Friday, March 31, 2006


The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, has been depicted on the front page of an Indonesian newspaper as a dingo, mounting the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, from behind.

Downer described the portrayal of himself as a willing sex partner for Prime Minister Howard as "grotesque".

The newspaper headline reads 'The Adventures Of Two Dingo(s)', with PM Howard demanding "I want Papua, Alex! Try to make it happen!"

The cartoon's publication in one of Indonesia's biggest selling newspapers is in reaction to Australia's acceptance of 42 political refugees from West Papua, who sailed to the Australian mainland in a dugout boat last month, seeking asylum from what they claim is a raging genocide in the Indonesian territory being carried out by the Indonesian military.

Indonesia is particularly sensitive about West Papua. There is a growing independence movement in the country and Indonesia is trying to supress the uprising as quietly as they can.

Indonesian newspaper headlines and columnists have expressed outrage at Australia's decision to accept the Papua refugees as they claim this move gives creedence to the independence movement's claims of genocide, beatings and the suppression of freedoms by the military.

East Timor, which sits just above Australia's Northern Territory, mounted a campaign for independence from Indonesia in 1999 which resulted in elections stained by an appalling series of massacres by Indonesian militias, backed by the military, in late 1999 and early 2000.

The UN deployed troops to the region to restore calm, and Australia sent in hundreds of troops and heavy Army vehicles. Rumours of clashes between Australian soldiers and militias that resulted in the death of Indonesians have still not been confirmed by the Australian government, but the stories are widespread in Indonesia.

The Indonesian military were eventually forced to pull out and East Timor won its independence, and its freedom.

Now millions of Indonesians believe Australia is secretely encouraging Papuans to rise up and claim independence from Indonesia, just as the East Timorese did.

Alexander Downer and John Howard have both declared this is a mistaken belief, even a conspiracy,but they have also acknowledged the case of the Papuan refugees has caused great tension with Indonesia. Enough, so far, for Indonesia to have recalled its ambassador.

On the publications of the cartoon, and dozens of others through the Indonesian media, Alexander Downer said the newspaper had the right to publish whatever it wanted, as Indonesia was a free society, but he claimed that most Australians would find the images "grotesque".

"I would have thought those cartoons, in our society, fell way below the standards of public taste," said Downer. "I think a lot of Australians would regard those kind of publications as very offensive."

Not that offensive, Mr Downer. A poll on the Channel Nine website, ninemsn,com, saw more than half of the responders declaring otherwise.

Opposition leader Kim Beazley backed Howard's stance that there was no secret agenda underway to undermine Indonesia's grip on West Papua.

"We are not trying to dissolve the Indonesian federation," said Beazley.

The Australian media clearly had fun writing stories about the cartoon's publication, and the cartoon was reproduced on virtually every major media website in the country, as well as in dozens of newspapers.

The favourite word used by journalists to describe the position of the PM in the cartoon was "dominant."

The laughter rang from Indonesia to Australia and back again.

Better a cartoon to be used to make a political point than a bomb.

Sunday, March 26, 2006



A U.S. soldier, and his wife, are being held by police and facing charges over allegedly pitting their three year old daughter in a brutal fight against the five year old boy they were babysitting for a friend.

Just to compound their twisted stupidity, the couple videotaped the toddler fight club beating.

MSNBC reports : "Police said the tape shows the soldier commanding his daughter to knock the victim down, kick him and hit him in the face. The girl follows her father's instructions as the boy cries and pleads for her to stop, police said.

"The tape also shows the (soldier) declaring his daughter the 'winner,' and he shoves the boy and demands to know why he didn't defend himself, police said.


For some reason probably best not worth understand, the British Post Office has conducted a survey that has revealed millions of Brits like to make and receive phone calls whilst completely nude.

Apparently, 40 per cent of men admitted to being starkers when they chatted on the phone, with the figure plunging to only (?) 27 per cent of women choosing to do the same.

The same survey revealed that one in ten Brits said they often put the phone down and went off to do something more worthwhile while the person on the other end continued talking to nobody at all. Considering the number of phone calls made in England every year, that is tens of millions of one way phone conversations.

We're just taking a shot into the wild blue here, but could some of these dead air phone calls possibly be between nattering grandmas and their easily distracted grandchildren?

Most definitely.

Just try not to think about who is nude while these phone calls are taking place.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


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It looks like a hovering car, so does that mean it is a hovering car? Australians want to know. This is a Google Earth image of an industrial estate in a small town outside of Perth, Western Australia.

Trick of the light, distorted shadow, a sheet of black plastic on the ground near the car...a few of the explanations kicking around as to what the heck is going on here. But could it be the test flights for a flying vehicle prototype?

Perhaps, or perhaps not. But had it been just this one image, on this particular afternoon, it wouldn't be such a big deal. Google Earth has toosed up some incredible anomalies so far, and on the scale of the 'floating islands' of Bermuda, this pic isn't really that bizarre.

But it's not the first 'flying car' image from this part of Perth.

This below image is a Google Earth snapshot from the same town taken in early January. :

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A reader from one website discussing this weird photo visited the carpark, and reported there was nothing on the ground where the pic was taken, as in a bustop, or something else that might explain the weird appearance of space betwen the vehicle and the shadow it cast on the ground.

Prototypes of flying cars have already been tested in the US and Europe, but they seem to be another high-tech development that is taking many, many years to reach the commercial marketplace.

If you've built a flying car, you have to take it out and test it. Is this what we've witnessed in the images above? The mystery, for now, remains unsolved.

Go here to The Register
to see on-the-ground images from the location of the second photo, to read a discussion about these images and to see some other weird Google Earth images and anomalies..

Monday, March 20, 2006



The Queensland MP, Bob Kater, gave an emotional update to Channel Seven news on the shocking damage sustained by fruit, vegetable and sugar farms in and around Innisfail and the Atherton Tablelands, after Cyclone Larry roared to the coast of North Queensland yesterday.

Kater has estimated possible losses of 95% of all banana crops in the farming districts of North Queensland. His first guess rough estimate was $150 million in losses for the banana industry alone.

Go here for the full story on the banana drought about to hit Australia, and the fallout for the tourism industry.

Go to Cyclone Larry : The Aftermath for regular updates and background on the Category Five super cyclone.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


From The Washington Times :

"The Pentagon is seeking applications from researchers to help them develop technology that can be implanted into living insects to control their movement and transmit video or other sensory data back to their handlers.

" is seeking 'innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect cyborgs,' by implanting tiny devices into insect bodies while the animals are in their pupal stage.

"The devices that DARPA (a military-focused, high-tech research department of the US government) wants to implant are Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS. MEMS technology uses tiny silicon wafers like those used as the basis for computer microchips. But instead of merely laying circuits, MEMS technology can cut and shape the silicon, turning the chip into a microscopic mechanical device.

"The solicitation envisages the implanted device as a 'platform' onto which 'various microsystem payloads can be mounted ... with the goal of controlling insect locomotion, sens[ing] local environment, and scaveng[ing] power'."

So if they're ready to do this to insects, does this mean something similar has already been done to human soldiers?

Monday, March 13, 2006

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Iran reacted to the deadly Mohammed cartoon fiasco by announcing they would hold a competition for cartoons based on the Holocaust, saying it would be a challenge to the West's claims of the unfettered right to free speech.

Well it appears they have gone ahead and done something along those lines, though the organisers appear to have widened the subject material, to include cartoons commenting on the outrage over the Mohammed cartoons, the plight of the Palestinians and the War On Iraq.

Not surprisingly, the delayed death of Ariel Sharon has been a favourite subject for cartoonists in Iran, and from countries like Argentina and Brazil.

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The Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Competition claims it has recieved dozens of entries from some 34 countries all over the world. Not suprisingly, the majority were from Iranian artists, but there were also four entries from the UK, and at least six from the US.

Go here for the full list of alleged participants.

Note, while these cartoons have been linked to what appears to be the official page of the Iranian contest, many of these actually appear to be newspaper cartoons that have been published all over the world and have been compiled together onto one Iranian site.

As yet, there is no firm proof these were officially entered into the competition, although we reprint them here as examples of the kind of cartoon art that appears regularly outside of the Western media.

Go here for a page of cartoons also featuring the ones below :

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Friday, March 03, 2006


Simon Thompson was driving home from work, below the speed limit, when he saw a speed camera set up on the side of the road. He hates the things, like most Brits, so he extended his middle finger to the camera.

Half an hour later, two cops showed up at his front door and handed over a fine for more $US110.
The two cops had been operating the speed camera and they claim Simon was giving the finger to them.

Sticking your finger up at the Ol' Bill is classed as 'making an offensive gesture' under the Public Order Act.

"I wasn't giving the officers the finger, I was aiming my anger at the camera," Simon told the UK's Sun newspaper.

"I've got as much contempt for speed cameras as everyone else. I'm a careful driver. My licence has been clean for ten years."
More than two million fines were issued in 2003-2004 to drivers caught speeding by cameras.

In some areas of England and Wales, two fines within six months can lose you your license.

In the past year alone, UK police have reported dozens of incidents of cameras being disabled by spray paint, hoods and people ripping them from the ground with ropes hooked up to trucks and vans.

And then there's the funny excuses for speeding (compiled by Welsh road safety group)

"My budgie was ill and I was rushing it to the vet."
"I was desperate for the loo and had to speed to the nearest public toilet."
"An ice-scraper fell out of a compartment in the door and jammed under the pedal."
"I picked up a hitchhiker who commented that they liked my car so I let 'this person' drive the vehicle. I don't have their name or address."
"I was in a hire car and the speedometer was in a different position - I was actually looking at the rev counter by mistake."
"As I entered onto the motorway, my car was dragged along in the slip-stream of a truck. My brakes aren't very good, so I had to keep pace with it."

And then there's the 'computer' errors :


A farmer from England's Midlands region was fined for tractor speeding in Wales, but he's never been to Wales, and his tractor's top speed on flat roads is only 20mph.

"It's a good tractor, but not that good," the farmer told the BBC.

"It can just about get up to 26mph, but that's downhill, with a following wind and with no trailer on the back."