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I'm back after Christmas (11/1/2020)
2019 Awards, but not yet (11/1/2020)
I was planning on announcing the 2019 Millenium Awards today, but some late activity right up to December 31 by anti-vaccination liars, climate change deniers and other forms of human sewage has meant that the judges have decided to put off their final decisions for a week or two and return to their volunteer roles fighting bush fires. The front runner for the Anus Maximus Award is still out in front and probably won't be challenged, but I like things to be correct and fair. If The Three Stooges had released a film on the day that Oscar nominations closed in 1939 it wouldn't have been fair to exclude it from contention just because someone else had made "Gone With The Wind".
Happy New Year (11/1/2020)
Stolen from some anonymous Facebook user
Everything is still on fire (11/1/2020)
I'm still mightily distracted from doing stuff like this web site by the bush fires consuming a large proportion of the state I live in (which is twice the size of Germany for people unfamiliar with Australian geography). Here's a useful comparison (it's a few days old, so more might have been burnt since then).
I used to compete in and organise forest rallies back in the day and one of my pastimes now is doing media work at rallies across NSW. One consequence of this is that apart from Canobolas State Forest near Orange, every forest I've driven in or been to in the state has either burned or been threatened by the current fires and and conversely I've been to every forest that's on fire. (Canobolas State Forest is sort of an island of pine trees in the middle of grassland. There was a small grass fire in bordering farmland but it was quickly extinguished.) This means that I can identify with every horror story in the media by saying "I've been there".
Where I live isn't directly threatened by fires, but our major industries are. It looks like we haven't lost any of the pine plantations that support the town's large timber processing industry, but the border roads on at least two big forests have been the containment lines to drive back fires in neighboring native forest. The tourist industry is at a standstill in what would normally be one of the busiest periods in the year. Jenolan Caves is closed to the public (and came very close to having all infrastructure destroyed), the motels and hotels are virtually empty and one big festival held every January has been cancelled. We have probably lost the biggest national park in the region, and the next big tourist attraction (mushroom gathering season) might not have any unburnt places for gatherers to find mushrooms.
But we are lucky. Nobody here has lost a house or a life or a farm. I have friends living in places where even if they haven't had to evacuate from their homes they have been packed and ready to do so. I have friends who have been away from their paying jobs fighting fires as volunteers. Whole towns have been totally wiped out, with little hope of ever recovering.
The damage has not only been to trees and other property - the number of wildlife deaths has been estimated to exceed a billion animals. Some species might have been driven to extinction, and others will have had their habitat destroyed. The picture shows two galah parrots who came to visit my birdbath. One of them was the normal pink and grey, the other was black all over with a tail that looked a bit short. If he made it the 18 kilometres from the nearest fire I'm sure that many others didn't. And to give you an idea of how much smoke we could get in town from that fire 18 kilometres away, the light pole and tree behind the birds were 50 metres away.
Speaking of my birdbath ... (11/1/2020)
I bought my birdbath from Bunnings, Australia's largest chain of stores selling hardware, tools, renovation necessities, building supplies and gardening stuff. I don't just give the birds water, I also scatter birdseed around on the ground near the birdbath. (I thought about scattering hot chips to attract seagulls but I'm a bit far from the coast.) As I bought the birdbath there and they are usually pretty cheap to buy from, I did a search for "bird seed" to see if I could get a bargain. This was the only product returned by the search of their entire site. At a hardware and DIY store! A mystery, wrapped up in rice paper.
Bring on the conspiracies (11/1/2020)
Any disaster whether natural or man-made brings out the conspiracy loons, and the current fires in Australia are no exception. Here are some examples.
And of course it's all caused and made worse by chemtrails. Especially chemtrails with aluminium in them.
Caution: Batshit crazy ahead.
You know that advice to never read the comments? I ignored it.
I'm no theologian, but I'm rather sure that Baal and Satan are not the same entity. And I absolutely love the way Apostrophe Man did the edit of Soros. I wonder why the writer didn't type "thi's".
Disclaimer: I once managed the programmers working on the computer systems of one of the world's largest aluminium producers. I can still remember the eerie feeling of the electricity in the air when I walked through the pot room at the smelter. It was as if there was a presence in the air. Maybe it was Baal. At the Christmas party we all used to sing the company song - "You can call me Al" by Paul Simon. (Sorry!!) Now I live in the country where the fields are full of BaaLambs. (Even more sorry!!)
You are expecting a joke but this isn't it (11/1/2020)
One of the things that the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke agree on is that Jesus said "Suffer the little children", but he didn't mean "Make them suffer". The publishers of these children's books obviously misunderstood and want children to suffer from ignorance, pseudoscience and nonsense. Jesus would be appalled and would probably knock over the tables in the bookshop. I know I'd feel like doing that.
What makes this even sadder is that the books come from Macmillan, once a reputable publisher.
Oh, all right (11/1/2020)
It's Awards Time (18/1/2020)
The lawyers at Farr, Gough & Dye and the accountants at Hyde, Tacks and Cash have supervised the counting. The envelopes are in the hands of the models from the Bimbeaux agency. The red carpet is now empty and the guests are in their seats. The last white lines have been wiped from benchtops in the restrooms. All is in readiness.
I am handed the first envelope. Instead of opening it I tell a humourless joke. It's opened and there is a long and unnecessary pause accompanied by a drum roll that only ends when the drummer's arms get tired. Ladies and gentlemen, let the announcing of the Millenium Awards for 2019 commence.
And the 2019 Winners are:
It's begging season (18/1/2020)
If it's good enough for anti-vaxxers to sell stuff and beg for donations it's good enough for me. My emotional support cockatoos don't go to the shop to buy their own birdseed, the respirators that the staff use need new filters to replace the ones clogged with bush fire smoke, the electricity to run this computer doesn't grow on trees (those few trees that are left) and spare parts for the Range Rover I'm going to buy one day are going to be more expensive after Brexit on January 31.
Here's what you can do to help.
You can buy some books from the extensive bookshop. It would help even more if you bought books that I've written.
Thank you in advance.
How could any thinking person not object to this pack of dangerous clowns changing the name of their political party to hide their true objectives? After all, who could be opposed to informed medical options? I get informed about choices by my doctor all the time.
If you think that party names don't matter, a raving libertarian loon (tautologies, I know) managed to get elected to the Australian Senate by a combination of a name very similar to an established party and a fortuitous position on the ballot paper.
I've got my objecting pants out of the wardrobe and I'll be writing.
Chiropractor pitches for Nobel Prize (18/1/2020)
I've been a bit busy this week with the awards so I'll be giving this valuable piece of research some attention over the next few days. Apparently a "Famed Chiropractic Scholar" has proved that it is wrong to say that subluxations don't exist, and even applies the label "deniers" to those who have noticed that there is no evidence of these spine misalignments causing dis-ease. Not only proved them wrong wrong but totally "refutes and negates false assertions". As this article appears in the prestigious Chronicle of Chiropractic ("The source for news on conservative traditional chiropractic") it must be taken seriously
What? Wot? (18/1/2020)
Yes, this person was serious. They walk among us and they vote.
Measles in Samoa (18/1/2020)
Now that the last survivors of the epidemic are out of hospital, the government of Samoa can get on with stopping it happening again. You will notice that some people have been forging vaccination records. I wonder where they got that idea. Actually I don't wonder at all, because I see suggestions every week about how to lie about vaccination status, and one of those suggestions is to forge documents. It's happening in the US, it's happening in Australia, so why shouldn't it be happening in Samoa? And people wonder why I treat anti-vaccination liars with contempt and call them liars.