Small world

Travel times to major citiesThis map is based on a model of how long it would take to travel to the nearest city of 50,000 people or more by land and water. It’s amazing to think of how small the world really is. Most of the world is no more than 2 days surface travel from the nearest population centre. And yet it is sad that there are so many people who are so far away from decent food, sanitation and other living conditions.

Ever get the feeling you’re being watched?

Big Brother is Watching YOUNow if this isn’t the creepiest, most blatantly Orwelian TV ad I have ever seen… A bunch of almost unblinking citizens telling us how to watch our neighbourhood and report suspicious behaviour or activity that relates to terrorism. It’s described as “neighbourhood watch for the city”.  If you see, hear or smell something suspicious, report it using the phone or a convenient web site.

“I watch my America”. We have our own version of this here in Australia but this one from the LAPD is just so blatantly creepy that it hurts. I say it is ungood, and might even go so far as to say double plus ungood.

Webber wins the Battle, Button wins the War

Button 2009 F1 championI didn’t get to see it and I wish I had. The Brazilian Grand Prix has been run and won with Webber winning for the second time in 2009. Good on him. I understand there was some drama in the pits with Kovalainen deciding he liked being refueled so much he took the hoses with him. As he pulled out he sprayed fuel all over Raikkonen, setting him and his car on fire. It all looked a bit Keystone Kops to me.

But the day belonged to Jensen Button. He won 6 of the first 7 races which was too much for Red Bull to make up. Give it another 2 races for the season and I expect that Vettel would have had it. That leaves Abu Dhabi on 1-Nov.


So we have picked out the place we’re moving to. It’s a cottage lot, about 170m2 of living area which is a bit larger than what we are moving out of. This will be for about a year while we build our new house on a block around the corner from this. We checked out Pinjarra school which looks a bit old but that’s ok. The new school will be walking distance after next year. The suburb is smart wired with Telstra BigPond and Foxtel so we don’t have a choice which is a pain, but I guess we’ll live with it.  We have about three weeks until we start shifting. I’m pretty positive and excited.

Thawte Web of Trust is no more

I’m saddened by this news from Thawte:

Over the past several years, security compliance requirements have become more restrictive, while the technology infrastructure necessary to meet these requirements has expanded greatly. Despite our strong desire to continue providing the Thawte Personal E-mail Certificate and Web of Trust services, the ever-expanding standards and technology requirements will outpace our ability to maintain these services at the high level of quality we require. As a result, Thawte Personal E-Mail Certificates and the Web of Trust will be discontinued on November 16, 2009 and will no longer be available after that date.

I was a Web of Trust Notary since before I stopped working at iiNet, maybe even 1998. I got to make a few assertions on certificates, and it also inspired me to study and understand how PKI security works. I’ve always had a valid email certificate since then, even though most people I regularly email never caught on. Oh well, I’ll have to stick with PGP now. Go behind the cut to see my public key.

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Testicular Torsion? Ouch!

The Squirrel Grip

So, on Thursday night the after-hours GP suspected Testicular Torsion, which sounds like a good torture method. “I’m gonna twist your balls until you tell me the truth!” The initial consultation at PMH came up with a hernia and probable need to remove part of the bowel which was different and pretty scary. The second consultation after an ultra-sound didn’t show evidence either way so they suspected an infection of some kind. After a day and a half he didn’t respond to antibiotics so during exploratory surgery they found a Hydrocele and some other cyst and a plugged up something or other, none of which are related to infection which is why it didn’t show. Anyhow he’s over it now so he should be a happy chappy soon. He can’t run around for a week and is on antibiotics for a week, not sure why. Maybe he’s susceptible to infection. Suzanne is dead beat tired, and for some reason so am I though she spent the most time with Jett. Jett was a trooper the whole way through. He even handled the general anaesthetic well and didn’t complain too much about anything really, other than the need to go and play on the GameCube which some Lebanese family were hogging. The dad and the brother planted themselves in front of it, didn’t even let their son who as the actual patient have a go. Suzanne met a woman who lost her husband in a car crash that week. The child survived the crash, but died during the night. The woman said “I’m the one in the paper” but we hadn’t seen the Friday or Saturday papers. It makes our ordeal seem lightweight in comparison.

Jett’s in Hospital

Jett in PMHPoor Jett has been in Pricess Margaret Hospital for kids since Thursday night. He was complaining of abdominal pain in the morning and of course we couldn’t get him into a GP during the day. Suzanne took him to the after-hours GP at Murdoch St John Of God, and they fast tracked him into PMH as a surgical priority. We kinda dropped everything we were doing, dumped Ashton at Nanna’s house, and rushed Jettski into a possible theatre surgery. They poked and prodded, and did some ultrasounds which were cool and decided that it may not require immediate surgery but it may be an infection so they ran him on some anitbiotics. He hasn’t responded to those so he’s likely going to have some exploratory surgery this morning (Saturday) to find out exactly what is happening.

Houses cost too much

So I’m looking at house designs and mentally assessing each one I like, to categorise it as too big, too small, not enough storage room, etc. I found one by a certain building company operating in the South West. Looking at the plan, the elevation, the rendering and the materials I thought it was great; spacious, looks ok, extra room for my Star Wars collection etc, I guessed that it should be within our price range.

I was very wrong. It cost about 150% more than I guessed. I’m really not sure where the cost goes because it seems like a fairly simple design and seemed to use fairly cheap materials.  But, anyway, there’s another hope dashed. We aren’t after a mansion. How hard can this be?

Eric Bana haunts my soul

Eric Bana at the MCGI don’t get what it is with Eric Bana. I just don’t understand why he is such a star. This ignorance may be contributing to my paranoia, for he seems to stalk me wherever I go.

Even though I never watched these shows, I remember he was in the likes of Comedy Company or Full Frontal. These were very low quality, low brow comedy shows even for Australian standards. Yep, you understand correctly. I don’t think there’s any good Australian comedy shows. It all went down hill after “Hey Dad” left our screens. I only remember Bana from the promos you’d see advertising next weeks episode of whatever pathetic show he was on. I never watched them because I valued my brain and didn’t want it turned to mush.

Then 2000 happened, and he played the part of Dr James Wright‘s nephew in “Chopper”. And he was pretty good too. He put on a stack of weight, and must have studied footage of Chopper Read or met him because he had a lot of Read’s mannerisms and idiosyncrasies down pat. I enjoyed the character and enjoyed the movie. Two thumbs up, as they say. And “Good for him”, I thought. He’s done something better than “Poiter” and the other idiotic characters. Chopper is essentially a caricature in much the same way his Full Frontal characters were so it wasn’t a big leap to for Bana to play him, but still. Not bad. Yeah, yeah, Bana had a bit part in “The Castle” but Chopper was his first lead role as far as I can remember.

But the next thing I see is he’s in this “Black Hawk Down” movie with the likes of Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore. Bana played some mysterious, baddass CIA agent and it was weird as hell listening to his American accent. But it was still weirder seeing him in a huge Hollywood Blockbuster. I couldn’t, and still can’t, get past his work on Full Frontal. This can’t be the same dude.

Since then, he’s popped up when I least expect it. The Hulk? Good grief. How did he get that gig? Did the casting agent think it’d be a good joke to get Bana to play Banner? And he played Hector in Troy? Where did this come from? I was down at my parents’ place last year and late one night we were looking for something to watch on Foxtel. My sister suggested some random arty Australian movie called “Romulus, My Father” and who should be lead? You got it.

I seem to notice him in magazines, in TV ads, in radio and such, partly because people I know usually point it out and say “There’s Bana for you, Brian!” but partly because I believe I may have wronged him in a previous life and he is somehow stalking me.

Last week, I watched the live telecast of the AFL Grand Final, and who’s mug appears front and centre dressed in St Kilda garb? Eric bloody Bana! It was almost worth it at the end seeing him teary eyed when his team lost. I watched the Norm Smith medal ceremony then left the TV room to get some sushi and flick through the TV magazine from the newspaper to see what else was on that day. And who had a feature article in the TV mag? G’wan, guess. It’s like this all the time!