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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Scanning Judges

One of the reasons I really liked working at the Supreme Court was that it was a bastion of intelligent eccentricity. Many of the judges were unusual people, but they were also intelligent, compassionate people. I know that at least some judges were aware of their eccentricity. One judge (now retired) came in to my […]

Computer says “no”

Work and pensions minister Chris Grayling is conducting an urgent review into a new medical test for incapacity benefit after fresh figures showed only 6% of those tested were deemed to be totally incapable of working. The figures, covering all new claims from October 2008 to the end of November 2009, show 39% are being […]

Sorry, folks.

You’ve probably noticed some slowness in the past 2 hours. That’s me, your loving Ozblogistan admin / tyrant, trying to debug a plugin. Apparently asking for debugging information is too much for PHP and MySQL to bear, so they threw an unedifying tantrum which choked the site.

The Dog Whistle

I am not going to link to anyone making ‘dog whistling’ claims this election campaign; there are too many of them. Instead, I am going to make a few requests. 1. Before using this phrase, please take some care to find out what it means. 2. When claiming that this or that politician is ‘dog […]

The oldest profession

No, I’m not talking about that kind of solicitor, I’m talking about the other kind of solicitor. The one who tells you what the law is. You may think you can shake us off, but the evidence shows we’ve been around for a lo-o-o-ong time, at least 3700 years. Researchers from the Hebrew University of […]

Edward Tufte kills a kitten

I’m back to teaching, which is nice. I like teaching. But there’s one thing I’d forgotten about: the obligatory query as to where my Powerpoint slides can be downloaded from the web. What Powerpoint slides? Long term readers of the blog know that I have problems with Powerpoint from way back. “Powerpoint is against my […]

A Shout-Out

We’re not in the habit of handling shout-outs on behalf of third parties, but we happen to think that this one is worthwhile and serious, and it wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t engaged in considerable vetting before hand (one reason why skepticlawyer in particular hasn’t been around much lately, quite apart from my encounter […]

Well, that’s one

FRIENDS of an acclaimed Scottish writer have accused the new government’s crackdown on welfare benefits of being a factor in his suicide. Paul Reekie, who, along with Irvine Welsh, was part of a wave of young Scottish authors who rose to international prominence in the 1990s, killed himself in his Edinburgh home last month. The […]

The Worm

O Rose thou art sick. The invisible worm, That flies in the night In the howling storm: Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy: And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. (William Blake, The Sick Rose, Songs of Innocence and Experience, 1794) plate here There is a canker eating at the heart […]

What’s wrong with me?

Okay, don’t answer that question. But I didn’t watch either the Debate between our esteemed political leaders, or the Master Chef final. Thus I suspect I am in a minority of the Australian population. I didn’t watch the GillAbb Debate because I am so shizzed off about the direction politics is going in this country […]