Thursday, March 27, 2008

Politically correct stupidity.............

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Nappy-headed hos," the phrase that cost radio shock jock Don Imus his job and triggered a debate on how far free speech can go, was named on Thursday as the most egregious politically incorrect turn of phrase in 2007.
Trailing behind that phrase in the annual survey by Global Language Monitor (, a word usage group, were "Ho-Ho-Ho" and "Carbon Footprint Stomping," said the group's president Paul JJ Payack.
"Ho-Ho-Ho" made the list after a staffing company in Sydney, Australia suggested to prospective Santas they drop their traditional greeting in favor of "Ha-Ha-Ha" so as not to invoke images of the derogatory slang term for women.
"Carbon Footprint Stomping" is a phrase used to describe flaunting environmentally "green" activities by doing things like driving gas-guzzling Hummers and flying private jets, which in these energy-conscious times might be considered the height of political incorrectness.
New York-based Imus was fired from his popular morning radio program by CBS in April 2007 after a national controversy erupted over his use of the "Nappy-headed" phrase to describe the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Imus later apologized and met with the team to ask for forgiveness.
Last November, he was hired by a different network.
"It is no surprise that 'Nappy-headed hos' was selected as the top politically incorrect word or phrase for 2007," said Payack. "A year later that phrase is still ricocheting about the Internet, even affecting Christmas-season Santas in Australia "
Among other examples on the list are:
"Fire-breathing Dragon" -- Children's book author Lindsey Gardiner was asked to eliminate a fire-breathing dragon from her new book because publishers feared they could be sued under health and safety regulations.
"Wucha dun did now?" -- The subtitle of a "Ghetto Handbook" distributed by a Houston school district police officer to enable readers to speak "as if you just came out of the 'hood."
"Gypsy skirt" -- The colorful layered skirt was given a new name, "Traveler Skirt," since police in Cornwall, a county in southwest England, believed the term "Gypsy Skirt" might be considered offensive to Gypsies.
Only in the western world have we got time to worry about all this guff........
Strewth...ho ho ho...grow up you lot....
And fire breathing dragons against OH and S?
Safety has become a religion in itself these days, creating a massive industry in generating bollocks, destroying trees to cover all the paperwork needed, and insuring that some very fat, nasty lazy bludgers who are vastly overpaid stay, well, fat lazy bludgers who are vastly overpaid.
In our beloved rail industry, they want to close one of our important rail yards at midnight, to freight trains, as Failcorp is sick of paying overtime of one or two hours a night and the odd taxi fare for the officer there.
Yet, in a huge safety bottom feeling session, Failcorp are renting out the Darling Harbour convention centre for two days, to sit around and postulate about, well, safety.
The only safe time for huge pissup, and a bit more diversity network lezzo loving!
No wonder our trains just dont run like they should.....sometimes they dont run at all!
And when they dont, thats the safest of all!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gunzel time...Tolls to Sandgate.....

Just when it was started, now it is nearly over....

A very pleasent daytime run to the Tolls siding at Sandgate, Newcastle, with 2 nice, shiny vintage C class locos.

Once employed in Victoria, and built to an SD 40 mechanical design by Clyde in South Australia, their future for a while in the late nineties was a little bleak.

Now here they are, back again and throbbing in New South Wales.

Tolls is shifting its operations to Carrington at Port Waratah, so within a few short days this photo at the Sandgate flyover will be history.

In fact, there is only 2 trips left to run as of today, this coming Thursday 26/3, and Saturday 28/3.

Leaving Sydney around lunchtime from Cooks River, there is ample opportunity for the discerning gunzel to make his record on filum, or his new fangled digital device.

So, here is C507 and C508 on the Sandgate flyover, on Sat 15/3 /08..

Hopefully, it wont tempt any gunzels to reach for, er, certain devices either....

To cheer you up...hornbags!

After reading the post below, confirming slowly that our present society, and structure, has no viable future due to the fact that the planet is slowly stirring to be rid of us, a small dose of light heartedness is in order.

Thusly I present some more local hornbags, not in the least concerned about global warming, cancerous lungs, or, the effect caused on male hormones.

Today's doom for you...Chunk of Antarctic ice shelf collapses

A chunk of Antarctic ice about seven times the size of Manhattan has suddenly collapsed, putting an even greater portion of glacial ice at risk, scientists said.
Satellite images show the runaway disintegration of a 415 square kilometre chunk in western Antarctica, which started on February 28. It was the edge of the Wilkins ice shelf and has been there for hundreds, maybe 1,500 years.
This is the result of global warming, said British Antarctic Survey scientist David Vaughan.
Because scientists noticed satellite images within hours, they diverted satellite cameras and even flew an airplane over the ongoing collapse for rare pictures and video.
"It's an event we don't get to see very often," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. "The cracks fill with water and slice off and topple... That gets to be a runaway situation."
While icebergs naturally break away from the mainland, collapses like this are unusual but are happening more frequently in recent decades, Vaughan said. The collapse is similar to what happens to hardened glass when it is smashed with a hammer, he said.
The rest of the Wilkins ice shelf, which is about the size of Connecticut, is holding on by a narrow beam of thin ice. Scientists worry that it too may collapse. Larger, more dramatic ice collapses occurred in 2002 and 1995.
Vaughan had predicted the Wilkins shelf would collapse about 15 years from now.
Scientists said they are not concerned about a rise in sea level from the latest event, but say it's a sign of worsening global warming.
Such occurrences are "more indicative of a tipping point or trigger in the climate system," said Sarah Das, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Today's daily dose of Doom...

UN warns climate change melting glaciers at alarming rate
The world's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, calling for immediate action to prevent further constraints on water resources for large populations, UN data released Sunday showed.
"Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry and power generation during key parts of the year," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The culprit is climate change, according to data from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), based at the University of Zurich and supported by UNEP.
The centre drew its findings from nearly 30 glaciers in nine mountain ranges revealing that in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 the average rate of melting more than doubled.
"The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight," said Wilfried Haeberli, director of WGMS.
According to UNEP, the growth has particularly sped up in the past few years, with what had been a record loss for two decades -- 0.7 metres (2.3 feet) in 1998 -- having been exceeded in three of the past six years.
Steiner said that "it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice," adding that the forecast is not entirely gloomy given the growth of the so-called green economy.
However, Steiner said the 2009 climate convention in Copenhagen will provide the true litmus test of governments' commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the carbon pollution from fossil fuels damaging Earth's climate system.
"Otherwise, and like the glaciers, our room for manoeuvre and the opportunity to act may simply melt away."
WGMS measures the thinning of glaciers in terms of water equivalen, for instance, estimating that in 2006 shrinking was equivalent to 1.4 metres of water equivalent, compared with half a metre in 2005.
Some glaciers have particularly suffered, such as Norway's Breidalblikkbrea glacier, which thinned almost 3.1 metres in 2006 compared with 0.3 metres in 2005.
Other glaciers to have experienced dramatic loss in Europe are Austria's Grosser Goldbergkees glacier, France's Ossoue glacier, Italy's Malavalle glacier, Spain's Maladeta glacier, Sweden's Storglaciaeren glacier and Switzerland's Findelen glacier.
However, of the 30 glaciers WGMS tracks for changes, four percent have thickened.
Here is a nice picture of the Rongbu glacier at Mount Everest, and shows the first view, in 1968, and the second view, in 2007.
Humanity, prepare for your medicine!
I think I need another strong drink after this!

T176....Sydney's foamer train!

Yes...what self respecting gunzel type lurking here in wonderful NSW does not try to photograph, and have a "quiet moment", over this local suburban trip train in the road raging madness of Sydney.


Well the crackling vintage motive power for starters. For a long time ancient GMs 22 and 27 did a rather fine effort most of the time.

At present though it is Alco 4471, and GM27, doing the pants enlarging work at the front.

However, often, even daily, motive power can be switched around, and then you will see 442's, FL's, 45's and rarely an EL or a GL.

Yes, well what can one say to that?

The other appealing feature is the schedule.

Often first past Sydney's notorious and cursed peak blackout, the hard at work gunzel can lie in bed, with his deviate imagination towards other non rail forms of public transport, and then pick a spot anywhere on the metro goods line to prepare for its arrival.

When current railmags in hand, sometimes with sticky pages, T176's arrival is sure to please, as it hammers past sometime after 9.00am on its return run from Yennora, to Botany.

Departure from our rail choked port is anytime from 12.45 pm on, to again beat the insidious afternoon peak, so if the morning was not enough, a second helping can be again once enjoyed.

For your arousel, here is T176 on Monday 3 March 2008, just north of Chullora Junction.

4471 and GM27 are full of hard, throbbing, power at 1.15 pm, this particular day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Things are heating up!

No comment needed!
Total fire bans as southern states suffer record heat....
Ben Cubby Environment ReporterMarch 15, 2008
SOUTHERN states are in the grip of a heatwave of unusual intensity, with scorching heat expected in the next five days.
Sydney has escaped the worst of the heat but on Thursday Adelaide surpassed the record for the hottest continuous spell for a state capital, recording its 11th consecutive day above 35 degrees. Thursday night, with the temperature above 30degrees, was the hottest March night in the drought-stricken city's record.
In Melbourne, yesterday was among the hottest on record for March, and the 40-degree heat has prompted fears about running the Australian Grand Prix. Blistering heat would not only make spectators, drivers and support staff uncomfortable, but could affect the reliability of the cars, a driver, Anthony Davidson, told reporters.
Last year was the hottest in southern Australia since reliable records started being kept in 1910, and the trend appears to have continued, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
"The weather's been consistent with global warming trends," said John Turnbull, a senior forecaster at the National Meteorological Centre. "But I wouldn't say this is proof positive of global warming."
A high-pressure zone in the Tasman Sea is causing the heatwave by blocking a cool southern change. Winds around it travel anti-clockwise, allowing ocean breezes to cool Sydney, but causing hot, dry inland winds across most of South Australia and Victoria.
The Riverina, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania have total fire bans this weekend.
Last night fires were burning north and south of Adelaide and at Willunga, where nine firefighters were injured and a house lost on Thursday.

The finer things of life in Thailand!

Yes, along with trains, comes Chang Beer.

Anyone who has travelled in Thailand knows the wonderful, blithering, idiot this brew turns you into, not to mention the effects on one's stomach, and, er other endearing features to your fellow backpackers.

After all, who hasnt wobbled to a Thai State Railways station, gut churning, blinding migraines, and that unpleasent feeling about what went on the night before, and who really did it with the guesthouse cleaner.

Ahh fine memories...

To discourage such activities here is two most vibrant ladies, selling the opposition's product, that does not have as many nasty side effects.

Its all in the water, or the formaldehyde!

Doom, doom, the coming doom!

Allready, like in the mid thirties, when things were a tad under the weather, one can see the gathering clouds of storms and despair, as once more our greedy and selfish nature will take its course.

Again, blood, fire and death shall pour from the skies, as millions die, and very nature herself becomes our enemy, as the weather patterns conspire against us.

Just to remind you all that war etc is a right bastard, here is a bombed out station from World War 1, to show it is best avoided.

Cold war warning over Arctic riches
Ian Traynor in BrusselsMarch 11, 2008

EUROPEAN governments have been told to plan for an era of conflict over energy resources, with global warming likely to trigger a dangerous contest between Russia and the West for the vast mineral riches of the Arctic.
A report from the European Union's top two foreign policy officials to the 27 heads of government gathering in Brussels for a summit this week warns that "significant potential conflicts" are likely in the decades ahead as a result of "intensified competition over access to, and control over, energy resources".
The seven-page report, obtained by The Guardian, has been written by Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy supremo, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the commissioner for external relations. It predicts that global warming will precipitate security issues for Europe, ranging from energy wars to mass migration, failed states and political radicalisation.
The report warns of greater rich-poor and north-south tension because global warming is disproportionately caused by the wealthy north and west, while its impact will be most catastrophic in the poor south.
The officials single out the thawing Arctic as a potential flashpoint of rival claims, pointing to the Kremlin's grab for the Arctic last year when the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, hailed as heroes a team of scientists who planted a Russian flag on the Arctic seabed.
Developments in the Arctic have "potential consequences for international stability and European security interests".
"The rapid melting of the polar ice caps, in particular the Arctic, is opening up new waterways and international trade routes," the report notes. "The increased accessibility of the enormous hydrocarbon resources in the Arctic region is changing the geostrategic dynamics of the region."
The report also stresses the volatility of regions that hold large mineral deposits and predicts greater destabilisation in central Asia and the Middle East.
The report comes as the issue of energy security begins to loom large on the agenda of Western policymakers. A summit of NATO leaders in Bucharest next month will discuss the problem for the first time, while a new manifesto for a radical overhaul of the Western alliance moots the possibility of NATO being used "as an instrument of energy security".
The manifesto warns that the Arctic thaw has already created "minor tensions" between Russia and Norway over fishing rights around the Spitsbergen archipelago, where large deposits of gas and oil are locked under a frozen continental shelf.
This "potential crisis" would draw in the US, Canada and Denmark "competing for large and viable energy resources and precious raw materials", it says.
But a group of former leaders from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands complain that the EU is not tackling the issue of "protection of energy resources and their means of transportation".
The Solana report is the first high-level attempt to get the issue on the summit agenda. The authors call on the EU to draw up an Arctic policy "based on the evolving geostrategy of the … region, taking into account access to resources and the opening of new trade routes".
Next month's summit discussion of NATO's role in energy security is fuelling speculation that Western troops could be deployed as "pipeline police" in places such as the Caucasus.
A NATO diplomat said energy security and the security of transport routes were "a national responsibility, not an alliance responsibility. We should be looking to offer advice and help, rather than putting boots on the ground."

Some random hornbags....

Yes, what would we be without hornbags?

Thankfully our local area has an abundance of such lovelies, enuf to remind your's truely of the great days of feral backpacking, in all those strange parts of the world...

So, with one's confidence enhancer in hand, namely cold tinnies, bear witness to some of my photographic fruits...lah.