves, Chair of EBA and co-host of Climate Expo.

We have a winner

Global warming and other bad environmental stuff has taken another crippling blow following the crowning of Miss Earth in Manila. The ShadowLands has been following this important enviro-event closely.

The crystal crown has gone to Miss Philippines. The winner, who was previously passed over as a contestant for Miss World, will be celebrating her enviro-consciousness and lording it over those who thought she wasn't good enough, with business class air tickets to the United States.

A close runner up, Miss Tanzania was catapulted into second place after answering the compulsory question. Asked what advice she would give to Barack Obama, she said he should give some serious thought to addressing environmental issues and unemployment among the youths. Mmmh, food for thought, Mr Obama.

The 80 or so other contestants and their entourages will be jetting home with memories to match their gigantic fucking suitcases.

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, the winner and leading environmentalist, and winner of the bikini competition, Miss Mexico.

The crazy internet

They say you can find anything on the internet.

Well get this one - some guy claiming Australia could 'harvest' water using some kind of out-there water storage devices known as 'dams'...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Snow Cone cleared of wrongdoing

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, arguably one of the leading national compulsory pay media networks in Australia, has responded to a query from the ShadowLands.

"Dear MM

Thank you for your email. Tony Jones, like all ABC employees, must abide by the ABC Editorial Policies and Code of Conduct. Any outside work he may seek to engage inis subject to approval by the ABC, to ensure that it does not create any conflicts of interest. In relation to the matter to which you refer, I am advised by ABC News management that Mr Jones will be acting as moderator for a panel discussion at the Carbon Expo conference.

This matter was referred to ABC management for approval. The conference is a broad industry conference supported and sponsored by a wide range of Government, industry and academic organisations, and the ABC believes Mr Jones' role as a moderator of discussions in no way compromises or undermines his independence and impartiality as a journalist with the ABC.

In relation to the Lateline program you refer to, Mr Jones interviewed only one scientist - the Chairman of the Nobel Prize winning IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri...While it is true that some scientists continue to question the causes and impact of global warming, the role of the IPCC, representative as it is of science groups from all nations, is to identify the emerging consensus and to provide broadly-sourced data and analysis. The ABC understands there is overwhelming support among reputable scientists that global warming is occurring ...[blah, blah blah]

Prior to the Lateline interview with Dr Pachauri, the program ran a story which featured the views of three scientists, all of who made contributions to the processes of the IPCC. One of those scientists in particular put forward views which were at odds with the IPCC, and it was this difference of opinion which was explored, in part, in the interview with Dr Pachauri. The ABC is satisfied that balance was achieved, in keeping with the provisions of the ABC Editorial Policies.

At no stage did Mr Jones, as you claim, suggest that those who disagreed with global warming were like flat earthers. The precise wording of his exchange with Dr Pachauri was:

SNOW CONE: But you've said the number of climate change sceptics in the world is actually rapidly dwindling, you've actually compared them to flat-earthers. Do you say that is correct? RAJENDRA PACHUARI: That's a personal observation. I mean, I have no numbers by which I can make that assertion. SNOW CONE: Do you think they are flat-earthers, or akin to flat-earthers, people who believe the earth is flat? ...

The ABC believes the broadcast in question is in keeping with its Editorial Policies.

Yours etc"

MM notes: While it was no surprise that the ABC have seen fit to absolve themselves, last night Ian Plimer featured (all too briefly) on Lateline Business. This is the first time I recall a heretic being given any air time on this show.

I just...

like the headline.

How bad are our historians? A remembrance

John Butler of the John Butler Trio on Australia's WWI historians...

The 90th anniversary of the day since the guns fell silent in western Europe has brought out a rash of lousy opinion pieces. Most prominent of all has been Dr Peter Stanley of the National Museum of Australia, who has been all over the media. But if you examine his work, the reasons for this are confounding.

Take this from the Sydney Morning Herald:

"But too often commemorative cliches muster on anniversaries like this and it is easy to assume the Great War is a part of our lives today. For example, it is often said that community war memorials are a highly visible reminder in the towns of Australia. I'm not sure that's true any more. You can traverse vast tracts of outer-suburban Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane and see any number of fast-food outlets, malls and garden centres, but you'll find hardly any war memorials."
WTF? ...and how far up your arse does your head need to be to miss the huge crowds turning up to Anzac Day commemorations every year? Then this:
"We tend to forget this war did not come as a bolt from the blue."
Hey, Sherlock, every history student in the nation has had to ponder the causes of WWI. There's even a band named after one of the key players. Where were you? And what happened to your concern about cliches?

Even worse, is his item on the ABC website from the same speech:

"We need to know more about why Australians felt so compelled to take part. Empire loyalty does not go far enough as an answer."
I can't put it any better than a commenter at the site who replied:

"It worries me when people with titles such as 'Doctor' have to have explained to them as to why Australia was involved in WW1...I know Dr Stanley will be surprised to learn that the over-riding reason we went to Europe via Gallipoli in 1914 to 1918 was because we were still very British. Don't look any further Dr Stanley, that's it." But Dr Stanley continues:
"We know that as we near August 2014 and even more April 2015, we will see a slew of books that tell us that Gallipoli is no longer forgotten, though in doing so they may perpetuate the relative disproportionate treatment the Western Front has gained."
WTF? Then:

"For over 20 years, writers and film-makers have been overwhelmingly and unduly concerned with the Australian experience of war. Australian military history has become our last bastion against globalisation..."

WTF, WTF? Can this get any more inane? Well yes, it can...

"My partner Claire suggested a useful way of looking at what I'm proposing. At present we regard the commemoration as an heirloom, like a crystal vase... Instead, we ought to look upon our commemoration of war as a robust wooden fruit or salad bowl...Subsequent generations can even modify it to their taste - add a silver handle or some carving."
Robust wooden salad bowl? Make no mistake, Australia's modern historians are way up with the worst in the world. Thank fuck the same cannot be said of our soldiers. Lest We Forget.

An opportunity

The Maldives is a peaceful and democratic island nation of around 300,000 people in the Indian Ocean. However, as the lowest nation on earth, the people are worried about the potential for sea level rises. Already, (as pictured above) Maldivians are practicing their rescue techniques.

According to what is arguably one of Sydney's leading daily broadsheets, the Sydney Morning Herald, Maldivians are on the lookout for a new homeland and are, in fact, willing to buy one.

Strikes me - especially since this whole sea level rise thing is tosh - that Australia could pick up some rather appealling real estate, and introduce some much needed development to our north.

The Ord River, anyone?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unionists to gain education

Excitement is building as a group of starstruck Australians prepare to visit Venezuela to witness regional elections through the Australian-Venezuela Solidarity Network. A similar visit took place last year, with the visitors mainly consisting of unionists.

The 2008 election has the potential to be very, very exciting, with Hugo Chavez promising to send in the tanks if the result does not go his way. Already these elections are featuring shootings, arrests, and a range of other high-spirited election hi-jinks.

Dream comes true

Congratulations are in order to leading middle east commentator, Mr Antony Loewenstein following his appointment as editor of a hot new magazine. Well done, Ant...

Kim Jong still ill?

Imperialist dogs seem to think that Generallisimo Kim Jong Il has been poorly photo-shopped into an image to convince us that he is still with us. Ha! As if the news agencies of the great DPRK would be so deceitful!

UPDATE: Aha! My former comrades at the Korean Friendship Association are onto it.

War to end

An ingenious suggestion from the Sydney Morning Herald's, Paul Sheehan (last par) suggests that Baz Obama can put an end to the war on terror by never mentioning it again.

Other things Barack should never mention again:

* Packets of confectionery you can't open, but when they do, lollies go everywhere

* Two and a Half Men

* Being in the shortest queue at the supermarket only for the person in front of you to need three items to be checked

* People who drive at 70 km/h in 100 zones on single lane country roads, and then drive like Lewis Hamilton when they come to an overtaking lane.

UPDATE: I would also like Barack not to speak of huge supermarkets that keep their milk in the most distant corner from the entrance.

The lessons of Oombulgurri

John Butler of the John Butler Trio takes on indigenous affairs:

Anyone who watched the recent SBS documentary, The First Australians, would have been left in no doubt about the evil influence that missions and state Aboriginal Protection Boards had on Aboriginal communities.

But is that justified? The story of the small community of Oombulgurri in the Kimberleys of Western Australia is an object lesson.

Somewhat typically, it is alleged that the place had a tragic history, but studies since, place serious doubts on this claim. This website gives us (page 13) further historical background about the settlement:

"The Oombulgurri community is situated...close to the Forrest River. The Anglican church tried to start up a Mission in 1897 but ...that attempt was abandoned due to ‘an affray with the natives’.

The Reverend Gribble had another try and he managed the mission from 1914 to 1926, although the mission continued until 1968 under several changes of management. In 1934, complaints about the lack of proper management of the mission led the Chief Protector of Aborigines to start pushing for more Government control and regulation of the mission.

In 1965 the Native Welfare Department decided that the mission should close down and relocate to Wyndham. Many of the Aboriginal residents did not want to move to Wyndham but the isolation of Forrest River made it difficult for them to stay without the mission.

In 1970 the Oombulgurri committee was set up by senior Traditional Owners who had lived at the mission and wanted to return to Forrest River to start up a community. This was achieved with the assistance of the Uniting Church and a joint State Commonwealth committee set up to re-establish service and staff and to resolve the ongoing water supply problems. This had been achieved by 1982."
Now let's check in on how - in the new enlightened times, with land rights and freedom from the evil missionaries and Protection Boards - this community is going.

The lesson is this: land rights and political autonomy have not improved the lives of many Aboriginal people. If Aborigines continue to accept roles as victims and ignore their failures, (as they do in the documentary) there is little hope for their future. If Aborigines are to improve their lot, they must learn to take full responsibility for their own actions. Simple.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Topping the list

Journalists have made 5th and 11th as exponents of annoying behaviour - with their work being described consistently as more annoying than being stuck in traffic. Predictably and annoyingly, none of this gets a mention in their reports of the survey.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The wisdom of Miss Earth: Part Two

"I found a fruit in the shape of a heart when I was 10. I gave it to my brother for his birthday. How happy he was that he even showed it off to his friends. Let us care for our trees that bear fruits to make more people happy." Miss Guadeloupe

More fruit trees? As insipid as this statement first sounds, it is probably the most practical suggestion any of you airheads have made so far. MM

"The color of my eyes change with my mood like my mother’s. And when I am in commune with nature, I see beautiful things around me and my eyes turn just as beautiful as everything that I see. I love nature and would do everything to care for it." Miss Guam

Congratulations, you have won the personal pronoun count, which means you are this year's official Miss Get Over Yourself, For Fuck's Sake. MM

"I learned how to play hula hoop from children and that was something difficult to do. If protecting the environment is difficult to do, we probably can learn to do it also from our children." Miss Honduras

Bomb disposal is difficult to do. Why not get a child to teach you that? Fuck. Me. Dead.

"I’ve learned to share my happiness and blessings with other people from my family. This year, I chose to celebrate my birthday with children in the slum community. I realize how much help they need to change their living environment." Miss India

And did the kids of the slum community want you hanging around? Actually, you're the first contestant from a third world country to suggest that people might be more important than potplants. Congratulations. No, seriously.

"I had an adventurous childhood in a Borneo village where I swam in the clean river with tall and shady trees. But now, the surroundings have changed everywhere. I am inspired to dream of a worldwide tree-planting contest and river clean-up drive." Miss Indonesia

Swimming trees? WTF.

"I was 11 when my parents got divorced. This taught me not to expect too much. But when I was growing up, I realized that shouldn’t be because Mother Earth expects too much from everyone. Otherwise, we lose rather than save the world." Miss Israel

Mother Earth expects too much from everyone? Woah - I never saw that one coming.

"My beauty secret is in vinegar that is naturally processed. I also preach that disposable chopsticks waste valuable trees. This is so because I love nature and I would advocate to protect the environment with my fellow women." Miss Japan

Hey, toots, all vinegar is derived from a process involving the fermentation of ethanol. Whether or not you ferment it "naturally" (whatever that is) or with a team of robots utilising vats of plutonium and red cordial, we produce ethanol by cutting down forests and then growing plants. BTW, vinegar is made up of varying strengths of acetic acid (CH3COOH). Mmmh, rub it on.

"I have always been a big sister in the family and this developed my leadership qualities. I have become active player in community service and continue to follow the maxim 'Be a fountain, not a drain.' Let us all be leaders for our Mother Earth." Miss Latvia

So where is the water going, Einstein? You think we want more floods?

"When I was young, I used to think that physical looks matter most when you want to open the doors of opportunities. Later on I learned that inner beauty is equally important. I advocate the campaign against global warming because it raises the ocean level and cause disasters." Miss Lebanon

The campaign against global warming raises ocean levels and causes disasters? And you advocate it?

"My childhood friends and I would always sneak into my grandfather’s fruit farm and pluck his fruits without his consent. I was so playful and mischievous then. Now I realize how important the trees are. We hardly have enough left. Let us plant more." Miss Malaysia

Am I reading too much into it, or is this really about sex?

"Instead of toys, I grew up with cats. When I learned that I was just an adopted daughter, though hard to accept, it nevertheless helped me grow into a stronger, wiser and more determined person. I am committed to help in any environmental campaign." Miss Martinique

Adopted into a family of cats? Holy crap!

"I enjoy spending time with my family. Saturday dinners are always something to look forward to. This has influenced the way I live my life valuing nature as the best gift on earth. Let us keep nature in tact. After all, this is a wonderful world." Miss Poland

Actually, eating dinner makes me appreciate agriculture.

"I started to attend modeling school when I was just 12 years old. My early modeling experience taught me to commit myself to work on developing and promoting a cosmetic industry with various researches that deals on improving skin protection." Miss Serbia

Damn, you really are a conservationist, aren't you? MM

My family hold the record for the most siblings to receive full basketball scholarships. But I have to give up a well paid basketball career to be a fulltime model because it is my passion. The same passion I have in creating youth activities to campaign for the environment. Miss South Sudan

You gave up a well paid basketball career to be a fulltime model? Your life is just one long and harrowing tale of sacrifice isn't it honey? MM

"A part of me that was sad is when my little brother lost eyesight in one of his eyes due to a grave illness. Yet I had a most memorable experience of sailing through a storm in a 2-man boat. Life poses challenges that we have to overcome and be braved about." Miss Sweden

Pretty memorable for the two-men as well, I'd wager. MM

"My mom sewed a dress using her own t-shirt materials for an old Barbie that I found on the road because she couldn’t buy me one. It came out as a surprise to me. Indeed, treasures can be found from scraps. Let us recycle!" Miss Switzerland

And then you went home to a dinner of a handful of warm gravel. Give us a break. MM

"As a little girl, I played with my Shera sword and my Barbie. Now, that I am a beauty queen, I will be busy wielding battles against the habit of wasteful use of natural resources and the lack of recycling skills among many people." Miss USA

How do you wield a battle? Hey, instead of decapitating Barbie, maybe you should have spent some time in English class. MM

Feminist fury finally ferments

I was wondering how long it would take the sisterhood to react to this horrendous story:

"An islamist rebel administration in Somalia ordered that a girl, 13, be stoned to death for adultery after the child's father reported that she was raped by three men."

At last, their rage has surfaced.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Miss Earth - the search for intelligent life

"I was born in Albania during the communist regime and our family had to move to Greece where I suffered discrimination in my school. This taught me the value of respect for people and environment." Miss Albania

Personally, my take-home message would have been that commos and Greeks are dipshits. MM

"The sudden loss of my grandfather was very tough to deal with but that experience taught me to appreciate everyone and everything around me. We must treasure and save our natural resources while they’re still here." Miss Australia

You mean, saving our resources when they're gone is a bad idea? MM

"I was a carefree child then who failed in school when I didn’t study hard. Since then, I learned that man cannot achieve his dream without working hard for it. Good environment is every man’s dream. Let us work hard for it." Miss Botswana

Who would have thunk someone so poorly educated could make it to this competition?

"While growing up I read the motto 'Life is a box of chocolate, you will never know what you’ll get tomorrow.' It inspired me and made me realize that my life is short, but I can enrich it so that I can do what I really love - to be a model-environmentalist." Miss China

You mean, you were inspired by the wisdom of a fictional retard?

"I remember when I was a child I used to have a plant which always grew flowers. The flowers always made me happy. I would just talk to them whenever I felt sad. As a grown-up now, the forests and all its blooms occupy a special place in my heart." Miss Colombia

Yes, Colombian plants are known to inspire all kinds of behaviour.

"I come from a country that owns a big basin that helps in the upkeep of the ozone layer. I myself campaign against pollution of air and environment. I am committed to being a part of my country’s effort to save the environment." Miss Republic of Congo

Sorry sweetie, but I think you've mixed up the greenhouse thing and the ozone thing. Never mind - anyone from that shit-hole is doing well just to be alive.

"When my best friend left me because she heard something bad about me that wasn’t true, it really made me feel sad. Despite that, I didn’t feel alone since my family was there for me. I love my family that teaches me everything I must learn in this world." Miss Czech Republic

You're dissing your ex-friend at Miss Earth? Beee-yaatch!

"I grew up watering plants with my mother every morning. I enjoyed it and I learned to love nature more. Now as a grown-up woman, I’m continuing the values that I learned by making people aware of their acts against nature." Miss Dominican Republic

Can your eyelids get any droopier? They weren't hydroponic plants you were watering, by any chance were they?

"I worked as a fish chopper in a fish factory and grew up with my twin brothers. Growing up with the lush natural resources of Finland around me and the support of my family taught me to always find ways to preserve these precious blessings." Miss Finland

You're talking about freezing, smoking or just adding crumbs and a squeeze of lemon, right?

"I couldn’t walk right due to a spinal problem. My therapy sessions required me to give up my gymnastics till I got well. I learned that we have to make sacrifices in order to protect our health. What must we sacrifice for our environment?" Miss Georgia

I'm guessing air travel to the Philippines isn't one of the things on your list, is it sugar?

"My saddest experience as a child was when I lost my dog. When I pondered about it, I could not imagine what it would be like to lose something really big such as the earth we live in. We must unite against deterioration of our environment before it’s too late." Miss Germany

If we lost the Earth, it would be like, losing your dog, only much, much worse? Oh wow. BTW, all that thinking is making you go cross-eyed. MM

"When I was a kid I was lonely because I didn’t have many friends. I realized I had to make an effort to reach out and make friends. As a grown-up, I need to do something to reach out to our Mother Nature and care for her." Miss Greece

Miss Albania could have been your friend - if only you weren't so busy picking on her, that is. MM