Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Discount tinnie and boat hire in sydney now here!

Discount tinnie and boat hire in sydney now here!

Sydney Boat Rentals based in Parramatta and Silverwater now offer 6hp Hire tinnies for only $79 a Day!

Cheap week-long and 3 day rates. No licence required. Tow it, put it on your ute or roof racks.

Half cabins and cruisers coming soon for hire!

20% Off for faceook mates -

Supplied with all safety equipment and trailer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My random read of the day

A little piece of history of Sydney History :

Kidman & Mayoh's Shipyard at Kissing Point

The Commonwealth Government Line

Kidman & Mayoh's shipyard at Kissing Point
on the Parramatta River, NSW, around 1919

In 1916 the Australian government formed the Commonwealth Government Line of Steamers. The first ships of the Line were a number of former British tramp-steamers and a collection of German and Austrian vessels acquired by Australia at the outbreak of WWI through Prize Law. These ships were used to carry part of Australia's exports of wheat and wool to Europe and the United States. As Allied shipping losses mounted during the war and as demands on shipping increased for the purposes of war and general trade the government embarked in 1917 on a program of shipbuilding.

By July 1918 it had signed contracts for the construction of a small number of steel ships. At the same time it contracted for the building of 24 wooden ships: 12 schooners to be built by Hughes, Martin & Washington in Sydney and the Western Australian Shipbuilding Co in Perth; and 12 barquentines to be built by the Wallace Power Boat Co and the firm of Messrs Kidman & Mayoh, both in Sydney.

Kidman and Mayoh's Shipyard

Unlike the other firms contracted by the Commonwealth, Kidman & Mayoh were not shipbuilders. Sid Kidman was a prominent South Australian pastoralist popularly known as the 'cattle king'. The brothers Arthur and Joseph Mayoh were engineers who had come to Australia from England around 1909 and had been involved in the construction of Sydney's underground railway. Kidman & Mayoh leased part of the Cleves Estate at Kissing Point on the Parramatta River. Included in the lease was a large stone house called Cleves, built in the 1840s and for many years the home of Charles Blaxland.

Within a short time slipways had been laid and a timber mill and blacksmiths' shop had been established. By December 1918 one keel had been laid. But the end of the war in November 1918 meant that the need for wooden ships was seen to be over. The government's contracts with Hughes, Martin & Washington and Wallace Power Boat Co were cancelled with due compensation paid. In August 1919 Kidman & Mayoh's contract was varied, reducing the number of ships to be constructed by them from six to two.

The ships were built using timber brought down from the north coast of New South Wales. Hundreds of men, among them champion axeman Charlie Murrill, were employed felling and squaring heavy timber including ironbark for the keels, turpentine for sheathing and ti-tree 'knees'.

'Bush carpenters' from the north coast came down to work in the shipyard, assisting the skilled shipwrights whose labour was in short supply at that time. Some local Putney people got jobs as blacksmiths and labourers.

Looking down on the hulls of the 'Braeside' and the 'Burnside'
January 1920

The 'Braeside' and the 'Burnside'

Early in 1920 the Australian trading company Burns Philp made an offer to the government to buy the two ships being built at Kissing Point. The offer was conditional on the ships receiving a seaworthiness certificate from a Lloyd's surveyor. Burns Philp assigned the names Braeside and Burnside to the hulls and the Braeside was launched at Kissing Point in April 1920. The Sydney Mail reported that she was "the largest wooden ship ever built in Australia", would be rigged as a five masted barquentine and "engaged in the island trade, principally for the direct transit of copra to Great Britain and America."

Some damage was done to the Braeside on launching due to an insufficient depth of water. Other problems quickly became apparent. Built with a sag of 9" before launching it was found that while afloat she had developed a hog of 23". In other words, the ship was now bent upwards at the midship point to the extent of nearly 2 feet.

In July the Lloyd's surveyor refused to issue a first-class classification to the Braeside. Burns Philp withdrew from the contract and the government resumed responsibility for the ships. Kidman & Mayoh borrowed money from the government to cover the men's wages and took Burns Philip to court over non-payment for work done. By October Kidman & Mayoh were seeking to be relieved of the contract, citing their lack of experience in building ships, high costs and a scarcity of local, suitable timber. They asked the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works to investigate the affair. A saga of litigation followed.

The naval architect, the foreman shipwright, riggers, strikers, blacksmiths, all gave evidence before the Committee. Accusations were made of false fastenings and dummy bolts. When the Committee's report was tabled in April 1921 the government cancelled its contract and began legal proceedings against Kidman & Mayoh. Kidman & Mayoh in turn took legal action against the government. They lost.

Kidman & Mayoh dissolved their partnership in July 1922. The Burnside was finally sold to the Union Box & Timber Company of Annandale who stripped accessible portions of the structure, including the decking. The hull was rendered worthless to other salvagers by the existence of 80 tons of iron bolts and in September 1923 what remained of the ship was burnt on the stocks.

In December 1923 the Braeside was towed outside Sydney Heads and set on fire. It burned through the night. Sid Kidman lost many thousands of pounds on the ship but is reported to have said that his biggest regret was that the wonderful work of the superb axemen of the north coast forests, their enthusiasm, craftsmanship and loyalty, all went for nothing.


Monday, July 4, 2011

What is all about?

Lately some very authentic but somewhat dubiuos banner ads have been appearing on website around town lately, for, or the Australian Interior Authority.

It states new laws and to report suspiciuos persons under the btter australia act ect ect..

Its seems to be viral hype for a new product in my opinon but there are no contact details and little google / web links..


Registry details for the website point to Draffcb, a wmarketing company in melbourne.. The registrant is an account manager there.....starting to look more like attempted viral hype than an actual movement.

 Eds note: Love the american eagle in the logo lol

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The throw away society of Australia - A 10 year old commodore for $500

Yep, its come to this.. A 10 thousand dollar car for only $500..but how? On answer - moronic government policy in thic country that now makes it illegal to re-register a written off car, whether its was written off for safety or financial reasons. Often when a car is in an accident, and it would cost say $8000 to fix a $12000 car, the insurer will elect to simply write the car off in the interest of ease on the customer.

These vehicles would then be assesed, and generally sold off at auction houses to mechanics and auto shops for repair.However under new laws enacted this year, these vehicles must now be sold for parts only, and the chassis cannot be registed, even if there is nothing wrong with the car but a broken sump, even thou its now fixed.

Take this example,. a 1999 Holden Commodore wagon, auto air con, a highly sought after model, now being sold for $800..

.A perfectly good car, a chariot in comparison to some vehicles on the road in many couintries, sold being literally destroyed, thrown away at some ones loss all becuase the idiots that create and pass policy in this country make more money than they have sense. Oh and our fahn-tarstic prime minister Julia.

Australia for Republic Now!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Queensland firefighters called on to help move obese patients as ambulance officers struggle

QUEENSLAND firefighters are increasingly being called on to help move heavyweight patients as ambulance officers struggle to cope with the obesity epidemic. 

QLD Ambulances have been adapted to handle increasingly overweight patients.

The Queensland Ambulance Service recently added three new supersized ambulances and 139 "stair chairs" to help paramedics avoid injury.

Despite that, firefighters helped move obese or disabled patients more than five times a week in the ten months from July 2010 to April 2011.

The rate of assistance has jumped by one-third compared with the previous year, partly because ambulance officers were not prepared to risk injury while lifting grossly overweight patients.
In 2009, a north Queensland paramedic sued the QAS for more than $700,000 for injuries he suffered when moving a 120kg patient from a stretcher into the back of an ambulance.
Although the level of assistance provided by firefighters was a small proportion of their workload, John Oliver, of the United Firefighters Union, said it could take them away from other duties.
"It does become grating after a while. The firies' role in the community is fighting fires and rescuing people," he said.
"It really is the ambulance (officers') role. A firie will always help an ambo because that's what we do, but if it's their role, they should be doing their role."

Mr Oliver said that until recently, firefighters' main function when helping with such jobs was "clearing a path" for ambulance officers to remove obese patients, which could include knocking down doors or walls or even removing a roof for a crane-lift.

In August, 2009, firefighters organised a crane to extract a 300kg man from his apartment in Brisbane's Walter Taylor Bridge after he suffered an asthma attack and ambulance officers were unable to carry him down the stairwell.

Assisting with lifts to minimise injuries to paramedics simply "transferred the risk" to firefighters, Mr Oliver said.
"People are getting bigger, there's no doubt about it," he said.

A Department of Emergency Services spokeswoman said it was departmental policy for firefighters and ambulance officers to help each other to "ensure the best possible public safety outcome".

"The level of assistance provided by either agency is dependent on a number of factors, including other requests to respond to immediate emergency situations and the extent of training received by officers to respond to the incident," the spokeswoman said.

Jeanette Temperley, from the ambulance union United Voice, said she would raise the issue with delegates.
The union has previously raised concerns about physical injuries suffered by its members as a result of heavy lifting jobs.

Toy tiger triggers major police alert in England

Tiger hunt
The toy tiger that caused a panic. Picture: Hampshire Police 

A LIFE-size toy tiger caused chaos in Britain when panicked villagers called the cops after they spotted what they thought was a man-eating beast in a field. 
Armed officers and a police helicopter were sent out to catch the white tiger in Hedge End, in the south of England, The Sun reports.

Specialist staff from nearby Marwell Zoo also attended to advise and potentially tranquilise the wild animal.
A nearby golf course was evacuated and plans were put in place to close the nearby M27 motorway if necessary in case the tiger moved in that direction.

But as police officers carefully approached the "wild animal" they realised it was not moving and the helicopter crew, using thermal imaging equipment, realised there was no heat source coming from it.
A spokeswoman for the force said: "After a brief stalk through the Hedge End savannah, the officer realised the tiger was not moving and the air support using their cameras realised there was a lack of heat source.
"The tiger then rolled over in the down draft and it was at that point it became obvious it was a stuffed life-size toy.

"The CCTV footage convinced us all we were dealing with a real tiger."

NY Woman Finds other peoples items in father's remains

A GRIEVING daughter was horrified to find a bizarre bunch of garbage in her father's ashes, including ballpoint-pen springs, glass shards, metal staples and a half-melted crucifix her dad didn't even own.
"There was no explanation. My thought was, 'Is this my dad? If this stuff isn't him - then who is it?'" said daughter Jennie Spooner. "It was definitely surreal."

Ms Spooner found the inhuman remains after she began carrying out her father's last wish, sprinkling his ashes at his favorite places across the city and Long Island, the New York Post reported.

Harry Spooner, a commercial artist, died last October at the age of 79 from pneumonia and an infection.
Among the trash were pieces of bone, the unburned whisks of a dust broom, ballpoint-pen springs, glass shards, metal staples and a half-melted crucifix.

"My heart was pounding. I said, 'What the heck is that? A spring?' It flipped me out. I called the funeral home and told them, 'I just found springs in my dad's ashes,' " she said.

When Ms Spooner demanded an explanation from the director of the Joseph Slinger-Hasgill Funeral Home in Amityville, a spokesman said other debris from previous cremations probably found its way into the ashes, which was the responsibility of the crematorium.

"The guy said to me, 'Oh, maybe he had a spring in his pocket,'" she said.
Ms Spooner then called the state, and now the Division of Cemeteries is investigating. She is also considering a lawsuit against the funeral home.
Both the funeral home and the Long Island Cremation declined comment.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kronic party moved to new venue

A mass party for users of the synthetic cannabis Kronic that was due to kick off tonight at a State Government-funded arts venue will be held at a new location.

After an announcement earlier today that The Bakery had been closed for 24 hours in the interest of public safety by the Police Liquor Enforcement Unit a Facebook page informed partygoers that the event would be held at the Civic Hotel in Inglewood.

The "Kronic Blowout" party now known as the "Say No to Illegal and Legal Drugs Concert" is due to end one minute before the ban on cannabinoids comes into effect but is touted as a "non-Kronic" party.
Premier Colin Barnett today blasted as inappropriate the “Kronic Blowout’ gig at Northbridge’s The Bakery.
He said Arts Minister John Day was writing to the operators of the publicly funded venue to detail his outrage at the move to host a party which encouraged people to smoke Kronic up until it become illegal at midnight.
“I think that is highly inappropriate,” Mr Barnett said. “Artrage is an organisation that is given State Government funding.
“The Minister for Arts has today written to Artrage and pointed out that it is inappropriate that a venue that they manage should be used for this.
“In no way should any organisation, particularly one that receives Government funding, either condone encourage or facilitate drug use.
“I would hope that they reconsider their decision to hold this event.
“When you receive Government funding with it goes some mutual obligations and responsibilities.
“This is irresponsible and the Government has no tolerance for this behaviour.”
Mr Barnett said he had expected police at the gig.

“I would be very surprised if the police are not there,” he said.
The thumb nosing at the Barnett Government, which introduced regulations on Monday to outlaw the synthetic cannabinoid, came yesterday after the makers of Kronic said on their website a new "Aussie Gold" formula had been released to be sold legally in WA.

Joel Voyage, who runs a non- registered "hobby business" Voyage Promotions, promoted the Kronic Blowout gig at Northbridge venue The Bakery on social networking site Facebook.
Mr Voyage said the gig was a comment on a "ridiculous situation" driven by Government and media fear mongering.

"This is a simple night at the pub welcoming prohibition and anyone attending is adult and entirely capable of making their own decisions," he said by email.

The flyer for the show - headlined by WA reggae outfit Sunshine Brothers - advertises a performance from DJ Krolin Barnett and offers a prize for the biggest Kronic spliff rolled on the night.

Despite the show taking a pot-shot at politicians who hold its purse strings, Artrage chief executive Marcus Canning said it would not stop the gig. "Our standard policy is that artists are entitled to express their views in whatever way they want as long as it is legal and does not put others at risk of harm," he said.
"As such, we do not censor works or the marketing of works by independent promoters and artists at the venue unless they are illegal." But Bakery backers Western Power and the State Government did not share Mr Canning’s view.

The Kronic Australia website says Aussie Gold is "legal in all Australian States, including WA", as of June 14.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said if the new product had any of the seven illegal chemicals in Kronic, users would be prosecuted. A mechanism to ban all new products was being explored.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Plague of ravenous mice eat farmer John Gregory's pigs

Pigs in oil
Saving his bacon: John Gregory covers his pigs in engine oil to protect them from mice. Picture: Sunday Mail

WHEN South Australian farmer John Gregory entered his piggery he could not believe what he saw - mice attacking his pigs. 

Since he first saw them dining out on his prized stock he has been at his wit's end about how to get rid of them.

Now, as a desperate last resort, he is covering his pigs at a farm property in Wynarka, 130km east of Adelaide, in engine oil to protect them from the mice, with the rodents apparently turned off by the taste.
"The mouse problem got really bad in April," Mr Gregory said.

"We went away in the school holidays and when we came back we drove up the driveway and it looked like the ground was moving - there were hundreds of thousands of them."
Mr Gregory, 50, said he put engine oil on his 15 pigs to protect them from the sun about once a month.

"But now I oil them every week, because the mice have run out of food and they're just eating anything, so they were climbing up on the pigs and chewing them," he said.

"The oil stops them eating the pigs because they don't like the taste."

And with mouse bait so expensive, he said farmers were resorting to home recipes to kill the vermin, which had multiplied to plague proportions because of summer rain producing great crops - ideal mouse food.
"Being farmers we're always trying to do things cheap," Gregory said. "I mix icing sugar and cement. The icing sugar attracts the mice, they eat it and then the cement clogs them up."

Cruel hunters try to kill bears in Sweden with blood-soaked mattress

CRUEL hunters have been accused of attempting to kill bears in Sweden by fooling them into eating a blood-soaked mattress, causing them a slow death from starvation.
Police at Norrbotten in northern Sweden said the horrific plan emerged after the blood-soaked bedding, apparently intended as bait, was found in the forests outside of Pajala, The Local reports.
"According to what we know, if a bear eats this then it would not be able to eat anything else and die of starvation," said Erik Kummu at Norrbotten police.
He added, "One can question the faculties of someone who is so cruel as to cause an animal such suffering which could continue for several weeks."
Police are considering the case as attempted aggravated criminal hunting and aggravated animal cruelty.

Man sells 'worthless' painting by Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky for more than $1m

A RUSSIAN painting considered worthless by its owner, a former lumberjack who almost donated it to charity, sold for $1.1 million at a Swedish auction. The painting, which had been left to the man by his wife and was hanging on his wall for almost a decade, turned out to be an 1858 work by Russian master Ivan Aivazovsky entitled "The Battle of Bomarsund", reported The Local yesterday.

The Local reported the unidentified elderly man, a onetime lumberjack who earned his education through correspondence courses, was downsizing to a new home and sent a small Stockholm auction house several boxes of unwanted goods, along with a large canvas.

On a note he had written, "Will you accept these things? Sell what you can and leave the rest to the Red Cross!"

The painting was put up for auction on the internet with a starting price in the $1,200-$1500 range, but when activity around the painting exceeded expectations, the head of the auction house decided to seek expert advice.
Enter the Uppsala Auction House, known for selling a number of Russian objects, which in turn contacted its own specialists.

When the painting was authenticated as a genuine work by the Russian master, Knut Knutson of the auction house, went to see the owner in person to deliver the news that the expected price would be a bit higher than originally thought.

Knutson, who has traveled the country as part of the Swedish version of "Antiques Roadshow," began by saying, "We are thinking of a starting price of five or six... " he told The Local, and the owner interrupted him saying "surely, you don't mean five or six hundred thousand (kronor) do you?"

When Knutson replied, "No, actually I mean five or six million…", the atmosphere in the room turned "electric," he said.

Two men charged over alleged plot to assault and rob Joss Stone

TWO men have been charged with plotting to attack and rob British singer Joss Stone. 

Junior Bradshaw, 30, and Kevin Liverpool, 33, both of Manchester, northwest England, are accused of conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

Stone, meanwhile, said in a statement she was "absolutely fine and getting on with life as normal."
Police allegedly found swords, rope and a body bag on the two men when they arrested them near the 24-year-old's singer's isolated country home in Cullompton, a small town in Devon, South-West England.
The men also allegedly had detailed maps and aerial photos of her home.

Stone, who has a $US14.7 million fortune, is close friends with Prince William and was at his wedding. She was not believed to have been at home at the time of the arrests.

It is thought that alleged plot was foiled by neighbours who saw two men acting suspiciously in a car and alerted police.
Detective inspector Steve Parker, who was leading the investigation, said, "The men had information and items that lead us to suspect that they may have intended to commit a criminal offence."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pauline Hanson fraudster Sean Castle admits deception

PAULINE Hanson is devastated after the man who led her to believe she was robbed of votes in the recent NSW election admitted in court that the evidence she based her case on is untrue. 
The former One Nation leader buried her head in her hands as Sean Castle, a Sydney teacher and father of three from Glendenning, in Sydney's west, made the admission in the NSW Supreme Court this evening.
Ms Hanson, who unsuccessfully ran as an independent for the upper house in the March 26 poll, had contested the election result in court.

Her case was based on an alleged email exchange between NSW Election Commission staff saying 1200 votes in her favour were put into a pile of blank ballots.

The email exchange was provided to her by a person named as Michael Rattner, which Mr Castle last week admitted in court was in fact himself.

"I am absolutely devastated," Ms Hanson told reporters outside the court.

"I think this is a terrible hoax. It was so vicious, it really was vicious."
When Mr Castle appeared in court today he was questioned by Ms Hanson's barrister, Peter Lowe.
Mr Lowe asked him: "You did not obtain those emails from someone in the Electoral Commission?"

Mr Castle responded: "No."
Mr Lowe said: "Does that email have any truth to it?"
Mr Castle said: "No."

Ms Hanson said she had given her legal team the go ahead to shut down her case once Mr Castle agreed in court that he had authored the email and that staff at the election commission were not involved.

She faces the prospect of being liable for a massive legal bill if ordered to pay the costs of the Electoral Commission and two upper house MPs, who had risked losing their places if she had been successful.

"I needed closure, the public needed closure," Ms Hanson said.
After Mr Castle gave evidence, barristers representing the commission, upper house Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham and Nationals MP Sarah Mitchell indicated they would pursue Ms Hanson over their clients' costs.
Ms Hanson said she had already spent tens of thousands of dollars on legal bills.

"I don't know whether I'm looking down the barrel of the costs of the Electoral Commission and the other two councillors," she said.
She still wants to know why Mr Castle did what he did.

"I would have liked the question asked of him why did he do it," Ms Hanson said.
"Why did he do it to me, why did he do it to the people of this state. Why the lies."
In court today Mr Castle was granted protection from prosecution before being compelled to answer questions relating to the purported email.

Earlier, Mr Castle also admitted in court to never knowing anyone who worked for the commission.

Study finds teen brains wired for hit sound

WHEN listening to certain pop songs, teenagers' brains may offer clues about what will or won't be a megahit, US researchers said. 
By studying the grey matter of adolescents using a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, or MRI scan, researchers found that activity in a region called the ventral striatum was linked to the popularity of the music.
The small study, conducted in 2006 at Emory University in Georgia, involved 27 youths aged 12 to 17 who were asked to listen to a selection of little known pop songs from the social networking site MySpace.
The adolescents underwent MRI scans while listening and were also asked to rate the songs for likeability.
Three years later, lead researcher Gregory Berns was watching an episode of American Idol and recognised one of the songs that had featured in his study.

He began to wonder if his results may have been able to predict the pop song's success, so he revisited his research and compared it to the songs that had become popular in terms of sales from 2007 to 2010.
"It's not quite a hit predictor, but we did find a significant correlation between the brain responses in this group of adolescents and the number of songs that were ultimately sold," Mr Bern said.

Positive brain responses could predict close to a third of popular songs, while about 90 per cent of songs that drew little activity in the brain would go on to flop, the study said.

How the teenagers rated the songs showed no link to the songs' future success.
The study was published in the June 8 issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Colorado restructure leaves 1042 people without jobs

MORE than 1000 people are set to lose their jobs as 140 outlets in the Colorado clothing group close in a major restructure. 
The receivers of the Colorado Group, Ferrier Hodgson, say 100 underperforming Colorado stores in Australia will shut, along with nine Colorado stores in New Zealand, 21 Williams stores, seven Mathers stores, two JAG stores and one Diana Ferrari store.

Ferrier Hodgson's Brendan Richards said 1042 people would lose their jobs.
"The restructure of the group would eliminate the loss-making Colorado-branded stores and those other stores impacting on the profitability of the group," Mr Richards said in a statement today.
"The remaining brands and stores are all profitable and would form the cornerstone of the future business."

Mr Richards said the group was expected to generate earnings of about $19 million in 2011, and, following store closures, would become significantly more profitable.

No further store closures are anticipated.

Colorado-branded footwear will still be sold online and through 200 Mathers and Williams outlets.
The debt-ridden Colorado Group was placed in administration in March after lenders rejected a proposal to allow it to continue trading.

Colorado, which owes about $400 million to a syndicate of 18 financiers, has 434 stores across Australia and New Zealand and 3800 staff.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Defective Julia Gilliard Post Stamp Recall

Australia Post have created and marketed a new stamp displaying a picture
of the current Prime Minister of Australia, Ms Gillard.
The prime minister had requested a recall of the stamps following concerns that they weren't sticking. Australia Post recently suspended a recall of the stamps after the findings of a special Senate Committee were released.

The Prime Minister was told that the stamp was not sticking to envelopes and the enraged Prime Minister demanded a full investigation. After a month of testing and spending of $1.85 million, a special Senate Committee led by the leader of the Greens, Bob Brown, presented the following findings -
1)  The stamp is in perfect order.
2)  There is nothing wrong with the adhesive. 
3)  People are spitting on the wrong side of the stamp.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rabbit born without ears near Fukushima nuclear plant

FRESH fears over a nuclear leak at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima plant have re-ignited after a rabbit born close to the facility was found to have no ears. 
Locals have been left wondering whether this earless bunny - found near the facility at the end of last month - was the first sign of side-effects from the nuclear catastrophe.

Quake radiation
Residents evacuated from around the Fukushima nuclear plant are checked for radiation contamination. Picture: AP

The Fukushima plant suffered terrible damage when a tsunami, triggered by an earthquake, swept through the facility in March, destroying reactors.

Following a blast at the plant that caused initial leaks, officials warned people living near Fukushima to stay indoors, turn off airconditioning and stop drinking tap water.

Since then experts have been nervously watching radiation levels around the plant.
The Japanese government has already more than doubled the estimate for the amount of radiation released by the plant.

The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency also said during a briefing in Tokyo that it was now believed that reactor cores in some of the units melted more quickly than previously thought.

Meanwhile, more than 90,000 people are still living in shelters three months after the tsunami and only a fraction of the debris has been removed. The confirmed death toll from the disaster yesterday reached 15,413 while another 8069 people remain missing.

China's red threat: Exploding watermelons

About 20 farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province have been affected, losing up to 45 hectares of melon, China Central Television said in an investigative report.

The broadcaster described the watermelons as "land mines" and said they were exploding by the hectare in the Danyang area.

China Exploding Watermelons
Farmers clear out watermelons which have been exploding as a result of chemical and pesticide overuse. Picture: AP

Prices during the past year have prompted many farmers to jump into the watermelon market.
All of those with exploding melons apparently were first-time users of the growth accelerator forchlorfenuron, though it has been widely available for some time.

Watch the video here:

Farmer Liu Mingsuo ended up with three hectares of ruined fruit and told CCTV that seeing his crop splitting open was like a knife cutting his heart.
"On May 7, I came out and counted 80 (burst watermelons) but by the afternoon it was 100," Mr Liu said. "Two days later I didn't bother to count anymore."
Intact watermelons were being sold at a wholesale market in nearby Shanghai, the report said, but even those ones showed telltale signs of forchlorfenuron use: fibrous, misshapen fruit with mostly white instead of black seeds.
Chinese regulations don't forbid forchlorfenuron, and it is allowed in the US on kiwi fruit and grapes.
But the report underscores how farmers in China are abusing both legal and illegal chemicals, with many farms misusing pesticides and fertilisers.

Wang Liangju, a professor with College of Horticulture at Nanjing Agricultural University who has been to Danyang since the problems began to occur, said that forchlorfenuron is safe and effective when used properly.

He told The Associated Press that the drug had been used too late into the season, and that recent heavy rain also raised the risk of the fruit cracking open. But he said the variety of melon also played a role.
"If it had been used on very young fruit, it wouldn't be a problem," Mr Wang said.

"Another reason is that the melon they were planting is a thin-rind variety and these kind are actually nicknamed the 'exploding melon' because they tend to split."
In March last year, Chinese authorities found that "yard-long" beans from the southern city of Sanya had been treated with the banned pesticide isocarbophos.

The tainted beans turned up in several provinces, and the central city of Wuhan announced it destroyed three tonnes of the vegetable.

The government also has voiced alarm over the widespread overuse of food additives like dyes and sweeteners that retailers hope will make food more attractive and boost sales.
Though Chinese media remain under strict government control, domestic coverage of food safety scandals has become more aggressive in recent months, an apparent sign that the government has realised it needs help policing the troubled food industry.
The CCTV report on watermelons quoted Feng Shuangqing, a professor at the China Agricultural University, as saying the problem showed that China needs to clarify its farm chemical standards and supervision to protect consumer health.'s latest toy is a BlackBerry-toting, anatomically-correct Anthony Weiner action figure

A TOY company known for producing action figures of US political figures has started advertising its latest addition, the Anthony Weiner doll. is offering two versions of the doll modelled after the New York Democrat who shot to fame around the world last week after admitting to having sent a lewd photo of his crotch to a Seattle college student on Twitter.

Anthony Weiner
"Anatomically correct" Anthony Weiner action figure for sale on Picture: Screenshot

The Weiner doll comes as a standard doll for $US39.95 ($37.85) and an adults-only "anatomically correct" version for $US49.95 ($47.35).

Both figures are dressed in a T-shirt and gym shorts — with the words "tweet this" printed on the shorts.
For an extra $US18.00 ($17) customers can add a toy BlackBerry for the doll to hold.
The action figure goes on sale Monday.

Weiner is not the first political figure to be turned into an action figure by
The company has also produced popular figures like President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Channel 9's The Block struggles to make the cut

The Block
The production company behind TV's The Block paid around $950,000 per house before the renovations began, leading some real estate experts to cast doubt on whether or not a profit can be made from the properties. Source: Supplied
The Block
The production company behind the block may struggle to recoup the cost of a row of terraces to be renovated in the show as the property market cools

THE production company behind Channel 9's hit, The Block, may have bitten off more than it can chew after paying $3.6 million for a row of rundown terraces in Richmond.

As the property market cools, Watercress Productions might struggle to cover the cost of sales and renovations to the houses, which are in the shadow of the troubled Housing Ministry estate.

Watercress bought four Victorian and Edwardian terraces in a row after they passed in at auction in November for $2.85 million.

It also paid $198,000 stamp duty, taking the cost of each house to just under $950,000 before a porcelain tile or glass splashback had been put in place.

JPP Buyers Advocates' Catherine Cashmore said Watercress would be "very, very lucky to break even" on the deal on sales price alone.
"They are starting high and it's a very big ask," Ms Cashmore said.

"The houses are situated across the street from the entrance to a supermarket carpark and under the shadow of Housing Ministry flats, which is a price-killer as far as real estate in Richmond goes."

The Block executive producer Julian Cress said the attention to detail paid to the properties made them stand-out buys and tipped high demand for them.

"The finishes, the fixtures, the fittings will make them the best product that is available at the time in Richmond by a long way," he said.

Devastating floods sweep across Norway

TORRENTIAL rains combined with melting snow have caused devastating floods across central Norway, washing away several houses and roads and causing landslides.
One person has been injured in the floods, but it was unclear whether their condition was serious.
Spokesman Morten Harangen at the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning says the northern part of the country has also been affected, but is more due to high temperatures that have sped up the snow-melting in the mountains.
Mr Harangen says between 100 and 200 people have been evacuated so far.
Late on Friday, Norway's Justice and Transport Minister Knut Storberget met with rescue work representatives to discuss the flood situation.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Be careful with heaters in winter

This morning i woke up with my bed on fire. Yes im one of these idiots that sleep with a heat on full crank next to me. Done it for years always been careful, never had a prob...

My old heater had a thermo that cut it out... The heater i have now is a open type halogen thing, there no theremo and big open hot face,  Somehow part of my quilt/doona  fell onto it whilst asleep  - it is a good 2 feet from the bed - I woke up with a corner of it on fire, black smoke everywhere an it dripping metly plastic stuff all over the floor. Luckily cos im such a cheapskate and i live in granny flat - and my bedroom is actually half a kitchen, so there a tap about 2 metres from my bed, In the whole doona went into the sink, made a mess, but no one died.

Kinda strange is  that the g/f and i were only joking/talking about it the other day. I actually mentioned what i would do if it happened, so i guess in a way. i was sorta prepared - Fire plans dont hurt. 

I always thought it would happen to someone else.

Food for thought

Tracy Morgan Booed at Concert, People Walked Out

Tracy Morgan's homophobic act in Nashville was met with a smattering of boos -- and several people also walked out of the show -- this according to a person who was at the show

TMZ spoke with someone in attendance at the Ryman Auditorium ... who tells us Morgan's entire act was filled with offensive gay jokes ... explaining, "It was the worst thing I've ever heard ... so not funny."

As we previously reported, Morgan's June 3rd performance ignited a firestorm of controversy -- after he "joked" that he would "stab" his son for acting gay. 

Opposition says asylum seekers are 'out of control' after Christmas Island riot

Federal Police officers at the detention centre
THE second major riot on Christmas Island in less than three months has sparked another promise of a detention centre review. 
A guard suffered a leg injury when poles and concrete were used as weapons to attack authorities during a violent uprising that began on Thursday night.

Police used capsicum spray and bean-bag bullets to quash the unrest involving 80 to 100 asylum seekers.
The Opposition said it was a clear sign the Gillard Government had "lost control" of the immigration detention system, which now costs about $1 billion to run.
Officials are bracing for further protests over the weekend after some detainees took to the roof of the centre to continue action.

An inquiry is already being held into the March violence at Christmas Island that left buildings torched and cost millions of dollars.

Seyed Majid Rabet
Seyed Majid Rabet, 42-years-old asylum seeker suffering Leprosy at Villawood, detention centre. Picture: Supplied

In a further blow for the Government, a case of leprosy was yesterday confirmed at the Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the health scare was "concerning" but the illness was contained.
He said the situation at Christmas Island would be reviewed, but that the centre had returned to calm.
"I believe that in the majority of cases the security level at the centre and the physical infrastructure is appropriate," he said.

Sources told the Herald Sun the riot began after at least one asylum seeker had a refugee application rejected.
An Australian Federal Police spokesman said officers were called to the centre about 11pm and used "less than lethal munitions, including chemical munitions, a bean-bag round and distraction devices" to regain order.
Mr Morrison said the Government had "lost control".
"The reason we have such unrest in our detention centres principally is because of the failure of their border protection

Read more:

Stephen Hawking: 'heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark' MORE

Prof Stephen Hawking, the eminent Cambridge scientist and cosmologist, has dismissed heaven as a “fairy story for people afraid of the dark”. 

The 69 year-old physicist, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, insisted that he is “not afraid of death”.
Shortly after being diagnosed with the incurable illnes many expected the author of A Brief History of Time to die.
But he said it has instead led him to enjoy life more.
In an interview with The Guardian, ahead of key note speech on Tuesday, Prof Hawking discusses his thoughts on death.
He rejected the idea of life beyond death and emphasised, what he described as the need to fulfil our potential on Earth by making good use of our lives.
“I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.”
He added: “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
Asked how we should live he replied: "We should seek the greatest value of our action."
He is due to speak at the Google Zeitgeist meeting in London, in which he will address the question: "Why are we here?"
He will argue that tiny “quantum fluctuations” in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately, human life began.
He will join other speakers including George Osborne, the Chancellor and Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist.

In A Brief History of Time, Prof Hawking's most famous work, he did not dismiss the possibility that God had a hand in the creation of the world.

He wrote in the 1988 book: "If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.”

In his new book he rejects Sir Isaac Newton's theory that the Universe did not spontaneously begin to form but was set in motion by God.

In June last year Prof Hawking told a Channel 4 series that he didn't believe that a "personal" God existed.
He told Genius of Britain: "The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can't understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second.

“If you like, you can call the laws of science 'God', but it wouldn't be a personal God that you could meet, and ask questions."

In his latest book, The Grand Design, Prof Hawking claimed that no divine force was needed to explain why the Universe was formed.
It led to a backlash from Religious leaders.

Prof Hawking was previously Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a post previously held by Newton.

He fell seriously ill after a lecture tour in the US in 2009, sparking grave fears about his health.
He has since returned to his Cambridge department as director of research.

Moose attacks old swedish people

Sweden Moose on Loose
The slightly injured moose on its way out in to freedom after his visit to a geriatric care home in Sweden. Picture: AP

A MOOSE burst through the dining room window of a retirement home in southwestern Sweden, knocking over furniture and flower pots before taking off into the wild again.

Police say aside from the moose, who was scratched by the broken window, no one was injured in the overnight surprise visit at the Brunnsgarden retirement home in the small town of Alingsas.
Helen Gillquist, head of the home, said residents had just finished lunch and left the ground-floor dining room when the moose jumped through the three-panelled glass window
She says it "jumped over a sofa and knocked over chairs and flowers" before getting stuck in a set of doors.
The moose eventually escaped into a nearby park after police managed to open the home's doors.

Sweden Moose on Loose
A glazier examines the damage after a moose burst into a geriatric care home in Alingsas east of Goteborg, Sweden. Picture: AP

German insurer organised orgy for salesmen

A GERMAN insurance company rewarded its best salesmen by organising an orgy with prostitutes in a renowned Hungarian spa, the company said. 
About 100 top salesmen had been invited to the orgy, which featured numerous scantily clad hostesses and about 20 prostitutes, Ergo insurance spokesman Alexander Becker said.
The event organised by one of its divisions in Budapest's art nouveau Gellert Baths represented a clear violation of the company's values, he stressed.

"All measures have been taken to prevent a repeat of such an event," Mr Becker said.
Those responsible for the June 2007 event - dubbed an "incentive trip" - have left the company, he added.
Prostitution is legal in Hungary and Germany.

Ergo insurance belongs to Munich Re, one of the world's biggest reinsurance companies, in which US billionaire Warren Buffet's investment firm Berkshire Hathaway holds a 10 per cent stake.
Ergo's board of directors only learned about the orgy when those responsible for it had already left the company, Mr Becker said. He could not specify since when the board was briefed on the orgy.
Budapest is known for its thermal baths. Some of the spas are used for film screenings or parties.

Woman planks on crocodile - Photo

YOUNG Northern Territory woman was lucky this crocodile was tied down and muzzled when she took the new craze of "planking" to a dangerously new level. 

Crocodile planking
Silly stuff ... Margi' planking on a croc at the Darwin Crocodile Farm
 Otherwise she might have been munched for lunch.
The plank-ee is believed to be a woman by the name of Margi.
She didn't think her stunt was cruel.

The 4.65m, 600kg saltie was powerless to stop the plank prank at a crocodile farm.
It was taken to the farm after being caught in a permanent trap in the Katherine River last month.
The bull was so big that rangers had to use a four-wheel-drive to drag it out of the water.
It is the biggest croc caught in the Territory this year.

Ranger and crocodile catcher Tommy Nicholls said the saltie would become a "show croc", rather than a stud, because it was too big to breed.

"An animal that big usually ends up killing the females," he said.
YOUNG Northern Territory woman was lucky this crocodile was tied down and muzzled when she took the new craze of "planking" to a dangerously new level. Otherwise she might have been munched for lunch.

The plank-ee is believed to be a woman by the name of Margi.
She didn't think her stunt was cruel.
The 4.65m, 600kg saltie was powerless to stop the plank prank at a crocodile farm.
It was taken to the farm after being caught in a permanent trap in the Katherine River last month.
The bull was so big that rangers had to use a four-wheel-drive to drag it out of the water.
It is the biggest croc caught in the Territory this year.

Ranger and crocodile catcher Tommy Nicholls said the saltie would become a "show croc", rather than a stud, because it was too big to breed.
"An animal that big usually ends up killing the females," he said.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heaven is a fairy story - Stephen Hawking

FAMED theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking finds no room for heaven in his vision of the cosmos. 
In an interview published today in The Guardian newspaper, the 69-year-old says the human brain is a like a computer that will stop working when its components fail.

He says: "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

In Grand Design, a book published last year, Hawking had declared that it was "not necessary to invoke God... to get the universe going".

Hawking is nearly totally paralyzed by motor neurone disease, diagnosed when he was 21.
Hawking says he is not afraid of death, but adds: "I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."

Man tries to board train with pony

A MAN was captured on CCTV trying to board a train in Wales - with a pony in tow. 
The unknown man attempted to buy two tickets - one for him and one for his four-legged friend - at Wrexham train station in North Wales, for a two-hour journey to Holyhead.

Shocked staff refused to serve the man, telling him horses were not allowed on the train.
Undeterred, the man said, "I know the law" and got into an elevator with the horse, and walked it across the bridge and onto a platform.

When the train arrived he boarded the service and tried to pull the pony on with him until a conductor intervened.

After a brief argument the man retreated and left the station with his pony.
A spokeswoman for Arriva Trains Wales said the company did not allow livestock to board trains.
"We do allow small animals, such as dogs and guide dogs, onboard but not large animals that could pose a risk to the general public," she said.
Britain Wales Horse Train
CCTV footage released by Arriva Trains shows the man trying to buy tickets for him and his horse

Britain Wales Horse Train
Despite being refused service by ticket staff, the man thought he'd try to board the train anyway

Riot police called in as 100 detainees riot on Christmas Island

Unrest has again broken out at Christmas Island detention centre. Unrest has again broken out at Christmas Island detention centre. 

Australian Federal Police officers used bean bag bullets and capsicum spray to quell a riot among 100 detainees at Christmas Island last night.

The AFP have confirmed the force was deployed at the North West Point detention centre after detainees began throwing projectiles at police and security guards.
An AFP spokeswoman said the detainees had armed themselves with metal poles fashioned from sporting equipment and concrete.
"During negotiations, some of the protesters began throwing projectiles at police and security guards. The AFP deployed less than lethal munitions, including chemical munitions, a bean-bag round and distraction devices, to restore order," the spokeswoman said.
Police were called to the detention centre by the Immigration Department and Serco at 11pm last night.
An Immigration Department spokeswoman said the disturbance involved two compounds of the facility, and did not involve all detainees at the centre.

There are 270 asylum seekers being detained on Christmas Island awaiting deportation, most likely to Malaysia, after Australian introduced a new policy not to process boat arrivals in Australia.
They have been kept separately from the other detainees at the centre. It is not yet known which detainees were involved in the riot, which occurred inside the perimeter fence.
Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson said he was generally aware of an incident at the centre, but had not been briefed on it.

"No one has told me what has happened, but I understand police were called in," Mr Thomson said.
He said a community liaison officer would be given a briefing by the Immigration Department. But he said the information flow had not been good in recent times.
"There isn't a protocol. The practice has been they would let us know what is going on, but that hasn't been maintained," he said.

"If tear gas was used I'm sure through the course of the day the workers [at the centre] will tell us."
A spokesman for detention centre managers Serco declined to comment, referring all queries to the Immigration Department.

One Serco employee sustained minor injuries during the stoush, and has since been treated. The Department spokeswoman said none of the detainees escaped the facility.
Control was handed back to Serco about 5.30am, and the centre is now calm according to the Department.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kylee Saunders is the real life Hannah Montana, except not anymore

Kylee Saunders is the real life Hannah Montana, except not anymore

kylee-saunders.jpgKylee Saunders is your typical Arizona teenager. Or at least she used to be.

The 16-year old high school junior lives a double life reminiscent of Miley Cyrus' famed Disney character, Hannah Montana. By week, she's a normal student, but on four day weekends Saunders travels with her mother to Japan, where she is a bona fide super star.

"It's amazing cause I get to have two separate lives I guess you could say," She says in an appearance on "Today." "Whenever I go to school in Arizona I can just be normal and hang out with friends and family, and I have singing in another country -- in Japan -- which I love, so it's really awesome."

Awesome indeed, except for the fact that she just appeared on national television in the U.S. So that whole "Hannah Montana" schtick? Looks like it's officially up. Whoops.

Girlfriend knows just what she's doing, though. This is a perfect launching point for a pop tart career stateside -- exactly what she's aiming for.

"That would be a dream come true," she says of expanding her career to the U.S. "I would love to be able to not have to go to Japan all the time. I'd be able to do Japan and the States, that'd be awesome." A different kind of awesome from the former, we presume.

She's cute, talented and fluent in both English and Japanese -- Disney execs are bound to be falling all over themselves trying to grab a piece of this girl. Let the madness begin.

Schwarzenegger to break silence to Jay Leno

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno may be the place where disgraced former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may provide his first interview following the baby-mama drama that is ending Schwarzenegger's quarter-century marriage with Maria Shriver.

Jay Leno and Arnold Schwarzenegger are not only close friends, The Tonight Show is where Schwarzenegger famously announced his first bid for California governor, shocking pundits and millions of Americans in the process. Although Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have largely avoided the spotlight since the scandal broke, Schwarzenegger will soon be forced to face the music. And softballs from Leno will likely be the safest way for the Terminator star to handle damage control.

Three weeks ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he fathered a baby with a member of his household staff, the result of which is now a failed marriage with Maria Shriver. But Maria will be okay, say the legal and financial advisers contacted by Entertainment Examiner. In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger may soon have to adjust to life as a less-than wealthy man. That's perhaps the biggest story no one else is yet reporting.

Ricky Nixon: Ill make them pay ...Schoolgirl: its all lies

 RICKY Nixon is determined to seek "several million dollars" in damages from the AFL Players' Association after what he describes as an "amateurish" investigation that left his career in ruins. 
Nixon's ban as a player agent, and a police investigation into sex and drug allegations against him are in jeopardy after a shock statement from the girl who made the accusations was revealed by the Herald Sun this morning.

Kim Duthie, dubbed the "St Kilda Schoolgirl", has sensationally denied she had a sexual relationship or took illicit drugs with the de-registered player agent in a statement to the AFLPA.
The twist is set to complicate a police investigation into Nixon, with a brief of evidence under review from the Office of Public Prosecutions.
"I firmly have the AFLPA in my sights," Nixon said
"This was an amateurish investigation at best and if this is the people who are representing the players in the collective bargaining agreement, the players could get the worst result of all time."
Asked if he was seeking a financial payout, Nixon said: "Absolutely. Several million dollars."
Nixon said the investigation failed to give him adequate time to give his side of the story and lawyers had already said his case "looks very favourable''.

"I have lost my business reputation, future earnings, it's impacted my family significantly financially,'' he told Triple M radio today.

"So if this investigation had no right to be conducted and was illegal, then they will have to pay.''
During his morning media blitz, he also denied accusations Ms Duthie's retraction was the result of a deal struck between the pair.

“I want to clear up something very quickly, there’s absolutely no deal between her and I whatsoever,” he told Channel 7’s Sunrise.

“Please, give me some respect. If there was going to be any deal done between her and I it would have been done before I had to sell my business, before what it’s done to my family, before what it’s done to my life. Give me some credit,” he said.

Nixon said he knew the truth would come out and he wished Ms Duthie all the best.
"I hope this is an opportunity for her to get on with her life now. She’s a young girl, she’s made some fairly significant mistakes, but she needs to move on,” he said.
Nixon was also forced to answer questions about how he came to be in Ms Duthie’s hotel room wearing only underpants.

“If I knew the answer to that we’d all be geniuses. But I think it’s been made pretty clear, and it’s become pretty clear, that somehow I had substances in my body that night that some people believe was taken accidentally, others believe I was administered it, I’m not going to go there, I’m sick of it all, I don’t care,” he said.
"The damage is done, I don’t know how I ended up like that. But what I do know is what hasn’t been purported or shown is that I fled the hotel not long after that.”

Cultural change is killing our beer

BEER drinking, the pastime that helped define our nation's culture, has hit its lowest level in 62 years. 
Guilt over our expanding waistlines and the search for a more refined tipple is being blamed for the downturn.
The average beer drinker now consumes just a six-pack a week.

Not since the first Holden rolled off the production line in 1948 have Aussies drunk less beer.
ABS data released yesterday showed the consumption of beer fell from 4.62 litres to 4.56 litres per capita in the year to June, the lowest result since 1947-48.

The average lover of booze now guzzles just two litres of the brew - or about a six-pack - each week.
It pales in comparison to a spike in the mid-70s when we happily consumed 3.7 litres - or about 11 stubbies each.

"There are a number of contributors over time. In the late '70s and '80s there was the implementation of tougher drink-driving regulations coming through," he said.

"But now there is considerably more market choice and people are opting for quality over quantity."
Figures show consumption of full-strength beer fell from 3.82 to 3.78 litres per capita, mid-strength rose from 0.56 to 0.57 and low strength fell from 0.24 to 0.22 litres.

Meanwhile, wine consumption rose from 3.73 to 3.81 litres in the last financial year.

Croatian boy is human magnet - Video

THE strange talent of a 6-year-old boy has scientists scratching their heads in Croatia. 
Little Ivan is able to attract metal objects to his chest.
The boy's unique abilities are strongest in the morning or when he's calm.
It's believed Ivan can hold more than 20kg of metal on his chest.
His parents say he's always been a little strange after walking at 8 months and rollerblading at just 15 months.

Animal Hoarder fights to keep 23 cats

A WOMAN who shares her house with 23 cats and dogs is fighting council demands she get rid of half of her menagerie. 
Invalid pensioner Jennifer Martin has 11 more pets than she is allowed under Whittlesea local council animal laws in north Melbourne.

But she said her pets were her family and it would break her heart to part from any of them.
"These animals have been taken in by me and some of them have taken three or four years to socialise," Ms Martin said.

"Why would anyone think of taking them from me when we are family. All this worry has stressed and heart-broken me."
Ms Martin, 55, claims she has more than enough money, room and love to go around. Since her own home burned down in January, she has been living with a friend.

"We have seven dogs each in our own names and there are another nine cats," she said.
"I have already given away a few but the rest are my family and they are not going anywhere."
Refusing offers from an animal shelter to help the cats and dogs find new homes, Ms Martin instead hopes the public will pay $25,000 in boarding fees.
Jennifer Martin
Jennifer Martin hopes the public will pay $25 000 in animal boarding fees for 11 of her 23 pets.

Whittlesea Council bylaws allow a maximum of four animal species per property.
The council has threatened to take her to court because the number of animals at her property poses a health risk.

Local laws manager Wayne Bullock said the council had tried to work with Ms Martin to reach a compromise.
"In this instance we have concerns over animal welfare as well as health concerns for the property occupants," he said.

"Due to these concerns, council has invited and has been accompanied by representatives of the RSPCA on a site visit to this property. Further assistance from the RSPCA may be sought."
But Ms Martin isn't giving in. "They are my pets and my family and I'm not giving them up for anyone."

Masterchef 'glamorising' the food industry and Celebrity Chef Sydnrome

MasterChef is glamorising the food industry so much that bored professionals are quitting their jobs to open their own restaurant with no experience or idea of how hard it is, top chefs say. 

"What some people are thinking is that anybody can do this job," owner and head chef of Sydney's two-hat restaurant Bistro Ortolan, Paul McGrath, told ninemsn.

"You've got accountants and lawyers going 'you know I feel like a sea change, I'm going to open a restaurant'."

Having cooked for royals and celebrities including Queen Elizabeth, the Sultan of Brunei, Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederick, Bono and Mick Jagger, McGrath is one of many renowned chefs who believe Network Ten's hit reality show, now in its third season, has had a number of negative side-effects on the industry.

"[MasterChef] doesn't give an all-around picture about what a restaurant involves, about what doing this for the rest of your life involves," McGrath said.

The 2010 Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year and head chef of Sydney's new Duke Bistro Mitchell Orr — a guest on season two of MasterChef — agrees the show does not give "a real reflection of what happens in the kitchen on a day-to-day basis".
And fellow guest chef Tony Bilson — a 40-year restaurant veteran dubbed "the Godfather of Australia cuisine" who owns multiple Sydney restaurants — says there is a lot more to running a restaurant than "producing good food on a plate — there's managing the whole service and experience of the customer".
McGrath says it takes around 10 years working in a kitchen before a chef has the skills needed to run their own restaurant and viewers should be aware contestants are not "qualified or capable" chefs.
But fans are making life-changing decisions after being seduced by the "romantic, exciting side" of the industry as show by a TV kitchen.

"They are trying to portray the excitement and the adrenaline and the heat of service and pressure that's involved but I guess it doesn’t show so much of the early morning starts and peeling prawns and shelling lobster and peeling hazelnuts," McGrath said.

Celebrity chef syndrome

Orr believes the show has inspired a lot of wannabe celebrities and not many real chefs.
"I don’t think it encourages people to join the industry I think it just gets people saying, 'Oh I can get my face on TV and then get a book deal'," Orr said.

McGrath said he has had to inform several prospective apprentices who are chasing the MasterChef dream that not everyone gets to be famous.

"I always ask why do they want to be a chef, and I've heard MasterChef mentioned several times.
"They want to be like the people on the show, and they're not refering to the contestants but referring to the celebrity chef factor," he said.

But MasterChef has also had positive effects on the industry, including encouraging people to go out to eat in restaurants and making people passionate about food and cooking.
Bilson said the show has made young kids care about what's on their plate and believes it will have a long term affect on Australians' attitudes towards food.

"I've heard some really funny stories from parents having eight-year-olds come home from school and criticising the chops and mash."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ikea attacked in bomb explosions.

NETHERLANDS, Eindhoven : Police investigates the surroundings of a depot of Swedish furniture concern Ikea in Eindhoven, southern Netherlands, after an explosion in a garbage can in the parking lot of the shop, on May 30, 2011.

NETHERLANDS, Eindhoven : Police investigates the surroundings of a depot of Swedish furniture concern Ikea in Eindhoven, southern Netherlands, after an explosion in a garbage can in the parking lot of the shop, on May 30, 2011.


Small explosives concealed in alarm clocks detonated at Ikea furniture stores in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, Belgian authorities said on Tuesday. 

The explosions in stores in the Belgian city of Ghent, Lille in northern France and Eindhoven in The Netherlands caused no damage or injuries.
"The information we have is that the explosions happened the same way in all locations, with booby-trapped alarm clocks that had been hidden exploding," An Schoonjans, spokeswoman for Ghent prosecutors, told AFP.
In Ghent, an employee and a security agent complained of ear aches after two small explosions, which detonated almost simultaneously before the store closed Monday evening.

Two booby-trapped alarm clocks were detonated by remote control, Schoonjans said.
The spokeswoman said the circumstances were similar in Eindhoven and Lille, but she was unable to provide details.
"We are in contact with judicial authorities in Eindhoven and Lille to see if there is a link between the three affairs," she said.
Belgian police were to inspect the country's six Ikea stores.


Monday, May 30, 2011

The new new blog about my boat

A blog about a 13ft 70s ski boat turned cabin explorer (sorry about link words - will remove soon) 

Also see my other (new) blog

"A Mission to combine Sydney's declining waterways and unused flood space into into a World Class Rapid Transport System"

Ive moved ebay stuff onto this blog and deleted the rss gator, it never woked properly anyway.

See ya round the interwebs.

Another ebay wife reference - grab a bargain or something to piss the wife off

23 ft Ex cray boat.Unfinished project. MUST SELL

Needs work and tlc.Boat was sunk at pier. it got stuck under pier ot low tide. Motor was rebuilt but went under, condition is unknown. Gear box condition unknown.Needs electrics.Hull is sound to the best of my knowage. Boat sold as is where is. low reserve. grab a bargain or something to piss the wife off.( it does that well ) Buyer to remove 3 days after aution. Must sell due to moving. View boat at Phillip Island.  Inspection reconmended.Any inquiries ring

Another ebay wife reference - I am in paradise but wife wants the condo!

Hi All im moving these becuase having like 5 blogs is a pain in the ass to manage:

I am in paradise but wife wants the condo!

Waterfront (watertop) living luxury at a great value. Replacement cost is $1.3 million. Reduced from $295 original asking price.

This boathome - yacht - houseboat custom made by Bluewater has everything you want in comfort and technology. 54 foot hull laid in 1991. Length overall 60 feet. Repowered with 420HP Catapillar diesel engines w/ just 400 hours. Kohler 13 KW generator. Totally redecorated professionally in 2007.

Single level living area, forward cabin with round queen bed and full bath with tub in suite. TV w/VCR. Round overhead skylight hatch.

Main salon with leather queen sofa bed and plush arm chair. Glass top dinette table seats six or more. Galley with full size fridge, trash compactor, double sink, Nikken drinking water filter, Convection/microwave, three burner glass top range, Clothes washer/dryer. 42 inch LCD TV, surround sound, CD DVD Satelite reciever.

Owners quarters with walk around king size bed, private bathroom with full tub. DVD flat screen HD TV.

Mid ship bedroom with double bed, closets and separate portable AC unit.

Three zone aqua thermal heat pumps (using sea water for heat exchange), plus freestanding portable A/C, and new 3M window film throughout for temperature control. Tons of built in cabinets and storage compartments.

Up top additional hot and cold outside shower, padded sun deck, enclosed flybridge, wet bar with icemaker and wine chiller fridge. Party deck large enough for dozens of your closest friends.

Zodiac inflatable on rear swim platform davit for shore excursions.

Twin 420 Diesels w 400 hours.
Kohler 13kw generator
Bow thruster, electric anchor winch, electric retractable 50 amp or twin 30 amp service, double sets bumpers and solar led rail lights.
Engine synchronizor, additional AM FM CD player on flybridge.
Two marine scanning radios
Halcion fire supression system w/fire and CO detectors.
Raytheon multi display,
radar, autopilot, sonar,
fuel scrubber, 600 gal diesel tank, 200 gal fresh water, 60 gal holding,
new batteries (3) 2010, 12v power inverter, redundant 120v and 12v lighting,

Currently living aboard and slip paid until March 2011. May stay or deliver to your slip in the Chesapeake bay area.

Why am I selling such a fine vessel you may ask. I am in paradise but wife wants the condo. Although I will miss her, she must go to the first reasonable offerer. May finance part of purchase price and/or accept a smaller weekender boat or realestate in trade.   

Feel free to call for a visit or serious inquiries.