I had a dream too

Unfortunately mine was simply an unconscious response to a complex interaction of chemicals and neurotransmitters/receptors in my brain, dang.

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, unsure of my ability to add a constructive viewpoint. I still don’t know if I can, or if indeed it’s at all worth it (pointless politics, publicity, mental illness/religion). In stark contrast to the demonstrations of healthy human spirit and compassion in the last week – looters may be the scum of the earth, but Danny Nalliah takes the prize for most disgusting human:

http://catchthefire.com.au/blog/2009/02/10/media-release-abortion-laws-to-blame-for-bush-fires/

Just pure insult to those who perished in a most frightening fashion last Saturday, and those women who are forced to make the decision of their lives. Danny, quit praying on the weak of mind, go back to your ‘no-compromise’ bible school and think of the clarity, spiritual joy and humanity your so-called devil brings to those who dismiss your rhetoric whole heatedly – perhaps including spirits from your own ministry, then consider the possibility that your entire life might be in vain.

didn’ even swear ;)

a birthday present from auntie SBS

The long awaited, much anticipated, largely doubted debut of Top gear Australia aired tonight, and though it was not to be a carbon copy of the much loved BBC version the reality was far, far worse.

Same cropped photography, same choppy editing and calm before the storm style direction (all once original in a car show and brilliant), but it was certified shit, yes shit, and the presenters are (I’m sure soon-to-be were)… shit.

I didn’t see the whole episode, actually only a fraction of it, I quickly became nauseous, drowning in a sea of niceties and utterly lame humour – life is short.

The young guy – “pop a cap in yo ass”, “choice aye bro”, fucking hilarious you know nothing, backyard reno’ show douchebag.

The wavy white head - “I race a Porsche” leader of the pack, over the turkey hill, explain-o-rama, grampa.

The cartoonist – well I don’t know, he’s not funny, he doesn’t know much about cars, he’s probably a bit quirky, but I just don’t care, there no room for neutrals on Topgear.

And boring – softroaders… snore, armoured vehicles, diving with sharks… who cares? the rumoured budget per episode is sub 300k but holy crap, is that all you get for sitting though a bunch of ads selling oil or car insurance these days? Oh and next week, Holden Vs Ford… genius.

Now I know that BBC Topgear took some years and a number of seasons to get the dynamics right, but if you want to franchise such a successful program you will find you have big shoes to fill and don’t have the luxury of having a couple of goes at it, one go, get it right, or start from scratch. SBS producers had you even watched and episode of BBCTG? Did you take notes? Or did you think the talent you so wisely selected would ‘just work’? wow, what a gamble, what a loss, a sad, sad loss. I can wait for the BBC crew’s field day, I might even get a laugh out of it. Oh how I love to laugh, and how I love intelligent, witful remarks on automotive things.

burn 1.0

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13.76 making a mess and not cleaning it up

Exposed trusses, concrete floor, some semi-heavy tooling… could be a workshop, certainly not a studio, not a studio, maybe a factory? but what kind of factory? one where money is spent for no apparent gain? burning cash?… factory… burn… the burn factory, hurrah! beats ‘the decorated shed’ or ‘toolbots the two’ or maybe it doesn’t, but it exists, that’s the main bit.

pontificatory

I’m a reasonably passive, concerned, stress-pot of a person, thankyou mother and father ;) I’ll never force my beliefs or opinions (you can stop reading if you wish), but that doesn’t mean for a second there aren’t things that just plain piss me off. Generally I’m reluctant to talk about the R word, not because I don’t have an opinion, more because it’s just not worth the time, what goes on in the private minds of others is their business alone and it’s not a valid input to a judgment on an individual. But this last week I have been boiled and am set for a minor release, so in the spirit of the popes anti-apathy drive, here goes…

Straight up, pro-science, pro-logic advocates the likes of Richard Dawkins and co are indeed my personal heroes, but forget logic and clear thinking, forget the intelligent design debate, and forget why science and religion will never, ever combine to present a homogeneous conclusion. Lets simply look at the behavior and place churches and their followers have in our world and everyday lives… world youth day aka “cathaholic big day out” or “suck shit Sydney how’s the serenity?” is not a bad kick-off.

Firstly Mr Pope, can I call you Benny?… Hey Benny, a youth here, no not a religious one, not a wayward one, but one who simply doesn’t believe he inhabits an every growing “spiritual desert” just because he’s uninterested in having anything to do with a movement that, let’s face it, has very little to do with a carpenter who may or may not have been a great man, and much much more to do with a following that for hundreds of years has been influenced by self-serving, male dominated power, greed, in-fighting, out-fighting and grand architecture…

I, in fact, have a very different view from the pontiff (and if he thinks he can generalise, then he hasn’t met the queen of generalisation) on the mindset of those thousands of pilgrims, I somewhat suedo-fectionately think of them as, in a sense, “spiritual retards”. Despite what they might preach to you they seem to possess no greater understanding of why they are really here, what they are really meant to do and how they are really meant to treat others and make the world a better place than anyone from the “spiritual outback”. Perhaps one could even say that they are less worldly, mature, humane and human than your run-of-the-mill atheist next door.

I could cite a plethora of examples of ugly influence, hypocrisy etc etc, in religious history to back myself, but I’m lazy (oh praise the wondrous and almighty goddess apathy), so I’ll just hit on the one that defies my belief the most… The breeding of those for positions of trust that would commit sex crimes that I (along with countless others) would consider second only to cold-blooded murder and the utterly piss-weak, for shame way in which they are dealt with. Why should any non-catholic, non-christian anywhere on the face of the planet need say any more in defence of their spiritual choices?

so just how something is something?

How much time is a really long time? are really big things infinitesimally small? These are questions that I think everyone pondered as children, and if you didn’t then you are probably a politician, lawyer or futures economist – good for you.

Arthur Ganson is certainly a pretty special individual, if you aren’t familiar with his work have look here. Ganson creates machines that are utterly ambiguous, self-indulgent, potentially pointless and simply beautiful. I doubt there is a miss amongst any of his creations, but as with anything we all have favorites and “machine with concrete” has always been my Gan-traption of choice, it popped up in his recently released 2004 TED talk. The piece consists of a series of high-reduction gearboxes (24 by 50:1 worm drives) the input to which is a small electric motor spinning at speed, the extremely (an extremely extreme understatement) slow turning output is connected directly to a small, fixed, concrete block, for all our feeble intents and purposes an ‘immovable object’. A full revolution of this block would take roughly 2 trillion years, or about 150 times the life of the known universe. It’s definitely not as pretty or spectacular as some of his other pieces, but does it for me through it’s illustration (or lack) of the potentially chaotic and perhaps even destructive things we can’t see it doing, and the scales of time and space within which it operates.

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Arthur Ganson’s “Machine with concrete”

I’ve heard a number of times now the term “middle sized”, referring to the relative size (and time scale) of the everyday world as perceived by human beings. The term infers that there are ranges or scales of time and space that we either cannot or at least find very difficult to fathom, but the use of these words reveal an inherent shortcoming in the illumination of the point, who’s to say that the human world is at all “middle sized”? Maybe our universe is actually the largest thing that exists, or maybe the strings in string theory are the smallest (if they are indeed a ‘thing’ at all). To us Ganson’s “machine with concrete” doesn’t do much, and takes a long time to do it, but tell that to the to the creatures with yocto-second life-spans living on the planets that make up the solar systems that light up the galaxies of the trillions of universes that are part of a greater number of multi-verses that in turn are the building blocks of the leptons that reside in composite fermions that… yeah anyway, concrete.

the dangers of plastic money

If you’ve read my past posts you will have probably picked up the anti-airline vibe, well it’s not so much airlines as their pilots. I have another experience to add to the ever growing list of “reasons you should interview pilots prior to putting your life in their hands”. I mean why should booking an air travel ticket be any different to making an appointment for your trusted family doctor?

A few weekends ago I traveled to Brisbane with a friend for a weekend of reminiscing the good ol’ days, (by good I mean they were what they were which is somewhat different from now, but kinda the same, and not necessarily better than these ol’ days). I booked us on Virginal Blue (partly for the scenery but mostly because I refuse to fly Jetstar), and I was seated next to a rather clean cut middle-aged gentlemen. On this particular plane the back-of-seat in-flight entertainment required you to swipe a credit card in a slot next to the screen after about 5 minutes of flying if you wished to continue viewing (it cost $4.95, jumping to something like $9 halfway through the flight… oh Branno.. you are a sly cat). So the guy sitting beside me decides he wants to keep watching and to my increasing agony proceeds to swipe his credit card repeatedly for a good half dozen cycles before taking note of the clearly marked icon demonstrating which way his credit card should face when swiping… an honest mistake, anyone could make it (though I’d like to think most of us wouldn’t tolerate failure for so long). About thirty minutes later after losing interest in the myriad of wonderful, engaging and intelligent content available on Foxtel the man took out a folder and a began perusing a printed email entitled “Memo to all Virgin Blue pilots”. I did my best to stifle a nervous chuckle.