Dance Magic Dance

Colleague #1: Have you heard of the movie Labyrinth?

Me: Of course I’ve heard of the movie Labyrinth!

Colleague #1: Apparently it’s 27 years old today. I’ve never seen it.


Colleague #1: What’s it about?

Me: David Bowie abducts an infant and dances around in tights with a bunch of muppets!

Colleague #1: ….

Me: It’s better than it sounds!

Colleague #2: I’m very confused right now…

Me: A lot of men feel that way after seeing David Bowie in Labyrinth!


If the leadership spill goes ahead and Kevin Rudd becomes PM, Tony Abbott will spend the next week banging on about how the Labor party are an unorganised mess, can’t make up their minds, have a revolving door leadership and cannot be trusted with the future of the nation.

If the leadership spill doesn’t go ahead, or it does go ahead and Julia Gillard remains as PM, Tony Abbott will spend the next week banging on about how the Labor party are an unorganised mess, can’t make up their minds, have a dud for a leader and cannot be trusted with the future of the nation.

Whichever happens, the papers will agree with Tony Abbott, talkback radio will agree with the papers, and the vast unthinking mass of the voting public will agree with the talkback radio. This is what we – for some reason – label ‘the political process’.

Common Decency

Proof – if any were needed – that acting legally and acting decently are not necessarily the same thing.

When Clyde and Lesley Bevan were told the $6500 gold and diamond bracelet they had lost months ago had been found, they were delighted and grateful […] Their happiness turned into incredulity when the finder told them he now owned the jewellery […] He said he would give Mr and Mrs Bevan the bracelet but only if they made a claim under their insurance policy and gave him half the payout. […] The finder was a clergyman, the Rev. Terry McAuliffe, of St Paul’s Anglican Church in City Beach. — The West Australian, June 26th 2013

Proof also – if any were needed – that being a minister of religion is no guarantee of being a decent human being.

Science Bitches!

Apparently an article by the name of 8 Foods We Eat In The U.S. That Are Banned In Other Countries has been a bit of a sensation online lately, warning people about all the evil toxic substances being put into the food supply by evil toxic people for evil toxic reasons. Happily someone who has a basic (actually much, much more than basic, but basic is all that’s actually needed in this case) knowledge of chemistry and the initiative to actually look at the research has stepped forward and written a counter-article that completely torpedoes the original fear-mongering piece of trash.

You should really go and read it yourself, but the basic conclusion is something that I’ve thought for years – if the population at large had even a basic understanding of science, there would be a whole lot less bullshit in the world.

Some important points…

  • Elements change their properties and behaviour when combined into molecules with other elements. Just because an element is toxic, doesn’t mean a molecule containing it is toxic.
  • There is no difference between “natural” chemicals and “manmade” chemicals – there’s just chemicals. Chemicals don’t have any kind of memory of where or how they were made and don’t inherit any intrinsic “natural” or “unnatural” quality from their point of origin.
  • All matter, everything you can touch, taste and eat is made of chemicals. The only thing that is “chemical free” is empty space.
  • Nature produces all manner of dangerous, toxic, horrible substances that will really mess up your day. Science produces all kinds of useful, harmless, beneficial substances that you use without thinking about every single day.
  • Poison is only poison above a certain dose. Below that dose it doesn’t hurt you at all.

If everyone could understand these very basic facts the world would be a much better place.

I am a Terrible Human Being

For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of whipping up a kind of anti-fanfic for In the Night Garden – a terrifying children’s show that comes on before Spicks and Specks on ABC2. It would be about war coming to the garden, the tittifers being hunted for bushmeat and Iggle Piggle being shot for breaking curfew. Awful I know.

Similarly appalling is a vision that came to me today of Dolan style Seinfeld rage comics. Horribly distorted and poorly drawn versions of the characters – named Jary, Gorg, Kosmr and Eraln – stumbling around reciting lines from the series completely out of context, or recontextualised in bizarre ways. For instance…

ERALN: (Looks startled)

Like I said. I’m a terrible human being.

Good News, Bad News

Bad News – The Data Centre that hosts our servers went down on Friday afternoon, meaning that everything for all of our clients was offline.

Good News – It wasn’t our fault.

Bad News – Our clients are unlikely to understand the distinction.

Good News – They got everything back up and running in a couple of hours.

Bad News – Except for one of our critical servers.

Good News – The critical server was up and running by Saturday evening.

Bad News – One of my esteemed colleagues – who I have to work with today – lost a big chunk of his weekend getting it back up, and will most likely be in the kind of mood that would make the Pope kick little children in the face.

Good News – I got to go home early on Friday.

Bad News – Having gone home early on Friday I don’t get paid as much.

Good News – I decided to catch the bus into the city rather than to Subiaco, and along Mounts Bay Road, just near the Eliza statue I spotted a fin poking out of the river. My first thought was “shark!” but then I realised the shape was wrong, and a flash of back and a puff of spray revealed it to be one of the Swan River dolphins. Awesome! I’ve never seen one of them before!

Then when I got home I had to time to do up a few more Snoos for the Warhammer subreddit’s Snoo contest. Which was a good thing, because the Eldar Farseer Snoo I put together ended up winning! đŸ˜€ It can now be seen on top of the subreddit, and the mods liked my work so much that I’ve been contracted to create a new Snoo each month for the forseeable future. In return I’ve been allocated the title of “Honored Artificer of the /r/warhammer Snoo” and awarded a $25 Games Workshop voucher, which is nothing to be sneezed at.

Eldar Farseer Snoo
Eldar Farseer Snoo. Behold his Majesty!

Bad News – The $25 voucher is in US Dollars and hence (apparently) can’t be used to buy anything from Australia.

Good News – GW has an excellent customer service reputation, so I’m confident that if I email them I’ll be able to get it sorted out.

That is all.

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