crankynick: (Jebus)
...the non-scandal about that heritage house has delivered the quote of the week from the Premier.

Mr Barnett said it was a desperate attempt by Triffids fans to save The Cliffe.

"It's not about Colin Barnett, it's not about my son Russell Barnett, it's not about the heritage value of the house, it's not about the parliament," he said.

"It's about The Triffids! It's about the Triffids! Don't you get it? It's about the Triffids!"
crankynick: (Me)
...my profession really gives me the shits.

To whit:

There's a kerfuffle going on over here in WA over the conservative Premier's alleged involvement in fixing a heritage listing problem for a mate who is associated with a company run by his son.

Now, I know a fair bit about this company, it's on my patch and I have, for various reasons, spoken to management a fair bit over the last couple of years - it's a bit of a disaster zone, but the CEO is a pretty good bloke etc.

Here's what the mainstream media is saying:

Teal deer under the cut )

Iko iko...

Jun. 29th, 2009 09:40 pm
crankynick: (Shirt)
There are some songs that shouldn't be allowed to be used in ads, because they're the songs that get caught in my head for days afterwards and because I only ever know a couple of words of them and it irritates the living fucking shit out of me.

I feel very strongly about this.

I feel so strongly, in fact, that I think the best solution would be to organise for the ad designers to be dragged out and shot in the street like dogs, as a lesson to anyone else considering it.

Shot in the face, so their families can't have an open-casket funeral.

It would fix the problem. Seriously, it would.

My list of such songs currently includes:

Iko, Iko.
Fever.
Summertime.
You are my sunshine.

Feel free to add your own in the comments.
crankynick: (Default)
I haven't had a cigarette since last Wednesday and only really just noticed.
crankynick: (Shirt)
I have had a fairly woeful few days.

For those who haven't caught my incessant whining on FBook, I got a nasty stomach bug last Thursday morning which left me feeling the worst I have in a long time. I originally assumed it was a pizza we ordered late on Wednesday night, but people at work tell me that I'm not the only one with it, so it's clearly just something going round.

It left me too sick to even concentrate on a book or a game - I spent most of Thursday and Friday either sleeping fitfully or watching daytime tele and wishing I was dead. And whining on Fbook, obviously.

On Saturday, as a reward for surviving the thing, I bought the last two seasons of The A Team and Bioshock.

I can see why Bioshock got the plaudits that it did - it's a beautiful, immersive game with a storyline that seems to be developing well and is clearly going interesting places. It's had some beautiful, funny and troubling moments already, and I'm only a few hours in.

It's a very different first person shooter than the standard militaristic memes I've been playing up until now, and I can see why it made such an impact.

But I suspect it's not a game I'm going to get that attached to, for a few reasons:

- It's very much a "go everywhere, see everything" kind of game, and they shit me - I hate worrying about missing content, or stuff that might make things easier, but I also hate wandering around aimlessly through (now) empty areas looking through piles of corpses, which is sort of necessary if you want to find all of that shit.

- Too many options to cycle through. Too many guns, too many powers. Halo taught us this lesson, and everyone should have learned it - allow two guns, and two alternative powers (grenades/whatever) at a time, and allow a one button switch between them. Any more is too frustrating to track on a console FPS.

It's a shame Bioshock fell into this trap, because there are heaps of fascinating ways to use your powers and weapons in the world - but I'm never quite cycled to the right one when I see the chance to do something interesting.

- Like most of the horror/atmospheric shooters, Bioshock almost never seems to vary the range that combat occurs at (close up), making it seem pretty samey most of the time. I have more fun playing the "run and cover" games like Gears of War, generally, and I quite like stealth shooters as well - both of those styles allow you to hide and snipe, run and gun, or move in and mix it close-up and personal, as the mood or situation strikes you.

But you just don't seem to have the option to vary the range at which you play in games like Bioshock and Doom, which I find annoying.

It's great game, though, don't get me wrong, it just doesn't quite hit my sweet spot. It might be spot on for [personal profile] angriest, though, or those people whose tastes are similar.
crankynick: (Default)
In excellent news, the people who own the building next our office appear to be applying for a small bar license.

I've always felt our news room was too far away from the nearest pub for me to feel like a real journalist.

I shall also be without wheels for a day or two, as my new bike is going in for a service this evening - hopefully nothing expensive is wrong with it, and the major service will see it through another 12 months or so of drama free riding.

Including a country trip sometime over the next month or so, if the weather's good and the bike is up to it. I kinda fancy heading down south for a day-trip or even an overnight stay somewhere, weather permitting.
crankynick: (Jebus)
Why does Oprah get away with pushing woo?

Pandagon nails it
crankynick: (Me)
Amanda and I went to State of Play this evening.

I won't bore you with a proper review - there are those on my flist who are far better qualified to do those - but suffice to say that it was easily the best film I've seen in ages.

It was a smart, sophisticated thriller - unlike most political thrillers it had at least a plausible plot, no hideously overblown villains, and the main character (a journalist) wasn't also given a background as a navy SEAL just to make spiced up action sequences possible, for a change.

Great performances from the leads - Crowe was excellent and Afflect was very good, as was Rachel McAdams.

And I wish I had Helen Mirren as my managing editor.

Awesome film, all in all.
crankynick: (Bike)
So, the rule at work is that if the stock exchange is open, we're at work.

This usually means that our journos get fucked over on WA-only public holidays, as if the bourse is open over east, we have to work anyway. And it rarely happens the other way around, where the east is shut and WA doesn't have a holiday - so we rarely get an easy opportunity to use the TOIL accrued on our own public holidays.

And even less so, because when it does happen - like, say, today - you never fucking remember that's the deal and turn up to work anyway...

And I slept badly and woke up with a hangover, so I could really have used the day off. And it's a gorgeous day out there and I could have gone for a nice long ride.

Not happy.
crankynick: (Default)
And most of you are almost certainly following elsewhere, but in case you haven't seen it this article on the US Supreme Court agreeing to hear the major ongoing dispute on patenting "business methods" is worth a read.

The court said it would consider a case involving a method for hedging risk in commodities trading. A claimed patent on this process, filed in 1997 by inventors Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw, was rejected by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on the basis that it simply involved a mental process and did not need any technology to implement. That rejection has been upheld though various appeals.

It's a big 'un, with flow through effects possible in the patentability of software, clinical practice in medicine, and other areas.

A decision isn't expected until 2010, but it's probably worth following.
crankynick: (Jebus)
Forget the loony fundies, forget the fucked up health system, forget the gun nuts:

These idiots elected a member of furry fandom to a state parliament...

EDIT: I take that back - it was merely someone that works for a state Senator. My version was better.
crankynick: (Me)
I have the complete series on my e-reader, and I'm quite in the mood for Big Fat Fantasy.

But I can't get more than a chapter into A Game of Thrones without putting it aside again, because I know that the majority of the characters I'm beginning to like anew are going to have horrible things happen to them over the course of the series. Almost without exception.

It's really annoying.
crankynick: (Jebus)
I'm kind of in the mood to buy a new Xbox 360 game, but I have no idea what's a good pick.

I'd prefer an older game (so I don't have to pay full price), and my main genre restriction is that I loathe platformers and puzzle games.

(Recently acquired games include GTA4, Mass Effect, Assassins Creed [meh], and Gears of War 1&2).

Recs, anyone?
crankynick: (Default)
From Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and Kabbala (Tudor Publishing Co. New York 1943 @ Gutenberg).

Once a Gentile came to Shamai, and said, "Proselytize me, but on condition that thou teach me the whole law, even the whole of it, while I stand upon one leg."

Shamai drove him off with the builder's rod which he held in his hand.

When he came to Hillel with the same challenge, Hillel converted him by answering him on the spot "That which is hateful to thyself, do not do to thy neighbor. This is the whole law, and the rest is its commentary."
crankynick: (Default)
There's an awesome post over at Orac looking the impact of not vaccinating kids in a discrete population in the US.

The shorter version? Failing to vaccinate doesn't just risk your own kids from exposure to disease, but it helps disease (whooping cough, in this case) rates go up even in the vaccinated population.

virtually all the risk of pertussis [whooping cough] in the vaccine refusers came from being unvaccinated, and 11% of the pertussis cases in the total population can be attributed to vaccine refusal. One can only predict that that 11% figure will increase if vaccine refusal increases, thanks to the misguided and profoundly harmful campaign being waged by Generation Rescue, Jenny McCarthy, and other antivaccine activists...

That last figure is the important one - the 11% in the general population. Vaccine protection isn't perfect, and it fades over time. To the point where a health nurse early in the piece describes whooping couch as an "endemic" problem in Boulder.

Great post on a fascinating and important study.

And followed up by a similarly excellent post talking about science and health education - particularly as it applies to assessing comparative risk, which people are notoriously awful at doing.
crankynick: (Default)
The Reincarnation Bank

Deposit now, come back and get it in another life.

You can also transfer temporary (?) ownership of your assets to the scam artists good samaritans, as the account allows ...temporary ownership by 2i Limited of deeds, bonds and other tangible assets such as precious metals, jewellery, fine art, vehicles, real estate and other assets must be transferred in their entirety to:

I wish I'd thought of it.

On tele

May. 24th, 2009 10:24 am
crankynick: (Default)
So, I was on tele this morning - a business program on the ABC.

I thought it went OK - it certainly could have gone much worse. But the point of doing it was to look like a well informed and competent sector specialist, and I think I managed that OK.

Video at the link above.

On tele

May. 24th, 2009 10:24 am
crankynick: (Default)
So, I was on tele this morning - a business program on the ABC.

I thought it went OK - it certainly could have gone much worse. But the point of doing it was to look like a well informed and competent sector specialist, and I think I managed that OK.

Video at the link above.
crankynick: (Default)
...riding a big bike in rain is quite a different experience to riding my little old 250.

And a severe weather warning for tomorrow morning.

Ho hum.