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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Elvish climate protesters at GMT in 2009 get off with a stern lecture
Mood:  chatty
Topic: local news

Another not so cryptic photo from a grovelling lawyer's existence:



Posted by editor at 12:29 PM EADT
Saturday, 6 March 2010
Death by dehydration?
Mood:  sad
Topic: local news

If there is no evidence of a sinister crime, could a 3 year old child walk such a long way and die of dehydration? Trying to find where the planes fly? Or even be abducted and released get lost and similarly die of heat and dehydration?

From our uni science classes we always recall the surface area volume ratio of living things. Smaller volume (as for a small child) means relatively bigger surface area to lose heat and perspire. Some UN and other web pages discuss dehydration mainly in respect of global problems of Acute diarrhoeal diseases:

The symptoms become increasingly severe with greater water loss. One's heart and   respiration rates will increase to compensate for decreased   plasma volume and   blood pressure, while body temperature may rise because of decreased sweating. Around 5% to 6% water loss, one may become groggy or  sleepy, experience headaches or  nausea, and may feel tingling in one's limbs ( paresthesia). With 10% to 15% fluid loss, muscles may become spastic, skin may shrivel and wrinkle, vision may dim, urination will be greatly reduced and may become painful, and delirium may begin. Losses of greater than 15% are usually fatal. [1]http://rehydrate.org/dehydration/index.html

We actually walked from Melbourne Airport in January 2010 all the way to the first tram stop which must be about 5 km. It was hot dry flat country. We did find a tap along the way. We had bad shoes we threw away the next day.

Our purpose was to learn more about the layout of Mebourne complete with compass. We walked to and from Kingsford Smith airport in Sydney same trip partly to avoid the outrageous premium on the train ticket.

We've done similar at Avalon to train line at Lara in Victoria in 2006 or so. A bit eccentric but it's also quite interesting.

Posted by editor at 10:03 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 6 March 2010 10:06 AM EADT
Friday, 5 March 2010
Kangaroo survival behaviour when attacked by dogs
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: local news

Child death is a terrible thing.

Here is this story leading the web press today:

Boy drowns walking dogs

Police SHANNON TONKIN Luke Selwyn, 6, fails to return after going for a walk with his family's two dogs as police find his body in a dam.
We understand Ms Tonkin writes for the Hawkesbury Gazette owned by Fairfax for the last 3 years.
The story reminds us of Phill at Cattai whose dog was drowned in the neighbour's dam. For this reason -  the dead boy is reported as going for a walk with 2 dogs about 5 pm.
This might be barking up the wrong tree but here goes: Kangaroos are out feeding in the open about that time around Cattai (eg Cattai NP picnic area off Wiseman's Ferry Rd) which is on the opposite bank of the same stretch of Hawkesbury River. Or perhaps a bit up river at Wilberforce/Ebeneezer.
According to our neighbour Phil last year before we moved places, the kangaroos being harried or harrassed by dogs will lead them close to water and then drag them in and drown them. His own dog was found drowned in that way. Another limped back and survived.
We simply offer this background without drawing any conclusions one way or the other. No doubt the authorities will investigate fully. Our sincere condolences to the family who must be devastated.

Posted by editor at 9:09 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 5 March 2010 10:30 AM EADT
Thursday, 4 February 2010
'Ethical products' PR launch for Brisbane based web retail operation
Mood:  chatty
Topic: local news

The blurb sent through reads:

"According to Peita Gardiman, the founder, one of the main aims of Ethikl is to promote and support the ethical consumer movement and encourage shoppers to make positive buying decisions, such as favoring ethical products, be they fair trade, cruelty free, organic, recycled, re-used, or produced locally.  


"One of our goals is to change the way the economy works and begin to change people’s consumption habits. Many people are tired of mass produced, chemically- packed products and want to get back to basics,” says Peita.


“We live in a culture of excess, we want more and more and then throw it away faster and faster. When you buy something from Ethikl, there’s a story behind it. There’s a person behind it. If people start to rediscover handmade, natural products, they will learn to treasure them and become more ethical consumers.”


While there is nothing like the experience of going to a farmer's market, smelling the fresh produce, tasting samples, and interacting with producers themselves, not everyone can afford the time, leisure, or access to do so ,  but now you can explore  Ethikl’s online marketplace and discover handcrafted jewellery, clothing, homewares, unique gifts, specialty foods and more at www.ethikl.com.au"


SAM is agnostic about this commercial enterprise except it does look idealistic (and beyond our humble budget). We do like industrial hemp products as a concept and rainbow coloured nappies are novel (shown above).

Posted by editor at 12:51 PM EADT
Sunday, 31 January 2010
Pengo fan hits the metric tonne after a week of grovel
Mood:  energetic
Topic: local news



As previously reported here, Rod Day aka Dimmy, an Australian has the world record for arcade game Pengo, now available since 2004 as a PC game. Dimmy has 1M plus if you go to wikipdedia, and refer down the bottom of the listing.

Adding to the difficulty is keyboard directional keys instead of a retro joystick from those 1980ies dissolute student days. Not sure if our chuckles are nostalgia or the current sport of the game.

After a week or so we have a score board of 50K plus, not counting all the crash and burn. With a top of 102K above (this morning listening to the news, Macca Australia All Over radio show - our version of Prairie Home Companion. Notice the speedo turns over at 100K but our top score really is 102K. Shoulders and hands have had a heavy workout offsetting swimming laps at the local pool to offset the screen time.

Posted by editor at 10:19 AM EADT
Monday, 25 January 2010
Pengo Appreciation Society inaugural posting
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: local news

We have discovered a free download of Pengo onto PC format, first discovered around 1984 at our university residential college as a video table game. 

It actually requires a retro joystick via USB socket to really appreciate (not available in any modern computer store it seems). We have been madly teaching our selves the directional keys of a standard keyboard to kill those carnivorous snow bees. And we even played around with some home made toggle assemblies but its just not responsive enough.


It's a superior maze game for so early in the arcade genre. For those new to the experience, kick the wall, it freezes the snowbees temporarily. Kick the blocks around. Kick a block to crush it. Extra points for squashing multiple bees with one block. 10K bonus for 3 diamond blocks in a row. 5K if on the side. 

Just think of them as politicians.

We are pleased to see one Australian fellow Rodney Day, whom we recall as Dimmy way back at Ursula College, Australian National University, in the official wikipedia entry as the world record holder at 1 million points plus. Given we are struggling to get 20K on said keyboard set up that's a big score.

PS Special note for Mr First Dog OTM - we know there is no such thing as real snow bees.

PPS Curious that freeware Linux operating system developed around 1991 also features a ... penguin as the hero. Could these disparate factoids be connected?


Posted by editor at 10:37 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 25 January 2010 11:14 AM EADT
Bernard Tomic 17 gets it right - 2am is not a 'professional' sport
Mood:  rushed
Topic: local news

Precocious talent and upstart tennis player Bernard Tomic says it's "rediculous" to be playing competitive tennis at 1 or 2 am in the morning during the Australian Open. 

Bingo. You are so right young talented Mr Tomic. You may be a brat. You may be loud. You may be a star.

But children say many true things. The emperor has no clothes: Professional tennis and camp followers want us to believe that tv driven tennis events are in the category of ocean yacht racing, and mountaineering, where the sport dictates night time action. (Yachting because there is no clock off in the middle of the sea, and mountaineering because the ice is more stable and safer in the cold of night, less avalanche danger).

Every other sport, Olympic, World Cup, AFL football here, and so on  don't do this. No one schedules for the middle of the night. Get over yourself Big Tennis.

What a joke. Tomic gets our vote. It is rediculous. And the big media who joined in the press conference scorn are w*nking and honking like gooses.

Don't you love democracy. Now the accusation has been levelled by 17 year old Tomic the words can't be unspoken, mainly because its true.

We did get on talk back radio and suggest it's agist and bad form to be promoting 17 year olds up at 2 am in the morning, but on reflection comparison with other world sports tells the real story.

Posted by editor at 9:12 AM EADT
Australian GST payers take a bow, you are The Australian of the year
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: local news


Who gives USA press baron Rupert Murdoch permission via The Australian to decide our annual honours? No one. Just as no one here gives the house of Windsor the right to call themselves royalty.

It's all hierarchical nonesense and chutzpah. So why not join in the fun here at SAM micro news? 

On the weekend The Australian pictured PM Kevin Rudd as "Australian of the year" for amongst other things preventing Australia from falling into recession after the Global (really western) Financial Crisis (as per Gittins economics editor Sydney Morning Herald).

Trouble is Rudd was just doing the bidding of Treasury Secretary Ken Henry who has more economic credibility than any minister in the federal govt including Rudd himself: Hence the personalisted targetting of Henry by the coalition Opposition. So Rudd as choice is gross sycophancy by a broadsheet on the media policy make - not least a future 24 hour ABC news service which will further cramp their influence.Even if it must have caused Rudd's rival Tony Abbott to groan with heartburn at the front page last Saturday.

No the real heroes of 2009-10 are Australian taxpayers and by this we mean all goods and services tax payers from the unemployed to the rich mansion dwellers. Because it's that regressive 10% impost on most, but not all, consumables that has boosted the public coffers from 1998 or so putting the federal budget in good shape. Yes over the same time we have seen major increase in private debt (along with economic expansion) even as public debt was slashed but crucially it provided the funds for the huge stimulus #1 and #2. And this prevented widespread social pain and suffering.

So Australians who go shopping and pay GST this last 10 years - take a bow. You saved the economy in Oct 2008-Jan 2010. Only the structural unsustainability of affluenza remains and there can be no more big stimulus payments, not for another 10 years of GST payments anyway. Meanwhile the structural debt burden is right now not 10 years away.

Posted by editor at 8:13 AM EADT
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Bondi's missing front tooth
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: local news

We lived in Bondi 8 years and noticed some things on a recent visit. Unusually a chunk of the main strip shop area on Campbell Pde was missing in December 2009, like front tooth missing. It must be 20 years since a gap like this has appeared so we thought to record the scene.

 This site is next to Bondi Hotel and takes in the previous rear drive in bottle shop - no great loss. One assumes a big set of units possibly like that pictured further below.

We also had a picture of the proverbial black dog surveying the scene but in this case you can see it's about as happy, well fed, and docile as a pooch with 3 legs can be:



Posted by editor at 9:41 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 11:16 AM EADT
Monday, 18 January 2010
CBC + St Anns, now Emmanuel, class of 1981 Reunion in Warrnambool
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: local news

Picture: People don't walk to the airport anymore, if ever. Pity really as they miss urban landscapes like this with Sydney CBD in the far distance.


Text of email to reunion organisers Kerrie Sobey and Felicity Clancy (nee King) based in Warrnambool Victoria with this great beach here:


Sent: Saturday, January 16, 2010 2:17 PM
Subject: some pics/info for you about reunion

Special thanks Kerrie and Felicity for all your organising and especially Felicity and family for hospitality. What a great way to visit the 'Bool. Say hello to Peter and children young and not so young again for me too.


After breaking the anxious ice at the hotel Friday night before (and wasn't the place humming with the re-union event and locals more generally), the dinner was fascinating, surprising, shocking. Well worth the trip.
So many the same but so different as well.


The possible paths we all might have taken. Some for better or worse. Great to see many achieving so much with family and career. Quite moving really. Was really pleased to meet up with St Ann class mates in first year of Coed experiment, now the rule.


Here is an email I found for Terry Mugavin. He may be interested in this compilation pic lifted from the DVD copy you provided to all there:
Terry showing early form top right. Those who know know!


Here are some sad images from near where Brendan Keilar was killed so wickedly. I checked them out on the way back through Melbourne. The Mural (1967) close by is particularly surprising given what happened 30 years later. The Sun Herald writes around July 2007 of this mural and the staff sent in by police at 15 William St until they have finished their work at the crime scene:

[Picture: A pilgrimage to a crime scene. We were shocked to see this prescient mural figure from Greek mythology not unlike sadly missed crime victim classmate, lawyer Brendan Keilar: As if clothed in funeral shroud ascending out of body, as he died in the street nearby the same building 15 William St Melbourne CBD June 2007. The 'levin flash' reminds of the hot bullets into warm flesh. RIP hero.]


I was going to send this on to Harry Parkinson in Sydney at firm Salomon Smith Barney (took over CitiGroup if memory serves). But I don't have his email.

Lastly some pics of moi:
Left to right - Lee Oakley - sweep, Ricky Clissold (from W'bool Tech, 1st stroke) , Tom McLoughlin 2nd stroke, Lewis Atkinson 2nd bow, Peter Ryan bow. Winners Vic state title 1981, and 1982, junior boat crew.
Those surf boats apparently are around 410 kg back in the day, now only 200kg! And the oars are hollow carbon fibre! Ripped off!


That's progress. Old saying in boat crews: Not very smart but we can lift heavy things. Now finally they are smart too.


Thanks and hope to see you all again not too far down the track.
Yours truly


Some images above relate to our class mate Brendan, a property lawyer, was murdered in Melbourne 2 years ago with national press coverage given it was a rescue of a woman from a gun wielding thug on drugs.


At the hotel night before the reunion we met Dave McLean now an IT manager for Australian Conservation Foundation. We always saw him as the brightest student of that year. He got 100% in physics year 12. But he said he was the brightest now after Brendan Keilar was murdered. We all took it hard at the time. Another class mate is now po-lice in Warrnambool. He seemed to agree with our view the thug's survival time was limited given he was surplus to organised crime for bringing the heat. Even in gaol now. Indeed he went to the cops to avoid his the drug brothers. Sounds like life in hell.


On the way back through Melbourne we took these photographs around Footscray and CBD (like hi tech laptop guy in a cubby made of cushions to view the screen):

Picture: Dancing Dog cafe Footscray with cute chicken wire sculpture

Picture above: Melbourne Federation Square with hi tech 'laptop man' in distinctly low tech cushion cubby house to shade his screen under cushions to avoid sun glare. Raising the question - why bother dude? (Perhaps we are just jealous as our clunky laptop crashed and burned on the same trip.)

Picture: Footscray business - so called hot shots pool hall ....with broken windows!

Picture: The ominous News Corp building seen from Federation Square in Melbourne.

Picture: Unintended juxtaposition: Banks as hustlers?

Picture: Into the maw? Crown Casino car park where no doubt many sad and sorry people enter hopeful and exit in financial pieces?

Posted by editor at 10:20 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 11:19 AM EADT

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