Stocking stuffers

In a last minute rush to find those last few christmas presents for those difficult to buy for (generally male) relatives? Wanting something a little special for the kids’ christmas stocking? Looking for a little festive season treat for yourself? How about a Space Shuttle? One owner from new. Meticulous service record. Careful, highly trained and closely monitored drivers only. Only US$42M. Practically a steal really.

Failing that I’m sure a nephew or brother would love a second hand Submarine! At only AU$4.9M even those limited to paper round pay cheques can afford this one, and will be launching their friends out of torpedo tubes in next to no time.

You can take the boy out of Australia..

I was hugely amused to watch Australian kayaker Robin Bell being interviewed after winning the bronze medal in the C1 competition at the olympics.

When asked by an australian journalist where he was going to hang the medal he paused, and gave the immortal australian response: “this is going straight to the pool room”.


Good night out

In a rather amusing little story I read, a 78 year old Swedish guy went out in Denmark, got tanked, and decided to row home.

Sound like something befitting an undergraduate college night out, but ended with him being picked up by the police after he fell asleep in the boat, half way home, in the middle of a very busy shipping lane.

Hail to the King Baby

A while back I watched a little doco on the town of Parkes in New South Wales, and it’s annual ElvisĀ  festival. Now the Doco was a pretty mediocre thing, but I rather liked the festival notion, and given that I’ve wanted to go to Parkes for a while anyway (its home of one of Australia’s largest radio telescopes, made famous by the movie “The Dish”) I though that a road trip to see both things might have to be on the cards at some point.

Anyway. The festival is on again and if you believe the locals, Elvis lives in Parkes.

(And a little note to any members of the Bells who are reading this, I reckon we should do this as a Bells Camp in a year or two…)

Juvenile political activism

The other day I stumbled upon a website about a New Hampshire mother who was using her state’s political significance as an opportunity to get photos of her baby with every candidate in the current US presidential race. Some of the photos are quite funny. Barak Obama seems to have the touch, but Rudy Guiliani just looks startled at the fact that the baby is crying. Possibly the best ones are of the baby with Chuck Norris and Mike Huckabee. Perhaps she was just having a good hair day or something.

Health and Safety Notice

The other day when we were flying home on Virgin the Air Hostess who was making all the safety announcements added a few rather amusing additions in:

“There are smoke alarms fitted in all the toilets, and it is a feral, I mean federal offense to smoke on this flight”

and later:

“The is no smoking on the tarmac, within the terminal building, or anywhere in Queensland”

… If only it were true.

Moving with the times

You know the times are a changing when you have your (semi-) regular phone home to talk to the parentals, and have them recommend a half dozen videos on You tube that you just have to go and look at.

It used to be that what your brothers have been up to, and events in the parish were the conversational contents, but no more…


It’s election time and one of the things I’ve been watching with growing amusement is the growth in the population of campaign signage along the side of the road on my way to work.

First there was just the nationals, labour and liberal candidates, usually separately. Then there were the Kevin Rudd ones put up next to the labour candidate’s ones as if to reinforce the candidate’s legitimacy. Then there were the union and “your rights at work” and “John Howard has sold off your rights” ones that popped up next to the afore mentioned Rudd/local candidate pairing. Then a few independent candidates and minor parties (greens, One nation etc) started putting their own ones up.

Then came the really amusing development – Stratification. I started to see labour candidate signs appearing immediately in front of liberal and national signs (and vica versa), as if to try and block them out. Then a couple of days later another sign from the obscured candidate would appear in front of the obscuring sign – to reclaim the limelight, but perhaps the most bizarre part is that the originally obscured sign would still be there. You’d think they’d just pick the obscured sign up and move it back into visibility or move it back in front of the new obscuring sign (like some perverse and ridiculous game of electioneering leap frog) but no. Instead you just end up with these rows of signs alternating red-blue-red-blue… or red-green-red-green.. each trying to block out the view to the one before it. It is all just really rather amusing in it’s absurdity.

Sushi Side Effects

Curious little mention on Slashdot of an article in Practical Neurology about a neurotoxin in tropical fish which, among other equally odd effects, causes a reversal in the sensations of hot and cold. That would certainly be unusual to experience, but an amusing party joke if you could make it short lived and reversible…