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.
Many of you will have heard of me. As you know, by running a nice steady stream of dodgy internet websites I’ve amassed a lot of money which I have to give away as I’m now a filanthropistpfhilanthwopistphilandpissedfillypistfullypissed philantropist.
And while I’m doing it, I’d charitably like to tell you about the most amazing things I’ve found on the internet (or web as it may be known to you newbies). These things are absolutely amazing and you really need one now!
Of course, in between charitable giving I like to talk about gadgets and girls, my two favourite topics apart from me and my charitable works – so first off:
The Gadgets you really must have!
(I’ll get around to Britney Spears later, f-nar, f-nar)
First off, check out the new Ferrari Broom? This FANTASTIC piece of kit is the dream piece for at least three of my mates and is a complete bargain at any price! It’s a clean sweep at any set of traffic lights!
Also comes in red!! Amazing!!!
Don’t get left behind in the high-tech stakes!
The latest cards from nVidia are a must have for anyone wanting to stick at the top of the tech game.! And the new Broom GTX has more b-b–r-r-r-ooom than anything else on the market, you can trust me on that one!
The latest mobile phones from Broomsung are just the thing to have at a celebratory party following a charitable jog….
..err that’s enough broom for now (Ed)
…(article discontinued due to boring gibberish)..
[By the way, I'm not the Jesse Willms
that's famous for ripping people off.
No way! No sirree!
I'm the other Jesse Willms.]
Today’s news that actor Stephen Fry, famous for his uptake of all new gadgets and one-man publicist for Twitter, is “thinking about giving up on Twitter” got me thinking. (see Fry ponders leaving Twitter site )
Apparently he thinks there’s too much aggression and unkindness around….. well, dah?
Not that I’m disagreeing with the sentiment; but really; what’s he expect?
In days of yore, early last century, actors and performers in music hall famously were pelted with all sorts of rubbish if the audience were at all dissatisfied with the performance – or even if they just wanted to “have a go”. Rotten fruit, tins, bottles, dead dogs & cats and even shit. (No-one noticed the shit as the stench was so over-powering from the great unwashed anyway, so what’s another turd gonna do?)
My point is that the great ivory tower in which performers now exist is ‘somewhat’ removed from reality (putting it mildly), and that Fry should ‘get a grip man’. A life lived inside scripts, cosseted by studio security seems to have addled his brain.
Twitter is only a glorified chat room, now taken over by the meeja while all the plebs struggle to keep their heads above water. I mean, why the fuck would I be interested in the latest tweet from the BBC’s “One Show” or anything else like that? For fucks sake, I’ve just watched the show!!!
Personally I’m glad this has happened and I hope he does ditch it. Then Twitter can sink back into the morass from which it came – called “doing a MySpace” nowadays. Because the reality of somehow nosing in on a celebrity’s thoughts wears a bit thin after a while. Now that the thing has been taken over by the thumbnail-fixated masses, who wants to know the minutiae of folk’s lives and what anyone thinks?
I mean, how many people do I really want to know have just gone to the shops and think Kylie is really good for her age?
Do I want to know your choice in blonde hair colouring?
It’s like listening in on texting. And that is the pits. The world, far from being full of aggressive & unkind people, is mostly full of boring people having normal humdrum lives.
Fry’s Tipping Point?
Q. Do you want to know which tweet tipped Fry over the edge?
A. Someone said “I admire and adore” Mr Fry, but that he found his tweets “a bit… boring… (sorry Stephen)”.
So using one of Stephen Fry’s pet phrases; “Q.E.D.” – ‘thus it was written’ – used as a proof statement.
Ages ago, Leo Laporte said MySpace is the new hell and I agreed. It’s just that Twitter has added an extra dimension.
I’m a born twiddler. Even though something works quite happily, I’ll try something else.
So it was yesterday. In an effort to improve the ‘user experience’ and promote a bit of feedback on this website, I’ve been twiddling with various plugins.
Caching for Speed
Some time ago I changed caching methods from Donncha’s WP Supercache to Dmitry’s Db Cache. To be fair, there wasn’t much in it, especially then.
One reason was probably my sympathy for the little man! Donncha’s plugin is heavily plugged (pun intended), and even though that’s because he’s a good programmer and the tool has super ratings, I still thought I’d give something else a go.
Another reason is the “emperor’s new clothes” effect! Donncha is part of the core WP personnel and in my long and flawed life I’ve come to observe the obsequious nature of people in the most unlikely of places! So to eliminate that, it seemed fair to try alternatives. This is something I continue to do – i.e. not trust anyone’s word fully until I’ve tried or observed it myself. (Heroin is like this – it’s obviously crap by observation; I can see the effect on lives and society so I don’t need to test it. Beer is a different matter though…)
I’m not an expert, but I understand the arguments behind the two methods of caching. The query caching has actually worked very well, until yesterday. Then, all the plugin twiddling I was doing coincided with a big pile of hits (for me!) at about 21:00 GMT, mainly sourced from http://whatreallyhappened.com/ and other linked pages. I was getting about one every 3 secs at one point.
Then the website fell over.
I struggled to turn off plugins – my plugin permutation testing strategy now being consigned to a future date – and wondered what was happening. The database was alive but returning failed access. So I eventually went to bed!!
Today, I’ve gone back to WP Super Cache, cleaned out all duff caches I can find, turned off a few plugins and tested using http://ismyblogworking.com/. Well it is!
And very nippy it is too! (for me that is… as I said, I love twiddling and I love gadgets, and I’ve probably got way too many running for dedicated web purists – but that’s me!)
Never, ever, be afraid to experiment. All I’ve lost is few hits which in the scheme of the wider universe is pretty pathetic. But I’ve learned so much more. I’ll possibly go into this another time. But for now, it appears that Donncha’s WP Super Cache is super! The problems I had some months back were a combination of other things, and to some extent they are on-going. I’m not the first person, and I know I won’t be the last to be drawn down the wrong path when troubleshooting. The issue of my webhost is starting to come back again. I’ve checked out different hosts in my price band (actually that means as cheap as it’ll go…!) and they are all much the same. People are actually having much worse downtime rates than me among all the major players in this part of the market when I’ve checked forums etc. So that’s still to be looked at and decided upon…hmmm. Should I pay (a lot) more for a better service or just sit…..?
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