Friday, April 13, 2007

Goat Friday

image source windscraps


Reuters, for keeping an open mind in reporting a deadly anteater attack:

Different reports said the anteater was male, or female...”

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rudd eschews ‘running commentary’ and praise

Labor Opposition leader Kevin Rudd has matched Prime Minister John Howard’s reticence on the substance of Alan Jones’ breach of the broadcasting code of conduct, but has stopped short of matching the PM’s lavish praise of Jones.

Rather, Mr Rudd has opted to give Jones a somewhat cautious thumbs-up:

In terms of future appearances (on) Alan Jones’ program, there’s nothing I’ve read at this stage that would cause me not to go on.

How very pragmatic!!

But the success of Rudd’s balancing act will, of course, only become apparent if indeed he is invited back onto Jones’ program. To that end, he might want to crank up the flattery a notch or two.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dr Pangloss always with us

John Roskam, executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, writes:

The Federal Government’s new media laws came into effect last week — and the sky didn’t fall in. ...

Gee, I hadn’t heard of any predictions of such an outcome, but anyway a quick look out the window confirms that Mr Roskam’s observation is indeed correct. Yes, the sky is still up there. Thanks, John!

Perhaps what Roskam really meant to say was that there has been public concern about concentration of media ownership as a consequence of those new media laws, but that he thinks such concern is misplaced. Roskam evidently isn’t the least bit concerned...

Even if eventually there is a further concentration of ownership in the traditional media, we should not be concerned. The internet ensures that consumers now have an almost infinite choice of news and entertainment sources.

Having effectively ceded “traditional media” — radio, television, print — to the monoculture of the media barons, Roskam seems to think the internet is sufficient to provide a diversity of views to all consumers.

Too bad for those who, for whatever reasons, haven’t embraced, or don’t have reliable access to, that medium. Their exercise of consumer prerogative is a losing proposition for them, and it appears Roskam doesn’t care.

Yet, it’s surely a significant failure if we as a community simply give up on the idea that “traditional” media in an advanced society ought to produce better outcomes for “traditional” consumers. And there are still plenty of traditional consumers out there.

It’s remarkable how “the market” — which is supposed to unfailingly deliver superior outcomes — seems to have somewhat let us down with regard to our media.

This seems a recurring feature of this age of ‘reform’. Free-marketeers promise that “the sky won’t fall in on us” if we do away with this or that safeguard. Then, when the predictable comes to pass — well, it didn’t matter anyway, because it’s all for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

Howard eschews ‘running commentary’ again

Australian Prime Minister John Howard again declines to give a running commentary, this time on the Alan Jones ‘inciting violence’ controversy... except...

I am not going to get involved in comments on individual decisions, but let me say this; I think Alan Jones is an outstanding broadcaster...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Please ignore elephant in room

Reported in an article on the effect on children of sexually-oriented advertising:

[Advertising Federation of Australia ethics committee member Jane Caro] said billboard posters about male sexual dysfunction and other sexual topics were an issue, but parents could exacerbate the issue for children by reacting to it.

So then, we just pretend the billboard isn’t there? Well now, there’s a sound basis for interacting with the world.

Coincidentally, when I viewed the above article, an inline ad spruiking treatment for male sexual dysfunction asked in big, loud letters: “Erection problems?”

click to enlarge

Walking the price of freedom in Iraq

To safeguard celebrations marking the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi authorities will impose a total ban on vehicle traffic in Baghdad.

Perhaps now people like Senator John McCain will be able to “walk free” in Baghdad. Certainly, they won’t be driving or taking a bus.

Toora quaint-factor maxes out

For Sale (lick of paint required)

This neat little post office has an adjacent matching residence...

images by jacob  —  click to enlarge

Technical stuff about upgrading stereo in 1990s Holden Commodores

I guess I’ll try anything to augment my readership... so the following may be of interest to anyone upgrading the car stereo in a Holden Commodore model VN, VR, VS and (possibly) through to VT.


Fit new Pioneer DEH-1950 cd-tuner in 1995-model VR Holden Berlina, replacing factory-fitted Eurovox Australia MCC-6330V cassette-radio.


The similar dimensions of the units makes physical replacement fairly straightforward (albeit some creative work with a drill on the mounting brackets will be required); however, matching the wiring requires some research and fiddly work.


Map wiring of the new Pioneer unit, as shown in installation guide, against car-maker’s electrical schematic as shown in manual.

The following table represents a concordance between the existing wiring and that for the Pioneer DEH-1950.

Wiring Concordance

Eurovox MCC-6330V

Pioneer DEH-1950




SpeakerFront-Left Signal (+)



SpeakerFront-Left Ground ()



SpeakerRear-Left Signal (+)



SpeakerRear-Left Ground ()



SpeakerFront-Right Signal (+)



SpeakerFront-Right Ground ()



SpeakerRear-Right Signal (+)



SpeakerRear-Right Ground ()



ChassisGround ()



System control terminal of power amp, OR auto-antenna relay control terminal (max300 mA 12 V DC).



Constant12 V supply



Ignition-switch controlled 12 V supply


The above information worked for us and is provided ‘as is’, but no responsibility is accepted by the author for any catastrophic results arising from utilisation by others. It is recommended that the applicability of this information be double-checked for each case.

Toora wind farm

image by jacob  —  click to enlarge

Pictured are five of the twelve wind turbines of Toora Wind Farm in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, operated by Stanwell Corporation Limited.

Each wind turbine stands on a steel tower 67 meters high. The glass fibre reinforced epoxy blades are 32 meters long, rotating clockwise at a maximum 21 revolutions per minute (thus, by my calculations, the outer tip of each blade hurtles around at a maximum over 250 km per hour).

Each turbine generates as much as 1.75 megawatts, giving the Toora Wind Farm a total generating capacity of 21 megawatts. The facility’s average annual energy output is 65,000 megawatt hours — enough to power 6,600 average homes per year.