Saturday, 22 May 2010

Wikipedia Vandals

What is Wikipedia? Well, according to Wikipedia, Wikipedia is "a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 15 million articles (over 3.2 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site."

Wikipedia's one of those sites that appeared out of nowhere to become one of the most popular places on the Intyplop. According to Alexa, it's no. 6 in the top 10 of sites that people go to rather a lot, really.

The brilliance of Wikipedia lies in its collaborative nature. As they themselves say, if you can access the site, you can edit the material. This can also be a bit of a pain for the trusty band of people (let's call them Wikheads) who devote their leisure time to maintaining all those articles.

I found this out the other day when looking at a Wikipedia entry on John Goodman. It had been 'vandalised':

Juvenile, yes. But I went for a wander and found a few more. They are silly.
(Jump in the playpen...)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Jason Akermanis - A Point For Missing

Western Bulldogs footballer Jason Akermanis is bit of a bigmouth, isn't he? Not a Bigmouthery kind of bigmouth, though.

Akermanis today used the bullypulpit of his Herald Sun column to warn gay AFL players to keep their sexuality to themselves. Why? Because some of his footy buddies (not him, though, he's cool about it) might feel threatened by the presence of an openly gay man in the shower.

Aker says it could 'break the fabric' of a football club. He himself admitted feeling uncomfortable once when an openly gay footballer in a local comp walked into the showers after a match. Oo er, Jase. Unwanted tumescence?

Seriously, Akermanis went to great pains to suggest that he is not homophobic and that he supports events like IDAHO. So it can be reasonably assumed that, while the man has no personal beef with homosexuality, he does not rate the liberty of the individual as highly as he does the 'pack' culture of a football team. And that's where he's screwed the pooch.

Simply, if footballers cannot handle homosexuality in general and the homosexuality of colleagues in particular, then they should catch the fucking team bus to the 21st fucking Century. I know it's difficult for some footballers, what with all that time they spend beating the shit out of their girlfriends, shagging their team-mates' girlfriends and dropping naked shits in hotel corridors, but surely there's enough time left in the day to concentrate on that lonely brain cell that might want to help them evolve.

Hear the core of their thinking: 'Jeez, Davo kicked a fucking ripper from 55m today...he's a top player...if he keeps his dick away from me we might win the flag!'

Comments like 'homosexuals should keep it to themselves' are akin to saying that 'Catholics should not reveal their faith' or 'black players should white up so the other players don't see their skin'. Sounds ludicrous? That's because it is.

Akermanis might be wrongheaded but at least (perhaps, at most) he's honest. That's no excuse for thick thinking, but compare it to the AFL. In response to Aker's column, the head of the AFL Andrew Demetriou has said 'I don't believe [Akermanis' view] reflects the views of clubs, players and officials involved in the AFL and the broader football community.' He adds, 'We live in a diverse society and I believe the football community reflects that.'

Really Andy? Then answer me this: if the AFL is non-discriminatory and inclusive, how come no AFL footballer has ever felt comfortable enough to 'come out'? Where's your Ian Roberts or Justin Fashanu? Where's your advocacy for gay players? They are there...why haven't they been encouraged to come out so we can finally move past another of our stupid, petty, unevolved little bits of human bullshit and not give a damn about a person's sexuality?

Right, with that said I can go back to ignoring a stupid bloody game that rewards people by giving them a point for missing.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Jessica Watson - Riding the Waves of Stupidity.

The last week has been unpleasant. Most of it was spent in bed, drugged and forlorn. Impacted wisdom tooth. Three were removed without much drama years ago, but this one, I was told, would slot nicely into a vacant spot, so it was left to do its dirty sinful business. In its slotting, it's careened off the root of another tooth, so it's anything but nice.

As a result, I'm one part angry, one part miserable, one part ill and two more parts miserable. I've not felt up to much, especially anything to do with 'mouthery'. I hadn't planned on contributing anything until feeling better, but a few stories around the homecoming of Jessica Watson have piqued me. I would plead extenuating circumstances ask you to forgive the following language and general bad temper, but other entries on this blog speak to a similar mindset and they weren't written under the same fuck it. (Read on...)

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Tell Me About Your Phone.

The death of my mobile phone is imminent. This wouldn't cause me too much grief, except it means getting a new one. It doesn't seem that long ago I was going on about the travails of choosing and buying a mobile. January 2008 (I recorded the experience at my old Myspace blog, now reproduced here). It was a Nokia 6300, chosen for its price and simplicity.

When a friend (Hi Faz!) offered me her 'old' N95 late last year, I gave the sturdy and redoubtable 6300 to my 'bextie' Lou. I hope Lou doesn't mind me saying that she's quite good at losing or killing phones. Even the 6300 was no match for her hit-woman skills, though it must be said that she may have been acquitted on that particular charge. Not so the open-and-shut case of the 'bitten Sony Ericsson' a couple of years ago. There was an eyewitness and I would he would have testified against her. What else could I do he do, I saw he saw her put it in her mouth and crunch it.

On paper, the N95 is a fine bit of phoneage. The best feature is the 5MP camera, a huge step up from the 2MP of the 6300 and a world away from the VGA I had before that. I'm not a great photographer by any stretch (my Dad bought me a camera for two bucks at a second-hand place in Kilcoy when I was 12...the only one I've ever owned), but I do like to take photos every day if I can.

Here's a random sample pic from the 6300:

And one from the N95:

Other than pictures of flowers and silliness, I only really need a phone for texts and calls. Not that many either. I'm a firm believer in the Seinfeld line about constant communication, "you gotta give people a chance to miss you a little".

So I don't really need a smartphone or anything spanky and shiny like that, but...I covet them. They're so pretty and sleek and look like they can do everything, even make bacon and cabbage. I see them everywhere, people with iPhones on the train. iPhone people always look as if they're experiencing paroxysms of joy as they zip along on their 5-minute journey home to Skypad Apartments in Orbit City. Non-iPhoners sit their with glum faces glued to the window, staring out at East Germany in 1973.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's smartphone. That would probably form part of my confession if I were still a faithy.

'Father, I have lustful thoughts about my next door neighbour's wife's...Nokia N86.'

'Ah sure, now that's terrible...your penance is a lap of the Rosary and to banish such thoughts about Nokias from your mind...y'gobshite.'

'Yes, Father.'

'Anyway, you should be after thinking about the new Blackberry Storm 2.'

'But the N86 has an 8 megapixel camera!'

'Sure now, c'mon, it does not...that's another lap for being a liar.'

And so forth...

Orright, let's cut to the chase. If I have to get a new phone, it may as well be a smartphone. But for every website I go to that extols the virtues of an iPhone, say, there's another site dedicated entirely, for some odd reason, to slagging off the iPhone. It's one of the few times when the usually abhorrent phrase 'too much information' rings true.

So I'm throwing it open to you. Tell me about your phone. Tell me what you love about it, what you dislike, whether you've had service issues, what your camera's like, if it's easy to navigate...all that good stuff. You can do it here or at the Bigmouthery page on Facebook.

Friday, 7 May 2010

The UK Election - Democracy in Traction?

Politics can be fun and election campaigns are the most fun part of politics. You get to see a bunch of disingenuous schemers in suits flying around the country trying to convince people they are sincere, honest and trustworthy. They are somehow able to present, almost simultaneously, bi-polar images of mildly deranged hubris and tender-hearted supplication. "I'm very humble you know, I'm great, they all suck, I am a regular person with simple needs, I'm the only one here who can rule with honour and strength, but I love you sweethearts, now BOW DOWN TO ME!"
(Read a little more, it won't hurt...)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

'Translink Hates People and GoCards are Eeevil', says Unnamed Source

Many thousands of people in this jewelled and halcyon city use public transport. I am one among them. The three or so Bigmouthers who read the recent entry on workday travel songs will know that commuting now consumes a much larger chunk of my day. It also consumes a much larger chunk of my money, sometimes arbitrarily, it seems. And it's really starting to piss me off.
(Keep going, Mary, I haven't really started yet...)