Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas is here

So Christmas is 2/3s over. I was up until 1 this morning having a chat with a friend on the phone. I set a record for the length of a phone call, 1 hour and 9 minutes. My personal phonecalls are usual on the order of a few minutes, if that. Then I went to sleep and had a nice sleep in.

I woke up and had breakfast, and opened up a few presents with a housemate. I'm currently watching (listening) to one of the DVDs I got. Three family members gave me cash. I also got a watch with a waving chairman Mao, a shirt with the Turkish flag on it (my aunt went to Turkey a few months ago), and a chairman Mao satchel.

My uncle came over for lunch. It was ok, we talked about stuff. He brought some prawns with him, and I tried one. For a long time I've avoided prawns, in earlier years going to extremes to avoid them. It was nowhere near as bad as what I recalled, but not anything wonderful. They won't be added to my favorite food list, but I may not outright refuse things including them in the future.

Once again, Christmas was spent partly with housemates and my uncle came over. When I was young, most of my family would gather at either our house or my grandmother's house for Christmas. As time has gone by, less gathering has gone by. Last year was the first time when no more than two family members were in the one area. My sister is in Thailand, my aunt in Western Australia. Mum is near Townsville, and my grandmother lives south of Cairns. That leaves me and my uncle in Brisbane.

While I'm generally not keen on family gatherings, Christmas is the one time I do miss that type of gathering. I'm not sure why.

End Post
writing time: 34 minutes

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sydney goes to Hell

Sunday was the start of some of the most fucked up shit I've seen go down in Australia. A crowd of 5000 people got together and thought it was a good idea to go around bashing people whose family background is from the middle east. And then when the police and ambulance service tried to help out those unfortunate people, the crowd decided to start throwing bottles and stuff at them as well.

Things have continued in a similar fashion, with people shooting cars parked outside a church Christmas event, groups on both sides planning on big fights, drive by assaults, and it seems to be spreading.

This is not cool.

In fact, until it happened, I'd have thought this sort of large scale stupidity wouldn't have happened in Australia. I sure as hell am not going to have anything to do with continuing it. I just hope this settles down quicker than Paris did.

End Post
writing time: 36 minutes
time since last post: 11 days

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Musings on Wikipedia

I got a story posted on slashdot yesterday. A former aide to Robert Kennedy kicked up a bit of a fuss about his entry on wikipedia being likely false and possibly libelous. Despite the fact that as soon as he pointed it out wikipedia fixed it up, he decided to go on a rant about how vandals and idiots these days can spread their nuisance around more, and that internet providers and websites should be made responsible for preventing this sort of thing happening. In a bit of irony, he is associated with the center for the first ammendment. His entry is now a lot more than two sentences and a lot more researched.

I noticed the story when I checked out wikipedia the other day, and it was the first time I submitted a story to slashdot, so I was pretty happy when I saw it up on the main page.

I've spent a fair amount of time reading wikipedia, having killed a lot of time going through the kings and queens of England, presidents of the US, Australian and British prime ministers, and Popes, along with more random browsing. I have also made some contributions, mainly in a few specific areas I'm interested in, as well as some general fix up work as well. The list of articles I've contributed to include comic books, movies, a pope or two, novels, and cds. I've created most of the content on wikipedia relating to Velvet Chain, a very good band I enjoy, as well as adding info to topics I know a bit about.

Wikipedia matches my ideal of how infomation should be available. Anyone can get access to it, and everyone can contribute back. The system has a few problems where errors in obscure areas doesn't get fixed quickly, but I have found it to be a very good reference for expanding my general knowledge.

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writing time: 25 minutes