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Our mission

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

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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Permit to save the world refused

Amongst many very dodgy predictions for 2009, the ShadowLands predicted this:
* Some solutions for carbon emissions to be put forward, but dismissed by environmentalists who kind of like this whole moral crisis thing;

Along these lines comes this news:
[A] German carbon capture plan has ended with CO2 being pumped directly into the atmosphere, following local opposition at it being stored underground.

Dish served cold

The ShadowLands caught this brilliant video on AB frigging C television. It features some beautifully filmed countryside in France and computer generated insects. (Requires patience for downloading, but well worth sticking around when vengeance arrives at around the four minute mark.)

Passing shadows

* The Tour de France heads down memory lane.

* The douchebag name generator (be patient with the form-filling already, the results are way worth it).

* This miracle drug can soothe bug bites, remove stains, clear up pimples, prevent cancer, restore hair colour, relieve pain, prevent strokes... Can you guess what it is?

* Sexual techniques to drive her wild! Safe for work, but still red hot!

Moldovan gap to widen

The last ruling communist government in Europe has finally been removed from power in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova.

The citizens of Moldova are said to be the poorest in Europe, but enjoy a very small gap between the poorest in their community and the richest Moldovans who are also not very wealthy. About one million of the Moldovan population of 4 million are said to live on less than $2 per day.

Although the end of communism is likely to relieve widespread poverty, true socialists will be concerned about the widening gap between rich and poor.

One of the reasons the communists have held on for so long is that the Moldovans' helpful neighbours, Russia have been backing the Communists. The Russians prefer their neighbours to be weak and poverty stricken.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Great moments in science

* It turns out that organic food is no good for you, but blue M&Ms just might be.

* Obama's evil plan comes closer and closer to fruition.

* Homelessness solved.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Goalposts moved

Since 2005, climate alarmists have been warning that there will be 50 million climate refugees by 2010. However, censuses of the Pacific nations predicted to be underwater by now (such as Tuvalu) show that their populations are actually increasing.

Now that 2010 is fast approaching, it will soon become apparent that the predicted 50 million climate refugees figure is simply not going to happen. So what to do?

a) Reappraise the figures and go back and have a look at the science, or

b) Make increasingly ridiculous claims and extend the deadline?

It's a no-brainer - the latest media reports suggests that there will be up to 75 million climate refugees in the Asia Pacific over the next 40 years. Since the entire population of the Pacific Islands is about 1.6 million, we guess this means about 73.4 million can be expected from unspecified places in Asia.

UPDATE: The UK's Daily Telegraph reports that:
More than 75 million people living on Pacific islands will have to relocate by 2050 because of the effects of climate change, Oxfam has warned.
However, we repeat, the entire population of the Pacific Islands is 1.6 million, maybe 6 million if you include Papua New Guinea, which is well above sea level in any case. What's more, the report does not mention 75 million people in it anywhere.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: Our assertion that 75 million refugees is not mentioned in the report is incorrect. The report being referred to is at the Oxfam page at

Our apologies for this error.

Priorities set

Aborigines from Cape York who are protesting new rules that prevent them from developing their own land have upset an inner-city gathering (is there any other kind?) of Sydney environmentalists.

What amuses the ShadowLands most are the environmentalists' comments. (We add our contribution in italics.)

"I think it was confronting," one guest said. [Confronting? Did it add a sour taste to the canapés? Maybe if you spent a night in a Cape York community - and let's face it, that's never going to happen - you would find out what confronting really means.]

"It is scene setting. It is dramatic. It gets people's attention," another said. [Yes, it gets your attention in a way that, for you, caring about Aboriginal people apparently hasn't.]

"I am aware of the dispute between the Aboriginal people and the environmental movement up there particularly, but I have to say environmental sustainability comes first," she said. [You mean, and people's welfare comes second? I'm glad we cleared that up.]

(By the by, can anyone remember the last time that a report on an environmental protest included quotes from three sources on the other side?)

Emissions reduced

Earlier this month, the Medical Association for Prevention of War and Doctors for the Environment called for a carbon audit on war games involving the US and Australia.

So this news must come as a tremendous relief to them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Passing shadows

* We bring you these images of reporters being hit with things, not because we think it is funny#, but only to raise awareness about the inherent dangers of reportage.

* WARNING: This virtual beatbox is fun only if you are participating. Do not let others - and particularly children - know of its existence.

* Islam proven to be only true religion.

* We can attest that swine flu is actually no fun if you get it, but in the meantime you might as well play the flash game.

(# We're lying .)

This could get interesting

The story so far:

The UK's Meteorological Office has been refusing to release data used in a major climate study so that it can be checked.

One of those involved in the study is reported to have said: "We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"

But, as Watts Up With That explains, the researcher never counted on the emergence of Deep Cool...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wooo wooo! On board the gravy train with Tony Jones

According to the program, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Lateline presenter and climate alarmist, Tony Jones has signed up once again to be a moderator at the 2009 Carbon Expo on the Gold Coast.

"Snow Cone", who is apparently paid in the region of $5,000-10,000 per appearance, has been on the climate alarmists' money trail for some years now.

It is unclear how familiar Mr Jones is with the Public Service Act, including Section 13 (7):
An APS employee must disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with APS employment.
UPDATE: Anon in comments questions whether the ABC falls under the Public Service Act. A quick google is inconclusive - I can find no reference that it is either excluded or included.

However, the activities of Mr Jones should fall under the ABC editorial policies, including those concerning conflict of interest at 4.4:
There should be no conflict between the private interests of ABC staff and their official duties. The outside activities of staff, including financial, personal and political relationships, must not compromise the editorial integrity of ABC programs. Staff are expected to arrange their affairs in a manner that will prevent conflict of interest.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Is China about to sneeze?

If this is true (and it has a certain ring about it - after all, what usually happens to rapidly expanding sharemarkets and economies?) Australia's recession may be still to come.

If China ran into a big slowdown, possible ramifications for Australia might include:

* Australia's mining sector to hit a brick wall, and technical recession to occur because of declining exports.

* Major unemployment in Western Australia and other areas highly dependent on mining.

* China's major trading partners in Asia (such as Japan and South Korea) also to go into recession, exacerbating Australia's trading position.

* Kevin Rudd to look like a dick for continually saying while in opposition "What is the Government doing to mitigate against an end to the mining boom."

* Kevin Rudd having no money with which to get us out of hock or pay for climate change tomfoolery.

* China's superpower status to be put on hold for a while, and India to emerge as the star second world economy.

Also on the bright side, a slow down could lead to major dissatisfaction and ultimately lead to the democratisation of China and de-Ruddification of Australia.

Feminists in uproar over pants ban

Feminists are presumably in uproar over news that North Korean women face hard labour if caught wearing pants. Similar rules are said to be in place for North Korean women caught riding bicycles.

Germaine Greer's latest article is here and an excellent analysis of why people on the Korean peninsular are nervous here.

(Thanks again minicapt.)

The left's magic pudding of complaint

by John Butler of the John Butler Trio

The Magic Pudding is a classic Australian children's tale about a pudding that never runs out.

It's a concept that comes to mind whenever I hear from the ever-whining Left.

With a Democrat in the White House and Iraq ceasing to be a major issue, thousands of people who were once busy making protest banners and papier mache heads of conservative leaders have little, if anything, to do.

The result is the rise of a movement to stop the Afghan War. This is nothing if not proof that regardless of external realities, lefties have a certain amount of things that they simply must complain about - it's a veritable magic pudding of complaint.

Of course, like all wars, the Afghan War is a bitch, and the associated deaths of non-Taliban forces are tragic. However, the fact that this war is being fought means that there is a front line for Muslim fanatics to go to, and the fact that international special forces are able to assist them with their martyrdom in the remote hills of Afghanistan - rather than say, the shopping centres of Belgium - is a win-win for everybody.

The other winners include Afghanis who like to vote, girls who might benefit from education, women who want to work outside the home, and gays who would rather not be executed. Economically, Afghanistan is also benefiting from billions of dollars in aid from NATO countries.

Because of the human rights benefits associated with ridding the world of the Taliban, the Afghan War has been known as "the Good War". It's a cruelly ironic description for soldiers at the front line, but nothing has changed, except for the fact that the lefties are getting bored.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Passing shadows

* National Art Hate Week seems like a good idea to us, except that it appears to be just another puerile art movement.

* Garage door art (warning: awesome).

* A dog performs jazz (warning: stupid).

* Veiled from head to foot, Saudi Arabia's Miss Moral Beauty has been crowned - at least, as far as we can tell (thanks minicapt).

* The Arctic appears to lack holes, but Russian scientists are refusing to rule out the possibility that UFOs are using them to emerge from inside the Earth.

Haven't we heard this one before?

The one where the government department responsible for telling everyone else what to do fails to meet its green targets?

Well, yes, in fact, I'm sure we have.

Australia's economic recovery to be "easy": RRI™

REUTERS: Renowned for his accurate predictions about Australia's economy as well as his contributions to the ShadowLands website, John Butler of the John Butler Trio says Australia's recovery from the global recession is likely to be easy.

Mr Butler, who was Australia's only economist to predict that Australia would avoid technical recession, says that he has been quietly weighing up the indicators for the future, but is only now confident enough to make a prediction.

"I made my reputation as an economic futurist because of my ground-breaking Reverse Retard Index or RRI™. Put simply, I find out what retards are saying and predict the opposite, which is easily the most foolproof guide to economic trends available.

"The trouble over the past few months is that the opinions of retards have been difficult to pin down - until now."

The breakthrough has come thanks to Kevin Rudd's warning that many Australians are likely to suffer as the economy recovers. Butler explains:

"To start with, we know that Kevin Rudd fits our criteria as a Prime Economic Retard™ thanks to his earlier statements about Australia being likely to be badly effected by a slowdown in China - when in fact, China was experiencing continued growth. Naturally, it turned out that Australia was saved from technical recession by China.

"Next, we know that Rudd's essay is a classic in the genre of Retard Economic Analysis thanks to the first sentence, which asserts that the current global recession is the worst since the Great Depression.

"This is simply not true - at least not definitively, not yet - and there are some genuine indications that it will prove not to be. Thus, all we need do is to read his essay, and confidently assert the opposite."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Say cheese

All your awkward family moments captured forever over here.

Friday literal video

Russia joins the race race

It is a truth universally acknowledged that even after the end of the cold war, the Russians are still very keen to compete with their American rivals.

This may go some way to explaining the publicity for Joakim Krama, a black African immigrant who is running for a position as head of the Volgograd Municipal Government.

Not quite as impressive as a black American President you say? Perhaps. But the Russians seem to be proud that their candidate is much blacker than Barack Obama, even down to being (hard to believe, I know) - a watermelon salesman.

As Pravda somewhat less-than-tactfully puts it, "Local people joke that if he is elected, he will work like a slave for the region."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All hail to the Colonel

Regular readers of the ShadowLands would be familiar with the occasional but very annoying blackouts occurring in the template.

During the most recent episode we tried a fix sent to us by Colonel Milquetoast worked. All hail and many thanks to the Colonel.

Passing shadows

* Conclusive evidence here that Boy on a Bike should be an anthropologist.

* An outstanding explanation of WWII. Who knew that urban dictionary was an educational tool?

* A site for those of us who like corrections.

* A ten pin bowling trick shot.

Straw man burnt

Who knew that beating the Taliban in Afghanistan was going to be easy? Not former PM, John Howard, who warned in 2001 that it would be complex, dangerous and would take a long time.

Not even the (usually) fact-challenged doofus Kevin Rudd has ever suggested it would be anything other than a long term project.

However, the ABC's Matt Brown is convinced it is a simple mission, though google seems to suggest he is the first person ever to come to that conclusion.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Twits twittered

Many thanks to minicapt for alerting us to the story of DPRK's new twitter account.

Meanwhile songun blog expounds on those blasphemous news reports.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Passing shadows

* If doofuses like Ant Loewenstein actually cared about Palestinians, they would be up in arms about this, but - bet your life - they won't say a word. (via Israellycool)

* Theo's ten attributes of really lazy people.

* An attribute of people prone to stupid internet fads.

* How to make biscuits in a hot car.

Lives getting shorter

The ABC is reporting on the filling of Lake Eyre as a once in a lifetime experience.

I guess this only applies if you live a brutally short existence, as 60 Minutes also reported on this once in a generation experience in 2000.

In fact, that great arbiter of internet stuff, erm, wikipedia, doesn't even mention 2000, but notes that this once in a lifetime phenomenon has also occurred in 1950, 1955, 1974-1976, 1984 and 1989, meaning that anyone born since WWII could have seen it happen at least six times. In fact, Lake Eyre generally fills more often than we get federal Labor governments.

So for whom is the filling of Lake Eyre a once in a lifetime experience? Bindi Irwin perhaps? Sadly, she was born in 1998, meaning that she could have experienced it twice...

Who ate all the fish?

Once upon a time scientists thought the overall decline in the size of fish was caused by overfishing, but having identified where all the funding is, they now realise it's caused by global warming.

But the ShadowLands wonders if there may be yet another reason. Could it be that all the big fish have been eaten?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nirvana find replacement vocalist

Although making number one in the Triple J list of all time favourite songsters recently, Nirvana have been noticeably unproductive lately after their lead singer was reportedly overcome by greenhouse gases. All of which makes this a particularly exciting development for true fans of popular music.

ShadowLands wins again!

In January, The ShadowLands made a submission to Australia's Productivity Commission about the ludicrous rules that prevent the importation of books into Australia.

It turns out that the Commission has found our logic irresistible. WE WON!

Kev blog comment Mk II

After having our first attempted comment at Kevblog rejected, we are running another one up the flag-pole to see if Kevin salutes:
How can we make Australians more aware that we need to act on climate change now?

Wow, now there’s a tough question to start off with.

First of all, it would be a mistake to mislead the Australian public by saying things like “We need to act fast because Australia is the hottest and driest continent” when in fact South America and Africa are hotter, and Australia ranks second for fresh water per capita.

That way, you lose credibility. Take my word for it – just don’t do it.

It would look even worse if you called climate change the greatest challenge of our time and then decided to put off the CPRS a year or so.

It might be in the best interests of Australia, but it would look bad when it comes to trying to convince others that they have to act now. Not criticising, just saying is all.

Another thing not to do, would be to lead an expedition to the Arctic to raise awareness about climate change. The last few people who tried it have been pretty much iced in. All this does is raise awareness that much of the anthropogenic global warming talk is not being replicated in nature.

Similarly, people need to be convinced not to go outside or travel to the snow or find out about the Nenana Ice Classic held each year in Alaska. These things could shatter their belief.

Another thing you need to do is ignore the IPCC’s prediction that 50 million people will be climate refugees by 2010, with many Pacific islands flooded. If people travel to these places, they will think that AGW just isn’t really everything the scientists claim it to be.

Sorry I can’t provide some more positive suggestions at this stage, but it here's hoping it's a start.

Yours etc…

Protocols breached

The ShadowLands' first attempt to get a comment published at the Prime Minister's blog has been rejected with the following email:
The comment you submitted to the Prime Ministers blog will not be published because it has breached the terms of use.

We welcome you to resubmit your comment in line with the Protocols.

Please refer to the Protocols for Participation in the Prime Ministers blog for more information.
Oh well, if at first you don't succeed...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A video that could change your life

Kyrgyzstan update

* Why does no one want to read books from Kyrgyzstan? I dunno, can I buy a vowel?

* A headline straight from a Borat movie.

* Your opinions of developments in Kyrgyzstan...A rare chance to make a real difference in an online poll.

Sincere flattery

We assembled this motivational poster in April and now we discover this...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Behold, the flying dogs

More here.

Passing shadows

* The consequences of finding a cure for radiation sickness could be huge - more effective cures for cancer, ridding the world of the threat of radiation smart-bombs, as well as moderating the effects of nuclear weapons. Don't expect greenies to be happy about it, however, as it may also make nuclear power plants more viable.

* Confirmation that Australians have the best balls and Jules Crittenden on Pyongyangwood(thanks for both links minicapt!)

* A story of shameful racism at Tizonas.

* The Swazis show how to deal with unwanted school visitors.

* Proof that Muslim clerics party hard.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Our humble suggestions

The ShadowLands has submitted our comment at the Ruddblog as follows and will be waiting with breath bated for its publication. The comments at his blog, by the way, are already not quite turning out the way Kevin hoped:

How can we make Australians more aware that we need to act on climate change now?

Here are a few modest suggestions.

1. Mislead the Australian public by saying things like “We need to act fast because Australia is the hottest and driest continent” when in fact South America and Africa are hotter, and Australia ranks second for fresh water per capita. What? You already did that? Never mind.

2. A major barrier to Australians becoming alarmed into action on climate change is that too many people go outside and discover they are freezing their gonads off. Similarly, too many people are looking out the window and realising that things are not really different at all. Solutions? Lock people up inside their homes, board up their windows, replace snow making machines with large hair-drier type contraptions, and if that still doesn't work, ban television snow reports.

3. Senator Fielding keeps pointing out that while carbon in the atmosphere keeps rising, temperatures are not rising. Solution: Offer Senator Fielding a job as Speaker so that he must disengage from these kinds of debates. Either that or arrange some kind of “accident” for him.

I hope you find these suggestions to be of use.

Yours etc MM

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kevin blogs!

None other than Kevin Rudd has joined the blogging game, and his first subject of choice - oh joy of joys - is climate change.

Sign up now for your chance to comment.

Lying liar update

Lying dickhead, Kevin Rudd has revamped his website from which we can get transcripts and other invaluable information.

Mr Rudd's breathless rationale for the site is as follows:
I’m committed to leading an open government that’s accountable for its actions and its decisions...
Now try finding Mr Rudd's latest gaffe about "detailed programmatic specificity" which happened when journalists questioned him following this speech. Good luck, because it is not there.

Know your conspirators

Somebody is trying to subvert your society by distributing chewing gum that makes young people horny.

Can you guess who is responsible? Of course you can.

UPDATE: Turns out this is an old story doing the rounds once again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Passing shadows

* When good lovers turn bad.

* Waiter, there's a spider in my pizza.

* Lawyer surprised when someone expects him to mean what he says.

* How many records did Jacko really sell?

* Ten bad restaurant names.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Get in quick

The long dormant but always brilliant songun blog has been experiencing a burst of energy recently, unlike Kim Jong Il who is reputed to be suffering from pancreatic cancer.

All of which means you will need to get in quick to grab one of these T-shirts, still available at Social Justice prices from the new Songun Blog Retail Unit, and all with the subversive aim of defeating capitalism.

Arse or elbow?

Theo Spark has alerted us to the outstanding arse or elbow quiz. Bet you can't beat 10 out of 14.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More shadows

* War of the lawn chairs. (You may need to adjust view size.)

* Hooray for Pallywood - Israellycool notes the return of Hairstyle Man.

* I love passive aggressive notes.

* Apparently the whole "disco sucks" movement was racist. Who knew?

Women, black people just don't have the music

John Butler of the John Butler Trio once described the music chosen by listeners to Australia's compulsory pay youth radio station as being "a suitable music selection for StormFront Youth."

Now Triple J has unveiled its listeners selections of the Top 100 songs of all time, and they have not let us down.

Out of the top 100 songs of all time chosen by listeners, there are only two songs with female lead vocalists who made the grade. This has been the subject of some polite debate over at the ABC.

However, they are far too polite to mention that there also appear to be only two/maybe three black artists (Stevie Wonder at 95, Bob Marley at 84 and, arguably, Michael Jackson at 26 and 41).

Thus, according to Triple J listeners, 94 of the top 100 songs were all produced by white males. (Being a suicide, by the way, appears to be a big factor if you are really keen to get into the top 10.)

Another notable aspect of the list is that very few of the selections are songs that Triple J would actually play - in fact, very few were produced this decade. All of which begs the question, why is the public funding a radio station that plays music no one wants to listen to?

Note: John Butler of the John Butler Trio would like to thank everybody who voted him into #47.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Passing shadows

* When Buddhists get really, really angry...they take it up with the relevant authorities.

* These tattoos really are bad.

* Theo's map of Australia.

Theory ruined

While it's true that Australian oil production peaked around 2000, the peak oil theory in Australia has taken a few blows recently.

First of all there was a 13 per cent increase in oil production during 2008 compared to 2007. And now this.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

People's Inquiry Findings: an open letter

Following advice from an open letter by some of Australia's most consistently wrong economists The ShadowLands has held a People's Inquiry into Australia's financial system. We are stoked today to present our findings in the form of an open letter...

Dear Top Economists,

You wanted an inquiry? Well, okay, we've looked into it, and here are the people's findings:

1. First of all, anyone who writes an open letter is usually just an attention seeker. If you want to convince someone of something, it is normal practice to write them a letter. If you want to big-note yourself, you write an open letter. When you look at the signatories of open letters, the first thing is to figure out what they really want. In this case, it looks like they wanted a) publicity so that they can big note themselves and b) in the possible event that anything comes of it, latch themselves onto yet another government teat, in the form of directorships or some other not overly taxing advisory work.

2. Australia's banking system and the regulations surrounding them have protected Australia from the massive foreclosures that have happened overseas. So you think it's time to change the system?

3. The global financial crisis was partly caused because of government meddling in the financial system in the US making it too easy for people to get money. So you want to do what to Australia's financial system?

4. Governments are bad at private enterprise - just look at Russia's foray into the energy business.

5. Do any of you remember the story of the State Bank of South Australia? It was a people's bank that bled people dry.

6. Yes, the major banks are not our friends, but if you have a problem with it, for fuck's sake, just join a credit union.

7. Get your beady eyes and your greasy hands off of our public funds for once and bugger off back to whatever stinking corner you came from.

We hope these findings have been useful to you.

Yours etc

The People

The hidden tragedy of those without lounge rooms

Lacking a lounge room? You may, in fact, be homeless. BOAB clinically dissects Australia's homelessness crisis.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Passing shadows

* There, I fixed it.

* A day in the life of a McDonalds employee.

* So, this is why you're fat.

* My how time flies - it's already week 37, year 12 for Bus of the Week.

* The ShadowLands' wonderful world of images.

* A Michael Jackson commemorative T-shirt.

Second town bans bottled water

REUTERS: Following the resolution of the people of Bundanoon, another Australian town has banned bottled water.

The people of Birdsville in outback Queensland (pictured) have agreed not to have any bottled water.

One spokesperson for the community explained that it was less about looking after the environment than the fact that they just don't have any.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Should Australia have a "people's bank"?

John Butler of the John Butler Trio provides his response to the latest proposal for Australia to have a "people's bank"...

Fuck. Off.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leaving their respects

Michael Jackson's memorial service was admittedly pretty impressive - hey, can someone arrange to have the Reverend Al Sharpton speak at mine? But check out what happens when internet commenters get together at a funeral...(careful, language NSFW).

Jackson burial exclusive

There has been much speculation about the circumstances surrounding Michael Jackson's burial - until The ShadowLands uncovered this exclusive vision.

WHO raises UMC alert to pandemic

REUTERS: The World Health Organisation has declared an Underlying Medical Conditions (UMC) pandemic as a result of an increasing number of cases in Australia.

In the past week, the number of cases in Australia of people with underlying medical conditions has more than quadrupled.

The World Health Organisation alert comes amid growing evidence that UMC, which originated in Nicaragua two months ago, are now being widely transmitted between humans in Asia and Europe, as well as the Americas. It prompted the warning of a global flu pandemic from the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

"On the basis of available evidence and these expert assessments of the evidence, the scientific criteria for a pandemic have been met," said WHO Medical Director Margaret Chan. "I have therefore decided to raise the level of UMC pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6."

Passing shadows

* Us other-staters have long known that Victorians have cooties, but now it's officially the swine flu capital of the world with any Victorian suffering from a flu said to almost certainly have swine flu. Google trends seems to suggest the flu season's still not so bad compared to past years - but try telling that to anyone in my Sydney suburb.

* Do you have trouble putting your emotional needs in writing? No problem - try graphing it.

* Nine phrases the Chicago Tribune thinks should be banned from restaurants.

* The Bhutan Observer notes, sensibly, that it is generally a bad idea to have a path in front of an archery range.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And then there's the laundry bills...

The Australian Fair Pay Commission has decided not to increase Australia's minimum wage in case it exacerbates unemployment.

Sounds like no biggie to us when there are so many more blatant issues of wage inequality out there in the world.

Take, for example, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Apart from a hard fought final, Roger Federer pretty much breezed through the Championships this year to take the winners' cheque of £850,000. However, in achieving this, it took him 15 hours and 45 minutes of hard slog out on the court. This works out at £53968 an hour.

Serena Williams, by comparison, also pocketed the 850,000 quid but only had to play for 8 hours and 48 minutes - £97,142 per hour on the court.

For the runners up, Roddick battled for over 17 hours for his £425,000 - a measly £25,000 an hour compared to the lah-de-dah Venus Williams who scarcely needed to get out of bed for less than 7 hours of play at a pay rate of more than £60,000 an hour. On an hourly rate, Venus earnt more than Roger, but she came second.

Women play much less tennis than men because their games are the best of three sets instead of five. Traditionally, this was because women were thought to have a more sensitive constitution and should not be put through the rigours of long competition.

What it has ended up meaning in the modern era is that women tennis players are all about power rather than skill or stamina. Some of them have evolved to look like they could make an easy transition to the World Wrestling Federation should they ever so choose.

But in the meantime, take just a moment to think of the poor tennis players like Federer and Roddick - carrying the burden of providing all the television content, limping from town to town, smiling for the cameras, but all the time trying to make ends meet at an hourly pay rate of only around half of their female counterparts.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The warmenists don't even believe...

their own bullshit.

Last year, the New South Wales Department of Climate Change put out a report, based on the scriptures of the IPCC, about the future of the climate in Sydney. This information is used by government planning authorities.

One of the basic findings is that Sydney will become more sub-tropical. Amongst other things they claim, this means a slight decrease in rainfall during winter will be more than offset by large increases in Summer rainfall of anything up to 50 per cent.

However there is a problem. Even though these are the official findings straight from scientists who worship at the altar of global warming and gain sustenance from its many international conferences, Sydney is simply not allowed to have more rainfall as a result of climate change, because this is the kind of thing that might be construed as not a problem.

Thus, despite the fact that it makes total sense that a more sub-tropical climate would bring more rainfall, the Sydney Morning Herald brings us this:
Sydney's weather will be much more like Brisbane's by the end of the century, featuring hotter, wetter summers, drier winters and much less annual rainfall, if the march of tropical regions towards the poles continues, climate scientists have predicted.
All of which might matter, except that all of their predictions are wrong.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Passing shadows

* What it's like in the homeopathic emergency room (this rocks).

* Six blood-thirsty national anthems

* Careful how you die in Malaysia or you may end up in the newspaper.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's uncanny

These are actually just look-a-likes.

Because we can

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why Jackson stood at the top of a mountain

by John Butler of the John Butler Trio

Does the world need another blogger sinking the slipper into the unevenly decomposing corpse of Michael Jackson?

Probably not, but then the world probably never needed another Michael Jackson album after Thriller or, in my opinion, Off the Wall.

To my mind, it was all downhill after the early classics like Don't Stop Til You Get Enough.

Watching that video - lest we forget - it's obvious that Michael Jackson really was a star. No pop star before or since could stand in front of a camera and captivate you in the same way. Dressed in a tuxedo, singing in falsetto, it's amazing how masculine he looks. It's an interesting phenomenon that the more he tried to be macho - telling us how bad he was, dressing like a gangster or zombie, grabbing his crotch to remind us he had one - the less of a genuine threat he seemed to any female of breeding age.

Likewise, as his skin lightened, the music seemed to get whiter and less interesting. Eventually it all collapsed into a saccharine bombastic ball of goo. Jackson produced three or four classic pop songs in his early years, but I would sooner gnaw my arm off at the elbow than listen to a whole "best of" album.

But the thing that pisses me off about Michael Jackson is the same old thing that pisses me off about the vast majority of celebrities.

To become a top pop star or performer must require a certain amount of ego and self obsession that most of us don't have. Unfortunately, this is so often incompatible with the selflessness and normal values you require to be a good parent. But steady on, I hear you say, what do you know about Michael Jackson's parenting skills?

What I know is that good parents don't put themselves in a position to die young. I also know that good parents allow their kids the chance to have a mother. Good parents give you proper names, and they give you a chance to be normal and to be yourself

Maybe he was a kiddie-fiddler - I can't profess to know. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

But fundamental to my dislike for Michael Jackson is his plain old hypocrisy - the huge gulf between his professed care for children and his inability to be a good parent.

Then, inevitably, there are the excuses about his upbringing and inability to have a normal childhood. Millions of people have overcome much greater hurdles in their lives. Millions of people of Jackson's age grew up in a generation where they were treated roughly or off-handedly by their parents.

But every day, millions of people from this generation show their love for their children by just getting on with life: by dragging themselves out of bed and going to work each day, by giving their kids reasonable names they can call their own, by not getting zonked out on prescription drugs, by making sure to still be around to attend their wedding. They have problems, they get over them.

This was the kind of commitment that was always way beyond that spaced-out goofball, Michael Jackson - all of which may have been okay had he not set himself up as some great children's advocate.

Michael Jackson's death is the end for a great pop musician. But hopefully it also represents the end of a whole mountain-full of bullshit.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Canada Day

A belated Happy Canada Day to our Canadian readers.

Here are four things a grateful immigrant to this nation might say:

a) Wow, Canada might not be perfect, but it sure beats the Orwellian shithole that I come from. I am very fortunate to be a citizen.

b) Canada is the only nation in the world holding the torch for conservatism at the moment. I sure am proud to be Canadian.

c) I swear if I hear another note of Nickelback...but you know what? This is a wonderful, prosperous nation that opens its arms to the world, and I am fortunate to be part of it.

and then, of course, there is option d)

Your swine flu party needs

Parents have been warned not to take their children to "swine flu parties" in the hope they will catch the disease and build up immunity.

However, in a blow to those of us who kind of like the idea, further reading of this news story appears to show that no-one has ever held a Swine Flu Party and no-one knows of anyone who has either.

For those of you thinking of taking the plunge by celebrating our diverse virology, here are a few pointers that are sure to be a hit at your local swine flu party:

* Wear the bacon tux or - should you prefer to keep it informal - this bacon suit.

* Or try this costume for the kids.

* Hand around some bacon apple pie

* Steal the bacon party game

* Give out this handy decision-making flowchart to party guests

* More bacon delights over thissaway and all your bacon related merchandise.

Michael Jackson news update

Still dead.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Passing shadows

* As previously noted here, lefties love Ahmadinejad. (via Best of the Web)

* Lousy library books

* Michael Jackson in graphs

* Things that look like faces

* Have you suffered from a very, very bad paper cut, but your band-aid looks too gay? You need, leather band-aids.