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.
http://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.
Ichinen Sanzen It (literally) means 3000 realms in a single moment of life. This means that for any given moment your life is composed of everything; all thoughts, all history, all presents and all futures. You only ‘sense’ things one at a time, yet they’re always there. I’ll soon be toddling off to the beach...
New Jaguar XJ In common with most cars like this, it’s a lovely looking machine – a style marvel; sleek and vapid, mercurial. It’s also a waste of space and a waste of effort. It’s two tonnes of mass for a 400kg payload is pants. An ecological disaster zone. Money for Old Rope Not only...
The Big C
I’m currently working on this to make it an even bigger wall of noise than we were originally capable of…. A video is in progress which is an almost synchronised wall of light. It should be considered as Version 1, but I may stick with it after reviewing on another day.
This is version 2 of both sound and video. The initial sound twiddle was okay-ish, but the nature of the video conversion process using the tools I have meant it went all fizzy and mushy, not really what I’m after with this one.
I’ve put a live version on the Crawling Chaos site of Yoni Suchon. This is quite a powerful sound with some small differences to the version on the Waqqaz release. It’s just Jeff & me pinning back everyone’s lugholes to the back wall. It seemed to have quite a favourable reception – well it would,...
Last night I had a bit of a technical splurge on the Crawling Chaos website. It’s got a new theme and stripped out a lot of extraneous plugin widgetty things. I also redid the pages menus in a (hopefully) more logical construct. I re-jigged page dependencies and set up some 301 redirects in .htacccess to...
Public Breast-beating Over Middleton Paparazzi Photos
You must understand that there is no news today.
Everything is celebrity, sport and royal in the UK.
Everyone has a media correspondent, a sports correspondent and a royal correspondent.
Reporters just report on the latest twitter feed. No-one searches.
There are several aspects to this boob photos media blizzard.
There’s the mass media almost to a man, fawning and groping at half truths.
There are many ordinary people wondering what’s going on.
We now have several (mainly establishment types) people making exaggerated claims about the camera location. Well, I’ve checked.
The photos were NOT taken “over a mile and a half away”, nor “well over a mile” away, nor “about a mile away”, nor “from a long way off, in private woods”, but about half a mile away. The house is clearly visible, along with the windows, railings and garden stuff that appear in the photos on Google Maps Streetview.
I’ve chosen a point ~ 900m from the building as one of many good vantage points. Go down now to see it.
If I used my hand-held camera taking a shot, I could see the whites of the eyes…. Yes really! To demonstrate — here are two pictures that show the capability of my hand-held Panasonic Lumix, DMC-TZ30.
Be careful when clicking as I’ve uploaded the shots at full resolution. Once loaded, click the little green arrow to see the pictures in all their full-size glory – you will need to scroll both vertically and horizontally to find the yacht when on full-size.
They are hand-held, on a normal day, just like many of my recent shots from my recent French vacation. I have many high-res scenic shots – I’ll have to check them through – who knows what I’ll find LOL.
No Zoom: There’s a Yacht here – Can you see it? Click to see just how really small it is.
20x Optical Zoom of Yacht – Now can you see it? Click and you’ll see a tanker in the background which I couldn’t see at all with the naked eye. These two shots and more are visible at lower resolution here on Christine’s Beach Hut.
If someone was on the yacht, I could see them. The boat is several miles offshore – nearly on the horizon actually! So don’t let the Streetview shot below fool you – the house is a lot closer than it looks, even from the position I’ve chosen here. It is only 900 metres away!
The house is dead centre in this link. So it is a private house visible in public, much like me in my bedroom at night with the curtains open, okay? My camera could have easily shown them doing anything. Easily. Yet if I can be easily seen in my bedroom at night (i.e. clearly a private place as they keep repeating) I can get done for indecent exposure? Right?
Hopefully, by seeing the capability of my own camera in conjunction with a normal Streetview of the area, you can now see how incongruous the claims that this is a private place actually are?
The firstworldwar.com website shows the standard issue British rifle in WW1 as having guaranteed accuracy up to 600m. This had no optical scope, just sights to be used by a normal man. This means a kill shot at 600m, not just wounding, which shows the hand/eye/gun precision easily possible from anyone. 900 metres doesn’t look so far now, eh?
I also remember reading in “With a Machine Gun to Cambrai”, the author George Coppard saying that he picked off men at a similar range with just one or two rounds from his heavy machine gun. This is despite the juddery nature of a heavy machine gun.
At that time, Diana and Fergie had caused much embarrassment with their girlie antics. Charlie’s behaviour outside the public face of marital fidelity was well known and became ever-more detailed as time passed. Phil the Greek was his usual self and scandal after scandal built up until the Castle burnt down. So that was that – then.
Now we have Harry getting his kit off to the amusement of the world (in a €6000 a night hotel suite on a serviceman’s salary, note), but being dismissed as “just letting off steam but must be more careful in future”. And almost synchronously in time with Harry, it now appears, Kate & Wills feel so assured in their new-found popularity that they can do anything. They certainly have the money for it.
But you know – they can’t.
If they want the esteemed position that they publicly project and behind which the combined forces of a fawning mass media enforce, then they must behave like it. They cannot behave like normal holidaymakers and not expect a come-back no matter how “ordinary” Kate was supposed to have been. You can’t be a “highness” and not expect attention? They cannot say and do anything – for one thing, our constitution forbids it!
For another, the public will hate it and they need the public much more than we need them.
Why don’t they all just go away? I won’t mind a bit. Maybe this’ll be a turning point as the penny drops?
Privacy – What Privacy? – added 18/9/2012
The BBC has now leapt onto my referencing Google Streetview as an aid to showing relative privacy. Of course, the devil-in-the-detail of this is not mentioned as I’ve done above.
BBC Copies Me – Chateau d’Autet Click image for BBC webpage
But that’s not my point here, is it? Neither is my point that criminal proceedings are now starting. My point is that for all of us….
Our Own Privacy is Zilch.
We are (or will be):
Subjected to full intimate body scans at airports by faceless private “agencies”
Have our emails and web activity saved and analysed at leisure by faceless private “agencies”
Followed down every street, across every junction, inside every shop by CCTV “security” cameras run by faceless private “agencies”
Have our phones tapped by faceless private “agencies”
Have our shopping habits monitored by faceless private “businesses”
Have our finances, credit cards, driving licences all cross-referenced ad infinitum with our passports, our insurances, our taxes and more – by faceless private “agencies”
…and all of this is done to us while the few that own these “agencies” and “businesses” flaunt their wealth, hide their money, holiday in their tax havens, pay no taxes, are as secret and private as they choose to be, collude to manage information and the law, and then have the audacity to tell us how to behave. Royalty is just the icing on top of a very rich cake…..
And here’s where more hypocrisy creeps in as those reversions to type are conveniently forgotten.
As we all know, Charles, William’s dad, was knocking off Camilla his mistress both before and during his marriage to Diana, Wills’ mother. Much like Edward VII & Langtry. All of the UK knows this. Now Camilla is supposed to be “accepted”, according to our fawning press. A few grannies during the jubilee said she looked nice….well that’s it then!
Yet in France, for years the hobbled press kept secret the facts of former President Mitterrand’s mistress and his second family….a bit like secret polygamy, but in a Catholic country….? Yet millions get their kit off in summer all over France?
Clearly, French privacy is wholly different to the British version. I can get done for undressing while forgetting to shut the curtains, but in France my privacy to do this is upheld?
Ye-es I hear Paxman saying again.
Media Guff and Fawn
So how can we accept protestations about “rightness” from these people when nothing is said about actions and happenings either then or now which go clearly against their public statements and media view of their lifestyle?
If the next likely Prince of Wales, Wills, turns out like other former Princes of Wales’, do we wash it away but say that sensationalistic reporting of public/private sunbathing “hotties” is wrong?
Because a “hottie” is what Kate is – she’s smart, apparently intelligent, elegant and (most importantly for the press), hot in a swimsuit – as earlier photos revealed. (Remember the debate in all the papers about who was hotter, Kate or Pippa? Of course you do, but you’d forgotten, hadn’t you?).
The success of the Daily Mail website hangs on her and other sensationalist voyeuristic shots of hundreds of “hotties” – here’s today’s Kate article; note the HUGE list down the right for articles, near half of which are for scantily clad women.
The comments at the bottom, like I said, for the most part, go totally against the fawning theme of the piece. One repeats the mile and a half lie so that mud has stuck again.
Indeed, for those with long memories, the video at the bottom harps on about Berlesconi’s ownership of the magazines and his publication of Diana’s car photos “minutes after the accident”.
Now, maybe you remember that following Diana’s crash, The Daily Mail solemnly pledged never to use paparazzi photos again?
Yet virtually all the links down the right of any Mail page are paparazzi pictures! They have to be – they’ve sacked nearly everyone and the paper would fold without them.
Porn Baron Protests and Threatens to Close Magazine!
It’s the Irish one that’s interesting! It’s co-owned by Richard (Dirty) Desmond, who besides running UK TV’s Channel 5 and publishing the Daily Express and tit paper The Daily Star, also runs porn channels Red Hot TV and Television X. This growth was part financed by selling off his earlier publishing business which included such salubrious titles as Asian Babes and Readers Wives. Notably, his celebrity magazines of OK! and New! are full of paparazzi photos……. like, dah?
Now, to top it all, Desmond has said he wants the Irish paper closed….. – 17 Sep – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19621188 He must be after a knighthood or something because his history shows that prurient disapproval is not one of his strong-points. It’s laughable.
The lady (and Desmond) doth protest too much, methinks. – Hamlet
Mass Media Princely Support, Public Split
Checking the comments following news reporting, I note a two-thirds majority telling Kate to keep her kit on if she doesn’t want to be rumbled. This is despite the media claiming “over-whelming condemnation” or whatever.
It’s just simply not there. Most of the public aren’t swallowing it.
Sooner or later there will be a backlash against the Royals if they keep this up. Let well alone, it’d have blown over, much like Harry’s knob-tastic exposures. But keeping it going, on and on, using their inherited and publicly provided wealth to pursue legal redress shows them seriously out of touch with the common mood, no matter how much the mass media are beefing them up.
The recent Hilsborough revelations show that media collusion is not a new thing.
Tits and Bums
A lot of people are behaving like bums or making a tit of themselves.
Those in “the establishment” are doing what those in the establishment normally do, which is to fawn and whine, pontificate and lie, all to keep ranks under the firm expectation of a gong at some point.
Then there are the “granny types” who all think she’s lovely and that the queen does a marvellous job.
There’s a few who see it as an attack on women, part of the objectification of women that’s happened for millenia and has now gone past saucy postcards, through Page 3 and porn mags (like Dirty Desmond’s) to full on ubiquitous internet porn and the gyrating phone girls on Freeview. (All very valid, but not my gist)
Then there’s everyone else!
These are in two camps, I think;
those that don’t care either way but think the royals should think themselves lucky to get free holidays and trips and well looked after for the whole of their lives
Kate Middleton Topless Photos – Prince William and Kate Suing Publication
Apart from that, there are loads of others. One that caught my eye was a website called Divided States, a US political site. They had a web-page here, http://www.dividedstates.com/kate-middleton-topless-photos-prince-william-and-kate-suing-publication/ which they’ve now pulled. How coy.
Fortunately, the Google Cache shows us this – the full copy of their original posting – click here or the screenshot for the cache. (full image available on request)
So am I a tit or a bum?
Is Oliver above?
Is Berlesconi? Berlesconi certainly has gripes with the UK following his latin faux-pas with the queen and others….? Maybe he’s publishing just for revenge?
Wills, with his experience, has behaved like a knob. He should have known better. He slipped up, which is a possible explanation for the rapid response unit being thrown into action. It was notably absent following the Harry incident.
But really, what everyone has totally forgotten, is the old adage:
Don’t throw stones when you live in a greenhouse.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks. – Hamlet
Introduction Many years ago when I was living in France and during a prolonged period of French atomic weapon testing on the Moruroa atoll, the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, was blown up in a New Zealand harbour. Initially, it was thought to be an accident. Now, as soon as this happened, I thought “who has...
Introduction I knew there was something really, really dodgy about that MyBookFace.net crap highlighted in this post the other day. Not only are they connected to some serious malware (as detailed in the posting), but they’ve an interesting line in popups!!! Google Treasure Chest Rises Yet Again! Here’s what to do… Go to http://mybookface.net making...
Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-R: Is this not a work of art?
I’m afraid my old TZ7 (which replaced my earlier TZ5 due to my clumsiness) has now had to be replaced with the new TZ30. The reason? At some unknown moment, my usual dollard-ish clumsiness put a scratch on the lens….. the whole recent trip to Australia is marred (to my eyes at least) by a fuzzy mark off-centre at 2 o’clock.
I wanted the red one as it’s a beautiful thing indeed. In fact, I hunted to get one at a good price within a reasonable time-scale, but have settled for the black one for cost and because I can get it now!.. (The Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-K).
Gratuitous photo of Iggy Pop from October 25, 1977 at the State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s now on the way so watch this space for my opinions and results later!!. I’m extremely hopeful due to the reviews I’ve read.
I’ve waited and have passed over the TZ20 and other incarnations due to unfavourable comments and lack of substantial change in their features. Now, the TZ30 has tipped the balance for me. The GPS feature introduced with the TZ10 hasn’t had much interest to me, but maybe this’ll change all that!
Specification Highlights for me are:
The 20x optical zoom (naturally) in a body that’s less obtrusive than my current TZ7.
Better ISO performance – reputed to be very good at low light down to ISO800.
Better burst mode shooting. It’s supposed to be 10 fps whereas my TZ7 only does about three…. I have some stop-action movie ideas that I started with my old Fuji FinePix F30 that I’d like to continue and expand upon. The F30 did reasonable frames per second whereas the TZ7 is just too slow for the effects I want.
Semi-automatic panorama shooting. Much better than the old manual stitch mode….
Rapid autofocus (AF) – reputed to be 1/10 second. Combine this with burst mode and nature and sport shots should be great with at least one being on the button.
The only one I’ve spotted that directly affects my expectations is that in burst mode, the auto-focus is fixed once the burst starts, at 10fps. However, to counter this the feature is more variable than I’m used to in that with burst mode set to 5fps autofocus and zoom work concurrently! This definitely needs playing with!
My Standard Expectations:
Minimal blue/purple casts or fringing at high contrast edges.
Wonderful summer shots with vibrant colour.
Much better focus changing in video zooming.
My Quantum Leap Hopes:
The same or better sound quality that the F30 and TZ7 delivered. Both produced full non-clipped audio sound at rock concerts! The TZ7 does it in stereo. (see my Iggy Pop video below, discussed in this post, Iggy at Hammersmith).
Much, much faster autofocus and burst shooting than I’m used to. This includes the continuous autofocus & zoom at 5fps mentioned earlier.
Much better auto-focus on video zoom especially and pictures generally. I’m hoping the intelligence of the thing has been re-jigged…… To explain…….
The tendency on my TZ7 is to focus on the near-field whether it’s bright or dark. Yet I want it to focus on what the human eye drifts to, i.e., bright objects. On the TZ7 I’ve had to use human intervention to override the camera expectations….
The video below shows this.
For me the prime purpose of a compact camera is to get the best shot possible as fast as possible.
At the Stooges concert at Hammersmith below, I’d waited for ages and then suddenly the band came on and kicked off immediately! There was no time to prime the focus because I knew I’d miss some performance, so I had to make allowances for the camera deficiencies by pulling back zoom and trying to get autofocus on the bright areas by field drifting.
Ideally, I should have asked Mr Pop to restart his concert so that I could stop the video, auto-focussing on maximum zoom to distance and then restarting the video before he kicked off again. ;-) Obviously that wasn’t going to happen so I did the best I could without missing any of the performance of my historic bête noire idol.
As it was, my guess was right, even to continuing filming without a break, because against all rumours and knowledge that the Raw Power album was to be played in order, it wasn’t! Search & Destroy immediately followed Raw Power.
A few test pictures using the “Starry Sky” setting on my Panasonic Lumix TZ5. The pictures were done using a tripod at the three timer settings that are inbuilt for that setting; 15s, 30s & 60s. The sky was quite brightly lit due to some thin mist acting as a reflector for the urban lighting....
After driving through blizzards to get there, I took this little video of King Edward’s Bay en route to the Gibraltar Rock Inn in Tynemouth. It was freezing and I was shivering…. What it demonstrates quite effectively, is the anti-shake at work on my camera and the fantastic level of zoom it has. The colours...
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