Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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Yet Another "I told you so"  

Average workers miss out on PM's wages bonanza (text version)
Date: August 29 2005
By Nick O'Malley Workplace Reporter

The massive wage increases generated by Australia's prolonged growth spell have gone largely into the pockets of the rich, challenging the Prime Minister's claim that average workers have enjoyed a real 14 per cent pay rise since 1998, research shows.

Mr Howard made the figure a central point of the last election campaign and has used it to justify his planned industrial relations reforms.

But research by the University of Sydney's centre for industrial relations research, acirrt, has found that only the top 10 per cent of wage earners saw a rise of anything like that, enjoying an increase of 13.8 per cent between 1998 and 2004.

According to acirrt's research, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics figures and commissioned by Unions NSW, the average wage rise has been 3.6 per cent, while the median is 2.6 per cent.

The bottom 20 per cent of income earners had an increase of just 1.2 per cent.

Some workers in highly-skilled and well-paid occupations saw their pay rates rise but their earnings fall as they lost working hours. Casuals experienced far higher wage rises than permanent staff.

John Robertson, the secretary of Unions NSW, said the research revealed that those who had received the lowest real wage increases were those most dependent on minimum wages and collective bargaining. "In this context the proposed industrial relations changes will only add to the disparity between the winners and losers," he said ...

Other research, conducted by John Shields of Sydney University, found that over the same period the incomes of the 50 highest-paid Australian chief executives had increased by 194 per cent between 1999 and last year.

Dr Shields said it was likely the executives' pay had increased by up to 230 per cent if earnings from share options were taken into consideration.

Also see Ross Gittin's column in the same publication:

Why labour market 'flexibility' can be bad

Date: August 29 2005 (text) (fancy)

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Lucan - I'll fill in the Other Lucan sometime if'n I get to it ...  
When I hear/read the name "Lucan", memories of this case are my first reaction. The Seventh Earl of Lucan has not been seen since the night of November 7th, 1974, when his children's nanny was beaten to death with a piece of lead pipe, and his estranged wife was attacked [She staggered for help to a pub called The Plumbers' Arms; would you write that?]. Some months later an inquest jury declared him guilty of murder. He was officially declared dead in October 1999 so the family could settle inheritance & so forth, but speculation, rumour & theorising continues.
This spot has a pretty good summary of the history for the 20th anniversary last year, and links, such as Lord, The Lucan Review, and Last Person [known] To See Lord Lucan Alive Dies (in September 2004).
You can find a whole lot more -- about 22,400 results in the UK for "Lord Lucan" on, for instance. I think I'm not unhappy that I've never heard of the other Lucan mentioned above. (Lucasian OTOH, leads to a whole other universe ...)

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love mitten???  
A truly extraordinary reference page at Wikipedia: Body parts slang

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Good News on Refurbished Hilton Memorial  

Hilton Memorial (IMG_3924a-crop)
Originally uploaded by Mezza.

Hilton Memorial (3924a-crop) "To the memory of Alec Carter, Arthur Favell and Paul Burmistriw, two city council garbagemen and a 1st class police constable, who were killed here as a result of a bomb explosion on 13th February, 1978. Forever in our thoughts. Your workmates."

Hilton Memorial (3924a-crop480)
Hilton Memorial (3924a-crop480),
originally uploaded by Mezza.
Restored memorial plaque to the 3 dead in the Sydney Hilton Bombing, after major refurbishment of hotel.

Update February 2008: Some of the coverage of the 30th Anniversary (no photo of the new memorial yet):
ABC News – Sydney Hilton blast to be remembered 30 years on ( news/ stories/ 2008/ 02/ 13/ 2161121.htm)

Sydney remembers Hilton bombings
February 13, 2008 - 4:35PM sydney-remembers-hilton-bombings/ 20080213-1s0q.html

A smile, a morning hello and their world exploded
David Humphries with Paul Bibby
February 14, 2008 articles/ 2008/ 02/ 13/ 1202760398954.html news/ national/ a-smile-a-morning-hello-and-their-world-exploded/ 2008/ 02/ 13/ 1202760398954.html
TIME and counselling have eased her pain, but Rosamund Dallow-Smith's campaign for justice is no nearer success than at any time in the 30 years since serendipity spared her life by inches but ruined innocence around her.

"I had just walked past him, smiled at him, and taken just my first step inside the staff entrance when I heard this enormous explosion,"

City of Sydney Re-dedicates Plaque Commemorating Hilton Hotel Blast Victims (Sydney City Council site)
12 February 2008 html/ 3513-city-of-sydney-re-dedicates-plaque-commemorating-hilton-hotel-blast-victims.asp

Sydney Hilton Hotel blast commemorated
February 13, 2008 - 7:44AM sydney-hilton-hotel-blast-commemorated/ 20080213-1rwb.html

Remember the Hilton bombing
by Premier Morris Iemma
February 13, 2008 12:00am dailytelegraph/ story/ 0,22049,23202422-5001031,00.html

Articles : Scams and Scoundrels
The Hilton Fiasco
by Ben Hills
12 February 1998
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald articles/ articles/ SCM38a.html

Current Wikipedia version of Sydney Hilton Bombing

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Bit of a shock, this  

Which Harry Potter character has the same personality type as you?

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.
[The Quizmaster says: "I've seen several people who come up as INTP who are upset that they got Voldemort. I'm not saying INTPs are evil. But personality type should be neutral - people of any personality type can be good or bad."]
Gillian Rhett's impression of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

This test is based on the principles of the Myers-Briggs Personality Typing system. I made up the questions myself but they're similar to (and influenced by) the questions you'd find on any other Myers-Briggs-based test.
All Possible Results:
Explanation of Results:

This type of personality test uses four indexes of personality and the combination of the four is your personality type. The first index relates to how you interact with other people and can be Extroverted (E), meaning you're more outgoing or Introverted (I), meaning you keep more to yourself. The second relates to how you make decisions; whether you're Intuitive (N), getting answers from within, or you rely on Sensing (S) information from your surroundings, using your five senses. The third relates to whether you're more emotional and Feeling (F) or rational and Thinking (T). The fourth relates to whether you prefer things to be organized, meaning you're Judging (J), or you prefer things to be more unbound, meaning you're Perceiving (P).
For more information about real, scientific personality typing, visit the Kiersey Temperament and Character Website.

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"A Sad Mistake": Shoot-to-kill without warning  
Shoot-to-kill without warning - Sunday Times - Times Online 0,,2087-1715340_1,00.html
The Sunday Times - Britain
July 31, 2005
jon Ungoed-Thomas and David Leppard

Shoot-to-kill without warning

The killing of de Menezes was a terrible error that has devastated his family and threatens to sap police morale at a critical time in the war on terror. It now threatens to become a cause celebre among human rights activists ...
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is studying CCTV footage that caught de Menezes’s last moments. What is already clear is that the initial accounts of his death on July 22 were wrong ...

The man, according to the police, was suspect because of his “clothing and behaviour”. He had been followed from a house that had been under surveillance. When he was challenged at Stockwell, he ignored instructions and ran. He had vaulted over the ticket barrier and was wearing a dark bulky jacket that could disguise a bomb.

One witness had de Menezes as an Asian with a beard and wires coming out of his torso. The truth is more mundane. De Menezes, an electrician, was travelling to north London to fix a fire alarm.

He was not wearing what witnesses called a “black bomber jacket”, but a denim jacket. It was about 17C and his clothing would not have been out of the ordinary.

He did not vault a ticket barrier, as claimed. He used a travelcard to pass through the station in the normal way. His family believes that he may have started to run simply because he heard the train pulling in — something Londoners do every day. Indeed, a train was at the platform when he got there ...

Lee Ruston, 32, was at the bottom of the escalator that de Menezes ran down. He believes that he heard every word said by officers.
According to him, officers did not say the word “police” or offer de Menezes the prospect of arrest. “I heard a voice shouting ‘get on the floor, just get on the floor’. Another voice said the same, ‘get on the floor’. I then heard the crack of gunshots,” he said ...
De Menezes lived in a block of flats which was under surveillance because of its links to the terror attacks, but what was the evidence that he was a specific risk? ... was [he] killed because of ... the misfortune to live at an address linked to terrorism[?]
Blair said that the public should also appreciate the bravery of the officers, who surrounded a suspect they thought might blow himself up.

As one officer said yesterday: “They’ve done a good job for their country. But of course, they are very sad.

“They thought they were acting in the best interests of everybody and on the information they were given. It’s a very sad thing, isn’t it.”

Additional reporting: Michael Smith, Andrew White

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