Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'm off on holidays for two weeks tomorrow with no internet connection. Therefore I thought this would be a great time for a look back over the year and to wish all my readers and followers a very special Christmas and a prosperous new year!

2009 was a year of change for me. I finished up a 4 year contract at work and had to deal with finding work and enjoying not working for the first time in a long time. The "not working" bit was great. It gave me more time to do the "mum stuff" but the lack of money was often challenging.

It was also a time when my daughters changed dramatically - especially Miss 6. It seemed that overnight she went from being a little girl to being grown up! I was talking to a friend today (who hadn't seen her for a couple of months) and she commented on how much she had changed in this regard.

I actually think Miss 6 would make a wonderful copper - she has an uncanny ability for observation and the ability to get people to do exactly what she wants through the use of humour.

Miss 8 has continued to grow and develop and her reading skills have really taken off this year. It's nice to be able to hand her just about anything and ask her to read it and explain it (or do it).

We've had a busy year - trips "over East" and "up North" as a family. I've also had two additional hunting trips "up north". I never thought I would get into hunting at all, but I now find that I enjoy it especially as I understand the need for it.

Being involved with the gun club as a trainer has been great and I've learnt so much through working with the Chief Instructor.

I've also met and got to know a number of very interesting people this year. I don't really want to "name names" in this forum, but I've been lucky to meet some "personalities" and find common ground - especially in the shooting arena.

I'm not sure what 2010 will bring. But I am hoping that it will be basically "more of the same" as 2009 and my family, friends and myself will continue to enjoy good health and make the most of what we have.

So to all my readers and followers - thanks! Enjoy your Christmas time with your friends / family and may 2010 bring all that you wish for and more.

The Things Kids Say ...

Discussion between my 6y.o., 8y.o. and myself:

6y.o.: We've not have our pocket money this week.

Me: That's because it's Tuesday - I give you pocket money on Wednesdays.

6y.o.: But you only need to give us another $2 coin and a $1 coin.

8y.o.: Why did she say that you need to give us $3, pocket money is $5.

Me: I've just given you $2 each (they had just unwrapped their chrissy presents which included a piggy bank each).

8y.o.: She's too smart for her age.

Me: Yep! I dread when she gets to high school, I won't be able to help her with her homework. You'll have to.

8y.o.: hehehehe

Sunday, December 20, 2009

For all of you who are "enjoying" the snow

this is a photo taken from my seat at lunch today ... it was around the 36degC (96degF) mark and a touch humid due to the cyclone up north. Luckily there was a bit of a breeze which kept it bearable.

And, yes thank you, it was a very pleasant lunch :)

Oh, forgot to mention, if you're ever in the area Hainault Vineyard does fantastic wines and lunches.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Isn't that the purpose of "Reality Shows"?

According to this article, the Australian Communication and Media Authority's new code will force networks to STOP exploiting and demeaning reality television contestants.

I thought that was the whole purpose of 'reality television' which is why I rarely watch it!

In addition, networks will have to

"PROVE sex scenes and nudity are relevant to plots if they receive complaints.

EXPLAIN how dirty jokes and references were necessary to the show.

MAKE apologies for errors in current affairs and news reports on air in a timely fashion."

I can see that every TV show will now have 3 minutes of disclaimers prior to each show!

I thought the current system of a screen showing "warnings" was enough for adults to make up their own minds whether or not they want to watch the program.

Oh, and of course there's a whole bunch of people who don't think this type of censorship goes far enough:

Family Council of Victoria spokesman Bill Muehlenberg said ...

Mr Muehlenberg said more needed to be done to get rid of sex and nudity on TV.

"I give them some credit for doing this but, essentially, if they make a show about sleazy strippers and there's nudity, they can just argue that the nudity is relevant because it's a show about strippers. I would prefer to see no shows like that in the first place," he said.

Focus on the Family spokeswoman Deb Sorensen agreed the new code did not go far enough to clean up television.

"There are still no clear boundaries or clear consequences, particularly when it comes to advertising these shows," she said.

"Shows with gratuitous sex and violence are being advertised earlier and earlier or during shows that kids are watching, like the AFL, which can run until 11pm."


I'm wondering if this new "code" only applies to Australian made programs (the ones mentioned in the article are all Australian films) as it would seriously limit the number of films that could be shown from other countries without the same code.

And what shows will be left for SBS to run? (They had some interesting ones on last night - call "Erotic Tales").

Friday, December 18, 2009

How Effective are CCTV Cameras?

Apparently this is a question being asked in the UK.

Not surprisingly as there are now 59,753 cameras under the control of 418 local authorities, according to this article.

Oh, and the answer - well "A London Metropolitan Police study found only one crime is solved every year for every 1,000 CCTV cameras."

There's quite a lot of interesting information on the Big Brother Watch website.

Seeing a Theme Here ...

News bites from the front page of www.news.com.au today:

Click on each of the headlines for links to the full story.

It was only a matter of time ...

before we had an "green technology sex toy".

For pictures and more details check out the manufacturer's website.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And From the "I Need to Justify My Existence" Files

Santa 'sets a bad example'

SANTA Claus has been accused of acting in ways that could "damage millions of lives".

As the mythical man in red zooms around the planet delivering gifts, he is an unwitting promoter of obesity, unhealthy products, disease and even drink driving, according to an Australian academic.

"Other dangerous activities that Santa could be accused of promoting include speeding, disregard for road rules and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping," said Dr Nathan Grills, public health fellow at Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine.

"Despite the risks of high speed air travel, Santa is never depicted wearing a seatbelt or helmet."

In a paper published by the British Medical Journal, Dr Grills said Santa Claus' contemporary image became cemented in the public consciousness through a series of Coca Cola advertisements that began in the 1930s.

His image was subsequently used in tobacco advertising and, while most countries had moved to ban this, it was common to still see Santa pictured on Christmas cards with a pipe in hand.

A study found Santa Claus was the only fictional character that was more highly recognised by US children than Ronald McDonald.

"If Ronald McDonald can be so effective at selling burgers to children, we might expect Santa to be equally effective at selling other goods," Dr Grills said.

"... Public health needs to be aware of what giant multinational capitalists realised long ago, that Santa sells and sometimes he sells harmful products."

Dr Grills said countries like India were increasingly celebrating Christmas, and Santa's image could again be used to sell harmful products where there was less regulation of advertising.

Santa's "rotund sedentary image" also had the effect of making "obesity synonymous with cheerfulness and joviality" around the world, he said.

Children were also encouraged to leave out brandy, or other hard liquor, for a man who had to do a lot of travel and visit a lot of houses all in one night.

Amid a global swine flu pandemic, Dr Grills said most people who stood in as Santa impersonators were not required to undergo a health check - and they get "kissed and hugged" by a succession of "snotty-nosed kids".

"We need to be aware that Santa has an ability to influence people, and especially children, towards unhealthy behaviour," he said.

"Given Santa's universal appeal, and reasoning from a public health perspective, Santa needs to affect health by only 0.1 per cent to damage millions of lives."

Instead using a sleigh, Santa should be "encouraged to adopt a more active method to deliver toys - swapping his reindeer for a bike or simply walking or jogging", Dr Grills said.


This was published in the British Medical Journal? **Shakes head** .....


UPDATE: After knirirr's comment I did a bit more research and found that the article I had read and linked to wasn't the full one - here's an extract from another article.

Serious side

Dr Grills admits he wrote his paper to be "tongue in cheek" and it's up to the reader to decide how much of his paper they believe, "a bit like Santa Claus".

He says he wrote the paper when he needed a break from his PhD.

Dr Grills hopes the article will make good dinner time conversation and insists that he doesn't believe Santa is a force for evil.

"I think Santa is a good role model for kids in terms of giving gifts and being generous. The true St Nick was a very generous bishop."

Despite the humour of the paper, Dr Grills says there is a serious message we should take from it.

"If Santa is a figure that appeals to kids and he's used by big corporations to market alcohol and the like, then basically he's marketing those products to kids."

It's a What?

From today's news we have:

Convicted armed robber Edward Nassr, on bail for having loaded gun, sentenced for possessing machine gun

A MAN found lurking in a laneway behind a hip Sydney nightclub, carrying a home-made high-powered machine gun, has been sentenced to a minimum of four years' jail.

Edward Nassr, 31, of Kellyville, told police he had been urinating in the laneway behind DCM on Oxford St when officers saw him emerge carrying a large bag strapped over one shoulder in the early hours of June 9 last year.

A radio check of his name revealed he had previously been caught with a gun in a public place, and when police asked if he had anything in the bag, he replied: "Yeah, a gun."

The "gun" turned out to be a highly lethal semi-automatic machine gun capable of firing bullets in rapid succession with one press of the trigger.

Also in the bag was a Glock brand magazine with 31 rounds of ammunition adapted to fit the machine gun, and a pair of black and red nylon gloves.

Nassr said he had been handed the bag in the laneway by "an unknown man" just 20 seconds before he was stopped by police and he planned to dispose of it.

He later pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm in a public place and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Sentencing Nassr in the District Court, Judge Penelope Hock said the weapon was highly dangerous and "a menace to the public."

"I find the offender's account to police officers on that night to be incredible,'' she said.

Nassr, who was on bail at the time for a similar offence after police caught him with a loaded pistol in a car in July 2007, also has prior convictions for armed robbery, assault and break and enter, the court heard.

Judge Hock sentenced him to a minimum of four years' jail with a balance of two years and nine months to be served on parole.

With time already served, he will be eligible for release in January 2013.


Emphasis mine ....

Okay, could someone explain how "firing bullets in rapid succession with one press of the trigger" = semi-automatic?

AND seriously you want me to believe that anyone stupid enough to tell cops he's got a gun in a bag can make a "home-made" semi-automatic machine gun?

I also love how the judge said that the "weapon was highly dangerous and "a menace to the public."" not the idiot with it!

PSH at its best ....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life ....

I was planning to head off for a hunting trip tomorrow with a friend.

However, both my husband and eldest daughter are sick. I know that my eldest is REALLY sick as she only ate one spoonful of dinner (as opposed to her normal two adult sized serves and dessert).

I don't think that my youngest daughter is all that well either so I'm fully expecting to be nursing a houseful of sick people for the rest of the week.

The symptoms are lethargy, paleness, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

I was really looking forward to getting out and doing some more shooting - especially after the aborted attempt on Tuesday, now I will just have to wait until next year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

With Friends Like These .....

From today's news we have:

Pair 'left man to die from heroin overdose'

A WEST Australian man has been charged after allegedly leaving a man who overdosed on heroin in a car to die while he dined with a friend at a Chinese restaurant and socialised at a hotel.

Detectives charged the 33-year-old Port Hedland man with acts or omissions causing bodily harm or danger to 49-year-old Donald Van Aalen, who died in the car.

A 28-year-old Port Hedland woman was charged with the same offence yesterday.

Police allege the 33-year-old man shared heroin with Mr Van Aalen in South Hedland at about 6.30pm (WST) on July 11.

"Shortly after using the heroin, Mr Van Aalen collapsed and was resuscitated by his companions but did not regain consciousness," police spokeswoman Susan Usher said.

"He was allegedly placed into the rear of a vehicle by the woman and the other man, who'd been advised to seek medical attention for Mr Van Aalen.

"It will be further alleged the couple ignored this advice and instead drove to a Chinese restaurant where they purchased a meal, leaving Mr Van Aalen unconscious in the vehicle."

Ms Usher said the couple later drove to a nearby hotel and left Mr Van Aalen in the car while they socialised.

"When they returned to their vehicle about 9.30pm Mr Van Aalen was dead," she said.

Both are due to appear in the South Hedland Magistrates Court on Friday.


Apart from the total disregard these two showed towards the other person the thing that I find interesting in this article is the bit: "He was allegedly placed into the rear of a vehicle by the woman and the other man, who'd been advised to seek medical attention for Mr Van Aalen".

Just wondering who advised them to seek medical attention for him and why didn't that person call an ambulance themselves? Umm, odd.

It's Legal, But is it Wise

Was chatting to a friend today and have ended up with a bit of a dilemma.

I have booked my car in for a service and I have arranged for a friend to pick me up from the mechanics and take me to the range with him.

I would like to use the time at the range to practise with my .22 rifle, but this would mean that I would need to take the rifle with me to the mechanics and then stand on the side of a main road waiting for him to pick me up.

Now, as far as I am aware, this is legal. You're allowed to transport the firearm from your house to the range (police station or gunsmith) and back again.

But I'm not sure it's wise. The mechanics is about 5 minutes from the local police station and, as I said, it's on a main road. I'm just thinking that there is potential for people to get upset which, more than likely, will result in me having a chat with some nice policemen and, if the worst case scenario, I could end up being charged with something inane - like "going armed in public so as to cause fear" or some such.

Not sure it's worth the risk.

UPDATE: I've rung the local police station and they don't see a problem - as long as the gun is in a bag and I've got my licence with me. So we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another "Climate Change" Post

Following on from my climate change post earlier this week, I offer you a ready reckoner to global warning barneys:

Here's the extract to get you started:

The first thing you must do for a rollicking, no-non-sequiturs-barred discussion on climate change is choose from the following two starting points. Let’s call them teams A and B. At all costs, avoid taking the boring middle ground position that it’s an issue of risk management or that the planet must be given the benefit of the doubt. Joe Hockey did so and look what happened to him.

The starting position for each team is:

A: Climate change is real and we are all going to die unless we do “something”. What that something is doesn’t matter, you can make it up.

B: Climate change is not real or at least not caused by people so no action is required.

Once you have chosen the teams, each can try these simple tactics which are based on real arguments commonly advanced by politicians and people in various debating forums.

Could be a fun game to try at the family Christmas lunch!

(This extract is from part way down the article - under the video) ... read the rest here.

New Firearms Licencing System - You've Got to Be Kidding Me #1

Yesterday I opened the letter box and found, to my surprise, a letter from Licencing.

No, it isn't about the firearms application I submitted on Monday (blogged about here), it was for the one I submitted PRIOR to the new system (blogged about here).

Now, just to give you a bit of background. Our Firearms Licence is an A4 sheet (or more depending how many firearms you have - I think each page can hold about 10 firearms). In addition to this we have a cute little plastic card which is a Firearms Extract and contains our photo (Firearms Licence doesn't have a photo on it).

To buy ammunition you need to produce the Firearms Licence and you're supposed to have the Licence with you when you're transporting guns anywhere. The Firearms Extract can be required to be produced at any time at the request of a Police Officer, other than that I'm not sure why we have it.

EDIT: Just checked the back of the card and licence, apparently you're supposed to carry both with you when you're transporting firearms.

Now, when I had the new firearm added to my licence on October 21st the police handwrote the details of the firearm at the bottom of the current list and signed it. This is how it has been done for a number of years. When you get your firearm licence renewal these are then included on that.

Anyway, this piece of paper (again A4) that I received in the post listed the new addition and contained the instruction that it is to be ATTACHED TO THE FIREARMS LICENCE. (It also had the date of addition as Dec 4th, rather than October 21st!).

I went scouring the police website for the new system and found, to my dismay, that this is how the new system is going to work. Rather then print a new Licence listing any additions / deletions each time, they are going to print only the addition / deletion information and then let us staple it to our Licence.

You can imagine that if you purchase a number of guns over the year (Licences are only valid for one year) you could end up with a stack of paper that you need to carry with you if you're purchasing ammo or transporting the guns.

I have registered a complaint with the responsible minister but I'm not holding my breath that it will change.

Feeling Very Technically Challenged Today

Two days ago my husband suggested that we get new phones as we need to upgrade/renew our phone contracts anyway and I think our phones were a couple of years old (last 'non-camera' phone that you could buy age!).

We settled on the LG - GR500f style. I like it. Having the qwerty keyboard works for me and hey, you never know, I might use the camera / internet / GPS functionality one day.

So today I needed to take all my contacts off the other phone and put them into the new one. I took them off manually - typed it into Word - culled and reviewed the list and was ready to type them into the new one.

Hubby then passes me a disk and says "use the software it will be easier".

a) It took me three goes and two computer restarts to get the software disk to read - I did check the internet site but couldn't find the software in a downloadable format

b) I typed all my contacts into the contact page in the software and then went looking for a way to send it to the phone - completely missing the BLACK (on a black background) icon (okay, it had a red smudge over it but not a big one) that said 'to Phone' (in 6pt). Managed to hit the 'to PC' one instead and wiped out all of my work !!!

c) I then decided to upload them a few at a time to ensure that it works. Each time however, I can't figure out how to review them on the phone without disconnecting the PC & phone software. Sometimes it's failing to reconnect once I've reviewed them!

d) Each contact has a 'category' option. I would like to show my contacts list by category rather than the individual entries. Do you think I can find a way to do this???

EEEEEEEEkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk this phone had better be worth it in the end!

A Gunny's Christmas Tree

Via way of Uncle ... we have a Christmas Tree that any gunny should be proud of ...

Unfortunately the tree would be illegal here in Western Australia :(

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh? "Crass-Pollination" Blog - Invitation Only?

For a couple of months now I've been following Nurse K at her blog (Crass-Pollination).

Today my Dashboard showed me a new entry at the blog which looks interesting, but whenever I click on the link I get a "This blog is open to invited readers only" message.


UPDATE: By way of Dr Grumpy - seems that Nurse K is taking another hiatus to work through some dramas. "Wishing you all the best Nurse K, you're missed!".

Monday, December 7, 2009

Interesting Article on Global Warming ... Cooling ... Warming ....

Came across this article today:

The Fiction Of Climate Science
Gary Sutton

Why the climatologists get it wrong.

Many of you are too young to remember, but in 1975 our government pushed "the coming ice age."

Random House dutifully printed "THE WEATHER CONSPIRACY … coming of the New Ice Age." This may be the only book ever written by 18 authors. All 18 lived just a short sled ride from Washington, D.C. Newsweek fell in line and did a cover issue warning us of global cooling on April 28, 1975. And The New York Times, Aug. 14, 1976, reported "many signs that Earth may be headed for another ice age."

OK, you say, that's media. But what did our rational scientists say?

In 1974, the National Science Board announced: "During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age."

You can't blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed's mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today's scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work.

In 2002 I stood in a room of the Smithsonian. One entire wall charted the cooling of our globe over the last 60 million years. This was no straight line. The curve had two steep dips followed by leveling. There were no significant warming periods. Smithsonian scientists inscribed it across some 20 feet of plaster, with timelines.

Last year, I went back. That fresco is painted over. The same curve hides behind smoked glass, shrunk to three feet but showing the same cooling trend. Hey, why should the Smithsonian put its tax-free status at risk? If the politicians decide to whip up public fear in a different direction, get with it, oh ye subsidized servants. Downplay that embarrassing old chart and maybe nobody will notice.

Sorry, I noticed.

It's the job of elected officials to whip up panic. They then get re-elected. Their supporters fall in line.

Al Gore thought he might ride his global warming crusade back toward the White House. If you saw his movie, which opened showing cattle on his farm, you start to understand how shallow this is. The United Nations says that cattle, farting and belching methane, create more global warming than all the SUVs in the world. Even more laughably, Al and his camera crew flew first class for that film, consuming 50% more jet fuel per seat-mile than coach fliers, while his Tennessee mansion sucks as much carbon as 20 average homes.

His PR folks say he's "carbon neutral" due to some trades. I'm unsure of how that works, but, maybe there's a tribe in the Sudan that cannot have a campfire for the next hundred years to cover Al's energy gluttony. I'm just not sophisticated enough to know how that stuff works. But I do understand he flies a private jet when the camera crew is gone.

The fall of Saigon in the '70s may have distracted the shrill pronouncements about the imminent ice age. Science's prediction of "A full-blown, 10,000 year ice age," came from its March 1, 1975 issue. The Christian Science Monitor observed that armadillos were retreating south from Nebraska to escape the "global cooling" in its Aug. 27, 1974 issue.

That armadillo caveat seems reminiscent of today's tales of polar bears drowning due to glaciers disappearing.

While scientists march to the drumbeat of grant money, at least trees don't lie. Their growth rings show what's happened no matter which philosophy is in power. Tree rings show a mini ice age in Europe about the time Stradivarius crafted his violins. Chilled Alpine Spruce gave him tighter wood so the instruments sang with a new purity. But England had to give up the wines that the Romans cultivated while our globe cooled, switching from grapes to colder weather grains and learning to take comfort with beer, whisky and ales.

Yet many centuries earlier, during a global warming, Greenland was green. And so it stayed and was settled by Vikings for generations until global cooling came along. Leif Ericsson even made it to Newfoundland. His shallow draft boats, perfect for sailing and rowing up rivers to conquer villages, wouldn't have stood a chance against a baby iceberg.

Those sustained temperature swings, all before the evil economic benefits of oil consumption, suggest there are factors at work besides humans.

Today, as I peck out these words, the weather channel is broadcasting views of a freakish and early snow falling on Dallas. The Iowa state extension service reports that the record corn crop expected this year will have unusually large kernels, thanks to "relatively cool August and September temperatures." And on Jan. 16, 2007, NPR went politically incorrect, briefly, by reporting that "An unusually harsh winter frost, the worst in 20 years, killed much of the California citrus, avocados and flower crops."

To be fair, those reports are short-term swings. But the longer term changes are no more compelling, unless you include the ice ages, and then, perhaps, the panic attempts of the 1970s were right. Is it possible that if we put more CO2 in the air, we'd forestall the next ice age?

I can ask "outrageous" questions like that because I'm not dependent upon government money for my livelihood. From the witch doctors of old to the elected officials today, scaring the bejesus out of the populace maintains their status.

Sadly, the public just learned that our scientific community hid data and censored critics. Maybe the feds should drop this crusade and focus on our health care crisis. They should, of course, ignore the life insurance statistics that show every class of American and both genders are living longer than ever. That's another inconvenient fact.

Gary Sutton is co-founder of Teledesic and has been CEO of several other companies, including Knight Protective Industries and @Backup.

Another Licencing Post - Trying out the New System

As I blogged here a new firearms licencing system is in place in Western Australia.

Today I filled in the forms online, printed them, and took them with my club support letters and Firearm Serviceability Certificates into the Post Office.

I am applying for two category A firearms (a rifle and a shotgun) on the same application form - which is allowed (luckily as it's $66 for each application).

I thought I was going to have a problem when I handed the forms to the lady at the Post Office and she took one look at them and said "what are these?". Apparently she hadn't processed one before.

Between the two of us we managed to get through the process without too much confusion so now it's just a matter of waiting to see a) if they're approved and b) how long it takes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Training is over for the year

Well today was the last day of training at the gun club for the year.

It was a HOT one ... not sure what the temperature got to, but I think it was around 40degC on the range.

We had scheduled a practical rifle and shotgun training session / shoot today. But unfortunately, and I think due to the weather, only three of the dozen or so trainees currently in the course turned up.

One of the "regular" shooters who has never done either practical rifle or practical shotgun decided to join the course for the day so we split into two groups.

I was helping one of the club members with the shotgun shoot. I had asked him to come along to the session as I'm not that comfortable with shotguns AND he has a pump action one :)

He ended up bringing three shotguns - a 20 gauge single barrel one, the 12 gauge pump action and a 12 gauge over/under. The Chief Instructor also had a 12 gauge semi-auto which we used as well.

The guys shot all four of the rifles on the range and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I think we will look at running a few more of these throughout the year on the training course as it is a good skill for the students to have.

Proposed new LAW: Walk the dog or face time behind bars

From the news today we have:

Walk the dog or face time behind bars

PET owners could be punished for not walking their dogs, under radical new laws being proposed by the RSPCA.

Under the legislation, they would have to regularly exercise dogs, ensure animals are not kept chained up and give their pets adequate food and water.

If the proposal becomes law, dog and cat owners across Australia would face prosecution, fines of up to $12,000 fines for animal cruelty and magistrates could consider jail in extreme circumstances.

Dr Hugh Wirth, head of RSPCA Victoria, is one of four experts the Federal Department of Agriculture's welfare division has appointed to draft national animal welfare guidelines.

"The draft will tell people what they have to do rather than what they want to do," Dr Wirth said.

"The new standards would be regulatory, therefore a breach of the standards is a breach of the law."

The proposed new laws are designed to formalise the national code, which states dogs must be walked at least once a day.

Dr Wirth said jail sentences would not be handed out for a first offence, but it would something available for magistrates to consider.

"I would be amazed if a magistrate ordered jail time on the first offence, but, like every other offence under cruelty legislation, jail is an option," Dr Wirth said.

The proposed laws would be designed to help overcome the problems animal inspectors have had penalising bad owners. The working party is designed to create a national standard, but ultimately the laws would be have to be passed by State Governments.

Catherine and Mitch Wells said they would welcome laws to prosecute animal owners who did not exercise their pets.

They said exercising their much-loved "Diva" was part of the deal of owning a dog, and they said all pet owners should be made to regularly walk their animals.

"That's part of our responsibility of having dog," Mrs Well said.

The Newcastle couple gives their two-year-old English staffy at least 30 minutes "roaming time" each day at the local dog beach, and they say she thrives on it.

"Seeing her happy makes me happy," Mrs Wells said.

Mrs Wells said it distressed her to see larger dogs cooped up in yards, and barely ever let out to exercise.

"It's not fair to the dog," she said.

A spokesman for the federal Department of Agriculture said the working group was one of six set up to look at animal welfare.

"One of the goals of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy is to develop national standards and guidelines for the care of different kinds of animals," the spokesman said.

"The states and territories are ultimately responsible for legislating for animal welfare, not the Commonwealth."

The draft is still in its early stages.


It is interesting to read the comments which range from the "great idea" type to the "invasion of privacy" and "how can you police it anyway" brigade.

I don't have a dog but I am totally against more laws which impinge on the freedom of people because of ... the problems animal inspectors have had penalising bad owners.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Officer accidentally shoots himself in face

Well that's what the headline said anyway.

The story is:
Officer accidentally shoots himself in face

A NORTH Queensland senior constable has accidentally shot himself in the face.

The officer at the Bowen station was handling his revolver at the station's weapons clearance drum when it accidentally discharged around 2.30pm (AEST) today.

Fragments from the discharged bullet ricocheted and struck the officer in the face, inflicting superficial injuries.

Senior police will investigate how the accident occurred.


Accidents wlll happen but let's revive the four rules:

1. A gun is ALWAYS LOADED. Always.

2. Do not point the muzzle at anything you're not willing to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you have your target sighted in.

4. Be sure of your target and what's behind it, before you pull the trigger.

As we don't have the full details of the "accident" it's hard to say which rule(s) were broken, but I'm actually voting that they all were.

Revolvers aren't known for "discharging accidentally" and for the bullet to ricocheted the muzzle obviously wasn't pointing in a "safe" direction.

These four rules will only keep you safe if you follow them - ALWAYS!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Study: Pornography Doesn't Warp Sexuality

Now this is an interesting study ...

Are the effects of pornography negligible?

A Université de Montréal researcher, funded by the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Family Violence and Violence Against Women, has launched a new study to examine the effects of pornography on men. "We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography. We couldn't find any," says Simon Louis Lajeunesse, a postdoctoral student and professor at the School of Social Work.

"The objective of my work is to observe the impact of pornography on the sexuality of men, and how it shapes their perception of men and women," says Lajeunesse. To do so, he has so far recruited and interviewed 20 heterosexual male university students who consume pornography.

"They shared their sexual history starting with their first contact with pornography, which was in early adolescence. Not one subject had a pathological sexuality. In fact, all of their sexual practices were quite conventional," says Lajeunesse.

The research concluded that 90 percent of pornography is consumed on the Internet, while 10 percent comes from video stores. On average, single men watch pornography three times a week for 40 minutes. Those who are in committed relationships watch it on average 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes.

Lajeunesse found most boys seek out pornographic material by the age of 10, when they are most sexually curious. However, they quickly discard what they don't like and find offensive. As adults, they will continue to look for content in tune with their image of sexuality. They also rarely consume pornography as a couple and always choose what they watch.

All test subjects said they supported gender equality and felt victimized by rhetoric demonizing pornography. "Pornography hasn't changed their perception of women or their relationship which they all want as harmonious and fulfilling as possible. Those who could not live out their fantasy in real life with their partner simply set aside the fantasy. The fantasy is broken in the real world and men don't want their partner to look like a porn star," says Lajeunesse.

Lajeunesse refutes the perverse effect often attributed to pornography. "Aggressors don't need pornography to be violent and addicts can be addicted to drugs, alcohol, gaming and asocial cases are pathological. If pornography had the impact that many claim it has, you would just have to show heterosexual films to a homosexual to change his sexual orientation."

Source: University of Montreal (news : web)


I was amused at this bit: "We started our research seeking men in their twenties who had never consumed pornography. We couldn't find any,"

Twenty subjects is a very small sample group I wonder if they will redo the study with a larger one?


Half tempted to put this into the "inane studies" category but not totally sure ... what do you think?

A bloke for all seasons

MEN behave like larrikins around the boys, "wit warriors" in mixed company and "fly guys" when they want to impress women, research shows.

They are also likely to use up to five different personas throughout their lifetime, the study by brand consultancy Added Value has found.

"A big finding was that masculinity is not singular... it's actually plural," said a director at Added Value, James Pike.

"In a nutshell, masculinity is the varied ways guys use to express themselves.

"Masculinity is an occasion for display and self-presentation for men, which varies from culture to culture, and from place to place and is constantly changing and shifting.

"We found that men play many different parts in any given occasion."

The two-stage study involved talking to experts and men aged between 18 and 29 about their perception of masculine.

"Masculinity is a performance," Mr Pike said.

"The better the performance, the more masculine guys will feel and appear."

The research found that the average male will use five personas throughout their life.

He said that most men adopted a contingency-based approach to the persona they used.

"A guy would maybe express his larrikin persona with the boys and with mixed company be more the wit warrior or the fly guy," Mr Pike said.

"It depends on whether he is looking to impress the ladies."

The top seven personas:

The good bloke: Down to earth, genuine, always know where they stand and holds family values. Examples of men who were seen to personify this are former tennis star Pat Rafter and cricketer Michael Clarke.

The larrikin: These are men who like to have a laugh and make playful wise cracks - think comedians Dave Hughes and Merrick and Rosso.

The wit warrior: These are men who use humour to reveal the truth and like to provoke and challenge. They are personified by comedy group The Chaser and Wil Anderson.

The fly guy: These are men who have confidence, creative flair and a sense of style. They tend to be into music and are exemplyfied by Jason Kay of band Jamiroquai and musician Daniels Johns.

Understated power: These are self-assured men who do not big-note themseves. They are cool, have hidden depth and respectful. Men who were seen to personify this were retired NRL player Hazem El Masri and actor Eric Bana.

The urban tribalist: These are men who stick to their to beliefs and striving for change from the ground up. The British artist Banksy is one example.

The lionheart: These were men who were physically strong and had emotional toughness. This tended to be associated with certain types of sports stars like NRL player Darren Lockyer and cyclist Lance Armstrong.


I like the sound of the urban triablist wonder who (or what) Banksy is?

Had a bit of a read of the wiki entry on him and wasn't impressed until I got to this bit ...

Statements by Banksy in Wall and Piece

“ We can’t do anything to change the world until capitalism crumbles. In the meantime we should all go shopping to console ourselves. ”

“ We don’t need any more heroes; we just need someone to take out the recycling. ”

“ When you go to an art gallery you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires. ”

“ Sometimes I feel so sick at the state of the world I can’t even finish my second apple pie. ”

“ Think from outside the box, collapse the box and take a fucking knife to it. ”

“ Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place. ”

“ If you want someone to be ignored, then build a life-size bronze statue of them and stick it in the middle of town. ”

“ People who should be shot: Fascist thugs, religious fundamentalists, people who write lists telling you who should be shot. ”


Not exactly my definition of an "urban tribalist" but amusing anyway.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pistol and Rifle Round Pictures

Found these pictures of pistol and rifle rounds over at Snarkybytes:

Pistol Rounds

Rifle Rounds