Archive for March, 2009


This is amazing. From Gizmodo:

Since 2004, the company behind the Hotelicopter has been working to modify a Soviet-made Mil V-12 into two world firsts: the “world’s biggest helicopter” and the “world’s first flying hotel.”

As you might have guessed, the experience on board the Hotelicopter is far from your standard Motel 6. This gigantic flying Titanic machine features everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel—from private entertainment systems and room service to extras like spa treatments, yoga classes, gaming and a tea garden.

More here.

Chinese death vans

Heres how Mr Rudd’s Chinese mates handle crime:

But there will be nothing ordinary about Yong’s death by lethal injection. Unless he wins an appeal, he will draw his final breath strapped inside a vehicle that has been specially developed to make executions more cost-effective and efficient.

In chilling echoes of the ‘gas-wagon’ project pioneered by the Nazis to slaughter criminals, the mentally ill and Jews, this former member of the China People’s Party will be handcuffed to a so-called ‘humane’ bed and executed inside a gleaming new, hi-tech, mobile ‘death van.’

And they don’t like waste:

According to undercover investigations by human rights’ groups, the police, judiciary and doctors are all involved in making millions from China’s huge trade in human body parts.

Inside each ‘death van’ there is a dedicated team of doctors to ‘harvest’ the organs of the deceased. The injections leave the body intact and in pristine condition for such lucrative work.

After checking that the victim is dead, the medical team first remove the eyes. Then, wearing surgical gowns and masks, they remove the kidney, liver, pancreas and lungs


Multicultural Biker Gangs

How some people are adapting to multicultural Australia:

THEY call themselves MBM – the Muslim Brotherhood Movement – a gang of 600 men who boast they are the toughest and best young street fighters of Middle Eastern descent in Sydney.

MBM claims to be the biggest of four new gangs to emerge on Sydney streets in the past year. Its numbers rival those of the state’s largest bikie gang, the Rebels.

The sudden appearance of MBM, with its growing membership recruited predominantly from the city’s south-western suburbs, has alarmed senior police already battling to combat open warfare among outlaw motorbike gangs….

Sylvia Earle: Here’s how to protect the blue heart of the planet

Sylvia Earle is one of the great explorers of our time. Oceanographer, aquanaut, author and lecturer she has been exploring Aquatica for decades. Please watch the video below and hear a remarkable woman tell us why we must protect our oceans:

Major Matt Mason -The Motion Picture

For those of you who were fortunate to be a child in the 1960s during the great heyday of the Space Race, chances are you spent most of your time playing with Space toys. Lots of space related toys started popping up all over the place in the late 60s. Leading the pack, and my all time favourite, was a courageous and intrepid astronaut by the name of Major Matt Mason. I still have many fond childhood memories of joining Major Matt and his other action figure buddies in the exploration of the mysterious lunar landscape of my living room floor.

Major Matt Mason will always be for me the quintessential hero of the space age. The astronaut who led the charge forward as humanity blazed a trial forward in its conquest of space. If you are part of the forty something set and a member of the Major Matt Mason generation you will be happy to hear that Universal Pictures is bringing the good Major to life in all his glory to the silver screen.

And, who will be playing the bold and courageous Major? Why that quintessential astronaut of the silver screen and long time fan of the great Major – Tom Hanks.

According to Variety, the toy line originated in 1966; Mason led an astronaut team that worked on the moon and lived in a space station. The toy was a hit in the buildup to the first manned moon mission. Mattel retired the line in the 1970s.

When Mattel execs Tim Kilpin and Barry Waldo came to Playtone for a meeting, they brought an arsenal of the Matt Mason figures. Hanks came armed with his own.

To paraphrase the closing line of the following Major Matt Mason commercial, I wonder how far this major motion picture will go. With all the current planning and discussion of returning to the Moon, establishing a Lunar Base, manned missions to the Asteroids, and pressing on to Mars, isn’t it only fitting that the good Major lead the charge in the conquest of these worlds himself?

Web 2.0 and Question Time

Tim Andrews has made the excellent suggestion that the Opposition set up an online system to allow people to vote on what questions be asked during Question Time.:

The concept is rather simple. You submit questions on a website (or through twitter). Other users get to vote on these questions, and the most popular ones get asked. A great example of this was the RNC Chairman debate hosted by ATR where hundreds of people submitted questions, and tens of thousands of votes were cast. I believe similar sites were up for Presidential debates. More recently, The Nation, The Washington Times, and the Personal Democracy Forum have teamed up to launch Ask the President, where you and vote on questions for President Obama that they will present the top ones at the next press conference. Zotfish is another example that takes this beyond politics.

The technology is already publicly available through Google Moderator:

Also see the following links.

No Tim Tams for Sydney

SYDNEY Lord Mayor Clover Moore has banned Tim Tams from council events for fear they’re partially produced through cruel child labour on Africa’s Ivory Coast.

In a move to create “sustainable, healthy and cruelty-free catering” at City of Sydney meetings and events, staff have stopped providing chocolate biscuits along with meals containing eggs, bottled water, fat-rich cakes, dairy deserts and “bad” fish species.

One of the first attempts at the new politically correct meals policy was at the council’s Investing in Sydney’s Future business forum on February 25.

On the menu were vegetables (locally grown), NSW wines (organic) and “a good fish species choice” (blue-eye trevalla)….