Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another milestone reached...

Not for me, but for my car.

Today 'Subie', a 1992 Subaru Liberty GX sedan, reached the grand milestone of 300,000 km or 187,500 miles, at an average of a bit over 21,000 km per year.



Overall, the car is doing quite well, other than the occasional damage from above and a few gasket that need replacing. Still runs great actually.

Another YouTube hit...

Ever wondered what damage a 200-odd kg rubbar band ball can do? No? Me neither. But the internets has revealed an answer...


Ever wondered what happens when you have 16,000? firecrackers? Again no? But we are enlightened once more.


Why is it that these movies all seem to be made by college aged American males?

Your breath stinks...

Maybe because you are talking out your arse...

After the tragic murder of 8 year-old Sofia at the Livingstone Shopping Centre this week, some 'smart' person has decided to cause trouble and send out the following email:
Hello friends

I am just so angry, frustrated and really upset at what has happened at the Livingston Shopping Centre that I needed to let you all know the "truth" behind the mongrel murderer.

About 3 yrs ago when I was working at the prison we found out that one of the boys (at the time aged about 12) that abducted James Bulger from a shopping centre in the U.K., then brutally raped and murdered him, had reached the age of 18 and had been sent out to Australia with a new identity for his family, etc. Long story short is that he was given the name of Dante Arthurs, his grandfather's name is Arthur Dante, and his family moved into a house in Canning Vale. When the prison staff got wind of this it was all supposed to be kept hushed up, it was some sort of prisoner exchange deal the Aust Govt set up. Soon after he got here he assaulted a 12 yrd old girl in a park in Canning Vale and consequently came to Hakea prison but for only about 6 weeks as they couldn't get enough evidence on him and the incident was brushed under the mat.

His parents used to visit him and their photos were on the computers at work and I clearly recall seeing his mum at the Livingston shops one day. I even had his address and because I've got friends and family in the area, I felt I had a right to tell them, stuff the prisons!!

I had even driven past his house in Lakeview Rise estate in Canning Vale!

Anyway when this happened yesterday I said to Ron, it'd be interesting to see if it's that Dante Arthurs guy from the U.K. and sure enough today we find out that it is him. I am, along with a lot of others, absolutely furious that the mongrel arsehole was allowed to come here via the Govt in the first place and that he was allowed to appear to live a normal life!! Why haven't the police done something about this - he should not be allowed to breathe air, he is the scum of the earth. And tonight he would be sitting back in a comfortable cell in prison, having just had a reasonable hot dinner and be watching TV!

That innocent little girl and her poor family will never ever be the same again - all because the piss weak Justice System and Govt allowed him to live in our country! There is a register for paedophiles so that the community are allowed to know where they're living and yet this piece of shit can live on our back door step with a new identity. People winge about illegal immigrants, what about this?

It will be interesting to see what unfolds over the next few days, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's whisked out of the country in the same manner he was bought here, then again knowing our pathetic laws, we'll probably keep him here in our justice system, costing tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed and entertain him PLUS the do-gooders will believe in their minds that they can rehabilitate him!

I was just going to type "sorry " but I'm not at all sorry for alerting my friends to something that should be publicly known.

Stay safe, talk soon.

The person who wrote this is skilled in bullshit, there are enough little factoids to jog people's memories of James Bulger's death and to get an emotional response. Then there are some straight out lies.

Lie 1:
About 3 yrs ago when I was working at the prison we found out that one of the boys (at the time aged about 12) that abducted James Bulger from a shopping centre in the U.K., then brutally raped and murdered him, had reached the age of 18 and had been sent out to Australia with a new identity for his family, etc.

The killers of James Bulger, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, were both born in 1982 and they commited their crime in 1993 when they were 10 years old. So 3 years ago, both Jon and Robert would not have been 18, they would have been 21.

(Possible) Lie 2:
Long story short is that he was given the name of Dante Arthurs, his grandfather's name is Arthur Dante, and his family moved into a house in Canning Vale.

Seems kind of convenient that even though the ages are wrong, that Jon or Robert's grandfather can be reversed to form the name of Sofia's suspected killer...

Lie 3:
When the prison staff got wind of this it was all supposed to be kept hushed up, it was some sort of prisoner exchange deal the Aust Govt set up.

Why would there be a prisoner exchange deal when Jon and Robert were released from prison in 2001 having served their time?

Lie 4:
Soon after he got here he assaulted a 12 yrd old girl in a park in Canning Vale and consequently came to Hakea prison but for only about 6 weeks as they couldn't get enough evidence on him and the incident was brushed under the mat.

Okay, let's just go into the fantasyland set up by the author and assume everything before now is true. Now, if it were do you really think that if many people had known that Jon or Robert had reoffended, it would be able to be 'brushed under the mat'? There was so much anger and grief expressed at the death of James Bulger that this sort of information would not and could not be 'brushed under the mat'.

Whoever wrote this email is probably chuckling away to themselves, feeling good that their email got mentioned in the mass media and has caused so much alarm. Some people really need to get a life.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Venus, if you want to be equal, just have the operation...

It is not as if she can't afford it.

The woman that plays like a man, Venus Williams, is stirring up some crap about getting paid the same as men for winning Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Wimbledon is the last Grand Slam that has refused to change their prizemoney structure in order to pay the men and women equal amounts.

LONDON (Reuters) - Wimbledon champion Venus Williams believes women's tennis is winning its battle for equal prize money at grand slam tournaments.

The WTA Tour has mounted a concerted campaign to force grand slam organisers to address the issue and Wimbledon is now the only one of the four major tournaments to give the women's champion less than the men's champion.

"We're really willing to keep working hard toward the goal," Williams told a news conference at the All England Club on Sunday. "This has been our most productive year as far as really getting the message out there, really being proactive.

"We need people to recognize something that, in this modern age and especially at a tournament like this, should really not be in existence.

"A lot of people really, really understand what we're talking about."

Getting paid equally for doing the same thing is all fine in my books, but the fact remains that women's tennis is not the same game played by the men. Like golf, when women play the game under the same rules as the men do, then they should receive equal pay. Martina Navratilova (has she had the operation yet?) is another one chasing the equality issue and she doesn't want to even consider playing to the same rules:
Martina Navratilova, one of the leading campaigners on the issue, has suggested women players would be happy to play best-of-five-set matches like the men but Venus said that was not the right approach.

"My reaction to that is that's really not the platform that the women stand on. We don't really want to get into a discussion on number of sets played and things like that.

"What we feel is that we're equal as human beings, so we would like to be treated equally."

So, let me get this straight, you want to equal pay for the women, yet not put the same amount of effort or work into earning that money. Sounds a lot like equality to me. Do they realise what they are doing to the efforts of women's equality? This is just straight out charity, just because someone is a woman.

I think I'll leave the final words to Roger Federer:
When asked about equal prize money, men's defending champion Roger Federer wondered what all the fuss was about.

"There is a difference?" the Swiss asked. "A small one. I don't think as players, we pay too much attention if now it's 20,000 pounds difference if you win the title.

"If you make 420,000 or 400, I don't think it really makes a lot of difference for us. It's a lot of money.

"Look, equal prize money or not, for me it doesn't matter."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

FUCK!

The Aussies played a great game against one of the best teams in the world and the result comes down to a stupid decision by the ref.

What do the Aussies have to do to get a fair go from the refs?

With seconds to go in injury time, the stupid Spanish ref hands a penalty to the Italians against Lucas Neill. The problem is that Lucas Neill committed no foul and the stupid wog took a dive. The referee was conned by the greasy fucking dego.

I had better stop before I insult any more Italians or Spanish...

Monday, June 26, 2006

C'mon Aussie!!!

Witrh kickoff in the World Cup round of 16 match between Italy and Australia only 15 minutes away, things are getting tense.

Three changes for the team tonight, Schwarzer in, Emerton and Kewell out... The missing players will hurt the play down the flanks and the attack on goals, but I still think the Aussie defence should be able to stop the Italian team. Through the group matches Italy did not concede a single goal, but only scored less than a handful. If the Aussies can get a goal early, before Totti makes an appearance, we will be in with a chance.

And, of course, with Guus calling the shots, anything is possible. At the last World Cup, Guus coached the Koreans to a win over the Italians at the same stage of the tournament.

Welcome to my world...

Considering it is a Monday after a big weekend (a little more on that later), I am in a great place at present, coding away on something interesting and listening to some kick arse instrumental music.

My entry to this world came courtesy of The Prodigy, I heard the Pendulum Remix of 'Voodoo People' on the radio this morning and felt inclined to listen to some Prodigy while working. After hitting random in ITunes and listening to some big beat, high BPM stuff, the little iTunes monkey seemed to be reading my thoughts and started me on the first track of 'The Narcotic Suite'.

'The Narcotic Suite' is a group of three tracks that were included as the last 3 tracks on The Prodigy's 'Music for a Jilted Generation', released in 1995. The three tracks are called, '3 Kilos', 'Skylined' and 'Claustrophobic Sting'. All instrumental, all good. Great music to code by actually.

I suppose I had better get back to my little world, this code won't write itself...

Friday, June 23, 2006

By the power of Greyskull...

The other day I stumbled upon some kick arse ideas for renewable energy production. The source of this energy is from the sun but they have let nature do the conversion and concentration from light/heat into kinetic energy in the form of waves. With WA having waves with some of the highest energy content in the world. Seems like a perfect solution for us.

Seapower Pacific

With the test unit based in Fremantle, this method is a fairly novel approach to desalination of seapower, with the added benefit of electricity production.

From the FAQ:
Unlike other wave energy systems, the CETO wave power converter designed and developed in Western Australia , is the first unit to be fully submerged and resting on the seabed in up to 20 metres of water. It produces highly pressurised seawater from the power of waves.

The process: As a wave moves over the top of the CETO unit it is enhanced, the wave crest depresses a disk and the force is transmitted to reciprocating pumps which deliver water at 7000kpa (1000psi). The high-pressure seawater comes ashore in a 125mm pipe to a turbine to produce electricity, or to a reverse osmosis filter to produce fresh water.

The appeal of wave power includes the vast natural resource world-wide, the dual capability to produce electricity and fresh water, and the exceptionally clean/green result without fossil fuel inputs. The specific advantages of CETO include being the first wave power converter to sit on the seabed, where it is invisible, safe from storms and ocean forces, and self contained. Unlike other wave energy technologies that require undersea grids and costly marine qualified plant, CETO requires only a small diameter pipe to carry high pressure seawater ashore to either a turbine or a reverse osmosis filter, and CETO can be employed in any location that geographical and wave conditions permit.


Pretty interesting idea. I don't know about the long term viability of the rubber membrane and the piping to deal with 1000psi of pressurised seawater. If they can get it to work reliably, this would be good for WA, fresh water and electricity.

EnergeTech

From the technology info page:
Ocean waves contain enormous amounts of energy, but the energy in each crest is generally spread out along it. If all the energy could be transported to one point it could be harnessed far more readily.

It is possible to focus all the energy of a plane surface gravity wave crest, the type you see breaking on the beach, on to a single point using a parabolic wave focusser. The section of the wave is reflected by a parabolic wall and converges on the focus of the parabola. As the wave converges, the crest height grows to a maximum in the focus area. Atop the focal region is a chamber that extends deeper than any likely wave trough. The oscillatory wave motion causes a similar oscillatory airflow through the chamber .

At the narrowest point of the chamber, the airflow accelerates and a revolutionary turbine, outlined later, converts the energy in the airflow into mechanical energy which drives an electrical generator. The parabolic wall, chamber and turbine are the essence of the Energetech Australia Wave Energy System.

The Parabolic Wall - Focussing The Waves

The conditions that must be met to maximize the wave focussing are:

Ideally, the crests will propagate parallel to the axis of symmetry of the parabola. While slight variations will result in little energy loss, the greater the angle between the axis of symmetry and the propagation direction, the more the energy will be spread out.

The sea bottom should be reasonably flat, so it does not disturb the wave direction, and deep enough so that when wave section enters the parabola, the crests do not steepen and break as they grow.

A very choppy scattered incoming wave will scatter some energy away from the focus. The energy loss arising from the above-mentioned conditions can be minimized by choosing the appropriate focal length of the parabola, so that the waves do not have the time or space to vary greatly.

The wave which converges on the focus will not be a full circle as there will be a missing section on the open ocean side. At the edges of this missing section, there will be some diffraction of energy.

The Energy Extracting Device

At the focus, the water will rise and fall periodically with amplitude of approximately 3 times that of the incoming waves. All the energy of the section of the incoming plane wave converges on this point.

The Denniss-Auld Turbine in conjunction with a chamber in which the air flow is oscillatory is the best way to convert the potential energy of the water into mechanical energy. The centre of the chamber should be located above the focus of the parabolic wall.


The only problem with this method is the massive structure that is required above the waterline creating something a bit unsightly. Nice way of harnessing the wave energy with the minimum of moving parts though.

The really good thing about this method of power generation is the efficiency of the conversion from wave energy to electrical energy. Seas conditions having a 1m swell can produce 1-2 MW of power... As a comparison, a coal fired power station produces 500MW.

:Where do you think renewable energy should come from?

Amazing first lap...

Another YouTube installment. Sorry for those stuck on dialup, get with the times... :)

I got sent this kick-arse video of MOTOR Magazine reporter Dean Evans racing in the Lotus Trophy series in Australia. This race was part of the 2005 Bathurst 1000 programme. Enjoy!



Dean ended up coming 11th at the conclusion of the race, placing first in Class B. He was only driving a standard Lotus Elise, positions 1 to 10 were held by the more powerful Lotus Exige.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Procrastination nation...

With Wimbledon starting in the next week or so, Optus might have timed their little viral campaign nicely.

The Optus Tennis Challenge (opens in new window)

My best is 18 after about 30 seconds of playing. A mouse with a tail (corded mouse) would have helped as these wireless things have a bit too much latency. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

YouTube, my drug of choice...

I have a few more videos that I found on YouTube for you all today.

The first is some great post-edit work by some smart-arse on the Wolfmother 'White Unicorn' music video. Some nice work there with some good old school boy humour thrown in for good measure.



The next one is a prime candidate for Funniest Home Videos. This guys friends are quite sympathetic to the kid's plight too...



And the last one is some work of an amatuer is putting a Dane Cook joke to a video. The video was made in Sims2...

Oh please don't suck...



With the excellent effort made by Christopher Nolan with 'Batman Begins', there are some high hopes for 'Superman Returns'. But looking back at Bryan Singer's previous movies, I think we might have a good movie to watch.

If any of you don't know who Bryan Singer is, here is a few of his previous movies:
  • The Usual Suspects
  • X-Men and X2
  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
  • House MD (TV Series)
  • Battlestar Gallactica (TV Series)


Monday, June 19, 2006

If you have ever wondered...

If you have ever wondered from what sort of mind Dilbert comes from, here it is:
Night of the Living Ant

One of the perks of being a big-time celebrity cartoonist involves using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of ants in the kitchen. Before I made it big, I couldn’t afford a vacuum cleaner. I had to shout at the ants to scare them away. In retrospect, I don’t think ants have ears, because yelling never worked. Sometimes I had to keep my snacks in a wooden bowl floating in the bathtub. Eventually, when the ant army built up to the point where they could lift me in my sleep – but before they could get me down the ant hole – I would give notice on my apartment and find another.

Now I can afford high tech vacuum weaponry. It’s sweet. I’m not allowed to use the “good” vacuum cleaner obviously. That one is only for the carpet. I use the one that no longer stays locked in the upright position. So I suck up a few ants, then the vacuum cleaner falls over and impales my thigh. I curse, return the vacuum to its unlocked upright position and repeat. Suck-ow-%$&*#. Suck-ow-%$&*#. Suck-ow-%$&*#. Someday I hope to buy a new vacuum cleaner exclusively for ants.

Eradicating ants in the kitchen is exactly like being attacked by zombies, except the zombies are very small, and the worst thing they can do is walk on your crackers. As you know, when zombies attack, you can kill several hundred of them with your automatic weapons and flame throwers and stabby things, but additional zombies keep on coming as if they hadn’t noticed. Ants are just like that. They really aren’t good at pattern recognition. You can vacuum six hundred ants in a straight line and yet ant 601 won’t see it coming. He’ll be all “Hey, why am I suddenly in this bag full of dust? Carl, is that you?”

I get a perverse pleasure out of every ant that goes down the hose. It would bother me if they screamed in pain or begged for their lives, but they don’t, so it’s all good. Every time a new ant appears on the cabinet door, I delight in sending him to dustbag heaven. Ahhh, good times.

The only other household chore I enjoy as much as ant eradication is cleaning the cat box. It’s like panning for gold, except the gold is cat poop. That inconvenient fact doesn’t detract from the thrill of the find as much as you’d think. There’s something in our basic DNA that likes to find free stuff, even if the stuff is turds. Arguably, I paid for the cat food, so the nuggets aren’t really free. But as long as there’s some time lag between the paying and the prospecting, it’s still a low grade thrill.

Clarification please...

Is there something truly wrong when the US classes some of the biggest passengers vehicles on roads as 'midsize'?
Detroit's Midsize SUV Problem

It's not just the mammoth SUVs that are suffering. The once-powerful midsize segment is also dwindling as gas prices rise and boomers age

In the 1990s, NASCAR dads and soccer moms ditched their minivans for hauling kids and groceries and flocked instead to mid-sized, truck-based sport utility vehicles such as the mega-selling Ford Explorer and Chevy Trailblazer. That was great for Ford (F) and General Motors (GM), who minted money to the tune of $6,000 to $10,000 of profit per vehicle depending on incentive.


Excuse me? A Ford Explorer is a midsize SUV? No wonder the US needs as much oil as they can get their invading hands on.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Weather...

When is this damn weather going to change into a more wintry situation. These clear nights and cold mornings are getting a little tiresome. As I type my fingers are quite numb from this cold. I know I should still be in bed, but I have a mission to organise some reticulation supplies to install tomorrow. That means lawns out the back aren't too far away.

I just checked the current temps and it is still -1.4 at Jandakot (we seem to have similar temperatures to there) and it got down to a low of -3.4 at 6:15 this morning. Brrrr...

For those of you that live in an environment that receives snow through winter, I don not envy you, you can have your white Christmas and stick it. :)

If someone wants to buy me a present, one of these would be appreciated...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Office 12 User Interface

As much as we all love to hate Microsoft and all of its products, I think the new Office 12 interface is going to be the best yet. I have played around with a Beta and it is nice to use. Don't know if they have fixed the object models this time round but the nice interface looks promising.

I found this video on the Office website showing some of the cool stuff.








pluginspage='http://microsoft.com/windows/mediaplayer/en/download/'
id='mediaPlayer' name='mediaPlayer' displaysize='4' autosize='-1'
bgcolor='darkblue' showcontrols="true" showtracker='-1'
showdisplay='0' showstatusbar='-1' videoborder3d='-1' width="320" height="285"
src="http://www.microsoft.com/preview/asx/OfficeUIIntro.asx" autostart="false" designtimesp='5311' loop="false">


Launch in external player


Although, I do hope they haven't changed the shortcut keys like they did in Visual Studio...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stupid White Trash...

...or Spoilt Little Rich Girl

Paris Hilton doing a hit-and-run.


Her Range Rover is fitted with reversing sensors and she still hit the car. How dumb can she be?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Solitary confinement...

Who do you believe?

Michael Mori, the military lawyer appointed to David Hicks, has spoken out saying David is very depressed and is not in a good way. John Howard, on the other hand, 'has been told' that during a consular visit 2 weeks ago, that all was well with David Hicks and there is nothing to worry about.

Who do you believe in this instance, the lawyer or John Howard? The lawyer is, well, a lawyer and usually can't be trusted as far as you can kick them. And he is a grunt. John Howard's reputation isn't much better. First 'he was told' that children were thrown overboard (turned out to be a lie), he was also 'told' that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (also a lie), he wasn't 'told' that the Australian Wheat Board was paying kickbacks to Saddam Hussein (inquiry still in progress), etc. For some reason, I just can't trust that little Johnny is being 'told' the right things.

In the end it is all just the chit chat on the real issue. That is, how can someone be held for 4 years in solitary confinement and not be charged? Is there something seriously wrong with the whole idea of justice if this has dragged on for so long?

Green, Green Grass of Home...

Our front landscaping was done today and the change it makes to the front of our house is huge.

I think I'll let the pictures do the talking:
Before:



After:



Looks pretty good hey... Amazing the transformation in just 10 hours.

Friday, June 09, 2006

YouTubey goodness...

I have to say that YouTube (and Google Video) are like internet crack. Once you have a bit of time to troll through the contents, you can't stop and you can find some real gems. Some are funny, some are interesing and others are just plain puzzling.

For you today, I have found 2 videos, one showing a sense of humour, the other showing no sense of humour.

Enjoy.

Sense of humour:


No sense of humour:

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Why don't they make cars like this anymore?

When I drove in to work today, I spotted the following car parked right outside. I think it belongs to one of the rich folk who live upstairs.


Clicking each photo opens a new window.

For the automotively challenged amongst you. It is a Ferrari Dino 246 GT, produced between 1969 and 1973.

From Wikipedia:
The Dino was a brand for mid-engined, rear-drive sports cars produced by Ferrari from 1968 to 1976. The Dino name was retired by 1976, though the cars remained in production. It was created as an attempt to produce a relatively low cost vehicle by using components from more common vehicles, in much the same way that Porsche did with the 914.

The Dino was the first Ferrari model produced in high numbers: Just under 4,000 V6 Dinos were built in five years. Although not universally embraced, the V6 Dinos are lauded by many for their intrinsic driving qualities and groundbreaking design. In 2004, Sports Car International named this car number six on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s. Motor Trend Classic named the 206/246 as number seven in their list of the 10 "Greatest Ferraris of all time".



The Dino
The name "Dino" honors the founder's late son, Alfredino "Dino" Ferrari, who was responsible for the creation of the V6 engine. Along with famed engineer, Aurelio Lampredi, Dino prodded Enzo Ferrari to produce a line of racing cars in the 1950s, with V6 and V8 engine designs.

In 1967, after Dino's death, Ferrari wished to race in the 1.6 L class of the Formula 2 racing series with Dino's V6. However, the company could not meet the homologation rules which called for 500 production vehicles using the engine. Enzo Ferrari asked Fiat to co-produce a sports car using the engine, and the front-engined, rear-drive Fiat Dino was born. It used a 2.0 L (1987 cc) version of the Dino V6, allowing Ferrari to enter the series.

Another controversy at the time was the use of a mid-engine layout in a production car. Lamborghini's Miura created a stir with the low front bodywork that this design enabled, but Enzo Ferrari felt that a mid-engine Ferrari would be unsafe in the hands of his customers. He relented and allowed designer Sergio Pininfarina to build a mid-engined concept for the 1965 Paris Motor Show, but demanded that it wear the Dino name alone. Response to the radically-styled car was tremendous, so Ferrari allowed it to go into production, rationalizing that the low-power V6 engine would keep his customers out of trouble.

Many people only think of the V6 cars when using the "Dino" name. Later V8 models, including the 308 GT4 and 308 GTB, were also sold under the Dino marque, but these are sometimes not considered to be members of the Dino family. Both V8 models were given the "Ferrari" name after a short time.



Dino 206
The production Dino 206 was an excellent sports car with a beautiful Pininfarina body. Some consider this one of the most stylish of Ferrari's mid-engined automobiles. It has the soft edges and curving lines typical of earlier Italian cars, unlike the later performance cars from Ferrari such as the Bertone-designed 308 GT4 which has the straighter lines and crisp edges seen most boldly in Bertone's Fiat X1/9.

The 206 used a transverse-mounted 2.0 L all-aluminum V6 engine. With the light-weight mid-engine body, an 8000 rpm redline, full independent suspension, and all disc brakes, the 206 driving experience was a quantum leap from previous Ferrari sports models.



Dino 246
Calls for more power were answered with the 2.4 L (2418 cc) Dino 246. It used an iron block with alloy head version of the engine with 195 bhp (at 7,600 rpm) and was available as a fixed-top GT coupe or, after 1971, an open spyder GTS.