27 November, 2006

mo update

This was last week, but I've only just got around to putting it up.
So you can see that I look like a twit with a mo. This makes it even more important that you send me money.
So, Go to the Movember web page, tell it you want to sponsor inmate 20881 and give the nice computer your credit card details.
or enter 24601 to sponsor some miserable bloke called Jean Valjean.

Why did they built the Great Wall of China?

That, that was, during the time of the Emperor Nasi Goreng. And, ah, it was to keep the rabbits out. Too many rabbits, in China.

Give your kids the right answers, get them Public Library Membership
And you could get them broadband too, but that'd cost you while your public library is free.

besides which, thanks to me writing this post (and other people discussing the Telstra Bigpond commercial, I don't doubt that it is now possible to do a search and find out about Nasi Goreng and his rabbits.

For those of you who may be having a WTF moment...
this should explain it all.

I just got back from visiting our local private school (St Bearded Lady's Pentecostal School for young Ladies and Farmer's Sons) where I gave a bit of a spiel to next years batch of final year students about what is so great about the local public library, and why they should get off their arses and join.
I used the fact that there are probably sites about Emperor Nasi Goreng as an example of why they need to do more than just a google search. I also sold them the idea that our online databases are a reliable resource (in contrast to what I say to you guys here). Although, in order to remain true to myself I did tell them that a lot of what they want they will be able to find via Google and wikipaedia.
I did however try and sell to them the "librarians are better at finding things than you are" line. Because that is one I am down with. We aren't your resource for when google won't help (although we don't mind if that is the case sometimes) but we are ready to improve your search results, even when you've already found some of what you want.

23 November, 2006

I'm still a Pom

I left the old dart in 1979 as a seven year old, I've been back once (for three weeks as a spotty teenager with a mullet) and yet I am still apparently a Bloody Pom.

You are 94% English.

Congratulations! You may now take your place as a subject of Her Majesty.

"And did those feet
In ancient times,
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
In England's pleasant pastures seen?"

Well, no, but it's a cracking good tune.

How English are you?

still, it explains my comment on Tom Goodfellow's blog, regarding my hopes that the Aussie cricket team manage to loose the ashes.

22 November, 2006

Sgt. Dubya's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Wonkette commentator Civil Negligence suggested that the getup from the recent APEC conflab had a very Sgt. Pepper's look to it, so I put together this little tribute to the brave men and women who provide the world's leaders with batik shirts, chamantos, barong shirts and other things that make these men and women look stupider than, umm
stupider than a bucket of stupidity at a stupid factory?
stupider than a cow whose just been fired from the position of Professor of Stupid at Hull University?
yeah, that aught to work.

Although, when it comes to 'Peppering' the world's leaders I think that Bangkok (oriental city, and the city don't know what the city has got) did a better job.

21 November, 2006

New Line decide Hobbit film to be crap

Reading between the lines in this report,
I have to say that there is almost no chance that the film adaptation of the Hobbit will be worth watching. Not only will it suffer under John's First Form Imperative, but now Peter Jackson - the man who gave us Bad Taste - is no longer to be involved.
Boo Hiss New Line, you had true love and you gave it away for profits. Boo Hiss

17 November, 2006

now you don't even have to read the dummies guide

Continuing with my recent theme...
Literary 'Dummies' getting TV treatment

Nov. 16, 2006 at 9:32PM

The creative minds behind NBC's "Hell's Kitchen" and the " ... for Dummies" how-to manuals are set to bring the literary works to U.S. television.
With more than 1,000 such literary manuals to choose from, "Hell's Kitchen" producer A. Smith & Co. and U.S. publisher John Wiley & Sons will have lots of topics to choose from for TV adaptations currently being planned, said Daily Variety.
"Whatever topic you can think of, there's a 'Dummies' book for it," said Arthur Smith, who runs his TV production company with Kent Weed. "There's such a plethora of information, and these are books -- not pamphlets."

I think there is something in that for all of us.

books v films

A bit of an offshoot from my last couple of posts,
It is what I call the First Form Imperative.
That is that the value of any text declines as it changes form.
My examples would be;
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was at its best as a radio serial, the books were still fantastic but the TV series and the film did nothing to add to the franchise. Of course the passage of time might interfere with this as the Film has better technology than the TV series.
Likewise Lord of the Rings was a better book than Film while Star Wars is better as a film than any of the books (or graphic novels).
Any comic book is completely crap when it gets to the big screen (Judge Dread, Hellboy and everything Marvel or DC) but the Batman TV series was better than the films.
The same is true with the new trend to turn games into movies or books.
The one place where this rule might not work would be Fantastic Voyage, where Isaac Asimov wrote the book of the film and decided he didn't like the Hollywood ending so he changed it. Although, despite the film being made first, the book was released first (and I never saw the TV series, but I'm going to guess it was appalling) so perhaps the imperative still applies?

Anyone else think they have an exception to John's First Form Imperative?

14 November, 2006

Books are for blind people

My last post was done, and I was walking away from my PC when my brain reminded me of this ctrl+alt+del comic and it seemed to fit in with the idea that if a book is difficult it isn't worth reading it. After all, every book (even Area 7) is harder to digest than a movie so why bother at all.

Remove My Brain And Replace It With A Turnip

Ruminations pointed me to Bibliobibuli's post on Nick Hornby's comments about Low Lit, or lowbrow reading.
...reading for enjoyment is what we all should be doing. I don't mean we should all be reading chick lit or thrillers (although if that's what you want to read, it's fine by me, because here's something no one will ever tell you: if you don't read the classics or the novel that won this year's Booker Prize, then nothing bad will happen to you; more importantly, nothing good will happen to you if you do); I simply mean that turning pages should not be like walking through thick mud...

Which is the line of defence I use when people question why I try to spend all of my youth budget on Hellboy. But then I realised that the "walking through thick mud" quote is rather similar to how I have described reading Patrick White. Although I prefer to say it is like swimming through treacle.
Despite this, I love the work of Patrick White. I've started Voss at least four times, I've read The Twyborn Affair twice (and got different things out of it) I find A Fringe of Leaves to be a wonderful read, I saw a Sydney Theatre Company performance of The Ham Funeral which was some of the best theatre I have ever seen. In short, there is a lot to be said for "walking through thick mud" because the willingness to push yourself beyond your comfort zone is important.
So when I saw this little opinion piece in the Herald The Great Patrick White Massacre Is About To Be Unleashed I was more than a little taken aback.
The discovery of Patrick White's rough drafts just shows that there's a good and bad side to everything. The five people in the world who actually read Patrick White novels will be pleased...

This is the sort of Dickhead thinking that saw Shakespeare taken off school reading lists. But just because not everyone is set up to read Patrick White (or Shakespeare) doesn't mean that we should be preventing those who want to, to give it a try. Nor should we hold back from giving those who could read something a bit more high brow a push in that direction. Because while Nick Hornby says "we have to promote the joys of reading, rather than the (dubious) benefits" I would suggest that we could strike a balance and rather than turn out a whole generation of average students who all read average books we could suggest something more challenging. But then this is Australia, the great egalitarian land and if we give some kids Patrick White and other kids Selby Goes To Fluffy Bunny Town then we might be suggesting that some kids are smarter than others and that would cause our entire society to fall down into a screaming great heap. Because in Australia we are all equally gifted intellectually and the only way to tell one person from another is by our Sporting Ability.

Funny, this seems to have taken a turn away from what I started writing.
So let me end with
Read Patrick White, it might not be as simple to read as Hovercar Racer but it's well worth the effort. And it might get you thinking about this putrefying averageness which invades every aspect of Australian society. White knew about it and fought it but Matthew Reilly (and many other authors) just seems to be exploiting it as a market for books which are as intellectually bankrupt as most of the vapid TV we get spoonfed.

13 November, 2006

There is no God

You scored as atheism. You are... an atheist, though you probably already knew this. Also, you probably have several people praying daily for your soul.

Instead of simply being "nonreligious," atheists strongly believe in the lack of existence of a higher being, or God.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com
This result comes as quite a surprise to me as I didn't realise I was an atheist, but I'll just have to live with it. After all if you can't rely on online quizes to know you better than you know your self then what is the interweb for?
That said, I have never done a very good job of being a Christian, at least according to the way it is understood in our current capitalist western society and i know that I scare the hell out of most of the members of my regular Bible study group with my oddball theology.
So perhaps I am almost atheist, after all there are a lot of gods I don't believe in.

Where the bloody hell are you?

It would seem that the "Where the bloody hell are you" ads promoting Australia as a tourist destination have not been as successful as had been hoped. This is a big blow for me personally as I had put a lot of money into a library marketing campaign I had hope would replace "@your library".

My "We're more than Bloody Books you Moron" campaign now however seems to be dead in the water.

07 November, 2006

Is something the matter

You're damn right there is something the matter. Something sinister and something grotesque. And what's worse is that it's going on right here under my very nose.

I am as excited as a very excited person who's got a special reason to be excited

Well, we're 7 days into my search for moustache based machismo and it seems that my chances of having a full Melchett by November's end are perhaps a little on the unlikely side. Still with luck I'll manage a Darling because if by month's conclusion I only have a Parkhurst I shall be more than a little chagrined and might instead have to take up slug balancing. Still at least I'm giving it a go, not sitting this one out on the touchline with the half-time oranges and the fat wheezy boys with a note from matron.

Online resources - waste of money. Better to put your library budget into trifectas

Well, it is cup day and I went up to the TAB and put a few dollars on a few horses. And aint life grand I picked 1,2,3, which is all nice and gives me money in my pocket but then the director looked up at the odds and pointed out to me that had I put those three horses in as a trifecta I would have pocketed myself over $50000. So my current payout doesn't seem so fantastic any more.
Still, we had a few bottles open for lunch and was feeling slightly merry. then I sat down at my PC and found a request for the manager for my October report by 3:30 today. Today? After half a bottle of red? Ah well, so be it, I got in and typed it up. I'm not the only one who had to do it in a hurry, but the others are still working on theirs.

The report writing graduated into a bit of discussion on the use of our online resources and emboldened by the grape I declared them all a monumental waste of money.
Let me give you my reasoning:
I have kids at school and I haven't shown them the online resources. If I'm not bothered by it, how many of our other patrons will feel the need?
Somewhere in the vicinity of 95% of our potential patrons live within walking distance of the library.
I am currently studying postgrad and I rarely (if ever) use the online resources my uni offers, which are an order of magnitude better than the ones our little public library can afford.
I manage to survive a masters degree using my set textbook, book of readings, a selection of industry blogs and Google Scholar. All free of charge.
To get to the online resources we offer from home, you need to:
1. Go to the council page
2. Click the library link
3. Go to the online catalogue
4. Enter your library card number
5. Enter your password
6. Click on the online resources link
7. Select the link you want (from a very spread out list)
If you are doing this from home with a slow or even a dialup connection it would take most of our patrons less time to drive to the library.
Plus a lot of the content you get from online databases is Americancentric, which while not a problem if you are looking for who built the Great Wall Of China, may be less beneficial if you are looking for information on drugs which have different trade names in the US than the ones we use in Straya.

01 November, 2006

Cocking a snood

During November I'll be attempting to grow a moustache. That's right I'll be trying hard to get a fuzzy upper lip, with luck more in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle style than that of Freddy Mercury.
A bit more Lord Kitchener than Ron Jeremy,
A tad more Nietzsche than Chopper Read,
Much more Wilhelm II than Burt Reynolds.

Why the hell would I do this, well the official reason is that I'm raising money for men's health.
* The average life expectancy of men is 6 years less than for women.
* Every year in Australia 2,700 men die of prostate cancer.
* Depression affects 1 in 6 Aussie men
To that end you can help by sponsoring my mo.
Go to the Movember web page, enter 20881 (my Rego number) and give the nice computer your credit card details.

That's right folks, I'm after 'Mo' Money.