Tags: two little boys

13 Jul 2007, Comments Off on A great global warming night’s entertainment

A great global warming night’s entertainment

Author: Helen

With a houseful of teenagers having a sleepover, plus two little boys doing the same (accidentally double booked), and a nasty head cold, the obvious thing to do was to slam the bedroom door on the lot of ’em– Ginger tea in hand, ignoring the various thumps, Muuuuummmm!!s, and muffled screams from the other side of the door– and watch the ABC special: The Great Global Warming Swindle, with a panel discussion afterward, audience free-for-all and grilling of Martin Durkin by Tony Jones.

Sorry about that sentence – it’s the cold.

The GGWS was entertaining enough– I mean, I thought the Sex Pistols/Malcolm McLaren reference in the title was pretty random, but apparently, not so! It was all part of the same Thatcherite cultural melange. Who’d have thought that way back then, Maggie Thatcher, because of her disaffection with both coal suppliers and coal unions, decided to make a case for nuclear power by inventing a thing called global warming? and that she gave out enough cash to get practically the whole scientific establishment onside, to this very day?! Diabolical! I forget which one of Durkin’s creatures came out with that explanation – obviously, one of the handful of scientists with enough integrity to resist Maggie and her limitless cash handouts.

While the video itself was toe-curlingly awful, I was really looking forward to the discussion afterward, which I knew would be hugely entertaining. I wasn’t disappointed. Half the audience were genu-wine, frothing, barking wingnuts of the type seldom seen in the flesh. Some highlights:

Tony Jones relentlessly slicing, dicing and julienning Martin Durkin in the after-show interview, and serving his arse up to him lightly dressed with a nice vinaigrette. Durkin was as pathetic as he was in a recent Michael Duffy (Counterpoint) interview, where he was allowed a free-form whine about the terrible treatment of his documentary by Teh Leftist media, while Duffy clucked sympathetically. Jones allowed him no such escape. Really, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

The guy in the audience with a Breughel-looking beanie, who began by saying: “I’ve studied astrophysics…
(Me: Oh, that sounds impressive, maybe he’s just a scruffy but brilliant undergraduate)
“and classical music”…
(Me: Oh dear, that sounds irrelevant, probably a crank after all)
“…with Lyndon La Rouche!”)
(Me: “…”

The two anti-environmentalist women in the audience, who I think were LaRouchies as well, who both appeared to be prepped with talking points to try to trap scientists on the panel into saying they wanted to kill all humans in the service of the environment. Global warming = eugenics. Oh, can’t you see it, people?

Arm-waving Audience guy, who spluttered something about “Carbon 14!!!!” No, none of the people commenting on it the next day understood it, either.

Ray Evans of the Lavoisier group, looking like an old Western District grazier with a furry white beard, club tie and tweeds, the dear old thing, looking increasingly miserable while taking a right pounding from the charmingly geeky Professor David Karoly. A bit like having his leg chewed off, slowly, by a terribly friendly whippet.

Michael Duffy (how did MD ever get onto a panel of “climate change experts”?) looking increasingly sulky and petulant outside the comfort zone of Counterpoint, where he can just shake his head about the monstrous dishonesty of THE LEFT and his guests will echo that and so on until they have a cup of tea and a biscuit. This time he was forced to listen to a detailed account of the many falsifications in the GGWS, instead of sitting inside the echo chamber. At one point, he waved a book –by who I don’t know– about the supposed profit motive behind environmentalism. Of course, the book would have been written without a thought for the profit motive. Sheer desperation.

Phil at LP has kindly put up a YouTube of the merriment. There is another discussion thread here. If you’re after a more serious wrap-up, don’t go past John Quiggin.

My question is: when do we all get our cheques from the Baroness Thatcher?

[Update:] Tim Sterne’s classic takedown.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

8 May 2007, Comments Off on It’s not the Tragedy of the Commons, it’s only Lego

It’s not the Tragedy of the Commons, it’s only Lego

Author: Helen

I took two little boys to the National Gallery on Anzac day, where Olafur Eliasson’s cubic structural evolution project 2004 was on show. In case you think that’s a serious sounding exhibit to take little boys to, it’s a travelling Lego city, which just keeps getting bigger… and bigger… and bigger, as it travels the world. To a little kid, it’s just more Lego than they’ve ever seen in their little lives. And they get to build some of it.
Image from http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/olafureliasson/
It’s extremely beautiful.

Here’s how it works. The kids wait to get to the lego. They have kid herders to let them through, a few at a time, and tell them when their time’s up. Here’s why it works. The grownups are the boss of the kids. The kids know there are rules. No one kid, or group of kids, is allowed to monopolise. Otherwise, their mum or dad has to take them out. End of story.
Image from http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/olafureliasson/
Apparently, for one school in the US, far from our brutal ways, it was all too hard. It’s the subject of a fascinating Lego post on Troppo. The commenters, like me, all disagree with the way the teachers handled the Great Lego Social Experiment, but for different reasons. Lego fans, go over there and read the whole thing.

A genteel old man who’d evidently been up since dawn at the Shrine, complete with tweed jacket and camel trousers, stood for ages gazing at the lego city. It’s never too late to channel your inner little boy.

20 Aug 2006, Comments Off on Skull Hammer

Skull Hammer

Author: Helen

Image from http://www.brightspace.com.au/exhibitions/2006/trevorhoppen/trevorart.htm

is the name of the painting in the image here.

The one below is Flake and Chips.

Image fr0m http://www.brightspace.com.au/exhibitions/2006/trevorhoppen/trevorart.htm

They are the work of Trevor Hoppen. If you live in Melbourne, you can go here:

BRIGHTSPACE is excited to present works on canvas & paper
 by Trevor Hoppen,
Chess Air Fish Hammer
Opening Saturday 26th August (3 – 6pm)
also special preview Tuesday 22 Aug (5 – 7 pm)
 exhibition: 23 Aug – 10 September 2006

Or click here to see more. Shameless plug? Guilty as charged. But you would enjoy it.

If you’ve been to the St Kilda Adventure Playground, you have seen Trevor’s work already. He’s responsible for much of the artwork and carpentry there.

Speaking of art and woodwork, I took two little boys to the Da Vinci Machines exhibition today. The exhibition was fantastic – someone with enormous woodworking chops has recreated the machines in Leonardo’s drawings. The kids were impressed. This guy designed working ball bearings, cams, bicycles. The sponsor display (engines and transmissions) was OK too- at least it was relevant to what was on show.

When we got to the end and entered the merchandising area, though, my eyes were rolling as fast as Leonardo was presumably rolling in his grave.

…Da Vinci Genius T shirts, caps, and wait for it: Da Vinci Stubbie holders!!

But that wasn’t the worst.

Not only were there copies of The Da Vinci Code on sale, but there were various kinds of Da Vinci Code spinoff merchandise all mixed up with the books on Leonardo and his work– as if there were some kind of connection, or equivalence, between the two… as if the Da Vinci rubbish was now reality, on a par with the rest of the exhibition.