It just is...

Sceptical not cynical, but always keeping an eye out just in case.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How Not To Rob A Bank.


KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian thieves used a net and rope to haul an ATM cash dispenser through a glass wall and down a flight of stairs, only to discover they had grabbed a check deposit machine by mistake.

The three robbers fled after realizing the failure of their plan, in which they used a pick-up truck and a lorry to yank the machine from its moorings, the Star newspaper said.

Automated teller machines (ATMs) have recently been the focus of a spate of robberies or robbery attempts in Malaysia.

In one case, thieves loaded an ATM onto a truck but abandoned it about 5 km (3 miles) away when they discovered it had no cash.


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A real case of dumb, dumber and dumbest! You’d think they’d put a little effort into checking out what they were gong to steal before putting in place the actual theft.

What happened to the old fashioned way of doing things, with the calico bags with the big green dollar sign on the outside?? Ronnie Boggs didn’t MISTAKENLY rob an iron ore train or a livestock train…
Oil At $20 a Barrel?
This is according to ABC news in Australia this afternoon:

An Australian Senate inquiry has been told that a significant drop in the world oil price would reduce the incentive to explore.

The committee has heard evidence that oil prices could fall to 20 dollars a barrel.

The Chief Executive of the Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Belinda Robinson, says if prices were to fall, it could add to problems.

Robinson said "If it went back to 20 dollars a barrel I think we'd see what we've seen in the past around the world which is perhaps part of the predicament that we are globally and that is a failure to invest in exploration."

Do we ever think we'll see it that low again. Ever. Just how much exploration is still going on, and what areas remain "under explored"?

If prices were to fall the petroleum industry says it 'could add to problems'. Does that translate to 'it could mean lower profits'.

And I'm struggling to find this 'evidence' the senate committee heard that the price could fall that low again. Any idea what those triggers could be? Even if things die down in the Middle East, oil-hungry nations like US and China etc are not going to reign in consumption all that much to reduce demand on the product.

And while we're all paying these huge prices they'll stay high. The laws of supply and demand - if we continue demand while the price is high, where's the incentive to drop the price?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

IS MY EMPIRE DOOMED?

article

How do we know when there are too many people in our communities? This article appears thanks to a conference in Australia at the moment – have a read and ask yourself about human sustainability.

Are we stressing our natural and social resources and structures to breaking point – even more than we thought? And what are the warning signs of collapse?

Interesting to read about great empires not breaking the critical 10-generation point before they collapse.

So – where is your empire up to?? Any ideas about where nations like US, UK, China and Australia and others are up to? Not that I think Australia has actually reached ‘empire’ point, with 20 million people on an island off by itself ‘down under’.

Mind you, there are trends here in Australia called Sea-change and Tree-change where people are moving away from the capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and heading to either less populated coastal areas (sea change) or inland country areas overseas people like to call “the bush” (tree change. I live in a country area by the way.

So are we at the point of human doom? Maybe the 8 year olds in the back seat of the car have the right question - on a long journey where the final destination is so far away they can’t comprehend it – then suddenly they arrive…“Are we there yet??”
SHARING THE CHEQUE.

In the interests of true fairness I wonder about the “shared cheque” for a meal at a restaurant.

I had lunch with work colleagues today – one is leaving for a town a few hundreds kilometres away so we wanted to wish our farewells – and a nice lunch was a great way to round out the day.

BUT…and it’s quite a big but: how do you divvy up the bill when everyone has ordered a separate meal, and it’s clear some have had far more than others (wine glasses etc).

Does the old “divide the bill by how many are at the table" system apply and that’s somehow fair? It is if you’ve enjoyed a Chinese Steamboat or a buffet. But if you’ve all had something different – some a light pasta or soup, others a great hunk-a beef or Barramundi, shouldn’t you pay according to your meal?

Am I bitter? You bet. My $15 pasta and lemon squash cost me $30!!!

Should you just take subsidising someone else’s feed “on the chin”? And it’s hard when you’re the only one who’d be asking for a fairer deal. Especially when “the boss” decides you can chip in your 30 bucks anyway. Yeah, you gotta love that when the boss is sitting right next to you…
SANITIZED LANGUAGE and the CBS documentary.
CBS weighs indecency rules for '9/11' documentary By Paul J. Gough NEWYORK (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS will air an updated version of the "9/11"documentary about the attacks at the World Trade Center and the firefighters who responded that September day five years ago. The Emmy- and Peabody-winning documentary, produced by brothers Gedeon and Jules Naudet and retired firefighter James Hanlon, will air Sept. 10. Airing the documentary represents something of an act of courage by CBS, given the gritty language that "9/11"contained in its two previous airings and the chill that is going through the air waves over federal efforts to curb broadcast indecency. CBS has made no cuts to the language for this telecast. CBS sources said the documentary, which is the true-life portrait of what happened that day, is bound to generatecontroversy in some quarters. The stakes are higher for CBS this time around.With potential indecency fines increasing from $32,500 per utterance per outletto $325,000 each, the multitude of expletives heard in "9/11" could quickly runCBS and its affiliates into serious money. CBS has been the most aggressive ofthe networks in this regard and has paid the price with fines ranging from the2004 Super Bowl halftime show to a "Without a Trace" repeat last year. But thenetwork isn't standing on such principles now: Sources said the network brieflydiscussed potential FCC issues before deciding that "9/11" wasn't indecent andalso that it was too important to "sanitize" by toning down the language. But CBS is taking steps to make sure that no one is caught by surprise, includinginforming affiliates of its plans to air the broadcast and, like the previoustwo telecasts, including strong warnings in the promos before the broadcast andat various points during the two-hour telecast. "It's so important to the storyto let the reality exist," Zirinsky said. "We did that for the previous times ithas aired -- we put an advisory out, and we have De Niro responding to it. But it's important to take in the reality in what is the most horrific terrorist attack in our country's history. . . . The men had never been tested like that. It was important to allow this to be what it was, for all its sensibilities."
Why on earth would the ACTUAL language used by those attending at the scene of the attack on the World Trade Centres be deemed "indecent" by anyone.
Surely this is real language used by real people, and there should be nothing but the truest, purest account of what happened. I only hope this doco gets aired in Australia at some stage so I can watch it too.
Coarse language in this context can't be compared AT ALL with occurances labelled "indecent" (like Janet Jackson and her superbowl incident).
Surely there must be a sensible understanding that this is reality and the more authentic the account, the better.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

TRUST US...WE'RE DOCTORS.

An interesting news item appeared overnight about DNA sampling, blood sampling and gathering of other health information from every person in the Australian state of Western Australia. While authorities are assuring us the records will be completely anonymous, they will be kept - not destroyed - once the information is analysed.

Some how the people doing the gathering (the University of Western Australia) truly believe about two million (yes, count 'em folks - 2,000,000) people will happily volunteer for the research. Uh huh...

And the plan is to take about three days EACH to do all the sampling plus a full body scan and work over. Suddenly I'm starting to feel like my dad's old Kingswood...

Now I don't know about you, but just how much do you trust your government to protect such sensitive information, especially when it could be worth A LOT to health insurance corporations, law enforcement and criminal investigation agencies and so on...

Mind you - I don't live in Western Australia any more - now in New South Wales, so for all I know MAYBE the Sandgropers (that's their state's nick name) are quite embracing of the idea...maybe...

I'm really not a "big brother" type, and I do try to have a little faith in "the powers that be", but you gotta question some of this.

And I thought it was just going to be another same old same ol' day with Israel/Hezbollah taking up the discussion in my workplace, and bitching about fuel prices and interest rate increases.

courtesy of ABC news online:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200608/s1709816.htm