Saturday, April 25, 2009

this blog is moving

yes, dear stringies, finally blogger.com has done my head in.

stringer, the blog, is moving to wordpress, as of now. you can find it here.

i also wanted somewhere where i could combine my personal website and its many pages with a blog, and wordpress has the gadgetry to allow me to do that.

this blog will stay here for as long as blogger.com cares to leave it here while i neglect it. it has served me well, and the new blog is also called stringer, so there is no legacy lost. lol.

so, please adjust your blogrolls and bookmarks to reflect that stringer is now at http://swannellc.wordpress.com/

hoorah! see you over there.

Friday, April 24, 2009

dawn service

right, decision made. was trying to figure out which anzac day dawn service to go to. took a nap this morning about 11am. woke up at 6.31pm. guess that means i'm going down to currumbin, because that needs a really early start, like 2.45am, to get a good photo-op possie.

blue blankie, remember when i called you from the beach last year? *grins* ... best brace yourself for another chat while i meander back to my car, no doubt parked miles away once again.

will probably twitter from elephant rock. catch me @cate3221.

i love me anzac day.

i defy you not to at least smile

do yourselves a favour ...

if you're a star trek fan ... go to this website and upload a photo of yourselves and have a damn good giggle.

trek yourself.

awesome funny.

and yes, that is me as a blokey starship captain. i don't know whether to be scared, or strangely attracted to myself. what's with that?

KARK 4 on-air proposal



great name for a tv station, by the way. lol.

salvage of flight 1549

awesome set of photos from the camera of stephen mallon showing the salvage of flight 1549 from the hudson river.

i get such a sense of the cold water from these pics, makes me want to go slip on a full-length wetsuit and a balaclava for good measure ... lol.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

via ms snarker

hot aussie anna torv in fringe. just watch, k?

a little piece of genius from cadburys

you wouldn't think chocolate would need advertising, would you? all the more credit for producing a bit of genius. now i have to go and find me some chocolate. it worked that well.

maddow moment

if rachel maddow's disambiguation intro wasn't enough to convince wavering viewers of her smarts, then i give up. seriously. the woman has a brain the size of jupiter, let alone some run of the mill planet. awesome.

still wasn't my favourite moment of last night's show, though. that would have been the belly laugh that erupted from maddow on kent jones' 'there's no o in team' line at the end of the show.

there is something just so sexy about a woman losing herself in laughter. it's that whole unrestrained joy thing.

prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

news corp earnings drop 45%

crikey.com.au is reporting this:

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp looks set to join the club of underperforming media giants. The company is due to report third quarter results on May 6 and could produce a 45% slump in net earnings, according to research from media analysts at UBS in New York.

UBS said this would come on a 14% fall in revenues, which if it happens, would be the most worrying development, indicating that News's sector and geographic diversity is now working against it.

If News was to report a result around this level, then it would be in the same ballpark as NBC, which revealed a 45% drop in third quarter earnings on a 2% rise in revenues. News would be better than The New York Times Co and Media General, both of which have reported quarterly losses (MediaGeneral has 19 local TV stations as well as a clutch of city and local papers) and Gannett, America's biggest newspaper group reported a 60% decline.

Media analysts at UBS in New York say News Corp's facing another rough quarter and management will have to "address earnings guidance" which sees a 30% drop in earnings for the June year.

They also warned that news could be in for a tougher time for much longer, especially as its newspapers and TV businesses faces continuing weakness.

*sigh*. and so it goes. read the whole thing here.

check out this piece of californian homophobia

it's a receipt for petrol from The Depot Gas Station at Rim Forest, California. amazing the level of hatred the 'phobes can work themselves up to. just what the hell they're afraid of, is beyond me.

unbelievable.

daily buddha

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.

leavin' 'em laffin'

three top-class lolcats:

funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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in reply to TexMexSol

... who said:

have / am???

in response to my comment about me and the long-distance relationship i may have been or am in now.

i have been. and i am. same relationship. just a little blip in the middle. lol.

*happy*

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

nepal becoming haven for persecuted lesbians

interesting. i would never have guessed that there would be anywhere safe for gays and lesbians in that region of the world. paint me re-educated.

Badri estimates there are now about 1,200 lesbians who have come out of the closet while Nepal’s sexual minorities, including homosexuals and transgenders, would number over 200,000.

To work for the legal and other rights of the growing lesbian community, the once conservative kingdom of Nepal now has four lesbian support groups: Saino Nepal in Chitwan, Sangini Nepal in Birgunj town, Nawalo Srijana in Nepalgunj and Sahara Samaj in Itahari.

A fifth “Kathmandu Sashakti Samuha” would open this summer in the capital.

“It would have opened earlier but now we are busy working on the new constitution,” Badri explains.

Nepal’s former guerrilla party, the Maoists, won an election last year that mandated them to draft a new pro-people constitution by next year. The government is seeking suggestions from all communities to make the new statute democratic and inclusive and the sexual minorities, who had been ignored by a succession of earlier governments, hope to have their voice heard in the constitution for the first time.

Two years ago, Nepal’s army sacked two women recruits for being lesbians.

In an indication of the changing times, now one of them has taken the powerful army to court, fighting a dogged battle to get reinstated.

read the whole thing here.

iraqi gays suffer horrendous abuse



the bbc is hosting this video.

my garden has a new inhabitant, apparently

we had quite the conversation. he/she was all 'mraaaaeeeeoooooww' and i was all 'i know, i know'. i recognise this one as one of the regulars in the complex. just never seen him/her on my land before. i have no objections as long as no little massacred offerings are left on my welcome mat.

as part of my continuous mission to show tv reporters making geese of themselves ...

... i bring you this.


EMBED-Canadian Sports Reporter Blooper - Watch more free videos

live, but forgetting he is live. beeeeewwwwdiful. via boingboing.

xena film will never happen: rob tapert

... at least not with lucy lawless and renee o'connor as the stars. deep, deep suckage.

“It’s something that just won’t happen,” Tapert told TheTorchOnline.com in an exclusive interview. “I don’t think it’s going to happen for Lucy and Renee. In twenty years or ten years, in some amount of years, like McGyver, like Charlie’s Angels, it [could] happen like that [with other actresses].”

Rumors of a feature film adaptation of the series, which ran in syndication from 1995 to 2001, have circulated for years, and all the principles had indicated in interviews that they’d be eager to participate.

“I thought for a heartbeat it would [get made],” Tapert said, “but at the end of the day, the rules of motion picture marketing, where they have to commit $25 million to open a movie, in this environment, the momentum you need to get a movie made isn’t there to get a Xena movie made.”

doesn't that just bite the big one ... read the whole thing here.

why are advertisers deserting print media?

it's reported today that the new york times - arguably the most prestigious newspaper in the world - lost USD$78 million last quarter alone. most of it ad revenue circling the drain and then diving deep.

here's where this whole print media downturn thing baffles me. i have never in my life clicked on an advertisement on a webpage. never.

and what's more i never will.

i don't even click on google's sponsored links.

why do advertisers think the web is a better forum than print outlets for their selling?

a web ad is so easy to avoid. pop-up ads? had 'em blocked ever since web browsers offered pop-up blockers. we all know clicking on online ads is an invitation to endless spam, the dangers and annoyances of click-tracking software, the dangers and annoyances of privacy violations. why would anyone do it?

plus, web ads take effort. you have to actually click on them to get the full benefit.

newspaper ads are just there, all the consumer has to do is flick an eye over them. radio ads? just listen. tv ads? just watch.

web ads? ugh. effort. not gonna bother.

is the print media advertising revenue plummet even related to the perceived advantages of web advertising? or do advertisers just think papers don't have the 'reach' any more?

in which case newspapers had better learn to extend their reach, one way or another.

and yet still my head can't get around the waste of bandwidth that is an online ad.

just. don't. get. it.

a device to help long-distance relationships

wow. i'm ... intrigued.

While lying on their beds miles away from each other, the couples wear touch-activated rings visible to a camera mounted above them.

A computer vision system tracks the movement of the ring as one of the device's users passes it across their own body, or bed.

At the same time these strokes are transmitted to and projected in beams of light on the body of their partner. The lines change colour if they cross.

if you've ever been in a long-term, long-distance relationship - and i have/am - then this has all kinds of possibilities.

read the full story at the BBC.

tweeting by brain alone

how seriously cool is this?

In early April, Adam Wilson posted a status update on the social networking Web site Twitter -- just by thinking about it.

Just 23 characters long, his message, "using EEG to send tweet," demonstrates a natural, manageable way in which "locked-in" patients can couple brain-computer interface technologies with modern communication tools. A University of Wisconsin-Madison biomedical engineering doctoral student, Wilson is among a growing group of researchers worldwide who aim to perfect a communication system for users whose bodies do not work, but whose brains function normally. Among those are people who have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), brain-stem stroke or high spinal cord injury.

the day's coming when we all can communicate without doing anything manual to get it done.

sometimes i think i was meant to have been born in an age where we're all just brains in a bottle, creating our realities virtually. feels real, looks real, acts real, reacts real. but we're all just bobbing about in formaldehyde. LOL.

my next car (i should be so lucky)

the third generation toyota prius ... still butt-ugly, but it has a certain charm. heavy in the arse, just like me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

30 years ago today ...

... a bus full of my Brisbane Girls' Grammar School classmates and a teacher and his wife, went over the edge of a cliff ... near christmas creek (? i may be remembering that wrong) ... two girls were killed and so were the teacher and his wife. quite a few injured.

it's funny how some dates just stick in your mind, eh?

i think perhaps it was the columbine high school 10th anniversary that triggered this remembrance in me, this time around. although it's fair to say that not too many april 21s go past without me remembering.

i remember getting a phone call from a classmate, telling me about the accident, and naming the dead, and walking out to tell my parents and just falling in a heap on the floor, crying.

there had been talk of me going on the trip the week before, but it had all been a bit last minute, and i'd opted out for lack of forethought. good thing.

i was 14, in year 10. i didn't know the two dead girls very well at all. our year was kind of split geographically in the school, and they were in the other group that we never really saw much of. oddly.

but the injured were sprinkled through our year and the ones above us.

there was a lot of pschological trauma. a lot of counselling. a lot of god-finding.

a very weird week of assemblies and hymn singing and hugging and conversations with the school counsellor and blah, blah, blah.

lots of good came out of it, although it sounds strange to say it. the school became much tighter, a lot of respect grew for judith hancock, the headmistress who started the same year i did, in 1977, and the school acquired an outdoor activities facility in the name of the dead teacher.

30 years ago. wow. where the fuck did that go?

Monday, April 20, 2009

methinks me and this cat are related

funny pictures of cats with captions
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10 things newspapers gave away that they shouldn't have

a diabolically ugly webpage with a really interesting article on it. don't be put off by the layout.

I’ve been pretending in my head that I’m a newspaper exec. When I do that I keep beating myself around the face. Why? Because the newspaper industry keeps giving the geeks free meals. Let’s study the free meals:

Free meal #1. Giving away classified advertising to Craig’s List.
Free meal #2. Giving away photography to Flickr (look at the photos from the Chinese Earthquake, why didn’t this happen on a newspaper branded site?).
Free meal #3. Giving away front page news to blogs like Huffington Post.
Free meal #4. Giving away “small” community news like births, deaths, birthdays, etc to Facebook.
Free meal #5. Giving away real-time news to Twitter.
Free meal #6. Giving away news distribution to Google News and Amazon Kindle, among others. With new sites like Kosmix coming on strong (hundreds of percent of growth month over month).
Free meal #7. Giving away restaurant reviews to Yelp.
Free meal #8. Giving away traffic information to Google Maps.
Free meal #9. Giving away celebrity news to Facebook and Twitter. (Why is Oprah on both of those, and why didn’t the newspaper industry lock up Oprah and keep her on a newspaper brand?)
Free meal #10. Giving away local news to Topix (at least that was funded by a newspaper brand).
Free meal #11. Giving away business news to Yahoo Finance and Google Finance (and something new that will get announced tomorrow).
Free meal #12. Giving away news ranking to Memeorandum.
Free meal #13. Giving away astrology to Astrology.com.
Free meal #14. Giving away comics to Comics.com.

it then goes on to talk about the meals newspapers still have that they shouldn't give away for nothing. good stuff.

read the whole thing here.

the kokoda track is still killing people

i'm sure i'm not alone in having walking the kokoda trail on my list of things to do before i die. one thing's for sure, i'm less and less confident i'll ever be fit enough to even start.

A Victorian woman has died during a family pilgrimage along the Kokoda Trail ahead of Anzac Day.

Samantha Killen, 36, of Hamilton in the state's south-west, was just one day into the arduous trek in Papua New Guinea with her father, brother and a friend when she collapsed on Friday morning.

It is believed she was suffering dehydration, but the cause of death remained unclear yesterday.

read the whole thing at the sydney morning herald.

a couple of colleagues have walked the track and i know it was a life-changing, emotional thing for them. i'd love to do it just to get some kind of inkling of what our troops went through in WWII.

if you want to know more about the kokoda track campaign and it's place in australian history, take a look at the wiki page.

oddest news of the day

14 polo ponies died just before a match in florida. i smell a mass nobbling. or really rancid hay.

Two horses initially collapsed, and as vets and team officials scrambled to revive them, five others became dizzy, said Tim O'Connor, spokesman for the polo club.

"A total of seven died on our property," O'Connor told CNN. Seven other horses died en route to a Wellington horse farm and a veterinary hospital.

The cause of the deaths has not been determined, and necropsies and blood tests were underway, he said.

read the whole thing at cnn.

birdbath milestone

the first living thing i've ever seen actually using the birdbath i put up, oh, bloody months ago. lol.

it's a magpie, by the way. or not. i'm an idiot about these kinds of things. correct me if i'm wrong, aussie birdlovers.

daily buddha

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.

the education and re-education of journalists

here's a fascinating piece on the education of young journalists, and the re-education of the 'old farts' teaching them, from the new york times.

“New media” doesn’t mean transplanting old media to a new medium; it requires a new vocabulary, a new relationship with the audience — a massive social network that now talks back — and, sometimes, a new set of expectations about objectivity and timeliness.

At stake is a generation of reporters, and the continued role of journalists as the eyes, ears and questioners for the public.

The changes are forcing colleges and universities to rethink what a journalism education should look like. The perennial debate about journalism programs — theoretical teaching versus professional skill building — has been displaced by more urgent questions: How can you help students find sustainable business models, while introducing the formerly verboten subject of the business side? What are the implications for the craft of journalism in the shift to digital? And how do you position students for an uncertain future in the media?

read the whole thing here.

the song a day guy

if y'all caught maddow the other night you would have seen a dude called johnathan mann. he writes a song a day and posts it and its video on his website, rockcookiebottom.com.

he's awesome. there's songs about styrofoam cups, battlestar galactica and politics.



go check him out. dude's going to be famous one day.

and just to prove he's a genius, here's today's offering, a song who's lyrics are taken verbatim from the torture memoranda released by the obama administration last week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

weird

it's hard to complain about four weeks' vacation, and i'm not, believe me, i need it. even say it's hard not to have the feeling that my timing couldn't suck any harder if i'd planned it that way.

in a few days the interviews will start. hopefully mine will be done soon. i don't want to spend my vacation sitting around waiting for the news.

trooped off tonight wondering how many of the people around me would be around when i get back.

if i get back.

ugh.

today's maddow moment

because too much maddow is never enough. yes, she is indeed blowing bubbles.