Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FIFA's Stance On Technology Is Rather Like The Proverbial Ostrich

FIFA, Federation Internionale For Arse-Covering, has a rather dim view of using technology in football matches that would make the game better, fairer and save their face. I'm talking about that goal-that-wasn't from Frank Lampard against Germany and Carlos Tevez's first goal against Mexico from a blatantly offside position. What's FIFA's take on that? Just stop showing contentious decisions, or, as the case may be, non decisions, on the big screens. Yes, that will surely make the controversy go away. What about the billion or two at home watching the game who can't believe that such a fundamental part of the game, the ball crossing the goal line, can't be adjudicated upon effectively with relatively inexpensive and readily available technology?

Nothing like sticking your head in the sand, is there guys? And this from a sporting body which has even more members than the IOC.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Winter Sunrises

Ok, not all the pics were taken in winter. One of them is from May which, for us Southern Hemisphere dwellers, is still autumn. But I thought that I'd share a few of the recent sunrises that I have experienced.

Sunrise May 5th 2010.

Winter Sunrise June 11th 2010.

Winter Sunrise June 11th 2010 (second shot).

Winter Sunrise June 22nd 2010.

A Day In Pompeii - Museum Visit

A Day In Pompeii exhibition at the Western Australian Musuem.

The Western Australian Museum is hosting the "A Day In Pompeii" travelling exhibition from May 21st to September 5th. It pains me that a family of four only pays an extra $2 than we had to but nevertheless I was still looking forward to attending. We had some shopping in the city and lunch to combine with the museum visit so it was a nice afternoon out. I thought that I knew about Pompeii but it turned out that there was much more to learn.

Do yourself a favour and get down to see it. Even The Boy said that it was worth attending. The exhibition is very busy and one of the viewings was sold out online today even though you are able to purchase tickets at the door. The display starts with a 3D movie experience outlining the eruption of Mt Vesuvius on August 24th to 25th 79 A.D. There are a great number of bronze ornaments, delicate frescoes, a lounge chair, statues, ovens, coins, gladiator armour and cooking equipment on display. Perhaps the most interesting items were the body casts made from plaster by Giuseppe Fiorelli. They tell a story by themselves.

Little Visitor

Had a little visitor in the house that I first noticed yesterday. Must be a bit cold outside and our most northerly room offers the most sunlight and is probably the warmest too. It's a drop tail lizard and paid us a visit on Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully there are enough small insects to feed the little fella. I'm sure that there is no problem getting outside when required.

Drop tail lizard visitor.

Not too nervy drop tail lizard.

Look at the colour difference between the tail and the body on the drop tail lizard.

Up close and personal with a drop tail lizard.

I remember my wife calling me over to her place not long after she came to the country saying that she had caught a lizard and it had had a baby. Well, it's tail had fallen off and was wiggling about but that is called autotomy.

My missus just told me that there were a couple of them fighting inside that room on Friday and that "They are always there". Secret lizards' business perhaps?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

North Korea Broadcast World Cup Live

What a momentous occasion it must have been recently for North Korea to broadcast the match against Portugal live to its people. Something that had not been done before when the team was playing abroad. I guess after the honourable loss to Brazil, 2-1, they felt that they had a chance against a, it must be said, pathetic (at least against Cote d'Ivoire) Portugal. Even I thought they were a dumb chance.

Not so. Scoreline reads 7-0. Can you imagine what what the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, was thinking as the Portuguese slammed on three goals in a seven minute period? I reckon he would have thought about halting the broadcast. Here's what I think the justification would have been.

"We apologise for this break in transmission. We will return you to your normal propaganda as soon as possible."

우리는 전송이 휴식 대해 사과드립니다. 우리는 당신의 정상적인 선전에 가능한 빨리 당신을 반환합니다.

RSVP's Ad Featuring Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd's image being used for a dating agency? Yep. Pretty funny ad if you ask me too. I wonder if they asked his permission. It's not as if he's short of a few bob with his wife worth some A$50m. Is it a case of he's been dumped because of the RSPT and now is available on RSVP?

Been dumped lately? Kevin Rudd the poster boy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kevin Rudd Has Much To Be Thankful For

Even though Kevin Rudd was unceremoniously dumped as Labor leader by his party yesterday, I think that he has much to be thankful for. At least in Australia when the leaders lose support they are only politically assassinated and not physically assassinated. They lose their head politically. There are many countries around the world where he wouldn't have gotten so luckily. It was only a few knives in the back after all.

One thing that Rudd said in his outgoing blubber was that even though he was still prime minister he wasn't the leader of his own party. But he still had 15 minutes left, before Julia Gillard was to be sworn in as prime minister, and "anything could happen." Really, Kevin? You didn't achieve much in two and a half years I don't see how in another quarter of an hour you could do a single thing worthwhile. Perhaps his last public lie?

Full Transcript Of Kevin Rudd's Teary Farewell

Here's a full transcript of Kevin Rudd's teary farewell.

Here's the condensed version.

Sniff, sniff.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kevin Rudd - Delusional Till The End

Kevin Rudd - "I was elected by the people of Australia as Prime Minister of Australia" - The Australian

"I was elected to do a job. I intend to continue doing that job. I intend to continue doing it to the best of my ability." - Obviously another backflip, well may it be his last. For some 11 hours later he was no longer prime minister.

Rudd was wrong and continued to mislead the Australian public - he was elected by the electorate of Griffith (Qld). It just so happens that he was the leader of the party with majority of members in Lower House in our Parliament. It was the Labor Party caucus which voted leader, at the time, to become prime minister. Don't make the mistake that Australians vote who the prime minister will be. Australians don't vote for the national leader. Kevin Rudd was still deluding himself, along with the Australian people, until the very end.

Bit of a shock to see how quickly the end came about but it is welcome. Change in the Labor Party leader but no real change in the crap that they deliver.

Rudd Limericks

With all of the goings on with a change in prime minister in Australia today I let my internal poet come to the surface. Couple of options for a limerick about Kevin Rudd that I came up with.

There once was a prime minister called Rudd
Who turned out to be quite a dud
He lost the ability to fool ya
So the Labor Party voted in Julia
And today they jettisoned this piece of crud

There once was a prime minister called Rudd
Who turned out to be quite a dud
Promises he failed to deliver
Made the Labor Party shiver
So today they jettisoned this piece of crud

Proof That Channel 7 Should Never Have Soccer TV Rights

I believe a few years ago that Channel 7 had the TV rights for soccer in Australia. And then they proceeded to show bugger all matches. They did a disservice to the sport for sure. This morning further proof that Channel 7 should never be sold the TV rights to soccer/football. On the Sunrise program this morning they reported that England defeated Slovakia 1-0 in the World Cup. Such a shame that England are in Group C with the Slovaks in Group F. They even showed it on the news ticker at the bottom of the screen. Ever heard of Slovenia? I suppose we should be greatful that they've finally recognised that Slovakia is no longer part of Czechoslovakia - something that happened in 1993.

Leave the soccer/football to SBS. They are the professionals. They know The World Game and Channel 7 does not as evidenced with its latest show of ineptitude.

Hands off, Channel 7.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Portugal Does To DPR Korea What The US-Led UN Couldn't Do

Portugal has just done something that the US-led UN couldn't do to North Korea from 1950-53. They put them out of their misery. Seven goals. All to Portugal.

And to think that I fully expected PBR Korea (Powered By Rice) to put in a great defensive effort and even score a goal for a 1-0 victory. Portugal had been pretty disappointing in their first effort against Côte d'Ivoire. PBR Korea played well against Brazil. And PBR played well in the first half and were only down by a goal at the half. But what a second half Portugal played. Pure pleasure to watch. And to think that it was also very wet. Skills were sublime. Ronaldo would be a bit embarrassed by his goal with the ball accidentally balancing on his back and then giving him time to score. Not pretty but quite funny. A case of the highlights taking longer to play than the match.

No special fried rice for the North Koreans tonight, methinks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Police Battle by Korean Tiger Productions

The Boy has made another lego man movie. I helped out and together we've spent about six hours putting this together. Short video of a police battle with a shootout with some baddies.

Police Battle

What Is It With Italians, The Penalty Spot and Australia At The World Cup?A

What is it with Italians, the penalty spot and Australia at the World Cup? Last World Cup [Germany 2006], in case the bitter reality has been erased from your memory, Italy was awarded a penalty in the second round against Australia in the final minute of additional time. It didn't matter that Fabio Grosso had dived. Odds-on favourite to take out an Academy Award for his acting if the playing theatre had been a movie set and not a football pitch.

I knew from the outset of the match last night that it wouldn't end well for Australia. The referee and the linesmen were from Italy. I couldn't forsee that our hope up front, Harry Kewell, would be sent off for handball on the last line of defence. Kewell's lower arm moved slightly before the ball impacted upon it from a firmly struck kick but the top of his arm didn't move and that's where the ball struck. To the referee, in the heat of the moment, it probably appeared that Kewell had blocked the ball with his arm. Not actually the case, in my opinion, but unfortunately the ball struck the arm. The red card was unwarranted but would have looked pretty clear cut to the ref. Still, he's Italian and he pointed to the penalty spot. Understandably.

Pride has been restored to our football team, the Socceroos. To play for over an hour with only 10 men at the World Cup and not get beaten was a brilliant effort. Especially on those aging legs. Mind you, if the referee had sent one of the Ghana players off for a tackle from behind to Marco Bresciano, as he should have, that would have evened things up a bit. It was a straight red incident but he just issued a yellow card. If it had been in Ghana's penalty area he most probably would have booked the Aussie for diving.

Italians, the penalty spot and Australia at the World Cup don't mix. We were robbed. Again. As The Sunday Times put it- "RED-ICULOUS" and "ARMED ROBBERY". Couldn't have put it better myself.

After the 1998 World Cup match between Cameroon and Italy where Australian referee Eddie Lennie controversially sent off Cameroon defender Raymond Kalla FIFA was criticised in Cameroon for appointing officials from "non-footballing nations" [source - Wikipedia]. It's not as if the Italians should have a grudge against us.

Unfortunate as it was we Aussies will have another four years to whinge and lament. Gosh, we're the new England. Perenially disappointing at major tournaments and wanting to blame our bad luck on others. That would be sad if it wasn't so true.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lego Men Fighting by Korean Tiger Productions

The Boy made a lego man movie by himself tonight. Here it is. He's decided to call himself Korean Tiger Productions.

Lego Men Fighting

England vs Algeria at South Africa World Cup 2010

Glad to say I didn't stay up to watch England vs Algeria. I think that Google and FIFA should be charged with false advertising. Just check out Google News Australia this morning. Who are they trying to fool?

England vs Algeria score - Highlights?

If I Were Robert Green's Career Advisor

Unless you've been living under a rock you would surely have seen Robert Green's goalkeeping error which cost England a win against the USA at this years World Cup.

Robert Green's goalkeeping error.

If I were Robert Green's career advisor I'd be making the following suggestions:

- Take up professional tunnel ball and give the football caper away.
- Don't take up shooting as a profession. You've only got one foot left to shoot.
- Become a pin-up boy for overpaid and underachieving Englishmen everywhere.
- Don't match the code switch to rugby as you have to hold the ball when crossing the line to score.
- Take up cricket instead as you look to have a future as an English fielder.
- Star as a teenage vampire in a movie called "The Howler". Unfortunately it will be R-rated and contain horror not suitable for English people to watch. Much like watching your exploit as England's keeper. Made for the part I reckon.

Security Check - Safeguard Against Spam Comments

Spam. It's more than just ham in a can. It can be a nightmare on Websites when moderating comments. To combat this Facebook, and other sites, sometimes use a security check. Not all the time mind you. I just had one and I thought I'd share. Perhaps a substitute answer would have been "Not Bill Clinton".

World Cup Umpiring

Is it just me or has the umpiring in this years World Cup been **cough cough** ordinary? And believe me, I've seen ordinary. Eddie Lennie used to umpire at Perth Glory games. Sorry Eddie, I never could stand your umpiring at our home matches but you didn't do badly at the World Cup when you officiated. Actually, having read the page on Wikipedia about him he'd fit right in at South Africa 2010.

I think that the Yanks were robbed last night by umpiring worse than in Germany vs Serbia game. There were at least three instances of holding in the penalty box by the Slovenians that should have led to a penalty but Edu put the cross into the net and they still weren't awarded the match-winning goal they so richly deserved.

Miroslav Klose's second yellow card, when he accidentally clipped one of the Slovenes from behind and tripped him up, was a disgrace. How many officials do they have in a match and no common sense seems to prevail? You can't make a mistake like that with such quality players as at a World Cup and it not have consequences.

As a side note, here's one for you English - to the tune of "You're going home in the back of an ambulance!" Altogether now - "We're so sh!t it's unbelievable!!"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thank You Spain For Making Feel Proud To Be Australian

Following the annihilation of Australia by Germany, 4-0 if you've managed to erase that from your memory, I have regained my pride in being Australian. And it's all down to Spain at the World Cup.

Let's recap, for those that joined us late:

Spain - Lost once in previous 48 international matches.
Spain - Played Switzerland 18 times in internationals for 15 wins and three draws. I.e. never lost to Switzerland in a full international.
Spain - World Cup tournament favourites with the bookies.
Spain - Has striker David Villa who was pre-tournament favourite to win the Golden Boot.
Spain - Averages three goals a game in the World Cup.
Spain - Has four world-class strikers and they were all on the pitch.
Switzerland - Probably doesn't have enough flat land to have a regulation size football pitch.

Final score. Spain 0 - Switzerland 1. Even the irony of the surname of Switzerland's scorer is delicious. His name is Fernandes.

And I would nearly have put my house on Spain winning. Thank you, Spain, for restoring my pride in being an Australian by putting on an even more hopeless display.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Western Australia Taekwondo Invitational Championship 2010 - Photos

I took a few photos at the Western Australia Taekwondo Invitational Championship 2010. Not too many of them came out as the action was a bit too fast and furious (maybe not for you karate afficionados) and many of the photos are blurry or just missed the action. So I've had to revert to the age old trick of pausing a video that I shot and doing a screenshot. Maybe not that age old.

Taekwondo lover - for sure

That back kick will bring a few tears to the eyes.

Kick to head.

Another kick to head.

Closing eyes before impact reduces the pain and is certainly the recommended technique.

Reverse spinning kick to head.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Little Boy Blue - South African Version

Surely everybody in an English speaking nation has heard the nursery rhyme Little Boy Blue. It's been around for donkeys years and Wikipedia even mentions that it could be based on Shakespeare's King Lear.

Little Boy Blue,
Come blow your horn,

The sheep's in the meadow,
The cow's in the corn;

Where is that boy
Who looks after the sheep?

Under the haystack
Fast asleep.

Will you wake him?
Oh no, not I,

For if I do
He will surely cry.

Now, what if Little Boy Blue had been born in South Africa? Perhaps the nursery rhyme would be something more like this.

Little Boy Blue (and White and Yellow and Black and Green and Red),
Come blow your vuvuzela,

The dog's in the ghetto,
The cat's fighting the gorilla,

Where is the boy,
Who looks after the dog?

He's gone to the World Cup,
To cheer his soccer god,

Will you go get him?
Oh no, not I,

For if I do
Those bloody loud horns might blow out my eardrums!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Frugal Bastard's Second Lego Man Video

Made another quick video. Half an hour for this production. Don't think that an Academy Award nomination is heading my way for short animated film just yet.

Lego Men Getting Crushed

Frugal Bastard's First Lego Man Video

My first attempt at a Lego man video. Can certainly do better but this has taken less than an hour to put together.

Lego Man Throwing Magically Appearing Spear

Some Thoughts on Germany's Annihilation of Australia at 2010 World Cup

In case you missed it - Germany clinically disected the Aussies at the 2010 World Cup and won the match 4-0.

- At least Australia didn't throw away a win like England did against the USA.
- We can be grateful that Germany are reknowned for being slow starters. Imagine how much worse it could have been had they burst out of the blocks.
- Nice to see Australia deliver some much needed goals to liven up the World Cup. Pity they delivered them to the opposition on a platter.
- Australia's opponent in the 2nd round is likely to be New Zealand. There will be fierce competition for seats on the plane to return home when round two is underway.
- I thought that the German blitzkrieg tactic had been ruled illegal following Germany's unsuccessful World War II campaign.

ABC Online Headline - Wilkshire key to unlocking Germany - no need to open the floodgates though.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Western Australia Taekwondo Invitational Championship 2010 - Another Video

Another video from the Western Australia Taekwondo Invitational Championship 2010 held at Hartfield Park Recreation Centre today. This one stars Patrick from our Taekwondo Oh Do Kwan club in his championship fight against Jay [insert club name here]. The match was heading for a great finish but was brought, unfortunately, to a premature end by injury. This is my second effort with Windows Movie Maker (TM).

Patrick vs Jay.

Western Australia Taekwondo Invitational Championship 2010

The Western Australia Taekwondo Invitational Championship 2010 was held at Hartfield Park Recreation Centre today. I made three videos of Jason from our Taekwondo Oh Do Kwan club in his championship fight and put them together with Windows Movie Maker (TM). This is my first effort with this program and I think that the result isn't too bad. Jason came back from five points down to record a stunning win. And there was little to argue about regarding the scoring as it was done with an electronic hogu (chest protector). Only kicks to the head are scored by the judges. Check it out.

Jason vs Ashley at Western Australia Taekwondo Invitational Championship 2010.

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup Is Finally Under Way

Finally the wait is over as FIFA World Cup 2010 is under way. I created a sweep stake at work and had two of the ladies in the office draw the teams and names. When my name was drawn out it was matched with Brazil so I'm pretty happy with that. Brazil are my pick for second in the tournament after a the Argies.

I guess one disappointing aspect about the World Cup being held in South Africa is the timezone. They are some six hours ahead of us and so the games start quite late or very early. I think the Aussies play Germany at 2:30am my time. Luckily I'm on the west coast and the TV station, SBS, is showing games live across Australia...

[We interrupt this blog to bring you the news that South Africa has scored an amazing goal against the run of play against Mexico - Gee, I picked Mexico to win 2-1]

so after the last game of the day there is two hours of programming to be filled in. In the west they show a replay of the last game. So, I could watch the game at 4:30am, not an unreasonable time to rise, without knowing the score and enjoy the match.

At the start of this tournament I weigh 74kgs. Let's see what a month of late nights, early mornings and munchies throughout do to the waistline. Can't be anything good. Hopefully the Aussies don't smash all of their opponents and keep me on the edge of my seat using lots of nervous energy. How many kilojoules could there be in fingernails?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Banker Fired For Being Too Hot

News article about a former bank employee of Citibank having been fired because was too good looking and distracting male colleauges. Photos of Deborahlee Lorenzana here.

Isn't that a story that needs to be told. I'm sure it goes on in many workplaces but I'd say this woman is fishing for a large payout. Or a role in an adult movie. No comments about the likely script as I've already got that one worked out. Vivid Entertainment are probably knocking on her door right now.

Surely the bank could have placed this woman in customer relations? Who says the banking industry can't be sexy? Bunch of stuffed shirts down at Citibank. Where's the personal touch?

A Malaysian Scam With A Thailand Email

Here's a twist on the old Nigerian scam. I received an email with a message from a lawyer called Michael Soo from Malaysia. Soo, or should that be "Sue", what a great name for a lawyer. He also provides a Thailand email address to contact him on. Ok, the guy isn't asking for any banking details but if you are silly enough to respond then he knows that your email address is legitimate and then he can groom you and get to know more about you. Don't respond to this sort of rubbish. It's just a scam and there's a large degree of social engineering about to come your way to obtain your personal details. The phone number provided uses Malaysia's calling code.

Michael Soo email scam.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Fishing Expedition

The Boy and I went fishing this arvo. Just nearby and under a bridge. I didn't enjoy the fishing as much as I had planned but that was mainly because The Boy was landing all these fish after I had cast his line and before I caught bait my line and cast for myself. We managed to catch 20 in two hours so it's a pity that none of them were edible. All of them were blowfish (pufferfish). It was almost like fishing in a barrel. Throw the line out and reel it in and you'd almost be sure of having something on the end. Stupid fish. If only all fishing was as easy as that.

The blowfish, from the family Tetraodontidae, the second-most venomous vertebrae in the world,
seem pretty easy to catch. They follow anything in the water and swim quite close to the shoreline. I didn't know they were that venomous but I was careful with them all the same. Little buggers managed to make me lose one or two hooks because I wasn't sticking my finger in their mouths to get them out. And when I opened the mouth with a knife, as the hook was just caught on a lip in many cases, they'd chomp on the knife with a horrible biting noise.

Cannibalistic blowfish by the shore.

Blowfish not doing much.

Releasing the blowfish once we'd finished fishing. See, we did catch a few.

The Boy caught a blowfish (pufferfish).

Second strangest catch of the afternoon. Four blowfish followed it in to the shore.

Strangest catch of the afternoon.

P.S. I'm pretty sure that this particular breed of blowfish isn't that deadly. He just belongs to that family, that's all.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Book Review - The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

I've wanted to read The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes for some time now. I've known about the book for a long time but never bothered to look it up in the library. At the Save The Children Book Fair, must be 18 months ago now, I found it. Snapped it up I did. Not bad for $6. It sat on the bookshelf for a while whilst the war stories and Sir Donald Bradman books were being consumed. So, must have been about two months ago, I finally got around to reading it.

If you aren't aware it is about the settlement of Australia by convicts. Why it came about, what happened to the convicts and the reasons for it coming to a halt.

What an amazing story this book divulges regarding settlement of a nation. And the hardships suffered by the convicts are almost unfathomable by todays standards. Imagine stealing something trifling and being transported for seven or 14 years. Step out of line during your time in the new country and you go to a more harsh penal colony for a few more years, such as Norfolk Island or Port Macquarie, before returning to complete your original sentence. Even the trip by ship wasn't counted as serving time from your sentence nor the time stationed in a prison hulk in Britain awaiting transportation.

Britain had a huge problem, mainly with petty crime but some of it serious in nature, of where to house its criminals. America had declared independence and the industrial revolution meant that a great many people were unable to find work or feed their family. Of course people will turn to crime in this instance. People of the upper classes felt that the criminal class should be removed from society. Australia seemed like the ideal place. Perhaps it could even be a strategic move to stop the French from claiming it.

Robert Hughes sure knows how to tell a story. I wished that he didn't use so many words that I had to guess the meaning of. Also, how can an Australian-born stand by his work published in Britain with American spellings? That was almost too much for me.

Hughes tells us very clearly the struggles of the convicts as it is their story that has been forgotten by the history books. Until recently most Australians would be afraid to reveal convict ancestry. And it certainly wasn't a subject taught at school. I'd say it is a story that requires telling and we would all be better off for knowing it. This book, perhaps in abridged format, should be studied in primary school as I found the history fascinating. It only makes me more adamant that I will visit Port Arthur in Tasmania to see some of Australia's wild and hideous heritage.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about this book is the fact that I left it at a taekwondo lesson, at a time when I wasn't training, and it disappeared. I waited a week for someone to hand it in but that didn't happen. Luckily my local library had a copy and, I kid you not, the librarian put the borrowing slip between the pages where I had been reading when I lost mine. Page 343 I think it was. There's 603 pages so you can see why I was so unhappy about losing it.

On the downside I think that there wasn't enough recounting of the situation from the convicts themselves but considering that many of them were illiterate and they could be flogged for having pencil and paper in jail it's perhaps not that surprising that they didn't document their own experience that much. Fact is they wanted to remove the memory of convictry and wouldn't wish to write home about it if they could. Certainly not the unpleasantries anyway. The section on Western Australia was very short, as the book concentrates on New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land / Tasmania, even though WA has a convict history.

If you enjoy history then this is a wonderful book. Thoroughly recommended. Only wish that I'd read it years ago.

The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

Questions I Ask Myself Every Day

What type of accent and what strange name do Indian telemarketers use when they call people in India?
Who do Indians call when they have an IT problem?
Who do the Chinese buy their cheap toys and goods from?
Who do doctors visit when they get sick?
How do you cook for a chef?
Where does the mechanic take his car to be serviced?
Who entertains the cabaret star?
Who does the makeup for makeup artists?