On Stopping CancerI

31 08 2010

Cancer has affected my family, My Parents, My Pets and Myself.

At the moment My Sister is in hospital suffering from it’s cruelty.

Although we have treatments now, which have saved a lot of lives, including mine, there’s no silver bullet…
but at some point, science will have a cure, I’m quite confident of that.

While trillions of dollars are spent on terrorism, not enough is spent on cancer, and which of the two do you feel kills and maims more of us each day?

There are very bright scientists out there who are keen to knock cancer on it’s head for all time, but the rest of us want to help too, and the best way that we can do something tangible is to raise money, so that our scientists can get what they need to get their work done as quickly as possible.

Winning this fight means that we don’t have to see our family, friends, pets or ourselves suffering from this all too common disease.

I’d like to see a fun new charity form, and here’s how it works.

A lot of people, when they recieve letters from charities, read the letter and find there’s a series of boxes at the bottom.

What are you donating $20, $50, $100 or “Other”.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m not a wealthy person myself and simply don’t have that kind of money to give to anyone, despite the fact that I would help if I could. In general, a letter of this type ends up in my recycle bin, and I’m left feeling like a nasty person for doing nothing.

I bet this happens to others too.

So what I’m proposing is a Ten Cents Day, and here’s how it works.

We setup a collection station somewhere, and we have signs out explaining to people that we’re collecting for cancer research and that all we want is ten cents, we don’t hassle them for extras, if they give more, that’s cool, but the idea is that while people most likely would not donate $20 and upwards, practically everyone would be happy to drop ten cents into a tin.

I think Kids might really go for it too.

I’m not sure how we could go about setting something like this up, it’s certainly something I’ve had no experience with, but it’s a fun idea that might just work.

What do you think?

Speed Test

28 08 2010

There’s still some debate over the speed of broadband, if we actually need the extra speed or not, so I’d like to show you a real life demo.

Firstly, I’d like you to right click this link and choose “Open in another tab” or “Open in another window”.

A video from YouTube will open, called “Step out of the Shade” which I made myself in a video editing program called “Sony Vegas”.

The Video was then rendered (saved) as an mpg-2 file, which came to about 1GB in size.

You’ll note that it’s 720p HD, and that it runs for 6 minutes and 43 Seconds (6.43).

My broadband speed is 1500/256, That is, 1500kb for downloading and 256kb for uploading.

Now guess how long the video took to upload to YouTube.

Eight Hours!

That’s right, it took Eight solid hours, during which, the computer was eating up power and couldn’t do much else, apart from some light work such as e-mail and twitter.

And since the main computer on my network was stuck doing this huge job, it meant that anything on wi-fi in my house was naturally going to have problems too.

OK, this video was just done for a bit of fun, it’s me flexing my video editing skills, but what if I was a reporter and I had just filmed some breaking news for my TV network, and was stuck with the same speed… clearly it’s not good enough.

If we’d had the NBN up and running, then I doubt that my upload would have taken much more than just a few seconds.


* Yes I do use wi-fi, I find it’s great for doing fairly lightweight work, however, wi-fi is slower than a wired connection, uploading this video to YouTube on a wi-fi connection would’ve taken a lot longer, and eight hours is a lot as it is.

* This would have been a major concern to people who were making a collaborative film which needed to be uploaded in HD from different points around the world. One short video was enough for me, but what if I had to upload over an hours worth of edited video?

Our Broadband Future

13 08 2010

Some people think that the governments plan to have an internet that goes at 1GB is insane, but I feel they’re wrong and here’s why.

A lot of people are fairly new to the internet, it’s got a cool factor now, but it didn’t always, the internet was once the domain of nerds who only ever chatted about their computers and their favourite science fiction programs (I’m being cheeky here) I first got online with my Amiga, a 16-bit computer from the 90’s, and my dialup speed was 14.4kb. I gradually worked up from 28k to 33kb and finally 56kb.

Back then, the internet was too slow for most things, downloading a single mp3 could take hours, the same for a video, even a large image file could take up to five minutes to get. so often I’d choose what I wanted to download and go and make a cuppa, walk the dog, take in a tv show as the hamsters in the modem turned their wheel as fast as their little legs could move.

People who have recently joined us have known nothing else but broadband, so many of you don’t know the pains and lengths of time it took to do anything.

When I was new to the internet, we had e-mail and IRC chat. About the fanciest thing we had were MUDs which were a kind of online computer game/chatroom. No graphics or sound, just text, but as primitive as it was, people seemed to enjoy it.

Now things are a lot fancier, and generally work better. The latest internet speed I have is about half a meg per second, which, to me, is quite amazing as I can easily download a ten megabyte file in a minute or so.
however, as my upload speed is just 256kb, then uploading a YouTube video has taken eight hours.

People who don’t see the point of a 1gb internet, have little foresight. I cringed at the remark about dishwashers by Senator Conroy, to me that just seems silly, though Conroy isn’t the brightest bulb. On one hand, this man has listened to the techies and taken some of it in, which is great, but his own bizarre obsessions still have him drooling for a filtered internet. I’ve watched him choking down his anger when anyone challenges him about it, and I wonder what’s really going on in his head.

I think the NBN, unfiltered of course, will be great, but what might all that extra bandwidth be used for? there’s got to be more point to it than simply downloading torrent files faster than ever, right?

Well, coming to hospitals very soon will be high-definition cat scanners, which will produce the most amazing 3D graphics that we’ve ever seen of the inside of a living body, as far as diagnosis goes, these will be essential for saving lives.

However, the files produced from these (and even from todays cat scanners) are so large, that if a doctor has to send the files to another doctor, they have to resort to a courier or snail mail, todays internet can barely handle such large files and when lives are in danger, every minute counts.

When we think of computers, we think of something on a desk, but one day that will change… remember, we didn’t always have small mobile devices such as the iphone and ipad, just as radios were once huge, heavy things that lived in the loungeroom, computers will eventually become so small that we’ll barely know they’re there.

There will come a day soon where computers won’t need a keyboard, mouse and monitor, we have to get away from the situation where we’re tied down to a desk, our great grandkids will find it amusing that our generation actually had to carry something with us, they will live in a world where computers are “invisible”… they might be in their clothes, jewelery or their glasses, they just won’t have to remember to take a gadget with them like we do now.

At the moment, when we do a video chat with someone, we see a passable, but blurry image on our screens, but once the NBN rolls out, we can put a lot more data through the pipes, making video chats as clear as digital television pictures are now.

Remember the glasses I mentioned?

You have a friend in japan who calls you, and when you answer, what you see is something like a hologram of your friend standing in front of you, and likewise, they see you too. you can now sit at either end of the kitchen table and it will seem so realistic that you may forget that your friend is actually so far away, it won’t feel like you’re hunched over a computer as we do today, there will be a natural fluidity about it, distance really won’t matter quite so much.

Anyone who walks into your house or your friend’s house, will see both of you chatting and can join in if they have a set of glasses too, you could even sit outside together.

I can see kids of tomorrow chatting with both their real friends and virtual friends in a circle, all seeing each other live and not caring that half their friends are thousands of miles away, to them it will seem perfectly natural.

As I said, I use Secondlife a lot, My avatar is a big orange coloured werewolf with a blue mohawk, why couldn’t he bust free of his virtual world and come out into the real world using the same method that I’ve just described?

In fact there is a YouTube video of this exact thing, where a secondlife avatar is standing inside someones office and looks as tall as a normal human, They call this Augmented Reality.

People think we’re really advanced, but we have a long way to go, computers are still in their infant stages yet. perhaps you’ve seen pictures of the early days of radio, like this

Girl listening to the radio

That’s us, with computers, right now, or perhaps it was, computers were a lot larger once… I’m writing this on a MacBook.

If you told that girl that radio would get so small that we could put it in our pocket and take it anywhere, and that FM radio would allow us to hear our music in stereo, or that we could download a podcast of our favourite radio program and listen to it in our free time, then I wonder what she’d think?

I would bet that if you told a lot of people back then, many would be excited, but quite a lot of people would shrug their shoulders andsay that mono AM radio is good enough for them, and they can’t see a reason for FM anyway, and that nobody would go out into the street wearing headphones, they’d look silly.

This is what we’re up against.

If our politicians are lacking any vision at this upcoming election, maybe we’d better have a good look at ourselves too… either things stay more or less the same, or we start doing things in a much better way… if you’ve got a flat screen TV in your home, would you be happy to go back to a tubed set?

It’s unlikely that you’d say yes.



10 08 2010

One of the things I have enjoyed doing online is hanging around with other furries, for those of you who don’t know what a furry is, it’s basically someone who describes themselves as a sort of half-animal creature… goodness, that might be me!

We’ve been around for decades as a sort of underground community… many of us are artists, we write, paint, draw, take photos, make films, sculpt, create music, and build fursuits… they look like mascots and I’m sure you’ve seen them, especially if you’re near a place where some of the huge “furcons” are held.

Furries also tend to be very open about their sexuality, and while not all furry activities are centered around “adult activity” some of it very definitely is… we are people after all, and people do have sex from time to time.

This usually takes the form of erotic art, which is often visually stunning… it is not usually some quick porn whipped up in five minutes, but beautifully sketched and coloured artwork which is sometimes sold at furcons for fans of the genre to hang on their walls at home… in a private space, of course!

Not long ago the mainstream media found out about us, and gave us a hard time. rather than finding out exactly what it was that we were doing, they went all low-brow on us and went for any shock value that they could dig up. MTV, Vogue and E.R. all had a crack, and the public got a terribly distorted view of what we represented.

Naturally furries became media shy, a bad idea in my opinion, though I do understand.
I felt that documentary makers would eventually catch up and find out what the scene was really about… and they did.

There’s been a huge shift in public feelings towards furries over the last four years, which began with a type of racism, which was certainly educational for a white Aussie male to feel… it has actually done me some good as I found out what life must be like for those who are harassed based on their skin colour… but now, people are generally ok with us, and that’s great.

So, I was talking about the art before… of course it’s not just sold at cons, a lot of it is posted to forums like Furaffinity, which will receive roughly five new image posts every few minutes. It’s here where new artists can discuss their work with older, more experienced artists or simply show off what they’ve created with others.

Partnerships from all over the world will spring up here, lifelong friendships will form, and people will fly in from all over the planet to meet these friends at cons in the US, The UK and Australia.

Years ago I met my friend Marko, who lives in Brisbane. Marko wears a fursuit by the name of Rattus… yes he’s a giant Rat. I consider Marko not just a friend, but a soul-mate. He’s been there for me through thick and thin, even flying down to stay with me not long after my Mothers death.

So the internet is very important to furries.

it was quite a surprise then to find that when I got a look at the internet blacklist, which may or may not be real, several furry sites were listed.

It was just a few pictures, but what if we aussie furries go to our favourite art sites after Conroy gets his way and find that our entire websites have been blocked? what then?

The sites are already password protected the same way as facebook or youtube, you do need an account there to have a site to store your art… as I do.

Though I seriously feel that the filter won’t actually work, it does bother me that our government would stomp on so many toes because they find our art inappropriate.


Missionary man

10 08 2010

I’m feeling downright pissed off over the twitter messages and deleted (sort of) webpage by Wendy Francis, Her rampant homophobia is clearly evident, even if she denies it.

but to then have Gary Burns from One Nation chime in and say that he appreciated Wendys tweet and then to add that he likes to bash “phoofters” is just horrific.

A type of personality exists, where if a person carries a holy book and they believe in invisible fairy people in the sky, then somehow they may have an inflated view of their own morals. They feel perfectly happy to tell us what we ought to do, many of them are in favour of filtering our internet so that we can’t see pictures of people making love, in our own homes… which to me is far more natural than praying to unlikely gods in the sky.

But how can the self-righteous nits think that their moral codes are so much better than our own, when ours don’t include a fear of sexuality or race?

These people are happy to spread all kinds of nasty lies, fear and guilt, and embed cruel and frightening notions of hell into our kids heads. while discouraging proven ideas such as the age of the earth and that dinosaurs actually lived.

They’re holding our kids at ransom, fervently serving Jesus on a plate when Evolution is swept under the carpet, why is Religion taught at schools when physics and biology is not taught at Church?

They’ve managed through their fear mongering to hold back science and medicine, such as stem-cell technology which could have already freed us from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

I thought Christians were supposed to “Love thy neighbour”

Via their religious views they seem to feel it’s ok to go and slander people with differing sexual orientations, to bother people who have done nothing wrong other than be born in a different country, or declare a “just war” because they have their God on their side.

These people with their mad ideas also seem, despite their holy books telling them to live in peace, the very ones most likely to wish to bare arms… why is it that the religious nutters are almost always gun enthusiasts too?

These people with their God, their Holy book, their Guns and a bizarre national pride make very dangerous human beings.

While they are keen to tell us that Gay Marriage will damage society completely, I urge you to look closely at what these people have done, and will continue to do.

Their hatred causes shame, and that shame causes some gentler members of our community to fall into depression and commit suicide and I don’t think that has done much good for society at all… just think, some of the brightest people in our community, who had the potential to save us from ourselves, thrown on the scrapheap because someone couldn’t deal with where they wanted to put their penis.

Although we tolerate them, as indeed we must, at times it is extremely difficult when faced with the dreadful utterances and backward ideals that they harbour.

They will tell us that we haven’t moved forward, and yet we have… nobody puts boxing gloves on their teenage sons to prevent masturbation in bed anymore (at least I hope not), Women can vote, and drive, it’s perfectly ok to go shopping in a bikini on a very hot day if you like, Black people can marry white people if they wish and shops can remain open on a sunday.

If gay people want to get married, then why not? what does it matter to you where they spill their seed? you won’t be in their bedroom… standing there at the foot of the bed with your Bible, preaching Jesus at the top of your lungs while David penetrates Steve’s hot rear end with his nine-inch love-tool? No, Didn’t think so… so who cares what they do?

And in truth they just might be having a relaxing night on the couch together, watching a Bambi DVD… Yes, the Disney film, with the deer.

But then I always knew you had a filthy mind.

“Missionary Man” Eurythmics


When the Fat Lady sings.

8 08 2010

Shortly after the announcement that the Liberal party would not back the Governments internet filter, there was speculation on Twitter that since the Labor party would simply not get enough people agreeing to it in parliament,
that it was probably finished.

With this news, some of us began celebrating, and Getup! prematurely declared our victory.
This is a lot like declaring the winner of a race when there’s still twenty laps to go.

What I fear may have happened, are that those who would have voted in a way that would block the filter, have possibly decided that since the filter will no longer be an issue, that we can go and vote for someone else.

Labor is still very clearly pressing forward with a plan to filter the internet, despite the many times they’ve been told that it won’t work, and they also plan to keep records of our visits to websites, which surely must go against all our basic privacy requirements.

Our online freedom is still at risk, the celebrating was premature, the fat lady hasn’t sung… until everyone has voted and we find that they’ve done so in our favour, it’s only then can we pop a few corks.


My problem with religion

2 08 2010

With my kind of mind, and how it operated, I was never going to accept religion… much to the frustration of my Mother, and I’ve written about this before.

But there’s something else.

I have also written about Barry, a boy who was “backward” and would never really grow up, even though his body most certainly did. Without a mother of his own, My Cousin very kindly raised him.

Alas, during the 80’s, while our sexuality emerged, I think Mum had the idea that she could deal with it by shoving us into sunday school every weekend.

It may have just been an excuse for Mum to have free time with Yvonne who was going through marriage problems too, get the kids away for an hour, have a good long woman to woman chat, I’m not sure, both?

Barry, although intellectually disabled, wasn’t noticeably so until you tried to converse with him, his subjects were on permanent repeat cycles, spinning around in his mind like disc worlds that he couldn’t jump from.

Things that frightened him seemed to stick there too easily.. He, was afraid of nuclear war, like almost all of us were back then, so he’d ask people questions about it often. That wasn’t unusual for any teenager in the 80’s, the idea terrified us and a lot our pop music revolved around it. But for Barry it was worse.

or maybe not, the way he’d flit from one of his pet subjects to the next, possibly indicated that once he’d tackled that bit of mental difficulty, he could just drop it and move on. despite his fears, he always seemed fairly happy.

There came a point where I lost touch with him and hadn’t heard from him for years, as he’d grown up and left my cousins home.

Then in the late 90’s he began phoning us once or twice during the week, and would speak about the things that scared him… strangers, being bashed up (he never has been), violence on the news, moomba, father christmas, death and God are about the limits of his conversations.

At some point, a christian organisation invited him to go to church, it’s funny how the sunday school didn’t seem to bother him much, although they didn’t lay on the heavy stuff.

Barry was exposed to ideas about God being the god of love who, despite the fact that he loves you, would still think little of sending you down to burn in a fiery hell for all eternity, for the most minor infraction.

Despite the fact that I’m an atheist, it’s really hard to get away from, to take your mind off that, the process of brainwashing is so amazingly strong, and I go through similar ordeals.

Religion is a cruelty, which tells us to be good and maybe we’ll see our loved ones again, which I know, having lost mine, would be the most wonderful thing. although because of the way I think and what I desire, I’d probably go to hell.

And I’m somewhat over it, but still can’t shake it fully, I had a pray before my operation, which might surprise you, out of fear… do you know how hard that is for me to admit?

But I want to because if someone like me who has a reasonable mental fitness is still having problems with fear of hell… then what on earth is it doing to Barry?

If people really want to go to church on a sunday, they should be allowed to, but none of these fundies in our government have any right to ram jesus down our throats, and I will fight them with as much of my own fire and brimstone that I can produce.