An Independent speaker? And it has come to pass. The three wise and humble men have cast their votes and the speakers position has fallen to one of them in the review document. This is my final update on this matter. Until next time…

Christmas is costly for Canberra. I was having a beer with a senior, nameless person who serves and lives on Christmas Island.  He said the monthly bill to the federal government is $40 million. I’d never heard a figure before but the amount staggered me.

The mining dinosaurs. There was an interesting exchange in the Victorian Legislative Council last Friday between Greg Barber of the Greens and Philip Davis of the Liberals. To put things in context, the mining industry in question is brown coal…

Davis: You really hate the miners, don’t you?
Barber: I don’t hate the miners. I don’t like the miners.
Davis: Yes, you do; you hate them.
Barber: I just look at them with a sense of curiosity, the way I would a skeleton of diplodocus in the museum.

S-xy advertising research. Students at the University of NSW are currently doing research on Androstadienone (“a metabolite of the s-x hormone testosterone,” says Wikipedia, “purported to increase s-xual attraction”) in relation to how it alters peoples reactions to advertising, and purchasing decisions. I foresee future abuse of this kind of technology.

Angels have the tech-Factor? Is it just my fab home theatre set-up or is the Australian version of the X-Factor, like its UK cousin, utilising voice sweetening techniques to make cod ordinary voices sound richer, fuller and more in tune? Last night I could have sworn that, split through various speakers, several singers were getting that old ABBA treatment of voice layering, such that even the tinniest hack could sound like a chorus of angels.

The sands of time (and money). They’re an entrepreneurial lot, those Kiwis. This on New Zealand auction site Trade Me:

Why have a sand pit when you can have… “EARTHQUAKE sand pit!!”.

Yo that was an awesome earthquake and Ima let you finish, but I just gotta say, that these sand volcanoes are the BEST sand volcanoes ever!!

Who’s to say there’s no gold in this sand? You? Ha! What do you do? You probably work at a desk all day and don’t know anything about gold in sand. There could be like a million bucks worth of gold in there, so for $1, its more than just a bargain, its an investment in your future!!

Earthquake sand, buyer must pickup.

It came up through the lawn at about 5am this morning in the earthquake. Scared the crap out of us.

I wasn’t sure if I should take the photos using my iPhone, or with my Nokia cell phone, sadly my iPad doesn’t have a camera, and the memory card in my digital camera is full.

If the winning bidder could bring a few litres of clean drinking water with them it would be much appreciated.

Newspaper free-for-all (cont): They were giving away free copies of the Herald Sun at Clifton Hill McDonald’s drive through on Sunday. And a stack of free copies of The Age were delivered to Clifton Hill Primary School Monday morning.