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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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

If you can make it there...

The ShadowLands crew was having a good old chuckle at this ridiculous piece of propaganda in the Tehran Times right up until we got to the end and discovered where it came from...

Nerd Wars Update

As the ShadowLands reported previously, Australia's nerdoscenti are out in force, following the appointment of web-stalkers to the commercial website, Crikey.

As far as we can tell, the chronology of events runs something like this:

* People with apparently not much to say on behalf of themselves and not-so-latent envy issues decide to stalk the highly popular websites of News Ltd conservatives, Blair and Bolt.

* During this time, they fail to ever really find anything on the blogs that would get Blair or Bolt into trouble, but manage to work their own commenters into a lather, for example, saying:

"Tim Blair fucks his puppeh because Andrew Bolt won’t suck him off."

and of Bolt:


* At some point, the stalkers attract the admiration of, quite possibly because Blair (in particular) and the Crikey editor have never really gotten on all that well.

* The stalkers set up a blog at Crikey, and since, in their experience, there isn't much to pin on Blair or Bolt, they ask commenters to show them examples of vile abuse in Blair/Bolt comment threads.

* As apparently their traffic isn't what they were hoping to get, the stalkers get all upset that Blair and Bolt won't send them their many thousands of readers.

* In steps JF Beck who, recognising a hot kitchen when he enters it, responds in a manner familiar to anyone who has read the stalkers' comment boards.

* One of the stalkers suddenly doesn't like the heat and, bizarrely, emails Tim Blair seeking - what exactly - sympathy? Not so surprisingly, Blair suggests this is a bit rich given the comments made about him on their blogs. Blair via JF Beck makes public the email conversation.

* Suffering from an acute case of panty-bunchitis, the stalker and his friends (some of whom took part in the thread in question) all pile in to Bolt's forum, saying that Blair was never called a dog fucker in their forum. They all want to know where the link is.

* A number of commenters provide the link, including one of the stalkers.

* A stalker apologises to Blair privately, but at time of writing, had not done so publicly on any of his blogs.

* The result so far:

The web-stalkers and their mates - at the urging of the stalkers - are all visiting Blair and Bolt a great deal. The winner (as usual): Rupert Murdoch.

Decisions to make: Eric Beecher, publisher of Crikey needs to decide whether he wants credibility or his new blog - cos he can't have both.

Sleepy pup

Placers are grinners

Australia just won four Olympic medals without even trying. Oh God yes it feels so good. In your face, people from other countries! Silver! Silver! Silver! Bronze! Oh yes! Oh yes!!! Oh yeee-aahhhhhh!

Silly season in Södertälje

The US embassy in Sweden has announced a unique partnership with the city of Södertälje to help the city’s young people learn more about opportunities for work and study in the United States.

Three supermarkets have been destroyed and a fourth damaged in central Sweden in what police say might have been a series of anti-American arson attacks.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lame game for the times

One of the many positive outcomes from Operation Cast Lead during January was the awesome flash games that emerged.

The ShadowLands has searched high and low for Global Financial Crisis flash games, but all we got was this. Sorry.

Credit where it's due

Congratulations are in order to Fidel Castro, inaugural winner of Havana's Computer Youth Club Prize. Under Fidel's guidance, internet usage in Cuba has reportedly climbed to 1.7 per cent.

More evidence

How much longer can we pretend to ignore global warming?

McDonalds' health initiative poorly received


"We need to find a way to reduce consumption of foods high in fat, sugar and salt," she said.

"A tax is a great idea - it has been proven that when the price goes up consumption goes down."

McDonald's stands to make a fat profit from its new policy of hiking up prices in the poorest areas of NSW...

Wendy Richard

Wendy Richard, who is best remembered by an international audience as Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served, has died of breast cancer.

As well as being one of the UK's legion of outstanding character actors, she was reportedly one of the very few actors to publicly support Margaret Thatcher.

A reminder of Are You Being Served here.

A spectacular marketing failure

in the making.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Question They Won't Ask: Part III

Each week, the ShadowLands is submitting a Question They Won't Ask to ABC television's interactive Q and A.

The first week's question was not only not asked, it was not shown on the website at all.

The second week's question was not asked, but disappointingly, was published on their website.

This week's Question They Won't Ask:

The interests of the union movement must be represented at all levels of government: local, state and federal. My question for Bill Shorten: Have you ever done it at Government House in Canberra?
UPDATE: A triumph - not published.

NB Here is a little background about this week's question.

Tonight's episode of...

ABC television's Q and A features former Miss Australia, Sabrina Houssami. Her profile states:

She successfully weathered some very sensational press reports around the time she first decided to enter beauty contests. While headlines screamed “Muslim girl defies Muftis”, Sabrina had in fact entered the contests with the full support of her local community.
So let's check out the full community support including this:

yes this is shameful and disgutsing,,,,,, it is always bad wen a muslimah enters a beaty contest in which she wants to show her awrah to the public in order to be judged,,,,,,,,,, astghafirullah, may allah guide her..........

The challenges facing the fact challenged

President Obama's claim that Americans invented the automobile should not come as a great surprise to any historians who heard his inaugural address.

If only American voters had paid attention to an observation made here:
"Shouldn't a candidate... have at least a passing interest in American history?"
CORRECTION: The previous comment alluded to another candidate. My apologies.

In other Presidential news, Michelle Obama has announced she will get a Portuguese Water Dog. This is the same breed as the pet owned by Senator Ted Kennedy, who went so far as to write a children's book about the pooch. Fingers crossed the Obama's show a little more tact than Senator Kennedy when it comes to choosing a name.

There is really no excuse

for foisting a bad joke like this upon the public.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fatimah's (open) secret

A campaign has commenced to stop creepy guys from selling underwear to women in Saudi Arabia.

This story is all the more bizarre when you consider the attitudes of Muslims to inter-gender socialising.


method for dealing with telemarketers.

The rise of the anti-Bono's

Dambisa Boyo is a one woman quote machine, and a believer that foreign aid is causing poverty in Africa.

On the subject of advice from celebrities she says:

“Most Brits would be irritated if Michael Jackson started offering advice on how to resolve the credit crisis. Americans would be put out if Amy Winehouse went to tell them how to end the housing crisis. I don’t see why Africans shouldn’t be perturbed for the same reasons.”
Ms Boyo is one of a growing number of Africans who seem to think that if something is not working you need to try something different.

(via SDA)

If women were in charge...

Take just a minute of your day to imagine a world if women were in charge...

Okay, that's enough imagining. Now take another minute to see what it's like when women really are in charge.

Australia's Stimulus Package FAQ

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the Federal Government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidge.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of Japan?
A. Shut up.

Q. How will the Government now deal with other challenges, such as paying for increased unemployment benefits?
A: Don't ask us, we don't have any money.

What a coincidence

Above: the insignias for Iran's new satellite and Star Trek's Starfleet (via Judeopundit.)

But do they even have Star Trek in Iran? Well, apparently, yes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Five ways...

people are trying to save the world that don't work.

Five ways...

people are trying to save the world that don't work.

You like to watch

naked foxes bouncing on a trampoline? Shame on you.

Sir David joins the eco-crites


Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world, naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said.

The veteran broadcaster said scientific data clearly showed that human-induced climate change was now beyond doubt.

Sir David, 80, added that everyone had a responsibility to change their behaviour, including being less wasteful and more energy efficient.
And in 2009...

...some of Britain’s most prominent environmental champions are living in homes that produce up to half a ton of excess carbon dioxide a year.

Gillard's masculinity unquestioned

It is just as well Australia already has a dickhead for a Prime Minister, or else it would be of much greater concern to know that Julia Gillard is only a heartbeat away from The Lodge. Bolta is far too well-mannered to bring us to this question.

By the way, can we expect Gillard to be questioned like this?

UPDATE: After Senator Bill Heffanan referred to Julia Gillard as "barren" this was the ALP's response:

Today, Mr Rudd said the change in attitude marked Mr Howard poorly.

"I think the challenge lies with Mr Howard to do the right thing here," Mr Rudd said on ABC Radio.

"Mr Howard has the habit, in the past, of when these comments are made by various people on his frontbench or his backbench, just to say: 'Well, that's them, they've got their right to express their point of view, don't let it come crashing across my shores'

"I noticed yesterday, when he was first put this proposition about Bill Heffernan, there wasn't much action then. It was only when people across the country reacted.

"I actually see this as much more of a referendum on Mr Howard's character and how he handles these sorts of questions."

How large is my ackman

It's a tough gig, but Hugh Jackman's turn as host of the Oscars seems to have gone down pretty well over all.

BTW Ever wondered what an ackman is?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Best ever protest song

After winning the event last year, Russia will host the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest during May. It will be televised and watched by tens of millions of Europeans.

Georgia's entry in the contest is a brilliant piece of pop subversion. Read about the Russians' reactions here... Let's hope the song makes it to the finals.

Stories of zionist oppression

Correspondents to this Muslim forum discuss tales of coming face to face with zionists.

Some of the horror stories recalled include:

* Debates and
* Inconsistent arguments.

Meanwhile, in other news...

Sweden - grow some balls

There are some who think Venus Williams should not have played the Dubai tennis tournament where an Israeli player was banned, but we at the ShadowLands think she deserves major credit for having the balls to speak out.

This is much more than can be said for the nation of Sweden.

For any Swedish readers of this blog, gather as many friends as you can around the computer. Chopper has an important but Not Safe For Work community service announcement.

You can't beat bad advice

with John Butler of the John Butler Trio...

If Peter Costello ever had any doubts about whether he should continue to wait before putting himself forward as Australia's Opposition Leader, they should have dissolved completely.

It seems that every loser, fucktard and adequacy-delusioned reverse oracle in the country has lined up this weekend to say that Costello should be going for the job and that he must do it right away.

If there is one thing even more reliable than good advice from someone you trust, it is that advice from these window-licking synapse-damaged bandicoot-molesters is always wrong.

The Liberal Party will not win the next election, and there is no point Costello taking the leadership at this stage. His chance will come, probably immediately after Turnbull's not-really any-kind-of-alternative policies fail badly at the next election.

At this time, Costello will all but be carried in to the position on a palanquin, and be in with a great chance to take over at the next election when the electorate should be well and truly tired of the substance-free, people's forum convening, debt-encrusted incumbents.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spelling test

We at the ShadowLands expect high standards from our readers. For this reason, tests will be carried out from time to time. How did you go?

(I got, ahem...17)

Opportunity lost

You would have to be pretty stupid to have money taken from you by a Nigerian scammer, right? It sounds like Citibank can join their number, though the amount they lost is not made clear.

Sadly, it appears they missed an opportunity to join the hilarious world of scam-baiting.

Weird thing of the day

Copy and paste the following stuff into the address bar of any website and observe what happens. (Warning: not recommended if you have a hangover.)

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.getElementsByTagName("img"); DIL=DI.length;function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=(Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5)+"px";*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5)+"px"}R++}setInterval( 'A()',5); void(0);

The daring Tamils go kill some people

BOAB nails it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My how times change

December 2008:

Swallow your pride, give up, and let Queensland help you out by buying a few surplus assets.

We are sick of subsidising your moribund state's failings, and watching the tide of NSW number plates flow across the border in cars packed with southern asylum seekers looking for a better life at our cost.

You preside over the decrepit remains of yesterday's state.

Queensland represents the future. The sooner you learn to live with that, the better for all of us.
February 2009:

Queensland's economic update was a spartan document for spartan times. The simple photocopied pages was stained with red ink...

Hot trends

On Saturday, bolta reported that someone had been trying to make racist posts at his blog, presumably so that he could then be denounced. We don't know who is responsible, but we could make a pretty good guess.

Now LGF reports on something that is eerily similar...

It turns out

that a grid pattern found by google oceans is not Atlantis, it's actually a trail left by the path of the boats. Despite discovering the truth (in the last few lines), England's The Sun newspaper shows a certain chutzpah by running with it anyway.

Some stuff

* Andrew Landeryou reckons there is a good chance that Fairfax Media, publisher of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, is in big trouble.

* Your bacon flow chart

* The cell phone symphony

* Amish drifting (turn the volume up) and Amish road rage (caution, poorly bleeped).

* Top ten streets.

Who wants to be a multi-millionaire?

Cornelia Rau, the woman who reportedly made $2.6 million for being wrongly detained in an Australian detention centre has now wandered into a Jordanian prison. Prepare for the people's inquiries, media splashes and huge payouts. Or doesn't it work that way in Jordan?

Friday, February 20, 2009

And in other news...

This here is possibly the most disturbing and significant news story of the year. Standby for a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation any day now.

Meanwhile Obama is allowing Sharia law into Pakistan, and Reuters, Paris is helping Iran out with this amazing whitewash of a report.

Circle the wagons

After a bunch of web-stalkers were appointed to the mainstream Crikey website, Internet Tough Guys around Australia are taking their positions. Some are buying popcorn, while others still (specifically, some dude called Scott) are just lying in a fetal position and wetting themselves.

Chief Blairite Culture Warrior is JF Beck. I would describe it all for you, but there are links here and here. What am I, your mother?

The land of the chemical free

John Butler of the John Butler Trio (pictured at a chemical factory) discusses "chemical free"...

Yesterday I heard an advertisement for a boutique beer promoting itself as having "no chemicals". But what does that mean?

Chemicals are the building blocks of everything natural and synthetic. Water is a chemical. Plants are chemical factories producing thousands of different molecules and compounds, some of them carcinogens. Even a humble cup of tea - and yes this beer for the dickhead market - is positively alive with chemicals. And the chemicals in it are swimming in other chemicals.

In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. The general formula for a simple acyclic alcohol is CnH2n+1OH.

The promoters of this beer go on to claim their miracle product is full of anti-oxidants. No chemicals and anti-oxidants? This is quite the trick.

Look, there are no chemical-free foods or drinks. What's more, the distinction these tofu-for-brains are probably intending to make between synthetic and natural chemicals is entirely meaningless.

All of which makes these articles patently ridiculous.

How do they get away with it? Don't we have an advertising code?

Data review

It turns out that biodiesel is killing us all. Of course, Al Gore is already onto it... (via insty)

And then they got their Arctic ice data wrong.

"It turns out that the NSIDC relies on an older, less-reliable method of tracking sea ice called SSM/I that does not agree with a newer method called AMSR-E."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Old Jew tells joke

Here's a goodie, and safe for work so long as you don't mind the word fart. (Patience, takes a minute to download.)

Another question they won't ask

Last week, the ShadowLands asked a question we suspected they would not ask on ABC television's Q&A. In fact, they refused to even publish it on their website.

This week the ShadowLands asks:

According to a number of public sources, Wayne Swan once gave $1400 to the Australian Democrats Campaign Manager in his seat. What was this about? and can Tony explain why he never asked Wayne about this during the last election?

Germaine speaks out

Iconic feminist, Germaine Greer has had her share of criticism for ignoring the abuse of women by islamists.

But at last Greer has visited the middle east and decided to speak out.

Grab bag

* North Korea to enter the space race.

* Someone's up to mischief in the Korean Friendship Association forum.

* It's the house of the future.

* Sadly, looks like this poll is now closed.

* Silent bombs in Gaza (via bolta - sadlier, Lancet do not seem to be accepting comments.)

* So, you think you can be a Mongolian pop star?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Money burning a hole in your pocket?

We at the ShadowLands believe that we are much more than just a blog, we are a repository of lifestyle advice. We've already covered food and fashion - this time we've scoured the internet to bring you our finance tips...

Predictions 'R Us

After reporting that the founder of a Muslim television station in the US had been charged with beheading his wife, on Sunday the ShadowLands predicted:

Rather than denouncing violence against women in their community, defenders of the Religion of Peace will try to claim the moral high ground by collecting various bad taste jokes etc in blog comments and, as always, seek protection in victim-hood. That's how you defend the indefensible. Betcha we can find evidence of this over the next few days...
And sure enough...

Cool links

* Obama's elf
* Surfing google earth
* The latest in medical imaging

(All via boing boing.)

Evidence supports theory

An early contender for quote of the year was made in January by one Tim Blair, namely:
"Nothing good ever begins with the word social."
All available data continues to support this startling new theory, as Bolta reports.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wieners vie for attention

It all started in Pennsylvania last year when Barack Obama ate a hotdog.

It happened again in Montana, before the President made an historic visit to Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington DC.

But then this happened and this - and this.

It behoves us to ask, where will it all end?

The UN are onto it

An alleged Prime Douche in the Khmer Rouge is going to trial, some 30 years after the end of the regime.

All of which reminds us, last year the ShadowLands presented a list of "You know you're...whens". The creepiest list by far was for Cambodia.

Lost and found

We found your stuffed puffer fish.

Kinley wants out

The Bhutan Observer is without doubt one of the very finest journals of record to grace the Himalayan kingdoms. You doubt me? Ha! Then read the touching story of Namgay and Kinley.

Turtle to get artificial flippers

after a shark attack, and the shark, presumably, to receive a stern counselling.

Monday, February 16, 2009

They sure don't do

genocide like they used to...

A disaster

for Venezuela in the making.

The surging tides

In 1841, perhaps foreseeing the catastrophe that faces us today, an intrepid explorer etched the tide level into the raw Tasmanian rock. So how is it going in modern times? Let us have a lookie loo (via directorblue and further details about some farcical modern research here.)

For the love of Gaia


Sunday, February 15, 2009

ShadowLands' fashion tips

Don't do this.

Restraints on sympathy

The following is not necessarily representative, as evidenced by commendable posts at the Muslim Village Forum about the Victorian bushfires, and support for relief efforts from the Islamic Council of Victoria.

But that noted, here are a few posts from another Muslim forum:

"Donating blood is a definite no no, but what about donations?...(Immediate next post) Actually I just thought of something. When you go to donate blood in general, you don't know where your blood is going to go (muslim or not-muslim) so this [donating] isn't too different."

"I agree this is the work of Allah. i'm more interested in the issue of the palestinians and iraqis..."

"Agreed. Nice post."

"I second that, but I can't help feeling a little sympathetic."

"There are restraints on sympathy, and some muslims see this as a chance to show their solidarity to their 'adopted country' or some other similar rubbish. Opportunism at its absolute worst. Either we be constant in this involvement in community or we don't."

"To use the statement 'our troops' or 'my Prime Minister' is very dangerous. Do you have an attachment to your troops or Prime Minister?"

Awesome news

for Helen Caldicott.


Werribee style...

and RWDB discusses the detached outrage of a very safe Melbourne lawyer

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Getting to know your neighbours

The Timbonator first alerted us to this story about a man who founded a Muslim television station in the US to combat stereotypes being charged for allegedly beheading his wife - but the story is all over the blogosphere. Here are some original quotes from the accused, Muzzammil Hussan:
"Bridges TV sheds light on the numerous contributions that Muslims make to American life. Through this network, Americans get to know their Muslim neighbours."

"Every day on television we are barraged with stories of a Muslim extremist, militant, terrorist or insurgent. But the stories that are missing are the countless stories of Muslim tolerance, progress, diversity, service and excellence..."

"Hassan says that over time, non-Muslim Americans will come to realize they and their Muslim neighbours share many of the same values - raising families, pursuing families and finding peace."

And more along the same lines here. For the record, a ShadowLands prediction:

Rather than denouncing violence against women in their community, defenders of the Religion of Peace will try to claim the moral high ground by collecting various bad taste jokes etc in blog comments and, as always, seek protection in victim-hood. That's how you defend the indefensible. Betcha we can find evidence of this over the next few days...

You win!

Congratulations, dear reader, if you see this post it means you made the 50,000th visit to the ShadowLands. On behalf of the ShadowLands' team, let me say we are particularly delighted that it was you who won, because - just between us - you are our absolute favourite reader.

As promised, here are your prizes:

* First of all, a free screen cleaner

* Now your screen is clean, enjoy this custom-made piece of performance art.

* A couple of new ones at old Jews telling jokes (be patient with the downloads - but careful, some have language!)

* Spinning bridge!

* Don't know what's for dinner? Try these meal suggestions. And for the most important meal of the day, why not have a breakfast burrito (pictured)?

* a) Create your custom love heart

b) Make up some pretext to have your partner see it

c) Your Valentine's celebrations are on us!

* Got lucky? Try the online pregnancy tester.

* Snubbed by your partner? Make a complaint (like this one)

* Or organise re-assignment surgery

* Then have your death foretold.

* Now sit back and enjoy bus of the week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The cuisines of Zimbabwe

I guess Mugabe's plan isn't really working out. Who would have imagined that taking over productive farms could lead to this?

The wit and wisdom

of climate change protesters, on display.

Milestone approached

The ShadowLands is expecting its 50,000th visit over the next couple of days. Standby for celebrations and a magnificent lucky door prize for the special visitor.

A wee dram

You're-in luck. Mr Anonymous commenter (thanks!) has alerted the ShadowLands to this top story. Anyone who doubts the marketability of this product has probably never tasted Gatorade. Also, [insert joke about taking the piss/getting pissed here].

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sensitive slashing at Nillumbik

Nillumbik Shire Council in Victoria, known as the "Green Wedge Shire", has already been in the news for its fire-friendly town planning policies going back to 2003. This here is the original warning provided to the Council by David Packham, including the prophetic line: "The Shire of Nillumbik is living on borrowed time."

In addition, the ShadowLands has uncovered this enlightening paper the Council provided to the Victorian Government's inquiry into land and bio-diversity in June 2008.

Most interestingly, they were asked to respond to questions (at 6.10) about fire management. When asked: "Are you willing to accept the increased use of fire in the landscape for ecological objectives and to reduce the risk of long term risk?" they replied:
"During controlled burning periods, the Council has received community complaints about pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions..."
Not exactly a yes. Further, they were clearly not convinced by the effectiveness of burning off:
"Council believes there will be greater acceptance of prescribed burning if there is sound scientific evidence (from fuel loads) to show that burning is necessary and other methods of fuel reduction have been considered."
To the question, "Are current planning processes adequate?" the Council responds, somewhat bizarrely:
"Council believes there should be consideration of greenhouse gas pollution produced from undertaking such burns and the possible contributions to climate change. There may be alternative methods for reducing fire risk to assets such as sensitive slashing or fine fuel removal in firebreak areas."
And to: "Are you willing to avoid future development in high fire risk areas?" they respond:
"There will need to be education of landholders in undertaking fire protection measures around assets in a manner which is sensitive to the environment."

The question they won't ask

Valued ShadowLands contributor, Marg Maiden has sent the following question to the Q and A television programme which is on tonight. (The question relates to this information.)
For Tony Jones: Since you are paid thousands of dollars to appear at climate change and carbon trading conferences by people associated with Professor Flannery in the Wentworth Group, aren't you concerned by the perception your objectivity is compromised?

Alternative realities

Tim Flannery has come out with some predictable tosh in the SMH about climate change being responsible for the bushfires.

Our team here at the ShadowLands always prick up our ears whenever an environmentalist says that something is the biggest or baddest in the world to boost their argument, because they are always, always, always, wrong. That's why this sentence got our attention:
Victoria has the most polluting coal power plant on Earth...
Oh really? Assuming that when Flannery refers to "pollution" he is referring to carbon emissions, this site reveals that the top carbon emitting power station in Victoria, actually ranks fourth in Australia.

A very cursory glance at the statistics reveals there are larger carbon emitting power stations in China, Russia, India, Germany, South Africa, Israel, South Korea, Japan and the United States than the largest Australian emitter.

A reasonable question

from BOAB, a good bushfire round-up from kae, and a rare insightful article from The Age (via bolta) and David Packham in the Oz.

Can you guess how many

kids the subject of this article has just by reading the headline?

You'll confirm your suspicions by reading the full article.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The unpalatable truth

It is a truth universally acknowledged that journalists love yarns about cannibalism like this one.
But what caught our eye was the quote:

"Cannibalism is unheard of among the Kulina tribe - or any Brazilian Indian tribes - according to Mayson Albuquerque, a spokeswoman for Brazil's National Indian Foundation."
Well, I guess that depends on whether or not you count this map of cannibalistic practices, these five highly detailed accounts, or this, or these first hand testimonies.

Deconstructing gender paradigms

The question of sexuality in relation to the transformation of methodological, epistemological and interpretive paradigms is becoming increasingly complex in this post-modern age.

For this we need to deconstruct the paradigms of sexuality, gender identity and sexual differences.

Abdulkarim has more.

Uh oh, so does Miss Red.

Cold dish served

Thought transgressor, Mark Steyn, is getting his own back in a big way.

This transcript is highly recommended reading (but you will need to scroll about half way down.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Look out

JK Rowling...

While you're at it, try this quick quiz. One of these is Bono, the other is Kim Jong Il. Can you spot the difference?

Feel the fear...

then have a nervous breakdown.

Warnings from Kinglake

A submission to the Victorian bushfire inquiry from the now devastated town of Kinglake:
"There could be a fire start at short notice and people may literally get no warning that a fire is close to their properties. What we are trying to do with the public... is to say that 'You need to have realistic expectations of what the CFA can do to protect you.'...

"I will mention that we are concerned with the fact that we have had a number of suspicious fires in this area..."

It would be funny except it's not: Part four

Submission from the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestries to the 2008 Victorian Bushfire Inquiry:
DAFF would also like to draw the attention of the Inquiry to the outcomes of the national inquiries held after the 2003 fires in to fire management...There is concern that some of the recommendations from the national inquiries have not been implemented by land management agencies.

It would be funny except it's not: Part three

From the 2008 Victorian bushfire inquiry:

"Mr Gentle: You are restricted with the size of the fire (for backburning) you can light; you are restricted on the days that you can light. All these things restrict you to the best time you can burn off on your property but because the local government regulations say you cannot do it on that day you lose that window of opportunity.

Living in an area like Healesville, where I do, whether from dumb luck or whatever, we have not experienced a fire...since...about 1963. God help us if we ever do because it will make Ash Wednesday look like a picnic. Many people are not prepared for a fire. Housing is just not prepared for a fire.

The other big thing is that there is no clearance of big trees around homes, and again that comes back to local government putting rules and regulations in place."

It would be funny except it's not: Part two

From the 2008 Victorian bushfire inquiry:

Mr Packham: When the Western Australians were burning 20-25 per cent of their prime forest areas...they were fireproof. They had no fires at all...we are thoroughly of the conclusion that it is the best practice in the world...
Mr Walsh: David, I found your comments about Western Australia interesting. When we sought a travel look at other jurisdictions of fire control, we were told that we were the best in the world by the presiding officers, and there was no need for us to go outside this state.

Monday, February 9, 2009

It would be funny except that it's not: Part one

Following huge bushfires in 2003, the Australian Federal Parliament held an inquiry into public land management in relation to bushfires. The states of Victoria, NSW and the Australian Capital Territory refused to take part for political reasons. Victoria finally agreed to hold its own inquiry into these aspects in 2008, with its findings coming down in November - too late for any recommendations to be implemented for the current fire season.

In August 2008, a representative of Yarra Ranges Shire Council told the Victorian inquiry this :

"It is important that the establishment of the new permanent strategic firebreaks are implemented only after rigorous environmental impact assessments are completed. The timing of the burns should also take heed of breeding times and seasons for the species present, particularly those that are already rare or threatened due to the loss of habitat, food or human encroachment. An example of that is the powerful owl, and we have located it in Quinn Reserve, which has a history of fire. We need to work out how to carry out our works without disturbing the nesting, roosting and breeding times for those animals in the immediate area..."

In related news, AAP had this to say in February 2009:

"A bushfire is running out of control in the Quinn Reserve in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs..."

CORRECTION: the Quinn Reserve fire was 2000 - my apologies.

There should be a word for it

Bolta posted on the weekend about a webpoll run by ABC news radio - but the poll, which was up on February 6, has mysteriously vanished.

There really ought to be a word for a poll that is removed when those responsible for it don't get the result they wanted. Do you have a suggestion for this word or phrase? If you have a good one I will put it forward for the urban dictionary.

Right on

Milton Friedman...


The intriguing case of the disappearing poll

On the weekend, Bolta posted about an ABC webpoll - but since then it appears to have gone missing from their past polls site . There ought to be a word for a webpoll that is withdrawn after those organising it don't get the result they are after. If anyone here can come up with a good one, the ShadowLands will put it forward

One track minds

The internet is slowly but surely being taken over by one subject and one subject only. Readers of the ShadowLands are highly sophisticated individuals with high levels of disposable income, but they are also people of the world, so I'm guessing you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Oh well, if you can't beat 'em ...

Friday, February 6, 2009

'til we return

The ShadowLands will be on hiatus this weekend, which is the nice way of saying we won't be posting for a few days and you'se can all go bugger off for all we care. But here are some things to do while we are away:

* Make your own telephone songs

* Listen to old Jews telling jokes (this rocks! but rarely SFW)

* Update your to don't list

* Mommas say the darndest things

* Make a font with your own handwriting

* This sucks, don't tell me you weren't warned. So does this. Trust me, just don't go there.

* If you're not familiar with the Cadbury gorilla advertisement by way of being American or something then you should be. Read up on how they did it.

* More of a fable about life than a game really. Actually, not bad.

* It's a jumping shark.

* Okay, I've posted these before, but these are my current favourite time-wasters.

* New week, different bus.

Just one cotton-picking moment

Here are a few facts about the environmental impact that a single t-shirt can have:

* Every new cotton t-shirt requires about 1.5 kilograms of pesticides and fertiliser chemicals to produce.

* One cotton t-shirt requires 2000 litres of water to produce, including water used in agricultural and industrial phases of production.

* Cotton is grown all around the world, including many ecologically sensitive areas.

* Most t-shirts are made in China, so their fibres make many flier miles before finding their way onto your back.

Thus, a demonstration where it is claimed 2,000 people are in attendance, and each person wears a custom made t-shirt will theoretically generate 3 tonnes of pesticides of fertiliser chemicals, and 40,000 litres of water (equivalent to the water usage of about 260 average households in a day). This is not to mention transport miles for the fibres.

Where crowd numbers are exaggerated, the environmental impact can still be achieved by using huge banners.

Climate change protest t-shirts can be bought in a range of styles and colours. For maximum impact these are best worn once per protest march and never again.

NB Statistics in this post are sourced from some greenie website, and are therefore not very reliable.

Touring South Africa

I contacted the South African Tourism Board about visiting their beautiful country, but said I was concerned about becoming a victim of crime. Frankly, I don't think their response was sufficiently re-assuring.

I, for one, welcome our new Cnidarian masters

How can I put this nicely except...You're all going to DIE!

Hanoi-ing Jane

The blogosphere has a new participant, whose raison d'etre appears to be name-dropping - but begorrah, there's room enough for all of us. Here is one of her better posts.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tens of millions deny Lancet exaggeration

Did The Lancet mis-inform us about the number of deaths in Iraq? A billion times no!

Job shortlisted

Applicants for the much-publicised best job in the world have been whittled down. Here's one of the lucky few who made it through to the shortlist.

Late entry

Now here's a song we overlooked as ideal introduction music for Mr Obama.

(via SDA)

Egg, bacon, chips and beans

With the notable exceptions of Theo and Chasemeladies, The ShadowLands has been known to complain about the lack of good British blogs. I take it all back:

Look at the way the verticals on the chips intersect with the dottiness of the dots on the plate and take that same ovoid energy into the twin ovoid forms of beans and egg.

Feminism inspired

In light of revelations that an Iraqi woman arranged the rapes of 80 women so that they would be convinced to become suicide bombers, it is timely to review some of the literature on this subject.

Writing in the New York Times, this doctoral student noted that female suicide bombers were motivated by:

* Creating or maintaining sovereignty for their ethnic group
* A deep loyalty to their communities
* Personal grievances against enemy forces.

Recruitment tactics, she wrote, included "feminist appeals for equal participation."

and then there's this:

"Suicide bombings are controversial and I imagine that it is hard for the Western media to put any positive 'spin' on the issue."
Quite. But not hard for you, apparently:

"...women suicide bombers have actually inspired feminist activism in varous parts of the Muslim world including Egypt, Palestine and Saudi Arabia. For instance, protests were held in all three countries praising women suicide bombers..."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You mean, they do it for the money?

This is why we pay our foreign correspondents the big bucks.

ShadowLands in agreement shocker

In a sure sign that the end times are approaching, The ShadowLands agrees with Tim Flannery about something.

(Has Flannery been reading our submission to the Department of Climate Change?)

Comment o' the month

Tim Blair's post:
"Australian terrorist leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years..."
has brought this response from commenter Phil:
"Twelve years? He won't be able to see his children blow up!"

Hail to the chief

The legendary Paco has alerted us to widespread reports (and no, we don't want to spoil it by checking their authenticity either) that Obama is going to use Sting's Desert Rose instead of Hail to the Chief as his introductory music.

Sting, schming. Here are a few of the ShadowLands' modest suggestions.

Dutch courage

More proof, in case it was needed, that the Dutch don't really get it.

The United States of Disaster

Africa is already a basket-case - but can things really get any worse? Well, yes they can...

(MM has heard that one million South Africans have already applied to migrate to Australia. At present, they will be glad they got in before the rush.)

The perils

of webcams (via Theo)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The biggest losers

The internet has made it difficult for old media claiming things like this when we have vision like this. (via Israellycool)

Dumb and dumberer

* A duck farting

* An annoying seal noise

* The opinion of Robert Fisk

* A close up of earwax.

UPDATE: A screaming chicken.

Second prize for Werribee

REUTERS: The local government area of Wyndham, which includes the town of Werribee, has beaten dozens of other places around Victoria to second place in state-wide rankings.

The Mayor of Werribee said it was a great honour for the municipality.

"Hey, where's our fuckin' trophy, then?" he asked a celebrating crowd.

"We don't usually win anyfink in Werribee. One thing's for sure, if I ever find out who beat us, I'll fuckin' deck the c***s.

Who's to blame?

Try this quick quiz:

Someone attending a dance concert dies after taking three ecstacy pills. Who's to blame?

a) The drug taker. She should have just said no. It's about time we all took a bit of personal responsibility.

b) The drug dealer. If it wasn't for this scumbag, she would still be alive today, or

c) other.

Pat yourself on the back if you selected c)

Our new campaign

Thanks to our substantial tobacco and oil industry funding, the ShadowLands has launched an exciting new marketing campaign on London buses.

For those of you without these resources, there's always this sign generator. [Hat tip: Philip Morris and Exxon.]


A group of protesters have stormed the High Court after they didn't get the result they wanted in legal action against interventions in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.

The legal action was undertaken by the Maningrida community in Arnhem Land.

It's possible to feel some sympathy for this community - right up until you start googling.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Looks like Kevin's plan

A cartoon from Theo

They're onto us again

Those of us involved in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy - yes, that means you - should have learned by now that the public is way too smart to fall for our pathetic justifications for wars. Look what happened last time.

Turns out, once again, the truthers have already figured out the Gaza conflict was all about natural gas.

Integration achieved

Like sub-Saharan sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives...

(NB This forum post was not the work of MM, and there is enough Sudanese included to make me think it may be genuine.)

An article in need

of an update...

Models examined

During this time of Global Financial Crisis, the world is turning away from the unsuccessful United States model (pictured above, showing the GDP of each state as it compares to another nation) and looking carefully at the Australian model.

No, hang about, the world looks to Europe.

No, really, the model we are really looking at is Canada - or was it Cuba?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Be careful out there

The ShadowLands urges our American readers to exercise extreme caution during this perilous time of the year.

One for the builders

The 2008 Contractor Awards.

Russian society news

Beer goggles have nothing on vodka goggles according to English Pravda.

I'm pretty sure

this is a parody, which makes all the irate responses kind of amusing. Reminds me of the great, sadly neglected songun blog.