Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and on this very server
was a spawn-camping sniper, aiming with fervour.
His weapon was oiled, his scope was well-polished,
and he knew all too well that he would soon be admonished.

His places of hiding were chosen with relish,
in order to top the highscore chart he cherished.
The countdown had started, the game had begun,
the spawn-camping sniper was going to have fun.

'You cheat', nublets cried, 'You're clearly a hacker!'
'Well YOU suck at this game, you noob fucktard slacker'.
The insults rained down from every approach,
yet there was one subject they were to broach.

'Goddamit, you prick, you aimbotting faggot!'
'Boom headshot!' rejoiced the spawn-camping braggart.
'We're sick of your shit, you game-hacking scum!'
'Why don't you go home and then bareback your mum?'

'Reported' noobs cried, 'that's clearly harassment!'
'You sure you're not suffering from abject embarassment?'
'Boom headshot again!' the camper announced with great glee.
(His score had just ticked over to twenty three).

The noob players struggled, their plans were in tatters,
again and again their heads burst open in splatters.
The game was half over, the time was half through!
And yet the spawn-camper had so much to do.

He was still yet to kill someone with pistol or knife,
'I sure am so lucky that I have no real life'
He zoomed and he shot as the time ticked away,
'You cheat and you suck and your father is GAY!'

One minute was left, and victory was close,
yet our favourite camper was to be pipped at the post.
'Spawn_Camper_Oh_One has been killed by an admin'
'The fuck d'you do that for? I was going to win!

The time had wound down, the game was now done,
yet everyone stayed to watch the imminent fun.
'You cheated, you hacked and you exploited mechanics,
and you play to the beat of a terrible dance-mix.'

'FUCK YOU' shrieked the camper, his arms flailing in the air.
'Fuck you and your rules and your server, this ain't fair!'
The admin just smiled and was quite polite,
'I hope you like playing a game made of sprites!'

The camper was perma-banned, and the admin said with disgust,
'No one reads ever the EULA... DID SOMEONE JUST CUSS???'

Merry Christmas from one gamer to a group of others.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stopping the Clean Feed

Just another way you can help stop the proposed internet filter. Also, there's an anti-censorship protest on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide at noon on the 13th of December.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Google is absolutely useless

Ok, so there's this suicide video a comedy duo put together ages ago, and I want to watch it again.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking 'Can anything be funnier than suicide?' I was going to answer 'No', then I remembered a really funny anorexia video, so my judgement might be a bit clouded. At any rate, the suicide video goes like this:

Guy 1: 'I'm seriously considering killing myself'
Guy 2: 'Holy shit. Really?'
Guy 1: 'Hell no man. I'm just fucking with you. But seriously, I'm going to kill myself'

It goes on like that for ages until Guy 1 hangs himself at the end. It's a really funny video, but do you think I can find something constructive on Google with the keywords: 'suicide joke comedy hang 'I'm seriously going to hang myself''?


It's all serious and shit. Have you got ANY idea how many emo kids there are out there who post their suicidal intentions on the net? I'll give you a hint: 'The answer is "seven"'.

'Someone help me, I'm all depressed and gear, no one understands me. Also, I really like listening to shitty music' is a pretty popular subject.

'Everyone laughs at my stupid haircut, and makes fun of me because I wear makeup and talk alot of shit' is another one which I may or may not have made up just then.

These kids are crying out for help, and it's sad to see that alot of them aren't getting the support they need from their family and friends. I felt bad for them, so I took it upon myself to reach out and give these people the assistance they need, because no one else would.

I sent each of them a length of rope and a book called 'The Big Book of Useful Knots'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's not very long, but it tries really really hard

If I don't have a solid job at the end of January 2009, I'm going overseas for a couple of months. Not to look for work, not to look for myself, but to look for things. Many people I know have travelled/are travellers and through various recent catalysts I too have plucked up the... courage? desire? lust? to see things that I've always wanted to see.

What I'd like from whoever reads this is some ideas or suggestions.
I MUST go to Machu Picchu/Peru, I MUST go to Chichen Itza, and I MUST go to the Giza Plateau and Petra. Europe might be nice. Siberia wouldn't be. Name some places, name some countries. Those who know me will think of some places I'd like to see, those who don't know me all that well might name some places that I'd never considered but would quite enjoy, those who don't know me at all might name some places which no one in their right mind would go to.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Things that make my brain hurt

You know that feeling you get when there's something in your eye? Your body shuts down and you pull strange faces as you frantically scrape your eyes to dislodge whatever it is that is causing great discomfort. Your breathing becomes erratic, and your eyes water as the piece of foreign matter scratches against your eye. That is what ABBA does to my brain. It's like there's something in my eye, in my brain.

Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Mama Mia - they're all the same. My brain is freaking out just thinking about them. The sound is muddy, the vacant swaying back and forth is hypnotising (in a bad way) and the musical backing is so... old fashioned. Sure, the songs were produced nearly 40 years ago, but that doesn't matter a jot - alot of songs were made 40 years ago or more and they sound fantastic (Beatles? Led Zeppelin? Most things that aren't ABBA?). Hell, I know alot of people that were made 40 years ago or more, and they still sound alright, unless they're singing ABBA tracks.

The music makes me so damn rabid. I can't even think when it plays. Yes, I'm aware that a bunch of you are probably going to send me ABBA links, but I can be happy in the knowledge that you too will have to put yourself through some sort of pain to find 'the right song' to send me. Pre-emptive karma is sweet.

This got me thinking: if I hate ABBA, then surely a heap of other people do too! Then I thought: 'Hey, if I like watermelon, surely a heap of other people do too!'. I went a step further and thought 'Hey! What this blog needs is a list of some sort. Lists aren't ever done on websites.'

I had a few more trains of thought, but the only one they didn't get derailed was 'Hey! If alot of stuff makes MY brain hurt, there might be a ton of other people out there with sore heads as well! That almost makes me normal!'

1. People who don't think before making important decisions

The title isn't as snappy as the titles at, say, (ahem, if you're hiring...) but I don't have an army of lemmings to do my bidding, so it'll have to suffice.

It's called the 'Knee-Jerk Reaction', or my personal favourite, 'Jumping on the Crazy Train'. It's when people are so damn fixed in their ways that logical argument cannot make them change direction, or at the very least re-evaluate their position. It's when you say 'Did you know that this previously held belief is now wrong? How about that? Turns out you DON'T need to flick the lights on and off three times before you leave the house, just doing it once still works!' Only to have them respond 'I don't know about that, I still think that flicking it three times is the best way to approach the problem.'

Whut? No! No no n... OH GOD THERE'S SOMETHING IN MY EYE-BRAIN AGAIN. We all have our opinions and knowledge bases, and we are all guilty of staying aboard the Crazy Train every now and then, but flying in the face of irrefutable proof with alarming consistency just staggers me. Shit, I'd be satisfied if someone said, 'Really? Not three times? I might check it out' because they've at least listened to the new suggestion. South Australia's Attorney-General Michael Atkinson is the only AG in Australia to deny an R18+ rating for computer games, even though 90% of respondents (both gamers and non-gamers) to their study said that they wanted such ratings. He also vetoed any chance of the report being made public and open to discussion. Whut? That's... whut? That's crazy talk. And it's censorship and I won't go there right now...

The other variant is 'Look, I know what I'm saying is crazy, but I can't control it, that's who I am.'
Whut? If you know that you're... surely you can... OH GOD IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN. It's scary because these Fun Police usually think They Know Best and they actually make decisions that impact other people.

I know, they're insane. ON TO NUMBER TWO!

2. Idiotic Petrol Station Customers

Really, how hard is it to drive an extra 3 metres to the next bowser so the people behind you can take full advantage of the other pumps? No really, how hard? 'I'm in a hurry?' You're also a fucking idiot.

I get that you might have been at bowser 2 to start with because bowser 1 was currently in use. And I get the fact that the bowser 1 user might have driven off, making it look like you're a selfish arsehole. I get that, I'm cool with that. You can't control when other people drive off. That's fine. Deep breath, continue.

What I don't get is the people who only think of themselves at these damn things and stop right *there* because that's 'as far as I really need to go'. Whut? That's fucked. I also don't get the people who line up on ONE SIDE ONLY because that's the side that their petrol cap is, only to block entry into the station, thus rendering the SIX OTHER PUMPS COMPLETELY FUCKING USELESS. Jesus Christ! Seriously. I was completely unaware that the hoses at petrol pumps are incapable of bending. I didn't know that it is impossible to use a right-side pump on a left-side cap. Use your fucking brains people. 'I don't want to scratch my car'. The hose is made of rubber, it can't scratch your car unless you lay it across the boot and move it back and forward whilst applying pressure. Harden the fuck up, seriously. Also, don't spend a full minute arranging your purse/doing your makeup/talking on the phone before driving off.

I'm not a road rage kind of guy, but a part of me does die a little bit inside when I see people dicking around like this.

3. Driving at erratic speeds

Choose a speed. Please, I beg you. Don't drive at 60km/h on an 80km/h straight, only to accelerate through turns. Don't change between 80km/h and 100km/h on a long stretch of road every 10 seconds, just because you can. If you can't maintain even pressure on the accelerator, maybe you, I don't know, shouldn't drive? Maybe your children should have put you in a home already? Thought about that? The constant speed up, slow down pattern is outright dangerous and demands more concentration from the following driver than should be necessary on a dead straight road in the middle of nowhere. Also, part of me cries quietly when I see this happening.

Another fun fact, 'Did you know that driving like a raging dickhead increases your chance of crashing?' True story. If you're a rabid speed-changer, then you fit this category which, I guess, makes you a raging dickhead.

4. People who think everything MUST be done THEIR way

It doesn't. Deal with it. Move on. In this case, your opinion is wrong. Take it on board, take a deep breath, make yourself a cup of tea, go out in the garden, walk the dog, drive to the beach, stroll through a forest, talk to your neighbours, tidy the house, read a book, browse the internet, knit, do some thai chi, do some thai bo, do a thai bloke, scratch that itch, do ANYTHING which makes you realise that the world will still work (and has worked rather well for thousands of years) without doing things YOUR way. Do whatever you want in your own life (going about raping and murdering doesn't count), live your life how you see fit, just don't MAKE others live how you see fit.

Other things people could try: Go for a run, take up weight lifting, learn to sing, write a book, learn an instrument, mow the lawn, buy a cat, work at a zoo, injure yourself, take up a sport, dance for no reason, rub your bare feet on the carpet for 5 full minutes like Bruce Willis does in Die Hard because it feels really good and makes you feel alot better, roll around on the floor for no reason, have an epiphany, pick your nose, stretch, bounce.


Did I mention ABBA already? I think I did.

6. People who take sport WAY too seriously

I like sports. I like playing different sports. I take sport and winning seriously, because it makes me play better. Having said that, I don't take it so seriously that a loss is the end of the world, that a conceded goal demands seppuku of the goal keeper, that a mistake requires a reddening of the face and a bursting of the blood vessels. Some people freak out way too much. Game over, you lost, ah well, that is disappointing, life goes on, yeah?

Being a professional athelete is a different story - but as far as amateurs go, lighten up. Try your very best, get fitter, have a laugh, sweat alot, improve.

If you're the person in the heading then wow, ease up turbo. Shrieking at your own players doesn't do squat (ok, so I did it once, we all make mistakes), it just makes the other team laugh alot and place bets on how long it'll take before Player One assaults Player Two with a referee. It's a fun game to play, you should try it once the red haze has died down. In a social league you're there to have some fun and have a laugh (at least that's what my soccer team's purpose is). Having said that, winning IS fun, we don't play to lose. Why would anyone play to lose?

7. People who play to lose

WHY? I don't get it. You put time and energy into something, then you just throw the game or walk off or quit just before the end? That's just weird, no analysis needed.

8. More flakes than clusters in boxes of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes Nut Clusters

They are delicious. Really delicious. Delicious to the point that I start sweating and rocking back and forth when I find that a shake of the box yields no clustery goodness. More flakes? Are you serious? It's the clusters we want! If I wanted flakes I'd just buy plain old Flakes-in-a-Box or whatever the kids call them these days. I demand clusters. I DEMAND MORE.
Excuse me, I have a flake in my eye in my brain.

9. Getting something in my eye

Because it feels like there's something in my eye. What, you LIKE having something in your eye? I bet you like ABBA as well, and taking up bowser space, and driving too slow or too fast, and telling everyone how they HAVE to live, and not listening to rational argument. I bet you LIVE on the Crazy Train. No! Wait! Even better! You DRIVE the Crazy Train and spruik for passengers! You probably take sport and games too seriously as well, I bet you think nothing of quitting a computer game or walking off the pitch just as you're about to lose. I BET YOU HATE CRUNCHY NUT CORNFLAKES NUT CLUSTERS AS WELL. Christ! I bet you... hang on, I need a new number.

10. Religious Fanatics

You think that The Bible, The Quran, The Dungeons and Dragons Codex (revision 73) are as real as real as real can be. You think that not following these texts to the letter means that you will burn in Hell / Always roll a 1 on a 20-sided dice. You think that you're *better* than everyone because 'You've "found" [Deity of Choice]'. You think you are the keeper of the most wonderous secret and that everyone else is a heathen/heretic/fails save vs death rolls. You think that unless the world is governed according to strict religious principles then it'll turn to shit.

I have news for you - it turns out, that when a nation IS governed by strict religious principles, bad things happen. Women are punished if they don't cover up (what kind of fucked up rule is that? Women are beautiful creatures. You'd think that the Patriarchal Religious Right would demand that they DON'T cover up. Weird.). Women are killed for talking to a random bloke, men and women alike are punished for drinking certain drinks, eating certain foods, discussing certain topics, listening to certain music (or ANY music for that matter). What kind of fucked up system is that?

Sure, I can identify with a few of the 'rules'. Don't murder? I can deal with that. Don't steal shit? I can deal with that. Respect your parents? Sure, as long as they respect me in turn (which they do). Most things are a two-way street. Yes, oppression is a terrible thing, but yes, there are some boundaries a society should operate within - fairly wide boundaries one would hope.

I have no problem (contrary to popular belief) with people having a belief system. No problem at all. If someone wants to avoid eating pork/drinking nice wine/wearing nice clothes/discovering new information, they can, and more power to them (figure of speech, I don't mean ACTUAL power, that's just silly). If they want to believe that a guy lived 2000 years ago and turned water to wine and walked on water and came back from the dead and was the son of an invisible sky wizard, then they should be allowed to do so. My problem comes from them saying 'So and so told me to do it' or 'I should do this because [Insert Here] says so' or, my favourite, 'You must do this because this book tells you to'. Free Will, people. There might be some lessons to be learned from these stories (like all stories, really. I learned alot from Roald Dahl's stories... for better or worse). Just take them with a grain of salt, and don't feel guilty for doing so. I'll leave this picture as food for thought.

Cheers guys

Monday, October 20, 2008

Australian Government Censors the Internet

At least they will if this plan get puts into effect.

Like any intelligent Australian, I have a problem with this. I have a problem with the fact that the government thinks they know what is 'appropriate' for me, as an adult, to view. I have a problem with the fact that they think they have a clear-cut definition of 'morality'. I have a problem with the fact that the government that was elected by the majority of Australians has an innate distrust of its constituents. I have a problem with the fact that Australia will become the next China, North Korea or Russia.

The minister, Stephen Conroy, is using 'child pornography' as his war cry. In this article he associates 'free speech' with 'the desire to access and watch child pornography'. Who in their right mind makes that association? Paedophiles is who. If the government was serious, they would target child porn sites one by one and take them down. No one is advocating a need to watch child porn, so that argument is moot.

'Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material.'

What will be deemed 'inappropriate'? Who decides this anyway? Conroy? Rudd? Their mothers? I understand the need to educate our children and protect them from potentially scarring incidents (2girls1cup, anyone?) but that does not require a blanket censorship of the internet. If anything, they should spend part of the proposed $128m on parent-education packs which would be sent out upon request. This is a positive step that doesn't involve turning Australia into a technological and global laughing stock. Some may argue that those in opposition to this plan are all pornography addicts, child molesters, terrorists, traitors, morally corrupt individuals and hardened criminals.

I'm in opposition to this proposal, and I'm none of the above. My problem with this plan is that the government thinks they need to 'protect' the population from the big scary internet. The first filter blocks out 'pornography and violent images' according to Senator Conroy. The second filter, the one that wasn't publicised, and was only learned about via insiders, is the one which blocks 'illegal content'. Tell me, what constitutes 'illegal content'? Torrent sites? Terribly sorry, but they host a wealth of 'legal' content. Porn sites? Pornography is legal and doesn't claim to be aimed at a young audience. Sites which speak out against the government? I would certainly hope not, although preliminary trials suggest that a couple of sites which speak ill of the government were blocked - which begs the question 'Where will it stop?' Will internet sites be blocked if they disagree with government policies? Will people be prosecuted for visiting such websites after circumventing the filters? Will the website blacklist be compiled using an arbitrary method of judging what is 'moral' or 'immoral'?
It certainly will be. This cannot be argued against. What is considered 'moral' differs between people. I think this blanket censoring is immoral on the government's part. Others may disagree. I cannot imagine why.

Here's some fun facts about this proposed filter:

'Between 1% and 6% of websites deemed 'safe' will still be blocked.' Even if you pick 1%, that's still 10,000 websites out of every million, and since Google recently counted over a trillion unique websites, that means 10 billion websites will be incorrectly blocked. This site might even be blocked because of it. A YouTube site containing offensive language (which, let's face it, means all of them, if the Comments section is any indication) may be blocked. This is not right.

'Internet access will slow by up to 78%'
according to a government report. 78% is HUGE. My 1.5mbit connection would be reduced to 330kps. It would go from being 26x faster than 56k dialup to 5.8x faster than dialup. That is definitely not good enough. Couple this with the fact that the Rudd government is pushing for a faster internet network and you end up with a heap of contradictory bullshit.

'The cost of internet access to Australian users would increase'
because ISPs would have to pass on the cost of filtering to customers. Think your internet plans cost too much already? Just wait until the filters get put in place!

'The internet will lose its status as one of the last true neutral zones of communication'. I don't have a reference for that one, because it's so blatantly obvious I shouldn't have to provide one. It's the last bastion of true free speech. I can say what I want over MSN/Facebook/IRC/Forums without 'fear' of retribution from the government because they don't agree with what I have to say. Hell, this blog, small as it is, might be banned under the new filters because I have the keywords 'dissent, child pornography, censor, bullshit, terrorist' on it. This means that any other post I make would be inaccessible too. I don't pretend that this site is Reuters or Google, but the fact remains that it's MINE, and there is alot of info on here which doesn't Contradict Or Question The Australian Federal Government's Plan To Censor Internet Access.

Yes, there are some unpleasant things on the internet. There's violence, there's racism, there's unconventional sex, there's a manual for making bombs/committing suicide/developing anorexia/child porn whatever else you can think of. If you don't want to visit these sites, then don't. There, problem solved. If you do, then you need to consider why you're doing it. If you are concerned that your children are accessing this stuff, then obtain the free filtering software that the government is currently offering, or better yet, buy some software that works better. If you're concerned that your friends or people you know are unstable enough to pursue anorexia or suicide, then you need to actively discourage them from doing so and point them in a helpful direction. If you're after child pornography, then you're a sick fuck who deserves to rot in prison.

Censoring the internet is impossible, impractical, immoral (one person making a blanket decision for everyone IS immoral, you have no right to tell someone else how to live), inconvenient, terrifying and ridiculous. I do NOT want Australia to become the next China, North Korea or Russia, despite what Conroy naively thinks.

If you are as incensed by this as I am, I encourage you to go to for more information, and here to find out how you can make a difference. I usually hate this 'together we can make a difference' stuff, but when it comes to the internet, it's all we have - we don't have trucks to blockade roads with, or placards to clog Wall Street with - all we have is our voice.

If you do choose to contact any government minister or news outlet, please keep your correspondence rational, mature and devoid of name-calling - we're all adults here.

Cheers guys.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Importance of Exploration

About two weeks ago, give or take, scientists at CERN fired up the Large Hadron Collider for the first time. They shot a beam of protons at close to the speed of light around a ring 27km in circumference. Such was the speed that the protons flicked around this ring 11,000 times every second. That alone is mind-boggling, but couple it with the fact that it was a man-made event, and it becomes truly astounding.

Bear with me, this short scientific spiel is important.

Depending on the sources people cite, or the currencies in which they operate, the LHC cost $6-10bn. It is the largest machine ever built by man, it is the fastest any matter has been made to spin by man, and it operates in an environment as close to Absolute Zero (-273.15 degrees Celsius) as we can get, all while being 100 metres below France and, at times, Switzerland. Is that not one of the most impressive things you have ever heard? Humans have dug a massive tunnel, have constructed an incredibly intricate system of inter-connecting pipes and magnets, and have constructed all of this with a margin of error of mere microns.

This is the pinnacle of human exploration thus far. Scientists are probing the structure of sub-atomic particles, examining the very fabric of reality and, according to some plebian scum, putting the world in grave danger. Why? Because it's there (or in the case of the Higgs Boson which physicists are trying to detect, because it may not be). Humankind is playing with what used to be the sole property of the stars, and it's terribly exciting.

For some, this is a staggeringly momentous occasion; the point where everything we know about physics and reality may depart us, leaving us to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew about, well, everything. For other people the experiment at CERN is a symbol of extravagant and wasteful spending. This saddens me greatly.

Where did the joy that filled the hearts of these people as children go? Do they not remember the euphoria they experienced when they reached the top of a previously unclimbable tree?
Exploration is what humans do. We ask questions. We travel over the horizon. We look to the stars, below the waves, beneath the earth, over the hill. And do you know why we do it? Because these things are there. Who knows what benefits will be reaped from the seeds of our effort?

In the olden days, and I use the term because it seems that in the eyes of many, these days are well and truly gone, explorers lived up to their name and trekked the mountains and sailed the seas in search of 'what was over there'. Columbus sailed west, looking for a faster route to the East Indies, but instead ran into the North and South Americas. Whether he actually landed there first or not is moot, because the fact is, he found something that he wasn't expecting, and look how it has improved the world today. New resources, new people, new ideas. I do not care about politics here. The world was made richer for his exploration.

James Cook went looking for Australia, because some jokers thought there might be something down there. The list of explorers and adventurers goes on and on, but the point remains: they changed the way we see the world. Their expeditions were expensive, people called them mad, but they persisted and everyone benefited.

The same goes for the LHC and other expensive scientific and exploratory endeavours. The Hubble Telescope. There, another marvel of engineering. Its original reflecting mirror was out by 4 microns. That is smaller than the gap you get between your fingers when you hold it up to a half-open eye. It is tiny, and yet it rendered the multi-billion dollar telescope useless until they made a new one. Naysayers clamoured for the program to be axed, because they did not appreciate the art of discovery. They were fools, because shortly after Hubble was restarted it gave us pictures like this:

Is that not one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen? That is out there, beyond our world. Had people not persisted, we would have no appreciation of how large our galaxy is, no appreciation of how colossal our universe may be, no concept of how stunning the forces of the cosmos can be. We have benefited from experiments like Hubble. We can track asteroids that may one day smack into us. We can see deep into other solar systems. We may even find signs of life. It's exciting because once upon a time these things, as far as we were concerned, did not exist, and now they do, and that is amazing.

The desire to learn about our world is so strong that we went to the bottom of the ocean 'just to have a look', much like we trekked through jungles to find traces of people who once lived there. To what end? Why, to see what was there of course! It just so happened that along the way we stumbled across the reason for the demise of the Mayans of central American (they literally ate themselves out of house and home and had to move on). With this knowledge we can take steps to avoid repeating these mistakes. Finding a source of renewable geothermal power on the ocean floor would be a pretty massive achievement too.

The Japanese have created an organisation which aims to build a Space elevator (
In short, it's a capsule which ascends wires into orbit. It'd be cheaper than rocketry, more environmentally friendly, and will allow the easy transportation of equipment and people into space. Whether they'll get it working or not is another story, but the fact remains that they are dead serious about it and are giving it their all. The price tag they have set is $9bn for the project which, all things considered, is pretty damn cheap. People wax lyrical about the virtues of spending this money on food and attempting to eradicate poverty but this simple fact remains: we don't know what can be gained by doing this, so we must do it to find out.

People are constantly looking for greener grass. They are looking for new jobs, new houses, new cars, new foods, new sources of energy, new ways of conducting business, new ways of improving our blue marble (psst, it's 'Earth'). People are exploring every day, whether they are conscious of it or not, and yet still have the nerve to call expensive forms of exploration a 'waste of time and money'.

Questioning our world and the knowledge and beliefs that govern it is of utmost importance. Without questions we stagnate and find ourselves living in an inferior manner to what is achieveable. The unknown is tantalising and, sometimes, better than the known.
Exploration is magnificent but it's the Discovery that is wondrous.

I started with the LHC because it is the greatest machine ever conceived by man, and it has been built in our lifetime. It is colossal, it is frighteningly cold and it is asking some pretty massive questions. 'How does matter have mass?' for instance. Did you know that physicists don't actually know why stuff has a mass? Based on what the smartest people on our planet know (and this includes Stephen fucking Hawking), stuff should not have mass, and yet it does. Finding out why could have far-reaching benefits which we are completely unaware of. If you didn't click the link to my site and read that line, then you'd still be in the dark. You wouldn't have undertaken the noblest of pursuits. You would not have explored.

You learn something every day.


For more information on the Large Hadron Collider I highly recommend watching 'The Big Bang Machine'. It's floating around the net, and may even be on Youtube. It puts the whole thing in the simplest of terms, which is brilliant, because I'm certainly no particle physicist. I just think large-scale exploration is wonderful.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Choose your Rapper name carefully

'Eminem' is a reference to his real name, Marshall Mathers (the 3rd for anyone playing at home). 'M and M'. It makes sense, it's catchy, you can slur it, and you can turn the letters backwards to make it look 1337. In short, and as far as names in the music biz go, it's a clever and memorable one.

I discovered another name this morning and it's memorable for all the wrong reasons. This guy's name is Rodney Jerkins.
Yep, Rodney Jerkins. Let me say it again, 'Rodney Jerkins'.
I'm not lying either:

'Other BMI Urban Award winners included Soulja Boy, Polow Da Don, Rodney Jerkins and DJ Montay'

You can't tell me that Rodney Jerkins doesn't evoke images of a polite, yet rather stiff (dick joke number one) English butler. 'Would sir like some tea with his scones?'
'Yes Rodney, that would be delightful.'
'Excellent, sir. I shall have it served in the conservatory.'
'There's one more thing, Rodney.'
'Yes, sir?'
'Your full name is Rodney Jerkins, is it not?'
'Sir is correct.'
'That is a smashing name for a butler.'
'Thank you, sir.'

That's how I imagine every conversation involving anyone called Rodney to go. He has a stiff (number two) upper lip, a neatly-pressed shirt, and an impeccable, if somewhat sober taste, in suits.

At the same time, this is how I imagine the conversation went when Rodney-fucking-Jerkins parents told him his name for the first time.

'Yo dawg, I chose your name, wanna hear it?'
'Rodney Jerkins'
'I fucking hate you'.

Feel free to insert more 'yo's', 'dawgs' and 'sups' in there where you feel appropriate.

Now, I'm fully aware that Rodney Jerkins is his real name, and I'm fully aware that he's a producer and not a rapper. But... really? If he changed his name when he was younger, I think everyone could understand (unless he came from an illustrious butling family). Jenkins I get - it's an old name, but Jerkins? Sure, it means 'Leather vest', but it isn't exactly hard-hitting is it? indicates that his nickname is 'Darkchild'. So at least he's on the right track, insofar as much that his badass nickname rated a mention.

Here's the clincher though. In the world of Eminems, Soulja boy (LOL, come off it man, learn to spell or get the fuck out), could it be that Rodney Jerkins has hit on the perfect marketing ploy? Could it be that by using his real name he shows that he doesn't care what people think and can use this to produce honest, quality music? Could it be that using his real and definitely giggle-inducing name has meant that he has become a standout in the industry? The latter, yes, the former, no. He produced Britney's 'I Love Rock and Roll' J.Lo's 'If You Had My Love', so I wouldn't call it honest or quality music. His name does stand out though.

Rodney Jerkins... really?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Synchronised Swimming is an Abomination

'Abomination' is a word that everyone should use more often - I know I try and do my bit for this word on a weekly basis.

The topic which deserves this new tag is Synchronised Swimming. I know it was in the Sydney Olympics, I know it was in Athens, and I sure as hell realise that it's in Beijing because I just turned the television off in disgust. The question is, 'Why was this 'sport' even allowed in in the first place?'

Synchronised Swimming is a complete and utter Abomination.

Why is this sport deserving of an Olympic spot? It's like watching a group of sequined epileptics trying to swim 50m - it's a pointless exercise which is sure to end in a drowning.

The Synchronised Swimming pairs event is completely ridiculous. Two women (because buggered if any bloke is going to do it) smile forcefully, swing their arms a bit, then jump headlong into the water in what the commentators describe as 'elegant'. One even went as far as to say 'Oh isn't that beautiful?'

No. It's not, and I'll tell you why. It's not beautiful because it's dumb. That's all there is to it. It's dumb. That is the only argument one will ever need when arguing the case AGAINST this glorified (and yet still bullshit) dance event. If someone challenges you with 'But WHY is it dumb?' you can merely reply with 'Because it is.' Anyone who tries to take the argument further has not watched the event for an extended period of time like I have (1 minute of the team event, and 40 seconds of the pairs). Before anyone dares try and challenge me on that, I will say this: 'Nobody needs to see any more than 1 minute of this event because it's horribly boring , terrifyingly stupid and nobody should encourage them'.

Yes, the 'athletes' are fit. And yes, they can hold their breath for a long time. You know what else can do these things? Elephant Seals and Sperm Whales, but you don't see THEM in the Olympics.

Sperm Whales exist to fight giant squid and pose for 19th century maritime artists and Elephant seals exist to hump cars in New Zealand, whereas Synchronised Swimmers exist purely to piss me off. Car Humping is definitely more worthy of my time and energy

Why is this idiotic and ultimately pointless sport featured in the Olympics - an event which celebrates the pinnacle of un-assisted human athletic achievement? Because there are far too many idiots in the world today is why. did a feature on sports which could be added to the Olympics, and I'm sure as hell not going to try and steal THEIR thunder, so instead I'm going to mention 1 sport which should be included over synchronised swimming.


Yes, that's right, Kendo. Japanese fencing. The 'sport' samurai used to practice before going out and cutting off a stranger's head. If you still need a visual cue, look at The Last Samurai - Tom cruise gets his arse handed to him by Hiroyuki Sanada. I might be biased since I used to practice Kendo until I ruptured a pretty important part of my shoulder doing it, but my point still stands; a violent and tradition-steeped sport is far more worthy of an Olympic spot than an event which celebrates the art of flailing your arms around in deep water.

Here are some reasons why Kendo should be in the Olympics instead of Synchronised Swimming (SS):

Kendo is violent, SS is not.

Kendo uses bamboo swords, SS does not.

Kendo involves two combatants putting on kick-arse armour and belting each other on some pretty precise points of the body.

Kendo has a definitive scoring system, SS does not, unless you count a few self-important judges sitting atop their high horses in their ivory tower subjectively deciding whether or not what they just witnessed was 'beautiful' and 'technically accurate'. If they judged purely on a third criteria I like to call 'Useful', then all SS teams would get zero, but I digress.

Kendo is loud, SS isn't.

You can't drown in Kendo, you can in SS.

Kendo is more entertaining than Fencing, SS is not.

Kendo is a sport, SS is certainly NOT.

I think it's a pretty well-crafted argument.

If any Olympic officials read this (because I'm sure you guys are keyed in to my thought processes...) then consider the following friendly tips:

Any event which requires people to wear makeup under water can go and get fucked.
Any event which is graded on artistic execution (gymnastics is exempt because 'not landing on one's head' is considered pretty damn skillful) can go and get fucked.
Any proposed event that involves dance and music and isn't Women's Gymnastics can go and get fucked.

A gymnastic floor routine could at least be used to flip backwards over a charging Grizzly Bear if it came down to it. All Synchronised Swimmers can do is attract large sharks.

Having said that, if 3 large Tiger Sharks were put into the synchronised swimming pool before the event started, then I would support keeping this event in the Olympics.

See how useful your arm flailing and splashing is now, you stupid people.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Truth and Honesty

Fie on me for not posting for a month. I'd say I have been busy but, truthfully, I have not.

A month ago I was made redundant, and I have been quite optimistically searching for jobs both near and far. A couple of positions interstate have been applied for, as as one overseas job, but neither have been responded to yet. Which brings me to today's topic, 'Truth and Honesty'. My last employer was talking about business dealings one day and stated that it is always best to be truthful and honest with your business dealings. This flies in the face of how he acted at some points during my time there, but there is a kernel of wisdom there (no, you can't compile it. Freakin' nerds.)

His point was that if you do not conduct business in a truthful and honest manner, then word will get out and people will view you as a duplicitous bastard who isn't worth their weight in lies. He was referring to a friend who screwed him over, 'He's still my friend, but I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him.' Now, if his experience is anything to judge by, then it is only fair that a few institutions cop some flak from me.

Firstly: UniSA. You were good to me, all things considered. You have some wonderful lecturers and program co-ordinators, and I think they should be paid more. However, and this is a pretty fucking monumental 'however', you lied to me and about three hundred other students in 2002.

Like Hollywood's Oscar season, the first half of the year is what I like to call 'University Season'. It's the time when all the universities in the land send out promotional material to high schools which wax lyrical about the virtues of their various programs. Props to the guys who wrote that shit, because it fools thousands of students every year. He should be paid more.

Most of the brochures have 'High demand', 'Valuable skillsets', 'Valuable Commodity' written all over them in bold and above all funky text. If you want to be an engineer, this is the truth. If you want to be an IT guy, this is the truth. If you want to be an engineer, this is the... I already said engineer didn't I? For everyone else, it is a lie. If you want to be a teacher don't get your hopes up. Likewise for Public Relations Guy/Girl/Hybrid, Copywriter, Illustrator, Archaeologist (LOL, I know, right?), Early Childhood Educator and Communications something-or-other.

Students, like my good self, went to seminars and were told that our interests were viable commodities and that we would shape the world of tomorrow blah blah ad nauseum. The woman with bad hair and scary glasses stood at the podium in the suspiciously dark lecture theatre and spoke for a great length of time about how their graduates are picked up at companies straight out of uni.

Wow! That sounds exciting. You mean that since I have some talent and interest in writing, that I could be paid to do what I like doing? Fantastic! I'll go sign up now, hey? Don't want to miss my chance of getting in!

So you sign up and go through the motions and complete school and get that letter in the mail which says 'Congratulations, you got in'. You will note that there is no fine print on the bottom of the back page which reads 'Can you actually believe that these guys are taking the bait? This is fantastic - more money for us to conduct research into things no one cares about. Copyright 2002'

No one, and I mean NO ONE is as irrationally exuberant as first-year uni students (except for maybe teenage Christians with large smiles and bright eyes and a punch bowl full of suspicious cordial...). They walk around in huddles talking about how excited they are and how proud their trailer-trash parents are that they made it into uni. If they had half a brain or four years of uni experience to back them up, then they'd realised that they should have seen the lies through the smoke and mirrors of PR material and taken up Engineering or IT, if only they were good at maths and chemistry.
(NOTE: I was good at both until about year eleven when the teachers became arseholes and the course work turned out to be ALOT harder than previous years. I answered most of my year 11 Chemistry exam's questions with funny answers and smartarse comments. It came back with 'Fail. 22% No Smart-Aleck answers next time'. The joke's on her, my name isn't Aleck.)

After a year, the students are none-the-wiser, and it's only when they complete their final year that they realise 'Hey wait, we aren't in high demand'. An astute observer will notice that there are jobs going for these people, but they expect a minimum of 2 years experience, anyone that asks for a fresh-off-the-boat graduate are few and far between.

What I learned from university is that experience is what matters above all else. Granted, I improved some skills there and got some of my work published in a couple of books, but as a whole, the piece of paper I received at the end has not been as valuable as I expected it to be.

So, UniSA, and any University reading this, I'm not telling you that you're a bunch of fools, because frankly, some of the brightest people I have ever met work at that uni, and my hat goes off to them. What I do request is that you lock the marketing department in a lavatory for the duration of your planning meetings and that you take a leaf out of Google's book and refuse the urge to be Evil.

When bright-eyed students come up to you at the expos take away their suspicious cordial and crucifix around their neck, ask them what they want to be, and be TRUTHFUL about what you're offering. If you are offering an excellent education with publishing opportunities, then tell them that. Don't tell them that they are in high demand. If the private sector demanded the skills so much, why are you still working in admin for the uni, hmm?

Secondly: Recruitment agencies.

I haven't had quite as long to stew on this one, so this'll be shorter than the university section. One thing recruitment agencies need to do is keep track of the people under their 'care' (for lack of a better word), and to not hire idiots to represent them. My handler was an idiot. She didn't read things properly, didn't understand what I regard as the simplest of formatting protocols (the heading goes at the top. It's why it's called a heading), and repeatedly lost the folio which I sent her. To top it off, she spoke in a singsong voice, treated me like I was five years old and had a body so freckled you could have played 'Sheep paddocks' or 'Squares' or 'Lines' or whatever it is the kids are calling it these days (Fig. 1-4). Not that freckles are a bad thing of course, they just distracted me - some looked like they were forming a coalition to start a melanoma rebellion.

Figure 1:

. .

Figure 2:


Figure 3:


Figure 4:

| I win|

How are you supposed to entrust your career to someone like that? It's why I don't like relying on other people - in my experience, they'll screw ya, but in a bad way.

My problem with both of these influences is that it entailed untruths and blatant lies. Lying about whether you took a cookie from the cookie jar is hardly an earth-shattering lie, and in that circumstance isn't such a bad thing... unless it's my cookie that's been stolen. In the case of something impacting on a career, it's poor form to lie about the strengths of your product - people will stop buying it - known fact right there. I've certainly stopped buying it.

So here's a few tips to avoid being screwed:

1. Research your degree. I don't just mean look at their curriculum. Look at where graduates have gone. Independent studies are worthwhile here - I still don't trust internal studies, they tend to bolster their own numbers a bit.

2. Look in the paper or at job sites like or (obviously for Aussie readers). Does anyone actually want someone with your qualifications? If not, does anyone want you overseas? They do? Great! Just resign yourself to the fact that you'll be leaving Australia to find work. Do this early. I took a while to reach this conclusion, and while it was a good thing to come to terms with, I regret not doing it a 6 years ago.

3. Don't rely on your degree. Alot of professions require a degree - engineering and teaching for example, but for those of you with a more shotgun-approach degree like mine (Bachelor of Professional and Creative Communication - used to have a BA in front... actually I think my piece of paper has the BA in front), then you need workplace experience to make an impact. That's what I'm working on at this point in time. Half the time your degree will be what gives you the edge over a plebian opponent, it won't be the thing that grabs their attention in the first place.

4. Don't rely on recruitment agencies. If you do, make sure you have a good reason to ie. Your handler doesn't look like she should work in a home for retarded four-year-olds. You have to scope stuff out yourself. It's boring, it's tiring, it's demoralising (Sam ticks all boxes) but I'm told it's worth it. It's helps if you're not a bitter cynic too.

5. Above all, be honest in your dealings with people. Don't give people the illusion that your actions mean something different to what they are. Doesn't mean you have to be nice, just be truthful. If you're a success then people say that 'you call a spade a spade' or that you're 'forthright' or that you 'tell it like it is'. If you're dishonest then you'll be regarded as a charlatan who shouldn't be trusted as far as you can be thrown - and you'd be surprised at how far someone can throw you.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How to advertise a job (and where to stick the applications)

So, at the end of last week I was made redundant. Whoopee.

Granted, it was from a job that I disliked, that caused parts of my body to fail and, apparently, was paying lower than minimum wage. It was, however, a job. It was a place of familiarity where I could do something constructive for a financial end and meet new people along the way.

With the Ship of Unemployment sailing through the Fog of Depression towards the Shores of Destitution, I thought it was high-time someone told the writers of job ads how to do their jobs properly (feel free to point them to this site). Since I'll be reading alot of employment ads in the near future, I figure I may as well read good ones.

1. If you are writing an ad, know what you're advertising

Job hunters do not want to see an ad which says 'Are you interested in ducks? If so, call 555-1122' They want details. For many people changing vocations is an important step in their lives, and they want to make the right decision. They don't want a catchy line only to find there is no substance. It's the same as an attractive young lady giving you their number, only to turn around and say 'Oh, it was silly to give you my number like that'. So much promise, so little payoff.

A better way to advertise a job (and yes, there ARE ads like this out there) is to do it like this:

Catchy line to pique interest
We're looking for someone with the following skills...
... to do the following tasks...
... for this amount of money...
... at this location.
For more information contact X or go to the website @

It's the perfect job ad.
Stop wasting my time with stupid ads and, for the record, spell the damn things correctly. I saw an ad on a couple of weeks ago for a Copywriter. The ad was full of spelling errors and the grammar was appalling.

'Yer, I want 2 rite. Can U hir me plz? I are good at stuf. lol thx. '

2. If you want to hire people, how about advertising the position?

Apparently, 70% of available jobs are unadvertised. That sure makes sense. Have a vacant desk in your office? Just sit there and hope that the right person comes along. No wait, pray for the right person to come along. Then jam your genitals in a stapler, because that is going to be as effective, if not more so. The person who hears you screaming might just be the ideal candidate.

Job seminars and community centres and recruitment agencies always tell people to 'Network network network'. This means 'Tell people you are looking for jobs, make enquiries, make use of word of mouth.' Word of mouth is what has got me every job I have ever had, I have not had to apply for one. I even turned down a job on Tuesday because it was in the opposite direction of what I wanted (and of what my body could tolerate). I'm all for putting yourself out there. It's incredibly important for people to know that you are looking for work, because any number of people you know could know a guy who knows a guy.

At the same time, employers need to let people know the jobs are out there. One hand washes the other. I tell people I'm looking for a job as a Creative, one of those people sees an ad in a place I missed, and BAM! I land a new job.

Advertising is the key. Networking and 'word of mouth' go both ways.

3. So you've received 25 job applications. Now what?

Read them. This takes time, I know, but I get the feeling that people sometimes throw a pile of paper in the air and only read the applications that land text-side-up. It's more fun that way. It's also really inefficient, ineffective, and downright rude.
Cover letters are an excellent way of gauging the worthiness of an applicant and yet alot of places do not accept or request them when the job applications are done online. This is poor company policy and/or a lazy human resources department.
Once you've read every cover letter, skim all the résumés`. It could be that the résumé attached to a poor cover letter reveals an admirable applicant. Granted, their cover letter should have been better, but not everyone can think of a catchy line to grab attention; after all, the world does need accountants...

I took the initiative to write a cover letter and put it on the first page of my résumé before forwarding it. It was a gamble. I got an interview, but didn't get the job. I did learn however that it was the letter (in addition to the résumé) that got me the interview. The gamble paid off to some extent, and I learned something from the experience.

Okay, so out of the 25 applicants you have found 8 that suit your needs. The cover letters were outstanding, and maybe even entertaining, the résumés ticked all the applicable boxes, and each applicant would be well-suited to the position, except you can only pick 1. So what are you to do with the 17 other applications? You know, the ones that didn't make the grade? Bin them all (yes/no/maybe?) and assume that they will forget they ever applied?


No, no, no, no, no!

Get your head out of your 'I'm too busy' arse. Manners are too-often overlooked. You MUST notify failed applicants that they have not made it to the interview stage. If you do not, they sit with their thumbs up their arse for days and weeks on end wondering whether they'll hear from you or not. (Weeks is a reasonable comment - some places take months to tell you that you are the lucky winner of an interview.)

An automated email from the company which informs you that you haven't made it is sufficient. I do not require a gushing email telling me how great I am whilst all the while implying that I am shit at everything I do. All I require is a 'Dear Applicant, We're sorry to inform you that your application has not reached the next level of the application process. Thank you for applying, and best of luck in future endeavours. - Signed, I.M Faceless'

That's IT. That's all you have to do. If applications are emailed to a specific address, then it makes life even easier. You move the 'approved' applicants to a different email folder, then hit 'reply to all' in the main directory and send out your pre-packaged condolances. It takes bugger-all time (that's Australian for 'none') and the applicant can move on to the next poorly-written job ad.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Repressive Compulsive

I need to start by writing this little disclaimer: I am not encouraging people to look these up. It's why I didn't provide hyperlinks - I'm protecting my own arse, and shielding yours too. But hey, I'm not the boss of you...

When somebody links me something over MSN (invariably Uriah or Sean, sick bastards that they are), I feel compelled to click it. Not because I have an urge to scrape my own eyes out, and not because I want to test the boundaries of what the human body can actually tolerate, but because it's THERE. The winking little box in my taskbar has 'click me' written all over it, likewise for the blue text in my chat window.

The most dangerous links are the ones prefaced by 'LOL!'

For example:

Uriah: LOL! Check this out!


Sam: I hate you so much right now.

It's at that point that I'm groping for the 'close window' button, whilst at the same time being compelled to link it to others. If someone 'got' me, then I shall 'get' someone else. It's like the Circle of Life, sans the talking baboon.

This behaviour got me thinking. Why is it that I click? I just KNOW that the chance of me seeing something I will regret witnessing is considerably higher than 50%, but I click regardless. Is it the desire to see the quality 40% of links, is it blind trust, or is it a thirst for knowledge that drives me right index finger?

I can conclude wth some certainty that it boils down to my desire to leave no task unfinished (within reason. I'm glad I quit some things). When that dark blue box flashes at me, I must click. I need to click. I YEARN to click.

What happens next has become increasingly familiar activity (and I'm not ashamed at all. Eye for an Eye and all that). What I will do is tell the linker to go fuck themselves, before linking it to as many of my other online friends as possible. Sometimes I'll link it to people when they are offline, just so they can experience the rich bounty of the internet as soon as they get home from work.

Some of the classic (it doesn't mean they're good) eye-gouging moments are now internet lore. Meatspin for instance, or TubGirl, or Lemonparty, Cakefarts, or that video of the Serbian prisoner of war who gets his throat cut near Kosovo (the gurgling alone is disturbing, let alone the fear and panic in his eyes). Kids in a Sandbox is terrible, and 2girls1cup is something which need not be seen by anyone. Although, I saw that (at 9:30 in the damn morning, thanks Uriah haha), so I figure you should too.

Is it a warmly-embraced and minor case of OCD here or is it just something that we in the digital age have learned to accept?

Julius Caesar is famous for saying Veni Vidi Vici.

I'd like to become famous for saying Veni Vidi Clicki.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Defining Facebook/Online friends

Rikki Hill's comment about Facebook friends the other day inspired this.

So blame her.

What is a Facebook friend? From what I've gathered in my few months here it can mean different things to different people. One very popular model is the 'If-I-know-your-name-or-have-met-you-once-in-my-life-then-I-will-add
-you-as-a-friend-and-we-will-be-Best-Friends-Forever-lol'. I'm not sure I understand this mindset. In real life, do you immediately call someone you've met a friend? I don't. Many of the people I have met in my life can very clearly be classified as 'a dickhead' or 'a stupid bitch'. These people do not qualify as Facebook Friends. Likewise for the friendly people I have met during my life. I would not call all of them 'friends' by any stretch. If anything, they are 'people I know/met a couple of times'. At best, they are acquaintances. I have nothing against them, I just wouldn't call them a friend.

Another Facebook Friend model is the 'This-group-of-people-is-very-tight-knit-and-
are-people-I-speak-to-every-day'. There is nothing wrong with this model, it's just that it's a small one. It could be that you have a very small, very important group of friends who you stay in contact with, and are quite happy to relegate everyone else to the 'acquaintance' pile.

The third model is the 'Hi-my-goal-is-to-have-the-whole-world-on-my-friends-list.' These people add others indiscriminantly. Tila Tequila is an example. She is, apparently, the record holder for MySpace friends. Can't say I blame them, she is an attractive young lady, but that's it. Most people on that page are just another brick in the wall.

'wow u r hot + i like u do u want 2 b my grl frend?'

No, no she doesn't. She wants you to go back to school and learn how to read and spell. That way, when you are sent a rejection letter, you'll be able to understand it.

My Facebook list is a proud member of the fourth model. This list is made up of real-life friends (they breathe, they have skin, and they (well, most of them) have a pulse). These people are some of the ones that I like. I talk with (or used to talk with) these people on a regular basis and hold no ill-will towards them. I have many friends who AREN'T on this list, purely because they don't have Facebook. If one of these people was in some sort of trouble and needed a place to stay for the night, then I would happily oblige without batting an eyelid. If they needed to stay for a second night well, I'd have to check my OTHER list and see if they're on it...

Personally, I do not add people I just met, unless of course we hit it off rather well. I do not Confirm people who add ME if I don't know them. I do not add people when the only thing I know about them is their name, and I do not add people who do not fit the fourth model. If someone is my friend, they are my friend, if they are not, then they are not. I take words like 'friend' seriously, and I think others would do well to do the same.


Thursday, June 5, 2008


I understand a want for efficiency and getting Value for Money. I desire these things as much as the next guy, unless the next guy is a hypermiling enthusiast like <--- these guys. I appreciate the fact that they're trying to get bang for buck, but jesus christ, why the hell would you want to do 22 mph in a 55 mph zone? To me that's like dying a little bit inside. I struggle enough getting stuck behind a car going 80km/h in a 100km/h zone. Screw inflicting that kind of torture on myself deliberately.

The balance between efficiency and 'getting what you pay for' is thrown way off here for one very good reason: He's DRIVING SOMEWHERE in a CAR on a ROAD.

'I'm deliberately going slower than everyone else on the road because I would like to get to where I'm going as SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE.'

If he was content in plodding along to his destination, why didn't the lazy bugger walk?

If I want to go somewhere, and I have the opportunity to get there faster and therefore more efficiently in regard to time, then I try to get there as fast as legally possible. If I'm doing a job, I want to do an excellent job in the shortest time possible. Why would I take longer just for the sake of splitting hairs?

'Yes' petrol prices are going up, 'yes' we all want to save money, and 'yes' we all earn browny points for 'saving the whales, dude', but is driving erratically, avoiding using brakes PURELY to preserve momentum worth it JUST to save those few extra dollars?

'Do I brake early enough to come to a halt safely, knowing that everyone else on the road will do the same? Or do I coast that little bit longer at an excrutiatingly slow speed in an attempt to save a little bit of fuel only to have everyone else backed up behind me tooting their horns and getting increasingly maddened by my anal approach to fuel economy, therefore reducing their awareness for what else is happening on the road?'

Gee, decisions decisions. A pile-up worthy of the news and the added stress to boot? Or a more relaxed and safer driving experience?

I'm as big a fan of getting the High Score as everyone else, but not at the expense of the safety of others.

Green with ____

Fill in the space in the title and you win a prize. It could be a trip on the French Riviera, it could be a Kick in the Teeth - you decide!

The topic of today's rant is 'Jealousy', and what a fun topic it is. What is its purpose in today's society? I understand that it is the catalyst which inspires birds to fluff their plumage, or fish to wave their fins, or lizards to do a strange waving dance, but in relation to us in this day and age, what is its purpose?

In bygone days, I am positive that it was a chemical reaction designed to encourage territorialism. If 'territorialism' wasn't a word before today, then congratulations; you just witnessed the birth of a new word.

In regard to today's society, all it does is bring the red haze down in front of the eyes and the inhibition unit in the brain to take a holiday.

'Oh, is that jealousy? You need this headspace for a bit? No problem, I'll just go over here should I? Let me know when you're done.'

More often than not it brings out the Dickhead Factor, that wonderful human equivelant to a peacock displaying its tail. The most common form is two blokes making eyes at each other (in the violent way, not the gay way) until one snots the other. In my case, it brings out a stream of consciousness, all of it internalised, that is over and done with in about 5 seconds, leaving only a remnant to fester for two more days. I'll be in a foul mood, but the feeling will pass.

It used to bring out my innate competitiveness, but it doesn't anymore, at least not since I realised that my ground state of being is in fact one of innate competitiveness, thus rendering any new incarnation instantly redundant. I have alot of time to consider these things while I'm at work (if you were wondering). You'll know when my feathers are ruffled when I become competitive for no apparent reason. I usually won't care about winning, rather, I'll care about not losing, or at least making the other guy lose horribly.

So, with that in mind, what the fuck is the best way to deal with jealousy? One doesn't have a nest to build, one doesn't have an ornate tail to display, and one certainly does not have the time, energy or inclination to get out of one's car and slam someone's head in a door again and again and again and again and again.

What is the easy answer?

/rant off

Incidentally, and on a completely different note, does anyone know where I can get rid of the body of a 20-year-old blonde male, weighing approximately 80 kilogrammes?

Alcoholism 101

What makes a good drink?

Is it the taste? Is it the buzz? Is it the after-effect? Is it the atmosphere in which you consume it? Is it the stigma attached to it? I'm interested to know.

For me, it's a combination of taste and after-effect. If it tastes good, then the buzz isn't important, it's merely a pleasant side-effect. If I don't feel sick after drinking it, then that's a bonus too, because no one likes feeling ill.

The atmosphere in which I drink something is immensely unimportant as well. I have have many excellent nights where all I have had to drink is beer. I have also had many awful nights where all I have had to drink is beer, so, as you can imagine, atmosphere is completely redundant to me.

The stigma is a tricky one, because there are so many different ones attached to so many different drinks.

According to one friend of mine, if you drink Gin and Tonic, you are a woman in the 1920's. I find myself completely unable to argue with this position, because it cracks me up.

For the record, I quite enjoy a Gin and Tonic (See previous Note: An experiment).

According to Keanu Reeves in 'Street Kings', Vodka is odourless and buzz-inducing. Therefore we can see that odourless + buzz-inducing = fun times with handguns. I would much rather think that Vodka is a drink reserved strictly for poor Russians who have nothing to pass the time with. This concept makes me laugh. I love crazy Russians.

For the record, I quite enjoy Vodka too (and it disinfects your WHOLE digestive system. Need I say more?)

According to those prats in the movie 'Sideways', 'Red wine is a beverage which is tasty, alcoholic, and should be consumed frequently' (I'm paraphrasing here since I've only seen half the movie, and that was a long time ago). I don't disagree with this at all since, yes, red wine is tasty, alcoholic, relaxing, and warmth-inducing. It's just a shame that so many wankers drink it and wax lyrical about its 'oaky, earthy, fruity, and full-bodied assault on the palate'.

Again, for the record, I quite enjoy red wine because it's tasty and relaxing. You can ram those fruity, oaky, earthy and full-bodied adjectives up your arsehole for all I care.

OKAY... A MAN walks into a TALENT agency

'...blah blah blah The Aristocrats!'

What better way to start my rant than to use an over-hyped and over-used inside joke told only to crowds of drunken comedians? No, 'Once upon a time' is not better. Not much better. Fine. Fuck you, I'll do it.

Once upon a time there was a man named Sam.

(Sam waves at the three people reading this).

Sam was unhappy with his job fixing things that IDIOTS had broken, so he passed the time singing songs and talking to himself behind his crappy and ineffective breathing mask. He became so good at this that he spent some time in a the psych ward at the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he learned to connect with himself and nature (he spent his free time wanking in the Botanic Gardens).

When he got out/was released, he realised that there was so many things to live for - alcohol, gaming, wallowing in self-pity, wishing that one day he would wake up dead (paradoxical I know, but we're not talking about a completely sane and rational person here). He lived life to what he perceived to be the fullest, which, funnily enough, landed him in exactly the same position he found himself in in the first place.

As the Puerto Ricans say (or at least said in South Park) '¿Qué'

The point I'm getting at here, if you can see it through the quasi-fictional haze that is the above paragraph, is 'Why do we do it?' Why do we constantly throw ourselves at hopes and desires and goals only to be met with failure, and, at worst, derision and scorn?

Use myself as an example; someone who only lets the closest of friends know anything about me for... reasons of my own. Is it because I fear rejection/scorn/confrontat
ion, thus rendering my perceived 'need' to open up redundant?
Maybe, but this isn't Doctor Phil so we won't go into it any further. Close those gates, erect those barricades.

I would bet someone else's left leg (fuck losing my own), that alot of teenagers of the black hair, black nails, white face variety would say 'It's true, life is meaningless. You're born, you die.' Actually, they would say 'Your born, U die', but fuck them and their idiocy.

Fuck I hate emos.

Do they have a point though? Is our sole purpose on this little blue and green dot of ours to survive and multiply? 20 hours ago I certainly felt that it was (and that was after our stunning 13-2 win where I scored 6 goals. Go Team Scapegoat!). If you can work out the ever-elusive 'Why' which was the catalyst for this article then I'll give you 10 points.

After a day of thought (I have alot of time for this), and after many Oasis songs (I'll write about them another time), I have come to the conclusion that I hate emos and almost everything they live for. They always forget the most important part of their tiny tiny and, above all, SMALL look on life. You're born, YOU LIVE, then you die.

I'm not about to get evangelical or anything, I can promise you of that. Anyone who knows me AT ALL (do you fit in this category, hmm?) knows that I detest religion and the bullshit rhetoric that goes with it (offended? I don't care).

The LIVING part of that famous and rather depressing sentence is what matters. The reason we throw ourselves at goals and hopes and dreams and desires is that we know, we just KNOW that there will be a payoff at the end that will make everything worth it.

We play sport and stretch our bodies to exhaustion in the hopes that we will experience the euphoria of a win, and not the crushing depression of defeat.

We work at our jobs, regardless of how menial, with the knowledge that, eventually, our hard work will be rewarded (with either future careers, money, praise, or whatever else floats your boat).

We build up the courage to talk to people we've never met before in the hopes that we can enter into a relationship with them, be it, friendly, romantic, or... no, I think those are the only things things that apply here.

Our PURPOSE is to Experience. I assure you that it is deserving of the capital 'E'. Our PURPOSE is to live in a way that makes us happy. Not to make other people happy, not to make some invisible and imaginary God happy, not for 'the good of all', but for ourselves.

Be yourselves, be ourselves, be yourself, be myself.

A similar (and very applicable) E word would be 'Epiphany', and it's a good one as long as you remove the religious connotations.

It's almost funny, were it not so interesting. I started this piece/article/story with a view to write a Vodka-fueled rant about how prick-teasing women piss me off no end (string you along, then BAM! All your hopes and dreams up in a cloud of smoke), but instead I thought I'd articulate the thought process that followed that colourful snapshot.

There IS always a silver lining, there IS always an open window when the door closes, there IS always an upshot, and there is always some smartarse motherfucker stooging around waiting to expound the value of the preceding statements.

I'd just like to think that people now understand what 'silver lining' actually means.

Cheers for reading my Thursday Rant.

Keeping Score

It's time for another Posted Note by Sam Kellett. Go me.
I didn't get a job today, so I'm in the process of an experiment I like to call 'How many Gin and Tonics does it take before you fall asleep?'

It's an interesting question, and one that I'm sure alot of people are keen to have answered. For the record, each of the G&T's I have at home = 2.5 standard drinks. I know because I measured it. Yes, I once measured my own drink because I was interested. Now fuck off.

So, as part of my experiment, I have proceeded to pour myself a couple or five. Before I got the 'LOL, you totally didn't get that job you wanted' email, I had had 2 of my drinks.

2x2.5 = 5 (for those of you playing at home).

After I got the email, I drained the new drink that was sitting next to me (number three) in a vain attempt to wash away the bad news.


It didn't work, but it did make me feel warm inside. And immune to Malaria.

If you think that's a flippant remark, look up 'Quinine' on wikipedia, but I digress...

After receiving the email, I had a drink with dinner.

4x2.5=10 (if my math screws up, then we know that the experiment has progressed somewhat)

The drink with dinner was lovely. It was wet, it was cold, it was alcoholic, and it was gone quite quickly. Isn't learning fun?

I then decided to have an after-dinner drink (at which point I realised that I concentrate on grammar alot).

5x2.5= um... let's see... I'll take off my socks for this one... 12.5

Once again, go me. So, at this point, I'm 12.5 standards in the hole, and, as I've had these over a period of, let me check the clock, 1.5 hours, I am legally declared unfit to drive for the next... 12.5... 2 drinks in the first hour, one every after.... few hours. You have to offset that against the tonic water and the amount I've had to eat too, so I'll be ok to drive at about 2am (not that I will be, that would be stupid and sleep-depriving).

I'll keep you updated!

The next helpful Note In The Series will be 'Is Gin a depressant? Part 2'

UPDATE: (I actually typed DUPDATE, but that isn't important)

It turns out that 6 G&T's (read: 15) is what is takes to make me feel sleepy. So what I'm going to do now is sit up in bed with some Oasis playing in the background, and finish reading a book that I started reading a few days ago. If I get thirsty, I'll keep all you readers (about what, 3 of you?) in the loop.

I'll tell you what Computer Game character I am...

In Star Wars, the Emperor tells Luke Skywalker that 'Anger will make you strong', whereas Yoda tells young Luke that 'Anger leads to the Dark Side'.

In Real Life, Sam (that's me, you cheeky bastards), says 'Anger is, to a point, justified by the cause'.

My rationalisation is this: I wanted to know what video game character I was (for those of you playing at home, the answer is "Zollerin, Mage, from World of Warcraft"), so I entered my answers, and forwarded the invite to the 5 required friends.
After sending said invite, I get a message saying 'You can't find out which video game character you are until your friends accept the invite.'

Tell me, what is the use of that? Did Sonic need 5 friends to tell him that he was a hedgehod (a blue one at that), that could run fucking quick? I'm going to say 'No'.

Did Master Chief need 5 friends to tell him 'You know, dude, if you had some sick armour, you could totally save the universe an' shit'?

Did Max Payne need 5 friends to tell him 'Mate! You have a kick-arse name that would work well in a film-noire love story that defies the archetypal revenege-story genre?' I'm going to bet 'No', but I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was 'Yes'.

I think I am entirely justified in being mad (having articulating outlined my reasons by citing well-known and pivotal video-game characters).

If you think my... displeasure is unjustified, feel free to say why in the comments section which is ----> that way, and down a bit

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Oh noes! The Blogsphere - Read this first

Why confine my rants to a Facebook page?

I figure I'll post here what I post there, because the word on the street is that book deals are offered to everyone with a blog within a day of signing up.


Old stuff is coming soon, new stuff is coming after that. It won't be weekly, but that's the only vaguely memorable name I could make whilst still retaining 'Sam' and 'Rant'.

Stuff is arranged thusly:

New stuff is at the bottom, Old stuff is at the top, Middle stuff is in the middle. It makes more sense that way. Who wants to read part 6 without reading part 1? Not me, and therefore, not you either.