Saturday, September 09, 2006

Brocky Makes a Hat-Trick

Well, rounding out the hat-trick of famous deaths this week is Peter Brock, possibly Oz's most famous racecar driver. For those who don't know what a hat-trick is, it's a term from the game of cricket where 3 people get out in a row (and for the really dumb, 'cricket' is that game where a bunch of over-paunched men stand in a paddock getting suntans and very, very occasionally throwing a ball at one man in the middle). Peter Brock's former partner, Beverley, says she had a premonition last week that he'd die in a car accident by running into a tree. Interestingly, the stingray who killed Steve Irwin during the week may also have had a premonition about Steve's death, but we'll never know because stingrays are too smart to spout crap like that to the media or anyone else.

You may have gathered I don't believe her. And the reason I don't is that she is just too specific, as well as the fact that she didn't tell anyone before the event. Any fan of Nostradamus knows one of the fundamentals of having convincing premonitions is to hide the message in completely unrelated gibberish so that no sane person could ever see a link between the the original prediction and the event. The secret is not to say, after the crash, 'I predicted that last week', but instead to ring the papers before the event and say something like 'Blossoms of the springtime cut in twain, the tree of life weeps'. Now that would have convinced me absolutely that she knew he was going to die.

Ex-Partner Spouts Crap
Nostadamus on

Friday, September 08, 2006

Optical Illusion

One of the better optical illusions I've seen, click on the link below and have a look at the full version of the Spanish castle. Stare at the dot for 20 or 30 seconds, then move the cursor into the picture area and it will be replaced by a BLACK & WHITE copy of the same image - but you'll see it in full colour!

False Colour Optical Illusion

Thursday, September 07, 2006

To Boldly… er… Stay

William Shatner, better known to the world as Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, won't be boldly going into space aboard Virgin's commercial spaceliners. Shatner, who rose to fame on some pretty dodgy acting ability, has often been criticised for his "pay me or I won't play ball" attitude, and this time is no exception. Despite being offered his ticket, worth £114 000, free, Shatner wants to be paid for the trip as well! Read the whole article at the link below.

Shatner Won't 'Boldly Go'

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Uncle John Needs You!

Australia's Defence Forces are having a hard time getting people to join up, and have just embarked on a multi-million dollar recruitment drive. The crew from Chaser's War on Everything decided to take to the streets to drum up a few more recruits to help our nation out! Maybe if we can get a few people to join, we might be able to fix some of these planes, ships, submarines and tanks of ours that fall apart whenever they're started up!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tasmanian History

Ancient Aboriginal handprints stencilled on the rocks of a cave, colonial convicts’ chisel marks in the stones of a cottage wall - Tasmanians treasure their heritage and wherever you go you’ll find evidence of times past but not forgotten.

Walk along a beach and come upon a midden of shells left by Aborigines thousands of years ago. Look down from your window under the eaves to a courtyard where colonial stagecoaches changed their weary horses. Step into a colonial prison cell and experience a few terrible moments of pitchdark solitary confinement. Comfort yourself in a country tavern that’s been welcoming travellers for 150 years or more. There’s history wherever you look - the buildings and boats, the tales and traditions that form our heritage.

Some important dates in Tasmanian History:

1642 - Abel Janszoon Tasman, the Dutch explorer, sailed passed the west coast of our island. He named it Van Diemen’s Land after the governor of Batavia.

1772 - The first Europeans to land on the island, the company from the expedition of the French explorer Marion du Fresne, came ashore at Marion Bay on the east coast.

1803 - Lieutenant John Bowen, a British soldier, chose Risdon Cove on the eastern shore of the River Derwent in the south-east for the first settlement of Europeans. In 1804 Lieutenant-governor David Collins moved the settlement across the river and Hobart was founded.

1804 - Europeans settled near the mouth of the River Tamar on the north coast. In 1806 the settlement was moved upriver and Launceston was founded.

1815 - Governor Davey proclaimed martial law against bushrangers - criminals who lived ’rough’ in the bush, terrorised settlers, stole farm stock and held up travellers.

1822 - The Sarah Island penal settlement was established in Macquarie Harbour on the west coast.

1825 - Van Diemen’s Land, which had been part of the colony of New South Wales, became a colony in its own right.

1829 - Europeans settled what later became Burnie, on the north coast.

1830 - The Black Line, a military plan to round up Aborigines, was started. George Augustus Robinson started his mission to protect Aborigines and take them to a settlement on Flinders Island. Both plans failed miserably. Henry Savery’s ’Quintus Servinton’, Australia’s first novel, was published in Hobart.

1833 - The Sarah Island penal settlement (see 1822) was closed.

1834 - John Batman sailed from Launceston to Port Phillip in Victoria - he and his associates founded the city of Melbourne.

1842 - Hobart Town became a city. Convict transportation reached its peak - 5,329 in one year.

1852 - Payable gold was found near Fingal, near the east coast. Elections were held for the first municipal councils in Hobart and Launceston.

1853 - The last shipment of convicts arrived.

1854 - The two houses of Parliament (upper and lower) were established.

1856 - Van Diemen’s Land’s name was changed to Tasmania. The title ’governor’ was conferred on the representative of the English crown.

1864 - Salmon and trout eggs brought from Europe were successfully hatched.

1868 - Primary education became compulsory.

1871 - Tin was discovered at Mount Bischoff near the west coast.

1876 - The Elwick racecourse opened north of Hobart.

1877 - The penal settlement at Port Arthur was closed.

1880 - The first telephone was installed, with a line from Hobart to the Mount Nelson Signal Station, just south of the city.

1883 - The ’Iron Blow’ was discovered at Mount Lyell, near Queenstown in the west.

1884 - Fears of a Russian invasion led to the island’s defences being strengthened.

1890 - The University of Tasmania was founded.

1900 - Tasmanian forces left to fight in the Boer War in South Africa.

1901 - The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed - Tasmania became a state of Australia.

1907 - The public library, previously in temporary accommodation, moved into the Carnegie Building (Hobart) - a gift of Andrew Carnegie of New York, USA.

1914 - The first aeroplane flight in Tasmania. Tasmanian forces left to fight in the first world war.

1920 - The chocolate factory north of Hobart was built for Cadbury’s, an English company.

1940 - Tasmanians forces left to fight in the second world war.

1973 - The first legal casino in Australia opened at Wrest Point, Hobart.

1974 - Tasmania’s State Wages Board awarded women equal pay.

1975 - The ’Lake Illawarra’, a bulk ore carrier, crashed into the Tasman Bridge in Hobart,causing part of it to collapse. Twelve people, from the bridge and the ship, died. The ship sank and has never been raised. The bridge was rebuilt and reopened in 1977.

1978 - Passenger train services stopped in Tasmania.

1979 - Tasmania’s first ombudsman was appointed.

1983 - The High Court of Australia ruled against the building of the Gordon-below-Franklin dam, planned for the Gordon River in the south-west.

1986 - Archaeologists working in the south-west discovered Aboriginal rock paintings thought to be 20,000 years old. In 1987 they found Aboriginal stencils of handprints dating back to the last Ice Age.

1993 - The $53 million Henty Gold Mine opened near the west coast. Speed cameras were introduced on Tasmania’s roads.

1994 - Freedom-of-information legislation came into force.

1995 - The Aboriginal Land Act was passed and 12 significant historic and cultural sites were returned to Aboriginal Tasmanians.

1996 - David Boon’s 12-year career in first-class cricket ended. He had played in 107 matches and scored 7,422 runs.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crikey! First Don, now Steve!

Aussie personality and Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, has been killed in a freak accident while filming a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef, by a stingray barb. His wife, Terri, is currently trekking the magnificent Cradle Mountain area in Tasmania and has been notified by police of his death.

Steve achieved notoriety a couple of years ago for feeding crocodiles while holding his young baby, attracting the most criticism since Michael Jackson dangled his own baby from a balcony. The media, and the public, got stuck into Steve quite a bit over that incident. An all-round good guy, fun and happy, adventurous and caring, he took the criticism to heart and was greatly hurt by it. I hope, in the time between those dark days and his death, he came to realise that those who jumped so hard on him at the time were just shocked and held no malice.

NineMSN News Story
Some Steve Irwin Cartoons

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Barnes & Diesel

I can't say where I got this from yet, but the absolutely 100% reliable word is that rock legends Jimmy Barnes and Diesel will be live in concert in January next year (although possibly February - date has yet to be fixed), at Launceston's Aurora Stadium. This is a charity concert for a cause which is very close to Diesel's heart, although again, I can't go into those details other than to say for very close family reasons, the concert will happen. Keep your eyes open for the first official announcements in a month or two...