Weather or not

24 03 2011

So climate change might be happening, and perhaps there’s something we can do about it, but some people don’t want any part of it and deny the lot, which strikes me as odd… what’s the worst that can happen?

I’m seeing it like this.

Say that you live out in the bush somewhere, and there’s a road leading down to your house from the top of a hill, and you’re inside, reading the paper at your kitchen table, when suddenly the kid from the next property, darts into your house, screaming for you to get out, because there’s a logging truck which seems to have lost control, hurtling towards your home.

You have two choices.

Grab something precious, and get out quick, or tell the kid he’s an idiot and just sit there.

If the truck is really coming, then you’ve been warned and you’ll survive, even if your house doesn’t, and the kid is a hero, all good.

If there’s no truck, you can give the kid a kick up the bum for crying wolf *cough*, and go back to reading the paper, although with a slightly bruised ego.

Now by my calculations, that works out as 100% possibility of survival.

If you remained inside the house and there was no out of control truck hurtling towards your home with a full load of dead trees, then you were right, the kid was an idiot and you’re fine.

But if there was a truck, you’ve found yourself in heaven for grumpy humans who won’t listen to a warning when they’re given one. *twists your ear*

A quick calculation says that being a denier gives you a 50% chance of survival.

Listening to the climate change scientists isn’t going to matter much, yeah ok, you may have to pay a bit more in tax… but you can’t spend money if the planet goes down the gurgler, make sense?


Wookiee Food

23 03 2011

Here’s an odd, and slightly nerdy sort of question.

But I want to pose it seriously, rather than as a joke.

What does a Wookiee eat?

I don’t think it was specified in the movies, so we can only guess, and this could be a nice exercise for our minds to think about in the wee hours.

Normally when a “new” animal is found, the teeth and other parts of the body are examined, and it’s possible to get a basic idea of what the creature ate… a good example would be dinosaurs, we have not seen living dinosaur, but their bodies can often reveal whether they ate meat or greens, or a combination of both.

Teeth not only evolved for eating, but also evolved for fighting, Tusks are a good example. and some types of monkey have very long teeth, which are for display more than anything else.

So although a Wookiee may appear to be a meat eater, perhaps they’re not.

And yes, we all saw that Holiday Special, but let’s not colour our thoughts with that too much.

So, Fingers to chins, let us speculate.


Today I met a Furry, what now?

20 03 2011

Today you met your first furry, and want to know what it’s all about, so the first thing you do is ask a friend, who claims to know, but doesn’t know that much more than you do.

He says “It’s some weird sexual fetish, I know cause I saw something on TV about it”.

For some, that’s enough info, and they go through life thinking that’s what it’s all about… except it’s about 90% wrong.

Now some Furries would write an encyclopedia on the subject, but I know darn well that if this post dribbles on too long that most, if not all of you will tune out, so lets get straight to the short and curlies.

A Furry is someone who “describes themselves as an animal” in much the same way that someone else might describe themselves as “Christian” or a “Footy Fan”.

Why do they do that?

Well everyone has different reasons, but a few include “Because I feel it’s my spirit animal” or “I’m a big fan of cartoon animals” or even “My mates all do it, so I thought I’d try it out too”.

Now a lot of Furries are highly creative, they can draw, paint, sew, design, write and are also often good with computers, in fact some people have said that if it wasn’t for the furries, half the internet wouldn’t work, I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s a fun rumour.

So, you’ll see Furry artwork, Hear Furry Music, and once in a while see Furries dressed in costumes which they very often make themselves after months of hard work, think of the work that goes into something like quilting and you’ll have the basic idea of the kind of effort involved, more on this later.

You may have probably seen a furry on Twitter or Facebook, and here’s an interesting thing, Spammers almost never use a Furry avatar, so if you see a person with a Furry avatar who wants to follow you, then it’s most likely a genuine person who reads your stuff and likes you.

But the sex? What about that?

Bear (see what I did there?) in mind that Furries are quite often teenagers, so there are a lot of hormones swirling around, so yes, sex is going to be added to the mix, but the sex would be there whatever people chose to do, Whether that’s being in a band, playing golf, surfing, flower arranging, fighting fires… you get the picture… It’s just that somehow people got the idea that Furries have more sex than anyone else, you know, like with the Swedes, Yah?

But Furries generally are more laid back (see what I did there?) about sex than most people seem to be, we’re simply not bothered about people who are gay or whatever, if nobody is being hurt, then it’s fine.

You heard something about Plushies?

Oh that’s ok, People confuse Furries with Plushies all the time, Plushies are people who… have a thing for toy animals, now some Plushies ARE Furries, just like some Builders are Smokers. I’m a Furry, and the idea that someone can get randy over a plush Lion King leaves me scratching my head, but nobody is being hurt, so meh.

Furries can, and have sometimes tried to have sex in their costumes, but many don’t want to, because… as I said earlier, a costume represents months of work, these are not some cheap off-the-shelf item, they are designed for one person to wear… much like an elaborate costume might be made for an actor in a play or a movie… they generally won’t fit other people, unlike a sports mascot costume which could be warn by quite a few people and is designed for rough and tumble.

People can spend $2000 or upwards on a costume, so the idea of rolling around, scuffing it on the carpet and getting it really dirty is about as appealing as swallowing a hair ball, and remember that these costumes can get really hot, so sex, although possible (if the owner really wanted to try) is probably not going to be too comfortable.

If two furries want to have sex with each other, it’s probably best to go into a very dark room together and use the theatre of the mind, their own imagination, as most of us do anyway.

If you meet a Furry, my advice would be to sit down with them, pour a drink, and tell them that you’ve heard a little bit about Furries but you’re not sure what it’s about, and do try to ask the odd awkward question… Furries usually don’t mind, and will generally open up about things.

What have I learnt about being Furry?

Well as a White, Aussie Male, I had no idea what racism felt like, I had some idea because I was bullied at school for years, but racism was something else.

When I was on Second Life, which is a kind of Social Network in a 3D environment, there were certain hate groups which I was exposed to, now these guys had basically decided Furries were “Bad” and were going to destroy their way of life in some manner or other, They were really just a bunch of trolls.

My Avatar in Second Life, was a Wolf (of course), a Furry who walked on two legs.

The hatred which came from these guys, hurt, but also gave me valuable information on what it must be like to be someone with a different coloured skin, who goes through this kind of thing, in real life, everyday.

They tried to promote Furries as sexual deviants, child eaters, people who got on the bus without paying their fares but failed miserably.

Second Life had, and probably still has, a strong Australian community, who saw through the situation rapidly.

Because I was so well-known in Second Life (mainly via ABC Island) the Aussies simply thought Furry = Wolfie.

Therefore almost all the Aussies accepted Furries, and many became Furries themselves.

I had done something positive and was very pleased with Myself, but was also very proud of the Aussie community, and felt that if this issue could be overcome so quickly in a simulation, then racism in the real world, could end, and it could happen fairly soon too.

To wrap up, we’re harmless… a little geeky at worst, and we like to gather in groups at times to get to know each other better. We’re a highly creative and generally welcoming mob who don’t have hang ups about race or sex or sexuality… but we are people and sometimes we gripe about something.

As each Furry brings something new to the table, don’t just take my word for it, ask for other opinions and try to find out what’s going on yourself.


NSW Votes.

20 03 2011

Via Jim Edwards – Clickon Science.

To ensure that you don’t waste part of your vote in the Upper House
Vote 1 – then vote 2 and even 3 – above the line to maximise your vote

Because of the way the NSW Upper House vote is counted, there is a danger that ultraconservatives who support the Shooters, Family First, Pauline Hanson or Fred Nile could win a controlling vote

The Coalition appears headed for a landslide in the Lower House in the NSW elections on March 26. If If Labor plus The Greens plus John Hatton (who has the next best chance) don’t win 10 seats out of the 21 to be elected for the Upper House, then there will be no brake on an ultraconservative agenda that includes privatisation, anti-worker laws, degradation or abolition of national parks, cuts to welfare services, and discrimination against minorities.

This week a group of people from non-government organisations, including unions, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Parents & Citizens Associations, the Rape Crisis Centre, Women’s Electoral Lobby and GLBTIQ groups met to express their concerns about the election.

Their message is: Whatever the parties say to you on their ‘how to vote’ information, maximise your progressive vote by voting at least 1-2-3 ‘above the line’ in the order you choose. This will ensure that any leftover part of your vote will flow on to progressives after the maximum number of your first preference candidates are elected. If you only vote 1 above the line and all your candidates are not elected, your vote will not automatically flow on (as they do in the Federal elections) because of the different way the upper house ballot is counted in NSW.

If you want to vote ‘below the line’, you have to number at least 15 candidates correctly in sequence to cast a valid vote. You can pick your own progressive candidates to vote for.

Counting for the last one or two seats in the Upper House will come down to just a few hundred votes. Make sure all of your vote is counted by giving a thoughtful preference after your first choice.

If you want to maximise the progressive vote in the Upper House on March 26 – don’t waste any part of your vote – give a thoughtful 1-2-3 preference ‘above the line’

Ballad Films
ABN 52 199 403 779
Martha Ansara
1 Hampden St.
Hurlstone Park NSW 2193 Australia
+612 9573 1886 • – the australian documentary forum

The FreeSpace Policy

20 03 2011

This is just a thought, as you know I have many, and this one is for Facebook users.

Now those of you who are friends with me at Facebook, know that I don’t accept gifts or game invitations, and every once in a while I have to mention this to a new friend, and I know there are those of you who also do this.

Some might ask, if we’re on Facebook, why don’t we want to play facebook games? and that’s fair enough.

We prefer to use Facebook as a means of communication between friends and family, and we don’t have time for, or even like, games.

To us, Facebook is a kind of mini-blog, and we want to keep it neat.

The problem is that we have to explain to new friends about how we feel, and well, it’s a bit awkward.

What we probably need is an easier way to show others what goes, and what doesn’t.

We could have a “FreeSpace logo”, there isn’t one yet, as one of our photos, which would clue people in, or add it to our profile picture which should also work.

A what?

A FreeSpace logo on a Facebook page means… No Games, Apps or Virtual Gifts accepted.

Perhaps we’d need to explain what FreeSpace is now and then, but we could just drop a link to the FreeSpace Facebook Page which would explain what it’s about, without awkward explanations.

That may come if this sounds like it might be adoptable, I’m not sure at the moment.

In a perfect world, Facebook would have a setting which would allow us to switch off all of that, but it doesn’t…
and this almost lead me to abandoning Facebook all together, however, once I began to ask people to please not send these things to me, they listened, so if Facebook won’t do it, I reckon the community will.


That ABC Word Puzzle

16 03 2011

So you’ve heard about my word puzzle have you?

Turn back, it’s far too hard, you’ll never finish it.

Oh, it came with a list of words contained within the puzzle… but I cut that off.

… I heard that.

I will publish the Names and Words next week.

* Feel free to download and print out.


Our Memory of the old House.

15 03 2011

Last night I came up with an unusual idea, which I tried and found to be quite interesting and I’d like you to try it and see how it goes.

Firstly, it’s best if you’ve known another house or flat, or a time before yours had been heavily renovated, or perhaps it’s a relatives house.

What matters most of all is that you know this house intimately, you know where various day-to-day objects were kept, and probably used them fairly often.

So get yourself very comfortable, and rest, don’t rush this.

Think of walking into the home and walking around, and examining parts of it… what is next to the phone?, what sort of plant is that?, what’s that mark on the wall, the sticky tape adhered to, what do you see when you open the door under the sink?, what’s that bit of string? the brand name on the toilet bowl?.

Now I’ve only used those as a guide, wander this house in your mind, and take your time to examine the bits and pieces, and you may find something you haven’t thought of in years.

This exercise is not to remember large things, such as sofas or paintings, but tiny things which made the home unique, such as a mark or scratch on the old TV.

If you see anything interesting, I’d like to know, it doesn’t have to be about anything that important.


Green energy wet dream.

15 03 2011

I was dreaming of standing in a field of what appeared to be about fifteen of these structures, they were similar to what you’d see at a windfarm, except the bases were something like tall bottles, in shape… perhaps it’s the same with windfarms, I haven’t seen them up close.

Instead of a windmill at the top, they were flat, there was another flat part right at the top, like a cap.

Then, Hovering in mid air, was something like a Satellite, with four blades coming from it, the bodies of these satellites seemed to be about the same as the width of the top of the poles.

They seemed to be held at a 45 degree angle to the pole, and must have floated about ten meters away from the top of the pole.

Everything was white, as with wind farms, but I had an idea that the front of the blades on the satellites may have been black, but I only saw them from behind.

It was not clear what sort of power these were capturing, despite the satellites bases all pointing to the sun… and once in a while they would adjust position slightly, in unison.

There was a slight drone of electricity heard, but that was the only sound.

When I woke, I asked myself what these may have been called, and my mind said EK-EEC.


Tumblr and other stuff I can’t fathom.

14 03 2011

Sometimes when I’m reading the tweets coming through on Tweetdeck, I sometimes spot one with what seems to be an interesting story, so I click on it, only to arrive at a Tumblr page, which displays exactly the same message as I saw in Tweetdeck… Only bigger and with more colours.

So then I have to click the link there if I want to continue on to read the story

What’s the point of it?

I often see these web sites when I’m using Stumbleupon, which I really like, anyone who likes finding new webpages should have it. I am often amazed when internet veterans ask me “What’s Stumbleupon”. (link below)

Anyway, I sometimes come to this particular genre of webpage with a collection of fairly base, but interesting photos, if I click a link, it almost always takes me to a secondary webpage, much like Tumblr does, but where I have the option of choosing to view the original story that I clicked to see, or two others which have nothing in common.

I don’t get it.

When I supply someone with a link, I don’t stuff them around, I give them what they wanted, I’m just completely baffled as to why these kinds of things exist.

Has it got something to do with view counting?

If so, people are not going to the secondary site because they like it, they’re going because they’ve been forced there, and that does not count for anything, you’re just pissing people off.

I just wanted to vent.

Oh, get Stumbleupon, you’ll love it.


Wolfie the Architect

12 03 2011

Just one of my mad ideas as I was sitting on the seat, the one which is the most efficient at giving me ideas, usually rude ones, but that’s beside the point.

Most modern homes don’t have a chimney, but we still love them, so…

What if the toilet was in the chimney, sort of?

Have a room which is large enough for the toilet, and so that you don’t feel squashed in, I have to make this perfectly clear because some will think I mean that I want to put a toilet in the fireplace, which I don’t, although I’m sure someone has done this for whatever reason.

A nice comfy room, with a bit of a window overlooking a small garden, hopefully with a water feature.

I think a toilet should face the other way so that you can look out into a garden, rather than stare at the back of a door.

Now, rather than a ceiling above you, yes, the chimney, with a glass panel right at the top to keep the rain out.

You could lean back and look at the sky if you liked.

Now I realise that most of what’s up there would be pretty dark, which is why I imagine having bits of old glass fitted in, odd things, bottles, headlights, anything recyclable and colourful so that as the sunlight filtered through during the day, you’d get all these new lovely colours up there.

I think this is a lovely idea, but it might confuse the heck out of Father Christmas.