30 June 2010
29 June 2010
In the elections held on 29 May, the party won the largest percentage of votes (34.7 per cent) for six of the 15 seats on the council. The Best Party and the Democratic Alliance formed a coalition agreement, thereby forming a majority.
On 15 June, it was reported that Jón Gnarr was sworn in as mayor.
Was this a mock or real political advertisement?
The voters/residents of Reykjavík sure have a great sense of humour.
See also New York Times.
Of course, power changes everything. In 1989, the Australian Capital Territory (similar to the District of Columbia) was forced to self-govern (it had until then been administered by the federal government). In its first election, three members of the No Self Government Party were elected (as a protest vote). Two years later, the three members left the party to become independents. One of them even became a government minister.
28 June 2010
Classic black suit from the Dolce & Gabbana 2011 Spring/Summer collection, unveiled in Milan on 19 June 2010
The show actually featured Annie Lennox performing live.
A good quality suit looks classy. A cheap suit, well, just looks cheap. It is worth investing in at least one good quality suit.
27 June 2010
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 27: Suited volunteers in bowler hats stand in the surf holding umbrellas aloft at sunrise at Bondi Beach on June 27, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. The human installation is the latest in a series of 'surreal human sculptures' by artist Andrew Baines, which included businessmen reading newspapers in the surf of Manly Beach in Sydney, and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra playing in the surf at Cottesloe, Western Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
Content © 2010 Getty Images All rights reserved.
Mr Baines actually called for volunteers to attend the photography session dressed in their own clothes. From his website
Sunday 27th of June at 7 am, Artist Andrew Baines will create his latest Surreal Human Sculpture! To participate you will need to wear a dark suit, white collar shirt and tie and bring a dark umbrella, brief case optional! (no shoes or socks required)Not really that much different to Spencer Tunick is it?
25 June 2010
The words are very religious in nature:
For the first time, Jerusalem will be played to celebrate English winners at this year's Commonwealth Games.
The anthem was chosen for medal ceremonies at the event in Delhi - ahead of the God Save The Queen and Land of Hope and Glory - after a public vote backed by Commonwealth Games England.
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills
Bring me my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire
I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land
The unofficial anthem/song of Scotland is 'Flower of Scotland'
The official anthem of Wales is 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' (Land of My Fathers)
Of course, officially the national anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is 'God Save the Queen'
Explaining how England, Scotland and Wales are considered to be 'countries' despite being part of sovereign state United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is another matter.
24 June 2010
Space for ten floating homes was reserved on the Eilbekkanal in Hamburg back in 2006. Now, five of these homes are already finished, the sixth is being moved into its place, and the others will be completed by the end of the year. The homes feature unusual architecture thanks to Hamburg's unqiue laws: everything that floats must comply with maritime law and not according to normal building law as is the case elsewhere. Architects can let their imaginations run riot.
More information (auf Deutsch)
22 June 2010
aurora australis taken by Expedition 23 crew at the International Space Station. Caption
Among the views of Earth afforded astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), surely one of the most spectacular is of the aurora. These ever-shifting displays of colored ribbons, curtains, rays, and spots are most visible near the North (aurora borealis) and South (aurora australis) Poles as charged particles streaming from the Sun (the solar wind) interact with Earth’s magnetic field, resulting in collisions with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere. The atoms are excited by these collisions, and typically emit photons as a means of returning to their original energy state. The photons form the aurora that we see. The most commonly observed color of aurora is green, caused by photons (light) emitted by excited oxygen atoms at wavelengths centered at 0.558 micrometers, or millionths of a meter. Visible light is reflected from healthy (green) plant leaves at approximately the same wavelength. Red aurora are generated by light emitted at a longer wavelength (0.630 micrometers), and other colors such as blue and purple are also sometimes observed.See also NASA Earth Observatory
While aurora are generally only visible close to the poles, severe magnetic storms impacting the Earth’s magnetic field can shift them towards the equator. This striking aurora image was taken during a geomagnetic storm that was most likely caused by a coronal mass ejection from the Sun on May 24, 2010. The ISS was located over the Southern Indian Ocean at an altitude of 350 km, with the astronaut observer most likely looking towards Antarctica (not visible) and the South Pole. The aurora has a sinuous ribbon shape that separates into discrete spots near the lower right corner of the image. While the dominant coloration of the aurora is green, there are faint suggestions of red photon emission as well (light fuscia tones at image center left). Dense cloud cover is dimly visible below the aurora. The curvature of the Earth’s horizon, or limb, is clearly visible as is the faint blue line of the upper atmosphere directly above at image top center. Several stars appear as bright pinpoints against the blackness of space at image top right.
19 June 2010
Richmond 5.2 9.7 10.12 15.15 (105)
Brisbane Lions: Cornelius 3, Staker 3, Banfield 2, Rockliff, Redden, Sherman, Fevola
Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Collins 3, White 2, Edwards 2, Cousins, Martin, Farmer, Vickery, Griffiths
Brisbane Lions: Banfield, Cornelius, Johnstone, Rockliff, Staker
Richmond: Deledio, Martin, Cousins, Riewoldt, White, Tuck
Brisbane Lions: Black (virus, replaced in starting side by Cornelius); Buchanan
Umpires: Vozzo, Farmer, Jennings
Official crowd: 28,415 at the Gabba
Last round, Jack Riewoldt kicked ten goals for Richmond, against West Coast, so they were on their way up despite being on the bottom of the ladder with two wins and ten losses until now.
The way my team has been playing lately, I didn't expect them to win. It was Brendan Fevola's 200th game but even he had trouble living up to expectations, fumbling badly a number of times. Still, there was some brightness, with Aaron Cornelius proving himself worthy of inclusion in the team.
Andrew Raines (against his former club)
Daniel Merrett spoiling Jack Riewoldt
photo by AFP via ABC
The last birthday I mentioned was Nelson Mandela's 90th in 2008. In keeping with the theme of mentioning the birthdays of significant people, today was Aung San Suu Kyi's 65th birthday, celebrated under continuing house arrest. She was leader of a political party that was democratically elected 20 years ago as the majority, chosen by the Burmese people to form government. They never did and Daw Aung was not allowed to be prime minister.
US President Obama issued the following statement yesterday
I wish to convey my best wishes to Aung San Suu Kyi, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate, on the occasion of her 65th birthday on June 19. Her determination, courage, and personal sacrifice in working for human rights and democratic change in Burma inspire all of us who stand for freedom and justice. I once again call on the Burmese government to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and to allow them to build a more stable, prosperous Burma that respects the rights of all its citizens. Towards this end, I encourage all stakeholders in Burma to engage in genuine dialogue towards national reconciliation, a vital step to set Burma on a more positive course for the future.Of course President Obama's use of the name Burma is consistent with practice by the US State Department.
The Union of Burma is ruled by a military regime called the "State Peace and Development Council" (SPDC). The SPDC changed the name of the country to "Myanmar," but some members of the democratic opposition and other political activists do not recognize the name change and continue to use the name "Burma." Out of support for the democratic opposition, the U.S. Government likewise uses "Burma."This is also the practice by other like-minded countries including the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
The British Foreign Minister (and junior portfolio ministers) also made a statement
As international relations is the domain of governments, it is quite interesting that some media outlets continue to use the name "Myanmar" despite government practice - including Reuters, CNN, AFP and Associated Press.
17 June 2010
It is available to watch in full online.
Tetsuya’s Pursuit of Excellence is the story of world-renowned restaurateur Tetsuya Wakuda, who arrived in Australia in the early 1980s as a 22-year-old with little money, no professional skills and no English. Fate dictated that his first job would be as a kitchen hand.
From that accidental beginning, Tetsuya chartered a course that has taken him to the top of fine cuisine around the world. In this documentary we hear from those who were his first friends and mentors in Australia; including Danny White, Armando Percuoco and Tony Bilson.
We hear from some of his early suppliers and reviewers in Australia who helped him through a nervous beginning and some who he has helped into international markets. Also featured are a host of Tetsuya’s international colleagues including Ferran Adria from the famed El Bulli in Spain, Heston Blumenthal from Fat Duck in the UK and Richard Geoffroy, Chef du Cave at Dom Perignon.
See also Tetsuya's restaurant.
Dining at Tetsuya's was one of the best meals I have ever eaten, some six years ago. I would go again.
16 June 2010
Not all is lost. A German-language version has been covered, albeit a spoof for the World Cup Fußball.
From Der Spiegel
A prank video by university students in Germany has brought two of the country's recent obsessions together. But now, what started as a prank has ended in a recording contract with one of the world's largest entertainment companies and looks set to become a big hit in the next few weeks.
Inspired by Germany's victory in the Eurovision song contest in late May, the students, from the town of Münster, performed a parody of performed by . But the group changed the lyrics of the catchy pop song into an homage to the German national football team, now competing the the World Cup in South Africa. Instead of "Love, oh, Love," the refrain became "Schland, oh, Schland" -- football shorthand for Deutschland (Germany).
The idea of making the Eurovision hit song World Cup-friendly came from student Christian Landgraf. He changed the lyrics and recorded the new version with his brother Matthias and several friends.
Two days later, they made a video to accompany the music. One of the students dressed up as Lena, complete with a brunette wig and danced around in a Münster park, the extras bedecked in red, gold and black scarves and the national football team's shirts. The entire video was shot in under an hour. The group, which began calling itself Uwu Lena, created aand the video was posted on YouTube last Thursday.
15 June 2010
13 June 2010
Brisbane Lions 1.1 5.2 6.4 8.8 (56)
Western Bulldogs: Hall 6, Giansiracusa 3, Minson 2, Stack 2, Grant, Eagleton, Hill, Gilbee
Brisbane Lions: Buchanan 3, Fevola 2, Redden, Rischitelli, Staker
Western Bulldogs: Hall, Morris, Griffen, Cooney, Murphy, Boyd
Brisbane Lions: Black, Rischitelli, Rockliff, Banfield, Buchanan, Rich
Western Bulldogs: Williams (hamstring)
Brisbane Lions: Brown (groin) out, replaced in selected side by Selwood
Umpires: Kamolins, Avon, McInerney
Official crowd: 30,831 at Etihad Stadium
Needless to say, the only two games that I've actually attended this season (not counting the pre-season game) have been disappointing. Last night's Essendon v Geelong game wasn't pleasant to watch and this afternoon's game was similar. It was good to catch up with footy mates though, this weekend.
12 June 2010
There is even a debate about it - see AtlanticWire.
The question is, which of the two teams is the sound (or noise if you prefer) supporting?
11 June 2010
my two photos below
official Fed Square photo
09 June 2010
In the Terminator series of films, there is the John Connor and Kyle Reese loop. A future John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to save Sarah Connor, his mother. Interestingly, Kyle Reese ends up becoming John Connor's own father. Thus the paradox of a closed loop. Without complicating the matter with Skynet and the machines, the actions of John Connor and Kyle Reese then creates an endless time loop.
Sean Shaffer explains the paradoxes, including about the development of Skynet (which came first, the chicken or the egg) very well in Den Of Geek
It's worth reading the entire article.
The paradox that's created in the Terminator series is that Skynet is built because an already built Skynet sends back a machine that will ultimately be destroyed and become the basis for Skynet. The question here is which came first, the machine or Skynet? The same goes for John Connor's life. John Connor is only conceived because he sent his dad back to impregnate his mother. It basically goes back to the original question of what came first, the chicken or the egg?
It's also in these events that we not only see how taking out one part of the equation would equate to a whole another timeline, but it also shows us how closely connected John Connor and Skynet really are. To put it simply, Connor and Skynet can't survive without each other, almost like Harry Potter to Voldemort. Their legacies are so intertwined that taking one out would possibly ruin or enhance the other, but ultimately create a timeline that cannot be predicted.
Similarly, but even more complicated is the relationship between The Doctor and the Daleks. The Doctor has his own timeline as a time traveller, which doesn't follow the linear timeline of the Daleks history.
08 June 2010
Treehugger (part of Discovery, with Discovery channel and Animal Planet) reported about American hunters travelling to Canada to hunt polar bears, including a video from the Humane Society of the United States.
Killing an innocent animal for sport or fun is seriously disturbing.
Allowing hunting of polar bears is so at odds with conservation efforts by various organisations such as Polar Bears International.
06 June 2010
They were probably barking mad too.
Next time, they should put on Cats the musical.
05 June 2010
Brisbane Lions 2.1 5.4 10.8 13.11 (89)
North Melbourne: Swallow 2, Thomas 2, Hansen 2, Harvey, Lower, McIntosh, Wright, Cunnington, Greenwood
Brisbane Lions: Fevola 5, Brown 3, Buchanan 2, Brennan, Rich, Clark
North Melbourne: Swallow, Harvey, Hansen, Lower, Ziebell, Bastinac
Brisbane Lions: Johnstone, Brown, Power, Fevola, Rischitelli, Rockliff, Sherman
INJURIES: Brisbane Lions: McGrath (hamstring), Power
Umpires: Nicholls, Hay, Wenn
Official crowd: 19,100 at Etihad Stadium
What a dreadful game. The first quarter was dismal so after that, I watched Where the Wild Things Are instead. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that the Lions had forged a comeback. The final quarter became a nail-biter with the Lions finally leading in the final two minutes of play... until North Melbourne kicked another goal to win by one point. There were some terrible umpiring decisions.
(higher resolution from ABC)
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The main issue with oxford commas is ambiguity. It might be better to rephrase in order to avoid its use where possible.
04 June 2010
According to BP, as at 1 June 2010, the "cost of the response to date amounts to about $990 million, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs. It is too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident."
The White House has sent a bill to BP for $69 million. After all, US taxpayers should not have to pay to fix a mess created by a large corporation.
In dollar amounts, it is a high price to pay.
Even higher, is the cost to the environment and living creatures.
Raw video footage from AP
Still photos at Boston Globe.
Live feed of oil leak (more like gush) from PBS
Streaming live video by Ustream
See Deepwater Horizon Response
03 June 2010
The Sydney Morning Herald even published a reader poll. Of 10469 votes, 82 per cent rated it as charming, while 18 per cent rated it as alarming. In other words, nobody really cares in Australia.
Despite not even being aired in the United States, fringe conservative groups are outraged including the American Decency Association, which has threatened to boycott the chain and Henry Makow who considers the boy in the advertisement to have a 'disorder'. It seems those who crow the loudest have skeletons in their own closets (George Rekers anyone?).
Here is the original
The advertisement with English subtitles added
The advertisement began running on 21 May and will continue until 26 June.
Why the French would even consider eating at McDonald's given their fine cuisine is another question.
02 June 2010
01 June 2010
There were mixed reviews in Australia with some commentators suggesting the style was reminiscent of the 1970s or 1980s (see ABC The Drum, Mumbrella).
The tourism advertisement is certainly very different to Brand Australia, which has the tagline of 'Australia Unlimited' and a business focus.
I prefer the latter version.