Stats about this blog–June 2011

Best total page views ever for this blog: 4,653 compared with 3,221 in May.

The top individual posts have been:

  1. Home page 1,498 views in the past 30 days
  2. About last night’s “Send them back…” and Paul Sheehan 298
  3. Jack Vidgen–Australia’s Got Talent last night 259
  4. Trevor–1956-2011 159
  5. Nostalgia and the globalising world — from Thomas Hardy to 2010 138
  6. GetUp Australia–campaigns, petitions, activism 113
  7. Being Australian 16: inclusive multiculturalism Aussie style 9 – my tribes 106
  8. A very personal Australia Day 26 January – my family 103
  9. Who to vote for on last night’s Australia’s Got Talent 86
  10. Passing of a person of faith 78
  11. Just a modest tribute for Trevor 71
  12. About 60
  13. Personal catch-ups and other things 52
  14. Pub talk, reality TV, reality and "Go Back to Where You Came From" 51
  15. Wollongong local history 37
  16. Australia Day: Being Australian 35
  17. 5000 cigarettes and 100 days without the drug 33
  18. The Rainbow Warrior 32
  19. Two footnotes or updates: but not trivial 31
  20. Australia not earthquake free 30
  21. Update to “We’ve just had a cool May” 30

Over on the photo blog there were 1,054 views in June, averaging 35 a day. May averaged 36 and the best this year has been 40 in April.

  1. Home page 579
  2. Revisiting Surry Hills: The Shakespeare Hotel and Devonshire Street 15
  3. Around Belmore Basin (Wollongong Harbour) 14
  4. The amazing Surry Hills Library 1 11
  5. What it has really been like today 9
  6. Small Buddhist temple 3 9

The top individually visited photo blog image for June. Taken in The Shakespeare in Surry Hills.

The runner-up for June. This is Belmore Basin, Wollongong

1 July update

Here is the Sitemeter for all my blogs except English/ESL:

This Year's Visits and Page Views by Month

Stats to kingdom come

Earlier this week I was fascinated by Arabic-speaking children have the smarts but shun selective system in the Sydney Morning Herald. Having been the ESL teacher at a selective school, and acknowledging Arabic speakers there were thin on the ground back ten years ago, I was less interested in accounting for that than in the stats that were published with the article. I have to make do with a scan.

lbote011LBOTE means language background other than English and has replaced the rather negative-sounding NESB or non-English-speaking background. I noted my former workplace now scores 91%! When I was counting the picture was thus:

sbhslbotePicture1The significance of the “under 5 years” is that is a better measure of whether ESL assistance may be relevant: that is, students who have been in Australia five years or less.  Those last two items come from a powerpoint you may still access from Scaffolding in my English/ESL blog (retired).

Another set of numbers from the NSW Department of Education:


And another, which I find rather interesting:

TAFEstudents-language2003-05-smallAs I long ago discovered, what a culturally complex but wonderful place we live in!

That last one came from an absolute gold mine published by Andrew Hong — though his purpose has to do with evangelising on behalf of the Reformed faith: as a teenage Calvinist I know exactly where he is coming from. I can foresee days poring over the stats he has gathered.

In a later post I may discuss what all this means.

  • And a provocative footnote: I agree with Daphne Lowe Kelley  on Chinese in Australia, and will baulk at the word “invasion” in place of “arrival” only when someone can show me the invitation the first settlers were responding to.

Semi-Final 5: Australia’s Got Talent

The cheeky lads didn’t make it past Semi-Final 4. Instant Bun, however, did.


Last night was another great contest. Again it is so hard to choose two, but I was really taken with these two, seen below in their auditions with Instant Bun at the side for added colour. Winking smile


The non-miming drag is a 52-year-old called Wayne. The twisted little boy is 17 and called Beau. He has ambitions for a career in the likes of Cirque du Soleil. He was so brilliant last night he is surely a shoe-in! The links there take you to their performances.

Last night:


Beau actually hit that target – and that’s just one bit of a mind-blowing routine!


Go Wayne! Priscilla, eat your heart out! The real point is that Wayne actually sings – and does he sing!


Oh my God. I watched Q&A last night. All this seems to do these days is confirm my disrespect for our supposed leaders who again manifestly argued ferociously for positions they equally manifestly didn’t believe in. Adam Bandt may be an exception – but the Greens couldn’t run a chook raffle, let alone a country – that is when they are not making like some earnest nanny figure with a large bottle of castor oil. And then there was the small government and growth fetishist in pearls. A hopeless lot, though nice enough too in their way like cuddly Joe – who was needled into letting the cat out of the bag about where the “tax cuts” will come from: mass sackings. He said it. You heard it. Especially if you live in Canberra. Of course the cartoonist got the best line: “I really couldn’t make up shit like this and if I had the editor would send it back…”

51YDR3V0E7L._SL500_AA300_And I really couldn’t invent a Lord Monckton if I tried either. He does have his special skills (left)  as this friendly bio shows. It’s just that climate science isn’t one of them. “Christopher, known to his numerous nephews and nieces as “Mr.Knowledge”, spent four years solving real-life problems for Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street during her years as Prime Minister and now acts as trouble-shooter and corporate thinker to leading businesses. He is a well-known public speaker and has written speeches for many of Britain’s leading politicians (and a song performed by a Cabinet minister). Though not a lawyer, he wrote the legal brief that persuaded the Scottish judges to save the West Highland Sleeper train from the axe: it is now the only train in the world required by law to run “till a’ the seas gang dry”…”

Baroness Thatcher in her autobiography fails to mention the sterling service of Christopher and has the gall to attribute advice on climate policy to someone else altogether. Of course we do know that Thatcher was the first world leader to take anthropogenic climate change seriously – but then, whatever her sins may have been, she was one of the few world leaders who was actually a scientist.

There is an alternative universe out there where Monckton is taken seriously on climate change. I don’t know why, as by now he has been totalled by so many people who really do know what they are talking about. His errors and misrepresentations have been catalogued again and again, and still the suckers roll up to his slide shows.

OK, if you want the truth about this Walter Mitty of climate science start with the Monckton Bunkum series – now totalling around 1.5 hours and revealing 21 major problems (not quibbles) with Monckton’s spiel. The author is trained in science and journalism and worked in various media, but especially for New Scientist. "I’ve been a journalist for 20 years, 14 years as a science correspondent. My degree is in geology, but while working for a science magazine and several science programs I had to tackle a number of different fields, from quantum physics to microbiology.”

Then very conveniently see the following:


See also The perpetual debunking of Christopher Monckton.

So my problem with Gerard Henderson today is that Gerard seems to think Monckton might actually be worth hearing. He isn’t. And in that light it’s neither here nor there that Monckton recently resorted to the childish Nazi smear in reference to Garnaut. It’s true that others have done such things in the past. The point is that it is a non-argument whoever uses it.

However, I can’t disagree with this:

Of course Garnaut says what he believes. However, so do most of his critics. Of course Monckton was irresponsible to link Garnaut with Hitler. But so were those who linked Howard with the Third Reich. Any cooling of the political debate will require contributions from all parties.

But the bottom line is Monckton is a highly unreliable commentator on climate science and we would be very foolish indeed to pay him any attention whatsoever, His puzzle books may be good though.


Update: Lord Monckton: Bring out your Dead!

Hilarious moment on Australia’s Got Talent

Be interested to see how The Replicators go. I found their updated version of “Eleanor Rigby” was not really an improvement on the original, but that’s just me. But I do like their cheek. Here’s their who’s who:

Bad Boo Radley – Vocals / Eye Candy / The Wildest In The West…
Flower Boy Beau – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals / Bonafide Sharp Shooter…
Jesse-James Lovett – Drums / Shouting / Demolitions Expert…
Sherlock Mathason – Rhythm Guitar / Backing Vocals / Ninja Cowboy
Taxman Zac… Nobody likes the Taxman… – Bass / Backing Vocals / Killer Of The Undead

They’re 18, and Bad Boo did the most amazing mock-gay come-on with the compere, who seemed torn between embarrassment and pleasure! Winking smile




Watch them yourselves and see what you think of the song and the afters!

Two footnotes or updates: but not trivial

1. Update to GetUp Australia–campaigns, petitions, activism

The post where I trod on some toes over the idealism involved in the founding of GetUp Australia. Well today my Quote of the Week – if I had such a thing – would come from GetUp founder (and SBHS ex-student) Jeremy Heimans, who took the following pic in New York City:


Of course you don’t need to be told this is about this:

In the mid-1980s, when I was in college, what concerned and frustrated my peers and me was how few states had basic statutes forbidding discrimination against gay men and lesbians: laws that merely prevented someone from being denied a job or apartment on the basis of whom he or she loved. At that point only Wisconsin and the District of Columbia provided such protection.

Same-sex marriage? I don’t recall our talking – or dreaming – much about that. We considered ourselves realists. Sometimes idealists. But never fantasists…

— Frank Bruni

But that’s not the Quote of the Week. This is – Jeremy Heimans on Facebook:

It’s great to be a progressive – we get to extend rights, not deny them. And we do it with such joy.

See also Technology is a great tool – but it is people that will change politics by Jeremy Heimans and Tim Dixon.

2. Update to About last night’s “Send them back…” and Paul Sheehan

Oh dear: I’ll be watching Australia’s Got Talent again tomorrow night, I’m afraid.

Meanwhile please note while I shout: **** I LIKE TODAY’S PAUL SHEEHAN PIECE! *****. As an evocative bit of writing, that is. On the other hand “Minchin, Eric Abetz (who replaced Minchin as leader of the opposition in the Senate), Cory Bernardi, Mathias Cormann, Michaelia Cash, Brett Mason and the Victorian federal MP Kevin Andrews” are for me so many reasons why voting Liberal at the last election was a total no-no. 

Oh — do visit the photo blog:


I am not a party, an institution, a guru or an oracle: just one old guy in Wollongong–that’s all

Let’s get real about this blog and this whole blogging business. My opinions may not be worth a rat’s arse, or they may be just what you were thinking too. It doesn’t really matter, you know. Nice to see lately that Kevin from Louisiana thinks this way too. But here is who you are reading:


Yes, Souths did well in Perth! Smile

And here is my office and all my team of researchers and support staff:


And yes I do have a few ideas that guide me. Some of them just annoy other people. For example I firmly believe that God has never ever written a book for anyone in any language whatever amen. I do believe humans have employed a number of literary forms to write about God. South Sydney Uniting Church could cope with this view rather well, I found.  For example I firmly believe the best science affirms the reality of anthropogenic climate change and I think we are seeing a dismal failure of politics and politicians and short-sightedness from alleged conservatives on this issue. I believe this not because I want to but because the best evidence from the most dispassionate sources leads to this conclusion. At least I think so, along with our recently appointed Chief Scientist. And so it goes. Quite a few of these things I just won’t argue about any more on this blog. Why should I? I may point you from time to time to the arguments of others that I find persuasive. Then you can make up your own minds.

I’d much rather just share things like this:


You can go to my photo blog if you rather agree with that and are sick and tired of arguments, pretentious or otherwise.

Last week I spat the dummy on a thread. I don’t regret it. But it did lead to a nasty thread developing here on a later post, a thread I have since censored. That is something I rarely do – as even Kevin from Louisiana will testify despite my memorably asking him to piss off not all that long ago.

Anyway all I want to remind you of is this: you’re just reading the passing thoughts of one old man in a room in Wollongong. He uses a variety of genres and does not always have a serious academic approach. Take it or leave it. See also ABOUT.

Some entries on blogging from my archive