Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Friday, October 28, 2005

Conwall

Just skipped through P. Cornwell's the last precinct. Really peculiar. Impossible to read as a stand-alone, being the end of the last book where she was attacked by a werewolf (genetic abnormality; stigmatised ++) serial killer. She then goes in to work and takes on a few more cases of cutting up bodies, all of which eventually turn out to be tied in with the werewolf case (and covered in werewolf hair) as she learns of other cases in new york that are also tied in with the werewolf and she is under suspicion for killing a rival who was actually killed by the werewolf and the last person she fucked turns out to be tied in with the werewolf's powerful criminal family and her true love was killed some books back by other serial killers who also turn out to be tied in with the werewolf mafia and everything she does is being watched by werewolf pals and nobody understands her and all her friends betray her and twenty pages from the end I wondered how she was going to tie it all up but then it just ends in the middle. Enough there for a whole conference, as they say in Fawlty Towers.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Links

Here's one of my other links: DEAL, at http://home.vicnet.net.au/~dealcc/, and Our Community, at www.ourcommunity.com.au. No, two.

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Stats

An article in the Age seems to be skipping over something a little quickly. Mark Coultan’s article reports -- in a one-liner -- that an academic study has found that 28% of combat soldiers deployed to Iraq reported being responsible for the death of a non-combatant. Over a million Americans have rotated through Iraq so far, about 300,000 of them in combat units; 28% of that is 84,000. Allowing some overlap, that still makes the figure of 30,000 Iraqi civilian dead cited look distinctly undercounted.
The article itself, by the way, is Hoge, C.W., Castro, C.A., Messer S.C., McGurk, D. Cotting, D.I. & Koffman, R.L. (2004). Combat duty in
Iraq and Afghanistan, mental health problems, and barriers to care. New England Journal of Medicine, 351, 13-22



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Those darn royals

Deborah Cameron comments that the Japanese imperial family claims an unbroken line dating back 2600 years. Well, of course they do; they’re here, and if the line had been broken they wouldn’t be. Transmission in the direct father-son line is something else again, lasting an average of three generations, and if that had lasted 2600 years that would be impressive – but it hasn’t. And as for the descent from the sun goddess, the average emperor having had more than two children and 104 generations having passed since Amaterasu that means that she has approximately ten million trillion trillion descendants, which, allowing for overlaps, means that the entire population of the world is in much the same position. Roll on the republic.



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Friday, October 21, 2005

And here's my next movie script:


"If Troy still mattered to the Greeks whom Alexander led, it was more as the centre of a murderous game of hide-and-seek than as a memorial of the heroic past. The story was a strange one. Because the Thessalian hero Ajax had murdered the prophetess Cassandra at the end of the Trojan War, oracles had ordered the nobles of the Hundred Families of Locris in Thessaly to send two virgins yearly to the Dardanelles and leave them to make their own way through to Troy. By tradition, the natives would come out to catch and kill them, armed with axes and stones, and only if the virgins escaped would they enter Athena's temple by a secret passage and live there in safety until a replacement managed to relieve them. The rite was to last a thousand years..."

R. Lane Fox, Alexander the Great



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Thursday, October 13, 2005

For my gravestone

Attached to none (it seemed like too much work)
Comics I loved, and next to comics, cunt;
Those tasks I did not fail at, I'd shirk:
My wit was sharp, but my perceptions blunt.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Menzies

Percy Spender:
"Your problem, Ming, is that you don't suffer fools gladly. "

Menzies:
"What do you mean? I'm talking to you, aren't I?"

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Pacific

Hugh White’s call in the Age to allow Pacific islanders to work in Australia under short-term visas is a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. We should offer them dual citizenship in Australia, a move that would boost the economies of what might otherwise be failed states, dispel Mr. Costello’s nightmares about our aging population, and create a state with fishing and mineral rights over an eight of the world’s surface.



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Monday, October 10, 2005

LTO number million

Hugh White’s call in the Age to allow Pacific islanders to work in Australia under short-term visas is a good idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. We should offer them dual citizenship in Australia, a move that would boost the economies of what might otherwise be failed states, dispel Mr. Costello’s nightmares about our aging population, and create a state with fishing and mineral rights over an eighth of the world’s surface.



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Immigration

John Howard seems to have succeeded in defining down the concept of ministerial responsibility to the point where the only way Amanda Vanstone could be removed is if she pulled out a dirty syringe and tried to rob a petrol station. And the Australian public wouldn’t vote Howard out unless he drove the getaway car into a tree while hyped on crystal meth. And the most depressing thing of all is that I wouldn’t count on even those benchmarks holding up longer than six months.



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