Mister 16%

For those that may be remotely interested, my highly intelligent, critical analysis of the latest Newspoll results and the implications for Malcolm Turnbull can be found here.

In other news, Tony Abbott has introduced a new episode in the history of the Catholic Church with the establishment of “The Sisters of Perpetual Endorsement” in support of the beleagured Leader.

Monday by the Magazine Rack

magazine20rack

Hello

Good afternoon and welcome to Monday by the Magazine rack.

I’ve just returned from a weekend trip to Adelaide, which, by all accounts, was thoroughly enjoyable.

Despite its reputation, Adelaide is actually quite an interesting place. It’s also very pretty.

It’s also not Queensland, which further adds to its appeal.

And it’s very user-friendly. The airport is very nahce – and is only a twenty buck fair to the City. Compare this to Melbourne where a taxi ride to the city will now cost you fifty smackeroos.

Adelaide also has wine. Lots of wine. And good wine too.

There is also a very nice little seaside town called Glenelg. A very pleasant 30 minute tram trip from town and is similar to say Manly, but without the white trash.

Victor will no doubt provide a full report on the restaurants we went to, so I won’t dwell on that here.

One peculiarity is that the city is almost entirely shrouded in shade. I guess that’s because it’s facing South, or maybe it was just because it’s Winter.

It reminded me a lot of Christchurch but with the distinctive advantage of not being part of New Zealand.

However, Adelaide, like the rest of Australia, is not part of Asia. Which is always a disappointment when staying at five star hotels.

Compare the service you get here to the service one receives in a five star hotel in Asia, and by and large there is simply no comparison.

Catching the flight home also provided some entertainment, with an elderly lady behind me verbalising everything that she could see to her immediate family.

“Oh look, there’s a Cathay Pacific plane”

“It’s about to take off”

“Look Jimmy, the plane’s taking off”

“I think we’re about to take off now”

“I wonder when we’ll be taking off”

“Oh look, they sell coffee”

“And muffins”

“Do you want a muffin?”

“Does anyone else want a muffin?”

“Let’s just eat these chips I brought from home”

“I’m not paying five dollars for a muffin”

“Who in their right mind would pay five dollars for a muffin?”

“Glad I brought these cheezels with us too, eh”

“I wonder when we’re gonna land”

“Is that Hobart there?”

“Aw what a lovely beach”

“Can you see the beach?”

“There’s a coupla boats down there”

“Can you see the boats?”

“Can you see those two boats?”

“Down there.”

“Those two boats…”

“Can you see them?”

“Noice eh?”

“I can’t see the airport”

“Can anyone see the airport?”

“Maybe that’s not Hobart.”

“Where are we goin?”

“Is that Hobart?”

“That can’t be Hobart.”

“That’s a nice beach”

“Oh, he’s turnin’ the plane my way”

“ We’re turning around”

“Yeah, we’re turnin’ around”

“That’s a nice beach”

“Aw, that’s the same beach I saw earlier”

“Can you see the beach?”

“The beach. Can you see it?”

“Down there”

“Aw,and there’s those two boats.”

“Can you see ‘em?”

“Down there”

“the two boats”

“Nice eh?”

I think you get the general idea. This went on non-stop for the entire 90 minute duration of the flight.

All the while I was thinking “Excuse me madam but would you mind kindly just SHUTTING THE F**K UP!!”

But, it’s her family I felt sorry for. Imagine having to live with that night and day.

Jeesus wept.

Flicrit: Milk Of Sorrows

New Cinema Takes review from MIFF 2009 (Melbourne International Film Festival):

Related post:

Melbourne International Film Festival: all publicity…

Kevin Rennie

The Nuclear Option

Whilst it is always amusing watching the Liberals fight amongst themselves (this time in regards to voting on the ETS); I have been thinking on the issue of alternative energy sources. After all, the two primary opponents of the ETS in the business community are the Energy & Mining sectors. Rio Tinto’s recent submission (alongside the government’s own Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) calls for reconsideration of the use of nuclear power in supplying Australia’s energy needs, especially in light of the ETS legislation.

Now personally, I am against nuclear energy for reasons of “disaster avoidance”. Chernobyl is still off-limits and will be for quite sometime. I am well aware that there are much more secure options in creating nuclear reactors, but I am a risk averse person. The idea of using an energy source that is as dangerous as nuclear fission (with long lived side-effects / waste) is a scary notion. I feel the same way about creating energy from nuclear fusion, should it ever become feasible. After all, the H-bomb is much more powerful than the standard nuclear fission weaponary.

That said, I try to be practical wherever possible. I personally don’t like driving yet own a car because, in today’s age, it is pretty much necessary for my children. I don’t the clergy (or those that act in that role) of several religions, yet I can understand their role in many people’s lives and am friendly toward them so far as we don’t insult one another’s beliefs. And so on. Nuclear energy may not be my favourite method of generating energy, but I like my technology and something has to power it. Coal is something I think needs phasing out, so I need to look at the alternatives.

In looking into nuclear energy though, I am finding that it is not the panacea it is made out to be by it’s proponents. Mostly because, like oil, there is a limited supply of uranium worldwide and the International Atomic Energy Agency predicts that (with current technology) there is only enough to keep a consistent supply (for current usage rates) for the next 85 years at most. This time period would, of course, be drastically reduced if we were to increase our use of nuclear energy to the levels required to reasonably reduce our carbon emissions. They temper this with a claim that “fast reactor technology” could lengthen this period to 2500 years.

However, from my (possibly defunct) research – fast reactors are few and far between and their development has not been pushed for some time (possibly due to the currently “low” cost of uranium). In particular, research & development into a breed of reactor Tony introduced me to, the Integral Fast Reactor, has been shut-down completely by the USA. Given the patent system being the way it is, it is unlikely that anyone else but the USA could re-instate this program. It would appear the fact that this reactor can easily produce weapons grade fissile material is of higher gravitas than its environmental benefits over standard thermal reactors to the USA and, as such, it is not likely we are going to be able to use this technology.

I am interested in other people’s perspective on this. As I said, I have a personal preference against it because of the disaster possibility. I am, however, open to reasonable arguments for the use of nuclear. I, however, get the feeling that there are alot more politics on the international level preventing the adoption of nuclear energy than there are domestic issues. The issues surrounding the development (or lack thereof) of the IFR nuclear option are a case in point.

Of course, feel free to talk about anything else as well – I’m just trying to kick start conversation and think this topic would be reasonably interesting to all.

Flick Crit: Last Ride – breaking the cycle

Latest film review at Cinema Takes: Last Ride: breaking the cycle

Kevin Rennie

Friday Frolyks

I just thought I’d get an open thread up for the weekend for any general discussions that anyone wants to have.

I will be busy over at Blog Renovations – my next task is trying to get the logo sorted out.

Haveagoodone everyone.

NSW schools and solar panels

I have tried to find details of the story on the innertubes, but for the life of me cannot find one.

Last night on ABC News, they had a story that the NSW schools cannot install the solar panels promised to be funded by the federal government because the NSW government will not allow the installation. The story (I think) was saying that the NSW government wanted a single point for all contracts.

Does anyone know any more about this? or can anyone find the story?