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Only Two Men

Only Two Men12 men have walked on the lunar surface. But only two have descended to the ocean’s deepest point. Shown here are Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard on their January 23, 1960 mission to the bottom of the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific. The temperature outside sat at freezing. The light was lost at around 500 feet, some seven miles above them and the pressure on the capsule in which there were riding was 354 million pounds. They exceeded the capability by more than 12 times the rated max depth of the most advanced 21st century military submarine.


Five Common misconceptions

There are some commonly held political beliefs which make no sense but which a large proportion on the electorate seem to hold. It doesn’t seem to matter how well educated the person is these misconceptions have seeped into the national mindset are are almost impossible to remove. Today I would like to share my top five with you.
I voted for the Prime Minister : “At the last election I voted Kevin Rudd to be Prime Minister”. No you didn’t. At election time you and every other Australian voted for their local member. Even if you lived in Mr Rudd’s electorate you only voted him to be mp not PM. Unlike the Americans we do not directly elect our leaders. They are chosen by our parliamentarians. As any New South Welshman knows the party leader at the time of the election may not last the full term.
Minor parties can stop the government  “A handful of Greens (or any other minor party) are defying the will of the Australian people by blocking legislation! “ No they are not. Minor parties only have a few elected representatives, that’s why they are called minor parties. By themselves they can do little. They only have any influence if they vote with the Opposition. Considering that the Opposition has far more members then the minor party it makes more sense to blame them for any blocked legislation.
My taxes pay for my pension. “I paid taxes all my life so deserve a pension!” Wrong. Taxes are not a saving scheme, all the taxes you paid have been used to fund the government’s expenditure, including past pensions. There’s no direct link between the amount of tax you paid and any pension entitlement. The government can toughen the means test, increase pension age etc. any time it wants. If you don’t like it tough.
Its not a tax: “Well, we don’t call it tax, we’re calling it an investment in human capital.” Dr Sharman Stone MP on how Tony Abbott’s paid maternity leave scheme will be funded. Sorry, if the government takes your money without your consent its a tax. What is used for is besides the point. 
Liars .”He/She is liar!” Maybe not. Just because someone says something which is not true does not make that person a liar. A lie is an untruth with an intention to deceive. If there is no deception involved its not a lie. The person could have simple be mistaken or misinformed. I like to see some real evidence of intentional deception before a prominent politician is called a liar. 
I’m sure people have their own favorites please share them in the comments section.

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The Universe – Light Speed

Today on Discovery Enterprise we look at the ultimate speed limit of the cosmos – Light Speed. But, is it really the ultimate speed limit or can we one day break the light barrier.

Streaking through space, light is the fastest thing in the universe. As it reaches us across vast distances it reveals the history of the cosmos. Light travels at 300,000 kilometres per second (186,000 miles per second), its speed is an ultimate barrier, nothing can go faster. But is the answer final? Will spaceships ever speed faster than light? Is it even worth trying? It can neither be touched nor felt. It is an abstract quantity of immense impact. The rate of motion at the very heart of all existence, the fundamental linchpin of the universe that we call light speed.

The Universe – Light Speed

For your viewing pleasure we at Discovery Enterprise would also like to offer you the following documentary – Simon Schaffer’s fantastic four part series the “Light Fantastic” that was produced for BBC 4. In this documentary series science historian Simon Schaffer takes is on a voyage of discovery to follow humankind’s quest for enlightenment to discover the true nature of light.

Women better off in the 1950’s

Thats what the National Foundation of Australian Women thinks:

A new study that examined barriers to women entering the work force found they had more help from the Federal Government’s job-seeking services in the 1950s.

And that was at a time when women were viewed largely as mothers and wives, not in today’s society when both partners frequently needed to work to survive.

The new privatised government employment services give women advice on the local job market and training opportunities but they don’t get the complete suite of employment services available to unemployed people on welfare, the report says……

“The Commonwealth Employment Service, set up in 1947, allowed anyone to rock up to the CES – married women, single women, teenagers, anybody of age – and it was a national scheme and you would be entitled to assistance in being placed,” she said.

“We are worse off than we were in the 1950s because it has been rejigged and all farmed out to private operators.”

Government subsidies to fix unsightly dental problems, buy appropriate clothes, mentoring and help finding a childcare place are government employment services unavailable to women with a working partner.

What a load of rubbish. One of the best things Howard did was privitise the CES. Its was a useless organisation, the standard joke was nobody knew anybody who found work through the CES. Also please tell me how many subsidies to fix bad teeth and bad clothes the CES gave to ANYBODY in 1947?

Changes to website

Haloscan is being abolished and the only way to remove from the blog  it was to change the template. So I have reverted to a classic template and will be installing something more flashy soon.

The real reason for exploring Enceladus

Happy New Year !