Archive for October 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' poster

This weekend, Lucy and I finally got around to watching Tim Burton’s new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka — a shame we waited so long!

I’m not going to compare this adaptation to Roald Dahl’s book or the 1971 film as neither are exactly fresh in my memory, but I’ll assume you’ve read or seen either of those and include some spoilers in this review.

Johnny Depp’s performance was just amazing! Deliciously quirky in his silliness and masterfully hilarious as a mischievous, slightly unhinged Willy Wonka, how he managed to keep a straight face I’ll never know. I certainly couldn’t while watching Depp — on a few occasions, Lucy had to cover my mouth to stop me from giggling uncontrollably. :roll:

Continue Reading 2 comments 15 years ago

60 Days, 1 000 000 Frequent Flyer Points

Marc Tacchi
Marc Tacchi, when he’s not a passenger (source: The Great Canadian Mileage Run 2005)

This man is a legend, not to mention getting famous.

Marc Tacchi, from British Columbia, Canada is planning to earn one million Aeroplan frequent flyer points flying Air Canada — enough to net him ten executive class return flights down here (to Australia). If you’re thinking that’s a lot of miles to fly, it gets better. He’s planning on doing it in just 60 days.

Continue Reading 2 comments 15 years ago

Hillsbus Accepts Uni Concession Cards

I discovered first-hand today that Hillsbus are now accepting the university/TAFE concession cards for half-fare travel. These are student cards issued by universities and TAFEs bearing the government rail/bus concession emblem on it, technically known as a Form 204 concession card).

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Python Swallows Alligator and Bursts

Sometimes we hear of things that are just mindbogglingly whacked out… then there are stories like this. In the Florida Everglades in the US, a four-meter long Burmese python swallowed a two-meter American alligator. And burst. As in exploded.

That’s right, the rotting carcase of a snake was discovered in late September with the tail and hind legs of an alligator protruding from its ruptured stomach, as reported by numerous news sources including the Miami Herald. In another twist, the python’s head was missing.

The Times Online has the best picture I’ve yet found of this gruesome scene.

There are a number of theories for what happened, including the alligator struggling in the python’s stomach after being swallowed, puncturing the stomach with its claws. Another suggests the alligator may have been dead, but its reflexive twitching may have done the same thing. Alternatively, gases inside a rotting alligator may have caused it to explode inside the snake.

This is just bizarre… but apparently it’s not the first time it’s been spotted. Unwanted pet snakes being released into the Everglades are suspected of breeding to bring about this current threat to the established food chain.

Well if I’m reincarnated as a snake in my next life, I’ll be careful what I gobble!

It’s alien versus predator in Glades creature clash

(Thanks to Timmy at the COFA Forums for first spotting this.)

Add comment 15 years ago

Where Do Your Uni Fees Go? — the MSAF

This will be the first in a series of posts through which I hope to offer some insight into what really happens at student organisations at Australian universities, from the inside. The COFA Students’ Association is the student organisation at the University of New South Wales College of Fine Arts, where I’m the Vice President and Education Officer this year.

(Before I start, I should make clear that I only speak from my own personal experiences. My views are not necessarily those of COFA SA, and what I say is definitely not official COFA SA anything.)

I’ve found out that life at COFA SA is in many ways quite exciting and there are a lot of things we do that students typically no nothing about. But in many instances, it’s really mundane and a lot less controversial than you might think!

One of the things that many students don’t have a clue about shows up every session on your UNSW fee statement: the “Misc. Activity Fund”. This year, you’ve paid $39 each session towards it (if you’re a full-time student) — but what is it anyway and where does that money go?

Continue Reading 2 comments 15 years ago

Accused Pirate Fights Back Against RIAA

The RIAA has been suing alleged music pirates left right and centre. Now someone is fighting back.

A news article on Ars Technica by Ryan Paul (aka segphault) reports that Tanya Anderson, a 42 year old disabled single mother from Oregon, was accused of downloading gangster rap via Kazaa. Denying the claims, she filed a countersuit against the RIAA.

She claims that the organization engaged in numerous crimes, including fraud, deceptive business practices, and racketeering. In addition, she claims that RIAA has been “abusing the federal court judicial system for the purpose of waging a public relations and public threat campaign targeting digital file sharing activities.

The news article concludes with the most hilarious line I’ve heard all week:

If the RIAA is found guilty of fraud and extortion, I bet that SCO will sue them for infringement of a business methods patent.

These are serious allegations, but would you put it past the RIAA? The lawsuits will undoubtedly cost an enormous amount to fight out, and the RIAA most certainly has deeper pockets than a 42 year old single mother. So my only question this is: how can we help?

Woman countersues RIAA for fraud and deceptive business practices

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Construction Begins on M2 E-toll Lanes

I mentioned a week ago that E-toll only lanes were to be added to the M2 Motorway toll plaza, with signage indicating construction would begin in early October. Well it’s only 01 October, but construction has begun!

Yesterday I noticed that there were now two E-toll booths operating in either direction. There used to one or three in each direction, tidal flow-style, and in the off-peak I frequently resorted to using the adjacent Auto + E-toll booths to avoid queuing at the single E-toll booth. I also noticed on the approach that a large number of temporary crash barriers had been stacked up in the shoulder lane.

Today I noticed this had been further enhanced (at least on the city-bound side). The flexible barrier that used to exist between the E-toll booth and the remaining booths has been extended significantly to where the main carriageway’s two lanes widen to form the toll plaza area. Lane markings with temporary reflectors have been added to stripe two separate lanes heading to each E-toll booth. At the booths themselves, the boom gates have been deactivated and “Do Not Stop” signs have been erected — at last!

Continue Reading Add comment 15 years ago

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