Nota Bene #124: I'm a Doctor, Not an Engineer

“I don’t believe in this fairy tale of staying together for ever. Ten years with somebody is enough.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #114: Big Star

“The radio makes hideous sounds.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #109: You Can't Tuna Fish

“It’s absolutely stunning to me, the contempt in which the network holds the audience. The idea that these people have standards is laughable.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #101: Your Pal, Mike S.

“The guys who are shooting films now are technically brilliant, but there’s no content in their films. I marvel at what I see and wish I could have done a shot like that. But shots are secondary for my films, and with some of these films, it’s all about the shots. What’s the point? I’m not sure people know what points to make.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #95: STFU

Gonna try something different Continue reading

Nota Bene #93: Linksgiving

Welcome to my home Continue reading

Happy Birthday to The Commonwealth: could this be Britain's future?

I was surprised to learn that 2009 is the 60th anniversary of The Commonwealth—the association of former British colonies that still, amazingly, continue to work with each and talk to each other on a variety of issues. This would be a cause for celebration, one would think. And it appears there have been some. But I only learned about it when we visited Marlborough House, which is where the Commonwealth members meet from time to time to have their pictures taken, and who knows what else. It’s actually difficult to know, because the UK government has made no effort to publicise this event, which one would think would be a cause for celebration. The entertaining but not hugely informative Commonwealth website is here–there’s certainly a lot of stuff going on.
Continue reading

The Weekly Carboholic: Stalagmite suggests climate disruption may have changed monsoons


Stalactites are rock formations in caves that hang down from the cave ceiling, and they’re formed by water containing dissolved minerals as it drips penetrates the cave ceiling and drips to the floor (stalagmites are basically the same thing but sticking up from the floor instead). Given that stalactites and stalagmites are formed by water, you might expect that they grow faster or slower with the seasons, at least in areas where the climate includes seasonal variations in precipitation. After all, heavy rains add water to the water table and increase the growth rate of the stalactite as more water penetrates the cave. For similar reasons, you could probably expect that year to year variations growth rate variations would occur if there were rainy periods and droughts.

According to a Nature News article, a stalagmite has been found in a Chinese cave that, when analyzed, was found to contain 1800 years worth of monsoon information. Continue reading

Meanings, pt. 2: a crisis of prevailing values

by Michael Tracey

It isn’t just that there is an appetite for scandal, sex, sleaze, death narratives, it is also that feeding such appetites can be very profitable. The fact is that an essential problem with today’s media, one that has been gestating for many years, even decades, lies with the families and trust-funders that own media chains, and with the media moguls that, like great beasts, roam the landscape of a new grim cultural ecology, gobbling up this and that tasty morsel, a television station here, a newspaper there, forever seeking to sate their own insatiable appetite. Continue reading

Daxis, pt. 3: snake on a plane

by Michael Tracey

There had earlier been another development that caught the attention of the local US intelligence services based in the embassy. In July Daxis had told me that he had got a job teaching in an international school and that while there for the interview he had “made some lovely new friends ~ little girls age five…” In a mail on July 13 he mentioned one in particular, adding “I lust for a little five year old at school…” He wrote to me of how he had massaged her bare foot and how she said to him, laughing, “…you’re a monster” except that because of her accent it came out as “monsta.”


The only rational conclusion was to assume the worst and that he had his next target. Continue reading

Terminal walling: Sydney split by fence to keep protesters away from world leaders at APEC

Scholars & Rogues presents another post by Guest Scrogue Darryl Mason of The Orstrahyun and Your New Reality.


Apparently it’s an honour for Sydney to be chosen to host the APEC summit in three weeks time, bringing together more than 20 world leaders, including US President Bush. But most Sydneysiders are wondering why they couldn’t have chosen one of the dozens of luxurious islands of the far north to hold their conference, now that the full scope of staggering security measures that will lock down half of the city’s centre for 10 days are being made public.

A five-kilometre long, three-metre high security fence will cut Sydney’s central business district in half. Continue reading