These are a few of the odd things that set Australia apart from the mother country (i.e. the UK!) Similar, yet different, eh?
The Spider Mailbox
Most suburban houses follow the USA mailbox style, with some sort of box on the edge of the property. But watch out for spiders when fetching the post!
Yet funnel web spiders, some of which can kill you in hours, aren’t the only strange, odd, things.
Merry Christmas in Rye, Victoria
Because just across the road, Santa awaits… inflated to gigantic proportions in an expensive house, built on sand dunes, made in the style of a 19th century colonial house, filled with all the gadgetry and labour-saving devices of the modern world.
A walk in the country can provide a host of oddities, from the deadly to the silly.
These are a few I came across. Places include Melbourne, Port Douglas in tropical Queensland and various sites across the Mornington Peninsular. I’m fascinated by the signs that are put up for public information. A real clue into everything, I think.
Japanese Bomb Sculpture – note the guy mowing the grass in the background. That was a noisy machine I can tell you!
Japanese Bomb Sign – little girl was the only casualty of WW2 on the East Australian mainland. (This contrasts sharply with the tens of thousands killed NOT on the mainland)
Crocodiles and Stinger Signs Next to Each Other! Just off the Captain Cook Highway.
Lotus Blossom in McClelland Art Gallery – contrasts to the large sculptures…
Tourism is Big – this is the Puffing Billy train in the Dandenongs
Big, forward control lorries are common in Australia even in urban areas. They hammer along everywhere, apparently in all lanes.
Graffiti All Over Melbourne – despite the sun and wealth, many of man’s creations are amended with random ink. Cops go on trains in fives.
Even Cats Get Banned from a Vineyard
Man-made Floating Island – this is on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The breaking surf is The Coral Sea
View from a Yacht – Queensland and it’s hills round Port Douglas. You just point and click, there are views everywhere.
More Views – from near Cpt Cook Hwy. Banana fields just out of sight.
Fascination with Olden Days – signs all over, this is Daintree
Daintree River Crocodile Sign – no paddling and keep your eyes open – they’ve had crocs in excess of 5m long here.
Humourous Daintree Crocodile Signs on the WC Publics
My own image of Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas
Cape Tribulation – here the tropical jungle hits the Great Barrier Reef via the mangrove swamps and beach. It’s where Cook’s ship “Endeavour” was dragged ashore to be fixed after crashing into a coral reef (now named after the ship).
Cassowary v Range Rover; not so fair.
Dangerous Pedestrians! They can injure and kill people when provoked.
Views! Along Captain Cook Highway. Australia is full of views. Loads. All over the place.
Tropical Rain Forest, Hot. This is Mossman Gorge, Queensland.
Garbage Recycling, Queensland Style. In Packers Creek, upstream from Port Douglas, they just dump their boats and leave them to the crocodiles when they’re finished with them.
Sign Overload, some graphically scary – Stingers are not nice
View at Port Douglas, Queensland
Melbourne Memorial to a war on the opposite side of the world – beautiful quotes from Wilfred Own in there.
Random Public Art – McClelland Gallery, Frankston.
Odd Signs with Humour
Serious Melbourne Tram System
Ancient “cold” Tropical Rainforest in the South (Dandenongs)
Odd Signs and characteristic Oz Humour
Blue-ringed octopus in a pool at Cape Schanck – there is no known anti-venom!!! It is there in a crack. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-ringed_octopus
Sudden Waves don’t reach the odd sign.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-bellied_black_snake Red-bellied black snake taken walking down to Cape Schanck
Australia is a strange, deadly place, filled with amazing natural resources.
The quirky humour of the people is to be treasured.
They try to be uppity with their restaurants, vineyards, big boys toys and gadgets, yet underneath, the wild west existence is evident all around.
It’s all in the nature of the place.
We are a mixture of the land we live in and the land we came from.
Not much to say, really, but in Cumbria recently a man went berserk with a gun and killed a dozen people. The nation beat it’s collective chest in anguish.
The other day, I posted about Northern Ireland and the US, comparing and contrasting the loss of life. I ended by saying,
Why is America like this?
Why do they put up with such shit?
Well now, in some news that in all probability no-one in the U.K. will know about at all, part of Philadelphia has had enough of the shit and been declared a State of Emergency by the mayor. It’s a part of the big city called Chester where 11 people have been shot this month alone! (Chester is about as big as Bridgwater here in the UK to put it in context). The full story is here and here’s the news report.
Quoting directly from the article,
Chester, Pa. – June 19, 2010 (WPVI) — In response to the ongoing deadly violence, the city of Chester is declaring a State of Emergency.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Mayor Wendell Butler declared he had enough and it is time to take action.
“We need law enforcement to step up, to vigorously go after any violator; our number one priority is to get guns off the street then drugs and try to make our neighborhoods as safe as we possibly can,” Butler said.
The State of Emergency took effect 9:00 p.m. Saturday.
From 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each day in the five areas of the city, no person without a legitimate reason is allowed in any public street or place, no assembling of three or more people is allowed without a permit, and all vacation and personal days by members of the Chester Police Department have been cancelled immediately.
The State of Emergency is set to last five days.
Mayor Butler says he is going to City Council to ask for an extra 30 days.
Even in this tough economic time, he says money is no object.
“I’m not worried about money, if I have to break the bank, I’ll break the bank,” Butler said, “The residents and visitors to my town are just vitally important to me, you can’t put a dollar amount on that.”
The State of Emergency is being issued following another homicide that took place overnight.
One commenter on the story says,
WHY are the 5 sections of the city declared an State of Emergency, what about the areas in buck men villages: meadow lane, keystone road, pine lane, clover lane, 900 to the 1200 blocks, and highland ave. this is a war zone for violent’s and killings. I saw a man dead on a side walk with his brains all over. Does this sound normal to live like this? No but this is how people in buck men village live. If you pull up to your home and sit in car for a few minutes to say goodbye to your friend, you have guns put to your w…
..before he hit the 500 word limit.
But you get the gist of how bad it is, and how lucky we are in the UK not to have to put up with such continuous absolute shite in our lives.
If you think you’ve had your bank ‘cleaned out’ by any of a multitude of ‘life cleanse’ or ‘colon cleanse’ type internet scams, there is only one real remedy…
Ask for a charge-back against the company through you credit card company. Your reason, when asked, is that the company has either:
Not adhered to their own claimed ‘Terms and Conditions’ or
The company cannot be contacted through their advertised channels
If the company fails on any of these two key points they have no excuse not to refund you. In fact, if they deliberately make contact difficult, it’s criminal.
The redirect was still working on the user’s website (devoted to head and neck cancer, http://www.squamoussupport.info/). The key bit is to click on the head and then the Amazon Store link in the bottom right. Sure enough (today), you get taken to MyBookFace.net!!!
It’s like the return of a boil on the bum for me. Now, depending on how you access this shit-hole, you’ll see various things.
The first page is sometimes loaded with “White Teeth” ads, from you know who(see here and here for instance), which are accessed via a false newspaper ad containing the key(yukky)word “mom”. Sometimes it’s Mary Steadman — again!
I’ve had two popups, several hours apart during my checks, that both claimed I was the lucky 1,000,00th visitor to the site and thus deserved a prize! This popup by-passes the pop-up blocker in IE8. Give it a go – you too can be the 1,000,000th visitor!!!
If you allow further pop-ups, the fun really starts!
More Fun With MyBookFace.Net Popups!
During one session, using the ‘Private Browsing’ feature in Firefox, I got the Mary Steadman fake newspaper ad again – wahay!. In this were two adverts; for Acai and Colon Cleansing.
They both originated from the same place and had similar designs. The Acai one (at acaiberryexclusive.com) I left, because the Colon one has some VERY, VERY DANGEROUS CLAIMS in it. (The Acai ones were very similar, actually, but I’m trying to keep this post short-ish)
EffectiveCleanse.com loads with the strap line “Life Cleanse”. It’s contact address is in County Durham in the UK again! (just like all the UTAH scams). This time the address is:
LB LFP Internet Ltd.,
A small hunt for this address produced several companies, all apparently squashed into someone’s living room only a mile or so from the UTAH scammers elsewhere in Co Durham! There are many unhappy folk about who’ve had dealings with companies at that address. Similarly for the company name itself...
Effective Cleanse Antioxidant. Get Your Risk-Free Order Trial Now
Possible the most dangerous claim that this company makes is that it will “Repair Digestive Tract”!!! This is seriously bad stuff. There are only two ways to repair your gut and that’s either surgery or a massive dietary change, usually by stopping all alcohol intake, reducing fat consumption etc. Some of the ingredients can relieve IBS and constipation by their topical application and ingestion from their fungicidal, antiseptic or mucilaginous properties . But this is not the same as “repairing the digestive tract” by any judgement. Indeed some ingredients will make intestinal damage worse!
It also claims to break down DEADLY TOXINS!! Again this is a wholly unsubstantiated and untrue claim worthy of a prison sentence. Let’s consider a few deadly toxins – cyanide & botulism, say. Do you really think these few internet pills will stop death from cyanide? Do you think that taking these pills would have saved the Jews in the cyanide gas chambers? Of course not. If they’d said “slightly bad toxins” that would have been more accurate. But deadly? That’s something else.
Helps prevent intestinal pathologies…. WTF! This one is good…. Pathology is the study and diagnosis of disease! So they are claiming that this product will stop you from studying …er…various intestinal problems? I repeat – WTF? !!!
The word “FLUSH” appears a lot – “flush out excess weight”, ” flush harmful toxins”. Should it read “make you go to the bog a lot”, because it will. Some of it’s ingredients also induce abortion and breast milk-flow but no warnings are given about this (shades of Thalidomide here). Some have been found to cause cancer. Some either bung you up or give you the trots dependant on the quantity taken! It’s a bit of a fine balance between flush and bung. I don’t think I’ll be using my guts as a testing ground!
Perhaps the funniest claim is that it will “Increase Focus and Energy”…. It’s a pity the author didn’t try and focus a bit harder. Because further down the page is the mind-numbing misspelt paragraph which reads (I kid ye not):
According to National Geographic – “Human waste is a sinisteer(sic) world of monstrous creatures that feed on living flesh- Parasites” (sic) Parasites feed on Humans ams(sic) your body may house more than you know. The US alone contains widespread parasites accross(sic) the nation.
My spell-checker has gone berserk on that. I can’t believe that National Geographic actually printed that!
And anyway, human waste in a healthy person is certainly not pathogenic. The bacteria in one’s gut DO NOT “feed on living flesh” as they claim. They are an essential part of living and without them, we’d all die. If they mean worms etc, then again, they do not feed on your flesh – they feed on your gut contents! They live on shit!
Terms Disagree with Claims
Effective Cleanse Antioxidant. Terms & Conditions
Well it had to be somewhere, didn’t it? Despite all the criminally outrageous claims on their front page, their T&C actually states:
Our Products have not been evaluated by the FDA or EU Health Authorities, and Our Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Fortunately, they have a UK contact number of 0044 20305 10825, which makes it a London number. Why not give them a call and see which bit is correct – does it cure, or doesn’t it?
You’ll also see here, in small print, only once, that you’ll be charged £69 per month for 30 days supply. Except it’s written thus: “At the end of your 15 day trial period you will be charged GBP 69.”
Of course, upon reading the consumer complaints listed at the bottom here, you’ll find that many people can’t get through on the phone. In that case, the information on their FAQ page to the question:
I did not place this order and do not recognize the charge on the credit card statement. I think it is fraud.
…should be taken with a large grain of salt. The answer they give is that making a false claim of fraud is a criminal offence. Er..no. It isn’t. All you are doing is to resolve a dispute over charges to your credit card that you consider erroneous. It’s not a criminal offence to dispute the bill!!!! This is what they say to frighten you, and it’s only to frighten you:
We take Credit Card fraud very seriously and considerate it a crime. Our Risk/Fraud Department will verify that the transaction is indeed fraud and was not ordered by you. In such case we kindly ask you to contact us and our Customer Service Team will be happy to assist you. Please prepare the following information before calling or writing to us: name on your credit card, descriptor(s) on the charges, amounts, and date(s) of the charges, your billing and shipping address.
We would like to inform you that making a false claim is a criminal offense and you will be prosecuted if such claim is made. All information that you provide us, along with all related log files and IP addresses will be forwarded to the local police department and district attorney. In addition the governmental cybercrime agency will use this data to investigate and establish the physical location and computer from which the account was created.
If you can’t contact them through the phone, as many have found to their cost, the above information is doubly bogus.
On the other hand, the claims they make for the product on their main landing page, really are criminal. There is no way in hell that GSK et al would dare say anything like this.
Anyone who has read mine and other’s Google Treasure Chest, Acai, Government Grant and Teeth-Whitening investigations will suspect that there’s more to this business than County Durham alone. They hide their domain WHOIS for a start.
Because of their secretive nature, their misleading and dangerous claims which are in plain contradiction of their T&Cs, and the ‘unreliability’ (and that’s being generous) of their customer service as evidenced by the many complaints, this bunch of clowns are much worse than a comedy act. Scammer or crook? I couldn’t possibly say, but fetch me a bargepole to poke them away. Tommy Cooper would say “Scam-Crook; Crook-Scam. Scam-Crook; Crook-Scam. Scam-Crook; Crook-Scam.”
I’ll finish now, using words taken directly from their webpage by saying :
The US alone contains widespread parasites accross(sic) the nation.
(Mostly in Utah, from my experience, but not exclusively in the US.)
Extra Links(Just a few of the many complaints about this lot):
http://cacaweb.com…tradingplanetltdcom-arnaque.html (French website which has done a brilliant exposure=connection routine and even demonstrates how the linked companies manage to ‘accidentally’ get the wrong country code in their WHOIS records!) Two new County Durham companies and addresses are now added to my catalogue of shame because of this….see below
Imprint of www.acaiberryexclusive.com
LB Cassiopeia Media Limited LB Cassiopeia Media Limited
118 Fines Park
Tel: United Kingdom +38 616 004 917
Imprint of www.effectivecleanse.com
LB Eridanus Entertainment Limited
57 Langden Close
Co Durham DH8 7NG
Tel: United Kingdom +39 064 523 0442
Locked in a room,
Strapped to a hollow chair,
Faint musty smells,
Odour of stale air,
Sealed from the outside,
In a cage that is six-foot square,
Eyes that are fixed,
In a glazed, disbelieving stare.
Dropped in an acid bath,
Froth forms a cloud,
As deadly as death’s own staff,
Lungs start to burst,
Trying to hold your breath,
But have the last laugh,
‘cos Earth is just a cage seven thousand miles wide!
I had this tune pop into my head recently…weird! It’s the mellotron, see? When I finally dug it up, I realised that it always sounds much better in my head from memory than it does through my ears…
Is this an artefact of history, or,am I making something sound better to myself because I feel that the song has some decent juice within it and that just needs squeezing to get it out?
I think it’s the later – I do it a lot! I tell you – it’s great in my head – much better than reality!
Which leads to the question about our perception of reality. Maybe I actually am plugged into The Matrix and it’s not just a story…? Hmm.
This, as air crashes go, was pretty ordinary – something went wrong, it crashed, everyone died. You’d expect some reasoned discussion, bearing in mind that one of the most modern and newest planes in the sky plummeted into the South Atlantic little over a month ago.
This is what the BBC said about it near the end of the piece:
The plane was built in Russia in 1987.
It was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev Tu-154 in Iran since 2002.
The BBC’s Jon Leyne says Iran’s civil and military air fleets are made up of elderly aircraft, in poor condition due to their age and lack of maintenance.
Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, trade embargoes by Western nations have forced Iran to buy mainly Russian-built planes to supplement an existing fleet of Boeings and other American and European models.
West v East technology
This is all well and good, but the deadly tone with an emphasis on old and/or Russian aircraft makes a bad taste in the mouth, does it not?… Why?
A. Because there’s very little technical difference between the Russian and Western aircraft.
Indeed, on the very day that the Shuttle takes off, I’m reminded of the technical superiority of Russian astronautics and space exploration. While not putting a man on the moon, they pragmatically put a robot there instead, paving the way for the robots we now have placed on Mars & Venus, etc.
They have a long and distinguished history of space “firsts”… But the ultimate irony is that the much vaunted Space Shuttle has had very public catastrophic failures in the past and is soon to be retired. And until the US gets a new launch vehicle, for the next 4-6 years they will be relying on the Russians to put men in space!
So much for balance! The BBC article then continues in a box-out,
IRANIAN PLANE CRASHES
Feb 2006: Tupolev crashes in Tehran, kills 29 people – E
Dec 2005: C-130 military transport plane crashes near Tehran, kills 110 – W
Feb 2003: Iranian military transport plane crashes in south of country, kills all 276 on board – E
Dec 2002: Antonov 140 commuter plane crashes in central Iran, kills all 46 people on board – E
Feb 2002: Tupolev crashes in west Iran, kills all 199 on board – E
Looks bad doesn’t it?
A Russian airliner that crashed near a city in the Urals, killing all 88 people on board, caught fire in mid-air, reports say. The Boeing-737-500, belonging to a branch of the national airline Aeroflot, was on a flight from Moscow to Perm, near the Ural mountains. One witness said the blaze lit up the whole sky
Compare and contrast this to this little list of large plane crashes (from the BBC article, but as a link), and count the relative abundance of Eastern versus Western manufactured planes…..
Three days of mourning was declared after the Madrid air disaster
2 May: South Sudan’s defence minister is among 22 people killed after engine trouble causes a plane carrying a military delegation to crash about 400km (250 miles) west of Juba. -N/A
15 April: Some 40 people die when a DC-9 skids off the runway while attempting to take off in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Goma during heavy rain, smashing through a wall and into a busy residential area.- W
24 January:Nineteen people die when a Polish Casa C-295M military transport plane crashes in the country’s north-west, carrying officials who had attended an air safety conference.- W
For 2008 to 2009, I make the totals, as reported by the BBC, 1 unknown, 12 (W)estern manufacture, 1 (E)astern manufacture.
Now do you see the technological xenophobia that I’m talking about?
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