Archive for October, 2007

Abbott does it again

The Labor Party had Mark Latham, the Liberals have their own boofhead, Tony Abbott. He was at it again today:

HEALTH Minister Tony Abbott was forced into an embarrassing apology – not once, but twice – and was also caught out swearing at his ALP counterpart today.

He had to say sorry to the heroic face of the campaign against James Hardie, Bernie Banton, and then again for turning up 30 minutes late for a nationally-televised health debate with his Labor counterpart, Nicola Roxon.

And minutes later he was caught out swearing after Ms Roxon took him to task for being tardy.

But the problems didn’t end there.

The Commonwealth’s plan to take over the Mersey Hospital in Tasmania – hoping it will shore up its vote in the marginal seat of Braddon – has been delayed by administrative bungling which Mr Abbott blames on the state.

If the Liberals are demolished this time around he could end up their leader. Horrible thought.

F-111s and Super Hornets

I didn’t see the Four Corners last night but apparently they tried to do a bucket job on the government’s decision to replace the F-111s with Super Hornets.

Look, the F-111 been around since the 1970’s, we are the only country thats still flys them, so any upgrades are going to be expensive. Not only that, but spare parts are getting harder to replace. Theres a great discussion board here on military topics , heres part of a post by “ gf0012-aust “

Some of the points conveniently missed by Andrew Fowler.

– We need an interim aircraft as well because the centre barrel program has gone a little pear shaped
– the F-111 cannot go into contested airspace under current RAAF doctrine without an escort – as it can’t survive. Its a strike platform – not a fighter
– that one of the big issues is that there are no spare parts for the rocket ejection systems. the current stocks decay at 2010-2012. After that if there is a catastrophic event, then there’s no guarantee that the pilots can eject
– that their cute 2012 scenario wasn’t gamed out with the F-111 where they definitely would not last – even against a short flight of Sooks (and that assumes that the indons have weapons)
– that the only country that is on our immedoate threat matrix is Indonesia – and they don’t have the weapons for them, they don’t get the requisite hours, and they certainly don’t have more modern weapons (if any at the moment)
– the Malays are our allies
– the PLAAF would have to run extended missions to poke Aust – and thats how likely?
– The Indians also have Bears in the Andamans – does that mean that they’re going to bomb us as they’re within range of Adelaide and the JORN transmitters. What scenario sees the Indians waging war on Oz? Their focus of interest are the Straits and Myanmar.
– in light of the above – who running Sooks is on our threat matrix?
– the 2012 sceanrio was a joke. The Indons have 4 Sooks, so how would they go in on max weapons load against a full squadron of Shornets backpaddled by Wedgetail and JORN? They’re outgunned and outnumbered as well as blind against what JORN and Wedgetail bring to the party.
– The indons don’t have AESA either, neither do the Malays or Indons and all of them will be seen by JORN and SWR well before they get into intercept range.
The Rafale is even less successful than the Shornet on export sales and the French have been pushing it to everyone .

As expected the opposition are running with the story but the RAAF has responded. The RAAF need to whack this rubbish hard. They have a responsibility to explain to the Australian people, not just the politicians, why we really need such expensive equipment. Its Mr & Mrs Average taxpayer who pays their wages after all.

Global warming bullshit

American journalist John Stossel on global warming nonsense:

Poverty bullshit

The most disgusting bunch of parasites in the country are the professional welfare lobby. They depend on poverty for their existence, any success in alleviating real poverty is a threat to their survival. So they will find some whether it exit or not. Peter Saunders looks at poverty bullshit in todays Australian.

Another non existent poverty problem is the supposed gap between rich and poor. Lets examine this gap. Lets assume we have two people, one on $500 a week the other on $1000. The difference, the “gap” is $500. Now we double their income. The poorer person earns $1000 a week the other $2000, but of course the difference also doubles to $1000. Horrors of horrors! The gap increases!

I had to put up with this crap during my years in Centrelink/DSS. God I’m glad I left.

Baby boom

I think Mark Steyn is spot on to fear the fall in birth rates in Western countries, so this is great news.

More babies were born last year than in any since official records began, with the exception of 1971.

And Australians are having their babies later in life – the median age of a first-time mum last year was almost 31, while the average dads were just over 33 years of age. These are the highest-ever median ages for new parents.

The fertility rate – the number of children an average woman is expected to have in her lifetime – rose to 1.81 last year, up from 1.79 the previous year.

The Federal Government’s baby bonus – introduced in 2004 and now worth $4000 per baby – has been widely credited with encouraging Australians to have more kids.

Figures released today showed 265,900 births were registered in 2006, the highest number since the 276,400 births reported 35 years previously.

The fertility rate is still below replacement level, 2.1 but it appears to be rising. I wonder what the ethnic breakdown is?

Have a Happy Wellsian Halloween

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.

Hello My Fellow Wellsians,

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Wellsian Halloween. In keeping with a very long tradition I always spend my Halloween’s eve listening to the infamous October 30th, 1938 Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast. This week marks the sixty-ninth anniversary of that legendary broadcast. Here are two great links that will direct you to sites where you can hear the famous broadcast using Real Player or download the entire broadcast direct to your computer.

The sites concerned are the official web site of the town of Grover Mills, New Jersey where Orson Welles staged the landing site of the Martian invasion of America, and from Jeff Rense comes a fantastic site with some really fascinating pictures depicting the Martian Invasion of New York City. I really like the scenes of the Martian Tripods over the New York City Skyline.

I would also like to direct your attention to three very Wellsian Internet Radio plays or webcasts very reminiscent of the old style dramas very popular in 1930s and 1940s in the United States. I am referring to the Science Fiction Channel’s Seeing Ear Theatre:

If you go to the archives section and click on Original Playhouse you will find the three very original Wellsian radio plays.

Orson the Alien is the untold story of the Orson Welles broadcast written by Terry Bisson, Brian Smith and George Zarr and, starring Star Trek’s Walter Koenig.

On October 30th, 1938 Orson Welles shocked the world with his faux “news” broadcast of an Alien invasion from mars; thousands of people believed the reports and streamed into the streets, panicked and screaming for their lives. Now, 60 years later, Seeing Ear Theatre asks the question, “What if two real aliens were listening to Welles’ historic broadcast? And what if they, too, believed the reports to be authentic and felt obliged to travel to Earth to help save us from the dreaded Martians? What then, Orson?

For some famous old time radio I would also like to direct you to a website about the famous Mercury Theatre.

Here is something else I just had to share with you: a version of an animated War of the Worlds which is absolutely Andersonsque.

Toyman Studios’ The War of the Worlds in Stop Motion Doll-o-Vision!

This is a full feature internet video clip of a Gerry Anderson (of Fireball XL 5 and Thunderbirds fame) style version of the War of the Worlds. They took the whole of the 1938 version of the Orson Welles infamous radio broadcast and created an Andersonsque animated full length presentation of it. Truly amazing and awesome to the max. Well worth watching again and again.

I hope you spend this Halloween enjoying these wonderful radio plays.

Bye for now,
Alex Michael Bonnici


Ancient Mysteries

One of the Great Mysteries is how Ancient Egypt built the Pyramids and other monuments. . A bit of that mystery may have been uncovered:

Experts have discovered a canal at an Aswan rock quarry that they believe was used to help float some of ancient Egypt’s largest stone monuments to the Nile River.

It has long been suspected that ancient workers moved the massive artifacts directly to their final destinations over waterways.

Ancient artwork shows Egyptians using boats or barges to move large monuments like obelisks and statues, and canals have also been discovered at the Giza pyramids and the Luxor Temple.

But the newfound canal, which has since been filled in, is the first proof discovered at the granite quarries in Aswan. Almost all obelisks, including those at the Luxor and Karnak Temples, were originally hewn in the Aswan area.

“What you have is very strong evidence that they may have loaded these stones in at the quarry … and as a result not dragging and hauling them over land,” said Richard R. Parizek, a professor of geology at Penn State University who led the scientific tests confirming the canal’s existence.

“It eliminates that land connection.” evidence has been found how the huge stones were transported…..

Undersea Mysteries

Have a look at some of the bizzare creatures recently discovered in the Celebes Sea.

A square jaw and edgy brow give a distinctive profile to this boxfish, one of many exotic marine creatures recently found by scientists exploring Southeast Asia’s Celebes Sea.

The international team of researchers recently returned from two weeks in the Celebes, a little-explored sea between Malaysia and the Philippines that is home to one of the world’s deepest ocean basins (see map).

The Celebes’s relative isolation and chilly depths make it one of the world’s most richly diverse marine habitats, likely hosting species that have lived in seclusion for millions of years, expedition leader Larry Madin told the Associated Press.

“This is probably the center where many of the species evolved and spread to other parts of the ocean, so it’s going back to the source in many ways,” said Madin, who is director of research at the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)…..