Hello Cruel World
Thursday, July 28, 2005
The Zen of Flickr
flickrzen.blogspot.com - a collection of someone's favourite images from flickr
Sunday, July 24, 2005

Catseyes at the ZooCatseyes at the Zoo
At the Zoo (originally) on Yahoo! News Photos: "A Siamese cat looks out at Arab Gulf tourists at Jordan Zoo near Amman July 13, 2005. Many Arab Gulf tourists visit Jordan during the peak of the summer season. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji"

Caged Eyes

The resigned gentleness of the leopard I saw in the cage was in sharp contrast to the fires of napalm, yet its orange fur and basic nature called it a great predator. One of the most disturbing stories I have read is With Folded Hands by Jack Williamson, about a race of androids that imprison humanity in a cocoon of safety and idleness. All the captive generations descended from the one leopard father have been resting with folded forepaws for too many years, their world stolen from them by human curiosity.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005
It looks like another blog I write in is taking off, so I'm not adding much to this one at the moment. Not sure what to do; try to keep both going and separate, or do a bunch of cross-linking, copy things across from here, or what. I've kept them very much away from each other so far.

Should I make this mainly personal, with the thoughts and rants and so forth, and put the less personal things, like interesting links and copied information, etc, over at the other one? Or the opposite?
Apache helicopter night attack - Follow up
Someone on a mailing list I'm on sent this message:
Hi folks,
In recent times a video clip was circulating about what appears to be an unprovoked attack on innocent Iraqi farmers at night fixing a broken down tractor during seed bed preparation. The version that I received at the time showed the tractor with a glowing exhaust and the tyre treads could just be made out along with the seed bed pattern. It is portrayed in accompanying text as being filmed from a plane but no plane could hold such a steady position it has to be a helicopter, someone is playing games.

I have just received another copy of this video clip that appears to have been significantly edited not only in video but voice over. The tractor has virtually been eliminated and it is portrayed as insurgents setting up a road side bomb yet they are moving in a field and no roadway is visible but they forgot to edit out the reference to the field. This looks like a whitewash to me. I am no supporter of fundamentalists but I would hate to fight alongside the Americans, "collateral" damage seems to be a pastime.

If anyone who obtained the original copy would like a copy of this version let me know.
Hard to find. Best I have - very large, about 35 Mb is at

users.rcn.com/sitzkrieg/war/ called Apache_kills_in_Iraq.mpeg
( http://users.rcn.com/sitzkrieg/war/Apache%20Kills%20in%20Iraq.mpeg )

Most other links are 404 or aren't operating in other ways, or perhaps my rather dicky machine can't handle them, but here's what I've found -- people might be able to make use of them:

This is a discussion thread which had a number of different links to different copies and versions:
joi.ito.com/archives/2004/01/29/ disturbing_image_from_iraq.html
Most seem to be inoperative, but there are some hints and pointers in amongst the rabbitage.

Documentary: Iraq - On the Brink, Ross Coulthart, Nick Farrow (see transcript) had the footage, and the transcript gives the sound accompanying the vision. (My computer has no sound.)

www.footagehouse.com/ night_vision.htm - this has assorted footage of other things, possibly interesting from several viewpoints, showing "night vision".
No Thanks: Why your Acknowledgement Page sucks

By Emily G.

Look, no one is denying that writing books is Hard Work. And no one, least of all me (I'm an editor), is denying that a lot of people are involved in the making of a book, a lot of gratitude-deserving people at that. In many cases, it has taken a near-literal village of agents, editors, publicists, designers, production managers and sub-managers, angelic hand-holders all, many of whom have actually been more instrumental in the writing of the book than the person whose name is on the spine. So what I'm saying here is not that these people don't deserve to be thanked. Far from it. I'm saying that they sure as hell don't deserve to be thanked stupidly, floridly, incoherently and just plain badly.

To appease the geeks and industry insiders who really need to know who agented, edited, publicized and so forthed the book, I propose a straightforward film-style list of credits on the last page. No adjectives will be necessary. No author will ever again burst through the fourth wall, effusively praising and faux-modestly protesting and thanking and thanking like a weepy Gwyneth Paltrow in ill-fitting Ralph Lauren, because it just won't be the thing to do anymore.

Also, a rainbow-maned unicorn will fly me to work each morning.

OK, so acknowledgments will continue to exist. I suppose all I can do is provide a list of DON'Ts to help make sure that they do not continue to suck as ridiculously and egregiously as they do now ...
Friday, July 22, 2005
The Launch of Google Moon

blog.searchenginewatch.com/ blog/050720-093635
It was 36 years ago today when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon while Michael Collins circled overhead ... To celebrate the historic event Google has not only put up a special logo on all of their home pages but they're also releasing Google Moon.

That's right space fans, you're now able to use the same technology that you'll find at Google Maps and Google Earth to wander around the Moon.

In many cases you're unable to zoom-in very close. This is due to NASA providing Google with a limited data set.

Friday, July 15, 2005
At the Zoo on Yahoo! News Photos
At the Zoo on Yahoo! News Photos: "A Siamese cat looks out at Arab Gulf tourists at Jordan Zoo near Amman July 13, 2005."
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
bar hostess (also called entertainers)
bar hostess (also called entertainers)
The hostess, I learned, was the modern equivalent of the geisha, a centuries-old and highly venerated profession that attracts Japanese girls like a vocation. Geishas are the embodiment of that enduring Japanese icon: feminine perfection. They exist to serve men and preserve the
traditional arts such as singing, dancing and playing classical instruments like the shamisen.
Her modern counterpart, the bar hostess, has exchanged silk kimonos for cocktail dresses, and the shamisen for a karaoke box. She is considerably less expensive than her predecessor yet she shares the same values: to be the feminine ideal, to entertain, to listen, to be serious, to dazzle with
her wit and charm. It is not considered a demeaning job. Certainly no sexual favours are expected - just mild flirtation, perhaps a glimmering eroticism...
Hostess bars, I learned, abound in their thousands in Japan ... Western girls, particularly of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed variety, are considered a special treat and a myriad bars boast them like a range of exotic fruit ...
There was Danielle, a skinny American with flaming red hair. She had just graduated and was hostessing to repay college loans. Anna and Femka, two marvellously tall Dutch girls saving for another season of going gaga in Goa. Sophia, a sexy Swede, with an unrealized dream to be a model and legs
that undulated from beneath her skirts, and Domarra, an Italian linguist perfecting her Japanese.
Our guests arrived. A group of Japanese salarymen, that is businessmen, on a corporate razzle... Assiduously we catered to their every need; we topped up drinks and clinked ice cubes in glasses, we lit their cigarettes, and intermittently, unwrapped a sweet to delicately pop into a guest's mouth ...
We were perfect young ladies. Never so inelegant as to cross our legs, lean back in our seats, bite our nails or play with our hair. Never so rude as to divert our attention for a second, our admiring gaze for an instant from these latter day Samurai who, weary from another day fighting for Japan's economic miracle, would look to us adoring gaijin girlies to ease away their tensions...
This was a "decent" bar... The only thing we were to massage was ego ... Our guests frequently asked us to sing karaoke ... You can double, triple the basic rate with tips earned for anything from being wined, dined or complimented to singing a soulful ballad or performing an exotic belly dance. The job can be as risqué as you want it to be and consequently you can earn as much money as you like. A woman able to handle the masquerade and approach the whole affair as some peculiar brand of performance art can make a killing ...
As a teacher and through living with a Japanese family I saw women treated in a different way. Marriages, which are often arranged, are an economic necessity. The family is like a small business, producing the next generation of mothers and salarymen. In the most sinister privatization of all, the chemistry in human relationships seems to have been disentangled, set apart and sold as a service. Instead of relaxing at home with their families, Japanese salarymen go out in droves to relax with strangers ...
I'm glad I had a short stint at hostessing. It gave me first-hand experience of an aspect of Japan that is often missed by travellers. I was surprised ... [that] my need to be appreciated for everything I am as a woman, rather than just one feminine façade, was more intense than I had ever really known. Hostessing helped me to work out what I don't want with my life.
©Sarah Dale 2004
Hostess are not prostitutes! some bars are dodgy, but in expensive bars where the richest man in the city drinks, nothing happens!
a hostess is paid to sit there and pour drinks and talk with a customer, its the hostesses decision whether she wants to meet him out of work. Being a hostess is a good way to earn money, you get tips from customers
as well, and its also your choice to drink with the customer. Just because your a hostess doesnt mean you have relationship problems, some foreigners do it to get better at japanese and that is all!
Refurbishment Rewrites History -- Hilton Bombing wiped out
Have Australia's first terrorist bomb deaths in February 1978 been forgotten?
The Hilton bomb hasn't been mentioned discussing terrorism over the last few years.

In pre-Olympic works the memorial stele was flattened to a disregarded, walked-upon street plaque. In 2003 the 25th Anniversary went unremarked. No murmur was made when the plaque disappeared under renovation hoardings in that same year, despite a fuss in July of 2003 over a memorial to Ghost Train fire victims destroyed renovating Luna Park.

Now the Hilton is re-opening, the hoardings removed. I searched the footpath and visible entrances in George St where the explosion happened. Nothing. Wiped away like Stalin's victims in Soviet photos.

Why? Shame because the dead found no justice? Denial? Carelessness? Perhaps just that; no-one cares. In 2032 will we remember the blackened, gutted bodies of last Thursday?
Climate and Weather Atlas of Australia

Front page of the Climate and Weather Atlas of Australia:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~michaelt/front.html this is a private but
pretty good site. It includes a part called `Weather Features', which has
sections on Bushfires, Monsoon, Snow in Australia, Thunderstorms in
Australia, Tropical Cyclones & Dangerous and Destructive Seas.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Another rejected Letter to an Editor
Another rejected Letter to an Editor, responding to a recent meeting and speeches.
(sent on Wednesday 6th July, 2005)
Stirring it was on that stage to hear our headman, Bob Carr, at Hillsong defend diverse Australian life!

And heartwarming to hear the Christian crowd acclaim the need for Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, Sikhs and all to be equally regarded as having worthwhile ways for humans to live and interpret the world, if we are to survive together on this fragile shell of habitable biosphere.

But saddening also the silence for those whose values and morals stand as firm-footedly strong on a non-religious base.
Also run as an exercise in the old-style declamation, keeping as far under the 200-word limit as possible.

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 / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

This is my blogchalk:
Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.