Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Odd is This?

On the Monday before last someone decided to break into my car.

Now those who know my car realise it is not exactly the sort of vehicle that would contain GPS's, DVD players, Laptops or anything else of significant value. Or so I thought.

Last week I got the window that was broken repaired for what I thought was due to the sum total of about $9 of stolen coins from the glovebox.

Fast forward to this week and last night when I went to get something out of the boot only to realise that my spare wheel and jack have been stolen as well!

Seriously who needs a wheel and jack and decides to break into a car to flog them?

It certainly makes me wonder what other strange objects people have had stolen...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Magic Dam Returns

Not sure if you noticed but September had above average rainfall. It is only the 3rd above average month of rainfall in Melbourne over the last 3 years. I hope we get a lot more.

But in my view more importantly we have not had above average annual rainfall in Melbourne for 12 years:

So what happens when there is a bit of rain around.....

Yes you guessed it. Bolt uses his tried (or is that tired?) argument regarding the construction of a dam to capture water in lieu of any other options. It is a simple argument he uses, if it rains build a dam to get that water, if it doesnt we should be building one in case it does.

Ted Baillieu (you know the state oppostion leader) is in on the news today and is trying to make some mileage out of the situation. Remember Ted? thats right he is the guy who suggested we should build a dam on the Marybinong River in 2006.

Now I have done many posts about Bolt's incorrect use of estimates on the Mitchell River and I have posted here and on other blogs about his wrong use of statistics and the out dated cost estimates. There is no need to go over old ground there again. What I wanted to comment on was the common use of the Magic Dam by those opposed to anything being done.

So what is the Magic Dam?

As stated earlier the magic dam is used mainly by those in oppositon to claim any current government policy is wrong. The weather climate in Victoria and especially the rainfall is becoming more variable and as a result the run off into rivers is not as consistent. So those in opposition have to rely on the Magic Dam to chase any flood flows wherever they may occur.

Where has the Magic Dam been proposed?

In today's column by Andrew Bolt he rattles off the following rivers:
  • Yarra
  • Upper Yarra
  • Macalister
  • Mitchell

as locations where the Magic Dam could be built.

Funny. So based on Bolt logic (please do not try this at home!) we should build a handful of new dams in any number of different locations depending on what the forecast says, a few pumpstations some pipes and then rely on rainfall that has been below average for the last 12 years.

Sounds to me like Andrew has been eating too much of the magic pudding to me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

Friday night was a big night:

Saturday was bad... Very bad.

The reason for the drinks was a going away and a good chance for a few of the old team to get together for the first time in ages. You know at the age of 35 you would think I would know better?

It was a good night (from what I can remember).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Melbourne Architectural Review

SO I’ve just flown back from marvelling at the Coliseum in Rome, Schoenbrun Palace in Vienna and the Duomo in Milan with its hundreds of extravagant spires, each topped with a statue.

Yep this is seriously how Andrew Bolt returns from his holidays. I too have also seen those same buildings and marvelled at the size, scope and complexity within the structures. But, sadly I do not recall hundreds of spires at Milan's duomo.

Bolt is trying to comment on why Melbourne does not have Architectural wonders to draw tourists. Without dismissing the argument lets look at the statistics relating to tourist activities in Australia:

What Bolt forgets in his reasoning is that Australia's tourism drawcard does not rely on buildings (other than say the Sydney Opera House). It utilises Australia's natural assets and culture. Keri on her blog covers the discussion about culture and soul of a city.

The fact that Melbourne does not need to rely on buildings or gimmicks to attract tourists is a credit to the people and the place. This is something Bolt forgets. If tourists want to see historic buildings why would they bother flying from the UK to Australia when they can see the three buildings listed by travelling a fraction of the distance?

SO what of the three buildings Andrew listed as highlights of his European tour:

Duomo of Milan: Started 1386, finished 1965
Colosseum of Rome: Started 72AD, completed 80AD
Schoenbrun Palace in Vienna: Started 1696, completed c1918

Does Bolt seriously think the government should spend such massive amounts of funds, time and effort on a building as a tourist attraction? Seriously? Take what is considered Australia's most iconic building the Sydney Opera House.

Originally quoted to cost $7 million and finally costing $102 million as well as taking 10 years longer than expected. I wonder what Bolt would say about a Government spending so much more money and time on a tourist attraction?

Bolt cries:

What’s with us? Why can’t we build a single thing to impress? To delight? To announce that we dare dream?

I say we have any number of things to impress. I say we do dare to dream. I say our city is a delight otherwise why would we live, grow and love here?


I see today that the Herald-Sun's own Mike Sheehan has had a go at Bolt ove rthe column. Sure he is mainly commenting relating to the MCG but he has some valid comments on the theme.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So he is an Architecture Critic as well?

And just when you thought it was safe to read the Herald-Sun:

For those who do not know Andrew Bolt has been on holidays for 5 weeks in Europe. So when he starts crapping on about Melbourne's icons expect references to "nothing like what they have in Europe" or "would only be found in the likes of Euro-Disney" or "If only our politicians and developers had the foresite of those in Europe".

Andrew likes commenting on things he has no idea or qualifications such as climate change or water resources and now architecture. I personally cannot wait to see how he goes. Expect a follow up report.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Normal Service to Resume Shortly

Due to work commitments and a hectic life the current program is not being broadcast. Normal services will resume shortly.

All of us here at UHIC (well me anyway) apologize for any inconvenience caused.