As classified "Pornography/Sex,Entertainment" by the Australian government

Apparently my blog is blocked on a federal government department's network as "Category: Pornography/Sex,Entertainment (Global)".

Besides the mis-categorization, it just goes to show the futility of filtering web sites based on the URL or domain. Kristy read my blog via some kind of aggregation, probably one of the planet aggregators on which my blog appears. Handily side-stepping the classification.

Kristy is being coy about which government department, probably for good reason, but I'd love to put "As classified Pornography/Sex,Entertainment by the Department of..." on my site.

Those Ikea bits

The post yesterday asking about Ikea components has got me a couple of responses.

Steve Walsh says:

IIRC, they are;

threaded pin rod


rotating lock screw

Alex Hudson says:

Your Ikea part isn't; it's a standard fixing based on a
traditional dowel wood joint.

The dowel is replaced by a cam dowel, which is the upright fixing, and
it mates with the cam lock, which is the round thing.

They work best where the cam lock has sharp teeth and the hole is
tight on the lock, that's the only way the joint stays tight. A
traditional dowel joint is usually stronger, and you can replace
dowels relatively straightforwardly - a cam lock becomes looser over
time, and you can't replace them to tighten them.

Thanks for the responses folks! Most interesting

So it seems the term for this type of fastener is "cam and dowel", though this leads me to think perhaps they are also known as "knock-down fasteners".

Ikea 112996 110630

What is this Ikea component called?

I'm trying to work out what component 110630 and 112996 are called from Ikea furniture. I'm quite impressed with the utility of these devices: they allow you to align items at right-angles in a precision way, with only casual alignment to start with. Really cool pieces of hardware and I want to find out more about them. They're not just used in Ikea, I've seen them in Argos flat-pack furniture too.

So what are they called? Let me know.

In searching for an answer, someone pointed me at the Ikea Hacker blog. Very cool!

Ikea 112996 110630

Amazing use of Google Earth

The Wilderness Society have released overlays for Google Earth that show the scale of the destructive logging going on in Tasmania. It's incredible that we allow this to happen in such a beautiful, untouched place. And for a few dollars a ton, we export the resulting woodchips to Japanese paper mills.

Tasmanian map showing logging

This technique will be very useful for campaign groups. Imagine a map of toxic plumes from exhaust stacks on the M5 and Lane Cove road tunnels? It's a very direct, very "look how close to my house that is" way of bringing the message to the people.

Fratellis and Gainsbourg

I've been listening to a couple of great albums recently. I'm really getting into Costello Music, from Glasgow band The Fratellis. Great spiky guitars and catchy, almost Beatles-esque tunes. Loads of fun.

Also I've finally picked up Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited, a compilation of covers of Gainsbourg songs by modern artists. I spotted this first in a record shop in Milan but they wanted €35 for it, so I waited until we got home to grab it.

It starts with Franz Ferdinand and Jane Birkin doing A Song for Sorry Angel with Birkin's breathless vocals, Kapranos' power and Ferdinand's trademark spiky, tight riffs.

Jarvis Cocker and Kid Loco do I Just Came to Tell You that I'm Sorry, and from this I think Cocker could spend the rest of his life covering Gainsbourg--he's just perfect for it.

Frontline, Brian Molko and Francoise Hardy do Requiem for a Jerk (Requiem Pour Un Con), which is another great match of voices with songs for the Placebo frontman.

Lola Rastaquouere becomes "Lola Rastafari" in the hands of Sly & Robbie with Marianne Faithful. Fantastic stuff.

So two very good albums. I'm really enjoying them.

Why we should respect the Police

Spotted last night at the end of my parents' street, a police paddy wagon parked outside the local pizza joint in a No Stopping zone while the copper was inside waiting for his pizza. There's a car park right next-door to the pizza place, and it was by no means full.

So who polices the police? These things are the way of the future, but with the rule that they cannot be switched off and a copper's testimony isn't worth shit if the camera inexplicably "isn't working". Get yourself a set today!

How not to do a viral campaign

The Liberal (that's Tory for you non-Australians, yes it's confusing) party have quickly shoved out an attempt at a viral campaign, Same Old Labor in the wake of this morning's leadership spill. It's comically amateurish and seriously misguided.

The point of these kinds of things is to get people to publicise it for you, sending it on to their mates because they like some part of it. That's what the handy "Email a friend" field is for. And you'll probably end up on some exempt-from-anti-spam-laws spam list to boot.

There's a few problems with their approach though. For starters, the flash animation is neither amusing nor informative. It rehashes the same old attacks the Tories have been making about Labor. Why would you send it to your mate? Hey have a look at this really crap Flash animation. Isn't that embarrassing?

Then the following web page gives a list of reasons it's the "Same Old Labor", the first of which attacks their workplace relations stance. "Controlled by the ACTU on workplace relations": now the reason Labor hasn't gained much traction on this issue is that most people don't know, nor care, who the ACTU is. So the Tories are making the same mistake.

"No practical solutions to address climate change" shows how far the Tory song sheet has been updated in recent weeks. It sounds eerily like what everyone was saying about Howard up to two weeks ago.

Pretty lame effort, really. I can see why you can't find an agency name on it. They'd be embarrassed!

Damn my amazing PageRank

As I've mentioned before, Google just loves my web site. My PageRank is five but it seems to really really love anything I post up. For example, I'm currently hit number five for "Rimming Sugar". Erm.

Anyway, my Smugmug account has gone apeshit this month. 13 gigs of transferred photos. Seems that Google has found my site and, because I put good keywords on it, comes up with my photos. For example, I'm on page two for image searches for "belfast" right now.

To counter this, I've turned off external linking on my Ireland 2005 gallery, which is the worst offender at 7 gigs. Not something I like to do, as it breaks the concept of the web, but someone must be linking my photos from a popular MySpace or web forum or something. If it's gonna cost me money, tough shit.

Page Rank Icon

1999 Peter Lehmann Grenache

Back in 1999, we were drinking the fantastic 1998 Peter Lehmann Grenache. It was in our price range ($12 at the time) and very tasty. We kept going back to the bottle shop and buying more until they ran out and didn't get any more stock.

In 2000 we spotted the 1999 vintage of the same wine and bought a case. It was ghastly. Really nasty flavour. So we stuck it in my parents' garage and moved to London

Six years have been kind to this wine! We cracked a bottle last night and it was lovely. Loads of sediment, but it seems the nasty flavours have gone out with the sediment. Smooth, rich and velvety. Yum!

So I guess time heals all eh?