Monday, November 26, 2007

Senators On-Line, voting as instructed by the masses.

A Senator On-Line is a Senator that votes as instructed by the registered voters of their country.All registered voters can join up using the internet and tell their Senator how to vote on all Parliamentary Bills before them.

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Quotations by Albert Einstein

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).

The world we have made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).

(Written in old age)
I have never belonged wholeheartedly to a country, a state, nor to a circle of friends, nor even to my own family.
When I was still a rather precocious young man, I already realized most vividly the futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives.
Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig.
Quoted in C P Snow, Variety of Men, (Harmondsworth 1969) 77.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quotes from George Carlin

The man makes a good point!

"Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever
told. Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there's
an INVISIBLE MAN...LIVING IN THE SKY...who watches every thing you do,
every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten special
things that he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten
things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and
torture and anguish where he will send to live and suffer and burn and
choke and scream and cry for ever and ever ´til the end of time...but he
loves you."

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Volumouse v1.52 - Control the sound volume with a wheel mouse

My favourite, simple way to change the volume on Windows.
clipped from

Volumouse provides you a quick and easy way to control the sound volume on your system - simply by rolling the wheel of your wheel mouse.
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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Taxis love 'em, hate 'em

Some one recently posted a little diatribe on the lousy taxi drivers they had encountered. Whilst I understood most of their criticisms some of the feedback that the blog generated got me a tad irked. So I opened my big mouth and started ranting, as usual...

Cabs are an interesting debate. Someone mentioned air quality and cabs sitting around wasting fuel while they are idle. I've seen that behaviour in the general public in Japan so it's cultural not job specific. Guys parked during lunch time alseep with the engine on so they can keep the air con running. Cars left running while Mom goes into the super market, _not_ dangerous...

Congestion being added to in the city? Why that's just naive.. a cab is one vehicle (and the resources it took to build it and keep it on the road) that can be used by many people, compared to all the vehicles the irritated public are driving around with most often JUST THEMSELVES in the vehicle. THAT adds to congestion.

If congestion of the cities were the main issue, then less private cars in a metropolis would make cabs more efficient. They wouldn't be stuck in traffic all the time whilst people drive around 4-5 seater vehicles so that they can have the joy of not using public transport in an overcrowded city. As it is huge areas of a city are given over to vehicles, areas of land that used to be where we walked and talked and kids played tennis after school before it became the domain of the car! Now we can't sit outside the coffee shop and banter because of the din of traffic.

Percent of surface area in the city of Los Angeles dedicated in some way to the automobile (roads, parking garages, etc.) 70 percent
Percent of surface area in Los Angeles devoted to parks and open space
5 percent (

I read some figure on how many bicycles can get through a standard green light change compared to how many cars: something like 100 bikes compared to 20-30
cars (

Yes there are some poor cabbies, reasons being: it's a poor paying job!
Yes it seems expensive but it's the owner of the vehicle that gets paid for renting it out. Drivers may make only $50 a day (excepting Friday/Sat nights) and they have to put up with just the things you mention. People puking in their car leaving them no cash and a vehicle that if not cleaned properly will surely end up on your hit list of "poor cabbies" .. I got into this cab and it stank of vomit .. tsk what a slob

They get abused because they are stuck in the traffic despite their good intentions because the roads are clogged with the selfish folk who thinkg having 3-4 empty seats with them when they commute is a community minded way to travel. And yes I truly understand that public transport may not get to your part of the city very well, meaning that a car is 'easier' or more direct for you but so is a motor bike or a bike.

Cabbies work 12 hour shifts to get this poor pay, abuse and possible risk to life (maybe not so much in Tokyo) because people think they are cash registers on wheels.

And yes you may have guessed right, I used to drive cabs. 4 years in Sydney. Where I was threatened by four guys because I offered to stop the meter and check my map because I couldn't find the street they wanted to go to yet where too drunk to correctly direct me to. There are hundreds of suburbs and thousands of streets, there must be some a person doesn't know...?

So forgive me being defensive but try to play it fair.

Sydney is full of immigrant taxi drivers which everyone moans about yet the reason is simple. The money is pathetic. The traffic very stressful, the passengers expect the world because they ARE conscious of how much they are spending so it's not a win-win situation.

Oh, and if I had an accident in my cab, I had to repair the vehicle. A ding that's less than say $2000 is not something you claim from insurance because the excess you have to pay is so high, taxis being a vehicle in a high risk category.

So I park the car while I have dinner, come back to a dinged fender/broken light and I gotta cough up hundreds. It was on my watch so I pay for it. I also had my bag stolen once while I was inside for a few minutes using the bathroom at a friends house. Cab doors didn't lock properly. "Tough luck" says the owner of the cab, so I quit. Small consolation. I lost my earnings for the night and a good bag and other personal items. (I digress, sorry)

Get more private cars off of [metropolitan] roads and you might have a city that can function. But most efforts at *cheap* public transport are thwarted by the car lobby.

How can petrol be cheaper than milk? It is so we keep driving.

35,000 cabs in Tokyo? I think there's only 4,000 in Sydney. A city of 4 million. think you gonna get a cab on a Friday night? Why aren't there more cabs? well then the money would be even LESS for those drivers per week. Or else the cabs, vehicles bought, maintained and insured are to be left sitting and not earning an income for the quiet parts of the week.

Sorry to jump on you folk. It's one of those things, not so easy to see the other side.

I'm sure there must be folk here that have worked in bars. Ever thought "what a bunch of tools" the general public is? The stupid things they ask you when you're busy behind the bar? Or they way they talk to you when you're trying to do your job but it's a madhouse on a Friday night?

well we ARE the general public. We are the tools on the other side of the bar when we aren't working and we ARE the congestion that someone elses cab is stuck behind while they watch the meter ticking over and think their cab driver is a con man. I know, some of them are.. but we all look for the freebies in life, the one's on the house. Cabbies don't get 'em though. They wait inthe rank at the airport for an hour and then the person that gets in their cab wants to go ten minutes up the road. So now you know why they don't wait on the rank. They cruise the street wasting fuel like the rest of us.