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Mon, 23 Apr 2007

One bad, one good, make a pattern for a show? - 13:05
So most of my house mates and I were sitting around watching the new ABC show "The Sideshow" with Paul McDermott on Saturday evening. I admit I was watching it largely because I am a huge Doug Anthony All Stars fan and still will make an effort to watch (at least once) anything the three of them appear in. I also really liked Good News Week, though Paul can be cloying and down right annoying at times, he also can be rather funny and holds and audience well (in my opinion).

So I thought Paul was mostly amusing in this show, and Flacco when he did his own segment (as opposed to the scripted silly moustache waving segment) was funny. However my large problem with the show is it appeared as if the had a pattern of one funny/amusing/good act followed by one piece of crap act and simply repeated the pattern through the show.

The three Adams familyesque sisters, the three women trying to get a drink at the bar, the one man band and the Claire Hooper stand up act were all rubbish I thought and not even remotely amusing or interesting. Yet the rest of the acts were largely really good. My house mates and I kept saying, couldn't they maybe just have all good acts rather than the pattern of one stupid/annoying/bad act and one good act throughout. Maybe it was just us but everyone in the house tended to agree on what was and was not good.

I guess I will give the show one more week and see if it improves at all.

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Fri, 20 Apr 2007

Not so puny humans and a surprising business closure. - 17:15
It was with some interest (I guess because I am somewhat enamoured of doing long endurance fitness efforts) that I read this link from Kottke suggesting Humans are better conditioned than any other species for endurance running. It is interesting to see the suggestion made with respect to hunting down animals in the heat of the day and that our cooling system and the way our bodies operate while running help us win out over other species.

Once again it sort of reminds us how unfortunate it is to some extent that our diets and lifestyles do not generally involve the same things they have for the past million years of evolution and thus most people today are likely not living with their bodies within the bounds our current evolution has placed on us. Though I also agree with everyone who thinks running hurts and wants to go ride bikes instead.

On a completely separate topic it was sad (well not personally, more from a perspective of something so long lasting being over) to see the news mentioned on Kottke and other places that the world's longest running company ended their reign and were taken over last year after 1400 years of business under the same name.

Of course their title is safe for a while, it is another 138 years or so until the next company in the list will have been running for longer.

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Thu, 19 Apr 2007

Arm the bears. - 15:51
Here we go again, US and the gun control thing.

I always like the Robin Williams quote from a video I have at home, "You have the right to bear arms, you have the right to arm bears, what ever the hell you want to do!". It amazes me the way so many in the US seem to think they need to be armed. Heck these same people suggesting the recent shooting tragedy in VA would have been negated had the arms laws been relaxed. Their theory being more students with fire arms could have started shooting and stopped the loony.

What genius, lets arm everyone and try and convince them to be proactive in using deadly weapons with intent to harm in every day situations. Who needs police or anyone else trained in using such equipment and discretion, ethics, etc attached to the equipment.

Though that is an extreme view point I was admittedly somewhat surprised to see the suggestion on boing boing yesterday (this same article has some of the above mentioned lets arm everyone suggestions linked)

No matter which side of the gun debate you're on, one thing is obvious: anyone who is capable of and intent on killing 32 innocent fellow human beings will do so regardless of law. Homicidal maniacs can always be counted on to violate the boundaries set forth by others who want to promote a civil, peaceful society.

My huge issue with this quote from Xeni is that it is far too easy for any homicidal maniac to get hold of firearms in the US. When it is hard/impossible to get hold of weapons, a maniac may decide to drive into a crowd of people, or use sharp objects, or some other thing. Or they would show up more obviously in attempts to get hold of firearms. (I am sure there is an issue of illegal arms trade, however police do actually monitor and work against that sort of thing happening)

There is also an interesting disconnect between education about firearms, their use and ethics attached to them. In the US all manner of people can and do get guns. However interestingly most houses in Switzerland tend to have a gun of some sort in the house. However everyone in Switzerland has done compulsory military service (okay a bit of a generalisation) and thus the majority of the population has training in the use of, safety issues of (including storage) and ethics related to fire arm use and ownership. Although Switzerland has a large gun ownership per head of population it has one of the lower gun death rates around.

I know I am not really properly finishing any of these thoughts, but I still feel the need to say I am constantly amazed at the US avoiding better gun control.

An interesting side thought here is to note Mikal's spare time gun hobbies since he moved to the US, this in itself is not a bad thing, and it is interesting to note he could likely have done something similar here in Canberra. There are at least two firing ranges near the centre of Canberra that have controlled gun club activities such as he has involved himself in over in the US.

I personally do not see the fascination he seems to have with firearms recently, however there is a vast difference between going to a firing range and engaging in controlled activities there and the suggestions of arming everyone in the country and encouraging them to actively look for "suspicious" behaviour to eradicate lethally.

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Tue, 17 Apr 2007

There are things I can't explain, things that run in my veins, they are centuries old... - 17:06
People signing up on the day of the race to compete in a 24 hour solo mountain bike race (was there nothing good on tv maybe?), blood (I hope), lots of buildings in England.

Heck that was almost fun (the title are some song lyrics, the text of the post above is my initial what do I write to that), maybe I should do it more often, and put it in the pointless diary entries category.

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Wed, 11 Apr 2007

Assumed knowledge I missed out on - 21:45
So looking at the front page of my copy of the Sydney Morning Herald today there is a whole lot of news about some bloke named Andrew Johns retiring from his sport. However, and here is where I was caught out, there is no mention of what sport he plays. None of the articles on the front page or on the next few pages that talk about him retiring mention what sport he plays.

Eventually, somewhere deep in one of the articles it mentions he plays for a team called the Knights and that he and they are Newcastle based. However I have not paid much attention to any football codes since around 1992. Thus I have no idea if it is AFL, Rugby Union, Rugby League or heck even Soccer (though that is unlikely given it is front page news in Australia and the world cup is not on).

Going from some of the descriptions of his playing in the articles I am beginning to suspect it is not AFL, however not much more can be gleaned there. I guess I should own up at this point to the fact I went and asked some of my housemates if they knew who Andrew Johns was. They looked at me strangely and said things along the lines of "the football player?" (not helpful) until I admitted I had no idea who he was or what he played.

Fortunately there was in fact a side note on an article alluding to the knights playing the raiders. Fortunately for the purposes of solving this mystery I do know who the Raiders are (Canberra Rugby League team, they won a premier ship around 1991 I think (coincidentally the last time I paid any real attention to football of any sort, aged 12 or so I think)). So due to knowing what the Raiders play I had guessed that Andrew Johns was a Rugby League player.

I suppose this is one of those pieces of assumed knowledge we, as readers of a newspaper in Australia, are just supposed to have. I wonder how long it will now take me to forget.

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Thu, 05 Apr 2007

Strange analogy at lunch - 16:42
While having lunch earlier I overheard someone who almost sounds like a born whiner complain about a form that need to be filled out at the uni for something, his complaint was accompanied by a rather strange analogy.

I say he sounds like a born whiner as I later heard him wining about his phone saying it is the worst he has ever had, and than whining about something else. Anyway the initial loud complaint was about the fact you have to fill in and sign a form claiming competency to ride a bike in order to use one of the university wide departmental bikes.

He was whining that the university was obviously a bureaucratic mess as no other place on earth would make you sign a form claiming self competency in order to ride a bicycle owned by the organisation/company in question. His friends did try to point out from time to time he may be overstating the matter but he ignored them rather successfully in order to continue whining.

Though the self signed competency claim is a little thin, I imagine it gets lawyers off the backs of the uni somehow, I tend to agree with his friends there are places outside the university that would follow a similar practice if they were forward thinking enough to provide bicycles for short trips.

Anyway the analogy this guy came up with was that you need not sign something in this manner in order to use a university car. Why I find this strange is it appears this guy completely forgot the need for a drivers licence that has to be seen before you ever approach the drivers seat of a work car. Gee a drivers licence hey? somewhat more difficult to get than simply signing a form claiming you are capable of driving. (which is a good thing, that it is a little harder to get than that)

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Not A Pretty Girl racing the AROC Urban 12 Hour Adventure Race - 12:25
Bruce, Ben and I had fun out there with the 42 other teams on Saturday racing in the AROC 12 Hour Urban Adventure Race. This year there was no 24 hour option as AROC had held a 24 hour race down the coast on the Australia Day weekend in January.

Our photos and a few words are up in the normal sort of location.

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