Stuff I don’t care if I ever see on the internet ever EVER again!

27 10 2010

Firstly, I have nothing against internet memes, but I have a feeling that some people are stuck on these subjects like dead flies on flypaper, Pages and pages of the following are regurgitated and re-regurgitated over and over. and if you’ve got stumbleupon you already know what I mean.

I crave originality, and sorry if you disagree, but I feel that everything listed below needs to just curl up and die.

Ninjas – including the turtley kind, sorry guys, I always thought you were awesome, I even named a cat of mine after Splinter, which might seem strange, but that’s what happened.

Zombies – Damnit, no more f*cking zombies, I don’t care what you’ve got, I don’t want it. I don’t care if it’s a new movie or photos of people getting together for a flaming zombie march, boring, forget it.

Lego – Castles made of lego, lavatories, animals, spaceships… lego made of other lego, whatever, I hate f*cking lego.

Star Wars – I don’t care if I ever see another Darth Vader or Storm trooper ever again, even though I was a fan of the movies, I’m completely, completely over it. Except for Chewie, Chewie is cool.

Cupcakes – So you’ve made something in the shape of a cupcake, delightful, do me a favour and shove it up your rectum.

Bacon – Yes it’s true, I don’t like bacon, nor do I need anything shaped, smelling or tasting like it.

Batman – Good F*cking grief, get over it.
and you can take a running jump too Spiderman.

Kitties? No I like kitties, I love animals in general, provided they’re not made of lego, bacon or look anything like a bloody cupcake.

What about you, you’ve been using stumbleupon late at night (or early in the morning if you’re anything like me) and you frown as you think “Not that again!”… and hit the stumble button again, it gets things right sometimes.

Wolfie!

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My Virtual Frustration

26 10 2010

As many would know, I’ve been using Second life for about five years now, and during that time, it has given me friends… not cliché online friends who could be axe murderers or whatever, but genuine friends who I’ve met in real life and invited into my home.

I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with a documentary, “Alter Ego” commissioned by SBS, and to have a credit in an Australian feature film “Beautiful Kate”.

Second life has loads of potential, alas, in many ways, that’s often all it has.

Yes folks, I’m going to bite the hand that fed me.

Second life worked, at least it worked to a point. I found that I could work my rear end off creating some form of display, only to log in a few days later and find that another member of the island had done something, usually to the land, and this had upset my work.

If I write a blog post, in fact I’m writing one now, I know for a fact that however long I leave the page, when I finally do return, that all my words and posts will be intact… not floating in the air, or hurled into a lake or returned to me by another member.

One member of the ABC Admin had made a lovely garden area, which not only looked great but functioned very well, it was being used and enjoyed by others. I was annoyed to log in one day to find it all gone. It turned out that another member had said something which possibly offended the creator, and so she removed it, leaving a flat and empty construction zone which even today hasn’t been adequately used.

I also miss the Laneways, which despite some of the problems people had, mostly due to a slow down of their computer, refered to as “lag”. I was listening to the fors and againsts, and things were split 50-50, there was discussion on whether it should be kept or not, but eventually it was all taken down.

Rockit was something I had worked very hard on, it was my virtual music quiz show, which made an appearance in the documentary. But it was hard to bring people in to watch it… unlike television, it had to be done live and couldn’t be recorded for later… at least not by myself, and the point of it was the interaction, watching a recorded show wouldn’t have been quite as much fun. Having a live show meant that people had to be in the audience NOW
not always easy to do, I’ll admit, when the kids have to be put to bed or the dog walked.

As I said, Second life had a lot of potential, but many wouldn’t bother turning up to try it, I remember that I was even reluctant to try it, as I have never seen myself as a gamer, and at that point I assumed that it was a game.

Once I logged in, and stayed for a while, I realised that this was a 3D Social Network, where I could meet people and make real life friends, and since I found it difficult to get out due to my health, I found it a real boon, logging in for hours each day.

At one point, ABC offered a Science Discussion, hosted by members of the CSIRO which was a hit, but only lasted for about five weeks, I’m not really sure why. People asked me dozens of times if the CSIRO talks would return or if we’d have some other science content happening instead. Well I tried, I really did. I have some science connections and put the word out, but I may as well have been yelling into the wind as nobody was interested. of course all this would have been done for free since I’m just an individual who has no money to spare for projects and I do know that even keen scientists aren’t always keen to talk about their subject for free.

I tried inviting Pool into ABC Island, We had a building created, and thought that everything was all set to go, only to be trapped by certain legal hitches, or perhaps by people who just didn’t care. Everything ground to a halt.

I have told people about Second life and it’s potential, hell even if you’re not a gamer then surely you can see the benefit of standing with a group of people, you in Australia, a friend from New York, another from London and one from Germany… all talking together about things you did in real life today, for as long as you please. It’s the cheapest discussion ever, and much, much more fun than staring at a single face on Skype.

But they won’t log in… ok, maybe their computer is too old, or perhaps they don’t have the bandwidth, but then,
Second life doesn’t demand so much that it’s going to be that much of a problem. Sometimes it just seems to people that the learning curve is too great, but it’s not really, you pick things up as you go, people will give you handy little tips along the way.

It’s especially excellent for those with health issues or those who are stuck in rural locations and want to get out and socialise, but can’t.

I found the oddest thing was that when I was in Second Life, I didn’t feel like I was talking to my friend overseas on the phone, I felt like more like I was with them, and that was nice. Granted it’s not exactly the same… but how many of us can spontaneously decide to get the Lear jet refueled and fly to Canada on a whim?

Whether it was pre-conceived ideas or actual computer problems, people just never really seemed to give Second Life a real go, to see if it was useful.

It’s certainly every bit as useful an online tool as Facebook and Twitter, what went wrong? I’m not sure.

Anyway, for five years I tried my hardest, I did a lot of work, I tried to bring people in to show them that this place really can work well, but all I seem to have to show for it is a huge pile of frustration.

The island that I originally lived on and helped design recently ran low on funding, and it was sold off, I’m about to have everything I put in place returned to me, which saddens me somewhat, but there’s little I can do about it.

I’ve pretty much given up, I’ve been using Twitter and Facebook, and have been writing here, but as far as Second Life goes, I just feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall.

And I seldom log in anymore.

Wolfie!





The Brick Wall

21 10 2010

Since being involved in social media, my perceptions have changed in many ways, and one of those things is my views on what makes a celebrity.

There was once a time when I couldn’t wait to see a movie, or to watch it at home on video or TV, I liked the people I saw on the screen, but they could never love or even simply, like, me back.

For much of my life I’ve felt like there’s this brick wall, and what I want is on the other side. Though surely we’ve all felt like that at some stage, the grass is always greener they say.

Sometimes the way I see it is that people who are in media are on that side of the wall and I’m on this side.

I find it very strange that there are people who I’ve “known” via what they do on TV or Movies for years, even decades, and yet they don’t know me from a bar of soap. a lot of people are comfortable with that idea… but I’m just a little uneasy about it.

There have been moments when I’ve been online where I felt as though I had managed to put a few small holes in that wall and manage to tell someone on the other side that I am here.

I find that these days, I don’t care about someones show unless I have had some sort of contact with them online.

Actual conversation, that’s what I’m after, it means more to me if someone has sent me a few tweets to ask how Katie is today or if I’m feeling well, or to ask my opinion, or if I could help with something as opposed to “My big new show is on Ten in five minutes”.

I have always felt that I was on the wrong side of things, a frustrated audience member, I want to be up there with those other people, I want to produce something that makes people think or wonder or just laugh for a while.

You know, for a while when I was on radio, I got very upset with myself. “What use am I?” I asked myself. I wasn’t a doctor, who does serious work like heal the sick and injured, I was just a dag who turns up to a radio studio twice a week and says silly things between records.

Well, years later, I found myself in hospital, looking at stark walls, feeling worried, not feeling well enough to do anything, or even read. The constantly beeping drips really get to you after a while, and you hear the nurses talking about patients in the other ward who died during the night, I found the whole experience pretty tough going.

Then one day my wonderful Mum bought in my old Walkman, and I managed to find one station which wasn’t blotted out by all the radio interference that a big emergency hospital generates.

I still remember the first thing I heard was Duran Duran, it was bliss.

For a while I could escape.

And then I realised that to some people, hearing a friendly voice can be vital, working in radio was definitely not a useless occupation afterall, in fact doing any sort of work that makes people smile, be it radio, TV, theatre, film, writing or anything else, is definitely well worth the effort.

But I’m getting off track a bit.

If I can feel included in some way, if I feel I’m not just listener 20,345, if the person speaking into that mic knows I’m there, then it means a lot.

OK. so if you’re someone like Justin Bieber for example, you may really want to reach out to your fans on a personal level, but with thousands of keen followers, is it even possible to form a friendly relationship with any of them?

I do follow a few people who I adored as a teenager, and have tried numerous times to get a little conversation up, but have failed.

Earlier in the week @ThomasDolby followed me, he asked me a question, I answered… I was overjoyed, could it be that he and I could have a nice conversation, I would love that. I thanked him for following me, but warned that I’m a bit chatty, anyone who follows me on twitter knows that I practically write a small novel each day in tweets.

He unfollowed me.

I felt “jilted”, like the guy who was dropped by his favourite girl via SMS.

So I took my frustration out in a torrent of humourous tweets…

I thought I’d do a Vicar of Dibley and scoff all the crunchy bars in the house.
(I do store a lot of chocolate here, so if you should ever feel emotional, drive over, I have lots to share)

Well I didn’t do that, but I did down two bags of crisps instead, besides, chocolate is bad for my kind.

I thought that perhaps I had whacked a bloody huge hole out of the wall that day, only to watch aghast as it sealed itself up again in front of me again.

People do chat back to me, that’s wonderful, I appreciate it so much. If all you do is tell your followers when your concert is on, or when your book comes out, then people begin to care less about you and even wonder if you’re really you.

I follow @petshopboys, but their tweets are pretty useless, sometimes they tour and take happy snaps, but they come across as though tweeting is a business they’d rather not do, and they don’t seem particularly interested in the possibility that anyone might be reading… I find that I don’t feel any warmth towards them much anymore.

Though @StephenFry and @MrsStephenFry are really funny, and I suspect that Stephen Fry is a gent who would probably want to have a conversation with us if he didn’t have twenty million followers.

The ideal twitter celebrity is someone who will tweet back to you, has an air of kindness about them, has a few jokes with you, tweet about personal things and the things they’re working on, adds the odd passing thought, likes to stand up for the occasional issue, asks their twitter friends for technical or even personal help, and remembers to say thank you now and then… I’m happy to support this person.

I thought of Ringo Starr, do I even need to say he was with The Beatles?
Anyway, he believed in answering every letter from his fans, most just wanted his autograph, He had a damn good crack at it, he was at it for years. it wasn’t long ago that he finally told his fans he just couldn’t do it any longer, I wonder if he’s moved onto Twitter?

I have been labeled a celebrity myself by some, and I wore that label partially with tongue firmly in cheek, and partially because a part of me desires to be on that other side of the fence.

I’m forty-five this November, and am hoping to have completely smashed that wall by the time I’m 70, Perhaps that’s when Thomas Dolby will ask me if I’m free for coffee today.

And yes, should I make it to the other side, I will do my darnedest to keep in touch with you.

Wolfie!





#WolfieTU Tweetup

19 10 2010

A tweetup is defined as a twitter users get together, usually in a local area.

The general idea would be to gather a set of people who you regularly talk to, who live close by, or who might be in the area visiting, and meet at a pub, a gallery or a park for instance.

Now the world is a lot smaller because of the way we communicate online, and although we may chat to friends in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tokyo, New York or Hobart, it’s obviously going to be really difficult to get those people in the same place, at the same time, in a real life setting, although that would be very desirable.

So what I’m proposing is to have a global tweetup in Second life, possibly next week.

Second life is a virtual reality meeting place, and in my opinion is more Social Media than a game, some disagree, but whatever position you hold, the fact remains that people do meet there and talk.

Why we’d use Second life is because you can have multiple people in one space, possibly twenty or so, and use voice.

It sounds as though if we had twenty people all talking at once, then conversation would become very difficult to follow, but not really. Being in Second life is a bit like being at a party, it’s only the people that you are standing near who can be heard clearly, so by mixing in and moving around, voices fade in and out just like in real life.

Since the feedback on Twitter was positive, I think we should try it out.

But I would like to get a few things sorted out first, namely a suitable day, and a suitable time.

Some time towards the end of the week would probably best, Thursday, Friday or Satuday night, possibly around nine in the evening, Melbourne time. (+10 AEST).

Those who would like to try this out and hear the voices of those who they tweet with, should create a Second life account as soon as possible, please don’t leave it till the last minute as the software does take a while to download and install, and then there’s an awkward bit as you suddenly try to come to grips with unfamiliar software… don’t be too worried as I can help you with this when we’re there.

We will naturally enough, be using ABC Island as the location.

Secondlife registration and software is available here and is completely free of charge. (Mac/PC/Linux)

If you have questions, you can ask here or tweet with #WolfieTU





Mary Mackillop’s day off.

17 10 2010

And so we have our first saint, what a load of bollocks.

It’s 2010 and still the world clings to religion, what a sorry sight.

You may wonder what I have against religion, other than the wars which were started because of it, the people who were tortured because of it, the priests who raped little boys.

I’m against it because it’s held back science for hundreds of years, just think, if religion hadn’t been there to stop scientific discovery, then we may have already had cures for AIDS, Cancer or Blindness… but no no, You shalt not do this or that, but it’s fine to slaughter a few thousand who worship the other God, but we can’t tinker with a few stem cells which might improve someones health.

When poor Galileo saw that the Earth really did revolve around the sun did the Catholic Church, say “Wow, that’s Amazing” and pat him on the back? No, The Catholics told him to take it all back, say it wasn’t true (even though it was) and even threatened to whack the poor fellow in a dungeon.

Leonardo Da Vinci was very interested in anatomy, and stole bodies to look inside and see what made people tick, if he’d been discovered who knows what might have happened to him.

These men were not content to just go along like sheep and believe any cock and bull story that the church threw at them.

I have a lot of trouble with the story of Noah, basically because if you were from the Middle East some two thousand years ago, you would have been forgiven for thinking that there was perhaps about two hundred or so animal species in the world, and that you could possibly get them all loaded onto a boat, they didn’t have TV then and perhaps education was lacking.

But I defy anyone, apart from naturalists, to sit and watch a good David Attenborough doco and be familiar with every creature shown.

Estimates say that there may be about two million animal species on the planet (google it), therefore if there is two each (yes even two snails, as you still need two to mate) that means that Noah would have had to stuff FOUR MILLION animals onto his boat, and it still had to float.

Despite the fact that Mary was probably quite a nice lady who did her best for people, and therefore deserves respect, I find this whole canonisation thing frustrating when these same people who won’t stop bleeting about saints and gods and all kinds of gobbledegook can’t seem to understand that Stem Cell research could save a lot of genuine horrors and agony which people are experiencing at this very minute, and stopping this research has to be some sort of crime that I hope people in the future decry us for.

“Why on earth did they not push ahead with medical research” they’ll ask “If they had AIDS, MS and Cancer, Why were they so busy worrying about invisible people in the sky?”

Fortunately, despite the church, in some ways we have pressed ahead, and I thank Nicola Tesla for his invention which produced X-Rays, which eventually lead to Radiotherapy, and I suppose Chemotherapy was more of a combined effort between a lot of wonderful minds… those people and those inventions saved my life.

I give credit to my Surgeon, who sadly passed away due to the effects of Bowel Cancer himself, A heartfelt thankyou to Joe Tjandra

And also to my Oncologist, Peter Gibbs.

Had science been further along, perhaps I still might have had My beautiful parents, My Dad had extensive cancer all through him, believed to have started in his prostate. Mum had something that we suspect was cancer, but she died before diagnosis. My Sister put up a magnificent fight but still lost her battle of about 18 months with ovarian cancer.

I have also lost my dear animals because of that bloody disease. Benny the Malamute who died a terrible death. The cancer had got into his spine, and he was unable to walk… naturally at this point, he was in serious pain and had to be put down, it was one of the worst days of my life, I still hear his cries of agony even now.

Laddie was another who had it, My beautiful German Shepherd cross, such a good friend should never have had to go through what he did.

One of my cats, Timothy, swelled to the size of a bowling ball, his tumour grew at a frightening speed, he was also put down.

Another cat, Splinter, had feline AIDS, and although he fought for a year (he recovered for those months) it soon caught up with him and he died under a tree in the back yard.

Pray? oh yes I prayed, I prayed my tits off…I prayed for all of them, not that it did any good.

To you who push religion down peoples throats, whatever brand it may be, I have no respect for you, but I do have some contempt.

For you are holding us back, you are causing the pain, the disease to continue, the wars to erupt, for people to continue to believe in things that are no more real than the tooth fairy or a bunny who lays chocolate eggs (wrapped in foil of course, his arse must be sore).

If the rapture finally does come and take all you true believers away, how extraordinarily wonderful it will be to be finally free of lunatics.

Wolfie!





Rosie’s Saturday

17 10 2010

Today I went shopping, or yesterday, as it’s just after 1am here now, and I came home and fed Rosie who was calling me desperately for food.

I fed her and then walked Katie.

I left the cage open so that she could get out, but she didn’t budge,
and after a few hours I pulled her out and let her play in the garden.

Sometime later I decided to have a shower.

Then got into my PJs even though it was still fairly light outside, but I thought I wasn’t going out anymore so I might as well settle.

Then I went out for Rosie, and saw David, my neighbour, telling me that he’d been ringing me for an hour but couldn’t reach me, I told him I was
having a log shower.

Rosie had been on his fence, which was a worry because of his cats who are nastier than Vicky.

But she had since vanished, and although I called her, she didn’t appear
as she usually does.

But Rat Dog, on the other side was barking his head off.

I ran inside and pulled on a t-shirt and jeans, and went out, it was freezing and there was drizzle, after my nice shower, this wasn’t what
I had expected to be doing.

I went next door and the kid who lives there let me in and out to his backyard, where they have a bungalow, and rat dog was barking at something on the roof. now I didn’t see anything up there, but while I was poking around, we heard Rosie whistle.

We thought it was from my side, so I went back and called her.

David pointed, she was indeed up on the roof where rat dog was barking,
she was strutting around and flapping her wings in the breeze.

It was rainy and windy and here’s the little stinker getting around on
the top of the roof, coming over to look at me when I called her.

I tried to get her down using Davids huge window cleaning pole, which
worked when she was high in the elm tree, but she just walked back from it this time.

I was a bit annoyed, but I knew that she was just testing out her wings,
but was scared that the cats could get her as she’s still not big enough
to scare them off, and she’s a bit too trusting… she runs under Katies
legs quite happily.

Katie wasn’t sure if she should eat Rosie or not at first, but now it’s
just another animal in the yard and Katie is gentle with her.

I went inside and had a cup of tea.

Then I went out and called again, getting a bit wet from the drizzle,
but all she did was come closer and watch me, not sure if she should
jump or not and waving her wings.

I sat in the kitchen feeling a bit grumpy and cursing as I drank the tea, Katie sat under the table, helping me to eat muesli biscuits.

Then I went out again.

Rosie had had enough and tried to take off, she flew towards the neighbours sloping roof, but didn’t realise it was slippery, so
down she went like a kid at a park, and fell/flew into my grapevine
before finding a bit of fence to sit on.

I walked over to her, picked her up and shoved her back into her cage.

I can see this happening more often as it goes, we had the same troubles
with “yucky” who was our last magpie.

I do want Rosie to fly off and be a wild bird, but I hope that she still
wants to be around… I just hope I can get her over this awkward stage.

Wolfie!





Facts Vs Belief

15 10 2010

I thought of a way to show students the importance of fact over belief.

Tonight I watched the 1958 version of The Blob, the entire thing is on
Youtube, cut into ten minute sections… I’ve watched a few old films
this way.

Now…

You ask the students to pretend they’re reporters for a paper which has
a good name based upon it’s factual stories (no gossip columns here!).

You’re a reporter from the town in which The Blob eats several people,
Your job is to write down, in order, who was eaten.

Now at this point you may want to watch the film yourself.

For those who want me to continue, here’s the rest.

The blob eats, in order…

The Old man who finds the meteorite in the hole.
The Nurse,
The Doctor,
The Mechanic,
The Janitor at the supermarket.
The Projectionist at the cinema.

It has possibly eaten several people at the cinema… and I noticed that when they show the audience on the inside of the cinema, and then the audience running out terrified, that there seemed to be four times the amount of people crashing out the doors.

Anyway, the point is that although the janitor was missing, his items left dumped on the floor of the supermarket, he’s believed to have been eaten… but he could have got away.

And I wonder how many viewers would be convinced that he was eaten, even when there’s no proof that he was.

There’s also the issue of the little dog.

While the heroes of the story are stuck in a supermarket fridge, you hear the little dog, formerly owned by the old man, give a yelp.

We assume that the blob got the little dog, but once the couple escape from the supermarket, we hear one of the other teenagers say that they saw the little dog running terrified up the street.

The questions which could arise here are:

* Did the blob eat the dog?
* Did the dog escape like the teenager said?
* or was the teenager mistaken, since it could have been a dog which looked the same, which just happened to be passing in that direction?

It’s just a thought, it might be a fun lesson, and could lead to some
really good discussion… best of all, it leaves theology out of the
picture, so certain students wouldn’t block the lesson out as soon as
you mention the E word.

Wolfie!