Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Goat Friday

image source

“... my best side ...”


Keef “I Snorted Me Dad” Richards

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Keef still making news

Veteran Rolling Stones guitarist and songsmith Keith Richards has admitted to snorting his father’s ashes mixed with cocaine.

The role model to generations of rock fans was apparently responding to the question, “What’s the strangest thing you’ve tried to snort?”

Only Keef could rise to such a question in such a way that, er, humbles the rest of us.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Esperance ‘silent summer’ fallout

Following my last post on the deaths around Esperance, Western Australia, of at least 4,000 birds — mainly lorikeets, miners and wattle birds — there have been further developments.

An Esperance Shire councillor called for the sackings of the board and chief executive of the Esperance Port Authority.

Soon afterwards, Shire president and director of the port authority board, Ian Mickel, stepped down “to avoid a conflict of interest between his two roles”.

The Maritime Union, representing workers at the Esperance port facility, said that concerns about lead were raised with management and government agencies soon after the metal began arriving.


A group of Esperance residents has called for stronger action on the issue from the shire council. Esperance Ratepayers and Electors Association president Dale Piercey said the council should be lobbying the state Government to ensure the community was safe. ...

In response to the autopsy findings, Health Department spokesman Jim Dodds said there was no evidence to suggest the general population had been exposed to a health risk.

However, late last week blood testing of residents found an eight-month-old baby and six adults had lead levels above the World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

Now in the latest development,

Esperance residents are facing another possible environmental scare with white blotches appearing on roofs and plants around the West Australian port town. ...

Esperance Ratepayers and Electors Association president Dale Piercey said a Department of Environment and Conservation representative had suggested sending samples to Perth for testing.

“White blotches” on roofs? Maybe the birds are back...?


More here:

Western Australia’s Health Department will contact 12 Esperance residents after their blood showed up higher than recommended levels of lead.

Ten adults and two children under five have recorded lead levels above the World Health Organisation guideline of 10 micrograms per decilitre in the town in southern WA.

More than 900 Esperance residents have now been tested.

The department’s director of environmental health, Jim Dodds, says no clear patterns have emerged but another 1,000 tests are expected to be conducted over the next 10 days. ...


Good grief!! — there’s a Brian Burke connection??

Sunday, April 01, 2007

David Hicks not a bbq stopper

Overheard this afternoon among a party of picnickers...

A young lady of perhaps twenty years expressed her dismay that David Hicks “only got seven years.”

Her slightly older companion confessed she “didn’t know anything” about the matter.

The younger lady explained that Hicks had been found guilty of “material support for terrorism, which means he gave money to terrorists.”

A middle-aged lady chimed in that “he changed his name by deed poll to something like Abu al-Dabba Blabba Yadda — meaning, I’m-a-terrorist!” (Quoted from memory of the incoherent original.)

The conversation then moved on to the really critical issue of the day, being the Ian Thorpe doping scandal.

I looked to the glorious blue autumn sky above to thank the deity for living among an informed citizenry, clued-up to the hilt by a free press.

Life is good™, I thought.

Turnbull slams role of religion in Australian society

Well, that might have been one take on these remarks by Australian Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“I think religion is a very poor guide to public policy,” the Minister has said.

Perhaps Mr Turnbull will next be boycotting prayers during the daily opening of the House of Representatives. Surely he wouldn’t want to be seen to be in league with the Festival of Light, which holds that “Prayers in parliament are an important daily reminder that we must all ultimately answer to the higher authority of Almighty God.”

Of course, the context of Turnbull’s remarks was that they were made as part of a rhetorical attack on the Opposition’s approach to climate change, which he says is “verging on becoming fanatical” in seeking to make climate change a “religious issue”.

There’s also a nice rhetorical flourish about how Labor “do not care how poor we have to become as long as we become pure.” Neat.

If, as Richard Dawkins argues, religious belief is a ‘meme’, then the idea that environmentalism has assumed a quasi-religious character is itself also a meme that seems to be successfully propagating itself in the petri dish of our intellectual culture.

Expect to see much more of this meme, while seeing less of coherent arguments against anthropogenic climate change.

ELSEWHERE: Caz over at Avatar Briefs has a more cogently, while at the same time passionately, argued critique of climate change evangelism.

ALSO ELSEWHERE: The Muftim Tim Blair has sparked an empirical debate over the extent and degree of last night’s ‘Great Darkening’ of Sydney. Don’t yawn, it’s another controversy we have to have. A scientific taskforce should be assembled to examine satellite imagery, including in the non-visible spectrum, to settle this crucial question of our time.