Archive for November 2006

War On Red Bull

November 28, 2006

In a few years’ time, when the Health Nazis of the world have finally succeeded in banning Tobacco, Alcohol, Hamburgers and Gambling, you could be excused to thinking that they would be satisfied with that and give it a rest for a while.

Not so. They will never run out of demons to fight:

“Everything is a poison, including water, if you have too much,” he said. “Caffeine is a stimulant that releases your internal catecholamines” — compounds that can serve as hormones — “that make you anxious, jittery and create the fight-or-flight response. When the heart beats too fast, bad things happen.”

The researchers found the situation is exacerbated because caffeine is heavily touted as a legal alternative to illegal drugs.

Energy drinks and dietary supplements are promoted mainly through advertisements and on certain drug Web sites that recount users’ experiences.

Everything is a poison. Health Nazis will never be satisfied until you eat nothing but celery sticks, drink nothing except breast milk, and accept self-flagellation as the only legitimate form of entertainment.

Sunday YouTube

November 19, 2006

2 weeks ago I was arrested for standing around on a street corner, waiting for my friends. I was convicted for refusing to obey a move-on notice and fined $405.

This video from Korgy of the Melbourne G20 protest shows anarchists attacking a police vehicle. The police didn’t even attempt to ask them to move on, let alone arrest them. In fact they are apparently hiding behind the truck, doing nothing.

So either the police think the anarchists’ political views excuse them for violently breaking the law, or they are simply too frightened to arrest someone who has violent intentions towards them.

Which is it?

Girl Friday

November 17, 2006

RIP Milton Friedman

November 17, 2006

Free-market economist Milton Friedman has died aged 94. More at Club Troppo and Catallaxy.

Government Research Facility Cures Cancer

November 14, 2006

Well, Almost.

Australian CSIRO engineers have created an air guitar that actually works, fulfilling the dreams of talentless metal fans around the world.

Reviewing Reviewme.com

November 14, 2006

The following is a paid review.

Reviewme.com is a new site that matches bloggers with advertisers. The basic gist of the idea is that advertisers will pay you to write a review of their product or service on your own blog.

The amount paid is calculated as a function of your Technorati and Alexa rankings, as well as the estimated number of subscribers to your RSS feed. As an example, this blog received a “2 star” rating and for this review I am being paid US$30. Reviewme.com will either send the money to a Paypal account or send you a cheque.

One of the biggest advantages of this idea is that – for me at least – this will provide some sort of relief for bloggers’ block. Whenever I can’t think of anything to write about or am lacking motivation, reviewme.com can tell me what to write about and motivate me with cold, hard cash.

The signup process is ridiculously simple, all you have to do is provide your name, email address and the URL of your blog and RSS feed. Your blog’s “star rating” will be calculated from the URL you give. You can also nominate multiple blogs if you have more than one.

If you don’t already have a Paypal account, then the signup process may extend to around 10 minutes instead of the 2 minutes it took me. As soon as that is complete you can get started on your first review, which is a review of the reviewme.com site itself (which is exactly what you are reading now).

The only doubts I have about this service is whether or not I will actually be offered any further reviews after the original review of reviewme.com. Are advertisers really going to be willing to pay $50-$100 for a 200-word advertisement on a blog that, for all they know, is only read by penniless hobos at internet cafes?

Nevertheless, everyone who signs up is offered to chance to review reviewme.com itself, so at the very least you’re going to get enough for a carton of piss out of it. That’s not so bad for 10 minutes’ work.

As an extra bonus, you can now tell your parents and friends that you have a real job. What’s not to like?

The End Of Beerstory

November 13, 2006

Over the life of this blog I have written a lot of posts about the pitiful state of the nightlife scene in Perth. Unfortunately, due to my server migration, most of those posts are still languishing in my archives on my hard drive waiting to be uploaded, so they aren’t readable at the moment.

In any case anyone who lives here knows that it’s shit and getting worse every day. The July 1 smoking ban killed off a couple more of the last remaining good pubs in Perth, and going there now is like going to a funeral.

I guess in part my idiocy last weekend was a subconcious resignation that it’s over. I knew the night was over after being ejected from the Elephant, there simply isn’t anywhere else worth going (and many would say the Elephant’s not that hot either, but we can agree to disagree).

Then, on the Friday just gone, three of my friends (including my flatmate) went down to our local boozer, the Stamford Arms. I stayed home. A huge melee broke out not long after they arrived, 2 of my friends were king hit and my flatmate was stabbed in the back with a broken bottle. All three turned up to cricket the next day very sore and sorry for themselves. My flatmate spent 4 hours in casualty, but is ok after a few stiches. His clothes are soaked in blood.

The police closed the pub at 11:30pm.

This is the last straw for me. Our own local, once a fairly reasonable drinking hole, has become a wasteland, filled with angry bogans and devoid of women. The 2 other pubs on the Scarborough foreshore have been closed for months, with no notice as to when (if ever) they will reopen.

Northbridge is a war zone, and even on the off chance you do manage to avoid being beaten or robbed, then you can just end up like me and be ejected for no reason by bouncers and police who are understandably paranoid about the entire situation. It is entirely fucked.

For this reason I have decided that my punishment wasn’t severe enough. I am imposing a curfew on myself for the next month. I will not be in any pub in Perth after the hour of 9pm. In fact I will probably not be going to any pub at all except for the Nookemburra, who are our cricket club sponsors.

I will be doing all my drinking at the cricket club or in private residences until my 30th birthday, which is on the 23rd of December.

At that point I will reassess, but I really can’t see any reason why I would want to go out in Perth again this summer. It’s just a fucking shithole.

Two MSM Blogs That Don’t Suck

November 13, 2006

I’m not really a fan of most of the MSM efforts at adding blogs to their online papers, as most of them seem like pathetic efforts to cash in. There are however, one or two good ones out there.

News’s Gotcha blog is a look at the major crime stories from the POV of crime reporter Gary Hughes. His personal leanings seem to be pretty populist and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s an ex-cop himself, but it nevertheless gives a more in-depth discussion of some of Australia’s crime issues.

My favourite though is The Age’s “All Men Are Liars” by Sam de Brito. It’s one of the view blogs out there that discusses Australian life from the point of view of a single male, and it’s refreshing in that Sam doesn’t pretend to be any kind of New Agey type. It’s a frank discussion of sexuality, morals, dating, and life in general.

The only real problem with these blogs is that they have so many readers that it’s pretty difficult to have a discussion in comments without getting lost in traffic, but “All Men Are Liars” especially is still well worth the read.

Scales Of Justice Update

November 9, 2006

I pled (plead?) guilty, received a $250 fine, $55 court costs and a spent conviction for my trouble.

Lesson learned: Cops can do whatever they want whenever they want.

Cost of lesson: $405.

Key Quote by Magistrate: “I don’t need to see the character references, the nature of the offense is such that they aren’t necessary”.

In other words, what a fucking waste of time.

Next post will feature some of the other interesting cases from my day in Perth Magistrate’s Court.

Arrested In Northbridge

November 5, 2006

Last night I was ejected from the “Elephant and Wheelbarrow” hotel in Northbridge. According the bouncer who ejected me I was too drunk to be in there.

Why he thought this I wasn’t sure, because I was in quite fair condition and the pub was very busy, which makes me wonder how he decided from amongst the crowd of people in there that I was drunk enough to warrant eviction.

Three ideas:

1. Because I am tall, maybe he saw my head bobbing above the crowd and short man syndrome kicked in.

2. My slanted eyes may have given me the appearance of being sleepy.

3. Maybe I tripped over while he was looking at me or something, but I certainly don’t remember anything like that happening.

Anyway, while I was at the bar waiting for service, the bouncer walked up to me and tried the old trick of saying “Can I just talk to you outside for a moment”? Which is a ploy designed to get you closer to the door so they can muscle you out faster when they inform you that you are ejected.

I replied simply that if he wanted to “talk to me”, he could do so right here. If on the other hand he wanted to eject me, I wanted to know for what reason.

He gave no reason and simply called for 2 more bouncers and the largest of them armlocked me and forced-marched me out the door. I offered no resistance of any kind.

Once outside the pub I stood around waiting for my friends who were still inside on the dance floor. (bouncers rarely eject anyone in a group, they wait until you are alone at the bar or going to the toilet, because they are cowards).

The same bouncer who had ejected me was standing on the door and told me that I couldn’t wait outside the pub for my friends. I informed him that on the contrary, I certainly could and I would be waiting just where I was for as long as I pleased.

He threatened to call the police, I let him know I wasn’t concerned if he did because I had done nothing wrong and was continuing to do nothing wrong, except really annoy one insecure little bouncer.

The police were called and asked me to move on. I said to the police that I had done nothing wrong and was waiting for my friends. I said that they had no right to ask me to leave a public footpath when I had neither committed nor was likely to commit any crime.

The police then officially issued me a move-on notice (which stated I had to leave the area bounded by Roe, Beaufort, Fitzgerald and Newcastle streets, aka Northbridge) and said they would be back in 5 minutes, at which I would be arrested if I hadn’t left Northbridge altogether.

I informed them again that I had committed no crime and wouldn’t be moving. They came back 5 minutes later and bundled me into a paddy wagon and took me to Curtin House. They stuck me in the lockup with an accused drug dealer called Lenny while approxiamately 6 police officers attempted to find out exactly what kind of drugs he was carrying. When I was processed and bailed about 40 minutes later they still hadn’t worked it out.

I am due to appear in court on November 9. The charge on my bail undertaking is “Suspects and others may be ordered to move on”. Until then I am not allowed to go into Northbridge.

The maximum penalty for this charge is $12,000 fine or equivalent prison time.

I was also issued a $100 on the spot infringement notice for “failing to leave licensed premises on request”, a notice I will also be contesting because I was already out of the licensed premises when police arrived.

Any advice on how to tackle these two cases would be much appreciated.