all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

26 June, 2014

Dear Power Company

I sent the following message to TasNetworks by e-mail:
This morning I received a glossy, expensive leaflet—with a fridge magnet!—from you by mail informing me that TasNetworks is now providing the electricity supplied throughout Tasmania but that it will mean no difference to my current supply or use or cost of electricity; in other words, your advertising is wastefully superfluous.  You are also broadcasting the same needless message by way of costly advertisements on commercial television.
How much did all that unnecessary advertising cost?  The mailing-charges alone for your glossy but redundant missives must have cost a hundred thousand dollars, surely.  Couldn’t you merely have ensured that brief notices accompanied forthcoming electricity bills?
What are the salaries of your executives?  Will they be listed on your website and, if not, why not?  Are your obviously overpaid but clearly under-educated executives making similar dud decisions involving the provision of electricity?  No wonder electricity prices continue to rise when power companies squander so much of their energy on (unconsciously) advertising their own incompetencies.

20 June, 2014

The Books of Leo Bruce

To commemorate the eleventy-first anniversary of the birth of Rupert Croft-Cooke (June 20, 1903 – June 10, 1979), I have established a blog, “The Books of Leo Bruce”, to publicise Croft-Cooke’s two series of detective novels which he wrote under that pseudonym.  Sadly, some of those books, too long out of print, are now almost impossible to find; I shall provide e-texts thereof—though, of course, whenever possible, readers really ought to buy copies of the novels.
I have begun by providing the first chapter of Case for Three Detectives; further chapters will be added later.

UPDATE I (22 June):  I’ve added to that site a “lost” Sergeant Beef short story, “Beef for Christmas”, hitherto found only in the 1957 Christmas issue of The Tatler and Bystander.

UPDATE II (23 June):  Leo Bruce books in print:

UPDATE III (24 June)I’ve added the second chapter of Case for Three Detectives.

UPDATE IV (29 June):  the remaining chapters of Case for Three Detectives are all now available.

UPDATE V (3 July):  all chapters of another Sergeant Beef novel, Case with Ropes and Rings (1940)—which, sadly, is long out of print—are now available.

UPDATE VI (13 July):  all chapters of another two out-of-print Sergeant Beef novels, Case without a Corpse (1937) and Neck and Neck (1951), are also now available; furthermore, all chapters of the last Sergeant Beef novel, Cold Blood (1952), have been formatted and will be published on 1 August.

UPDATE VII (1 August):  all chapters of Cold Blood have been posted.

UPDATE VIII (25 September):  all chapters of Death by the Lake have been posted.

03 June, 2014

If Other Experts Were as Qualified as “Climate-Change Scientists”

On the ABC’s “QandA” an awarmist, scamming cretin, Bahareh Sarah Howard*, asked Sen. Cory Bernardi a stupid question:
Senator Bernardi, last week you said it was “good news” that the Federal budget had abolished the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and that the government was “still committed to abolishing the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation”.  As a researcher in climate change and renewable energy, I presume that when your car mechanic, your dentist, or your plumber tells you there is something wrong with your car, your teeth, or your pipes, you listen and act.  Why is it that you ignore the advice of climate change experts, from every corner of this planet who are urging us that climate is changing and we must act to reduce CO2 emissions now?  Australia is per capita the largest emitter in the world.
The silly cultist and aspiring hierophant fails to recognise that, currently, car mechanics, dentists and plumbers don’t duplicitously predicate their remedies on a scamming, self-serving, pseudo-scientific conjecture.  We may, however, imagine what a wonderful world it would be if tradesmen, medical specialists and various other experts were as qualified and as proficient as she and her fellow hoaxers:–

Visiting the new-age car mechanic:

Mechanic:  How may I help you?
Customer:  My car just needs a tune-up, I think.

Mechanic: Ho! So you think you’re the expert, eh?

Customer: No, I just—
Mechanic: We’re the experts here; now, your car obviously needs a new, non-polluting electric engine and, of course, a nice new, non-polluting, heavy battery will just fit into your boot very snugly.

Customer: How much will that cost? And where am I going to put the family’s luggage when we go on holiday if you put a great big battery—which is surely not as non-polluting as you say—in the boot?
Mechanic: First, apart from a few charges, imposts, dues, tariffs and levies, and a series of weekly payments, the engine is completely free—

Customer: Free?

Mechanic: Courtesy of the taxpayer, through the engine-change levy and the renewable energy subsidisation tax; and, as for holidays, you ought to know by now that going on holidays is very bad for the planet, so don’t.

Customer: But I can see from all the photos around this garage that you regularly fly overseas for—

Mechanic: That’s different.
Customer: How?

Mechanic: It just is.

Customer: Well, I don’t want to insult you or anything but are you a qualified tradesman?
Mechanic: Of course; I have an associate diploma in automotive studies from the Australian Climate Institute.

Customer: Right, well, I think I’ll drive away and have the car fixed later. You see, it wasn’t anything urgent—

Mechanic: Too late, under provisions of the engine-change legislation I’ve had to seize your vehicle and we’ve already started replacing your old, wicked, fossil-fuel engine.  Trust me, I’m a automotive-change expert.
Visiting the new-age dentist: 
Dentist: Before we begin, just sign these consent forms here, here and here.  Good, well done.  Now, what seems to be your problem? 
Customer:  My upper left premolar smarts, and I think it could do with a filling.  All my other teeth, thank heavens, are fine.

Dentist:  Ah, yes, they must be removed.

Customer:  They? 
Dentist:  Yes, all of them. 
Customer:  Don’t you need to take an X-ray or something first? 
Dentist:  No, modern dental-change science is beyond nasty, ancient and dangerous techniques now.  I’ll just ring the nurse and she’ll take you and your forms to the dental-change facility.

Customer:  Hell, what did I just sign?

Dentist:  This is permission to hold you in detention for six months on an anascorbic diet; that one’s garnisheeing your wages for the next fifty years; and that one’s subscribing to a monthly recipe service for nutritious vegetable smoothies.

Customer:  Hey, what?  What, what’s an anascorbic diet when it’s home?

Dentist:  Well, we remove Vitamin C from your diet so that you develop a therapeutic form of scurvy, which allows all your diseased teeth to fall out naturally and relatively painlessly.  Then, if you recover, you’ll enjoy for the rest of your days slurping nutritious vegetable smoothies or soups without ever having to chew like a beast of the field ever again.

Customer:  What about false teeth?  What if I want to eat a steak?

DentistAll teeth (97% of dental-change scientists agree) are bad for the planet, and so is eating meat:  it’s murder. 
Customer:  Look, are you a qualified dentist? 
Dentist:  Of course; I have an Bachelor of Arts in Dental Studies from Swinburne. 
Customer:  Who were your teachers there? 
Dentist:  An accountant, an archæologist and a career politician.

Customer:  Look, I think I want a second opinion. 
Dentist:  Too late.  The science is settled and, anyway, you’ve signed all the forms already.  Bye.  Take him away, nurse.  Next!
 A visit from the new-age plumber: 
Plumber:  Here I am at last. 
Customer:  Good, there seems to be a leaking pipe somewhere, because our garage has been flooded for the last couple of—

Plumber:  Wait, I’m the plumbing-change expert; I tell you what’s wrong. 
Customer:  Plumbing-change expert?  So you’re not an actual plumber with a trade certificate? 
Plumber:  Ah, far better than than that, I have a masters degree—in the media’s acceptance of global plumbing change.

Customer:  So you’ve studied the history of plumbing rather than learn how to mend broken pipes and such? 
Plumber:  Who said anything about history?  We studied models at the Institute for Plumbing Change!

:  Okay, so how will you mend my pipes?
Plumber:  Mend them?  I’ll get a team of young migrants to pop by in a few weeks and they’ll tear out all the current plumbing and install new stuff.

Customer: Why? 
Plumber: Well, just looking at this sink here I can tell you that it has to go. 
Customer:  Why? 
Plumber:  It’s made of stainless steel, you fool!  Do you know how wicked it is to source the components of a stainless steel sink?  My god, man, it even has carbon in it! 
Customer:  I should have thought you’d support a carbon sink.  No?  Anyway, you’ll replace it with ceramic or plastic—

Plumber:  Ceramic? Plastic? What are you, a lobbyist for the evil mining or fossil-fuel industries?  Wood, man; the sinks, basins, pipes, sewers and all the rest must be replaced by ethically-sourced, sustainably-harvested wood products.

Customer:  Wooden products?  How will they last?  Stainless steel is used precisely because it doesn’t corrode, and the same goes for plastic pipes; what will stop the wood rotting? 
Plumber:  Since you’re so bloody well-educated, can’t you think of anything else which doesn’t corrode? 
Customer:  Don’t tell me that wooden pipes will be gold-plated? 
Plumber:  Ethically-sourced, of course.  Look, trust me:  I’m a plumbing change expert.
who intends to “develop scenarios to determine carbon dioxide emissions involved in the transition to a 100 per cent renewable energy sector in Australia and the world”, whose “passion is in social and environmental entrepreneurship, which has the potential to have a broader, multidisciplinary positive impact on the global level.”  Ah, yes, researchers no longer have boring old interests or specialities but, being so unscientific, irrational, eager and fervid, they have passions.
†  a lie:  see “Australia the Highest Emitter of Carbon Dioxide?” at Impact of Climate Change.

UPDATE:  see also by “Dean, King, Krauss and Bernardi on Q and A” by Matt Hayden.