Monday, 29 March 2010

Post #145 The Great Storm of Perth - 2010

Yeah, we had a storm. There are some pictures at this site which serve as material evidence. Here's the ABC's take on it. This episode of anomalous weather isn't distinguished by the volume of rainfall, the velocity of wind or the mass of the hail. It didn't surpass all-time records in any of these media of tempest. It was distinguished by the rapidity of the rate of precipitation and the persistence of the wind. Those golf-ball-sized hailstones were distinctive too.

The usual suspects emerged to proclaim the advent of Global Warming, someone suggested that a good line could be had in printing "I survived the Great Storm of Perth (2010)" T-shirts and a natural disaster was declared.

I found the most enlightening aspect of this episode to be the demonstration of the fragility of our construction and infrastructure. It just goes to show how mild the weather is here. In most parts of the world that "storm" would be a joke. I'd hate to show the data to the inhabitants of Bangladesh or the American "Tornado Alley".

Friday, 12 March 2010

Post#144 What Katy Did...and the Daleks can't. (Katy Manning and the Daleks)

And heeeere's Katy!! I thought she was the ideal kind of English girl I'd like to....make the respectful, adoring acquaintance of. In addition to most of the other chicks the Doctor picked up. Doctor who? Yes, Doctor Who. If you travel with Doctor Who, I'll be very jealous, Anastasia! I want to go in the Tardis first!! (I've already made your respectful and adoring acquaintance after all. You respect and adore me dontcha?) Alright, enough of my antique joke collection. I respect and adore you...that's not joking.

Now, on with the show: Katy has had a life and loved and made two children. Along the way she also became an Australian and hooked up with Barry Crocker. Katy's looking her age in the later photo which adorns the Wikipedia article about her but the delightful young woman is still's just the travelling machine that's suffered some damage. Katy also injured her prospects of appearing in BBC children's television. As follows:

From: "Doctor Who - The Key to Time - A Year-by-Year Record" by Peter Haining:
1978 : May 5 Another former companion makes headline news. Katy Manning poses in the nude with a Dalek for a girlie magazine, and tells journalists: "I did it for the money. Iwas skint. I'd had two good holidays abroad, three months out of work - and to top it all, the VAT man was after me. So why say no when an offer like that is manna from heaven?" Of the photographs, she jokes: "I'd never pose for full frontal pictures. Anyway, why should there be a fuss about my going topless? To catch a glimpse of anything you'd pretty well have to put me under a microscope!" Jon Pertwee comments: "Typical Katy!"

This is a tribute to the above from a Flickr contibutor.

In the meantime, in the real world, the Daleks have made repeated efforts to take over the Universe. This wasn't a mystery when I was a child; evil aliens would naturally seek to take over the Universe. As time passes, it becomes increasingly inexplicable. The Daleks were genetically engineered to have none of the finer sentiments; they have no art, no music, no humour and no philosophy but megalomania. This was the work of the Kaled scientist Davros who anticipated the mutation of his race by shortcutting to their abominable ultimate form.

The question eventually occurred to me: What happens if they win? They spend the rest of Eternity...sitting around,swivelling their turrets in bewilderment and asking each other..."Is this it?" Perhaps they've figured this out and keep sparing their arch-enemy, The Doctor, because he gives their existence purpose. All those times they set him up for a slow death when they could have zapped him in a millisecond...What a horrible fate for The Doc if it was true. He can't let them win but he's their puppet in an endless dance through time and space. And why did the Daleks only ever build one Tardis of their own? In "The Chase" series they send a crew after him in one, but that's the end of that idea once they're flogged. (I know there's a heap of ever-more complicating Dalek yarns in the revived series but I believe the programme really died with the Tom Baker Doctor so I don't give a damn about what followed.)
So what would you rather be, a Katy or a Dalek? Katies die, Daleks don't (have to)...Katies have a reason to live...Daleks don't know what living is. If the Katies could live forever in beauty and youth, that would be a Universe worth having control of.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Post#143 Living the high life, Korean-style

Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il’s personal shopper has written a book. No, that’s not a mistake; you read correctly; the North Korean dictators had a personal shopper. His name is Kim Jong Ryul, a former colonel in the Korean army, now seventy-five years old and living in Austria. His book- so far only available in German – is called Im Dienst des Diktators (At the Dictators Service).

In this he tells of the two decades he spent coming to the west on spending sprees, buying such essentials of the dictatorial life as gold-plated handguns and silk wallpaper. There were also the luxury cars- of course –, metal detectors, hunting rifles, crystal chandeliers and monitors capable of detecting the heart beats of people hiding behind walls! Well, one clearly needs to know if there is anyone there, any potential assassin, anyone who wants a glimpse of a fantastic and forbidden world.

Then there was the food. Kim and Kim liked takeaways, as in takeaway everything, and for some reason they both had a particular fondness for Austrian cuisine. Kim Il-sung went so far as to send a team of cooks to Austria to learn the art behind Wiener schnitzels and the like- “The crazy dictators heard rumours that Austrian cuisine was world-famous and that’s why they wanted the foreign cooks to come here.” All this while ordinary Koreans, the citizens of the termite state, those who did not live in the palaces, often had to live on tree bark to survive periodic mass famines.

Kim Jong Ryul eventually had enough of this farce, taking the decision not to return home in 1994, having faked his death on a final shopping trip. In a press conference he said;

I wanted the truth to come to light before I die so people know how horrendous and brutal it is, as well as to highlight how western companies have – for years – been making money through their dealings with the dictatorship, and helping to support the regime and that these dealings, despite all the embargos that are in place, are still in full swing today.

Well, it has. :-)