Jap pirates and the good pirates of the Southern Ocean

Paul Watson, captain of the “Farley Mowat”, which is chasing the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, writes a piece in The Age The good pirates of the Southern Ocean

The whole article is worth reading. A few quotes”

“The Southern Ocean, specifically the area formally known as the Australian
Antarctic Territory, now rivals the 17th-century Caribbean for the reported acts
of piracy during the past two weeks.

The Japanese whalers are accusing Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace crew members of being pirates. Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace are accusing the whalers of being pirates.”

“There are pirates of profit like the Japanese, pirates of opportunity like the
politicians, and pirates of compassion like Sea Shepherd.

It is a little difficult to cast Sea Shepherd unpaid volunteers selflessly and legally trying to save the lives of whales as ruthless pirates. On the other hand, the Japanese whalers are illegally stealing and killing whales from a sanctuary for whales and from the territory that is supposed to be under the authority of Australia.

Which brings us to the motivation of those pirates in Canberra. What is in it for them that they consistently refuse to protect Australian territory from illegal foreign exploitation.

The answer is the same for Australian politicians today as it was for British politicians in 1650 – there’s money to be made, under the table and through the back door, trade agreements to consider, and, after all, some pirates, especially the Japanese, have good public relations firms and powerful financial backing.”


George’s best Bushisms

AN ill-timed endorsement of the now-disgraced former head of the agency responsible for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort has won a popular vote of US President George W. Bush’s “Bush-isms” for 2005.

Call it the wrong phrase at the wrong time but “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job” was named President Bush’s most memorable phrase of 2005.

The ill-timed praise of a now disgraced agency head became a national punch line for countless jokes and pointed comments about the administration’s handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and added to the president’s reputation for verbal gaffes and clumsy turns of phrase.

Paul Payack of Global Language Monitor, which tracks language use, said Mr Bush’s statement in support of the then-director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be remembered for years to come.

“The ‘Brownie’ quote leads our 2005 list of Bushisms, memorable phrases or new words coined by the president,” Mr Payack said, adding that President Bush may be the foremost White House creator of new words, citing such past efforts as “misunderestimate” (to seriously underestimate) and “embetter” (to make emotionally better).

Ten days after Mr Bush verbally patted Michael Brown on the back before the TV cameras, Brown resigned amid a public uproar over his qualifications and the administration’s failure to get aid to New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Although the President did not originate any new words this year, he had several notable statements, Mr Payack said, citing the following:

“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda,” Bush said in explaining his communications strategy last May.

“I think I may need a bathroom break. Is this possible?” Bush asked in a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a U.N. Security Council meeting in September.

“This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table,” Bush said in Brussels last February.

“In terms of timetables, as quickly as possible whatever that means,” the president said of his timeframe for passing Social Security legislation in March.

“Those who enter the country illegally violate the law,” Bush said in describing illegal immigrants in Tucson, Arizona, last month.

Naked lap-dancing driver pulled over by police.

Driven to distraction

A New Zealand woman carried the spirit of Christmas giving too far when she sat on her boyfriend’s lap while he drove their car at 2.30am yesterday, police say.

A police officer who stopped them in the South Island town of Nelson found the couple ‘in a state of undress’ although the woman was back in the passenger seat by the time he walked up to talk to them.

Asked why they were driving like that, the 20-year-old woman said: ‘Come on officer, it’s Christmas – a time for giving,’ Sergeant Shane Miles told the Nelson Mail.

The officer was not amused.

Dubbing it an ‘incredibly stupid and potentially dangerous thing to do’, he charged the 21-year-old man with careless driving and fined the girlfriend for not wearing a seat belt.


Peace and goodwill to all, except Tom Cruise

Amusing wishlist of things to happen and not happen in 2006, byt the SMH’s heckler:
Peace and goodwill to all, except Tom Cruise
By Eleanor Learmonth
December 30, 2005

A wise man once said it took 42 muscles to frown and only four to pull the trigger of a decent sniper rifle. How profound. A select few things in 2005 really had my finger twitching. Here’s praying we can get through 2006 without the following:

1. Any individual who is going on a “journey”. This should include a long journey, an emotional journey, a rewarding journey and especially an amazing journey. I advocate anyone going on a journey should have their destination re-routed off the nearest high cliff.

2. Paris Hilton, her gormless boyfriends, her shrivelled dog or her pet monkey.

3. Hearing Tom Cruise’s advice on childbirth. In fact, hearing anything about Tom Cruise – except that he’s died after falling off furniture while cavorting around like a chimp on crack. I wouldn’t mind hearing that.

4. Any TV show in which the script relies heavily on the word evict.

5. Children’s books written by celebrities on the grounds that they once actually saw a child who had accidentally wandered into business class.

6. Skanky hos as feminist role models. Generally speaking, if you’re dressed like you’re going to fight for the working rights to the local street corner, you’re not role model material.

7. Mark Latham.

8. Books which have the word “dark” in the title, or the name “Dan” on the front cover.

9. Designer dogs with breed names that rhyme with strudel.

10. Food in restaurants with jus all over it.

11. Kyle what’s-his-name, who seems to have become famous solely due to his head’s resemblance to a well-sucked mango.

12. Offspring of the rich and famous whose names are destined to send them into early therapy. As in: “Cinnamon! You’ve left the #*@* door open and the #*@!# paparazzi have got in again.”

13. Offspring of the less-well-off whose names need a footnote to spell correctly. As in: “Shantelle, stop pulling Kodie’s hair and share those cigarettes.”

14. Politicians applying the phrase “user pays” to health care, transport or education. Isn’t that why we pay taxes?

15. Lebanese jokes. Really, they’re just not funny.

16. Any American in a shiny suit pretending that intelligent design isn’t just a rebadged version of creationism.

17. The word rebadged.

18. TV commercials featuring singing animals, usually zebras, who are incapable of rhyming “indeedy” with anything better than “seedy”.

And in conclusion, here are three things I’d really love to see in 2006:

1. More off-the-cuff comments by George Bush. Seriously, we could all do with more laughter in our lives.

2. A Chinese Government spokesman interrupting his tirade on Japanese war guilt to say: “Oh, hang on, I’ve just remembered about Tibet.”

3. Brightly coloured wristbands that say: “Make Bono History.”

Readers are invited to apply wit to anything that makes the blood boil. Send 600 words, with day and evening phone numbers, to heckler@smh.com.au. Submissions may be edited and published on the internet.”

British woman weds dolphin – World – smh.com.au


British woman weds dolphin

British tourist Sharon Tendler has finally made her dream match – by ‘marrying’ a dolphin she has been visiting for 15 years in the Israeli resort of Eilat, the mass-circulation Yediot Ahronot daily reported.

Tendler, 41, has been visiting the city on the Gulf of Aqaba two or three times a year to spend time with her 35-year-old underwater sweetheart.

‘The peace and tranquility under water, and his love, would calm me down,’ the Israeli daily quoted her as saying.

Last week Tendler finally plucked up the courage to ask the dolphin’s trainer for the mammal’s fin in marriage.

The wedding took place Wednesday, with the bride, wearing a white dress and watched by amazed spectators, walking down the dock to where the groom was waiting in the water.

She kissed him, to the cheers of the spectators and then, after the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, was tossed into the water so she could swim away with her new husband.

‘I’m the happiest girl on earth,’ the bride was quoted as saying.

‘I made a dream come true. And I am not a pervert.'”

What are their kids going to look like? Is that how mermaids are made?

More 4WD rollover fatalities.

AN eight-year-old boy and a 46-year-old woman are dead after a 4WD crash in Tasmania’s north-east. The woman driver and the boy are believed to be related.

Whilst attempting to overtake another vehicle on a straight section of road, the Toyota Rav4 4WD’s tyres went into gravel on the right-hand side of the road. The RAV 4 swerved back onto the left-hand side before rolling several times.

The boy was thrown from the vehicle.

Once again, a classic “Moose Test” 4WD accident scenario – when a 4WD swerves one way and then the other, the chances are very high that it will roll.

Most of the deaths in 4WD’s this Christmas have been caused by this.

Interesting links:

Rollover – The Hidden History of the SUV

NHTSA Rollover Page

The SUV Info Link

Rollover Lawyer site with interesting info

The Physics of SUV Rollover Accidents

Consumers Union SUV Rollover campaign

Another Rollover Lawyer site with useful information and Links

Smartcar Guide, diatribe on SUV’s and Keith Bradsher’s controversial book, High and Mighty: SUV’s – the World’s Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way

The Center for Auto Safety – SUV page

US Insurance Institue for Highway Safety (IIHS): Crash Testing & Highway Safety

noSUV.org has excellent list of links

it also sports a great set of stories published in Newspapers

Like this one from which I take an excerpt:

“..the Australian Transport Safety Bureau informs that roll-overs account for one in three fatal SUV crashes, compared to one in eight for passenger cars. And figures just out from Monash University’s Accident Research Centre highlight that the driver of a rolled SUV is almost 50 per cent more likely to be seriously injured than had he rolled a wagon or a sports car or even a small hatchback.

A few days later, in a vast car auction yard in Melbourne’s industrial west, crash analyst Shane Richardson guides me through a sea of vehicles written off by insurers. One section is devoted to SUVs, and, unlike the other cars, most have crumpled roofs.

“If you’re in a car and you get yourself in an awkward position and you give yourself a fistful of steering wheel, your car’s going to spin round and slide sideways,” explains Richardson. “If you do that in your 4WD, it’s very likely you’ll end up on your roof.”

Richardson, a former army engineer completing a PhD in roll-over protection systems, pokes his head through the shattered driver’s window of a LandCruiser to inspect bloodstains on the twisted sunvisor. “This driver wouldn’t be too flash,” he says, bumping his head on the inverted ceiling. “A seatbelt is designed for a frontal collision. In a roll-over you are thrown into the roof as the roof collapses, so you get a diving type of injury to your head or spine, like quadriplegia, from a relatively minor impact. That’s if it doesn’t kill you.””

Full Story: http://drive.com.au/editorial/article.aspx?id=8730&vf=3&bg=5&pp=2

NSW Police Online – all fatal accidents have been 4WDs

NSW police verify my suspicions:
NSW Police Online | Latest Media Information

27 December 2005

A total of four people have died in three separate crashes on New South Wales roads during the Christmas period.

Overnight, a man died after the Jeep Wrangler 4WD he was driving rolled on Barclays Street, Eden.

Earlier today, a female driver and male passenger died after the Toyota Landcruiser 4WD they were travelling in rolled on the New England Highway near Wallabadah.

Of the four fatalities all the vehicles involved have been 4WDs.