Friday, September 29, 2006

Flight attendants join mile high club.

There are several ways to interpret the phrase “inflight entertainment”. I’m going to ignore individual monitors on the rear-side of seat headrests in favour of something more … juicy.

Let’s talk flight attendants! Have you ever noticed how the Singapore Airlines uniform has a sky-high split that reveals everything up to heaven when the stewardess takes a step, the cool sarong sweeping across the silky tanned skin of the towering beauty’s upper thigh?

The more corporate looking uniforms associated with airlines like Qantas and British Airways hold there own in the realm of male fantasies. Those skirts lift to reveal a tantalising hint of what’s-to-come when the attendant reaches up to arrange the overhead locker at the beginning of a flight.

How many times have you asked yourself “I wonder how many of the Virgin hostesses are?”

What do you automatically assume is going on when you read the following headline: Qantas jet crew 'had sex romp'

I bet a headline like that draws a lot of male attention. How disappointed they must be, then, to discover the flight attendants involved were male? What? Male flight attendant uniforms don’t show off silky thighs or have crisp white blouses clinging lustily to a pair of perky breasts. This isn’t natural!

Well that’s what their crew mate thought, too. Apparently a third male flight attendant, not involved in (invited to) the romp complained about the inflight antics that he witnessed on route to London. The mere fact that the event has made the news is pretty astounding. Do you think anyone would care if the flight attendants involved had been female? No, because it’s basically part of their job description.

Maybe it’s time to spread a bit of equality on board aeroplanes. From now on, I want to see some rippling pectorials beneath body-hugging polo shirts, bulging biceps erupting from the sleeves. A pair of light canvas pants gripping a pair of tight buns, Calvin Klein shorts peaking out from the waistband with a hint of hairless pelvis on display. Finish it off with two tanned feet and manicured toes in a pair of brown leather Birkenstocks. Now that’s what I call entertainment!

What? It’s just an idea!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

War on Iraq. Woops!

Breaking news: US foreign policy not so well received by the rest of the world.

A declassified report shows the US government is aware that the war in/on Iraq has only made things worse. The extremist terrorist groups have been fuelled by anger and resentment as a result of the war on Isla ... er, terrorism. Since 2003 the threat of terrorism has spread across the globe, recruiting members in the truck-loads as it goes.

Bush, however, denies the information contained in the report and says anyone who believes it is naive. Mr. Bush ... Pots and Kettles etc!!

It's nice to think that Bush can't be re-elected, unless he decides to back out of that agreement as well (see: Kyoto, Geneva etc). His actions, personality and stupidity have done so little to benefit the world. Yes, I might even go as far as to say he's actively screwed things up.

You know something? US foreign policy hasn't been very popular for decades now, even before Bush got his hands into the cake mix and started trying to force feed the world American rhetoric of liberty, democracy and freedom. But the simple fact is, the rest of the world doesn't think America is the be-all-and-end-all. I'm Australian and my husband is American ... guess where we live. WRONG, Mr. W! We live in Australia.

I'm not even from a country that's on the US hit-list for most hated lifestyle, religious choice, culinary traditions etc and yet I've had it up to my frizzy strands of hair that stick out from the top of my head with hearing how the US epitomises perfection and all that is great on Earth. I can only imagine how "the others" feel.

Related: Iraq war attracted extremists: report

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Howard to sell Australian uranium to India

Pop quiz, Hotshot! You have an awesome product that just about everyone wants to get their hands on, but your company's code of practice limits your potential customer base to a select few people who are part of an exclusive club. You know how much money could be made by selling your product outside the club. What do you do? What do you do?

Maybe this is the thought process behind John Howard's desire to sell uranium to India, despite the fact that current Australia policy bans uranium sales to countries that haven't signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

Australia sits on a veritable gold-mine of uranium deposits. In the current political world there's a fortune to be made by opening up exports completely and selling off the good stuff to the highest bidder, but laws are laws ...

We already sold uranium to China, after insisting they sign the relevant treaty, but come on! As if China of all countries doesn't want to stockpile nuclear capabilities since they're practically sitting on the bull-ant nest that is North Korea. Ok Ok, I'm speculating. I don't know what China is doing with Australian uranium.

But seriously, what good does a treaty actually do once a country says "Hey, you know that uranium we bought off you, well guess what ... NOW who got da bomb?"

So woop-de-do if we sell to India or not. I mean, they might have Pakistan bothering their borders and all but I'm not going to wage a guess at what they want uranium for. I just want to know why Australia thinks they need to mine and sell uranium at all. Am I alone in thinking it would be better left buried?

Related: Howard signals option of uranium sales to India

Monday, September 25, 2006

Apple calls for podcast cease and desist

Is the term "podcast" legally owned by Apple? Some try to argue its origins, claiming the pod in this case stands for "personal on demand", but we all know that's a load of rubbish. The term certainly comes from the immensely popular portable mp3 players that exist under the Apple brand.

But Apple wants a stop to this crazy overuse of their branding. It's actually causing them difficulty in trademarking their own iPod brand. Apple is trying to trademark "iPodcast" but keep having their submission rejected due to the indeterminate definitions offered by Apple, such as "computer intercommunication" and "access and links".

As a result, Apple wants to claim back their entitlement to the branding that they started. They're issuing scary "cease and desist" threats to companys using pod-related terms in their own branding. The big one to hit the news is a Houston company called Podcast Ready. Many people believe Apple doesn't have a claim to the word "podcast". It's been used for two years without any argument, and many point out the free advertising that Apple has benefitted from this entire time. It clearly hasn't hurt Apple iPod sales, which continue from strength to strength.

So much so, in fact, that Microsoft attempted a very weak push to change the term "podcast" to "blogcast". They were laughed out of town and "podcast" never suffered even a dent in popular usage.

Branding becoming a generic term is not new to iPod. Think Bandaid, Kleenex, Hoover etc. The difference clearly being that these companies trademarked their brands properly. The use of these brand names generically only helps enhance the popularity and longevity of the products.

Apple have a real problem on their hands if they can't trademark their own brand, but honestly ... they screwed up. Maybe they just need to move on and let go of this iPodcasting, whatever it is.

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Apple Trademark Office docs point to REAL reasons for" Podcast" controversy

Saturday, September 23, 2006

US death toll more than 9/11

Isn't politics interesting?

Here's an issue that's bigger than proverbial Jesus. One could argue sides until the cows come home, and yet despite the magnitude of it, these latest facts speak for themselves.

As of yesterday the number of US Solidiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since, and because of, 9/11 is higher than the number of people killed on that fateful September day.

So many questions arise. Whose life is worth dying for? Whose death is worth dying for? How many people have to die? Do the terrorists even have to try? I'm a poet and I didn't even know it

Friday, September 22, 2006

Branson to save environment

Sometimes I’m sad that I’m not a billionaire. Seriously. I sort of idolise Sir Richard Branson, he epitomises the kind of billionaire I’d like to be. I don’t follow him around and send him love letters or anything, but I do like the chap.

Good ol’ Branson has just pledged $US3 billion towards 10 year development of renewable energy. He also wants to use his lofty position to put pressure on the Australian Government to sign the Kyoto agreement.

It wasn’t all that many years ago that Australia was really leading in the greenhouse emission reduction. We were significantly under the “allowed” pollution index as laid out on the Kyoto protocol. But Australia got arrogant and decided since we weren’t the world’s worst polluters we could rest on our laurels and stop caring.

I hope Branson can convince the Australian government to get off their backsides and be proactive in trying to save the world from environmental destruction. We all know that if the world dies we die along with it, so why don’t we care a bit more?

Branson’s way of describing it was "What we have effectively got is a fire burning around the world which is getting stronger and stronger every year, and we have got to put that fire out".

In related news, the US state of California is suing six car manufacturers for polluting the world and causing health problems. The Deputy Attorney General said “we want to get the automakers to start to work out the problem and pay for whatever damages they may be a part of causing."

This is an interesting turn of events. I like the idea of pressuring these car manufacturers into getting with the program. At the very least, it’s helping to draw attention to the problem.

So that’s good news. Richard Branson and the State of California are cool. But don’t get lazy, don’t think “Let the billionaires and politicians figure it out.” We all need to work together.

My mission is to get hydrogen cars to Australia.

Related links:
Branson in the news, California sues car manufacturers, Arnie and Blair save the world

Friday, September 15, 2006

Elephant speaks Korean

How much do we underestimate other members of the animal kingdom? With all the appalling things humans do to create pain, discomfort and general poor living conditions for other animals, we often justify our actions through suggestions that other animals are less complex than humans, are lower on the food chain, lack souls, are not self-aware, don’t feel pain, have no fundamental rights, etc etc.

Scientists have been studying the apparent language and social structures of dolphins for many years and some have suggested that dolphins are, at least, as intelligent as humans. However, the communication gap between humans and dolphins has never been bridged so we don’t really know what is going on with pods of dolphins living out there in the second-last frontier.

Apes, the closest relative to humans in evolutionary terms, have shown a propensity towards understanding human language and being able to communicate via a keyboard or typewriter. Their cousin, the Orang-utan, has proven to be wily and industrious when kept in captivity. The giant primates have been known to make tools out of random objects, like bending wire pieces into lock picks and figuring out how to release themselves from their prison-like cages. This ability to build is an attribute often believed to be unique to humans, but our orange friends have proven otherwise.

If we could talk to other animals perhaps we’d better understand their situation and be more sensitive to their needs and desires. However, until recently parrots have been the only other animal capable of reproducing human sounds, although most would agree their “voice” is little more than repetition without meaning.

However, everything we’ve ever thought or assumed about other animals could well be completely false. Watch this, it's the most amazing thing ever, and judge for yourself.

Yes, the elephant is most likely mimicking human sounds rather than attempting communication, although the jury is still out on that one. However, please consider the amazing awareness the elephant has demonstrated by knowing humans are unable to perceive the natural sounds that elephants make, their low register being beyond the range that human ears can hear. The elephant has not only realised this, but found a way to overcome that obstacle by using his own trunk like a trumpet to create higher frequency sounds.

Not only has the elephant found a way to create higher pitches, but more specifically he is able to reproduce human language, but he doesn’t stop with the satisfaction of being able to speak a few sounds, he actually practises the few vocabulary words he knows when he is alone in his shelter at night. He’s not doing that for sheer entertainment value, there must be more to this elephant’s determined drive to be able to speak the same language as his trainer.

It’s the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen and heard. If anyone tried to tell me it without visual proof, I honestly wouldn’t believe it. I therefore urge you to watch it for yourself and share it with your friends. We, as humans, should all know that other animals aren’t as plain, stupid, unaware, uncomplicated, bottom-of-the-food-chain dwelling as we might have thought.