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Paul Haesler
Husband, father, brewer, dr who fan, analyst/programmer.
Husband, father, brewer, dr who fan, analyst/programmer.

Paul's posts

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Any organisation (religious or otherwise) built on submission attracts two sorts of people: those who are naturally submissive and those who wish to take advantage them.

(Image shows church(?) wall bearing the slogan "Happiness is submission to God" modified by graffiti to read "Happiness is submission to Godzilla". Then Godzilla is depicted saying "Godzilla approves of your submission")


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I needed this in my day. Maybe you do too.

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Skippy hopped across Commonwealth Avenue Bridge to find some fresh grass to eat. Skippy didn't claim the trip on his parliamentary entitlements.
Skippy has ethics. Be like Skippy. 

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If you want to understand the differences between Australian and US democracy, the difference in attitude towards recounts is, I think, particularly instructive. Note that this not just typical Trump anti-democratic bluster. The Republican response to the Florida recount in 2000 was similar.

Recounts in Australia are routine - they are triggered automatically whenever a ballot is close, or there is any evidence of any irregularity in vote handling. In particularly close ballots, a third recount is not unheard of. Once recently, when a few thousand ballot papers went missing, a whole state had to go back to the polls and vote all over again.

No Australian politician would dream of objecting to a recount.

But in the US, it's like the whole democratic process is a sporting event where getting a result on time is more important than whether or not the players are cheating or competing on a level playing field. The problems in the US with gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement are further symptoms of the same cancer.

Dear world,

Please stop calling the plurality vote system as used extensively in the US and the UK "first past the post". This name is completely misleading. If you must use a post metaphor, the most appropriate term would be "closest to the post".

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The roof is literally falling in on the Turnbull goverment. So poetic.

I want to make a movie where New Age Buddhists get attacked by giant serpents while they're meditating. It's going to be called "Snakes on an Astral Plane".

Ideally Samuel L. Jackson will play the Dalai Lama: "Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. And we are all sick and tired of these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking astral plane!"

Star Trek Original Series Firsts:

First episode in which an away party consisting of major characters and minor characters beam down to a planet, and only the major characters make it back alive: Episode 1, The Man Trap.

First episode in which that happens, and the minor characters who die all wear red shirts: Episode 7, What are Little Girls Made Of. (In Man Trap, they all wore blue shirts.)

First episode in which minor characters wearing red shirts beam down to the surface with major characters, and the minor red-shirt characters do NOT get killed: Episode 8, Miri. (However, the minor red shirt characters do mysteriously disappear halfway through the episode, like the series continuity person completely forgot about them in between the location and studio shoots.)

First episode where Scotty insists he "canna change the laws of physics", then proceeds to do exactly that: Episode 4: The Naked Time.

The Naked Time is also the first episode in which a character other than Kirk appears shirtless - Sulu. Kirk's first shirtless appearance is in Episode 2, Charlie X.

First episode where Kirk neither appears shirtless, nor gets his shirt ripped shreds in a fist-fight: hasn't happened yet, but I'm only up to episode 8.


I watched a youtube video the other day of guy extolling Star Trek for depicting a "post-feminist society" - i.e. a society where true gender equality has been achieved and gender issues are explored mainly through interactions with "less enlightened" societies.

This may be true of the later series - especially Voyager with its compassionate but strong and independent female captain - but I've been watching the first few episodes of The Original Series for the first time in decades the last few days and I'm finding it incredibly sexist. Kirk and Bones are paternalistic towards female crew-members at best. Younger male crew members open leer at and make crude objectifying comments about their female colleagues (One says to another eyeing off Janice Rand's short skirt "Will you take a look at THAT - How'd you like HER for your private yeoman!" Another makes a crude pass at a superior female officer - on the bridge whilst both are on duty! - and when rebuffed disparages her as an "ice queen".). Even the much lauded Uhura (a black female bridge officer!!) - yes she sits on the bridge, but what does she do there? She takes phone calls - a space age receptionist.

Yes, there are a few strong female characters, but they are depicted having to contend up with highly chauvinistic, dismissive and disrespectful male colleagues - it's certainly no post-feminist society. I'm hoping this aspect improves as the series progresses.

Kind of disappointing, but it does genuinely handle the racial thing well. Blacks, whites, asians, even aliens work side-by-side with no attention being drawn to the fact at all.

By contrast, my favourite TV scifi franchise, Doctor Who, wasn't exactly perfect at that time either, but I think it was doing better than Star Trek. Series 1 Trek started at about the same time Season 4 Dr Who did - so the Trek episodes I've been watching were contemporary with The Smugglers and Tenth Planet. Polly was considerably more assertive and independent than the female officers of the Enterprise, and we'd already had Sara Kingdom and Dodo in the previous season.

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"The National Broadband Network has dumped its plan to use Optus cables to deliver high-speed broadband less than a year after rubbishing reports the $800 million network was in a dire state and may be unusable."

"NBN's chief network engineering officer, Peter Ryan, said, the decision to switch technologies showed the company's "flexible and technology-agnostic approach"."

Note the use of the phrase "technology-agnostic" which derives from the Greek words "tekhnologia" and "gnosis" and means "possessing no knowledge of technology".
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