Greetings and salutations.

So the huge controversy in Australia seems to be over this thing called ‘planking’. It’s when you pose like a plank in photos. The more unusual the setting, the better. I first read about it in ‘The Age’ since it’s about the only major newspaper in Australia that’s not Murdoch-owned. The initial article (which has since disappeared from the website) played up the fun aspect while the moderators of the associated Facebook page made sure to mention that saftey was a priority. Naturally, within three days, there has been an arrest for planking on a police car, and the first death involving a plunge from a – wait for it – balcony. I bet there was alcohol involved.

The slow panic sweeping Japan is continuing with the government evacuating two towns outside the so-called ‘exclusion zone’ around the Fukushima nuclear facility. The interesting thing is that all this uncertainlty over nuclear power could be causing something of a sea-change (pun!) in Japan’s attitude to power generation. Other nuclear power stations are being closed and renewable options are being sought.

You know that debate that’s been going on for a millenium about the English language suffering and dying from the influx of new words and corruption from people who can’t speak it properly? Yep – still going strong.

Hey did you hear Osama Bin Laden died? In 2001? From a Fox News article?

A very well-considered article comparing the U.S. / Middle Eastern wars to World War One. It only goes to show that history moves in cycles,  we really don’t learn from our past mistakes and self-interest always wins the day. Yes, I am repeating myself too. But like the voice in the wilderness, maybe someone will listen one day…

I’m currently reading a book called “100 Mistakes That Changed History”. It only affirms the preceding paragraph, but I did read about quite a few incidents I either didn’t know know anything about, or didn’t know much about. The auther does a very good job of placing the events into context in as short a space as possible. The short chapters also make it a good book for traveling or pondering over. Recommended.

I enjoyed this read about 25 manners every kids should know by age 9, but enjoyed reading the comments even more.

I also enjoyed this article about hunting for old Parisian brothels using a century-old guidebook. Mind you, anything with ‘perverts’ in the title is going to be read by yours truly…

There’s more but it’ll have to wait for now. Tired…