Wednesday, February 28, 2007
A cyclone forming off Queensland is threatening to cause some serious damage between the Whitsundays and Fraser Island.
The cyclone is expected to form overnight before developing into a severe system, the Bureau of Meteorology says. A low pressure system was today 650km northeast of Mackay and was expected to form into tropical cyclone Odette overnight, forecaster Peter Otto said.
He said it was then expected to form into a severe cyclone – category three or above – by the weekend.
"Track prediction is always difficult with cyclones but at this stage it's expected to head towards the Whitsunday coast then head down south to the Fraser coast eventually, so it could cause quite a few problems as it does so," he said.
"It should be a big system too, compared to other events we've had recently."
Earlier this month Cyclone Nelson – the first cyclone of the season – crossed north Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria coast but caused little damage before dissipating.
Strong winds, big swells and flooding of low-lying coastal areas is expected and residents are being told to prepare.
AUSTRALIAN rock legend Billy Thorpe has died this morning after suffering a major heart attack overnight.
Thorpe, 60, died in the early hours of the morning after he was rushed to Sydney's St Vincent's Public Hospital at 2am (AEDT), a spokesman has said.
He is survived by his wife Lynne, and daughters Rusty and Lauren. "His family were with him when he passed away," the spokesman has said on Channel 9.
Thorpe's manager Michael Chugg has said the death is a "terrible tragedy", as Thorpe had just finished recording a new album and was very happy after a recent acoustic tour.
Ambulance crews were called to Thorpe's Sydney home shortly after midnight after the star began suffering chest pains.
He was taken to hospital in a serious condition but then went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
"He woke at 1am feeling terrible. Shortly after that he had a massive heart attack, the paramedics were called to the house, they worked very hard in hospital," Mr Chugg said on Channel Nine.
Thorpe's former manager Michael Browning, who also handled AC/DC, has said Thorpe was a "genius".
"I don't think there has ever been anyone in Australia that has been able to work the crowd like Billy Thorpe. He was just amazing, an actual genius as a showman."
Rock historian Glenn A. Baker has said Thorpe and his band the Aztecs created Australia's pub music scene.
"It's the one form of music we've done better and more convincingly than any other. This sort of loud, roaring, howling, ferocious, sort of pub-based bluesy rock and roll and Thorpe was that incredibly powerful voice.
"There was something that was just primal about Thorpe's blood-curdling roar."
Former Midnight Oil frontman and now Labor MP Peter Garrett has said Thorpe was an inspiration to a generation of musicians.
"They were loud and proud and very Aussie and when they played at Sunbury (music festival) they got up as a bunch of Aussie blokes and just really did it full frontal."
Prime Minister John Howard said he was saddened at the death of Thorpe, who would be best remembered as a "towering figure of Australian rock and roll".
"Billy Thorpe was an accomplished guitarist with an unmistakable voice.
"Perhaps though his fans will remember him for one thing above all else, the ear-splitting volume of his concerts.
"On behalf of Janette and myself and the Australian Government, I extend my deepest sympathies to Billy's family, friends and fans," he said.
Fellow rocker Normie Rowe has said Thorpe was a "cornerstone" of the local music industry.
Thorpe was born in England but migrated with his family to Brisbane in the 1950s.
He moved to Sydney in 1963 and recorded his first song the next year with his band Billy and the Aztecs.
They went on to perform at sell-out venues across Australia and had a string of hits in the 60s and 70s.
Thorpe was best known for the track Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy), released in 1972, which reached No.3 on the national charts.
His music career has spanned five decades and he has also written two autobiographies.
Poking fun at the length of his career, Thorpe released a boxed set in the 1990s titled Lock Up Your Mothers.
He was inducted into the Australian Record Industry Association hall of fame in 1991.
Reports received a very amusing although naughty e-mail from a spy at the Department of transport this week.
Our mate informs us that four youths from Canberra recently pulled off a trick of breathtaking bravado to gain revenge on a mobile speed-camera van operating in the area.
Three of the group approached the van and distracted the operator's attention by asking a series of questions about how the equipment worked and how many cars the operator would catch in a day.
Meanwhile, the fourth musketeer sneaked to the front of the van and unscrewed its number plate.
"After bidding the van operator goodbye the friends returned home, fixed the number plate to the car and drove through the camera’s radar at high speed — 17 times,” our transport spy writes.
"As a result, the automated billing system issued 17 speeding tickets to itself. Go Aussies!"
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
2: If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."
3: There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
4: You should not confuse your career with your life.
5: Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
6: Never lick a steak knife.
7: The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.
8: You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
9: You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment. ( this one is extremely important to remember)
10:There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.
11: The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.
12: A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
Abbott let off the leash to attack 'Madam Blow-In'
- Samantha Maiden, Political correspondent
- February 27, 2007
JOHN Howard has unleashed his parliamentary attack dogs on the candidacy of former television presenter Maxine McKew, with federal Health Minister Tony Abbott labelling her "Madam Blow-In".
However, Mr Abbott attacked Ms McKew as a celebrity. "John Howard is Mr Bennelong and I think Maxine will be Madam Blow-In as far as Bennelong voters will be concerned," he said.
Mr Abbott said the Prime Minister, who has not lived in his electorate since he became Prime Minister nearly 11 years ago and moved to Kirribilli, was still there most Fridays, seeing constituents.
"I think Maxine will find out she's up against a formidable grassroots campaigner and all of the A-list celebrity skills that she's got are not necessarily going to help her in Bennelong," he said.
Ms McKew, an award-winning ABC journalist who is married to ALP heavyweight Bob Hogg, struggled with her first press conference, confessing she was "a novice" and not yet across all the local issues in the electorate. She was unaware of Mr Abbott's attack but noted he too was a former journalist.
Ms McKew rejected speculation that she may be forced to quit her new role as a special adviser to Mr Rudd on strategy to ensure she did not breach Section 44 of the constitution which bans public servants from running for parliament.
"No, I'm employed by the Labor Party so there are no conflicts that arise there. I'll be campaigning as soon as I put those mountain boots on," she said.
"The reaction has been tremendously positive. But look, we're getting ahead of ourselves a little bit, I mean I have at this stage announced my intention to nominate for preselection. I'm putting myself before a rank-and-file ballot."
Mr Rudd also dismissed suggestions that the Labor strike on Bennelong suggested cockiness. "Maxine put this proposal to me weeks ago - it was her idea and we're up against the cleverest politician that Australia has," he said.
Earlier, Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce accused Mr Rudd of playing Hannibal Lecter to the Prime Minister's Clarice Starling in his bid to "play with the Prime Minister's mind".
WA Liberal Don Randall, who once described another star Labor recruit, Cheryl Kernot, as having the "morals of an alley cat on heat" said Ms McKew's candidacy confirmed the bias of the ABC.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Abdel Kareem Soliman's trial was the first time that a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt.
He had used his web log to criticise the country's top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.
A human rights group called the verdict "very tough" and a "strong message" to Egypt's thousands of bloggers.
Soliman, 22, was tried in his native city of Alexandria. He blogs under the name Kareem Amer.
A former student at al-Azhar, he called the institution "the university of terrorism" and accused it of suppressing free thought.
The university expelled him in 2006 and pressed prosecutors to put him on trial.
During the five-minute court session the judge said Soliman was guilty and would serve three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mr Mubarak.
On blogs everyone is allowed to write what they want. This proves how unintelligent the president and Al-Azahr are.
Egypt arrested a number of bloggers who had been critical of the government during 2006, but they were all subsequently freed.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
The Bureau of Meteorology has declared that the El Nino which has made the drought so much worse for the past year or so has passed.
A senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, Grant Beard, says it's time to be optimistic about drought-breaking rains, although the drought is far from over yet.
"What we're talking about is that the El Nino event that has dominated the Pacific Basin in 2006 to early 2007 has finished," he says.
"The things that we look at are most importantly the ocean temperatures, and they've been cooling quite rapidly, they've been below El Nino thresholds now for around about a month.
"There's also a large body of cold water in the sub-surface in the central to eastern parts of the Pacific. In addition to those things, the Southern Oscillation Index has been neutral for three out of the past four months, and the trade winds have also been fairly close to or stronger than average in the areas where they are normally weaker than average, when there's an El Nino.
"So, all these indicators taken together show that it's undergone fairly rapid decay during the last one to two months."
However Dr Beard says the passing of El Nino does not necessarily mean rain.
"Unfortunately El Nino is not an on-off switch, so just because the El Nino has finished in terms of its broad scale indicators, it doesn't mean that imminent widespread rain is about to occur to break the drought.
"In fact, a lot of the areas through the south and east of the country in terms of water supplies, are so far behind that only several years of healthy falls will replenish those supplies to something that is considered satisfactory."
The news does however increase the likelihood of rain.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Andrew boy Charlton swimming pool with Queen Mary 2 in background
Andrew boy Charlton swimming pool with Queen Mary 2 in background
Patty sent these to me via phone email...That is the Queen Mary 2 in the background parked in Sydney harbour taken from Mrs Macquarie's Chair...and no, I did not photoshop it!!!!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
A German paraglider is being hailed as "the luckiest woman in the world" after surviving a storm cell that sucked her higher than Mount Everest during a flight in northern NSW.
Ewa Wisnierska, 35, spent 40 minutes unconscious while being carried to a height of approximately 30,000 feet, where she was pounded by hail, narrowly avoided lightning and was covered in ice.
A 40-year-old Chinese paraglider sucked into the same storm cell was found dead on Thursday, a day after going missing.
Ms Wisnierska said she was unable to avoid the storm when it formed as she flew high above the rugged country.
"I was just praying, please, please put me somewhere away from the cloud," Ms Wisnierska said from her hotel room, where she was resting her bruised and frostbitten body.
As she was carried higher and higher into the atmosphere, to the equivalent of almost 1,000 feet above Everest's peak, Ms Wisnierska noticed ice forming on her sunglasses and instruments, before losing consciousness at about 20,000 feet.
Almost 40 minutes later, she awoke to find herself still stuck in the storm, surrounded by darkness.
"I was shaking and everything, but I thought I just need to fly straight and get out of this cloud," Ms Wisnierska said.
"I thought I need to go down just to warm up."
Despite being dazed and confused from a lack of oxygen, Ms Wisnierska turned her attention to getting back to ground after eventually escaping the storm clouds.
"I thought 'where could I land?'," Ms Wisnierska said.
"I couldn't see any road or anything, but then I saw a small farm, and tried to fly towards it, and landed very safe."
Unable to gather her thoughts to call for help, she waited alone for several minutes before her crew called on the radio, and were able to locate her.
They found her still covered with ice.
"I don't know who to thank, I thanked the angels, but I don't believe in God," Ms Wisnierska said.
Godfrey Wenness, the organiser of next week's championships, says Ms Wisnierska is the luckiest woman alive.
"This is like winning Lotto 10 times in a row, that's how lucky this woman is," Mr Wenness said.
"I would say she is the luckiest woman in the world right now, not exaggerating or being sensational at all.
"The Chinese man died, she survived, there's no logical reason why she got away with it."
Despite frostbite to her ears and legs, Ms Wisnierska says she still hopes to compete in the world championships.
"Flying is too fantastic to stop because of an accident," she said.
Organisers of the World Paragliding Championships have confirmed 42-year-old He Zhongpin, a pilot with the Chinese paragliding team, died after being sucked into a thunderstorm on Wednesday.
While an exact cause of death is yet to be determined, it is believed he died from a combination of extreme hypothermia and hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain.
While all pilots are extremely saddened by Mr He's death, the championships will continue as scheduled, organisers said.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been to those meetings where someone wants over 100%.
How about achieving 103%? Here's a little math that might prove helpful.
What makes life 100%?
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z is represented
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.
H A R D W O R K
8 1 18 4 23 15 18 11 = 98%
K N O W L E D G E
11 14 15 23 12 5 4 7 5 = 96%
A T T I T U D E
1 20 20 9 20 21 4 5 = 100%
B U L L S H I T
2 21 12 12 19 8 9 20 = 103%
So, it stands to reason that hardwork and knowledge will get you close, attitude will get you there, but bullshit will put you over the top.
And look how far .........
A S S K I S S I N G
1 19 19 11 9 19 19 9 14 7 = 118%
will take you.
tiny moments that make the trip worthwhile
perhaps most often with STRANGERS
when the soul has no history to distract
an unexpected smile
the laughter at the checkout
the giving of privacy
the bus driver's care of the homeless's fare
the waitress's watch over the lonely
the taxi-driver turns off his meter
a thousand kindnesses
in a thousand ways try
a thousand people
times a thousand days
a stream of goodness
that, like the famous tale
of the turtle and hare
slowly and surely
Love will prevail
and FRIENDS, how precious beyond words
even if their faces change like cars on a train
how each has warmed the cabin
with their unique offerings
one making you laugh, one making you think,
one making you skateboard, another making you goofy
while you set about here and there
on this seeming meander
and FAMILY, bonds beyond words
bringing us to the borders of heaven and hell
the invisible security we don't know until they are gone
the lurch of the boat as they step off
if any of these things are love
I don't know
it seems the things we really know
I mean REALLY know
are the unknown things
words just a placeholder
so it is not too quiet
and another best thing about life is animals
oh, and bugs
by: ISSA 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
A young deer apparently leapt from the I-15 overpass in the Sixth Ward area to find itself atop a boxcar last week. A young mulie buck survived a jump from the I-15 overpass above Helena’s Sixth Ward train depot onto a boxcar last week, but had to be destroyed after being further injured by a leap from the boxcar to the ground.