Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Have you tried the Yellow Pages?

Melbourne taxi driver Jack Thomas (Jihad Jack) became the first person in Australia to be imprisoned under the country's new anti terrorism laws. Six months into his sentence, his conviction was overturned on appeal. It appears that the interview in which he admitted his complicity with Al-Queda was illegal.

So Jack gets out of gaol and decides to go with his family to the seaside, to ostensibly get away for a while and let the dust settle. The holiday was cut short and he was forced to return to Melbourne when he was served with a control order by the Australian Federal Police yesterday. The order places Mr. Thomas under a strict nighttime curfew at his parents' house, and he must report to a police station three times a week. He is also banned from using any telephone that hasn't been approved by the AFP.

Naturally, he is not allowed to contact any proscribed terrorist organisation. And he is specifically forbidden to contact Osama Bin Laden.

After all the time, money and effort we've put into trying to find Bin Laden, are you trying to tell me an ex taxi driver from Melbourne has the wherewithall to get in touch with him and speak to him personally?

What, does he have his number on speed dial?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ouch! Literarily tagged.

Some of the memes floating through blogs leave a lot to be desired, and normally I'd politely decline to play along. However, occasionally there's one that piques the imagination. Miss Eagle at the Trad Pad tagged me with one such meme.
One Book That Changed Your Life.
I don't know that there's one book as such; more like a sentence in the front of a book. So I guess the book takes the honour by association.
It was an encycloædia given to me for a birthday. One of those encapsulated varieties, with pictures, A - Z in the one volume: you know the type. The quote was "In reading lies knowledge, in knowledge lies wisdom." I can't find any reference on who said this, but it has stuck with me through my life, and greatly influenced the way I read, and look at books.
One Book You've Read More Than Once.
This one's easy. Harry Potter; all the books.
I was a late bloomer when it came to Harry Potter. But, when I did finally read The Philosopher's Stone, I was impressed. A ripping good yarn with lots of magic and mystery to fire the imagination. The magic continued with the following books, and I like the way that as the characters got older, so did the writing style in the books.
One book you’d want on a desert island.
Why do they always make these things so hard? Only one book? That's like telling a chocoholic only one piece! Impossible.
No, I'm afraid I will have to put my foot down and demand that the desert island has a library, or they can find someone else to shipwreck.
One book that made you giddy.
Aside from the volume of Encyclopædia Britannica that fell off the shelf and hit me on the head?
I'm not sure what is meant by "giddy" in this instance, but if it means feeling dazed and shell-shocked after having ploughed through a tome, then Edgar Allan Poe wins hands down. To finish his Tales Of Mystery And Horror was a real accomplishment, worthy of a Victoria Cross, I reckon. Full of classical allusions, phrases in foreign languages, and full of that wonderfully archaic English which would have challenged even Roget. I certainly came away from this one numb.
One book that you wish had been written.
It's almost finished - in my head - but I get so slack. Procrastination is an old adversary.
One book that wracked you with sobs.
I'm afraid I can't name any book that has had this effect on me. Unless of course you count the volume of Encyclopædia Britannica that fell off the ...
One book you wish had never been written.
I'm probably going to upset a few people with this answer.
The Bible.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the Bible is a bad book, but if ever there has been a symbol of fundamentalism, the Bible is it. Perhaps, in the beginning, it was looked upon as a guide to life and the worship of God, but over the centuries it has been used as a tool of subjugation, oppression, fanaticism, apartheid, and countless other attrocities. Organised religion siezed upon it and held it up as evidence of their peity, whilst at the same time ostracising those who did not share their beliefs.
Good or bad, full of contradictions and ambiguities, this book has polarised the peoples of Earth, and you cannot convince me that this is a good thing.
One book you’re currently reading.
I'd love to be able to say that I'm currently reading some wonderful piece of literature, an edifying work by an illustrious writer. However ...
The book I'm currently reading is The Judgement by D.W. Buffa, a pulp fiction type pot-boiler about a lawyer caught up in a murder conspiracy. Basically a bit of an aspirin for after reading Poe.
One book you’ve been meaning to read.
This is the desert island question again, isn't it? Just one book I've been meaning to read?
Be honest now. How many times have you heard about a book and said to yourself "I must get a hold of a copy"? That's what it's like for me.
But, that being said, I do have one that has been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years, waiting for when I feel in the mood. Another murder mystery type (perhaps my favourite genre) The Poet by Michael Connelly.
Now tag five other bloggers.
Again, this is not something I do, but the invitation is there for you to help yourself. And if you do take up the challenge, let me know so I can have a look.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hair of the dog.

News that Paris Hilton's handbag accessory (dog) bit her yesterday. Ms. Hilton was taken to hospital for treatment.

The dog was signed in to the Betty Ford clinic to undergo detox treatment.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Peeling back the euphemisms.

In this age when political correctness has run amok, I thought it would be good to look at a few of the things that are part of everyday life, and name them for what they really are.

  • MILK - Cow secretions.
  • CREAM - Separated cow secretions.
  • YOGHURT - Curdled cow secretions.
  • CANOLA OIL - Processed secretions from the seed of the rape plant.
  • McDONALDS SOFT SERVE - Frozen, sweetened pig fat.
  • EGGS - Chicken (or other bird) embryos.

That'll do for a start. Hope you have a good breakfast.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Why computers are female.

Computers are female because;
  • They may appear relatively easy to figure out, but they are really quite complicated.
  • They have a logic all their own.
  • They will tell you you're doing something wrong, but they won't tell you what. (The old "If you don't know, I'm not telling you" ploy)
  • They're quick to point out your mistakes.
  • They can recall something you said or did right down to the very second, even if it was ten years ago, and recite it word for word.
  • They put things away where you can't find them.
  • When you want to do something, they will ask, "Are you sure?"

I'm sure there are a few other reasons, but I think I better quit while I'm ahead.