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Always growing older - never growing up.

Eclectic random geekery: Star Wars, Doctor Who, Sci-Fi, science, photography, LEGO, and stupid, stupid things.

This is my personal opinion / reblogging blog. If you're after my personal photos or awful photoshop creations, the links are below.

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My other Tumblr blogs, and elsewhere on the web I is...

Looking Through A Glass Cumquat   (Original Photos)
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LIKE YOU CARE...

As they say in the classics "I'm too old for this shit".

That said, I live in sunny Brisbane (Australia), forging a career in advertising / marketing whilst enjoying life as it comes.

I take photos on my iPhone, listen to (a lot of) music on my iPhone, and like Star Wars. So yes, I'm a geek.

That's about it.

Party on!

TUMBLRING SINCE AUG 2010

Following

21 January 13 (Permalink)
12 December 12 (Permalink)

The News on the Death of CDs Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Contrary to rumours and whispers across the web, there is no way CDs will be phased out by the major labels in 2013.

Why? Take a look at the current ARIA sales charts - the #2 album on digital (Ed Sheeran’s +) is #11 on the overall album chart, while the 2nd highest selling album overall (One Direction’s Take Me Home) is only #13 on the digital sales chart.

Over the pond, the Billboard Digital #5 album is The Lumineers eponymous LP, but it only ranks #20 on the overall sales chart.

You see, there’s this little thing that record companies like, and that’s money. If a format is still selling, and obviously outselling a different format, it’s not going the way of the dinosaur just yet.

CDs are here to stay. For the 2013 at least.

10 December 12 (Permalink)

Why the Media are reporting on Jacintha Saldanha’s death incorrectly

Why is the world’s media focussing on blame and recriminations in their reporting on the death of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha instead of using their influence to help avert this happening again?

A search of UK, USA, Indian & Australian news websites predominantly put the focus firmly on the two Australian DJs whose prank call is being identified as the reason this poor woman committed suicide.

But suicide is a complicated matter, and even if this poor taste joke was the primary reason Mrs Saldanha decided to end her life, the glaringly obvious issue in this situation is not who to blame, but how can this be avoided in the future?

Mrs Saldanha was “highly traumatised” by this prank call, felt “very lonely and confused”, and “expressed her anxiety to her husband”, which appear to be natural reactions for someone who is passionate and committed in their role as a caretaker.

What it also shows is that warning signs were evident, but with depression and anxiety being taboo issues, it appears no-one took the time to help her overcome her mental trauma.

This is the news story that the media should be running with: nothing is so bad that you should ever consider ending your own life, and if you know someone who is displaying symptoms of anxiety or depression there are things you can do to help them.

Sadly this is not so. Searching major media websites reveal each have published multiple stories focussed on retaliation, with minor by-lines promoting mental health websites.

BBC News - 16 articles
The Independent - 16 articles
The Daily Mail - 17 articles
The Hindu - 17 articles
The Guardian - 18 articles
The Telegraph - I lost count at 20
Sydney Morning Herald - 36 article. 36!

There are some articles with a main focus on mental health being published, but not on the front page. All I hope for is that the editors gain some perspective and position them where they can actually do some good.

Recommended reading:
The Age: Reconciling Guilt & Blame After Suicide
Mumbrella: Radio Duo Don’t Have Blood On Their Hands Over Nurses Suicide, It’s More Complicated Than That
SBS: Let’s All Take A Deep Breath

7 November 12 (Permalink)
17 September 12 (Permalink)
Opportunities (I’ve got the Psychology Degree, You’ve Got the Looks, Lets Make Lots of Money)

I’m convinced a psychologist wrote “What Makes You Beautiful”. 

By tapping into the #1 phobia amongst young girls of being ugly and turning it on it’s head (You don’t know you’re beautiful, and that’s what makes you beautiful), the writer was practically guaranteed a payday of titanic proportions. 

All that was needed was a spunky young male to sing it, and that year-long vacation to the Bahamas was all but paid for. Ah to hell with it, make it 5 pretty young boys in case the girls are feeling fickle.

On the flipside, the same psychologist was obviously suffering from a horrid break-up when they penned ‘Small Dick Man”. Sheesh, talk about preying on insecurities! 

Thankfully they made a welcome return to form with Nyan Cat’s subtle, yet deeply moving “Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!”

It does make you wonder about the power of words though.

Boom boom boom, now, 
Boom boom boom, now, 
Boom boom pow, 
Boom Boom.

Wow. 

The intrinsic nature of existence juxtaposed by the cognitive belief of embedded schema within schema. People seriously underestimate the insight offered by the Black Eyed Peas.

When you consider that “Running Up That Hill” was Kate Bush’s barbed response to critics of her earlier albums, and Flo Rida’s “Round Round” is actually a call for empowerment for women to reclaim their pride by refusing acts of sexual favour demanded by obnoxious sexist bigots; it helps open your eyes to the subtext towards your favourite toe-tapper.

So the next time you are listening to “American Pie”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Call Me Maybe”, just remember what Beck so aptly said of his seminal “Devil’s Haircut”: ‘You know, when I’m upset, I write a song about it. Like when I wrote Devil’s Haircut, I was feeling really… what’s that song about?’

Opportunities
(I’ve got the Psychology Degree, You’ve Got the Looks, Lets Make Lots of Money)

I’m convinced a psychologist wrote “What Makes You Beautiful”.

By tapping into the #1 phobia amongst young girls of being ugly and turning it on it’s head (You don’t know you’re beautiful, and that’s what makes you beautiful), the writer was practically guaranteed a payday of titanic proportions.

All that was needed was a spunky young male to sing it, and that year-long vacation to the Bahamas was all but paid for. Ah to hell with it, make it 5 pretty young boys in case the girls are feeling fickle.

On the flipside, the same psychologist was obviously suffering from a horrid break-up when they penned ‘Small Dick Man”. Sheesh, talk about preying on insecurities!

Thankfully they made a welcome return to form with Nyan Cat’s subtle, yet deeply moving “Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!”

It does make you wonder about the power of words though.

Boom boom boom, now,
Boom boom boom, now,
Boom boom pow,
Boom Boom.

Wow.

The intrinsic nature of existence juxtaposed by the cognitive belief of embedded schema within schema. People seriously underestimate the insight offered by the Black Eyed Peas.

When you consider that “Running Up That Hill” was Kate Bush’s barbed response to critics of her earlier albums, and Flo Rida’s “Round Round” is actually a call for empowerment for women to reclaim their pride by refusing acts of sexual favour demanded by obnoxious sexist bigots; it helps open your eyes to the subtext towards your favourite toe-tapper.

So the next time you are listening to “American Pie”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Call Me Maybe”, just remember what Beck so aptly said of his seminal “Devil’s Haircut”: ‘You know, when I’m upset, I write a song about it. Like when I wrote Devil’s Haircut, I was feeling really… what’s that song about?’

14 August 12 (Permalink)

A Childhood Oddity

It’s funny what society considers to be normal.

As a kid my normal was (and still is) a world of science fiction & space, coupled with a thirst for knowledge - any knowledge, and the more trivial the better.

I had no hankering for cricket or football - mainly owing to an abject lack of hand-eye coordination. I couldn’t play it, so wasn’t interested in it.

Which made the weekly quizzes in my class at school excruciating.

Read More

25 May 12 (Permalink)

Don’t Punish Bullies

Hey Poofta! Don’t try to run again. You, me, 3 o’clock. Under the water tower. I’m gonna bash your f**king face in!

Ahhhh, memories. Poofta, faggot, gay boy, I’ve heard them all. Fists, elbows, boots, I’ve felt them all. School wasn’t my favourite time of life.

The late 70’s wasn’t a time when bullying was seen as a problem. In fact, if you were a bully you were worshipped.

Look at me. I wasn’t the rugged bloke who was into footy: I hung out with the girls and liked science fiction. As an outsider I deserved to be singled-out as the freak I obviously was; and the thugs who derided, mocked and physically abused me were perfectly justified in their actions.

Or so they believed.

Over time the abhorrent activity of bullying has rightly been identified as a mammoth negative affect on both individuals and society. Leading to the announcement by Clubs NSW that any applicants found to have been bullies at school will have this held against them when applying for a job.

Not only won’t they get the job, but to make sure they know the reason why they didn’t get it (so they can to fix the errors in their ways), they won’t be told that it was because they were a bully in their school years.

Wait - what?

Clubs NSW should be acknowledged for helping to bring a social blemish into the limelight, but this is just as bad as rubbing a dog’s nose in their pee.

A bully who hasn’t been confronted with their actions and helped to break the cycle will continue to ruin the lives of those around them. Denying a lout a job and not telling them it was because of their bad attitude won’t help anyone.

Bullies learn their behaviour by being bullied by family or friends, or seeing the activity in the school ground and emulating it. The way to stop it is to break the cycle in childhood, not at the job application phase when the activity is ingrained into the thug’s psyche.

Because you’ve got to remember that a bully, like a puppy, is for life.

——————————————————————————-

Read the coverage in the Daily Telegraph.

9 December 11 (Permalink)
Star Wars: Darth Plagueisby James Luceno
Chapter One now available online at Random House! Click the image above to savour! 

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis
by James Luceno

Chapter One now available online at Random House! Click the image above to savour! 

20 November 11 (Permalink)

Depression’s A Bitch

That’s probably where “the black dog” nickname came from. It’s always by your side. Trotting along next to it’s master / mistress, an unwitting carrier of fear, confusion and angst.

If I hadn’t finally bit the bullet and talked firstly to my wife, then my GP, and then to a psychologist, I’d still be in the dark about this monster.

I’ve suffered from depression at varying degrees since my early teens. That’s over 20 years of suffering that could have been avoided if I’d only cried out for help earlier.

Depression is debilitating and harrowing. It’s not like measles or a broken arm. You can’t see it. So naturally society is afraid of it.

And sufferers quietly continue their daily lives in fear of being “outed” as the freaks they must be.

Read More

11 November 11 (Permalink)

Reblogged: ambientwhispers

10 August 11 (Permalink)

An Open Letter To Channel Ten

Dear Channel Ten,

Your stock response to everyone on Facebook (including myself) who complained about your false / misleading ad campaign regarding the airing of Modern Family indicated that I could watch the episode on your website.

I’ve just spent over 15 minutes trying to get one of the segments to load. Instead I get constant barrages of advertisements which freeze at the 20 second point. When they finally do keep playing another ad comes on, and then the clip starts.

But it’s not the clip I selected, so I had to start again. This happened three times at which point I decided to give up.

According to the ACCC website, before I can put my complaint to them about your false / misleading advertising, I must contact you directly. So I am.

Explain the problem: you advertised for a week on your station, in emails, on twitter & even here on Facebook that Modern Family would be shown at 8pm Tuesday 9 August.

At 6:31pm yesterday, you announced the time would change on Facebook and Twitter. You didn’t change the time on the Foxtel or Digital Channel Guides. I, and countless others missed seeing this episode.

While you say I can watch it online there are two problems: firstly it appears that I can’t. Your website doesn’t work. Secondly, you are a tv station. I watch TV. I don’t want to watch TV on my computer, I want to watch it on my TV.

Explain the outcome you want: I would like you to replay the episode at any time you wish - please just advertise the time for a week beforehand so that all of us who missed the episode can see it.

Also, should you pull this obviously poorly planned stunt again to trick people into watching a different (and rather awful) television show, can you please update the Foxtel and Digital Channel Guides in time for PVRs to change their recording times?

Outline the steps you will take if you and the seller cannot resolve the problem. I will keep posting on your Facebook page requesting that you reply the episode. Constantly.

I will also put this complaint to the ACCC. I know they’ll probably reject it (whilst laughing), but I’ll also CC in Media Watch, ACA and Today Tonight.

Ask for a response within a reasonable time—for example two weeks or 10 business days. Please let me & the rest of the people who have complained your decision on this within the next 2 weeks by running ads for the repeat on your television station, or replying on Facebook.

I hope the proposed boycott of Channel Ten does not go ahead, as it will dramatically reduce your advertising revenue, and reduce you to not only a laughing stock in the eyes of Australians (and marketing students), but a broke laughing stock in the eyes of Australians (and marketing students).

Regards,
Stephen Scott
(once a fan of your station, but {quoteth the Raven}, nevermore) 

5 August 11 (Permalink)
I love Achtung Baby. Without a doubt it is U2’s best album (as in: a unified collection of songs that create a sonic presence together that is greater than if they were listened to individually), and I wouldn’t mind picking up a remastered version.
HOWEVER … there comes a point where you have to say “enough is enough lads”.
The Sunday Times estimates U2’s net worth to be £455 million (AU$705 million / US$740 million).
If I cloned myself 3 times, and all of us worked at the same pay rate I’m currently earning, it would take me a mere 4,410 years to make that amount of money.
Provided I didn’t have to spend any of it on anything during those millennia.  Like on, say, food. Or a U2 CD that I’ve already got. Except now it’s ‘remastered’.
But that’s not the problem here. Oh no, the problem is that the CD is but the lowly 5th level in terms of collectability to celebrate U2AB’s 20th birthday. The levels of which have been announced, but the prices haven’t. Even though you’re invited to pre-order them.
Without knowing how much they’ll be.
Hold on … weren’t these the guys who sang “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “Miss Sarajevo” and “Walk On”?
Anyway, for those who care, here are the 5 levels of collectability …
5: Standard CD4: Deluxe 2xCD (includes B-sides and rarities)3: Vinyl Box Set - 4 LPs (2 on transluscent blue vinyl) + 16 page booklet2: Super Deluxe Edition - 6xCD, 4xDVD, 16 art prints + 92pp hardback book1: Über Deluxe Edition - 6xCD, 4xDVD, 2xLP, 5x7” (clear vinyl); 16 art prints, Popaganda Magazine, 4xBadges, sticker sheet, a copy of Bono’s “The Fly” sunglasses, 84pp hardback … all contained in a magnetic puzzle tiled box.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t an Über Deluxe Edition contain everything? Isn’t that what makes it über?
If you’re an insane fan, to get everything you want, you’ll need to buy #1, #2 and #3.  Why? Because the 2nd level’s book has an extra 8 pages, and the 3rd level’s LP pack has 4 records … 2 more than the Über collection.
Hope the fanatics have deep pockets. 
I won’t complain about this anymore provided that Paul, Adam, Larry & Davo donate to me an Über pack, plus my wages for the next 10 years (which is only 0.09% of the band’s net worth) so that I can take a holiday to calm down from my current rage that I’m feeling over this sickening display of über consumerism.
Thanks for your time.
End of line.

I love Achtung Baby. Without a doubt it is U2’s best album (as in: a unified collection of songs that create a sonic presence together that is greater than if they were listened to individually), and I wouldn’t mind picking up a remastered version.

HOWEVER … there comes a point where you have to say “enough is enough lads”.

The Sunday Times estimates U2’s net worth to be £455 million (AU$705 million / US$740 million).

If I cloned myself 3 times, and all of us worked at the same pay rate I’m currently earning, it would take me a mere 4,410 years to make that amount of money.

Provided I didn’t have to spend any of it on anything during those millennia.  Like on, say, food. Or a U2 CD that I’ve already got. Except now it’s ‘remastered’.

But that’s not the problem here. Oh no, the problem is that the CD is but the lowly 5th level in terms of collectability to celebrate U2AB’s 20th birthday. The levels of which have been announced, but the prices haven’t. Even though you’re invited to pre-order them.

Without knowing how much they’ll be.

Hold on … weren’t these the guys who sang “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “Miss Sarajevo” and “Walk On”?

Anyway, for those who care, here are the 5 levels of collectability …

5: Standard CD
4: Deluxe 2xCD (includes B-sides and rarities)
3: Vinyl Box Set - 4 LPs (2 on transluscent blue vinyl) + 16 page booklet
2: Super Deluxe Edition - 6xCD, 4xDVD, 16 art prints + 92pp hardback book
1: Über Deluxe Edition - 6xCD, 4xDVD, 2xLP, 5x7” (clear vinyl); 16 art prints, Popaganda Magazine, 4xBadges, sticker sheet, a copy of Bono’s “The Fly” sunglasses, 84pp hardback … all contained in a magnetic puzzle tiled box.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t an Über Deluxe Edition contain everything? Isn’t that what makes it über?

If you’re an insane fan, to get everything you want, you’ll need to buy #1, #2 and #3.  Why? Because the 2nd level’s book has an extra 8 pages, and the 3rd level’s LP pack has 4 records … 2 more than the Über collection.

Hope the fanatics have deep pockets. 

I won’t complain about this anymore provided that Paul, Adam, Larry & Davo donate to me an Über pack, plus my wages for the next 10 years (which is only 0.09% of the band’s net worth) so that I can take a holiday to calm down from my current rage that I’m feeling over this sickening display of über consumerism.

Thanks for your time.

End of line.

2 August 11 (Permalink)

Indian PC Telemarketing Scam

I just had an interesting call from an Indian from a very busy sounding call centre.  

He said he was from Microsoft and knew I had viruses on my computer. I knew instantly it was a scam, but thought it’d be fun to string the bastard along.

I asked how he knew about the viruses: he said all windows machines report back to Microsoft instantly and that’s how they know the virus is there.

I asked where he was calling from: “My Window Support" phone 61 390 10 5652.  I kept putting more stupid questions to him, and he just kept getting more incensed with me not doing what I was supposed to do.

Finally, around the 14 minute mark he told me to “just calm down and listen to me!”. He instructed me to “look at the bottom left of your screen. Just click the green Start button”.

"What button?" I asked. But before I could allow him to respond (mistake - I could have had him going a bit longer) I said "Sorry, you think I’m using a PC.  I’m on a Mac".

Silence.

(apart from the hundreds of other Indian telemarketers pulling the same scam in the background.)

"I’m so sorry, it appears we’ve made a mistake," he stammered.  Really? How could this response not be on their cheat sheets?

He ummed and ahhed and apologised while I took the opportunity to abuse him for trying to rip me off with a painfully obvious scam.

He took the abuse for a minute or so before hanging up.

Moron.

31 July 11 (Permalink)
Son Lux Cooks Up A Sonic Juxtaposition (my review of “We Are Rising”)
Mix two parts Laurie Anderson, two parts Radiohead and one part Gotye. Add a healthy dollop of Brian Eno, then fold in dashes of Bjork, Gary Numan and Joanna Newsom. Stir well.  Leave out on the streets of Berlin to soak up the vibes and allow to rest.
The resulting mixture will set as Son Lux’s “We Are Rising”. An aural delicacy.
Read full review at Snarkhunters.
Follow Son Lux on Tumblr.

Son Lux Cooks Up A Sonic Juxtaposition
(my review of “We Are Rising”)

Mix two parts Laurie Anderson, two parts Radiohead and one part Gotye. Add a healthy dollop of Brian Eno, then fold in dashes of Bjork, Gary Numan and Joanna Newsom. Stir well. Leave out on the streets of Berlin to soak up the vibes and allow to rest.

The resulting mixture will set as Son Lux’s “We Are Rising”. An aural delicacy.

Read full review at Snarkhunters.

Follow Son Lux on Tumblr.

27 July 11 (Permalink)

Google is Skynet

Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh & tweaked like crazy by Darth Ambiguous