October 27, 2007

The Cat In The Hat short story

Robert J Lennon writes a short story using only words found in The Cat in the Hat.

"My mother was gone. It was a bump on her head, a big bump. I did not know; mother did not tell me. When she did, I fell. “No,” I said. “No, not you! Do not go!” But there was no way. She sank fast, that was good. I let her go."

The Cat in the Hat is designed to use only words a first grader could understand. A challenging task you'd think, to write a short story not for children using the same words. He does well.

Link (via boingboing).

October 23, 2007


It did seem a bit gratuitous, but Anthony Albanese left us a shopping list recently. Judging by the fact that he hadn't already filled it in, I guess he wasn't expecting us to do his shopping for him. But the problem was that he didn't include an address for the ALP (or any mention of the ALP for that matter) for us to return the filled in list so he could do our "shopping".

He had some people at the station this morning. Perhaps I should have stopped to ask them, and also to find out how we make payment once his future government delivers the goods (as it were).

October 17, 2007


"Next is one of those films that requires a second viewing." (Tim Hayes writes on IMDB) I saw it recently on a plane flight between Sydney and London, and I think I agree.

The premise of the movie is that Chris "Frank Cadillac" Johnson (played well by Nicholas Cage) can see a couple of minutes into the future. The FBI know there is going to be a nuclear terrorist attack, and so some agents decide that maybe he will be able to work out where it is before it happens.

The tricky thing is that Johnson knows that if you know the future then that changes the future. Think about it: You know that your friend is going to ask you something in 30 seconds time, so you walk away unexpectedly before he can ask. Now he isn't going to ask you. Did you change the future? In one sense everything we do changes the future.

Anyway, an intriguing movie.


Well "Halloween" is almost upon us again. I use quotes because it is not something normally celebrated or even remembered in Australia, but that is slowly changing. Toy shops stock Halloween costumes now, other shops have Halloween sales, it is mentioned in advertising, and I'm sure we'll see an increasing number of kids taking part.

As much as I disagree with the celebration of evil, I'm not sure laughing in the face of any kids who come to the door for trick or treat (see my post for last year) is going to be sustainable in the long term. I think I'm still formulating my Halloween strategy...

October 14, 2007

ADSL for everyone (almost?)

Whirlpool has a link to a Herald Sun article saying Telstra is to enable ADSL on a further 211 exchanges. At home I have had ADSL for a few years now. It's probably not that long, but it's long enough that it's hard to remember what dial-up internet was like.

I know a few people who have moved house only to find that the place they moved to does not have ADSL enabled yet. For all the people who say that ADSL "1" is pretty basic, and slow by world standards, you really notice how much you rely on something when it is taken away.

The article is not clear on what proportion of the Australian population still can't get broadband internet, although it implies that it is small.

October 11, 2007

European Learnings

After a couple of weeks travelling in England and Italy I'm back, rested, and enlightened. Things I have learned:
  • The Italian word for Glad Wrap is pellicola ("film")
  • The Italian understanding of speed limits (OK - perhaps driving in general) is different to the Australian understanding. I have been back 2 days and no fines so far, although I have turned on the windscreen wipers when I meant to indicate about 5 times already.
  • When I lived in England a few years ago "push chair" was a pretty common word for what we call a stroller, but now it seems that "buggy" is preferred.
  • The English don't seem to commonly use the slang oyster to mean phlegm. It seems that it is quite safe to put an "oyster" card in your pocket.
  • Banning smoking in English pubs since July is GREAT!