Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Strange Notion

Just a quick glass of wine before bed. It's early, but I am very tired, and it occurred to me that the illusion of continuity every one gets by on day after day most breaks down when we're tired.

Continuity of self is the feeling that we have been here all along and that we will must likely continue being here, at least in the immediate future. I'm not talking about the whole of the human race, just me, personally. I was playing an X box game which I'd last played just yesterday, and was then beating comprehensively, but today the button combinations just weren't working for me, which was making me very frustrated. I wondered, in a moment of clarity, if it was possible that my memories had been implanted into a clone body, one fresh out of the tank: a body which had never seen or played with an X box before, but had a perfect memory of doing so, just yesterday.

I probably won't feel this way tomorrow. I expect my memories will be re-inserted in my original body while I sleep.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What's on Wiki?

This is the first of a weekly round up of feuds and debates going on in the discussions pages of Wikipedia

TheHYPO questioned the statement "Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are the same person, in different states of mind" in the Stars Wars article on the 23rd of December, arguing that "There is no way to assess a characters "state of mind". (
In the opinion of TheHYPO, the table of appearances on the main article is unnecessary. "I agree. The whole table thing really is stupid and pointless", said another Wiki editor, Padawan Animator. There are fears that this might lead to mass pruning of tables in articles. (citation needed)

Our main story, however, comes from the discussion page of X-Men 3 ( Tenebrae and Rglong engaged in a war of words around a possible mistake in the credit roll about a character who may or may not be Quill. According to the Quill article on Wiki, there have been four characters with the name of Quill in the Marvel universe, but as the character in the film version of X-Men 3 is female, the only female character called Quill is most likely the subject of the heady discussion. The argument became truly epic, climaxing on the 16th of October when Rglong posted a transcription of the DVD commentary where director Brett Rattner and writers Zak Penn and Simon Hinberg confirm his argument. Happily the whole conflict was defused when ThuranX intervened, asking the participants to "cool down" and pointing out that "This is just Wikipedia." His advice was to "Take it seriously, but not so seriously you blow a gasket doing so." Words of wisdom indeed. It is a good thing that the X-Men 3 article on Wiki is being so sensibly administered.

In finishing, the discussion page for the article on Curling ( is a prime example of what these pages are for. The most recent, nay controversial discussion on the table is a Minor Clean-up conducted in an orderly fashion by an anonymous Wiki editor: "I removed many "(See ________ below)" from the "Basics of the Game" section, as they really broke up sentence flow and made it harder to read" A modern day Superman? This reporter hopes so.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Confessions of a Juggler

In 2005 I juggled potatoes, on Fitzroy Street St Kilda, for a cheese burger meal from McDonalds.

Two years before, during my first year at uni, I had sought a distraction from the tiring task of study. I picked up a golf ball, a conch shell, and a Lego man, and within three hours I'd taught myself the art of juggling. Three weeks later I'd amassed the meagre pittance required of me to purchase proper juggling balls, and I perfected my talents.

While I completed my studies in Witchcraft and Demonology (at the University of Queensland), all the while I continued practising. I changed from job to job and moved from place to place, and soon amassed a variety of props to juggle with. I had a punch bowl full of wax fruit from which I plucked pineapples, oranges and grapes; from a bucket of Lego I constructed cars I that I tossed from hand to hand, and, yes, there was an endless proliferation of balls.

For some reason I never demonstrated my skills in public. It was as if they could only be used to benefit me, and if they should ever be employed in the task of entertaining others, I would loose every gift I had with the objects in mid air.

So, everything changed when I came to Melbourne.

I arrived a penniless wreckage. The clothes I wore were so 1997 that I couldn't be seen by ordinary mortals. My rent was up and like all ways I was out of money. All I could afford was three potatoes from Safeway. I took those potatoes and I went up onto Fitzroy street, just down the block from the Elephant and Wheelbarrow. There, next to the el-cheapo mobile phone shop, I juggles my potatoes.

I hadn't had any time to clean them, so the dirt flew out over the crowd. Kids anchored their parents in front of me for a minute or so, while I whirled those root vegetables around in the air in front of them. I tossed them under my leg and I spun around and caught them behind my back. For the crescendo I caught one in my mouth and stuck the other two in my eye sockets, casting my arms wide,begging for applause.

I made enough money to buy a cheese burger meal. I'd've been better fed if I'd cooked the potatoes and et them.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Telstra and ANZ... Not Close Chums

Telstra began three quarters of a century ago, when Australia was brand new. They delivered letters mostly, and sent telegrams, and their mobile phone coverage was rubbish. They were called Austalia Post in those days. Later they became known as Telecom, but there were too many 'Telecoms' on the international market, and the government didn't like having to run the behemouth it had become, so they made 'Telecom Australia' into 'Telstra' and sold just under half of it to outside investors.

ANZ is over a century old. They used to transfer funds from one account to another, and still do. They have big vaults somewhere, probably underground, but they don't tell any one where they are. Clues to the location of this treasure are hidden in the documents of Edmund Barton. The acronym stands for 'Australian and New Zealand (Bank of)'. ANZ has always been an incorporated company. In this way, it traces its origins back to the Dutch East India company, which everyone knows was founded by pirates on a dare.

Telstra gave up on Australia Post during the second War of the Worlds, instead concentrating on its network of messenger pigeons to provide mobile coverage to every Australian. The scheme was put to an end when, in nineteen fifty three, passanger pigeons in the United States unionized and created an Extinction Level Event for the telecomunications industry.

In 1987 ANZ, along with most other banks in the world, suffered from "Black Wednesday"; on August 13, every orbital stock broker super computer crashed. The sudden rain of firey debris raised ocean temperatures by an average of 4.3 degrees Celsius.

In '96 the War of Independance created two factions in Telstra, the loyalists, and those who supported 'Optus', or 'The Option' of an alternate telecomunications company. At this point, most comunications were carried out with experts using smoke signils. The time of the fire ant had not yet come.

ANZ took 'the Option' and uses Optus for its magic fire ant communications systems.

That's why Telstra and ANZ are not close chums.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Times and Lives

I work for a bank. I have done so for three days. Before I worked for a bank, I worked for the telephone company. THE telephone company. Where I come from there is only one. I can convince you to buy something. I can make you buy a mobile phone. It's a mutant ability. I can make you spend $1000 on adverising. I am an okay salesman. There are better.

That's how I pay my rent.

I write for my soul. I read for it too. I get called 'Adam' a lot. Apparently it's just random. The people who call me that have never met each other.

I like not being nice.