Friday, July 29, 2005

The world gets one more doctor

Yesterday Marc Hein successfully defended his thesis! Congratulations Marc!
Last night we went out to celebrate. This might have something to do with why I thought the "yogurt fresh" magnum ice-cream I ate this morning was the greatest thing I've ever eaten. It is probably also the reason why I desperately craved a kebab for lunch, and then really regretted eating one. It might have also had some small influence on why I've been struggling to look at my computer all day and why I keep falling asleep on my desk...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Orwell would be proud (actually amazed, but you get the idea)

Today the Oz government tells us that they didn't sign the Kyoto Protocol because it doesn't go far enough. A new report, entitled Climate Change: Risk and Vulnerability has just been released by the government basically claiming that everything that all of us hippie-scientific-fear mongers are actually right and that the greenhouse effect is nasty, real, and going to create a whole lot of serious problems.

The report claims that all measures that the international community have taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions thus far will be completely ineffective for halting climate change, which might be very true. The government is claiming that this is the reason why they have failed to support the Kyoto protocol and other efforts, now this is a total lie. For years John Howard has been saying that the reason Australian won't sign is primarily economic. It is true though that he has muttered stuff about enough not being done, exceptions for developing countries, and the policies of China and India with regard to global warming, however, the primary reason why NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE is economic.

The government's new position raises some interesting questions that no-one is going to ask. If we are so concerned about the Kyoto protocol not being enough to halt climate change, where are the reports suggesting alternatives? Has Australia been involved in diplomatic work that is trying to establish a new and better standard for greenhouse gas emissions not to mention the development of technology that might fix these problems?

I wonder how much of this is related to George Bush's recent quasi-position reversal on the issue of climate change. It appears that the republicans have decided that maybe us little humans have actually created a problem with our environment. At least Bush is tough enough to admit that the reason the US isn't really interested in doing a lot about it at the moment is that it would be bad for their fossil-fuel driven economy. In the days leading up to the G8 meeting there was a step up in the rhetoric coming out of the US about finding "technological solutions" to climate change, as everything else is ineffective. I guess Australia is going to tow this line now as well.

If they are serious about "technological solutions", and not just shifting position a little to escape criticism, we should see an injection of funds into alternative energy sources (no guys, uranium doesn't really count as "alternative", though I see it took about 20 minutes for someone to bring it up already in response to this new climate change report) and greenhouse gas management policy development. What's the bet that this will go into the "too hard" basket?

Anyway, I love the Orwellian nature of this debate. I mean, there is soooo much double talk and position reversal going on at the moment. It's really interesting to see that the right-wing bloggers and commentators seem to have gone quiet on this issue. Some of them have gone on some amazing rants about this issue, talking up divisions within the scientific community (which pretty much don't exist) and making out that scientists like to scare the population because it brings in more funds. Will they ever take back their words if Howard and Bush keep talking up being the champions of the anti-global warming movement?

Friday, July 22, 2005



Holy Shit!!! The Australian mixed ultimate team competing at the World Games just beat Canada! I really wish I was there. The final score:

Australia 15 - Canada 14

That's right people... it went to cap! They were all tied up at 10, then 11, then 12, then 13, then 14... For a while there it looked like Australia might coast it in! We had them at 9 - 6 then Canada came back to level at 10s! You can check out "when-who-threw-what-to-who-to-score" by clicking here.

General match info for all the games can be found by clicking here.

So what does AUSTRALIA BEATING CANADA mean for the World Games tournament? Well, if Australia wins one game tomorrow then they will definitely make the final. Tomorrow they play the USA (who haven't lost a match) and Germany (who haven't won a match).

Here's hoping I can catch the final on Eurosport 2.

Oh and, I'm a dumbass (not that this piece of information wasn't on the public record already) because I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE. My girlfriend lives a 30 minute train ride away from the fields. I decided to "do the right thing" and not visit my girlfriend this weekend because she has exams in a week... I'm a dumbass I should have gone anyway...

To celebrate, here is a photo of Jonathan Potts, the Australian captain:

This photo was taken at the Australian mixed nats tournament in 2004. Oh Jonathan is the one on the right. The one on the left is Anna, she lives in the states but was in my team at mixed nats (and she's a damned good mid - and like most people who have ever played for a Queensland team, she's fun to drink with). Coincidently, she and I were trading sms's when AUSTRALIA BEAT CANADA. We were both watching from our computers at the time and could have been sending emails, using Skype, msn messenger, or anything else, but we chose to send international sms's (nice and cheap...). Again, I'm a dumbass.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

More frisbee cutting advice

Further to my last post, I thought I'd add a bit more advice for cutting effectively.

Before every game the coach should pull the runners in the team aside and go through the following dialogue with them:

Coach: What are your legs?
Runners: Springs. Steel springs.
Coach: What are they going to do?
Runners: Hurl me down the field.
Coach: How fast can you run?
Runners: As fast as a leopard.
Coach: How fast are you going to run?
Runners: As fast as a leopard.
Coach: Then lets see you do it.

Any Australians reading this might recognise the dialogue as coming from the Peter Weir movie Gallipoli. It pretty much epitomises my philosophy towards cutting. You've got to run hard and have confidence that you can always beat your defender.

Oh and I was reminded about Gallipoli when I saw it in a dvd store here in Innsbruck the other day.... go figure. I wouldn't have thought you'd find an Australian film from the 80s being sold here but I guess it's a pretty small world.

Words of advice for young people

WARNING! ACHTUNG! This is a frisbee post, it won't make any sense at all to non-frisbee folk.
Parinella has been playing frisbee for ever and has been involved in coaching and explaining to people how to play frisbee for almost as long. He recently posted his rules for cutting. These rules are awesome. Any self-respecting mid should memorise them and recite them about 200 times a day. Here they are:
1. Cut sharp.
2. Cut hard.
3. Cut decisively
4. Think, but only before or after the cut.
5. Know when to just run.
Parinella expands on what he means by each of these rules. Read his explanations, understand them and make endless yards on the field...
Oh, and my team here in Innsbruck, the "flying circus", has a new website.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Photos from my holiday

I was going to write a post about why I think Tim Blair is a wanker this week, but I decided to chill and instead post up some pics from my holiday a couple of weeks ago.

Here is a photo taken from Prestwick (in Scotland) International Airport's train station:

not bad eh?

Oh, and for those of you that know Nick:

I was in Scotland for his wedding. That's Nick in the middle, I took this photo about 5 minutes before the wedding...

Anyway, more photos to come later.

By the way, has anyone else noticed that Blogger has a new cool photo upload feature. You don't have to use "Hello" anymore...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

People suck

rant mode on
So, today some absolute arseholes decided to launch a terrorist attack on London. I'm pretty much speechless. Less than 24 hours after London was awarded the Olympic games in 2012, they decide to unleash hell on in the middle of peak-hour.
I mean, let's look at the symbolism of this attack. The fundamental principles of the Olympic movement are spelled out in the preamble to the Olympic Charter:
  1. Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in
    a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport
    with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life
    based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and
    respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
  2. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the
    harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a
    peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.
  3. The Olympic Movement is the concerted, organised, universal
    and permanent action, carried out under the supreme authority of the
    IOC, of all individuals and entities who are inspired by the values of
    Olympism. It covers the five continents. It reaches its peak with the
    bringing together of the world's athletes at the great sports festival, the
    Olympic Games. Its symbol is five interlaced rings.
  4. The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must
    have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any
    kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding
    with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. The organisation,
    administration and management of sport must be controlled by
    independent sports organisations.
  5. Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person
    on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is
    incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.
Now, does anyone have a problem with these principles? Why attack a city that is in the midst of a celebration of these principles? It doesn't make any sense.
I guess you can say the attacks were due to the G8 meeting in Edinburgh, but then why attack London?
Are you trying to send a message to Blair? Give the guy a break, he has spent the last month or so trying to work out a way of saving Africa from destitution and to fix the massive problem of global warming. He might have screwed up on Iraq BUT NOW HE IS TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING!
I think this all has me kind of pissed. Maybe it's because my sister lives in London and I'm having a brotherly bout of "you pick a fight with my sister you're picking a fight with me" syndrome. But maybe it's because I think this is a really despicable act that is designed to ruin a celebration of something that I believe should be celebrated.
rant mode off

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Holidays and apathy

Hey blogland, sorry for my lack of posting. I could say it is because I went on holiday last week. I could say it is because I've been snowed under at work (side note: it actually snowed here in the mountains around Innsbruck yesterday! Oh, for the "Strayans" - it is the middle of summer, kinda weird). But the real reason is nothing more than apathy. Lots and lots of apathy.
Does anyone have a good apathy cure?
More blogging soon, I promise.